Book I of the Maccabees
About that time king Antiochus travelling through the high
countries heard say, that Elymais in the country of Persia was a
city greatly renowned for riches, silver, and gold;
And that there was in it a very rich temple, wherein were
coverings of gold, and breastplates, and shields, which
Alexander, son of Philip, the Macedonian king, who reigned first
among the Grecians, had left there.
Wherefore he came and sought to take the city, and to spoil
it; but he was not able, because they of the city, having had
Rose up against him in battle: so he fled, and departed
thence with great heaviness, and returned to Babylon.
Moreover there came one who brought him tidings into Persia,
that the armies, which went against the land of Judea, were put
And that Lysias, who went forth first with a great power was
driven away of the Jews; and that they were made strong by the
armour, and power, and store of spoils, which they had gotten of
the armies, whom they had destroyed:
Also that they had pulled down the abomination, which he had
set up upon the altar in Jerusalem, and that they had compassed
about the sanctuary with high walls, as before, and his city
Now when the king heard these words, he was astonished and
sore moved: whereupon he laid him down upon his bed, and fell
sick for grief, because it had not befallen him as he looked
And there he continued many days: for his grief was ever more
and more, and he made account that he should die.
Wherefore he called for all his friends, and said unto them,
The sleep is gone from mine eyes, and my heart faileth for very
And I thought with myself, Into what tribulation am I come,
and how great a flood of misery is it, wherein now I am! for I
was bountiful and beloved in my power.
But now I remember the evils that I did at Jerusalem, and
that I took all the vessels of gold and silver that were
therein, and sent to destroy the inhabitants of Judea without a
I perceive therefore that for this cause these troubles are
come upon me, and, behold, I perish through great grief in a
Then called he for Philip, one of his friends, who he made
ruler over all his realm,
And gave him the crown, and his robe, and his signet, to the
end he should bring up his son Antiochus, and nourish him up for
So king Antiochus died there in the hundred forty and ninth
Now when Lysias knew that the king was dead, he set up
Antiochus his son, whom he had brought up being young, to reign
in his stead, and his name he called Eupator.
About this time they that were in the tower shut up the
Israelites round about the sanctuary, and sought always their
hurt, and the strengthening of the heathen.
Wherefore Judas, purposing to destroy them, called all the
people together to besiege them.
So they came together, and besieged them in the hundred and
fiftieth year, and he made mounts for shot against them, and
Howbeit certain of them that were besieged got forth, unto
whom some ungodly men of Israel joined themselves:
And they went unto the king, and said, How long will it be
ere thou execute judgment, and avenge our brethren?
We have been willing to serve thy father, and to do as he
would have us, and to obey his commandments;
For which cause they of our nation besiege the tower, and are
alienated from us: moreover as many of us as they could light on
they slew, and spoiled our inheritance.
Neither have they stretched out their hand against us only,
but also against their borders.
And, behold, this day are they besieging the tower at
Jerusalem, to take it: the sanctuary also and Bethsura have they
Wherefore if thou dost not prevent them quickly, they will do
the greater things than these, neither shalt thou be able to
Now when the king heard this, he was angry, and gathered
together all his friends, and the captains of his army, and
those that had charge of the horse.
There came also unto him from other kingdoms, and from isles
of the sea, bands of hired soldiers.
So that the number of his army was an hundred thousand
footmen, and twenty thousand horsemen, and two and thirty
elephants exercised in battle.
These went through Idumea, and pitched against Bethsura,
which they assaulted many days, making engines of war; but they
of Bethsura came out, and burned them with fire, and fought
Upon this Judas removed from the tower, and pitched in
Bathzacharias, over against the king's camp.
Then the king rising very early marched fiercely with his
host toward Bathzacharias, where his armies made them ready to
battle, and sounded the trumpets.
And to the end they might provoke the elephants to fight,
they shewed them the blood of grapes and mulberries.
Moreover they divided the beasts among the armies, and for
every elephant they appointed a thousand men, armed with coats
of mail, and with helmets of brass on their heads; and beside
this, for every beast were ordained five hundred horsemen of the
These were ready at every occasion: wheresoever the beast
was, and whithersoever the beast went, they went also, neither
departed they from him.
And upon the beasts were there strong towers of wood, which
covered every one of them, and were girt fast unto them with
devices: there were also upon every one two and thirty strong
men, that fought upon them, beside the Indian that ruled him.
As for the remnant of the horsemen, they set them on this
side and that side at the two parts of the host giving them
signs what to do, and being harnessed all over amidst the ranks.
Now when the sun shone upon the shields of gold and brass,
the mountains glistered therewith, and shined like lamps of
So part of the king's army being spread upon the high
mountains, and part on the valleys below, they marched on safely
and in order.
Wherefore all that heard the noise of their multitude, and
the marching of the company, and the rattling of the harness,
were moved: for the army was very great and mighty.
Then Judas and his host drew near, and entered into battle,
and there were slain of the king's army six hundred men.
Eleazar also, surnamed Savaran, perceiving that one of the
beasts, armed with royal harness, was higher than all the rest,
and supposing that the king was upon him,
Put himself in jeopardy, to the end he might deliver his
people, and get him a perpetual name:
Wherefore he ran upon him courageously through the midst of
the battle, slaying on the right hand and on the left, so that
they were divided from him on both sides.
Which done, he crept under the elephant, and thrust him
under, and slew him: whereupon the elephant fell down upon him,
and there he died.
Howbeit the rest of the Jews seeing the strength of the king,
and the violence of his forces, turned away from them.
Then the king's army went up to Jerusalem to meet them, and
the king pitched his tents against Judea, and against mount
But with them that were in Bethsura he made peace: for they
came out of the city, because they had no victuals there to
endure the siege, it being a year of rest to the land.
So the king took Bethsura, and set a garrison there to keep
As for the sanctuary, he besieged it many days: and set there
artillery with engines and instruments to cast fire and stones,
and pieces to cast darts and slings.
Whereupon they also made engines against their engines, and
held them battle a long season.
Yet at the last, their vessels being without victuals, (for
that it was the seventh year, and they in Judea that were
delivered from the Gentiles, had eaten up the residue of the
There were but a few left in the sanctuary, because the
famine did so prevail against them, that they were fain to
disperse themselves, every man to his own place.
At that time Lysias heard say, that Philip, whom Antiochus
the king, whiles he lived, had appointed to bring up his son
Antiochus, that he might be king,
Was returned out of Persia and Media, and the king's host
also that went with him, and that he sought to take unto him the
ruling of the affairs.
Wherefore he went in all haste, and said to the king and the
captains of the host and the company, We decay daily, and our
victuals are but small, and the place we lay siege unto is
strong, and the affairs of the kingdom lie upon us:
Now therefore let us be friends with these men, and make
peace with them, and with all their nation;
And covenant with them, that they shall live after their
laws, as they did before: for they are therefore displeased, and
have done all these things, because we abolished their laws.
So the king and the princes were content: wherefore he sent
unto them to make peace; and they accepted thereof.
Also the king and the princes made an oath unto them:
whereupon they went out of the strong hold.
Then the king entered into mount Sion; but when he saw the
strength of the place, he broke his oath that he had made, and
gave commandment to pull down the wall round about.
Afterward departed he in all haste, and returned unto
Antiochia, where he found Philip to be master of the city: so he
fought against him, and took the city by force.
In the hundred and one and fiftieth year Demetrius the son of
Seleucus departed from Rome, and came up with a few men unto a
city of the sea coast, and reigned there.
And as he entered into the palace of his ancestors, so it
was, that his forces had taken Antiochus and Lysias, to bring
them unto him.
Wherefore, when he knew it, he said, Let me not see their
So his host slew them. Now when Demetrius was set upon the
throne of his kingdom,
There came unto him all the wicked and ungodly men of Israel,
having Alcimus, who was desirous to be high priest, for their
And they accused the people to the king, saying, Judas and
his brethren have slain all thy friends, and driven us out of
our own land.
Now therefore send some man whom thou trustest, and let him
go and see what havock he hath made among us, and in the king's
land, and let him punish them with all them that aid them.
Then the king chose Bacchides, a friend of the king, who
ruled beyond the flood, and was a great man in the kingdom, and
faithful to the king,
And him he sent with that wicked Alcimus, whom he made high
priest, and commanded that he should take vengeance of the
children of Israel.
So they departed, and came with a great power into the land
of Judea, where they sent messengers to Judas and his brethren
with peaceable words deceitfully.
But they gave no heed to their words; for they saw that they
were come with a great power.
Then did there assemble unto Alcimus and Bacchides a company
of scribes, to require justice.
Now the Assideans were the first among the children of Israel
that sought peace of them:
For said they, One that is a priest of the seed of Aaron is
come with this army, and he will do us no wrong.
So he spake unto them, peaceably, and sware unto them,
saying, we will procure the harm neither of you nor your
Whereupon they believed him: howbeit he took of them
threescore men, and slew them in one day, according to the words
which he wrote,
The flesh of thy saints have they cast out, and their blood
have they shed round about Jerusalem, and there was none to bury
Wherefore the fear and dread of them fell upon all the
people, who said, There is neither truth nor righteousness in
them; for they have broken the covenant and oath that they made.
After this, removed Bacchides from Jerusalem, and pitched his
tents in Bezeth, where he sent and took many of the men that had
forsaken him, and certain of the people also, and when he had
slain them, he cast them into the great pit.
Then committed he the country to Alcimus, and left with him a
power to aid him: so Bacchides went to the king.
But Alcimus contended for the high priesthood.
And unto him resorted all such as troubled the people, who,
after they had gotten the land of Juda into their power, did
much hurt in Israel.
Now when Judas saw all the mischief that Alcimus and his
company had done among the Israelites, even above the heathen,
He went out into all the coasts of Judea round about, and
took vengeance of them that had revolted from him, so that they
durst no more go forth into the country.
On the other side, when Alcimus saw that Judas and his
company had gotten the upper hand, and knew that he was not able
to abide their force, he went again to the king, and said all
the worst of them that he could.
Then the king sent Nicanor, one of his honourable princes, a
man that bare deadly hate unto Israel, with commandment to
destroy the people.
So Nicanor came to Jerusalem with a great force; and sent
unto Judas and his brethren deceitfully with friendly words,
Let there be no battle between me and you; I will come with a
few men, that I may see you in peace.
He came therefore to Judas, and they saluted one another
peaceably. Howbeit the enemies were prepared to take away Judas
Which thing after it was known to Judas, to wit, that he came
unto him with deceit, he was sore afraid of him, and would see
his face no more.
Nicanor also, when he saw that his counsel was discovered,
went out to fight against Judas beside Capharsalama:
Where there were slain of Nicanor's side about five thousand
men, and the rest fled into the city of David.
After this went Nicanor up to mount Sion, and there came out
of the sanctuary certain of the priests and certain of the
elders of the people, to salute him peaceably, and to shew him
the burnt sacrifice that was offered for the king.
But he mocked them, and laughed at them, and abused them
shamefully, and spake proudly,
And sware in his wrath, saying, Unless Judas and his host be
now delivered into my hands, if ever I come again in safety, I
will burn up this house: and with that he went out in a great
Then the priests entered in, and stood before the altar and
the temple, weeping, and saying,
Thou, O Lord, didst choose this house to be called by thy
name, and to be a house of prayer and petition for thy people:
Be avenged of this man and his host, and let them fall by the
sword: remember their blasphemies, and suffer them not to
continue any longer.
So Nicanor went out of Jerusalem, and pitched his tents in
Bethhoron, where an host out of Syria met him.
But Judas pitched in Adasa with three thousand men, and there
he prayed, saying,
O Lord, when they that were sent from the king of the
Assyrians blasphemed, thine angel went out, and smote an hundred
fourscore and five thousand of them.
Even so destroy thou this host before us this day, that the
rest may know that he hath spoken blasphemously against thy
sanctuary, and judge thou him according to his wickedness.
So the thirteenth day of the month Adar the hosts joined
battle: but Nicanor's host was discomfited, and he himself was
first slain in the battle.
Now when Nicanor's host saw that he was slain, they cast away
their weapons, and fled.
Then they pursued after them a day's journey, from Adasa unto
Gazera, sounding an alarm after them with their trumpets.
Whereupon they came forth out of all the towns of Judea round
about, and closed them in; so that they, turning back upon them
that pursued them, were all slain with the sword, and not one of
them was left.
Afterwards they took the spoils, and the prey, and smote off
Nicanors head, and his right hand, which he stretched out so
proudly, and brought them away, and hanged them up toward
For this cause the people rejoiced greatly, and they kept
that day a day of great gladness.
Moreover they ordained to keep yearly this day, being the
thirteenth of Adar.
Thus the land of Juda was in rest a little while.
Now Judas had heard of the the Romans, that they were mighty
and valiant men, and such as would lovingly accept all that
joined themselves unto them, and make a league of amity with all
that came unto them;
And that they were men of great valour. It was told him also
of their wars and noble acts which they had done among the
Galatians, and how they had conquered them, and brought them
And what they had done in the country of Spain, for the
winning of the mines of the silver and gold which is there;
And that by their policy and patience they had conquered all
the place, though it were very far from them; and the kings also
that came against them from the uttermost part of the earth,
till they had discomfited them, and given them a great
overthrow, so that the rest did give them tribute every year:
Beside this, how they had discomfited in battle Philip, and
Perseus, king of the Citims, with others that lifted up
themselves against them, and had overcome them:
How also Antiochus the great king of Asia, that came against
them in battle, having an hundred and twenty elephants, with
horsemen, and chariots, and a very great army, was discomfited
And how they took him alive, and covenanted that he and such
as reigned after him should pay a great tribute, and give
hostages, and that which was agreed upon,
And the country of India, and Media and Lydia and of the
goodliest countries, which they took of him, and gave to king
Moreover how the Grecians had determined to come and destroy
And that they, having knowledge thereof sent against them a
certain captain, and fighting with them slew many of them, and
carried away captives their wives and their children, and
spoiled them, and took possession of their lands, and pulled
down their strong holds, and brought them to be their servants
unto this day:
It was told him besides, how they destroyed and brought under
their dominion all other kingdoms and isles that at any time
But with their friends and such as relied upon them they kept
amity: and that they had conquered kingdoms both far and nigh,
insomuch as all that heard of their name were afraid of them:
Also that, whom they would help to a kingdom, those reign;
and whom again they would, they displace: finally, that they
were greatly exalted:
Yet for all this none of them wore a crown or was clothed in
purple, to be magnified thereby:
Moreover how they had made for themselves a senate house,
wherein three hundred and twenty men sat in council daily,
consulting alway for the people, to the end they might be well
And that they committed their government to one man every
year, who ruled over all their country, and that all were
obedient to that one, and that there was neither envy nor
emmulation among them.
In consideration of these things, Judas chose Eupolemus the
son of John, the son of Accos, and Jason the son of Eleazar, and
sent them to Rome, to make a league of amity and confederacy
And to intreat them that they would take the yoke from them;
for they saw that the kingdom of the Grecians did oppress Israel
They went therefore to Rome, which was a very great journey,
and came into the senate, where they spake and said.
Judas Maccabeus with his brethren, and the people of the
Jews, have sent us unto you, to make a confederacy and peace
with you, and that we might be registered your confederates and
So that matter pleased the Romans well.
And this is the copy of the epistle which the senate wrote
back again in tables of brass, and sent to Jerusalem, that there
they might have by them a memorial of peace and confederacy:
Good success be to the Romans, and to the people of the Jews,
by sea and by land for ever: the sword also and enemy be far
If there come first any war upon the Romans or any of their
confederates throughout all their dominion,
The people of the Jews shall help them, as the time shall be
appointed, with all their heart:
Neither shall they give any thing unto them that make war
upon them, or aid them with victuals, weapons, money, or ships,
as it hath seemed good unto the Romans; but they shall keep
their covenants without taking any thing therefore.
In the same manner also, if war come first upon the nation of
the Jews, the Romans shall help them with all their heart,
according as the time shall be appointed them:
Neither shall victuals be given to them that take part
against them, or weapons, or money, or ships, as it hath seemed
good to the Romans; but they shall keep their covenants, and
that without deceit.
According to these articles did the Romans make a covenant
with the people of the Jews.
Howbeit if hereafter the one party or the other shall think
to meet to add or diminish any thing, they may do it at their
pleasures, and whatsoever they shall add or take away shall be
And as touching the evils that Demetrius doeth to the Jews,
we have written unto him, saying, Wherefore thou made thy yoke
heavy upon our friends and confederates the Jews?
If therefore they complain any more against thee, we will do
them justice, and fight with thee by sea and by land.
Furthermore, when Demetrius heard the Nicanor and his host
were slain in battle, he sent Bacchides and Alcimus into the
land of Judea the second time, and with them the chief strength
of his host:
Who went forth by the way that leadeth to Galgala, and
pitched their tents before Masaloth, which is in Arbela, and
after they had won it, they slew much people.
Also the first month of the hundred fifty and second year
they encamped before Jerusalem:
From whence they removed, and went to Berea, with twenty
thousand footmen and two thousand horsemen.
Now Judas had pitched his tents at Eleasa, and three thousand
chosen men with him:
Who seeing the multitude of the other army to he so great
were sore afraid; whereupon many conveyed themselves out of the
host, insomuch as abode of them no more but eight hundred men.
When Judas therefore saw that his host slipt away, and that
the battle pressed upon him, he was sore troubled in mind, and
much distressed, for that he had no time to gather them
Nevertheless unto them that remained he said, Let us arise
and go up against our enemies, if peradventure we may be able to
fight with them.
But they dehorted him, saying, We shall never be able: let us
now rather save our lives, and hereafter we will return with our
brethren, and fight against them: for we are but few.
Then Judas said, God forbid that I should do this thing, and
flee away from them: if our time be come, let us die manfully
for our brethren, and let us not stain our honour.
With that the host of Bacchides removed out of their tents,
and stood over against them, their horsemen being divided into
two troops, and their slingers and archers going before the host
and they that marched in the foreward were all mighty men.
As for Bacchides, he was in the right wing: so the host drew
near on the two parts, and sounded their trumpets.
They also of Judas' side, even they sounded their trumpets
also, so that the earth shook at the noise of the armies, and
the battle continued from morning till night.
Now when Judas perceived that Bacchides and the strength of
his army were on the right side, he took with him all the hardy
Who discomfited the right wing, and pursued them unto the
But when they of the left wing saw that they of the right
wing were discomfited, they followed upon Judas and those that
were with him hard at the heels from behind:
Whereupon there was a sore battle, insomuch as many were
slain on both parts.
Judas also was killed, and the remnant fled.
THen Jonathan and Simon took Judas their brother, and buried
him in the sepulchre of his fathers in Modin.
Moreover they bewailed him, and all Israel made great
lamentation for him, and mourned many days, saying,
How is the valiant man fallen, that delivered Israel!
As for the other things concerning Judas and his wars, and
the noble acts which he did, and his greatness, they are not
written: for they were very many.
Now after the death of Judas the wicked began to put forth
their heads in all the coasts of Israel, and there arose up all
such as wrought iniquity.
In those days also was there a very great famine, by reason
whereof the country revolted, and went with them.
Then Bacchides chose the wicked men, and made them lords of
And they made enquiry and search for Judas' friends, and
brought them unto Bacchides, who took vengeance of them, and
used them despitefully.
So was there a great affliction in Israel, the like whereof
was not since the time that a prophet was not seen among them.
For this cause all Judas' friends came together, and said
Since thy brother Judas died, we have no man like him to go
forth against our enemies, and Bacchides, and against them of
our nation that are adversaries to us.
Now therefore we have chosen thee this day to be our prince
and captain in his stead, that thou mayest fight our battles.
Upon this Jonathan took the governance upon him at that time,
and rose up instead of his brother Judas.
But when Bacchides gat knowledge thereof, he sought for to
Then Jonathan, and Simon his brother, and all that were with
him, perceiving that, fled into the wilderness of Thecoe, and
pitched their tents by the water of the pool Asphar.
Which when Bacchides understood, he came near to Jordan with
all his host upon the sabbath day.
Now Jonathan had sent his brother John, a captain of the
people, to pray his friends the Nabathites, that they might
leave with them their carriage, which was much.
But the children of Jambri came out of Medaba, and took John,
and all that he had, and went their way with it.
After this came word to Jonathan and Simon his brother, that
the children of Jambri made a great marriage, and were bringing
the bride from Nadabatha with a great train, as being the
daughter of one of the great princes of Chanaan.
Therefore they remembered John their brother, and went up,
and hid themselves under the covert of the mountain:
Where they lifted up their eyes, and looked, and, behold,
there was much ado and great carriage: and the bridegroom came
forth, and his friends and brethren, to meet them with drums,
and instruments of musick, and many weapons.
Then Jonathan and they that were with him rose up against
them from the place where they lay in ambush, and made a
slaughter of them in such sort, as many fell down dead, and the
remnant fled into the mountain, and they took all their spoils.
Thus was the marriage turned into mourning, and the noise of
their melody into lamentation.
So when they had avenged fully the blood of their brother,
they turned again to the marsh of Jordan.
Now when Bacchides heard hereof, he came on the sabbath day
unto the banks of Jordan with a great power.
Then Jonathan said to his company, Let us go up now and fight
for our lives, for it standeth not with us to day, as in time
For, behold, the battle is before us and behind us, and the
water of Jordan on this side and that side, the marsh likewise
and wood, neither is there place for us to turn aside.
Wherefore cry ye now unto heaven, that ye may be delivered
from the hand of your enemies.
With that they joined battle, and Jonathan stretched forth
his hand to smite Bacchides, but he turned back from him.
Then Jonathan and they that were with him leapt into Jordan,
and swam over unto the other bank: howbeit the other passed not
over Jordan unto them.
So there were slain of Bacchides' side that day about a
Afterward returned Bacchides to Jerusalem and repaired the
strong cites in Judea; the fort in Jericho, and Emmaus, and
Bethhoron, and Bethel, and Thamnatha, Pharathoni, and Taphon,
these did he strengthen with high walls, with gates and with
And in them he set a garrison, that they might work malice
He fortified also the city Bethsura, and Gazera, and the
tower, and put forces in them, and provision of victuals.
Besides, he took the chief men's sons in the country for
hostages, and put them into the tower at Jerusalem to be kept.
Moreover in the hundred fifty and third year, in the second
month, Alcimus commanded that the wall of the inner court of the
sanctuary should be pulled down; he pulled down also the works
of the prophets
And as he began to pull down, even at that time was Alcimus
plagued, and his enterprizes hindered: for his mouth was
stopped, and he was taken with a palsy, so that he could no more
speak any thing, nor give order concerning his house.
So Alcimus died at that time with great torment.
Now when Bacchides saw that Alcimus was dead, he returned to
the king: whereupon the land of Judea was in rest two years.
Then all the ungodly men held a council, saying, Behold,
Jonathan and his company are at ease, and dwell without care:
now therefore we will bring Bacchides hither, who shall take
them all in one night.
So they went and consulted with him.
Then removed he, and came with a great host, and sent letters
privily to his adherents in Judea, that they should take
Jonathan and those that were with him: howbeit they could not,
because their counsel was known unto them.
Wherefore they took of the men of the country, that were
authors of that mischief, about fifty persons, and slew them.
Afterward Jonathan, and Simon, and they that were with him,
got them away to Bethbasi, which is in the wilderness, and they
repaired the decays thereof, and made it strong.
Which thing when Bacchides knew, he gathered together all his
host, and sent word to them that were of Judea.
Then went he and laid siege against Bethbasi; and they fought
against it a long season and made engines of war.
But Jonathan left his brother Simon in the city, and went
forth himself into the country, and with a certain number went
And he smote Odonarkes and his brethren, and the children of
Phasiron in their tent.
And when he began to smite them, and came up with his forces,
Simon and his company went out of the city, and burned up the
engines of war,
And fought against Bacchides, who was discomfited by them,
and they afflicted him sore: for his counsel and travail was in
Wherefore he was very wroth at the wicked men that gave him
counsel to come into the country, inasmuch as he slew many of
them, and purposed to return into his own country.
Whereof when Jonathan had knowledge, he sent ambassadors unto
him, to the end he should make peace with him, and deliver them
Which thing he accepted, and did according to his demands,
and sware unto him that he would never do him harm all the days
of his life.
When therefore he had restored unto him the prisoners that he
had taken aforetime out of the land of Judea, he returned and
went his way into his own land, neither came he any more into
Thus the sword ceased from Israel: but Jonathan dwelt at
Machmas, and began to govern the people; and he destroyed the
ungodly men out of Israel.
In the hundred and sixtieth year Alexander, the son of
Antiochus surnamed Epiphanes, went up and took Ptolemais: for
the people had received him, by means whereof he reigned there,
Now when king Demetrius heard thereof, he gathered together
an exceeding great host, and went forth against him to fight.
Moreover Demetrius sent letters unto Jonathan with loving
words, so as he magnified him.
For said he, Let us first make peace with him, before he join
with Alexander against us:
Else he will remember all the evils that we have done against
him, and against his brethren and his people.
Wherefore he gave him authority to gather together an host,
and to provide weapons, that he might aid him in battle: he
commanded also that the hostages that were in the tower should
be delivered him.
Then came Jonathan to Jerusalem, and read the letters in the
audience of all the people, and of them that were in the tower:
Who were sore afraid, when they heard that the king had given
him authority to gather together an host.
Whereupon they of the tower delivered their hostages unto
Jonathan, and he delivered them unto their parents.
This done, Jonathan settled himself in Jerusalem, and began
to build and repair the city.
And he commanded the workmen to build the walls and the mount
Sion and about with square stones for fortification; and they
Then the strangers, that were in the fortresses which
Bacchides had built, fled away;
Insomuch as every man left his place, and went into his own
Only at Bethsura certain of those that had forsaken the law
and the commandments remained still: for it was their place of
Now when king Alexander had heard what promises Demetrius had
sent unto Jonathan: when also it was told him of the battles and
noble acts which he and his brethren had done, and of the pains
that they had endured,
He said, Shall we find such another man? now therefore we
will make him our friend and confederate.
Upon this he wrote a letter, and sent it unto him, according
to these words, saying,
King Alexander to his brother Jonathan sendeth greeting:
We have heard of thee, that thou art a man of great power,
and meet to be our friend.
Wherefore now this day we ordain thee to be the high priest
of thy nation, and to be called the king's friend; (and
therewithal he sent him a purple robe and a crown of gold:) and
require thee to take our part, and keep friendship with us.
So in the seventh month of the hundred and sixtieth year, at
the feast of the tabernacles, Jonathan put on the holy robe, and
gathered together forces, and provided much armour.
Whereof when Demetrius heard, he was very sorry, and said,
What have we done, that Alexander hath prevented us in making
amity with the Jews to strengthen himself?
I also will write unto them words of encouragement, and
promise them dignities and gifts, that I may have their aid.
He sent unto them therefore to this effect: King Demetrius
unto the people of the Jews sendeth greeting:
Whereas ye have kept covenants with us, and continued in our
friendship, not joining yourselves with our enemies, we have
heard hereof, and are glad.
Wherefore now continue ye still to be faithful unto us, and
we will well recompense you for the things ye do in our behalf,
And will grant you many immunities, and give you rewards.
And now do I free you, and for your sake I release all the
Jews, from tributes, and from the customs of salt, and from
And from that which appertaineth unto me to receive for the
third part or the seed, and the half of the fruit of the trees,
I release it from this day forth, so that they shall not be
taken of the land of Judea, nor of the three governments which
are added thereunto out of the country of Samaria and Galilee,
from this day forth for evermore.
Let Jerusalem also be holy and free, with the borders
thereof, both from tenths and tributes.
And as for the tower which is at Jerusalem, I yield up
authority over it, and give the high priest, that he may set in
it such men as he shall choose to keep it.
Moreover I freely set at liberty every one of the Jews, that
were carried captives out of the land of Judea into any part of
my kingdom, and I will that all my officers remit the tributes
even of their cattle.
Furthermore I will that all the feasts, and sabbaths, and new
moons, and solemn days, and the three days before the feast, and
the three days after the feast shall be all of immunity and
freedom for all the Jews in my realm.
Also no man shall have authority to meddle with or to molest
any of them in any matter.
I will further, that there be enrolled among the king's
forces about thirty thousand men of the Jews, unto whom pay
shall be given, as belongeth to all king's forces.
And of them some shall be placed in the king's strong holds,
of whom also some shall be set over the affairs of the kingdom,
which are of trust: and I will that their overseers and
governors be of themselves, and that they live after their own
laws, even as the king hath commanded in the land of Judea.
And concerning the three governments that are added to Judea
from the country of Samaria, let them be joined with Judea, that
they may be reckoned to be under one, nor bound to obey other
authority than the high priest's.
As for Ptolemais, and the land pertaining thereto, I give it
as a free gift to the sanctuary at Jerusalem for the necessary
expences of the sanctuary.
Moreover I give every year fifteen thousand shekels of silver
out of the king's accounts from the places appertaining.
And all the overplus, which the officers payed not in as in
former time, from henceforth shall be given toward the works of
And beside this, the five thousand shekels of silver, which
they took from the uses of the temple out of the accounts year
by year, even those things shall be released, because they
appertain to the priests that minister.
And whosoever they be that flee unto the temple at Jerusalem,
or be within the liberties hereof, being indebted unto the king,
or for any other matter, let them be at liberty, and all that
they have in my realm.
For the building also and repairing of the works of the
sanctuary expences shall be given of the king's accounts.
Yea, and for the building of the walls of Jerusalem, and the
fortifying thereof round about, expences shall be given out of
the king's accounts, as also for the building of the walls in
Now when Jonathan and the people heard these words, they gave
no credit unto them, nor received them, because they remembered
the great evil that he had done in Israel; for he had afflicted
them very sore.
But with Alexander they were well pleased, because he was the
first that entreated of true peace with them, and they were
confederate with him always.
Then gathered king Alexander great forces, and camped over
And after the two kings had joined battle, Demetrius' host
fled: but Alexander followed after him, and prevailed against
And he continued the battle very sore until the sun went
down: and that day was Demetrius slain.
Afterward Alexander sent ambassadors to Ptolemee king of
Egypt with a message to this effect:
Forasmuch as I am come again to my realm, and am set in the
throne of my progenitors, and have gotten the dominion, and
overthrown Demetrius, and recovered our country;
For after I had joined battle with him, both he and his host
was discomfited by us, so that we sit in the throne of his
Now therefore let us make a league of amity together, and
give me now thy daughter to wife: and I will be thy son in law,
and will give both thee and her as according to thy dignity.
Then Ptolemee the king gave answer, saying, Happy be the day
wherein thou didst return into the land of thy fathers, and
satest in the throne of their kingdom.
And now will I do to thee, as thou hast written: meet me
therefore at Ptolemais, that we may see one another; for I will
marry my daughter to thee according to thy desire.
So Ptolemee went out of Egypt with his daughter Cleopatra,
and they came unto Ptolemais in the hundred threescore and
Where king Alexander meeting him, he gave unto him his
daughter Cleopatra, and celebrated her marriage at Ptolemais
with great glory, as the manner of kings is.
Now king Alexander had written unto Jonathan, that he should
come and meet him.
Who thereupon went honourably to Ptolemais, where he met the
two kings, and gave them and their friends silver and gold, and
many presents, and found favour in their sight.
At that time certain pestilent fellows of Israel, men of a
wicked life, assembled themselves against him, to accuse him:
but the king would not hear them.
Yea more than that, the king commanded to take off his
garments, and clothe him in purple: and they did so.
And he made him sit by himself, and said into his princes, Go
with him into the midst of the city, and make proclamation, that
no man complain against him of any matter, and that no man
trouble him for any manner of cause.
Now when his accusers saw that he was honored according to
the proclamation, and clothed in purple, they fled all away.
So the king honoured him, and wrote him among his chief
friends, and made him a duke, and partaker of his dominion.
Afterward Jonathan returned to Jerusalem with peace and
Furthermore in the; hundred threescore and fifth year came
Demetrius son of Demetrius out of Crete into the land of his
Whereof when king Alexander heard tell, he was right sorry,
and returned into Antioch.
Then Demetrius made Apollonius the governor of Celosyria his
general, who gathered together a great host, and camped in
Jamnia, and sent unto Jonathan the high priest, saying,
Thou alone liftest up thyself against us, and I am laughed to
scorn for thy sake, and reproached: and why dost thou vaunt thy
power against us in the mountains?
Now therefore, if thou trustest in thine own strength, come
down to us into the plain field, and there let us try the matter
together: for with me is the power of the cities.
Ask and learn who I am, and the rest that take our part, and
they shall tell thee that thy foot is not able to to flight in
their own land.
Wherefore now thou shalt not be able to abide the horsemen
and so great a power in the plain, where is neither stone nor
flint, nor place to flee unto.
So when Jonathan heard these words of Apollonius, he was
moved in his mind, and choosing ten thousand men he went out of
Jerusalem, where Simon his brother met him for to help him.
And he pitched his tents against Joppa: but; they of Joppa
shut him out of the city, because Apollonius had a garrison
Then Jonathan laid siege unto it: whereupon they of the city
let him in for fear: and so Jonathan won Joppa.
Whereof when Apollonius heard, he took three thousand
horsemen, with a great host of footmen, and went to Azotus as
one that journeyed, and therewithal drew him forth into the
plain. because he had a great number of horsemen, in whom he put
Then Jonathan followed after him to Azotus, where the armies
Now Apollonius had left a thousand horsemen in ambush.
And Jonathan knew that there was an ambushment behind him;
for they had compassed in his host, and cast darts at the
people, from morning till evening.
But the people stood still, as Jonathan had commanded them:
and so the enemies' horses were tired.
Then brought Simon forth his host, and set them against the
footmen, (for the horsemen were spent) who were discomfited by
him, and fled.
The horsemen also, being scattered in the field, fled to
Azotus, and went into Bethdagon, their idol's temple, for
But Jonathan set fire on Azotus, and the cities round about
it, and took their spoils; and the temple of Dagon, with them
that were fled into it, he burned with fire.
Thus there were burned and slain with the sword well nigh
eight thousand men.
And from thence Jonathan removed his host, and camped against
Ascalon, where the men of the city came forth, and met him with
After this returned Jonathan and his host unto Jerusalem,
having any spoils.
Now when king ALexander heard these things, he honoured
Jonathan yet more.
And sent him a buckle of gold, as the use is to be given to
such as are of the king's blood: he gave him also Accaron with
the borders thereof in possession.