Reading 150/341, 1 Maccabees 9.19-10.37

...1 Maccabees...

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 the country. 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 unto Jonathan, Since your 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 you 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 slay him Then Jonathan, and Simon his brother, and all that were with him, perceiving that, fled into the desert 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 past, 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, nor is there place for us to turn aside. Wherefore cry you now unto heaven, that you 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 thousand men. 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 bars. And in them he set a garrison, that they might work malice upon Israel. 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, at that time was Alcimus diseased, 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 desert, 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 he forth. 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 vain. 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 the prisoners. 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, nor came he any more into their borders. 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 did so. 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 country. Only at Bethsura certain of those that had forsaken the law and the commandments remained still, for it was their place of refuge. 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 you, that thou art a man of great power, and meet to be our friend. Wherefore now this day we ordain you to be the high priest of your nation, and to be called the king's friend; (and therewithal he sent him a purple robe and a crown of gold,) and require you 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 you 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 you still to be faithful unto us, and we will well recompense you for the things you 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 crown taxes, And from what 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 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, as the king hath commanded in the land of Judea.

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