Reading 151/341, 1 Maccabees 10.37-11.38

...1 Maccabees...

Mac 10, 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 the temple. 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, 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 Judea. 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 against Demetrius. And after the two kings had joined battle, Demetrius' host fled, but Alexander followed after him, and prevailed against them. 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 kingdom, Now therefore let us make a league of amity together, and give me now your daughter to wife, and I will be your son in law, and will give both you and her as according to your dignity. Then Ptolemee the king gave answer, saying, Happy be the day wherein thou didst return into the land of your fathers, and satest in the throne of their kingdom. And now will I do to you, as thou hast written, meet me therefore at Ptolemais, that we may see one another; for I will marry my daughter to you according to your desire. So Ptolemee went out of Egypt with his daughter Cleopatra, and they came unto Ptolemais in the hundred threescore and second year, 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 gladness. Furthermore in the hundred threescore and fifth year came Demetrius son of Demetrius out of Crete into the land of his fathers, 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 yourself against us, and I am laughed to scorn for your sake, and reproached, and why dost thou vaunt your power against us in the mountains? Now therefore, if thou trustest in your 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 you that your 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 nor 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 there. 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 his trust. Then Jonathan followed after him to Azotus, where the armies joined battle. 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 safety. 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 great pomp. 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. And the king of Egypt gathered together a great host, like the sand that lieth upon the sea shore, and many ships, and went about through deceit to get Alexander's kingdom, and join it to his own. Whereupon he took his journey into Spain in peaceable manner, so as they of the cities opened unto him, and met him, for king Alexander had commanded them so to do, because he was his brother in law. Now as Ptolemee entered into the cities, he set in every one of them a garrison of soldiers to keep it. And when he came near to Azotus, they shewed him the temple of Dagon that was burnt, and Azotus and the suburbs thereof that were destroyed, and the bodies that were cast abroad and them that he had burnt in the battle; for they had made heaps of them by the way where he should pass. Also they told the king whatsoever Jonathan had done, to the intent he might blame him, but the king held his peace. Then Jonathan met the king with great pomp at Joppa, where they saluted one another, and lodged. Afterward Jonathan, when he had gone with the king to the river called Eleutherus, returned again to Jerusalem. King Ptolemee therefore, having gotten the dominion of the cities by the sea unto Seleucia upon the sea coast, imagined wicked counsels against Alexander. Whereupon he sent ambasadors unto king Demetrius, saying, Come, let us make a league betwixt us, and I will give you my daughter whom Alexander hath, and thou shalt reign in your father's kingdom, For I repent that I gave my daughter unto him, for he sought to slay me. Thus did he slander him, because he was desirous of his kingdom. Wherefore he took his daughter from him, and gave her to Demetrius, and forsook Alexander, so that their hatred was openly known. Then Ptolemee entered into Antioch, where he set two crowns upon his head, the crown of Asia, and of Egypt. In the mean season was king Alexander in Cilicia, because those that dwelt in those parts had revolted from him. But when Alexander heard of this, he came to war against him, whereupon king Ptolemee brought forth his host, and met him with a mighty power, and put him to flight. So Alexander fled into Arabia there to be defended; but king Ptolemee was exalted, For Zabdiel the Arabian took off Alexander's head, and sent it unto Ptolemee. King Ptolemee also died the third day after, and they that were in the strong holds were slain one of another. By this means Demetrius reigned in the hundred threescore and seventh year. At the same time Jonathan gathered together them that were in Judea to take the tower that was in Jerusalem, and he made many engines of war against it. Then came ungodly persons, who hated their own people, went unto the king, and told him that Jonathan besieged the tower, Whereof when he heard, he was angry, and immediately removing, he came to Ptolemais, and wrote unto Jonathan, that he should not lay siege to the tower, but come and speak with him at Ptolemais in great haste. Nevertheless Jonathan, when he heard this, commanded to besiege it still, and he chose certain of the elders of Israel and the priests, and put himself in peril; And took silver and gold, and raiment, and divers presents besides, and went to Ptolemais unto the king, where he found favour in his sight. And though certain ungodly men of the people had made complaints against him, Yet the king entreated him as his predecessors had done before, and promoted him in the sight of all his friends, And confirmed him in the high priesthood, and in all the honours that he had before, and gave him preeminence among his chief friends. Then Jonathan desired the king, that he would make Judea free from tribute, as also the three governments, with the country of Samaria, and he promised him three hundred talents. So the king consented, and wrote letters unto Jonathan of all these things after this manner, King Demetrius unto his brother Jonathan, and unto the nation of the Jews, sendeth greeting, We send you here a copy of the letter which we did write unto our cousin Lasthenes concerning you, that you might see it. King Demetrius unto his father Lasthenes sendeth greeting, We are determined to do good to the people of the Jews, who are our friends, and keep covenants with us, because of their good will toward us. Wherefore we have ratified unto them the borders of Judea, with the three governments of Apherema and Lydda and Ramathem, that are added unto Judea from the country of Samaria, and all things appertaining unto them, for all such as do sacrifice in Jerusalem, instead of the payments which the king received of them yearly aforetime out of the fruits of the earth and of trees. And as for other things that belong unto us, of the tithes and customs pertaining unto us, as also the saltpits, and the crown taxes, which are due unto us, we discharge them of them all for their relief. And nothing hereof shall be revoked from this time forth for ever. Now therefore see that thou make a copy of these things, and let it be delivered unto Jonathan, and set upon the holy mount in a conspicuous place. After this, when king Demetrius saw that the land was quiet before him, and that no resistance was made against him, he sent away all his forces, every one to his own place, except certain bands of strangers, whom he had gathered from the isles of the heathen, wherefore all the forces of his fathers hated him.

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