1 Maccabees 12

12And Jonathan saw that the time served him, and he chose men, and sent them to Rome, to confirm and renew the friendship that they had with them. aAnd to the Spartans, and to other places, he sent letters after the same mannera. And they bwent unto Rome, andb entered into the senate house, and said: ‘Jonathan the high-priest, and the nation of the Jews, have sent us, to renew for them the friendship and the confederacy, as in former timec.’ And they gave them letters unto (the governors) of every place, that they should bring them on their way to the land of Judah in peace. And this is the copy of the letter which Jonathan wrote to the Spartans: ‘Jonathan the high-priestd, and the Council eof the natione, and the priests, and the rest of the people of the Jews, unto their brethren the Spartans, greeting! Even before this time were letters sent unto Onias the high-priest from Areiosf, who was reigning among you, (to the effect) that ye are our brethren, as the copy (here) underwritten showeth. And Onias treated honourably gthe man that was sentg, and receivedh the letters, wherein declaration was made of confederacy and friendship. Therefore we also—albeit iwe need none ofi these things, 10 having for our comfort the holy books which are in our hands—have assayed to send that we might renew our brotherhood kand friendshipk with you, to the end that we should not become estranged from you altogether; for long time is passed since ye sent unto us. 11 lWe therefore at all times without ceasing, both at our feasts, and on other convenient days, do remember you in the sacrifices which we offer, and in our prayers, as it is right and meet to be mindful of brethren; and, moreover, we are glad for your gloryl. 12 But as for ourselves, 13 many mafflictions and many warsm have encompassed us, nand the kings that are round about us have fought against usn. 14 We were not minded, however, to be troublesome to you, or to the rest of our confederateso and friends, in these wars; for we have the help that is from heaven pto help usp,15 and we have been delivered from our enemies, and qour enemiesq have been humiliated. 16 We chose, therefore, Numenius the son of Antiochus, and Antipater the son of Jason, and have sent (them) unto the Romans, to renew the friendship that we had rwith themr, sand the formert confederacys. 17 We commanded them, therefore, to go also unto you, and to salute you, and to deliver you our letters concerning the renewing u(of friendship) andu of ourv brotherhood. 18 And now ye shall dow well if ye give us an answer thereto.’ 19 And this is the copy of the letters xwhich theyy sentx to Onias: 20 ‘Areiosz, king of the Spartans, to Onias, the chief priest, greeting! 21 aIt hath been found in writing, concerning the Spartans and the Jews, that they are brethren, and that they are bof the stockb of Abraham; and now, 22 since these things have come to our knowledge, ye shall do well to write unto us of your prosperity. 23 And we, moreover, do write on our part to youa, that your cattle and goods are ours, cand ours are yours. We do command, therefore, that theyd make report unto you on this wisec.’

24 And Jonathan heard that Demetrius’ princes were returned to fight against him with a greater force than afore, so he removed from Jerusalem, and met them in the country of Hamath; 25 for he gave them no respite to set foot in his country. 26 And he sent spies into theire camp; and they returned, and reported unto him that in such and such a way they had planned to fall upon him by night. 27 But as soon as the sun was down, Jonathan commanded his men to watch, and to be in arms, that all the night long they might be ready for battle; and he sent forth sentinels (and placed them) round about the camp. 28 But (when) the adversaries heard that Jonathan and his menf were ready for battle, they were afraid and trembled in their heart; and they kindled fires in their camp, gand departedg. 29 But Jonathan and his men knew it not till morning; for they saw the fires burning. 30 And Jonathanh pursued after them, but did not overtake them; ifor they had gone over the river Eleutherus. 31 And Jonathan turned aside (and fought) against the Arabians, who are called Gabadaeans, and smote themi, and took their spoils. 32 And he set out from thence, and came to Damascus,k and took his journey through all the country.

33 And Simon went forthk, and took his journey as far as Askalon, and the strongholds that were near unto it. 34 And he turned aside to Joppa, and took possession of it, for he had heard that they were minded to deliver the stronghold unto the men of Demetrius; and he placed a garrison there to keep it.

35 And Jonathan returned, and called the elders of the people together; and he took counsel with them to build strongholds in Judaea, 36 and to make the walls of Jerusalem higher, and to raise a great mound between the citadel and the city, lfor to separate it from the cityl, mso that it might be isolatedm, nthat they (within it) might neither buy nor (they without) selln. 37 And they were gathered together to build (the city)o; and (a part of) the wall by the brook that is on the east side had fallen down, and phe repaired that which is called Chaphenathap. 38 And Simon also built Adida in the plain country, and made itq strong, rand set up gates sand barsr s.

12:39–53. The capture of Jonathan through treachery.

39 And Tryphon sought to reign over Asia and to put on himself the diadem, and to stretch forth his hand against Antiochus the kingt. 40 And he was afraid lest haply Jonathan should not suffer him (to do so), uand test he should fight against himu; so he vsought a wayw howv to take him, xthat he might destroy himx. 41 And he yremoved, and camey to Bethshan. zAnd Jonathan came forthz ato meet hima with forty thousand men chosen for battle, and came to Bethshan. 42 And (when) Tryphon saw that he came with a great host, he was afraid to stretch forth his hand against him; and he received him honourably, 43 and commended him unto all his Friends, b c dand gave him giftsd, and commanded his Friendsb and his forces to be obedient unto him, eas unto himselfc e. 44 And he said unto Jonathan: ‘Why hast thou put all this people to trouble, seeing there is no war betwixt us? 45 And now, send them away to their homes, but choose for thyself a few men who shall be with thee, and come thou with me to Ptolemais, and I will give it up to thee, fand the restg of the strongholds and the rest of the forces, and all the (king’s) officers; then I will return and depart; for, for this cause did I comef.’ 46 And he trusted him and did even as he said, andh sent away his forces, and they departed into the land of Judah. 47 But he reserved to himself three thousand men, two thousand iof whomi he left in Galilee, but one thousand went with him. 48 But when Jonathan had entered into Ptolemais, kthey of Ptolemais shut the gates, andk took him; and all they that had come with him they slew with the sword. 49 And Tryphon sent forces and horsemen into Galilee, landm into the great plainl, to destroy all Jonathan’s men. 50 And they perceived that he was taken and had perished, and they that were with him; nevertheless they encouraged one another, and went on their way close together, ready for war. 51 And (when) they that were following (upon them) saw that they were ready (to fight) for their lives, they turned back again. 52 And they all came in peace to the land of Judah, and they mourned for Jonathan and them that were with him, nand they were sore afraid. 53 And allo Israel mournedn with a great mourning. And all the Gentiles that were round about them sought to destroy them utterly, for they said: ‘They have not pa manp (that is) leader and (who will) help (them); qnow therefore let us fight against themq, and take away their memorial from among men.’

Simon Maccabaeus 13:1–16:24.

13:1–11. Simon elected leader.

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