The Bible in Its Traditions

1 Maccabees 10:1–21


And in the one hundred and sixtieth year, Alexander, the son of Antiochus, who was surnamed the illustrious, came up and occupied Ptolemais, and they received him, and he reigned there.

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,

And king Demetrius heard of it, and he gathered together an exceedingly great army, and he went forth to meet him in battle.

Now when king Demetrius heard thereof, he gathered together an exceeding great host, and went forth against him to fight.

And Demetrius sent a letter to Jonathan, with peaceful words, to magnify him.

Moreover Demetrius sent letters unto Jonathan with loving words, so as he magnified him.


For he said, “Let us first make a peace with him, before he makes one with Alexander against us.


For he will remember all the evils that we have done to him, and to his brother, and to his nation.”

Else he will remember all the evils that we have done against him, and against his brethren and his people.

And he gave him the authority to gather together an army, and to fabricate weapons, so that he would be his associate. And the hostages who were in the stronghold, he ordered to be handed over to him.

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.

And Jonathan came to Jerusalem, and he read the letters in the hearing of all the people and of those who were in the stronghold.

Then came Jonathan to Jerusalem, and read the letters in the audience of all the people, and of them that were in the tower

And they were struck with a great fear, because they heard that the king gave him the authority to gather together an army.

Who were sore afraid, when they heard that the king had given him authority to gather together an host.

And the hostages were handed over to Jonathan, and he restored them to their parents.

Whereupon they of the tower delivered their hostages unto Jonathan, and he delivered them unto their parents.

10  And Jonathan lived in Jerusalem, and he began to rebuild and repair the city.

10  This done, Jonathan settled himself in Jerusalem, and began to build and repair the city.

11  And he told those doing the work to build up the walls, and mount Zion, all around, with square stones, as a fortification. And they did so.

11  And he commanded the workmen to build the walls and the mount Sion and about with square stones for fortification; and they did so.


12  Then the foreigners, who were in the fortifications that Bacchides had built, fled away.


13  And each one abandoned his place and departed into his own land.

13  Insomuch as every man left his place, and went into his own country.

14  Only in Bethzur did there remain some others of these, who had forsaken the law and the precepts of God. For this was a refuge for them.

14  Only at Bethsura certain of those that had forsaken the law and the commandments remained still: for it was their place of refuge.

15  And king Alexander heard of the promises that Demetrius promised to Jonathan. And they described the battles to him, and the virtuous deeds that he and his brothers had done, and the hardships that they had endured.

15  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,

16  And he said: “Would we ever find another such man? And so now, let us make him our friend and our associate.”

16  He said, Shall we find such another man? now therefore we will make him our friend and confederate.


17  And so, he wrote a letter, and he sent it to him, according to these words, saying

18  “King Alexander to his brother, Jonathan: greetings.

19  We have heard of you, that you are a man of power and strength, and that you are fit to be our friend.


20  And so now, on this day, we appoint that you be high priest of your people, and that you be called the king’s friend, (and he sent him a purple robe, and a crown of gold,) and that you be of one mind with us in our affairs, and that you keep friendship with us.”

20  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.

21  Then Jonathan clothed himself with the holy vestment, in the seventh month, in the one hundred and sixtieth year, on the solemn day of the Feast of Tabernacles. And he gathered together an army, and he made an abundance of weapons.

21  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.