The Bible in Its Traditions

1 Maccabees 10:1–89

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

22  And Demetrius heard these words, and he was exceedingly sorrowful, and he said

22  Whereof when Demetrius heard, he was very sorry, and said,

23  “What have we done in this, that Alexander has gone before us to obtain the friendship of the Jews to strengthen himself?

23  What have we done, that Alexander hath prevented us in making amity with the Jews to strengthen himself?

24  I also will write to them words of petition, and offer positions of rank and gifts, so that they may act in assistance to me.”

24  I also will write unto them words of encouragement, and promise them dignities and gifts, that I may have their aid.

25  And he wrote to them in these words: “King Demetrius to the nation of the Jews: greetings.

25  He sent unto them therefore to this effect: King Demetrius unto the people of the Jews sendeth greeting

26  Since you have kept the peace with us, and have remained in our friendship, and have not made agreements with our enemies, we have heard of this, and we are glad.

26  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.

27  And so now, persevere still to remain faithful to us, and we will reward you with good things for what you have done for us.

27  Wherefore now continue ye still to be faithful unto us, and we will well recompense you for the things ye do in our behalf,

28  And we will repay you for your many expenses, and we will give you gifts.

28  And will grant you many immunities, and give you rewards.

29  And now, I release you, and all the Jews, from tributes, and I grant to you the payments of salt, and I send back the crowns and the thirds of the seed.

29  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,

30  And the one half portion of the fruit from the trees, which is my share, I relinquish to you from this day and hereafter, so that it shall not be taken from the land of Judah, nor from the three cities that have been added to it from Samaria and Galilee, from this day and for all time.

30  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.

31  And let Jerusalem be holy and free within its borders, and let the tenths and tributes be for itself.

31  Let Jerusalem also be holy and free, with the borders thereof, both from tenths and tributes.

32  And I even return authority over the stronghold, which is in Jerusalem, and I give it to the high priest, in order to appoint in it any such men as he will choose, who will guard it.

32  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.

33  And every soul of the Jews who were taken captive from the land of Judah in all my kingdom, I set at liberty without charge, so that they are all released from tributes, even of their cattle.

33  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.

34  And all the days of solemnities, and the Sabbaths, and the new moons, and the decreed days, and the three days before the solemn day, and three days after the solemn day, shall all be days of immunity and remission for all the Jews who are in my kingdom.

34  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.

35  And no one will have the authority to do anything, or to incite any plots, against any of them, in all cases.

35  Also no man shall have authority to meddle with or to molest any of them in any matter.

36  And let there be enrolled from the Jews, into the army of the king, up to thirty thousand men. And allowances shall be given to them, just as is due to all the king’s army. And some of them shall be appointed to be in the fortresses of the great king.

36  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.

37  And some of them shall be set over the affairs of the kingdom, those who act with faith, and let the leaders be from them, and let them walk by their own laws, just as the king has commanded in the land of Judah.

37  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.

38  And the three cities that have been added to Judea from the region of Samaria, let them be counted with Judea, so that they may be united as one, and so that they may obey no other authority, except the high priest.

38  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.

39  Ptolemais and its confines, I give as a free gift to the holy places that are in Jerusalem, for the necessary expenses of the holy things.

39  As for Ptolemais, and the land pertaining thereto, I give it as a free gift to the sanctuary at Jerusalem for the necessary expenses of the sanctuary.

40  And I give, every year, fifteen thousand shekels of silver from the allotment of the king, from what belongs to me.

40  Moreover I give every year fifteen thousand shekels of silver out of the king’s accounts from the places appertaining.

41  And all that has been left over, which those who were set over the affairs in prior years have not paid: from this time, they will give it to the works of the house.

41  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.

42  And beyond this, they shall receive five thousand shekels of silver from the allotment of the holy places each year, and this will belong to the priests who perform the ministry.

42  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.

43  And whoever will flee into the temple that is in Jerusalem, or in any of its parts, being liable before the king in any matter, let them be released, and all that is theirs in my kingdom, let them have it freely.

43  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.

44  And as to the works of rebuilding and repairing the holy places, the expenses shall be given from the king’s revenues.

44  For the building also and repairing of the works of the sanctuary expenses shall be given of the king’s accounts.

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45  And as to the raising of the walls of Jerusalem and the fortifications all around it, the expenses shall be given from the king’s revenues, as also for the building of the walls in Judea.”

46  So when Jonathan and the people heard these words, they did not believe or accept them, because they remembered the great malice that he had done in Israel, for he had troubled them greatly.

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47  And so they were pleased with Alexander, because he had been to them a leader with words of peace, and they were of assistance to him every day.

47  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.

48  And so king Alexander gathered together a great army, and he moved his camp against Demetrius.

48  Then gathered king Alexander great forces, and camped over against Demetrius.

49  And the two kings joined together in battle, and the army of Demetrius fled away, and Alexander followed after him, and he closed in on them.

49  And after the two kings had joined battle, Demetrius’ host fled: but Alexander followed after him, and prevailed against them.

50  And the battle was hard fought, until the sun went down. And Demetrius was slain on that day.

50  And he continued the battle very sore until the sun went down: and that day was Demetrius slain.

51  And Alexander sent ambassadors to Ptolemy, the king of Egypt, according to these words, saying

51  Afterward Alexander sent ambassadors to Ptolemee king of Egypt with a message to this effect

52  “Know that I have returned to my kingdom, and I am seated upon the throne of my fathers, and I have obtained the leadership, and I have crushed Demetrius, and I have taken possession of our country,

52  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;

53  and I have joined battle with him, and both he and his camp have been crushed by us, and we are seated on the throne of his kingdom.

53  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

54  And now, let us establish a friendship with one with another. And give me your daughter as a wife, and I will be your son-in-law, and I will give gifts that are worthy of you, to both you and her.”

54  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.

55  And king Ptolemy responded by saying: “Happy is the day on which you were returned to the land of your fathers, and you sat on the throne of their kingdom.

55  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.

56  And now, I will do for you as you have written. But meet with me at Ptolemais, so that we may see one another, and so that I may espouse her to you, just as you have said.”

56  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.

57  And so Ptolemy departed from Egypt, both he and his daughter Cleopatra, and he arrived at Ptolemais in the one hundred and sixty-second year.

57  So Ptolemee went out of Egypt with his daughter Cleopatra, and they came unto Ptolemais in the hundred threescore and second year

58  And king Alexander met him, and he gave him Cleopatra, his daughter. And he celebrated her marriage at Ptolemais with great glory, just as befits kings.

58  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.

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59  And king Alexander wrote to Jonathan, that he should come to meet him.

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60  And he went forth with glory to Ptolemais, and he met the two kings there, and he gave them much silver, and gold, and gifts. And he found favor in their sight.

60  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.

61  And some of the pestilent men of Israel, men of iniquity, came together against him, interrupting with objections against him. And the king did not attend to them.

61  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.

62  And he ordered that Jonathan’s garments be taken away from him, and that he be clothed in purple. And they did so. And the king arranged for him to sit with him.

62  Yea more than that, the king commanded to take off his garments, and clothe him in purple: and they did so.

63  And he said to his princes, “Go out with him into the midst of the city, and make a proclamation, so that no one may raise objections against him in any matter, and so that no one may bother him for any reason.”

63  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.

64  And so it happened that, when his accusers saw his glory being proclaimed, and him clothed in purple, they all fled away.

64  Now when his accusers saw that he was honoured according to the proclamation, and clothed in purple, they fled all away.

65  And the king magnified him, and he enrolled him among his foremost friends, and he gave him a position as governor and as a participant in his dominion.

65  So the king honoured him, and wrote him among his chief friends, and made him a duke, and partaker of his dominion.

66  And Jonathan returned to Jerusalem with peace and joy.

66  Afterward Jonathan returned to Jerusalem with peace and gladness.

67  In the one hundred and sixty-fifth year, Demetrius, the son of Demetrius, came from Crete into the land of his fathers.

67  Furthermore in the; hundred threescore and fifth year came Demetrius son of Demetrius out of Crete into the land of his fathers

68  And king Alexander heard of it, and he was very sorrowful, and he returned to Antioch.

68  Whereof when king Alexander heard tell, he was right sorry, and returned into Antioch.

69  And king Demetrius appointed Apollonius as his general, who was in charge of Coelesyria. And he gathered together a great army, and he drew near to Jamnia. And he sent to Jonathan, the high priest,

69  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,

70  saying: “You alone resist us, and so I have been brought to derision and disgrace, because you exercise your power against us in the mountains.

70  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?

71  Now, therefore, if you trust in your forces, descend to us in the plains, and there let us contest one another. For the power of war is with me.

71  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.

72  Inquire, and learn who I am, and the others, who are auxiliaries to me, who also say that your feet cannot stand before our face, for your fathers have twice been put to flight in their own land.

72  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 stand before our face; for thy fathers have twice been put to flight in their own land.

73  And now, how will you be able to withstand the horsemen, and so great an army in the plains, where there is no stone, or rock, or place to flee?”

73  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.

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74  But when Jonathan heard the words of Apollonius, he was moved in his soul. And he chose ten thousand men, and he departed from Jerusalem, and Simon, his brother, met him to help him.

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75  And they positioned their tents near Joppa, but they excluded him from the city, because a garrison from Apollonius was in Joppa. And so, he attacked it.

75  And he pitched his tents against Joppa: but; they of Joppa shut him out of the city, because Apollonius had a garrison there.

76  And those who were in the city, being terrified, opened to him. And so Jonathan obtained Joppa.

76  Then Jonathan laid siege unto it: whereupon they of the city let him in for fear: and so Jonathan won Joppa.

77  And Apollonius heard of it, and he moved three thousand horsemen, and a great army.

77  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.

78  And he went toward Azotus, like one making a journey, but he suddenly departed into the plains, because he had a great number of horsemen, and he trusted in them. And Jonathan followed after him to Azotus, and they joined together in battle.

78  Then Jonathan followed after him to Azotus, where the armies joined battle.

79  And Apollonius secretly left behind them in the camp a thousand horsemen.

79  Now Apollonius had left a thousand horsemen in ambush.

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80  And Jonathan realized that there was an ambush behind him, and they surrounded his camp, and they cast darts at the people from morning until evening.

81  But the people stood firm, just as Jonathan had instructed them, and their horses suffered hardships.

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82  Then Simon drew forth his army, and he sent them against the legion. For the horsemen were wearied. And they were crushed by him, and they fled.

82  Then brought Simon forth his host, and set them against the footmen, (for the horsemen were spent) who were discomfited by him, and fled.

83  And those who were scattered throughout the plains fled to Azotus, and they entered into Bethdagon, so that, by their idol in that place, they might save themselves.

83  The horsemen also, being scattered in the field, fled to Azotus, and went into Bethdagon, their idol’s temple, for safety.

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84  But Jonathan set fire to Azotus and to the cities that were all around it, and he captured their spoils and the temple of Dagon. And he burned with fire all those who had fled into it.

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85  And so it was that those who fell by the sword, with those who were burned, were nearly eight thousand men.

85  Thus there were burned and slain with the sword well nigh eight thousand men.

86  And Jonathan, removed his encampment from there, and he took up a position against Askalon. And they went out of the city to meet him with great glory.

86  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.

87  And Jonathan returned to Jerusalem with his own, having many spoils.

87  After this returned Jonathan and his host unto Jerusalem, having any spoils.

88  And it happened that, when king Alexander heard these words, he added still more glory to Jonathan.

88  Now when king Alexander heard these things, he honoured Jonathan yet more.

89  And he sent him a clasp of gold, as is customary to be given to those who are of royal lineage. And he gave him Ekron, and all its borders, as a possession.

89  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.