The Bible in Its Traditions

1 Maccabees 10:22–47


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.


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.


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.