The Bible in Its Traditions

1 Maccabees 12:39–53


39  And so, when Trypho had decided to reign over Asia, and to assume the diadem, and to extend his hand against king Antiochus,

39  Now Tryphon went about to get the kingdom of Asia, and to kill Antiochus the king, that he might set the crown upon his own head.

40  he was afraid, lest Jonathan might not permit him, but might fight against him. So he sought to seize him and to kill him. And he rose up and went to Bethshan.

40  Howbeit he was afraid that Jonathan would not suffer him, and that he would fight against him; wherefore he sought a way how to take Jonathan, that he might kill him. So he removed, and came to Bethsan.


41  And Jonathan went out to meet him with forty thousand men chosen for battle, and he came to Bethshan.


42  And when Trypho saw that Jonathan came with a great army to extend his hand against him, he was afraid.

42  Now when Tryphon saw Jonathan came with so great a force, he durst not stretch his hand against him;

43  And so he received him with honor, and he commended him to all his friends, and he gave him gifts. And he instructed his troops to obey him, just as himself.

43  But received him honourably, and commended him unto all his friends, and gave him gifts, and commanded his men of war to be as obedient unto him, as to himself.

44  And he said to Jonathan: “Why have you troubled all the people, when there is no war between us?

44  Unto Jonathan also he said, Why hast thou brought all this people to so great trouble, seeing there is no war betwixt us?

45  And now, send them back to their houses, but choose for yourself a few men, who may remain with you, and come with me to Ptolemais, and I will deliver it to you, and the rest of the fortresses, and the army, and all who are in charge of governing, and I will turn and go away. For this is the reason that I came.”

45  Therefore send them now home again, and choose a few men to wait on thee, and come thou with me to Ptolemais, for I will give it thee, and the rest of the strong holds and forces, and all that have any charge: as for me, I will return and depart: for this is the cause of my coming.

46  And Jonathan believed him, and he did as he said. And he sent away his army, and they departed into the land of Judah.

46  So Jonathan believing him did as he bade him, and sent away his host, who went into the land of Judea.


47  But he retained with him three thousand men, of whom he sent two thousand into Galilee, and one thousand came with him.


48  But when Jonathan entered into Ptolemais, those of Ptolemais closed the gates of the city, and they captured him. And all those who entered with him, they executed with the sword.

48  Now as soon as Jonathan entered into Ptolemais, they of Ptolemais shut the gates and took him, and all them that came with him they slew with the sword.

49  And Trypho sent an army and horsemen into Galilee, and into the great plain, to destroy all the associates of Jonathan.

49  Then sent Tryphon an host of footmen and horsemen into Galilee, and into the great plain, to destroy all Jonathan’s company.

50  But, when they had thought that Jonathan had been captured and slain, along with all who were with him, they encouraged one another, and they went out prepared for battle.

50  But when they knew that Jonathan and they that were with him were taken and slain, they encouraged one another; and went close together, prepared to fight.

51  Then those who had pursued them, seeing that they stood for their lives, were turned back.

51  They therefore that followed upon them, perceiving that they were ready to fight for their lives, turned back again.

52  And so, they all came into the land of Judah with peace. And they bewailed Jonathan, and those who had been with him, exceedingly. And Israel mourned with great lamentation.

52  Whereupon they all came into the land of Judea peaceably, and there they bewailed Jonathan, and them that were with him, and they were sore afraid; wherefore all Israel made great lamentation.

53  Then all the nations that were all around them sought to crush them. For they said

54  “They have no leader or helper. Now therefore, let us fight against them and take away the memory of them from among men.”

53  Then all the heathen that were round about then sought to destroy them: for said they, They have no captain, nor any to help them: now therefore let us make war upon them, and take away their memorial from among men.