The Bible in Its Traditions

1 Maccabees 13:1–54


And Simon heard that Trypho had gathered together an immense army to come to the land of Judah and to lay waste to it.

1Mc13:1  Now when Simon heard that Tryphon had gathered together a great host to invade the land of Judea, and destroy it,

Seeing that the people were fearful and trembling, he went up to Jerusalem, and he gathered together the people.

1Mc13:2  And saw that the people was in great trembling and fear, he went up to Jerusalem, and gathered the people together,

And exhorting them, he said: “You know what great battles I, and my brothers, and the house of my father, have fought for the laws and for the holy places, and the anguish that we have seen.

1Mc13:3  And gave them exhortation, saying, Ye yourselves know what great things I, and my brethren, and my father’s house, have done for the laws and the sanctuary, the battles also and troubles which we have seen.

As a result of these things, all my brothers have perished for the sake of Israel, and I have been left alone.

1Mc13:4  By reason whereof all my brethren are slain for Israel’s sake, and I am left alone.

And now, it is not necessary for me to spare my life in any time of tribulation. For I am not better than my brothers.

1Mc13:5  Now therefore be it far from me, that I should spare mine own life in any time of trouble: for I am no better than my brethren.

And so, I will vindicate my people and the sanctuary, and likewise our children and wives. For all the Gentiles have gathered together to crush us, solely out of malice.”

1Mc13:6  Doubtless I will avenge my nation, and the sanctuary, and our wives, and our children: for all the heathen are gathered to destroy us of very malice.

And the spirit of the people was immediately enkindled, when they heard these words.

1Mc13:7  Now as soon as the people heard these words, their spirit revived.

And they responded with a loud voice, saying: “You are our leader in place of Judas and of Jonathan, your brother.

1Mc13:8  And they answered with a loud voice, saying, Thou shalt be our leader instead of Judas and Jonathan thy brother.

Fight our battles, and we will do whatever you tell us to do.”

1Mc13:9  Fight thou our battles, and whatsoever, thou commandest us, that will we do.

10  And so, gathering together all the men of war, he accelerated the completion of all the walls of Jerusalem, and he fortified it all around.

1Mc13:10  So then he gathered together all the men of war, and made haste to finish the walls of Jerusalem, and he fortified it round about.

11  And he sent Jonathan, the son of Absalom, and with him a new army, into Joppa, and he cast out those who were in it, and he himself remained there.

1Mc13:11  Also he sent Jonathan the son of Absalom, and with him a great power, to Joppa: who casting out them that were therein remained there in it.

12  And Trypho moved from Ptolemais, with a great army, to come into the land of Judah, and Jonathan was with him in custody.

1Mc13:12  So Tryphon removed from Ptolemais with a great power to invade the land of Judea, and Jonathan was with him in ward.

13  But Simon took up a position at Addus, opposite the face of the plains.

1Mc13:13  But Simon pitched his tents at Adida, over against the plain.

14  And when Trypho realized that Simon rose up in the place of his brother, Jonathan, and that he would be joining in battle with him, he sent messengers to him,

1Mc13:14  Now when Tryphon knew that Simon was risen up instead of his brother Jonathan, and meant to join battle with him, he sent messengers unto him, saying,

15  saying: “We have detained your brother, Jonathan, because of the money that he owed to the king’s account, because of the matters for which he was responsible.

1Mc13:15  Whereas we have Jonathan thy brother in hold, it is for money that he is owing unto the king’s treasure, concerning the business that was committed unto him.

16  And now, send a hundred talents of silver, and two of his sons for hostages, so that when he is dismissed, he may not flee from us. And then we will release him.”

1Mc13:16  Wherefore now send an hundred talents of silver, and two of his sons for hostages, that when he is at liberty he may not revolt from us, and we will let him go.

17  And Simon knew that he was speaking deceitfully to him. Yet he ordered the money and the boys to be given, lest he should bring upon himself a great hostility from the people of Israel, who might have said,

1Mc13:17  Hereupon Simon, albeit he perceived that they spake deceitfully unto him yet sent he the money and the children, lest peradventure he should procure to himself great hatred of the people

18  “It is because he did not send the money and the boys that he perished.”

1Mc13:18  Who might have said, Because I sent him not the money and the children, therefore is Jonathan dead.

19  So he sent the boys and one hundred talents. And he was lying and did not dismiss Jonathan.

1Mc13:19  So he sent them the children and the hundred talents: howbeit Tryphon dissembled neither would he let Jonathan go.

20  And after this, Trypho came into the country, to crush it. And they circled around by the way that leads to Adora. And Simon and his camp marched into every place, wherever they went.

1Mc13:20  And after this came Tryphon to invade the land, and destroy it, going round about by the way that leadeth unto Adora: but Simon and his host marched against him in every place, wheresoever he went.

21  But those who were in the stronghold sent messengers to Trypho, so that he would hurry to come through the desert, and to send them provisions.

1Mc13:21  Now they that were in the tower sent messengers unto Tryphon, to the end that he should hasten his coming unto them by the wilderness, and send them victuals.

22  And Trypho prepared all his horsemen to arrive on that night. But there was a very great snowfall, and he did not come into Gilead.

1Mc13:22  Wherefore Tryphon made ready all his horsemen to come that night: but there fell a very great snow, by reason whereof he came not. So he departed, and came into the country of Galaad.

23  And when he approached toward Baskama, he killed Jonathan and his sons there.

1Mc13:23  And when he came near to Bascama he slew Jonathan, who was buried there.

24  And Trypho turned back and went into his own land.

1Mc13:24  Afterward Tryphon returned and went into his own land.

25  And Simon sent and took the bones of Jonathan, his brother, and he buried them in Modin, the city of his fathers.

1Mc13:25  Then sent Simon, and took the bones of Jonathan his brother, and buried them in Modin, the city of his fathers.


26  And all Israel bewailed him with great lamentation. And they mourned him for many days.


27  And Simon built, over the sepulcher of his father and of his brothers, a building, lofty to see, of polished stone, front and back.

1Mc13:27  Simon also built a monument upon the sepulchre of his father and his brethren, and raised it aloft to the sight, with hewn stone behind and before.

28  And he set up seven pyramids, one against another, for his father, and his mother, and his four brothers.

1Mc13:28  Moreover he set up seven pyramids, one against another, for his father, and his mother, and his four brethren.

29  And around these he placed great columns; and upon the columns, weapons, as a continual memorial; and beside the weapons, carvings of ships, which might be seen by all those who sail the sea.

1Mc13:29  And in these he made cunning devices, about the which he set great pillars, and upon the pillars he made all their armour for a perpetual memory, and by the armour ships carved, that they might be seen of all that sail on the sea.


30  This is the sepulcher that he made in Modin, even to this day.


31  But Trypho, when he was on a journey with the young king, Antiochus, killed him by deceit.

1Mc13:31  Now Tryphon dealt deceitfully with the young king Antiochus, and slew him.


32  And he reigned in his place, and he put on the diadem of Asia, and he caused great scourges upon the land.


33  And Simon built up the strongholds of Judea, fortifying them with high towers, and great walls, and gates and bars. And he placed provisions in the fortresses.

1Mc13:33  Then Simon built up the strong holds in Judea, and fenced them about with high towers, and great walls, and gates, and bars, and laid up victuals therein.

34  And Simon chose men, and he sent to king Demetrius, so that he would grant a remission to the region, for all that Trypho did was to carry out plundering.

1Mc13:34  Moreover Simon chose men, and sent to king Demetrius, to the end he should give the land an immunity, because all that Tryphon did was to spoil.

35  And king Demetrius responded to this word, and he wrote a letter in this manner

1Mc13:35  Unto whom king Demetrius answered and wrote after this manner


36  “King Demetrius to Simon, the high priest and friend of kings, and to the elders, and to the people of the Jews: greetings.


37  The golden crown and the bahem that you sent, we have received. And we are prepared to make a great peace with you, and to write to the officers of the king to remit to you the things that we have released.

1Mc13:37  The golden crown, and the scarlet robe, which ye sent unto us, we have received: and we are ready to make a stedfast peace with you, yea, and to write unto our officers, to confirm the immunities which we have granted.

38  For whatever we have established remains in force for you. The strongholds that you have built, let them be yours.

1Mc13:38  And whatsoever covenants we have made with you shall stand; and the strong holds, which ye have builded, shall be your own.

39  Likewise, any oversight or fault, even to this day, we forgive it, along with the crown that you owed. And if anything else was taxed in Jerusalem, now let it not be taxed.

1Mc13:39  As for any oversight or fault committed unto this day, we forgive it, and the crown tax also, which ye owe us: and if there were any other tribute paid in Jerusalem, it shall no more be paid.

40  And if any of you is fit to be enrolled among our own, let them be enrolled. And let there be peace between us.”

1Mc13:40  And look who are meet among you to be in our court, let then be enrolled, and let there be peace betwixt us.

41  In the one hundred and seventieth year, the yoke of the Gentiles was taken away from Israel.

1Mc13:41  Thus the yoke of the heathen was taken away from Israel in the hundred and seventieth year.

42  And the people of Israel began to write in the tablets and the public records, in the first year under Simon: high priest, great commander, and leader of the Jews.

1Mc13:42  Then the people of Israel began to write in their instruments and contracts, In the first year of Simon the high priest, the governor and leader of the Jews.

43  In those days, Simon took up a position at Gaza, and he encamped around it, and he made machines of war, and he applied them to the city, and he struck one tower and captured it.

1Mc13:43  In those days Simon camped against Gaza and besieged it round about; he made also an engine of war, and set it by the city, and battered a certain tower, and took it.

44  And those who were within the machine broke forth into the city. And a great commotion occurred in the city.

1Mc13:44  And they that were in the engine leaped into the city; whereupon there was a great uproar in the city

45  And those who were in the city ascended upon the wall, with their wives and children, having torn their tunics. And they cried out with a loud voice, asking Simon to grant them a pledge.

1Mc13:45  Insomuch as the people of the city rent their clothes, and climbed upon the walls with their wives and children, and cried with a loud voice, beseeching Simon to grant them peace.

46  And they said, “Do not repay us according to our malice, but according to your mercy.”

1Mc13:46  And they said, Deal not with us according to our wickedness, but according to thy mercy.

47  And weeping, Simon did not destroy them. Yet he cast them out of the city, and he cleansed the buildings, in which there had been idols. And then he entered into it with hymns, blessing the Lord.

1Mc13:47  So Simon was appeased toward them, and fought no more against them, but put them out of the city, and cleansed the houses wherein the idols were, and so entered into it with songs and thanksgiving.

48  And, having cast out of it all uncleanness, he placed in it men who would observe the law. And he fortified it and made it his dwelling place.

1Mc13:48  Yea, he put all uncleanness out of it, and placed such men there as would keep the law, and made it stronger than it was before, and built therein a dwellingplace for himself.

49  But those who were in the stronghold of Jerusalem were prohibited from going out and entering the region, and from buying and selling. And they were very hungry, and many of them perished through famine.

1Mc13:49  They also of the tower in Jerusalem were kept so strait, that they could neither come forth, nor go into the country, nor buy, nor sell: wherefore they were in great distress for want of victuals, and a great number of them perished through famine.

50  And they cried out to Simon, that they might receive a pledge, and he granted it to them. And he cast them out of there, and he cleansed the stronghold from contaminations.

1Mc13:50  Then cried they to Simon, beseeching him to be at one with them: which thing he granted them; and when he had put them out from thence, he cleansed the tower from pollutions

51  And they entered into it on the twenty-third day of the second month, in the one hundred and seventy-first year, with thanksgiving, and palm branches, and lyres, and cymbals, and psalteries, and hymns, and canticles, because a great enemy had been crushed out of Israel.

1Mc13:51  And entered into it the three and twentieth day of the second month in the hundred seventy and first year, with thanksgiving, and branches of palm trees, and with harps, and cymbals, and with viols, and hymns, and songs: because there was destroyed a great enemy out of Israel.

52  And he established that these days should be kept every year with rejoicing.

53  And he fortified the mountain of the temple, which was near the stronghold, and he lived there himself, along with those who were with him.

1Mc13:52  He ordained also that that day should be kept every year with gladness. Moreover the hill of the temple that was by the tower he made stronger than it was, and there he dwelt himself with his company.

53  And Simon saw that John, his son, was a valiant man in battle. And so he appointed him as commander of all the forces. And he lived in Gazara.

1Mc13:53  And when Simon saw that John his son was a valiant man, he made him captain of all the hosts; and he dwelt in Gazera.