141Now in the hundred threescore and twelfth year king Demetrius gathered his forces together, and went into Media to get him help to fight against Tryphone.
2But when Arsaces, the king of Persia and Media, heard that Demetrius was entered within his borders, he sent one of his princes to take him alive:
3Who went and smote the host of Demetrius, and took him, and brought him to Arsaces, by whom he was put in ward.
4As for the land of Judea, that was quiet all the days of Simon; for he sought the good of his nation in such wise, as that evermore his authority and honour pleased them well.
5And as he was honourable in all his acts, so in this, that he took Joppa for an haven, and made an entrance to the isles of the sea,
6And enlarged the bounds of his nation, and recovered the country,
7And gathered together a great number of captives, and had the dominion of Gazera, and Bethsura, and the tower, out of the which he took all uncleaness, neither was there any that resisted him.
8Then did they till their ground in peace, and the earth gave her increase, and the trees of the field their fruit.
9The ancient men sat all in the streets, communing together of good things, and the young men put on glorious and warlike apparel.
10He provided victuals for the cities, and set in them all manner of munition, so that his honourable name was renowned unto the end of the world.
11He made peace in the land, and Israel rejoiced with great joy:
12For every man sat under his vine and his fig tree, and there was none to fray them:
13Neither was there any left in the land to fight against them: yea, the kings themselves were overthrown in those days.
14Moreover he strengthened all those of his people that were brought low: the law he searched out; and every contemner of the law and wicked person he took away.
15He beautified the sanctuary, and multiplied vessels of the temple.
16Now when it was heard at Rome, and as far as Sparta, that Jonathan was dead, they were very sorry.
17But as soon as they heard that his brother Simon was made high priest in his stead, and ruled the country, and the cities therein:
18They wrote unto him in tables of brass, to renew the friendship and league which they had made with Judas and Jonathan his brethren:
19Which writings were read before the congregation at Jerusalem.
20And this is the copy of the letters that the Lacedemonians sent; The rulers of the Lacedemonians, with the city, unto Simon the high priest, and the elders, and priests, and residue of the people of the Jews, our brethren, send greeting:
21The ambassadors that were sent unto our people certified us of your glory and honour: wherefore we were glad of their coming,
22And did register the things that they spake in the council of the people in this manner; Numenius son of Antiochus, and Antipater son of Jason, the Jews’ ambassadors, came unto us to renew the friendship they had with us.
23And it pleased the people to entertain the men honourably, and to put the copy of their ambassage in publick records, to the end the people of the Lacedemonians might have a memorial thereof: furthermore we have written a copy thereof unto Simon the high priest.
24After this Simon sent Numenius to Rome with a great shield of gold of a thousand pound weight to confirm the league with them.
25Whereof when the people heard, they said, What thanks shall we give to Simon and his sons?
26For he and his brethren and the house of his father have established Israel, and chased away in fight their enemies from them, and confirmed their liberty.
27So then they wrote it in tables of brass, which they set upon pillars in mount Sion: and this is the copy of the writing; The eighteenth day of the month Elul, in the hundred threescore and twelfth year, being the third year of Simon the high priest,
28At Saramel in the great congregation of the priests, and people, and rulers of the nation, and elders of the country, were these things notified unto us.
29Forasmuch as oftentimes there have been wars in the country, wherein for the maintenance of their sanctuary, and the law, Simon the son of Mattathias, of the posterity of Jarib, together with his brethren, put themselves in jeopardy, and resisting the enemies of their nation did their nation great honour:
30(For after that Jonathan, having gathered his nation together, and been their high priest, was added to his people,
31Their enemies prepared to invade their country, that they might destroy it, and lay hands on the sanctuary:
32At which time Simon rose up, and fought for his nation, and spent much of his own substance, and armed the valiant men of his nation and gave them wages,
33And fortified the cities of Judea, together with Bethsura, that lieth upon the borders of Judea, where the armour of the enemies had been before; but he set a garrison of Jews there:
34Moreover he fortified Joppa, which lieth upon the sea, and Gazera, that bordereth upon Azotus, where the enemies had dwelt before: but he placed Jews there, and furnished them with all things convenient for the reparation thereof.)
35The people therefore sang the acts of Simon, and unto what glory he thought to bring his nation, made him their governor and chief priest, because he had done all these things, and for the justice and faith which he kept to his nation, and for that he sought by all means to exalt his people.
36For in his time things prospered in his hands, so that the heathen were taken out of their country, and they also that were in the city of David in Jerusalem, who had made themselves a tower, out of which they issued, and polluted all about the sanctuary, and did much hurt in the holy place:
37But he placed Jews therein. and fortified it for the safety of the country and the city, and raised up the walls of Jerusalem.
38King Demetrius also confirmed him in the high priesthood according to those things,
39And made him one of his friends, and honoured him with great honour.
40For he had heard say, that the Romans had called the Jews their friends and confederates and brethren; and that they had entertained the ambassadors of Simon honourably;
41Also that the Jews and priests were well pleased that Simon should be their governor and high priest for ever, until there should arise a faithful prophet;
42Moreover that he should be their captain, and should take charge of the sanctuary, to set them over their works, and over the country, and over the armour, and over the fortresses, that, I say, he should take charge of the sanctuary;
43Beside this, that he should be obeyed of every man, and that all the writings in the country should be made in his name, and that he should be clothed in purple, and wear gold:
44Also that it should be lawful for none of the people or priests to break any of these things, or to gainsay his words, or to gather an assembly in the country without him, or to be clothed in purple, or wear a buckle of gold;
45And whosoever should do otherwise, or break any of these things, he should be punished.
46Thus it liked all the people to deal with Simon, and to do as hath been said.
47Then Simon accepted hereof, and was well pleased to be high priest, and captain and governor of the Jews and priests, and to defend them all.
48So they commanded that this writing should be put in tables of brass, and that they should be set up within the compass of the sanctuary in a conspicuous place;
49Also that the copies thereof should be laid up in the treasury, to the end that Simon and his sons might have them.
151Moreover Antiochus son of Demetrius the king sent letters from the isles of the sea unto Simon the priest and prince of the Jews, and to all the people;
2The contents whereof were these: King Antiochus to Simon the high priest and prince of his nation, and to the people of the Jews, greeting:
3Forasmuch as certain pestilent men have usurped the kingdom of our fathers, and my purpose is to challenge it again, that I may restore it to the old estate, and to that end have gathered a multitude of foreign soldiers together, and prepared ships of war;
4My meaning also being to go through the country, that I may be avenged of them that have destroyed it, and made many cities in the kingdom desolate:
5Now therefore I confirm unto thee all the oblations which the kings before me granted thee, and whatsoever gifts besides they granted.
6I give thee leave also to coin money for thy country with thine own stamp.
7And as concerning Jerusalem and the sanctuary, let them be free; and all the armour that thou hast made, and fortresses that thou hast built, and keepest in thine hands, let them remain unto thee.
8And if anything be, or shall be, owing to the king, let it be forgiven thee from this time forth for evermore.
9Furthermore, when we have obtained our kingdom, we will honour thee, and thy nation, and thy temple, with great honour, so that your honour shall be known throughout the world.
10In the hundred threescore and fourteenth year went Antiochus into the land of his fathers: at which time all the forces came together unto him, so that few were left with Tryphon.
11Wherefore being pursued by king Antiochus, he fled unto Dora, which lieth by the sea side:
12For he saw that troubles came upon him all at once, and that his forces had forsaken him.
13Then camped Antiochus against Dora, having with him an hundred and twenty thousand men of war, and eight thousand horsemen.
14And when he had compassed the city round about, and joined ships close to the town on the sea side, he vexed the city by land and by sea, neither suffered he any to go out or in.
15In the mean season came Numenius and his company from Rome, having letters to the kings and countries; wherein were written these things:
16Lucius, consul of the Romans unto king Ptolemee, greeting:
17The Jews’ ambassadors, our friends and confederates, came unto us to renew the old friendship and league, being sent from Simon the high priest, and from the people of the Jews:
18And they brought a shield of gold of a thousand pound.
19We thought it good therefore to write unto the kings and countries, that they should do them no harm, nor fight against them, their cities, or countries, nor yet aid their enemies against them.
20It seemed also good to us to receive the shield of them.
21If therefore there be any pestilent fellows, that have fled from their country unto you, deliver them unto Simon the high priest, that he may punish them according to their own law.
22The same things wrote he likewise unto Demetrius the king, and Attalus, to Ariarathes, and Arsaces,
23And to all the countries and to Sampsames, and the Lacedemonians, and to Delus, and Myndus, and Sicyon, and Caria, and Samos, and Pamphylia, and Lycia, and Halicarnassus, and Rhodus, and Aradus, and Cos, and Side, and Aradus, and Gortyna, and Cnidus, and Cyprus, and Cyrene.
24And the copy hereof they wrote to Simon the high priest.
25So Antiochus the king camped against Dora the second day, assaulting it continually, and making engines, by which means he shut up Tryphon, that he could neither go out nor in.
26At that time Simon sent him two thousand chosen men to aid him; silver also, and gold, and much armour.
27Nevertheless he would not receive them, but brake all the covenants which he had made with him afore, and became strange unto him.
28Furthermore he sent unto him Athenobius, one of his friends, to commune with him, and say, Ye withhold Joppa and Gazera; with the tower that is in Jerusalem, which are cities of my realm.
29The borders thereof ye have wasted, and done great hurt in the land, and got the dominion of many places within my kingdom.
30Now therefore deliver the cities which ye have taken, and the tributes of the places, whereof ye have gotten dominion without the borders of Judea:
31Or else give me for them five hundred talents of silver; and for the harm that ye have done, and the tributes of the cities, other five hundred talents: if not, we will come and fight against you
32So Athenobius the king’s friend came to Jerusalem: and when he saw the glory of Simon, and the cupboard of gold and silver plate, and his great attendance, he was astonished, and told him the king’s message.
33Then answered Simon, and said unto him, We have neither taken other men’s land, nor holden that which appertaineth to others, but the inheritance of our fathers, which our enemies had wrongfully in possession a certain time.
34Wherefore we, having opportunity, hold the inheritance of our fathers.
35And whereas thou demandest Joppa and Gazera, albeit they did great harm unto the people in our country, yet will we give thee an hundred talents for them. Hereunto Athenobius answered him not a word;
36But returned in a rage to the king, and made report unto him of these speeches, and of the glory of Simon, and of all that he had seen: whereupon the king was exceeding wroth.
37In the mean time fled Tryphon by ship unto Orthosias.
38Then the king made Cendebeus captain of the sea coast, and gave him an host of footmen and horsemen,
39And commanded him to remove his host toward Judea; also he commanded him to build up Cedron, and to fortify the gates, and to war against the people; but as for the king himself, he pursued Tryphon.
40So Cendebeus came to Jamnia and began to provoke the people and to invade Judea, and to take the people prisoners, and slay them.
41And when he had built up Cedrou, he set horsemen there, and an host of footmen, to the end that issuing out they might make outroads upon the ways of Judea, as the king had commanded him.
161Then came up John from Gazera, and told Simon his father what Cendebeus had done.
2Wherefore Simon called his two eldest sons, Judas and John, and said unto them, I, and my brethren, and my father’s house, have ever from my youth unto this day fought against the enemies of Israel; and things have prospered so well in our hands, that we have delivered Israel oftentimes.
3But now I am old, and ye, by God’s mercy, are of a sufficient age: be ye instead of me and my brother, and go and fight for our nation, and the help from heaven be with you.
4So he chose out of the country twenty thousand men of war with horsemen, who went out against Cendebeus, and rested that night at Modin.
5And when as they rose in the morning, and went into the plain, behold, a mighty great host both of footmen and horsemen came against them: howbeit there was a water brook betwixt them.
6So he and his people pitched over against them: and when he saw that the people were afraid to go over the water brook, he went first over himself, and then the men seeing him passed through after him.
7That done, he divided his men, and set the horsemen in the midst of the footmen: for the enemies’ horsemen were very many.
8Then sounded they with the holy trumpets: whereupon Cendebeus and his host were put to flight, so that many of them were slain, and the remnant gat them to the strong hold.
9At that time was Judas John’s brother wounded; but John still followed after them, until he came to Cedron, which Cendebeus had built.
10So they fled even unto the towers in the fields of Azotus; wherefore he burned it with fire: so that there were slain of them about two thousand men. Afterward he returned into the land of Judea in peace.
11Moreover in the plain of Jericho was Ptolemeus the son of Abubus made captain, and he had abundance of silver and gold:
12For he was the high priest’s son in law.
13Wherefore his heart being lifted up, he thought to get the country to himself, and thereupon consulted deceitfully against Simon and his sons to destroy them.
14Now Simon was visiting the cities that were in the country, and taking care for the good ordering of them; at which time he came down himself to Jericho with his sons, Mattathias and Judas, in the hundred threescore and seventeenth year, in the eleventh month, called Sabat:
15Where the son of Abubus receiving them deceitfully into a little hold, called Docus, which he had built, made them a great banquet: howbeit he had hid men there.
16So when Simon and his sons had drunk largely, Ptolemee and his men rose up, and took their weapons, and came upon Simon into the banqueting place, and slew him, and his two sons, and certain of his servants.
17In which doing he committed a great treachery, and recompensed evil for good.
18Then Ptolemee wrote these things, and sent to the king, that he should send him an host to aid him, and he would deliver him the country and cities.
19He sent others also to Gazera to kill John: and unto the tribunes he sent letters to come unto him, that he might give them silver, and gold, and rewards.
20And others he sent to take Jerusalem, and the mountain of the temple.
21Now one had run afore to Gazera and told John that his father and brethren were slain, and, quoth he, Ptolemee hath sent to slay thee also.
22Hereof when he heard, he was sore astonished: so he laid hands on them that were come to destroy him, and slew them; for he knew that they sought to make him away.
23As concerning the rest of the acts of John, and his wars, and worthy deeds which he did, and the building of the walls which he made, and his doings,
24Behold, these are written in the chronicles of his priesthood, from the time he was made high priest after his father.