111Not long after this, Lysias the king’s protector and cousin, who also managed the affairs, took sore displeasure for the things that were done.
2And when he had gathered about fourscore thousand with all the horsemen, he came against the Jews, thinking to make the city an habitation of the Gentiles,
3And to make a gain of the temple, as of the other chapels of the heathen, and to set the high priesthood to sale every year:
4Not at all considering the power of God but puffed up with his ten thousands of footmen, and his thousands of horsemen, and his fourscore elephants.
5So he came to Judea, and drew near to Bethsura, which was a strong town, but distant from Jerusalem about five furlongs, and he laid sore siege unto it.
6Now when they that were with Maccabeus heard that he besieged the holds, they and all the people with lamentation and tears besought the Lord that he would send a good angel to deliver Israel.
7Then Maccabeus himself first of all took weapons, exhorting the other that they would jeopard themselves together with him to help their brethren: so they went forth together with a willing mind.
8And as they were at Jerusalem, there appeared before them on horseback one in white clothing, shaking his armour of gold.
9Then they praised the merciful God all together, and took heart, insomuch that they were ready not only to fight with men, but with most cruel beasts, and to pierce through walls of iron.
10Thus they marched forward in their armour, having an helper from heaven: for the Lord was merciful unto them.
11And giving a charge upon their enemies like lions, they slew eleven thousand footmen, and sixteen hundred horsemen, and put all the other to flight.
12Many of them also being wounded escaped naked; and Lysias himself fled away shamefully, and so escaped.
13Who, as he was a man of understanding, casting with himself what loss he had had, and considering that the Hebrews could not be overcome, because the Almighty God helped them, he sent unto them,
14And persuaded them to agree to all reasonable conditions, and promised that he would persuade the king that he must needs be a friend unto them.
15Then Maccabeus consented to all that Lysias desired, being careful of the common good; and whatsoever Maccabeus wrote unto Lysias concerning the Jews, the king granted it.
16For there were letters written unto the Jews from Lysias to this effect: Lysias unto the people of the Jews sendeth greeting:
17John and Absolom, who were sent from you, delivered me the petition subscribed, and made request for the performance of the contents thereof.
18Therefore what things soever were meet to be reported to the king, I have declared them, and he hath granted as much as might be.
19And if then ye will keep yourselves loyal to the state, hereafter also will I endeavour to be a means of your good.
20But of the particulars I have given order both to these and the other that came from me, to commune with you.
21Fare ye well. The hundred and eight and fortieth year, the four and twentieth day of the month Dioscorinthius.
22Now the king’s letter contained these words: King Antiochus unto his brother Lysias sendeth greeting:
23Since our father is translated unto the gods, our will is, that they that are in our realm live quietly, that every one may attend upon his own affairs.
24We understand also that the Jews would not consent to our father, for to be brought unto the custom of the Gentiles, but had rather keep their own manner of living: for the which cause they require of us, that we should suffer them to live after their own laws.
25Wherefore our mind is, that this nation shall be in rest, and we have determined to restore them their temple, that they may live according to the customs of their forefathers.
26Thou shalt do well therefore to send unto them, and grant them peace, that when they are certified of our mind, they may be of good comfort, and ever go cheerfully about their own affairs.
27And the letter of the king unto the nation of the Jews was after this manner: King Antiochus sendeth greeting unto the council, and the rest of the Jews:
28If ye fare well, we have our desire; we are also in good health.
29Menelaus declared unto us, that your desire was to return home, and to follow your own business:
30Wherefore they that will depart shall have safe conduct till the thirtieth day of Xanthicus with security.
31And the Jews shall use their own kind of meats and laws, as before; and none of them any manner of ways shall be molested for things ignorantly done.
32I have sent also Menelaus, that he may comfort you.
33Fare ye well. In the hundred forty and eighth year, and the fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus.
34The Romans also sent unto them a letter containing these words: Quintus Memmius and Titus Manlius, ambassadors of the Romans, send greeting unto the people of the Jews.
35Whatsoever Lysias the king’s cousin hath granted, therewith we also are well pleased.
36But touching such things as he judged to be referred to the king, after ye have advised thereof, send one forthwith, that we may declare as it is convenient for you: for we are now going to Antioch.
37Therefore send some with speed, that we may know what is your mind.
38Farewell. This hundred and eight and fortieth year, the fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus.
121When these covenants were made, Lysias went unto the king, and the Jews were about their husbandry.
2But of the governours of several places, Timotheus, and Apollonius the son of Genneus, also Hieronymus, and Demophon, and beside them Nicanor the governor of Cyprus, would not suffer them to be quiet and live in peace.
3The men of Joppa also did such an ungodly deed: they prayed the Jews that dwelt among them to go with their wives and children into the boats which they had prepared, as though they had meant them no hurt.
4Who accepted of it according to the common decree of the city, as being desirous to live in peace, and suspecting nothing: but when they were gone forth into the deep, they drowned no less than two hundred of them.
5When Judas heard of this cruelty done unto his countrymen, he commanded those that were with him to make them ready.
6And calling upon God the righteous Judge, he came against those murderers of his brethren, and burnt the haven by night, and set the boats on fire, and those that fled thither he slew.
7And when the town was shut up, he went backward, as if he would return to root out all them of the city of Joppa.
8But when he heard that the Jamnites were minded to do in like manner unto the Jews that dwelt among them,
9He came upon the Jamnites also by night, and set fire on the haven and the navy, so that the light of the fire was seen at Jerusalem two hundred and forty furlongs off.
10Now when they were gone from thence nine furlongs in their journey toward Timotheus, no fewer than five thousand men on foot and five hundred horsemen of the Arabians set upon him.
11Whereupon there was a very sore battle; but Judas’ side by the help of God got the victory; so that the Nomades of Arabia, being overcome, besought Judas for peace, promising both to give him cattle, and to pleasure him otherwise.
12Then Judas, thinking indeed that they would be profitable in many things, granted them peace: whereupon they shook hands, and so they departed to their tents.
13He went also about to make a bridge to a certain strong city, which was fenced about with walls, and inhabited by people of divers countries; and the name of it was Caspis.
14But they that were within it put such trust in the strength of the walls and provision of victuals, that they behaved themselves rudely toward them that were with Judas, railing and blaspheming, and uttering such words as were not to be spoken.
15Wherefore Judas with his company, calling upon the great Lord of the world, who without rams or engines of war did cast down Jericho in the time of Joshua, gave a fierce assault against the walls,
16And took the city by the will of God, and made unspeakable slaughters, insomuch that a lake two furlongs broad near adjoining thereunto, being filled full, was seen running with blood.
17Then departed they from thence seven hundred and fifty furlongs, and came to Characa unto the Jews that are called Tubieni.
18But as for Timotheus, they found him not in the places: for before he had dispatched any thing, he departed from thence, having left a very strong garrison in a certain hold.
19Howbeit Dositheus and Sosipater, who were of Maccabeus’ captains, went forth, and slew those that Timotheus had left in the fortress, above ten thousand men.
20And Maccabeus ranged his army by bands, and set them over the bands, and went against Timotheus, who had about him an hundred and twenty thousand men of foot, and two thousand and five hundred horsemen.
21Now when Timotheus had knowledge of Judas’ coming, he sent the women and children and the other baggage unto a fortress called Carnion: for the town was hard to besiege, and uneasy to come unto, by reason of the straitness of all the places.
22But when Judas his first band came in sight, the enemies, being smitten with fear and terror through the appearing of him who seeth all things, fled amain, one running into this way, another that way, so as that they were often hurt of their own men, and wounded with the points of their own swords.
23Judas also was very earnest in pursuing them, killing those wicked wretches, of whom he slew about thirty thousand men.
24Moreover Timotheus himself fell into the hands of Dositheus and Sosipater, whom he besought with much craft to let him go with his life, because he had many of the Jews’ parents, and the brethren of some of them, who, if they put him to death, should not be regarded.
25So when he had assured them with many words that he would restore them without hurt, according to the agreement, they let him go for the saving of their brethren.
26Then Maccabeus marched forth to Carnion, and to the temple of Atargatis, and there he slew five and twenty thousand persons.
27And after he had put to flight and destroyed them, Judas removed the host toward Ephron, a strong city, wherein Lysias abode, and a great multitude of divers nations, and the strong young men kept the walls, and defended them mightily: wherein also was great provision of engines and darts.
28But when Judas and his company had called upon Almighty God, who with his power breaketh the strength of his enemies, they won the city, and slew twenty and five thousand of them that were within,
29From thence they departed to Scythopolis, which lieth six hundred furlongs from Jerusalem,
30But when the Jews that dwelt there had testified that the Scythopolitans dealt lovingly with them, and entreated them kindly in the time of their adversity;
31They gave them thanks, desiring them to be friendly still unto them: and so they came to Jerusalem, the feast of the weeks approaching.
32And after the feast, called Pentecost, they went forth against Gorgias the governor of Idumea,
33Who came out with three thousand men of foot and four hundred horsemen.
34And it happened that in their fighting together a few of the Jews were slain.
35At which time Dositheus, one of Bacenor’s company, who was on horseback, and a strong man, was still upon Gorgias, and taking hold of his coat drew him by force; and when he would have taken that cursed man alive, a horseman of Thracia coming upon him smote off his shoulder, so that Gorgias fled unto Marisa.
36Now when they that were with Gorgias had fought long, and were weary, Judas called upon the Lord, that he would shew himself to be their helper and leader of the battle.
37And with that he began in his own language, and sung psalms with a loud voice, and rushing unawares upon Gorgias’ men, he put them to flight.
38So Judas gathered his host, and came into the city of Odollam, And when the seventh day came, they purified themselves, as the custom was, and kept the sabbath in the same place.
39And upon the day following, as the use had been, Judas and his company came to take up the bodies of them that were slain, and to bury them with their kinsmen in their fathers’ graves.
40Now under the coats of every one that was slain they found things consecrated to the idols of the Jamnites, which is forbidden the Jews by the law. Then every man saw that this was the cause wherefore they were slain.
41All men therefore praising the Lord, the righteous Judge, who had opened the things that were hid,
42Betook themselves unto prayer, and besought him that the sin committed might wholly be put out of remembrance. Besides, that noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin, forsomuch as they saw before their eyes the things that came to pass for the sins of those that were slain.
43And when he had made a gathering throughout the company to the sum of two thousand drachms of silver, he sent it to Jerusalem to offer a sin offering, doing therein very well and honestly, in that he was mindful of the resurrection:
44For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should have risen again, it had been superfluous and vain to pray for the dead.
45And also in that he perceived that there was great favour laid up for those that died godly, it was an holy and good thought. Whereupon he made a reconciliation for the dead, that they might be delivered from sin.
131In the hundred forty and ninth year it was told Judas, that Antiochus Eupator was coming with a great power into Judea,
2And with him Lysias his protector, and ruler of his affairs, having either of them a Grecian power of footmen, an hundred and ten thousand, and horsemen five thousand and three hundred, and elephants two and twenty, and three hundred chariots armed with hooks.
3Menelaus also joined himself with them, and with great dissimulation encouraged Antiochus, not for the safeguard of the country, but because he thought to have been made governor.
4But the King of kings moved Antiochus’ mind against this wicked wretch, and Lysias informed the king that this man was the cause of all mischief, so that the king commanded to bring him unto Berea, and to put him to death, as the manner is in that place.
5Now there was in that place a tower of fifty cubits high, full of ashes, and it had a round instrument which on every side hanged down into the ashes.
6And whosoever was condemned of sacrilege, or had committed any other grievous crime, there did all men thrust him unto death.
7Such a death it happened that wicked man to die, not having so much as burial in the earth; and that most justly:
8For inasmuch as he had committed many sins about the altar, whose fire and ashes were holy, he received his death in ashes.
9Now the king came with a barbarous and haughty mind to do far worse to the Jews, than had been done in his father’s time.
10Which things when Judas perceived, he commanded the multitude to call upon the Lord night and day, that if ever at any other time, he would now also help them, being at the point to be put from their law, from their country, and from the holy temple:
11And that he would not suffer the people, that had even now been but a little refreshed, to be in subjection to the blasphemous nations.
12So when they had all done this together, and besought the merciful Lord with weeping and fasting, and lying flat upon the ground three days long, Judas, having exhorted them, commanded they should be in a readiness.
13And Judas, being apart with the elders, determined, before the king’s host should enter into Judea, and get the city, to go forth and try the matter in fight by the help of the Lord.
14So when he had committed all to the Creator of the world, and exhorted his soldiers to fight manfully, even unto death, for the laws, the temple, the city, the country, and the commonwealth, he camped by Modin:
15And having given the watchword to them that were about him, Victory is of God; with the most valiant and choice young men he went in into the king’s tent by night, and slew in the camp about four thousand men, and the chiefest of the elephants, with all that were upon him.
16And at last they filled the camp with fear and tumult, and departed with good success.
17This was done in the break of the day, because the protection of the Lord did help him.
18Now when the king had taken a taste of the manliness of the Jews, he went about to take the holds by policy,
19And marched toward Bethsura, which was a strong hold of the Jews: but he was put to flight, failed, and lost of his men:
20For Judas had conveyed unto them that were in it such things as were necessary.
21But Rhodocus, who was in the Jews’ host, disclosed the secrets to the enemies; therefore he was sought out, and when they had gotten him, they put him in prison.
22The king treated with them in Bethsura the second time, gave his hand, took their’s, departed, fought with Judas, was overcome;
23Heard that Philip, who was left over the affairs in Antioch, was desperately bent, confounded, intreated the Jews, submitted himself, and sware to all equal conditions, agreed with them, and offered sacrifice, honoured the temple, and dealt kindly with the place,
24And accepted well of Maccabeus, made him principal governor from Ptolemais unto the Gerrhenians;
25Came to Ptolemais: the people there were grieved for the covenants; for they stormed, because they would make their covenants void:
26Lysias went up to the judgment seat, said as much as could be in defence of the cause, persuaded, pacified, made them well affected, returned to Antioch. Thus it went touching the king’s coming and departing.