Add parallel Print Page Options

Ptolemy Invades Syria

11 Then the king of Egypt gathered great forces, like the sand by the seashore, and many ships; and he tried to get possession of Alexander’s kingdom by trickery and add it to his own kingdom. He set out for Syria with peaceable words, and the people of the cities opened their gates to him and went to meet him, for Alexander the king had commanded them to meet him, since he was Alexander’s[a] father-in-law. But when Ptol′emy entered the cities he stationed forces as a garrison in each city.

When he[b] approached Azo′tus, they showed him the temple of Dagon burned down, and Azo′tus and its suburbs destroyed, and the corpses lying about, and the charred bodies of those whom Jonathan[c] had burned in the war, for they had piled them in heaps along his route. They also told the king what Jonathan had done, to throw blame on him; but the king kept silent. Jonathan met the king at Joppa with pomp, and they greeted one another and spent the night there. And Jonathan went with the king as far as the river called Eleu′therus; then he returned to Jerusalem.

So King Ptol′emy gained control of the coastal cities as far as Seleucia by the sea, and he kept devising evil designs against Alexander. He sent envoys to Deme′trius the king, saying, “Come, let us make a covenant with each other, and I will give you in marriage my daughter who was Alexander’s wife, and you shall reign over your father’s kingdom. 10 For I now regret that I gave him my daughter, for he has tried to kill me.” 11 He threw blame on Alexander[d] because he coveted his kingdom. 12 So he took his daughter away from him and gave her to Deme′trius. He was estranged from Alexander, and their enmity became manifest.

13 Then Ptol′emy entered Antioch and put on the crown of Asia. Thus he put two crowns upon his head, the crown of Egypt and that of Asia. 14 Now Alexander the king was in Cilic′ia at that time, because the people of that region were in revolt. 15 And Alexander heard of it and came against him in battle. Ptol′emy marched out and met him with a strong force, and put him to flight. 16 So Alexander fled into Arabia to find protection there, and King Ptol′emy was exalted. 17 And Zabdiel the Arab cut off the head of Alexander and sent it to Ptol′emy. 18 But King Ptol′emy died three days later, and his troops in the strongholds were killed by the inhabitants of the strongholds. 19 So Deme′trius became king in the one hundred and sixty-seventh year.[e]

Jonathan’s Diplomacy

20 In those days Jonathan assembled the men of Judea to attack the citadel in Jerusalem, and he built many engines of war to use against it. 21 But certain lawless men who hated their nation went to the king and reported to him that Jonathan was besieging the citadel. 22 When he heard this he was angry, and as soon as he heard it he set out and came to Ptolema′is; and he wrote Jonathan not to continue the siege, but to meet him for a conference at Ptolema′is as quickly as possible.

23 When Jonathan heard this, he gave orders to continue the siege; and he chose some of the elders of Israel and some of the priests, and put himself in danger, 24 for he went to the king at Ptolema′is, taking silver and gold and clothing and numerous other gifts. And he won his favor. 25 Although certain lawless men of his nation kept making complaints against him, 26 the king treated him as his predecessors had treated him; he exalted him in the presence of all his friends. 27 He confirmed him in the high priesthood and in as many other honors as he had formerly had, and made him to be regarded as one of his chief friends. 28 Then Jonathan asked the king to free Judea and the three districts of Samar′ia[f] from tribute, and promised him three hundred talents. 29 The king consented, and wrote a letter to Jonathan about all these things; its contents were as follows:

30 “King Deme′trius to Jonathan his brother and to the nation of the Jews, greeting. 31 This copy of the letter which we wrote concerning you to Las′thenes our kinsman we have written to you also, so that you may know what it says. 32 ‘King Deme′trius to Las′thenes his father, greeting. 33 To the nation of the Jews, who are our friends and fulfil their obligations to us, we have determined to do good, because of the good will they show toward us. 34 We have confirmed as their possession both the territory of Judea and the three districts of Aphairema and Lydda and Rath′amin; the latter, with all the region bordering them, were added to Judea from Samar′ia. To all those who offer sacrifice in Jerusalem, we have granted release from[g] the royal taxes which the king formerly received from them each year, from the crops of the land and the fruit of the trees. 35 And the other payments henceforth due to us of the tithes, and the taxes due to us, and the salt pits and the crown taxes due to us— from all these we shall grant them release. 36 And not one of these grants shall be canceled from this time forth for ever. 37 Now therefore take care to make a copy of this, and let it be given to Jonathan and put up in a conspicuous place on the holy mountain.’”

The Intrigue of Trypho

38 Now when Deme′trius the king saw that the land was quiet before him and that there was no opposition to him, he dismissed all his troops, each man to his own place, except the foreign troops which he had recruited from the islands of the nations. So all the troops who had served his fathers hated him. 39 Now Trypho had formerly been one of Alexander’s supporters. He saw that all the troops were murmuring against Deme′trius. So he went to Imalku′e the Arab, who was bringing up Anti′ochus, the young son of Alexander, 40 and insistently urged him to hand Anti′ochus[h] over to him, to become king in place of his father. He also reported to Imalku′e[i] what Deme′trius had done and told of the hatred which the troops of Deme′trius[j] had for him; and he stayed there many days.

41 Now Jonathan sent to Deme′trius the king the request that he remove the troops of the citadel from Jerusalem, and the troops in the strongholds; for they kept fighting against Israel. 42 And Deme′trius sent this message to Jonathan, “Not only will I do these things for you and your nation, but I will confer great honor on you and your nation, if I find an opportunity. 43 Now then you will do well to send me men who will help me, for all my troops have revolted.” 44 So Jonathan sent three thousand stalwart men to him at Antioch, and when they came to the king, the king rejoiced at their arrival.

45 Then the men of the city assembled within the city, to the number of a hundred and twenty thousand, and they wanted to kill the king. 46 But the king fled into the palace. Then the men of the city seized the main streets of the city and began to fight. 47 So the king called the Jews to his aid, and they all rallied about him and then spread out through the city; and they killed on that day as many as a hundred thousand men. 48 They set fire to the city and seized much spoil on that day, and they saved the king. 49 When the men of the city saw that the Jews had gained control of the city as they pleased, their courage failed and they cried out to the king with this entreaty, 50 “Grant us peace, and make the Jews stop fighting against us and our city.” 51 And they threw down their arms and made peace. So the Jews gained glory in the eyes of the king and of all the people in his kingdom, and they returned to Jerusalem with much spoil.

52 So Deme′trius the king sat on the throne of his kingdom, and the land was quiet before him. 53 But he broke his word about all that he had promised; and he became estranged from Jonathan and did not repay the favors which Jonathan[k] had done him, but oppressed him greatly.

Trypho Seizes Power

54 After this Trypho returned, and with him the young boy Anti′ochus, who began to reign and put on the crown. 55 All the troops that Deme′trius had cast off gathered around him, and they fought against Deme′trius,[l] and he fled and was routed. 56 And Trypho captured the elephants[m] and gained control of Antioch. 57 Then the young Anti′ochus wrote to Jonathan, saying, “I confirm you in the high priesthood and set you over the four districts and make you one of the friends of the king.” 58 And he sent him gold plate and a table service, and granted him the right to drink from gold cups and dress in purple and wear a gold buckle. 59 Simon his brother he made governor from the Ladder of Tyre to the borders of Egypt.

Campaigns of Jonathan and Simon

60 Then Jonathan set forth and traveled beyond the river and among the cities, and all the army of Syria gathered to him as allies. When he came to As′kalon, the people of the city met him and paid him honor. 61 From there he departed to Gaza, but the men of Gaza shut him out. So he besieged it and burned its suburbs with fire and plundered them. 62 Then the people of Gaza pleaded with Jonathan, and he made peace with them, and took the sons of their rulers as hostages and sent them to Jerusalem. And he passed through the country as far as Damas′cus.

63 Then Jonathan heard that the officers of Deme′trius had come to Kadesh in Galilee with a large army, intending to remove him from office. 64 He went to meet them, but left his brother Simon in the country. 65 Simon encamped before Beth-zur and fought against it for many days and hemmed it in. 66 Then they asked him to grant them terms of peace, and he did so. He removed them from there, took possession of the city, and set a garrison over it.

67 Jonathan and his army encamped by the waters of Gennes′aret. Early in the morning they marched to the plain of Hazor, 68 and behold, the army of the foreigners met him in the plain; they had set an ambush against him in the mountains, but they themselves met him face to face. 69 Then the men in ambush emerged from their places and joined battle. 70 All the men with Jonathan fled; not one of them was left except Mattathi′as the son of Ab′salom and Judas the son of Chalphi, commanders of the forces of the army. 71 Jonathan rent his garments and put dust on his head, and prayed. 72 Then he turned back to the battle against the enemy[n] and routed them, and they fled. 73 When his men who were fleeing saw this, they returned to him and joined him in the pursuit as far as Kadesh, to their camp, and there they encamped. 74 As many as three thousand of the foreigners fell that day. And Jonathan returned to Jerusalem.


  1. 1 Maccabees 11:2 Gk his
  2. 1 Maccabees 11:4 Other ancient authorities read they
  3. 1 Maccabees 11:4 Gk he
  4. 1 Maccabees 11:11 Gk him
  5. 1 Maccabees 11:19 145 b.c.
  6. 1 Maccabees 11:28 Cn: Gk the three districts and Samaria
  7. 1 Maccabees 11:34 Or Samaria, for all those who offer sacrifice in Jerusalem, in place of
  8. 1 Maccabees 11:40 Gk him
  9. 1 Maccabees 11:40 Gk him
  10. 1 Maccabees 11:40 Gk him
  11. 1 Maccabees 11:53 Gk he
  12. 1 Maccabees 11:55 Gk him
  13. 1 Maccabees 11:56 Gk beasts
  14. 1 Maccabees 11:72 Gk them

Bible Gateway Recommends