1 Maccabees 14 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
Capture of Demetrius
14 In the one hundred and seventy-second year[a] Deme′trius the king assembled his forces and marched into Media to secure help, so that he could make war against Trypho. 2 When Ar′saces the king of Persia and Media heard that Deme′trius had invaded his territory, he sent one of his commanders to take him alive. 3 And he went and defeated the army of Deme′trius, and seized him and took him to Ar′saces, who put him under guard.
Eulogy of Simon
4 The land[b] had rest all the days of Simon.
Diplomacy with Rome and Sparta
16 It was heard in Rome, and as far away as Sparta, that Jonathan had died, and they were deeply grieved. 17 When they heard that Simon his brother had become high priest in his place, and that he was ruling over the country and the cities in it, 18 they wrote to him on bronze tablets to renew with him the friendship and alliance which they had established with Judas and Jonathan his brothers. 19 And these were read before the assembly in Jerusalem.
20 This is a copy of the letter which the Spartans sent: “The rulers and the city of the Spartans to Simon the high priest and to the elders and the priests and the rest of the Jewish people, our brethren, greeting. 21 The envoys who were sent to our people have told us about your glory and honor, and we rejoiced at their coming. 22 And what they said we have recorded in our public decrees, as follows, ‘Nume′nius the son of Anti′ochus and Antip′ater the son of Jason, envoys of the Jews, have come to us to renew their friendship with us. 23 It has pleased our people to receive these men with honor and to put a copy of their words in the public archives, so that the people of the Spartans may have a record of them. And they have sent a copy of this to Simon the high priest.’”
24 After this Simon sent Nume′nius to Rome with a large gold shield weighing a thousand minas, to confirm the alliance with the Romans.[c]
Official Honors for Simon
25 When the people heard these things they said, “How shall we thank Simon and his sons? 26 For he and his brothers and the house of his father have stood firm; they have fought and repulsed Israel’s enemies and established its freedom.” 27 So they made a record on bronze tablets and put it upon pillars on Mount Zion.
This is a copy of what they wrote: “On the eighteenth day of Elul, in the one hundred and seventy-second year,[d] which is the third year of Simon the great high priest, 28 in As′aramel,[e] in the great assembly of the priests and the people and the rulers of the nation and the elders of the country, the following was proclaimed to us:
29 “Since wars often occurred in the country, Simon the son of Mattathi′as, a priest of the sons[f] of Jo′arib, and his brothers, exposed themselves to danger and resisted the enemies of their nation, in order that their sanctuary and the law might be perserved; and they brought great glory to their nation. 30 Jonathan rallied the[g] nation, and became their high priest, and was gathered to his people. 31 And when their enemies decided to invade their country and lay hands on their sanctuary, 32 then Simon rose up and fought for his nation. He spent great sums of his own money; he armed the men of his nation’s forces and paid them wages. 33 He fortified the cities of Judea, and Beth-zur on the borders of Judea, where formerly the arms of the enemy had been stored, and he placed there a garrison of Jews. 34 He also fortified Joppa, which is by the sea, and Gazar′a, which is on the borders of Azo′tus, where the enemy formerly dwelt. He settled Jews there, and provided in those cities[h] whatever was necessary for their restoration.
35 “The people saw Simon’s faithfulness[i] and the glory which he had resolved to win for his nation, and they made him their leader and high priest, because he had done all these things and because of the justice and loyalty which he had maintained toward his nation. He sought in every way to exalt his people. 36 And in his days things prospered in his hands, so that the Gentiles were put out of the[j] country, as were also the men in the city of David in Jerusalem, who had built themselves a citadel from which they used to sally forth and defile the environs of the sanctuary and do great damage to its purity. 37 He settled Jews in it, and fortified it for the safety of the country and of the city, and built the walls of Jerusalem higher.
38 “In view of these things King Deme′trius confirmed him in the high priesthood, 39 and he made him one of the king’s[k] friends and paid him high honors. 40 For he had heard that the Jews were addressed by the Romans as friends and allies and brethren, and that the Romans[l] had received the envoys of Simon with honor.
41 “And[m] the Jews and their priests decided that Simon should be their leader and high priest for ever, until a trustworthy prophet should arise, 42 and that he should be governor over them and that he should take charge of the sanctuary and appoint men over its tasks and over the country and the weapons and the strongholds, and that he should take charge of the sanctuary, 43 and that he should be obeyed by all, and that all contracts in the country should be written in his name, and that he should be clothed in purple and wear gold.
44 “And none of the people or priests shall be permitted to nullify any of these decisions or to oppose what he says, or to convene an assembly in the country without his permission, or to be clothed in purple or put on a gold buckle. 45 Whoever acts contrary to these decisions or nullifies any of them shall be liable to punishment.”
46 And all the people agreed to grant Simon the right to act in accord with these decisions. 47 So Simon accepted and agreed to be high priest, to be commander and ethnarch of the Jews and priests, and to be protector of them all.[n] 48 And they gave orders to inscribe this decree upon bronze tablets, to put them up in a conspicuous place in the precincts of the sanctuary, 49 and to deposit copies of them in the treasury, so that Simon and his sons might have them.