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1 Maccabees 11 Good News Translation (GNT)

The Fall of Alexander Epiphanes

11 King Ptolemy the Sixth of Egypt assembled an army of soldiers more numerous than the grains of sand along the seashore, and he also gathered a great fleet of ships. He intended to trap Alexander, take his kingdom, and add it to his own, so he went to Syria with promises of peace, and the citizens opened their gates to him and welcomed him. King Alexander had ordered them to do this because Ptolemy was his father-in-law. But as Ptolemy moved north, he stationed a detachment of troops in each town. When he reached Azotus, the people there showed him the burned ruins of the temple of Dagon and all the destruction in the city and the surrounding towns. There were corpses everywhere. The bodies of the men Jonathan had burned to death during the battle were now stacked up along Ptolemy's route. The people told him what Jonathan had done, hoping that he would hold him responsible, but Ptolemy said nothing. Jonathan, with all the proper ceremony, went to Joppa to meet him. They exchanged greetings and spent the night there. Jonathan accompanied him as far as the Eleutherus River before returning to Jerusalem. In this way King Ptolemy, in his plot against Alexander, took control of the towns along the coast as far north as Seleucia-by-the-sea.

From there King Ptolemy sent this message to King Demetrius:
    Let's make a treaty. My daughter is now Alexander's wife, but I will take her back and give her to you and let you rule over your father's kingdom. 10 I regret that I ever gave her to Alexander, because he has tried to kill me.

11 Ptolemy made this accusation against Alexander because he wanted to take over his kingdom. 12 So he took his daughter away from Alexander and gave her to Demetrius; he broke off all relations with Alexander, and they became open enemies. 13 Then Ptolemy entered Antioch and assumed the crown of Syria; so he wore both the crown of Egypt and the crown of Syria.

14 King Alexander was in Cilicia at the time because the people of that region were in a state of rebellion. 15 But when he heard what Ptolemy had done, he moved to attack him. Ptolemy met him with a large force and won a decisive victory. 16 While Ptolemy reached the peak of his power, Alexander fled to Arabia to find protection, 17 but an Arab named Zabdiel cut off his head and sent it to Ptolemy. 18 Two days later Ptolemy himself died, and the troops he had left in the fortresses were then killed by the local citizens. 19 So in the year 167[a] Demetrius the Second became king.

Jonathan Wins the Favor of Demetrius the Second

20 About that time Jonathan gathered the men of Judea to attack the fort in Jerusalem. They built many siege platforms to use in the attack. 21 But some traitorous Jews who hated their own nation went to King Demetrius the Second and told him that Jonathan was laying siege to the fort in Jerusalem. 22 When Demetrius heard this, he was furious and immediately moved his headquarters to Ptolemais. He wrote to Jonathan and ordered him to lift the siege and to meet him for a conference in Ptolemais without a moment's delay.

23 When Jonathan got the message, he gave orders for the siege to continue, and then chose some Jewish leaders and some priests to go with him. At the risk of his life, 24 he went to the king in Ptolemais, taking along robes, silver and gold, and many other gifts. He made a good impression on the king. 25 Although some lawless traitors of his own nation had made accusations against Jonathan, 26 the king still treated him just as his predecessors had done. He honored him in the presence of all his advisers, 27 and confirmed him as High Priest, restoring all his former honors and appointing him to the highest rank among the

Friends of the King.

28 Jonathan asked the king to release the territory of Judea and the three regions of Samaria[b] from the payment of taxes, promising that if Demetrius would do that, he would pay him a lump sum of 22,000 pounds of silver. 29 The king agreed and wrote a letter to Jonathan to confirm all this:

30 King Demetrius to King Jonathan and to the Jewish nation, greetings.

31 For your information I am sending a copy of the letter I have written to the Honorable Lasthenes about you:

32 King Demetrius to the Honorable Lasthenes, greetings. 33 I have decided to grant the Jewish nation certain benefits because they are our loyal allies and keep their treaty obligations. 34 I confirm their rights to the land of Judea and the three regions of Ephraim, Lydda, and Arimathea, which are hereby annexed to Judea from Samaria with all the lands belonging to them. This will be of benefit to everyone who goes to Jerusalem to offer sacrifice, since payments of the annual tax on produce and fruit from these lands will no longer be made to the king, but to the Temple. 35 And I also grant them relief from the payment of revenues now due me from tithes, tolls, salt taxes, and special taxes. 36 None of the provisions mentioned in this letter shall ever be canceled in the future.

37 You are required to see that a complete copy of this decree is made and given to Jonathan, to be posted in a prominent place on the Temple hill.

Jonathan Helps Demetrius the Second

38 When King Demetrius saw that the land was peaceful under his rule and there was no further resistance, he disbanded his whole army and sent everyone home, except the soldiers he had hired from the Greek islands. This made all the soldiers who had served under his predecessors hate him because they had lost their source of income. 39 One of Alexander's former supporters, Trypho, saw that all the soldiers were complaining about Demetrius, so he went to Imalkue, the Arab who was responsible for bringing up Alexander's young son Antiochus. 40 Trypho stayed there for a long time and kept urging Imalkue to hand the boy over to him, so that he could make him king in place of his father. He also told Imalkue about the decrees of Demetrius and how the soldiers hated him.

41 Jonathan sent a message to King Demetrius asking him to remove his troops from the fort in Jerusalem and from the fortresses in Judea, since they kept harassing the Jews. 42 Demetrius replied: I will do what you request, and when the opportunity presents itself, I will bestow upon you and your nation the highest honors. 43 But now you can help me by sending soldiers to fight for me, because all of my troops have revolted.

44 So Jonathan sent 3,000 trained soldiers to Antioch. The king was delighted when they arrived, 45 because a mob of 120,000 had gathered in the city determined to kill him. 46 But he escaped to the palace while the mob took control of the streets and began to riot. 47 Then the king called on the Jewish soldiers for help, and they all rushed to his aid. They went through the whole city and killed at least 100,000 people. 48 They saved the king's life, but they plundered and burned the city. 49 When the people saw that the Jews had complete control of the city, they lost courage and appealed to the king, requesting 50 him to arrange a truce and stop the Jewish attack. 51 The rebels threw down their arms and surrendered. The king and everyone in his kingdom now had great respect for the Jews, who returned to Jerusalem with a great deal of loot. 52 Demetrius was firmly established as king, and the country was at peace under his rule, 53 but he broke all his promises and turned against Jonathan. He did not reward him for his loyal service, but instead continued to harass him.

Jonathan Supports Antiochus the Sixth

54 Some time later, Trypho returned with the young boy Antiochus and crowned him king. 55 All the soldiers that Demetrius had dismissed then came to the support of the young king. They defeated Demetrius, and he fled. 56 Trypho captured the elephants and took control of Antioch. 57 The young King Antiochus wrote to Jonathan and confirmed him as High Priest and as ruler over the four regions and gave him the title

Friend of the King. 58 He sent him a set of gold tableware and authorized him to drink from gold cups, to wear a royal robe, and to wear the gold shoulder buckle awarded to
Relatives of the King. 59 He also appointed Jonathan's brother Simon as governor of the territory from the Phoenician coast to the Egyptian border.

60 Jonathan then marched with his army through the towns of Greater Syria, and all the Syrian forces joined him as allies. He went to Ascalon, where the people welcomed him with great honors. 61 Then he went to Gaza, but the people there barred their gates against him. So he laid siege to the city and burned and looted the surrounding area. 62 The people of Gaza then asked for peace, and Jonathan arranged a truce. He took the sons of the leaders and sent them to Jerusalem as hostages. After that he marched on as far as Damascus.

63 Jonathan learned that the officers of Demetrius had come to Kedesh in Galilee with a large army, intending to keep him from carrying out his plan. 64 So he left his brother Simon in Judea and set out to meet them in battle. 65 Then Simon laid siege to Bethzur and fought against it for a long time. 66 The people asked for peace terms, and Simon agreed. He then took over the town, drove the people out, and stationed a detachment of troops there.

67 Jonathan and his army set up camp by Lake Galilee. Early the next morning he marched his troops to the plain of Hazor, 68 where the main force of the foreign army was advancing to meet him. Unknown to Jonathan, they had left a detachment of troops in ambush in the mountains, 69 and when the men in ambush came out and attacked, 70 Jonathan's entire army turned and ran. No one was left, except two officers, Mattathias son of Absalom and Judas son of Chalphi. 71 Jonathan was humiliated, so he tore his clothes, threw dust on his head, and prayed. 72 Then he turned back to the battle, crushed the enemy, and put them to flight. 73 When his own fleeing soldiers saw this, they turned back and joined him in pursuit. They chased the enemy all the way back to their camp at Kedesh and then took over the camp. 74 At least 3,000 enemy soldiers were killed that day. Jonathan then returned to Jerusalem.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Maccabees 11:19 the year 167: This corresponds to 145 B.C.
  2. 1 Maccabees 11:28 Probable text three regions of Samaria; Greek three regions and Samaria.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

1 Maccabees 11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

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 towns opened their gates to him and went to meet him, for King Alexander had commanded them to meet him, since he was Alexander’s[a] father-in-law. But when Ptolemy entered the towns he stationed forces as a garrison in each town.

When he[b] approached Azotus, they showed him the burnt-out temple of Dagon, and Azotus 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 Eleutherus; then he returned to Jerusalem.

So King Ptolemy gained control of the coastal cities as far as Seleucia by the sea, and he kept devising wicked designs against Alexander. He sent envoys to King Demetrius, 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 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 Demetrius. He was estranged from Alexander, and their enmity became manifest.

13 Then Ptolemy entered Antioch and put on the crown of Asia. Thus he put two crowns on his head, the crown of Egypt and that of Asia. 14 Now King Alexander was in Cilicia at that time, because the people of that region were in revolt. 15 When Alexander heard of it, he came against him in battle. Ptolemy 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 Ptolemy was triumphant. 17 Zabdiel the Arab cut off the head of Alexander and sent it to Ptolemy. 18 But King Ptolemy died three days later, and his troops in the strongholds were killed by the inhabitants of the strongholds. 19 So Demetrius became king in the one hundred sixty-seventh year.[e]

Jonathan’s Diplomacy

20 In those days Jonathan assembled the Judeans to attack the citadel in Jerusalem, and he built many engines of war to use against it. 21 But certain renegades 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 Ptolemais; and he wrote Jonathan not to continue the siege, but to meet him for a conference at Ptolemais as quickly as possible.

23 When Jonathan heard this, he gave orders to continue the siege. 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 Ptolemais, taking silver and gold and clothing and numerous other gifts. And he won his favor. 25 Although certain renegades 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 caused him to be reckoned among his chief[f] Friends. 28 Then Jonathan asked the king to free Judea and the three districts of Samaria[g] 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 Demetrius to his brother Jonathan and to the nation of the Jews, greetings. 31 This copy of the letter that we wrote concerning you to our kinsman Lasthenes we have written to you also, so that you may know what it says. 32 ‘King Demetrius to his father Lasthenes, greetings. 33 We have determined to do good to the nation of the Jews, who are our friends and fulfill their obligations to us, because of the goodwill 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 Rathamin; the latter, with all the region bordering them, were added to Judea from Samaria. To all those who offer sacrifice in Jerusalem we have granted release from[h] the royal taxes that 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 on forever. 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 When King Demetrius saw that the land was quiet before him and that there was no opposition to him, he dismissed all his troops, all of them to their own homes, except the foreign troops that he had recruited from the islands of the nations. So all the troops who had served under his predecessors hated him. 39 A certain Trypho had formerly been one of Alexander’s supporters; he saw that all the troops were grumbling against Demetrius. So he went to Imalkue the Arab, who was bringing up Antiochus, the young son of Alexander, 40 and insistently urged him to hand Antiochus[i] over to him, to become king in place of his father. He also reported to Imalkue[j] what Demetrius had done and told of the hatred that the troops of Demetrius[k] had for him; and he stayed there many days.

41 Now Jonathan sent to King Demetrius 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 Demetrius sent this message back 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 people 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 people 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 around him and then spread out through the city; and they killed on that day about one hundred thousand. 48 They set fire to the city and seized a large amount of spoil on that day, and saved the king. 49 When the people 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 sight of the king and of all the people in his kingdom, and they returned to Jerusalem with a large amount of spoil.

52 So King Demetrius 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; he became estranged from Jonathan and did not repay the favors that Jonathan[l] had done him, but treated him very harshly.

Trypho Seizes Power

54 After this Trypho returned, and with him the young boy Antiochus who began to reign and put on the crown. 55 All the troops that Demetrius had discharged gathered around him; they fought against Demetrius,[m] and he fled and was routed. 56 Trypho captured the elephants[n] and gained control of Antioch. 57 Then the young Antiochus wrote to Jonathan, saying, “I confirm you in the high priesthood and set you over the four districts and make you one of the king’s Friends.” 58 He also sent him gold plates and a table service, and granted him the right to drink from gold cups and dress in purple and wear a gold buckle. 59 He appointed Jonathan’s[o] brother Simon governor from the Ladder of Tyre to the borders of Egypt.

Campaigns of Jonathan and Simon

60 Then Jonathan set out and traveled beyond the river and among the towns, and all the army of Syria gathered to him as allies. When he came to Askalon, the people of the city met him and paid him honor. 61 From there he went to Gaza, but the people 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 Damascus.

63 Then Jonathan heard that the officers of Demetrius 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 town, and set a garrison over it.

67 Jonathan and his army encamped by the waters of Gennesaret. Early in the morning they marched to the plain of Hazor, 68 and there in the plain the army of the foreigners met him; 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 Mattathias son of Absalom and Judas son of Chalphi, commanders of the forces of the army. 71 Jonathan tore his clothes, put dust on his head, and prayed. 72 Then he turned back to the battle against the enemy[p] 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.

Footnotes:

  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 11:27 Gk first
  7. 1 Maccabees 11:28 Cn: Gk the three districts and Samaria
  8. 1 Maccabees 11:34 Or Samaria, for all those who offer sacrifice in Jerusalem, in place of
  9. 1 Maccabees 11:40 Gk him
  10. 1 Maccabees 11:40 Gk him
  11. 1 Maccabees 11:40 Gk his troops
  12. 1 Maccabees 11:53 Gk he
  13. 1 Maccabees 11:55 Gk him
  14. 1 Maccabees 11:56 Gk animals
  15. 1 Maccabees 11:59 Gk his
  16. 1 Maccabees 11:72 Gk them
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Maccabees 11 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

11 And the king of Egypt gathered together an army, like the sand that lieth upon the sea shore, and many ships: and he sought to get the kingdom of Alexander by deceit, and join it to his own kingdom.

And he went out into Syria with peaceable words, and they opened to him the cities, and met him: for king Alexander had ordered them to go forth to meet him, because he was his father in law.

Now when Ptolemee entered into the cities, he put garrisons of soldiers in every city.

And when he came near to Azotus, they shewed him the temple of Dagon that was burnt with fire, and Azotus, and the suburbs thereof that were destroyed, and the bodies that were cast abroad, and the graves of them that were slain in the battle, which they had made near the way.

And they told the king that Jonathan had done these things, to make him odious: but the king held his peace.

And Jonathan came to meet the king at Joppe with glory, and they saluted one another, and they lodged there.

And Jonathan went with the king as far as the river, called Eleutherus: and he returned into Jerusalem.

And king Ptolemee got the dominion of the cities by the sea side, even to Seleucia, and he devised evil designs against Alexander.

And he sent ambassadors to Demetrius, saying: Come, let us make a league between us, and I will give thee my daughter whom Alexander hath, and thou shalt reign in the kingdom of thy father.

10 For I repent that I have given him my daughter: for he hath sought to kill me.

11 And he slandered him, because he coveted his kingdom.

12 And he took away his daughter, and gave her to Demetrius, and alienated himself from Alexander, and his enmities were made manifest.

13 And Ptolemee entered into Antioch, and set two crowns upon his head, that of Egypt, and that of Asia.

14 Now king Alexander was in Cilicia at that time: because they that were in those places had rebelled.

15 And when Alexander heard of it, he came to give him battle, and king Ptolemee brought forth his army, and met him with a strong power, and put him to flight.

16 And Alexander fled into Arabia, there to be protected: and king Ptolemee was exalted.

17 And Zabdiel the Arabian took off Alexander's head, and sent it to Ptolemee.

18 And king Ptolemee died the third day after: and they that were in the strong holds were destroyed by them that were within the camp.

19 And Demetrius reigned in the hundred and sixty-seventh year.

20 In those days Jonathan gathered together them that were in Judea, to take the castle that was in Jerusalem: and they made many engines of war against it.

21 Then some wicked men that hated their own nation, went away to king Demetrius, and told him that Jonathan was besieging the castle.

22 And when he heard it, he was angry: and forthwith he came to Ptolemais, and wrote to Jonathan, that he should not besiege the castle, but should come to him in haste, and speak to him.

23 But when Jonathan heard this, he bade them besiege it still: and he chose some of the ancients of Israel, and of the priests, and put himself in danger.

24 And he took gold, and silver, and raiment, and many other presents, and went to the king to Ptolemais, and he found favour in his sight.

25 And certain wicked men of his nation made complaints against him.

26 And the king treated him as his predecessor had done before: and he exalted him in the sight of all his friends.

27 And he confirmed him in the high priesthood, and all the honours he had before, and he made him the chief of his friends.

28 And Jonathan requested of the king that he would make Judea free from tribute, and the three governments, and Samaria, and the confines thereof: and he promised him three hundred talents.

29 And the king consented: and he wrote letters to Jonathan of all these things to this effect.

30 King Demetrius to his brother Jonathan, and to the nation of the Jews, greeting.

31 We send you here a copy of the letter, which we have written to Lasthenes our parent concerning you, that you might know it.

32 King Demetrius to Lasthenes his parent, greeting.

33 We have determined to do good to the nation of the Jews who are our friends, and keep the things that are just with us, for their good will which they bear towards us.

34 We have ratified therefore unto them all the borders of Judea, and the three cities, Apherema, Lydda, and Ramatha, which are added to Judea, out of Samaria, and all their confines, to be set apart to all them that sacrifice in Jerusalem, instead of the payments which the king received of them every year, and for the fruits of the land, and of the trees.

35 And as for other things that belonged to us of the tithes, and of the tributes, from this time we discharge them of them: the saltpans also, and the crowns that were presented to us.

36 We give all to them, and nothing hereof shall be revoked from this time forth and for ever.

37 Now therefore see that thou make a copy of these things, and let it be given to Jonathan, and set upon the holy mountain, in a conspicuous place.

38 And king Demetrius seeing that the land was quiet before him, and nothing resisted him, sent away all his forces, every man to his own place, except the foreign army, which he had drawn together from the islands of the nations: so all the troops of his fathers hated him.

39 Now there was one Tryphon who had been of Alexander's party before: who seeing that all the army murmured against Demetrius, went to Emalchuel the Arabian, who brought up Antiochus the son of Alexander.

40 And he pressed him much to deliver him to him, that he might be king in his father's place: and he told him all that Demetrius had done, and how his soldiers hated him. And he remained there many days.

41 And Jonathan sent to king Demetrius, desiring that he would cast out them that were in the castle in Jerusalem, and those that were in the strong holds: because they fought against Israel.

42 And Demetrius sent to Jonathan, saying: I will not only do this for thee, and for thy people, but I will greatly honour thee, and thy nation, when opportunity shall serve.

43 Now therefore thou shalt do well if thou send me men to help me: for all my army is gone from me.

44 And Jonathan sent him three thousand valiant men to Antioch: and they came to the king, and the king was very glad of their coming.

45 And they that were of the city assembled themselves together, to the number of a hundred and twenty thousand men, and would have killed the king.

46 And the king fled into the palace, and they of the city kept the passages of the city, and began to fight.

47 And the king called the Jews to his assistance: and they came to him all at once, and they all dispersed themselves through the city.

48 And they slew in that day a hundred thousand men, and they set fire to the city, and got many spoils that day, and delivered the king.

49 And they that were of the city saw that the Jews had got the city as they would: and they were discouraged in their minds, and cried to the king, making supplication, and saying:

50 Grant us peace, and let the Jews cease from assaulting us, and the city.

51 And they threw down their arms, and made peace, and the Jews were glorified in the sight of the king, and in the sight of all that were in his realm, and were renowned throughout the kingdom, and returned to Jerusalem with many spoils.

52 So king Demetrius sat in the throne of his kingdom: and the land was quiet before him.

53 And he falsified all whatsoever he had said, and alienated himself from Jonathan, and did not reward him according to the benefits he had received from him, but gave him great trouble.

54 And after this Tryphon returned, and with him Antiochus the young boy, who was made king, and put on the diadem.

55 And there assembled unto him all the hands which Demetrius had sent away, and they fought against Demetrius, who turned his back and fled.

56 And Tryphon took the elephants, and made himself master of Antioch.

57 And young Antiochus wrote to Jonathan, saying: I confirm thee in the high priesthood, and I appoint thee ruler over the four cities, and to be one of the king's friends.

58 And he sent him vessels of gold for his service, and he gave him leave to drink in gold, and to be clothed in purple, and to wear a golden buckle:

59 And he made his brother Simon governor from the borders of Tyre even to the confines of Egypt.

60 Then Jonathan went forth and passed through the cities beyond the river: and all the forces of Syria gathered themselves to him to help him, and he came to Ascalon, and they met him honourably out of the city.

61 And he went from thence to Gaza: and they that were in Gaza shut him out: and he besieged it, and burnt all the suburbs round about, and took the spoils.

62 And the men of Gaza made supplication to Jonathan, and he gave them the right hand: and he took their sons for hostages, and sent them to Jerusalem: and he went through the country as far as Damascus.

63 And Jonathan heard that the generals of Demetrius were come treacherously to Cades, which is in Galilee, with a great army, purposing to remove him from the affairs of the kingdom:

64 And he went against them: but left his brother Simon in the country.

65 And Simon encamped against Bethsura, and assaulted it many days, and shut them up.

66 And they desired him to make peace, and he granted it them: and he cast them out from thence, and took the city, and placed a garrison in it.

67 And Jonathan, and his army encamped by the water of Genesar, and before it was light they were ready in the plain of Asor.

68 And behold the army of the strangers met him in the plain, and they laid an ambush for him in the mountains: but he went out against them.

69 And they that lay in ambush arose out of their places, and joined battle.

70 And all that were on Jonathan's side fled, and none was left of them, but Mathathias the son of Absalom, and Judas the son of Calphi, chief captain of the army.

71 And Jonathan rent his garments, and cast earth upon his head, and prayed.

72 And Jonathan turned again to them to battle, and he put them to flight, and they fought.

73 And they of his part that fled saw this, and they turned again to him, and they all with him pursued the enemies even to Cades to their own camp, and they came even thither.

74 And there fell of the aliens in that day three thousand men: and Jonathan returned to Jerusalem.

1 Maccabees 11 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 11

Alliance of Ptolemy and Demetrius II. Then the king of Egypt gathered forces as numerous as the sands of the seashore, and many ships; and he sought by deceit to take Alexander’s kingdom and add it to his own. He set out for Syria with peaceful words, and the people in the cities opened their gates to welcome him, as King Alexander had ordered them to do, since Ptolemy was his father-in-law. But when Ptolemy entered the cities, he stationed a garrison of troops in each one.

As they neared Azotus, they showed him the temple of Dagon destroyed by fire, Azotus and its suburbs demolished, corpses lying about, and the charred bodies of those burned in the war, for they had heaped them up along his route. They told the king what Jonathan had done in order to denigrate him; but the king said nothing. Jonathan met the king with pomp at Joppa, and they greeted each other and spent the night there. Jonathan accompanied the king as far as the river called Eleutherus[a] and then returned to Jerusalem.

And so King Ptolemy took possession of the cities along the seacoast as far as Seleucia by the sea,[b] plotting evil schemes against Alexander all the while. He sent ambassadors to King Demetrius, saying: “Come, let us make a covenant with each other; I will give you my daughter whom Alexander has married, and you shall reign over your father’s kingdom. 10 I regret that I gave him my daughter, for he has sought to kill me.”[c] 11 He was criticizing Alexander, however, because he coveted his kingdom. 12 After taking his daughter away, Ptolemy gave her to Demetrius and broke with Alexander; the enmity between them was now evident. 13 Then Ptolemy entered Antioch and assumed the crown[d] of Asia; thus he set upon his head two crowns, that of Egypt and that of Asia.

14 Now King Alexander was in Cilicia at that time, because the people of that region had revolted. 15 When Alexander heard the news, he came against Ptolemy in battle. Ptolemy marched out and met him with a strong force and routed him. 16 When Alexander fled to Arabia to seek protection, King Ptolemy was triumphant. 17 Zabdiel the Arabian cut off Alexander’s head and sent it to Ptolemy. 18 But three days later King Ptolemy himself died, and his troops in the strongholds were killed by the inhabitants of the strongholds. 19 Thus Demetrius became king in the one hundred and sixty-seventh year.[e]

Alliance of Jonathan and Demetrius II. 20 In those days Jonathan gathered together the people of Judea to attack the citadel in Jerusalem, and they set up many siege engines against it. 21 But some transgressors of the law, enemies of their own nation, went to the king and informed him that Jonathan was besieging the citadel. 22 When Demetrius heard this, he was enraged; and as soon as he heard it, he set out and came to Ptolemais. He wrote to Jonathan to discontinue the siege and to meet him for a conference at Ptolemais as soon as possible.

23 On hearing this, Jonathan ordered the siege to continue. He selected some elders and priests of Israel and put himself at risk. 24 Taking with him silver, gold and apparel, and many other presents, he went to the king at Ptolemais, and found favor with him. 25 Although certain renegades of his own nation kept on bringing charges against him, 26 the king treated him just as his predecessors had done and exalted him in the presence of all his Friends. 27 He confirmed him in the high priesthood and in the other honors he had previously held, and had him enrolled among his Chief Friends.

28 Jonathan asked the king to exempt Judea and the three districts of Samaria from tribute, promising him in return three hundred talents. 29 The king agreed and wrote a letter to Jonathan about all these matters as follows:

30 “King Demetrius sends greetings to his brother[f] Jonathan and to the Jewish nation. 31 We are sending you, for your information, a copy of the letter that we wrote to Lasthenes[g] our Kinsman concerning you. 32 ‘King Demetrius sends greetings to his father Lasthenes. 33 Upon the Jewish nation, who are our friends and observe their obligations to us, we have decided to bestow benefits because of the good will they show us. 34 Therefore we confirm their possession, not only of the territory of Judea, but also of the three districts of Aphairema,[h] Lydda, and Ramathaim. These districts, together with all their dependencies, are hereby transferred from Samaria to Judea for those who offer sacrifices in Jerusalem in lieu of the royal taxes the king used to receive yearly from the produce of earth and trees. 35 From payment of the other things that would henceforth be due to us, namely, the tithes and taxes, as well as the salt tax, and the crown tax—from all these we grant them release. 36 Henceforth and forever not one of these provisions shall ever be revoked. 37 See to it, therefore, that a copy of these instructions be made and given to Jonathan. Let it be displayed on the holy mountain in a conspicuous place.’”

The Intrigue of Trypho. 38 When King Demetrius saw that the land was peaceful under his rule and that he had no opposition, he dismissed his entire army, each to his own home, except the foreign troops which he had hired from the islands of the nations. So all the soldiers who had served under his predecessors became hostile to him. 39 When a certain Trypho, who had previously supported Alexander, saw that all the troops were grumbling against Demetrius, he went to Imalkue the Arabian, who was raising Alexander’s young son Antiochus. 40 Trypho kept urging Imalkue to hand over the boy to him, so that he might succeed his father as king. He told him of all that Demetrius had done and of the hostility his soldiers had for him; and he remained there for many days.

Jonathan Aids Demetrius II. 41 Meanwhile Jonathan sent the request to King Demetrius to withdraw the troops in the citadel from Jerusalem and from the other strongholds, for they were constantly waging war on Israel. 42 Demetrius, in turn, sent this word to Jonathan: “I will do not only this for you and your nation, but I will greatly honor you and your nation when I find the opportunity. 43 Now, therefore, you will do well to send men to fight for me, because all my troops have revolted.”

44 So Jonathan sent three thousand good fighting men to him at Antioch. When they came to the king, he was delighted over their arrival. 45 The populace, one hundred and twenty thousand strong, massed in the center of the city in an attempt to kill the king. 46 So the king took refuge in the palace, while the populace gained control of the main streets of the city and prepared for battle. 47 Then the king called the Jewish force to his aid. They all rallied around him and spread out through the city. On that day they killed about a hundred thousand in the city. 48 At the same time, they set the city on fire and took much spoil. Thus they saved the king. 49 When the populace saw that the Jewish force controlled the city, they lost courage and cried out to the king in supplication, 50 “Extend the hand of friendship to us, and make the Jews stop attacking us and the city.” 51 So they threw down their weapons and made peace. The Jews thus gained honor in the eyes of the king and all his subjects, and they became renowned throughout his kingdom. Finally they returned to Jerusalem with much plunder.

52 But when King Demetrius was sure of his royal throne, and the land was peaceful under his rule, 53 he broke all his promises and became estranged from Jonathan. Instead of repaying Jonathan for all the favors he had received from him, he caused him much distress.

Alliance of Jonathan and Antiochus VI. 54 After this, Trypho returned and brought with him the young boy Antiochus, who became king and put on the diadem. 55 All the soldiers whom Demetrius had discharged rallied around Antiochus and fought against Demetrius, who was routed and fled. 56 Trypho captured the elephants and occupied Antioch. 57 Then young Antiochus wrote to Jonathan: “I confirm you in the high priesthood and appoint you ruler over the four districts, and to be one of the King’s Friends.” 58 He also sent him gold dishes and a table service, gave him the right to drink from gold cups, to dress in royal purple, and to wear a gold buckle. 59 Likewise, he made Jonathan’s brother Simon governor of the region from the Ladder of Tyre[i] to the borders of Egypt.

Campaigns of Jonathan and Simon. 60 Jonathan set out and traveled through the province of West-of-Euphrates[j] and its cities, and all the forces of Syria espoused his cause as allies. When he arrived at Askalon, the citizens welcomed him with pomp. 61 But when he set out for Gaza, the people of Gaza shut him out. So he besieged it, and burned and plundered its suburbs. 62 Then the people of Gaza appealed to Jonathan, and he granted them terms of peace. He took the sons of their leaders as hostages and sent them to Jerusalem. He then traveled on through the province as far as Damascus.

63 Jonathan heard that the generals of Demetrius had come with a strong force to Kadesh in Galilee, intending to remove him from office. 64 So he went to meet them, leaving his brother Simon in the province. 65 Simon encamped against Beth-zur, attacked it for many days, and shut in the inhabitants. 66 They appealed to him, and he granted them terms of peace. He expelled them from the city, took possession of it, and put a garrison there.

67 Meanwhile, Jonathan and his army pitched their camp near the waters of Gennesaret, and at daybreak they went to the plain of Hazor.[k] 68 There the army of the foreigners met him on the plain. Having first detached an ambush in the mountains, this army mounted a frontal attack. 69 Then those in ambush rose out of their places and joined in the battle. 70 All of Jonathan’s men fled; no one stayed except the army commanders Mattathias, son of Absalom, and Judas, son of Chalphi. 71 Jonathan tore his clothes, threw dust on his head, and prayed. 72 Then he went back to the battle and routed them, and they fled. 73 Those of his men who were running away saw it and returned to him; and with him they pursued the enemy as far as their camp in Kadesh, and there they encamped. 74 About three thousand of the foreign troops fell on that day. Then Jonathan returned to Jerusalem.

Footnotes:

  1. 11:7 Eleutherus: two hundred miles north of Joppa, in the second century B.C. the northern limit of Coelesyria.
  2. 11:8 Seleucia by the sea: at the mouth of the Orontes, the port city of Antioch.
  3. 11:10 I regret…to kill me: according to Josephus, Ammonius, a friend of Alexander, had tried to assassinate Ptolemy, and the latter claimed that Alexander was the instigator, thus calumniating him to gain his kingdom (v. 11).
  4. 11:13 Crown: lit., diadem.
  5. 11:19 The one hundred and sixty-seventh year: 146/145 B.C. The two deaths (vv. 17–18) occurred in the summer of 145 B.C.
  6. 11:30 Brother: this term and “father” in v. 32 are honorific expressions used of the Kinsmen.
  7. 11:31 Lasthenes: leader of the mercenary troops who had come with Demetrius from Crete. He was now the young king’s chief minister and was apparently responsible for the disastrous policy (v. 38) of disbanding the national army.
  8. 11:34 Aphairema: the Ophrah of Jos 18:23; 1 Sm 13:17; the Ephron of 2 Chr 13:19; and the Ephraim of Jn 11:54—modern et-Taiyibeh, five miles northeast of Bethel. Lydda: the Lod of the postexilic Jews (Ezr 2:33; Neh 11:35) and the hometown of Aeneas, who was cured by Peter (Acts 9:32–34). It is ten miles southeast of Joppa. Ramathaim: the Ramathaim-zophim of 1 Sm 1:1, and the Arimathea of Mt 27:57, modern Rentis, nine miles northeast of Lydda.
  9. 11:59 Ladder of Tyre: modern Ras en-Naqurah, where the mountains reach the sea, so that the coastal road must ascend in a series of steps. Thus the Maccabees controlled the coastal area from Syria to Egypt.
  10. 11:60 The province of West-of-Euphrates: refers here to the territory of Palestine and Coelesyria, but not Upper Syria; cf. 7:8.
  11. 11:67 Plain of Hazor: the site of the ancient Canaanite city (Jos 11:10), ten miles north of the Lake of Gennesaret.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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