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10-11 and sent the following letter to Judas and his brothers:

The Gentiles around us are joining forces under Timothy. We have fled to this fortress for protection, and now they are getting ready to capture it and destroy us. 12 Many of us have already been killed. Come rescue us! 13 All the Jewish men in the region of Tob[a] have been killed, their wives and their children have been taken captive, and their possessions have been carried off. A force of about 1,000 men has been destroyed there.

14 This letter was still being read when other messengers, who had torn their clothes in sorrow, arrived with a report from Galilee. 15 They said,

An army from Ptolemais, Tyre, Sidon, and all of Galilee has come together to destroy us.

16 When Judas and the people heard all this, a great assembly was held to decide what should be done to help these countrymen, who were in such difficulty under enemy attack. 17 Judas said to his brother Simon,

Choose some men and go rescue our fellow Jews in Galilee; our brother Jonathan and I will go to Gilead. 18 Judas left the rest of his army to defend Judea and put the two leaders, Azariah and Joseph son of Zechariah, in charge of the people. 19 He told them:
I am leaving you in command here, but don't go out and fight the Gentiles until we get back. 20 Then 3,000 men joined Simon for the march into Galilee, and 8,000 remained with Judas for the march into Gilead.

21 Simon went into Galilee and fought many battles with the Gentiles. He defeated them 22 and pursued them all the way to the city of Ptolemais, killing about 3,000 of them, and taking the loot. 23 Then he took the Jews who were in Galilee and Arbatta, with their wives, their children, and all they owned, and brought them back to Judea with him. There was great rejoicing.

24 During this time, Judas Maccabeus and his brother Jonathan had crossed the Jordan River and had marched for three days through the desert. 25 They met some friendly Nabateans who told them all that had happened to the Jews in Gilead. 26 They reported that many Jews were imprisoned in the fortified cities of Bozrah, Bosor, Alema, Chaspho, Maked, and Karnaim, 27 while others were imprisoned in the smaller towns of Gilead. They also reported that the enemy was drawn up to make an attack the next day on the Jewish fortresses, hoping to destroy all the Jews in a single day.

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  1. 1 Maccabees 5:13 in the region of Tob; or who were fighting with Tobias.

11 They are preparing to come and capture the stronghold to which we have fled, and Timothy is leading their forces. 12 Now then, come and rescue us from their hands, for many of us have fallen, 13 and all our kindred who were in the land of Tob have been killed; the enemy[a] have captured their wives and children and goods, and have destroyed about a thousand persons there.”

14 While the letter was still being read, other messengers, with their garments torn, came from Galilee and made a similar report; 15 they said that the people of Ptolemais and Tyre and Sidon, and all Galilee of the Gentiles,[b] had gathered together against them “to annihilate us.” 16 When Judas and the people heard these messages, a great assembly was called to determine what they should do for their kindred who were in distress and were being attacked by enemies.[c] 17 Then Judas said to his brother Simon, “Choose your men and go and rescue your kindred in Galilee; Jonathan my brother and I will go to Gilead.” 18 But he left Joseph, son of Zechariah, and Azariah, a leader of the people, with the rest of the forces, in Judea to guard it; 19 and he gave them this command, “Take charge of this people, but do not engage in battle with the Gentiles until we return.” 20 Then three thousand men were assigned to Simon to go to Galilee, and eight thousand to Judas for Gilead.

21 So Simon went to Galilee and fought many battles against the Gentiles, and the Gentiles were crushed before him. 22 He pursued them to the gate of Ptolemais; as many as three thousand of the Gentiles fell, and he despoiled them. 23 Then he took the Jews[d] of Galilee and Arbatta, with their wives and children, and all they possessed, and led them to Judea with great rejoicing.

Judas and Jonathan in Gilead

24 Judas Maccabeus and his brother Jonathan crossed the Jordan and made three days’ journey into the wilderness. 25 They encountered the Nabateans, who met them peaceably and told them all that had happened to their kindred in Gilead: 26 “Many of them have been shut up in Bozrah and Bosor, in Alema and Chaspho, Maked and Carnaim”—all these towns were strong and large— 27 “and some have been shut up in the other towns of Gilead; the enemy[e] are getting ready to attack the strongholds tomorrow and capture and destroy all these people in a single day.”

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  1. 1 Maccabees 5:13 Gk they
  2. 1 Maccabees 5:15 Gk aliens
  3. 1 Maccabees 5:16 Gk them
  4. 1 Maccabees 5:23 Gk those
  5. 1 Maccabees 5:27 Gk they

11 And they are preparing to come, and to take the fortress into which we are fled: and Timotheus is the captain of their host.

12 Now therefore come, and deliver us out of their hands, for many of us are slain.

13 And all our brethren that were in the places of Tubin, are killed: and they have carried away their wives, and their children, captives, and taken their spoils, and they have slain there almost a thousand men.

14 And while they were yet reading these letters, behold there came other messengers out of Galilee with their garments rent, who related according to these words:

15 Saying, that they of Ptolemais, and of Tyre, and of Sidon, were assembled against them, and all Galilee is filled with strangers, in order to consume us.

16 Now when Judas and all the people heard these words, a great assembly met together to consider what they should do for their brethren that were in trouble, and were assaulted by them.

17 And Judas said to Simon his brother: Choose thee men, and go, and deliver thy brethren in Galilee: and I, and my brother Jonathan will go into the country of Galaad.

18 And he left Joseph the son of Zacharias, and Azarias captains of the people with the remnant of the army in Judea to keep it:

19 And he commanded them, saying: Take ye the charge of this people: but make no war against the heathens, till we return.

20 Now three thousand men were allotted to Simon, to go into Galilee: and eight thousand to Judas to go into the land of Galaad.

21 And Simon went into Galilee, and fought many battles with the heathens: and the heathens were discomfited before his face, and he pursued them even to the gate of Ptolemais.

22 And there fell of the heathens almost three thousand men, and he took the spoils of them,

23 And he took with him those that were in Galilee and in Arbatis with their wives, and children, and all that they had, and he brought them into Judea with great joy.

24 And Judas Machabeus, and Jonathan his brother passed over the Jordan, and went three days' journey through the desert.

25 And the Nabutheans met them, and received them in a peaceable manner, and told them all that happened to their brethren in the land of Galaad,

26 And that many of them were shut up in Barasa, and in Bosor, and in Alima, and in Casphor, and in Mageth, and in Carnaim: all these strong and great cities.

27 Yea, and that they were kept shut up in the rest of the cities of Galaad, and that they had appointed to bring their army on the morrow near to these cities, and to take them and to destroy them all in one day.

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'1 Maccabees 5:11-27' not found for the version: The Message.