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The Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus

Part 14 out of 26

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whereupon he got all the people together, and vigorously besieged
those that were in the citadel. This was in the hundred and
fiftieth year of the dominion of the Seleucidse. So he made
engines of war, and erected bulwarks, and very zealously pressed
on to take the citadel. But there were not a few of the runagates
who were in the place that went out by night into the country,
and got together some other wicked men like themselves, and went
to Antiochus the king, and desired of him that he would not
suffer them to be neglected, under the great hardships that lay
upon them from those of their own nation; and this because their
sufferings were occasioned on his father's account, while they
left the religious worship of their fathers, and preferred that
which he had commanded them to follow: that there was danger lest
the citadel, and those appointed to garrison it by the king,
should be taken by Judas, and those that were with him, unless he
would send them succors. When Antiochus, who was but a child,
heard this, he was angry, and sent for his captains and his
friends, and gave order that they should get an army of
mercenaries together, with such men also of his own kingdom as
were of an age fit for war. Accordingly, an army was collected of
about a hundred thousand footmen, and twenty thousand horsemen,
and thirty-two elephants.

4. So the king took this army, and marched hastily out of
Antioch, with Lysias, who had the command of the whole, and came
to Idumea, and thence went up to the city Bethsnra, a city that
was strong, and not to be taken without great difficulty. He set
about this city, and besieged it. And while the inhabitants of
Bethsura courageously opposed him, and sallied out upon him, and
burnt his engines of war, a great deal of time was spent in the
siege. But when Judas heard of the king's coming, he raised the
siege of the citadel, and met the king, and pitched his camp in
certain straits, at a place called Bethzachriah, at the distance
of seventy furlongs from the enemy; but the king soon drew his
forces from Bethsura, and brought them to those straits. And as
soon as it was day, he put his men in battle-array, and made his
elephants follow one another through the narrow passes, because
they could not be set sideways by one another. Now round about
every elephant there were a thousand footmen, and five hundred
horsemen. The elephants also had high towers [upon their backs],
and archers [in them]. And he also made the rest of his army to
go up the mountains, and put his friends before the rest; and
gave orders for the army to shout aloud, and so he attacked the
enemy. He also exposed to sight their golden and brazen shields,
so that a glorious splendor was sent from them; and when they
shouted the mountains echoed again. When Judas saw this, he was
not terrified, but received the enemy with great courage, and
slew about six hundred of the first ranks. But when his brother
Eleazar, whom they called Auran, saw the tallest of all the
elephants armed with royal breastplates, and supposed that the
king was upon him, he attacked him with great quickness and
bravery. He also slew many of those that were about the elephant,
and scattered the rest, and then went under the belly of the
elephant, and smote him, and slew him; so the elephant fell upon
Eleazar, and by his weight crushed him to death. And thus did
this man come to his end, when he had first courageously
destroyed manyof his enemies.

5. But Judas, seeing the strength of the enemy, retired to
Jerusalem, and prepared to endure a siege. As for Antiochus, he
sent part of his army to Bethsura, to besiege it, and with the
rest of his army he came against Jerusalem; but the inhabitants
of Bethsura were terrified at his strength; and seeing that their
provisions grew scarce,. they delivered themselves up on the
security of oaths that they should suffer no hard treatment from
the king. And when Antiochus had thus taken the city, he did them
no other harm than sending them out naked. He also placed a
garrison of his own in the city. But as for the temple of
Jerusalem, he lay at its siege a long time, while they within
bravely defended it; for what engines soever the king set against
them, they set other engines again to oppose them. But then their
provisions failed them; what fruits of the ground they had laid
up were spent and the land being not ploughed that year,
continued unsowed, because it was the seventh year, on which, by
our laws, we are obliged to let it lay uncultivated. And withal,
so many of the besieged ran away for want of necessaries, that
but a few only were left in the temple.

6. And these happened to be the circumstances of such as were
besieged in the temple. But then, because Lysias, the general of
the army, and Antiochus the king, were informed that Philip was
coming upon them out of Persia, and was endeavoring to get the
management of public affairs to himself, they came into these
sentiments, to leave the siege, and to make haste to go against
Philip; yet did they resolve not to let this be known to the
soldiers or to the officers: but the king commanded Lysias to
speak openly to the soldiers and the officers, without saying a
word about the business of Philip; and to intimate to them that
the siege would be very long; that the place was very strong;
that they were already in want of provisions; that many affairs
of the kingdom wanted regulation; and that it was much better to
make a league with the besieged, and to become friends to their
whole nation, by permitting them to observe the laws of their
fathers, while they broke out into this war only because they
were deprived of them, and so to depart home. When Lysias had
discoursed thus to them, both the army and the officers were
pleased with this resolution.

7. Accordingly the king sent to Judas, and to those that were
besieged with them, and promised to give them peace, and to
permit them to make use of, and live according to, the laws of
their fathers; and they gladly received his proposals; and when
they had gained security upon oath for their performance, they
went out of the temple. But when Antiochus came into it, and saw
how strong the place was, he broke his oaths, and ordered his
army that was there to pluck down the walls to the ground; and
when he had so done, he returned to Antioch. He also carried with
him Onias the high priest, who was also called Menelaus; for
Lysias advised the king to slay Menelaus, if he would have the
Jews be quiet, and cause him no further disturbance, for that
this man was the origin of all the mischief the Jews had done
them, by persuading his father to compel the Jews to leave the
religion of their fathers. So the king sent Menelaus to Berea, a
city of Syria, and there had him put to death, when he had been
high priest ten years. He had been a wicked and an impious man;
and, in order to get the government to himself, had compelled his
nation to transgress their own laws. After the death of Menelaus,
Alcimus, who was also called Jacimus, was made high priest. But
when king Antiochus found that Philip had already possessed
himself of the government, he made war against him, and subdued
him, and took him, and slew him. Now as to Onias, the son of the
high priest, who, as we before informed you, was left a child
when his father died, when he saw that the king had slain his
uncle Menelaus, and given the high priesthood to Alcimus, who was
not of the high priest stock, but was induced by Lysias to
translate that dignity from his family to another house, he fled
to Ptolemy, king of Egypt; and when he found he was in great
esteem with him, and with his wife Cleopatra, he desired and
obtained a place in the Nomus of Heliopolis, wherein he built a
temple like to that at Jerusalem; of which therefore we shall
hereafter give an account, in a place more proper for it.


How Bacchides, The General Of Demetrius's Army, Made An
Expedition Against Judea, And Returned Without Success; And How
Nicanor Was Sent A Little Afterward Against Judas And Perished,
Together With His Army; As Also Concerning The Death Of Alcimus
And The Succession Of Judas.

1. About the same time Demetrius, the son of Seleucus, fled away
from Rome, and took Tripoli, a city of Syria, and set the diadem
on his own head. He also gathered certain mercenary soldiers
together, and entered into his kingdom, and was joyfully received
by all, who delivered themselves up to him. And when they had
taken Autiochus the king, and Lysias, they brought them to him
alive; both which were immediately put to death by the command of
Demetrius, when Antiochus had reigned two years, as we have
already elsewhere related. But there were now many of the wicked
Jewish runagates that came together to him, and with them Alcimus
the high priest, who accused the whole nation, and particularly
Judas and his brethren; and said that they had slain all his
friends, and that those in his kingdom that were of his party,
and waited for his return, were by them put to death; that these
men had ejected them out of their own country, and caused them to
be sojourners in a foreign land; and they desired that he would
send some one of his own friends, and know from him what mischief
Judas's party had done.

2. At this Demetrius was very angry, and sent Bacchides, a friend
of Antiochus Epiphanes, (25) a good man, and one that had been
intrusted with all Mesopotamia, and gave him an army, and
committed Alcimus the high priest to his care; and gave him
charge to slay Judas, and those that were with him. So Bacchides
made haste, and went out of Antioch with his army; and when he
was come into Judea, he sent to Judas and his brethren, to
discourse with them about a league of friendship and peace, for
he had a mind to take him by treachery. But Judas did not give
credit to him, for he saw that he came with so great an army as
men do not bring when they come to make peace, but to make war.
However, some of the people acquiesced in what Bacchides caused
to be proclaimed; and supposing they should undergo no
considerable harm from Alcimus, who was their countryman, they
went over to them; and when they had received oaths from both of
them, that neither they themselves, nor those of the same
sentiments, should come to any harm, they intrusted themselves
with them. But Bacchides troubled not himself about the oaths he
had taken, but slew threescore of them, although, by not keeping
his faith with those that first went over, he deterred all the
rest, who had intentions to go over to him, from doing it. But as
he was gone out of Jerusalem, and was at the village called
Bethzetho, he sent out, and caught many of the deserters, and
some of the people also, and slew them all; and enjoined all that
lived in the country to submit to Alcimus. So he left him there,
with some part of the army, that he might have wherewith to keep
the country in obedience and returned to Antioch to king

3. But Alcimus was desirous to have the dominion more firmly
assured to him; and understanding that, if he could bring it
about that the multitude should be his friends, he should govern
with greater security, he spake kind words to them all, and
discoursed to each of them after an agreeable and pleasant
manner; by which means he quickly had a great body of men and an
army about him, although the greater part of them were of the
wicked, and the deserters. With these, whom he used as his
servants and soldiers, he went all over the country, and slew all
that he could find of Judas's party. But when Judas saw that
Alcimus was already become great, and had destroyed many of the
good and holy men of the country, he also went all over the
country, and destroyed those that were of the other party. But
when Alcimus saw that he was not able to oppose Judas, nor was
equal to him in strength, he resolved to apply himself to king
Demetrius for his assistance; so he came to Antioch, and
irritated him against Judas, and accused him, alleging that he
had undergone a great many miseries by his means, and that he
would do more mischief unless he were prevented, and brought to
punishment, which must be done by sending a powerful force
against him.

4. So Demetrius, being already of opinion that it would be a
thing pernicious to his own affairs to overlook Judas, now he was
becoming so great, sent against him Nicanor, the most kind and
most faithful of all his friends; for he it was who fled away
with him from the city of Rome. He also gave him as many forces
as he thought sufficient for him to conquer Judas withal, and bid
him not to spare the nation at all. When Nicanor was come to
Jerusalem, he did not resolve to fight Judas immediately, but
judged it better to get him into his power by treachery; so he
sent him a message of peace, and said there was no manner of
necessity for them to fight and hazard themselves; and that he
would give him his oath that he would do him no harm, for that he
only came with some friends, in order to let him know what king
Demetrius's intentions were, and what opinion he had of their
nation. When Nicanor had delivered this message, Judas and his
brethren complied with him, and suspecting no deceit, they gave
him assurances of friendship, and received Nicanor and his army;
but while he was saluting Judas, and they were talking together,
he gave a certain signal to his own soldiers, upon which they
were to seize upon Judas; but he perceived the treachery, and ran
back to his own soldiers, and fled away with them. So upon this
discovery of his purpose, and of the snares laid for Judas,
Nicanor determined to make open war with him, and gathered his
army together, and prepared for fighting him; and upon joining
battle with him at a certain village called Capharsalama, he beat
Judas, (26) and forced him to fly to that citadel which was at

5. And when Nicanor came down from the citadel unto the temple,
some of the priests and elders met him, and saluted him; and
showed him the sacrifices which they offered to God for the king:
upon which he blasphemed, and threatened them, that unless the
people would deliver up Judas to him, upon his return he would
pull clown their temple. And when he had thus threatened them, he
departed from Jerusalem. But the priests fell into tears out of
grief at what he had said, and besought God to deliver them from
their enemies But now for Nicanor, when he was gone out of
Jerusalem, and was at a certain village called Bethoron, he there
pitched his camp, another army out of Syria having joined him.
And Judas pitched his camp at Adasa, another village, which was
thirty furlongs distant from Bethoron, having no more than one
thousand soldiers. And when he had encouraged them not to be
dismayed at the multitude of their enemies, nor to regard how
many they were against whom they were going to fight, but to
consider who they themselves were, and for what great rewards
they hazarded themselves, and to attack the enemy courageously,
he led them out to fight, and joining battle with Nicanor, which
proved to be a severe one, he overcame the enemy, and slew many
of them; and at last Nicanor himself, as he was fighting
gloriously, fell: - upon whose fall the army did not stay; but
when they had lost their general, they were put to flight, and
threw down their arms. Judas also pursued them and slew them, and
gave notice by the sound of the trumpets to the neighboring
villages that he had conquered the enemy; which, when the
inhabitants heard, they put on their armor hastily, and met their
enemies in the face as they were running away, and slew them,
insomuch that not one of them escaped out of this battle, who
were in number nine thousand This victory happened to fall on the
thirteenth day of that month which by the Jews is called Adar and
by the Macedonians Dystrus; and the Jews thereon celebrate this
victory every year, and esteem it as a festival day. After which
the Jewish nation were, for a while, free from wars, and enjoyed
peace; but afterward they returned into their former state of
wars and hazards.

6. But now as the high priest Alcimus, was resolving to pull down
the wall of the sanctuary, which had been there of old time, and
had been built by the holy prophets, he was smitten suddenly by
God, and fell down. (27) This stroke made him fall down
speechless upon the ground; and undergoing torments for many
days, he at length died, when he had been high priest four years.
And when he was dead, the people bestowed the high priesthood on
Judas; who hearing of the power of the Romans, and that they had
conquered in war Galatia, and Iberia, and Carthage, and Libya;
and that, besides these, they had subdued Greece, and their
kings, Perseus, and Philip, and Antiochus the Great also; he
resolved to enter into a league of friendship with them. He
therefore sent to Rome some of his friends, Eupolemus the son of
John, and Jason the son of Eleazar, and by them desired the
Romans that they would assist them, and be their friends, and
would write to Demetrius that he would not fight against the
Jews. So the senate received the ambassadors that came from Judas
to Rome, and discoursed with them about the errand on which they
came, and then granted them a league of assistance. They also
made a decree concerning it, and sent a copy of it into Judea. It
was also laid up in the capitol, and engraven in brass. The
decree itself was this: "The decree of the senate concerning a
league of assistance and friendship with the nation of the Jews.
It shall not be lawful for any that are subject to the Romans to
make war with the nation of the Jews, nor to assist those that do
so, either by sending them corn, or ships, or money; and if any
attack be made upon the Jews, the Romans shall assist them, as
far as they are able; and again, if any attack be made upon the
Romans, the Jews shall assist them. And if the Jews have a mind
to add to, or to take away any thing from, this league of
assistance, that shall be done with the common consent of the
Romans. And whatsoever addition shall thus be made, it shall be
of force." This decree was written by Eupolemus the son of John,
and by Jason the son of Eleazar, (28) when Judas was high priest
of the nation, and Simon his brother was general of the army. And
this was the first league that the Romans made with the Jews, and
was managed after this manner.


That Bacchides Was Again Sent Out Against Judas; And How Judas
Fell As He Was Courageously Fighting.

1. But when Demetrius was informed of the death of Nicanor, and
of the destruction of the army that was with him, he sent
Bacchides again with an army into Judea, who marched out of
Antioch, and came into Judea, and pitched his camp at Arbela, a
city of Galilee; and having besieged and taken those that were
there in caves, (for many of the people fled into such places,)
he removed, and made all the haste he could to Jerusalem. And
when he had learned that Judas had pitched his camp at a certain
village whose name was Bethzetho, he led his army against him:
they were twenty thousand foot-men, and two thousand horsemen.
Now Judas had no more soldiers than one thousand. (29) When these
saw the multitude of Bacchides's men, they were afraid, and left
their camp, and fled all away, excepting eight hundred. Now when
Judas was deserted by his own soldiers, and the enemy pressed
upon him, and gave him no time to gather his army together, he
was disposed to fight with Bacchides's army, though he had but
eight hundred men with him; so he exhorted these men to undergo
the danger courageously, and encouraged them to attack the enemy.
And when they said they were not a body sufficient to fight so
great an army, and advised that they should retire now, and save
themselves and that when he had gathered his own men together,
then he should fall upon the enemy afterwards, his answer was
this: "Let not the sun ever see such a thing, that I should show
my back to the enemy and although this be the time that will
bring me to my end, and I must die in this battle, I will rather
stand to it courageously, and bear whatsoever comes upon me, than
by now running away bring reproach upon my former great actions,
or tarnish their glory." This was the speech he made to those
that remained with him, whereby he encouraged them to attack the

2. But Bacchldes drew his army out of their camp, and put them in
array for the battle. He set the horsemen on both the wings, and
the light soldiers and the archers he placed before the whole
army, but he was himself on the right wing. And when he had thus
put his army in order of battle, and was going to join battle
with the enemy, he commanded the trumpeter to give a signal of
battle, and the army to make a shout, and to fall on the enemy.
And when Judas had done the same, he joined battle with them; and
as both sides fought valiantly, and the battle continued till
sun-set, Judas saw that Bacehides and the strongest part of the
army was in the right wing, and thereupon took the most
courageous men with him, and ran upon that part of the army, and
fell upon those that were there, and broke their ranks, and drove
them into the middle, and forced them to run away, and pursued
them as far as to a mountain called Aza: but when those of the
left wing saw that the right wing was put to flight, they
encompassed Judas, and pursued him, and came behind him, and took
him into the middle of their army; so being not able to fly, but
encompassed round about with enemies, he stood still, and he and
those that were with him fought; and when he had slain a great
many of those that came against him, he at last was himself
wounded, and fell and gave up the ghost, and died in a way like
to his former famous actions. When Judas was dead, those that
were with him had no one whom they could regard [as their
commander]; but when they saw themselves deprived of such a
general, they fled. But Simon and Jonathan, Judas's brethren,
received his dead body by a treaty from the enemy, and carried it
to the village of Modin, where their father had been buried, and
there buried him; while the multitude lamented him many days, and
performed the usual solemn rites of a funeral to him. And this
was the end that Judas came to. He had been a man of valor and a
great warrior, and mindful of the commands of their father
Matrathins; and had undergone all difficulties, both in doing and
suffering, for the liberty of his countrymen. And when his
character was so excellent [while he was alive], he left behind
him a glorious reputation and memorial, by gaining freedom for
his nation, and delivering them from slavery under the
Macedonians. And when he had retained the high priesthood three
years, he died.


Containing The Interval Of Eighty-Two Years,

From The Death Of Judas Maccabeus To The Death Of Queen


How Jonathan Took The Government After His Brother Judas; And How
He, Together With His Brother Simon, Waged War Against Bacchides.

1. By what means the nation of the Jews recovered their freedom
when they had been brought into slavery by the Macedonians, and
what struggles, and how great battles, Judas, the general of
their army, ran through, till he was slain as he was fighting for
them, hath been related in the foregoing book; but after he was
dead, all the wicked, and those that transgressed the laws of
their forefathers, sprang up again in Judea, and grew upon them,
and distressed them on every side. A famine also assisted their
wickedness, and afflicted the country, till not a few, who by
reason of their want of necessaries, and because they were not
able to bear up against the miseries that both the famine and
their enemies brought upon them, deserted their country, and went
to the Macedonians. And now Bacchides gathered those Jews
together who had apostatized from the accustomed way of living of
their forefathers, and chose to live like their neighbors, and
committed the care of the country to them, who also caught the
friends of Judas, and those of his party, and delivered them up
to Bacchides, who when he had, in the first place, tortured and
tormented them at his pleasure, he, by that means, at length
killed them. And when this calamity of the Jews was become so
great, as they had never had experience of the like since their
return out of Babylon, those that remained of the companions of
Judas, seeing that the nation was ready to be destroyed after a
miserable manner, came to his brother Jonathan, and desired him
that he would imitate his brother, and that care which he took of
his countrymen, for whose liberty in general he died also; and
that he would not permit the nation to be without a governor,
especially in those destructive circumstances wherein it now was.
And where Jonathan said that he was ready to die for them, and
esteemed no inferior to his brother, he was appointed to be the
general of the Jewish army.

2. When Bacchides heard this, and was afraid that Jonathan might
be very troublesome to the king and the Macedonians, as Judas had
been before him, he sought how he might slay him by treachery.
But this intention of his was not unknown to Jonathan, nor to his
brother Simon; but when these two were apprized of it, they took
all their companions, and presently fled into that wilderness
which was nearest to the city; and when they were come to a lake
called Asphar, they abode there. But when Bacchides was sensible
that they were in a low state, and were in that place, he hasted
to fall upon them with all his forces, and pitching his camp
beyond Jordan, he recruited his army. But when Jonathan knew that
Bacchides Was coming upon him, he sent his brother John, who was
also called Gaddis, to the Nabatean Arabs, that he might lodge
his baggage with them until the battle with Bacchides should be
over, for they were the Jews' friends. And the sons of Ambri laid
an ambush for John from the city Medaba, and seized upon him, and
upon those that were with him, and plundered all that they had
with them. They also slew John, and all his companions. However,
they were sufficiently punished for what they now did by John's
brethren, as we shall relate presently.

3. But when Bacchides knew that Jonathan had pitched his camp
among the lakes of Jordan, he observed when their sabbath day
came, and then assaulted him, [as supposing that he would not
fight because of the law for resting on that day]: but he
exhorted his companions [to fight]; and told them that their
lives were at stake, since they were encompassed by the river,
and by their enemies, and had no way to escape, for that their
enemies pressed upon them from before, and the river was behind
them. So after he had prayed to God to give them the victory, he
joined battle with the enemy, of whom he overthrew many; and as
he saw Bacchides coming up boldly to him, he stretched out his
right hand to smite him; but the other foreseeing and avoiding
the stroke, Jonathan with his companions leaped into the river,
and swam over it, and by that means escaped beyond Jordan while
the enemies did not pass over that river; but Bacchides returned
presently to the citadel at Jerusalem, having lost about two
thousand of his army. He also fortified many cities of Judea,
whose walls had been demolished; Jericho, and Emmaus, and
Betboron, and Bethel, and Tinma, and Pharatho, and Tecoa, and
Gazara, and built towers in every one of these cities, and
encompassed them with strong walls, that were very large also,
and put garrisons into them, that they might issue out of them,
and do mischief to the Jews. He also fortified the citadel at
Jerusalem more than all the rest. Moreover, he took the sons of
the principal Jews as pledges, and hut them up in the citadel,
and in that manner guarded it.

4. About the same time one came to Jonathan, and to his brother
Simon, and told them that the sons of Ambri were celebrating a
marriage, and bringing the bride from the city Gabatha, who was
the daughter of one of the illustrious men among the Arabians,
and that the damsel was to be conducted with pomp, and splendor,
and much riches: so Jonathan and Simon thinking this appeared to
be the fittest time for them to avenge the death of their
brother, and that they had forces sufficient for receiving
satisfaction from them for his death, they made haste to Medaba,
and lay in wait among the mountains for the coming of their
enemies; and as soon as they saw them conducting the virgin, and
her bridegroom, and such a great company of their friends with
them as was to be expected at this wedding, they sallied out of
their ambush, and slew them all, and took their ornaments, and
all the prey that then followed them, and so returned, and
received this satisfaction for their brother John from the sons
of Ambri; for as well those sons themselves, as their friends,
and wives, and children that followed them, perished, being in
number about four hundred.

5. However, Simon and Jonathan returned to the lakes of the
river, and abode there. But Bacchides, when he had secured all
Judea with his garrisons, returned to the king; and then it was
that the affairs of Judea were quiet for two years. But when the
deserters and the wicked saw that Jonathan and those that were
with him lived in the country very quietly, by reason of the
peace, they sent to king Demetrius, and excited him to send
Bacchides to seize upon Jonathan, which they said was to be done
without any trouble, and in one night's time; and that if they
fell upon them before they were aware, they might slay them all.
So the king sent Bacchides, who, when he was come into Judea,
wrote to all his friends, both Jews and auxiliaries, that they
should seize upon Jonathan, and bring him to him; and when, upon
all their endeavors, they were not able to seize upon Jonathan,
for he was sensible of the snares they laid for him, and very
carefully guarded against them, Bacchides was angry at these
deserters, as having imposed upon him, and upon the king, and
slew fifty of their leaders: whereupon Jonathan, with his
brother, and those that were with him, retired to Bethagla, a
village that lay in the wilderness, out of his fear of Bacchides.
He also built towers in it, and encompassed it with walls, and
took care that it should be safely guarded. Upon the hearing of
which Bacchides led his own army along with him, and besides took
his Jewish auxiliaries, and came against Jonathan, and made an
assault upon his fortifications, and besieged him many days; but
Jonathan did not abate of his courage at the zeal Bacchides used
in the siege, but courageously opposed him. And while he left his
brother Simon in the city to fight with Bacchides, he went
privately out himself into the country, and got a great body of
men together of his own party, and fell upon Bacchides's camp in
the night time, and destroyed a great many of them. His brother
Simon knew also of this his falling upon them, because he
perceived that the enemies were slain by him; so he sallied out
upon them, and burnt the engines which the Macedonians used, and
made a great slaughter of them. And when Bacchides saw himself
encompassed with enemies, and some of them before and some behind
him, he fell into despair and trouble of mind, as confounded at
the unexpected ill success of this siege. However, he vented his
displeasure at these misfortunes upon those deserters who sent
for him from the king, as having deluded him. So he had a mind to
finish this siege after a decent manner, if it were possible for
him so to do, and then to return home.

6. When Jonathan understood these his intentions, he sent
ambassadors to him about a league of friendship and mutual
assistance, and that they might restore those they had taken
captive on both sides. So Bacchides thought this a pretty decent
way of retiring home, and made a league of friendship with
Jonathan, when they sware that they would not any more make war
one against another. Accordingly, he restored the captives, and
took his own men with him, and returned to the king at Antioch;
and after this his departure, he never came into Judea again.
Then did Jonathan take the opportunity of this quiet state of
things, and went and lived in the city Michmash; and there
governed the multitude, and punished the wicked and ungodly, and
by that means purged the nation of them.


How Alexander [Bala] In His War With Demetrius, Granted Jonathan
Many Advantages And Appointed Him To Be High Priest And Persuaded
Him To Assist Him Although Demetrius Promised Him Greater
Advantages On The Other Side. Concerning The Death Of Demetrius.

1. Now in the hundred and sixtieth year, it fell out that
Alexander, the son of Antiochus Epiphanes, (1) came up into
Syria, and took Ptolemais the soldiers within having betrayed it
to him; for they were at enmity with Demetrius, on account of his
insolence and difficulty of access; for he shut himself up in a
palace of his that had four towers which he had built himself,
not far from Antioch and admitted nobody. He was withal slothful
and negligent about the public affairs, whereby the hatred of his
subjects was the more kindled against him, as we have elsewhere
already related. When therefore Demetrius heard that Alexander
was in Ptolemais, he took his whole army, and led it against him;
he also sent ambassadors to Jonathan about a league of mutual
assistance and friendship, for he resolved to be beforehand with
Alexander, lest the other should treat with him first, and gain
assistance from him; and this he did out of the fear he had lest
Jonathan should remember how ill Demetrius had formerly treated
him, and should join with him in this war against him. He
therefore gave orders that Jonathan should be allowed to raise an
army, and should get armor made, and should receive back those
hostages of the Jewish nation whom Baechides had shut up in the
citadel of Jerusalem. When this good fortune had befallen
Jonathan, by the concession of Demetrius, he came to Jerusalem,
and read the king's letter in the audience of the people, and of
those that kept the citadel. When these were read, these wicked
men and deserters, who were in the citadel, were greatly afraid,
upon the king's permission to Jonathan to raise an army, and to
receive back the hostages. So he delivered every one of them to
his own parents. And thus did Jonathan make his abode at
Jerusalem, renewing the city to a better state, and reforming the
buildings as he pleased; for he gave orders that the walls of the
city should be rebuilt with square stones, that it might be more
secure from their enemies. And when those that kept the garrisons
that were in Judea saw this, they all left them, and fled to
Antioch, excepting those that were in the city Bethsura, and
those that were in the citadel of Jerusalem, for the greater part
of these was of the wicked Jews and deserters, and on that
account these did not deliver up their garrisons.

2. When Alexander knew what promises Demetrius had made Jonathan,
and withal knew his courage, and what great things he had done
when he fought the Macedonians, and besides what hardships he had
undergone by the means of Demetrius, and of Bacchides, the
general of Demetrius's army, he told his friends that he could
not at present find any one else that might afford him better
assistance than Jonathan, who was both courageous against his
enemies, and had a particular hatred against Demetrius, as having
both suffered many hard things from him, and acted many hard
things against him. If therefore they were of opinion that they
should make him their friend against Demetrius, it was more for
their advantage to invite him to assist them now than at another
time. It being therefore determined by him and his friends to
send to Jonathan, he wrote to him this epistle: "King Alexander
to his brother Jonathan, sendeth greeting. We have long ago heard
of thy courage and thy fidelity, and for that reason have sent to
thee, to make with thee a league of friendship and mutual
assistance. We therefore do ordain thee this day the high priest
of the Jews, and that thou beest called my friend. I have also
sent thee, as presents, a purple robe and a golden crown, and
desire that, now thou art by us honored, thou wilt in like manner
respect us also."

3. When Jonathan had received this letter, he put on the
pontifical robe at the time of the feast of tabernacles, (2) four
years after the death of his brother Judas, for at that time no
high priest had been made. So he raised great forces, and had
abundance of armor got ready. This greatly grieved Demetrius when
he heard of it, and made him blame himself for his slowness, that
he had not prevented Alexander, and got the good-will of
Jonathan, but had given him time so to do. However, he also
himself wrote a letter to Jonathan, and to the people, the
contents whereof are these: "King Demetrius to Jonathan, and to
the nation of the Jews, sendeth greeting. Since you have
preserved your friendship for us, and when you have been tempted
by our enemies, you have not joined yourselves to them, I both
commend you for this your fidelity, and exhort you to continue in
the same disposition, for which you shall be repaid, and receive
rewards from us; for I will free you from the greatest part of
the tributes and taxes which you formerly paid to the kings my
predecessors, and to myself; and I do now set you free from those
tributes which you have ever paid; and besides, I forgive you the
tax upon salt, and the value of the crowns which you used to
offer to me (3) and instead of the third part of the fruits [of
the field], and the half of the fruits of the trees, I relinquish
my part of them from this day: and as to the poll-money, which
ought to be given me for every head of the inhabitants of Judea,
and of the three toparchies that adjoin to Judea, Samaria, and
Galilee, and Peres, that I relinquish to you for this time, and
for all time to come. I will also that the city of Jerusalem be
holy and inviolable, and free from the tithe, and from the taxes,
unto its utmost bounds. And I so far recede from my title to the
citadel, as to permit Jonathan your high priest to possess it,
that he may place such a garrison in it as he approves of for
fidelity and good-will to himself, that they may keep it for us.
I also make free all those Jews who have been made captives and
slaves in my kingdom. I also give order that the beasts of the
Jews be not pressed for our service; and let their sabbaths, and
all their festivals, and three days before each of them, be free
from any imposition. In the same manner, I set free the Jews that
are inhabitants of my kingdom, and order that no injury be done
them. I also give leave to such of them as are willing to list
themselves in my army, that they may do it, and those as far as
thirty thousand; which Jewish soldiers, wheresoever they go,
shall have the same pay that my own army hath; and some of them I
will place in my garrisons, and some as guards about mine own
body, and as rulers over those that are in my court. I give them
leave also to use the laws of their forefathers, and to observe
them; and I will that they have power over the three toparchies
that are added to Judea; and it shall be in the power of the high
priest to take care that no one Jew shall have any other temple
for worship but only that at Jerusalem. I bequeath also, out of
my own revenues, yearly, for the expenses about the sacrifices,
one hundred and fifty thousand [drachmae]; and what money is to
spare, I will that it shall be your own. I also release to you
those ten thousand drachmae which the kings received from the
temple, because they appertain to the priests that minister in
that temple. And whosoever shall fly to the temple at Jerusalem,
or to the places thereto belonging, or who owe the king money, or
are there on any other account, let them be set free, and let
their goods be in safety. I also give you leave to repair and
rebuild your temple, and that all be done at my expenses. I also
allow you to build the walls of your city, and to erect high
towers, and that they be erected at my charge. And if there be
any fortified town that would be convenient for the Jewish
country to have very strong, let it be so built at my expenses."

4. This was what Demetrius promised and granted to the Jews by
this letter. But king Alexander raised a great army of mercenary
soldiers, and of those that deserted to him out of Syria, and
made an expedition against Demetrius. And when it was come to a
battle, the left wing of Demetrius put those who opposed them to
flight, and pursued them a great way, and slew many of them, and
spoiled their camp; but the right wing, where Demetrius happened
to be, was beaten; and as for all the rest, they ran away. But
Demetrius fought courageously, and slew a great many of the
enemy; but as he was in the pursuit of the rest, his horse
carried him into a deep bog, where it was hard to get out, and
there it happened, that upon his horse's falling down, he could
not escape being killed; for when his enemies saw what had
befallen him, they returned back, and encompassed Demetrius
round, and they all threw their darts at him; but he, being now
on foot, fought bravely. But at length he received so many
wounds, that he was not able to bear up any longer, but fell. And
this is the end that Demetrius came to, when he had reigned
eleven years, (4) as we have elsewhere related.


The Friendship That Was Between Onias And Ptolemy Philometor; And
How Onias Built A Temple In Egypt Like To That At Jerusalem.

1. But then the son of Onias the high priest, who was of the same
name with his father, and who fled to king Ptolemy, who was
called Philometor, lived now at Alexandria, as we have said
already. When this Onias saw that Judea was oppressed by the
Macedonians and their kings, out of a desire to purchase to
himself a memorial and eternal fame he resolved to send to king
Ptolemy and queen Cleopatra, to ask leave of them that he might
build a temple in Egypt like to that at Jerusalem, and might
ordain Levites and priests out of their own stock. The chief
reason why he was desirous so to do, was, that he relied upon the
prophet Isaiah, who lived above six hundred years before, and
foretold that there certainly was to be a temple built to
Almighty God in Egypt by a man that was a Jew. Onias was elevated
with this prediction, and wrote the following epistle to Ptolemy
and Cleopatra: "Having done many and great things for you in the
affairs of the war, by the assistance of God, and that in
Celesyria and Phoenicia, I came at length with the Jews to
Leontopolis, and to other places of your nation, where I found
that the greatest part of your people had temples in an improper
manner, and that on this account they bare ill-will one against
another, which happens to the Egyptians by reason of the
multitude of their temples, and the difference of opinions about
Divine worship. Now I found a very fit place in a castle that
hath its name from the country Diana; this place is full of
materials of several sorts, and replenished with sacred animals;
I desire therefore that you will grant me leave to purge this
holy place, which belongs to no master, and is fallen down, and
to build there a temple to Almighty God, after the pattern of
that in Jerusalem, and of the same dimensions, that may be for
the benefit of thyself, and thy wife and children, that those
Jews which dwell in Egypt may have a place whither they may come
and meet together in mutual harmony one with another, and he
subservient to thy advantages; for the prophet Isaiah foretold
that "there should be an altar in Egypt to the Lord God; (5) and
many other such things did he prophesy relating to that place."

2. And this was what Onias wrote to king Ptolemy. Now any one may
observe his piety, and that of his sister and wife Cleopatra, by
that epistle which they wrote in answer to it; for they laid the
blame and the transgression of the law upon the head of Onias.
And this was their reply: "King Ptolemy and queen Cleopatra to
Onias, send greeting. We have read thy petition, wherein thou
desirest leave to be given thee to purge that temple which is
fallen down at Leontopolis, in the Nomus of Heliopolis, and which
is named from the country Bubastis; on which account we cannot
but wonder that it should be pleasing to God to have a temple
erected in a place so unclean, and so full of sacred animals. But
since thou sayest that Isaiah the prophet foretold this long ago,
we give thee leave to do it, if it may be done according to your
law, and so that we may not appear to have at all offended God

3. So Onias took the place, and built a temple, and an altar to
God, like indeed to that in Jerusalem, but smaller and poorer. I
do not think it proper for me now to describe its dimensions or
its vessels, which have been already described in my seventh book
of the Wars of the Jews. However, Onias found other Jews like to
himself, together with priests and Levites, that there performed
Divine service. But we have said enough about this temple.

4. Now it came to pass that the Alexandrian Jews, and those
Samaritans who paid their worship to the temple that was built in
the days of Alexander at Mount Gerizzim, did now make a sedition
one against another, and disputed about their temples before
Ptolemy himself; the Jews saying that, according to the laws of
Moses, the temple was to be built at Jerusalem; and the
Samaritans saying that it was to be built at Gerizzim. They
desired therefore the king to sit with his friends, and hear the
debates about these matters, and punish those with death who were
baffled. Now Sabbeus and Theodosius managed the argument for the
Samaritans, and Andronicus, the son of Messalamus, for the people
of Jerusalem; and they took an oath by God and the king to make
their demonstrations according to the law; and they desired of
Ptolemy, that whomsoever he should find that transgressed what
they had sworn to, he would put him to death. Accordingly, the
king took several of his friends into the council, and sat down,
in order to hear what the pleaders said. Now the Jews that were
at Alexandria were in great concern for those men, whose lot it
was to contend for the temple at Jerusalem; for they took it very
ill that any should take away the reputation of that temple,
which was so ancient and so celebrated all over the habitable
earth. Now when Sabbeus and Tlteodosius had given leave to
Andronicus to speak first, he began to demonstrate out of the
law, and out of the successions of the high priests, how they
every one in succession from his father had received that
dignity, and ruled over the temple; and how all the kings of Asia
had honored that temple with their donations, and with the most
splendid gifts dedicated thereto. But as for that at Gerizzm, he
made no account of it, and regarded it as if it had never had a
being. By this speech, and other arguments, Andronicus persuaded
the king to determine that the temple at Jerusalem was built
according to the laws of Moses, (6) and to put Sabbeus and
Theodosius to death. And these were the events that befell the
Jews at Alexandria in the days of Ptolemy Philometor.


How Alexander Honored Jonathan After An Extraordinary Manner; And
How Demetrius, The Son Of Demetrius, Overcame Alexander And Made
A League Of Friendship With Jonathan.

1. Demetrius being thus slain in battle, as we have above
related, Alexander took the kingdom of Syria; and wrote to
Ptolemy Philometor, and desired his daughter in marriage; and
said it was but just that he should be joined an affinity to one
that had now received the principality of his forefathers, and
had been promoted to it by God's providence, and had conquered
Demetrius, and that was on other accounts not unworthy of being
related to him. Ptolemy received this proposal of marriage
gladly; and wrote him an answer, saluting him on account of his
having received the principality of his forefathers; and
promising him that he would give him his daughter in marriage;
and assured him that he was coming to meet him at Ptolemais, and
desired that he would there meet him, for that he would accompany
her from Egypt so far, and would there marry his child to him.
When Ptolemy had written thus, he came suddenly to Ptolemais, and
brought his daughter Cleopatra along with him; and as he found
Alexander there before him, as he desired him to come, he gave
him his child in marriage, and for her portion gave her as much
silver and gold as became such a king to give.

2. When the wedding was over, Alexander wrote to Jonathan the
high priest, and desired him to come to Ptolemais. So when he
came to these kings, and had made them magnificent presents, he
was honored by them both. Alexander compelled him also to put off
his own garment, and to take a purple garment, and made him sit
with him in his throne; and commanded his captains that they
should go with him into the middle of the city, and proclaim,
that it was not permitted to any one to speak against him, or to
give him any disturbance. And when the captains had thus done,
those that were prepared to accuse Jonathan, and who bore him
ill-will, when they saw the honor that was done him by
proclamation, and that by the king's order, ran away, and were
afraid lest some mischief should befall them. Nay, king Alexander
was so very kind to Jonathan, that he set him down as the
principal of his friends.

3. But then, upon the hundred and sixty-fifth year, Demetrius,
the son of Demetrius, came from Crete with a great number of
mercenary soldiers, which Lasthenes, the Cretian, brought him,
and sailed to Cilicia. This thing cast Alexander into great
concern and disorder when he heard it; so he made haste
immediately out of Phoenicia, and came to Antioch, that he might
put matters in a safe posture there before Demetrius should come.
He also left Apollonius Daus (7) governor of Celesyria, who
coming to Jamnia with a great army, sent to Jonathan the high
priest, and told him that it was not right that he alone should
live at rest, and with authority, and not be subject to the king;
that this thing had made him a reproach among all men, that he
had not yet made him subject to the king. "Do not thou therefore
deceive thyself, and sit still among the mountains, and pretend
to have forces with thee; but if thou hast any dependence on thy
strength, come down into the plain, and let our armies be
compared together, and the event of the battle will demonstrate
which of us is the most courageous. However, take notice, that
the most valiant men of every city are in my army, and that these
are the very men who have always beaten thy progenitors; but let
us have the battle in such a place of the country where we may
fight with weapons, and not with stones, and where there may be
no place whither those that are beaten may fly."

4. With this Jonathan was irritated; and choosing himself out ten
thousand of his soldiers, he went out of Jerusalem in haste, with
his brother Simon, and came to Joppa, and pitched his camp on the
outside of the city, because the people of Joppa had shut their
gates against him, for they had a garrison in the city put there
by Apollonius. But when Jonathan was preparing to besiege them,
they were afraid he would take them by force, and so they opened
the gates to him. But Apollonius, when he heard that Joppa was
taken by Jonathan, took three thousand horsemen, and eight
thousand footmen and came to Ashdod; and removing thence, he made
his journey silently and slowly, and going up to Joppa, he made
as if he was retiring from the place, and so drew Jonathan into
the plain, as valuing himself highly upon his horsemen, and
having his hopes of victory principally in them. However,
Jonathan sallied out, and pursued Apollonius to Ashdod; but as
soon as Apollonius perceived that his enemy was in the plain, he
came back and gave him battle. But Apollonius had laid a thousand
horsemen in ambush in a valley, that they might be seen by their
enemies as behind them; which when Jonathan perceived, he was
under no consternation, but ordering his army to stand in a
square battle-array, he gave them a charge to fall on the enemy
on both sides, and set them to face those that attacked them both
before and behind; and while the fight lasted till the evening,
he gave part of his forces to his brother Simon, and ordered him
to attack the enemies; but for himself, he charged those that
were with him to cover themselves with their armor, and receive
the darts of the horsemen, who did as they were commanded; so
that the enemy's horsemen, while they threw their darts till they
had no more left, did them no harm, for the darts that were
thrown did not enter into their bodies, being thrown upon the
shields that were united and conjoined together, the closeness of
which easily overcame the force of the darts, and they flew about
without any effect. But when the enemy grew remiss in throwing
their darts from morning till late at night, Simon perceived
their weariness, and fell upon the body of men before him; and
because his soldiers showed great alacrity, he put the enemy to
flight. And when the horsemen saw that the footmen ran away,
neither did they stay themselves, but they being very weary, by
the duration of the fight till the evening, and their hope from
the footmen being quite gone, they basely ran away, and in great
confusion also, till they were separated one from another, and
scattered over all the plain. Upon which Jonathan pursued them as
far as Ashdod, and slew a great many of them, and compelled the
rest, in despair of escaping, to fly to the temple of Dagon,
which was at Ashdod; but Jonathan took the city on the first
onset, and burnt it, and the villages about it; nor did he
abstain from the temple of Dagon itself, but burnt it also, and
destroyed those that had fled to it. Now the entire multitude of
the enemies that fell in the battle, and were consumed in the
temple, were eight thousand. When Jonathan therefore had overcome
so great an army, he removed from Ashdod, and came to Askelon;
and when he had pitched his camp without the city, the people of
Askelon came out and met him, bringing him hospitable presents,
and honoring him; so he accepted of their kind intentions, and
returned thence to Jerusalem with a great deal of prey, which he
brought thence when he conquered his enemies. But when Alexander
heard that Apollonius, the general of his army, was beaten, he
pretended to be glad of it, because he had fought with Jonathan
his friend and ally against his directions. Accordingly, he sent
to Jonathan, and gave testimony to his worth; and gave him
honorary rewards, as a golden button, (8) which it is the custom
to give the king's kinsmen, and allowed him Ekron and its
toparchy for his own inheritance.

5. About this time it was that king Ptolemy, who was called
Philometor, led an army, part by the sea, and part by land, and
came to Syria, to the assistance of Alexander, who was his
son-in-law; and accordingly all the cities received him
willingly, as Alexander had commanded them to do, and conducted
him as far as Ashdod; where they all made loud complaints about
the temple of Dagon, which was burnt, and accused Jonathan of
having laid it waste, and destroyed the country adjoining with
fire, and slain a great number of them. Ptolemy heard these
accusations, but said nothing. Jonathan also went to meet Ptolemy
as far as Joppa, and obtained from him hospitable presents, and
those glorious in their kinds, with all the marks of honor; and
when he had conducted him as far as the river called Eleutherus,
he returned again to Jerusalem.

6. But as Ptolemy was at Ptolemais, he was very near to a most
unexpected destruction; for a treacherous design was laid for his
life by Alexander, by the means of Ammonius, who was his friend;
and as the treachery was very plain, Ptolemy wrote to Alexander,
and required of him that he should bring Ammonius to condign
punishment, informing him what snares had been laid for him by
Ammonius, and desiring that he might he accordingly punished for
it. But when Alexander did not comply with his demands, he
perceived that it was he himself who laid the design, and was
very angry at him. Alexander had also formerly been on very ill
terms with the people of Antioch, for they had suffered very much
by his means; yet did Ammonius at length undergo the punishment
his insolent crimes had deserved, for he was killed in an
opprobrious manner, like a woman, while he endeavored to conceal
himself in a feminine habit, as we have elsewhere related.

7. Hereupon Ptolemy blamed himself for having given his daughter
in marriage to Alexander, and for the league he had made with him
to assist him against Demetrius; so he dissolved his relation to
him, and took his daughter away from him, and immediately sent to
Demetrius, and offered to make a league of mutual assistance and
friendship with him, and agreed with him to give him his daughter
in marriage, and to restore him to the principality of his
fathers. Demetrius was well pleased with this embassage, and
accepted of his assistance, and of the marriage of his daughter.
But Ptolemy had still one more hard task to do, and that was to
persuade the people of Antioch to receive Demetrius, because they
were greatly displeased at him, on account of the injuries his
father Demetrius had done them; yet did he bring this about; for
as the people of Antioch hated Alexander on Ammonius's account,
as we have shown already, they were easily prevailed with to cast
him out of Antioch; who, thus expelled out of Antioch, came into
Cilicia. Ptolemy came then to Antioch, and was made king by its
inhabitants, and by the army; so that he was forced to put on two
diadems, the one of Asia, the other of Egypt: but being naturally
a good and a righteous man, and not desirous of what belonged to
others, and besides these dispositions, being also a wise man in
reasoning about futurities, he determined to avoid the envy of
the Romans; so he called the people of Antioch together to an
assembly, and persuaded them to receive Demetrius; and assured
them that he would not be mindful of what they did to his father
in case he should he now obliged by them; and he undertook that
he would himself be a good monitor and governor to him, and
promised that he would not permit him to attempt any bad actions;
but that, for his own part, he was contented with the kingdom of
Egypt. By which discourse he persuaded the people of Antioch to
receive Demetrius.

8. But now Alexander made haste with a numerous and great army,
and came out of Cilicia into Syria, and burnt the country
belonging to Antioch, and pillaged it; whereupon Ptolemy, and his
son-in-law Demetrius, brought their army against him, (for he had
already given him his daughter in marriage,) and beat Alexander,
and put him to flight; and accordingly he fled into Arabia. Now
it happened in the time of the battle that Ptolemy' horse, upon
hearing the noise of an elephant, cast him off his back, and
threw him on the ground; upon the sight of which accident, his
enemies fell upon him, and gave him many wounds upon his head,
and brought him into danger of death; for when his guards caught
him up, he was so very ill, that for four days' time he was not
able either to understand or to speak. However, Zabdiel, a prince
among the Arabians, cut off Alexander's head, and sent it to
Ptolemy, who recovering of his wounds, and returning to his
understanding, on the fifth day, heard at once a most agreeable
hearing, and saw a most agreeable sight, which were the death and
the head of Alexander; yet a little after this his joy for the
death of Alexander, with which he was so greatly satisfied, he
also departed this life. Now Alexander, who was called Balas,
reigned over Asia five years, as we have elsewhere related.

9. But when Demetrius, who was styled Nicator, (9) had taken the
kingdom, he was so wicked as to treat Ptolemy's soldiers very
hardly, neither remembering the league of mutual assistance that
was between them, nor that he was his son-in-law and kinsman, by
Cleopatra's marriage to him; so the soldiers fled from his wicked
treatment to Alexandria; but Demetrius kept his elephants. But
Jonathan the high priest levied an army out of all Judea, and
attacked the citadel at Jerusalem, and besieged it. It was held
by a garrison of Macedonians, and by some of those wicked men who
had deserted the customs of their forefathers. These men at first
despised the attempts of Jonathan for taking the place, as
depending on its strength; but some of those wicked men went out
by night, and came to Demetrius, and informed him that the
citadel was besieged; who was irritated with what he heard, and
took his army, and came from Antioch, against Jonathan. And when
he was at Antioch, he wrote to him, and commanded him to come to
him quickly to Ptolemais: upon which Jonathan did not intermit
the siege of the citadel, but took with him the elders of the
people, and the priests, and carried with him gold, and silver,
and garments, and a great number of presents of friendship, and
came to Demetrius, and presented him with them, and thereby
pacified the king's anger. So he was honored by him, and received
from him the confirmation of his high priesthood, as he had
possessed it by the grants of the kings his predecessors. And
when the Jewish deserters accused him, Demetrius was so far from
giving credit to them, that when he petitioned him that he would
demand no more than three hundred talents for the tribute of all
Judea, and the three toparchies of Samaria, and Perea, and
Galilee, he complied with the proposal, and gave him a letter
confirming all those grants; whose contents were as follows:
"King Demetrius to Jonathan his brother, and to the nation of the
Jews, sendeth greeting. We have sent you a copy of that epistle
which we have written to Lasthones our kinsman, that you may know
its contents. "King Demetrus to Lasthenes our father, sendeth
greeting. I have determined to return thanks, and to show favor
to the nation of the Jews, which hath observed the rules of
justice in our concerns. Accordingly, I remit to them the three
prefectures, Apherims, and Lydda, and Ramatha, which have been
added to Judea out of Samaria, with their appurtenances; as also
what the kings my predecessors received from those that offered
sacrifices in Jerusalem, and what are due from the fruits of the
earth, and of the trees, and what else belongs to us; with the
salt-pits, and the crowns that used to be presented to us. Nor
shall they be compelled to pay any of those taxes from this time
to all futurity. Take care therefore that a copy of this epistle
be taken, and given to Jonathan, and be set up in an eminent
place of their holy temple.'" And these were the contents of this
writing. And now when Demetrius saw that there was peace every
where, and that there was no danger, nor fear of war, he
disbanded the greatest part of his army, and diminished their
pay, and even retained in pay no others than such foreigners as
came up with him from Crete, and from the other islands. However,
this procured him ill-will and hatred from the soldiers; on whom
he bestowed nothing from this time, while the kings before him
used to pay them in time of peace as they did before, that they
might have their good-will, and that they might be very ready to
undergo the difficulties of war, if any occasion should require


How Trypho After He Had Beaten Demetrius Delivered The Kingdom To
Antiochus The Son Of Alexander, And Gained Jonathan For His
Assistant; And Concerning The Actions And Embassies Of Jonathan.

1. Now there was a certain commander of Alexander's forces, an
Apanemian by birth, whose name was Diodotus, and was also called
Trypho, took notice the ill-will of the soldiers bare to
Demetrius, and went to Malchus the Arabian, who brought up
Antiochus, the son of Alexander, and told him what ill-will the
army bare Demetrius, and persuaded him to give him Antiochus,
because he would make him king, and recover to him the kingdom of
his father. Malchus at the first opposed him in this attempt,
because he could not believe him; but when Trypho lay hard at him
for a long time, he over-persuaded him to comply with Trypho's
intentions and entreaties. And this was the state Trypho was now

2. But Jonathan the high priest, being desirous to get clear of
those that were in the citadel of Jerusalem, and of the Jewish
deserters, and wicked men, as well as of those in all the
garrisons in the country, sent presents and ambassadors to
Demetrius, and entreated him to take away his soldiers out of the
strong holds of Judea. Demetrius made answer, that after the war,
which he was now deeply engaged in, was over, he would not only
grant him that, but greater things than that also; and he desired
he would send him some assistance, and informed him that his army
had deserted him. So Jonathan chose out three thousand of his
soldiers, and sent them to Demetrius.

3. Now the people of Antioch hated Demetrius, both on account of
what mischief he had himself done them, and because they were his
enemies also on account of his father Demetrius, who had greatly
abused them; so they watched some opportunity which they might
lay hold on to fall upon him. And when they were informed of the
assistance that was coming to Demetrius from Jonathan, and
considered at the same time that he would raise a numerous army,
unless they prevented him, and seized upon him, they took their
weapons immediately, and encompassed his palace in the way of a
siege, and seizing upon all the ways of getting out, they sought
to subdue their king. And when he saw that the people of Antioch
were become his bitter enemies and that they were thus in arms,
he took the mercenary soldiers which he had with them, and those
Jews who were sent by Jonathan, and assaulted the Antiochians;
but he was overpowered by them, for they were many ten thousands,
and was beaten. But when the Jews saw that the Antiochians were
superior, they went up to the top of the palace, and shot at them
from thence; and because they were so remote from them by their
height, that they suffered nothing on their side, but did great
execution on the others, as fighting from such an elevation, they
drove them out of the adjoining houses, and immediately set them
on fire, whereupon the flame spread itself over the whole city,
and burnt it all down. This happened by reason of the closeness
of the houses, and because they were generally built of wood. So
the Antioehians, when they were not able to help themselves, nor
to stop the fire, were put to flight. And as the Jews leaped from
the top of one house to the top of another, and pursued them
after that manner, it thence happened that the pursuit was so
very surprising. But when the king saw that the Antiochians were
were busy in saving their children and their wives, and so did
not fight any longer, he fell upon them in the narrow passages,
and fought them, and slew a great many of them, till at last they
were forced to throw down their arms, and to deliver themselves
up to Demetrius. So he forgave them this their insolent behavior,
and put an end to the sedition; and when he had given rewards to
the Jews out of the rich spoils he had gotten, and had returned
them thanks, as the cause of his victory, he sent them away to
Jerusalem to Jonathan, with an ample testimony of the assistance
they had afforded him. Yet did he prove an ill man to Jonathan
afterward, and broke the promises he had made; and he threatened
that he would make war upon him, unless he would pay all that
tribute which the Jewish nation owed to the first kings [of
Syria]. And this he had done, if Trypho had not hindered him, and
diverted his preparations against Jonathan to a concern for his
own preservation; for he now returned out of Arabia into Syria,
with the child Antiochus, for he was yet in age but a youth, and
put the diadem on his head; and as the whole forces that had left
Demetrius, because they had no pay, came to his assistance, he
made war upon Demetrius, and joining battle with him, overcame
him in the fight, and took from him both his elephants and the
city Antioch.

4. Demetrius, upon this defeat, retired into Cilicia; but the
child Antiochus sent ambassadors and an epistle to Jonathan, and
made him his friend and confederate, and confirmed to him the
high priesthood, and yielded up to him the four prefectures which
had been added to Judea. Moreover, he sent him vessels and cups
of gold, and a purple garment, and gave him leave to use them. He
also presented him with a golden button, and styled him one of
his principal friends, and appointed his brother Simon to be the
general over the forces, from the Ladder of Tyre unto Egypt. So
Jonathan was so pleased with these grants made him by Antiochus,
that he sent ambassadors to him and to Trypho, and professed
himself to be their friend and confederate, and said he would
join with him in a war against Demetrius, informing him that he
had made no proper returns for the kindness he had done him; for
that when he had received many marks of kindness from him, when
he stood in great need of them, he, for such good turns, had
requited him with further injuries.

5. So Antiochus gave Jonathan leave to raise himself a numerous
army out of Syria and Phoenicia and to make war against
Demetrius's generals; whereupon he went in haste to the several
cities which received him splendidly indeed, but put no forces
into his hands. And when he was come from thence to Askelon, the
inhabitants of Askelon came and brought him presents, and met him
in a splendid manner. He exhorted them, and every one of the
cities of Celesyria, to forsake Demetrius, and to join with
Antiochus; and, in assisting him, to endeavor to punish Demetrius
for what offenses he had been guilty of against themselves; and
told them there were many reasons for that their procedure, if
they had a mind so to do. And when he had persuaded those cities
to promise their assistance to Antiochus, he came to Gaza, in
order to induce them also to be friends to Antiochus; but he
found the inhabitants of Gaza much more alienated from him than
he expected, for they had shut their gates against him; and
although they had deserted Demetrius, they had not resolved to
join themselves to Antiochus. This provoked Jonathan to besiege
them, and to harass their country; for as he set a part of his
army round about Gaza itself, so with the rest he overran their
land, and spoiled it, and burnt what was in it. When the of Gaza
saw themselves in this state of affliction, and that no
assistance came to them from Demetrius, that what distressed them
was at hand, but what should profit them was still at a great
distance, and it was uncertain whether it would come at all or
not, they thought it would he prudent conduct to leave off any
longer continuance with them, and to cultivate friendship with
the other; so they sent to Jonathan, and professed they would be
his friends, and afford him assistance: for such is the temper of
men, that before they have had the trial of great afflictions,
they do not understand what is for their advantage; but when they
find themselves under such afflictions, they then change their
minds, and what it had been better for them to have done before
they had been at all damaged, they choose to do, but not till
after they have suffered such damages. However, he made a league
of friendship with them, and took from them hostages for their
performance of it, and sent these hostages to Jerusalem, while he
went himself over all the country, as far as Damascus.

6. But when he heard that the generals of Demetrius's forces were
come to the city Cadesh with a numerous army, (the place lies
between the land of the Tyrians and Galilee,)for they supposed
they should hereby draw him out of Syria, in order to preserve
Galilee, and that he would not overlook the Galileans, who were
his own people, when war was made upon them, he went to meet
them, having left Simon in Judea, who raised as great an army as
he was able out of the country, and then sat down before
Bethsura, and besieged it, that being the strongest place in all
Judea; and a garrison of Demetrius's kept it, as we have already
related. But as Simon was raising banks, and bringing his engines
of war against Bethsura, and was very earnest about the siege of
it, the garrison was afraid lest the place should be taken of
Simon by force, and they put to the sword; so they sent to Simon,
and desired the security of his oath, that they should come to no
harm from him, and that they would leave the place, and go away
to Demetrius. Accordingly he gave them his oath, and ejected them
out of the city, and he put therein a garrison of his own.

7. But Jonathan removed out of Galilee, and from the waters which
are called Gennesar, for there he was before encamped, and came
into the plain that is called Asor, without knowing that the
enemy was there. When therefore Demetrius's men knew a day
beforehand that Jonathan was coming against them, they laid an
ambush in the mountain, who were to assault him on the sudden,
while they themselves met him with an army in the plain; which
army, when Jonathan saw ready to engage him, he also got ready
his own soldiers for the battle as well as he was able; but those
that were laid in ambush by Demetrius's generals being behind
them, the Jews were afraid lest they should be caught in the
midst between two bodies, and perish; so they ran away in haste,
and indeed all the rest left Jonathan; but a few there were, in
number about fifty, who staid with him, and with them Mattathias,
the son of Absalom, and Judas, the son of Chapseus, who were
commanders of the whole army. These marched boldly, and like men
desperate, against the enemy, and so pushed them, that by their
courage they daunted them, and with their weapons in their hands
they put them to flight. And when those soldiers of Jonathan that
had retired saw the enemy giving way, they got together after
their flight, and pursued them with great violence; and this did
they as far as Cadesh, where the camp of the enemy lay.

8. Jonathan having thus gotten a glorious victory, and slain two
thousand of the enemy, returned to Jerusalem. So when he saw that
all his affairs prospered according to his mind, by the
providence of God, he sent ambassadors to the Romans, being
desirous of renewing that friendship which their nation had with
them formerly. He enjoined the same ambassadors, that, as they
came back, they should go to the Spartans, and put them in mind
of their friendship and kindred. So when the ambassadors came to
Rome, they went into their senate, and said what they were
commanded by Jonathan the high priest to say, how he had sent
them to confirm their friendship. The senate then confirmed what
had been formerly decreed concerning their friendship with the
Jews, and gave them letters to carry to all the kings of Asia and
Europe, and to the governors of the cities, that they might
safely conduct them to their own country. Accordingly, as they
returned, they came to Sparta, and delivered the epistle which
they had received of Jonathan to them; a copy of which here
follows: "Jonathan the high priest of the Jewish nation, and the
senate, and body of the people of the Jews, to the ephori, and
senate, and people of the Lacedemonians, send greeting. If you be
well, and both your public and private affairs be agreeable to
your mind, it is according to our wishes. We are well also. When
in former times an epistle was brought to Onias, who was then our
high priest, from Areus, who at that time was your king, by
Demoteles, concerning the kindred that was between us and you, a
copy of which is here subjoined, we both joyfully received the
epistle, and were well pleased with Demoteles and Areus, although
we did not need such a demonstration, because we were satisfied
about it from the sacred writings (10) yet did not we think fit
first to begin the claim of this relation to you, lest we should
seem too early in taking to ourselves the glory which is now
given us by you. It is a long time since this relation of ours to
you hath been renewed; and when we, upon holy and festival days,
offer sacrifices to God, we pray to him for your preservation and
victory. As to ourselves, although we have had many wars that
have compassed us around, by reason of the covetousness of our
neighbors, yet did not we determine to be troublesome either to
you, or to others that were related to us; but since we have now
overcome our enemies, and have occasion to send Numenius the son
of Antiochus, and Antipater the son of Jason, who are both
honorable men belonging to our senate, to the Romans, we gave
them this epistle to you also, that they might renew that
friendship which is between us. You will therefore do well
yourselves to write to us, and send us an account of what you
stand in need of from us, since we are in all things disposed to
act according to your desires." So the Lacedemonians received the
ambassadors kindly, and made a decree for friendship and mutual
assistance, and sent it to them.

9. At this time there were three sects among the Jews, who had
different opinions concerning human actions; the one was called
the sect of the Pharisees, another the sect of the Sadducees, and
the other the sect of the Essens. Now for the Pharisees, (11)
they say that some actions, but not all, are the work of fate,
and some of them are in our own power, and that they are liable
to fate, but are not caused by fate. But the sect of the Essens
affirm, that fate governs all things, and that nothing befalls
men but what is according to its determination. And for the
Sadducees, they take away fate, and say there is no such thing,
and that the events of human affairs are not at its disposal; but
they suppose that all our actions are in our own power, so that
we are ourselves the causes of what is good, and receive what is
evil from our own folly. However, I have given a more exact
account of these opinions in the second book of the Jewish War.

10. But now the generals of Demetrius being willing to recover
the defeat they had had, gathered a greater army together than
they had before, and came against Jonathan; but as soon as he was
informed of their coming, he went suddenly to meet them, to the
country of Hamoth, for he resolved to give them no opportunity of
coming into Judea; so he pitched his camp at fifty furlongs'
distance from the enemy, and sent out spies to take a view of
their camp, and after what manner they were encamped. When his
spies had given him full information, and had seized upon some of
them by night, who told him the enemy would soon attack him, he,
thus apprized beforehand, provided for his security, and placed
watchmen beyond his camp, and kept all his forces armed all
night; and he gave them a charge to be of good courage, and to
have their minds prepared to fight in the night time, if they
should be obliged so to do, lest their enemy's designs should
seem concealed from them. But when Demetrius's commanders were
informed that Jonathan knew what they intended, their counsels
were disordered, and it alarmed them to find that the enemy had
discovered those their intentions; nor did they expect to
overcome them any other way, now they had failed in the snares
they had laid for them; for should they hazard an open battle,
they did not think they should be a match for Jonathan's army, so
they resolved to fly; and having lighted many fires, that when
the enemy saw them they might suppose they were there still, they
retired. When Jonathan came to give them battle in the morning in
their camp, and found it deserted, and understood they were fled,
he pursued them; yet he could not overtake them, for they had
already passed over the river Eleutherus, and were out of danger.
So when Jonathan was returned thence, he went into Arabia, and
fought against the Nabateans, and drove away a great deal of
their prey, and took [many] captives, and came to Damascus, and
there sold off what he had taken. About the same time it was that
Simon his brother went over all Judea and Palestine, as far as
Askelon, and fortified the strong holds; and when he had made
them very strong, both in the edifices erected, and in the
garrisons placed in them, he came to Joppa; and when he had taken
it, he brought a great garrison into it, for he heard that the
people of Joppa were disposed to deliver up the city to
Demetrius's generals.

11. When Simon and Jonathan had finished these affairs, they
returned to Jerusalem, where Jonathan gathered all the people
together, and took counsel to restore the walls of Jerusalem, and
to rebuild the wall that encompassed the temple, which had been
thrown down, and to make the places adjoining stronger by very
high towers; and besides that, to build another wall in the midst
of the city, in order to exclude the market-place from the
garrison, which was in the citadel, and by that means to hinder
them from any plenty of provisions; and moreover, to make the
fortresses that were in the country much stronger and more
defensible than they were before. And when these things were
approved of by the multitude, as rightly proposed, Jonathan
himself took care of the building that belonged to the city, and
sent Simon away to make the fortresses in the country more secure
than formerly. But Demetrius passed over [Euphrates], and came
into Mesopotamia, as desirous to retain that country still, as
well as Babylon; and when he should have obtained the dominion of
the upper provinces, to lay a foundation for recovering his
entire kingdom; for those Greeks and Macedonians who dwelt there
frequently sent ambassadors to him, and promised, that if he
would come to them, they would deliver themselves up to him, and
assist him in fighting against Arsaces, (12) the king of the
Parthians. So he was elevated with these hopes, and came hastily
to them, as having resolved, that if he had once overthrown the
Parthians, and gotten an army of his own, he would make war
against Trypho, and eject him out of Syria; and the people of
that country received him with great alacrity. So he raised
forces, with which he fought against Arsaces, and lost all his
army, and was himself taken alive, as we have elsewhere related.


How Jonathan Was Slain By Treachery; And How Thereupon The Jews
Made Simon Their General And High Priest: What Courageous Actions
He Also Performed Especially Against Trypho.

1. Now when Trypho knew what had befallen Demetrius, he was no
longer firm to Antiochus, but contrived by subtlety to kill him,
and then take possession of his kingdom; but the fear that he was
in of Jonathan was an obstacle to this his design, for Jonathan
was a friend to Antiochus, for which cause he resolved first to
take Jonathan out of the way, and then to set about his design
relating to Antiochus; but he judging it best to take him off by
deceit and treachery, came from Antioch to Bethshan, which by the
Greeks is called Scythopolis, at which place Jonathan met him
with forty thousand chosen men, for he thought that he came to
fight him; but when he perceived that Jonathan was ready to
fight, he attempted to gain him by presents and kind treatment,
and gave order to his captains to obey him, and by these means
was desirous to give assurance of his good-will, and to take away
all suspicions out of his mind, that so he might make him
careless and inconsiderate, and might take him when he was
unguarded. He also advised him to dismiss his army, because there
was no occasion for bringing it with him when there was no war,
but all was in peace. However, he desired him to retain a few
about him, and go with him to Ptolemais, for that he would
deliver the city up to him, and would bring all the fortresses
that were in the country under his dominion; and he told him that
he came with those very designs.

2. Yet did not Jonathan suspect any thing at all by this his
management, but believed that Trypho gave him this advice out of
kindness, and with a sincere design. Accordingly, he dismissed
his army, and retained no more than three thousand of them with
him, and left two thousand in Galilee; and he himself, with one
thousand, came with Trypho to Ptolemais. But when the people of
Ptolemais had shut their gates, as it had been commanded by
Trypho to do, he took Jonathan alive, and slew all that were with
him. He also sent soldiers against those two thousand that were
left in Galilee, in order to destroy them; but those men having
heard the report of what had happened to Jonathan, they prevented
the execution; and before those that were sent by Trypho came,
they covered themselves with their armor, and went away out of
the country. Now when those that were sent against them saw that
they were ready to fight for their lives, they gave them no
disturbance, but returned back to Trypho.

3. But when the people of Jerusalem heard that Jonathan was
taken, and that the soldiers who were with him were destroyed,
they deplored his sad fate; and there was earnest inquiry made
about him by every body, and a great and just fear fell upon
them, and made them sad, lest, now they were deprived of the
courage and conduct of Jonathan, the nations about them should
bear them ill-will; and as they were before quiet on account of
Jonathan they should now rise up against them, and by making war
with them, should force them into the utmost dangers. And indeed
what they suspected really befell them; for when those nations
heard of the death of Jonathan, they began to make war with the
Jews as now destitute of a governor and Trypho himself got an
army together, and had intention to go up to Judea, and make war
against its inhabitants. But when Simon saw that the people of
Jerusalem were terrified at the circumstances they were in, he
desired to make a speech to them, and thereby to render them more
resolute in opposing Trypho when he should come against them. He
then called the people together into the temple, and thence began
thus to encourage them: "O my countrymen, you are not ignorant
that our father, myself, and my brethren, have ventured to hazard
our lives, and that willingly, for the recovery of your liberty;
since I have therefore such plenty of examples before me, and we
of our family have determined with ourselves to die for our laws,
and our Divine worship, there shall no terror be so great as to
banish this resolution from our souls, nor to introduce in its
place a love of life, and a contempt of glory. Do you therefore
follow me with alacrity whithersoever I shall lead you, as not
destitute of such a captain as is willing to suffer, and to do
the greatest things for you; for neither am I better than my
brethren that I should be sparing of my own life, nor so far
worse than they as to avoid and refuse what they thought the most
honorable of all things, - I mean, to undergo death for your
laws, and for that worship of God which is peculiar to you; I
will therefore give such proper demonstrations as will show that
I am their own brother; and I am so bold as to expect that I
shall avenge their blood upon our enemies, and deliver you all
with your wives and children from the injuries they intend
against you, and, with God's assistance, to preserve your temple
from destruction by them; for I see that these nations have you
in contempt, as being without a governor, and that they thence
are encouraged to make war against you."

4. By this speech of Simon he inspired the multitude with
courage; and as they had been before dispirited through fear,
they were now raised to a good hope of better things, insomuch
that the whole multitude of the people cried out all at once that
Simon should be their leader; and that instead of Judas and
Jonathan his brethren, he should have the government over them;
and they promised that they would readily obey him in whatsoever
he should command them. So he got together immediately all his
own soldiers that were fit for war, and made haste in rebuilding
the walls of the city, and strengthening them by very high and
strong towers, and sent a friend of his, one Jonathan, the son of
Absalom, to Joppa, and gave him order to eject the inhabitants
out of the city, for he was afraid lest they should deliver up
the city to Trypho; but he himself staid to secure Jerusalem.

5. But Trypho removed from Ptoeinais with a great army, and came
into Judea, and brought Jonathan with him in bonds. Simon also
met him with his army at the city Adida, which is upon a hill,
and beneath it lie the plains of Judea. And when Trypho knew that
Simon was by the Jews made their governor, he sent to him, and
would have imposed upon him by deceit and trencher, and desired,
if he would have his brother Jonathan released, that he would
send him a hundred talents of silver, and two of Jonathan's sons
as hostages, that when he shall be released, he may not make
Judea revolt from the king; for that at present he was kept in
bonds on account of the money he had borrowed of the king, and
now owed it to him. But Simon was aware of the craft of Trypho;
and although he knew that if he gave him the money he should lose
it, and that Trypho would not set his brother free and withal
should deliver the sons of Jonathan to the enemy, yet because he
was afraid that he should have a calumny raised against him among
the multitude as the cause of his brother's death, if he neither
gave the money, nor sent Jonathan's sons, he gathered his army
together, and told them what offers Trypho had made; and added
this, that the offers were ensnaring and treacherous, and yet
that it was more eligible to send the money and Jonathan's sons,
than to be liable to the imputation of not complying with
Trypho's offers, and thereby refusing to save his brother.
Accordingly, Simon sent the sons of Jonathan and the money; but
when Trypho had received them, he did not keep his promise, nor
set Jonathan free, but took his army, and went about all the
country, and resolved to go afterward to Jerusalem by the way of
Idumea, while Simon went over against him with his army, and all
along pitched his own camp over against his.

6. But when those that were in the citadel had sent to Trypho,
and besought him to make haste and come to them, and to send them
provisions, he prepared his cavalry as though he would be at
Jerusalem that very night; but so great a quantity of snow fell
in the night, that it covered the roads, and made them so deep,
that there was no passing, especially for the cavalry. This
hindered him from coming to Jerusalem; whereupon Trypho removed
thence, and came into Celesyria, and falling vehemently upon the
land of Gilead, he slew Jonathan there; and when he had given
order for his burial, he returned himself to Antioch. However,
Simon sent some to the city Basca to bring away his brother's
bones, and buried them in their own city Modin; and all the
people made great lamentation over him. Simon also erected a very
large monument for his father and his brethren, of white and
polished stone, and raised it a great height, and so as to be
seen a long way off, and made cloisters about it, and set up
pillars, which were of one stone apiece; a work it was wonderful
to see. Moreover, he built seven pyramids also for his parents
and his brethren, one for each of them, which were made very
surprising, both for their largeness and beauty, and which have
been preserved to this day; and we know that it was Simon who
bestowed so much zeal about the burial of Jonathan, and the
building of these monuments for his relations. Now Jonathan died
when he had been high priest four years (13) and had been also
the governor of his nation. And these were the circumstances that
concerned his death.

7. But Simon, who was made high priest by the multitude, on the
very first year of his high priesthood set his people free from
their slavery under the Macedonians, and permitted them to pay
tribute to them no longer; which liberty and freedom from tribute
they obtained after a hundred and seventy years (14) of the
kingdom of the Assyrians, which was after Seleucus, who was
called Nicator, got the dominion over Syria. Now the affection of
the multitude towards Simon was so great, that in their contracts
one with another, and in their public records, they wrote, "in
the first year of Simon the benefactor and ethnarch of the Jews;"
for under him they were very happy, and overcame the enemies that
were round about them; for Simon overthrew the city Gazara, and
Joppa, and Jamhis. He also took the citadel of Jerusalem by
siege, and cast it down to the ground, that it might not be any
more a place of refuge to their enemies when they took it, to do
them a mischief, as it had been till now. And when he had done
this, he thought it their best way, and most for their advantage,
to level the very mountain itself upon which the citadel happened
to stand, that so the temple might be higher than it. And indeed,
when he had called the multitude to an assembly, he persuaded
them to have it so demolished, and this by putting them in mind
what miseries they had suffered by its garrison and the Jewish
deserters, and what miseries they might hereafter suffer in case
any foreigner should obtain the kingdom, and put a garrison into
that citadel. This speech induced the multitude to a compliance,
because he exhorted them to do nothing but what was for their own
good: so they all set themselves to the work, and leveled the
mountain, and in that work spent both day and night without any
intermission, which cost them three whole years before it was
removed, and brought to an entire level with the plain of the
rest of the city. After which the temple was the highest of all
the buildings, now the citadel, as well as the mountain whereon
it stood, were demolished. And these actions were thus performed
under Simon.


How Simon Confederated Himself With Antiochus Pius, And Made War
Against Trypho, And A Little Afterward, Against Cendebeus, The
General Of Antiochus's Army; As Also How Simon Was Murdered By
His Son-In-Law Ptolemy, And That By Treachery.

1. (15) Now a little while after Demetrius had been carried into
captivity, Trypho his governor destroyed Antiochus, (16) the son
of Alexander, who was also called The God, (17) and this when he
had reigned four years, though he gave it out that he died under
the hands of the surgeons. He then sent his friends, and those
that were most intimate with him, to the soldiers, and promised
that he would give them a great deal of money if they would make
him king. He intimated to them that Demetrius was made a captive
by the Parthians; and that Demetrius's brother Atitiochus, if he
came to be king, would do them a great deal of mischief, in way
of revenge for their revolting from his brother. So the soldiers,
in expectation of the wealth they should get by bestowing the
kingdom on Trypho, made him their ruler. However, when Trypho had
gained the management of affairs, he demonstrated his disposition
to be wicked; for while he was a private person, he cultivated
familiarity with the multitude, and pretended to great
moderation, and so drew them on artfully to whatsoever he
pleased; but when he had once taken the kingdom, he laid aside
any further dissimulation, and was the true Trypho; which
behavior made his enemies superior to him; for the soldiery hated
him, and revolted from him to Cleopatra, the wife of Demetrius,
who was then shut up in Seleucia with her children. But as
Antiochus, the brother of Demetrius who was called Soter, was not
admitted by any of the cities on account of Trypho, Cleopatra
sent to him, and invited him to marry her, and to take the
kingdom. The reasons why she made this invitation were these:
That her friends persuaded her to it, and that she was afraid for
herself, in case some of the people of Seleucia should deliver up
the city to Trypho.

2. As Antlochuswas now come to Seleucia, and his forces increased
every day, he marched to fight Trypho; and having beaten him in
the battle, he ejected him out of the Upper Syria into Phoenicia,
and pursued him thither, and besieged him in Dora which was a
fortress hard to be taken, whither he had fled. He also sent
ambassadors to Simon the Jewish high priest, about a league of
friendship and mutual assistance; who readily accepted of the
invitation, and sent to Antiochus great sums of money and
provisions for those that besieged Dora, and thereby supplied
them very plentifully, so that for a little while he was looked
upon as one of his most intimate friends; but still Trypho fled
from Dora to Apamia, where he was taken during the siege, and put
to death, when he had reigned three years.

3. However, Antiochus forgot the kind assistance that Simon had
afforded him in his necessity, by reason of his covetous and
wicked disposition, and committed an army of soldiers to his
friend Cendebeus, and sent him at once to ravage Judea, and to
seize Simon. When Simon heard of Antiochus's breaking his league
with him, although he were now in years, yet, provoked with the
unjust treatment he had met with from Antiochus, and taking a
resolution brisker than his age could well bear, he went like a
young man to act as general of his army. He also sent his sons
before among the most hardy of his soldiers, and he himself
marched on with his army another way, and laid many of his men in
ambushes in the narrow valleys between the mountains; nor did he
fail of success in any one of his attempts, but was too hard for
his enemies in every one of them. So he led the rest of his life
in peace, and did also himself make a league with the Romans.

4. Now he was the ruler of the Jews in all eight years; but at a
feast came to his end. It was caused by the treachery of his
son-in-law Ptolemy, who caught also his wife, and two of his
sons, and kept them in bonds. He also sent some to kill John the
third son, whose name was Hyrcanus; but the young man perceiving
them coming, he avoided the danger he was in from them, (18) and
made haste into the city [Jerusalem], as relying on the good-will
of the multitude, because of the benefits they had received from
his father, and because of the hatred the same multitude bare to
Ptolemy; so that when Ptolemy was endeavoring to enter the city
by another gate, they drove him away, as having already admitted


Hyrcanus Receives The High Priesthood, And Ejects Ptolemy Out Of
The Country. Antiochus Makes War Against Hyrcanus And Afterwards
Makes A League With Him.

1. So Ptolemy retired to one of the fortresses that was above
Jericho, which was called Dagon. But Hyrcanus having taken the
high priesthood that had been his father's before, and in the
first place propitiated God by sacrifices, he then made an
expedition against Ptolemy; and when he made his attacks upon the
place, in other points he was too hard for him, but was rendered
weaker than he, by the commiseration he had for his mother and
brethren, and by that only; for Ptolemy brought them upon the
wall, and tormented them in the sight of all, and threatened that
he would throw them down headlong, unless Hyrcanus would leave
off the siege. And as he thought that so far as he relaxed as to
the siege and taking of the place, so much favor did he show to
those that were dearest to him by preventing their misery, his
zeal about it was cooled. However, his mother spread out her
hands, and begged of him that he would not grow remiss on her
account, but indulge his indignation so much the more, and that
he would do his utmost to take the place quickly, in order to get
their enemy under his power, and then to avenge upon him what he
had done to those that were dearest to himself; for that death
would be to her sweet, though with torment, if that enemy of
theirs might but be brought to punishment for his wicked dealings
to them. Now when his mother said so, he resolved to take the
fortress immediately; but when he saw her beaten, and torn to
pieces, his courage failed him, and he could not but sympathize
with what his mother suffered, and was thereby overcome. And as
the siege was drawn out into length by this means, that year on
which the Jews used to rest came on; for the Jews observe this
rest every seventh year, as they do every seventh day; so that
Ptolemy being for this cause released from the war, (19) he slew
the brethren of Hyrcanus, and his mother; and when he had so
done, he fled to Zeno, who was called Cotylas, who was then the
tyrant of the city Philadelphia.

2. But Antiochus, being very uneasy at the miseries that Simon
had brought upon him, he invaded Judea in the fourth years' of
his reign, and the first year of the principality of Hyrcanus, in
the hundred and sixty-second olympiad. (20) And when he had burnt
the country, he shut up Hyrcanus in the city, which he
encompassed round with seven encampments; but did just nothing at
the first, because of the strength of the walls, and because of
the valor of the besieged, although they were once in want of
water, which yet they were delivered from by a large shower of
rain, which fell at the setting of the Pleiades (21) However,
about the north part of the wall, where it happened the city was
upon a level with the outward ground, the king raised a hundred
towers of three stories high, and placed bodies of soldiers upon
them; and as he made his attacks every day, he cut a double
ditch, deep and broad, and confined the inhabitants within it as
within a wall; but the besieged contrived to make frequent
sallies out; and if the enemy were not any where upon their
guard, they fell upon them, and did them a great deal of
mischief; and if they perceived them, they then retired into the
city with ease. But because Hyrcanus discerned the inconvenience
of so great a number of men in the city, while the provisions
were the sooner spent by them, and yet, as is natural to suppose,
those great numbers did nothing, he separated the useless part,
and excluded them out of the city, and retained that part only
which were in the flower of their age, and fit for war. However,
Antiochus would not let those that were excluded go away, who
therefore wandering about between the wails, and consuming away
by famine, died miserably; but when the feast of tabernacles was
at hand, those that were within commiserated their condition, and
received them in again. And when Hyrcanus sent to Antiochus, and
desired there might be a truce for seven days, because of the
festival, be gave way to this piety towards God, and made that
truce accordingly. And besides that, he sent in a magnificent
sacrifice, bulls with their horns gilded, with all sorts of sweet
spices, and with cups of gold and silver. So those that were at
the gates received the sacrifices from those that brought them,
and led them to the temple, Antiochus the mean while feasting his
army, which was a quite different conduct from Antiochus
Epiphanes, who, when he had taken the city, offered swine upon
the altar, and sprinkled the temple with the broth of their
flesh, in order to violate the laws of the Jews, and the religion
they derived from their forefathers; for which reason our nation
made war with him, and would never be reconciled to him; but for
this Antiochus, all men called him Antiochus the Pious, for the
great zeal he had about religion.

3. Accordingly, Hyrcanus took this moderation of his kindly; and
when he understood how religious he was towards the Deity, he
sent an embassage to him, and desired that he would restore the
settlements they received from their forefathers. So he rejected
the counsel of those that would have him utterly destroy the
nation, (23) by reason of their way of living, which was to
others unsociable, and did not regard what they said. But being
persuaded that all they did was out of a religious mind, he
answered the ambassadors, that if the besieged would deliver up
their arms, and pay tribute for Joppa, and the other cities which
bordered upon Judea, and admit a garrison of his, on these terms
he would make war against them no longer. But the Jews, although
they were content with the other conditions, did not agree to
admit the garrison, because they could not associate with other
people, nor converse with them; yet were they willing, instead of
the admission of the garrison, to give him hostages, and five
hundred talents of silver; of which they paid down three hundred,
and sent the hostages immediately, which king Antiochus accepted.
One of those hostages was Hyrcanus's brother. But still he broke
down the fortifications that encompassed the city. And upon these
conditions Antiochus broke up the siege, and departed.

4. But Hyrcanus opened the sepulcher of David, who excelled all
other kings in riches, and took out of it three thousand talents.
He was also the first of the Jews that, relying on this wealth,
maintained foreign troops. There was also a league of friendship
and mutual assistance made between them; upon which Hyrcanus
admitted him into the city, and furnished him with whatsoever his
army wanted in great plenty, and with great generosity, and
marched along with him when he made an expedition against the
Parthians; of which Nicolaus of Damascus is a witness for us; who
in his history writes thus: "When Antiochus had erected a trophy
at the river Lycus, upon his conquest of Indates, the general of
the Parthians, he staid there two days. It was at the desire of
Lyrcanus the Jew, because it was such a festival derived to them
from their forefathers, whereon the law of the Jews did not allow
them to travel." And truly he did not speak falsely in saying so;
for that festival, which we call Pentecost, did then fall out to
be the next day to the Sabbath. Nor is it lawful for us to
journey, either on the Sabbath day, or on a festival day (24) But
when Antiochus joined battle with Arsaces, the king of Parthin,
he lost a great part of his army, and was himself slain; and his
brother Demetrius succeeded in the kingdom of Syria, by the
permission of Arsaces, who freed him from his captivity at the
same time that Antiochus attacked Parthin, as we have formerly
related elsewhere.


How, After The Death Of Antiochus, Hyrcanus Made An Expedition
Against Syria, And Made A League With The Romans. Concerning The
Death Of King Demetrius And Alexander.

1. But when Hyrcanus heard of the death of Antiochus, he
presently made an expedition against the cities of Syria, hoping
to find them destitute of fighting men, and of such as were able
to defend them. However, it was not till the sixth month that he
took Medaba, and that not without the greatest distress of his
army. After this he took Samega, and the neighboring places; and
besides these, Shechem and Gerizzim, and the nation of the
Cutheans, who dwelt at the temple which resembled that temple
which was at Jerusalem, and which Alexander permitted Sanballat,
the general of his army, to build for the sake of Manasseh, who
was son-in-law to Jaddua the high priest, as we have formerly
related; which temple was now deserted two hundred years after it
was built. Hyrcanus took also Dora and Marissa, cities of Idumea,
and subdued all the Idumeans; and permitted them to stay in that
country, if they would circumcise their genitals, and make use of
the laws of the Jews; and they were so desirous of living in the
country of their forefathers, that they submitted to the use of
circumcision, (25) and of the rest of the Jewish ways of living;
at which time therefore this befell them, that they were
hereafter no other than Jews.

2. But Hyrcanus the high priest was desirous to renew that league
of friendship they had with the Romans. Accordingly, he sent an
embassage to them; and when the senate had received their
epistle, they made a league of friendship with them, after the
manner following: "Fanius, the son of Marcus, the praetor,
gathered the senate together on the eighth day before the Ides of
February, in the senate-house, when Lucius Manlius, the son of
Lucius, of the Mentine tribe, and Caius Sempronius, the son of
Caius, of the Falernian tribe, were present. The occasion was,
that the ambassadors sent by the people of the Jews (26) Simon,
the son of Dositheus, and Apollonius, the son of Alexander, and
Diodorus, the son of Jason, who were good and virtuous men, had
somewhat to propose about that league of friendship and mutual
assistance which subsisted between them and the Romans, and about
other public affairs, who desired that Joppa, and the havens, and
Gazara, and the springs [of Jordan], and the several other cities
and countries of theirs, which Antiochus had taken from them in
the war, contrary to the decree of the senate, might be restored
to them; and that it might not be lawful for the king's troops to
pass through their country, and the countries of those that are
subject to them; and that what attempts Antiochus had made during
that war, without the decree of the senate, might be made void;
and that they would send ambassadors, who should take care that
restitution be made them of what Antiochus had taken from them,
and that they should make an estimate of the country that had
been laid waste in the war; and that they would grant them
letters of protection to the kings and free people, in order to
their quiet return home. It was therefore decreed, as to these
points, to renew their league of friendship and mutual assistance
with these good men, and who were sent by a good and a friendly
people." But as to the letters desired, their answer was, that
the senate would consult about that matter when their own affairs
would give them leave; and that they would endeavor, for the time
to come, that no like injury should be done to them; and that
their praetor Fanius should give them money out of the public
treasury to bear their expenses home. And thus did Fanius dismiss
the Jewish ambassadors, and gave them money out of the public
treasury; and gave the decree of the senate to those that were to
conduct them, and to take care that they should return home in

3. And thus stood the affairs of Hyrcanus the high priest. But as
for king Demetrius, who had a mind to make war against Hyrcanus,
there was no opportunity nor room for it, while both the Syrians
and the soldiers bare ill-will to him, because he was an ill man.
But when they had sent ambassadors to Ptolemy, who was called
Physcon, that he would send them one of the family at Seleueus,
in order to take the kingdom, and he had sent them Alexander, who
was called Zebina, with an army, and there had been a battle
between them, Demetrius was beaten in the fight, and fled to
Cleopatra his wife, to Ptolemais; but his wife would not receive
him. He went thence to Tyre, and was there caught; and when he
had suffered much from his enemies before his death, he was slain
by them. So Alexander took the kingdom, and made a league with
Hyrcanus, who yet, when he afterward fought with Antiochus the
son of Demetrius, who was called Grypus, was also beaten in the
fight, and slain.


How Upon The Quarrel Between Antiochus Grypus And AntiocHus
Cyzicenus About The Kingdom Hyrcanus Tooksamaria, And Utterly
Demolished It; And How Hyrcaus Joined Himself To The Sect Of The
Sadducees, And Left That Of The Pharisees.

1. When Antiochus had taken the kingdom, he was afraid to make
war against Judea, because he heard that his brother by the same
mother, who was also called Antiochus, was raising an army
against him out of Cyzicum; so he staid in his own land, and
resolved to prepare himself for the attack he expected from his
brother, who was called Cyzicenus, because he had been brought up
in that city. He was the son of Antiochus that was called Soter,
who died in Parthia. He was the brother of Demetrius, the father
of Grypus; for it had so happened, that one and the same
Cleopatra was married to two who were brethren, as we have
related elsewhere. But Antiochus Cyzicenus coming into Syria,
continued many years at war with his brother. Now Hyrcanus lived
all this while in peace; for after the death of Antlochus, he
revolted from the Macedonians, (27) nor did he any longer pay
them the least regard, either as their subject or their friend;
but his affairs were in a very improving and flourishing
condition in the times of Alexander Zebina, and especially under
these brethren, for the war which they had with one another gave
Hyrcanus the opportunity of enjoying himself in Judea quietly,
insomuch that he got an immense quantity of money. How ever, when
Antiochus Cyzicenus distressed his land, he then openly showed
what he meant. And when he saw that Antiochus was destitute of
Egyptian auxiliaries, and that both he and his brother were in an
ill condition in the struggles they had one with another, he
despised them both.

2. So he made an expedition against Samaria which was a very
strong city; of whose present name Sebaste, and its rebuilding by
Herod, we shall speak at a proper time; but he made his attack
against it, and besieged it with a great deal of pains; for he
was greatly displeased with the Samaritans for the injuries they
had done to the people of Merissa, a colony of the Jews, and
confederate with them, and this in compliance to the kings of
Syria. When he had therefore drawn a ditch, and built a double
wall round the city, which was fourscore furlongs long, he set
his sons Antigonus and Arisrobulna over the siege; which brought
the Samaritans to that great distress by famine, that they were
forced to eat what used not to be eaten, and to call for
Antiochus Cyzicenus to help them, who came readily to their
assistance, but was beaten by Aristobulus; and when he was
pursued as far as Scythopolis by the two brethren, he got away.
So they returned to Samaria, and shut them again within the wall,
till they were forced to send for the same Antiochus a second
time to help them, who procured about six thousand men from
Ptolemy Lathyrus, which were sent them without his mother's
consent, who had then in a manner turned him out of his
government. With these Egyptians Antiochus did at first overrun
and ravage the country of Hyrcanus after the manner of a robber,
for he durst not meet him in the face to fight with him, as not
having an army sufficient for that purpose, but only from this
supposal, that by thus harassing his land he should force
Hyrcanus to raise the siege of Samaria; but because he fell into
snares, and lost many of his soldiers therein, he went away to
Tripoli, and committed the prosecution of the war against the
Jews to Callimander and Epicrates.

3. But as to Callimander, he attacked the enemy too rashly, and
was put to flight, and destroyed immediately; and as to
Epicrates, he was such a lover of money, that he openly betrayed
Scythopolis, and other places near it, to the Jews, but was not
able to make them raise the siege of Samaria. And when Hyrcanus
had taken that city, which was not done till after a year's
siege, he was not contented with doing that only, but he
demolished it entirely, and brought rivulets to it to drown it,
for he dug such hollows as might let the water run under it; nay,
he took away the very marks that there had ever been such a city
there. Now a very surprising thing is related of this high priest
Hyrcanus, how God came to discourse with him; for they say that
on the very same day on which his sons fought with Antiochus
Cyzicenus, he was alone in the temple, as high priest, offering
incense, and heard a voice, that his sons had just then overcome
Antiochus. And this he openly declared before all the multitude
upon his coming out of the temple; and it accordingly proved
true; and in this posture were the affairs of Hyrcanus.

4. Now it happened at this time, that not only those Jews who
were at Jerusalem and in Judea were in prosperity, but also those
of them that were at Alexandria, and in Egypt and Cyprus; for
Cleopatra the queen was at variance with her son Ptolemy, who was
called Lathyrus, and appointed for her generals Chelcias and
Ananias, the sons of that Onias who built the temple in the
prefecture of Heliopolis, like to that at Jerusalem, as we have
elsewhere related. Cleopatra intrusted these men with her army,
and did nothing without their advice, as Strabo of Cappadocia
attests, when he saith thus, "Now the greater part, both those
that came to Cyprus with us, and those that were sent afterward
thither, revolted to Ptolemy immediately; only those that were
called Onias's party, being Jews, continued faithful, because
their countrymen Chelcias and Ananias were in chief favor with
the queen." These are the words of Strabo.

5. However, this prosperous state of affairs moved the Jews to
envy Hyrcanus; but they that were the worst disposed to him were
the Pharisees, (28) who were one of the sects of the Jews, as we
have informed you already. These have so great a power over the
multitude, that when they say any thing against the king, or
against the high priest, they are presently believed. Now
Hyrcanus was a disciple of theirs, and greatly beloved by them.
And when he once invited them to a feast, and entertained them

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