1 Maccabees - 13


1Simon heard that Trypho had col ected a large army to invade and devastate Judaea, 2and when he saw how the people were quaking with fear, he went up to Jerusalem, cal ed the peopletogether, 3and exhorted them thus, 'You know yourselves how much I and my brothers and my father's familyhave done for the laws and the sanctuary; you know what wars and hardships we have experienced. 4That is why my brothers are all dead, for Israel's sake, and I am the only one left. 5Far be it from me, then, to be sparing of my own life in any time of oppression, for I am not worth morethan my brothers. 6Rather wil I avenge my nation and the sanctuary and your wives and children, now that the foreignersare al united in malice to destroy us.' 7The people's spirit rekindled as they listened to his words, 8and they shouted back at him, 'You are our leader in place of Judas and your brother Jonathan. 9Fight our battles for us, and we wil do whatever you tel us.' 10So he assembled al the fighting men and hurried on with completing the wal s of Jerusalem,fortifying the whole perimeter. 11He sent a considerable force to Joppa under Jonathan son of Absalom who drove out the inhabitantsand remained there in occupation. 12Trypho now left Ptolemais with a large army to invade Judaea, taking Jonathan with him underguard. 13Simon pitched camp in Adida, facing the plain. 14When Trypho learned that Simon had taken the place of his brother Jonathan and that he intendedto join battle with him, he sent envoys to him with this message, 15'Your brother Jonathan was in debt to the royal exchequer for the offices he held; that is why we aredetaining him. 16If you send a hundred talents of silver and two of his sons as hostages, to make sure that on hisrelease he does not revolt against us, we shal release him.' 17Although Simon was aware that the message was a ruse, he sent for the money and the boys forfear of incurring great hostility from the people, 18who would have said that Jonathan had died because Simon would not send Trypho the money andthe children. 19He therefore sent both the boys and the hundred talents, but Trypho broke his word and did notrelease Jonathan. 20Next, Trypho set about the invasion and devastation of the country; he made a detour along theAdora road, but Simon and his army confronted him wherever he attempted to go. 21The men in the Citadel kept sending messengers to Trypho, urging him to get through to them byway of the desert and send them supplies. 22Trypho organised his entire cavalry to go, but that night it snowed so heavily that he could not getthrough for the snow, so he left there and moved off into Gilead. 23As he approached Baskama he kil ed Jonathan, who was buried there. 24Trypho turned back and regained his own country. 25Simon sent and recovered the bones of his brother Jonathan, and buried him in Modein, the town ofhis ancestors. 26Al Israel kept solemn mourning for him and long bewailed him. 27Over the tomb of his father and brothers, Simon raised a monument high enough to catch the eye,using dressed stone back and front. 28He erected seven pyramids facing each other, for his father and mother and his four brothers, 29surrounding them with a structure consisting of tal columns surmounted by trophies of arms to theireverlasting memory and, beside the trophies of arms, ships sculpted on a scale to be seen by al who sail thesea. 30Such was the monument he constructed at Modein, and it is stil there today. 31Now Trypho, betraying the trust of young King Antiochus, put him to death. 32He usurped his throne, assuming the crown of Asia, and brought great havoc on the country. 33Simon built up the fortresses of Judaea, surrounding them with high towers, great wal s and gateswith bolts, and stocked these fortresses with food. 34He also sent a delegation to King Demetrius, to get him to grant the province a remission, since alTrypho did was to despoil. 35King Demetrius replied to his request in a letter framed as fol ows: 36'King Demetrius to Simon, high priest and Friend of Kings, and to the elders and nation of the Jews,greetings. 37'It has pleased us to accept the golden crown and the palm you have sent us, and we are disposedto make a general peace with you, and to write to the officials to grant you remissions. 38Everything that we have decreed concerning you remains in force, and the fortresses you have builtmay remain in your hands. 39We pardon all offences, unwitting or intentional, hitherto committed, and remit the crown tax you nowowe us; and whatever other taxes were levied in Jerusalem are no longer to be levied. 40If any of you are suitable for enrolment in our bodyguard, let them be enrol ed, and let there bepeace between us.' 41The gentile yoke was thus lifted from Israel in the year 170, 42when our people began engrossing their documents and contracts: 'In the first year of Simon,eminent high priest, commander-in-chief and ethnarch of the Jews'. 43About that time Simon laid siege to Gezer, surrounding it with his troops. He constructed a mobiletower, brought it up to the city, opened a breach in one of the bastions and took it. 44The men in the mobile tower sprang out into the city, where great confusion ensued. 45The citizens, accompanied by their wives and children, mounted the ramparts with their garmentstorn and loudly implored Simon to make peace with them: 46'Treat us', they said, 'not as our wickedness deserves, but as your mercy prompts you.' 47Simon came to terms with them and stopped the fighting; but he expel ed them from the city, purifiedthe houses which contained idols, and then made his entry with songs of praise. 48He banished al impurity from it, settled in it people who observed the Law, and having fortified it,built a residence there for himself. 49The occupants of the Citadel in Jerusalem, prevented as they were from coming out and going intothe countryside to buy and sel , were in desperate need of food, and numbers of them were being carried off bystarvation. 50They begged Simon to make peace with them, and he granted this, though he expel ed them andpurified the Citadel from its pollutions. 51The Jews made their entry on the twenty-third day of the second month in the year 171, withacclamations and carrying palms, to the sound of lyres, cymbals and harps, chanting hymns and canticles, sincea great enemy had been crushed and thrown out of Israel. Simon made it a day of annual rejoicing. 52He fortified the Temple hil on the Citadel side, and took up residence there with his men. 53Since his son John had come to manhood, Simon appointed him general-in-chief, with his residencein Gezer.
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