1 Maccabees - 16


1John then went up from Gezer and reported to his father Simon what Cendebaeus was busy doing. 2At this, Simon summoned his two elder sons, Judas and John, and said to them, 'My brothers and I,and my father's House, have fought the enemies of Israel from our youth until today, and many a time we havebeen successful in rescuing Israel. 3But now I am an old man, while you, by the mercy of Heaven, are the right age; take the place of mybrother and myself, go out and fight for our nation, and may Heaven's aid be with you.' 4He then selected twenty thousand of the country's fighting men and cavalry, and these marchedagainst Cendebaeus, spending the night at Modein. 5Making an early start, they marched into the plain, to find a large army opposing them, both infantryand cavalry; there was, however, a stream-bed in between. 6John drew up facing them, he and his army and, seeing that the men were afraid to cross the stream-bed, crossed over first himself. When his men saw this, they too crossed after him. 7He divided his army into two, with the cavalry in the centre and the infantry on either flank, as the opposing cavalry was very numerous. 8The trumpets rang out; Cendebaeus and his army were put to flight, many of them fal ing mortal ywounded and the rest of them fleeing to the fortress. 9Then it was that Judas, John's brother, was wounded, but John pursued them until Cendebaeusreached Kedron, which he had rebuilt. 10Their flight took them as far as the towers in the countryside of Azotus, and John burnt these down.The enemy losses amounted to ten thousand men; John returned safely to Judaea. 11Ptolemy son of Abubos had been appointed general in command of the Plain of Jericho; he owned agreat deal of silver and gold, 12and was the high priest's son-in-law. 13His ambition was fired; he hoped to make himself master of the whole country and thereforetreacherously began to plot the destruction of Simon and his sons. 14Simon, who was inspecting the towns up and down the country and attending to their administration,had come down to Jericho with his sons Mattathias and Judas, in the year 172, in the eleventh month, the monthof Shebat. 15The son of Abubos lured them into a smal fortress cal ed Dok, which he had built, where he offeredthem a great banquet, having previously hidden men in the place. 16When Simon and his sons were drunk, Ptolemy and his men reached for their weapons, rushed onSimon in the banqueting hall and killed him with his two sons and some of his servants. 17He thus committed a great act of treachery and rendered evil for good. 18Ptolemy wrote a report of the affair and sent it to the king, in the expectation of being sentreinforcements and of having the cities and the province made over to him. 19He also sent people to Gezer to murder John, and sent written orders to the military commanders tocome to him so that he could give them silver, gold and presents; 20and he also sent others to seize control of Jerusalem and the Temple mount. 21But someone had been too quick for him and had already informed John in Gezer that his father andbrothers had perished, adding, 'He is sending someone to kil you too!' 22Overcome as John was by the news, he arrested the men who had come to kil him and put them todeath, being forewarned of their murderous design. 23The rest of John's acts, the battles he fought and the exploits he performed, the city wal s he built,and all his other achievements, 24from the day he succeeded his father as high priest, are recorded in the annals of his pontificate.
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