First Maccabees Chapters (English Bible : Catholic Public Domain Version – CPDV)
1 And in the one hundred and sixtieth year, Alexander, the son of Antiochus, who was surnamed the illustrious, came up and occupied Ptolemais, and they received him, and he reigned there.
2 And king Demetrius heard of it, and he gathered together an exceedingly great army, and he went forth to meet him in battle.
3 And Demetrius sent a letter to Jonathan, with peaceful words, to magnify him.
4 For he said, “Let us first make a peace with him, before he makes one with Alexander against us.
5 For he will remember all the evils that we have done to him, and to his brother, and to his nation.”
6 And he gave him the authority to gather together an army, and to fabricate weapons, so that he would be his associate. And the hostages who were in the stronghold, he ordered to be handed over to him.
7 And Jonathan came to Jerusalem, and he read the letters in the hearing of all the people and of those who were in the stronghold.
8 And they were struck with a great fear, because they heard that the king gave him the authority to gather together an army.
9 And the hostages were handed over to Jonathan, and he restored them to their parents.
10 And Jonathan lived in Jerusalem, and he began to rebuild and repair the city.
11 And he told those doing the work to build up the walls, and mount Zion, all around, with square stones, as a fortification. And they did so.
12 Then the foreigners, who were in the fortifications that Bacchides had built, fled away.
13 And each one abandoned his place and departed into his own land.
14 Only in Bethzur did there remain some others of these, who had forsaken the law and the precepts of God. For this was a refuge for them.
15 And king Alexander heard of the promises that Demetrius promised to Jonathan. And they described the battles to him, and the virtuous deeds that he and his brothers had done, and the hardships that they had endured.
16 And he said: “Would we ever find another such man? And so now, let us make him our friend and our associate.”
17 And so, he wrote a letter, and he sent it to him, according to these words, saying:
18 King Alexander to his brother, Jonathan: greetings.
19 We have heard of you, that you are a man of power and strength, and that you are fit to be our friend.
20 And so now, on this day, we appoint that you be high priest of your people, and that you be called the king’s friend, (and he sent him a purple robe, and a crown of gold,) and that you be of one mind with us in our affairs, and that you keep friendship with us.”
21 Then Jonathan clothed himself with the holy vestment, in the seventh month, in the one hundred and sixtieth year, on the solemn day of the Feast of Tabernacles. And he gathered together an army, and he made an abundance of weapons.
22 And Demetrius heard these words, and he was exceedingly sorrowful, and he said:
23 What have we done in this, that Alexander has gone before us to obtain the friendship of the Jews to strengthen himself?
24 I also will write to them words of petition, and offer positions of rank and gifts, so that they may act in assistance to me.”
25 And he wrote to them in these words: “King Demetrius to the nation of the Jews: greetings.
26 Since you have kept the peace with us, and have remained in our friendship, and have not made agreements with our enemies, we have heard of this, and we are glad.
27 And so now, persevere still to remain faithful to us, and we will reward you with good things for what you have done for us.
28 And we will repay you for your many expenses, and we will give you gifts.
29 And now, I release you, and all the Jews, from tributes, and I grant to you the payments of salt, and I send back the crowns and the thirds of the seed.
30 And the one half portion of the fruit from the trees, which is my share, I relinquish to you from this day and hereafter, so that it shall not be taken from the land of Judah, nor from the three cities that have been added to it from Samaria and Galilee, from this day and for all time.
31 And let Jerusalem be holy and free within its borders, and let the tenths and tributes be for itself.
32 And I even return authority over the stronghold, which is in Jerusalem, and I give it to the high priest, in order to appoint in it any such men as he will choose, who will guard it.
33 And every soul of the Jews who were taken captive from the land of Judah in all my kingdom, I set at liberty without charge, so that they are all released from tributes, even of their cattle.
34 And all the days of solemnities, and the Sabbaths, and the new moons, and the decreed days, and the three days before the solemn day, and three days after the solemn day, shall all be days of immunity and remission for all the Jews who are in my kingdom.
35 And no one will have the authority to do anything, or to incite any plots, against any of them, in all cases.
36 And let there be enrolled from the Jews, into the army of the king, up to thirty thousand men. And allowances shall be given to them, just as is due to all the king’s army. And some of them shall be appointed to be in the fortresses of the great king.
37 And some of them shall be set over the affairs of the kingdom, those who act with faith, and let the leaders be from them, and let them walk by their own laws, just as the king has commanded in the land of Judah.
38 And the three cities that have been added to Judea from the region of Samaria, let them be counted with Judea, so that they may be united as one, and so that they may obey no other authority, except the high priest.
39 Ptolemais and its confines, I give as a free gift to the holy places that are in Jerusalem, for the necessary expenses of the holy things.
40 And I give, every year, fifteen thousand shekels of silver from the allotment of the king, from what belongs to me.
41 And all that has been left over, which those who were set over the affairs in prior years have not paid: from this time, they will give it to the works of the house.
42 And beyond this, they shall receive five thousand shekels of silver from the allotment of the holy places each year, and this will belong to the priests who perform the ministry.
43 And whoever will flee into the temple that is in Jerusalem, or in any of its parts, being liable before the king in any matter, let them be released, and all that is theirs in my kingdom, let them have it freely.
44 And as to the works of rebuilding and repairing the holy places, the expenses shall be given from the king’s revenues.
45 And as to the raising of the walls of Jerusalem and the fortifications all around it, the expenses shall be given from the king’s revenues, as also for the building of the walls in Judea.”
46 So when Jonathan and the people heard these words, they did not believe or accept them, because they remembered the great malice that he had done in Israel, for he had troubled them greatly.
47 And so they were pleased with Alexander, because he had been to them a leader with words of peace, and they were of assistance to him every day.
48 And so king Alexander gathered together a great army, and he moved his camp against Demetrius.
49 And the two kings joined together in battle, and the army of Demetrius fled away, and Alexander followed after him, and he closed in on them.
50 And the battle was hard fought, until the sun went down. And Demetrius was slain on that day.
51 And Alexander sent ambassadors to Ptolemy, the king of Egypt, according to these words, saying:
52 Know that I have returned to my kingdom, and I am seated upon the throne of my fathers, and I have obtained the leadership, and I have crushed Demetrius, and I have taken possession of our country,
53 and I have joined battle with him, and both he and his camp have been crushed by us, and we are seated on the throne of his kingdom.
54 And now, let us establish a friendship with one with another. And give me your daughter as a wife, and I will be your son-in-law, and I will give gifts that are worthy of you, to both you and her.”
55 And king Ptolemy responded by saying: “Happy is the day on which you were returned to the land of your fathers, and you sat on the throne of their kingdom.
56 And now, I will do for you as you have written. But meet with me at Ptolemais, so that we may see one another, and so that I may espouse her to you, just as you have said.”
57 And so Ptolemy departed from Egypt, both he and his daughter Cleopatra, and he arrived at Ptolemais in the one hundred and sixty-second year.
58 And king Alexander met him, and he gave him Cleopatra, his daughter. And he celebrated her marriage at Ptolemais with great glory, just as befits kings.
59 And king Alexander wrote to Jonathan, that he should come to meet him.
60 And he went forth with glory to Ptolemais, and he met the two kings there, and he gave them much silver, and gold, and gifts. And he found favor in their sight.
61 And some of the pestilent men of Israel, men of iniquity, came together against him, interrupting with objections against him. And the king did not attend to them.
62 And he ordered that Jonathan’s garments be taken away from him, and that he be clothed in purple. And they did so. And the king arranged for him to sit with him.
63 And he said to his princes, “Go out with him into the midst of the city, and make a proclamation, so that no one may raise objections against him in any matter, and so that no one may bother him for any reason.”
64 And so it happened that, when his accusers saw his glory being proclaimed, and him clothed in purple, they all fled away.
65 And the king magnified him, and he enrolled him among his foremost friends, and he gave him a position as governor and as a participant in his dominion.
66 And Jonathan returned to Jerusalem with peace and joy.
67 In the one hundred and sixty-fifth year, Demetrius, the son of Demetrius, came from Crete into the land of his fathers.
68 And king Alexander heard of it, and he was very sorrowful, and he returned to Antioch.
69 And king Demetrius appointed Apollonius as his general, who was in charge of Coelesyria. And he gathered together a great army, and he drew near to Jamnia. And he sent to Jonathan, the high priest,
70 saying: “You alone resist us, and so I have been brought to derision and disgrace, because you exercise your power against us in the mountains.
71 Now, therefore, if you trust in your forces, descend to us in the plains, and there let us contest one another. For the power of war is with me.
72 Inquire, and learn who I am, and the others, who are auxiliaries to me, who also say that your feet cannot stand before our face, for your fathers have twice been put to flight in their own land.
73 And now, how will you be able to withstand the horsemen, and so great an army in the plains, where there is no stone, or rock, or place to flee?”
74 But when Jonathan heard the words of Apollonius, he was moved in his soul. And he chose ten thousand men, and he departed from Jerusalem, and Simon, his brother, met him to help him.
75 And they positioned their tents near Joppa, but they excluded him from the city, because a garrison from Apollonius was in Joppa. And so, he attacked it.
76 And those who were in the city, being terrified, opened to him. And so Jonathan obtained Joppa.
77 And Apollonius heard of it, and he moved three thousand horsemen, and a great army.
78 And he went toward Azotus, like one making a journey, but he suddenly departed into the plains, because he had a great number of horsemen, and he trusted in them. And Jonathan followed after him to Azotus, and they joined together in battle.
79 And Apollonius secretly left behind them in the camp a thousand horsemen.
80 And Jonathan realized that there was an ambush behind him, and they surrounded his camp, and they cast darts at the people from morning until evening.
81 But the people stood firm, just as Jonathan had instructed them, and their horses suffered hardships.
82 Then Simon drew forth his army, and he sent them against the legion. For the horsemen were wearied. And they were crushed by him, and they fled.
83 And those who were scattered throughout the plains fled to Azotus, and they entered into Bethdagon, so that, by their idol in that place, they might save themselves.
84 But Jonathan set fire to Azotus and to the cities that were all around it, and he captured their spoils and the temple of Dagon. And he burned with fire all those who had fled into it.
85 And so it was that those who fell by the sword, with those who were burned, were nearly eight thousand men.
86 And Jonathan, removed his encampment from there, and he took up a position against Askalon. And they went out of the city to meet him with great glory.
87 And Jonathan returned to Jerusalem with his own, having many spoils.
88 And it happened that, when king Alexander heard these words, he added still more glory to Jonathan.
89 And he sent him a clasp of gold, as is customary to be given to those who are of royal lineage. And he gave him Ekron, and all its borders, as a possession.