First Maccabees Chapters (English Bible : Catholic Public Domain Version – CPDV)
1 And Jonathan saw that time was on his side, and he chose men, and he sent them to Rome, to confirm and renew the peace agreement with them.
2 And he sent letters to the Spartans, and to other places, according to the same form.
3 And they went to Rome and entered into the senate house, and they said, “Jonathan, the high priest, and the nation of the Jews, have sent us to renew the peace and alliance, as it was before.”
4 And they gave letters to them, to those in each place, so that they would lead them into the land of Judah with peace.
5 And this is a copy of the letters that Jonathan wrote to the Spartans:
6 Jonathan, the high priest, and the elders of the people, and the priests, and the rest of the people of the Jews, to the Spartans, their brothers: greetings.
7 Now, some time ago, letters were sent to Onias, the high priest from Arius, who reigned then among you, so that you would be our brothers, just as the copy that is written below states.
8 And Onias received the man whom you had sent with honor. And he received the letters, in which was conveyed the alliance and peace treaty.
9 We, though, have no need of these things, having for our solace the sacred books, which are in our hands.
10 We prefer to send to you, so as to renew the brotherhood and friendship, lest we should, in effect, become a stranger to you, for much time has passed since you sent to us.
11 Therefore, we will remember you, at all times without ceasing, in our solemnities and other days, when it is fitting, in the sacrifices that we offer, and in our observances, just as it is fitting and right to remember brothers.
12 And so, we rejoice at your glory.
13 But many tribulations and many wars have surrounded us, and the kings who are around us have fought against us.
14 But we are not willing to trouble you, nor the rest of our allies and friends, about these battles.
15 For we have assistance from heaven, and we have been delivered, and our enemies have been humbled.
16 And so, we have chosen Numenius, the son of Antiochus, and Antipater, the son of Jason, and we have sent them to the Romans, to renew the former peace treaty and alliance with them.
17 And so, we have commanded them to also come to you, and to greet you, and to deliver our letters to you, about the renewal of our brotherhood.
18 And now, you would do well to respond to us about these things.”
19 And this is a copy of the letters that he sent to Onias:
20 Arius, king of the Spartans, to Onias, the great priest: greetings.
21 It is found in scripture, about the Spartans and the Jews, that they are brothers, and that they are of the family of Abraham.
22 And since we know these things, you would do well to write to us about your peace.
23 But we also have written back to you that our cattle and our possessions are yours, and yours are ours. And so, we have commanded that these things should be announced to you.”
24 And Jonathan heard that the leaders from Demetrius had returned again with a greater army than before, so as to fight against him.
25 And so, he departed from Jerusalem, and he met them in the region of Hamath. For he did not give them time to enter into his own region.
26 And he sent spies into their camp, and, returning, they reported that they planned to come upon them in the night.
27 And when the sun had set, Jonathan instructed his men to stand watch, and to be in arms, ready to fight, all night long, and he stationed guards around the camp.
28 And the adversaries heard that Jonathan was prepared, with his own, for warfare. And they were struck with fear and dread in their heart. And they kindled fires in their camp.
29 But Jonathan, and those who were with him, did not know about it until morning. For they saw the lights burning.
30 And Jonathan pursued them, but did not overtake them. For they had crossed the river Eleutherus.
31 And Jonathan diverted toward the Arabians, who are called Zabadeans. And he struck them and took their spoils.
32 And he regrouped and came to Damascus, and he passed through all that region.
33 But Simon went forth and came as far as Askalon, and the nearby fortresses, but he turned aside to Joppa and occupied it,
34 (for he had heard that they intended to hand over the fortress that was on the side of Demetrius) and he stationed a guard there to keep it.
35 And Jonathan returned, and he called together the elders of the people, and he decided with them to build fortresses in Judea,
36 and to build up the walls in Jerusalem, and to raise a great height between the stronghold and the city, in order to separate it from the city, so that it would stand alone and would have neither buying, nor selling there.
37 And they came together to build up the city. And the wall that was over the brook, toward the rising of the sun, was fallen. And he repaired that which is called Chaphenatha.
38 And Simon rebuilt Adida in Shephelah, and he fortified it, and he set up gates and bars.
39 And so, when Trypho had decided to reign over Asia, and to assume the diadem, and to extend his hand against king Antiochus,
40 he was afraid, lest Jonathan might not permit him, but might fight against him. So he sought to seize him and to kill him. And he rose up and went to Bethshan.
41 And Jonathan went out to meet him with forty thousand men chosen for battle, and he came to Bethshan.
42 And when Trypho saw that Jonathan came with a great army to extend his hand against him, he was afraid.
43 And so he received him with honor, and he commended him to all his friends, and he gave him gifts. And he instructed his troops to obey him, just as himself.
44 And he said to Jonathan: “Why have you troubled all the people, when there is no war between us?
45 And now, send them back to their houses, but choose for yourself a few men, who may remain with you, and come with me to Ptolemais, and I will deliver it to you, and the rest of the fortresses, and the army, and all who are in charge of governing, and I will turn and go away. For this is the reason that I came.”
46 And Jonathan believed him, and he did as he said. And he sent away his army, and they departed into the land of Judah.
47 But he retained with him three thousand men, of whom he sent two thousand into Galilee, and one thousand came with him.
48 But when Jonathan entered into Ptolemais, those of Ptolemais closed the gates of the city, and they captured him. And all those who entered with him, they executed with the sword.
49 And Trypho sent an army and horsemen into Galilee, and into the great plain, to destroy all the associates of Jonathan.
50 But, when they had thought that Jonathan had been captured and slain, along with all who were with him, they encouraged one another, and they went out prepared for battle.
51 Then those who had pursued them, seeing that they stood for their lives, were turned back.
52 And so, they all came into the land of Judah with peace. And they bewailed Jonathan, and those who had been with him, exceedingly. And Israel mourned with great lamentation.
53 Then all the nations that were all around them sought to crush them. For they said:
54 They have no leader or helper. Now therefore, let us fight against them and take away the memory of them from among men.