First Maccabees Chapters (English Bible : Catholic Public Domain Version – CPDV)
1 In the one hundred and seventy-second year, king Demetrius gathered together his army, and he went into Media to obtain auxiliaries to fight against Trypho.
2 And Arsaces, the king of Persia and Media, heard that Demetrius entered his confines, and so he sent one of his princes to capture him alive and to bring him to him.
3 And he went out and struck the camp of Demetrius. And captured him and brought him to Arsaces, and he placed him under guard.
4 And the entire land of Judah was quiet during all the days of Simon, and he sought what was good for his people. And his power and his glory pleased them through all his days.
5 And, with all his glory, he accepted Joppa as a port, and he made it an entrance to the islands of the sea.
6 And he enlarged the boundaries of his nation, and he controlled the countryside.
7 And he gathered together many captives, and he was the ruler of Gazara and Bethzur, and the stronghold. And he took uncleanness away from it, and there was no one who could withstand him.
8 And each one cultivated his land in peace, and the land of Judah produced its fruits, and the trees of the fields their fruit.
9 All the elders sat in the streets, and they discussed what was good for the country, and the youths clothed themselves in glory and in the robes of war.
10 And he gave tributes of provisions to the cities, and he decreed that they would have equipment for fortification, so that the fame of his glory was renowned, even to the ends of the earth.
11 He caused there to be peace over the land, and Israel was rejoicing with great joy.
12 And each one sat under his vine and under his fig tree. And there was no one who would terrify them.
13 There was nothing left of those who might fight against them in the land; kings had been crushed in those days.
14 And he confirmed all the humble of his people, and he sought the law, and he took away every iniquity and evil.
15 He glorified the sanctuary, and he multiplied the vessels of the holy places.
16 And it was heard at Rome, and even in Sparta, that Jonathan had passed away. And they were very sorrowful.
17 But when they heard that Simon, his brother, had been made high priest in his place, and that he obtained the entire country and the cities in it,
18 they wrote to him on tablets of brass, so as to renew the friendship and alliance, which they had made with Judas and with Jonathan, his brothers.
19 And they were read in the sight of the assembly at Jerusalem. And this is a copy of the letters that the Spartans sent:
20 The leaders and the cities of the Spartans, to Simon, the great priest, and to the elders, and the priests, and the rest of the people of the Jews, their brothers: greetings.
21 The ambassadors who were sent to our people have reported to us of your glory, and honor, and rejoicing. And we were glad at their arrival.
22 And we wrote down what was said by them in the councils of the people, as follows: ‘Numenius, the son of Antiochus, and Antipater, the son of Jason, ambassadors of the Jews, came to us to renew the former friendship with us.
23 And it pleased the people to receive the men gloriously, and to place a copy of their words in a section of the public books, so as to be a memorial for the people of the Spartans. Furthermore, we have written a copy of them to Simon, the great priest.’ “
24 But after this, Simon sent Numenius to Rome, in possession of a great shield of gold, weighing over a thousand pounds, to confirm the association with them.
25 But when the people of Rome had heard these words, they said: “With what deeds of thanksgiving shall we repay Simon and his sons?
26 For he has vindicated his brothers, and he has fought off the enemies of Israel from them.” And so, they decreed him free, and they registered it on tablets of brass and placed it in an inscription on mount Zion.
27 And this is a copy of the writing: “On the eighteenth day of the month Elul, in the one hundred and seventy-second year, the third year under Simon, the great priest at Asaramel,
28 in a great convocation of the priests, and the people, and the leaders of the nation, and the elders of the country, these things were noted: ‘Now there have often been battles in our country.
29 And Simon, the son of Mattathias, of the sons of Jarib, and his brothers, have put themselves in danger, and have withstood the enemies of their nation, so as to establish their holy places and the law. And they have glorified their people with great glory.
30 And Jonathan gathered together his nation, and he was made their great priest, and he was laid to rest among his people.
31 And their enemies wanted to trample and lay waste to their country, and to extend their hands against their holy places.
32 Then Simon resisted, and he fought for his nation, and he requested much money, and he armed the valiant men of his nation and gave them wages.
33 And he fortified the cities of Judea and Bethzur, which are along the borders of Judea, where the weaponry of the enemies was before. And he placed a garrison of Jewish men there.
34 And he fortified Joppa, which is by the sea, and Gazara, which is on the border of Azotus, where the enemies stayed before, and he placed Jews there. And he positioned with them whatever was fitting for their preparations.
35 And the people saw the acts of Simon, and the glory that he intended to bring to his nation, and they made him their commander and first priest, because he had done all these things, and because of the justice and faith that he maintained for his nation, and because he sought to exalt his people by all means.
36 And in his days, there was prosperity by his hands, so that the Gentiles were taken away from their country, and also those who were in the city of David, in Jerusalem, in the stronghold, from which they went out and contaminated all the places that were around the sanctuary, and from which they brought a great scourging against chastity.
37 And he placed in it Jewish men, as a means of protection for the region and the city, and he raised the walls of Jerusalem.
38 And king Demetrius confirmed him in the high priesthood.
39 According to these things, he made him his friend, and he glorified him with great glory.
40 For he heard that the Romans had called the Jews their friends, and associates, and brothers, and that they received the ambassadors of Simon with glory,
41 and that the Jews and their priests had consented that he should be their governor and high priest unceasingly, until there should arise a faithful prophet,
42 and that he should be the commander over them, and that he should take care of the sanctuary, and that he should appoint foremen over their works, and over the country, and over the weapons, and over the strongholds,
43 and that he should take care of the holy places, and that he should be obeyed by all, and that all the records in the country should be recorded in his name, and that he should be clothed in purple and gold,
44 and that it should not be lawful for any of the people or the priests to make void any of these things, nor to contradict things that are said by him, nor to call together an assembly in the country without him, nor to be clothed in purple, nor to use a clasp of gold.
45 And whoever will do otherwise, or who will make void any of these things, shall be guilty.
46 And it pleased all the people to appoint Simon, and to act according to these words.
47 And Simon accepted it, and he was pleased to perform the office of the high priesthood, and to be the commander and leader of the people of the Jews, and of the priests, and to be foremost over them all.
48 And they asked that this writing be placed on tablets of brass, and be placed within the precinct of the sanctuary in a celebrated place,
49 and that a copy of these be placed in the treasury, so that Simon and his sons may have it.’ “