HomeEnglishFirst Maccabees Chapter - 9 - Catholic Public Domain Version

First Maccabees Chapter – 9 – Catholic Public Domain Version

First Maccabees Chapters (English Bible : Catholic Public Domain Version – CPDV)

1 Meanwhile, when Demetrius heard that Nicanor and his army had fallen in battle, he again positioned Bacchides and Alcimus in Judea, and the right horn of his army with them.

2 And they traveled by the way that leads to Gilgal, and they set up camp in Mesaloth, which is in Arbela. And they occupied it, and they destroyed the lives of many men.

3 In the first month of the one hundred and fifty-second year, they positioned the army near Jerusalem.

4 And they rose up and went to Berea, with twenty thousand men and two thousand horsemen.

5 Now Judas had stationed his camp in Elasa, and three thousand chosen men were with him.

6 And they saw the multitude of the army, that they were many, and they became very afraid. And many withdrew themselves from the camp, and there remained of them no more than eight hundred men.

7 And Judas saw that his army had slipped away and that the battle pressed upon him, and his heart was shattered, because he did not have time to gather them together, and he was very discouraged.

8 And so, he said to those who were remaining, “Let us rise up and go against our enemies, perhaps we may be able to fight against them.”

9 But they dissuaded him, saying: “We will not be able, but let us try to save our lives and return to our brothers, and then we will fight against them. For we are but few.”

10 And Judas said: “Far be it from us, to do this thing, so as to flee away from them. But if our time has drawn near, let us die with virtue, on behalf of our brothers, and let us not inflict guilt upon our glory.”

11 And the army moved from the camp, and they stood to meet them. And the horsemen were divided into two parts, and the stone-slingers and archers went before the army, and the first ones were all powerful men, experienced in combat.

12 Moreover, Bacchides was with the right horn, and the legion drew near on both sides, and they sounded the trumpets.

13 But those also who were from the side of Judas, these also now cried out, and the earth shook at the noise of the armies. And the battle was joined from morning, even until evening.

14 And Judas saw that the stronger part of the army of Bacchides was on the right side, and all the steadfast in heart came together with him.

15 And the right part was crushed by them, and he pursued them even to Mount Azotus.

16 And those who were with the left horn saw that the right horn was crushed, and so they followed after Judas, and those who were with him, at their back.

17 And the battle was hard fought, and there fell many wounded from one side and the other.

18 And Judas fell, and the others fled away.

19 And Jonathan and Simon carried Judas, their brother, and they buried him in the sepulcher of their fathers, in the city of Modin.

20 And all the people of Israel wept for him with a great wailing, and they mourned him for many days.

21 And they said, “Such a powerful man has fallen, who accomplished the salvation of the people of Israel!”

22 But the rest of the words, about the wars of Judas, and the virtuous acts that he did, and his magnitude, have not been written. For they were very many.

23 And it happened that, after the death of Judas, the iniquitous began to emerge in all the parts of Israel, and they began to encourage all those who worked iniquity.

24 In those days, there occurred a very great famine, and the entire region handed itself over to Bacchides.

25 And Bacchides chose impious men, and he appointed them as rulers of the region.

26 And they sought out and persecuted the friends of Judas, and they led them to Bacchides, and he took vengeance on them and abused them.

27 And there occurred a great tribulation in Israel, such as had never been, since the day that there was no prophet seen in Israel.

28 And all the friends of Judas gathered together, and they said to Jonathan:

29 Since your brother Judas has fallen away, there is not a man like him to go forth against our enemies, against Bacchides and those who are the enemies of our nation.

30 And so now, we have chosen you in his place, on this day, to be our leader and commander in order to wage our wars.”

31 And so, at that time, Jonathan took upon himself the leadership, and he rose up in the place of Judas, his brother.

32 And Bacchides knew of it, and he sought to kill him.

33 And Jonathan and his brother Simon knew of this, and so did all who were with them. And they fled into the desert of Tekoa, and they settled by the water of lake Asphar.

34 And Bacchides knew of it, and on the day of the Sabbath, he himself arrived, with all his army, across the Jordan.

35 And Jonathan sent his brother, a commander of the people, to ask the Nabateans, his friends, to lend them their equipment, which was abundant.

36 And the sons of Jambri went forth from Medeba, and they captured John, and all that he had, and they went away in possession of these.

37 After these events, it was reported to Jonathan and his brother Simon that the sons of Jambri were having a great marriage celebration, and that they would be leading the bride, a daughter of one of the great leaders of Canaan, out of Medeba with great fanfare.

38 And they remembered the blood of John, their brother. And they went up and hid themselves under the cover of the mountain.

39 And they lifted up their eyes and saw. And behold, a tumult and a well-prepared multitude. And the bridegroom proceeded, with his friends and his brothers, to meet them with timbrels, and musical instruments, and many weapons.

40 And they rose up against them out of ambush, and they killed them, and there fell many wounded, and the remainder fled into the mountains, and they took all their spoils.

41 And the marriage celebration was turned into mourning, and the voice of their musical instruments into lamentation.

42 And they took revenge for the blood of their brother, and they returned to the bank of the Jordan.

43 And Bacchides heard about this, and he came on the day of the Sabbath all the way to the coast of the Jordan, with a great force.

44 And Jonathan said to his own: “Let us rise up and fight against our enemies. For it is not today, as it was yesterday, or the day before.

45 For behold, the war is before us, and truly, with the water of the Jordan here and there, and the banks, and the marshes, and the woods: there is no place for us to turn aside.

46 Therefore, cry out now to heaven so that you may be freed from the hand of your enemies.” And they joined together in warfare.

47 And Jonathan extended his hand to strike Bacchides, but he turned away from him in retreat.

48 And Jonathan, and those who were with him, leaped forward into the Jordan, and they swam across the Jordan to them.

49 And there fell from the side of Bacchides on that day one thousand men. And they returned to Jerusalem.

50 And they built fortified cities in Judea: the fortification that was in Jericho, and in Emmaus, and in Bethhoron, and in Bethel, and Timnath, and Pharathon, and Tephon, with high walls, and gates, and bars.

51 And he stationed garrisons in them, so that those in Israel became trained in warfare.

52 And he fortified the city of Bethzur, and of Gazara, and the stronghold, and he stationed auxiliaries in them, with supplies of rations.

53 And he took the sons of the leaders of the region for hostages, and put them in the stronghold in Jerusalem under guard.

54 Now in the second month of the one hundred and fifty-third year, Alcimus instructed that the walls of the inner court of the sanctuary be destroyed, and that the works of the prophets be destroyed. And he began to destroy them.

55 At that time, Alcimus was struck, and his works were hindered, and his mouth was closed shut, and he was weakened with paralysis, so that he was no longer able speak a word, nor to give orders concerning his house.

56 And Alcimus died at that time, in great torment.

57 And Bacchides saw that Alcimus was dead. And he returned to the king. And the land was quiet for two years.

58 And all the iniquitous considered together, saying, “Behold, Jonathan, and those who are with him, live in quietude and confidence. Now, therefore, let us bring forth Bacchides, and he will capture them all, in one night.”

59 So they went and gave counsel to him.

60 And he rose up, so as to advance with a great army. And he secretly sent letters to his associates who were in Judea, to seize Jonathan and those who were with him. But they were not able, for their plan became known to them.

61 And he apprehended, from the men of the region, those who were the leaders of this malice, fifty men. And he killed them.

62 And Jonathan, and Simon, and those who were with him, withdrew into Bethbasi, which is in the desert. And he repaired its breaches, and they fortified it.

63 And Bacchides knew about it, and he gathered together all his multitude. And he reported it to those who were from Judea.

64 And he came and made camp above Bethbasi, and he fought against it for many days, and he made machines of war.

65 But Jonathan left behind his brother Simon in the city, and he went out into the country, and he approached with a number of men,

66 and he struck Odomera and his brothers, and the sons of Phasiron, in their tents. And he began to slaughter and to increase in forces.

67 In truth, Simon, and those who were with him, went forth from the city and burned the machines of war,

68 and they fought against Bacchides, and he was crushed by them. And they afflicted him greatly, because his counsel and his meetings were in vain.

69 And he was angry with the men of iniquity who had given him counsel to come into their region, and he killed many of them. But he decided to depart with the remainder into their country.

70 And Jonathan knew of it, and he sent ambassadors to him to arrange a peace with him, and to restore the captives to him.

71 And he accepted it willingly, and he acted according to his words, and he swore that he would do him no evil all the days of his life.

72 And he restored to him the captives which he previously had been given from the land of Judah. And he turned back and went away into his own land, and he no longer drew near, in order to enter into their borders.

73 And so the sword ceased from Israel. And Jonathan lived in Michmash, and, in that place, Jonathan began to judge the people, and he destroyed the impious out of Israel.

Pradeep Augustine
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