First Maccabees Chapters (English Bible : World English Bible – British Edition – WEBBE)
1 And in the hundred and sixties year Alexander Epiphanes, the son of Antiochus, went up and took possession of Ptolemais: and they received him, and he reigned there.
2 And king Demetrius heard thereof, and he gathered together exceedingly great forces, and went forth to meet him in battle.
3 And Demetrius sent letters to Jonathan with words of peace, so as to magnify him.
4 For he said, let’s go beforehand to make peace with them, before he makes peace with Alexander against us:
5 for he will remember all the evils that we have done against him, and to his kindred and to his nation.
6 And he gave him authority to gather together forces, and to provide arms, and that he should be his ally: and he commanded that they should deliver up to him the hostages that were in the citadel.
7 And Jonathan came to Jerusalem, and read the letters in the audience of all the people, and of those who were in the citadel:
8 and they were sore afraid, when they heard that the king had given him authority to gather together an army.
9 And they of the citadel delivered up the hostages to Jonathan, and he restored them to their parents.
10 And Jonathan lived in Jerusalem, and began to build and renew the city.
11 And he commanded those who did the work to build the walls and the mount Sion round about with square stones for defence; and they did so.
12 And the strangers, that were in the strongholds which Bacchides had built, fled away;
13 and each man left his place, and departed into his own land.
14 Only at Bethsura were there left certain of those that had forsaken the law and the commandments; for it was a place of refuge to them.
15 And king Alexander heard all the promises which Demetrius had sent to Jonathan: and they told him of the battles and the valiant deeds which he and his kindred had done, and of the toils which they had endured;
16 And he said, Shall we find such another man? and now we will make him our Friend and ally.
17 And he wrote letters, and sent them to him, according to these words, saying,
18 King Alexander to his brother Jonathan, greeting:
19 We have heard of you, that you are a mighty man of valour, and meet to be our Friend.
20 And now we have appointed you this day to be high priest of your nation, and to be called the king’s Friend (and he sent to him a purple robe and a crown of gold), and to take our part, and to keep friendship with us.
21 And Jonathan put on the holy garments in the seventh month of the hundred and sixties year, at the feast of tabernacles, and he gathered together forces, and provided arms in abundance.
22 And Demetrius heard these things, and he was grieved, and said,
23 What is this that we have done, that Alexander has been beforehand with us in establishing friendship with the Jews, to strengthen himself?
24 I also will write to them words of encouragement and of honour and of gifts, that they may be with me to aid me.
25 And he sent to them according to these words: King Demetrius to the nation of the Jews, greeting:
26 Forasmuch as you° have kept your covenants with us, and continued in our friendship, and have not joined yourselves to our enemies, we have heard of this, and are glad.
27 And now continue you° still to keep faith with us, and we will recompense to you good things in return for your dealings with us,
28 and will grant you many immunities, and give you gifts.
29 And now do I free you, and release all the Jews, from the tributes, and from the customs of salt, and from the crowns.
30 And instead of the third part of the seed, and instead of the half of the fruit of the trees, which falls to me to receive, I release it from this day and henceforth, so that I will not take it from the land of Judah, and from the three governments which are added thereto from the country of Samaria and Galilee, from this day forth and for all time.
31 And let Jerusalem be holy and free, and her borders; the tenths and the tolls also.
32 I yield up also my authority over the citadel which is at Jerusalem, and give it to the high priest, that he may appoint in it such men as he shall choose to keep it.
33 And every soul of the Jews, that has been carried captive from the land of Judah into any part of my kingdom, I set at liberty without price; and let all remit the tributes of their cattle also.
34 And all the feasts, and the Sabbaths, and new moons, and appointed days, and three days before a feast, and three days after a feast, let them all be days of immunity and release for all the Jews that are in my kingdom.
35 And no man shall have authority to exact from any of them, or to trouble them concerning any matter.
36 And let there be enrolled amongst the king’s forces about thirty thousand men of the Jews, and pay shall be given to them, as belongs to all the king’s forces.
37 And of them some shall be placed in the king’s great strongholds, and some of them shall be placed over the affairs of the kingdom, which are of trust: and let those that are over them, and their rulers, be of themselves, and let them walk after their own laws, even as the king has commanded in the land of Judah.
38 And the three governments that have been added to Judea from the country of Samaria, let them be added to Judea, that they may be reckoned to be under one, that they may not obey other authority than the high priest’s.
39 As for Ptolemais, and the land pertaining thereto, I have given it as a gift to the sanctuary that is at Jerusalem, for the expenses that befit the sanctuary.
40 And I give every year fifteen thousand shekels of silver from the king’s revenues from the places that are convenient.
41 And all the overplus, which those who manage the king’s affairs paid not in as in the first years, they shall give from henceforth towards the works of the house.
42 And beside this, the five thousand shekels of silver, which they received from the uses of the sanctuary from the revenue year by year, this also is released, because it appertains to the priests that minister.
43 And whoever shall flee to the temple that is at Jerusalem, and be found within all the borders thereof, whether one owe moneys to the king, or any other matter, let them go free, and all that they have in my kingdom.
44 And for the building and renewing of the works of the sanctuary the expense shall be given also out of the king’s revenue.
45 And for the building of the walls of Jerusalem, and the fortifying thereof round about, shall the expense be given also out of the king’s revenue, and for the building of the walls in Judea.
46 Now when Jonathan and the people heard these words, they gave no credence to them, nor received them, because they remembered the great evil which he had done in Israel, and that he had afflicted them very sore.
47 And they were well pleased with Alexander, because he was the first that spoke words of peace to them, and they were allies with him always.
48 And king Alexander gathered together great forces, and encamped near Demetrius.
49 And the two kings joined battle, and the army of Alexander fled; and Demetrius followed after him, and prevailed against them.
50 And he strengthened the battle exceedingly until the sun went down: and Demetrius fell that day.
51 And Alexander sent ambassadors to Ptolemy king of Egypt according to these words, saying,
52 Forasmuch as I am returned to my kingdom, and am set on the throne of my fathers, and have gotten the dominion, and have overthrown Demetrius, and have gotten possession of our country;
53 yes, I joined the battle with him, and he and his army were discomfited by us, and we sat upon the throne of his kingdom:
54 now also let’s make friends with one another, and give me now your daughter to wife: and I will be joined with you, and will give both you and her gifts worthy of you.
55 And Ptolemy the king answered, saying, Happy is the day wherein you did return into the land of your fathers, and did sit on the throne of their kingdom.
56 And now I will do to you, as you have written: but meet me at Ptolemais, that we may see one another; and I will join with you, even as you have said.
57 And Ptolemy went out of Egypt, himself and Cleopatra his daughter, and came to Ptolemais in the hundred and threescore and second year:
58 and king Alexander met him, and he bestowed on him his daughter Cleopatra, and celebrated her wedding at Ptolemais with great pomp, as the manner of kings is.
59 And king Alexander wrote to Jonathan, that he should come to meet him.
60 And he went with pomp to Ptolemais, and met the two kings, and gave them and their Friends silver and gold, and many gifts, and found favour in their sight.
61 And there were gathered together against him certain pestilent fellows out of Israel, men that were transgressors of the law, to complain against him: and the king gave no heed to them.
62 And the king commanded, and they took off Jonathan’s garments, and clothed him in purple: and thus they did.
63 And the king made him sit with him, and said to his princes, Go forth with him into the midst of the city, and make proclamation, that no man complain against him of any matter, and let no man trouble him for any manner of cause.
64 And it came to pass, when those who complained against him saw his glory according as the herald made proclamation, and saw him clothed in purple, they all fled away.
65 And the king gave him honour, and wrote him amongst his Chief Friends, and made him a captain, and governor of a province.
66 And Jonathan returned to Jerusalem with peace and gladness.
67 And in the hundred and threescore and fifth year came Demetrius, son of Demetrius, out of Crete into the land of his fathers:
68 and king Alexander heard thereof, and he grieved exceedingly, and returned to Antioch.
69 And Demetrius appointed Apollonius, who was over Coelesyria, and he gathered together a great army, and encamped in Jamnia, and sent to Jonathan the high priest, saying,
70 You alone lift up yourself against us, but I am had in derision and in reproach because of you. And why do you vaunt your power against us in the mountains?
71 Now therefore, if you trust in your forces, come down to us into the plain, and there let’s try the matter together; for with me is the power of the cities.
72 Ask and learn who I am, and the rest that help us; and they say, Your foot can’t stand before our face; for your fathers have been twice put to flight in their own land.
73 And now you shall not be able to withstand the horse and such an army as this in the plain, where is neither stone nor flint, nor place to flee to.
74 Now when Jonathan heard the words of Apollonius, he was moved in his mind, and he chose out ten thousand men, and went forth from Jerusalem, and Simon his brother met him for to help him.
75 And he encamped against Joppa: and they of the city shut him out, because Apollonius had a garrison in Joppa:
76 and they fought against it. And they of the city were afraid, and opened to him: and Jonathan became master of Joppa.
77 And Apollonius heard, and he gathered an army of three thousand horse, and a great army, and went to Azotus as though he were on a journey, and therewithal drew onward into the plain, because he had a multitude of horse, and trusted therein.
78 And he pursued after him to Azotus, and the armies joined battle.
79 And Apollonius had left a thousand horse behind them privily.
80 And Jonathan knew that there was an ambushment behind him. And they compassed round his army, and cast their darts at the people, from morning until evening:
81 but the people stood still, as Jonathan commanded them: and their horses were wearied.
82 And Simon drew forth his army, and joined battle with the phalanx (for the horsemen were spent), and they were discomfited by him, and fled.
83 And the horsemen were scattered in the plain, and they fled to Azotus, and entered into Beth-dagon, their idol’s temple, to save themselves.
84 And Jonathan burnt Azotus, and the cities round about it, and took their spoils; and the temple of Dagon, and those who fled into it, he burnt with fire.
85 And those who had fallen by the sword, with those who were burnt, were about eight thousand men.
86 And from thence Jonathan removed, and encamped against Ascalon, and they of the city came forth to meet him with great pomp.
87 And Jonathan, with those who were on his side, returned to Jerusalem, having many spoils.
88 And it came to pass, when king Alexander heard these things, he honoured Jonathan yet more;
89 and he sent to him a buckle of gold, as the use is to give to such as are of the kindred of the kings: and he gave him Ekron and all the coasts thereof for a possession.