1. In the year one hundred and sixty (152 B.C.), Alexander Epiphanes, son of Antiochus, sailed for Ptolemais and occupied it. He was well received and he began to reign.

2. When Demetrius heard this, he assembled a very large army and marched out to fight him.

3. At the same time, he sent a letter of friendship to Jonathan and offered him vast power,

4. for Demetrius thought: "Let us make the first move in making peace with him before he makes peace with Alexander against us,

5. remembering all the wrongs we have done to him, his brothers and his nation."

6. So Demetrius authorized Jonathan to organize an army and manufacture arms; he named him his ally and ordered the release of the hostages who were in the Citadel of Jerusalem.

7. Jonathan went at once to Jerusalem and read the letter before all the people and those in the Citadel.

8. They were afraid when they heard that the king had authorized Jonathan to organize a great army,

9. and they released the hostages to Jonathan who handed them back to their families.

10. Jonathan resided in Jerusalem and began rebuilding and restoring the city.

11. He commanded the builders to build the walls and the defenses of Mount Zion with hewn stones. And they did so.

12. Then all the foreigners who stayed in the fortresses built by Bacchides began to flee,

13. each of them abandoning his post and returning to his own land.

14. Only at Beth-zur did some who had abandoned the Law and the precepts remain, since this was like a place of refuge.

15. King Alexander was informed of the promises Demetrius had made to Jonathan; he was also given an account of the battles and exploits of Jonathan and his brothers and the trials they had endured.

16. So Alexander declared: "Shall we ever find another man like him? Let us make him our ally and friend."

17. And he wrote him a letter:

18. "King Alexander to our brother Jonathan, peace.

19. We have heard of you, that you are a valiant man and most worthy of our friendship.

20. Therefore, we now appoint you High Priest of your nation and bestow on you the title Friend of the King (he also sent him a purple robe and a golden crown). So we invite you to watch over our interests and maintain friendly relations with us."

21. This is why in the seventh month of the year one hundred and sixty (152 B.C.), on the occasion of the feast of Tabernacles, Jonathan put on the sacred vestments. He also recruited troops and manufactured a great quantity of arms.

22. When Demetrius heard what had happened, he was greatly displeased and said,

23. "What have we done that Alexander is ahead of us in gaining the friendship of the Jews?

24. I will also write them kind words and promise them honor and gifts to win them to my side."

25. So he wrote to the Jews: "King Demetrius greets the Jewish nation.

26. You have kept your agreement with us and have remained our friends, and have not joined our enemies. We have heard of it and so we rejoice.

27. Therefore, continue to be faithful and we will grant you privileges in return for all you do on our behalf.

28. I will free the Jews from many taxes and grant them royal privileges and exemptions.

29. From now on and forever, I now free all Jews from payment of tribute, salt dues and crown levies.

30. I give up from this day and henceforth the third of the harvest and half of the fruit of the trees which I have the right to exact from the region of Judea and the three districts annexed to it from Samaria and Galilee.

31. From this day on and for all time, Jerusalem shall be a Holy City and be free with all its territory, with the right to collect tithes and tributes.

32. I also give up control of the Citadel of Jerusalem and turn it over to the High Priest that he may choose the men he wants to defend it.

33. I grant freedom without ransom to all the captives taken from Judea into any part of my kingdom. I free everyone from the taxes they owe me for their livestock.

34. All feasts, sabbaths, new moons, special days and the three holy days before and after a feast shall be days of exemption for all the Jews in my kingdom.

35. No one shall have the right to pursue or molest them for any motive whatsoever.

36. I also decree that they be accepted into the king's army to the number of thirty thousand Jews who shall receive the same salary as the rest of the king's forces.

37. Some of them shall be stationed at the king's fortresses, and positions of trust shall be given to some of them; their officers shall be chosen from among themselves and they will live according to their laws as the king has prescribed in the land of Judea.

38. The three districts of Samaria annexed to Judea shall be considered part of Jewish territory; to avoid any conflict of power, these shall be subject to no authority other than that of the High Priest.

39. I give the city of Ptolemais and its territory as a gift to the temple of Jerusalem to cover the expenses of public worship.

40. Henceforth, I will give fifteen thousand pieces of silver annually for the maintenance of the temple which shall be taken from the royal revenues from appropriate places.

41. Moreover, I give all that should have been paid to me by the administrators in previous years.

42. In addition, I also remit the five thousand pieces of silver levied every year from the tributes to the temple, and give them to the priests in charge of public worship.

43. Anyone who takes refuge in the temple of Jerusalem or in any of its enclosures because of his debt on royal taxes or because of any other debt, shall not be disturbed and his possessions anywhere in my kingdom shall be duly protected.

44. Finally, the cost of rebuilding or restoring the sanctuary shall be passed on to the king's account,

45. as well as the expenses of reconstructing the walls of Jerusalem, the fortification of its defenses and the construction of the walls in the cities of Judea."

46. When Jonathan and the people heard such proposals, they did not believe or accept them, for they remembered the great wrongs Demetrius had done to Israel and the ill-treatment to which he had subjected them.

47. They decided in favor of Alexander, for he was the first to propose peace, and they became his faithful allies.

48. King Alexander assembled a great army and encamped opposite Demetrius.

49. The two kings met in battle and the army of Demetrius was routed. Alexander pursued him until Demetrius was defeated.

50. The battle lasted until sunset, and on that day Demetrius died.

51. Then Alexander sent messengers to Ptolemy the king of Egypt with the following message:

52. "I am now again in my kingdom and have assumed power after defeating Demetrius and all his army.

53. Now I occupy the throne of my fathers as master of all the land. Let us be friends.

54. Give me your daughter in marriage, and I will become your son-in-law, and I will give you, and her, gifts worthy of you."

55. King Ptolemy replied as follows: "Blessed be the day when you returned to the land of your fathers and ascended to their throne!

56. I will without delay do for you as you have proposed. But meet me in Ptolemais. There we shall see one another and I will receive you as my son-in-law as you have requested."

57. Ptolemy left Egypt with his daughter Cleopatra in the year one hundred and sixty-two, and arrived at Ptolemais.

58. Alexander went to meet him, and Ptolemy gave him his daughter Cleopatra, and celebrated her wedding with great splendor as kings do.

59. King Alexander also wrote to Jonathan to come and meet him.

60. So Jonathan went to Ptolemais with great pomp and met the two kings. Then he gave them and their Friends much silver and gold and many other gifts.

61. The renegades, the pest of Israel, gathered together to accuse Jonathan, but the king paid no attention to them.

62. The king even gave orders that Jonathan remove his garment and be clothed in purple and it was done.

63. The king also seated him by his side, and said to his captains: "Go with him into the center of the city and proclaim that no one is to accuse Jonathan under any pretext, and no one is to molest him for any reason."

64. When his accusers saw the public honor given to Jonathan and that he was clothed in purple, they all fled.

65. The king did him great honor and enrolled him among his first Friends, and appointed him general and governor.

66. So Jonathan returned to Jerusalem happy and secure.

67. In the year one hundred and sixty-five (147 B.C.), Demetrius the son of Demetrius, returned from Crete to the land of his fathers.

68. When King Alexander heard of it, he was so greatly disturbed that he returned to Antioch.

69. Demetrius took his general Apollonius, the governor of Coele-Syria, who assembled a large force. He encamped at Jamnia and sent the following message to Jonathan, the high priest:

70. "Are you the only one who resists our authority? And am I to be ridiculed because of you? Why do you stand against our authority in your mountains?

71. If you have confidence in your forces, come down to the plain and let us measure each other's strength there, for I have with me the army of the cities.

72. Inquire and find out who I am and who are those who support me. Men will tell you that you cannot resist us, for your fathers were twice defeated on their own land.

73. Nor will you be able to withstand the cavalry and so great an army on the plain, where there are no stones or rocks offering a refuge."

74. When Jonathan heard Apollonius' message, he was greatly aroused. So he left Jerusalem with ten thousand picked men, and his brother Simon came to his help.

75. They encamped near Joppa, but the inhabitants of the city closed the gates to them, as Apollonius had a garrison there.

76. So Jonathan gave the order to attack. The people in the city were so afraid that they opened the gates to him, and Jonathan occupied Joppa.

77. When Apollonius learned of it, he mobilized three thousand cavalry and a large army. Then he set out towards Azotus, pretending to march through the land, but in fact his troops were spreading out in the direction of the plain, since he had a great number of cavalry on which he relied.

78. Jonathan pursued him towards Azotus and they began to fight.

79. Apollonius had left a thousand picked horsemen hidden behind Jonathan,

80. but Jonathan was informed of the ambush. The horsemen surrounded Jonathan's men and shot their arrows from morning till evening.

81. But the Israelites faced them as Jonathan had commanded until the horses of the enemy tired. Once the cavalry were exhausted,

82. Simon and his men advanced and attacked the infantry. The enemy was defeated and fled.

83. The cavalry scattered over the plain and those who fled went to Azotus, where they entered the temple of Dagon, their idol, to save their lives.

84. But Jonathan set fire to Azotus and the surrounding towns, and plundered them. He also burned down the temple of Dagon with all who had taken refuge in it.

85. There were about eight thousand men who either fell by the sword or were burned to death.

86. Jonathan then left for Askalon where the inhabitants received him with great honor.

87. From there, Jonathan and his men returned to Jerusalem laden with booty.

88. When King Alexander heard what had happened, he bestowed new honors on Jonathan.

89. He sent him a golden brooch which is usually given to the kinsmen of kings. He also gave him Ekron and all its territory as his possession.

Livros sugeridos

“Por que a tentação passada deixa na alma uma certa perturbação? perguntou um penitente a Padre Pio. Ele respondeu: “Você já presenciou um tremor de terra? Quando tudo estremece a sua volta, você também é sacudido; no entanto, não necessariamente fica enterrado nos destroços!” São Padre Pio de Pietrelcina


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