1. But the king of Egypt assembled an army as numerous as the sands of the seashore, with many ships, for he intended to trick Alexander, take his kingdom and add it to his own.

2. He went to Syria with words of peace, and the inhabitants of the cities opened their gates to him. They came out to meet him, as Alexander had ordered,

3. because Ptolemy was his father-in-law. But as soon as Ptolemy entered the cities, he stationed garrisons in them.

4. When he reached Azotus, he was shown the burnt temple of Dagon, Azotus and its surroundings in ruins, the scattered corpses that had been abandoned, and the charred remains of those whom Jonathan burned to death in the battle, piled in heaps along the king's way.

5. They recounted to King Ptolemy everything Jonathan had done. They were hoping that the king would disapprove, but he said nothing.

6. Jonathan went with great pomp to Joppa to meet the king. They greeted each other and spent the night there.

7. On the following day, Jonathan accompanied the king as far as the Eleutherus river, and then returned to Jerusalem.

8. King Ptolemy for his part seized the coastal cities as far as Deleucia by the sea, for he had made plans against King Alexander.

9. He sent this message to Demetrius: "Come and let us forge an alliance. I will give you my daughter who was married to Alexander, and you will reign on the throne of your fathers.

10. The fact is I now regret having given him my daughter, for he has tried to kill me."

11. He accused Alexander because he wanted to take his kingdom.

12. Ptolemy took his daughter away and gave her to Demetrius. In this way, his enmity towards Alexander became public.

13. Ptolemy then entered Antioch and took for himself the crown of Asia. So he held two kingdoms: the kingdom of Egypt and the kingdom of Asia.

14. At that time, Alexander was in Cilicia trying to quell a rebellion.

15. When he heard what had happened, he returned to fight Ptolemy. Ptolemy went out to meet him in battle with a strong army, and Alexander was defeated.

16. As he fled to Arabia and sought refuge there,

17. Zabdiel the Arab cut his head off and sent it to Ptolemy.

18. But after three days, Ptolemy died, and immediately the Egyptian soldiers who guarded the fortified cities were killed by the local inhabitants.

19. In this way, Demetrius became king in the year one hundred and sixty-seven (167 B.C.).

20. In those days, Jonathan assembled the Jewish army to attack the Citadel in Jerusalem which was occupied by the Syrians, and he prepared many siege engines.

21. But some wicked men who were traitors to their country, informed the king.

22. When the king heard of it, he became angry and immediately set out for Ptolemias. From there he wrote to Jonathan telling him to stop the siege and to come to see him as soon as possible.

23. Jonathan received the message, but he ordered the siege to continue. Then he decided to risk himself, and went to see the king with the elders and priests of Israel.

24. Bringing gold, silver, fine garments and other presents, they went before the king in Ptolemias and won him over.

25. Some traitors accused them.

26. But the king in the presence of all his Friends treated Jonathan as kings before had treated him.

27. He confirmed Jonathan's office as high priest with all the privileges he already had. And he numbered him among his first Friends.

28. Jonathan asked the king to exempt Judea and the three districts of Samaria from taxes, and promised him three hundred talents in return.

29. The king agreed and wrote to Jonathan regarding the matter in these terms:

30. "King Demetrius to Jonathan, to his brothers and to the whole Jewish nation, peace.

31. We are sending you a copy of the letter we have written to our kinsman Lasthenes that you may know:

32. King Demetrius greets his kinsman Lasthenes.

33. Because of their fidelity to us, we have decided to grant favors to the Jewish nation, who are our friends and who fulfill their obligations to us. We wish to reward their fidelity.

34. We confirm the possession of the territory of Judea and the three regions of Aphairema, Kydda and Ramathaim which have been annexed to Judea from Samaria, with all their dependencies. And to all who go up to Jerusalem to offer sacrifice, we grant exemption from the tax the king formerly received from them annually until now, from the produce of the soil and from the fruit of the trees.

35. In the same way, they shall also be exempt from the other taxes due to us, especially from the taxes on the produce of the salt mines, and the gold crowns they formerly offered us.

36. None of these privileges shall ever be annulled.

37. Have a copy of this decree made and delivered to Jonathan to be displayed on the Holy Mountain in a conspicuous place."

38. King Demetrius was able to place the kingdom under his rule and no one dared oppose him, so he dismissed his army, sent all the men back to their homes, except the foreign troops he had recruited from the islands of the pagans. And this drew the hatred of all the troops who had served his fathers.

39. Then Trypho, one of Alexander's former supporters, took advantage of the army's discontent with Demetrius. He went to Iamleku the Arab who was in charge of the education of Antiochus, the son of Alexander.

40. Trypho persuaded him to hand the boy over to him in order to restore Antiochus to the throne of his father. He told him of all the decisions of Demetrius and the resentment of his soldiers towards him. And Trypho spent a long time there.

41. Meanwhile, Jonathan asked King Demetrius to withdraw the troops from the Citadel in Jerusalem and to call back the garrisons from the fortresses, since they were always fighting Israel.

42. Demetrius answered him, "Not only will I do this for you and for your people, but as soon as I have the occasion to do so.

43. For the present, you would do well to send me reinforcements, for all my soldiers have deserted me."

44. Jonathan sent off three thousand valiant men to Antioch; they presented themselves before the king, and this made him very happy.

45. About a hundred and twenty thousand rebel inhabitants gathered at the center of the city intending to do away with the king.

46. Demetrius took refuge in the palace while the residents occupied the streets of the city and began to attack.

47. The king then called on the Jews to help him, and the Jews rallied round him. Then they spread out through the city and killed a hundred thousand men on that day.

48. They burned the city, seized a great deal of plunder, and saved the king.

49. The Jews took control of the city. And the inhabitants were so discouraged that they begged the king,

50. "Forgive us and stop the Jews from maltreating us and the city."

51. They threw down their arms and made peace. With this, the Jews merited the admiration of the king and they became famous throughout the kingdom. Then they returned to Jerusalem laden with booty.

52. But when Demetrius felt secure on his throne and the land was in peace,

53. he forgot his promises and changed his attitude towards Jonathan. He did not treat him with the same kindness as he had done before, but began to treat him very harshly.

54. After this Trypho came back with Antiochus who was still a boy. He was proclaimed and crowned king,

55. and the troops discharged by Demetrius rallied to him and fought against Demetrius who had to flee.

56. Trypho seized the elephants and occupied Antioch.

57. Then the young Antiochus sent Jonathan this letter: "I confirm your office as High Priest and make you governor of four districts, and I include you among the Friends of the King."

58. He sent him a service of gold plate, and granted him the right to drink from gold vessels and to be clothed in purple and wear the golden brooch.

59. He also appointed Jonathan's brother Simon as general from the Ladder of Tyre to the frontiers of Egypt.

60. Jonathan then began to make rounds of the region and the cities on the western side of the Euphrates. The whole Syrian army came to his aid. He came to Askalon and the inhabitants of that city went out to receive him with full honors.

61. From there he went to Gaza, but the people there closed their gates on him. So Jonathan laid siege to it and burned the suburbs of the city, plundering everything.

62. Then the people of Gaza sought peace, and he made peace with them. But he took the sons of their elders as hostages and sent them away to Jerusalem. Then he traveled through the province until he reached Damascus.

63. Jonathan then received news that the generals of Demetrius were in Kadesh of Galilee with a great army and planned to capture him.

64. Leaving his brother Simon in Judea, he went out to meet them in battle.

65. Simon encamped against Beth-zur and laid siege to it for many days.

66. The inhabitants sued for peace, which he granted them. But he expelled them from the city and occupied it, and stationed a garrison there.

67. Meanwhile, Jonathan encamped with his army by the waters of Gennesaret; then early in the morning, they went to the plain of Hazor.

68. The army of the pagans went out to confront them on the plain, after laying an ambush for him in the mountains.

69. As they advanced directly towards the Jews, the men in ambush broke cover and began to attack.

70. The men of Jonathan's side fled. And only Mattathias, the son of Absalom, and Judas, the son of Chalphi, the leaders of his army remained with him.

71. At this, Jonathan tore his garments, put dust on his head, and prayed.

72. Then he faced his attackers, defeated them and put them to flight.

73. So the troops who had abandoned him came back to his side, and together they pursued the enemies as far as Kadesh where the enemy camp was, and there they, too, pitched camp.

74. About three thousand pagans perished that day. Then Jonathan returned to Jerusalem.

Livros sugeridos

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