1. In the year one hundred and seventytwo, King Demetrius assembled his army and marched into Media to look for help in order to fight Trypho.

2. Arsaces, king of Persia and Media, heard that Demetrius had entered his territory, so he sent one of his generals to capture him alive.

3. The general went and defeated the army of Demetrius, seized him and brought him to Arsaces, who put him in prison.

4. Judea had peace as long as Simon lived. He worked for the well-being of his country; his rule pleased the people, and he enjoyed much renown as long as he lived.

5. To add to his glory, he took Joppa and made it a harbor, opening a way to communicate with the islands of the sea.

6. He extended the frontiers of his land and was lord of his nation.

7. He brought back many captives, conquered Gazard, Beth-zur and the Citadel and cast out everything pagan that was in it. No one was able to resist him.

8. The inhabitants tilled their fields in peace; the land gave its grain and the trees their fruit.

9. The elders sat at ease in the squares and talked of their welfare, while the young men wore finery and armor.

10. He supplied the cities with food and made them into strongholds, until his fame spread out to the ends of the earth.

11. He established peace in the land and Israel knew great joy.

12. Each one sat under the shade of his vine and his fig tree, with no one to disturb him.

13. There was no one in the land to fight them, for the kings had been defeated.

14. He raised up the humble among his people, he observed the Law and cleared out the renegades and the wicked.

15. He restored the splendor of the Temple and increased the number of its sacred vessels.

16. When the news of Jonathan's death reached Rome and Sparta, these people, too, were deeply grieved.

17. But as soon as they heard that his brother Simon had succeeded him as High Priest and was in command of the country and the cities in it,

18. they wrote to him on bronze sheets to renew the alliance and friendship they had made with his brothers Judas and Jonathan.

19. The letter was read in Jerusalem before the whole assembly.

20. This is a copy of the letter sent by the Spartans, "The leaders and the people of Sparta to Simon, High Priest, and to the elders, to the priests and to all the Jewish people, their brothers: greetings.

21. The envoys you sent to our people informed us of the successes and prosperity of your nation. We rejoiced at their coming.

22. We have recorded their declaration in our public acts as follows: 'Numenius, son of Antiochus, and Antipater, son of Jason, ambassadors of the Jews - have come to renew their relationship with us.

23. It has been a pleasure for the people to receive them with honor and deposit a copy of their statement in the public archives as a remembrance for the people of Sparta.' And they made a copy of all this for the High Priest Simon."

24. After this, Simon sent Numenius to Rome with a large gold shield weighing a thousand minas to confirm their alliance with the Romans.

25. When the people came to know these events, they said, "What favor can we do for Simon and his sons?

26. It was he and his brothers and the family of their fathers who strengthened the resistance; they have fought the enemies of Israel and restored its freedom."

27. So they engraved an inscription on bronze sheets and set it up on pillars on Mount Zion. This is a copy of the text: "On the eighteenth day of the month Elul, in the year one hundred and seventy-two, the third year of Simon, the High Priest,

28. in the grand assembly of the priests of Israel, the leaders of the nation and the elders of the people, the following was proclaimed:

29. "During the frequent wars for freedom in our land, Simon, the son of Mattathias, a priest from the family of Joarib, and his brothers risked their lives and stood up against the enemies of their nation to preserve the Holy Place and the Law, and brought eternal glory to their nation.

30. Jonathan rallied the nation, and became the High Priest, and then rested with his fathers.

31. The enemies of the Jews then planned to invade their land in order to destroy their Holy Place.

32. So Simon arose to fight for his nation. He spent much of his own wealth to procure arms and to pay the salary of the soldiers of his nation.

33. He fortified the cities of Judah and Beth-zur on the frontiers of Judea, where the enemy arsenal had been and he stationed a Jewish garrison there.

34. He also fortified Joppa by the sea, and Gazara on the borders of Azotus, which was formerly inhabited by enemies, and established Jewish colonies there, providing them with all they needed.

35. The people saw Simon's faith and the glory he had resolved to win for his nation. They made him their commander and High Priest because of the services he rendered, the justice and faithfulness he showed to his nation, and because he sought in every way to increase the honor of his people.

36. In his days, the Jews managed to root out the pagans from their land, especially from the city of David, Jerusalem, where they had built a Citadel from which they went out to profane the surroundings of the temple and to violate its holiness.

37. He settled Jewish soldiers in it and fortified it for the security of the region and the city, and built the walls of Jerusalem higher.

38. And for this, King Demetrius confirmed him in his office as High Priest,

39. made him one of his Friends and bestowed high honors on him,

40. for he had heard that the Romans had considered the Jews their friends, allies and brothers, and had received Simon's envoy with honor.

41. The king also took into account that the Jews and the priests had agreed that Simon be their leader and High Priest until a prophet worthy of trust appeared.

42. They wanted him to be their general and take charge of the Holy Place, and to appoint men to supervise the works, to administer the country, the army and the fortresses.

43. They also wanted everyone to obey him, that all documents of the nation bear his name and that he be clothed in purple and wear golden ornaments.

44. None of the people or the priests shall be allowed to act contrary to these provisions or contradict his orders, or convene a public assembly without his consent, or be clothed in purple, or wear the golden brooch.

45. Whoever opposes these decisions or violates any of these shall be liable to punishment.

46. All the people agreed to grant Simon the right to act in accordance with these provisions.

47. And Simon accepted and agreed to assume the office of High Priest and to be the general and leader of the Jews and of the priests, and to preside over all.

48. They decided that this decree be engraved on bronze sheets and set up in a conspicuous place in the sacred enclosure,

49. and that copies be deposited in the Temple treasury and made available to Simon and his sons."



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“Onde há mais sacrifício, há mais generosidade.” São Padre Pio de Pietrelcina

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