1. At that time, John went up from Gazara to relate to his father what Cendebeus was doing.

2. So, Simon called his two elder sons, John and Judas, and said to them: "I and my brothers and the family of my father have fought the enemies of Israel from our youth until today. And many times, we were able to liberate Israel.

3. But now I am old, while you - thanks be to Heaven - are already mature men. Take my place and my brother's, and go out to fight for our country. May Heaven's help be with you!"

4. Then he chose a thousand men and horsemen from the country whom he sent against Cendebeus. And they spent the night in Modein.

5. They arose early in the morning and advanced into the plain and saw what a large army, both infantry and cavalry, was coming to meet them. A stream lay between them,

6. and John with his troops drew up against the enemies. His troops were afraid to cross the stream, so he crossed over first. On seeing this, his men crossed after him.

7. He divided his army into two groups and set the horsemen in the center for the enemy's cavalry was very numerous.

8. They sounded the trumpets, and Cendebeus and his army were defeated. Many of them fell, and those who remained fled to the fortress.

9. Judas, the brother of John, fell wounded, but John pursued the enemies until Cendebeus reached Kedron which he had fortified.

10. The enemy fled as far as the towers in the fields of Azotus, but John burned these down. About two thousand of the enemy perished. And after this, John returned safely to Judea.

11. Ptolemy, son of Abubos, had become general in command of the plain of Jericho. He had much silver and gold,

12. besides being the High Priest's son-in-law.

13. He became too ambitious and thought of becoming the leader of his nation. So he looked for ways to do away with Simon and his sons.

14. Simon was then making the rounds of the cities of Judea and attending to their administration. In the eleventh month called Shebat, in the year one hundred and seventy-seven (134 B.C.), Simon came to Jericho with his two sons, Mattathias and Judas.

15. The son of Abubos received them treacherously into the small fortress called Dock which he had built. He gave them a grand banquet, but had set men in hiding.

16. When Simon and his sons were drunk, Ptolemy and his men reached for their weapons and rushed on Simon in the midst of the banquet. They killed him with his two sons and some of his servants.

17. With this, Ptolemy committed a great act of treachery, repaying evil for good.

18. Ptolemy then made haste to send a letter to the king to inform him of what had happened, asking Antiochus to help him in handing over to him the cities and the country.

19. He also sent other men to Gazara in order to kill John, and asked the commanders of the Jewish troops in a letter to defect to him, promising them silver, gold and gifts.

20. He then sent others to seize Jerusalem and the Temple hill.

21. But a man ran and reached Gazara before them, informing John that his father and brothers had been killed. And he added, "He has also sent some people to kill you."

22. John was shocked by the news. So he arrested the men who had been sent to kill him and put them to death, for he knew that they had come with this purpose.

23. The rest of the deeds of John, his battles, his exploits, the walls he built and all his other achievements

24. are written in the annals of his pontificate from the day he succeeded his father as High Priest.



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