1. In the year one hundred and fifty-one, Demetrius the son of Seleucus escaped from Rome. He sailed with a few men to a port of the kingdom where he arrived and proclaimed himself king.

2. As soon as he entered the kingdom of his fathers, the army arrested Antiochus and Lysias to hand them over to him.

3. When Demetrius heard this, he said: "I do not want to see their faces."

4. So the army executed them and Demetrius took the throne.

5. At once all the Israelites without law or religion came to him. They were led by Alcimus, a man who sought the office of chief priest for himself.

6. And they began accusing their own people before the king, "Judas and his brothers have murdered all your friends and have driven us away from our land.

7. Send one of your trustworthy Friends, to see the havoc they have caused us and our province which belongs to the king. Let him punish all who support them."

8. The king chose Bacchides, one of his Friends and a distinguished man of the kingdom, the governor of the western province of the Euphrates.

9. He also sent with him Alcimus whom he had appointed chief priest, and ordered them to punish the Israelites.

10. They set out with a large army. On reaching Judea, they sent messengers to Judas and his brothers with treacherous proposals of peace.

11. But the Jews who knew that they came with a powerful army, did not trust them.

12. However, a commission of teachers of the Law met with Alcimus and Bacchides to seek a satisfactory solution.

13. These men from the group of the Hasideans, the first to seek peace in Israel,

14. reasoned like this: "A man in the line of Aaron has come with the army, he will surely deal with us in fairness."

15. Bacchides, moreover, sent them a friendly message and assured them under oath: "We do not wish any harm to you and your friends."

16. They believed him. But he arrested sixty of them and executed them the same day, according to the word of the Scripture:

17. Around Jerusalem, they have scattered the dead bodies of your saints; they have shed their blood, and there was no one to bury them.

18. All the people were terrified and feared them. They said, "There is no justice or truth in these people who have violated the agreement they made with an oath."

19. Bacchides left Jerusalem and encamped at Beth-zur. From there, he ordered the arrest of many prominent men who had deserted to him as well as some of the people. And he had them thrown into a deep pit.

20. Then he placed the province in the hands of Alcimus, leaving him with an army to help him and he returned to the king.

21. Alcimus struggled to have the Israelites recognize him as chief priest,

22. and all who disturbed the peace of the people joined him. They became masters of the land of Judea and did great harm to the Israelites.

23. Judas saw that Alcimus and his men were an even greater menace to Israel than the pagans had been.

24. So he went throughout the territory of Judea to do justice to those traitors and to prevent them from going about the country.

25. Alcimus realized that Judas and his men were of greater strength and that he could not resist them, so he returned to the king and accused them of serious crimes.

26. The king then sent Nicanor, one of his more illustrious generals and a known enemy of Israel, with the mission to utterly destroy this people.

27. Nicanor reached Jerusalem with a large army; he sent Judas and his brothers false messages of friendship saying to them,

28. "Let us not begin as enemies once more; I will come with a few men to meet you face to face in friendship."

29. He inded came to Judas and they greeted each other peaceably, but the enemy was prepared to seize him.

30. Judas was told that Nicanor had come to him treacherously, so he withdrew from Nicanor, and would not see him again.

31. When Nicanor saw that his plans had been discovered, he went out to look for Judas, and this time to fight him. He found him near Capharsalama.

32. About five hundred of Nicanor's men fell and the rest fled to the city of David.

33. After these events, Nicanor went up to Mount Zion and some of the priests and elders came out of the temple to greet him peacefully and show him the sacrifice they offered for the king.

34. But he mocked them, he scorned and insulted them

35. and angrily swore this oath: "If you do not deliver Judas into my hands immediately, as soon as I have destroyed him, I will return and burn this temple." And he went away furious.

36. The priests entered the temple, and they stood weeping before the altar and the sanctuary. They said,

37. "You, Lord, chose this House that your name may be invoked in it, that it may be a house of prayer and petition for your people.

38. Take vengeance on this man and on his army; let them die by the sword. Remember their insults and do not delay in punishing them."

39. Nicanor left Jerusalem and encamped in Beth-horon where the Syrian army joined him.

40. Meanwhile, Judas encamped in Adasa with three thousand men and prayed:

41. "Lord, when the messengers of the king of Assyria insulted you, your angel came and killed one hundred and eighty-five thousand of his men.

42. So now, crush this army before us, so that all the rest may know that this Nicanor has blasphemed against your temple. Judge him according to his wickedness."

43. The two armies met in battle on the thirteenth of the month Adar. Nicanor's army was defeated and he himself was one of the first to fall in the battle.

44. When his troops saw that he was dead, they threw down their weapons and fled.

45. The Jews pursued them a day's journey from Adasa to the entrance of Gazara, sounding the trumpets as they followed them.

46. The people came out from all the neighboring villages of Judea and surrounded the fugitives, forcing them to return to defend their lives. So all fell by the sword, not even one of them was left.

47. Then the Jews seized the plunder and booty; they cut off Nicanor's head and the right hand he had so arrogantly stretched out, and they displayed them at the entrance to Jerusalem within sight of all.

48. The people were elated and

49. celebrated their victory annually on the thirteenth of the month Adar.

50. The land of Judah enjoyed peace for a short time.



Livros sugeridos


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