1 Maccabees 9

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1 Maccabees 9

Bacchides Returns to Judea

1When Deme'trius heard that Nica'nor and his army had fallen in battle, he sent Bac'chides and Al'cimus into the land of Judah a second time, and with them the right wing of the army. 2They went by the road which leads to Gilgal and encamped against Mes'aloth in Arbe'la, and they took it and killed many people. 3In the first month of the one hundred and fifty-second yeara they encamped against Jerusalem; 4then they marched off and went to Berea with twenty thousand foot soldiers and two thousand cavalry.

5Now Judas was encamped in El'asa, and with him were three thousand picked men. 6When they saw the huge number of the enemy forces, they were greatly frightened, and many slipped away from the camp, until no more than eight hundred of them were left.

7When Judas saw that his army had slipped away and the battle was imminent, he was crushed in spirit, for he had no time to assemble them. 8He became faint, but he said to those who were left, "Let us rise and go up against our enemies. We may be able to fight them." 9But they tried to dissuade him, saying, "We are not able. Let us rather save our own lives now, and let us come back with our brethren and fight them; we are too few." 10But Judas said, "Far be it from us to do such a thing as to flee from them. If our time has come, let us die bravely for our brethren, and leave no cause to question our honor."

The Last Battle of Judas

11Then the army of Bac'chidesb marched out from the camp and took its stand for the encounter. The cavalry was divided into two companies, and the slingers and the archers went ahead of the army, as did all the chief warriors. 12Bac'chides was on the right wing. Flanked by the two companies, the phalanx advanced to the sound of the trumpets; and the men with Judas also blew their trumpets. 13The earth was shaken by the noise of the armies, and the battle raged from morning till evening.

14Judas saw that Bac'chides and the strength of his army were on the right; then all the stouthearted men went with him, 15and they crushed the right wing, and he pursued them as far as Mount Azo'tus. 16When those on the left wing saw that the right wing was crushed, they turned and followed close behind Judas and his men. 17The battle became desperate, and many on both sides were wounded and fell. 18Judas also fell, and the rest fled.

19Then Jonathan and Simon took Judas their brother and buried him in the tomb of their fathers at Mo'de-in, 20and wept for him. And all Israel made great lamentation for him; they mourned many days and said,

21"How is the mighty fallen,

the savior of Israel!"

22Now the rest of the acts of Judas, and his wars and the brave deeds that he did, and his greatness, have not been recorded, for they were very many.

Jonathan Succeeds Judas

23After the death of Judas, the lawless emerged in all parts of Israel; all the doers of injustice appeared. 24In those days a very great famine occurred, and the country deserted with them to the enemy. 25And Bac'chides chose the ungodly and put them in charge of the country. 26They sought and searched for the friends of Judas, and brought them to Bac'chides, and he took vengeance on them and made sport of them. 27Thus there was great distress in Israel, such as had not been since the time that prophets ceased to appear among them.

28Then all the friends of Judas assembled and said to Jonathan, 29"Since the death of your brother Judas there has been no one like him to go against our enemies and Bac'chides, and to deal with those of our nation who hate us. 30So now we have chosen you today to take his place as our ruler and leader, to fight our battle." 31And Jonathan at that time accepted the leadership and took the place of Judas his brother.

The Campaigns of Jonathan

32When Bac'chides learned of this, he tried to kill him. 33But Jonathan and Simon his brother and all who were with him heard of it, and they fled into the wilderness of Teko'a and camped by the water of the pool of Asphar. 34Bac'chides found this out on the sabbath day, and he with all his army crossed the Jordan.

35And Jonathanc sent his brother as leader of the multitude and begged the Nabate'ans, who were his friends, for permission to store with them the great amount of baggage which they had. 36But the sons of Jambri from Me'deba came out and seized John and all that he had, and departed with it.

37After these things it was reported to Jonathan and Simon his brother, "The sons of Jambri are celebrating a great wedding, and are conducting the bride, a daughter of one of the great nobles of Canaan, from Nad'abath with a large escort." 38And they remembered the blood of John their brother, and went up and hid under cover of the mountain. 39They raised their eyes and looked, and saw a tumultuous procession with much baggage; and the bridegroom came out with his friends and his brothers to meet them with tambourines and musicians and many weapons. 40Then they rushed upon them from the ambush and began killing them. Many were wounded and fell, and the rest fled to the mountain; and they took all their goods. 41Thus the wedding was turned into mourning and the voice of their musicians into a funeral dirge. 42And when they had fully avenged the blood of their brother, they returned to the marshes of the Jordan.

43When Bac'chides heard of this, he came with a large force on the sabbath day to the banks of the Jordan. 44And Jonathan said to those with him, "Let us rise up now and fight for our lives, for today things are not as they were before. 45For look! the battle is in front of us and behind us; the water of the Jordan is on this side and on that, with marsh and thicket; there is no place to turn. 46Cry out now to Heaven that you may be delivered from the hands of our enemies." 47So the battle began, and Jonathan stretched out his hand to strike Bac'chides, but he eluded him and went to the rear. 48Then Jonathan and the men with him leaped into the Jordan and swam across to the other side, and the enemyd did not cross the Jordan to attack them. 49And about one thousand of Bac'chides' men fell that day.

Bacchides Builds Fortifications

50Bac'chidese then returned to Jerusalem and built strong cities in Judea: the fortress in Jericho, and Emma'us, and Beth-hor'on, and Bethel, and Timnath, andf Phar'athon, and Tephon, with high walls and gates and bars. 51And he placed garrisons in them to harass Israel. 52He also fortified the city of Beth-zur, and Gazar'a, and the citadel, and in them he put troops and stores of food. 53And he took the sons of the leading men of the land as hostages and put them under guard in the citadel at Jerusalem.

54In the one hundred and fifty-third year,g in the second month, Al'cimus gave orders to tear down the wall of the inner court of the sanctuary. He tore down the work of the prophets! 55But he only began to tear it down, for at that time Al'cimus was stricken and his work was hindered; his mouth was stopped and he was paralyzed, so that he could no longer say a word or give commands concerning his house. 56And Al'cimus died at that time in great agony. 57When Bac'chides saw that Al'cimus was dead, he returned to the king, and the land of Judah had rest for two years.

The End of the War

58Then all the lawless plotted and said, "See! Jonathan and his men are living in quiet and confidence. So now let us bring Bac'chides back, and he will capture them all in one night." 59And they went and consulted with him. 60He started to come with a large force, and secretly sent letters to all his allies in Judea, telling them to seize Jonathan and his men; but they were unable to do it, because their plan became known. 61And Jonathan's menh seized about fifty of the men of the country who were leaders in this treachery, and killed them.

62Then Jonathan with his men, and Simon, withdrew to Beth-ba'si in the wilderness; he rebuilt the parts of it that had been demolished, and they fortified it. 63When Bac'chides learned of this, he assembled all his forces, and sent orders to the men of Judea. 64Then he came and encamped against Beth-ba'si; he fought against it for many days and made machines of war.

65But Jonathan left Simon his brother in the city, while he went out into the country; and he went with only a few men. 66He struck down Odome'ra and his brothers and the sons of Phasi'ron in their tents. 67Then hei began to attack and went into battle with his forces; and Simon and his men sallied out from the city and set fire to the machines of war. 68They fought with Bac'chides, and he was crushed by them. They distressed him greatly, for his plan and his expedition had been in vain. 69So he was greatly enraged at the lawless men who had counseled him to come into the country, and he killed many of them. Then he decided to depart to his own land.

70When Jonathan learned of this, he sent ambassadors to him to make peace with him and obtain release of the captives. 71He agreed, and did as he said; and he swore to Jonathanj that he would not try to harm him as long as he lived. 72He restored to him the captives whom he had formerly taken from the land of Judah; then he turned and departed to his own land, and came no more into their territory. 73Thus the sword ceased from Israel. And Jonathan dwelt in Michmash. And Jonathan began to judge the people, and he destroyed the ungodly out of Israel.