1 Maccabees 13

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1 Maccabees 13

Simon Takes Command

1Simon heard that Trypho had assembled a large army to invade the land of Judah and destroy it, 2and he saw that the people were trembling and fearful. So he went up to Jerusalem, and gathering the people together 3he encouraged them, saying to them, "You yourselves know what great things I and my brothers and the house of my father have done for the laws and the sanctuary; you know also the wars and the difficulties which we have seen. 4By reason of this all my brothers have perished for the sake of Israel, and I alone am left. 5And now, far be it from me to spare my life in any time of distress, for I am not better than my brothers. 6But I will avenge my nation and the sanctuary and your wives and children, for all the nations have gathered together out of hatred to destroy us."

7The spirit of the people was rekindled when they heard these words, 8and they answered in a loud voice, "You are our leader in place of Judas and Jonathan your brother. 9Fight our battles, and all that you say to us we will do." 10So he assembled all the warriors and hastened to complete the walls of Jerusalem, and he fortified it on every side. 11He sent Jonathan the son of Ab'salom to Joppa, and with him a considerable army; he drove out its occupants and remained there.

Deceit and Treachery of Trypho

12Then Trypho departed from Ptolema'is with a large army to invade the land of Judah, and Jonathan was with him under guard. 13And Simon encamped in Ad'ida, facing the plain. 14Trypho learned that Simon had risen up in place of Jonathan his brother, and that he was about to join battle with him, so he sent envoys to him and said, 15"It is for the money that Jonathan your brother owed the royal treasury, in connection with the offices he held, that we are detaining him. 16Send now a hundred talents of silver and two of his sons as hostages, so that when released he will not revolt against us, and we will release him."

17Simon knew that they were speaking deceitfully to him, but he sent to get the money and the sons, lest he arouse great hostility among the people, who might say, 18"Because Simona did not send him the money and the sons, he perished." 19So he sent the sons and the hundred talents, but Tryphob broke his word and did not release Jonathan.

20After this Trypho came to invade the country and destroy it, and he circled around by the way to Ador'a. But Simon and his army kept marching along opposite him to every place he went. 21Now the men in the citadel kept sending envoys to Trypho urging him to come to them by way of the wilderness and to send them food. 22So Trypho got all his cavalry ready to go, but that night a very heavy snow fell, and he did not go because of the snow. He marched off and went into the land of Gil'ead. 23When he approached Bas'kama, he killed Jonathan, and he was buried there. 24Then Trypho turned back and departed to his own land.

Jonathan's Tomb

25And Simon sent and took the bones of Jonathan his brother, and buried him in Mo'de-in, the city of his fathers. 26All Israel bewailed him with great lamentation, and mourned for him many days. 27And Simon built a monument over the tomb of his father and his brothers; he made it high that it might be seen, with polished stone at the front and back. 28He also erected seven pyramids, opposite one another, for his father and mother and four brothers. 29And for the pyramidsc he devised an elaborate setting, erecting about them great columns, and upon the columns he put suits of armor for a permanent memorial, and beside the suits of armor carved ships, so that they could be seen by all who sail the sea. 30This is the tomb which he built in Mo'de-in; it remains to this day.

Judea Gains Independence

31Trypho dealt treacherously with the young king Anti'ochus; he killed him 32and became king in his place, putting on the crown of Asia; and he brought great calamity upon the land. 33But Simon built up the strongholds of Judea and walled them all around, with high towers and great walls and gates and bolts, and he stored food in the strongholds. 34Simon also chose men and sent them to Deme'trius the king with a request to grant relief to the country, for all that Trypho did was to plunder. 35Deme'trius the king sent him a favorable reply to this request, and wrote him a letter as follows, 36"King Deme'trius to Simon, the high priest and friend of kings, and to the elders and nation of the Jews, greeting. 37We have received the gold crown and the palm branch which youd sent, and we are ready to make a general peace with you and to write to our officials to grant you release from tribute. 38All the grants that we have made to you remain valid, and let the strongholds that you have built be your possession. 39We pardon any errors and offenses committed to this day, and cancel the crown tax which you owe; and whatever other tax has been collected in Jerusalem shall be collected no longer. 40And if any of you are qualified to be enrolled in our bodyguard,e let them be enrolled, and let there be peace between us."

41In the one hundred and seventieth yearf the yoke of the Gentiles was removed from Israel, 42and the people began to write in their documents and contracts, "In the first year of Simon the great high priest and commander and leader of the Jews."

The Capture of Gazara by Simon

43In those days Simong encamped against Gazar'ah and surrounded it with troops. He made a siege engine, brought it up to the city, and battered and captured one tower. 44The men in the siege engine leaped out into the city, and a great tumult arose in the city. 45The men in the city, with their wives and children, went up on the wall with their clothes rent, and they cried out with a loud voice, asking Simon to make peace with them; 46they said, "Do not treat us according to our wicked acts but according to your mercy." 47So Simon reached an agreement with them and stopped fighting against them. But he expelled them from the city and cleansed the houses in which the idols were, and then entered it with hymns and praise. 48He cast out of it all uncleanness, and settled in it men who observed the law. He also strengthened its fortifications and built in it a house for himself.

Simon Regains the Citadel at Jerusalem

49The men in the citadel at Jerusalem were prevented from going out to the country and back to buy and sell. So they were very hungry, and many of them perished from famine. 50Then they cried to Simon to make peace with them, and he did so. But he expelled them from there and cleansed the citadel from its pollutions. 51On the twenty-third day of the second month, in the one hundred and seventy-first year,i the Jewsj entered it with praise and palm branches, and with harps and cymbals and stringed instruments, and with hymns and songs, because a great enemy had been crushed and removed from Israel. 52And Simonk decreed that every year they should celebrate this day with rejoicing. He strengthened the fortifications of the temple hill alongside the citadel, and he and his men dwelt there. 53And Simon saw that John his son had reached manhood, so he made him commander of all the forces, and he dwelt in Gazar'a.