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1 Maccabees 14

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1 Maccabees 14

Capture of Demetrius

1In the one hundred and seventy-second yeara Deme'trius the king assembled his forces and marched into Media to secure help, so that he could make war against Trypho. 2When Ar'saces the king of Persia and Media heard that Deme'trius had invaded his territory, he sent one of his commanders to take him alive. 3And he went and defeated the army of Deme'trius, and seized him and took him to Ar'saces, who put him under guard.

Eulogy of Simon

4The landb had rest all the days of Simon.

He sought the good of his nation;

his rule was pleasing to them,

as was the honor shown him, all his days.

5To crown all his honors he took Joppa for a harbor,

and opened a way to the isles of the sea.

6He extended the borders of his nation,

and gained full control of the country.

7He gathered a host of captives;

he ruled over Gazar'a and Beth-zur and the citadel,

and he removed its uncleanness from it;

and there was none to oppose him.

8They tilled their land in peace;

the ground gave its increase,

and the trees of the plains their fruit.

9Old men sat in the streets;

they all talked together of good things;

and the youths donned the glories and garments of war.

10He supplied the cities with food,

and furnished them with the means of defense,

till his renown spread to the ends of the earth.

11He established peace in the land,

and Israel rejoiced with great joy.

12Each man sat under his vine and his fig tree,

and there was none to make them afraid.

13No one was left in the land to fight them,

and the kings were crushed in those days.

14He strengthened all the humble of his people;

he sought out the law,

and did away with every lawless and wicked man.

15He made the sanctuary glorious,

and added to the vessels of the sanctuary.

Diplomacy with Rome and Sparta

16It was heard in Rome, and as far away as Sparta, that Jonathan had died, and they were deeply grieved. 17When they heard that Simon his brother had become high priest in his place, and that he was ruling over the country and the cities in it, 18they wrote to him on bronze tablets to renew with him the friendship and alliance which they had established with Judas and Jonathan his brothers. 19And these were read before the assembly in Jerusalem.

20This is a copy of the letter which the Spartans sent: "The rulers and the city of the Spartans to Simon the high priest and to the elders and the priests and the rest of the Jewish people, our brethren, greeting. 21The envoys who were sent to our people have told us about your glory and honor, and we rejoiced at their coming. 22And what they said we have recorded in our public decrees, as follows, 'Nume'nius the son of Anti'ochus and Antip'ater the son of Jason, envoys of the Jews, have come to us to renew their friendship with us. 23It has pleased our people to receive these men with honor and to put a copy of their words in the public archives, so that the people of the Spartans may have a record of them. And they have sent a copy of this to Simon the high priest.' "

24After this Simon sent Nume'nius to Rome with a large gold shield weighing a thousand minas, to confirm the alliance with the Romans.c

Official Honors for Simon

25When the people heard these things they said, "How shall we thank Simon and his sons? 26For he and his brothers and the house of his father have stood firm; they have fought and repulsed Israel's enemies and established its freedom." 27So they made a record on bronze tablets and put it upon pillars on Mount Zion.

This is a copy of what they wrote: "On the eighteenth day of Elul, in the one hundred and seventy-second year,d which is the third year of Simon the great high priest, 28in As'aramel,e in the great assembly of the priests and the people and the rulers of the nation and the elders of the country, the following was proclaimed to us:

29"Since wars often occurred in the country, Simon the son of Mattathi'as, a priest of the sonsf of Jo'arib, and his brothers, exposed themselves to danger and resisted the enemies of their nation, in order that their sanctuary and the law might be perserved; and they brought great glory to their nation. 30Jonathan rallied theg nation, and became their high priest, and was gathered to his people. 31And when their enemies decided to invade their country and lay hands on their sanctuary, 32then Simon rose up and fought for his nation. He spent great sums of his own money; he armed the men of his nation's forces and paid them wages. 33He fortified the cities of Judea, and Beth-zur on the borders of Judea, where formerly the arms of the enemy had been stored, and he placed there a garrison of Jews. 34He also fortified Joppa, which is by the sea, and Gazar'a, which is on the borders of Azo'tus, where the enemy formerly dwelt. He settled Jews there, and provided in those citiesh whatever was necessary for their restoration.

35"The people saw Simon's faithfulnessi and the glory which he had resolved to win for his nation, and they made him their leader and high priest, because he had done all these things and because of the justice and loyalty which he had maintained toward his nation. He sought in every way to exalt his people. 36And in his days things prospered in his hands, so that the Gentiles were put out of thej country, as were also the men in the city of David in Jerusalem, who had built themselves a citadel from which they used to sally forth and defile the environs of the sanctuary and do great damage to its purity. 37He settled Jews in it, and fortified it for the safety of the country and of the city, and built the walls of Jerusalem higher.

38"In view of these things King Deme'trius confirmed him in the high priesthood, 39and he made him one of the king'sk friends and paid him high honors. 40For he had heard that the Jews were addressed by the Romans as friends and allies and brethren, and that the Romansl had received the envoys of Simon with honor.

41"Andm the Jews and their priests decided that Simon should be their leader and high priest for ever, until a trustworthy prophet should arise, 42and that he should be governor over them and that he should take charge of the sanctuary and appoint men over its tasks and over the country and the weapons and the strongholds, and that he should take charge of the sanctuary, 43and that he should be obeyed by all, and that all contracts in the country should be written in his name, and that he should be clothed in purple and wear gold.

44"And none of the people or priests shall be permitted to nullify any of these decisions or to oppose what he says, or to convene an assembly in the country without his permission, or to be clothed in purple or put on a gold buckle. 45Whoever acts contrary to these decisions or nullifies any of them shall be liable to punishment."

46And all the people agreed to grant Simon the right to act in accord with these decisions. 47So Simon accepted and agreed to be high priest, to be commander and ethnarch of the Jews and priests, and to be protector of them all.n 48And they gave orders to inscribe this decree upon bronze tablets, to put them up in a conspicuous place in the precincts of the sanctuary, 49and to deposit copies of them in the treasury, so that Simon and his sons might have them.