2 Maccabees Chapter 11 (from Five Books of Maccabees)


01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 1516 |


P. 111 – 119 Book 2 B.C. 146 [PDF: 161/169 of p.524]

CHAPTER XI

(i) The death of Alexander, and of Ptolemy. The exploits of Jonathan.

1 And the king of Egypt[1]P. 111 Foot Note a. Namely, Ptolemy Philometor. gathered together a great host, as the sand which is upon the sea-shore, [B.C. 140.] and many ships, and sought, through deceit, to get Alexander’s kingdom, and 2 join it to his own. Whereupon he took his journey into Syria in peaceable manner, so that they of the cities opened unto him, and met him : for king Alexander had commanded them to meet 3 him, because he was his father-in-law. Now as Ptolemy entered into the cities, he set in every 4 one of them a garrison of soldiers to keep it. And when he came near to Azotus, they shewed him the temple of Dagon which was burnt, and Azotus and the suburbs thereof which were destroyed, and the bodies which were cast abroad, and them which he had burnt in the battle ; for they had p. 112 made heaps of them by the way where he should pass. Also they told the king whatsoever 5 Jonathan had done, to the intent he might blame him: but the king held his peace. Then Jonathan met 6 the king with great pomp at Joppe, where they saluted one another, and slept. Afterward 7 Jonathan, when he had gone with the king to the river called Eleutherus[2]P. 112 Foot Note b. This river runs into the Mediterranean sea, to the north of Tripolis. See Wells’s Geography, and the authors there cited., returned again to Jerusalem. King Ptolemy therefore, having gotten the dominion 8 of the cities by the sea, unto Seleucia[3]P. 112 Foot Note c. Situate near the coast, upon the river Orontes. This is accounted by Appian the most celebrated among the numerous cities built by Selcucus, to nine of which he gave the … Continue reading upon the sea-coast, imagined wicked counsels against Alexander. Whereupon he sent ambassadors unto 9 king Demetrius, saying ; Come, let us make a league betwixt us, and I will give thee my daughter, whom Alexander hath, and thou shalt reign in thy father’s kingdom : for I repent that I gave 10 my daughter unto him, for he sought to slay me. Thus did he slander him, because he was desirous 11 of his kingdom. Wherefore he took his daughter 12 from him, and gave her to Demetrius, and was estranged from Alexander, so that their hatred was openly known.

13 Then Ptolemy entered into Antioch, where he set two crowns upon his head, the crown of Asia, and of Egypt. In the mean season was king 14 Alexander in Cilicia, because those who dwelt in those parts had revolted from him. 15 But when Alexander p. 113 heard of this, he came to war against him : whereupon Ptolemy brought forth his host, and met him with a mighty power, and put him to 16 flight. So Alexander fled into Arabia, there to be 17 sheltered ; but king Ptolemy was exalted : for Zabdiel[4]P. 112 Foot Note d. Josephus calls him Zabdelus and in Polybius we read of an Arabian chief named Zabdibelus, who headed the Arabian allies of Antiochus Magnus against Ptolemy Philopator. Polyb. … Continue reading the Arabian took off Alexander’s head, 18 and sent it unto Ptolemy. King Ptolemy also died[5]P. 112 Foot Note e. Of wounds received in the battle mentioned at verse 15. (Josephus.). the third day after, and they which were in 19 the strong holds were slain one of another. By this means Demetrius reigned[6]P. 112 Foot Note f. And thenceforward took the surname of Nicator, ” the Conqueror.”, in the hundred threescore and seventh year.

20 In those days Jonathan gathered together them which were in Judaea, to take the tower which was in Jerusalem [B.C. 145.] : and he made 21 many engines of war against it. Then certain ungodly persons, who hated their own people, went unto the king, and told him that Jonathan 22 besieged the tower. Whereof when he heard, he was angry; and immediately removing, he came to Ptolemais, and wrote unto Jonathan, that he should not lay siege to the tower, but come and 23 speak with him at Ptolemais in great haste. Nevertheless, Jonathan, when he heard this, commanded to besiege it still : and he chose certain of the elders of Israel, and the priests, and put 24 himself in peril ; and taking silver and gold, and raiment, and divers presents besides, he went to p. 114 Ptolemais, unto the king, where he found favour in his sight. And though certain ungodly men of 25 the people had made complaints against him, yet 26 the king entreated him as his predecessors had done before, and promoted him in the sight of all his friends; and confirmed to him the high-priest-hood, 27 and all the honours which he had before, and gave him preeminence among his chief friends. Then Jonathan desired the king, that he 28 would make Judaea free from tribute, as also the three governments, with the country of Samaria[7]P. 114 Foot Note g. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] But probably Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] is an error Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] these three governments being in and near … Continue reading; and he promised him three hundred talents. So 29 the king consented, and wrote letters unto Jonathan of all these things, after this manner: ” King 30 Demetrius unto his brother Jonathan, and unto the nation of the Jews, sendeth greeting : The 31 copy of a letter, which we wrote to our cousin Lasthenes concerning you, we have written also to you, that you may know it. King Demetrius 32 unto his father Lasthenes[8]P. 114 Foot Note h. The general of the Cretan forces, who had assisted Demetrius to regain his kingdom. See above, ch. x. 07., sendeth greeting We are determined to do good to the people of 33 the Jews, who are our friends, and keep covenants with us, because of their good-will towards us. Wherefore we have ratified unto 34 them the borders of Judaea, with the three governments of Apherema, and Lydda, and Ramathem, which are added unto Judaea from the country of Samaria[9]P. 114 Foot Note i. That is, Samaria, Galilee, and Peraea. See also Josephus, Ant. XIII. 8., and all things appertaining p. 115 unto them, for all such as do sacrifice in Jerusalem, instead of the royal dues which the king received of them yearly aforetime out of the 35 fruits of the earth, and of trees. And as for other things which belong unto us, of the tithes and customs pertaining unto us, as also the salt-pits, and the crown-taxes[10]P. 115 Foot Note k. See above, at ch. x. 29., which are due unto us, we discharge them of them all for their 36 relief[11]P. 115 Foot Note l. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] : which also may signify ” liberally,” or ” sufficiently.” . And nothing hereof shall be revoked from 37 this time forth for ever. Now therefore, see that you make a copy of these things ; and let it be delivered unto Jonathan, and set upon the holy mount in a conspicuous place.”

38 After this, when king Demetrius saw that the land was quiet before him, and that no resistance was made against him, he sent away all his forces, every one to his own place, except the bands of strangers, whom he had gathered from the isles of the heathen : wherefore all the forces of his 39 fathers hated him. Moreover, there was one Tryphon[12]P. 115 Foot Note m. His name was Diodotus, an Apamaean: he subsequently assumed that of Tryphon., who had been of Alexander’s part afore, who, seeing that all the host murmured against Demetrius, went to Simalcue[13]P. 115 Foot Note n. The readings of this name vary greatly. Josephus calls him Malchus. Possibly the same person is meant who at ver. 17. is called Zabdiel. the Arabian, who brought up Antiochus[14]P. 115 Foot Note o. Namely, the son of Alexander Balas, by Cleopatra, daughter of Ptolemy : on coming to the throne, he took the surname of Theos. the young son of Alexander. 40 And earnestly entreated him to deliver him this young Antiochus, that he might reign in his father’s stead : he told him therefore all which p. 116 Demetrius had done, and how his forces were at enmity with him ; and there he remained a long season. In the mean time Jonathan sent unto 41 king Demetrius, that he would cast those of the tower out of Jerusalem, and those also in the fortresses : for they continually fought against Israel. And Demetrius sent unto Jonathan, saying, 42 I will not only do this for thee and thy people, but I will greatly honour thee and thy nation, if opportunity serve. Now therefore thou shalt do 43 well, if thou send me men to help me ; for all my forces are gone from me. Upon this, Jonathan 44 sent him three thousand strong men unto Antioch : and when they came to the king, the king was very glad of their coming. Howbeit, they 45 which were of the city gathered themselves together into the midst of the city, to the number of an hundred and twenty thousand men, and would have slain the king. Wherefore the king fled into 46 the court, but they of the city kept the passages of the city, and began to fight. Then the king 47 called to the Jews for help ; who came unto him all at once, and dispersing themselves through the city, slew that day in the city to the number of an hundred thousand. Also they set fire on the 48 city, and took many spoils that day, and delivered the king. So when they of the city saw that the 49 Jews had got the city as they would, their courage was abated ; wherefore they made supplication to the king, and cried, saying, Grant us peace, 50 and let the Jews cease from assaulting us and the city. With that they cast away their weapons, 51 and made peace : and the Jews were honoured in the sight of the king, and in the sight of all who p. 117 were in his realm, and they returned to Jerusalem, 52 having great spoils. So king Demetrius sat on the throne of his kingdom, and the land was 53 quiet before him. Nevertheless, he dissembled in all which ever he spake, and estranged himself from Jonathan, neither rewarded he him according to the benefits which he had received of him, but troubled him very sore.

54 After this returned Tryphon, [B.C. 144.] and with him the young child Antiochus, who reigned and 55 was crowned. Then there gathered unto him all the forces which Demetrius had put away, and they fought against Demetrius, who turned 56 his back and fled. Moreover, Tryphon took the 57 elephants, and won Antioch. At that time young Antiochus wrote unto Jonathan, saying, I confirm to thee the high-priesthood, and appoint thee ruler over the four governments[15]P. 117 Foot Note p. Namely, the three named above, at verse 34, and Ptolemais, mentioned at chap. x. 39., and to be one of the 58 king’s friends. Upon this he sent him golden vessels to be served[16]P. 117 Foot Note q. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] literally, ” a service of gold.” in; and gave him leave to drink in gold, and to be clothed in purple, and to 59 wear a golden buckle. His brother Simon also he made captain from the place, called the ladder[17]P. 117 Foot Note r. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] a high mountain so called, lying between Tyre and Ptolemais. See a short description of it in Joseph. Bell. II. 17. The name was applied to … Continue reading of 60 Tyrus, unto the borders of Egypt. Then Jonathan went forth, and passed over the river, and through the cities there; and all the forces of Syria gathered themselves unto him to help him : and when he came to Ascalon, they of the city p. 118 met him honourably. From whence he went to 61 Gaza, but they of Gaza shut him out ; wherefore he laid siege unto it, and burned the suburbs thereof with fire, and spoiled them. Afterward, 62 when they of Gaza made supplication unto Jonathan, he made peace with them, and took the sons of their chief men for hostages, and sent them to Jerusalem, and passed through the country unto Damascus. Now when Jonathan heard that 63 Demetrius’ princes were come to Cades which is in Galilee, with a great power, purposing to remove him out of the country[18]P. 118 Foot Note s. Or, ” from his office :” the Vatican MS. reads, Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] but the Alexandrian,  Gr. [ click on image to enlarge];—He went to meet them, 64 and left Simon his brother in the country. Then 65 Simon encamped against Bethsura, and fought against it a long season, and shut it up. But they 66 desired to have peace with him, which he granted them, and then put them out from thence, and took the city, and set a garrison in it. As for 67 Jonathan and his host, they pitched at the water of Gennesar[19]P. 118 Foot Note t. The lake of Gennesareth., from whence betimes in the morning they gat them to the plain of Nasor. And behold, 68 the host of strangers met them in the plain ; who having laid men in ambush for him in the mountains, came themselves over against him. So 69 when they which lay in ambush rose out of their places, and joined battle, all who were of Jonathan’s side fled ; insomuch that there was not one 70 of them left, except Mattathias the son of Absalom, and Judas the son of Calphi, the captains of the host. Then Jonathan rent his clothes, and 71 cast earth upon his head, and prayed. Afterwards 72 p. 119 turning again to battle, he put them to flight, and 73 so they ran away. Now when his own men who had fled saw this, they turned again unto him, and with him pursued them to Cades, even unto 74 their own tents, and there they camped. So there were slain of the heathen that day, about three thousand men : and Jonathan returned to Jerusalem.


Original Source: Transcribed from PDF copy of Book "The Five Books of Maccabees in English. With Notes and Illustrations", by HENRY COTTON, D.C.L.(Sir) Archdeacon of Cashel, and Late Student of Christ Church, Oxford. Publication date 1832 | PDF


References

References
1 P. 111 Foot Note a. Namely, Ptolemy Philometor.
2 P. 112 Foot Note b. This river runs into the Mediterranean sea, to the north of Tripolis. See Wells’s Geography, and the authors there cited.
3 P. 112 Foot Note c. Situate near the coast, upon the river Orontes. This is accounted by Appian the most celebrated among the numerous cities built by Selcucus, to nine of which he gave the same name (Seleucia). See Appian. de Helms Syriacis, c. 57. For its situation and military importance, consult Polybius, V. 58, 59.
4 P. 112 Foot Note d. Josephus calls him Zabdelus and in Polybius we read of an Arabian chief named Zabdibelus, who headed the Arabian allies of Antiochus Magnus against Ptolemy Philopator. Polyb. V. 71.] Stephanus Byzantinus calls him Rhabilus ; and Diodorus Siculus, Diodes !
5 P. 112 Foot Note e. Of wounds received in the battle mentioned at verse 15. (Josephus.).
6 P. 112 Foot Note f. And thenceforward took the surname of Nicator, ” the Conqueror.”
7 P. 114 Foot Note g. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] But probably Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] is an error Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] these three governments being in and near Samaria, (Grotius). Compare v. 34.
8 P. 114 Foot Note h. The general of the Cretan forces, who had assisted Demetrius to regain his kingdom. See above, ch. x. 07.
9 P. 114 Foot Note i. That is, Samaria, Galilee, and Peraea. See also Josephus, Ant. XIII. 8.
10 P. 115 Foot Note k. See above, at ch. x. 29.
11 P. 115 Foot Note l. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] : which also may signify ” liberally,” or ” sufficiently.”
12 P. 115 Foot Note m. His name was Diodotus, an Apamaean: he subsequently assumed that of Tryphon.
13 P. 115 Foot Note n. The readings of this name vary greatly. Josephus calls him Malchus. Possibly the same person is meant who at ver. 17. is called Zabdiel.
14 P. 115 Foot Note o. Namely, the son of Alexander Balas, by Cleopatra, daughter of Ptolemy : on coming to the throne, he took the surname of Theos.
15 P. 117 Foot Note p. Namely, the three named above, at verse 34, and Ptolemais, mentioned at chap. x. 39.
16 P. 117 Foot Note q. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] literally, ” a service of gold.”
17 P. 117 Foot Note r. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] a high mountain so called, lying between Tyre and Ptolemais. See a short description of it in Joseph. Bell. II. 17. The name was applied to other places also. See Polybius V. 72.
18 P. 118 Foot Note s. Or, ” from his office :” the Vatican MS. reads, Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] but the Alexandrian,  Gr. [ click on image to enlarge]
19 P. 118 Foot Note t. The lake of Gennesareth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *