2 Maccabees Chapter 15 (from Five Books of Maccabees)


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P. 137 – 143 Book 2 B.C. 140 [PDF: 187/193 of p.524]

CHAPTER XV

(i) The acts and honours of Simon. Antiochus defeats Tryphon : and sends Cendebaeus into Judaea.

1 Moreover, Antiochus son of Demetrius[1]P. 137 Foot Note a. Surnamed Pius, and Sidetes : he was the son of Demetrius Soter, and younger brother of Demetrius Nicator, who had been taken prisoner by Arsaces, as stated above, at ch. xiv. … Continue reading the king, sent letters from the isles[2]P. 137 Foot Note b. Probably meaning Crete, to which his brother Demetrius had fled upon the death of his father. [B.C. 140.] of the of the sea, unto Simon the priest, and prince of the Jews, and to all the people. The contents 2 whereof were these : ” King Antiochus to Simon the high priest, and prince of his nation, and to the people of the Jews, greeting : Forasmuch as certain pestilent men[3]P. 138 Foot Note c. Meaning Tryphon and his supporters. have usurped the kingdom of our fathers, and my purpose is to challenge it again, that I may restore it to the old estate, and to that end have gathered a multitude of foreign soldiers together, and prepared ships of war ; my intention also being to go 4 through the country, that I may punish them which have destroyed our country, and made many cities in the kingdom desolate : now therefore 5 I confirm unto thee all the immunities which the kings before me granted thee, and whatsoever gifts besides they granted. I give 6 thee leave also to coin money[4]P. 138 Foot Note d. That the Jews immediately availed themselves of this privilege, we have evidence, in coins both of brass and silver, struck by direction of Simon, which are still remaining … Continue reading for thy p. 139 country, 7 with thine own stamp. And as concerning Jerusalem, and the sanctuary, let them be free[13]P. 139 Foot Note e. See above, ch. x. 31.; and all the armour which thou hast made, and fortresses which thou hast built, and keepest in 8 thine hands, let them remain unto thee. And if any thing be, or shall be owing to the king, let it be forgiven thee from this time forth for 9 evermore. Furthermore, when we have obtained our kingdom, we will honour thee, and thy nation, and thy temple, with great honour, so that your honour shall be known throughout the world.” 

10 In the hundred threescore and fourteenth year went Antiochus into the land of his fathers : and all the forces came together unto him, so that few 11 were left with Tryphon. And king Antiochus pursued him, [B.C. 139.] and he fled unto 12 Dora[14]P. 139 Foot Note f. A town of Phoenicia, situate near mount Carmel ; not to be confounded with Adora, mentioned at ch. xiii. 20., which lieth by the sea-side. For he saw that troubles came upon him all at once, and that his 13 forces had forsaken him. Then camped Antiochus against Dora, and with him an hundred and p. 140 twenty thousand men of war, and eight thousand horsemen. And he compassed the city round 14 about, and ships by sea closed up the passage, and he vexed the city by land and by sea, neither suffered he any to go out or in.

15 In the mean season came Numenius and his company from Rome, having letters to the kings and countries ; wherein were written these things :” Lucius[5]P. 140 Foot Note g. Namely Lucius Calpurnius Piso., consul of the Romans, unto king 16 Ptolemy, greeting: The Jews’ ambassadors, our 17 friends and confederates, came unto us, to renew the old friendship[6]P. 140 Foot Note h. Namely, that which was made with them by Judas Maccabaeus, in the year B.C. 161. See above, at ch.viii. and league, being sent from Simon the high priest, and from the people of the Jews. And they brought a shield of gold 18 of a thousand minae[7]P. 140 Foot Note i. See above, at eh. xiv. 24.. We thought it good 19 therefore to write unto the kings and countries, that they should do them no harm, nor fight against them, their cities, or countries, nor yet aid their enemies against them. It seemed also 20 good to us to receive the shield from them. If therefore there be any pestilent fellows who 21 have fled from their country unto you, deliver them unto Simon the high priest, that he may punish them according to their own law.” The 22 same things wrote he likewise unto Demetrius[8]P. 140 Foot Note k. King of Syria. Namely Demetrius Nicator, at this time a prisoner with the Parthians. Attalus, king of Pergamus. Ariarathes, of Cappadocia. Arsaces, (i. e. Mithridates,) of … Continue reading the king, and Attalus, to Ariarathes, and Arsaces ; and to all the countries[9]P. 140 Foot Note l. Namely, all those which were on friendly terms with the Romans., and to Sampsames[10]P. 140/141 Foot Note m. There is an obscurity here. Grotius, following the Latin version, judges that the Greek text is faulty, and that we ought to read Lampsacus, the name of a well-known city … Continue reading, 23 p. 141 and the Lacedaemonians, and to Delus, and Myndus, and Sicyon, and Caria, and Samos, and Pamphylia, and Lycia, and Halicarnassus, and Rhodus, and Phaselis, and Cos, and Side, and Aradus, and Gortyna, and Cnidus, and Cyprus, and 24 Cyrene. And the copy hereof they wrote to Simon 25 the high priest. So Antiochus the king camped against Dora the second day, bringing his forces against it continually, and making engines ; and he shut up Tryphon, that he could neither go in nor out.

26 And Simon sent him two thousand chosen men to aid him : silver also and gold, and much armour. 27 Nevertheless, he would not receive them, but brake all the covenants which he had made with him 28 afore, and became strange unto him. Furthermore, he sent unto him Athenobius, one of his friends, to commune with him, and say, You withhold Joppe and Gazara, with the tower which is in Jerusalem, 29 which are cities of my realm. The borders thereof ye have wasted, and done great hurt in the land, and gotten the dominion of many places 30 within my kingdom. Now therefore deliver up the cities which ye have taken, and the tributes of the places whereof ye have gotten dominion without 31 the borders of Judaea : or else, give me for them five hundred talents of silver ; and for the harm which you have done, and the tributes of the cities, other five hundred talents : if not, we 32 will come and subdue you in fight. So Athenobius the king’s friend came to Jerusalem : and p. 142 when he saw the glory of Simon, and the cupboard of gold, and silver plate, and his great attendance, he was astonished, and told him the king’s message. Then answered Simon, and said unto him, 33 We have neither taken other men’s land, nor holden that which appertaineth to others, but the inheritance of our fathers, which our enemies had wrongfully in possession a certain time. Wherefore 34 we, having the opportunity, hold the inheritance of our fathers. But as for Joppe and Gazara 35 which thou demandest, although they did great harm unto the people in our country, yet will we give an hundred talents for them. Hereunto Athenobius answered him not a word. But 36 returned in a rage to the king, and made a report unto him of these speeches, and of the glory of Simon, and of all which he had seen : whereupon the king was exceeding wroth. In the mean time 37 fled Tryphon by ship unto Orthosias[11]P. 142 Foot Note n. A maritime town of Phoenicia : seated on or near the river Eleutherus. It was of sufficient importance to coin money in the days of the emperor Adrian. Josephus … Continue reading.

38 Then the king made Cendebaeus captain of the sea-coast, and gave him an host of footmen and horsemen, and commanded him to remove his 39 host toward Judaea : also he commanded him to build up Cedron[12]P. 142 Foot Note o. Grotius (from the Latin) corrects this to Gedor, or Gedora ; which is a town in the south of the Holy Land, bordering on the territory of the Philistines and Idumaea., and to fortify the gates, and to war against the people : but as for the king himself, he pursued Tryphon. So Cendebaeus came 40 to Jamnia, and began to annoy the people, and to p. 143 invade Judaea, and to take the people prisoners, 41 and slay them. And when he had built up Cedron, he set horsemen there, and an host of footmen, to the end that issuing out they might make out-roads upon the ways of Judaea, as the king had commanded him.


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

1 P. 137 Foot Note a. Surnamed Pius, and Sidetes : he was the son of Demetrius Soter, and younger brother of Demetrius Nicator, who had been taken prisoner by Arsaces, as stated above, at ch. xiv. 3.
2 P. 137 Foot Note b. Probably meaning Crete, to which his brother Demetrius had fled upon the death of his father.
3 P. 138 Foot Note c. Meaning Tryphon and his supporters.
4 P. 138 Foot Note d. That the Jews immediately availed themselves of this privilege, we have evidence, in coins both of brass and silver, struck by direction of Simon, which are still remaining in many public and private cabinets. They are of various size, metal, type, and inscription ; but, I believe, all agree in bearing the date of their execution, anno 1, 2, 3, or 4 : that is, of Simon’s government. Two of them, one a silver shekel, the other a small brass piece, are engraved in Wise’s ” Nummi Bodleiani,” fol. 1750: tab. xv. pp. 93, 215: and these, together with several others, are still preserved in the Bodleian collection. Many are delineated in the ” Nummi Pembrochiani,” 4to, 1746. part 2, tab. 85. See also ” Relandus de Nummis Samaritanis,” 8vo, 1709. Dr. Kennicot has figured and described a brasen piece of the fourth year, at p. 47, 48, 49, of his tract, entitled, ” Observations on the First Book of Samuel, ch. vi. 19.” 8vo, Oxford, 1768. But this, together with many others, of every year of Simon, and also several attributed to Jonathan, Simon’s brother, to John Hyrcanus, to Aristobulus, &c. may be found beautifully engraved, and most elaborately described and discussed, in “Bayerius de Nummis Hebraeo-Samaritanis,” 4to, Valentiae, 1 781 . Bayer, however, was warmly attacked by Tychsen, another celebrated numismatist, who denied the genuineness of the specimens: but he defended himself with vigour, in ” Numorum Hebraeo-Samaritanorum Vindiciae, English translation: Blamed the Hebrew-Samaritan Vmdiciae” 4to, Valeutiae, 1790. Tychsen rejoined ; and again was replied to : and the question continued to be agitated for some years afterwards, as may be seen in the Transactions of the Gottingen Academy for 1792, &c. These two authors, Bayer and Tychsen, furnish ample references to the earlier writers on Oriental coins, as Reland, Swinton, the Pembroke collection, that of Dr. Hunter, to Froelich, Woide, Gagnier, Barthelemy, &c. ; and indeed appear to have exhausted the subject. Those persons who have not access to their works will do well to consult the ” Fragments to Calmet,” Nos. 202 and 203.
5 P. 140 Foot Note g. Namely Lucius Calpurnius Piso.
6 P. 140 Foot Note h. Namely, that which was made with them by Judas Maccabaeus, in the year B.C. 161. See above, at ch.viii.
7 P. 140 Foot Note i. See above, at eh. xiv. 24.
8 P. 140 Foot Note k. King of Syria. Namely Demetrius Nicator, at this time a prisoner with the Parthians. Attalus, king of Pergamus. Ariarathes, of Cappadocia. Arsaces, (i. e. Mithridates,) of Parthia.
9 P. 140 Foot Note l. Namely, all those which were on friendly terms with the Romans.
10 P. 140/141 Foot Note m. There is an obscurity here. Grotius, following the Latin version, judges that the Greek text is faulty, and that we ought to read Lampsacus, the name of a well-known city of Asia Minor.
11 P. 142 Foot Note n. A maritime town of Phoenicia : seated on or near the river Eleutherus. It was of sufficient importance to coin money in the days of the emperor Adrian. Josephus adds, that Tryphon fled thence to his native place Apamea, where he was taken and slain, having usurped the crown for three years.
12 P. 142 Foot Note o. Grotius (from the Latin) corrects this to Gedor, or Gedora ; which is a town in the south of the Holy Land, bordering on the territory of the Philistines and Idumaea.
13 P. 139 Foot Note e. See above, ch. x. 31.
14 P. 139 Foot Note f. A town of Phoenicia, situate near mount Carmel ; not to be confounded with Adora, mentioned at ch. xiii. 20.

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