2 Maccabees Chapter 16 (from Five Books of Maccabees)


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P. 143 – 145 Book 2 B.C. 138 [PDF: 193/195 of p.524]

CHAPTER XVI

(i) John defeats Cendebaeus. Simon and his sons are slain treacherously by Ptolemy son of Abubus.

1 Then came up John from Gazara, and told Simon his father, what Cendebaeus had 2 done. [B.C. 138.] Wherefore Simon called his two eldest sons, Judas and John, and said unto them ; I and my brethren, and my father’s house, have ever from our youth unto this day fought against the enemies of Israel ; and things have prospered so well in our hands, that we have delivered Israel 3 oftentimes. But now I am old, and ye, by God’s mercy, are of a sufficient age : be ye instead of me and my brother, and go out and fight for our nation, 4 and the help from Heaven be with you. So he chose out of the country twenty thousand men of war with horsemen, who went out against 5 Cendebaeus, and rested that night at Modin. And when as they rose in the morning, and went into the plain, behold, a mighty great host both of footmen and horsemen came against them : howbeit 6 there was a water-brook betwixt them. So he and his people pitched over against them : and when he saw that the people were afraid to go over the water-brook, he went over first himself, and then the men seeing him, passed through after 7 him. That done, he divided his men, and set the p. 144 horsemen in the midst of the footmen: for the enemy’s horsemen were very many. Then sounded 8 they with the holy trumpets : whereupon Cendebaeus and his host were put to flight, so that many of them were slain, and the remnant fled to the strong hold. At that time was Judas, John’s 9 brother, wounded : but John still followed after them, until he came to Cedron[1]P. 144 Foot Note a. See the note at ch. xv. 39, which Cendebaeus had built up. (And they fled even unto the 10 towers in the fields of Azotus); wherefore he burnt it with fire: so that there were slain of them about two thousand men. Afterward he returned into the land of Judah in peace.

11 Moreover, Ptolemaeus the son of Abubus was made captain over the plain of Jericho, and he had abundance of silver and gold. For he was the high priest’s son-in-law. 12 Wherefore his heart being lifted up, he thought to get 13 the country to himself, and thereupon consulted deceitfully against Simon and his sons to destroy them. Now Simon was visiting the cities which 14 were in the country, and taking care for the good ordering of them : at which time he came down himself to Jericho, with his sons Mattathias and Judas, in the hundred threescore and seventh year, in the eleventh month, which is the month Sabat : where the son of Abubus receiving them deceitfully 15 into a little hold, called Docus[2]P. 144 Foot Note b. This is said to have been ” a strong tower situate near Jericho, the ruins whereof may be seen to this day.” It was also called, Dagon ; and is mentioned again at … Continue reading, which he had built, made them a great banquet : howbeit he had hidden men there. So when Simon and 16 p. 145 his sons had drunk largely, Ptolemy and his men rose up, and took their weapons, and came upon Simon into the banqueting-place, and slew him, 17 and his two sons, and certain of his servants. In which doing he committed a great treachery, and recompensed evil for good.

18 Then Ptolemy wrote these things, and sent to the king[3]P. 145 Foot Note c. Archbishop Ussher remarks, that from allusions in one or two historians there is reason to think that this treacherous act of Ptolemy was not without the privity … Continue reading, that he should send him an host to aid him, and he would deliver him the country and 19 cities. He sent others also to Gazara to take John : and unto the captains of thousands he sent letters to come unto him, that he might give them 20 silver and gold, and rewards. And others he sent to take Jerusalem, and the mountain of the temple. 21 Now one had run afore to Gazara, and told John that his father and brethren were slain ; and (said 22 he) Ptolemy hath sent to slay thee also. Hereof when he heard, he was sore astonished : so he laid hands on them which were come to destroy him, and slew them ; for he knew that they sought to make him away.

23 As concerning the rest of the accounts of John, and his wars and worthy deeds which he did, and the building of the walls which he made, and his 24 doings; behold, these are written in the chronicles of his priesthood[4]P. 145 Foot Note d. From which, in all probability, Josephus drew the whole of that information which he has given us concerning these things. See also Mace, book V. ch. xx.—xxvi., from the time he was made high priest after his father.


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. 144 Foot Note a. See the note at ch. xv. 39
2 P. 144 Foot Note b. This is said to have been ” a strong tower situate near Jericho, the ruins whereof may be seen to this day.” It was also called, Dagon ; and is mentioned again at 5 Mace. ch. xx.
3 P. 145 Foot Note c. Archbishop Ussher remarks, that from allusions in one or two historians there is reason to think that this treacherous act of Ptolemy was not without the privity of Antiochus.
4 P. 145 Foot Note d. From which, in all probability, Josephus drew the whole of that information which he has given us concerning these things. See also Mace, book V. ch. xx.—xxvi.

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