First Book of Machabees
1 In the mean
time when Demetrius heard that Nicanor and his army were fallen
in battle, he sent again Bacchides and Alcimus into Judea; and the
right wing of his army with them.
2 And they
took the road that leadeth to Galgal, and they camped in Masaloth,
which is in Arabella: and they made themselves masters of it, and
slew many people.
3 In the first
month of the hundred and fifty-second year they brought the army
4 And they
arose, and went to Berea with twenty thousand men, and two thousand
5 Now Judas
had pitched his tents in Laisa, and three thousand chosen men with
6 And they
saw the multitude of the army that they were many, and they were
seized with great fear: and many withdrew themselves out of the
camp, and there remained of them no more than eight hundred men.
7 And Judas
saw that his army slipped away, and the battle pressed upon him,
and his heart was cast down: because he had not time to gather them
together, and he was discouraged.
8 Then he said
to them that remained: Let us arise, and go against our enemies,
if we may be able to fight against them.
9 But they
dissuaded him, saying: We shall not be able, but let us save our
lives now, and return to our brethren, and then we will fight against
them: for we are but few.
10 Then Judas
said: God forbid we should do this thing, and flee away from them:
but if our time be come, let us die manfully for our brethren, and
let us not stain our glory.
11 And the
army removed out of the camp, and they stood over against them:
and the horsemen were divided into two troops, and the slingers,
and the archers went before the army, and they that were in the
front were all men of valour.
12 And Bacchides
was in the right wing, and the legion drew near on two sides, and
they sounded the trumpets:
13 And they
also were on Judas' side, even they also cried out, and the earth
shook at the noise of the armies: and the battle was fought from
morning even unto the evening.
14 And Judas
perceived that the stronger part of the army of Bacchides was on
the right side, and all the stout of heart came together with him:
15 And the
right wing was discomfited by them, and he pursued them even to
the mount Azotus.
16 And they
that were in the left wing saw that the right wing was discomfited,
and they followed after Judas, and them that were with him, at their
17 And the
battle was hard fought, and there fell many wounded of the one side
and of the other.
18 And Judas
was slain, and the rest fled away.
19 And Jonathan
and Simon took Judas their brother, and buried him in the sepulchre
of their fathers in the city of Modin.
20 And all
the people of Israel bewailed him with great lamentation, and they
mourned for him many days.
21 And said:
How is the mighty man fallen, that saved the people of Israel!
22 But the
rest of the words of the wars of Judas, and of the noble acts that
he did, and of his greatness, are not written: for they were very
23 And it came
to pass after the death of Judas, that the wicked began to put forth
their heads in all the confines of Israel, and all the workers of
iniquity rose up.
24 In those
days there was a very great famine, and they and all their country
yielded to Bacchides.
25 And Bacchides
chose the wicked men, and made them lords of the country:
26 And they
sought out, and made diligent search after the friends of Judas,
and brought them to Bacchides, and he took vengeance of them, and
27 And there
was a great tribulation in Israel, such as was not since the day,
that there was no prophet seen in Israel.
28 And all
the friends of Judas came together, and said to Jonathan:
29 Since thy
brother Judas died, there is not a man like him to go forth against
our enemies, Bacchides, and them that are the enemies of our nation.
30 Now therefore
we have chosen thee this day to be our prince, and captain in his
stead to fight our battles.
31 So Jonathan
took upon him the government at that time, and rose up in the place
of Judas his brother.
32 And Bacchides
had knowledge of it, and sought to kill him.
33 And Jonathan
and Simon his brother, knew it, and all that were with them: and
they fled into the desert of Thecua, and they pitched by the water
of the lake of Asphar,
34 And Bacchides
understood it, and he came himself with all his army over the Jordan
on the sabbath day.
35 And Jonathan
sent his brother a captain of the people, to desire the Nabutheans
his friends, that they would lend them their equipage, which was
36 And the
children of Jambri came forth out of Madaba, and took John, and
all that he had, and went away with them.
37 After this
it was told Jonathan, and Simon his brother, that the children of
Jambri made a great marriage, and were bringing the bride out of
Madaba, the daughter of one of the great princes of Chanaan, with
38 And the
remembered the blood of John their brother: and they went up, and
hid themselves under the covert of the mountain.
39 And they
lifted up their eyes, and saw: and behold a tumult, and great preparation:
and the bridegroom came forth, and his friends, and his brethren
to meet them with timbrels, and musical instruments, and many weapons.
40 And they
rose up against them from the place where they lay in ambush, and
slew them, and there fell many wounded, and the rest fled into the
mountains, and they took all their spoils:
41 And the
marriage was turned into mourning, and the noise of their musical
instruments into lamentation.
42 And they
took revenge for the blood of their brother: and they returned to
the bank of the Jordan.
43 And Bacchides
heard it, and he came on the sabbath day even to the bank of the
Jordan with a great power.
44 And Jonathan
said to his company: Let us arise, and fight against our enemies:
for it is not now as yesterday, and the day before.
45 And behold
the battle is before us, and the water of the Jordan on this side
and on that side, and banks, and marshes, and woods: and there is
no place for us to turn aside.
46 Now therefore
cry ye to heaven, that ye may be delivered from the hand of your
enemies. And they joined battle.
47 And Jonathan
stretched forth his hand to strike Bacchides, but he turned away
from him backwards.
48 And Jonathan,
and they that were with him leaped into the Jordan, and swam over
the Jordan to them:
49 And there
fell of Bacchides' side that day a thousand man: and they returned
50 And they
built strong cities in Judea, the fortress that was in Jericho,
and in Ammaus, and in Bethoron, and in Bethel, and Thamnata, and
Phara, and Thopo, with high walls, and gates, and bars.
51 And he placed
garrisons in them, that they might wage war against Israel:
52 And he fortified
the city of Bethsura, and Gazara, and the castle, and set garrisons
in them, and provisions of victuals:
53 And he took
the sons of the chief men of the country for hostages, and put them
in the castle in Jerusalem in custody.
54 Now in the
year one hundred and fifty-three, the second month, Alcimus commanded
the walls of the inner court of the sanctuary to be thrown down,
and the works of the prophets to be destroyed: and he began to be
destroyed: and he began to destroy.
55 At that
time Alcimus was struck: and his works were hindered, and his mouth
was stopped, and he was taken with a palsy, so that he could no
more speak a word, nor give order concerning his house.
56 And Alcimus
died at that time in great torment.
57 And Bacchides
saw that Alcimus was dead: and he returned to the king, and the
land was quiet for two years.
58 And all
the wicked held a council, saying: Behold Jonathan, and they that
are with him, dwell at ease, and without fear: now therefore let
us bring Bacchides hither, and he shall take them all in one night.
59 So they
went, and gave him counsel.
60 And he arose
to come with a great army: and he sent secretly letters to his adherents
that were in Judea, to seize upon Jonathan, and them that were with
him: but they could not, for their design was known to them.
61 And he apprehended
of the men of the country, that were the principal authors of the
mischief, fifty men, and slew them.
62 And Jonathan,
and Simon, and they that were with him retired into Bethbessen,
which is in the desert: and he repaired the breaches thereof, and
they fortified it.
63 And when
Bacchides knew it, he gathered together all his multitude: and sent
word to them that were of Judea.
64 And he came,
and camped above Bethbessen, and fought against it many days, and
65 But Jonathan
left his brother Simon in the city, and went forth into the country:
and came with a number of men.
66 And struck
Odares, and his brethren, and the children of Phaseron in their
tents, and he began to slay, and to increase in forces.
67 But Simon
and they that were with him, sallied out of the city, and burnt
68 And they
fought against Bacchides, and he was discomfited by them: and they
afflicted him exceedingly, for his counsel, and his enterprise was
69 And he was
angry with the wicked men that had given him counsel to come into
their country, and he slew many of them: and he purposed to return
with the rest into their country.
70 And Jonathan
had knowledge of it, and he sent ambassadors to him to make peace
with him, and to restore to him the prisoners.
71 And he accepted
it willingly, and did according to his words, and swore that the
would do him no harm all the days of his life.
72 And he restored
to him the prisoners which he before had taken out of the land of
Juda: and he returned and went away into his own country, and he
came no more into their borders.
73 So the sword
ceased from Israel: and Jonathan dwelt in Machmas, and Jonathan
began there to judge the people, and he destroyed the wicked out