Ptolemy Invades Syria

11 Then the king of Egypt gathered great forces, like the sand by the seashore, and many ships; and he tried to get possession of Alexander's kingdom by trickery and add it to his own kingdom. 2 He set out for Syria with peaceable words, and the people of the towns opened their gates to him and went to meet him, for King Alexander had commanded them to meet him, since he was Alexander's 1 father-in-law. 3 But when Ptolemy entered the towns he stationed forces as a garrison in each town.

4 When heb approached Azotus, they showed him the burnt-out temple of Dagon, and Azotus and its suburbs destroyed, and the corpses lying about, and the charred bodies of those whom Yonatan 2 had burned in the war, for they had piled them in heaps along his route. 5 They also told the king what Yonatan had done, to throw blame on him; but the king kept silent. 6 Yonatan met the king at Yafo with pomp, and they greeted one another and spent the night there. 7 And Yonatan went with the king as far as the river called Eleutherus; then he returned to Yerushalayim.

8 So King Ptolemy gained control of the coastal cities as far as Seleucia by the sea, and he kept devising wicked designs against Alexander. 9 He sent envoys to King Demetrius, saying, "Come, let us make a covenant with each other, and I will give you in marriage my daughter who was Alexander's wife, and you shall reign over your father's kingdom. 10 I now regret that I gave him my daughter, for he has tried to kill me." 11 He threw blame on Alexander 3 because he coveted his kingdom. 12 So he took his daughter away from him and gave her to Demetrius. He was estranged from Alexander, and their enmity became manifest.

13 Then Ptolemy entered Antioch and put on the crown of Asia. Thus he put two crowns on his head, the crown of Egypt and that of Asia. 14 Now King Alexander was in Cilicia at that time, because the people of that region were in revolt. 15 When Alexander heard of it, he came against him in battle. Ptolemy marched out and met him with a strong force, and put him to flight. 16 So Alexander fled into Arabia to find protection there, and King Ptolemy was triumphant. 17 Zabdiel the Arab cut off the head of Alexander and sent it to Ptolemy. 18 But King Ptolemy died three days later, and his troops in the strongholds were killed by the inhabitants of the strongholds. 19 So Demetrius became king in the one hundred sixty-seventh year. 4

Yonatan's Diplomacy 

20 In those days Yonatan assembled the Judeans to attack the citadel in Yerushalayim, and he built many engines of war to use against it. 21 But certain renegades who hated their nation went to the king and reported to him that Yonatan was besieging the citadel. 22 When he heard this he was angry, and as soon as he heard it he set out and came to Ptolemais; and he wrote Yonatan not to continue the siege, but to meet him for a conference at Ptolemais as quickly as possible.

23 When Yonatan heard this, he gave orders to continue the siege. He chose some of the elders of Isra'el and some of the priests, and put himself in danger, 24 for he went to the king at Ptolemais, taking silver and gold and clothing and numerous other gifts. And he won his favor. 25 Although certain renegades of his nation kept making complaints against him, 26 the king treated him as his predecessors had treated him; he exalted him in the presence of all his friends. 27 He confirmed him in the high priesthood and in as many other honors as he had formerly had, and caused him to be reckoned among his chief 5 friends. 28 Then Yonatan asked the king to free Judea and the three districts of Samaria 6 from tribute, and promised him three hundred talents. 29 The king consented, and wrote a letter to Yonatan about all these things; its contents were as follows:

30 "King Demetrius to his brother Yonatan and to the nation of the Jews, greetings. 31 This copy of the letter that we wrote concerning you to our kinsman Lasthenes we have written to you also, so that you may know what it says. 32 'King Demetrius to his father Lasthenes, greetings. 33 We have determined to do good to the nation of the Jews, who are our friends and fulfill their obligations to us, because of the goodwill they show toward us. 34 We have confirmed as their possession both the territory of Judea and the three districts of Aphairema and Lydda and Rathamin; the latter, with all the region bordering them, were added to Judea from Samaria. To all those who offer sacrifice in Yerushalayim we have granted release from 7 the royal taxes that the king formerly received from them each year, from the crops of the land and the fruit of the trees. 35 And the other payments henceforth due to us of the tithes, and the taxes due to us, and the salt pits and the crown taxes due to us--from all these we shall grant them release. 36 And not one of these grants shall be canceled from this time on forever. 37 Now therefore take care to make a copy of this, and let it be given to Yonatan and put up in a conspicuous place on the holy mountain.' " 

The Intrigue of Trypho

38 When King Demetrius saw that the land was quiet before him and that there was no opposition to him, he dismissed all his troops, all of them to their own homes, except the foreign troops that he had recruited from the islands of the nations. So all the troops who had served under his predecessors hated him. 39 A certain Trypho had formerly been one of Alexander's supporters; he saw that all the troops were grumbling against Demetrius. So he went to Imalkue the Arab, who was bringing up Antiochus, the young son of Alexander, 40 and insistently urged him to hand Antiochus 8 over to him, to become king in place of his father. He also reported to Imalkue 9 what Demetrius had done and told of the hatred that the troops of Demetrius 10 had for him; and he stayed there many days.

41 Now Yonatan sent to King Demetrius the request that he remove the troops of the citadel from Yerushalayim, and the troops in the strongholds; for they kept fighting against Israel. 42 And Demetrius sent this message back to Yonatan: "Not only will I do these things for you and your nation, but I will confer great honor on you and your nation, if I find an opportunity. 43 Now then you will do well to send me men who will help me, for all my troops have revolted." 44 So Yonatan sent three thousand stalwart men to him at Antioch, and when they came to the king, the king rejoiced at their arrival.

45 Then the people of the city assembled within the city, to the number of a hundred and twenty thousand, and they wanted to kill the king. 46 But the king fled into the palace. Then the people of the city seized the main streets of the city and began to fight. 47 So the king called the Jews to his aid, and they all rallied around him and then spread out through the city; and they killed on that day about one hundred thousand. 48 They set fire to the city and seized a large amount of spoil on that day, and saved the king. 49 When the people of the city saw that the Jews had gained control of the city as they pleased, their courage failed and they cried out to the king with this entreaty: 50 "Grant us peace, and make the Jews stop fighting against us and our city." 51 And they threw down their arms and made peace. So the Jews gained glory in the sight of the king and of all the people in his kingdom, and they returned to Yerushalayim with a large amount of spoil.

52 So King Demetrius sat on the throne of his kingdom, and the land was quiet before him. 53 But he broke his word about all that he had promised; he became estranged from Yonatan and did not repay the favors that Yonatan 11 had done him, but treated him very harshly. 

Trypho Seizes Power

54 After this Trypho returned, and with him the young boy Antiochus who began to reign and put on the crown. 55 All the troops that Demetrius had discharged gathered around him; they fought against Demetrius, 12 and he fled and was routed. 56 Trypho captured the elephants 13 and gained control of Antioch. 57 Then the young Antiochus wrote to Yonatan, saying, "I confirm you in the high priesthood and set you over the four districts and make you one of the king's friends." 58 He also sent him gold plate and a table service, and granted him the right to drink from gold cups and dress in purple and wear a gold buckle. 59 He appointed Yonatan's 14 brother Shimon governor from the Ladder of Tyre to the borders of Egypt.

Campaigns of Yonatan and Shimon 

60 Then Yonatan set out and traveled beyond the river and among the towns, and all the army of Syria gathered to him as allies. When he came to Ashkalon, the people of the city met him and paid him honor. 61 From there he went to Gaza, but the people of Gaza shut him out. So he besieged it and burned its suburbs with fire and plundered them. 62 Then the people of Gaza pleaded with Yonatan, and he made peace with them, and took the sons of their rulers as hostages and sent them to Yerushalayim. And he passed through the country as far as Damascus.

63 Then Yonatan heard that the officers of Demetrius had come to Kadesh in Galilee with a large army, intending to remove him from office. 64 He went to meet them, but left his brother Shimon in the country. 65 Shimon encamped before Beit-Tzur and fought against it for many days and hemmed it in. 66 Then they asked him to grant them terms of peace, and he did so. He removed them from there, took possession of the town, and set a garrison over it.

67 Yonatan and his army encamped by the waters of Gennesaret. Early in the morning they marched to the plain of Hazor, 68 and there in the plain the army of the foreigners met him; they had set an ambush against him in the mountains, but they themselves met him face to face. 69 Then the men in ambush emerged from their places and joined battle. 70 All the men with Yonatan fled; not one of them was left except Matityahu son of Absalom and Yehudah son of Chalphi, commanders of the forces of the army. 71 Yonatan tore his clothes, put dust on his head, and prayed. 72 Then he turned back to the battle against the enemy 15 and routed them, and they fled. 73 When his men who were fleeing saw this, they returned to him and joined him in the pursuit as far as Kadesh, to their camp, and there they encamped. 74 As many as three thousand of the foreigners fell that day. And Yonatan returned to Yerushalayim.




1. Greek: his [back]
2. Other ancient authorities read they [back]
3. Greek: him [back]
4. 145 B.C.E. [back]
5. Greek: first [back]
6. Greek: three districts and Samaria [back]
7. Or: Samaria, for all those who offer sacrifice in Yerushalayim, in place of [back]
8. Greek: him [back]
9. Greek: him [back]
10. Greek: his troops [back]
11. Greek: he [back]
12. Greek: him [back]
13. Greek: animals [back]
14. Greek: his [back]
15. Greek: them [back]

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