In the hundred and sixtieth year came Alexander, the son of Antioch* and took Ptolemais, whose citizens received him and there he reigned. When Demetrius heard thereof, he gathered an exceeding great host, and went forth against him to fight. Wherefore Demetrius sent letters unto Jonathas with loving words, and praised him greatly. For he said: We will first make peace with him, before he bind himself with Alexander against us: Else he shall remember all the evil that we have done against him, his brother and his people. And so he gave Jonathas leave to gather an host, to make weapons, and to be confederate with him, and commanded the pledges that were in the castle, to be delivered unto him.
Then came Jonathas to Jerusalem, and read the letters in the audience of all the people, and of them that were in the castle. And therefore were they sore afraid, because they heard, that the king had given him license to gather an host, Thus were the pledges delivered unto Jonathas, which restored them to their elders. Jonathas also dwelt at Jerusalem, and began to build up and repair the city: Commanding the workmen, to wall it, and the mount Sion round about with free stone, to be a stronghold, and so they did. As for the Heathen that were in the castles which Bachides had made up, they fled: so that every man left the place, and went into his own country. Only at Bethsura certain of the Jews, which had forsaken the law and the commandments of God, for Bethsura was their refuge.
Now when king Alexander had heard of the promises that Demetrius had made unto Jonathas, and when it was told him of the battles and noble acts, which he and his brethren had done, and of the great travails that they had taken: he said: Where shall we find such a man? well, we will make him our friend, and be confederate with him. Upon this he wrote a letter unto him, with these words: King Alexander saluteth his brother Jonathas. We have heard of thee, that thou art a valiant man, and *mete to be our friend: *Wherefore this day we ordain thee to be the high Priest of thy people, and to be called the kings friend. ( Upon this, he sent him a purple clothing, and crown of gold ) that thou may consider what is for our profit, and keep friendship toward us.
So in the seventh month of the hundred and sixtieth year, upon the solemn feast day of the tabernacles, Jonathas put the holy raiment upon him. Then gathered he a host, and made many weapons. Which when Demetrius heard, he was marvelous sorry, and said: Alas, what have we done, that Alexander hath prevented us in getting the friendship of the Jews, for his own defense? Yet will I write lovingly unto them also, yee and promise them dignities and rewards, that they may be of my side. Whereupon he wrote unto them these words: King Demetrius sendeth greeting unto the Jews. Whereas ye have kept your covenants toward us, and continued in our friendship, not inclining to our enemies, we were glad, when we heard thereof. Wherefore remain still, and be faithful unto us: and we well recompense you for the things, that ye have done on our party: we shall release you of many charges, and give you rewards. And now I discharge you and all the Jews from tributes, I forgive you the customs of salt, and release you from the crown taxes, and the third part of seed, and half of the fruit of the trees, which is mine own duty. these I leave for you, from this day forth: so that they shall not be taken of the land of Juda nor of the three *cities which are added thereunto out of Samaria and Galilee, from this day forth for evermore. Jerusalem also with all things belonging thereto, shall be holy and free, yee the tithes and tributes shall pertain unto it. As for the power of the castle which is at Jerusalem, I remit and give it unto the high priest, that he may set in it such men, as he shall choose to keep it. I freely deliver all the Jews that are prisoners throughout all my realm: so that every one of them shall be free from paying any tribute, yee even of their cattle.
All the solemn feasts, Sabbaths, new moons, the days appointed, the three days before and after the feast shall be free for all the Jews in my realm: *so that in them no man shall have power to do any thing, or to move any business against any of them in any manner of cause. There shall thirty thousand also of the Jews, be written up in the kings host, and have their wages paid, as all other men of war of the kings should have: and of them shall be ordered certain, to keep the kings strongholds: yee and some of them shall be set over the kings business, that they may faithfully deal with the same. The Jews also shall have princes of their own, and walk in their own laws, as the king hath commanded in the land of Juda.
And the three cities that are fallen unto Jewry from the country of Samaria and Galilee: shall be taken as Jewry, and be under one: neither be subject to any strange lord, but to the high priest. As for Ptolemais, and the land pertaining thereto, I give it unto the Sanctuary at Jerusalem, for the necessary expenses of the holy things. Moreover, I will give every year fifteen thousand *Siceles of silver out of the kings checker ( which pertaineth unto me ) to the work of the temple: yee and look what remaineth ( which they that had our matters in hand in times past, have not paid ) that same shall they shall give unto them also. Besides all this, the five thousand *siceles which they took yearly of the rents of the Sanctuary, shall belong unto the priests that do service.
Item, whosoever they be that flee unto the temple at Jerusalem, or within the liberties thereof, where as they are fallen into the kings danger for any manner of business, they shall be pardoned, and all the goods that they have in my realm, shall be free. For the building also and repairing of the work of the Sanctuary, expenses shall be given out of the kings Checker: Yee and for the making of the walls round about Jerusalem, for the breaking down of the old, and the setting up of the strongholds in Jewry, shall the costs and charges be given out of the kings Checker.
But when Jonathas and the people heard these words, they gave no credence unto them, neither received them: for they remembered the great wickedness that he had done unto Israel, and how sore he had vexed them. Wherefore they agreed unto Alexander, for he was a prince that had dealt friendly with them, and so they stood by him always. Then gathered king Alexander a great host, and brought his army against Demetrius. So the two kings struck battle together, but Demetrius host fled, and Alexander followed after, and fell upon them. A mighty sore field was it, continuing until the *Son went down, and Demetrius was slain the same day.
And Alexander sent ambassadors unto Ptolemy the king of Egypt with these words, saying: Forasmuch as I am come again to my realm, and am set in the throne of my progenitors, and have gotten the dominion, overcomed Demetrius, conquered the land, and stricken the field with him, so that we have discomfited both him and his host, and sit in the throne of his kingdom: Let us now make a friendship together, give me thy daughter to wife: so shall I be thy son in law, and both give thee rewards, and her great dignity. Ptolomy the king gave answer, saying: Happy be the day wherein thou art come again to the land of thy *progenitors and set in the throne of their kingdom. As now will I fulfill thy writing: but meet me at Ptolemais, that we may see one another, and that I may marry my daughter unto thee according to thy desire.
So Ptolomy went out of Egypt with his daughter *Cleopatra, and came unto Ptolemais in the hundred and sixty second year: where king Alexander met him, and he gave Alexander his daughter Cleopatra, and married them at Ptolemais with great worship, like as the manner of kings is to be. Then wrote king Alexander unto Jonathas, that he should come and meet him. So he went honorably to Ptolemais, and there he met the two kings, and gave them great presents of gold and silver, and found favor in their sight: And there came together against Jonathas certain wicked men and ungracious persons of Israel, making complaint of him, but the king regarded them not. As for Jonathas, the king commanded to take off his garments, and clothe him in purple: and so they did. Then the king appointed him sit by him, and said into his princes: Go with him into the midst of the city, and make proclamation, that no man complain against him of any matter, and that no man trouble him for any manner of cause.
So it happened that when his accusers saw the worship which was proclaimed of him, and that he was clothed in purple: they fled every each one. And the king made much of him, wrote him among his chief friends, and made him a duke, and partaker of his dominion. Thus Jonathas went again to Jerusalem with peace and gladness. In the one hundred and sixty fifth year came Demetrius the son of Demetrius from *Crete into his fathers land: Whereof when Alexander heard tell, he was right sorry, and returned into Antioch. And Demetrius chose Apollonius (which had the governance of Celosyria) to be his captain.
So he gathered a great host and camped in Jamnia, and sent unto Jonathas the high priest, saying: Darest thou withstand us thyself alone? As for me, I am but laughed to scorn and ashamed, because thou provest thy strength against us in the mountains. Now therefore if thou trustest in thine own strength, come down to us into the plain field, and there let us prove our strength together: thou shalt find, that I have valiant men of war with me: and shalt know whom I am, and the other that stand by me.
Which say, that your foot is not able to stand before our face, for thy fathers were twice chased in to their own land. And now, how wilt thou be able to abide so great an host of horsemen and footmen in the field, whereas is neither rock, stone ner place to flee unto?
When Jonathas heard the words of Apollonius, he was moved in his mind: wherefore he chose ten thousand men and went out of Jerusalem, and Simon his brother met him for to help him: And they pitched their tents at Joppa: but the city kept him forth, for Joppa was an hold of Apollonius. Then Jonathas laid siege to it, and they that were in the city, for very fear let him in: and so Jonathas won Joppa. Apollonius hearing of this, took three thousand horsemen, with a great host of foot, and went as though he would go to Azotus, and came immediately in to the plain field: because he had so many horsemen, and put his trust in them. So Jonathas followed upon him to Azotus, and there they struck battle. Now had Apollonius left a thousand horsemen behind them privily in the tents. And when Jonathas knew that such wait was layed behind them, they went round about the enemies host, and shot darts at the people from morning to the evening. As for Jonathas people, they kept their order as he had commanded them, and the enemies horses were ever laboring.
Then brought Simon forth his host, and set them against the footmen. For the horsemen were weary already. So he discomfited them and they fled. And they that were scattered in the field, gat them to Azotus, and came into the temple of Dagon their Idol, that they might there save their lives. But Jonathas set fire upon Azotus, and all the cities round about it, and took their gods, and burnt up the temple of Dagon with all them that were fled into it.
Thus there were slain and burnt well nigh eight thousand men. So Jonathas removed the host from thence, and brought them to Ascalon: where the men of the city came forth, and met him with great worship. After this went Jonathas and his host again unto Jerusalem, with great substance of good. And when king Alexander heard these things, he thought to do Jonathas more worship, and sent him a collar of gold, as the use is to be given unto such as are of the kings next blood. He gave him also the city of Accaron ( with the lands belonging thereto ) in possession.