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First Book of Machabees

(excluded from most "bibles of men")

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Chapter 11

Yes Word (Tyndale-Modern English)


      And the king of Egypt gathered an host ( like the sand that lieth upon the sea shore ) and many ships: and went about through deceit to obtain the kingdom of Alexander, and to join it unto his own realm. Upon this he took his journey into *Syra, and was letten into the cities, and men came forth to meet him: for king Alexander had commanded them so to do, because he was his father in law. Now when Ptolomy entered into any city, he left men of war to keep it, and this he did throughout all the cities. And when he came to Azotus, they showed him the temple of Dagon and Azotus that was burnt up, with the other things that were destroyed, the dead bodies that were cast abroad, and the graves that they had made up by the wayside, for such as were slain in the field: And told the king that Jonathas had done all these things, to the intent that they might get him evil will. But the king said not a word thereto. And Jonathas met the king with great honor at Joppa, where they saluted one another, and took their rest. So when Jonathas had gone with the king unto the water called Eleutherus, he turned again to Jerusalem. Now Ptolomy had gotten the dominion of the cities unto Seleucia upon the sea coast, imagining wicked counsels against Alexander, and sent ambassadors unto Demetrius, saying: Come, let us make a bond betwixt us, so shall I give thee my daughter that Alexander hath, and thou shalt reign in thy fathers kingdom. I repent that I gave Alexander my daughter, for he goeth about to slay me. And thus he *sclandered Alexander, because he would have his realm.
      Thus he took his daughter from him, gave her to Demetrius, and forsook Alexander, so that his malice was openly known. And Ptolomy came to Antioch, where he set two crowns upon his own head: the crown of Egypt and of Asia. In the mean season was king Alexander in Cilicia, for they that dwelt in those places, had rebelled against him. But when Alexander heard of this, he came to war against him. So king Ptolomy brought forth his host and met him with a mighty power, and chased him away. Then fled Alexander unto Araby, there to be defended, and king Ptolomys honor increased. And Zabdiel the Arabian smote off Alexanders head, and sent it unto Ptolomy. But the third day after, died king Ptolomy himself: and they whom he had set in the strong holds, were slain of those that were in the cities. And Demetrius reigned in the hundred sixty seventh year.
      At the same time gathered Jonathas them that were in Jewry to lay siege unto the castle which was at Jerusalem, and so they made many instruments of war against it. Then went there certain ungodly persons ( which hated their own people ) unto king Demetrius, and told him, that Jonathas besieged the castle. So when he heard it, he was angry, and Immediately came unto Ptolemais, and wrote unto Jonathas, that he should not lay siege to the castle, but come and speak with him in all haste. Nevertheless when Jonathas heard this he commanded to besiege it. He chose also certain of the elders and priests of Israel, and put himself in the peril, and took with him gold, silver, clothing and divers presents: and went to Ptolemais unto the king, and found him gracious.
      And though certain ungodly men of his own people made complaints against him, yet the king entreated him, like as his predecessors had done before: and promoted him in the sight of all his friends, and confirmed him in the high priesthood with all the worship that he had afore, and made him his chief friend. Jonathas also desired the king that he would make Jewry free, with the three head cities of Samaria and the lands pertaining thereto: upon this did Jonathas promise him three hundred talents. Where unto the king consented, and gave Jonathas writings of the same, containing these words. King Demetrius sendeth greeting unto his brother Jonathas, and to the people of the Jews. We send you here a copy of the letter which we did write unto our elder Lasthenus, concerning you, that ye should know it.
      King Demetrius sendeth greeting unto Lasthenus his elder. For the faithfulness that our friends the people keep unto us, and for the loving kindness which they beare toward us: We are determined to do them good. Wherefore we order all the coasts of Jewry with three cities, Lyda and Ramath (which are added unto Jewry from Samaria ) and all the lands pertaining there unto, to be freely separated for such as do sacrifice in Jerusalem, both concerning the payments which the king took yearly afore time, and the fruits also of the earth and trees. And as for other tithes and tributes that belonged to us, we discharge them thereof from this time forth. In like manner we grant unto them all the customs of salt and crown taxes which were brought unto us. And this freedom shall they have firm and steadfast, from this time forth for evermore. Therefore see that thou make a copy of these our letters, and deliver it unto Jonathas: that it may be kept upon the holy mount in a convenient place.
      After this, when Demetrius the king saw that his land was in rest, and that no resistance was made him: he sent away all his host every man to his own place, except an army of strangers, whom he brought from the Isles of the Heathen, wherefore all his fathers host had evil will at him. Now there was one Triphon ( that had been of Alexanders part afore ) which when he saw that all the host murmured against Demetrius: went to Emalcuel the Arabian ( that brought up Antiochus the son of Alexander ) And lay sore upon him, to deliver him this young Antiochus: that he might reign in his fathers stead. He told him also what great evil Demetrius had done, and how his men of war loved him not: and so remained there a long season.
      And Jonathas sent unto king Demetrius, to drive them out which were in the castle at Jerusalem and the other refugees for they did Israel great harm. So Demetrius sent word unto Jonathas, saying: I will not only do these things for thee and thy people, but at time convenient I will do both thee and thy people great worship. But now thou shalt do me a pleasure, if thou wilt send me men to help me: for all my army is gone from me. So Jonathas sent him three thousand strong men unto Antioch, and they came unto the king, wherefore the king was very glad at their coming. But they that were of the city ( even an hundred and twenty thousand men ) gathered them together, and would have slain the king, which fled into his court: and the citizens kept the streets of the city, and began to fight.
      Then the king called for the Jews help, which came unto him altogether, and went abroad through the city, and slew the same day an hundred thousand men: set fire upon the city, gat many spoils in that day, and delivered the king. So when the citizens saw that the Jews had gotten their will of the city, and they themselves disappointed of their purpose, they made their supplication to the king, saying: Grant us peace, and let the Jews cease from troubling us and the city, and upon this they cast away their weapons. Thus they made peace, and the Jews got great worship in the sight of the king, and in the sight of all that were in his realm, and were spoken of throughout the kingdom: and so they came again to Jerusalem with great goods.
      So the king Demetrius sat in the throne of his kingdom, and had peace in his land. Nevertheless he dissembled in all that ever he spake, and withdrew himself from Jonathas, neither rewarded him according to the benefits which he had done for him, but troubled him very sore. After this came Tryphon again with young Antiochus, which reigned and was crowned king. Then there gathered unto him all the men of war, whom Demetrius had put away: these fought against Demetrius, which fled and turned his back. So Tryphon took the Elephants, and won Antioch. And young Antiochus wrote unto Jonathas, saying: I confirm thee in thy priesthood, and make thee ruler of four countries, that thou mayest be a friend of the kings.
      Upon this he sent him golden vessels to be served in, and gave him leave to drink in gold, to be clothed in purple, and to wear a collar of gold, He made his brother Simon also captain, from the *coasts of Tyrus unto the borders of Egypt. Then Jonathas took his journey, and went through the cities beyond the water ( of Jordan ) and all the men of war of Syria gathered them unto him for to help him. So he came unto Ascalon, and they of the city received him honorably: and from thence he went unto Gaza, but they would not let him in: wherefore he laid siege unto it burning up and spoiling the places that where about the city.
      And the citizens of Gaza submitted themselves unto Jonathas, which made peace with them, but took of their sons to pledge, sent them to Jerusalem, and went through the country unto Damascus. Now when Jonathas heard that Demetrius princes were come into Cades, ( which is in Galilee ) with a great host, purposing to put Demetrius out from meddling in the realm: he came against him, and left Simon his brother in the land: which came to Bethsura, and laid siege to it a long season, and discomfited them. So they desired to have peace with him, which he granted them, and afterward put them out from thence, took the city, and set men to keep it. And Jonathas with his host, came to the water of Genesar, and bytimes in the morning they gat them to the plain field of *Azor.
      And behold, the hosts of Heathen met them in the field, and laid watch for them in the mountains: so that when Jonathas came against them, the other ( which were laid to watch ) rose out of their places, and fought, and they that were of Jonathass side, fled every man: and there was not one of them left, except Mathathias the son of Absalomus, and Judas the son of Calphi the captain of the host. Then Jonathas rent his clothes, and layed earth upon his head, made his prayer, and turned again to them in the field: where they fought together, and he put them to flight. Now when his own men that were fled, saw this: they turned again unto him, and helped him to follow upon all their enemies unto their tents at Cades. So there were slain of the Heathen the same day three thousand men, and Jonathas turned again unto Jerusalem.

*Syra, (kjv=Spain) *sclandered (scandal and slander) *coasts of Tyrus (kjv = place called The ladder of Tyrus) *Azor. (kjv =Nasor)

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