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First Book of Machabees

(excluded from most "bibles of men")

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Chapter 12

Yes Word (Tyndale-Modern English)

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      Jonathas seeing that the time was *mete for him, chose certain men and sent them to Rome for to stablish and renew the friendship with them. He sent letters also unto *Sparta and to other places in like manner. So they went unto Rome, and entered into the *council, and said: Jonathas the high priest and the people of the Jews sent us unto you, for to renew the old friendship and bond of love. Upon this the Romans gave them free passports, that men should lead them home into the land of Jewry peaceably. And this is a copy of the letters that Jonathas wrote unto *Sparcians:
      Jonathas the high priest with the elders, priests, and the other people of the Jews, send greeting unto the Sparcians their brethren. There were letters sent long ago unto Onias the high priest, from *Arius which then reigned among you: that ye are our brethren, as the writing made thereupon, specifieth. And Onias entreated the ambassador that was sent, honorably, and received the letters: wherein there was mention of the bond of love and friendship. But as for us, we need no such writings: for why ? we have the holy books of scripture in our hands to our comfort. Nevertheless we had rather send unto you, for the renewing of the brotherhood and friendship: lest we should be strange unto you, for it is long, since the time that ye sent words unto us. Wherefore in the sacrifices which we offer and other ceremonies upon the high solemn days and other, we always remember you without ceasing ( like as reason is, and as it becometh us to think upon our brethren ) yee and are right glad of your prosperous honor.
      And though we have had great troubles and wars, so that the kings about us have foughten against us: Yet we would not be grievous unto you ner to others of our lovers and friends in these wars. For we have had help from heaven, so that we are delivered, and our enemies subdued. Wherefore we chose Numenius the son of Antiochus, and Antipater he son of Jason, and sent them unto the Romans, for to renew the old bond of friendship and love with them. We commanded them also to come unto you, to salute you, and to deliver you our letters, concerning the renovation of our brotherhood. And now ye shall do right well, to give us an answer there unto.
      And this is the copy of the writing which *Arius the king of *Sparta sent unto Onias: Arius the king of the Sparcians sendeth greeting unto Onias the high priest. It is found in writing, that the Sparcians and Jews are brethren, and come out of the generation of Abraham. And now for so much as this is come to our knowledge, ye shall do well, to write unto us of your prosperity. As for us, we have written our mind unto you: Our cattle and goods are yours, and yours ours. These things have we commanded to be showed unto you.
      When Jonathas heard, that Demetrius princes were come to fight against him, with a greater host than afore, he went from Jerusalem, and met them in the land of *Hemath, for he gave them no space to come into his own country. And he sent spies unto their tents, which came again and told him that they were appointed to come upon them in the night season. Wherefore so soon as the sun was down, Jonathas commanded his men to watch all the night, and be ready with weapons for to fight: and set watchmen round about the host. But when the adversaries heard that Jonathas was ready with his men to the battle, they feared, and were afraid in their hearts, and kindled fires in their tents, break up, and got them away. Nevertheless Jonathas and his company knew it not till the morning, for they saw the *fires burning.
      Then Jonathas followed upon them, but he might not overtake them, for they were gone over the water Eleutherus. So Jonathas departed unto the Arabians, ( who were called Zabadei ) slew them, and took their goods. He proceeded further also, and came unto Damascus, and went through all that country. But Simon his brother took his journey and came to Ascalon, and to the next strong holds: departing unto Joppa, and won it. For he had heard that they would stand of Demetrius part: wherefore he set men of war into the city, to keep it. After this came Jonathas home again, and called the elders of the people together, and devised with them for to build up the strong holds in Jewry, and the walls of Jerusalem, to set up an high wall between the castle and the city, for to separate it from the city, that so it might be alone, and that men should neither buy nor sell in it.
      Upon this they came together for to build up the city: and for much as the wall upon the brook on the *west side ( called Caphenthetah ) was fallen down, they repaired it. And Simon set up Adiadah in Sephelah, and made it strong setting ports and locks upon it. Now Tryphon went purposed to reign in Asia, to be crowned, and to slay the king Antiochus: he was afraid that Jonathas would not *suffer him, but would fight against him. Wherefore he went about to take Jonathas, and to kill him. So he departed, and came unto Bethsan. Then went Jonathas forth against him to the battle with forty thousand chosen men, and came unto Bethsan also. But when Tryphon saw that Jonathas came with so great an Host to destroy him, he was afraid: and therefore received him honorably, commended him unto all his friends, and gave him rewards, and commanded his men of war to be as obedient unto him, as to himself.
      And said unto Jonathas: Why hast thou caused this people to take such travail, seeing there is no war betwixt us? Therefore send them home again, and choose certain men to wait upon thee, and come thou with me to Ptolemais: for I will give it thee, with the other strong holds, men of war and their officers: As for me, I must depart this is only the cause of my coming. Jonathas believed him, and did as he said, putting away his host, which went into the land of Juda. He kept but three thousand by him, whereof he sent two thousand into Galilee, and one thousand went with himself.
      Now as soon as Jonathas entered into Ptolemais, the citizens sparred the gates of the city, and took him, and slew all them with the sword, that came in with him. Then sent Tryphon an Host of footmen and horsemen into Galilee and into the great plain field, to destroy all Jonathass company. But when they knew that Jonathas was taken, and they slain that waited upon him: they took counsel together, and came forth ready to the battle. So when they which followed upon them, saw that it was a matter of life, they turned back again. As for the other, they went into the land of Juda peaceably, and bewailed Jonathas, and them that were with him right sore: And Israel made great lamentation. Then all the Heathen that were round about them, sought to destroy them For they said: now they have no captain, nor any man to help them, Therefore let us overcome them, and root out their name from among men.


*mete(worthy) *Sparta (kjv = the Lacedemonians) *council, (kjv = senate)
*Sparcians: (kjv =the Lacedemonians) *Arius (kjv =Darius) *Arius (kjv=Oniares)
*Sparta (kjv= the Lacedemonians) *Hemath, (kjv=Amathis) *fires (kjv = lights)
*west (kjv =east) *suffer (allow)

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