In the hundred and seventy second year gathered king Demetrius his host, and departed unto Media, to get him help for to fight against Tryphon. Now when Arsaces the king of Persia and Media heard, that Demetrius was entered within his borders: he sent one of his princes to take him alive, and to bring him unto him. So he went and slew Demetrius host, took himself, brought him to Arsaces, which kept him inward. And all the land of Juda was in rest, so long as Simon lived for he sought the wealth of his people, therefore were they glad to have him for their ruler, and to do him worship alway.
Simon won the city of Joppa for an haven town, and made it an entrance into the Isles of the sea. He enlarged the borders of his people, and conquered them more lands: He gathered up many of their people that were prisoners: he had the dominion of Gaza, Bethsura, and the castle, which he cleansed from filthiness, and there was no man that resisted him: So that every man tilled his own ground in peace, the land of Juda and the trees gave their fruit and increase. *The elders sat all in judgement, and took their devise for the wealth of the land: the young men put on *worship and harness upon them. He provided victuals for the cities, and made goodly strong holds of them: so that the fame of his worship was spoken unto the end of the world. For he made peace throughout the land, and Israel was full of mirth and joy.
Every man sat under his vine and his fig trees, and there was no man to *fray them away. There was none in the land to fight against them, for then the kings were overcome. He helped those that were in adversity among his people, he was diligent to see the law kept: as for such as were ungodly and wicked he took them away. He set up the Sanctuary, and increased the holy vessels of the temple.
When the Romans and Spartians had gotten word, that Jonathas was dead, they were right sorry. But when they heard that Simon his brother was made high priest in his stead, and how he had won the land again with the cities in it: They wrote unto him in tables of *latin to renew the friendship, bond of love, which they had made afore with Judas and Jonathas his brethren. Which writings were read before the congregation at Jerusalem.
And this is the copy of the letters, that the *Spartians sent: The Senators and citizens of Sparta send greeting unto Simon the great priest with the elders, priests, and the other people of the Jews their brethren: When your ambassadors that were sent unto our people, certified us of your worship, honor and prosperous wealth: we were glad of their coming, and have written the errand which they spake before the council of the people: namely, that Numenius the son of Antiochus, And Antipater son of Jason the Jews ambassadors are come unto us, for to renew the old friendship with us. Upon this the people consented, that the men should be honorably entreated, and that the copy of their errand should be written in the special books of the people, for a perpetual memory unto to the Spartians: yee and that we should send a copy of the same unto Simon the great Priest.
After this did Simon send Numenius unto Rome, with a golden shield of a thousand pound weight to confirm the friendship with them: which when the Romans understood, they said: What thanks shall we recompense again unto Simon and his children? For he hath stablished his brethren and overcome the enemies of Israel. Wherefore they grant him to be free. And all this wrote the Jews in tablets of latin, and nailed it unto the pillars upon the mount Sion. The copy of the writing is this:
The eighteenth day of the month Elul, in the hundred and seventy second year in the third year of Simon the high priest, in the great congregation of the priests, rulers of the people, and elders of the country at *Asarame, were these words openly declared:
For so much as there was much war in our land, therefore Simon the son of Matathiah (come of the children of Jareb ) and his brethren, put themselves in peril, and resisted the enemies of their people: * that their Sanctuary and law might be maintained, and did their people great worship. Jonathas in like manner, after that he had governed his people and been their high priest: died, and layeth buried beside his elders.
After that would their enemies have trodden their holy things under foot, destroyed their land, and utterly wasted their Sanctuary. Then Simon withstood them, and fought for his people, spent much of his own money, weaponed the valiant men of his people, gave them wages, made strong the cities of Juda, with Bethsura, that lieth upon the borders of Jewry ( where the ordinance of their enemies lay sometime ) and set Jews there for to keep it.
He made fast Joppa also, which lieth upon the sea, and Gaza that bordereth upon Azotus ( where the enemies dwelt afore ) and there he set Jews to keep it: and whatsoever was *mete for the subduing of the adversaries, that laid he therein. Now when the people saw the noble acts of Simon, and what worship he purposed to do for them, his godly behavior, and faithfulness which he kept unto them, and how he sought by all ways the wealth of his people, because he did all this, therefore they chose him to be their prince and high priest. And in his time they prospered well by him, so that the Heathen were taken out of their land: and they also which were in the city of David at Jerusalem in the castle ( where they went out and defiled all the things that were about the Sanctuary, and did great harm unto cleanliness ), and set up the walls of Jerusalem.
And King Demetrius confirmed him in his high priesthood, made him his friend, and did him great worship. For he heard that the Romans called the Jews their friends, lovers and brethren: how honorably they received Simons ambassadors: how the Jews and priests consented that he should be their prince and high priest perpetually ( till God raised up the true prophet ) and that he should be their captain, to care for the Sanctuary, and set officers upon the works thereof, over the land, over the weapons, over the houses of defense, to make provision for the holy things, and to be obeyed of every man, and all the writings in the land to be made in his name: that he should be clothed in purple and gold, that it should be lawful for none of the people nor priests to break any of these things, to withstand his words, ner call any congregation in the land without him: that he should be clothed in purple and wear a collar of gold: And if there be any which disobeyed or break this ordinance, that he should be punished.
So all the people consented to allow Simon to do according to these words. Simon also himself took it upon him, and was content to be high priest, the captain and prince of the Jews and priests, and to govern them all. And they commanded to make this writing in tables of *latin and fasten it to the compass of the Sanctuary in an open place: and to lay up a copy of the same in the treasury, that Simon and his posterity might have it.