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First Book of Machabees

(excluded from most "bibles of men")

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Chapter 15

Yes Word (Tyndale-Modern English)

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      Moreover, king Antiochus the son of Demetrius sent letters from the Isles of the sea, unto Simon the high priest and prince of the Jews, and to all the people, containing these words: Antiochus the king sendeth greeting unto Simon the high priest and to the people of the Jews For so much as certain *wicked men have gotten the kingdom of our progenitors, I am purposed to challenge the realm again, and to restore it to the old estate.
      Wherefore I have gathered *a great host and made ships of war: that I may go through the country, and be avenged of them which have destroyed our land, and wasted many cities in my realm. And now therefore I make thee free also from all the tributes, whereof all kings my progenitors have charged thee, and from other customs ( where from they have released thee ) whatsoever they be: Yee I give thee leave to smite money of thy own within thy land. As for Jerusalem, I will that it be holy and free: and all the weapons and houses of defense which thou hast builded and keepest in thine hands, shall be thine. Where as anything is or shall be owing unto the king. I forgive it thee, from this time forth for evermore. And when we have obtained our kingdom, we shall do thee, thy people and the temple great worship: so that your honor shall be known throughout the whole world.
      In the hundred and seventy fourth year went Antiochus into his fathers land, and all the men of war came together unto him, so that few were left with Tryphon.
      So the king Antiochus followed upon him, but he fled unto Dora, which lieth by the sea side: for he saw that there was mischief coming to him, and that his host had forsaken him. Then came Antiochus unto Dora with an hundred and twenty thousand men of arms upon foot, and eight thousand horsemen. So he compassed the city round about, and the ships came by the sea. Thus they vexed the city by land by water, in so much that they *suffered no man to go in nor out.
      In the mean season came Numenius ( and they that had been with him ) from the city of Rome, having letters written unto the kings and provinces, wherein were contained these words: Lucius the mayor of Rome sendeth greeting unto Ptolomy the king. The ambassadors of the Jews our friends being sent from Simon the high priest and from the people of the Jews, came unto us, for to renew the old friendship, and bond of love, and brought a shield of gold weighing a thousand pound, which we were content to receive of them. Wherefore we thought it good to write unto the kings and provinces, to do them no harm, nor to take part against them, their cities ner countries neither to maintain their enemies against them. If there be any wicked persons therefore fled from their country unto you, deliver them unto Simon the high priest, that he may punish them according to their own law.
      The same words wrote the Romans also unto Demetrius the king, to Attalus, *Araba, and Arsaces and to all regions: as Samsanes, to them of *Sparta, Delo, *Mido *Sidon Caria, Samos Pamphylia, Lycia, *Alicarnassum and to the Rhodes, to *Falelis, Coo, Sida, Arado, Gortina, Gnidum, to Cypres, and to Cyren. And of every letter they sent a copy to Simon the high priest and to the people of the Jews. So Antiochus the king brought his host unto Dora the second time, to take it: where he made diverse ordinances of war, and kept Tryphon in, that he should not come forth. Then sent Simon Antiochus two thousand chosen men to help him with gold, silver and other plenteous gear: Nevertheless he would not receive them, but brake all the covenant which he made with Simon afore, and withdrew himself from him.
      He sent Athenobius also a friend of his unto Simon, for to reason with him saying: Ye withhold from me Joppa and Gaza ( with the castle that is at Jerusalem ) which are cities of my realm, whose borders ye have destroyed, and done great evil in the land, having the domination in many other places of my kingdom. Wherefore deliver now the cities which ye have taken with the tributes of the places that ye have rule upon without the borders of Jewry: Or else give me five hundred talents of silver, yee and for the harm that ye have done in the cities and for the tributes of the same, other five hundred talents. If no, we shall come and fight against you.
      So Athenobius the kings friend came to Jerusalem, and when he saw the great worship and honor of Simon in gold, silver and so great plenty of *ornaments: he marveled, and told Simon as the king commanded him. Then answered Simon and said unto him: As for us, we have neither taken other mens land, ner withholden them, but only our fathers heretage, which our enemies had unrighteously in possession a certain time. This heretage of our fathers have we challenged in the process of time. And whereas thou complainest concerning Joppa and Gaza, they did great harm to our people and in our land, yet will we give an hundred talents for them.
      Nevertheless Athenobius answered him not one word, but turned again wrothfully unto the king, and told him all these words, and the great dignity of Simon with all that he had seen, and the king was very angry. In the mean time fled Tryphon by ship unto Orthosida. Then the king made Cendebeus captain of the sea coast, and gave him an host of footmen and horsemen, commanding him to remove the host toward Jewry, and to build up the city of Cedron, to make up the ports, and to war against the people of the Jews. As for the king himself, he followed upon Tryphon. So Cendebeus came to Jamnia, and began to vex the people, to tread down Jewry, to take the people prisoners, to slay them and to built up Cedron: where he set horsemen and other men of war, that they might come forth and go through the streets of Jewry, like as the king had commanded him.


*wicked (kjv =pestilent) *a great host (kjv =multitude of foreign soldiers) *suffered (allowed) *Araba, (kjv=Ariarathes) *Sparta (kjv= Lacedemonians) *Mido (kjv = Myndus)
*Sidon (kjv Sicyon) *Alicarnassum (kjv Halicarnassus) *Falelis (kjv Aradus)
*ornaments: (kjv =the cupboard of gold and silver plate)

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