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First Book of Machabees

(excluded from most "bibles of men")

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Chapter 6

Yes Word (Tyndale-Modern English)


      Now when king Antiochus traveled through the high countries, he heard that Elymas in Persia was a noble and plenteous city in silver and gold, and that there was in it a very rich temple: where as were clothes, coat armorers and shields of gold, which Alexander the son of Philip king of Macedonia had left behind him. Wherefore he went about to take the city and to spoil it, but he was not able: for the citizens were warned of it, and fought with him. And so he fled and departed with great heaviness, and came again into Babylon. Moreover there came one which brought him tidings in Perside, that his hosts which were in the land of Juda, were driven away, and how that Lisias went forth first with a great power, and was driven away of the Jews: how that they had won the victory, and gotten great goods out of the hosts that perished: how they had broken down the abomination, which he had set up upon the altar in Jerusalem, and fenced the Sanctuary with high walls, like as it was afore: yee and Bethsura his city also.
      So it chanced, that when the King had heard these words, he was afraid and grieved very sore, Wherefore he laid him down upon his bed, and fell sick for very sorrow: and all because it had not happened as he had devised. And there continued he long, for his grief was ever more and more, so that he saw that he must needs die. Therefore he sent for his friends, and said unto them: The sleep is gone from mine eyes, for the very sorrow and vexation of heart that I have. For when I consider in my mind the great adversity that I am come unto, and the floods of heaviness which I am come in, whereas afore time I was so merry, and so greatly set by ( by reason of my power ) Again, considering the evil that I have done at Jerusalem, from whence I took all the riches of gold and silver that were in it, and sent to fetch away the inhabitors of Jewry without any reason why: I know, that these troubles are come upon me for the same cause. And behold, I must die with great sorrow in a strange land. Then called he for one Phillipe a friend of his, whom he made ruler of all his realm, and gave him the crown, his robe and his ring: that he should take his son Antiochus unto him, and bring him up, till he might reign himself. So the King Antiochus died there, in the hundred forty ninth year. When Lysias knew that the king was dead, he ordered Antiochus his son ( whom he had brought up ) to reign in his fathers stead, and called him Eupator. Now they that were in the castle ( at Jerusalem ) kept in the Jews round about the Sanctuary, and sought ever still to do them harm, for the strengthening of the Heathen.
      Wherefore Judas thought to destroy them, and called all the people together, that they might lay siege to them. So they came together in the hundred and fiftieth year, and besieged them, laying forth their ordinance and instruments of war. Then certain of them that were besieged went forth ( unto whom some ungodly men of Israel joined themselves also ) and went unto the king saying: How long will it be, or thou punish and avenge our brethren? We have ever been minded to do thy father service, to walk in his statutes, and to obey his commandments: Therefore our people fell from us, and wheresoever they found any of us, they slew them: and they have not only meddled with us, but with all our countries: and behold, this day they are besieging the castle at Jerusalem, and have made up the stronghold in Bethsura: And if thou doest not prevent them right soon, they will do more than these, and thou shalt not be able to overcome them.
      When the king heard this, he was very angry, and called all his friends, the captains of his footmen and all his horsemen together. He hired men of war also out of other realms and out of the Isles of the sea, which came unto him. And the number of his Host was an hundred thousand footmen, and twenty thousand horsemen, and thirty two Elephants well exercised to battle. These came through Idumea unto Bethsura, and besieged it a long season, and made diverse instruments of war against it. But the Jews came out and burnt them, and fought like men. Then departed Judas from the castle of Jerusalem, and removed the host toward Bethzacaran over against the kings army.
      So the king arose before the day, and brought the power of his Host in to the way to Bethzacaran, where the Hosts made them to battle, blowing the trumpets. And to provoke the Elephants to fight, they showed them the sap of reed grapes and mulberries. And divided the Elephants among the Host: so that by every Elephant there stood a thousand men well harnessed, and helmets of steel upon their heads: Yee unto every one of the Elephants also, were ordered five hundred horsemen of the best, which waited of the Elephant, going wheresoever he went, and departed not from him. Every Elephant was covered with a strong tower of wood, where upon were thirty two valiant men with weapons to fight, and with it was a man of *Inde to rule the beast.
      As for the remnant of the horsemen, he set them upon both the sides in two parties with trumpets, to provoke the Host, and to stir up such as were slow in the army. And when the sun shone upon their shields of gold and steel, the mountains glistered again at them, and were as bright as the *cressettes of fire. The kings host was also divided, one part upon the high mountains, the other low beneath: so they went on, taking good heed, and keeping their order. And all they that dwelt in the land, were afraid at the noise of their host, when the multitude went forth, and when the weapons were smote together, for the host was both great and mighty. Judas also and his host entered into the battle, and slew six hundred men of the Kings army. Now when Eleasar the son of Savara did see one of the Elephants decked with the kings badge, and was a more goodly beast then the other: he thought the king should be upon him, and jeopardied himself to deliver his people, and to get him a perpetual name.
      Wherefore he ran with courage unto the Elephant in the midst of the host, smiting them down of both the sides, and slew many about him. So went he to the Elephants feet, and gat him under him, and slew him: then fell the Elephant down upon him, and there he died. Judas also and his men seeing the power of the king and the mighty violence of his host, departed from them. And the kings army went up against them toward Jerusalem, and pitched their tents in Jewry beside mount Sion. Moreover, the king took truce with them that were in Bethsura.
      But when they came out of the city, ( because they had no victuals within, and the land lay untilled ) the king took Bethsura, and set men to keep it, and turned his host to the place of the Sanctuary, and layed siege to it a great while. Where he made all manner of ordinance: handbows, fiery darts, rackets to cast stones, scorpions to shoot arrows, and slings. The Jews also made ordinance against theirs, and fought a long season.
      But in the city there were no victuals, for it was the seventh year of the wars, and those Heathen that remained in Jewry had eaten up all their store. And in the Sanctuary were very few men left, for the hunger came so upon them, that they were scattered abroad every man to his own place.
      So when Lysias heard that Philippe ( whom Antiochus the king while he was yet living, had ordered to bring up Antiochus his son, that he might be king ) was come again out of Persia and Medea with the kings host, and thought to obtain the kingdom: He gat him to the king in all haste, and to the captains of the host, and said: we decrease daily, and our vitals are but small: Again, the place that we lay siege unto, is very strong, and it were our part to see for the realm. Let us agree with these men and take truce with them, and with all their people, and grant them to live after their law, as they did afore. For they be grieved a do all these things against us, because we have despised their law. So the king and the princes were content, and sent unto them to make peace, and they received it. Now when the king and the princes had made an oath unto them, they came out of the castle, and the king went up to mount Sion. But when he saw that the place was well fenced, he break the oath that he had made, and commanded to destroy the wall round about. Then departed he in all haste, and returned unto Antioche, where he found Philippe having dominion over the city. So he fought against him, and took the city again in to his hands.

*cressettes (torches) *Inde (India)

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