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First Book of Machabees

(excluded from most "bibles of men")

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Chapter 9

Yes Word (Tyndale-Modern English)


      In the mean season when Demetrius heard that Nicanor and his host was slain in the field, he proceeded further to send Bachides and Alcimus again into Jewry, and those that were in the right wing of his host, with them. So they went forth by the way that leadeth to Galgala, and pitched their tents before Masaloth, which is in Arbellis, and won the city, and slew much people. In the first month of the hundred fifty second year, they brought their host to Jerusalem, and rose up and Berea, with twenty thousand footmen and two thousand horsemen.
      Now Judas had pitched his tents at Laisa, with three thousand chosen men. And when they saw the multitude of the other army that was so great, they were sore afraid, and many conveyed themselves out of the host, Insomuch that there abode no more of them but eight hundred men. When Judas saw that his host failed him, and that he must needs fight: it break his heart, that he had no time to gather them together: wherefore the man was in extreme trouble. Nevertheless he said unto them, that remained with him: Up, let us go against our enemies, *peradventure we shall be able to fight with them. But they would have stopped him, saying: We shall not be able, therefore let us now save ourselves, and turn again to our brethren and then we will fight against them, for we are here but few. And Judas said: God forbid, that we should flee from them. Wherefore if your time be come, let us die manfully for our brethren, and let us not stain our honor. Then the host removed out of the tents, and stood against them. The horsemen were divided into two parts: the sling casters and the archers went before the host, and all the mighty men were foremost in the field. Bacchides himself was in the right wing of the battle, and the host drew nye in two parts, and blew the trumpets. They of Judas side blew the trumpets also, and the earth shook at the noise of the hosts, and they struck a field from the morrow till night. And when Judas saw that Bacchides host was strongest of the right side, he took with him all the hardy men, and break the right wing of their order, and followed upon them unto the mount Azot.
      Now when they which were of the left wing, saw that the right side was discomfited, they persecuted Judas and them that were with him. Then was there a sore battle, for many were slain and wounded of both parties, Judas also himself was killed, and the remnant fled. So Jonathan and Simon took Judas their brother, and buried him in his fathers sepulchre in the city of Modin. And all the people of Israel made great lamentation for him, and mourned long, saying: Alas, that this worthy should be slain, which delivered the people of Israel. As for other things pertaining to the battles of Judas, the noble acts that he did and of his worthiness: they are not written, for they were very many.
      And after the death of Judas, wicked men came up in all the coasts of Israel, and there arose all such as work ungodliness. In those days was there a great *dearth in the land, and all the country gave over themselves and theirs unto Bachides. So Bachides chose wicked men, and made them lords in the land. These sought out and made search for Judas friends, and brought them unto Bacchides: which avenged himself upon them with great despite. And there came so great trouble in Israel, as was not since the time that no prophet was seen there.
      Then came all Judas friends together, and said unto Jonathas: For so much as thy brother Judas is dead, there is none like him to go forth against our enemies, against Bacchides, and such as are adversaries unto our people. Wherefore this day we have chosen thee for him, to be our prince and captain to order our battle. And Jonathas took the governance upon him at the same time, and ruled instead of his brother Judas. When Bacchides gat knowledge thereof, he sought for to slay him: But Jonathan and Simon his brother, perceiving that, fled into the wilderness of Thecua with all their company, and pitched their tents by the water of the pool Asphar.
      Which when Bacchides understood, he came over Jordan with all his host upon the Sabbath day. Now had Jonathan sent his brother Jhon ( a captain of the people ) to pray his friends the Nabuthites, that they would lend them their ordinance, for they had much. So the children of Jambri came out of Madaba, and took John and all that he had, and went their way withal. Then came word unto Jonathas and Simon his brother, that the children of Jambri made a great marriage, and brought the bride from Nadaba with great pomp: for she was daughter to one of the noblest princes of Chanaan. Wherefore they remembered the blood of Jhon their brother, and went up, and hid themselves under the shadow of the mountain.
      So they lifted up their eyes, and looked: and behold, there was much ado, and great *reprise: for the bride groom came forth, and his friends and his brethren met them with *tympanys, instruments of music, and many weapons. Then Jonathas and they that were with him, rose up of their lurking places against them, and slew many of them. As for the remnant, they fled into the mountains, and they took all their substance. Thus the marriage was turned to mourning, and the noise of their melody into lamentation. And so they had avenged the blood of their brother, they turned again unto Jordan.
      Bacchides hearing this, came unto the very border of Jordan with a great power on the Sabbath day. And Jonathas said to his company: Let us get up, and fight against our enemies: for it standeth not with us today, as in times past: Behold, our enemies are in our way, the water of Jordan upon the one side of us, with banks, fences and woods of the other side, so there is no place for us to depart unto. Wherefore cry now unto heaven, that ye may be delivered from the power of your enemies. So they struck battle. And Jonathas stretched out his hand to smite Bacchides, but he fled backward. Then Jonathas and they that were with him leapt into Jordan, and swam over Jordan unto him, and there were slain of Bachides side that day a thousand men.
      Therefore Bacchides with his host turned again to Jerusalem, and builded up the castles and strongholds that were in Jewry, Jericho, Emaus, Bethoron, Bethell, Thamnata, Phara and Topo, with high walls, with ports and with locks: and set men to keep them, that they might use their malice upon Israel. He walled up Bethsurah, Gazarah, and the castle at Jerusalem also, and provided them with men and victuals: He took also the chiefest mens sons in the country for pledges, and put them in the castle at Jerusalem to be kept.
      Afterward in the hundred and fifty third year, in the second month, Alcimus commanded, that the walls of the inmost Sanctuary should be destroyed, and the buildings of the prophets also. And when he began to destroy them the things that he went about, were hindered for he was smitten with a palsy, and his mouth shut, so that he could no more speak nor command any of his house concerning his business. Thus died Alcimus in great misery at the same time. When Bacchides saw that Alcimus was dead, he turned again to the king, and so the land was in rest two years. Then all the ungodly men held a council, saying: Behold, Jonathas and his company are at ease, and dwell without care. Wherefore let us bring Bacchides hither, and he shall take them all in one night.
      So they went and gave Bachides this counsel, which arose and came with a great host, and sent letters privily to his adherents in Jewry, to take Jonathas and those that were with him: but they might not, for the other had gotten knowledge of their devise. And Jonathas took fifty men of the country, ( which were the ringleaders of them ) and slew them. Then Jonathas and Simon departed unto the city Bethbessen which layeth in the wilderness, and repaired the decay thereof, and made it strong. When Bachides knew this, he gathered all his host, and sent word to them that were in Jewry. Then came he and laid siege to Bethbessen and fought against it a long season, and made instruments of war. Now Jonathas left his brother Simon in the city, and went forth himself into the country, and came with a certain number, and slew Odares and his brethren and the children of Phaseron in their tents: so that he began to be strong and increase in power.
      As for Simon and his company, they went out of the city, and burned up the instruments of war, and fought against Bachides, and discomfited him. And Bachides was sore vexed, because his counsel and travail was in vain. Wherefore he was wroth at the wicked men ( that gave him counsel to come into their land ) and slew many of them. Then purposed he with his company to go away into his own country: Whereof when Jonathas had knowledge, he sent ambassadors unto him, for to make peace with him, and that he should deliver him his prisoners again. To the which Bachides consented gladly, and did according to his desire: yee and made an oath, that he should never do him harm all the days of his life. So he restored unto him all the prisoners that he had taken out of the land of Juda, and then turned and went his way into his own land, neither proceeded he any further to come unto the borders of Juda. Thus Israel had* more war. And Jonathas dwelt at Machmas, and began there to govern the people; and he destroyed the ungodly men out of Israel.

*peradventure (perhaps, perchance) *dearth (famine) *reprise (chanting, repetitive song) *tympanys ( kettle drums) Line may read "Thus Israel had no more war".

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