When these covenants were made, Lysias went unto the king,
and the Jews were about their husbandry.
But of the governours of several places, Timotheus, and
Apollonius the son of Genneus, also Hieronymus, and Demophon,
and beside them Nicanor the governor of Cyprus, would not suffer
them to be quiet and live in peace.
The men of Joppa also did such an ungodly deed: they prayed
the Jews that dwelt among them to go with their wives and
children into the boats which they had prepared, as though they
had meant them no hurt.
Who accepted of it according to the common decree of the
city, as being desirous to live in peace, and suspecting
nothing: but when they were gone forth into the deep, they
drowned no less than two hundred of them.
When Judas heard of this cruelty done unto his countrymen, he
commanded those that were with him to make them ready.
And calling upon God the righteous Judge, he came against
those murderers of his brethren, and burnt the haven by night,
and set the boats on fire, and those that fled thither he slew.
And when the town was shut up, he went backward, as if he
would return to root out all them of the city of Joppa.
But when he heard that the Jamnites were minded to do in like
manner unto the Jews that dwelt among them,
He came upon the Jamnites also by night, and set fire on the
haven and the navy, so that the light of the fire was seen at
Jerusalem two hundred and forty furlongs off.
Now when they were gone from thence nine furlongs in their
journey toward Timotheus, no fewer than five thousand men on
foot and five hundred horsemen of the Arabians set upon him.
Whereupon there was a very sore battle; but Judas' side by
the help of God got the victory; so that the Nomades of Arabia,
being overcome, besought Judas for peace, promising both to give
him cattle, and to pleasure him otherwise.
Then Judas, thinking indeed that they would be profitable in
many things, granted them peace: whereupon they shook hands, and
so they departed to their tents.
He went also about to make a bridge to a certain strong city,
which was fenced about with walls, and inhabited by people of
divers countries; and the name of it was Caspis.
But they that were within it put such trust in the strength
of the walls and provision of victuals, that they behaved
themselves rudely toward them that were with Judas, railing and
blaspheming, and uttering such words as were not to be spoken.
Wherefore Judas with his company, calling upon the great Lord
of the world, who without rams or engines of war did cast down
Jericho in the time of Joshua, gave a fierce assault against the
And took the city by the will of God, and made unspeakable
slaughters, insomuch that a lake two furlongs broad near
adjoining thereunto, being filled full, was seen running with
Then departed they from thence seven hundred and fifty
furlongs, and came to Characa unto the Jews that are called
But as for Timotheus, they found him not in the places: for
before he had dispatched any thing, he departed from thence,
having left a very strong garrison in a certain hold.
Howbeit Dositheus and Sosipater, who were of Maccabeus'
captains, went forth, and slew those that Timotheus had left in
the fortress, above ten thousand men.
And Maccabeus ranged his army by bands, and set them over the
bands, and went against Timotheus, who had about him an hundred
and twenty thousand men of foot, and two thousand and five
Now when Timotheus had knowledge of Judas' coming, he sent
the women and children and the other baggage unto a fortress
called Carnion: for the town was hard to besiege, and uneasy to
come unto, by reason of the straitness of all the places.
But when Judas his first band came in sight, the enemies,
being smitten with fear and terror through the appearing of him
who seeth all things, fled amain, one running into this way,
another that way, so as that they were often hurt of their own
men, and wounded with the points of their own swords.
Judas also was very earnest in pursuing them, killing those
wicked wretches, of whom he slew about thirty thousand men.
Moreover Timotheus himself fell into the hands of Dositheus
and Sosipater, whom he besought with much craft to let him go
with his life, because he had many of the Jews' parents, and the
brethren of some of them, who, if they put him to death, should
not be regarded.
So when he had assured them with many words that he would
restore them without hurt, according to the agreement, they let
him go for the saving of their brethren.
Then Maccabeus marched forth to Carnion, and to the temple of
Atargatis, and there he slew five and twenty thousand persons.
And after he had put to flight and destroyed them, Judas
removed the host toward Ephron, a strong city, wherein Lysias
abode, and a great multitude of divers nations, and the strong
young men kept the walls, and defended them mightily: wherein
also was great provision of engines and darts.
But when Judas and his company had called upon Almighty God,
who with his power breaketh the strength of his enemies, they
won the city, and slew twenty and five thousand of them that
From thence they departed to Scythopolis, which lieth six
hundred furlongs from Jerusalem,
But when the Jews that dwelt there had testified that the
Scythopolitans dealt lovingly with them, and entreated them
kindly in the time of their adversity;
They gave them thanks, desiring them to be friendly still
unto them: and so they came to Jerusalem, the feast of the weeks
And after the feast, called Pentecost, they went forth
against Gorgias the governor of Idumea,
Who came out with three thousand men of foot and four hundred
And it happened that in their fighting together a few of the
Jews were slain.
At which time Dositheus, one of Bacenor's company, who was on
horseback, and a strong man, was still upon Gorgias, and taking
hold of his coat drew him by force; and when he would have taken
that cursed man alive, a horseman of Thracia coming upon him
smote off his shoulder, so that Gorgias fled unto Marisa.
Now when they that were with Gorgias had fought long, and
were weary, Judas called upon the Lord, that he would shew
himself to be their helper and leader of the battle.
And with that he began in his own language, and sung psalms
with a loud voice, and rushing unawares upon Gorgias' men, he
put them to flight.
So Judas gathered his host, and came into the city of
Odollam, And when the seventh day came, they purified
themselves, as the custom was, and kept the sabbath in the same
And upon the day following, as the use had been, Judas and
his company came to take up the bodies of them that were slain,
and to bury them with their kinsmen in their fathers' graves.
Now under the coats of every one that was slain they found
things consecrated to the idols of the Jamnites, which is
forbidden the Jews by the law. Then every man saw that this was
the cause wherefore they were slain.
All men therefore praising the Lord, the righteous Judge, who
had opened the things that were hid,
Betook themselves unto prayer, and besought him that the sin
committed might wholly be put out of remembrance. Besides, that
noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin,
forsomuch as they saw before their eyes the things that came to
pass for the sins of those that were slain.
And when he had made a gathering throughout the company to
the sum of two thousand drachms of silver, he sent it to
Jerusalem to offer a sin offering, doing therein very well and
honestly, in that he was mindful of the resurrection:
For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should have
risen again, it had been superfluous and vain to pray for the
And also in that he perceived that there was great favour
laid up for those that died godly, it was an holy and good
thought. Whereupon he made a reconciliation for the dead, that
they might be delivered from sin.
In the hundred forty and ninth year it was told Judas, that
Antiochus Eupator was coming with a great power into Judea,
And with him Lysias his protector, and ruler of his affairs,
having either of them a Grecian power of footmen, an hundred and
ten thousand, and horsemen five thousand and three hundred, and
elephants two and twenty, and three hundred chariots armed with
Menelaus also joined himself with them, and with great
dissimulation encouraged Antiochus, not for the safeguard of the
country, but because he thought to have been made governor.
But the King of kings moved Antiochus' mind against this
wicked wretch, and Lysias informed the king that this man was
the cause of all mischief, so that the king commanded to bring
him unto Berea, and to put him to death, as the manner is in
Now there was in that place a tower of fifty cubits high,
full of ashes, and it had a round instrument which on every side
hanged down into the ashes.
And whosoever was condemned of sacrilege, or had committed
any other grievous crime, there did all men thrust him unto
Such a death it happened that wicked man to die, not having
so much as burial in the earth; and that most justly:
For inasmuch as he had committed many sins about the altar,
whose fire and ashes were holy, he received his death in ashes.
Now the king came with a barbarous and haughty mind to do far
worse to the Jews, than had been done in his father's time.
Which things when Judas perceived, he commanded the multitude
to call upon the Lord night and day, that if ever at any other
time, he would now also help them, being at the point to be put
from their law, from their country, and from the holy temple:
And that he would not suffer the people, that had even now
been but a little refreshed, to be in subjection to the
So when they had all done this together, and besought the
merciful Lord with weeping and fasting, and lying flat upon the
ground three days long, Judas, having exhorted them, commanded
they should be in a readiness.
And Judas, being apart with the elders, determined, before
the king's host should enter into Judea, and get the city, to go
forth and try the matter in fight by the help of the Lord.
So when he had committed all to the Creator of the world, and
exhorted his soldiers to fight manfully, even unto death, for
the laws, the temple, the city, the country, and the
commonwealth, he camped by Modin:
And having given the watchword to them that were about him,
Victory is of God; with the most valiant and choice young men he
went in into the king's tent by night, and slew in the camp
about four thousand men, and the chiefest of the elephants, with
all that were upon him.
And at last they filled the camp with fear and tumult, and
departed with good success.
This was done in the break of the day, because the protection
of the Lord did help him.
Now when the king had taken a taste of the manliness of the
Jews, he went about to take the holds by policy,
And marched toward Bethsura, which was a strong hold of the
Jews: but he was put to flight, failed, and lost of his men:
For Judas had conveyed unto them that were in it such things
as were necessary.
But Rhodocus, who was in the Jews' host, disclosed the
secrets to the enemies; therefore he was sought out, and when
they had gotten him, they put him in prison.
The king treated with them in Bethsum the second time, gave
his hand, took their's, departed, fought with Judas, was
Heard that Philip, who was left over the affairs in Antioch,
was desperately bent, confounded, intreated the Jews, submitted
himself, and sware to all equal conditions, agreed with them,
and offered sacrifice, honoured the temple, and dealt kindly
with the place,
And accepted well of Maccabeus, made him principal governor
from Ptolemais unto the Gerrhenians;
Came to Ptolemais: the people there were grieved for the
covenants; for they stormed, because they would make their
Lysias went up to the judgment seat, said as much as could be
in defence of the cause, persuaded, pacified, made them well
affected, returned to Antioch. Thus it went touching the king's
coming and departing.
After three years was Judas informed, that Demetrius the son
of Seleucus, having entered by the haven of Tripolis with a
great power and navy,
Had taken the country, and killed Antiochus, and Lysias his
Now one Alcimus, who had been high priest, and had defiled
himself wilfully in the times of their mingling with the
Gentiles, seeing that by no means he could save himself, nor
have any more access to the holy altar,
Came to king Demetrius in the hundred and one and fiftieth
year, presenting unto him a crown of gold, and a palm, and also
of the boughs which were used solemnly in the temple: and so
that day he held his peace.
Howbeit having gotten opportunity to further his foolish
enterprize, and being called into counsel by Demetrius, and
asked how the Jews stood affected, and what they intended, he
Those of the Jews that he called Assideans, whose captain is
Judas Maccabeus, nourish war and are seditious, and will not let
the rest be in peace.
Therefore I, being deprived of mine ancestors' honour, I mean
the high priesthood, am now come hither:
First, verily for the unfeigned care I have of things
pertaining to the king; and secondly, even for that I intend the
good of mine own countrymen: for all our nation is in no small
misery through the unadvised dealing of them aforersaid.
Wherefore, O king, seeing knowest all these things, be
careful for the country, and our nation, which is pressed on
every side, according to the clemency that thou readily shewest
For as long as Judas liveth, it is not possible that the
state should be quiet.
This was no sooner spoken of him, but others of the king's
friends, being maliciously set against Judas, did more incense
And forthwith calling Nicanor, who had been master of the
elephants, and making him governor over Judea, he sent him
Commanding him to slay Judas, and to scatter them that were
with him, and to make Alcimus high priest of the great temple.
Then the heathen, that had fled out of Judea from Judas, came
to Nicanor by flocks, thinking the harm and calamities ot the
Jews to be their welfare.
Now when the Jews heard of Nicanor's coming, and that the
heathen were up against them, they cast earth upon their heads,
and made supplication to him that had established his people for
ever, and who always helpeth his portion with manifestation of
So at the commandment of the captain they removed
straightways from thence, and came near unto them at the town of
Now Simon, Judas' brother, had joined battle with Nicanor,
but was somewhat discomfited through the sudden silence of his
Nevertheless Nicanor, hearing of the manliness of them that
were with Judas, and the courageousness that they had to fight
for their country, durst not try the matter by the sword.
Wherefore he sent Posidonius, and Theodotus, and Mattathias,
to make peace.
So when they had taken long advisement thereupon, and the
captain had made the multitude acquainted therewith, and it
appeared that they were all of one mind, they consented to the
And appointed a day to meet in together by themselves: and
when the day came, and stools were set for either of them,
Ludas placed armed men ready in convenient places, lest some
treachery should be suddenly practised by the enemies: so they
made a peaceable conference.
Now Nicanor abode in Jerusalem, and did no hurt, but sent
away the people that came flocking unto him.
And he would not willingly have Judas out of his sight: for
he love the man from his heart
He prayed him also to take a wife, and to beget children: so
he married, was quiet, and took part of this life.
But Alcimus, perceiving the love that was betwixt them, and
considering the covenants that were made, came to Demetrius, and
told him that Nicanor was not well affected toward the state;
for that he had ordained Judas, a traitor to his realm, to be
the king's successor.
Then the king being in a rage, and provoked with the
accusations of the most wicked man, wrote to Nicanor, signifying
that he was much displeased with the covenants, and commanding
him that he should send Maccabeus prisoner in all haste unto
When this came to Nicanor's hearing, he was much confounded
in himself, and took it grievously that he should make void the
articles which were agreed upon, the man being in no fault.
But because there was no dealing against the king, he watched
his time to accomplish this thing by policy.
Notwithstanding, when Maccabeus saw that Nicanor began to be
churlish unto him, and that he entreated him more roughly than
he was wont, perceiving that such sour behaviour came not of
good, he gathered together not a few of his men, and withdrew
himself from Nicanor.
But the other, knowing that he was notably prevented by
Judas' policy, came into the great and holy temple, and
commanded the priests, that were offering their usual
sacrifices, to deliver him the man.
And when they sware that they could not tell where the man
was whom he sought,
He stretched out his right hand toward the temple, and made
an oath in this manner: If ye will not deliver me Judas as a
prisoner, I will lay this temple of God even with the ground,
and I will break down the altar, and erect a notable temple unto
After these words he departed. Then the priests lifted up
their hands toward heaven, and besought him that was ever a
defender of their nation, saying in this manner;
Thou, O Lord of all things, who hast need of nothing, wast
pleased that the temple of thine habitation should be among us:
Therefore now, O holy Lord of all holiness, keep this house
ever undefiled, which lately was cleansed, and stop every
Now was there accused unto Nicanor one Razis, one of the
elders of Jerusalem, a lover of his countrymen, and a man of
very good report, who for his kindness was called a father of
For in the former times, when they mingled not themselves
with the Gentiles, he had been accused of Judaism, and did
boldly jeopard his body and life with all vehemency for the
religion of the Jews.
So Nicanor, willing to declare the hate that he bare unto the
Jews, sent above five hundred men of war to take him:
For he thought by taking him to do the Jews much hurt.
Now when the multitude would have taken the tower, and
violently broken into the outer door, and bade that fire should
be brought to burn it, he being ready to be taken on every side
fell upon his sword;
Choosing rather to die manfully, than to come into the hands
of the wicked, to be abused otherwise than beseemed his noble
But missing his stroke through haste, the multitude also
rushing within the doors, he ran boldly up to the wall, and cast
himself down manfully among the thickest of them.
But they quickly giving back, and a space being made, he fell
down into the midst of the void place.
Nevertheless, while there was yet breath within him, being
inflamed with anger, he rose up; and though his blood gushed out
like spouts of water, and his wounds were grievous, yet he ran
through the midst of the throng; and standing upon a steep rock,
When as his blood was now quite gone, he plucked out his
bowels, and taking them in both his hands, he cast them upon the
throng, and calling upon the Lord of life and spirit to restore
him those again, he thus died.
But Nicanor, hearing that Judas and his company were in the
strong places about Samaria, resolved without any danger to set
upon them on the sabbath day.
Nevertheless the Jews that were compelled to go with him
said, O destroy not so cruelly and barbarously, but give honour
to that day, which he, that seeth all things, hath honoured with
holiness above all other days.
Then the most ungracious wretch demanded, if there were a
Mighty one in heaven, that had commanded the sabbath day to be
And when they said, There is in heaven a living Lord, and
mighty, who commanded the seventh day to be kept:
Then said the other, And I also am mighty upon earth, and I
command to take arms, and to do the king's business. Yet he
obtained not to have his wicked will done.
So Nicanor in exceeding pride and haughtiness determined to
set up a publick monument of his victory over Judas and them
that were with him.
But Maccabeus had ever sure confidence that the Lord would
Wherefore he exhorted his people not to fear the coming of
the heathen against them, but to remember the help which in
former times they had received from heaven, and now to expect
the victory and aid, which should come unto them from the
And so comforting them out of the law and the prophets, and
withal putting them in mind of the battles that they won afore,
he made them more cheerful.
And when he had stirred up their minds, he gave them their
charge, shewing them therewithall the falsehood of the heathen,
and the breach of oaths.
Thus he armed every one of them, not so much with defence of
shields and spears, as with comfortable and good words: and
beside that, he told them a dream worthy to be believed, as if
it had been so indeed, which did not a little rejoice them.
And this was his vision: That Onias, who had been high
priest, a virtuous and a good man, reverend in conversation,
gentle in condition, well spoken also, and exercised from a
child in all points of virtue, holding up his hands prayed for
the whole body of the Jews.
This done, in like manner there appeared a man with gray
hairs, and exceeding glorious, who was of a wonderful and
Then Onias answered, saying, This is a lover of the brethren,
who prayeth much for the people, and for the holy city, to wit,
Jeremias the prophet of God.
Whereupon Jeremias holding forth his right hand gave to Judas
a sword of gold, and in giving it spake thus,
Take this holy sword, a gift from God, with the which thou
shalt wound the adversaries.
Thus being well comforted by the words of Judas, which were
very good, and able to stir them up to valour, and to encourage
the hearts of the young men, they determined not to pitch camp,
but courageously to set upon them, and manfully to try the
matter by conflict, because the city and the sanctuary and the
temple were in danger.
For the care that they took for their wives, and their
children, their brethren, and folks, was in least account with
them: but the greatest and principal fear was for the holy
Also they that were in the city took not the least care,
being troubled for the conflict abroad.
And now, when as all looked what should be the trial, and the
enemies were already come near, and the army was set in array,
and the beasts conveniently placed, and the horsemen set in
Maccabeus seeing the coming of the multitude, and the divers
preparations of armour, and the fierceness of the beasts,
stretched out his hands toward heaven, and called upon the Lord
that worketh wonders, knowing that victory cometh not by arms,
but even as it seemeth good to him, he giveth it to such as are
Therefore in his prayer he said after this manner; O Lord,
thou didst send thine angel in the time of Ezekias king of
Judea, and didst slay in the host of Sennacherib an hundred
fourscore and five thousand:
Wherefore now also, O Lord of heaven, send a good angel
before us for a fear and dread unto them;
And through the might of thine arm let those be stricken with
terror, that come against thy holy people to blaspheme. And he
Then Nicanor and they that were with him came forward with
trumpets and songs.
But Judas and his company encountered the enemies with
invocation and prayer.
So that fighting with their hands, and praying unto God
with their hearts, they slew no less than thirty
and five thousand men: for through the appearance of God they
were greatly cheered.
Now when the battle was done, returning again with joy, they
knew that Nicanor lay dead in his harness.
Then they made a great shout and a noise, praising the
Almighty in their own language.
And Judas, who was ever the chief defender of the citizens
both in body and mind, and who continued his love toward his
countrymen all his life, commanded to strike off Nicanor's head,
and his hand with his shoulder, and bring them to Jerusalem.
So when he was there, and called them of his nation together,
and set the priests before the altar, he sent for them that were
of the tower,
And shewed them vile Nicanor's head, and the hand of that
blasphemer, which with proud brags he had stretched out against
the holy temple of the Almighty.
And when he had cut out the tongue of that ungodly Nicanor,
he commanded that they should give it by pieces unto the fowls,
and hang up the reward of his madness before the temple.
So every man praised toward the heaven the glorious Lord,
saying, Blessed be he that hath kept his own place undefiled.
He hanged also Nicanor's head upon the tower, an evident and
manifest sign unto all of the help of the Lord.
And they ordained all with a common decree in no case to let
that day pass without solemnity, but to celebrate the thirtieth
day of the twelfth month, which in the Syrian tongue is called
Adar, the day before Mardocheus' day.
Thus went it with Nicanor: and from that time forth the
Hebrews had the city in their power. And here will I make an
And if I have done well, and as is fitting the story, it is
that which I desired: but if slenderly and meanly, it is that
which I could attain unto.
For as it is hurtful to drink wine or water alone; and as
wine mingled with water is pleasant, and delighteth the taste:
even so speech finely framed delighteth the ears of them that
read the story. And here shall be an end.