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Simon is made captain general in the room of his brother. Jonathan is slain by Tryphon. Simon is favoured by Demetrius: he taketh Gaza, and the castle of Jerusalem.

[1] Now Simon heard that Tryphon was gathering together a very great army, to invade the land of Juda, and to destroy it. [2] And seeing that the people was in dread, and in fear, he went up to Jerusalem, and assembled the people: [3] And exhorted them, saying: You know what great battles I and my brethren, and the house of my father, have fought for the laws, and the sanctuary, and the distresses that we have seen: [4] By reason whereof all my brethren have lost their lives for Israel' s sake, and I am left alone. [5] And now far be it from me to spare my life in any time of trouble: for I am not better than my brethren.

[6] I will avenge then my nation and the sanctuary, and our children, and wives: for all the heathens are gathered together to destroy us out of mere malice. [7] And the spirit of the people was enkindled as soon as they heard these words. [8] And they answered with a loud voice, saying: Thou art our leader in the place of Judas, and Jonathan thy brother. [9] Fight thou our battles, and we will do whatsoever thou shalt say to us. [10] So gathering together all the men of war, he made haste to finish all the walls of Jerusalem, and he fortified it round about.

[11] And he sent Jonathan the son of Absalom, and with him a new army into Joppe, and he cast out them that were in it, and himself remained there. [12] And Tryphon removed from Ptolemais with a great army, to invade the land of Juda, and Jonathan was with him in custody. [13] But Simon pitched in Addus, over against the plain. [14] And when Tryphon understood that Simon was risen up in the place of his brother Jonathan, and that he meant to join battle with him, he sent messengers to him, [15] Saying: We have detained thy brother Jonathan for the money that he owed in the king' s account, by reason of the affairs which he had the management of.

[16] But now send a hundred talents of silver, and his two sons for hostages, that when he is set at liberty he may not revolt from us, and we will release him. [17] Now Simon knew that he spoke deceitfully to him, nevertheless he ordered the money, and the children to be sent: lest he should bring upon himself a great hatred of the people of Israel, who might have said: [18] Because he sent not the money, and the children, therefore is he lost. [19] So he sent the children, and the hundred talents: and he lied, and did not let Jonathan go. [20] And after this Tryphon entered within the country, to destroy it: and they went about by the way that leadeth to Ador: and Simon and his army marched to every place whithersoever they went.

[20] Whithersoever they went: That is, whithersoever Tryphon and his horsemen went in order to oppose them.

[21] And they that were in the castle, sent messengers to Tryphon, that he should make haste to come through the desert, and send them victuals. [22] And Tryphon made ready all his horsemen to come that night: but there fell a very great snow, and he came not into the country of Galaad. [23] And when he approached to Bascama, he slew Jonathan and his sons there. [24] And Tryphon returned, and went into his own country. [25] And Simon sent, and took the bones of Jonathan his brother, and buried them in Modin, in the city of his fathers.

[26] And all Israel bewailed him with great lamentation: and they mourned for him many days. [27] And Simon built over the sepulchre of his father and of his brethren, a building lofty to the sight, of polished stone behind and before: [28] And he set up seven pyramids one against another for his father and his mother, and his four brethren: [29] And round about these he set great pillars: and upon the pillars arms for a perpetual memory: and by the arms ships carved, which might be seen by all that sailed on the sea. [30] This is the sepulchre that he made in Modin even unto this day.

[31] But Tryphon when he was upon a journey with the young king Antiochus, treacherously slew him. [32] And he reigned in his place, and put on the crown of Asia: and brought great evils upon the land. [33] And Simon built up the strong holds of Judea, fortifying them with high towers, and great walls, and gates, and bars: and he stored up victuals in the fortresses. [34] And Simon chose men and sent to king Demetrius, to the end that he should grant an immunity to the land: for all that Tryphon did was to spoil. [35] And king Demetrius in answer to this request, wrote a letter in this manner:

[36] King Demetrius to Simon the high priest, and friend of kings, and to the ancients, and to the nation of the Jews, greeting. [37] The golden crown, and the palm, which you sent, we have received: and we are ready to make a firm peace with you, and to write to the king' s chief officers to release you the things that we have released. [38] For all that we have decreed in your favour, shall stand in force. The strong holds that you have built, shall be your own. [39] And as for any oversight or fault committed unto this day, we forgive it, and the crown which you owed: and if any other thing were taxed in Jerusalem, now let it not be taxed. [40] And if any of you be fit to be enrolled among ours, let them be enrolled, and let there be peace between us.

[41] In the year one hundred and seventy the yoke of the Gentiles was taken off from Israel. [42] And the people of Israel began to write in the instruments, and public records, The first year under Simon the high priest, the great captain and prince of the Jews. [43] In those days Simon besieged Gaza, and camped round about it, and he made engines, and set them to the city, and he struck one tower, and took it. [44] And they that were within the engine leaped into the city: and there was a great uproar in the city. [45] And they that were in the city went up with their wives and children upon the wall, with their garments rent, and they cried with a loud voice, beseeching Simon to grant them peace.

[46] And they said: Deal not with us according to our evil deeds, but according to thy mercy. [47] And Simon being moved, did not destroy them: but yet he cast them out of the city, and cleansed the houses wherein there had been idols, and then he entered into it with hymns, blessing the Lord. [48] And having cast out of it all uncleanness, he placed in it men that should observe the law: and he fortified it, and made it his habitation. [49] But they that were in the castle of Jerusalem were hindered from going out and coming into the country, and from buying and selling: and they were straitened with hunger, and many of them perished through famine. [50] And they cried to Simon for peace, and he granted it to them: and he cast them out from thence, and cleansed the castle from uncleannesses.

[51] And they entered into it the three and twentieth day of the second month, in the year one hundred and seventy-one, with thanksgiving, and branches of palm trees, and harps, and cymbals, and psalteries, and hymns, and canticles, because the great enemy was destroyed out of Israel. [52] And he ordained that these days should be kept every year with gladness. [53] And he fortified the mountain of the temple that was near the castle, and he dwelt there himself, and they that were with him. [54] And Simon saw that John his son was a valiant man for war: and he made him captain of all the forces: and he dwelt in Gazara.

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