1 Maccabees - Chapter 11
1 Maccabees Chapters
1 The king of Egypt then assembled an army as numerous as the sands of the seashore, with many ships, and set out to take possession of Alexander's kingdom by a ruse and add it to his own kingdom.
2 He set off for Syria with protestations of peace, and the people of the towns opened their gates to him and came out to meet him, since King Alexander's orders were to welcome him, Ptolemy being his father-in-law.
4 When he reached Azotus he was shown the burnt-out temple of Dagon, with Azotus and its suburbs in ruins, corpses scattered here and there, and the charred remains of those whom Jonathan had burnt to death in the battle, piled into heaps along his route.
5 They explained to the king what Jonathan had done, hoping for his disapproval; but the king said nothing.
9 He sent envoys to King Demetrius to say, 'Come and let us make a treaty; I shall give you my daughter, whom Alexander now has, and you shall rule your father's kingdom.
16 Alexander fled to Arabia for refuge, and King Ptolemy reigned supreme.
19 So Demetrius became king in the year 167.
20 At the same time, Jonathan mustered the men of Judaea for an assault on the Citadel of Jerusalem, and they set up numerous siege-engines against it.
21 But some renegades who hated their nation made their way to the king and told him that Jonathan was besieging the Citadel.
22 The king was angered by the news. No sooner had he been informed than he set out and came to Ptolemais. He wrote to Jonathan, telling him to raise the siege and to meet him for a conference in Ptolemais as soon as possible.
23 When Jonathan heard this, he gave orders for the siege to continue; he then selected a deputation from the elders of Israel and the priests, and took the deliberate risk
29 The king consented, and wrote Jonathan a rescript covering the whole matter, in these terms:
32 "King Demetrius to his father Lasthenes, greetings.
33 "The nation of the Jews is our ally; they fulfil their obligations to us, and in view of their goodwill towards us we have decided to show them our bounty.
34 We confirm them in their possession of the territory of Judaea and the three districts of Aphairema, Lydda and Ramathaim; these were annexed to Judaea from Samaritan territory, with all their dependencies, in favour of all who offer sacrifice in Jerusalem, instead of the royal dues which the king formerly received from them every year, from the yield of the soil and the fruit crops.
36 None of these grants will be revoked henceforth or anywhere.
38 When King Demetrius saw that the country was at peace under his rule and that no resistance was offered him, he dismissed his forces, and sent all the men home, except for the foreign troops that he had recruited in the foreign island, thus incurring the enmity of the veterans who had served his ancestors.
40 and repeatedly urged him to let him have the boy, so that he might succeed his father as king; he told him of Demetrius' decision and of the resentment it had aroused among his troops. He spent a long time there.
42 Demetrius sent word back to Jonathan, 'Not only will I do this for you and for your nation, but I shall heap honours on you and your nation if I find a favourable opportunity.
47 The king then called on the Jews for help; and these all rallied round him, then fanned out through the city, and that day killed about a hundred thousand of its inhabitants.
49 When the citizens saw that the Jews had the city at their mercy, their courage failed them, and they made an abject appeal to the king,
51 They threw down their arms and made peace. The Jews were covered in glory, in the eyes of the king and of everyone else in his kingdom. Having won renown in his kingdom, they returned to Jerusalem laden with booty.
52 Thus, King Demetrius sat all the more securely on his royal throne, and the country was quiet under his government.
53 But he gave the lie to all the promises he had made, and changed his attitude to Jonathan, giving nothing in return for the services Jonathan had rendered him, but thwarting him at every turn.
58 He sent him a service of gold plate, and granted him the right to drink from gold vessels, and to wear the purple and the golden brooch.
59 He appointed his brother Simon commander-in-chief of the region from the Ladder of Tyre to the frontiers of Egypt.
60 Jonathan then set out and made a progress through Transeuphrates and its towns, and the entire Syrian army rallied to his support. He came to Ascalon and was received in state by the inhabitants.
61 From there he proceeded to Gaza, but the people of Gaza shut him out, so he laid siege to it, burning down its suburbs and plundering them.
62 The people of Gaza then pleaded with Jonathan, and he made peace with them; but he took the sons of their chief men as hostages and sent them away to Jerusalem. He then travelled through the country as far as Damascus.
63 Jonathan now learned that Demetrius' generals had arrived at Kadesh in Galilee with a large army, intending to remove him from office,
71 At this, Jonathan tore his garments, put dust on his head, and prayed.
74 About three thousand of the foreign troops fell that day. Jonathan then returned to Jerusalem.
Reading 1, Joshua 3:7-10, 11, 13-17: 7 Yahweh said to Joshua, 'This very day, I shall ... Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 114:1-2, 3-4, 5-6: 1 Alleluia! When Israel came out of Egypt, ... Gospel, Matthew 18:21--19:1: 21 Then Peter went up to him and said, 'Lord, how often must ... continue readingMore Daily Readings
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Like its predecessor, the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) version is translated "directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic." The 1973 French translation, the Bible de Jerusalem, is followed only "where the text admits to more than one interpretation." Introductions and notes, with some modifications, are taken from the Bible de Jerusalem.
Source: The Very Reverend Dom (Joseph) Henry Wansbrough, OSB, MA (Oxon), STL (Fribourg), LSS (Rome), a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and a biblical scholar. He was General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible. "New Jerusalem Bible, Regular Edition", pg. v.
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