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ment he ravaged the neighbouring towns with fire and sword. The people of Gaza seeing the present calamity, and, by reason of the distance, despairing of immediate relief from Demetrius, submitted to Jonathan; who tak. ing hostages from them for the performance of the conditions, sent them to Jerusalem ; and marching forward, he reduced the country as far as Damascus. At this time Simon took the city of Bethsura. Demetrius hoping to put a stop to the growing greatness of Jonathan, sent an army into Judea, which Jonathan engaged: those that fled at first, facing about, routed the enemy, and returned victorious to Jerusalem. Then he renewed the alliance with the Romans and Lacedemonians ;* and being informed that Demetrius's generals were returned against him with a greater army than the former, he met him in the country of the Amathites; but the enemy in a great consternation retired by night, and Jonathan made excursions into the country of the Arabs; after which his brother Simon possessed himself of Joppa, while Jonathan repaired the wall of Jerusalem, and built a fortress.
Tryphon, who had no other aim than his own interest, in getting young Antiochus into his hands, having long waited for an opportunity, found it impracticable to put his wicked designs in execution till now. For Demetrius being very much weakened in Syria, and his affairs, by a late defeat in Parthia, going on very ill in other parts, Tryphon thinks this the fortunate moment to declare himself; but he again considered, that so long as Jonathan continued in the young king's interest, it would be to no purpose to declare himself. Wherefore
Lacedemonians. Much doubt has arisen among the learned respecting the time when this alliance was made. Several difficulties occur in the course of the narration as recorded, 1. Macc. ch. xii. v. 10. The Areus king of Lacedemon there referred to, lived in the time of Onias the first High-priest of that name. The Spartan sovereign, most likely from some old or fabulous tradition, states, that the Jews and Lacedemonians were brethren, and had both descended from the stock of Abraham.
Tryphon repaired to Bethsan, (which the Greeks call Scythopolis) where Jonathan met him with an army of forty thousand men. Tryphon, finding him so well prepared, saw there was no attacking him by force, and therefore made use of this stratagem: he told him, that now Demetrius was reduced to so low a condition, he was no longer able to give them any trouble, and there was no occasion for keeping up an army; advising him to dismiss his, and reserving only three thousand men, to send two of them to Galilee, and keeping the other thousand with him, to go and take possession of Ptolemais, which he would deliver up to him, and invest him with the sole command. Jonathan suspecting no treachery, did as Tryphon advised, and attended only with a thousand men, accompanied him to Ptolemais; where they no sooner entered, but the garrison shut the gates upon them, seized Jonathan, and put his men to the sword. Tryphon having thus treacherously overreached Jonathan, dispatched a party of foot and horse into Galilee, to put to the sword all that were of Jonathan's party; not doubting of an easy conquest, now they were without a general. But he soon found him. self mistaken; for Simon, Jonathan's brother, was soon invested with that command, and prepared to receive them. Upon this, Tryphon marched with his army into Judca, taking Jonathan with him, and sent to Simon for his brother's two sons, under pretence of releasing Jo. nathan: Simon readily consented, and, to incline the traitor the more, sent a hundred talents with them. But Tryphon no sooner had them in his power, than he put them and their father to death; after which he returned into his country, where he murdered king Antiochus, and possessed himself of the kingdom. Simon having recovered his brother's body, erected a stately monument of marble at Modin, wherein he inclosed the bones of his father and brethren.
The affairs of Judea began now to put on a more peaceful aspect than they had hitherto done ; for Simon having concluded an alliance with Demetrius, entirely delivered his nation from the yoke of the Gentiles; for in the first year of his pontificate and command, he took off the tribute, which the people had hitherto paid to the Macedonians; and, to perpetuate the memory of these noble acts of Simon, it was decreed, that all private instruments and public records should bear date from such a year of Simon's pontificate and reign. After this, he took the cities of Gaza, Joppa, and Jamnia, recovered all the strong-holds, and had the citadel of Jerusalem surrendered upon terms.
Then wisely considering how much the city of Jerusalem had been infesteci by the citadel, he levelled it with the ground, that it might no longer be a retreat for sedition and faction. And to prevent its being rebuilt, he levelled the hill on which it was situated, so that now no eminence appeared but that of the temple only.
Simon having settled the affairs of his country in this happy condition, Antiochus, the brother of Demetrius, being restored to the throne of Syria, confirmed Simon in the sovereignty over all Judea ; and he in return sent him a re-inforcement of men to make war upon the usurper Tryphon, who shut himself up in Dora ; but finding he was not likely to hold that place lorg, he fled to Apamia, where he met with worse fortune, for the town being taken by storm, he was slain.
Antiochus, who was naturally covetous, and forgetful of the benefits he had received, broke the treaty of alliance he had made with Simon, requiring him to restore Joppa, Gazara, and other places, or else to pay him a thousand talents of silver. Simon refused these conditions ; upon which Antiochus sent an army under the command of his friend Cendebeus, to reduce Judea. Simon, though far advanced in years, with a juvenile courage prepared to give them a warm reception; and sending his sons before with a good body of troops, took a compass with the main body of the army, planting ambuscades in all the passes of the country. Things thus regularly disposed, answered his expectation; for as soon as Judas and Hircanus, Simon's sons, appeared, Cendebeus's army fled, and the Jews pursuing them, cut off a great number.
After his defeat, Simon renewed his alliance with the Romans, and continued in peace. But in the eighth year of his reign, he was barbarously murdered by the treachery of his son-in-law Ptolemy, whom he had appointed governor of the plains of Jericho. This man, who was rich and ambitious, aspiring to make himself master of the country, laid hold of the opportunity, when Simon and his sons, Mattathias and Judas, were visiting the cities, and having invited them to an entertainment in a fort which he had built, he treacherously caused them to be murdered : and intending to make sure work at the same time, he sent men to Gazara to kill John Hircanus, Simon's third son, and attempted to gain the army and city of Jerusalem by corruption : but Hircanus having received the news of the murder of his father and brothers, was prepared to . receive his intended murderers, and upon their arrival at Gazara had them dispatched, and succeeded his father Simon in the pontificate and general command.
In the first year of his reign, Antiochus Sidetes (who is also called Soter, or the Saviour) king of Syria, invaded Judea with a powerful army ; and ravaging the country, forced Hircanus into Jerusalem, where he closely besieged him. Antiochus used all the force and stratagem he was master of to reduce the place, which he could not have done, if the besieged had not wanted provisions, which obliged Hircanus to treat with him, who granted the Jews the liberty of living according to their own laws and religion, on condition they should lay down their arms, and restore the tribute of Joppa, and all the cities without Jadea, and pay him besides five hundred talents; three hundred down, and hostages for the payment of the other two. This treaty being concluded, Antiochus entered Jerusalem, where Hircanus received him with much pomp and splendor, and afterwards sent some troops with him to the Parthian war; where Antiochus being overcome and slain by Arsaces, king of Parthia, his brother Demetrius, who
had been long a prisoner in Parthia, being set at liberty, was advanced to the throne of Syria.
The Jews, who by Antiochus were become tributaries to the kings of Syria, did not long continue so; for upon the death of Antiochus, Hircanus not only shook off the Syrian yoke, but carried the war into that country, the cities and towns of which he knew must be very much unprovided of garrisons, by the great draughts of men the kings of Syria had made for their foreign expeditions. Nor was he mistaken in his con. jecture, for he with ease subdued the cities of Methaba ; Samga, Sichem, and Gerizim, and destroyed the temple of the Samaritans, which Sanballat, by the permission of Alexander the great, bad built in favour of his son-inlaw, Manasseh. He likewise took Ador and Marissa, cities of Idumea, and obliged the people to be circumcised or leave the country : which rather than do, they not only submitted to be circumcised, but received all the other Jewish rites. After this, he renewed the alliance with the Romans, with much greater advantages than before. He opened David's tomb, took from thence three thousand talents, and was the first native governor of the Jews that entertained forcigners in his pay. In fine, he governed the Jews in peace nine and twenty years, and left the High-priesthood and sovereignty to his son Judas Aristobulus, who was the first that took upon him, in a formal manner, the title of king, * by
King. Aristobulus, son of John Hircanus, grandson of Simon, and great grandson of Mattathias, the zealous assertor of the law of God against the tyrant and oppressor Antiochus, was the first of the family of the Asmoneans or Maccabees who took upon him the title of king. The name MACCABees was derived from the heroic Judas, eldest son of Mattathias, he having assumed for his motto on the Jewish standards the Hebrew sentence, Exod. ch. xv. 11, moi obx 120.9. Mi Camo-Ka BaelIM JEHOVAH? “Who is like unto thee among the gods, 0, Jehovah ?" An abbreviation of the initial letters of these Hebrew words made up the word Maccabi, and all who from that time fought under their standards were called Maccabees, though in later times it had become appropriated to the royal family only.