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Chapter Maccabees 15

Moreover Antiochus son of Demetrius the king sent letters from the isles of the sea unto Simon the priest and prince of the Jews, and to all the people;

2The contents whereof were these: King Antiochus to Simon the high priest and prince of his nation, and to the people of the Jews, greeting:

3Forasmuch as certain pestilent men have usurped the kingdom of our fathers, and my purpose is to challenge it again, that I may restore it to the old estate, and to that end have gathered a multitude of foreign soldiers together, and prepared ships of war;

4My meaning also being to go through the country, that I may be avenged of them that have destroyed it, and made many cities in the kingdom desolate:

5Now therefore I confirm unto thee all the oblations which the kings before me granted thee, and whatsoever gifts besides they granted.

6I give thee leave also to coin money for thy country with thine own stamp.

7And as concerning Jerusalem and the sanctuary, let them be free; and all the armour that thou hast made, and fortresses that thou hast built, and keepest in thine hands, let them remain unto thee.

8And if anything be, or shall be, owing to the king, let it be forgiven thee from this time forth for evermore.

9Furthermore, when we have obtained our kingdom, we will honour thee, and thy nation, and thy temple, with great honour, so that your honour shall be known throughout the world.

10In the hundred threescore and fourteenth year went Antiochus into the land of his fathers: at which time all the forces came together unto him, so that few were left with Tryphon.

11Wherefore being pursued by king Antiochus, he fled unto Dora, which lieth by the sea side:

12For he saw that troubles came upon him all at once, and that his forces had forsaken him.

13Then camped Antiochus against Dora, having with him an hundred and twenty thousand men of war, and eight thousand horsemen.

14And when he had compassed the city round about, and joined ships close to the town on the sea side, he vexed the city by land and by sea, neither suffered he any to go out or in.

15In the mean season came Numenius and his company from Rome, having letters to the kings and countries; wherein were written these things:

16Lucius, consul of the Romans unto king Ptolemee, greeting:

17The Jews' ambassadors, our friends and confederates, came unto us to renew the old friendship and league, being sent from Simon the high priest, and from the people of the Jews:

18And they brought a shield of gold of a thousand pound.

19We thought it good therefore to write unto the kings and countries, that they should do them no harm, nor fight against them, their cities, or countries, nor yet aid their enemies against them.

20It seemed also good to us to receive the shield of them.

21If therefore there be any pestilent fellows, that have fled from their country unto you, deliver them unto Simon the high priest, that he may punish them according to their own law.

22The same things wrote he likewise unto Demetrius the king, and Attalus, to Ariarathes, and Arsaces,

23And to all the countries and to Sampsames, and the Lacedemonians, and to Delus, and Myndus, and Sicyon, and Caria, and Samos, and Pamphylia, and Lycia, and Halicarnassus, and Rhodus, and Aradus, and Cos, and Side, and Aradus, and Gortyna, and Cnidus, and Cyprus, and Cyrene.

24And the copy hereof they wrote to Simon the high priest.

25So Antiochus the king camped against Dora the second day, assaulting it continually, and making engines, by which means he shut up Tryphon, that he could neither go out nor in.

26At that time Simon sent him two thousand chosen men to aid him; silver also, and gold, and much armour.

27Nevertheless he would not receive them, but brake all the covenants which he had made with him afore, and became strange unto him.

28Furthermore he sent unto him Athenobius, one of his friends, to commune with him, and say, Ye withhold Joppa and Gazera; with the tower that is in Jerusalem, which are cities of my realm.

29The borders thereof ye have wasted, and done great hurt in the land, and got the dominion of many places within my kingdom.

30Now therefore deliver the cities which ye have taken, and the tributes of the places, whereof ye have gotten dominion without the borders of Judea:

31Or else give me for them five hundred talents of silver; and for the harm that ye have done, and the tributes of the cities, other five hundred talents: if not, we will come and fight against you

32So Athenobius the king's friend came to Jerusalem: and when he saw the glory of Simon, and the cupboard of gold and silver plate, and his great attendance, he was astonished, and told him the king's message.

33Then answered Simon, and said unto him, We have neither taken other men's land, nor holden that which appertaineth to others, but the inheritance of our fathers, which our enemies had wrongfully in possession a certain time.

34Wherefore we, having opportunity, hold the inheritance of our fathers.

35And whereas thou demandest Joppa and Gazera, albeit they did great harm unto the people in our country, yet will we give thee an hundred talents for them. Hereunto Athenobius answered him not a word;

36But returned in a rage to the king, and made report unto him of these speeches, and of the glory of Simon, and of all that he had seen: whereupon the king was exceeding wroth.

37In the mean time fled Tryphon by ship unto Orthosias.

38Then the king made Cendebeus captain of the sea coast, and gave him an host of footmen and horsemen,

39And commanded him to remove his host toward Judea; also he commanded him to build up Cedron, and to fortify the gates, and to war against the people; but as for the king himself, he pursued Tryphon.

40So Cendebeus came to Jamnia and began to provoke the people and to invade Judea, and to take the people prisoners, and slay them.

41And when he had built up Cedrou, he set horsemen there, and an host of footmen, to the end that issuing out they might make outroads upon the ways of Judea, as the king had commanded him.

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