15

1Antiochus son of Demetrius the king sent letters from the islands of the sea to Simon the priest and* Gr. ethnarch. governor of the Jews, and to all the nation.

2Its contents follow:

“King Antiochus to Simon the chief priest and Gr. ethnarch. governor, and to the nation of the Jews, greetings.

4moreover I plan to land in the country, that I may punish those who have destroyed our country, and those who have made many cities in the kingdom desolate;

5now therefore I confirm to you all the tax remissions which the kings who were before me remitted to you, and whatever gifts besides they remitted to you,

6and I permit you to coin money for your country with your own stamp,

7but that Jerusalem and the sanctuary should be free. All the weapons that you have prepared, and the strongholds that you have built, which you have in your possession, let them remain yours.

8Every debt owed to the king, and the things that will be owed to the king from henceforth and for evermore, let them be remitted to you.

9Moreover, when we have established our kingdom, we will glorify you and your nation and the temple with great glory, so that your glory will be made manifest in all the earth.

"wmb" "cv">10In circa B.C. 139 the one hundred seventy-fourth year, Antiochus went into the land of his fathers; and all the forces came together to him, so that there were few men with Tryphon.

11King Antiochus pursued him, and § Or, he came to Dor, fleeing by the way which is by the sea he came, as he fled, to Dor, which is by the sea;

12for he knew that troubles were come upon him all at once, and that his forces had forsaken him.

13Antiochus encamped against Dor, and with him one hundred twenty thousand men of war and eight thousand cavalry.

14He surrounded the city, and the ships joined in the attack from the sea. He harassed the city by land and sea, and permitted no one to go out or in.

"wmb" "cv">15Numenius and his company came from Rome, having letters to the kings and to the countries, in which were written these things:

"wmb" "cv">16“Lucius, consul of the Romans, to King Ptolemy, greetings.

17The Jews’ ambassadors came to us as our friends and allies, to renew the old friendship and confederacy, being sent from Simon the high priest, and from the people of the Jews.

18Moreover they brought a shield of gold weighing one thousand minas.* 1,000 minas is about 499 kg. or about 1,098 pounds.

19It pleased us therefore to write to the kings and to the countries, that they should not seek their harm or fight against them, their cities, and their country, or be allies with those who fight against them.

20Moreover it seemed good to us to receive the shield from them.

21If therefore any troublemakers have fled from their country to you, deliver them to Simon the high priest, that he may take vengeance on them according to their law.”

"wmb" "cv">22He wrote the same things to King Demetrius, to Attalus, to Arathes, to Arsaces,

23to all the countries, to Some authorities read Sampsaces: the Latin versions have Lampsacus. Sampsames, to the Spartans, to Delos, to Myndos, to Sicyon, to Caria, to Samos, to Pamphylia, to Lycia, to Halicarnassus, to Rhodes, to Phaselis, to Cos, to Side, to Aradus, Gortyna, Cnidus, Cyprus, and Cyrene.

24But they wrote this copy to Simon the high priest.

"wmb" "cv">25But King Antiochus encamped against Dor the second day, bringing his forces up to it continually, and making engines of war; and he shut up Tryphon from going in or out.

26Simon sent him two thousand chosen men to fight on his side, and silver, gold, and instruments of war in abundance.

27He would not receive them, but nullified all the covenants which he had made with him before, and was estranged from him.

28He sent to him Athenobius, one of his See 1 Maccabees 2:18. Friends, to confer with him, saying, “You hold possession of Joppa, Gazara, and the citadel that is in Jerusalem, cities of my kingdom.

29You have devastated their territory, and done great harm in the land, and control of many places in my kingdom.

30Now therefore hand over the cities which you have taken, and the tributes of the places which you have taken control of outside of the borders of Judea;

31or else give me for them five hundred talents of silver; and for the harm that you have done, and the tributes of the cities, another five hundred talents. Otherwise we will come and subdue you.”

"wmb" "cv">32Athenobius, the king’s § See 1 Maccabees 2:18. Friend, came to Jerusalem. When he saw the glory of Simon, the cupboard of gold and silver vessels, and his great attendance, he was amazed. He reported to him the king’s words.

33Simon answered, and said to him, “We have not taken other men’s land nor do we have possession of that which belongs to others, but of the inheritance of our fathers. However, it had been in possession of our enemies wrongfully for a while.

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

35As for Joppa and Gazara, which you demand, they did great harm among the people throughout our country. We will give one hundred talents for them.”

Athenobius didn’t answered even one word,

36but returned in a rage to the king, and reported to him these words, and the glory of Simon, and all that he had seen; and the king was exceedingly angry.

37Meanwhile, Tryphon embarked on board a ship, and fled to Orthosia.

"wmb" "cv">38The king appointed Cendebaeus chief captain of the sea coast, and gave him troops of infantry and cavalry.

39He commanded him to encamp against Judea, and he commanded him to build up Kidron, and to fortify the gates, and that he should fight against the people; but the king pursued Tryphon.

40So Cendebaeus came to Jamnia and began to provoke the people, and to invade Judea, and to take the people captive and kill them.

41He built Kidron and stationed cavalry and infantry there, to the end that issuing out they might make raids on the highways of Judea, as the king had commanded him.


*15:1 Gr. ethnarch.

15:2 Gr. ethnarch.

15:10 circa B.C. 139

§15:11 Or, he came to Dor, fleeing by the way which is by the sea

*15:18 1,000 minas is about 499 kg. or about 1,098 pounds.

15:23 Some authorities read Sampsaces: the Latin versions have Lampsacus.

15:28 See 1 Maccabees 2:18.

§15:32 See 1 Maccabees 2:18.