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the land of Judea; and they were so dispersed, as to re-people the places which had been desolated by Antiochus Epiphanes.
Joseph and Azarias hearing of the noble exploits performed by Judas and Jonathan, being ambitious of fame, contrary to the orders which had been given them by Judas at his departure, they led forth their forces on an ill-projected expedition against Jamnia, a sea-port on the Mediterranean; but Gorgias falling upon their whole army, slew about two thousand men. Thus this rash attempt ended in the confusion of those who undertook it; but Judas and his brethren were honoured and renowned in the sight of all Israel, and even amongst the heathens.
Demetrius, the son of Seleucus Philopater, hearing of the death of Antiochus Epiphanes, and the succession of Eupator his son to the throne of Syria, applied to the senate for assistance in regaining the kingdom of Syria, which properly belonged to him: but they, consulting the interest of Rome, resolved to support the claim of Eupator, and sent three ambassadors into Syria to settle his affairs, and regulate them according to the articles of peace which had been made with his grandfather Antiochus the Great.
Lysias + enraged at the great success of Judas and his brethren, collected an army, consisting of eighty thousand men, with all the horse of the kingdom, and eighty elephants, and marched with this great power to invade Judea. He began the war with the siege of Bethsura; but Judas falling upon him, slew of his army eleven thousand foot and sixteen hundred horsemen, and put all the rest to flight; upon which Lysias, grown weary of so unprosperous a war, came to terms of peace with.
1 Macc. v. 56.
† 2 Macc. xi.
Judas; and Antiochus ratified the treaty, granting the Jews liberty to live every where according to their own laws. In this affair the ambassadors from the Romans were very serviceable to the Jews.
But this peace was not of long continuance; for those who governed in the neighbouring provinces, not being pleased with it, broke it as soon as Lysias was gone to Antioch, and took all opportunities of renewing their former hostilities against the Jews; but Judas overcame them, and they were soon obliged to sue for peace.
In the mean time, Timotheus, having drawn all his forces together to the amount of one hundred and twenty thousand foot, and two thousand five hundred horse, pitched his camp at a place called Raphen, lying on the river Jabboc.
Here Judas found him with bis numerous army, fell upon him, and having gained the victory, slew thirty thousand men. Timotheus*, as he fled, was taken prisoner; but on his promise to set at liberty many Jews who were captives in places under his command, he was released; a great part of the remainder of the vanquished army fled to Carnaim, where Judas continuing the pursuit, put numbers to the sword; and then gathering together all the race of Israel that were in the land of Gilead, he took them with him in his return to Judea, in order to do as Simon had done the year before. Shortly after he returned at Jerusalem; then he and all his company went up to the temple, and gave thanks to God for the great success which he had graciously given them; for they had not lost one man, notwithstanding the dangerous enterprises they had been engaged in. This return was about the time
of Pentecost. After this, Judas obtained several other important victories.
At length, Antiochus marched to Jerusalem, in order to besiege the sanctuary. The Jews made a valiant resistance, but were on the point of submitting, when they were most providentially relieved. For Lysias having received an account that Philip, whom Antiochus Epiphanes had appointed guardian of his son, was arrived, and had taken possession of Antioch, and there assumed the government of the Syrian empire *, found it necessary to make peace with the Jews, that he might be at liberty to return to Antioch, and accordingly peace being granted to them on very advan tageous terms, and sworn to by Antiochus, he was admitted within the fortifications of the sanctuary ; but f when he saw how strong they were, he caused them, contrary to his treaty, to be demolished, and returned towards Syria.
Menelaus the high-priest, in expectation of recovering his office, and being made governor of Judea, attended this expedition, and was very officious against his own people; but Lysias, finding the war was so unprosperous, accused this wretch to the king, as the original author of it; and he was condemned to be cast headlong into a tower of ashes, where he miserably perished. On || his death, the office of high-priest was granted to Alcimus, a man altogether as wicked as Menelaus.
On the king's return to Antioch, Philip was driven thence and suppressed. It has been before mentioned that ambassadors had been sent from Rome to regulate the affairs of Syria: these ambassadors finding that the king had more ships and elephants than the treaty al+ Ibid. 62. 12 Macc, xiv. 3.
1 Macc. vi. 57.
2 Macc. xiji. 3—8.
lowed, caused the supernumerary ships to be burnt, and the elephants to be slain. This measure occasioned great discontent amongst the people, and a man called Leptines, being particularly exasperated, murdered one of the ambassadors whilst he was bathing. An embassy was immediately dispatched to Rome to excuse the king, but the senate dismissed them with silent indignation.
Demetrius, the son of Seleucus, availed himself of this opportunity, landed in Syria *, obtained the kingdom, and caused Antiochus to be put to death.
Alcimus, who had been appointed high-priest, was rejected by the Jews, because he had polluted + himself with conforming to the manners of the Greeks; he therefore assembled all the apostate Jews, and going at the head of them addressed the new king for relief against Judas and his brethren, accusing them of slaying many of the king's friends, and driving others out of the country; and by this accusation so prejudiced the king against them, that he sent Bacchides, governor of Mesopotamia, into Judea with an army, and joined Alcimus in the commission with him, for making war upon the Jews. On their first arrival they proceeded with artifice, and pretended to come with peaceable intentions, but Judas and his brethren were aware of their treachery; some of the Jews, however, were deceived by them, and were destroyed; amongst these were sixty of the Assideans, and several of the scribes or doctors of the law. After this Bacchides returned to the king, but Alcimus remained with a part of the forces, who drew many deserters to him, and much disturbed the state of Israel. This provoked Judas to take the field in order to punish those who had revolted. Alcimus
2 Macc. xiv. 1, 2.
† 2 Macc. xiv. 3.
went again to the king, and having presented him with a crown of gold, and other gifts, renewed his complaints against Judas; which being seconded by some in the court who were enemies to the Jews, Demetrius was induced to send another army to subdue them, under Nicanor their old enemy; commanding him to cut off Judas, disperse his followers and establish Alcimus in the high-priest's office. Nicanor was at first unwilling to make war on Judas, but being urged by the king, he at length pursued it with fury; and having spoken many blasphemous words against the Temple, and threatened to destroy it, and build a temple to Bacchus in the room of it, he was slain and his army routed by Judas. After this, the Jews took out the spoils, cut off Nicanor's head, and the impious hand which he had lifted against the holy Temple, and hanged them upon one of the towers of Jerusalem, they then kept a day. of great rejoicing, which was afterwards observed as an annual festival.
THE CONCLUSION OF THE HISTORY OF JUDAS
We must now begin to take a view of the Roman empire, which was described to Daniel in the remarkable vision we formerly read, under the image of a fourth beast, dreadful, and strong exceedingly, which, with great iron teeth, devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it. The history of the Romans shews that this was a very just representation of their
2 Mace. xiv.