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1 Maccabees 14 (Common English Bible w/ Apocrypha)

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Capture of Demetrius

1 In the year 172,a King Demetrius gathered together his military forces. He marched into Media to find help, in order to wage war against Trypho. 2 When Arsaces, the king of Persia and Media, heard that Demetrius had invaded his territory, he sent one his generals to capture him alive. 3 The general went and defeated the army of Demetrius. He arrested Demetrius and took him to Arsaces, who put him under guard.

Eulogy of Simon

4 The land of Judah enjoyed peace all the days of Simon. He sought what was good for his nation. His rule was agreeable to them, as was the honor shown him all his days. 5 His crowning achievement was to take Joppa for a harbor, opening the way to the sea with its islands. 6 He also extended his country's borders. He gained full control of the land; 7 he took a great number of captives. He ruled over Gazara, Beth-zur, and the elevated fortress. He removed the impurities from the elevated fortress. There were none to oppose him. 8 People worked their farmland in peace. The ground was fertile, and the trees of the plains were fruitful. 9 Old men sat along the sides of the streets and talked about good things. The young put on impressive military uniforms. 10 Simon supplied the towns with food and with the means for defense. His fame spread to the ends of the earth. 11 He established peace throughout the land, and Israel had great joy. 12 All the people sat under their own vines and fig trees. No one made them afraid. 13 No one was left in the land to fight them, because foreign kings had been crushed in those days. 14 He gave help to all the humble ones among his people. He sought lawful ways. He did away with evil people and those who sinned against the Law. 15 He made the sanctuary glorious, and added to its holy equipment.

Diplomacy with Rome and Sparta

16 The people in Rome, and those who were as far away as Sparta, learned that Jonathan had died, and they were all very sad. 17 They also heard that Simon his brother had become high priest in his place and that he was ruling over the country and its towns. 18 So they wrote to him on bronze tablets to renew with him the friendly alliance that they had established with his brothers Judas and Jonathan. 19 The tablets were read before the assembly in Jerusalem. 20 This is a copy of the letter that the Spartans sent: The rulers of the Spartans, with the city. To the high priest Simon, the elders, the priests, and the rest of the Jewish people, our brothers and sisters. Greetings! 21 The envoys who were sent to our people have told us about your glory and honor, and we rejoiced when they came. 22 We made this record in our public decrees concerning what they said: “Numenius, Antiochus' son, and Antipater, Jason's son, Jewish representatives, have come to renew their friendship with us. 23 Our people were pleased to receive them with respect and to maintain a copy of their words in the public archives so that Spartans may have a record of them. They have also sent a copy of this to Simon, the high priest. 24 Following this exchange, Simon sent Numenius to Rome with a large gold shield weighing one thousand manehs, to confirm the alliance with the Romans.

Official honors for Simon

25 When the people heard these things they said, "How should we thank Simon and his sons? 26 He and his brothers, and his father's family, have stood firm. They have fought and repelled Israel's enemies and established our freedom." So they made a written record on bronze plaques and put it on pillars on Mount Zion. 27 This is a copy of the document: On the eighteenth day of Elul,b in the year 172, the third year of the great high priest Simon. 28 In the great assembly of the priests, the people, and the rulers and elders of the country, the following was proclaimed to us. 29 Wars occurred often in our country. Simon, Mattathias' son, a priest of the sons of Joarib, and his brothers bravely faced danger and fought against the enemies of their nation. They preserved the sanctuary and the Law, and they brought great honor to their nation. 30 Jonathan rallied the nation and became their high priest, and was gathered to his people. 31 Their enemies decided to invade their country and take hold of their sanctuary. 32 Then Simon rose up and fought for his nation. He spent great amounts of his own money to arm soldiers of his nation and give them pay. 33 He fortified the towns of Judea and Beth-zur on the borders of Judea, where enemy weapons had been stored in the past, and placed a group of Jewish soldiers there. 34 He also fortified Joppa by the sea, along with Gazara on the borders of Azotus, where enemies formerly lived. He settled Jews there and provided whatever was needed to restore the towns. 35 The people saw Simon's faithfulness and the honor that he had resolved to win for his nation. So they made him their leader and high priest, because he had done all these things and had acted toward his nation with justice and loyalty. He sought in every way to lift up his people. 36 In his days, things prospered under his leadership so that the Gentiles were driven out of the country, as well as those in David's City in Jerusalem, who had built themselves an elevated fortress. Gentiles used to leave the elevated fortress and defile the sanctuary area, doing great damage to its purity. 37 He settled Jewish troops in the elevated fortress and fortified it for the safety of the country and of the city, and built the walls of Jerusalem higher. 38 In light of all these things, King Demetrius confirmed him as high priest. 39 He also made him one of the leading political advisors,c and paid him other high honors. 40 For he had heard that the Jews were considered friends, allies, and brothers by the Romans, and that the Romans had welcomed the ambassadors of Simon with honor. 41 The Jews and their priests have resolved that Simon should be their leader and high priest forever, until a trustworthy prophet should arise. 42 He should govern them and take charge of the sanctuary, appointing officials to oversee its tasks and the weapons and the fortresses of the country. 43 Everyone should obey him. All contracts in the land should bear his name. In addition, he should be clothed in royal purple and wear gold. 44 None of the people or the priests can annul these decisions or oppose what he says. They cannot convene an assembly without his permission. No one else can be clothed in purple or put on a gold buckle. 45 Whoever fails to follow all of these decisions or acts contrary to them will be punished. 46 All the people agreed to give Simon the power to act in keeping with these decisions. 47 Simon accepted and agreed to be high priest, to command and rule the Jews and the priests, and to protect them all. 48 Also they gave orders to write this decision on bronze plates and to set them up in a public place in the sanctuary grounds. 49 Finally, they were to place copies in the treasury so that Simon and his sons would have access to them.
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