he hundred and sixtieth year, Alexander, the son of Antiochus surnamed Epiphanes, went up and took Ptolemais. For the people had received him, by means whereof he reigned there.
Now when King Demetrius heard thereof, he gathered together an exceeding great host and went forth against Alexander to fight.
Moreover Demetrius sent letters unto Jonathan with loving words, by which he magnified him.
For he said, "Let us first make peace with him before he joins with Alexander against us,
or else he will remember all the evils that we have done against him and against his brethren and his people."
Therefore Demetrius gave Jonathan authority to gather together a host and to provide weapons, that he might aid him in battle. He commanded also that the hostages who were in the tower should be delivered to him.
Then came Jonathan to Jerusalem, and read the letters in the hearing of all the people and of those who were in the tower,
who were sore afraid when they heard that the king had given him authority to gather together a host.
Thereupon they of the tower delivered their hostages unto Jonathan, and he delivered them unto their parents.
This done, Jonathan settled himself in Jerusalem, and began to build and repair the city.
And he commanded the workmen to build the walls and Mount Zion round about with square stones for fortification; and they did so.
Then the strangers who were in the fortresses which Bacchides had built fled away,
insomuch that every man left his place and went into his own country.
Only at Beth-zur certain of those who had forsaken the law and the commandments remained still; for it was their place of refuge.
Now when King Alexander had heard what promises Demetrius had sent unto Jonathan, when also it was told him of the battles and noble acts which Jonathan and his brethren had done and of the pains that they had endured,
he said, "Shall we find such another man? Now therefore we will make him our friend and confederate."
Upon this he wrote a letter and sent it unto him, according to these words, saying:
"King Alexander to his brother Jonathan sendeth greeting:
We have heard of thee that thou art a man of great power and meet to be our friend.
Therefore now this day we ordain thee to be the high priest of thy nation, and to be called the king's friend" (and therewith he sent him a purple robe and a crown of gold), "and require thee to take our part and keep friendship with us."
So in the seventh month of the hundred and sixtieth year, at the Feast of the Tabernacles, Jonathan put on the holy robe, and gathered together forces and provided much armor.
When Demetrius heard thereof, he was very sorry and said,
"What have we done that Alexander hath preceded us in making amity with the Jews to strengthen himself?
I also will write unto them words of encouragement and promise them dignities and gifts, that I may have their aid."
He sent unto him therefore to this effect: "King Demetrius unto the people of the Jews sendeth greeting:
Whereas you have kept covenants with us and continued in our friendship, not joining yourselves with our enemies, we have heard hereof and are glad.
Therefore now continue ye still to be faithful unto us, and we will recompense you well for the things ye do on our behalf,
and will grant you many immunities and give you rewards.
"And now do I free you, and for your sake I release all the Jews from tribute and from the customs on salt and from crown taxes,
and from that which appertaineth unto me to receive a third part of the seed and half of the fruit of the trees. I release it from this day forth, so that they shall not be taken from the land of Judea, nor from the three governments which are added thereunto out of the country of Samaria and Galilee, from this day forth for evermore.
Let Jerusalem also be holy and free, with the territories thereof, both from tithes and tribute.
And as for the tower which is at Jerusalem, I yield up my authority over it and give it to the high priest, that he may set in it such men as he shall choose to keep it.
Moreover I freely set at liberty every one of the Jews who were carried captive out of the land of Judea into any part of my kingdom, and I will that all my officers remit the tribute even on their cattle.
Furthermore, I will that all the feasts and Sabbaths and new moons and solemn days, and the three days before the feast and the three days after the feast, shall all be days of immunity and freedom for all the Jews in my realm.
Also no man shall have authority to meddle with them or to molest any of them in any matter.
"I will further that there be enrolled among the king's forces about thirty thousand men of the Jews, unto whom pay shall be given, as belongeth to all the king's forces.
And of them some shall be placed in the king's strongholds, of whom also some shall be set over the affairs of the kingdom in positions of trust. And I will that their overseers and governors be from among themselves and that they live by their own laws, even as the king hath commanded in the land of Judea.
"And concerning the three governments that are added to Judea from the country of Samaria, let them be joined with Judea, that they may be reckoned to be under one, not bound to obey other authority than the high priest's.
As for Ptolemais and the land pertaining thereto, I give it as a free gift to the sanctuary at Jerusalem for the necessary expenses of the sanctuary.
Moreover, I give every year fifteen thousand shekels of silver out of the king's accounts from the appertaining places.
And all the overplus, which the officers paid not in as in former times, from henceforth shall be given toward the works of the temple.
And besides this, the five thousand shekels of silver, which they took from the uses for the temple out of the accounts year by year, even those things shall be released, because they appertain to the priests who minister.
And whosoever they be who flee unto the temple at Jerusalem or be within the liberties thereof, being indebted unto the king or for any other matter, let them be at liberty and all that they have in my realm.
"For the building also and repairing of the works of the sanctuary, expenses shall be given from the king's accounts.
Yea, and for the building of the walls of Jerusalem and the fortifying thereof round about, expenses shall be given out of the king's accounts, as also for the building of the walls in Judea."
Now when Jonathan and the people heard these words, they gave no credence unto them nor received them, because they remembered the great evil that Demetrius had done in Israel; for he had afflicted them very sorely.
But with Alexander they were well pleased, because he was the first who entreated for peace with them, and they were confederate with him always.
Then gathered King Alexander great forces, and encamped opposite Demetrius.
And after the two kings had joined battle, Demetrius' host fled; but Alexander followed after him and prevailed against them.
And he continued the battle very sorely until the sun went down, and that day was Demetrius slain.
Afterward Alexander sent ambassadors to Ptolemy king of Egypt with a message to this effect:
"Inasmuch as I have come again to my realm, and am seated on the throne of my progenitors, and have gotten the dominion and overthrown Demetrius and recovered our country
for after I had joined battle with him, both he and his host were discomfited by us, so that we sit on the throne of his kingdom
now therefore let us make a league of amity together; and give me now thy daughter for a wife, and I will be thy son-in-law, and will give both thee and her gifts according to thy dignity."
Then Ptolemy the king gave answer, saying, "Happy be the day wherein thou didst return into the land of thy fathers and sat on the throne of their kingdom.
And now will I do for thee as thou hast written. Meet me therefore at Ptolemais, that we may see one another; for I will marry my daughter to thee according to thy desire."
So Ptolemy went out of Egypt with his daughter Cleopatra; and they came unto Ptolemais in the hundred threescore and second year,
where King Alexander met him. And Ptolemy gave unto him his daughter Cleopatra and celebrated her marriage at Ptolemais with great glory, as is the manner of kings.
Now King Alexander had written unto Jonathan that he should come and meet him.
He thereupon went honorably to Ptolemais where he met the two kings, and gave them and their friends silver and gold and many presents, and found favor in their sight.
At that time certain pestilent fellows of Israel, men of a wicked life, assembled themselves against him to accuse him; but the king would not hear them.
Yea more than that, the king commanded to take off Jonathan's garments and clothe him in purple, and they did so.
And he made him sit by himself, and said unto his princes, "Go with him into the midst of the city and make proclamation that no man complain against him about any matter, and that no man trouble him for any manner of cause."
Now when his accusers saw that he was honored according to the proclamation and clothed in purple, they all fled away.
So the king honored him, and wrote him among his chief friends, and made him a duke and partaker of his dominion.
Afterward Jonathan returned to Jerusalem with peace and gladness.
Furthermore, in the hundred threescore and fifth year came Demetrius, son of Demetrius, out of Crete into the land of his fathers.
When King Alexander heard of it, he was very sorry and returned into Antioch.
Then Demetrius made Apollonius, the governor of Coelesyria, his general, who gathered together a great host and encamped in Jamnia, and sent unto Jonathan the high priest, saying,
"Thou alone liftest up thyself against us, and I am laughed to scorn for thy sake, and reproached. And why dost thou vaunt thy power against us in the mountains?
Now therefore, if thou trustest in thine own strength, come down to us into the plain field, and there let us try the matter together; for with me is the power of the cities.
Ask and learn who I am, and the rest who take our part. And they shall tell thee that thy foot is not able to stand before our face; for thy fathers have been twice put to flight in their own land.
Therefore now thou shalt not be able to abide the horsemen and so great a power in the plain, where is neither stone nor flint, nor place to flee unto."
So when Jonathan heard these words of Apollonius, he was moved in his mind and, choosing ten thousand men, he went out of Jerusalem where Simon his brother met him to help him.
And he pitched his tents against Joppa; but they of Joppa shut him out of the city, because Apollonius had a garrison there.
Then Jonathan laid siege against it, whereupon they of the city let him in out of fear; and so Jonathan won Joppa.
When Apollonius heard thereof, he took three thousand horsemen with a great host of footmen, and went to Azotus as though he would pass through it, and thereupon drew forth into the plain, because he had a great number of horsemen in whom he put his trust.
Then Jonathan followed after him to Azotus, where the armies joined battle.
Now Apollonius had left a thousand horsemen in ambush.
And Jonathan knew that there was an ambush behind him, for they had compassed in his host and cast darts at the people from morning till evening.
But the people stood still, as Jonathan had commanded them; and so the enemies' horses were tired.
Then Simon brought forth his host and set them against the footmen (for the horsemen were spent), who were discomfited by him and fled.
The horsemen also, being scattered in the field, fled to Azotus and went into Beth-dagon, their idol's temple, for safety.
But Jonathan set fire to Azotus and the cities round about it, and took their spoils; and the temple of Dagon, with those who had fled into it, he burned with fire.
Thus there were burned and slain with the sword well nigh eight thousand men.
And from thence Jonathan removed his host and encamped against Askalon, where the men of the city came forth and met him with great pomp.
After this Jonathan returned with his host unto Jerusalem, having many spoils.
Now when King Alexander heard these things, he honored Jonathan yet more
and sent him a buckle of gold, as used to be given to such as are of the king's blood. He gave him also Ekron with the borders thereof for possession.