After three years Judas was informed that Demetrius the son of Seleucus, having entered by the haven of Tripolis with a great power and navy,
had taken the country and killed Antiochus and Lysias his protector.
Now one Alcimus, who had been high priest and had defiled himself willfully in the times of their mingling with the Gentiles, seeing that by no means could he save himself nor have any more access to the holy altar,
came to King Demetrius in the hundred and one and fiftieth year, presenting unto him a crown of gold and a palm, and also some of the boughs which were used solemnly in the temple; and so that day he held his peace.
However, having gotten opportunity to further his foolish enterprise, and being called into counsel by Demetrius and asked how the Jews stood affected and what they intended, Alcimus answered thereto:
Those of the Jews who are called Hasideans, whose captain is Judas Maccabeus, nourish war and are seditious, and will not let the realm be in peace.
Therefore I, being deprived of mine ancestors' honor (I mean the high priesthood), have now come hither,
first, verily for the unfeigned care I have for things pertaining to the king, and secondly, because I intend the good of mine own countrymen; for all our nation is in no small misery through the unadvised dealing of those aforesaid.
Therefore, O king, seeing thou knowest all these things, be careful for the country and our nation, which is pressed on every side, according to the clemency that thou readily showest unto all.
For as long as Judas liveth, it is not possible that the state should be quiet.
This was no sooner spoken of him, but others of the king's friends, being maliciously set against Judas, incensed Demetrius the more.
And forthwith calling Nicanor, who had been master of the elephants, and making him governor over Judea, he sent him forth,
commanding him to slay Judas and to scatter those who were with him, and to make Alcimus high priest of the great temple.
Then the heathen, who had fled out of Judea from Judas, came to Nicanor in flocks, thinking the harm and calamities of the Jews to be their welfare.
Now when the Jews heard of Nicanor's coming, and that the heathen were up against them, they cast earth upon their heads, and made supplication to Him that had established His people for ever, and who always helpeth His portion with manifestation of His presence.
So at the commandment of the captain they removed straightway from thence, and came near unto them at the town of Dessau.
Now Simon, Judas' brother, had joined battle with Nicanor, but was somewhat discomfited through the sudden silence of his enemies.
Nevertheless Nicanor, hearing of the manliness of those who were with Judas, and the courageousness that they had to fight for their country, dared not try the matter by the sword.
Therefore he sent Posidonius and Theodotus and Mattathias to make peace.
So when they had taken long advisement thereupon, and the captain had made the multitude acquainted therewith, and it appeared that they were all of one mind, they consented to the covenants
and appointed a day to meet together by themselves. And when the day came, and stools were set for each of them,
Judas placed armed men ready in suitable places, lest some treachery should be suddenly practiced by the enemies; so they held a peaceable conference.
Now Nicanor abode in Jerusalem, and did no hurt, but sent away the people who came flocking unto him.
And he would not willingly have Judas out of his sight, for he loved the man from his heart.
He prayed him also to take a wife and to beget children; so he married, was quiet, and took part in this life.
But Alcimus, perceiving the love that was between them and considering the covenants that were made, came to Demetrius and told him that Nicanor was not well-disposed toward the state; for he had ordained Judas, a traitor to his realm, to be the king's successor.
Then the king, being in a rage and provoked by the accusations of the most wicked man, wrote to Nicanor, signifying that he was much displeased with the covenants, and commanding him that he should send Maccabeus as a prisoner with all haste unto Antioch.
When this came to Nicanor's hearing, he was much confounded in himself, and took it grievously that he should make void the articles which were agreed upon, the man being without fault.
But because there was no opposing the king, he watched his time to accomplish this thing by a stratagem.
Notwithstanding, when Maccabeus saw that Nicanor began to be churlish unto him, and that he treated him more roughly than he was wont, perceiving that such sour behavior came not from good, he gathered together not a few of his men and withdrew himself from Nicanor.
But the other, knowing that he was notably outmaneuvered by Judas' policy, came into the great and holy temple, and commanded the priests who were offering their usual sacrifices to deliver the man to him.
And when they swore that they could not tell where the man was whom he sought,
he stretched out his right hand toward the temple, and made an oath in this manner: If ye will not deliver me Judas as a prisoner, I will lay this temple of God even with the ground; and I will break down the altar and erect a notable temple unto Bacchus.
After these words he departed. Then the priests lifted up their hands toward heaven, and besought Him that was ever a defender of their nation, saying in this manner:
Thou, O Lord of all things, who hast need of nothing, wast pleased that the temple of Thine habitation should be among us.
Therefore now, O holy Lord of all holiness, keep this house ever undefiled, which lately was cleansed; and stop every unrighteous mouth.
Now there was accused unto Nicanor one Razis, one of the elders of Jerusalem, a lover of his countrymen and a man of very good report, who, for his kindness, was called a father of the Jews.
For in the former times, when they mingled not themselves with the Gentiles, he had been accused of Judaism, and boldly jeopardized his body and life with all vehemency for the religion of the Jews.
So Nicanor, willing to declare the hate that he bore for the Jews, sent above five hundred men of war to take him;
for he thought, by taking him, to do the Jews much hurt.
Now when the multitude was about to take the tower and were violently breaking into the outer door, and bidding that fire should be brought to burn it, Razis, being about to be taken on every side, fell upon his sword,
choosing rather to die manfully than to come into the hands of the wicked to be abused otherwise than befitted his noble birth.
But missing his stroke through haste, the multitude also rushing within the doors, he ran boldly up to the wall and cast himself down manfully among the thickest of them.
But they quickly drawing back and a space being made, he fell down into the midst of the void place.
Nevertheless, while there was yet breath within him, being inflamed with anger, he rose up; and though his blood gushed out like spouts of water and his wounds were grievous, yet he ran through the midst of the throng. And standing upon a steep rock,
as his blood was now quite gone, he plucked out his bowels and, taking them in both his hands, he cast them upon the throng; and calling upon the Lord of life and spirit to restore him those again, Razis thus died.