Even the eyes of this godless man were crawling with worms and he lived in terrible pain and agony. The stink was so bad that his entire army was sickened,
and no one was able to come close enough to carry him around. Yet only a short while before, he thought he could take hold of the stars.
Antiochus was deeply depressed and suffered constant pain because of the punishment that God had brought on him, so he finally came to his senses and gave up his arrogant pride.
Then, when he could no longer endure his own stink, he said, "It is right that all mortals should be subject to God and not think that they are his equal."
The time of the Lord's mercy had come to an end for Antiochus, but this worthless man made the Lord a promise:
"I once intended to level Jerusalem to the ground and make that holy city a graveyard full of Jews," he said, "but now I declare it a free city.
I had planned to throw out the dead bodies of the Jews and their children for the wild animals and the birds to eat, for I did not consider them worth burying. But now I intend to grant them the same privileges as the citizens of Athens enjoy.
I once looted the Temple and took its sacred utensils, but I will fill it with splendid gifts and with better utensils than before, and I will pay the cost of the sacrifices from my own resources.
Besides all this, I will become a Jew myself and go wherever people live, telling them of God's power."
Antiochus was in despair and could find no relief from his pain, because God was punishing him as he deserved, so he wrote the following letter to the Jews:
"King Antiochus to the Jews, my most distinguished subjects. Warm greetings and best wishes for your health and prosperity.