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1 Maccabees 14

1 Now in the hundred threescore and twelfth year, King Demetrius gathered his forces together and went into Media to get help to fight against Trypho.
2 But when Arsaces, the king of Persia and Media, heard that Demetrius had entered within his borders, he sent one of his princes to take him alive,
3 who went and smote the host of Demetrius, and took him and brought him to Arsaces, by whom he was put under guard.
4 As for the land of Judea, that was quiet all the days of Simon; for he sought the good of his nation in such wise, that evermore his authority and honor pleased them well.
5 And as he was honorable in all his acts, so in this: that he took Joppa for a haven, and made an entrance to the isles of the sea,
6 and enlarged the bounds of his nation and recovered the country,
7 and gathered together a great number of captives, and had dominion over Gazara and Beth-zur and the tower, out of which he took all uncleanness, neither was there any who resisted him.
8 Then did they till their ground in peace; and the earth gave her increase, and the trees of the field their fruit.
9 The aged men sat all in the streets, communing together of good things, and the young men put on glorious and warlike apparel.
10 He provided victuals for the cities, and set in them all manner of munitions, so that his honorable name was renowned unto the end of the world.
11 He made peace in the land, and Israel rejoiced with great joy.
12 For every man sat under his vine and his fig tree, and there was none to frighten them,
13 neither was there any left in the land to fight against them; yea, the kings themselves were overthrown in those days.
14 Moreover he strengthened all those of his people that were brought low; the law he searched out, and every contemner of the law and wicked person he took away.
15 He beautified the sanctuary, and multiplied vessels of the temple.
16 Now when it was heard in Rome, and as far as Sparta, that Jonathan was dead, they were very sorry.
17 But as soon as they heard that his brother Simon was made high priest in his stead, and ruled the country and the cities therein,
18 they wrote unto him on tablets of brass to renew the friendship and league which they had made with Judas and Jonathan his brethren,
19 which writings were read before the congregation in Jerusalem.
20 And this is the copy of the letter that the Lacedemonians sent: The rulers of the Lacedemonians, with the city, unto Simon the high priest and the elders and priests and residue of the people of the Jews, our brethren, send greeting:
21 The ambassadors who were sent unto our people certified us of your glory and honor. Therefore we were glad of their coming,
22 and registered the things that they spoke in the council of the people in this manner: `Numenius son of Antiochus, and Antipater son of Jason, the Jews' ambassadors, came unto us to renew the friendship they had with us.
23 And it pleased the people to entertain the men honorably, and to put the copy of their embassage in public records, to the end that the people of the Lacedemonians might have a memorial thereof. Furthermore we have written a copy thereof unto Simon the high priest.'
24 After this Simon sent Numenius to Rome with a great shield of gold of a thousand pound weight to confirm the league with them.
25 When the people heard thereof, they said, What thanks shall we give to Simon and his sons?
26 For he and his brethren and the house of his father have established Israel, and fought and chased away their enemies from them, and confirmed their liberty.
27 So then they wrote it on tablets of brass, which they set upon pillars on Mount Zion. And this is the copy of the writing: The eighteenth day of the month of Elul, in the hundred threescore and twelfth year, being the third year of Simon the high priest,
28 in Asaramel, in the great congregation of the priests and people and rulers of the nation and elders of the country, were these things notified unto us:
29 Inasmuch as oftentimes there have been wars in the country for the maintenance of their sanctuary and the law, Simon the son of Mattathias of the posterity of Joarib, together with his brethren, put themselves in jeopardy and, resisting the enemies of their nation, did their nation great honor.
30 (For after Jonathan, having gathered his nation together and been their high priest, was gathered to his people,
31 their enemies purposed to invade their country, that they might destroy it and lay hands on the sanctuary.
32 At that time Simon rose up and fought for his nation, and spent much of his own substance, and armed the valiant men of his nation and gave them wages,
33 and fortified the cities of Judea, together with Beth-zur, that lieth upon the borders of Judea, where the weapons of the enemies had been before; but he set a garrison of Jews there.
34 Moreover he fortified Joppa, which lieth by the sea, and Gazara, that bordereth upon Azotus, where the enemies had dwelt before; but he placed Jews there, and furnished them with all things suitable for the reparation thereof.)
35 The people therefore, seeing the acts of Simon and unto what glory he thought to bring his nation, made him their governor and chief priest, because he had done all these things, and for the justice and faith which he kept toward his nation, and because he sought by all means to exalt his people.
36 For in his time things prospered in his hands, so that the heathen were taken out of their country and those also who were in the City of David in Jerusalem, who had made themselves a tower out of which they issued and polluted all about the sanctuary, and did much hurt in the holy place.
37 But he placed Jews therein and fortified it for the safety of the country and the city, and raised up the walls of Jerusalem.
38 King Demetrius also confirmed him in the high priesthood according to those things,
39 and made him one of his friends, and honored him with great honor.
40 For he had heard it said that the Romans had called the Jews their friends and confederates and brethren, and that they had entertained the ambassadors of Simon honorably; also that the Jews and priests were well pleased that Simon should be their governor and high priest for ever until there should arise a faithful prophet;
42 moreover that he should be their captain and should take charge of the sanctuary, to set them over their works and over the country, and over the weapons and over the fortresses, that, I say, he should take charge of the sanctuary;
43 besides this, that he should be obeyed by every man, and that all the writings in the country should be made in his name, and that he should be clothed in purple and wear gold;
44 also that it should be lawful for none of the people or priests to break any of these things, or to gainsay his words, or to gather an assembly in the country without him, or to be clothed in purple or wear a buckle of gold;
45 and whosoever should do otherwise, or break any of these things, he should be punished.
46 Thus it pleased all the people to deal with Simon and to do as hath been said.
47 Then Simon accepted this, and was well pleased to be high priest, and captain and governor of the Jews and priests, and to defend them all.
48 So they commanded that this writing should be put on tablets of brass, and that they should be set up within the compass of the sanctuary in a conspicuous place;
49 also that the copies thereof should be laid up in the treasury, to the end that Simon and his sons might have them.
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