Not long after this, Lysias the king's protector and cousin, who also managed the affairs, took sore displeasure in the things that were done.
And when he had gathered about fourscore thousand with all the horsemen, he came against the Jews, thinking to make the city a habitation for the Gentiles,
and to make a gain from the temple, as from the other chapels of the heathen, and to set out the high priesthood for sale every year,
not at all considering the power of God, but puffed up with his ten thousand footmen and his thousand horsemen and his fourscore elephants.
So he came to Judea, and drew near to Beth-zur, which was a fortified town but distant from Jerusalem about five furlongs; and he laid sore siege against it.
Now when those who were with Maccabeus heard that he besieged the strongholds, they and all the people with lamentation and tears besought the Lord that He would send a good angel to deliver Israel.
Then Maccabeus himself first of all took weapons, exhorting the others that they would jeopardize themselves together with him to help their brethren; so they went forth together with a willing mind.
And as they were at Jerusalem, there appeared before them on horseback one in white clothing, shaking his armor of gold.
Then they praised the merciful God all together and took heart, insomuch that they were ready not only to fight with men but with most cruel beasts, and to pierce through walls of iron.
Thus they marched forward with their armor, having a helper from heaven, for the Lord was merciful unto them.
And charging upon their enemies like lions, they slew eleven thousand footmen, and sixteen hundred horsemen, and put all the others to flight.
Many of them also, being wounded, escaped naked; and Lysias himself fled away shamefully, and so escaped.
As he was a man of understanding, cogitating to himself what loss he had had and considering that the Hebrews could not be overcome because the Almighty God helped them, he sent unto them,
and persuaded them to agree to all reasonable conditions, and promised that he would persuade the king that he must indeed be a friend unto them.
Then Maccabeus consented to all that Lysias desired, being concerned for the common good; and whatsoever Maccabeus wrote unto Lysias concerning the Jews, the king granted it.
For there were letters written unto the Jews from Lysias to this effect: Lysias unto the people of the Jews sendeth greeting:
John and Absalom, who were sent from you, delivered me the petition written below, and made request for the fulfillment of the contents thereof.
Therefore whatsoever things were meet to be reported to the king, I have declared them, and he hath granted as much as might be.
If then you will keep yourselves loyal to the state, hereafter also will I endeavor to be a means of your good.
But concerning the particulars, I have given orders both to these and the others who came from me to commune with you.
Fare ye well. The hundred and eight and fortieth year, the four and twentieth day of the month of Dioscorinthius.
Now the king's letter contained these words: King Antiochus unto his brother Lysias sendeth greeting:
Since our father was translated unto the gods, our will is that those who are in our realm live quietly, that every one may attend unto his own affairs.
We understand also that the Jews would not consent to our father to be brought into the customs of the Gentiles, but would rather keep their own manner of living. For this cause they require of us that we should suffer them to live by their own laws.
Therefore our mind is that this nation shall be at rest, and we have determined to restore them their temple, that they may live according to the customs of their forefathers.
Thou shalt do well therefore to send unto them and grant them peace, that when they are certified of our mind, they may be of good comfort and ever go cheerfully about their own affairs.
And the letter of the king unto the nation of the Jews was in this manner: King Antiochus sendeth greeting unto the council and the rest of the Jews:
If ye fare well, we have our desire; we are also in good health.
Menelaus declared unto us that your desire is to return home and to follow your own business.
Therefore those who will depart shall have safe conduct with security till the thirtieth day of Xanthicus.
And the Jews shall use their own kind of meats and laws, as before; and none of them in any manner of ways shall be molested for things ignorantly done.
I have sent also Menelaus, that he may comfort you.
Fare ye well. In the hundred forty and eighth year, and the fifteenth day of the month of Xanthicus.
The Romans also sent unto them a letter containing these words: Quintus Memmius and Titus Manius, ambassadors of the Romans, send greeting unto the people of the Jews:
Whatsoever Lysias the king's cousin hath granted, therewith we also are well pleased.
But concerning such things as he judged to be referred to the king, after you have advised thereof, send someone forthwith, that we may declare as it is suitable for you; for we are now going to Antioch.
Therefore send some with speed, that we may know what is your mind.
Farewell. This hundred and eight and fortieth year, the fifteenth day of the month of Xanthicus.