1 To brethren Jews, that be scattered through Egypt, brethren, that be in Jerusalem, Jews, and that be in the country of Judea, say health and good peace.
2 God do well to you, and have mind of his testament, that he spake to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that be of the number of his true servants;
3 and give he heart to you all, that ye worship him, and do the will of him with great heart and willful soul.
4 Open he your heart in his law, and in his behests, and make he peace;
5 hear he graciously your prayers, and be reconciled to you, neither forsake you in evil time.
6 And now we be here praying for you.
7 While Demetrius reigneth in the hundred year and sixty and ninth, we Jews have written to you in tribula-tion and fierceness, that came above to us in these years, and since Jason went out of the holy land and realm.
8 They burnt the gate, and shedded out innocent blood; and we prayed to the Lord, and we be graciously heard, and we have offered sacrifice, and clean flour, and have tended lanterns, and have put forth loaves.
9 And now make ye solemn the days of Scenopegia, either cleansing of the temple, of the month Kislev, that is, November.
10 In the hundred year and eight and eightieth, the people that is in Jerusalem, and in Judea, and the elder men [or the senate], and Judas, to Aristobulus, master of Ptolemy, king, that is of the kin of anointed priests, and to them that be in Egypt, Jews, health of soul, and health of body.
11 We delivered of God from great perils, do thankings to him hugely, as we that have fought against such a king.
12 For he made for to boil out of Persia them that fought against us and the holy city.
13 For why when the duke himself was in Persia, and with him a great host, he fell in the temple of Nanea, and deceived by the counsel of the priests of Nanea.
14 Forsooth Antiochus came to the place, as to dwelling with him, and his friends, and for to take many riches [or much monies] by name of dower.
15 And when priests of Nanea had put forth those [or had put them forth], and he with few entered within the compass of the temple, they closed the temple, when Antiochus had entered.
16 And when the privy entry of the temple was opened, they threw stones, and smited the duke, and them that were with him, and they parted limb-meal; and when the heads were girded off, they casted withoutforth.
17 By all things blessed be God, that betook unpious men.
18 Therefore we to making purifying, or cleansing, of the temple, in the five and twentieth day of the month Kislev, that is, November, led needful for to signify to you, that and ye do also the day of Scenopegia, and the day of fire, that was given, when Nehemiah offered sacrifices, after that the temple and the altar were builded.
19 For why when our fathers were led into Persia, priests that then were worshippers of God, hid privily fire taken of the altar, in a valley, where was a deep pit and dry; and therein they kept it, so that the place was unknown to all men.
20 Forsooth when many years had passed, and it pleased God that Nehemiah was sent from the king of Persia, he sent the sons’ sons of the priests that hidden, for to seek the fire; and as they told to us, they found not fire, but fat water.
21 And he commanded them for to draw, and bring to him. And Nehemiah, the priest, commanded the sacrifices, that were put on, for to be sprinkled with the water, those and the trees, and those things that were put above.
22 And as this was done, and the time came, in which the sun shone again, that before was in cloud, a great fire was kindled, so that all men wondered.
23 Forsooth all priests made prayer, while the sacrifice was ended; and Jonathan began, and others forsooth answered.
24 And the prayer of Nehemiah was having this manner. Lord God, Maker of nought of all things, dreadful and strong, just and merciful, which alone art good King,
25 alone giving, alone just, and almighty, and without beginning and end, which deliverest Israel from all evil, which madest fathers chosen [or chosen fathers], and hallowedest them;
26 take thou sacrifice for all thy people Israel, and keep thy part, and hallow.
27 Gather our dispersion, or scattering, deliver them that serve to heathen men, and behold thou despised men, and made abominable, that heathen men know, that thou art our God.
28 Torment thou men oppressing us, and doing despite in pride.
29 Ordain thy people in thine holy place, as Moses said.
30 Forsooth priests sung hymns, till the sacrifice was ended.
31 Forsooth when the sacrifice was ended, Nehemiah commanded the more stones for to be beshed of the residue water;
32 and as this thing was done, flame was kindled of them, but it was wasted of the light, that again-shined of the altar.
33 Forsooth after the thing was known, it was told to the king of Persia, that in the place in which the priests that were translated, had hid fire, water appeared, of which Nehemiah and they that were with him cleansed sacrifices.
34 Forsooth the king beholding and diligently examining the thing, made a temple to him, for to prove that thing that was done.
35 And when he had proved, he gave many goods to priests, and other gifts; and he took with his hand, and he gave to them.
36 Forsooth Nehemiah called this place Nephthar, that is interpreted, either expounded, cleansing; forsooth with many it is called Naphtha.