1 Now about that time, Antiochus retreated in disorder from the region of Persia.
2 For he had entered into the city called Persepolis, and he attempted to rob a temple and to control the city. Therefore the multitudes rushed in and the people of the country turned to defend themselves with weapons; and it came to pass that Antiochus was put to flight by the people of the country and broke his camp with disgrace.
3 While he was at Ecbatana, news was brought to him about what had happened to Nicanor and the forces of Timotheus.
4 Being overcome by his anger, he planned to make the Jews suffer for the evil deeds of those who had put him to flight. Therefore, with judgment from heaven even now accompanying him, he ordered his charioteer to drive without ceasing until he completed the journey; for he arrogantly said this: “I will make Jerusalem a common graveyard of Jews when I come there.”
5 But the All-seeing Lord, the God of Israel, struck him with a fatal and invisible stroke. As soon as he had finished speaking this word, an incurable pain of the bowels seized him, with bitter torments of the inner parts—
6 and that most justly, for he had tormented other men’s bowels with many and strange sufferings.
7 But he in no way ceased from his rude insolence. No, he was filled with even more arrogance, breathing fire in his passion against the Jews, and giving orders to hasten the journey. But it came to pass moreover that he fell from his chariot as it rushed along, and having a grievous fall was tortured in all of the members of his body.
8 He who had just supposed himself to have the waves of the sea at his bidding because he was so superhumanly arrogant, and who thought to weigh the heights of the mountains in a balance, was now brought to the ground and carried in a litter, showing to all that the power was obviously God’s,
9 so that worms swarmed out of the impious man’s body, and while he was still living in anguish and pains, his flesh fell off, and by reason of the stench all the army turned with loathing from his decay.
10 The man who a little before supposed himself to touch the stars of heaven, no one could endure to carry because of his intolerable stench.
11 Therefore he began in great part to cease from his arrogance, being broken in spirit, and to come to knowledge under the scourge of God, his pains increasing every moment.
12 When he himself could not stand his own smell, he said these words: “It is right to be subject to God, and that one who is mortal should not think they are equal to God.”
13 The vile man vowed to the sovereign Lord, who now no more would have pity upon him, saying
14 that the holy city, to which he was going in haste to lay it even with the ground and to make it a common graveyard, he would declare free.
15 Concerning the Jews, whom he had decided not even to count worthy of burial, but to cast them out to the animals with their infants for the birds to devour, he would make them all equal to citizens of Athens.
16 The holy sanctuary, which before he had plundered, he would adorn with best offerings, and would restore all the sacred vessels many times multiplied, and out of his own revenues would defray the charges that were required for the sacrifices.
17 Beside all this, he said that he would become a Jew and would visit every inhabited place, proclaiming the power of God.
18 But when his sufferings did in no way cease, for the judgment of God had come upon him in righteousness, having given up all hope for himself, he wrote to the Jews the letter written below, having the nature of a supplication, to this effect:
19 “To the worthy Jewish citizens, Antiochus, king and general, wishes much joy and health and prosperity.
20 May you and your children fare well, and may your affairs be as you wish. Having my hope in heaven,
21 I remembered with affection your honor and good will. Returning out of the region of Persia, and being taken with an annoying sickness, I deemed it necessary to take thought for the common safety of all,
22 not despairing of myself, but having great hope to escape from the sickness.
23 But considering that my father also, at the time he led an army into the upper country, appointed his successor,
24 to the end that, if anything fell out contrary to expectation, or if any unwelcome tidings were brought, the people in the country, knowing to whom the state had been left, might not be troubled,
25 and, moreover, observing how the princes who are along the borders and neighbors to my kingdom watch for opportunities and look for the future event, I have appointed my son Antiochus to be king, whom I often entrusted and commended to most of you when I was hurrying to the upper provinces. I have written to him what is written below.
26 I therefore urge you and beg you, having in your remembrance the benefits done to you in common and severally, to preserve your present good will, each of you, toward me and my son.
27 For I am persuaded that he in gentleness and kindness will follow my purpose and treat you with moderation and kindness.
28 So the murderer and blasphemer, having endured the most intense sufferings, even as he had dealt with other men, ended his life among the mountains by a most piteous fate in a strange land.
29 Philip his foster brother took the body home and then, fearing the son of Antiochus, he withdrew himself to Ptolemy Philometor in Egypt.