1 And Jonathan saw that the time served him, and he chose men, and sent them to Rome, to confirm and renew the friendship that they had with them. 2 And to the Spartans, and to other places, he sent letters after the same manner. 3 And they went to Rome, and entered into the senate house, and said, Jonathan the high priest, and the nation of the Jews, have sent us, to renew for them the friendship and the confederacy, as in former time. 4 And they gave them letters to the men in every place, that they should bring them on their way to the land of Judah in peace. 5 And this is the copy of the letters which Jonathan wrote to the Spartans:
6 Jonathan the high priest, and the senate of the nation, and the priests, and the rest of the people of the Jews, to their kindred the Spartans, greeting: 7 Even before this time were letters sent to Onias the high priest from* So the old Latin versions and Josephus: compare also ver. 20. All the other authorities read Darius in this place. Arius, who was reigning among you, to signify that you° are our kindred, as the copy written below shows. 8 And Onias entreated honorably the man that was sent, and received the letters, wherein declaration was made of confederacy and friendship. 9 Therefore we also, albeit we need none of these things, having for our encouragement the holy books which are in our hands, 10 have assayed to send that we might renew our brotherhood and friendship with you, to the end that we should not become estranged from you altogether: for long time is passed since you° sent to us. 11 We therefore at all times without ceasing, both in our feasts, and on the other convenient days, do remember you in the sacrifices which we offer, and in our prayers, as it is right and meet to be mindful of kindred: 12 and moreover are glad for your glory. 13 But as for ourselves, many afflictions and many wars have encompassed us, and the kings that are round about us have fought against us. 14 We were not minded therefore to be troublesome to you, and to the rest of our allies and friends, in these wars; 15 for we have the help which is from heaven to help us, and we have been delivered from our enemies, and our enemies have been brought low. 16 We chose therefore Numenius the son of Antiochus, and Antipater the son of Jason, and have sent them to the Romans, to renew the friendship that we had with them, and the former confederacy. 17 We commanded them therefore to go also to you, and to salute you, and to deliver you our letters concerning the renewing of friendship and our brotherhood. 18 And now you° shall do well if you° give us an answer thereto.
19 And this is the copy of the letters which they sent to Onias:
20 Arius king of the Spartans to Onias the chief priest, greeting: 21 It has been found in writing, concerning the Spartans and the Jews, that they are kindred, and that they are of the stock of Abraham: 22 and now, since this is come to our knowledge, you° shall do well to write to us of your† Gr. peace prosperity. 23 And we moreover do write on our part to you, that your cattle and goods are ours, and ours are yours. We do command therefore that they make report to you on this wise.
24 And Jonathan heard that Demetrius’ princes were returned to fight against him with a greater army than before, 25 and he removed from Jerusalem, and met them in the country of Hamath; for he gave them no respite to set foot in his country. 26 And he sent spies into his camp, and they came again, and reported to him that they were appointed in such and such a way to fall upon them in the night season. 27 But as soon as the sun was down, Jonathan commanded his men to watch, and to be in arms, that all the night long they might be ready for battle: and he put forth sentinels round about the camp. 28 And the adversaries heard that Jonathan and his men were ready for battle, and they feared, and trembled in their hearts, and they kindled fires in their camp‡ Some authorities add and departed. 29 But Jonathan and his men knew it not till the morning; for they saw the lights burning. 30 And Jonathan pursued after them, and overtook them not; for they were gone over the river Eleutherus. 31 And Jonathan turned toward the Arabians, who are called Zabadaeans, and struck them, and took their spoils. 32 And he came out from thence, and came to Damascus, and took his journey through all the country. 33 And Simon went forth, and took his journey as far as Ascalon, and the strongholds that were near to it. And he turned toward Joppa, and took possession of it; 34 for he had heard that they were minded to deliver the stronghold to the men of Demetrius; and he set a garrison there to keep it.
35 And Jonathan returned, and called the elders of the people together; and he took counsel with them to build strongholds in Judea, 36 and to make the walls of Jerusalem higher, and to raise a great mound between the citadel and the city, for to separate it from the city, that so it might be all alone, that men might neither buy nor sell. 37 And they were gathered together to build the city, and there fell down part of the wall of the brook that is on the east side, and he repaired that which is called Chaphenatha. 38 And Simon also built Adida in the§ Gr. Sephela. plain country, and made it strong, and set up gates and bars.
39 And Tryphon sought to reign over Asia and to put on himself the diadem, and to stretch forth his hand against Antiochus the king. 40 And he was afraid lest perhaps Jonathan should not suffer him, and lest he should fight against him; and he sought a way how to take him, that he might destroy him. And he removed, and came to Bethshan. 41 And Jonathan came forth to meet him with forty thousand men chosen for battle, and came to Bethshan. 42 And Tryphon saw that he came with a great army, and he was afraid to stretch forth his hand against him: 43 and he received him honorably, and commended him to all his* See 1 Maccabees 2:18. Friends, and gave him gifts, and commanded his forces to be obedient to him, as to himself. 44 And he said to Jonathan, Why have you put all this people to trouble, seeing there is no war between us? 45 And now send them away to their homes, but choose for yourself a few men who shall be with you, and come you with me to Ptolemais, and I will give it up to you, and the rest of the strongholds and the rest of the forces, and all the king’s officers: and I will return and depart; for this is the cause of my coming. 46 And he put his trust in him, and did even as he said, and sent away his forces, and they departed into the land of Judah. 47 But he reserved to himself three thousand men, of whom he left two thousand in Galilee, but one thousand went with him. 48 Now as soon as Jonathan entered into Ptolemais, they of Ptolemais shut the gates, and laid hands on him; and all those who came in with him they killed with the sword. 49 And Tryphon sent forces and horsemen into Galilee, and into the great plain, to destroy all Jonathan’s men. 50 And they perceived that he was taken and had perished, and those who were with him; and they encouraged one another, and went on their way close together, prepared to fight. 51 And those who followed upon them saw that they were ready to fight for their lives, and turned back again. 52 And they all came in peace into the land of Judah, and they mourned for Jonathan, and those who were with him, and they were sore afraid; and all Israel mourned with a great mourning. 53 And all the Gentiles that were round about them sought to destroy them utterly: for they said, They have no ruler, nor any to help them: now therefore let’s fight against them, and take away their memorial from among men.
*12:7 So the old Latin versions and Josephus: compare also ver. 20. All the other authorities read Darius in this place.
†12:22 Gr. peace
‡12:28 Some authorities add and departed.
§12:38 Gr. Sephela.