1 Maccabees, chapter 15 1 Maccabees, ch 15
Moreover Antiochus son of Demetrius the king sent letters from the isles of the sea unto Simon the priest and prince of the Jews, and to all the people;
The contents whereof were these: King Antiochus to Simon the high priest and prince of his nation, and to the people of the Jews, greeting:
Forasmuch as certain pestilent men have usurped the kingdom of our fathers, and my purpose is to challenge it again, that I may restore it to the old estate, and to that end have gathered a multitude of foreign soldiers together, and prepared ships of war;
My meaning also being to go through the country, that I may be avenged of them that have destroyed it, and made many cities in the kingdom desolate:
Now therefore I confirm unto thee all the oblations which the kings before me granted thee, and whatsoever gifts besides they granted.
I give thee leave also to coin money for thy country with thine own stamp.
And as concerning Jerusalem and the sanctuary, let them be free; and all the armour that thou hast made, and fortresses that thou hast built, and keepest in thine hands, let them remain unto thee.
And if anything be, or shall be, owing to the king, let it be forgiven thee from this time forth for evermore.
Furthermore, when we have obtained our kingdom, we will honour thee, and thy nation, and thy temple, with great honour, so that your honour shall be known throughout the world.
In the hundred threescore and fourteenth year went Antiochus into the land of his fathers: at which time all the forces came together unto him, so that few were left with Tryphon.
Wherefore being pursued by king Antiochus, he fled unto Dora, which lieth by the sea side:
For he saw that troubles came upon him all at once, and that his forces had forsaken him.
Then camped Antiochus against Dora, having with him an hundred and twenty thousand men of war, and eight thousand horsemen.
And when he had compassed the city round about, and joined ships close to the town on the sea side, he vexed the city by land and by sea, neither suffered he any to go out or in.
In the mean season came Numenius and his company from Rome, having letters to the kings and countries; wherein were written these things:
Lucius, consul of the Romans unto king Ptolemee, greeting:
The Jews’ ambassadors, our friends and confederates, came unto us to renew the old friendship and league, being sent from Simon the high priest, and from the people of the Jews:
And they brought a shield of gold of a thousand pound.
We thought it good therefore to write unto the kings and countries, that they should do them no harm, nor fight against them, their cities, or countries, nor yet aid their enemies against them.
It seemed also good to us to receive the shield of them.
If therefore there be any pestilent fellows, that have fled from their country unto you, deliver them unto Simon the high priest, that he may punish them according to their own law.
The same things wrote he likewise unto Demetrius the king, and Attalus, to Ariarathes, and Arsaces,
And to all the countries and to Sampsames, and the Lacedemonians, and to Delus, and Myndus, and Sicyon, and Caria, and Samos, and Pamphylia, and Lycia, and Halicarnassus, and Rhodus, and Aradus, and Cos, and Side, and Aradus, and Gortyna, and Cnidus, and Cyprus, and Cyrene.
And the copy hereof they wrote to Simon the high priest.
So Antiochus the king camped against Dora the second day, assaulting it continually, and making engines, by which means he shut up Tryphon, that he could neither go out nor in.
At that time Simon sent him two thousand chosen men to aid him; silver also, and gold, and much armour.
Nevertheless he would not receive them, but brake all the covenants which he had made with him afore, and became strange unto him.
Furthermore he sent unto him Athenobius, one of his friends, to commune with him, and say, Ye withhold Joppa and Gazera; with the tower that is in Jerusalem, which are cities of my realm.
The borders thereof ye have wasted, and done great hurt in the land, and got the dominion of many places within my kingdom.
Now therefore deliver the cities which ye have taken, and the tributes of the places, whereof ye have gotten dominion without the borders of Judea:
Or else give me for them five hundred talents of silver; and for the harm that ye have done, and the tributes of the cities, other five hundred talents: if not, we will come and fight against you
So Athenobius the king’s friend came to Jerusalem: and when he saw the glory of Simon, and the cupboard of gold and silver plate, and his great attendance, he was astonished, and told him the king’s message.
Then answered Simon, and said unto him, We have neither taken other men’s land, nor holden that which appertaineth to others, but the inheritance of our fathers, which our enemies had wrongfully in possession a certain time.
Wherefore we, having opportunity, hold the inheritance of our fathers.
And whereas thou demandest Joppa and Gazera, albeit they did great harm unto the people in our country, yet will we give thee an hundred talents for them. Hereunto Athenobius answered him not a word;
But returned in a rage to the king, and made report unto him of these speeches, and of the glory of Simon, and of all that he had seen: whereupon the king was exceeding wroth.
In the mean time fled Tryphon by ship unto Orthosias.
Then the king made Cendebeus captain of the sea coast, and gave him an host of footmen and horsemen,
And commanded him to remove his host toward Judea; also he commanded him to build up Cedron, and to fortify the gates, and to war against the people; but as for the king himself, he pursued Tryphon.
So Cendebeus came to Jamnia and began to provoke the people and to invade Judea, and to take the people prisoners, and slay them.
And when he had built up Cedrou, he set horsemen there, and an host of footmen, to the end that issuing out they might make outroads upon the ways of Judea, as the king had commanded him.