1 Maccabees chapter 11

King Ptolemy of Egypt tries to take Alexander’s kingdom. Jonathan Maccabees supplicates King Demetrius, then assists him. Then Demetrius attacks.





VERSE 1. And the king of Egypt gathered together great forces, as the sand which is by the sea shore, and many ships, and sought to make himself master of Alexander’s kingdom by deceit, and to add it to his own kingdom.


VERSE 2. And he went forth into Syria with words of peace, and they of the cities opened to him, and met him; For king Alexander’s commandment was that they should meet him, because he was his father-in-law.


VERSE 3. Now as he entered into the cities of Ptolemais, he set his forces for a garrison in each city.


VERSE 4. But when he came near to Azotus, they showed him the temple of Dagon burned with fire, and Azotus and the pasture lands thereof pulled down, and the bodies cast abroad, and those who had been burned, whom he burned in the war, for they had made heaps of them in his way.


VERSE 5. And they told the king what things Jonathan had done, that they might cast blame on him: and the king held his peace.


VERSE 6. And Jonathan met the king with pomp at Joppa, and they saluted one another, and they slept there.


VERSE 7. And Jonathan went with the king as far as the river that is called Eleutherus, and returned to Jerusalem.


VERSE 8. But king Ptolemy became master of the cities upon the sea coast, to Selucia which is by the sea, and he devised evil plans concerning Alexander.


VERSE 9. And he sent ambassadors to king Demetrius, saying, Come! Let’s make a covenant with one another, and I will give you my daughter whom Alexander has, and you shall reign over your father’s kingdom;


VERSE 10. for I have repented that I gave my daughter to him, for he sought to kill me.


VERSE 11. And he cast blame on him, because he coveted his kingdom.


VERSE 12. And taking his daughter from him, he gave her to Demetrius, and was estranged from Alexander, and their enmity was openly seen.


VERSE 13. And Ptolemy entered into Antioch, and put on himself the diadem of Asia; and he put two diadems upon his head, the diadem of Egypt and that of Asia.


VERSE 14. But king Alexander was in Cilicia at that season, because they of those parts were in revolt.


VERSE 15. And Alexander heard of it, and he came against him in war: and Ptolemy led forth his army, and met him with a strong force, and put him to flight.


VERSE 16. And Alexander fled into Arabia, that he might be sheltered there; but king Ptolemy was exalted.


VERSE 17. And Zabdiel the Arabian took off Alexander’s head, and sent it to Ptolemy.


VERSE 18. And king Ptolemy died the third day after, and those who were in his strongholds were slain by those who were in the strongholds.


VERSE 19. And Demetrius reigned in the hundred and threescore and seventh year.




VERSE 20. In those days Jonathan gathered together them of Judea, to take the citadel that was at Jerusalem: and he made many engines of war against it.


VERSE 21. And certain that hated their own nation, men that transgressed the law, went to the king, and reported to him that Jonathan was besieging the citadel.


VERSE 22. And he heard, and was angered; but when he heard it, he set forth immediately, and came to Ptolemais, and wrote to Jonathan, that he should not besiege it, and that he should meet him and speak with him at Ptolemais with all speed.


VERSE 23. But when Jonathan heard this, he commanded to besiege it still: and he chose certain of the elders of Israel and of the priests, and put himself in peril,


VERSE 24. and taking silver and gold and raiment and various presents besides, went to Ptolemais to the king. And he found favor in his sight.


VERSE 25. And certain lawless men of those who were of the nation made complaints against him,


VERSE 26. and the king did to him even as his predecessors had done to him, and exalted him in the sight of all his Friends,


VERSE 27. and confirmed to him the high priesthood, and all the other honors that he had before, and gave him preeminence among his Chief Friends.


VERSE 28. And Jonathan requested of the king, that he would make Judea free from tribute, and the three provinces, and the country of Samaria; and promised him three hundred talents.


VERSE 29. And the king consented, and wrote letters to Jonathan concerning all these things after this manner:


VERSE 30. King Demetrius to his brother Jonathan, and to the nation of the Jews, greeting:


VERSE 31. The copy of the letter which we wrote to Lasthenes our kinsman concerning you, we have written also to you, that you may see it.


VERSE 32. King Demetrius to Lasthenes his father, greeting:


VERSE 33. We have determined to do good to the nation of the Jews, who are our friends, and observe what is just toward us, because of their good will toward us.


VERSE 34. We have confirmed therefore to them the borders of Judea, and also the three governments of Aphaerema and Lydda and Ramathaim (these were added to Judea from the country of Samaria), and all things appertaining to them, for all such as do sacrifice in Jerusalem, instead of the king’s dues which the king received of them yearly aforetime from the produce of the earth and the fruits of trees.


VERSE 35. And as for the other things that pertain to us from henceforth, of the tenths and the tolls that pertain to us, and the saltpits, and the crowns that pertain to us, all these we will bestow upon them.


VERSE 36. And not one of these things shall be annulled from this time forth and forever.


VERSE 37. Now therefore be careful to make a copy of these things, and let it be given to Jonathan, and let it be set up on the holy mount in a meet and conspicuous place.


VERSE 38. And king Demetrius saw that the land was quiet before him, and that no resistance was made to him, and he sent away all his forces, each man to his own place, except the foreign forces, which he had raised from the isles of the Gentiles: and all the forces of his fathers hated him.


VERSE 39. Now Tryphon was of those who aforetime had been of Alexander’s part, and he saw that all the forces murmured against Demetrius, and he went to Imalcue the Arabian, who was nourishing up Antiochus the young child of Alexander,


VERSE 40. and pressed sore upon him that he should deliver him to him, that he might reign in his father’s stead: and he told him all that Demetrius had done, and the hatred wherewith his forces hated him; and he abode there many days.




VERSE 41. And Jonathan sent to king Demetrius, that he should cast out of Jerusalem them of the citadel, and those who were in the strongholds; for they fought against Israel continually.


VERSE 42. And Demetrius sent to Jonathan, saying, I will not only do this for you and your nation, but I will greatly honor you and your nation, if I find fair occasion.


VERSE 43. Now therefore you shall do well, if you send me men who shall fight for me; for all my forces are revolted.

all my forces are revolted. Bad leaders drive people away from themselves.


VERSE 44. And Jonathan sent him three thousand valiant men to Antioch: and they came to the king, and the king was glad at their coming.


VERSE 45. And they of the city gathered themselves together into the midst of the city, to the number of a hundred and twenty thousand men, and they were minded to kill the king.


VERSE 46. And the king fled into the court of the palace, and they of the city seized the passages of the city, and began to fight.


VERSE 47. And the king called the Jews to help him, and they were gathered together to him all at once, and they dispersed themselves in the city, and killed that day to the number of a hundred thousand.


VERSE 48. And they set the city on fire, and got many spoils that day, and saved the king.


VERSE 49. And they of the city saw that the Jews had made themselves masters of the city as they would, and they waxed faint in their hearts, and they cried out to the king with supplication, saying,


VERSE 50. Give us your right hand, and let the Jews cease from fighting against us and the city.


VERSE 51. And they cast away their arms, and made peace; and the Jews were glorified in the sight of the king, and before all that were in his kingdom; and they returned to Jerusalem, having many spoils.


VERSE 52. And king Demetrius sat on the throne of his kingdom, and the land was quiet before him.


VERSE 53. And he lied in all that he spoke, and estranged himself from Jonathan, and recompensed him not according to the benefits with which he had recompensed him, and afflicted him exceedingly.


VERSE 54. Now after this Tryphon returned, and with him the young child Antiochus; and he reigned, and put on a diadem.


VERSE 55. And there were gathered to him all the forces which Demetrius had sent away with disgrace, and they fought against him, and he fled and was put to the rout.


VERSE 56. And Tryphon took the elephants, and became master of Antioch.


VERSE 57. And the young Antiochus wrote to Jonathan, saying, I confirm to you the high priesthood, and appoint you over the four governments, and to be one of the king’s Friends.


VERSE 58. And he sent to him golden vessels and furniture for the table, and gave him leave to drink in golden vessels, and to be clothed in purple, and to have a golden buckle.


VERSE 59. And his brother Simon he made captain from the Ladder of Tyre to the borders of Egypt.


VERSE 60. And Jonathan went forth, and took his journey beyond the river and through the cities; and all the forces of Syria gathered themselves to him for to be his confederates. And he came to Ascalon, and they of the city met him honorably.


VERSE 61. And he departed thence to Gaza, and they of Gaza shut him out; and he laid siege to it, and burned the pasture lands thereof with fire, and plundered them.


VERSE 62. And they of Gaza made request to Jonathan, and he gave them his right hand, and took the sons of their princes for hostages, and sent them away to Jerusalem; and he passed through the country as far as Damascus.




VERSE 63. And Jonathan heard that Demetrius’ princes were come to Kedesh, which is in Galilee, with a great army, purposing to remove him from his office;


VERSE 64. and he went to meet them, but Simon his brother he left in the country.


VERSE 65. And Simon encamped against Bethsura, and fought against it many days, and shut it up:


VERSE 66. and they made request to him that he would give them his right hand, and he gave it to them; and he put them out from thence, and took possession of the city, and set a garrison over it.


VERSE 67. And Jonathan and his army encamped at the water of Gennesareth, and early in the morning they got them to the plain of Hazor.


VERSE 68. And, behold, an army of strangers met him in the plain, and they laid an ambush for him in the mountains, but themselves met him face to face.


VERSE 69. But those who lay in ambush rose out of their places, and joined battle; and all those who were of Jonathan’s side fled:


VERSE 70. not one of them was left, except Mattathias the son of Absalom, and Judas the son of Chalphi, captains of the forces.


VERSE 71. And Jonathan tore his clothes, and put earth upon his head, and prayed.

Jonathan tore his clothes, and put earth upon his head. This is urgency in prayer! We are often quite casual about prayer. But sometimes our internal urgency needs to come out, and we need to pray with desperation!


VERSE 72. And he turned again to them in battle, and put them to the rout, and they fled.

he turned again to them in battle. Jonathan’s desperate prayer turned the situation around. He goes back to combat and wins the day! Don’t be afraid to pray with urgency! Don’t be afraid to pray with desperation! Don’t be afraid that your prayers might be heard and answered!


VERSE 73. And they of his side that fled saw it, and returned to him, and pursued with him to Kedesh to their camp, and they encamped there.


VERSE 74. And there fell of the strangers on that day about three thousand men: and Jonathan returned to Jerusalem.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

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