1 Maccabees chapter 13

Simon Maccabees becomes the leader. Trypho demands a ransom for Judas, but then kills him. Simon makes a pact with King Demetrius, then captures Gazara.

 


 

SIMON MACCABEES BECOMES THE LEADER

 

VERSE 1. And Simon heard that Tryphon had gathered together a mighty army to come into the land of Judah, and destroy it utterly.

 

VERSE 2. And he saw that the people trembled and was in great fear; and he went up to Jerusalem, and gathered the people together;

 

VERSE 3. and he encouraged them, and said to them, You yourselves know all the things that I, and my kindred, and my father’s house, have done for the laws and the sanctuary, and the battles and the distresses which we have seen:

 

VERSE 4. by reason hereof all my kindred have perished for Israel’s sake, and I am left alone.

 

VERSE 5. And now be it far from me, that I should spare my own life in any time of affliction; for I am not better than my kindred.

 

VERSE 6. Howbeit I will take vengeance for my nation, and for the sanctuary, and for our wives and children; because all the Gentiles are gathered to destroy us of very hatred.

 

VERSE 7. And the spirit of the people revived, as soon as they heard these words.

as soon as they heard these words. Simon’s words rekindled the spirits of his hearers. Words have power. Words can upbuild or encourage; they can tear down or dishearten. Let’s speak words of faith, words that need to be heard, words that upbuild and uplift, words that foster faith and hope and love, words that spread the fragrance of Jesus.

2 Corinthians 2:14. Now thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and reveals through us the sweet aroma of his knowledge in every place.

 

VERSE 8. And they answered with a loud voice, saying, You are our leader instead of Judas and Jonathan your brother.

 

VERSE 9. Fight you our battles, and all that you shall say to us, that will we do.

 

VERSE 10. And he gathered together all the men of war, and made haste to finish the walls of Jerusalem, and he fortified it round about.

to finish the walls of Jerusalem. The walls of Jerusalem are always in need of being fortified. So too is our own discipleship and wellbeing. We always need to be fortified and strengthened. Many people always need to work at building up their boundaries.

 

VERSE 11. And he sent Jonathan the son of Absalom, and with him a great army, to Joppa: and he cast out those who were therein, and abode there in it.

 

TRYPHO DEMANDS TO BE PAID A RANSOM

 

VERSE 12. And Tryphon removed from Ptolemais with a mighty army to enter into the land of Judah, and Jonathan was with him in ward.

 

VERSE 13. But Simon encamped at Adida, near the plain.

 

VERSE 14. And Tryphon knew that Simon was risen up instead of his brother Jonathan, and meant to join battle with him, and he sent ambassadors to him, saying,

 

VERSE 15. It is for money which Jonathan your brother owed to the king’s treasure, by reason of the offices which he had, that we hold him fast.

 

VERSE 16. And now send a hundred talents of silver, and two of his sons for hostages, that when he is set at liberty he may not revolt from us, and we will set him at liberty.

 

VERSE 17. And Simon knew that they spoke to him deceitfully; and he sends the money and the children, lest perhaps he should procure to himself great hatred of the people,

Simon knew that they spoke to him deceitfully. The art of leadership is all about balance. Here, on the one hand, Simon knew the enemy was deceiving him and that he should not cede to their demand. On the other hand, Simon was held back by fear. He was fearful of how his people would react if he didn’t give in to the enemy’s demand. In our own lives, as seekers of truth, we try to do what is good and true and right. We wouldn’t want to be shackled by fear, especially the fear of speaking of Jesus.

 

VERSE 18. and they should say, Because I sent him not the money and the children, he perished.

 

VERSE 19. And he sent the children and the hundred talents. And he dealt falsely, and didn’t set Jonathan at liberty.

 

VERSE 20. And after this Tryphon came to invade the land, and destroy it, and he went round about by the way that leads to Adora: and Simon and his army marched near him to every place, wherever he went.

 

VERSE 21. Now they of the citadel sent to Tryphon ambassadors, hastening him to come to them through the wilderness, and to send them food.

 

VERSE 22. And Tryphon made ready all his horse to come: and on that night there fell a very great snow, and he came not by reason of the snow. And he removed, and came into the country of Gilead.

 

VERSE 23. But when he came near to Bascama, he killed Jonathan, and he was buried there.

 

VERSE 24. And Tryphon returned, and went away into his own land.

 

JONATHAN MACCABEES IS BURIED

 

VERSE 25. And Simon sent, and took the bones of Jonathan his brother, and buried him at Modin, the city of his fathers.

 

VERSE 26. And all Israel made great lamentation over him, and mourned for him many days.

 

VERSE 27. And Simon built a monument upon the sepulchre of his father and his kindred, and raised it aloft to the sight, with polished stone behind and before.

 

VERSE 28. And he set up seven pyramids, one near another, for his father, and his mother, and his four kindred.

 

VERSE 29. And for these he made cunning devices, setting about them great pillars, and upon the pillars he fashioned all manner of arms for a perpetual memory, and beside the arms ships carved, that they should be seen of all that sail on the sea.

 

VERSE 30. This is the sepulchre which he made at Modin, and it is there to this day.

 

SIMON MACCABEES MAKES A PACT WITH KING DEMETRIUS

 

VERSE 31. Now Tryphon dealt deceitfully with the young king Antiochus, and killed him,

 

VERSE 32. and reigned in his stead, and put on himself the diadem of Asia, and brought a great calamity upon the land.

 

VERSE 33. And Simon built the strongholds of Judea, and fenced them about with high towers, and great walls, and gates, and bars; and he laid up food in the strongholds.

 

VERSE 34. And Simon chose men, and sent to king Demetrius, to the end he should give the country an immunity, because all that Tryphon did was to plunder.

 

VERSE 35. And king Demetrius sent to him according to these words, and answered him, and wrote a letter to him, after this manner:

 

VERSE 36. King Demetrius to Simon the high priest and Friend of kings, and to the elders and nation of the Jews, greeting:

 

VERSE 37. The golden crown, and the palm branch, which you sent, we have received: and we are ready to make a stedfast peace with you, yes, and to write to our officers, to grant immunities to you.

 

VERSE 38. And whatever things we confirmed to you, they are confirmed; and the strongholds, which you have built, let them be your own.

 

VERSE 39. As for any oversights and faults committed to this day, we forgive them, and the crown which you owed us: and if there were any other toll exacted in Jerusalem, let it be exacted no longer.

 

VERSE 40. And if there be any among you meet to be enrolled in our court, let them be enrolled, and let there be peace between us.

 

VERSE 41. In the hundred and seventies year was the yoke of the heathen taken away from Israel.

 

VERSE 42. And the people began to write in their instruments and contracts, In the first year of Simon, the great high priest and captain and leader of the Jews.

the great high priest and captain and leader. This might be the first time that the High Priest is also the king.

 

SIMON MACCABEES CAPTURES GAZARA

 

VERSE 43. In those days he encamped against Gazara, and compassed it round about with armies; and he made an engine of siege, and brought it up to the city, and struck a tower, and took it.

he made an engine of siege. That is, a siege machine.

 

VERSE 44. And those who were in the engine leaped forth into the city; and there was a great uproar in the city:

 

VERSE 45. and they of the city tore their clothes, and went up on the walls with their wives and children, and cried with a loud voice, making request to Simon to give them his right hand.

 

VERSE 46. And they said, Deal not with us according to our wickednesses, but according to your mercy.

 

VERSE 47. And Simon was reconciled to them, and didn’t fight against them: and he put them out of the city, and cleansed the houses wherein the idols were, and so entered into it with singing and giving praise.

 

VERSE 48. And he put all uncleanness out of it, and placed in it such men as would keep the law, and made it stronger than it was before, and built therein a dwelling place for himself.

 

VERSE 49. But they of the citadel in Jerusalem were hindered from going forth, and from going into the country, and from buying and selling; and they hungered exceedingly, and a great number of them perished through famine.

 

VERSE 50. And they cried out to Simon, that he should give them his right hand; and he gave it to them: and he put them out from thence, and he cleansed the citadel from its pollutions.

 

VERSE 51. And he entered into it on the three and twentieth day of the second month, in § the hundred and seventy and first year, with praise and palm branches, and with harps, and with cymbals, and with viols, and with hymns, and with songs: because a great enemy was destroyed out of Israel.

 

VERSE 52. And he ordained that they should keep that day every year with gladness. And the hill of the temple that was by the citadel he made stronger than before, and there he lived, himself and his men.

 

VERSE 53. And Simon saw that John his son was a valiant man, and he made him leader of all his forces: and he lived in Gazara.

 


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