Judas Maccabees hears about the the Roman Empire. He sends ambassadors to enact a treaty with them. They will protect Israel from the Greek Seleucid Empire.
THEY HEAR ABOUT THE ROMAN EMPIRE
VERSE 1. And Judas heard of the fame of the Romans, that they are valiant men, and have pleasure in all that join themselves to them, and make friends with all such as come to them,
VERSE 2. and that they are valiant men. And they told him of their wars and exploits which they do among the Gauls, and how that they conquered them, and brought them under tribute;
the Gauls. This is the region that is now France.
VERSE 3. and what things they did in the land of Spain, that they might become masters of the mines of silver and gold which were there;
VERSE 4. and how that by their policy and persistence they conquered all the place (and the place was exceedingly far from them), and the kings that came against them from the uttermost part of the earth, until they had discomfited them, and struck them very sore; and how the rest give them tribute year by year:
VERSE 5. and Philip, and Perseus, king of Chittim, and those who lifted up themselves against them, did they discomfit in battle, and conquered them:
VERSE 6. Antiochus also, the great king of Asia, who came against them to battle, having a hundred and twenty elephants, with horse, and chariots, and an exceedingly great army, and he was discomfited by them,
VERSE 7. and they took him alive, and appointed that both he and such as reigned after him should give them a great tribute, and should give hostages, and a parcel of land, to wit,
VERSE 8. the country of India, and Media, and Lydia, and of the goodliest of their countries; and they took them from him, and gave them to king Eumenes:
VERSE 9. and how they of Greece took counsel to come and destroy them;
VERSE 10. and the thing was known to them, and they sent against them a captain, and fought against them, and many of them fell down wounded to death, and they made captive their wives and their children, and plundered them, and conquered their land, and pulled down their strongholds, and plundered them, and brought them into bondage to this day:
VERSE 11. and the residue of the kingdoms and of the isles, as many as rose up against them at any time, they destroyed and made them to be their servants;
VERSE 12. but with their friends and such as relied upon them they stayed friends; and they conquered the kingdoms that were near and those that were far off, and all that heard of their fame were afraid of them:
VERSE 13. moreover, whoever they will to succour and to make kings, these do they make kings; and whoever they will, do they depose; and they are exalted exceedingly:
VERSE 14. and for all this none of them did ever put on a diadem, neither did they clothe themselves with purple, to be magnified by it:
VERSE 15. and how they had made for themselves a senate house, and day by day three hundred and twenty men sat in council, consulting always for the people, to the end they might be well ordered:
VERSE 16. and how they commit their government to one man year by year, that he should rule over them, and be lord over all their country, and all are obedient to that one, and there is neither envy nor emulation among them.
THEY ENACT A TREATY WITH THE ROMAN EMPIRE
VERSE 17. And Judas chose Eupolemus the son of John, the son of Accos, and Jason the son of Eleazar, and sent them to Rome, to establish friendship and alliance with them,
to establish friendship and alliance with them. Judas Maccabees seizes the moment and enacts a treaty with the Roman Empire. This guarantees his safety from the oppressive Greeks of his day. As children of the Most High God, we are called to be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves:
Matthew 10:16. Behold, I send you out as sheep among wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
VERSE 18. and that they should take the yoke from them; for they saw that the kingdom of the Greeks did keep Israel in bondage.
VERSE 19. And they went to Rome (and the way was exceedingly long), and they entered into the senate house, and answered and said,
VERSE 20. Judas, who is also called Maccabaeus, and his kindred, and the people of the Jews, have sent us to you, to make a confederacy and peace with you, and that we might be registered your confederates and friends.
VERSE 21. And the thing was well-pleasing in their sight.
VERSE 22. And this is the copy of the writing which they wrote back again on tables of brass, and sent to Jerusalem, that it might be with them there for a memorial of peace and confederacy:
THE TERMS OF THE TREATY
VERSE 23. Good success be to the Romans, and to the nation of the Jews, by sea and by land forever: the sword also and the enemy be far from them.
VERSE 24. But if war arise for Rome first, or any of their confederates in all their dominion,
VERSE 25. the nation of the Jews shall help them as confederates, as the occasion shall prescribe to them, with all their heart:
VERSE 26. and to those who make war upon them they shall not give, neither supply, food, arms, money, or ships, as it has seemed good to Rome, and they shall keep their ordinances without taking anything therefore.
VERSE 27. In the same manner, moreover, if war come first upon the nation of the Jews, the Romans shall help them as confederates with all their soul, as the occasion shall prescribe to them:
VERSE 28. and to those who are confederates with their foes there shall not be given food, arms, money, or ships, as it has seemed good to Rome; and they shall keep these ordinances, and that without deceit.
VERSE 29. According to these words have the Romans made a covenant thus with the people of the Jews.
VERSE 30. But if hereafter the one party and the other shall take counsel to add or diminish anything, they shall do it at their pleasure, and whatever they shall add or take away shall be established.
VERSE 31. And as touching the evils which king Demetrius does to them, we have written to him, saying, Wherefore have you made your yoke heavy upon our friends and confederates the Jews?
VERSE 32. If therefore they plead any more against you, we will do them justice, and fight with you by sea and by land.
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