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The Bible Story Part 220

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XX.

_How Jonathan and Two Valiant Captains Stood Against a Host_.

And Jonathan heard that Demetrius' princes were come to Kedesh, which is in Galilee, with a great host, purposing to remove him from his office; and he went to meet them, but Simon his brother he left in the country.

And Simon encamped against Bethsura, and fought against it many days, and shut it up: and they desired to have peace, which he granted them, and he put them out from thence, and took possession of the city, and set a garrison over it.

And Jonathan and his army encamped at the water of Gennesaret, and early in the morning they went to the plain of Hazor. 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. But they that lay in ambush rose out of their places, and joined battle; and all they that were of Jonathan's side fled: not one of them was left, except Mattathias the son of Absalom, and Judas the son of Chalphi, captains of the forces.

And Jonathan rent his clothes, and put earth upon his head, and prayed. And he turned again unto them in battle, and put them to the rout, and they fled. And they of his side that fled saw it, and returned unto him, and pursued with him unto Kedesh unto their camp, and they encamped there. And there fell of the strangers on that day about three thousand men: and Jonathan returned to Jerusalem.

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XXI.

_How Jonathan Fell at Last Into the Hands of a Crafty Foe_.

And Tryphon sought to reign over Asia and to put on himself the crown, and to stretch forth his hand against Antiochus the king. And he was afraid lest Jonathan should not permit 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. And Jonathan came forth to meet him with forty thousand men chosen for battle, and came to Bethshan. And Tryphon saw that he came with a great host, and he was afraid to stretch forth his hand against him: and he received him honorably, and commended him unto all his Friends, and gave him gifts, and commanded his forces to be obedient unto him, as unto himself. And he said unto Jonathan, "Why hast thou put all this people to trouble, seeing there is no war between us? And now send them away to their homes, but choose for thyself a few men who shall be with thee, and come thou with me to Ptolemais, and I will give it up to thee, 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."

And he put trust in him, and did even as he said, and sent away his forces, and they departed into the land of Judah. But he reserved to himself three thousand men, of whom he left two thousand in Galilee, but one thousand went with him. Now as soon as Jonathan entered into Ptolemais, they of Ptolemais shut the gates, and laid hands on him; and all them that came in with him they slew with the sword.

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[Ill.u.s.tration]

THE LAKE OF GALILEE.

The Galilee country, so important in the life of Jesus, was the scene of many of the operations of the military campaigns of the Maccabees.

[End ill.u.s.tration]

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And Tryphon sent forces and hors.e.m.e.n into Galilee, and into the great plain, to destroy all Jonathan's men. And they perceived that he was taken and had perished, and they that were with him; and they encouraged one another, and went on their way close together, prepared to fight. And they that followed upon them saw that they were ready to fight for their lives, and turned back again.

And they all came in peace into the land of Judah, and they mourned for Jonathan, and them that were with him, and they were sore afraid; and all Israel mourned with a great mourning. And all the Gentiles that were round about them sought to destroy them utterly: for they said, "They have no captain, nor any to help them: now therefore let us fight against them, and take away their memory from among men."

XXII.

_How Simon Became Captain in Place of Jonathan_.

And Simon heard that Tryphon had gathered together a mighty host to come into the land of Judah, and destroy it utterly. And he saw that the people trembled and were in great fear; and he went up to Jerusalem, and gathered the people together; and he encouraged them, and said unto them, "Ye yourselves know all the things that I, and my brethren, and my father's house, have done for the laws and the sanctuary, and the battles and the distresses which we have seen: by reason hereof all my brethren have {454} perished for Israel's sake, and I am left alone. And now be it far from me, that I should spare mine own life in any time of affliction; for I am not better than my brethren, 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."

And the spirit of the people revived, as soon as they heard these words. And they answered with a loud voice, saying, "Thou art our leader instead of Judas and Jonathan thy brother. Fight thou, our battles, and all that thou shalt say unto us, that will we do."

And he gathered together all the men of war, and made haste to finish the walls of Jerusalem, and he fortified it round about. And he sent Jonathan the son of Absalom, and with him a great host, to Joppa: and he cast out those that were therein, and abode there in it.

XXIII.

_How the Enemy Was Hindered by a Great Fall of Snow, and How Jonathan Met His Death_.

And Tryphon removed from Ptolemais with a mighty host to enter into the land of Judah, and Jonathan was with him in prison. But Simon encamped at Adida, over against the plain. And Tryphon knew that Simon was risen up instead of his brother Jonathan, and meant to join battle with him, and he sent amba.s.sadors unto him, saying, "It is for money which Jonathan thy brother owed unto the king's treasure, by reason of the offices which he had, that we hold him fast.

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[Ill.u.s.tration]

JERUSALEM

From an old photograph in the possession of the Springfield Public Library, and used by kind permission.

This view is taken from the city walls. The famous mosque of Omar is in the center.

"Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.

"Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: "Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord.

"For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.

"Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces."

[End ill.u.s.tration]

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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."

And Simon knew that they spoke unto him deceitfully; and he sendeth the money and the children, lest peradventure he should procure to himself great hatred of the people, and they should say, "Because I sent him not the money and the children, he perished."

And he sent the children and the hundred talents. And Tryphon dealt falsely, and did not set Jonathan at liberty. And after this Tryphon came to invade the land, and destroy it, and he went round about by the way that leadeth unto Adora: and Simon and his army marched over against him to every place, wheresoever he went. Now they of the citadel sent unto Tryphon amba.s.sadors, hastening him to come unto them through the wilderness, and to send them provisions. And Tryphon made ready all his horse to come: and on that night there fell a very great snow, and he came not because of the snow.

And he removed, and came into the country of Gilead. But when he came near to Bascama, he slew Jonathan, and he was buried there. And Tryphon returned, and went away into his own land.

XXIV.

_How Simon Built a Great Monument in Honor of His Father, His Mother, and His Valiant Brethren_.

And Simon sent, and took the bones of Jonathan his brother, and buried him at Modin, the city of his fathers. {468} And all Israel made great lamentation over him, and mourned for him many days. And Simon built a monument upon the sepulcher of his father and his brethren, and raised it aloft to the sight, with polished stone behind and before. And he set up seven pyramids, one over against another, for his father, and his mother, and his four brethren. 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. This is the sepulcher which he made at Modin, and it is there unto this day.

XXV.

_How Simon Made a Treaty of Peace with King Demetrius_.

Now Tryphon dealt deceitfully with the young king Antiochus, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, and put on himself the crown of Asia, and brought a great calamity upon the land. And Simon built the strongholds of Judaea, and fortified them with high towers, and great walls, and gates, and bars; and he laid up provisions in the strongholds. And Simon chose men, and sent to King Demetrius, to give the country help, because all that Tryphon did was to plunder. And King Demetrius sent unto him according to these words, and answered him, and wrote a letter unto him, after this manner:--

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The Bible Story Part 220 summary

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