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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 9

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Invasion of Judah. 1When Demetrius heard that Nicanor and his army had fallen in battle, he again sent Bacchides and Alcimus into the land of Judah, along with the right wing of his army. 2They took the road to Galilee, and camping opposite the ascent at Arbela, they captured it* and killed many people. 3In the first month of the year one hundred and fifty‐two,* they encamped against Jerusalem. 4Then they set out for Berea with twenty thousand men and two thousand cavalry. 5Judas, with three thousand picked men, had camped at Elasa. 6When his men saw the great number of the troops, they were very much afraid, and many slipped away from the camp, until only eight hundred men remained.

7As Judas saw that his army was melting away just when the battle was imminent, he was panic‐stricken, because he had no time to gather them together. 8But in spite of his discouragement, he said to those who remained: “Let us go forward to meet our enemies; perhaps we can put up a good fight against them.” 9They tried to dissuade him, saying: “We certainly cannot. Let us save our lives now, and come back with our kinsmen, and then fight against them. Now we are too few.” 10But Judas said: “Far be it from me to do such a thing as to flee from them! If our time has come, let us die bravely for our kinsmen and not leave a stain upon our glory!”

Death of Judas. 11Then the army of Bacchides moved out of camp and took its position for combat. The cavalry were divided into two squadrons, and the slingers and the archers came on ahead of the army, and all the valiant men were in the front line. 12Bacchides was on the right wing. Flanked by the two squadrons, the phalanx attacked as they blew their trumpets. Those who were on Judas' side also blew their trumpets. 13The earth shook with the noise of the armies, and the battle raged from morning until evening. 14Seeing that Bacchides was on the right, with the main force of his army, Judas, with all the most stouthearted rallying to him, 15drove back the right wing and pursued them as far as the mountain slopes.* 16But when the men on the left wing saw that the right wing was driven back, they turned and followed Judas and his men, taking them in the rear. 17The battle was fought desperately, and many on both sides fell wounded. 18Then Judas fell, and the rest fled.

19Jonathan and Simon took their brother Judas and buried him in the tomb of their fathers at Modein. 20All Israel bewailed him in great grief. They mourned for him many days, and they said, 21“How the mighty one has fallen, the savior of Israel!” k 2 Sam 1, 27 . 22The other acts of Judas, his battles, the brave deeds he performed, and his greatness have not been recorded; but they were very many.

Bacchides and Jonathan. 23After the death of Judas, the transgressors of the law raised their heads in every part of Israel, and all kinds of evildoers appeared. 24In those days there was a very great famine, and the country deserted to them. 25Bacchides chose impious men and made them masters of the country. 26These sought out and hunted down the friends of Judas and brought them to Bacchides, who punished and derided them. 27There had not been such great distress in Israel since the time prophets ceased to appear among the people.

28Then all the friends of Judas came together and said to Jonathan: 29“Since your brother Judas died, there has been no one like him to oppose our enemies, Bacchides and those who are hostile to our nation. 30Now therefore we have chosen you today to be our ruler and leader in his place, and to fight our battle.” 31From that moment Jonathan accepted the leadership, and took the place of Judas his brother.

32When Bacchides learned of it, he sought to kill him. 33But Jonathan and his brother Simon and all the men with him discovered this, and they fled to the desert of Tekoa* and camped by the waters of the pool of Asphar.*

35Jonathan sent his brother* as leader of the convoy to ask permission of his friends, the Nabateans, to deposit with them their great quantity of baggage. l 1 Mc 5, 25 . 36But the sons of Jambri from Medaba* made a raid and seized and carried off John and everything he had. 37After this, word was brought to Jonathan and his brother Simon: “The sons of Jambri are celebrating a great wedding, and with a large escort they are bringing the bride, the daughter of one of the great princes of Canaan, from Nadabath.” 38Remembering the blood of John their brother, they went up and hid themselves under cover of the mountain. 39They watched, and suddenly saw a noisy crowd with baggage; the bridegroom and his friends and kinsmen had come out to meet the bride's party with tambourines and musicians and much equipment. 40The Jews rose up against them from their ambush and killed them. Many fell wounded, and after the survivors fled toward the mountain, all their spoils were taken. 41Thus the wedding was turned into mourning, and the sound of music into lamentation. 42Having taken their revenge for the blood of their brother, the Jews returned to the marshes of the Jordan.

43When Bacchides heard of it, he came on the sabbath to the banks of the Jordan with a large force. 44Then Jonathan said to his companions, “Let us get up now and fight for our lives, for today is not like yesterday and the day before. 45The battle is before us, and behind us are the waters of the Jordan on one side, marsh and thickets on the other, and there is no way of escape.* 46Cry out now to Heaven for deliverance from our enemies.” 47When they joined battle, Jonathan raised his arm to strike Bacchides, but Bacchides backed away from him. 48Jonathan and his men jumped into the Jordan and swam across to the other side, but the enemy did not pursue them across the Jordan. 49A thousand men on Bacchides' side fell that day.

50On returning to Jerusalem, Bacchides built strongholds in Judea: the Jericho fortress, as well as Emmaus, Beth‐horon, Bethel, Timnath, Pharathon, and Tephon, with high walls and gates and bars.* 51In each he put a garrison to oppose Israel. 52He fortified the city of Beth‐zur, Gazara and the citadel, and put soldiers in them and stores of provisions. 53He took as hostages the sons of the leaders of the country and put them in custody in the citadel at Jerusalem. m 1 Mc 10, 9 .

54In the year one hundred and fifty‐three, in the second month,* Alcimus ordered the wall of the inner court of the sanctuary to be torn down, thus destroying the work of the prophets. But he only began to tear it down. 55Just at that time he had a stroke, and his work was interrupted; his mouth was closed and he was paralyzed, so that he could no longer utter a word to give orders concerning his house. 56Finally he died in great agony. 57Seeing that Alcimus was dead, Bacchides returned to the king, and the land of Judah was quiet for two years.

58Then all the transgressors of the law held a council and said: “Jonathan and his companions are living in peace and security. Now then, let us have Bacchides return, and he will capture all of them in a single night.” 59So they went and took counsel with him. 60When Bacchides was setting out with a large force, he sent letters secretly to all his allies in Judea, telling them to seize Jonathan and his companions. They were not able to do this, however, because their plot became known. 61In fact, Jonathan's men seized about fifty of the men of the country who were ringleaders in the mischief and put them to death. 62Then Jonathan and Simon and their companions withdrew to Bethbasi* in the desert; they rebuilt and strengthened its fortifications that had been demolished. 63When Bacchides learned of this, he gathered together his whole force and sent word to those who were in Judea. 64He came and pitched his camp before Bethbasi, and constructing siege‐machines, he fought against it for many days.

65Leaving his brother Simon in the city, Jonathan, accompanied by a small group of men, went out into the field. 66He struck down Odomera and his kinsmen and the sons of Phasiron in their encampment; these men had set out to go up to the siege with their forces. 67Simon and his men then sallied forth from the city and set fire to the machines. 68They fought against Bacchides, and he was beaten. This caused him great distress. Because the enterprise he had planned came to naught, 69he was angry with the lawless men who had advised him to invade the province. He killed many of them and resolved to return to his own country.

70Jonathan learned of this and sent ambassadors to make peace with him and to obtain the release of the prisoners. 71He agreed to do as Jonathan had asked. He swore an oath to him that he would never try to injure him for the rest of his life; 72and he released the prisoners he had previously taken from the land of Judah. He returned to his own country and never came into their territory again.

73Then the sword ceased in Israel. Jonathan settled in Michmash; he began to judge* the people, and he destroyed the impious in Israel.


k: 2 Sam 1, 27 .

l: 1 Mc 5, 25 .

m: 1 Mc 10, 9 .

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