The Hasmonean High Priesthood and Kingship
After the death of Judas, Jonathan assumed the leadership, and he and his followers lived for a time in the Wilderness of Tekoa. There he was attacked by Bacchides, who also fortified a number of cities—Jericho, Emmaus, Bethhoron, Bethel, Timnath, Pharathon, Tephon, Beth‐zur, and Gazara—and placed garrisons within them (1 Macc. 9: 32–53 ). Eventually peace was established between Jonathan and Bacchides, and Jonathan ruled from Michmash (1 Macc. 9: 70–3 ). Subsequently Jonathan was allowed by Demetrius I to fortify Jerusalem, and he was appointed high priest (1 Macc. 10: 1–21 ). But later, in the reign of Demetrius II, Jonathan was imprisoned at Ptolemais (1 Macc. 12: 44–8 ) and eventually killed at Baskama in 143 or 142 (1 Macc. 13: 23–4 ).
Jonathan was succeeded by his brother Simon, who fortified Joppa, Bethzur, and Gazara (1 Macc. 14: 33–4 ). He also succeeded in driving the enemy from the citadel (the Acra) in Jerusalem and replacing them with Jews (1 Macc. 14: 36–7 ). He was confirmed in the high priesthood (1 Macc. 14: 38–45 ). Simon and two of his sons were murdered at Dok, but a third son, John Hyrcanus, who was at Gazara, escaped and ruled as high priest, bringing the Jewish state to the height of its power under the Hasmoneans, and reigning from 135 or 134 to 104 (1 Macc. 16: 11–24 ). John Hyrcanus' son Aristobulus (104–103) was the first Hasmonean ruler to assume the kingship. After him ruled Alexander Jannaeus (103–76), Alexandra (76–67), and Aristobulus II (67–63). In the year 63, Pompey entered Jerusalem and the Romans took control, establishing the province of Judea.