1 And Antiochus son of Demetrius the king sent letters from the isles of the sea to Simon the priest and * Gr. ethnarch. governor of the Jews, and to all the nation; 2 and the contents thereof were after this manner:
King Antiochus to Simon the chief priest and † Gr. ethnarch. governor, and to the nation of the Jews, greeting: 3 Forasmuch as certain pestilent fellows have made themselves masters of the kingdom of our fathers, but my purpose is to claim the kingdom, that I may restore it as it was before; and moreover I have raised a multitude of foreign soldiers, and have prepared ships of war; 4 moreover I am minded to land in the country, that I may punish those who have destroyed our country, and those who have made many cities in the kingdom desolate: 5 Now therefore I confirm to you all the exactions which the kings that were before me remitted to you, and whatever gifts besides they remitted to you: 6 and I give you leave to coin money for your country with your own stamp, 7 but that Jerusalem and the sanctuary should be free: and all the arms that you have prepared, and the strongholds that you have built, which you have in your possession, let them remain to you: 8 and everything owing to the king, and the things that shall be owing to the king from henceforth and for evermore, let them be remitted to you: 9 moreover, when we shall have established our kingdom, we will glorify you and your nation and the temple with great glory, so that your glory shall be made manifest in all the earth.
10 In ‡ circa B.C 139 the hundred and seventy and fourth year went Antiochus forth into the land of his fathers; and all the forces came together to him, so that there were few men with Tryphon. 11 And king Antiochus pursued him, and § Or, he came to Dor, fleeing by the way which is by the sea he came, as he fled, to Dor, which is by the sea: 12 for he knew that troubles were come upon him all at once, and that his forces had forsaken him. 13 And Antiochus encamped against Dor, and with him a hundred and twenty thousand men of war, and eight thousand horse. 14 And he compassed the city round about, and the ships joined in the attack from the sea; and he vexed the city by land and sea, and suffered no man to go out or in.
15 And Numenius and his company came from Rome, having letters to the kings and to the countries, wherein were written these things:
16 Lucius, consul of the Romans, to king Ptolemy, greeting: 17 The Jews’ ambassadors came to us as our friends and confederates, to renew the old friendship and confederacy, being sent from Simon the high priest, and from the people of the Jews: 18 moreover they brought a shield of gold of a thousand pound. 19 It pleased us therefore to write to the kings and to the countries, that they should not seek their hurt, nor fight against them, and their cities, and their country, nor be confederates with such as fight against them. 20 Moreover it seemed good to us to receive the shield of them. 21 If therefore any pestilent fellows have fled from their country to you, deliver them to Simon the high priest, that he may take vengeance on them according to their law.
22 And the same things wrote he to Demetrius the king, and to Attalus, and to Arathes, and to Arsaces, 23 and to all the countries, and to ** Some authorities read Sampsaces: the Latin versions have Lampsacus. Sampsames, and to the Spartans, and to Delos, and to Myndos, and to Sicyon, and to Caria, and to Samos, and to Pamphylia, and to Lycia, and to Halicarnassus, and to Rhodes, and to Phaselis, and to Cos, and to Side, and to Aradus, and Gortyna, and Cnidus, and Cyprus, and Cyrene. 24 But the copy hereof they wrote to Simon the high priest.
25 But Antiochus the king encamped against Dor the second day, bringing his forces up to it continually, and making engines of war, and he shut up Tryphon from going in or out. 26 And Simon sent him two thousand chosen men to fight on his side; and silver, and gold, and instruments of war in abundance. 27 And he would not receive them, but set at nothing all the covenants which he had made with him aforetime, and was estranged from him. 28 And he sent to him Athenobius, one of his †† See 1 Maccabees 2:18. Friends, to commune with him, saying,
You⌃ hold possession of Joppa and Gazara, and the citadel that is in Jerusalem, cities of my kingdom. 29 The borders thereof you⌃ have wasted, and done great hurt in the land, and got the dominion of many places in my kingdom. 30 Now therefore deliver up the cities which you⌃ have taken, and the tributes of the places whereof you⌃ have gotten dominion without the borders of Judea: 31 or else give me for them five hundred talents of silver; and for the harm that you⌃ have done, and the tributes of the cities, other five hundred talents: or else we will come and subdue you.
32 And Athenobius the king’s ‡‡ See 1 Maccabees 2:18. Friend came to Jerusalem; and he saw the glory of Simon, and the cupboard of gold and silver vessels, and his great attendance, and he was amazed; and he reported to him the king’s words. 33 And Simon answered, and said to him,
We have neither taken other men’s land, nor have we possession of that which appertains to others, but of the inheritance of our fathers; howbeit, it was had in possession of our enemies wrongfully for a certain time. 34 But we, having opportunity, hold fast the inheritance of our fathers. 35 But as touching Joppa and Gazara, which you demand, they did great harm among the people throughout our country, we will give a hundred talents for them.
And he answered him not a word, 36 but returned in a rage to the king, and reported to him these words, and the glory of Simon, and all that he had seen: and the king was exceeding angry. 37 But Tryphon embarked on board a ship, and fled to Orthosia.
38 And the king appointed Cendebaeus chief captain of the sea coast, and gave him forces of foot and horse: 39 and he commanded him to encamp before Judea, and he commanded him to build up Kidron, and to fortify the gates, and that he should fight against the people: but the king pursued Tryphon. 40 And Cendebaeus came to Jamnia, and began to provoke the people, and to invade Judea, and to take the people captive, and to kill them. 41 And he built Kidron, and set horsemen there, and forces of foot, to the end that issuing out they might make outroads upon the ways of Judea, according as the king commanded him.
*15:1 Gr. ethnarch.
†15:2 Gr. ethnarch.
‡15:10 circa B.C 139
§15:11 Or, he came to Dor, fleeing by the way which is by the sea
**15:23 Some authorities read Sampsaces: the Latin versions have Lampsacus.