Victories against the neighboring peoples
1 After these agreements had been concluded, Lysias returned to the king and the Jews began to return to their fields. 2 But the commanders of the different regions, Timotheus and Apollonius, the son of Genneus, as well as Hierony mus and Domophenes, and Ni canor, the leader of the Cypriots, would not let them live in peace and quiet. 3 Moreover, the inhabitants of Joppa committed this grave crime. They invited the Jews with their wives and children to a cruise on some boats they had prepared, as if they did not have any hostility. 4 This was decided by the city authorities and the Jews accepted in order to show their desire to live with them in peace and without any suspicion at all. But once out in the open sea, the men of Joppa pushed them into the water and at least two hundred died.
5 When Judas Maccabeus was in formed of this cruelty against his countrymen, he informed his men. 6 After calling upon God, the just judge, he set out against the murderers of his brothers and sisters. He set fire to the harbor by night, burned the ships and put to the sword those who had taken refuge there. 7 But, as the gates were closed, he could not enter the city, so he withdrew, intending to come back to wipe out all the inhabitants of Joppa.
8 Meanwhile, he learned that the inhab itants of Jamnia wanted to deal in the same way with the Jews who lived there. 9 He also attacked the people of Jamnia by night, and set the harbor and ships on fire. The blaze was so great that the glow could be seen even from Jerusalem, some fifty kilometers away.
10 From there, they set out and marched against Timotheus, but when they had marched for about two kilometers, five thousand Arabs supported by five hundred horses, attacked them. 11 A bloody battle took place, and the men of Judas emerged victorious with the help of God. The defeated Arabs sued for peace, and promised to give them livestock, and to help them in the future. 12 Judas, convinced that they could indeed be useful to them, made peace with them. Then the Arabs withdrew to their camps.
13 Judas attacked a city strongly fortified with ditches and walls. The city was called Cas pin. People of every race lived there. 14 The be sieged, confident in the strength of their walls and because they had their storehouses full of provisions, underestimated the men of Judas and behaved most insolently toward them. They also shouted insults, blasphemies and sacrilegious words at them. 15 The men of Judas called on the great Sove reign of the world who had demolished the walls of Jericho without engines of war during the time of Joshua, and then rushed furiously upon the walls. 16 God willed that they should take possession of the city, and they carried out an incredible slaughter: the nearby lake, five hundred meters wide, seemed filled with blood.
The battle of Carnaim
17 After marching for one hundred and fifty kilometers, they arrived in Charax, where the Jews were known as Tubians. 18 They did not find Timotheus there, for he had gone without having achieved anything; but he had left a strong garrison in one place. 19 Dositheus and Sosipater, leaders of the troops of Mac ca beus, marched against them and destroyed the garrison of more than ten thousand men left behind by Timotheus.
20 Maccabeus then organized his army, set these two as their commanders, and rushed out against Timotheus who had twenty thousand infantrymen and two thousand five hundred horsemen with him. 21 When Timotheus learned that Judas was approaching, he sent the women and children away with a good deal of the baggage to a fortress called Carnaim which was in an impregnable place and difficult to reach because of the narrow approaches surrounding it.
22 At the sight of the first battalion of Judas, terror and panic seized their enemies because of an apparition of Him who sees all things. They fled in all directions, so that they were dragged on the ground by their own companions and wounded by their own swords. 23 Judas pursued Timotheus in fury and ardor, putting to the sword those wicked men and killing about thirty thousand of them.
24 Timotheus himself fell into the hands of Dositheus’ and Sosipater’s troops. He very cun ningly pleaded with them to let him go, for, as he said, he had the parents and brothers of most of the Jews in his power and they would surely be put to death if he were to be killed. 25 When he had convinced them by the strength of his words, they let him go in order to save their kindred.
26 Then Judas left for Carnaim and Atargateion, and killed twenty-five thousand men there. 27 After defeating and destroying these enemies, he led an expe dition against the walled city of Ephron, where Lysias had taken refuge with people of every race. Strong young men were stationed outside the walls and they fought bravely. And there were stores of war engines and missiles in -side.
28 After calling on the Lord almighty to crush the forces of the enemy, the Jews seized the city and killed more than twenty-five thousand of the people inside. 29 Moving off from there, they went to Scythopolis, a city one hundred and twenty kilometers from Jerusalem. 30 But as the Jews who lived there assured Judas that the inhabitants of that city had always treated them well and had received them favorably in times of persecution, 31 Judas and his men thanked these people and asked them to extend the same kindness to his race in the future. Then they returned to Jerusalem, since the feast of Weeks of Pentecost was approaching.
32 After the feast and Pentecost, they marched against Gorgias who was the governor of Idumea. 33 Gorgias came out with three thousand infantrymen and four thousand horsemen to meet him. 34 The battle began and some fell in the ranks of the Jews.
35 Dositheus, a horseman from Bache nor’s troops, a very valiant man, grasped Gorgias by the cloak, and forcibly dragged him along, wanting to take that criminal alive. But a Thracian horseman rushed upon Dositheus and slashed his shoulder, so that Gorgias was able to flee to Marisa. 36 Judas saw that the men of Esdrias were exhausted because they had been fighting for a long time. He, therefore, prayed to the Lord to show himself as their ally and lead them in battle. 37 Then, he chanted a battle hymn in the language of their ancestors, charged against the troops of Gorgias all of a sudden, and defeated them.
Sacrifice for the fallen
38 Judas reorganized his army, and then went to the city of Adullam. Since it was the week’s end, they purified themselves and celebrated the sabbath there. 39 The next day the companions of Judas went to take away the bodies of the dead (it was urgent to do it) and buried them with their relatives in the tombs of their fathers. 40 They found under the tunic of each of the dead men ob jects consecrated to the idols of Jamnia, which the Law forbade the Jews to wear. So it became clear to everyone why these men had died.
41 Everyone blessed the intervention of the Lord, the just Judge who brings to light the most secret deeds; 42 and they prayed to the Lord to completely pardon the sin of their dead companions. The valiant Ju das urged his men to shun such sin in the future, for they had just seen with their own eyes what had happened to those who sinned. 43 He took up a collection among his soldiers which amounted to two thousand pieces of silver and sent it to Jerusalem to be offered there as a sacrifice for sin.
43 They did all this very well and rightly inspired by their belief in the resurrection of the dead. 44 If they did not believe that their fallen companions would rise again, then it would have been a useless and foolish thing to pray for them. 45 But they firmly believed in a splendid reward for those who died as believers; therefore, their concern was holy and in keeping with faith.
46 This was the reason why Judas had this sacrifice offered for the dead – so that the dead might be pardoned for their sin.