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mined to defend themselves; which the enemy perceiving marched off; and the Jewish troops returned safebJJ to' Jerusalem, where great lamentations were made for the loss of their governor. > ..'
r The heathen nations, on the capture of Jonathan, renewed tkeir hostilities against the Jews; upon which Simon went up to the Temple, called the people together, and encouraged them by a noble speech which revived their drooping spirits, and they immediately chose him their commander; and, under his conduct and direction, proceeded to the completion of the fortification which Jonathan had .begun at Jerusalem *.
On Tryphon's approach to invade the land, Simon led forth a great army against him; the former not daring to engage, endeavoured to deceive Simon also, by pretending that he had seized Jonathan only because he owed a large sum of money to the king; promising to set him at liberty, if his brother w«uld send the money, and Jonathan's two sons to be hostages for their father's fidelity. Simon perceived that this was mere artifice, but willing to do every thing in his power to save his brother's life, he complied with the terms. Shortly after this, the treacherous Tryphon put Jonathan to death, and then returned to Antioch, and caused the young king to be assassinated, reporting that he died suddenly; then seizing the crown, he declared himself king of Syria.
When Simon heard of his brother's death, he sent and fetched his bones, and buried them in the family sepulchre at Modin, where he erected a very famous monument of white marble to his memory; near this he placed seven pyramids, two for his father and mo
* In Jonathan's days the Jews built a temple in Egypt.
ther, ther, five for his brothers, and one for himself, round which he built a stately portico.
Jonathan's character as a warrior cuts a noble figure in the Jewish history: he likewise laboured for the prosperity of his country, aud seems to have been a man of good morals; but, it appears, that he was too fond of pomp and magnificence, for, as high priest of the Jews, he should have disdained the purple robe and the golden buckle, which, so far from adding to his dignity, debased him. The sacred vestment that distinguished him as the minister of Goo, was the most honourable garment he could wear. He was certainly guilty of an error, as well as Judas Maccabeus, in courting the friendship of the Romans; for, as they were a great and increasing empire, and the Jews at that time a small people, it appeared as if they thought to strengthen themselves in their strength, and trust to the shadow of Rom K*; which was inconsiderately flying from the standard of the Lord Jehovah. If there had been prophets at this time, no doubt they would have been sent to reprove Jonathan: or had he properly attended to the written prophecies, and the histories of the kings of Israel and Judah, he would have disco, covered that he ought not to love them that hated God +j but, at all events, to avoid mixing with heathens. Jo* nathan's situation, to be sure, was a very difficult one, and he was subject to human infirmities. God, who permitted him to be deceived to his destruction, is a God of infinite compassion: he alone could judge of the motives of Jonathan's actions, and whatever faults were committed by him through mistake, or want of information, were certainly pardoned by the Divine goodness.
* Is»i. xxx'. t. T g Chron. X'x 2.
R 2 SECTION SECTION X.
SIMON SENDETH AMBASSADORS TO THE ROMANS.
Tryphon having usurped the throne of Syria, sent a splendid embassy, with costly gifts, to the Romans, in hopes they would acknowledge him king: but they eluded his expectations by causing the name of Antiochus to be engraven on their present, as if it came from him. Simon * likewise sent ambassadors, for the infatuation of sending to the Romans possessed his mind, as it had his brother's before him. They were honourably entertained; great concern was expressed for the death of Jonathan, and satisfaction for the successes of Simon. The former leagues were renewed, and being written on tables of brass, were sent to Jerusalem. Those also, with the Lacedaemonians, and other nations, were confirmed to the Jews.
All + the priests, elders, and people of the Jews, met together in a general assembly at Jerusalem, when it was agreed, by unanimous consent, to establish the high priesthood-and supreme government of the nation on Simon and his descendants by a public act, in which were recited the good deeds which had been wrought by Simon and his family. A copy of this they caused to be engraved on tables of brass, and hung up in the sanctuary ; the original was deposited in the treasury of the Temple, and from that time Simon took upon him the style, state, and authority of prince, as well as highpriest. Desirous cf being acknowledged as such by the Romans, Simon sent ambassadors to renenew the league with them, and also a present of a golden
» 1 Mace. xiv. 20. * Ibid. 35
shield, shield, of the value of fifty thousand pounds of our money. Both the embassy and present were cordially received; and the senate caused letters to be written to the different states who were then dependent on them, styling the Jews their friends, and commanding that none should injure or molest them, nor harbour any fugitives or traitors of that nation.
Thus did the people of Gon submit to be shielded by the Romans, as if the shield of the Solvation of the LORD had been insufficient for them!
Simon, who had ample cause to desert Tryphon, sent ambassadors to treat for peace and alliance with Demetrius, and presented him with a golden crown as a token, of submission to his government. Demetrius readily granted a confirmation of the priesthood to Simon, with a release of all taxes, tolls, and tributes; and an act of" oblivion of all past hostilities, on condition of his join, ing with him against Tryphon. All this was cordially agreed to by the Jews, Simon was declared sovereign prince of the Jewish nation, and the land freed from all foreign tyranny.
Simon, finding his son John (afterwards called Hyrcanus) to be a very valiant man, made him general of all the forces in Judea, and sent him to live in Gazara, where his presence was most necessary.
Demetrius was taken prisoner in a war with the Parthians, and carried into Parthia, where he njarriad the king's daughter, which so enraged his tjueen, that she sent to his brother Antiochus, who was in Crete, and offered to marry him if he would join his interest with her against Tryphon. This offer he readily accepted. Before he landed, he sent a letter to Simon, offering to confirm all the privileges which the Jews at that time enjoyed, and to honour the Temple. Simon, as a proof of his friendly disposition, sent him men, arms, and n 3 money, money, to assist him in carrying on his war; but the penulious king broke through all his promises, rejected his offers, and sent Athenobius, his friend, into Judefr, as ambassador, to demand Joppa, and GazaraVahd'the fort at Jerusalem; or, instead of them, a thousand t*-' Ients of silver. These conditions were too unreasonable to be complied with ; but, to preserve peace, Simon offered to give an hundred talents. Athenobius, enraged at his refusal, made no reply, but hastened back to report what he had heard and seen. He told'the' king that Simon lived in a style of the utmost magnificence, and that he absolutely refused to Comply with his demands. Antiochus now considered* 'Sfrnon as ft rival, was jealous of his power, and resoWefl folium* ble him; and having made Cenebcus, one off his^c* bles, captain and governor of the sea-ports of PaTestittef he sent him with one part of his army ngstfblt- Simou^ and with the other he himself pursued''Trypftoft1, who' continued to fly from place to place, till tit'length''lie was overtaken and put to death.
Cenebeus in the mean time marched into Judea, and began to kill and plunder the Jews. Simon, being informed of these hostilities, "called * for his two eldest tons, Judas and John, who with a chosen army marched to meet the adversary, and soon came in sight of the formidable host: an engagement followed, in which Cenebeus lost two thousand men, the rest fled to their strong holds. The two brothers, having driven the Syrians away, returned in triumph to Jerusalem.
"Antiochus Sidetete, after vanquishing Tryphon, and destro'yuie his faction, Settled all things upon the same footing as tli'ey tare'befdite these disturbances began.
About f a'year after the'war with Antiochus, Simon making a circuit through the cities of Judah, to see that
* 1 Mace. xvi. 2, 3. t Ibiil. 14.