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assistance, as a large number of them was kept enclosed in the fortress of Dathema. At the same time delegates from the Jews of northern Palestine arrived with the tidings that they were menaced with destruction by the powerful Phænicians and the heathen Galileans. Judas turned no deaf ear to these entreaties, and he hastened to the rescue of his brethren. Dividing bis army into three parts, he gave to his brother Simon 3,000 men, and bade him fight against the northern enemies; he himself, at the head of 8,000 men, and accompanied by his brother Jonathan, marched out into Gilead, learing two of his tried captains, Joseph and Azariah, in Judea, with the strict injunction not to engage in any battle during his absence. Simon was completely successful in Galilee; he gained many victories, thoroughly weakened his opponents, and brought numerous captives back with him to Jerusalem. When Judas, on his way to Gilead, passed through the territory of the Nabathæans, he obtained the assistance of this friendly tribe, and learned from them with burning indignation the revolting cruelties of the Gileadites. Guided by his new allies, he soon reached Dathema. Here the besiegers had already begun to scale the walls with ladders and engines of war. Judas at once sounded the trumpet for attack, and dividing his troops into three bands, he assailed the surprised and terrified enemies, and killed 8,000 men; the rest filed with their general Timotheus. Then he advanced to Mizpah, Chasphor, Maked, and all the other hostile cities of Gilead; he was everywhere victorious, and took immense spoil. The brave Timotheus, however, not yet despairing of his fortune, collected a new and larger army, encamped at the river Arnon, opposite the town Raphon, and thus hoped to cut off the return of the Hebrew army into the western provinces. But Judas followed Timotheus step by step, crossed the river intrepidly before the
eyes of the amazed general, and drove the enemies from their camp as far as the fortress Karnaim, in which they shut themselves up for safety; but Judas ordered the city to be burnt down, and soldiers and people perished in the flames. He then desired to return to Judea together with the Gileadite Jews whom he had delivered; his road necessarily led him through the town Ephron in the east of the Jordan, opposite Beth-shean or Scythopolis. He asked in friendly terms to be allowed to pass through the city; but when his reqnest was insultingly refused, he assaulted the town impetuously, and took and pillaged it after a fearful carnage; then he crossed the Jordan and arrived at Beth-shean. When he and his valiant men at length re-entered Jerusalem, they were received with boundless rejoicing and exultation. Thank-offerings were presented in profusion to celebrate the marvellous succession of exploits and the unparalleled victories of the great hero.
While Judas was in the east of the Jordan, Joseph and Azariah, stimulated by vanity and ambition, disregarded the rigid injunction of their leader, and ventured upon a warfare of their own. They went with their army southward towards Jamnia. Here they were met by the Syrian commander Gorgias, were repulsed, and lost 2,000 men, Judas, while severely censuring his self-willed captains, would yet not allow their defeat to pass unavenged. He marched into the southern provinces, smote Hebron, which he wrested from the bands of the Edomites, destroyed fortresses, and burnt down towers. Then he passed like
through the land of the Philistines and through Samaria, victorious at all points, destroying idols and heathen altars, and taking great spoil; until at last he went back into Judea.
Meanwhile Antiochus Epiphanes had penetrated eastward over the Tigris to the Persian districts of Elymais,
where he hoped to plunder the rich temple treasures amassed by Alexander the Great ; but he suffered frightful losses, and was compelled to retreat. Arriving in Ecbatana, he received the tidings of the numerous and complete discomfitures of his armies in Palestine. Frantic with rage and humiliation, and harassed by his own recent disappointments, he was attacked by the dangerous and loathsome illness of elephantiasis.
His condition was aggravated by bitter remorse for the atrocious cruelties he had committed against the Jews, and for the spoliation of their Temple, which, in a letter full of humble contrition, he promised, on his return, to enrich with the most costly presents. But his dire disease made rapid progress, and tortured in body and mind, he felt the approach of death; then summoning all his friends around him, he declared his young son Antiochus his successor, appointing his general Philippus governor and regent during his son's minority, and handed over to him the crown, his royal robe, and his signet. Thus died, in agony and wretchedness, Antiochus, called, as if in mockery, the Illustrious (164).
When the news reached Syria, the governor Lysias at once proclaimed the young prince Antiochus king, under the name of Eupator. Treacherous and perfidious Jews, hoping to ingratiate themselves with the young monarch, went to Antiochia, and slanderously accused Judas of violence and cruelty. It was not difficult to rouse the anger of the king and his counsellors, who were naturally eager to avenge the numerous defeats of the Syrian troops. A war of extirpation was resolved upon. Antiochus gathered an army numbering 100,000 infantry and 20,000 horse, to which host he added thirty-two well-trained elephants. They marched out towards Idumea, besieged Beth-zur, but were forced to retreat by a sally of the Jews. Judas Maccabæus now pitched his camp in Bath
zacharias, where the king determined to attack him with his whole force. Great preparations were made on both sides. The Syrians distributed the elephants among the different divisions of the army, appointing for each elephant 1,000 men wearing coats of mail and helmets of brass, and 500 of the best horsemen; and the animals themselves bore strong wooden towers enclosing skilful archers. Now when the sun shone upon the shields of gold and brass, the mountains glistened and shone like lamps of fire.' But Judas, intrepid as ever, did not hesitate to attack even so formidable an army. At his first assault, 600 men of the Syrian troops were slain. His brother Eleazar, ready to sacrifice his life for the welfare of his people, thinking that he saw the king conspicuous upon one of the elephants, dashed forward among the troops, dealing his fatal blows right and left, and forced a passage through the hostile ranks; then creeping under what he imagined to be the king's elephant, he pierced it through: the animal fell, and crushed him to death by its weight. Yet Judas thought it prudent to retreat before the immense superiority of the enemy. Antiochus advanced to Beth-zur, which town was compelled to surrender from want of corn--for it happened to be a Sabbath-yearand was forthwith garrisoned by Syrian troops. Then Antiochus besieged Jerusalem, hurling upon the walls stones and fire-brands. The Jews resisted long with wonderful bravery; yet their defeat was inevitable; for they also suffered from famine on account of the Sabbathyear,
which had caused their fields to remain uncultivated. But about this time the king's general Lysias heardthat Philippus had returned from Persia, and had taken possession of Antiochia, with a view of seizing the government. Lysias therefore prevailed upon Antiochus to conclude peace with the Jews, in order to secure his own capital. The peace was accepted, and the Jews were pro
mised the full enjoyment of their political and religious rights. But when the king entered into the citadel of Zion, and saw its strength, he treacherously commanded the walls to be pulled down and the fortifications to be dismantled. Then he went with his army to Antiochia, which he found in possession of Philippus, but which, after a short siege, he succeeded in wresting from him. Not long afterwards (160) there appeared a new claimant to the throne of the Seleucidæ. Demetrius (I.), the son of Seleucus Philopator and brother of Antiochus Epiphanes, escaped from Rome, whither be had been sent as a hostage, landed on the Syrian coast, and proclaimed himself king of the land. He was received by the people with enthusiasm, marched at once upon Antiochia, where he killed the young king and his general Lysias.
This event was welcome to those wicked Jews who bore unwillingly the strict and severe rule of the Maccabees. Among them was a perfidious priest, Alcimus, who aspired to the High-priesthood. He went with many others to Demetrius, poured the vilest calumnies into his credulous ears, and incited him to a war of conquest against Judea. Demetrius, appointing Alcimus Highpriest, sent out with him Bacchides, one of his generals, to subdue the southern provinces of Palestine. When they arrived before Jerusalem, the Jews sent messengers to Alcimus, of whom, as High-priest, they expected no evil. Alcimus made deceitful promises, but 'suddenly ordered sixty of the delegates to be massacred. The Jegs gave vent to their grief and indignation in bitter laments. Bacchides now retreated from Jerusalem, and pitched his camp in Bezeth, where he seized many Jews, and cast them into pits. Then he committed the country to the care of Alcimus, leaving him a sufficient army for defence, and returned to Antiochia. The base Alcimus and his followers now raged fiercely against the opponents