« EdellinenJatka »
named Ammonius. On which Demetrius, the son of the late"king, being now grown up to manhood, resolved to attempt the recovery of the crown, and was joined by Apollonius, the governor of Cælo-Syria. On this Alexander took the field with his army, and called for the assistance of his father-in-law Ptolemy.
Apollonius * having embraced the party of Demetrius, gathered a great army together, and encamped at Jamnia, from whence he sent á haughty message to Jonathan the high priest, who immediately marched out of Jerusalem with ten thousand men, took Joppa, and defeated Apollonius's army with a great slaughter; and having set fire to several cities belonging to the enemy, returned to Jerusalem with their spoils. . Alexander hearing of this victory gained in his interest, sent to Jonathan a buckle of gold, such as was only worn by the royal family, and gave him also the city of Accaron, and the territory belonging to itt.
Alexander having greatly offended Ptolemy Philometer, king of Egypt, he persuaded the Syrians to restore the kingdom to Demetrius, the true heir ; who was accordingly seated on the throne of his ancestors. Upon this revolution, Alexander wasted the country round Antioch with fire and sword; a battle ensued, and Alexander being vanquished, fled with only five hundred horse to Zebdiel, an Arabian prince, with whom he had entrusted the care of his children; here he was treacherously slain,
Demetrius succeeding in Syria, in consequence of this victory, called himself NICATOR, that is, the con-' queror. At first he treated Jonathan very graciously,
* Supposed by Prideaux to have been governor of Cælo-Syria, anel a former adherent to Demetrius.
† | Macc. x. 89.
established him in the high-priesthood, and granted him many privileges and immunities*. Jonathan, in return, performed some great service for him; but De. metrius was of a very oppressive, unjust disposition, and behaved afterwards with shameful ingratitude, which alienated the Jews from his interest. He had also rendered himself hateful to the rest of his subjects, who revolted from him in favour of young Antiochus, the son of Alexander, called Theos, or the Divinė, who was placed upon the throne, and Demetrius driven away.. :
† Jonathan being justly provoked by the ingratitude of the late king, accepted of an invitation made him by the new monarch; on which lie was confirmed in the high-priest's office, allowed to wear the purple and the golden buckle, and to have place among the king's chief friends, with many other privileges. Jonathan and his brother Simon assisted Antiochus against De. metrius, and also drove the heathen out of the fortress of Bethsura.
Jonathan |, on his return to Judea, finding all quiet, sent ambassadors to renew the league which the Romans had made with Judas Maccabeus; they were received by the senate with honour, and dismissed with satisfaction: and they had likewise orders, in their re. turn from Rome, to address the Lacedæmonians as bre. threr of the Jews; and Jonathan wrote a letter, to assure them of remembrance and intercession to God in their behalf. Jonathan very justly observed, in this let. ter, that “the Jews stood in no need of the friendship of other nations, having the holy books of Scripture to comfort them, and help from heaven, to succour and deliver them from their enemies?” but his conduct
Macc. xi. 26.
+ Ibid. 58.
Ibid. xii. I.
in respect to making at Pances with other nations, was inconsistert 99th these expressions of confidence in the LORD. The Lacedæmonians, as well as the Romans, were heathens, and as such at enmity with God.
During the absente 'of his aimbássadots, Jonathan ând his brother Simón suppressed, in different parts of the land of Judea, the adversaries of Antiochus; "and at length obliged the heathens to abandon the fortress of Alora, in Jerusalent, which they had so tong kept pos. session of i ts pl. 7255 ; 13 ;'"48??
la · Tryphon *, the person who had been chi&Hy instrumental in establishing Añitiochus on the throne, with a view of assassinating him, and gaining it for himself, threw off the mask; but despairing of ever being able to persuade Jonathan to join in his wicked plot, he resolved to destroy him; and marchéd towards Judea with a great army, in order to get him into his power : but Jonixthän met Him at Bethsan with forty thousaną mën: this discohéerted Tryphon's scheme; so he changed his measures, and proceeded with Hattery and dissimulation to consult him about their common intetest, and protiising to resign Ptolemais into his hands, prevailed with himn to dismiss all his troops excepting three thousand men';'#wo thousand of whom Jonathani inconsiderately sent into Galilee, and with the remainder went with Tryphon to Protemais, expecting to have the place delivered to him: bruit as soon as he and his company were got within the walls, the gates were shut upon them, Ponathan made prisoner, and all his man put to the swordt. Orders were then sent to idea stroy those in Galilee also; but they having times notice of the fate of their brethren, Mesolitely deteta
, and encoutoping spirits.nd, under hiếf the for
mined to defend themselves; which the enemy perceiving marched off; and the Jewish troops returned safely to Jerusalem, where great lamentations were 'made for the loss of their governor. . .
The heathen nations, on the capture of Jonathan, renewed their 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 would send the money, and Jonathan's two sons to be hostages for their father's fidelity. Simon perceived that this was mere årtifice, 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, 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, and 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 God, 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 ROME*; 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 discovered that he ought not to love them that hated Godt, but, at all events, to avoid mixing with heathens. Jonathan'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.