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A. M.

B. C. wounded in the battle, died in a few days, Psychon succeeds Ptolemy in Egypt, murders his brother's son, in the arms of his mother, and reigns with great cruelty and oppression.


Jonathan besiegeth the citadel of Jerusalem, held by a garrison of Macedonians. Complaint being made to Demetrius, Jonathan goes to Ptolemais and appeaseth him by presents, and obtaineth new favours for the Jews. 1 Maccabees xi. 1, &c. Demetrius rules unwisely, and by the advice of Lasthenes, orders all the Egyptian soldiers in the garrisons to be slain. He next deprives the Syrian troops of a part of their pay; and by other similar measures prepares the people for a general revolt.

Tryphon, who had been governor of Antioch under Alexander, observes these things, and contrives to seize the crown and kingdom of Syria for himself. To accomplish his design he goes to Zabdiel, and by persuasion gets Antiochus, son of Alexander, delivered up to him; and sets him up as a rival to Demetrius. Demetrius offends Jonathan, by demanding all the tribute as usual, after having engaged on receiving three hundred talents, to receive no more. In the mean time Tryphon comes with Antiochus into Syria, and is received by the Syrians with great joy. Demetrius is overcome, who shuts himself up in Seleucia, and Tryphon in the name of Antiochus reigns in Antioch. Jonathan and the Jews in this war 144 had essentially supported Tryphon: but he contrives by deceit to cut off Jonathan, that he might cut off Antiochus, and enjoy the crown alone. He invites Jonathan to Ptolemais, on pretence to put the place into his hands; but when he arrived there, he orders the gates to be shut, takes him prisoner, and slays his guard of about one thousand men,









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On this the Jews choose Simon for their general, the brother of Jonathan. Tryphon promises to release Jonathan for one hundred talents, which Simon pays; but the perfidious wretch breaks his promise and puts Jonathan to death. Simon, after having buried the bones of his brother at Modin, builds a stately monument, for his father, mother, four brothers and himself, and which continued to be a sea mark for several hundred years. Maccabees xiii. 1, &c.

Tryphon having assumed the crown, and reigning at Antioch, and Demetrius at Seleucia, Simon sends a crown of gold to the latter, and promises to assist him against Tryphon, on condition of the high priesthood and civil authority being confirmed to himself, and the land being freed from all tribute in future. Demetrius agrees to these terms, which being accepted by the Jews, Simon was made high priest and sovereign prince of his nation, and the same honours made hereditary in his family. 1 Maccabees xiv. 1, &c. On this Simon goes through the country, fortifies many places, and especially Bethsura, and Joppa, which becomes the sea-port to Jerusalem. The heathen garrison, of the fortress on Zion, is now obliged to capitulate, and the fortress is demolished, and the mountain itself levelled by great labour, so as to be only equal to the mount of the temple. He drives out of the city all idolaters, and maintains the authority of the law of Moses, through the land.


Demetrius is invited into the east against the Parthians, who were spreading their conquests even to the confines of India. He goes and leaves Cleopatra at Seleucia in Syria; being joined by many, he collects an army, fights and overthrows the Parthians in several engagements; but under the show of a treaty of peace, being drawn into a snare, he is taken prisoner, and his army cut off. Mithridates, king of Parthia, treated him kindly, gave him his daughter to wife, but detained him a captive several


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Queen Cleopatra, on hearing that Demetrius was taken prisoner, sends to Antiochus Sidetes, brother of Demetrius, and offers him herself in marriage, and the crown of Syria with her. He was at Rhodes when this message was sent; and having accepted the offer, he wrote a letter to Simon, confirming all former grants made to the Jews, 1 Maccabees xv. 1-9.

Antiochus, having hired mercenaries, lands in Syria, marries Cleopatra, and is crowned king of Syria; and as Tryphon had by his mal-administration lost the affection of the people, he is vanquished in the first engagement, and flies to Dora; but being pursued he goes to Apamea, where he is taken and slain.

Simon on his accession to the high priesthood had sent ambassadors to Rome, to solicit their friendship and support, with a handsome present, which they accepted, and sent letters to all their allies in favour of Simon and the Jews. 1 Maccabees xvi. 16, &c.

While Antiochus was besieging Dora, Simon sends him two thousand men to assist him, with valuable presents, the king would not receive them; but rescinds all the grants of his letter to Simon, and demands five hundred talents for the damage which Simon had done to the Syrian fortresses, and the surrender of them to him. Simon offers to give him one hundred talents for Gazara and Joppa, as not originally belonging to the Jews, but refuses to surrender the fortresses or to pay tribute. On this Cendebous marches against Simon, who sends his sons, Judas and John, against him, who soon engaged and 135 obtained a complete victory. Simon lost no time, doing every thing necessary to maintain the power he



A.M. B. C. had acquired, and to secure the independence and freedom of his country. He went through the land accompanied by two of his sons, Judas and Mattathias, and came to Jericho, where Ptolemy, who had married his daughter, was governor. He invited Simon and his sons to an entertainment in his castle, where he had privately placed men to cut them off. The good old man suspecting nothing went, and is slain together with his two sons by this perfidious wretch. Aspiring to the supreme power, Ptolemy had formed this plot in concert with Antiochus, king of Syria; and after having thus succeeded, he sent troops to cut off John, the only surviving son of Simon, who was then governor of Bethsura; but John being informed of the above bloody deeds, before they arrived, was prepared for them, fell on them and put all to the sword. He was declared prince and high priest of the Jews; and he took care to garrison the fortresses, and especially Jerusalem, foreseeing that Antiochus would soon fall on him.









Accordingly Antiochus invades Judea in hope of again reducing it under his dominion. John Hyrcanus was soon obliged to betake himself to Jerusalem, where he sustained a siege, and often assaulted and cut off many of the enemy. When John was reduced to great extremity, peace was made on condition of paying five hundred talents, and giving hostages for the fulfilment of other particulars. By 'this peace the land was freed from the enemy.


Demetrius having been detained a prisoner in Parthia until this time, Antiochus Sidetes, his brother, now prepares an army, and marches into the east, under the pretence of obtaining his deliverance. His army amounted to eighty thousand, besides twice as many who attended it for the purposes of luxury. With him marches John Hyrcanus; and during the first efforts the king of Parthia was overthrown in three battles, and Babylonia, Media, and the eastern provinces recovered. At the end of the year John Hyrcanus returned; but Antiochus and the army dispersed into quarters. In the mean time the king of Parthia dismisses Demetrius to Syria, in hope that Antiochus would be obliged to return. The troops of Antiochus oppressing the people in their winter quarters, they instigated by the king of Parthia, rose against them, and either slew them or made them captives. Antiochus himself was slain; and the provinces again recovered.




On the death of Antiochus, and the return of Demetrius, the kingdom of Syria was weakened, and almost ruined by contending factions. John Hyrcanus availed himself of these circumstances to enlarge his own territories by taking Medeba, and several other places in Syria, Phoenicia, and Arabia; and from this time he became altogether free and independent. For neither he nor any of his descendants paid any homage or tribute to the kings of Syria. He took Shechem or Samaria, and destroyed the temple, built there by Sanballat; and having conquered the Edomites, obliged them either to be circumcised, or to seek new dwellings elsewhere. They submitted to the former, and became incorporated with the



About this time Hyrcanus sends an embassy to the Romans, to renew the league made with his father Simon; and to complain of the various attacks of the kings of Syria upon Judea. The Romans consent to renew the league, and send to all their allies to announce it, and to prohibit any further mo

lestation of the Jews.


Demetrius, king of Syria, by his vices and oppressions becomes odious to his own subjects, they revolt against him, while he was absent at the siege of Pelusium. This recalls him to Syria, and obliges Cleopatra, the mother of his wife Cleopatra, who was contending with Physcon, king of Egypt for that country, to leave Alexandria, and to come to Ptolemais, where her daughter was, for safety. On this the king of Egypt sets up an impostor, Alexander Zebina, as the son of Alexander Balas, and sends him with an army into Syria against Demetrius. A battle ensues, Demetrius is overthrown, and flies to Ptomais to Cleopatra his wife, who refuses to receive him; and thence going to Tyre, he is pursued and slain. After this Cleopatra reigned over one part of Syria, and Zebina over the rest. With the latter John Hyrcanus made a strict alliance; and during these contentions, he strengthened and much improved the Jewish state.

Physcon, king of Egypt, who had set up Zebina, now joins Cleopatra against him, marrying his daughter Tryphona to Grypus her son; and sending an army, Zebina is overcome, and flees to Antioch, where attempting to rob the temple of Jupiter, to get money to raise another army, the people rise against him, expel him from the city, and wandering about he is soon taken and slain.

Antiochus Grypus, now began to assume the authority as well as the name of king; and his wicked mother Cleopatra, who had before murdered his brother, and occasioned the death of his father, now provides poison to put an end to his life; but he suspecting her design, commands her to drink it, by which she received the reward of her crimes.

Physcon, king of Egypt, dying, leaves Egypt to his queen Cleopatra in conjunction with one of her


A. M. B. C. sons, called Lathyrus. His mother obliges him to divorce his wife Cleopatra, and marry her sister Selene. During these transactions in Egypt, Antiochus Grypus, king of Syria, prepares for a war with John Hyrcanus, prince of the Jews; but his half brother Antiochus Cyzicenus, lays claim to the crown of Syria, which obliges him to postpone his attack on Judea. Cleopatra being divorced from Lathyrus, king of Egypt, disposes of herself in marriage to Cyzicenus, and having raised an army in Cyprus, car114 ries it with her into Syria, by which her husband was enabled to contend with his rival. But Cyzicenus being overthrown, flees to Antioch, where he had left his wife Cleopatra; and going elsewhere to recruit his forces, Grypus besieges and takes Antioch, and Cleopatra falls into his hands. He is inclined to spare her, but his queen Tryphona, her own sister, sends soldiers into the temple, who put her to death.

In a little while, Cyzicenus having recruited his forces, attacks Grypus and conquers him; and Tryphona falling into his hands, he orders her to be put to such a death as her cruelty to her sister well deserved. Grypus now flies into Pamphylia, and next year returning with an army recovers a part of Syria. The two brothers divide Syria, and the one reigns at Antioch, and the other at Damascus. 110 While these confusions tore the Syrian empire, Hyrcanus grows in riches and power; and having nothing to fear from either of the kings of Syria, he resolves to reduce Samaria under his dominion. The old Samaritans had been removed by Alexander the Great, and dwelt at Shechem; and those who now inhabited Samaria, were Syro-Macedonians, and heathens. John's sons Aristobulus and Antigonus command the forces and press on the siege. They send to Cyzicenus, king of Damascus, to come to their relief, who comes, but is defeated by the Jews, and with difficulty he himself escaped. Another effort was made to raise the siege, which failed, and the place being surrendered, and the inhabitants suffered to depart, it was levelled with the ground.


After this victory Hyrcanus becomes master of all Judea, Galilee, Samaria, and other places on the borders of the surrounding country. While thus prosperous his latter end was embittered by the sect of the Pharisees, who by pretending to more than ordinary piety and zeal for religion, had gained the greatest share of popular favour. Hyrcanus had always regarded them, and promoted them to places of trust and honour; but one of them told him he ought to quit the high priesthood, because his mother had been a captive in the wars. Josephus says this was a falsehood; but it so provoked Hyrcanus, that he listened to one Jonathan, a zealous Sadducee, and was led to become a bitter enemy to the sect of the Pharisees, abrogated all their traditionary constitutions, and enjoined a penalty on all who observed them. By this he lost the favour of the multitude, and had trouble during the last years of his life. He built the castle Baris, on the site, where his father Simon had before built a house, on the mount Acra, where he and the princes of his house lived. Herod rebuilt it, making it a very strong fortress, and called it Antonia. As this was near the temple, so from one of its towers, whatever was done in the courts of the temple could be seen; and there were two stair-cases from it to the temple. Acts xxi. 30, &c.













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Hyrcanus dies, leaving seven sons, the oldest of whom is Aristobulus, who succeeds his father as high priest, and in the government, assuming the title of king of Judea. His mother wishing to rule is cast into prison, and starved to death; and three of his brothers are imprisoned as long as he lives.

Aristobulus makes war on the Itureans, in Colo-Syria, and obliges them to be circumcised, and become Jewish proselytes. He falls sick, and his favourite brother Antigonus is left to finish the war ; which having finished, by the treachery and arts of the courtiers, Antigonus is slain. Aristobulus soon after dies, and Salome his wife, brings his three brothers out of prison, and Alexander, the oldest, is made king. His next brother, making some attempt to supplant him, is put to death.

Alexander Janneus, being thus settled on the throne, besieges Ptolemais; but they calling to their aid Lathyrus, king of Cyprus, he is forced to raise the siege, and next year receives a terrible defeat, losing thirty thousand of his men. Lathyrus destroys the people without mercy and wastes the country. Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, comes to his assistance, and Lathyrus is obliged to leave Phoenicia.

Alexander recruits his forces and takes Raphia and Anthedon, not far from Gaza; and by these successes he blocks up Gaza, which was afterwards taken and destroyed.

Anna the prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher, is now married, and after living seven years with her husband, is left a widow, and departs not from the temple, but by prayer and fasting serveth God eighty-four years, until she had seen Christ in the temple. Luke ii. 36, 37.

Alexander, entering the temple to officiate as high priest in the feast of tabernacles or booths, was insulted by the people, instigated by the Pharisees, and called slave, and in other language grossly abused. This highly incenses him, and leads him to hire a guard of mercenaries from Pisidia, and Cilicia; and by the aid of these he punished his enemies with severity. At length a civil war arises, and




3917. 87

Alexander Janneus, having conquered his domestic foes, now enlarges his dominion beyond the Jordan, taking Gaulana, Seleucia, and other places in that direction. The next year he takes the valley of 84 Antioch, and the strong fortress of Gamala. He returns to Jerusalem after being absent three years, and is received with great acclamations.


After his late victories, Alexander gives himself up to luxury and intemperance, contracts a quartan ague, of which he languishes for near three years. Hoping to recover by exercise, he leads his troops beyond the Jordan, to take a castle belonging to the Gergasenes, and there in his camp expires. Before his death he advises Alexandra, to whom he bequeaths the crown, to take the Pharisees for her advisers, which she did; and by their influence she reigned peaceably. She makes her eldest son, Hyrcanus, high priest. The Pharisees now raised to power get rescinded the law of John Hyrcanus, against their traditionary institutions; and these were now increased and enforced.








B. C. rages for the space of six years, in which a vast number perished; and Alexander made a dreadful example of those who fell into his hands, slaying their wives and children before their eyes, and crucifying








While these events were occurring in Judea, other parts of the world were equally convulsed. The Romans, having conquered the best part of Africa, from the Straits of Gibraltar along the Mediterranean to Egypt, had also reduced to subjection Greece, Macedonia, and a considerable part of the Lesser Asia, were in a state of civil war at home, and had to contend with Mithridates, king of Pontus, for the support of their dominions, both in Greece and Asia. By the victories of Sylla, Mithridates is forced to sue for peace; which being concluded Sylla returns to Italy, where Marius and his colleagues had shed the blood of the Patricians and Senators in the most wanton manner. Sylla conquers his enemies, and is made perpetual Dictator.


The Pharisees now abuse the power they had gotten, to punish the late king's advisers; having sacrificed many, and intending to sacrifice more, they in a body go to the queen, and earnestly request her to stop these proceedings, to suffer them to emigrate, or to place them in the garrisons. The last was granted them, to be a check on the ambitious turbulent faction of the Pharisees.

This year is born Herod the Great, who was afterwards king of Judea. His father was Antipas, usually called Antipater, a noble Idumean, and governor of Idumea, and his wife Cyprus, of an illustrious family among the Arabians. He was a Jew as to his religious profession.

About this time Alexandra, queen of Judea, dies, and her younger son Aristobulus, who was beloved by the soldiers, and among the people, aims to seize the crown. The fortresses are surrendered to him, and the people weary of the oppressions of the Pharisees join him; so that after a fruitless effort of Hyrcanus his brother the high priest, aided by the Pharisees to reign, Aristobulus is made king and high priest, and the power and tyranny of the Pharisees terminate.

Lucullus, the Roman consul, having long contended with Mithridates, often conquered him, at length attacks Tigranes, king of Armenia, and would have subverted his dominion, had not his troops refused to obey him any longer. On this both Tigranes and Mithridates recovering their strength, regained a great part of their lost dominions. The Roman senate recall Lucullus, and send Pompey to the east to finish the Mithridatic war. He was successful in every battle, and reduced the whole of Lesser Asia, Syria, and Chaldea, to the Tigris, into full and entire subjection.

While these transactions were going on, great disturbances arose in Judea. Antipater had attached himself to Hyrcanus, and hoped to rise to power by him; but finding himself disappointed by the success of Aristobulus, and despairing of ever obtaining his favour, he calls in Aretas, a king of Arabia, with fifty thousand men, to support Hyrcanus. Aristobulus goes to meet his enemy, is overthrown, and flees to Jerusalem and to the castle and temple. Aristobulus, by presents to two of Pompey's generals, induces them to come to his assistance. Aretas retreats, and Aristobulus follows and defeats him.

Pompey, having leisure at Damascus, hears both Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, and decides in favour of Hyrcanus. On this Aristobulus is made prisoner, but his adherents in Jerusalem defend it against Pompey, who soon takes the city; but they retreating to the fortress Baris and the temple, endured a siege of three months. Having taken it, near twelve thousand were slain; and among these the priests who were officiating at the altar. This happened on the same day of the month as that on which Nebu chadnezzar had taken it. Pompey, with several of his commanders, not content with viewing the courts of the temple, ordered every part to be opened to them, and they went into the Holy of Holies. Pompey, though in this way he polluted the temple, took neither the treasure nor any of the utensils thence; but orders sacrifices to be offered for his successes. He demolished the walls of Jerusalem, made Hyrcanus high priest and prince, tributary to the Romans. Returning to Rome, he took Aristobulus, with



A. M.

B. C. Alexander and Antigonus, his two sons, and two of his daughters, as captives, to be led before him in his

intended triumph. But Alexander makes his escape and returns to Judea.

Pompey, Crassus, and Julius Cæsar, unite and divide all the power of the Roman state among them. Julius Cæsar is made consul, amasses immense wealth, and next year is appointed proconsul of Gaul for five years, in the course of which he passes the British channel, defeats the Britons, and lays the foundation of the Roman power in the land. Gabinius is made proconsul of Syria.

Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, who escaped from Pompey, having reached Judea, soon collects forces, and takes several strong places. Hyrcanus, not able to cope with him, calls the Romans to his aid; ! and Gabinius, together with Mark Antony, comes to Judea, and defeats Alexander, who flees to a strong fortress called Alexandrium. He is there besieged, but by the intercession of his mother, peace is made, and he is pardoned. Gabinius going up to Jerusalem, abolishes the royal power, and divides the country into five districts, with courts in each, independent of one another.

Gabinius, being called to Egypt by promises of great reward to restore Ptolemy Auletes, to the throne, leaves Sisenna his son over Syria. Alexander raises troops, fortifies Alexandrium; but Gabinius returning from Egypt attacks, and conquers him; and having settled all things at Jerusalem according to the mind of Antipater, returns to Syria, whence he is recalled to Rome to answer for his crimes; and Crassus succeeds him in the province of Syria.























Crassus no sooner enters his province, than he begins to plunder the people to get money to carry on a war with the Parthians. He marches to Jerusalem, and takes from the temple above two millions of our money; with this money he prepares for a war, and next year passes the Euphrates, and is soon surrounded by the Parthian horse, himself killed, and thirty thousand of his troops. Cassius with some horse escapes, and coming to Syria, puts it in a state of defence, and continues to guard it against the the Parthians, who made several unsuccessful attempts to seize it.

The civil war between Pompey and Cæsar now begins, and Cæsar having obtained the possession of Italy, releases Aristobulus from prison, and sends him to Judea to promote his interest in that quarter; but some of Pompey's party poison him on his passage, and Alexander his son was condemned and beheaded by Ptolemy's order. Thus was Hyrcanus left in possession of Judea; but Antipater was his chief support and had the chief sway.

This year Cæsar conquers Pompey at Pharsalia; and he flying to Egypt is treacherously slain, and his head taken off. Cæsar pursues him and soon comes to Alexandria, with but few troops with him; and the head of his rival is presented to him, which he causes to be honourably interred. Here Cæsar was in great danger from the Egyptians, Ptolemy and Cleopatra having quarrelled and raised a civil war. Cæsar favouring Cleopatra, Ptolemy's friends and the army besiege him in Alexandria. In this danger Hyrcanus sends three thousand Jews to his assistance, commanded by Antipater, who by his influence brought many more from the free cities in Phoenicia. With these Cæsar attacks and defeats the Egyptians, confirms to all the Jews in Egypt and Judea their religion and privileges.

Casar leaves Egypt attended by Antipater and marches into Syria. While here Antigonus, son of Aristobulus, late king of the Jews, lamenting the death of his father and brother, comes and accuses Antipater and Hyrcanus with heavy charges; but Antipater so well defends himself, that Cæsar decrees the high priesthood and the principality of Judea to Hyrcanus, and his heirs, and that Antipater should be procurator under him. Thus the old form of government is restored.

The sons of Antipater had now grown up. The eldest Phasael is made governor of Jerusalem, and' Herod governor of Galilee, where undertaking a war against some lawless Jews in those parts, he is accused before the Sanhedrim at Jerusalem, and finding that he would be condemned, he fees to Sextus Cæsar, governor of Syria, who makes him governor of Calo-Syria. He resolves to, depose Hyrcanus, and punish the Sanhedrim; but is dissuaded by his father and brother.

Julius Cæsar, entering on his fifth consulship, permits Hyrcanus to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, which Antipater soon undertakes and accomplishes. Cæsar soon after being slain by Brutus, his nephew Octavianus, whom he had adopted, claims his estate, and is supported by all his uncle's friends, and many of the soldiers. This obliged Brutus and other republicans to quit Rome for the provinces; and thus a second civil war arises through the empire. Brutus occupies Greece; Cassius, Syria; and Antony leaving Kome seizes many of the cities of Italy.

43 Octavianus vanquishes Antony at the battle of Mutina; but after maketh a league with him and Lepidus, who divide the Roman world among them; and unitedly prepare for war with Brutus, Cassius and their friends. On this occasion many of the noble Romans were proscribed and perished, among whom was Cicero, the prince of Roman orators


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