1 Maccabees 6

Geneva(i) 1 Now when King Antiochus traueyled thorowe the high countreys, hee heard that Elimais in the countrey of Persia was a citie greatly renowmed for riches, siluer and golde, 2 And that there was in it a very riche temple, where as were couerings of golde, coate armours, and harnesse, which Alexander King of Macedonia the sonne of Philip (that reigned first in Grecia) had left there. 3 Wherefore hee went about to take the citie, and to spoyle it, but he was not able: for the citizens were warned of the matter, 4 And rose vp against him in battel, & hee fled and departed thence with great heauinesse, and came againe into Babylon. 5 Moreouer, there came one which brought him tidings in the countrey of Persia, that the armies that went against the land of Iuda, were driuen away, 6 And that Lysias, which went forth first with a great power, was driuen away of the Iewes, and that they were made strong by the armour, and power, and diuers spoyles which they had gotten of the armies whome they had destroyed, 7 And that they had pulled downe the abomination, which he had set vp vpon the altar at Ierusalem, and fensed the Sanctuarie with high walles, as it was afore, and Beth-sura his citie. 8 So when the king had heard these words, hee was astonished, and sore mooued: therefore hee laide him downe vpon his bed, and fell sicke for very sorowe, because it was not come to passe, as he had thought. 9 And there continued hee many dayes: for his griefe was euer more and more, so that he sawe hee must needes die. 10 Therefore he sent for all his friends, and said vnto them, The sleepe is gone from mine eyes, and mine heart fayleth for very care. 11 And I thinke with my selfe, Into what aduersitie am I come? And into what flouds of miserie am I fallen now, whereas aforetime I was in prosperitie, and greatly set by, by reason of my power? 12 And now doe I remember the euils that I haue done at Ierusalem: for I tooke all the vessels of golde and of siluer that were in it, and sent to destroy the inhabitants of Iuda without cause. 13 I know that these troubles are come vpon me for the same cause, and behold, I must die with great sorow in a strange land. 14 Then called he for Philip, one of his friends, whome he made ruler ouer all his realme, 15 And gaue him the crowne, and his robe, and the ring, that he should instruct his sonne Antiochus, and bring him vp, till he might reigne himselfe. 16 So king Antiochus died there in the hundreth, and fourtie and ninth yere. 17 When Lysias knewe, that the king was dead, he ordeined Antiochus his sonne (whome hee had brought vp) to reigne in his fathers steade, and called him Eupator. 18 Now they that were in the castell at Ierusalem, kept in the Israelites round about the Sanctuarie, and sought alwayes their hurt, and the strengthening of the heathen. 19 Therefore Iudas thought to destroy them, and called all the people together to besiege them. 20 So they came together and besieged them in the hundreth and fifty yeere, and made instruments to shoote and other engins of warre. 21 But certaine of the that were besieged, gat foorth, (vnto whome some vngodly men of Israel ioyned themselues) 22 And they went vnto the king, saying, Howe long wilt thou cease from executing iudgement, and auenge our brethren? 23 We haue bene readie to serue thy father, & to goe forward in those things, that he appointed, and to obey his commandements. 24 Therefore they of our nation fell from vs for this cause, and wheresoeuer they found any of vs, they slew them, and spoyled our inheritance. 25 And they haue not onely laide hande vpon vs, but vpon all about their borders. 26 And behold, this day are they besieging the castle at Ierusalem to take it, and haue fortified the Sanctuarie, and Beth-sura. 27 And if thou doest not preuent them quickely, they will doe greater things then these, & thou shalt not be able to ouercome them. 28 When the King heard this, hee was very angrie, and called all his friendes, the captaines of his armie, and his horsemen, 29 And bandes that were hired, came vnto him from the Kinges, that were confederate, and from the yles of the sea. 30 So the number of his armie was an hundreth thousande footemen, and twentie thousand horsemen, and two and thirtie elephantes excercised in battel. 31 These came through Idumea and drew neere to Beth-sura, and besieged it a log season, and made engins of warre: but they came out, and burnt them with fire, and fought valiantly. 32 Then departed Iudas from the castel, and remoued ye host toward Beth-zacarias ouer against the kings campe. 33 So the King arose very earely, and brought the army & his power toward the way of Beth-zacarias, where the army set themselues in aray to the battel, and blewe the trumpets. 34 And to prouoke the elephants for to fight, they shewed the the bloud of grapes & mulberies, 35 And they set the beastes according to the ranges: so that by euery elephant there stoode a thousand men armed with coates of maile and helmets of brasse vpon their heades, and vnto euery beast were ordeined fiue hudreth horseme of ye best, 36 Which were readie at all times wheresoeuer the beast was: and whethersoeuer the beast went, they went also, and departed not from him. 37 And vpon them were strog towers of wood that couered euery beast, which were fastened thereon with instruments, and vpon euery one was twoand thirtie men that fought in them, and the Indian that ruled him. 38 They set also the remnant of the horsemen vpon both the sides in two wings of the hoste, to stirre them vp, and to keepe them in the valleyes. 39 And when the sunne shone vpon the golden shieldes, the mountaines glistered therewith, and gaue light as lampes of fire. 40 Thus parte of the Kings armie was spred vpon the high mountaines, and part beneath: so they marched forward warily and in order. 41 And all they that heard the noyse of their multitude, and the marching of the companie, and the ratling of the harnesse, were astonished: for the armie was very great and mightie. 42 Then Iudas and his hoste entred into the battell, and they slewe sixe hundreth men of the Kings armie. 43 Now when Eleazar, the sonne of Abaron, saw one of the elephants armed with royall harnes, and was more excellent then all the other beastes, he thought that the King should be vpon him. 44 Wherefore he ieoparded him selfe to deliuer his people, and to get him a perpetuall name, 45 And ran boldly vnto him through the mids of the hoste, slaying on the right hand, and on the left, so that they departed away on both sides. 46 So went he to the elephants feete, and gate him vnder him, and slewe him: then fell the elephant downe vpon him, and there he dyed. 47 But the other, seeing the power of the king & the fiercenesse of his armie, departed from them. 48 And the Kings armie went vp to meete them towarde Ierusalem, and the King pitched his tents in Iudea towarde mount Sion. 49 Moreouer, the King tooke truce with them that were in Beth-sura: but when they came out of the citie, because they had no vitailes there, and were shut vp therein, and the lande had rested, 50 The King tooke Beth-sura, and set there a garison to keepe it, 51 And besieged the Sanctuarie many dayes, and made instruments to shoote, and other engins of warre, and instruments to cast fire and stones, & pieces to cast dartes and slings. 52 They also made engines against their engines, and fought a long season. 53 But in the garners there were no vitailes: for it was the seuenth yeere, and then they that were in Iudea, and were deliuered from the Gentiles, had eaten vp the residue of the store, 54 So that in the Sanctuarie were few men left: for the famine came so vpon them, that they were scattered euery man to his owne place. 55 Nowe when Lysias heard that Philippe (whome Antiochus the King, whiles he liued, had ordeyned to bring vp Antiochus his sonne, that he might be King) 56 Was come againe out of Persia and Media, and the Kings hoste with him, and thought to take vnto him the rule of things, 57 He and his hasted, and were stirred forwarde by them in the castle to go and tell the King, and the captaines of the hoste, and to others, saying, We decrease daily, and our vitailes are but small: & the place that we lay siege vnto, is strong, and the affaires of the realme depende vpon vs. 58 Now therefore let vs agree with these men, and take truce with them, and with al their nation, 59 And graunt them to liue after their Lawe, as they did afore: for they be grieued, and doe all these things, because we haue broken their Lawes. 60 So the King and the princes were content, and sent vnto them to make peace, and they receiued it. 61 When the King and the princes had made an othe vnto them, they came vpon this out of the fortresse. 62 And the King went vp to mount Sion: but when he sawe that the place was well defensed, he brake his othe that he had made, and commanded to breake downe the wall round about. 63 Then departed he in all haste, and returned vnto Antiochia, where he found Philip hauing dominion of the citie: so he fought against him, and tooke the citie by force.