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Jonathan had disappeared with his men in Ptolemais. Jonathan’s supporters, concluding that he had perished, encouraged each other and marched together in closed ranks. But the surrounding nations now thought that the Jews had no leader anymore and they readied for attack. Simon, Jonathan’s brother, spoke to the people of Israel and he became high priest and etnarch of the Jews (143 BC – 134 BC).

Trypho had taken Jonathan a prisoner and he brought him with him with a large army to invade Judaea. As he approached Bashama he killed Jonathan. Jonathan was buried there. Trypho however had to return so Simon recovered the bones of his brother and buried him in Modein.

Trypho meanwhile also put to death young King Antiochus and usurped the throne. Simon then became the ally again of Demetrius. He could finally expel the last occupants of the citadel of Jerusalem that had opposed him. King Demetrius assembled his army and marched into Media to raise help for the fight against Trypho. But Arsaces, king of Persia, sent one of his generals to catch Demetrius alive. The general defeated Demetrius and brought him to Arsaces, who imprisoned him. The country of Israel was thus at peace throughout the reign of Simon.

Later still, Antiochus son of Demetrius II invaded the lands of his ancestors and he pursued the usurper Trypho, who had now few followers left. Trypho fled to Dona, where Antiochus besieged him. Simon sent troops to help Antiochus but Antiochus would not accept them. He wrote that Simon had occupied towns of his kingdom. The king sent Athenobus to talk to Simon, but Simon told he had not taken foreign territory and only taken the ancestral heritage of his family, unjustly wrestled from them by their enemies. The envoy went back to the new king in rage.

Trypho now boarded as hip and escaped to Orthonia. The king appointed Cendebaeus governor of the coastal regions. Judas and John, the sons of Simon, attacked Cendebaeus and defeated his armies. Judas’ brother was wounded in this battle.

Ptolemy, son of Dok Adulos, had been appointed general in command of the plain of Jericho. He had high ambitions. Simon and his sons, Mattathias and Judas, had come down to Jericho to inspect the town. The sons of Adulos lured them into a fortress called Dok and when Simon and his sons were drunk they rushed upon him and killed him with his two sons.

Thus died the sons and grandsons of Mattathias.

Copyright: René Dewil Back to the navigation screen (if that screen has been closed) Last updated: January 2007
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