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Our Young Folk's Josephus by  William Shepard
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DEATH OF SIMON MACCABEUS

[288] KING DEMETRIUS had been made a prisoner by a nation named the Parthians, soon after Trypho drove him from his kingdom. He still dwelt as a captive among them, and Trypho, therefore, had nothing to fear from him. But a brother of Demetrius, named Antiochus, raised an army and made war against the usurper. Now, Trypho had been behaving very cruelly to his subjects, and they were glad to have a pretext for rising against him. Many of them, therefore, went over to Antiochus. A great battle ensued, and Trypho was beaten. He fled to a town called Dora. Antiochus followed him thither and besieged the town. Through the assistance of Simon, the high priest of Judea, who sent him money and supplies, Antiochus was able to take Dora. Trypho fled to another town, but was finally captured, and put to death.

Antiochus made himself king of Syria, and he soon forgot the assistance Simon had afforded him in his necessity. He put one of his generals, named Cendebeus, at the head of an army, and told him to go and ravage Judea and seize Simon. Simon was provoked at this unjust treatment, and, though he was now very old, he went like a young man to act as general of his army. And he was successful in all his engagements with the enemy, and soon drove Cendebeus out of the country.

But after he had ruled over Judea for eight years, he was slain at a banquet by the treachery of one of his own sons-in-law, named Ptolemy. This man also captured Simon's [289] wife and two of his sons and threw them into prison, and he sent some men to kill the third son, who was named John Hyrcanus. In this way Ptolemy hoped to make himself master of Judea. But John Hyrcanus escaped from his intended murderers, and made haste to Jerusalem, and informed the people of what had happened. So, when a little later Ptolemy appeared at one of the gates of the city, he was driven away and forced to take refuge in a fortress called Dagon, just above Jericho.


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