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Our Young Folk's Josephus by  William Shepard
Table of Contents




ANTIOCHUS returned home and put down the rebellion which had broken out. But shortly after a new rebellion was raised by a man named Demetrius, who claimed to be the lawful heir to the throne of Syria, and who was successful. Antiochus and his general, Lysias, were captured and put to death.

Shortly after Demetrius had been made king, Alcimus, the new high-priest of teh Jews, came to him and complained that Judas and his brethren were his enemies and would not allow him to perform the duties of his office. Demetrius was angry at this, and he sent for his general, Bacchides, and told him to take a great army and accompany Alcimus to Jerusalem. And he gave him orders, also, to slay Judas and all those that refused to acknowledge the authority of Alcimus. In this way the Jews were forced to submit to the high-priest so long as Bacchides remained in the land. But Judas and his followers, who had escaped from Jerusalem at the approach of Bacchides, returned as soon as he went back to Syria, and Alcimus was agin forced to fly to his royal master for protection.

Demetruis sent another army into Judea, commanded by a general named Nicor. Judas met him at a place called Capharsalama and defeated him, killing five thousand of his soldiers. Nicanor retreated to Jerusalem, where, in revenge, [279] he behave very cruelly to the inhabitants, and threatened that if they did not find some way of delivering Judas into his hands, he would pull down their temple when he came again to the city. He departed from Jerusalem leaving the priests and the people full of fear because of his threats. He pitched his camp at a village called Bethoron, and, having been joined here by another Syrian army, he again gave battle to Judas. Judas had no more than one thousand soldiers with thim, but he boldly led them out to fight, and after a hard struggle he won a great victory. Nicanor himself fell in the battle.

After this Judea enjoyed peace for a little while. Alcimus the high-priest had died, stricken down suddenly by the hand of God, as he was endeavoring to pull down the wall of the sanctuary which had been there of old, and Judas entered Jerusalem and was elected high-priest. In order to secure for himself a powerful ally, Judas sent ambassadors to Rome to make a treaty with the people of that state. And the Jews and the Romans agreed to be friendly, and to assist each other in their wars as much as possible.

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