Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

priest in his pontifical robes. The effect of this interview. Alexander defeats Darius, and puts an end to the Persian empire. The death of Alexander. His dominions are divided among his four generals

183

LETTER II.

PTOLEMY Suter, king of Egypt, marches to Jerusalem. He takes the city by surprise, and treats the Jews with great severity. Ptolemy Philadelphus causes the scriptures of the Old Testament to be translated out of Hebrew into Greek by seventy-two of the elders of the Jews. Ptolemy Euergetes, returning from an expedition against the king of Syria, passes through Jerusalem, and offers sacrifices to the God of Israel. Onias the high-priest, neglecting to pay the usual tribute, incurs the displeasure of Ptolemy, and endangers the peace of his country. Joseph, nephew of Onias, undertakes to pacify the king. His reception at the court of Ptolemy, and the favours conferred on him 192

LETTER III.

PTOLEMY Philopater succeeds his father Euergetes. He visits Jerusalem, enters the temple, and endeavours to go into the Holy of Holies, but is prevented by an invisible power. He persecutes the Jews. His death. Ptolemy Epiphanes, his son, succeeds him. Antiochus the Great, king of Syria, makes himself master of Judea. Plolemy marries Cleopatra, the daughter of Antiochus. Birth of Ptolemy Philometer. Death of Antiochus the Great. Ptolemy Epiphanes poisoned by his courtiers. llis young son Ptolemy Philometer succeeds him. Cleopatra, his mother, is declared regent. Heliodorus, by order of Seleucus, king of Syria, attempts to seize the treasures of the temple. Heliodorus poisons his master Seleucus, and usurps the throne. Antiochus, brother of the late king, recovers the kingdom, expels the traitor, and assumes the title of Epiphanes. Jason, brother of Onias the Third, obtains the priesthood for a sum of money.

Onias banished to Antioch. Menelaus, for a larger sum, gets the high-priesthood from his brother Jason, and plunders the temple of its golden vessels. Onias reproves Menelaus, who procures his assassination. Jason takes advantage of a false report of Antiochus's death to drive out Menelaus. 'Antiochus marches with his army to Jerusalem. Jason escapes. Antiochus takes the city, spoils the temple of its sacred vessels, and returns to Antioch. He attempts the conquest of Egypt, but is stopped by an embassy from Rome

200

LETTER IV.

ANTIOCHUS sends an army to destroy Jerusalem. He publishes a decree to enforce an uniformity of religion. A violent persecution ensues. Mattathias, the father of the Maccabees, resists the orders of Antiochus, and slays the officer appointed to execute them. He retires into the deserts. The martyrdom of Eleazar. Seven brethren, with their mother, are put to the inost cruel deaths for refusing to obey the king's commands, in opposition to the laws of God.

212

LETTER V.

[ocr errors]

MATTATHIAS, drawing near his end, exhorts his sons to fight valiantly. He appoints Judas Maccabeus for their general. Antiochus leaves Judea, and returns to Antioch. Judas raises an army and fortifies the cities. Apollonius, governor of Samaria, marches against him. He is defeated and slain by Judas. Seron, another commander, meets the same fate. Antiochus, upon this, sends Lysias at the head of a powerful army, with orders to extirpate the Jews. Lysias appoints Nicanor lieutenant-general. Gorgias, an experienced officer, accompanies him. They encamp at Emmaus. Judas takes their camp by surprise, and defeats the whole army. He obtains 'a signal victory over Timotheus and Bacchides. Lysias, returning into Judea with superior force, is again defeated by Judas, after which he returns to Antioch. Judas marches to Jerusalem, recovers the sanc. tuary from the heathen, and dedicates it again to the service of God. The neighbouring nations annoy the Jews by their excursions. Judas and his brothers Jonathan and Simon obtain many victories over them. Antiochus dies miserably

222

LETTER VI.

ANTIOCHUS Eupator succeeds his father. Lysias, his general, marches against Judas, and is defeated. Timotheus, another of the king's generals, raises a large army, which is also defeated by Judas. A fresh army is raised by Antiochus, at the head of which he marches himself to attack Judas. Eleazar, brother of Judas, distinguishes himself in the battle, and dies valiantly. Antiochus makes peace with Judas. Menelaus, being accused by Lysias, as the instigator of the war, is condemned to suffer death, and Alcimus made high-priest in his room. Onias, nephew of Menelaus, retires to Egypt, where he obtains permission of king Ptolemy to build a temple like that at Jerusalem. Demetrius, surnamed Soter, lays claim to the crown of Syria. He causes Antiochus to be put to death, and ascends the throne. He makes war on Judea, and sends Nicanor thither with a powerful force. A signal victory obtained by Judas, in which Nicanor and his whole army are destroyed. Judas forms an alliance with the Romans. Demetrius sends another army into Judea, under the command of Bacchides. Judas is slain in battle

234 LETTER VII.

JONATHAN succeeds his brother, as general of the Jews. Bacchides attacks them on the sabbath day. The Jews defend themselves, and slay many of their enemies. Bacchides makes peace with Jonathan. A conspiracy formed against Demetrius by Alexander Bala. Jonathan joins the party of Alexander, who confers on him the dignity of highpriest. Demetrius and Alexander come to a decisive battle. Demetrius slain. Alexander ascends the throne. Не niarries the daughter of. Ptolemy, king of Egypt. Demetrius, the eldest son of Demetrius Soter, claims the crown. He is joined by great numbers. The usurper defeated and slain. · Ptolemy Philometer dies at the same time. Demetrius possesses the kingdom of Syria, but soon becomes odious by his cruelties. The people revolt from him. Jonathan assists him to reduce them to obedience. Deme. trius breaks his engagements with Jonathan. Tryphon carries Antiochus, the son of Alexander, into Syria, and claims the crown for him. He obliges Demetrius to retire to Seleucia, and places Antiochus on the throne. Tryphon treacherously gets Jonathan into his hands, and puts him to death; after which he dispatches Antiochus - 243

LETTER VIII.

Simon succeeds his brother Jonathan in the civil and sacerdotal authority. Antiochus Sidetes, brother of Demetrius, asserts his title to the government of Syria, He ascends the throne, Simon is treacherously slain by Ptolemy his son-in-law. John, surnamed Hyrcanus, is proclaimed highpriest and prince of the Jews in his father's stead. Antiochus advances with a powerful army, and besieges Jerusalem. Hyrcanus sues for peace, and obtains it. Antiochus is slain.

successor.

Demetrius reascends the throne of Syria. Hyrcanus governs the Jews wisely and prosperously, till his peace disturbed by the contentions between the Pharisees and Sadducees. He dies, and is succeeded by his son Aristobulus, who reigns only one year. Alexander Jannæus succeeds him. His reign involved in foreign and domestic troubles. He bequeaths the government to his wife Alexandra. She reigns nine years, and appoints her eldest son Hyrcanus her

Aristobulus his younger brother, having the strongest party, supersedes him in the government. Hyrcanus applies to Aretas, king of the Arabians, who assists him to recover his authority. The case of the two brothers referred to Pompey. The temple taken by the Romans, Pompey demolishes the walls of Jerusalem, re-establishes Hyrcanus, and sends Aristobulus prisoner to Rome, with his two sons Alexander and Antigonus. Rome becomes a prey to civil discord. Julius Cæsar, Pompey, and Crassus, form the first triumvirate. Crassus plunders the temple at Jerusalem. He is slain in an expedition against the Parthians. Aristobulus, being released out of prison by Julius Cæsar, marches into Judea with a powerful army.

He is poisoned, and his son Alexander beheaded, by order of Pompey. Defeat of Pompey at the battle of Pharsalia. He is treacherously murdered. Julius Cæsar killed by Brutus and Cassius in the senate-house. Mark Anthony, Octavius, and Lepidus, enter into a confederacy to revenge his death, and thus form the second triumvirate. The king of Parthia sends an army to place Antigonus, son of Aristobulus, on the throne. Hyrcanus, and Phasael, Herod's brother, are seized by the enemy, and put in irons. Herod escapes. Antigonus is placed on the throne. Herod goes to Rome. Anthony takes him under his protection. He is declared King of Judea by the senate. Antigonus disputes the crown with him. Herod, with the assistance of

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »