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12. Hellenists take revenge on cHasidic Jews [161 BCE]
1 In the year 151[= 162 BCE] Demetrius, son of Seleucus (IV), left Rome and with a band of men went up to a city by the sea and was made king (of Syria)...
5 And all the lawless and irreligious men of Israel came before him, led by Alcimus, who wanted to be high priest.
6 And they accused the (Jewish) people to the king, saying:
"Judah (Maccabee) and his brothers destroyed your friends and exiled us from our land."...
8 And the (Syrian) king chose Bacchides, a comrade of the king who was commander beyond the (Euphrates) River...
9 And he sent him with the irreligious Alcimus, whom he established as high-priest, and commanded him to take vengeance on the sons of Israel.
12 Then a group of scribes gathered before Alcimus and Bacchides to seek justice.
13 And the chasidim were the first among the sons of Israel seeking peace with them.
14 For they said:
"A man who is priest from the seed of Aaron has come with these forces. He will not wrong us."
15 And he [Alcimus] spoke words of peace with them and swore to them:
"We will not seek evil for you and your friends."
16 And they believed him. And then he arrested sixty men from among them and executed them within one day.
  -- Septuagint, 1 Maccabees 7:1-16

13. Jews become allies of Rome [160 BCE]
1 Judah (Maccabee) had heard of the reputation of the Romans. They were strong in force and content with all their allies. And if any would ally themselves with them, they would establish friendship with them...
11 All the other kingdoms and islands that had ever opposed them they annihilated and enslaved...
17 So Judah chose Eupolemius, son of Johanan ben Hazzoz, and Jason ben Eleazar and sent them to Rome to establish friendship and a treaty with them,
18 to lift the yoke of Syria, because he saw that the kingdom of the Greeks [= Syria] was subjecting Israel to slavery...
21 The personal message pleased the Romans.
22 Now this is a copy of the reply that was inscribed on bronze tablets and sent to Jerusalem, to be a monument there to the peace and treaty with the Jews:
23 "For the Roman and the Jewish people:
May things be well on sea and land forever!
May sword and enmity keep far from them!
24 But if war is made on Rome first, or on any of its allies and their domains,
25 the Jewish nation will be their wholehearted allies as the occasion requires...
27 In the same way, if war is made on the Jewish people first, the Romans shall be their active allies as the occasion requires...."
  --- Septuagint, 1 Maccabees 8:1-27

14. Conquest of Samaria & Idumea
254 When (Johanan) Hyrcanus [the son of Judah Maccabee's brother, Simon] heard of the death of Antiochus (VII in 129 BCE), he immediately marched out to the Judean cities still under Syria, thinking to find them empty of (Greek) soldiers and defenders. And so they were.
255 Then after six months (he crossed the Jordan River and took) Madaba, with many of his army suffering injury. Then he captured Samoga [in Jordan] and its immediate surroundings. And next Shechem and Gerizim and the Kuthite [= Samaritan] nation,
256 which lives under the shrine modeled on the the temple in Jerusalem, which Alexander (the Great) had let Sanballat build....* And now after 200 years this (Samaritan) temple happened to be devastated.
257 Now Hyrcanus also took the Idumean [= Edomite] cities of Adora and Marisa. Making all of the Idumeans subjects, he allowed them to stay in the region, if they were circumcised and willing to observe Jewish laws.
  --- Josephus, Antiquities 13.254-257
* Sanballat was governor of Samaria in the mid-5th c. BCE under Persian rule, so the Samaritan temple must have been constructed more than a century before Alexander's conquest. Josephus' own account of Alexander's triumphant visit (333 BCE) to Jerusalem presupposes that the Samaritan temple was already in existence [Antiquities 11.343]. His confusion here is traceable to his earlier report that Alexander adorned both the Jewish & Samaritan temples.

15. A Jewish king Judaizes Galilee [104 BCE]
301 And when their father (Johanan) Hyrcanus died (in 104 BCE), the oldest (son), Aristobulus ( I ), thought to transform his regime into a kingdom, for he considered it such. He was the first to don the diadem in the 481 years and three month since the (Jewish) people, freed from slavery under the Babylonians, came back to their homeland...
318 He [Aristobulus I] was king for one year. On the one hand, he was nicknamed "the Greek-lover"; on the other, he did much good for his country, fighting the Ituraeans and gaining much of their territory [Galilee] for Judea. And he compelled the inhabitants to be circumcised and to live according to the laws of the Jews, if they wished to remain in their territory.
  --- Josephus, Antiquities 13.301, 318

16. Sibling Rivals lose their Kingdom [64 BCE]
34 Sometime later (64 BCE), when Pompey came to Damascus and invaded Coele-Syria [Lebanon], emissaries from all over -- Syria and Egypt and Judea -- came to him...
41 So here he heard from both the Jews and their leaders: Hyrcanus ( II ) and Aristobulus ( II ), who were each other's opponents, and the people who did not recognize their regime, opponents of both. For their fathers' tradition was to obey the priests of the God they worshipped. But these (rival brothers), who were offspring of priests, sought to trade in that principle. Then the people would become slaves.
77 By taking sides against each other, Hyrcanus and Aristobulus became sources of Jerusalem's suffering. For we lost our freedom and became Roman subjects. And the territory which we gained by arms and took from the Syrians we were forced to return to the Syrians.
78 Moreover, in short time the Romans exacted from us more than ten thousand talents (as tribute). And the kingdom that used to be given by birth to high priests (eventually) became the privilege of common men [i.e., Herod].
91 And [Gabinius, Roman governor of Syria in 57 BCE] divided the Jewish people into five parts, establishing five councils [or Sanhedrins]. And the capitals were in Jerusalem and Gadara and Hammath. A fourth was in Jericho and the fifth in Sepphoris in Galilee.
  --- Josephus, Antiquities 14.34, 41, 77-78, 91

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