1 MACCABEES 10:
1) In the one hundred and sixtieth year, Alexander Epiphanes, son of Antiochus, came up and
took Ptolemais. They accepted him as king and he began to reign there.
COMMENTARY: The year 152 BC. This Alexander is known to history as
Alexander Balas, most probably of common origin. But Demetrius had made many enemies as time
went on, both among his own people and abroad.
An ex-minister of his, whose brother he had executed, “discovered”
Alexander and his sister Laodice (later called Laodice VI) in Smyrna, and
declared them to be the hidden heirs of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
Not only did the citizens of Ptolemais embrace Alexander as the true king, but
also Rome and Egypt. Rome never forgave
Demetrius for becoming king without their permission. Meanwhile Egypt wanted anything that would
further destabilize the Seleucids who had seized territory from them. If Alexander wanted to call himself a lost
prince, they felt more than happy to cheer him on.
2) When King Demetrius heard of it, he
mustered a very large army and marched out to engage him in battle.
COMMENTARY: What else could he do?
3) Demetrius sent a letter to Jonathan
written in peaceful terms, to exalt him; 4)
for he said: “Let us be the first to make peace with
him, before he makes peace with Alexander against us, 5) since he will remember all the wrongs we have done to
him, his brothers, and his nation.”
COMMENTARY: Time and again I’ve seen
this, on every level. The arrogant show
off their power by grinding down and humiliating their enemies any way that
they can get away with, “to show them who’s boss”, only to have circumstances change—suddenly
they realize that they now need the same people they alienated before, and so
they scramble, too late, to mend what they themselves rent.
Jesus said to love your enemies, not to not have any. Sometimes you do have to take stands against
people who are wrong. But make sure that
this is the only reason, and see that you keep love in your heart even as you
make your stance, compassionate for the evildoer’s ravaged soul as well as for
the evildoer’s victims. Because those
enemies you love might come around, change their ways and become allies, and in
time even bless your tough love—I have seen it happen many times. But those enemies you make out of contempt
and pride will not come around, and in your hour of need they will rejoice at
6) So Demetrius authorized him to gather
an army and procure arms as his ally; and he ordered that the hostages in the
citadel be released to him.
COMMENTARY: That’s a really desperate
step, considering the past between them!
7) Accordingly Jonathan went to Jerusalem
and read the letter to all the people and to those who were in the citadel. 8) They were struck with fear when they
heard that the king had given him authority to gather an army.
COMMENTARY: “They” meaning the garrisons
in the citadel. Suddenly their king has
thrown them under the bus!
9) Those in the citadel released the
hostages to Jonathan, and he gave them back to their parents.
COMMENTARY: And so we have a happy
ending for those kids and their distraught parents. And having witnessed the grief of such
separations in modern politics, with the separation at the border of so many
families, and now the huge relief of seeing it day by day amended, I can feel
this passage more palpably than I might’ve at some other time.
10) Thereafter Jonathan dwelt in
Jerusalem, and began to build and restore the city.
COMMENTARY: He can do this now that he
no longer has to worry about getting attacked from the citadel. This matters, because Jerusalem is the City
of David and the seat of monarchy in Judea.
Ruling from elsewhere implies instability in one’s reign. The situation before would’ve been similar to
what ours in the USA would be, hypothetically, if we had to set up a
provisional government in Denver while foreign occupiers held Washington DC.
11) He ordered those doing the work to
build the walls and to encircle Mount Zion with square stones for its
fortification, and they did so.
COMMENTARY: Square stones, cut for the
purpose, are stabler than raw stone and harder for siege machines to knock
12) The foreigners in the strongholds that
Bacchides had built took flight; 13)
all of them left their places and returned to their
COMMENTARY: Jonathan is not the blunt
instrument that Judas was. The latter
would have massacred them. I’m glad to
read of Jonathan letting them go.
14) Only in Beth-zur did some remain of those who had
abandoned the law and the commandments, for it was a place of refuge.
COMMENTARY: Biblical law designated
certain cities as places of refuge for criminals who had committed crimes of
passion in the heat of the moment, under what might be called a plea of
“temporary insanity” today. Perhaps
these were the people seduced in their youth at the gymnasiums, shown mercy due
to the circumstances under which they had abandoned their religion.
15) King Alexander heard of the promises
that Demetrius had made to Jonathan; he was also told of the battles and brave
deeds of Jonathan and his brothers and of the troubles that they had endured. 16) He said, “Shall we ever find another
man like him? Let us now make him our friend and ally.”
COMMENTARY: The flip side of “The enemy
of my enemy is my friend” is “The more enemies I make, the more they will find
common cause against me.” I wish certain
leaders today would read this!
17) So he sent Jonathan a letter written
in these terms: 18) “King Alexander
sends greetings to his brother Jonathan.
COMMENTARY: Ah, brother is it? As from one upstart king of questionable
lineage to another? Was the irony
intended, a sly intimation that the two of them had more than one reason to
bolster their reigns with allies?
19) We have heard of you, that you are a
mighty warrior and worthy to be our friend. 20)
We have therefore appointed you today to be high
priest of your nation; you are to be called the King’s Friend, and you are to
look after our interests and preserve friendship with us.” He also sent him a
purple robe and a crown of gold.
COMMENTARY: So a Maccabee gets to be a
King’s Friend without having to sell out.
The purple robe and gold crown are signals that Alexander formally
recognizes Jonathan’s kingship over his own people.
21) Jonathan put on the sacred vestments
in the seventh month of the one hundred and sixtieth year at the feast of
Booths, and he gathered an army
and procured many weapons.
COMMENTARY: That would be October, 152
BC. The sacred vestments don’t refer to
what Alexander sent Jonathan, but the vestments of the High Priest. Nevertheless they are not unrelated. The Jews had had no high priest since the
death of Alcimus seven years before.
Only a king could appoint a high priest, even if that king was a Pagan
and a foreigner. Alexander’s gift
signaled the recognition that they’d been waiting for. Nevertheless, some Israelites did not welcome
this, since Jonathan was not of the line of Zadok, seeing this as a pretender
to royalty appointing a pretender to priesthood, and the gripes have survived
here and there in the archaeological record.
The Feast of Booths is the culminant feast of the Jewish Calendar, celebrating
both the secular harvest and the harvest of God’s teachings planted among them,
as the Jews see these as interrelated and signs of each other. It derives its name from people fashioning
outdoor booths to dwell in, to remember the journeys of their ancestors, with
roofs of palms separated enough to fall asleep gazing on the stars. Even many modern day apartment-dwelling Jews
will create such booths upon rooftops or balconies, where opportunity allows.
At this time the High
Priest would exit the Temple through the Water Gate with a pitcher of
gold. He would walk to the Pool of
Siloam. There he would fill a
pitcher with this holy water. Musicians
would follow him back to the temple, playing hymns of celebration, and there
the High Priest would pour the water on the altar of sacrifice, to purify it
for another year. While doing so he
would pray, “Please Lord, save us, hear our prayers.” They would then recite other prayers and
psalms and conduct various other rituals leading into a grand party with
singing and dancing and feasting.
So having a High Priest again in time for the Feast of Booths meant a lot to
them. From Jonathan’s point of view it
also meant reaping a political harvest long in the cultivation.
22) When Demetrius heard of these things, he was
distressed and said: 23) “Why have we
allowed Alexander to get ahead of us by gaining the friendship of the Jews and
thus strengthening himself? 24)
I too will write them encouraging words and offer
honors and gifts, so that they may support me.”
COMMENTARY: I admit it, I have watched
every episode of “Survivor”. I find it a
splendid laboratory in which to study human political behavior under
duress. And in this game it often
happens that a strong side will pick off a weaker faction, one by one—till
there comes a point when the strong side itself starts to fracture into
different factions, in which case the last member or two left of the enemy side
suddenly become desirable as allies to tip the numbers in the next vote, and
everybody who once stood against them now scrambles to woo them. Those who had previously acted arrogantly to
their erstwhile enemies (and it’s surprising how often people make this same
mistake, over and over) don’t stand a chance.
Anyway, I see the same dynamic here.
Little outnumbered Israel has suddenly become the swing vote.
25) So he sent them this message: “King
Demetrius sends greetings to the Jewish nation. 26)
We have heard how you have kept the treaty with us and
continued in our friendship and not gone over to our enemies, and we are glad.
COMMENTARY: Or hopeful, rather, since
he’s not entirely sure where Jonathan stands in all this and has a sinking
feeling that things might not go his way.
Anyway, it makes a good opportunity to slyly remind Jonathan of the
treaty, but in a flattering rather than a demanding way. Even though he himself had broken the treaty
27) Continue, therefore, to keep faith
with us, and we will reward you with favors in return for what you do in our
behalf. 28) We will grant you many exemptions and will bestow
gifts on you.
COMMENTARY: Translation: “We know that it’s going to take an awful lot
of bribery to get into your good graces after all we’ve done to you.”
29) “I now
free you and exempt all the Jews from the tribute, the salt tax, and the crown
COMMENTARY: Exempting them from tribute
and crown levies virtually acknowledges them as an independent nation. As for the salt tax, that was unjust to begin
with. Greece had every right to tax
inland nations that depended on government-protected caravans to bring them
salt from elsewhere, but Israel had the Dead Sea—the saltiest body of water on
Earth. Taxing their salt was sheer
30) Instead of collecting the third of the
grain and the half of the fruit of the trees that should be my share, I
renounce the right from this day forward. Neither now nor in the future will I
collect them from the land of Judah or from the three districts annexed from
Samaria. 31) Let
Jerusalem and her territory, her tithes and her tolls, be sacred and free from
COMMENTARY: The traditional tax of
Israel and Judea had been a tenth of both grain and fruit, not a third of one
and a half of the other. That was
ruinous! Especially if the culture
required the land to go fallow every seven years. They would have had just enough to scrape by,
not enough to do trade beyond their borders, and any calamity or unkindness of
the weather would cause the most vulnerable citizens to starve. How nice of him to make it sound as if he’s
doing them a favor, as if he’s ceding a right!
The three districts annexed from Samaria were Aphairema, Lydda, and
Ramathaim. Some translations say that
these were annexed from both Samaria and Galilee.
32) I also yield my authority over the
citadel in Jerusalem, and I transfer it to the high priest, that he may put in
it such men as he shall choose to guard it.
COMMENTARY: A little late for that. Does he know that his men have already
33) Every Jew who has been carried into captivity from the
land of Judah into any part of my kingdom I set at liberty without ransom; and
let all their taxes, even those on their cattle, be canceled.
COMMENTARY: These would probably be
prisoners of war, sold into slavery.
34) Let all feast days, sabbaths, new moon
festivals, appointed days, and the three days that precede each feast day, and
the three days that follow, be days of immunity and exemption for all Jews in
my kingdom. 35) No one will have authority to exact payment from them
or to harass any of them in any matter.
COMMENTARY: Now he’s getting into pie in
the sky promises. No king would promise
people exemptions from law or payment to the other citizens of his realm and
expect to keep that promise the minute it became inconvenient.
36) “Let thirty thousand Jews be enrolled
in the king’s army and allowances be given them, as is due to all the king’s
COMMENTARY: The ever-popular promise of
employment! But he’s also hoping to
absorb Israel’s warriors—the ones best at it, who would most want to make a
year-round career of it. That would
leave the rest of the Jews flat-footed at a later date, whenever he decided to
change his mind.
37) Let some of them be stationed in the king’s principal
strongholds, and of these let some be given positions of trust in the affairs
of the kingdom. Let their superiors and their rulers be chosen from among them,
and let them follow their own laws, as the king has commanded in the land of
COMMENTARY: Since all this trouble came
on the Seleucids because Antiochus denied them the right to follow their own
laws, he’s making a tempting, reconciliatory offer...but read the fine print. Notice that he’s only offering this to those
who fight under his command.
38) “Let the three districts that have
been added to Judea from the province of Samaria be annexed to Judea so that
they may be under one rule and obey no other authority than the high priest.
COMMENTARY: He’s making a virtue of
necessity, as my Grandma would’ve said.
Judas already conquered those territories.
39) Ptolemais and its confines I give as a
present to the sanctuary in Jerusalem for the necessary expenses of the
COMMENTARY: Oh, he’s handing over
Alexander’s power-base to fund the Temple over which the Jews fought this war
in the first place—isn’t that nice of him!
40) I make a yearly personal grant of
fifteen thousand silver shekels out of the royal revenues, taken from
appropriate places. 41) All the additional
funds that the officials did not hand over as they had done in the first years
shall henceforth be handed over for the services of the temple. 42) Moreover, the dues of five thousand
silver shekels that used to be taken from the revenue of the sanctuary every
year shall be canceled, since these funds belong to the priests who perform the
COMMENTARY: More pie in the sky. Remember, he’s broke.
43) All who take refuge in the temple of
Jerusalem or in any of its precincts, because of money they owe the king, or
because of any other debt, shall be released, together with all the goods they
possess in my kingdom.
COMMENTARY: Sounds really generous,
right? Except that it would flood
Jerusalem with paupers, many of them unfit for war for the same reasons that
rendered them unable to keep up with their payments.
44) The cost of rebuilding and restoring
the structures of the sanctuary shall be covered out of the royal revenue. 45) Likewise the cost of building the walls of Jerusalem
and fortifying it all around, and of building walls in Judea, shall be donated
from the royal revenue.”
COMMENTARY: Again, broke king promises
money that he doesn’t have.
46) When Jonathan and the people heard
these words, they neither believed nor accepted them, for they remembered the
great evil that Demetrius had done in Israel, and the great tribulation he had
brought upon them.
COMMENTARY: It’s a little late to win
their trust now, even if he’d made a believable offer.
47) They therefore decided in favor of Alexander, for he
had been the first to address them peaceably, and they remained his allies for
the rest of his life.
COMMENTARY: Not difficult, considering
that Alexander didn’t last all that long.
48) Then King Alexander gathered together
a large army and encamped opposite Demetrius. 49)
The two kings joined battle, and when the army of
Demetrius fled, Alexander pursued him, and overpowered his soldiers. 50) He pressed the battle hard until sunset, and Demetrius
fell that day.
COMMENTARY: But this early in the game
Alexander is still young and strong.
Notice, by the way, how the Israelites prudently keep out of the fight.
51) Alexander sent ambassadors to Ptolemy,
king of Egypt, with this message: 52)
“Now that I have returned to my realm, taken my seat
on the throne of my ancestors, and established my rule by crushing Demetrius
and gaining control of my country— 53)
for I engaged him in battle, he and his army were
crushed by us, and we assumed his royal throne— 54) let
us now establish friendship with each other. Give me now your daughter for my
wife; and as your son-in-law, I will give to you and to her gifts worthy of
COMMENTARY: That would be Cleopatra
Thea. A smart move, legitimizing his
line beyond doubt. Because however
people might question his supposed descent from the Seleucids, they can’t
question her descent from the Ptolemies, and his children would have royal
55) King Ptolemy answered in these words:
“Happy the day on which you returned to the land of your ancestors and took
your seat on their royal throne!
COMMENTARY: “Yes, I am quite pleased to
pretend that you are the son of the man who took land from me, especially since
you’re not actually related to him at all!”
56) I will do for you what you have written; but meet me
in Ptolemais, so that we may see each other, and I will become your
father-in-law as you have proposed.”
COMMENTARY: In a culture of arranged
marriages, it’s a smart father who checks out the son-in-law before committing
to anything definite. Anyway, at this
point, with Alexander in Antioch, Ptolemais had returned to its status as
neutral territory on the coast.
57) So Ptolemy with his daughter Cleopatra set out from Egypt and came to Ptolemais in the one
hundred and sixty-second year. 58) There King Alexander met him, and Ptolemy gave him his
daughter Cleopatra in marriage. Their wedding was celebrated at Ptolemais with
great splendor according to the custom of kings.
COMMENTARY: Cleopatra Thea was about
fifteen years old. She would live long
enough to later be compelled to marry Demetrius II, the son of the king so
recently dispatched in battle, after this real Seleucid kills her first
husband. Later still she would get
passed on to his brother, Antiochus VII.
This gives some idea why Christianity spread not only among the poor and
oppressed, but also among rich women.
Women were often worse off if born in a powerful family in those days,
for they wound up moved from bed to bed, as sexual pawns, in political games
that never asked them what they wanted, nor made any room for anything so
inconvenient as love.
King Alexander also wrote to Jonathan to come and meet
him. 60) So he went with
pomp to Ptolemais, where he met the two kings and gave them and their friends
silver and gold and many gifts and thus won their favor.
COMMENTARY: Which advertises his
people’s wealth. Which not only says “I
could be a generous friend if you treat me right,” but also, “I can pay for
soldiers and weaponry if you don’t treat me right.”
61) Some villainous men of Israel,
transgressors of the law, united against him to accuse him, but the king paid
no heed to them.
COMMENTARY: Alexander knows which side
his bread is buttered on, as the saying goes.
Everyone who sided with the Hellenized Jews wound up with expensive wars
and nothing good to show for it.
62) The king ordered
Jonathan to be divested of his garments and to be clothed in royal purple; and
so it was done.
COMMENTARY: Once again, this time in
public before his own people, Alexander gives official recognition to
Jonathan’s claim of kingship over Israel, Judea, Galilee, and parts of Samaria.
63) The king also had him seated at his
side. He said to his magistrates: “Go with him to the center of the city and
make a proclamation that no one is to bring charges against him on any grounds
or be troublesome to him for any reason.”
COMMENTARY: Declaring Jonathan above the
law—a monarchial prerogative—and cutting the Hellenistic faction off from their
last leg to stand on. As an American,
this makes me uneasy, but that age saw this as normal in most parts of the
world. However the Bible does mention
divine justice raining down on royal evildoers—usually with devastating results
for the entire nation. Somehow I would
not find this form of power-balance reassuring.
his accusers saw the honor paid to him according to the king’s proclamation,
and him clothed in purple, they all fled.
COMMENTARY: What else can they do at
this point? They know that now nobody
will take their side.
65) And so the king honored him, enrolling
him among his Chief Friends, and he made him governor and chief of the
COMMENTARY: This means that yes, he’s
the equivalent of a king, but under an emperor.
He has some degree of autonomy, and can maintain Jewish laws and
customs, but his country is not entirely free.
66) So Jonathan returned in peace and happiness to
Still, it’s an improvement over what they saw before.
67) In the one hundred and sixty-fifth
year, Demetrius, son of Demetrius,
came from Crete to the land of his ancestors.
COMMENTARY: This would be 147 BC. And this man would be Demetrius II Nicanor,
the son of the late King Demetrius. The
land of his ancestors would be pretty much anywhere in the Seleucid
Empire. “Crete” might not actually be
the place he left, as Easterners sometimes called anywhere in Greece proper
68) When King Alexander heard of it he was
greatly troubled, and returned to Antioch.
COMMENTARY: Especially since by now he
had made the Seleucid Empire so financially dependent upon the Ptolemaic Empire
that coins struck in his realm sported the distinctively craggy features of
Ptolemy I on them. Not to mention that
rumors of his debauchery had pretty much demolished his popularity.
69) Demetrius set Apollonius over
Having gathered a large army, Apollonius encamped at Jamnia. From there he sent
this message to Jonathan the high priest:
COMMENTARY: Coelesyria used to mean the
land between Lebanon and the “anti-Lebanon Mountains” (whatever that
means.) But in time it came to also
include Palestine. Jamnia, AKA Yavneh,
is on the coast, which makes it neutral territory.
70) “You are the only one who resists us.
I am laughed at and put to shame on your account. Why are you exercising
authority against us in the mountains?
COMMENTARY: Maybe because Jonathan has a
better deal with Alexander? Ya think?
71) If you have confidence in your forces,
come down now to us in the plain, and let us test each other’s strength there;
for the forces of the cities are on my side.
COMMENTARY: The support of the cities
means that he can tap in on larger numbers of people in a hurry.
72) Inquire and find
out who I am and who the others are who are helping me. People are saying that
you cannot make a stand against us because your ancestors were twice put to
flight in their own land.
COMMENTARY: The Bible scholars in my
source say that it seems unclear as to what Demetrius refers to when he says
that the Jews were twice put to flight.
I wonder if he means that the Temple was destroyed twice?
73) Now you too will be unable to withstand our cavalry
and such a force as this in the plain, where there is not a stone or a pebble
or a place to flee.”
COMMENTARY: As you’ll recall, the
Maccabees have used the home advantage of knowing their terrain quite well in
their battles, and often pitted geography against the Greeks. By twisting this into an innuendo of
cowardice, Demetrius hopes to taunt Jonathan into engaging him without that
74) When Jonathan heard the message of
Apollonius, he was provoked. Choosing ten thousand men, he set out from
Jerusalem, and Simon his brother joined him to help him.
COMMENTARY: And Jonathan took the bait.
75) He encamped near Joppa, but the people
of the city shut him out because Apollonius had a garrison in Joppa. When they
attacked it, 76) the people of the
city became afraid and opened the gates, and so Jonathan took possession of
COMMENTARY: The people of Joppa have no
particular ideology in this fight, but try to guess who will hurt them more if
they don’t comply with that side’s cause.
That’s the thing about bullying your way into forced obedience—your
subjects have no reason to stay loyal to you if there’s even a hint of the tide
turning the other way.
Speaking of tides, Joppa matters particularly because it’s a seaport. The Maccabees never had one before, unless
you count the landlocked waters of the Dead Sea, or the giant lake called the
Sea of Galilee. Not a port where you
could sail to other countries and do business and politicking. Officially he’s secured Joppa for King
Alexander, but in fact it’s now part of his governance.
77) When Apollonius heard of it, he drew
up three thousand cavalry and a large force of infantry. He marched toward
Azotus as though he were going on through, but at the same time he was
advancing into the plain, because he had such a large number of cavalry to rely
COMMENTARY: Sun Tzu said, in “The Art of
War”, that most of strategy is deception, and here we see it in action. Demetrius has such a large cavalry that he
can divide it without appearing to have done so. Jonathan has no aerial surveillance nor
real-time messaging to let him know that a second cavalry waits in the wings
for him to rush into the trap.
78) Jonathan pursued him toward Azotus, and
the armies engaged in battle.
COMMENTARY: It’s good strategy to
pretend to run, in order to draw your enemy exactly where you want him.
however, had left a thousand cavalry in hiding behind them.
COMMENTARY: Which puts Jonathan’s army
now surrounded, behind enemy lines and blocked from succor.
80) Jonathan discovered that there was an
ambush behind him; his army was surrounded. From morning until evening they
showered his troops with arrows.
COMMENTARY: Shock and Awe, iron-age
style. You can’t fight back against an
aerial barrage—there’s no enemy close at hand to engage, and no effective
parry. You can only cower under your
shield until it’s over, with your nerves slowly fraying into limp spaghetti.
81) But his troops held their ground, as Jonathan had
commanded, while the enemy’s horses became tired out.
COMMENTARY: That’s the only way
out. Jonathan had the charisma to keep
his men from fleeing. Meanwhile the
cavalry had to ride all the way from the plain at full speed—all day. As terrifying as the barrage had been, it did
not require much from its targets in the way of stamina.
82) Then Simon brought forward his force,
and engaged the phalanx in battle. Since the cavalry were exhausted, the
phalanx was crushed by him and fled,
COMMENTARY: Strategy can look good on
paper, but if doesn’t have tactics to back it up, it’s worthless. Demetrius forgot to ask himself what his
horses were capable of. Racing across
such a distance over flat plain would mean that the poor animals hadn’t had
water all day under heat and great exertion, and would founder easily when
expected to do still more at the end of their gallop.
83) while the cavalry
too were scattered over the plain. They fled to Azotus and entered Beth-dagon,
the temple of their idol, to save themselves.
COMMENTARY: Dagon was the chief deity of
the Philistines. Because the name
resembles a word for fish, and because the Philistines often decorated with a
merman motif, some have called him a fish-god.
But in fact his name more likely means grain—an ever-popular choice,
because who doesn’t want a good harvest?
Anyway, what this tells us is that the troops of Demetrius culturally identify
as Philistine rather than Greek, regardless of their parentage. By now the Seleucid Empire has become more
Asiatic than Hellenistic, and the whole point that Antiochus tried to make at
the start of this book, his effort to Hellenize his empire, has faded after
generations under the desert sun.
84) But Jonathan burned and plundered
Azotus with its neighboring towns, and destroyed by fire both the temple of
Dagon and those who had taken refuge in it. 85) Those who fell by the sword, together with those who were
burned alive, came to about eight thousand.
COMMENTARY: This gives me shudders. The Mexican army used this tactic more than
once against various indigenous tribes taking refuge in churches, and that
brings home to me how awful this is. I’m
supposed to read this as a triumph of the Jewish God over that of the
Philistines, but I can’t tune out those ancient screams.
Then Jonathan left there and encamped at Askalon, and
the people of that city came out to meet him with great pomp.
COMMENTARY: So much for Demetrius’s
claim of having the support of the cities, though I daresay they would have
done the same for him had he been the victor.
87) Jonathan and those with him then
returned to Jerusalem, with much spoil.
COMMENTARY: In the old days, you only
had to pay soldiers to stick with you if they hadn’t gotten any opportunity to
loot on their own behalf.
88) When King Alexander heard of these
events, he accorded new honors to Jonathan. 89)
He sent him a gold buckle, such as is usually given to
King’s Kinsmen; he also gave him
Ekron and all its territory as a possession.
King’s Kinsman outranks Chief King’s Friend.