1) Then the king of Egypt gathered forces as numerous as
the sands of the seashore, and many ships; and he sought by deceit to take
Alexander’s kingdom and add it to his own.
COMMENTARY: You know, I was wondering
what more was in it for Egypt, to play up so nicely to Alexander’s shaky claim.
2) He set out for Syria with peaceful
words, and the people in the cities opened their gates to welcome him, as King
Alexander had ordered them to do, since Ptolemy was his father-in-law. 3) But when Ptolemy entered the cities, he stationed a
garrison of troops in each one.
COMMENTARY: Inlaws can be like that,
sometimes, if you don’t set boundaries.
4) As they neared Azotus, they showed him
the temple of Dagon destroyed by fire, Azotus and its suburbs demolished,
corpses lying about, and the charred bodies of those burned in the war, for
they had heaped them up along his route. 5) They told the king what Jonathan had done in order to
denigrate him; but the king said nothing.
COMMENTARY: I would assume from verse 5
that “the second they” refers to the faction opposed to the Maccabees. As barbaric as leaving bodies unburied would
seem to us, the ancients whom we consider barbaric considered it even more
shocking. They took responsibility to
the departed seriously. So this could be
a powerful tool of propaganda, to dig up the dead and leave them to rot in
plain sight and claim that your enemy just left them that way. But “they” had heaped them along the Monarch’s
King Ptolemy perhaps says nothing because he might have noticed that the
corpses look too staged. He would know
that the battlefield wouldn’t just happen to coincide with his route without a
trace anywhere else. But another source
says that it’s because he had no jurisdiction over Jonathan.
6) Jonathan met the king with pomp at Joppa, and they
greeted each other and spent the night there.
COMMENTARY: Jonathan most likely assumed
that the alliance between Alexander and Egypt still held.
7) Jonathan accompanied the king as far
as the river called Eleutherus and
then returned to Jerusalem.
COMMENTARY: At that time the Eleutherus
River marked the northern border of Coelesyria, 200 miles south of Joppa. Beyond it lay Phonicia. Today it is called the Nahr-el-Kebir.
8) And so King Ptolemy took possession of
the cities along the seacoast as far as Seleucia by the sea, plotting evil schemes against Alexander all the
COMMENTARY: Seleucia is the port at the
mouth of the Orontes River, 15 miles from Antioch. Antioch, of course, happens to be the capital
of the Seleucid Empire. Seleucia had
major strategic and commercial importance from its position, and had received
heavy fortification as a result, none of which did any good when people threw
open the gates to an assumed ally.
9) He sent ambassadors to King Demetrius,
saying: “Come, let us make a covenant with each other; I will give you my
daughter whom Alexander has married, and you shall reign over your father’s
COMMENTARY: Not that anybody consulted
her on the matter. To make matters even
more horrible, she had to leave her baby behind for good, for Alexander had hidden
his son away in a foreign land on what he had thought was a temporary safety
At this point Demetrius was in Cilicia,
exploiting a local rebellion against Alexander’s rule.
10) I regret that I gave him my daughter,
for he has sought to kill me.” 11) He was criticizing Alexander, however,
because he coveted his kingdom.
COMMENTARY: Not only does 1 Maccabees
call this a trumped-up charge, but so does Diodorus. However, Josephus says that a friend of
Alexander’s (Ammonius) not Alexander himself, did indeed attempt to murder
Ptolemy. Ptolemy claimed that he did so
on Alexander’s urging, and considering the friendship one has to wonder. But Alexander said that Ptolemy was just
exploiting the situation to justify betraying his son-in-law. Alexander might have seen signs already that Ptolemy
had eyes on his real estate and sent Ammonius to do the deed, in which case
both versions are right. Or Ammonius
might have had some grievance of his own now lost to history because his
assassination attempt fit in so well with other people’s politics.
12) After taking his daughter away, Ptolemy gave her to
Demetrius and broke with Alexander; the enmity between them was now evident.
COMMENTARY: Yes, getting his daughter
out of the way of pending hostilities kind of makes that obvious.
13) Then Ptolemy entered Antioch and
assumed the crown of Asia; thus he
set upon his head two crowns, that of Egypt and that of Asia.
COMMENTARY: Diadem, actually. Same difference. And having the crown of Asia meant having
power over whatever Alexander the Great had conquered east of Greece, in
theory, although in practice it had become much less.
14) Now King Alexander was in Cilicia at
that time, because the people of that region had revolted.
COMMENTARY: Demetrius had landed in
Cilicia on the start of his Comeback Tour, and the people there were all too
happy to change leaders. As mentioned
before, Alexander thought that kingship meant one long party, and proved to not
really be cut out for the monarchy.
15) When Alexander heard the news, he came
against Ptolemy in battle. Ptolemy marched out and met him with a strong force
and routed him.
COMMENTARY: So now Alexander’s got two
foes, closing in on him like scissor-blades.
And his already-exhausted military can’t handle it.
16) When Alexander fled to Arabia to seek
protection, King Ptolemy was triumphant.
COMMENTARY: He went to Abae to Prince
Diocles, a Nabatean, with whom he had already left his baby son, Antiochus.
17) Zabdiel the Arabian cut off
Alexander’s head and sent it to Ptolemy.
COMMENTARY: Zabdiel might be another
name for Diocles, but nobody seems sure.
Or he might have just been the executioner. Diodorus says that two of Alexander’s
Lieutenants who fled with him, Heliades and Casius, betrayed him with a message
to Demetrius, on condition of pardon for having taken Alexander’s side
They probably sent the head to Demetrius first, who then sent it to
Ptolemy. No mention of which of several
possible means they might have used to embalm it, but they did have the
technology to do so.
Why do something so gruesome? Because if
they just said that they’d killed him they might have lied and he could lie in
wait for his enemies to arrive in a trap.
They couldn’t take a photo, and an artist could easily draw a fake. But Demetrius and Ptolemy would recognize his
face if delivered in the flesh.
18) But three days later King Ptolemy
himself died, and his troops in the strongholds were killed by the inhabitants
of the strongholds.
COMMENTARY: History has not passed on
how Ptolemy VI Philometor died. The
Pharaohs were a frail lot and the Greek line was no exception, having adopted
the Egyptian custom of securing the succession through incest. Wars abounded in germ-friendly circumstances
that brought down many a strong man, let alone someone already genetically
On the other hand, the political situation also lent
itself to all manner of motives for murder.
I’d like to think of Cleopatra Thea getting revenge on dear ol’ Daddy
Uncle, but the fact that she continued to get passed around as the spoils of
war makes that extremely unlikely.
Whatever the case, I’m sure the Maccabees saw it as the curse of God.
19) Thus Demetrius became king in the one
hundred and sixty-seventh year.
COMMENTARY: Their 167th year
would encompass parts of 146-145 BC, but Alexander and Ptolemy died in the summer
of 145 BC. Anyway, Jonathan’s back to
square one, having to deal with Demetrius again.
20) In those days Jonathan gathered together
the people of Judea to attack the citadel in Jerusalem, and they set up many
siege engines against it.
COMMENTARY: So once again he’s fighting
the same battles over again over that dadburned citadel.
21) But some transgressors of the law,
enemies of their own nation, went to the king and informed him that Jonathan
was besieging the citadel.
COMMENTARY: So even in the days of peace
and plenty that had preceded this he had still not won over everyone. The country still remained divided.
22) When Demetrius heard this, he was enraged; and as soon
as he heard it, he set out and came to Ptolemais. He wrote to Jonathan to
discontinue the siege and to meet him for a conference at Ptolemais as soon as
COMMENTARY: His earlier promise to give
over the citadel only applied if Jonathan had taken his side.
23) On hearing this, Jonathan ordered the
siege to continue. He selected some elders and priests of Israel and put
himself at risk. 24) Taking with him
silver, gold and apparel, and many other presents, he went to the king at
Ptolemais, and found favor with him.
COMMENTARY: He wants to make peace, but
won’t give up anything militarily until he gets some reassurances. The simultaneous gift-giving and besieging
says, “Look, do you want me as a friend or an enemy? Because I’m good at either one!” And
the gifts would not only go to the King, but also to his officers, who would
need to get paid about now.
He also does this in person, instead of the safer route of sending a messenger,
to close the deal face to face, putting all of his persuasive skill into it
firsthand. Once again, Jonathan shows
himself to be a better diplomat than his brother Judas.
25) Although certain renegades of his own
nation kept on bringing charges against him, 26)
the king treated him just as his predecessors had done
and exalted him in the presence of all his Friends.
COMMENTARY: By now the Seleucids know
that the detractors don’t have anything of political use to offer.
27) He confirmed him in the high priesthood and in the
other honors he had previously held, and had him enrolled among his Chief
COMMENTARY: Chief Friends is still quite
a powerful club to belong to. And
Demetrius confirms the appointment that Alexander had made. So considering his ongoing siege, Jonathan
has made quite a diplomatic impression!
28) Jonathan asked the king to exempt
Judea and the three districts of Samaria from tribute, promising him in return
three hundred talents. 29) The king agreed and wrote a letter to Jonathan about all
these matters as follows:
COMMENTARY: Getting three hundred
talents now (quite a sum!) could add up to a better deal than an uncertain
promise of future tribute based on the vagaries of harvests already compromised
by war, especially when those same wars mean that he needs that money right
30) “King Demetrius sends greetings to his brother
Jonathan and to the Jewish nation.
COMMENTARY: This “brother” title means
that King Demetrius has also listed him as an honorary kinsman, same as
Alexander did. So Jonathan loses nothing
in the long run.
Also, Demetrius II does something not done by either Demetrius I or Alexander
Balas. He conveys his greeting not only
to Jonathan but to the Jewish nation.
He’s not just cutting a deal with whoever happens to be in charge for
the moment, but offering a more lasting covenant for the people as a whole. Or
31) We are sending you, for your
information, a copy of the letter that we wrote to Lasthenes our Kinsman concerning you.
COMMENTARY: Honorary kinsman. Lasthenes led the mercenaries who fought for
King Demetrius, now promoted to Chief Minister—somebody else that Demetrius
would rather have as a friend than an enemy.
32) ‘King Demetrius sends greetings to his
COMMENTARY: A subtle hint to Jonathan
that nominal father outranks nominal brother.
Kings generally don’t have living fathers. For a king in those days to call someone
father means proclaiming him chief advisor.
33) Upon the Jewish nation, who are our
friends and observe their obligations to us, we have decided to bestow benefits
because of the good will they show us.
COMMENTARY: Because of the immediate
gifts, at least.
34) Therefore we confirm their possession, not
only of the territory of Judea, but also of the three districts of Aphairema,
Lydda, and Ramathaim. These districts, together with all their dependencies,
are hereby transferred from Samaria to Judea for those who offer sacrifices in
Jerusalem in lieu of the royal taxes the king used to receive yearly from the
produce of earth and trees.
COMMENTARY: Jonathan gets to keep
everything that Judas conquered.
Aphrairema has also been called, in various places in the Bible, Ophrah,
Ephron, and Ephraim, now known as et-Taiyibeh, five miles northeast of
Bethel. Lydda is also called Lod, the
hometown of Aeneas whom Peter later cured, and it lies ten miles southeast of
Joppa. Ramaithaim has also been called
Ramaithai-Zophim and Arimathea in the Bible (home of Jesus’s Pharisee uncle,
the metal-merchant who donated his tomb.)
By accepting sacrifices for blessing the royal line in
lieu of taxes, Demetrius declares that he has no intention of infringing upon
their religious rights, so long as they stay on his side. He also makes a distinction between the Jews
of the Maccabee faction who sacrificed in Jerusalem, versus the Samaritans who
made sacrifices at Mt. Gerazim, and the Hellenized Jews who sacrificed in Greek
or Phoenician temples.
35) From payment of the other things that
would henceforth be due to us, namely, the tithes and taxes, as well as the
salt tax, and the crown tax—from all these we grant them release.
COMMENTARY: So they will not be a
tribute nation cash-cow, but an independent buffer-state.
36) Henceforth and forever not one of
these provisions shall ever be revoked.
COMMENTARY: So long as the Seleucids
stay in power, at least. But this gives
the Judeans a powerful incentive to protect the empire for the long-haul—if Demetrius
keeps his word this time.
37) See to it, therefore, that a copy of these
instructions be made and given to Jonathan. Let it be displayed on the holy
mountain in a conspicuous place.’”
COMMENTARY: The “holy mountain” would
mean Mt. Zion, the easternmost of the two hills which holds Jerusalem. They would most likely engrave the copy in
brass for displaying.
Overall the concessions that Demetrius makes are
somewhat less than the ones he promised if Jonathan would not go over to
Alexander, but more realistic and therefore more valuable.
38) When King Demetrius saw that the land was peaceful
under his rule and that he had no opposition, he dismissed his entire army,
each to his own home, except the foreign troops which he had hired from the
islands of the nations. So all the soldiers who had served under his
predecessors became hostile to him.
COMMENTARY: Standard practice, in the
old days, would have a king send the draftees back to their farms and villages
at the end of a war. The mercenaries,
however, had no other trade and could make a good core for a new army should
the need arise, and if you dismissed them, they’d only go to work for the next
guy to pay them—possibly your enemies.
However, these native soldiers had fought so long, under multiple kings, that
they no longer had any other trade left.
He just released a whole army of battle-hardened men into unemployment.
39) When a certain Trypho, who had
previously supported Alexander, saw that all the troops were grumbling against
Demetrius, he went to Imalkue the Arabian, who was raising Alexander’s young
COMMENTARY: Several other sources
contemporary to 1 Maccabees also mentioned public bitterness against Demetrius
II for sloth and cruelty, so the soldiers weren’t alone in their complaints. With or without democracy, rulers can only
give orders by the consent of the people they rule. Every so often they forget
that they are few and their subjects many.
Trypho at this point bore the name Diodotus and would earn the surname Tryphos
at a later point. One source says that
he gave the name to himself at a moment of triumph, but the name translates, at
best, as “Soft” or “Delicate” and at worst “Debauched”, so I struggle to find
the reason why he would apply this to himself after a bloody victory. Maybe he hoped to put war aside after a grand
40) Trypho kept urging Imalkue to hand over the boy to
him, so that he might succeed his father as king. He told him of all that
Demetrius had done and of the hostility his soldiers had for him; and he
remained there for many days.
COMMENTARY: Imalkue might have been son or heir either to
Diocles or Zabdiel, left in charge of Alexander Balas’s half-royal child. Like princesses, princes made good pawns in power
struggles, except that they only remained such in childhood (Demetrius I being
an example of what happened when you tried to hold a prince hostage past his
expiration date.) Whoever seized control
of one hoped not only to rule in his stead as his steward, but also to raise
him to favor the same policies that one did oneself.
41) Meanwhile Jonathan sent the request to King Demetrius
to withdraw the troops in the citadel from Jerusalem and from the other
strongholds, for they were constantly waging war on Israel.
COMMENTARY: So apparently in return for
the concessions he’d gained, regarding tribute and such, he had given up the
siege. Now he’s asking politely for
Demetrius to hold up his end of the bargain.
42) Demetrius, in turn, sent this word to
Jonathan: “I will do not only this for you and your nation, but I will greatly
honor you and your nation when I find the opportunity.
COMMENTARY: “When I find the
opportunity” means, “I’ve got other things on my mind right now—namely lots of
people trying to kill me!” No doubt Jonathan
knew this and timed his request right when Demetrius would need him most.
43) Now, therefore, you will do well to send men to fight
for me, because all my troops have revolted.”
COMMENTARY: Yeah, that’s kind of a tight
situation to be in! For that matter, who
knows what side the men in the Jerusalem garrison are on right now?
44) So Jonathan sent three thousand good
fighting men to him at Antioch. When they came to the king, he was delighted
over their arrival.
COMMENTARY: So would anyone feel at
suddenly having a fighting chance of literal survival. Jonathan, of course, could have sent a larger
force, but he could always make the excuse, “I’ve got to hold back some troops
to keep an eye on that garrison you left behind; they’ve caused trouble before,
you know,” digging his point in deeper.
At this point, though, Demetrius has to take any help he can get. Still, by “good fighting men” the writer
means experienced veterans, top of the line.
45) The populace, one hundred and twenty
thousand strong, massed in the center of the city in an attempt to kill the
COMMENTARY: Quite an impressive number,
against three thousand plus the mercenaries.
But we don’t know how many mercenaries Demetrius had. Also, although now liberally salted with
seasoned veterans, the townsfolk would also include quite a few people without
military training trying to learn in a hurry.
46) So the king took refuge in the palace,
while the populace gained control of the main streets of the city and prepared
COMMENTARY: Palaces were, after all,
pretty but still quite functional fortresses within the larger fortress of
their walled cities.
47) Then the king called the Jewish force
to his aid. They all rallied around him and spread out through the city. On that
day they killed about a hundred thousand in the city.
COMMENTARY: One third of those thronged
against them, if one can believe the numbers.
But histories of that period, under any nation, were never accurate
about numbers engaged in war. It’s always, “We beat them by a landslide despite
being woefully outnumbered” no matter who tells the tale.
48) At the same time, they set the city on
fire and took much spoil. Thus they saved the king.
COMMENTARY: At the expense of his
capital, but they got him out alive. And
the spoil would relieve him of the responsibility of paying them, at the
expense of his own rebellious citizens.
49) When the populace saw that the Jewish
force controlled the city, they lost courage and cried out to the king in
supplication, 50) “Extend the hand
of friendship to us, and make the Jews stop attacking us and the city.” 51) So they threw down their weapons and made peace. The
Jews thus gained honor in the eyes of the king and all his subjects, and they
became renowned throughout his kingdom. Finally they returned to Jerusalem with
COMMENTARY: Feared, at least. But fear passes. It’s not a reliable guarantee of cooperation.
52) But when King Demetrius was sure of
his royal throne, and the land was peaceful under his rule, 53) he broke all his promises and became estranged from
Jonathan. Instead of repaying Jonathan for all the favors he had received from
him, he caused him much distress.
COMMENTARY: Who didn’t see that coming?
54) After this, Trypho returned and brought with him the
young boy Antiochus, who became king and put on the diadem.
COMMENTARY: With him, of course, ruling
in the child’s name.
55) All the soldiers whom Demetrius had
discharged rallied around Antiochus and fought against Demetrius, who was
routed and fled.
COMMENTARY: Trypho had already built up
a camp near Chalcis on the outskirts of Arabia.
At first his small army could only conduct raids on nearby towns;
Demetrius regarded him as a bandit chieftain, and ordered his arrest, but paid
him no further mind than that. Yet more
and more soldiers rallied to him till he became a force that Demetrius had no
choice but to reckon with. Then that
force that made him run for his life, by some accounts to Seleucia, by others
56) Trypho captured the elephants and
COMMENTARY: Which Demetrius could only
have in the first place by violating the Treaty of Magnesia which Rome had
forced on Antiochus the Great. He had
probably stolen the poor beasts from his erstwhile father-in-law.
57) Then young Antiochus wrote to
Jonathan: “I confirm you in the high priesthood and appoint you ruler over the
four districts, and to be one of the King’s Friends.”
COMMENTARY: Most likely Typho wrote this
and signed the little boy’s name.
So now Jonathan has been officially confirmed by three kings at each other’s
throats. And he’s been “Friends” with
all of them. And has fought all of
them. So far we’ve been talking about
just how far we can trust those kings, but now I’m wondering just how far we
can trust Jonathan the Dissembler.
Still, that’s politics for you, and they all know the game.
58) He also sent him gold dishes and a
table service, gave him the right to drink from gold cups, to dress in royal
purple, and to wear a gold buckle.
COMMENTARY: Haven’t we heard this
somewhere before? But drinking from gold
cups is a new one. It doesn’t sound very
practical, at first blush, except that theoretically drinking from one can ease
arthritis. I thought this was an old
wive’s tale, but apparently not. Doctors
do use gold compounds to treat rheumatoid arthritis, at least, and such
compounds could theoretically form if one drinks milk from such a cup. I wouldn’t recommend it, though, considering
how often miners and prospectors use arsenic to separate gold from ore.
59) Likewise, he made Jonathan’s brother
Simon governor of the region from the Ladder of Tyre to the borders of Egypt.
COMMENTARY: That one is also new, and
still more practical! The Ladder of Tyre
(modern-day Ras-en-Naqurah) is a juncture between mountains and sea, requiring
the coastal road to climb in a series of steps.
This gift enabled the Maccabees to control the coast from Syria to
60) Jonathan set out and traveled through the province of
West-of-Euphrates and its cities,
and all the forces of Syria espoused his cause as allies. When he arrived at
Askalon, the citizens welcomed him with pomp.
COMMENTARY: West-of-Euphrates means Palestine
and Coelesyria, but not Upper Syria. The
citizens of Askalon, you might recall, welcomed Jonathan before, the last time
he fought Demetrius.
61) But when he set out for Gaza, the
people of Gaza shut him out. So he besieged it, and burned and plundered its
COMMENTARY: Gaza’s original name, Azzah,
means “The Strong”. The southernmost of
the five Philistine cities, it has always been a formidable fortress, and they
had every reason to think themselves safe.
It took Alexander the Great two months to besiege. But it might not yet have developed the
suburbs that it did in Jonathan’s day, which lay outside of the
fortifications. So they had much more to
lose this time.
62) Then the people of Gaza appealed to Jonathan, and he
granted them terms of peace. He took the sons of their leaders as hostages and
sent them to Jerusalem. He then traveled on through the province as far as
COMMENTARY: As mentioned before,
hostage-taking was a civilized affair in those days. By medieval times it had evolved into the
squire system, where nobles took over raising each other’s sons when adolescence
hit, conveniently enough about the age when sons decide that other people’s
fathers are cool and their own Dad’s an idiot.
But notice that he’s sending them to Jerusalem, not handing them over to
Trypho. He’s acting on Trypho’s behalf,
but he’s got a lot more leeway than the mere head of a vassal state.
By going all the way to Damascus he’s going beyond the obligations of his
treaty, as this lies far from his home.
But it’s always good to give people a little more than they expect of
you, if you want to inspire their loyalty.
63) Jonathan heard that the generals of
Demetrius had come with a strong force to Kadesh in Galilee, intending to
remove him from office. 64)
So he went to meet them, leaving his brother Simon in
COMMENTARY: Kadesh was a sanctuary-city. Perhaps Demetrius hoped to find people not as
loyal to Jonathan as they might be elsewhere.
encamped against Beth-zur, attacked it for many days, and shut in the
COMMENTARY: Beth-zur and the Citadel in
Jerusalem were the only two places that still had foreign garrisons. Since Demetrius has failed in his promise to
disband these, the Maccabees have taken it into their own hands to take care of
66) They appealed to him, and he granted them terms of
peace. He expelled them from the city, took possession of it, and put a
COMMENTARY: Over and over I notice the
mention of people suing for peace from Jonathan. I don’t remember that happening so much with
Judas. Perhaps everybody’s just gotten
more diplomatic with time. Or perhaps Judas
just didn’t bother with the subtleties.
67) Meanwhile, Jonathan and his army
pitched their camp near the waters of Gennesaret, and at daybreak they went to
the plain of Hazor.
COMMENTARY: The “Waters of Gennesaret”
is another name for the Sea of Galilee, which is actually not a sea at all, being
a freshwater body, but what we’d call a Great Lake. The plain of Hazor drew its name from an
ancient Canaanite city, destroyed and occasionally rebuilt as a Jewish city.
68) There the army of the foreigners met
him on the plain. Having first detached an ambush in the mountains, this army
mounted a frontal attack. 69)
Then those in ambush rose out of their places and
joined in the battle.
COMMENTARY: The “foreigners” would be
Demetrius’s standing army of mercenaries.
It’s always demoralizing to suddenly discover that the enemy has twice
the number that you originally thought, and to learn this right when you’re
tired and the other guy’s reinforcements are fresh. Once again, war is really about who can seize
the other side’s morale.
70) All of Jonathan’s men fled; no one
stayed except the army commanders Mattathias, son of Absalom, and Judas, son of
COMMENTARY: A different historian of the
time said fifty men, not three; probably the commanders Mattathias and Judas had
their own men with them, loyal to their households.
71) Jonathan tore his clothes, threw dust
on his head, and prayed.
COMMENTARY: Tearing his clothes would
express his distress to God, and throwing dust on his head would express
penitence for any sins that stood in the way of winning God’s favor. Or so it would mean for any ordinary
person. Levitical law forbade the High
Priest from baring his head in public or rending his clothes on purpose. To do these things meant an extremity that
surpassed all the usual rules.
That is one thing that Christians often don’t understand about the Old Testament
in the context of Jewish understanding.
We see it as strict and unyielding, but in fact the Jews understand it
as the most extreme threshold from which God begins, walking away from this
towards us as mercy prompts.
Jonathan broke this rule in the same way that
Queen Esther broke the rule not to approach the king unless invited, hoping on
love and compassion to allow an exception in great need. And if one as flawed as King Ahaesuerus could
express mercy to his favorite queen, then how much more would God love His
72) Then he went back to the battle and
routed them, and they fled.
COMMENTARY: When he has his soul right
again, he can fight. And he can win.
73) Those of his men who were running away
saw it and returned to him; and with him they pursued the enemy as far as their
camp in Kadesh, and there they encamped.
COMMENTARY: They got their morale
back. And the other side lost theirs.
74) About three thousand of the foreign
troops fell on that day. Then Jonathan returned to Jerusalem.
Regardless of what the real numbers might have been, Jonathan has
secured his flank.