Chapter 11

1 Maccabees 11

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 route. 

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 while.

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 kingdom.

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 precaution.

  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 originally. 

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 compromised.


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 possible.

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 Friends.

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 away.



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 pretending to.



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 father Lasthenes.

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 son Antiochus.

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 final stroke?



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 king.

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 for battle.

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 much plunder.

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 to Cilicia.



56) Trypho captured the elephants and occupied Antioch.

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 Egypt.



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 suburbs.

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 Damascus.

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 the province.

COMMENTARY:  Kadesh was a sanctuary-city.  Perhaps Demetrius hoped to find people not as loyal to Jonathan as they might be elsewhere.



65) Simon encamped against Beth-zur, attacked it for many days, and shut in the inhabitants.

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 this.



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 garrison there.

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 Chalphi.

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 Bride Israel!



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.


COMMENTARY:  Regardless of what the real numbers might have been, Jonathan has secured his flank.

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