The First Book of the Maccabees
Then John came up from Gazara, and told Simon his father what Cendebeus had done against their people.
And Simon called his two eldest sons, Judas and John, and said to them: I and my brethren, and my father’s house, have fought against the enemies of Israel from our youth even to this day: and things have prospered so well in our hands that we have delivered Israel oftentimes.
And now I am old, but be you instead of me, and my brethren, and go out, and fight for our nation: and the help from heaven be with you.
Then he chose out of the country twenty thousand fighting men, and horsemen, and they went forth against Cendebeus: and they rested in Modin.
And they arose in the morning, and went into the plain: and behold a very great army of footmen and horsemen came against them, and there was a running river between them.
And he and his people pitched their camp over against them, and he saw that the people were afraid to go over the river, so he went over first: then the men seeing him, passed over after him.
And he divided the people, and set the horsemen in the midst of the footmen: but the horsemen of the enemies were very numerous.
And they sounded the holy trumpets: and Cendebeus and his army were put to flight: and there fell many of them wounded, and the rest fled into the strong hold.
At that time Judas John’s brother was wounded: but John pursued after them, till he came to Cedron, which he had built:
And they fled even to the towers that were in the fields of Azotus, and he burnt them with fire. And there fell of them two thousand men, and he returned into Judea in peace.
Now Ptolemee the son of Abobus was appointed captain in the plain of Jericho, and he had abundance of silver and gold,
For he was son in law of the high priest.
And his heart was lifted up, and he designed to make himself master of the country, and he purposed treachery against Simon, and his sons, to destroy them.
Now Simon, as he was going through the cities that were in the country of Judea, and taking care for the good ordering of them, went down to Jericho, he and Mathathias and Judas his sons, in the year one hundred and seventy-seven, the eleventh month: the same is the month Sabath.
And the son of Abobus received them deceitfully into a little fortress, that is called Doch which he had built: and he made them a great feast, and hid men there.
And when Simon and his sons had drunk plentifully, Ptolemee and his men rose up and took their weapons, and entered into the banqueting place, and slew him, and his two sons, and some of his servants.
And he committed a great treachery in Israel, and rendered evil for good.
And Ptolemee wrote these things and sent to the king that he should send him an army to aid him, and he would deliver him the country, and their cities, and tributes.
And he sent others to Gazara to kill John: and to the tribunes he sent letters to come to him, and that he would give them silver, and gold, and gifts.
And he sent others to take Jerusalem, and the mountain of the temple.
Now one running before, told John in Gazara, that his father and his brethren were slain, and that he hath sent men to kill thee also.
But when he heard it he was exceedingly afraid: and he apprehended the men that came to kill him, and he put them to death: for he knew that they sought to make him away.
And as concerning the rest of the acts of John, and his wars, and the worthy deeds, which he bravely achieved, and the building of the walls, which he made, and the things that he did:
Behold these are written in the book of the days of his priesthood, from the time he was made high priest after his father.