Day 198 – 1 Maccabees 11:54-13:11; Psalms 18; Proverbs 3:23–27; Acts 20:1–16

1 Maccabees 11:54-13:11

54 Later, Trypho returned and had with him the young boy Antiochus, who put on the crown and became king. 55 All the troops who had cursed Demetrius gathered around him. They fought against Demetrius, who was put to flight. 56 Trypho then captured the elephants and gained control of Antioch. 57 So Antiochus the younger wrote to Jonathan, saying, “I confirm you in the high priesthood, set you over the four provinces, and you will be one of the king’s friends.” 58 He also sent him gold cups to serve him at table, and gave him authority to drink from these, to dress in purple, and to wear a golden buckle. 59 He then established Simon his brother as general from the Ladder of Tyre to the boundary of Egypt.
  60 Then Jonathan departed and journeyed beyond the river and in the cities. The entire army of Syria gathered around him as allies. When he went into Askelon, the people of the city met him and honored him. 61 From there, he left for Gaza, but when the inhabitants of Gaza shut him out, he besieged the city, set its surrounding fortifications on fire, and plundered them. 62 Thus the men of Gaza pleaded with Jonathan. He made peace with them, took the sons of their governors as hostages, and dispatched them to Jerusalem. Then he traveled through the country, going as far as Damascus.
63 Jonathan also got word the officers of Demetrius had arrived in Kadesh in Galilee with a sizable army. They intended to oust him from office. 64 So he set out to meet them, but he left his brother Simon in the country. 65 Then Simon positioned himself at Beth-zur, and for many days fought against it and blocked it off. 66 Then the people begged him for peace, and he granted it to them. So he cast them out from there, took possession of the city, and placed a garrison in it.
67 Now Jonathan and his soldiers camped by the lake of Gennesaret, and rose early the next morning and marched to the plain of Hazor. 68 Then behold, the foreign army met him in the plain and set up an ambush against him in the mountains. But they themselves met him face to face. 69 Then the men in the ambush rose up from their places and joined the battle. 70 All Jonathan’s men fled. None of them remained except Mattathias, the son of Absalom, and Judas, the son of Chalphi, commanders of the armed forces. 71 So Jonathan tore his garments, poured earth on his head, and prayed. 72 Then he turned back to the battle and put the enemy to flight. 73 When Jonathan’s men who had run away saw this, they returned and joined him in the pursuit of the enemy as far as Kadesh, and there they set up camp. 74 As many as three thousand of the foreign army fell that day. Then Jonathan went back to Jerusalem.
Friendship Renewed with Rome and Sparta
1 When Jonathan saw the time was right, he chose envoys and sent them to Rome to validate and renew friendship with them. 2 Also, he sent letters to Sparta and other localities for the same reasons. 3 So they left for Rome, entered the senate chamber, and said, “Jonathan, the high priest, and the nation of the Jews sent us here to renew the former friendship and alliance between ourselves.” 4 Then the Romans wrote letters to the citizens in every place, so they might send forth the ambassadors to the land of Judah in peace.
5 This is the copy of the letters which Jonathan wrote to the Spartans:
6 “Jonathan the high priest, the elders of the nation, the priests, and the Jewish people to their brothers the Spartans, greetings. 7 Some time earlier, letters were sent to Onias the high priest by Arius, who ruled over you, that you are our brothers, as the attached copy indicates. 8 Onias received the envoy with honor, and he accepted the letters, which plainly showed the alliance and friendship. 9 Therefore, although we do not need these things, since we have the holy books in our hands, 10 we have decided to send and renew our brotherhood and friendship, so we would not be estranged from you. For significant time has elapsed since you sent word to us. 11 Therefore at every opportunity, both on feast days and ordinary days, we remember you unceasingly in the sacrifices we offer and in our prayers, as it is right and proper to remember brothers; 12 for we rejoice in your glory. 13 But many troubles and many wars have surrounded us, and the kings around us have fought against us. 14 We did not wish to trouble you and our other allies and friends with these wars. 15 For we have had help from heaven assisting us, for we were freed from our enemies, and they were humbled. 16 Therefore we chose Numenius son of Antiochus and Antipater son of Jason, and sent them to Rome to renew our former friendship and alliance with them. 17 We also ordered them to go to you, to greet you and give you these letters from us concerning the renewal of our brotherhood. 18 Now then, please send us a reply.”
19 This is the copy of the letters they sent to Onias:
20 “King Arius of the Spartans to Onias the high priest, greetings. 21 It has been put in writing regarding both the Spartans and the Jews that they are brothers, and are both of the family of Abraham. 22 So now that we know this, please write us concerning your welfare. 23 Thus we are writing to you that your cattle and possessions are ours, and ours are yours. Therefore we order our ambassadors to report to you accordingly.”
  Campaigns of Jonathan and Simon
24 Then Jonathan heard the officers of Demetrius had come back with a larger army than before to make war against him. 25 So he marched out of Jerusalem and engaged them in the area around Hamath, giving them no chance to invade his country. 26 So he sent out spies to their encampment. They later returned and told him the army of Demetrius planned to attack the Jews at night. 27 At sunset, Jonathan ordered those with him to stay awake and to be ready with their weapons for a fight during the night. Then he sent out an advance guard to surround the camp. 28 When the enemy got word that Jonathan and his soldiers were ready for battle, they were terrified at heart. So they lit fires in their camp and fled. 29 But Jonathan and his men did not know this until it was morning, for they saw the firelight. 30 So Jonathan chased after them, but could not overtake them, because they crossed over the Eleutherus River. 31 Then Jonathan turned aside against the Arabs, called Zabadeans, and struck them and took their spoils. 32 He then broke camp and marched to Damascus and throughout all that country.
33 Meanwhile, Simon went out and marched as far as Askelon and the fortresses nearby, and turned aside to Joppa and captured it. 34 For he heard they wished to hand over the fortress to the men sent by Demetrius. So he established a garrison there to guard it.
35 When Jonathan returned, he assembled the elders of the people. Together, they decided to build fortresses in Judea, 36 and to make the walls of Jerusalem even higher, and raise a great high wall between the citadel and the city to separate it from the city, so it would be isolated and its garrison could not buy nor sell goods. 37 So they assembled to rebuild the city and part of the wall on the valley to the east that had fallen; thus he repaired the wall that is called Chaphenatha. 38 Simon also built Adida in the Shephelah. They fortified it and set up bolted gates.
Jonathan Captured, Troops Killed
39 Then Trypho sought to rule Asia, to wear the crown, and to stretch forth his hand against King Antiochus. 40 He also took precautions lest Jonathan would not permit it, but wage war against him. So seeking to capture and destroy him, he marched forth to Beth-shan. 41 Then Jonathan went out to meet him with forty thousand soldiers chosen for battle, and he came to Beth-shan. 42 When Trypho saw that he came with a large army, he was afraid to stretch forth his hand against him. 43 So he received him honorably and met him with all his friends. He gave gifts to Jonathan, and ordered his friends and his own troops to obey him as himself. 44 Then he said to Jonathan, “Why have you troubled all these men? We are not at war! 45 Now send them home; but choose a few soldiers for yourself to be with you. Then come with me to Ptolemais, and I will give it over to you along with the rest of the fortresses and the remaining troops and officers. Then I will turn around and go home, for that is why I came here.”
46 So Jonathan believed Trypho, and did as he had said and sent away the troops, who departed for the region of Judah. 47 But he kept three thousand soldiers with him, two thousand of which he left in Galilee, and a thousand who went with him. 48 But when Jonathan entered Ptolemais, the men of the city shut the gates and captured him, and they slew with the sword all who entered with him.
49 Then Trypho sent soldiers and cavalry into Galilee and the Great Plain, to kill all Jonathan’s men. 50 But when the soldiers learned that Jonathan and those with him had been captured and killed, they encouraged each other to keep marching in close formation, ready for attack. 51 But when the pursuers saw them ready to fight for their lives, they retreated. 52 So they all came safely to the land of Judah and cried out for Jonathan and his men. They were exceedingly afraid, and all Israel mourned greatly. 53 Then all the nations surrounding them tried to defeat them, saying, “There is none to lead them or to help them. Now then, let us wage war against them and erase them from memory.”
Simon Leads His People
1 Now Simon learned that Trypho had assembled a huge army to march on the land of Judah and crush it. 2 He saw the people were trembling with fear, so he went to Jerusalem and gathered everyone together. 3 He encouraged them, saying, “You know what my brothers and I and my father’s house have done concerning the laws and the sanctuary. You know, too, the wars and the crises we have seen. 4 This is why all my brothers perished, all for the sake of Israel, and only I am left. 5 Now may my life never be safeguarded in time of trouble, for I am in no way better than my brothers. 6 Thus I will avenge my nation and this sanctuary and your wives and children, for all the nations have hatefully gathered to destroy us.”
  7 Thus he rekindled the spirit of the people when they heard these words. 8 They responded with a loud voice, saying, “You lead us in place of Judas and your brother. 9 Fight our wars, and we will do everything you tell us.” 10 So he gathered all the men of fighting age and rushed to finish the walls of Jerusalem; he fortified the city on all sides. 11 Then he sent Jonathan son of Absalom with a sizable army to Joppa, and he drove out its people and remained there.
Psalms 18

1 For the End; a psalm by David.

2 The heavens declare the glory of God;

The firmament shows the creation of His hands.

3 Day to day utters speech,

And night to night reveals knowledge.

4 There is no speech nor language

Where their voices are not heard.

5 Their proclamation went forth into all the earth,

And their words to the ends of the world.

In the sun He set His tabernacle;

6 And it rejoices exceedingly

Like a bridegroom coming forth from his bridal chamber,

Like a strong man to run a race.

7 Its rising is from one end of heaven,

And its circuit runs to the other end;

And nothing shall be hidden from its heat.

8 The law of the Lord is blameless, converting souls;

The testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making children wise;

9 The ordinances of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;

The commandment of the Lord is bright, enlightening the eyes;

10 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring unto ages of ages;

The judgments of the Lord are true, being altogether just.

11 More to be desired are they than gold and a very precious stone,

Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

12 For indeed Your servant keeps them;

In keeping them there is great reward.

13 Who will understand his transgressions?

Cleanse me from hidden sins,

14 And spare your servant from unnatural sins;

If they have no dominion over me, then I shall be blameless,

And I shall be cleansed from great sin.

15 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

Be always pleasing before You,

O Lord, my helper and my redeemer.

Proverbs 3:23–27

23 My son, do not be careless,

But keep my counsel and thinking,

24 That your soul may live,

And grace may be around your neck.

25 And there will be healing for your flesh

And care for your bones,

26 That you may walk confidently in peace in all your ways,

And your foot may not stumble.

27 For if you sit down, you will be without fear,

And if you lie down, your sleep will be pleasant.

Acts 20:1–16

20 After the uproar had ceased, Paul called the disciples to himself, embraced them, and departed to go to Macedonia. Now when he had gone over that region and encouraged them with many words, he came to Greece and stayed three months. And when the Jews plotted against him as he was about to sail to Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. And Sopater of Berea accompanied him to Asia—also Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia. These men, going ahead, waited for us at Troas. But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days.

Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where [a]they were gathered together. And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. 10 But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, “Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him.” 11 Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed. 12 And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted.

13 Then we went ahead to the ship and sailed to Assos, there intending to take Paul on board; for so he had [b]given orders, intending himself to go on foot. 14 And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene. 15 We sailed from there, and the next day came opposite Chios. The following day we arrived at Samos and stayed at Trogyllium. The next day we came to Miletus. 16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.

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