A History of New Testament Times in Palestine, 175 B.C.-70 A.D

By Shailer Mathews | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
JONATHAN AND THE BEGINNINGS OF NATIONALITY (161-143 B.C.1)

Jonathan succeeds Judas.

THE death of Judas was the signal for the members of the Hellenistic party, whom his fierce administration had forced into hiding, to "put forth their heads" and to join exultantly with Alcimus in searching out the followers of the dead leader. Yet the work of Judas was not altogether lost, and in the face of the ruin that had overtaken them, his friends ventured to call upon his brother Jonathan, rightly surnamed Apphus, "the wary," to succeed to the leadership of their forlorn hope.2

First ex­ ploits of Jonathan.

The first exploits of the new chief were of no political significance. He was an outlaw at the head of a band -- or comitatus -- of outlaws. To escape from Bacchides, he made his camp in the stretch of desolate mountainous pasturage of Tekoah, between Bethlehem and the Dead Sea.3 As it soon became evident that they would there be exposed to the attacks of Bacchides, Jonathan sent his baggage in charge of his brother John across Jordan, into the land of the Nabateans

____________________
1
General References: Schürer, The Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, Div. I. I. 234-255; Graetz, History of the Jews, I. 508-520; Ewald, History of Israel, V.324-333; Renan, History of the People of Israel, bk. viii. ch. 18.
2
1 Macc. 9:23-31.
3
Perhaps Safra es Sana. Conder, Judas Maccabæus, 163; Buhl, Geographie des alten, Palestina, 158; Palestine Exploration Fund Memoirs, III.325.

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