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

By Shailer Mathews | Go to book overview

del from the surrounding country. He also fortified Adida1 which controlled the road between Jerusalem and Joppa. From being a high priest freed from tribute, the head of a veteran army, the captain- general of Syria, and the ethnarch of his people, it was but a short step to becoming a high priest, the head of an independent people.

Ambition of Jonathan.

Nor was his purpose unobserved. Trypho was unwilling that the Jewish people should thus become independent, and at the head of a large force marched on Jerusalem.2 At Bethshean 3 Jonathan met him at the head of the largest army the state had yet produced. Unwilling to risk an open battle, Trypho used treachery. Under pretence of friendship he induced Jonathan to go to Ptolemais with only a small bodyguard. No sooner had Jonathan entered the city than the gates were closed, his men were slaughtered, and he was made a prisoner. Having thus his opponent in his power, Trypho at once undertook to destroy the Jewish forces near Bethshean, but though without their leader the soldiers prepared for battle and faced the Syrians so resolutely that Trypho fell back, probably upon Ptolemais. The Jewish troops thereupon returned to Judea unmolested and prepared for the worst their heathen neighbours could prepare. With both of the rival kings of Syria its enemies, with the Greek cities threatening war, with its leader a captive in the hands of the Syrians, the little state saw little in its future but destruction.

Arrest of Jonathan.

____________________
1
El Haditheh, about four miles east of Ludd, in the edge of the maritime plain.
2
1 Macc. 12 : 39 sq.
3
Beisan.

-46-

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