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

By Shailer Mathews | Go to book overview

the southern approach to Jerusalem, Trypho marched around the southern end of the Dead Sea into Gilead, and there, at an unidentified town, Bascama, he killed Jonathan and went back to Syria. There he caused the boy king, Antiochus VI, to be killed, and reigned in name as well as power. Some time afterward Simon took the bones of his brother to Modein and buried them by the side of his father and his brothers, erecting a large monument and seven pyramids in honour of his family.1

It was to be Simon's good fortune, without performing great exploits, to break still more the political dependence of Judea upon Syria and thus to enable Judaism, both outwardly and inwardly, to advance another stage in its evolution. Throughout the quarter of a century of struggle he had borne his share of dangers and anxieties from the time that the dying Mattathias had bidden the four brothers listen to him as their counsellor.2 As it was, the order of the three men's leadership was fortunate. In the days of Judas military daring was the one thing the oppressed nation wanted; in Jonathan's days, a mixture of military daring with more or less unscrupulous diplomacy; but in the days of Simon a man was required who should not only be ready to fight and intrigue, but should also be able to hold foreign politics in equilibrium while he was reconstructing the Jewish state, preparing the way for political independence, and, what was of especial importance, developing a party upon whom his house could rely for support.

The character of Simon.

____________________
1
1 Macc. 13 : 20-30. A restoration of this monument is attempted in Ferguson, History of Architecture ( 3d ed.), I. 282. It is mentioned by Eusebius ( Onomasticon) as still extant.
2
1 Macc. 2 : 65. In the distribution of descriptive titles to the sons, Simon is called the Guide as Judas is called the Hammer ( 1 Macc. 2 : 4).

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