THE MACCABEAN AND HERODIAN AGE
Jonathan's Policy . Jonathan, who succeeded his brother, Judas, in the leadership of the Jewish rebellion, combined great skill and energy with a certain craftiness, which enabled him to profit by every turn in the tortuous politics of Syria. It was an exceedingly corrupt age, and Jonathan adopted the standards and methods of his day. The secure hiding-places in Palestine enabled him to elude the Syrians and to recover from the shock which his cause had received as a result of the death of Judas. Jonathan and his followers took refuge first in the wilderness of Judea (24) and the dry, barren wadies that lead down to the Dead Sea, and later in the jungle of the lower Jordan.(36) Into this thicket of reeds and bushes the Syrian general pursued them. On this strange battle-field Jonathan and his followers were defeated, but by swimming across the Jordan succeeded in escaping pursuit. At another time he was shut up in the fortress of Beth-basi, which Josephus identifies with Beth-hoglah, in the midst of the Jordan valley, a little southeast of Jericho. It is more probably to be identified with some one of the many natural strongholds along the Wady el-Bassah, which leads through the eastern part of the wilderness of Tekoa down toward the Dead Sea.
Basis of Agreement With the Syrians . Finding that pursuit was futile, the Syrian general made a treaty with Jonathan, according to which he was allowed to establish his head-quarters at the ancient fortress of Michmash(85) on the northern borders of Judah and to rule in peace as a local chieftain. He in turn