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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 8

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Treaty with the Romans. * 1Judas had heard of the reputation of the Romans. They were valiant fighters and acted amiably to all who took their side. They established a friendly alliance with all who applied to them. 2He was also told of their battles and the brave deeds that they had performed against the Gauls,* conquering them and forcing them to pay tribute. 3They had gotten possession of the silver and gold mines in Spain, 4and by planning and persistence had conquered the whole country, although it was very remote from their own. They had crushed the kings who had come against them from the far corners of the earth and had inflicted on them severe defeat, and the rest paid tribute to them every year. 5Philip* and Perseus, king of the Macedonians, and the others who opposed them in battle had been overwhelmed and subjugated. 6Antiochus* the Great, king of Asia, who had fought against them with a hundred and twenty elephants and with cavalry and chariots and a very great army, had been defeated by them. 7They had taken him alive and obliged him and the kings who succeeded him to pay a heavy tribute, to give hostages and a section of 8Lycia, Mysia,* and Lydia from among their best provinces. The Romans took these from him and gave them to King Eumenes. 9 *When the men of Greece had planned to come and destroy them, 10the Romans discovered it, and sent against the Greeks a single general who made war on them. Many were wounded and fell, and the Romans took their wives and children captive. They plundered them, took possession of their land, tore down their strongholds and reduced them to slavery even to this day. 11All the other kingdoms and islands that had ever opposed them they destroyed and enslaved; 12with their friends, however, and those who relied on them, they maintained friendship. They had conquered kings both far and near, and all who heard of their fame were afraid of them. 13In truth, those whom they desired to help to a kingdom became kings, and those whom they wished to depose they deposed; and they were greatly exalted. 14Yet with all this, none of them put on a crown or wore purple as a display of grandeur. 15They had made for themselves a senate house, and every day three hundred and twenty men took counsel, deliberating on all that concerned the people and their well‐being. 16They entrusted their government to one man* every year, to rule over their entire country, and they all obeyed that one, and there was no envy or jealousy among them.

17So Judas chose Eupolemus, son of John, son of Accos, and Jason, son of Eleazar, and sent them to Rome to establish an alliance of friendship with them. i 1 Mc 12, 1f; 15, 15–22 . 18He did this to get rid of the yoke, for it was obvious that the kingdom of the Greeks was subjecting Israel to slavery. 19After making a very long journey to Rome, the envoys entered the senate and spoke as follows: 20“Judas, called Maccabeus, and his brothers, with the Jewish people, have sent us to you to make a peaceful alliance with you, and to enroll ourselves among your allies and friends.” 21The proposal pleased the Romans, 22and this is a copy of the reply they inscribed on bronze tablets and sent to Jerusalem,* to remain there with the Jews as a record of peace and alliance: j 1 Mc 14, 18 .

23“May it be well with the Romans and the Jewish nation at sea and on land forever; may sword and enemy be far from them. 24But if war is first made on Rome, or any of its allies in any of their dominions, 25the Jewish nation will help them wholeheartedly, as the occasion shall demand; 26and to those who wage war they shall not give nor provide grain, arms, money, or ships; this is Rome's decision. They shall fulfill their obligations without receiving any recompense. 27In the same way, if war is made first on the Jewish nation, the Romans will help them willingly, as the occasion shall demand, 28and to those who are attacking them there shall not be given grain, arms, money, or ships; this is Rome's decision. They shall fulfill their obligations without deception. 29On these terms the Romans have made an agreement with the Jewish people. 30But if both parties hereafter decide to add or take away anything, they shall do as they choose, and whatever they shall add or take away shall be valid.

31“Moreover, concerning the wrongs that King Demetrius has done to them, we have written to him thus: ‘Why have you made your yoke heavy upon our friends and allies the Jews? 32If they complain about you again, we will do them justice and make war on you by land and sea.’”

Notes:

i: 1 Mc 12, 1f; 15, 15–22 .

j: 1 Mc 14, 18 .

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