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AT the same time that Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes, had a quarrel with the sixth Ptolemy about his right to the whole country of Syria, a great sedition fell among the men of power in Judea, and they had a contention about obtaining the government; while each of those that were of dignity could not endure to be subject to their equals. However, Onias, one of the high priests, got the better, and cast the sons of Tobias out of the city; who fled to Antiochus, and besought him to make use of them for his leaders, and to make an expedition into Judea. The king being thereto disposed beforehand, complied with them, and came upon the Jews with a great army, and took their city by force, and slew a great multitude of those that favored Ptolemy, and sent out his soldiers to plunder them without mercy. He also spoiled the temple, and put a stop to the constant practice of offering a daily sacrifice of expiation for three years and six months. But Onias, the high priest, fled to Ptolemy
However, at another time, when Antiochus was gone upon an expedition against the Medes, and so gave Hyrcanus an opportunity of being revenged upon him, he immediately made an attack upon the cities of Syria, as thinking, what proved to be the case with them, that he should find them empty of god troops. So he took Medaba and Samea, with the towns in their neighborhood, as also Shechem, and Gerizzim; and besides these, [he subdued] the nation of the Cutheans, who dwelt round about that temple which was built in imitation of the temple at Jerusalem; he also took a great many other cities of Idumea, with Adoreon and Marissa.
When Hyrcanus and Antipater were thus deprived of their hopes from the Arabians, they transferred the same to their adversaries; and because Pompey had passed through Syria, and was come to Damascus, they fled to him for assistance; and, without any bribes, they made the same equitable pleas that they had used to Aretas, and besought him to hate the violent behavior of Aristobulus, and to bestow the kingdom on him to whom it justly belonged, both on account of his good character and on account of his superiority in age. However, neither was Aristobulus wanting to himself in this case, as relying on the bribes that Scaurus had received: he was also there himself, and adorned himself after a manner the most agreeable to royalty that he was able. But he soon thought it beneath him to come in such a servile manner, and could not endure to serve his own ends in a way so much more abject than he was used to; so he departed from Diospolis.
But as for Alexander, that son of Aristobulus who ran away from Pompey, in some time he got a considerable band of men together, and lay heavy upon Hyrcanus, and overran Judea, and was likely to overturn him quickly; and indeed he had come to Jerusalem, and had ventured to rebuild its wall that was thrown down by Pompey, had not Gabinius, who was sent as successor to Scaurus into Syria, showed his bravery, as in many other points, so in making an expedition against Alexander; who, as he was afraid that he would attack him, so he got together a large army, composed of ten thousand armed footmen, and fifteen hundred horsemen. He also built walls about proper places; Alexandrium, and Hyrcanium, and Machorus, that lay upon the mountains of Arabia.
But now as Gabinius was marching to the war against the Parthians, he was hindered by Ptolemy, whom, upon his return from Euphrates, he brought back into Egypt, making use of Hyrcanus and Antipater to provide every thing that was necessary for this expedition; for Antipater furnished him with money, and weapons, and corn, and auxiliaries; he also prevailed with the Jews that were there, and guarded the avenues at Pelusium, to let them pass. But now, upon Gabinius's absence, the other part of Syria was in motion, and Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, brought the Jews to revolt again. Accordingly, he got together a very great army, and set about killing all the Romans that were in the country; hereupon Gabinius was afraid, (for he was come back already out of Egypt, and obliged to come back quickly by these tumults,) and sent Antipater, who prevailed with some of the revolters to be quiet. However, thirty thousand still continued with Alexander, who was himself eager to fight also; acc
In the mean time, Crassus came as successor to Gabinius in Syria. He took away all the rest of the gold belonging to the temple of Jerusalem, in order to furnish himself for his expedition against the Parthians. He also took away the two thousand talents which Pompey had not touched; but when he had passed over Euphrates, he perished himself, and his army with him; concerning which affairs this is not a proper time to speak [more largely].