Ver. 1. Two. It is not easy to conceive why Josephus and Grotius place this expedition before the death of young Antiochus. C. xiii. 31. 41. Demetrius was become contemptible, and had a mind to regain his reputation by attacking the Parthians, who had taken many provinces under the prudent conduct of Mithridates. The Greeks were impatient of this yoke. Many fled to Demetrius, and he gained several victories; but after two years, was perfidiously taken by a general of the Parthians while treating of peace. Mithridates took him for a warning through the places which seemed favourable to him; but afterwards he sent him into Hyrcania, gave him his daughter in marriage, with the badges of royalty, and promises of restoring him to his kingdom.
--- Tryphon. After the misfortune of Demetrius, he abandoned himself to his pleasures; and his adherents put themselves under Cleopatra, the wife of his rival, who resided at Seleucia, upon the Orontes. Usher, A. 3863. Just. xxxvi. and xxxviii. C.
Ver. 2. Arsaces. This was the common title of the Parthians kings, after the founder of that powerful monarchy. Just. xli.
Ver. 4. Days. Few princes have obtained such a character: for how shall they give content to all? C.
--- Simon had governed two years in troubles, but henceforward enjoyed peace, till Sidetes disturbed it. W.
Ver. 5. Sea, or to all places which they went by water. The port was however very indifferent.
Ver. 7. Captives, taken from the enemy; (C.) or he liberated many Jews. W.
--- Gazara, or Gadara. C.
Ver. 9. Land. The judges (H.) strove to promote peace.
--- Robes. Spoils which they had taken; (C.) or they were ever ready to defend the country, though peace now prevailed.
Ver. 10. Ammunition: provisions and engines of war. C.
--- Earth: Judea and the environs. H.
Ver. 12. Fig-tree: a picture of perfect peace. 3 K. iv. 25.
Ver. 20. Princes. Cleomenes, the last king, died in Egypt, A. 3784, and the tyrant Nabis perished long before this time. Grot.
--- Cities. Many depended on Sparta, the metropolis. W.
Ver. 23. Public. Lit. "in the distinct books of the people." Gr. "open for inspection;" apodedeigmenoiV. H.
--- Patentibus seu publicis. Vat.
--- The substance of the letter is here given.
Ver. 24. Of Rome is not in Gr. or Syr. and it is allowed that the sequel seems rather to express the gratitude of the Jews to Simon. C.
--- When peace was established, and friendship with the Romans and Lacedemonians renewed, the whole nation in gratitude to Simon, who now remained alone of all the sons of Mathathias, confirm him in the office of high priest for ever, or during his life; and decree that his progeny shall enjoy the same. v. 41. 49. W.
--- They should not be deposed, like Onias III. &c.
Ver. 26. He. Gr. "He has established: (Syr. "acted valiantly." C.) He, his brethren, and his father's house, and they have routed the," &c. as C. xvi. 2. H.
Ver. 27. Elul, the last of the civil year, A. 3863.
--- At. Lit. "in Asaramel," (H.) "the court of Mello," (C.) or "the prince of God," (Serar.) as if it were another Hebrew title of Simon. Prot. "At Saramel." Marg. "or Jerusalem, peradventure,...or the common hall," &c. H.
Ver. 34. Gazara, or Gadara. C. xiii. 51.
--- Reparation. Lit. "correction." H.
--- But correctionem would agree better with the Gr. than correptionem.
AzotusAzotus, or as the Heb. writes, Asdod, on the Mediterranean, was noted for the temple of Dagon, (1 K. v. 1,) which Jonathas destroyed. Joseph. xxii. 8. C.
Ver. 36. Purify, (castitati.) Syr. "the sanctuary." Grot. divine "worship."
Ver. 39. Things. Gr. joins this with the preceding verse. Some copies have, "all things." He confirmed him in all his rights.
Ver. 41. Prophet. This limitation was proper, as the people had chosen this family. The Jews expected the faithful prophet shortly. C. iv. 46. Mal. iii. 1. Agg. ii. 7. God was pleased that none should appear for some time before that event. C.
--- The high priesthood continued in this family till Herod began to sell it, soon after which Christ appeared. W.
--- The sceptre seemed to belong to Juda. Yet they consent to be governed by Levites, till God signify his will by some prophet. M.
--- This consent of the nation, in which Juda was most powerful, shews that the sceptre was not departed from his thigh. H.