Ver. 1. John. He was afterwards surnamed Hircanus, and succeeded his father in both his dignities of high priest and prince. He conquered the Edomites, and obliged them to a conformity with the Jews in religion; and destroyed the schismatical temple of the Samaritans. Ch.
--- He was the eldest son and successor of Simon. W.
--- Gazara, the same with Gaza, (M.) or Gadara, where John resided. He came to announce the ravages of the enemy.
Ver. 3. Be you. Gr. and Syr. "you, by mercy of God, are of a proper age. Be you instead of me and my brother; (Jonathas, with whom Simon had governed. C.) and going out, fight valiantly for," &c. H.
Ver. 4. Horsemen. This is the first time we find them in the army. Judas had only infantry, as more conformable to the law; (Deut. xvii. Tournem.) or he had not been able to procure any. H.
Ver. 6. He, John. Ch.
--- A leader must be ever ready to set his men a pattern, which they will be ashamed not to follow. H.
Ver. 8. Holy. Rom. edit. expresses this word, (C.) which Grabe supplies. H.
--- The priests sounded, (C.) and God fulfilled his promise of victory. Num. x. 9. M.
--- Hold: Gedor. C.
Ver. 9. Cedron, otherwise called Gedor, the city that Cendebeus was fortifying. Ch.
--- The same mistake, (C.) if it be one, (H.) is made in Greek, C. xv. 39.
CedronCedron. Heb. nachal Kidron, may signify, "the shady torrent," or "vale," as it is styled by Josephus. It does not take its name from cedars. It is dry in summer, and when filled with water, in only three steps across. Doubdan xxvii. --- Cedron, to the east and south of Jerusalem, where Topheth and the sepulchres of the poor, and all unclean things, were placed. Here the pagans burnt their children in honour of Moloch. See 3 K. xv. 13. 2 Par. xxix. 16. and xxx. 14.
Ver. 10. Towers of wood, (C.) erected for sentinels. Grot.
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. 14. Sabath, now called Sebeth, corresponding to January and February. C.
Ver. 15. Doch or duk, (H.) in Syr. means "a watch tower." Grot.
--- Josephus styles it Dagon. It was not far from Jericho, over which Ptolemee governed. He wished to rule over all the country, by calling in the Syrians. C.
Ver. 16. Plentifully. Lit. "were inebriated." But this expression often denotes no more than taking a moderate sufficiency, (H.) or making good cheer, (Gen. xliii. 34. John ii. 10. Lyr. T. C.) without any excess. Ps. lxiv. 10. S. Aug. q. 144. Gen.
--- The first and last years of Simon were disturbed; the rest were spent in peace. He began A. 170. C. xiii. 41. W.
--- Nothing can be added to the praise bestowed upon this great man. C. xiv. 4. &c. Josephus (C.) and the author of 4 Mac. i. (or xx. Arab. H.) give a fabulous account of the siege of Doch. Ant. xiii. 14. and Bel. i. 2. See Salien, A. 3919. and Usher, 3869.
Ver. 17. Treachery. Syr. "crime." Gr. also, "revolt." It seems that king Antiochus participated in this murder, and had promised the government of the country for a reward.
Ver. 24. Father. Such annals were kept; and from these Josephus has collected his account of the latter times. C.
--- Some think that the Fourth B. of Mac. contains an extract of the work here mentioned. Six. Bib. i. Read 2 B. i. 1. W.
--- What is preserved in the seven middle chapters in the Arabic version is given by Calmet who omits the 19 first and 32 last chapters. The whole has been published by Desprez. It differs in many points from Josephus, in the history of Hircan. A. 3869, Sidetes besieged the new governor in Jerusalem, and after granting him a truce, during the octave of tabernacles, makes peace on very hard terms. Hircan takes money from the tomb of David, or rather from the secret treasures of the kings of Juda, and attends the king in his expedition into Persia, where Sidetes is slain, and the Macedonian yoke is entirely thrown off. A. 3874. The pontiff obliges the Idumeans to receive circumcision the following year. In 3877, he renews the alliance with the Romans. 4 B. iii. Soon after, the Jews write to their brethren in Alexandria. 2 B. i. 10. In 3894, Hircan undertakes the siege of Samaria, which his two sons continue. They defeat Antiochus of Cizicum, while Hircan puts Lathyrus to flight, and Samaria is razed to the ground. After a reign of twenty-nine years, Hircan dies. A. 3898. Eus. Dem. viii. 2. C.
--- Aristobulus, Alex. and Hircan, his children, succeed in order. Alexander Janneus, the son of the last, reigns prosperously, and his widow is afterwards regent for nine years. Her eldest son, Hircan, being opposed by Aristobulus, the interference of Pompey is desired. He takes the latter prisoner to Rome, A. 3955, when Augustus came into the world.
--- Cæsar being made dictator, liberated Aristobulus, who was now pontiff; but Pompey caused him, and Alex. his son, to be slain. Antipater, who had adhered to Hircan, procures Phasael and Herod, his sons, to be made governors of Judea and Galilee. The latter married Mariamne, daughter of Hircan, and the last of the Asmonean family, whom he afterwards put to death. He wrests the kingdom from Aristobolus; and having offended the people by some heathenish structures in compliment to Augustus, endeavours to please them by rebuilding the temple, A. 3982. Not long after, Christ appeared; and thus we are brought to the more happy days of the gospel. H.