The response of Sparta and Rome (1 Macc 14:16-14:19)

“When it was heard in Rome, and as far away as Sparta, that Jonathan had died, they were deeply grieved. Then they heard that his brother Simon had become high priest in his place, and was ruling over the country and the towns in it. Thus they wrote to him on bronze tablets to renew with him the friendship and alliance which they had established with his brothers Judas and Jonathan. These were read before the assembly in Jerusalem.”

The people or leaders in Rome and Sparta were upset when they heard that Jonathan had died since they had an alliance with him. However, when they found out that his brother Simon had taken his place, they were relieved. Simon had become the high priest and the ruler of the country and the towns. The Romans and Spartans wrote on bronze tablets to renew their friendship and alliance. Remember that important documents at this time were usually inscribed in bronze. Rome had a good relationship with Jonathan, but it was not clear that Judas had good relations with the Romans. Nevertheless, these new bronze tablets were read before the assembly in Jerusalem.

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