The letter of King Antiochus IV to the Jews (2 Macc 9:18-9:22)

“Instead King Antiochus wrote to the Jews the following letter, in the form of a supplication. This was its content.

‘To his worthy Jewish citizens,

Antiochus their king and general

Sends hearty greetings and good wishes

For their health and prosperity.

If you and your children are well

And your affairs are as you wish,

I am glad.

As my hope is in heaven,

I remember with affection your esteem and good will.

On my way back from the region of Persia

I suffered an annoying illness.

I have deemed it necessary to take thought

For the general security of all.

I do not despair of my condition.

I have good hope of recovering from my illness.’”

The letter of King Antiochus IV has a different friendly tone. He talked about the worthy Jewish citizens. He wished them health and prosperity. He hoped their children and affairs were in good order. He said that his hope was in heaven. He talked about their good will towards him. Then he mentioned that he had suffered an annoying illness on his way back from Persia. He hoped to recover from his illness. This was the new kinder and gentler King Antiochus IV.

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