“Then Jonathan set out and traveled beyond the river. He traveled among the towns. All the army of Syria gathered to him as allies. When he came to Askalon, the people of the city met him and paid him honor. From there he departed to Gaza, but the people of Gaza shut him out. So he besieged it. He burned its suburbs with fire and plundered them. Then the people of Gaza pleaded with Jonathan so he made peace with them. He took the sons of their rulers as hostages. He sent them to Jerusalem. He passed through the country as far as Damascus.”
Jonathan crossed the Jordan River, where all the Syrian troops joined him. The people of Askalon, one of the 5 Philistine cities on the coast, received him well and honored him. However, the people of Gaza, another old Philistine city, did not treat him well so that he besieged the city and burned its suburbs. Finally they asked for peace but Jonathan took the sons of the rulers as hostages, sending them to Jerusalem. He seems to have gone anywhere he wanted up as far north as Damascus.
“Then Jonathan left there. He encamped against Askalon, where the people of the city came out to meet him with a great pomp. Jonathan and those with him returned to Jerusalem with a large amount of booty. When King Alexander heard of these things, he honored Jonathan still more. He sent to him a golden buckle, such as it is the custom to give to the king’s kinsmen. He also gave him Ekron and all its environs as his possession.”
Askalon had been one of the 5 major Philistine cities on the coast. There the people came out to praise Jonathan. Obviously, when he got back to Jerusalem they had a big celebration because he had brought back a large amount of booty. When King Alexander I heard about his activities in defeating the governor of King Demetrius I, he honored him by giving him a gold buckle as a token of his friendship. Now Jonathan was one of the great friends of the king, almost a relative. King Alexander I gave Jonathan the land of Ekron which was the most northern Philistine city. It almost seems like this is the completion of the wars of David against the Philistines.