King Antiochus VII and the dispute with Simon (1 Macc 15:25-15:31)

“King Antiochus besieged Dor for the second time. He continued to throw his forces against it. He was making engines of war. He shut Trypho up and kept him from going out or in. Simon sent to King Antiochus two thousand picked troops, to fight for him, with silver and gold and much military equipment. However, King Antiochus refused to receive them. He broke all the agreements he formerly had made with Simon. He became estranged from him. He sent to him Athenobius, one of his friends, to confer with him, saying.

‘You hold control of Joppa and Gazara

And the citadel in Jerusalem.

They are cities of my kingdom.

You have devastated their territory.

You have done great damage in the land.

You have taken possession of many places in my kingdom.

Now then, hand over the cities which you have seized.

Pay the tribute money of the places

That you have conquered outside the borders of Judea.

Or else pay me five hundred talents of silver,

For the destruction that you have caused.

Pay me five hundred talents more

For the tribute money of the cities.

Otherwise we will come and make war on you.’”

Now we are back to the situation at Dor. When Simon heard about the siege there, he sent 2,000 troops with gold and silver as well as military equipment to help King Antiochus VII. However, King Antiochus VII took offense at this. He broke all his agreements with Simon that he had made in writing earlier in this chapter. He sent his friend Athenobius with a message for Simon. He complained that Simon have taken over Joppa, Gaza, and the citadel in Jerusalem. He contended that they were not in Judea. Simon had done a lot of damage. He either wanted those places back or money since Simon had left the borders of Judea and taken parts of his kingdom. However, King Antiochus VII was still not technically in charge since King Demetrius II was in prison and King Trypho was in Dor. He also wanted the tribute from those 3 places. Otherwise he was going to make war on Simon. What a change of heart!

The territory of Ephraim (1 Chr 7:28-7:29)

“The possessions and settlements of Ephraim were Bethel and its towns, eastward to Naaran, and westward to Gezer and its towns, Shechem and its towns, and Ayyah and its towns. They also lived along the borders of the Manassites, Beth-shean and its towns, Taanach and its towns, Megiddo and its towns, Dor and its towns. In these towns lived the sons of Joseph the son of Israel.”

According to Joshua, chapter 16, the allotment for the Ephraimites went from the Jordan River by Jericho, into the hill country to Bethel. Then it went from Bethel to Luz, then to the territory of Lower Beth-horon, to Gezer, Shechem, and Ayyah and ended at the sea. Bethel and Shechem played a major role in the kingdom of Israel as each was mentioned over 60 times. The tribe of Ephraim had the southern part of the allotment for the tribe of Joseph. The Ephraimites had the towns of Beth-shean, Taanach, Megiddo, and Dor, mentioned around 10 times each. Naaran and Ayyah were towns that only appear here. Benjamin and Dan were squeezed into the territory between Ephraim and Judah.   Somehow some of the towns of Manasseh were to be given to the Ephraimites. There were Canaanites living in Gezer, but they were slaves.