“Since wars often occurred in the country,
Simon son of Mattathias,
A priest of the sons of Joarib,
And his brothers
Exposed themselves to danger.
They resisted the enemies of their nation,
In order that their sanctuary
And the law might be preserved.
They brought great glory to their nation.
Jonathan rallied the nation.
He became their high priest.
He was gathered to his people.
When their enemies
Decided to invade their country
And lay hands on their sanctuary,
Then Simon rose up and fought for his nation.
He spent great sums of his own money.
He armed the soldiers of his nation.
He paid them wages.
He fortified the towns of Judea,
And Beth-zur on the borders of Judea,
There formerly the arms of the enemy had been stored.
He placed there a garrison of Jews.
He also fortified Joppa, which is by the sea
He fortified Gazara, which is on the borders of Azotus.
There the enemy formerly dwelt.
He settled Jews there.
He provided in those towns
Whatever was necessary for their restoration.”
Ever since there were wars in Judah, Simon and his brothers risked danger to fight the enemies of their nation. They wanted to protect the sanctuary and the law. They brought great glory to their nation. Jonathan was the high priest who rallied the people when the invasions took place. Simon, on the other hand, spent his own money to build up the military. There is no indication where he got this money. He also fortified the towns of Beth-zur and the borders of Judea. He set up Jewish garrisons to protect the arms that they had. He also fortified the sea ports of Joppa and Gaza, where he put Jewish settlers there. Interesting, there is no mention of Judas Maccabeus in this decree.