“When King Demetrius saw that the land was quiet before him since there was no opposition to him, he dismissed all his troops. All of them went to their own houses, except the foreign troops which he had recruited from the islands of the nations. Thus all the troops who had served his predecessors hated him. A certain Trypho had formerly been one of King Alexander’s supporters. He saw that all the troops were grumbling against King Demetrius. So he went to Imalkue the Arab, who was bringing up Antiochus, the young son of Alexander. He insistently urged him to hand Antiochus over to him, to make him king in place of his father. He also reported to Imalkue what King Demetrius had done. He told him of the hatred that the troops of King Demetrius had for him. He stayed there many days.”
King Demetrius II was quite content that he had achieved peace with no opposition. Therefore, he released all his local army troops and sent them hone, probably to save money. However, he kept the foreign troops that he had recruited. Thus there was a little dissension as the former Syrian troops grumbled against King Demetrius II. Now we see Trypho, a former supporter of King Alexander I, trying to get King Alexander’s son Antiochus to become king. Somehow Imalkue an Arab was taking care of him. Trypho tried to get Imalkue to give him Antiochus so that he could make him king of Syria. He stayed many days with Imalkue.
“King Ptolemy gained control of the coastal cities as far as Seleucia by the sea. He kept devising evil designs against Alexander. He sent envoys to King Demetrius, saying.
Let us make a covenant with each other.
I will give you in marriage my daughter
Who was Alexander’s wife.
You shall reign over your father’s kingdom.
I now regret that I gave him my daughter,
He has tried to kill me.’
He threw blame on King Alexander because he coveted his kingdom. He took his daughter away from him and gave her to Demetrius. He was estranged from Alexander. Their enmity became manifest.”
The Egyptian King Ptolemy VI had gained control of the coastal cities in Palestine. In fact, Seleucia was the main port for the city of Antioch. Then he sent messengers to King Demetrius II. He wanted to make a covenant with him. He was going to take his daughter, Cleopatra III, who was married to King Alexander, and give her to him. He regretted giving his daughter to King Alexander I because he had tried to kill him. There was a growing feud between King Ptolemy VI of Egypt and King Alexander I of Antioch, especially when he took his wife away. I wonder if Cleopatra had any say in these marriage arrangements.
“Then the king of Egypt gathered great forces, like the sand by the seashore, and many ships. He tried to get possession of Alexander’s kingdom by trickery. He wanted to add it to his own kingdom. He set out for Syria with peaceable words. The people of the towns opened their gates to him. They went to meet him, because King Alexander had commanded them to meet him, since he was King Alexander’s father-in-law. However, when King Ptolemy entered the towns he stationed forces as a garrison in each town.”
King Ptolemy VI of Egypt, father-in-law to King Alexander I of Syria, went to visit Syria. He had a great army like the sand by the sea. He wanted to add Syria to his own kingdom, although he seemed to come in peace. His daughter was the wife of King Alexander I. Every town opened their gates to King Ptolemy VI because the Syrian king told them to do that. However, then the Egyptian king would leave a garrison of troops in each town.
“In the one hundred sixty-fifth year, Demetrius son of Demetrius came from Crete to the land of his ancestors. When King Alexander heard of it, he was greatly distressed. He returned to Antioch. Demetrius appointed Apollonius the governor of Coele-syria. He assembled a large force and encamped against Jamnia.”
About 3 year later in 147 BCE, the son of Demetrius I called Demetrius II, the grandson of King Seleucus IV, came from the island of Crete. King Alexander I was upset and returned to Antioch in Syria. Demetrius II assembled a large army force in Jamnia. He named the Philistine Apollonius the governor of this area. Coele-syria means Hollow Syria, the area around Palestine with the sea coast town of Jamnia.
“Then King Alexander wrote to Jonathan to come to meet him. So he went with pomp to Ptolemais. He met the two kings. He gave them, and their friends, silver, gold, and many gifts as he found favor with them. A group of malcontents from Israel, the renegades, gathered together against him to accuse him. However, the king paid no attention to them. The king gave orders to take off Jonathan’s garments and to clothe him in purple. They did so. The king also seated him at his side. He said to his officers.
‘Go out with him into the middle of the city.
Proclaim that no one
Is to bring charges against him about any matter.
Let no one annoy him for any reason.’
When his accusers saw the honor that was paid him, in accord with the proclamation, and saw him clothed in purple, they all fled. Thus the king honored him. He enrolled him among his chief friends. He made him general and governor of the province. Jonathan returned to Jerusalem in peace and gladness.”
The Seleucid King Alexander I was very kind to Jonathan. He invited him to meet with the Egyptian King Ptolemy. Jonathan gave them many gifts, including gold and silver. However, there were those nasty renegades, who have been around for 30-40 years, the Hellenistic leaning Jews, that accused Jonathan of many things, although it is not clear what these things were. Nevertheless, the king of Syria, King Alexander I, gave Jonathan royal robes and paraded him around the city saying that no accusations could be placed against Jonathan. He also made Jonathan a general and the governor of the province of Judea. With this, the renegades fled for their lives. Jonathan now had both religious, military, and civil authority. There was no sense in fighting city hall.
“King Ptolemy replied and said.
‘Happy was the day
On which you returned to the land of your ancestors.
You took your seat on the throne of their kingdom.
Now I will do for you as you wrote,
But meet me at Ptolemais,
So that we may see one another.
I will become your father-in-law,
As you have said.’”
This request from King Alexander I pleased the Egyptian King Ptolemy VI. He was happy to see Alexander there and would love to be his father-in-law. However, he wanted to stop by and see him at Ptolemais before everything was settled.
“Now King Alexander assembled large forces and encamped opposite King Demetrius. The two kings met in battle. The army of King Demetrius fled. King Alexander pursued him and defeated them. He pressed the battle strongly until the sun set. On that day King Demetrius fell.”
King Alexander from Ptolemais had a large army against King Demetrius I of Antioch, as the 2 kings met in battle. The army of King Demetrius I fled. King Alexander pursued, defeated, and killed him. So now King Alexander I, the supposed brother of King Antiochus V, was in charge of the Seleucid dynasty.