“Then all the renegade lawless people plotted and said.
Jonathan and his men are living in quiet and confidence.
Now let us bring Bacchides back.
He will capture them all in one night.’
They went and consulted with him. Bacchides started to come with a large force. He secretly sent letters to all his allies in Judea. He told them to seize Jonathan and his men. However, they were unable to do it, because their plan became known. Jonathan’s men seized about fifty of the men of the country who were leaders in this treachery, and killed them.”
Once again, we see the lawless Hellenistic renegade Jews plotting against Jonathan. Jonathan seemed to have been left alone. They wanted to bring back General Bacchides and capture him in one night. This once again emphasizes the civil war aspect of his uprising. After they consulted with General Bacchides, he started out with a large force. He sent letters to his allies to tell them to seize Jonathan. However, the opposite happened. Jonathan seized about 50 men who were against him and killed them.
“King Demetrius chose Bacchides, one of the king’s friends, who was the governor of the province Beyond the River. He was a great man in the kingdom who was faithful to the king. King Demetrius sent him, and with him the ungodly Alcimus, whom he made high priest. He commanded him to take vengeance on the Israelites. Thus they marched away and came with a large force into the land of Judah. He sent messengers to Judas and his brothers with peaceable but treacherous words. However, they paid no attention to their words, for they saw that they had come with a large force.”
King Demetrius I chose the governor of the Province Beyond the River, which had its headquarters in Samaria from the old Persian days. This province extended west of the Euphrates River to Egypt. Bacchides was also a faithful friend of the king who brought with him the renegade Alcimus. Somehow, this non-Jewish person made Alcimus a high priest of the Jews, which did not make much sense. His orders were to take vengeance on the Israelites with a large force. However, Bacchides sent peaceable words to Judas Maccabeus and his brothers. Judas and his brothers were not fooled. They saw them as treacherous since Bacchides came with a large armed force.
“Apollonius now gathered together gentiles and a large force from Samaria to fight against Israel. When Judas learned of it, he went out to meet him. He defeated and killed him. Many were wounded and fell. The rest fled. Then they seized their spoils. Judas took the sword of Apollonius. He used it in battle the rest of his life.”
Apparently this Apollonius was the governor of Samaria. He gathered a group of gentiles in Samaria, which normally did not like Judea anyway. Judas Maccabeus then out to battle, defeated, and killed him. He seized the spoils of the group around Apollonius including his sword, which he seems to like so much that he used in future battles.