Trypho wants to become king (1 Macc 12:39-12:40)

“Then Trypho attempted to become king in Asia. He put on the crown. He raised his hand against King Antiochus. He feared that Jonathan might not permit him to do so, but might make war on him. Thus he kept seeking to seize and kill him. He marched out and came to Beth-shan.”

Trypho wanted to become king of Asia. In fact he put on the crown after getting rid of the young King Antiochus VI. However, Trypho was afraid that Jonathan would not permit him to do this. Thus Trypho was continually trying to seize and kill Jonathan. He went out to Beth-shan, the northern territory near the Sea of Galilee.

The division of the troops (1 Macc 3:54-3:57)

“Then they sounded the trumpets and gave a loud shout. After this, Judas appointed leaders of the people, in charge of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. He said to those who were building houses, or about to be married, or planting vineyards, or were fainthearted to go home. Each should return to his home again, according to the law. Then the army marched out and encamped to the south of Emmaus.”

When the trumpet sounded, the army was to gather in force. They were divided into groups of 10, 50, 100, and 1,000 with a leader for each group. The idea of sorting the people into smaller groups goes back to Moses appointing judges in Exodus, chapter 18. However, those who were building houses, vineyards, or getting married or just fainthearted should go home. This is a reference to the Mosaic Law in Deuteronomy, chapter 20. Then this army marched out to Emmaus.