“A certain Dositheus, one of Bacenor’s men, who was a strong man on horseback, caught hold of Gorgias. He was grasping his cloak, while dragging him off by his hand strength. He wished to take the accursed man alive. However, one of the Thracian cavalry bore down upon him and cut off his arm. Thus Gorgias escaped and reached Marisa. As Esdris and his men had been fighting for a long time, they were weary. Judas Maccabeus called upon the Lord to show himself as their ally and leader in the battle. In the language of their ancestors he raised the battle cry with hymns. Then he charged against Gorgias’ troops when they were not expecting it. He put them to flight.”
Dositheus, who was one of those who had captured Timothy earlier in this chapter, caught Gorgias. He was dragging him by his cloak, when another Thracian cavalry man cut his hand off. Thus Gorgias escaped to Marisa, which was southwest of Jerusalem. The Thracians were a group of mercenaries from Asia Minor. Apparently one of Judas Maccabeus’ leaders Esdris and his group were weary. Judas asked the Lord to lead them in battle with hymns in the language of their ancestors. He then unexpectedly charged the troops of Gorgias and put them to flight.
“Then Judas and his brothers went out and fought the descendents of Esau in the land to the south. He struck Hebron and its villages. He tore down its strongholds and burned its towers on all sides. Then he marched off to go into the land of the Philistines. He passed through Marisa. On that day some priests, who wished to do a brave deed, fell in battle, for they went out to battle unwisely. But Judas turned aside to Azotus in the land of the Philistines. He tore down their altars. He burned with fire the carved images of their gods. He plundered the towns. Finally, he returned to the land of Judah.”
Judas and his brothers decided to attack south in Edom, the land of the descendents of Esau. It is not clear why they struck down Hebron, which had been a capital of Israel at the time of David. Perhaps, more gentiles had taken over there. Hebron was only about 20 miles south of Jerusalem. Then he went west to the land of the Philistines. I guess that those Philistine just never die out. For some reason, a few unwise priests went out to do battle and were killed. Then Judas attacked Azotus in the Philistine territory. Once again, he tore down their altars and burned their idols. There is no mention of killing the males, but he did plunder the Philistine towns, before he returned to Judea. He never really got to Edom since he went southwest instead of southeast.