King Demetrius II praises Simon (1 Macc 14:38-14:40)

“In view of these things King Demetrius

Confirmed him in the high priesthood.

He made him one of the king’s friends.

He paid him high honors.

He had heard that the Jews

Were addressed by the Romans as friends,

Allies and brothers.

The Romans had received the envoys of Simon with honor.”

This decree also mentioned that King Demetrius II confirmed Simon in the high priesthood. It is still not clear where this authority came from. He, of course, made him one of the king’s friends. Thus he paid him high honors. He knew that Simon had sent envoys to Rome, who had addressed him as a friend, ally, and brother. The Seleucid King Demetrius II wanted to be on the right side of this relationship.

The renegades led by Alcimus (1 Macc 7:5-7:7)

“Then there came to King Demetrius I all the renegade and godless men of Israel. They were led by Alcimus, who wanted to be high priest. They brought to the king this accusation against the people.

‘Judas and his brothers have destroyed all your friends.

They have driven us out of our land.

Now then send a man whom you trust.

Let him go and see all the ruin

That Judas has brought on us

And on the land of the king.

Let him punish them and all who help them.’”

Now we have another character, Alcimus, who is the leader of the Jewish renegades, the ungodly Jews. Alcimus was a descendant of Aaron and Moses. Practically speaking, weren’t nearly all of the Jews also descendents? It is strange that he went to a Syrian leader to make him the high priest. However, he and his friends accused Judas Maccabeus and his brothers of destroying all the king’s friends and driving them out of the land. He told King Demetrius I to send a trusted man to see all the ruin in Judah and the king’s land. He thought that Judas should be punished. Clearly they were not big fans of Judas and his brothers.