Jonathan sends messengers to Rome (1 Macc 12:1-12:4)

“Now when Jonathan saw that the time was favorable for him, he chose men and sent them to Rome to confirm and renew the friendship with them. He also sent letters to the same effect to the Spartans and to other places. So they went to Rome. They entered the senate chamber and said.

‘The high priest Jonathan

And the Jewish nation

Have sent us to renew the former friendship

And alliance with them.’

The Romans gave them letters to the people in every place. They asked them to provide for the envoys safe conduct to the land of Judah.”

Jonathan seemed to think that things were quiet enough in Judah for him to send messengers to the Roman Senate, as well as the Spartans. The Spartans were people from Sparta or Lacedaemonians, who were somehow related to the Jews. The Jewish message to the Roman Senate was that they wanted to renew their former friendship and alliance. The alliance that his dead brother had made with Rome was in chapter 8 of this book. All they needed was safe passage.