“When Jonathan and the people heard these words of Demetrius, they did not believe or accept them. They remembered the great wrongs that Demetrius had done in Israel. He had greatly oppressed them. They favored Alexander because he had been the first to speak peaceable words to them. They remained his allies all his days.”
Jonathan was not impressed with the many promises of King Demetrius I. The king had done a lot of evil things to Israel. Jonathan, instead, favored King Alexander over King Demetrius I. He formed an alliance with King Alexander and not with King Demetrius, despite all his great promises of friendship and money.
“Alcimus struggled to maintain his high priesthood. All those who were troubling their people joined him. They gained control of the land of Judah. They did great damage in Israel. Judas saw all the wrongs that Alcimus and those with him had done among the Israelites. It was more than the gentiles had done. So Judas went out into all the surrounding parts of Judea. He took vengeance on the men who had deserted him. He prevented those in the city from going out into the country. When Alcimus saw that Judas and those with him had grown strong, he realized that he could not withstand them. He then returned to the king. There he brought wicked charges against them.”
Alcimus had a hard time as the high priest. After all he did not have local Jewish approval. However, all the Jewish troublemakers or renegades, those who opposed Judas Maccabeus and his brothers, were joining him. These renegade troublemakers gained control of the land and damaged Israel. Judas realized that Alcimus and his crowd were worse than the gentiles. Thus Judas took vengeance on those who had deserted him. He kept Jerusalem hemmed in so that no one could go into or leave the city for the country. When Alcimus saw this, he went to the king to bring wicked charges against Judas.