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Chronicles of Jerahmeel, by M. Gaster [1899], at

LXXXVI. (1) When Seleucus reigned over Macedonia, a very wicked, rebellious man of our own people, Simeon of the tribe of Benjamin, went to Seleucus, and, slandering the Jews, informed him of the riches contained in the temple at Jerusalem, saying that the treasures were heaped up in the treasury in endless quantities, and an abundance of gold and precious stones, and that it would be preferable to have it all placed in the treasury of Seleucus. The king thereupon sent for Eliodorus, the captain of his host, and bade him go to Jerusalem with his armies. On his arrival, Ḥoniah the priest said to him, 'Why has my lord come to his servants?' 'Because of the vast amount of gold and precious stones which, the king has been informed, is contained in the treasury of your temple.' 'The only gold in the treasury,' said the priest, 'is that which King Seleucus and other kings presented to us, for the maintenance of orphans, widows and the poor. For this, we pray to God to grant long life to the king and his sons.'

(2) Eliodorus, however, would not listen to the priest, but placed guards round the temple until the following day, when the city was in great uproar through the lamentation and cries of the people. The priests also called upon their God, and the old men and women and princes covered themselves with ashes and afflicted their souls with fasting.

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[paragraph continues] They withheld food from even the young, and milk from the sucklings. They cried to God to guard the treasury and the riches deposited therein. Even the young virgins spread out their hands through the windows of their houses, and besought the Lord for protection. And as to Honiah the priest, he afflicted his soul (by fasting), and having stripped himself of his garments of honour, clothed himself in sackcloth and ashes, for he was grief-stricken, and, from his appearance, one could imagine the sorrow that was in his heart.

(3) On the next day the enemy came with all his hosts and went into the temple shouting, but the Lord caused a strong and mighty sound of thunder 'to be heard, together with an earthquake, and a tempest that overthrew mountains and shattered rocks. On hearing this, all his troops took to flight, and hid themselves wherever they could, so that he (Eliodorus) remained alone, and, lifting up his eyes, he saw an awe-inspiring man clothed in gold, decked with precious stones, and girt with implements of war. He was riding a splendid horse, that was plunging and rearing, trotting and galloping in the temple. Heliodorus immediately ran away, but the horse felled him to the ground, standing over him. The man then commanded his two young servants, clothed in white linen, with staves in their hands, to smite Eliodorus very severely; and the two young men at his bidding stood one on each side of him, and beat him mercilessly until he became insensible and hovered between life and death.

(4) Young priests came then, and lifting him on their shoulders, carried him into his tent and placed him in his bed, where he lay motionless and dumb. He could neither speak nor partake of any food. When the elders of Macedon saw him in this state, they came to Honiah the priest, and, crying, entreated him in the following manner, 'O my lord, we beseech thee, pray for thy servant Eliodorus and all his servants who have come with him, that we may live and not die, for we know that there is no other God except yours, since all the gods of the nations are vanity and

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emptiness, whilst yours is the God that created the world, and in whose hand is the soul of every living being.'

(5) The priest, then praying to God, offered up burnt-offerings and sacrifices, and the two young men that smote Eliodorus by the temple appeared to him and said, 'Arise, go to Ḥoniah the priest, and bow down to his feet, since for his sake the Lord has had mercy upon thee.' Eliodorus accordingly arose, and, going to the priest, prostrated himself, and blessing the Lord and the priest, gave much gold and silver to the treasury of the house of the Lord. Then hastening to Macedonia, he went to Seleucus the king, who asked, 'What of Jerusalem?' And Eliodorus replied, 'If thou hast any enemies that seek thy life, send them at once to Jerusalem, and let them go into the temple, where they will surely be killed, for the great God reigns in that place, and destroys all the enemies of Jerusalem and Judah.' He then told the king all that he had witnessed. And Seleucus no more sent his army to Jerusalem to do evil, but, on the contrary, every year until his death he sent a present to the temple, and the kings of the land loved to send their offerings to honour the temple at Jerusalem.