Feature: Maccabees learn folly of peace accords

In part seven of our Hanukkah special, learn how commando night raids brought victory, and peace treaties brought death.

Hezki Baruch ,

In The Footsteps of The Maccabees
In The Footsteps of The Maccabees
Arutz Sheva

This is the seventh installment of Arutz Sheva's eight part Hanukkah special, In The Footsteps of The Maccabees. For Part Six, click here.

Israeli historian Dr. Hagai Ben-Artzi describes how after Judah the Maccabee's death and the defeat of his army, the rebellion continued under his brother Jonathan (Yonatan), who took to the desert of Tekoa to hide in caves.

He sent the families of the fighters to stay with the Nabateans across the Jordan River, but the Nabateans betrayed their trust and murdered them. Despite the tragedy Jonathan didn't surrender, and went to the mountains of Moab where he took revenge, in an act that brought many to join him.

Thanks to daring commando night raids, Bacchides finally gave up after two years and made a peace agreement to return the Jewish captives and revoke privileges granted by the Greeks to Jewish Hellenists who had betrayed their people.

Jonathan then went to build an army of 40,000 soldiers at Mikhmas, and returned to Jerusalem to purify the Holy Temple as High Priest. That purification lasted for 200 years until the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans.

In the end Yonatan fell not in battle - but due to a peace treaty.

He was tempted into signing a peace agreement with the Greek King Tryphon, and together with his two sons he was killed at the signing ceremony. However, he left behind a huge army which his brother Shimon led to Yafo (Jaffa) and defeated the Greek army, returning to Jerusalem to re-establish an independent Jewish state.

Stay tuned tomorrow evening for Part Eight, the final installment.