41 In the one hundred and seventieth year the yoke of the Gentiles was removed from Israel, 42and the people began to write in their documents and contracts, In the first year of Simon the great high priest and commander and leader of the Jews.
43 In those days Simon encamped against Gazara and surrounded it with troops. He made a siege-engine, brought it up to the city, and battered and captured one tower. 44The men in the siege-engine leapt out into the city, and a great tumult arose in the city. 45The men in the city, with their wives and children, went up on the wall with their clothes torn, and they cried out with a loud voice, asking Simon to make peace with them; 46they said, Do not treat us according to our wicked acts but according to your mercy. 47So Simon reached an agreement with them and stopped fighting against them. But he expelled them from the city and cleansed the houses in which the idols were located, and then entered it with hymns and praise. 48He removed all uncleanness from it, and settled in it those who observed the law. He also strengthened its fortifications and built in it a house for himself.
49 Those who were in the citadel at Jerusalem were prevented from going in and out to buy and sell in the country. So they were very hungry, and many of them perished from famine.
50Then they cried to Simon to make peace with them, and he did so. But he expelled them from there and cleansed the citadel from its pollutions.
51On the twenty-third day of the second month, in the one hundred and seventy-first year, the Jews entered it with praise and palm branches, and with harps and cymbals and stringed instruments, and with hymns and songs, because a great enemy had been crushed and removed from Israel.
52Simon decreed that every year they should celebrate this day with rejoicing. He strengthened the fortifications of the temple hill alongside the citadel, and he and his men lived there.
53Simon saw that his son John had reached manhood, and so he made him commander of all the forces; and he lived at Gazara.
4 The land had rest all the days of Simon.
He sought the good of his nation;
his rule was pleasing to them,
as was the honour shown him, all his days.
5 To crown all his honours he took Joppa for a harbour,
and opened a way to the isles of the sea.
6 He extended the borders of his nation,
and gained full control of the country.
7 He gathered a host of captives;
he ruled over Gazara and Beth-zur and the citadel,
and he removed its uncleanness from it;
and there was none to oppose him.
8 They tilled their land in peace;
the ground gave its increase,
and the trees of the plains their fruit.
9 Old men sat in the streets;
they all talked together of good things,
and the youths put on splendid military attire.
10 He supplied the towns with food,
and furnished them with the means of defence,
until his renown spread to the ends of the earth.
11 He established peace in the land,
and Israel rejoiced with great joy.
12 All the people sat under their own vines and fig trees,
and there was none to make them afraid.
13 No one was left in the land to fight them,
and the kings were crushed in those days.
14 He gave help to all the humble among his people;
he sought out the law,
and did away with all the renegades and outlaws.
15 He made the sanctuary glorious,
and added to the vessels of the sanctuary.