Bacchides Returns to Judea
1When Demetrius heard that Nicanor and his army had fallen in battle, he sent Bacchides and Alcimus into the land of Judah a second time, and with them the right wing of the army.2They went by the road that leads to Gilgal and encamped against Mesaloth in Arbela, and they took it and killed many people.3In the first month of the one hundred fifty-second year they encamped against Jerusalem;4then they marched off and went to Berea with twenty thousand foot soldiers and two thousand cavalry.5Now Judas was encamped in Elasa, and with him were three thousand picked men.6When they saw the huge number of the enemy forces, they were greatly frightened, and many slipped away from the camp, until no more than eight hundred of them were left.7When Judas saw that his army had slipped away and the battle was imminent, he was crushed in spirit, for he had no time to assemble them.8He became faint, but he said to those who were left, “Let us get up and go against our enemies. We may have the strength to fight them.”9But they tried to dissuade him, saying, “We do not have the strength. Let us rather save our own lives now, and let us come back with our kindred and fight them; we are too few.”10But Judas said, “Far be it from us to do such a thing as to flee from them. If our time has come, let us die bravely for our kindred, and leave no cause to question our honor.”The Last Battle of Judas
11Then the army of Bacchides marched out from the camp and took its stand for the encounter. The cavalry was divided into two companies, and the slingers and the archers went ahead of the army, as did all the chief warriors.12Bacchides was on the right wing. Flanked by the two companies, the phalanx advanced to the sound of the trumpets; and the men with Judas also blew their trumpets.13The earth was shaken by the noise of the armies, and the battle raged from morning until evening.14Judas saw that Bacchides and the strength of his army were on the right; then all the stouthearted men went with him,15and they crushed the right wing, and he pursued them as far as Mount Azotus.16When those on the left wing saw that the right wing was crushed, they turned and followed close behind Judas and his men.17The battle became desperate, and many on both sides were wounded and fell.18Judas also fell, and the rest fled.