About that time came Antiochus with dishonor out of the countrey of Persia.
For he had entred the citie called Persepolis, and went about to rob the Temple, and to hold the citie, whereupon the multitude running to defend theselues with their weapons, put them to flight, & so it happened that Antiochus being put to flight of the inhabitants, returned with shame.
Now when he came to Ecbatana, newes was brought him what had happened vnto Nicanor & Timotheus.
Then swelling with anger, hee thought to auenge vpon the Iewes the disgrace done vnto him by those that made him flie.
Therfore commanded he his chariot man to driue without ceasing, and to dispatch the iourney, the iudgement of God now following him.
For he had spoken proudly in this sort, that he would come to Ierusalem, & make it a common burying place of ye Iewes.
But the Lord almightie, the God of Israel smote him with an incurable and inuisible plague: for assoone as hee had spoken these words, a paine of the bowels that was remediles, came vpon him, & sore torments of the inner parts.
And that most iustly: for hee had tormented other mens bowels with many and strange torments.
Howbeit hee nothing at all ceased from his bragging, but still was filled with pride, breathing out fire in his rage against the Iewes, and commanding to haste the iourney: but it came to passe that he fel downe fro his chariot, caried violently, so that hauing a sore fal, al the mebers of his body were much pained.
And thus hee that a little afore thought he might command the waues of the sea (so proud was hee beyond the condition of man) and weigh the high mountaines in a ballance, was now cast on the ground, and carried in an horselitter, shewing foorth vnto all, the manifest power of God.
So that the wormes rose vp out of the body of this wicked man, & whiles hee liued in sorrow and paine, his flesh fell away, and the filthinesse of his smell was noysome to all his army.
And the man that thought a little afore he could reach to the starres of heauen, no man could endure to carry for his intollerable stinke.
Here therefore being plagued, hee began to leaue off his great pride, and to come to the knowledge by the scourge of God, his paine encreasing euery moment.
And when hee himselfe could not abide his owne smell;
hee saide these wordes: It is meete to bee subiect vnto God, and that a man that is mortall, should not proudly thinke of himselfe, as if he were God.
This wicked person vowed also vnto the Lord, (who now no more would haue mercy vpon him) saying thus:
That the holy citie (to the which hee was going in haste to lay it euen with the ground, & to make it a common burying place) he would set at liberty.
And as touching the Iewes, whom hee had iudged not worthy so much as to be buried, but to be cast out with their children to be deuoured of the foules, and wild beasts, he would make them al equals to ye citizens of Athens,
And the holy Temple, which before he had spoiled, hee would garnish with goodly gifts, and restore all the holy vessels with many more, and out of his owne reuenew defray the charges belonging to the sacrifices:
Yea, and that also hee would become a Iew himselfe, and goe through all the world that was inhabited, and declare the power of God.
But for all this his paines would not cease: for the iust iudgement of God was come vpon him: therfore despairing of his health, he wrote vnto the Iewes the letter vnderwritten, containing the forme of a supplicatio, after this maner.
Antiochus king and gouernour, to the good Iewes his Citizens, wisheth much ioy, health, and prosperity.
If ye, and your children fare well, and your affaires be to your contentment, I giue very great thankes to God, hauing my hope in heauen.
As for mee I was weake, or else I would haue remembred kindly your honour, and good will.
Returning out of Persia, and being taken with a grieuous disease, I thought it necessary to care for the common safety of all:
Not distrusting mine health, but hauing great hope to escape this sicknes
But considering that euen my father, at what time he led an armie into the hie countries, appointed a successor,
To the end, that if any thing fell out contrary to expectation, or if any tidings were brought that were grieuous, they of the land knowing to whom the state was left, might not be troubled.
Againe considering, how that the princes that are borderers, and neighbors vnto my kingdome, waite for opportunities, and expect what shalbe the euent, I haue appointed my sonne Antiochus king, whom I often comitted, and comended vnto many of you, when I went vp into the high prouinces, to whom I haue written as followeth.
Therefore I pray, and request you to remember the benefits that I haue done vnto you generally, and in speciall, and that euery man will be still faithfull to me, and my sonne.
For I am perswaded that hee vnderstanding my minde, will fauourably & graciously yeeld to your desires.
Thus the murtherer, and blasphemer hauing suffered most grieuously, as he entreated other men, so died he a miserable death in a strange countrey in the mountaines.
And Philip that was brought vp with him, caried away his body, who also fearing the son of Antiochus, went into Egypt to Ptolomeus Philometor.