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Chapter 12 17 We commanded them also to go unto you, and to salute and to deliver you our letters concerning the renewing of our brotherhood.18 Wherefore now ye shall do well to give us an answer thereto.19 And this is the copy of the letters which Oniares sent.20 Areus king of the Lacedemonians to Onias the high priest, greeting:21 It is found in writing, that the Lacedemonians and Jews are brethren, and that they are of the stock of Abraham:22 Now therefore, since this is come to our knowledge, ye shall do well to write unto us of your prosperity.23 We do write back again to you, that your cattle and goods are our's, and our's are your's We do command therefore our ambassadors to make report unto you on this wise.24 Now when Jonathan heard that Demebius' princes were come to fight against him with a greater host than afore,25 He removed from Jerusalem, and met them in the land of Amathis: for he gave them no respite to enter his country.26 He sent spies also unto their tents, who came again, and told him that they were appointed to come upon them in the night season.27 Wherefore so soon as the sun was down, Jonathan commanded his men to watch, and to be in arms, that all the night long they might be ready to fight: also he sent forth centinels round about the host.28 But when the adversaries heard that Jonathan and his men were ready for battle, they feared, and trembled in their hearts, and they kindled fires in their camp.29 Howbeit Jonathan and his company knew it not till the morning: for they saw the lights burning.30 Then Jonathan pursued after them, but overtook them not: for they were gone over the river Eleutherus.31 Wherefore Jonathan turned to the Arabians, who were called Zabadeans, and smote them, and took their spoils.32 And removing thence, he came to Damascus, and so passed through all the country,33 Simon also went forth, and passed through the country unto Ascalon, and the holds there adjoining, from whence he turned aside to Joppa, and won it.34 For he had heard that they would deliver the hold unto them that took Demetrius' part; wherefore he set a garrison there to keep it.35 After this came Jonathan home again, and calling the elders of the people together, he consulted with them about building strong holds in Judea,