43 In those days, Simon camped against Gazara and surrounded it with troops. He made a siege engine and brought it up to the city. He battered and captured one tower. 44 The men in the siege engine leaped out into the city, and a great tumult arose. 45 Together with their wives and children, the men went up on the wall with their clothes torn. They cried out loudly, asking Simon to make peace with them. 46 They said, “Don’t treat us according to our wicked acts but according to your mercy.” 47 So Simon reached an agreement with them and stopped fighting. But he expelled them from the city and cleansed the houses in which the idols were located. He then entered it with hymns and praise. 48 He removed all pollution from it and settled people there who observed the Law. He also strengthened its defenses and built a house for himself there.
49 Those who were in the elevated fortress at Jerusalem were prevented from moving around to buy and sell in the country. So they were very hungry, and many perished from famine. 50 They appealed to Simon to make peace with them, and he did. But he expelled them from there and cleansed the elevated fortress from its pollutions. 51 On the twenty-third day of the second month, in the year 171, the Jews entered it with praise and palm branches, with harps and cymbals and stringed instruments, and with hymns and songs. A great enemy had been crushed and removed from Israel. 52 Simon declared that they should celebrate this day annually with rejoicing. He strengthened the defenses of the temple hill alongside the elevated fortress, and he and his soldiers lived there. 53 Simon saw that his son John had become a man, and so he made him commander of all the forces. And John lived at Gazara.
1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so no wind could blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, who had the seal of the living God. He shouted out with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given permission to damage the earth and the sea: 3 “Do not damage the earth or the sea or the trees until we have put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” 4 Now I heard the number of those who were marked with the seal, 144,000, sealed from all the tribes of the people of Israel:
5 From the tribe of Judah, 12,000 were sealed,
from the tribe of Reuben, 12,000,
from the tribe of Gad, 12,000,
6 from the tribe of Asher, 12,000,
from the tribe of Naphtali, 12,000,
from the tribe of Manasseh, 12,000,
7 from the tribe of Simeon, 12,000,
from the tribe of Levi, 12,000
from the tribe of Issachar, 12,000,
8 from the tribe of Zebulun, 12,000,
from the tribe of Joseph, 12,000
from the tribe of Benjamin, 12,000 were sealed.
9 After these things I looked, and here was an enormous crowd that no one could count, made up of persons from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb dressed in long white robes, and with palm branches in their hands. 10 They were shouting out in a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!”