1. Therefore when the holy city was inhabited in all peace, the laws also as yet were very well kept, because of Onias the high Priest his piety, and mind that hated evils,
2. it came to pass that kings also themselves, and princes esteemed the place worthy of high honour, & glorified the temple with very great gifts:
3. so that Seleucus the king of Asia of his revenues allowed all the charges pertaining to the ministry of the sacrifices.
4. But Simon of the tribe of Benjamin, being appointed overseer of the temple, contended, the Prince of the Priests resisting him, to work some wicked thing in the city.
5. And when he could not overcome Onias, he came to Apollonius the son of Tharsaeas, who at that time was governor of Caelesyria, and Phaenicia:
6. and told him, that the treasury at Jerusalem was full of innumerable deal of money, and the common store to be infinite, which pertain not to the account of the sacrifices: and that it is possible, all might fall into the king's power.
7. And when Apollonius had made relation to the king, concerning the money that he was told of, he calling for Heliodorus, who was over his affairs, sent him with commission to transport the foresaid money.
8. And forthwith Heliodorus began to take his journey, in shew indeed as if he would go visit the cities throughout Caelesyria and Phaenicia, but in very deed to accomplish the king's purpose.
9. But when he was come to Jerusalem, and was courteously received in the city by the high Priest, he told of the advertisement given of the money: and opened for what cause he was come: and asked if these things were so in very deed.
10. Then the high-Priest shewed that these were deposita, and the livelihoods of widows & pupils:
11. but certain of them to belong unto Hircanus of Tobie very noble man, among these things, which impious Simon had promoted, and the whole to be of silver four hundred talents, and of gold two hundred.
12. And that they should be deceived which had committed it to the place, and the temple, that is honoured throughout the whole world, to be a thing, for the reverence and holiness thereof altogether unpossible.
13. But he by reason of those things, which he had in commission of the king, said in any wise that they must be carried to the king.
14. And on a day appointed, Heliodorus entered in to take order concerning these things. But there was no small trembling throughout the whole city.
15. And the Priests cast themselves before the altar with their Priest's stoles, and invocated him from heaven, which made the law of deposita, that he would keep the things safe, from them that had deposed them.
16. But now he that saw the countenance of the high-Priest, was wounded in mind: for his face and colour being changed declared the inner sorrow of the mind.
17. For there was a certain pensiveness poured about the man, and horror of the body, whereby the sorrow of his heart was made manifest to them that beheld him.
18. Others also came flocking together out of their houses: praying with public supplication, for that the place was to come into contempt.
19. And the women having their breast girded with hair-clothes came together through the streets. Yea and the virgins that were shut up, came forth to Onias, and some to the walls, but some looked through the windows:
20. and all stretching forth their hands unto heaven, prayed.
21. For the expectation of the confuse multitude, and of the grand Priest being in an agony, was miserable.
22. And these certes invocated almighty God, that the things committed to them, might be performed with all integrity for them that had committed the same of trust.
23. But Heliodorus exercised that which he had decreed in the same place himself present with his guard about the treasury.
24. But the spirit of almighty God made great evidence of his appearing, so that all which had presumed to obey him, falling by the virtue of God, were turned into dissolution and fear.
25. For there appeared to them a certain horse having a terrible rider, adorned with very rich harness: and he with fierceness struck Heliodorus with his forefoot, and he that sat upon him, seemed to have armour of gold.
26. There appeared also two other young men comely for strength, excellent of glory, and beautiful in attire: which stood about him, and on both sides whipped him, beating him with many stripes without intermission.
27. And Heliodorus suddenly fell on the ground, and they took him being covered round about with much darkness, and being set in a seat portative, they thrust him forth.
28. And he that with many couriers, and men of his guard entered into the foresaid treasury, was carried no man giving him succours, the manifest power of God being known.
29. And he indeed by the power of God lay dumb, and deprived of all hope, and health.
30. But they blessed our Lord, because he magnified his place: and the temple, that a little before was full of fear and tumult, almighty God appearing, was filled with joy and gladness.
31. And then certain of the friends of Heliodorus forthwith desired Onias, that he would invocate the highest to give him life, who was at the very last gasp.
32. And the high-Priest considering least perhaps the king might suspect some malice on the Jew's part done about Heliodorus, offered for the health of the man an healthful host.
33. And when the high-Priest by prayer obtained, the self same young men, clothed with the same garments, standing by Heliodorus, said: Give thanks to Onias the Priest: for him hath our Lord given thee life.
34. But thou being scourged of God, declare unto all men the great works and the power of God. And these things being said, they appeared no more.
35. And Heliodorus having offered an host to God, and having promised great vows to him, that granted him to live, and giving thanks to Onias, taking his army again returned to the king.
36. And he testified to all men those works of the great God, which he had seen before his own eyes.
37. And when the king had asked Heliodorus; who was meet to be sent yet once more to Jerusalem, he said:
38. If thou have any enemy, or traitor to thy kingdom, send him thither, and thou shalt receive him again scourged, if yet he escape: because there is undoubtedly in the place a certain power of God.
39. For he hath his dwelling in the heavens, is the visiter, and helper of that place, and them that come to do evil, he striketh, and destroyeth.
40. Therefore concerning Heliodorus, and the keeping of the treasury so the matter standeth.