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The Life of Flavius Josephus
by Flavius Josephus
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53. Now Jonathan and his colleagues, having failed of accomplishing what they would have done against me, sent John back to Gischala, but went themselves to the city of Tiberias, expecting it would submit itself to them; and this was founded on a letter which Jesus, their then governor, had written them, promising that, if they came, the multitude would receive them, and choose to be under their government; so they went their ways with this expectation. But Silas, who, as I said, had been left curator of Tiberias by me, informed me of this, and desired me to make haste thither. Accordingly, I complied with his advice immediately, and came thither; but found myself in danger of my life, from the following occasion: Jonathan and his colleagues had been at Tiberias, and had persuaded a great many of such as had a quarrel with me to desert me; but when they heard of my coming, they were in fear for themselves, and came to me; and when they had saluted me, they said, that I was a happy man in having behaved myself so well in the government of Galilee; and they congratulated me upon the honors that were paid me: for they said that my glory was a credit to them, since they had been my teachers and fellow citizens; and they said further, that it was but just that they should prefer my friendship to them rather than John's, and that they would have immediately gone home, but that they staid that they might deliver up John into my power; and when they said this they took their oaths of it, and those such as are most tremendous amongst us, and such as I did not think fit to disbelieve. However, they desired me to lodge some where else, because the next day was the sabbath, and that it was not fit the city of Tiberias should be disturbed [on that day].

54. So I suspected nothing, and went away to Tarichese; yet did I withal leave some to make inquiry in the city how matters went, and whether any thing was said about me: I also set many persons all the way that led from Tarichese to Tiberias, that they might communicate from one to another, if they learned any news from those that were left in the city. On the next day, therefore, they all came into the Proseucha; [22] it was a large edifice, and capable of receiving a great number of people; thither Jonathan went in, and though he durst not openly speak of a revolt, yet did he say that their city stood in need of a better governor than it then had. But Jesus, who was the ruler, made no scruple to speak out, and said openly, "O fellow citizens! it is better for you to be in subjection to four than to one; and those such as are of high birth, and not without reputation for their wisdom;" and pointed to Jonathan and his colleagues. Upon his saying this, Justus came in and commended him for what he had said, and persuaded some of the people to be of his mind also. But the multitude were not pleased with what was said, and had certainly gone into a tumult, unless the sixth hour, which was now come, had dissolved the assembly, at which hour our laws require us to go to dinner on sabbath days; so Jonathan and his colleagues put off their council till the next day, and went off without success. When I was informed of these affairs, I determined to go to the city of Tiberias in the morning. Accordingly, on the next day, about the first hour of the day, I came from Tarichee, and found the multitude already assembled in the Proseucha; but on what account they were gotten together, those that were assembled did not know. But when Jonathan and his colleagues saw me there unexpectedly, they were in disorder; after which they raised a report of their own contrivance, that Roman horsemen were seen at a place called Union, in the borders of Galilee, thirty furlongs distant from the city. Upon which report, Jonathan and his colleagues cunningly exhorted me not to neglect this matter, nor to suffer the land to be spoiled by the enemy. And this they said with a design to remove me out of the city, under the pretense of the want of extraordinary assistance, while they might dispose the city to be my enemy.

55. As for myself, although I knew of their design, yet did I comply with what they proposed, lest the people of Tiberias should have occasion to suppose that I was not careful of their security. I therefore went out; but, when I was at the place, I found not the least footsteps of any enemy, so I returned as fast as ever I could, and found the whole council assembled, and the body of the people gotten together, and Jonathan and his colleagues bringing vehement accusations against me, as one who had no concern to ease them of the burdens of war, and as one that lived luxuriously. And as they were discoursing thus, they produced four letters, as written to them from some people that lived at the borders of Galilee, imploring that they would come to their assistance, for that there was an army of Romans, both horsemen and footmen, who would come and lay waste the country on the third day; they desired them also to make haste, and not to overlook them. When the people of Tiberias heard this, they thought they spake truth, and made a clamor against me, and said I ought not to sit still, but to go away to the assistance of their countrymen. Hereupon I said [for I understood the meaning of Jonathan and his colleagues] that I was ready to comply with what they proposed, and without delay to march to the war which they spake of, yet did I advise them, at the same time, that since these letters declared that the Romans would make their assault in four several places, they should part their forces into five bodies, and make Jonathan and his colleagues generals of each body of them, because it was fit for brave men, not only to give counsel, but to take the place of leaders, and assist their countrymen when such a necessity pressed them; for, said I, it is not possible for me to lead more than one party. This advice of mine greatly pleased the multitude; so they compelled them to go forth to the war. But their designs were put into very much disorder, because they had not done what they had designed to do, on account of my stratagem, which was opposite to their undertakings.

56. Now there was one whose name was Ananias [a wicked man he was, and very mischievous]; he proposed that a general religious fast [23] should be appointed the next day for all the people, and gave order that at the same hour they should come to the same place, without any weapons, to make it manifest before God, that while they obtained his assistance, they thought all these weapons useless. This he said, not out of piety, but that they might catch me and my friends unarmed. Now, I was hereupon forced to comply, lest I should appear to despise a proposal that tended to piety. As soon, therefore, as we were gone home, Jonathan and his colleagues wrote to John to come to them in the morning, and desiring him to come with as many soldiers as he possibly could, for that they should then be able easily to get me into their hands, and to do all they desired to do. When John had received this letter, he resolved to comply with it. As for myself, on the next day, I ordered two of the guards of my body, whom I esteemed the most courageous and most faithful, to hide daggers under their garments, and to go along with me, that we might defend ourselves, if any attack should be made upon us by our enemies. I also myself took my breastplate, and girded on my sword, so that it might be, as far as it was possible, concealed, and came into the Proseucha.

57. Now Jesus, who was the ruler, commanded that they should exclude all that came with me, for he kept the door himself, and suffered none but his friends to go in. And while we were engaged in the duties of the day, and had betaken ourselves to our prayers, Jesus got up, and inquired of me what was become of the vessels that were taken out of the king's palace, when it was burnt down [and] of that uncoined silver; and in whose possession they now were? This he said, in order to drive away time till John should come. I said that Capellus, and the ten principal men of Tiberias, had them all; and I told him that they might ask them whether I told a lie or not. And when they said they had them, he asked me, What is become of those twenty pieces of gold which thou didst receive upon the sale of a certain weight of uncoined money? I replied, that I had given them to those ambassadors of theirs, as a maintenance for them, when they were sent by them to Jerusalem. So Jonathan and his colleagues said that I had not done well to pay the ambassadors out of the public money. And when the multitude were very angry at them for this, for they perceived the wickedness of the men, I understood that a tumult was going to arise; and being desirous to provoke the people to a greater rage against the men, I said, "But if I have not done well in paying our ambassadors out of the public stock, leave off your anger at me, for I will repay the twenty pieces of gold myself."

58. When I had said this, Jonathan and his colleagues held their peace; but the people were still more irritated against them, upon their openly showing their unjust ill-will to me. When Jesus saw this change in file people, he ordered them to depart, but desired the senate to stay; for that they could not examine things of such a nature in a tumult: and as the people were crying out that they would not leave me alone, there came one and told Jesus and his friends privately, that John and his armed men were at hand: whereupon Jonathan and his colleagues, being able to contain themselves no longer, [and perhaps the providence of God hereby procuring my deliverance, for had not this been so, I had certainly been destroyed by John,] said, "O you people of Tiberias! leave off this inquiry about the twenty pieces of gold; for Josephus hath not deserved to die for them; but he hath deserved it by his desire of tyrannizing, and by cheating the multitude of the Galileans with his speeches, in order to gain the dominion over them." When he had said this, they presently laid hands upon me, and endeavored to kill me: but as soon as those that were with me saw what they did, they drew their swords, and threatened to smite them, if they offered any violence to me. The people also took up stones, and were about to throw them at Jonathan; and so they snatched me from the violence of my enemies.

59. But as I was gone out a little way, I was just upon meeting John, who was marching with his armed men. So I was afraid of him, and turned aside, and escaped by a narrow passage to the lake, and seized on a ship, and embarked in it, and sailed over to Tarichese. So, beyond my expectation, I escaped this danger. Whereupon I presently sent for the chief of the Galileans, and told them after what manner, against all faith given, I had been very near to destruction from Jonathan and his colleagues, and the people of Tiberias. Upon which the multitude of the Galileans were very angry, and encouraged me to delay no longer to make war upon them, but to permit them to go against John, and utterly to destroy him, as well as Jonathan and his colleagues. However, I restrained them, though they were in such a rage, and desired them to tarry a while, till we should be informed what orders those ambassadors, that were sent by them to the city of Jerusalem, should bring thence; for I told them that it was best for them to act according to their determination; whereupon they were prevailed on. At which time, also, John, when the snares he had laid did not take effect, returned back to Gischala.

60. Now, in a few days, those ambassadors whom he had sent, came back again and informed us, that the people were greatly provoked at Ananus, and Simon the son of Gamaliel, and their friends; that, without any public determination, they had sent to Galilee, and had done their endeavors that I might be turned out of the government. The ambassadors said further, that the people were ready to burn their houses. They also brought letters, whereby the chief men of Jerusalem, at the earnest petition of the people, confirmed me in the government of Galilee, and enjoined Jonathan and his colleagues to return home quickly. When I had gotten these letters, I came to the village Arbela, where I procured an assembly of the Galileans to meet, and bid the ambassadors declare to them the anger of the people of Jerusalem at what had been done by Jonathan and his colleagues, and how much they hated their wicked doings, and how they had confirmed me in the government of their country, as also what related to the order they had in writing for Jonathan and his colleagues to return home. So I immediately sent them the letter, and bid him that carried it to inquire, as well as he could, how they intended to act [on this occasion.]

61. Now, when they had received that letter, and were thereby greatly disturbed, they sent for John, and for the senators of Tiberias, and for the principal men of the Gabarens, and proposed to hold a council, and desired them to consider what was to be done by them. However, the governors of Tiberias were greatly disposed to keep the government to themselves; for they said it was not fit to desert their city, now it was committed to their trust, and that otherwise I should not delay to fall upon them; for they pretended falsely that so I had threatened to do. Now John was not only of their opinion, but advised them, that two of them should go to accuse me before the multitude [at Jerusalem], that I do not manage the affairs of Galilee as I ought to do; and that they would easily persuade the people, because of their dignity, and because the whole multitude are very mutable. When, therefore, it appeared that John had suggested the wisest advice to them, they resolved that two of them, Jonathan and Ananias, should go to the people of Jerusalem, and the other two [Simon and Joazar] should be left behind to tarry at Tiberins. They also took along with them a hundred soldiers for their guard.

62. However, the governors of Tiberias took care to have their city secured with walls, and commanded their inhabitants to take their arms. They also sent for a great many soldiers from John, to assist them against me, if there should be occasion for them. Now John was at Gischala. Jonathan, therefore, and those that were with him, when they were departed from Tiberias, and as soon as they were come to Dabaritta, a village that lay in the utmost parts of Galilee, in the great plain, they, about midnight, fell among the guards I had set, who both commanded them to lay aside their weapons, and kept them in bonds upon the place, as I had charged them to do. This news was written to me by Levi, who had the command of that guard committed to him by me. Hereupon I said nothing of it for two days; and, pretending to know nothing about it, I sent a message to the people of Tiberias, and advised them to lay their arms aside, and to dismiss their men, that they might go home. But, supposing that Jonathan, and those that were with him, were already arrived at Jerusalem, they made reproachful answers to me; yet was I not terrified thereby, but contrived another stratagem against them, for I did not think it agreeable with piety to kindle the fire of war against the citizens. As I was desirous to draw those men away from Tiberias, I chose out ten thousand of the best of my armed men, and divided them into three bodies, and ordered them to go privately, and lie still as an ambush, in the villages. I also led a thousand into another village, which lay indeed in the mountains, as did the others, but only four furlongs distant from Tiberias; and gave orders, that when they saw my signal, they should come down immediately, while I myself lay with my soldiers in the sight of every body. Hereupon the people of Tiberias, at the sight of me, came running out of the city perpetually, and abused me greatly. Nay, their madness was come to that height, that they made a decent bier for me, and, standing about it, they mourned over me in the way of jest and sport; and I could not but be myself in a pleasant humor upon the sight of this madness of theirs.

63. And now being desirous to catch Simon by a wile, and Joazar with him, I sent a message to them, and desired them to come a little way out of the city, and many of their friends to guard them; for I said I would come down to them, and make a league with them, and divide the government of Galilee with them. Accordingly, Simon was deluded on account of his imprudence, and out of the hopes of gain, and did not delay to come; but Joazar, suspecting snares were laid for him, staid behind. So when Simon was come out, and his friends with him, for his guard, I met him, and saluted him with great civility, and professed that I was obliged to him for his coming up to me; but a little while afterward I walked along with him as though I would say something to him by myself; and when I had drawn him a good way from his friends, I took him about the middle, and gave him to my friends that were with me, to carry him into a village; and, commanding my armed men to come down, I with them made an assault upon Tiberias. Now, as the fight grew hot on both sides, and the soldiers belonging to Tiberias were in a fair way to conquer me, [for my armed men were already fled away,] I saw the posture of my affairs; and encouraging those that were with me, I pursued those of Tiberias, even when they were already conquerors, into the city. I also sent another band of soldiers into the city by the lake, and gave them orders to set on fire the first house they could seize upon. When this was done, the people of Tiberinas thought that their city was taken by force, and so threw down their arms for fear, and implored, they, their wives, and children, that I would spare their city. So I was over-persuaded by their entreaties, and restrained the soldiers from the vehemency with which they pursued them; while I myself, upon the coming on of the evening, returned back with my soldiers, and went to refresh myself. I also invited Simon to sup with me, and comforted him on occasion of what had happened; and I promised that I would send him safe and secure to Jerusalem, and withal would give him provisions for his journey thither.

64. But on the next day, I brought ten thousand armed men with me, and came to Tiberias. I then sent for the principal men of the multitude into the public place, and enjoined them to tell me who were the authors of the revolt; and when they told me who the men were, I sent them bound to the city Jotapata. But as to Jonathan and Ananias, I freed them from their bonds, and gave them provisions for their journey, together with Simon and Joazar, and five hundred armed men who should guard them; and so I sent them to Jerusalem. The people of Tiberias also came to me again, and desired that I would forgive them for what they had done; and they said they would amend what they had done amiss with regard to me, by their fidelity for the time to come; and they besought me to preserve what spoils remained upon the plunder of the city, for those that had lost them. Accordingly, I enjoined those that had got them, to bring them all before us; and when they did not comply for a great while, and I saw one of the soldiers that were about me with a garment on that was more splendid than ordinary, I asked him whence he had it; and when he replied that he had it out of the plunder of the city, I had him punished with stripes; and I threatened all the rest to inflict a severer punishment upon them, unless they produced before us whatsoever they had plundered; and when a great many spoils were brought together, I restored to every one of Tiberias what they claimed to be their own.

65. And now I am come to this part of my narration, I have a mind to say a few things to Justus, who hath himself written a history concerning these affairs, as also to others who profess to write history, but have little regard to truth, and are not afraid, either out of ill-will or good-will to some persons, to relate falsehoods. These men do like those who compose forged deeds and conveyances; and because they are not brought to the like punishment with them, they have no regard to truth. When, therefore, Justus undertook to write about these facts, and about the Jewish war, that he might appear to have been an industrious man, he falsified in what he related about me, and could not speak truth even about his own country; whence it is that, being belied by him, I am under a necessity to make my defense; and so I shall say what I have concealed till now. And let no one wonder that I have not told the world these things a great while ago. For although it be necessary for an historian to write the truth, yet is such a one not bound severely to animadvert on the wickedness of certain men; not out of any favor to them, but out of an author's own moderation. How then comes it to pass, O Justus! thou most sagacious of writers, [that I may address myself to him as if he were here present,] for so thou boastest of thyself, that I and the Galileans have been the authors of that sedition which thy country engaged in, both against the Romans and against the king [Agrippa, junior] For before ever I was appointed governor of Galilee by the community of Jerusalem, both thou and all the people of Tiberias had not only taken up arms, but had made war with Decapolis of Syria. Accordingly, thou hadst ordered their villages to be burnt, and a domestic servant of thine fell in the battle. Nor is it I only who say this; but so it is written in the Commentaries of Vespasian, the emperor; as also how the inhabitants of Decapolis came clamoring to Vespasian at Ptolemais, and desired that thou, who wast the author [of that war], mightest be brought to punishment. And thou hadst certainly been punished at the command of Vespasian, had not king Agrippa, who had power given him to have thee put to death, at the earnest entreaty of his sister Bernice, changed the punishment from death into a long imprisonment. Thy political administration of affairs afterward doth also clearly discover both thy other behavior in life, and that thou wast the occasion of thy country's revolt from the Romans; plain signs of which I shall produce presently. I have also a mind to say a few things to the rest of the people of Tiberias on thy account, and to demonstrate to those that light upon this history, that you bare no good-will, neither to the Romans, nor to the king. To be sure, the greatest cities of Galilee, O Justus! were Sepphoris, and thy country Tiberias. But Sepphoris, situated in the very midst of Galilee, and having many villages about it, and able with ease to have been bold and troublesome to the Romans, if they had so pleased, yet did it resolve to continue faithful to those their masters, and at the same time excluded me out of their city, and prohibited all their citizens from joining with the Jews in the war; and, that they might be out of danger from me, they, by a wile, got leave of me to fortify their city with walls: they also, of their own accord, admitted of a garrison of Roman legions, sent them by Cestlus Gallus, who was then president of Syria, and so had me in contempt, though I was then very powerful, and all were greatly afraid of me; and at the same time that the greatest of our cities, Jerusalem, was besieged, and that temple of ours, which belonged to us all, was in danger of falling under the enemy's power, they sent no assistance thither, as not willing to have it thought they would bear arms against the Romans. But as for thy country, O Justus: situated upon the lake of Gennesareth, and distance from Hippos thirty furlongs, from Gadara sixty, and from Scythopolis, which was under the king's jurisdiction, a hundred and twenty; when there was no Jewish city near, it might easily have preserved its fidelity [to the Romans,] if it had so pleased them to do, for the city and its people had plenty of weapons. But, as thou sayest, I was then the author [of their revolts]. And pray, O Justus! who was that author afterwards? For thou knowest that I was in the power of the Romans before Jerusalem was besieged, and before the same time Jotapata was taker by force, as well as many other fortresses, and a great many of the Galileans fell in the war. It was therefore then a proper time, when you were certainly freed from any fear on my account, to throw away your weapons, and to demonstrate to the king and to the Romans, that it was not of choice, but as forced by necessity, that you fell into the war against them; but you staid till Vespasian came himself as far as your walls, with his whole army; and then you did indeed lay aside your weapons out of fear, and your city had for certain been taken by force, unless Vespasian had complied with the king's supplication for you, and had excused your madness. It was not I, therefore, who was the author of this, but your own inclinations to war. Do not you remember how often I got you under my power, and yet put none of you to death? Nay, you once fell into a tumult one against another, and slew one hundred and eighty-five of your citizens, not on account of your good-will to the king and to the Romans, but on account of your own wickedness, and this while I was besieged by the Romans in Jotapata. Nay, indeed, were there not reckoned up two thousand of the people of Tiberias during the siege of Jerusalem, some of whom were slain, and the rest caught and carried captives? But thou wilt pretend that thou didst not engage in the war, since thou didst flee to the king. Yes, indeed, thou didst flee to him; but I say it was out of fear of me. Thou sayest, indeed, that it is I who am a wicked man. But then, for what reason was it that king Agrippa, who procured thee thy life when thou wast condemned to die by Vespian, and who bestowed so much riches upon thee, did twice afterward put thee in bonds, and as often obliged thee to run away from thy country, and, when he had once ordered thee to be put to death, he granted thee a pardon at the earnest desire of Bernice? And when [after so many of thy wicked pranks] he made thee his secretary, he caught thee falsifying his epistles, and drove thee away from his sight. But I shall not inquire accurately into these matters of scandal against thee. Yet cannot I but wonder at thy impudence, when thou hast the assurance to say, that thou hast better related these affairs [of the war] than have all the others that have written about them, whilst thou didst not know what was done in Galilee; for thou wast then at Berytus with the king; nor didst thou know how much the Romans suffered at the siege of Jotapata, or what miseries they brought upon us; nor couldst thou learn by inquiry what I did during that siege myself; for all those that might afford such information were quite destroyed in that siege. But perhaps thou wilt say, thou hast written of what was done against the people of Jerusalem exactly. But how should that be? for neither wast thou concerned in that war, nor hast thou read the commentaries of Caesar; of which we have evident proof, because thou hast contradicted those commentaries of Caesar in thy history. But if thou art so hardy as to affirm, that thou hast written that history better than all the rest, why didst thou not publish thy history while the emperors Vespasian and Titus, the generals in that war, as well as king Agrippa and his family, who were men very well skilled in the learning of the Greeks, were all alive? for thou hast had it written these twenty years, and then mightest thou have had the testimony of thy accuracy. But now when these men are no longer with us, and thou thinkest thou canst not be contradicted, thou venturest to publish it. But then I was not in like manner afraid of my own writing, but I offered my books to the emperors themselves, when the facts were almost under men's eyes; for I was conscious to myself, that I had observed the truth of the facts; and as I expected to have their attestation to them, so I was not deceived in such expectation. Moreover, I immediately presented my history to many other persons, some of whom were concerned in the war, as was king Agrippa and some of his kindred. Now the emperor Titus was so desirous that the knowledge of these affairs should be taken from these books alone, that he subscribed his own hand to them, and ordered that they should be published; and for king Agrippa, he wrote me sixty-two letters, and attested to the truth of what I had therein delivered; two of which letters I have here subjoined, and thou mayst thereby know their contents:— "King Agrippa to Josephus, however, when thou comest to me, I will inform thee of a great many things which thou dost not know." So when this history was perfected, Agrippa, neither by way of flattery, which was not agreeable to him, nor by way of irony, as thou wilt say, [for he was entirely a stranger to such an evil disposition of mind,] but he wrote this by way of attestation to what was true, as all that read histories may do. And so much shall be said concerning Justus [24] which I am obliged to add by way of digression.

66. Now, when I had settled the affairs of Tiberias, and had assembled my friends as a sanhedrim, I consulted what I should do as to John. Whereupon it appeared to be the opinion of all the Galileans, that I should arm them all, and march against John, and punish him as the author of all the disorders that had happened. Yet was not I pleased with their determination; as purposing to compose these troubles without bloodshed. Upon this I exhorted them to use the utmost care to learn the names of all that were under John; which when they had done, and I thereby was apprized who the men were, I published an edict, wherein I offered security and my right hand to such of John's party as had a mind to repent; and I allowed twenty days' time to such as would take this most advantageous course for themselves. I also threatened, that unless they threw down their arms, I would burn their houses, and expose their goods to public sale. When the men heard of this, they were in no small disorder, and deserted John; and to the number of four thousand threw down their arms, and came to me. So that no others staid with John but his own citizens, and about fifteen hundred strangers that came from the metropolis of Tyre; and when John saw that he had been outwitted by my stratagem, he continued afterward in his own country, and was in great fear of me.

67. But about this time it was that the people of Sepphoris grew insolent, and took up arms, out of a confidence they had in the strength of their walls, and because they saw me engaged in other affairs also. So they sent to Cestius Gallus, who was president of Syria, and desired that he would either come quickly to them, and take their city under his protection, or send them a garrison. Accordingly, Gallus promised them to come, but did not send word when he would come: and when I had learned so much, I took the soldiers that were with me, and made an assault upon the people of Sepphoris, and took the city by force. The Galileans took this opportunity, as thinking they had now a proper time for showing their hatred to them, since they bore ill-will to that city also. They then exerted themselves, as if they would destroy them all utterly, with those that sojourned there also. So they ran upon them, and set their houses on fire, as finding them without inhabitants; for the men, out of fear, ran together to the citadel. So the Galileans carried off every thing, and omitted no kind of desolation which they could bring upon their countrymen. When I saw this, I was exceedingly troubled at it, and commanded them to leave off, and put them in mind that it was not agreeable to piety to do such things to their countrymen: but since they neither would hearken to what I exhorted, nor to what I commanded them to do, [for the hatred they bore to the people there was too hard for my exhortations to them,] I bade those my friends, who were most faithful to me, and were about me, to give on reports, as if the Romans were falling upon the other part of the city with a great army; and this I did, that, by such a report being spread abroad, I might restrain the violence of the Galileans, and preserve the city of Sepphoris. And at length this stratagem had its effect; for, upon hearing this report, they were in fear for themselves, and so they left off plundering and ran away; and this more especially, because they saw me, their general, do the same also; for, that I might cause this report to be believed, I pretended to be in fear as well as they. Thus were the inhabitants of Sepphoris unexpectedly preserved by this contrivance of mine.

68. Nay, indeed, Tiberias had like to have been plundered by the Galileans also upon the following occasion:— The chief men of the senate wrote to the king, and desired that he would come to them, and take possession of their city. The king promised to come, and wrote a letter in answer to theirs, and gave it to one of his bed-chamber, whose name was Crispus, and who was by birth a Jew, to carry it to Tiberias. When the Galileans knew that this man carried such a letter, they caught him, and brought him to me; but as soon as the whole multitude heard of it, they were enraged, and betook themselves to their arms. So a great many of them together from all quarters the next day, and came to the city Asochis, where I then lodged, and made heavy clamors, and called the city of Tiberias a traitor to them, and a friend to the king; and desired leave of me to go down and utterly destroy it; for they bore the like ill-will to the people of Tiberias, as they did to those of Sepphoris.

69. When I heard this, I was in doubt what to do, and hesitated by what means I might deliver Tiberias from the rage of the Galileans; for I could not deny that those of Tiborias had written to the king, and invited him to come to them; for his letters to them, in answer thereto, would fully prove the truth of that. So I sat a long time musing with myself, and then said to them, "I know well enough that the people of Tiberias have offended; nor shall I forbid you to plunder the city. However, such things ought to be done with discretion; for they of Tiberias have not been the only betrayers of our liberty, but many of the most eminent patriots of the Galileans, as they pretended to be, have done the same. Tarry therefore till I shall thoroughly find out those authors of our danger, and then you shall have them all at once under your power, with all such as you shall yourselves bring in also." Upon my saying this, I pacifie the multitude, and they left off their anger, and went their ways; and I gave orders that he who brought the king's letters should be put into bonds; but in a few days I pretended that I was obliged, by a necessary affair of my own, to out of the kingdom. I then called Crispus privately, and ordered him to make the soldier that kept him drunk, and to run away to the king. So when Tiberias was in danger of being utterly destroyed a second time, it escaped the danger by my skillful management, and the care that I had for its preservation.

70. About this time it was that Justus, the son of Pistus, without my knowledge, ran away to the king; the occasion of which I will here relate. Upon the beginning of the war between the Jews and Romans, the people of Tiberias resolved to submit to the king, and not to revolt from the Romans; while Justus tried to persuade them to betake themselves to their arms, as being himself desirous of innovations, and having hopes of obtaining the government of Galilee, as well as of his own country [Tiberias] also. Yet did he not obtain what he hoped for, because the Galileans bore ill-will to those of Tiberias, and this on account of their anger at what miseries they had suffered from them before the war; thence it was that they would not endure that Justus should be their governor. I myself also, who had been intrusted by the community of Jerusalem with the government of Galilee, did frequently come to that degree of rage at Justus, that I had almost resolved to kill him, as not able to bear his mischievous disposition. He was therefore much afraid of me, lest at length my passion should come to extremity; so he went to the king, as supposing that he would dwell better and more safely with him.

71. Now, when the people of Sepphoris had, in so surprising a manner, escaped their first danger, they sent to Cestius Gallus, and desired him to come to them immediately, and take possession of their city, or else to send forces sufficient to repress all their enemies' incursions upon them; and at the last they did prevail with Gallus to send them a considerable army, both of horse and foot, which came in the night time, and which they admitted into the city. But when the country round about it was harassed by the Roman army, I took those soldiers that were about me, and came to Garisme, where I cast up a bank, a good way off the city Sepphoris; and when I was at twenty furlongs distance, I came upon it by night, and made an assault upon its walls with my forces; and when I had ordered a considerable number of my soldiers to scale them with ladders, I became master of the greatest part of the city. But soon after, our unacquaintedness with the places forced us to retire, after we had killed twelve of the Roman footmen, and two horsemen, and a few of the people of Sepphoris, with the loss of only a single man of our own. And when it afterwards came to a battle in the plain against the horsemen, and we had undergone the dangers of it courageously for a long time, we were beaten; for upon the Romans encompassing me about, my soldiers were afraid, and fell back. There fell in that battle one of those that had been intrusted to guard my body; his name was Justus, who at this time had the same post with the king. At the same time also there came forces, both horsemen and footmen, from the king, and Sylla their commander, who was the captain of his guard: this Sylla pitched his camp at five furlongs' distance from Julias, and set a guard upon the roads, both that which led to Cana, and that which led to the fortress Gamala, that he might hinder their inhabitants from getting provisions out of Galilee.

72. As soon as I had gotten intelligence of this, I sent two thousand armed men, and a captain over them, whose name was Jeremiah, who raised a bank a furlong off Julias, near to the river Jordan, and did no more than skirmish with the enemy; till I took three thousand soldiers myself, and came to them. But on the next day, when I had laid an ambush in a certain valley, not far from the banks, I provoked those that belonged to the king to come to a battle, and gave orders to my own soldiers to turn their backs upon them, until they should have drawn the enemy away from their camp, and brought them out into the field, which was done accordingly; for Sylla, supposing that our party did really run away, was ready to pursue them, when our soldiers that lay in ambush took them on their backs, and put them all into great disorder. I also immediately made a sudden turn with my own forces, and met those of the king's party, and put them to flight. And I had performed great things that day, if a certain fate had not been my hinderance; for the horse on which I rode, and upon whose back I fought, fell into a quagmire, and threw me on the ground, and I was bruised on my wrist, and carried into a village named Cepharnome, or Capernaum. When my soldiers heard of this, they were afraid I had been worse hurt than I was; and so they did not go on with their pursuit any further, but returned in very great concern for me. I therefore sent for the physicians, and while I was under their hands, I continued feverish that day; and as the physicians directed, I was that night removed to Taricheee.

73. When Sylla and his party were informed what happened to me, they took courage again; and understanding that the watch was negligently kept in our camp, they by night placed a body of horsemen in ambush beyond Jordan, and when it was day they provoked us to fight; and as we did not refuse it, but came into the plain, their horsemen appeared out of that ambush in which they had lain, and put our men into disorder, and made them run away; so they slew six men of our side. Yet did they not go off with the victory at last; for when they heard that some armed men were sailed from Taricheae to Juli, they were afraid, and retired.

74. It was not now long before Vespasian came to Tyre, and king Agrippa with him; but the Tyrians began to speak reproachfully of the king, and called him an enemy to the Romans. For they said that Philip, the general of his army, had betrayed the royal palace and the Roman forces that were in Jerusalem, and that it was done by his command. When Vespasian heard of this report, he rebuked the Tyrians for abusing a man who was both a king and a friend to the Romans; but he exhorted the king to send Philip to Rome, to answer for what he had done before Nero. But when Philip was sent thither, he did not come into the sight of Nero, for he found him very near death, on account of the troubles that then happened, and a civil war; and so he returned to the king. But when Vespasian was come to Ptolemais, the chief men of Decapolis of Syria made a clamor against Justus of Tiberias, because he had set their villages on fire: so Vespasian delivered him to the king, to be put to death by those under the king's jurisdiction; yet did the king only put him into bonds, and concealed what he had done from Vespasian, as I have before related. But the people of Sepphoris met Vespasian, and saluted him, and had forces sent him, with Placidus their commander: he also went up with them, as I also followed them, till Vespasian came into Galilee. As to which coming of his, and after what manner it was ordered, and how he fought his first battle with me near the village Taricheae, and how from thence they went to Jotapata, and how I was taken alive, and bound, and how I was afterward loosed, with all that was done by me in the Jewish war, and during the siege of Jerusalem, I have accurately related them in the books concerning the War of the Jews. However, it will, I think, be fit for me to add now an account of those actions of my life which I have not related in that book of the Jewish war.

75. For when the siege of Jotapata was over, and I was among the Romans, I was kept with much Care, by means of the great respect that Vespasian showed me. Moreover, at his command, I married a virgin, who was from among the captives of that country [25] yet did she not live with me long, but was divorced, upon my being freed from my bonds, and my going to Alexandria. However, I married another wife at Alexandria, and was thence sent, together with Titus, to the siege of Jerusalem, and was frequently in danger of being put to death; while both the Jews were very desirous to get me under their power, in order to haw me punished. And the Romans also, whenever they were beaten, supposed that it was occasioned by my treachery, and made continual clamors to the emperors, and desired that they would bring me to punishment, as a traitor to them: but Titus Caesar was well acquainted with the uncertain fortune of war, and returned no answer to the soldiers' vehement solicitations against me. Moreover, when the city Jerusalem was taken by force, Titus Caesar persuaded me frequently to take whatsoever I would of the ruins of my country; and did that he gave me leave so to do. But when my country was destroyed, I thought nothing else to be of any value, which I could take and keep as a comfort under my calamities; so I made this request to Titus, that my family might have their liberty: I had also the holy books by Titus's concession. Nor was it long after that I asked of him the life of my brother, and of fifty friends with him, and was not denied. When I also went once to the temple, by the permission of Titus, where there were a great multitude of captive women and children, I got all those that I remembered as among my own friends and acquaintances to be set free, being in number about one hundred and ninety; and so I delivered them without their paying any price of redemption, and restored them to their former fortune. And when I was sent by Titus Caesar with Cerealins, and a thousand horsemen, to a certain village called Thecoa, in order to know whether it were a place fit for a camp, as I came back, I saw many captives crucified, and remembered three of them as my former acquaintance. I was very sorry at this in my mind, and went with tears in my eyes to Titus, and told him of them; so he immediately commanded them to be taken down, and to have the greatest care taken of them, in order to their recovery; yet two of them died under the physician's hands, while the third recovered.

76. But when Titus had composed the troubles in Judea, and conjectured that the lands which I had in Judea would bring me no profit, because a garrison to guard the country was afterward to pitch there, he gave me another country in the plain. And when he was going away to Rome, he made choice of me to sail along with him, and paid me great respect: and when we were come to Rome, I had great care taken of me by Vespasian; for he gave me an apartment in his own house, which he lived in before he came to the empire. He also honored me with the privilege of a Roman citizen, and gave me an annual pension; and continued to respect me to the end of his life, without any abatement of his kindness to me; which very thing made me envied, and brought me into danger; for a certain Jew, whose name was Jonathan, who had raised a tumult in Cyrene, and had persuaded two thousand men of that country to join with him, was the occasion of their ruin. But when he was bound by the governor of that country, and sent to the emperor, he told him that I had sent him both weapons and money. However, he could not conceal his being a liar from Vespasian, who condemned him to die; according to which sentence he was put to death. Nay, after that, when those that envied my good fortune did frequently bring accusations against me, by God's providence I escaped them all. I also received from Vespasian no small quantity of land, as a free gift, in Judea; about which time I divorced my wife also, as not pleased with her behavior, though not till she had been the mother of three children, two of whom are dead, and one whom I named Hyrcanus, is alive. After this I married a wife who had lived at Crete, but a Jewess by birth: a woman she was of eminent parents, and such as were the most illustrious in all the country, and whose character was beyond that of most other women, as her future life did demonstrate. By her I had two sons; the elder's name was Justus, and the next Simonides, who was also named Agrippa. And these were the circumstances of my domestic affairs. However, the kindness of the emperor to me continued still the same; for when Vespasian was dead, Titus, who succeeded him in the government, kept up the same respect for me which I had from his father; and when I had frequent accusations laid against me, he would not believe them. And Domitian, who succeeded, still augmented his respects to me; for he punished those Jews that were my accusers, and gave command that a servant of mine, who was a eunuch, and my accuser, should be punished. He also made that country I had in Judea tax free, which is a mark of the greatest honor to him who hath it; nay, Domitia, the wife of Caesar, continued to do me kindnesses. And this is the account of the actions of my whole life; and let others judge of my character by them as they please. But to thee, O Epaphroditus, [28] thou most excellent of men! do I dedicate all this treatise of our Antiquities; and so, for the present, I here conclude the whole.



Footnotes

[Footnote 1: We may hence correct the error of the Latin copy of the second book Against Apion, sect. 8, [for the Greek is there lost,] which says, there were then only four tribes or courses of the priests, instead of twenty-four. Nor is this testimony to be disregarded, as if Josephus there contradicted what he had affirmed here; because even the account there given better agrees to twenty-four than to four courses, while he says that each of those courses contained above 5000 men, which, multiplied by only four, will make not more than 20,000 priests; whereas the number 120,000, as multiplied by 24, seems much the most probable, they being about one-tenth of the whole people, even after the captivity. See Ezra 2:36-39; Nehemiah 7:39-42; 1 Esdras 5:24, 25, with Ezra 2;64; Nehemiah 7:66; 1 Esdras 5:41. Nor will this common reading or notion of but four courses of priests, agree with Josephus's own further assertion elsewhere, Antiq. B. VII. ch. 14. sect. 7, that David's partition of the priests into twenty-four courses had continued to that day.]

[Footnote 2: An eminent example of the care of the Jews about their genealogies, especially as to the priests. See Against Ap. B. 1 sect. 7.]

[Footnote 3: When Josephus here says, that from sixteen to nineteen, or for three years, he made trial of the three Jewish sects, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Essens, and yet says presently, in all our copies, that he stayed besides with one particular ascetic, called Banus, with him, and this still before he was nineteen, there is little room left for his trial of the three other sects. I suppose, therefore, that for, with him, the old reading might be, with them; which is a very small emendation, and takes away the difficulty before us. Nor is Dr. Hudson's conjecture, hinted at by Mr. Hall in his preface to the Doctor's edition of Josephus, at all improbable, that this Banus, by this his description, might well be a follower of John the Baptist, and that from him Josephus might easily imbibe such notions, as afterwards prepared him to have a favorable opinion of Jesus Christ himself, who was attested to by John the Baptist.]

[Footnote 4: We may note here, that religious men among the Jews, or at least those that were priests, were sometimes ascetics also, and, like Daniel and his companions in Babylon, Daniel 1:8-16, ate no flesh, but figs and nuts, etc. only. This was like the austere diet of the Christian ascetics in Passion-week. Constitut. V. 18.]

[Footnote 5: It has been thought the number of Paul and his companions on ship-board, Acts 27:38, which are 276 in our copies, are too many; whereas we find here, that Josephus and his companions, a very few years after the other, were about 600.]

[Footnote 6: See Jewish War, B. II. ch. 18. sect. 3.]

[Footnote 7: The Jews might collect this unlawfulness of fighting against their brethren from that law of Moses, Leviticus 19:16, "Thou shalt not stand against the blood of thy neighbor;" and that, ver. 17, "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people; but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself;" as well as from many other places in the Pentateuch and Prophets. See Antiq. B. VIII. ch. 8. sect. 3.]

[Footnote 8: That this Herod Agrippa, the father, was of old called a Great King, as here, appears by his coins still remaining; to which Havercamp refers us.]

[Footnote 9: The famous Jewish numbers of twelve and seventy are here remarkable.]

[Footnote 10: Our Josephus shows, both here and every where, that he was a most religious person, and one that had a deep sense of God and his providence upon his mind, and ascribed all his numerous and wonderful escapes and preservations, in times of danger, to God's blessing him, and taking care of him, and this on account of his acts of piety, justice, humanity, and charity, to the Jews his brethren.]

[Footnote 11: Josephus's opinion is here well worth noting:— That every one is to be permitted to worship God according to his own conscience, and is not to be compelled in matters of religion: as one may here observe, on the contrary, that the rest of the Jews were still for obliging all those who married Jewesses to be circumcised, and become Jews, and were ready to destroy all that would not submit to do so. See sect. 31, and Luke 11:54.]

[Footnote 12: How Josephus could say here that the Jewish laws forbade them to "spoil even their enemies," while yet, a little before his time, our Savior had mentioned it as then a current maxim with them, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy," Matthew 5:43, is worth our inquiry. I take it that Josephus, having been now for many years an Ebionite Christian, had learned this interpretation of the law of Moses from Christ, whom he owned for the true Melah, as it follows in the succeeding verses, which, though he might not read in St. Matthew's Gospel, yet might he have read much the same exposition in their own Ebionite or Nazarene Gospel itself; of which improvements made by Josephus, after he was become a Christian, we have already had several examples in this his life, sect. 3, 13, 15, 19, 21, 23, and shall have many more therein before its conclusion, as well as we have them elsewhere in all his later writings.]

[Footnote 13: Here we may observe the vulgar Jewish notion of witchcraft, but that our Josephus was too wise to give any countenance to it.]

[Footnote 14: In this section, as well as in the 18 and 33. those small vessels that sailed on the sea of Galilee, are called by Josephus, i.e. plainly ships; so that we need not wander at our evangelists, who still call them ships; nor ought we to render them boats, as some do, Their number was in all 230, as we learn from our author elsewhere. Jewish War. B. II. ch. 21. sect. 8.]

[Footnote 15: Part of these fortifications on Mount Tabor may be those still remaining, and which were seen lately by Mr. Maundrel. See his Travels, p. 112.]

[Footnote 16: This Gamaliel may be the very same that is mentioned by the rabbins in the Mishna, in Juchasin, and in Porta Mosis, as is observed in the Latin notes. He might be also that Gamaliel II., whose grandfather was Gamaliel I., who is mentioned in Acts 5:34, and at whose feet St. Paul was brought up, Acts 22:3. See Prid. at the year 449.]

[Footnote 17: This Jonathan is also taken notice of in the Latin notes, as the same that is mentioned by the rabbins in Porta Mosis.]

[Footnote 18: This I take to be the first of Josephus's remarkable or divine dreams, which were predictive of the great things that afterwards came to pass; of which see more in the note on Antiq. B. III. ch. 8. sect. 9. The other is in the War, B. III. ch. 8. sect. 3, 9.]

[Footnote 19: Josephus's directions to his soldiers here are much the same that John the Baptist gave, Luke 3:14, "Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely, and be content with your wages." Whence Dr. Hudson confirms this conjecture, that Josephus, in some things, was, even now, a follower of John the Baptist, which is no way improbable. See the note on sect. 2.]

[Footnote 20: We here learn the practice of the Jews, in the days of Josephus, to inquire into the characters of witnesses before they were admitted; and that their number ought to be three, or two at the least, also exactly as in the law of Moses, and in the Apostolical Constitutions, B. II. ch. 37. See Horeb Covenant Revived, page 97, 98.]

[Footnote 21: This appeal to the whole body of the Galileans by Josephus, and the testimony they gave him of integrity in his conduct as their governor, is very like that appeal and testimony in the case of the prophet Samuel, 1 Samuel 12:1-5, and perhaps was done by Josephus in imitation of him.]

[Footnote 22: It is worth noting here, that there was now a great Proseucha, or place of prayer, in the city of Tiberias itself, though such Proseucha used to be out of cities, as the synagogues were within them. Of them, see Le Moyne on Polycarp's Epistle, page 76. It is also worth our remark, that the Jews, in the days of Josephus, used to dine at the sixth hour, or noon; and that in obedience to their notions of the law of Moses also.]

[Footnote 23: One may observe here, that this lay Pharisee, Ananias, is we have seen he was, sect. 39, took upon him to appoint a fast at Tiberias, and was obeyed; though indeed it was not out of religion, but knavish policy.]

[Footnote 24: The character of this history of Justus of Tiberias, the rival of our Josephus, which is now lost, with its only remaining fragment, are given us by a very able critic, Photius, who read that history. It is in the 33rd code of his Bibliotheca, and runs thus: "I have read [says Photius] the chronology of Justus of Tiberias, whose title is this, [Footnote The Chronology of] the Kings of Judah which succeeded one another. This [Justus] came out of the city of Tiberias in Galilee. He begins his history from Moses, and ends it not till the death of Agrippa, the seventh [ruler] of the family of Herod, and the last king of the Jews; who took the government under Claudius, had it augmented under Nero, and still more augmented by Vespasian. He died in the third year of Trajan, where also his history ends. He is very concise in his language, and slightly passes over those affairs that were most necessary to be insisted on; and being under the Jewish prejudices, as indeed he was himself also a Jew by birth, he makes not the least mention of the appearance of Christ, or what things happened to him, or of the wonderful works that he did. He was the son of a certain Jew, whose name was Pistus. He was a man, as he is described by Josephus, of a most profligate character; a slave both to money and to pleasures. In public affairs he was opposite to Josephus; and it is related, that he laid many plots against him; but that Josephus, though he had his enemy frequently under his power, did only reproach him in words, and so let him go without further punishment. He says also, that the history which this man wrote is, for the main, fabulous, and chiefly as to those parts where he describes the Roman war with the Jews, and the taking of Jerusalem."]

[Footnote 25: Here Josephus, a priest, honestly confesses that he did that at the command of Vespasian, which he had before told us was not lawful for a priest to do by the law of Moses, Antiq. B. III. ch. 12. sect. 2. I mean, the taking a captive woman to wife. See also Against Apion, B. I. sect. 7. But he seems to have been quickly sensible that his compliance with the commands of an emperor would not excuse him, for he soon put her away, as Reland justly observes here.]

[Footnote 27: Of this most remarkable clause, and its most important consequences, see Essay on the Old Testament, page 193—195.]

[Footnote 28: Of this Epaphroditus, see the note on the Preface to the Antiquities.]

THE END

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