II. The Effects of His Rule. The disastrous effects of the reign of Alexander Janneus may be briefly recapitulated. They were: (1) the destruction of the loyalty of the majority of the Jews to the Maccabean house; (2) the intensifying of the opposition between Pharisees and Sadducees to the point of murderous hate; (3) the extension of the sphere of Jewish influence from the Mediterranean on the west to the desert on the east, and from the Lebanons to the southern desert; but (4) the draining of the life-blood and energies of the Jewish kingdom, so that it was far weaker and more disorganized than when Janneus came to the throne.
III. Alexandra's Reign (78-69 B.C.). Alexandra was the second queen who reigned in Israel's history. Her policy, unlike that of Athaliah of old, was on the whole constructive. Although she was the wife of Janneus, she reversed his policy, and placed the Pharisees in control. The return of the exiles and the restoration of the prophetic party promised peace and prosperity. The ancient law was expanded and rigorously enforced. According to the Talmud it was during this period that elementary schools were introduced in connection with each synagogue. Their exact nature is not known, but it is probable that the law was the subject studied and that the scribes were the teachers. This change of policy was undoubtedly very acceptable to the people, but the Pharisees made the grave mistake of using their new power to be revenged upon the Sadducean nobles who had supported the bloody policy of Alexander Janneus. They soon suffered the evil consequences of attempting to right wrong by wrong. The Sadducees found in Aristobulus, the ambitious and energetic younger son of Janneus, an effective champion. Alexandra, in permitting them to take possession of the many strongholds throughout the land, also committed a fatal error, for it gave them control of the military resources of the kingdom. Aristobulus was not slow in asserting his power, with the result that even before Alexandra died he had seized seventy-two of the fortresses and had aroused a large part of the people to revolt. While her reign was on the whole peaceful, it was but the lull before the great storm that swept over the nation.
IV. Quarrels between Hyrcanus and Aristobulus. Unfortunately Alexandra's older son, Hyrcanus, was indolent and inefficient. He had been appointed high priest and, when Aristobulus assumed the title of king, he compelled Hyrcanus II to be content with this humbler title. Aristobulus's reign might have been comparatively peaceful had not at this time a new and sinister influence appeared in the troubled politics of Palestine. It was one of the results of John Hyrcanus's forcible judaizing of the Idumeans. Antipater, the son of the Idumean whom Alexander Janneus had made governor of Idumea, recognized in the rivalry between Hyrcanus and Aristobulus an opportunity to mount to power. He first persuaded Hyrcanus to flee to Petra. Then, with the aid of the Arabian king, Aretas, he finally compelled Aristobulus and his followers to seek refuge on the temple hill in Jerusalem. The picture of the Jews divided into two hostile camps and engaged in bitter civil war in the very precincts of the temple under the leadership of the great-grandsons of the patriotic Simon presents a sad contrast to the noble spirit and valiant achievements of the founders of the Maccabean kingdom who had first taken up the sword in defence of the temple and its service.
V. Rome's Intervention. This situation gave Rome its desired opportunity for intervention. Pompey in 70 B.C. made a successful campaign against Mithridates, king of Pontus, and against Tigranes, king of Armenia. Rome's policy was to conquer all of southwestern Asia as far as the Euphrates. Ignoring the peril of the situation, both Aristobulus and Hyrcanus appealed to Pompey's lieutenant, Scaurus. As a result the Arabians were ordered to withdraw, and Aristobulus for a brief time was left master of the situation. In the spring of 63 B.C., however, when Pompey came to Damascus, there appeared before him three embassies, one representing the cause of Aristobulus, another that of Hyrcanus, and still a third presented the request of the Pharisees that Rome assume political control of Palestine and leave them free to devote themselves to the study and application of the their law. The fall of Aristobulus hastened what was now inevitable. Although he was held a prisoner by Pompey, his followers remained intrenched on the temple hill and were conquered only after a protracted siege and the loss of many lives. Aristobulus and his family were carried off captives to Rome to grace Pompey's triumph, and the request of the Pharisees was granted: Rome henceforth held Palestine under its direct control. Thus after a little more than a century (165-63 B.C.) the Jews again lost their independence, and the Maccabean kingdom became only a memory, never to be revived save for a brief moment.
VI. Causes of the Fall of the Jewish Kingdom. The Jewish kingdom fell as the result of causes which can be clearly recognized. It was primarily because the ideals and ambitions of the Maccabean leaders themselves became material and selfish. They proved unable to resist the temptations of success. Greed for power quenched their early patriotism. The material spirit of their age obscured the nobler ideals of their spiritual teachers. The result was a tyranny and corruption that made the later kings misleaders rather than true leaders of their nation. Parallel to the bitter struggle between the kings and their subjects was the bitter feud between the Sadducees and the Pharisees. Normal party rivalry grew into murderous hatred, and in taking revenge upon each other they brought ruin upon the commonwealth. The final end was hastened by the suicidal feud between the brothers Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, fomented by the unprincipled machinations of the Idumean Antipater. In the final crisis the Pharisaic policy of submission and of peace at any cost paved the way for the realization of Rome's ambition and made the ultimate conquest of Palestine practically inevitable. Thus the kingdom, founded in the face of almost insuperable obstacles and consecrated with the life-blood of many heroes, fell ignominiously as the result of the same causes that throughout the ages have proved the ruin of even stronger empires.
VII. Political, Intellectual, and Religious Effects of the Maccabean Struggle. This century of valiant achievement, colossal errors, and overwhelming failure left its deep impression upon the Jewish race. It witnessed the return of many Jews of the dispersion to Jerusalem and Judea and the development of a strong sense of racial unity. Henceforth the Jews throughout the world looked to Jerusalem as their true political and religious capital. The events of this period intensified the ancient feud between Jew and Samaritan and gave the latter ample reason for that hostility toward their southern kinsmen which appears in the Gospel narratives. It was during this age that the parties of the Pharisees and Sadducees finally crystallized and formulated those tenets and policies which guided them during the next century. At this time the foundations were laid for the rule of the house of Herod which exerted such a baleful influence upon the fortunes and destinies of the Jews. It likewise marked the beginning and culmination of Rome's influence over the lands of the eastern Mediterranean and that subjection of the Jews to Gentile rulers which has continued until the present.
The Maccabean period gave to the Jews a greatly enlarged intellectual vision and led them to adopt many of the ideas of their Greek conquerors. In their literature it is easy to recognize the influence of the more logical Greek methods of reasoning and of the scientific attitude toward the universe. It was during this period that the wise were transformed into scribes, and the rule of the scribal method of thinking and interpretation began. The struggles through which the Jews passed intensified their love for the law and the temple services. Duty was more and more defined in the terms of ceremonial, and the Pharisees entered upon that vast and impossible task of providing rules for man's every act. Out of the struggles of the Maccabean period came that fusion of Hellenic and Jewish ideas that has become an important factor in all human thought. At last under the influence of the great crises through which they had passed, the belief in individual immortality gained wide acceptance among the Jews. Side by side with this came the belief in a personal devil and a hierarchy of demons opposed to the divine hierarchy at whose head was Jehovah. Last of all the taste of freedom under a Jewish ruler brought again to the front the kingly messianic hopes of the race, and led them to long and struggle for their realization. Thus in this brief century Judaism attained in many ways its final form, and only in the light of this process is it possible fully to understand and appreciate the background of the New Testament history.
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THE RULE OF ROME
Section CXVII. THE RISE OF THE HERODIAN HOUSE
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 8:2] Now Alexander, that son of Aristobulus who ran away from Pompey, after a time gathered together a considerable body of men and made a strong attack upon Hyrcanus, and overran Judea, and was on the point of dethroning him. And indeed he would have come to Jerusalem, and would have ventured to rebuild its wall that had been thrown down by Pompey, had not Gabinius, who was sent as Scaurus's successor in Syria, showed his bravery by making an attack on Alexander. Alexander, being afraid at his approach, assembled a larger army composed of ten thousand armed footmen and fifteen hundred horsemen.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 8:4a, 5] Now when Gabinius came to Alexandrium, finding a great many encamped there, he tried by promising them pardon for their former offences to attach them to him before it came to fighting; but when they would listen to nothing reasonable, he slew a great number of them and shut up the rest in the citadel. Therefore when Alexander despaired of ever obtaining the rulership, he sent ambassadors to Gabinius and besought him to pardon his offences. He also surrendered to him the remaining fortresses, Hyrcanium and Macherus. After this Gabinius brought Hyrcanus back to Jerusalem and put him in charge of the temple. He also divided the entire nation into five districts, assigning one to Jerusalem, another to Gadara, another to Amathus, a fourth to Jericho, and the fifth to Sepphoris, a city of Galilee.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 8:6] Not long after Aristobulus became the cause of new disturbances by fleeing from Rome. He again assembled many of the Jews who were desirous of a change and those who were devoted to him of old; and when he had taken Alexandrium in the first place, he attempted to build a wall about it. But the Romans followed him, and when it came to battle, Aristobulus's party for a long time fought bravely, but at last they were overcome by the Romans and of them five thousand fell. Aristobulus was again carried to Rome by Gabinius.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 8:7] Now when Gabinius set out to make war against the Parthians, Antipater furnished him with money and weapons and corn and auxiliaries, but during Gabinius's absence the other parts of Syria were in insurrection, and Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, stirred the Jews again to revolt. But at the battle fought near Mount Tabor ten thousand of them were slain and the rest of the multitude scattered in flight. So Gabinius came to Jerusalem and settled the government as Antipater desired.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 8:8] Now this Antipater married a wife of an eminent family among the Arabians, whose name was Cypros. And she bore him four sons, Phasaelus and Herod, who was afterward king, and besides these Joseph and Pheroras. And he had a daughter by the name of Salome.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 9:1] But after the flight of Pompey and of the senate beyond Ionian Sea, Caesar gained possession of Rome and of the Empire and released Aristobulus from his bonds. He also intrusted two legions to him and sent him in haste into Syria, hoping that by his efforts he would easily conquer that country and the territory adjoining Judea. But he was poisoned by Pompey's sympathizers.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 9:3a, c, 4a, c, 5a] Now after Pompey died, Antipater changed sides and cultivated a friendship with Caesar. And when Mithridates of Pergamus with the force he led against Egypt was shut out from the roads about Pelusium and was forced to stay at Ascalon, Antipater persuaded the Arabians among whom he had lived to assist him and came himself at the head of three thousand armed Jews. He also urged the men of power in Syria to come to his assistance. In the attack on Pelusium Antipater distinguished himself pre-eminently, for he pulled down that part of the wall which was opposite him and leaped first of all into the city with the men who were about him. Thus was Pelusium taken. Moreover, as he was marching on, those Jews who inhabited the district called Onias stopped him, but Antipater not only persuaded them not to hinder but also to supply provisions for their army. Thereupon in the Delta Antipater fell upon those who pursued Mithridates and slew many of them and pursued the rest till he captured their camp, while he lost no more than eighty of his own men. Thereupon Caesar encouraged Antipater to undertake other hazardous enterprises for him by giving him great commendations and hopes of reward. In all these enterprises Antipater showed himself a most venturesome warrior, and he had many wounds almost all over his body as proofs of his courage.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 9:5b] And when Caesar had settled the affairs of Egypt and returned again into Syria, he gave Antipater the rights of a Roman citizen and freedom from taxes, and made him an object of admiration because of the other honors and marks of friendship that he bestowed upon him. It was on this account that he also confirmed Hyrcanus in the high priesthood.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 10:1, 2a, 3a] It was about this time that Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus, came to Caesar and became in a surprising manner the cause of Antipater's further advance. For he proceeded to denounce Hyrcanus and Antipater. Then Antipater threw off his garments and showed the many wounds he had, and said that regarding his good will to Caesar it was not necessary for him to say a word because his body cried aloud, though he himself said nothing. When Caesar heard this he declared Hyrcanus to be most deserving of the high priesthood, and Antipater was appointed procurator of all Judea and also obtained permission to rebuild those walls of his country that had been thrown down.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 10:4] As soon as Antipater had conducted Caesar out of Syria, he returned to Judea, and the first thing he did was to rebuild the walls of his own country. Then he went over the country and quieted the tumults therein. And at this time he settled the affairs of the country by himself, because he saw that Hyrcanus was inactive and not capable of managing the affairs of the kingdom. So Antipater appointed his oldest son, Phasaelus, governor of Jerusalem and the surrounding territory. He also sent his second son, Herod, who was very young, with equal authority into Galilee.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 10:5a, b] Now Herod was a very active man and soon found a field for his energy. When, therefore, he found that Hezekias, leader of the robbers, overran the adjoining parts of Syria with a great band of men, he caught him and slew him and many more of the robbers. This exploit was especially pleasing to the Syrians, so that songs were sung in Herod's commendation both in the villages and in the cities, because he had secured peace for them and had preserved their possessions.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 11:1, 4] At this time a mighty war arose among the Romans after the treacherous murder of Caesar by Cassius and Brutus. Accordingly Cassius came into Syria and assumed command of the army, and went about exacting tribute of the cities to such a degree that they were not able to endure it. During the war between Cassius and Brutus on the one side, against the younger Caesar (Augustus) and Antony on the other, Cassius and Murcus gathered an army out of Syria. And because Herod had furnished a great part of the necessities, they made him procurator of all Syria and gave him an army of infantry and cavalry. Cassius promised him also that after the war was over he would make him king of Judea. But it so happened that the power and hopes of his son became the cause of Antipater's destruction. For inasmuch as a certain Malichus was afraid of this, he bribed one of the king's cup-bearers to give a poisoned potion to Antipater. Thus he became a sacrifice to Malichus's wickedness and died after the feast.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 11:6, 12:3] Herod, however, avenged himself upon Malichus. And those who hitherto did not favor him now joined him because of his marriage into the family of Hyrcanus, for he had formerly married a wife from his own country of noble blood, Doris by name, who bore to him Antipater. Now he planned to marry Mariamne, the daughter of Alexander, the son of Aristobulus and the grandson of Hyrcanus.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 12:4, 5] But when Caesar and Antony had slain Cassius near Philippi and Caesar had gone to Italy and Antony to Asia, the great men of the Jews came and accused Phasaelus and Herod that they held the government by force and that Hyrcanus had nothing more than an honorable name. Herod appeared ready to answer this accusation, and having made Antony his friend by the large sums of money which he gave him, influenced him not to listen to the charges spoken against him by enemies. After this a hundred of the principal men among the Jews came to Antony at Daphne near Antioch and accused Phasaelus and Herod. But Massala opposed them and defended the brothers with the help of Hyrcanus. When Antony had heard both sides, he asked Hyrcanus which party was best fitted to govern. Hyrcanus replied that Herod and his party were the best fitted. Therefore Antony appointed the brothers tetrarchs, and intrusted to them the rulership of Judea.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 13:1a, Jos. Ant. XIV, 13:10] Now two years after, when Barzaphanes, a Parthian governor, and Pacorus, the king's son, had captured Syria, they were persuaded by the promise of a thousand talents and five hundred women to bring back Antigonus to his kingdom and to turn Hyrcanus out of it. Thus Antigonus was brought back into Judea by the king of the Parthians, and received Hyrcanus and Phasaelus as prisoners. Being afraid that Hyrcanus, who was under the guard of the Parthians, might have his kingdom restored to him by the multitude, Antigonus cut off his ears and thereby guarded against the possibility that the high priesthood would ever come to him again, inasmuch as he was maimed, and the law required that this dignity should belong to none but those who had all their members intact. Phasaelus, perceiving that he was to be put to death, dashed his head against a great stone and thereby took away his own life.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 13:7, 8c, 14:1b, 2] Herod, however, went off by night, taking those nearest related to him. As soon as the Parthians perceived it, they pursued after him, but when at every assault he had slain a great many of them, he came to the stronghold of Masada, and there he left eight hundred of his men to guard the women, and provisions sufficient for a siege; but he himself hastened to Petra in Arabia. He was not able, however, to find any friendship among the Arabians, for their king sent to him and commanded him to turn back immediately from the country. So when Herod found that the Arabians were his enemies, he turned back to Egypt. And when he came to Pelusium, he could not obtain passage from those who lay with the fleet. Therefore he besought their captains to let him go with them. So out of respect for the fame and rank of the man they carried him to Alexandria. And when he came to the city, he was received with great splendor by Cleopatra, who hoped he might be persuaded to be the commander of her forces in the expedition she was about to undertake. But he rejected the queen's entreaty and sailed for Rome, where first of all he went to Antony and laid before him the calamities that had overtaken himself and his family.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 14:4] Thereupon Antony's pity was aroused because of the change that had come about in Herod's affairs, so he then resolved to have him made king of the Jews. Herod found Caesar even more ready than Antony because he recalled the campaigns through which he had gone with Herod's father, Antipater, in Egypt, and his hospitable treatment and good will in all things. Besides he recognized the energy of Herod. Accordingly he called the senate together. There Messala, and after him Atratinus, introduced Herod to them and gave a full account of his father's merits and of his own good will to the Romans. Antony also came in and told them that it was to their advantage in the Parthian war that Herod should be king. So they all gave their votes for it. And when the senate disbanded, Antony and Caesar went out with Herod between them. Antony also made a feast for Herod on the first day of his reign.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 15:3a,b, 4, 16:1] Herod then sailed from Italy and came to Ptolemais. And as soon as he had assembled a considerable army of foreigners and of his own countrymen, he marched through Galilee against Antigonus. The number of his forces increased each day as he went along, and all Galilee with few exceptions joined him. After this Herod took Joppa, and then he marched to Masada to free his kinsmen. Then he marched to Jerusalem, where the soldiers who were with the Roman general Silo joined his own, as did many from the city because they feared his power. Herod did not lie idle, but seized Idumea and held it with two thousand footmen and four hundred horsemen. He also removed his mother and all his kinsmen, who had been at Masada, to Samaria. And when he had settled them securely, he marched to capture the remaining parts of Galilee, and to drive away the garrisons of Antigonus.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 17:1] In the meantime Herod's fortunes in Judea were not in a favorable condition. He had left his brother Joseph with full authority, but had commanded him to make no attacks against Antigonus until his return. But as soon as Joseph heard that his brother was at a great distance, he disregarded the command he had received and marched toward Jericho with five cohorts. But when his enemies attacked him in the mountains and in a place where it was difficult to pass, he was killed as he was fighting bravely in the battle, and all the Roman cohorts were destroyed.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 17:8, 9] Now near the end of winter Herod marched to Jerusalem and brought his army up to its wall. This was the third year after he had been made king at Rome. So he pitched his camp before the temple, for on that side it might be besieged and there Pompey had formerly captured the city. Accordingly he divided the work among the army and laid waste the suburbs, and gave orders to raise three mounds and to build towers upon these mounds. But he himself went to Samaria to marry the daughter of Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, who had been betrothed to him before. And when he was thus married, he came back to Jerusalem with a greater army.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 18:1, 2c, 4a] Now the multitude of the Jews who were in the city were divided into several factions. For the people that crowded about the temple, being the weaker party, became fanatical and raved wildly over the situation. But some of the bolder men gathered together in companies, and began robbing in many different ways and especially plundering the provisions that were about the city, so that no food was left over for the horses or the men. After a siege of five months some of Herod's chosen men ventured upon the wall and fell into the city. They first captured the environs of the temple, and as the army poured in there was a slaughter of vast multitudes everywhere, on account of the rage in which the Romans were because of the length of the siege, and because the Jews who were about Herod were eager that none of their opponents should remain. Thereupon Herod made those who were on his side still more his friends by the honors he conferred upon them; but those of Antigonus's party he slew.
I. The Fruitless Struggle against Rome. The first quarter century of Roman rule was in many ways the most complex in Israel's intricate history. There were three chief actors in the drama: (1) Rome, represented first by the leaders of the Republic and later by Pompey, Caesar, and their successors; (2) the popular Jewish party led by Aristobulus and his son Alexander, and Antigonus; and (3) Antipater, supported by his able sons Phasaelus and Herod. Rome's general policy was to allow the Jews as much freedom as possible, but above all to hold Palestine under firm control, for it lay on the eastern border and faced Parthia, the one foe that had successfully defied the powerful mistress of the Mediterranean. The popular Jewish party bitterly resented Rome's interference. True, the Pharisees welcomed the relief from civil war, but they could not hold the majority of the people in leash. The inoffensive Hyrcanus was left in possession of the high-priesthood and from time to time was elevated to positions of nominal civil authority, but he was little more than the plaything of circumstance and party intrigue. The ambitions of Aristobulus and his sons kept Palestine in a state of constant political ferment. Three times in five years they stirred the Jews to rebellion against Rome. The first rebellion was in 57 B.C. and was led by Alexander. He was ultimately driven by the Roman general to Alexandria, the fortress that overlooks the middle-Jordan Valley, and was finally forced to surrender. The three great fortresses, Alexandria, Machaerus, and Hyrcanium, were thrown down, and the Jewish state was divided into five districts. Each of these was under a local council consisting of the leading citizens. These reported directly to the Roman proconsul. To neutralize still further the Jewish national spirit, the Hellenic cities in and about Palestine were restored, given a large measure of independence, and placed directly under the control of Rome's representative in the East.
The second rebellion followed quickly and was led by Aristobulus. He was soon obliged, however, to take refuge in the fortress of Machaerus, east of the Dead Sea, where he was captured and sent back again as a captive to Rome. The third rebellion was led by Alexander. It was more formidable, and in the end more disastrous, for the Jews were signally defeated in a battle near Mount Tabor. The only permanent results of these uprisings were the intensifying of Jewish hatred of Roman rule and the increasing of Rome's suspicion of this rebellious people. It was this suspicion that made it possible for the high-priestly party at a later time to force the Roman governor Pilate to put to death one whom he recognized to be an inoffensive Galilean peasant simply because he was accused of having assumed the historic title, King of the Jews.
II. Antipater's Policy. Through the troublesome first quarter-century of Roman rule Antipater and his family prospered because they were able at every turn in the political fortunes of Syria to make themselves increasingly useful to Rome. At many critical periods he was able to save the Jews from calamity and to secure for them valuable privileges. There is a certain basis for Josephus's over-enthusiastic assertion that he was "a man distinguished for his piety, justice, and love of his country" (Jos. Ant. XIV, 11:4c).
Although Hyrcanus was but a tool in Antipater's hands, he never attempted to depose him, and apparently always treated him with respect. To steer successfully through the stormy period during which Rome made the transition from the republican to the monarchical form of government was a difficult task. When Crassus came as the representative of the First Triumvirate, Antipater's gifts and tact were not sufficient to prevent the Roman from plundering the treasures of the temple.
Fortunately for the peace of Judea, during the civil war that followed between Pompey and Caesar, the deposed Jewish king Aristobulus and his son Alexander were both put to death. After the decisive battle of Pharsalia in 48 B.C. Antipater quickly espoused the cause of Caesar, and performed valuable services for him at a time when the great Roman was threatened by overwhelming forces. By his influence with the people of Syria and Egypt and by his personal acts of bravery he won the favors that Caesar heaped upon him and upon the Jewish people. The old territorial division instituted by Gabinius was abolished, Hyrcanus was confirmed in the high-priesthood, and Antipater was made procurator of Judea. Joppa was restored to the Jewish state, the gerusia, the chief assembly of the Jews, was given certain of its old judicial rights, and permission was granted to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. The Jews were also freed from the duty of supporting Roman soldiers and of serving the Roman legions. The tribute was also in part remitted on the sabbatical year, and the Jews of Palestine and throughout the Roman Empire were confirmed in their religious privileges. Thus Caesar proved himself a friend of the Jews and established precedents to which they frequently appealed in later crises.
III. Herod's Early Record. Among the many rewards conferred upon Antipater was the appointment of his son Phasaelus as governor of Jerusalem and his younger son Herod as governor of Galilee. Thus while still a young man Herod was given an opportunity to demonstrate his ability and energy. He at once took measures to put down the robber bands that infested Galilee, and executed their leader, Hezekias. He won thereby the gratitude of the Galileans and the approval of Rome. Hyrcanus and the sanhedrin at Jerusalem, however, viewed this assumption of authority with suspicion and alarm. When Herod was summoned before them, he appeared in full military armor and was accompanied by a military following. Provoked by his boldness, the sanhedrin would have sentenced him to death had not the local Roman governor interfered. The action of the sanhedrin aroused Herod's spirit of revenge, and before long, gathering his forces, he marched against Jerusalem and would have put to death the Jewish leaders had not his father dissuaded him.
The assassination of Caesar in 44 B.C., followed by the battle of Philippi in 42, changed the political horizon of Palestine. Antipater and his sons, however, following their usual policy, pledged in succession their loyalty to Cassius and Antony, with the result that greater honors were conferred upon them. It was at this crisis that Malichus, a certain Jewish noble, inspired by jealousy and suspicion, treacherously murdered his rival, Antipater. Herod retaliated by instigating the assassination of the murderer, but soon a series of calamities swept over Judea which threatened to obliterate completely the house of Antipater.
IV. The Parthian Conquest. During the struggle between Antony and the assassins of Julius Caesar Rome's eastern outposts were left exposed. Their old foes, the Parthians, improved this opportunity to seize northern Syria. Encouraged by the presence of the Parthians, Antigonus, the younger son of Aristobulus, in 41 B.C. entered Palestine. With the aid of the Parthians and of the Jews who were opposed to Herod he ultimately succeeded in establishing himself as king. Antipater and Herod's brother Phasaelus became the victims of the Parthian treachery, and Herod after many adventures succeeded in escaping with his family to the strong fortress of Masada at the southwestern end of the Dead Sea. Leaving them under the care of his brother Joseph, Herod after many discouragements and vicissitudes finally found his way to Rome. Unfortunately for the cause of Jewish independence, Antigonus lacked the essential qualities of leadership. Instead of arousing the loyalty of his subjects his chief concern was to take vengeance upon Herod's followers and upon all who had supported the house of Antipater.
V. Herod Made King of the Jews. Herod went to Rome to urge the appointment of Aristobulus III, the grandson of Hyrcanus and the brother of Herod's betrothed wife Mariamne, as king of Judea. Antony and Octavian, to whom he appealed, were rightly suspicious of the survivors of the Maccabean house and appreciative of the services of Herod and his father Antipater. Therefore, to his complete surprise, they offered him the kingship, and their nomination was speedily confirmed by the senate. History presents no stranger nor more dramatic sight than Herod, the Idumean, accompanied by Antony and Octavian, going to the temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill to offer sacrifices in connection with his assumption of the historic title, King of the Jews. At first it was an empty title, but the energy of Herod and the resources of Rome sufficed in time to make it real. In the spring of 39 B.C. Herod landed at Ptolemais and with the apathetic aid of the Roman generals in Palestine began to organize the Jews who rallied about him. Marching down the Mediterranean coast, he succeeded at last in relieving his family, who were besieged at Masada. Idumea and Galilee were then brought into subjection, and after two years of fighting he won an important battle at Isana, a little north of Bethel, which gave him possession of all of Judea except Jerusalem. The final contest for the capital city continued through several months, for Antigonus and his followers realized that they could expect little mercy from Herod and the Romans. Thousands of Jews were slaughtered, but at last the temple itself was captured, and Herod was in fact as well as in name King of the Jews. Antigonus pled in vain for mercy. Departing from their usual policy of clemency toward native rulers, the Romans caused him first to be scourged as a common criminal and then ignominiously beheaded. Thus the Maccabean dynasty, which had risen in glory, went down in shame, a signal illustration of the eternal principle that selfish ambitions and unrestrained passions in an individual or family sooner or later bring disgrace and destruction. While the siege of Jerusalem was still in progress, Herod went north to Samaria and there consummated his long-delayed marriage with Mariamne, the daughter of Hyrcanus, thus in part attracting to himself the loyalty which the Jews had bestowed so lavishly and disastrously upon the unworthy sons of Alexander Janneus.
Section CXVIII. HEROD'S POLICY AND REIGN
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 19:1, 2a] Now when the war about Actium broke out, Herod prepared to come to the assistance of Antony, but he was treacherously hindered from sharing the dangers of Antony by Cleopatra, for she persuaded Antony to intrust the war against the Arabians to Herod. This plan, however, proved of advantage to Herod, for he defeated the army of the Arabians, although it offered him strong resistance.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 20:1] Now Herod was immediately concerned about his entire fortunes because of his friendship with Antony, who had been defeated at Actium by Caesar [Augustus]. Herod, however, resolved to face the danger: so he sailed to Rhodes where Caesar was then staying, and came to him without his diadem and in the dress and guise of a private person, but in the spirit of a king. And he concealed nothing of the truth, but spoke straight out as follows: "O Caesar, I was made king of the Jews by Antony. I confess that I have been useful to him, nor will I conceal this added fact, that you would certainly have found me in arms, and so showing my gratitude to him, had not the Arabians hindered me. I have been overcome with Antony, and sharing the same fortune as his, I have laid aside my diadem. Now I have come to you fixing my hopes of safety upon your virtue, and I ask that you will consider how faithful a friend, and not whose friend, I have been."
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 20:2] Caesar answered him as follows: "Nay, you shall not only be safe, but you shall reign more firmly than before, for you are worthy to reign over many subjects because of the steadfastness of your friendship. Endeavor to be equally constant in your friendship to me in the hour of my success, since I have the brightest hopes because of your noble spirit. I therefore assure you that I will confirm the kingdom to you by decree. I will also endeavor to do you some further kindness hereafter, that you may not miss Antony."
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 20:3b-4a] After this, when Caesar went to Egypt through Syria, Herod received him lavishly and royally. It was, therefore, the opinion both of Caesar and his soldiers that Herod's kingdom was too small a return for what he had done. For this reason, when Caesar had returned from Egypt, he added to Herod's other honors, and also made an addition to his kingdom by giving him not only the country which had been taken from him by Cleopatra, but also Gadara, Hippos, and Samaria, and also the coast cities Gaza, Anthedon, Joppa, and Straton's Tower. He also made him a present of four hundred Gauls as a body-guard, which had before belonged to Cleopatra. Moreover he added to his kingdom Trachonitis and the adjacent Batanea, and the district of Auranitis.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 21:13] Now Herod had a body suited to his soul and was ever a most excellent hunter, in which sport he generally had great success owing to his skill in riding, for in one day he once captured forty wild beasts. He was also a warrior such as could not be withstood. Many also marvelled at his skill in his exercises when they saw him throwing the javelin and shooting the arrow straight to the mark. In addition to these advantages of mind and body, fortune was also very favorable to him, for he seldom failed in war, and when he failed, he was not himself the cause, but it happened either through the treachery of some one or else through the rashness of his own soldiers.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 21:1b, 4a] Herod also built for himself at Jerusalem in the upper city a palace, which contained two very large and most beautiful apartments to which not even the temple could be compared. One apartment he named Caesareum and the other Agrippeum [after his friends Caesar Augustus and Agrippa]. But he did not preserve their memory by particular buildings only and the names given them, but his generosity also went as far as entire cities. For when he had built a most beautiful wall over two miles long about a city in the district of Samaria and had brought six thousand inhabitants into it and had allotted to them a most fertile territory and in the midst of this city had erected a large temple to Augustus, he called the city Sebaste [from Sebastus, the Greek of Augustus]. And when Augustus had bestowed upon him additional territory, he built there also a temple of white marble in his honor near the fountains of the Jordan. The place is called Panium. The king erected other buildings at Jericho and named them after the same friends. In general there was not any place in his kingdom suited to the purpose that was allowed to remain without something in Augustus's honor.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 21:6a-8a] And when he observed that there was a city by the seaside that was much decayed, called Straton's Tower, and that the place, because of its fair situation, was capable of great improvements, through his love of honor he rebuilt it all of white stone and adorned it with magnificent palaces and in it showed his natural munificence. For all the seashore between Dora and Egypt (between which places the city is situated) had no good harbor, so that every one who sailed to Phoenicia from Egypt was obliged to toss about in the sea because of the south wind that threatened them. But the king by great expense and liberality overcame nature and built a harbor larger than was the Piraeus, and in its recesses built other deep roadsteads. He let down stones into one hundred and twenty-one feet of water. And when the part below the sea was filled up, he extended the wall which was already above the sea until it was two hundred feet long. The entrance to the harbor was on the north, because the north wind was there the most gentle of all the winds. At the mouth of the harbor on each side were three colossi supported by pillars. And the houses, also built of white stone, were close to the harbor, and the narrow streets of the city led down to it, being built at equal distances from one another. And opposite the entrance of the harbor upon an elevation was the temple of Caesar Augustus, excellent both for beauty and size, and in it was a colossal statue of Caesar Augustus as big as the Olympian Zeus, which it was made to resemble, and a statue of Rome as big at that of Hera at Argos. And he dedicated the city to the province, and the harbor to those who sailed there. But the honor of founding the city he ascribed to Caesar Augustus and accordingly called it Caesarea. He also built other edifices, the amphitheater, the theater, and market-place in a manner worthy of that name.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 21:9a-10a] Herod was also a lover of his father, for he built as a memorial of his father a city in the finest plain that was in his kingdom [the lower Jordan valley], which had rivers and trees in abundance, and called it Antipatris. He also fortified a citadel that lay above Jericho and was very strong and handsome, and dedicated it to his mother, and called it Cypros. Moreover, he dedicated a tower at Jerusalem to his brother Phasaelus. He also built another city in the valley which leads north from Jericho and named it Phasaelis. As a memorial for himself he built a fortress upon a mountain toward Arabia and called it after himself Herodium.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 21:11a] And when he had built so much, he showed the greatness of his soul to many foreign cities. He built gymnasiums at Tripolis, Damascus, and Ptolemais. He built a wall around Byblus, and arcades, colonnades, temples, and market-places at Berytus and Tyre, and theaters at Sidon and Damascus. He also built an aqueduct for those Laodiceans, who lived by the seaside; and for the inhabitants of Ascalon he built baths and costly fountains, as also encircling colonnades that were admirable for their workmanship and size.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 22:1a, c-2b] Herod, however, began to be unhappy on account of his wife, of whom he was very fond. For when he attained the kingship, he divorced her whom he had married when he was a private person, a native of Jerusalem by the name of Doris, and married Mariamne, the daughter of Alexander, the son of Aristobulus. Because of Mariamne disturbances arose in his family, and that very soon, but chiefly after his return from Rome. For the sake of his sons by Mariamne he banished Antipater, the son of Doris. After this he slew his wife's grandfather, Hyrcanus, when he returned to him out of Parthia, on suspicion of plotting against him. Now of the five children which Herod had by Mariamne two of them were daughters and three were sons. The youngest of these sons died while he was being educated at Rome, but the two elder sons he treated as princes because of their mother's honorable rank and because they had been born after he became king. But what was stronger than all this was the love he bore to Mariamne.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 22:2c-4] But Mariamne's hatred toward him was as great as his love for her. She, indeed, had a just cause for indignation for what he had done, while her freedom of speech was the result of his affection for her. So she openly reproached him for what he had done to her grandfather Hyrcanus and to her brother Aristobulus. For he had not spared this Aristobulus, though he was but a lad, for after he had given him the high priesthood at the age of seventeen, Herod caused him to be slain immediately after he had conferred that honor upon him; for when Aristobulus had put on the holy garments and had approached to the altar at a festival, the assembled multitude wept for joy. Thereupon the lad was sent by night to Jericho, and there in a swimming-pool at Herod's command was held under water by the Gauls until he was drowned. For these reasons Mariamne reproached Herod, and railed at his sister and his mother most abusively. He was dumb on account of his affection for her, but the women were vexed exceedingly at her and charged her with being false to him, for they thought that this would be most likely to arouse Herod's anger. When, therefore, he was about to take a journey abroad, he intrusted his wife to Joseph, his sister Salome's husband. He also gave him a secret injunction that, if Antony should slay him [Herod], Joseph should slay Mariamne. But Joseph without any evil intention and in order to demonstrate the king's love for his wife disclosed this secret to her. And when Herod came back, and when they talked together, he confirmed his love to her by many oaths and assured her that he had never loved any other woman as he had her. "To be sure," said she, "you proved your love to me by the injunctions you gave Joseph when you commanded him to kill me!" When Herod heard that this secret was discovered, he was like a distracted man, and said that Joseph would never have disclosed his injunction unless he had seduced her. Made insane by his passion and leaping out of bed, he ran about the palace in a wild manner. Meantime his sister Salome improved the opportunity for false accusations and to confirm the suspicion about Joseph. So in his ungovernable jealousy and rage Herod commanded both of them to be slain immediately. But as soon as his passion was over, he repented for what he had done; and indeed his passionate desire for Mariamne was so ardent that he could not think that she was dead, but in his distress he talked to her as if she were still alive.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 23:1a, d, 2a, c-3a] Now Mariamne's sons inherited their mother's hate; and when they considered the greatness of Herod's crime toward her, they were as suspicious of their father as of an enemy. This state of theirs increased as they grew to be men. And when Herod had been poisoned with calumnies against them, he recalled Antipater, his son by Doris, from exile as a defence against his other sons, and began to treat him in every way with more distinction than them. But these sons were not able to bear this change, for when they saw Antipater, who was the son of a private woman, advanced, the nobility of their own birth made them unable to restrain their indignation. For Antipater was already publicly named in his father's will as his successor. The two weapons which he employed against his brothers were flattery and calumny, whereby he brought matters privately to such a point that the king thought of putting his sons to death. So Herod dragged Alexander with him as far as Rome and charged him before Augustus with attempting to poison him, but Alexander very ably cleared himself of the calumnies laid against him and brought Augustus to the point of rejecting the accusation and of reconciling Herod to his sons at once. After this the king returned from Rome and seemed to have acquitted his sons of these charges, but still he was not without some suspicion of them, for Antipater, who was the cause of the hatred, accompanied them. But he did not openly show his enmity toward them, for he stood in awe of the one who had reconciled them. But the dissensions between the brothers still accompanied them, and the suspicions they had of one another grew worse.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 24:1a, 27:1, 2a, 6b] Alexander and Aristobulus were much vexed that the privilege of the first-born was confirmed to Antipater, and Antipater was very angry because his brothers were to succeed him. Moreover, Salome incited Herod's cruelty against his sons, for Aristobulus was desirous of bringing her who was his mother-in-law and aunt into the same dangers as himself. So he sent to her to advise her to save herself, and told her that the king was preparing to put her to death. Then Salome came running to the king and informed him of the warning. Thereupon Herod could restrain himself no longer, but caused both of his sons to be bound, and kept them apart from one another, and speedily sent to Augustus written charges against them. Augustus was greatly troubled in regard to the young men, but he did not think he ought to take from a father the power over his sons. So he wrote back to him, and gave him full authority over his sons, and said he would do well to make an examination of the plot by means of a common council consisting of his own kinsmen and the governors of his province, and if his sons were found guilty to put them to death. With these directions Herod complied. Then he sent his sons to Sebaste and ordered them there to be strangled, and his orders being executed immediately, he commanded their bodies to be brought to the fortress of Alexandrium.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 28:1a, 29:2c] But an unconquerable hatred against Antipater rose up in the nation now that he had an indisputable title to the succession, because they well knew that he was the person who had contrived all the calumnies against his brothers. Later he secured permission by means of his Italian friends to go and live at Rome. For when they wrote that it was proper for Antipater to be sent to Augustus after some time, Herod made no delay but sent him with a splendid retinue and a large amount of money, and gave him his testament to carry in which Antipater was inscribed as king.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 30:5a, 31:1a] And after the death of Herod's brother Pheroras, the king devoted himself to examining his son Antipater's steward; and upon torturing him he learned that Antipater had sent for a potion of deadly poison for him from Egypt, and that the uncle of Antipater had received it from him and delivered it to Pheroras, for Antipater had charged him to destroy his father the king, while [Antipater] was at Rome, and so free him from the suspicion of doing it himself. Antipater's freedman was also brought to trial, and he was the concluding proof of Antipater's designs. This man came and brought another deadly potion of the poison of asps and of other serpents, that if the first potion did not accomplish its end, Pheroras and his wife might be armed with this also against the king.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 33:1, 7, 8a] Now Herod's illness became more and more severe because his various ailments attacked him in his old age and when he was in a melancholy state, for he was already almost seventy years of age and was depressed by the calamities that had happened to him in connection with his children, so that he had no pleasure in life even when he was in health. The fact that Antipater was still alive aggravated his disease, and he preferred to destroy him, not incidentally but by crushing him completely. When letters came from his ambassadors at Rome containing the information that Antipater was condemned to death, Herod for a little while was restored to cheerfulness; but presently being overcome by his pains, he endeavored to anticipate destiny, and this because he was weakened by want of food and by a convulsive cough. Accordingly he took an apple and asked for a knife, for he used to pare his apples before eating them. He then looked around to see that there was no one to hinder him and lifted up his right hand as if to stab himself. But Achiabus, his cousin, ran up to him and, holding his hand, hindered him from so doing. Immediately a great lamentation was raised in the palace, as if the king was dying, and as soon as Antipater heard that, he took courage and with joy in his looks besought his keepers for a sum of money to loose him and let him go. But the head keeper of the prison not only prevented that but also ran and told the king what his design was. Thereupon the king cried louder than his disease could well bear, and immediately sent some of his body-guards and had Antipater slain. He also gave orders to have him buried at Hyrcanium, and altered his testament again and therein made Archelaus, his eldest son, and the brother of Antipas, his successor, and made Antipas tetrarch. Herod, after surviving the death of his son only five days, died, having reigned thirty-four years, since he had obtained control of affairs; but it was thirty-seven years since he had been made king by the Romans.
I. Herod's Character. The character of Herod is comparatively easy to understand, for it is elemental and one that constantly recurs in history. We in America are familiar with this type which is represented by our unscrupulous captains of industry or political bosses—energetic, physically strong, shrewd, relentless toward all who threaten to thwart their plans, skilful in organization, not troubled about the rightness of their methods, provided they escape the toils of the law, able to command men and successfully to carry through large policies. They are not without their personal attractions, for it is instinctive to admire that which is big and able to achieve. Many of them also make permanent contributions to the upbuilding of the nation. Oriental history is also full of analogies: Nebuchadrezzar, Cyrus, Alexander, and in more recent times Mohammed Ali of Egypt. Herod was largely the product of his inheritance and training. His father, Antipater, had taught him to regard the Jews with secret but well-concealed contempt, and to hate Aristobulus and his ambitious sons. His religion was loyalty to Rome, for this meant wealth and success. He delighted in public approval, and his ambition was to be known as a great builder. As is true with this type of man, he was a natural tyrant. Power was his ruling passion, and he regarded with extreme suspicion any who might take it from him. In this respect the contemporary rulers of the Roman Empire set an example which he was not slow to follow. His Idumean and Arabian blood coursed hot and fierce through his veins. It was an age when moral standards were exceedingly low, and Herod never learned to rule his passions. The Oriental institution of the harem gave him full license, and he lived and loved as he fought and reigned—vehemently. Such a man is especially susceptible to the weaknesses and crimes that come from jealousy, and the influences of his family and court intensified these fatal faults.
Herod is not without his attractive qualities. A man who is able to execute on a large scale and win the title Great is never commonplace. In giving Palestine the benefits of a strong and stable government he performed a real service. In his love for Mariamne and for the sons she bore him he was mastered by a passion that for a time ennobled him. Like every man, moreover, who fails to taste the joys of disinterested service for his fellow-men, Herod paid the bitter penalty for his own unrestrained selfishness. He awakes pity rather than denunciation. He never found life, because he never learned to lose his life in the service of his people.
II. His Attitude toward Rome. Herod's policy was loyalty at any cost to the man who at the moment ruled Rome. During the first part of his reign Antony's power on the eastern Mediterranean was still in the ascendancy. Notwithstanding the powerful intrigues of Cleopatra, Herod succeeded in retaining the favor of his patron. When the battle of Actium in 32 B.C. revealed Antony's weakness, Herod forthwith cast off his allegiance, and his treachery was one of the chief forces that drove Antony to suicide. Octavian, who henceforth under the title of Augustus attained to the complete control of Rome, recognized in Herod a valuable servant. Herod's title as king of the Jews was confirmed, and Augustus gradually increased his territory until it included practically all of Palestine with the exception of certain Greek cities along the coast and east of the Jordan. Herod's task was to preserve peace in the land thus intrusted to him and to guard the eastern border of the empire against its Parthian foes. This task he faithfully performed.
III. His Building Activity. The spirit and policy of Augustus were clearly reflected in Herod's court and kingdom. When his position was firmly established, Herod devoted himself to magnificent building enterprises. In Antioch, Athens, and Rhodes, he reared great public buildings. Jerusalem, his capital, was provided with a theatre and amphitheatre, and other buildings that characterize the Graeco-Roman cities of the period. The two crowning achievements of Herod's reign were the rebuilding of Samaria and Caesarea, as its port on the Mediterranean coast. Both of these cities were renamed in honor of his patron Augustus. On the acropolis of Samaria he built a huge Roman temple, the foundations of which have recently been uncovered by the American excavators. The city itself was encircled by a colonnade, over a mile long, consisting of pillars sixteen feet in height. Caesarea, like Samaria, was adorned with magnificent public buildings, including a temple, a theatre, a palace, and an amphitheatre. The great breakwater two hundred feet wide that ran out into the open sea was one of the greatest achievements of that building age. By these acts Herod won still further the favor of Augustus and the admiration of the Eastern world.
IV. His Attitude toward His Subjects. The peace which Herod brought to Palestine was won at the point of the sword. The fear which he felt for his subjects was surpassed only by the fear which he inspired in them. He was unscrupulous and merciless in cutting down all possible rivals. The treacherous murder of Aristobulus III, the grandson of Hyrcanus, and last of all the murder of the inoffensive and maimed Hyrcanus, are among the darkest deeds in Herod's bloody reign. The power of the sanhedrin, the Jewish national representative body, was almost completely crushed. Following the policy of Augustus, Herod developed a complex system of spies, or espionage, so that, like an Oriental tyrant, he ruled his subjects by means of two armies, the spies who watched in secret and the soldiers who guarded them openly. His lavish building enterprises led him to load his people with an almost intolerable burden of taxation, and yet for the common people Herod's reign was one of comparative peace and prosperity. At last they were delivered from destructive wars and free to develop the great agricultural and commercial resources of the land. While outside of Judea Herod built heathen temples, he faithfully guarded the temple of Jerusalem, and was careful not to override the religious prejudices of his subjects. His measures to relieve their suffering in time of famine reveal a generosity which under better environment and training might have made him a benign ruler.
V. The Tragedy of His Domestic Life. The weakness of Herod's character is most glaringly revealed in his domestic life. Undoubtedly he loved the beautiful Maccabean princess, Mariamne, with all the passion of his violent nature. It was a type of love, however, which passes over easily into insensate jealousy. Accordingly, when he left Judea just before the battle of Actium, and later when he went to meet Octavian, he had his wife Mariamne shut up in a strong fortress. Unfortunately Herod, like most despots, was unable to command the services of loyal followers. The discovery of Herod's suspicions toward her aroused the imperious spirit of Mariamne. She was also the victim of the plots of his jealous family. Human history presents no greater tragedy than that of Herod putting to death the one woman whom he truly loved, and later a victim of his own suspicions and of the intrigues of his son Antipater, finally obtaining royal permission to put to death the two noble sons whom Mariamne had borne to him. It is difficult to find in all history a more pitiable sight than Herod in his old age, hated by most of his subjects, misled by the members of his own family, the murderer of those whom he loved best, finding his sole satisfaction in putting to death his son Antipater, who had betrayed him, and in planning in his last hours how he might by the murder of hundreds of his subjects arouse wide-spread lamentation.
VI. Effects of Herod's Reign. One of the chief results of Herod's policy and reign was the complete extinction of the Maccabean house. Herod's motive and method were thoroughly base, but for the Jewish people the result was beneficial, for it removed one of the most active causes of those suicidal rebellions that had resulted disastrously for the Jews and brought them under the suspicion and iron rule of Rome. With his heavy hand Herod also put a stop to the party strife that had undermined the native Jewish kingdom and brought loss and suffering to thousands of Jews. The Pharisees and Sadducees at last were taught the lesson of not resorting to arms, however widely they might differ. By removing the Pharisees from public life Herod directed their energies to developing their ceremonial regulations and to instructing the people. Thus the influence of the Pharisees became paramount with the great majority of the Jews. As Herod extended his rule over all Palestine, he brought into close relations the Jews scattered throughout its territory and so strengthened the bonds of race and religion. In building the temples he also emphasized the ceremonial side of their religious life and centralized it so that even the Jews of the dispersion henceforth paid their yearly temple tax, made frequent pilgrimages to Jerusalem, and regarded themselves as a part of the nation. Furthermore, Herod brought peace and prosperity to his people and gave the Jews an honorable place in the role of nations. Thus, while his career is marked by many unpardonable crimes, he proved on the whole an upbuilder and a friend rather than a foe of the Jews.
Section CXIX. HEROD'S TEMPLE
[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XV, 11:1a] Now Herod, in the eighteenth year of his reign, undertook a very great work, that is, to rebuild the temple of God at his own expense, and to make it larger in circumference and to raise it to a more magnificent height. He thought rightly that to bring the temple to perfection would be the most glorious of all his works, and that it would suffice as an everlasting memorial.
[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XV, 11:2c] So he prepared a thousand wagons to bring stones, chose ten thousand of the most skilful workmen, bought a thousand priestly garments for as many of the priests, and had some of them taught how to work as builders, and others as carpenters. Then he began to build, but not until everything was well prepared for the work.
[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XV, 11:3a-c] And Herod took up the old foundations, and laid others. He erected a temple upon these foundations: its length was one hundred cubits and its height twenty additional cubits. Now the temple was built of stones that were white and strong. Each was about twenty-five cubits long, eight cubits high, and twelve cubits wide. The whole temple enclosure on the sides was on much lower ground, as were also the royal colonnades; but the temple itself was much higher, being visible for many furlongs in the country round about. It had doors at its entrance as high as the temple itself with lintels over them. These doors were adorned with variegated veils, into which were interwoven pillars and purple flowers. Over these, but under the crown-work, was spread out a golden vine, with its branches hanging far down, the great size and fine workmanship of which was a marvel to those who saw it.
[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XV, 11:3f-l] Herod also built very large colonnades all around the temple, making them in proportion. He exceeded all who had gone before him in his lavish expenditure of money. There was a large wall about the colonnades. The hill, on which the temple stood, was rocky, ascending gradually toward the east of the city to its highest point. At the bottom, which was surrounded by a deep valley, he laid rocks that were bound together with lead. He also cut away some of the inner parts, carrying the wall to a great height, until the size and height of the square construction was immense, and until the great size of the stones in front were visible on the outside. The inward parts were fastened together with iron and the joints were preserved immovable for all time. When this work was joined together to the very top of the hill, he finished off its upper surface and filled up the hollow places about the wall and made it level and smooth on top. Within this wall, on the very top, was another wall of stone that had on the east a double colonnade of the same length as the wall. Inside was the temple itself. This colonnade faced the door of the temple and had been decorated by many kings before. Around about the entire temple were fixed the spoils taken from the barbarous nations. All these were dedicated to the temple by Herod, who added those that had been taken from the Arabians.
[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XV, 11:4a, d] Now in an angle on the north side of the temple was built a citadel, well fortified and of extraordinary strength. This citadel had been built before Herod by the kings and high priests of the Hasmonean race, and they called it the Tower. In it were deposited the garments of the high priest, which he put on only at the time when he was to offer sacrifice. Herod fortified this tower more strongly than before, in order to guard the temple securely, and gave the tower the name of Antonia to gratify Antony, who was his friend and a Roman ruler.
[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XV, 11:5a-g] In the western side of the temple enclosure were four gates; one led to the king's palace, two others led to the suburbs of the city, and the fourth led by many steps down into the valley and up on the other side to the entrance to the other part of the city. The fourth front of the temple, that on the south, had gates in the middle; before this front were the three royal colonnades, which reached from the valley on the east to that on the west. These colonnades were especially remarkable for their great height, which seemed more because the hill at their base dropped abruptly into a very deep valley. There were four rows of pillars, placed side by side. The fourth was built into the stone wall. Each pillar was about twenty-seven feet high, with a double spiral at the base, and was so thick that three men joining hands could just reach around it. The number of the pillars was one hundred and sixty-two. The columns had Corinthian capitals, which aroused great admiration in those who saw them because of their beauty. These four rows of pillars made three parallel spaces for walking. Two of these parallel walks were thirty feet wide, six hundred and six feet in length, and fifty feet in height, while the middle walk was half as wide again and twice as high. The roofs were adorned with deep sculptures in wood, representing many different things; the middle was much higher than the rest, and the front wall, which was of polished stone, was adorned with beams set into the stone on pillars.
[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XV, 11:5h, i] The second enclosure, which was reached by ascending a few steps, was not very far within the first. This inner enclosure had a stone wall for a partition. Upon this wall it was forbidden any foreigner to enter under penalty of death. This inner enclosure had on its northern and southern sides three gates at intervals from each other. On the east, however, there was one large gate, through which those of us who were ceremonially pure could enter with our wives. Within this enclosure was another forbidden to women. Still further in there was a third court, into which only the priest could go. Within this court was the temple itself; before that was the altar, upon which we offer sacrifices and burnt-offerings to God.
[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XV, 11:5k, 6] Herod himself took charge of the work upon the colonnades and outer enclosures; these he built in eight years. But the temple itself was built by the priest in a year and five months. Thereupon all the people were filled with joy and returned thanks, in the first place to God for the speed with which it was finished, and in the second place for the zeal which the king had shown. They feasted and celebrated this rebuilding of the temple; the king sacrificed three hundred oxen to God, as did the others, each according to his ability. The time of this celebration of the work about the temple also fell upon the day of the king's inauguration, which the people customarily observed as a festival. The coincidence of these anniversaries made the festival most notable.
I. Herod's Motives. It is not difficult to appreciate the reasons which influenced Herod to begin the rebuilding of the temple. Chief among these was doubtless the desire to win still further the approval of his master Augustus. It is also a characteristic of a man of Herod's type to seek to gain popular approval by the munificence of his public gifts. Throughout his reign he was painfully aware of the suspicions of his Jewish subjects. He trusted, and the event proved the wisdom of his judgment, that he might conciliate them by giving them that about which their interest most naturally gathered. The methods which he employed in building the temple clearly indicate that this was one of his leading motives. He also gratified that love of construction which had found expression in many of the cities of Palestine and the eastern Mediterranean. He desired to rear a great memorial for himself, and in this hope he was not disappointed, for later generations continued to think of him with gratitude because of the temple which bore his name.
II. Preparations for the Rebuilding of the Temple. Herod's temple was begun in 20 or 19 B.C. and was not entirely completed until a few years before its destruction in 70 A.D. The task in itself was a difficult one, for on the north the city prevented the extension of the temple area, and on the south the hill rapidly descended toward the juncture of the Tyropoean and Kidron valleys. Herod met the difficulty by filling in to the south with vast stone constructions which rose to the height of seventy to ninety feet above the virgin rock. To economize building materials he built the huge underground vaults and arches known to-day as Solomon's Stables. Thus with a vast expense of labor and wealth he extended the temple area to the south until it was double that which surrounded Solomon's temple. It was also important to regard in every detail the ceremonial scruples of the Jews. To this end a small army of priests were trained as masons and carpenters in order to do the work in the immediate proximity of the temple. To bring the ancient temple into proportions with the rest of his buildings, a huge porch or facade was reared in front of it on the east, rising, according to Josephus, to the height of one hundred and twenty feet. For the roof that covered the porches he apparently brought cedar from the distant Lebanons. Only with all the resources of the kingdom at his command was it possible to carry through this vast enterprise.
III. The Approaches to the Temple. The entire temple area was rectangular in form, about twelve hundred feet in length and six hundred feet wide. Its chief approaches were on the south and west. A small gate through which sacrificial animals were introduced immediately into the temple precincts opened from the north. The one gate on the east, which opened into the Kidron Valley, was apparently opposite the eastern entrance to the temple. The two gates on the south opened toward the City of David. The one was a double gate with an incline leading into the temple area, and the other farther to the east was a triple gate. The main approaches were from the west. The southern of these was a low viaduct spanning the Kidron Valley and thence by steps or inclined approach ascending to the temple area. Remnants of the arches that spanned the valley at this point and a little farther north are still traceable on the present walls of the temple area far down in the Tyropoean Valley. The third approach farther to the north was probably also a viaduct leading directly into the temple area, while the extreme northern approach, according to Josephus, led from the palace of Herod directly to the temple. The entire temple area was encircled by a colonnade. One row of pillars was built into the high wall that surrounded the area. On the south was found the royal porch with its four rows of columns, the first and second about thirty feet apart, the second and third forty-five, and the third and fourth thirty. The pillars on the sides were about twenty-seven feet in height, while the two rows in the middle were double this height. Each of these colonnades was covered with a richly ornamented cedar roof, thus affording grateful shelter from the sun and storm. The great space at the south of the temple area was the Court of the Gentiles, the common park of the city where all classes of its population freely gathered. The colonnade on the east of the temple area bore the name of Solomon's Porch, and from it the steps led up to the raised platform of native rock twenty or more feet above the Court of the Gentiles. Somewhere to the east of the temple was found the famous Beautiful Gate. The series of steps led into the so-called Court of the Women. West of this was the Court of the Israelites, to which only men were admitted. Thence a broad, high door led to the open space before the temple. Surrounding the altar and cutting off approach to the temple proper was a stone balustrade. The space within this was known as the Court of the Priests. Here no laymen were admitted except as the ritual of private sacrifice required. These inner courts were surrounded by a high wall and adjoining chambers for the storing of the paraphernalia used in connection with the sacrifice and for the residence of the priests. On the southern side of the temple was the room where the national council, the sanhedrin, held its public meetings. Four gates on the north and four gates on the south led from the temple court to the lower Court of the Gentiles.
IV. The Organization of the Temple Service. At the head of the temple organization was the high priest. Since the deposition of the ill-fated Hyrcanus the high priests had been appointed by Herod, for to them was intrusted large civil as well as religious authority. The one duty which the high priests could not neglect, unless prevented by illness, was to perform the sacrifice in behalf of the people and to enter the Holy of Holies on the day of atonement. Frequently he also offered the sacrifice or presided at the special services on the sabbath, the new moons, or at the great annual festivals. Otherwise the temple duties were performed by the army of priests and assistants who were associated with the temple. According to Josephus there were twenty thousand priests. They were divided into twenty-four courses. Each course included certain priestly families to which were intrusted for a week the performing of the sacrifices. Corresponding to the twenty-four courses of the priests were the courses of the people, who were represented by certain of their number at each of the important services. The priests not only performed the sacrifices but also guarded the temple treasures and the private wealth placed in their keeping. The Levites attended to the more menial duties in connection with the temple service. They aided the priests in preparing the sacrifices and in caring for the utensils that were used in connection with the sacrifice. Some of them were doorkeepers. Probably from the Levites were drafted the temple police at whose head was the captain of the temple. Their task was to preserve order and to prevent Gentiles from entering the sacred precincts of the temple. The singers constituted a third group of Levites.
Two public services were held each day, the first, at sunrise, consisted in the offering of a sacrificial ram with the accompaniment of prayer and song. The same rites were repeated at sunset. After the morning sacrifice the private offerings were presented. On the sabbaths, new moons, and great festivals, the number of sacrifices was greatly increased and the ritual made more elaborate. Upon the Jews, instructed in the synagogue in the details of the law and taught to regard the temple and its services with deepest reverence, the elaborate ceremonies of this great and magnificent sanctuary must have made a profound impression. As the people streamed up to Jerusalem by thousands at the great feasts, their attention was fixed more and more upon the ritual and the truths which it symbolized. Herod's temple also strengthened the authority of the Jewish hierarchy with the people, and gave the scribes and Pharisees the commanding position which they later occupied in the life and thought of Judaism.
Section CXX. THE MESSIANIC HOPES AND THE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF JUDAISM
[Sidenote: Sibyl. Oracles, III 767-784] Then a kingdom over all mankind for all times shall God raise up, who once gave the holy law to the pious, for whom he pledged to open every land, the world and the portals of the blessed, and all joys, and an eternal, immortal spirit and a joyous heart. And out of every land they shall bring frankincense and gifts to the house of the great God. And to men there shall be no other house where men may learn of the world to be than that which God hath given for faithful men to honor; for mortals shall call it the temple of the mighty God. And all pathways of the plain and rough hills and high mountains and wild waves of the deep shall be easy in those days for crossing and sailing; for perfect peace for the good shall come on earth. And the prophets of the mighty God shall remove the sword; for they are the rulers of mortals and the righteous kings. And there shall be righteous wealth among mankind; for this is the judgment and rule of the mighty God.
[Sidenote: Ps. Sol. 7:23-35a] Behold, O Lord, and raise up to them their king, the son of David, in the time which thou, O God, knowest, that he may reign over Israel thy servant; and gird him with strength that he may break in pieces those who rule unjustly. Purge Jerusalem with wisdom and with righteousness, from the heathen who trample her down to destroy her. He shall thrust out the sinners from the inheritance, utterly destroy the proud spirit of the sinners, and as potters' vessels he shall break in pieces with a rod of iron all their substance. He shall destroy the ungodly nations with the word of his mouth, so that at his rebuke the nations will flee before him, and he shall convict the sinners in the thoughts of their hearts. And he shall gather together a holy people, whom he shall lead in righteousness; and shall judge the tribes of the people that has been sanctified by the Lord his God. And he shall not suffer iniquity to lodge in their midst; and none that knoweth wickedness shall dwell with them. For he shall take knowledge of them, that they are all the sons of their God, and shall divide them upon earth according to their tribes, and the sojourner and the stranger shall dwell with them no more. He shall judge the nations and the peoples with the wisdom of his righteousness. And he shall possess the nations of the heathen to serve him beneath his yoke; and he shall glorify the Lord in a place to be seen by the whole earth; and he shall purge Jerusalem and make it holy, even as it was in the days of old.
[Sidenote: Ps. Sol. 7:35b-46] And a righteous king and taught of God is he who reigneth over them; and there shall be no iniquity in his days in their midst, for all shall be holy and their king is the Lord Messiah. For he shall not put his trust in horse and rider and bow, nor shall he multiply unto himself gold and silver for war, nor by ships shall he gather confidence for the day of battle. The Lord himself is his King, and the hope of him who is strong in the hope of God. And he shall have mercy upon all the nations that come before him in fear. For he shall smite the earth with the word of his mouth, even for evermore. He shall bless the people of the Lord with wisdom and gladness. He himself also is pure from sin, so that he may rule a mighty people, and rebuke princes and overthrow sinners by the might of his word. And he shall not faint all his days, because he leaneth upon his God; for God shall cause him to be mighty through the spirit of holiness, and wise through the counsel of understanding, with might and righteousness. And the blessing of the Lord is with him in might, and his hope in the Lord shall not faint. And who can stand up against him; he is mighty in his works and strong in the fear of God, tending the flock of the Lord with faith and righteousness. And he shall allow none of them to faint in their pasture. In holiness shall he lead them all, and there shall be no pride among them that any should be oppressed.
[Sidenote: Enoch 46:1-3] And there I saw One who had a head of days, and his head was white like wool, and with him was another being whose countenance had the appearance of a man, and his face was full of graciousness, like one of the holy angels. And I asked the angel who went with me and showed me all the hidden things, concerning that Son of Man, who he was, and whence he was, and why he went with the Head of Days? And he answered and said to me, "This is the Son of Man who hath righteousness, with whom dwelleth righteousness, and who reveals all the treasures of that which is hidden, because the Lord of Spirits hath chosen him, and his lot before the Lord of Spirits hath surpassed everything in uprightness for ever."
[Sidenote: Enoch 48:3-6] Before the sun and the signs were created, before the stars of the heaven were made, his name was named before the Lord of Spirits. He will be a staff to the righteous on which they will support themselves and not fall, and he will be the light of the Gentiles, and the hope of those whose hearts are troubled. All who dwell on earth will fall down and bow the knee before him and will bless and laud and magnify with song the Lord of Spirits. And for this reason hath he been chosen and hidden before him before the creation of the world and for evermore.
[Sidenote: Enoch 49:27-29] And he sat on the throne of his glory, and the sum of judgment was committed to him, and the Son of Man caused the sinners and those who have led the world astray to pass away and be destroyed from off the face of the earth. With chains they shall be bound, and in their assembling-place of destruction shall they be imprisoned, and all their works will vanish from the face of the earth. And henceforth there will be nothing that is corruptible; for the Son of Man hath appeared and sitteth on the throne of his glory, and all evil will pass away before his face and depart; but the word of the Son of Man will be strong before the Lord of Spirits.
[Sidenote: Enoch 51:1, 2] And in those days will the earth also give back those who are treasured up within it, and Sheol also will give back that which it has received, and hell will give back that which it owes. And he will choose the righteous and holy from among them; for the day of their redemption is at hand.
I. The Growth of Israel's Messianic Hopes. Eternal hopefulness is a marked characteristic of the Hebrew race. Throughout most of their history the greater the calamities that overtook them the greater was their assurance that these were but the prelude to a glorious vindication and deliverance. This hopefulness was not merely the result of their natural optimism, but of the belief, formed by their experiences in many a national crisis, that a God of justice was overruling the events of history, and that he was working not for man's destruction but for his highest happiness and well-being. It was their insight into the divine purpose that led the Hebrew prophets to break away from the popular traditions that projected backward to the beginnings of history the realization of man's fondest hopes. Instead they proclaimed that the golden era lay in the future rather than the past. The hopes of Israel's prophets regarding that future took many different forms. Often the form was determined by the earlier experiences of the nation. At many periods the people looked for a revival of the glories of the days of David. In later days, when they were oppressed by cruel persecutions, they revived in modified form the dreams that had been current in the childhood of the Semitic race, and thought of a supernatural kingdom that was to be inaugurated after Jehovah and his attendant angels, like Marduk in the old Babylonian tradition of the creation, had overcome Satan and the fallen angels. Israel's messianic hopes were also shaped and broadened by the teachings of the great ethical prophets. A growing realization of the imperfections of the existing order led them to look ever more expectantly to the time when the prophetic ideals of justice and mercy would be realized in society, as well as in the character of the individual. These different expectations regarding the future are broadly designated as messianic prophecies. The word "messianic," like its counterpart "Messiah" (Greek, "Christ"), comes from the Hebrew word meaning to smear or to anoint. It designated in ancient times the weapons consecrated for battle or the king chosen and thus symbolically set aside to lead the people as Jehovah's representative, or a priest called to represent the people in the ceremonial worship. The common underlying idea in the word is that of consecration to a divine purpose. In its narrower application it describes simply the agent who is to realize God's purpose in history, but in its broader and prevailing usage it designates all prophecies that described the ideal which Jehovah is seeking to perfect in the life of Israel and of humanity, and the agents or agencies, whether individual or national, material or spiritual, natural or supernatural, by which he is to realize that ideal.