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partner in the kingdom ; for he slew him by the means of the calumnies which ill men about the palace contrived against him. At first, indeed, Aristobulus would not believe their reports, partly out of the affection he had for his brother, and partly because he thought that a great part of these tales were owing to the envy of their relators : however, as Antigonus came once in a splendid manner from the army to that festival, wherein our ancient custom is to make tabernacles for God, it happened in those days, that AristobuJus was sick, and that, at the conclusion of the feast, Antigonus came up to it, with his armed men about him; and this when he was adorned in the finest manner possible, and that, in great measure, to pray to God on the behalf of his brother. Now at this very time it was, that these ill men came to the king, and told him in what pompous manner the armed men came, and with what insolence Antigonus marched, and that such his insolence was too great for a private person, and that accordingly he was come with a great band of men to kill him ; for that he could not endure this bare enjoyment of royal honour, when it was in his power to take the kingdom himself.
3. Now Aristobulus, by degrees, and unwillingly, gave credit to these accusations ; accordingly, he took care not to discover his suspicion openly, though he provided to be sccure against any accidents ; so he placed the guards of his body in a certain dark subterraneous passage ; for he lay sick in a place called formerly the Citadel, though afterwards its name was changed to Antonia ; and he gave orders, that if Antigonus came unarmed, they should let him alone; but if he came to him in his armour, they should kill him. He also sent some to let him know beforehand, that he should come unarmed. But, upon this occasion, the queen very cunningly contrived the matter with those that ploited his ruin ; for she persuaded those that were sent, to conceal the king's message ; but to tell Antigonus, how his brother had heard he had got a very fine suit of armour, made with fine martial ornaments in Galilee ; and because his present sickness hindered him from coming and seeing all that finery, he very much desired to see him now in his armour: because, said he, in a little time thou art going away from me.
4. As soon as Antigonus heard this, the good temper of his brother not allowing him to suspect any harm from him, he came along with his armour on, to show it to his brother; but when he was going along that dark passage, which was called Strato's Tower, he was slain by the body-guards, and became an eminent instance how calumny destroys all good will and natural aifection, and how none of our good affections are strong enough to resist envy perpetually.
5. And truly, any one would be surprised at Judas upon this occasion. He was of the sect of the Éssens, and had never failed or deceived men in his predictions before. Now this man saw Antigonus as he was passing along by the temple, and cried out to his acquaintance, (they were not a few who attended upon him as his scholars.) " O strange! said he, it is good for me to die now, since truth is dead before me, and somewhat that I have foretold hath proved false; for this Antigonus is this day alive who ought to have died this day; and the place where he ought to be slain, according to that fatal decree, was Strato's Tower, which is at the distance of six hundred furlongs from this place ; and yet four hours of this day are over already, which point of time renders the prediction impossible to be fulfilled.” And when the old man had said this, he was dejected in his mind, and so continued. But, in a little time, news came, that Antigonus was slain in a subterraneous place, which was itself also called Strato's Tower, by the same name with that Cæsarea which lay by the sea-side ; and this ambiguity it was which caused the prophet's disorder.
6. Hereupon Aristobulus repented of the great crime he had been guilty of, and this gave occasion to the increase of his distemper. He also grew worse and worse, and his soul was constantly disturbed at the thoughts of what he had done, till his very bowels being torn to pieces by the intolerable grief he was under, he threw up a great quantity of blood. And as one of those servants that attended him carried out that blood, he, by some supernatural providence, slipped and fell down in the very place where Antigonus had been slain ; and so he spilt some of the murderer's blood, upon the spots of the blood of him that had been murdered, which still appeared. Hereupon a lamentable cry arose among the spectators, as if the servant had spilled the blood on purpose in that place; and as the king heard that cry, he inquired what was the cause of it? And while nobody durst tell him, he pressed them so much the more to Ict him know what was the matter; so at length, when he had threatened them, and foreed them to speak out, they told ; whereupon he burst out into tears, and groaned, and said, “ So I perceive I am not like to escape the all-seeing eye of God, as to the great crimes I have committed ; but the vengeance of the blood of my kinsman pursues me hastily. O thou most impudent body, how long wilt thou retain a soul that ought to die on account of that punishment it ought to suffer for a mother and a brother şlain ? How long shall I myself spend my blood drop by drop ? Let them take it all at once ; and let their ghosts no longer be disappointed by a few parcels of my bowels offered to them.” As soon as he had said these words he presently died, when he had reigned no longer than a year.
CHAP. IV. What actions were done by Alexander Janneus, who reigned
twenty-seven years. $ 1. And now the king's wife loosed the king's brethren, and made Alexander king, who appeared both elder in age, and more moderate in his temper than the rest; who, when he came to the government, slew the one of his brethren, as affecting to govern himself; but had the other of them in great esteem, as loving a quiet life, without meddling with public affairs. ; 2. Now it happened that there was a battle between him and Ptolemy, who was called Lathyrus, who had taken the city Asochis. He indeed slew a great many of his ene. mies, but the victory rather inclined to Ptolemy. But when this Ptolemy was pursued by his mother, Cleopatra, and retired into Egypt, Alexander besieged Gadara, and took it ; as also he did Amathus, which was the strongest of all the fortresses that were about Jordan, and therein were the most precious of all the possessions of Theodorus, the son of Zeno. Whereupon Theodorus marched against him, and took what belonged to himself, as well as the king's baggage, and slew ten thousand of the Jews. However, Alexander recovered this blow, and turned his force towards the maritime parts, and took Raphia, and Gaza, with Anthedon also, which was afterwards called Agrippias, by king Herod.
3. But when he had made slaves of the citizens of all these cities, the nations of the Jews made an insurrection
against him at a festival'; for at those feasts seditions are generally begun, and it looked as if he should not be able to escape the plot they had laid for him, had not his foreign auxiliaries, the Pisidians and Cicilians, assisted him ; for as to the Syrians, he never admitted them among the mertenary troops, on account of their innate enmity against the Jewish nation. And when he had slain more than six thousand of the rebels, he made an incursion into Arabia, and when he had taken that country, together with the Gileadites and Moabites, he enjoined them to pay him tribute, and returned to Amathus; and as Theodorus was surprised at his great success, he took the fortress, and demolished it.
4. However, when he fought with Obodus, king of the Arabians, who had laid an ambush for him near Golan, and a plot against him, he lost his entire army, which was crowded together in a deep valley, and broken to pieces by the multitude of camels. And when he had made his escape to Jerusalem, he provoked the multitude, which hated him before, to make an insurrection against him, and this on account of the greatness of the calamity that he was under. However, he was then too hard for them: and in the several battles that were fought on both sides, he slew not fewer than fifty thousand of the Jews, in the interval of six years. Yet had he no reason to rejoice in these victories, since he did but consume his own kingdom ; till at length he fell off fighting, and endeavoured to come to a composition with them, by talking with his subjects. But this mutability and irregularity of his conduct made them hate him still more. And when he asked them, why they so hated him, and what he should do in order to appease them ? they said, by killing himself; for that it would be then all they could do to be reconciled to him, who had done such tragical things to them, even when he was dead. At the same time they invited Demetrius, who was called Eucerus, to assist them; and as he readily complied with their request, in hopes of great advantages, and came with his army, the Jews joined with those their auxiliaries about Shechem.
5. Yet did Alexander meet with these forces with one thousand horsemen, and eight thousand mercenaries, that were on foot. He had also with him that part of the Jews which favoured him, to the number of ten thousand; while the adverse party had three thousand horsemen, and fourteen thousand footmen. Now, before they joined battle,
the kings made proclamation, and endeavoured to draw off each other's soldiers, and make them revolt; while Demetvius hoped to induce Alexander's mercenaries to leave him, and Alexander hoped to induce the Jews that were with Demetrius to leave him. But since neither the Jews would leave off their rage, nor the Greeks prove unfaithful, they came to an engagement, and to a close fight, with their weapons. In which battle Demetrius was the conqueror, although Alexander's mercenaries showed the greatest exploits both in soul and body. Yet did the upshot of this battle prove different from what was expected, as to both of them; for neither did those that invited Demetrius to come to them, continue firm to him, though he were conqueror; and six thousand Jews, out of pity to the change of Alexander's condition, when he was fled to the mountains, came over to him. Yet could not Demetrius bear this turn of affairs, but supposing that Alexander was already become a match for him again, and that all the nation would (at length] run to him, he left the country and went his way.
6. However, the rest of the [Jewish) multitude did not lay aside their quarrels with him, when the [foreign) auxiliaries were gone; but they had a perpetual war with Alexander, until he had slain the greatest part of them, and driven the rest into the city Bemeselis; and when he had demolished that city, he carried the captives into Jerusalem. Nay, his rage was grown so extravagant, that his barbarity proceeded to the degree of impiety; for when he had ordered eight hundred to be hung upon crosses in the midst of the city, he had the throats of their wives and children cut before their eyes; and these executions he saw, as he was drinking, and lying down with his concubines. Upon which, so deep a surprise seized on the people, that eight thousand of his opposers fled away the very next night, out of all Judea, whose flight was only terminated by Alexander's death: so at last, though not till late, and with great difficulty, he, by such actions, procured quiet to his kingdom, and left off fighting any more.
7. Yet did that Antiochus, who was also called Dionysius, become an origin of troubles again. This man was the brother of Demetrius, and the * last of the race of the Seleu
* Josepbus here calls this Antiochus the last of the Scleucidit,