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cidæ. Alexander was afraid of him, when he was marching against the Arabians; so he cut a deep trench between Antipatris, which was near the mountains, and the shores of Joppa ; he also erected an high wall before the trench, and built wooden towers, in order to hinder any sudden approaches. But still he was not able to exclude Antiochus; for he burnt the towers, and filled up the trenches, and marched on with his army. And as he looked upon taking his revenge on Alexander, for endeavouring to stop him, as : a thing of less consequence, he marched directly against the Arabians, whose king retired into such parts of the country as were fittest for engaging the enemy; and then, on the sudden, made his horse turn back, which were in number ten thousand, and fell upon Antiochus's army, while they were in disorder, and a terrible battle ensued. Antiochus's troops, so long as he was alive, fought it out, although a mighty slaughter was made among them by the Arabians; but when he fell, for he was in the forefront, in the utmost danger in rallying his troops, they all gave ground, and the greatest part of his army were destroyed, either in the action or in the flight; and for the rest, who fled to the village of Cana, it happened that they were all consumed by want of necessaries, a few only excepted.
8. About this time it was that the people of Damascus, out of their hatred to Ptolemy, the son of Menneus, invited Aretas (to take the government, and made him king of Coelosyria. . This man also made an expedition against Judea, and beat Alexander in battle ; but afterwards retired by mutual agreement. But Alexander, when he had taken Pella, marched to Geresa again, out of the covetous desire he had of Theodorus's possessions; and when he had built a triple wall about the garrison, he took the place by force. He also demolished Golan, and Seleucia, and what was called the valley of Antiochus ; besides which, he took the strong fortress of Gamala, and stripped Demetrius, who was governor therein, of what he had, on account of the many crimes laid to his charge, and then returned into Judea, after he had been three whole years in this expedition. And
although there remained still a shadow of another king of that filmily, Antiochus Asiaticus, or Commagenus, who reigned, or rather lay hid, till Pompey quite turned him out, as Dean Aldrich bere notes, from Appian and Justin.
now he was kindly received by the nation, because of the good success he had. So when he was at rest from war, he fell into a distemper, for he was afflicted with a quartan ague, and supposed that by exercising himself again in martial affairs, he should get rid of his distemper; but by making such expeditions at unseasonable times, and forcing his body to undergo greater hardships than it was able to bear, he brought himself to his end. He died, therefore, in the midst of his troubles, after he had reigned seven and twenity years.
CHAP. V. Alexandra reigns nine years, during which time the Phari
sees were the real rulers of the nation. § 1. Now Alexander left the kingdom to queen Alexandra his wife, placing the greatest confidence in the Jews, that they would now readily submit to her; because she had been very averse to such cruelty as he had treated thein with, and had opposed his violation of their laws, and had thereby got the good will of the people. Nor was he mistaken as to his expectations ; for this woman kept the dominion, by the opinion that the people had of her piety, and cast those men out of the government that offended against their holy laws. And as she had two sons by Alexander, she made Hyrcanus, the elder, high-priest, on account of his age, also, besides that, on account of his inactive temper, no way disposing him to disturb the public. But she retained the younger; Aristobulus, with her, as a private person, by reason of the warmth of his temper.
2. And now the Pharisees joined themselves to her, to assist her in the government. These are a certain sect of the Jews, that appear more religious than others, and seem to interpret the laws more accurately. Now Alexandra hearkened to them to an extraordinary degree, as being herself a woman of great piety towards God. But these Pharisees artfully insinuated themselves into her favour by little and little, and became themselves the real administrators of the public affairs; they banished and reduced whom they pleased ; they bound and loosed (men) at their pleasure ; * † and, to say all at once, they had the enjoyment of the royal authority, whilst the expenses and the difficulties of it belonged to Alexandra. She was a sagacious woman in the management of great affairs, and intent always upon gathering soldiers together; so that she increased the army the one half, and procured a great body of foreign troops, till her own nation became not only very powerful at home, but terrible also to foreign potentates, while she governed other people, and the Pharisees governed her.
3. Accordingly they themselves slew Diogenes, a person of figure, and one that had been a friend to Alexander, and accused him as having assisted the king with his advice, for crucifying the eight hundred men before mentioned.] They also prevailed with Alexandra to put to death the rest of those who had irritated him against them. Now, he was so superstitious as to comply with their desires, and accordingly they slew whom they pleased themselves; but the principal of those that were in danger fled to Aristo. bulus, who persuaded his mother to spare the men on account of their dignity, but to expel them out of the city, unJess she took them to be innocent; so they were suffered to go unpunished, and were dispersed all over the country. But when Alexandra sent out her army to Damascus, under pretence that Ptolemy was always oppressing that city, she got possession of it, nor did it make any considerable resistance. She also prevailed with Tigranes, king of Arme. nia, who lay with his troops about Ptolemais, and besieged | Cleopatra, by agreements and presents, to go away. Ac
* Matt. xvi. 19. xviii. 18.
† Here we have the oldest and most authentic Jewish esposition of binding and loosing, for punishing or absolving men, not for declaring actions lawful or unlawful, as some more modern Jews and Christians vainly pretend.
# Strabo, B. xvi. p. 740, relates, that this Selene Cleopatra was besieged by Tigranes, not in Prolemais, as here, but after she had left Syria, in Seleucia, a citadel in Mesopotamia; and adds, that when he had kept her a while in prison, he put her to death. Dean Aldrich supposes here that Strabo contradicts Josephus, which does not appear to me; for, although Josephus says both here and in the Antiquities, B. xiii. ch. xvi. S 4, that Tigranes besieged her now in Ptolemais, and that he took the city, as the Antiquities inform us, yet does he no where intimate that he now took the queen herself; so that both the narrations of Strabo and Joseplus may still be true notwithstanding.
cordingly Tigranes soon arose from the siege, by reason of those domestic tumults which happened upon Lucullus's. expedition into Armenia.
4. In the mean time Alexandra fell sick, and Aristobulus, her younger son, took hold of this opportunity, with his do. mestics, of which he had a great many, who were all of them his friends, on account of the warmth of their youth, and got possession of all the fortresses. He also used the sums of money he found in them to get together a number of mercenary soldiers, and made himself king; and besides this, upon Hyrcanus's complaint to his mother, she compassionated his case, and put Aristobulus's wife and sons under restraints in Antonia, which was a fortress that joined to the north part of the temple. It was, as I have already said, of old called the Citadel ; but afterwards got the name of Antonia, when Antony was lord [of the east,] just as the other cities, Sebaste and Agrippias, had their names changed, and these given them, from Sebastus and Agrippa. But Alexandra died before she could punish Aristobulus, for his disinheriting his brother, after she had reigned nine years.
CHAP. VI. When Hyrcanus, who was Alexander's heir, receded from his
claim of the crown, Aristobulus is made king, and afterward the same Hyrcanus, by the means of Antipater, is brought back by Aretas. At last Pompey is made the arbitrator of the dispute between the brothers.
§ 1. Now Hyrcanus was heir to the kingdom, and to him did his mother commit it before she died; but Aristobulus was superior to him in power and magnanimity; and when there was a battle between them to decide the dispute about the kingdom, near Jericho, the greatest part deserted Hyrcanus, and went over to Aristobulus ; but Hyrcanus, with those of his party who stayed with him, fled to Antonia, and got into his power the hostages that might be for his preservation, (which were Aristobulus's wife, with her children ;) but they came to 'an agreement before things should come to extremities, that Aristobulus should be king, and Hyrcanus should resign that up, but retain all the rest of his dignities, as being the king's brother. Hereupon they were reconciled to each other in the temple, and em,
braced one another in a very kind manner, while the people stood round about them; they also changed their houses, while Aristobulus went to the royal palace, and Hyrcanus retired to the house of Aristobulus.
2. Now these other people which were at: variance with Aristobulus, were afraid upon his unexpected obtaining the government; and especially this concerned * Antipater, whom Aristobulus hated of old. He was by birth an Idumean, and one of the principal of that nation, on account of his ancestors and riches, and other authority to him belonging : he also persuaded Hyrcanus to fly to Aretas, the king of Arabia, and to lay claim to the kingdom ; as also he persuaded Aretas to receive Hyrcanus, and to bring him back to his kingdom : he also cast great reproaches upon Aristobulus, as to his morals, and gave great commendations to Hyrcanus, and exhorted Arétas to receive him, and told him how becoming a thing it would be for him, who ruled so great a kingdom, to afford his assistance to such as are injured ; alleging that Hyrcanus was treated unjustly, by being deprived of that dominion which belonged to him by the prerogative of his birth. And when he had predisposed them both to do what he would have them, he took Hyrcanus by night, and ran away from the city, and continuing his flight with great swiftness, he escaped to the place called Petra, which is the royal seat of the king of Arabia, where he put Hyrcanus into Aretas's hand ; and by discoursing much with him, and gaining upon him with many presents, he prevailed with him to give him an army that might restore him to his kingdom. This army consisted of fifty thousand footmen and horsemen, against which Aristobulus was not able to make resistance, but was deserted in his first onset, and was driven to Jerusalem : he also had been taken at first by force, if Scaurus, the Roman general, had not come and seasonably interposed himself, and raised the siege. This Scaurus was sent into Syria, from Armenia, by Pompey the Great, when he fought against Tigranes ; so Scaurus came to Damascus, which had been lately taken by Metellus and Lollius, and caused them to leave the place; and, upon his hearing how the affairs of Judea stood, he made haste thither as to a certain booty.
* That this Antipater, the father of Hcrod the Great, was an Idumean, as Josephus affirms here; see the note on Antiq. B. xiv. ch, xv. § 2.