Page images

signs, that should be performed by the providence eral were wounded, and fell on both sides ; though of God. And many that were prevailed on by still the Jews were the conquerors. But when them suffered the punishments of their folly: for Felix saw that this quarrel was become a kind of Felix brought them back, and then punished them. war, he came upon them suddenly, and desired the There also came out of Egypt, about this time, to Jews to desist. And when they refused so to do, Jerusalem, one that said he was a prophet; and he armed the soldiers, and sent them out upon advised the multitude to go along with him to the them, and slew many of them, and took a greater Mount of Olives, which lay over against the city, number alive: and permitted his soldiers to plunat the distance of five furlongs. He said farther, der some of the houses of the citizens, which were that he would show them from hence how, at his full of riches. Now those Jews that were more command, the walls of Jerusalem would fall down: moderate, and of principal dignity among them, and he promised that he would procure them an were afraid of themselves : and desired of Felix entrance into the city through those walls, when that he would sound a retreat to his soldiers, and they were fallen down. Now when Felix was in- spare them for the future: and afford them room formed of these things, he sent a great number of for repentance for what they had done. And Felix horse and foot-soldiers, from Jerusalem, and at- was prevailed upon to do so. tacked the Egyptian, and the people that were with About this timet king Agrippa gave the highhim. He also slew four hundred of them, and took priesthood to Ismael, who was the son of Fabi. two hundred alive. But the Egyptian himself And now arose a sedition between the thighescaped out of the fight, and did not appear any priests, and the principal men of the multitude of more. The robbers, however, again stirred up the Jerusalem; each of which assembled a company people to make war with the Romans; and said, of the boldest sort of men, and of those that loved they ought not to obey them at all: and when innovations, and became leaders to them. And any persons would not comply with them, they set when they struggled together, they did it by castfire to their villages, and plundered them. ing reproachful words against one another; and

Now a great sedition arose *between the Jews by throwing stones also. And there was nobody that inhabited Cæsarea, and the Syrians who dwelt to reprove them: but these disorders were done there also, concerning their equal right to the privi- after a licentious manner in the city, as if it had leges belonging to citizens. For the Jews claimed no government over it. And such was the imputhe pre-eminence; because Herod their king was dences and boldness that had seized on the highthe builder of Cæsarea ; and because he was by priests, that they had the hardiness to send their birth a Jew. Now the Syrians did not deny what servants into the threshing-floors, to take away was alleged about Herod. But they said, that those tithes that were due to the priests. InsoCæsarea was formerly called Strato's Tower; and much that the poorest sort of the priests died for that then there was not one Jewish inhabitant. want. To this degree did the violence of the seWhen the presidents of that country heard of ditious prevail over all right and justice. these disorders, they caught the authors of them Now when Porcius Festus was sent || as succeson both sides, and punished them with stripes; sor to Felix by Nero, the principal of "the Jewish and by that means put a stop to the disturbance inhabitants of Cæsarea went up to Rome to acfor a time. But the Jewish citizens, depending on cuse Felix. And he had certainly been brought their wealth, and on that account despising the to punishment, unless Nero had yielded to the imSyrians, reproached them again, and hoped to portunate solicitations of his brother Pallas, who provoke them by such reproaches. However, the was at that time held in the greatest honour by Syrians, though they were inferior in wealth, yet him. Two of the principal Syrians in Cæsarea valuing themselves highly on this account, that persuaded Burrus, who was Nero's tutor, and secthe greatest part of the Roman soldiers that were retary for his Greek epistles, by giving him a great there, were either of Cæsarea or Sebaste; they sum of money, to disannul that equality of the Jewalso, for some time, used reproachful language to ish privileges of citizens which they hitherto enthe Jews. And thus it was, till at length they joyed. So Burrus, by his solicitations, obtained came to throwing stones at one another, and sev- | leave of the emperor, that an epistle should be

* A. D. 56.

† A. D. 57. f The wickedness here was very peculiar and extraordinary ; # Josephus, both here and elsewhere, frequently uses the that the high-priests should so oppress their brethren, the priests, word high-priests in the plural number : as we find it once in as to starve the poorest of them to death. See the like, chap. the New Testament also, Luke iii. 2. See the note on chap. 9. Such fatal crimes are covetousness and tyranny in the clergy, 9, and Dr. Hudson's note on the History of the War, IV. 5, as well as in the laity, in all ages. verse 13, and VI. 2.

|| A. D. 58.

written to that purpose. This epistle became the || court of the temple, towards the west. Which occasion of the following miseries that befell our wall, when it was built, did not only intercept the nation. For when the Jews of Cæsarea were in- prospect of the dining-room in the palace, but also formed of the contents of this epistle to the Syri- of the western cloisters that belonged to the outer ans, they were more disorderly than before; till court of the temple also ; where it was that the a war was kindled.

Romans kept guards for the temple at the festivals. Upon Festus's coming into Judea, it happened, | At these doings both king Agrippa, and Festus the that the country was afflicted by the robbers; procurator, were much displeased. And Festus while all the villages were set on fire, and plun- ordered them to pull the wall down again. But dered by them. And then it was that the Sicarii, the Jews petitioned him to give them leave to send as they were called, who were robbers, grew nu an ambassage about this matter to Nero. For they merous. They made use of small swords, not said, they could not endure to live if any part of much different in length from the Persian acinacæ, the temple should be demolished. And when Fesbut somewhat crooked, and like the Roman sicæ, tus had given them permission so to do, they sent or sickles. And from those weapons these rob- ten of their principal men to Nero; as also Ismael bers got their denomination ; and with them they the high-priest, and Helcias, the keeper of the slew a great many. For they mingled themselves sacred treasure. And when Nero had heard what among the multitude at their festivals, when they they had to say, he not only {forgave them what were come up in crowds from all parts to the city they had already done; but also gave them leave to worship God; and easily slew those that they to let the wall they had built stand. This was had a mind to slay. They also came frequently granted in order to gratify Poppea, Nero's wife; upon the villages belonging to their enemies, with who was a religious woman, and had requested their weapons, and plundered them, and set them these favours of Nero: and who gave order to on fire. So Festus sent forces, both horsemen and the ten ambassadors to return home, but retained footmen, to fall upon those that had been seduced Helcias and Ismael as hostages with herself. by a certain impostor, who promised them deliv- soon as the king heard this news, he gave the erance from the miseries they were under, if they high-priesthood to Joseph, who was called Cabi, would but follow him as far as the wilderness. Ac- the son of Simon, formerly high-priest. cordingly those forces that were sent destroyed both the seducer and those that were his followers.

CHAP. IX. About the same time* king Agrippa built him- CONCERNING ALBINUS, UNDER WHOSE PROCURATORSHIP JAMES WAS self a very large dining-room in the royal palace at Jerusalem, near to the portico. Now this palace Now Cæsar, upon hearing of the death of Festus, had been originally erected by the children of As- sent Albinus into Judea, as procurator. But the moneus, and was situate upon an elevation, and king deprived Joseph of the high-priesthood; and afforded a most delightful prospect to those that bestowed the succession of that dignity on the son had a mind to take a view of the city, which pros- of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus. pect was desired by the king: as he could there Now it is reported, that this eldest Ananus proved Jie down and eat, and thence observe what was a most fortunate man: for he had five sons, who done in the temple. But the chief men of Jerusa- had all performed the office of high-priest to God; lem were very much displeased at it. For it was and he had himself enjoyed that dignity a long not agreeable to the institutions of our country or time formerly: which had never happened to any law, that what was done in the temple should be other of our high-priests. But this younger Anaviewed by others; especially what belonged to the nus, who took the high-priesthood, was a bold man sacrifices. They, therefore, erected a wall upon in his temper, and very insolent. He was also of the uppermost building which belonged to the inner the sect of the gSadducees; who are very rigid



* A. D. 60.

Josephus's own life. However, both these generous acts of kind. † The Jews had the highest sense of the sanctity of the tem ness were obtained of Nero, by his queen Poppea; who was a ple and its service, and were remarkably tenacious of every religious lady, and perhaps privately a Jewish proselyte; and so ceremony. This disposition they retained long after they had were not owing entirely to Nero's own goodness. departed from the purity of the truth revealed to thein, and of It hence evidently appears, that Sadducees might be highwhich the ordinances of the sanctuary were to be the deposito- priests in the days of Josephus; and that these Sadducees were ries. B.

usually very severe and inexorable judges; while the Pharisees # We have here one eminent example of Nero's mildness in were much milder and more merciful: as appears by Reland's bis government towards the Jews, during the first five years of instances in his note on this place; and on Josephus's life, and

so famous in antiquity. We have perhaps another in those taken from the New Testament; from Josephus himself;

bis reign,

judging offenders above all the rest of the Jews : | away the tithes that belonged to the priests by as *we have already observed. When, therefore, violence: and did not refrain from beating such Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had as would not give these tithes to them. So the a proper opportunity to exercise his authority. other high-priest acted in the like manner, as did Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon those his servants, without any one's being able to the road. So he assembled the Sanhedrim of prohibit them. So that some of the priests, that judges, and brought before them the brother of of old were wont to be supported with those tithes, Jesus who was called Christ, whose name was died for want of food. James, and some of his companions. And when But now the Sicarii went into the city by night, he had laid an accusation against them as breakers just before a festival, which was at hand, and took of the law, he delivered them to be stoned. But the scribe belonging to the governor of the temas for those who seemed the most equitable of the ple, whose name was Eleazar, who was the son of citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the Ananias, the high-priest, and bound him, and breach of the laws, they disliked what was done. carried him away with them. They then sent to They also sent to king Agrippa, desiring him to Ananias, and said, they would send the scribe to send to Ananus that he should act so no more: him, if he would persuade Albinus to release ten for that what he had already done was not to be of those prisoners which he had caught of their justified. Nay,t some of them went also to meet party. So Ananias was forced to persuade AlbiAlbinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexan- nus, and gained his request of him. This was the dria; and informed him, that it was not lawful for beginning of greater calamities. For the robbers Ananus to assemble a sanhedrim without his con- perpetually contrived to catch some of Ananias's sent. Hereupon Albinus complied with what they servants : and when they had taken them alive, said, and wrote in anger to Ananus; and threat- they would not let them go, till they thereby reened that he would bring him to punishment for covered some of their own Sicarii. And as they what he had done. On which account king Agrip were again become numerous, they grew bold, pa took the high-priesthood from him, when he had and were a great affliction to the whole country. ruled but three months; and made Jesus, the son About this time king Agrippa built Cæsarea of Damneus, high-priest.

Philippi larger than it was before ; and in honour Now as soon as Albinus was come to the city of Nero named it Neronias. And when he had of Jerusalem, he used all his endeavours and care built a theatre at Berytus, with vast expense, he that the country might be kept in peace: and this bestowed on them shows, to be exhibited every by destroying many of the Sicarii. But as for the year; and spent therein many thousand drachmæ. high-priest gAnanus, he increased in glory every He also gave the people a largess of corn,|| and day, and this to a great degree; and had obtained distributed oil among them, and adorned the enthe favour and esteem of the citizens in a signal tire city with statues of his own donation; and manner. For he was a great hoarder up of money. with original images made by ancient hands. Nay He therefore cultivated the friendship of Albinus, he almost transferred all that was most ornaand of the high-priest Jesus, by making them pres- mental in his own kingdom thither. This made ents. He had also servants who were very wicked; him more than ordinarily hated by his subjects; who joined themselves to the boldest sort of the because he took those things away that belonged people, and went to the threshing-floors, and took to them, to adorn a foreign city. And now Jesus, the

[ocr errors]

and from the Rabbins. Nor do we meet with any Sadducees Jonathan ; the 3d was the 15th, Theophilus; the 4th was the 17th, Jater than this high-priest in all Josephus.

Matthias; and the 5th was the 24th, Ananus. Nor ought we to * Book XIII. chap. 10.

pass slightly over what Josephus here says of this Annas, or Ana† Of this condemnation of James the Just, and its causes; as nias, that he was high-priest a long time before his children were also that he did not die till long afterwards; see Prim. Christ. He was the son of Seth, and is set down first for high-priest Revived, Vol. III. 43–46. The Sanhedrim condemned our in the preceding catalogue, under number 9. He was made by Saviour: but could not put him to death without the approbation Quirinius, and continued till Ismael, the 10th in number, for of the Roman procurator. Nor could, therefore, Ananias and about 23 years. Which long duration of his high-priesthood, his sanhedrim do more here: since they never had Albinus's joined to the succession of his son-in-law, and five children of approbation for putting this James to death. # A. D. 62. his own, made him a sort of perpetual high-priest : and was per

This Ananias was not the son of Nebedeus, as I take it, haps the occasion that former high-priests kept their titles ever but he was called Annas or Ananus the elder, the ninth in the afterwards. For I believe it is hardly met with before him. catalogue, and who had been esteemed high-priest, for a long || By the distribution of largesses many important advantages time; and, besides, Caiaphas, his son-in-law, bad five of his own have occasionally been secured. So much are men devoted to sons high-priests after him, (which were of those numbers 11, their personal interest, that they will not only sacrifice the ben. 14, 15, 17, 24, in the foregoing catalogue.) They were these : efit of others to it, but even their own future good, for present 1. was the 11th in the catalogue, Eleazar ; the 2d was the 14th, ll gratification. B.

[ocr errors]

son of Gamaliel, became the successor of Jesus, were above eighteen thousand, were unemployed, the son of Damneus, in the high-priesthood ; which and that they, receiving no wages, were in want, the king had taken from the other. On this ac- because they had earned their bread by their lacount a sedition arose between the high-priests, bours about the temple: and while they were unwith regard to one another: for they got together willing to keep by them the treasures that were bodies of the boldest sort of the people; and fre- there deposited, out of fear of their being carried quently came from reproaches to throwing of away by the Romans: and while they had regard stones at each other. But Ananias was too hard to making provision for the workmen; they had a for the rest, by his riches : which enabled him to mind to expend those treasures upon them. For gain those that were most ready to receive. if any one of them did but labour for a single hour, Costobarus also, and Saulus, got together a multi- he received his pay immediately. So they pertude of wicked wretches: and this because they suaded him to rebuild the eastern cloisters, which were of the royal family; and so they obtained belonged to the outer court, and were situate in a favour among them, because of their kindred to deep valley, and had walls that reached four Agrippa. But still they used violence with the hundred cubits in length; and were built of square people ; and were very ready to plunder those and very white stones: the length of each of which that were weaker than themselves. And from that stones was twenty cubits, and their height six time it principally came to pass, that our city was cubits. This was the work of king Solomon, who greatly disordered ; and that all things grew worse first of all built the entire temple. But king and worse among us.

Agrippa, who had the care of the temple comBut when Albinus heard that Gessius Florus mitted to him by Claudius Cæsar, considering it was coming to succeed him, he was desirous to easy to demolish any building, but hard to build it appear to do somewhat that might be grateful to up again; and that it was particularly hard to the people of Jerusalem.* So he brought out all do it to these cloisters, which would require a conthose prisoners who seemed to him to be the most siderable time, and great sums of money; he deworthy of death, and ordered them to be put to nied the petitioners their request about that matdeath accordingly. But as to those who had been ter. But he did not obstruct them when they deput into prison, on some trifling occasions, he took sired the city might be paved with white stone. money of them, and dismissed them: by which He also deprived Jesus, the son of Gamaliel, of means the prisons were emptied, but the country the high-priesthood, and gave it to Matthias, the was filled with robbers.

son of Theophilus, under whom the war with the Now as many of the Levites as were singers Romans took its beginning. of hymns, persuaded the king to assemble a sanhedrim, and to give them leave to wear linen

CHAP. X. garments, as well as the priests. For they said that this would be a work worthy of his government; that he might have a memorial of such a Now I think it proper and agreeable to this novelty, as being his doing. Nor did they fail of history to give an account of our high-priests ; obtaining their desire. For the king, with the how they began, and who those are which are suffrages of those that came into the sanhedrim, capable of that dignity; and how many of them granted the singers of hymns this privilege, that there had been at the end of the war. In the first they might lay aside their former garments, and place, therefore, history informs us, that Aaron, wear such a linen one as they desired. And as a the brother of Moses, officiated before God as a part of this tribe ministered in the temple, he also high-priest, and that after his death, his sons sucpermitted them to learn such hymns as they had ceeded him immediately: and that this dignity has besought him for. Now all this was contrary to been continued down from them to all their

posthe law of our country; which, whenever they terity. Whence it is the custom of our country, have been transgressed, we have never been able that no one should take the high-priesthood of to avoid the punishment of such transgressions. God, but he who is of the blood of Aaron; while

And now it was that the ftemple was finished. every one that is of another stock, though he were So when the people saw that the workmen, who a king, can never obtain that high-priesthood.


* A. D. 63.

tempt the baughty high-priests had now brought their brethren | This insolent petition of some of the Levites to wear the the priests into. Of which see chap. 8, 9. sacerdotal garments, when they sung hymns to God in the tem # of this finishing, not of the holy-house, but of the courts ple, was very probably owing to the great depression and con about it, called in general the temple, see the note on XVII. 10.

Accordingly the number of all the high-priests that at Jerusalem. But as for that temple which from Aaron, of whom we have spoken already as was built in Egypt, we have spoken of it *frequentof the first of them, until Phanas, who was made ly already. Now when Jacimus had retained the high-priest during the war by the seditious, was high-priesthood three years, he died; and there eighty-three. Of these thirteen officiated as high- was no one that succeeded him; but the city conpriests in the wilderness, from the days of Moses, tinued seven years without a high-priest. But then while the tabernacle was standing, until the peo- the posterity of the sons of Asmoneus, who had ple came into Judea, when king Solomon erected the government of the nation conferred upon them, the temple to God. For at first they held the when they had beaten the Macedonians in war, high-priesthood till the end of their life: although appointed Jonathan to be their high-priest, who afterward they had successors while they were ruled over them seven years. And when he had alive. Now these thirteen, who were the descend been slain by the treacherous contrivance of Tryants of two of the sons of Aaron, received this pho, as we have related, † Simon his brother took dignity by succession one after another: for their the high-priesthood: and when he was destroyed form of government was an aristocracy, and after at a feast by the treachery of his son-in-law, his that a monarchy. Now the number of years dur- own son, whose name was Hyrcanus, succeeded ing the rule of these thirteen, from the day when him; after he had held the high-priesthood one our fathers departed out of Egypt, under Moses year longer than his brother. This Hyrcanus entheir leader, until the building of that temple which joyed that dignity thirty years, and died an old king Solomon erected at Jerusalem, were six man, leaving the succession to Judas, who was hundred and twelve. After those thirteen high- also called Aristobulus : whose brother Alexander priests, eighteen took the high-priesthood at Je- was his heir. Judas died of a sore distemper, rusalem, one in succession to another, from the after he had kept the priesthood, together with days of king Solomon, until Nebuchadnezzar king the royal authority, for this Judas was the first of Babylon made an expedition against that city, that put on his head a diadem, for one year. and burnt the temple, and removed our nation into And when Alexander had been both king and Babylon, and then took Josedek the high-priest high-priest twenty-seven years, he departed this captive. The time of these high-priests was four life; and permitted his wife Alexandra to appoint hundred and sixty-six years, six months and ten him that should be high-priest. So she gave the days: while the Jews were still under the regal high-priesthood to Hyrcanus ; but retained the government. But after the term of the seventy kingdom herself, nine years, and then died. The years' captivity under the Babylonians, Cyrus, king like duration, and no longer, did her son Hyrcanus of Persia, sent the Jews from Babylon to their enjoy the high-priesthood; for after her death his own land again ; and gave them leave to rebuild brother Aristobulus fought against him, and detheir temple. At which time Jesus, the son of prived him of his principality; and he did himself Josedek, took the high-priesthood over the cap- both reign, and perform the office of high-priest tives, when they were returned home. Now he to God. But when he had reigned three years, and his posterity, who were in all fifteen, until and as many months, Pompey came upon him, and Antiochus Eupator, were under a democratical not only took the city of Jerusalem by force, but government for four hundred and fourteen years. put him and his children in bonds, and sent them And then the aforementioned Antiochus, and Ly- to Rome. He also restored the high-priesthood sias the general of his army, deprived Onias, who to Hyrcanus, and made him governor of the nawas also named Menelaus, of the high-priesthood, tion; but forbade him to wear a diadem. This and slew him at Berea ; and driving the son of Hyrcanus ruled, besides his first nine years, twentyOnias the Third, put Jacimus into the place of the four years more, when Barzapharnes and Pacorus, high-priest. One that was, indeed, of the stock the generals of the Parthians, passed over Euof Aaron, but not of the family of Onias. On phrates, and fought with Hyrcanus, and took him this account Onias, who was the nephew of Onias alive, and made Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus, that was dead, and bore the same name with his king. And when he had reigned three years and father, came into Egypt, and got into the friend three months, Sosius and Herod besieged and ship of Ptolemy Philometor, and of Cleopatra his took him. When Antony had him brought to wife; and persuaded them to make him the high- Antioch, and slain there. Herod was then made priest of that temple which he built to God in the king by the Romans: but did no longer appoint prefecture of Heliopolis ; and this in imitation of high-priests out of the family of Asmoneus; but

* See XII. 9. XIII. 3 and 10.

+ Book XIII. chap. 6.

« PreviousContinue »