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from other places. After this he rested at Rhinocolura, and from thence he went to Raphia, which was his fourth station. This city is the beginning of Syria. For his fifth station he pitched his camp at Gaza ; after which he came to Ascalon, and thence to Jamnia, and after that to Joppa, and from Joppa to Cæsarea, having taken a resolution to gather all his other foroes together at that place
CONTAINING THE INTERVAL OF NEAR SIX
From the coming of Titus to besiege Jerusalem, to the great
extremity to which the Jews were reduced.]
Concerning the seditions at Jerusalem, and what terrible miseries
afflicted the city by their means. 8 1. When therefore Titus had marched over that desert which lies between Egypt and Syria, in the manner forementioned, he came to Cæsarea, having resolved to set his forces in order at that place, before he began the war. Nay, indeed, while he was assisting his father at Alexandria in settling that government which had been newly conferred upon them by God, it so happened, that the sedition at Jerusalem was revived, and parted into three factions, and that one faction fought against the other, which partition in such evil cases may be said to be a good thing, and the effect of divine justice. Now as to the attack the zealots made upon the people, and which I esteem the beginning of the city's destruction, it hath been already explained after an accurate manner; as also whence it arose, and to how great a mischief it was increased. But, for the present sedition, one should not mistake if he called it'a sedition begotten by another sedition, and to be like a wild beast grown mad, which, for want of food from abroad, fell now upon eating its own flesh.
2. For Eleazar, the son of Simon, who made the first separation of the zealots from the people, and made them me tire into the temple, appeared very angry at John's insolent attempts, which he made every day upon the people; for this man never left off murdering : but the truth was, that he could not bear to submit to a tyrant who set ap after him. So being desirous of gaining the entire power and dominion to himself, revolted from John, and took to his assistance Judas, the son of Chelcias, and Sinjon the son of Ezron, who were among the men of greatest power. There was also with him Hezekiah, the son of Chobar, a person of eniinepce. Each of these were followed by a great many of the zealots; these seized upon the inner court * of the temple, and laid their arms upon the holy gates, and over the holy front of that court. And because they had plenty of provisions, they were of good courage; for there was a great abundance of what was consecrated to sacred rises, and they scrupled not the making use of them; yet were they afraid on account of their small number, and when they had laid up their arms there, they did not stir from the place they were iu. Now, as to Jolin, what advantage he had above Eleazar in the multitude of his followers, the like disadvantage he had in the situation he was in, since he had his enemies over his head; and as he could not make any assault upon them without some terror, so was his anger too great to let him be at rest; nay, although he suffered more mischief from Eleazar and his party, than he could inflict upon them, yet would he not leave off assaulting them, inscmuch that there were continual sallies made ope against another, as well as darts thrown at one another, and the temple was defiled every where with murders.
3. But now the tyrant Simon, the son of Gioras, whom the people had invited in, out of the hopes they had of his assistance in the great distress they were in, having in his power the upper city, and a great part of the lower, did now make more vehement assaults uponi John and his par y, because they were fought against from above also; yet was he beneath their situation, when he attacked them, as they were beneath the attacks of the others above them. Whereby it came to pass, that John did both receive and inflict great damage, and that easily, as he was fought against on
* This appears to be the first time that the zealots ventured to pollute this most sacred court of the temple, which was the court of the priests, wherein the temple itself and the altar stood So that the conjectures of those that would interpret that Zacharias, who was slain “between the temple and the altar" several months before, B. iv. ch. v. 9 4. vol. v. as if he were slain there by these zealots, is groundless, as I have noted on that place alreadly.
both sides; and the same advantage that Eleazar and his par. ty had over him, since he was beneath them, the same advantage bad he, by his higher situation, over Simon. On which account he easily repelled the attacks that were made from beneath, by the weapons thrown from their hands only; but was obliged to repel those that threw their darts from the temple above him, by his engines of war; for he had such engines as threw darts, and javelips and stones, and that in Do small number, by which he did not only defend himself from such as fought agaiost him, but slew moreover many of the priests as they were about their sacred ministrations. For, notwithstanding these men were mad with all sorts of impiety, yet did they still admit those that desired to offer their sacrifices, although they took care to search the people of their own country beforehand, and both suspected and watched them; while they were not so much afraid of strangers, who, although they had gotten leave of them, how cruel soever they were, to come into that court, were yet often destroyed by this sedition ; for those darts that were thrown by the engines, came with that force that they went over all the buildings, and reached as far as the altar, and the temple itself, and fell upon the priests, and those * that were about the sacred offices; ipsomuch that many persons wlio came thither with great zeal from the ends of the earth, to offer sacrifices at this celebrated place, which was esteemed holy by all mankind, fell down before their own sacrifices themselves, and sprinkled that altar which was venerable among all meu, both Greeks and Barbarians, with their own blood; till the dead bodies of strangers, were mingled together with those of their own country, and those of profane persons with those of the priests, and the blood of all sorts of dead carcases stood in lakes in the holy courts themselves. And now, “O most wretched city, what misery so great
as this didst thou suffer from the Romans, when they « came to purify thee from thy intestine hatred ? For thou " couldst be no longer a place fit for God, nor couldst thou « long continue in being, after thou badst been a sepulchre “ for the bodies of thy own people, and hadst made the hou « Jy house itself a burying-place in this civil war of thine.
Yet t mayst thou again grow better, if perchance thou wilt * The Levites.
+ This is an excellent reflection of Josephus, including his hopes of the restoration of the Jews upon their repentance. See Antig. " hereafter appease the anger of that God who is the author so of thy destruction.” But I must restrain myself from these passions by the rules of history, since this is not a proper time for domestical lamentations, but for historical narrations; I therefore return to the operations that follow in this sedition.
4. And now there were three treacherous factions in the city, the one parted from the other. Eleazar and his pariy, that kept the sacred first-fruits, came against John in their cups. Those that were with John pluodered the populace, and went out with zeal against Simon. This Simon had his supply of provisions from the city in opposition to the seditious. When, therefore, John was assaulted on both sides, he made his men turn about, throwing his darts upon those citizens that came up against him, from the cloisters he had in his possession, while he opposed those that attack. ed him from the temple by his engines of war. And if at any time he was freed from those that were above him, which happened frequently, from their being drunk and tired, he sallied out with a great number upon Simon and his party; and this he did always in such parts of the city as he could come at, till he set on fire those houses that were full of cora, * and of all other provisions. The same thing was done by Simon, when, upon the other's retreat, he attacked the city also; as if they had on purpose done it to serve the Romans, by destroying what the city had laid up against the siege, and by thus cutting off the nerves of their own power. Accordingly it so came to pass, that all the places that were about the temple were burnt down, and were become an intermediate desert space, ready for fighting on both sides of it; and that almost all that corn was burnt,
P. IV. ch. viii. $ 46. vol. 1. which is the grand Hope of Israel, as Manasseh ben Israel, the famous Jewish rabbi, styles it, in his small but remarkable treatise on that subject, of which the Jewish prophets are every wliere full. See the principal of those prophecies collected together at the end of the Essay on the Revelation, page 122, &c.
* This destruction of such a vast quantity of corn and other provisions, as was sufficient for many years was the direct occasion of that terrible famine, which consumed incredible numbers of Jews in Jerusalem during its siege. Nor probably could the Romans have taken this city, after all, had not these seditious Jews been so infatuated, as thus madly to destroy, what Joseplius here justly styles, “ The nerves of their power."