Page images

him by Cypros, Berenice, Mariamne and Drusilla, and a son bory of the same mother, whose name was Agrippa : he was left a very young child, so that Claudius made the country a Roman province, and sent Cuspius Fadus to be its pro curator, and after hiin Tiberius Alexander, who, making no alterations of the ancient laws, kept the nation in tranquillity. Now after this Herod the king of Chalcis died, and left behind his two soos, born to him of his brother's daughter Berenice; their names were Bernicianus, and Hyrcanus. [He also left behind him) Aristobulus, whom he had by his former wife Mariamne. There was besides another brother of his that died a private person, his name was also Aristobulus, who left behind him a daughter, whose name was Jotape : and these, as I have formerly said, were the children of Aristobulus the son of Herod, wbich Aristobulus and Alexander were born to Herod by Mariamne, and were slain by him. But as for Alexander's posterity, they reign.ed in Armenia.

. : CHAP. XII. Many tumults under Cumanus, which are composed by Quadratus.

Felix is procurator of Judea. Agrippa is advanced from Chalcis to a greater kingdom.

8 1. Now after the death of Herod, king of Chalcis, Claudius set Agrippa, the son of Agrippa, over his uncle's kingdom, while Cunianus took upon him the office of procurator of the rest, which was a Roman province, and therein he succeeded Alexander, under which Cumapus began the troubles, and the Jews ruin came on; for when the multitude were come together to Jerusalem, to the feast of unleavened bread, and a Roman cohort stood over the cloisters of the temple, (for they always were armed, and kept guard at the festivals, to prevent any innovation, which the multitude thus gathered together might make,) one of the soldiers pulled back his garment, and couring down after an indecent mauner turned his breech to the Jews, and spake such words as you may expect upon such a posture. At this the whole multitude had indignation, and made a clamour to Cumanus, that he would punish the soldier; while the rasher part of the youth, and such as were naturally the most tumultuous, fell to fighting, and caught up stones, and threw thenu at the soldiers. Upon which Cumanus was afraid Jest all the people should make an assault upon him, and

sent to call for more armed men, who, when they came in great numbers into the cloisters, the Jews were in a very great consternation, and being beaten out of the temple, they ran into the city and the violence with which they crowded to get out was so great that they trode upon each other, and squeezed one another, till teu thousand of them were killed, insomuch that this feast became the cause of mourning to their whole pation, and every family lamented [their own relations. ]

2. Now there followed after this another calamity, which arose from a tumult made by robbers : for at the public road of Beth-horou, one Stephen, a servant of Casar, carried some furniture, which the robbers fell upon, and seized; upon this Cumanus sent me to go round about the neighbouring villages, and to bring their inhabitants to him bound, as laying it to their charge that they had not pursued after the thieves, and caught them. Now here it was that a certain soldier, finding the sacred book of the law, tore it to pieces, and * threw it into the fire. Hereupon the Jews were in great disorder as if their whole country were in a flame, and assembled themselves so many of them by their zeal for their religion, as by an engine, and ran together with united clamour to Cæsarea, to Cumanus, and made supplication to him, that he would not overlook this man, who had offered such an affront to God, and to his law, but punish him for what he had done. Accordingly, he perceiving that the multitude would not be quiet unless they had a comfortable answer from him, gave order that the soldier should be brought, and drawn through those that required to have him punished, to esecution, which being done, the Jews went their ways.

3. After this there happened a fight between the Galileans and the Samaritans; it happened at a village called Geman, which is situate in the great plain of Samaria, where, as a great number of Jews were going up to Jerusalem to the feast of tabernacles, a certain Galilean was slain : and besides a vast number of people ran together out of Galilee, in order to fight with the Samaritans; but the principal men among them came to Cumanus, and besought him, that before the evil became incurable, he would come into Galilee, and

* Reland notes here, that the Talmud, in recounting ten sad ac. cidents for which the Jews ought to rend their garments, reckons this for one, “ When they hear that the law of God is burnt."

bring the authors of this murder to punishment, for that there was no other way to make the multitude separate without coming to blows. However Cumanus postponed their supplications to the other affairs he was then about, and sent the petitioners away without success.

4. But when the affair of this murder came to be told at Jerusalem, it put the multitude into disorder, and they left the feast, and without any generals to conduct them, they marched with great violence io Samaria; nor would they be ruled by any of the magistrates that were set over them, but they were managed by one Eleazar, the son of Dipeus, and by Alexander, in these their thievish and seditious attempts. These men fell upon those that were in the neiglıbourhood of the Arcabatene toparchy, and slew them, without sparing any age, and set the villages on fire. : 5. But Cumanus took one troop of horsemen, called the troop of Sabaste, out of Cæsarea, and came to the assistance of those that were spoiled; he also seized upon a great num. .ber of those that followed Eleazar, and slew more of them. And as for the rest of the multitude of those that went so zealously to fight with the Samaritans, the rulers of Jerusalem ran out clothed with sack cloth, and having ashes on their head, and begged of them to go their ways, lest by their at-. tempt to revenge themselves upon the Samaritans they should provoke the Romans to come against Jerusalem ; to have compassion upon their country, and temple, their children and their wives, and not bring the utmost dangers of destruc. tion upon them, in order to avenge themselves upon one Galilean only. The Jews complied with these 'persuasions of theirs, and dispersed themselves; but still there were a great number who betook themselves to robbing, in hopes of impunity, and rapines and insurrections of the bolder sort happened over the whole country; and the men of power among the Samaritans came to Tyre, to * Ummidius Quadratus, the president of Syria, and desired that they that had Jaid waste the country might be punished : the great men also of the Jews and Jonathan the son of Anapus, the highpriest, came thither and said, that the Samaritans were the beginners of the disturbance, on account of that murder they

* This Ummidius, or Yumidius, or, as Tacitus calls him, IFini. dius Quadratus, is mentioned in an ancient inscription, still preserv. ed, as Spanheim here informs us, which calls him UNMIDIUS Quad. BATUS.

had committed, and that Cumanus had given occasion to what had happened, by his unwillingness to punish the original authors of that murder.

6. But Quadratus put both parties off for that time, and told them, that when he should come to those places he would make a diligent inquiry after every circumstance. After which he went to Cæsarea, and crucified all those whom Cumanus had taken alive ; and when from thence he was come to the city Lydda, he heard the affair of the Samaritans, and sent for eighteen of the Jews whom he had learned to have been concerned in that fight, and beheaded them ; but he sent two others of those that were of the greatest power among them, and both Jonathan and Ananias, the higb-priests, as also Ananus the son of this Ananias, and certain others that were eminent among the Jews, to Cæsar; as he did in like manner by the most illustrious of the Samaritans. He also ordered that Cumanus (the procurator, and Cæsar the tribune, should sail to Rome, in order to give an account of what had been done to Citsar. When he had finished these matters, he went up from Lydda to Jerusalem, and finding the multitude celebrating their feast of unleavened bread without any tumult, he returned to Antioch.

7. Now when Cæsar at Rome had heard what Cumanus and the Samaritans had to say, (where it was done in the hearing of Agrippa, who zealously espoused the cause of the Jews, as in like manner, many of the great men stood by Cumadus,) he condemned the Samaritans, and commanded that three of the most powerful men among them should be put to death; he banished Cumanus, and sent Cæsar bound to Jerusalem, to be delivered over to the Jews to be tormented, that he should be drawn round the city, and then beheaded.

8. After this Cæsar sent Felix,* the brother of Pallas, to be procurator of Galilee, and Samaria, and Perca, and rc

• Take the character of this Felix, (who is well known from the Acts of the apostles, particularly froin his trembling when St. Paul discoursed of righteousness, chastity, and judgment to come, Acts xxiv. 25; and no wonder, when we have elsewhere seen that he lived in adultery with Drusilla, another man's wife, Antiq. B. xx. ch. vii. § 1. vol. iv.) in the words of Tacitus produced here by Dean Ald. rich ; " Felix exercised, says Tacitus, the authority of a king, with “ the disposition of a slave, and relying upon the great power of “ his broiher Pallas at court, thought he might safely be guilty of all " kinds of wicked practices.” Observe also the time when he was made procurator, A. D. 52. that when St. Paul pleaded his cause

moved Agrippa from Chalcis unto a greater kingdom ; for he gave him the tetrarchy which bad belonged to Philip, which contained Batanea, Trachonitis, and Gaulapitis: he added to it the kingdom of Lysanias, and that province [Abilene) which Varus had governed. But Claudius himself, when he had administered the goveroment thirteen years, eight months, and twenty days, died, and left Nero to be his successor in the empire, whom he had adopted by his wife Agrippina's delusions, in order to be his successor, although he had a son of his own whose name was Britannicus, by Messalina his former wife, and a daughter whose name was Octavio, whom he had married to Nero; he had also another daughter by Petina, whose name was Antonia,

CHAP. XIII. Nero adds four cities to Agrippa's kingdom; but other parts of Ju.

dea were under Felix. The disturbances which were raised by the Sicarii, the Magicians, and an Egyptian false prophet. The Jews and Syrians have a contest at Cæsarea.

§ 1. Now as to the many things in which Nero acted like a madman, out of the extravagant degree of the felicity and riches which he enjoyed, and by that means used his good for. tune to the injury of others; and after what manner he slev his brother, and wife, and mother, from whom his barbarity spread itself to others that were most nearly related to him;

before him, A. D. 58. he might have been many years a judge unto that nation, as St. Paul says he had then been, Acts xxiv, 10. But as to what 'Tacitus here says, that before the death of Cumanus, Fe. lix was procurator over Samaria only, does not well agree with St. Paul's words, who would hardly have called Samaria a Jewish nation. In short, since what Tacitus here says, is about countries very re. mote from Rome, where he lived ; since what he says of two Roman procurators, the one over Galilee, the other over Samaria at the same time, is without all example elsewhere, and since Josephus, who lived at that very time in Judea, appears to have known nothing of this procuratorship of Felix, before the death of Cumanus, I much suspect the story itself is nothing better than a mistake of Tacitus, especially when it seems not only omitted but contradicted by Jo. sephus; as any one may find that compares their history together. Possibly Felix might have been a subordinate judge among the Jews some time before under Cumanus, but that he was in earnest a pro. curator of Samaria before, I do not believe. Bishop Pearson, as well as Bishop Lloyd, quote this account, but with a doubtful clause; si fides Tacito, if we may believe l'acitus. Pears. Annal, Paulin. page 8. Marshal's Tables, at A. D. 49.

« PreviousContinue »