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multitude so to do, he sent beforehand, and gave directions to the centurions of the cohorts, that they should give no. tice to those that were under them, not to return the Jews salutations, and that if they made any reply to his disadvantage, they should make use of their weapons. Now the high-priests assembled the multitude in the temple, and desired them to go and meet the Romans, and to salute the cohorts very civilly, before their miserable case should become incurable. Now the seditious part would not comply with these persuasions; but the consideration of those that had been destroyed, made them incline to those that were the boldest for action.
4. At this time it was that every priest, and every servant of God, brought out the holy vessels, and the ornamental garments wherein they used to minister about sacred things.
The harpers also, and the singers of hymns came out with their instruments of music, and fell down before the multitude, and begged of them that they would preserve those holy ornaments to them, and not provoke the Romans to carry off those sacred treasures. You might also see then the highpriests themselves with dust sprinkled in great plenty upon their heads, with bosoms deprived of any covering, but what was rent ; these besought every one of the eminent men by name, and the multitude in common, that they would not for a small offence, betray their country to those that were desirous to have it laid waste, saying, “What benefit will it * bring to the soldiers to have a salutation from the Jews ? 6 or what amendment of your affairs will it bring you, if you “ do not now go out to meet them ? and that if they saluted " them civilly, all handle would be cut off from Florus to be“gin a war; that they should thereby gain their country and s freedom from all farther sufferings : and that, besides, it “ would be a sign of great want of command of themselves, “if they should yield to a few seditious persons, while it “ was fitter for them, who were so great a people, to force “the others to act soberly."
5. By these persuasions, which they used to the multitude, and to the seditious, they restrained some by threatenings, and others by the reverence that was paid them. After this they led them out, and they met the soldiers quietly, and after a composed manner, and when they were come up with them, they saluted them, but when they made no answer, the seditious esclaimed against Florus, which was the signal given for falling upon them. The soldiers therefore encompassed them presently, and struck them with their clubs, and, as they fled away, the horsemen trampled them down, so that a great many fell down dead by the strokes of the Romans, and more by their own violence in crushing one another. Now there was a terrible crowding about the gates, and while every body was making haste to get before another, the flight of them all was retarded, and a terrible destruction there was among those that fell down, for they were suffocated, and broken to pieces by the multitude of those that were uppermost; por could any of them be distinguished by his relations in or. der to the care of bis funeral; the soldiers also who beat them, fell upon those whom they overtook, without shewing them any mercy, and thrust the multitude through the place called * Bezetha, as they forced their way, in order to get in and seize upon the temple, and the tower Antonia. Florus also being desirous to get those places into his possession, brought such as were with him out of the king's palace, aud would have compelled them to get as far as the citadel (Antonia]; but his attempt failed, for the people immediately turned back upon him and stopped the violence of his attempt, and as they stood upon the tops of their houses, they threw their darts at the Romans; who, as they were sorely galled thereby, because those weapous came from above, and they were not able to make a passage through the multitude, which stopped up the narrow passages, they retired to the camp, which was at the palace. !
6. But for the seditious, they were afraid lest Florus should come again, and get possession of the temple, through · Antonia; so they got immediately upon those cloisters of the temple that joined to Antonia, and cut them down. This cooled the avarice of Florus, for whereas he was eager to
. * I take this Bezetha to be that small hill adjoining to the north side of the temple, whereon was the hospital with five porticos or cloisters, and beneath which was the sheep pool of Bethesda, into which an angel or messenger, at a certain season, descended, and where he or they, who were the first put into the pool, were cured, John, v. 1. &c. This situation of Bezetha; in Josephus, on the north side of the temple, and not far off the tower Antonia, exactly agrees to the place of the same pool, at this day. Only the remaining cloisters are but three. See Maundrel, page 106. The entire buil. dings seem to have been called the New City, and this part, where was the hospital, peculiarly Bezetha or Bethesda. See ch. xix. 9 4.
WAR. obtain the treasures of God (in the temple,] and on that account was desirous of getting into Antoma, as soon as the cloisters were broken down, he left off his attempt; he then sent for the high-priests, and the sanhedrim, and told then, that he was indeed himself going out of the city, but that he would leave them as large a garrison as they should desire. Hereupon they promised that they would make no innovations, in case they would leave them one band; but not that which had fought with the Jews, because the multitude bore ill-will against that band on account of what they had suffered from it; so he changed the band, as they desired, and, with the rest of his forces, returned to Cæsarea.
CHAP. XVI. Cestius sends Neopolitanus the tribune to see in what condition
the affairs of the Jews were. Agrippa makes a Speech to the people of the Jews, that he may divert them from their intentions of making war with the Romans.
§ 1. HOWEVER Florus contrived another way to oblige the Jews to begin the war, and sent to Cestius, and accused the Jews falsely of revolting [from the Roman government,] and imputed the beginning of the former fight to them, and pretended they had been the authors of that disturbance, wherein they were only the sufferers. Yet were not the governors of Jerusalem silent upon this occasion, but did themselves write to Cestius, as did Berenice also, about the illegal practices of which Florus had been guilty against the city; who, upon reading both accounts consulted with his captains
what he should do. Now some of them thought it best for Cestius to go up with his army, either to punish the revolt if it was real, or to settle the Roman affairs on a surer foundation, if the Jews continued quiet under them; but he thought it best himself to send one of his intimate friends beforehand, to see the state of affairs, and to give him a faithful account of the intention of the Jews. Accordingly he sent one of his tribunes, whose name was Neopolitanus who met with king Agrippa, as he was returning from Alexandria, at Jamnia, and told him who it was that sent him, and on what errands he was sent.
2. And here it was that the high-priests, and men of power among the Jews, as well as the saphedrim, come to congratulate the king (upon his safe return,] and after they had
paid him their respects, they lamented their own calamities, and related to him the barbarous treatment they had met with from Florus. At which barbarity Agrippa had great indignation, but trausferred after a subtile maoner, his anger towards those Jews whom he really pitied, that he might beat down their high thoughts of themselves, and would bare them believe that they had not been so unjustly treated, in order to dissuade them from avenging themselves. So these great men, as of better understanding than the rest, and desi. rous of peace, because of the possessions they had, understood that this rebuke which the king gave them was intended for their good ; but as to the people they came sixty furlongs out of Jerusalem, and congratulated both Agrippa, and Neopolitanus ; but the wives of those that had been slain came rupping first of all and lamenting. The people also, when they heard their mourning, fell into lamentations also, and besought Agrippa to assist them: they also cried out to Neopolitanus, and complained of the many miseries they had en. dured under Florus, and they shewed them, when they were come into the city, how the market-place was made desolate, and the houses plundered. They then persuaded Neopolitanus, by the means of Agrippa, that he would walk round the city, with one only servant, as far as Siloam, that he might inform himself that the Jews submitted to all the rest of the Romans, and were only displeased at Florus by reason of his exceeding barbarity to them. So he walked round, and had sufficient experience of the good temper the people were in, and then went up to the temple, where he called the multitude together, and highly commended them for their fidelity to the Romans, and earnestly exhorted them to keep the peace, and having performed such parts of divine worship at the temple as he was allowed to do, he returned to Cestius.
3. But as for the multitude of the Jews, they addressed themselves to the king, and to the high-priests, and desired they might have leave to send ambassadors to Nero against Florus, and not by their silence afford a suspicion that they had been the occasions of such slaughters as had been made, and were disposed to revolt, alleging that they should seem to have been the first beginners of the war, if they did not prevent the report, by shewing who it was that began it; and it appeared openly, that they would not be quiet, if any body should hinder them from sending such an embassage. Bot Agrippa, although he thought it too dangerous a thing for
them to appoint men to go as the accusers of Florus, yet did he not think it fit for him to overlook them, as they were in a disposition for war. He therefore called the multitude together ioto a large gallery, and placed his sister Berenice ia the house of the Asamoneans, that she might be seen by them, (which house was over the gallery, at the passage to the upper city, where the bridge joined the temple to the gallery,) and spake to them as follows.
4. * " Had I perceived that you were all zealously disposed to go to war with the Romans, and that the purer and “ more sincere part of the people did not propose to live in " peace, I had not come out to you, nor been so bold as to give " you counsel ; for all discourses that tend to persuade men to " do what they ought to do is superfluous, when the hearers " are agreed to do the contrary. But because some are ear“ nest to go to war, because they are young, and without ex: “ perieuce of the miseries it brings, and because some are for “ it, out of an upreasonable expectation of regaining their “ liberty, and because others hope to get by it, and are there55 fore earnestly bent upon it, that in the confusion of your af
* In tbis speech of king Agrippa we have an authentic account of the extent and strength of the Roman empire when the Jewish war began. And this speech, with other circumstances in Josephus, demonstrate how wise, and how great a person Agrippa was, and why Josephus elsewhere calls him oxundo o 70, a most wonderful, or admirable man, Contr. Ap. 1. 9. He is the same Agrippa who said to Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian, Acts xxvi. 28. and of whom St. Paul said, He was expert in all the customs and questions of the Jews, ver. 3. See another intimation of the limits of the same Roman empire, Of the War, B. iii. ch. v.$ 7. vol. v. But what seems to me very remarkable here, is this, that when Josephus, in imitation of the Greeks and Romans, for whose use he wrote the Antiquities, did himself frequently compose the speeches which he put into their mouths; they appear, by the politeness of their composition, and their flights of oratory, to be not the real speeches of the persons concerned, who usually were no orators, but of his own elegant composure : the speech before us is of another nature, full of undeniable facts, and composed in a plain and unartful, but moving way; so it appears to be king Agrippa's own speech, and to have been given Josephus hy Agrippa himself, with whom Josephus had the greatest friendship. Nor may we omit Agrippa's constant doctrine here, that this rast koman empire was raised and supported by divine Providence, and that therefore it was in vain for the Jews or any others to think of destroying it. Nor may we neglect to take notice of Agrippa's solemn appeal to the angels here used; the like appeals to which we have in St. Paul, 1 Tim. v. 22. and by the apostles in general, in the form of the ordination of bishops, Constitut. Apost. viii. 4.