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“itable earth, Africa, whose pations are so many that it is s not easy to number them, and which is bounded by the At“ lantic sea, and the pillars of Hercules, and feeds an innu66 merable multitude of Ethiopians, as far as the Red Sea, “ these have the Romans subdued entirely. And besides the - appual fruits of the earth, which maintain the multitude of " the Romans for eight months in the year, this, over and “ above, pays all sorts of tribute, and affords revenues suita" ble to the necessities of the government : nor do they, like “ you, esteem such injunctions a disgrace to them, although “ they have but one Roman legion that abides among them. “ And indeed, what occasion is there for shewing you the “ power of the Romans over remote countries, when it is so “ easy to learn it froni Egypt, in your neighbourhood ? This “ country is extended as far as the Ethiopians, and Arabia “the Happy, and borders upon India; it hath seven millions “ five hundred thousand men, besides the inhabitants of Alex“ andria, as may be learned from the revenue of the poll-tax; “ yet it is not ashamed to submit to the Roman governmeni, - although it hath Alexandria as a grand temptation to a re« volt, by reason it is so full of people and riches, and is be“ sides exceeding large, its length being thirty furlongs, and " its breadth not less than ten; and it pays more tribute to the " Romans in one month than you do in a year; nay, besides “ what it pays in money, it sends corn to Rome that supports “it for four months in the year:) it is almost walled round "on all sides, either by almost impassable deserts, or seas that - have no havens, or by rivers, or by lakes; yet have none “ of these things been found too strong for the Roman good “ fortune; however, two legions that lie in that city are a bri6 dle both for the remoter parts of Egypt, and for the parts “ inhabited by the more noble Macedonians. Where then are “ those people whom you are to have for your auxiliaries ? " Must they come from the parts of the world that are unin“ habited ? for all that are in the habitable earth are [under “the] Romans. Unless any of you extend his hopes as far as “ beyond Euplirates, and suppose that those of your own na“ tion that dwell in Adiabene will come to your assistance; " but certainly these will not embarrass themselves with an “ unjustifiable war, nor, if they should follow such ill advice, " will the Parthians permit them so to do; for it is their cone “ cern to maintain the truce that is hetween them, and the Ro. “ maus, and they will be supposed to break the covenants be“tween them, if any under their government march against 66 the Romans. What reniains, therefore, is this, that you “ have recourse to divine assistance; but this is already on " the side of the Romans; for it is impossible that so vast an “ empire should be settled sithout God's providence. Re“ flect upon it how impossible it is for your zealous observa. “ tion of your religious customs to be here preserved, which “ are hard to be observed even when you fight with those “ whom you are able to conquer; and how can you then most 66 of all hope for God's assistance, when, by being forced to 6 transgress his law, you will make him turn his face from « you ? and if you do observe the custom of the Sabbath 6 days, and will not be prevailed op to do any thing thereon, “ you will easily be taken, as were your forefathers by Pom“ pey, who was the busiest in his siege on those days on which " the besieged rested. But if in time of war you transgress " the law of your country, I cannot tell on whose account “ you will afterward go to war; for your concern is but one, " that you do nothing against any of your forefathers; and “ how will you call upon God to assist you, when you are vol“uotarily transgressing against his religion ? Now all men " that go to war do it either as depending on divine or on hu“ man assistance; but since your going to war will cut off *both those assistances, those that are for going to war choose “evident destruction. What hinders you from slaying your “ children and wives with your own hands, and burning this “ most excellent native city of yours! for by this mad prank “ you will however escape the reproach of being beaten. “ But it were best, O my friends, it were best, while the “ vessel is still in the haven, to foresee the impending storm, " and not to sail out of the port into the middle of the hurri" canes; for we justly pity those who fall into great misfors “ tunes without forseeing them ; but for him who rushes into “ manisest ruin, he gains reproaches [instead of commisera“tion.) But certainly no one can imagine that you can enter “joto a war as by an agreement, or that when the Romans at have got you under their power, they will use you with “ moderation, or will not rather, for an example to other "nations, burn your holy city, and utterly destroy your hos whole pation ; for those of you, who shall survive the war “ will not be able to find a place wbither to flee, since all nien “ bave the Romans for their lords already, or are afraid 65 they shall have hereafter. Nay indeed the danger cou.. “ cerns not those Jews that dwell here only, but those of them " which dwell in other cities also ; for there is no people “ upon the habitable earth which have not some por" tion of you among them, whom your enemies will slay, in “ case you go to war, and on that account also; and so every “ city which bath Jews in it will be filled with slaughter, for - the sake of a few meo, and they who slay them will be par" doned: but if that slaughter be not made by thens, consider “ how wicked a thing it is to take arins against those that are :*so kind to you. Have pity therefore, if not of your chil“ dren and wives, yet upon this your metropolis, and its sa
cred walls : spare the temple, and preserve the holy house, ss with its holy furniture, for yourselves ? for if the Romans “ get you under their power they will no longer abstain from “ them, when their former abstinence shall have been so un16 gratefully requited. I call to witness your sanctuary, and .. the holy angels of God, and this country common to us all, " that I have not kept back any thing that is for your pre“servation : and if you will follow that advice which you « ought to do, you will have that peace which will be com“ mon to you and to me; but if you indulge your passion, “ you will run those hazards which I shall be free from."
5. When Agrippa had spoken thus, both he and his sister wept, and by their tears repressed a great deal of the violence of the people; but still they cried out, “ That they " would not fight against the Romans, but against Florus, on “ account of what they had suffered by his means." To which Agrippa replied, That " what they had already done w was like such as make war agaiust the Romans ; for you “ bave not paid the* tribute which is due to Cæsar; and you “ have cut off the cloisters (of the temple) from joining to the “ tower Antonia. You will therefore prevent any occasion " of revolt if you will but join these together again, and if “ you will but pay your tribute ; for the citadel does not “ now belong to Florus, nor are you to pay the tribute money "to Florus.”
* Julius Cæsar had decreed, that the Jews of Jerusalem should pay an annual tribute to the Romans, excepting the city Joppa, and for the Sabbatical year; as Spanheim observes from the Antiq. B. xiy. ch. X. $ 6. vol. iii.
CHAP. XVII. How the war of the Jews with the Romans began. And concerning
§ 1. This advice the people hearkened to, and went up into the temple, with the king and Berenice, and began to rebuild the cloisters : the rulers also and senators divided them. selves into the villages, and collected the tributes, and soon got together forty talents, which was the sum that was deficient. And thus did Agrippa then put a stop to that war which was threatened; moreover he attempted to persuade the multitude to obey Florus, until Cæsar should send one to succeed him; but they were hereby more provoked, and cast reproaches upon the king and got him excluded out of the city ; nay some of the seditious had the impudence to throw stones at him. So when the king saw that the violence of those that were for innovations was not to be restrained, and beiog very angry at the contumelies he had received, he sent their rulers, together with their men of power, to Florus, to Cæsarea, that he might appoint whom he thought fit to collect the tribute in the country, while he retired unto his own kingdom.
2. And at this time it was that some of those that principally excited the people to go to war, made an assault upon a certain fortress called Masada. They took it by treaclely, and slew the Romans that were there, and put others of their own party to keep it. At the same time Eleazer, the son of Ananias the high-priest, a very bold youth, who was at that time governor of the temple, persuaded those that offici. ated in the divine service to receive no gift or sacrifice for any foreigner. And this was the true beginning of our war with the Romans ; for they rejected the sacrifice of Cæsar op this account: and when many of the high-priests and principal men besought them not to omit the saciifice, which it was customary for them to offer for their princes, they would not be prevailed upon. These relied much upon their multitude, for the most flourishing part of the iupovators assisted them ; but they had the chief regard to Eleazar, the goveru. or of the temple.
3. Hereupon the men of power got together, and conferred with the high priests, as did also the principal of the Pharisees; and thinking all was at stake, and that their calamities were becoming incuráble, took counsel what was to be done.
Accordingly they determined to try what they could do with the seditious by words, and assembled the people before the brazen gate, which was that gate of the inner temple
court of the priests] which looketh towards the suprising. And in the first place,they shewed the great indignation they had at this attempt for a revolt, and for their bringing so great a war upon their country: after which they cenfuted theirpretence as unjustifiable, and told them, that “ their forefathers, bad " adorned their temple in great part with donations beli stowed on them by foreigpers, and had always received
what had been presented to them from foreign nations; and " that they had been so far from rejecting any person's sac“ rifice, (which would be the highest instance of impiety,) that " they had themselves placed those donations about the tem“ ple which were still visible, and had remained there so long “ a time; that they did now irritate the Romans to take arms “ against them, and invited them to make war upon them, 56 and brought up novel rules of a strange divine worship, - and determined to run the hazard of having their city consó demned for impiety, while they would not allow any for“ eigner, but Jews only, either to sacrifice or to worship " therein. And if such a law should be introduced in the 55 case of a single private person only, he would have indigoa"tion at it, as an instance of inhumanity determined against 56 him ; while they have no regard to the Romans or to Cæ. 56 sar, aud forbid even their obligations to be received also : " that however, they cannot but fear lest by rejecting their sac“rifices they shall not be allowed to offer their own; and that " this city will lose its principality, unless they grow wiser “ quickly, and restore the sacrifices as formerly, and indeed "amend the injury (they have offered foreigners] before the só report of it comes to the ears of those that have beep injured."
4. And as they said these things, they produced those priests that were skilful in the customs of their country, who made the report, that “all their forefathers had received the “ sacrifices from foreign pations.” But still not one of the Inuovators would hearken to what was said ; nay, those that ministered about the teinple would not attend their divine service, but were preparing matters for beginning the war. So the men of power, perceiving that the sedition was too hard for them to subdue, add that the danger which would arise from the Romans would come upon them first of all, endeav. oured to save themselves, and sent ambassadors, some to Flo