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to Gerasa again, out of the covetous desire he had of Theodorus' possessions ; and when he had built a triple wall about the garrison, he took the place by force. He also demolished Golan, and Seleucia, and what was called the Valley of Antiochus; besides which, he took the strong fortress of Gamala, and stripped Demetrius, who was governor therein, of what he had, on account of the many crimes laid to his charge, and then returned into Judea, after he had been three whole years in this expedition. And now he was kindly received of the nation, because of the good success be had. So, when he was at rest from war, he fell into a distemper; for he was afflicted with a quartan ague, and supposed that by exercising himself again in martial affairs, he should get rid of this distemper ; but, by making such expeditions at unseasonable times, and forcing his body to undergo greater hardships than it was able to bear, he brought himself to his end. He died, therefore, in the midst of his troubles, after he had reigned seven-and-twenty years.
CHAP. V. Alexandra reigns nine Years, during which time the Pharisees were the real
Rulers of the Nation. § 1. Now Alexander left the kingdom to Alexandra his wife, and depended upon it that the Jews would now very readily submit to her, because she had been very averse to such cruelty as he had treated them with, and had opposed his violation of their laws, and had thereby got the good will of the people. Nor was he mistaken as to his expectations ; for this woman kept the dominion, by the opinion that the people had of her piety; for she chiefly studied the ancient customs of her country, and cast those men out of the government that offended against their holy laws. And, as she had two sons by Alexander, she made Hyrcanus the elder high priest, on account of his age, as also on account of his inactive temper, which no way disposed him to disturb the public. But she retained the younger, Aristobulus, with her, as a private person, by reason of the warmth of his temper.
2. And now the Pharisees joined themselves to her, to assist her in the government. These are a certain sect of the Jews that appear more religious than others, and seem to interpret the laws more accurately. Now, Alexandra hearkened to them to an extraordinary degree, as being herself a woman of great piety towards God. But these Pharisees artfully insinuated themselves into her favour by little and little, and became them. selves the real administrators of the public affairs: they banished and reduced whom they pleased; they bound and loosed (men) at their pleasure,*+ and, to say all at once, they had the enjoyment of the roral authority, whilst the expenses and the difficulties of it belonged to Alexandra. She was a sagacious woman in the management of great affairs, and intent always upon gathering soldiers together; so that she increased the army the one half, and procured a great body of foreign troops, till her own nation became not only powerful at home, but terrible also to foreign potentates, while she governed other people, and the Pharisees governed her.
• Matt. xvi. 19. xviii. 18.
+ Here we have the oldest and most authentic Jewish esposition of binding and loosing, for punishing or absolving men, not for declaring actions lawful or unlawful; as some modern Jews and Christians vainly pretend.
3. Accordingly they themselves slew Diogenes, a person of figure, and one that had been a friend to Alexander : and accused him as having assisted the king with his advice, for crucifying the eight hundred men [before mentioned.] They also prevailed with Alexandra to put to death the rest of those who had irritated him against them. Now, she was so superstitious as to comply with their desires, and accordingly they slew whom they pleased themselves; but the principal of those that were in danger fled to Aristobulus, who persuaded his mother to spare the men on account of their dignity, but to expel them out of the city, unless she took them to be innocent ; so they were suffered to go unpunished, and were dispersed all over the country. But when Alexandra sent out her army to Damascus, under pretence that Ptolemy was always oppressing that city, she got possession of it; nor did it make any considerable resistance. She also prevailed with Tigranes, king of Armenia, who lay with his troops about Ptolemais, and besieged Cleopatra,* by agreements and presents, to go away. Accordingly, Tigranes soon arose from the siege, by reason of those domestic tumults which happened upon Lucullus' expedition into Armenia.
4. In the meantime, Alexandra fell sick, and Aristobulus, her younger son, took hold of this opportunity with his domestics, of which he had a great many, who were all of them his friends, on account of the warmth of their youth, and got possession of all the fortresses. He also used the sums of money he found in them, to get together a number of mercenary soldiers, and make himself king; and besides this, upon Hyrcanus' complaint to his mother, she compassioned his case, aud put Aristobulus' wife and sons under restraint in Antonia, which was a fortress that joined to the north part of the temple. It was, as I have already said, of old called the Citadel ; but afterwards got the name of Antonia, when Antony was lord (of the East,] just as the other cities, Sebaste and Agrippa, had their names changed, and these given them, from Sebastus and Agrippa. But Alexandra died before she could punish Aristobulus for his disinheriting his brother, after she had reigned nine years.
| CHAP. VI. Wher Hyrcanus, who was Alexandra's Heir, receded from his Claim of the
Crown, Aristobulus is made King, and afterward the same Hyrcanus, by the means of Antipater, is brought back by Aretas. At last Pompey is made the Arbitrator of the Dispute between the Brothers.
§ 1. Now Hyrcanus was heir to the kingdom, and to him did his mother commit it before she died; but Aristobulus was superior to him in power and magnanimity; and when there was a battle between them, to decide the dispute about the kingdom, near Jericho, the greatest part deserted Hyrcanus, and went over to Aristobulus ; but Hyrcanus, with those
• Strabo, b. xvi. p. 740. relates, that this Selene Cleopatra was besieged by Tigranes, not in Ptolemais, as here, but after she had left Syria iu Seleucia, a citadel in Mesopotainia ; and adds, that when he had kept her a while in prison, he put her to death. Dean Aldrich supposes here, that Strabo contradicts Josephus, which does not appear to me; for although Josephus says, both here and in the Antiquities, b, xii. chap. xvi. 8 4 that Tigranes besieged her now in Ptolemais, and that he took the city, as the Antiquities inform us, yet does bo no where intimate that he now took the queen herself; so that both the narrations of Strabo and Josephus may still be true notwithstanding.
of his party who staved with him, fled to Antonia, and got into his power the hostages that might be for his preservation (which were Aristobulus' wife, with her children ;) but they came to an agreement, before things should come to extremities, that Aristobulus should be king, and Hyrcanus should resign that up, but retain all the rest of his dignities, as being the king's brother. Hereupon they were reconciled to each other in the temple, and embraced one another in a very kind manner, while the people stood round about them : they also changed their houses, while Aristobulus went to the royal palace, and Hyrcanus retired to the house of Aristobulus.
2. Now, those other people who were at variance with Aristobulus were afraid upon his unexpected obtaining the government; and especially this concerned Antipater,* whom Aristobulus hated of old. He was by birth an Idumean, and one of the principal of that nation on account of his ancestors and riches, and other authority to him belonging; he also persuaded Hyrcanus to fly to Aretas, the king of Arabia, and to lay claim to the kingdom; as also he persuaded Aretas to receive Hyrcanus, and to bring him back to his kingdom ; he also cast great reproaches upon Aristobulus, as to his morals, and gave great commendations to Hyrcanus, and exhorted Aretas to receive him, and told him how becoming a thing it would be for him, who ruled so great a kingdom, to afford his assistance to such as are injured; alleging that Hyrcanus was treated unjustly, by being deprived of that dominion which belonged to him by the prerogative of his birth. And when he had predisposed them both to do what he would have them, he took Hyrcanus by night, and ran away from the city, and continuing his flight with great swiftness, he escaped to the place called Petra, which is the royal seat of the king of Arabia, where he put Hyrcanus into Aretas' hand; and by discoursing much with him, and gaining upon him with many presents, he prevailed with him to give him an army that might restore him to his kingdom. This army consisted of fifty thousand footmen and horsemen, against which Aristobulus was not able to make resistance, but was deserted in his first onset, and was driven to Jerusalem : he also had been taken at first by force, if Scaurus, the Roman general, had not come and seasonably interposed himself, and raised the siege. This Scaurus was sent into Syria from Armenia by Pompey the Great, when he fought against Tigranes : so Scaurus came to Damascus, which had been lately taken by Metellus and Lollius, and caused them to leave the place; and, upon his hearing how the affairs of Judea stood, he made haste thither as to a certain booty.
3. As soon, therefore, as he was come into the country, there came ambassadors from both the brothers, each of them desiring his assistance; but Aristobulus's three hundred talents had more weight with him than the justice of the cause; which sum, when Scaurus had received, he sent a herald to Hyrcanus and the Arabians, and threatened them with the resentment of the Romans, and of Pompey, unless they would raise the siege. So Aretas was terrified, and retired out of Judea to Philadelphia, as did Scaurus return to Damascus again : nor was Aristobulus satisfied with es. caping (out of his brother's hands), but gathered all his forces together, and pursued his enemies, and fought them at a place called Papyron, and
• That this Antipater, the father of Herod the Great, was an Idumean, as Josephus affirms here, see the note on Antiq. b. xiv, chap. xv. 6 2.
blew about six thousand of them, and, together with them, Antipater's brother, Phalion.
4. When Hyrcanus and Antipa ter were thus deprived of their hopes from the Arabians, they transferred the same to their adversaries : and because Pompey had passed through Syria, and was come to Damascus, they fled to him for assistance; and without any bribes, * they made the same equitable pleas that they had used to Aretas, and besought him to hate the violent behaviour of Aristobulus, and to bestow the kingdom upon him to whom it justly belonged, both on account of his good character, and on account of his superiority in age. Huwever, neither was Aristobulus wanting to himself in this case, as relying on the bribes that Scaurus had re. ceived: he was also there himself, and adorned himself after a manner the most agreeable to royalty that he was able. But he soon thought it beneath him to come in such a servile manner, and could not endure to serve his own ends in a way so much more abject than he was used to; so he departed from Diospolis.
5. At this his behaviour Pompey had great indignation ; Hyrcanus also and his friends made great intercession to Pompey; so he took not only his Roman forces, but many of his Syrian auxiliaries, and marched against Aristobulus. But when he had passed by Pella and Scythopolis, and was come to Corea, where you enter into the country of Judea, when you go up to it through the Mediterranean parts, he heard that Aristobulus was fed to biexandrium, which is a stronghold fortified with the utmost magnificence, and situated upon a high mountain, and he sent to him and commanded him to come down. Now his inclination was to try his fortune in a battle, since he was called in such an imperious manner, rather than to comply with that call. Llowever, he saw the multitude were in great fear and his friends exhorted him to consider what the power of the Romans was, and how it was irresistible; so he complied with their advice, and came down to Pompey; and when he had made a long apology for himself, and for the justness of his cause in taking the government, he returned to the fortress. And when his brother invited him again (to plead his cause], he came down and spoke about the justice of it, and then went away without any hinderance from Pompey: so he was between hope and fear. And when he came down it was to prevail with Pompey to allow him the government entirely; and when he went up to the citadel, it was that he might not appear to debase himself too low. However, Pompey commanded him to give up his fortified places, and forced him to write to every one of their governors to yield them up; they having had this charge given them, to obey no letters but what were of his own handwriting. Accordingly, he did what he was ordered to do; but had still an indignation at what was done, and retired to Jerusalem, and prepared to fight with Pompey.
6. But Pompey did not give him time to make any preparations [for a siege], but followed him at his heels; he was also obliged to make haste in his attempt, by the death of Mithridates, of which he was informed
* It is somewhat probable, as Havercamp supposes, and partly Spanheim also, that the Latin copy is here the truest; that Pompey did take the many presents offered him by Hyrcanus, as he would have done the others from Aristobulus, § 6. although his re. markable abstinence from the 2000 talents that were in the Jewish temple, when he took it a little afterward, chap. vii. & 6. and Antiq. b. xiv. chap iv. § 4. will hardly pormit us to desert the Greek copies, all wbich agree that he did not take them.
about Jericho. Now here is the most fruitful country of Judea, which bears a vast number of palm trees, besides the balsam tree,* whose sprouts they cut with sharp stones, and at the incisions they gather the juice, which drops down like tears. So Pompey pitched his camp in that plaee one night, and then hasted away the next morning to Jerusalem ; but Aristobulus was so affrighted at his approach, that he came and met bim by way of supplication. He also promised him money, and that he would deliver up both himself and the city into his disposal, and thereby mitigated the anger of Pompey. Yet did not he perform any of the conditions he had agreed to ; for Aristobulus's party would not so much as admit Gabinius into the city, who was sent to receive the money that he had uromised.
CHAP. VII. How Pompey had the City of Jerusalem delivered up to him, but took the
Temple [by Force). How he went into the Holy of Holies; as also, what were his other Exploits in Judea.
$ 1. At this treatment Pompey was very angry, and took Aristobulus into custody. And when he was come to the city, he looked about where he might make his attack; for he saw the walls were so firm, that it would be hard to overcome them, and that the valley before the walls was terrible ; and that the temple, which was within that valley, was itself encompassed with a very strong wall, insomuch that if the city were taken, the temple would be a second place of refuge for the enemy to retire to.
2. Now, as he was long in deliberating about this matter, a sedition arose among the people within the city: Aristobulus's party being willing to fight, and to set their king at liberty, while the party of Hyrcanus were for opening the gates to Pompey; and the dread people were in occasioned these last to be a very numerous party, when they looked upon the excel. 'ent order the Roman soldiers were in. So Aristobulus's party was worsted and retired into the temple, and cut off the communication between the temple and the city, by breaking down the bridge that joined them together, and prepared to make an opposition to the utmost; but as the others had received the Romans into the city, and had delivered up the palace to him, Pompey sent Piso, one of his great officers, into that palace with an army, who distributed a garrison about the city, because he could not persuade any one of those that had fled to the temple, to come to terms of accommodation ; he then disposed all things that were round about them so as might favour their attacks, as having Hyrcanus's party very ready to afford them both counsel and assistance.
3. But Pompey himself filled up the ditch that was on the north side of the temple and the entire valley also, the army itself being obliged to carry the materials for that purpose. And indeed it was a hard thing to fill up that valley, by reason of its immense depth, especially as the Jews used all the means possible to repel them from their superior station; nor had the Romans succeeded in their endeavours, had not Pompey taken notice of the seventh days, on which the Jews abstain from all sorts of work on a religious account, and raised his bank, but restrained his soldiers from fighting on those days; for the Jews only acted defensively on sabbath-days. But as
• Of the famous palm-trees and balsam about Jericho and Engaddi, see the notes in Havercamp's edition, bo'h here and b. ii chap. ix. 31. They are somewhat too long to be transcribed in this place.