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overborne by the multitude of those that sallied out upon them, and by the heat of their passion. However, Cæsar seeing, from the tower of Antonia, that this squadron was likely to give way, he sent some chosen horsemen to support them. Hereupon the Jews found themselves not able to sustain their onset, and upon the slaughter of those in the fore-front, many of the rest were put to flight. But as the Romans were going off, the Jews turned back upon them, and fought them; and as those Romans came back upon them, they retreated again, until about the fifth hour of the day they were overbore, and shut themselves up in the inner [court of the] temple.
5. So Titus retired into the tower of Antonia, and resolved to storm the temple the next day, early in the morning, with his whole army, and to encamp round about the holy house. But as for that house, God had, for certain, long ago doomed it to the fire ; and now that fatal day was come, according to the revolution of ages; it was the tenth day of the inonth Lous (Ab) upon which it was formerly burnt by the king of Babylon; although these flames took their rise from the Jews themselves, and were occasioned by them : for upon Titus' retiring, the seditious lav still for a little while, and then attacked the Romans again, when those that guarded the holy house fought with those that quenched the fire that was burning the inner (court of the] temple ; but these Romans put the Jews to flight, and proceeded as far as the holy house itself. At which time one of the soldiers, without staying for any orders, and without any concern or dread upon him at so great an undertaking, and being hurried only by a certain divine fury, snatched somewhat out of the materials that were on fire, and being lifted up by another soldier, he set fire to a golden window, through which there was a passage to the rooms that were round about the holy house, on the north side of it. As the flames went upward, the Jews made a great clamour, such as so mighty an affliction required, and ran together to prevent it; and now they spared not their lives any longer, nor suffered any thing to restrain their force, since that holy house was perishing, for whose sake it was that they kept such a guard about it.
6. And now a certain person came running to Titus, and told him of this fire, as he was resting himself in his tent after the last battle; whereupon he rose up in great haste, and, as he was, ran to the holy house, in order to have a stop put to the fire ; after him followed all his commanders, and after them followed the several legions in great astonishment; so there was a great clamour and tumult raised, as was natural upon the disorderly motion of so great an army. Then did Cæsar, both by calling to the soldiers that were fighting with a loud voice, and by giving a signal to them with his right hand, order them to quench the fire. But they did not hear what he said, though he spake so loud, having their ears already dinned by a great noise another way; nor did they attend to the signal he made with his hand neither, as still some of them were distracted with fighting, and others with passion. But as for the legions that came running thither, neither any persuasions nor any threatenings could restrain their violence, but each one's own passion was his commander at this time; and as they were crowding into the temple together, many of them were trampled on by one another, while a great number fell among the ruins of the cloisters, which were still hot and smoking, and were de. stroyed in the same miserable way with those whom they had conquered; and when they were come near the holy house, they made as if they did
not so much as hear Cæsar's orders to the contrary, but they encouraged those that were before them to set it on fire. As for the seditious, they were in too great distress already to afford their assistance (towards quenching the fire.] They were every where slain, and every where beaten; and as for a great part of the people, they were weak and without arms, and had their thruats cut wherever they were caught. Now round about the altar lay dead bodies heaped upon one another, as at the steps going up to it ran a great quantity of their blood,* whither also the dead bodies that were slain above (on the altar] fell down.
7. And now, since Cæsar was no way able to restrain the enthusiastic fury of the soldiers, and the fire proceeded on more and more, he went into the holy place of the temple, with his commanders, and saw it, with what was in it, which he found to be far superior to what the relations of foreigners contained, and not inferior to what we ourselves boasted of, and believed about it. But as the flame had not as yet reached to its inward parts, but was still consuming the rooms that were about the holy house, and Titus supposing, what the fact was, that the house itself might yet be saved, he came in haste, and endeavoured to persuade the soldiers to quench the fire, and gave order to Liberalius, the centurion, and one of those spearmen that were about him, to beat the soldiers that were refractory with their staves, and to restrain them; yet were their passions too hard for the regards they had for Cæsar, and the dread they had of him who forbade them, as was their hatred of the Jews, and a certain vehement in. clination to fight them, too hard for them also. Moreover, the hope of plunder induced many to go on, as having this opinion, that all the places within were full of money, and as seeing that all round about it was made of gold. And, besides, one of those that went into the place prevented Cæsar, when he ran so hastily out to rest:ain the soldiers, and threw the fire upon the hinges of the gate, in the dark; whereby the flame burst out from within the holy house itself immediately, when the commanders retired, and Cæsar with them, and when nobody any longer forbade those that were without to set fire to it. And thus was the holy house burnt down, without Cæsar's approbation.
8. Now, although any one would justly lament the destruction of such a work as this was, since it was the most admirable of all the works that we have seen or heard of, both for its curious structure and its magnitude, and also for the vast wealth bestowed upon it, as well as for the glorious reputation it had for its holiness ; yet might such a one comfort himself with this thought, that it was fate that decreed it so to be, which is inevi. table, both as to living creatures, and as to works and places also. However, one cannot but wonder at the accuracy of this period thereto relating; for the same month and day were now observed, as I said before, wherein the holy house was burnt formerly by the Babylonians. Now the number of years that passed from its first foundation, which was laid by king Solomon, till this its destruction, which happened in the second year of the reign of Vespasian, are collected to be one thousand one hundred and
These steps to the altar of burnt-offering seem here either an improper and inaccurate expression of Josepbus, since it was unlawful to make ladder steps, (see description of the temple, chap. xiii. and note on Antiq. b. iv. chap. viii. $ 5,) or else those steps or stairs now in use were invented in the days of Herod the Great, and had been here built by him; though the later Jews always deny it, and say that even Hood's altar was ascended to by an acclivity only.
thirty, besides seven months and fifteen days; and from the second building of it, which was done by Haggai, in the second year of Cyrus the king, till its destruction under Vespasian, there were six hundred thirtynine years and forty-tive days.
CHAP. V. The great Distress the Jews were in upon the Conflagration of the Holy
House. Concerning a false Prophet, and the signs that preceded this Destruction,
81. While the house was on fire, every thing was plundered that came to hand, and ten thousand of those that were caught were slain : nor was there a commiseration of any age, or any reverence of gravity ; but chil. dren, and old men, and profane persons, and priests, were all slain in the same manner; so that this war went round all sorts of men, and brought them to destruction, and as well those that made supplication for their lives, as those that defended themselves by fighting. The flame was also carried a long way, and made an echo, together with the groans of those that were slain ; and because this hill was high, and the works at the temple were very great, one would have thought the whole city had been on fire. Nor can one imagine any thing either greater or more terrible than this noise ; for there was at once a shout of the Roman legions, who were marching all together, and a sad clamour of the seditious, who were now surrounded with fire and sword. The people also that were left above were beaten back upon the enemy, and under a great consternation, and made sad moans at the calamity they were under ; the multitude also that was in the city joined in this outcry with those that were upon the hill. And besides, many of those that were worn away by the famine, and their mouths almost closed, when they saw the fire of the holy house, they exerted their utmost strength, and brake out into groans and outcries again ; Perea* did also return the echo, as well as the mountains round about the [city,] and augmented the force of the entire noise. Yet was the misery itself more terrible than this disorder; for one would have thought that the hill itself, on which the temple stood, was seething hot, as full of fire on every part of it, that the blood was larger in quantity than the fire, and those that were slain more in number than those that slew them; for the ground did no where appear visible, for the dead bodies that lay on it, but the soldiers went over heaps of those bodies, as they ran upon such as fled from them. And now it was that the multitude of the robbers were thrust out [of the inner court of the temple) by the Romans, and had much ado to get into the outward court, and from thence into the city, while the remainder of the populace dled into the cloister of that outer court. As for the priests, some of them plucked up from the holy house the spikest that were upon it, with their bases, which were made of lead,
• This Perea, if the word be not mistaken in the copies, cannot well be that Perea which was beyond Jordan, whose mountains were at a considerable distance from Jordan, and much too remote from Jerusalem to join in this ecbo at the conflagration of the temple ; but Perea must be rather some mountain beyond the brook Cedron, or was the Mount of Olives, or some others about such a distance from Jerusalem ; which observation is so obvious, that it is a wonder our commentators here take no notice of it.
+ Reland, I think, here judges well, when he interprets these spikes (of those that stood on the top of the holy house) with sharp points : they were fixed into lead, to prevent the birds from sitting there, and defiling the holy house ; for such spikes there were now upon it, as Josephus himself hath already assured us, book v. chap. v. $ 6.
and shot them at the Romans instead of darts. But then, as they gained nothing by so doing, and as the fire burst out upon them, they retired to the wall, that was eight cubits broad, and there they tarried ; yet did two of these of eminence among them, who might have saved themselves by going over to the Romans, or have borne up with courage, and taken their fortune with others, throw themselves into the fire, and were burnt, together with the holy house ; their names were Meirus the son of Belgas, and Joseph the son of Daleus.
2. And now the Romans, judging that it was in vain to spare what was round about the holy house, burnt all those places, as also the remains of the cloisters and the gates, two excepted; the one on the east side, and the other on the south ; both which, however, they burnt afterward. They also burnt down the treasury chambers, in which was an immense quantity of money, and an immense number of garments, and other precious goods there reposited ; and, to speak all in a few words, there it was that the entire riches of the Jews were heaped up together, while the rich people had there built themselves chambers [to contain such furniture.] The soldiers also came to the rest of the cloisters that were in the outer [court of the temple, wbither the women, and the children, and a great mixed multitude of the people fled, in number about six thousand. But before Cæsar had determined any thing about these people, or given the commanders any orders relating to them, the soldiers were in such a rage, that they set that cloister on fire ; by which means it came to pass, that some of these were destroyed by throwing themselves down headlong, and some were burnt in the cloisters themselves. Nor did any one of them escape with his life. A false prophet was the occasion of these people's destruction, * who had made a public proclamation in the city that very day, that “ God commanded them to get upon the temple, and that there they should receive miraculous signs for their deliverance.” Now, there was then a great number of false prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose on the people, who denounced this to them, that they should wait for deliverance from God; and this was in order to keep them from deserting, and that they might be buoyed up above fear and care by such hopes. Now, a man that is in adversity does easily comply with such promises ; for, when such a seducer makes him believe that he shall be delivered from those miseries, which oppress him, then it is that the patient is full of hopes of such his deliverance.
3. Thus were the miserable people persuaded by these deceivers, and such as belied God himself; while they did not attend, nor give credit to the signs that were so evident, and did so plainly foretell their future desolation, but like men infatuated, without either eyes to see, or mind to consider, did not regard the denunciations that God made to them. Thus there was a start resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comett that continued a whole year. Thus also before the Jews' rebellion, and before those commotions which preceded the war, when the people were come in great crowds to the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth day
• Reland here justly takes notice that those Jews, who had despised the true Prophet, were deservedly abused and deluded by these false ones.
+ Whether Josephus means that this war was different from that comet which lasted a whole year, I cannot certainly determine. His words most favour their heing different one from another.
of the month Xanthicus,* [Nisan,] and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone round the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright day-time ; which light lasted for half an hour. This light seemed to be a good sign to the unskilful, but was so interpreted by the sacred scribes, as to portend those events that followed immediately upon it. At the same festival also, an heifer, as she was led by the high priest to be sacrificed, brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple. Moreover the eastern gate of the inner [court of the] temple, which was of brass, and vastly heavy, and had been with difficulty shut by twenty men, and rested upon a basis armed with iron, and had bolts fastened very deep into the firm floor, which was there made of one entire stone, was seen to be opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night. Now, those that kept watch in the temple came hereupon running to the captain of the temple, and told him of it; who then came up thither, and, not without great difficulty, was able to shut the gates again. This also appeared to the vulgar to be a very happy prodigy, as if God did thereby open the gate of happi. ness. But the men of learning understood it, that the security of their holy house was dissolved of its own accord, and that the gate was opened for the advantage of their enemies. So these publicly declared, that the signal foreshowed the desolation that was coming upon them. Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the one and twentieth day of the month Artemisius (Jyar,) a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared : I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals, for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armour were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities. Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner court of the] temple, f as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said, that in the first place they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after they had heard a sound as of a multitude, saying, “Let us remove hence. But, what is still more terrible, there was one Jesus the son of Ananus, a plebeian, and an husbandman, who, four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast whereon it is our custom for everyone to make tabernacles to God in the temple, I began on a sudden to cry aloud, “A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against the whole people!” This was
• Since Josephus still uses the Syro-Macedonian month Xanthicus for the Jewish month Nisan, this 8th, or as Nicephorus reads it, this 9th of Xanthicus or Nisan was almost a week before the Passover on the 141h ; about which time we learn from St. John that many used to go “out of the country to Jerusalem to purify themselves," John xi. 55. with xii. 1. in agreement with Josephus also, book v. chap. ii. & 1. And it might well be, that in the sight of these this extraordinary light might appear.
+ This here seems to be the court of the priests.
I Both Reland and Havercamp in this place alter the natural punctuation and sense of Josephus, and this contrary to the opinion of Valesius and Dr. Hudson, lest Josephus should say that the Jews built hoorhs or tents within the temple at the feast of tabernacles; which the latter rabbins will not allow to have been the ancient practice; but then, since it is expressly told us in Nehemiah, chap. viii. 16. that in still elder times on the Jews made booths in the courts of the house of God” at that festival, Jose. phus may weli be permitted to say the same. And indeed the modern rabbins are of very small authority in all such matters of remote antiquity.