« PreviousContinue »
put these garments into our own power, as in the days of our forefathers, and ordered the captain of the guard not to trouble himself to inquire where they were laid, or when they were to be used; and this he did as an act of kindness, to oblige the nation to him. Besides which, he also deprived Joseph, who was also called Caiaphas, of the high priesthood, and appointed Jonathan, the son of Ananus, the former high priest, to succeed him. After which, he took his journey back to Antioch.
4. Moreover, Tiberius sent a letter to Vitellius, and commanded him to make a league of friendship with Artabanus, the king of Parthia; for, while he was his enemy, he terrified him, because he had taken Armenia away from him, lest he should proceed farther, and told him he should no otherwise trust him than upon his giving him hostages, and especially his son Artabanus. Upon Tiberius' writing thus to Vitellius, by the offer of great presents of money, he persuaded both the king of Iberia, and the king of Albania, to make no delay, but to fight against Artabanus ; and although they would not do it themselves, yet did they give the Scythians a passage through their country, and opened the Caspian gates to them, and brought them upon Artabanus. Sc Armenia was again taken from the Parthians, and the country of Parthia was filled with war, and the principal of their men were slain, and all things were in disorder among them : the king's son also himself fell in these wars, together with many ten thousands of his army. Vitellius had also sent such great sums of money to Artabanus' father's kinsmen and friends, that he had almost procured him to be slain by the means of those bribes which they bad taken. And when Artabanus perceived that the plot laid against him was not to be avoided, because it was laid by the principal men, and those a great many in number, and that it would certainly take effect; when he had estimated the number of those that were truly faithful to him, as also of those that were already corrupted, but were deceitful in the kindness they professed to him, and were likely, upon trial, to go over to his enemies, he made his escape to the upper provinces, where he afterwards raised a great army out of the Daha and Sacæ, and fought with his enemies, and retained his principality.
5. When Tiberius had heard of these things, he desired to have a league of friendship made between him and Artabanus; and when, upon this invitation, he received the proposal kindly, Artabanus and Vitellius went to Eu. phrates, and as a bridge was laid over the river, they each of them came with their guards about them, and met one another on the midst of the bridge. And when they had agreed upon the terms of peace, Herod the tetrarch erected a rich teat in the midst of the passage, and made them a feast there. Artabanus also, not long afterwards, sent his son Darius, as a hostage, with many presents, among which there was a man seven cubits tall, a Jew he was by birth, and his name was Eleazar, who, for his tallness, was called a giant. After which Vitellius went to Antioch, and Ar. tabanus to Babylon; but Herod [the tetrarch] being desirous to give Cæsar the first information that they had obtained hostages, sent posts with letters, wherein he had accurately described all the particulars, and had left nothing for the consular Vitellius to inform him of. But when Vitellius' letters were sent, and Cæsar had let him know that he was acquainted with the affairs already, because Herod had given himn an account of them before, Vitellius was very much troubled at it; and supposing that he had been thereby a greater sufferer than he really was, he kept up a secret anger upon this occasion, till be could be revenged on him, which was after Caiue had taken the government.
6. About this time it was that Philip, Herod's brother, departed this life, in the twentieth year of the reign of Tiberius,* after he had been tetrarch of Trachonitis, and Gaulonitis, and of the nation of the Bataneans also, thirty-seven years. He had showed himself a person of moderation and quietness in the conduct of his life and government; he constantly lived in that country which was subject to him ;t he used to make his progress with a few chosen friends ; his tribunal also, on which he sat in judg. ment, followed him in his progress ; and when any one met him who wanted his assistance, he made no delay, but had his tribunal set down immediately, wheresoever he happened to be, and sat down upon it, and heard bis complaint: he there ordered the guilty that were convicted to be pu. nished, and absolved those that had been accused unjustly. He died at Julias; and when he was carried to that monument which he had already erected for himself beforehand, he was buried with great pomp. His prin. cipality Tiberius took, for he left no sons behind him, and added it to the province of Syria, but gave order that the tribunes which arose from it should be collected, and laid up in his tetrarchy
CHAP. V. Herod the Tetrarch makes War with Aretas, the King of Arabia, and is
beaten by him; as also concerning the Death of John the Baptist ; how Vitellius went up to Jerusalem; together with some Account of Agrippa, and of the Posterity of Herod the Great.
§ 1. About this time, Aretas, the king of Arabia Petrea, and Herod, had a quarrel on the account following :- Herod the tetrarch had married the daughter of Aretas, and had lived with her a great while, but when he was once at Rome, he lodged with Herod, who was his brother indeed, but not by the same mother; for this Herodt was the son of the high priest Simon's daughter. However, he fell in love with Herodias, this last Herod's wife, who was the daughter of Aristobulus their brother, and the sister of Agrippa the Great : this man ventured to talk to her about a marriage be. tween them, which address when she admitted, an agreeinent was made for her to change her habitation, and come to him as soon as he should return from Rome : one article of this marriage also was this, that he should divorce Aretas' daughter. So Antipas, when he had made this agreement, Bailed to Rome; but when he had done there the business he went about,
. This calculation from all Josephus' Greek copies is exactly right: for since Herod died about September, in the fourth year before the Christian era, and Tiberius begar, it is well known, August 19, A. D. 14, it is evident that the 37th year of Philip, rec. koned from his father's death, was the 20th of Tiberius, or near the end of A.D. 33, (the very year of our Saviour's death also,) or, however, in the beginning of the next year, A.D. 34. This Philip the tetrarch seems to have been the best of all the posterity of Herod, for his love of peace and bis love of justice.
+ An excellent example this,
| This Herod seems to have had the additional name of Philip, as Antipas was named Herod Antipas, and as Antipas and Antipater seein to be in a manner the very same name, yet were the names of two sons of Herod the Great; so might Philip the tetrarch and this Herod Philip be two different sons of the same father, all which Grotius observes on Matt. xiv. 3. Nor was it, as I agree with Grotius and others of the learned, Philip the tetrarch; but this Herod Philip, whose wife Herod the tetrarch had married, and that in her first husband's lifetime, and when her first husband had issue by her; for which adulterous and incestuous marriage, John the Baptist justly reproved Herod the letrarch, and for which reproof Salome, the daughter of Herodias, by her first husband Herod Philip, who was still alive, occasioned him to be unjustly beheaded.
and was returning again, his wite having discovered the agreement he had made with Herodias, and having learned it before he had notice of her knowledge of the whole design, ehe desired him to send her to Macherus, which is a place in the borders of the dominions of Aretas and Herod, without informing him of any of her intentions. Accordingly Herod sent her thither, as thinking his wife had not perceived any thing. Now, she had sent a good while before to Macherus, who was subject to her father, and so all things necessary for her journey were made ready for her by the general of Aretas' army; and by that means she soon came into Arabia, under the conduct of the several generals, who carried her from one to another successively, and she soon came to her father, and told him of Herod's intentions. So Aretas made this the first occasion of his enmity between him and Herod, who had also some quarrel with him about their limits at the country of Gamalitis. So they raised armies on both sides, and prepared for war, and sent their generals to fight instead of themselves; and, when they had joined battle, all Herod's army was destroyed by the treachery of some fugitives, who, though they were of the tetrarchy of Philip, joined with Aretas' army. So Herod wrote about these affairs to Tiberius, who, being very angry at the attempt made by Aretas, wrote to Vitellius to make war upon him, and either to take him alive, and bring him to him in bonds, or to kill him, and send him his head. This was the charge that Tiberius gave to the president of Syria.
2. Now, some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist ; for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away for the remission) of some sins (only,] but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness. Now, when [many) others came in crowds about him, for they were greatly moved (or pleased] by hearing his words, Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and incli. nation to raise rebellion (for they seemed to do any thing he should ad. vise,) thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it should be too late. Accordingly, he was sent a prisoner, out of Herod's suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death. Now, the Jews had an opinion that the destruction of this army was sent as a punishment upon Herod, and a mark of God's displeasure against him.
3. So Vitellius prepared to make war with Aretas, having with him two legions of armed men : he also took with him all those of light armature, and of the horsemen which belonged to them, and were drawn out of those kingdoms which were under the Romans, and made haste for Petra, and came to Ptolemais. But as he was marching very busily, and leading his army through Judea, the principal men met him, and desired that he would not thus march through their land; for that the laws of their country would not permit them to overlook those images which were brought into it, of wbich there were a great many in their ensigns; so he was persuaded by what they said, and changed that resolution of his, which he had before taken in this matter. Whereupon be ordered the army to march along the great plain, while he himself, with Herod the tetrarch, and his friends, went up to Jerusalem to offer sacrifice to God, an ancient festival of the Jews then just approaching; and when he had been there, and been honourably entertained by the multitude of the Jews, he made a stay there for three days, within which time he deprived Jonathan of the high priest. hood, and gave it to his brother Theophilus. But when on the fourth dav letters came to him, which informed him of the death of Tiberius, he obliged the multitude to take an oath of fidelity to Caius; he also recalled his army, and made them every one go home, and take their winter-quarters there, since upon the devolution of the empire upon Caius, he had not the like authority of making this war which he had before. It was also reported, that when Aretas heard of the coming of Vitellius to fight him, he said, upon his consulting the diviners, that it was impossible that this army of Vitellius' could enter Petra; for that one of the rulers would die, either he that gave orders for the war, or he that was marching at the other's desire, in order to be subservient to his will, or else he against whom this army is prepared. So Vitellius truly retired to Antioch: but Agrippa, the son of Aristobulus, went up to Rome, a year before the death of Tiberius, in order to treat of some affairs with the emperor, if he might be permitted so to do. I have now a mind to describe Herod and his family, how it fared with them, partly because it is suitable to this history to speak of that matter, and partly because this thing is a demonstration of the interposition of Providence, how a multitude of children is of no advantage, no more than any other strength that mankind set their hearts upon, besides those acts of piety which are done towards God : for it happened, that, within the revolution of a hundred years, the posterity of Herod, who were a great many in number, were, excepting a few. utterly destroved.* One may well apply this for the instruction of mankind, and learn thence how unhappy they were ; it will also show us the history of Agrippa, who, as he was a person most worthy of admiration, so was he from a private man, beyond all the expectation of those that knew him, advanced to great power and authority. I have said something of them formerly, but I shali now also speak accurately about them.
4. Herod the Great had two daughters by Mariamne, the [grand] daughter of Hyrcanus; the one was Salamp.io, who was married to Phasaelus, her first cousin, who was himself the son of Phasaelus, Herod's brother, her father making the match; the other was Cyprus, who was herself married also to her first cousin Antipater, the son of Salome, Herod's sister. Phasaelus had five children by Salampsio, Antipater, Herod, and Alexander ; and two daughters, Alexandra and Cypros, which last, Agrippa, the son of Aristobulus, married, and Timius of Cyprus married Alexandra ; he was a man of note, but had by her no children, Agrippa had bv Cypros two sons, and three daughters which daughters were named Bernice, Mariamne, and Drusilla ; but the names of the sons were Agrippa and Drusus, of whom, Drusus died before he came to the years of puberty ; but their father, Agrippa, was brought up with his other
• Whether this sudden extinction of almost the entire lineage of Herod the Great, which was very numerous, as we are both here and in the next section informed, was not in part as a punishment for the gross incests they were frequently guilty of, in marrying their own nephews and nieces, well deserves to be considered. See Levit, xviii, 6, 7. sxi. 10. and Nuldius, de Herod, No. 269, 270.
brethren, Herod and Aristobulus, for these were also the sons of Herod the Great, bv Bernice; but Bernice was the daughter of Costobarus and of Salome, who was Herod's sister. Aristobulus left these infants, when he was slain br his father, together with his brother Alexander, as we have already related. But when they were arrived at years of puberty, this Herod, the brother of Agrippa, married Mariamne, the daughter of Olympias, who was the daughter of Herod the king, and of Joseph, the son of Joseph, who was brother to Herod the king, and had by her a son, Aristobulus ; but Aristobulus, the third brother of Agrippa, married Jotape, the daughter of Sampsigeramus, king of Emesa ;* they had a daughter who was deaf, whose name also was Jotape: and these hitherto were the children of the male line. But Herodias, their sister, was married to Herod (Philip, 7 the son of Herod the Great, who was borne of Mariamne, the daughter of Simeon the high priest, who had a daughter Salome ; after whose birth Herodias took upon her to confound the laws of our country, and divorced herself from her husband while he was alive, and was married to Herod [Antipas, 7 her husband's brother by the father's side ; he was tetrarch of Galilee : but her daughter Salome was married to Philip, the son of Herod, and tetrarch of Trachonitis, and, as he died childless, Aristobulus, the son of Herod, the brother of Agrippa, married her; they had three sons, Herod, Agrippa, and Aristobulus ; and this was the posterity of Phasaelus and Salampsio. But the daughter of Antipater by Cypros, was Cypros, whom Alexas Selcias, the son of Alexas, married ; they had a daughter, Cypros; but Herod and Alexander, who, as we told you, were the brothers of Antipater, died childless. As to Alexander, the son of Herod the king, who was slain by his father, he had two sons, Alexander and Tigranes, by the daughter of Archelaus, king of Cappadocia ; Tigranes, who was king of Armenius, was accused at Rome, and died childless; Alexander had a son of the same name with his brother Tigranes, and was sent to take possession of the kingdom of Armenia by Nero; he had a son, Alexander, who married Jotape,t the daughter of Antiochus, the king of Commagena; Vespasian made him king of an island in Cilicia. But these descendants of Alexander, soon after their birth, deserted the Jewish religion, and went over to that of the Greeks; but for the rest of the daughters of Herod the king, it happened that they died childless. And as the descendants of Herod, whom we have enumerated, were in being at the same time that Agrippa the Great took the kingdom, and I have now given an account of them, it now remains that I relate the several hard fortunes which befell Agrippa, and how he got clear of them, and was advanced to the greatest height of dignity and power.
| CHAP. VI. Of the Navigation of King Agrippa to Rome to Tiberius Cæsar ; and how,
upon his being accused by his own freed man, he was bound ; how also he was set at liberty by Caius, after Tiberius's death, and was made King of the Tetrarchy of Philip.
§ 1. A little before the death of Herod the king, Agrippa lived at Rome, and was generally brought up and conversed with Drusus, the en..
• There are coins still extant of this Emisa, as Spanheim informs us.
+ Spanheim also informs us of a coin still extant of this Jolape, daughter of the king of commagena.