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“ know how Egypt was over-run with all sorts of wild beasts " and consumed by all sorts of distempers ? how their land “ did not bring forth its fruit ? how the Nile failed of wa“ ter ? how the ten plagues of Egypt followed upon one ano“ther ? and how by those means our fathers were sent " away under a guard, without any bloodshed, and with“out running any dangers, because God conducted them " as his peculiar servants ? Moreover, did not Palestine “ groan under the ravage the Assyrians * made, when " they carried away our sacred ark? as did their idol “ Dagon, and as also did that entire nation of those that car" ried it away; how they were smitten with a loathsome “distemper in the secret parts of their bodies, when their " very bowels came down together with what they had ea“ ten, till those hands that stole it away were obliged to “bring it back again, and that with the sound of cymbals " and timbrels, and other oblations, in order to appease the 66 anger of God for their violation of his holy ark. It was u God who then became our general, and accomplished Sf these great things for our fathers, and this because they “ did not meddle with war and fighting, but commited it to “him to judge about their affairs. When Senacherib,
king of Assyria, brought along with him all Asia, and “ encompassed this city round with his army, did he fall “ by the hands of men ? were not those hands lifted up to “God in prayers, without meddling with their arms, when “ an angle of God distroyed that prodigious army in one “ night ? when the Assyrian king, as he rose the next day, “ found an hundred four score and five thousand dead bo“ dies and when he, with the remainder of his army fled "away from the Hebrews, though they were unarmed, 6 and did not pursue them. You are also acquainted with “ the slavery we were under at Babylon, where the people " were captives for seventy years; yet were they not deliver“ed into freedom again before God made Cyrus his gracious “ instrument in bringing it about; accordingly they were ký set free by him, and did again restore the worship of “their Deliverer at his temple. And to speak in general, “ we can produce no example wherein our fathers got any "success by war, or failed of success when without war they " committed themselevs to God. When they staid at home, “they conquered, as pleased their judge, but when they went “out to fight they were always disappointed : for example, 66 when the king of Babylon besieged this very city, and * our king Zedekiah fought against him, contrary to what < predictions were made to him by Jeremiah the prophet, “ he was at once taken prisoner, and saw the city and the * temple demolished. Yet, how much greater was the mod"eration of that king, than is that of our present gover“nors, and that of the people then under him, than is that of “ you at this time ? for when Jeremiah cried out aloud, how “ very angry God was at them because of their transgressions, * and told them they should be taken prisoners, unless they « would surrender up their city neither did the king nor the " people put him to death: but for you (to pass over what “ you have done within the city, which I am not able to de<scribe, as your wickedness deserves,) you abuse me, and " throw darts at me, who only exhort you to save yourselves, " and being provoked when you are put in mind of your “ sins, and cannot bear the very mention of those crimes " which you every day perpetrate. For another example, 66 when Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes, lay be. “ fore this city, and had been guilty of many indignities a“ gainst God, and our forefathers met him in arms, they then “ were slain in the battle, this city was plundered by our « enemies, and our sanctuary made desolate for three years " and six months. And what need I bring any more exam“ ples? Indeed, what can it be that hath stirred up an are 6 my of the Romans against our nation ? is it not the impie6 ty of the inhabitants ? Whence did our servitude com
* Note here, that Josephus, in this his same admirable speech calls the Syrians, nay, even the Philistines on the most south part of Syria, Assyrians; which Reland obser es as what was common among the ancient writers. Note also, that Josephus might well put the Jews in mind, as he does here more than once, of their wonderful and truly miraculous deliverance from Senacherib, king of Assyria, while the Roman army, and bimself with them, were pow' encamped upon and beyond that very spot of ground where the Assyrian arıny lav 780 years before, and which retained the very name of tle Camp of the Assyrians to that very day. See chap, vii. $ 3, and chap. xii. $ 2.
mence ? was it not derived from the seditions that were a“mong our forefathers, when the madness of Aristobulus " and Hyrcanus, and our mutual quarrels, brought Pompey “ upon this city, and when God reduced those under sub“jection to the Romans, who were unworthy of the liberty " they had enjoyed. After ä siege, therefore, of three “ months, they were forced to surrender themselves al. “ though they had not been guilty of such offences with “ regard to our sanctuary and our laws, as you have ; and " this while they had much greater advantages to go to
66 war than you have. Do not we know what end Antigo“ nus the son of Aristobulus, came to, under whose reign 6. God provided that this city should be taken again upon 6 account of the people's offences ? When Herod, the son “ of Antipater, brought upon us Socius, and Socius brought 6 upon us the Roman army, they were then encompassed " and besieged for six months, till, as a punishment for us their sins, they were taken, and the city was plundered “by the enemy. Thus it appears, that arms were never “ given to our nation, but that we are always given up to r be fought against, and to be taken ; for I suppose, that such " as inhabit this holy place ought to commit the disposal of ® all things to God, and then only to disregard the assis“ tance of men, when they resign themselves up to their Arbi" trator who is above. As for you, what have you done of " those things that are recommended by our Legislator ? " and what have you not done of those things that he hath “ condemned ? How much more impious are you than those " which were so quickly taken ? You have not avoided so “ much as those sins that are usually done in secret ; I " mean thefts, and treacherous plots against men, and adul. “ teries. You are quarrelling about rapines and murders, “ and invent strange ways of wickedness. Nay, the tem“ ple itself is become the receptacle of all, and this divine “ place is polluted by the hands of those of our own coun“ try ; which place hath yet been reverenced by the Ro“ mans, when it was at a distance from them, when they “have suffered many of their own customs to give place to - our law. And, after all this, do you expect him whom “you have so impiously abused to be your Supporter ? To “ be sure, then you have a right to be petitioners, and to “ call upon him to assist you, so pure are your hands ? Did s your king [Hezekiah] lift up such hands in prayer to “ God against the king of Assyria, when he destroyed " that great army in one night ? And do the Romans « commit such wickedness as did the king of Assyria, “ that you may have reason to hope for the like ven" geance upon them! Did not that king accept of money “ from our king on this condition, that he should not “ destroy the city, and yet contrary to the oath he had “ taken, he came down to burn the temple ? while the - Romans do demand no more than that accustomed tribute of which our fathers paid to their fathers; and if they may
« but once obtain that, they neither aim to destroy the ci city, nor to touch this sanctuary ; pay, they will grant " you besides, that your posterity shall be free, and your “ possessions secured to you, and will preserve your holy “ laws inviolate to you. And it is plain madness to expect “ that God should appear as well disposed towards " the wicked as towards the righteous since he knows “ when it is proper to punish men for their sins imme“diately: accordingly he brake the power of the As“syrians the very first night that they pitched their “camp. Wherefore, had he judged that our nation was “worthy of freedom, or the Romans of punishment, he “had immediately inflicted punishment upon those Romans, “ as he did upon the Assyrians, when Pompey began to “ meddle with our nation, or when, after him, Sosius " came up against us, or when Vespasian laid waste Gali. “lee, or lastly, when Titus came first of all near to this "city; although Magnus and Sosius did not only suffer “nothing, but took the city by force ; as did' Vespasian “ go from the war he made against you to receive the em“pire; and as for Titus, those springs that were formerly al“most dried up * when they were under your power, since “ he has come, run more plentifully than they did before: “ accordingly, you know that Siloam, as well as all the “other springs that were without the city did so far fail, " that water was sold by distinct measures; whereas they now “ have such a great quantity of water for your enemies, as is "sufficient not only for drink both for themselves and their “cattle, but for watering their gardens also. The same “wonderful sign you had also experience of formerly, " when the forementioned king of Babylon made war a“gainst us, and when he took the city and burnt the tem“ple; while yet I believe the Jews of that age were not so “impious as you are. Wherefore I cannot but suppose “ that God is fled out of his sanctuary, and stands on the ci side of those against whom you fight. Now even a man “if he be but a good man, will fly from any impure house, " and will hate those that are in it; and do you persuade
* This drying up of the Jerusalem fountain of Siloam, when the Jews wanted it, and its flowing abundantly when the enemies of the Jews wanted it, and these both in the days of Zedekiah and of Titus, (and this last as a certain
rent well known by the Jews at that time, as Josephus here tells them openly to their faces), are very remarkable instances of a divine Providence for the punishment of the Jewish nation, when they were growo very wicked, at both those times of the destruction of Jerusalem.
to yourselves that God will abide with you in your iniqui“ties, who sees all secret things, and hears what is kept most “private? Now what crime is there, I pray you, that is so “ much as kept secret among you, or is concealed by you ? “nay what is there that is not open to your very enemies ? " for you shew your transgressions after a pompous manner, “and contend one with another which of you shall be more 6 wicked than another; aud you make a public demonstra“tion of your injustice, as if it were virtue. However, there “is place left for your preservation, if you be willing to ac"cept of it; and God is easily reconciled to those that con“ fess their faults and repent of them. O hard-hearted " wretches as you are ! cast away all your arms and take pi. “ty of your country already going to ruin, return from your “ wicked ways, and have regard to the excellency of that city "you are going to betray, to that excellent temple, with the « donations of so many countries in it. Who could bear to be “the first that should set that temple on fire ? who could be V willing that these things should be no more ? and what is " there that can better doserve to be preserved ? 0 insensi. “ble creatures, and more stupid than are the stones them- selves! And if you cannot look at these things with diss6 cerning eyes, yet however, have pity upon your families, « and set before every one of your eyes your children, and “ wives, and parents, which will be gradually consumed “ either by famine or by war. I am sensible that this dan166 ger will extend to my mother and wife, and to that fam“ily of mine which hath been by no means ignoble, and in“ deed to one that hath been very eminent in old time; - and perhaps you may imagine that it is on their account
only that I give you this advice: if that be all kill them;. “nay take my own blood as a reward, if it may but pro“ cure your preservation ; for I am ready to die, in case “ you will but return to a sound mind after my death."
How a great many of the people earnestly endeavoured to desert to
the Romans ; as also what intolerable things those that staid behind suffered by famine, and the sad consequences thereof.
8 1. As Josephus was speaking thus with a loud voice, the seditious would neither yield to what he said, por did