Page images
PDF
EPUB

when I was feasting with my friends, and the principal of the Galileans. This man, upon my servant's telling me, that a certain horseman of the Jewish nation was come, he was called in at my command, but did not so much as salute me at all, but held out a letter, and said, “ This letter is sent thee " by those that are come from Jerusalem. Do thou write 6 an answer to it quickly ; for I am obliged to return to them “ very soon.” Now my guests could not but wonder at the boldness of the soldier. But I desired him to sit down and sup with us; but when he refused so to do, I held the letter in my hands as I received it, and fell a talking with my guests about other matters, But a few hours afterwards I got up, and, when I had dismissed the rest to go to their beds, I bid only four of my intimate friends to stay, and ordered my servant to get some wine ready. I also opened the letter so, that nobody could perceive it; and understanding thereby presently the purport of the writing, I sealed it up again, and appeared as if I had not yet read it, but only held it in my hands. I ordered twenty drachmä should be given the soldier, for the charges of his journey; and when he took the money, and said that he thanked me for it, I perceived that he loved money, and that he was to be caught chiefly by that means, and I said to him, “ If thou wilt but drink with us, thou shalt " have a drachmæ for every glass thou drinkest.” So he gladly embraced this proposal, and drank a great deal of wine, in order to get the more money, and was so drunk, that at last he could not keep the secrets he was intrusted with, but discovered them, without my putting questions to him, viz. that a treacherous design was contrived against me, and that I was doomed to die by those that sent him. When I heard this, I wrote back this answer : “ Josephus, to Jonathan and 66 those that are with him, sendeth greeting. Upon the in« formation that you are come in health into Galilee, I re“ joice, and this especially because I can now resign the « care of public affairs here into your hands, and return in" to my native country; which is what I have desired to do 66 a great while : and I confess I ought not only to come to

you as far as Xaloth, but farther, and this without your 66 commands. But I desire you to excuse me, because I 66 cannot do it now, since I watch the motions of Placidus, “ who hath a mind to go up into Galilee; and this I do here " at Chabolo. Do you therefore on the receipt of this episo tle, come hither to me. Fare you well.”

45. When I had written thus, and given the letter to be carried by the soldier, I sent along with him thirty of the Galiteans of the best characters, and gave them instructions to salute those ambassadors, but to say nothing else to them.

[ocr errors]

I also gave orders to as many of those armed men, whom I esteemed most faithful to me, to go along with the others, every one with him whom he was to guard, lest some conversation might pass between those whom I sent and those that were with Jonathan. So these men went (to Jonathan.] But, when Jonathan and his partners had failed in this their first attempt, they sent me another letter, the contents whereof were as follows: “ Jonathan and those with him to 66 Josephus, send greeting. We require thee to come to us 66, to the village Gabaroti, on the third day, without any 5 armed men, that we may hear what thou hast to lay to " the charge of John [of Gischala].” When they had written this letter, they saluted the Galileans whom I sent, and came to Japha, which was the largest village of all Galilee, and encompassed with very strong walls, and had a great number of inhabitants in it. There the multitude of men with their wives and children, met them, and exclaimed loudly against them, and desired them to be gone, and not to envy them the advantage of an excellent commander. With these clamours Jonatban and his partners were greatly provoked, although they durst not. shew their anger openly: so they made them no answer, but went to other villages. But still the same clamours met them from all the people who said, “ No body should persuade them to have 6 any other commander besides Josephus.” So Jonathan and his partners went away from them without success, and came to Sepphoris, the greatest city of all Galilee. Now the men of that city who inclined to the Romans in their sentiments, met them indeed, but neither praised nor reproached me; and when they were gone down from Sepphoris to Asochis, the people of that place made a clamour against them, as those of Japha had done. Whereupon they were able to contain themselves no longer, but ordered the armed men that were with them to beat those that made the clamour with their clubs. And when they came to Gabara, John met them, with three thousand armed men ; but, as I understood by their letter, that they had resolved to fight against me, I arose from Chabolo, with three thousand armed men also, but left in my camp one of my fastest friends, and came to Jotapata, as desirous to be near them, the distance being no more than forty furlongs. Whence I wrote thus to them: “ If you are very desirous that I should come or to you, you know there are two hundred and forty cities $6 and villages in Galilee, I will come to any of them which s you please, excepting Gabara and Gischala; the one of « which is John's native city, and the other in confederacy " and friendship with him.”

... 46. When Jonathan and his partners had received this letter, they wrote me no more answers, but called a council of their friends together and taking John into their consultation, they took counsel together by what means they might attack me. John's opinion was, that they should write to all the cities and villages that were in Galilee ; for that there must be certainly one or two persons in every one of them that was at variance with me, and that they should be invited to come to oppose me as an enemy. He would also have them send this resolution of theirs to the city Jerusalem, that its citizens upon the knowledge of my being adjudged to be an enemy by the Galileans, might themselves also confirm that determination. He said also, that when this was done, even those Galileans who were well affected to me would desert me out of fear. When John had given them this counsel, what he had said was very agreeable to the rest of them. I was also made acquainted with these affairs about the third hour of the night, by the means of one Saccheus, who had belonged to them, but now deserted them and came over to me, and told me what they were about; so I perceived that no time was to be lost Accordingly I gave command to Jacob, an armed man of my guard, whom I esteemed faithful to me, to take two hundred men and to guard the passages that led from Gabara to Galilee, and to seize upon the passengers, and send them to me, especially such as were caught with letters about them : I also sent Jeremias himself, one of my friends, with six bundred armed men, to the borders of Galilee, in order to watch the roads that led from this country to the city Jerusalem, and gave him charge to lay hold of such as travelled with letters about them, to keep the men in bonds upon the place, but to send me the letters.

47. When I had laid these commands upon them, I gave them orders, and bid them to take their arms and bring three days provision with them, and be with me the next day. I also parted those that were about me into four parts, and ordained those of them that were most faithful to me to be a guard to my body. I also set over them centurions, and commanded them to take care that not a soldier which they did not know should mingle himself among them. Now on the fifth day following, when I was in Gabaroth, I found the entire plain that was before the village full of armed men, who were come out of Galilee to assist me: many others of the multitude also, out of the village ran along with me. But as soon as I had taken my place, and began to speak to them, they all made an acclamation, and called me the benefactor and saviour of the country. And when I had made them my acknowledgments, and thanked them [for their affection to me,.] I also advised them to fight * with nobody, nor to spoil the country ; but to pitch their tents in the plain, and be content with their sustenance they had brought with them; for I told them that I had a mind to compose these troubles without shed. ding any blood. Now it came to pass that on the very same day those who were sent by John with letters, fell among the guards whom I had appointed to watch the roads; so the men were themselves kept upon the place, as my orders were, but I got the letters, which were full of reproaches and lies; and I intended to fall upon these men, without saying a word of these matters to any body.

48. Now as soon as Jonathan and his companions heard of my coming, they took all their own friends, and John with them, and retired to the house of Jesus, which indeed was a large castle, and no way unlike a citadel; so they privately laid a band of armed men therein, and shut all the other doors but one, which they kept open, and they expected that I should come out of the road to them, to salute them. And indeed they had given orders to the armed men, that when I came they should let nobody besides me come in, but should exclude others; as supposing that, by this means, they should easily get me under their power : but they were deceived in their expectation ; for I perceived what snares they had laid for me. Now as soon as I was got off my journey, I took up my lodgings over against them, and pretended to be asleep; so Jonathan and his party thinking that I was really asleep, and at rest, made haste to go down into the plain, to persuade the people that I was an ill governor. But the matter proved otherwise ; for upon their appearance there was a cry made by the Galileans immediately, declaring their good opinion of me as their governor; and they made a clamour against Jonathan and his partners, for coming to them when they had suffered no barm, and as though they would overturn their happy settlement; and desired them by all means to go back again, for that they would never be persuaded to have any other to rule over thein but myself. When I heard of this, I did not fear to go down into the midst of them; I went there. fore myself down presently to hear what Jonathan and his companions said. As soon as I appeared, there was immediately an acclamation made to me by the whole multitude, and a cry in my commendation by them, who confessed their thanks was owing to me for my good government of them.

* Josephns's directions to his soldiers here are much the same that John the Baptist gave, Luke iii. 14. “ Do violence to no man, neither accuse any false“ ly, and be content with your wages.” Whence Dr. Hudson confirms this conjecture, that Josephus, in some things, was, even now, a follower of John the Baptist, which is no way improbable. See the note on sect. 2.

49. When Jonathan and his companions heard this, they were in fear of their own lives, and in danger lest they should be assaulted by the Galileans on my account; so they contrived how they might run away. But as they were not able to get off, for I desired them to stay, they looked down with concern at my words to them. I ordered therefore the multitude to restrain entirely their acclamations, and placed the most faithful of my armed men upon the avenues, to be a guard to us, lest John should unexpectedly fall upon us; and I encouraged the Galileans to take their weapons, lest they should be disturbed at their enemies, if any sudden insult should be made upon them. And then, in the first, place, I put Jonathan and his partners in mind of their [former7 let. ter, and after what manner they had written to me, and declared they were sent by the common consent of the people of Jerusalem, to make up the differences I had with John, and how they had desired ine to come to them; and as I spake thus, I publicly shewed that letter they had written, till they could not at all deny what they had done, the letter itself convicting them. I then said, " () Jonathan, and you that are “ sent with him as his colleagues, if I were to be judged as "s to my behaviour, compared with that of John's, and had « brought no more than two * or three witnesses, good men 66 and true, it is plain you had been forced, upon the exami" nation of their characters beforehand, to discharge the ac66 cusations : that therefore you may be informed that I have " acted well in the affairs of Galilee, I think three witnesses 6 too few to be brought by a man that hath done as he ought " to do; so I gave you all these for witnesses. Inquire of

them + how I have lived, and whether I have not behaved

myself with all decency, and after a virtuous manner " among them. And I farther conjure you, O Galileans, " to hide no part of the truth, but to speak before these “ men as before judges, whether I have in any thing acted s otherwise than well.”

50. While I was thus speaking, the united voices of all the people joined together, and called me their benefactor and saviour, and attested to my former behaviour, and exhorted me to continue so to do hereafter; and they all said, upon

* We here learn the practice of the Jews, in the days of Josephus, to inquire into the characters of witoesses, before they were admitted, and that their nuinber ought to be three, or two at the least, also exactly as in the law of Moses, and in the Apostolical Constitutions, B. II. oh. xxxvii. See Horeb Covenant Revived, page 97, 98.

+ This appeal to the whole body of the Galileans by Josephus, and the testimony they gave him of integrity in his conduct, as their governor, is very like that appeal and testimony in the case of the prophet Samuel, 1 Sam, xii. 1-5. and perhaps was done by Josepbus in imitation of him.

VOL III,

P

« PreviousContinue »