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the potion, and gave it to be drunk by a condemned malefac. tor, who was then in prison, who died upon the spot. So Varus, when he had had a very private discourse with Herod, and had written an account of this assembly to Cæsar, went away after a day's stay. The king also bound Antipater, and sent away to inform Cæsar of his misfortunes.
6. Now after this it was discovered that Antipater had laid a plot against Salome also; for one of Antipbilus's domestie servants came and brought letters from Rome, from a maidservant of Julia (Cæsar's wife] whose name was Acme. By her a message was sent to the king, that she had found a letter written by Salome, among Julia's papers, and had sent it to himn privately, out of her good will to him. This letter of Salome contained the most bitter reproaches of the king, and the highest accusations against him. Antipater had forged this letter, and had corrupted Acme, and persuaded her to send it to Herod. This was proved by her letter to Antipater; for thus did this woman write to him : “ As 6 thou desirest, I have written a letter to thy father, and have 66 sent that letter, and am persuaded that the king will not 66 spare his sister when he reads it. Thou wilt do well to 66 remember what thou hast promised when all is accom66 plished.”
7. When this epistle was discovered, and what the epistle forged against Salome contained, a suspicion came into the king's mind, that perhaps the letters against Alexander were also forged: he was moreover greatly disturbed, and in a passion, because he had almost slain his sister on Antipater's account. He did no longer delay therefore to bring him to punishment for all his crimes; yet, when he was eagerly pursuing Antipater, he was restrained by a severe distemper he fell 'into. However, he sent an account to Cæsar about Acme, and the contrivances against Salome: he sent also for his testament, and altered it, and therein made Antipas king, as taking no care of Archelaus and Philip, because Antipater had blasted their reputations with him ; but he bequeathed to Cæsar, besides other presents that he gave him, a thousand talents; as also to his wife, and children, and friends, and freedmen, about five hundred; he also bequeathed to all others, a great quantity of land, and of money; and shewed his respects to Salome, his sister, by giving her most splendid gifts. And this was what was contained in his testament, as it was now altered.
The golden eagle is cut to pieces. Herod's barbarity when
he was ready to die. He attempts to kill himseif. He commands Antipater to be slain. IIe survives him five days, and then dies.
Bere to himace, and Walmost sopanities
§ 1. Now Herod's distemper became more and more severe to him, and this, because these his disorders fell upon him in his old age, and when he was in a melancholy condition ; for he was already almost seventy years of age, and had been brought low by the calamities that happened to him about his children, whereby he had no pleasure in life, even when he was in health ; the grief also that Antipater was still alive, aggravated his disease, whom he resolved to put to death now, not at random, but as soon as he should be well again, and resolved to have hiin slain [in a public manner.]
2. There also now happened to him, among bis other ca. : lamities, a certain popular sedition. There were two men of learning in the city [Jerusalem] who were thought the most skilful in the laws of their country, and were on that account had in very great esteem all over the nation ; they were, the one Judas, the son of Sepphoris, and the other Matthias, the son of Margalus. There was a great concourse of the young men to these men, when they expounded the laws, and there got together every day a kind of an army of such as were growing up to be men. Now when these men were informed that the king was wearing away with melancholy, and with a distemper, they dropped words to their acquaintance, bow it was now a very proper time to defend the cause of God, and to pull down what had been erected contrary to the laws of their country ; for it was unlawful there should be any such thing in the temple as images, or faces, or the like representation of any animal whatsoever. Now the king had put up a golden eagle over the great gate of the temple, which these learned men exhorted them to cut down ; and told them, that if there should any danger arise, it was a glorious thing to die for the laws of their country; because that the * soul
* Since, in these two sections, we have an evident account of the Jewish opinions in the days of Josephus, about a future happy state, and the resur. rection of the dead, as in the New Testament, John xi. 24. I shall here refer to the other places in Josephus, before he became a Catholic Christian, which concero the same matters. Of the War, B. II. chap. viii. sect. 10, 11. B. III. chap. viii. $ 4. Vol. III, B. VII. chap. vi. 57. Contra Apion, B. II. $ 30. Vol. IV. Where we may observe, that none of these passages are in his books of Antiquities, written peculiarly for the use of the Gentiles, to whom he thought it
was immortal, and that an eternal enjoyment of happiness did await such as died on that account; while the mean-spirited, and those that were not wise enough to shew a right love of their souls, preferred a death by a disease; before that which is the result of a virtuous behaviour.
3. At the same time that these men made this speech to their disciples, a rumour was spread abroad, that the king was dying, which made the young men set about the work with greater boldness; they therefore let themselves down from the top of the temple with thick cords, and this at midday, and while a great number of people were in the temple, and cut down that golden eagle with axes. This was presently told to the king's captain of the temple, who came running with a great body of soldiers and caught about forty of the young men, and brought them to the king. And when he asked them, first of all, whether they had been so hardy as to cut down the golden eagle? they confessed they had done so; and when be asked them by whose command they had done it? they replied, At the command of the law of their country; and when he farther asked them, how they could be so joyful when they were to be put to death? they replied, * Because they should enjoy greater happiness after, they were dead.
4. At this the king was in such an extravagant passion, that he overcame his disease [for the time and went out, and spake to the people; wherein he made a terrible accusation against those men, as being guilty of sacrilege, and as making greater atten.pts under pretence of their law, and he thought they deserved to be punished as impious persons. Whereupon the people were afraid lest a great number should be found guilty, and desired, that when he had first punished those that put them upon this work, and then those that were caught in it, he would leave off his anger as to the rest. With this the king complied, though not without difficulty, and ordered those that had let themselves down, together with their Rabbins, to be burnt alive, but delivered the rest that were caught to the proper officers, to be put to death by them.
pot proper to insist on topics so much out of their way as these were. Nor is this observation to be omitted here especially, on account of the sensible difference we have now before us in Josephus's representation of the arguments used by the Rabbins to persuade their scholars to hazard their lives for the vin. dication of God's law, against images, by Moses, as well as of the answers those scholars made to Herod, when they were caught, and ready to die for the same; I mean, as compared with the parallel arguments and apswers represented in the Antiquities, B. XVII. chap. vi. sect. 2, 3. Vol. III. A like difference be. •tween Jewish and Gentile notions, the reader will find in my notes on Antiqui. ties. B. III. chap vii. sect 7. Vol. I. B. XV. chap ix. sect. 1. Vol. II. See the like also in the case of the three Jewish sects in the Antiquities, B. XIII. chap. v. sect. 9. and chap. x, sect; 4, 5. Vol. II. B. XVIII. chap. i. sect. 5. Vol. II. and compared with this, in his wars of the Jews, B. II. chap. viii, sect. 2, 14. Vol. IV. Nor does St. Paul himself reason to Gentiles at Athens, Acts xvii. 16, 34. as he does to Jews in his epistles. . . . .
* See the preceding note.
5. After this the distemper seized upon his whole body, and greatly disordered all its parts with various symptoms; for there was a gentle fever upon him, and an intolerable itching over all the surface of his body, and continual pains in his colon, and dropsical tumours about his feet, and an intlainmation of the abdomen, and a putrefaction of his privy member, that produced worms. Besides which, he had a difficulty of breathing upon him, and could not breathe but when he sat upright, and had a convulsion of all his members, insomuch, that the diviners said, those diseases were a punishment upon him for what he had done to the Rabbius. Yet did he struggle with his numerous disorders, and still had a desire to live, and boped for recovery, and considered of several methods of cure. Accordingly he went over Jordan, and made use of those hot batis at Callirhoe which run into the lake Asphaltitis, but are themselves sweet enough to be drunk. And here the physicians thought proper to bathe luis whole body in warm oil, by letting it down into a large vessel full of oil ; whereupon his eyes failed him, and he came and went as if he were dying; and as a tumult was then made by his servants, at their voice he revived again. Yet did he after this despair of recovery, and gave orders that each soldier should have fifty drachmæ a-piece, and that his commanders and friends should have great sums of money given them.
6. He then returned back and came to Jericho, in such a melancholy state of body as almost threatened him with present death, when he proceeded to attempt an horrid wickededness ; for he got together the most illustrious men of the whole Jewish nation, out of every village, into a place called the Hippodrome and there shut them in. He then called for his sister Salome, and her husband Alexas, and made this speech to them ; " I know well enough that the Jews will • keep a festival upon my death : however, it is in my power « to be mourned for on other accounts, and to have a splen" did funeral, if you will be but subservient to my commands. “6 Do but you take care to send soldiers to encompass these “ men that are now in custody, and slay them immediately 6 upon my death, and then all Judea, and every family of 56 them, will weep at it, whether they will or no,"
7. These were the commands he gave them; when there came letters from his ambassadors at Rome, whereby information was given, that Acme was put to death at Cæsar's command, and that Antipater was condemned to die: how
ever, they wrote withal, that if Herod had a mind rather to banish him, Cæsar permitted him so to do. So he, for a little while revived, and had a desire to live; but presently after he was overborne by his pains, and was disordered by want of food, and by a convulsive cough, and endeavoured to prevent a natural death; so he took an apple, and asked for a knife, for he used to pare apples, and eat them ; he then looked round about to see that there was nobody to binder bim, and lift up his right hand, as if he would stab himself; but Achiabus, his first cousin, came running to him, and held his hand, and hindered him from so doing ; on which occasion a very great lamentation was made in the palace, as if the king were expiring. As soon as ever Antipater heard that, he took courage, and, with joy in bis looks, besought his keepers, for a sum of money, to loose him, and let him go; but the principal keeper of the prison did not only obstruct him in that his intention, but ran and told the king what his design was: hereupon the king cried out louder than his distemper would well bear, and immediately sent some of his guards and slew Antipater; he also gave order to have him buried at Hyrcapium, and altered his testament again, and therein made Ar. chelaus, his eldest son, and the brother of Antipas, his successor, and made Antipas tetrarch. - 8. So Herod having survived the slaughter of his son five days, died, having reigned thirty-four years, since he had caused Antigonus to be slain, and obtained his kingdom; but thirty-seven years siuce he had been made king by the Romans. Now, as for his fortune, it was prosperous in all other respects, if ever any other man could be so, since, from a private man, he obtained a kingdom, and kept it so long, and left it to his own sons; but still in his domestic affairs, he was a most unfortunate man. Now before the soldiers knew of his death, Salome and her husband came out and dismissed those that were in bonds, whom the king had commanded to be slain, and told them, that he had altered his mind, and would have every one of them sent to their own homes. When these men were gone, Salome told the soldiers (the king was dead] and got them and the rest of the multitude together to an assembly, in the amphitheatre at Jericho, where Ptolemy, who was intrusted by the king with his signet-ring, came before them, and spake of the happiness the king had attained, and comforted the multitude, and read the epistle which had been left for the soldiers, wherein he earnestly exhorted them to bear good-will to his successor ; and after he had read the epistle, he opened and read his testament, wherein Philip was to inherit Trachonitis, and the neighbouring countries, and Antipas was to be tetrarch, as we said before,