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the Jews, and gave very plain signs of his appearance,* and this to such a degree, that those that were in earnest much inclined to the contrary, had no power left to contradict it. This was also among those other particulars which he wrote to Caius, which all tended to dissuade him, and by all means to entreat him not to make so many ten thousands of these men go distracted; whom if he should slay, (for without war they would by no means suffer the laws of their worship to be set aside, he would lose the revenue they paid him, and would be publicly cursed by them for all future ages. Moreover, that God, who was their governor, had shewed his power most evidently on their account, and that such a power of his as left no room for doubt about it. And this was the business that Petronius was now engaged in.
7. But king Agrippa, who now lived at Rome, was more and more in the favour of Caius; and when he had once made him a supper, and was careful to exceed all others both in expences, and in such preparations as might contribute most to his pleasure; nay, it was so far from the ability of others, that Caius himself could never equal, much less exceed it, (such care had he taken beforehand to exceed all men, and particularly to make all agreeable to. Cæsar): hereupon Caius admired his understanding and magnificence, that he should force himself to do all to please him, even beyond such expences as he could bear, and was desirous not to be behind Agrippa in that generosity, which he exerted in order to please him. So Caius, when he had drank wine plentifully, and was merrier than ordinary, said thus during the feast, when Agrippa had drunk to him: “ I knew before now f how “ great a respect thou hast had for me, and how great kind“ ness thou hast shewed me, though with those hazards to " thyself, which thou underwentest under Tiberius on that “ account; nor hast thou omitted any thing to shew thy “ good-will towards us, even beyond thy ability; whence it 66 would be a base thing for me to be conquered by thy affec“ tion. I am therefore desirous to make thee amends for every “ thing, in which I have been any way formerly deficient, for “ all that I have bestowed on thee, that may be called my “ gifts, is but little. Every thing that may contribute to thy “ happiness shall be at thy service, and that cheerfully, and “ so far as my ability will reach." And this was what Caius said to Agrippa, thinking he would ask for some large country, or the revenues of certain cities. But although he had prepared beforehand what he would ask, yet bad he not discovered his intentions, but made this answer to Caius immediately : That " it was not out of any expectation of gain " that he formerly paid his respects to him, contrary to the “ commands of Tiberius, nor did he now do any thing relat“ ing to him out of regard to his own advantage, and in or“ der to receive any thing from him : that the gifts he had “ already bestowed upon him were great, and beyond the “ hopes of even a craving man; for although they may be “ beneath thy power, [who art the donor], yet are they “ greater than my inclination and dignity, who am the re“ ceiver.” And as Caius was astonished at Agrippa's inclinations, and still the more pressed him to make his request for somewhat which he might gratify him with, Agrippa, replied, “ Since thou, O my lord, declarest such is thy readi“ ness to grant, that I am worthy of thy gifts, I will ask no. " thing relating to my own felicity; for what thou hast al6 ready bestowed on me has made me excel therein; but I “ desire somewhat which may make thee glorious for piety, “ and render the divinity assistant to thy designs, and may be 166 for an honour to me among those that enquire about it, as
* See the preceding note. of This behaviour of Caius to Agrippa, is very like that of Herod Aptipas, his Oncle, to Herodias, Agrippa's sister, abont John the Baptist, Mat, xiy. 6.
shewing that I never once fail of obtaining what I desire of 16 thee ; for my petition is this, That thou wilt no longer “ think of the dedication of that statue which thou hast or“ dered to be set up in the Jewish temple by Petronius.".
8. And thus did Agrippa venture to cast the die upon this occasion, so great was the affair in his opinion, and in reality, though he knew how dangerous a thing it was so to speak; for, had not Caius approved of it, it had tended to no less than the loss of his life. So Caius, who was mightily taken with Agrippa's obliging behaviour, and on other accounts tbinking it a dishonourable thing to be guilty of falsehood before so many witnesses, in points wherein he had with such alacrity forced Agrippa to become a petitioner, and that it would look as if he had already repented of what he had said, and because he greatly admired Agrippa's virtue, in not desiring him at all to augment his own dominions either with larger revenues, or other authority, but took care of the public tranquillity, of the laws, and of the Divinity itself, he granted him what he had requested. He also wrote thus to Petronius, “commending him for his assembling his army, and then " consulting him about those affairs. If therefore, said he, " thou hast already erected my statue, let it stand; but if " thou hast not yet dedicated it, do not trouble thyself far" ther about it, but dismiss thy army, go back, and take " care of those affairs which I sent thee about at first, for I “ bave now no occasion for the erection of that statue. Thus “ I have granted as a favour to Agrippa, a man whom I ho
fed nor his ancourable's, and
- nour so very greatly, that I am not able to contradict what " he would have, or what he desired me to do for him." And this was what Caius wrote to Petronius, which was before he received his letter, informing him that the Jews were very ready to revolt about the statue, and that they scemed resolved to threaten war against the Romans, and nothing else. When therefore Caius was much displeased that any attempt should be made against his government, as he was a slave to base and vicious actions on all occasions, and had no regard to what was virtuous and honourable, and against whomsoever he resolved to shew his anger, and that for any cause whatsoever, he suffered not himself to be restrained by any admonition, but thought the indulging his anger to be a real pleasure, he wrote thus to Petronius : “ Seeing thou es“ teemest the presents made thee by the Jews to be of great" er value than my commands, and art grown insolent enough " to be subservient to their pleasure, I charge thee to be " come thy own judge, and to consider what thou art to do, “ now thou art under my displeasure ; for I will make thee “ an example to the present and to all future ages, that " they may not dare to contradict the commands of their 66 emperor."
9. This was the epistle which Caius wrote to Petronias, but Petronius did not receive it while Caius was alive, that ship which carried it sailing so slow, that other letters came to Petronius before this, by which he understood that Caius was dead; for God would not forget the dangers Petronius had undertaken on account of the Jews, and of his own honour. But when he had taken Caius away, out of his indignation of what he had so insolently attempted in assuming to himself divine worship, both Rome and all that dominion conspired with Petronius, especially those that were of the sena. torian order, to give Caius his due reward, because he had been onmercifully severe to them; for he died not long after he had written to Petronius tbat epistle which threatened him with death. But as for the occasion of his death, and the nature of the plot against him, I shall relate them in the progress of this narration. Now that epistle which informed Petronias of Caius's death came first, and a little afterward came that which commanded him to kill himself with his own hands. Whereupon he rejoiced at this coincidence as to the death of Caius, and admired God's providence, who without the least delay, and immediately, gave him a reward for the regard he had to the temple, and the assistance he afforded the Jews for avoiding the dangers they were in. And by this means Petronids escaped that danger of death, which he could not foresee.
What befel the Jews that were in Babylon, on occasion of Asi.
neus and Anileus, two brethren.
one monia este miser accurador retreat slay, which in Babt, were
$1. A very sad calamity now befel the Jews that were in Mesopotamia,"and especially those that dwelt in Babylonia. Inferior it was to none of the calamities which had gone before, and came together with a great slaughter of them, and that greater than any upon record before; concerning all which I shall speak accurately, and shall explain the occasions whence these miseries came upon them. There was a city of Babylonia called Neerda; not only a very populous one, but one that had a good and large territory about it, and, besides its other advantages, full of men also. It was, besides, not easily to be assaulted by enemies, from the river Euphrates encompassing it all round, and from the walls that were builtabout it. There was also the city Nisibis, situate on the same current of the river. For which reason the Jews, depending on the natural strength of these places, deposited in them that half shekel which every one, by the custom of our country, offers unto God, as well as they did other things de. voted to him, for they made use of these cities as a treasury, wbence, at a proper time, they were transmitted to Jerusaleni; and many ten thousand men undertook the carriage of those donations, out of fear of the ravages of the Parthians, to whom the Babylonians were then subject. Now there were two men, Asipeus and Anileus, of the city Neerda by birth, and brethren to one another. They were destitute of a fa. ther, and their mother put them to learn the art of weaving curtains, it not being esteemed a disgrace among them for men to be weavers of cloth. Now he that taugbt them that art and was set over them, complained that they came too late to their work, and ponished them with stripes; but they took this just punishment as an affront, and carried off all the weapons which were kept in tbat house, which were not a few, and went into a certain place where was a partition of the rivers, and was a place naturally very fit for the feeding of cattle, and for preserving such fruits as were usually laid up against winter. The poorest sort of the young men also resorted to them, whom they armed with the weapons they had gotten, and became their captains; and nothing hindered them from being their leaders into mischief; for as soon as they were become invincible, and had built them a citadel, they sent to such as fed cattle, and ordered them to pay them so much tribute out of them as inight be sufficient for their
maintenance, proposing also that they would be their friends, if they would submit to them, and that they would defend them from all their other enemies on every side, but that they would kill the cattle of those that refused to obey them. So they hearkened to their proposals (for they could do nothing else), and sent them as many sbeep as were required of them; whereby their forces grew greater, and they became lords over all they pleased, because they auarched suddenly, and did them a mischief, insomuch that every body who had to do with them, chose to pay them respect, and they became formidable to such as came to assault them, till the report about them came to the ears of the king of Parthia himself..
2. But when the governor of Babylonia understood this, and had a mind to put a stop to them, before they grew greater, and before greater mischiefs should arise from them, he got together as great an army as he could, both of Parthians and Babylonians, and marched against them, thinking to attack them, and destroy them before any one should carry them the news, that he had got an army together. He then encamped at a lake, and lay still; but on the next day (it was the Sabbath, which is among the Jews a day of rest from all sorts of work), he supposed that the enemy would not dare to fight bim thereon, bụt that he should take them and carry them away prisoners, without fighting. He therefore proceeded gradually, and thought to fall upon them on the sudden. Now Asineus was sitting with the rest and their weapons lay by them; upon which he said, “ Sirs, I hear a neigh6 ing of horses ; not of such as are feeding, but such as have " men on their backs; I also hear such a noise of their bridles, " that I am afraid that some enemies are coming upon us to " encompass us round. However, let somebody go to look « about, and make report of what reality there is in the pre66 sent * state of things; and may what I have said prove, a “ false alarm.” And, when he said this, some of them went out to spy out what was the matter, and they came again immediately and said to him, that " neither hast thou been mis“ taken in telling us what ourenemies were doing, nor will those “ enemies permit us to be injurious to people any longer. We “ are caught by their intrigues like brute beasts, and there is a “ large body of cavalry marching upon us, while we are des“ titute of hands to defend ourselves withal, because we are 66 restrained from doing it by the prohibition of our law,
* 'Evi5nXotwy is here, and in very many other places of Josephus, immediately at hand, and is to be so expounded, 2 Thess. ii. 2. when some falsely pretended that St. Paul had said either by word of mouth, or by an epistle, or by both, that the day of Christ was immediately at hand; for still St. Paul did then plainly think that day not very many years future.