Page images
PDF
EPUB

boldly out of the inner temple, and mixing themselves arong the Idumeans, they attacked the guards; and fome of those that were upon the watch, but were fallen afleep, they killed as they were afleep: But as those that were now awakened made a cry, the whole multitude arole, and in the amazement they were in caught hold of their arms immediately, and betook themselves to their own defence; and so long as they thought they were only the Zelotes who attacked them, they went on boldly, as hoping to overpower them by their numþers; but when they law others pressing in upon them also, they perceived the Idumeans were got in; and the greated part of them laid aside their arms, together with their courage, and betook themselves to lamentations. But some few of the younger sort covered themselves with their armour, and valiantly received the Idumeans, and for a great while protected the multitude of old men. Others indeed gave a signal to those that were in the city of the calamities they were in ; but when there were also made sensible that the Idumeans were come in, none of them durft come to their aslistance, only they returned the terrible echo of wailing, and lamented their misfortunes. A great howling of the women was excited also, and every one of the guards were in danger of being killed. The Zelotes also joined in the shouts raised by the Idumeans ; and the storm itself rendered the cry more terrible: Nor did the Idumeans spare any body, for as they are naturally a most barbarous and bloody nation, and had been distressed by the tempeft, they made use of their weapons against those that had shut the gates againit them and acked in the same manner as to those that supplicated for their lives, and to those that fought them, insomuch that they ran through those with their swords, who desired them to remember the relation there was between them, and begged of them to have regard to their common temple. Now there was at present neither any place for flight, nor any hope of preservation, but as they were driven one upon another in heaps, so were they llain. Thus the greater part were driven together by force, as there was now no place of retirement, and the murderers were upon them, and, having no other way, threw themselves down headlong into the city ; whereby, in my opinion, they underwent a more miserable destruction than that which they avoided, because that was a voluntary one. And now the outer temple was all of it over flowed with blood; and that day, as it came on they saw eight thousand five hundred dead bodies there.

2. But the rage of the Idumeans was not satiated by these Naughters; but they now betook themselves to the city, and plundered every house, and flew every one they met; and for the other multitude they esteemed it needless to go on with killing them, but they fought for the high priests, and the generality went with the greatest zeal against them; and as loon as they caught them they lew them, and then ftanding upon

their dead bodies, in way of jest, upbraided Ananus with his kindness to the people, and Jesus with his speech made to them !rom the wall. Nay, they proceeded to that degree of impiety; as to caft away their dead bodies without burial, although the Jews used to take so much care of the burial of men, that they took down those that were condemned and crucified, and buried them before the going down of the fun. I should not mistake if I said, that the death of Ananus was the begin. ning of the destruction of the city, and that from this very day may be dated the overthrow of her wall, and the ruin of her affairs, whereon they saw their high priest, and the pro. curer of their prelervation, stain in the midst of their city. He was on other accounts also a venerable, and a very juft man : and besides the grandeur of that nobility, and dignity, and hon. our of which he was possessed, he had been a lover of a kind of parity, even with regard to the meanest of the people; he was a prodigious lover of liberty, and an admirer of a democracy in government, and did ever prefer the public welfare before his own advantage, and preferred peace above all things; for he was thoroughly sensible that the Romans were not to be conquered. He also foresaw that of neceffity a war would fol. low, and that unless the Jews made up matters with them very dexterously, they would be destroyed ; to say all in a word, if Ananus had survived they had certainly compounded matters; for he was a shrewd man in speaking and persuading the people, and had already gotten the mastery of those that opDosed his designs, or were for the war. And the Jews had then put abundance of delays in the way of the Romans, if they had had such a general as he was. Jesus was also joined with him, and although he were interior to him upon the com. parison, he was superior to the reft ; and I cannot bnt think, that it was because God had doomed this city to destruction, as a polluted city, and was resolved to purge his sanctuary by fire, that he cut off these their great defenders and well wishers, while those that a little before had worn the sacred garments, and had presided over the * public worship, and had been esteemed venerable by those that dwelt on the whole habitable earth when they came into our city, were cast out naked, and seen to be the food of dogs and wild beasts. And I cannot but imagine that virtue itself groaned at these mens case, and lamented that she was here fo terribly conquered by wickedness. And this at last was the end of Ananus and Je.

fus.

3. Now after thele were fain, the zealots and the multitude of the Idumeans fell upon the people as upon a flock of profane animals, and cut their throats; and for the ordinary lort, they were destroyed in what place soever they caught them.

* Xocuixa aproxsa, “or worldly worship," as the author to the Hebrews, walls the sanctuary, ayon X05 21xor, "a worldly fan&uary,"

But for the noblemen and the youth, they first caught them and bound them, and but them upin prilon, and put off their flaughter, in hopes that some of them would turn over to their party ; but not one of them would comply with their desires. but all of them preferred death before being inrolled among such wicked wretches as acted against their own country. But this refusal of theirs brought upon them terrible torments; for they were so scourged and tortured, that their bodies were not able to sustain their torments, till at length and with diffi. culty, they had the favour to be flain. Those whom they caught in the day time were sain in the night, and then their bodies were carried out and thrown away, that there might be room for other prisoners ; and the terror that was upon the people was so great, that no one had courage enough either openly to weep for the dead man that was related to him, or to bury him ; but those that were shut up in their own hour. es, could only shed tears in secret, and durft not even groan, without great caution, left any of their enemies should hear them; for if they did, those that mourned for others soon underwent the same death with those whom they mourned for. Only in the night time they would take up a little duft, and throw it upon their bodies, and even some that were the most ready to expose themselves to danger, would do it in the day. time ; and there were twelve thousand of the better fort who perished in this manner.

4. And now these Zelotes and Idumeans were quite weary of barely killing men, so they had the impudence of setting up fictitious tribunals and judicatures for that purpose ; and as they intended to have * Zacharias, the son of Baruch, one of the most eminent of the citizens, sain, so what provoked them against him was, that hatred of wickedness and love of liberty which were so eminent in himn : He was also a rich man, so

* Some commentators are ready to suppose, that this “ Zacharias the son of Baron ruch" here most unjuftly Nain by the Jews in the temple, was the very same perion with " Zacharias the son of Barachias," whom our Saviour says the Jews New between the temple and the aitar," Mat. xxiii. 33. This is a somewhat Arange exposition. Since Zechariah the prophet was really " the foa of Barachia and grand-son of Iddo,” Zech. i. 1. and how he died, we have no other accounts than that before us in St. Matthew, while this “ Zacharias was the son of Baruch." Since the slaughter was past when our Saviour (pake those words, the Jews had then already Nain him, whereas this slaughter of " Zecharias the son of Baruch," in Jofephus, was then about 34 years future. Ard Gince that slaughter was « bem tween the temple and the altar,': in the court of the priests, one of the most facsed and remote parts of the whole temple, while this was, in Josephus's own words in the middle of the temple, and much the most probably in the court of Ifrael only, (for we have had so intiration that the Zelotes had at this time profaned the court of the priests. See B. ch. i. 92) Nor do I believe that our Jou lephus, who always in lifts on the peculiar facredness of that inmost court, and of the holy house that was in it, would bave omitted so material an aggravation of this barbarous murder, 'as perpetrated in a place so very holy, had that been the true place of it. See Antig. B XI. chap. vii. Si, Vol. II, and the note here on B. V. ch. i. 2.

that by taking him off, they did not only hope to seize his ef. fects, but alio to get rid of a man that had great power to de. ftroy them. So they called together, by a public proclama. tion, seventy of the principal men of the populace, for a shew, as if they were real judges, while they had no proper authority. Before these was Zacharias acculed ot a design to hetray their polity to the Romans, and had traitorously lent to Veia pasian for that purpose. Now there appeared no proof or sign of what he was accused, but they affirmed themselves that they were well perluaded that so it was, and desired that such their affirmation might be taken for sufficient evidence. Now when Zacharias clearly saw that there was no way remaining for his escape from them, as having been treacherously called betore them, and then put in prison, but not with any intention of a legal trial, he took great liberty of speech in that despair of his Jite he was under. Accordingly he stood up, and laughed at their pretended acculation, and in a few words confuced the crimes laid to his charge ; after which he turned his speech to his accusers, and went over diftinétly all their transgressions of the law, and made heavy lamentation upon the confusion they had broaght public affairs to ; in the mean time the Zelotes grew tumultuous, and had much ado to abstain from drawing their swords, although they designed to preserve the ap. pearance and shew of a judicature to the end. They were al. so desirous, on other accounts, to try the judges, whether they would be uninindful of what was just at their own peril. Now the seventy judges brought in their verdiet, that the person accused was not guilty, as choosing rather to die themselves with him, than to have his death laid at their doors ; hereupon there arose a great clamour of the Zelotes upon his acquiital, and they all had indignation at the judges, for not understand ing that the authority that was given them was but in jest. So two of the boldest of them fell upon Zacharias in the middle of the temple, and New him ; and as he fell down dead, they bantered him, and said, " Thou hast also our verdict, and this will prove a more sure acquittal to thee than the other.” They also ihrew him down from the temple immediately into the valley beneath it. Moreover, they struck the judges with the backs of their iwords, by way of abuse, and thrust them out of the court of the temple, and spared their lives with no other design than that, when they were dispersed among the peo. ple in the city, they might become their messengers, to let them know they were no better than slaves.

s. But by this time the Idumeans repented of their coming and were displealed at what had been done ; and when they were assembled together by one of the Zelores, who had come privately to them, he declared to them what a number of wicked pranks they had themselves done in conjunction with those that invited them, and gave a particular account of what mischiefs had been done against their metropolis. He laid, VOL. III.

IT

That " they had taken arms, as though the high-priefs were betraying their metropolis to the Romans, but had found no indication of any such treachery ; but that they had succour. ed those that had pretended to believe such a thing, while they did themfelves the works of war and tyranny, after an infolent manner. It had been indeed their business to have bindered them from such their proceedings at the first, but fee. ing they had once been partners with them in thedding the blood of their own country men, it was high time to put a stop to such crimes, and not continue to afford any more afli kance to such as are subverting the laws of their foretathers; for that if any had taken it ill that the gates had been fhut against them, and they had not been permitted to come into the city, yet that those who had excluded them have been punilhed, and Ananus is dead, and that almoft all those people had been destroyed in one night's time. That one may perceive many ot themselves now repenting for what they had done, and might see the horrid barbarity of thole that had invited them, and that they had no regard to such as had saved them; that they were so impudent as to perpetrate the vilest things, under the eyes of those that had fupported them, and that their wicked actions would be laid to the charge of the Idumeans, and would be fo laid to their charge till somebody obstructs their proceedings, or separates himself from the fame wicked action ; that they therefore ought to retire home, fmce the im putation of treason appears to be a calumny, and that there was no expectation of the coming of the Romans at this time, and that the government of the city was secured by fuch walls as cannot easily be thrown down : And, by avoiding any far. ther fellowsbip with these bad men, to make some excuse for themselves, as to what they had been so far deluded, as to have been partners with them hitherto."

CH A P. VI.

How the Zelotes, when they were freed from the Idumeans, fleta

a great many more of the Citizens. And how Vefpahan dif Juaded the Romans, when they were very earnest to marcha

gainst the Jeus, from proceeding in the War at that time. $1. THE Idumeans complied with these persuasions, and

1 in the first place, they set those that were in the pri. fons at liberty, being about two thousand of the populace, who thereupon fled away immediately to Simon, one whom we shall speak of presently. After which these Idumeans retired from Jerusalem, and went home, which departure of theirs was a great surprise to both parties ; for the people not knowing of their repentance, pulled up their courage for a while, as eafed of so many of their enemies, while the Zelotes grew

« PreviousContinue »