Page images

boldly out of the inner temple, and mixing themselves arpong the Idumeans, they attacked the guards; and some of those that were upon the watch, but were fallen afleep, they killed as they were alleep: 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 numbers; but when they law others pressing in upon them also, they perceived the Idumeans were got in; and the greatest part of them laid aside their arms, together with their courage, and betook themielves to lamentations. But some few of the younger fort 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 these were also made sensible that the Idumeans were come in, none of them durft come to their assistance, 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 Iduineans ; 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 fhui the gates against them and acted 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 lain. 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 overflowed 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 slaughters; 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 gen. erality went with the greatest zeal against them; and as loon as they caught them they lew them, and then standing upon

their dead bodies, in way of jeft, upbraided Ananus with his kindness to the people, and Jesus with his speech made to them from 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 procurer of their prelervation, stain in the midst of their city. He was on other accounts also a venerable, and a very just man ; and besides the grandeur of that nobility, and dignity, and hona 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 tollow, 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 mata ters; for he was a shrewd man in speaking and persuading the people, and had already gotten the mastery of those that opposed 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 rest ; 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 so terribly conquered by wickedness. And this at last was the end of Ananus and Jefus.

3. Now after thele were flain, 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 fort, they were destroyed in what place foever they caught them. XOC fbxon

apnoxsa, “or worldly vorlip," as the author to the Hebrews, walls the Sanctuary, ayon xo9 41 Xoy, "a worldly sanctuary,"

[ocr errors]

But for the noblemen and the youth, they first caught them and bound them, and but them upin prilon, and put off their Naughter, in hopes that some of them would turn over to their party ; but not one of them would comply with their desires, hut all of them preferred death before being inrolled among fuch wicked wretches as acted against their own country. But this refusal of theirs brought upon them terrible torments; for they were lo 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 pain 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 hous. es, could only shed tears in secret, and durft not even groan, without great caution, left any of their enemies should hear them ; for it they did, those that mourned for others soon un. derwent 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 sone that were the most ready to expose themselves to danger, would do it in the daytime ; and there were twelve thouland of the better fort who perished in this manner.

4. And now there 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, Nain, so what provoked them against him was, that hatred of wickedness and love of liberty which were so eminent in him : He was allo a rich man, so

* Some commentators are ready to suppose, that this “ Zacharias the son of B2ruch" 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 altar,” Mat. Xxiii. 33. This is a somewhat itrange exposition. Since Zechariah the prophet was really " the fon of Barachia and grand-son of Iddo,” Zech. i. a. 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 (ince that slaughter was “bem tween the temple and the altar," in the court of the priests, one of the most facJed 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, (to! we bave had no intimation that the Zelotea had at this time profaned the court of the priests. See B. ch. i. $ 2.) Nor do I believe that our jolephus, who always in lifts on the peculiar sacredness of that inmoft court, and of the holy house that was in it, would baye omitted so material an aggravation of this bar barous murder, 'as perpetrated in a place so very holy, had that been the true place of it. See Antiq. B XI. chap. vii. fi. Vol. Ii. and the note here on B V. ch.i.2.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

that by taking him off, they did not only hope to seize his ef. fects, but alio en get rid of a man that had great power to de.' stroy them. So hey called together, by a public proclama. tion, feventy of the principal men of the populace, for a fhew, as it they were real judges, while they had no proper authority. Before there was Zacharias accused of a design to hetray their polity to the Romans, and had traitoroully lent to Vei. pasian for that purpose. Now there appeared no proof or fign 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 before 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 lite he was under. Accordingly he stood up, and laughed at their pretended accusation, and in a few words confused the crimes laid to his charge ; after which he turned his speech to his accusers, and went over distinctly all their transgressions of the law, and made heavy lamentation upon the confusion they had brought 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 appearance and shew of a judicature to the end. They were al. fo defirous, on other accounts, to try the judges, whether they would be unmindful 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 acquittal, and they all had indignation at the judges, for not understand ing that the authority that was given them was but in jelt. So two of the boldest of them tell 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 verdiet, 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 people in the city, they might become their messengers, to let them know they were no better than slaves.

5. 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 Zelotes, 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.


That " they had taken arms, as though the high-priefts 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 themselves the works of war and tyranny, after an inson lent manner. It had been indeed their business to have bindered them from such their proceedings at the first, but leeing they had once been partners with them in shedding the blood of their own countrymen, it was high time to put a stop to such crimes, and not continue to afford any more affilance to such as are fubverting 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 punished, and Ananus is dead, and that almost all those people had been destroyed in one night's time. That one may perceive many of 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 faved them ; that they were so impudent as to perpetrate the vileft 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 ac tion ; that they therefore ought to retire home, fmce the imputation 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 such walls as cannot ealily be thrown down : And, by avoiding any farther fellowship 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."

C H A P. VI.

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

a great many more of the Citizens. And how Vefpafan difsuaded the Romans, when they were very carnest to marcha gainst the Jeu s, from proceeding in the War at that time. $1. THE Idumeans complied with these perfuafions

, and 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 eased of so many of their enemies, while the Zelotes grew

« PreviousContinue »