« PreviousContinue »
called the Holy of Holies. Now, about the sides of the lower part of the temple there were little houses, with passages out of one into another : There were a great many of them, and they were of three stories high ; there were also entrances on each side of them from the gate of the temple. But the fu. perior part of the temple had no such little houses any farther, because the temple was there narrower, and forty cubits higher, and of a smaller body than the lower parts of it. Thus we collect that the whole height, including the sixty cubits from the floor, amounted to an hundred cubits.
6. Now the outward face of the temple in its front wanted nothing that was likely to surprise either men's minds or their eyes; for it was covered all over with plates of gold of great weight, and, at the first rising of the sun, reflected back å very fiery splendor, and made those who forced themfelves to look upon, to turn their eyes away, just as they would have done at the sun's own rays. But ihis temple appeared to strangers, when they were coming to it at a distance, like a mountain covered with snow ; for, as to ihose parts of it that were not guilt, they were exceeding white. On its top it had spikes with sharp points, to prevent any pollution of it by birds sitting upon it. Of its stones some of them were forty-. five cubits in length, five in height, and fix in breadth. Before this temple stood the altar, fifteen cubits high, and equal both in length and breadth ; each of which dimensions was fifty cubits. The figure it was built in was a square, and it had corners like horns; and the passage up to it was by an insensible acclivity. It was formed without any iron tool, nor did any such iron tool so much as touch it at any time. There was also a wall of partition, about a cubit in height, made of fine stones, and so as to be grateful to the sight; this encompassed the holy house and the altar, and kept the people that were on the outside off from the priests. Moreover, those that had the gonorrhea and the leprosy were excluded out of the city entirely : Women also, when their courses were upon them, were shut out of the temple ; nor, when they were free from that impurity, were they allowed to go beyond the limit before mentioned : Men also, that were not thoroughly, pure, were prohibited to come into the inner (court of the] temple ; nay, the priests themselves that were not pure, were prohibited to come into it also.
7. Now all those of the stock of the priests that could not minister by reason of some detect in their bodies, came within the partition, together with those that had no such imperfection, and had their share with them by reason of their itock, but still made use of none except their own private garments ; for nobody but he that officiated had on his sacred garments : But then those priests that were without any blemish upon them, went up to the altar clothed in fine linen.
They abflained chiefly from wine, out of this fear, left otherwise they thould transgreis some rules of their ministration. The highpriest did ailo go up with them ; not always indeed, but on the seventh days and new moons, and if any festivals belong. ing to our nation, which we celebrate every year, happened. When he officiated, he had on a pair of breeches that reached beneath his privý parts to his thighs, and had on an inner gar. ment of linen, together with a blue garment round without Seam, with fringe-work, and reaching to the feet. There were also golden bells that hung upon the fringes, and pomegranates intermixed among them. The bells fignified thunder, and the pomegranates lightning. But that girdle that tied the garment to the breast, was embroidered with five rows of various colours, of gold, and purple, and scarlet, as also of fine linen and blue, with which colours we told you betore the veils of the temple were embroidered also. The like embroidery was upon the ephod ; but the quantity of gold therein was greater. Its figure was that of a stomacher for the breast. There were upon it two golden buttons like small shields, which buttoned the ephod to the garment: In these buttons were inclosed two very large and very excellent far. dony xes, having the names of the tribes of that nation engrav. ed upon them : On the other part there hung twelve stones, three in a row one way, and four in the other; a sardius a topaz, and an emeralad; a carbuncle, a jaspar, and a saphire; an agate, an amethyst, and a ligure, an onyx, a beryl, and a chrysolite; upon every one of which was again engraved one of the foreinentioned names of the tribes. A mitre also of fine linen encompassed his head, which was tied by a blue ribband, about which there was another golden crown, in which was engraven the sacred name sof God]: It consists of four vowels. However, the high-priest did not wear these garments at other times, but a more plain habit; he only did it when he went into the most sacred part of the temple, which he did but once in a year, on that day wben our custom is for all of us to keep a fast to God. And thus much concerning the city and the temple ; but, for the customs and laws hereto relating, we shall speak more accurately another time; for there remain a great many things thereto relating, which have not been here touched upon.
8. Now, as to the tower of Antonia it was Gtuated at the corner ot iwo cloisters of the court of the temple, of that on the west, and that on the north : It was erected upon a rock of fifty cubiis in height, and was on a great precipice: It was the work of king Herod, wherein he demonftrated bis natural magnanimity. In the first place, the rock itself was covered over with smooth pieces of stone, from its founda. tion, both for ornament, and that any one who would either try to get up or to go down it mighi nur be able to hold his feet upon it. Next to this and betore you come to the edi. fice of the tower itself, there was a wail wree cubits high ; but within that wall all the space of the tower of Antonia itlelt was built upon, to the height of torty cubits. The inward parts had the largeness and form of a palace, it being parted into all kinds of rooms and other conveniences, such as courts, and places for bathing, and broad spaces for campa; inomuch that, by having all conveniences that cities wanted, it might seem to be composed of several cities, but by its mag nificence is seemed a palace; and, as the entire structure resembled that of a tower, it contained also four other distinct towers at its four corners ; whereof the others were but fifty cubits high, whereas that which lay upon the south-eaft corner was seventy cubits high, that from thence the whole temple might be viewed : But on the corner where it joined to the two cloisters of the temple, it had pallages down to them both, through which the guards (for there always lay in this tower a Roman legion) went leveral ways among the cloisters, with their arms, on the Jewish festivals, in order to watch the people, that they might not there attempt to make any inno. vations; for the temple was a fortrels that guarded the city, as was the tower of Antonia a guard to the temple; and in that tower were the guards * of those three. There was allo a peculiar fortress belonging to the upper city, which was Herod's palace ; but, for the hill Bezetha, it was divided from the tower of Antonia, as we have already told you; and as that hill on which the tower of Antonia stood, was the highest of these three, so did it adjoin to the new city, and was the only place that hindered the Gght of the temple on the north. And this Mall suffice at present to have spoken about the city and the walls about it, because I have propoled to myself to make a more accurate description of it elsewhere
c H A P. VI.
Concerning the Tyrants Simon and John. How also, as Titus
was going round the Wall of the City, Nicanor was wounded by a dart; which accident provoked Titus to press on the Siege.
the warlike men that were in the city, and the
multitude of tlie seditious that were with Simon, were ten thousand, besides the Idunt...ans. Those ten thous fand had filty commanders, over whom this Simon was sua preme. The Idumeans that paid him homage were five thoufand, and had eight commanders, among whom those of great. eft fame were Jacob the fon of Sofas, and Simon the fon of Cathlas. John, who had seized upon the temple, had fix thou. fand arıned men under twenty commanders : The Zelotes also
* Those three guards that lay in the tower of Antonia mult be chofe that gunda ed the city, the temple, and she tower of Anton
that had come over to him, and left off their opposition, were two thousand four hundred, and had the same commander that they had formerly, Eleazar, together with Simon the son of Arinus. Now, while these factions fought one against another, the people were their prey on both sides, as we have said already; and that part of the people which would not join with them in their wicked practices, were plundered by both face tions. Simon held the upper city, and the great wall as far as Cedron, and as much of the old wall as bent from Siloam to the east, and which went down to the palace of Monobazus, who was king of the Adiabeni beyond Euphrates : He also held that fountain and the Acra, which was no other than the lower city ; he also held all that reached to the palace of queen Helena, the mother of Monobazus. But John held the temple, and the parts thereto adjoining, for a great way, as also Ophla, and the valley called the Valley of Cedron;
and when the parts that were interposed between their possessions were burnt by them, they left a space wherein they might fight with each other; for this internal sedition did not cease even when the Romans were encamped near their very walls. But although they had grown wiser at the first on set the Romans made upon them, this lafted but a while ; for they returned to their former madness, and separated one from another, and fought it out, and did every thing that the besiegers could desire them to do; for they never fuffered any thing that was worle from the Romans, than they made each other suffer nor was there any misery endured by the city after these men's actions, that could be esteemed new. But it was most of all unhappy before it was overthrown, while those that took it, did it a greater kindness; for I venture to affirm, that the sedia tion destroyed the city, and the Romans destroyed the sedition, which it was a much harder thing to do, than to destroy the walls; so that we may justly ascribe our misfortunes to our own people, and the just vengeance taken on them to the Ro. mans ; as to which matter let
every one determine by the ac. tions on both sides.
2. Now, when affairs within the city were in this posture, Titus went round the city on the outlide with some cholen horsemen, and looked about for a proper place where he might make an impression upon the walls; but as he was in doubt where he could possibly make an attack on any fide, (for the place was no way accessible where the valleys were, and on the other side the first wall appeared too strong to be fhaken by the engines); he thereupon thought it best to make his assault upon the monument of John the high priest ; for there it was that the first tortification was lower, and the le. cond was not joined to it, the builders neglecting to build the wall strong where the new city was not much inhabited; here also was an easy pasfage to the third wall, through which he thought to take the Upper city, and, through the tower of Antonia, the temple itself. But at this time, as he was going round about the city, one of his friends, whose name was Nicanor, was wounded with a dart on his left Moulder, as he approached, together with Josephus, too near the wall, and attempted to discourse to those that were upon the wall, about terms of peace ; for he was a person known by them. On this account it was that Cæsar, as soon as he knew their vehemence, that they would not bear even such as approached them to perfuade them to what tended to their own preservation, was provoked to press on the fiege. He also at the same time gave his foldiers leave to let the suburbs on fire, and ordered that they should bring timber together, and raise the banks against the city ; and when he had parted his army in three parts in order to fet about those works, he placed those that shot darts, and the archers, in the midst of the banks that were then railing; before whom he placed thole engines that threw javelins, and darts, and stones, that he might prevent the enemy from sallying out upon their works, and might hinder those that were upon the wall from being able to obitruct them. So the trees were now cut down immediately, and the suburbs left naked. But now while the timber was carrying to raise the banks, and the whole army was earnestly engaged in their works, the Jews were not, however, quiet, and it happened that the people of Jerusalem, who had been hitherto plundered and murdered, were now of good courage, and lupposed they should have a breathing time, while the others were very busy in opposing their enemies without the city, and that they should now be avenged on those that had been the authors of their miseries, in case the Romans did but get the victory.
3. However, John staid behind out of his fear of Simon, even while his own men were earnest in making a sally upon their enemies without. Yet did not Simon lie ftill, for he lay near the place of the siege ; he brought his engines of war, and disposed of them at due distances upon the wall, both those which they took from Cestius formerly, and those which they got when they seized the garrison that lay in the tower Antonia. But though they had these engines in their poflession, they had so little skill in using them, that they were in great measure useless to them ; but a few there were who had been taught by deferters how to use them, which they did ule tho' after an aukward manner. So they cast stones and arrows.at those that were making the banks: They also ran out upon them by companies, and fought with them. Now those that were at work covered themselves with hurdles spread over their banks, and their engines were opposed to them when they made their excursions. The engines, that all the legions had ready prepared for them, were admirably contrived; but still more extraordinary ones belonged to the tenth legion ; those that threw darts and those that threw stones, were more forcible and larger than the rest, by which they not only re