« PreviousContinue »
what country they travelled over, and what country they seized un. on afterward, and how they were removed out of them, I think this got to be a fit opportunity, and on other accounts also superfluous ; and this because many Jerus before me have composed the histories of our ancestors very exactly; as have some of the Greeks done it also, and have translated cur histories into their own tongue, and have not much mistaken the truth in their historics, But then, where the writers of these affairs, and our prophets; leave off, thence shall I take my rise, and begin my history. Now as to what concerns that war which happened in my own time, I will go over it very largely, and with all the diligence I am able ; but for what preceded mine own age, that I shall run over briefly.
7. (For example, I shall relate how Antiochus, who was named EPIPHANES, look Jerusalem by force, and held it three years and three months, and was then ejected out of the country by the sons of Asmoneus ; after that, how their posterity quarrelled about the government, and brought upon their settlement the Romans and Pompey; how Herod also, the son of Antipater, dissolved their government, and brought Sosius upon them; as also how our peofile made a sedition upon Herod's death, while Augustus was the Roman emperor, and Quintilius Varus was in that country ; and how the war broke out in the twelfth year of Nero, with what hapo fiened to Cestius; and what places the Jews assaulted in an hostile manner in the first sallies of the wir. .
8. As also, [I shall relate] bow obey built walls about ihe neighboring cities; and how Nero, upon Cestius's defeat, was in fear of the entire event of the war, and thereupon made Vespasian general in this war; and how this Vespasian with the *elder of his sons, made an expedition into the country of Judea ; what was the numa ber of the Roman army that he made use of ; and how many of his auxiliaries were cut off in all Galilee ; and how be took some of its ciries entirely, and by force, and others of them by treaty, and on terms. Now when I am come so far I shall describe the good order of the Romans in war, and the discipline of their legions; the ampli. sude of both the Galilees, with its nature, and the limits of Yudea. And besides this I shall parricularly go over wbar is peculiar to the country, she lakes and fountains that are in them, and what miseries happened 10 every city, as ihey were taken ; and all this with accuracy as I saw the things done, or suffered in them. For I shall 1108 conceal any of the calamisies I myself endured, since I shall relate their to such as know the truth of them.
9. After ibis, [I shall relate] bow, when the Jews' affairs were become very bad, Nero died, and Vespasian, when he was going to asjack Jerusalem, was called back to take the government upon bim;
wbar signs happened 10 him relating to his gaining chat government, and wbar musations of government then happened as Rome, and how he was unwillingly nade emperor by bis soldiers, and how upon his departure to Egypi, to take upon him the government of the empires the affairs of she Jews became very tumultuous; as also bow the Tyranis rose up against them, and fell into dissentions amongst themselves.
10. Moreover, [I shall relate] bow Titus marched out of Egypt in. 30 Judea, ibe second time; as also how, and where, and bow many forces be gor rogerber ; and in what state the city was by the means of the seditious ar bis coming ; what attacks be made, and bow many ramparts be cast up ; of the three walls that encompassed the city, and of their measures ; of the strengeh of the city and the structure of the temple, and boly bouse ; and besides, the meas. ures of those edifices, and of the altar, and all accurately ditermined: A descriprion also of certain of their festivals, and seven* purifications of purity, and the sacred ministrations of the priests, with the garments of the priests, and of the bigh priests; and of the nature of the most holy place of the temple, without concealing any thing, or adding any sbing to the known trurb of things.
11. After ibis, I shall relate the barbarity of the tyranis towards rbe people of their own narion, as well as the indulgence of the Romans in sparing foreigners; and how often Tirus, out of his desire to preserve ide city and sbe temple, invited the sedirioz:s to come to Serms of accommodation. I sball also distinguish the sufferings of tbe people and their calamities ; how far they were afflicted by the sedition, and bow far by the famine, and at lengib were raken. Nor shall I omis so mention sbe misfortune's of sbe disserters, nor she punish. ments inflicted on the caprives; as also how the temple was burnt, against the consent of Cæsar, and bow many sacred things sbat had been laid up in the temple were snatched out of the fire; and the destrucrion also of be entire city, wirb the signs and wonders that went before it; and the taking the tyranis caprives, and she multisude of those that were made slaves, and into what different misfor. tunes ibey were every one distributed. Moreover, whai the Romans did 10 zbe remains of the war; and how they demolished the strong bolds bar were in the country; and how Titus went over the whole country, and serrled its affairs ; together with his return into lialy, and bis triumph.
* These seven or rather five degreesof purity, or purification, are enumerated hereafter, B. V. ch. v. sect. 6.70!, 11). The Rabbins make ten degrees of them, as Reland there informs us,
12. I have comprehended all these things in seven books; and bave left no occasion for complaint or accusation to such as have been acquainted with this war; and I have written it down for the sake of those that love truth, but not for those that please themselves [with fictitious relations.] And I will begin my account of sbese things, with what I call my First Chapter.
THE WARS OF THE JEWS;
OR, THE HISTORY OF THE
- 0*© *
BOOK I. Containing the interval of one hundred fixty-seven
[From the taking of JERUSALEM by ANTIOCHUS EPIPH
ANES, to the death of HERUD the Great.]
C H A P. 1. How the City Jerusalem was taken, and the Temple pillaged [by
Antiochus Epiphanes, 1 As also concerning the Actions of the Maccabees, Matthias, and Judas; and concerning the Death of Judas. 1. A T the same time that Antiochus who is called Epiph.
anes, had a quarrel with the sixth Ptolemy about his right to the whole country of Syria, a great sedition fell among the men of power in Judea, and they had a contention about obtaining the government, while each of those that were of dignity could not endure to be subject to their equals. However, Onias, one of the high-priests got the better, and cast the fons of Tobias out of the city ; who fled to Antio. chus, and befought him to make use of them for his leaders, and to make an expedition into Judea. The king being thereto disposed beforehand, complied with them, and came upon the Jews with a great army and took their city by force, and llew a great multitude of those shat favoured Prolemy, and sent out his soldiers to plunder them without mercy. He also spoiled the temple, and put a stop to the constant practice of offering a daily sacrifice of expiation for three years and six months. But Onias the high-priest fled to Ptolemy, and
received a place from him in the Nomus of Heliopolis, where he built a city resembling Jerusalem, and a temple that was like * its temple ; concerning which we shall speak more in its proper place hereafter.
2. Now Antiochus was not satisfied either with his unexpected taking the city, or with its pillage, or with the great slaughter he had made there ; but being overcome with his violent passions, and remembering what he had luffered during the fiege, he compelled the Jews to dissolve the laws of their country, and to keep their infants uncircumcised, and to sacrifice swines flesh upon the altar ; against which they all opposed themselves, and the most approved among them were put to death. Bacchides also, who was sent to keep the fortresses, having these wicked commands joined to his own natural barbarity, indulged all sorts of the extremest wickedness, and tormented the worthiest of the inhabitants, man by man, and threatened the city every day with open destruction ; till at length he provoked the poor sufferers by the extremity of his wicked doings to avenge themfelves.
3. Accordingly Matthias, the son of Alainoneus, one of the priests who lived in a village called Modin, armed himself, to. gether with his own family, which had five sons of his in it, and flew Bacchides with daggers; and thereupon out of tear of the many garrisons of the enemy l, he fled to the mountains ; and so many of the people followed him, that he was encouraged to come down froin the mountains, and to give battle to Antiochus's generals, when he beat them and drove them out of Judea. So he came to the government by this his success, and became the prince of his own people by their own free consent, and then dierl, leaving the government to Judas his eldest son.
4. Now Judas, supposing that Antiochus would not lie ftill, gathered an army out of his own country men, and was the first that made a league of friendship with the Romans, and drove Epiphanes out of the country when he had made a second expedition into it, and this by giving him a great defeat there ; and when he was warmed by this great success, he made an assault upon the garrison that was in the city, for it had not been cut off hitherto; so he ejected them out of the Upper City, and drove the soldiers into the Lower, which part of the city was called the Citadel. He then got the temple under his power, and cleansed the whole place, and wall. ed it round about, and made new vessels for sacred miniftrations, and brought them into the temple, because the former
* I see little difference in the feveral accounts in Josephus about the Egyptian temple Onion, of which large complaints are made by his commentators, Onias, it seems, hoped to have made it very like that at Jerusalem, and of the same di. menfions ; and to lie appears to have really done, as far as he was able, and thought proper. Of this temple, fee Antiq. B. XIII, chap. iii $ 1, 2, 3. Vol. II, and or the l'ar, B. VII. ch. x. $ 3.