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lightnings, terrible thunderings, and amazing concussions and bellowings of the earth. These things were a manifest indication* that some destruction was coming upon men, when the system of the world was put into this disorder; and any one would guess that these wonders foreshowed some grand calamities that were coming.
Now the opinion of the Idumeans, and of the citizens, was one and the same. The Idumeans thought that God was angry at their taking arms; and they should not escape punishment for making war upon their metropolis : while Ananus and his party thought, that they had conquered without fighting; and that God acted as a general for them. But truly they proved both ill conjectures at what was to come ; and made those events to be ominous to their enemies, while they were themselves to undergo the ill effects of them. For the Idumeans fenced one another by uniting their bodies into one band, and thereby kept themselves warm : and connecting their shields over their heads, were not so much hurt by the rain. But the zealots were more deeply concerned for the danger these men were in, than they were for themselves; and got together, and looked about them to see whether they could devise any means of assisting them. The more violent sort of them thought it best to force their guards with their arms; and after that to fall into the midst of the city, and publicly open the gates to those that came to their assistance. As supposing the guards would be in disorder, and give way at such an unexpected attempt, especially as the greater part of them were unarmed, and unskilled in affairs of war. And that besides the multitude of the citizens would not be easily gathered together, but confined to their houses by the storm. And that if there were any hazard in their undertaking, it became them to suffer any thing themselves, rather than to overlook so great a multitude as were miserably perishing on their account. But the more prudent part of them disapproved of this forcible method; because they saw not only the guards about them very numerous, but the walls of the city itself carefully watched, by reason of the Idumeans. They also supposed that Ananus would be every where, and visit the guards every hour. Which, indeed, was done upon other nights; but was omitted that night : not by reason of any slothfulness of Ananus, but by the overbearing appointment of *fate ; that so both he might himself perish, and the multitude of the guards might perish with him. For as the night was far gone, and the storm very terrible, Ananus gave the guards in the cloisters leave to go to sleep. While it came into the heads of the zealots to make use of the saws belonging to the temple, and to cut the bars of the gates to pieces. The noise of the wind, and that not inferior sound of the thunder, did here also conspire with their designs, that the noise of the saws was not heard by the others.
* There certainly are intimations of future events afforded by Providence to prepare us for their approach. But in former times superstition invented so many omens and portents, as much oftener to deceive than direct the people. B.
So they secretly went out of the temple to the wall of the city, and made use of their saws, and opened that gate which was over against the Idumeans. Now at first there came a fear upon the Idumeans themselves, which disturbed them; as imagining that Ananus and his party were coming to attack them. So that every one of them had his right hand upon his sword, in order to defend himself. But they soon came to know who they were that came to them, and were entered the city. And had the Idumeans then fallen upon the city, nothing could have hindered them from destroying the whole of the people : such was the rage they were in at that time. But they first of all hastened to get the zealots out of custody; which those that brought them in earnestly desired them to do, and not to overlook those for whose sake they were come, in the inidst of their distresses ; nor to bring them into a still greater danger. For that when they had once seized on the guards, it would be easy for them to fall upon the city: but that if the city were once alarmeil, they would not then be able to overcome those guards; because as soon as they should perceive they were there, they would put themselves in order to fight them, and would hinder their coming into the temple.
* Or. Providence.
CHAP. V. OF THE CRUELTY OF THE IDUMEANS, AND OF THE ZEALOTS; THE
SLAUGHTER OF ANANUS, JESUS, AND ZACHARIAS, AND THE SUBSEQUENT RETREAT OF THE IDUMEANS.
THIS advice pleased the Idumeans; and they ascended through the city to the temple. The zealots were also in great expectation of their coming, and earnestly waited for them. When, therefore, these were entering, they also came boldly out of the *inner temple; and mixing themselves among the Idumeans, attacked the guards. And some of those that were upon the watch, but were fallen asleep, they killed, as they were asleep. But as those that were now awakened made a cry, the whole maltitude arose ; 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 zealots who attacked them, they went on boldly; as hoping to overpower them by their numbers. But when they saw 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 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 these were also made sensible that the Idumeans were come in, none of them durst come to their assistance. Only they returned the terrible echo of wailing, and lamented their misfortunes. A great howling of the women also was excited : and every one of the guards was in danger of being killed. The zealots 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 sanguinary nation, and had been distressed by the tempest, they made use of their weapons against those that had shut 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 those through 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 together by force, as there was 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 touter temple was completely overflowed with blood. And that day, as it came on, saw eight thousand five hundred dead bodies there.
* The court of Israel.
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 slew every one they met. And for the other multitude, they esteemed it needless to go on with killing them ; but they sought for the high-priests; and the generality went with the greatest zeal against them. And as soon as they caught them, they slew them : and then standing upon their dead bodies, in way of jest, 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 cast away their dead bodies without burial : although the Jews used to take so much care of the sepulture of men, that they took down those that were condemned, and buried them before the going down of the sun. I should not mistake if I said, that the death of Ananus was the beginning 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 preservation, slain 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, dignity, and honour, 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 necessity a war would follow : and that unless the Jews made up matters with them very dexterously, they would be destroyed. 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 opposed his designs, or were for the war. And the Jews had then 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 was inferior to him upon the comparison, he was superior to the rest. And I cannot but think, that it was because God had doomed this city to destruction, as a polluted city, and resolved to purge his sanctuary by fire, that he cut of 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 men's case ; and lamented that she was here so terribly conquered by wickedness. And this at last was the end of Ananus and Jesus. %. Now after these were slain, 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 sort, they were destroyed in what place soever they caught them. But for the noblemen and the youth, they first caught them, and bound them, and shut them up in prison, and put off their slaughter, 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 preserred death before being enrolled 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 tor
* See Book III. chap. 8. + The court of the Gentiles. # As at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ,