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without considering what was for their advantage, and for their security. For that if they should now go and attack the city immediately, they would but occasion their enemies to unite together; and thus convert their force, now it is in its height, against themselves. But if they remained a while they would have fewer enemies; because they must be consumed in this sedition. “God," said he, “ acts as the general of the Romans better than I can do ; and is giving the Jews up to us, without any pains of our own; and granting our army a victory, without any danger. Therefore it is our best way, while our enemies are destroying each other with their own hands, and falling into the greatest of misfortunes, which is that of sedition, to sit still as spectators of the dangers they run into; rather than to fight hand to hand with men that love murdering, and are mad one against another. But if any one imagine that the glory of the victory, when it is gotten without fighting, will be more insipid ; let him know, that a glorious success quietly obtained is more profitable than the dangers of a battle. For we ought to esteem those that do what is agreeable to temperance and prudence no less glorious than those that have gained great reputation by their actions in war. I shall lead on my army with greater force, when the enemies are diminished, and my own troops refreshed after the continual labours they have undergone. However, this is not a proper time to propose to our- . selves the glory of victory : for the Jews are not now employed in making of armour, or building of walls; nor indeed in getting together auxiliaries : while the advantage will be on their side who give shem such opportunity of delay : but they are torn to pieces every day by their civil wars and dissensions; and are under greater miseries than, if they were once taken, could be inflicted on them by ús. Whether, therefore, any one hath regard to what is for our safety, he ought to suffer thesė Jews to destroy one another; or whether he hath regard to the greater glory of the action, we ought by no means to meddle with these men now they are afflicted with a distemper at home. For should we now conquer them, it would be said the conquest was not owing to our bravery, but to their sedition.”
Now the commanders joined in their approbation of what Vespasian had said : and it was soon discovered how wise an opinion
he had given. And indeed there were many of the Jews that deserted every day, and fled away from the zealots. Although their flight was very difficult; since they had guarded every passage out of the city; and slew every one that was caught at them; as taking it for granted they were going over to the Romans. Yet did he who gave them money get clear ofl'; while he only that gave them none was voted a traitor. So the result was, that the rich purchased their flight by money : while none but the poor were slain. Along all the roads also vast numbers of dead bodies lay on heaps ; and even many of those that were so zealous in deserting, at length chose rather to perish within the city. For the hopes of burial made death in their own city appear of the two less terrible to them. But these zealots came at last to that degree of barbarity, as not to bestow a burial, either on those slain in the city, or on those that lay along the roads. But as if they had made an agreement to cancel both the laws of their country, and the laws of nature, and at the same time that they defiled men with their wicked actions, they would pollute the divinity itself also; they left the dead bodies to putrefy under the sun. And the same punishment was allotted to such as buried any, as to those that deserted : which was no other than death. While he that granted the favour of a grave to another would presently stand in need of a grave himself. In a word, no other gentle passion was so entirely lost, among them as mercy. For what were the greatest objects of pity did most of all irritate these wretches : and they transferred their rage from the living to those who had been slain, and from the dead to the living. Nay, the terror was so very great, that he who survived called them that were first dead happy, as being at rest already : as did those that were under torture in the prisons, declare that upon this comparison those that lay unburied were the happiest. These men, therefore, trampled upon all the laws of men, and laughed at the laws of God: and for the oracles of the prophets they ridiculed them, as the tricks of jugglers. Yet did these prophets foretell many things concerning the rewards of virtue, and punishments of vice, which, when these zealots violated, they occasioned the fulfilling of those very prophecies belonging to their own country. For there was a certain ancient oracle of those men, that “The city should be taken, *and the sanctuary burnt, by right of war, when a sedition should invade the Jews : and their own bands should pollute the temple of God." Now wbile these zealots did not quite disbelieve these predictions, they made themselves the instruments of their accomplishment.
OP THE TYRANNICAL BEHAVIOUR OF JOHN, AND THE MISCHIEFS
DONE BY THE ZEALOTS AT MASADA.—ALSO OF THE REDUCTION OF GADARA; AND THE ACTIONS PERFORMED BY PLACIDUS.
BY this time John was beginning to tyrannize ; and thought it beneath him to accept of barely the same honours that others had. And joining to himself by degrees a party of the most wicked, he broke off from the rest of the faction. This was brought about by bis still disagreeing with the opinions of others; and giving out injunctions of his own, in a very imperious manner. So that it was evident he was setting up a monarchical power. Now some submitted to him out of fear, and others out of their good will to him. For he was a shrewd man to entice men, both by deluding them and putting cheats upon them. Nay, many there were that thonght they should be safer themselves, if the causes of their past insolent actions should now be reduced to one head, and not to a great many. His activity was so great, and that both in action and in counsel, that he had not a few guards about him. Yet was there a great plenty of his antagonists that left him; among whom envy weighed a great deal; while they thought it a very heavy thing to be in subjection to one that was formerly their equal. But the main reason that moved men against him was the dread of monarchy. For they could not hope easily to put an end to his power, if he had once obtained it. And yet they knew that · he would have this pretence always against them, that they had opposed him when he was first advanced. While every one chose rather to suffer any thing in war, than that when they had been in a voluntary slavery, for some time, they should afterward perish. So the sedition was divided into two parts: and John reigned in opposition to his adversaries over one of them. But for their leaders they watched one another; nor did they at all, or at least very little, meddle with arms in their quarrels. But they fought earnestly against the people; and contended one with another which of them should bring home the greatest prey. But because the city had to struggle with three of the greatest misfortunes, war, tyranny, and sedition; it appeared, upon the comparison, that the war was the least troublesome to the populace of them all. Accordingly they ran away from their own houses to foreigners; and obtained that preservation from the Romans, which they despaired of obtaining among their own people.
* This prediction that “ the city of Jerusalem should be taken, and the sanctuary bumt, by right of war, when a sedition should invade the Jews; and their own hands should pollute that temple:" or, as it is VI.2. “When any one should begin to slay his countrymen in the city,” is wanting in our present copies of the Old Testament. See Essay on the Old Test. page 104-112. But this perdiction, as Josephus well remarks here, though, with the other predictions of the prophets, it was now laughed at by the soditious, was by their very means soon exactly fulfilled. However, I cannot but here take notice of Grotius's positive assertion upon Matt. xxvi. 9. here quoted by Dr. Hudson, that " It ought to be taken for granted, as a certain truth, that many predictions of the Jewish prophets were preserved, not in writing, but by memory.” Whereas it seems to me so far from certain, that I think it has no evidence, nor probability at all.
And now a fourth misfortune arose, in order to bring our nation to destruction. There was a fortress of very great strength, not far from Jerusalem, which had been built by our ancient kings: both as a repository for their effects, in the bazards of war, and for the preservation of their bodies at the same time. It was called Masada. Those that were called Sicarii had taken possession of it formerly: but at this time they overran the neighbouring countries : aiming only to procure to themselves necessaries; for the fear they were then in prevented their future ravages. But when once they were informed that the Roman army lay still; and that the Jews were divided between sedition and tyranny, they boldly undertook greater matters. And at the feast of unleavened bread, which the Jews celebrate in memory of their deliverance from the Egyptian bondage, when they were sent back into the country of their forefathers; they came down by night, without being discovered by those that could have prevented them; and overran a certain small city called Engaddi. In this expedition they prevented those citizens that could bave stopped
them, before they could arm themselves, and fight them. They also dispersed them, and cast them out of the city. As for such as could not run away, being women and children, they slew of them about seven hundred. Afterward, when they had carried every thing out of their houses, and had seized upon all the fruits that were in a flourishing condition, they brought them into Masada. And indeed these men laid all the villages that were about the fortress waste, and made the whole country desolate: while there came to them every day, from all parts, not a few men, as corrupt as themselves, At that time all the other regions of Judea that had hitherto been at rest were in motion, by means of the robbers. Now as it is in a human body, if the principal part be inflamed, all the members are subject to the same distemper; so, by means of the sedition and disorder that was in the metropolis, had the wicked men that were in the country opportunity to ravage the same. Accordingly, when every one of them had plundered their own villages, they retired into the desert. Yet were these men that now got together, and joined in the conspiracy by parties, too small for an army, and too numerous for a gang of thieves. And thus did they fall upon the *holy places, and the cities. Yet did it now so happen that they were sometimes very ill treated by those upon whom they fell with such violence: and were taken by them, as men are taken in war. But still they prevented any farther punishment, as do robbers; who as soon as their ravages are discovered, run their way. Nor was there now any part of Judea that was not in a miserable condition, as well as its most eminent city also.
These things were told Vespasian by deserters. For although the seditious watched all the passages out of the city, and destroyed all, whosoever they were, that came thither; yet were there some that bad concealed themselves; and when they had fled to
* By these holy places, as distinct from cities, must be meant Proseucha, or houses of prayer out of cities; as the synagogues were in cities. Of which we find mention made in the New Testament, and other authors. Soe Luke vi. 12. Acts, xvi. 13, 16. Joseph. Antiq. xiv. 10. In qua te quæro proseucha; Juvenal. Sat. III. verse 296. They were situate sometimes by the sides of rivers ; Acts, xvi. 13. or by the sea-side : Joseph. Antiq. xiv. 10. So did the LXXII. interpreters go to prayer every morning by the sea-side, before they went to their work, XII. 2. Vol. (v.