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rately deliver these accounts to the Greeks as is done in these books. For those of my own nation freely acknowledge, that I far exceed them in the learning be longing to Jews; I have also taken a great deal of pains to obtain the learn. ing of the Greeks, and understand the elements of the Greek language, although I have so long accustomed myself to speak our own tongue that I cannot pro. nounce Greek with sufficient exactness; for our nation does not encourage those that learn the languages of many nations, and so adorn their discourses with the stroothness of their periods ; because they look upon this sort of accomplishment is common, not only to all sorts of freemen, but to as many of the servants as please to learn them. But they give him the testimony of being a wise man, who is fully acquainted with our laws, and is able to interpret their meaning; on which account, as there have been many who have done their endeavours with great patience to obtain this learning, there have yet hardly been so many as two or three that have succeeded therein, who were immediately well rewarded for their pains.
3. And now it will not be perhaps an invidious thing, if I treat briefly of my own family, and of the actions of my own life, while there are still living such as can either prove what I say to be false, or can attest that it is true ; with which accounts I shall put an end to these Antiquities; which are contained in twenty books, and sixty thousand verses. And if God* permit me, I will briefly run over this war again, with what befell us therein to this very day, which is the thiriernth year of the reign of Cæsar Domitian, and the fifty-sixth year of my own life. I have also an intention to write three books concerning our Jewish opinions about God and his essence, and about our laws; why, according to them, some things are permitted us to do, and others are prohibited.
• What Josephus here declares his intention to do, if God permitted, to give the public again an abridgment of the Jewish War, and to add, what befell them farther to that very day, the 13th of Do. mitian, or A. D. 93, is not, that I have observed, taken distinct notice of by any ; nor do we ever hear of it elsewhere, whether he performed what he now intended or not. Some of the reasons of this de sign of his might possibly be bis observation of the many errors he had been guilty of in the two first of those seven books of the War, which were written when he was comparatively young, and less acquaint ed with the Jewish Antiquities than he now was, and in which abridgment we might have hoped io find those many passages which himself, as well as those several passages which others refer to, as written by him, but which are not extant in his present works. However, since many of his own references to what he had written elsewhere, as well as most of his own errors, belong to such early times as could not well come into this abridgment of the Jewish war; and since none of those that quote things not now extant in his works, including himself as well as others, ever cite any such abridgment, I am forced rather to suppose that he never did publish any such work at all, I mean as distinci froin his own life, written by himself, for an Appendix to these Antiquities, and this at least above seven years after these Antiquities were finished. Nor indeed does it appear to me, that Josephus ever published that other work here mentioned, as intended by him for the public also. I mean the three or four books concerning God and his essence, and concerning the Jewish laros ; why, according to them, some things were permitted the Jeros, and others prohibited; which last seems to be the same work which Josephus had also pro, mised, if God permitted, at the conclusion of his preface to these Antiquities;
nor do I suppose thai he srer published any of them. The death of all his friends at court, Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian, and the coming of those he had no acquaintance with to the crown, I mean Nerva and Trajan, together with kis reinoval from Rome to Judea, with what followed it, might easily interrupt sich his intentions, and prorent his publication of those works.
$ 1. The family from which I am derived is not an ignoble one, but bath descended all along from the priests ; and as nobility among several people is of a different origin, so, with us, to be of the sacerdotal dignity is an indication of the splendour of a family. Now I am not only sprung from a sacerdotal fa. mily in general, but from the first of the twenty-four courses :* and as among us there is not only a considerable difference between one family of each course and another, I am of the chief family of that first course also; nay, farther, by my mother I am of the royal blood; for the children of Asamoneus, from whom that family was derived, had both the office of the high priesthood, and the dignity of a king, for a long time together. I will accordingly set down my progenitors ja order. My grandfathers's father was named Simon, with the addition of Psellus: he lived at the same time with that son of Simon the high priest, who first of all the high priests was named Hyrcanus. This Simon Psellus had nine sons, one of which was Matthias, called Ephlias; he married the daughter of Jonathan the high priest, which Jonathan was the first of the sons of Asamoneus, who was high priest, and was the brother of Simon the high priest also. This Matthias had a son called Matthias Curtus, and that in the first year of the government of Hyrcanus; his son's name was Joseph, born in the ninth year of the reign of Alexandra : his son Matthias was born in the tenth year of the reign of Arche. laus ; as was I born to Matthias on the first year of the reign of Caius Cæsar. I have three sons ; Hyrcanus the eldest was born on the fourth year of the reign of Vespasian, as was Justus born on the seventh, and Agrippa on the ninth. Thus have I set down the genealogy of my family as I have found it described in the public records,and so bid adieu to those who calumniate me (as of a lower original. 1
2. Now my father Matthias was not only eminent on account of his nobility, but had a higher commendation on account of his righteousness, and was in great reputation in Jerusalem, the greatest city we have. I was myself brought up with my brother, whose name was Matthias, for he was my own brother, by both father and mother; and I made mighty proficiency in the improvements of my learning, and appeared to have both a great memory and understanding.
* We niay hence correct the error of the Latin copy of the second book against Apion, sect. 7, 8 (for the Greek is there lost,) which says, there were then only fvur tribes or courses of the priests, instead of wweriy-four. Nor is this testimony to be disregarderl, as if Josephus there contradicted what he had al finned here; because even the account there given better agrees to twenty-four than to four courses; while he says, that each of those courses contained above 5000 men, which, multiplied by only four, will make not many more than 20,000 priests; whereas the number 120.000, as multiplied by iwenty-four. seems much the most probable, they being about one-:enth of the whole people, even after the captivity. See Ezra, ii. 36–39, Nehem. vii. 33–42; 1 Esd. v. 24, 25 ; with Ezra, ji. 64; Nehem. vii. 66; 1 Esit.
Nor will this common reading or notion of but four courses of priests agree with Josephus's own farther assertion elsewhere, Antiq. B. vii. ch. xiv. sect. 7, that David's partition of the priests into twen ty-four courses had continued to that day.
An eminent example of the care of the Jews about their genealogies, especially as to the priests. Sex Conu. Ap. B. i, chap. vi.
foreover, when I was a child, and about fourteen years of age, I was commend. ed by all for the love I had to learning; on which account, the high priests, and principal men of the city came then frequently to me together, in order to know my opinion about the accurate understanding of points of the law. And when I was about sixteen years old, I had a mind to make trial of the several sects that were among us. These sects are three : the first is that of the Pharisees, the second that of the Sadducees, and the third that of the Essens, as we have fre. quently told you ; for I thought that by this means I might choose the best, if I were once acquainted with them all : so I contented myself with hard fare, and underwent great ilifficulties, and went through them all.* Nor did I content myself with these trials only, but when I was informed that one, whose name was banus, lived in the desert, and used no other clothing than grew upon trees, and had no other food than what grew of its own accord, and bathed himself in cold water frequently, both by night and by day, in order to preserve his chastity, I imitated him in those things, and continued with him three years.* So when I had accomplished my desires, I returned back to the city, being now nineteen years old, and began to conduct myself according to the rules of the sect of the Pharisees, which is of kin to the sect of the Stoics, as the Greeks call them.
3. But when I was in the twenty-sixth year of my age, it happened that I took a voyage to Rome, and this on the occasion which I shall now describe. At the time when Felix was procurator of Judea, there were certain priests of my ac. quaintance, and very excellent persons they were, whom on a small and trifling oc. casion he had put into bonds, and sent to Rome to plead their cause before Cæsar. These I was desirous to procure deliverance for, and that especially because I was informed that they were not unmindful of piety towards God even under their afflictions, but supported themselves with figs and nuts.t Accordingly I came to Rome, though it were through a great number of hazards by sea : for, as our ship was drowned in the Adriatic sea, we that were in it, being about six hundred in number, I swam for our lives all the night; when upon the first appearance of the day, and upon our sight of a ship of Cyrene, I and some others, eighty in all, by God's providence, prevented the rest, and were taken up into the other ship. And when I had thus escaped, and was come to Dicearchia, which the Italians call Puteoli, I became acquainted with Aliturius, an actor of plays, and much be. loved by Nero, but a Jew by birth; and through his interest became known to Poppea, Cæsar's wife, and took care as soon as possible to intreat her to pro. cure, that the priests might be set at liberty. And when, besides this favour, I had obtained many presents from Poppea, I returned home again.
4. And now I perceived innovations were already begun, and that there were a great many very much elevated in hopes of a revolt from the Romans. I therefore endeavoured to put a stop to these tumultuous persons, and persuaded them to change their minds; and laid before their eyes against whom it was that they were going to fight, and told them that they were inferior to the Romans, not only in martial skill, but also in good fortune ; and desired them not rashly, and after the most foolish manner, to bring on the dangers of the most terrible mischiefs
When Josephus here says, that from sixteen to nineteen, or for three years, he made trial of the three Jewish sects, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Essens, and yet says presently, in all our copies, that he stayed besides with one particular ascetic, called Banus Top UTC, with him, and this still before he was nineteen, there is lite rooin left for his trial of the three other sects. I suppose, therefore, that for Trop cir, with him, the old reading might be TAIP NUT, with them ; which is a very small einendation, and takes away the difficulty before uis. Nor is Dr. Hudson's conjecture, hinted at by Mr. Hall, in his preface to the Doctor's edition of Josephus, at all ior probable, that this Banus, by this his description, might well be #follower of John the Baptist, and that from him Josephus might easily imbibe such notions as afterwards prepared him to have a favourable opinion of Jesus Christ himself, who was attested to by John the Baptist
We may note here, that religious men among the Jews, or at least those that were priests, were sometimes ascetics also, and like Daniel anı his companions in Babylon, Dan. i. 8—16. ate no flesh, but figs and nuts &c only. This was like the Epopeyaz, or austere diet of the Christian ascetics in passion weeke Constitut. v. 18.
It hath been thought the number of Paul and his companions on shipboard, Acts, xxvii. 38, which are two hundred and seventy-six in our copies, are too many; whereas we find here that Josephus and his companions, a very few years after the other, were about six hundred. VOL. IL
elevated upon their revolt from the Romans, he laboured to restrain them, and entreated them, that they would keep their allegiance to them. But he could not gain his purpose, although he did his endeavours to the utmost ; for the neighbouring people of Gadara, and Gabara, and Sogana, with the. Tyrians, got together a great army, and fell upon Gischala, and took Gischala by force, and set it on fire ; and when they had entirely demolished it, they returned home. Upon which John was so enraged, that he armed all his men, and joined battle with the people forementioned, and rebuilt Gischala after a manner better than before, and fortified it with walls for its future security.
11. But Gamala persevered in its allegiance to the Romans, for the reason following : Philip, the son of Jacimus, who was their governor under king Agrip. pa, had been unexpectedly preserved when the royal palace at Jerusalem had been besieged ; but, as he fled away, had fallen into another danger, and that was of being killed by Manahem, and the robbers that were with him; but certain Babylonians, who were of his kindred, and were then in Jerusalem, hindered the robbers from executing their design. So Philip staid there four days, and fled away on the fifth, having disguised himself with fictitious hair, that he might not be discovered; and when he was come to one of the villages to him belong. ing, but one that was situated at the borders of the citadel of Gamala, be sent to some of those that were under him, and commanded them to come to him. But God himself hindered that his intention, and this for his own advantage also ; for had it not so happened, he had certainly perished. For, a fever having seized upon him immediately, he wrote to Agrippa and Bernice, and gave them to one of his freedmen to carry them to Varus, who at this time was procurator of the kingdom, which the king and his sister had intrusted him withal, while they were gone to Berytus with an intention of meeting Gessius. When Varus had re. ceived these letters of Philip, and had learned that he was preserved, he was very uneasy at it, as supposing that he should appear useless to the king and his sister, now Philip was come. He therefore produced the carrier of the letters before the multitude, and accused him of forging the same; and said, that he spake falsely, when he related that Philip was at Jerusalem fighting among the Jews against the Romans. So he slew him. And when this freedman of Philip did not return again, Philip was doubtful what should be the occasion of his stay, and sent a second messenger with letters, that he might, upon his return, inform him what had befallen the other that had been sent before, and why he tarried so long. Varus accused this messenger also, when he came of telling a false. hood, and slew him. For he was puffed up by the Syrians that were at Cesarea, and had great expectations ; for they said, that Agrippa would be slain by the Romans for the crimes which the Jews had committed, and that he should him. self take the government, as derived from their kings; for Varus was, by the confession of all, of the royal family, as being a descendant of Sohemus, who had enjoyed a tetrarchy about Libanus ; for which reason it was that he was puffed up, and kept the letters to himself. He contrived also that the king should not meet with those writings, by guarding all the passes, lest any one should escape and inform the king what had been done. He moreover slew many of the Jews, in order to gratify the Syrians of Cesarea. He had a mind also to join with the Trachonites in Batanea, and to take up arms and make an assault upon the Babylonian Jews that were at Ecbatana : for that was the name they went by. He therefore called to him twelve of the Jews of Cesarea, of the best character, and ordered them to go to Ecbatana, and inform their countrymen who dwelt there, that Varus hath heard that “ you intend to march against the king; but, not believing that report, he hath sent us to persuade you to lay down your arms, and that this compliance will be a sign, that he did well not to give credit to those that raised the report concerning you.” He also enjoined them to send seventy of their principal men to make a defence for them as to the accusation laid against them. So when the twelve messengers came to their coun. trymen at Ecbatana, and found that they had no designs of innovation at all, they persuaded them to send the seventy men also ; who, not at all suspecting what would come, sent them accordingly. So these seventy* went down to Cesarea, together with the twelve* ambassadors, where Varus met them with the king's forces, and slew them all, together with the [twelve) ambassadors, and made an expedition against the Jews of Ecbatana. But one there was of the seventy who escaped, and made haste to inform the Jews of their coming ; upon which they took their arms, with their wives and children, and retired to the cita. del of Gamala, leaving their own villages full of all sorts of good things, and having many ten thousands of cattle therein. When Philip was informed of these things, he also came to the citadel of Gamala ; and when he was comc, the multitude cried aloud, and desired him to resume the government, and to make an expedition against Varus, and the Syrians of Cesarea ; for it was re. ported that they had slain the king. But Philip restrained their zeal, and put them in mind of the benefits the king had bestowed upon them; and told them bow powerful the Romans were, and said it was not for their advantage to make war with them; and at length he prevailed with them. But now, when the king was acquainted with Varus's design, which was to cut off the Jews of Cesarea, being many ten thousands, with their wives and children, and all in one day, he called to him Equiculus Modius, and sent him to be Varus's successor, as we bare elsewhere related. But still Philip kept possession of the citadel of Gamala, and of the country adjoining to it, which thereby continued in their allegiance to the Romans.
12. Now as soon as I was come into Galilee, and had learned this state of things by the information of such as told me of them, I wrote to the sanhedrim at Jerusalem about them, and required their direction what I should do. Their direction was, that I should continue there, and that, if my fellow legates were willing, I should join with them in the care of Galilee. But those my fellow legates, having gotten great riches from those tithes, which as priests were their dues
, and were given to them, determined to return to their own country. Yet when I desired them to stay so long, that we might first settle the public affairs, they complied with me. So I removed, together with them, from the city of Sepphoris, and came to a certain village called Bethmaus, four furlongs distant from Tiberias; and thence I sent messengers to the senate of Tiberias, and de. sired that the principal men of the city would come to me: and when they were come, Justus himself being also with them, I told them, that I was sent to them by the people of Jerusalem as a legate, together with these other priests, in or. der to persuade them to demolish that house which Herod the tetrarch had built there, and which had the figures of living creatures in it, although our laws have forbidden us to make any such figures; and I desired, that they would give us leave so to do immediately. But for a good while Capellus, and the principal men belonging to the city, would not give us leave, but were at length entirely overcome by us, and were induced to be of our opinion. So Jesus the son of Sapphias, one of those whom we have already mentioned as the leader of a se. ditious tumult of mariners and poor people, prevented us, and took with him certain Galileans, and set the entire palace on fire, and thought he should get a great deal of money thereby, because he saw some of the roofs gilt with gold. They also plundered a great deal of the furniture, which was done without our approbation ; for, after we had discoursed with Capellus and the principal men of the city, we departed from Bethmaus, and went into the Upper Galilee. But Jesus and his party slew all the Greeks that were inhabitants of Tiberias, and as many others as were their enemies before the war began.
13. When I understood this state of things, I was greatly provoked, and went down to Tiberias, and took all the care I could of the royal furniture, to recover • The famous Jewish numbers of twelve and seventy are here remarkable.