Page images
PDF
EPUB

the chief friends of the king, and commanded them to take the furniture that had been plundered, and to send it to him; and I threatened that I would order them to be put to death by way of punishment, if they discovered this my command to any other person.

27. Now when all Galilee was filled with this rumour, that their country was about to be betrayed by me to the Romans, and when all men were exasperated against me, and ready to bring me to punishment, the inhabitants of Taricheæ did also themselves suppose that what the young men said was true, and persuaded my guards and armed men to leave me when I was asleep, and to come presently to the hippodrome, in order there to take counsel against me their commander. And when they had prevailed with them, and they were gotten together, they found there a great company assembled already, who all joined in one clamour, to bring the man, who was so wicked to them as to betray them, to his due pun. ishment; and it was Jesus the son of Sapphias, who principally set them on. He was ruler in Tiberias, a wicked man, and naturally disposed to make disturbances in matters of consequence; a seditious person he was indeed, and an innovator beyond every body else. He then took the laws of Moses into his hands, and came into the midst of the people, and said, “O my fellow.citizens, if you are not disposed to hate Josephus on your own account, have regard however to these laws of your country, which your commander in chief is going to betray; hate him therefore on both these accounts, and bring the man who hath acted thus insolently to his deserved punishment.

28. When he had said this, and the multitude had openly applauded him for what he had said, he took some of the armed men, and made haste away to the house in which I lodged, as if he would kill me immediately, while I was wholly insensible of all till this disturbance happened ; and, by reason of the pains I had been taking, was fallen fast asleep. But Simon, who was intrusted with the care of my body, and was the only person that stayed with me, and saw the violent incursions the citizens made upon me, he awaked me, and told me of the danger I was in, and desired me to let him kill me, that I might die bravely and like a general, before my enemies came in, and forced me [to kill myself,] or killed me themselves. Thus did he discourse to me; but I committed the care of my life to God, and made haste to go out to the multitude. Accordingly I put on a black garment, and hung my sword at my neck, and went by such a different way to the hippodrome, wherein I thought that none of my adversaries would meet me; 60 I appeared among them on the sudden, and fell down flat on the earth, and bedewed the ground with my tears: then I seemed to them all an object of com passion. And when I perceived the change that was made in the multitude, I tried to divide their opinions, before the armed men should return from my house : so I granted them that I had been as wicked as they supposed me to be, but still I entreated them to let me first inform them for what use I had kept thal money which arose from the plunder, and that they might then kill me if they pleased ; and upon the multitude's ordering me to speak, the armed men came upon me, and when they saw me, they ran to kill me: but when the multitude bid them hold their hands, they complied, and expected that as soon as I should own to them that I kept the money for the king, it would be looked on as a con fession of my treason, and they should then be allowed to kill me.

29. When therefore silence was made by the whole multitude, I spake thus to them: “O my countrymen, I refuse not to die, if justice so require. How ever, I am desirous to tell you the truth of this matter before I die ; for as I know that this city of yours [Taricheæ) was a city of great hospitality, and filled with abundance of such men as have left their own countries, and are come hither to be partakers of your fortune whatever it be, I had a mind to build walls about it, out of this money, for which you are so angry with ine, while yet it was to be expended in building your own walls." Upon my saying this, the people of Tcichere and the strangers cried out, that “they gave me thanks, and desired me

80

to be of good courage.” Although the Galileans and the people of Tiberias con tinued in their wrath against me, insomuch that there arose a tumult among them, while some threatened to kill me, and some bid me not to regard them; but when I promised them that I would build them walls at Tiberias, and at other cities thur wanted them, they gave credit to what I promised, and returned every one to his own home. So I escaped the forementioned danger, beyond all my hopes, and returned to my own house, accompanied with my friends, and twenty armed men also.

30. However, those robbers and other authors of this tumult, who were afraid on their own account, lest I should punish them for what they had done, took six hundred armed men, and came to the house where I abode, in order to set it on fire. When this their insult was told me, I thought it indecent for me to run away, and I resolved to expose myself to danger, and to act with some boldness; I

gave order to shut the doors, and went up into an upper room, and desired that they would send some of their men in to receive the money (from the spoils; for I told them they would then have no occasion to be angry with me; and when they had sent in one of the boldest men of them all, I had him whipped severely, and I commanded that one of his hands should be cut off, and hung about his neck; and in this case was he put out to those that sent him. At which pro. cedure of mine they were greatly affrighted, and in no small consternation, and were afraid that they should themselves be served in like manner, if they stayed there : for they supposed that I had in the house more armed men than they had themselves; so they ran away immediately, while I, by the use of this stratagem escaped this their second treacherous design against me.

31. But there were still some that irritated the multitude against me, and said that those great men that belonged to the king ought not to be suffered to live, if they would not change their religion to the religion of those to whom they filed for safety: they spake reproachitully of them also, and said, that they were wizards,* and such as called in the Romans upon them. So the multitude was soon deluded by such plausible pretences as were agreeable to their own incli. nations, and were prevailed on by them. But when I was informed of this, I in. structed the multitude again, that those that fled to them for refuge ought not to be persecuted; I also laughed at the allegation about witchcraft,* and told them that the Romans would not maintain so many ten thousand soldiers, if they could overcome their enemies by wizards. Upon my saying this, the people assented for a while ; but they returned again afterward, as irritated by some ill people against the great men: nay, they once made an assault upon the house in which they dwelt at Taricheæ, in order to kill them ; which when I was informed of, I was afraid lest so horrid a crime should take effect, and nobody else would make that city their refuge any more. I therefore come myself, and some others with me, to the house where these great men lived, and locked the doors, and had a trench drawn from their house leading to the lake, and sent for a ship, and embarked therein with them, and sailed to the confines of Hippos ; I also paid them the value of their horses, nor in such a flight could I have their horses brought to them. I then dismissed them, and begged of them earnestly that they would courageously bear this distress which befell them. I was also myself greatly displeased that I was compelled to expose those that had fled to me to go again into an enemy's country; yet did I think it more eligible that they should perish among the Romans, if it should so happen, than in the country that was under my jurisdiction. However, they escaped at length, and king Agrippa forgave them their offences. And this was the conclusion of what concerned these men.

32. But as for the inhabitants of the city of Tiberias, they wrote to the king, and desired him to send them forces sufficient to be a guard to their country; for that

• Here we may observe the vulgar Jewish notion of witchcraft; but that our Josephus was 100 wiers tue any cowtenance to it.

they were desirous to come over to him this was what they wrote to him. But when I came to them : they desired me to build their walls, as I had promised them to do : for they had heard that the walls of Taricheæ were already built: I agreed to their proposal accordingly. And when I had made preparation for their entire building, I gave order to the architects to go to work; but on the third day, when I was gone to Taricheæ, which was thirty furlongs distant from Tiberias, it so fell out, that some Roman horsemen were discovered on their march, not far from the city, which made it to be supposed that the forces were come from the king; upon which they shouted, and lifted up their voices in commendations of the king, and in reproaches against me. Hereupon one came running to me, and told me what their dispositions were, and that they had resolved to revolt from me; apon hearing which news I was very much alarmed; for I had already sent a. way my armed men from Taricheæ to their own homes, because the next day was our Sabbath ; for I would not have the people of Taricheæ be disturbed [ that day] by a multitude of soldiers; and indeed, whenever I so joumed at that city, I never took any particular care for a guard about my own body, because I had had frequent instances of the fidelity its inhabitants bore to me. I had now about me no more than seven armed men, besides some friends, and was doubtful what to do; for to send to recall my own forces I did not think proper, because the present day was almost over, and had those forces been with me, i could not take up arms on the next day, because our laws forbid us so to do, even though our necessity should be very great ; and if I should permit the people of Taricheæ, and the strangers with them, to guard the city, I saw that they would not be sufficient for that purpose, and I perceived that I should be obliged to de. lay my assistance a great while ; for I thought with myself that the forces that came from the king would prevent me, and that I should be driven out of the city. I considered, therefore, how to get clear of these forces by a stratagem; so I immediately placed those my friends of Taricheæ, on whom I could best con. fide, at the gates, to watch those very carefully who went out to those gates; I also called to me the heads of families, and bid every one of them to seize upon a ship,* to go on board it, and to take a master with them, and follow him to the city of Tiberias. I also myself went on board one of those ships, with my friends, and the seven armed men already mentioned, and sailed for Tiberias.

33. But now, when the people of Tiberias perceived that there were no forces come from the king, and yet saw the whole lake full of ships, they were in fear what would become of their city, and were greatly terrifiod, as supposing that the ships were full of men on board; so they then changed their minds, and threw down their weapons and met me with their wives and children, and made acclamations to me, with great commendations; for they imagined that I did not know their former inclinations (to have been against me): so they persuaded me to spare the city. But when I was come near enough, I gave order to the masters of the ships to cast anchor a good way off the land, that the people of Tiberias might not perceive that the ships had no men on board; but I went nearer to the people in one of the ships, and rebuked them for their folly, and that they were 80 fickle as, without any just occasion in the world, to revolt from their fidelity to me. However, I assured them that I would entirely forgive them for the time to come, if they would send ten of the ringleaders of the multitude to me; and when they complied readily with this proposal, and sent me the men foremen. tioned, I put them on board a ship, and sent them away to Taricher, and ordered them to be kept in prison.

34. And by this stratagem it was that I gradually got all the sedate of Tibe. rias into my power, and sent them to the city formentioned, with many of the prin. cipal men among the populace; and those not fewer in number than the other.

• In this section, as well as sect. 18, and seci, 33, those small vessels that sailed on the sea of Gali. lee, are called by Josephus Nños, and laosz, and Erzon, i. e. plainly, ships, so that we need not wom der at our Evangelists, who still call them ships, nor ought we to render them boats, as some do. Then Qumber was in all 230, as we learn from our Author elsewhere, of the War, B. ii. chap. xxi. sect. 8,

But when the multitude saw into what great miseries they had brought themselves, they desired me to punish the author of this sedition; his name was Clitus, a young man, bold and rash in his undertakings. Now, since I thought it not agreeable to piety to put one of my own people to death, and yet fonnd it necessary to punish him, I ordered Levi, one of my own guards, to go to him, and cut off one of Clitus's hands; but as he that was ordered to do this was afraid to go out of the ship alone, among so great a multitude, I was not willing that the rinorousness of the soldier should appear to the people of Tiberias. So I call. ed to Clitus bimself, and said to him, “ Since thou deservest to lose both thine hands, for thy ingratitude to me, be thou thine own executioner, lest if thou retusest so to do, thou undergo a worse punishment." And, when he earnestly begged of me to spare him one of his hands, it was with difficulty that I granted it. So in order to prevent the loss of both his hands, he willingly took his sword, and cut off his own left hand; and this put an end to the sedition.

35. Now the men of Tiberias, after I was gone to Taricheæ, perceived what stratagem I had used against them, and they admired how I had put an end to their foolish sedition, without shedding of blood. But now, when I had sent for some of those multitudes of the people of Tiberias out of prison, among whom were Justus and his father Pistus, I made them to sup with me, and during our supper time I said to them, that I knew the power of the Romans was superior to all others, but did not say so (publicly] because of the robbers. So I advised them to do as I did, and to wait for a proper opportunity, and not to be uneasy at my being their commander; for that they could not expect to have another who would use the like moderation that I had done. I also put Justus in mind how the Galileans had cut off his brother's hands, before ever I came to Jerusalem, upon an accusation laid against him, as if he had been a rogue, and had forged some letters ; as also how the people of Gamala, in a sedition they raised against the Babylonians, after the departure of Philip, slew Chares, who was a kinsman of Philip, and withal how they had wisely punished Jesus, his brother Justus's sister's husband (with death.] When I had said this to them during supper time, I in the morning ordered Justus, and all the rest that were in prison, to be loosed out of it, and sent away.

36. But before this it bappened, that Philip, the son of Jacimus, went out of the citadel of Gamala upon the following occasion : when Philip had been in. formed that Varus was put out of his government by king Agrippa, and that Modius Equicolus, a man that was of old his friend and companion, was come to succeed him, he wrote to him, and related what turns of fortune he had had, and desired him to forward the letters he sent to the king and queen. Now when Mlodius had received these letters, he was exceeding glad, and sent the letters to the king and queen, who were then about Berytus. But when king Agrippa knew that the story about Philip was false (for it had been given out, that the Jews had begun a war with the Romans, and that this Philip had been their com. niander in that war,) he sent some horsemen to conduct Philip to him, and, when he was come, he saluted him very obligingly, and showed him to the Roman commanders, and told them that this was the man of whom the report had gone about as if he had revolted from the Romans. He also bid him take some horse. men with him, and to go quickly to the citadel of Gamala, and to bring out thence all his domestics, and to restore the Babylonians to Batanea again. He also gave it him in charge to take all possible care that none of his subjects should be guilty of making any innovation. Accordingly, upon these directious from the king, he made haste to do what he was commanded.

37. Now there was one Joseph, the son of a female physician, who excited a great many young men to join with him. He also insolently addressed himself to the principal persons at Gamala, and persuaded them to revolt from the king, and take up arms, and gave them hopes that they should, by his means, recover their liberty. And some they forced into the service, and those that would not acquiesce in what they had resolved on, they slew. They also slew Chares, and with him Jesus, one of his kinsmen, and a brother of Justus of Tiberias, as we have already said. Those of Gamala also wrote to me, desiring me to send them an armed force, and workmen to raise up the walls of their city ; nor did I reject either of their requests. The region of Gaulonitis did also revolt from the king, as far as the village Solyma. I also built a wall about Seleucia and Soganni, which are villages naturally of very great strength. Moreover, I in like manner walled several villages of Upper Galilee, though they were very rocky of themselves. Their names are Jamnia, and Meroth, and Achabare. I also fortified, in the Lower Galilee, the cities Tarichea, Tiberias, Sepphoris, and the villages, the cave of Arbela, Bersobe, Selanin, Jotapata, Caphareccho, and Sigo, and Japha, and Mount Tabor.* I also laió up a great quantity of corn in these places, and arms withal, that might be for their security afterward.

38. But the hatred that John, the son of Levi, bore to me, grew now more violent, while he could not bear my prosperity with patience. So he proposed lo himself, by all means possible, to make away with me, and built the walls of Gischala, which was the place of his nativity. He then sent his brother Simon, and Jonathan, the son of Sisenna, and about a hundred armed men, to Jerusalem, to Simon the son of Gamaliel,t in order to persuade him to induce the com. monalty of Jerusalem to take from me the government over the Galileans, and to give their suffrages for conferring that authority upon him. This Simon was of the city Jerusalem, and of a very noble family, of the sect of the Pharisees, which are supposed to excel others in the accurate knowledge of the laws of their country. He was a man of great wisdom and reason, and capable of restoring public affairs by his prudence, when they were in an ill posture. He was also an old friend and companion of John ; but at that time he had a difference with me. When therefore he had received such an exhortation, he persuaded the high priests, Ananus, and Jesus the son of Gamala, and some others of the same seditious faction, to cut me down, now I was growing so great, and not to overlook ine while I was aggrandizing myself to the height of glory; and he said, that it would be for the advantage of the Galileans, if I were deprived of my govern. ment there. Ananus also, and his friends, desired them to make no delay about the matter, lest I should get the knowledge of what was doing loo soon, and should come and make an assault upon the city with a great army. This was the counsel of Simon; but Ananus the high priest demonstrated to them, that this was not an easy thing to be done, because many of the high priests, and of the rulers of the people, bore witness that I had acted like an excellent general, and that it was the work of ill men to accuse one against whom they had nothing to say.

39. When Simon heard Ananus say this, he desired that the messengers would conceal the thing, and not let it come among many, for that he would take care to have Josephus removed out of Galilee very quickly. So he called for John's brother (Simon,) and charged him, that they should send presents to Ananus and his friends : for, as he said, they might probably by that means persuade them to change their minds. And indeed Simon did at length thus compass what he aimed at, for Ananus, and those with him, being corrupted by bribes, agreed to expel me out of Galilee, without making the rest of the citizens acquainted with what they were doing. Accordingly they resolved to send men of distinction as to their families, and of distinction as to their learning also. Two of these were

• Part of these fortifications on Mount Tabor may be those still remaining, and which were seen lately by Mr. Maundrel. See his Travels, p. 112.

† This Gamaliel may be the very same that is mentioned by the rabbins in the Mishna, in Juchasirs and in Porta Mosis, as is observed in the Latin notes. He might be also that Gamaliel ll. whose grand father was Gamaliei I. who is mentioned Acts, v. 34, and at whose feer St. Paul was brought up, Acis, xvji. 3. See Prid. at the year 446.

« PreviousContinue »