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Alexandra reigns Nine Years, during which Time the Pharisees were the real
Rulers of the Nation. $ 1. Now Alexander left the kingdom to Alexandra, his wife, placing the greatest confidence in the Jews, that they would now readily submit to her; because she had been very averse to such cruelty as he had treated them with, and had up posed his violation of their laws, and had thereby got the good will of the people. Nor was he mistaken as to his expectations; for this woman kept the dominion, by the opinion that the people had of her piety, for she chiefly studied the ancient customs of her country, and cast those men out of the government that offended against their holy laws. And as she had two sons by Alexander, she made Hyr. canus the elder high priest, on account of his age; as also, besides that, on accouut of his inactive temper, no way disposing him to disturb the public. But she retained the younger, Aristobulus, with her, as a private person, by reason of the warmth of his temper.
2. And now the Pharisees joined themselves to her, to assist her in the govern. ment. These are a certain sect of Jews, that appear more religious than others, and seem to interpret the laws more accurately. Now Alexandra hearkened to them to an extraordinary degree, as being herself a woman of great piety to wards God. But these Pharisees artfully insinuated themselves into her favour by little and little, and became themselves the real administrators of the public affairs: they banished and reduced whom they pleased; they bound and loosed (men) at their pleasure ;** and, to say all at once, they had the enjoyment of the royal authority, while the expenses and the difficulties of it belonged to Alexan. dra. She was a sagacious woman in the management of great affairs, and intent always upon gathering soldiers together; so that she increased the army the one. half, and procured a great body of foreign troops, till her own nation became nos only very powerful at home, but terrible also to foreign potentates, while she governed other people, and the Pharisees governed her.
3. Accordingly, they themselves slew Diogenes, a person of figure, and one that had been a friend to Alexander; and accused him as having assisted the king with his advice for crucifying the eight hundred men [before mentioned.) They Also prevailed with Alexandra to put to death the rest of those who had irritated him against them. Now she was so superstitious as to comply with their desires and, accordingly, they slew whom they pleased themselves; but the principal of those that were in danger fled to Aristobulus, who persuaded his mother to spare the men on account of their dignity, but to expel them out of the city, unless sho took them to be innocent; so they were suffered to go unpunished, and were dis persed all over the country. But when Alexandra sent out her army to Damas cus, under pretence that Ptolemy was always oppressing that city, she got pos. $ession of it; nor did it make any considerable resistance.
She also prevailed with Tigranes, king of Armenia, who lay with his troops about Ptolemais, and besiegedt Cleopatra, by agreements and presents to go away. Accordingly,
Matt. xvi. 19; xviii. 18. + Here we have the oldest and most authentic Jewish exposition of binding and loosing, for punishing or absolving men, not for declaring actions lawful or unlawful, as some more inodern Jews and Christians vainly pretend.
| Strabo, B. xvi. p. 740, relatos, that this Seleno Cleopatra was besieged by Tigranes, not in Ptolemais, abere, but after she had left Syria io Seleucia, a citadel in Mesopotamia; and adds, that when he had tepi her awhile in prison, he put her to death. Dean Aldrich supposes here that Sıralo contradicts Jo nophus
, which does not appear to me; for although Josephus says both here and in the Antiquities, 6. ii
. ch. xvi. sect. 4, that Tigranes besieged her now in Ptolemais, and that he took the city, as the Antiquities inform us, yet does he no where intimate that he now took the queen herself; so that both the garrations of Strabo and Josephus may szill be true notwithstanding,
Tigranes soon arose from the siege, by reason of those domestic tumults which happened upon Lucullus's expedition into Armenia.
4. In the mean time Alexandra fell sick, and Aristobulus her younger son took hold of this opportunity, with his domestics, of which he had a great many, who vere all of them his friends on account of the warmth of their youth, and got possession of all the fortresses. He also used the sums of money he found in them, to get together a number of mercenary soldiers, and made himself king; and, besides this, upon Hyrcanus's complaint to his mother, she compassionated his case, and put Aristobulus's wife and sons under restraint in Antonia, which was a fortress that joined to the north part of the temple. It was, as I have al. ready said, of old called the Citadel, but afterwards got the name of Antonia, when Antony was lord (of the east,) just as the other cities, Sebaste and Agrip, pias, had their names changed, and these given them, from Sebastus and Agrip.
But Alexandra died before she could punish Aristobulus, for his disin. keriting his brother, after she had reigned nine years.
When Hyrcanus, who was Alexander's Heir, receded from his Claim of the Crown, Aristobulus is made King: and afterward the same Hyrcanus, by the means of Antipater, is brought back by Aretas. At last Pompey is made the Arbi.
trator of the Dispute between the Brothers. 1. Now Hyrcanus was heir to the kingdom, and to him did his mother com.st it before she died: but Aristobulus was superior to him in power and magnanim. ity; and when there was a battle between them, to decide the dispute about the kingdom, near Jericho, the greatest part deserted Hyrcanus, and went over to Aristobulus: but Hyrcanus, with those of his party who stayed with him, Aed to Antonia, and got into his power the hostages that might be for his preservation (which were Xristobulus's wife, with her children,) but they came to an agree ment before things should come to extremities, that Aristobulus should be king, and Hyrcanus should resign that up, but retain all the rest of his dignities, as being the king's brother. Hereupon they were reconciled to each other in the temple, and embraced one another in a very kind manner, while the people stood round about them: they also changed their houses, while Aristobulus went to the royal palace, and Hyreanus retired to the house of Aristobulus.
2. Now those other people which were at variance with Aristobulus were afraid apon his expected obtaining the government; and especially this concerned Antipater, whom Aristobulus hated of old. He was by birth an Idumnean,* and one of the principal of that nation, on account of his ancestors and riches, and other authority to him belonging: he also persuaded Hyrcanus to fly to Aretas, the king of Arabia, and to lay claim to the kingdom; as also he persuaded Aretas to receive Hyrcanus, and to bring him back to his kingdom: he also cast great re. proaches upon Aristobulus as to his morals, and gave great commendation to Hyrcanus, and exhorted Aretas to receive him; and told him how becoming a thing it would be for him, who ruled so great a kingdom, to afford his assistance to such as are iujured; alleging that Hyrcanus was treated unjustly, by being de. prived of that dominion which belonged to him by the prerogative of his birth. And when he had predisposed them both to what he would have them, he took Hyrcanus by night, and ran away from the city; and, continuing his fight with great swiftness, he escaped to the place called Petra, which is the royal seat of the king of Arabia, where he put Hyrcanus into Aretas's hand; and by discours
That this Antipater, the father of Herod the Great, was an Idumean, as Josephus afirms hero, ma note on Antiq. B. xiv. ch. xv. sect. 2
ing much with him, and gaining upon him with many presents, he prevailed with him to give him an army that might restore him to his kingdom. This army consisted of fifiy thousand footmen and horsemen, against which Aristobulus was not able to make resistance, but was deserted in his first onset, and was driven tu Jerusalem: he also had been taken at first by force, if Scaurus, the Roman general, had not come and seasonably interposed himself, and raised the siege. This Scaurus was sent into Syria from Armenia by Pompey the Great, when he fought against Tigranes; so Scaurus came to Damascus, which had been lately taken by Metellus and Lollius, and caused them to leave the place; and, upon his hearing how the affairs of Judea stood, he made haste thither as to a certain booty.
3. As soon, therefore, as he was come into the country, there came ambas sadors from both the brothers, each of them desiring his assistance; but Aristobulus's three hundred talents had more weight with him than the justice of the cause; which sum when Scaurus had received, he sent a herald to Hyrcanus and the Arabians, and threatened them with the resentment of the Ronians and of Pompey unless they would raise the siege. So Aretas was terrified, and retired out of Judea to Philadelphia, as did Scaurus return to Damascus again: nor was Aristobulus satisfied with escaping (out of his brother's hands,] but gathered all his forces together, and pursued his enemies, and fought them at a place called Papyron, and slew above six thousand of them, and, together with them, Antipater's brother, Phalion.
4. When Hyrcanus and Antipater were thus deprived of their hopes from the Arabians, they transferred the same to their adversaries; and because Pompey had passed through Syria, and was come to Damascus, they fled to him for as sistance; and, without any bribes,* they made the same equitable pleas that they had used to Aretas, and besought him to hate the violent behaviour of Aristobu. lus, and to bestow the kingdom on him to whom it justly belonged, both on ac count of his good character and on account of his superiority in age. Howeve neither was Aristobulus wanting to himself in this case, as relying on the bribes that Scaurus had received: he was also there himself and adorned himself after a manner the most agreeable to royalty that he was able. But he soon thought it beneath him to come in such a servile manner, and could not endure to serve his own ends in a way so inuch more abject than he was used to; so he departed from Diospolis.
3. At this his behaviour Pompey had great indignation : Hyrcanus also and his friends made great intercession to Pompey; so he took not only his Roman forces, but many of his Syrian auxiliaries, and marched against Aristobulus But when he had passed by Pella and Scythopolis, and was come to Corea, where you enter into the country of Judea, when you go up to it through the Mediter. ranean parts, he heard that Aristobulus was fled to Alexandrium, which is a strong hold fortified with the utmost magnificence, and situated upon a high moun bain ; and he sent to him, and commanded him to come down. Now his inclination was to try his fortune in a battle, since he was called in such an imperious manner, rather than to comply with that call. However, he saw the multitude were in great fear, and his friends exhorted him to consider what the power of the Romans was, and how it was irresistible ; so he complied with their advice, and came down to Pompey; and when he had made a long apology for himself, and for the justness of his cause in taking the government, he returned to the fortress. And when his brother invited him again (to plead his cause,) he came down and spake about the justice of it, and then went away without any hinderance from Pompey; so he was between hope and fear. And when he came down, it was to prevail with Pompey to allow him the government entirely; and when he went
* It is somewhat probable, as Havercamp supposes, and partly Spanheim also, that the Latin copy is here the truest, that Pompey did take the inany presents offered him by Hyrcanus, as he would have done ibe others from Aristobulus, sect. 6; although his reinarkable abstinence from the 2000 talents that wers in the Jewish temple, when he took it a little afterward, ch. vii. sect, 6, and Antiq. B. xiv. ch. iv, jeci
will hardly permit us to desert the Greek copies, all which agree that he did not iake ibem.
ap to the citadel, it was that he might not appear to debase himself too low. However, Pompey commanded him to give up his fortified places, and forced him to write to every one of their governors to yield them up; they having had this charge given them, to obey no letters but what were of his own handwriting Accordingly, he did what he was ordered to do; but had still an indignation at what was done, and retired to Jerusalem, and prepared to fight with Pompey.
6. But Pompey did not give him time to make any preparations [for a siege) but followed him at his heels: he was also obliged to make haste in his attempt, by the death of Mithridates, of which he was informed about Jericho. Now here is the most fruitful country of Judea, which bears a vast number of palm-trees, * besides the balsam-tree, whose sprouts they cut up with sharp stones, and at the incisions they gather the juice, which drops down like tears. So Pompey pitched his camp in that place one night, and then hasted away the next morning to Je. rusalem: But Aristobulus was so affrighted at his approach, that he came and met him by way of supplication : he also promised him money, and that he would deliver up both himself and the city into his disposal, and thereby mitigated the anger of Pompey. Yet did not he perform any of the conditions he had agreed to; for Aristobulus's party would not so much as admit Gabinius into the city who was sent to receive the money that he had promised.
How Pompey had the City Jerusalem delivered up to him, but took the Temple [by force.] How he went into the Holy of Holies; as also what were his other
Exploits in Judea. 1. Ar this treatment Pompey was very angry, and took Aristobulus into cus. lody. And when he was come to the city he looked about where he might make bis attack; for he saw the walls were so firm, that it would be hard to overcome them, and that the valley before the walls was terrible ; and that the temple, which was within that valley, was itself encompassed with a very strong wall, insomuch that if the city were taken, that temple would be a second place of re. fuge for the enemy to retire to.
2. Now as he was long in deliberating about this matter, a sedition arose among the people within the city ; Aristobulus's party being willing to fight, and to set their king at liberty, while the party of Hyrcanus were for opening the gates to Pompey; and the dread the people were in occasioned these last to be a very numerous party, when they looked upon the excellent order the Roman soldiers were in. So Aristobulus's party was worsted, and retired into the temple, and cut off the communication between the temple and the city, by breaking down the bridge that joined them together, and prepared to make an opposition to the utmost ; but as the others had received the Romans into the city, and had de. livered up the palace to him, Pompey sent Piso, one of his great officers, into that palace with an army, who distributed a garrison about the city, because he could not persuade any one of those that had fled to the temple to come to terms of accommodation : he then disposed all things that were round about them so as might favour their attacks, as having Hyrcanus's party very ready to afford them both counsel and assistance.
3. But Pompey himself filled up the ditch that was on the north side of the temple, and the entire valley also, the army itself being obliged to carry the materials for that purpose. And, indeed, it was a hard thing to fill up that valley by reason of its immense depth, especially as the Jews used all the means pos
. Of the famous palm-trees and balsam about Jericho and Engaddi, see the notes in Havercamp's alition, both here and B. ii. ch. ix. sect. 1. They are somewharm long to be transcribed in shis place VOL. II.
sible to repel them from their superior station : nor had the Romans succeeded in their endeavour," had not Pompey taken notice of the seventh days, on which the Jews abstain from all sorts of work on a religious account, and raised his bank, but restrained his soldiers from fighting on those days; for the Jews only acted defensively on Sabbath days. But as soon as Pompey had filled up the valley, he erected high towers upon the bank, and brought those engines which they had fetched from Tyre near to the wall, and tried to batter it down ; and the singers of stones beat of those that stood above them, and drove them awayı but the towers on this side of the city made very great resistance, and were, in deed, extraordinary both for largeness and magnificence.
4. Now here it was that, upon the many hardships which the Romans under went, Pompey could not but admire not only at the other instances of the Jews fortitude, but especially that they did not at all intermit their religious services, even when they were encompassed with darts on all sides ; for, as if the city were in full peace, their daily sacrifices and purifications, and every branch of their religious worship, was still performed to God with the utmost exactness. Nor, indeed, when the temple was actually taken, and they were every day slain about the altar, did they leave off the instances of their divine worship that were appointed by their law; for it was in the third month of the siege before the Romans could even, with great difficulty, overthrow one of the towers, and get into the temple. Now he that first of all ventured to get over the wall was Faus tus Cornelius, the Son of Sylla ; and next after him were two centurions, Furius and Fabius ; and every one of these was followed by a cohort of his own, who oncompassed the Jews on all sides and slew them, sonic of them as they were running for shelter to the temple, and others as they, for a while, fought in their own defence.
5. And now did many of the priests, even when they saw their enemies as sailing them with swords in their hands, without any disturbance, go on with their divine worship, and were slain while they were offering their drink-offerings and burning their incense, as preferring the duties about their worship to God before their own preservation. The greatest part of them were slain by their own coun. trymen of the adverse faction, and an innumerable multitude threw themselves down precipices: nay, some there were who were so distracted among the in. superable difficulties they were under, that they set fire to the buildings that were near to the wall, and were burnt together with them. Now of the Jews were slain twelve thousand; but of the Roinaas very few were slain, but a greater number was wounded.
6. But there was nothing that affected the nation so much in the calamities they were then under, as that their holy place, which had been hitherto seeu by none, should be laid open to strangers; for Ponipey,* and those that were about him, went into the temple itself, whither it was not lawful for any to enter but the high priest, and saw what was reposited therein, the candlestick with its lamps, and the table, and the pouring vessels, and the censers, all w.ade entirely of gold, as also a great quantity of spices heaped together, with two thousand talents of sacred money.
Yei did not he touch that money, nos any thing else that was there reposited : but he commanded the ministers about the temple, the very next day after he had taken it, to cleanse it, and to perform their accustomed sacrifices. Moreover, he made Hyrcanus high priest, is one that not only in other respects had showed great alacrity on hie side during the njege, but as he had been the means of hindering the multitude that was in the country froin fighting for Aristobulus, which they were otherwise very ready to have done; by which means he acted the part of a good general, and reconciled che people to him more by bencvolence than by terror. Now among the captives
Thus, says Tacitus, Cn. Pompeius first of all subdued the Jews, and went into their teinple, by right of conquest, Hist. B. v. ch. ix; nor did he touch any of its riches, as has beeu observed on the parallel place of she Antiquities, B. xiv. ch. iv. sect. 4; out of Cicero himself