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alleged, that he had armour sufficient for seventy thousand men ready in his ar. moury. Caius was moved at this information, and asked Herod whether whai was said about the armour was true ; and when he confessed there was such as. mour there, for he could not deny the same, the truth of it being notorious, Caius took that to be a sufficient proof of the accusation, that he intended to revolt. So he took away from him his tetrarchy, and gave it by way of addition to Agrippa's kingdom ; he also gave Herod's money to Agrippa ; and, by way of punishment, awarded him a perpetual banishment, and appointed Lyons, a city of Gaul, to be his place of habitation. But when he was informed that Herodias was Agrippa's sister, he made her a present of what money was her own, and told her, that “ it was her brother who prevented her being put under the same calamity with her husband.” But she made this reply: “ Thou, indeed, O emperor, actest after a magnificent manner, and as becomes thyself in what thou offerest me; but the kindness which I have for my husband hinders me from partaking of the favou of thy gift; for it is not just, that I, who have been made a partner in his prosperity, should forsake him in his misfortunes.” Hereupon Caius was angry at her, and sent her with Herod into banishment, and gave her estate to Agrippa. And thus did God punish Herodias for her envy at her brother, and Herod also for giving ear to the vain discourses of a woman. Now Caius managed public affaire with great magnanimity, during the first and second year of his reign, and behaved himself with such moderation that he gained the good will both of the Romans themselves, and of his other subjects. But in process of time he went beyond the bounds of human nature, in his conceit of himself, and, by reason of the vastness of his dominions, made himself a god, and took upon himself to act in all things to the reproach of the Deity itself.
Concerning the Embassage* of the Jews to Caius ; and how Caius sent Petronius
into Syria to make War against the Jews, unless they would receive his Statue. § 1. THERE was now a tumult arisen at Alexandria, between the Jewish inhabi. tants and the Greeks; and three ambassadorst were chosen out of each party that were at variance, who came to Caius. Now one of these ambassadors from the people of Alexandria was Apion, who uttered many blasphemies against the Jews; and among other things that he said, he charged them with neglecting the honours that belonged to Cæsar; for that while all who were subject to the Roman empire built altars and temples to Caius, and in other regards universally received him as they received the gods; these Jews alone thought it a dishonoura ble thing for them to erect statues in honour of him, as well as to swear by his name. Many of these severe things were said by Apion, by which he hoped to provoke Caius to anger at the Jews, as he was likely to be; but Philo, the prin. cipal of the Jewish ambassage, a man eminent on all accounts, brother to Alex. andert the alabarch, and one not unskilful in philosophy, was ready to betake
* This is a most remarkable chapter, as containing such instances of the interposition of Providence, as have been always very rare among the other idolatrous rations, but of old very many among the pos terity of Abraham, the worshippers of the true Gori; nor do these seem much iuferior to those in the Old Testament, which are the more remarkable, because, among all their other follies and vices, the Jews were not at this time idolaters; and the deliverances here mentioned were done in order to prevent their relapse into that idolatry.
+ Josephus hore assures us, that the ambassadors from Alexandria to Caius were on each part mp more than three in number, for the Jews and for the Gentiles, which are but six in all; whereas Phili who was the principal anibassador from the Jews, as Josephus here confesses (As was Apion, for the Gentiles,) says, the Jews' ambassadors were themselves no fewer than five, towards the end of his lega tion to Caius; which, if there be no mistake in the copies, must be supposed the truth; nor, in that case, would Josephus bave contradicted 80 authentic a witness, had he seen ihat account of Philo's, which the be ever did docs not appear.
This Alexander, the alabarch, or governor of the Jows at Arexanona, and brother to Philo, is an
himself to make his defence against those accusations ; but Caius prohibited him, and bade him begone : he was also in such a rage that it openly appeared he was about to do them some very great mischief. So Philo being thus affronted went out, and said to those Jews who were about him, that “they should be of good courage, since Caius's words indeed showed anger at them, but in realitv had al. ready set God against himself.”
2. Herenpon Caius, taking it very heinously that he should be thus despised by the Jews alone, seni Petronius to be president of Syria, and successor in the government of Vitellius, and gave himn order to make an invasion into Judea, with a great body of troops, and if they would admit of his statue willingly, to erect it in the temple of God; but if they were obstinate, to conquer them by war, and tien to do ii. Accordingly Petronius took the government of Syria, and made baste to obey Cæsar's epistle. He got together as great a number of auxiliaries as he possibly could, and took with him two legions of the Roman army, and came to Ptolemais, and there wintered, as intending to set about the war in the spring. He also wrote word to Caius what he had resolved to do, who commended him for his alacrity, and ordered him to go on, and to make war with them, in case they would not obey his commands. But there came many ten thousands of the Jews to Petronius to Ptolemais, to offer their petitions to him, that “he would not compel them to transgress and violate the law of their forefathers; but if, said they, thou art entirely resolved to bring this statue, and erect it, do thou first kili us, and then do what thou hast resolved on; for while we are alive, we cannot permit such things as are forbidden us to be done by the authority of our legisla. tor, and by our forefathers' determination, that such prohibitions are instances of virtue." But Petronius was angry at them, and said, "If indeed I were myself emperor, and were at liberty to follow my own inclination, and then had designed to act thus, these your words would be justly spoken to me; but now Cæsar hath sent to me, I am under the utmost necessity of being subservient to his decrees, because a disobedience to them will bring upon me inevitable destruction.” Then the Jews replied, “Since therefore thou art so disposed, 0 Petronius, that thou wilt not disobey Caius's epistles, neither will we transgress the commands of our laws; and as we depend upon the excellency of our laws, and, by the labours of cur ancestors, have continued hitherto without suffering them to be transgressed, we dare not by any means suffer ourselves to be so timorous as to transgress those laws out of the fear of death, which God hath determined are for our ad. vantage; and if we fall into misfortunes, we will bear them in order to preserve our laws, as knowing, that those who expose themselves to dangers have good hope of escaping them, because God will stand on our side, when out of regard to him we undergo afflictions, and sustain the uncertain turns of fortune. But if we skould submit to thee, we should be greatly reproached for our cowardice, as thereby showing ourselves ready to transgress our law; and we should incur the great anger of God also, who, even thyself being judge, is superior to Caius.”
3. When Petronius saw by their words that their determination was hard to be removed, and that, without a war, he should not be able to be subservient to Cajus in the dedication of his statue, and that there must be a great deal of blood shed, he took his friends, and the servants that were about him, and hasted to Tiberias, as wanting to know in what posture the affairs of the Jews were ; and many ten thousands of the Jews met Petronius again, when he was come to Ti. berias. These thought they must run a mighty hazard if they should have a war with the Romans, but judged that the transgression of the law was of much greater consequence, and made supplication to him that he would by no means reduce them to such distresses, nor defile their city with the dedication of the statue. Then Petronius said to them, “Will you then make war with Cæsar, without con. sidering his great preparations for war, and your own weakness 1" They reposed by Bishop Pearson, in Act. A post. p. 41, 42, to be the same with that Alexanda who is mentioned g SL Luke, as of the kindred of the high prieste, Acts, iv, fi.
plied, “We will not by any means make war with him, but still we will die before we see our laws transgressed.” So they threw themselves down upon their fa. ces, and stretched out their throats, and said they were ready to be slain : and this they did for forty days together, and in the mean time left off the tilling of their ground, and that while the season* of the year required them to sow it. Thus they continued firm in their resolution, and proposed to themselves to die willingly, rather than to see the dedication of the statue.
4. When matters were in this state, Aristobulus, king Agrippa's brother, and Helcias the Great, and the other principal men of that family with them, went in unto Petronius, and besought him, That “since he saw the resolution of the mul. titude, he would not make any alteration, and thereby drive them to despair; but would write to Caius, that the Jews had an insuperable averseness to the reception of the slatue, and how they continued with him, and left off the tillage oi their ground; that they were not willing to go to war with him, because they were not able to do it, but were ready to die with pleasure, rather than suffer their laws to be transgressed; and how, upon the lands continuing unsown, robberies would grow up, on the inability they would be under of paying their tributes; and that perhaps Caius might be thereby moved to pity, and not order any barbarous ac. tion to be done to them, nor think of destroying the nation : that if he continues inflexible in his former opinion to bring a war upon them, he may then set about it himself.” And thus did Aristobulus, and the rest with him, supplicate Petro. nius. So Petronius, partly on account of the pressing instances which Aristo. bulus and the rest with him made, and because of the great consequence of what they desired, and the earnestness wherewith they made their supplication ; partly on account of the firmness of the opposition made by the Jews, which he saw, while he thought it a horrible thing for him to be such a slave to the madness of Caius, as to slay so many ten thousand men, only because of their religious dis. position towards God, and after that to pass his life in expectation of punishment; Petronius, I say, thought it much better to send to Caius, and to let him know how intolerable it was to him to bear the anger he might have against him for not serving him sooner, in obedience to his epistle, for that perhaps he might per. suade him; and that if his mad resolution continued, he might then begin the war against them; nay, that in case he should turn his hatred against himself, it was fit for virtuous persons even to die for the sake of such vast multitudes of men. Accordingly he determined to hearken to the petitioners in this matter.
5. He then called the Jews together to Tiberias, who came, many ten thou. sands in number; he also placed that army he now had with him opposite to
but did not discover his own meaning, but the commands of the emperor, and told them, That “his wrath would without delay executed on such as had the courage to disobey what he had commanded, and this immediately: and that it was fit for him, who had obtained so great a dignity by his grant, not to con tradict him in any thing: yet,” said he, “I do not think it just to have such a regard to my own safety and honour, as to refuse to sacrifice them for your pre. servation, who are so many in number, and endeavour to preserve the regard that is due to your law, which, as it hath come down to you from your forefathers, so do you esteem it worthy of your utmost contention to preserve it: nor, with the supreme assistance and
of God, will I be so hardy as to suffer your temple to fall into contempt by the means of the imperial authority. I will therefore send to Caius, and let him know what your resolutions are, and will assist your suit as
What Josephus here, and sect. 6, relates as done by the Jews before seed time, is in Philo, not fas off the time when the corn was ripe, who, as Le Clerc notes, differ here one from the other. This is ano ther indication that Josephus, when he wrote this account, had not seen Philo's Legat. ad Caium, ctber wise he would hardly have herein differed from him.
+ This Publius Petronius was after this, still president of Syria under Claudius, and at the desire of Agrippa, published a severe decree against the inhabitants of Dora, who, in a sort of imitation of Caius, had set up a statue of Claudius in a Jewish synagogue there. This decree is extapi, B. xix. ch. vi. sect 3, and greatly confirms the present accounts of Josephus, as to the other decrees of Claudius, relatiny to w like Jewish affairs, B. xix. ch. V. sace. 2. 3, to which I refer the inquisitive reader,
tar as I am able, that you may not be exposed to suffer on account of the honest designs you have proposed to yourselves : and may God be our assistant, for his authority is beyond all the contrivance and power of men; and may he procure you the preservation of your ancient laws, and may not he be deprived, though without your consent, of his accustomod honours. But if Caius be irritated, and turn the violence of his rage upon me, I will rather undergo all that danger and that affliction that may come either on my body or my soul, than see so many of you to perish, while you are acting in so excellent a manner. Do you, there. fure, every one of you, go your way about your own occupations, and fall to the cultivation of your ground: I will myself send to Rome, and will not refuse to serve you in all things, both by myself and by my friends."
6. When Petronius had said this, and had dismissed the assembly of the Jews, be desired the principal of them to take care of their husbandry, and to speak kindly to the people, and encourage them to have good hope of their affairs. Thus did he readily bring the multitude to be cheerful again. And now did God show his presence* to Petronius, and signify to him, that he would afford him his as. sistance in his whole design ; for he had no sooner finished the speech that he made to the Jews, but God sent down great showers of rain, contrary to human expectation ; for that day was a clear day, and gave no sign, by the appearance of the sky, of any rain; nay, the whole year had been subject to a great drought, and made men despair of any water from above, even when at any time they saw the heavens overcast with clouds; insomuch that when such a great quantity of rain came, and that in an unusual manner, and without any other expectation of it, the Jews hoped that Petronius would by no means fail in his petition for them. But as to Petronius, he was mightily surprised when he perceived that God evi. dently took care of the Jews, and gave plain signs of his appearance,t and this to such a degree that those that were in earnest much inclined to the contrary, had no power left to contradict it. This was also among those other particulars which he wrote to Caius, which all tended to dissuade him, and by alī means to entreat him not to make so many ten thousands of these men go distracted; whom if he should slay (for without war they would by no means suffer the laws of their worship to be set aside,) he would lose the revenue they paid him, and would be publicly cursed by them for all future ages. Moreover, that God, who was their governor, had showed his power most evidently on their account, and that such a power of his as left no room for doubt about it. And this was the business that Petronius was now engaged in.
7. But king Agrippa, who now lived at Rome, was more and more in the favour of Caius; and when he had once made him a supper, and was careful to exceed all others both in expenses, and in such preparations as might contribute most to his pleasure ; nay, it was so far from the ability of others, that Caius himself could never equal, much less exceed it (such care had he taken before. hand to exceed all men, and particularly to make all agreeable to Cæsar:), here. upon Caius admired his understanding and magnificence, that he should force himself io do all to please him, even beyond such expenses as he could bear, and vas desirous not to be behind Agrippa in that generosity, which he exerted in order to please him. So Cajus, when he had drank wine plentifully, and was merrier than ordinary, said thus during the feast, when Agrippa had drunk to him: * I knew before nowt how great a respect thou hast had for me, and bow great
• Josephus here uses the solemn New Testament words, the people, and THORU. the presence and appearance of God, for the extraordinary manifestation of his power and providence to l'etroninis, by sending rain in a time of distress, immediately upon the resolution he had taken to preserve the temple enpolluted at the hazard of his own life, without any other miraculous appearance at all in that case: which well deserves to be taken notice of here, and greatly illustrates several texts, both in the Old and Kes Testamen.
See the preceding note.
This behaviour of Caius to Agrippa is very like that of Herod Antipas, his unclo, so Herodias, Agrippa's sister, about John the Baptist, Mat. xiv. 6.--:
kindness thou hast showed me, though with those hazards to thyself, which thou underwentest under Tiberius on that account; nor hast thou omitted any thing to show thy good will towards us, even beyond thy ability, whence it would be a base thing for me to be conquered by thy affection. I am therefore desirous tu make thee amends for every thing, in which I have been any way formerly de ficient, for all that I have bestowed on thee, that may be called my gifts, is bin little. Every thing that may contribute to thy happiness shall be at thy service, and that cheerfully, and so far as my ability will reach.” And this was what Caius said to Agrippa, thinking he would ask for some large country, or the revenues of certain cities. But although he had prepared beforehand what he would ask, yet had he not discovered his intentions, but made this answer to Caius immediately: That “it was not out of any expectation of gain that he formerly paid his res. pects to him, contrary to the commands of Tiberius, nor did he now do any thing relating to him out of regard to his own advantage, and in order to receive any ihing from him ; that the gifts he had already bestowed upon him were great, and beyond the hopes of even a craving man; for although they may be beneath thy power (who art the donor,] yet are they greater than my inclination and dig. nity, who am the receiver.” And Caius was astonished at Agrippa's inclina. tions, and still the more pressed him to make his request for somewhat which he might gratify him with, Agrippa replied, “Since thou, O my lord, declarest such is thy readiness to grant, that I am worthy of thy gifts, I will ask nothing relating to iny own felicity; for what thou hast already bestowed on me has made me ex. cel therein, but I desire somewhat which may make thee glorious for piety, and render the divinity assistant to thy designs, and may be for an honour to me ainong those that inquire about it, as showing that I never once fail of obtaining what I desire of thee; for my petition is this, That thou wilt no longer think of the dedication of that statue which thou hast ordered to be set up in the Jewish teinple by Petronius.”
8. And thus did Agrippa venture to cast the die upon this occasion, so great was the affair in his opinion, and in reality, though he knew how dangerous a thing it was to speak; for had not Caias approved of it, it nad tended to no less than the loss of his life. So Caius, who was mightily taken with Agrippa's obliging behaviour, and on other accounts thinking it a dishonourable thing to be guilty of falsehood before so many witnesses, in points wherein he had with such alacrity forced Agrippa to become a petitioner, and that it would look as if he had already repented of what he had said, and because he greatly admired Agrippa's virtue, in not desiring him at all to augment his own dominions, either with larger revenues, or other authority, but took care of the public tranquillity, of the laws, and of the divinity itself, he granted him what he had requested. He also wrote thus to Petronius, “commending him for assembling his army, and then consult. ing him about those affairs. If therefore, said, he, thou hast already erected my statue, let it stand; but if thou hast not yet dedicated it, do not trouble thyself farther about it, but dismiss thy army, go back, and take care of those affairs which I sent thee about at first; for I have now no occasion for the erection of that statue. This I have granted as a favour to Agrippa, a man whom I honour so very greatly that I am not able to contradict what he would have, or what he desired me to do for him.” And this was what Caius wrote to Petronius, which was before he received his letter, informing him that the Jews were very ready to revolt about the statue, and that they seemed resolved to threaten war against the Romans, and nothing else. When therefore Caius was much displeased that any attempt should be made against his government, as he was a slave to base and vicious actions, on all occasions, and had no regard to what was virtuous and ho. dourable, and against whomsoever he resolved to show his anger, and that for any cause whatsoever, he suffered not himself to be restrained by any admonition, but thought the indulging his anger to be real pleasure, he wrote thus to Petronius!
Seeing thou esteemest the presents made thee by the Jews to be of greater value