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by which means it came to pass, that some of these were destroyed by throwing themselves down headlong, and some were burnt in the cloisters themselves. Nor did any one of them escape with his life. A false prophet was the occasion * of these people's destruction, who had made a public proclamation in the city that very day, That“ God 6 commanded them to get up upon the temple, and that " there they should receive miraculous signs of their deliv“erance." Now, there was then a great number of false prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose on the people, who denounced this to them that they should wait for deliverence from God; and this was in order to keep them from deserting, and that they might be buoyed up above fear and care by such hopes. Now, a man that is in adversity does easily comply with such promises ; for, when such a seducer makes him believe that he shall be delivered from those miseries which oppress him, then it is that the pas tient is full of hopes of such his deliverance.
3. Thus were the miserable people persuaded by these deceivers, and such as believed God himself; while they did not attend nor give credit to the signs that were so evi. dent, and did so plainly foretel their future desolation, but like men infatuated, without either eyes to see, or minds to consider, did not regard the denunciations that God made to them. Thus there was a star f resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet | that continued a whole year. Thus also, before the Jews' rebellion, and before those commotions which preceded the war, when the people were come in great crowds to the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth day I of the month Xanthicus, (Nisan.) and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone round the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright day-time; which light lasted for half an hour. This light seemed to be a good sign to the un.
* Reland here justly takes notice, that these Jews, who had despised the true Prophet, were deservedly abused and deluded by these fal se ones.
# Whether Josepinus means, that this star was different from that comet which lasted a whole year, I cannot certainly determine. His words most favour their being different one from another.
| Since Josephus still uses the Syro-macedonian month Xanthicus for the Jewish month Nisan, this 8th, or, as Nicephoras read it this ninth of Xan. thicus or Nisan was alınost a week before the Passover on the 14th : about which time we learn from St. John that many lised to go out of the country to Jerusalem to purify themselves, John xi. 55 with xii. l. in agreement with Josephus also, B. v. ch. iii. $ 1 vol v And it might well be, that is the sight of these this extraordinary light might appear.
skilful, but was so interpreted by the sacred scribes as to portend those events that followed immediately up on it. At the same festival also an heifer, as she was led by the high priest to be sacrificed, brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple. Moreover, the eastern gate of the inner (court of the temple,) which was of brass, and vastly heavy, and had been with difficulty shut hy twenty men, and rested upon a basis armed with iron, and had bolts fastened very deep into the firm floor, which was there made of one entire stone, was seen to be opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night. Now, those that kept the watch in the temple came hereupon running to the captain of the temple, and told him of it ; who then came up thither, and not without great difficuly was able to shut the gate again. This also appeared to the vulgar to be a very happy prodigy, as if God did thereby open them the gate of happiness. But the men of learning understood it, that the security of their holy house was dissolved of its own accord, and that the gate was opened for the anvantage of their enemies. So these publicly declared that the signal foreshewed the desolation that was coming upon them. Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the one and twentieth day of the month Artemesius, [.Jyar,] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared; I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals : for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armour were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities, Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the * inner (court of the) temple, as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said, that in the first place they felt a quaking and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a multitude saying, “ LET US REMOVE HENCE.” But what is still more terrible, there was one Jesus the son of Ananus a plebeian and an husbandmen, who, four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast whereon it is our custom for every
*This here seems to be the court of the priests.
one to make tabernacles to God in the temple, * began on a sudden to cry aloud, “ A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole people.” This was his cry, as he went about by day and by night, in all the lanes of the city. However, certain of the most eminent among the populace had great indignation at this dire cry of his, and took up the man and gave him a great number of severe stripes; yet did he not either say any thing for himself, or any thing peculiar to those that chastised him, but still went on with the same words which he cried before. Hereupon our rulers, supposing, as the case proved to be, that this was a sort of divine fury in the man, brought him to the Roman procurator ; where he was whipped till his bones were laid bare : yet did not he make any supplication for himself, nor shed any tears ; but turning his voice to the most lamentable tone possible, at every stroke of the whip his answer was, "Wo, wo to Jerusa“ lem. And when Albinus (for he was then our procurator) asked him. “ Who he was ? and whence he came ? and why he uttered such words ?” he made no manner of l'eply to what he said, but still did not leave off his melan. choly ditty, till Albinus took him to be a madman, and dismissed him. Now, during all the time that passed before the war began, this man did not go near any of the citi. zens, nor was seen by them while he said so; but he every day uttered these lamentable words, as if it were his premeditated vow, “ Wo, wo to Jerusalem.” Nor did he give ill words to any of those that beat him every day, nor good words to those that gave him food; but this was his reply to all men, and indeed no other than a melancholy presage of what was to come. This cry of his was the loudest at the festivals! and he continued this ditty for seven years and five months, without growing hoarse, or being tired therewith, until the very time that he saw his presage in earnest fulfilled in our siege, when it ceased ; for, as he
* Both Reland and Havercamp in this place after the natural punctuation and sense of Josephus, and this contrary to the opinion of Valesius and Dr. Hudson, lest Josephus should say, that the Jews built boothes or tents within the temple, at the feast of Tabernacles; which the latter rabbins will not allow to have been the ancient practice; but then, since it is expressly told us in Nehemiah, viii. 16. that in still elder times, the Jews made booths in the courts on the house of God at that festival. Josephus may well be the same. And indeed the modern rabbins are of very small authority in all such matters of remote antiquity.
be permitted to say
was going round upon the wall, he cried out with his utmost force, “ Wo, wo to the city again, and to the people, " and to the holy house.” And just as he added at the last, 6 Wo, wo to myself also," there came a stone out of one of the engines, and smote him, and killed him immediately ; and, as he was uttering the very same presages, he gave up the ghost.
4. Now if any one consider these things, he will find that God takes care of mankind, and by always possible foreshews to our race what is for their preservation, but that men perish by those miseries which they madly and volun. tarily bring upon themselves ; for the Jews by demolishing the tower of Antonia, had made their temple four square, while, at the same time they had it written in their sacred oracles, That “then should their city be taken, as well as “their holy house, when once their temple should become “ four square.” But now, what did the most elevate them in undertaking this war, was an ambiguous oracle that was found also in their sacred writings, How, “about that time, “ one from their country should become goveruor of the “ habitable earth.” The Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particuliar, and many of the wise men were thereby deceived in their determination. Now, this oracle certaibly denoted the government of Vespasian who was appointed emperor in Judea. However, it is not possible for men to avoid fate, although they see it beforehand. But these men interpreted some of these signals according to their own pleasure, and some of them they utterly despised, until their madness was demonstrated, both by the taking of their city, and their own destruction.
How the Romans carried their ensigns to the temple, and made joy.
ful acclamations to Titus. The speech that Titus made to the Jews when they made application for mercy. What replythey made there. to, and how that reply moved Titus's indignation against them.
§ 1. And now the Romans, upon the flight of the seditious into the city, and upon the burning of the holy house itself, and of all the buildings round about it, brought their
ensigns to the temple, * and set them over against its eastern gate ; and there did they offer sacrifices to them, and there did they make Titus Imperator, with the greatest acclamations of joy. And now all the soldiers had such vast' quantities of the spoils which they had gotten by plunder, that in Syria a pound weight of gold was sold for half its former value. But as for those priests that kept thinselves still upon the walls of the holy house, there was a boy that, out of the thirst he was in, desired some of the Roman guards to give him their right hands as a security for his life, and confessed he was very thirsty. These guards commiserated his age, and the distress he was in, and gave him their right hands accordingly. So he came down himself, and drank some water, and filled the vessel he had with him when he came to them with water, and then went off, and fled away to his own friends; nor could any of those guards overtake him ; but still they reproached him for his perfidiousness. To which he made this answer : “I have not broken the agreement ; for the security I had u given me was not in order to my staying with you, but on“ ly in order to my coming down safely, and taking up some “ water ; both which things I have performed, and there“ upon think myself to have been faithful to my engageco ment," Hereupon, those whom the child had imposed upon admired at his cunning, and that on account of his age. On the fifth day afterward, the priests that were pined with the famine came down, and when they were brought to Titus by the guards, they begged for their lives ; but he replied, That “ the time of pardon was over as to them, " and that this very holy house, on whose account only 6 they could justly hope to be preserved, was destroyed, “ and that it was agreeable to their office, that priests “ should perish with the house itself to which they belong«s ed.” So he ordered them to be put to death.
* Take Havercamp's note bere, • This,' says he, “is a remarkable place : and Tertullian truly says in his Apologetic, ch. xvi. p. 162. That's the en. " tire religion of the Roman camp almost consisted in worshipping the ensigns "in swearing by the ensigns, and in preferring the ensigns before all (other) "gods" See what Havercamp says upon that place of Tertullian.
+ This declaring Titus Imperator by the soldiers, upon such signal success, and the slaughter of such a vast number of enemies, was according to the usual practice of the Romans in like cases, as Reland assures us on this place.
| The Jews of later times agree with Josephus, that there were hiding places or secrct chambers about the holy house, as Reland here informis us, where he thinks he has found these very walls described hy them.