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• coming upon them unexpectedly, slew many, and took many prisoners. Theudas himself was • among the last mentioned. They cut off his head and brought it to Jerusalem. These things happened in Judea whilst Cuspius Fadus was procurator.'
Fadus was sent into Judea by the emperor Claudius, after the death of Herod Agrippa. This affair of Theudas therefore must be rightly placed in the year of Christ 45 or 46.
That is transcribed from the twentieth and last book of the Antiquities. In the same book afterwards, in another chapter, in the history of transactions in the time of Nero, Josephus says: • But affairs in Judea went on continually growing worse and worse. The country was again
filled with robbers and impostors, who deceived the people; but Felix time after time appre* hended and put to death many of them.' A little lower: And indeed, by means of the crimes • committed by the robbers, the city was filled with all sorts of impiety: and impostors and . deceivers persuaded the people to follow them into the wilderness ; where, as they said, they • should see manifest wonders and signs performed by the providence of God. And many
heark .ening unto them, at length suffered the punishment of their folly: for Felix fetched them back * and punished them. About the same time there came a man out of Egypt to Jerusalem, who * said he was a prophet: and having persuaded a good number of the meaner sort of people to • follow him to the mount of Olives, he told them that thence they should see the walls of Jeru.
salem fall down at his command, and promised through them to give them entrance into the • city. But Felix being informed of these things, ordered his soldiers to their arms; and,
marching out of Jerusalem with a large body of horse and foot, he fell upon the Egyptian, and • killed four hundred of them, and took two hundred prisoners: but the Egyptian getting out of • the fight escaped.'
This same story is also in The War, with some differences in the numbers, which were considered o formerly.
There the account concludes in this manner : · Whend they came to engage the Egyptian •Aed, followed by a few only.. A large part of those who were with him were either slain or • taken prisoners. Tne rest of the multitude, being scattered, shifted for themselves as they could.'
This is supposed to have happened in the year of Christ 55.
In the War, in the paragraph preceding his account of the Egyptian impostor, having just before related how Judea then abounded with robbers, called Sicarii, he says : Beside them, • there was another body of wicked men, whose hands indeed were cleaner, but their intentions • were as impious; who disturbed the happy state of the city no less than those murderers. For • deceivers and impostors, under a pretence of divine inspiration, aiming at changes and innova. * tions, made the people mad; and induced them to follow them into the wilderness, pretending • that God would there give them signs and wonders. Felix judging these proceedings to be no • less than the beginning of a revolt, sent out his soldiers, both horse and foot, and destroyed • great numbers of them.'
In the forecited chapter of the twentieth book of the Antiquities, speaking of the robbers in the time of Porcius Festus, about the year of Christ 60, he says that · he also sent out both " horse and foot to fall upon those who had been seduced by a certain impostor, who had • promised them deliverance and freedom from the miseries under which they laboured, if they • would but follow him into the wilderness. The forces destroyed him that had deceived them, and those that followed him.'
Josephus speaks of six thousand who perished in the outer courts of the temple after it had been set on fire. • The soldiers,' says he, set fire to the portico; whereupon some threw • themselves headlong down the precipice, others perished in the flames: and not one out of so great a number escaped. A false prophet was the occasion of the ruin of those people, who on that very day had made proclamation in the city, assuring them that God commanded them to go up to the temple, where they would receive signs of deliverance. And indeed there were • then many prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose upon the people, and telling them that they ought to wait for help from God.?
And presently after, proceeding to relate the omens and prodigies foresignifying the calamities coming upon the Jewish people, and the city of Jerusalem, which shall be recited by and by, he * Antiq. 1. 20. cap. viii, 5. b Ib. sect. 6.
! Ant. 1.20, cap. viii, sect. 10. • Vol. i. p. 225, &c. d De B. J. I. 2, c. xiii. 5. s De B. J. 1. 6, cap. v.sect. 2.
.. Ib.sect. 4.
says: 'Impostors," who spake lies in the name of God, deceived this miserable people. They • neither attended to, nor believed, the manifest signs foresignifying the coming desolation : but • like infatuated men, who have neither eyes to see, nor minds to perceive, they neglected the • divine denunciations.'
So truly did our Lord say: “ I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not. If another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive:” John v. 43.
Our blessed Lord says, Matt. xxiv. 24. “ For there will arise false Christs, and false prophets, and will shew great signs and wonders, insomuch that (if it were possible) they will deceive the very elect.” But our Lord does not intend to say that any of those false prophets would exhibit or perform great wonders. The original word is duose, they will give: the same word that is in the Septuagint version of Deut. xiii. 1. “ If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and he giveth thee a sign, or a wonder ; neu du cou omuelov a tepes, that is, shall propose, or promise, some sign or wonder, as the sequel shews. Parallel with the text just cited from St. Matthew is Mark xiii. 22. “ For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will shew signs and wonders,” the same word again, nou dw6801 oyuele mai tapéta, “ in order to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.”
The accounts which Josephus has given of the impostors in his time, shew the exact accomplishment of these predictions of our Lord: They persuaded the people to follow them into the wilderness, where, as they said, they would see manifest signs and wonders, performed by the power of God :” or, assuring them, “ that God would there give them signs and wonders :") or, that “ they should there receive signs of deliverance,” and the like. The
passages of Josephus bear witness to the fulfilment of our Lord's prediction, “ that many false prophets would arise, and deceive many.” Matt. xxiv. 11.
Our Lord does also say there, at ver. 5. “ And many will come in my name saying, I am Christ: and will deceive many." And it is easy to believe that • some of the many false prophets did expressly take to themselves that title, though Josephus does not say it. But whether they did or not, our Saviour's predictions are verified in the appearance of those false prophets. • Jose
phus,' says archbishop Tillotson, mentions several of these; of whom, though he does not • expressly say that they called themselves the Messias, ye the says that which is equivalent—that • they undertook to rescue the people from the Roman yoke. Which was the thing which the • Jews expected the Messias would do for them. And therefore we find that the disciples who • were going to Emmaus, and knew not that Christ was risen, and were doubtful what to think of
him, say: "We hoped this had been he that should have redeemed Israel :" that is, they hoped · this had been the Messias ; that being, it seems, a common periphrasis of the Messias, that he * was “ he that was to deliver Israel.” Which is agreeable to a note of Grotius upon the place. All they therefore, who pretended that they were inspired, and sent by God to deliver the Jewish people, were indeed “false Christs.” They took upon themselves the character of the Messiah.
We may now readily admit the truth of what Josephus says in the passage transcribed not long ago : That what principally excited the Jewish people, the wise men, as he calls them, as • well as others, to the war with the Ronians, was the expectation of a great deliverer to arise among them, who should obtain the empire of the world. This great deliverer was the Messiah. The numerous “ false prophets” and “ false Christs,” of whom Josephus speaks so frequently and so distinctly, are full proofs of it.
The expectation of the coming of the Messiah, about the time of the appearance of Jesus, was universal, and had been so for some while. But with the idea of a prophet, or extraordinary teacher of religion, they had joined also that of a worldly king and conqueror, who should deliver the Jewish people from the burdens under which they laboured, raise them to a state of independence, and bring the nations of the earth into subjection to them, to be ruled and tyrannized over by them; and because our Lord did not perform, nor attempt this, they rejected and cruci. fied himn. If he would but have assumed the state and character of an earthly prince, scribes and
a Ibid. sect. 3.
c Vol. 3. p. 552.
Quare quicumque se missos divinitus liberatores populi Judaïci dicebant, eo ipso Christos se profitebantur, et erant veuluX815.01. &c. Grot. in Matt. xxiv. 5.
• Proofs of this, together with divers remarks, may be seen iu Vol. i. p. 73, &c.
pharisees, priests and people, would all have joined themselves to him, and have put themselves under his banner. Of this we see many proofs in the gospels. This disposition prevailed to the last. The people therefore, though they had already met with many disappointments, when our Lord entered into Jerusalem, in no greater state than riding upon an ass, accompanied him with loud acclamations, and other tokens of respect, saying: “ Hosanna to the son of David. Blessed is the king that cometh in the name of the Lord.” And Jesus, our Lord, not assuming then the character of an earthly prince was a fresh disappointment, and left deep resentments; which rendered them susceptible of the worst impressions from the chief priests, and tlieir other rulers. And at their instigation they desired Pilate, the Roman governor, to set Barabbas at liberty, and crucify Jesus. With which clamorous and importunate demand he at length complied, still bearing testimony to the innocence of him whom he unwillingly condemned. The account of St. Matthew alone, without any other, will suffice for shewing this amazing transaction : “ Pilate saith unto them : What shall I do then with Jesus, who is called Christ? They all say unto him : Let him be crucified. The governor said : Why! what evil has he done ? But they cried out the more, saying : Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he prevailed nothing, and that rather a tumult was made, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying: I am innocent from the blood of this just person : see ye to it. Then answered all the people : His blood be upon us, and upon our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them. And when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified :” Matt. xxvii. 22—26.
The continued expectation of the Messiah, as a worldly king and conqueror, as we have just seen in Josephus, and their uneasiness under the Roman yoke, were the immediate occasions of their rebelling against the authority to which they were then subject. And the same principles that induced them to reject and crucify Jesus, brought upon them their utter and final ruin.
As the sin of the Jewish people in rejecting and crucifying Jesus, after a life of perfect innocence and consummate virtue, after speaking as no man had done before, and doing works which no other man had done, at Jerusalem, and in every part of the land of Israel ; after such preparations as had been made for his reception by the prophets, and by the testimony of John the Baptist, his forerunner; was very great and aggravated : and as they rejected the renewed offers of mercy, and repeated and earnest calls to repentance, made by Christ's apostles, and went on increasing in wickedness; God at length suffered the Romans to come upon them with an armed force, demolished their temple, and made desolate their city, and their whole country, with
many circumstances of uncommon and even unparalleled distress. All which having been foreseen and often foretold by the Lord Jesus, in his public discourses; the accomplishment of these predictions, in the event, is an argument of great force in favour of his divine mission, and of his being indeed the Messiah, additional to the excellent doctrine and wonderful works of his ministry.
VIII. Having shewn the occasion and causes of the war, and having also observed the several things foretold by the Lord Jesus, as preceding it, I now proceed to The history of the War itself, collecting it from Josephus, and making my extracts in his own words.
The disturbances still increasing at Jerusalem, and the animosity against Florus being very great, •Cestius Gallus, president of Syria, judged it not proper for him to lie still any longer; • he therefore determined to march into Judea : whereupon he took out of Antioch the twelfth legion entire, and out of the rest two thousand chosen men, with six cohorts of foot, and four
troops of horse, beside the auxiliaries which were sent by the kings: of which Antiochus sent • two thousand horse, and three thousand foot, all archers. Agrippa sent a thousand horse and two thousand foot. Sohemus followed with four thousand. He then marched to Ptolemais. Agrippa accompanied Cestius as a guide in the journey, and as capable of being useful to him • in other respects. After he was come thither, Cestius took a part of his army and marched • hastily to Zabulon, a strong city of Galilee, which separates the country of Ptolemais from our « nation : that he found destitute of its men, the multitude having fled to the mountains, but full • of all good things, which he allowed the soldiers to seize as plunder: and he set fire to the
city, though its buildings were very beautiful, resembling those of Tyre and Sidon, and Berytus. • After that he overran the neighbouring country, seizing whatever came in his way, and sciting & “ If ye were blind, ye should have no sin : but now you among them the works which no other man did, they had not
therefore sin remaineth :" John ix. 41. "If had sin : but now have they both seen, and bated, both me I had not come and spoken to them, they had not had sin : and my father :” John xv. 22.—24. but now they have no cloak for their sin. If I had not done b De B.J. 1. 2. cap. xviii. sect. 9. VOL. III.
say, we see,
· fire to the villages : and then returned to Ptolemais.' At this very time, as Josephus adds in the same paragraph, the Jews found means to destroy about two thousand Syrians at Berytus, and near it, Cestius being at a distance.
: Now Cestius himself marched from Ptolemais, and came to Cæsarea; and then sent part ' of his army before him to Joppa ; who coming suddenly upon that people, who were prepared neither for flight nor for their own defence, slew them all with their families, and then plundered and burnt the city. The number of the slain were eight thousand and four hundred. : In like manner he sent a number of horse into the toparchy of Narbata, not far from Cæsarea, ' who slew many of the inhabitants, plundered their goods, and set fire to the villages.'
• Now also Cestius sent Gallus, commander of the twelfth legion, into Galilee, where he • slew more than two thousand.'
• Gallus then returned to Cæsarea, and Cestius moved with his whole army and came to Antipatris. Thence he set forward to Lydda, where he found the place empty of men, the people • being gone up to Jerusalem upon account of the feast of Tabernacles. However, he found * there fifty men, whom he slew, and burnt the city, and then marched onward; and going up . by Bethoron, he pitched his camp at Gaba, fifty furlongs from Jerusalem.'
• The Jews, seeing the war approaching to their metropolis, relying upon their numbers, ' went out to fight in a hasty and disorderly manner, even in the time of the festival. But the
rage which made them forget their religion did also make them superior to their enemies. • Cestius with his whole army was in danger. Five hundred and fifteen of the Romans were • slain, whilst the Jews lost only two-and-twenty. The most valiant of the Jews were Monobazus, • and Kenedæus, related to Monobazus king of the Adiabenes. Next to them were Niger of
Perea, and Silas of Babylon, who had deserted from king Agrippa to the Jews, and Simon son of Gioras, to be hereafter often mentioned. After that the Jews retired into the city. Cestius • staid there three days.'
* At this time Agrippa with the consent of Cestius sent to the Jews two ambassadors, Borcæus and Phoebus, men well known to them, with assurances of plenary forgiveness from • Cestius if they would lay down their arms and submit. But the Jews would not so much as • receive the ambassadors. Phoebus they fell upon, and slew him, before he had spoken a word. • Borcæus too was wounded: but he retreated and escaped.'
• Soon after that Cestius moved forward with his whole army, and encamped upon an elevated spot of ground called Scopos, (signifying the prospect or watch-tower.] Here he rested three • days. On the fourth day, which was the thirtieth of October, he brought his army into the : city. The seditious,' as Josephus calls them, “ were much terrified, and retired from the • suburbs to the inner part of the city and the temple. Cestius soon set fire to the place called
Bezetha, or the new city, and to the wood-market. After which he came forward to the upper • part of the city, and pitched his camp over against the royal palace. And if at that time he • had attempted to make his way within the walls by force, he would have won the city presently • and put an end to the war at once. But Tyrannus Priscus, a general in the army, and many • officers of the horse, who had been corrupted by Florus, diverted him from that design ; which ' was the occasion that this war lasted so long, and the Jews were involved in such grievous calamities.'
So writes Josephus. And afterwards he says: Ifs Cestius had continued the siege a little · longer he had certainly taken the city. But God, as I think, for the wickedness of the people abhorring his own solemnities, suffered not the war to come to an end at that time.'
• Cestius " then withdrew from the city. The Jews resumed courage, and went after him ; and coming upon his rear, destroyed a good number both of horse and foot. That night Cestius lay at his former camp, Scopos. As he went farther off the next day, he even invited his • enemies to pursue him. The Romans suffered greatly. Among the slain were Priscus, commander of the sixth legion, Longinus, a tribune, and Æmilius Secundus, commander of a
troop of horse. It was not without a great deal of difficulty that they got to Gabao, their • former camp, and leaving behind their baggage. There Cestius staid two days, and was in ' great perplexity how to proceed. On the third day he judged it expedient to move.'
· That he might march on with the greater expedition, he threw away every thing that
a Sect. 10.
b Ib. sect. 11.
% Sect. 6.
© Ib. cap. xix. sect. 1.
i Sect. 8.
d Ib. sect. 2.
• Ib, sect. 3.
might retard his march. He killed the mules, and the other beasts, excepting only such as carried weapons of war ; which the Romans kept for their own use, and that they might not • fall into the hands of the Jews to be afterwards employed against them. In that march they * met with such difficulties that the Jews were near taking the whole army of Cestius prisoners ; • and would have effected it if night had not come on.'
• In their flight they left behind them many engines for sieges, and for throwing stones, • and a great part of their other instruments of war. The Jews pursued them as far as Anti• patris, and then returned, taking up the engines, spoiling the dead bodies, and gathering up • the prey which the Romans had left behind them. So they came back to their metropolis with · great rejoicings. They lost but a few men themselves. But they had slain of the Romans and • their auxiliaries five thousand and three hundred foot, and three hundred and eighty horse. • These things happened on the eighth day of November, in the twelfth year of the reign of • Nero.'
• After 6 that calamity had befallen Cestius,' says Josephus, many of the most considerable of the Jewish people forsook the city, as men do a sinking ship.'
And it is very likely that at this time many of the Christians also withdrew from Jerusalem and Judea. Eusebius says that before the war began the Christians left Jerusalem, and went to a place beyond Jordan called Pella. Epiphanius 4 speaks to the like purpose. Eusebius does not quote any ancient author for what he says: but it might be founded upon tradition, and such as could be relied upon. As he resided near the place he might have satisfactory information of it, and receive the account from the descendants of those Jewish believers.
However, some of them may have gone abroad into the other countries. St. John, as is well known, lived for some time in Asia. When he came thither we cannot say exactly; but probably in the year of Christ 66, or sooner. Some of the Jewish believers might go with him out of Judea, or come to him into Asia afterwards. St. John, in his third epistle, ver. 6, speaks of “ strangers” who were under difficulties. Some learned men have supposed that thereby are meant Jewish believers, who had been driven out of Palestine, or had fled from it, induced thereto by the necessity of the times and their fidelity to Christ, and had left their substance behind them.
I think we may reckon it to be certain, or at least highly probable, that none of the faithful disciples of Jesus were shut up in Jerusalem at the siege: and that most of them left it some while before it began, in the year of Christ 66, or thereabouts, or sooner.
Our blessed Lord, speaking of the difficulties of these times, and of the declensions of some of his followers, encourages faithfulness in strong terms: Mark xiii. 13. “ And ye shall be hated of all men for my namesake; but he that shall endure unto the end shall be saved.” And Luke xxi. 17-19. “ And ye shall be hated of all men for my namesake; but there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls." And compare Matt. x. 21, 22. "These gracious 'assurances were now fulfilled. The difficulties which the followers of Jesus met with were very great; and the “ love of many waxed cold,” and some apostatized to Judaism, to avoid sufferings: nevertheless they gained nothing by it. They joined themselves to the unbelieving part of the nation, and had part with them in the heavy calamities which befell them. But the faithful followers of Jesus, who were steady to their profession, and attended to his predictions concerning coming calamities, and observed the signs of their near approach, escaped, and obtained safety, with only the lesser difficulties of a flight, which was necessary in the time of a general calamity.
The Jews, who had defeated Cestius, upon their return to Jerusalem, appointed governors and commanders for several places. Joseph, son of Gorion, and Ananus the high priest, were chosen to govern the city, and to repair the walls. Josephus, son of Matthias, our historian, was made governor of both the Galilees. Others were sent to other places.
Cestius : sent messengers to Nero in Achaia, to give him an account of what had happened, and of the state of affairs in Judea, and to lay the blame of all the disturbances upon Florus.
a Ib. sect. 9.
• Μετα δε την Κεριά συμφοραν, πολλοι των επιφανων Ieδαιον, ωσπερ βαπτιζομενης νεως, απενεχοντο της πόλεως. De B. J. 1. 2. c. XX, sect. 1.
προ τ8 πολεμε, μεταςηναι της πόλεως, και τινα της
Περαιας πολιν οικείγ--- -Πελλαν αυτην ονομαζασιν. Η, Ε.
H. 29. sect. vii.
Ib. c. XX. sect. 1.