Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Makers and Teachers of Judaism by Charles Foster Kent

Part 6 out of 7

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.8 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

of Demetrius I, to demand heavy indemnity. When Simon refused to pay the
tribute a Syrian army was sent to enforce the claim, but were defeated by
a Jewish force under John Hyrcanus. This victory left Simon during the
remainder of his reign practically independent of outside authority.

IV. Simon's Authority. Simon, with commendable moderation, refrained
from attempting to secure for himself the title of king. He did, however,
issue coins in his own name, although that right was ordinarily the
prerogative only of kings. Upon him was conferred by the grateful people
the authority that had first been given Jonathan by the shameless
Alexander Balas. In return for Simon's many services and as a tribute
to the achievements of his family he was proclaimed by the Jews not only
civil governor and military leader, but also high priest. He thus became
their rightful leader both in peace and war, and the representative of the
nation in the sacred services of the temple. In all but name he was king,
and Jewish history would have doubtless flowed in calmer channels had his
descendants been contented with these substantial honors.

V. Completion of the Psalter. The reign of Simon probably witnessed the
completion of the Psalter. Many of the psalms, especially those in the
latter half of the book, bear the unmistakable marks of the Maccabean
struggle. In Psalms 74 and 89, for example, there are clear references to
the desecration of the temple and the bitter persecutions of Antiochus.
They voice the wails of despair which then rose from the lips of many
Jews. Many other psalms, as, for example, the one hundred and eighteenth,
express that intense love and devotion to the law which was from this time
on in many ways the most prominent characteristic of Judaism. The
prevailingly prominent liturgical element that characterizes the
concluding psalms of the Psalter suggest their original adaptation to the
song services of the temple. Under the reign of Simon the temple choir was
probably extended and greater prominence given to this form of the
temple service. The peace and prosperity in the days of Simon gave the
opportunity and the incentive to put in final form the earlier collections
of psalms and probably to add the introduction found in Psalms 1-2 and the
concluding doxology in Psalm 150. The Psalter appears to have been the
last to be completed of all the Old Testament books, so that probably
before the close of Simon's reign all of the present Old Testament
books were written. Discussions regarding the value of such books as
Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and Esther continued until nearly the
close of the first Christian century, when at last the canon of the Old
Testament was completed.

VI. The Religious Life Reflected in the Later Psalms. The prevailing
note in the psalms found in the latter part of the Psalter is joyous. A
deep sense of gratitude to Jehovah for deliverance pervades them. The Jews
felt that Jehovah had indeed delivered them "as a bird from the snare of
the fowler" (Psalm 124). In the near background were the dark days of
persecution. Hostile foes still encircled Israel, but trust in Jehovah's
power and willingness to deliver triumphed over all fear.

Oh, give thanks to Jehovah for he is good,
For his mercy endureth forever.
He hath delivered us from our enemies;
Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven,
For his mercy endureth forever,

was the oft-repeated refrain that was sung in the temple service by the
warriors when they returned victorious from battle and by the people as
they went about their tasks. The sense of constant danger and of great
achievement bound together the Jews of this period as perhaps never
before since the days of the exile. The same experiences developed a
powerful religious consciousness. Jehovah had repeatedly and signally
demonstrated that he was in their midst. Without his strong hand they
were helpless against their foes. The apostates had been expelled, and
the classes that remained were bound closely together by their desire to
preserve their hard-won liberties, by their devotion to the temple and its
services and by a profound respect for the authority of their scriptures.
The voice of the living prophet was silent. The priests had ceased to
teach and were simply ministers at the altar, and in the turmoil of the
Maccabean struggle the teaching of the wise had practically come to an
end. Instead the Jews became in every sense the people of the book. It
was at this time and as a result of the forces at work in this age that
the scribes attained their place as the chief teachers of the people. It
was natural that they who copied, edited, and above all interpreted the
revered Law and the Prophets should have the ear of the masses and
should be regarded more and more as the authorized teachers of the
Jewish race. Judaism had at last attained its maturity.


[Sidenote: I Macc. 16:11-17]
Now Ptolemy the son of Abubus had been appointed commander over the plain
of Jericho. He possessed much silver and gold, for he was the high
priest's son-in-law. Then he grew ambitious and determined to make himself
master of the country. So he formed treacherous plots against Simon and
his sons, to make away with them. Now Simon was visiting the cities that
were in the country and providing for their good management. And he went
down to Jericho with Mattathias and Judas his sons, in the one hundred and
seventy-seventh year, in the eleventh month, that is the month Sebat. Then
the son of Abubus received them treacherously in a little stronghold that
is called Dok, which he had built, and made them a great banquet, and his
men were there. And when Simon and his sons were drunk, Ptolemy and his
men rose up and took their weapons, and rushing in upon Simon in the
banquet hall, they slew him and his two sons, and some of his servants.
Thus he committed a great act of treachery and paid back evil for good.

[Sidenote: I Macc. 16:18-22]
Then Ptolemy wrote what had happened, and asked the king to send forces to
aid him, and promised to hand over to him their country and the cities.
And he sent others to Gazara to make away with John. And to the officers
commanding thousands he sent letters to come to him, that he might give
them silver and gold and gifts. And others he sent to take possession of
Jerusalem and the temple-mount. But some ran before to Gazara and told
John that his father and brothers had perished, and they said, He has sent
to slay you too. And when he heard, he was dumb with amazement, but he
seized the men who came to destroy him, and slew them, for he saw that
they were seeking to destroy him.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 2:3c-4b]
Now when Hyrcanus had received the high priesthood which his father had
held before him and had offered sacrifice to God, he made haste to attack
Ptolemy, that he might relieve his mother and brothers. So he laid siege
to the fortress and was superior to Ptolemy in other respects; but he was
defeated through his natural affection. For when Ptolemy was distressed,
he brought Hyrcanus's mother and his brothers and set them upon the wall
and beat them with rods in the sight of all and threatened that unless
Hyrcanus went away immediately, he would throw them down headlong. At this
sight Hyrcanus's pity and concern overcame his anger.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 2:4d]
And since the siege was delayed in this way, the year of rest came on,
during which the Jews rest every seventh year as they do on every seventh
day. In this year, therefore, Ptolemy was freed from being besieged. He
also slew the brothers of Hyrcanus with their mother, and fled to Zeno,
who was the tyrant of Philadelphia.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 2:5]
And now Antiochus [Sidetes] was so angry at what he had suffered from
Simon that he made an expedition into Judea and laid siege to Jerusalem
and shut up Hyrcanus. But Hyrcanus opened the tomb of David, who was the
richest of all kings, took from there more than three thousand talents of
money and induced Antiochus upon the promise of three thousand talents to
raise the siege. Moreover he was the first of the Jews who had plenty of
money, and so began to hire foreign mercenaries.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 2:6]
At another time, when Antiochus had gone upon an expedition against the
Medes and thus given Hyrcanus an opportunity to be revenged upon him,
Hyrcanus made an attack upon the cities of Syria, thinking, as proved to
be the case, that he would find them empty of good troops. So he took
Medeba and Samaga with their surrounding towns; likewise Shechem and Mount

[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XIII, 9:1d, e]
Hyrcanus also took Dora and Marissa, cities of Idumea, and subdued all the
Idumeans. He permitted them to stay in their country, if they would
undergo circumcision and conform to the Jewish laws. They were so desirous
of living in the country of their fathers that they submitted to
circumcision and the other Jewish ways of living. From this time on,
therefore, they were none other than Jews.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 2:7a-b]
Hyrcanus also proceeded as far as Samaria and invested it on all sides
with a wall, and placed his sons, Aristobulus and Antigonus in charge of
the siege. They pushed it with such vigor that a famine prevailed within
the city, so that the inhabitants were forced to eat what was never before
regarded as food. They also invited Antiochus to come to their assistance
and he readily responded to their invitation, but he was beaten by
Aristobulus and Antigonus, and he was pursued as far as Scythopolis by
these brothers and fled away from them. So they returned to Samaria and
shut up the multitude within the wall again, and when they had taken the
city, they tore it down and made slaves of its inhabitants.

[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XIII, 10:5]
However the prosperity of Hyrcanus caused the Jews to envy him; and they
who were worst disposed to him were the Pharisees. Now Hyrcanus was one of
their disciples and had been greatly beloved by them. But once when he
invited them to a feast and entertained them kindly and saw them in a good
humor, he began to say to them that they knew that he desired to be a
righteous man and do all things by which he might please God and them, for
the Pharisees are philosophers. However, he desired, if they observed him
offending in any respect or departing from the right way, that they would
call him back and correct him. When they testified that he was entirely
virtuous he was well pleased with their approval. But one of his guests,
Eleazar by name, was a man malignant by nature, who delighted in
dissension. This man said: "Since you wish to know the truth, if you
really desire to do what is right, lay down the high priesthood and
content yourself with the civil government of the people." And when
Hyrcanus desired to know for what cause he ought to lay down the high
priesthood, the other replied: "We have heard from old men that your
mother was a captive in the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes." This story was
false, and Hyrcanus was provoked against him. All the Pharisees likewise
were very indignant with him.

[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XIII, 10:6a-c]
Now there was a certain Jonathan, a great friend of Hyrcanus, but of the
sect of the Sadducees, whose ideas are the opposite of those of the
Pharisees. He told Hyrcanus that Eleazar had cast that slur upon him
according to the common opinion of all the Pharisees and that this would
be made clear if he would ask them the question, What punishment they
thought this man deserved? For in this way he might be sure that the slur
was not laid on him with their approval, if they advised punishing him as
the crime deserved. Therefore when Hyrcanus asked this question, the
Pharisees answered that the man deserved stripes and imprisonment, but it
did not seem right to punish a slur with death. And indeed the Pharisees
ordinarily are not apt to be severe in punishment. At this mild sentence
Hyrcanus was very angry and thought that this man reproved him with their
approval. It was this Jonathan who influenced him so far that he made him
join the Sadducees and leave the party of the Pharisees and abolish the
decrees that they had thus imposed on the people and punish those who
obeyed them. This was the source of the hatred with which he and his sons
were regarded by the multitude.

[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XIII, 10:7]
But when Hyrcanus had put an end to this sedition, he afterward lived
happily and administered the government in the best manner for thirty-one
years and then died, leaving behind him five sons. He was esteemed by God
worthy of the three highest honors, the rulership of his nation, the high
priesthood, and prophecy, for God was with him and enabled him to predict
the future.

[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XIII, 11:1a-c, 8a]
Now when Hyrcanus was dead, his eldest son Aristobulus, intent upon
changing the government into a monarchy, was the first to put a diadem on
his head. This Aristobulus loved his next brother Antigonus and treated
him as an equal, but the others he kept in bonds. He also cast his mother
into prison because she disputed the government with him, for Hyrcanus had
left her in control of everything. He also proceeded to that degree of
barbarity that he killed her in prison with hunger. Moreover he was
estranged from his brother Antigonus by false charges and also slew him,
although he seemed to have a great affection for him and had shared the
kingdom with him. But Aristobulus immediately repented of the slaughter of
his brother; on which account his disease grew upon him.

[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XIII, 11:3e]
Then Aristobulus died, after having reigned a year. He was called a lover
of the Greeks and conferred many benefits on his country. He also made a
war against Iturea [Galilee], and added a great part of it to Judea and
compelled the inhabitants, if they wished to remain in that country, to be
circumcised and to live according to the Jewish laws.

I. Murder of Simon. Even his moderation and kindly rule did not deliver
Simon from the violent death that overtook all the sons of Mattathias.

His murderer was his son-in-law, a certain Ptolemy, who was governor of
the Jordan Valley, the resources of which had been developed under Simon.
Ptolemy trusted to the support of the Syrian court, but he failed to
reckon with two things: (1) the loyalty of the people to their Maccabean
leaders; and (2) the ability of Simon's son, John Hyrcanus. Instead of
falling a victim to Ptolemy's plot, John at once went to Jerusalem where
he was made the high priest and governor by the people. Ptolemy, who was
besieged in the castle of Dok, saved his miserable life only by shameless

II. The Syrian Invasion. Antiochus Sidetes proved the ablest Syrian king
of this period. Although his first attack had been repelled by Simon,
he again attempted, on the accession of Hyrcanus, to reestablish
his authority in Palestine. Josephus, in his account, obscures this
humiliating chapter in Jewish history. The statement that Hyrcanus took
from the tomb of David vast wealth and thus purchased immunity from Syrian
attack has all the characteristics of an Oriental tale. Instead, Antiochus
Sidetes not only besieged but captured Jerusalem, and doubtless compelled
the Jews to pay heavy tribute. Preferring, however, to retain their
loyalty rather than to crush them, he left John Hyrcanus in control of
Judea, and Jerusalem escaped destruction. In the disastrous campaign
against the Parthians in which Antiochus lost his life John Hyrcanus
accompanied him with a following of Jewish soldiers. The death of
Antiochus Sidetes in 129 B.C. at last left the Jews free to develop their
kingdom without further fear of Syrian interference. This event marks for
the Jews the attainment of absolute political freedom--a privilege which
they continued to enjoy for a little over half a century.

III. John's Military Policy and Conquests. John possessed the
characteristic ambitions and energy of his family. In his policy he also
seems to have been strongly influenced by the achievements of Israel's
early conquering king, David. His aim was to build up a small empire,
and by crushing the ancient foes of Israel to secure immunity from
further attack. In employing foreign mercenaries he also followed the
example of King David. Doubtless he was influenced in doing so by his
experiences in the Parthian campaign. This policy, however, was far
removed from the spirit of the early Maccabean leaders who had unsheathed
the sword in behalf of their principles. John's first campaign was
against the cities to the east of the Jordan, and resulted in the conquest
of the towns of Medeba and Samaga and the territory subject to them. The
conquest of Shechem and southern Samaria was undoubtedly prompted both by
hereditary hatred toward the Samaritans and by the desire to provide an
outlet for the growing Jewish population. After standing for two
centuries, the Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim was destroyed by the
Jews. This sacrilegious act naturally intensified that hatred between Jew
and Samaritan which burned so fiercely during the early part of the first
Christian century. Marissa and Dora, the chief cities of the Idumeans,
were next conquered. With strange inconsistency, John Hyrcanus, whose
ancestors had first taken up the sword in defence of religious liberty,
compelled the descendants of their old foes, the Edomites, to give up
their national religion or else go into exile. This policy was fraught
with far-reaching consequences, for among those appointed to rule over the
conquered Edomites was Antipater, the ancestor of Herod, who was destined
to rule the Jews and to initiate that long series of disasters that
culminated in the destruction of the Jewish state. Last of all, John
Hyrcanus advanced to the conquest of the Greek city of Samaria. Because of
its natural strength and formidable defences a year was required for the
siege, and it was ultimately captured only through famine. The sons of
John Hyrcanus succeeded in holding at bay the Syrian armies that were sent
to relieve the besieged. The conquered inhabitants were sold as slaves,
and the city was left for a time in complete ruins. The conquest of
Scythopolis, the ancient Bethshean, extended the bounds of John's kingdom
to the southern hills of Galilee. Thus he became master of a small empire
extending out toward the desert on the east, to the South Country on the
south, touching the sea at Joppa, and including the entire territory of
ancient Samaria on the north. While not as large as the kingdom of David,
it was a more perfect political unit, and offered superior opportunities
for commerce and internal development.

IV. The Break with the Pharisees. The successes of John Hyrcanus
blinded the majority of the nation to the real issues at stake. But a
powerful group, which during the Maccabean period appeared for the first
time under the name of Pharisees, began to withdraw their allegiance and
silently, at least, to protest against a high priest whose chief ambition
was conquest. The story which Josephus tells to explain the defection
of the Pharisees may be simply a popular tradition, but it is indicative
of that division within Judaism which ultimately wrecked the Maccabean
state. From the days of John Hyrcanus, the Maccabean rulers, with only one
exception, were compelled to meet the silent but strong opposition of the
Pharisees. As a result they turned to the rising party of the Sadducees
which henceforth identified itself with the interests of the reigning
family. Thus in the year of its greatest triumph the Jewish state became a
house divided against itself. Estranged from the better-minded religious
leaders of the nation, John Hyrcanus and his successors followed an
increasingly secular, selfish policy until they completely forgot the
noble ideals for which their fathers had striven.

V. The Reign of Aristobulus. The accession of Aristobulus marks a
triumph of that Hellenism against which Judas and Simon had unsheathed
the sword. Like many an Oriental monarch, he established his position on
the throne by the murder of all members of his family who might contest
his power. His inhuman cruelty to his mother and the suspicions which led
him to murder his brother reveal a barbarous spirit that can only be
explained as a result of the wrong ambitions that had already taken
possession of Israel's rulers. Aristobulus's brief reign of one year is
marked by two significant acts. The first is the assumption of the title
of king. On his own initiative, and apparently without the consent of the
people, he placed the diadem upon his head. The other important act was
the conquest of part of the territory of Iturea, which was known in later
times as Galilee. He found it occupied by a mixed Syrian and Greek
population in which were probably a few descendants of the ancient
Israelites. Following the policy of his family, he doubtless at once
inaugurated a system of colonization which carried to Galilee a strong
Jewish population. Henceforth, by virtue of race, language, and religion,
Galilee was closely bound to Judea.


[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XVIII, 1:2, 3a-c]
The Jews have three sects of philosophy: the Essenes, the Sadducees, and
those called Pharisees. The Pharisees do not yield to luxury but despise
that kind of life; and they follow the guidance of reason, and what that
prescribes to them as good, they do. They also pay respect to those
advanced in years nor are they so bold as to contradict them in anything
which they have introduced. While they believe that all things are done by
predestination, they do not take away from a man the choice of acting as
he deems proper, for they believe that it is God's will that an event be
decided for good or evil both by the divine counsel and by the man who is
willing to accede to it. They also believe that souls possess immortal
power and that under the earth there will be rewards or punishments
according as men have lived virtuously or viciously in this life, and that
the vicious are to be detained in an everlasting prison and that the
virtuous shall have the power to live again.

[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XVIII, 1:3d]
On account of this doctrine they have great influence with the people, and
whatsoever they do in connection with the divine worship, prayers and
sacrifices, they perform in accordance with the direction of the Pharisees.

[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XVIII, 1:4a, Jos. Jew. War, II, 8:14c]
But the doctrine of the Sadducees is that souls die with the bodies, nor
do they give heed to anything beyond these things which the law enjoins.
They deny predestination entirely and assert that God exercises no
oversight over any evil doing and they say that good or evil lies before
man to choose, and, according to each man's inclination, he chooses the
one or the other.

[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XVIII, 1:4b]
They also think it virtuous to dispute with those teachers of philosophy
which they follow. This doctrine, however, is accepted by only a few, but
these are of the highest rank, They are able to accomplish almost nothing
by themselves; for when they come to power, unwillingly but perforce, they
accede to the Pharisaic doctrine, for otherwise they would not be
tolerated by the multitude.

[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XVIII, 1:5a, b]
The doctrine of the Essenes is that all things are best left to God. They
teach the immortality of souls and think that the rewards of righteousness
are to be earnestly striven for; and when they send what they have
dedicated to God to the temple, they offer their sacrifices in accordance
with the special law of purity which they observe. On this account they
are excluded from the common court of the temple but themselves offer
their sacrifices. Yet their course of life is far better than that of
other men and they devote themselves wholly to agriculture.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, II, 8:2, 13a]
The Essenes seem to have a greater affection for each other than do the
other sects. They reject pleasure as an evil, but regard self-restraint
and the conquest of passions as a virtue. They despise marriage and choose
out other people's children, while they are impressionable and teachable,
and they regard them as their own kindred, and conform them to their own
customs. They do not absolutely repudiate marriage. There is also another
order of Essenes, who agree with the rest in regard to their way of
living, customs and laws, but differ from them in regard to marriage, for
they think that by not marrying they will cut off the most important
element in human life, which is the succession of mankind.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, II, 8:3, 4]
These men are despisers of riches and are wonderfully communistic among
themselves. No one is to be found among them who has more than the others,
for it is a law among them that those who join their sect must share with
them what they have, so that among them all there is no evidence of
poverty or excess of riches, but everyone's possessions are shared in
common, so there is, as it were, but one property among all the brothers.
They also have directors appointed by vote to manage their common affairs.
These have no other interest, but each devotes himself to the needs of
all. They possess no one city, but many of them dwell in every city, and
if any of their sect come from other places, what they have lies open for
them, just as if it were their own. They do not change garments or sandals
until they first are entirely torn to pieces or worn out by time. Nor do
they either buy or sell anything to each other, but every one of them
gives to him who wants it and receives from him again in return for it
what he wants; and even though no return is made, they are free to take
what they want from whom they wish.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, II, 8:5]
And their piety toward God is very extraordinary; for before sunrise they
speak not a word about profane matters, but offer up certain inherited
prayers as if they made a supplication to it for its rising. After this
everyone is sent away by their directors to engage in some of those arts
in which they are skilled, and at which they labor with great diligence
until the fifth hour; after which they assemble again in one place. And
when they have clad themselves in linen coverings, they bathe their bodies
in cold water. After this purification is over they meet together in an
apartment of their own in which none of another sect is permitted to
enter. Then they go ceremonially pure into the dining room, as if into a
temple. And when they have quietly sat down, the baker lays loaves in
order for them, and a cook also brings a single plate of one kind of food
and sets it before each of them. And a priest offers a prayer before
eating. It is unlawful for any one to taste the food before the prayer.
When he has dined he offers prayer again. When they begin and when they
end they praise God as the giver of the necessities of life. After this
they lay aside their garments as though they were sacred, and devote
themselves to their labor again until evening. Then they return home to
dine in the same manner and if any strangers be there they sit down with
them. There is never any clamor or disturbance to pollute their household,
but they give everyone permission to speak in turn. The silence of the
inmates appears to outsiders like some awful mystery.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, II, 8:6]
They do nothing except in accordance with the injunctions of their
directors. Only these two things are done among them as each wishes,
namely, they assist the needy and show mercy; but they cannot assist their
kindred without the permission of their directors. They dispense their
anger justly and restrain their passion. They are eminent for fidelity and
are the advocates of peace. Also whatever they say is mightier than an
oath, but swearing is avoided by them, and they regard it worse than
perjury, for they say that he who cannot be believed without swearing by
God is already condemned. They also devote great attention to the study of
the works of the ancients and select from them those things that are
profitable for soul and body. Also they seek out such roots as may be
effective for the cure of their diseases and inquire into the properties
of stones.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, II, 8:7]
To one who desires to enter their sect, admission is not immediately
granted; but he is prescribed the same method of living as they use for a
year during which he is still excluded, and they give him a small hatchet,
and girdle and the white garment. And when during that time he has given
evidence of self-control, he approaches nearer to their way of living and
is allowed to share the waters of purification. However, he is not even
now allowed to live with them, for after this demonstration of his
fortitude, his character is tried two years more, and if he appears to be
worthy, they then admit him into the society. But before he is allowed to
touch their common food, he is obliged to swear to them awful oaths that
in the first place he will show piety toward God and then that he will
observe justice toward men, and that he will do no harm to any one either
voluntarily or at the command of others, and that he will always hate the
wicked, and help the righteous, and that he will show fidelity to all men
and especially to those in authority, that he will be a lover of truth and
denounce those who tell lies, and that he will keep his hands clean from
theft, and his soul from unlawful gain. Moreover he swears to communicate
their doctrines to no one otherwise than he received them himself, and
that he will abstain from robbery, and that he will faithfully preserve
the books of their sect and the names of the angels.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, II, 8:8a, 9a-c]
Those who are caught in any heinous sins they cast out of their society;
and he who is thus expelled often dies miserably. And in the judgments
they pronounce they are most exacting and just, nor do they pass sentence
by the votes of a court having less than one hundred members, and what is
determined by them is unalterable. What they most of all honor, after God
himself, is the name of their legislator [Moses], whom, if any one
blasphemes, he is punished by death. They also think it a good thing to
obey their elders and the majority. They are stricter than any others of
the Jews in resting from their labors on the seventh day, for they not
only prepare their food the day before, that they may not be obliged to
kindle a fire on that day, but they will not venture to move any vessel
out of its place.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, II, 8:10b, c, 11b]
They are also long-lived, insomuch that most of them live over a hundred
years because of the simplicity of their diet and as a result of their
regular course of life. They despise the miseries of life and are above
pain because of their noble thoughts. And as for death, if it come with
glory, they regard it as better than immortality. They think also, like
the Greeks, that the good have their habitation beyond the ocean in a
region that is never oppressed by storms of rain or of snow, or with heat,
and that this place is refreshed by the gentle breath of the west wind
that is continually blowing from the ocean; while they allot to the bad a
dark and cold den which is never free from unceasing punishment.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, II, 8:12]
There are also those among them who undertake to foretell things to
come by reading the holy books, by using several different forms of
purifications and by being constantly familiar with discourses of the
prophets; and it is only seldom that they fail in their predictions.

I. Influences that Gave Rise to the Jewish Parties. The Maccabean period
witnessed the birth of the great parties that henceforth distinguished
Judaism. They represented the crystallizing of the different currents of
thought that were traceable in the Greek period and even earlier. These
diverse points of view were in part the result of that democratic spirit
which has always characterized Israel's life. In the striking antithesis
between the idealists and the legalists and the practical men of affairs
it is also possible to detect the potent influence which the prophets had
exerted upon the thought of their nation. In the Greek period the
Chronicler and certain of the psalmists, with their intense devotion to
the temple and its services to the practical exclusion of all other
interests, were the forerunners of the later Pharisees. Ben Sira, with his
hearty appreciation of the good things of life, with his devotion to the
scriptures of his race, with his evident failure to accept the new
doctrine of individual immortality, and with his great admiration for the
high priests, was an earlier type of the better class of Sadducees. The
persecutions of Antiochus Epiphanes developed these parties. As has
already been noted, the Hasideans who followed Judas in the struggle to
restore the law and the temple service were the immediate predecessors
of the early Pharisees. The word "Pharisees" means separatists, and is
used first in the days of Jonathan (Jos. _Ant_. III 5:9) In the same
connection Josephus refers to the Sadducees. The name of this second party
is probably derived, not from the Hebrew word sadik, meaning righteous,
but from Zadok (later written Sadok or Sadduk), who was placed by
Solomon in charge of the Jerusalem temple. It was thus the designation
of the aristocratic, high-priestly party. In the Persian and Greek
periods the high priests had ruled the Judean state without opposition.
It was the rise of the party of the Pharisees that apparently developed
that of the Sadducees. This party included the hereditary nobles who
supported and sympathized with the Maccabean leaders. The Essenes
evidently represent a reaction against the prevailing moral corruption.
In many respects they were simply extreme Pharisees. They were zealots in
religion, just as the later party of the Zealots were extremists in their
hatred of Rome and in the methods which they were ready to use in order to
attain their ends.

II. Character and Beliefs of the Pharisees. Originally the Pharisees
were not a political but a religious party. The opposition of the
Sadducees in time led them to enter public life. In politics they were
conservatives. They had little sympathy with the popular ambition for
political independence, and probably regarded with alarm the tendency
toward national expansion. Alliances with the heathen nations seemed
to them disloyalty to Jehovah. In belief they were progressives. While
they stood squarely on the ancient law, they recognized the importance
of interpreting it so as to meet the many questions that rose in public
and private life. To this great and practically endless task much of
their time was devoted. They thus recognized the fact that Israel's law
was still in process of development. To their later interpretations of
the law they attributed great authority. One of their maxims was: "It
is a worse offence to teach things contrary to the ordinances of the
scribes than to teach things contrary to the written law." Naturally their
attempt to anticipate by definite regulations each individual problem led
them to absurd extremes and in time obscured the real intent of the older
laws, but the spirit which actuated it was progressive. They also did not
hesitate to accept the growing popular belief in angels and spirits. Like
the earlier prophets, they recognized the presence of Jehovah directing
the life of the nation and of the individual. They accepted the new-born
belief in the immortality of the individual, clinging, however, to the
hope of a bodily resurrection. They also held to the popular messianic
hopes which became more and more prominent during the Maccabean and Roman

The Pharisees were the most democratic party in Judaism. While
for their own members they insisted upon a most rigorous ceremonial
regime, they allowed the common people to ally themselves with them
as associates. In their acceptance of the popular hopes and in their
endeavor to adapt Israel's law to the life of the nation and thus
establish a basis for the realization of Israel's hopes they appealed to
the masses and exerted over them a powerful influence. Josephus asserts
that so great was the influence of the Pharisees with the people that the
Sadducees, in order to carry through their policies, were obliged,
nominally, at least, to adopt the platform of their rivals. The Pharisees
were also zealous in teaching the people and thus kept in close touch with
the masses. They, therefore, stood as the true representatives of Judaism.
Their principles have survived and are still the foundations of orthodox

III. Character and Beliefs of the Sadducees. The Sadducees were few in
numbers compared with the Pharisees. They represented, on the one side,
the old priestly aristocracy, and on the other the new nobility that
rallied about the Maccabean leaders. They depended for their authority
upon their wealth, their inherited prestige, and the support of the
throne. They were in reality a political rather than a religious party.
In politics they were progressives and opportunists. Any policy that
promised to further their individual or class interests was acceptable to
them. As is usually the case with parties that represent wealth and
hereditary power, they were conservatives in belief. They stood squarely
on the earlier scriptures of their race and had no sympathy with the later
Pharisaic interpretations and doctrines. Whether or not, as Josephus
asserts, they entirely rejected fate, that is, the providential direction
of human affairs, is not clear. Probably in this belief they did not
depart from the earlier teachings of priests and prophets. Their selfish
and often unscrupulous acts suggest a basis for Josephus's claim, even
though allowance must be made for his hostile attitude toward them. While
they were conservatives in theory, the Sadducees were of all classes in
Judaism most open to Greek and heathen influence, for foreign alliances
and Hellenic culture offered opportunities for advancement and power.

IV. Character and Beliefs of the Essenes. Less important but even more
interesting are the Essenes. They were a sect, or monastic order, rather
than a political or religious party. Josephus, who asserts that for a time
he was associated with them, has given a full account of their peculiar
customs. They evidently represented a strong reaction against the
prevailing corruption and a return to the simple life. Their spirit of
humility, fraternity, and practical charity are in marked contrast to the
aims of the Sadducees and the later Maccabean rulers. In their beliefs
they were idealists. Their invocation of the sun, their extreme emphasis
on ceremonial cleanliness, their tendency toward celibacy, and their
distinction between soul and body, all suggest the indirect if not the
direct influence of the Pythagorean type of philosophy. If the Essenes
represented simply an extreme type of Pharisaism, the peculiar form of its
development was undoubtedly due to the Greek atmosphere amidst which it
flourished. The Essenes do not appear to have had any direct influence in
the politics of their day. They were a current apart from the main stream
of Judaism, and yet they could not fail to exert an indirect influence.
Many of their ideals and doctrines were closely similar to the teachings
of John the Baptist and Jesus. Yet there is a fundamental difference
between Essenism and primitive Christianity, for one sought to attain
perfection apart from life and the other in closest contact with the
currents of human thought and activity. While according to Josephus the
party of the Essenes at one time numbered four thousand, like all ascetic
movements it soon disappeared or else was deflected into that greater
stream of monasticism which rose in the early Christian centuries.


[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XII, 3:1a]
The Jews obtained honor from the kings of Asia when they became their
auxiliaries; for Seleucus Nicator made them citizens of those cities which
he built in Asia and in lower Syria, and in Antioch, the metropolis, and
gave them privileges equal to those of the Macedonians and the Greeks who
were its inhabitants.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, VII, 3:3a]
For the Jewish race is widely dispersed among the inhabitants of all the
world; and especially was it intermingled with the population of Syria,
because of the nearness of that country. Above all, in Antioch, because of
the size of the city, it had great numbers. There the kings who followed
Antiochus gave the Jews a place where they might live in the most
undisturbed security; for although Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes,
laid waste Jerusalem and plundered the temple, the kings who succeeded him
restored all the gifts of brass that had been made to the Jews of Antioch,
and dedicated them to their synagogue.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, VII, 3:3b]
The succeeding kings also treated them in the same way, so that they
became very numerous, and adorned their temple with ornaments and at
great expense with those things which had been given them. They also
continued to attract a great many of the Greeks to their services, making
them in a sense part of themselves.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, VII, 10:2d-3e]
Now Onias, the son of Simon, one of the Jewish high priests, fled from
Antiochus [Epiphanes] the king of Syria, when he made war with the Jews,
and came to Alexandria. And after Ptolemy [Philometor] received him very
kindly on account of his hatred to Antiochus, Onias assured him that if he
would comply with his proposal, he would bring all the Jews to his
assistance. Now when the king agreed to do whatever he was able, Onias
desired him to give him permission to build a temple somewhere in Egypt
and to worship God according to the customs of his own nation. So Ptolemy
complied with his proposals and gave them a place about twenty miles
distant from Memphis. That province was called the province of Heliopolis.
There Onias built a fortress and a temple like that at Jerusalem except
that it resembled a tower. He built it of large stones to the height of
sixty cubits, but he made the structure of the altar an imitation of that
in his own country. In like manner also he adorned it with gifts,
excepting that he did not make a candlestick but had a single lamp
hammered out of a beaten piece of gold, which illuminated the place with
its rays, and which he hung by a chain of gold. The entire temple was
surrounded by a wall of burnt brick, although it had a gateway of stone.
The king also gave him a large territory for a revenue in money, that both
the priests might have plentiful provision for themselves, and that God
might have abundance of those things which were necessary for his worship.

[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XIII, 10:4]
Now in the days of John Hyrcanus, not only did the Jews in Jerusalem and
Judea enjoy prosperity but also those who were at Alexandria in Egypt and
Cyprus. For Cleopatra the queen was at variance with her son Ptolemy, who
is called Lathyrus, and appointed as her generals Chelcias and Ananias,
the son of that Onias who built the temple in the province of Heliopolis
similar to that of Jerusalem. Cleopatra intrusted these men with her army
and did nothing without their advice. Strabo of Cappadocia also attests
that only those who were called Onias's party, being Jews, continued
faithful to Cleopatra because their countrymen, Chelcias and Ananias, were
in highest favor with the queen.

[Sidenote: Wisd. of Sol. 6:12-16]
Wisdom is brilliant and fades not away,
And she is easily seen by those who love her,
And found by those who seek her.
She anticipates those who desire her, making herself first known.
He who eagerly seeks her shall have no toil,
For he shall find her sitting at his gates.
For thinking upon her brings perfect wisdom,
And he who lies awake for her sake shall quickly be free from care.
For she herself goes about seeking those who are worthy of her,
And in their paths she graciously appears to them,
And in every purpose she meets them.

[Sidenote: Wisd. of Sol. 7:25-8:1, 7]
For she is breath of the power of God,
And a clear effluence of the glory of the Almighty;
Therefore nothing defiled can find entrance into her.
For she is a reflection of everlasting light,
And a spotless mirror of the working of God,
And an image of his goodness.
And though she is but one, she has power to do all things;
And remaining the same renews all things,
And from generation to generation passing into holy souls,
She makes them friends of God and prophets.
For God loves nothing except him who dwells with wisdom.
For she is fairer than the sun,
And surpasses all the order of the stars;
Compared with light, she is found to be superior to it.
For night succeeds the light of day,
But evil does not prevail against wisdom.
But she reaches from one end of the world to the other,
And she directs all things graciously.
The fruits of her labors are virtues;
For she teaches moderation and good sense,
Justice and fortitude,
And nothing in life is more profitable for men than these.

[Sidenote: Wisd. of Sol. 1:1-8]
Love righteousness, O rulers of the earth,
Think of the Lord with sincerity,
And seek him in singleness of heart.
For he is found by those who do not tempt him,
And manifests himself to those who do not distrust him.
For perverse thoughts separate from God,
And his power, when it is tried, convicts the foolish;
For wisdom will not enter into a soul that devises evil,
Nor dwell in a body that is pledged to sin.
For a holy spirit which disciplines will flee deceit,
And will start away from senseless thoughts,
And will be frightened away when unrighteousness comes in.
For wisdom is a spirit that loves man,
And she will not absolve a blasphemer for his words,
Because God is a witness of his innermost feelings,
And a true overseer of his heart,
And a hearer of his tongue.
For the spirit of the Lord hath filled the world,
And that which holdeth all things together knoweth every voice.
Therefore no one who speaks unrighteous things can be hid,
Nor will justice, when it convicts, pass him by.

[Sidenote: Wisd. of Sol. 1:12-15]
Do not court death by leading an erring life,
And do not by the deeds of your hands draw destruction upon yourselves.
For God did not make death,
And he hath no pleasure when the living perish;
For he created all things that they might exist,
And the created things of the world are not baneful.
And there is no destructive poison in them,
Nor has Hades dominion on earth,
For righteousness is immortal.

[Sidenote: Wisd. of Sol. 2:23-3:1]
For God created man for incorruption,
And made him an image of his own peculiar nature;
But through the envy of the devil death entered into the world,
And they who belong to him experience it.
But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,
And no torment can touch them.

[Sidenote: Wisd. of Sol. 5:15, 16]
But the righteous live forever,
And in the Lord is their reward,
And the care for them with the Most High.
Therefore they shall receive the glorious kingdom,
And the diadem of beauty from the Lord's hand;
Because he will cover them with his right hand,
And with his arm he will shield them.

[Sidenote: Wisd. of Sol. 11:21-12:2]
For thou, O Lord, lovest all things that are,
And thou dost not abhor any of the things which thou hast made,
For thou wouldest never have formed anything that thou didst hate.
And how would anything have endured, if thou didst not wish it?
Or how could that which was not called into being by thee have been
But thou sparest all things, because they are thine,
O Sovereign Lord, thou lover of men's lives!
For thine incorruptible spirit is in all things.
Therefore thou convictest the fallen little by little,
And, reminding them of the things in which they sin, thou dost warn them,
That freed from wickedness, they may believe on thee, O Lord.

[Sidenote: Wisd. of Sol. 15:1-3]
But thou, our God, art gracious and true,
Long suffering, and in mercy directing all things.
For even if we sin, we are thine, since we know thy might.
But we shall not sin, knowing that we have been counted as thine;
For to know thee is perfect righteousness,
And to know thy might is the root of immortality.

I. Conditions of the Jews in Antioch and Asia Minor. Seleucus Nicanor,
who in 311 B.C. founded the city of Antioch, like Alexander, granted many
privileges to the Jewish colonies whom he thus sought to attract hither.
They not only possessed the rights of citizenship, but lived in their
separate quarter. Their synagogue was one of the architectural glories of
the city. There they engaged in trade and undoubtedly grew rich, taking on
largely the complexion of that opulent Hellenic city. Later the Jewish
colony was enlarged by the apostates who fled from Judea when the
Maccabean rulers gained the ascendancy. The corrupt and materialistic
atmosphere of Antioch doubtless explains why its Jewish citizens
apparently contributed little to the development of the thought and faith
of later Judaism. Similar colonies were found throughout the great
commercial cities of Asia Minor. In many of these cities--for example,
Tarsus--they seem to have enjoyed the same privileges as those at Antioch.

II. The Jews in Egypt. The chief intellectual and religious center of
the Jews of the dispersion, however, was in Alexandria. It is probable
that fully a million Jews were to be found in Egypt during the latter
part of the Maccabean period. Industry and commerce had made many of them
extremely wealthy and had given them the leisure to study not only their
own scriptures but also the literature of the Greeks. The prevailingly
friendly way in which the Ptolemaic rulers treated the Jews naturally led
them to take a more favorable attitude toward Greek culture. Alexandria
itself was the scene of an intense intellectual activity. Attracted by the
munificence of the Ptolemies and by the opportunities offered by its great
library, many of the most famous Greek philosophers and rhetoricians of
the age found their home in the Egyptian capital. Public lectures, open
discussions, and voluminous literature were only a few of the many forms
in which this intellectual life was expressed. Hence it was at Alexandria
that Hebrew and Greek thought met on the highest plane and mingled most

III. The Jewish Temple at Leontopolis. After the murder of his father
Onias III near Antioch, whither he had fled from the persecutions of
Antiochus Epiphanes, Onias IV sought refuge in Egypt. Here, as the
legitimate head of the Jewish high-priesthood, he was favorably received
by Ptolemy and granted territory in the Nile Delta to the north of Memphis
in which to rear a temple to Jehovah. In the light of recent discoveries
at Elephantine it is evident that this step was not without precedent
(Section XCI:vii). Ptolemy's object was to please his Jewish subjects and
to attract others to the land of the Nile. Josephus's statement in _The
Jewish War_, VII, 10:4 favors the conclusion that the temple was built
two hundred and forty-three years (not 343) before its final destruction
in 73 A.D., that is, in 170 B.C. In any case it was probably built between
170 and 160 B.C., at the time when the persecutions of Antiochus
Epiphanes made pilgrimages to the Jerusalem temple impossible, and
threatened its continued existence. The plan of the Leontopolis temple
indicates that it was not intended to be a rival to the Jerusalem
sanctuary, but rather a common place of meeting for the Egyptian
Jews and of defence in case of attack. It never seriously rivalled the
Jerusalem sanctuary, although in later days it was viewed with jealousy
by the Jews of Palestine.

IV. Translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek. Far more
significant than the building of the Leontopolis temple was the
translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek. The tradition preserved
by Josephus that the translation was made in seventy-two days by
seventy-two scholars, sent from Jerusalem by Eleazar the high priest at
the request of Ptolemy, is clearly unhistorical. The impossibility of
completing so vast a task in this limited time is obvious. Moreover, the
character of the translation indicates that it was the work not of
Palestinian but of Alexandrian Jews familiar with the peculiar Greek of
Egypt and the lands of the dispersion. It was also the work not of one
but of many different groups of translators, as is shown by the variant
synonyms employed in different books to translate the same Hebrew words
and idioms. In the case of several books the work of two or more distinct
translators is readily recognized. The quality of the translation also
varies greatly in different books. It is probable that the one historical
fact underlying the tradition is that the work of translation was begun in
the days of Ptolemy Philadelphus, who may have encouraged his Jewish
subjects in their undertaking. From the character of the translations and
the nature of the situation it is probable that the first books to be
translated were certain historical writings, as Samuel-Kings and the books
of the Law. The remaining books were probably translated by the end of the
succeeding century (between 250 and 150 B.C.), for the grandson of Ben
Sira implies in his prologue that he was acquainted with the Law, the
Prophets, and the other writings in their Greek version.

The primary aim of this Greek translation was to put the Hebrew scriptures
themselves into the hands of their Greek persecutors as the best possible
answer to their false and malicious charges. Evidence of this apologetic
purpose is found in the fact that glaring inconsistencies and expressions,
where Jehovah is described in the likeness of a human being, were usually
left out. Where the Hebrew text was corrupt the translators restored or
else freely paraphrased what they thought was the original meaning. In
time, however, the translation gained a new importance, for the Jews of
Egypt soon began to forget the language of their fathers and so became
increasingly dependent for a knowledge of their scriptures upon the Greek
translation. In the end it almost completely superseded the original
Hebrew version not only in the lands of the dispersion, but even in
Palestine itself. A large proportion of the quotations from the Old
Testament in the New are from the Greek rather than the Hebrew text.
Although it is only a translation, the Greek version, or Septuagint (the
Version of the Seventy), as it is popularly known, still possesses a great
value for the modern translator, inasmuch as it is based upon Hebrew texts
centuries older than any which now exists. At many points, especially in
the historical prophetic books it makes possible the restoration of the
original reading where the Hebrew has become corrupt in the long process
of transmission.

V. Apologetic Jewish Writings. During the centuries immediately
preceding the Christian era the Jews of the dispersion, and especially of
Egypt, were the object of constant attack. Manetho, an Egyptian priest,
wrote a history purporting to give the origin and the early experiences of
the Jews. Portions of this have been preserved and reveal the bitter and
unjust spirit with which this race was regarded by the Greek and Egyptian
scholars of the day. To defend themselves from these attacks the Jews not
only translated their scriptures, but employed many different types of
writing. A certain Jew by the name of Demetrius about 215 B.C. wrote a
commendatory history of the Jewish kings. Aristobulus, the teacher of
Ptolemy Philometor, wrote an "Explanation of the Mosaic Laws," in which he
anticipated, in many ways, the modern interpretation of the early
traditions found in the opening books of the Old Testament. Like all
Alexandrian scholars, however, he overshot the mark under the influence of
the allegorical or symbolic type of interpretation. Other Jewish
writers appealed to the older Greek historians and poets. Adopting the
unprincipled methods of their persecutors, they expanded the original
writings of such historians as Hecataeus, who had spoken in a commendatory
way of the Jews. They even went so far as to insert long passages into the
writings of the famous Greek poets, such as Orpheus, Hesiod, Aeschylus,
Sophocles, and Menander, so as to transform them into ardent champions of
the persecuted race. The culmination of this illegitimate form of defence
was to insert in the famous Sibylline Books (III) a long passage
describing the glories of the Jewish race and voicing the hopes with which
they regarded the future. It was in this atmosphere and under the
influence of these methods that the anti-Semitic spirit was born in
ancient Alexandria. Thence it was transmitted, as a malign heritage, to
the Christian church.

VI. The Wisdom of Solomon. The noblest literary product of the Jews of
the dispersion was the apocryphal book known as the Wisdom of Solomon. It
was so called because the author assumed the point of view of Solomon. In
so doing he did not intend to deceive his contemporaries, but rather
followed the common tendency of his day. Although the book has many
characteristic Hebrew idioms, which are due to its Jewish authorship, it
was without doubt originally written in Greek. Its author was evidently
acquainted with the writings of many of the Greek poets and philosophers.
He accepted Plato's doctrine of the pre-existence of the soul (8:19, 20),
of the limitations of the body (9:15), and of the creation of the world
out of formless matter (11:17). He was especially influenced by the
beliefs of the Epicureans and Stoics. He was acquainted with Hellenic art,
astronomy, and science (7:17-29) and throughout shows the influence of
Greek methods of thinking. His rejection of the teachings of the book of
Ecclesiastes, his wide learning and his conception of immortality indicate
that he lived some time after the beginning of the Maccabean struggle. His
reference in 3:1-4 is probably to the persecutions through which the Jews
of Egypt passed during the reign of Ptolemy Psycon (140-117 B.C.). On the
other hand the book clearly antedates the writings of the Jewish
philosopher Philo, who lived during the latter part of the first century
B.C. The Wisdom of Solomon, therefore, may be dated somewhere between 100
and 50 B.C.

VII. Its Important Teachings. The author of the Wisdom of Solomon aimed,
first, to commend Israel's faith to the heathen by showing that it was in
substantial accord with the noblest doctrines of the Greek philosophers,
and second, to furnish the Jews of the dispersion, who were conversant
with Hellenic thought and yet trained in the religion of their race, a
working basis for their thought and practice. From the first it appears to
have been highly esteemed by the Jews outside Palestine, although it never
found a place in the Palestinian canon. Like most wisdom books, it
describes at length the beauty and value of wisdom. The figure of Proverbs
8 and 9 is still further developed under the influence of the Greek
tendency to personify abstract qualities. In the mind of the author,
however, wisdom is simply an attribute of the Deity which he shares in
common with men. The book is unique in two respects: (1) it contains the
earliest references in Jewish literature to a personal devil and
identifies him with the serpent that tempted the woman in the garden
(2:24, cf. Gen. 3) Elsewhere, however, the author traces sin and evil to
men's voluntary acts (e.g., 1:16). (2) It teaches the immortality
of righteousness and hence, by implication, the immortality of the
individual. "God created man for incorruption," and "the souls of the
righteous are in his hand." The doctrine here presented is ethical and
spiritual rather than the belief in a bodily resurrection already
formulated in the twelfth chapter of Daniel. It also teaches that
both the good and bad will be rewarded according to their deeds. Its
conceptions of God are exalted. He is the incorruptible spirit in all
things, just and yet merciful, the lover of men. The book also places side
by side with the Jewish teachings regarding men's duties to God and their
fellow-men the Greek virtues of moderation, good sense, justice, and
courage or fortitude. It also teaches that, like God, each of his children
should be a lover of men. Thus the book unites most effectively that
which is best in the thought of Judaism and Hellenism and is an earnest
of that still nobler union that was later realized in the thought and
teachings of Christianity.


[Sidenote: Jos. War, I, 4:1]
After Aristobulus died, his wife Salome, who by the Greeks was called
Alexandra, released his brothers from prison (for Aristobulus had kept
them in confinement), and made Alexander Janneus, who was the oldest,

[Sidenote: Jos. War, I, 4:2]
Now there was a battle between him and Ptolemy, who was called Lathyrus,
who had taken the city of Asochis. He indeed slew many of his enemies, but
the victory rather inclined to Ptolemy. But when this Ptolemy was pursued
by his mother, Cleopatra, and retired into Egypt, Alexander besieged and
took Gadara and Amathus, which was the strongest of all the fortresses
that were beyond the Jordan, and the most valued of all the possessions of
Theodorus, the son of Zeno, were therein. Thereupon Theodorus marched
suddenly against him and took what belonged to himself, and slew ten
thousand of the Jews. Alexander, however, recovered from this blow and
turned his force toward the maritime districts and took Gaza, Raphia, and

[Sidenote: Jos. War, I, 4:3]
But when he had enslaved all these cities, the Jews made an insurrection
against him at a festival and it looked as though he would not have been
able to escape the plot they had laid for him, had not his foreign
auxiliaries come to his aid. And when he had slain more than six thousand
of the rebels, he invaded Arabia, and when he had conquered the Gileadites
and Moabites, he commanded them to pay him tribute and returned to Amathus
and took the fortress and demolished it.

[Sidenote: Jos. War, I, 4:4, 5]
However, when he fought with Obedas, king of the Arabians, who had laid an
ambush for him near Golan, he lost his entire army, which was crowded
together in a deep valley and trampled to pieces by the multitude of
camels. And fleeing to Jerusalem because of the greatness of the calamity
that had overtaken him, he provoked the multitude, which had hated him
before, to make an insurrection against him. He was, however, too strong
for them in the various battles that were fought between them and he slew
no fewer than fifty thousand of the Jews in the interval of six years. Yet
he had no reason to rejoice in these victories, since he did but consume
his own country, until he at length ceased fighting and desired to come to
an agreement with them. But his changeability and the irregularity of his
conduct made them hate him still more. And when he asked them why they so
hated him and what he should do to appease them they said, "Die."

[Sidenote: Jos. War, I, 4:4c, 5c, 6a, c]
At the same time they invited Demetrius to assist them, and as he readily
complied with their request and came with his army, the Jews joined with
these their auxiliaries about Shechem. In the battle which followed,
Demetrius was the conqueror, although Alexander's mercenaries performed
the greatest exploits. Nevertheless the outcome of this battle proved
different from what was expected by both sides, for those who had invited
Demetrius to come to them did not continue loyal to him although he was
the conqueror, and six thousand Jews out of pity because of the change in
Alexander's condition, when he fled to the mountains, went over to him.
Demetrius, supposing that all the nation would run to Alexander, left the
country and went his way. The rest of the Jewish multitude, however, did
not lay aside their quarrels with Alexander when the auxiliaries were
gone, but had perpetual war with them until he had slain the greater part
of them. Then such a terror seized the people that eight thousand of his
opponents fled away the following night out of all Judea and did not
return until Alexander died.

[Sidenote: Jos. War, I, 4:8c, d]
Alexander also subdued Golan, Seleucia, and what was called the Valley of
Antiochus; besides which he took the strong fortress of Gamala. Then he
returned into Judea after he had spent three years on this expedition. Now
he was gladly received by the nation because of his success. So when he
was at rest from war, he fell ill and died, terminating his troubles after
he had reigned twenty-seven years.

[Sidenote: Jos. War, I, 5:1]
Now Alexander left the kingdom to Alexandra, his wife, and trusted the
Jews would readily submit to her, for in opposing his habitual violation
of their laws she gained the good-will of the people. Nor was he mistaken
in his hopes, for this woman retained the rulership because of her
reputation for piety. For she chiefly studied the ancient customs of her
country and cast those men out of the government who offended against
their holy laws. And as she had two sons by Alexander, she made the older,
Hyrcanus, high priest, on account of his age and also on account of his
inactive temperament.

[Sidenote: Jos. War, I, 5:2, 3a, b]
And the Pharisees joined themselves to her in the government and Alexandra
henceforth hearkened to them to a great degree. But these Pharisees
artfully insinuated themselves into her favor little by little and
presently became the real administrators of public affairs. They banished
and recalled whom they pleased. While she governed the people, the
Pharisees governed her. Accordingly, they slew Diogenes, a person
of prominence, because he had been a friend of Alexander; they also
urged Alexandra to put the rest of those to death who had stirred up
Alexander against them. But the chief of those who were in danger fled
to Aristobulus. He persuaded his mother to spare the men on account of
their rank, but to expel them from the city. So when they were given their
freedom, they were dispersed over all the country.

[Sidenote: Jos. War, I, 5:4-6:1b]
In the meantime Alexandra fell sick and Aristobulus, her younger son,
seized this opportunity to get possession of all the fortresses. He also
used the sums of money he found in them to gather together a number of
mercenaries and to set himself up as king. But Alexandra, after she had
lived nine years, died before she could punish Aristobulus. Hyrcanus was
heir to the kingdom and to him his mother intrusted it while she was
living. But Aristobulus was superior to him in ability and spirits, and
when there was a battle between them near Jericho to decide the dispute
about the kingdom, the majority deserted Hyrcanus and went over to
Aristobulus. But they came to an agreement that Aristobulus should be the
king, and that Hyrcanus should resign, but retain all the rest of his

[Sidenote: Jos. War, I, 6:2, 3]
Now the others who opposed Aristobulus were afraid, when he thus
unexpectedly came to power. This was especially true of Antipater, whom
Aristobulus hated of old. He was by birth an Idumean and one of the chief
men of that nation on account of his ancestry and riches and other
authority that belonged to him. He urged Hyrcanus to flee to Aretas, king
of Arabia, and to retrieve the kingdom. When he had prepared them both
beforehand he took Hyrcanus by night away from the city and escaped to
Petra, which is the royal capital of Arabia. Here he put Hyrcanus into
Aretas's care. He prevailed with him to give him an army to restore him to
his kingdom. This army consisted of fifty thousand footmen and horsemen
which Aristobulus was not able to withstand, but was defeated in the first
encounter and was driven out of Jerusalem. He would have been taken by
force, if Scaurus, the Roman general, had not come and opportunely raised
the siege. This was the Scaurus who was sent into Syria from Armenia by
Pompey the Great when he was fighting against Tigranes. As soon,
therefore, as Scaurus arrived in the country, ambassadors came from both
the brothers, each of them desiring his assistance. But Aristobulus's
three hundred talents blocked the way of justice. When Scaurus had
received this sum, he sent a herald to Hyrcanus and the Arabians, and
threatened them with the resentment of the Romans and Pompey unless they
raised the siege. So Aretas was terrified and retired from Judea to

[Sidenote: Jos. War, I, 6:4-5]
When Hyrcanus and Antipater were thus deprived of their hopes from the
Arabians, they fled to Pompey for assistance and besought him to show his
disapproval of the violent action of Aristobulus and to restore to him the
kingdom, as it justly belonged to him. Aristobulus was also there himself,
dressed in regal attire, but Pompey was indignant at his behavior. When
Hyrcanus's friends also interceded strongly with Pompey, he took not only
his Roman forces but also many of his Syrian auxiliaries and marched
against Aristobulus. But when he had passed by Pella and Scythopolis
and had come to Korea, he heard that Aristobulus had fled to Alexandrium,
which was a stronghold fortified with the greatest magnificence, and
situated upon a high mountain, and he sent to him and commanded him to
come down. So Aristobulus came down to Pompey and when he had made a long
defence of the justness of his rule, he returned to the fortress. Pompey
however commanded him to give up his fortified places and forced him to
write to each of his governors to surrender. Accordingly he did what he
was ordered to do, but being displeased, he retired to Jerusalem and
prepared to fight with Pompey.

[Sidenote: Jos. War, I, 6:6-7:2b]
But Pompey gave him no time to make any preparations and followed at his
heels. And Aristobulus was so frightened at his approach that he came and
met him as a suppliant. He also promised him money and to deliver up both
himself and the city. Yet he did not keep any one of his promises. At this
treatment Pompey was very angry and took Aristobulus into custody. And
when he had entered the city he looked about to see where he might make
his attack, for he saw that the walls were so firm that it would be hard
to overcome them and the valley before the walls was terrible and the
temple which was in that valley was itself surrounded by such a strong
wall that if the city was taken the temple would be a second place of
refuge for the enemy. Inasmuch as Pompey deliberated a long time, a
sedition arose among the people within the city. Aristobulus's party was
willing to fight to save their king, while the party of Hyrcanus was ready
to open the gates to Pompey. Then Aristobulus's party was defeated and
retired into the temple and cut off the communications between the temple
and the city by breaking down the bridge which joined them together, and
they prepared to resist to the utmost.

[Sidenote: Jos. War, I, 7:3]
Pompey himself filled up the ditch which was on the north side of the
temple and the entire valley also, the army being obliged to carry the
material for this purpose. Indeed, it was difficult to fill up that valley
because of its great depth and especially as the Jews from their superior
position used all possible means to repel them. As soon as Pompey had
filled up the valley, he erected high towers upon the bank.

[Sidenote: Jos. War, I, 7:4, 5]
Now Pompey admired not only the other examples of the Jews' fortitude, but
especially that they did not at all intermit their religious services,
even when they were surrounded with darts on all sides; for, as if the
city were in full peace, their daily sacrifices and purifications and all
their religious rites were still carried out before God with the utmost
exactness. Nor when the temple was taken and they were slain about the
altar daily, did they cease from those things that are appointed by their
law to be observed. For it was in the third month of the siege before the
Romans could even with a great struggle overthrow one of the towers and
get into the temple. The greater part of the Jews were slain by their
own countrymen of the opposite faction and an innumerable multitude threw
themselves down from the walls. Of the Jews twelve thousand were slain,
but of the Romans very few, although a greater number were wounded.

[Sidenote: Jos. War, I, 7:6a, b]
But there was nothing that affected the nation so much in the calamities
which they then suffered as that their holy place, hitherto unseen, should
be laid open to strangers. For Pompey and those who were about him went
into the temple itself, where it was lawful for the high priest alone to
enter, and saw what was deposited therein; but he commanded the ministers
about the temple to purify it and to perform their accustomed sacrifices.

[Sidenote: Jos. War, I, 7:7]
Moreover he reappointed Hyrcanus high priest, by which he acted the part
of a good general and reconciled the people to him rather by kindness than
by terrorizing them. He took away from the nation all those cities that
they had formerly taken and reduced Judea to its own bounds. Then he made
all the haste he could to go through Cilicia on his way to Rome, taking
Aristobulus and his two children along with him as captives. One of
Aristobulus's sons, Alexander, ran away on the journey, but the younger,
Antigonus, with his sisters, was carried to Rome.

I. The Character and Policy of Alexander Janneus. For the picture of the
character of Alexander Janneus we are chiefly dependent upon Josephus, and
it is not clear how far this late Jewish historian was influenced by the
prevailing prejudices against that ruler who figured as the arch enemy of
the Pharisees. The incidents recorded reveal, however, a most sinister
character. He was ambitious, but his ambitions were selfish and low.
He was energetic and tireless, but his energy was wasted in futile
undertakings. Furthermore, he was unscrupulous, vindictive, and merciless.
There is not the slightest indication that he was actuated by any worthy
ideal of service. To the Jewish state and race it was a great calamity
that a man of this type should gain control of the nation at the moment
when it had attained its greatest material strength. Under the kindly and
wise guidance of Simon the subsequent history of the Jewish state would
doubtless have been far different. Janneus's first aim was to establish
his power as an absolute despot. He ardently accepted the ideal of an
Oriental ruler that had been imposed upon the Jews during the short reign
of his brother Aristobulus. In realizing this ambition he met, as did
every other king in Israel's history, the strong opposition of the people
and a bold assertion of their inherited liberties. His second aim was to
break completely the power of the Pharisees. They were the party of the
people and had no sympathy with his policies. In them, therefore, he
recognized his chief opponents. His third ambition was to extend the
territory of the Jewish state to its farthest natural bounds. Soon after
the beginning of his reign he succeeded in arousing the bitter hostility
of the Greek cities on his eastern and western borders, of the reigning
kings of Egypt, and of the rising Arabian power to the south of the Dead
Sea. The objects for which he strove were comparatively petty: possession
of the cities of Ptolemais and Gaza and of certain east-Jordan cities,
such as Gadara and Amathus. He was more often defeated than victorious,
but his love of struggle and adventure and lust for conquest ever goaded
him on. In desperation his subjects even ventured to call in Demetrius,
the governor of Damascus, but when Alexander was driven away in defeat the
nation's gratitude and loyalty to the Maccabean house reasserted itself
and he was recalled. Instead of granting a general armistice and thus
conciliating his distracted people, he treacherously used his new-won
power to crucify publicly eight hundred of the Pharisees. Horror and fear
seized the survivors, so that, according to Josephus, eight thousand of
them fled into exile. After six years of civil war and the loss of fifty
thousand lives, Alexander Janneus finally realized his first ambition and
became absolute master of his kingdom. In achieving his ambitions,
however, he well earned the title by which his contemporaries described
him, "the Son of a Thracian," that is, Barbarian.

II. The Effects of His Rule. The disastrous effects of the reign of
Alexander Janneus may be briefly recapitulated. They were: (1) the
destruction of the loyalty of the majority of the Jews to the Maccabean
house; (2) the intensifying of the opposition between Pharisees and
Sadducees to the point of murderous hate; (3) the extension of the sphere
of Jewish influence from the Mediterranean on the west to the desert on
the east, and from the Lebanons to the southern desert; but (4) the
draining of the life-blood and energies of the Jewish kingdom, so that it
was far weaker and more disorganized than when Janneus came to the throne.

III. Alexandra's Reign (78-69 B.C.). Alexandra was the second queen who
reigned in Israel's history. Her policy, unlike that of Athaliah of old,
was on the whole constructive. Although she was the wife of Janneus, she
reversed his policy, and placed the Pharisees in control. The return of
the exiles and the restoration of the prophetic party promised peace and
prosperity. The ancient law was expanded and rigorously enforced.
According to the Talmud it was during this period that elementary schools
were introduced in connection with each synagogue. Their exact nature is
not known, but it is probable that the law was the subject studied and
that the scribes were the teachers. This change of policy was undoubtedly
very acceptable to the people, but the Pharisees made the grave mistake of
using their new power to be revenged upon the Sadducean nobles who had
supported the bloody policy of Alexander Janneus. They soon suffered the
evil consequences of attempting to right wrong by wrong. The Sadducees
found in Aristobulus, the ambitious and energetic younger son of Janneus,
an effective champion. Alexandra, in permitting them to take possession of
the many strongholds throughout the land, also committed a fatal error,
for it gave them control of the military resources of the kingdom.
Aristobulus was not slow in asserting his power, with the result that even
before Alexandra died he had seized seventy-two of the fortresses and had
aroused a large part of the people to revolt. While her reign was on the
whole peaceful, it was but the lull before the great storm that swept over
the nation.

IV. Quarrels between Hyrcanus and Aristobulus. Unfortunately Alexandra's
older son, Hyrcanus, was indolent and inefficient. He had been appointed
high priest and, when Aristobulus assumed the title of king, he compelled
Hyrcanus II to be content with this humbler title. Aristobulus's reign
might have been comparatively peaceful had not at this time a new and
sinister influence appeared in the troubled politics of Palestine. It was
one of the results of John Hyrcanus's forcible judaizing of the Idumeans.
Antipater, the son of the Idumean whom Alexander Janneus had made governor
of Idumea, recognized in the rivalry between Hyrcanus and Aristobulus an
opportunity to mount to power. He first persuaded Hyrcanus to flee to
Petra. Then, with the aid of the Arabian king, Aretas, he finally
compelled Aristobulus and his followers to seek refuge on the temple hill
in Jerusalem. The picture of the Jews divided into two hostile camps and
engaged in bitter civil war in the very precincts of the temple under the
leadership of the great-grandsons of the patriotic Simon presents a sad
contrast to the noble spirit and valiant achievements of the founders of
the Maccabean kingdom who had first taken up the sword in defence of the
temple and its service.

V. Rome's Intervention. This situation gave Rome its desired opportunity
for intervention. Pompey in 70 B.C. made a successful campaign against
Mithridates, king of Pontus, and against Tigranes, king of Armenia. Rome's
policy was to conquer all of southwestern Asia as far as the Euphrates.
Ignoring the peril of the situation, both Aristobulus and Hyrcanus
appealed to Pompey's lieutenant, Scaurus. As a result the Arabians were
ordered to withdraw, and Aristobulus for a brief time was left master of
the situation. In the spring of 63 B.C., however, when Pompey came to
Damascus, there appeared before him three embassies, one representing the
cause of Aristobulus, another that of Hyrcanus, and still a third
presented the request of the Pharisees that Rome assume political control
of Palestine and leave them free to devote themselves to the study and
application of the their law. The fall of Aristobulus hastened what was
now inevitable. Although he was held a prisoner by Pompey, his followers
remained intrenched on the temple hill and were conquered only after a
protracted siege and the loss of many lives. Aristobulus and his family
were carried off captives to Rome to grace Pompey's triumph, and the
request of the Pharisees was granted: Rome henceforth held Palestine under
its direct control. Thus after a little more than a century (165-63 B.C.)
the Jews again lost their independence, and the Maccabean kingdom became
only a memory, never to be revived save for a brief moment.

VI. Causes of the Fall of the Jewish Kingdom. The Jewish kingdom fell as
the result of causes which can be clearly recognized. It was primarily
because the ideals and ambitions of the Maccabean leaders themselves
became material and selfish. They proved unable to resist the temptations
of success. Greed for power quenched their early patriotism. The material
spirit of their age obscured the nobler ideals of their spiritual
teachers. The result was a tyranny and corruption that made the later
kings misleaders rather than true leaders of their nation. Parallel to the
bitter struggle between the kings and their subjects was the bitter feud
between the Sadducees and the Pharisees. Normal party rivalry grew into
murderous hatred, and in taking revenge upon each other they brought ruin
upon the commonwealth. The final end was hastened by the suicidal
feud between the brothers Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, fomented by the
unprincipled machinations of the Idumean Antipater. In the final crisis
the Pharisaic policy of submission and of peace at any cost paved the way
for the realization of Rome's ambition and made the ultimate conquest of
Palestine practically inevitable. Thus the kingdom, founded in the face of
almost insuperable obstacles and consecrated with the life-blood of many
heroes, fell ignominiously as the result of the same causes that
throughout the ages have proved the ruin of even stronger empires.

VII. Political, Intellectual, and Religious Effects of the Maccabean
Struggle. This century of valiant achievement, colossal errors, and
overwhelming failure left its deep impression upon the Jewish race. It
witnessed the return of many Jews of the dispersion to Jerusalem and Judea
and the development of a strong sense of racial unity. Henceforth the Jews
throughout the world looked to Jerusalem as their true political and
religious capital. The events of this period intensified the ancient feud
between Jew and Samaritan and gave the latter ample reason for that
hostility toward their southern kinsmen which appears in the Gospel
narratives. It was during this age that the parties of the Pharisees and
Sadducees finally crystallized and formulated those tenets and policies
which guided them during the next century. At this time the foundations
were laid for the rule of the house of Herod which exerted such a baleful
influence upon the fortunes and destinies of the Jews. It likewise marked
the beginning and culmination of Rome's influence over the lands of the
eastern Mediterranean and that subjection of the Jews to Gentile rulers
which has continued until the present.

The Maccabean period gave to the Jews a greatly enlarged intellectual
vision and led them to adopt many of the ideas of their Greek conquerors.
In their literature it is easy to recognize the influence of the more
logical Greek methods of reasoning and of the scientific attitude toward
the universe. It was during this period that the wise were transformed
into scribes, and the rule of the scribal method of thinking and
interpretation began. The struggles through which the Jews passed
intensified their love for the law and the temple services. Duty was
more and more defined in the terms of ceremonial, and the Pharisees
entered upon that vast and impossible task of providing rules for man's
every act. Out of the struggles of the Maccabean period came that fusion
of Hellenic and Jewish ideas that has become an important factor in all
human thought. At last under the influence of the great crises through
which they had passed, the belief in individual immortality gained wide
acceptance among the Jews. Side by side with this came the belief in a
personal devil and a hierarchy of demons opposed to the divine hierarchy
at whose head was Jehovah. Last of all the taste of freedom under a Jewish
ruler brought again to the front the kingly messianic hopes of the race,
and led them to long and struggle for their realization. Thus in this
brief century Judaism attained in many ways its final form, and only in
the light of this process is it possible fully to understand and
appreciate the background of the New Testament history.

* * * * *



[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 8:2]
Now Alexander, that son of Aristobulus who ran away from Pompey, after a
time gathered together a considerable body of men and made a strong attack
upon Hyrcanus, and overran Judea, and was on the point of dethroning him.
And indeed he would have come to Jerusalem, and would have ventured to
rebuild its wall that had been thrown down by Pompey, had not Gabinius,
who was sent as Scaurus's successor in Syria, showed his bravery by making
an attack on Alexander. Alexander, being afraid at his approach, assembled
a larger army composed of ten thousand armed footmen and fifteen hundred

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 8:4a, 5]
Now when Gabinius came to Alexandrium, finding a great many encamped
there, he tried by promising them pardon for their former offences to
attach them to him before it came to fighting; but when they would listen
to nothing reasonable, he slew a great number of them and shut up the rest
in the citadel. Therefore when Alexander despaired of ever obtaining the
rulership, he sent ambassadors to Gabinius and besought him to pardon his
offences. He also surrendered to him the remaining fortresses, Hyrcanium
and Macherus. After this Gabinius brought Hyrcanus back to Jerusalem and
put him in charge of the temple. He also divided the entire nation into
five districts, assigning one to Jerusalem, another to Gadara, another to
Amathus, a fourth to Jericho, and the fifth to Sepphoris, a city of

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 8:6]
Not long after Aristobulus became the cause of new disturbances by fleeing
from Rome. He again assembled many of the Jews who were desirous of a
change and those who were devoted to him of old; and when he had taken
Alexandrium in the first place, he attempted to build a wall about it. But
the Romans followed him, and when it came to battle, Aristobulus's party
for a long time fought bravely, but at last they were overcome by the
Romans and of them five thousand fell. Aristobulus was again carried to
Rome by Gabinius.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 8:7]
Now when Gabinius set out to make war against the Parthians, Antipater
furnished him with money and weapons and corn and auxiliaries, but during
Gabinius's absence the other parts of Syria were in insurrection, and
Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, stirred the Jews again to revolt. But
at the battle fought near Mount Tabor ten thousand of them were slain and
the rest of the multitude scattered in flight. So Gabinius came to
Jerusalem and settled the government as Antipater desired.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 8:8]
Now this Antipater married a wife of an eminent family among the Arabians,
whose name was Cypros. And she bore him four sons, Phasaelus and Herod,
who was afterward king, and besides these Joseph and Pheroras. And he had
a daughter by the name of Salome.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 9:1]
But after the flight of Pompey and of the senate beyond Ionian Sea, Caesar
gained possession of Rome and of the Empire and released Aristobulus from
his bonds. He also intrusted two legions to him and sent him in haste into
Syria, hoping that by his efforts he would easily conquer that country
and the territory adjoining Judea. But he was poisoned by Pompey's

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 9:3a, c, 4a, c, 5a]
Now after Pompey died, Antipater changed sides and cultivated a friendship
with Caesar. And when Mithridates of Pergamus with the force he led
against Egypt was shut out from the roads about Pelusium and was forced to
stay at Ascalon, Antipater persuaded the Arabians among whom he had lived
to assist him and came himself at the head of three thousand armed Jews.
He also urged the men of power in Syria to come to his assistance. In the
attack on Pelusium Antipater distinguished himself pre-eminently, for he
pulled down that part of the wall which was opposite him and leaped first
of all into the city with the men who were about him. Thus was Pelusium
taken. Moreover, as he was marching on, those Jews who inhabited the
district called Onias stopped him, but Antipater not only persuaded them
not to hinder but also to supply provisions for their army. Thereupon in
the Delta Antipater fell upon those who pursued Mithridates and slew many
of them and pursued the rest till he captured their camp, while he lost no
more than eighty of his own men. Thereupon Caesar encouraged Antipater to
undertake other hazardous enterprises for him by giving him great
commendations and hopes of reward. In all these enterprises Antipater
showed himself a most venturesome warrior, and he had many wounds almost
all over his body as proofs of his courage.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 9:5b]
And when Caesar had settled the affairs of Egypt and returned again into
Syria, he gave Antipater the rights of a Roman citizen and freedom from
taxes, and made him an object of admiration because of the other honors
and marks of friendship that he bestowed upon him. It was on this account
that he also confirmed Hyrcanus in the high priesthood.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 10:1, 2a, 3a]
It was about this time that Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus, came to
Caesar and became in a surprising manner the cause of Antipater's further
advance. For he proceeded to denounce Hyrcanus and Antipater. Then
Antipater threw off his garments and showed the many wounds he had, and
said that regarding his good will to Caesar it was not necessary for him
to say a word because his body cried aloud, though he himself said
nothing. When Caesar heard this he declared Hyrcanus to be most deserving
of the high priesthood, and Antipater was appointed procurator of all
Judea and also obtained permission to rebuild those walls of his country
that had been thrown down.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 10:4]
As soon as Antipater had conducted Caesar out of Syria, he returned to
Judea, and the first thing he did was to rebuild the walls of his own
country. Then he went over the country and quieted the tumults therein.
And at this time he settled the affairs of the country by himself, because
he saw that Hyrcanus was inactive and not capable of managing the affairs
of the kingdom. So Antipater appointed his oldest son, Phasaelus, governor
of Jerusalem and the surrounding territory. He also sent his second son,
Herod, who was very young, with equal authority into Galilee.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 10:5a, b]
Now Herod was a very active man and soon found a field for his energy.
When, therefore, he found that Hezekias, leader of the robbers, overran
the adjoining parts of Syria with a great band of men, he caught him and
slew him and many more of the robbers. This exploit was especially
pleasing to the Syrians, so that songs were sung in Herod's commendation
both in the villages and in the cities, because he had secured peace for
them and had preserved their possessions.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 11:1, 4]
At this time a mighty war arose among the Romans after the treacherous
murder of Caesar by Cassius and Brutus. Accordingly Cassius came into
Syria and assumed command of the army, and went about exacting tribute of
the cities to such a degree that they were not able to endure it. During
the war between Cassius and Brutus on the one side, against the younger
Caesar (Augustus) and Antony on the other, Cassius and Murcus gathered an
army out of Syria. And because Herod had furnished a great part of the
necessities, they made him procurator of all Syria and gave him an army of
infantry and cavalry. Cassius promised him also that after the war was
over he would make him king of Judea. But it so happened that the power
and hopes of his son became the cause of Antipater's destruction. For
inasmuch as a certain Malichus was afraid of this, he bribed one of the
king's cup-bearers to give a poisoned potion to Antipater. Thus he became
a sacrifice to Malichus's wickedness and died after the feast.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 11:6, 12:3]
Herod, however, avenged himself upon Malichus. And those who hitherto did
not favor him now joined him because of his marriage into the family of
Hyrcanus, for he had formerly married a wife from his own country of noble
blood, Doris by name, who bore to him Antipater. Now he planned to marry
Mariamne, the daughter of Alexander, the son of Aristobulus and the
grandson of Hyrcanus.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 12:4, 5]
But when Caesar and Antony had slain Cassius near Philippi and Caesar had
gone to Italy and Antony to Asia, the great men of the Jews came and
accused Phasaelus and Herod that they held the government by force and
that Hyrcanus had nothing more than an honorable name. Herod appeared
ready to answer this accusation, and having made Antony his friend by the
large sums of money which he gave him, influenced him not to listen to the
charges spoken against him by enemies. After this a hundred of the
principal men among the Jews came to Antony at Daphne near Antioch and
accused Phasaelus and Herod. But Massala opposed them and defended the
brothers with the help of Hyrcanus. When Antony had heard both sides, he
asked Hyrcanus which party was best fitted to govern. Hyrcanus replied
that Herod and his party were the best fitted. Therefore Antony appointed
the brothers tetrarchs, and intrusted to them the rulership of Judea.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 13:1a, Jos. Ant. XIV, 13:10]
Now two years after, when Barzaphanes, a Parthian governor, and Pacorus,
the king's son, had captured Syria, they were persuaded by the promise of
a thousand talents and five hundred women to bring back Antigonus to his
kingdom and to turn Hyrcanus out of it. Thus Antigonus was brought back
into Judea by the king of the Parthians, and received Hyrcanus and
Phasaelus as prisoners. Being afraid that Hyrcanus, who was under the guard
of the Parthians, might have his kingdom restored to him by the multitude,
Antigonus cut off his ears and thereby guarded against the possibility
that the high priesthood would ever come to him again, inasmuch as he was
maimed, and the law required that this dignity should belong to none but
those who had all their members intact. Phasaelus, perceiving that he was
to be put to death, dashed his head against a great stone and thereby took
away his own life.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 13:7, 8c, 14:1b, 2]
Herod, however, went off by night, taking those nearest related to him. As
soon as the Parthians perceived it, they pursued after him, but when at
every assault he had slain a great many of them, he came to the stronghold
of Masada, and there he left eight hundred of his men to guard the women,
and provisions sufficient for a siege; but he himself hastened to Petra in
Arabia. He was not able, however, to find any friendship among the
Arabians, for their king sent to him and commanded him to turn back
immediately from the country. So when Herod found that the Arabians were
his enemies, he turned back to Egypt. And when he came to Pelusium, he
could not obtain passage from those who lay with the fleet. Therefore he
besought their captains to let him go with them. So out of respect for the
fame and rank of the man they carried him to Alexandria. And when he came
to the city, he was received with great splendor by Cleopatra, who hoped
he might be persuaded to be the commander of her forces in the expedition
she was about to undertake. But he rejected the queen's entreaty and
sailed for Rome, where first of all he went to Antony and laid before him
the calamities that had overtaken himself and his family.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 14:4]
Thereupon Antony's pity was aroused because of the change that had come
about in Herod's affairs, so he then resolved to have him made king of the
Jews. Herod found Caesar even more ready than Antony because he recalled
the campaigns through which he had gone with Herod's father, Antipater,
in Egypt, and his hospitable treatment and good will in all things.
Besides he recognized the energy of Herod. Accordingly he called the
senate together. There Messala, and after him Atratinus, introduced Herod
to them and gave a full account of his father's merits and of his own good
will to the Romans. Antony also came in and told them that it was to their
advantage in the Parthian war that Herod should be king. So they all gave
their votes for it. And when the senate disbanded, Antony and Caesar went
out with Herod between them. Antony also made a feast for Herod on the
first day of his reign.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 15:3a,b, 4, 16:1]
Herod then sailed from Italy and came to Ptolemais. And as soon as he had
assembled a considerable army of foreigners and of his own countrymen, he
marched through Galilee against Antigonus. The number of his forces
increased each day as he went along, and all Galilee with few exceptions
joined him. After this Herod took Joppa, and then he marched to Masada to
free his kinsmen. Then he marched to Jerusalem, where the soldiers who
were with the Roman general Silo joined his own, as did many from the city
because they feared his power. Herod did not lie idle, but seized Idumea
and held it with two thousand footmen and four hundred horsemen. He also
removed his mother and all his kinsmen, who had been at Masada, to
Samaria. And when he had settled them securely, he marched to capture the
remaining parts of Galilee, and to drive away the garrisons of Antigonus.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 17:1]
In the meantime Herod's fortunes in Judea were not in a favorable
condition. He had left his brother Joseph with full authority, but had
commanded him to make no attacks against Antigonus until his return. But
as soon as Joseph heard that his brother was at a great distance, he
disregarded the command he had received and marched toward Jericho with
five cohorts. But when his enemies attacked him in the mountains and in a
place where it was difficult to pass, he was killed as he was fighting
bravely in the battle, and all the Roman cohorts were destroyed.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 17:8, 9]
Now near the end of winter Herod marched to Jerusalem and brought his army
up to its wall. This was the third year after he had been made king at
Rome. So he pitched his camp before the temple, for on that side it might
be besieged and there Pompey had formerly captured the city. Accordingly
he divided the work among the army and laid waste the suburbs, and gave
orders to raise three mounds and to build towers upon these mounds. But he
himself went to Samaria to marry the daughter of Alexander, the son of
Aristobulus, who had been betrothed to him before. And when he was thus
married, he came back to Jerusalem with a greater army.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 18:1, 2c, 4a]
Now the multitude of the Jews who were in the city were divided into
several factions. For the people that crowded about the temple, being the
weaker party, became fanatical and raved wildly over the situation. But
some of the bolder men gathered together in companies, and began robbing
in many different ways and especially plundering the provisions that were
about the city, so that no food was left over for the horses or the men.
After a siege of five months some of Herod's chosen men ventured upon the
wall and fell into the city. They first captured the environs of the
temple, and as the army poured in there was a slaughter of vast multitudes
everywhere, on account of the rage in which the Romans were because of the
length of the siege, and because the Jews who were about Herod were eager
that none of their opponents should remain. Thereupon Herod made those who
were on his side still more his friends by the honors he conferred upon
them; but those of Antigonus's party he slew.

I. The Fruitless Struggle against Rome. The first quarter century of
Roman rule was in many ways the most complex in Israel's intricate
history. There were three chief actors in the drama: (1) Rome, represented
first by the leaders of the Republic and later by Pompey, Caesar, and
their successors; (2) the popular Jewish party led by Aristobulus and his
son Alexander, and Antigonus; and (3) Antipater, supported by his able
sons Phasaelus and Herod. Rome's general policy was to allow the Jews as
much freedom as possible, but above all to hold Palestine under firm
control, for it lay on the eastern border and faced Parthia, the one foe
that had successfully defied the powerful mistress of the Mediterranean.
The popular Jewish party bitterly resented Rome's interference. True, the
Pharisees welcomed the relief from civil war, but they could not hold the
majority of the people in leash. The inoffensive Hyrcanus was left in
possession of the high-priesthood and from time to time was elevated to
positions of nominal civil authority, but he was little more than the
plaything of circumstance and party intrigue. The ambitions of Aristobulus
and his sons kept Palestine in a state of constant political ferment.
Three times in five years they stirred the Jews to rebellion against Rome.
The first rebellion was in 57 B.C. and was led by Alexander. He was
ultimately driven by the Roman general to Alexandria, the fortress that
overlooks the middle-Jordan Valley, and was finally forced to surrender.
The three great fortresses, Alexandria, Machaerus, and Hyrcanium, were
thrown down, and the Jewish state was divided into five districts. Each of
these was under a local council consisting of the leading citizens. These
reported directly to the Roman proconsul. To neutralize still further
the Jewish national spirit, the Hellenic cities in and about Palestine
were restored, given a large measure of independence, and placed directly
under the control of Rome's representative in the East.

The second rebellion followed quickly and was led by Aristobulus. He was
soon obliged, however, to take refuge in the fortress of Machaerus, east
of the Dead Sea, where he was captured and sent back again as a captive to
Rome. The third rebellion was led by Alexander. It was more formidable,
and in the end more disastrous, for the Jews were signally defeated in a
battle near Mount Tabor. The only permanent results of these uprisings
were the intensifying of Jewish hatred of Roman rule and the increasing of
Rome's suspicion of this rebellious people. It was this suspicion that
made it possible for the high-priestly party at a later time to force the
Roman governor Pilate to put to death one whom he recognized to be an
inoffensive Galilean peasant simply because he was accused of having
assumed the historic title, King of the Jews.

II. Antipater's Policy. Through the troublesome first quarter-century
of Roman rule Antipater and his family prospered because they were able at
every turn in the political fortunes of Syria to make themselves
increasingly useful to Rome. At many critical periods he was able to save
the Jews from calamity and to secure for them valuable privileges. There
is a certain basis for Josephus's over-enthusiastic assertion that he was
"a man distinguished for his piety, justice, and love of his country"
(Jos. Ant. XIV, 11:4c).

Although Hyrcanus was but a tool in Antipater's hands, he never attempted
to depose him, and apparently always treated him with respect. To steer
successfully through the stormy period during which Rome made the
transition from the republican to the monarchical form of government was
a difficult task. When Crassus came as the representative of the First
Triumvirate, Antipater's gifts and tact were not sufficient to prevent the
Roman from plundering the treasures of the temple.

Fortunately for the peace of Judea, during the civil war that followed
between Pompey and Caesar, the deposed Jewish king Aristobulus and his son
Alexander were both put to death. After the decisive battle of Pharsalia
in 48 B.C. Antipater quickly espoused the cause of Caesar, and performed
valuable services for him at a time when the great Roman was threatened by
overwhelming forces. By his influence with the people of Syria and Egypt
and by his personal acts of bravery he won the favors that Caesar heaped
upon him and upon the Jewish people. The old territorial division
instituted by Gabinius was abolished, Hyrcanus was confirmed in the
high-priesthood, and Antipater was made procurator of Judea. Joppa was
restored to the Jewish state, the gerusia, the chief assembly of the Jews,
was given certain of its old judicial rights, and permission was granted
to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. The Jews were also freed from the duty
of supporting Roman soldiers and of serving the Roman legions. The tribute
was also in part remitted on the sabbatical year, and the Jews of
Palestine and throughout the Roman Empire were confirmed in their
religious privileges. Thus Caesar proved himself a friend of the Jews and
established precedents to which they frequently appealed in later crises.

III. Herod's Early Record. Among the many rewards conferred upon
Antipater was the appointment of his son Phasaelus as governor of
Jerusalem and his younger son Herod as governor of Galilee. Thus while
still a young man Herod was given an opportunity to demonstrate his
ability and energy. He at once took measures to put down the robber bands
that infested Galilee, and executed their leader, Hezekias. He won thereby
the gratitude of the Galileans and the approval of Rome. Hyrcanus and the
sanhedrin at Jerusalem, however, viewed this assumption of authority with
suspicion and alarm. When Herod was summoned before them, he appeared in
full military armor and was accompanied by a military following. Provoked
by his boldness, the sanhedrin would have sentenced him to death had not
the local Roman governor interfered. The action of the sanhedrin aroused
Herod's spirit of revenge, and before long, gathering his forces, he
marched against Jerusalem and would have put to death the Jewish leaders
had not his father dissuaded him.

The assassination of Caesar in 44 B.C., followed by the battle of Philippi
in 42, changed the political horizon of Palestine. Antipater and his sons,
however, following their usual policy, pledged in succession their loyalty
to Cassius and Antony, with the result that greater honors were conferred
upon them. It was at this crisis that Malichus, a certain Jewish noble,
inspired by jealousy and suspicion, treacherously murdered his rival,
Antipater. Herod retaliated by instigating the assassination of the
murderer, but soon a series of calamities swept over Judea which
threatened to obliterate completely the house of Antipater.

IV. The Parthian Conquest. During the struggle between Antony and the
assassins of Julius Caesar Rome's eastern outposts were left exposed.
Their old foes, the Parthians, improved this opportunity to seize northern
Syria. Encouraged by the presence of the Parthians, Antigonus, the younger
son of Aristobulus, in 41 B.C. entered Palestine. With the aid of the
Parthians and of the Jews who were opposed to Herod he ultimately
succeeded in establishing himself as king. Antipater and Herod's brother
Phasaelus became the victims of the Parthian treachery, and Herod after
many adventures succeeded in escaping with his family to the strong
fortress of Masada at the southwestern end of the Dead Sea. Leaving them
under the care of his brother Joseph, Herod after many discouragements and
vicissitudes finally found his way to Rome. Unfortunately for the cause of
Jewish independence, Antigonus lacked the essential qualities of
leadership. Instead of arousing the loyalty of his subjects his chief
concern was to take vengeance upon Herod's followers and upon all who had
supported the house of Antipater.

V. Herod Made King of the Jews. Herod went to Rome to urge the
appointment of Aristobulus III, the grandson of Hyrcanus and the brother
of Herod's betrothed wife Mariamne, as king of Judea. Antony and Octavian,
to whom he appealed, were rightly suspicious of the survivors of the
Maccabean house and appreciative of the services of Herod and his father
Antipater. Therefore, to his complete surprise, they offered him the
kingship, and their nomination was speedily confirmed by the senate.
History presents no stranger nor more dramatic sight than Herod, the
Idumean, accompanied by Antony and Octavian, going to the temple of
Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill to offer sacrifices in connection with his
assumption of the historic title, King of the Jews. At first it was an
empty title, but the energy of Herod and the resources of Rome sufficed in
time to make it real. In the spring of 39 B.C. Herod landed at Ptolemais
and with the apathetic aid of the Roman generals in Palestine began to
organize the Jews who rallied about him. Marching down the Mediterranean
coast, he succeeded at last in relieving his family, who were besieged at
Masada. Idumea and Galilee were then brought into subjection, and after
two years of fighting he won an important battle at Isana, a little north
of Bethel, which gave him possession of all of Judea except Jerusalem. The
final contest for the capital city continued through several months, for
Antigonus and his followers realized that they could expect little mercy
from Herod and the Romans. Thousands of Jews were slaughtered, but at last
the temple itself was captured, and Herod was in fact as well as in name
King of the Jews. Antigonus pled in vain for mercy. Departing from their
usual policy of clemency toward native rulers, the Romans caused him first
to be scourged as a common criminal and then ignominiously beheaded. Thus
the Maccabean dynasty, which had risen in glory, went down in shame, a
signal illustration of the eternal principle that selfish ambitions and
unrestrained passions in an individual or family sooner or later bring
disgrace and destruction. While the siege of Jerusalem was still
in progress, Herod went north to Samaria and there consummated his
long-delayed marriage with Mariamne, the daughter of Hyrcanus, thus in
part attracting to himself the loyalty which the Jews had bestowed so
lavishly and disastrously upon the unworthy sons of Alexander Janneus.


[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 19:1, 2a]
Now when the war about Actium broke out, Herod prepared to come to the
assistance of Antony, but he was treacherously hindered from sharing the
dangers of Antony by Cleopatra, for she persuaded Antony to intrust the
war against the Arabians to Herod. This plan, however, proved of advantage
to Herod, for he defeated the army of the Arabians, although it offered
him strong resistance.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 20:1]
Now Herod was immediately concerned about his entire fortunes because of
his friendship with Antony, who had been defeated at Actium by Caesar
[Augustus]. Herod, however, resolved to face the danger: so he sailed to
Rhodes where Caesar was then staying, and came to him without his diadem
and in the dress and guise of a private person, but in the spirit of a
king. And he concealed nothing of the truth, but spoke straight out as
follows: "O Caesar, I was made king of the Jews by Antony. I confess that
I have been useful to him, nor will I conceal this added fact, that you
would certainly have found me in arms, and so showing my gratitude to him,
had not the Arabians hindered me. I have been overcome with Antony, and
sharing the same fortune as his, I have laid aside my diadem. Now I have
come to you fixing my hopes of safety upon your virtue, and I ask that
you will consider how faithful a friend, and not whose friend, I have

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 20:2]
Caesar answered him as follows: "Nay, you shall not only be safe, but you
shall reign more firmly than before, for you are worthy to reign over many
subjects because of the steadfastness of your friendship. Endeavor to be
equally constant in your friendship to me in the hour of my success, since
I have the brightest hopes because of your noble spirit. I therefore
assure you that I will confirm the kingdom to you by decree. I will also
endeavor to do you some further kindness hereafter, that you may not miss

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 20:3b-4a]
After this, when Caesar went to Egypt through Syria, Herod received him
lavishly and royally. It was, therefore, the opinion both of Caesar and
his soldiers that Herod's kingdom was too small a return for what he had
done. For this reason, when Caesar had returned from Egypt, he added to
Herod's other honors, and also made an addition to his kingdom by giving
him not only the country which had been taken from him by Cleopatra, but
also Gadara, Hippos, and Samaria, and also the coast cities Gaza,
Anthedon, Joppa, and Straton's Tower. He also made him a present of four
hundred Gauls as a body-guard, which had before belonged to Cleopatra.
Moreover he added to his kingdom Trachonitis and the adjacent Batanea, and
the district of Auranitis.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 21:13]
Now Herod had a body suited to his soul and was ever a most excellent
hunter, in which sport he generally had great success owing to his skill
in riding, for in one day he once captured forty wild beasts. He was also
a warrior such as could not be withstood. Many also marvelled at his skill
in his exercises when they saw him throwing the javelin and shooting the
arrow straight to the mark. In addition to these advantages of mind and
body, fortune was also very favorable to him, for he seldom failed in war,
and when he failed, he was not himself the cause, but it happened either
through the treachery of some one or else through the rashness of his own

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 21:1b, 4a]
Herod also built for himself at Jerusalem in the upper city a palace,
which contained two very large and most beautiful apartments to which not
even the temple could be compared. One apartment he named Caesareum and
the other Agrippeum [after his friends Caesar Augustus and Agrippa]. But
he did not preserve their memory by particular buildings only and the
names given them, but his generosity also went as far as entire cities.
For when he had built a most beautiful wall over two miles long about a
city in the district of Samaria and had brought six thousand inhabitants
into it and had allotted to them a most fertile territory and in the midst
of this city had erected a large temple to Augustus, he called the city
Sebaste [from Sebastus, the Greek of Augustus]. And when Augustus had
bestowed upon him additional territory, he built there also a temple of
white marble in his honor near the fountains of the Jordan. The place is
called Panium. The king erected other buildings at Jericho and named them
after the same friends. In general there was not any place in his kingdom
suited to the purpose that was allowed to remain without something in
Augustus's honor.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 21:6a-8a]
And when he observed that there was a city by the seaside that was much
decayed, called Straton's Tower, and that the place, because of its fair
situation, was capable of great improvements, through his love of honor he
rebuilt it all of white stone and adorned it with magnificent palaces and
in it showed his natural munificence. For all the seashore between Dora
and Egypt (between which places the city is situated) had no good harbor,
so that every one who sailed to Phoenicia from Egypt was obliged to toss
about in the sea because of the south wind that threatened them. But the
king by great expense and liberality overcame nature and built a harbor
larger than was the Piraeus, and in its recesses built other deep
roadsteads. He let down stones into one hundred and twenty-one feet of
water. And when the part below the sea was filled up, he extended the wall
which was already above the sea until it was two hundred feet long. The
entrance to the harbor was on the north, because the north wind was there
the most gentle of all the winds. At the mouth of the harbor on each side
were three colossi supported by pillars. And the houses, also built of
white stone, were close to the harbor, and the narrow streets of the city
led down to it, being built at equal distances from one another. And
opposite the entrance of the harbor upon an elevation was the temple of
Caesar Augustus, excellent both for beauty and size, and in it was a
colossal statue of Caesar Augustus as big as the Olympian Zeus, which it
was made to resemble, and a statue of Rome as big at that of Hera at
Argos. And he dedicated the city to the province, and the harbor to those
who sailed there. But the honor of founding the city he ascribed to Caesar
Augustus and accordingly called it Caesarea. He also built other edifices,
the amphitheater, the theater, and market-place in a manner worthy of that

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 21:9a-10a]
Herod was also a lover of his father, for he built as a memorial of his
father a city in the finest plain that was in his kingdom [the lower
Jordan valley], which had rivers and trees in abundance, and called it
Antipatris. He also fortified a citadel that lay above Jericho and was
very strong and handsome, and dedicated it to his mother, and called it
Cypros. Moreover, he dedicated a tower at Jerusalem to his brother
Phasaelus. He also built another city in the valley which leads north from
Jericho and named it Phasaelis. As a memorial for himself he built a
fortress upon a mountain toward Arabia and called it after himself

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 21:11a]
And when he had built so much, he showed the greatness of his soul to many
foreign cities. He built gymnasiums at Tripolis, Damascus, and Ptolemais.
He built a wall around Byblus, and arcades, colonnades, temples, and
market-places at Berytus and Tyre, and theaters at Sidon and Damascus. He
also built an aqueduct for those Laodiceans, who lived by the seaside; and
for the inhabitants of Ascalon he built baths and costly fountains, as
also encircling colonnades that were admirable for their workmanship and

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 22:1a, c-2b]
Herod, however, began to be unhappy on account of his wife, of whom he was
very fond. For when he attained the kingship, he divorced her whom he had
married when he was a private person, a native of Jerusalem by the name of
Doris, and married Mariamne, the daughter of Alexander, the son of
Aristobulus. Because of Mariamne disturbances arose in his family, and
that very soon, but chiefly after his return from Rome. For the sake of
his sons by Mariamne he banished Antipater, the son of Doris. After this
he slew his wife's grandfather, Hyrcanus, when he returned to him out of
Parthia, on suspicion of plotting against him. Now of the five children
which Herod had by Mariamne two of them were daughters and three were
sons. The youngest of these sons died while he was being educated at Rome,
but the two elder sons he treated as princes because of their mother's
honorable rank and because they had been born after he became king. But
what was stronger than all this was the love he bore to Mariamne.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 22:2c-4]
But Mariamne's hatred toward him was as great as his love for her. She,
indeed, had a just cause for indignation for what he had done, while her
freedom of speech was the result of his affection for her. So she openly
reproached him for what he had done to her grandfather Hyrcanus and to her
brother Aristobulus. For he had not spared this Aristobulus, though he was
but a lad, for after he had given him the high priesthood at the age of
seventeen, Herod caused him to be slain immediately after he had conferred
that honor upon him; for when Aristobulus had put on the holy garments and
had approached to the altar at a festival, the assembled multitude wept
for joy. Thereupon the lad was sent by night to Jericho, and there in a
swimming-pool at Herod's command was held under water by the Gauls until
he was drowned. For these reasons Mariamne reproached Herod, and railed at
his sister and his mother most abusively. He was dumb on account of his
affection for her, but the women were vexed exceedingly at her and charged
her with being false to him, for they thought that this would be most
likely to arouse Herod's anger. When, therefore, he was about to take a
journey abroad, he intrusted his wife to Joseph, his sister Salome's
husband. He also gave him a secret injunction that, if Antony should slay
him [Herod], Joseph should slay Mariamne. But Joseph without any evil
intention and in order to demonstrate the king's love for his wife
disclosed this secret to her. And when Herod came back, and when they
talked together, he confirmed his love to her by many oaths and assured
her that he had never loved any other woman as he had her. "To be sure,"
said she, "you proved your love to me by the injunctions you gave Joseph
when you commanded him to kill me!" When Herod heard that this secret was
discovered, he was like a distracted man, and said that Joseph would never
have disclosed his injunction unless he had seduced her. Made insane by
his passion and leaping out of bed, he ran about the palace in a wild
manner. Meantime his sister Salome improved the opportunity for false
accusations and to confirm the suspicion about Joseph. So in his
ungovernable jealousy and rage Herod commanded both of them to be slain
immediately. But as soon as his passion was over, he repented for what he
had done; and indeed his passionate desire for Mariamne was so ardent that
he could not think that she was dead, but in his distress he talked to her
as if she were still alive.

[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 23:1a, d, 2a, c-3a]

Book of the day: