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The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem by Flavius Josephus

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Romans themselves, who never took us for their enemies till we
revolted from them. But some may be ready to say, that truly the
people of Cesarea had always a quarrel against those that lived
among them, and that when an opportunity offered itself, they
only satisfied the old rancor they had against them. What then
shall we say to those of Scythopolis, who ventured to wage war
with us on account of the Greeks? Nor did they do it by way of
revenge upon the Romans, when they acted in concert with our
countrymen. Wherefore you see how little our good-will and
fidelity to them profiled us, while they were slain, they and
their whole families, after the most inhuman manner, which was
all the requital that was made them for the assistance they had
afforded the others; for that very same destruction which they
had prevented from falling upon the others did they suffer
themselves from them, as if they had been ready to be the actors
against them. It would be too long for me to speak at this time
of every destruction brought upon us; for you cannot but know
that there was not any one Syrian city which did not slay their
Jewish inhabitants, and were not more bitter enemies to us than
were the Romans themselves; nay, even those of Damascus, (16)
when they were able to allege no tolerable pretense against us,
filled their city with the most barbarous slaughters of our
people, and cut the throats of eighteen thousand Jews, with their
wives and children. And as to the multitude of those that were
slain in Egypt, and that with torments also, we have been
informed they were more than sixty thousand; those indeed being
in a foreign country, and so naturally meeting with nothing to
oppose against their enemies, were killed in the manner
forementioned. As for all those of us who have waged war against
the Romans in our own country, had we not sufficient reason to
have sure hopes of victory? For we had arms, and walls, and
fortresses so prepared as not to be easily taken, and courage not
to be moved by any dangers in the cause of liberty, which
encouraged us all to revolt from the Romans. But then these
advantages sufficed us but for a short time, and only raised our
hopes, while they really appeared to be the origin of our
miseries; for all we had hath been taken from us, and all hath
fallen under our enemies, as if these advantages were only to
render their victory over us the more glorious, and were not
disposed for the preservation of those by whom these preparations
were made. And as for those that are already dead in the war, it
is reasonable we should esteem them blessed, for they are dead in
defending, and not in betraying their liberty; but as to the
multitude of those that are now under the Romans, who would not
pity their condition? and who would not make haste to die, before
he would suffer the same miseries with them? Some of them have
been put upon the rack, and tortured with fire and whippings, and
so died. Some have been half devoured by wild beasts, and yet
have been reserved alive to be devoured by them a second time, in
order to afford laughter and sport to our enemies; and such of
those as are alive still are to be looked on as the most
miserable, who, being so desirous of death, could not come at it.
And where is now that great city, the metropolis of the Jewish
nation, which vas fortified by so many walls round about, which
had so many fortresses and large towers to defend it, which could
hardly contain the instruments prepared for the war, and which
had so many ten thousands of men to fight for it? Where is this
city that was believed to have God himself inhabiting therein? It
is now demolished to the very foundations, and hath nothing but
that monument of it preserved, I mean the camp of those that hath
destroyed it, which still dwells upon its ruins; some unfortunate
old men also lie upon the ashes of the temple, and a few women
are there preserved alive by the enemy, for our bitter shame and
reproach. Now who is there that revolves these things in his
mind, and yet is able to bear the sight of the sun, though he
might live out of danger? Who is there so much his country's
enemy, or so unmanly, and so desirous of living, as not to repent
that he is still alive? And I cannot but wish that we had all
died before we had seen that holy city demolished by the hands of
our enemies, or the foundations of our holy temple dug up after
so profane a manner. But since we had a generous hope that
deluded us, as if we might perhaps have been able to avenge
ourselves on our enemies on that account, though it be now become
vanity, and hath left us alone in this distress, let us make
haste to die bravely. Let us pity ourselves, our children, and
our wives while it is in our own power to show pity to them; for
we were born to die, (17) as well as those were whom we have
begotten; nor is it in the power of the most happy of our race to
avoid it. But for abuses, and slavery, and the sight of our wives
led away after an ignominious manner, with their children, these
are not such evils as are natural and necessary among men;
although such as do not prefer death before those miseries, when
it is in their power so to do, must undergo even them, on account
of their own cowardice. We revolted from the Romans with great
pretensions to courage; and when, at the very last, they invited
us to preserve ourselves, we would not comply with them. Who will
not, therefore, believe that they will certainly be in a rage at
us, in case they can take us alive? Miserable will then be the
young men who will be strong enough in their bodies to sustain
many torments! miserable also will be those of elder years, who
will not be able to bear those calamities which young men might
sustain! One man will be obliged to hear the voice of his son
implore help of his father, when his hands are bound. But
certainly our hands are still at liberty, and have a sword in
them; let them then be subservient to us in our glorious design;
let us die before we become slaves under our eneimies, and let us
go out of the world, together with our children and our wives, in
a state of freedom. This it is that our laws command us to do
this it is that our wives and children crave at our hands; nay,
God himself hath brought this necessity upon us; while the Romans
desire the contrary, and are afraid lest any of us should die
before we are taken. Let us therefore make haste, and instead of
affording them so much pleasure, as they hope for in getting us
under their power, let us leave them an example which shall at
once cause their astonishment at our death, and their admiration
of our hardiness therein."


How The People That Were In The Fortress Were Prevailed
On By The Words Of Eleazar, Two Women And Five
Children Only Excepted And All Submitted To Be Killed By One

1. Now as Eleazar was proceeding on in this exhortation, they all
cut him off short, and made haste to do the work, as full of an
unconquerable ardor of mind, and moved with a demoniacal fury. So
they went their ways, as one still endeavoring to be before
another, and as thinking that this eagerness would be a
demonstration of their courage and good conduct, if they could
avoid appearing in the last class; so great was the zeal they
were in to slay their wives and children, and themselves also!
Nor indeed, when they came to the work itself, did their courage
fail them, as one might imagine it would have done, but they then
held fast the same resolution, without wavering, which they had
upon the hearing of Eleazar's speech, while yet every one of them
still retained the natural passion of love to themselves and
their families, because the reasoning they went upon appeared to
them to be very just, even with regard to those that were dearest
to them; for the husbands tenderly embraced their wives, and took
their children into their arms, and gave the longest parting
kisses to them, with tears in their eyes. Yet at the same time
did they complete what they had resolved on, as if they had been
executed by the hands of strangers; and they had nothing else for
their comfort but the necessity they were in of doing this
execution, to avoid that prospect they had of the miseries they
were to suffer from their enemies. Nor was there at length any
one of these men found that scrupled to act their part in this
terrible execution, but every one of them despatched his dearest
relations. Miserable men indeed were they! whose distress forced
them to slay their own wives and children with their own hands,
as the lightest of those evils that were before them. So they
being not able to bear the grief they were under for what they
had done any longer, and esteeming it an injury to those they had
slain, to live even the shortest space of time after them, they
presently laid all they had upon a heap, and set fire to it. They
then chose ten men by lot out of them to slay all the rest; every
one of whom laid himself down by his wife and children on the
ground, and threw his arms about them, and they offered their
necks to the stroke of those who by lot executed that melancholy
office; and when these ten had, without fear, slain them all,
they made the same rule for casting lots for themselves, that he
whose lot it was should first kill the other nine, and after all
should kill himself. Accordingly, all these had courage
sufficient to be no way behind one another in doing or suffering;
so, for a conclusion, the nine offered their necks to the
executioner, and he who was the last of all took a view of all
the other bodies, lest perchance some or other among so many that
were slain should want his assistance to be quite despatched, and
when he perceived that they were all slain, he set fire to the
palace, and with the great force of his hand ran his sword
entirely through himself, and fell down dead near to his own
relations. So these people died with this intention, that they
would not leave so much as one soul among them all alive to be
subject to the Romans. Yet was there an ancient woman, and
another who was of kin to Eleazar, and superior to most women in
prudence and learning, with five children, who had concealed
themselves in caverns under ground, and had carried water thither
for their drink, and were hidden there when the rest were intent
upon the slaughter of one another. Those others were nine hundred
and sixty in number, the women and children being withal included
in that computation. This calamitous slaughter was made on the
fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus [Nisan].

2. Now for the Romans, they expected that they should be fought
in the morning, when, accordingly, they put on their armor, and
laid bridges of planks upon their ladders from their banks, to
make an assault upon the fortress, which they did; but saw nobody
as an enemy, but a terrible solitude on every side, with a fire
within the place, as well as a perfect silence. So they were at a
loss to guess at what had happened. At length they made a shout,
as if it had been at a blow given by the battering ram, to try
whether they could bring any one out that was within; the women
heard this noise, and came out of their under-ground cavern, and
informed the Romans what had been done, as it was done; and the
second of them clearly described all both what was said and what
was done, and this manner of it; yet did they not easily give
their attention to such a desperate undertaking, and did not
believe it could be as they said; they also attempted to put the
fire out, and quickly cutting themselves a way through it, they
came within the palace, and so met with the multitude of the
slain, but could take no pleasure in the fact, though it were
done to their enemies. Nor could they do other than wonder at the
courage of their resolution, and the immovable contempt of death
which so great a number of them had shown, when they went through
with such an action as that was.


That Many Of The Sicarii Fled To Alexandria Also And
What Dangers They Were In There; On Which Account
That Temple Which Had Formerly Been Built By Onias The
High Priest Was Destroyed.

1. When Masada was thus taken, the general left a garrison in the
fortress to keep it, and he himself went away to Cesarea; for
there were now no enemies left in the country, but it was all
overthrown by so long a war. Yet did this war afford disturbances
and dangerous disorders even in places very far remote from
Judea; for still it came to pass that many Jews were slain at
Alexandria in Egypt; for as many of the Sicarii as were able to
fly thither, out of the seditious wars in Judea, were not content
to have saved themselves, but must needs be undertaking to make
new disturbances, and persuaded many of those that entertained
them to assert their liberty, to esteem the Romans to be no
better than themselves, and to look upon God as their only Lord
and Master. But when part of the Jews of reputation opposed them,
they slew some of them, and with the others they were very
pressing in their exhortations to revolt from the Romans; but
when the principal men of the senate saw what madness they were
come to, they thought it no longer safe for themselves to
overlook them. So they got all the Jews together to an assembly,
and accused the madness of the Sicarii, and demonstrated that
they had been the authors of all the evils that had come upon
them. They said also that "these men, now they were run away from
Judea, having no sure hope of escaping, because as soon as ever
they shall be known, they will be soon destroyed by the Romans,
they come hither and fill us full of those calamities which
belong to them, while we have not been partakers with them in any
of their sins." Accordingly, they exhorted the multitude to have
a care, lest they should be brought to destruction by their
means, and to make their apology to the Romans for what had been
done, by delivering these men up to them; who being thus apprized
of the greatness of the danger they were in, complied with what
was proposed, and ran with great violence upon the Sicarii, and
seized upon them; and indeed six hundred of them were caught
immediately: but as to all those that fled into Egypt (18) and to
the Egyptian Thebes, it was not long ere they were caught also,
and brought back, whose courage, or whether we ought to call it
madness, or hardiness in their opinions, every body was amazed
at. For when all sorts of torments and vexations of their bodies
that could be devised were made use of to them, they could not
get any one of them to comply so far as to confess, or seem to
confess, that Caesar was their lord; but they preserved their own
opinion, in spite of all the distress they were brought to, as if
they received these torments and the fire itself with bodies
insensible of pain, and with a soul that in a manner rejoiced
under them. But what was most of all astonishing to the beholders
was the courage of the children; for not one of these children
was so far overcome by these torments, as to name Caesar for
their lord. So far does the strength of the courage [of the soul]
prevail over the weakness of the body.

2. Now Lupus did then govern Alexandria, who presently sent
Caesar word of this commotion; who having in suspicion the
restless temper of the Jews for innovation, and being afraid lest
they should get together again, and persuade some others to join
with them, gave orders to Lupus to demolish that Jewish temple
which was in the region called Onion, (19) and was in Egypt,
which was built and had its denomination from the occasion
following: Onias, the son of Simon, one of the Jewish high
priests fled from Antiochus the king of Syria, when he made war
with the Jews, and came to Alexandria; and as Ptolemy received
him very kindly, on account of hatred to Antiochus, he assured
him, that if he would comply with his proposal, he would bring
all the Jews to his assistance; and when the king agreed to do it
so far as he was able, he desired him to give him leave to build
a temple some where in Egypt, and to worship God according to the
customs of his own
country; for that the Jews would then be so much readier to
fight against Antiochus who had laid waste the temple at
Jerusalem, and that they would then come to him with
greater good-will; and that, by granting them liberty of
conscience, very many of them would come over to him.

3. So Ptolemy complied with his proposals, and gave him a place
one hundred and eighty furlongs distant from Memphis. (20) That
Nomos was called the Nomos of Hellopolls, where Onias built a
fortress and a temple, not like to that at Jerusalem, but such as
resembled a tower. He built it of large stones to the height of
sixty cubits; he made the structure of the altar in imitation of
that in our own country, and in like manner adorned with gifts,
excepting the make of the candlestick, for he did not make a
candlestick, but had a [single] lamp hammered out of a piece of
gold, which illuminated the place with its rays, and which he
hung by a chain of gold; but the entire temple was encompassed
with a wall of burnt brick, though it had gates of stone. The
king also gave him a large country for a revenue in money, that
both the priests might have a plentiful provision made for them,
and that God might have great abundance of what things were
necessary for his worship. Yet did not Onias do this out of a
sober disposition, but he had a mind to contend with the Jews at
Jerusalem, and could not forget the indignation he had for being
banished thence. Accordingly, he thought that by building this
temple he should draw away a great number from them to himself.
There had been also a certain ancient prediction made by [a
prophet] whose name was Isaiah, about six hundred years before,
that this temple should be built by a man that was a Jew in
Egypt. And this is the history of the building of that temple.

4. And now Lupus, the governor of Alexandria, upon the receipt of
Caesar's letter, came to the temple, and carried out of it some
of the donations dedicated thereto, and shut up the temple
itself. And as Lupus died a little afterward, Paulinns succeeded
him. This man left none of those donations there, and threatened
the priests severely if they did not bring them all out; nor did
he permit any who were desirous of worshipping God there so much
as to come near the whole sacred place; but when he had shut up
the gates, he made it entirely inaccessible, insomuch that there
remained no longer the least footsteps of any Divine worship that
had been in that place. Now the duration of the time from the
building of this temple till it was shut up again was three
hundred and forty-three years.


Concerning Jonathan, One Of The Sicarii, That Stirred Up A
Sedition In Cyrene, And Was A False Accuser [Of The Innocent].

1. And now did the madness of the Sicarii, like a disease, reach
as far as the cities of Cyrene; for one Jonathan, a vile person,
and by trade a weaver, came thither and prevailed with no small
number of the poorer sort to give ear to him; he also led them
into the desert, upon promising them that he would show them
signs and apparitions. And as for the other Jews of Cyrene, he
concealed his knavery from them, and put tricks upon them; but
those of the greatest dignity among them informed Catullus, the
governor of the Libyan Pentapolis, of his march into the desert,
and of the preparations he had made for it. So he sent out after
him both horsemen and footmen, and easily overcame them, because
they were unarmed men; of these many were slain in the fight, but
some were taken alive, and brought to Catullus. As for Jonathan,
the head of this plot, he fled away at that time; but upon a
great and very diligent search, which was made all the country
over for him, he was at last taken. And when he was brought to
Catullus, he devised a way whereby he both escaped punishment
himself, and afforded an occasion to Catullus of doing much
mischief; for he falsely accused the richest men among the Jews,
and said that they had put him upon what he did.

2. Now Catullus easily admitted of these his calumnies, and
aggravated matters greatly, and made tragical exclamations, that
he might also be supposed to have had a hand in the finishing of
the Jewish war. But what was still harder, he did not only give a
too easy belief to his stories, but he taught the Sicarii to
accuse men falsely. He bid this Jonathan, therefore, to name one
Alexander, a Jew (with whom he had formerly had a quarrel, and
openly professed that he hated him); he also got him to name his
wife Bernice, as concerned with him. These two Catullus ordered
to be slain in the first place; nay, after them he caused all the
rich and wealthy Jews to be slain, being no fewer in all than
three thousand. This he thought he might do safely, because he
confiscated their effects, and added them to Caesar's revenues.

3. Nay, indeed, lest any Jews that lived elsewhere should convict
him of his villainy, he extended his false accusations further,
and persuaded Jonathan, and certain others that were caught with
him, to bring an accusation of attempts for innovation against
the Jews that were of the best character both at Alexandria and
at Rome. One of these, against whom this treacherous accusation
was laid, was Josephus, the writer of these books. However, this
plot, thus contrived by Catullus, did not succeed according to
his hopes; for though he came himself to Rome, and brought
Jonathan and his companions along with him in bonds, and thought
he should have had no further inquisition made as to those lies
that were forged under his government, or by his means; yet did
Vespasian suspect the matter and made an inquiry how far it was
true. And when he understood that the accusation laid against the
Jews was an unjust one, he cleared them of the crimes charged
upon them, and this on account of Titus's concern about the
matter, and brought a deserved punishment upon Jonathan; for he
was first tormented, and then burnt alive.

4. But as to Catullus, the emperors Were so gentle to him, that
he underwent no severe condemnation at this time; yet was it not
long before he fell into a complicated and almost incurable
distemper, and died miserably. He was not only afflicted in body,
but the distemper in his mind was more heavy upon him than the
other; for he was terribly disturbed, and continually cried out
that he saw the ghosts of those whom he had slain standing before
him. Where upon he was not able to contain himself, but leaped
out of his bed, as if both torments and fire were brought to him.
This his distemper grew still a great deal worse and worse
continually, and his very entrails were so corroded, that they
fell out of his body, and in that condition he died. Thus he
became as great an instance of Divine Providence as ever was, and
demonstrated that God punishes wicked men.

5. And here we shall put an end to this our history; wherein we
formerly promised to deliver the same with all accuracy, to such
as should be desirous of understanding after what manner this war
of the Romans with the Jews was managed. Of which history, how
good the style is, must be left to the determination of the
readers; but as for its agreement with the facts, I shall not
scruple to say, and that boldly, that truth hath been what I have
alone aimed at through its entire composition.


(1) Why the great Bochart should say, (De Phoenic. Colon. B. II.
ch. iv.,) that" there are in this clause of Josephus as many
mistakes as words," I do by no means understand. Josephus thought
Melchisedek first built, or rather rebuilt and adorned, this
city, and that it was then called Salem, as Psalm 76:2;
afterwards came to be called Jerusalem; and that Melchisedek,
being a priest as well as a king, built to the true God therein a
temple, or place for public Divine worship and sacrifice; all
which things may be very true for aught we know to the contrary.
And for the word, or temple, as if it must needs belong to the
great temple built by Solomon long afterward, Josephus himself
uses, for the small tabernacle of Moses, Antiq. B. III. ch. 6.
sect. 4; see also Antiq. B. lit. ch. 6. sect. 1; as he here
presently uses, for a large and splendid synagogue of the Jews at
Antioch, B. VII. ch. 3. sect. 3.

(2) This Tereutius Rufus, as Reland in part observes here, is the
same person whom the Talmudists call Turnus Rufus; of whom they
relate, that "he ploughed up Sion as a field, and made Jerusalem
become as heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high Idaces
of a forest;" which was long before foretold by the prophet
Micah, ch. 3:12, and quoted from him in the prophecies of
Jeremiah, ch. 26:18.

(3) See Ecclesiastes 8:11.

(4) This Berytus was certainly a Roman colony, and has coins
extant that witness the same, as Hudson and Spanheim inform us.
See the note on Antiq. B. XVI: ch. 11. sect. 1.

(5) The Jews at Antioch and Alexandria, the two principal cities
in all the East, had allowed them, both by the Macedonians, and
afterwards by the Romans, a governor of their own, who was exempt
from the jurisdiction of the other civil governors. He was called
sometimes barely "governor," sometimes "ethnarch," and [at
Alexandria] "alabarch," as Dr. Hudson takes notice on this place
out of Fuller's Miscellanies. They had the like governor or
governors allowed them at Babylon under their captivity there, as
the history of Susanna implies.

(6) This Classicus, and Civilis, and Cerealis are names well
known in Tacitus; the two former as moving sedition against the
Romans, and the last as sent to repress them by Vespasian, just
as they are here described in Josephus; which is the case also of
Fontellis Agrippa and Rubrius Gallup, i, sect. 3. But as to the
very favorable account presently given of Domitian, particularly
as to his designs in this his Gallic and German expedition, it is
not a little contrary to that in Suetonius, Vesp. sect. 7. Nor
are the reasons unobvious that might occasion this great
diversity: Domitian was one of Josephus's patrons, and when he
published these books of the Jewish war, was very young, and had
hardly begun those wicked practices which rendered him so
infamous afterward; while Suetonius seems to have been too young,
and too low in life, to receive any remarkable favors from him;
as Domitian was certainly very lewd and cruel, and generally
hated, when Puetonius wrote about him.

(7) Since in these latter ages this Sabbatic River, once so
famous, which, by Josephus's account here, ran every seventh day,
and rested on six, but according to Pliny, Nat. Hist. 31. II, ran
perpetually on six days, and rested every seventh, (though it no
way appears by either of their accounts that the seventh day of
this river was the Jewish seventh day or sabbath,) is quite
vanished, I shall add no more about it: only see Dr. Hudson's
note. In Varenius's Geography, i, 17, the reader will find
several instances of such periodical fountains and. rivers,
though none of their periods were that of a just week as of old
this appears to have been.

(8) Vespasian and his two sons, Titus and Domitian.

(9) See the representations of these Jewish vessels as they still
stand on Titus's triumphal arch at Rome, in Reland's very curious
book de Spoliis Ternpli, throughout. But what, things are chiefly
to be noted are these: (1.) That Josephus says the candlestick
here carried in this triumph was not thoroughly like that which
was used in the temple, which appears in the number of the little
knobs and flowers in that on the triumphal arch not well agreeing
with Moses's description, Exodus 25:31-36. (2.) The smallness of
the branches in Josephus compared with the thickness of those on
that arch. (3.) That the Law or Pentateuch does not appear on
that arch at all, though Josephus, an eye-witness, assures us
that it was carried in this procession. All which things deserve
the consideration of the inquisitive reader.

(10) Spanheim observes here, that in Graceia Major and Sicily
they had rue prodigiously great and durable, like this rue at

(11) This strange account of the place and root Baaras seems to
have been taken from the magicians, and the root to have been
made use of in the days of Josephus, in that superstitious way of
casting out demons, supposed by him to have been derived from
king Solomon; of which we have already seen he had a great
opinion, Antiq. B. VIII. ch. 2. sect. 5. We also may hence learn
the true notion Josephus had of demons and demoniacs, exactly
like that of the Jews and Christians in the New Testament, and
the first four centuries. See Antiq. B. I. ch. 8. sect. 2; B. XI,
ch. 2. sect. 3.

(12) It is very remarkable that Titus did not people this now
desolate country of Judea, but ordered it to be all sold; nor
indeed is it properly peopled at this day, but lies ready for its
old inhabitants the Jews, at their future restoration. See
Literal Accomplishment of Prophecies, p. 77.

(13) That the city Emmaus, or Areindus, in Josephus and others
which was the place of the government of Julius Africanus were
slain, to the number of one thousand seven hundred, as were the
women and the children made slaves. But as Bassus thought he must
perform the covenant he had made with those that had surrendered
the citadel, he let them go, and restored Eleazar to them, in the
beginning of the third century, and which he then procured to be
rebuilt, and after which rebuilding it was called Nicopolis, is
entirely different from that Emmaus which is mentioned by St.
Luke 24;13; see Reland's Paleestina, lib. II. p. 429, and under
the name Ammaus also. But he justly thinks that that in St. Luke
may well be the same with his Ammaus before us, especially since
the Greek copies here usually make it sixty furlongs distant from
Jerusalem, as does St. Luke, though the Latin copies say only
thirty. The place also allotted for these eight hundred soldiers,
as for a Roman garrison, in this place, would most naturally be
not so remote from Jerusalem as was the other Emmaus, or

(14) Pliny and others confirm this strange paradox, that
provisions laid up against sieges will continue good for a
hundred ears, as Spanheim notes upon this place.

(15) The speeches in this and the next section, as introduced
under the person of this Eleazar, are exceeding remarkable, and
oil the noblest subjects, the contempt of death, and the dignity
and immortality of the soul; and that not only among the Jews,
but among the Indians themselves also; and are highly worthy the
perusal of all the curious. It seems as if that philosophic lady
who survived, ch. 9. sect. 1, 2, remembered the substance of
these discourses, as spoken by Eleazar, and so Josephus clothed
them in his own words: at the lowest they contain the Jewish
notions on these heads, as understood then by our Josephus, and
cannot but deserve a suitable regard from us.

(16) See B. II. ch. 20. sect. 2, where the number of the slain is
but 10,000.

(17) Reland here sets down a parallel aphorism of one of the
Jewish Rabbins, "We are born that we may die, and die that we may

(18) Since Josephus here informs us that some of these Sicarii,
or ruffians, went from Alexandria (which was itself in Egypt, in
a large sense) into Egypt, and Thebes there situated, Reland well
observes, from Vossius, that Egypt sometimes denotes Proper or
Upper Egypt, as distinct from the Delta, and the lower parts near
Palestine. Accordingly, as he adds, those that say it never rains
in Egypt must mean the Proper or Upper Egypt, because it does
sometimes rain in the other parts. See the note on Antiq. B. II.
ch. 7. sect. 7, and B. III. ch. 1. sect. 6.

(19) Of this temple of Onias's building in Egypt, see the notes
on Antiq. B. XIII. ch. 3. sect. 1. But whereas it is elsewhere,
both of the War, B. I. ch. 1. sect. 1, and in the Antiquities as
now quoted, said that this temple was like to that at Jerusalem,
and here that it was not like it, but like a tower, sect. 3,
there is some reason to suspect the reading here, and that either
the negative particle is here to be blotted out, or the word
entirely added.

(20) We must observe, that Josephus here speaks of Antiochus who
profaned the temple as now alive, when Onias had leave given them
by Philometer to build his temple; whereas it seems not to have
been actually built till about fifteen years afterwards. Yet,
because it is said in the Antiquities that Onias went to
Philometer, B. XII. ch. 9. sect. 7, during the lifetime of that
Antiochus, it is probable he petitioned, and perhaps obtained his
leave then, though it were not actually built or finished till
fifteen years afterward.

End of The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem

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