Why wicked rulers
LOVE
vigilantes and trouble-makers

Hosea 7:3
They make the king glad with their wickedness,
and the princes (glad) with their lies.

   We have a lot to learn from history. This article is based upon a portion of the writings of Flavious Josephus. The complete works of Josephus are available in most book stores.

The Wars Of The Jews
Book 2, Chapter 14

   Festus succeeds Felix, who is succeeded by Albinus, as he is by Florus; who, by the barbarity of his government, forces the Jews into the war.

Summary: (271-276) Festus was a good governor. Albinus was a wicked governor.

- - - - - -skip to: - - - - - -

Antiquities of the Jews
Chapter 11


   Concerning Florus the procurator, who necessitated the Jews to take up arms against the Romans.

   1. (252) Now Gessius Florus, who was sent as successor to Albinus by Nero, filled Judea with abundance of miseries. He was by birth of the city of Clazomenae, and brought along with him his wife Cleopatra (by whose friendship with Poppea, Nero's wife, he obtained this government), who was no way different from him in wickedness.

   (253) This Florus was so wicked, and so violent in the use of his authority, that the Jews took Albinus to have been [comparatively] their benefactor; so excessive were the mischiefs that he brought upon them.

   (254) For Albinus concealed his wickedness, and was careful that it might not be discovered to all men; but Gessius Florus, as though he had been sent on purpose to show his crimes to everybody, made a pompous ostentation of them to our nation, as never omitting any sort of violence, nor any unjust sort of punishment;

   (255) for he was not to be moved by pity, and never was satisfied with any degree of gain that came in his way; nor had he any more regard to great than to small acquisitions, but became a partner with the robbers themselves; for a great many fell then into that practice without fear, as having him for their security, and depending on him, that he would save them harmless in their particular robberies; so that there were no bounds set to the nation's miseries;

   (256) but the unhappy Jews, when they were not able to bear the devastations which the robbers made among them, were all under a necessity of leaving their own habitations, and of flying away, as hoping to dwell more easily anywhere else in the world among foreigners [than in their own country]. And what need I say any more upon this head?

   (257) since it was this Florus who necessitated us to take up arms against the Romans, while we thought it better to be destroyed at once, than by little and little. Now this war began in the second year of the government of Florus, and the twelfth year of the reign of Nero.

   (258) But then what actions we were forced to do, or what miseries we were enabled to suffer, may be accurately known by such as will peruse those books which I have written about the Jewish war.

- - - - Return to :Wars of the Jews - - - -

Florus, the wickedest of all the Roman procurators of Judea

   2. (277) And although such was the character of Albinus, yet did Gessius Florus, who succeeded him, demonstrate him to have been a most excellent person, upon the comparison: for the former did the greatest part of his rogueries in private, and with a sort of dissimulation; but Gessius did his unjust actions to the harm of the nation after a pompous manner; and as though he had been sent as an executioner to punish condemned malefactors, he omitted no sort of rapine, or of vexation:

   (278) where the case was really pitiable, he was most barbarous; and in things of the greatest turpitude, he was most impudent; nor could anyone outdo him in disguising the truth; nor could anyone contrive more subtle ways of deceit than he did. He indeed thought it but a petty offense to get money out of single persons; so he spoiled whole cities, and ruined entire bodies of men at once, and did almost publicly proclaim it all the country over, that they had liberty given them to turn robbers, upon this condition, that he might go shares with them in the spoils.

   (279) Accordingly, this his greediness of gain was the occasion that entire toparchies were brought to desolation; and a great many of the people left their own country, and fled into foreign provinces.

At the Passover the people complain
to Cestius about Florus.

   3. (280) And truly, while Cestius Gallus was president of the province of Syria, nobody durst do so much as send an embassage to him against Florus; but when he was come to Jerusalem, upon the approach of the feast of unleavened bread, the people came about him not fewer in number than three millions: these besought him to commiserate the calamities of their nation, and cried out upon Florus as the bane of their country.

   (281) But as he (Florus) was present, and stood by Cestius, he laughed at their words. However, Cestius, when he had quieted the multitude, and had assured them that he would take care that Florus should hereafter treat them in a more gentle manner, returned to Antioch;

   (282) Florus also conducted him as far as Caesarea, and deluded him, though he had at that very time the purpose of showing his anger at the nation, and procuring a war upon them, by which means alone it was that he supposed he might conceal his enormities;

   (283) for he expected that, if the peace continued, he should have the Jews for his accusers before Caesar; but that if he could procure them to make a revolt, he should divert their laying lesser crimes to his charge, by a misery that was so much greater; he therefore did every day augment their calamities, in order to induce them to a rebellion.

------------------------------

   Florus deceived his superior about the true situation. Florus wanted to destroy his accusers to hide his crimes and prevent complaints from reaching Caesar.

   Florus tried to make his subjects rebel so he would have an excuse to use the police power of the state against them.

------------------------------

A fight among neighbors over a driveway.
Florus is bribed to settle the dispute and bring order.

   4. (284) Now at this time it happened that the Grecians at Caesarea had been too hard for the Jews, and had obtained of Nero the government of the city, and had brought the judicial determination: at the same time began the war, in the twelfth year of the reign of Nero, and the seventeenth of the reign of Agrippa, in the month of Artemissus [Jyar].

   (285) Now the occasion of this war was by no means proportionable to those heavy calamities which it brought upon us; for the Jews that dwelt at Caesarea had a synagogue near the place, whose owner was a certain Cesarean Greek; the Jews had endeavored frequently to have purchased the possession of the place, and had offered many times its value for its price;

   (286) but as the owner overlooked their offers, so did he raise other buildings upon the place, in way of affront to them, and made workingshops of them, and left them but a narrow passage, and such as was very troublesome for them to go along to their synagogue; whereupon the warmer part of the Jewish youth went hastily to the workmen, and forbade them to build there;

   (287) but as Florus would not permit them to use force, the great men of the Jews, with John the publican, being in the utmost distress what to do, persuaded Florus, with the offer of eight talents, to hinder the work.

   (288) He then, being intent upon nothing but getting money, promised he would do for them all they desired of him, and then went away from Caesarea to Sebaste, and left the sedition to take its full course, as if he had sold a license to the Jews to fight it out.

   5. (289) Now on the next day, which was the seventh day of the week, when the Jews were crowding apace to their synagogue, a certain man of Caesarea, of a seditious temper, got an earthen vessel, and set it, with the bottom upward, at the entrance of that synagogue, and sacrificed birds. This thing provoked the Jews to an incurable degree, because their laws were affronted, and the place was polluted;

   (290) whereupon the sober and moderate part of the Jews thought it proper to have recourse to their governors again, while the seditious part, and such as were in the fervor of their youth, were vehemently inflamed to fight. The seditious also among [the Gentiles of] Caesarea stood ready for the same purpose, for they had, by agreement, sent the man to sacrifice beforehand [as ready to support him] so that it soon came to blows.

------------------------------

   Take here Dr. Hudson's very pertinent note. "By this actions," says he, "the killing of a bird over an earthen vessel, the Jews were exposed as a leprous people; for that was to be done by the law in the cleansing of a leper (Leviticus 14 ). It is also known that the Gentiles reproached the Jews as subject to the leprosy, and believed that they were driven out of Egypt on that account."

------------------------------

   (291) Hereupon Jucundus, the master of the horse, who was ordered to prevent the fight, came thither, and took away the earthen vessel, and endeavored to put a stop to the sedition; but when he was overcome by the violence of the people of Caesarea, the Jews caught up their books of the law, and retired to Narbata, which was a place to them belonging, distant from Caesarea sixty furlongs.

   (292) But John, and twelve of the principal men with him, went to Florus, to Sebaste, and made a lamentable complaint of their case, and besought him to help them; and with all possible decency, put him in mind of the eight talents they had given him; but he had the men seized upon and put in prison, and accused them for carrying the books of the law out of Caesarea.

------------------------------

Florus did not deliver on the bribe and falsely accused the bribers of a crime.

------------------------------

Florus sends the sheriff to
raid the church treasury.

   6. (293) Moreover, as to the citizens of Jerusalem, although they took this matter very ill, yet did they restrain their passion; but Florus acted herein as if he had been hired, and blew up the war into a flame, and sent some to take seventeen talents out of the sacred treasure, and pretended that Caesar wanted them.

   (294) At this the people were in confusion immediately, and ran together to the temple, with prodigious clamors, and called upon Caesar by name, and besought him to free them from the tyranny of Florus.

   (295) Some also of the seditious cried out upon Florus, and cast the greatest reproaches upon him, and carried a basket about, and begged some spells of money for him, as for one that was destitute of possessions, and in a miserable condition.

   Yet was not he made ashamed hereby of his love of money, but was more enraged, and provoked to get still more; (296) and instead of coming to Caesarea, as he ought to have done, and quenching the flame of war, which was beginning thence, and so taking away the occasion of any disturbances, on which account it was that he had received a reward [of eight talents], he marched hastily with an army of horsemen and footmen against Jerusalem, that he might gain his will by the arms of the Romans, and might, by his terror, and by his threatenings, bring the city into subjection.

To embarrass Florus, the people plan a friendly greeting for the Federal Troops.

   7. (297) But the people were desirous of making Florus ashamed of his attempt, and met his soldiers with acclamations, and put themselves in order to receive him very submissively; (298) but he sent Capito, a centurion, beforehand, with fifty soldiers, to bid them go back, and not now make a show of receiving him in an obliging manner, whom they had so foully reproached before; (299) and said that it was incumbent on them, in case they had generous souls, and were free speakers, to jest upon him to his face, and appear to be lovers of liberty, not only in words but with their weapons also.

   (300) With this message was the multitude amazed; and upon the coming of Capito's horsemen into the midst of them, they were dispersed before they could salute Florus, or manifest their submissive behavior to him. Accordingly they retired to their own houses, and spent that night in fear and confusion of face.

------------------------------

   Florus did not want a friendly greeting so he had his 'secret service' keep the friendly demonstrators out of sight.

------------------------------

   8. (301) Now at this time Florus took up his quarters at the palace; and on the next day he had his tribunal set before it, and sat upon it, when the high priests, and the men of power, and those of the greatest eminence in the city, came all before that tribunal; (302) upon which Florus commanded them to deliver up to him those that had reproached him, and told them that they should themselves partake of the vengeance to them belonging, if they did not produce the criminals; but these demonstrated that the people were peaceably disposed, and they begged forgiveness for those that had spoken amiss; (303) for that it was no wonder at all that in so great a multitude there should be some more daring than they ought to be, and by reason of their younger age, foolish also; and that it was impossible to distinguish those that offended from the rest, while every one was sorry for what he had done, and denied it out of fear of what would follow: (304) that he ought, however, to provide for the peace of the nation, and to take such counsels as might preserve the city for the Romans, and rather, for the sake of a great number of innocent people, to forgive a few that were guilty, than for the sake of a few of the wicked, to put so large and good a body of men into disorder.

------------------------------

   The men that Florus demanded were, unknown to the Jews, his own agent-provocateurs.

------------------------------

   9. (305) Florus was more provoked at this, and called out aloud to the soldiers to plunder that which was called the Upper Market Place, and to slay such as they met with. So the soldiers, taking this exhortation of their commander in a sense agreeable to their desire of gain, did not only plunder the place they were sent to, but forcing themselves into every house, they slew its inhabitants; (306) so the citizens fled along the narrow lanes, and the soldiers slew those that they caught, and no method of plunder was omitted; they also caught many of the quiet people, and brought them before Florus, whom he first chastised with stripes, and then crucified.

   (307) Accordingly, the whole number of those that were destroyed that day, with their wives and children (for they did not spare even the infants themselves), was about three thousand and six hundred; (308) and what made this calamity the heavier, was this new method of Roman barbarity; for Florus ventured then to what no one had done before, that is, to have men of the equestrian order whipped, {2.14.9.d} and nailed to the cross before his tribunal; who, although they were by birth Jews, yet were they of Roman dignity notwithstanding.

------------------------------

   Here we have examples of native Jews who were of the equestrian order among the Romans, and so ought never to have been whipped or crucified, according to the Roman laws. Almost the like case in St. Paul himself, Acts 22:25-29.

------------------------------

The Wars Of The Jews
Book 2, Chapter 15

   Concerning Bernice's petition to Florus, to spare the Jews, but in vain; as also how, after the seditious flame was quenched, it was kindled again by Florus

   1. (309) About this very time king Agrippa was going to Alexandria, to congratulate Alexander upon his having obtained the government of Egypt from Nero; (310) but as his sister Bernice was come to Jerusalem, and saw the wicked practices of the soldiers, she was sorely affected at it, and frequently sent the masters of her horse and her guards to Florus, and begged of him to leave off these slaughters; (311) but he would not comply with her request, nor have any regard either to the multitude of those already slain, or to the nobility of her that interceded, but only to the advantage he should make by his plundering; (312) nay, this violence of the soldiers broke out to such a degree of madness, that it spent itself on the queen herself, for they did not only torment and destroy those whom they had caught under her very eyes, but indeed had killed herself also, unless she had prevented them by flying to the palace, and had staid there all night with her guards, which she had about her for fear of an insult from the soldiers.

   (313) ... (314) Bernice ... stood ... before Florus's tribunal, and besought him [to spare the Jews]. Yet could she neither have reverence paid to her, nor could she escape without some danger of being slain herself.

The Jewish city leadership
puts down a disturbance

   2. (315) This happened upon the sixteenth day of the month Artemissus [Jyar]. Now on the next day, the multitude, who were in a great agony, ran together to the upper marketplace, and made the loudest lamentations for those that had perished; and the greatest part of the cries were such as reflected on Florus; (316) at which the men of power were affrighted, together with the high priests, and rent their garments, and fell down before each of them, and besought them to leave off, and not to provoke Florus to some incurable procedure, besides what they had already suffered. (317) Accordingly, the multitude complied immediately, out of reverence to those that had desired it of them, and out of the hope they had that Florus would do them no more injuries.

Puting down the disturbance makes governor Florus angry

   3. (318) So Florus was troubled that the disturbances were over, and endeavored to kindle that flame again, and sent for the high priests, with the other eminent persons, and said, the only demonstration that the people would not make any other innovations should be this,that they must go out and meet the soldiers that were ascending from Caesarea, whence two cohorts were coming; (319) and while these men were exhorting the multitude so to do, he sent beforehand, and gave directions to the centurions of the cohorts, that they should give notice to those that were under them, not to return the Jews' salutations; and that if they made any reply to his disadvantage, they should make use of their weapons.

   (320) Now the high priests assembled the multitude in the temple, and desired them to go and meet the Romans, and to salute the cohorts very civilly, before their miserable case should become incurable.

   Now the seditious part would not comply with these persuasions; but the consideration of those that had been destroyed made them incline to those that were the boldest for action.

   4. (321) At this time it was that every priest, and every servant of God, brought out the holy vessels, and the ornamental garments wherein they used to minister in sacred things.The harpers also, and the singers of hymns, came out with their instruments of music, and fell down before the multitude, and begged of them that they would preserve those holy ornaments to them, and not to provoke the Romans to carry off these sacred treasures.

   (322) You might also see then the high priests themselves, with dust sprinkled in great plenty upon their heads, with bosoms deprived of any covering but what was rent; these besought every one of the eminent men by name, and the multitude in common, that they would not for a small offense betray their country or those that were desirous to have it laid waste; (323) saying, "What benefit will it bring to the soldiers to have a salutation from the Jews? or what amendment of your affairs will it bring you, if you do not now go out to meet them? (324) and that if they saluted them civilly, all handle would be cut off from Florus to begin a war; that they should thereby gain their country, and freedom from all further sufferings; and that, besides, it would be a sign of great want of command of themselves, if they should yield to a few seditious persons, while it was fitter for them who were so great a people, to force the others to act soberly."

   5. (325) By these persuasions, which they used to the multitude and to the seditious, they restrained some by threatenings, and others by the reverence that was paid them. After this they led them out, and they met the soldiers quietly, and after a composed manner, and when they were come up with them, they saluted them; but when they made no answer, the seditious exclaimed against Florus, which was the signal given for falling upon them.

   (326) The soldiers therefore encompassed them presently, and struck them with their clubs, and as they fled away, the horsemen trampled them down; so that a great many fell down dead by the strokes of the Romans, and more by their own violence in crushing one another.

   (327) Now there was a terrible crowding about the gates, and while everybody was making haste to get before another, the flight of them all was retarded, and a terrible destruction there was among those that fell down, for they were suffocated, and broken to pieces by the multitude of those that were uppermost; nor could any of them be distinguished by his relations, in order to the care of his funeral; (328) the soldiers also who beat them, fell upon those whom they overtook without showing them any mercy, and thrust the multitude through the place called Bezetha, as they forced their way, in order to get in and seize upon the temple, and the tower Antonia.

   Florus also, being desirous to get those places into his possession, brought such as were with him out of the king's palace, and would have compelled them to get as far as the citadel [Antonia]; (329) but his attempt failed, for the people immediately turned back upon him, and stopped the violence of his attempt; and as they stood upon the tops of their houses they threw their darts at the Romans, who, as they were sorely galled thereby, because those weapons came from above, and they were not able to make a passage through the multitude, which stopped up the narrow passages, they retired to the camp which was at the palace.

------------------------------------------------------------

   The property forfeiture laws that began under the guise of 'taking from criminals the illicit profits of drugs' is now being used by government to steal other property. Below a cartoon from a local newspaper. The police chief confiscated a teenager's computer because it had a pornographic picture stored on the hard drive. Of course the fact that the police department needed a computer had nothing to do with it.

------------------------------------------------------------

Never underestimate
the covetousness of wicked government

   6.(330) But for the seditious, they were afraid lest Florus should come again, and get possession of the temple, through Antonia; so they got immediately upon those cloisters of the temple that joined to Antonia, and cut them down.

   (331) This cooled the avarice of Florus; for whereas he was eager to obtain the treasures of God [in the temple], and on that account was desirous of getting into Antonia, as soon as the cloisters were broken down he left off his attempt; he then sent for the high priests and the Sanhedrin, and told them that he was indeed himself going out of the city, but that he would leave them as large a garrison as they should desire.

   (332) Hereupon they promised that they would make no innovations, in case he would leave them one band; but not that which had fought with the Jews, because the multitude bore ill will against that band on account of what they had suffered from it; so he changed the band as they desired, and with the rest of his forces returned to Caesarea.

The Wars Of The Jews
Book 2, Chapter 16.

   Cestius sends Neopolitanus the tribune to see in what condition the affairs of the Jews were. Agrippa makes a speech to the people of the Jews, that he may divert them from their intentions of making war with the Romans

Governor Florus tries to provoke insurection by making false charges.

   1.(333) However, Florus contrived another way to oblige the Jews to begin the war, and sent to Cestius and accused the Jews falsely of revolting [from the Roman government], and imputed the beginning of the former fight to them, and pretended they had been the authors of that disturbance, wherein they were only the sufferers.

   Yet were not the governors of Jerusalem silent upon this occasion, but did themselves write to Cestius, as did Bernice also, about the illegal practices of which Florus had been guilty against the city; (334) who, upon reading both accounts, consulted with his captains [what he should do].

   Now some of them thought it best for Cestius to go up with his army, either to punish the revolt, if it was real, or to settle the Roman affairs on a surer foundation, if the Jews continued quiet under them; but he thought it best himself to send one of his intimate friends beforehand, to see the state of affairs, and to give him a faithful account of the intentions of the Jews.

   (335) Accordingly he sent one of his tribunes, whose name was Neopolitanus, who met with king Agrippa as he was returning from Alexandria, at Jamnia, and told him who it was that sent him, and on what errand he was sent.

   2. (336) And here it was that the high priests, and men of power among the Jews, as well as the Sanhedrin, came to congratulate the king [upon his safe return]; and after they had paid him their respects, they lamented their own calamities, and related to him what barbarous treatment they had met with from Florus.

   (337) At which barbarity Agrippa had great indignation, but transferred, after a subtle manner, his anger towards those Jews whom he really pitied, that he might beat down their high thoughts of themselves, and would have them believe that they had not been so unjustly treated, in order to dissuade them from avenging themselves.

   (338) So these great men, as of better understanding than the rest, and desirous of peace, because of the possessions they had, understood that this rebuke which the king gave them was intended for their good; but as to the people, they came sixty furlongs out of Jerusalem, and congratulated both Agrippa and Neopolitanus;

   (339) but the wives of those that had been slain came running first of all and lamenting. The people also, when they heard their mourning, fell into lamentations also, and besought Agrippa to assist them; they also cried out to Neopolitanus, and complained of the many miseries they had endured under Florus; and they showed him, when they were come into the city, how the marketplace was made desolate, and the houses plundered.

   (340) They then persuaded Neopolitanus, by the means of Agrippa, that he would walk round the city, with only one servant, as far as Siloam, that he might inform himself that the Jews submitted to all the rest of the Romans, and were only displeased at Florus, by reason of his exceeding barbarity to them.

   So he walked round, and had sufficient experience of the good temper the people were in, and then went up to the temple, (341) where he called the multitude together, and highly commended them for their fidelity to the Romans, and earnestly exhorted them to keep the peace; and having performed such parts of divine worship at the temple as he was allowed to do, he returned to Cestius.

   3.(342) But as for the multitude of the Jews, they addressed themselves to the king, and to the high priests, and desired they might have to leave to send ambassadors to Nero against Florus, and not by their silence afford a suspicion that they had been the occasion of such great slaughters as had been made, and were disposed to revolt, alleging that they should seem to have been the first beginners of the war, if they did not prevent the report by showing who it was that began it; (343) and it appeared openly that they would not be quiet, if anybody should hinder them from sending such an embassage.

   But Agrippa, although he thought it too dangerous a thing for them to appoint men to go as the accusers of Florus, yet did he not think it fit for him to overlook them, as they were in a disposition for war.

   (344) He therefore called the multitude together into a large gallery, and placed his sister Bernice in the house of the Asamoneans, that she might be seen by them (which house was over the gallery, at the passage to the upper city, where the bridge joined the temple to the gallery), and spake to them as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------

   He is the same Agrippa who said to Paul, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian," Acts 26:28; and of whom St. Paul said, "He was expert in all the customs and questions of the Jews,"

------------------------------------------------------------

Agrippa makes a speech

Don't let a fight with a corrupt politician
become a fight with the U.S. Government
.

(Don't let your fight with Florus become war with Rome)

   4. (345) "Had I perceived that you were all zealously disposed to go to war with the Romans, and that the purer and more sincere part of the people did not propose to live in peace, I had not come out to you, nor been so bold as to give you counsel; for all discourses that tend to persuade men to do what they ought to do is superfluous, when the hearers are agreed to do the contrary.

   (346) But because some are earnest to go to war because they are young, and without experience of the miseries it brings; and because some are for it, out of an unreasonable expectation of regaining their liberty, and because others hope to get by it, and are therefore earnestly bent upon it; that in the confusion of your affairs they may gain what belongs to those that are too weak to resist them, I have thought it proper to get you all together, and to say to you what I think to be for your advantage; that so the former may grow wiser, and change their minds, and that the best men may come to no harm by the ill conduct of some others.

   (347) And let not any one be tumultuous against me, in case what they hear me say does not please them; for as to those that admit of no cure, but are resolved upon a revolt, it will still be in their power to retain the same sentiments after my exhortation is over; but still my discourse will fall to the ground, even with relation to those that have a mind to hear me, unless you will all keep silence.

   (348) I am well aware that many make a tragical exclamation concerning the injuries that have been offered you by your procurators, and concerning the glorious advantages of liberty; but before I begin the inquiry, who you are that must go to war, and who they are against whom you must fight,I shall first separate those pretenses that are by some connected together; (349) for if you aim at avenging yourselves on those that have done you injury, why do you pretend this to be a war for recovering your liberty? but if you think all servitude intolerable, to what purpose serve your complaints against your particular governors? for it they treated you with moderation, it would still be equally an unworthy thing to be in servitude.

   (350) Consider now the several cases that may be supposed, how little occasion there is for your going to war. Your first occasion is, the accusations you have to make against your procurators: now here you ought to be submissive to those in authority, and not give them any provocation: (351) but when you reproach men greatly for small offenses, you excite those whom you reproach to be your adversaries, for this will only make them leave off hurting you privately, and with some degree of modesty, and to lay what you have waste openly.

------------------------------------------------------------

   Many pastors get very hatefull mail over small differences in doctrine. Some 'patriots' seem to find it more rewarding fighting with brethren than opposing the wicked.

------------------------------------------------------------

   (352) Now nothing so much damps the force of strokes as bearing them with patience; and the quietness of those who are injured, diverts the injurious persons from afflicting.

------------------------------------------------------------

Love your neighbor as your self.

------------------------------------------------------------

   But let us take it for granted that the Roman ministers are injurious to you, and are incurably severe; yet are they not all the Romans who thus injure you; nor hath Caesar, against whom you are going to make war, injured you: it is not by their command that any wicked governor is sent to you; for they who are in the west cannot see those that are in the east; nor indeed is it easy for them there, even to hear what is done in these parts.

   (353) Now it is absurd to make war with a great many for the sake of one: to do so with such mighty people, for a small cause; and this when these people are not able to know of what you complain: (354) nay, such crimes as we complain of may soon be corrected, for the same procurator will not continue forever; and probable it is that the successors will come with more moderate inclinations.

   But as for war, if it be once begun, it is not easily laid down again, nor borne without calamities coming therewith.

   (355) However, as to the desire of recovering your liberty, it is unseasonable to indulge it so late; whereas you ought to have labored earnestly in old time that you might never have lost it; for the first experience of slavery was hard to be endured, and the struggle that you might never have been subject to it would have been just; (356) but that slave who hath been once brought into subjection, and then runs away, is rather a refractory slave than a lover of liberty; for it was then the proper time for doing all that was possible, that you might never have admitted the Romans [into your city] when Pompey came first into the country.

   (357) But so it was, that our ancestors and their kings, who were in much better circumstances than we are, both as to money and [strong] bodies, and [valiant] souls, did not bear the onset of a small body of the Roman army.

   And yet you who have not accustomed yourselves to obedience from one generation to another, and who are so much inferior to those who first submitted in your circumstances, will venture to oppose the entire empire of the Romans; (358) while those Athenians, who, in order to preserve the liberty of Greece, did once set fire to their own city, who pursued Xerxes, that proud prince, when he sailed upon the sea; and could not be contained by the seas, but conducted such an army as was too broad for Europe; and made him run away like fugitive in a single ship and brake so great a part of Asia as the Lesser Salamis, are yet at this time servants to the Romans; and those injunctions which are sent from Italy, become laws to the principal governing city of Greece.

   (359) Those Lacedemonians also, who got the great victories at Thermopylae and Platea, and had Agesilaus [for their king], and searched every corner of Asia, are contented to admit the same lords.

   (360) These Macedonians, also who still fancy what great men their Philip and Alexander were, and see that the latter had promised them the empire over the world, these bear so great a change, and pay their obedience to those whom fortune hath advanced in their stead.

   (361) Moreover, ten thousand other nations there are, who had greater reason than we to claim their entire liberty, and yet do submit. You are the only people who think it a disgrace to be servants to those to whom all the world hath submitted. What sort of an army do you rely on? What are the arms you depend on? Where is your fleet that may seize upon the Roman seas? And where are those treasures which may be sufficient for your undertakings?

   (362) Do you suppose, I pray you, that you are to make war with the Egyptians, and with the Arabians? Will you not carefully reflect upon the Roman Empire? Will you not estimate your own weakness? Hath not your army been often beaten even by your neighboring nations, while the power of the Romans is invincible in all parts of the habitable earth?

   (363) Nay, rather they seek for somewhat still beyond that; for all Euphrates is not a sufficient boundary for them on the east side, nor the Danube on the north; and for their southern limit, Libya hath been searched over by them, as far as countries uninhabited, as is Cadiz their limit on the west; nay, indeed, they have sought for another habitable earth beyond the ocean, and have carried their arms as far as such British islands as were never know before.

   (364) What therefore do you pretend to? Are you richer than the Gauls, stronger than the Germans, wiser than the Greeks, more numerous than all men upon the habitable earth? What confidence is it that elevates you to oppose the Romans?

------------------------------------------------------------

Who is like unto the Beast? Who is able to make war with him?
Revelation 13:4

------------------------------------------------------------

Who is able to make war with Rome?

   (365) Perhaps it will be said, it is hard to endure slavery. Yes; but how much harder is it to the Greeks, who were esteemed the noblest of all people under the sun! These, though they inhabit in a large country, are in subjection to six bundles of Roman rods.

   It is the same case with the Macedonians, who have juster reason to claim their liberty than you have. (366) What is the case of five hundred cities of Asia? Do they not submit to a single governor, and to the consular bundle of rods? What need I speak of the Heniochi, and Colchi, and the nation of Tauri, those that inhabit the Bosphorus, and the nations about Pontus, and Meotis, (367) who formerly knew not so much as a lord of their own, but are now subject to three thousand armed men, and where forty long ships keep the sea in peace, which before was not navigable, and very tempestuous?

   (368) How strong a plea may Bithynia, and Cappadocia, and the people of Pamphylia, the Lycians, and Cilicians, put in for liberty! But they are made tributary without an army. What are the circumstances of the Thracians, whose country extends in breadth five days' journey, and in length seven, and is of a much more harsh constitution, and much more defensible than yours, and by the rigor of its cold, sufficient to keep off armies from attacking them? Do not they submit to two thousand men of the Roman garrisons?

   (369) Are not he Illyrians, who inhabit the country adjoining, as far as Dalmatia and the Danube, governed by barely two legions? by which also they put a stop to the incursions of the Dacians; and for the (370) Dalmatians, who have made such frequent insurrections, in order to regain their liberty, and who could never before be so thoroughly subdued, but that they always gathered their forces together again, and revolted, yet are they now very quiet under one Roman legion.

   (371) Moreover, if great advantages might provoke any people to revolt, the Gauls might do it best of all, as being so thoroughly walled round by nature; on the east side by the Alps, on the north by the river Rhine, on the south by the Pyrenean mountains, and on the west by the ocean.

   (372) Now, although these Gauls have such obstacles before them to prevent any attack upon them, and have no fewer than three hundred and five nations among them, nay have, as one may say, the fountains of domestic happiness within themselves, and send out plentiful streams of happiness over almost the whole world, these bear to be tributary to the Romans, and derive their prosperous condition from them; (373) and they undergo this, not because the are of effeminate minds, or because they are of an ignoble stock, as having borne a war of eighty years, in order to preserve their liberty; but by reason of the great regard they have to the power of the Romans, and their good fortune, which is of greater efficacy than their arms.

   These Gauls, therefore, are kept in servitude by twelve hundred soldiers, who are hardly so many as are their cities; (374) nor hath the gold dug out of the mines of Spain been sufficient for the support of a war to preserve their liberty, nor could their vast distance from the Romans by land and by sea do it; nor could the martial tribes of the Lusitanians and Spaniards escape; no more could the ocean, with its tide, which yet was terrible to the ancient inhabitants.

   (375) Nay, the Romans have extended their arms beyond the pillars of Hercules, and have walked among the clouds, upon the Pyrenean mountains, and have subdued these nations; and one legion is a sufficient guard for these people, although they were so hard to be conquered, and at a distance so remote from Ro me.

   (376) Who is there among you that hath not heard of the great number of the Germans? You have, to be sure, yourselves seen them to be strong and tall, and that frequently, since the Romans have them among their captives everywhere; (377) yet these Germans, who dwell in an immense country, who have minds greater than their bodies, and a soul that despises death, and who are in a rage more fierce than wild beasts, have the Rhine for the boundary of their enterprises, and are tamed by eight Roman legions.

   Such of them as were taken captives became their servants; and the rest of the entire nation were obliged to save themselves by flight.

   (378) Do you also, who depend on the walls of Jerusalem, consider what a wall the Britons had; for the Romans sailed away to them, and subdued them while they were encompassed by the ocean, and inhabited an island that is not less than [the continent of] this habitable earth, and four legions are a sufficient guard to so large an island: (379) and why should I speak much more about this matter, while the Parthians, that most warlike body of men, and lords of so many nations, and encompassed with such mighty forces, send hostages to the Romans; whereby you may see, if you please, even in Italy, the noblest nation of the east, under the notion of peace, submitting to serve them.

   (380) Now, when almost all people under the sun submit to the Roman arms, will you be the only people that make war against them? And this without regarding the fate of the Carthaginians, who, in the midst of their brags of the great Hannibal, and the nobility of their Phoenician original, fell by the hand of Scipio.

   (381) Nor indeed have the Cyrenians, derived from the Lacedemonians, nor the Marmaridae, a nation extended as far as the regions uninhabitable for want of water, nor have the Syrtes, a place terrible to such as barely hear it described, the Nasamons and Moors, and the immense multitude of the Numidians, been able to put a stop to the Roman valor; (382) and as for the third part of the habitable earth [Africa], whose nations are so many, that it is not easy to number them, and which is bounded by the Atlantic sea, and the Pillars of Hercules, and feeds an innumerable multitude of Ethiopians, as far as the Red sea, these have the Romans subdued entirely.

   (383) And besides the annual fruits of the earth, which maintain the multitude of the Romans for eight months in the year, this, over and above pays all sorts of tribute, and affords revenues suitable to the necessities of the government. Nor do they, like you, esteem such injunctions a disgrace to them, although they have but one Roman legion that abides among them; (384) and indeed what occasion is there for showing you the power of the Romans over remote countries, when it is so easy to learn it from Egypt, in your neighborhood?

   (385) This country is extended as far as the Ethiopians, and Arabia the Happy, and borders upon India; it hath seven million five hundred thousand men, besides the inhabitants of Alexandria, as may be learned from the revenue of the poll tax; yet it is not ashamed to submit to the Roman government, although it hath Alexandria as a grand temptation to a revolt, by reason it is so full of people and of riches, and is besides exceeding large, (386) its length being thirty furlongs, and its breadth no less than ten; and it pays more tribute to the Romans in one month than you do in a year: nay, besides what it pays in money, it sends corn to Rome that supports it for four months [in the year]: it is also walled round on all sides, either by almost impassable deserts, or seas that have no havens, or by rivers, or by lakes;

   (387) yet have none of these things been found too strong for the Roman good fortune; however, two legions that lie in that city are a bridle both for the remoter parts of Egypt, and for the parts inhabited by the more noble Macedonians. (388) Where then are those people whom you are to have for your auxiliaries?

   Must they come from the parts of the world that are uninhabited; for all that are in the habitable earth are [under the] Romans.Unless any of you extend his hopes as far as beyond the Euphrates, and suppose that those of your own nation that dwell in Adiabene will come to your assistance (389) (but certainly these will not embarrass themselves with an unjustifiable war, nor, if they should follow such ill advice, will the Parthians permit them so to do); for it is their concern to maintain the truce that is between them and the Romans, and they will be supposed to break the covenants between them, if any under their government march against the Romans.

------------------------------------------------------------

In the face of all this, what is a Christian to do?

------------------------------------------------------------

Imprecatory Prayer

(   390) What remains, therefore, is this, that you have recourse to divine assistance; but this is already on the side of the Romans; for it is impossible that so vast an empire should be settled without God's providence.

------------------------------------------------------------

   Information on imprecatory prayer is almost impossible to find elsewhere. In this course there is an article about Imprecatory prayer.

------------------------------------------------------------

   (391) Reflect upon it, how impossible it is your zealous observation of your religious customs to be here preserved, which are hard to be observed, even when you fight with those whom you are able to conquer; and how can you then most of all hope for God's assistance, when, by being forced to transgress his law, you will make him turn his face from you?

   (392) And if you do observe the custom of the Sabbath days, and will not be prevailed on to do anything thereon, you will easily be taken, as were your forefathers by Pompey, who was the busiest in his siege on those days on which the besieged rested; (393) but if in time of war you transgress the law of your country, I cannot tell on whose account you will afterward go to war; for your concern is but one, that you do nothing against any of your forefathers; (394) and how will you call upon God to assist you, when you are voluntarily transgressing against his religion?

------------------------------------------------------------

   392 - Not so - Repelling an attack on the Sabbath would fall under 'exceptions' .  Also observing all the Sabbaths brings a promise of Devine protection from national enemies. "For I will cast out all nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the Lord thy God thrise in the year." (Exodus 34:24) Here God is promising national protection in exchange for national observation of His Sabbaths. For more information is found later in this course.

------------------------------------------------------------

   Now, all men that go to war, do it either as depending on divine or on human assistance; but since your going to war will cut off both those assistances, those that are for going to war choose evident destruction.

   (395) What hinders you from slaying your children and wives with your own hands, and burning this most excellent native city of yours? For by this mad prank you will, however, escape the reproach of being beaten; (396) but it were best, O my friends, it were best, while the vessel is still in the haven, to foresee the impending storm, and not to set sail out of the port into the middle of the hurricanes; for we justly pity those who fall into great misfortunes without foreseeing them; but for him who rushes into manifest ruin, he gains reproaches [instead of commiseration].

   (397) But certainly no one can imagine that you can enter into a war as by an agreement, or that when the Romans have got you under their power they will use you with moderation, or will not rather, for an example to other nations, burn your holy city, and utterly destroy your whole nation; for those of you who shall survive the war will not be able to find a place whither to flee, since all men have the Romans for the lords already, or are afraid they shall have hereafter.

------------------------------------------------------------

   As an example to other churches the florus' in government provided the events in Waco, Texas April 19, 1993. The ill advised Oklahoma revenge only helped the Florus' to further discredit those who believed Waco was a national disgrace.

   And woe to the church or organization whose literature if found in the bad guy's home or car. They get tarred with the same brush, even when they had absolutely nothing to do with it. Likewise, abortion clinic and porn shop bombings backfire to the joy of 'Florus'. (The insurance company rebuilds it anyway.) The solution is good men in government and imprecatory prayer.

------------------------------------------------------------

   (398) Nay, indeed the danger concerns not those Jews that dwell here only, but those of them who dwell in other cities also; for there is no people upon the habitable earth which have not some portion of you among them,

   (399) whom your enemies will slay, in case you go to war, and on that account also; and so every city which hath Jews in it will be filled with slaughter for the sake only of a few men, and they who slay them will be pardoned; but if that slaughter be not made by them, consider how wicked a thing it is to take arms against those that are so kind to you.

   (400) Have pity, therefore, if not on your children and wives, yet upon this your metropolis, and its sacred walls; spare the temple, and preserve the holy house, with its holy furniture, for yourselves; for if the Romans get you under their power, they will no longer abstain from them, when their former abstinences shall have been so ungratefully requited.

   (401) I call to witness your sanctuary, and the holy angels of God, and this country common to us all, that I have not kept back anything that is for your preservation; and if you will follow that advice which you ought to do, you will have that peace which will be common to you and to me; but if you indulge your passions, you will run those hazards which I shall be free from."

Agrippa's speech ends

   5. (402) When Agrippa had spoken thus, both he and his sister wept, and by their tears repressed a great deal of the violence of the people; but still they cried out, that they would not fight against the Romans but against Florus, on account of what they had suffered by his means. (403)

   To which Agrippa replied, that what they had already done was like such as make war against the Romans; "for you have not paid the tribute which is due to Caesar; {2.16.5.b} and you have cut off the cloisters [of the temple] from joining to the tower Antonia. (404) You will therefore prevent any occasion of revolt, if you will but join these together again, and if you will but pay your tribute; for the citadel does not now belong to Florus, nor are you to pay the tribute money to Florus."

   (Julius Caesar had decreed, that the Jews of Jerusalem should pay an annual tribute to the Romans, excepting the city of Joppa, and for the Sabbatical year; as Spanheim observes from the Antiq. 14.10.6.)

The Wars Of The Jews
Book 2, Chapter 17.

How the war of the Jews with the Romans began; and concerning Manahem

   1. (405) This advice the people hearkened to, and went up into the temple with the king and Bernice, and began to rebuild the cloisters; the rulers also and senators divided themselves into the villages, and collected the tributes, and soon got together forty talents, which was the sum that was deficient. (406) And thus did Agrippa then put a stop to that war which was threatened.

   Moreover, he attempted to persuade that multitude to obey Florus, until Caesar should send one to succeed him; but they were hereby more provoked, and cast reproaches upon the king, and got him excluded out of the city; nay, some of the seditious had the impudence to throw stones at him.

------------------------------------------------------------

   Get along with the existing bureaucrats as best you can, obey the law, work to elect good men to office, while asking God in imprecatory prayer to bring 'they' to justice.

------------------------------------------------------------

   (407) So when the king saw that the violence of those that were for innovations was not to be restrained, and being very angry at the contumelies he had received, he sent their rulers, together with their men of power, to Florus, to Cesarea, that he might appoint whom he thought fit to collect tribute in the country, while he retired into his own kingdom.

   2. (408) And at this time it was that some of those that principally excited the people to go to war, made an assault upon a certain fortress called Masada. They took it by treachery and slew the Romans that were there, and put others of their own party to keep it. (409) At the same time Eleazar, the sons of Ananias the high priest, a very bold youth, who was at that time governor of the temple, persuaded those that officiated in the divine service to receive no gift or sacrifice for any foreigner.

   And this was the true beginning of our war with the Romans; for they rejected the sacrifice of Caesar on this account; (410) and when many of the high priests and principal men besought them not to omit the sacrifice which it was customary for them to offer for their princes, they would not prevailed upon. These relied much upon their multitude, for the most flourishing part of the innovators assisted them, but they had the chief regard to Eleazar, the governor of the temple.

   3. (411) Hereupon the men of power got together, and conferred with the high priests, as did also the principal of the Pharisees; and thinking all was at stake, and that their calamities were becoming incurable, took counsel what was to be done. Accordingly they determined to try what they could do with the seditious by words, and assembled the people before the brazen gate, which was the gate of the inner temple [court of the priests] which looked towards the sunrising.

   (412) And, in the first place, they showed the great indignation they had at this attempt for a revolt, and for their bringing so great a war upon their country; after which they confuted their pretense as unjustifiable, and told them, that their forefathers had adorned their temple in great part with donations bestowed on them by foreigners, and had always received what had been presented to them from foreign nations; (413) and that they had been so far from rejecting any person's sacrifice (which would be the highest instance of impiety), that they had themselves placed those donations about the temple which were still visible, and had remained there so long a time; (414) that they did now irritate the Romans to take up arms against them, and invited them to make war upon them, and brought up novel rules of strange divine worship, and determined to run the hazard of having <%-1>their city condemned for impiety, while they would not allow any foreigner but Jews only, either to sacrifice or to worship therein.

   (415) And if such a law should ever be introduced in the case of a single person only, he would have indignation at it, as an instance of inhumanity determined against him; while they have no regard to the Romans or to Caesar, and forbade even their oblations to be received also; (416) that however they cannot but fear, lest, by thus rejecting their sacrifices, they shall not be allowed to offer their own; and that this city will lose its principality, unless they grow wiser quickly, and restore the sacrifices as formerly; and indeed amend the injury [they have offered to foreigners] before the report of it comes to the ears of those that have been injured.

   4. (417) And as they said these things, they produced those priests that were skillful in the customs of their country, who made the report, that all their forefathers had received the sacrifices from foreign nations.But still not one of the innovators would hearken to what was said: nay, those that ministered about the temple would not attend their divine service, but were preparing matters for beginning the war.

   (418) So the men of power, perceiving that the sedition was too hard for them to subdue, and that the danger which would arise from the Romans would come upon them first of all, endeavored to save themselves, and sent ambassadors; some to Florus, the chief of whom was Simon the son of Ananias; and others to Agrippa, among whom the most eminent were Saul, and Antipas, and Costobarus, who were of the king's kindred; (419) and they desired of them both that they would come with an army to the city and cut off the sedition before it should be too hard to be subdued.

   (420) Now this terrible message was good news to Florus; and because his design was to have a war kindled, he gave the ambassadors no answer at all. (421) But Agrippa was equally solicitous for those that were revolting, and for those against whom the war was to be made, and was desirous to preserve the Jews for the Romans and the temple and metropolis for the Jews; he was also sensible that it was not for his own advantage that the disturbances should proceed; so he sent three thousand horsemen to the assistance of the people out of Auranitis, and Batanea, and Trachonitis, and these under Darius, the master of his horse; and Philip the son of Jacimus, the general of his army.

   5. (422) Upon this the men of power, with the high priests, as also all the part of the multitude that were desirous of peace, took courage, and seized upon the upper city [Mount Sion]; for the seditious part had the lower city and the temple in their power: (423) so they made use of stones and slings perpetually against one another, and threw darts continually on both sides; and sometimes it happened that they made excursions by troops, and fought it out hand to hand, while the seditious were superior in boldness, but the king's soldiers in skill.

   (424) These last strove chiefly to gain the temple, and to drive those out of it who profaned it; as did the seditious, with Eleazar (besides what they had already) labor to gain the upper city. Thus were there perpetual slaughters on both sides for seven days' time; but neither side would yield up the parts they had seized upon.

The Jews fight among themselves

   6. (425) Now the next day was the festival of Xylophory; upon which the custom was for every one to bring wood for the altar (that there might never be a want of fuel for that fire which was unquenchable and always burning). Upon that day they excluded the opposite party from the observation of this part of religion.

   And when they had joined to themselves many of the Sicarii, who crowded in among the weaker people (that was the name for such robbers as had under their bosoms swords called Sicae), they grew bolder, and carried their undertakings further; (426) insomuch that the king's soldiers were overpowered by their multitude and boldness; and so they gave way, and were driven out of the upper city by force. The others then set fire to the house of Ananias the high priest, and to the palaces of Agrippa and Bernice;

------------------------------------------------------------

Angel: You look frustrated my Lord.

God: What a bunch of bone-heads! It's those Christians! I told them to love their neighbors and hate My enemies. But all they do is fight with the brethren and pray that I 'bless them that curseth thee'.

Angel: Shall I continue to do as they ask, to bless those that curse them? I hope they realize, before it is too late, Christians are to pray for blessings upon their neighbors and curses upon God's enemies.

------------------------------------------------------------

   (427) after which they carried the fire to the place where the archives were reposited, and made haste to burn the contracts belonging to their creditors, and thereby dissolve their obligations for paying their debts; and this was done, in order to gain the multitude of those who had been debtors, and that they might persuade the poorer sort to join in their insurrection with safety against the more wealthy; so the keepers of the records fled away, and the rest set fire to them.

   (428) And when they had thus burnt down the nerves of the city, they fell upon their enemies; at which time some of the men of power, and of the high priests, went into the vaults under ground, and concealed themselves, (429) while other fled with the king's soldiers to the upper palace, and shut the gates immediately; among whom were Ananias the high priest, and the ambassadors that had been sent to Agrippa. And now the seditious were contented with the victory they had gotten, and the buildings they had burnt down, and proceeded no further.

   7. (430) But on the next day, which was the fifteenth of the month Lous [Ab], they made an assault upon Antonia, and besieged the garrison which was in it two days, and then took the garrison, and slew them, and set the citadel on fire; (431) after which they marched to the palace, whither the king's soldiers were fled, and parted themselves into four bodies, and made an attack upon the walls.

   As for those that were within it, no one had the courage to sally out, because those that assaulted them were so numerous; but they distributed themselves into the breast-works and turrets, and shot at the besiegers, whereby many of the robbers fell under the walls; (432) nor did they cease to fight one with another by night or by day; while the seditious supposed that those within would grow weary for want of food; and those without, supposed the others would do the like by the tediousness of the siege.

   8. (433) In the meantime one Manahem, the son of Judas, that was called the Galilean (who was a very cunning sophister, and had formerly reproached the Jews under Cyrenius, that after God they were subject to the Romans) took some of the men of note with him, and retired to Masada, (434) where he broke open king Herod's armory, and gave arms not only to his own people, but to other robbers also.

   These he made use of for a guard, and returned in the state of a king to Jerusalem; he became the leader of the sedition, and gave orders for continuing the siege; (435) but they wanted proper instruments, and it was not practicable to undermine the wall, because the darts came down upon them from above.

   But still they dug a mine, from a great distance, under one of the towers, and made it totter; and having done that, they set on fire what was combustible, and left it; (436) and when the foundations were burnt below, the tower fell down suddenly. Yet did they then meet with another wall that had been built within, for the besieged were sensible beforehand of what they were doing, and probably the tower shook as it was undermining; so they provided themselves of another fortification; (437) which when the besiegers unexpectedly saw, while they thought they had already gained the place, they were under some consternation.

   However, those that were within sent to Manahem, and to the other leaders of the sedition, and desired they might go out upon a capitulation; this was granted to the king's soldiers and their own countrymen only, who went out accordingly;

   (438) but the Romans that were left alone were greatly dejected, for they were not able to force their way through such a multitude; and to desire them to give them their right hand for their security, they thought would be a reproach to them; and besides, if they should give it them, they durst not depend upon it; (439) so they deserted their camp, as easily taken, and ran away to the royal towers,that called Hippicus, that called Phasaelus, and that called Mariamne.

   (440) But Manahem and his party fell upon the place whence the soldiers were fled, and slew as many of them as they could catch, before they got up to the towers, and plundered what they left behind them, and set fire to their camp. This was executed on the sixth day of the month Gorpieus [Elul].

   9. (441) But on the next day the high priest was caught where he had concealed himself in an aqueduct; he was slain, together with Hezekiah his brother, by the robbers: hereupon the seditious besieged the towers, and kept them guarded, lest any one of the soldiers should escape.

   (442) Now the overthrow of the places of strength, and the death of the high priest Ananias, so puffed up Manahem, that he became barbarously cruel; and, as he thought he had no antagonists to dispute the management of affairs with him, he was no better than an insupportable tyrant; (443) but Eleazar and his party, when words had passed between them, how it was not proper when they revolted from the Romans, out of the desire of liberty, to betray that liberty to any of their own people, and to bear a lord, who, though he should be guilty of no violence, was yet meaner than themselves; as also, that, in case they were obliged to set someone over their public affairs, it was fitter they should give that privilege to anyone rather than to him, they made an assault upon him in the temple; (444) for he went up thither to worship in a pompous manner, and adorned with royal garments, and had his followers with him in their armor.

   (445) But Eleazar and his party fell violently upon him, as did also the rest of the people, and taking up stones to attack him withal, they threw them at the sohister, and thought that if he were once ruined, the entire sedition would fall to the ground.

   (446) Now Manahem and his party made resistance for a while; but when they perceived that the whole multitude were falling upon them, they fled which was every one was able; those that were caught were slain, and those that hid themselves were searched for.

   (447) A few there were of them who privately escaped to Masada, among whom was Eleazar, the son of Jarius, who was of kin to Manahem, and acted the part of a tyrant at Masada afterward. (448) As for Manahem himself, he ran away to the place called Ophla, and there lay skulking in private; but they took him alive, and drew him out before them all; they then tortured him with many sorts of torments, and after all slew him, as they did by those that were captains under him also, and particularly by the principle instrument of his tyranny, whose name was Apsalom.

   10. (449) And, as I said, so far truly the people assisted them, while they hoped this might afford some amendments to the seditious practices; bu the others were not in haste to put an end to the war, but hoped to prosecute it with less danger, now they had slain Manahem.

   (450) It is true, that when the people earnestly desired that they would leave off besieging the soldiers, they were the more earnest in pressing it forward, and this till Metilius, who was the Roman general, sent to Eleazar, and desired that they would give them security to spare their lives only; but agreed to deliver up their arms, and what else they had with them.

   (451) The others readily complied with their petition, sent to them Gorion, the son of Nicodemus, and Ananias, the son of Sadduk, and, Judas, the son of Jonathan that they might give them the security of their right hands, and of their oaths: after which Metilius brought down his soldiers; (452) which soldiers, while they were in arms, were not meddled with by any of the seditious, nor was there any appearance of treachery; but as soon as, according to the articles of capitulation, they had all laid down their shields and their swords, and were under no further suspicion of any harm, but were going away, (453) Eleazar's men attacked them after a violent manner, and encompassed them round, and slew them, while they neither defended themselves nor entreated for mercy, but only cried out upon the breach of their articles of capitulation and their oaths.

   (454) And thus were all these men barbarously murdered, excepting Metilius; for when he entreated for mercy, and promised that he would turn Jew, and be circumcised, they saved him alive, but none else. This loss to the Romans was but light, there being no more than a few slain out of an immense army; but still it appeared to be a prelude to the Jews' own destruction, (455) while men made public lamentation when they saw that such occasions were afforded for a war as were incurable; that the city was all over polluted with such abominations, from which it was but reasonable to expect some vengeance even though they should escape revenge from the Romans; so that the city was filled with sadness, and every one of the moderate men in it were under great disturbance, as likely themselves to undergo punishment for the wickedness of the seditious; (456) for indeed it so happened that this murder was perpetrated on the Sabbath day, on which day the Jews have a respite from their works on account of divine worship.

End.

The American Revolution was not a Rebellion

Please use your browser's back button to return to the prior page.

HOME