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  • JOSEPHUS' WRITINGS - LIFE OF FLAVIUS - 10
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    57. Now Jesus, who was the ruler, commanded that they should exclude all that came with me, for he kept the door himself, and suffered none but his friends to go in. And while we were engaged in the duties of the day, and had betaken ourselves to our prayers, Jesus got up, and inquired of me what was become of the vessels that were taken out of the king's palace, when it was burnt down [and] of that uncoined silver; and in whose possession they now were? This he said, in order to drive away time till John should come. I said that Capellus, and the ten principal men of Tiberias, had them all; and I told him that they might ask them whether I told a lie or not. And when they said they had them, he asked me, What is become of those twenty pieces of gold which thou didst receive upon the sale of a certain weight of uncoined money? I replied, that I had given them to those ambassadors of theirs, as a maintenance for them, when they were sent by them to Jerusalem. So Jonathan and his colleagues said that I had not done well to pay the ambassadors out of the public money. And when the multitude were very angry at them for this, for they perceived the wickednes of the men, I understood that a tumult was going to arise; and being desirous to provoke the people to a greater rage against the men, I said, "But if I have not done well in paying our ambassadors out of the public stock, leave off your anger at me, for I will repay the twenty pieces of gold myself."

    58. When I had said this, Jonathan and his colleagues held their peace; but the people were still more irritated against them, upon their openly showing their unjust ill-will to me. When Jesus saw this change in file people, he ordered them to depart, but desired the senate to stay; for that they could not examine things of such a nature in a tumult: and as the people were crying out that they would not leave me alone, there came one and told Jesus and his friends privately, that John and his armed men were at hand: whereupon Jonathan and his colleagues, being able to contain themselves no longer, (and perhaps the providence of God hereby procuring my deliverance, for had not this been so, I had certainly been destroyed by John,) said, "O you people of Tiberias! leave off this inquiry about the twenty pieces of gold; for Josephus hath not deserved to die for them; but he hath deserved it by his desire of tyrannizing, and by cheating the multitude of the Galileans with his speeches, in order to gain the dominion over them." When he had said this, they presently laid hands upon me, and endeavored to kill me: but as soon as those that were with me saw what they did, they drew their swords, and threatened to smite them, if they offered any violence to me. The people also took up stones, and were about to throw them at Jonathan; and so they snatched me from the violence of my enemies.

    59. But as I was gone out a little way, I was just upon meeting John, who was marching with his armed men. So I was afraid of him, and turned aside, and escaped by a narrow passage to the lake, and seized on a ship, and embarked in it, and sailed over to Tarichese. So, beyond my expectation, I escaped this danger. Whereupon I presently sent for the chief of the Galileans, and told them after what manner, against all faith given, I had been very near to destruction from Jonathan and his colleagues, and the people of Tiberias. Upon which the multitude of the Galileans were very. angry, and encouraged me to delay no longer to make war upon them, but to permit them to go against John, and utterly to destroy him, as well as Jonathan and his colleagues. However, I restrained them, though they were in such a rage, and desired them to tarry a while, till we should be informed what orders those ambassadors, that were sent by them to the city of Jerusalem, should bring thence; for I told them that it was best for them to act according to their determination; whereupon they were prevailed on. At which time, also, John, when the snares he had laid did not take effect, returned back to Gischala.

    60. Now, in a few days, those ambassadors whom he had sent, came back again and informed us, that the people were greatly provoked at Ananus, and Simon the son of Gamaliel, and their friends; that, without any public determination, they had sent to Galilee, and had done their endeavors that I might be turned out of the government. The ambassadors said further, that the people were ready to burn their houses. They also brought letters, whereby the chief men of Jerusalem, at the earnest petition of the people, confirmed me in the government of Galilee, and enjoined Jonathan and his colleagues to return home quickly. When I had gotten these letters, I came to the village Arbela, where I procured an assembly of the Galileans to meet, and bid the ambassadors declare to them the anger of the people of Jerusalem at what had been done by Jonathan and his colleagues, and how much they hated their wicked doings, and how they had confirmed me in the government of their country, as also what related to the order they had in writing for Jonathan and his colleagues to return home. So I immediately sent them the letter, and bid him that carried it to inquire, as well as he could, how they intended to act [on this occasion.]

    61. Now, when they had received that letter, and were thereby greatly disturbed, they sent for John, and for the senators of Tiberias, and for the principal men of the Gabarens, and proposed to hold a council, and desired them to consider what was to be done by them. However, the governors of Tiberias were greatly disposed to keep the government to themselves; for they said it was not fit to desert their city, now it was committed to their trust, and that otherwise I should not delay to fall upon them; for they pretended falsely that so I had threatened to do. Now John was not only of their opinion, but advised them, that two of them should go to accuse me before the multitude [at Jerusalem], that I do not manage the affairs of Galilee as I ought to do; and that they would easily persuade the people, because of their dignity, and because the whole multitude are very mutable. When, therefore, it appeared that John had suggested the wisest advice to them, they resolved that two of them, Jonathan and Ananias, should go to the people of Jerusalem, and the other two [Simon and Joazar] should be left behind to tarry at Tiberins. They also took along with them a hundred soldiers for their guard.

    62. However, the governors of Tiberias took care to have their city secured with walls, and commanded their inhabitants to take their arms. They also sent for a great many soldiers from John, to assist them against me, if there should be occasion for them. Now John was at Gischala. Jonathan, therefore, and those that were with him, when they were departed from Tiberias, and as soon as they were come to Dabaritta, a village that lay in the utmost parts of Galilee, in the great plain, they, about midnight, fell among the guards I had set, who both commanded them to lay aside their weapons, and kept them in bonds upon the place, as I had charged them to do. This news was written to me by Levi, who had the command of that guard committed to him by me. Hereupon I said nothing of it for two days; and, pretending to know nothing about it, I sent a message to the people of Tiberias, and advised them to lay their arms aside, and to dismiss their men, that they might go home. But, supposing that Jonathan, and those that were with him, were already arrived at Jerusalem, they made reproachful answers to me; yet was I not terrified thereby, but contrived another stratagem against them, for I did not think it agreeable with piety to kindle the fire of war against the citizens. As I was desirous to draw those men away from Tiberias, I chose out ten thousand of the best of my armed men, and divided them into three bodies, and ordered them to go privately, and lie still as an ambush, in the villages. I also led a thousand into another village, which lay indeed in the mountains, as did the others, but only four furlongs distant from Tiberias; and gave orders, that when they saw my signal, they should come down immediately, while I myself lay with my soldiers in the sight of every body. Hereupon the people of Tiberias, at the sight of me, came running out of the city perpetually, and abused me greatly. Nay, their madness was come to that height, that they made a decent bier for me, and, standing about it, they mourned over me in the way of jest and sport; and I could not but be myself in a pleasant humor upon the sight of this madness of theirs.

    63. And now being desirous to catch Simon by a wile, and Joazar with him, I sent a message to them, and desired them to come a little way out of the city, and many of their friends to guard them; for I said I would come down to them, and make a league with them, and divide the government of Galilee with them. Accordingly, Simon was deluded on account of his imprudence, and out of the hopes of gain, and did not delay to come; but Joazar, suspecting snares were laid for him, staid behind. So when Simon was come out, and his friends with him, for his guard, I met him, and saluted him with great civility, and professed that I was obliged to him for his coming up to me; but a little while afterward I walked along with him as though I would say something to him by myself; and when I had drawn him a good way from his friends, I took him about the middle, and gave him to my friends that were with me, to carry him into a village; and, commanding my armed men to come down, I with them made an assault upon Tiberias. Now, as the fight grew hot on both sides, and the soldiers belonging to Tiberias were in a fair way to conquer me, (for my armed men were already fled away,) I saw the posture of my affairs; and encouraging those that were with me, I pursued those of Tiberias, even when they were already conquerors, into the city. I also sent another band of soldiers into the city by the lake, and gave them orders to set on fire the first house they could seize upon. When this was done, the people of Tiberinas thought that their city was taken by force, and so threw down their arms for fear, and implored, they, their wives, and children, that I would spare their city. So I was over-persuaded by their entreaties, and restrained the soldiers from the vehemency with which they pursued them; while I myself, upon the coming on of the evening, returned back with my soldiers, and went to refresh myself. I also invited Simon to sup with me, and comforted him on occasion of what had happened; and I promised that I would send him safe and secure to Jerusalem, and with would give him provisions for his journey thither.

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