Are you a Christian?
PREVIOUS CHAPTER - NEXT CHAPTER - HELP - FACEBOOK
45. When I had written thus, and given the letter to be carried by the soldier, I sent along with him thirty of the Galileans of the best characters, and gave them instructions to salute those ambassadors, but to say nothing else to them. I also gave orders to as many of those armed men, whom I esteemed most faithful to me, to go along with the others, every one with him whom he was to guard, lest some conversation might pass between those whom I sent and those who were with Jonathan. So those men went [to Jonathan]. But when Jonathan and his partners had failed in this their first attempt, they sent me another letter, the contents whereof were as follows: "Jonathan, and those with him, to Josephus, send greeting. We require thee to come to us to the village Gabaroth, on the third day, without any armed men, that we may hear what thou hast to lay to the charge of John [of Gischala]." When they had written this letter, they saluted the Galileans whom I sent, and came to Japha, which was the largest village of all Galilee, and encompassed with very strong walls, and had a great number of inhabitants in it. There the multitude of men, with their wives and children, met them, and exclaimed loudly against them; and desired them to be gone, and not to envy them the advantage of an excellent commander. With these clamors Jonathan and his partners were greatly provoked, although they dare not show their anger openly; so they made them no answer, but went to other villages. But still the same clamors met them from all the people, who said, "Nobody should persuade them to have any other commander besides Josephus." So Jonathan and his partners went away from them without success, and came to Sepphoris, the greatest city of all Galilee. Now the men of that city, who inclined to the Romans in their sentiments, met them indeed, but neither praised nor reproached me and when they were gone down from Sepphoris to Asochis, the people of that place made a clamor against them, as those of Japha had done; whereupon they were able to contain themselves no longer, but ordered the armed men that were with them to beat those that made the clamor with their clubs. And when they came to Gabara, John met them with three thousand armed men; but, as I understood by their letter that they had resolved to fight against me, I arose from Chabolo, with three thousand armed men also; but left in my camp one of my fastest friends, and came to Jotapata, as desirous to be near them, the distance being no more than forty furlongs. Whence I wrote thus to them: "If you are very desirous that I should come to you, you know there are two hundred and forty cities and villages in Galilee; I will come to any of them which you please, excepting Gaburn and Gischala; the one of which is John's native city, and the other in confederacy and friendship with him."
46. When Jonathan and his partners had received this letter, they wrote me no more answers, but called a council of their friends together; and taking John into their consultation, they took counsel together by what means they might attack me. John's opinion was, that they should write to all the cities and villages that were in Galilee; for that there must be certainly one or two persons in every one of them that were at variance with me, and that they should be invited to come to oppose me as an enemy. He would also have them send this resolution of theirs to the city of Jerusalem, that its citizens, upon the knowledge of my being adjudged to be an enemy by the Galileans, might themselves I also confirm that determination. He said also, that when this was done, even those Galileans who were well affected to me, would desert me out of fear. When John had given them this counsel, what he had said was very agreeable to the rest of them. I was also made acquainted with these affairs about the third hour of the night, by the means of one Saccheus, who had belonged to them, but now deserted them and came over to me, and told me what they were about; so I perceived that no time was to be lost. Accordingly, I gave command to Jacob, an armed man of my guard, whom I esteemed faithful to me, to take two hundred men, and to guard the passages that led from Gahara to Galilee, and to seize upon the passengers, and send them to me, especially such as were caught with letters about them: I also sent Jeremias himself, one of my friends, with six hundred armed men, to the borders of Galilee, in order to watch the roads that led from this country to the city Jerusalem, and gave him charge to lay hold of such as traveled with letters about them, to keep the men in bonds upon the place, but to send me the letters.
47. When I had laid these commands upon them, I gave them orders, and bid them take their arms and bring three days' provision with them, and be with me the next day. I also parted those that were about me into four parts, and ordained those of them that were most faithful to me to be a guard to my body. I also set over them centurions, and commanded them to take care that not a soldier which they did not know should mingle himself among them. Now, on the fifth day following, when I was at Gabaroth, I found the entire plain that was before the village full of armed men, who were come out of Galilee to assist me: many others of the multitude, also, out of the village, ran along with me. But as soon as I had taken my place, and began to speak to them, they all made an acclamation, and called me the benefactor and savior of the country. And when I had made them my acknowledgments, and thanked them [for their affection to me], I also advised them to fight with nobody, (19) nor to spoil the country; but to pitch their tents in the plain, and be content with their sustenance they had brought with them; for I told them that I had a mind to compose these troubles without shedding any blood. Now it came to pass, that on the very same day those who were sent by John with letters, fell among the guards whom I had appointed to watch the roads; so the men were themselves kept upon the place, as my orders were, but I got the letters, which were full of reproaches and lies; and I intended to fall upon these men, without saying a word of these matters to any body.
48. Now, as soon as Jonathan and his companions heard of my coming, they took all their own friends, and John with them, and retired to the house of Jesus, which indeed was a large castle, and no way unlike a citadel; so they privately laid a band of armed men therein, and shut all the other doors but one, which they kept open, and they expected that I should come out of the road to them, to salute them. And indeed they had given orders to the armed men, that when I came they should let nobody besides me come in, but should exclude others; as supposing that, by this means, they should easily get me under their power: but they were deceived in their expectation; for I perceived what snares they had laid for me. Now, as soon as I was got off my journey, I took up my lodgings over against them, and pretended to be asleep; so Jonathan and his party, thinking that I was really asleep and at rest, made haste to go down into the plain, to persuade the people that I was an ill governor. But the matter proved otherwise; for, upon their appearance, there was a cry made by the Galileans immediately, declaring their good opinion of me as their governor; and they made a clamor against Jonathan and his partners for coming to them when they had suffered no harm, and as though they would overturn their happy settlement; and desired them by all means to go back again, for that they would never be persuaded to have any other to rule over them but myself. When I heard of this, I did not fear to go down into the midst of them; I went, therefore, myself down presently to hear what Jonathan and his companions said. As soon as I appeared, there was immediately an acclamation made to me by the whole multitude, and a cry in my commendation by them, who confessed their thanks was owing to me for my good government of them.
49. When Jonathan and his companions heard this, they were in fear of their own lives, and in danger lest they should be assaulted by the Galileans on nay account; so they contrived how they might run away. But as they were not able to get off, for I desired them to stay, they looked down with concern at my words to them. I ordered, therefore, the multitude to restrain entirely their acclamations, and placed the most faithful of my armed men upon the avenues, to be a guard to us, lest John should unexpected fall upon us; and I encouraged the Galileans to take their weapons, lest they should be disturbed at their enemies, if any sudden insult should be made upon them. And then, in the first place, I put Jonathan and his partners in mind of their [former] letter, and after what manner they had written to me, and declared they were sent by the common consent to the people of Jerusalem, to make up the differences I had with John, and how they had desired me to come to them; and as I spake thus, I publicly showed that letter they had written, till they could not at all deny what they had done, the letter itself convicting them. I then said, "O Jonathan! and you that are sent with him as his colleagues, if I were to be judged as to my behavior, compared with that of John's, and had brought no more than two or three witnesses, (20) good men and true, it is plain you had been forced, upon the examination of their characters beforehand, to discharge the accusations: that therefore you may be informed that I have acted well in the affairs of Galilee, I think three witnesses too few to be brought by a man that hath done as he ought to do; so I gave you all these for witnesses. Inquire of them (21) how I have lived, and whether I have not behaved myself with all decency, and after a virtuous manner, among them. And I further conjure you, O Galileans! to hide no part of the truth, but to speak before these men as before judges, whether I have in any thing acted otherwise than well."
50. While I was thus speaking, the united voices of all the people joined together, and called me their benefactor and savior, and attested to my former behavior, and exhorted me to continue so to do hereafter; and they all said, upon their oaths, that their wives had been preserved free from injuries, and that no one had ever been aggrieved by me. After this, I read to the Galileans two of those epistles which had been sent by Jonathan and his colleagues, and which those whom I had appointed to guard the road had taken, and sent to me. These were full of reproaches, and of lies, as if I had acted more like a tyrant than a governor against them, with many other things besides therein contained, which were no better indeed than impudent falsities. I also informed the multitude how I came by these letters, and that those who carried them delivered them up voluntarily; for I was not willing that my enemies should know any thing of the guards I had set, lest they should be afraid, and leave off writing hereafter.