Part 21 - 40
22. But the inhabitants of this city having determined to continue in their allegiance to the Romans, were afraid of my coming to them, and tried, by putting me upon another action, to divert me, that they might be freed from the terror they were in. Accordingly, they sent to Jesus, the captain of those robbers who were in the confines of Ptolemais, and promised to give him a great deal of money, if he would come with those forces he had with him, which were in number eight hundred, and fight with us. Accordingly, he complied with what they desired, upon the promises they had made him, and was desirous to fall upon us when we were unprepared for him, and knew nothing of his coming beforehand. So he sent to me, and desired that I would give him leave to come and salute me. When I had given him that leave, which I did without the least knowledge of his treacherous intentions beforehand, he took his band of robbers, and made haste to come to me. Yet did not this his knavery succeed well at last; for as he was already nearly approaching, one of those with him deserted him, and came to me, and told me what he had undertaken to do. When I was informed of this, I went into the market-place, and pretended to know nothing of his treacherous purpose. I took with me many Galileans that were armed, as also some of those of Tiberias; and, when I had given orders that all the roads should be carefully guarded, I charged the keepers of the gates to give admittance to none but Jesus, when he came, with the principal of his men, and to exclude the rest; and in case they aimed to force themselves in, to use stripes [in order to repel them]. Accordingly, those that had received such a charge did as they were bidden, and Jesus came in with a few others; and when I had ordered him to throw down his arms immediately, and told him, that if he refused so to do, he was a dead man, he seeing armed men standing all round about him, was terrified, and complied; and as for those of his followers that were excluded, when they were informed that he was seized, they ran away. I then called Jesus to me by himself, and told him, that” I was not a stranger to that treacherous design he had against me, nor was I ignorant by whom he was sent for; that, however, I would forgive him what he had done already, if he would repent of it, and be faithful to me hereafter.” And thus, upon his promise to do all that I desired, I let him go, and gave him leave to get those whom he had formerly had with him together again. But I threatened the inhabitants of Sepphoris, that, if they would not leave off their ungrateful treatment of me, I would punish them sufficiently.
23. At this time it was that two great men, who were under the jurisdiction of the king [Agrippa] came to me out of the region of Trachonius, bringing their horses and their arms, and carrying with them their money also; and when the Jews would force them to be circumcised, if they would stay among them, I would not permit them to have any force put upon them, (11) but said to them, ”Every one ought to worship God according to his own inclinations, and not to be constrained by force; and that these men, who had fled to us for protection, ought not to be so treated as to repent of their coming hither.” And when I had pacified the multitude, I provided for the men that were come to us whatsoever it was they wanted, according to their usual way of living, and that in great plenty also.
24. Now king Agrippa sent an army to make themselves masters of the citadel of Gamala, and over it Equieulus Modius; but the forces that were sent were not allow to encompass the citadel quite round, but lay before it in the open places, and besieged it. But when Ebutius the decurion, who was intrusted with the government of the great plain, heard that I was at Simonias, a village situated in the confines of Galilee, and was distant from him sixty furlongs, he took a hundred horsemen that were with him by night, and a certain number of footmen, about two hundred, and brought the inhabitants of the city Gibea along with him as auxiliaries, and marched in the night, and came to the village where I abode. Upon this I pitched my camp over against him, which had a great number of forces in it: but Ebutius tried to draw us down into the plain, as greatly depending upon his horsemen; but we would not come down; for when I was satisfied of the advantage that his horse would have if we came down into the plain, while we were all footmen, I resolved to join battle with the enemy where I was. Now Ebutius and his party made a courageous opposition for some time; but when he saw that his horse were useless to him in that place, he retired back to the city Gibea, having lost three of his men in the fight. So I followed him directy with two thousand armed men; and when I was at the city Besara, that lay in the confines of Ptolemais, but twenty furlongs from Gibea, where Ebutius abode, I placed my armed men on the outside of the village, and gave orders that they should guard the passes with great care, that the enemy might not disturb us until we should have carried off the corn, a great quantity of which lay there: it belonged to Bernice the queen, and had been gathered together out of the neighboring villages into Besara; so I loaded my camels and asses, a great number of which I had brought along with me, and sent the corn into Galilee. When I had done this, I offered Ebutius battle; but when he would not accept of the offer, for he was terrified at our readiness and courage, I altered my route, and marched towards Neopolitanus, because I had heard that the country about Tiberias was laid waste by him. This Neopolitanus was captain of a troop of horse, and had the custody of Scythopolis intrusted to his care by the enemy; and when I had hindered him from doing any further mischief to Tiberias, I set myself to make provision for the affairs of Galilee.
25. But when John, the son of Levi, who, as we before told you, abode at Gischala, was informed how all things had succeeded to my mind, and that I was much in favor with those that were under me, as also that the enemy were greatly afraid of me, he was not pleased with it, as thinking my prosperity tended to his ruin. So he took up a bitter envy and enmity against me; and hoping, that if he could inflame those that were under me to hate me,. he should put an end to the prosperity I was in, he tried to persuade the inhabitants of Tiberias and of Sepphoris, (and for those of Gabara he supposed they would be also of the same mind with the others,) which were the greatest cities of Galilee, to revolt from their subjection to me, and to be of his party; and told them that he would command them better than I did. As for the people of Sepphoris, who belonged to neither of us, because they had chosen to be in subjection to the Romans, they did not comply with his proposal; and for those of Tiberias, they did not indeed so far comply as to make a revolt from under me, but they agreed to be his friends, while the inhabitants of Gabara did go over to John; and it was Simon that persuaded them so to do, one who was both the principal man in the city, and a particular friend and companion of John. It is true, these did not openly own the making a revolt, because they were in great fear of the Galileans, and had frequent experience of the good-will they bore to me; yet did they privately watch for a proper opportunity to lay snares for me; and indeed I thereby came into the greatest danger, on the occasion following.
26. There were some bold young men of the village of Dabaritta, who observed that the wife of Ptolemy, the king’s procurator, was to make a progress over the great plain with a mighty attendance, and with some horsemen that followed as a guard to them, and this out of a country that was subject to the king and queen, into the jurisdiction of the Romans; and fell upon them on a sudden, and obliged the wife of Ptolemy to fly away, and plundered all the carriages. They also came to me to Tarichese, with four mules’ loading of garments, and other furniture; and the weight of the silver they brought was not small, and there were five hundred pieces of gold also. Now I had a mind to preserve these spoils for Ptolemy, who was my countryman; and it is prohibited (12) by our laws even to spoil our enemies; so I said to those that brought these spoils, that they ought to be kept, in order to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem with them when they came to be sold. But the young men took it very ill that they did not receive a part of those spoils for themselves, as they expected to have done; so they went among the villages in the neighborhood of Tiberias, and told the people that I was going to betray their country to the Romans, and that I used deceitful language to them, when I said, that what had been thus gotten by rapine should be kept for the rebuilding of the walls of the city of Jerusalem; although I had resolved to restore these spoils again to their former owner. And indeed they were herein not mistaken as to my intentions; for when I had gotten clear of them, I sent for two of the principal men, Dassion, and Janneus the son of Levi, persons that were among the chief friends of the king, and commanded them to take the furniture that had been plundered, and to send it to him; and I threatened that I would order them to be put to death by way of punishment, if they discovered this my command to any other person.
27. Now, when all Galilee was filled with this rumor, that their country was about to be betrayed by me to the Romans, and when all men were exasperated against me, and ready to bring me to punishment, the inhabitants of Tarichee did also themselves suppose that what the young men said was true, and persuaded my guards and armed men to leave me when I was asleep, and to come presently to the hippodrome, in order there to take counsel against me their commander. And when they had prevailed with them, and they were gotten together, they found there a great company assembled already, who all joined in one clamor, to bring the man who was so wicked to them as to betray them, to his due punishment; and it was Jesus, the son of Sapphias, who principally set them on. He was ruler in Tiberias, a wicked man, and naturally disposed to make disturbances in matters of consequence; a seditious person he was indeed, and an innovator beyond every body else. He then took the laws of Moses into his hands, and came into the midst of the people, and said,” O my fellow citizens! if you are not disposed to hate Josephus on your own account, have regard, however, to these laws of your country, which your commander-in-chief is going to betray; hate him therefore on both these accounts, and bring the man who hath acted thus insolently, to his deserved punishment.”
28. When he had said this, and the multitude had openly applauded him for what he had said, he took some of the armed men, and made haste away to the house in which I lodged, as if he would kill me immediately, while I was wholly insensible of all till this disturbance happened; and by reason of the pains I had been taking, was fallen fast asleep. But Simon, who was intrusted with the care of my body, and was the only person that stayed with me, and saw the violent incursion the citizens made upon me, awaked me, and told me of the danger I was in, and desired me to let him kill me, that I might die bravely and like a general, before my enemies came in, and forced me [to kill myself], or killed me themselves. Thus did he discourse to me; but I committed the care of my life to God, and made haste to go out to the multitude. Accordingly, I put on a black garment, and hung my sword at my neck, and went by such a different way to the hippodrome, wherein I thought none of my adversaries would meet me; so I appeared among them on the sudden, and fell down flat on the earth, and bedewed the ground with my tears: then I seemed to them all an object of compassion. And when I perceived the change that was made in the multitude, I tried to divide their opinions before the armed men should return from my house; so I granted them that I had been as wicked as they supposed me to be; but still I entreated them to let me first inform them for what use I had kept that money which arose from the plunder, and, that they might then kill me if they pleased: and upon the multitude’s ordering me to speak, the armed men came upon me, and when they saw me, they ran to kill me; but when the multitude bade them hold their hands, they complied, and expected that as soon as I should own to them that I kept the money for the king, it would be looked on as a confession of my treason, and they should then be allowed to kill me.
29. When, therefore, silence was made by the whole multitude, I spake thus to them: ”O my countrymen! I refuse not to die, if justice so require. However, I am desirous to tell you the truth of this matter before I die; for as I know that this city of yours [Tarichee] was a city of great hospitality, and filled with abundance of such men as have left their own countries, and are come hither to be partakers of your fortune, whatever it be, I had a mind to build walls about it, out of this money, for which you are so angry with me, while yet it was to be expended in building your own walls.” Upon my saying this, the people of Taricheae and the strangers cried out, that” they gave me thanks, and desired me to be of good courage,” although the Galileans and the people of Tiberias continued in their wrath against me, insomuch that there arose a tumult among them, while some threatened to kill me, and some bade me not to regard them; but when I promised them that I would build them walls at Tiberias, and at other cities that wanted them, they gave credit to what I promised, and returned every one to his own home. So I escaped the forementioned danger, beyond all my hopes, and returned to my own house, accompanied with my friends, and twenty armed men also.
30. However, these robbers and other authors of this tumult, who were afraid, on their own account, lest I should punish them for what they had done, took six hundred armed men, and came to the house where I abode, in order to set it on fire. When this their insult was told me, I thought it indecent for me to run away, and I resolved to expose myself to danger, and to act with some boldness; so I gave order to shut the doors, and went up into an upper room, and desired that they would send in some of their men to receive the money [from the spoils] for I told them they would then have no occasion to be angry with me; and when they had sent in one of the boldest of them all, I had him whipped severely, and I commanded that one of his hands should be cut off, and hung about his neck; and in this case was he put out to those that sent him. At which procedure of mine they were greatly affrighted, and in no small consternation, and were afraid that they should themselves be served in like manner, if they staid there; for they supposed that I had in the house more armed men than they had themselves; so they ran away immediately, while I, by the use of this stratagem, escaped this their second treacherous design against me.
31. But there were still some that irritated the multitude against me, and said that those great men that belonged to the king ought not to be suffered to live, if they would not change their religion to the religion of those to whom they fled for safety: they spake reproachfully of them also, and said that they were wizards, and such as called in the Romans upon them. So the multitude was soon deluded by such plausible pretenses as were agreeable to their own inclinations, and were prevailed on by them. But when I was informed of this, I instructed the multitude again, that those who fled to them for refuge ought not to be persecuted: I also laughed at the allegation about witchcraft, (13) and told them that the Romans would not maintain so many ten thousand soldiers, if they could overcome their enemies by wizards. Upon my saying this, the people assented for a while; but they returned again afterwards, as irritated by some ill people against the great men; nay, they once made an assault upon the house in which they dwelt at Tarichess, in order to kill them; which, when I was informed of, I was afraid lest so horrid a crime should take effect, and nobody else would make that city their refuge any more. I therefore came myself, and some others with me, to the house where these great men lived, and locked the doors, and had a trench drawn from their house leading to the lake, and sent for a ship, and embarked therein with them, and sailed to the confines of Hippos: I also paid them the value of their horses; nor in such a flight could I have their horses brought to them. I then dismissed them, and begged of them earnestly that they would courageously bear I this distress which befell them. I was also myself I greatly displeased that I was compelled to expose those that had fled to me to go again into an enemy’s country; yet did I think it more eligible that they should perish among the Romans, if it should so happen, than in the country that was under my jurisdiction. However, they escaped at length, and king Agrippa forgave them their offenses. And this was the conclusion of what concerned these men.
32. But as for the inhabitants of the city of Tiberias, they wrote to the king, and desired him to send them forces sufficient to be a guard to their country; for that they were desirous to come over to him: this was what they wrote to him. But when I came to them, they desired me to build their walls, as I had promised them to do; for they had heard that the walls of Tarichess were already built. I agreed to their proposal accordingly; and when I had made preparation for the entire building, I gave order to the architects to go to work; but on the third day, when I was gone to Tarichess, which was thirty furlongs distant from Tiberias, it so fell out, that some Roman horsemen were discovered on their march, not far from the city, which made it to be supposed that the forces were come from the king; upon which they shouted, and lifted up their voices in commendations of the king, and in reproaches against me. Hereupon one came running to me, and told me what their dispositions were, and that they had resolved to revolt from me: upon hearing which news I was very much alarmed; for I had already sent away my armed men from Tarichess, to their own homes, because the next day was our sabbath; for I would not have the people of Tarichess disturbed [on that day] by a multitude of soldiers; and indeed, whenever I sojourned at that city, I never took any particular care for a guard about my own body, because I had had frequent instances of the fidelity its inhabitants bore to me. I had now about me no more than seven armed men, besides some friends, and was doubtful what to do; for to send to recall my own forces I did not think proper, because the present day was almost over; and had those forces been with me, I could not take up arms on the next day, because our laws forbade us so to do, even though our necessity should be very great; and if I should permit the people of Tarichess, and the strangers with them, to guard the city, I saw that they would not be sufficient for that purpose, and I perceived that I should be obliged to delay my assistance a great while; for I thought with myself that the forces that came from the king would prevent me, and that I should be driven out of the city. I considered, therefore, how to get clear of these forces by a stratagem; so I immediately placed those my friends of Tarichee, on whom I could best confide, at the gates, to watch those very carefully who went out at those gates: I also called to me the heads of families, and bade every one of them to seize upon a ship (14) to go on board it, and to take a master with them, and follow him to the city of Tiberias. I also myself went on board one of those ships, with my friends, and the seven armed men already mentioned, and sailed for Tiberias.
33. But now, when the people of Tiberias perceived that there were no forces come from the king, and yet saw the whole lake full of ships, they were in fear what would become of their city, and were greatly terrified, as supposing that the ships were full of men on board; so they then changed their minds, and threw down their weapons, and met me with their wives and children, and made acclamations to me with great commendations; for they imagined that I did not know their former inclinations [to have been against me]; so they persuaded me to spare the city. But when I was come near enough, I gave order to the masters of the ships to cast anchor a good way off the land, that the people of Tiberias might not perceive that the ships had no men on board; but I went nearer to the people in one of the ships, and rebuked them for their folly, ,and that they were so fickle as, without any just occasion in the world, to revolt from their fidelity to me. However, assured them that I would entirely forgive them for the time to come, if they would send ten of the ringleaders of the multitude to me; and when they complied readily with this proposal, and sent me the men forementioned, I put them on board a ship, and sent them away to Tarichese; and ordered them to be kept in prison.
34. And by this stratagem it was that I gradually got all the senate of Tiberias into my power, and sent them to the city forementioned, with many of the principal men among the populace, and those not fewer in number than the other. But when the multitude saw into what great miseries they had brought themselves, they desired me to punish the author of this sedition: his name was Clitus, a young man, bold and rash in his undertakings. Now, since I thought it not agreeable to piety to put one of my own people to death, and yet found it necessary to punish him, I ordered Levi, one of my own guards, to go to him, and cut off one of Clitus’s hands; but as he that was ordered to do this, was afraid to go out of the ship alone, among ’so great a multitude, I was not willing that the timorousness of the soldier should appear to the people of Tiberias. So I called to Clitus himself and said to him,” Since thou deservest to lose both thine hands for thy ingratitude to me, be thou thine own executioner, lest, if thou refusest so to be, thou undergo a worse punishment.” And when he earnestly begged of me to spare him one of his hands, it was with difficulty that I granted it. So, in order to prevent the loss of both his hands, he willingly took his sword, and cut off his own left hand; and this put an end to the sedition.
35. Now the men of Tiberias, after I was gone to Taricheae, perceived what stratagem I had used against them, and they admired how I had put an end to their foolish sedition, without shedding of blood. But now, when I had sent for some of those multitudes of the people of Tiberias out of prison, among whom were Justus and his father Pistus, I made them to sup with me; and during our supper time I said to them, that I knew the power of the Romans was superior to all others, but did not say so [publicly] because of the robbers. So I advised them to do as I did, and to wait for a proper opportunity, and not to be uneasy at my being their commander; for that they could not expect to have another who would use the like moderation that I had done. I also put Justus in mind how the Galileans had cut off his brother’s hands before ever I came to Jerusalem, upon an accusation laid against him, as if he had been a rogue, and had forged some letters; as also how the people of Gamala, in a sedition they raised against the Babylonians, after the departure of Philip, slew Chares, who was a kinsman of Philip, and withal how they had wisely punished Jesus, his brother Justuses sister’s husband [with death]. When I had said this to them during supper time, I in the morning ordered Justus, and all the rest that were in prison, to be loosed out of it, and sent away.
36. But before this, it happened that Philip, the son of Jacimus, went out of the citadel of Gamala upon the following occasion: When Philip had been informed that Varus was put out of his government by king Agrippa, and that Equieulus Modius, a man that was of old his friend and companion, was come to succeed him, he wrote to him, and related what turns of fortune he had had, and desired him to forward the letters he sent to the king and queen. Now, when Modius had received these letters, he was exceedingly glad, and sent the letters to the king and queen, who were then about Berytus. But when king Agrippa knew that the story about Philip was false, (for it had been given out, that the Jews had begun a war with the Romans, and that this Philip had been their commander in that war,) he sent some horsemen to conduct Philip to him; and when he was come, he saluted him very obligingly, and showed him to the Roman commanders, and told them that this was the man of whom the report had gone about as if he had revolted from the Romans. He also bid him to take some horsemen with him, and to go quickly to the citadel of Gamala, and to bring out thence all his domestics, and to restore the Babylonians to Batanea again. He also gave it him in charge to take all possible care that none of his subjects should be guilty of making any innovation. Accordingly, upon these directions from the king, he made haste to do what he was commanded.
37. Now there was one Joseph, the son of a female physician, who excited a great many young men to join with him. He also insolently addressed himself to the principal persons at Gamala, and persuaded them to revolt from the king; and take up arms, and gave them hopes that they should, by his means, recover their liberty. And some they forced into the service, and those that would not acquiesce in what they had resolved on, they slew. They also slew Chares, and with him Jesus, one of his kinsmen, and a brother of Justus of Tiberias, as we have already said. Those of Gamala also wrote to me, desiring me to send them an armed force, and workmen to raise up the walls of their city; nor did I reject either of their requests. The region of Gaulanitis did also revolt from the king, as far as the village Solyma. I also built a wall about Seleucia and Soganni, which are villages naturally of ver great strength. Moreover, I, in like manner, walled several villages of Upper Galilee, though they were very rocky of themselves. Their names are Jamnia, and Meroth, and Achabare. I also fortified, in the Lower Galilee, the cities Tarichee, Tiberias, Sepphoris, and the villages, the cave of Arbela, Bersobe, Selamin, Jotapata, Capharecho, and Sigo, and Japha, and Mount Tabor. (15) I also laid up a great quantity of corn in these places, and arms withal, that might be for their security afterward.
38. But the hatred that John, the son of Levi, bore to me, grew now more violent, while he could not bear my prosperity with patience. So he proposed to himself, by all means possible, to make away with me; and built the walls of Gischala, which was the place of his nativity. He then sent his brother Simon, and Jonathan, the son of Sisenna, and about a hundred armed men, to Jerusalem, to Simon, the son of Gamaliel, (16) in order to persuade him to induce the commonalty of Jerusalem to take from me the government over the Galileans, and to give their suffrages for conferring that authority upon him. This Simon was of the city of Jerusalem, and of a very noble family of the sect of the Pharisees, which are supposed to excel others in the accurate knowledge of the laws of their country. He was a man of great wisdom and reason, and capable of restoring public affairs by his prudence, when they were in an ill posture. He was also an old friend and companion of John; but at that time he had a difference with me. When therefore he had received such an exhortation, he persuaded the high priests, Ananus, and Jesus the son of Gamala, and some others of the same seditious faction, to cut me down, now I was growing so great, and not to overlook me while I was aggrandizing myself to the height of glory; and he said that it would be for the advantage of the Galileans, if I were deprived of my government there. Ananus also, and his friends, desired them to make no delay about the matter, lest I should get the knowledge of what was doing too soon, and should come and make an assault upon the city with a great army. This was the counsel of Simon; but Artanus the high priest demonstrated to them that this was not an easy thing to be done, because many of the high priests and of the rulers of the people bore witness that I had acted like an excellent general, and that it was the work of ill men to accuse one against whom they had nothing to say.
39. When Simon heard Ananus say this, he desired that the messengers would conceal the thing, and not let it come among many; for that he would take care to have Josephus removed out of Galilee very quickly. So he called for John’s brother, [Simon,] and charged him that they should send presents to Ananus and his friends; for, as he said, they might probably by that means persuade them to change their minds. And indeed Simon did at length thus compass what he aimed at; for Artanus, and those with him, being corrupted by bribes, agreed to expel me out of Galilee, without making the rest of the citizens acquainted with what they were doing. Accordingly, they resolved to send men of distinction as to their families, and of distinction as to their learning also. Two of these were of the populace, Jonathan (17) and Ananias, by sect Pharisees; while the third, Jozar, was of the stock of the priests, and a Pharisee also; and Simon, the last of them, was of the youngest of the high priests. These had it given them in charge, that, when they were come to the multitude of the Galileans, they should ask them, what was the reason of their love to me? and if they said that it was because I was born at Jerusalem, that they should reply, that they four were all born at the same place; and if they should say, it was because I was well versed in their law, they should reply, that neither were they unacquainted with the practices of their country; but if, besides these, they should say, they loved me because I was a priest, they should reply, that two of these were priests also.
40. Now, when they had given Jonathan and his companions these instructions, they gave them forty thousand [drachmae] out of the public money: but when they heard that there was a certain Galilean that then sojourned at Jerusalem, whose name was Jesus, who had about him a band of six hundred armed men, they sent for him, and gave him three months pay, and gave him orders to follow Jonathan and his companions, and be obedient to them. They also gave money to three hundred men that were citizens of Jerusalem, to maintain them all, and ordered them also to follow the ambassadors; and when they had complied, and were gotten ready for the march, Jonathan and his companions went out with them, having along with them John’s brother and a hundred armed men. The charge that was given them by those that sent them was this: That if I would voluntarily lay down my arms, they should send me alive to the city of Jerusalem; but that, in case I opposed them, they should kill me, and fear nothing; for that it was their command for them so to do. They also wrote to John to make all ready for fighting me, and gave orders to the inhabitants of Sepphoris, and Gabara, and Tiberins, to send auxiliaries to John.
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