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stones thrown from the roofs of the houses; and Florus thought it best to retire, leaving only one cohort behind him. King Agrippa, and a centurion sent from the prefect of Syria, soon came to see the state of Jerusalem : they found everything quiet; and the centurion, after worshipping, as was usual, in the court of the Gentiles, took back a good report to Cestius. Agrippa, with Berenice at his side, then addressed the people, comforting them with the hope of a better governor as soon as the conduct of Florus could be reported at Rome, and beseeching them not to bring upon themselves the horrors of war by a mad revolt against the masters of the world. He told them, Greeks, Germans, Gauls, Africans, and Asiatics, alike submitted to the Roman legions placed among them, and ended with tears, whilst his sister confirmed all he said by weeping aloud. At first the Jews seemed willing to listen, say. ing, they were at war not with the Romans, but with Florus ; but when the king besought them to obey him till another governor should arrive, the popular feeling turned against himself, and they even threw stones at him and desired him to leave the city. Agrippa then retreated to his own kingdom, angrily resolving that he would make no farther effort to save them from ruin. After the king's departure, things became daily worse; and, as some wished to preserve peace with Rome, whilst others were bent on war, the city was soon divided into these two parties, the latter being the strongest.

Eleazar, son of Ananias, the chief priest, headed the war party, and persuaded the lower order of priests to refuse the imperial offerings which had been regularly made in the Temple ever since the time of Julius Cæsar, and to forbid any foreigner to sacrifice in the outer court. The chief priests and heads of the Pharisees opposed this open declaration of war with the Romans, and represented to the people the honour and wealth which they were on the point of losing. But the violent party cared for nothing; and the priests refused any longer to make any offerings for strangers. The peace party implored Agrippa's help, and he sent them three thousand horsemen, hoping to preserve the city and Temple by overawing those who were determined on war ; but Florus refused to interfere, and watched with delight the progress of the mischief.

Manahem, the son of Judas the Galilean, now came forward


as the leader of the zealots and assassins, who were disposed to carry out his father's principles to their fullest extent; and under his command the war party gained the advantage. But this young man soon offended the populace by going up to the Temple in royal attire surrounded by guards; and he was sacrificed to their rage. After his death, there was no acknow. ledged head of the whole rebel party; and the want of such an one was felt by them throughout the war. Nevertheless, they got the complete mastery in Jerusalem : Agrippa's troops were obliged to withdraw; and the Romans, who garrisoned the Antonia, being persuaded to come out of that strong fortress by a promise of safety, were all massacred on the Sabbath day. On that same day the Greeks of Cæsarea, probably excited by Florus, destroyed all the Jews in that city; many thousands in number. This act served to madden the whole nation, and led to the most bloody scenes in all the towns inhabited by Syrians and Jews. The latter began to feel as if every man was armed against them, for “the Lord sent upon them cursing, vexation, and rebuke; because of the wickedness of their doings, and because they had forsaken him ” (Deut. xxviii. 20, &c.). The madness of heartwith which the whole nation was smitten will be apparent in all that follows; for the vexation that was first felt in Judea, spread with all its evil consequences to other parts of the earth where the Jewish race was found. At Alexandria, the Jewish population assailed the Greeks with stones in revenge for the wrongs of their countrymen at Cæsarea and elsewhere; and the governor could not bring them to submission till 50,000 of them were slain.

Cestius, the prefect of Syria, thought it would be easy to put an end to the revolt at Jerusalem by marching thither with his Roman and Syrian troops. Agrippa, hearing of their advance, made a last effort to save his countrymen by sending his earnest entreaties that they would submit; but the war-party killed or drove away his messengers, and prepared to resist the entrance of Cestius. Still there was a large party in the city desiring peace; and had the prefect known the real state of the case, he would not have been so easily discouraged. The obstinate defence of the Temple, during an assault of five days, made him despair ; and to the general surprise he hastily retreated from the city. A bold party of the Jews pursued him, and in a narrow pass in the mountains, near Bethoron, they slew


5,300 foot and 380 horse ; and the rest of the army only escaped by the coming on of night. All the military engines fell into the hands of the Jews, and with an immense booty they returned to Jerusalem, singing hymns of victory, having scarcely lost a man. The overthrow of Cestius left no room for hopes of peace with Rome, and the revolted Jews were now only occupied with preparations for war; many of them confidently expecting that the Messiah would now appear, and not only deliver them from the Romans, but make them the head of the nations. The Christians at Jerusalem had far other thoughts : and they took advantage of the providential retreat of Cestius to make their escape to Pella, a city beyond the Jordan, supposed to be the same part of the country to which David fled at the news of Absalom's rebellion. There they remained in peace and safety till the end of the war, and during this exile they were gradually weaned from all Jewish observances.




THE ROMANS TILL THE DEATH OF NERO. In writing on Scriptural principles, it will be consistent at this period to give the first place to the important events in the war between the Jews and the Romans, and to mention less interesting facts by the way. Indeed Judea, at this time, was the place that attracted universal attention : there alone was Roman power openly resisted; and the proud Nero, who gloried in the thought of being the master of the world, could not rest under the knowledge that his authority was disowned, even in the most distant part of his dominions.

Vespasian, to whom the care of the war had been committed, was by birth only the son of a tax-gatherer, and had risen step by step to the highest rank in the army, where he was distinguished by his valour, temperance, simplicity of manners, and indefatigable exertions. He was more like one of the ancient Romans in his conduct and habits than any of his own times : but it is evidert, like other ambitious generals, he had


his eye upon the empire, which he knew there was a possibility of obtaining through the favour of the legions under his command. Vespasian had two sons, Titus and Domitian, whose early dispositions and habits were equally unpromising. The former was trained to war by his father, and accompanied him into Judea as his lieutenant : and at this period of life he was distinguished equally by his bravery and licentiousness, for in both he far exceeded all around him. Early in A.D. 67, Vespasian and Titus, with three of the strongest and bravest of the Roman legions, and all the forces they could collect in Syria or from the neighbouring tributary kings, came into Galilee, where Josephus had been appointed governor and was prepared to receive the first shock. This remarkable man, the historian of the Jews and of these memorable times in particular, was of high rank, as belonging to a priestly family; for the priests and their descendants were, in fact, the upper class or nobility among the Jews. He was a learned man, as well as a warrior, and had been to Rome for his own improvement; so that he was intimately acquainted with the language and military arts of those with whom he contended. He was therefore chosen, by a council of war held at Jerusalem, to take the important command of Galilee; as they hoped to gain time for the needed preparations in the capital and in the southern region, by detaining the enemy among the mountain passes, or before the fortified cities of the north. The Galileans were a bold and hardy people, but, as we have before noticed, a very fierce and wicked people also; and they were considered rather barbarous in manners and dialect by the inhabitants of the capital : they used the Syro-Chaldaic language, commonly spoken in Palestine, and gave it a peculiarly harsh and guttural sound. The young reader will remember that Peter was known as a Galilean from his manner of speaking.*

Josephus states that he raised an army of 100,000 men in Galilee, and it was certainly a populous district; for, besides the strong cities, there were numerous large open villages or towns that contained many thousands of inhabitants. But he had no idea of meeting a well disciplined Roman army in the open field; and at the approach of the enemy all took refuge

* The few words given us in the Gospels are in this dialect ; so that it appears that the Lord himself used it, and not the pure Hebrew of the Scriptures, for that ceased to be commonly spoken after the captivity,


by his command, in the fortified places, except a few who tarried and were at once cut off by the Romans. Agrippa, with a powerful army, had joined Vespasian at Antioch in the spring ; so that the last representative of that family which had so long struggled to maintain the independence of their nation was now on the side of the strangers; and the Jewish people were without a head. However, had their generals been firmly united in their purposes, or the whole people of one mind, there might have been, humanly speaking, some prospect of freedom; such was the strength of their cities, both by nature and art, and so strong and determined was the spirit of those who were bent on defending them. But the generals were jealous of each other ; and the people were everywhere divided into two opposite parties, and weakened by the Syrian inhabitants who had no concern in their quarrel with Rome. John, one of the Galilean commanders, who defended and reigned over his own stronghold of Gischala, continually opposed Josephus, and would have willingly destroyed him that he might himself take the lead. But the approach of the Romans ended their strife; and Josephus, who had shut himself up in the fortified city of Jotapata, the strongest in Galilee, was the first to resist the whole force of Vespasian. As the first of the Roman generals, at the head of 60,000 regular fighting men, besides a great many who might be occasionally called to their aid, Vespasian himself was astonished at the obstinate and skilful defence of Jotapata, during forty-seven days, and alarmed at the great loss and suffering of his own army. But superior force, or rather the failure of food and water, at length made the besieged give way; and the city was taken. All the inhabitants, including the bravest of the Galilean warriors, fell by the sword, except the women and infants, who on this occasion were spared. It is at this point of our history that the artfulness and selfishness of the character of Josephus come to light. He had made some attempts to escape, under pretence of getting help from without, as soon as he saw a longer defence was hopeless : but the people, who suspected him of a design of falling to the Romans, would not suffer him to leave them. When the city was taken, he descended into a cavern with some of his companions; and there it was proposed they should kill each other to avoid the disgrace of falling into the hands of the conquerors; for self-murder was considered as honourable by these valiant


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