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by which Josephus was preserved to write the history, of which we are now able to make so good use. When" Josephus had surrendered, Vespasian gave strict orders that he should be kept carefully, as if he had intended to send him to Nero. Josephus then presented a request that he might speak to Vespasian in private, which was granted. When all were dismissed, except Titus and two friends, he spoke to Vespasian after this manner: “You “ “think, Vespasian, that you have in Josephus a mere pri‘soner. But I am come to you as a messenger of great tidings. “Had I not been sent to you P by God, I know what the law ‘ of the Jews is, and how it becomes a general to die. Do “you intend to send me to Nero? Are they, who are to ‘succeed Nero before you, to continue ! You, Vespasian, ‘will be Caesar: you will be emperor. So will likewise “this your son. Bind me therefore still faster, and re‘ serve me for yourself. For you are lord, not of me ‘ only, but of the earth, and the sea, and all mankind. “And I for punishment deserve a closer confinement if I ‘ speak falsehood to you in the name of " God.” Vespasian, as he says, at first paid little regard to all this ; but afterwards his expectations of empire were raised. * Besides,’ as he goes on to say, “he found Josephus to ‘ have spoken truth upon other occasions: for when one ‘ of his friends, who was admitted to be present at that ‘ interview, said, It appeared strange to him that Josephus “should not have foretold to the people of Jotapata the ‘ event of the siege, nor have foreseen his own captivity, if all ‘ he now said was not invention to save his own life; Jose‘phus answered, that he had foretold to the people of Jota‘pata, that the place would be taken upon the forty-seventh ‘ day of the siege, and that himself should be taken alive by ‘the Romans. Vespasian, having privately inquired of the pri‘soners concerning these predictions, found the truth of them.” All these things I have inserted here for showing the
n De B. I. l. 3. c. 8. sect. 8. ° Ibid. sect. S. P That is, that a Jewish general should make away with himself, rather than be taken prisoner alive by heathen people. We know not of any such law in the books of the Old Testament. And it seems to be a manifest contradiction to what he says in the speech before referred to. q Josephus's address to Vespasian is very precise and formal, predicting things then future. Possibly, this speech was improved afterwards, and at the time of writing this history made more clear and express, and more agreeable to the event, than when first spoken. * Among other presages of Vespasian's empire, Suetonius has mentioned this of Josephus. Et unus ex nobilibus captivis, Josephus, cum conjiceretur in vincula, constantissime asseveravit, fore, ut ab eodem brevi solveretur, verum, jam imperatore. Sueton. Vesp. c. 5.
character of this writer: though the prolixity of my narration be thereby increased. It is very likely, that he often thought of Joseph in Egypt, and of Daniel at Babylon; and was in hopes of making a like figure at the court of Rome. But I suppose it may be no disparagement to Josephus to say, that he was not equal to them in wisdom, or in virtue and integrity. And the circumstances of things were much altered: the promised Messiah was come; and the Jewish people were no longer entitled to such special regard, as had been shown them in times past. Nor was it then a day of favour and mercy for them, but the day of the Lord's vengeance against them, as Josephus himself saw : and they were entering into a long captivity, of which they have not yet seen the end, after a period of almost seventeen hundred years, though they are still wonderfully preserved. Josephus was still a prisoner: but when Vespasian had been proclaimed emperor, he ordered his iron chain to be cut" asunder. When Vespasian went to Rome, Josephus continued to be with Titus, and was present at the siege of Jerusalem, and saw the ruin of his city and country. After the war was over, when Titus went to Rome, he went with him ; and Vespasian allotted him an apartment in the same house in which himself had lived before he came to the empire: he also made him a citizen of Rome, and gave him an annual pension; and continued to show him great respect so long as he lived. His son Titus, who succeeded him, showed him the like regard. And afterwards Domitian, and his wife Domitia, did him many kind " offices. Josephus, however, does not deny that " he had many enemies: but the emperors, in whose times he lived, protected him. Indeed, it is very likely that the Jews should have little regard for a man who was with the Romans, in their camp during the siege of their city. He particularly says, that " upon the first tidings of the taking of Jotapata, the people of Jerusalem made great and public lamentations for him, supposing that he had been killed in the siege : but when they heard that he had escaped, and was with the Romans, and was well used by them, they loaded him with all manner of reproaches, not excepting treachery itself. Nor do we find that: the Jewish people ever had any great respect for his writings; though they have been much esteemed, and often quoted, by christian and 3 other writers, in early and latter times. Of them * we are now to take some notice. The first is The History of the Jewish war, and the taking of Jerusalem, in seven books. In which work he goes back to the times of Antiochus Epiphanes and the Maccabees. In the preface he says, that he " first wrote it in the language of his own country, for the sake of such as lived in Parthia, Babylonia, Arabia, and other parts : and afterwards published it in Greek for the benefit of others, which is what we have: it is generally snpposed to have been published by him in the seventy-fifth year of Christ, and the thirty-eighth year of his own age. He professeth to have written with great" fidelity: and for the truth of his history appeals to Vespasian and Titus, and King Agrippa, then living. He " presented it to Vespasian and Titus; which last" not only desired the publication of it, but with his own hand signed the book, that should be reckoned authentic. 2. The Jewish Antiquities, in twenty books, or the history of the Jews from the creation of the world, to the twelfth year of Nero, in which the war began. This work was finished by him f in the fifty-sixth year of his own life, in the third year of the reign of Domitian, and the year of Christ 93. 3. To this work is subjoined, as a part of it, or an appendix to it, His Life, written by himself some time afterwards. 4. After the several above-mentioned works, he published another work in two books, entitled, Of the Antiquity of the Jews against Apion; being a vindication of the Jewish people against the calumnies of that Egyptian author. 5. To Josephus likewise is generally ascribed a book en
* Josephus has several times spoken of his having had prophetic dreams, and of his ability to interpret dreams that were ambiguous. Vid. De B. J. l. 3. viii. 3 et 9, et de Vit. sect. 42. * De B J. l. 4. cap. x. sect. 7. " Wit. cap. 76. " Ibid. * De B. J. l 3. cap. ix. sect. 7.
* Quamvis enim ejus scripta apud Judaeos in nullo pretio fuerint Gentiles tamen pariter et christiani Josephum, licet Judaeum, ejusque opera, magni aestimãrunt. Ittig. Proleg. pag. 88. ap. Havercamp. * Josephus is quoted by Porphyry, not in his books against the christians, but elsewhere. See the testimonies prefixed to the works of Josephus. * Particular accounts of them are to be seen in Cav. Hist. Lit. Fabric. Gr. 1. 4. cap. 6. tom. 3. p. 228, &c. Tillemont La Ruine des Juifs. art. 79. &c. Hist, des Emp. tom. i. * De B. J. l. i. in Pro. sect. 2. * In Proleg. sect. 5, &c. et l. 7. cap. ult. fin. * In Vit. cap. 65. Adv. ap. l. i. c. 9. * AAA’ avrotc arreówka roug avrokparopat ra 316Xta. Vit, sect. 65. Conf. Adv. Ap. ut supr. * @rs xapačag rm šavre xsupt ra (313Xta Ömplogisvasos)at trpoostašev. Vid. Sec. 65. f Ant. 1, 20. cap, ult. fin.
titled, A Discourse of the Maccabees; but, as & Cave says, there is good reason to doubt of its genuineness: and " Mr. Whiston, who made an English translation of all the above-named works of this writer, declined to translate this, and would not publish it among the rest. The works of Josephus, notwithstanding many things in them liable to exception, which may be observed by careful and impartial readers, are very valuable. In his larger work, The Jewish Antiquities, he confirms the truth of the history of the Old Testament: and, as in several of the last books of that work he has brought down the Jewish history from the ceasing of prophecy among them to the twelfth of Nero, he has let us know the state of affairs in Judea during the time of the evangelical history. And he had before done the like in the first two books of The Jewish War. What he has therein said of Herod and his sons, of the Roman governors in Judea, the Jewish sects and their principles, the manners of the Jewish people, and likewise concerning the Samaritans, greatly confirms and illustrates the history of our evangelists; as was formerly shown in the first part of this work, The Credibility of the Gospel History: the design of which was to confirm the facts occasionally mentioned in the New Testament by passages of ancient' authors. We are now to consider, whether there is any thing in the works of this Jewish author more directly confirming the principal facts of the New Testament: particularly, whether he affords any evidences of the fulfilment of our Lord's predictions concerning the destruction of the temple and city of Jerusalem, and the great calamities coming upon the Jewish people; and whether he has said any thing of John the Baptist, our Lord's forerunner, or of our Lord himself, or of any of his apostles. I shall begin with the first article; for it is very likely, that in his History of the Jewish War we should find many things giving credit to the fulfilment of our Lord's predictions concerning the Jewish people. II. Judea was first brought into subjection to the Romans by Pompey; who, after a siege of three months, took Jerusa5 Nihilominus ad genuinum sit Josephi opus, justa est dubitandi ratio. Cav. H. L. de Josepho, p. 35. h See his note at the end of his Translation of Josephus. ! Quam in multis capitibus evangelistarum narrationi suffragetur Josephus,
erudite nuper demonstravit Nathanaël Lardnerus in opere Anglice edito, de Fide Historiae Evangelicae. Lond. 1727, 8vo. 2 volum. J. A. Fabric. Lux
Evangelii. p. 16. not. (A).
lem in the year 63 before the christian era, about the time of our * Midsummer. Josephus always dates' the loss of their liberty at that time. The same is said by " Tacitus. But though the Jewish people then became subject to the Romans, and it may be said, that from that time forward the rod of heaven hung over them, they enjoyed many privileges, and the freedom of their worship, under the mild government of those masters; as appears both from Josephus, and from the historical books of the New Testament. When Pompey became master of Jerusalem, he " and some of his officers entered into the temple, and the most holy places of it; but he took nothing away. There were then in it the table, the candlestick, with its lamps, the pouring vessels, and the censers, all of gold, and great quantities of spices, and two thousand talents in money; all which he left untouched; and the day after he gave orders that they who had the charge of the temple should cleanse it, and perform the accustomed sacrifices. And he restored the priesthood to Hyrcanus. And that after this the Jewish people were, sometimes at least, in a flourishing condition, appears from many considerations. It was during this period that " Herod repaired the temple. Excepting the cloud of glory with which the first temple had been favoured, that erected by Herod may be reckoned to have been equal to it in the splendour and magnificence of the building, and in rich and costly presents, and other ornaments. When the Jewish people, after their return from the Babylonish captivity, laid the foundation of the new house, “many of the priests and Levites, and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, wept with a loud voice,” Esr. iii. 12. But God encouraged them by the prophet Haggai, in this manner, ch. ii. 3, “Who is left among you that saw this house in its first glory 3 and how do ye see it now is it not in your eyes, in comparison of it, as nothing 2 Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the Lord—and be strong, all ye people of the land, and work; for I am
* See Prideaux, in the year before Christ 63, p. 439. And Joseph. Antiq. l. 14. c. iv. 4. De B. J. l. i. c. vii. sect. 6. ' Tara re tra68c roug Iapodoxvgotc atriot caresno av "Ypkavoc kat Arizoğe\og trpoc ax\mXag saatačovrég. Tm, re yap &ev0spuav are/3a)\opley, kat itrnkoot ‘Papuatov Karesmusv. Antiq. l. 14. iv. 5. And compare what Agrippa says to the Jews at Jerusalem. De B. J. l. 2. c. xvi. 4. p. 187. " Romanorum primus Cn. Pompeius Judaeos domuit, templumque jure victoriae ingressus est. Tacit. H. l. 5. c. 9. " De B. J. l. l. c. vii. 6. Conf. Antiq. 1, 14. cap. iv. * Vid. Antiq. l. 15. cap. xi. De B. J. l. i. cap. xxi, et l. 5. cap. v.