« PreviousContinue »
A. M. 3841. A. C. 163; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M.5247. A.C. 161. 1 MAC.v.1.JOS,HIST.b.xii.c.14—END OF MAC JOS.HIST b.xi.c. 19. in villages, and applied themselves to husbandry and gross instance, was immediately excluded, and never reother innocent trades and occupations, and were there-ceived again without the deepest humiliation and repenfore called practical ; but others who, living a kind of tance. And if such was the religion and manner of life monastic life, gave themselves wholly up to meditation, of the Essenes, we have less reason to be surprised, at and were therefore called the contemplative Essenes : our finding some authors so much extolling their courage but however they differed in their manner of life, they were and magnanimity upon several occasions, as persons both of the same belief, and followed the same maxims. who, under distresses and persecutions, suffered death,
They had not indeed the like traditions with the Pha- and the most grievous torments, even with joy and cheerrisees, but as they were allegorists, they had several fulness, rather than say or do any thing contrary to the mystical books which served them for a rule in explaining law of God. They are said, however, to have greatly the sacred writings, all of which, contrary to the Saddu- degenerated from their primitive purity of life and doccees, they acknowledged and received. They believed that trine. In the time of Trajan and the reign of Justinian, God governs the world, but by such an absolute predes- though they were known under the pompous title of tination of every thing, as allowed mankind no liberty of“ angels or angelic persons,” yet were they found to come choice in all their actions. They acknowledged a future infinitely short of the beings whose names they assumed, state, thinking that the souls of good men went into the and, upon that account, falling into great disesteem, in Fortunate Islands, while those of the wicked were shut a very short time a they dwindled into nothing. up in subterraneous places ; but as for the resurrection of There was another sect among the Jews, ' mentioned the body, and the soul's returning to it again after they in the gospels, which, though of later original, may not were once parted, of this they had no manner of notion. improperly be considered in this place, and that is the All practical religion they reduced to these three kinds. Herodians, 6 who, in their main principles, were not 1, The love of God; 2, the love of virtue; and, 3, the love very different from the Sadducees. They sprang up, no of mankind. 1, Their love of God expressed itself in doubt, in the time of Herod the Great, some twenty or accounting him the author of all good, and, consequent- thirty years before Christ, and had their denomination ly, applying to him every morning and night for the from him; but upon what account is not so well agreed. blessings they wanted : in their abstaining from swearing, The common opinion is, that they looked upon Herod from lying, and all other sins that are abhorrent to his as the promised Messiah : but it is a very improbable nature; and in their strict observance of the sabbath, thing, that any Jew should, in the time of our Saviour's and all other holy rites, except sacrificing ; for though ministry, above thirty years after the death of Herod, they sent their gifts to the altar, yet they themselves went hold him to have been the Messiah, when they had found not thither, presuming that the sanctity of their lives was no one of those particulars which they expected from the purest and most acceptable sacrifice to God that they the Messiah performed by him, but rather every thing could offer. 2, Their love of virtue was shown in the quite contrary. 3 Others therefore suppose, that they government of their passions, their refraining from plea- were called Herodians, because they constituted a sosures, their contempt of riches, their abstinence in eating, dality, or club, as we call it, in honour of Herod at Je. their continence, their patience, the simplicity of their rusalem, as there were several in Rome in honour of speech, and the modesty of their carriage. And, 3, their their emperors. C But, since the earliest of these solove of mankind appeared in their great benevolence and dalities in Rome were not instituted till after the death strict justice ; their charity to the poor, and hospitality of Augustus, who outlived Herod sixteen years and upto strangers; and there needs no other proof of their wards, this could be no pattern or foundation for the love to one another, than the union in which they lived. institution of the like in memory of Herod, who died so For they had the same houses, the same provisions, the long before. same habits, the same tables ; their gains were put in the common stock ; they divided the care of the sick among
Basnage's History of the Jews, b. ii. c. 13. them; and honoured the elder men of their society with
? Mat. xxii. 16; Mark iii. 16; viii. 15; xii. 13. the same reverence, as if they had been their fathers.
* Scaliger in Animadver. ad Eusebii Chron. et Casaubon.
Exercit. &c. This strictness and regularity of theirs gave them an a Some indeed are of opinion, that these Essenes did renounce eminent character, and made it a matter of no small conse- Judaism, and were converts to Christianity; and that such quence to be admitted into their society. For when, after among them as were called Therapeuta became monks, and a due course of probation, any one presented himself founder of the Christian church in Alexandria. But though it
were formed into that order by si Mark, who was the first for that purpose, they bound him under the most solemn seems not unlikely, that some of this sect might be converted, vows and protestations,“ To love and worship God, and yet, that the main body of them should embrace Christianity, do justice to all men ; to profess himself an enemy to the and so he lost in the societies of Christian hermits, is far from wicked, and a friend to the lovers of virtue ; to keep his institution as monkism vill after the beginning of the second
being probable; especially since we find no traces of any such hands from thest, and all fraudulent dealings, and his century, when these ascetics, who had formerly fled from perse soul unpolluted with the desire of unjust gain; not to cution, finding the sweets of their retirement and solitude, began usurp upon bis inferiors, nor distinguish himself from to multiply, and so erected themselves into bodies. — Prideaus's them by any ornaments of dress or apparel ; not to con
Connection, anno 107; and Basnage's History of the Jews, b. ii. ceal any of the mysteries of religion from his brethren,
6 Accordingly St Mark (chap. viii. 15.) calls that the leaven nor to disclose any to the profane, though it were to save of Herod,' which Christ styles the leaven of the Sadducees,' his life ; but to preserve the doctrine he professed, the Mat. xvi. 6. books that were written of it, and the names of those stituted in honour of Augustus, Adrian, and Antoninus, and the
c Such were the Augustales, Adrianales, Antonini, &c. confrom whom he had it.” This was the form of admission rest of the emperors
, after their death.—Prideaus's Connection, into their communion which whoever violated in any anno 107.
A.M. 3841, A. C. 163; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 5247. A. C. 164. JOS, HIST. b. xii. C, 19-END OP b. xv. Herod, no doubt, came into the government with great | themselves to any torments, or even to death itself. opposition, and, as he was by birth a foreigner, and had Judas indeed perished, and all, as many as obeyed made his entrance with much blood, his title was not ac- him, were dispersed for a while ;' but in the time of the knowledged by the greater part of the Jews, especially Jewish wars they gathered again, and soon became a as long as Antigonus was alive. Those, therefore, that faction strong and considerable enough to put every would own his title and espouse his interest, might, for thing in confusion. They affected the title of zealots, this reason, perhaps, go under the name of Herodians ; says ? Josephus, as if their undertakings had been good but this seems not to be the whole of the matter. Our and honourable, even while they outdid the very worst blessed Saviour cautions his disciples '' against the of men in wickedness. They looked upon themselves, leaven,' that is, against the evil and erroneous tenets, of indeed, as the true successors of Phinehas, 8 who, out of Herod; which seems to imply, that Herod himself was zeal for the honour of God, did inimediate execution the author of some false notions, which constituted a par- upon Zimri and Cosbi, for which he received the divine ticular sect differing from the other sects of the Jews; thanks and approbation. And, in imitation of him, these and that his followers, imbibing these principles from men took upon them to execute judgment upon such as him, had the denomination of Herodians. 2 Forasmuch, they called notorious offenders, without staying for the then, that Herod, 3 the better to secure his possession ordinary formalities of law. And, therefore, they made of the throne, had put himself under the Roman protec- no scruple of robbing, and plundering, and killing the tion, * contrary to an express precept of the law; and, principal of the nobility, under pretence of their holding to ingratiate himself with the great men at Rome, built correspondence with the Romans, and betraying the temples, and erected images in them for idolatrous wor- liberty of their country. At last, joining with the Iduship, excusing himself to the Jews, that all this he did mæans, they committed all manner of outrage, seized on purely in compliance to the commands he was necessi- the temple, and profaned the sanctuary, and slew many tated to obey, and might probably lay it down for a of the high priests themselves. So that, when Jerusalem maxim in religion, that, in case of compulsion, it was came to be besieged, they were perpetually raising lawful to submit to unjust injunctions ; there is no won- tumults and distractions within, which ended at last in der at all that some bold men should rise up to justify the destruction of their city and temple, and the total the king's practice, and, by the royal permission, call dissolution of their state. themselves by his name, whose distinguishing tenet
These were the several sects, which, much about this might probably be, “ That although they professed the period of time, sprang up in the Jewish church ; and, if
Jewish religion, and abominated idolatry in their hearts, the like differences in opinion have since appeared in the yet, to humour the Romans, and make themselves easy Christian, it is no more than what the Spirit of God hath with their governors, it was not unlawful to comply foretold : " For there must be heresies among you, that sometimes with their demands, and, at least outwardly, they who are approved may be made manifest among to become occasional conformists." This is the leaven you.' of the Herodians, which our Saviour cautions his disciples against ; but it was not of long continuance in the Jewish church : for Herod Antipas ' having lost his credit at Rome, and being deposed and banished out of Judea,
SECT. V. the sect that was instituted by his father, and supported by his favour and countenance, could not support itself CHAP. I.- From the Death of John Hyrcanus, to the after his disgrace.
Birth of Jesus Christ Another sect, mentioned by Josephus as rising after this time, was that of Judas of Galilee: for when Archelaus, son of Herod the Great, was sent into banishment, and Judea reduced to a Roman province, Judas, a a Hyrcanus, when he died, left five sons: Aristobulus, native of Galamala, took occasion from some new exac-Antigonus, and Alexander, were the three first; who the tions, to exhort his countrymen to shake off the Roman fourth was, we no where read; but the name of the fifth yoke ; pretending, that to pay tribute to any foreign was Absalom. Aristobulus, as eldest, succeeded his power was a shameful badge of their slavery. An aver father, both in the pontificate and principality of the sion to the Roman dominion, and an hatred of the publi- nation, and, as we said before, was the first in Judea, cans, who had the care of receiving the taxes and tributes, since the Babylonish captivity, who put on a diadem, was natural enough to all the Jews; but they, whose and assumed the title of a king; but he was a man of a zeal led them to join Judas, and form a particular sect, bloody and suspicious disposition. His own mother, valued themselves upon their holiness and justice, be- because, in virtue of his father's will, she claimed some cause they would not acknowledge any other sovereign share in the sovereignty, he first cast into prison, and but God; and, rather than submit to the dominion of there starved to death. All his brothers he put under man, or give him the title of Lord, they chose to subject the like confinement, except Antigonus, who was his
great favourite, and, at first, shared in the goverment 1 Mark viii. 15. Prideaux's Connection, anno 107.
with him: but he soon cooled in his affections, and at 3 Joseph. Antiq. b. xv. c. 12.
last had him put to death; though in this piece of cruelty * Basnage's History, b. ii. c. 14. 6 Joseph. Antiq. b. xviii.
* Deut. xvii, 15.
the instruments about him were more to blame than be. a Augustus furnished him with a plausible pretence for it, by issuing out his edict to have the whole province of Syria new
7 of the Jewish War, b, wv. surveyed and taxed about this time.
8 Num. xxv. 13. 91 Cor, xi, 19.
A. M. 3897. A. C. 107, OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 5305. A. C. 106. JOS. HIST. b. xii. c. 19 END OF b. XV. As soon as he was settled in the throne, he engaged , slew him; but, no sooner was the fact committed, than in a war with the Ituræans ; & and having subdued the Aristobulus severely repented it. greatest part of them, he forced them to become prosy- For the sense of the loss of a good brother brought to lytes to the Jewish religion, in the same manner as his his remembrance the murder of his mother, and his confather had done to the Idumæans : but returning sick from science flew in his face for both at once. The anxiety the war to Jerusalem, he left his brother behind him to of his mind increased the distemper of his body; so that, finish it, which accordingly he did with success; and so, finding no ease for the one, and no cure for the other, returning in triumph, at a time when the feast of taber- in the utmost agonies of guilt, and with many bitter nacles was celebrating, he went directly to the temple, accusations of himself, he gave up the ghost, and, as did the guards that attended him, with his armour on, after a reign of no more than one year, was succeeded his devotions to God.
by his brother Alexander Jannæus. The queen, and the courtiers of her party, who envied Ever since his father's death, he had been kept in pri. the interest which Antigonus had with the king, were son by the late king ; but, upon his decease, his widow always buzzing in his ears such stories as they thought Salome released him, and his other two brothers, from would excite bis jealousy; and now they come and tell their confinement ; an that, being now on the throne, and him, “ That it was high time for bim to look to himself; having discovered that the elder of these brothers had that his brother was gone into the temple in an equipage formed a design to supplant him, he caused him to be not becoming a private man; and that, in all probability, put to death, but the other, who was called Absalom, it would not be long before he could come with a troop desiring to live quietly, and in a private condition, lie of his armed soldiers, and execute his wicked design took into his favour, and under his protection. against him.”
As soon as he had settled his matters at home, he led This representation made some impression upon Aris- forth his forces to make war with the people of Ptolemais; tobulus, so that he sent to his brother to put off his and, having vanquished them in a pitched battle, shut armour, and immediately come to him, concluding that them up in the city, and laid close siege to it. This if, pursuant to his orders, he came unarmed, there was place, and Gaza, together with the tower of Straton, and no mischief intended, but that if he did otherwise, there the fortress of Dura, which Zoilus possessed, were the might be something in what the queen had suggested; only places on the coast,which were not under Alexander's and therefore placing his guards in a subterraneous pas- dominion; and, therefore, dividing his forces, with one sage, which led from the palace 6 to the temple, and part he besieged Ptolemais, and employed the other in through which his brother was to come to the king's ravaging the territories of Zoilus, and those of Gaza. apartment, he ordered them, that, if he came unarmed, In the mean time, the besieged had sent to Ptolemy they should let him pass, but if otherwise, they should Lathyrus, the expelled king of Egypt, who reigned instantly fall upon him, and dispatch him.
then in Crete, to come to their relief; but afterwards, The queen, knowing this, prevailed with the messenger bethinking themselves better, they came to a resolution, whom Aristobulus sent to bid his brother come unarmed, which they communicated to Ptolemy, to trust to their to tell him, on the contrary, that the king being informed own strength, rather than admit of any auxiliaries. of a very beautiful suit of armour which he had brought
Ptolemy however was already set to sea, when be with him from the wars, was minded to see how it became heard this news ; and therefore proceeding in his voyage, him, and therefore desired him to come in it; which and landing his army in Phænicia, he advanced towards accordingly be did, suspecting no ill. When he came Ptolemais ; but the people in the town would neither reto the place where the guards were posted, they, seeing ceive his messengers, nor send him any answer, so that his armour on, executed their orders, and immediately he was in no small perplexity what course to take, when
a Ituræa, the country where these people dwelt, was part of Cælo-Syria, bordering upon the north-east part of the land of
c Aristobulus was a great favourer of the Greeks, for which Israel, and lying between the inheritance of the half tribe of reason he was called Philellen, and the Greeks indeed had an Manasseh beyond Jordan, and the territories of Damascus. It equal favour for him: for, as Josephus tells us out of Strabo, oze is the same country that is sometimes called Auronitis, and had of their historians has left his character of him:-" That he was its name from Itur, one of the sons of Ishmael, (Gen. xxv. 15.) - prince of equity, and had in many things been very benewho, in our English version, is wrongfully called Jetur.-- Pri- cial to the Jews, in that he had augmented their territories, and deaux's Connection, anno 107.
ingrafted into the Jewish state part of the nation of the Ituræans;" 6 When Hyrcanus built the palace of Baris, he caused this but the actions of his short reign show him to have been a man passage, which led from thence to the temple, to be made, that of a quite different disposition. Prideaur's Connection, anm upon all occasions he might have a ready communication with it: 106. and as over this passage there was a turret, or tower of the d This Ptolemy Lathyrus, by his mother Cleopatra, was made palace, called Straton's tower, Josephus tells us a very remark- king of Egypt: by his affecting to reign without her, he so far able story concerning it, namely, that one Judas, an Essene, incurred her displeasure, that she procured his expulsion by this having foretold that Antigonus should, that very day, be slain in artifice. Some of her favourite eunuchs she caused to be wounded; Straton's tower, which he took to be a town so called, lying on and then bringing them out into the public assembly of the Alerthe sea coast, and two days' journey from Jerusalem ; and seeing andrians, she there pretended, that they had suffered this from Antigonus come into the temple, he fell into a great passion, and Lathyrus, in defence of her person against him, and thereu peti began to exclaim against truth itself, as supposing his prediction accused him of having made an attempt upon her life; and by impossible now to be fulfilled; but, while he was in this agony, this means she so far incensed the people, that they rose in a news being brought, that Antigonus was slain in that part of the general uproar against him, and would have torn him in pieces, subterraneous gallery which was directly under the turret called had he not fled for his life. Hereupon Cleopatra sent for Ales: Straton's tower, the Essene rejoiced in the comfort and satisfac- ander, her younger son, who, for some time had reigned in tion of having his prophecy verified, at the same time that every Cyprus, and having made him king of Egypt, forced Lathyrus one else was lamenting the murder of this young prince_Jewish to be content with Cyprus, upon his brother's leaving it. said, Antig, b, 12. c. 19.
b. xxxix. .. 4.
A. M. 3897. A. C. 107; O. , ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 5305. A. C. 106. JOS. HIST. b. xiii. c. 19—END OP b. xv. Zoilus, and the Gazeans sent ambassadors, desiring his from all thoughts of it; so that, having concluded an assistance against Alexander's forces, which they were amicable alliance with Alexander, she returned with her not able to oppose.
army to Egypt. Ptolemy, being very glad of any opportunity to make As soon as the country was clear of these foreigners, an honourable retreat from before Ptolemais, readily and Alexander had recruited his shattered forces, he marched his army to their relief; but Alexander, not marched into Cælo-Syria, where, after a siege of ten thinking it advisable to hazard an engagement with him, months, he took Gadara, and after that, the strong forwithdrew his army into their quarters, and there thought tress of Amathus, where Theodorus, the son of Zeno, to gain by policy, what he could not attain by force. prince of Philadelphia, had laid up all his treasure ; but
To this purpose he entered into a treaty with Lathyrus, Theodorus falling suddenly upon him, as he was returnand engaged to pay him four hundred talents of silver, ing from the conquest, not only recovered his treasure on condition that he would deliver Zoilus, and his terri- again, but slew ten thousand of his men, and took all tories, into his hands, which Lathyrus agreed to do, and his baggage from him. accordingly had got Zoilus into his custody; but when All these misfortunes, however, did not discourage he came to understand, that at the same time Alexander this prince. The next year he marched his forces again was clandestinely treating with Cleopatra, to bring her over the Jordan; and after baving taken some neighupon him with all her forces, he, detesting such double bouring places, came, and sat down before Gaza, with a dealing, broke off all friendship with him, and resolved design, if he took it, to use the people with the utmost to do him what mischief he could.
severity ; but Apollodorus, who commanded the town, The two armies therefore met the next year, and a made a gallant defence, and in a sally with twenty thouvery fierce battle ensued near Asophus, not far from the sand of his men, one night fell so furiously upon Alexriver Jordan, wherein Alexander being vanquished, lost ander's camp, that he had like to have ruined him thirty thousand of his men, besides those that were taken and his whole army; but as soon as the day appeared, prisoners. After this victory, Ptolemy made every where the Jews, discovering who they were, (for they thought great havoc, and spread the terror a of his name through in the dark that Lathyrus was come again to the asout all the province; but his mother Cleopatra being sistance of Gaza,) rallied again, and repulsed the Gafearful, lest so much success should make him powerful | zeans into the city, with the loss of a thousand of their enough to invade Egypt, set out with a large fleet, and men. a numerous army, which she landed in Phænicia, and The city, however, still held out, till Lysimachus, enthence proceeded to Ptolemais, expecting that the people vying the credit and esteem which his brother Apollowould have opened their gates to her ; but finding the dorus had gained in the defence of the place, treachercontrary, she invested the place to take it by force ; ously slew him, and then as treacherously delivered up while Ptolemy, believing that it would be easy for him the city to Alexander ; who, as soon as he had got posto recover Egypt in the absence of his mother and her session of it, let loose his soldiers upon it, with a full army, left Syria, and went upon that expedition; but license to kill, plunder, and destroy, which produced a meeting with more opposition than he expected, he was sad scene of barbarity. The Gazeans, thus finding obliged to return to Gaza, where he passed the winter, that they were to have no quarter, stood upon their deand from thence went back again to Cyprus.
fence, and sold their lives at so dear a rate, that in the As soon as Cleopatra bad taken Ptolemais, Alexander carnage and sackage of the place, Alexander lost as went thither with considerable presents, and was kindly many men of his own, as he killed of the enemy; but received as an unhappy prince, who was Ptolemy's had the horrid pleasure, before he went away, to see this enemy, and had no other refuge but the queen’s protec-ancient and famous city reduced to utter ruin and desotion: and therefore when some about her suggested, that lation. now she had an opportunity to seize on him and his When he returned to Jerusalem, he was far from dominions, Ananias, one of her generals, who by birth finding matters there in any peaceable posture. For, was a Jew, and by descent a relation to Alexander, by in the feast of tabernacles, while he was offering the representing to her the danger and injustice of such a usual sacrifices as high priest, the people who were procedure ; how base and injurious to her own honour, assembled in the temple, bad the insolence to pelt him which for no considerations whatever ought to be tar- with citrons, (for during the festival it was a custom nished ; how prejudicial to her interest, by provoking all among the Jews to carry • branches of palm-trees, and the Jews in the world against her; and how contrary to lemon-trees in their hands) and to give him very opthe rules of faith and common honesty, which are ob- probrious language, telling him, that he was a slave, served among all mankind, it would be to treat a friend and ally in this manner ; he prevailed with her to desist gine to have been the forbidden fruit
, that our first parents ate 6 The word in the original is Attrog, which the Jews ima
in paradise. It very much resembles a citron or lemon, except a There is a very cruel and barbarous act, which he is said that it has a very rough and uneven rind, which they fondly to have done at this time, namely, that, coming with his army in imagine, was originally occasioned by Eve's impressing her teeth the evening after the victory, to take up his quarters in the ad-on it, and that these marks it has still retained. The custom of joining villages, and finding them full of women and children, he carrying these in their hands is in testimony of their joy, but on caused them to be all slaughtered, and their bodies to be cut in the seventh day, which closes the festival, they break their pieces, and put in caldrons over the fire to be boiled, as if they branches, and throw them away; and therefore it is supposed, had been for supper; that so he might leave an opinion in that that it was on this day, when the mutinous multitude pelted the country, that his men fed upon human flesh, and thereby create high priest with these attrogs, which, at this time, were very the greater dread and terror of his army. This barbarous cruelty common in Palestine.—Universal History, b. ii, c. 11. Strabo and Nicholaus, as Josephus tells us, make mention of. c In this they alluded to what Eleazar, a leading Pharisee, Jewish Antiq. b. xiii. c. 21.
had said to his father Hyrcanus, namely, “ That his mother was
A. M. 3897. A.C. 107; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A, M. 5305. A. C.106. JOS. HIST.b. xiii. c. 19—END OF B. xv. and unworthy to go up to the holy altar to offer solemn they saw him reduced to this distressed condition, were sacrifices, which enraged him to such a degree, that he moved with compassion, and went over to him and fell upon them with his soldiers, and slew six thousand Demetrius, being content with the first advantage he of them. After this he surrounded the court of the bad gained, or fearing, perhaps, that the rest of the priests, wherein the altar and the temple stood, with a Jews would do the same, retired into Syria, leaving wooden partition, to hinder the people from coming near the rebels to make war agaist their king with their own him, while he was officiating, and to secure his person forces. against all future attempts, he took guards into his pay In most of the conflicts that happened between them from Pisidia and Cilicia, (for he durst not trust his own Alexander defeated them, but still he could bring them countrymen,) and of these he had six thousand always to no terms of peace ; till at last coming to a decisive about him.
battle, he cut off the major part of them, and the rest he Having thus, in some measure, laid the storm at home, shut up in a place called Bethome. This be besieged, he marched his forces against the Moabites and Ammon- and took; and having carried eight hundred of the rebels ites, and made them become tributary to him. He at- prisoners to Jerusalem, he there caused them to be crutacked again the fortress of Amathus; but Theodorus, cified all on one day, and their wives and children to be not daring to stand his coming, had removed his trea- slain before their faces, as they were hanging on the sure, and withdrawn the garrison, so that he took it with crosses, whilst he made an entertainment for his wives out opposition : but in his war with Thedas, an Arabian and concubines near the place where this scene of terror king, he had not the like success; for falling into an was acting, with an intent chiefly to feast himself and ambuscade which that prince had laid for him near Ga-them with this horrid sight. This was a savage and undara, he there lost most of his army, and not without heard of cruelty: and, upon this occasion, the people some difficulty escaped himself.
of his own party called him Thracides, that is, as cruel as This loss, added to the hatred which the Jews had a Thracian, as no man indeed could be bad enough to conceived against him, made them fly out into an open express so inbuman a procedure. rebellion, so that here a civil war commenced, which After these civil wars were ended, Alexander led his lasted for six years. In most encounters he had the ad- army against the two kings of Damascus, Antiochus first, vantage of his subjects ; but so exasperated were they and afterwards Aretas, o who, at different times, had against him, that he could never bring them to submit: invaded his kingdom. He took several strong places. for having one day asked them what they would have in the neighbouring territories, and, after an expedition him do to please them, they all with one voice replied, of three years' continuance, returned to Jerusalem, and “ That he should cut his own throat; for upon no other was well received by his subjects. But that felicity he terms would they be at peace with him; and well it were," did not long enjoy : for having at a certain time drank they said, “ considering the great a mischiefs he had to a great excess, he thereupon fell sick, and was afterdone them, if they could be reconciled to him, even wards seized with a quartan ague, which he was never after he was in his grave;" and thereupon they sent able to shake off. This, however, did not interrupt his deputies to Demetrius Euchærus who was then king of military undertakings, till, being quite exhausted, he Damascus, to desire succours from him against their was forced to submit to fate, while he was besieging sovereign.
the castle of Ragaba, in the country of the Gerasens. Demetrius, at their request, came into Judea with an His queen Alexandra, who was with him at the siege, army of three thousand horse, and forty thousand foot, observing him to draw near his end, was exceedingly Syrians and Jews. Alexander marched against him with troubled at the ill state wherein she and her children six thousand Greek mercenaries, and twenty thousand should be left at his death. She knew how much he had Jews, who continued faithful to him ; but in the engage-exasperated the Pharisees, then a powerful sect anong ment he was quite vanquished. All his foreign troops the Jews, and how great hatred the generality of the were lost to a man; and the greatest part of his other people, at their instigation, had contracted against them; forces was so miserably broken, that he was forced to and therefore she saw nothing else, but that she and her flee for shelter to the mountains, with the poor remnant family would be given up to destruction, and made viche could get together.
tims to the public rage ; and thus she sat by his bedside, This misfortune, which, in all appearance, must have lamenting and bemoaning herself, while he lay a-dying. totally ruined his affairs, proved the very means of To ease her mind from these dismal apprehensions, re-establishing them. Six thousand of those very Jews, the advice which he gave her was this :-“ That she who had so lately appeared in arms against him, when should conceal his death till the castle was taken, and
then, carrying his dead body with her, should lead back a captive taken in the wars, and he, consequently, disqualified the army in triumph for this success ; that, as soon as she to be their high priest." But assuredly the true reason of was come to Jerusalem, she should send for some of the their exaspiration against him was, that he followed his father's leading men of the sect of the Pharisees, lay his dead steps, and not only gave countenance to the contrary sect, but corpse before them, and tell them, that she resigned it traditions and customs introduced by the Pharisees. - Universal wholly to their pleasure, either to treat it with indignity, as History, b. 2, c. 11.
his treatment of them had deserved, or to dispose of it as a The fourth book of the Maccabees (chap. xxix.) tells us, they thought fit ; and, withal, that she should not forget that this war was chiefly between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and that Alexander, having declared himself against the former, had put fifty thousand of them to death within the space
· Joseph. Antiq. b. xiii. c. 23. of six years, which so exasperated the rest, that they would 6 This Aretas was king of Arabia Petrxea, but, upon the death hearken to no accommodation.- Universal History, b. 2, c. 11. of Antiochus, was chosen king of Damascus likewise.