Ussher's "The Annals of the World"
The Seventh Age: 50 AD - 75 AD
THE FIRST AGE
1a AM, 710 JP, 4004 BC
1a AM, 710 JP, 4004 BC
THE SECOND AGE
1657a AM, 2366 JP, 2348 BC
1657a AM, 2366 JP, 2348 BC
THE THIRD AGE
2083 AM, 2793 JP, 1921 BC
2083 AM, 2793 JP, 1921 BC
THE FOURTH AGE
2513b AM, 3223 JP, 1491 BC
2513b AM, 3223 JP, 1491 BC
THE FIFTH AGE
2992c AM, 3702 JP, 1012 BC
2992c AM, 3702 JP, 1012 BC
THE SIXTH AGE
3416c AM, 4126 JP, 588 BC
3504 AM, 4214 JP, 500 BC
3604b AM, 4314 JP, 400 BC
3654 AM, 4364 JP, 350 BC
3679b AM, 4389 JP, 325 BC
3704 AM, 4414 JP, 300 BC
3804 AM, 4514 JP, 200 BC
3829 AM, 4539 JP, 175 BC
3854 AM, 4564 JP, 150 BC
3904b AM, 4614 JP, 100 BC
3929b AM, 4639 JP, 75 BC
3954b AM, 4664 JP, 50 BC
3979 AM, 4689 JP, 25 BC
3416c AM, 4126 JP, 588 BC
3504 AM, 4214 JP, 500 BC
3604b AM, 4314 JP, 400 BC
3654 AM, 4364 JP, 350 BC
3679b AM, 4389 JP, 325 BC
3704 AM, 4414 JP, 300 BC
3804 AM, 4514 JP, 200 BC
3829 AM, 4539 JP, 175 BC
3854 AM, 4564 JP, 150 BC
3904b AM, 4614 JP, 100 BC
3929b AM, 4639 JP, 75 BC
3954b AM, 4664 JP, 50 BC
3979 AM, 4689 JP, 25 BC
4053 AM, 4763 JP, 50 AD
- Gotarzes at the mountain Sambulon made vows to the god of the place. The chief cult of that is Hercules. His army was not yet strong enough and he used the Corma [Adhaim??] River for his defence. Although he was incited to battle by envoys with challenges, he delayed and moved from place to place. He sent bribes to corrupt the loyalty of his enemies. The king of Adiabene and King Acbarus of the Arabians [of Edessa] deserted to Gotarzes because by experience it was known that the barbarians would rather seek a king at Rome than keep him. Meherdates was stripped of his forces and did not trust those who remained. He resolved to decide the matter in a battle. Gotarzes joined battle confident now that he could defeat his weakened forces. They fought with a great slaughter and uncertain outcome. When Carrenes routed his opponents and advanced too far, fresh troops cut off his return. Mehardates gave up all hope and trusted to the promises of Parraces, his father's client. Mehardates was defeated by his deceit, and turned over to the conqueror. Gotarzes sneered at Meherdates as being no relative of his, not of the royal family of the Arsaces but one who was a Roman and foreigner. He cut off his ears in contempt of the Romans and gave him his life to show his mercy. [Tacit. l.12. c.14.]
- At the age of fourteen, Josephus, the son of Matthias, was an accomplished scholar and was consulted about the more full sense and meaning of the law, even by the high priests and leaders of Jerusalem. (Josephus, Life, <1:1>)
- After Gotarzes died of a disease, Venones who was the president of the Medes, was called to the rule there. He had a short and most undistinguished reign among them. The Parthian kingdom was given to Volgeses, his son. His mother was a concubine and he attained the kingdom with the agreement of his brothers. (Tacitus, l.12. c.14,44.) Josephus wrote that Gotarzes was killed by treachery and his brother Volgeses succeeded him. He added that he divided the kingdom to his two brothers by the same father. Pacorus who was the oldest received Media and to the younger Tiridates, Armenia. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.2.
4054 AM, 4764 JP, 51 AD
- A war arose between the Armenians and Iberians, which was the cause of very great troubles between the Romans and Parthians. Pharasmanes obtained the Iberians by ancient possession and his brother Mithridates the Armenia with the help of the Romans. Pharasmanes had a son called Rhadamistus who was very handsome, proper composure, of a very strong body and much admired by the whole country. When he began to desire his father's kingdom, the aged Pharasmanes was afraid and tried to divert him by giving him the idea of taking over Armenia. He told his son that he defeated the Parthians and gave it to Mithridates. He added that it was better to use craft than force to get it and so take Mithridates by surprise. Then they might easily oust him and do what they pleased. So Rhadamistus, pretended to have fallen out with his father and said he could not endure his step mother's hostility. He then defected to his uncle Mithridates and behaved well. All the while he was seducing the Armenian nobles and leaders to rebel. (Tacitus, Annals, l.12. c.44.)
- Rhadamistus pretended to be reconciled and after he returned to his father, he told him how far he had gone by deceit and that the rest must be done by force. In the interim, Pharasmanes trumped up some reasons for war. He alleged that during the war against the king of the Albanians, his brother had opposed his appeal for Roman help and he must pay for that wrong with his life. He gave his son a large army and he suddenly invaded Armenia. Mithridates was compelled to repair to the citadel of Gorneas and was terrified and deprived of the country. The place was very secure because of its location and the strong guard under Coelius Pollio and Casperius was his centurion. Rhadamistus tried in vain and with great loss to capture the fortress. Then he began to see if he could bribe Pollio with money. However, Casperius opposed the overthrow of a king and ally because Armenia was given to Mithridates by the Romans and should not be sold for money. At last, when Casperius argued for the superior number of the enemy, Rhadamistus pleaded his father's orders. Finally they made a truce and Casperius left. He stated that although he had frightened Pharasmanes by wars, he should make T. Numidius Quadratus, the governor of Syria, aware of the state of affairs in Armenia. (Tacitus, Annals, l. 12. c.45.)
- The sixth Calippic period began.
- After the departure of Casperius the centurion, Pollio the prefect, was no longer under his supervision. He urged Mithridates to make a league, with his older brother Pharasmanes. Pollio said that Mithridates had married Pharasmanes' daughter and he was an uncle to Rhadamistus and gave him many other reasons. Mithridates delayed the matter and did not trust Pollio for he kept a whore and was given up to all manner of lust and luxury. He was known to be available for a price for any outrage. In the meantime, Casparius required Pharasmanes to withdraw the Iberians from the siege. He gave vague answers and seemed inclined to do it but in the meantime he sent secretly to Rhadamistus to capture the citadel as quickly as possible by any means he could. Rhadamistus secretly bribed the soldiers to demand peace and to threaten to stop fighting. This forced Mithridates to appoint a day for a conference and he left the citadel. At first Rhadamistus feigned obedience and embraced him and called him his father-in-law and father. He swore an oath that he would not harm him with the sword or poison. He lead him immediately to a nearby grove and told Mithridates that he had provided to sacrifice there that by the witness of the gods, their peace might be confirmed. However, Mithridates was thrown down and bound with chains. Finally when Pharsamanes' orders were received, Rhadamistus, as if mindful of his oath, cast down his father-in-law [Rhadamistus' uncle], together with wife [Rhadamistus' sister] and heaped heavy clothing on them so that they were smothered to death. His sons were all killed because they cried at their father's death. (Tacitus, l.12. c.46,47.)
- When Quatratus heard that Mithridates was betrayed and slain and Armenia was ruled by his murderers, he called a council and explained the business and whether it was to be revenged. After they had debated the matter, many were of the opinion to do nothing. However lest they should seem to assent to such a wickedness and Caesar should order them otherwise, they sent messengers to Pharasmanes to order him to get out of Armenia and to recall his son. (Tacitus, Annals, l.12. c.48.)
4055 AM, 4764 JP, 51 AD
- Julius Pelignus was the procurator of Cappadocia and was equally contemptible for his stupidity and his appearance. He was extremely intimate with Claudius when he was a private man and most amused with ease and sloth. Pelignus gathered together the auxiliaries of the provinces as if he would recover Armenia. He then preyed rather on his friends than his enemies. His troops deserted him and he was left defenceless against the barbarian invasions. He went to Rhadamistus who bribed him well. Pelignus urged him to assume the kingly ensigns and was the very author and abettor to him in it. When this dishonourable conduct was known and lest the rest of the Romans would be branded with Pelignus' fault, Helvidius Priscus was sent as an ambassador with a legion for a time to take care of those unsettled affairs. He quickly crossed the Taurus Mountains and settled more things by diplomacy than with force. He was ordered to return into Syria for fear of a new Parthian war. Vologeses planned to invade Armenia which was part of his ancient kingdom and now ruled by a wicked foreign king. He gathered an army and prepared to give his brother Tiridates the kingdom so that none of the family might be without a kingdom. When the Parthians came, the Iberians were overcome without a fight and the cities of Armenia, Artaxata and Tigranocerta came under their yoke. A very terrible winter followed and an epidemic broke out among the Parthians for lack of supplies. This compelled Vologeses to evacuate the country for the time being. (Tacitus, l.12. c.49,50)
- Rhadamistus invaded Armenia now that there was no ruler there. He behaved more cruelly than before as if he came against rebels and who in time would rebel again. Although the Armenians were accustomed to servitude, their patience ran out and they took up arms. They surrounded the palace and forced Rhadamistus and his wife, Zenobia, to flee on fast horses. His wife was great with child and tried at first to endure the flight for she feared the enemy and loved her husband. Afterwards with continued haste, her belly was jarred too much and her bowels tormented her with pangs. She begged that she might die rather honourably than live in the disgrace of captivity. At first, he embraced, cherished and helped her. He admired her courage and was sick with fear if he should have to leave her that someone might find and harm her. At last for the vehemency of his love and being no stranger to wicked exploits, he drew his sabre. After he wounded her sufficiently, he dragged her body to the bank of the Araxis River and threw her into it so that she would not fall into enemy hands. He immediately went through Iberia to his father's throne. In the meantime some shepherds found Zenobia, obviously breathing and alive and thought that she was nobly born by her appearance. They bound up her wounds and applied their country medicines. When they knew her name and story, they carried her to Artaxata. From there she was officially brought to Tiridates. He accepted her courteously and took her as his queen. (Tacitus, l.12. c.50,51.)
- Certain professors of the name of Christ, of the sect of the Pharisees, came down from Judea to Antioch, and said that the Christians of the Gentiles ought to be circumcised and keep the law of Moses if they would be saved. This upset many of the brethren in Syria and Cilicia with their perverse doctrine. Both Paul and Barnabas stiffly opposed them. Ac 15:1,2,5,23,24Paul called them "brethren brought in unawares." (Galatians 2:4) Philastrius (Philastrius, de Haeres. c. 87.) and Epiphanius (Epiphanius, Heres. 28.) said that Cerinthus, who was an arch heritic, was the first to hold this opinion.
- Fourteen years after he went to Jerusalem, which he did three years after his conversion, Paul went to Jerusalem with Barnabas. (Galatians 2:1) Both of them were sent from the church at Antioch with some others that they might ask the judgment of the apostles and elders at Jerusalem, [whose names those disturbers had misused to bolster their own opinion] concerning the recent controversy. (Acts 15:2,3,24)
- Paul went up by revelation and Titus, a Greek, accompanied him. Paul would not compel him to be circumcised lest he should seem to give place to the false brethren for a moment. (Galatians 2:1-5)
- On their journey through Phoenicia and Samaria, Paul and Barnabas told of the conversion of the Gentiles to the great joy of all the brethren. When they came to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and of the apostles and elders. Paul and Barnabas told what things God had done through them. (Acts 15:3,4)
- Paul related the gospel that he had preached among the Gentiles, privately to the leaders among the apostles, James, Peter and John, [who were thought to be the pillars of the church.] They saw that the gospel among the Gentiles was committed to Paul just as the Jews were to Peter. They saw the grace that was given to Paul and they gave the right hand of fellowship to him and Barnabas that these should perform the office of the apostleship among the Gentiles and they among the Jews. They advised them only that they should take care to relieve the poor at Jerusalem. (Galatians 2:2,7,9,10)
- In a council of the apostles and elders held at Jerusalem, there was a long dispute. After Peter had spoken his opinion, Barnabas and Paul told what great miracles God had done by them among the Gentiles. Then James concluded that it seemed good by the common decree of the apostles, elders and of the whole church that the Gentiles should abstain from things sacrificed to idols, fornication, strangled animals and eating blood. For this purpose, letters were written to them at Antioch, and to the rest of the brethren in Syria and Cilicia. Paul and Barnabas carried these letters to Antioch to Judas. After they had delivered and read the letters, the brethren greatly rejoiced. Judas and Silas were also prophets and exhorted the brethren with many words. (Acts 15:6-32)
- Later Judas returned to the apostles and Silas thought it best to stay at Antioch where Paul and Barnabas along with many others preached the gospel. (Acts 15:33-35)
- Josephus, the son of Matthias, when he was sixteenth, began with much hard labour, to learned as much as he could about all three sects of the Jews: the Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes. (Josephus, Life, 1:1)
- Pallas, the freed man of Claudius, was given an honourary praetorship and 15,000,000 sesterces. (Tacitus, Annals, l.12. c.53.)
- When the Galileans went up to the feast at Jerusalem, they had to travel through Samaria. (John 4:3-4) It happened that there was a Galilean killed in a Samaritan village called Nais, [or Ginea.] This caused a fight between the travellers and the villagers in which many of the Galileans were killed. The Jewish rulers took this very heinously and stirred up the Jews to arms and exhorted them to defend their liberty. They said slavery was bad enough without having to suffer additional wrongs as well. At Jerusalem, the common people left the feast, took up arms and invaded Samaria. They would not stop fighting no matter what the magistrates said or did. The people also called for help from Eleazar, the son of Dineus, and Alexander, both the captains of the thieves. They invaded the part of Samaria which bordered on the country of Acrabatene and made a confused slaughter. They spared no age nor sex and also burnt the towns. When Cumanus knew what was done, he took with him one cavalry troop from Sebaste and four cohorts of foot soldiers along with armed Samaritans and he attacked the Jews. When he had overtaken them, he killed many of those who followed Eleazar but took more prisoners. When the rulers of Jerusalem saw the magnitude of the calamity, they put on sack cloth and ashes on their heads and pleaded with the rest of the multitude who went to destroy the territories of Samaria that they would change their minds. They told them how their country would be destroyed, the temple burnt and their wives and children taken captives. Therefore they begged them to put down their arms and go home. The Jews obeyed and went home. However, the thieves retired again to their strongholds and after this time Judea was overrun by thieves. (Josephus, Wars, l.2. c.11.
; Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.5. )
- The governors of Samaria resorted to Numidius Quadratus, the president of Syria who then lived at Tyre. They begged him to take vengeance on the Jews who had plundered and burned their towns. Some of the Jewish nobility and Jonathan, the son of Ananus the high priest answered the changes. They stated that the Samaritans started this sedition by murdering a Jew and that Cumanus was the cause of all the calamities that followed because he was bribed and would not revenge that murder. When Quadratus had heard them, he deferred his sentence and said that he would decide that matter when he came to Judea and there more exactly know the truth of the matter. So they departed and nothing was done. (Josephus, Wars, l.2. c.11.
; Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.5. )
- In the meantime Felix, by his injudicious disciplinary measures, provoked the Jews to offend the more. Ventidius Cumanus, who controlled part of the province was his rival in all manner of wickedness. Cumanus administered the area of Galilee and Felix the Samaritans. Both countries were always at odds but then much more through the contempt of their governors. Therefore they invaded one another and sent thieves and robbers to plunder. They laid ambushes and sometimes fought battles and brought the spoils and preys to the governors. At first the governors were pleased but when the disorder grew intolerable, they sent soldiers to quell it who were all killed. The whole province would have been in an uproar had not Quadratus redressed the matter in time. (Tacitus, l.12. c.54.)
- He acted immediately and executed those Jews who had killed the Roman soldiers. Cumanus' and Felix's actions were told to Claudius. When he had heard the causes of the rebellion, he gave authority to Quadratus to deal with the matter even with the officials of the provinces. Quadratus appointed Felix among the judges, [because he was the brother of Pallas, the great favourite at Rome] and received him into the tribunal to intimidate his accusers. Cumanus alone was condemned for the faults that both had committed. By that means, Quadratus made peace in the province. (Tacitus, l.12. c.54.)
- The Cietae tribes of Cilicia made Trosoborus [or Arosoboras] their captain. They camped on rough mountains and from there ran down to the shores and cities. They plundered the husbandmen and citizens but most commonly the merchants and seamen. They besieged also the cities of the Anemunenses and also routed the cavalry sent from Syria who were sent there under their captain Curtius Severus. The places around there were good to fight on foot but poor for the cavalry. Then Antiochus Epiphanes the 4th, the king of that country, used diplomacy toward the common people and craft toward their captain and divided their forces. He executed Trosuborus and some of the ring leaders and appeased the rest through his clemency. (Tacitus, l. 12. c.55.)
- When Peter the apostle came to Antioch, he ate and was friendly with the believing Gentiles. When certain Jewish brethren came there from James, he withdrew himself from the Gentiles and some Jews of the church of Antioch followed his example. Barnabas was even carried away with their hypocrisy. This was plainly contrary to the gospel and Paul did not stand for it. He withstood Barnabas to the face and sharply reproved his fearfulness before them all. (Galatians 2:11-14)
4056 AM, 4766 JP, 53 AD
- When Quadratus came to Samaria, he ordered those who were accused to defend their actions and found that the tumult was caused by the Samaritans. When he went to Caesarea, he knew that some Jews were trying to rebel. Therefore he hanged those whom Cumanus had taken alive and taken prisoner. He went to Lydda which was almost the size of a city, and held a tribunal to hear again the cause of the Samaritans. He learned from a certain Samaritan, that Dortus, a ruler of the Jews had persuaded the Jews to a revolt. Quadratus had Dortus executed. He also beheaded eighteen Jews, who had been in the fight. (Josephus, Wars, l.2. c.11.
; Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.5. )
- Quadratus sent to Caesar, two of the chief priests, Jonathan and Ananias and his son Ananus along with some of the nobility of the Jews and of the Samaritans. He ordered also that Cumanus the governor and Celer the tribune to go to Rome to give an account to Caesar of what they had done in the country. (Josephus, Wars, l.2. c.11.
; Josephus, Antiq., l. 20. c.5. )
- After this was done, Quadratus feared that the Jews might revolt. He went from Lydda to Jerusalem where he found all things quiet and the people busy celebrating their feast of unleavened bread and offering sacrifices. Therefore, he thought that they would be quiet and he left them busy at their feast and returned to Antioch. (Josephus, Wars, l.2. c.11.
; Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.5. )
- Cumanus and the Samaritans were sent to Rome. At an appointed day, they were ordered to defend their actions. They obtained the favour of Caesar's freedmen and friends and would have won there case. However, King Agrippa the younger, who was living at Rome, saw that the rulers of the Jews were being over powered by the favour of the great ones. He by much intreaty had Agrippina, the wife of Claudius, persuade her husband that he would fully hear the matter and execute justice on those he found to be the authors of the sedition. Claudius yielded to their requests and when he heard both sides he knew that the Samaritans started the fighting. Claudius executed those who came before him to plead their cause. He punished Cumanus with banishment and sent Celer, the tribune, as prisoner to Jerusalem. He was to be turned over to the Jews to be punished. He was to be dragged through the city and then beheaded. (Josephus, Wars, l.2. c.11.
; Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.5. )
- Claudius sent Claudius Felix, the brother of Paulus, to be the governor of Judea as well as Samaria and Galilee. (Josephus, Wars, l.2. c.11.
)Jonathan the high priest had begged Caesar for him. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.5. )Suetonius wrote: (Suetonius, Claudius, c.28.) "Claudius preferred Felix, one of his freedmen, to command the cavalry or foot soldiers and to the government of Judea. He was the husband of three queens."
- Tacitus wrote: (Tacitus, Annals, l.12. c.54.) "When Felix was the governor of Judea, he thought he might do any wickedness with impunity and behaved arrogantly."
- He added this about his tyrannical government in Judea. (Tacitus, Histories, l.5. c.9.) "Antonius Felix exercised regal power with the instincts of a slave with all cruelty and lust. He married Drusilla, the niece of Cleopatra and Antonius. Claudius was the grandchild of the same Antonius and son of Felix."
- When king Agrippa the younger had governed Chalcis for four years, after the 12th year of his empire, Claudius took that from him and gave him a larger one. He received the tetrarchy of Philip, which contained Batanea, Gaulonitis and Trachonitis. He also added Abilene [or Abila] which was the tetrarchy of Lysanias which Varus had governed. (Josephus, Wars, l.2. c. 11.
; Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.5. )
- After Agrippa had been advanced by Caesar's gifts, he gave Drusilla, his sister, in marriage to Azizus, the king of the Emisa who was circumcised. Epiphanes, the son of Antiochus the king of the Commagenians had refused her, because he changed his mind and would not embrace the Jewish religion as he had promised her father. Agrippa gave in marriage Mariamme to Julius Archelaus the son of Helcias, to whom she was betrothed by her father Agrippa. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.9.
- Josephus, the son of Matthias, began to adopt the lifestyle of Banus, who lived in the wilderness who clothed himself with what the trees brought forth and used for his food those things which grew of themselves. To keep himself chaste, he often washed himself in cold water and thus he lived for three years. (Josephus, Life, <1:1>)
- Nero took up the cause of the Ilienses in his speech. He said how the Romans were descended from Troy and that Aeneas was the father of the Julian family as well as many other old things which were likely fables. The Ilienses were freed from tribute for ever because they were the founders of the Romans. Nero read this speech publicly in Greek to the senate and the people of Rome. He promised to King Seleucus friendship and alliance and freed their kinsmen, the Ilienses from all tribute. [??] (Suetonius, Claudius, c.25.)
- Rhodians repened of their old misdeeds and Claudius restored their liberty. It was often taken away or confirmed either as they had deserved in foreign wars or offended by sedition at home. (Suetonius, Claudius, c.25.; Tacitus, Annals, c.58.) Suetonius wrote that he pleaded for the Rhodians and Ilienses in Greek before his father Claudius who was in his last consulship two years earlier. (Suetonius, Nero, c.7.) Claudius remitted all tribute to the Apameans for five years, because their city was destroyed by an earthquake. (Tacitus, Annals, l.12. c.58.)
- After that Claudius spoke concerning the freeing of the island of Cos from tribute. He alleged many things about their antiquity such as that the Argives or perhaps Coeus, the father of the goddess Latona [of whom the island was named] were the ancient inhabitants. Aesulapius brought the art of healing there and he was famous among all his posterity. He named them by their names and in what ages they lived. Then he said that Zenophon his own physician, was from Cos and descended from that family. Claudius had yielded to his entreaty that they might hereafter be free from tribute and be devoted to the service of that god. (Tacitus, Annals, l.12. c.62.)
- Paul asked Barnabas to go again and visit the churches where they had preached the gospel. Barnabas was determined to take John Mark with him but Paul thought it not good to take him since he had abandoned them in Pamphylia (Acts 13:13) and did not went with them to the work. Barnabas took this badly that such an infamy should lie upon his sister's son. (Colossians 4:10) The contention was so sharp that they departed one from the other. Barnabas took Mark and sailed to his own country of Cyprus but Paul who was commended to the grace of God, chose Silas and went into Syria and Cilicia and confirmed the brethren. (Acts 15:36-41)
- Paul came to Derbe and Lystra and found there among the disciples, Timothy who was born of a Greek or Gentile father but his mother was a believing Jew [Eunice] to whom all the brethren at Iconium and Lystra gave good testimony. Paul wanted to take Timothy with him. To win over the Jews more easily, he had Timothy circumcised. (Acts 16:1-3)
- As Paul and Silas passed through the cities, they gave them the decrees they were to keep that were ordained by the apostles and elders who were at Jerusalem. The churches were established in the faith and increased in number daily. (Acts 16:4,5)
- When they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Spirit to preach the word of God in Asia. When they had come to Mysia, they planned to go into Bithynia but the Spirit did not allow them. They left Mysia and came down to Troas. Here, Paul had a vision of a man asking them to come into Macedonia to help them. (Acts 16:6-9)
- When he had seen this vision, they planned to go into Macedonia and were certain that the Lord had called them there to preach the gospel. (Acts 16:10) Thus said Luke who spoke after this of Paul and his companions in the first person whereas always before he had spoken in the third person. He showed that from that time, he was a companion of Paul's in the preaching of the Gospel.
4057 AM, 4766 JP, 53 AD
- Paul and Silas with Luke and Timothy sailed from Troas and sailed straight to Samothracia. The next day they arrived at Neapolis and from there to Philippi. It was the main city of that part of Macedonia and a Roman colony. They stayed there for some days. (Acts 16:11,12)
- On the sabbath day, they left the city to go to the river side where there was an house of prayer. They spoke to the women who came there. Among these was Lydia who worshipped God and was a seller of purple in the city of Thyatira. She listened to the things which Paul said and the Lord opened her heart and she believed in Christ. When she was baptized and her household, she entertained Paul and his companions. (Acts 16:13-15)
- Later at the place of prayer, they cast out an unclean spirit from a servant who had the spirit of divination. He had cried after them many days and said that these men were the servants of the most High God and showed them the way of salvation. Paul was grieved and ordered in the name of Jesus, the spirit to come out of her. When the masters of the maid saw that the hope of their financial gain was gone, they drew Paul and Silas into the market place and caused a commotion before the rulers. The rulers had both Paul and Silas publicly scourged and cast into prison. At midnight as they were praying and singing psalms, there was a violent earthquake and all the doors of the prison were opened and all the prisoners bands were released. Therefore the jailor in desperation, would have killed himself with his naked sword. Paul and Silas preached to him and he was converted to the faith and baptized the same night with all his family. When it was day, the magistrates sent them word that they were free to go. Paul and Silas objected about the shame and injury done to them because they had publicly scourged them and cast them into prison uncondemned. Thereupon the magistrates came themselves and set them at liberty with honour and asked them to depart from the city. They went to Lydia's house and comforted the brethren who came to them and so left the city. (Acts 16:16-40)
- As they journeyed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, the main city of Macedonia where there was a synagogue of the Jews. (Acts 17:1-3) There Paul wrote (1 Thessalonians 2:2) that after he was shamefully entreated at Philippi, he preached the gospel with much zeal. As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue of the Jews for three sabbaths and reasoned with them concerning Christ from the scriptures. Some Jews believed along with a great number of the religious Greeks and many of the chief women. (Acts 17:2-4)
- Paul taught the Thessalonians about faith in Christ and concerning the future apostasy of antichrist and his revelation. (2 Thessalonians 2:5-12)
- When Paul stayed a long time at Thessalonica, he received once and again relief from the Philippians for his needs. (Philippians 4:16) The unbelieving Jews stirred up certain lewd fellows of the baser sort and made an uproar in the city. They drew Jason [with whom Paul and his companion lodged] and certain brethren before the magistrates and accused them in a riotous fashion. When the magistrates had taken security from them, the brethren sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. (Acts 17:5-10)
- When they had entered into the synagogue of the Jews, they diligently preached Christ from the scriptures. Those that heard diligently compared this with the scriptures. When the scriptures confirmed what was said, many of them believed including many honourable Greek women and men. When the Jews of Thessalonica came there, they stirred up the multitude against Paul. Immediately the brethren sent them away to go as it were to the sea but they brought him to Athens. Paul asked that Silas and Timothy whom he left at Berea, should come quickly to him. (Acts 17:10-15)
- The Jews by the instigation of Chrestus continually caused trouble so that Claudius expelled them from Rome. (Suetonius, Claudius, c.25.) Suetonius, if I am not mistaken mentioned only Chrestus. I am not persuaded that Christ out Lord is meant here [for whom the Christians in another place by the same name are called.]
- While Paul waited for Silas and Timothy at Athens, he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and devout men and daily in the market place with anyone who would listen. He argued also with the philosophers of the Epicurean and Stoic sects concerning Christ and the resurrection. He was brought to Mars Hill to hear him expound about these strange gods. Paul defended his cause in a most learned speech. He used the example of the altar dedicated to the unknown God, as also from the testimony of Aratus the poet and confirmed that all were the offspring of God. It was that God whom they ignorantly worshipped that Paul spoke to them about. (Acts 17:16-31) The God of the Jews among the Gentiles was called the unknown God. In the same sense, Lucan called him "the uncertain God." (Lucan, Pharsilia, l.2.) Trebellius Pollio called him the "God of uncertain power." In the life of Claudius, whom the inhabitants of Mount Carmel, (Tacitus, Histories, l.2. c.78.) attributed neither image nor temple but only an altar and reverence. Hence the Athenians made an altar to Mercy in the middle of their city without any image. (Statius, Thebais, l.12.) God's form by pictures cannot be expressed, He loves to dwell within the heart and breast.
- Among Paul's converts were Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman, [or his wife as it seem to Ambrose, Chrysostome and Augustine] called Damaris, and some others. (Acts 17:34)
- When Felix, the governor of Judea saw Drusilla, the sister of king Agrippa, he fell in love with her. He sent his friend Simon, a Jew from Cyprus who pretended to be a soothsayer, to persuade the woman to leave her husband and marry Felix. Simon promised that she would be happy if she did not refuse him. She married Felix unadvisedly and was willing to escape the troubles of her sister Bernice, who envied her for her beauty. She broke the laws of the Jew's religion. However, Bernice, the widow of her uncle, persuaded Polemon to be circumcised and to marry her. She thought by this that she might prove false that she had illegal conduct with Agrippa [the younger.] Polemon agreed because she was rich but the marriage did not last long. Bernice [as it was reported] through her intemperance left him and when he was abandoned by his wife, he immediately left the Jewish religion. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.5.
- At the same time also Mariamme, the third sister of King Agrippa, scorned Julius Archelaus the son of Chelcias. She went and married Demetrius, a chief man among the Jews of Alexandria both for birth and riches and was at that time the alabarch. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.5.
- Paul sent back Silas and Timothy who had come to him from Berea, again into Macedonia and remained alone at Athens. He planned to return to Thessalonica but Satan hindered his plans. Therefore, he sent Timothy there that he might confirm and comfort the Thessalonians in the faith. (Acts 18:5; 1 Thessalonians 2:17,18; 1 Thessalonians 3:1,2)
- In the meantime, he left Athens and went to Corinth, where he found Aquilla a Jew and his wife Priscilla, who came recently from Italy, because Claudius had made a decree that all Jews should leave Rome. Paul stayed with them because they were both tent makers. Paul reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath and persuaded the Jews and Greeks. (Acts 18:1-5)
- Here Paul with his own hand baptized the family of Stephanus, (1 Corinthians 1:16) who were the first fruits of Achaia and who had dedicated themselves to the ministry of the saints. (1 Corinthians 16:15)
- As Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, the Jews withstood Paul's preaching of Christ with great zeal and blasphemed Paul. Paul shook his garments against them and turned to the Gentiles. He went into the house of one who was surnamed Justus, who worshipped God and lived near the synagogue. (Acts 18:6,7)
- Chrispus the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his family and when many of the Corinthians heard the gospel, they believed and were baptized. (Acts 18:8) Of these, Paul only baptized Chrispus and Gaius with his own hand. (1 Corinthians 1:14)
- The Lord told Paul in a vision by night not to be afraid and to speak boldly. No one would harm him and the Lord had many people in that city. Paul stayed another eighteen months and taught the word of the Lord among them (Acts 18:9-11) along with Silvanus [or Silas] and Timothy. (2 Corinthians 1:19)
- After the return of Timothy from Macedonia, Paul with the same Timothy and Silvanus [or Silas] wrote the first epistle to the Thessalonians. (1 Thessalonians 3:6) He wrote some difficult things concerning the day of judgment as if it were now at hand. (1 Thessalonians 1:1-5) He wrote later another epistle to them where he more clearly expounded that matter. (2 Thessalonians 2:2,3) This was written when he had Silvanus and Timothy as his companions in the ministry of the gospel (1 Thessalonians 1:1) and after he had been with the Thessalonians and they had embraced the faith of Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2:5) Grotius was extremely mistaken when he thought that it was written under Caius Caligula.
- The Parthians invaded Armenia after driving out Rhadamistus, who had often reigned as king there and often been ejected and had given up the struggle. (Tacitus, Annals, l.13. c.6.) When Vardanes' son revolted from Vologesus, the king of the Parthians, the Parthians abandoned Armenia as if they deferred the war. (Tacitus, Annals, l.13. c.7.)
4058 AM, 4768 JP, 54 AD
- Claudius died on October 13th [3rd ides] when Asinius Marcellus, and Asinius Aviola were consuls. (Seneca, in Ludi. de Mort. Claudii.; Suetonius, Claudius, c.45.; *Dio, l.60. 8:31) He had reigned thirteen years, eight months and twenty days. (*Dio, l.60. 8:31; Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.5.
)In the middle of the same day, the gates of the palace were suddenly thrown open and Nero, the son in law and adopted son was declared emperor. (Tacitus, l.12. c.ult.)
- In the beginning of Nero's reign, Junius Silanus, the proconsul of Asia, was a noble man and descended from the Caesars. Nero was not involved in his murder and he had barely reached manhood. Julius was murdered through the treachery of his mother Agrippina. His officers were P. Celer, an equestrian of Rome and Aelius, a freedman. They had the charge of the prince's revenues in Asia. They poisoned the proconsul at a feast. (Tacitus, Annals, l.13. c.1.)
- The ambassadors of Armenia pleaded their cause before Nero. His mother wanted to come up into the seat of audience and sit with him. Everyone was stupefied. Seneca advised Nero to meet his mother and so under pretence of doing his duty, he prevented a scandal. (*Tacitus, Annals, l.13. c.5.)
- The report was brought to Rome that the Parthians had occupied Armenia. Nero ordered the youth of the neighbouring provinces to be mustered to supply the eastern legions. The legions were to be stationed near Armenia. The two old kings, Agrippa [of Judea] and Jocchus [or Antiochus, of Commagene] were to prepare their forces to invade Parthia and bridges were to be built over the Euphrates River. Nero gave Aristobulus the kingdom of Armenia the Less and Sohaemus was given the kingdom of Sophene. Both had royal status. He sent Domitius Corbulo to hold Armenia and allocated the forces of the east. Some should remain in the province of Syria with Quadratus its lieutenant. A similar number of citizens and allies should go with Corbulo with other cohorts and cavalry who had wintered in Cappadocia. Nero ordered the confederate kings to be ready for war if required. (Tacitus, Annals, l.13. c.5,7, 8.)
- In the first year of Nero's empire, Azizus, the king of Emesea died and his brother succeeded him in the kingdom. Aristobulus, the son of Herod, the king of Chalcis received from Nero the kingdom of Armenia the Less [as previously mentioned from Tacitus] and Nero added four cities to the kingdom of Agrippa with all the land belonging to them, in Galilee, Tiberias and Tarichea. In Iturea beyond Jordan, Abila and Julias. He received the land that was inhabited with fourteen villages. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.6.
; Josephus, Wars, l.2. c.12. )
- Domitius Corbulo hurried quickly to Aegeae, a city of Cilicia and met Quadratus who went there on purpose lest if Corbulo had entered Syria to receive the forces, all men's eyes would have been on him. Both of them sent messengers to Vologeses, the king of the Parthians and asked him to choose peace and send hostages to secure it. He was to continue to respect the people of Rome as his ancestors had done. Either to buy time to better prepare for war or to remove all contenders for the throne, Vologeses turned over the most noble of the family of the Arsacidae. Quadratus sent the centurion Hostorius [or Histius] to receive them. When Corbulo knew this, he ordered Arrius Varus, the captain of the foot soldiers to go and receive the hostages. Thereupon there was a quarrel between the captain and the centurion. So as not to air their differences in front of strangers, both men let the hostages decide whom they wanted to go with. They selected the captain to escort them because Corbulo was famous even among Rome's enemies. Hence Corbulo and Quadratus had a falling out. Quadratus complained that he was robbed of the fruits of his negotations. Corbulo protested that the king never offered hostages until he had been chosen the general and the king was afraid of him. To settle the differences, Nero proclaimed this order that Quadratus and Corbulo, for their prosperous success should have their imperial fasces wreathed with laurel. (Tacitus, Annals, l.13. c.8,9.)
- At the beginning of Nero's reign, all Judea was filled with thieves and enchanters and seducers of the ignornant multitude. Every day Felix put to death as many as he took. Eleazar, the son of Dinas, had a great band of thieves about him. Felix persuaded him to come to him, giving him his word, that he should suffer no harm from him. When he came, Felix bound him and sent him to Rome. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.6.
- Felix could no longer tolerate Jonathan, the high priest, who so often and so freely admonished him concerning his government of the Jews. He persuaded Dora, a great friend of Jonathan's, by promising him a great sum of money, to kill Jonathan by some assassins. Some entered the city under the pretence of religious worship and had short swords hidden secretly under their garments. They mingled among his family and killed Jonathan. Since that murder was unpunished, this was an invitation to more licentiousness. Others came at every feast and hid their swords in the same way. They mixed with the crowd and freely killed some of their private enemies. Some were hired for money to murder both in the city and even in the temple. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20 c.6.
- Thus was the city was infested with thieves. The deceivers and magicians enticed and drew multitudes into the deserts and promised them that they would show them signs and wonders done by the power of God. When the multitude was thus persuaded, they suffered the penalty for their folly. They were called back by Felix and put to death. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20 c.6.
- At that time there was a certain Egyptian who called himself a prophet. He gathered 30,000 [or 4000; (Acts 21:38)] men and brought them from the wilderness to the Mount of Olives. He told them that from there they would see the walls of Jerusalem fall down by which way they might enter into the city. When Felix found out, he attacked this seduced multitude with his Roman cavalry and foot soldiers along with a large number of Jews. He killed 400 and took 200 prisoners alive. The rest of the multitude dispersed into their own countries. No one knew what became of the Egyptian, with a few that escaped from the fight. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20 c.6.
(8). 1:536>; Josephus, Wars, l.2. c.12. Lysias the captain, mentioned him to Paul and (Acts 21:38) asked if Paul was not that Egyptian who before these days created an uproar and lead 4000 men who were murderers into the desert.
- When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews of Corinth brought Paul before his judgment seat. The Greeks took Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue and beat him. Gallio did not care about this. (Acts 18:12-17)
- Gallio was the brother of L. Anneus Seneca, [who together with Burrhus, commanded all things at Rome under his young student Nero.] Gallio derided the deifying of Claudius who died from poisoning and it was claimed he was taken up to heaven by a litter. He said Claudius received "pumpkinfication" not deification! (Dio, l.60. 8:33) There is extant the book of Controversies, of Marcus Anneus Seneca, the father to the three sons, Novatus, Seneca and Melas. The second of these L. Seneca in his consolation to his mother, Helvia said: "One of his brothers by his industry received honours, the other despised them."
- The first one referred to Novatus, who was adopted by Junius Gallio [who was banished by Tiberius, See note on 4035 AM. fin] He was also called Gallio and was by the same Seneca called Lord, as being his older brother as Lipsius noted: (Lipsius, Epistle 104.) "This was the saying of my Lord Gallio who began to have a fever in Achaia and immediately sailed away and cried that it was not the disease of the body but of the place."
4059 AM, 4769 JP, 56 AD
- When Paul had stayed many days at Corinth, after the riot at Gallio's tribunal, he bid goodbye to the brethren and sailed from the port of Cenchrea for Syria. He arrived first at Ephesus and entered into a synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. When they wanted him to stay longer, he did not agree to it and said that he wanted to keep the feast at Jerusalem. He promised that he would return to them again, if God willed. After bidding them farewell, he left Aquila and Priscilla behind and sailed from Ephesus with the rest of his companions. (Acts 18:18-22)
- Paul landed at Caesarea [Stratonis] and went to greet the church at Jerusalem. He went down to Antioch, [of Syria] and after he had stayed there for some time, he left and went over in order, all the regions of Galatia and Phrygia to confirm all the disciples. (Acts 18:22,23) The Galatians received him as an angel of God or as Jesus Christ himself. (Galatians 4:14) Among other things, he arranged that the collections for the poor should be set apart every Lord's day. (1 Corinthians 16:1,2)
- After the three years which he had lived with Banus in the wilderness, Josephus, the son of Matthias returned to Jerusalem. He was now nineteen years old and he began to dabble with public affairs and followed the sect of the Pharisees which was the closest sect to the Greek Stoics. (Josephus, Life, <1:1>)
- A certain Jew named Apollos, was born at Alexandria and was an eloquent man and powerful in the scriptures. He came to Ephesus and was instructed in the way of the Lord and was fervent in the spirit. He spoke and taught diligently the things of the Lord and knew only of the baptism of John. He began to speak freely in the synagogue. Aquila and Priscilla heard him and they took him and expounded to him the way of the Lord more fully. When Apollos planned to go into Achaia, the brethren exhorted him and wrote to the disciples to receive him. When he came, he helped those who had believed, for with great zeal he convinced the Jews publicly, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was the Christ. (Acts 18:24-28)
4060 AM, 4770 JP, 57 AD
- When Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper coasts [that is, Galatia and Phrygia] and came to Ephesus. He found twelve disciples who only knew of the baptism of John and had not yet received the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. After Paul had further instructed them in the doctrine of Christ, he laid his hands on them the Holy Ghost came on them and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Then he went into the synagogue and spoke freely, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. (Acts 19:1-8)
- When some Jews were hardened and believed not, they spoke evil of the way of the Lord. Paul in the view of the multitude, departed from them and separated the disciples and daily disputed in the school of Tyrannus for two whole years. All who lived in Asia, both Jews and Greeks heard the word of the Lord Jesus. Paul performed many miracles so that handkerchiefs and aprons were brought from his body to the sick and they were healed and evil spirits went out of them. (Acts 19:9-12)
- Asia accused P. Celer of his crimes. Caesar could not absolve him, so he delayed his trial, until Celer died from old age. Celer had killed Sylanus the proconsul, which masked other wickednesses, by the greatness of this villainy. (Tacitus, Annals, l.13. c.33.)
- The Cilicians accused Cossutianus Capito, as one besotted and defiled with all vices. He thought that he had the same authority to do wickedly in the province as he had exercised in the city of Rome. The prosecution was so determined that he abandoned his defence and was condemned of extortion. (Tacitus, Annals, l.13. c.33.) It was he whom [according to Lipsius] is referred to in Juvenal: (Juvenal, Satire, 8.) --How the senate's just thunder struck Suitor and Capito for making prize, As pirates of the Cilician merchandise.
- Quintilian mentioned: (Quintilian, l.6. c.1.) "The accuser of Cossutianus seemed to us young men to speak bravely, it was in Greek, but to this sense, "He was ashamed to be afraid of Caesar.""
- His great intrigues prevailed so much for Epirus Marcellus, of whom the Lycians demanded restitution, that some of the accusors were banished, as though they had endangered an innocent man. (Tacitus, Annals, l.13, c.33.)
4061 AM, 4771 JP, 58 AD
- The war about who would control Armenia which started coolly enough between the Romans and Parthians, was now hotly pursued. Vologeses would not allow his brother Tiridates to be removed from that kingdom that he had given him or let him accept it as the gift from another. Corbulo thought it worthy of the greatness of the people of Rome to recover what was in former time captured by Lucullus and Pompey. Corbulo prepared his army for this war in the old manner after the old severity and discipline of the Romans. He entered Armenia and destroyed some citadels and burnt Artaxata. Tiridates did not dare to give him battle. (Tacitus, l. 13. c.34-41.)
- Seven exorcists of the Jews, the sons of Sceva a chief priest, called those over who had unclean spirits. They tried to cast out the unclean spirit in the name of the Lord Jesus whom Paul preached. However the man who had the unclean spirit, leaped on them and forced them to flee the house wounded and naked. When it was known both to the Jews and Greeks who lived at Ephesus, they were all afraid and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. Many who believed, came and confessed and showed their deeds. Many of those who used curious arts, brought their books together and burned them before all men. These books were valued at 50,000 pieces of silver. So mightily the word grew and prevailed. (Acts 19:13-20)
- Immediately after Paul left them, the Galatians (Acts 18:23) were seduced by false brethren and thought that they were to be justified by the works of the law. Paul sent a strongly worded letter to them to correct this error. (Galatians 1:6,7)
4062 AM, 4772 JP, 59 AD
- Paul planned to go to Jerusalem after he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia. He said that after he had been to Jerusalem he wanted to go to Rome as well. (Acts 19:21) First he thought he would go to Corinth, and from there to Macedonia and return again to Corinth. From there he would travel to Judea (1 Corinthians 1:15,16) to take the collections for the poor saints at Jerusalem. From there, he planned to go to Rome and then to Spain. (Romans 15:24-28)
- While Paul thought about this, he sent Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia but he remained in Asia for a while. (Acts 19:22) He likely was in Lydia where he seemed to have preached the gospel to the cities which were near Ephesus for nine months. He spent two years teaching in the school of Tyrannus and three months teaching in the synagogue of Ephesus. Therefore he spent three years labouring in Asia. (Acts 20:15-31) He said a great door was opened for him although there were many adversaries. (1 Corinthians 16:9)
- On the last day of April in Campania when Vipsanius and Fonteius were consuls, there was an eclipse between one and two p.m. Corbulo, the general who was in Armenia, wrote that it was seen between four and five p.m. (*Pliny, l.2. c.70. 1:313) At Rome, this eclipse was seen in the middle of their sacrifices that were made by the decree of the senate, for the cause of Agrippina that was killed by her son. It was so dark the stars were seen. (*Dio, l.62. 8:73; Tacitus, Annals, l.14. c.12.)
4063 AM, 4772 JP, 59 AD
- People from the family of Chloe told Paul there was a schism in the church of Corinth. Some said they followed Paul, some Apollos, some Cephas and some Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:11,12) 3:3,4) Apollos with some other brethren went from Corinth to Paul in Asia ((1 Corinthians 16:12) by whom the Corinthians wrote to Paul and asked his advice about the matter of marriage and the single life. (1 Corinthians 7)
- Paul together with Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue at Corinth, who was converted to Christ, wrote the first letter to the Corinthians from Lydia. [Timothy was absent (1 Corinthians 16:10; Acts 19:22) from Asia] He sent it by Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, who were sent from Corinth to visit the apostle. Apollos did not wish to return at that time to the Corinthians. ((1 Corinthians 1:1) 16:12,13,17,19)
- In this letter, Paul ordered the incestuous Corinthian who had married his father's wife, to be delivered to Satan. (1 Corinthians 5) He also corrected other errors that had crept into the church. He corrected errors in conduct and refuted the error of the Sadducees who said there was no resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15) He told them that when he arrived, he would set the rest of the church in order. (1 Corinthians 4:18,19),; (1 Corinthians 11:34) He would pass through Macedonia. However, he planned to stay at Ephesus until Pentecost (1 Corinthians 16:5-8) unless something came up that changed his plans.
- Demetrius a silversmith who made silver shrines for Diana, feared that he would lose his livelihood. He convened all the workmen of the same craft and raised an uproar against Paul. He claimed that Paul had persuaded the Ephesians and almost all of Asia that they were not gods which were made by men. They laid hold on Gaius and Aristarchus who were from Macedonia and were Paul's travelling companions and rushed into the theatre. When Paul wanted to go there, some of the disciples and some of the chief men of Asia [who provided for the plays shown in the theatre] and his friends would not allow Paul to go to the people. When Alexander the Jew would have made his defence to the people, there was a great cry among the people almost for two hours, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians." At length the tumult was settled by the wisdom of the town clerk. Paul called the brethren together and took his leave and departed for Macedonia. (Acts 19:24-41; Acts 20:1)
- Aquila and Priscilla left Ephesus and returned to Rome after they had risked their lives to save Paul. (Romans 16:3,4; 1 Corinthians 16:19) The Jews everywhere returned to Rome since the edict of Claudius for their expulsion, expired after his death. (Acts 28:17-21)
- Paul went from Ephesus to Troas. Although he had opportunities to preach the gospel, he was troubled because he did not find Titus there [whom he had sent to the Corinthians with another brother.] Paul sailed from there into Macedonia and (2 Corinthians 2:12,13; 2 Corinthians 12:18) when he arrived, he earnestly exhorted the brethren. (Acts 20:2)
- Paul's afflictions continued. People opposed him and he was fearful. He was comforted by the arrival of Titus who told him the good news about the Corinthian church. (2 Corinthians 2:5-16) Paul used the Corinthians as an example to stir up the Macedonians to provide collections to be sent to Jerusalem. He said that Achaia was ready for this a year ago. (2 Corinthians 8:1-5)
- When Titus told Paul how well his first letter was received by the Corinthians, he sent another letter with Timothy to the Corinthians. He told of the great afflictions that he had suffered in Asia by Demetrius. He stated he did not come to them as he had intended to do in order to spare them. (2 Corinthians 1:8,9) 17-23) He desired that they would pardon the incestuous Corinthian upon his repentance. ((2 Corinthians 6:5-11) Paul sent Titus to them again along with another brother whose praise was in the gospel throughout all the churches. [This man was thought to be Luke.] They were to prepare them to have their collections ready to be sent to Jerusalem by the time Paul arrived. (2 Corinthians 8:16-19; 2 Corinthians 9:3-5)
- Paul went from Macedonia into Greece and stayed there three months. (Acts 20:2,3) During that time, he went to Corinth and received the collections in Achaia for the relief of the believers at Jerusalem. (1 Corinthians 16:3-5; 2 Corinthians 9:4)
- The famous letter to the Romans was written from Corinth at this time as Origen confirmed by many reasons in his preface to the exposition of that epistle. It was dictated by Paul and written by Tertius and sent by Phebe, a servant of the church of Cenchrea near Corinth. (Romans 16:1) This was at the time Paul was about to take his journey to Jerusalem with the collections from Macedonia and Achaia. (Romans 15:25,26)
- When Paul planned to go directly from there to Syria to carry the collections to Jerusalem, the Jews planned to ambush him. Thereupon, he thought it best to return to Macedonia from where he came. From there he would pass into Asia. (Acts 20:3,4)
- Paul sent ahead his travelling companions from Philippi in Macedonia to Asia. Sopater or Sosipater, (Romans 16:11) of Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus of Thessalonica, Gaius of Derbe and Timothy with Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia were to wait for him at Troas. He, Luke and the rest sailed from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread and arrived at Troas in five days. They stayed there seven days. (Acts 20:4-6)
- On the eighth day which was the first of the week, the disciples assembled together to break bread. Paul preached to them since he was leaving the next day. He continued to midnight and restored to life Eutychus, a young man who fell down from the third loft in the room where they were gathered together. (Acts 20:7-12)
- From here Paul travelled on foot to Assos where Luke and his other companions sailed to. They took him in and they sailed to Mitylene. After they left there, the next day they sailed opposite Chios. The following day they arrived at Samos. They stayed at Trogyllium and the next day they came to Miletus. (Acts 20:13-15)
- Paul hurried to be at Jerusalem by the time of the feast of Pentecost. Therefore to save time, he bypassed Ephesus and sent messengers from Miletus to Ephesus to summon the elders of the church to meet him. He delivered a most grave speech to them and warned them of their duty and seriously exhorted them to do it. He kneeled and prayed with them. They all wept especially because Paul thought he would never see them again. (Acts 20:16-38)
- After they had launched from Troas, they sailed straight for Cos. The next day they came to Rhodes and from there to Patara. They took a ship which sailed for Phoenicia. They sailed north of Cyprus and arrived at Tyre. (Acts 21:1-3)
- They stayed with some disciples for seven days. They warned Paul by the Spirit that he should not go up to Jerusalem. However, he kneeled down on the shore and prayed with them. He sailed from Tyre to Ptolemais and there stayed many days with Philip the evangelist. He was one of the seven deacons (Acts 6:5) and had four daughters who were virgins and prophesied. He was met by Agabus, a prophet from Judea who bound his own hands and feet and foretold about the bonds that waited for him. When Paul could not be persuaded by the brethren that he should not go to such a dangerous place, he went to Jerusalem. The disciples accompanied him from Caesarea and brought Mnason of Cyprus with them. He was an old disciple with whom Paul would stay. (Acts 21:4-16)
- They were most gladly received by the church. James and all the elders of Jerusalem advised Paul to remove the stigma that was on him. It was alleged that he taught the Jewish converts to Christianity to forsake the law of Moses. Paul went with four men who were believing Jews and had made the vow of the Nazarite. He purified himself with them according to the command of the law. This was of no avail. When some of the unbelieving and rebellious Jews of Asia, [who came to Jerusalem to the feast] saw him in the temple, they made a great clamour and noise and stirred up the people about Paul's alleged crime. They said that Paul had brought Trophimus, a Gentile of Ephesus into the temple and had profaned the temple. When they were about to kill him, Claudius Lysias, who was the chief captain came with a band of men and took Paul away to the safety of the citadel. The chief captain allowed him to speak in Hebrew to the people. (Acts 21:17-40)
- The Jews were enraged and more vehemently cried out against him because of his speech and the chief captain ordered him to be examined by scourging. He was spared this punishment because he was a Roman citizen. The chief captain wanted to know what crime the Jews accused him of. The next day he ordered the chief priests and all their council to come together and set Paul before them and released him from his bonds. (Acts 22)
- As Paul was beginning to plead his cause before the council, Ananias ordered him to be struck on the mouth. He was the high priest [the son of Nebidius, who, although he was removed from the high priesthood, yet seemed to be president of the council. This was similar to what happened before him with Annas or Ananus who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas.] Therefore Paul severely rebuked him and called him a whited wall. Then Paul proclaimed openly that he was a Pharisee and that he was called into question because of the hope of the resurrection. Then there arose a dissension between the Sadducees who accused him and the Pharisees who excused him. The chief captain feared lest he should be torn in pieces by them as they were fighting. He took Paul from among them with his soldiers and brought him into the citadel. The Lord appeared the next night to Paul and comforted him since he was sad. The Lord encouraged Paul and told him that he must witness in Rome also. (Acts 23:1-11)
- When it was day, more than forty of the zealous Jews bound themselves under a curse, that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul in an ambush. Paul's sister's son told the chief captain about the plot. In the third hour of the night, he sent Paul with a guard of soldiers to Felix, the governor of the province. Felix took Paul in the night to Antipatris and the next day to Caesarea. He was ordered by Felix to be kept in Herod's judgment hall. (Acts 23:12-35) All these things happened within one week as may be understood when (Acts 24:1) and (Acts 24:11) are compared together.
- Five days later Paul was accused before the governor of Caesarea by Ananias and the elders through Tertullus an orator. Paul cleared himself of their false accusations. This was twelve days after he was attacked in the temple. When Felix who had governed the Jews many years, [for this was now the tenth year of his government,] heard them, he deferred his sentence to another time. He ordered a centurion that Paul should be kept and to be allowed to have his freedom. All his visitors could come and minister to him. (Acts 24:1-23)
- Some days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla who was a Jew, [the sister of King Agrippa.] There was another Drusilla besides the one who was the wife of Felix. She was the daughter of Juba, the king of Mauritania, the niece of Antony and Cleopatra. Felix called for Paul and heard him. He trembled as he heard Paul reason about faith in Christ, righteousness, temperance and the judgment to come. He spoke more often with Paul and hoped that he would redeem himself with money. He had him in bonds for two whole years. (Acts 24:24-27)
- Tigranocerta surrendered to Corbulo who also subdued all of Armenia. (Tacitus, Annals, l.14. c.13-26.)
- Tigranes, the son of Alexander [the son of that Alexander who was executed by his father, Herod the Great] and of Glaphira [the daughter of Archelaus the King of Cappadocia] were kept hostages at Rome for a long time. He was sent by Nero to take the kingdom of Armenia and was not received there by a general consent. Some still loved the family of the Arsacida and the Persians. However, most hated the arrogance of the Parthians and desired a king to be given to them from Rome. He was given a guard of a thousand legionary soldiers, three bands of allies and two wings of cavalry. This was to help him defend more easily his new kingdom. The frontier zones of Armenia that bordered the neighbouring kings [Pharasmanes of Iberia, Polemon II of Pontus, Aristobulus of Armenia the Less, and Antiochus IV Epiphanes of Commagene,] were allocated to them to defend the new king. (Tacitus, Annals, l.14. c.26.; Josephus, Antiq., l.18. c.7.
- Corbulo went into Syria to be the governor because Ventidius [Numidius] Quadratus, who was the lieutenant, there had died and it was committed to Corbulo's charge. (Tacitus, Annals, l. 14. c.26.)
- In the same year Laodicea, one of the most famous cities of Asia, was destroyed by an earthquake. They rebuilt the city themselves using their own wealth. (Tacitus, Annals, l.14. c. 27.)
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- Tarquitius Priscus was condemned for extortion, at the suite of the Bithynians. The senate remembered that he had once accused his proconsul Titus Statilius Taurus [II] and was delighted. (Tacitus, Annals, l.14. c.46. l.12. c.59.)
- There arose a contention at Caesarea between the Jews and the Syrians about the equal right of privileges in the city. The Jews who were rich reproached the poor Syrians. Although the Syrians were poorer, they thought they were better because many of them who had served the Romans in the wars in those places, were natives of Caesarea and Sebaste. Hence they thought they were as good as the Jews. Later they began to throw stones at one another so that many were killed and hurt on both sides. However, the Jews won the victory. When Felix required the Jews to stop this mini-war, they refused. He sent soldiers among them who killed many of them and took many prisoners. He also allowed his soldiers to plunder many of the rich houses. The more honourable and modest Jews feared they would suffer next. They begged Felix that he would call off his soldiers and spare what was left. They repented and asked Felix's pardon which he granted. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.6.
- At the same time, King Agrippa conferred the high priesthood on Israel, the son of Phabius. There arose also a dispute between the chief priests and the rest of the priests and rulers of Jerusalem. They each were guarded with a company of most bold and seditious men who decided their arguments with reproachful language and by throwing stones. No one curbed them since the city had no magistrates. The impudence of the high priest grew to such an height that they dared to send their servants to the very grain floors to take away the tithes that were due to the priests. Many poor priests died from lack of food. So much did the violence of the seditious men prevail over justice. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.6.
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- Mark the evangelist who first preached Christ at Alexandria, died in the 8th year of Nero and was buried at Alexandria. (Jerome, Scriptor. Ecclesiastical Catalogue) The elders of Alexandria chose one from among themselves whom they placed in a higher position and called him a bishop. They followed the pattern like an army choosing a general. Likewise would deacons choose one among themselves to be the archdeacon whom they knew to be most industrious. (Jerome, Scriptor. Ecclesiastical Catalogue, Epist. 85. ad Euagrium) They chose Anianus who was a man dear to God for his piety and admirable in all things. He was the first bishop of the church of Alexandria after Mark and was there twelve years, from the eighth year of Nero to the fourth year of Domitian. (Jerome, Scriptor. Ecclesiastical Catalogue; Eusebius, in Chronicles; *Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, l.2. c.24. <1:79> l.3. c.14. <1:100>)
- Vologeses the king of the Parthians, tried to restore his brother Tiridates who was driven out of Armenia. He sent one army into Armenia and another into Syria. Corbulo sent part of his army to Tigranes, the king of Armenia while he drove the Parthians from Syria and threatened to invade the Parthians. They stopped their war and sent ambassadors to sue for peace. Nero dismissed them without granting their request. Caesennius Paetus was made the general for the defence of Armenia. (Tacitus, Annals, l.15. c.1-7.)
- When Felix saw the sedition between the Jews and Syrians of Caesarea still going on, he sent some of the nobility of both sides as ambassadors to Nero to argue their cause before him. (Josephus, Wars, l.2. c.12.
He also sent some priests as prisoners to Rome for a very minor fault. They were good and honest men and were to plead their own cause before Nero. (Josephus, Life, <1:2>) He also left Paul the apostle, whom he had kept prisoner two whole years at Caesarea, as a favour to the Jews. Paul was still a prisoner there, when he had received Portius Festus from Nero as his successor in the province. (Acts 24:27)
- Three days after Festus came into the province, he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem. The high priest and the rulers of the Jews accused Paul and desired that he might be brought from Caesarea to Jerusalem. They planned to ambush and kill him on the way. When Festus refused, he ordered Paul's accusers to come to Caesarea. He spent about ten more days in Jerusalem and then returned down to Caesarea. The next day he sat in his tribunal and heard the Jews accusing Paul and Paul clearing himself of their accusations. Festus wanted to please the Jews and asked Paul if he would be judged at Jerusalem before him of that matter which he was accused of. Paul knew with what intent and by whose advice he asked that question and feared some treachery from the Jews. He refused to go there and appealed to Caesar. After Festus had conferred with his council, he agreed to send Paul to Caesar. (Acts 25:1-12)
- After some days, Agrippa the king and Bernice, his sister, came to Caesarea, to greet the new governor. They stayed there many days. Festus did not know what to write to Caesar about Paul and consulted with Agrippa about that matter. Agrippa said he would be willing to hear him himself. The next day, Agrippa and Bernice with much pomp came into the place of the hearing along with the captains and the principal men of the city. Festus summoned Paul to be brought out bound in chains to them. (Acts 25:13-27) Paul made an eloquent speech and showed that he was innocent. The governor who was ignorant of these things, thought he was mad. However, the king, who was well versed in the scriptures, stated that Paul had almost persuaded him to be a Christian. The whole council decided that this man had done nothing worthy of death or bonds and that moreover he might have been set at liberty if he had not appealed to Caesar. (Acts 26)
- The rulers of the Jews who lived at Caesarea, went to Rome to accuse Felix. He would have suffered punishment for the wrongs he had done the Jews, unless Nero had pardoned him by the intreaties of his brother Pallas, who was in great favour at that time with Nero. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.7.
)Later Pallas was poisoned by Nero that year because he kept from Nero an huge sum of money by living so long. (Tacitus, Annals, l.14. c.65?)
- Two principal men of the Syrians from Caesarea bribed Beryllus with a large sum of money. He had been Nero's school teacher but was then his secretary for the Greek language. He was to get the emperor's letters patents, by which the Jews might be deprived of all authority in the city. They presently shared this authority with the Syrians. This he easily accomplished. When the Jews of Caesarea knew what had happened, they continued in their seditions even to the beginning of the wars of the Jews which had their seeds in this sedition. (Josephus, Antiq., l. 20. c.7.
- When Festus came into Judea, he found it most grievously afflicted with thieves, everywhere who plundered the villages. The most cruel of the thieves were called cut throats and they were very numerous. The carried a short crooked sword like the Persian scimitar. They thrusted themselves into the crowd of people that came to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast days as God had commanded. They could easily kill as many as they pleased. They also attacked the villages of their enemies and after they had plundered them, they burnt them. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.7.
)Festus pursued and captured many of them and executed a great number of thieves. (Josephus, Wars, l.2. c.12,13. )
- When it was decreed that Paul would be sent to Caesar, he was turned over to Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band along with some other prisoners. Julius put him onto a ship of Adramyttium that was to sail to Asia. Aristarchus of Macedonia, besides Timothy and Luke accompanied Paul. The next day they landed at Sidon where Julius courteously entreated Paul and allowed him to go visit his friends and to refresh himself. They sailed past Cyprus because the winds were contrary. When they had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, they came to Myra, a city of Lycia. When the senturion had found a ship whose sign was Castor and Pollex which was bound for Italy, he put the captives on her. When they had sailed slowly many days, they barely past opposite Cnidus. They sailed south of Crete opposite Salmone. They barely passed by it and they came to Fair Havens in the isle of Crete. (Acts 27:1-8)
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- After the Jewish feast in the seventh month of the day of atonement was past, sailing was dangerous. Paul foresaw the danger to come and advised them to winter there. When that port seemed unsuitable to winter in, they planned to winter in another port of Crete called Phenice. At first when they sailed, they had a favourable south wind. A little latter there arose a tempestuous wind called Euroclydon, by which they were carried to the little island of Clauda. Since they were caught and tossed about by the violent storm, they lightened the ship. On the third day they cast out the tackling of the ship with their own hands. They did not see the sun nor stars for many days. When all hope of safety was gone, an angel told Paul in the night that he must be brought before Caesar and that God had given him all that sailed with him in the ship. On the fourteenth day as they were driven up and down in Adria, the sailors thought that they were near some country which they learned later was the island Melita. As they tried to head there, the ship was broken by the violence of the storm. All on board made it safely to land. Some swam and others floated in on the some planks and boards from the ship. (Acts 27:9-44) 6874a. After they had survived the shipwreck, they were courteously taken in by the inhabitants of Melita. They made a fire to dry their clothes and to get warm. When Paul was bitten by a viper as he was putting some wood on the fire, he shook it off with no illeffects. The barbarians were amazed and said Paul must be a god. They stayed with Publius, a chief man of the island, for three days. It so happened that Publius' father wss sick with a fever and a bloody flux. Paul healed him, as well as many others on the island. [(Acts 28:1-9)]
- Caesennius Paetus had not sufficiently fortified his winter camps nor made provision for grain. He quickly marched over the Taurus Mountains and took a few citadels with some prey. He made long marches and overran places which he could not hold. When the provisions which he had taken had spoiled, he returned back and wrote letters to Caesar in exalted words as though the war had been finished. However, this was far from the truth. (Tacitus, Annals, l.15. c.8.)
- In the meantime, Corbulo took special care to fortify the bank of the Euphrates River with more garrisons and to frighten Vologeses from entering into Syria. Therefore, Vologeses turned against Paetus and attacked him so severely that he forced him to a dishonourable peace which was witnessed by Monobazus, King of Adiabene. The fortresses which Corbulo had built on the other side of the Euphrates River were demolished, and the Armenians were left to decide their own future. At Rome, trophies and triumphal arches were set up in the middle of the Capitoline Hill for honour of the victory over the Parthians. The senate decreed this. However, the war resumed again and all this was done only for show and not out of respect of what actually happened. (Tacitus, Annals, l.15. c.9-18.)
- Paul and his companions were highly honoured by the inhabitants of Melita and had all their needs supplied. After staying there three months, they went in a ship from Alexandria which had wintered in the island and came to Syracuse. They stayed there three days and sailed to Rhegium. Within one day the south wind blew and the next day they came to Puteoli where they found brethren who desired that they would stay with them seven days. So they went toward Rome (Acts 28:10-14) in the ninth year of Nero's reign.
- The brethren left Rome to meet Paul while he was as far away as Appii Forum and the Three Taverns. When they came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard. Paul was allowed to live by himself with a soldier who guarded him. After three days, he called together the chief of the Jews who were at Rome and told them the reason why he was sent as a prisoner to Rome and that he was compelled to appeal to Caesar. They denied that they had received any letters from Judea concerning him and said that they had only heard that this heresy was everywhere spoken against. When they had appointed a day, they came to him to his lodging. Paul expounded Christ from the law and the prophets from morning to evening. Some assented to the things that were spoken and other did not believe. Paul pronounced their judgment from Isaiah and they left him. After that, Paul turned to the Gentiles. He remained in his own hired house for two whole years and received all who came to him. He preached the kingdom of God and taught those things that concerned the Lord Jesus Christ and no man forbade him. (Acts 28:14-31)
- Onesiphorus very diligently sought out Paul at Rome and found him and encouraged him. (2 Timothy 1:16,17)
- In the beginning of the spring, the ambassadors of the Parthians brought to Rome the messages and letters of King Vologeses. They desired that Armenia [which they had already taken] might be given to them and that a peace might be confirmed. Both these things were denied and the government of Syria was committed to Cintius [as governor] while Corbulo managed the war. The fifteenth legion was brought from Pannonia by Marius Celsus. Also the tetrarchs, kings, prefects and governors, and those who ruled in the neighbouring provinces were ordered to obey Corbulo as supreme commander. He received the same authority that Pompey had in fighting the pirate war. Paetus was back at Rome and feared the worst. Nero thought it enough to scoff at him and said that he would immediately pardon him lest he became sick with the fear of uncertainty over Nero's actions. (Tacitus, Annals, l.15. c.24,25.)
- After Corbulo had mustered his army, he went into Armenia where the ambassadors of Vologeses met him and desired peace. Tiridates was compelled to come into the Roman camp. He took off his crown and laid it at Caesar's image and agreed to go to Rome to Nero to take it from him again. His only condition was that he might first go visit his family and friends. In the meantime, he left his daughter as hostage and sent supplicatory letters to Nero. As he went away, he found Pacorus with the Medes and Vologeses at Ecbatana. (Tacitus, Annals, l.15. c.26-31.)
- In Judea, Festus sent foot soldiers and cavalry against a certain impostor, a magician, who drew men after him into the wilderness. They were deceived by his promises that they should be freed from all their misfortunes. The soldiers killed the seducer and his followers. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.7.
- At the same time, King Agrippa built a stately house near the porch in the palace of Jerusalem. In previous times, this site belonged to the Asmoneans and was located on an high place where one could get a good view of all Jerusalem. The chief men of Jerusalem were not pleased that the sacrifices and all the things which were done in the temple could easily be seen from a private house. They built an high wall which blocked the king's view of the city as well as the western porch in the outer court of the temple where the Roman soldiers guarded on the feast days for the safe keeping of the temple. Both the king and Festus, the governor of the province, were offended by this and ordered it to be pulled down. However, ten chief men [by his permission] were sent as ambassadors to Nero about this matter along with Ishmael the high priest and Helcias, the keeper of the holy treasure. After Nero heard their embassy, he forgave the Jews and allowed the wall to remain. This was as a favour to his wife, Poppea, who favoured the Jew's religion, and became their intercessor to Nero for them. She allowed the ten men to return but kept Ishmael and Helcias as hostages with her. When Agrippa knew this, he took away the high priesthood from Ishmael and gave it to Joseph surnamed Cabi, the son of Simon, who formerly had been an high priest. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.7.
- Josephus, the son of Matthias, heard that some priests who had been his close friends were sent as prisoners to Rome by Felix. In this unfortunate circumstance, they still obeyed their religion and lived only on figs and nuts. He went to Rome at age 26 to see if he could free them. He had a perilous sea voyage. Their ship sank in the middle of the Adriatic Sea. Of the 600 who swam all night, about 80 who swam were more fortunate and were saved and picked up by a ship from Cyrene. Among these was Josephus. After he was set ashore, he came to Dicearchia, [or Puteoli, as the Italians called it] where he became acquainted with Aliturus who was a Jewish actor and much liked by Nero. Through him, he was introduced to Poppea the empress and by her means immediately had those priests freed. (Josephus, Life, <1:2>)
- After Festus died in the province, Nero sent Albinus to be his successor in Judea. King Agrippa took away the high priesthood from Joseph and gave it to Ananas, the son of Annas or that Ananus who formerly had the high priesthood a long time earlier. He had five sons who had also been high priests which had never happened to any of the high priests before. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.8.
- Ananus, the new high priest was of the sect of the Sadducees. He was a bold and heady man and thought it was a good time to convene the sanhedrin of judges since Festus was dead and Albinus the new governor had not yet arrived. They brought James the brother of Jesus before them who was accused of transgressing the law. James was condemned and stoned. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.8.
)At the time of the passover, James was thrown down from a pinnacle of the temple and stoned. One of them who was a fuller, killed James by hitting him on the head with the bar he used to press clothes. Eusebius related this from the fifth book of the history of Hegesippus. (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, l.2. c.23. <1:77,78>)
- The murder of James much displeased all the good men and those who kept the law. Thereupon they sent a messenger secretly to King Agrippa and desired from him that he would order Ananus to stop such deeds. Some also met Abinus as he came from the city of Alexandria and informed him that Ananus had no power to call a council without his permission. He was persuaded by their words and wrote a sharp letter to Ananus and threatened to punish him. For the same reason Agrippa took the high priesthood from him when he had only held it for three months and gave it to Jesus, the son of Dammaeus. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.8.
)After the death of James, Simon the son of Cleophas was appointed the bishop of the church of Jerusalem. (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, l.3. c.32. <1:117>)
- As soon as Albinus came to Jerusalem, he diligently tried to restore order by executing all the thieves. Ananus, the high priest [the son of Nebedeus] increased every day more and more in the love and esteem of the people and he was honoured by all men for his generosity. Albinus daily honoured the high priest for his gifts he sent to him. Ananias had some very wicked servants who attracted a company of headstrong men. They went from farm to farm and took away the priests' tithe and beat those who refused to give it. Some of the priests also did the same for there was no one able to restrain them. Many of the priests who lived on those tithes, perished from hunger. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.8.
- At the feast of Pentecost, the thieves entered Jerusalem at night and captured the scribe Eleazar who was the son of Ananias the high priest. They held him hostage then sent to Ananias to have Albinus to free ten of the thieves. Then they would free the scribe. Ananias was forced to obtain this request from Albinus. This was the beginning of greater calamities for the thieves always found some trick to intercept some of Ananias' family whom they would never free until they had freed some of their own men. Therefore they increased in boldness and number and plundered the whole country. (Josephus, Annals, l.20. c.8.
- At this time King Agrippa enlarged the walls of Caesarea Philippi and changed its name to Neronias in honour of Nero. He built at Berytus a theatre at great expense and annually held games which cost him large amounts of money. He also gave to the people of Berytus grain and oil. He decorated that city with statues in various places and with original images made many years ago. He transferred almost all that was ornamental in his kingdom to that city. Hence his own subjects began to hate him because he stripped them of their ornaments to adorn a foreign city. (Josephus, Annals, l.20. c.8.
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- Four years before the Jewish war, [that was prosecuted by Vespasian] when the city of Jerusalem enjoyed both peace and plenty, Jesus the son of Ananus, a country man and one of the common people arrived at the feast of tabernacles and began suddenly to cry out: "A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the temple, a voice against newly married men and women, a voice against all this people."
- He cried like this night and day and he went through all the streets of the city. Some of the nobility ignored any sign of the coming trouble and took the fellow and scourged him with many stripes. However, he spoke nothing secretly for himself nor to them that scourged him but continued still in the same cry. The rulers thought it rather to be some message in him from God and brought him to the Roman procurator. He was beaten until his bones appeared yet he never made an intreaty nor shed a tear but as well as he could compose a weeping voice, at every stroke, he replied: "Woe, woe, to Jerusalem."
- Albinus then asked them who he was, where he was born and why he still cried after this manner. He answered nothing and did not cease to bewail the city, until Albinus thought he was mad and allowed him to leave. He cried like this most on the feast days and for seven year's time [or rather six, as it is in (Phor., Biblioth. c.47)] and five months and yet he was never hoarse nor weary. Finally, he was killed by a stone shot from an engine in the time of the siege. (Josephus, Wars, l.7. c.12.
- At the command of King Agrippa, Jesus, the son of Gamaliel succeeded in the high priesthood. Jesus the son of Damneus who very unwillingly yielded it up. Thereupon there arose a discord between them. They both had followers of resolute young fellows. They started arguing, then throwing stones. Since Ananias was the richest, he got most of them on his side through his money. Costabarus and Saul each got a band of rascals. These were of the royal blood and received special favours because they were closely related to King Agrippa. However, they were violent and as eager as any to exploit anyone weaker than themselves. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.8.
- From this time the civilstate of the Jews degenerated daily. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.8.
)The seeds of the future destruction were then sown through number of leaders that led these bands. (Josephus, Wars, l.2. c.13. )
- Albinus, the governor, robbed private citizens of their goods in the name of justice and greatly burdened the whole country with heavy taxes. He freed for a price those thieves whom the soldiers of the city had captured and those whom the former governors had left in prison. Those who could not afford to bribe him, remained in prison as most heinous offenders. (Josephus, Wars, l.2. c.13.
- At the same time also, the insolence increased of those who wanted a revolution in Jerusalem. Those who were rich, bribed Albinus to overlook their seditious actions. Those who delighted in disturbances allied themselves with Albinus' side. Each of them had a troop of rascals and Albinus himself was over them all as a tyrant and a prince of the thieves. He used the help of his guard to rob the quieter sort. So it was that those whose houses were ransacked held their peace and those who escaped were glad to flatter those whom they knew deserved death lest they should suffer the same things. (Josephus, Wars, l.2. c.13.
- When Rome was on fire, Nero saw it burn from Mecena's Tower and was very delighted with the beauty of the flames. He sang of the destruction of Troy in his actor's clothes and compared the present evil to the old ruins. (Tacitus, Annals, l.15. c.38-40.; Suetonius, Nero, c.38.; Xiphiline in Dio, l.62. 8:115) Some noted that this fire began on July 19th, [14th calends], on which the Senonian Gauls set the city on fire after they had taken it. Others went so far in their curiosity that they calculated the very days and months that were between the two burnings. (Tacitus, Annals, l.15. c.41.) They said there were 418 years, 418 months and 418 days between the two fires.
- To quell the rumour that he started the fire, Nero falsely accused and punished most grievously with exquisite torments those who were called Christians. Those who confessed to being Christians, were the first to be apprehended. Based on the information of these, an huge multitude were convicted. They were hated no so much for being alleged to have set the city on fire as for the general hatred of all men against them. These suffered and died most cruelly. Some were covered with beasts' skins to be torn with dogs. Some were crucified and some burned. When it was night, their bodies were turned into torches to give light by night. Nero made his garden fit for that spectacle and held shows in the circus. He mingled among the common people in the clothes of a charioteer or stood in a ring. They were pitied since they suffered not for any common good but to satisfy one man's cruelty. (Tacitus, Annals, l.15. c. 44.) The words of an old scholiast are mentioned as commenting on Juvenal's writings. (Juvenal, Satyr 1.) Thou shalt be made a torch by night to shine And burn impaled, name thou but Tigilline. "If you touch Tigillinus, you shall be burnt alive as it was in the shows of Nero of whom he commanded torches to be made that they might give light to the spectators. They were fastened through their throat that they might not bend themselves. Nero clothed malefactors with pitch, paper and wax and so set them on fire."
- This was the first persecution that was raised against the Christians by the Roman emperors. Suetonius, (Suetonius, Nero, c.16) an heathen man mentioned: "The Christians were punished who were a kind of men of a new and pernicious superstition."
- Tertullian, a Christian stated: (Tertullian, Apologetic, c.5.) "Search your records then you shall find that Nero was the first that used Caesar's sword against this sect which at that time greatly increased at Rome. However, we glory in such a dedicator of our condemnation for he that understands himself cannot but understand that nothing can be condemned by Nero but some great good."
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- Nero appointed Cestius Gallus as the governor of Syria and Gessius Florus of Judea. Florus was born in the city of Clazomenae and he married Cleopatra, a wicked woman. She was a friend of the Empress Poppea and got this appointment for him. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.9.
- When Albinus heard that Florus was coming to succeed him, he was willing to gratify the citizens of Jerusalem. He called before him all the prisoners and those who were notoriously guilty of any capital crime. These he executed. He remanded those who were in prison for smaller offences, to prison again. He freed them when he was paid fines. After this manner the prisons were emptied, but Judea was filled with thieves. (Josephus, Annals, l.20. c.8.
- In the meantime, the Levites whose office was to sing hymns in the temple, went to King Agrippa. By their entreaty, they persuaded him, that he would call a council and permit them the use of the linen robe which was then only granted to the priests. They said that this new custom would serve as a perpetual memorial of his reign. Therefore the king by the advice of his council, permitted to those who sang the hymns to set aside their former clothes and wear a linen garment as they desired. Also at their entreaty, he allowed another part of the same tribe that was allocated to the services of the temple, to learn to sing the sacred hymns. (Josephus, Annals, l.20. c.8.
- The Philippians sent Epaphroditus with money to Rome to visit Paul in prison and to minister to him in his needs. He became Paul's helper and fellow soldier for the work of Christ. He did not consider his life and risked it for he fell seriously ill.(Philippians 2:25-30; Philippians 4:10,14,18)
- Although Paul was old and in prison, he won Onesimus to Christ. He was a servant who fled from Colosse from his master Philemon. (Philemon 1:1:9,10,15; Colossians 4:9,18)
- Timothy who was kept as a prisoner with Paul, was set at liberty. (Hebrews 13:23)
- Paul wrote the letter to the Philippians by Epaphroditus, after he had recovered his health. He hoped also that in a short time, he would send Timothy to them. As soon as he would know their state, he trusted also that he himself would come shortly to them. (Philippians 2:2,19,29) At that time Paul's bonds for Christ were famous in all the court and even some of Caesar's palace staff were converted to the faith. (Philippians 1:12,13; Philippians 4:12) Since he was sent into prison by Caesar, he was more known in his family and so made the house of persecution the church of Christ. (Jerome, Commentary to Philemon)
- Paul wrote a letter to Colosse to Philemon by his servant Onesimus. He reconciled and commended him to his master and indicated that he hoped he should be freed from prison and desired him to prepare a lodging place for him. Paul used Onesimus and Tychicus to deliver a letter to the Colossians whom he had never seen but were instructed in the doctrine of Christ by Epaphras. (Colossians 1:7,8; Colossians 2:1) 4:7,9,18) At that time besides Timothy [whose name is prefixed to both of these letters] there were with Paul at Rome of the circumcision, his companions in bonds, Aristarchus of Thessalonica ((Acts 20:4) and Mark, Barnabas' sister's son. He instructed the Colossians to receive him, if he came to them. Also with him was Jesus who was called Justus as well as Luke, the beloved physician, Demas and Epaphras. Paul told of Epaphras' great affection for the Colossians, [with whom Archippus supplied his ministry and now he was absent] Laodicea and Hierapolis. (Colossians 4:10-14,17; Philemon 1:1:23,24)
- Paul also sent back the same Tychicus who was the companion in his travels from Asia, (Acts 20:4) to them in Asia that from him the brethren might know his affairs. He carried with him Paul's letter to the Ephesians. (Ephesians 6:21,22) Tertullian, (Tertullian, against Marcion., l.5. c.11,17) and Epiphanius (Epiphanius, in Hares. 42.) confirmed what was said by Marcion the heretic that this letter went by the name of the epistle to the Laodiceans. Grotius thought this to be credible enough to be done by him from the credit of the church of Laodicea. He affirmed that there was no reason why he should tell a lie in this matter and gathered from this that the letter to the Ephesians and also to the Laodiceans was written with the same words. It is to be noted in some old books [as it appears from Basil (Basil, against Eunomius, l.2.) and of Jerom's commentary on this place of the apostle] it was generally written [as it was the custom in the copies of letters that were to be sent to various places] "To the Saints which are at ********, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus." This was as if it had been sent first to Ephesus as the metropolis of Asia and from there to be sent to the rest of the churches of that province, [the name of each church would be inserted for the ********.] Some of these churches had never seen Paul and his words especially bare this out: "After I heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and love to all the saints," (Ephesians 1:15)
- Again Paul stated: "If you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given to me for you, &c." (Ephesians 3:2-4)
- Perhaps Marcian's idea might rather agree to the Laodiceans, who had not seen the apostle (Colossians 2:1) than to the Ephesians with whom he spent so much time. (Acts 19:8-10; Acts 20:31)
- About the same time, Paul wrote the letter to the Hebrews. Timothy was set at liberty but had gone from him somewhere for a time. He promised to see them with Timothy if he came shortly. In the meantime, he sent them greetings from the brethren from Italy. (Hebrews 13:23,24)
- The building of the temple was now finished and the people saw that about 18,000 workmen would be idle who previously worked on the temple. They did not want the holy treasure to become a prey to the Romans and desired also to help the workmen. If they only worked one hour, they were immediately paid. They tied to persuade King Agrippa to repair the eastern porch. This porch hung over a deep and narrow valley and was supported by a wall 600 feet high, built from stones that were 30 feet square and 9 feet high. Claudius Caesar had committed the charge of the temple to King Agrippa. Agrippa thought that any large building might easily be pulled down but was hard to set up and especially this porch. It would cost much time and money to do, hence he denied their request. He allowed them to pave their city with white stone if they wanted to. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.8.
- After two years of being detained, Paul was released. He taught the gospel at Rome during this period. (Acts 28:30) He seemed to have gone from there to Asia and to have lived with Philemon at Colosse. (Philemon 1:1:22)
- In the feast day of unleavened bread, which happened on the 8th of Xanthicus or April about the ninth hour of the night [3 am.] a light shone for half an hour between the altar and the temple so that it was as bright as noon. At the same feast day, a cow that was led to sacrifice brought forth a lamb in the middle of the temple. The east gate of the temple was made of brass and extremely heavy. In the evening it could barely be closed by twenty men and was locked with bars of iron and had bolts that were let down deep into a threshold that was made all of one stone. About the sixth hour of the night [midnight], the gate opened of its own accord. When this was told to the magistrate by the keepers of the temple, as they went on their rounds, he went there and could barely shut it. (Josephus, Wars, l.7. c.12.
- On the 21st day of Artemisius or May, before sunset, there were seen in the air, iron chariots all over the country and armies in battle array passing along in the clouds and surrounding the cities. (Luke 21:20) At the feast of Pentecost, the priests went into the inner temple by night according to their custom to do the divine service. At first they found the place to move and make a noise and later they heard a sudden voice, which said: (Josephus, Wars, l. 7. c.12.
)"Let us depart hence."
- Paul preached the gospel in the isle of Crete where he left Titus so that Titus might set in order the things that were needful and ordain elders in every city there. (Titus 1:5)
- King Agrippa took the priesthood from Jesus, the son of Gamaliel, and gave it to Matthias, the son of Theophilus. The Jewish war started when he was high priest. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.8.
- After Josephus had received gifts of money from the Empress Poppea, he returned to his own country. He found among them many signs of seditions and rebellions, whom he in vain endeavoured to dissuade from their unhappy enterprise. (Josephus, Life, <1:2>)
- Gessius Florus so outrageously abused his authority that the Jews desired Albinus again and thought that Albinus was their benefactor. Although Albinus was privately as wicked and injurious as he could possibly be, Florus openly did his villainies and bragged publicly of the wrongs he did to the country. He left nothing undone to the height of iniquity in repines and punishments. He was inflexible to any mercy, insatiable in his gains, equally greedy of small and great things so much so that he became a partner with the thieves. Many became thieves and paid part of the booty to him. There was no means or end of their wrongs so that the miserable Jews were not able to endure the ravening insolence of the thieves and were constrained to abandon both their houses and religion and flee to foreign countries. They thought it better to live even among barbarians. (Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.9.
; Josephus, Wars, l.2. c.13. )
- Poppea, who was Nero's wife and was great with child and sick, upbraided Nero as he returned late from driving his chariot. In his anger he killed her with a kick of his foot. This was after the end of his quinquennial games which were held for the second time and Nero won first prize. These games were instituted in 60 AD. (Suetonius, Nero, c.35.; Tacitus, Annals, l.16. c.2-6.)
- Paul stayed sometime at Ephesus and left Timothy there while he went to Macedonia so that Timothy might administer that church in his absence. (1 Timothy 1:3; 1 Timothy 3:14,15) In Macedonia, he stayed with the Philippians as he had previously promised them. (Philippians 1:25,26; Philippians 2:24)
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- Paul wrote his first letter to Timothy in which he declared that he had delivered over to Satan, Hymaeneus and Alexander who made shipwreck of their faith. When they were chastised, they would learn not to blaspheme. (1 Timothy 1:20) Hymenaeus denied the resurrection to come as did Philetus and said that it was past already. (2 Timothy 2:17,18) Alexander was that coppersmith who greatly hindered Paul and so greatly withstood his preaching. (2 Timothy 4:14,15)
- Paul also wrote another letter to Titus in Crete and desired that when he sent Artemus or Tychicus to him, he would come to Paul to Nicopolis, [famous for the victory at Actium] where Paul planned to winter. Also Paul said that he should diligently bring Zenas, the lawyer, and Apollo on their journey so that they should lack nothing. (Titus 3:12,13)
- After winter was over, Paul returned to Ephesus to Timothy and went to Troas and there left his cloak. Erastus stayed at Corinth where he was the city treasurer. (Romans 16:23) Paul left Trophimus at Miletum sick. (1 Timothy 3:14; 2 Timothy 4:13,20)
- Cestius Gallus came from Antioch to Jerusalem to report to Nero the strength and state of the city. He despised that country and asked the high priests, if it were possible, that they would count the people. It was the day of the passover when they killed sacrifices from the ninth hour to the eleventh. There were 256,500 sacrifices made. Each lamb would be eaten by ten or twenty individuals. An estimated 2,700,200 people were present for the feast. (Josephus, Wars, l.7. c. 17. [Latin Edition] or l.6. c.45. Greek Edition]
- More than 300,000 Jews came to Gallus and begged him that he would take pity on the calamities of their country. They asked him to remove Florus who plagued their country. Although Florus was in the sight of the people and with Gallus, he was not moved and laughed at their cries against him. At that time Cestius appeased the rage of the people and promised that he would make Florus more gentle to them. He returned back again to Antioch. Florus brought him as far as Caesarea and deceived him with lies and planned to make a war on the country of the Jews. This was the best way he could think of to hide his villainies. As long as the peace continued, he would always have the Jews accusing him to Caesar. If he could make them revolt then his impieties would seem to be small compared to the Jews' revolt. To make that country revolt from the Roman Empire, every day he more earnestly increased their calamities. (Josephus, Wars, l.2. c.12.
- Paul came to Rome the second time and was heard and acquitted by Nero. He mentioned this: (2 Timothy 4:16,17) "In my first answer, no man stood with me, but all forsook me: I pray God it be not laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion."
- So that as he did before for two years, so now again for an whole year, he preached the gospel to all countries that came from every place and flocked to Rome and made it their home country.
- Demas left Paul, loving this present world and went to Thessalonica, Crescens went into Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke remained with Paul at Rome. (2 Timothy 4:10,11)
- There was an old saying that was commonly talked of over all the east. There was a prophecy which said that there should come from Judea those who would be masters of all. It was later obvious by what happened that this was foretold of the Roman emperor. The Jews applied this prophesy to themselves and rebelled. (Suetonius, Vespasian, c.4.) The Jews patiently endured until Gessius Florus was made governor. (Tacitus, Histories, l.5. c.10.) Under him the war began, in the Artemisian month or our May in the twelfth year of Nero's empire, the 17th of the reign of Agrippa and the second year of the government of Gessius Florus. (Josephus, Wars, l.1. c.13.; Josephus, Antiq., l.20. c.ult.
)This war was fully described by Josephus in the later part of the second book and the five following books. A summary of this we have taken from the abridgement of the Jewish history of that most eminent man Ludovicus Capellus.
- Nero crossed into Greece and stayed there until winter. (*Dio, l.62. 1:149 [Xiphilin. ex Dio])
- In a long speech King Agrippa tried in vain to persuade the Jews from war. A little while after he left Jerusalem, some of the seditious men occupied the strong citadel of Masada by surprise and killed all the Romans they found there. At Jerusalem, Eleazar the son of Ananias the high priest, and commander of the soldiers of the temple, was a bold and factious young man. He persuaded the priests that they should not offer any sacrifices except for the Jews. None were to be offered for Caesar or the Romans. The city governors who were peaceful men, judged this rash act to be intolerable. They saw that it was an invitation to open rebellion. However, they could not make these seditious men change their minds. Thereupon they sent messengers to Caesarea to Florus and to King Agrippa and asked them to immediately send troops to quash the rebellion in its very beginnings. Florus wanted a revolt and did nothing. Agrippa sent 1000 cavalry who together with the rulers and priests, and the rest of the multitude that loved peace, captured and held the upper city from the seditious men who held the temple and the lower city. There were continual skirmishes between them for the next seven days. On the feast day when they carried wood into the temple, many murderers were received into the temple. These with the rest, attacked the king's soldiers and forced them from the upper part of the city. They drove them into Herod's palace and burnt the place where the records were kept, the palace of the Asmonaeans [which was then Agrippa's court] and Ananias the high priest's house. The next day which was the 15th of August, they captured the citadel of Antonia after a two day siege and killed all the Roman soldiers there. They burned the citadel. A little later, they attacked the king's palace. [Manahemus the son of Judas Galilaeus was their captain, who after he had taken the citadel of Masada and plundered Herod's armoury, he brought his armed murderers into Jerusalem.] After they took the palace and burned it, Manahemus seized the leadership of the revolt but immediately after he was killed in the temple as he was praying by Eleazar, the captain of the temple. Manahemus' men were driven out and returned to Masada under the leadership of Eleazar the son of Jairus who was related to Manahemus. The seditious men also of Jerusalem on the very sabbath day put to death the Romans. After the palace was won by assault, the Romans had retired into the citadel Hippico, Phasaelus, and Mariamme. They were besieged and surrendered and turned over their arms. They were promised safety but the Jews broke their oath and put them to death.
- The same day at Caesarea, Florus instigated the heathen to kill all the Jews who lived there. 20,000 were killed. The Jews through the whole country were so vexed. They lived in all the villages of the Syrians and the neighbouring cities of Philadelphia, Gerasa, Ptolemais, Pella, Scythopolis, Gadara, Hippo, Gaulanitis, Sebaste, Askelon, Anthedon and Gaza. There was a general slaughter made by the Syrians of the Jews in all Syria. This was done partly from the old hatred against the Jews and their religion, partly for the love of plunder and desire of revenge. Only they of Antioch, Apamea and Sidon spared the Jews who lived among them. At Alexandria, the metropolis of Egypt, 50,000 Jews were killed in one day in a sedition by two Roman legions that were sent to put down the sedition.
- Cestius Gallus, the governor of Syria, was very upset by these riotous actions. He left Antioch for Judea with the 12 legions, King Agrippa's soldiers and other forces. From Ptolemais he invaded Joppa and burned it. He sent Cesennius Gallus into Galilee which he pacified. After staying at Sephoris, he came to Caesarea.
- Peter and Paul are warned by revelation from the Lord of their approaching death. (2 Peter 1:14; 2 Timothy 4:6,7)
- Peter wrote his second letter to the Hebrews who were dispersed through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. (2 Peter 3:1; 1 Peter 1:1)
- Paul sent his second letter to Timothy at Ephesus by Tychicus where the family of Onesiphorus lived. This was after Aquila and Priscilla had left Rome and returned to Ephesus. (2 Timothy 4:12,19) In this letter he wanted Timothy to come to him before winter and bring with him, Mark who was very profitable for him to the ministry, (2 Timothy 4:9,11,21) Paul sent greetings from Eubulus Pudens, Linus and Claudia. (2 Timothy 4:21)
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- At the feast of tabernacles, after Cestius Gallus had burnt Lydda, he marched toward Jerusalem. The men of Jerusalem met him about seven or eight miles from there and fought a perilous battle near Bethhoron. When fresh troops came to Cestius, he forced them into Jerusalem. On October 4th, he broke in and captured the lower part of the city, [as also Bezetha, and Caenopolis.] Then he attacked the temple and the upper city. He would have easily taken it if he had more valiantly continued the attack. Most of the people favoured the Romans and the seditious men only opposed them.
- When Cestius had nearly captured the temple, for no good reason he raised the siege and retreated to Antipatris. On his march, many Romans and auxiliaries soldiers were killed. Many were also killed by the Jews who pursued them. The Romans abandoned most of their baggage, ammunition, engines, slings and other arms in their flight. The Jews made good use of this equipment in their own defence against the siege of Titus. This happened on November 8th in the twelfth year of Nero. [That is the twelfth year was over.] The thirteenth year of Nero had begun on the thirteenth of the previous October.
- The Jews were elated by this victory and returned to Jerusalem. They appointed Joseph the son of Gorion and the high priest as governors of the city. They sent many commanders into each province to govern. Among these, Josephus [the writer of this war of the Jews] was sent into Galilee. After he had fortified and walled many towns, he prepared all things to endure a war. He expected the invasion of the Romans.
- In the meantime, there were many riots and many and frequent rebellions of the cities against Josephus. These were caused by the subtilty and fraud of John, the son of a certain Levite and by the envy of some of the governors of Jerusalem who wanted the government taken from him. Josephus thwarted all their machinations by his prudence and patience. He forced John to flee to Jerusalem with his forces from Giscala, a town of Galilee which he had fortified. At Jerusalem, Ananias, the governor of the city, made preparations for a real war. He repaired the walls and ensured that warlike instruments, arrows and arms, were made through the whole city. He endeavoured to reconcile those who were called the Zealots but in vain. He tried to catch Simon who was the son of Giora and a thief. He sent soldiers against him but Simon with his followers, fled to the thieves who held Masada. From there, they infested all the country of Judea and Idumea with their robberies.
- Moreover Cestius sent messengers to Nero [who was then in Achaia] and told him of the troubled state of Judea. Nero was disturbed by this news and ordered Vespasian to go there. When Vespasian had received this command, he sent his son Titus to Alexandria to bring from there the fifth and tenth legions into Judea. Vespasian went by land from Achaia into Asia and from there he came into Syria and Antioch.
- Peter and Paul foretold at Rome, that it would shortly come to pass that God would send a king who would overcome the Jews and who would lay their city level with the ground. He would besiege them until they so pined with hunger and thirst that they would start eating one another. Finally, they would fall into their enemies' hands and would see their wives most grievously tormented in their sight and their virgins violated and prostituted. Their sons would be torn asunder and their little ones dashed to pieces. All things would be destroyed by fire and sword and they would for ever be banished from their own lands. All this would happen because they exalted themselves above the most loving and approved Son of God. (Lactantius, l.4. c. 21.)
- At Antioch, Vespasian gathered together the Roman forces and the auxiliaries from the kings. From there he went to Ptolemais and recovered Sepphoris which favoured the Romans.
- Titus came to his father at Ptolemais sooner than could have been hoped for because it was winter. Their combined forces and the auxiliaries numbered 60,000 cavalry and foot soldiers besides their servants and the baggage.
- Vespasian invaded Galilee and burnt and wasted the city of the Gadarenes which he took at the first assault. From there, he went to Jotapata on the 21st day of May and he fought against it.
- On the 29th day of June [which was last day of that month that happened within the reign of Nero] Paul was beheaded at Rome as the records both of the eastern and western church confirm. Thereupon Chrysostom undoubtedly affirmed that the day of his death was more certainly known than that of Alexander the Great himself. (Chrysostom, 2Corinthian Homily, (26).) Dionysius, the bishop of the Corinthians, affirmed in a letter to the Romans that Peter also suffered martyrdom at the same time with him. (*Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, l.2. c.25. <1:79,80>) Origin also stated (Origin, Commentaries upon Genesis, tome. 3.) that at Rome, Peter was crucified with his head downwards [as he had desired.] (*Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, l.3. c.1. <1:82>) The prediction of Christ was then fulfilled which he made to him: (John 21:18,19) "When thou art old, thou shalt stretch forth thine hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not."
- After a forty day siege, Vespasian captured Jotapata by force and burned it. It was valiantly defended by Josephus who was the governor then on the first of June, in the 13th year of Nero. Vespasian captured Josephus as he lay hidden in a cave and gave him his life but kept him prisoner.
- After Jotapata was destroyed, Vespasian retired with his army to Caesarea. He stationed two legions there to refresh themselves after the siege. He sent a third legion to Scythopolis to rest also. He went to Caesarea Philippi where he and his army were feasted by King Agrippa for twenty days. There he prepared for the siege of Tiberias and Tarichea. Tiberias immediately surrendered and by the intreaty of King Agrippa, the city was not rased. After Tarichea had endured a siege, it was taken by storm.
- After these cities were recovered or overthrown, almost all Galilee was inclined to the Romans, except Gamala in Gaulanitis, Giscala and the Mountain Itaburium.
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- After an whole month's siege, Gamala was taken on the 23of October, and overthrown. A little later the Mountain Itaburium was taken by the Romans. Titus attacked Giscala which was kept by John with his party of the seditious men. John seemed to like the conditions of peace that were offered by Titus but in the night he with his party fled from the city to Jerusalem. Titus spared the city but placed a garrison there and then went to Caesarea. Vespasian left Caesarea for Iamnia and Azotus and conquered them both and returned again to Caesarea.
- Meanwhile there was a great dissention throughout all Judea. Some wanted to continue the war while others wanted to remain under the protection of the Romans. Thereupon there were whole troops of thieves gathered together all over Judea, who plundered those who wanted peace. They were loaded with their plunder and were received into Jerusalem. There they filled all things with murders, dissensions, discords and repines. First they imprisoned Antipas, a great many noble men and the chief men of the city. Soon after they killed them without any trial and falsely accused them that they would have surrendered the city to the Romans. When the people would have risen up against them, they seized the temple and used it as a fortress against the people. They appointed by lots for an high priest Phannius, [or Phanazus] who was a rude and unskilful man and not of the order of the priesthood.
- Ananus, and the nobler priests stirred up and armed the people against those Zealots [as they called themselves] and attacked them in the very temple and forced them into the inner temple. The Zealots sent letters secretly to the captains of the Idumeans accusing Ananus of treachery. They complained that while they are fighting for liberty, they were besieged in the temple and asked the Idumeans to help them. They immediately came there with 20,000 men and were secretly let into the city and temple by night by the Zealots. They made a great slaughter, destruction and repines in Jerusalem. For there were 80,000 killed that night and in the following days they killed Ananus and others of the nobility to the number of 12,000 besides an uncountable number of the common people. A little later, the Idumeans began to regret this action when they saw the wickedness of the Zealots and saw no indication of treachery in the nobility whom the Zealots accused them of. They freed 2000 which they held in prison and the Idumeans left Jerusalem and returned home. When they had left, the Zealots began to use more cruelty against the nobility than previously. They would not allow any dead noble man to be buried. They killed anyone they suspected who would flee to the Romans and did not bury the bodies. They guarded all the exits and diligently watched for defectors.
- In the meantime there arose a dissention among the Zealots. John who fled from Gescala to Jerusalem, lead in their tyranny and others could not endure him to be their superior whom they before had accounted their equal. Thus while they disagreed among themselves, they were unanimous in robbing the common people and all Judea. They followed the example of Jerusalem which was very full of thieves and most miserably vexed.
- The Jews destroyed each other with these discords. Vespasian was roused to action by the cries of those who fled to him and entreated him to preserve and free their country from this sedition. When Vespasian prepared for the siege of Jerusalem, he did not want anyone behind him to cause trouble while he was besieging Jerusalem. He went with his army to Gadara to quench those remnants of the war. This was the country on the other side of the Jordan River and he was summoned there by the moderate men of the city who wanted peace rather than war. He immediately took the city and the seditious men fled. He sent Placidus with his cavalry to pursue them and put them all to the sword. So he possessed all the country beyond the river even to the Dead Sea except for the citadel of Macherun. He put garrisons through the towns and arranged the winter quarters for his soldiers. He went back to Caesarea and there wintered.
- Vespasian received news of the rebellions in Gaul by Vindex, who had armed the Gauls against the Romans. This made him more earnest to finish the war against the Jews. Therefore in the beginning of the spring, he led his army from Caesarea and ran through all Judea and Idumea and wasting it. He brought back his army and led them though Samaria to Jericho. The inhabitants fled to the mountain country opposite Jerusalem but he pursued them and drove them from the hills. He attacked the citadels at Jericho and other places and surrounded the Jews on every side.
- Some promised themselves [after Nero was forsaken] the government of the east, some the kingdom of Jerusalem but most wanted the recovery of their previous fortune. (Suetonius, Nero, c.40.)
- Nero knew he was doomed when he heard that Galba and Spain had revolted from him. (Suetonius, Nero, c.42.) Finally he killed himself on the ninth day of June after he had reigned thirteen years and eight months.
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- On the first of January in Germany, the images of Galba were thrown down and on the third day, Vitellius was greeted Emperor by the army. On the 25th day of the same month, Galba was killed, seven months after the death of Nero. (Tacitus, Histories, l.1. c.55,57?)
- After Galba was killed, Otho was created emperor by the soldiers who did not know that Vitellius had assumed the empire. He was killed the 90th day (*Dio, l.63. 8:219) of his reign and he was buried on the 95th day. (Suetonius, ???)
- Tiberias Alexander, the governor of Egypt was the first that swore the legions to support Vespasian on the first of July. This day was his first day as emperor and later kept as a festival. Then the Jewish army on July 11th, [5th ides] swore to him. (Suetonius, Vespasian, c.6.; Tacitus, Histories, l.2. c.79.) There was only one year and 22 days between the death of Nero and the beginning of the reign of Vespasian. (*Dio, l.66. 8:295)
- When Vespasian returned to Caesarea, he prepared to go with his whole army to besiege Jerusalem. When he received news of Nero's death, he deferred the war against the Jews and sent his son Titus to Galba who had succeeded Nero to know his pleasure concerning the Jewish war. Titus sailed to Achaia and there heard that Galba was killed. Thereupon he immediately returned to his father to Caesarea. They were both in suspense, [and the empire seemed to be tottering] and deferred the wars of Judea. They were afraid lest some harm would come to their own country and they thought it not a convenient time to invade a foreign country.
- In the meantime Simon, who was the son of Giora, [concerning whom we wrote earlier] and a bold and valiant young man, left Masada where he had fled. He went to the murderers into the mountain country of Judea and he promised liberty to servants and rewards to the freemen. In a short time he got a band of thieves and gradually increased his forces. He wasted not only villages but invaded cities. In a short time he conquered all Idumea and wasted Judea and finally came before Jerusalem and pitched his tents there. He was a terror to those of Jerusalem and also to the Zealots. Thus were the citizens of Jerusalem grievously oppressed on both sides, from within by the Zealots whom John commanded and from without by Simon, a most cruel man. In the meantime, the Idumeans who were of John's party and were among his forces had a falling out with him. They fought with him and killed many of the Zealots. They captured John's palace and burned it. He was forced with his followers to flee into the temple. The Idumeans also feared the citizens, lest by night John would make an excursion into the city and burn it. They took council and sent for Simon and admitted him into the city so that they might defend themselves against John. When Simon's forces came, they attacked the temple, but the Zealots fought valiantly.
- Vespasian left Caesarea and went to Berytus and Antioch. From there he sent Mutianus with troops into Italy but he went to Alexandria.
4073 AM, 4782 JP, 69 AD
- In Moesia, Antonius Primus who followed Vespasian's party, led the third legion into Italy against the side of Vitellius. He fought a battle at Cremona against Vitellius' forces and routed them. He then went to Rome and was joined with Mutianus in the middle of the city. He defeated Vitellius' army and dragged Vitellius himself through the forum and there cut his throat. Mutianus made Domitian, the son of Vespasian, prince of the empire while his father came from Syria.
- When Vespasian heard these things at Alexandria, he sent his son Titus with forces into Judea to finish the rest of the war of Judea while he sailed to Italy.
- While Titus stayed at Alexandria, the city of Jerusalem was divided into three factions. Simon whom the citizens of Jerusalem had sent against John and admitted into the city, held the higher city and some part of the tower. John with his Zealots had occupied the temple and the other part of the lower city. The last faction was divided again into two. Eleazar who was the first commander and captain of the Zealots, was displeased that John by his boldness and subtilty ran things all by himself. Therefore he left him and took some followers with him and occupied the inner part of the temple. From there, he fought against John. Eleazar had fewer men than John but his position was more easily defended. John held the outer parts of the temple and the porches. There was a battle on two sides, one against Eleazar and the other against Simon and so some fought against others. They burnt many things around the temple and ruined the grain and many provisions which might have lasted them a long time. When these things were spoiled and consumed, they had a severe famine later when they were besieged by the Romans.
- Titus came from Alexandria to Caesarea and gathered his forces together. He marched to Jerusalem with four legions and the auxiliaries of the neighbouring kings and pitched his camp about a mile or so from the city a little before the feast of unleavened bread. By that means he shut up within the city an enormous multitude of people [about 3 million] who according to the custom, had gone up to the feast. In a short time a most cruel famine oppressed the city. All food and nourishment was quickly consumed. A most horrid and memorable example of this happened at that time. A mother had devoured her own child. On the feast day of unleavened bread, about the 14th of April, Eleazar, who had seized upon the inner temple, had opened the gate of the temple so that the people might sacrifice. John used this opportunity and sent secretly many on his side who were armed with swords hidden under their garments. When they were admitted into the temple with the rest of the multitude, they attacked Eleazar and seized the inner temple and slaughtered many Zealots. Hence the faction that was threefold, was now made twofold. John had 8400 men on his side and Simon had about 10,000 men in addition to 5000 Idumeans.
- Titus came near the walls and pitched his camp near the tower Psephina and immediately raised a mount. He battered the wall with a ram and beat it down by force. On May 7th, he broke into the city after the first wall was beaten down. The Jews retired to the inner city and Titus occupied the north quarter of the city up to the citadel of Antonia and the valley of Kidron. Five days later, a certain tower of the second wall was battered and broken down with the ram from the north quarter and he went into the new lower city. He was driven back again by the Jews but four days later he retook it. He prepared for the assault on the third wall. On May 12th, he ordered four mounts to be raised, two at the citadel of Antonia, by which he hoped to gain the temple, and two at John the high priest's tomb, by which he hoped to gain the upper city. John fought the Romans at Antonia and Simon at John's tomb. Those mounts were completed in 17 days on the 29th of May and the Romans began to batter the wall. John by a mine from Antonia cast down one mount and burnt it. Two days later, Simon made a sally and burned the two mounts opposite to him along with the rams and other engines. The Jews attacked the Romans in their camp. When Titus came from Antonia, they were again forced into the city.
- The previous mounts were destroyed and burnt and Titus thought best to raise new ones from which he might assault the city. He also surrounded the city with a wall so that none could flee from it nor anything could be brought into it. Thereupon in three days time, he built a wall aruond the city about 5 miles long. Around the wall, he built 13 citadels and each citadel controlled two and an half miles. Thereupon famine so prevailed in the city and so cruelly raged that not only the common people died of it but the seditious men were severely oppressed by it. So many perished by famine and pestilence that from the 14th of April, [on which day the siege began] to the first of July that through only one gate [as Mannaeus who had fled gave this account] there were carried out 115,800 carcases of the poor people that were buried at the common expense. This did not include those who were buried by their relatives and friends. A little later it was known from those who fled, that there were 600,000 that were carried out of the gates for burial. Later, there were not enough people to bury the poor, so they cast them in great heaps into empty houses and shut the doors on them. The manner of burial of them was none other than simply throwing them over the walls and filling up the ditches with them.
- In the meantime, inside the city, Simon had not refrained from murders and repines. He killed Matthias the high priest whom he accused of treachery as though he would have fled to the Romans. [It was ironic that it was Matthias who let Simon into the city.] Simon also killed three of his sons and fifteen of the noblest of the people, all of them uncondemned. Moreover he raged with such cruelty, that Judas, one of his captains, so detested his cruelty, that he planned to turn the part of the city he controlled over to the Romans. Simon prevented him and killed him along with the ten men who were in on the plot. John was compelled by necessity to use the sacred things of the temple for his own use. He used the vessels of gold and silver and the money of the temple. He was compelled to distribute to his soldiers the very oil and wine which was dedicated for divine service.
- Titus also fetched materials from every place and cut down woods and all trees even as far as eleven miles away. With great labour in 21 days, he raised new mounts. He made four around Antonia, one on every side of the citadel. When John had cowardly and in vain attempted to overthrow these, they were repulsed by the Romans. On July 1st, the Romans began to batter the wall of Antonia. On July 5th, they made a breach and broke into Antonia and pursued the fleeing Jews even into the temple. After a long skirmish the Romans were held off for some time. On July 17th, the daily sacrifice termed by the Greeks endelecismds, was not offered for lack of men. On that same day, Titus asked Josephus to urge the seditious men to surrender but in vain. Seven days later, Titus brought his mounts nearer. He was now bringing the materials from a distance of twelve to thirteen miles away for the mounts. He overturned the foundations of Antonia and made an easy ascent to the temple. He broke in by Antonia and seized on the north and west porches of the outer temple court. The part of the porches, especially those which joined to Antonia, were burnt and destroyed by the Jews. Two days later, on July 24th, the other part was burnt by the Romans. The Jews did not put out the fire but let it burn so that the porch might be clearly separated from Antonia.
- On the 27th day the Jews again burnt the western porch to the bridge that lead to the gallery and many Romans were burned to death. [The Jews fled there to draw the Romans into the trap. [??]] The next day the Romans burnt all the northern porch even to the eastern porch.
- By August 8th, Titus was getting nowhere by battering with the ram the wall of the inner temple nor by undermining the foundations of the gates because of their huge size and the strong cementing of the stones together. Neither could the Romans get up into the porches with ladders for the Jews drove them back from above. From the reverence of the place Titus had not burned it but was compelled by necessity to do so. He ordered the gates of the inner temple to be set on fire. The fire caught onto the adjoining porches and everything was in flames. The Jews beheld and wondered at it but did not try to stop and quench the fire for very amazement. Hence the porches burnt all that day and the following night. Titus and his captains had determined to keep the temple from burning but he was unable to do this. On August 10th, when the Romans who kept the guard in the outer range of the temple were provoked by the Jews, they made a charge on them who quenched the fire on the inner range and had driven them into the very temple. A Roman soldier took a flaming fire brand and got up on his fellow's shoulders and threw the brand through the golden window into the houses and chambers which were built on the north side of the temple. They immediately caught fire and burnt the temple also which joined to them. Titus in vain ordered his soldiers to quench the fire. This happened in the second year of Vespasian, in the same month and the very same day of the month that the first temple was burned by Nebuchadnezzar.
- After the temple was pillaged and burnt, the ensigns were set up on the eastern gate of the temple. After making sacrifices, Titus was proclaimed emperor by the army. Titus from the bridge by which the temple is joined to the city upon a gallery, exhorted through an interpreter, the seditious men to surrender. These had fled into the upper city. Although he offered them their lives, they refused his offer. They asked that they might have permission to leave the city with their wives and children and to go into the wilderness. Titus scorned this and threatened them with utter destruction. He ordered all the lower city to be set on fire including the Palace Acra which he had captured. He began to assault the upper city which was located on a steep rock. On August 20th, he began to raise his mounts and completed them on September 7th. He brought his engines to the walls. After he made a breach, the tyrants fled with their guards for fear and amazement. On September 8th, the Romans broke into and destroyed all with fire and the sword.
- Jerusalem was destroyed on a Saturday. (*Dio, l.65. 8:271) This was the day the Jews most religiously observe and September 8th fell on a Saturday that year. The city was taken and destroyed. Titus commanded all the city and temple to be rased to the foundation and made flat and also to be ploughed according to the custom. He spared the west part of the wall only and the three towers, Hippicon, Phasaelus, and Mariamme. He left those which for their great beauty and strength, would be a monument to posterity to the magnificence of that city.
- When Titus had thus taken the city and had filled all the places with dead bodies, the neighbouring countries wanted to crown him. He replied that he was unworthy of that honour for it was not he that was the author of this work but that he had given his hands to God, who had showed his anger against the Jews. (Philostratus, Life of Apollonius, 1. 6. c.14.) However, there are coins of Titus which are marked with a trophy and a triumphal chariot. There are coins of Vespasian with the image of a woman sitting sorrowful under a palm tree and with the inscription, [JUDEA CAPTA S.C.] as also money was coined about the end of the 21st year of King Agrippa with an inscription in Greek, [but translated into English] "Vespasian Emperor and Caesar, Judea was taken in the year 21 of Agrippa."
4074 AM, 4783 JP, 70 AD
- When Titus had finished the war, he rewarded the soldiers and committed the custody of Jerusalem to the tenth legion. He banished the twelfth legion which had fought poorly under Cestius, from Syria and sent them to Euphrates into the region of Armenia and Cappadocia. He took the fifth and fifteenth legion to Caesarea on the sea coast, where he gathered together all the prey and spoils and the captives. Since winter was coming, it was too dangerous to sail to Italy.
- The two tyrants, John and Simon, were captured as they hid in the vaults of Jerusalem. John was condemned to perpetual imprisonment and Simon was reserved for the triumph. In the same vaults, 2000 men were found who either perished from hunger or killed each other rather than surrender to the Romans.
- Titus stayed at Caesarea where he celebrated the birthday of his brother Domitian, which was on December 30th. In the celebration, more than 2500 Jews perished by fighting with wild beasts, burned with fire or were killed in fighting each other.
- Later, Titus came to Berytus in Phoenicia, where he stayed longer and celebrated the birthday of his father with great magnificence. [This was not the birthday of his empire which was celebrated on the first of July according to Suetonius and Tacitus.] A multitude of captives also died in a similar manner as before.
- Titus went to see Antioch and the other cities of Syria. He then travelled through Judea and Jerusalem, with the fifth and fifteenth legion to Alexandria in Egypt. He sailed from there to Rome where he was welcomed home by all men. He and his father held a triumph for the conquest of Judea.
- The two captains of the sedition, John and Simon, were led in that triumph along with 700 other Jews who excelled in strength and beauty. Only Simon was killed, [also called, Barpores. (*Dio, l.65. 8:269,271)] The book of the law of the Jews was carried in this triumph as the last of the spoils. It along with the purple vails of the sanctuary were stored in the palace.
- From this victory, both father and son got the name of emperor. However, neither of them was called Judaicus although many other things and especially triumphal arches were decreed for them. (*Dio, l.65. 8:271 [Xiphiline ex Dio]) There remains still at the foot of the hill Palatine, a marble triumphal arch erected to the honour of Titus. From it there is a copy written by Villalpandus of the instruments of the temple which were carried in the triumph. (Villalpandus, Tom. 2. explanat. on Ezekiel. l.5. c.7. p. 587.)
4075 AM, 4784 JP, 71 AD
- Lucilius Bassus was sent as lieutenant into Judea who received the army from Cenalis Vitellianus. The citadel Herodian with its garrison surrendered to him. A little later, he captured the strong citadel of Machaeron beyond Jordan by assault.
- Some think this was foretold by our Saviour. (Matthew 24:29) "It happened even in our time, that there was an eclipse of the sun and moon within 12 days of each other [others say 15 days] when the Vespasians were emperors, the father for the third time [perhaps the fourth] and the son the second time were consuls. [71 AD]" (*Pliny, l.2. c.10. 1:207)
- Caesar wrote to Tiberius Maximus, the governor of Judea, that he should sell all the land of the Jews. He imposed a tribute on all the Jews wherever they lived and ordered them to bring in every year to the capitol two drachmas which they formerly paid to the temple of Jerusalem.
- In the fourth year of Vespasian, Cesennius Paetus, the governor of Syria, drove Antiochus, the king of Commagene from his kingdom. He fled into Cilicia and his son to the Parthians. Later both of them were reconciled to Vespasian and he was restored to his kingdom. (Josephus, Wars,
4076 AM, 4786 JP, 73 AD
- The Abans invaded Media and laid it waste all over. King Pacorus fled before them. They later went into Armenia. Tiridates, the king opposed them himself and was almost captured in the very battle. (Josephus, Wars,
- Among the Jews, after Bassus had died, Publius Silva replaced him in the government of Judea. On April 15th, he captured by force that impregnable citadel of Masada that was held by Eleazar, the nephew of Judas Balitaeus, the captain of the thieves. Eleazar persuaded all the thieves who were in the castle to the number of 960 with their wives and children to kill each other. First they burnt the citadel with all the household belongings lest they should fall into Roman hands. Hence the last remains of the Jewish wars were eliminated and all Judea was quiet.
- Many of the thieves who escaped from Judea, fled into Egypt to Alexandria. They try to solicit the Jews to revolt. However, the common people were persuaded by their rulers and attacked those thieves. They captured 600 of them whom they turned over to the Romans to be punished. The rest who escaped into Egypt and Thebes were also captured. Concerning this matter Caesar ordered Lupus, the governor of Alexandria to pull down the temple of the Jews. [That temple was built a long while ago in Egypt, by Onias the brother of the high priest.] However, Lupus did no more than take away some furniture from the temple and so shut it up. Paulinus, his successor in the government, took away all the furniture and shut up the doors. He ordered that no one should come there so that there was not so much as any trace of religion left there.
- Jonathan, a certain Jewish weaver, escaped to Cyrene, where he raised a tumult and drew 2000 Jews into the wilderness. Catullus [or Catulus] the governor of Libia Pentapolis, sent his cavalry and foot soldiers and easily defeated them. When Jonathan was brought before him, he falsely accused the most wealthy of the Jews to be the main instigators of this revolt. Catullus willingly listened to these accusations and immediately executed 3000 of them. He did this without fear of retribution because he confiscated their estates to Caesar's treasury first. Jonathan was sent prisoner by him with the other captives to Rome to Vespasian so that he might accuse the most honest of those who lived at Rome and Alexandria of sedition. He affirmed among many other things that Josephus, the writer of the Jewish history, sent him both arms, and money. Vespasian knew that this accusation was not lawfully brought against these men and he, at Titus' intreaty, acquitted them but deservedly punished Jonathan. First he scourged him and then he was burnt alive. Catullus also through the mercy of the emperor was not punished. However, not long after, he was taken with a complicated and incurable disease and he was tortured and tormented in his mind. He thought that he saw the ghosts of those whom he had killed always before him. At last his guts and bowels rotted and poured out of him and he died. (Josephus, Wars, l.7. c.ult.
; Josephus, Life, <1:25,26>)
- Here Joseph ended the history of the destruction of Judea. He was captured in this war and made a freedman by Flavius Vespasian the Emperor and assumed the name of Flavius from his patron.
- Cornelius and Suetonius relate that there were 600,000 Jews killed in this war. Josephus a Jew, was a commander in that war and who deserved thanks and pardon from Vespasian for foretelling him that he should be emperor. He wrote that 1,000,000 perished by sword and famine, and of the rest of the Jews that were dispersed all over the world and put to death various ways to the number of 90,000. Orosius (Orosius, l.7. c.9.) also stated the same. I cannot find the number of 600,000 of those who were killed in Suetonius' writings. In Josephus (Josephus, Wars, l.6. c.17.
)the number of captives was 97,000 and the other number of 1,100,000 is only of those who perished in the six month siege of Jerusalem. Justius Lipsius made this catalogue from Josephus. (Lipsius, de. Constantia., l.2. c.21.) of those who perished outside of Jerusalem during the whole seven years.
- At Jerusalem, first killed by the command of Florus 630 By the inhabitants of Caesarea in hatred to them and their religion 20,000 At Scythopolis [a city of Syria] 30,000 At Askelon in Palestine by the inhabitants 2,500 Likewise at Ptolemais 2,000 At Alexandria in Egypt under Tib. Alexander the President 50,000 At Damascus 10,000 At the taking of Joppa by Cesius Florus 8,400 At a certain mountain called Cabulo 2,000 In a fight at Askelon 10,000 By an ambush 8,000 At Aphaca when it was taken 15,000 Slain at mount Gerizim 11,600 At Jotapae, where Josephus was 30,000 At Joppa when it was taken were drowned 4,200 Slain at Tarichaea 6,500 At Gamala as well killed as those who threw themselves down 9,000 [The only survivors in the whole city were two women who were sisters.] When they forsook Giskala, killed in the flight 2,000 Slain of the Gadarenes, besides an infinite number that leaped into the river 13,000 Slain in the villages of Idumea 10,000 At Gerizim 1,000 At Macheron 1,700 In the wood of Jardes 3,000 In the citadel of Masada, that slew themselves 960 In Cyrene by Catulus the Governor 3,000 Which number of the dead, being added to those who died at the siege of Jerusalem 1,100,000 Total 1,337,490
- An innumerable company were omitted who perished through famine, banishment and other miseries. [At the passover feast a few years earlier Josephus estimates there were about three million people in Jerusalem. See note on 4096b AM <<6403>>. There were likely this many there for the passover when Titus started the seige. Most were unaccounted for. This would make the offical death toll low by at least two million. Editor.]
- Justus Tiberiensis in his chronicle of the Kings of the Jews showed that Agrippa the last king of the family of Herod, had his kingdom augmented by Vespasian, (Photius, Bibliotheca, cod. 33.) Dio related that he had praetorian honours given him. His sister Bernice who came to Rome with him lived in the palace. Titus was so in love with her that he made her believe he would marry her and she carried on all things as if she had been his wife. However, when Titus knew that the people of Rome did not take it well, he put her away. (Seutonius, Titus, c.7; *Dio, l.65. 1:291 [Xiphiline ex Dio]) The observation of Josephus is very memorable (Josephus, Antiq., l.18. c.7.
)about the rest of Herod's progeny that they all failed within one hundred years although they were very numerous.
- This was the end of the Jewish affairs and happened as predicted by Jesus in (Matthew 24). [See John Bray's book, " (Matthew 24) Fulfilled", for a most detailed discussion of these events. Editor.] "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? ... Verily I say unto you, THIS GENERATION shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." (Matthew 24:3,34)
Wednesday, January 27th, 2021
the Third Week after Epiphany
the Third Week after Epiphany