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Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator
 



 

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 1-1000

070: Clement: First Epistle of Clement

075: Baruch: Apocalypse Of Baruch

075: Barnabus: Epistle of Barnabus

090: Esdras 2 / 4 Ezra

100: Odes of Solomon

150: Justin: Dialogue with Trypho

150: Melito: Homily of the Pascha

175: Irenaeus: Against Heresies

175: Clement of Alexandria: Stromata

198: Tertullian: Answer to the Jews

230: Origen: The Principles | Commentary on Matthew | Commentary on John | Against Celsus

248: Cyprian: Against the Jews

260: Victorinus: Commentary on the Apocalypse "Alcasar, a Spanish Jesuit, taking a hint from Victorinus, seems to have been the first (AD 1614) to have suggested that the Apocalyptic prophecies did not extend further than to the overthrow of Paganism by Constantine."

310: Peter of Alexandria

310: Eusebius: Divine Manifestation of our Lord

312: Eusebius: Proof of the Gospel

319: Athanasius: On the Incarnation

320: Eusebius: History of the Martyrs

325: Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History

345: Aphrahat: Demonstrations

367: Athanasius: The Festal Letters

370: Hegesippus: The Ruin of Jerusalem

386: Chrysostom: Matthew and Mark

387: Chrysostom: Against the Jews

408: Jerome: Commentary on Daniel

417: Augustine: On Pelagius

426: Augustine: The City of God

428: Augustine: Harmony

420: Cassian: Conferences

600: Veronica Legend

800: Aquinas: Eternity of the World

 


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1586: Douay-Rheims Bible

1598: Jerusalem's Misery ; The dolefull destruction of faire Ierusalem by Tytus, the Sonne of Vaspasian

1603: Nero : A New Tragedy

1613: Carey: The Fair Queen of Jewry

1614: Alcasar: Vestigatio arcani sensus in Apocalypsi

1654: Ussher: The Annals of the World

1658: Lightfoot: Commentary from Hebraica

1677: Crowne - The Destruction of Jerusalem

1764: Lardner: Fulfilment of our Saviour's Predictions

1776: Edwards: History of Redemption

1785: Churton: Prophecies Respecting the Destruction of Jerusalem

1801: Porteus: Our Lord's Prophecies

1802: Nisbett: The Coming of the Messiah

1805: Jortin: Remarks on Ecclesiastical History

1810: Clarke: Commentary On the Whole Bible

1816: Wilkins: Destruction of Jerusalem Related to Prophecies

1824: Galt: The Bachelor's Wife

1840: Smith: The Destruction of Jerusalem

1841: Currier: The Second Coming of Christ

1842: Bastow : A (Preterist) Bible Dictionary

1842: Stuart: Interpretation of Prophecy

1843: Lee: Dissertations on Eusebius

1845: Stuart: Commentary on Apocalypse

1849: Lee: Inquiry into Prophecy

1851: Lee: Visions of Daniel and St. John

1853: Newcombe: Observations on our Lord's Conduct as Divine Instructor

1854: Chamberlain: Restoration of Israel

1854: Fairbairn: The Typology of Scripture

1859: "Lee of Boston": Eschatology

1861: Maurice: Lectures on the Apocalypse

1863: Thomas Lewin : The Siege of Jerusalem

1865: Desprez: Daniel (Renounced Full Preterism)

1870: Fall of Jerusalem and the Roman Conquest

1871: Dale: Jewish Temple and Christian Church (PDF)

1879: Warren: The Parousia

1882: Farrar: The Early Days of Christianity

1883: Milton S. Terry: Biblical Hermeneutics

1888: Henty: For The Temple

1891: Farrar: Scenes in the days of Nero

1896: Lee : A Scholar of a Past Generation

1902: Church: Story of the Last Days of Jerusalem

1917: Morris: Christ's Second Coming Fulfilled

1985: Lee: Jerusalem; Rome; Revelation (PDF)

1987: Chilton: The Days of Vengeance

2001: Fowler: Jesus - The Better Everything

2006: M. Gwyn Morgan - AD69 - The Year of Four Emperors

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A History of the New Testament Times

(English translation of Neutestamentliche Zeitgeschichte)

Adolph Hausreth
(
1868–1873, 4 vols)

"The Jewish false prophet, who raised the standard of rebellion, is plunged into the eternal pit no less than Nero, the Antichrist."

 

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VOL. ONE | VOL. TWO | VOL. THREE | VOL. FOUR

"The Jews' confidence of victory fell when they saw the abomination of desolation set up in the holy place. The upper town was defended half-heartedly."

 

"Thus ensued an anxious pause, which gave the Romans repose, and the Zealots a period for new saturnalia. Breathless expectancy brooded over Asia, and engendered the strangest rumours, which the Apocalypse of John shows us in the form current among the Jewish Christians. This was the momentary respite immediately before the coming of the great judgment of which John speaks. The angels stood on the four corners of the earth and held the four winds, so that no leaf stirred, nor any wave ; and another angel came from the east and sealed the saints on the forehead, so that they should be marked before the coming of the great judgment."

 

5. The End Of Nero.

 

The persecution of the year 64 offered so violent a contrast between Christian life and the profound corruption of the heathen world that the dualism dominating the Church's conception of life becomes perfectly intelligible. The god of this world is the devil, who leads the multitude; the Lord has separated for himself only a little band, who have received from above a peace which the world knows not, words that the world cannot utter, and a constancy effected by the spirit. Yet it seems hardly possible that the same human spirit gave rise at once to the Satires of Petronius, which revel in the lowest obscenity, and to the sacred words of the Epistle to the Romans, here acclaiming the pangs and quivering death-agony of the innocent, there lavishing its pittance of poverty in tending the poor and sick. Such extremes meet at this time that we can understand how Christianity finds itself confronted by two opposing powers. On the one side, the army of the saints; on the other, a shrieking hell: on the one side, Christ; on the other, Antichrist; the Holy Spirit over against Satan, with the two irreconcilable kingdoms of the upper and the nether world. It is characteristic of the disorder of the times that mankind endured a prince like Nero four years longer, even after the deeds of 64; and when he fell in 68, no small section of his subjects regretted him and hoped for his return. The conspiracy of Piso, which dates back to the time of the fire, was wrecked in part by the unworthiness of the conspirators. The most conspicuous persons among the great number of those who paid with their lives for real or alleged participation in the unsuccessful attempt, were Tigellinus' colleague, Faenius Eufus, Seneca and his talented nephew, Lucan. Freed from this care, the Caesar a second time celebrated his Neronian games, at which he recited his poems to the Senate and people, and in the guise of a harp-player humbly awaited the umpire's award.

The paling glory of Caesarism was restored by Corbulo's great victory over the Parthians in 66, while the specious show of homage from the Parthian prince in the Forum Romanum, and the empty hope that the king would appear in person at Rome, filled the citizens one and all with vain belief in their own greatness. Rome with her own eyes saw the Parthian prince kneel to Nero, and receive the diadem of Armenia from the Caesar's hand. Thereupon all was forgotten; the murder of mother and wife, the burning of the city, the friends of Piso butchered like beasts at the slaughter. Nero was saluted as Imperator, infinite rejoicings filled the new-built city, and the Caesar, escorted by the people, bore his laurel-wreath to the Capitol and closed the temple of Janus.1

The fact that at this moment war broke out in Palestine failed to damp their joy. On the contrary, never was war so acceptable to the Roman people as that against the Jews.2 Never suspecting the fatal extension of the war, and reassured by the acclamation of the mob, Nero carried into effect his longcherished wish of visiting Achaia, and had crossed over in the last months of 66. Thence he sent Vespasian to Judaea, while he himself sought new laurels in the home of art . Hellas paid for this honour with her finest statues, and suffered the shame of seeing the tyrant's worst excesses in the light of day, for he knew this was their home. The execution of Corbulo, the tyrant's gratitude for the salvation of the kingdom, also falls in this period. No sooner had the hero landed at Cenchreae, than he received the order of death. The canal works to cut through the isthmus, the first sod of which was turned by Nero himself, and the farce of declaring Greece free, were the gifts which Nero left to his hosts, though they were never to enjoy them. Meanwhile, the freedman Helios, whom Nero had left as regent, pressed for his return. The people, deprived of their games, grew troublesome. Yet it was not till the beginning of 68 that the emperor gave ear to his counsel; even then he so little realized the gravity of the situation that he determined to drive from Naples to Rome as an Olympian victor, drawn by white horses. The victorious harper who had vanquished the singers of Greece returned to Rome, riding in the newly-gilt chariot which once bore Augustus in his triumph over Antony and

1 Dio, lxiii. 5; Suet. Nero, 13.

2 Tac. Hist. v. 1, 10. Augebat iras quod soli Judaei non cessissent.

Cleopatra, to hang 1808 wreaths of victory upon the obelisk of the Circus Maximus.

The principal reason which necessitated Nero's sudden return was a rising in Gaul. Eelying on the characteristic restlessness of the southern Gauls, and the unsuppressed resistance of the Celts in the north—leagued, too, with the fanatics, whose bloodstained rites were prohibited by the laws of Claudius, and with the Druids, who were pent up in the Pyrenean valley1—the proprietor C. Julius Vindex, a romantic provincial, was enabled to attempt an insurrection against Rome, which at first professed to be no more than a rising against Nero's infamies. To protect himself against the legions on the Ehine and their energetic leader Verginius Eufus, Vindex offered the imperial throne to Galba, the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis. Meanwhile, before Galba had come to any resolution, Verginius Eufus fell upon the disorganized bands of the inconsiderate Gaul at Vesontio, and routed them. Vindex, the "Avenger," fell, after an inglorious battle. With the loss of its chief, the undertaking was rapidly suppressed, but the stone had been set rolling. The portentous name of "civil war"—dreadful to hear in memory of the reign of terror before Augustus, and unheard for ninety years—was already uttered. To resolve upon it was needless; the rashness of the Gauls had precipitated matters. Galba was hopelessly compromised; and the victorious general of Upper Germany, Verginius Eufus, was acclaimed Imperator by the legions against his will.

The news of Vindex' revolt reached Nero on March 19, while he was celebrating his games at Naples. It was the anniversary of his mother's death; the story runs that the name of Vindex rang in his ear like a trumpet. Nevertheless, he completed the games before setting out to Rome. Here he heard of the negociations between the "Avenger" and P. Sulpicius Galba, whose appearance gave the rebellion an entirely different character.

1 Cf. Schiller, Nero, p. 262, seq.

The Sulpicii belonged to the most ancient nobility of the city, and used not to bow before the Domitii. Galba finally proclaimed his revolt from Nero on April 2, 68, and Otho, the governor of Lusitania and former husband of Poppaea, who had meantime died from Nero's rough treatment, joined the adventure.

Though there was but little pith in this disjointed enterprize, Nero was so fully convinced that his day of judgment had come, that he hardly prepared to defend himself. The confusion of his proposed plans, and the only less confusion of his actual measures, showed that the court was incapable of a struggle since Poppaea's death. Tigellinus, the captain of the praetorians, was excellent at arranging filthy banquets and carrying out orders of death; but now that it was a question of organizing means of defence, he disappears from the scene as a traitor.

The dreadful pause which generally precedes the clash of mighty armies dispirited Nero's followers still more. Instead of advancing against Galba, the emperor himself thought of flight to Egypt. Then he talked of abdicating his throne and maintaining himself by his harp.1 Most striking of all, however, are the hopes he used to confide to his friends at table. He would go to Gaul; no sooner had he set foot on Gallic soil than he would go to meet the armies unarmed, and simply weep. With this infallible weapon he would quell the mutineers, and at the merry feast next day would gaily produce the songs of victory he was already engaged upon.2 But all this failed to inspire confidence in the court; and when the imports of corn failed and want ensued, the people began to murmur. They were thoroughly ill-disposed to him, when it chanced that a ship from Egypt, which they imagined a corn ship, proved to be laden with sand from the Nile for the imperial wrestlers.3 As suited the character of the time, childish sallies for the most part indicated the change in the temper of the city. A challenge

i Dio, lxiii. 27; Suet. Nero, 40; Plut. Galba, 17.

» Suet. Nero, 43. 3 Suet. Nero, 45; Plin. H. N. xxxv. 47.

was inscribed on Nero's statues; the real contest, it ran, had come; let him now come forward. Some one wrote on the pillars, " He has even roused the cocks (Gallos) with his singing." By night, crowds fought with cudgels, and shouted loudly for the "Vindex,"1 i.e. the watch. At the same time, the city was full of rumours telling how the ladies of the court were making themselves Amazonian garments in which to take the field with the army, and had cut their hair short; how sentence of death was pronounced on all proconsuls, all senators, or indeed the whole city: in short the aura papillaris had veered, and everything boded a storm.

But what turned the scale was that the matricide, tormented by the Erinnyes, gave himself up for lost . The whole city knew of his dreams, in which he sat in a boat with Agrippina, or met his wife Octavia in a dark cavern, or was beset by the pillars in the theatre of Pompey.2 The prefect Tigellinus was as helpless as his master; his colleague, Nymphidius Sabinus, hoped to ascend the throne himself by the aid of the garrison. Surrounded by men who despaired of him and of themselves, the emperor was finally persuaded by Nymphidius to retire to the Servilian gardens near Ostia.3 There he elaborated a popular manifesto, in which he renounced his throne and prayed for forgiveness, at the same time begging to be appointed procurator of Egypt.4

While he thus hesitated, Nymphidius hastened to inform the Roman garrison that Nero had abandoned them and fled to Egypt. On the strength of this, the soldiers were persuaded to declare for Galba, who was also recognized by the Senate. Nero woke on the 8th of June to find himself alone at his villa. During the night his cohort of praetorians had left him, the courtiers had vanished, even his freedmen and slaves were gone, with few exceptions. One of those who remained true while the great personages fled was Phaon, who resolved to take him to his small homestead on the Via Patinaria. All that 1 Suet. Nero, 45. 2 Ibid. 46. 3 Ibid. 47. 4 Ibid.

Cleopatra was a friend of Poppaea, so that he had nothing to fear in Rome.1 Weary of guerilla warfare, he stirred up insurrection. He longed to have his foe in the open field, and annihilate him at one blow. The calm indifference to murder and arson displayed by the garrison, encouraged the bandits and gave ground for the rumour that the procurator took a share of their plunder. The growing insecurity forced entire villages to emigrate;2 the priests directed their appeals for help now to Caesarea and now to Antioch. At the Passover of 66, C. Cestius Gallus, the proconsul of Syria, once more came up to Jerusalem in person to learn the truth about the situation. The Jews flung themselves about his horse and cried out against Florus, who listened to their appeals with a disdainful smile.

But the proconsul himself brought the priests new terrors instead of confidence. Nero's rebuilding of Rome after the fire consumed fabulous sums, which the provinces were compelled to supply. To distribute the burden fairly, it was necessary to take a census. Now the miseries of Judaea had begun with the former census of Quirinius. That numbering of the people was one of the causes of the disquiet which had never ceased since in Judaea. It may be imagined how the consul's orders for a new census in a time of popular ferment were received by the priests. A happy moment, indeed, to number the Jews. Cestius saw this, and left the high-priest to manage the counting in his own way. As a preliminary, the priests gave the number of paschal lambs slaughtered in the city. They next proposed to allow ten persons to every paschal meal, but Cestius thought twenty nearer the mark. They finally agreed to reckon those who came to the feast at three millions, and calculate the tax on this basis. Thus all knowledge of the abomination was confined to the secret meetings of the Jewish priests and Roman officials, and gave no new cause for disturbance.3 After settling this difficulty, the proconsul returned to Antioch; Florus, on the other hand, continued his provocations, for, as the priests 1 Ant. xx. 11, 1. . » Ibid. 3 BelL vi 9, 3,

declared, nothing short of open war could cast a veil over his illegalitiea

After all the years of dreaming and scheming among the Jews, it cannot but appear strange that he had such difficulty in driving the Jewish population to this last expedient. But the rapine and outrage of the last two years had given the people a foretaste of civil war. Though the smoke of burning villages rose up on every side, and entire communities were butchered or fled abroad, this was the very moment that a new peace party sprang into being. If we can credit the assurances of Flavius Josephus, the great mass of the people would hear no more of war. It was desired at most by the fanatical Judaea; the valley of the Jordan and Peraea remained tranquil even after war broke out; and during the war the disposition of the peasantry in Galilee was proved in a most startling manner.1 The consciousness, however, that things could not remain as they were, but would soon give place to dire catastrophes, lay upon the people like an incubus. The comet which terrified Nero, struck equal fear into the Jews. Strange rumours were current among the people. In a region where everything is clothed in the marvellous, the temper of the Galilean peasantry produced the strangest results during the war. In 62, when open disorder reached its highest point, a peasant named Joshua appeared in Jerusalem at the feast of Tabernacles, and suddenly began to cry in tones of prophetic ecstasy: "Voices of morning, voices of evening, voices of the four winds, voices about Jerusalem and the temple, voices about the bridegroom and the bride, voices about the whole people. Woe, woe for Jerusalem!"

He cried thus day and night in every street. The prophet of evil was to be heard on every public occasion, at every feast. He was scourged by the synagogues, and imprisoned by the Sanhedrin; his flesh was cut to ribbons by the rods of the procurator Albinus; yet at every blow he cried, ""Woe, woe to Jerusalem!" At last he was suffered to go his way, as a madman. 1 Bell. iv. 2, 1; Vita, 22, &c.

He cursed none that struck him, thanked none that fed him, and had no answer for any but his "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!" until in the course of the siege his mouth was elosed by a stone from a Roman ballista. The strain and anxiety had unhinged this poor wretch's mind. A similar symptom of the secret and universal dread was the currency of numberless tales of terror. At the Passover of 66, the altar of burnt sacrifice, it was said, shone with the brightness of day for half-an-hour before dawn. At the same feast, a cow gave birth to a calf while being led to the altar by the priest . The eastern gate of the temple opened of itself at midnight, and before sunset chariots and armed hosts were seen in the sky marching through the clouds and enveloping the country and cities. Still more dire were the events at Pentecost. When the priest went to the temple at night, there sprang up a noise which swelled into tempestuous uproar, and then many voices repeated the words, "Let us go hence."1 Such were the shadows cast by coming events, and darkening the minds of all . Even those who desired the war, doubted not that it was the dreadful decisive battle foretold by the prophets since Moses, preliminary to the Messianic kingdom. In general, the lawyers were convinced that the prophecy of Isaiah xi., "In those days," could only mean the days which had now come upon them. This opinion was shared by Josephus, and even Suetonius and Tacitus mention it as one of the prime causes of the war; vague rumours of this prophetic saying were current throughout the kingdom.2

Under these circumstances, the multitude submitted to their fate with sullen resignation. One party alone developed any stronger desire to avert the inevitable at the eleventh hour. It consisted of the members of the priestly aristocracy, who had something to lose; the educated classes, who knew the power of Rome better than the fanatical multitude; and even a section of the Pharisees, who had long been urging on this

1 Bell. vi. 5, 3, seq.

2 Jos. Bell. ProL 2, vi. 5, 4; Tac. Hist. v. 13; Suet. Vesp. 4.

crisis.1 They found war no longer a matter of theory; it stood before them in all its actual terrors. For years and years they had employed all the petty arts at the command of the Eabbis to stir up the people and spur them on; now they would have given a good deal to lay the tempest they had let loose. Many a time during these latter years had they alarmed the whole nation with the cry," The temple is in danger:" now we see them not seldom display their priestly pomp to the full in order to calm the excited multitudes, and quiet them in the name of those same sacred emblems for whose sake the people had so long been alarmed and disquieted.2 At the head of this party of birth, culture and learning, stood Agrippa II., whose object it was on the one hand to calm the people, on the other to obtain terms from the Komans. What he most wanted was to persuade the emperor that the only solution of this fatal entanglement was the restoration of an Herodian kingdom.

The programme of this party is fully described by Josephus, Hist. ii. 16, 4, 5. It cannot be denied that the policy advocated by Agrippa had a certain justification. As a recognized vassalstate, it was possible for Judaea to live for the theocratic interests of most concern to her, as was shown by the brief reign of Herod Agrippa L His reign, moreover, had effected a reconciliation between the Herods and the Jewish people, and the transference, already tried, of religious matters to the Herods might have renewed the ancient bond between them. The following of the dynasty was undoubtedly on the increase. In proportion as the Pharisaic party saw itself repulsed by the Zealots, and the men of action taking the place of the Eabbinical authorities, their sympathies inclined to the dynasty whose last sovereign had ruled the state according to the wishes of their own party. Unfortunately, the man who, the Pharisees hoped, would save Israel, was unequal to his position. His invariable want of skill in choosing his high-priests pursued him to the end. He had replaced Annas, the murderer of James, by Jesus, i Bell. ii. 16, 2; 15, 4 2 Bell. ii. 15, 4; 16, 4; Ant. xx. 6, 1.

son of Damnaeus. But the latter also was among the enemies of Rome,1 and had to be replaced by Jesus, son of Gamaliel. By this time, however, insubordination had reached such a pitch, that the priests refused to recognize the new appointment. Jesus, son of Gamaliel, who afterwards appears closely connected with Annas and shared his subsequent fate,2 had the inferior priests against him. Both parties armed; the exercise of the high-priest's power was decided by street-fights, in which the priests assailed one another with stones and bludgeons. Nor was this all: Agrippa's own family joined in the fray; two of the worst gangs were commanded by the king's cousins, Costobar and Saul. Agrippa was unable to crush the two rivals till he was backed up by the iron hand of Gessius Florus. In their place he set up a last high-priest, Matthias, son of Theophilus, who came at the right moment to bear the sacred vessels against the rebels.3 Thus the king had directly installed and deposed not less than six high-priests; without sheltering the lower, he had not befriended the upper grades of priests. Immediately before the outbreak of the war, a great rising took place against him. To leave a memorial of his name in the annals of the temple-worship, he gave the Levite psalm-singers the priestly right of wearing linen garments, and authorized the servants of the temple to learn the sacred chants. The Pharisees, as well as the priests, were transported with anger at this innovation, and Josephus prophesied the destruction of the city for this defiance of the law.4

Yet this was really nothing more than the dust before the storm. War had practically begun when king Agrippa and his friends refused to see anything more than riot and tumult, nattering themselves with the hope that the tempest could be entirely allayed with a few impressive speeches, despatches to the Roman officials, or some tears from the lovely Bernice.

1 Bell. vi. 2, 2.

1 Cf. Schurer, Die apxiFpttc im Neuen Test. Stud. u. Krit. 1872, p. 606. 3 Ant. xx. 9, 7; Bell. ii. 15, 4. * Ant. xx. 9, 6.

But the time for these petty arts was past. While Agrippa directed brilliant oratory to the task of convincing the people where passion is incapable of conviction, the embittered parties were already beginning to try conclusions in the towns of Palestine and their vicinity.

The disturbances came to a head in Caesarea. The struggle over the nationality of the city had been settled by Nero in 66 in favour of the Greeks. The Jews ascribed this decision to the corruption of the imperial preceptor, Burrus; but it was impossible for Seneca and Burrus to permit the Judaizing of the coast when the Hellenizing of the East was the object of Roman policy established by Caesar.1 This award, then, gave up the city to the Syrians, the mainstay of the government since Herod Agrippa. Universal derision of the Jews ensued. A debatable piece of building ground, over which the Jews claimed a right of way to their synagogue, was the chosen spot where the adversaries used to measure their strength at nightfall. Here, one Sabbath, when the Jewish congregation was on its way to the synagogue, a Greek youth offered up on a lidless vessel an offering of birds for the healing of the leprous. Transported by this allusion to the Gentile tradition of the Jews' descent from leprous Egyptians, the victims of the insult began a brawl which soon led to regular street-fighting and the plunder of Jewish houses. Thereupon the Jewish population quitted the city with their rolls of the law, and betook themselves to Narbata, the nearest Jewish hamlet. The envoys sent to Florus at Sebaste were shut up by him in a Samaritan prison, on the ground that the Jews had decamped with their sacred books and deserted the synagogue, an act in which the procurator saw reprehensible agitation and the desecration of a temple.

While these events had now flung the whole of Judaea into commotion, the exaction of the tribute-money at Antioch had been completed; and Florus was commissioned to take from the 1 Cf. Schiller, Nero, p. 214.

VOL. IV. 0

temple-treasure a sum of seventeen talents as a first instalment of the forty talents due. The Corban itself might be preserved intact by a toll upon those who came up to the temple. Now Nero was exacting money in every quarter for his vast buildings; Greece and its treasures of art he pillaged in person; so that Judaea did but suffer the fate of other provinces. But the fanatical cry of Corban was instantly raised from a thousand throats. They professed to believe it a personal exaction of the procurators, and called on the people to defend the property of Jehovah. A number of noisy lads gave bold expression to popular suspicion, going through the city, basket in hand, to collect alms for the penniless Florus.

The procurator immediately occupied Jerusalem. The Sanhedrin being unable to give him the names of the guilty at once, he gave over the upper market to pillage, and crucified such of the rebels as he had seized, amongst them some leading Jews of equestrian rank in the Roman service. At this juncture, king Agrippa was at Alexandria, paying a visit of compliment to the newly-appointed procurator, Tiberius Alexander. Bernice, however, was in the city. On one of her pious pilgrimages she had taken a Nazirite vow, and laid her beautiful hair as an offering in the temple. When her envoys were rudely repulsed by Florus, she prepared to approach Floras herself for grace, bare-footed, and in the guise of a suppliant. But the insults of the soldiery compelled her to fly for refuge into the Asmonean castle, where she passed the night, surrounded by armed servants, in continual terror of death.

This is the day from which Josephus dates the beginning of the outbreak, May 16, 66. On the following day, the procurator artfully contrived a fresh collision between his troops and the unarmed populace. This exhausted the patience of the strongest advocates of peace. The people rushed to arms and hurried to the temple. The porches were broken open and the treasure conveyed to the fortress. Thereupon, Florus quitted the city, leaving a cohort in the Antonia, with which the high-priests promised to maintain order. Meanwhile Agrippa had returned to Palestine and tried his artifices once more. Bernice wrote to the proconsul Cestius at Antioch, with her own hand; and then Agrippa came to Jerusalem, accompanied by a tribune appointed by the proconsul. But not to compromise his character at court as a friend of Eorne, the king acted with great severity towards the leaders of the insurrection. He would not hear of sending an embassy to Nero, "for he was still averse to appearing as the accuser of Florus."1 Instead of this, he called an assembly of the people before the palace. Making his sister Bernice sit beside him in the colonnade (xystum), "so that she could be seen from every side," he addressed the people in a speech explaining all the reasons against a revolution. In particular he distinguished between Florus' government and the Roman people, and endeavoured to make plain to every one what folly it was to begin war with a whole nation because this nation in one case had exceedingly bad officials. His best argument, it must be admitted, was the overwhelming power of Rome, proving it by a hundred instances, and at the same time depreciating the military strength of his own nation, and scouting the idea of help from the Parthian Jews as childish and chimerical. Bursting into tears, he and his sister enforced their reference to all the misery to come, by making the people responsible for every abomination which war could not fail to bring upon the Holy Land—violation of the Sabbath, transgression of the laws of meats, interruption of worship in the temple, the destruction, it might be, of the sanctuary.

Even at this juncture the appeal to the most sacred feelings of Judaism did not fail. Once more the populace gave way. While men of property set about collecting the arrears of taxes, Agrippa and Bernice placed themselves at the head of the obedient people, to begin the immediate repair of the broken. 1 Jos. Bell. ii. 16, 3.

porches. But now the king, desirous of putting the finishing touches to his work, invoked the aid of Florus. This was too much; the long-strained patience of the people gave way. Agrippa was forced to retire before a furious storm of execrations and stones directed against the traitor. Enraged with the populace so utterly devoid of political sense, he instantly left Jerusalem, bidding his friends join Florus at Caesarea.

Then the chief of the temple, Eleazar, a son of Annas, required the priests to reject Caesar's sacrifice for the Roman people. The high-priests and the most learned Eabbis, indeed, declared it impious to stop any who offered sacrifice; the oldest priests affirmed that there was no precedent for it. But the words of wisdom fell on deaf ears. Not even Levites were forthcoming to undertake the sacrifice. The high-priests were forced to content themselves with despatching envoys of rank, to Florus, Simon the son of Annas, and to Agrippa, the Boethusi Saul, Antipas and Costobar, to assure them that the hierarchy had no part in these proceedings.

So when news came of the emperor's fall, Agrippa hesitated no longer. By arrangement with his friends, his troops secured the upper city and began the struggle with the insurgents. But by this time the rising had also broken out in the south. Menahem, a son of the Gaulonite, had stormed the Roman fort of Masada on the Dead Sea, that fortress where the first Herod had gathered vast stores of arms. The people equipped themselves with this old but serviceable material of war. At the feast of wood, when the country people used to bring gifts of wood to the temple, a host of auxiliaries came up to Jerusalem. Agrippa's troops were unable to hold the city, and deserted their friends. The upper city was plundered; and the palaces of Agrippa, Bernice and the high-priest Ananias, burnt down. The latter, indeed, Paul's brutal judge, who may now have really appeared like a whited wall, was the especial object of popular fury. He succeeded, it is true, in escaping to the underground sewers; but he was tracked down, and dragged into the streets by Menahem's people, and perished miserably with his brother Ezechias.1

The son of Judas the Gaulonite now came into his father's inheritance. Arrayed in royal robes, he directed the war against Rome from the temple, and incited his bands against the citadel of Antonia.2 Agrippa's troops soon capitulating, Floras' cohort was unable to hold the fortress, and retired to the three strongest towers on Mount Sion, Hippicus, Phasael and Mariamne. The citadel of Antonia was fired by the insurgents, and demolished on the side which threatened the temple. After a while it was seen with horror that the removal of this north-western corner had reduced the area of the temple to a square, for the Eabbis taught according to Dan. viii. 22, that the temple must perish if once it became a square—the sign of the world, and therefore of uncleanness. Meanwhile, the aristocracy had recovered from their first alarm, and sought to get rid of the Galilean Messiah. Annas the younger and Eleazar resolved to establish their own power in his stead. They waylaid Menahem as he came, robed in purple, to the temple, and with the aid of the people, who were tired of the terror, scattered his following. The tumult was suppressed, Menahem himself captured and slowly tortured to death.

But Eleazar, son of Simon, who thus seized upon power, continued the war against the Romans, who were at length forced to capitulate. With Semitic perfidy, Eleazar swore to give them free passage; but no sooner had they left their fortress than they were put to the sword regardless of the pledge. The tribune Metilius alone saved his life by promising to submit to circumcision.

Meanwhile, the news of Floras' retreat reached Antioch. The proconsul Cestius determined to suppress the disturbance at once. He crossed the frontier with the twelfth legion and Agrippa's auxiliaries who were at his disposal. His legate occu1 Bell. ii. 17; 6, 9. 3 Ibid. ii. 17, 8.

pied Galilee without meeting any serious resistance. Towards the end of September, he advanced in person against Jerusalem with fire and sword, guided by king Agrippa. Joppa and Lydda were burnt to the ground. From the walls of Zion could be seen the smoke of burning towns on every side. The king made a last effort at intervention, but the Jews scornfully repulsed the man who condescended to act as guide to the legions, and who, from fear of the Romans, had never punished the slaughter of Jews in his Syrian dominions. Yet his partizans within the city established treacherous communications with the besiegers, and, on Oct. 30th, their help enabled Cestius to storm the new town. But when the proconsul failed to carry the upper city and temple at the first assault, he found himself in a precarious situation, with his small army in the midst of a nation in arms, and began a retreat. So long as he marched northwards over the mountain plateau of Judaea, things went fairly well; but the Jews swarmed on every side, and on Nov. 8th the army could only gain the pass of Bethhoron by abandoning its baggage. But this failed to check the guerillas. As the cohorts entered upon the road through the narrow gorges on the western declivity of Mount Ephraim, they found the heights already occupied by the insurgents. Separated in small defiles, confined in deep ravines, which neither permitted the alignment of the mass of men nor the use of cavalry, the Komans were reduced to hopeless confusion. The Jews pressed on in denser masses, and the Romans made fainter resistance, till at last the soldier-like retreat turned into headlong flight, from which the proconsul escaped to Antipatris with the scattered remnants of his legion.

This defeat was the signal for a general outbreak. The rising spread over the country from the Dead Sea to Lebanon; a War-sanhedrin was organized in Jerusalem, and assumed the chief conduct of military operations. Since the defeat of Partus in Armenia, the Soman power in the East had received no check to be compared with the destruction of the twelfth legion and the flight of the Syrian proconsul. Happily for Rome, the hatred of the Jews throughout the province put any assistance from the Syrians out of the question. Far from it; the first news of actual war sufficed to set on foot the worst persecution of the Jews that had ever been known in all Syria, Phoenicia, Peraea and Egypt.

First of all, the Gentiles in Caesarea flung themselves upon their old enemies, and left not one of the hated race alive. The Jews hastened to take reprisals at Philadelphia, Gerasa, Pella, Scythopolis, and other Gentile cities. They also overran Gadaritis and Hippos, Gaulanitis, Cedasa, Ptolemais, Gaba and the province of Caesarea. The hated Sebaste and Ascalon were laid in ashes; but their arm reached no further. They only succeeded in preparing a more terrible end for their countrymen in the threatened towns, such as Tyre and Damascus; for in all these places the populace fell upon the Jewish quarter and filled the streets with corpses. Even in Agrippa's dominions the Gentile garrison attacked the subjects of their king; all Syria, in short, was in terrible confusion.

In Alexandria, the Greek populace seized the opportunity to revive the days of Caligula. More than 60,000 Jews were sacrificed to Egyptian fanaticism and Greek hatred, without any attempt to save his people on the part of the procurator, Tiberius Alexander, a nephew of Philo. When the civil war was in full swing, he ordered his troops to burn down the Jewish quarter, for the sake of which his father and uncle had defied Caligula.

Thus, instead of the expected support throughout the Dispersion, the leaders of the insurrection received one message of ill after another, telling how Jehovah had smitten Israel. Once more the government of Nero displayed the same swift decision which had always crowned their military undertakings with success. The emperor gave Cestius Gallus permission to choose his own punishment,1 and sent Flavius Vespasianus, who had 1 Tac. Hist. v. 10, is certainly to be understood in this sense.

been trained in Britain, as commander-in-chief, and Licinius Mucianus as proconsul of the province of Syria The one was known as a cold-blooded general, the other as a man of prudence and statesmanship. It was already clear that the insurrection would not spread to the neighbouring provinces; and it was not long before the Jews learnt that even their nearest kindred, the Arabians, had joined their enemies. Surrounded on every side, isolated and invaded, they still clung fast to belief in that help from above for which they had waited so long in vain.

2. Annas And Josephus.

Eevolution in Palestine was, after all, far from hopeless at a moment when peace had scarcely been made with the Parthians; while another war was preparing in Gaul, and a third continued in Britain; while the Germans were restless, and a general rising against Nero's government was well within the bounds of possibility. Oriental repugnance to the Latin dominion was so deeply rooted, that even those who knew the Syrian and Arabian hatred of the Jews, might still expect these tribes to change their attitude after a great defeat of the Eonians. Such was the prospect before the leaders of the rebellion, according to Josephus' preface to his History of the War. More particularly they reckoned on assistance from the Babylonian Jews en masse, and expected heavy money contributions at least from the Dispersion, considering that the very existence of the temple was at stake.

It cannot be said that these expectations entirely failed. The example of Tarsus in Cilicia proves that the Jews of Further Asia came in part to the assistance of their countrymen with their lives and their money,1 and a certain amount of help came

1 Philostr. Ap. v. 35, at all events, may be supposed to speak of such aid to Jerusalem.

also from the East. Silas of Babylon, Niger of Peraea, Monobazus and Cenedaeus, princes of the house of the Jewish kings of Adiabene, had taken an active share in the pursuit of Cestius; the robber bands of Trachonitis and Hauranitis were particularly forward in the insurrection, though rather from love of war than of the Jews.1 But the fate of the insurrection turned, not on the absence of external help, but on the half-heartedness of its leaders. From the very first, the aristocratic leaders of the war had an eye to its conclusion. They had no desire to fight the Romans, but to come to terms with them on condition of the independence of Judaea under a Herod or the Pharisees. The Zealots, on the other hand, shrank from any alliance with Gentiles against Gentiles, thinking that Jehovah would do all unaided.

Thus the conduct of the war was impaired from the first. Nothing but the traditional conservatism and bondage of the East to custom can explain the fact that, even after the highpriests had given sufficient proof of their ill intentions, the leaders of the war were chosen from amongst those who were called to the leadership of Israel by virtue of the law. True that they were the sole repositories of affairs of the law and traditional authority; but they wanted the will as well as the capacity to carry on a revolutionary war. Their representatives took their places on the council of war and at the head of the army to facilitate a compromise with the Romans, and to secure their personal ascendency by secret services to Agrippa and the friends of Eorne.2 Such was the intention with which the younger Annas, with his friend Jesus, son of Gamaliel, and Joseph, son of Gorion, had assumed the supreme direction in Jerusalem. Their first care was to get rid of Eleazar, son of Simon, the idolized leader of the Zealots, the conqueror of Cestius, who, moreover, was famed among the people for miraculous powers and other mysterious gifts. They were not

» Bell. ii. 19, 3; 20, 4; iii. 10, 10.

2 Cf. the cynical admissions of Josephus, Bell. ii. 21, 3; Vita, v.

wholly successful. The mighty soldier had the people on his side, and the booty taken from Cestius in his power. Considering the superstitious reverence paid him by the multitude, there was always the fear of his immediately assuming the part of a Messiah.1 The plan of operations therefore remained two-fold. Jesus, the son of Sapphias, was sent to Idumaea with Eleazar, the only son of Ananias Nebedaei. Similarly, Manasses might be of use in Peraia, and the Essene John in Thamna; but in the capital the aristocracy could not let the reins of power out of their hand. Two members of the highest class of priests were likewise sent where the collision must first take place: to Samaria, John, the son of Ananias; and to Galilee, Josephus, son of Matthias, and a friend of the high-priest, Jesus ben Gamaliel.2 Their chief care, the collection of the priestly tithes, was not forgotten by the self-seeking aristocracy even at this moment. They made the best of this favourable opportunity for a strict exaction of the temple-tithe, which had been steadily decreasing in the province under the Romans and the Herods.3

The two persons on whom the fortunes of their country primarily depended, according to this division of parts, were the leaders of the council of war—namely, the high-priest Annas,* and the commandant of Galilee, the young Josephus. We have already met with Annas as a true scion of the proud and overbearing Sadducees. In the short three months of his highpriesthood he had stained himself with the blood of James the Just and other Nazarenes, so that his house maintained the reputation of destroying both master and disciples of the new

1 Bell. ii. 20, 3; iv. 4, 1. 2 Vita, 41.

3 For what follows, cf. my article on Flavius Josephus in Sybel's Histor. Zeitschrift of 1865.

1 The fact that the man condemned by Josephus, Ant. xx. 9,1, and represented as equivocal, Vita, 38, 39, 44, 60, is identical with the Annas so highly esteemed by the people, Bell. ii. 20, 3; 22, 1; iv. 3, 7, throws a characteristic light on Josephus' credibility; but it admits of no doubt, because in Bell. iv. 3, 9, the famous leader of the War-sanhedrin is expressly named as Annas, son of Annas.

sect. The second act of his public life was played in the streets of Jerusalem. The heartless policy of the aristocrats, which gave up the lower classes of priests to starvation by claiming the entire tithes for the upper classes, found its chief representatives in him and Paul's stony-hearted judge, Ananias Nebedaei. But while his friend Ananias was killed like a dog in the streets of Jerusalem, he entered the War-sanhedrin. Next to him in this strangely-gathered council was the former high-priest, Jesus ben Gamaliel, who in his day had fought for the high-priesthood in the streets of Jerusalem with Jesus ben Damnai.1

With his customary energy, Annas immediately took in hand the completion of the wall, and at first seemed to take his task more seriously than "the prudent" had expected.2 A great inducement, indeed, was the money in the hands of Eleazar, the conqueror of Cestius. For this, Annas, who was notorious among all the lower priests for avarice, betrayed his own party.3 So for a time he vacillated; but when the party of the Zealots grew strong in the course of the war, the proud blood of the Sadducees stirred in the veins of the son of Annas. He declared it impious to depart from the order of priestly classes in allotting offices, and with Jesus, the son of Gamaliel, began to urge the people towards the preservation of the temple, i.e. to peace.4 Now, as before, he finds that really it is the Romans who respect the law, the Zealots who trample it underfoot; and he greets the Roman eagles as the symbol of true liberty and genuine piety.6 Clearly the treasure won from Cestius was exhausted, and the money of Rome seemed equally acceptable. But he was not a man to leave the result to abstract considerations. He secretly armed his followers, and thus was the first to give the word for that terrible civil war6 which rent Jerusalem asunder, and in which he and Jesus, the son of Gamaliel, met

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with their end, a fate eloquently lamented by Josephus, but amply deserved.

The conduct of the war in the country was the same as in the capital. But the interested choice of leaders, and the empty struggle to divert the revolution to the purposes of the theocracy, were in no province so momentous as in Galilee. Here was the turning-point of the whole war. Situated on the very borders of Syria, it had to bear the first onset of the enemy, and at the same time was of the greatest importance for defence, as the most fertde, most populous, and most warlike province. For apart from the fact that this must be the scene of the first battles—and in such affairs the beginning means much—Galilee was also the chief support of the insurrection. The country was rich; it secured the connections with aid coming from the upper Euphrates; it was the home of the wild and boisterous young fellows whose arrival was always waited for at Jerusalem if anything serious was forward at a feast. Yet it was also the weak point of the country. The Herods had not ventured to build any fortresses over against Syria, so that the country lay open to the advance of the legions. For many reasons, then, this was the critical point of the whole campaign. This allimportant position was regarded by the Sanhedrin in its usual way. Among the notables of the party, none was more brilliant than the young Josephus, son of Matthias, and friend of Jesus ben Gamaliel. His ancestors had played a great part in the records of the high-priesthood; his mother was related to the Maccabees; he was reputed a zealous Pharisee, and had been in Rome—reasons enough for the aristocracy to form the highest expectations of him. Let us look somewhat more closely at the man, who was still under thirty years of age and ignorant of war, but had been suddenly transferred from the schools of Eabbinism to the theatre of war.

In the same year, 35, that the Apostle Paul definitely separated from Pharisaism to the Christian Church, a lad of sixteen entered the schools of the Pharisees at Jerusalem to study the law, as once Saul of Tarsus had studied.1 He was Joseph, the son of Matthias, of the tribe of Levi. The Eabbis of the house of Hillel, whose most famous teacher was the aged Gamaliel, gained in him a scholar whose high birth and brilliant education had only once been equalled among all who were ever committed to the synagogue of the temple.2 Josephus' account of himself in his Memoirs recalls the Gospel according to St. Luke: "As a boy of fourteen I was noted by all for my craving after knowledge, even high-priests and the chief of the city coming to inquire of me concerning important interpretations of the law."3 Equal self-satisfaction pervades his criticism of himself at the end of the Antiquities: "As my fellow-countrymen bear witness of me that I have distinguished myself in the learning of our land, so, too, I have made myself familiar with the Greek tongue, although fluency in speaking it was unattainable owing to the customs of my native land. For those who understand many languages are not held in esteem amongst us. Those only are accounted wise who have knowledge of the law, and can expound the Holy Scriptures by word and by signification."

But the joy of the school in such a pupil did not last long. He soon grew weary of their disputations over difficult passages and their exercises in the seven rules of interpretation, and joined the Sadducees, with whose leading families he was connected by descent. His object was undoubtedly to gain some high office in the temple, to which his birth entitled him. By disposition, then, and from these beginnings, the son of Matthias appeared to resume the regular career of a high-born member of the priestly caste; but time brought with it that wonderful

1 Jos. Vita, 1, 2.

2 Josephus' attachment to the school of Hillel follows from his opposition to the strictness of the Pharisees and the harshness of the Zealots (Shammaites); but most clearly from his conception of the law of marriage, Ant. iv. 8, 23.

3 Vita, 2. Perhaps used in Luke ii.

religious movement which repeatedly stirred the masses like a whirlwind, sometimes with the fear that the law was not fulfilled, sometimes with the illusion that Jehovah's wrath was to be more directly felt. Sometimes it would fall upon an individual soul with the craving for purity, the shrinking from the world, preached alike by Mosaic law and Alexandrian theosophy. A significant measure of its rising influence is, that this feeling could sweep an unimpassioned nature like Josephus' into its current. The young man turned away from the brilliant prospects that beckoned him on in Jerusalem, and went to satisfy his thirst for knowledge, as he says,1 to one of those Essene colonies in the villages on the eastern declivities of the wilderness of Judah—communities which lived for the law, for asceticism, and for ceaseless trials of self.2 This doubtless was the time when he made his way from his retreat at Engedi to the Dead Sea, as far as Jebel Usdum, and marvelled at Lot's wife in the fantastic form of the rock of salt beside the southwestern outlet of the lake.3 In later days he was to fill the world with romantic accounts of the horrors of this majestic but enchanting country, which he himself touched but superficially.4 If as large deductions were made from his accounts of the Essenes as must be made from the romantic element in his descriptions of nature, these communities would appear in a much more sober light. Nevertheless, the impressions received here by Josephus were the very deepest of his life, and his description of the Essene community is at all events warmer in colour than is usual with him. He speaks with manifest respect of their principles of education, diet, and rule of life. In maturer years, the ideal of this order, which aimed at freeing the spirit from the dominion of sense by fasting, ablution, labour and prayer, still possesses something of grandeur in his eyes. Even at a time when he had dropped many other youthful illusions,

1 Vita, 2. !Bell. iv. 8, 4. » Ant. i. 11, 4.

4 E.g. from the conclusion of his description, Bell. iv. 8, 4, he seems not to have visited the valley of Siddini.

he still clung to the fundamental doctrine of the Essenes, that the soul has been dragged down to the material world from a better realm by creative attraction, and can only be released from the bondage of its prison by the slaying of sense.1 The same principle determined the Essene theory of visions, which is a first step towards the liberation of the soul from the bonds of sense. Josephus himself claimed this gift so far as to believe that he could recognize and interpret the secret meaning of the divine voice in dreams.2 In times of great peril, he set no little value on his visions in dreams; they appealed to him like real experiences.3 Even the mysteries of the Book of Daniel were disclosed to him; and in matters of importance he would appeal to the passages of Scripture revealed to him, or to the dread figures of his dreams and solitary trances.4

There is no doubt that Josephus had acquired in the solitude of his Essene mortifications that gift of intuition which he employed in contemptible trickery during the period of his moral debasement. The teacher under whom he intended to pass his time of probation was Banus, an anchorite who enjoyed wide reputation for the strictest asceticism. He lived in the wilderness; his garments, even simpler than the camel's hair of the Baptist, were of bast; his food, of roots and wild herbs. That even temperature of mind and quenching of the sensual life which were the highest end of the Essenes, were secured by bathing in cold water, day and night. This new John of the wilderness was accounted one of the most advanced amongst the wise men of the order, whose inward eye was opened,6 and Josephus appears to have been a disciple of his throughout his Essene career.6 As to his doings and experience there, his mouth was for ever shut by the terrible vow of the order. He only speaks of "strict and severe practices and many trials laid upon him," comparing the monastic life of the brethren to that

of school-children under the life-long discipline of strict masters.1 Nor does he forget how the elder brethren shrank from contact with a novice like himself.2 Three years later he gave back paddle and apron to the Essenes, to rejoin the ranks of the patriots in Jerusalem in the year 56.

It is interesting to compare his life with the parallel development of the Apostle Paul. Both Paul and Josephus began as Pharisees in the schools of the Eabbis; both experienced an hour of higher illumination, which wrenched them from the beaten track and drove them into the wilderness. As Josephus by the Dead Sea, so Paul spent three years in Arabia. Both, while dwelling with the solitaries, knew the rapture of visions and inward converse with the spirit. But in Paul's case, higher enlightenment was to be enfranchised from the law; in Josephus', to be hardened in it. In the period of his highest patriotic aspirations he remained a Pharisee, no less than in the later period of utter decline. His highest ideal of virtue is fidelity to the law, keeping the ordinances about meats, whether widespread famine or scanty prison fare is the trial of piety ;3 fidelity to the law, though the tempter's bait be the fillet of the high-priest.4 Yet the dignity of high-priest is the ultimate goal of his ambition; five times happy in his eyes is Annas the murderer of Jesus, in that his five sons wore the holy vestments.6 His judgments, therefore, not unfrequently recall the follies of a school which values most the gold in the temple, and continually say, It is Corban, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me. It is bad enough for traitors to open the gates of beleaguered Jerusalem to the foe; but much worse for them to use the sacred saws of the temple for this purpose. He is unmoved, therefore, if the Zealots let their brethren starve; but his indignation knows no bounds when they seize the shewbread in the temple.6

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His teachings in the wilderness, then, had not given him a mystical depth of thought, but had merely confirmed him in his outward and material views. For the same reason he never took the final binding vows of the Essenes. He was of too vehement and ambitious a temperament to subside into the quietism of monastic existence and dream away his life in one of these colonies. He would be of some account in the world; his ambition was that his country should have to reckon with his will. Yet by this time his theological bent was so firmly established, that instead of attaching himself to the Sadducees, as might be expected from his family connections and personal prospects, he rejoined the Pharisees to lend them his vigorous aid in their struggle for the purity of the land, the observance of the law, and the preparation of the people for the Messianic kingdom. He himself afterwards found it convenient to pass over this period of his life; but his opponent, Justus of Tiberias, chose an awkward moment to recall the fact that Josephus had at that time been amongst the most zealous Pharisees and the most imperious foes of Rome. But this patriotic mood did not last long. He returned from the wilderness in the first year of Felix; by the death of Festus, we find him already on the side of the peace party. The cause of this sudden change was, that meanwhile he had occasion to learn the power of Rome, and henceforward believed in the possibility of a theocratic state under Roman suzerainty.

Josephus was twenty-four years old when, in the year 61,1 he visited Rome. We have seen him before, in Paul's prison at Caesarea, tending those priests who lived on nuts and figs, and would not eat or even touch the unclean food of the Gentiles. To plead their cause, he took ship to Rome. The storms of the year 61 are known to us from the Apostle's voyage. Paul's ship was wrecked at Malta; Josephus' foundered in mid-Adriatic. Of six hundred passengers, only eighty managed to keep above

1 Not 63, the date, indeed, given in Vita, 3. One of Felix' transports of prisoners must have reached Rome in the autumn of 61 at latest. VOL. IV. P

water until they were picked up at daybreak by a passing ship of Gyrene. Prisoners and escort landed that same autumn at Puteoli, with the loss of everything but life; Paul wintered at Malta. At Puteoli, Josephus made the acquaintance of the Jewish actor Aliturus, who was in high favour as a mime at Nero's court. The Jewish artist took charge of his countrymen, and introduced Josephus to Poppaea, who, being a proselyte of the gate, enjoyed the society of learned Jews. This influential lady was pleased with the young Oriental . Not only did she effect the release of the imprisoned priests, but gave him other signal marks of favour. Having executed his commission, Josephus returned home, laden with splendid gifts from his illustrious patroness.1 He had now seen the might of Rome with his own eyes, and found the Jewish law honoured at court; it was possible to conclude that he had gone too far in the last five years' resistance to the procurator.

He had thus reached the attitude of uncertainty to which a policy of mediation not unfrequently leads. Too good a Pharisee to support the Romans, he was yet too well informed to believe in the dreams of the Zealots. But instead of feeling the weakness of his situation, vanity led him to imagine that the Jews, to whom he thought himself superior, could not possibly do without him, and that the Romans, whom he now knew, must thank him for his moderation and try to come to an understanding with him and others who thought with him. He was doubly incensed, and naturally, because Albinus and Floras began their most crying injustice with the moderate party, and leagued with the Assassins and Zealots to give up the propertied classes to plunder.2

This appearance of the governor naturally injured his designs of mediation. He found every consideration of honour and

1 His absence lasted apparently during the whole of Festus' government, which is described very incompletely both in Bell. ii. 14, 1, and Ant. xx. 8, 9.

1 Bell. ii. 14, 9, where Josephus specially calls the fitTptoi his friends.

faith on the side of war. Such was the ambiguous situation in which he was overtaken by the events of 66. Intimidated by the clamour of the insurrection, he had withdrawn with his friends into the temple and quietly performed the duties of his office, perceiving that the excitement of the populace would regard all further compromise as treason. It was not until Eleazar, son of Simon, had got rid of Menahem the Zealot, that he and his friends thought it time to seize the reins of power, with the intention of restoring them amicably to the Romans. But once in power, they found to their horror that Eleazar, on whom they counted, was no better than the son of Judas the Galilean, whom he had murdered.1

Urged forward against their will, their one wish at last was for the proconsul to save them without delay from their revolutionary position and suppress the insurrection. At the approach of the Syrian troops, the gates were opened to the Romans with their connivance. Great was their secret delight when the lower town was occupied by the Romans; but greater their terror when Cestius suddenly broke up camp and began to retire towards Antipatris. Amid the general rejoicings at the defeat of the Romans, it was more impossible than ever to propose peace, especially as popular fury was intensified by tidings of the massacre of Jews in Egypt, Syria, Phoenicia and the Decapolis. Nothing, therefore, was left to the aristocracy but to carry through the part they had so imprudently assumed. They restricted themselves perforce to giving all places of influence to their own friends, and sending as many of the Zealots as possible to distant posts.

Our hero received no less important a task than the defence of Galilee. His vanity could not resist the offer of such a command. If he went over to Agrippa, he was nothing; if he remained, he was general, governor, and soon, perhaps, higher still. Too young to reject such a temptation, he was yet keen enough to recognize its danger. From the first day, therefore,

i Bell. ii. 17, 10. it was his care to secure his retreat and maintain his communications with partizans in the other camp.1 Under these circumstances, his fidelity was very doubtful; but apart from this, it was an inconceivable mistake to entrust the defence of Galilee to his hands. Josephus had never seen war; he had grown up in scholastic disputation and party wrangles, and had but just completed his twenty-ninth year.2 The Sanhedrin might give him a command, but could not make a soldier of him. As governor of Galilee, too, he was no more than a student of the law; at every step the robe of the Pharisee showed its broad hems and long phylacteries beneath the general's cloak. Worse still; instead of supporting him with soldiers of experience, they merely gave him the assistance of two priests. A Pharisee and two priests were the leaders sent to oppose the Roman legions at the most important point of the theatre of war.

 

3. The "war In Galilee.

To expect that Josephus, the son of Matthias, would henceforth devote his entire energies to preparation for war, was to show very imperfect knowledge of the way in which the leaven of Pharisaism corrupted even the acutest intellects. There was much else for Josephus to do in Galilee than to organize the armament of the assembled nation and seek for alliances. The man had been transformed from a student of the law to a viceroy in a single night; what the Eabbi dreamed of yesterday, the statesman would realize to-day. While the Roman legions gathered to north and to south, he proceeded to establish the Pharisee's model state in Galilee, and re-cast every arrangement, great or small, according to his own ideal. The Mosaic council of elders was copied in a supreme council of seventy elders in Galilee, whose powers the youthful legislator carefully con

1 Vita, 35, 26. 2 He was bom in 37.

sidered and limited. In every town he set up a college of seven, whose duty it was to decide disputes of slighter importance. Capital cases and weightier questions of law might not be settled without his consent. In brief, his one care was the realization of the ideal Mosaic state in great and small, as if it were a time of profound peace. He made a survey of the splendid buildings of Tiberias, not with a view to their capabilities for defence, but to discover whether they contained images contrary to the Decalogue. He inspected the storehouses in town and country, to see, not whether they contained sufficient supplies, but whether the oil was Levitically pure, and prepared so as to satisfy the requirements of the Jewish law.1

While he was intent on these Pharisaic objects, his two colleagues governed from the Levitical point of view. He was heart and soul for the model state of the Pharisees; they found the exaction of the priestly tithes all-important. It was long since the country had been tithed; so they boldly filled their purses, and, soon growing rich, informed Josephus that they would now lay down the government of Galilee and return home. They were with difficulty persuaded to devote their valuable services to the country a little longer.

While each thus followed his political inclinations, little was done in preparing for war. In part, the time was wasted in empty bustle and unpractical diversions; in part, partizan measures were adopted, which merely betrayed how much more the ruler of Galilee hated his political adversaries than the approaching enemy. Disliking the conduct of the Zealots, he organized his army from the more reliable elements of society, and looked with great scorn upon his opponents,2 who had formed free companies of youthful dare-devils and highwaymen who knew the country.3 But these " robbers," as he calls them, stuck to their posts when his more tractable Galileans fled by whole regiments at the first news of the Roman advance. These

1 Bell. ii. 21, 2; Vita, 13. 2 Bell. ii. 21, 2.

3 For the gathering of the multitude of Trachonitis, cf. Bell. iii. 10, 10.

troops, he tells us himself, were perforce left untrained, because time pressed. In place of training, he mimicked all the forms of the Roman army—he had indeed been in Rome; he appointed corporals, centurions and tribunes, instructed them in watchwords and bugle-calls, and above all he kept a quantity of fine phrases, the meaning of which he is careful to tell us. On the Sabbath, the whole army used to disperse and spend the day of rest at home.1 The general himself shared in these recreations. He revelled in the beauties of the neighbourhood, which offered a pleasant contrast to Jerusalem; and it was said that the fair women of Galilee were not safe from him.2 These were but the diversions of an amateur, who knew war from books and parades: useless, but not harmful. They might have been overlooked, had he not further wasted the best strength of his country in civil war instead of concentrating it for defence.

Josephus had not come to Galilee as the herald of a new freedom. He found parties there already organized, and led by men who enjoyed great respect. They were not great politicians, celebrated scholars, nor brilliant writers, like Josephus; far from it, they were for the most part men of obscure origin, half robbers, half shepherds; freebooters in war, and in peace mere sheep-stealers, footpads and such-like. But they understood war, and had more than once crossed swords with the Roman cohorts.

They were headed by the petty local leaders, such as every village produces in time of trouble—John of Gishala, Jesus of Tiberias, Justus of Tiberias, and so forth. These men at first made friendly advances towards the new governor, but they soon saw through the utter hollowness and incapacity of the man who had been sent to them from Jerusalem. Now when the latter, so far from punishing the Romanizing city of Sepphoris, granted it free access to the coast; when he endeavoured to make over to his political friend Agrippa and his sister a caravan which had been carried off by a skirmishing party 5 1 Bell. ii. 21, 8; Vita, 32. 2 Bell. iii. 10, 7. 8.

when, again, he kept back for secret purposes the material of war which ought to have been devoted to strengthening the border fortresses,—then all Galilee rang with the cry that Josephus was a traitor, and meant to deliver the country to the Romans. One morning in Tarichaea, the governor was all but burnt alive by a raging mob which besieged his house, and only escaped, thanks to the humility with which he begged for mercy, in the guise of a malefactor, and the adroitness with which he played off one party against another. He afterwards cooled his rage upon several who had taken part in the riot, and had them cruelly mutilated; but it was a weak revenge for his disgraceful humiliation. Even at Tiberias he was soon forced to flee out into the lake before the swords of the Zealots, and nothing but the favour of the orderly citizens and peasants, who always prefer peace to war, made his further stay possible.

In Jerusalem, meanwhile, where the friends of Josephus had been playing the same game with incomparably worse results, it seemed necessary to recall the incompetent governor of Galilee. He had long been protected by the high-priest Annas and his friends; but at length a bribe overcame their resistance. A commission was sent to Galilee with a military escort; at their head were Simon, son of Gamaliel, and Annas, charged to investigate the complaints of John of Gishala. News of this, sent by his father, suddenly ended Josephus' hesitation. He concentrated his forces and marched upon Ptolemais, where the Roman general Placidius had for weeks been burning Galilean villages. When the envoys arrived, it was impossible to recall the general from his camp under the very eyes of the Romans. He was too crafty to be brought over by stratagem; the commission therefore moved aimlessly through the province, and made the further discovery that the citizens of the war party were not nearly so bold as their leaders imagined. They were only well received in large towns like Gamala, Gishala and Tiberias, though, it may be, for different reasons. The peasantry, on the other hand, offered serious resistance. They dealt in oil with Antioch, exported corn to Damascus, and sold cattle for sacrifice in Jerusalem. They were not the party for war at any price.1 Under these circumstances, Josephus had no difficulty in getting together scores of Galileans to testify before the War-sanhedrin that his conception of his duty was marked by extraordinary energy, with the result that he caused a counterrevolution in Jerusalem itself, and the commission was simply recalled. Josephus now re-occupied the revolted towns; but the result of all these strokes and counter-strokes was that Tiberias had grown weary of the whole affair, and immediately after the governor's departure sent an embassy to king Herod Agrippa, inviting him to return to his country. Josephus was once more compelled to make a military expedition against Tiberias, and, after chastising the peace party, turned against Gishala to overthrow the war party there and give up the town to his followers for pillage.

As to the real object of his contradictory policy, Josephus afterwards maintains profound silence. At the moment, it is clear, he wished to make war, but to conduct it himself. As a preliminary, his adversaries were to be disarmed. In this he succeeded, crushing one insurrection after another, by the employment of force, assassination or fraud. But his success involved the loss of the whole winter, and the irreparable waste of time, strength and enthusiasm.

Without reading Josephus himself, it is impossible to believe the hypocrisy, fraud and bloodthirstiness, of which these men of God were capable, these who devoted themselves to fighting for their religion. They agreed upon a day of public humiliation in the synagogue of Tiberias, to acknowledge before God the futility of arms, because each party saw in it an opportunity of massacring the other unarmed. They sanctimoniously perform the holy rites and utter their prayers; and then, glancing at their neighbours, mutually discover that every man wears corslet and dagger beneath his penitent's robe.2 They provide 1 Bell. iv. 2, 1. » Vita, 56, 57.

the adjacent towns with pure oil pleasing to God, to sell for ten drachmas what they had requisitioned for one.1 They perjured themselves in the most dread name of God, and broke their pledged word regardless of honour or loyalty.2 Josephus displays great unction in devoting the plunder wrested from Agrippa to building the walls of Zion, and then restores it secretly to the king.3 The "Lord" invariably appears to him in a vision when he meditates a special act of folly.4 He entices his enemies to his house with the most sacred oaths, only to fling them out again with maimed limbs,6 or lures them into a dungeon with friendly words.6 It is impossible to guess at the full moral depravity of Pharisaism before hearing all this told by the priest and prophet himself.

Meanwhile, the proceedings in Galilee were repeated elsewhere by Josephus' friends: about Lydda and Joppa by the Essene John, and in Idumaea by the high-priest Jesus ben Sapphia, and Eleazar the son of Ananias. After wasting precious time, they ventured to assault Ascalon early in 67; but the Romans outflanked their ill-led masses, and inflicted on them so crushing a defeat that 10,000 Jews were left on the field. Nor was anything effected elsewhere, as is clearly shown by the advance of the Romans.

Vespasian and Mucianus probably entered Syria in the earlier months of the year 67. Besides the two Roman legions, Vespasian found king Agrippa ready there with his contingent, and immediately advanced upon Ptolemais to unite with the forces of his son Titus, who was marching up from the south. Josephus skirmished with the king's advanced guard at the lake, and, losing a battle simply through want of skill in riding, reached Jesus' city, Capernaum, with a sprained wrist; meantime, the union of the armies took place, without the commander of Galilee so much as attempting to prevent it. As Titus brought up the fifth and tenth legions, twenty-three cohorts and six

1 Vita, 13. 2 Vita, 20; 33; 34. 3 Vita, 26.

4 Vita, 42. 6 Vita, 30. 6 Vita, 03.

squadrons of cavalry, and, moreover, contingents had arrived from the vassals Antiochus of Commagene, Sohem of Emesa, and Malichus of Arabia, Vespasian had an available force of 60,000 men, which had grown up under his command against very different enemies.

The bulk of the army proceeded along the high road from Acco to Damascus, and it became Josephus' duty to attack these troops with his militia. In after days he remarked upon the impression of terror which the advance of the legions and the appearance of a really disciplined army made upon the minds of the Jews. It was not, indeed, the first time that the short swords of the Romans crossed the curved sabres of the Jews; but the same scene is repeated in the first as in the last war. On the side of the Romans, all is order, precision and discipline. The camp moves from place to place like an advancing fortress. Behind its rampart is a city in miniature—regular streets, with the praetoiium in the midst. Daily routine apportioned to each his successive duties; every man knew without asking what he had to do at each hour. The sound of the trumpet gives the signal for all to rise, to work, to rest, to sleep. At the first signal the tents are struck; at the second, packed up; at the third, the standing buildings are given to the flames to prevent them from being of service to the enemy. Then the mighty host moves slowly forward in symmetrical lines, like a great spider. The individual shows the same orderliness in taking his place in the maniple, as the maniple in the cohort, and the cohort in the legion. The whole army is no more than a vast machine moving at the sole thought of the general.

How great the difference from what Josephus was accustomed to in his own camp, and from what we have seen before in Pompey's wars against the Jews! For disciplined warriors, we have an unpractised multitude.1 In place of strict subordination to a single will, we have a hundred lawyers who search the law for rules of military conduct, whose chief pre-occupation 1 Bell. iii. 10, 2, ii. 10,1.

it is to discover sources of impurity which might provoke the wrath of Jehovah, and who fix favourable and unfavourable days, and forbid any fighting on the Sabbath.1 On the one side, the measured tramp of the patrol; on the other, the monotonous chant of psalms; with the Romans, the watch-fires of the bivouac; in Jerusalem, the columns of smoke above the burntoffering; orderly foresight and tactical skill opposed to theological strategy, which gave up its best positions on the Sabbath, and was often occupied in acts of ritual, in ablutions and sacrifices, while Roman catapults and ballistas swept the field with stones and firebrands, or stood unmoved beside the altar, while the enemy breached the walls.

Such were the memories that took vivid shape in the mind of Josephus, when the news came upon him like a thunderbolt that Sepphoris, the occupation of which had been the first demand of the Zealots, had gone over to the Komans. The latter now established a strong camp beneath the walls of the city so well fortified by Josephus, and had a footing in the heart of Galilee. But Josephus did not stir. He still professed to await the opening of negociations by the Romans before definitely unfolding his programme.2 Instead of this, Placidus' cavalry attacked the strangely inactive general, and compelled him, indeed, to attempt to storm Sepphoris; but this first engagement ended in total discomfiture.

Placidus now meditated a coup de main on Jotopata, a fortress north of Lake Gennesareth; but here, happily, Josephus was not in command. The attack failed, and Placidus was forced to retreat. But now at last Vespasian advanced from Ptolemais with the main army, and made a strong camp on the frontier of Galilee. The news of this struck panic into the Jewish army. The valiant Galileans fled by regiments. The general who had given the preference to this army above the bands of Zealots, at length was left before the treacherous Sepphoris, deserted by all but a few faithful followers. Then 1 Bell. iv. 2, 3. 2 Bell. iii. 7, 2; Vita, 7.

he, too, fled in haste to Tiberias, and thence sent to Jerusalem for further instructions. He was still perfectly confident that the Romans would open negociations with him. But as the Sanhedrin sent no army, and Vespasian no herald, Tiberias in turn became untenable. On 21st May, 67, the governor of Galilee entered Jotopata as a fugitive.1 A few days later, Vespasian was before the city with the Roman army.

Josephus prefaces his account of the siege of Jotopata with the general remark that nothing gives so much courage in war as necessity. It must be admitted that his defence of the fortress bears out this axiom. Set on a steep ridge of rock, and surrounded by deep ravines, the town was only accessible on the side of the mountain. The first assault of the Romans lasted from morning till evening, and convinced them that a regular siege was impracticable. The Jews were inspired with no little confidence. As usually happens in war, they had got over their first alarm and cared no more for the flying darts and bullets.

The Romans. following their cautious practice, began siegeworks. The woods disappeared from the surrounding heights, and in their place certain bastions rose at intervals about the city walls, each crowned with a piece of Roman artillery. Shot whistled from the catapults; stones from the ballistae hurtled through the air and crashed heavily upon the city. And now the walls were no longer able to resist the bombardment. The Jews plucked up courage—rushed amongst the engines, flung down the sappers, and burnt the works which had taken so much labour to construct. Undaunted, the Romans rebuilt them; but this time they filled the intervening space with a continuous wall, so that further sallies were impossible.

Nothing remained for Josephus but to raise the city wall to rival the Roman works. He stretched out wet hides which deadened the impact of the shot; behind these the Jews proceeded to build, until the walls rose twenty cubits higher. 1 Bell. iii. 6, 1, seq.

Vespasian saw that further attack was fruitless, and resolved to reduce the town by famine. He could, indeed, see from his camp how at stated hours the garrison brought water to the market-place in barrels, whence he concluded that the town had no living springs. As it was, Joseph us was now compelled to reduce the rations, and, as always happens when the people are unable to drink when they want, they believed they were perishing of thirst. If the Romans actually waited till the cisterns were exhausted, the fall of the town was inevitable; Josephus therefore ordered his followers to deceive the enemy by soaking their clothes in water and hanging them on the wall, so that the water should run down from them in streams. It was a painful stratagem for the thirsty Jews, but it succeeded. The Romans were taken in and proceeded to a new assault.

Yet even so Josephus felt that the days of Jotopata were numbered. He prepared to fly with some of the leaders, and leave the town to its fate. Unfortunately, the Jews got wind of his design; and though he put on all the dignity of a general, and explained that to save the city he must organize an army in Galilee, the garrison clamoured for him to stay in a way that admitted of no refusal. So he remained, and undertook several vigorous sallies, which, however, failed to check the advance of the Roman works. The Roman rampart came nearer and nearer to the Jewish walls. At length the fearful moment arrived when it was near enough for the battering-ram to be erected. The heavy beam was slung on a stout rope; its point provided with a ram's head of bronze. Strong hands pull it back: then the terrible beam is launched against the wall, battering unceasingly upon the same place. The heavy blows repeated themselves with awe-inspiring monotony, resounding over the whole city. Women and children rushed out of the houses, weeping and wailing with terror, for there was none so young but knew what this battering meant.

Then Josephus had sacks filled with chaff, and when the monster prepared to charge, the Jews hung the sacks before it, and the thud of the bronze head was spent ineffectually upon their elastic contents. But the Romans cut away the sacks with long sickles; the ram began again, and the wall crumbled away bit by bit iuto the valley beneath. Then the Jews made a desperate sally and fired the engine. They saw from the city with savage joy the flames roll round their dreaded foe. One of the active Galileans seized a piece of rock in both arms, and flung it with such force as to break off the head of the engine and send it rolling into the hollow beneath. Not content with this, he sprang down into the midst of the enemy, seized the trophy, and ran with it up the mountain-side, regardless of the shot. Five darts pierced him through; but he gained the battlements in triumph. Then at last he fainted with pain, and fell back into the ravine with his trophy. What might not have been effected with such soldiers under other leadership?

But fate was not to be averted by simple deeds of valour. In spite of sharp fighting—Vespasian himself was wounded—the embankment was restored. A new ram was erected; and though the Jews could stop its dreadful work by day, night prevented them from seeing at what point it was directed. As they held torches here or there, one after another was struck down into the depths by the enemy's shot. It was almost a relief when, on the thirrty-sixth day, the Romans at length advanced from the siege to an assault. Josephus cleared the streets of all idlers, and gave his soldiers the very practical command, which he must have read in his Odyssey, to stop their ears so as not to be alarmed by the war-cry of the legions.

So they awaited the attack. As the leading cohorts advanced through the breach, the Jews poured boiling oil upon them. Their scalded limbs gave way beneath them, and, rolling in agony on the ground, the enemy fell back into the ravine. When the oil was exhausted, they flung boiling fenugreek upon the mantlets, so that the storming party, as they came up, slipped

upon the charred bodies of their predecessors. It was a day of vengeance for the Jews. At nightfall, Vespasian was compelled to draw off his hardly-handled troops without effecting anything.

So they fell back upon constructing new engines. But by this time the strength of the garrison was exhausted. The excessive strain was succeeded by universal lassitude. A deserter informed the enemy's general that even the sentinels succumbed to sleep in the early hours of morning. It was the forty-seventh day of the siege when Vespasian resolved to surprise the citadel itself, where an assault was least provided for. The troops marched out after midnight. Titus and the tribune Domitius Sabinus were the first to climb the wall They cut down the sentries and entered the town in silence. Then the citadel was occupied without a sound.

The town was wrapped in leaden sleep; a mist, too, delayed the break of day. When light came at last, the citizens saw dense columns of the Romans pouring down from the citadel. A fearful hand-to-hand conflict ensued in the streets; but before long the Jews were either dispersed into their houses Or driven over their own walls. On the second day began the slaughter and pillage in the houses. The men were put to the sword, the women and children made prisoners and driven into the camp The governor of Galilee had disappeared; not a trace of him was to be found either among the dead or among the prisoners.

Josephus had taken advantage of the confusion to leap into a cistern, whence a side passage led into a spacious cave, invisible from above. Here he found forty fugitives, who had laid up ample store of provisions. All day they sat quiet in anxious expectation; at night they crept out in the city one by one, and tried to steal away. Josephus went up more than once, but did not succeed in eluding the guards. Then on the third day a woman was taken who had visited the party in hiding. To save herself, she betrayed the governor's hiding-place. Vespasian sent two tribunes to the cistern and bade them summon Josephus to come forth, on promise of his life. But no one stirred. A second emissary, a friend of Josephns, was able to convince him that it was no idle promise. The soldiers had grown impatient, and were about to fling fire into the cavern when Josephus consented. But now a great tumult arose within the cavern. The men drew their daggers and threatened Josephus with instant death if he stirred from his place. In vain did he employ his authority as general; in vain assumed the Essene prophet and appealed to divine revelations; in vain uttered philosophic phrases about the wickedness of suicide, a sin unknown to beasts, about the mysterious bonds uniting body and soul, and the law of nature which has implanted the instinct of self-preservation; the Jews cried furiously: "Verily the laws of our fathers will groan heavily over thee, to hear that thou goest up of thy free will as a slave into the light of day." Nothing was left for him but to acquiesce in his fate.

Death stared him in the face. Below, provisions were running short: above, the Roman sentries paced to and fro. At last he snatched at a desperate resource. He rose and declared that if they must die, they should at least die gloriously. Let them cast lots which should kill his fellow, the survivor should take his own life. His plan met with approval. The first man named stabbed his neighbour, and then offered his breast to the next. One fell after another in mutual destruction, till at length only Josephus and one companion were left upon the heap of dead. He would have us believe that it was not himself, but Providence, that arranged the lots. This does not add to the credibility of a somewhat incredible story. But be it as he will, he succeeded, according to his own account, in persuading his sole companion to live, and the pair came forth from the hideous cavern to the light of day. Here the tribune Nicanor waited to take him through the curious soldiery to Vespasian. The whole camp was in confusion when the man, to whom all ascribed the desperate defence of Jotopata, passed by as a prisoner. Some gazed at him in wonder; others indignantly demanded his death. The intercession of the kind-hearted Titus, and the desire, perhaps, to send the governor of Galilee to Rome as a trophy of war, determined Vespasian to mercy.

But Josephus had no wish to go to Rome. He therefore adopted the method he always tried in desperate situations. He assumed the Essene prophet, and taking advantage of his Oriental costume, which invariably produced a mysterious effect upon the credulous Italians, demanded a private audience of the legate, for he had a message from Heaven to deliver him. All withdrew but Titus; whereupon Josephus, with all the impressiveness of Old Testament prophecy, announced to the general that Nero would not survive the end of the war, and would be succeeded on the throne by Vespasian and Titus. Vespasian took the prophecy at its real value, and asked ironically, why he had not foreseen the fall of Jotopata if he were really a prophet. In reply, Josephus was able to appeal to the prisoners; they could tell that he had foretold this too.1 Vespasian, superstitious as he was, did not know what to make of the story. Meanwhile, he sent his prisoner to the baggage-train, where, for the rest, he was not badly treated.2

The exhaustion of the army and the approaching hot season forbade anything further of importance from being attempted. The army marched to Ptolemais, and thence to Csesarea. On their entry, the populace furiously demanded the death of Josephus. Vespasian, however, paid no attention, and Josephus remained a prisoner in the camp, and soon made himself useful to his new master by betraying his country's secrets to the enemy, against whom he ought to have defended this country. Vespasian rewarded him with better treatment, and, as his wife had remained in Jerusalem, gave him one of the captive women in marriage. The young Jewess, however, had no liking for the

1 According to Pirke Aboth de R. Nathan, ch. iv., Midrash Kohelet, ed. Frankf. 64, Gittin, 56, &c, it was inferred from Is. x. 35, that only a crowned sovereign could break the temple (Lebanon). On this ground Johanan ben Zac. also prophesied the throne to Vespasian,

2 Cf. Dio Cass. 66, 1; Suet. Vesp. 5.

VOL. IV. Q

politician. She ran away from him when he went to Alexandria with the Romans. Soon after, Vespasian, with a portion of his troops, accepted Agrippa's invitation to Caesarea Philippi, at the foot of Hermon, where a stay of twenty days was made. This, according to Agrippa and Bernice's plan, was to he the occasion of restoring stability to the tottering throne of the Herods, and the family devoted a part of their property to winning over the men who held the reins of power.1 Titus, who was in the radiant bloom of manhood, and whose soldierly bearing, joined to amiable vivacity, his contemporaries found irresistible,2 was won by Bernice, who became his devoted wife, and bound him closer and closer in her chains. At the same time she made herself acceptable to the avaricious Vespasian by the richness of her gifts.3 Festivities began early in the morning; carousing and feasting lasted late into the night. Money, honour and Jewish customs, were all sacrificed by Bernice in the hope of maintaining the glory and power of her house. Agrippa, like his sister, was convinced that at the conclusion of the war the Romans would restore the kingdom and carry out their programme. In course of time, indeed, the Herods' treasury was exhausted. But the king covered his new expenditure by selling his subjects who had been given him by Vespasian from amongst the prisoners to do with as he would.4

While the natural protectors of the people were thus trafficking for the favour of the Roman generals, war was raging in Galilee. The pleasant highlands were strewn with ashes and ruins; the beautiful lake, in which Jesus found the image of peace and joy, was reddened with the blood of the Zealots. During the siege of Jotopata, the adjacent city of Japha was stormed on June 25th by Trajan, legate of the tenth legion, assisted by Titus, while the fifth legion stormed Gerizim and drove the Jews out of Samaria.6 A flying column destroyed Joppa, and at the end of August, Vespasian concluded his

1 Bell. iii. 9, 7. 2 Tac. Hist. v. 1. 3 Ibid. ii. 81.

4 Bell. iii. 10, 10. 6 Ibid. iii. 7, 32.

summer holiday at Caesarea Philippi, to terminate the war in the sultry vale of Gennesareth. First, Tiberias was taken; on Sept. 8th, Tarichaea was stormed by Trajan, father of the later emperor, while the Roman and national parties were fighting with one another in the very citadel. The Zealots fled to the open lake in the innumerable fishing-boats, but did not venture to land anywhere for fear of the Romans. By the next day, Vespasian's men had got rafts ready, and now the spectators on every bank saw a regular naumachy begin exactly as in the circus. A shower of stones from the Jews rattled harmlessly upon the heavy armour of the Romans. Afraid to run ashore anywhere, they were the more easily surrounded and sunk. It was a revolting sight on the following days, when swollen corpses came to the surface by hundreds, and spread pestilence far and wide upon the shore where Jesus once said: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."

Next day these mouldering corpses were reinforced by a thousand more, for Vespasian ordered the prisoners to set out for Tiberias in the direction of Tarichaea. They fancied themselves free, and drew up in the Hippodrome ready to start. Suddenly the soldiers rushed in and put the old and crippled to the sword; the rest were either sold, or sent to the Isthmus to dig Nero's canal.

The only other place to offer serious resistance to the Romans was Gamala. Every attempt to induce the city to surrender peacefully was unsuccessful. King Agrippa, who rode up to the wall in hopes of negociating, was struck by a stone which almost shattered his arm.1 An assault failed, and, as at Jotopata, the desired end was only obtained by a regular siege. Tabor, too, was strongly entrenched. But the city lying on a hill could not be concealed. Placidus, the general of horse, whose squadrons could not attack the mountain, drew the garrison into the plain by fair promises, whereupon the inhabitants

i Bell. iv. 1, 3.

surrendered, their water-supply having run out.1 The longest resistance was offered by Gishala, where John, the prophet and leader of banditti, had inspired the populace with his own fanaticism.2 When convinced that further defence of the now isolated hamlet was purposeless, the prudent leader deceived Titus by feigning readiness to surrender after the Sabbath, and used the delay to get off by night to Jerusalem, over whose destinies he was soon to exercise a fatal influence. With the fall of Gishala, the last stronghold of Galilee was crushed, and the army marched down into the plain to organize their advance upon Jerusalem from Caesarea, Jamnia and Azotus.

4. The Fall Of Jerusalem.

The news of the fall of Jotopata was received in Jerusalem with horror. Josephus was mourned as dead; but when it became known that the late governor of Galilee was safe and sound in Caesarea, and that not as a Jewish prisoner, but a Roman spy, it did not need the arrival of John of Gishala to thoroughly embitter the populace against the leaders of the War-sanhedrin. Had not John of Gishala and every leader of the party of action constantly demanded the recall of the traitor while it was yet time ?3 Had not Eleazar, son of Simon, employed the proceeds of the spoils of Cestius in buying their favourite from the avaricious Annas and Jesus ben Gamaliel? Had not an embassy with 40,000 pieces of silver been sent to Galilee to secure the young fellow? Yet, after all, had not the chief men amongst them hindered the plans of the Zealots, Jesus ben Gamaliel invariably sending timely warning to Josephus through his father, so that he took corresponding precautions ?* It can be understood that, after such experiences, con

1 Bell. iv. 1, 8. * Ibid. iv. 2, 1.

3 Vita, 38, 30. 1 Ibid. 41.

fidence in the council of war was deeply shaken, and violent attacks and arbitrary arrests ensued. But Annas, the murderer of James, still thought it possible to play his treacherous part. While the people were amused with the noisy pretence of soldiering, over which Josephus himself makes merry,1 secret preparations were made to hand over the city to Vespasian.

At this point the two parties came to blows over the redistribution of the chief offices. The chief-priest was still Matthew, son of Theophilus, who had received the holy fillet from the hands of the enemy, Agrippa II. It was but common sense to demand, as the war party did, the placing of another man in supreme office. But the aristocracy turned a deaf ear to the popular demand. Then Eleazar, the conqueror of Cestius, and the other men of action, appealed to the family of Eliakim, their only supporters among the priestly families, and made them draw lots for the high-priesthood.2 The lot fell upon a country Levite, Phanias, son of Samuel, of the village of Aphta. The Sadducees shed tears of rage at the consecration of a peasant to be high-priest; and the Pharisees believed that the leaders had been seized with madness to have thus trampled the law underfoot.3 Now since this change of high-priest struck a deadly blow at their influence, Annas and Jesus did not hesitate to plunge into civil war, with the avowed intention of admitting the Romans after they had overthrown the Zealots.4 Annas in person called to arms, drove back the Zealots into the temple, and occupied the outer forecourt.6 But the Sadducee could

1 Bell. ii. 22, 1. 1 Eleazar, iv. 4, 1; the election, iv. 3, 6—8.

3 Bell. iv. 3, 6—8.

4 Ibid. iv. 3; 10,14. Josephus naturally shields Annas and Jesus from the charge of treachery; but his own view is that Annas wished for peace. "He saw," says the valiant defender of Galilee, "that the Roman power was irresistible, and that the Jews must perforce be crushed if they did not make peace. In short, if Ananus had still been alive, a reconciliation would certainly have been effected, for his eloquence exerted a great influence over the people, and he had already won over most of those who were eager for resistance and war." BelL iv. 5, 2.

• Bell. iv. 3, 12.

not bring himself to break in the holy portals of the stronghold. He also wished to duly purify the people from blood before entering the sanctuary of the inner forecourt. These priestly scruples lost him the battle. While the high-priests made ready their censers, the Zealots called the wild bands of Idumseans to their aid. John of Gishala admitted his savage allies into the city during one of those fearful storms only known in the south, when heaven and earth seem to totter. In order to let them in, the bolts of the gates were cut through, to Josephus* horror, with the holy saws of the temple.

Then began a massacre such as might be expected from a lialf-savage tribe. Annas and Jesus were seized and killed. The chieftains of the savages trampled on the corpses, which were left naked in the street for dogs and wild creatures to tear. So died the murderer of James, dragging hundreds with him to destruction. Heaps of unburied bodies lay about the public places; mourning filled the whole country.1

Another prominent member of the temple aristocracy, the wealthy Zacharias, son of Baruch, was brought by the Jews before a Sanhedrin assembled by them in the temple-synagogue. The evidence of treachery was insufficient, and the judges acquitted him. Instantly two assassins fell upon him and stabbed him, with the words, "Here is our voice for you," while the rest drove the judges out of the temple with the flat of their swords.2 Weary of slaughter, the Idumaeans at length retired; but now the Zealot leaders began to quarrel among themselves. It was not long before the troops of Eleazar came to blows, and shot one another down with the artillery constructed against the Romans.

Josephus saw with horror from Caesarea how the punishment

1 Cf. Bell. iv. 5, with Rev. xi., which is clearly written under the influence of these events.

2 This is the scene to which some refer Matt, xxiii. 35, Luke xi. 51, where the Zacharias of 2 Chron. xlii. 20 is meant. The only question possible is whether the name of Barachias, instead of Jehoiada, given to the father of Zacharias, is not a reminiscence of our son of Buruch.

he merited was carried out upon his party. Words fail him to denounce this waste of strength; hut was not he himself the first to begin this game? Was it not his own treachery that provoked this terrible catastrophe of popular passion? He paints all the Zealots' abominations in glaring colours; but this does not whitewash his own shame. The worst charges we bring against his adversaries are not the things which he complains of most: as, that they turned out their elders from their seats and elevated men without name or lineage;1 that on work-days they ate forbidden meats and neglected the legal ablutions ;2 that John used the wood of the altar for engines of war,3 and his men traversed the temple-court without purification;* that, when in the extremity of famine, the soldiers in despair gnawed leather, and one woman devoured her own child, the holy oil and wine of sacrifice in the temple were also distributed.6 What we find most dreadful in the history of those days is, that when once the seed of suspicion was sown, when it was whispered in every corner that treachery was at work, mistrust did not rest alone where it was deserved, but the habit of civil war worked further, and soon Zealots raged furiously against Zealots. This was the seed sown by Josephus; but he was an incurable Pharisee, and instead of smiting his breast and crying, "Lord, be merciful to me a sinner V he pointed the finger of scorn at men who ate unclean meats and did not wash their hands at stated hours.

Meanwhile, the state of the city went from bad to worse. Eleazar, the conqueror of Cestius, and John of Gishala fought in the temple and defiled the sanctuary with daily conflicts. The citizens called in to protect them a captain of banditti, from near Acrabbim, Simon bar Giora, who occupied Zion, and undertook a regular siege of the Zealots in the temple. This put the crowning touch to the misery of Jerusalem. It was not only wild sectaries, like the assailants of the Christian churches, who thought the days of the last tribulation had come,

1 Bell. iv. 3, 7. 'Ibid. vii. 8, 1. * Ibid. v. 1, 5.

* Ibid. vL 2, 21. 6 Ibid. v. 13, 6.

written of in the book of Daniel, when the abomination of desolation should be set up in the holy place ;l the very priests, laying their finger on the ninth chapter of Daniel, proved that the last enemy had come, for the sanctuary was defiled as in the day of Epiphanes.2 The Zealots, however, ridiculed the folly of those who believed in any promise but that of the sword. Thereupon the devout resolved to quit the city in which the prophets were laughed to scorn, and the tabernacle of God among men defiled with blood.3 Besides, the question whether a city thus desecrated could count on Jehovah's protection, lay heavy upon the minds of those who remained.4

Vespasian naturally was delighted to see his enemies thus weakening themselves. He employed the winter of 67-68 in fortifying the captured towns, and early in the spring completed the investment of Jerusalem. While the city wasted its stores and ravened against its own flesh, he took Gadara, the capital of Peraea, early in the spring, so as to secure his rear. Then Idumaea was occupied and secured by entrenchments. Judaea was finally reduced by the capture of Jericho at the end of May, 68, and the capital was absolutely thrown upon its own resources. Vespasian had just returned to Caesarea in order to deal the last blow from thence, when news came from Italy which could not fail to remind the Jews how easily Rome might have been beaten under other leadership. The messengers of ill reported disaster upon disaster. First Julius Vindex had revolted; then, on June 8th, Nero had perished by his own hand, and Galba seized the sceptre. The news brought the campaign to a standstill. Until commissioned by the new Cffisar, Vespasian could not continue the war without arousing suspicion. Hard as it was to sheathe the sword at this juncture, the legate forced himself to it. Titus made ready to convey his father's homage to the new Caesar, and with him went king

» Matt. xxiv. 16. 2 Bell. iv. 6, 3.

3 Matt. xxiv. 16; Rev. xii. 14, seq.; Bell. iv. 6, 3; Euseb. H. E. 3, 5.

« Bell. vi. 2, 1.

Agrippa, that Galba might confirm to him what Nero had promised.

Thus ensued an anxious pause, which gave the Romans repose, and the Zealots a period for new saturnalia. Breathless expectancy brooded over Asia, and engendered the strangest rumours, which the Apocalypse of John shows us in the form current among the Jewish Christians. This was the momentary respite immediately before the coming of the great judgment of which John speaks. The angels stood on the four corners of the earth and held the four winds, so that no leaf stirred, nor any wave; and another angel came from the east and sealed the saints on the forehead, so that they should be marked before the coming of the great judgment.1

The Roman world, on the other hand, was most concerned with Vespasian's incomprehensible submissiveness, the price of which many thought was to be the adoption of Titus by the childless Galba. Others mourned after Nero, " being cast down after the destruction of their merchandise and greedy of rumour." Nymphidius, the praetorian prefect, wishing to keep the troops under his standard, first gave out that Nero had fled to Egypt. Even when he revealed the truth, many continued to believe in the first report. Others looked for him among the Parthians. The terror of his return, audaciously made use of by intriguers, more than once traversed the whole empire. Anxious glances were turned to the Euphrates, which Vespasian, trusting to Nero's Parthian alliance, had denuded of troops. Indeed, the agreement was disregarded from the moment of the Caesar's death; the outposts on either side immediately renewed the struggle, and skirmishing had already begun upon the Euphrates with varying fortune.2 No one believed that Galba's reign would be long, least of all the city overflowing with Nero's soldiers. While they debated between Verginius Eufus, Mucianus and Vespasian, the legions of Upper Germany proclaimed Vitellius emperor in the first days of the new year. And now Otho rose 1 Rev. vii. 1, seq. 2 Cf. Tac. Hist. ii. 6, seq.

in Rome, supported by the prretorians. Galba, an old man of seventy-three, was cut down in the streets, and thus Vitellius and Otho stood opposed to one another with equal claims.

Titus had reached Corinth when he learned the great change in the situation. He was authorized to acknowledge Galba, but had no power to choose between Otho and Vitellius. He therefore turned back. The Roman nobles declared mockingly that he was urged home by longing for the lovely arms of Bernice.1 Agrippa, on the other hand, continued his journey. If he could but secure the crown of Judaea, whether from Galba or Vitellius or Otho, the rest was of no consequence.

Titus sailed direct for Caisarea by Asia Minor and Cyprus. When Cyprus came in sight, the son of Vespasian desired to inquire the future in the temple of the Paphian Venus. The priest of Aphrodite declared that he could only tell Titus the oracle of the goddess if all auditors withdrew. The young Roman left the temple with radiant looks. How much easier now to repeat Josephus' prophecy of two years before !2

Vespasian received the news of Otho's elevation and Vitellius' rising before the return of his son. He took it with the calm of a politician who had grown gray in affairs. Without hesitation he summoned the legions and made them take the oath of allegiance to Otho. His example was followed by Mucianus. Then the battle of Bedriacum raised Vitellius to the throne which Otho had scarce ascended. Even this tidings failed to draw Vespasian from his waiting policy. He again proffered the oath of allegiance to his soldiers, and implored good fortune for Vitellius, but the soldiers listened in silence and did not take the oath. The aristocratic Mucianus, at the head of the Syrian legions, and the romantic Titus, the idol of the Roman soldiers, pressed him in secret to assume the empire himself. He, however, cast up the balance like a merchant: "reflected on his sixty years and the promise of his son's youth. In private undertakings one could limit the stake; whereas those who » Hist. ii. 1. 2 Suet. Tit. 5 Tac. Hist. ii. 2

aim at empire have no alternative between the highest success and utter downfall."1

Coolly as he calculated in everything else, Vespasian's choice, strangely enough, was decided by astrology, the cabala and augury. Josephus had promised him the empire in Galilee; on Carmel the augur announced to him "many men and wide lands;" marvellous signs of his youth revived in him, and as afterwards when emperor he retained a Chaldaean to direct his counsels, so now he turned to dark arts.2

He was still negociating with Mucianus through Titus, when the troops grew weary of delay. They had long demanded indignantly whether the army of the west should monopolize the right of giving the empire a master. The soldiers gathered in knots; the boldest began to call upon Vespasian as Caesar; the rest approved; and thus on July 3rd, 69, the aged general permitted himself to be acknowledged as imperator. The same thing had already taken place in Alexandria and Antioch.3 The whole affair was settled in Berytus with Mucianus and Tiberius Alexander.

It was here that the new Caesar called to mind the man who had first promised him the empire, but was still compelled to wear fetters for the sake of appearances. Josephus was summoned to the emperor's tent, and, at Titus' request, his chains were struck off with an axe, in token that the reproach of captivity was taken from him.

King Agrippa was overtaken by these events in the capital, yet, thanks to Bernice's speedy care, he received news of them before Vitellius,4 and was enabled to quit Rome secretly and escape with all speed to Vespasian's camp, where his sister, the diplomat of the family, had already shown the value of the Herod's friendship by setting all her connections with the petty Syrian dynasts to work for the Flavii. Like Josephus, the

1 Hist. ii. 74. » Dio Cass. IxvL 1; Suet. Vesp. 25; Hist. ii. 78.

3 Tac. Hist. ii. 79, 81; Suet. Vesp. 6. ♦ Tac. Hist. ii. 81.

royal brother and sister accompanied the new emperor to Alexandria and Antioch to share the celebration of his accession in all its pomp. Here Josephus was deserted by his wife; he consoled himself with another, who in her turn was afterwards false to him.

At Alexandria, Vespasian received news of Primus Antonius' victory at Cremona, which completed the destruction of the Vitellian party. It was in vain that honourable men, like the former centurion Julius Priscus, laboured to re-organize it. Vespasian's brother, indeed, perished in Rome, and the Capitol was given to the flames; but Antonius took the city after terrible street-fighting. The mob of soldiers dragged Vitellius to the Gemoniae. "Yet I was your emperor," he cried to the tribune who cruelly struck and ill-treated him (20th Dec. 69).

Now at last Vespasian could call himself Caesar, and the people of Alexandria acclaimed him in idolatrous adoration. He saw himself drawn into the fantastic movement of this childish Oriental world, which believes in miracles and sees miracles. Vespasian's strong faith had already been played upon in Judaea by a Jew named Eleazar, who used a root of Solomon's to drive out demons through the nostrils of the possessed, and forced them to overturn a vessel of water as they came out.1 In Alexandria a blind man, well known in the city, and another with a maimed hand, approached the Caesar and besought him to cure them, for so they had been bidden by the god Serapis. On their refusal to go away, physicians were called in, but they resigned the case to the gods. Then Vespasian moistened the eye with spittle, and set his heel upon the hand outstretched for the purpose. "The hand was instantly restored to its use, and the light of day again shone upon the blind."2 After this, the Caesar himself visited the temple of Serapis. There he suddenly beheld before him his

1 Ant. viii. 2, 5.

2 Cf. the synoptic accounts, Tac. Hist. iv. 81; Suet. Vesp. 87; Dio Cass. 66, 8.

freedman Basilides, who at that very hour was lying sick eighty miles from Alexandria. "Accipio omen," cried the Caesar, as the vision faded, judging from the name Basilides that he, as his master, was now /?ao-iA.evs.

Here, too, in addition to the Egyptian mystagogues, a famous magician of Asia Minor forced his way to the emperor—Apollonius of Tyana. He had healed the sick, raised the dead, uttered prophecies, told Tigellinus the truth, and performed many other marvels before which the multitude bowed down. He was to be seen in Vespasian's train; and later writers give a long account of the teaching, the oracles and tokens, which he vouchsafed to the Flavii.1 While the ceremonial of the court awakened respect, the emperor's parsimony in spending was a reminder that Vespasian could not only believe, but calculate, and the Egyptians found a master in him before he left for Italy at the beginning of the year 70.2

The task of reducing Jerusalem was now allotted to Titus. The twenty-third legion, which afterwards was posted at Maintz and left numerous inscriptions at Castel, formed, with the third, the nucleus of his army.3 It was intended that he should call up the twelfth from Syria, a legion distinguished for its peculiar hatred of the Jews; three legions were in Palestine already, including the tenth, famed for the masterly handling of their artillery.4 In the train of Titus we notice Josephus, who was to show the young Caesar the roads leading to Jerusalem, and the inevitable Agrippa, who held the remnants of his troops in readiness against the Holy City. Tiberius Alexander, Philo's nephew, had the special direction of the siege works. So much Jewish talent had sold itself to level the city of David with the ground.

Meanwhile, the ring of steel that encircled Jerusalem had not been broken. Nor did the country stir. Jerusalem had to rely upon itself. "It was," says Tacitus, "an operation, the difficulty and arduousness of which was due rather to the cha

1 Philostr. Apol. v. 27, seq. 1 Suet. Veap. 9.

3 Cf. Dio, lv. 22. 4 Bell. v. 6, 3.

racter of its mountain citadel, and the perverse obstinacy of the national superstition, than to any sufficient means of enduring extremities left to the besieged."1 The base of operations was again Caesarea, whence it was necessary to maintain the communications of the besieging army. On the other hand, the immediate centre of operations was the fortified camp placed by Vespasian between Jericho and Adida. From thence the tenth legion made its way towards the Holy City through the same gorge by which Jesus once had gone. They set up their famous artillery and engines upon the Mount of Olives; for which reason doubtless the author of the third Gospel makes Jesus stop at this point and weep over the city, exclaiming, "If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation."2

While the tenth legion thus commanded the city on the east, the twenty-second and the third legions encamped on the north, with the fifth in reserve three stades to their rear. As soon as the army had thus taken up its position, there began all that barbarity of war which soon reduced the whole neighbourhood of Jerusalem to a desert. Josephus was painfully affected to see all the spots sacred to him from childhood falling a prey to the Vandalism of the soldiery. In a few days the olive-trees of Gethsemane and the groves of the royal tombs fell before the axe, the woods were hewn down far and wide, hedges and steadings converted into fascines, and every garden demolished to make the vallum. It was pitiful to behold. "None," says Josephus, " who had visited Judaea before, would have recognized the place; he would have proceeded on his 1 Hist. ii. 4. 2 Luke xix. 41—44.

way to seek for Jerusalem." Yet this sight was not the only punishment of the false position to which the renegade Pharisee had brought himself, and which poisoned his friendship with Titus. Spite of this high protection, he played a pitiful part in the camp. At one moment fraternizing with the Roman officers, at the next spurned by them, he was indeed to be compassionated.1 The Jews sought to seize him in order to tear him piecemeal; the Romans longed to crucify him as often as one of his plans turned to their disadvantage, or the information of the deserters, which he alone could interpret, was insufficient.2 So he found all the terrors of the siege doubly terrible; more than once he sprang up from sleep in panic, because some unwonted noise made him imagine the Jews had broken into the camp ;3 more than once he was forced to beg Titus to spare him commissions which would infallibly have delivered him into the hands of the Jews.4

Titus burned with impatience to bring the war to a speedy conclusion, for the heir of the Flavian dynasty had much else to do than to take the last fastness of a conquered country.5 His legions, too, were enraged at the superstitious confidence and certainty of victory among the Jews; and yet were themselves unable entirely to get rid of superstitious fears in battle with the self-same people.6 The Messianic prophecy found believers even among their own ranks, and it came to pass that soldiers deserted to the impregnable city which was promised the sovereignty of the world.7

Yet matters were proceeding faster than Titus imagined. The first approaches were made on April 23rd; in a fortnight the first wall fell, and the second five days later. To intimidate the Jews, Titus now held a brilliant review. As far as the mountains, everything was a blaze of flashing helmets and shields. This proving of no avail, Josephus was charged to

1 Bell. vi. 2, 1, v. 6, 2; Vita, 75; Contra Ap. i. 9. 2 Ap. 1, 9.

s Bell. v. 7, 1. 4 Ibid. v. 7, 4. 6 Hist. 5, 11.

6 Ibid. 2, 4; 5, 13. 7 Dio Cass. lxvi. 5; Hist. 5, 13; Suet. Vesp. 4. propose a capitulation to the besieged. He went far along the walls, seeking a place from which to make himself heard and yet be out of shot. At last he found a tolerably safe place and spoke of the powers given him by God; reminded his countrymen of the obedience and subjection of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; how the patriarch himself had suffered his wife to be taken from him by the Egyptian king without resistance; how the children of Israel had patiently borne four hundred years of bondage in Egypt; and how their ancestors had patiently left the ark of the covenant in the hands of the enemy. Had God not willed the Roman dominion, he would have instantly destroyed Pompey with his lightnings; but that he did desire it was proved by the miracle of the stream of Siloah, which contained three times as much water as before, now that it was in the hands of the Romans.

Seldom has a speaker addressed a more ungrateful audience from a more singular position. The Romans behind compelled him to remain on his perilous platform; the Jews in front flung stones and shot arrows at him, cursing him for a traitor. At last it was enough, and he was allowed to conclude, but only to be forced to repeat the scene after every considerable success. This, after all, was the right place for him, for what had the elegant orator looked for in war? The situation was one of bitter irony, but he did not feel it. Nay, he was fool enough to ascribe the daily stream of deserters, not to the stress of famine within the city, but to the influence of his fine speeches. At last, on one of these occasions, a flying stone struck him on the head, and at all events stopped the performance for a time. He was carried off for dead; and the city was jubilant that the traitor had met with his deserts. On receiving the news of his death, his own mother, who was in prison with many others of his party, said that she would rather know him dead than alive, as she could find no more joy in him.

Titus meanwhile cast about for more effectual measures than Josephus' oratory. Henceforward he crucified all the prisoners. Five hundred were often nailed to the tree of martyrdom on a single day, and soon there was not wood enough nor space enough for this barbarous mode of waging war. At last, in the first days of July, the citadel of Antonia fell, and the temple became strategically untenable. But the Jews thought otherwise. All the abominations of the last weeks had failed to shake their confidence in Jehovah's succour. The suburbs lay in ruin; thousands of corpses tainted the air; famine crept from house to house. Some had given their whole substance for a bushel of wheat; a mother had eaten her own child. The prisoners hung mouldering upon the crosses that were set upon the holy hill. The deserters lay ripped up upon the field, for the Arabs had heard that the runaways had hidden jewels by swallowing them. Most monstrous things had happened, but no one had conceived it possible that the temple should fall.

But the friends of Agrippa who had joined the Romans were proportionately alarmed lest this last enormity should come to pass. Josephus entreated and besought John in daily conference to quit the temple and try the arbitrament of God on the open field. The Zealots scornfully replied that God had a better temple—the world. The existing temple they were in need of; yet this, too, Jehovah would not desert.

Leisurely still, Titus had the walls of Antonia demolished, and a level way prepared for storming the temple. When this had come close up to the wall, which once the high-priests had raised against Agrippa's too curious eyes, redoubts were once more raised to overtop it. Thus the Jews were not spared the pang of being forced to burn the north-western portico, which connected it with Antonia. The rest was destroyed by the Romans, so that soon a broad battle-field lay between the raised forecourt of the Israelites and Antonia. Single combats took place here every day, while the city suffered the torments of famine, and every man's hand was against his neighbour, till the 5 th of August came round, the day on which Solomon's temple had been burnt by the Chaldaeans. Once more the VOL. IV. E

struggle raged around the forecourt of the Israelites: the doors were on fire, as well as several porticoes. Then a soldier mounted on his comrades' shoulders and flung a firebrand through the golden window into the body of the temple. As the flames spread, the Jews uttered a cry of despair, and quitted their posts to save the temple. Thereupon the Romans rushed in, and a shower of fresh firebrands flew over the heads of the defenders. The dead were heaped high on the temple stairs when Titus reached the burning sanctuary; but as he gave orders to save it, a soldier set fire to the door under the hinges, so that every one was forced to hurry out of the temple.1

A heartrending cry of lamentation rose from the city as the columns of smoke went up. And now one portico after another was taken by the Romans. The soldiers pressed on over the smoking ruins. The most terrible moment was when the Romans reached the eastern porticoes. There a prophet had gathered more than 6000 men, for this was the final moment for the appearance of the Messiah. Women and children, too, had flocked together to behold the sign of the Son of Man. But instead, the Romans pressed on over the sacred forecourts and fired the portico, so that the hapless band came to a miserable end.2

1 The notice in the chronicle of Sulpicius Severus, ii. 30, 6, may be recalled here (cf. Bernays, Ueber die Chron. des Snip. Sev. p. 57, seq.), according to which Titus expressly resolved on the destruction of the temple in the council of war: "Quo plenius Judasorum et Christianorum religio tolleretur." Granted that the words are, as Bernays assumes, taken from the lost portions of Tacitus' history, still they must not outweigh the account of an eye-witness like Josephus, for there is no proof of Tacitus having used M. Antonius Julianus' writings (Bell. vi. 4, 3), mentioned by Minucius Felix, Octav. 33, which seem to have dealt with the Jewish war, while his constant use of Josephus' History of the War (cf. the parallels given in Lehmann, Claudius and Nero, p. 33, seq.) is well established. It might at most be thought that Tasitus, at the time of Trajan's persecution of the Christians, commits an anachronism by making Titus propose the extirpation of the Christians, but not that in the year 70 Titus considered the world must be set free from the dangers of Christianity.

2 Bell. vi. 5, 2.

Revolting as was the crude fanaticism with which the people still clung to their Messianic hope, this superstition was far more dignified than the enlightened sycophancy of Josephus, who now declared that the words of the prophet referred to Vespasian, and the promised Messiah was the Roman emperor.1 In truth, all prophecy seemed to have lied in the hour when the hated statues of the emperor and the eagles upon the standards were planted in the court of the temple, and when a mighty shout, resounding far and wide over the ruins of the house of God, acclaimed Titus, the destroyer, as imperator.

The Jews' confidence of victory fell when they saw the abomination of desolation set up in the holy place. The upper town was defended half-heartedly. Many deserted. Even priests humbled their pride, and for the price of their life brought sacred vessels, candlesticks and vestments, to deck the triumph of Titus. The glory of the defence of Moriah was balanced by the inglorious surrender of Zion, so far stronger from a military point of view. Faith in the future of the people was gone. Simon, son of Gioras, and John of Gishala, both fell into the hands of the Romans. What was left of the city was razed; nothing was left standing but great barracks, together with the towers of Phasael, Mariamne and Hippicus, to receive the tenth legion as a permanent garrison.

Josephus could now at least atone for some of his previous sins by alleviating the lot of various prisoners. He begged the freedom of all his friends and kinsmen, besides many unknown to him. One day Titus despatched him to the mountain cleft of Tekoa, where in olden time the prophet Amos had fed his flocks, to see whether a strong camp could be established there. Eiding home towards Jerusalem, he saw a clump of crosses by the wayside, with still living prisoners hanging on them. He drew near, and recognized with horror three of his friends. He hurried to Titus and begged their lives. He had them taken down and cared for by a physician; two died, the other recovered.

1 Bell. vi. 5, 6.

At length the youthful general made ready to leave Jerusalem. He graciously thanked Josephus, and in reward for his services presented him with an estate in the plain of Sharon, which, after all the terrors of war, blooms to this day in all the wealth of flowers once praised by the Hebrew poets. The prisoners who survived the defeat had a worse fate in store for them. After finally escaping all the brutalities of the soldiery, they were despatched in companies as material for the wild-beast fights in the great theatres of the provinces, to gratify the cities' unbridled love of grand spectacles. "Ye shall lament," says Eleazar, son of the Gaulonite, to his forces, who, after the fall of Jerusalem, occupied Masada,—"you shall lament your young men, whose strength will endure so many sufferings, and mourn for the old men who cannot survive them. One shall see his wife dragged off to shame; another, with hands fast bound, shall hear the shriek of his son's agony." But the most awful sufferings only began when the wild excesses of the soldiery were over. Then the arena opened its gates, and the same sufferers had often to gratify the mob of the great cities with their agony twice and three times over. "Tortured, scourged, crucified, burnt, half torn to pieces by wild beasts, and then reserved for another meal, they ministered to the insatiable love of the heathen for shows."1

While the whole empire thus shared in the joy of Titus' success, the victor forgot the cries of the suffering nations in the arms of the Jewish princess. The settlement of the new regime required his presence in Syria and Cilicia. Amid the reception of deputations with crowns of honour, the giving of games, and interviews with Apollonius of Tyana and charlatans of the same stamp, the son of Ca;sar wound up his business.2 On his return through Palestine to Alexandria, he took with him Josephus, who was required in the triumph at Rome. The sight of the ruins of Jerusalem evoked some human feeling

» Bell. vii. 8, 7.

2 Flav. Philostr. Apoll. vi. 29, seq.; Bell. vii. §, 1.

even in the breasts of the Romans. From Alexandria they took ship for Rome as soon as the season permitted, Josephus in the train of the Caesar, Simon bar Giora and John of Gishala among the prisoners. Arrived at the city, Josephus lodged in the former house of the Flavii, and acted as court historian to describe for posterity the triumph of the three Caesars, when Simon bar Giora was dragged off to the Tarpeian rock for execution, and John of Gishala consigned to life-long imprisonment. Vespasian and Titus triumphed together; Domitian, whose conduct meanwhile had not been of the best, rode behind them on a white palfrey, the one thought of his mean soul being how he for his part could attain equal glory.1

The triumph of Vespasian was the first feast for many years enjoyed whole-heartedly by the city.2 In the midst of the soldiers in full panoply marched the prisoners of Judaea. The chief events of the war were depicted on banners; a litter carried the river-god of Jordan; then came the booty, including the sacred vessels from the temple of Jehovah, the table of shewbread, the seven-branched candlestick, the rolls of the law, as they are still to be seen graved on the triumphal arch of Titus. Yet Josephus doubts whether these were the real vessels,3 not only because, as a true Pharisee, the gold in the temple was more sacred to him than the temple itself, but also because, at the sack of the temple by the Chaldaeans, God concealed them, whether by the hand of Jeremiah or by an angel. He will only admit that treacherous priests delivered over "vessels like unto them." After the sacred contents of the temple marched youths with the image of the Roman victory, and then came the triumphing princes, glorious to behold. Josephus saw his captive countrymen march by unmoved. On reaching the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, they halted until word was brought that the sentence upon Simon bar Giora was carried out. It was a grand day. The aristocracy shone in all their splendour; the people were intoxicated with delight. 1 Suet. Domit. 2. 8 BelL vii 5, 6. 3 Ibid. vi. 8, 3.

Vespasian alone glanced wearily at the endless splendours of the procession and thought of the cost. Both he and Titus, moreover, refused the doubtful honour of taking the name Judaicus.1 The sacred vessels of the temple were afterwards placed in the Temple of Peace built by Vespasian. He earned away to his palace only the curtain of the Holy of Holies and the rolls of the law.2

5. History Of The Christians During The Jewish War.

The violent storms preceding the outbreak of war had already thinned the ranks of the Christians. It may also be taken for granted that Annas' persecution in 63 robbed the Church of its most important leaders, so that its faith in the advent of the Messiah stood in greater isolation than ever amid the excitement of the nations. At the same time, so terrible was the fate that fell upon the Christians in Rome, that the terror made men elsewhere think little of their own sufferings. The Church, as is shown by unmistakable tokens, saw in these days of terror the beginning of the last tribulation, which, according to Daniel, was to precede the coining of the Son of Man. Under the influence of this principle, interpolations were made in Jesus' prophecies about his return, betokening the woes of this time as the sure heralds of his advent. The time of winnowing the chaff from the wheat, spoken of by Daniel, seemed to have come. Iniquity abounded; love was growing cold. Nor was the Church spared the experience that great political events drive religious movements into the background. Just as the Essenes began to leave their isolated communities to fight for the law in the bands of Zealots,3 so the ranks of the Nazarenes were thinned by the growing spirit of war.*

» Suet. Vesp. 12; Dio Cass. lxvi. 7. 1 Bell. vii. 5, 7. 3 Ibid. ii. 8,10. 4 Matt. xxiv. 12; cf. Kostlin, Urspr. u. Compos, der Synopt. Evang. p. 18, seq.

The tidings of the Messiah, too, which roused up new prophets and drew the multitude hither and thither, began to lead the Church astray. Certain it is that this subject now called forth many warnings, collected in Matt, xxiv., which was originally an independent work, a short Apocalypse, in which Jesus appears as the revealer of the last things. Written early in 68, it gives the Church directions how to maintain itself in this last and dreadful time.1 This eschatology makes Jesus begin his speech to his disciples on the last things with the words: "Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many."2 If this warning is not superfluous at the beginning of the Apostolic period, it returns with double force where the eschatologist reveals the woes of the Jewish war: "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For

1 The materials from which to judge how the primitive Church regarded the great tribulation of war since 66, are given above all in the sections Matt. xxiv. 1—44, and x. 17—23; Mark xiii. 1—37; Luke xxi. 5—36. In the unanimous opinion of Colani, Pfleiderer, Keim, &c, this self-contained address is a broad-sheet that appeared during the war period, urging Christians to flee from Jerusalem in the name of Jesus. The composition of this lesser Apocalypse may be placed, with Colani, Pfleiderer and Keim, early in 68; but little earlier, therefore, than the Apocalypse of John. Escape from Jerusalem is still possible, yet the destruction of the city is certain. On the other hand, the oracle already looks back upon the fate of many fugitives, as will be clear from what follows. This work, then, may have determined other brethren to take flight, and be the oracle mentioned in Euseb. Hist. Eccl. iii. 5, 3, which determined the bulk of the church to flee. But it was certainly not composed as early as the beginning of the war, for it clearly reflects the experiences of hight. Gadara being taken by Vespasian early in 68, and Percea at the same time pacified, it is possible to understand how, from the spring of 68, Pella offered an asylum to which those of Jerusalem might be invited. It matters less for our object whether later experiences, retarding data, or real words of Jesus, were subsequently worked into this broad-sheet when incorporated into the Gospels, if it is once admitted that it reflects the experiences of 68. Cf. on this point, Weissenbach, der Wiederkunftsged. Jesu, p. 100, seq.; Pfleiderer, Ueber die Compos, der Eschatolog. Kede Matt. xxiv. 4, seq.; Jahrbuch fur deutsche Theol. 1868, pp. 134—149; Keim, Jes. v. Naz. iii. 194, seq.; Colani, Croy. Mess. p. 208, seq.

2 Matt. xxiv. 5.

there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall showgreat signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore, if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be."1

This, then, is one part of the Church's reminiscences; the tidings of the immediate return of Christ ran through the people more than once; great marvels were told by the prophets, who volunteered to reveal the beginning of the day of salvation, one beyond the Jordan, another on the Mount of Olives, another in the treasury of the temple, so that, if it were possible, they might deceive even the elect. Nevertheless, these expectations always ^ended in bloodshed upon the earth, instead of the sign of the Son of Man in the heavens; wherefore the writer makes Jesus say in disapproval: "Behold, I have told you before."2 But the very fact of this complaint proves that all was not secure; and several brethren, with wife and children, followed the alluring voice of the prophet across Jordan, or into the wilderness, or to the Mount of Olives, in hope of seeing the sign of the Son of Man, but instead was trampled down by the cavalry of the procurator.

A further reminiscence of this cruel period is in the bloody persecutions which were also a sign of the last times. "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake." The same picture is painted in more sombre colours in another section: "They shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten; and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them. .. . But when they shall lead you and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate; but what1 Matt. xxiv. 25. 2 Ibid.

soever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost."1 Like ruins after a fire, these words testify to terror, grief and misery, which were then visited upon the Church. Beaten in the synagogues, dragged hither and thither before the tribunals of the procurator or Agrippa by the myrmidons of Annas and Ananias, the Christians suffered bloody martyrdoms, which yet did but increase their confidence. Not a few before the judgment-seat developed an enthusiasm in which the brethren heard no weak words of a prisoner, but a loftier inspiration. But we hear not only of martyrdom and heroism, but of backsliding and recantation. Oppression made traitors as well as heroes. As the Apocalypse speaks of the faint of heart, who on the day of judgment shall have their part with the unbelievers,2 so, too, this writer on the last things complains: "Many shall be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."3

Thus the isolation of the Church increased, and approval fell off in proportion as the din of war showed the people the Messiah again in arms. The rift that went through the whole nation, even sundered peaceful country families. They began to betray and hate one another, and joined the bands of the prophets to secure Israel's happiness by the sword. Tor this reason the writer complains: "Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake."4

All this tribulation and anarchy was a natural growth when the insurrection had burst the bonds of order, and the friends of peace were everywhere persecuted and slain. Yet the expecta

1 Mark xiii. 9, seq.: in Matthew attached to the speech when the Apostles are sent out, ch. xiii.; cf. verse 17, seq.

2 Rev. xxi. 8. 3 Matt. xxiv. 10. 4 Mark xiii. 12, seq.

tion that Jesus would return at the moment of the worst tribulation, remained firm in the church of Jerusalem. Nor did they resolve to depart until the false prophets established themselves in the very temple, and one after the other—Menahem, son of the Gaulonite, Eleazar, son of Simon, Simon bar Giora and John of Gishala—entered in the guise of him whom Christianity looked for on the clouds of heaven; till one Messiah murdered the other; till the temple became a mere den of robbers, and the deadly engines taken from Cestius were set up in the sanctuary, and the shot of Eleazar and Simon flew from either side between Moriah and Zion. Moreover, they justified their resolve with a saying of the Lord. Even as, on the night of Pentecost, the Jewish priests in the temple heard the voice of heavenly beings, "Let us go hence;"' so now, according to Eusebius, the Church received a revelation bidding the Christians flee to Pella beyond Jordan.

If this revelation granted to the most approved men of the Church is practically identical with the eschatology of Matthew, it sprang from the conviction which then drove many Jews from Jerusalem, the same conviction which Josephus loudly proclaimed to the beleaguered city—namely, that Daniel's prophecy of the abomination of desolation being fulfilled by the Zealots' desecration of the temple, the last day had come for city and temple alike.2 "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth, let him understand): then let them which be in Judaea flee unto the mountains; let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house, neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes."3

Hurriedly, then, as the flight took place, all did not leave Jerusalem at once. The writer of the Apocalypse knows two witnesses of Jesus who remained through the siege. They were assuredly kept there by the belief that Jesus must first appear 1 Bell. vi. 5, 3. s Ibid. iv. 6, 3, v. 9, 4. 3 Matt. xxiv. 15, seq.

in Jerusalem, while others thought the coming of the Lord would be visible everywhere, like the lightning which shines from the east even unto the west.1 Yet a further purpose was involved in this stay. The two witnesses desired to remind the people who the Messiah was throughout the time of suffering, fixed by Daniel at three-and-a-half years. "And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophecy 1260 days, clothed in sackcloth."2 The writer of the Apocalypse compares these men to the two prophets Zerubbabel and Joshua, calling them also, in the words of the prophet, two olive-trees planted beside the candlestick of the temple.3 "These are the two olive-trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth."4 And as Elias slew his enemies by fire and shut up the heavens,6 as Moses turned water into blood to punish the ungodly,6 even so God will now endow his witnesses with the same power. "These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will."7 Nevertheless, the seer knows well what fate awaits these witnesses. The beast that rises from the pit will make war against them, and will overcome and kill them. "And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth."3 Even so after the invasion of the Idumaeans, the corpses of the high-priests Annas and Jesus might be seen lying in the streets of the city, by day gnawed by dogs, at night

1 Matt. xxiv. 27. 2 Rev. xi. 3. 3 Zech. iv. 3.

4 Rev. xi. 4. 6 2 Kings i. 10—12; 1 Kings xvii. 1, seq.

6 Exod. vii. 19. 7 Rev. xi. 4—6. 3 Rev. xi. 7, seq.

by jackals that crept in from the fields,1 gaped upon by the rabble of every country assembled under Giora's leadership. They were hunted, says Josephus, from house to house, and slaughtered as soon as found. "Some stood upon their bodies and spurned them. To such a pitch did they carry their insults as to toss them about unburied, though the Jews are usually so careful over the burial of the dead that they even take down before sunset those who have been condemned to die upon the cross, and bury them. ... So one might see the men, who but a little before led the worship of God, clothed in the sacred robes, now cast out naked, a prey to dogs and wild beasts."2

Such, too, is the fate which the seer has good reason to predict for the two witnesses of Jesus at Jerusalem. But most vivid of all are the experiences of flight as told by the narrator of the last things: "Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days," cries the prophet, filled with dire recollections. "But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath-day: for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not from the beginning of the world to this time—no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elects' sake those days shall be shortened."3 It is not hard to catch in this description all the fresh sufferings of flight into the land beyond Jordan. Some had fled on the Sabbath, when no hand was stretched forth to support them, no arm stirred to help, and the fugitive, dragging along under the burden of his pack, was oppressed by the additional fear of being roughly handled as a Sabbath-breaker. "Pray that your flight be not in the winter," continues our writer; that is, in the rainy season, when unceasing streams pour down from the sky, and Jordan, swollen to a torrent, is nowhere fordable. According to the presupposition of the Apocalypse, these flying companies have above all to fear the reality of winter;4 and in the fourth book of his

1 Bell iv. 4, 2, and 5, 2. 2 Ibid. iv. 5, 2.

3 Matt. xxiv. 19, seq. 4 Kev. xii. 13, seq.; cf. with verse 3.

History of the War, Josephus draws a thrilling picture of one of these caravans fleeing before the Romans it wanders hither and thither along the banks of Jordan, seeking in vain for a shallow spot, till at last it is driven into the flood by the. pursuing enemy. The Apocalypse, too, depicts the fate of the fugitive church in the same way. The dragon persecutes the woman who has brought forth the child, which is the Church. But she is given the wings of an eagle, and flies into the wilderness, to a place prepared of God, for three times and a half, far from the lurking dragon. "And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."2 This is a highly poetic description of the sufferings which "flight in winter" brought upon the faithful. Nor did Josephus fail to recall this fury of the elements, including the thunderstorm under cover of which the Idumaeans entered Jerusalem; while among the pictures which the Jewish captives were forced to carry in the triumphal procession at Rome, was one specially of "the widespread and terrible havoc caused by the flooded rivers, which do not water the fields, nor slake the thirst of cattle, but seek to quench the general conflagration with their floods."3

But when the Jordan was once passed, the anxious passage through heathen country began. Bands of Zealots made raids upon Philadelphia, Heshbon, Pella, Gerasa and Scythopolis.4 They burned down Gadara, Hippos and the villages of Gaulonitis,6 with the result that the Gentiles without exception massacred every Jew within their walls; and after the Jews came the turn of the Jews' friends.6 Even participation in the

1 Bell. iv. 7, 6. 2 Rev. xii. 13—17. 3 Bell. vii. 5, 5.

* Ibid. ii. 18, 1. 6 Ibid. 6 Bell. ii. 18, 2.

defence of the city against the bands of Zealots did not save the Jews of Scythopolis; the Jewish quarters were burnt to the ground from Batanaea to Cyprus. "Every city might be seen full of unburied corpses, old men together with infant children and women, without a shred left to cover them."1 Under these circumstances the Church might truly count it a peculiar mercy of God that they could find a haven of refuge beyond Jordan. "The woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand, two hundred and three-score days."

According to Eusebius' History of the Church, this place Pella was on the high road to Damascus, south of Scythopolis. Here circumstances unknown to us offered the Christians a secure refuge, whether because the inhabitants of Pella imitated the example of Sidon which left the Jews unmolested, or that peace was established here, at all events, after the occupation of Peraea early in 68. Situated on a plateau, hidden behind mountains and yet on the highway, fortified and one of the league of the Decapolis, surrounded by rippling brooks and shady groves, it was in every sense a peaceful oasis.2 Little more can be told of their sojourn in this spot than what is related by Eusebius. In consequence of a revelation, vouchsafed to several men of importance, and frequently identified with the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew, the faithful retired to this city of Peraea, thence to watch the whole generation of the wicked swept off the face of the earth.3 At their feet the Holy Land lay outstretched like a corpse, and as they watched the standards of the cohorts pass on every side, there sprang to their lips the words: "Wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together."4

1 Bell. ii. 18; 2, 5, 6.

2 Plin. Hist. v. 16; Pellam aquis divitem. Bell. iii. 3, 3; i. 6, 5; 7, 7; ii. 18,1; Ant. xiii. 15, 4, xiv. 3, 4; Robinson and Smith, Recent Discoveries, p. 421, seq., 1857.

3 Euseb. iii. 5; Epiphan. xxix. 7. 4 Matt. xxiv. 28.

The fixing of Jesus' advent immediately after these tribulations, shows that the long weeks of exile were filled with expectations of the Son of Man. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days," cries our narrator confidently, " shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven." This could only be written before the end of the war proved conclusively even to the most faithful that this tribulation was not the last, Matthew and Luke, indeed, introducing new limits before the advent. This, moreover, is the precise moment to which may with the highest probability be ascribed the composition of the original historical document to which this Apocalypse must have belonged.

The certainty with which the writer of this book expected the immediate return of Christ, is shown by his again making Jesus predict the fulfilmeut of the promises to his own generation. "This generation shall not pass till all these things be done."1 The disciples shall not have gone through all the cities of Israel before the return of the Son of Man.2- But it must be admitted the number of those who received this promise had dwindled to a mere handful. "There be some of them that stand here which shall not taste of death till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power;"3 and of these, some had given up the delusive hope so long deferred, and returned to their old life of sin, like the servant who lies down to sleep because his master has taken a far journey and perhaps will not return before cock-crow.4 But the Church had been violently startled from this sleep by the events of the latter time, so that the narrator of the last things, whose work found immediate admission into the original historic document, has to allay apprehension again and again: "The end is not yet, but when the Son of Man appears after the tribulation of those days." As certainly as

1 Mark xiii. 30; Matt. xxiv. 34; Luke xxi. 32.

2 Matt. x. 23. 3 Mark. ix. 1. 4 Mark xiii. 28—37.

this could only be written by one who has not known the fall of Jerusalem, but sees it in the immediate future, this historical document, underlying all our Synoptic Gospels, belongs to the last period of the war. As to the place where it was written, one may venture a conjecture. The author writes of Judaea (xix. 1) as the other side of Jordan.1 Consequently the original historical document would seem to have received its final form in Perasa, perhaps at Pella. It is possible, too, that in the concourse of so many shades of Christians from Galilee and Judaea, the redactor met with new material which he devoted to his writing. Paradoxical as it sounds, even Pella was labouring for the future, though it was face to face with the end.

Traces of another fugitive point not to the East, but to Ephesus. There, in the year 68, a gifted Christian wrote a prophetic book, whose vivid touches set before us the figures which peopled the minds of the Christians. Looking before and after, it gives a firm picture of what the faithful felt in a higher sense, and what they expected of the future.

6. The Apocalypse.

We have already heard of the Jewish Christian John, who joined Paul's band of workers in proconsular Asia, and took an important pastoral position among the Christians of this province. He appeared of an uncompromising and decided character, one who spits out of his mouth everything lukewarm.2 An ascetic, who has never defiled himself with women,3 and who has other Essene leanings, a friend to white robes and ablutions,4 a foe to heathendom, whose soul is pierced by the outrages of Antichrist against the temple, he was at the same time an

1 Cf. Mark. x. 1, with Matt. xix. 1, where Matthew probably has the original form.

2 Rev. iii. 16. 3 Rev. xiv. 4. 4 Rev. vii. 14, i. 5, xxii. 14.

opponent of Pauline freedom from the law, which he bitterly condemns in his Epistle general to the seven churches of the province.1

Against Paul's resolute breadth of view he sets an equally resolute Judaism. Where Paul appeals to the churches: "If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed,"2 the writer of the Apocalypse rejoins as uncompromisingly: "I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book; and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life."3 In him Paul found an adversary not inferior to himself in strength of character. With such a man the outbreak of Christian persecution in Rome could not fail to inflame Jewish hatred of the "great Babylon" into a sense of personal injury. We have already seen the inward satisfaction with which he lingers over the scenes of the great fire of Rome, how at the sight of the punishments which visited Rome, he cries: "Eejoice over her, 0 thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her."4 This was the feeling with which the Jewish Christians looked back upon Nero's persecution of the Christians. Innocent as they were of burning of the great city, they found it most right and just that God should burn her once more to avenge the saints, the apostles and prophets, whom she had murdered. Considering that, in the latter years of Nero, it was expected that he would again fire the newly-built city, and make this second spectacle more wonderful than the first by letting loose the wild beasts in the circus and other melodramatic proceedings,6 the Apocalypse for its part believes that the burning of Rome will be the first act of the returning Caesar.6 That

1 Cf. supra, Vol. iii. p. 269, seq. (Eng. trans.).

2 Gal. i. 9. 3 Rev. xxii. 18. * Rev. xviii. 9—20.
6 Sueton. Nero, 43. 6 Rev. xvii, 16.
 

VOL. IV. S

reat harlot, " the city of harpers and musicians and pipers and trumpeters," the city of Nero the artist, shall be desolate, "and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in her."

Though other Jewish documents, such as the collected Logia of Matthew and the original historical document, go on to give the words and deeds of Jesus favourable to the Gentiles, and acknowledge the less odious attitude of the Roman procurator in the trial of Jesus, the Apocalypse sees in Rome merely the city of sin. She is " full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication," "the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth, drunken with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus, and her sins have reached unto heaven."1

In addition to the reasons which John had for hating Rome as a Christian, the year 66 brought others which incensed every Jew against Rome. The Roman beast had established itself, with its crowns and its name of blasphemy, upon the sand of the sea near Caesarea.2 In the likeness of a leopard it seized upon the holy people; with the feet of a bear it trampled the plains of Galilee; with the mouth of a lion it consumed Israel.3 "And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name and his tabernacle and them that dwell in heaven."* Jerusalem is beleaguered in the temple; it will not be long before the Holy City and the forecourts of God are trampled underfoot by the heathen.6 Ephesus, too, could hear the clang of armour and the clatter of chariots and many horses rushing into battle; our writer sees the endless squadrons of cavalry departing for Syria to guard the Euphrates or smite the Jews.6 Thus John followed the course of events with the same idea as the narrator of the last things in Matthew, looking to see how far they were forerunners of the coming judgment. But his point of view at Ephesus, on the border between east and west, enabled him to see at once into the heart of Rome

1 Rev. xvii. 5—xviii. 7. 2 Rev. xiii. 1. 3 Rev. xiii. 2.

4 Rev. xiii. 6. 6 Rev. xi. 2. « Rev. ix. 9, 16.

and Jerusalem. His purview is not bounded by the mountains of Pella. The whole plan of the history of the time is unrolled before him. The rock of Patmos is the prophetic watch-tower from which to view the movements of either army. Strange it is how well the man on the sea-girt mountain is posted in the affairs of the beleaguered city. As to the brethren of the church of Jerusalem, he knows under what difficulties they fled across Jordan. He knows, too, that they are safe under the protection of God. Let the storms sweep over the place God cares for, they pass without leaving a trace behind.1 The rest he sees struggling with the sons of Satan in the city where their Lord was crucified.2 He knows what happens in the city of the false prophets; it is full of evil-doers of every tribe and every nation; murder is rampant within her, and dead bodies lie unburied in the streets. He even knows the hopes of the besieged, reaching out beyond the Euphrates to seek succour thence ;3 and answering Agrippa's warning, "Verily the Parthian keeps a truce," with showers of stones. He knows, too, that the garrison fancies the heathen cannot force their way beyond the inner court of the temple; he gives up the outer court, but even he cannot imagine that the holy house itself will become the prey of the Gentiles.4

The connections of the Ephesian Jews reach not only to the mother city, but also to the capital of the world. John is no less exact when following the course of events in the Roman empire, which seemed to be falling to pieces after the death of Nero. The new Caesar had few friends, and fewest of all in the capital itself, where the praetorians grumbled at the emperor's parsimony. The talk ran on Mucianus and Vespasian in Syria, on Verginius Eufus and Vitellius in Germany, on Nymphidius Sabinus and Otho in Rome itself. The people watched anxiously to know what the armies meant to do. Nor did this situation

1 Rev. xii. 14. 2 Rev. xi. 1—14.

3 Rev. xvi. 12—16, ix. 14—21.

4 Rev. xi. 1, 2; Bell. vi. 2, 1; 5, 2; Tac. Hist. v. 13; Dio Cass. lxvi. 5; Suet. Vesp. 4.

of affairs escape John; he announces that the horns of the beast will soon rise up against the beast himself.1 As once the disturbance of the dodecarchy, and the sight of the threatened destruction of Egypt and Assyria, niade Isaiah imagine the kingdom of God was come,2 so John saw in the threatened downfall of the empire of the world the beginning of the last times.

But there is something else that holds the attention of mankind. It is the universal rumour that Nero was not killed that 9th of June, 68, at Phaon's villa, but only severely wounded, and afterwards was cured and escaped to the Parthians. In the rapid succession of fearful tidings, the province had never fully learnt the detailed circumstances of Nero's death; and here the report sprang up that Nero had reached his friends the Parthians, and would soon return to pass judgment on his enemies. The mob at Rome listened greedily to this tale, and their leaders spread it eagerly. There were not wanting those, says Suetonius, who long decked Nero's grave with spring and summer flowers, and now set up his statues in the praetexta beside the rostra, now produced edicts of his, as if he were still alive and soon to return. Even Vologaeses, the Parthian king, took advantage of a mission to the Senate to intercede strongly for the display of proper respect to Nero's memory.3 Tacitus notes for the beginning of the year 69 the sudden birth of the rumour that Nero was still alive, and that in the very province in which the Apocalypse was composed. "At the same time," he relates, "a baseless terror of Nero's return arose in Achaia and Asia. Various rumours about his death were afoot, whence many imagined and many believed he was still alive."* It was then that an adventurer, according to some a slave from Pontus, according to others a freedman from Italy, a harper and singer by profession, collected a gang of desperadoes and took ship as the returning Nero. A storm drove him to the island of Cythnus in the iEgean, where he attempted to win over

1 Rev. xvii. 12. 2 Is. xix.

3 Suet. Nero, 57. * Hist. ii. 8, 9.

Vespasian's envoys to the praetorians. At this moment Calpurnius Asprenas, the newly-appointed proconsul of Galatia and Pamphylia, reached the island with two ships. This party also the returning Nero approached with gestures of woe, and begged them to convey him to Syria or Egypt. Asprenas quickly made up his mind, and had him arrested and executed. His body, distinguished by the eyes, the hair and haughty features, was sent to Rome by way of Asia; but the identity of the impostor was never ascertained beyond doubt.1 Nor was he the last. A second made his appearance under Titus,2 and a third, mentioned by Suetonius, even under Domitian.3 The latter almost dragged the empire into a Parthian war, for the Parthians still considered Nero as bound to them by the rights of hospitality.

John was well acquainted with the rumours of Nero's reappearance, which the Gentiles possibly connected with the proceedings in Palestine during the Jewish war.4 He certainly feared that the false prophets in Jerusalem, who sought an alliance with the Parthians, might take Nero into the bargain6 If Josephus did not blush to greet Vespasian as Messiah—if, owing to Josephus, the Romans afterwards believed that the Messianic prophecy referred to the Flavii6—why should not the bands of Zealots take Nero's side, and, acknowledging him as the Messiah, aid him in the Holy Land to gain the honour which Caligula once desired in vain? The writer of the Apocalypse, therefore, was doubly horrified to find the terrible Caesar, the persecutor of the Church, still among the living. At this news it dawned upon him who the Antichrist was that must precede Jesus' return. The course of nature often has an

1 Tac. Hiat. ii. 8, 9; cf. Dio Cass. xliv. 9.

2 Zonar. xi. 18, p. 496, 12. Also an Asiatic named Terentius Maximus, Dio, Ixiv. 9.

3 Suet. Lc Tac. Hist. 1, 3; Dio Chrysost. Or. xxi. 9.

* Suet Nero, 40. 6 Rev. xiii. 4—16.

6 Jos. Bell. iii. 8, 9, iv. 10,7; Suet. Vesp. 5; Tac. Hist. ii. 78, v. 13.

affinity with the course of history. These latter years were marked by many natural phenomena which gave the clearest confirmation to the belief that judgment was at hand. "Never, surely," says Tacitus, in his preface to the history of the year 68, "did evidence more conclusive prove that the gods take no thought for our happiness, but only for our punishment. Besides the manifold vicissitudes of human affairs, there were prodigies in earth and heaven, the warning voices of the thunder, and other intimations of the future."1 The same view was taken of the comet, which caused equal alarm in Jerusalem and Rome. A former comet had been expiated by Nero's banishment of Plautus;2 the greater one of 64 required ample streams of blood3 So, too, Josephus saw a star shaped like a sword gleam over the city, and the priests were terrified at the appearance, which remained a full year in the heavens.4 In the year 60, the year in which Paul wrote his Epistle to the Colossians, their city was overthrown by an earthquake; and its sister cities of Laodicea and Hieropolis were visited by severe shocks, which were felt over the whole continent.6 In the year 61, Greece and Macedonia were laid waste in the same manner,6 and a new island rose out of the sea between Thera and Crete, to the astonishment of the Greeks on either shore.7 In the year 63, Lower Italy suffered the same fate. Pompeii was reduced to ruins, and the city was rebuilt in all the splendour of imperial architecture, and given a temple of Isis to appease the All-goddess, only to be buried beneath the ashes of Vesuvius sixteen years later.3 On these occasions the sea ebbed far out, and then, after a dreadful pause, swept back over the coast in a boiling flood.9

1 Hist. i. 3. 2 Ann. xiv. 22. 3 Rev. xv. 47; Suet. Nero, 36. 4 BelL vi. 5, 3. 6 Tac. Ann. xiv. 27.

6 Sen. Quasst. Nat. vi. 1, vii. 28; Ep. 91, 9. 'Philostr. Apoll. 4, 34.

3 Ann. xv. 22; Eruption of Vesuvius, 79; Temple of Isis, cf. Schiller, Nero, 598.

9 Plin. Ep. vi. 16, 20.

Besides all these calamities and harbingers of calamity, the capital suffered a still worse visitation in the plague. The consequences of the great fire were first felt in the year 65. Want of shelter among so many thousands, the lack of regular sustenance, the new dwellings of the rich and the overcrowding in the old ones, engendered an epidemic in the autumn of 65 that carried off 30,000 persons in two months, sparing neither age nor rank.1

Tokens such as these could not fail to remind a Christian that the coming of Christ must be preceded by the woes of the Messiah. The travailing of the world in its new birth was to be accompanied by great revolutions in heaven and upon earth. The third Evangelist sums up the expectation of his time in these words: "There shall be signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after the things which are coming on the earth."2 "And there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in divers places."3 This moment decidedly seemed to have come; it was impossible for these signs to be interpreted except as forewarnings by an epoch which expected the judgment. Till his last days Paul clung to the hope of seeing the great hour, and of putting on a new body, and meeting his Lord face to face without tasting the bitterness of death.4 The narrator of the last things expressly repeated that it was the existing generation to whom Jesus foretold the fulfilment of the great promises.6 How, then, could the living put any other interpretation on this riving of the joints of the world?

Now this unmistakable prediction of nature and history was confirmed by the secret lore which reveals the future at the stroke of the adept. Seven emperors, so ran the Cabbala, the sacred doctrine of numbers, must reign over the Roman empire,

1 Ann. xvi. 13. 2 Luke xxi. 25. 3 Matt. xxiv. 7.

4 1 Thess. iv. 17; 1 Cor. xv. 61, seq.; 2 Cor. v. 1—10.
6 Matt. xxiv. 34.
 

for seven is the sacred number, and for this reason Home also stands upon seven hills.1 The sixth is now on the throne; but none believes in his staying long; the seventh will not endure longer, for, according to Daniel xii.' 7, the time of tribulation will last three-and-a-half years, so that little time is left him. Perhaps, too, John occasionally counts Daniel's "times" as decades, as is often the case in Enoch. The time of alienation from God being supposed to begin with the death of Jesus, the end is therefore at hand, for three-and-a-half decades, thirty-five years, are nearly spent.

On the other hand, the war began in 66. Two years before the seer beheld the beast come up on the sand of the sea by Caesarea. For three-and-a-half years he is to go his ways; for three-and-ahalf years the Church is to find shelter in Pella; for three-anda-half years the heathen shall trample upon the holy city; for three-and-a-half years the witnesses of Jesus shall bear testimony; for three-and-a-half days their bodies Me in the streets:— a year and a half is all that remains for the world. If ever a computation of the sacred art seemed certain, if ever the future revealed itself to any prophet, and clear signs told him what the approaching days were bringing, it was now. History, nature and science of numbers agreed, and God, it seemed, had given John a message and its interpretation, to announce to his fellowsufferers that the time was at hand.

It was coming quickly, moreover, for the Roman preparations never ceased, and the walls of the holy fortress began to crumble. But that the great day would come before the fall of the temple, was an absolute certainty to the Jewish Christian prophet. As the Jews, blockaded in Jerusalem, lived in the belief that the Romans would not be able to advance beyond the inner court, to cross which was forbidden to the Gentiles on pain of death, so John was certain that the outer courts alone should be trampled underfoot by the Romans, while the temple and court of the priests should remain unharmed.2 So, too 1 Kev. xvii. 9. 2 Rev. xi. 1, 2.

when the flames actually licked the outer walls, John of Gishala cried to Josephus that the temple itself would never be lost.1 So unalterable was this conviction that it even impressed itself on the Romans, and to the last day of the siege the Jews were continually joined by deserters who had more faith in the impregnability of the Holy City than in Titus' battering-rams.2 Who, then, can wonder if John was ten-fold more certain that it would never come to this last pass, and looked instead for the signs of salvation after the three-and-a-half years' tribulation given by Daniel, a fraction of the sacred number seven. And now, because little more than a year is wanting to fulfil the time, the prophet hears a command bike a trumpet blast: "What thou seest, write in a book."

If ever the signs of the times portended the approach of the judgment, if tribulation proclaimed the Messiah near at hand, if the Christ must come as soon as Antichrist raised his head, then this was the eve of judgment. The branch of the fig-tree was tender, the dawn blood-red and threatening, the world maddened and intoxicated, the congregation lukewarm, love grown cold, the Church asleep: it was high time for a prophet to rise up again and proclaim the great dawning.

But busy Ephesus, amid all the noise of the Gentiles, was no place in which to write down his history, after the fashion of other prophets, in glowing figures of speech, words of deep meaning, symbolic descriptions and mysterious numbers. Southwest of Ephesus, a three-hours' sail with a favourable wind,3 lies a lonely island called Palmosa, in those days Patmos. A few struggling olive-trees break the desolation of the flat-topped mountain that lies solitary in the sea, and silent as a tomb. Hither went John to receive the inner voice of the spirit. Far

» Bell. vi. 2, 1. 2 Dio Cass. lxvi. 5.

3 Tischendorf, Aus dein heil. hande, 1862, p. 339. The traveller of today is reminded of various features of life in Patmos by touches in the Apocalypse. Schubert gives a delightful account of his visit to Patmos, Reise in's Morgenland, Vol. iii. p. 424, setL.

from his native land, his thoughts nevertheless roam over to Palestine. Without any will of his own, the scene in which he lays his great drama is the soil of his own country. He stands on the white shores of Caesarea, and sees the legions gathering there.1 Far in the east he sees the Euphrates, where the Parthians muster their bands of horsemen.2 He sees the mountain caverns where men flee for refuge ;s the very locusts and scorpions of his native land mingle in his dreams.4

Then he stands again upon his island, as is clearly shown by his book, behind whose phrases we catch the sound of the sea. His glance ranges over the sea and the passing ships :6 he sees in his vision the great mountain fall into the sea,8 with a crash as if an angel cast a mighty millstone into the waves. He sees the creatures of the deep perish, the ships founder, and the water of the springs turn bitter like the sea.7 The voice of the Messiah even sounds to him "like the sound of many waters."3

But while he proceeds "to show unto the servants of God things which must shortly come to pass," and to proclaim the "sending and signification" which Christ gave him by his angel, his gaze first of all remains bent upon the present; he warns the churches of Asia to fill their lamps with oil and put on a bridal garment. "For the time is at hand."9 "He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him."10 His first words are thus directed to the churches of hither Asia, which receive seven letters of severe criticism upon their conduct as churches and as individuals, already discussed.11 In a further vision the prophet is carried- up to heaven, where he is permitted to witness the Lamb of God opening the book of doom in which the fate of the Christian Church is written.

Six of the book's seals are quickly broken, for they contain

1 Rev. xiii. 1. 2 Rev. ix. 13, xvi. 12. s Rev> vi. 15.

4 Rev. ix. 3. 6 Rev. viii. 19. 6 Rev. viii. 8.

7 Rev. viii. 8, seq. 3 Rev. i. 15. « Rev. i. 3.

10 Rev. i. 7. 11 Supra, Vol. iii. p. 269, seq.

the past history of the Church in figures easy of interpretation. Before the opening of the seventh seal comes a short respite, preceding the last judgment or seal. Eeviewing the past, the prophet sees it clearly divided into four periods. The first triumph of success at Pentecost 35, with the Messiah's glorious entry into the world: the white horse. The ensuing terror of war and rumours of war from the Arabs and Parthians, with fiery appearances in heaven and blood upon the earth: the red horse. The famine under Claudius: the black horse. Finally, the time of sorrow and death, following the famine: the pale horse, on which rode Death, attended by the shades of the lower world.

These times of war, hunger and pestilence, were now followed by a different kind of calamity, applying only to the Christian Church. The seer therefore drops the figure of the heavenly horsemen, and a new scene is disclosed. The fifth seal brings us to the time of Nero, the fifth Caesar. We see beneath the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held; we hear their lament, " How long!" and their cry for vengeance. And the cry seems to find an echo in the burning of the heavens and the heaving and shaking of the earth.

The sixth seal tells in prophetic figures of the earthquakes which, from the year 60 on, shook Palestine, destroyed Laodicea and Coloss33, overthrew Pompeii and Herculaneum, and were not entirely quieted till the eruption of Vesuvius ten years later.1 These are the phenomena of the last times, when the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood, when the meteors of heaven fell, as a fig-tree casts her untimely figs. These are the same occurrences which Tacitus has in mind under the year 65, " the fury of the sea, frequent thunderbolts, and a comet which Nero made expiation for each time with noble blood."2 John employs the fervid eloquence

1 Ann. xiv. 27, xv. 22, 47; Hist. i. 3, 18; Liv. xxxix. 46.

2 Ann. xv. 47.

of the prophet: "And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men and the captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains."1

With this at last the seer stands face to face with the outbreak of the Jewish war, in his eyes the beginning of the end. The succession of the woes of the last judgment is also clearly given in other narratives of the last things. The sequence is the same in Matt. xxiv.: "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass; but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in divers places."2 Our writer, then, has only given a more figurative account of a vision common to all the Christian Church.

With the seventh chapter the writer reaches the seventh seal and his actual surroundings.3 We are eager to learn what this seal will bring, for it contains futurity to the writer; but now he introduces a pause. For him it is a time of preparation and making ready, while the angels go through the world to seal the servants of God upon the forehead, that they may be exempted from the coming horrors. It is the situation of the year 68. The Romans have completed the circumvallation of Jerusalem; Vespasian is ready to tighten his grip. The Roman beast has come up on the sands of the sea near Csesarea to deal the last blow to the Holy City.4 Within the city civil war rages, and the bodies lie unburied in the public streets.6 The Chris

1 Rev. vii. 14. 2 Matt. xxiv. 6, seq.

3 For the fixing of this moment in the year 68, and more nearly between June 68 and January 69, cf. the commentary on Rev. xiii 18 and xvii. 9; also my article "Apocalypse" in Schenkel's Bibel-lexicon and in Bunsen's Bibelwerk.

4 Rev. xii. 18, xiii. 1. 6 Rev. xi. 9.

tian Church has quitted Judaea; has crossed Jordan amid countless perils, and seeks refuge in the wilderness.1 The Holy City seems lost, when sudden news from the capital brings the siege to a standstill. Nero is dead, and Vespasian cannot prosecute the war without authority from Galba.

Then came a pause, brooding sultry over the world like an impending thunder-storm. Vespasian had called up the troops from the Euphrates, leaving the frontier bare, in reliance upon Nero's treaty with Parthia.2 Nero was dead; would not the horseman kings make an incursion into Syria with their flying bands? What if Nero was not dead, but had reached the Parthians, and was about to return at their head? What was to be expected of the proconsuls of the ten provinces, every one of whom hankered after the diadem? What of the armies of Syria, Italy and Upper Germany? Would they support Galba, or join Nero if he returned? In his fiery hate of Rome, John invariably gives the most unfavourable answer to these questions. He gives a fine description of the oppressive sense of this momentous pause. Four angels stand at the four corners of the earth and hold the winds of the earth, "that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree." Meanwhile, the messengers of God go silently through the world, sealing the servants of God upon the forehead, that they may be scathless when the storm breaks. A hundred and forty-four thousand is the number of the Jewish Christian Church whom John considers worthy to enter the kingdom. Nevertheless, behind them stands a great multitude of all nations who had passed through the tribulation of the last times, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. They, too, shall be ruled by the Lamb; he shall lead them to living fountains of waters, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.3

When this is completed, and a small portion of Israel, together with a still smaller portion of the Gentile world, is marked out 1 Rev. xii. 15. s Tac. Ann. xv. 28, 29. 3 Rev. vii. 4—17.

for salvation from the tribulation to come, the seventh seal is broken. Then " there was silence in heaven about the space of half-an-hour." Even after this last and breathless pause the judgment does not immediately begin; the seven angels that stand before God are given seven trumpets, and again the great drama is divided into seven acts. On the other side of the altar of God comes another angel, carrying the prayers of the saints in a golden censer, " and the smoke of the incense which came with the prayers of the saints ascended up before God." But he is bidden take the censer, and fill it with fire of the altar of God, and pour it forth on the earth; then there were voices and thunderings and lightnings and an earthquake, and the woes of the last time began. Trumpet after trumpet sounds > fearful droughts parch the earth; the sea becomes blood; a star falls on the earth and poisons her fountains; sun and moon shine feebly, and the third part of the stars is darkened.

When the first four trumpets have sounded, and ancient chaos threatens to establish itself throughout the universe, and twilight broods over the earth, the seer hears a sound overhead, and sees a mighty eagle flying through the midst of heaven and crying with a loud voice: "Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth, by reason of the voices of the trumpet of the three angels which are yet to sound!"

Again an angel advances with the fifth trumpet; then locusts sweep down upon the earth, yet not earthly locusts such as the wide plains engender, but horrible prototypes of them that were confined in the secret chambers of the world, where dwell Abaddon, Apollyon, the god of destruction, and all noxious things. And they eat no grass nor any green thing, but torment with scorpions' stings all men who have not the seal of God on their foreheads. The torment lasts five months; men shall seek death and not find-it, and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. At length this woe is over, and two more woes come. At the sixth trumpet a voice sounded from the horns of the heavenly altar, saying: "Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for a day and a month and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand." These were the Parthians, who now invaded the empire, yet not the earthly horsemen of the Arsacids, who rode in gleaming coats of mail beneath silken banners, and shook the plain with the clatter of kettle-drums; it is their image in heaven that John sees— strange, misshapen figures, bright in demoniac colours: "I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire and of jacinth and brimstone; and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions, and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone."1

Six trumpets have sounded, and now the end of all comes with the seventh. There would still be time for repentance, but all these terrible judgments have failed to bring the Gentile world to repent. "The rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues, yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold and silver and brass and stone and of wood, which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk; neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts."2 It is high time, then, for the last judgment to begin.

But before the last woe is disclosed, another moment of rest intervenes. Besides the punishments which he may describe, others are revealed to the seer which he may not pronounce. The angel who bids him be silent, swears to him by the Eternal that there should be no more delay. But before the judgment begins, the temple of God in Jerusalem must be made safe from the abominations of the last days. John is given a reed like a measuring-rod and wafted to Jerusalem, before which lies Vespasian with his legions. "Eise," says the voice, "and measure the temple of God and the altar and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple, leave out, 1 Rev. ix. 15, sei^. 2 Rev. ix. 20, seq.

and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the Holy City shall they tread underfoot forty and two months."1

Immediately the seer beholds the fate of Jerusalem and of the Church mirrored in heaven. Before the last judgment begins, the Holy City shall do infinite penance. The two murdered witnesses of Jesus shall ascend to heaven in a cloud before the sight of Jerusalem, and at the self-same hour an earthquake shall destroy the tenth part of the city and carry off seven thousand of its inhabitants. Then at last the others take warning, repent and believe in the gospel. From that moment Jerusalem is once more the chosen of Jehovah, the beloved city. Once more the Lord has a house among men, and the fulfilment follows. The seventh trumpet shall sound, and the cry of innumerable voices rises in heaven: "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever." The elders of the celestial assembly come before the heavenly throne and say: "We give thee thanks, 0 Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were augry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them that destroy the earth." When they had thus spoken, the temple of God was opened in heaven, and within it was seen the ark of the testament, which was carried off into the eternal glory when the Chaldees burned the earthly temple.

But the sign of the Old Testament is immediately met with a corresponding vision which represents the New. Again the thoughts of the seer first plunge into the past. He beholds the true Israel of the faithful as a woman wearing a crown of twelve stars, and about to give birth to the Messiah. She bears him in her womb and cries, travailing in birth and pained to

1 Rev. xi. 1.

be delivered. Against her comes the dragon, Satan, who even in heaven bears the insignia of the imperial Caesars. "And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born." Is it Herod that sought the child, or Pilate that crucified the Messiah, whose image flits before the seer? However it be, the assaults of Satan are foiled. As the Son of Man was carried up to the right hand of God, so the son of the woman is carried up to God and to his throne. The dragon is cast out from heaven by Michael and his angels, and makes war upon the Church on earth, and first of all in Palestine, persecuting and scattering it.

Then like Behemoth he comes forth upon the sand of the sea, to bring upon the scene two new powers hostile to God, the legions of Rome and the false prophets. As Daniel makes the four great beasts, which signify the successive empires of the world,1 arise out of the sea, so John sees the Roman beast come against the Holy Land from the sea. The beast has ten horns, according to the number of provinces in the empire, and his seven heads are explained by the writer himself2 as signifying the seven emperors who were to reign in Rome. The sixth of them now reigns; but how long is he to endure? He, too, who succeeds Galba "must continue but a short space." For now arises the mystery of iniquity which Satan has conceived. As soon as Rome has reached her seventh Caesar, the law of the sacred number and the symbolism of the city upon seven hills require her to fall. She shall fall, moreover, by the Caesar who lived as one of the five preceding heads to return as the eighth. God has his Christ; Satan, his Antichrist; and this Antichrist is to be found in the line of Caesars. He is the beast "that was and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition; and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was,

1 Dan. vii. 3. 2 Rev. xvii. 10.

VOL. IV. T

and is not, and yet is."1 This same beast, the former Caesar who is to return as the eighth, is also described as the wounded head of the beast. "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded unto death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast."2 Once more we are assured that his deadly wound was healed ;3 it had the wound by the sword, yet afterwards came back to life.4

These allusions compel us to think of the one Caesar of whom legend told that he would return. The author himself had banished every doubt, for in xiii. 18, he gives us the name of him that was and shall be again. "Here is wisdom," he says. "Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man, and his number is six hundred, three-score and six." It has already been shown that this number is the sum of the numbers represented by the Hebrew letters corresponding to Neron Kesar.6

This brings us to the very heart of the ideas prevailing in Asia Minor during the reign of Galba, the sixth head, when, according to xvii. 10, the Apocalypse was written. In the returning Nero, John sees Daniel's man of sin, the king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, who is to precede the coming of the Son of Man. The Kabbis once saw Antichrist in Caligula; since the persecution of the year 64, Nero had been the Nazarenes' Antichrist. And now the last enemy was to appear on the throne of the Caesars.6 Who could the man of sin be but the bloodthirsty persecutor of the Church, the incarnation of every sin, murderer of his brother, his mother and his wife, incendiary and king of the rabble, the son of the pit, whom even hell had not power to hold?

The returning emperor, then, is set before us as a separate beast, though at the same time one of the heads of the former beast, the Roman empire; just as this beast again passes into

1 Rev. xvii. 8. 2 Rev. xiii. 3.

3 Rev. xiii. 12. 4 Rev. xiii. 14.

6 Time of Jesus, Vol. i. p. 116 (Eng. trans.) 8 2 Thess. ii. 3, seq.

the great dragon Satan, who really is the ultimate power at the back of these puppets, one and all. The devil gives the returning Nero "his power and his seat and great authority; and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months."

The return of Nero is associated in the Holy Land with another power. The false Christ joins Antichrist. If the leaders of the Jewish insurrection did not blush to call in the Parthians to help establish the holy kingdom, they will not shrink from alliance with the friend of the Parthians. Liars they were assuredly from the beginning, for they clothe themselves in the robe of Christ and play the part which befits the Lamb alone. Christ once described the false prophets as wolves in sheep's clothing: this beast, too, has the aspect of a lamb and speaks like a dragon.1 Now Josephus often mentions the miracles ascribed to Eleazar, Simon's son,2 and the narrative of the last things in Matthew attests the sensation caused by these identical occurrences among the Christians.3 Hence the magic spectres with which John imagines this alliance of Nero and the false prophets surrounded. Besides, tradition declared that the appearance of Antichrist should be accompanied by great signs and wonders. Above all, ever since Caligula's attack on the temple of Jerusalem, it had been a constant feature in the accounts of the last things that the Antichrist would require divine honours to be paid to his image,4 fulfilling in the popular eye Daniel's prediction of the abomination of desolation in the holy city, should Israel participate in Caesar-worship, which their fathers had resisted victoriously under the lead of Philo

1 Rev. xiii. 11. s Bell. ii. 20, 3. 3 Matt. xxiv. 11.

4 2 Thess. ii.; cf. supra, "Vol. iii. Part iv. 1, Eng. trans., p. 215. Targ. Jon. on Is. xi. -1.

and Agrippa. Daniel found a sign of the approaching judgment in the great falling away of the Hellenists, who bowed the knee bafore the altar of the Syrians. The Christian's prediction was of the same kind: "Christ cometh not except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.. . . He whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish."1 Agreeably to this prediction, John promises that this false prophet, whether it be John of Gishala he has in mind, or Simon bar Giora, or Eleazar, son of Simon, shall lead the inhabitants of the earth astray to make an image of the beast which had the wound of the sword and is healed. And it is given him after the power of Satan to give speech to the image of the beast; and all that will not worship the image of the beast are slain. Men even mark themselves with the number of the new god as his servants, and every coin bears his image and a name, "so that no man might buy or sell save he that had the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name."2

This completes the requirement of prophecy. As soon as Nero as Antichrist brings about the great falling away, the Christ will appear. Therefore after the abomination of desolation is set up in the holy place, the seer beholds the sign of the Messiah on the hill of Zion over against him. "And lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him 144,000 having his Father's name writen in their foreheads." And the seer hears the heavenly host singing, and sees the angels flying over the earth to proclaim an everlasting gospel, and to warn the faithful against the worship of the beast. "And behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of Man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle." » 2 Thess. ii. 4, 8, 10, s Rev. xiii. 15.

And he thrust in his sickle on the earth, for the corn is white, and the grapes of the vine are fully ripe. And the wine-press is trodden before the walls of Jerusalem, and the blood reaches to the horses' bridles, and the stream of blood rushes down the whole length of Palestine, the space of 1600 stades (183 miles).

With this at last begins the fulfilment of the woes of the seventh trumpet. They are poured out in seven vials of wrath, each containing a new plague. All water is turned into blood, for so it was willed by this generation, which thirsted after blood. The angel of the waters even says to God, "Thou art righteous, 0 Lord, which art and wast and shalt be, because thou hast judged this. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy."1 The sixth angel pours out his vial "upon the great river Euphrates, and the water thereof was dried up that the way of the kings of the East might be prepared."

Satan and the false prophet send out their spirits to all the ends of the earth, and call the ten princes of the world, the proconsuls, to the aid of Nero. They gather together at Harmagedon, i.e. Eomah hagedolah, great Rome, to chastise the harlot. "These have one mind, and shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and shall burn her with fire." Parthians and Jews, barbarians and Greeks, are encamped before the city: Vologaeses and Nero, Simon bar Giora, Vespasian, Verginius Eufus and Vitellius. All the mighty ones have united to put an end to the sinful city in which the blood of all nations has been poured out. This Satan's host may do, for such is the will of God. "For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give the kingdom unto the beast until the words of God shall be fulfilled."

And now an angel has gathered all the fowls of the air to feed on the bodies of the slain, and another voice bids the

1 Rev. xvi. 5.

Christian go forth: "Come out of her, my people, that ye he not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. Eeward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works; in the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double." Then the sound and stir are silenced in the streets of the busy metropolis; the sound of the mill is heard no more; no lamp sheds light any more upon her ruins; only a column of smoke rising over the city tells afar the fate of Babylon and her punishment. On the shore stand the merchants who traded with the great city, and cry as they see the smoke go up, while the host of the saints praise the Lord that he has avenged the blood of his servants on Rome.

When Antichrist and the false prophet, the kings of the East and the ten princes, have fulfilled the will of God and chastised Rome, Nero's army has fulfilled its purpose, and he comes of whom prophecy said he would blow away the wicked Armillus with the spirit of his mouth.1 "And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called True and Faithful, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and his name is called The Word of God." He was followed by the armies of heaven upon white horses, and clothed in white linen. While the Messiah thus leads forth his host, Nero, too, musters his forces with the intention of warring against Christ. The battle itself is not described, but an angel at once calls with a loud voice to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven: "Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God, that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great." Nero is taken, together with the false prophet, and cast into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. The rest are slain by the sword; the birds flock 1 2 Thess. ii. 8; cf. also supra, Vol. iii. (Eng. trans.), p. 215.

about their bodies. Then an angel descends from heaven, with the key of the bottomless pit in one hand, and a strong chain in the other. "And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him till the thousand years should be fulfilled." The great day of God, the day of Jehovah, whereof all prophets prophesied, has dawned. Since a thousand years are as a day in the sight of God,1 the day of victory will last a thousand years. Thrones shall be set up, as Daniel foretold, and they sit upon them; the apostles have judgment given to them. The righteous waken, and reign with Christ a thousand years. "This is the first resurrection." "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle.2 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about and the beloved city; and fire came down out of heaven and devoured them." And now Satan himself is flung into the burning lake to join Nero and the false prophet; and they are tormented day and night for ever and ever.

The powers opposed to God being thus rendered innocuous, the judgment of the world follows, at which he appears from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. The sea gives up its dead, and the nether world gives up its dead. The books are opened, and whoever is not written in the book of life is cast down into the lake of fire. "And there was a new heaven and new earth." The new Jerusalem descends from heaven, with its gates of pearl and foundations of precious stones. Here the faithful are to live before the face of God for ever and ever. With this brilliant prospect John closes the revelation of what is to happen in the immediate future.

Taking these finely-drawn scenes of the Apocalypse, and inferring from them the attitude of the Jewish Christian Church 1 Ps. xc. 4. 2 After Ezek. xxviii. 39.

towards the great questions of the time, it is clear, in the first place, that this attitude is hostile to both the contending parties. The Jewish false prophet, who raised the standard of rebellion, is plunged into the eternal pit no less than Nero, the Antichrist. But John assumes a different attitude towards the nations involved. In his eyes Israel has been deceived by false prophets; Rome is the people of iniquity from the beginning. Nine-tenths of Jerusalem shall be converted; of Rome, not a soul shall be saved. Thus John clings to the future of his people as he does to its past. Israel forms the people of the kingdom, each tribe contributing 12,000 citizens, that the promises of the fathers may be fulfilled. He knows the ark of the covenant and the vessel of manna of the fathers are laid up in heaven; on earth, the temple, he feels, stands under God's protection.

If it be asked whether the Church, and, above all, John himself, believed every detail of his revelation, the answer would necessarily be: He believed in them as the seer believes in his visions, the poet in his imaginings. The main outlines were certain and irrefragable; the details were given him by tradition and study of the prophets. John's contemporaries believed they saw with the bodily eye the things which he saw with the spiritual eye and projected into poetical shape—nocturnal lights, shining altars, gates rolled back, and heavenly armies.1 But all his images really tend to proclaim one message: Rome will fall, and Jerusalem be restored by the Son of Man, who will return immediately in the glory of heaven. "Every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him."

We have seen already how far his expectation was from fulfilment. Sinful Babylon renewed her empire upon her seven hills, and gained a new period of glory through the destroyers of Jerusalem. Jerusalem sank into ruins, together with her sanctuary. Vain it was for John to draw a charmed line round the temple with his rod. The Roman soldier flung his firebrand 1 Bell. vi. 5, 3; Tac. Hist. v. 13.

across the sacred circle into the Holy of Holies, disillusioning the John of the Apocalypse no less than the hundreds of Jews who, Josephus tells us, gazed at the heavens while the porticoes of the temple were in flames, watching for the tardy Messiah in whom their leaders had made them trust. The smoke rose up from the ashes of Jerusalem, but no sign of the Son of Man appeared in heaven.

But the faith of their hearts was not crushed by the signs of the times. The ensuing years make it equally evident that Christianity continued to look for the advent. Indeed, immediately after the shock of deepest disillusion caused by the fall of the temple, within two years of the writing of the Apocalypse, the strong faith of an Egyptian Christian found it possible to repeat the gist of the prophecy. When the victorious Vespasian came to Alexandria, a Christian wrote the oracle which is to be read in the collection of the Sibyl, v. 361—433. A second time the Sibyl beholds the temple fall headlong, and fire, fanned by heavenly agencies, consume the once splendid house built by the saints and believed to be eternal . The Caesar, "unsightly and unclean," leaves the temple lying in ruins, and therefore shall be punished by losing his throne as soon as his foot touches the imperishable continent. For then the matricide, the incendiary, shall rise up on the bounds of the earth. He overthrows tyrants, and rallies the recreant Christians to his side. The plains of Macedon, that have so often decided the fate of mankind, shall once more see the final battle, which shall be followed by the fall of Rome, the reign of Antichrist, and then the appearance of Jesus.

But once more disillusion dogged the footsteps of prophecy. Vespasian, the Caesar, "unsightly and unclean," entered the metropolis in triumph with his sons, and no god avenged the sanctuary of Jerusalem. Yet a few years later, when the eruption of Vesuvius struck panic into Italy, the voice of another Sibyl was heard, uttering the same prophecy,1 and was followed 1 Sib. iv. 130, seq.

by similar voices throughout the ensuing century.1 We may conjecture a distorted reminiscence of this Christian-Jewish legend in Suetonius' statement that the Chaldaeans prophesied of Nero that he would indeed lose the Roman empire, but would afterwards become king of Jerusalem instead. These Chaldaeans were in all probability none other than John.2

Following the victorious career of the Johannine poesy, there must have grown up within the youthful Church itself a doctrine of the last things in practical agreement with the conception there developed, which, indeed, is thoroughly sound at the core. For above the error of temporary expectation rises majestically the eternal truth of the moral conceptions expressed by the prophet. Iniquity returns in ever-changing forms. The power of the world, though mightier even than Rome, can at most touch the outer courts of religion, and never its true core. Faith in God, though beaten down and flung naked into the streets for dogs and beasts to tear, still looks forward to a resurrection. These are thoughts which Christianity had need of in the coming struggles. It therefore refused in later and quieter days to be deprived of a book which was its staff and stay in the days of affliction.

1 Loco. citt. in Kenan, Antichr. 367. 2 Suet. Nero, 40.

 

 



















 

 

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