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to Florus and Agrippa for forces to suppress it. The former, who desired nothing so much as a revolt, to cover his numerous extortions, neglected the message; but the latter sent three thousand horse, who, together with the rulers and the priests, possessed themselves of the upper part of the city against the seditious, who were masters of the lower part and of the temple. Continual skirmishes passed between both parties for seven days together; but, on one of the feast days, many robbers out of the country were received into the temple; who, joining the rest, boldly encountered Agrippa's forces, drove them into Herod's palace, and burnt down the building where the public records were kept, 10gether with the palace of the Asmoneans, which was then Agrippa's court. The nobility and priests hid themselves in vaults and secret places.
On the fifteenth of August, after two days' siege, they took the castle of Antonia, killed all the Roman soldiers, and set the castle on fire: they next went to the king's palace, whither the soldiers had retired, took it and burnt it, the soldiers with the Romans flying to three different towers. Shortly after, Agrippa's soldiers and the Romans yielded on capitulation, delivering up all their arms; but the seditious, contrary to their oath and treaty, put all the Romans to the sword, except Metilius the captain.
On the same day, at Cæsarea, by the instigation of Florus, all the Jews who inhabited that city were cruelly murdered, to the number of twenty thousand; which so enraged the Jews, that they began to destroy the adjacent cities and villages of the Syrians: these, in return, made terrible massacres of the Jews. Thus was every city exposed, each party placing its confidence in the greatest effusion of blood; the citizens spending their days in beholding slaughters, and their nights in fears worse than death. About the same time, a sedition arose at Alexandria in Egypt; in consequence of which, fifty thousand Jews were slain in one day, by two Roman legions.
Upon this general revolt of the Jews, Cestins Gallus, governor of Syria, marched with a powerful army into Judea and Galilee ; burning all the towns and villages in his way, and slaughtering the iahabitants. He continued his march till he came to Gibeon, a city about six miles from Jerusalem; where he was met by great numbers of the Jews, who set upon the Romans with such fury, that the whole army was in danger: but fresh troops coming to Cestius, he repelled the Jews, and forced them into Jerusalem.
On the thirteenth of October, he broke into the city, became master of the lower part, and was proceeding against the temple and upper part, which be might have taken had he continued his attacks.
The Christians began now to recollect the warning which our Lord had given them, that when they should see Jerusalem compassed about with armies, and the abomination of desolation (the Roman army) standing in the holy place, they should then flee to the mountains, or to some place of security. It is generally believed that they had a particular revelation at that time, commanding them to forsake Jerusalem, and go to Pella.
You may wonder, perhaps, how a number of peo
ple could leave the city, when it was surrounded by armies; but that God, who, in his tender love to them, intended to hide them in the day of his wrath, made a way for their escape; for Cestius unexpectedly raised the siege, when he had every prospect of success. How can we account for his acting thus, but by concluding that God sent him away to give his people time to depart? They seized the opportunity, and universally retreated to Pella, so that none of them perished in the common ruin. It was a city beyond Jordan, about one hundred miles from Jerusalem, belonging to Agrippa, and inhabited by Gentiles. - It seems, God was pleased to direct the Christians thither, that they might be out of the reach of the besom of destruction, that was to sweep away the Jews wherever it came.
The retreat of Cestius, without any apparent reason, gave the Jews fresh courage: they immediately pursued him, and with so much success, that the Romans lost six thousand men, together with the greatest part of their baggage and ammunition, their engines and slings, and other arms, which the Jews afterwards used in their own defence. The Romans escaped with difficulty to Antipatris, and so to Cæsarea. The Jews, elevated with this success, upon their return to Jerusalem, created Joseph the son of Gorion, and Ananus the high-priest, governors of the city, and sent commanders into the provinces: one of whom was Josephus, a priest, and the famous writer of the antiquities and wars of the Jews. He was sent into Galilee; where, after he had walled and fortified many towns, and gathered together about sixty thousand men,he waited for the coming of theRomans. At Jerusalem, Ananus, the high-priest, prepared for war, by repairing the walls and otherwise fortifying the city. He in vain endeavoured to reconcile the factious zealots, and also to apprehend Simon the son of Gioras, who was both a tyrant and a robber, by sending some troops against him; for he and his party had fled to others of the same description at Massada, from whence they made frequent excursions, and miserably infested all the country of Judea with their robberies and murders.
In the mean time, Cestius sent to the emperor Nero, giving him an account of the ill posture of affairs in Judea, much blaming Florus. The emperor fixed on the famous Vespasian to succeed Florus as governor of Judea, thinking him the only fit person for such a charge, and entertaining no jealousy of him, on account of the meanness of his birth. He was the fourteenth and last governor of Judea. At the same time, Mutianus was sent into Syria, in the room of Cestius Gallus.
Vespasian passed over into Asia, and came to Antioch, in Syria; then, gathering together all the Roman forces in those parts, he marched to Ptolemaïs, in Phænicia; where he was joined by his son Titus, with the fifth and tenth legions. Their whole forces of horse and foot amounted to sixty
thousand men. Vespasian marched to the our Lord borders of Galilee, and there encamped;
designing, by the sight of his army, to terrify the enemy, and give them time to repent and yield : in the mean time, he prepared all things necessary for the prosecution of the war. The
rumour of his coming made many of the rebels faint-hearted. Josephus's soldiers, who were en. camped a little from Sephoris, the metropolis of Galilee, hearing of the approach of the Romans, precipitately fled; and so few remained with Josephus, that he durst not risk a battle, but retired to Tiberias. Vespasian marched to Gadara, and took it at the first assault. The men of war having left the city, the Romans entered and put all to death without mercy: after which, they burnt that city, and the towns and villages adjoining; the few remaining inhabitants of which were made slaves.
Josephus's retreat to Tiberius filled the people with fear, knowing he would not have fled could he have withstood the Romans. They were right in their conjectures, for he clearly foresaw what would be the issue of the contest, and concluded that the safety of the Jews consisted in their submission to the Romans; yet he chose rather to die with them than become a traitor to his country. He accordingly wrote a faithful account of the state of affairs in those parts to the nobility at Jerusalem, not dwelling on the force of the enemy, lest they should suspect him of cowardice; yet, at the same time, he avoided giving them any hopes that the events of the war would be favourable, lest those who were inclinable to peace, should be induced to persist in their rebellion. He therefore only desired to know their determination, whether they would make a league with the Romans, or continue the war; which if they did, they must send an army sufficient to oppose the enemy.