The Antiquities of the Jews, 17.339–18.0

Flavius Josephus  translated by William Whiston

« J. AJ 17.324–17.338 | J. AJ 17.339–18.0 | J. AJ 18.1–18.25 | About This Work »

3391. When Archelaus was entered on his ethnarchy, and was come into Judea, he accused Joazar, the son of Boethus, of assisting the seditious, and took away the high priesthood from him, and put Eleazar his brother in his place. 340He also magnificently rebuilt the royal palace that had been at Jericho, and he diverted half the water with which the village of Neara used to be watered, and drew off that water into the plain, to water those palm trees which he had there planted: he also built a village, and put his own name upon it, and called it Archelais. 341Moreover, he transgressed the law of our fathers and married Glaphyra, the daughter of Archelaus, who had been the wife of his brother Alexander, which Alexander had three children by her, while it was a thing detestable among the Jews to marry the brother’s wife. Nor did this Eleazar abide long in the high priesthood, Jesus, the son of Sie, being put in his room while he was still living.

3422. But in the tenth year of Archelaus’s government, both his brethren, and the principal men of Judea and Samaria, not being able to bear his barbarous and tyrannical usage of them, accused him before Caesar, and that especially because they knew he had broken the commands of Caesar, which obliged him to behave himself with moderation among them. 343Whereupon Caesar, when he heard it, was very angry, and called for Archelaus’s steward, who took care of his affairs at Rome, and whose name was Archelaus also; and thinking it beneath him to write to Archelaus, he bid him sail away as soon as possible, and bring him to us: 344so the man made haste in his voyage, and when he came into Judea, he found Archelaus feasting with his friends; so he told him what Caesar had sent him about, and hastened him away. And when he was come [to Rome], Caesar, upon hearing what certain accusers of his had to say, and what reply he could make, both banished him, and appointed Vienna, a city of Gaul, to be the place of his habitation, and took his money away from him.

3453. Now, before Archelaus was gone up to Rome upon this message, he related this dream to his friends: That he saw ears of corn, in number ten, full of wheat, perfectly ripe, which ears, as it seemed to him, were devoured by oxen. 346And when he was awake and gotten up, because the vision appeared to be of great importance to him, he sent for the diviners, whose study was employed about dreams. And while some were of one opinion, and some of another, (for all their interpretations did not agree,) Simon, a man of the sect of the Essenes, desired leave to speak his mind freely, and said that the vision denoted a change in the affairs of Archelaus, and that not for the better; 347that oxen, because that animal takes uneasy pains in his labors, denoted afflictions, and indeed denoted, further, a change of affairs, because that land which is ploughed by oxen cannot remain in its former state; and that the ears of corn being ten, determined the like number of years, because an ear of corn grows in one year; and that the time of Archelaus’s government was over. And thus did this man expound the dream. 348Now on the fifth day after this dream came first to Archelaus, the other Archelaus, that was sent to Judea by Caesar to call him away, came hither also.

3494. The like accident befell Glaphyra his wife, who was the daughter of king Archelaus, who, as I said before, was married, while she was a virgin, to Alexander, the son of Herod, and brother of Archelaus; but since it fell out so that Alexander was slain by his father, she was married to Juba, the king of Lybia; 350and when he was dead, and she lived in widowhood in Cappadocia with her father, Archelaus divorced his former wife Mariamne, and married her, so great was his affection for this Glphyra; who, during her marriage to him, saw the following dream: She thought she saw Alexander standing by her, at which she rejoiced, and embraced him with great affection; but that he complained o her, and said, 351O Glaphyra! thou provest that saying to be true, which assures us that women are not to be trusted. Didst not thou pledge thy faith to me? and wast not thou married to me when thou wast a virgin? and had we not children between us? Yet hast thou forgotten the affection I bare to thee, out of a desire of a second husband. Nor hast thou been satisfied with that injury thou didst me, but thou hast been so bold as to procure thee a third husband to lie by thee, and in an indecent and imprudent manner hast entered into my house, and hast been married to Archelaus, thy husband and my brother. 352However, I will not forget thy former kind affection for me, but will set thee free from every such reproachful action, and cause thee to be mine again, as thou once wast. When she had related this to her female companions, in a few days’ time she departed this life.

3535. Now I did not think these histories improper for the present discourse, both because my discourse now is concerning kings, and otherwise also on account of the advantage hence to be drawn, as well for the confirmation of the immortality of the soul, as of the providence of God over human affairs, I thought them fit to be set down; but if any one does not believe such relations, let him indeed enjoy his own opinion, but let him not hinder another that would thereby encourage himself in virtue. 354So Archelaus’s country was laid to the province of Syria; and Cyrenius, one that had been consul, was sent by Caesar to take account of people’s effects in Syria, and to sell the house of Archelaus.

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