The Life of Flavius Josephus, 122–131

Flavius Josephus  translated by William Whiston

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John Undermines Josephus in Galilee

12225. But when John, the son of Levi, who, as we before told you, abode at Gischala, was informed how all things had succeeded to my mind, and that I was much in favor with those that were under me, as also that the enemy were greatly afraid of me, he was not pleased with it, as thinking my prosperity tended to his ruin. So he took up a bitter envy and enmity against me; 123and hoping that if he could inflame those that were under me to hate me, he should put an end to the prosperity I was in, he tried to persuade the inhabitants of Tiberias, and of Sepphoris (and for those of Gabara he supposed they would be also of the same mind with the others), which were the greatest cities of Galilee, to revolt from their subjection to me, and to be of his party; and told them that he would command them better than I did. 124As for the people of Sepphoris, who belonged to neither of us, because they had chosen to be in subjection to the Romans, they did not comply with his proposal; and for those of Tiberias, they did not indeed so far comply as to make a revolt from under me, but they agreed to be his friends, while the inhabitants of Gabara did go over to John; and it was Simon that persuaded them so to do, one who was both the principal man in the city and a particular friend and companion of John. 125It is true, these did not openly own the making a revolt, because they were in great fear of the Galileans, and had frequent experience of the good will they bore to me; yet did they privately watch for a proper opportunity to lay snares for me; and indeed I thereby came into the greatest danger on the occasion following.

Josephus Accused of Treachery

12626. There were some bold young men of the village of Dabaritta, who observed that the wife of Ptolemy, the king’s procurator, was to make a progress over the great plain with a mighty attendance, and with some horsemen that followed as a guard to them, and this out of a country that was subject to the king and queen, into the jurisdiction of the Romans; 127and fell upon them on a sudden, and obliged the wife of Ptolemy to fly away, and plundered all the carriages. They also came to me to Taricheae, with four mules’ loading of garments, and other furniture; and the weight of the silver they brought was not small; and there were five hundred pieces of gold also. 128Now I had a mind to preserve these spoils for Ptolemy, who was my countryman; and it is prohibited by our laws even to spoil our enemies; so I said to those that brought these spoils, that they ought to be kept, in order to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem with them when they came to be sold; 129but the young men took it very ill that they did not receive a part of those spoils for themselves, as they expected to have done; so they went among the villages in the neighborhood of Tiberias, and told the people that I was going to betray their country to the Romans, 130and that I used deceitful language to them, when I said that what had been thus gotten by rapine should be kept for the rebuilding of the walls of the city of Jerusalem; although I had resolved to restore these spoils again to their former owner; 131and indeed they were herein not mistaken as to my intentions; for when I had gotten clear of them, I sent for two of the principal men, Dassion, and Janneus the son of Levi, persons that were among the chief friends of the king, and commanded them to take the furniture that had been plundered, and to send it to him; and I threatened that I would order them to be put to death by way of punishment, if they discovered this my command to any other person.

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