The Life of Flavius Josephus, 174–188

Flavius Josephus  translated by William Whiston

« J. Vit. 155–173 | J. Vit. 174–188 | J. Vit. 189–207 | About This Work »

Josephus Speaks to the Prisoners

17435. Now the men of Tiberias, after I was gone to Taricheae, perceived what stratagem I had used against them, and they admired how I had put an end to their foolish sedition, without shedding of blood. 175But now, when I had sent for some of those multitudes of the people of Tiberias out of prison, among whom were Justus and his father Pistus, I made them to sup with me; and during our supper time I said to them, that I knew the power of the Romans was superior to all others; but did not say so [publicly] because of the robbers. 176So I advised them to do as I did, and to wait for a proper opportunity, and not to be uneasy at my being their commander; for that they could not expect to have another who would use the like moderation that I had done. 177I also put Justus in mind how the Galileans had cut off his brother’s hands before ever I came to Jerusalem, upon an accusation laid against him, as if he had been a rogue, and had forged some letters; as also how the people of Gamala, in a sedition they raised against the Babylonians, after the departure of Philip, slew Chares, who was a kinsman of Philip, 178and withal how they had wisely punished Jesus, his brother Justus’s sister’s husband [with death]. When I had said this to them during supper time, I in the morning ordered Justus, and all the rest that were in prison, to be loosed out of it, and sent away.

Philip and Agrippa

17936. But before this, it happened that Philip, the son of Jacimus, went out of the citadel of Gamala upon the following occasion: 180When Philip had been informed that Varus was put out of his government by king Agrippa, and that Equiculus Modius, a man that was of old his friend and companion, was come to succeed him, he wrote to him and related what turns of fortune he had had, and desired him to forward the letters he sent to the king and queen. 181Now, when Modius had received these letters, he was exceedingly glad, and sent the letters to the king and queen, who were then about Berytus. 182But when king Agrippa knew that the story about Philip was false (for it had been given out, that the Jews had begun a war with the Romans, and that this Philip had been their commander in that war), he sent some horsemen to conduct Philip to him; 183and when he was come, he saluted him very obligingly, and showed him to the Roman commanders, and told them that this was the man of whom the report had gone about as if he had revolted from the Romans. 184He also bid him to take some horsemen with him, and to go quickly to the citadel of Gamala, and to bring out thence all his domestics, and to restore the Babylonians to Batanea again. He also gave it him in charge to take all possible care that none of his subjects should be guilty of making any innovation. Accordingly, upon these directions from the king, he made haste to do what he was commanded.

Developments in Gamala

18537. Now there was one Joseph, the son of a female physician, who excited a great many young men to join with him. He also insolently addressed himself to the principal persons at Gamala, and persuaded them to revolt from the king, and take up arms, and gave them hopes that they should, by his means, recover their liberty; and some they forced into the service; and those that would not acquiesce in what they had resolved on, they slew. 186They also slew Chares, and with him Jesus, one of his kinsmen, and a brother of Justus of Tiberias, as we have already said. Those of Gamala also wrote to me, desiring me to send them an armed force, and workmen to raise up the walls of their city; nor did I reject either of their requests. 187The region of Gaulanitis did also revolt from the king, as far as the village Solyma. I also built a wall about Seleucia and Soganni, which are villages naturally of very great strength. Moreover, I, in like manner, walled several villages of Upper Galilee, though they were very rocky of themselves. 188Their names are Jamnia, and Meroth, and Achabare. I also fortified, in the Lower Galilee, the cities Taricheae, Tiberias, Sepphoris, and the villages, the cave of Arbela, Bersobe, Selamin, Jotapata, Capharecho, and Sigo, and Japha, and Mount Tabor. I also laid up a great quantity of corn in these places, and arms withal, that might be for their security afterward.

« J. Vit. 155–173 | J. Vit. 174–188 | J. Vit. 189–207 | About This Work »