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- The Antiquities of the Jews - 250/253 -
Herod-Philip, whose wife Herod the tetrarch had married, and that in her first husband's lifetime, and when her first husband had issue by her-; for which adulterous and incestuous marriage John the Baptist justly reproved Herod the tetrarch, and for which reproof Salome, the daughter of Herodias by her first husband Herod-Philip, who was still alive, occasioned him to be unjustly beheaded.
(16) Whether this sudden extinction of almost the entire lineage of Herod the Great, which was very numerous, as we are both here and in the next section informed, was not in part as a punishment for the gross incests they were frequently guilty of, in marrying their own nephews and nieces, well deserves to be considered. See Leviticus 18:6, 7; 21:10; and Noldius, De Herod, No. 269, 270.
(17) There are coins still extant of this Eraess, as Spanheim informs us. Spanheim also informs us of a coin still extant of this Jotape, daughter of the king of Commageus.
(18) Spanheim observes, that we have here an instance of the Attic quantity of use-money, which was the eighth part of the original sum, or 12 per cent., for such is the proportion of 2500 to 20,000.
(19) The governor of the Jews there.
(20) Tiberius, junior of Germanicus.
(21) This high commendation of Antonia for marrying but once, given here, and supported elsewhere; Antiq. B. XVII. ch. 13. sect. 4, and this, notwithstanding the strongest temptations, shows how honorable single marriages were both among the Jews and Romans, in the days of Josephus and of the apostles, and takes away much of that surprise which the modern Protestants have at those laws of the apostles, where no widows, but those who had been the wives of one husband only, are taken into the church list; and no bishops, priests, or deacons are allowed to marry more than once, without leaving off to officiate as clergymen any longer. See Luke 2:36; 1 Timothy 5:11, 12; 3:2, 12; Titus 1:10; Constit. Apost. B. II. sect. 1, 2; B. VI. sect. 17; Can. B. XVII,; Grot. in Luc. ii. 36; and Resports. ad Consult. Cassand. p. 44; and Cotelet. in Constit. B. VI. sect. 17. And note, that Tertullian owns this law against second marriages of the clergy had been once at least executed in his time; and heavily complains elsewhere, that the breach thereof had not been always punished by the catholics, as it ought to have been. Jerome, speaking of the ill reputation of marrying twice, says, that no such person could be chosen into the clergy in his days; which Augustine testifies also; and for Epiphanius, rather earlier, he is clear and full to the same purpose, and says that law obtained over the whole catholic church in his days,--as the places in the forecited authors inform us.
(22) Dr. Hudson here takes notice, out of Seneca, Epistle V. that this was the custom of Tiberius, to couple the prisoner and the soldier that guarded him together in the same chain.
(23) Tiberius his own grandson, and Caius his brother Drusus's grandson.
(24) So I correct Josephus's copy, which calls Germanicus his brother, who was his brother's son.
(25) This is a known thing among the Roman historians and poets, that Tiberius was greatly given to astrology and divination.
(26) This name of a lion is often given to tyrants, especially by the such Agrippa, and probably his freed-man Marsyas, in effect were, Ezekiel 19:1, 9; Esther 4:9 2 Timothy 4:17. They are also sometimes compared to or represented by wild beasts, of which the lion is the principal, Daniel 7:3, 8; Apoc. 13:1, 2.
(27) Although Caius now promised to give Agrippa the tetrarchy of Lysanias, yet was it not actually conferred upon him till the reign of Claudius, as we learn, Antiq. B. XIX, ch. 5. sect. 1.
(28) Regarding instances of the interpositions of Providence, as have been always very rare among the other idolatrous nations, but of old very many among the posterity of Abraham, the worshippers of the true God; nor do these seem much inferior to those in the Old Testament, which are the more remarkable, because, among all their other follies and vices, the Jews were not at this time idolaters; and the deliverances here mentioned were done in order to prevent their relapse into that idolatry.
(29) Josephus here assures us that the ambassadors from Alexandria to Caius were on each part no more than three in number, for the Jews, and for the Gentiles, which are but six in all; whereas Philo, who was the principal ambassador from the Jews, as Josephus here confesses, (as was Apion for the Gentiles,) says, the Jews' ambassadors were themselves no fewer than live, towards the end of his legation to Caius; which, if there be no mistake in the copies, must be supposed the truth; nor, in that case, would Josephus have contradicted so authentic a witness, had he seen that account of Philo's; which that he ever did does not appear.
(30) This Alexander, the alabarch, or governor of the Jews, at Alexandria, and brother to Philo, is supposed by Bishop Pearson, in Act. Apost. p. 41,42, to be the same with that Alexander who is mentioned by St. Luke, as of the kindred of the high priests, Acts 4:6.
(31) What Josephus here, and sect. 6, relates as done by the Jews seed time, is in Philo, "not far off the time when the corn was ripe," who, as Le Clerc notes, differ here one from the other. This is another indication that Josephus, when he wrote this account, had not seen Philo's Legat. ad Caiurn, otherwise he would hardly trove herein differed from him.
(32) This. Publius Petronius was after this still president of Syria, under Cladius, and, at the desire of Agrippa, published a severe decree against the inhabitants of Dora, who, in a sort of intitation of Caius, had set op a statue of Claudius in a Jewish synagogue there. This decree is extant, B. XIX. ch. 6. sect. 3, and greatly confirms the present accounts of Josephus, as do the other decrees of Claudius, relating to the like Jewish affairs, B. XIX. ch. 5. sect. 2, 3, to which I refer the inquisitive reader.
(33) Josephus here uses the solemn New Testament words, the presence and appearance of God, for the extraordinary manifestation of his power and providence to Petronius, by sending rain in a time of distress, immediately upon the resolution he had taken to preserve the temple unpolluted, at the hazard of his own life, without any other miraculous appearance at all in that case; which well deserves to be taken notice of here, and greatly illustrates several texts, both in the Old and New Testament.
(34) This behavior of Caius to Agrippa is very like that of Herod Antipas, his uncle, to Herodias, Agrippa's sister, about it John the Baptist, Matthew 14:6--11.
(35) The joining of the right hands was esteemed among the Peoians [and Parthians] in particular a most inviolable obligation to fidelity, as Dr. Hudson here observes, and refers to the commentary on Justin, B. XI. ch. 15., for its confirmation. We often meet with the like use of it in Josephus.
(36) This custom of the Mesopotamians to carry their household gods along with them wherever they traveled is as old as the days of Jacob, when Rachel his wife did the same, Genesis 31:19, 30-35; nor is it to pass here unobserved, what great miseries came on these Jews, because they suffered one of their leaders to marry an idolatrous wife, contrary to the law of Moses. Of which matter see the note on B. XIX. ch. 5. sect. 3.
(37) This custom, in Syria and Mesopotamia, of setting men upon an ass, by way of disgrace, is still kept up at Damascus in Syria; where, in order to show their despite against the Christians, the Turks will not suffer them to hire horses, but asses only, when they go abroad to see the country, as Mr. Maundrell assures us, p. 128.
BOOK 19 FOOTNOTES
(1) In this and the three next chapters we have, I think, a larger and more distinct account of the slaughter of Caius, and the succession of Claudius, than we have of any such ancient facts whatsoever elsewhere. Some of the occasions of which probably were, Josephus's bitter hatred against tyranny, and the pleasure he took in giving the history of the slaughter of such a barbarous tyrant as was this Caius Caligula, as also the deliverance his own nation had by that slaughter, of which he speaks sect. 2, together with the great intimacy he had with Agrippa, junior, whose father was deeply concerned in the advancement of Claudius, upon the death of Caius; from which Agrippa, junior, Josephus might be fully informed Of his history.
(2) Called Caligula by the Romans.
(3) Just such a voice as this is related to be came, and from an unknown original also, to the famous Polycarp, as he was going to martyrdom, bidding him "play the man;" as the church of Smyrna assures us in their account of that his martyrdom, sect. 9.
(4) Here Josephus supposes that it was Augustus, and not Julius Caesar, who first changed the Roman commonwealth into a monarchy; for these shows were in honor of Augustus, as we shall learn in the next section.
(5) Suetonius says Caius was slain about the seventh hour of the day, the ninth. The series of the narration favors Josephus.
(6) The rewards proposed by the Roman laws to informers was sometimes an eigth partm as Spanheim assures us, from the criminal's goods, as here, and sometimes a fourth part.
(7) These consuls are named in the War of the Jews, B. II. ch. 11. sect; 1, Sentius Saturninus and Pomponius Secundus, as Spanheim notes here. The speech of the former of them is set down in the next chapter, sect. 2.
(8) In this oration of Sentius Saturninus, we may see the great value virtuous men put upon public liberty, and the sad misery they underwent, while they were tyrannized over by such emperors as Caius. See Josephus's own short but pithy reflection at the end of the chapter: "So difficult," says he, "it is for those to obtain the virtue that is necessary to a wise man, who have the
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