Book 15 Footnotes
[1] The city here called "Babylon" by Josephus, seems to be one which was built by some of the Seleucidae upon the Tigris, which long after the utter desolation of old Babylon was commonly so called, and I suppose not far from Seleueia; just as the latter adjoining city Bagdat has been and is often called by the same old name of Babylon till this very day.

[2] Here we have an eminent example of Herod's worldly and profane politics, when by the abuse of his unlawful and usurped power, to make whom he pleased high priest, in the person of Ananelus, he occasioned such disturbances in his kingdom, and in his own family, as suffered him to enjoy no lasting peace or tranquillity ever afterward; and such is frequently the effect of profane court politics about matters of religion in other ages and nations. The Old Testament is full of the miseries of the people of the Jews derived from such court politics, especially in and after the days of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, "who made Israel to sin;" who gave the most pernicious example of it; who brought on the grossest corruption of religion by it; and the punishment of whose family for it was most remarkable. The case is too well known to stand in need of particular citations.

[3] Of this wicked Dellius, see the note on the War, B. I. ch.15. sect.3.

[4] When Josephus says here that this Ananelus, the new high priest, was "of the stock of the high priests," and since he had been just telling us that he was a priest of an obscure family or character, ch.2. sect.4, it is not at all probable that he could so soon say that he was "of the stock of the high priests." However, Josephus here makes a remarkable observation, that this Ananelus was the third that was ever unjustly and wickedly turned out of the high priesthood by the civil power, no king or governor having ventured to do so, that Josephus knew of, but that heathen tyrant and persecutor Antiochus Epiphanes; that barbarous parricide Aristobulus, the first that took royal authority among the Maccabees; and this tyrant king Herod the Great, although afterward that infamous practice became frequent, till the very destruction of Jerusalem, when the office of high priesthood was at an end.

[5] This entirely confutes the Talmudists, who pretend that no one under twenty years of age could officiate as high priest among the Jews.

[6] A Hebrew chronicle, cited by Reland, says this drowning was at Jordan, not at Jericho, and this even when he quote Josephus. I suspect the transcriber of the Hebrew chronicle mistook the name, and wrote Jordan for Jericho.

[7] The reading of one of Josephus's Greek MSS. seems here to be right, that Aristobulus was "not eighteen years old" when he was drowned, for he was not seventeen when he was made high priest, ch.2. sect.6, ch.3. sect.3, and he continued in that office but one year, as in the place before us.

[8] The reader is here to take notice, that this seventh year of the reign of Herod, and all the other years of his reign, in Josephus, are dated from the death of Antigonus, or at the soonest from the conclusion of Antigonus, and the taking of Jerusalem a few months before, and never from his first obtaining the kingdom at Rome, above three years before, as some have very weakly and injudiciously done.

[9] Herod says here, that as ambassadors were sacred when they carried messages to others, so did the laws of the Jews derive a sacred authority by being delivered from God by angels, [or Divine ambassadors,] which is St. Paul's expression about the same laws, Galatians 3:19; Hebrews 2;2.

[10] This piece of religion, the supplicating God with sacrifices, by Herod, before he went to this fight with the Arabians, taken notice of also in the first book of the War, ch.19. sect.5, is worth remarking, because it is the only example of this nature, so far as I remember, that Josephus ever mentions in all his large and particular accounts of this Herod; and it was when he had been in mighty distress, and discouraged by a great defeat of his former army, and by a very great earthquake in Judea, such times of affliction making men most religious; nor was he disappointed of his hopes here, but immediately gained a most signal victory over the Arabians, while they who just before had been so great victors, and so much elevated upon the earthquake in Judea as to venture to slay the Jewish ambassadors, were now under a strange consternation, and hardly able to fight at all.

[11] Whereas Mariamne is here represented as reproaching: Herod with the murder of her father [Alexander], as well as her brother [Aristobulus], while it was her grandfather Hyrcanus, and not her father Alexander, whom he caused to be slain, [as Josephus himself informs us, ch.6. sect.2,] we must either take Zonaras's reading, which is here grandfather, rightly, or else we must, as before, ch.1. sect.1, allow a slip of Josephus's pen or memory in the place before us.

[12] Here is a plain example of a Jewish lady giving a bill of divorce to her husband, though in the days of Josephus it was not esteemed lawful for a woman so to do. See the like among the Parthians, Antiq. B. XVIII. ch.9. sect.6. However, the Christian law, when it allowed divorce for adultery, Matthew 5:32, allowed the innocent wife to divorce her guilty husband, as well as the innocent husband to divorce his guilty wife, as we learn from the shepherd of Hermas, Mand. B. IV., and from: the second apology of Justin Martyr, where a persecution was brought upon the Christians upon such a divorce; and I think the Roman laws permitted it at that time, as well as the laws of Christianity. Now this Babas, who was one of the race of the Asamoneans or Maccabees, as the latter end of this section informs us, is related by the Jews, as Dr. Hudson here remarks, to have been so eminently religious in the Jewish way, that, except the day following the tenth of Tisri, the great day of atonement, when he seems to have supposed all his sins entirely forgiven, he used every day of the whole year to offer a sacrifice for his sins of ignorance, or such as he supposed he had been guilty of, but did not distinctly remember. See somewhat like it of Agrippa the Great, Antiq. B. XIX. ch.3. sect.3, and Job 1:4, 5.

[13] These grand plays, and shows, and Thymelici, or music meetings, and chariot races, when the chariots were drawn by two, three, or four pair of horses, etc., instituted by Herod in his theatres, were still, as we see here, looked on by the sober Jews as heathenish sports, and tending to corrupt the manners of the Jewish nation, and to bring them in love with paganish idolatry, and paganish conduct of life, but to the dissolution of the law of Moses, and accordingly were greatly and justly condemned by them, as appears here and every where else in Josephus. Nor is the case of our modern masquerades, plays, operas, and the like "pomps and vanities of this wicked world," of any better tendency under Christianity.

[14] Here we have an eminent example of the language of Josephus in his writing to Gentiles, different from that when he wrote to Jews; in his writing to whom he still derives all such judgments from the anger of God; but because he knew many of the Gentiles thought they might naturally come in certain periods, he complies with them in the following sentence. See the note on the War. B. I. ch.33. sect.2.

[15] This famine for two years that affected Judea and Syria, the thirteenth mid fourteenth years of Herod, which are the twenty-third and twenty-fourth years before the Christian era, seems to have been more terrible during this time than was that in the days of Jacob, Genesis 41., 42. And what makes the comparison the more remarkable is this, that now, as well as then, the relief they had was from Egypt also; then from Joseph the governor of Egypt, under Pharaoh king of Egypt; and now from Petronius the prefect of Egypt, under Augustus the Roman emperor. See almost the like case, Antiq. B. XX. ch.2. sect.6. It is also well worth our observation here, that these two years were a Sabbatic year, and a year of jubilee, for which Providence, during the theocracy, used to provide a triple crop beforehand; but became now, when the Jews had forfeited that blessing, the greatest years of famine to them ever since the days of Ahab, 1 Kings 17., 18.

[16] This Aelius Gallus seems to be no other than that Aelius Lagus whom Dio speaks of as conducting an expedition that was about this time made into Arabia Felix, according to Betarius, who is here cited by Spanheim. See a full account of this expedition in Prideaux, at the years 23 and 24.

[17] One may here take notice, that how tyrannical and extravagant soever Herod were in himself, and in his Grecian cities, as to those plays, and shows, and temples for idolatry, mentioned above, ch.8. sect.1, and here also; yet durst even he introduce very few of them into the cities of the Jews, who, as Josephus here notes, would not even then have borne them, so zealous were they still for many of the laws of Moses, even under so tyrannical a government as this was of Herod the Great; which tyrannical government puts me naturally in mind of Dean Prideaux's honest reflection upon the like ambition after such tyrannical power in Pompey and Caesar: "One of these [says he, at the year 60] could not bear an equal, nor the other a superior; and through this ambitions humor and thirst after more power in these two men, the whole Roman empire being divided into two opposite factions, there was produced hereby the most destructive war that ever afflicted it; and the like folly too much reigns in all other places. Could about thirty men be persuaded to live at home in peace, without enterprising upon the rights of each other, for the vain glory of conquest, and the enlargement of power, the whole world might be at quiet; but their ambition, their follies, and their humor, leading them constantly to encroach upon and quarrel with each other, they involve all that are under them in the mischiefs thereof; and many thousands are they which yearly perish by it; so that it may almost raise a doubt, whether the benefit which the world receives from government be sufficient to make amends for the calamities which it suffers from the follies, mistakes, and real-administrations of those that manage it."

[18] Cesarea being here said to be rebuilt and adorned in twelve years, and soon afterwards in ten years, Antiq. B. XVI. ch.5. sect.1, there must be a mistake in one of the places as to the true number, but in which of them it is hard positively to determine.

[19] This Pollio, with whom Herod's sons lived at Rome, was not Pollio the Pharisee, already mentioned by Josephus, ch.1. sect.1, and again presently after this, ch.10. sect.4; but Asinine Pollo, the Roman, as Spanheim here observes.

[20] The character of this Zenodorus is so like that of a famous robber of the same name in Strabo, and that about this very country, and about this very time also, that I think Dr. Hudson hardly needed to have put a overlaps to his determination that they were the same.

[21] A tetrarchy properly and originally denoted the fourth part of an entire kingdom or country, and a tetrarch one that was ruler of such a fourth part, which always implies somewhat less extent of dominion and power than belong to a kingdom and to a king.

[22] We may here observe, that the fancy of the modern Jews, in calling this temple, which was really the third of their temples, the second temple, followed so long by later Christians, seems to be without any solid foundation. The reason why the Christians here followed the Jews is, because of the prophecy of Haggai, 2:6-9, which they expound of the Messiah's coning to the second or Zorobabel's temple, of which they suppose this of Herod to be only a continuation; which is meant, I think, of his coming to the fourth and last temple, of that future, largest, and most glorious one, described by Ezekiel; whence I take the former notion, how general soever, to be a great mistake. See Lit. Accorap. of Proph. p.2.

[23] Some of our modern students in architecture have made a strange blunder here, when they imagine that Josephus affirms the entire foundations of the temple or holy house sunk down into the rocky mountain on which it stood no less than twenty cubits, whereas he is clear that they were the foundations of the additional twenty cubits only above the hundred [made perhaps weak on purpose, and only for show and grandeur] that sunk or fell down, as Dr. Hudson rightly understands him; nor is the thing itself possible in the other sense. Agrippa's preparation for building the inner parts of the temple twenty cubits higher [History of the War, B. V. ch.1. sect.5] must in all probability refer to this matter, since Josephus says here, that this which had fallen down was designed to be raised up again under Nero, under whom Agrippa made that preparation. But what Josephus says presently, that Solomon was the first king of the Jews, appears by the parallel place, Antiq. B. XX. ch.9. sect.7, and other places, to be meant only the first of David's posterity, and the first builder of the temple.

[24] "Into none Of these three did king Herod enter," i.e.1. Not into the court of the priests; 2. Nor into the holy house itself; 3. Nor into the separate place belonging to the altar, as the words following imply; for none but priests, or their attendants the Levites, might come into any of them. See Antiq. B. XVI. ch.4. sect.6, when Herod goes into the temple, and makes a speech in it to the people, but that could only be into the court of Israel, whither the people could come to hear him.

[25] This tradition which Josephus here mentions, as delivered down from fathers to their children, of this particular remarkable circumstance relating to the building of Herod's temple, is a demonstration that such its building was a known thing in Judea at this time. He was born about forty-six years after it is related to have been finished, and might himself have seen and spoken with some of the builders themselves, and with a great number of those that had seen it building. The doubt therefore about the truth of this history of the pulling down and rebuilding this temple by Herod, which some weak people have indulged, was not then much greater than it soon may be, whether or not our St. Paul's church in London was burnt down in the fire of London, A.D.1666, and rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren a little afterward.

book 13 footnotes
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