Book 18 Footnotes
[1] Since St. Luke once, Acts 5:37, and Josephus four several times, once here, sect.6; and B. XX. ch.5. sect.2; Of the War, B. II. ch.8. sect.1; and ch.17. sect.8, calls this Judas, who was the pestilent author of that seditious doctrine and temper which brought the Jewish nation to utter destruction, a Galilean; but here [sect.1] Josephus calls him a Gaulonite, of the city of Gamala; it is a great question where this Judas was born, whether in Galilee on the west side, or in Gaulonitis on the east side, of the river Jordan; while, in the place just now cited out of the Antiquities, B. XX. ch.5. sect.2, he is not only called a Galilean, but it is added to his story, "as I have signified in the books that go before these," as if he had still called him a Galilean in those Antiquities before, as well as in that particular place, as Dean Aldrich observes, Of the War, B. II. ch.8. sect.1. Nor can one well imagine why he should here call him a Gaulonite, when in the 6th sect. following here, as well as twice Of the War, he still calls him a Galilean. As for the city of Gamala, whence this Judas was derived, it determines nothing, since there were two of that name, the one in Gaulonitis, the other in Galilee. See Reland on the city or town of that name.

[2] It seems not very improbable to me that this Sadduc, the Pharisee, was the very same man of whom the Rabbins speak, as the unhappy, but undesigning, occasion of the impiety or infidelity of the Sadducees; nor perhaps had the men this name of Sadducees till this very time, though they were a distinct sect long before. See the note on B. XIII. ch.10. sect 5; and Dean Prideaux, as there quoted. Nor do we, that I know of, find the least footsteps of such impiety or infidelity of these Sadducees before this time, the Recognitions assuring us that they began about the days of John the Baptist; B.1. ch.54. See note above.

[3] It seems by what Josephus says here, and Philo himself elsewhere, Op. p.679, that these Essens did not use to go to the Jewish festivals at Jerusalem, or to offer sacrifices there, which may be one great occasion why they are never mentioned in the ordinary books of the New Testament; though, in the Apostolical Constitutions, they are mentioned as those that observed the customs of their forefathers, and that without any such ill character laid upon them as is there laid upon the other sects among that people.

[4] Who these Polistae in Josephus, or in Strabo, among the Pythagoric Dacae, were, it is not easy to determine. Scaliger offers no improbable conjecture, that some of these Dacae lived alone, like monks, in tents or caves; but that others of them lived together in built cities, and thence were called by such names as implied the same.

[5] We may here take notice, as well as in the parallel parts of the books Of the War, B. II. ch.9. sect.1, that after the death of Herod the Great, and the succession of Archclaus, Josephus is very brief in his accounts of Judea, till near his own time. I suppose the reason is, that after the large history of Nicolaus of Damascus, including the life of Herod, and probably the succession and first actions of his sons, he had but few good histories of those times before him.

[6] Numbers 19:11-14.

[7] This citation is now wanting.

[8] These Jews, as they are here called, whose blood Pilate shed on this occasion, may very well be those very Galilean Jews, "whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices," Luke 13:1, 2; these tumults being usually excited at some of the Jews' great festivals, when they slew abundance of sacrifices, and the Galileans being commonly much more busy in such tumults than those of Judea and Jerusalem, as we learn from the history of Archelaus, Antiq. B. XVII. ch.9. sect.3 and ch.10. sect.2, 9; though, indeed, Josephus's present copies say not one word of "those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them," which the 4th verse of the same 13th chapter of St. Luke informs us of. But since our gospel teaches us, Luke 23:6, 7, that "when Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether Jesus were a Galilean. And as soon as he knew that he belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod;" and ver.12, "The same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together for before they had been at enmity between themselves;" take the very probable key of this matter in the words of the learned Noldius, de Herod. No.219: "The cause of the enmity between Herod and Pilate [says he] seems to have been this, that Pilate had intermeddled with the tetrarch's jurisdiction, and had slain some of his Galilean subjects, Luke 13:1; and, as he was willing to correct that error, he sent Christ to Herod at this time."

[9] A.D.33, April 3.

[10] April 5.

[11] Of the banishment of these four thousand Jews into Sardinia by Tiberius, see Suetonlus in Tiber. sect.36. But as for Mr. Reland's note here, which supposes that Jews could not, consistently with their laws, be soldiers, it is contradicted by one branch of the history before us, and contrary to innumerable instances of their fighting, and proving excellent soldiers in war; and indeed many of the best of them, and even under heathen kings themselves, did so; those, I mean, who allowed them their rest on the sabbath day, and other solemn festivals, and let them live according to their own laws, as Alexander the Great and the Ptolemies of Egypt did. It is true, they could not always obtain those privileges, and then they got executed as well as they could, or sometimes absolutely refused to fight, which seems to have been the case here, as to the major part of the Jews now banished, but nothing more. See several of the Roman decrees in their favor as to such matters, B. XIV. ch.10.

[12] Since Moses never came himself beyond Jordan, nor particularly to Mount Gerizzim, and since these Samaritans have a tradition among them, related here by Dr. Hudson, from Reland, who was very skillful in Jewish and Samaritan learning, that in the days of Uzzi or Ozis the high priest, 1 Chronicles 6:6; the ark and other sacred vessels were, by God's command, laid up or hidden in Mount Gerizzim, it is highly probable that this was the foolish foundation the present Samaritans went upon, in the sedition here described.

[13] This mention of the high priest's sacred garments received seven days before a festival, and purified in those days against a festival, as having been polluted by being in the custody of heathens, in Josephus, agrees well with the traditions of the Talmudists, as Reland here observes. Nor is there any question but the three feasts here mentioned were the passover, pentecost, and feast of tabernacles; and the fast so called by way of distinction, as Acts 27:9, was the great day of expiation.

[14] This calculation, from all Josephus's Greek copies, is exactly right; for since Herod died about September, in the fourth year before the Christian era, and Tiberius began, as is well known, Aug.19, A.D.14, it is evident that the thirty-seventh year of Philip, reckoned from his father's death, was the twentieth of Tiberius, or near the end of A.D.33, [the very year of our Savior's death also,] or, however, in the beginning of the next year, A.D.34. This Philip the tetrarch seems to have been the best of all the posterity of Herod, for his love of peace, and his love of justice. An excellent example this.

[15] This Herod seems to have had the additional name of Philip, as Antipus was named Herod-Antipas: and as Antipus and Antipater seem to be in a manner the very same name, yet were the names of two sons of Herod the Great; so might Philip the tetrarch and this Herod-Philip be two different sons of the same father, all which Grotias observes on Matthew 14:3. Nor was it, as I with Grotias and others of the Philip the tetrarch, but this 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 intitiation 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.


[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 eighth part 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 absolute power to do what they please without control."

[9] Hence we learn that, in the opinion of Saturninus, the sovereign authority of the consuls and senate had been taken away just a hundred years before the death of Caius, A.D.41, or in the sixtieth year before the Christian saga, when the first triumvirate began under Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus.

[10] Spanheim here notes from Suetonius, that the name of Caius's sister with whom he was guilty of incest, was Drusilla and that Suetonius adds, he was guilty of the same crime with all his sisters also. He notes further, that Suetonius omits the mention of the haven for ships, which our author esteems the only public work for the good of the present and future ages which Caius left behind him, though in an imperfect condition.

[11] This Caius was the son of that excellent person Germanicus, who was the son of Drusus, the brother of Tiberius the emperor.

[11] The first place Claudius came to was inhabited, and called Herincure, as Spanheim here informs us from Suetonius, in Claud. ch.10. [12] How Claudius, another son of Drusus, which Drusus was the father of Germanicus, could be here himself called Germanicus, Suetonius informs us, when he assures us that, by a decree of the senate, the surname of Germanicus was bestowed upon Drusus, and his posterity also. -- In Claud. ch.1.

[13] This number of drachmae to be distributed to each private soldier, five thousand drachmae, equal to twenty thousand sesterces, or one hundred and sixty-one pounds sterling, seems much too large, and directly contradicts Suetonius, ch.10., who makes them in all but fifteen sesterces, or two shillings and four pence. Yet might Josephus have this number from Agrippa, junior, though I doubt the thousands, or at least the hundreds, have been added by the transcribers, of which we have had several examples already in Josephus.

[14] This piercing cold here complained of by Lupus agrees well to the time of the year when Claudius began his reign; it being for certain about the months of November, December, or January, and most probably a few days after January the twenty-fourth, and a few days before the Roman Parentalia.

[15] It is both here and elsewhere very remarkable, that the murders of the vilest tyrants, who yet highly deserved to die, when those murderers were under oaths, or other the like obligations of fidelity to them, were usually revenged, and the murderers were cut off themselves, and that after a remarkable manner; and this sometimes, as in the present case, by those very persons who were not sorry for such murders, but got kingdoms by them. The examples are very numerous, both in sacred and profane histories, and seem generally indications of Divine vengeance on such murderers. Nor is it unworthy of remark, that such murderers of tyrants do it usually on such ill principles, in such a cruel manner, and as ready to involve the innocent with the guilty, which was the case here, ch.1. sect.14, and ch.2. sect.4, as justly deserved the Divine vengeance upon them. Which seems to have been the case of Jehu also, when, besides the house of Ahab, for whose slaughter he had a commission from God, without any such commission, any justice or commiseration, he killed Ahab's great men, and acquaintance, and priests, and forty-two of the kindred of Ahaziah, 2 Kings 10:11-14. See Hosea 1:4. I do not mean here to condemn Ehud or Judith, or the like executioners of God's vengeance on those wicked tyrants who had unjustly oppressed God's own people under their theocracy; who, as they appear still to have had no selfish designs nor intentions to slay the innocent, so had they still a Divine commission, or a Divine impulse, which was their commission for what they did, Judges 3:15, 19, 20; Judith 9:2; Test. Levi. sect.5, in Authent. Rec. p.312. See also page 432.

[16] Here St. Luke is in some measure confirmed, when he reforms us, ch.3:1, that Lysanias was some time before tetrarch of Abilene, whose capital was Abila; as he is further confirmed by Ptolemy, the great geographer, which Spanheim here observes, when he calls that city Abila of Lysanias. See the note on B. XVII. ch.11. sect.4; and Prid. at the years 36 and 22. I esteem this principality to have belonged to the land of Canaan originally, to have been the burying-place of Abel, and referred to as such, Matthew 23:35; Luke 11:51. See Authent. Rec. Part. II. p.883 -- 885.

[17] This form was so known and frequent among the Romans, as Dr. Hudson here tells us from the great Selden, that it used to be thus represented at the bottom of their edicts by the initial letters only, U. D. P. R. L. P, Unde De Plano Recte Lege Possit; "Whence it may be plainly read from the ground."

[18] Josephus shows, both here and ch.7. sect.3, that he had a much greater opinion of king Agrippa I. than Simon the learned Rabbi, than the people of Cesarea and Sebaste, ch.7. sect.4; and ch.9. sect.1; and indeed than his double-dealing between the senate and Claudius, ch.4. sect.2, than his slaughter of James the brother of John, and his imprisonment of Peter, or his vain-glorious behavior before he died, both in Acts 12:13; and here, ch.4. sect.1, will justify or allow. Josephus's character was probably taken from his son Agrippa, junior.

[19] This treasury-chamber seems to have been the very same in which our Savior taught, and where the people offered their charity money for the repairs or other uses of the temple, Mark 12:41, etc.; Luke 22:1; John 8:20.

[20] A strange number of condemned criminals to be under the sentence of death at once; no fewer, it seems, than one thousand four hundred!

[21] We have a mighty cry made here by some critics, as the great Eusebius had on purpose falsified this account of Josephus, so as to make it agree with the parallel account in the Acts of the Apostles, because the present copies of his citation of it, Hist. Eceles. B. II. ch.10., omit the words an owl -- on a certain rope, which Josephus's present copies retain, and only have the explicatory word or angel; as if he meant that angel of the Lord which St. Luke mentions as smiting Herod, Acts 12:23, and not that owl which Josephus called an angel or messenger, formerly of good, but now of bad news, to Agrippa. This accusation is a somewhat strange one in the case of the great Eusebius, who is known to have so accurately and faithfully produced a vast number of other ancient records, and particularly not a few out of our Josephus also, without any suspicion of prevarication. Now, not to allege how uncertain we are whether Josephus's and Eusebius's copies of the fourth century were just like the present in this clause, which we have no distinct evidence of, the following words, preserved still in Eusebius, will not admit of any such exposition: "This [bird] [says Eusebius] Agrippa presently perceived to be the cause of ill fortune, as it was once of good fortune, to him;" which can only belong to that bird, the owl, which as it had formerly foreboded his happy deliverance from imprisonment, Antiq. B. XVIII. ch.6. sect.7, so was it then foretold to prove afterward the unhappy forerunner of his death in five days' time. If the improper words signifying cause, be changed for Josephus's proper word angel or messenger, and the foregoing words, be inserted, Esuebius's text will truly represent that in Josephus. Had this imperfection been in some heathen author that was in good esteem with our modern critics, they would have readily corrected these as barely errors in the copies; but being in an ancient Christian writer, not so well relished by many of those critics, nothing will serve but the ill-grounded supposal of willful corruption and prevarication.

[22] This sum of twelve millions of drachmae, which is equal to three millions of shekels, i.e. at 2s.10d. a shekel, equal to four hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds sterling, was Agrippa the Great's yearly income, or about three quarters of his grandfather Herod's income; he having abated the tax upon houses at Jerusalem, ch.6. sect.3, and was not so tyrannical as Herod had been to the Jews. See the note on Antiq. B. XVII. ch.11. sect.4. A large sum this! but not, it seems, sufficient for his extravagant expenses.

[23] Reland takes notice here, not improperly, that Josephus omits the reconciliation of this Herod Agrippa to the Tyrians and Sidoninus, by the means of Blastus the king's chamberlain, mentioned Acts 12:20. Nor is there any history in the world so complete, as to omit nothing that other historians take notice of, unless the one be taken out of the other, and accommodated to it.

[24] Photius, who made an extract out of this section, says they were not the statues or images, but the ladies themselves, who were thus basely abused by the soldiers.

book 17 footnotes
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