The Antiquities of the Jews
Flavius Josephus

Part 11 out of 26

the observation of the laws); so he fell by occasion of the good
success of his affairs, and was carried headlong into those sins
of his father, which the splendor of that prosperity he enjoyed,
and the glorious actions he had done, led him into, while he was
not able to govern himself well about them. Accordingly, when a
remarkable day was come, and a general festival was to be
celebrated, he put on the holy garment, and went into the temple
to offer incense to God upon the golden altar, which he was
prohibited to do by Azariah the high priest, who had fourscore
priests with him, and who told him that it was not lawful for him
to offer sacrifice, and that "none besides the posterity of Aaron
were permitted so to do." And when they cried out that he must go
out of the temple, and not transgress against God, he was wroth
at them, and threatened to kill them, unless they would hold
their peace. In the mean time a great earthquake shook the ground
(26) and a rent was made in the temple, and the bright rays of
the sun shone through it, and fell upon the king's face, insomuch
that the leprosy seized upon him immediately. And before the
city, at a place called Eroge, half the mountain broke off from
the rest on the west, and rolled itself four furlongs, and stood
still at the east mountain, till the roads, as well as the king's
gardens, were spoiled by the obstruction. Now, as soon as the
priests saw that the king's face was infected with the leprosy,
they told him of the calamity he was under, and commanded that he
should go out of the city as a polluted person. Hereupon he was
so confounded at the sad distemper, and sensible that he was not
at liberty to contradict, that he did as he was commanded, and
underwent this miserable and terrible punishment for an intention
beyond what befitted a man to have, and for that impiety against
God which was implied therein. So he abode out of the city for
some time, and lived a private life, while his son Jotham took
the government; after which he died with grief and anxiety at
what had happened to him, when he had lived sixty-eight years,
and reigned of them fifty-two; and was buried by himself in his
own gardens.


How Zachariah Shallum, Menahem Pekahiah And Pekah Took The
Government Over The Israelites ; And How Pul And Tiglath-Pileser
Made An Expedition Against The Israelites. How Jotham, The Son Of
Uzziah Reigned Over The Tribe Of Judah; And What Things Nahum
Prophesied Against The Assyrians.

1. Now when Zachariah, the son of Jeroboam, had reigned six
months over Israel, he was slain by the treachery of a certain
friend of his, whose name was Shallum, the son of Jabesh, who
took the kingdom afterward, but kept it no longer than thirty
days; for Menahem, the general of his army, who was at that time
in the city Tirzah, and heard of what had befallen Zachariah,
removed thereupon with all his forces to Samaria, and joining
battle with Shallum, slew him; and when he had made himself king,
he went thence, and came to the city Tiphsah; but the citizens
that were in it shut their gates, and barred them against the
king, and would not admit him: but in order to be avenged on
them, he burnt the country round about it, and took the city by
force, upon a siege; and being very much displeased at what the
inhabitants of Tiphsah had done, he slew them all, and spared not
so much as the infants, without omitting the utmost instances of
cruelty and barbarity; for he used such severity upon his own
countrymen, as would not be pardonable with regard to strangers
who had been conquered by him. And after this manner it was that
this Menahem continued to reign with cruelty and barbarity for
ten years. But when Pul, king of Assyria, had made an expedition
against him, he did not think meet to fight or engage in battle
with the Assyrians, but he persuaded him to accept of a thousand
talents of silver, and to go away, and so put an end to the war.
This sum the multitude collected for Menahem, by exacting fifty
drachme as poll-money for every head; (23) after which he died,
and was buried in Samaria, and left his son Pekahiah his
successor in the kingdom, who followed the barbarity of his
father, and so ruled but two years only, after which he was slain
with his friends at a feast, by the treachery of one Pekah, the
general of his horse, and the son of Remaliah, who laid snares
for him. Now this Pekah held the government twenty years, and
proved a wicked man and a transgressor. But the king of Assyria,
whose name was Tiglath-Pileser, when he had made an expedition
against the Israelites, and had overrun all the land of Gilead,
and the region beyond Jordan, and the adjoining country, which is
called Galilee, and Kadesh, and Hazor, he made the inhabitants
prisoners, and transplanted them into his own kingdom. And so
much shall suffice to have related here concerning the king of

2. Now Jotham the son of Uzziah reigned over the tribe of Judah
in Jerusalem, being a citizen thereof by his mother, whose name
was Jerusha. This king was not defective in any virtue, but was
religious towards God, and righteous towards men, and careful of
the good of the city (for what part soever wanted to be repaired
or adorned he magnificently repaired and adorned them). He also
took care of the foundations of the cloisters in the temple, and
repaired the walls that were fallen down, and built very great
towers, and such as were almost impregnable; and if any thing
else in his kingdom had been neglected, he took great care of it.
He also made an expedition against the Ammonites, and overcame
them in battle, and ordered them to pay tribute, a hundred
talents, and ten thousand cori of wheat, and as many of barley,
every year, and so augmented his kingdom, that his enemies could
not despise it, and his own people lived happily.

3. Now there was at that time a prophet, whose name was Nahum,
who spake after this manner concerning the overthrow of the
Assyrians and of Nineveh: "Nineveh shall be a pool of water in
motion (23) so shall all her people be troubled, and tossed, and
go away by flight, while they say one to another, Stand, stand
still, seize their gold and silver, for there shall be no one to
wish them well, for they will rather save their lives than their
money; for a terrible contention shall possess them one with
another, and lamentation, and loosing of the members, and their
countenances shall be perfectly black with fear. And there will
be the den of the lions, and the mother of the young lions! God
says to thee, Nineveh, that they shall deface thee, and the lion
shall no longer go out from thee to give laws to the world." And
indeed this prophet prophesied many other things besides these
concerning Nineveh, which I do not think necessary to repeat, and
I here omit them, that I may not appear troublesome to my
readers; all which thing happened about Nineveh a hundred and
fifteen years afterward: so this may suffice to have spoken of
these matters.


How Upon The Death Of Jotham, Ahaz Reigned In His Stead; Against
Whom Rezin, King Of Syria And Pekah King Of Israel, Made War; And
How Tiglath-Pileser, King Of Assyria Came To The Assistance Of
Ahaz, And Laid Syria Waste And Removing The Damascenes Into Media
Placed Other Nations In Their Room.

1. Now Jotham died when he had lived forty-one years, and of them
reigned sixteen, and was buried in the sepulchers of the kings;
and the kingdom came to his son Ahaz, who proved most impious
towards God, and a transgressor of the laws of his country. He
imitated the kings of Israel, and reared altars in Jerusalem, and
offered sacrifices upon them to idols; to which also he offered
his own son as a burnt-offering, according to the practices of
the Canaanites. His other actions were also of the same sort. Now
as he was going on in this mad course, Rezin, the king of Syria
and Damascus, and Pekah, the king of Israel, who were now at
amity one with another, made war with him; and when they had
driven him into Jerusalem, they besieged that city a long while,
making but a small progress, on account of the strength of its
walls; and when the king of Syria had taken the city Elath, upon
the Red Sea, and had slain the inhabitants, he peopled it with
Syrians; and when he had slain those in the [other] garrisons,
and the Jews in their neighborhood, and had driven away much
prey, he returned with his army back to Damascus. Now when the
king of Jerusalem knew that the Syrians were returned home, he,
supposing himself a match for the king of Israel, drew out his
army against him, and joining battle with him was beaten; and
this happened because God was angry with him, on account of his
many and great enormities. Accordingly there were slain by the
Israelites one hundred and twenty thousand of his men that day,
whose general, Amaziah by name, slew Zechariah the king's son, in
his conflict with Ahaz, as well as the governor of the kingdom,
whose name was Azricam. He also carried Elkanah, the general of
the troops of the tribe of Judah, into captivity. They also
carried the women and children of the tribe of Benjamin captives;
and when they had gotten a great deal of prey, they returned to

2. Now there was one Obed, who was a prophet at that time in
Samaria ;he met the army before the city walls, and with a loud
voice told them that they had gotten the victory not by their own
strength, but by reason of the anger God had against king Ahaz.
And he complained that they were not satisfied with the good
success they had had against him, but were so bold as to make
captives out of their kinsmen the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
He also gave them counsel to let them go home without doing them
any harm, for that if they did not obey God herein, they should
be punished. So the people of Israel came together to their
assembly, and considered of these matters, when a man whose name
was Berechiah, and who was one of chief reputation in the
government, stood up, and the others with him, and said, "We will
not suffer the citizens to bring these prisoners into the city,
lest we be all destroyed by God; we have sins enough of our own
that we have committed against him, as the prophets assure us;
nor ought we therefore to introduce the practice of new crimes."
When the soldiers heard that, they permitted them to do what they
thought best. So the forenamed men took the captives, and let
them go, and took care of them, and gave them provisions, and
sent them to their own country, without doing them any harm.
However, these four went along with them, and conducted them as
far as Jericho, which is not far from Jerusalem, and returned to

3. Hereupon king Ahaz, having been so thoroughly beaten by the
Israelites, sent to Tiglath-Pileser, king of the Assyrians, and
sued for assistance from him in his war against the Israelites,
and Syrians, and Damascenes, with a promise to send him much
money; he sent him also great presents at the same time. Now this
king, upon the reception of those ambassadors, came to assist
Ahaz, and made war upon the Syrians, and laid their country
waste, and took Damascus by force, and slew Rezin their king, and
transplanted the people of Damascus into the Upper Media, and
brought a colony of Assyrians, and planted them in Damascus. He
also afflicted the land of Israel, and took many captives out of
it. While he was doing thus with the Syrians, king Ahaz took all
the gold that was in the king's treasures, and the silver, and
what was in the temple of God, and what precious gifts were
there, and he carried them with him, and came to Damascus, and
gave it to the king of Assyria, according to his agreement. So he
confessed that he owed him thanks for all he had done for him,
and returned to Jerusalem. Now this king was so sottish and
thoughtless of what was for his own good, that he would not leave
off worshipping the Syrian gods when he was beaten by them, but
he went on in worshipping them, as though they would procure him
the victory; and when he was beaten again, he began to honor the
gods of the Assyrians; and he seemed more desirous to honor any
other gods than his own paternal and true God, whose anger was
the cause of his defeat; nay, he proceeded to such a degree of
despite and contempt [of God's worship], that he shut up the
temple entirely, and forbade them to bring in the appointed
sacrifices, and took away the gifts that had been given to it.
And when he had offered these indignities to God, he died, having
lived thirty-six years, and of them reigned sixteen; and he left
his son Hezekiah for his successor.


How Pekah Died By The Treachery Of Hoshea Who Was A Little After
Subdued By Shalmaneser; And How Hezekiah Reigned Instead Of Ahaz;
And What Actions Of Piety And Justice He Did.

1. About the same time Pekah, the king of Israel, died by the
treachery of a friend of his, whose name was Hoshea, who retained
the kingdom nine years' time, but was a wicked man, and a
despiser of the Divine worship; and Shalmaneser, the king of
Assyria, made an expedition against him, and overcame him, (which
must have been because he had not God favorable nor assistant to
him,) and brought him to submission, and ordered him to pay an
appointed tribute. Now, in the fourth year of the reign of
Hoshea, Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, began to reign in Jerusalem;
and his mother's name was Abijah, a citizen of Jerusalem. His
nature was good, and righteous, and religious; for when he came
to the kingdom, he thought that nothing was prior, or more
necessary, or more advantageous to himself, and to his subjects,
than to worship God. Accordingly, he called the people together,
and the priests, and the Levites, and made a speech to them, and
said, "You are not ignorant how, by the sins of my father, who
transgressed that sacred honor which was due to God, you have had
experience of many and great miseries, while you were corrupted
in your mind by him, and were induced to worship those which he
supposed to be gods; I exhort you, therefore, who have learned by
sad experience how dangerous a thing impiety is, to put that
immediately out of your memory, and to purify yourselves from
your former pollutions, and to open the temple to these priests
and Levites who are here convened, and to cleanse it with the
accustomed sacrifices, and to recover all to the ancient honor
which our fathers paid to it; for by this means we may render God
favorable, and he will remit the anger he hath had to us."

2. When the king had said this, the priests opened the temple;
and when they had set in order the vessels of God, and east out
what was impure, they laid the accustomed sacrifices upon the
altar. The king also sent to the country that was under him, and
called the people to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of
unleavened bread, for it had been intermitted a long time, on
account of the wickedness of the forementioned kings. He also
sent to the Israelites, and exhorted them to leave off their
present way of living, and return to their ancient practices, and
to worship God, for that he gave them leave to come to Jerusalem,
and to celebrate, all in one body, the feast of unleavened bread;
and this he said was by way of invitation only, and to be done of
their own good-will, and for their own advantage, and not out of
obedience to him, because it would make them happy. But the
Israelites, upon the coming of the ambassadors, and upon their
laying before them what they had in charge from their own king,
were so far from complying therewith, that they laughed the
ambassadors to scorn, and mocked them as fools: as also they
affronted the prophets, which gave them the same exhortations,
and foretold what they would suffer if they did not return to the
worship of God, insomuch that at length they caught them, and
slew them; nor did this degree of transgressing suffice them, but
they had more wicked contrivances than what have been described:
nor did they leave off, before God, as a punishment for their
impiety, brought them under their enemies: but of that more
hereafter. However, many there were of the tribe of Manasseh, and
of Zebulon, and of Issachar, who were obedient to what the
prophets exhorted them to do, and returned to the worship of God.
Now all these came running to Jerusalem, to Hezekiah, that they
might worship God [there].

3. When these men were come, king Hezekiah went up into the
temple, with the rulers and all the people, and offered for
himself seven bulls, and as many rams, with seven lambs, and as
many kids of the goats. The king also himself, and the rulers,
laid their hands on the heads of the sacrifices, and permitted
the priests to complete the sacred offices about them. So they
both slew the sacrifices, and burnt the burnt-offerings, while
the Levites stood round about them, with their musical
instruments, and sang hymns to God, and played on their
psalteries, as they were instructed by David to do, and this
while the rest of the priests returned the music, and sounded the
trumpets which they had in their hands; and when this was done,
the king and the multitude threw themselves down upon their face,
and worshipped God. He also sacrificed seventy bulls, one hundred
rams, and two hundred lambs. He also granted the multitude
sacrifices to feast upon, six hundred oxen, and three thousand
other cattle; and the priests performed all things according to
the law. Now the king was so pleased herewith, that he feasted
with the people, and returned thanks to God; but as the feast of
unleavened bread was now come, when they had offered that
sacrifice which is called the passover, they after that offered
other sacrifices for seven days. When the king had bestowed on
the multitude, besides what they sanctified of themselves, two
thousand bulls, and seven thousand other cattle, the same thing
was done by the rulers; for they gave them a thousand bulls, and
a thousand and forty other cattle. Nor had this festival been so
well observed from the days of king Solomon, as it was now first
observed with great splendor and magnificence; and when the
festival was ended, they went out into the country and purged it,
and cleansed the city of all the pollution of the idols. The king
also gave order that the daily sacrifices should be offered, at
his own charges, and according to the law; and appointed that the
tithes and the first-fruits should be given by the multitude to
the priests and Levites, that they might constantly attend upon
Divine service, and never be taken off from the worship of God.
Accordingly, the multitude brought together all sorts of their
fruits to the priests and the Levites. The king also made garners
and receptacles for these fruits, and distributed them to every
one of the priests and Levites, and to their children and wives;
and thus did they return to their old form of Divine worship. Now
when the king had settled these matters after the manner already
described, he made war upon the Philistines, and beat them, and
possessed himself of all the enemy's cities, from Gaza to Gath;
but the king of Assyria sent to him, and threatened to overturn
all his dominions, unless he would pay him the tribute which his
father paid him formerly; but king Hezekiah was not concerned at
his threatenings, but depended on his piety towards God, and upon
Isaiah the prophet, by whom he inquired and accurately knew all
future events. And thus much shall suffice for the present
concerning this king Hezekiah.


How Shalmaneser Took Samaria By Force And How He Transplanted The
Ten Tribes Into Media, And Brought The Nation Of The Cutheans
Into Their Country [In Their Room].

1. When Shalmaneser, the king of Assyria, had it told him, that
[Hoshea] the king of Israel had sent privately to So, the king of
Egypt, desiring his assistance against him, he was very angry,
and made an expedition against Samaria, in the seventh year of
the reign of Hoshea; but when he was not admitted [into the city]
by the king, (24) he besieged Samaria three years, and took it by
force in the ninth year of the reign of Hoshea, and in the
seventh year of Hezekiah, king of Jerusalem, and quite demolished
the government of the Israelites, and transplanted all the people
into Media and Persia among whom he took king Hoshea alive; and
when he had removed these people out of this their land he
transplanted other nations out of Cuthah, a place so called, (for
there is [still] a river of that name in Persia,) into Samaria,
and into the country of the Israelites. So the ten tribes of the
Israelites were removed out of Judea nine hundred and forty-seven
years after their forefathers were come out of the land of Egypt,
and possessed themselves of the country, but eight hundred years
after Joshua had been their leader, and, as I have already
observed, two hundred and forty years, seven months, and seven
days after they had revolted from Rehoboam, the grandson of
David, and had given the kingdom to Jeroboam. And such a
conclusion overtook the Israelites, when they had transgressed
the laws, and would not hearken to the prophets, who foretold
that this calamity would come upon them, if they would not leave
off their evil doings. What gave birth to these evil doings, was
that sedition which they raised against Rehoboam, the grandson of
David, when they set up Jeroboam his servant to be their king,
when, by sinning against God, and bringing them to imitate his
bad example, made God to be their enemy, while Jeroboam underwent
that punishment which he justly deserved.

2. And now the king of Assyria invaded all Syria and Phoenicia in
a hostile manner. The name of this king is also set down in the
archives of Tyre, for he made an expedition against Tyre in the
reign of Eluleus; and Menander attests to it, who, when he wrote
his Chronology, and translated the archives of Tyre into the
Greek language, gives us the following history: "One whose name
was Eluleus reigned thirty-six years; this king, upon the revolt
of the Citteans, sailed to them, and reduced them again to a
submission. Against these did the king of Assyria send an army,
and in a hostile manner overrun all Phoenicia, but soon made
peace with them all, and returned back; but Sidon, and Ace, and
Palsetyrus revolted; and many other cities there were which
delivered themselves up to the king of Assyria. Accordingly, when
the Tyrians would not submit to him, the king returned, and fell
upon them again, while the Phoenicians had furnished him with
threescore ships, and eight hundred men to row them; and when the
Tyrians had come upon them in twelve ships, and the enemy's ships
were dispersed, they took five hundred men prisoners, and the
reputation of all the citizens of Tyre was thereby increased; but
the king of Assyria returned, and placed guards at their rivers
and aqueducts, who should hinder the Tyrians from drawing water.
This continued for five years; and still the Tyrians bore the
siege, and drank of the water they had out of the wells they
dug." And this is what is written in the Tyrian archives
concerning Shalmaneser, the king of Assyria.

3. But now the Cutheans, who removed into Samaria, (for that is
the name they have been called by to this time, because they were
brought out of the country called Cuthah, which is a country of
Persia, and there is a river of the same name in it,) each of
them, according to their nations, which were in number five,
brought their own gods into Samaria, and by worshipping them, as
was the custom of their own countries, they provoked Almighty God
to be angry and displeased at them, for a plague seized upon
them, by which they were destroyed; and when they found no cure
for their miseries, they learned by the oracle that they ought to
worship Almighty God, as the method for their deliverance. So
they sent ambassadors to the king of Assyria, and desired him to
send them some of those priests of the Israelites whom he had
taken captive. And when he thereupon sent them, and the people
were by them taught the laws, and the holy worship of God, they
worshipped him in a respectful manner, and the plague ceased
immediately; and indeed they continue to make use of the very
same customs to this very time, and are called in the Hebrew
tongue Cutlans, but in the Greek tongue Samaritans. And when they
see the Jews in prosperity, they pretend that they are changed,
and allied to them, and call them kinsmen, as though they were
derived from Joseph, and had by that means an original alliance
with them; but when they see them falling into a low condition,
they say they are no way related to them, and that the Jews have
no right to expect any kindness or marks of kindred from them,
but they declare that they are sojourners, that come from other
countries. But of these we shall have a more seasonable
opportunity to discourse hereafter.


Containing The Interval Of One Hundred And Eighty-Two Years And A

From The Captivity Of The Ten Tribes To The First Year Of Cyrus.


How Sennacherib Made An Expedition Against Hezekiah; What
Threatenings Rabshakeh Made To Hezekiah When Sennacherib Was Gone
Against The Egyptians; How Isaiah The Prophet Encouraged Him; How
Sennacherib Having Failed Of Success In Egypt, Returned Thence To
Jerusalem; And How Upon His Finding His Army Destroyed, He
Returned Home; And What Befell Him A Little Afterward.

1. It was now the fourteenth year of the government of Hezekiah,
king of the two tribes, when the king of Assyria, whose name was
Sennacherib, made an expedition against him with a great army,
and took all the cities of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin by
force; and when he was ready to bring his army against Jerusalem,
Hezekiah sent ambassadors to him beforehand, and promised to
submit, and pay what tribute he should appoint. Hereupon
Sennacherib, when he heard of what offers the ambassadors made,
resolved not to proceed in the war, but to accept of the
proposals that were made him; and if he might receive three
hundred talents of silver, and thirty talents of gold, he
promised that he would depart in a friendly manner; and he gave
security upon oath to the ambassadors that he would then do him
no harm, but go away as he came. So Hezekiah submitted, and
emptied his treasures, and sent the money, as supposing he should
be freed from his enemy, and from any further distress about his
kingdom. Accordingly, the Assyrian king took it, and yet had no
regard to what he had promised; but while he himself went to the
war against the Egyptians and Ethiopians, he left his general
Rabshakeh, and two other of his principal commanders, with great
forces, to destroy Jerusalem. The names of the two other
commanders were Tartan and Rabsaris.

2. Now as soon as they were come before the walls, they pitched
their camp, and sent messengers to Hezekiah, and desired that
they might speak with him; but he did not himself come out to
them for fear, but he sent three of his most intimate friends;
the name of one was Eliakim, who was over the kingdom, and
Shebna, and Joah the recorder. So these men came out, and stood
over against the commanders of the Assyrian army; and when
Rabshakeh saw them, he bid them go and speak to Hezekiah in the
manner following: That Sennacherib, the great king, (1) desires
to know of him, on whom it is that he relies and depends, in
flying from his lord, and will not hear him, nor admit his army
into the city? Is it on account of the Egyptians, and in hopes
that his army would be beaten by them? Whereupon he lets him
know, that if this be what he expects, he is a foolish man, and
like one who leans on a broken reed; while such a one will not
only fall down, but will have his hand pierced and hurt by it.
That he ought to know he makes this expedition against him by the
will of God, who hath granted this favor to him, that he shall
overthrow the kingdom of Israel, and that in the very same manner
he shall destroy those that are his subjects also. When Rabshakeh
had made this speech in the Hebrew tongue, for he was skillful in
that language, Eliakim was afraid lest the multitude that heard
him should be disturbed; so he desired him to speak in the Syrian
tongue. But the general, understanding what he meant, and
perceiving the fear that he was in, he made his answer with a
greater and a louder voice, but in the Hebrew tongue; and said,
that "since they all heard what were the king's commands, they
would consult their own advantage in delivering up themselves to
us; for it is plain the both you and your king dissuade the
people from submitting by vain hopes, and so induce them to
resist; but if you be courageous, and think to drive our forces
away, I am ready to deliver to you two thousand of these horses
that are with me for your use, if you can set as many horsemen on
their backs, and show your strength; but what you have not you
cannot produce. Why therefore do you delay to deliver up
yourselves to a superior force, who can take you without your
consent? although it will be safer for you to deliver yourselves
up voluntarily, while a forcible capture, when you are beaten,
must appear more dangerous, and will bring further calamities
upon you."

3. When the people, as well as the ambassadors, heard what the
Assyrian commander said, they related it to Hezekiah, who
thereupon put off his royal apparel, and clothed himself with
sackcloth, and took the habit of a mourner, and, after the manner
of his country, he fell upon his face, and besought God, and
entreated him to assist them, now they had no other hope of
relief. He also sent some of his friends, and some of the
priests, to the prophet Isaiah, and desired that he would pray to
God, and offer sacrifices for their common deliverance, and so
put up supplications to him, that he would have indignation at
the expectations of their enemies, and have mercy upon his
people. And when the prophet had done accordingly, an oracle came
from God to him, and encouraged the king and his friends that
were about him; and foretold that their enemies should be beaten
without fighting, and should go away in an ignominious manner,
and not with that insolence which they now show, for that God
would take care that they should be destroyed. He also foretold
that Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, should fail of his purpose
against Egypt, and that when he came home he should perish by the

4. About the same time also the king of Assyria wrote an epistle
to Hezekiah, in which he said he was a foolish man, in supposing
that he should escape from being his servant, since he had
already brought under many and great nations; and he threatened,
that when he took him, he would utterly destroy him, unless he
now opened the gates, and willingly received his army into
Jerusalem. When he read this epistle, he despised it, on account
of the trust that be had in God; but he rolled up the epistle,
and laid it up within the temple. And as he made his further
prayers to God for the city, and for the preservation of all the
people, the prophet Isaiah said that God had heard his prayer,
and that he should not be besieged at this time by the king of
Assyria (2) that for the future he might be secure of not being
at all disturbed by him; and that the people might go on
peaceably, and without fear, with their husbandry and other
affairs. But after a little while the king of Assyria, when he
had failed of his treacherous designs against the Egyptians,
returned home without success, on the following occasion: He
spent a long time in the siege of Pelusium; and when the banks
that he had raised over against the walls were of a great height,
and when he was ready to make an immediate assault upon them, but
heard that Tirhaka, king of the Ethiopians, was coming and
bringing great forces to aid the Egyptians, and was resolved to
march through the desert, and so to fall directly upon the
Assyrians, this king Sennacherib was disturbed at the news, and,
as I said before, left Pelusium, and returned back without
success. Now concerning this Sennacherib, Herodotus also says, in
the second book of his histories, how "this king came against the
Egyptian king, who was the priest of Vulcan; and that as he was
besieging Pelusium, he broke up the siege on the following
occasion: This Egyptian priest prayed to God, and God heard his
prayer, and sent a judgment upon the Arabian king." But in this
Herodotus was mistaken, when he called this king not king of the
Assyrians, but of the Arabians; for he saith that "a multitude of
mice gnawed to pieces in one night both the bows and the rest of
the armor of the Assyrians, and that it was on that account that
the king, when he had no bows left, drew off his army from
Pelusium." And Herodotus does indeed give us this history; nay,
and Berosus, who wrote of the affairs of Chaldea, makes mention
of this king Sennacherib, and that he ruled over the Assyrians,
and that he made an expedition against all Asia and Egypt; and
says thus:

5. "Now when Sennacherib was returning from his Egyptian war to
Jerusalem, he found his army under Rabshakeh his general in
danger [by a plague], for God had sent a pestilential distemper
upon his army; and on the very first night of the siege, a
hundred fourscore and five thousand, with their captains and
generals, were destroyed. So the king was in a great dread and in
a terrible agony at this calamity; and being in great fear for
his whole army, he fled with the rest of his forces to his own
kingdom, and to his city Nineveh; and when he had abode there a
little while, he was treacherously assaulted, and died by the
hands of his elder sons, (3) Adrammelech and Seraser, and was
slain in his own temple, which was called Araske. Now these sons
of his were driven away on account of the murder of their father
by the citizens, and went into Armenia, while Assarachoddas took
the kingdom of Sennacherib." And this proved to be the conclusion
of this Assyrian expedition against the people of Jerusalem.


How Hezekiah Was Sick, And Ready To Die; And How God Bestowed
Upon Him Fifteen Years Longer Life, [And Secured That Promise] By
The Going Back Of The Shadow Ten Degrees.

1. Now king Hezekiah being thus delivered, after a surprising
manner, from the dread he was in, offered thank-offerings to God,
with all his people, because nothing else had destroyed some of
their enemies, and made the rest so fearful of undergoing the
same fate that they departed from Jerusalem, but that Divine
assistance. Yet, while he was very zealous and diligent about the
worship of God, did he soon afterwards fall into a severe
distemper, insomuch that the physicians despaired of him, and
expected no good issue of his sickness, as neither did his
friends: and besides the distemper (4) itself, there was a very
melancholy circumstance that disordered the king, which was the
consideration that he was childless, and was going to die, and
leave his house and his government without a successor of his own
body; so he was troubled at the thoughts of this his condition,
and lamented himself, and entreated of God that he would prolong
his life for a little while till he had some children, and not
suffer him to depart this life before he was become a father.
Hereupon God had mercy upon him, and accepted of his
supplication, because the trouble he was under at his supposed
death was not because he was soon to leave the advantages he
enjoyed in the kingdom, nor did he on that account pray that he
might have a longer life afforded him, but in order to have sons,
that might receive the government after him. And God sent Isaiah
the prophet, and commanded him to inform Hezekiah, that within
three days' time he should get clear of his distemper, and should
survive it fifteen years, and that he should have children also.
Now, upon the prophet's saying this, as God had commanded him, he
could hardly believe it, both on account of the distemper he was
under, which was very sore, and by reason of the surprising
nature of what was told him; so he desired that Isaiah would give
him some sign or wonder, that he might believe him in what he had
said, and be sensible that he came from God; for things that are
beyond expectation, and greater than our hopes, are made credible
by actions of the like nature. And when Isaiah had asked him what
sign he desired to be exhibited, he desired that he would make
the shadow of the sun, which he had already made to go down ten
steps [or degrees] in his house, to return again to the same
place, (5) and to make it as it was before. And when the prophet
prayed to God to exhibit this sign to the king, he saw what he
desired to see, and was freed from his distemper, and went up to
the temple, where he worshipped God, and made vows to him.

2. At this time it was that the dominion of the Assyrians was
overthrown by the Medes; (6) but of these things I shall treat
elsewhere. But the king of Babylon, whose name was Baladan, sent
ambassadors to Hezekiah, with presents, and desired he would be
his ally and his friend. So he received the ambassadors gladly,
and made them a feast, and showed them his treasures, and his
armory, and the other wealth he was possessed of, in precious
stones and in gold, and gave them presents to be carried to
Baladan, and sent them back to him. Upon which the prophet Isaiah
came to him, and inquired of him whence those ambassadors came;
to which he replied, that they came from Babylon, from the king;
and that he had showed them all he had, that by the sight of his
riches and forces he might thereby guess at [the plenty he was
in], and be able to inform the king of it. But the prophet
rejoined, and said, "Know thou, that, after a little while, these
riches of thine shall be carried away to Babylon, and thy
posterity shall be made eunuchs there, and lose their manhood,
and be servants to the king of Babylon; for that God foretold
such things would come to pass." Upon which words Hezekiah was
troubled, and said that he was himself unwilling that his nation
should fall into such calamities; yet since it is not possible to
alter what God had determined, he prayed that there might be
peace while he lived. Berosus also makes mention of this Baladan,
king of Babylon. Now as to this prophet [Isaiah], he was by the
confession of all, a divine and wonderful man in speaking truth;
and out of the assurance that he had never written what was
false, he wrote down all his prophecies, and left them behind him
in books, that their accomplishment might be judged of from the
events by posterity: nor did this prophet do so alone, but the
others, which were twelve in number, did the same. And whatsoever
is done among us, Whether it be good, or whether it be bad, comes
to pass according to their prophecies; but of every one of these
we shall speak hereafter.


How Manasseh Reigned After Hezekiah; And How When He Was In
Captivity He Returned To God And Was Restored To His Kingdom And
Left It To [His Son] Amon.

1. When king Hezekiah had survived the interval of time already
mentioned, and had dwelt all that time in peace, he died, having
completed fifty-four years of his life, and reigned twenty-nine.
But when his son Manasseh, whose mother's name was Hephzibah, of
Jerusalem, had taken the kingdom, he departed from the conduct of
his father, and fell into a course of life quite contrary
thereto, and showed himself in his manners most wicked in all
respects, and omitted no sort of impiety, but imitated those
transgressions of the Israelites, by the commission of which
against God they had been destroyed; for he was so hardy as to
defile the temple of God, and the city, and the whole country;
for, by setting out from a contempt of God, he barbarously slew
all the righteous men that were among the Hebrews; nor would he
spare the prophets, for he every day slew some of them, till
Jerusalem was overflown with blood. So God was angry at these
proceedings, and sent prophets to the king, and to the multitude,
by whom he threatened the very same calamities to them which
their brethren the Israelites, upon the like affronts offered to
God, were now under. But these men would not believe their words,
by which belief they might have reaped the advantage of escaping
all those miseries; yet did they in earnest learn that what the
prophets had told them was true.

2. And when they persevered in the same course of life, God
raised up war against them from the king of Babylon and Chaldea,
who sent an army against Judea, and laid waste the country; and
caught king Manasseh by treachery, and ordered him to be brought
to him, and had him under his power to inflict what punishment he
pleased upon him. But then it was that Manasseh perceived what a
miserable condition he was in, and esteeming himself the cause of
all, he besought God to render his enemy humane and merciful to
him. Accordingly, God heard his prayer, and granted him what he
prayed for. So Manasseh was released by the king of Babylon, and
escaped the danger he was in; and when he was come to Jerusalem,
he endeavored, if it were possible, to cast out of his memory
those his former sins against God, of which he now repented, and
to apply himself to a very religious life. He sanctified the
temple, and purged the city, and for the remainder of his days he
was intent on nothing but to return his thanks to God for his
deliverance, and to preserve him propitious to him all his life
long. He also instructed the multitude to do the same, as having
very nearly experienced what a calamity he was fallen into by a
contrary conduct. He also rebuilt the altar, and offered the
legal sacrifices, as Moses commanded. And when he had
re-established what concerned the Divine worship, as it ought to
be, he took care of the security of Jerusalem: he did not only
repair the old walls with great diligence, but added another wall
to the former. He also built very lofty towers, and the
garrisoned places before the city he strengthened, not only in
other respects, but with provisions of all sorts that they
wanted. And indeed, when he had changed his former course, he so
led his life for the time to come, that from the time of his
return to piety towards God he was deemed a happy man, and a
pattern for imitation. When therefore he had lived sixty-seven
years, he departed this life, having reigned fifty-five years,
and was buried in his own garden; and the kingdom came to his son
Amon, whose mother's name was Meshulemeth, of the city of


How Amon Reigned Instead Of Manasseh; And After Amon Reigned
Josiah; He Was Both Righteous And Religious. As Also Concerning
Huldah The Prophetess.

1. This Amon imitated those works of his father which he
insolently did when he was young: so he had a conspiracy made
against him by his own servants, and was slain in his own house,
when he had lived twenty-four years, and of them had reigned two.
But the multitude punished those that slew Amon, and buried him
with his father, and gave the kingdom to his son Josiah, who was
eight years old. His mother was of the city of Boscath, and her
name was Jedidah. He was of a most excellent disposition, and
naturally virtuous, and followed the actions of king David, as a
pattern and a rule to him in the whole conduct of his life. And
when he was twelve years old, he gave demonstrations of his
religious and righteous behavior; for he brought the people to a
sober way of living, and exhorted them to leave off the opinion
they had of their idols, because they were not gods, but to
worship their own God. And by repeating on the actions of his
progenitors, he prudently corrected what they did wrong, like a
very elderly man, and like one abundantly able to understand what
was fit to be done; and what he found they had well done, he
observed all the country over, and imitated the same. And thus he
acted in following the wisdom and sagacity of his own nature, and
in compliance with the advice and instruction of the elders; for
by following the laws it was that he succeeded so well in the
order of his government, and in piety with regard to the Divine
worship. And this happened because the transgressions of the
former kings were seen no more, but quite vanished away; for the
king went about the city, and the whole country, and cut down the
groves which were devoted to strange gods, and overthrew their
altars; and if there were any gifts dedicated to them by his
forefathers, he made them ignominious, and plucked them down; and
by this means he brought the people back from their opinion about
them to the worship of God. He also offered his accustomed
sacrifices and burnt-offerings upon the altar. Moreover, he
ordained certain judges and overseers, that they might order the
matters to them severally belonging, and have regard to justice
above all things, and distribute it with the same concern they
would have about their own soul. He also sent over all the
country, and desired such as pleased to bring gold and silver for
the repairs of the temple, according to every one's inclinations
and abilities. And when the money was brought in, he made one
Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Shaphan the scribe, and
Joab the recorder, and Eliakim the high priest, curators of the
temple, and of the charges contributed thereto; who made no
delay, nor put the work off at all, but prepared architects, and
whatsoever was proper for those repairs, and set closely about
the work. So the temple was repaired by this means, and became a
public demonstration of the king's piety.

2. But when he was now in the eighteenth year of his reign, he
sent to Eliakim the high priest, and gave order, that out of what
money was overplus, he should cast cups, and dishes, and vials,
for ministration [in the temple]; and besides, that they should
bring all the gold or silver which was among the treasures, and
expend that also in making cups and the like vessels. But as the
high priest was bringing out the gold, he lighted upon the holy
books of Moses that were laid up in the temple; and when he had
brought them out, he gave them to Shaphan the scribe, who, when
he had read them, came to the king, and informed him that all was
finished which he had ordered to be done. He also read over the
books to him, who, when he had heard them read, rent his garment,
and called for Eliakim the high priest, and for [Shaphan] the
scribe, and for certain [other] of his most particular friends,
and sent them to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum,
(which Shallum was a man of dignity, and of an eminent family,)
and bid them go to her, and say that [he desired] she would
appease God, and endeavor to render him propitious to them, for
that there was cause to fear, lest, upon the transgression of the
laws of Moses by their forefathers, they should be in peril of
going into captivity, and of being cast out of their own country;
lest they should be in want of all things, and so end their days
miserably. When the prophetess had heard this from the messengers
that were sent to her by the king, she bid them go back to the
king, and say that "God had already given sentence against them,
to destroy the people, and cast them out of their country, and
deprive them of all the happiness they enjoyed; which sentence
none could set aside by any prayers of theirs, since it was
passed on account of their transgressions of the laws, and of
their not having repented in so long a time, while the prophets
had exhorted them to amend, and had foretold the punishment that
would ensue on their impious practices; which threatening God
would certainly execute upon them, that they might be persuaded
that he is God, and had not deceived them in any respect as to
what he had denounced by his prophets; that yet, because Josiah
was a righteous man, he would at present delay those calamities,
but that after his death he would send on the multitude what
miseries he had determined for them.

3. So these messengers, upon this prophecy of the woman, came and
told it to the king; whereupon he sent to the people every where,
and ordered that the priests and the Levites should come together
to Jerusalem; and commanded that those of every age should be
present also. And when they had gathered together, he first read
to them the holy books; after which he stood upon a pulpit, in
the midst of the multitude, and obliged them to make a covenant,
with an oath, that they would worship God, and keep the laws of
Moses. Accordingly, they gave their assent willingly, and
undertook to do what the king had recommended to them. So they
immediately offered sacrifices, and that after an acceptable
manner, and besought God to be gracious and merciful to them. He
also enjoined the high priest, that if there remained in the
temple any vessel that was dedicated to idols, or to foreign
gods, they should cast it out. So when a great number of such
vessels were got together, he burnt them, and scattered their
ashes abroad, and slew the priests of the idols that were not of
the family of Aaron.

4. And when he had done thus in Jerusalem, he came into the
country, and utterly destroyed what buildings had been made
therein by king Jeroboam, in honor of strange gods; and he burnt
the bones of the false prophets upon that altar which Jeroboam
first built; and, as the prophet [Jadon], who came to Jeroboam
when he was offering sacrifice, and when all the people heard
him, foretold what would come to pass, viz. that a certain man of
the house of David, Josiah by name, should do what is here
mentioned. And it happened that those predictions took effect
after three hundred and sixty-one years.

5. After these things, Josiah went also to such other Israelites
as had escaped captivity and slavery under the Assyrians, and
persuaded them to desist from their impious practices, and to
leave off the honors they paid to strange gods, but to worship
rightly their own Almighty God, and adhere to him. He also
searched the houses, and the villages, and the cities, out of a
suspicion that somebody might have one idol or other in private;
nay, indeed, he took away the chariots [of the sun] that were set
up in his royal palace, (7) which his predecessors had framed,
and what thing soever there was besides which they worshipped as
a god. And when he had thus purged all the country, he called the
people to Jerusalem, and there celebrated the feast of unleavened
bread, and that called the passover. He also gave the people for
paschal sacrifices, young kids of the goats, and lambs, thirty
thousand, and three thousand oxen for burnt-offerings. The
principal of the priests also gave to the priests against the
passover two thousand and six hundred lambs; the principal of the
Levites also gave to the Levites five thousand lambs, and five
hundred oxen, by which means there was great plenty of
sacrifices; and they offered those sacrifices according to the
laws of Moses, while every priest explained the matter, and
ministered to the multitude. And indeed there had been no other
festival thus celebrated by the Hebrews from the times of Samuel
the prophet; and the plenty of sacrifices now was the occasion
that all things were performed according to the laws, and
according to the custom of their forefathers. So when Josiah had
after this lived in peace, nay, in riches and reputation also,
among all men, he ended his life in the manner following.


How Josiah Fought With Neco [King Of Egypt.] And Was Wounded And
Died In A Little Time Afterward; As Also How Neco Carried
Jehoahaz, Who Had Been Made King Into Egypt And Delivered The
Kingdom To Jehoiakim; And [Lastly] Concerning Jeremiah And

1. Now Neco, king of Egypt, raised an army, and marched to the
river Euphrates, in order to fight with the Medes and
Babylonians, who had overthrown the dominion of the Assyrians,
(8) for he had a desire to reign over Asia. Now when he was come
to the city Mendes, which belonged to the kingdom of Josiah, he
brought an army to hinder him from passing through his own
country, in his expedition against the Medes. Now Neco sent a
herald to Josiah, and told him that he did not make this
expedition against him, but was making haste to Euphrates; and
desired that he would not provoke him to fight against him,
because he obstructed his march to the place whither he had
resolved to go. But Josiah did not admit of this advice of Neco,
but put himself into a posture to hinder him from his intended
march. I suppose it was fate that pushed him on this conduct,
that it might take an occasion against him; for as he was setting
his army in array, (9) and rode about in his chariot, from one
wing of his army to another, one of the Egyptians shot an arrow
at him, and put an end to his eagerness of fighting; for being
sorely wounded, he command a retreat to be sounded for his army,
and returned to Jerusalem, and died of that wound; and was
magnificently buried in the sepulcher of his fathers, when he had
lived thirty-nine years, and of them had reigned thirty-one. But
all the people mourned greatly for him, lamenting and grieving on
his account many days; and Jeremiah the prophet composed an elegy
to lament him, (10) which is extant till tills time also.
Moreover, this prophet denounced beforehand the sad calamities
that were coming upon the city. He also left behind him in
writing a description of that destruction of our nation which has
lately happened in our days, and the taking of Babylon; nor was
he the only prophet who delivered such predictions beforehand to
the multitude, but so did Ezekiel also, who was the first person
that wrote, and left behind him in writing two books concerning
these events. Now these two prophets were priests by birth, but
of them Jeremiah dwelt in Jerusalem, from the thirteenth year of
the reign of Josiah, until the city and temple were utterly
destroyed. However, as to what befell this prophet, we will
relate it in its proper place.

2. Upon the death of Josiah, which we have already mentioned, his
son, Jehoahaz by name, took the kingdom, being about twenty-three
years old. He reigned in Jerusalem; and his mother was Hamutal,
of the city Libhah. He was an impious man, and impure in his
course of life; but as the king of Egypt returned from the
battle, he sent for Jehoahaz to come to him, to the city called
Hamath (11) which belongs to Syria; and when he was come, he put
him in bands, and delivered the kingdom to a brother of his, by
the father's side, whose name was Eliakim, and changed his name
to Jehoiakim and laid a tribute upon the land of a hundred
talents of silver, and a talent of gold; and this sum of money
Jehoiakim paid by way of tribute; but Neco carried away Jehoahaz
into Egypt, where he died when he had reigned three months and
ten days. Now Jehoiakim's mother was called Zebudah, of the city
Rumah. He was of a wicked disposition, and ready to do mischief;
nor was he either religions towards God, or good-natured towards


How Nebuchadnezzar, When He Had Conquered The King Of Egypt Made
An Expedition Against The Jews, And Slew Jehoiakim, And Made
Jeholachin His Son King.

1. Now in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim, one whose
name was Nebuchadnezzar took the government over the Babylonians,
who at the same time went up with a great army to the city
Carchemish, which was at Euphrates, upon a resolution he had
taken to fight with Neco king of Egypt, under whom all Syria then
was. And when Neco understood the intention of the king of
Babylon, and that this expedition was made against him, he did
not despise his attempt, but made haste with a great band of men
to Euphrates to defend himself from Nebuchadnezzar; and when they
had joined battle, he was beaten, and lost many ten thousands [of
his soldiers] in the battle. So the king of Babylon passed over
Euphrates, and took all Syria, as far as Pelusium, excepting
Judea. But when Nebuchadnezzar had already reigned four years,
which was the eighth of Jehoiakim's government over the Hebrews,
the king of Babylon made an expedition with mighty forces against
the Jews, and required tribute of Jehoiakim, and threatened upon
his refusal to make war against him. He was aftrighted at his
threatening, and bought his peace with money, and brought the
tribute he was ordered to bring for three years.

2. But on the third year, upon hearing that the king of the
Babylonians made an expedition against the Egyptians, he did not
pay his tribute; yet was he disappointed of his hope, for the
Egyptians durst not fight at this time. And indeed the prophet
Jeremiah foretold every day, how vainly they relied on their
hopes from Egypt, and how the city would be overthrown by the
king of Babylon, and Jehoiakim the king would be subdued by him.
But what he thus spake proved to be of no advantage to them,
because there were none that should escape; for both the
multitude and the rulers, when they heard him, had no concern
about what they heard; but being displeased at what was said, as
if the prophet were a diviner against the king, they accused
Jeremiah, and bringing him before the court, they required that a
sentence and a punishment might be given against him. Now all the
rest gave their votes for his condemnation, but the elders
refused, who prudently sent away the prophet from the court of
[the prison], and persuaded the rest to do Jeremiah no harm; for
they said that he was not the only person who foretold what would
come to the city, but that Micah signified the same before him,
as well as many others, none of which suffered any thing of the
kings that then reigned, but were honored as the prophets of God.
So they mollified the multitude with these words, and delivered
Jeremiah from the punishment to which he was condemned. Now when
this prophet had written all his prophecies, and the people were
fasting, and assembled at the temple, on the ninth month of the
fifth year of Jehoiakim, he read the book he had composed of his
predictions of what was to befall the city, and the temple, and
the multitude. And when the rulers heard of it, they took the
book from him, and bid him and Baruch the scribe to go their
ways, lest they should be discovered by one or other; but they
carried the book, and gave it to the king; so he gave order, in
the presence of his friends, that his scribe should take it, and
read it. When the king heard what it contained, he was angry, and
tore it, and cast it into the fire, where it was consumed. He
also commanded that they should seek for Jeremiah, and Baruch the
scribe, and bring them to him, that they might be punished.
However, they escaped his anger.

3. Now, a little time afterwards, the king of Babylon made an
expedition against Jehoiakim, whom he received [into the city],
and this out of fear of the foregoing predictions of this
prophet, as supposing he should suffer nothing that was terrible,
because he neither shut the gates, nor fought against him; yet
when he was come into the city, he did not observe the covenants
he had made, but he slew such as were in the flower of their age,
and such as were of the greatest dignity, together with their
king Jehoiakim, whom he commanded to be thrown before the walls,
without any burial; and made his son Jehoiachin king of the
country, and of the city: he also took the principal persons in
dignity for captives, three thousand in number, and led them away
to Babylon; among which was the prophet Ezekiel, who was then but
young. And this was the end of king Jehoiakim, when he had lived
thirty-six years, and of them reigned eleven. But Jehoiachin
succeeded him in the kingdom, whose mother's name was Nehushta;
she was a citizen of Jerusalem. He reigned three months and ten


That The King Of Babylon Repented Of Making Jehoiachin King, And
Took Him Away To Babylon And Delivered The Kingdom To Zedekiah.
This King Would Not Relieve What Was Predicted By Jeremiah And
Ezekiel But Joined Himself To The Egyptians; Who When They Came
Into Judea, Were Vanquished By The King Of Babylon; As Also What
Befell Jeremiah.

1. But a terror seized on the king of Babylon, who had given the
kingdom to Jehoiachin, and that immediately; he was afraid that
he should bear him a grudge, because of his killing his father,
and thereupon should make the country revolt from him; wherefore
he sent an army, and besieged Jehoiachin in Jerusalem; but
because he was of a gentle and just disposition, he did not
desire to see the city endangered on his account, but he took his
mother and kindred, and delivered them to the commanders sent by
the king of Babylon, and accepted of their oaths, that neither
should they suffer any harm, nor the city; which agreement they
did not observe for a single year, for the king of Babylon did
not keep it, but gave orders to his generals to take all that
were in the city captives, both the youth and the handicraftsmen,
and bring them bound to him; their number was ten thousand eight
hundred and thirty-two; as also Jehoiachin, and his mother and
friends. And when these were brought to him, he kept them in
custody, and appointed Jehoiachin's uncle, Zedekiah, to be king;
and made him take an oath, that he would certainly keep the
kingdom for him, and make no innovation, nor have any league of
friendship with the Egyptians.

2. Now Zedekiah was twenty and one year's old when he took the
government; and had the same mother with his brother Jehoiakim,
but was a despiser of justice and of his duty, for truly those of
the same age with him were wicked about him, and the whole
multitude did what unjust and insolent things they pleased; for
which reason the prophet Jeremiah came often to him, and
protested to him, and insisted, that he must leave off his
impieties and transgressions, and take care of what was right,
and neither give ear to the rulers, (among whom were wicked men,)
nor give credit to their false prophets, who deluded them, as if
the king of Babylon would make no more war against them, and as
if the Egyptians would make war against him, and conquer him,
since what they said was not true, and the events would not prove
such [as they expected]. Now as to Zedekiah himself, while he
heard the prophet speak, he believed him, and agreed to every
thing as true, and supposed it was for his advantage; but then
his friends perverted him, and dissuaded him from what the
prophet advised, and obliged him to do what they pleased. Ezekiel
also foretold in Babylon what calamities were coming upon the
people, which when he heard, he sent accounts of them unto
Jerusalem. But Zedekiah did not believe their prophecies, for the
reason following: It happened that the two prophets agreed with
one another in what they said as in all other things, that the
city should be taken, and Zedekiah himself should be taken
captive; but Ezekiel disagreed with him, and said that Zedekiah
should not see Babylon, while Jeremiah said to him, that the king
of Babylon should carry him away thither in bonds. And be-

3. Now when Zedekiah had preserved the league of mutual
assistance he had made with the Babylonians for eight years, he
brake it, and revolted to the Egyptians, in hopes, by their
assistance, of overcoming the Babylonians. When the king of
Babylon knew this, he made war against him: he laid his country
waste, and took his fortified towns, and came to the city
Jerusalem itself to besiege it. But when the king of Egypt heard
what circumstances Zedekiah his ally was in, he took a great army
with him, and came into Judea, as if he would raise the siege;
upon which the king of Babylon departed from Jerusalem, and met
the Egyptians, and joined battle with them, and beat them; and
when he had put them to flight, he pursued them, and drove them
out of all Syria. Now as soon as the king of Babylon was departed
from Jerusalem, the false prophets deceived Zedekiah, and said
that the king of Babylon would not any more make war against him
or his people, nor remove them out of their own country into
Babylon; and that those then in captivity would return, with all
those vessels of the temple of which the king of Babylon had
despoiled that temple. But Jeremiah came among them, and
prophesied what contradicted those predictions, and what proved
to be true, that they did ill, and deluded the king; that the
Egyptians would be of no advantage to them, but that the king of
Babylon would renew the war against Jerusalem, and besiege it
again, and would destroy the people by famine, and carry away
those that remained into captivity, and would take away what they
had as spoils, and would carry off those riches that were in the
temple; nay, that, besides this, he would burn it, and utterly
overthrow the city, and that they should serve him and his
posterity seventy years; that then the Persians and the Medes
should put an end to their servitude, and overthrow the
Babylonians; "and that we shall be dismissed, and return to this
land, and rebuild the temple, and restore Jerusalem." When
Jeremiah said this, the greater part believed him; but the
rulers, and those that were wicked, despised him, as one
disordered in his senses. Now he had resolved to go elsewhere, to
his own country, which was called Anathoth, and was twenty
furlongs distant from Jerusalem; (12) and as he was going, one of
the rulers met him, and seized upon him, and accused him falsely,
as though he were going as a deserter to the Babylonians; but
Jeremiah said that he accused him falsely, and added, that he was
only going to his own country; but the other would not believe
him, but seized upon him, and led him away to the rulers, and
laid an accusation against him, under whom he endured all sorts
of torments and tortures, and was reserved to be punished; and
this was the condition he was in for some time, while he suffered
what I have already described unjustly.

4. Now in the ninth year of the reign of Zedekiah, on the tenth
day of the tenth month, the king of Babylon made a second
expedition against Jerusalem, and lay before it eighteen months,
and besieged it with the utmost application. There came upon them
also two of the greatest calamities at the same time that
Jerusalem was besieged, a famine and a pestilential distemper,
and made great havoc of them. And though the prophet Jeremiah was
in prison, he did not rest, but cried out, and proclaimed aloud,
and exhorted the multitude to open their gates, and admit the
king of Babylon, for that if they did so, they should be
preserved, and their whole families; but if they did not so, they
should be destroyed; and he foretold, that if any one staid in
the city, he should certainly perish by one of these ways, -
either be consumed by the famine, or slain by the enemy's sword;
but that if he would flee to the enemy, he should escape death.
Yet did not these rulers who heard believe him, even when they
were in the midst of their sore calamities; but they came to the
king, and in their anger informed him what Jeremiah had said, and
accused him, and complained of the prophet as of a madman, and
one that disheartened their minds, and by the denunciation of
miseries weakened the alacrity of the multitude, who were
otherwise ready to expose themselves to dangers for him, and for
their country, while he, in a way of threatening, warned them to
flee to the enemy, and told them that the city should certainly
be taken, and be utterly destroyed.

5. But for the king himself, he was not at all irritated against
Jeremiah, such was his gentle and righteous disposition; yet,
that he might not be engaged in a quarrel with those rulers at
such a time, by opposing what they intended, he let them do with
the prophet whatsoever they would; whereupon, when the king had
granted them such a permission, they presently came into the
prison, and took him, and let him down with a cord into a pit
full of mire, that he might be suffocated, and die of himself. So
he stood up to the neck in the mire which was all about him, and
so continued; but there was one of the king's servants, who was
in esteem with him, an Ethiopian by descent, who told the king
what a state the prophet was in, and said that his friends and
his rulers had done evil in putting the prophet into the mire,
and by that means contriving against him that he should suffer a
death more bitter than that by his bonds only. When the king
heard this, he repented of his having delivered up the prophet to
the rulers, and bid the Ethiopian take thirty men of the king's
guards, and cords with them, and whatsoever else they understood
to be necessary for the prophet's preservation, and to draw him
up immediately. So the Ethiopian took the men he was ordered to
take, and drew up the prophet out of the mire, and left him at
liberty [in the prison].

6. But when the king had sent to call him privately, and inquired
what he could say to him from God, which might be suitable to his
present circumstances, and desired him to inform him of it,
Jeremiah replied, that he had somewhat to say; but he said
withal, he should not be believed, nor, if he admonished them,
should be hearkened to; "for," said he, "thy friends have
determined to destroy me, as though I had been guilty of some
wickedness; and where are now those men who deceived us, and said
that the king of Babylon would not come and fight against us any
more? but I am afraid now to speak the truth, lest thou shouldst
condemn me to die." And when the king had assured him upon oath,
that he would neither himself put him to death, nor deliver him
up to the rulers, he became bold upon that assurance that was
given him, and gave him this advice: That he should deliver the
city up to the Babylonians; and he said that it was God who
prophesied this by him, that [he must do so] if he would be
preserved, and escape out of the danger he was in, and that then
neither should the city fall to the ground, nor should the temple
be burned; but that [if he disobeyed] he would be the cause of
these miseries coming upon the citizens, and of the calamity that
would befall his whole house. When the king heard this, he said
that he would willingly do what he persuaded him to, and what he
declared would be to his advantage, but that he was afraid of
those of his own country that had fallen away to the Babylonians,
lest he should be accused by them to the king of Babylon, and be
punished. But the prophet encouraged him, and said he had no
cause to fear such punishment, for that he should not have the
experience of any misfortune, if he would deliver all up to the
Babylonians, neither himself, nor his children, nor his wives,
and that the temple should then continue unhurt. So when Jeremiah
had said this, the king let him go, and charged him to betray
what they had resolved on to none of the citizens, nor to tell
any of these matters to any of the rulers, if they should have
learned that he had been sent for, and should inquire of him what
it was that he was sent for, and what he had said to him; but to
pretend to them that he besought him that he might not be kept in
bonds and in prison. And indeed he said so to them; for they came
to the, prophet, and asked him what advice it was that he came to
give the king relating to them. And thus I have finished what
concerns this matter.


How The King Of Babylon Took Jerusalem And Burnt The Temple And
Removed The People Of Jerusalem And Zedekiah To Babylon. As Also,
Who They Were That Had Succeeded In The High Priesthood Under The

1. Now the king of Babylon was very intent and earnest upon the
siege of Jerusalem; and he erected towers upon great banks of
earth, and from them repelled those that stood upon the walls; he
also made a great number of such banks round about the whole
city, whose height was equal to those walls. However, those that
were within bore the siege with courage and alacrity, for they
were not discouraged, either by the famine, or by the
pestilential distemper, but were of cheerful minds in the
prosecution of the war, although those miseries within oppressed
them also, and they did not suffer themselves to be terrified,
either by the contrivances of the enemy, or by their engines of
war, but contrived still different engines to oppose all the
other withal, till indeed there seemed to be an entire struggle
between the Babylonians and the people of Jerusalem, which had
the greater sagacity and skill; the former party supposing they
should be thereby too hard for the other, for the destruction of
the city; the latter placing their hopes of deliverance in
nothing else but in persevering in such inventions in opposition
to the other, as might demonstrate the enemy's engines were
useless to them. And this siege they endured for eighteen months,
until they were destroyed by the famine, and by the darts which
the enemy threw at them from the towers.

2. Now the city was taken on the ninth day of the fourth month,
in the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah. They were indeed
only generals of the king of Babylon, to whom Nebuchadnezzar
committed the care of the siege, for he abode himself in the city
of Riblah. The names of these generals who ravaged and subdued
Jerusalem, if any one desire to know them, were these: Nergal
Sharezer, Samgar Nebo, Rabsaris, Sorsechim, and Rabmag. And when
the city was taken about midnight, and the enemy's generals were
entered into the temple, and when Zedekiah was sensible of it, he
took his wives, and his children, and his captains, and his
friends, and with them fled out of the city, through the
fortified ditch, and through the desert; and when certain of the
deserters had informed the Babylonians of this, at break of day,
they made haste to pursue after Zedekiah, and overtook him not
far from Jericho, and encompassed him about. But for those
friends and captains of Zedekiah who had fled out of the city
with him, when they saw their enemies near them, they left him,
and dispersed themselves, some one way, and some another, and
every one resolved to save himself; so the enemy took Zedekiah
alive, when he was deserted by all but a few, with his children
and his wives, and brought him to the king. When he was come,
Nebuchadnezzar began to call him a wicked wretch, and a
covenant-breaker, and one that had forgotten his former words,
when he promised to keep the country for him. He also reproached
him for his ingratitude, that when he had received the kingdom
from him, who had taken it from Jehoiachin, and given it to him,
he had made use of the power he gave him against him that gave
it; "but," said he, "God is great, who hated that conduct of
thine, and hath brought thee under us." And when he had used
these words to Zedekiah, he commanded his sons and his friends to
be slain, while Zedekiah and the rest of the captains looked on;
after which he put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him, and
carried him to Babylon. And these things happened to him, (13) as
Jeremiah and Ezekiel had foretold to him, that he should be
caught, and brought before the king of Babylon, and should speak
to him face to face, and should see his eyes with his own eyes;
and thus far did Jeremiah prophesy. But he was also made blind,
and brought to Babylon, but did not see it, according to the
prediction of Ezekiel.

3. We have said thus much, because it was sufficient to show the
nature of God to such as are ignorant of it, that it is various,
and acts many different ways, and that all events happen after a
regular manner, in their proper season, and that it foretells
what must come to pass. It is also sufficient to show the
ignorance and incredulity of men, whereby they are not permitted
to foresee any thing that is future, and are, without any guard,
exposed to calamities, so that it is impossible for them to avoid
the experience of those calamities.

4. And after this manner have the kings of David's race ended
their lives, being in number twenty-one, until the last king, who
all together reigned five hundred and fourteen years, and six
months, and ten days; of whom Saul, who was their first king,
retained the government twenty years, though he was not of the
same tribe with the rest.

5. And now it was that the king of Babylon sent Nebuzaradan, the
general of his army, to Jerusalem, to pillage the temple, who had
it also in command to burn it and the royal palace, and to lay
the city even with the ground, and to transplant the people into
Babylon. Accordingly, he came to Jerusalem in the eleventh year
of king Zedekiah, and pillaged the temple, and carried out the
vessels of God, both gold and silver, and particularly that large
laver which Solomon dedicated, as also the pillars of brass, and
their chapiters, with the golden tables and the candlesticks; and
when he had carried these off, he set fire to the temple in the
fifth month, the first day of the month, in the eleventh year of
the reign of Zedekiah, and in the eighteenth year of
Nebuchadnezzar: he also burnt the palace, and overthrew the city.
Now the temple was burnt four hundred and seventy years, six
months, and ten days after it was built. It was then one thousand
and sixty-two years, six months, and ten days from the departure
out of Egypt; and from the deluge to the destruction of the
temple, the whole interval was one thousand nine hundred and
fifty-seven years, six months, and ten days; but from the
generation of Adam, until this befell the temple, there were
three thousand five hundred and thirteen years, six months, and
ten days; so great was the number of years hereto belonging. And
what actions were done during these years we have particularly
related. But the general of the Babylonian king now overthrew the
city to the very foundations, and removed all the people, and
took for prisoners the high priest Seraiah, and Zephaniah the
priest that was next to him, and the rulers that guarded the
temple, who were three in number, and the eunuch who was over the
armed men, and seven friends of Zedekiah, and his scribe, and
sixty other rulers; all which, together with the vessels which
they had pillaged, he carried to the king of Babylon to Riblah, a
city of Syria. So the king commanded the heads of the high priest
and of the rulers to be cut off there; but he himself led all the
captives and Zedekiah to Babylon. He also led Josedek the high
priest away bound. He was the son of Seraiah the high priest,
whom the king of Babylon had slain in Riblah, a city of Syria, as
we just now related.

6. And now, because we have enumerated the succession of the
kings, and who they were, and how long they reigned, I think it
necessary to set down the names of the high priests, and who they
were that succeeded one another in the high priesthood under the
Kings. The first high priest then at the temple which Solomon
built was Zadok; after him his son Achimas received that dignity;
after Achimas was Azarias; his son was Joram, and Joram's son was
Isus; after him was Axioramus; his son was Phidens, and Phideas's
son was Sudeas, and Sudeas's son was Juelus, and Juelus's son was
Jotham, and Jotham's son was Urias, and Urias's son was Nerias,
and Nerias's son was Odeas, and his son was Sallumus, and
Sallumus's son was Elcias, and his son [was Azarias, and his son]
was Sareas, (14) and his son was Josedec, who was carried captive
to Babylon. All these received the high priesthood by succession,
the sons from their father.

7. When the king was come to Babylon, he kept Zedekiah in prison
until he died, and buried him magnificently, and dedicated the
vessels he had pillaged out of the temple of Jerusalem to his own
gods, and planted the people in the country of Babylon, but freed
the high priest from his bonds.


How Nebuzaradan Set Gedaliah Over The Jews That Were Left In
Judea Which Gedaliah Was A Little Afterward Slain By Ishmael; And
How Johanan After Ishmael Was Driven Away Went Down Into Egypt
With The People Which People Nebuchadnezzar When He Made An
Expedition Against The Egyptians Took Captive And Brought Them
Away To Babylon.

1. Now the general of the army, Nebuzaradan, when he had carried
the people of the Jews into captivity, left the poor, and those
that had deserted, in the country, and made one, whose name was
Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, a person of a noble family, their
governor; which Gedaliah was of a gentle and righteous
disposition. He also commanded them that they should cultivate
the ground, and pay an appointed tribute to the king. He also
took Jeremiah the prophet out of prison, and would have persuaded
him to go along with him to Babylon, for that he had been
enjoined by the king to supply him with whatsoever he wanted; and
if he did not like to do so, he desired him to inform him where
he resolved to dwell, that he might signify the same to the king.
But the prophet had no mind to follow him, nor to dwell any where
else, but would gladly live in the ruins of his country, and in
the miserable remains of it. When the general understood what his
purpose was, he enjoined Gedaliah, whom he left behind, to take
all possible care of him, and to supply him with whatsoever he
wanted. So when he had given him rich presents, he dismissed him.
Accordingly, Jeremiah abode in a city of that country, which was
called Mispah; and desired of Nebuzaradan that he would set at
liberty his disciple Baruch, the son of Neriah, one of a very
eminent family, and exceeding skillful in the language of his

2. When Nebuzaradan had done thus, he made haste to Babylon. But
as to those that fled away during the siege of Jerusalem, and had
been scattered over the country, when they heard that the
Babylonians were gone away, and had left a remnant in the land of
Jerusalem, and those such as were to cultivate the same, they
came together from all parts to Gedaliah to Mispah. Now the
rulers that were over them were Johanan, the son of Kareah, and
Jezaniah, and Seraiah, and others beside them. Now there was of
the royal family one Ishmael, a wicked man, and very crafty, who,
during the siege of Jerusalem, fled to Baalis, the king of the
Ammonites, and abode with him during that time; and Gedaliah
persuaded them, now they were there, to stay with him, and to
have no fear of the Babylonians, for that if they would cultivate
the country, they should suffer no harm. This he assured them of
by oath; and said that they should have him for their patron, and
that if any disturbance should arise, they should find him ready
to defend them. He also advised them to dwell in any city, as
every one of them pleased; and that they would send men along
with his own servants, and rebuild their houses upon the old
foundations, and dwell there; and he admonished them beforehand,
that they should make preparation, while the season lasted, of
corn, and wine, and oil, that they might have whereon to feed
during the winter. When he had thus discoursed to them, he
dismissed them, that every one might dwell in what place of the
country he pleased.

3. Now when this report was spread abroad as far as the nations
that bordered on Judea, that Gedaliah kindly entertained those
that came to him, after they had fled away, upon this [only]
condition, that they should pay tribute to the king of Babylon,
they also came readily to Gedaliah, and inhabited the country.
And when Johanan, and the rulers that were with him, observed the
country, and the humanity of Gedaliah, they were exceedingly in
love with him, and told him that Baalis, the king of the
Ammonites, had sent Ishmael to kill him by treachery, and
secretly, that he might have the dominion over the Israelites, as
being of the royal family; and they said that he might deliver
himself from this treacherous design, if he would give them leave
to slay Ishmael, and nobody should know it, for they told him
they were afraid that, when he was killed by the other, the
entire ruin of the remaining strength of the Israelites would
ensue. But he professed that he did not believe what they said,
when they told him of such a treacherous design, in a man that
had been well treated by him; because it was not probable that
one who, under such a want of all things, had failed of nothing
that was necessary for him, should be found so wicked and
ungrateful towards his benefactor, that when it would be an
instance of wickedness in him not to save him, had he been
treacherously assaulted by others, to endeavor, and that
earnestly, to kill him with his own hands: that, however, if he
ought to suppose this information to be true, it was better for
himself to be slain by the other, than to destroy a man who fled
to him for refuge, and intrusted his own safety to him, and
committed himself to his disposal.

4. So Johanan, and the rulers that were with him, not being able
to persuade Gedaliah, went away. But after the interval of thirty
days was over, Ishmael came again to Gedaliah, to the city
Mispah, and ten men with him; and when he had feasted Ishmael,
and those that were with him, in a splendid manner at his table,
and had given them presents, he became disordered in drink, while
he endeavored to be very merry with them; and when Ishmael saw
him in that case, and that he was drowned in his cups to the
degree of insensibility, and fallen asleep, he rose up on a
sudden, with his ten friends, and slew Gedaliah, and those that
were with him at the feast; and when he had slain them, he went
out by night, and slew all the Jews that were in the city, and
those soldiers also which were left therein by the Babylonians.
But the next day fourscore men came out of the country with
presents to Gedaliah, none of them knowing what had befallen him;
when Ishmael saw them, he invited them in to Gedaliah, and when
they were come in, he shut up the court, and slew them, and cast
their dead bodies down into a certain deep pit, that they might
not be seen; but of these fourscore men Ishmael spared those that
entreated him not to kill them, till they had delivered up to him
what riches they had concealed in the fields, consisting of their
furniture, and garments, and corn: but he took captive the people
that were in Mispah, with their wives and children; among whom
were the daughters of king Zedekiah, whom Nebuzaradan, the
general of the army of Babylon, had left with Gedaliah. And when
he had done this, he came to the king of the Ammonites.

5. But when Johanan and the rulers with him heard of what was
done at Mispah by Ishmael, and of the death of Gedaliah, they had
indignation at it, and every one of them took his own armed men,
and came suddenly to fight with Ishmael, and overtook him at the
fountain in Hebron. And when those that were carried away
captives by Ishmael saw Johanan and the rulers, they were very
glad, and looked upon them as coming to their assistance; so they
left him that had carried them captives, and came over to
Johanan: then Ishmael, with eight men, fled to the king of the
Ammonites; but Johanan took those whom he had rescued out of the
hands of Ishmael, and the eunuchs, and their wives and children,
and came to a certain place called Mandra, and there they abode
that day, for they had determined to remove from thence and go
into Egypt, out of fear, lest the Babylonians should slay them,
in case they continued in the country, and that out of anger at
the slaughter of Gedaliah, who had been by them set over it for

6. Now while they were under this deliberation, Johanan, the son
of Kareah, and the rulers. that were with him, came to Jeremiah
the prophet, and desired that he would pray to God, that because
they were at an utter loss about what they ought to do, he would
discover it to them, and they sware that they would do whatsoever
Jeremiah should say to them. And when the prophet said he would
be their intercessor with God, it came to pass, that after ten
days God appeared to him, and said that he should inform Johanan,
and the other rulers, and all the people, that he would be with
them while they continued in that country, and take care of them,
and keep them from being hurt by the Babylonians, of whom they
were afraid; but that he would desert them if they went into
Egypt, and, out of this wrath against them, would inflict the
same punishments upon them which they knew their brethren had
already endured. So when the prophet had informed Johanan and the
people that God had foretold these things, he was not believed,
when he said that God commanded them to continue in the country;
but they imagined that he said so to gratify Baruch, his own
disciple, and belied God, and that he persuaded them to stay
there, that they might be destroyed by the Babylonians.
Accordingly, both the people and Johanan disobeyed the counsel of
God, which he gave them by the prophet, and removed into Egypt,
and carried Jeremiah and Barnch along with him.

7. And when they were there, God signified to the prophet that
the king of Babylon was about making an expedition against the
Egyptians, and commanded him to foretell to the people that Egypt
should be taken, and the king of Babylon should slay some of them
and, should take others captive, and bring them to Babylon; which
things came to pass accordingly; for on the fifth year after the
destruction of Jerusalem, which was the twenty-third of the reign
of Nebuchadnezzar, he made an expedition against Celesyria; and
when he had possessed himself of it, he made war against the
Ammonites and Moabites; and when he had brought all these nations
under subjection, he fell upon Egypt, in order to overthrow it;
and he slew the king that then reigned (15) and set up another;
and he took those Jews that were there captives, and led them
away to Babylon. And such was the end of the nation of the
Hebrews, as it hath been delivered down to us, it having twice
gone beyond Euphrates; for the people of the ten tribes were
carried out of Samaria by the Assyrians, in the days of king
Hoshea; after which the people of the two tribes that remained
after Jerusalem was taken [were carried away] by Nebuchadnezzar,
the king of Babylon and Chaldea. Now as to Shalmanezer, he
removed the Israelites out of their country, and placed therein
the nation of the Cutheans, who had formerly belonged to the
inner parts of Persia and Media, but were then called Samaritans,
by taking the name of the country to which they were removed; but
the king of Babylon, who brought out the two tribes, (16) placed
no other nation in their country, by which means all Judea and
Jerusalem, and the temple, continued to be a desert for seventy
years; but the entire interval of time which passed from the
captivity of the Israelites, to the carrying away of the two
tribes, proved to be a hundred and thirty years, six months, and
ten days.


Concerning Daniel And What Befell Him At Babylon,

1. But now Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, took some of the most
noble of the Jews that were children, and the kinsmen of Zedekiah
their king, such as were remarkable for the beauty of their
bodies, and the comeliness of their countenances, and delivered
them into the hands of tutors, and to the improvement to be made
by them. He also made some of them to be eunuchs; which course he
took also with those of other nations whom he had taken in the
flower of their age, and afforded them their diet from his own
table, and had them instructed in the institutes of the country,
and taught the learning of the Chaldeans; and they had now
exercised themselves sufficiently in that wisdom which he had
ordered they should apply themselves to. Now among these there
were four of the family of Zedekiah, of most excellent
dispositions, one of whom was called Daniel, another was called
Ananias, another Misael, and the fourth Azarias; and the king of
Babylon changed their names, and commanded that they should make
use of other names. Daniel he called Baltasar; Ananias, Shadrach;
Misael, Meshach; and Azarias, Abednego. These the king had in
esteem, and continued to love, because of the very excellent
temper they were of, and because of their application to
learning, and the profess they had made in wisdom.

2. Now Daniel and his kinsmen had resolved to use a severe diet,
and to abstain from those kinds of food which came from the
king's table, and entirely to forbear to eat of all living
creatures. So he came to Ashpenaz, who was that eunuch to whom
the care of them was committed, (17) and desired him to take and
spend what was brought for them from the king, but to give them
pulse and dates for their food, and any thing else, besides the
flesh of living creatures, that he pleased, for that their
inclinations were to that sort of food, and that they despised
the other. He replied, that he was ready to serve them in what
they desired, but he suspected that they would be discovered by
the king, from their meagre bodies, and the alteration of their
countenances, because it could not be avoided but their bodies
and colors must be changed with their diet, especially while they
would be clearly discovered by the finer appearance of the other
children, who would fare better, and thus they should bring him
into danger, and occasion him to be punished; yet did they
persuade Arioch, who was thus fearful, to give them what food
they desired for ten days, by way of trial; and in case the habit
of their bodies were not altered, to go on in the same way, as
expecting that they should not be hurt thereby afterwards; but if
he saw them look meagre, and worse than the rest, he should
reduce them to their former diet. Now when it appeared that they
were so far from becoming worse by the use of this food, that
they grew plumper and fuller in body than the rest, insomuch that
he thought those who fed on what came from the king's table
seemed less plump and full, while those that were with Daniel
looked as if they had lived in plenty, and in all sorts of
luxury. Arioch, from that time, securely took himself what the
king sent every day from his supper, according to custom, to the
children, but gave them the forementioned diet, while they had
their souls in some measure more pure, and less burdened, and so
fitter for learning, and had their bodies in better tune for hard
labor; for they neither had the former oppressed and heavy with
variety of meats, nor were the other effeminate on the same
account; so they readily understood all the learning that was
among the Hebrews, and among the Chaldeans, as especially did
Daniel, who being already sufficiently skillful in wisdom, was
very busy about the interpretation of dreams; and God manifested
himself to him.

3. Now two years after the destruction of Egypt, king
Nebuchadnezzar saw a wonderful dream, the accomplishment of which
God showed him in his sleep; but when he arose out of his bed, he
forgot the accomplishment. So he sent for the Chaldeans and
magicians, and the prophets, and told them that he had seen a
dream, and informed them that he had forgotten the accomplishment
of what he had seen, and he enjoined them to tell him both what
the dream was, and what was its signification; and they said that
this was a thing impossible to be discovered by men; but they
promised him, that if he would explain to them what dream he had
seen, they would tell him its signification. Hereupon he
threatened to put them to death, unless they told him his dream;
and he gave command to have them all put to death, since they
confessed they could not do what they were commanded to do. Now
when Daniel heard that the king had given a command, that all the
wise men should be put to death, and that among them himself and
his three kinsmen were in danger, he went to Arioch, who was
captain of the king's guards, and desired to know of him what was
the reason why the king had given command that all the wise men,
and Chaldeans, and magicians should be slain. So when he had
learned that the king had had a dream, and had forgotten it, and
that when they were enjoined to inform the king of it, they had
said they could not do it, and had thereby provoked him to anger,
he desired of Arioch that he would go in to the king, and desire
respite for the magicians for one night, and to put off their
slaughter so long, for that he hoped within that time to obtain,
by prayer to God, the knowledge of the dream. Accordingly, Arioch
informed the king of what Daniel desired. So the king bid them
delay the slaughter of the magicians till he knew what Daniel's
promise would come to; but the young man retired to his own
house, with his kinsmen, and besought God that whole night to
discover the dream, and thereby deliver the magicians and
Chaldeans, with whom they were themselves to perish, from the
king's anger, by enabling him to declare his vision, and to make
manifest what the king had seen the night before in his sleep,
but had forgotten it. Accordingly, God, out of pity to those that
were in danger, and out of regard to the wisdom of Daniel, made
known to him the dream and its interpretation, that so the king
might understand by him its signification also. When Daniel had
obtained this knowledge from God, he arose very joyful, and told
it his brethren, and made them glad, and to hope well that they
should now preserve their lives, of which they despaired before,
and had their minds full of nothing but the thoughts of dying. So
when he had with them returned thanks to God, who had
commiserated their youth, when it was day he came to Arioch, and
desired him to bring him to the king, because he would discover
to him that dream which he had seen the night before.

4. When Daniel was come in to the king, he excused himself first,
that he did not pretend to be wiser than the other Chaldeans and
magicians, when, upon their entire inability to discover his
dream, he was undertaking to inform him of it; for this was not
by his own skill, or on account of his having better cultivated
his understanding than the rest; but he said, "God hath had pity
upon us, when we were in danger of death, and when I prayed for
the life of myself, and of those of my own nation, hath made
manifest to me both the dream, and the interpretation thereof;
for I was not less concerned for thy glory than for the sorrow
that we were by thee condemned to die, while thou didst so
unjustly command men, both good and excellent in themselves, to
be put to death, when thou enjoinedst them to do what was
entirely above the reach of human wisdom, and requiredst of them
what was only the work of God. Wherefore, as thou in thy sleep
wast solicitous concerning those that should succeed thee in the
government of the whole world, God was desirous to show thee all
those that should reign after thee, and to that end exhibited to
thee the following dream: Thou seemedst to see a great image
standing before thee, the head of which proved to be of gold, the
shoulders and arms of silver, and the belly and the thighs of
brass, but the legs and the feet of iron; after which thou sawest
a stone broken off from a mountain, which fell upon the image,
and threw it down, and brake it to pieces, and did not permit any
part of it to remain whole; but the gold, the silver, the brass,
and the iron, became smaller than meal, which, upon the blast of
a violent wind, was by force carried away, and scattered abroad,
but the stone did increase to such a degree, that the whole earth
beneath it seemed to be filled therewith. This is the dream which
thou sawest, and its interpretation is as follows: The head of
gold denotes thee, and the kings of Babylon that have been before
thee; but the two hands and arms signify this, that your
government shall be dissolved by two kings; but another king that
shall come from the west, armed with brass, shall destroy that
government; and another government, that shall be like unto iron,
shall put an end to the power of the former, and shall have
dominion over all the earth, on account of the nature of iron,
which is stronger than that of gold, of silver, and of brass."
Daniel did also declare the meaning of the stone to the king (18)
but I do not think proper to relate it, since I have only
undertaken to describe things past or things present, but not
things that are future; yet if any one be so very desirous of
knowing truth, as not to wave such points of curiosity, and
cannot curb his inclination for understanding the uncertainties
of futurity, and whether they will happen or not, let him be
diligent in reading the book of Daniel, which he will find among
the sacred writings.

5. When Nebuchadnezzar heard this, and recollected his dream, he
was astonished at the nature of Daniel, and fell upon his knee;
and saluted Daniel in the manner that men worship God, and gave
command that he should be sacrificed to as a god. And this was
not all, for he also imposed the name, of his own god upon him,
[Baltasar,] and made him and his kinsmen rulers of his whole
kingdom; which kinsmen of his happened to fall into great danger
by the envy and malice [of their enemies]; for they offended the
king upon the occasion following: he made an image of gold, whose
height was sixty cubits, and its breadth six cubits, and set it
in the great plain of Babylon; and when he was going to dedicate
the image, he invited the principal men out of all the earth that
was under his dominions, and commanded them, in the first place,
that when they should hear the sound of the trumpet, they should
then fall down and worship the image; and he threatened, that
those who did not so, should be cast into a fiery furnace. When
therefore all the rest, upon the hearing of the sound of the
trumpet, worshipped the image, they relate that Daniel's kinsmen
did not do it, because they would not transgress the laws of
their country. So these men were convicted, and cast immediately
into the fire, but were saved by Divine Providence, and after a
surprising manner escaped death, for the fire did not touch them;
and I suppose that it touched them not, as if it reasoned with
itself, that they were cast into it without any fault of theirs,
and that therefore it was too weak to burn the young men when
they were in it. This was done by the power of God, who made
their bodies so far superior to the fire, that it could not
consume them. This it was which recommended them to the king as
righteous men, and men beloved of God, on which account they
continued in great esteem with him.

6. A little after this the king saw in his sleep again another
vision; how he should fall from his dominion, and feed among the
wild beasts, and that when he halt lived in this manner in the
desert for seven years, (19) he should recover his dominion
again. When he had seen this dream, he called the magicians
together again, and inquired of them about it, and desired them
to tell him what it signified; but when none of them could find
out the meaning of the dream, nor discover it to the king, Daniel
was the only person that explained it; and as he foretold, so it
came to pass; for after he had continued in the wilderness the
forementioned interval of time, while no one durst attempt to
seize his kingdom during those seven years, he prayed to God that
he might recover his kingdom, and he returned to it. But let no
one blame me for writing down every thing of this nature, as I
find it in our ancient books; for as to that matter, I have
plainly assured those that think me defective in any such point,
or complain of my management, and have told them in the beginning
of this history, that I intended to do no more than translate the
Hebrew books into the Greek language, and promised them to
explain those facts, without adding any thing to them of my own,
or taking any thing away from there.


Concerning Nebuchadnezzar And His Successors And How Their
Government Was Dissolved By The Persians; And What Things Befell
DanieL In Media; And What PropHecies He Delivered There.

1. Now when king Nebuchadnezzar had reigned forty-three years,
(20) he ended his life. He was an active man, and more fortunate
than the kings that were before him. Now Berosus makes mention of
his actions in the third book of his Chaldaic History, where he
says thus: "When his father Nebuchodonosor [Nabopollassar] heard
that the governor whom he had set over Egypt, and the places
about Coelesyria and Phoenicia, had revolted from him, while he
was not himself able any longer to undergo the hardships [of
war], he committed to his son Nebuchadnezzar, who was still but a
youth, some parts of his army, and sent them against him. So when
Nebuchadnezzar had given battle, and fought with the rebel, he
beat him, and reduced the country from under his subjection, and
made it a branch of his own kingdom; but about that time it
happened that his father Nebuchodonosor [Nabopollassar] fell ill,
and ended his life in the city Babylon, when he had reigned
twenty-one years; (21) and when he was made sensible, as he was
in a little time, that his father Nebuchodonosor [Nabopollassar]
was dead, and having settled the affairs of Egypt, and the other
countries, as also those that concerned the captive Jews, and
Phoenicians, and Syrians, and those of the Egyptian nations; and
having committed the conveyance of them to Babylon to certain of
his friends, together with the gross of his army, and the rest of
their ammunition and provisions, he went himself hastily,
accompanied with a few others, over the desert, and came to
Babylon. So he took upon him the management of public affairs,
and of the kingdom which had been kept for him by one that was
the principal of the Chaldeans, and he received the entire
dominions of his father, and appointed, that when the captives
came, they should be placed as colonies, in the most proper
places of Babylonia; but then he adorned the temple of Belus, and
the rest of the temples, in a magnificent manner, with the spoils
he had taken in the war. He also added another city to that which
was there of old, and rebuilt it, that such as would besiege it
hereafter might no more turn the course of the river, and thereby
attack the city itself. He therefore built three walls round
about the inner city, and three others about that which was the
outer, and this he did with burnt brick. And after he had, after
a becoming manner, walled the city, and adorned its gates
gloriously, he built another palace before his father's palace,
but so that they joined to it; to describe whose vast height and
immense riches it would perhaps be too much for me to attempt;
yet as large and lofty as they were, they were completed in
fifteen days. (22) He also erected elevated places for walking,
of stone, and made it resemble mountains, and built it so that it
might be planted with all sorts of trees. He also erected what
was called a pensile paradise, because his wife was desirous to
have things like her own country, she having been bred up in the
palaces of Media." Megasthenes also, in his fourth book of his
Accounts of India, makes mention. of these things, and thereby
endeavors to show that this king [Nebuchadnezzar] exceeded
Hercules in fortitude, and in the greatness of his actions; for
he saith that he conquered a great part of Libya and Iberia.
Diocles also, in the second book of his Accounts of Persia,
mentions this king; as does Philostrates in his Accounts both of
India and of Phoenicia, say, that this king besieged Tyre
thirteen years, while at the same time Ethbaal reigned at Tyre.
These are all the histories that I have met with concerning this

2. But now, after the death of Nebuchadnezzar, Evil-Merodach his
son succeeded in the kingdom, who immediately set Jeconiah at
liberty, and esteemed him among his most intimate friends. He
also gave him many presents, and made him honorable above the
rest of the kings that were in Babylon; for his father had not
kept his faith with Jeconiah, when he voluntarily delivered up
himself to him, with his wives and children, and his whole
kindred, for the sake of his country, that it might not be taken
by siege, and utterly destroyed, as we said before. When
Evil-Mcrodach was dead, after a reign of eighteen years,
Niglissar his son took the government, and retained it forty
years, and then ended his life; and after him the succession in
the kingdom came to his son Labosordacus, who continued in it in
all but nine months; and when he was dead, it came to Baltasar,
(23) who by the Babylonians was called Naboandelus; against him
did Cyrus, the king of Persia, and Darius, the king of Media,
make war; and when he was besieged in Babylon, there happened a
wonderful and prodigious vision. He was sat down at supper in a
large room, and there were a great many vessels of silver, such
as were made for royal entertainments, and he had with him his
concubines and his friends; whereupon he came to a resolution,
and commanded that those vessels of God which Nebuchadnezzar had
plundered out of Jerusalem, and had not made use of, but had put
them into his own temple, should be brought out of that temple.
He also grew so haughty as to proceed to use them in the midst of
his cups, drinking out of them, and blaspheming against God. In
the mean time, he saw a hand proceed out of the wall, and writing
upon the wall certain syllables; at which sight, being disturbed,
he called the magicians and Chaldeans together, and all that sort
of men that are among these barbarians, and were able to
interpret signs and dreams, that they might explain the writing
to him. But when the magicians said they could discover nothing,
nor did understand it, the king was in great disorder of mind,
and under great trouble at this surprising accident; so he caused
it to be proclaimed through all the country, and promised, that
to him who could explain the writing, and give the signification
couched therein, he would give him a golden chain for his neck,
and leave to wear a purple garment, as did the kings of Chaldea,
and would bestow on him the third part of his own dominions. When
this proclamation was made, the magicians ran together more
earnestly, and were very ambitious to find out the importance of
the writing, but still hesitated about it as much as before. Now
when the king's grandmother saw him cast down at this accident,
(24) she began to encourage him, and to say, that there was a
certain captive who came from Judea, a Jew by birth, but brought
away thence by Nebuchadnezzar when he had destroyed Jerusalem,
whose name was Daniel, a wise man, and one of great sagacity in
finding out what was impossible for others to discover, and what
was known to God alone, who brought to light and answered such
questions to Nebuchadnezzar as no one else was able to answer
when they were consulted. She therefore desired that he would
send for him, and inquire of him concerning the writing, and to
condemn the unskilfulness of those that could not find their
meaning, and this, although what God signified thereby should be
of a melancholy nature.

3. When Baltasar heard this, he called for Daniel; and when he
had discoursed to him what he had learned concerning him and his
wisdom, and how a Divine Spirit was with him, and that he alone
was fully capable of finding out what others would never have
thought of, he desired him to declare to him what this writing
meant; that if he did so, he would give him leave to wear purple,
and to put a chain of gold about his neck, and would bestow on
him the third part of his dominion, as an honorary reward for his
wisdom, that thereby he might become illustrious to those who saw
him, and who inquired upon what occasion he obtained such honors.
But Daniel desired that he would keep his gifts to himself; for
what is the effect of wisdom and of Divine revelation admits of
no gifts, and bestows its advantages on petitioners freely; but
that still he would explain the writing to him; which denoted
that he should soon die, and this because he had not learnt to
honor God, and not to admit things above human nature, by what
punishments his progenitor had undergone for the injuries he had
offered to God; and because he had quite forgotten how
Nebuchadnezzar was removed to feed among wild beasts for his
impieties, and did not recover his former life among men and his
kingdom, but upon God's mercy to him, after many supplications
and prayers; who did thereupon praise God all the days of his
life, as one of almighty power, and who takes care of mankind.
[He also put him in mind] how he had greatly blasphemed against
God, and had made use of his vessels amongst his concubines; that
therefore God saw this, and was angry with him, and declared by
this writing beforehand what a sad conclusion of his life he
should come to. And he explained the writing thus:" MANEH. This,
if it be expounded in the Greek language, may signify a Number,
because God hath numbered so long a time for thy life, and for
thy government, and that there remains but a small portion.
THEKEL This signifies a weight, and means that God hath weighed
thy kingdom in a balance, and finds it going down
already.--PHARES. This also, in the Greek tongue, denotes a
fragment,. God will therefore break thy kingdom in pieces, and
divide it among the Medes and Persians."

4. When Daniel had told the king that the writing upon the wall
signified these events, Baltasar was in great sorrow and
affliction, as was to be expected, when the interpretation was so
heavy upon him. However, he did not refuse what he had promised
Daniel, although he were become a foreteller of misfortunes to
him, but bestowed it all upon him; as reasoning thus, that what
he was to reward was peculiar to himself, and to fate, and did
not belong to the prophet, but that it was the part of a good and
a just man to give what he had promised, although the events were
of a melancholy nature. Accordingly, the king determined so to
do. Now, after a little while, both himself and the city were
taken by Cyrus, the king of Persia, who fought against him; for
it was Baltasar, under whom Babylon was taken, when he had
reigned seventeen years. And this is the end of the posterity of
king Nebuchadnezzar, as history informs us; but when Babylon was
taken by Darius, and when he, with his kinsman Cyrus, had put an
end to the dominion of the Babylonians, he was sixty-two years
old. He was the son of Astyages, and had another name among the
Greeks. Moreover, he took Daniel the prophet, and carried him
with him into Media, and honored him very greatly, and kept him
with him; for he was one of the three presidents whom he set over
his three hundred and sixty provinces, for into so many did
Darius part them.

5. However, while Daniel was in so great dignity, and in so great
favor with Darius, and was alone intrusted with every thing by
him, a having somewhat divine in him, he was envied by the rest;
for those that see others in greater honor than themselves with
kings envy them; and when those that were grieved at the great
favor Daniel was in with Darius sought for an occasion against
him, he afforded them no occasion at all, for he was above all
the temptations of money, and despised bribery, and esteemed it a
very base thing to take any thing by way of reward, even when it
might be justly given him; he afforded those that envied him not
the least handle for an accusation. So when they could find
nothing for which they might calumniate him to the king, nothing
that was shameful or reproachful, and thereby deprive him of the
honor he was in with him, they sought for some other method
whereby they might destroy him. When therefore they saw that
Daniel prayed to God three times a day, they thought they had
gotten an occasion by which they might ruin him; so they came to
Darius and told him that the princes and governors had thought
proper to allow the multitude a relaxation for thirty days, that
no one might offer a petition or prayer either to himself or to
the gods, but that he who shall transgress this decree shall be
east into the den of lions, and there perish."

6. Whereupon the king, not being acquainted with their wicked
design, nor suspecting that it was a contrivance of theirs
against Daniel, said he was pleased with this decree of theirs,
and he promised to confirm what they desired; he also published
an edict to promulgate to the people that decree which the
princes had made. Accordingly, all the rest took care not to
transgress those injunctions, and rested in quiet; but Daniel had
no regard to them, but, as he was wont, he stood and prayed to
God in the sight of them all; but the princes having met with the
occasion they so earnestly sought to find against Daniel, came
presently to the king, and accused him, that Daniel was the only
person that transgressed the decree, while not one of the rest
durst pray to their gods. This discovery they made, not because
of his impiety, but because they had watched him, and observed
him out of envy; for supposing that Darius did thus out of a
greater kindness to him than they expected, and that he was ready
to grant him pardon for this contempt of his injunctions, and


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