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Aristobulus, although a mutual accommodation respect ing the succession to the Crown had been previously arranged. The first step to power which Antipater had now gained, was the appointment to the command of the forces of all Idumæa, of which place he was a native, though by religion a Jew; in this situation he was placed by Julius Cæsar, who had received great personal assistance from him in his Syrian expeditions, particularly when fighting against Pompey. After wards, when Hyrcanus was deposed by Antigonus, the Son of Aristobulus, and re-instated by Cæsar; Antipater was appointed Procurator of Judea, his eldest Son Phasælus to the Government of Jerusalem, as the Roman Representative; and his second Son Herod, afterwards Herod the Great, to that of Galilee.' "It was from rendering the Syrians essential services in ridding the country of robbers and banditti, with which Judea was at that time grievously infested, that Herod gained popularity among the people; these benefits to the community were reported to Cæsar, who, in consideration of them, elected him President of Cælesyria. Phasælus, stimulated by such an example, exerted his activity to obtain the approbation of the Jews; and in consequence of these mutual endeavours for the public good, Antipater and his two Sons became the favourites of the people and nation. Hyrcanus, however, being naturally of a weak and complying disposition, and little qualified to direct the State, suffered too much to devolve on Antipater, who after a time assumed a power of some considerable extent, though not ostensibly superior to that of Hyrcanus ; whilst
(1) Herod at this time was twenty-five years of age, and not fifteen, as mentioned by Josephus.-Vide Prideaux's Connexion. lib. vii.
whilst that of Herod broke out into acts of open defiance. It was at this period that Cæsar was murdered in the Roman Senate, an event shortly followed by the death of Antipater by poison, when Anthony, invested with higher powers than he had hitherto exercised, marched into Egypt, and finding himself occasionally supported by Herod with pecuniary aid in his projects, appointed him and his brother Tetrarchs of Judea. Soon after this Pacorus, Son of the King of Parthia, entering Syria with a powerful army, sent a detachment to place Antigonus upon the Throne of Judea. Herod, though suddenly surprised, effected his escape, while Hyrcanus and Phasælus fell into the hands of the enemy, and were carried away captives; the former, though his life was spared, was disfigured to disqualify him for the Priesthood.' The latter destroyed himself in prison. Herod now pursued his way to Rome, where gaining an increased degree of favour with Anthony, he was by Cæsar and the Senate deputed King of Judea; upon
(1) If any further proof of the divine origin of the Mosaic Law were wanting, it may be observed that Aaron was first appointed Priest; then Eleazer his son, and Phineas his grandson: to this last God promised by Moses that the Priesthood (as long as that law continued) should be retained in Aaron's family (Numb. xxv. 11.) that is, to the male branches of that family. Now had Moses been an impostor, how could he have divined that his family should ALWAYS have had a male heir? Why should it not at length become extinct like many others, particularly as it appears that two of Aaron's sons, when consecrated, were cut off in one day; and an express law of God's prohibited even the sons of Aaron from becoming Priests had they ever so small a blemish, or were they in any way deformed. (Levit. xxi. 18.) How I could he have thus confined the Priesthood, and how could that Priesthood have been carried on as it was in this manner for ages, unless Moses had been really inspired?
(2) Regnum ab Antonio Herodi datum, victor Augustus sanxit.
He was thus raised to the throne A.U. C. 714, and the decree passed the Senate three years afterwards.
this he hastened his return, and collecting an army in the country, marched towards Jerusalem to give battle to the army of Antigonus; it was not, however, till after three years, with the assistance of the Roman power, that he took the city by storm, putting multitudes to death, and making Antigonus himself a captive, whom he sent to Rome to grace the Triumph of Anthony, and was there beheaded. Thus it was that Herod was settled upon that Throne, which had never been filled by any other than a native Jew; and exercised that supreme power which had been invested in none, but the person of the High Priest of the God of Israel. A man whose life was marked by such a series of wicked actions, as never before stained the human character; the deliberate assassin of his wives and kindred'; the slaves of the most unlawful and ungoverned passions, the murderer of mankind, and the destroyer of the innocent.' His death, which hap
(1) He was the first persecutor of Christianity, for it was this monster who slew the male children at Bethlehem, from the age of " two years and under," in expectation of cutting off the infant Messiah; in what manner he failed has been left upon record by the Evangelist Matthew, to whom we are indebted for this piece of history, which Josephus seems purposely to have omitted: that Matthew however might not be left altogether without witness as to what he has advanced on this point, Macrobius in an extraordinary manner mentions the same, not with any view to record the deed, but to bring in a humourous remark of Cæsar; who understanding that Herod in this slaughter had put one of his own sons to death, observed that "it was better to be Herod's Hog than his son." " Quum audivisset
Augustus inter pueros, quos in Syria Herodes Rex Judæorum INTRA BIMATUM jussit interfici, filium quoque ejus occisum, ait, melius est "Herodis Porcum esse quam filium." (Saturnal 1. ii. c. 4.) The supposition of Herod's son having thus been put to death is ill founded, because his sons were much older than those upon whom the command was to be executed; the report probably arose from the circumstance of Herod having about this time put his eldest son Antipater to death upon some interference in his mode of government.
happened thirty-four years after that of Antigonus has been left upon record with the accumulation of all its wretched circumstances tending to verify the observation of the Historian, that the hand of God was evident in that visitation." Jerusalem, in its public buildings, was greatly improved by him; the Temple was in a great part re-built, and the City considerably beautified; these benefits he rendered from political motives to ingratiate himself in the good opinion of the nation.
"Under his administration, and by his means, the "Roman luxury was received in Palestine, accompanied with the worst vices of that licentious people. "In a word, Judea governed by Herod, groaned under "all that corruption which might be expected from "the authority and the example of a Prince, who though a Jew in outward profession was, in point of "morals and practice, a contemner of all laws, human "and divine.'
By his will he bequeathed the greater part of his Kingdom, consisting of Idumæa, Judea, and Samaria, to Archelaus; Galilee and Perea to Herod-Antipas;
(1) Jos. Antiq. 17, vi. 5.
The miseries which befel this tyrant at the close of his existence are recorded by Josephus" his calamitous death and long and egregious suf"ferings before it; by a burning fever, a voracious appetite, a difficulty of "breathing, swellings in his limbs, loathsome ulcers within and without "breeding lice and worms; violent torments and convulsions, so that he "endeavoured to put an end to himself but was restrained by his attend"ants.". "It was said also," says Josephus, "by those who pretended to "divine, and who were endued with wisdom to foretel such things, that "God inflicted this punishment on the King on account of his great " impiety."
(2) Mosheim Ecc. Hist. vol. i. ch. 2,
and Trachonitis and Ituræa to Philip. This partition was afterwards confirmed by Cæsar, who conferred the Title of Ethnarch on Archelaus, and that of Tetrarch on each of his brothers. Archelaus therefore entered into his government at once, under very unfavourable auspices; so unpopular was he, that a Deputation of his subjects was sent to Rome to petition against his accession to the Throne; in this they failed, and their expectations were wholly disappointed, and for which they were afterwards made to suffer. At this time (A. D. 4) Joseph and Mary returned from Egypt with the Infant Saviour, and hearing that Archelaus reigned, apprehended from his general character that it was unsafe to enter Judea, and turning aside they went into Galilee. His tyranny and rapaciousness at length became insupportable, upon which a second embassy was sent to Rome, in consequence of which he was deposed by Augustus, and banished to Vienne, in Gaut, having reigned nearly ten years. Upon this, Idumæa, Judea, and Samaria, were added to the Province of Syria, of which Cyrenius, or rather Quirinius, was made Governour
(1) This mode of Tributary Kings going to the countries of supreme government to receive their kingdoms is perfectly consonant with the customs of those times. Herod went to Rome when Anthony bestowed upon him the dominion of Judea; he went a second time to have the same confirmed when Augustus came to the throne. Our Saviour plainly alludes to this particular case of Archelaus, when he says, “ A certain nobleman went into a far country to take unto him a kingdom and to return, but his citizens hated him, and sent messengers after him, saying we will not have this man to reign over us; and it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, that he commanded these servants to be called unto him, and said, those mine enemies who would not that I should reign over them, bring hither and slay them before me."-Luke xix. 12, 14, 15, 27.