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labour, and at the expence of so much time and treasure; that the remembrance of its hasty annihilation, cannot fail to make us lament, that the infatuation of that perverse people had not subsided in time, to have foreseen "the things that belonged to their peace, before they were hidden from their eyes;" both as it regarded the preservation of this most holy edifice, and more, as it related to the essential happiness and safety. of that highly favoured nation.
EVENTS FORETOLD BY CHRIST, AS SYMPTOMATIC OF THE APPROACHING RUIN OF THE JEWISH POLITY.
HAVING brought the incidents of the Jewish History to the period of the revolt from the Romans, and the commencement of the war; let us briefly consider those predictions of our Saviour, which refer to events anterior to the destruction of the City, and which were as minutely fulfilled, as those bearing an immediate relation to it.
I. The first sign of this fatal overthrow was thus. foretold" Ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: "see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must "come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall "rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom."
Now," says Josephus, " about the third year after our "Lord's death; Herod, Tetrarch of Galilee, engaged in "a war with Aretas, King of Arabia Patræa; and all "the Tetrarch's army was cut off in battle, through the "treachery of some deserters." "A sad calamity befel "the Jews in Mesopotamia, and particularly those who "dwelt in Babylonia; it was inferior to none which "had
(1) Matt. xxiv. 6. 7.
Sane præbuerant Judæi speciem motus, orta seditione, &c.
(2) Antiq. 18, v.i.
"This," says Abp. Newcome " was a rising of KINGDOM against KINGDOM."
"had happened before, being attended with a considerably greater slaughter than any upon record." The circumstances are too long to be introduced here, but it will sufficiently answer the present purpose, barely to state, that this disturbance broke out A. D. 40, and occasioned the death of 50,000 people.
About eleven years after the death of Christ," when "Fadus came as Procurator into Judea, he found the "Jews dwelling in Perea, in a state of commotion "with the people of Philadelphia, about the bounda"ries of a City called Mia; which was filled with men "in arms: he, therefore, seized three of the authors of "the commotion, and killing one, banished the other "two."" Afterwards, while the Jewish affairs were "under the administration of Cumanus, there arose a great disturbance in the City of Jerusalem; and many of the Jews perished in it."-At the Passover, A. D. 49, an indignity was offered to the Jews within the precincts of the Temple, by a Roman soldier ; upon which a tumult arose, but as soon as "a larger number of the Romans appeared, the Jews "fled so precipitately, that more than 10,000 were "trodden under foot and perished."*
Besides these he mentions many other Insurrections; particularly one at Cæsarea, between the Jews and Syrians, contending for the equality of their rights as Citizens and another at the same place, "when in "the space of one hour above 20,000 Jews were killed, " and
(1) Antiq. 18, ix. 1.
(8) Antiq. 20, i. 1, and 20, v. s. (3) Ibid.
(4) Bell. Jud. 2, xii. 1.. (5) Bell. Jud. 2, xiii. 6.-Antiq. 20, viii. 7.
and Cæsarea cleared of its Jewish inhabitants.. "The Syrians also were even with the Jews in the "number of the men they slew, for they killed those
whom they caught in their Cities;"-and indeed "contentions at this time were carried so far, that at Scythopolis the number of the slain was above "13,000,"" At Alexandria the slaughter of the "Jews went on without any regard to the aged, till the place overflowed with blood, and 50,000 of them lay "dead in heaps."-" The people at Damascus also, at a later time, came upon the unarmed Jews, and de-· "stroyed 10,000 in the space of an hour."" In short," says Josephus, every City throughout Syria was di"vided into two camps; it was the security of one
party, to anticipate the destructive designs of the "other; and the whole province was full of unspeak"able calamities."So that "Wars and the rumours of Wars" were extremely prevalent, and "Nation rose against Nation, and Kingdom against Kingdom;" when Judea was thus disturbed, and thus contended with the various powers around it, particularly at the predicted time."
(1) Bell. Jud. 2, xviii. 1. (2) Bell. Jud. 2. xviii. 2.
(3) Bell. Jud. 2, xviii. s.
(4) Bell. Jud. 2, xviii. 8. Here it is surely necessary to quote the promise that "their seed should be in number as the stars in Heaven, and as the sand upon the sea shore" (Gen. xxii. 17.) when such immense numbers were so rapidly cut off."
(5) Bell. Jud. 2, xviii. 2.
(6) Bell, Jud. 2, xviii. 1, 2.
(7) These instances of sedition and tumult, commotions and disturbances,. are sufficient to prove the truth of this prophecy: accounts of many others may still be collected from Josephus. Vide Antiq. 20, viii. 8, and 10. 20, ix. 4. Bell. Jud. 2, xiii. 3.—2, xiv, 5, 6, 9.—2, xv. 2, 3, 5.-2, xvii. passim. 2, xviii. passim.-2, xix. passim.
II. Again it was declared, "There shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places." With respect to the former of these; Josephus, speaking' of Queen Helena's visit to 'Jerusalem, says,
coming was of very great advantage to the people of "Jerusalem, for a famine oppressed them at the time, and "many died for the want of food?" and afterwards he introduces it again when alluding to Tiberias, Alexander, and Fadus. "Under these procurators, that great famine happened in Judea, when Queen Helena bought corn in Egypt at a great expence, and dis"tributed to those who were in want." A short "time before the war with the Romans," continues the historian, "under the Emperour Claudius and "Ishmael the High Priest, a famine oppressed our country; so that an assaron of corn was sold for five "drachmæ."*
There was a famine in Rome and in Italy mentioned by Dion Cassius, which began in the fifth year of Claudius, and continued some time in the following; when the Christians made a collection for the relief of
(1) Matt, xxiv. 7. Mark, xiii. 8. Luke, xxi. 11.
(2) Antiq, 20, ii. 5. (3) Antiq. 20, v. 2.
(4) Antiq. §. xv. 3. An assaron was equal to rather more than two pints and a half: and five drachmæ equivalent to 58. 5de 22 3
This is the famine alluded to by Agabus in the Acts of the Apostles (xi. 28.) and was not," as Lardner has observed, an accidental scarcity at Jerusalem only; but was a famine all over that Country: it began in "the fourth year of that Emperour, and lasted seven years." Many circumstances tend to make this probable, besides the expression, assiduas sterilitates, made use of by Suetonius upon this occasion.
Vide in vitâ Claud. xviii.
(5) Hist. l. 60, p. 671.