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this, he continued to press forward; and though beset on all sides, would in all probability have escaped to Titus, had not his iron studded sandals slipped upon the marble pavement, and laid him prostrate amidst the enemy: for some time he defended himself with unparalleled agility, sheltering himself with his shield and armour from many of the attacks of his adversaries; yet his situation was too confined, as well as too difficult of access, to receive any assistance from his fellow soldiers: perceiving this himself, he yielded to his fate, leaving an example of that uncommon courage so much admired and practised by the Romans.
Titus was now compelled to retreat, but not before he had effectually secured Antonia. Orders were issued to raze the foundations of this hold, for the purpose of opening a communication with the Temple; and of eventually gaining an access, by which the army might better contend for its possession. Fourteen days after the commencement of these hostilities, the offering called, "the daily sacrifice," ceased, from the want of priests to offer it.1 Titus failing in
1 This was on the 17th of Tamur, or July, A. D. 70, when, according to the prediction of Daniel,—“ IN THE MIDST OF THE WEEK HE SHALL CAUSE THE
SACRIFICE AND OBLATION TO CEASE," ix. 27; that is, after three days and a half of years, or three years and a half, these were to cease; which exactly happened; for from February, A.D. 67, when the war commenced under Vespasian, to July, A. D. 70, when this occurred, comprehends the assigned space of time.
FOR THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL SHALL ABIDE MANY DAYS WITHOUT A KING, AND WITHOUT A PRINCE, AND WITHOUT A SACRIFICE, AND WITHOUT AN IMAGE, AND WITHOUT AN EPHOD, AND WITHOUT A TERAPHIM.-Hos. iii. 4.
LAMENT, LIKE A VIRGIN GIRDED WITH SACKCLOTH, FOR THE HUSBAND OF HER YOUTH. THE MEAT-OFFERING AND THE DRINK-OFFERING IS CUT OFF FROM THE HOUSE
OF THE LORD; THE PRIESTS, THE LORD'S MINISTERS, MOURN.-GIRD YOURSELVES, AND LAMENT, YE PRIESTS; HOWL, YE MINISTERS OF THE ALTAR: COME, LIE ALL NIGHT IN SACKCLOTH, YE MINISTERS OF MY GOD: FOR THE MEAT-OFFERING AND THE DRINKOFFERING IS WITHHOLDEN FROM THE HOUSE OF YOUR GOD.-Joel, i. 8, 9, 15.
his object to effect an opening to the Temple, invited John to a fair battle; this he not only rejected, but accompanied the refusal by the propagation of a second report, that the Romans had with studied cruelty murdered all deserters without distinction. This accusation Titus immediately refuted by exhibiting his captives on the fronts of the ramparts. These were instructed to address their countrymen with an endeavour to persuade them, if they would not surrender up the city, to consign the protection of the Temple to Cæsar; who would preserve it unpolluted from the power and profane indignities of the seditious but in the event of an obstinate resistance; that Titus would himself burn that sacred edifice which they formerly had so much revered; although he had determined to do it, only in the last extremity. This application was treated with the accustomed indignity by the factions.1
The Temple was already strewed with dead bodies, the Sanctuary had been profaned by assassins, and such was the extravagance of the besieged, that their enemies appear to have paid more reverence to their rites, than even they themselves. There was not a soldier throughout the army, who had not, at that time, a more than equal veneration for the Temple and the Divinity worshipped there, with any that Jerusalem could boast. Grieved, therefore, at the obstinate conduct of the wretched Jews, Titus once more addressed them, and his words on this occasion are so remarkable, when we consider them to have been spoken by a heathen to a religiously enlightened people, that they deserve to be perpetuated.
1 Who shall come down against us, or who shall enter into our holy habitation?-Jer. xxxi. 13.
"Have ye not, ye wicked miscreants! prohibited "that holy place from being invaded by any one, on account of its indisputable sanctity? Have ye not "written upon the columns and partitions, inscriptions "both in Greek and Latin, declaring it unlawful for any "foreigner to enter the limits of the enclosure imme
diately surrounding it? Have we not ourselves "shewn our regard by making it death to any man, "whether Jew or Roman, to pass those bounds? How comes it then, ye impious wretches, that the sanctuary is thus profaned by assassination and murder, "and defiled with blood, foreign and domestic? I appeal to all the Gods of my country, and to the Divinity who lately inhabited your holy Temple, but alas! who has now forsaken it; I appeal to my army; "to the Jews who are joined with me; and to yourselves; that I am innocent of all these abominations: " and I do sacredly protest, that if ye will quit this holy place; no one shall approach to offer it indig nity: at all events, it will be my endeavour to preserve "and protect your Temple, whether it be your wish
This speech met with the same disdain that haď marked the reception of every other: finding the Jews divested of even common regard, either for the Temple or themselves; Titus was compelled again to take up arms. With this view he ordered an attack to be made upon the enemy at midnight, but as the scene destined
1 The Temple itself was encompassed by a stone wall, as a partition; on which was written an inscription forbidding any foreigners to enter it under pain of death.-Vide Antiq. 15. xi. 5.
Foreigners might enter no further than the Court of the Gentiles.
2 Bell. Jud. 6. ii, 4.
for action was extremely confined, and the undertaking hazardous; the commanders objected to Cæsar's leading them on in person, soliciting him to view them from the height of Antonia, not only that his valuable life might be in security, but that he might from thence be enabled to judge of the valour of his men; and so to appreciate their exertions. Accordingly at the ninth hour of the night the contest began; when the Jews between darkness and surprise distinguished neither voice nor countenance.1 Following the impulse of passion and resentment, they fell indiscriminately upon each other, and killed more of their own men than even the enemy could, under such circumstances. The Romans who had kept themselves compacted under the cover of their bucklers, and knowing each other by private signals, made a vast destruction; but the Jews at break of day finding their errour, adopted a more regular mode of combat: and so vigorous and active a resistance did they make, that at mid-day the enemy was compelled to retire.
The Romans now fixed all their attention and activity upon raising mounds against the Temple, having effected a passage to it from the tower Antonia. One of these was placed against the north west corner of the court of Israel: another at that northern edifice which separates the two gates; the third against the western cloister of the court of the Gentiles; and the last against the northern corner of the same, These, from the situation of the Temple, and the difficulty of procuring materials, were raised with infinite labour. The Jews were now every day becoming weaker, the
1 The ninth hour of the night accords with our third hour of the morning.
war fiercer, and the famine more severe; they proceeded, therefore, " as men do in pestilential diseases, "to cut off the infected part to preserve the body," by setting fire to the north west cloister of the Temple; making an opening of nearly twenty cubits. After this, the Romans burnt fifteen cubits more on the north side, and though it were in the power of the Jews to have stopped the conflagration, they did not avail themselves of it; as it seemed to them a desirable object to cut off all communication with Antonia, where the main body of the besieging army was stationed with their chief.
The Zealots in the Temple were in open war with the soldiers upon the mounts, when the Jews had recourse to the following stratagem. They filled the
roof of the western porch of the Temple with a quantity of dry wood, sulphur, and bituminous matter, and then pretending to give way to the enemy, suffered themselves to be forced out by the Romans; who had no sooner entered it than it was instantly set on fire, and a scene of the most complicated confusion ensued, The misery of this circumstance deeply affected Titus, although he felt displeased that his men should have made the attack without his orders. Many of the soldiers
1 Bell. Jud. 6. ii. 9.
Twelve English yards, nearly; consequently the fifteen cubits next mentioned were equivalent to eight yards, nine inches English.—This took place about the 9th of July.
2 This took place on the 27th of July.
✔ The loss the Romans sustained from the success of this artifice, must · have been prodigious, although Josephus passes it over without much detail. Throughout his whole History, it may be observed, how much he endeavoured to conceal the disastrous situation of the Romans, and how ready to expose