View of the Hebrews (1825 edition) — Chapter 1a
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The Destruction of Jerusalem
The land of promise was long a land of wonders. The Hebrew nation there was for many centuries the cradle of the true and only church of God on earth. There glorious things were wrought for her salvation. Patriarchs had there prayed, sacrificed and praised. There Prophets had prophesied; and the Almighty had often made bare his holy arm. There his people had too often apostatized; had been expelled from their Canaan; and again mercifully restored. There the ten tribes of Israel had renounced the house of David, and their God; and were hence banished to some unknown region of the world, to the present day; while the Jews were still retained in the covenant of their God. There God, manifest in the flesh, made his appearance on earth;--performed his publick ministry;--atoned for the sins of the world;--and ascended to glory. There the first heralds of the gospel dispensation commenced their ministry; and thence the wonderful scheme of grace was propagated through the nations.
Jerusalem was the capital of this earthly Canaan. Glorious things were spoken of this city of our God. “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, was this Mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the Great King." This, for many centuries, might be called God's Capital on earth. God said, alluding primarily to this city; "For the Lord hath chosen Zion to be an habitation for
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himself. Here will I dwell, for I have desired it." Here great things were done in divine faithfulness; which led the psalmist to say; "God is known in her palaces for a refuge. For lo, the Kings were assembled; they passed by together. They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and so they hasted away." "The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge." "In Salem stood his tabernacle; and his dwelling place in Zion. There brake he the arrows of the bow, the shield and the sword of the battle." This city of God long answered well to its name. Jeru, they shall see; Salem, peace. Long did the church, while they walked with God, there see and enjoy peace.
But alas, we find recorded of this city, temple, and nation of the Jews, a fatal reverse. They found the sentiment in their sacred oracles fulfilled; "The Lord is with you while ye be with him; but if ye forsake him, he will cast you off."
The Jews became carnal; crucified the Lord of glory; and they fell under the denunciations and the full execution of his wrath. Their lawgiver Moses and their prophets had long thundered against them solemn denunciations, that if ever they should become of the character which they did impiously assume, the most signal judgements of God should cut them off. And the Messiah uttered against them, in consequence of their rejecting him, a new edition of these fatal denunciations, which we find in Matt. xxiv. Mark xiii. Luke xix. 41--44. chap. xxi. and xxiii. 27-30; to which the reader is referred. These were to have a primary fulfilment in the desolation of Jerusalem, and of the Jewish commonwealth. This primary fulfilment Christ assured should take place on that generation. And the denunciation was fulfilled.
This fulfilment, inasmuch as it demonstrated the truth and divinity of our Saviour, exhibited a type of the destruction of Antichrist, and of the wicked at the end of the world; and shows the danger of rejecting the Son of God--ought to be duly noted in the church, and frequently contemplated. It is a subject too much neglected and forgotten in the present Christian world. I design then, to give a concise description of the event, in which Jesus Christ came in awful judgement upon the infidel Jews, and vindicated his cause against his persecutors and murderers. But some preliminary remarks will first be made.
This noted city was built on two mountains; and contained two parts, called the Upper and Lower City. The former was built on
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Mount Sion; the latter on Mount Acra. The city is supposed to have been founded by Melchisedec, and then called Salem, or Solyma. The warlike Jebusites possessed it when Israel entered Canaan.
In the higher city they long defended themselves against the Hebrews. Here they remained, till David subdued them; and called their city The City of David.
Herod the Great, when he repaired (or rather rebuilded) the temple, added vast strength and embelishments to this city; which accounts for its superb state and strength when it was destroyed.
Most of this city was surrounded with three walls. In some places, where it was deemed inaccessible, it had only one. The wall first built was adorned and strengthened with sixty towers. Fourteen towers rested on the middle wall. The outside one, (most remarkable for its workmanship) was secured with ninety towers.
The tower Psephinos was most celebrated. It was seventy cubits high; had eight angles; and commanded a most beautiful prospect. Here the visitor might (in a clear atmosphere) delight himself with a view of the Mediterranean, forty miles to the west; and of most of the Jewish dominions. Some of these towers were nearly ninety cubits in height; and famous for their beauty, elegance and curiosities. They were built of white marble; and had the appearance of vast marble blocks. These huge piles gave to the city, in the view of the adjacent country, a most majestick appearance.
Near the highest of these towers stood the royal palace, of the most commanding elegance. Incredible cost had furnished its pillars, porticoes, galleries, and apartments. Its gardens, groves, fountains, aqueducts, and walks, presented the richest and most delightful scenery. This was the beauty and elegance of the north side of Jerusalem.
On the east side stood the temple, and the fort of Antonio, over against Mount Olivet. This fort was built on a rock of fifty feet in height, and of inaccessible steepness, overlaid with slabs of marble. The castle of Antonio stood in the centre of this fortress. The workmanship of this castle made it more resemble a palace than a castle. A tower adorned each square of this fortress; one of which was seventy cubits high, and commanded a full view of the temple.
The temple was, in many respects, the most astonishing fabrick ever beheld. Its site was partly on a solid rock, originally steep on every side. The lower temple had a foundation of vast dimensions, said to be three hundred cubits from its lowest base. This foundation
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was composed of stones sixty feet in length; and the lower part of the superstructure was composed of stones of solid white marble, more than sixty feet long; and seven by nine feet in bigness. Four furlongs compassed the whole pile of building; which was one hundred cubits high; with one hundred and sixty pillars, to afford both support and ornament.
In the front were spacious and lofty galleries, with cedar wainscot, resting on uniform rows of white marble columns. Josephus asserts that nothing could exceed the exterior part of this house of God, for exquisite workmanship and elegance. Its solid plates of gold seemed to strive to out-dazzle the rising sun. The parts of the building not covered with gold, had, at a distance, the appearance of pillars of snow, or white marble mountains. And the grandeur of the internal workmanship of this magnificent dome did not fail of being fully equal to its external maginifience. Nothing superb, costly, or elegant, was spared. The different parts of the world had seemed to vie with each other, to pour their most costly treasures into this wonderful treasury of Heaven. The lower story was decorated with the sacred furniture, the table of shew bread, altar of incense, and the candlestick of pure beaten gold. The altar and table were overlaid with pure gold. Several doors of the sanctuary were fifty-five cubits in height, and sixteen in breadth, overlaid also with gold. The richest Babylonian tapestry, of purple, blue and scarlet, and of exquisite workmanship, waved within these doors. Golden vines, with leaves and clusters of grapes of gold, were suspended from the ceiling five or six feet, of curious workmanship. The temple had a huge eastern gate of pure Corinthian brass,--a metal in the highest esteem. It would be a task to enumerate all the foldings of golden doors in the chambers;--carved works, paintings and gildings;--vessels of gold; scarlet, violet, and purple sacerdotal vestments; and all the incalculable piles of riches in this temple of Jehovah. The most precious stones, spices, and perfumes; every thing that nature, art, or riches could furnish, were stored within these stupendous and hallowed walls.
Here were the city and temple to be destroyed, for the infidelity, malice, hypocrisy, and persecution of the Lord of glory, (in himself, and his followers,) which characterized its rulers and people. Here a measure of unprecedented atrociousness was just filled up, which should bring down wrath upon them to the uttermost. This tremendous ruin our Lord foretold and fulfilled.
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The last noted entrance into Jerusalem of Him, who was God manifest in the flesh, took place on the Monday before the scene of his sufferings. Amidst the acclamention of multitudes he was hailed King of Zion, with every token of joy and praise. The air rang again with their praises, uttered for all the mighty works they had seen. They sang, Hosanna! Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven; and glory in the highest. Our Lord (superior to all their adulation, and knowing how soon the hosannas of some of them would turn to, "Crucify him;"--and being touched with sympathy and pity for a devoted city, now going to fill up their guilty measure of iniquity) “beheld the city, and wept over it." He said; "If thou hadst known, even thou, in this thy day, the things which belong to thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes! For the days shall come when thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round; and keep thee in on every side; and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee. And they shall not leave thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation."
The day but one after, Christ went into the temple for the last time, to instruct the people. While he was thus employed, the high priest, elders, Herodians, Sadducees, and Pharisees, gathered in turn around him, with a malicious view to entangle him in his talk. Christ returned such answers, spake such parables, and set home such reproof and conviction to their souls, as not only to astonish and silence them; but to give them some awful prelibation of the final judgement, which awaited them at his bar. He thus, in a free and pungent address to the disciples, administered the most dignified and keen reproofs for the cruelty, hypocrisy, and pride, of the Scribes and Pharisees. He foretold the malicious treatment the disciples would meet with at their hands; and then denounced the vengeance on that falling city, which for ages their crimes had been accumulating. He forewarned that this cup of divine indignation should be poured on that generation. His tender feelings of soul then melted in a most moving apostrophe: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! thou that killest the prophets, and stoned them that are sent unto thee! How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings; and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, "Blessed is he that cometh in the name
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of the Lord." Upon this our Saviour left the temple. The disciples took an occasion to speak to Christ of the magnificence of the sacred edifice; how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts. "Master, (said they,) see what manner of stones and buildings are here." "Jesus said unto them; See ye not all these things? Verily, I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." How very unlikely must such an event have seemed! But it was indeed fulfilled upon that generation.
Jesus and his disciples retired to the mount of Olives. Here the temple rose before them in all its majestick elegance. The surrounding scenery naturally suggested the conversation which followed. The disciples petitioned;--"Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?" Their minds seem to have been impressed with the preceeding discourse; and they fell most readily upon the same subject, and wished to know when such awful events should come; and what warnings should announce their approach. Our Lord replied; "Take heed that no man deceive you; for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." As though he had said; This shall be one signal token of the event, both as my denunciations relate to a primary accomplishment in the destruction of Jerusalem; and to a more general and dreadful fulfilment in the destruction of Antichrist in the last days. Imposters shall abound. False religionsts shall deceive and ruin many. Let us trace the fulfilment of this and several succeeding predictions.
This was fulfilled in relation to Jerusalem. Not long after Christ's ascension, the Samaritan Dositheus appeared and declared himself the Messiah predicted by Moses. Simon Magus also declared himself "The Great power of God." Soon after, another imposter appeared from the mongrel Samaritans. The church has ever been annoyed by such kind of Samaritans, who have ever been fruitful in vile imposters, crying "Lo, here; and lo there." This imposter promised to exhibit to the people sacred utensils said to be deposited by Moses in Mount Gerazim. Here a new decision must be given from heaven, to the question between the Jews and Samaritans, as to the place of worship; a thing of which schismaticks have ever been exceedingly fond; to derive some new light upon their party question directly from above; as though decisions already given were insufficient.
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Armed multitudes sallied forth to follow this Messiah, confident their Great Deliverer had at last made his appearance. But Pilate, the Roman governor, checked their fanaticism with the sword, and put their fancied Messiah to death.
Another imposter, Theudas, arose. He had the address to persuade multitudes to follow him into the wilderness, under his promise that he would cause the river Jordan to divide. The Roman procurator, Fadus, with a troop of horse, pursued them; slew the imposter, and many others; and dispersed the faction. Deceivers, under the government of Felix, were multiplied, leading off people into the wilderness under the promise and fanatical expectation that they should there see signs and wonders. The old Serpent often leads fanatical people into wildernesses of error and delusion, under similar expectations. The viligant eye of the Romas governor rested on these imposters, and was sure to frustate their designs, as oft as they appeared.
In the year 55, arose a notable Egyptian impostor, named Felix. Thirty thousand followed him, under the persuasion that from mount Olivet they should see the walls of Jerusalem fall to the ground at his command, for their easy capture of the Roman garrison there; and their taking possession of Jerusalem. They were attacked by the Roman governor; four hundred were slain; and the rest dispersed. The Egyptian imposter escaped for his life. In the year 60, another pretended Messiah appeared, engaging to break theRoman yoke, if they would follow him into the wilderness; but the deceiver and his followers soon fell a sacrifice to the vigilance of Festus, the governor. It would be too unwieldy to mention all the vile imposters of this period. They were a just retribution of righteous Heaven upon the Jews, for having rejected and put to death the true Messiah; and they fulfilled the warning given by our Lord, of a host of deceivers at that period. How prone are men to court deception. Christ had said to the Jews, 'I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not. If another should come in his own name, him will ye receive.' This was fulfilled; and not only then, but in every age to this day. Those who give the best evangelical evidence of their being ambassadors of Christ, many will reject; while the confident and noisy claims of egotists are by them fully allowed. "As in water face answers to face; so the heart of man to man."
Our Lord proceeds; "And ye shall hear of wars, and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things shall come to
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pass; but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation; and kingdom against kingdom; and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; all these are the beginning of sorrows."
The portentous thunders of wars and rumours of wars may be said to have occupied most of the time from the death of our Saviour, to the destruction of Jerusalem. The historick pages, which treat of these times, are stained with blood. A war between Herod and Aretas, king of Arabia, opened the bloody scene, after a short season of peace. In Selucia, the Greeks and Syrians rose against the Jews, who fled thither from the pestilence in Babylon, and slew fifty thousand of them. Five years after, the Jews in Perea and people of Philadelphia contended about the limits of a city, when many of the Jews were slain. Four years after this, an insult being offered to the Jews within the precincts of the temple, by a Roman soldier; and being violently resented; a Roman force rushed upon them, which so terrified the Jews, that they fled in vast disorder, and ten thousand of them lost their lives in the streets. After another four years, the Jews ravaged the country of the Samaritans, in consequence of their having murdered a Galilean, who was going to keep the passover. Many were slain. Soon after, a contention arose between the Jews in Caesarea and the Syrians, relative to the government of Caesarea. In the first encounter more than twenty thousand Jews were slain. This contention raged in many cities where the Jews and Syrians dwelt; and mutual slaughter prevailed. And in five other cities the carnage among the Jews was dreadful. At Damascus ten thousand Jews were slain in one hour. And at Scythopolis thirteen thousand were slain in one night. In Alexandria the Jews rose upon the Romans; and had fifty thousand of their people slain, without any regard to infancy or age. Soon after, in a contention at Totapata, forty thousand Jews perished. These contentions rose and increased till the whole Jewish nation took up arms against the Romans, and brought on themselves their final destruction. Thus the prediction of our Saviour quoted, received in those days a striking primary fulfilment.
Our Saviour added; "And great earthquakes shall be in divers places." These significant warnings too were accomplished in those days. Two are recorded by Tacitus; one at Rome in the reign of Claudius; another at Apamea, in Syria, where were many Jews. So destructive was the one at the latter place, that the tribute due to the Romans was for five years remitted. One also was terrifick
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at Crete; one at Smyrna; one at Miletus; one at Chios, and one at Samos; in all which places Jews dwelt. These are noted by Philastratus. Soon after, in the reign of Nero, both Tacitus and Eusebius inform, that Hierapolis and Colosse, as well as Laodicea, were overthrown by earthquakes. Another is noted at Rome; one at Campania; and others tremendous are mentioned as taking place at Jerusalem in the night; just before the commencement of the last siege of that city. Of these, Josephus gives the following account: "A heavy storm burst on them, during the night, violent winds arose, with most excessive rains, with constant lightning, most tremendous thunders, and dreadful roarings of earthquakes. It seemed as if the system of the world had been confounded for the destruction of mankind. And one might well conjecture that these were signs of no common event."
The famines predicted by Christ were likewise fulfilled. The one foretold by Agabus, noted in the Acts of the Apostles, was dreadful, and of long continuance. It extended through Greece and Italy; but was most severely felt at Judea, and especially at Jerusalem. The contributions noted as brought by Paul from abroad, to relieve the poor brethren there, were sent during this sore famine. Authors of that time mention two other famines in the empire, previous to the one occasioned by the siege of Jerusalem.
"Pestilences" too, the Saviour adds. Two instances of this signal judgement took place before the last Jewish war. The one took place at Babylon, where many Jews resided; the other at Rome, which swept off vast multitudes. Other lighter instances of this calamity occurred, in various parts of the empire; as both Tacitus and Suetonius record.
Our Lord also adds, "And fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven," Josephus (who can never be suspected of wishing to favour any prediction of Christ; and who probably knew not of any such prediction, when he wrote,) gives accounts of events, which strikingly answer to this premonition. Speaking of the infatuation of his countrymen, in running after imposters, while they neglected the plainest admonitions from heaven, he gives account of the seven following events;
1. He says; "On the 8th of the month Zanthicus, (before the feast of unleavened bread.) at the ninth hour of the night, there shone round about the altar and the circumjacent buildings of the temple, a
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light equal to the brightness of the day; which continued for the space of half an hour."
2. "About the sixth hour of the night, (says Josephus,) the eastern gate of the temple was found to open without human assistance." This gate was of solid brass; and so large and heavy, as to require twenty men to close it. And Josephus says, "it was secured by iron bolts, and bars, that were let down into a large threshold consisting of one entire stone." The Jews themselves concluded, from the miraculous nature of this event, that the security of their temple had fled. When the procurator was informed of it, he sent a band of men to close the door; who with great difficulty executed their orders.
3. Again, the same celebrated Jewish author says: "At a subsequent feast of pentecost, while the priests were going by night into the inner temple, to perform their customary ministrations, they first felt (as they said,) a shaking accompanied by an indistinct murmuring; and afterwards voices as of a multitude saying in a distinct and earnest manner: "Let us depart hence." How striking was this miraculus premonition. It commenced with a shaking, to call and fix the attention of these Jewish priests. Then was heard an indistinct murmur. This would make them listen with all possible heed. Then they heard the distinct voices, as of a multitude in great earnestness and haste;--"Let us depart hence!" And their last fatal war with the Romans commenced before the next season for celebrating this feast.
4. Another sign was the following. The same author says; "A meteor, resembling a sword, hung over Jerusalem, during one whole year." This could not have been a comet, for it was stationary a whole year, and seems, from the words of Josephus, to have been much nearer than a comet, and appeared to be appropriated to that city. This reminds one of the sword of the destroying angel, stretched out over Jerusalem, I Chro. xxi. 16. This stationary position of the sword for a year, was a lively indication that the impending ruin was fatal.
5. Josephus says again: "As the high priests were leading a heifer to the altar to be sacrificed, she brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple."--Most striking rebuke to those infidel priests, who had rejected the Lamb of God who had shed his blood once for all, and abrogated the Levitical sacrifices; which yet they were impiously continuing. This wonder was exhibited in the
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temple, the type of the body of Christ, and at the passover, when at a preceeding passover Jesus was arrested and sacrificed; and it took place before the high priests and their attendants; so that they could never complain for want of evidence of the fact.
6. This author says: "Soon after the feast of the passover, in various parts of the country, before the setting of the sun, chariots and armed men were seen in the air passing round about Jerusalem." This strange sight occurring before sunset, and being seen in various parts of the country, must have been a miraculous portent; a sign from heaven. The Jews had said, "What sign showest thou, that we may see and believe." Now they had their signs in abundance; yet they would not believe.
7. The last and most fearful sign Josephus relates; that one Jesus, son of Ananus, a rustic of the lower class, appeared in the temple at the feast of tabernacles, and suddenly exclaimed, "A voice from the east--a voice from the west--a voice from the four winds--a voice against Jerusalem and the temple--a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides--a voice against the whole people!" These words he continued to exclaim through the streets of Jerusalem by day and by night, with no cessation (unless what was needed for the support of nature) for seven years! He commenced in the year 63, while the city was in peace and prosperity, and terminated his exclamations only in his death, amidst the horrors of the seige, in the year 70. This strange thing, when it commenced, soon excited great attention; and this Jesus was brought before Albinus, the Roman governor, who interrogated him, but could obtain no answer except the continuation of his woes. He commanded him to be scourged, but to no effect. During times of festivals, this cry of his was peculiarly loud and urgent. After the commencement of the siege, he ascended the walls, and in a voice still more tremendous than ever, he exclaimed, "Wo, wo to this city, this temple, and this people!" And he then added, (for the first time for the seven years,) "Wo, wo to myself!" The words were no sooner uttered, than a stone from a Roman machine without the walls, struck him dead on the spot!
Such were the signs in the heavens and in the earth, which just preceded the destruction of Jerusalem. Several of them are recorded by Tacitus as well as by Josephus. The veracity of Josephus as a historian is probably allowed by all. Scaliger affirms that he deserves more credit as a writer than all the Greek and Roman historians put together.
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From the conquest of Jerusalem by Pompey, sixty years before Christ, the Jews repeatedly had exhibited a most rebellious spirit against the Romans. The Jews had basely said to Pilate concerning Christ, "If thou let this man go, thou art not a friend of Caesar." But the fact was, they persecuted Christ because he would not erect a temporal throne in opposition to Caesar. Any imposter who seemed prepared to do this, they were ready to follow; and were ready to improve every apparent occasion to evince their decided hostility to the Romans. And they barely needed a prophet's eye to discern that this spirit and conduct (manifested on all occasions) would soon draw against them the Roman sword.
Judas, a Gaulonite, and Saddue, a Pharisee, had rallied the Jews with the idea that their paying tribute to the Romans would not fail to confirm them in the most abject slavery; in consequence of which, their enmity often burst forth with malignant violence,--Tumults and riots increased; and Florus, the Roman governor of Judea, by his cruel exactions, increased this spirit among the Jews. Eleazer, son of the high priest, persuaded the officers of the temple to reject the offerings of foreigners, and to withhold publick prayers for them. The Roman government felt the insult; and a basis was soon found to be laid for a Roman war! Feuds and contentions increased in Judea, till Cestius Gallus marched an army thither from Syria to restore order. His march was marked with blood and desolation. The city of Zebulon, Joppa, and other villages in his way, he plundered and burned. Eight thousand four hundred of the inhabitants of the former place he slew. The district of Narbatene he laid waste, and slew two thousand of the Jews in Galilee; reduced the city of Lydda to ashes, and drove the Jews, (who made desperate sallies upon him) till he encamped within a hundred miles of the capital. Soon after, he entered Jerusalem, and burned some part of the city. But through the treachery of his own officers, he made an unexpected flight. The enraged Jews pursued him, and slew about sixty thousand of his men. Many of the rich Jews, alarmed at the Roman invasion, fled from Jerusalem, as from a foundering ship. Some suppose many of the Christians now fled to a place called Pella in the mountains of Judea. Matt. xxiv. 15-17.
Nero being informed of the defeat of Cestius, gave the command to Vespasian to press the war against the rebellious Jews. He and his son Titus soon collected an army of sixty thousand men. In A.D. 67, he marched from Ptolemais to Judea, marking his steps with ravages and desolation. Infancy and age fell before the furious
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soldiery. All the strong towns of Galilee and many of those of Judea fell before the victorious arms of Vespasian, who slew not less than one hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants. Signal vengeance was taken on Joppa, which had in part been rebuilt, after it had been by Cestius reduced to ashes. Vespasian was enraged at the frequent piracies of this people. The Jews of this place fleeing before him, betook themselves to their shipping. But a furious tempest overtook those who stood out to sea, and they were lost. The others were dashed vessel against vessel, or against the rocks. Some in their distress laid violent hands on themselves. Such as reached the shore were slain by the enraged Romans. The sea for some distance was stained with their blood. Forty thousand are said to have been swallowed up in the waves; and not one escaped to relate their catastrophe. Truly this was "distress of their nation, with the sea and waves thereof roaring!"
Vespasian returned from Jericho to Caesarea, to prepare for a grand siege of Jerusalem. Here he received intelligence of the death of the emperor Nero. This led him to suspend for the present the execution of his plan against the Jews. This respite to that devoted people continued about two years, and but encouraged them to deeds of greater enormity.
A spirit of faction now appeared in Jerusalem.--Two parties first, and afterwards three, raged there; each contending with deadly animosity for the precedence. A part of one of these factions having been excluded from the city, entered it by force during the night; and to such madness were they abandoned, that they butchered on that fatal night not less than eight thousand five hundred of men, women and children, whose mangled bodies appeared the next morning strewed in the streets of Jerusalem. These abandoned murderers plundered in the city; murdered the high priests Ananus and Jesus, and insulted their dead bodies. They slew their brethren of Jerusalem, as though they had been wild animals. They scourged and imprisoned the nobles, in hopes to terrify them to become of their party; and many who could not be thus won, they slew. In this reign of terror, twelve thousand of thehigher orders of the people thus perished; and no relative dared to shed a mourning tear, lest this should bring on him a similar fate. Accusation and death became the most common events.--Many fled but were intercepted and slain. Piles of their carcasses lay on publick roads; and all pity, as well as regard for human or divine authority, seemed extinguished.