The Antiquities of the Jews

The Antiquities of the Jews
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第104章

29.So Joshua, when he had thus discoursed to them, died, having lived a hundred and ten years; forty of which he lived with Moses, in order to learn what might be for his advantage afterwards.He also became their commander after his death for twenty-five years.He was a man that wanted not wisdom nor eloquence to declare his intentions to the people, but very eminent on both accounts.He was of great courage and magnanimity in action and in dangers, and very sagacious in procuring the peace of the people, and of great virtue at all proper seasons.

He was buried in the city of Timnab, of the tribe of Ephraim (9)About the same time died Eleazar the high priest, leaving the high priesthood to his son Phineas.His monument also, and sepulcher, are in the city of Gabatha.

CHAPTER 2.

How, After The Death Of Joshua Their Commander, The Israelites Transgressed The Laws Of Their Country, And Experienced Great Afflictions; And When There Was A Sedition Arisen, The Tribe Of Benjamin Was Destroyed Excepting Only Six Hundred Men.

1.After the death of Joshua and Eleazar, Phineas prophesied, (10) that according to God's will they should commit the government to the tribe of Judah, and that this tribe should destroy the race of the Canaanites; for then the people were concerned to learn what was the will of God.They also took to their assistance the tribe of Simeon; but upon this condition, that when those that had been tributary to the tribe of Judah should be slain, they should do the like for the tribe of Simeon.

2.But the affairs of the Canaanites were at this thee in a flourishing condition, and they expected the Israelites with a great army at the city Bezek, having put the government into the hands of Adonibezek, which name denotes the Lord of Bezek, for Adoni in the Hebrew tongue signifies Lord.Now they hoped to have been too hard for the Israelites, because Joshua was dead; but when the Israelites had joined battle with them, I mean the two tribes before mentioned, they fought gloriously, and slew above ten thousand of them, and put the rest to flight; and in the pursuit they took Adonibezek, who, when his fingers and toes were cut off by them, said, "Nay, indeed, I was not always to lie concealed from God, as I find by what I now endure, while I have not been ashamed to do the same to seventy-two kings." (11) So they carried him alive as far as Jerusalem; and when he was dead, they buried him in the earth, and went on still in taking the cities: and when they had taken the greatest part of them, they besieged Jerusalem; and when they had taken the lower city, which was not under a considerable time, they slew all the inhabitants;but the upper city was not to be taken without great difficulty, through the strength of its walls, and the nature of the place.

3.For which reason they removed their camp to Hebron; and when they had taken it, they slew all the inhabitants.There were till then left the race of giants, who had bodies so large, and countenances so entirely different from other men, that they were surprising to the sight, and terrible to the hearing.The bones of these men are still shown to this very day, unlike to any credible relations of other men.Now they gave this city to the Levites as an extraordinary reward, with the suburbs of two thousand cities; but the land thereto belonging they gave as a free gift to Caleb, according to the injunctions of Moses.This Caleb was one of the spies which Moses sent into the land of Canaan.They also gave land for habitation to the posterity of Jethro, the Midianite, who was the father-in-law to Moses; for they had left their own country, and followed them, and accompanied them in the wilderness.

4.Now the tribes of Judah and Simeon took the cities which were in the mountainous part of Canaan, as also Askelon and Ashdod, of those that lay near the sea; but Gaza and Ekron escaped them, for they, lying in a flat country, and having a great number of chariots, sorely galled those that attacked them.So these tribes, when they were grown very rich by this war, retired to their own cities, and laid aside their weapons of war.

5.But the Benjamites, to whom belonged Jerusalem, permitted its inhabitants to pay tribute.So they all left off, the one to kill, and the other to expose themselves to danger, and had time to cultivate the ground.The rest of the tribes imitated that of Benjamin, and did the same; and, contenting themselves with the tributes that were paid them, permitted the Canaanites to live in peace.

6.However, the tribe of Ephraim, when they besieged Bethel, made no advance, nor performed any thing worthy of the time they spent, and of the pains they took about that siege; yet did they persist in it, still sitting down before the city, though they endured great trouble thereby: but, after some time, they caught one of the citizens that came to them to get necessaries, and they gave him some assurances that, if he would deliver up the city to them, they would preserve him and his kindred; so he aware that, upon those terms, he would put the city into their hands.Accordingly, he that, thus betrayed the city was preserved with his family; and the Israelites slew all the inhabitants, and retained the city for themselves.

7.After this, the Israelites grew effeminate as to fighting any more against their enemies, but applied themselves to the cultivation of the land, which producing them great plenty and riches, they neglected the regular disposition of their settlement, and indulged themselves in luxury and pleasures; nor were they any longer careful to hear the laws that belonged to their political government: whereupon God was provoked to anger, and put them in mind, first, how, contrary to his directions, they had spared the Canaanites; and, after that, how those Canaanites, as opportunity served, used them very barbarously.

Flavius Josephus

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