The Antiquities of the Jews


6.And when the king had set Ptolemy over these parts of the country as his general, he went to Samaria, with six hundred horsemen, and three thousand armed footmen, as intending to fight Antigonus.But still this command of the army did not succeed well with Ptolemy, but those that had been troublesome to Galilee before attacked him, and slew him; and when they had done this, they fled among the lakes and places almost inaccessible laying waste and plundering whatsoever they could come at in those places.But Herod soon returned, and punished them for what they had done; for some of these rebels he slew, and others of them, who had fled to the strong holds he besieged, and both slew them, and demolished their strong holds.And when he had thus put an end to their rebellion, he laid a fine upon the cities of a hundred talents.

7.In the mean time, Pacorus was fallen in a battle, and the Parthians were defeated, when Ventidius sent Macheras to the assistance of Herod, with two legions, and a thousand horsemen, while Antony encouraged him to make haste.But Macheras, at the instigation of Antigonus, without the approbation of Herod, as being corrupted by money, went about to take a view of his affairs; but Antigonus suspecting this intention of his coming, did not admit him into the city, but kept him at a distance, with throwing stones at him, and plainly showed what he himself meant.

But when Macheras was sensible that Herod had given him good advice, and that he had made a mistake himself in not hearkening to that advice, he retired to the city Emmaus; and what Jews he met with he slew them, whether they were enemies or friends, out of the rage he was in at what hardships he had undergone.The king was provoked at this conduct of his, and went to Samaria, and resolved to go to Antony about these affairs, and to inform him that he stood in no need of such helpers, who did him more mischief than they did his enemies; and that he was able of himself to beat Antigonus.But Macheras followed him, and desired that he would not go to Antony; or if he was resolved to go, that he would join his brother Joseph with them, and let them fight against Antigonus.So he was reconciled to Macheras, upon his earnest entreaties.Accordingly, he left Joseph there with his army, but charged him to run no hazards, nor to quarrel with Macheras.

8.But for his own part, he made haste to Antony (who was then at the siege of Samosata, a place upon Euphrates) with his troops, both horsemen and footmen, to be auxiliaries to him.And when he came to Antioch, and met there a great number of men gotten together that were very desirous to go to Antony, but durst not venture to go, out of fear, because the barbarians fell upon men on the road, and slew many, so he encouraged them, and became their conductor upon the road.Now when they were within two days' march of Samosata, the barbarians had laid an ambush there to disturb those that came to Antony, and where the woods made the passes narrow, as they led to the plains, there they laid not a few of their horsemen, who were to lie still until those passengers were gone by into the wide place.Now as soon as the first ranks were gone by, (for Herod brought on the rear,) those that lay in ambush, who were about five hundred, fell upon them on the sudden, and when they had put the foremost to flight, the king came riding hard, with the forces that were about him, and immediately drove back the enemy; by which means he made the minds of his own men courageous, and imboldened them to go on, insomuch that those who ran away before now returned back, and the barbarians were slain on all sides.The king also went on killing them, and recovered all the baggage, among which were a great number of beasts for burden, and of slaves, and proceeded on in his march; and whereas there were a great number of those in the woods that attacked them, and were near the passage that led into the plain, he made a sally upon these also with a strong body of men, and put them to flight, and slew many of them, and thereby rendered the way safe for those that came after; and these called Herod their savior and protector.

9.And when he was near to Samosata, Antony sent out his army in all their proper habiliments to meet him, in order to pay Herod this respect, and because of the assistance he had given him; for he had heard what attacks the barbarians had made upon him [in Judea].He also was very glad to see him there, as having been made acquainted with the great actions he had performed upon the road.So he entertained him very kindly, and could not but admire his courage.Antony also embraced him as soon as he saw him, and saluted him after a most affectionate manner, and gave him the upper hand, as having himself lately made him a king; and in a little time Antiochus delivered up the fortress, and on that account this war was at an end; then Antony committed the rest to Sosius, and gave him orders to assist Herod, and went himself to Egypt.Accordingly, Sosius sent two legions before into Judea to the assistance of Herod, and he followed himself with the body of the army.

Flavius Josephus