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History of the Jewish Wars, he was a Jew of a noble family, connected by descent both with the sacerdotal and royal dignities, being at once of the blood-royal, and of the line of the priests. He was a general of the Jewish army at the commencement of the war, and had a command in Galilee; and after sustaining, with admirable talent, the long protracted siege of Jotapata, he was taken captive by the Romans, and lived a prisoner, yet much esteemed in the camp of Vespasian, till that general was declared emperor by the legions in Judea, on which occasion Josephus received his freedom. He still, however, continued among the Romans, where he acted as interpreter between them and the Jews. Being an eye-witness of the war, he has left a most affecting and authentic history of the miseries of his own nation, as well as of their crimes; and has given such a detail of massacre and rapine, famine and fire, as is unparalleled in all the annals of all other nations on the earth.
Many learned commentators on the Scriptures have remarked, regarding the writings of Josephus, that his history is so perfect a delineation of certain passages in the Bible, and particularly of those two verses in the twenty-fourth chapter of St. Matthew," For there shall be great tribula
tion, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no nor ever shall be. And except these days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved," &c.—that they are not only the exact counterparts of each other, but seem almost as if they had been written by the same person." Yet Josephus was not born till after our Saviour's crucifixion; he was not a Christian, but a Jew, and certainly never meant to give any testimony to the truth of the Christian religion.+
With regard to the following Abridgement of his account of the siege of Jerusalem, the propriety of retaining, as much as possible, the style of the translator has been steadily kept in view; both because it was conceived that the Jewish historian would not appear so well in a more modern dress, and also because the very facts which he relates have in them something so venerable, that it seemed it would have been doing a kind of violence to their antiquity and sadness, to have presented them in a more garish style, or even-had the writer been capable-in a more elegant phraseology. For the same reason, the nomenclature of the days and months of the year in the European calendar has not been followed, nor even that of the Syro-Macedonian, though * Newton.
+ Bishop Porteus, quoted by Scott.
used by Josephus; but the names of the Jewish months appended by Whiston are adopted as being more familiar to the reader of the Bible in the one case, and more sacred than the modern in the other. Or to be more explicit, the word Tamuz is used instead of July, Elul instead of August, &c. It appeared that it would have resembled the account of the attrocities of some European revolution, of the twelfth of August, to have used the latter; while many a sacred association falls in with the feelings of the Jewish historian, when, describing the sacking of the holy city, he says, "while all was burning, came on the dawn of the eighth day of the month Elul on the ashes of Jerusalem."
As many passages in Josephus are rather obscure, and it is sometimes difficult to arrive at his precise meaning, in all such cases the exact words of the translator have been retained; and where conjecture is necessary, it has been thought adviseable rather to leave it to the mind of the reader, than to venture to use any freedom with the text.
For similar reasons, namely, to preserve as much as possible the identy of the historian in this abridgement, the writer has been very sparing of reflections on what is related; and indeed the
feelings of a Jewish writer, and those of a Christian on this subject, must be so totally opposite as far as matters of faith are concerned, as to be nearly incapable of amalgamation. A few quotations from scripture are appended to the chapters, on which it will be found that the text of the historian contains the best annotation. In each, giving evidence of the truth of that appalling sentence,―appalling so far as it regards the impeni
"heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
In conclusion, it is only necessary to add, that, as in the perusal of this book, sentiments must necessarily be excited in the mind, such as no one in this day of the spreading of glad tidings would wish to entertain towards any nation, much less towards the Jews,-it has been attempted to follow it up by a selection of some historical facts connected with the fate of that exiled and persecuted people, since the loss of their beloved and devoted city, which, it is hoped, will lead every pious reader to pray, that the set time to favour Zion may speedily arrive-that, "in Judah, Jehovah-Jesus may be well known, and that his name may be great, as the GLORY of ISRAEL.”.
Leith, February, 1826.
"We have no King but Cæsar!"
THE memorable occasion on which these words, we have no king but Cæsar,"-were vociferated by the Jewish multitude, is well known to every Christian reader; and it is not my intention to allude, at present, to the sacred and awful circumstances with which this exclamation stands connected. But it may be well, before entering on the following history, to draw one or two proofs from Scripture, illustrative at once, of the power of the Roman authorities in Judea, in the times of the apostles; and of the