5 Maccabees Chapter 35 (from The Five Books of Maccabees)


Cotton H.Sir : 

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P. 359 – 363 Book 5 B.C. 67 [PDF: 409/413 of p.524]

CHAPTER 35.1)Foot note p. 359 a. Compare Josephus, Ant. XIV. 2, 3. Bell. I. 5.

(i) The account of Antipater, (that is, Herod the king,) and of the seditions and battles which he kindled between Hyrcanus and Aristobidus.

1 There was a man of the Jews, of the sons2)Foot note p. 359 b. See Josephus on this point : also Abp. Ussher’s observation at the year B. C. 72, in his ” Annals.” In truth, the Jews could never bring themselves to regard Herod as one of their own blood and brethren, not withstanding all his acts of munificence and public splendour. of certain of those who went up out of Babylon with p. 360 Ezra the priest, named Antipater. And he was 2 wise, prudent, acute, brave, and high-minded, of a good disposition, kind, and courteous ; also rich, and possessing many houses, goods, and flocks. This man king Alexander had made governor 3 of the country of the Idumseans, from whence he had taken a wife ; by whom he had four sons, namely, Phaselus, Herod, who reigned over Judah, Pheroras, and Josephus. Afterwards, being 4 removed from the mountains of Sarah3)Foot note p. 360 c. See above, cli. x. 1 . and the note there., that is, the country of the Idumaeans, in the days of Alexander, he dwelt in the city of the Holy House: and 5 Hyrcanus loved him, and was much inclined towards him : wherefore Aristobulus sought to kill him ; which, however, he did not accomplish.

So Antipater was excessively afraid of 6 Aristobulus, and for that reason began secretly to plot against Aristobulus’ kingdom. He went 7 therefore to the principal men of the kingdom, and having gotten from them a pledge of secrecy respecting the matters which he was about to communicate, he began to talk to them of the 8 infamous life of Aristobulus, his tyranny, his impiety, and the bloodshed which he had caused, and his usurpation of the throne, of which his elder brother was more worthy. Then he bade them 9 beware of the great and good God, unless they took away the tyrant’s ruling hand, and restored what was due to their rightful sovereign. Nor was 10 there left a single one of the chief men, whom he did not overreach, and incline to submit to Hyrcanus, seducing them from their obedience to p. 361 Aristobulus, Hyrcanus knowing nothing of the 11 matter: but Antipater ascribed4)Foot note p. 361 d. That is to say, he sounded all these chief men of the kingdom, causing them to believe that it was done with the privity, if not by the express command, of Hyrcanus. all this to him, being unwilling to tell him before he had established the thing.

12 Therefore, when he had fully settled this business with the people, he went to Hyrcanus, and 13 said to him ; Truly your brother is greatly afraid of you, because he sees that his estate will be nowise secure while you are alive ; on which account he is seeking about for an opportunity to 14 slay you, and will not suffer you to live. But Hyrcanus did not give credence to him, because of the goodness and sincerity of his heart. Wherefore Antipater repeated this discourse to him 15 again and again. Also he gave large sums of money to the persons in whom Hyrcanus placed confidence, and agreed with them that they should tell him similar things to what Antipater had 16 mentioned; only taking care that he should not imagine that they knew that Antipater had been 17 speaking to him on the subject. So Hyrcanus believed their words ; and was induced to devise a plan by which he might be delivered from his brother.

18 When therefore Antipater spoke again to him of the matter, [B.C. 66.] he informed him that the truth of his words was now manifest to him, and that he knew that he had advised him well ; and he asked his counsel in this affair. 19 And Antipater advised him to go out of the city to some one in whom he could confide, and who might be able to aid and assist him. And 20 Antipater went to Hartam5)Foot note p. 362 e. Or Hartas. In this manner is the name spelled throughout ; but the person designated is Aretas, king of Arabia Petraca; whose capital city was Petra, once a place of consequence, now an almost unknown heap of wonidrous ruins. Its early history is briefly touched by Diodorus Siculus, II. c. 48, ‘and XIX. c. 95. [See it described, under the name of Wadi-moosa, by the recent travellers, Legh and Burckhardt.] Aretas was afterwards defeated and made prisoner by Pompey. On the name, see note on ch. xxviii. 28.—Plutarch calls him , and agreed with him that he should receive Hyrcanus as a guest when he came, since he was rather afraid of dwelling with his brother. At which Hartam rejoiced, and came 21 into the plan, and agreed with Antipater that in no case would he deliver up Hyrcanus and Antipater to their enemies, and that he would assist and protect them. And he returned to Jerusalem, 22 and made known to Hyrcanus what he had done, and how he had agreed with Hartam concerning their going to him. Wherefore both of them went 23 out of the city by night, and went to Hartam, and remained with him for some time.

Then Antipater began to persuade Hartam to 24 lead forth an army with Hyrcanus, to reduce and capture his brother Aristobulus. But Hartam 25 declined prosecuting this plan, fearing that he had not strength to resist Aristobulus. But 26 Antipater ceased not to shew him that the business with Aristobulus was easy, and to urge him to it by arguments of the treasure to be gained, and by the greatness of glory which he would acquire, and the memory which he would leave behind p. 363 27 him : until he consented to march ; yet upon condition that Hyrcanus would restore to him whatever cities and towns6)Foot note p. 362 f. Josephus tells us that these were twelve in number, and he recites their names. belonging to him his father 28 Alexander had taken away. To which Hyrcanus agreeing and completing the treaty, Hartam marched (and Hyrcanus with him) with fifty thousand horse and foot soldiers, bending his course to the country of Judah : against whom 29 Aristobulus went forth and engaged them. And when the fight had become fierce, many of 30 Aristobulus’ army went over to Hyrcanus. Which Aristobulus perceiving, sounded a retreat, and returned to his camp, fearing lest his whole army should gradually slip away to the enemy, and thus 31 he himself should be taken prisoner. But when night was coming on, Aristobulus departed from 32 the camp alone, and went to the Holy City. And when on break of day his departure became known to the army, the greater part of them joined themselves to Hyrcanus, and the rest 33 dispersed and went their ways. But Hyrcanus, Hartam, and Antipater, went straight to the city of the Holy House, carrying with them a large 34 army ; and they found Aristobulus already prepared for a siege ; for he had closed the gates of the city, and had placed men on the ramparts to 35 defend them. And Hyrcanus and Hartam encamped with their forces against the city, and besieged it.


Original Source: Transcribed from PDF copy of Book "The Five Books of Maccabees in English. With Notes and Illustrations", by HENRY COTTON, D.C.L.(Sir) Archdeacon of Cashel, and Late Student of Christ Church, Oxford. Publication date 1832 | PDF


References   [ + ]

1. Foot note p. 359 a. Compare Josephus, Ant. XIV. 2, 3. Bell. I. 5.
2. Foot note p. 359 b. See Josephus on this point : also Abp. Ussher’s observation at the year B. C. 72, in his ” Annals.” In truth, the Jews could never bring themselves to regard Herod as one of their own blood and brethren, not withstanding all his acts of munificence and public splendour.
3. Foot note p. 360 c. See above, cli. x. 1 . and the note there.
4. Foot note p. 361 d. That is to say, he sounded all these chief men of the kingdom, causing them to believe that it was done with the privity, if not by the express command, of Hyrcanus.
5. Foot note p. 362 e. Or Hartas. In this manner is the name spelled throughout ; but the person designated is Aretas, king of Arabia Petraca; whose capital city was Petra, once a place of consequence, now an almost unknown heap of wonidrous ruins. Its early history is briefly touched by Diodorus Siculus, II. c. 48, ‘and XIX. c. 95. [See it described, under the name of Wadi-moosa, by the recent travellers, Legh and Burckhardt.] Aretas was afterwards defeated and made prisoner by Pompey. On the name, see note on ch. xxviii. 28.—Plutarch calls him
6. Foot note p. 362 f. Josephus tells us that these were twelve in number, and he recites their names.

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