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An Ecclesiastical History To The 20th Year Of The Reign Of Constantine by Eusebius

AFTER the death of Tiberius, Caius having received the government, besides many other innumerable acts of tyranny against many, did not a little afflict the whole nation of the Jews particularly. We may soon learn this, from the declaration of the same author, in which he writes as follows: “So great was the caprice of Caius in his conduct towards all, but especially towards the nation of the Jews. As he was excessively hostile to these, he appropriated their places of worship to himself in all the cities, beginning with those at Alexandria, filling them with his images and statues. For having permitted it when others erected them of their own accord, he now began to erect them by absolute command. But the temple in the holy city, which had been left untouched as yet, and been endowed with privileges as an inviolable asylum, he changed and transformed into a temple of his own, that it should be publicly called the temple of Caius the younger, the visible Jupiter” (επιφανους Διος). Many other and almost indescribable calamities, the same author relates, as happening to the Jews of Alexandria, during the reign of the aforesaid emperor, in his second book, to which he gave the title, ‘On the Virtues.’ Josephus also agrees with him, who likewise intimates that the calamities of the whole nation took their rise from the times of Pilate, and the crimes against our Saviour. Let us hear, then, what he also says in the second book of the Jewish War. “Pilate being sent by Tiberius as procurator of Judea, at night carried the covered images of Cæsar into the temple; these are called ensigns. The following day, this excited the greatest disturbance among the Jews. For they that were near, were confounded at the sight, as a contemptuous prostitution of their legal institutions; for they do not allow any image to be set up in their city.” Comparing these accounts with the writings of the evangelists, you will perceive, that it was not long before that exclamation came upon them, which they uttered under the same Pilate, and by which they cried again and again that they had no other king but Cæsar. After this, the same historian records, that forthwith another calamity overtook them, in these words: “But after these things, he (i.e. Pilate) excited another tumult, by expending the public treasure which is called Corban, in the construction of an aqueduct. This extended nearly three hundred stadia (furlongs, i.e. from the city). The multitude were sorely grieved at it; and when Pilate came to Jerusalem, they surrounded the tribunal, and began to cry out against him. But having anticipated a tumult, he had placed his armed soldiers amongst the multitude, disguised under the same dress with the rest of the people, and having commanded them not to use their swords, but to strike the turbulent with clubs, he gave them a signal from the tribunal. The Jews being thus beaten, many of them perished in consequence of the blows, many also in their flight were trodden to death by their own countrymen. The multitude thus overawed by the misfortune of the slain, held their peace.” The same writer mentions innumerable other commotions that were raised in Jerusalem beside these; showing that from that time tumults, and wars, and plots of mischief, one after another, never ceased in the city and all Judea, until, last of all, the siege of Vespasian overwhelmed them. Thus, then, the divine justice overtook the Jews in this way, for their crimes against Christ.








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