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

JOSEPHUS, in the twentieth book of his Antiquities, relates the sedition of the priests, which happened whilst Felix was governor of Judea, under the reign of Nero, in the following words:—“There arose also a sedition between the chief priests on the one hand, and the priests and the leaders of the people at Jerusalem on the other. Each one of them forming collections of the most daring and disaffected, became a leader, and when these met they encountered each other with invectives and stones. Amid these disturbances there was no one that would interpose to rebuke them, but all was done with the greatest licentiousness, as in a state destitute of a ruler. So great also, was the shamelessness and audacity of the chief priests, that they dared to send forth their servants to the barns, to seize the tithes due to the priests; and thus it happened that those of the priests that were destitute, saw themselves perishing for want. Thus did the violence of the factions prevail over all manner of justice.” The same author again relates, that about the same time there sprung up a certain species of robbers at Jerusalem, “who,” says he, “in broad day-light, and in the midst of the city, slew those whom they met; but particularly at festivals, mixed with the multitude, and with short swords concealed under their garments, stabbed the more distinguished of the people. When these fell, the very murderers themselves took part in expressing their indignation with the bystanders, and thus by the credit which they had with all, they were not detected.” And first, he says, that the high priest Jonathan was slaughtered by them; and after him, many were slain from day to day, so that the alarm itself was more oppressive than the very evils with which they were assailed; whilst every one was in expectation of death, as in the midst of battle.








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