After returning from Rome, where he had helped secure the freedom of some incarcerated priests, Josephus found that many people in Israel were contemplating rebellion against the Romans. He tried to talk them out of it because he could see that they were no match for the Romans, but those enthused about rebellion would not listen to him.Josephus finally began to fear that if he continued to speak against rebellion, he would be perceived by the other Jews as an enemy, so he withdrew to the inner court of the temple. I take that to mean that he busied himself at the temple so that he could avoid what was going on in the general population of Jerusalem. He eventually became more involved again, though, and was dismayed to see so many of the rebels with weapons. He and those of like mind were frankly afraid to speak too strongly against rebellion for fear of being killed, but they did try to persuade the rebels to lie low and wait a bit. Apparently, they had high hopes that someone named Gessius would come with a large force and put an end to the rebellion. Gessius finally arrived, but was beaten, which just made things worse, as it gave the Jewish people the hope and belief that they could beat the Romans, so they continued their rebellius plans.I tried to find out something about Gessius from wikipedia. He was a Roman Procurator of Judea 64-66 a.d. He is mentioned in the article, "The Great Jewish Revolt," toward the end of the "Background" paragraph. It isn't a lot of information, but he was a Roman leading Roman forces, so that lets you know that Josephus' hope was that Gessius would defeat the rebels early on, so as to prevent much greater bloodshed and war. It may be, too, that Josephus was quite content with the status quo.
Labels: history, Josephus