By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Life of Josephus, Part 4

In the next two paragraphs (8 and 9) of The Life of Flavius Josephus, we find that Josephus and his companions have arrived in Galilee. They found the people of the village of Sepphoris miserable because the Galileans were planning to attack them because they (Sepphoris) were friends with the Romans and with Syria. Apparently, Josephus was able to smooth that over, at least for the time being.

Josephus then went to Tiberius and found there three factions in that city. The first was composed of, as Josephus says, "men of worth and gravity." They were led by Julius Capellus. This group wanted to continue in their allegiance to Rome. There was in this group a man named Pistus who disagreed because he was guided by his son Justus, of whom we will hear more in a moment.

The second faction was composed of "the most ignoble persons." They wanted to go to war.

Justus, mentioned above, was leader of the third group. Josephus says that "he pretended to be doubtful about going to war, yet was he really desirous of innovation." Josephus says that Justus expected to gain power for himself if they rebelled. One point that Justus used to stir up the people of Tiberias was that they had been the capital of Galilee, with the royal treasury and the archives, but that now Sepphoris was the capital, having ingratiated itself with Rome.

Apparently, Justus was an educated man and a persuasive speaker. He persuaded some in Tiberius to take up arms and others he forced to. They "set the villages that belonged to Gadara and Hippos on fire," which were near Tiberias and Scythopolis.

In paragraph 10, we meet John, the son of Levi, in Gischala, a village. John did his best to keep his people from rebelling against Rome, but the neighboring villages of Gadara, Gabara, and Sogana, and the Tyrians combined into an army and destroyed Gischala. John took up arms then and afterward rebuilt Gischala and fortified it.

We'll stop there because the next paragraph is very long and will probably get its own post. This post shows how much of an uproar Galilee was in when Josephus arrived, with opposing factions and jealousies and resentments among the villages. It would appear to me that it was not just a rebellion against Rome, but was, with men like Justus, an excuse to stir things up and perhaps gain power out of the situation.

Some of this is confusing because of all the people named and the villages and regions named. Israel was a small country with small villages all over and some larger towns and cities. It wasn't that far from one end of the country to the other, or from side to side, so it's not difficult to imagine that news traveled fairly quickly. Therefore, I can imagine everyone getting involved in the question of whether or not to rebel.

(Link to Part 3)

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19 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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7:40 AM  
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7:44 AM  
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10:26 AM  
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10:32 AM  
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11:27 AM  
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11:35 AM  
Anonymous Pop said...

Gee Mary,

Looks like someone has been hanging out at freethought.

Pop

1:24 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Sigh. Pop, I don't know what freethought is, but I can guess. Well, anyway.... I can't read your emails from work, but will when I get home. :D

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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2:25 AM  
Anonymous Pop said...

Well anonymous, I for one have a testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. I know that He is the Living Son of the Living God. He is not only my personal Savior, but the Redeemer of this fallen world. I know that the Lord gave Himself up for me and yes, even for you. The Holy Spirit having made these things manifest to me of them I so testify in the name of our Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ, Amen

Pop

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'I am an agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of.'
Clarence Darrow

6:47 AM  
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6:49 AM  
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6:51 AM  
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6:57 AM  
Anonymous Barb said...

Thanks for the detailed background information, Mary!

10:03 AM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Thanks, Barb! I thought it'd be interesting to sort through Josephus' Life and boil it down a bit for those interested.

Pop, I thank you for posting your testimony here.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Pop said...

I have clicked untold links for our old buddy Mr. Florus since the beginning. I have found that with the exception of chronological lists, it is essentialy impossible to find Gessius Florus without Josephus. It's like you can't have one without the other.

The way Gessius Florus seems to appear out of the mists and return to same, I have wondered if perhaps we should change his name to , Gaseous Florus.

Pop

9:49 AM  
Blogger Mary A said...

"Gaseous Florus"--you crack me up, Pop!

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Pop said...

Hey Mary, show me where he even existed prior to becoming Procurator of Judea. Happy to give you a smile.

Pop

5:45 PM  

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