Life of Josephus, Part 4
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)