The Day Time Was Spent in the Shedding of Blood4 iixviiil5

1. Now the people of Cesarea had slain the Jews that were among them on the very same day and hour [when the soldiers were slain], which one would think must have come to pass by the direction of Providence; insomuch that in one hour's time above twenty thousand Jews were killed, and all Cesarea was emptied of its Jewish in habitants; for Florus caught such as ran away, and sent them in bonds to the galleys. Upon which stroke that the Jews received at Cesarea, the whole nation was greatly enraged; so they divided themselves into several parties, and laid waste the villages of the Syrians, and their neighboring cities, Philadelphia, and Sebonitis, and Gerasa, and Pella, and Scythopolis, and after them Gadara, and Hippos; and falling upon Gaulonitis, some cities they destroyed there, and some they set on fire, and then they went to Kedasa, belonging to the Tyrians, and to Ptolemais, and to Gaba, and to Cesarea; nor was either Sabaste (Samaria) or Askelon, able to oppose the violence with which they were attacked; and when they had burned these to the ground, they entirely demolished Anthedon and Gaza; many also of the villages that were about every one of those cities were plundered, and an immense slaughter was made of the men who were caught in them.

2. However, the Syrians were even with the Jews in the multitude of the men whom they slew; for they killed those whom they caught in their cities, and that not only out of the hatred they bare them, as formerly, but to prevent the danger under which they were from them, so that the disorders in all Syria were terrible, and every cit y was divided into two armies encamped one against another, and the preservation of the one party was in the destruction of the other; so the day-time was spent in shedding of blood, and the night in fear, - which was of the two the more terrible; for when the Syrians thought they had ruined the Jews, they had the Judaizers in suspicion also; and as each side did not care to slay those whom they only suspected on the other, so did they greatly fear them when they were mingled with the other, as if they were certainly foreigners. Moreover, greediness of gain was a provocation to kill the opposite party, even to such as had of old appeared very mild and gentle towards them; for they without fear plundered the effects of the slain and carried off the spoils of those whom they slew to their own houses, as if they had been gained in a set battle; and he was esteemed a man of honor who got the greatest share, as having prevailed over the greatest number of his enemies. It was then common to see cities filled with dead bodies, still lying un-buried, and those of old men, mixed with infants, all dead, and scattered about together; women also lay amongst them, without any covering for their nakedness: you might then see the whole province full of inexpressible calamities, while the dread of still more barbarous practices which were threatened, was everywhere greater than what had been already perpetrated.

3. And thus far the conflict had been between Jews and foreigners; but when they made excursions to Scythopolis they found Jews that acted as enemies; for as they stood in battle array with those of

Scythopolis, and preferred their own safety before their relation to us; they fought against their own countrymen; nay, their alacrity was so very great that those of Scythopolis suspected them. These were afraid therefore, lest they should make an assault upon the city in the nighttime, and to their great misfortune, should thereby make an apology for themselves to their own people for their revolt from them. So they commanded them, that in case they would confirm their agreement and demonstrate their fidelity to them, who were of a different nation, they should go out of the city, with their families, to a neighboring grove: and when they had done as they were commanded, without suspecting anything, the people of Scythopolis lay still for the interval of two days, to tempt them to be secure, but on the third night they watched their opportunity, and cut all their throats, some of them as they lay unguarded, and some as they lay asleep. The number that was slain was above thirteen thousand, and then they plundered them of all that they had.

4. It will deserve our relation what befell Simon: he was the son of one Saul, a man of reputation among the Jews. This man was distinguished from the rest by the strength of his body, and the boldness of his conduct, although he abused them both to the mischieving of his countrymen: for he came every day and slew a great many of the Jews of Scythopolis, and he frequently put them to flight, and became himself alone the cause of his army's conquering. But a just punishment overtook him for the murders he had committed upon those of the same nation with him: for when the people of threw their darts at them in the grove, he drew his sword, but did not attack any of the enemy; for he saw that he could do nothing against such a multitude; but he cried out, after a very moving manner and said, - "0 you people of Scythopolis, I have deservedly suffered for what I have done with relation to you, when I gave you such security of my fidelity to you, by slaying so many of those that were related to me. Wherefore we very justly experience the perfidi-ousness of foreigners while we acted after a most wicked manner against our own nation. I will therefore die, polluted wretch as I am, by mine own hands: for it is not fit I should die by the hands of our enemies; and let the same action be to me both a punishment for my great crimes, and a testimony of my courage to my commendation, that so no one of our enemies may have it to brag of, that he it was that slew me; and no one may insult upon me as I fall."

Now when he had said this, he looked round about him upon his family with eyes of commiseration, and of rage (that family consisted of a wife and children, and his aged parents); so, in the first place he caught his father by his gray hairs, and ran his sword through him

- and after him he did the same to his mother, who willingly received it; and after them he did the like to his wife and children, every one almost offering themselves to his sword, as desirous to prevent being slain by their enemies; so when he had gone over all his family, he stood upon their bodies to be seen by all, and stretching out his right hand, that his action might be observed by all, he sheathed his entire sword into his own bowels. This young man was to be pitied, on account of the strength of his body and the courage of his soul; but since he had assured foreigners of his fidelity [against his own countrymen] he suffered deservedly.

5. Besides this murder at Scythopolis, the other cities rose up against the Jews that were among them: those of Askelon slew two thousand five hundred, and those of Ptolemais two thousand, and put not a few into bonds; those of Tyre also put a great number to death, but kept a greater number in prison; moreover, those of Hippos and those of Gadara did the like, while they put to death the boldest of the Jews, but kept those of whom they were most afraid in custody; as did the rest of the cities of Syria, according as they every one either hated them or were afraid of them; only the Antiochians, the Sidonians, and Apamians, spared those that dwelt with them, and they would not endure either to kill any of the Jews, or to put them in bonds. . . .

How To Survive The End Of The World

How To Survive The End Of The World

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