6863. At the same time, King Agrippa conferred the high priesthood on Israel, the son of Phabius. There arose also a dispute between the chief priests and the rest of the priests and rulers of Jerusalem. They each were guarded with a company of most bold and seditious men who decided their arguments with reproachful language and by throwing stones. No one curbed them since the city had no magistrates. The impudence of the high priest grew to such an height that they dared to send their servants to the very grain floors to take away the tithes that were due to the priests. Many poor priests died from lack of food. So much did the violence of the seditious men prevail over justice. {Josephus, Antiq., l. 20. c. 6. <c. 8. 1:536>}

4065a AM, 4774 JP, 61 AD

6864. Mark the evangelist who first preached Christ at Alexandria, died in the 8th year of Nero and was buried at Alexandria. {Jerome, Scriptor. Ecclesiastical Catalogue} The elders of Alexandria chose one from among themselves whom they placed in a higher position and called him a bishop. They followed the pattern like an army choosing a general. Likewise would deacons choose one among themselves to be the archdeacon whom they knew to be most industrious. {Jerome, Scriptor. Ecclesiastical Catalogue, Epist. 85. ad Euagrium} They chose Anianus who was a man dear to God for his piety and admirable in all things. He was the first bishop of the church of Alexandria after Mark and was there twelve years, from the eighth year of Nero to the fourth year of Domitian. {Jerome, Scriptor. Ecclesiastical Catalogue} {Eusebius, in Chronicles} {*Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, l. 2. c. 24. <1:79> l. 3. c. 14. <1:100>}

4065b AM, 4775 JP, 62 AD

6865. Vologeses the king of the Parthians, tried to restore his brother Tiridates who was driven out of Armenia. He sent one army into Armenia and another into Syria. Corbulo sent part of his army to Tigranes, the king of Armenia while he drove the Parthians from Syria and threatened to invade the Parthians. They stopped their war and sent ambassadors to sue for peace. Nero dismissed them without granting their request. Caesennius Paetus was made the general for the defence of Armenia. {Tacitus, Annals, l. 15. c. 1-7.}

4065b AM, 4775 JP, 62 AD

6866. Vologeses the king of the Parthians, tried to restore his brother Tiridates who was driven out of Armenia. He sent one army into Armenia and another into Syria. Corbulo sent part of his army to Tigranes, the king of Armenia while he drove the Parthians from Syria and threatened to invade the Parthians. They stopped their war and sent ambassadors to sue for peace. Nero dismissed them without granting their request. Caesennius Paetus was made the general for the defence of Armenia. {Tacitus, Annals, l. 15. c. 1-7.}

6867. When Felix saw the sedition between the Jews and Syrians of Caesarea still going on, he sent some of the nobility of both sides as ambassadors to Nero to argue their cause before him. {Josephus, Wars, l. 2. c. 12. <c. 13. 1:614} He also sent some priests as prisoners to Rome for a very minor fault. They were good and honest men and were to plead their own cause before Nero. {Josephus, Life, <1:2>} He also left Paul the apostle, whom he had kept prisoner two whole years at Caesarea, as a favour to the Jews. Paul was still a prisoner there, when he had received Portius Festus from Nero as his successor in the province. {Ac 24:27}

6868. Three days after Festus came into the province, he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem. The high priest and the rulers of the Jews accused Paul and desired that he might be brought from Caesarea to Jerusalem. They planned to ambush and kill him on the way. When Festus refused, he ordered Paul's accusers to come to Caesarea. He spent about ten more days in Jerusalem and then returned down to Caesarea. The next day he sat in his tribunal and heard the Jews accusing Paul and Paul clearing himself of their accusations. Festus wanted to please the Jews and asked Paul if he would be judged at Jerusalem before him of that matter which he was accused of. Paul knew with what intent and by whose advice he asked that question and feared some treachery from the Jews. He refused to go there and appealed to Caesar. After Festus had conferred with his council, he agreed to send Paul to Caesar. {Ac 25:1-12}

6869. After some days, Agrippa the king and Bernice, his sister, came to Caesarea, to greet the new governor. They stayed there many days. Festus did not know what to write to Caesar about Paul and consulted with Agrippa about that matter. Agrippa said he would be willing to hear him himself. The next day, Agrippa and Bernice with much pomp came into the place of the hearing along with the captains and the principal men of the city. Festus summoned Paul to be brought out bound in chains to them. {Ac 25:13-27} Paul made an eloquent speech and showed that he was innocent. The governor who was ignorant of these things, thought he was mad. However, the king, who was well versed in the scriptures, stated that Paul had almost persuaded him to be a Christian. The whole council decided that this man had done nothing worthy of death or bonds and that moreover he might have been set at liberty if he had not appealed to Caesar. Ac 26

6870. The rulers of the Jews who lived at Caesarea, went to Rome to accuse Felix. He would have suffered punishment for the wrongs he had done the Jews, unless Nero had pardoned him by the intreaties of his brother Pallas, who was in great favour at that time with Nero. {Josephus, Antiq., l. 20. c. 7. <c. 8. 1:536>} Later Pallas was poisoned by Nero that year because he kept from Nero an huge sum of money by living so long. {Tacitus, Annals, l. 14. c. 65?}

6871. Two principal men of the Syrians from Caesarea bribed Beryllus with a large sum of money. He had been Nero's school teacher but was then his secretary for the Greek language. He was to get the emperor's letters patents, by which the Jews might be deprived of all authority in the city. They presently shared this authority with the Syrians. This he easily accomplished. When the Jews of Caesarea knew what had happened, they continued in their seditions even to the beginning of the wars of the Jews which had their seeds in this sedition. {Josephus, Antiq., l. 20. c. 7. <c. 8. 1:536>}

6872. When Festus came into Judea, he found it most grievously afflicted with thieves, everywhere who plundered the villages. The most cruel of the thieves were called cut throats and they were very numerous. The carried a short crooked sword like the Persian scimitar. They thrusted themselves into the crowd of people that came to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast days as God had commanded. They could easily kill as many as they pleased. They also attacked the villages of their enemies and after they had plundered them, they burnt them. {Josephus, Antiq., l. 20. c. 7. <c. 8. 1:536>} Festus pursued and captured many of them and executed a great number of thieves. {Josephus, Wars, l. 2. c. 12,13. <c. 14. 1:615>}

6873. When it was decreed that Paul would be sent to Caesar, he was turned over to Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band along with some other prisoners. Julius put him onto a ship of Adramyttium that was to sail to Asia. Aristarchus of Macedonia, besides Timothy and Luke accompanied Paul. The next day they landed at Sidon where Julius courteously entreated Paul and allowed him to go visit his friends and to refresh himself. They sailed past Cyprus because the winds were contrary. When they had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, they came to Myra, a city of Lycia. When the senturion had found a ship whose sign was Castor and Pollex which was bound for Italy, he put the captives on her. When they had sailed slowly many days, they barely past opposite Cnidus. They sailed south of Crete opposite Salmone. They barely passed by it and they came to Fair Havens in the isle of Crete. {Ac 27:1-8}

4066a AM, 4775 JP, 62 AD

6874. After the Jewish feast in the seventh month of the day of atonement was past, sailing was dangerous. Paul foresaw the danger to come and advised them to winter there. When that port seemed unsuitable to winter in, they planned to winter in another port of Crete called Phenice. At first when they sailed, they had a favourable south wind. A little latter there arose a tempestuous wind called Euroclydon, by which they were carried to the little island of Clauda. Since they were caught and tossed about by the violent storm, they lightened the ship. On the third day they cast out the tackling of the ship with their own hands. They did not see the sun nor stars for many days. When all hope of safety was gone, an angel told Paul in the night that he must be brought before Caesar and that God had given him all that sailed with him in the ship. On the fourteenth day as they were driven up and down in Adria, the sailors thought that they were near some country which they learned later was the island Melita. As they tried to head there, the ship was broken by the violence of the storm. All on board made it safely to land. Some swam and others floated in on the some planks and boards from the ship. {Ac 27:9-44}

6875. Caesennius Paetus had not sufficiently fortified his winter camps nor made provision for grain. He quickly marched over the Taurus Mountains and took a few citadels with some prey. He made long marches and overran places which he could not hold. When the provisions which he had taken had spoiled, he returned back and wrote letters to Caesar in exalted words as though the war had been finished. However, this was far from the truth. {Tacitus, Annals, l. 15. c. 8.}

6876. In the meantime, Corbulo took special care to fortify the bank of the Euphrates River with more garrisons and to frighten Vologeses from entering into Syria. Therefore, Vologeses turned against Paetus and attacked him so severely that he forced him to a dishonourable peace which was witnessed by Monobazus, King of Adiabene. The fortresses which Corbulo had built on the other side of the Euphrates River were demolished, and the Armenians were left to decide their own future. At Rome, trophies and triumphal arches were set up in the middle of the Capitoline Hill for honour of the victory over the Parthians. The senate decreed this. However, the war resumed again and all this was done only for show and not out of respect of what actually happened. {Tacitus, Annals, l. 15. c. 9-18.}

4066b AM, 4776 JP, 63 AD

6877. Paul and his companions were highly honoured by the inhabitants of Melita and had all their needs supplied. After staying there three months, they went in a ship from Alexandria which had wintered in the island and came to Syracuse. They stayed there three days and sailed to Rhegium. Within one day the south wind blew and the next day they came to Puteoli where they found brethren who desired that they would stay with them seven days. So they went toward Rome {Ac 28:10-14} in the ninth year of Nero's reign.

6878. The brethren left Rome to meet Paul while he was as far away as Appii Forum and the Three Taverns. When they came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard. Paul was allowed to live by himself with a soldier who guarded him. After three days, he called together the chief of the Jews who were at Rome and told them the reason why he was sent as a prisoner to Rome and that he was compelled to appeal to Caesar. They denied that they had received any letters from Judea concerning him and said that they had only heard that this heresy was everywhere spoken against. When they had appointed a day, they came to him to his lodging. Paul expounded Christ from the law and the prophets from morning to evening. Some assented to the things that were spoken and other did not believe. Paul pronounced their judgment from Isaiah and they left him. After that, Paul turned to the Gentiles. He remained in his own hired house for two whole years and received all who came to him. He preached the kingdom of God and taught those things that concerned the Lord Jesus Christ and no man forbade him. {Ac 28:14-31}

6879. Onesiphorus very diligently sought out Paul at Rome and found him and encouraged him. {2Ti 1:16,17}

6880. In the beginning of the spring, the ambassadors of the Parthians brought to Rome the messages and letters of King Vologeses. They desired that Armenia (which they had already taken) might be given to them and that a peace might be confirmed. Both these things were denied and the government of Syria was committed to Cintius (as governor) while Corbulo managed the war. The fifteenth legion was brought from Pannonia by Marius Celsus. Also the tetrarchs, kings, prefects and governors, and those who ruled in the neighbouring provinces were ordered to obey Corbulo as supreme commander. He received the same authority that Pompey had in fighting the pirate war. Paetus was back at Rome and feared the worst. Nero thought it enough to scoff at him and said that he would immediately pardon him lest he became sick with the fear of uncertainty over Nero's actions. {Tacitus, Annals, l. 15. c. 24,25.}

6881. After Corbulo had mustered his army, he went into Armenia where the ambassadors of Vologeses met him and desired peace. Tiridates was compelled to come into the Roman camp. He took off his crown and laid it at Caesar's image and agreed to go to Rome to Nero to take it from him again. His only condition was that he might first go visit his family and friends. In the meantime, he left his daughter as hostage and sent supplicatory letters to Nero. As he went away, he found Pacorus with the Medes and Vologeses at Ecbatana. {Tacitus, Annals, l. 15. c. 26-31.}

6882. In Judea, Festus sent foot soldiers and cavalry against a certain impostor, a magician, who drew men after him into the wilderness. They were deceived by his promises that they should be freed from all their misfortunes. The soldiers killed the seducer and his followers. {Josephus, Antiq., l. 20. c. 7. <c. 8. 1:537>}

6883. At the same time, King Agrippa built a stately house near the porch in the palace of Jerusalem. In previous times, this site belonged to the Asmoneans and was located on an high place where one could get a good view of all Jerusalem. The chief men of Jerusalem were not pleased that the sacrifices and all the things which were done in the temple could easily be seen from a private house. They built an high wall which blocked the king's view of the city as well as the western porch in the outer court of the temple where the Roman soldiers guarded on the feast days for the safe keeping of the temple. Both the king and Festus, the governor of the province, were offended by this and ordered it to be pulled down. However, ten chief men (by his permission) were sent as ambassadors to Nero about this matter along with Ishmael the high priest and Helcias, the keeper of the holy treasure. After Nero heard their embassy, he forgave the Jews and allowed the wall to remain. This was as a favour to his wife, Poppea, who favoured the Jew's religion, and became their intercessor to Nero for them. She allowed the ten men to return but kept Ishmael and Helcias as hostages with her. When Agrippa knew this, he took away the high priesthood from Ishmael and gave it to Joseph surnamed Cabi, the son of Simon, who formerly had been an high priest. {Josephus, Antiq., l. 20. c. 7. <c. 8. 1:537>}

6884. Josephus, the son of Matthias, heard that some priests who had been his close friends were sent as prisoners to Rome by Felix. In this unfortunate circumstance, they still obeyed their religion and lived only on figs and nuts. He went to Rome at age 26 to see if he could free them. He had a perilous sea voyage. Their ship sank in the middle of the Adriatic Sea. Of the 600 who swam all night, about 80 who swam were more fortunate and were saved and picked up by a ship from Cyrene. Among these was Josephus. After he was set ashore, he came to Dicearchia, (or Puteoli, as the Italians called it) where he became acquainted with Aliturus who was a Jewish actor and much liked by Nero. Through him, he was introduced to Poppea the empress and by her means immediately had those priests freed. {Josephus, Life, <1:2>}

6885. After Festus died in the province, Nero sent Albinus to be his successor in Judea. King Agrippa took away the high priesthood from Joseph and gave it to Ananas, the son of Annas or that Ananus who formerly had the high priesthood a long time earlier. He had five sons who had also been high priests which had never happened to any of the high priests before. {Josephus, Antiq., l. 20. c. 8. <c. 9. 1:537>}

6886. Ananus, the new high priest was of the sect of the Sadducees. He was a bold and heady man and thought it was a good time to convene the sanhedrin of judges since Festus was dead and Albinus the new governor had not yet arrived. They brought James the brother of Jesus before them who was accused of transgressing the law. James was condemned and stoned. {Josephus, Antiq., l. 20. c. 8. <c. 9. 1:538>} At the time of the passover, James was thrown down from a pinnacle of the temple and stoned. One of them who was a fuller, killed James by hitting him on the head with the bar he used to press clothes. Eusebius related this from the fifth book of the history of Hegesippus. {Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, l. 2. c. 23. <1:77,78>}

6887. The murder of James much displeased all the good men and those who kept the law. Thereupon they sent a messenger secretly to King Agrippa and desired from him that he would order Ananus to stop such deeds. Some also met Abinus as he came from the city of Alexandria and informed him that Ananus had no power to call a council without his permission. He was persuaded by their words and wrote a sharp letter to Ananus and threatened to punish him. For the same reason Agrippa took the high priesthood from him when he had only held it for three months and gave it to Jesus, the son of Dammaeus. {Josephus, Antiq., l. 20. c. 8. <c. 9. 1:538>} After the death of James, Simon the son of Cleophas was appointed the bishop of the church of Jerusalem. {Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, l. 3. c. 32. <1:117>}

6888. As soon as Albinus came to Jerusalem, he diligently tried to restore order by executing all the thieves. Ananus, the high priest (the son of Nebedeus) increased every day more and more in the love and esteem of the people and he was honoured by all men for his generosity. Albinus daily honoured the high priest for his gifts he sent to him. Ananias had some very wicked servants who attracted a company of headstrong men. They went from farm to farm and took away the priests' tithe and beat those who refused to give it. Some of the priests also did the same for there was no one able to restrain them. Many of the priests who lived on those tithes, perished from hunger. {Josephus, Antiq., l. 20. c. 8. <c. 9. 1:538.>}

6889. At the feast of Pentecost, the thieves entered Jerusalem at night and captured the scribe Eleazar who was the son of Ananias the high priest. They held him hostage then sent to Ananias to have Albinus to free ten of the thieves. Then they would free the scribe. Ananias was forced to obtain this request from Albinus. This was the beginning of greater calamities for the thieves always found some trick to intercept some of Ananias' family whom they would never free until they had freed some of their own men. Therefore they increased in boldness and number and plundered the whole country. {Josephus, Annals, l. 20. c. 8. <c. 9. 1:538>}

6890. At this time King Agrippa enlarged the walls of Caesarea Philippi and changed its name to Neronias in honour of Nero. He built at Berytus a theatre at great expense and annually held games which cost him large amounts of money. He also gave to the people of Berytus grain and oil. He decorated that city with statues in various places and with original images made many years ago. He transferred almost all that was ornamental in his kingdom to that city. Hence his own subjects began to hate him because he stripped them of their ornaments to adorn a foreign city. {Josephus, Annals, l. 20. c. 8. <c. 9. 1:538>}

4067a AM, 4776 JP, 63 AD

6891. Four years before the Jewish war, (that was prosecuted by Vespasian) when the city of Jerusalem enjoyed both peace and plenty, Jesus the son of Ananus, a country man and one of the common people arrived at the feast of tabernacles and began suddenly to cry out:

``A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the temple, a voice against newly married men and women, a voice against all this people.''

6892. He cried like this night and day and he went through all the streets of the city. Some of the nobility ignored any sign of the coming trouble and took the fellow and scourged him with many stripes. However, he spoke nothing secretly for himself nor to them that scourged him but continued still in the same cry. The rulers thought it rather to be some message in him from God and brought him to the Roman procurator. He was beaten until his bones appeared yet he never made an intreaty nor shed a tear but as well as he could compose a weeping voice, at every stroke, he replied:

``Woe, woe, to Jerusalem.''

6893. Albinus then asked them who he was, where he was born and why he still cried after this manner. He answered nothing and did not cease to bewail the city, until Albinus thought he was mad and allowed him to leave. He cried like this most on the feast days and for seven year's time (or rather six, as it is in {Phor., Biblioth. c. 47}) and five months and yet he was never hoarse nor weary. Finally, he was killed by a stone shot from an engine in the time of the siege. {Josephus, Wars, l. 7. c. 12. <l. 6. c. 5 1:742>}

4067b AM, 4777 JP, 64 AD

6894. At the command of King Agrippa, Jesus, the son of Gamaliel succeeded in the high priesthood. Jesus the son of Damneus who very unwillingly yielded it up. Thereupon there arose a discord between them. They both had followers of resolute young fellows. They started arguing, then throwing stones. Since Ananias was the richest, he got most of them on his side through his money. Costabarus and Saul each got a band of rascals. These were of the royal blood and received special favours because they were closely related to King Agrippa. However, they were violent and as eager as any to exploit anyone weaker than themselves. {Josephus, Antiq., l. 20. c. 8. <c. 9. 1:539>}

6895. From this time the civil state of the Jews degenerated daily. {Josephus, Antiq., l. 20. c. 8. <c. 9. 1:539>} The seeds of the future destruction were then sown through number of leaders that led these bands. {Josephus, Wars, l. 2. c. 13. <c. 14. 1:615>}

6896. Albinus, the governor, robbed private citizens of their goods in the name of justice and greatly burdened the whole country with heavy taxes. He freed for a price those thieves whom the soldiers of the city had captured and those whom the former governors had left in prison. Those who could not afford to bribe him, remained in prison as most heinous offenders. {Josephus, Wars, l. 2. c. 13. <c. 14. 1:615>}

6897. At the same time also, the insolence increased of those who wanted a revolution in Jerusalem. Those who were rich, bribed Albinus to overlook their seditious actions. Those who delighted in disturbances allied themselves with Albinus' side. Each of them had a troop of rascals and Albinus himself was over them all as a tyrant and a prince of the thieves. He used the help of his guard to rob the quieter sort. So it was that those whose houses were ransacked held their peace and those who escaped were glad to flatter those whom they knew deserved death lest they should suffer the same things. {Josephus, Wars, l. 2. c. 13. <c. 14. 1:615>}

6898. When Rome was on fire, Nero saw it burn from Mecena's Tower and was very delighted with the beauty of the flames. He sang of the destruction of Troy in his actor's clothes and compared the present evil to the old ruins. {Tacitus, Annals, l. 15. c. 38-40.} {Suetonius, Nero, c. 38.} {Xiphiline in Dio, l. 62. 8:115} Some noted that this fire began on July 19th, (14th calends), on which the Senonian Gauls set the city on fire after they had taken it. Others went so far in their curiosity that they calculated the very days and months that were between the two burnings. {Tacitus, Annals, l. 15. c. 41.} They said there were 418 years, 418 months and 418 days between the two fires.

6899. To quell the rumour that he started the fire, Nero falsely accused and punished most grievously with exquisite torments those who were called Christians. Those who confessed to being Christians, were the first to be apprehended. Based on the information of these, an huge multitude were convicted. They were hated no so much for being alleged to have set the city on fire as for the general hatred of all men against them. These suffered and died most cruelly. Some were covered with beasts' skins to be torn with dogs. Some were crucified and some burned. When it was night, their bodies were turned into torches to give light by night. Nero made his garden fit for that spectacle and held shows in the circus. He mingled among the common people in the clothes of a charioteer or stood in a ring. They were pitied since they suffered not for any common good but to satisfy one man's cruelty. {Tacitus, Annals, l. 15. c. 44.} The words of an old scholiast are mentioned as commenting on Juvenal's writings. {Juvenal, Satyr 1.}

Thou shalt be made a torch by night to shine And burn impaled, name thou but Tigilline.

``If you touch Tigillinus, you shall be burnt alive as it was in the shows of Nero of whom he commanded torches to be made that they might give light to the spectators. They were fastened through their throat that they might not bend themselves. Nero clothed malefactors with pitch, paper and wax and so set them on fire.''

6900. This was the first persecution that was raised against the Christians by the Roman emperors. Suetonius, {Suetonius, Nero, c. 16} an heathen man mentioned:

``The Christians were punished who were a kind of men of a new and pernicious superstition.''

6901. Tertullian, a Christian stated: {Tertullian, Apologetic, c. 5.}

``Search your records then you shall find that Nero was the first that used Caesar's sword against this sect which at that time greatly increased at Rome. However, we glory in such a dedicator of our condemnation for he that understands himself cannot but understand that nothing can be condemned by Nero but some great good.''

4068a AM, 4777 JP, 64 AD

6902. Nero appointed Cestius Gallus as the governor of Syria and Gessius Florus of Judea. Florus was born in the city of Clazomenae and he married Cleopatra, a wicked woman. She was a friend of the Empress Poppea and got this appointment for him. {Josephus, Antiq., l. 20. c. 9. <c. 11. 1:541>}

6903. When Albinus heard that Florus was coming to succeed him, he was willing to gratify the citizens of Jerusalem. He called before him all the prisoners and those who were notoriously guilty of any capital crime. These he executed. He remanded those who were in prison for smaller offences, to prison again. He freed them when he was paid fines. After this manner the prisons were emptied, but Judea was filled with thieves. {Josephus, Annals, l. 20. c. 8. <c. 9. 1:539>}

6904. In the meantime, the Levites whose office was to sing hymns in the temple, went to King Agrippa. By their entreaty, they persuaded him, that he would call a council and permit them the use of the linen robe which was then only granted to the priests. They said that this new custom would serve as a perpetual memorial of his reign. Therefore the king by the advice of his council, permitted to those who sang the hymns to set aside their former clothes and wear a linen garment as they desired. Also at their entreaty, he allowed another part of the same tribe that was allocated to the services of the temple, to learn to sing the sacred hymns. {Josephus, Annals, l. 20. c. 8. <c. 9. 1:539>}

6905. The Philippians sent Epaphroditus with money to Rome to visit Paul in prison and to minister to him in his needs. He became Paul's helper and fellow soldier for the work of Christ. He did not consider his life and risked it for he fell seriously ill. {Php 2:25-30 4:10,14,18}

6906. Although Paul was old and in prison, he won Onesimus to Christ. He was a servant who fled from Colosse from his master Philemon. {Phm 1:9,10,15 Col 4:9,18}

6907. Timothy who was kept as a prisoner with Paul, was set at liberty. {Heb 13:23}

6908. Paul wrote the letter to the Philippians by Epaphroditus, after he had recovered his health. He hoped also that in a short time, he would send Timothy to them. As soon as he would know their state, he trusted also that he himself would come shortly to them. {Php 2:2,19,29} At that time Paul's bonds for Christ were famous in all the court and even some of Caesar's palace staff were converted to the faith. {Php 1:12,13 4:12} Since he was sent into prison by Caesar, he was more known in his family and so made the house of persecution the church of Christ. {Jerome, Commentary to Philemon}

6909. Paul wrote a letter to Colosse to Philemon by his servant Onesimus. He reconciled and commended him to his master and indicated that he hoped he should be freed from prison and desired him to prepare a lodging place for him. Paul used Onesimus and Tychicus to deliver a letter to the Colossians whom he had never seen but were instructed in the doctrine of Christ by Epaphras. {Col 1:7,8 2:1 4:7,9,18} At that time besides Timothy (whose name is prefixed to both of these letters) there were with Paul at Rome of the circumcision, his companions in bonds, Aristarchus of Thessalonica {Ac 20:4} and Mark, Barnabas' sister's son. He instructed the Colossians to receive him, if he came to them. Also with him was Jesus who was called Justus as well as Luke, the beloved physician, Demas and Epaphras. Paul told of Epaphras' great affection for the Colossians, (with whom Archippus supplied his ministry and now he was absent) Laodicea and Hierapolis. {Col 4:10-14,17 Phm 1:23,24}

6910. Paul also sent back the same Tychicus who was the companion in his travels from Asia, {Ac 20:4} to them in Asia that from him the brethren might know his affairs. He carried with him Paul's letter to the Ephesians. {Eph 6:21,22} Tertullian, {Tertullian, against Marcion., l. 5. c. 11,17} and Epiphanius {Epiphanius, in Hares. 42.} confirmed what was said by Marcion the heretic that this letter went by the name of the epistle to the Laodiceans. Grotius thought this to be credible enough to be done by him from the credit of the church of Laodicea. He affirmed that there was no reason why he should tell a lie in this matter and gathered from this that the letter to the Ephesians and also to the Laodiceans was written with the same words. It is to be noted in some old books (as it appears from Basil {Basil, against Eunomius, l. 2.} and of Jerom's commentary on this place of the apostle) it was generally written (as it was the custom in the copies of letters that were to be sent to various places) "To the Saints which are at ********, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus." This was as if it had been sent first to Ephesus as the metropolis of Asia and from there to be sent to the rest of the churches of that province, (the name of each church would be inserted for the ********.) Some of these churches had never seen Paul and his words especially bare this out:

``After I heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and love to all the saints,'' {Eph 1:15}

6911. Again Paul stated:

``If you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given to me for you, &c." {Eph 3:2-4}

6912. Perhaps Marcian's idea might rather agree to the Laodiceans, who had not seen the apostle Col 2:1 than to the Ephesians with whom he spent so much time. {Ac 19:8-10 20:31}

6913. About the same time, Paul wrote the letter to the Hebrews. Timothy was set at liberty but had gone from him somewhere for a time. He promised to see them with Timothy if he came shortly. In the meantime, he sent them greetings from the brethren from Italy. {Heb 13:23,24}

4068b AM, 4778 JP, 65 AD

6914. The building of the temple was now finished and the people saw that about 18,000 workmen would be idle who previously worked on the temple. They did not want the holy treasure to become a prey to the Romans and desired also to help the workmen. If they only worked one hour, they were immediately paid. They tied to persuade King Agrippa to repair the eastern porch. This porch hung over a deep and narrow valley and was supported by a wall 600 feet high, built from stones that were 30 feet square and 9 feet high. Claudius Caesar had committed the charge of the temple to King Agrippa. Agrippa thought that any large building might easily be pulled down but was hard to set up and especially this porch. It would cost much time and money to do, hence he denied their request. He allowed them to pave their city with white stone if they wanted to. {Josephus, Antiq., l. 20. c. 8. <c. 9. 1:539>}

6915. After two years of being detained, Paul was released. He taught the gospel at Rome during this period. {Ac 28:30} He seemed to have gone from there to Asia and to have lived with Philemon at Colosse. {Phm 1:22}

6916. In the feast day of unleavened bread, which happened on the 8th of Xanthicus or April about the ninth hour of the night (3 am.) a light shone for half an hour between the altar and the temple so that it was as bright as noon. At the same feast day, a cow that was led to sacrifice brought forth a lamb in the middle of the temple. The east gate of the temple was made of brass and extremely heavy. In the evening it could barely be closed by twenty men and was locked with bars of iron and had bolts that were let down deep into a threshold that was made all of one stone. About the sixth hour of the night (midnight), the gate opened of its own accord. When this was told to the magistrate by the keepers of the temple, as they went on their rounds, he went there and could barely shut it. {Josephus, Wars, l. 7. c. 12. <l. 6. c. 5. 1:742>}

6917. On the 21st day of Artemisius or May, before sunset, there were seen in the air, iron chariots all over the country and armies in battle array passing along in the clouds and surrounding the cities. {Lu 21:20} At the feast of Pentecost, the priests went into the inner temple by night according to their custom to do the divine service. At first they found the place to move and make a noise and later they heard a sudden voice, which said: {Josephus, Wars, l. 7. c. 12. <l. 6. c. 5. 1:742>}

``Let us depart hence.''

6918. Paul preached the gospel in the isle of Crete where he left Titus so that Titus might set in order the things that were needful and ordain elders in every city there. {Tit 1:5}

6919. King Agrippa took the priesthood from Jesus, the son of Gamaliel, and gave it to Matthias, the son of Theophilus. The Jewish war started when he was high priest. {Josephus, Antiq., l. 20. c. 8. <c. 9. 1:539>}

6920. After Josephus had received gifts of money from the Empress Poppea, he returned to his own country. He found among them many signs of seditions and rebellions, whom he in vain endeavoured to dissuade from their unhappy enterprise. {Josephus, Life, <1:2>}

6921. Gessius Florus so outrageously abused his authority that the Jews desired Albinus again and thought that Albinus was their benefactor. Although Albinus was privately as wicked and injurious as he could possibly be, Florus openly did his villainies and bragged publicly of the wrongs he did to the country. He left nothing undone to the height of iniquity in repines and punishments. He was inflexible to any mercy, insatiable in his gains, equally greedy of small and great things so much so that he became a partner with the thieves. Many became thieves and paid part of the booty to him. There was no means or end of their wrongs so that the miserable Jews were not able to endure the ravening insolence of the thieves and were constrained to abandon both their houses and religion and flee to foreign countries. They thought it better to live even among barbarians. {Josephus, Antiq., l. 20. c. 9. <c. 11. 1:541>} {Josephus, Wars, l. 2. c. 13. <c. 14. 1:615>}

6922. Poppea, who was Nero's wife and was great with child and sick, upbraided Nero as he returned late from driving his chariot. In his anger he killed her with a kick of his foot. This was after the end of his quinquennial games which were held for the second time and Nero won first prize. These games were instituted in 60 AD. {Suetonius, Nero, c. 35.} {Tacitus, Annals, l. 16. c. 2-6.}

6923. Paul stayed sometime at Ephesus and left Timothy there while he went to Macedonia so that Timothy might administer that church in his absence. {1Ti 1:3 3:14,15} In Macedonia, he stayed with the Philippians as he had previously promised them. {Php 1:25,26 2:24}

4069a AM, 4778 JP, 65 AD

6924. Paul wrote his first letter to Timothy in which he declared that he had delivered over to Satan, Hymaeneus and Alexander who made shipwreck of their faith. When they were chastised, they would learn not to blaspheme. {1Ti 1:20} Hymenaeus denied the resurrection to come as did Philetus and said that it was past already. {2Ti 2:17,18} Alexander was that coppersmith who greatly hindered Paul and so greatly withstood his preaching. {2Ti 4:14,15}

6925. Paul also wrote another letter to Titus in Crete and desired that when he sent Artemus or Tychicus to him, he would come to Paul to Nicopolis, (famous for the victory at Actium) where Paul planned to winter. Also Paul said that he should diligently bring Zenas, the lawyer, and Apollo on their journey so that they should lack nothing. {Tit 3:12,13}

4069b AM, 4779 JP, 66 AD

6926. After winter was over, Paul returned to Ephesus to Timothy and went to Troas and there left his cloak. Erastus stayed at Corinth where he was the city treasurer. {Ro 16:23} Paul left Trophimus at Miletum sick. {1Ti 3:14 2Ti 4:13,20}

6927. Cestius Gallus came from Antioch to Jerusalem to report to Nero the strength and state of the city. He despised that country and asked the high priests, if it were possible, that they would count the people. It was the day of the passover when they killed sacrifices from the ninth hour to the eleventh. There were 256,500 sacrifices made. Each lamb would be eaten by ten or twenty individuals. An estimated 2,700,200 people were present for the feast. {Josephus, Wars, l. 7. c. 17. (Latin Edition) or l. 6. c. 45. Greek Edition) <l. 6. c. 9. 1:749>}

6928. More than 300,000 Jews came to Gallus and begged him that he would take pity on the calamities of their country. They asked him to remove Florus who plagued their country. Although Florus was in the sight of the people and with Gallus, he was not moved and laughed at their cries against him. At that time Cestius appeased the rage of the people and promised that he would make Florus more gentle to them. He returned back again to Antioch. Florus brought him as far as Caesarea and deceived him with lies and planned to make a war on the country of the Jews. This was the best way he could think of to hide his villainies. As long as the peace continued, he would always have the Jews accusing him to Caesar. If he could make them revolt then his impieties would seem to be small compared to the Jews' revolt. To make that country revolt from the Roman Empire, every day he more earnestly increased their calamities. {Josephus, Wars, l. 2. c. 12. <c. 14. 1:616>}

6929. Paul came to Rome the second time and was heard and acquitted by Nero. He mentioned this: {2Ti 4:16,17}

``In my first answer, no man stood with me, but all forsook me: I pray God it be not laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.''

6930. So that as he did before for two years, so now again for an whole year, he preached the gospel to all countries that came from every place and flocked to Rome and made it their home country.

6931. Demas left Paul, loving this present world and went to Thessalonica, Crescens went into Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke remained with Paul at Rome. {2Ti 4:10,11}

6932. There was an old saying that was commonly talked of over all the east. There was a prophecy which said that there should come from Judea those who would be masters of all. It was later obvious by what happened that this was foretold of the Roman emperor. The Jews applied this prophesy to themselves and rebelled. {Suetonius, Vespasian, c. 4.} The Jews patiently endured until Gessius Florus was made governor. {Tacitus, Histories, l. 5. c. 10.} Under him the war began, in the Artemisian month or our May in the twelfth year of Nero's empire, the 17th of the reign of Agrippa and the second year of the government of Gessius Florus. {Josephus, Wars, l. 1. c. 13.} {Josephus, Antiq., l. 20. c. ult. <c. 11. 1:541>} This war was fully described by Josephus in the later part of the second book and the five following books. A summary of this we have taken from the abridgement of the Jewish history of that most eminent man Ludovicus Capellus.

6933. Nero crossed into Greece and stayed there until winter. {*Dio, l. 62. 1:149 (Xiphilin. ex Dio)}

6934. In a long speech King Agrippa tried in vain to persuade the Jews from war. A little while after he left Jerusalem, some of the seditious men occupied the strong citadel of Masada by surprise and killed all the Romans they found there. At Jerusalem, Eleazar the son of Ananias the high priest, and commander of the soldiers of the temple, was a bold and factious young man. He persuaded the priests that they should not offer any sacrifices except for the Jews. None were to be offered for Caesar or the Romans. The city governors who were peaceful men, judged this rash act to be intolerable. They saw that it was an invitation to open rebellion. However, they could not make these seditious men change their minds. Thereupon they sent messengers to Caesarea to Florus and to King Agrippa and asked them to immediately send troops to quash the rebellion in its very beginnings. Florus wanted a revolt and did nothing. Agrippa sent 1000 cavalry who together with the rulers and priests, and the rest of the multitude that loved peace, captured and held the upper city from the seditious men who held the temple and the lower city. There were continual skirmishes between them for the next seven days. On the feast day when they carried wood into the temple, many murderers were received into the temple. These with the rest, attacked the king's soldiers and forced them from the upper part of the city. They drove them into Herod's palace and burnt the place where the records were kept, the palace of the Asmonaeans (which was then Agrippa's court) and Ananias the high priest's house. The next day which was the 15th of August, they captured the citadel of Antonia after a two day siege and killed all the Roman soldiers there. They burned the citadel. A little later, they attacked the king's palace. (Manahemus the son of Judas Galilaeus was their captain, who after he had taken the citadel of Masada and plundered Herod's armoury, he brought his armed murderers into Jerusalem.) After they took the palace and burned it, Manahemus seized the leadership of the revolt but immediately after he was killed in the temple as he was praying by Eleazar, the captain of the temple. Manahemus' men were driven out and returned to Masada under the leadership of Eleazar the son of Jairus who was related to Manahemus. The seditious men also of Jerusalem on the very sabbath day put to death the Romans. After the palace was won by assault, the Romans had retired into the citadel Hippico, Phasaelus, and Mariamme. They were besieged and surrendered and turned over their arms. They were promised safety but the Jews broke their oath and put them to death.

6935. The same day at Caesarea, Florus instigated the heathen to kill all the Jews who lived there. 20,000 were killed. The Jews through the whole country were so vexed. They lived in all the villages of the Syrians and the neighbouring cities of Philadelphia, Gerasa, Ptolemais, Pella, Scythopolis, Gadara, Hippo, Gaulanitis, Sebaste, Askelon, Anthedon and Gaza. There was a general slaughter made by the Syrians of the Jews in all Syria. This was done partly from the old hatred against the Jews and their religion, partly for the love of plunder and desire of revenge. Only they of Antioch, Apamea and Sidon spared the Jews who lived among them. At Alexandria, the metropolis of Egypt, 50,000 Jews were killed in one day in a sedition by two Roman legions that were sent to put down the sedition.

6936. Cestius Gallus, the governor of Syria, was very upset by these riotous actions. He left Antioch for Judea with the 12 legions, King Agrippa's soldiers and other forces. From Ptolemais he invaded Joppa and burned it. He sent Cesennius Gallus into Galilee which he pacified. After staying at Sephoris, he came to Caesarea.

6937. Peter and Paul are warned by revelation from the Lord of their approaching death. {2Pe 1:14 2Ti 4:6,7}

6938. Peter wrote his second letter to the Hebrews who were dispersed through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. {2Pe 3:1 1Pe 1:1}

6939. Paul sent his second letter to Timothy at Ephesus by Tychicus where the family of Onesiphorus lived. This was after Aquila and Priscilla had left Rome and returned to Ephesus. {2Ti 4:12,19} In this letter he wanted Timothy to come to him before winter and bring with him, Mark who was very profitable for him to the ministry, {2Ti 4:9,11,21} Paul sent greetings from Eubulus Pudens, Linus and Claudia. {2Ti 4:21}

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6940. At the feast of tabernacles, after Cestius Gallus had burnt Lydda, he marched toward Jerusalem. The men of Jerusalem met him about seven or eight miles from there and fought a perilous battle near Bethhoron. When fresh troops came to Cestius, he forced them into Jerusalem. On October 4th, he broke in and captured the lower part of the city, (as also Bezetha, and Caenopolis.) Then he attacked the temple and the upper city. He would have easily taken it if he had more valiantly continued the attack. Most of the people favoured the Romans and the seditious men only opposed them.

6941. When Cestius had nearly captured the temple, for no good reason he raised the siege and retreated to Antipatris. On his march, many Romans and auxiliaries soldiers were killed. Many were also killed by the Jews who pursued them. The Romans abandoned most of their baggage, ammunition, engines, slings and other arms in their flight. The Jews made good use of this equipment in their own defence against the siege of Titus. This happened on November 8th in the twelfth year of Nero. (That is the twelfth year was over.) The thirteenth year of Nero had begun on the thirteenth of the previous October.

6942. The Jews were elated by this victory and returned to Jerusalem. They appointed Joseph the son of Gorion and the high priest as governors of the city. They sent many commanders into each province to govern. Among these, Josephus (the writer of this war of the Jews) was sent into Galilee. After he had fortified and walled many towns, he prepared all things to endure a war. He expected the invasion of the Romans.

6943. In the meantime, there were many riots and many and frequent rebellions of the cities against Josephus. These were caused by the subtilty and fraud of John, the son of a certain Levite and by the envy of some of the governors of Jerusalem who wanted the government taken from him. Josephus thwarted all their machinations by his prudence and patience. He forced John to flee to Jerusalem with his forces from Giscala, a town of Galilee which he had fortified. At Jerusalem, Ananias, the governor of the city, made preparations for a real war. He repaired the walls and ensured that warlike instruments, arrows and arms, were made through the whole city. He endeavoured to reconcile those who were called the Zealots but in vain. He tried to catch Simon who was the son of Giora and a thief. He sent soldiers against him but Simon with his followers, fled to the thieves who held Masada. From there, they infested all the country of Judea and Idumea with their robberies.

6944. Moreover Cestius sent messengers to Nero (who was then in Achaia) and told him of the troubled state of Judea. Nero was disturbed by this news and ordered Vespasian to go there. When Vespasian had received this command, he sent his son Titus to Alexandria to bring from there the fifth and tenth legions into Judea. Vespasian went by land from Achaia into Asia and from there he came into Syria and Antioch.

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6945. Peter and Paul foretold at Rome, that it would shortly come to pass that God would send a king who would overcome the Jews and who would lay their city level with the ground. He would besiege them until they so pined with hunger and thirst that they would start eating one another. Finally, they would fall into their enemies' hands and would see their wives most grievously tormented in their sight and their virgins violated and prostituted. Their sons would be torn asunder and their little ones dashed to pieces. All things would be destroyed by fire and sword and they would for ever be banished from their own lands. All this would happen because they exalted themselves above the most loving and approved Son of God. {Lactantius, l. 4. c. 21.}

6946. At Antioch, Vespasian gathered together the Roman forces and the auxiliaries from the kings. From there he went to Ptolemais and recovered Sepphoris which favoured the Romans.

6947. Titus came to his father at Ptolemais sooner than could have been hoped for because it was winter. Their combined forces and the auxiliaries numbered 60,000 cavalry and foot soldiers besides their servants and the baggage.

6948. Vespasian invaded Galilee and burnt and wasted the city of the Gadarenes which he took at the first assault. From there, he went to Jotapata on the 21st day of May and he fought against it.

6949. On the 29th day of June (which was last day of that month that happened within the reign of Nero) Paul was beheaded at Rome as the records both of the eastern and western church confirm. Thereupon Chrysostom undoubtedly affirmed that the day of his death was more certainly known than that of Alexander the Great himself. {Chrysostom, 2 Corinthian Homily, 26.} Dionysius, the bishop of the Corinthians, affirmed in a letter to the Romans that Peter also suffered martyrdom at the same time with him. {*Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, l. 2. c. 25. <1:79,80>} Origin also stated {Origin, Commentaries upon Genesis, tome. 3.} that at Rome, Peter was crucified with his head downwards (as he had desired.) {*Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, l. 3. c. 1. <1:82>} The prediction of Christ was then fulfilled which he made to him: {Joh 21:18,19}

``When thou art old, thou shalt stretch forth thine hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.''

6950. After a forty day siege, Vespasian captured Jotapata by force and burned it. It was valiantly defended by Josephus who was the governor then on the first of June, in the 13th year of Nero. Vespasian captured Josephus as he lay hidden in a cave and gave him his life but kept him prisoner.

6951. After Jotapata was destroyed, Vespasian retired with his army to Caesarea. He stationed two legions there to refresh themselves after the siege. He sent a third legion to Scythopolis to rest also. He went to Caesarea Philippi where he and his army were feasted by King Agrippa for twenty days. There he prepared for the siege of Tiberias and Tarichea. Tiberias immediately surrendered and by the intreaty of King Agrippa, the city was not rased. After Tarichea had endured a siege, it was taken by storm.

6952. After these cities were recovered or overthrown, almost all Galilee was inclined to the Romans, except Gamala in Gaulanitis, Giscala and the Mountain Itaburium.

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6953. After an whole month's siege, Gamala was taken on the 23rd of October, and overthrown. A little later the Mountain Itaburium was taken by the Romans. Titus attacked Giscala which was kept by John with his party of the seditious men. John seemed to like the conditions of peace that were offered by Titus but in the night he with his party fled from the city to Jerusalem. Titus spared the city but placed a garrison there and then went to Caesarea. Vespasian left Caesarea for Iamnia and Azotus and conquered them both and returned again to Caesarea.

6954. Meanwhile there was a great dissention throughout all Judea. Some wanted to continue the war while others wanted to remain under the protection of the Romans. Thereupon there were whole troops of thieves gathered together all over Judea, who plundered those who wanted peace. They were loaded with their plunder and were received into Jerusalem. There they filled all things with murders, dissensions, discords and repines. First they imprisoned Antipas, a great many noble men and the chief men of the city. Soon after they killed them without any trial and falsely accused them that they would have surrendered the city to the Romans. When the people would have risen up against them, they seized the temple and used it as a fortress against the people. They appointed by lots for an high priest Phannius, (or Phanazus) who was a rude and unskilful man and not of the order of the priesthood.

6955. Ananus, and the nobler priests stirred up and armed the people against those Zealots (as they called themselves) and attacked them in the very temple and forced them into the inner temple. The Zealots sent letters secretly to the captains of the Idumeans accusing Ananus of treachery. They complained that while they are fighting for liberty, they were besieged in the temple and asked the Idumeans to help them. They immediately came there with 20,000 men and were secretly let into the city and temple by night by the Zealots. They made a great slaughter, destruction and repines in Jerusalem. For there were 80,000 killed that night and in the following days they killed Ananus and others of the nobility to the number of 12,000 besides an uncountable number of the common people. A little later, the Idumeans began to regret this action when they saw the wickedness of the Zealots and saw no indication of treachery in the nobility whom the Zealots accused them of. They freed 2000 which they held in prison and the Idumeans left Jerusalem and returned home. When they had left, the Zealots began to use more cruelty against the nobility than previously. They would not allow any dead noble man to be buried. They killed anyone they suspected who would flee to the Romans and did not bury the bodies. They guarded all the exits and diligently watched for defectors.

6956. In the meantime there arose a dissention among the Zealots. John who fled from Gescala to Jerusalem, lead in their tyranny and others could not endure him to be their superior whom they before had accounted their equal. Thus while they disagreed among themselves, they were unanimous in robbing the common people and all Judea. They followed the example of Jerusalem which was very full of thieves and most miserably vexed.

6957. The Jews destroyed each other with these discords. Vespasian was roused to action by the cries of those who fled to him and entreated him to preserve and free their country from this sedition. When Vespasian prepared for the siege of Jerusalem, he did not want anyone behind him to cause trouble while he was besieging Jerusalem. He went with his army to Gadara to quench those remnants of the war. This was the country on the other side of the Jordan River and he was summoned there by the moderate men of the city who wanted peace rather than war. He immediately took the city and the seditious men fled. He sent Placidus with his cavalry to pursue them and put them all to the sword. So he possessed all the country beyond the river even to the Dead Sea except for the citadel of Macherun. He put garrisons through the towns and arranged the winter quarters for his soldiers. He went back to Caesarea and there wintered.

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6958. Vespasian received news of the rebellions in Gaul by Vindex, who had armed the Gauls against the Romans. This made him more earnest to finish the war against the Jews. Therefore in the beginning of the spring, he led his army from Caesarea and ran through all Judea and Idumea and wasting it. He brought back his army and led them though Samaria to Jericho. The inhabitants fled to the mountain country opposite Jerusalem but he pursued them and drove them from the hills. He attacked the citadels at Jericho and other places and surrounded the Jews on every side.

6959. Some promised themselves (after Nero was forsaken) the government of the east, some the kingdom of Jerusalem but most wanted the recovery of their previous fortune. {Suetonius, Nero, c. 40.}