NABATAEANS, a people of ancient Arabia, whose settlements in the time of Josephus (Ant.
Josephus suggests, and Jerome, apparently following him, affirms, that the name is identical with that of the Ishmaelite tribe of Nebaioth (Gen.
65 we find them at Hebron, and this is one of the first indications that we discover of the cis-Jordanic Idumaea of Josephus and the Talmud.
Josephus used the name Idumaea as including not only Gobalitis, the original Mount Seir, but also Amalekitis, the land of Amalek, west of this, and Akrabatine, the ancient Acrabbim,, S.W.
See Josephus, Antiq.
Originally, however, its formation was very different, as it was intersected by a deep valley, called Tyropoeon by Josephus, which, starting from a point N.W.
Solomon greatly strengthened the fortifications of Jerusalem, and was probably the builder of the line of defence, called by Josephus the first or old wall, which united the cities on the eastern and western hills.
Some writers place it north of the Temple on the site afterwards occupied by the fortress of Antonia, but such a position is not in accord with the descriptions either in Josephus or in the books of the Maccabees, which are quite consistent with each other.
At some period between the time of the Maccabees and of Herod, a second or outer wall had been built outside and north of the first wall, but it is not possible to fix an accurate date to this line of defence, as the references to it in Josephus are obscure.
The writings of Josephus give a good idea of the fortifications and buildings of Jerusalem at the time of the siege, and his accurate personal knowledge makes his account worthy of the most careful perusal.
However, the feeling which was aroused among the priests when some centuries later the singers obtained from Agrippa the privilege of wearing the priestly linen dress (Josephus, Ant.
Regarded by Philo and Josephus, who are accustomed to seek a philosophical justification for the peculiar institutions of their religion.
55-63; Plutarch, Pompey, 25.48; Josephus, Antiq.
Although the first definite endeavour to locate the Golden Chersonese thus dates from the middle of the 2nd century of our era, the name was apparently well known to the learned of Europe at a somewhat earlier period, and in his Antiquities of the Jews, written during the latter half of the 1st century, Josephus says that Solomon gave to the pilots furnished to him by Hiram of Tyre commands " that they should go along with his stewards to the land that of old was called Ophir, but now the Aurea Chersonesus, which belongs to India, to fetch gold."
Also Josephus, Ant.
8), it is not necessary to take it in the technical Greek sense when the usage of Philo and Josephus permits a looser meaning.
Length of reigns), and the difficulty felt in regard to the second and third is obvious in the attempts of the Jewish historian Josephus to provide a compromise.
For this twenty-third year Josephus (Ant.
The Jewish historian Josephus (Ant.
The account of Josephus (above) raises several difficulties, especially the identity of Bagoses.
Browning, " Development."] It is noteworthy that Josephus, who has his own representation of the post-exilic age, allows two years and four months for the work (Ant.
There is little doubt that Josephus refers to the same events; but there is considerable confusion in his history of the Persian age, and when he places the schism and the foundation of the new Temple in the time of Alexander the Great (after the obscure disasters of the reign of Artaxerxes III.), it is usually supposed that he is a century too late.
But they were ready to deny their kinship with the Jews when the latter were in adversity, and could have replied to the tradition that they were foreigners with a to quoque (Josephus, Ani.
Daniel, Esther, i Esdras, Josephus), the historical narratives are of the scantiest and vaguest until the time of Artaxerxes, when the account of a return (Ezra iv.
The ancient historians, who together cover this period, are strangely indifferent to the importance of the Jews, upon which Josephus is at pains to insist.
In connexion with Alexander's march through Palestine Josephus gives a tradition of his visit to Jerusalem.
According to the tradition which Josephus has preserved the high priest refused to transfer his allegiance, and Alexander marched against Jerusalem after the capture of Gaza.
- After the death of Alexander Palestine fell in the end to Ptolemy (301 B.C.) and remained an Egyptian province until 198 B.C. For a century the Jews in Palestine and in Alexandria had no history - or none that Josephus knew.
But Josephus reports of one Onias that for avarice he withheld it.
At this point Josephus cites the testimony of Polybius: - " Scopas, the general of Ptolemy, advanced into the highlands and subdued the nation of the Jews in the winter.
Josephus adds that an Egyptian garrison was left in Jerusalem.
The country was divided into five districts with five synods; and Josephus asserts that the people welcomed the change from the monarchy.
There is a story of a priest named Onias preserved both by Josephus and in the Talmud, which throws some light upon the indecision of the religious in the period just reviewed.
It is to be remembered that, in this and all narratives of the life of Herod, Josephus was dependent upon the history of Herod's client, Nicolaus of Damascus, and was himself a supporter of law and order.
Pollio the Pharisee and Sameas his disciple were in special honour with him, Josephus says, when he re-entered Jerusalem and put to death the leaders of the faction of Antigonus.
Such is the account which Josephus gives in the Antiquities; in the Jewish War he represents the rabbis and their disciples as looking forward to greater happiness for themselves after such a death.
Order was restored by Varus the governor of Syria in a campaign which Josephus describes as the most important war between that of Pompey and that of Vespasian.
The result of this alliance between a revolutionary and a Pharisee was the formation of the party of Zealots, whose influence - according to Josephus - brought about the great revolt and so led to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70.
So far as this influence extended, the Jewish community was threatened with the danger of suicide, and the distinction drawn by Josephus between the Pharisees and the Zealots is a valid one.
Josephus' history of the Jews contains accounts of John the Baptist and Jesus, the authenticity of which has been called in question for plausible but not entirely convincing reasons.
But Pilate so conducted affairs as to attract the attention not only of Josephus but also of Philo, who represents for us the Jewish community of Alexandria.
During the government of Fadus, Theudas, who claimed to be a prophet and whom Josephus describes as a wizard, persuaded a large number to take up their possessions and follow him to the Jordan, saying that he would cleave the river asunder with a word of command and so provide them with an easy crossing.
The country, Josephus says, was full of " robbers " and " wizards."
Such deceivers, according to Josephus, did no less than the murderers to destroy the happiness of the city.
By comparison with Florus, Albinus was, in the opinion of Josephus, a benefactor.
Josephus and the Zealots.
Ananus the high priest, their leader, remained in command at Jerusalem; Galilee, where the first attack was to be expected, was entrusted to Josephus, the historian of the war.
Josephus set himself to make an army of the inhabitants of Galilee, many of whom had no wish to fight, and to strengthen the strongholds.
In spite of all this Josephus held his ground and by force or craft put down those who resisted his authority.
The inhabitants of Sepphoris - whom Josephus had judged to be so eager for the war that he left them to build their wall for themselves - received a Roman garrison at their own request.
Before his advance the army of Josephus fled.
Josephus with a few stalwarts took refuge in Tiberias, and sent a letter to Jerusalem asking that he should be relieved of his command or supplied with an adequate force to continue the war.
A deserter announced his arrival to Vespasian, who rejoiced (Josephus says) that the cleverest of his enemies had thus voluntarily imprisoned himself.
Josephus, whose pretences had postponed the final assault, hid in a cave with forty men.
At his suggestion they cast lots, and the first man was killed by the second and so on, until all were dead except Josephus and (perhaps) one other.
So Josephus saved them from the sin of suicide and gave himself up to the Romans.
And so, when Vespasian was proclaimed emperor in fulfilment of Josephus' prophecy, and deputed the command to Titus, there were three rivals at war in Jerusalem - Eleazar, Simon and John.
According to Josephus, Titus decided to spare the Temple, but - whether this was so or not - on the 10th of August it was fired by a soldier after a sortie of the Jews had been repelled.
His zeal, private and public, for Judaism is celebrated by Josephus and the rabbis; and the narrative of Acts xii.