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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



7234
Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 11.155


ὁ δὲ μέσος τοῦ πλήθους σταθεὶς ἀνέγνω καὶ τοῦτ' ἐποίησεν ἀπ' ἀρχομένης ἡμέρας ἕως μεσημβρίας: οἱ δὲ ἀκούσαντες ἀναγινωσκομένων τῶν νόμων δίκαιοι μὲν πρὸς τὸ παρὸν καὶ τὸ μέλλον ἐδιδάσκοντο εἶναι, περὶ δὲ τῶν παρῳχημένων ἐδυσφόρουν καὶ μέχρι τοῦ δακρύειν προήχθησαν ἐνθυμούμενοι πρὸς αὑτούς, ὅτι μηδὲν ἂν τῶν πεπειραμένων κακῶν ἔπαθον, εἰ τὸν νόμον διεφύλαττον.Accordingly, he stood in the midst of the multitude and read them; and this he did from morning to noon. Now, by hearing the laws read to them, they were instructed to be righteous men for the present and for the future; but as for their past offenses, they were displeased at themselves, and proceeded to shed tears on their account, as considering with themselves that if they had kept the law, they had endured none of these miseries which they had experienced.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

5 results
1. Septuagint, 1 Esdras, 8.19-8.20, 8.46, 8.58 (10th cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)

8.19. And I, Artaxerxes the king, have commanded the treasurers of Syria and Phoenicia that whatever Ezra the priest and reader of the law of the Most High God sends for, they shall take care to give him 8.20. up to a hundred talents of silver, and likewise up to a hundred cors of wheat, a hundred baths of wine, and salt in abundance. 8.46. and ordered them to tell Iddo and his brethren and the treasurers at that place to send us men to serve as priests in the house of our Lord. 8.58. And I said to them, "You are holy to the Lord, and the vessels are holy, and the silver and the gold are vowed to the Lord, the Lord of our fathers.
2. Hebrew Bible, Ezra, 7.1-7.6, 7.11-7.12, 7.21 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

7.1. כִּי עֶזְרָא הֵכִין לְבָבוֹ לִדְרוֹשׁ אֶת־תּוֹרַת יְהוָה וְלַעֲשֹׂת וּלְלַמֵּד בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל חֹק וּמִשְׁפָּט׃ 7.1. וְאַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה בְּמַלְכוּת אַרְתַּחְשַׁסְתְּא מֶלֶךְ־פָּרָס עֶזְרָא בֶּן־שְׂרָיָה בֶּן־עֲזַרְיָה בֶּן־חִלְקִיָּה׃ 7.2. בֶּן־שַׁלּוּם בֶּן־צָדוֹק בֶּן־אֲחִיטוּב׃ 7.2. וּשְׁאָר חַשְׁחוּת בֵּית אֱלָהָךְ דִּי יִפֶּל־לָךְ לְמִנְתַּן תִּנְתֵּן מִן־בֵּית גִּנְזֵי מַלְכָּא׃ 7.3. בֶּן־אֲמַרְיָה בֶן־עֲזַרְיָה בֶּן־מְרָיוֹת׃ 7.4. בֶּן־זְרַחְיָה בֶן־עֻזִּי בֶּן־בֻּקִּי׃ 7.5. בֶּן־אֲבִישׁוּעַ בֶּן־פִּינְחָס בֶּן־אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן־אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן הָרֹאשׁ׃ 7.6. הוּא עֶזְרָא עָלָה מִבָּבֶל וְהוּא־סֹפֵר מָהִיר בְּתוֹרַת מֹשֶׁה אֲשֶׁר־נָתַן יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּתֶּן־לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ כְּיַד־יְהוָה אֱלֹהָיו עָלָיו כֹּל בַּקָּשָׁתוֹ׃ 7.11. וְזֶה פַּרְשֶׁגֶן הַנִּשְׁתְּוָן אֲשֶׁר נָתַן הַמֶּלֶךְ אַרְתַּחְשַׁסְתְּא לְעֶזְרָא הַכֹּהֵן הַסֹּפֵר סֹפֵר דִּבְרֵי מִצְוֺת־יְהוָה וְחֻקָּיו עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃ 7.12. אַרְתַּחְשַׁסְתְּא מֶלֶךְ מַלְכַיָּא לְעֶזְרָא כָהֲנָא סָפַר דָּתָא דִּי־אֱלָהּ שְׁמַיָּא גְּמִיר וּכְעֶנֶת׃ 7.21. וּמִנִּי אֲנָה אַרְתַּחְשַׁסְתְּא מַלְכָּא שִׂים טְעֵם לְכֹל גִּזַּבְרַיָּא דִּי בַּעֲבַר נַהֲרָה דִּי כָל־דִּי יִשְׁאֲלֶנְכוֹן עֶזְרָא כָהֲנָה סָפַר דָּתָא דִּי־אֱלָהּ שְׁמַיָּא אָסְפַּרְנָא יִתְעֲבִד׃ 7.1. Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah," 7.2. the son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub," 7.3. the son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth," 7.4. the son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki," 7.5. the son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest—" 7.6. this Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the Law of Moses, which the LORD, the God of Israel, had given; and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him." 7.11. Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even the scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of His statutes to Israel:" 7.12. ’Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, the scribe of the Law of the God of heaven, and so forth. And now" 7.21. And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers that are beyond the River, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the Law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done with all diligence,"
3. Vergil, Aeneis, 1.124-1.156 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.124. Straightway Aeneas, shuddering with amaze 1.125. groaned loud, upraised both holy hands to Heaven 1.126. and thus did plead: “O thrice and four times blest 1.127. ye whom your sires and whom the walls of Troy 1.128. looked on in your last hour! O bravest son 1.129. Greece ever bore, Tydides! O that I 1.130. had fallen on Ilian fields, and given this life 1.131. truck down by thy strong hand! where by the spear 1.132. of great Achilles, fiery Hector fell 1.133. and huge Sarpedon; where the Simois 1.134. in furious flood engulfed and whirled away 1.136. While thus he cried to Heaven, a shrieking blast 1.137. mote full upon the sail. Up surged the waves 1.138. to strike the very stars; in fragments flew 1.139. the shattered oars; the helpless vessel veered 1.140. and gave her broadside to the roaring flood 1.141. where watery mountains rose and burst and fell. 1.142. Now high in air she hangs, then yawning gulfs 1.143. lay bare the shoals and sands o'er which she drives. 1.144. Three ships a whirling south wind snatched and flung 1.145. on hidden rocks,—altars of sacrifice 1.146. Italians call them, which lie far from shore 1.147. a vast ridge in the sea; three ships beside 1.148. an east wind, blowing landward from the deep 1.149. drove on the shallows,—pitiable sight,— 1.150. and girdled them in walls of drifting sand. 1.151. That ship, which, with his friend Orontes, bore 1.152. the Lycian mariners, a great, plunging wave 1.153. truck straight astern, before Aeneas' eyes. 1.154. Forward the steersman rolled and o'er the side 1.155. fell headlong, while three times the circling flood 1.156. pun the light bark through swift engulfing seas.
4. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 3.316-3.319, 3.322, 10.263, 11.123, 11.141, 11.150, 11.152-11.153, 11.156-11.296 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

3.316. Now we are not to disbelieve that Moses, who was but a single person, pacified so many ten thousands when they were in anger, and converted them to a mildness of temper; for God was with him, and prepared the way to his persuasions of the multitude; and as they had often been disobedient, they were now sensible that such disobedience was disadvantageous to them and that they had still thereby fallen into calamities. 3.317. 3. But this man was admirable for his virtue, and powerful in making men give credit to what he delivered, not only during the time of his natural life, but even there is still no one of the Hebrews who does not act even now as if Moses were present, and ready to punish him if he should do any thing that is indecent; nay, there is no one but is obedient to what laws he ordained, although they might be concealed in their transgressions. 3.318. There are also many other demonstrations that his power was more than human, for still some there have been, who have come from the parts beyond Euphrates, a journey of four months, through many dangers, and at great expenses, in honor of our temple; and yet, when they had offered their oblations, could not partake of their own sacrifices, because Moses had forbidden it, by somewhat in the law that did not permit them, or somewhat that had befallen them, which our ancient customs made inconsistent therewith; 3.319. ome of these did not sacrifice at all, and others left their sacrifices in an imperfect condition; nay, many were not able, even at first, so much as to enter into the temple, but went their ways in this state, as preferring a submission to the laws of Moses before the fulfilling of their own inclinations, even when they had no fear upon them that anybody could convict them, but only out of a reverence to their own conscience. 3.322. Whence we are not to wonder at what was then done, while to this very day the writings left by Moses have so great a force, that even those that hate us do confess, that he who established this settlement was God, and that it was by the means of Moses, and of his virtue; but as to these matters, let every one take them as he thinks fit. 10.263. 7. When therefore those that had intended thus to destroy Daniel by treachery were themselves destroyed, king Darius sent [letters] over all the country, and praised that God whom Daniel worshipped, and said that he was the only true God, and had all power. He had also Daniel in very great esteem, and made him the principal of his friends. 11.123. Accordingly, the king wrote the following epistle to those governors: “Xerxes, king of kings, to Esdras the priest, and reader of the divine law, greeting. I think it agreeable to that love which I bear to mankind, to permit those of the Jewish nation that are so disposed, as well as those of the priests and Levites that are in our kingdom, to go together to Jerusalem. 11.141. These persons desired him to support the laws, lest God should take up a general anger against them all, and reduce them to a calamitous condition again. Hereupon he rent his garment immediately, out of grief, and pulled off the hair of his head and beard, and cast himself upon the ground, because this crime had reached the principal men among the people; 11.152. who had a greater regard to the observation of the law than to their natural affection, and immediately cast out their wives, and the children which were born of them. And in order to appease God, they offered sacrifices, and slew rams, as oblations to him; but it does not seem to me to be necessary to set down the names of these men. 11.153. So when Esdras had reformed this sin about the marriages of the forementioned persons, he reduced that practice to purity, so that it continued in that state for the time to come. 11.156. But when Esdras saw them in that disposition, he bade them go home, and not weep, for that it was a festival, and that they ought not to weep thereon, for that it was not lawful so to do. He exhorted them rather to proceed immediately to feasting, and to do what was suitable to a feast, and what was agreeable to a day of joy; but to let their repentance and sorrow for their former sins be a security and a guard to them, that they fell no more into the like offenses. 11.157. So upon Esdras’s exhortation they began to feast; and when they had so done for eight days, in their tabernacles, they departed to their own homes, singing hymns to God, and returning thanks to Esdras for his reformation of what corruptions had been introduced into their settlement. 11.158. So it came to pass, that after he had obtained this reputation among the people, he died an old man, and was buried in a magnificent manner at Jerusalem. About the same time it happened also that Joacim, the high priest, died; and his son Eliasib succeeded in the high priesthood. 11.159. 6. Now there was one of those Jews that had been carried captive who was cup-bearer to king Xerxes; his name was Nehemiah. As this man was walking before Susa, the metropolis of the Persians, he heard some strangers that were entering the city, after a long journey, speaking to one another in the Hebrew tongue; so he went to them, and asked them whence they came. 11.161. and when they replied that they were in a bad state for that their walls were thrown down to the ground, and that the neighboring nations did a great deal of mischief to the Jews, while in the day time they overran the country, and pillaged it, and in the night did them mischief, insomuch that not a few were led away captive out of the country, and out of Jerusalem itself, and that the roads were in the day time found full of dead men. 11.162. Hereupon Nehemiah shed tears, out of commiseration of the calamities of his countrymen; and, looking up to heaven, he said, “How long, O Lord, wilt thou overlook our nation, while it suffers so great miseries, and while we are made the prey and spoil of all men?” 11.163. And while he staid at the gate, and lamented thus, one told him that the king was going to sit down to supper; so he made haste, and went as he was, without wishing himself, to minister to the king in his office of cup-bearer. 11.164. But as the king was very pleasant after supper, and more cheerful than usual, he cast his eyes on Nehemiah, and seeing him look sad, he asked him why he was sad. 11.165. Whereupon he prayed to God to give him favor, and afford him the power of persuading by his words, and said, “How can I, O king, appear otherwise than thus, and not be in trouble, while I hear that the walls of Jerusalem, the city where are the sepulchers of my fathers, are thrown down to the ground, and that its gates are consumed by fire? But do thou grant me the favor to go and build its wall, and to finish the building of the temple.” 11.166. Accordingly, the king gave him a signal that he freely granted him what he asked; and told him that he should carry an epistle to the governors, that they might pay him due honor, and afford him whatsoever assistance he wanted, and as he pleased. “Leave off thy sorrow then,” said the king, “and be cheerful in the performance of thy office hereafter.” 11.167. So Nehemiah worshipped God, and gave the king thanks for his promise, and cleared up his sad and cloudy countece, by the pleasure he had from the king’s promises. Accordingly, the king called for him the next day, and gave him an epistle to be carried to Adeus, the governor of Syria, and Phoenicia, and Samaria; wherein he sent to him to pay due honor to Nehemiah, and to supply him with what he wanted for his building. 11.168. 7. Now when he was come to Babylon, and had taken with him many of his countrymen, who voluntarily followed him, he came to Jerusalem in the twenty and fifth year of the reign of Xerxes. And when he had shown the epistles to God he gave them to Adeus, and to the other governors. He also called together all the people to Jerusalem, and stood in the midst of the temple, and made the following speech to them: 11.169. “You know, O Jews, that God hath kept our fathers, Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in mind continually, and for the sake of their righteousness hath not left off the care of you. Indeed he hath assisted me in gaining this authority of the king to raise up our wall, and finish what is wanting of the temple. 11.171. that you will, in the first place, put your trust in God, as in him that will assist us against their hatred, and to intermit building neither night nor day, but to use all diligence, and to hasten on the work, now we have this especial opportunity for it.” 11.172. When he had said this, he gave order that the rulers should measure the wall, and part the work of it among the people, according to their villages and cities, as every one’s ability should require. And when he had added this promise, that he himself, with his servants, would assist them, he dissolved the assembly. 11.173. So the Jews prepared for the work: that is the name they are called by from the day that they came up from Babylon, which is taken from the tribe of Judah, which came first to these places, and thence both they and the country gained that appellation. 11.174. 8. But now when the Ammonites, and Moabites, and Samaritans, and all that inhabited Celesyria, heard that the building went on apace, they took it heinously, and proceeded to lay snares for them, and to hinder their intentions. 11.175. They also slew many of the Jews, and sought how they might destroy Nehemiah himself, by hiring some of the foreigners to kill him. They also put the Jews in fear, and disturbed them, and spread abroad rumors, as if many nations were ready to make an expedition against them, by which means they were harassed, and had almost left off the building. 11.176. But none of these things could deter Nehemiah from being diligent about the work; he only set a number of men about him as a guard to his body, and so unweariedly persevered therein, and was insensible of any trouble, out of his desire to perfect this work. And thus did he attentively, and with great forecast, take care of his own safety; not that he feared death, but of this persuasion, that if he were dead, the walls for his citizens would never be raised. 11.177. He also gave orders that the builders should keep their ranks, and have their armor on while they were building. Accordingly, the mason had his sword on, as well as he that brought the materials for building. He also appointed that their shields should lie very near them; and he placed trumpeters at every five hundred feet, and charged them, that if their enemies appeared, they should give notice of it to the people, that they might fight in their armor, and their enemies might not fall upon them naked. 11.178. He also went about the compass of the city by night, being never discouraged, neither about the work itself, nor about his own diet and sleep, for he made no use of those things for his pleasure, but out of necessity. 11.179. And this trouble he underwent for two years and four months; for in so long a time was the wall built, in the twenty-eighth year of the reign of Xerxes, in the ninth month. 11.181. But when Nehemiah saw that the city was thin of people, he exhorted the priests and the Levites that they would leave the country, and remove themselves to the city, and there continue; and he built them houses at his own expenses; 11.182. and he commanded that part of the people which were employed in cultivating the land to bring the tithes of their fruits to Jerusalem, that the priests and Levites having whereof they might live perpetually, might not leave the divine worship; who willingly hearkened to the constitutions of Nehemiah, by which means the city Jerusalem came to be fuller of people than it was before. 11.183. So when Nehemiah had done many other excellent things, and things worthy of commendation, in a glorious manner, he came to a great age, and then died. He was a man of a good and righteous disposition, and very ambitious to make his own nation happy; and he hath left the walls of Jerusalem as an eternal monument for himself. Now this was done in the days of Xerxes. 11.184. 1. After the death of Xerxes, the kingdom came to be transferred to his son Cyrus, whom the Greeks called Artaxerxes. When this man had obtained the government over the Persians, the whole nation of the Jews, with their wives and children, were in danger of perishing; 11.185. the occasion whereof we shall declare in a little time; for it is proper, in the first place, to explain somewhat relating to this king, and how he came to marry a Jewish wife, who was herself of the royal family also, and who is related to have saved our nation; 11.186. for when Artaxerxes had taken the kingdom, and had set governors over the hundred twenty and seven provinces, from India even unto Ethiopia, in the third year of his reign, he made a costly feast for his friends, and for the nations of Persia, and for their governors, such a one as was proper for a king to make, when he had a mind to make a public demonstration of his riches, and this for a hundred and fourscore days; 11.187. after which he made a feast for other nations, and for their ambassadors, at Shushan, for seven days. Now this feast was ordered after the manner following: He caused a tent to be pitched, which was supported by pillars of gold and silver, with curtains of linen and purple spread over them, that it might afford room for many ten thousands to sit down. 11.188. The cups with which the waiters ministered were of gold, and adorned with precious stones, for pleasure and for sight. He also gave order to the servants that they should not force them to drink, by bringing them wine continually, as is the practice of the Persians, but to permit every one of the guests to enjoy himself according to his own inclination. 11.189. Moreover, he sent messengers through the country, and gave order that they should have a remission of their labors, and should keep a festival many days, on account of his kingdom. 11.191. But she, out of regard to the laws of the Persians, which forbid the wives to be seen by strangers, did not go to the king and though he oftentimes sent the eunuchs to her, she did nevertheless stay away, and refused to come 11.192. till the king was so much irritated, that he brake up the entertainment, and rose up, and called for those seven who had the interpretation of the laws committed to them, and accused his wife, and said that he had been affronted by her, because that when she was frequently called by him to his feast, she did not obey him once. 11.193. He therefore gave order that they should inform him what could be done by the law against her. So one of them, whose name was Memucan, said that this affront was offered not to him alone, but to all the Persians, who were in danger of leading their lives very ill with their wives, if they must be thus despised by them; 11.194. for that none of their wives would have any reverence for their husbands, if they, “had such an example of arrogance in the queen towards thee, who rulest over all.” Accordingly, he exhorted him to punish her, who had been guilty of so great an affront to him, after a severe manner; and when he had so done, to publish to the nations what had been decreed about the queen. So the resolution was to put Vashti away, and to give her dignity to another woman. 11.195. 2. But the king having been fond of her, did not well bear a separation, and yet by the law he could not admit of a reconciliation; so he was under trouble, as not having it in his power to do what he desired to do. But when his friends saw him so uneasy, they advised him to cast the memory of his wife, and his love for her, out of his mind 11.196. but to send abroad over all the habitable earth, and to search out for comely virgins, and to take her whom he should best like for his wife, because his passion for his former wife would be quenched by the introduction of another, and the kindness he had for Vashti would be withdrawn from her, and be placed on her that was with him. 11.197. Accordingly, he was persuaded to follow this advice, and gave order to certain persons to choose out of the virgins that were in his kingdom those that were esteemed the most comely. 11.198. So when a great number of these virgins were gathered together, there was found a damsel in Babylon, whose parents were both dead, and she was brought up with her uncle Mordecai, for that was her uncle’s name. This uncle was of the tribe of Benjamin, and was one of the principal persons among the Jews. 11.199. Now it proved that this damsel, whose name was Esther, was the most beautiful of all the rest, and that the grace of her countece drew the eyes of the spectators principally upon her. 11.201. And when the eunuch thought the virgins had been sufficiently purified, in the fore-mentioned time, and were now fit to go to the king’s bed, he sent one to be with the king ever day. So when he had accompanied with her, he sent her back to the eunuch; 11.202. and when Esther had come to him, he was pleased with her, and fell in love with the damsel, and married her, and made her his lawful wife, and kept a wedding feast for her on the twelfth month of the seventh year of his reign, which was called Adar. 11.203. He also sent angari, as they are called, or messengers, unto every nation, and gave orders that they should keep a feast for his marriage, while he himself treated the Persians and the Medes, and the principal men of the nations, for a whole month, on account of this his marriage. Accordingly, Esther came to his royal palace, and he set a diadem on her head. And thus was Esther married, without making known to the king what nation she was derived from. 11.204. Her uncle also removed from Babylon to Shushan, and dwelt there, being every day about the palace, and inquiring how the damsel did, for he loved her as though she had been his own daughter. 11.205. 3. Now the king had made a law, that none of his own people should approach him unless he were called, when he sat upon his throne and men, with axes in their hands, stood round about his throne, in order to punish such as approached to him without being called. 11.206. However, the king sat with a golden scepter in his hand, which he held out when he had a mind to save any one of those that approached to him without being called, and he who touched it was free from danger. But of this matter we have discoursed sufficiently. 11.207. 4. Some time after this [two eunuchs], Bigthan and Teresh, plotted against the king; and Barnabazus, the servant of one of the eunuchs, being by birth a Jew, was acquainted with their conspiracy, and discovered it to the queen’s uncle; and Mordecai, by the means of Esther, made the conspirators known to the king. 11.208. This troubled the king; but he discovered the truth, and hanged the eunuchs upon a cross, while at that time he gave no reward to Mordecai, who had been the occasion of his preservation. He only bid the scribes to set down his name in the records, and bid him stay in the palace, as an intimate friend of the king. 11.209. 5. Now there was one Haman, the son of Amedatha, by birth an Amalekite, that used to go in to the king; and the foreigners and Persians worshipped him, as Artaxerxes had commanded that such honor should be paid to him; 11.211. And when he desired to punish Mordecai, he thought it too small a thing to request of the king that he alone might be punished; he rather determined to abolish the whole nation, for he was naturally an enemy to the Jews, because the nation of the Amalekites, of which he was; had been destroyed by them. 11.212. Accordingly he came to the king, and accused them, saying, “There is a certain wicked nation, and it is dispersed over all the habitable earth the was under his dominion; a nation separate from others, unsociable, neither admitting the same sort of divine worship that others do, nor using laws like to the laws of others, at enmity with thy people, and with all men, both in their manners and practices. 11.213. Now, if thou wilt be a benefactor to thy subjects, thou wilt give order to destroy them utterly, and not leave the least remains of them, nor preserve any of them, either for slaves or for captives.” 11.214. But that the king might not be damnified by the loss of the tributes which the Jews paid him, Haman promised to give him out of his own estate forty thousand talents whensoever he pleased; and he said he would pay this money very willingly, that the kingdom might be freed from such a misfortune. 11.215. 6. When Haman had made this petition, the king both forgave him the money, and granted him the men, to do what he would with them. So Haman, having gained what he desired, sent out immediately a decree, as from the king, to all nations, the contents whereof were these: 11.216. “Artaxerxes, the great king, to the rulers of the hundred twenty and seven provinces, from India to Ethiopia, sends this writing. Whereas I have governed many nations, and obtained the dominions of all the habitable earth, according to my desire, and have not been obliged to do any thing that is insolent or cruel to my subjects by such my power, but have showed myself mild and gentle, by taking care of their peace and good order, and have sought how they might enjoy those blessings for all time to come. 11.217. And whereas I have been kindly informed by Haman, who, on account of his prudence and justice, is the first in my esteem, and in dignity, and only second to myself, for his fidelity and constant good-will to me, that there is an ill-natured nation intermixed with all mankind, that is averse to our laws, and not subject to kings, and of a different conduct of life from others, that hateth monarchy, and of a disposition that is pernicious to our affairs 11.218. I give order that all these men, of whom Haman our second father hath informed us, be destroyed, with their wives and children, and that none of them be spared, and that none prefer pity to them before obedience to this decree. 11.219. And this I will to be executed on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month of this present year, that so when all that have enmity to us are destroyed, and this in one day, we may be allowed to lead the rest of our lives in peace hereafter.” 11.221. 7. Now when Mordecai was informed of what was done, he rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth, and sprinkled ashes upon his head, and went about the city, crying out, that “a nation that had been injurious to no man was to be destroyed.” And he went on saying thus as far as to the king’s palace, and there he stood, for it was not lawful for him to go into it in that habit. 11.222. The same thing was done by all the Jews that were in the several cities wherein this decree was published, with lamentation and mourning, on account of the calamities denounced against them. But as soon as certain persons had told the queen that Mordecai stood before the court in a mourning habit, she was disturbed at this report, and sent out such as should change his garments; 11.223. but when he could not be induced to put off his sackcloth, because the sad occasion that forced him to put it on was not yet ceased, she called the eunuch Acratheus, for he was then present, and sent him to Mordecai, in order to know of him what sad accident had befallen him, for which he was in mourning, and would not put off the habit he had put on at her desire. 11.224. Then did Mordecai inform the eunuch of the occasion of his mourning, and of the decree which was sent by the king into all the country, and of the promise of money whereby Haman brought the destruction of their nation. 11.225. He also gave him a copy of what was proclaimed at Shushan, to be carried to Esther; and he charged her to petition the king about this matter, and not to think it a dishonorable thing in her to put on a humble habit, for the safety of her nation, wherein she might deprecate the ruin of the Jews, who were in danger of it; for that Haman, whose dignity was only inferior to that of the king, had accused the Jews, and had irritated the king against them. 11.226. When she was informed of this, she sent to Mordecai again, and told him that she was not called by the king, and that he who goes in to him without being called, is to be slain, unless when he is willing to save any one, he holds out his golden scepter to him; but that to whomsoever he does so, although he go in without being called, that person is so far from being slain, that he obtains pardon, and is entirely preserved. 11.227. Now when the eunuch carried this message from Esther to Mordecai, he bade him also tell her that she must not only provide for her own preservation, but for the common preservation of her nation, for that if she now neglected this opportunity, there would certainly arise help to them from God some other way, but she and her father’s house would be destroyed by those whom she now despised. 11.228. But Esther sent the very same eunuch back to Mordecai [to desire him] to go to Shushan, and to gather the Jews that were there together to a congregation, and to fast and abstain from all sorts of food, on her account, and [to let him know that] she with her maidens would do the same: and then she promised that she would go to the king, though it were against the law, and that if she must die for it, she would not refuse it. 11.229. 8. Accordingly, Mordecai did as Esther had enjoined him, and made the people fast; and he besought God, together with them, not to overlook his nation, particularly at this time, when it was going to be destroyed; but that, as he had often before provided for them, and forgiven, when they had sinned, so he would now deliver them from that destruction which was denounced against them; 11.231. The same supplications did the multitude put up, and entreated that God would provide for their deliverance, and free the Israelites that were in all the earth from this calamity which was now coming upon them, for they had it before their eyes, and expected its coming. Accordingly, Esther made supplication to God after the manner of her country, by casting herself down upon the earth, and putting on her mourning garments 11.232. and bidding farewell to meat and drink, and all delicacies, for three days’ time; and she entreated God to have mercy upon her, and make her words appear persuasive to the king, and render her countece more beautiful than it was before 11.233. that both by her words and beauty she might succeed, for the averting of the king’s anger, in case he were at all irritated against her, and for the consolation of those of her own country, now they were in the utmost danger of perishing; as also that he would excite a hatred in the king against the enemies of the Jews, and those that had contrived their future destruction, if they proved to be condemned by him. 11.234. 9. When Esther had used this supplication for three days, she put off those garments, and changed her habit, and adorned herself as became a queen, and took two of her handmaids with her, the one of which supported her, as she gently leaned upon her, and the other followed after, and lifted up her large train (which swept along the ground) with the extremities of her fingers. And thus she came to the king, having a blushing redness in her countece, with a pleasant agreeableness in her behavior; yet did she go in to him with fear; 11.235. and as soon as she was come over against him, as he was sitting on his throne, in his royal apparel, which was a garment interwoven with gold and precious stones 11.236. which made him seem to her more terrible, especially when he looked at her somewhat severely, and with a countece on fire with anger, her joints failed her immediately, out of the dread she was in, and she fell down sideways in a swoon: 11.237. but the king changed his mind, which happened, as I suppose, by the will of God, and was concerned for his wife, lest her fear should bring some very ill thing upon her 11.238. and he leaped from his throne, and took her in his arms, and recovered her, by embracing her, and speaking comfortably to her, and exhorting her to be of good cheer, and not to suspect any thing that was sad on account of her coming to him without being called, because that law was made for subjects, but that she, who was a queen, as well as he a king, might be entirely secure; 11.239. and as he said this, he put the scepter into her hand, and laid his rod upon her neck, on account of the law; and so freed her from her fear. 11.241. And while it was with difficulty, and in a low voice, that she could say thus much, the king was in a great agony and disorder, and encouraged Esther to be of good cheer, and to expect better fortune, since he was ready, if occasion should require it, to grant her the half of his kingdom. 11.242. Accordingly, Esther desired that he and his friend Haman would come to her to a banquet, for she said she had prepared a supper for him. He consented to it; and when they were there, as they were drinking, he bid Esther to let him know what she desired; 11.243. for that she should not be disappointed though she should desire the half of his kingdom. But she put off the discovery of her petition till the next day, if he would come again, together with Haman, to her banquet. 11.244. 10. Now when the king had promised so to do, Haman went away very glad, because he alone had the honor of supping with the king at Esther’s banquet, and because no one else partook of the same honor with kings but himself; yet when he saw Mordecai in the court, he was very much displeased, for he paid him no manner of respect when he saw him. 11.245. So he went home and called for his wife Zeresh, and his friends, and when they were come, he showed them what honor he enjoyed not only from the king, but from the queen also, for as he alone had that day supped with her, together with the king, so was he also invited again for the next day; 11.246. “yet,” said he, “am I not pleased to see Mordecai the Jew in the court.” Hereupon his wife Zeresh advised him to give order that a gallows should be made fifty cubits high, and that in the morning he should ask it of the king that Mordecai might be hanged thereon. So he commended her advice, and gave order to his servants to prepare the gallows, and to place it in the court, for the punishment of Mordecai thereon 11.247. which was accordingly prepared. But God laughed to scorn the wicked expectations of Haman; and as he knew what the event would be, he was delighted at it, for that night he took away the king’s sleep; 11.248. and as the king was not willing to lose the time of his lying awake, but to spend it in something that might be of advantage to his kingdom, he commanded the scribe to bring him the chronicles of the former kings, and the records of his own actions; 11.249. and when he had brought them, and was reading them, one was found to have received a country on account of his excellent management on a certain occasion, and the name of the country was set down; another was found to have had a present made him on account of his fidelity: then the scribe came to Bigthan and Teresh, the eunuchs that had made a conspiracy against the king, which Mordecai had discovered; 11.251. and when he was informed that it was already day, he gave order, that if they found any one of his friends already come, and standing before the court, they should tell him. Now it happened that Haman was found there, for he was come sooner than ordinary to petition the king to have Mordecai put to death; 11.252. and when the servants said that Haman was before the court, he bid them call him in; and when he was come in, he said, “Because I know that thou art my only fast friend, I desire thee to give me advice how I may honor one that I greatly love, and that after a manner suitable to my magnificence.” 11.253. Now Haman reasoned with himself, that what opinion he should give it would be for himself, since it was he alone who was beloved by the king: so he gave that advice which he thought of all other the best; for he said 11.254. “If thou wouldst truly honor a man whom thou sayest thou dost love, give order that he may ride on horseback, with the same garment on which thou wearest, and with a gold chain about his neck, and let one of thy intimate friends go before him, and proclaim through the whole city, that whosoever the king honoreth obtaineth this mark of his honor.” 11.255. This was the advice which Haman gave, out of a supposal that such a reward would come to himself. Hereupon the king was pleased with the advice, and said, “Go thou therefore, for thou hast the horse, the garment, and the chain, ask for Mordecai the Jew, and give him those things, and go before his horse and proclaim accordingly; for thou art,” said he, “my intimate friend, and hast given me good advice; be thou then the minister of what thou hast advised me to. This shall be his reward from us, for preserving my life.” 11.256. When he heard this order, which was entirely unexpected, he was confounded in his mind, and knew not what to do. However, he went out and led the horse, and took the purple garment, and the golden chain for the neck, and finding Mordecai before the court, clothed in sackcloth, he bid him put that garment off, and put the purple garment on. 11.257. But Mordecai, not knowing the truth of the matter, but thinking that it was done in mockery, said, “O thou wretch, the vilest of all mankind, dost thou thus laugh at our calamities?” But when he was satisfied that the king bestowed this honor upon him, for the deliverance he had procured him when he convicted the eunuchs who had conspired against him, he put on that purple garment which the king always wore, and put the chain about his neck 11.258. and got on horseback, and went round the city, while Haman went before and proclaimed, “This shall be the reward which the king will bestow on every one whom he loves, and esteems worthy of honor.” 11.259. And when they had gone round the city, Mordecai went in to the king; but Haman went home, out of shame, and informed his wife and friends of what had happened, and this with tears; who said, that he would never be able to be revenged of Mordecai, for that God was with him. 11.261. but one of the eunuchs, named Sabuchadas, saw the gallows that was fixed in Haman’s house, and inquired of one of his servants for what purpose they had prepared it. So he knew that it was for the queen’s uncle, because Haman was about to petition the king that he might be punished; but at present he held his peace. 11.262. Now when the king, with Haman, were at the banquet, he desired the queen to tell him what gifts she desired to obtain, and assured her that she should have whatsoever she had a mind to. She then lamented the danger her people were in; and said that “she and her nation were given up to be destroyed, and that she, on that account, made this her petition; 11.263. that she would not have troubled him if he had only given order that they should be sold into bitter servitude, for such a misfortune would not have been intolerable; but she desired that they might be delivered from such destruction.” 11.264. And when the king inquired of her whom was the author of this misery to them, she then openly accused Haman, and convicted him, that he had been the wicked instrument of this, and had formed this plot against them. 11.265. When the king was hereupon in disorder, and was gone hastily out of the banquet into the gardens, Haman began to intercede with Esther, and to beseech her to forgive him, as to what he had offended, for he perceived that he was in a very bad case. And as he had fallen upon the queen’s bed, and was making supplication to her, the king came in, and being still more provoked at what he saw, “O thou wretch,” said he, “thou vilest of mankind, dost thou aim to force in wife?” 11.266. And when Haman was astonished at this, and not able to speak one word more, Sabuchadas the eunuch came in and accused Haman, and said, He found a gallows at his house, prepared for Mordecai; for that the servant told him so much upon his inquiry, when he was sent to him to call him to supper. He said further, that the gallows was fifty cubits high: 11.267. which, when the king heard, he determined that Haman should be punished after no other manner than that which had been devised by him against Mordecai; so he gave order immediately that he should be hung upon those gallows, and be put to death after that manner. 11.268. And from hence I cannot forbear to admire God, and to learn hence his wisdom and his justice, not only in punishing the wickedness of Haman, but in so disposing it, that he should undergo the very same punishment which he had contrived for another; as also because thereby he teaches others this lesson, that what mischiefs any one prepares against another, he, without knowing of it, first contrives it against himself. 11.269. 12. Wherefore Haman, who had immoderately abused the honor he had from the king, was destroyed after this manner, and the king granted his estate to the queen. He also called for Mordecai, (for Esther had informed him that she was akin to him,) and gave that ring to Mordecai which he had before given to Haman. 11.271. So the king promised her that he would not do any thing that should be disagreeable to her, nor contradict what she desired; but he bid her write what she pleased about the Jews, in the king’s name, and seal it with his seal, and send it to all his kingdom, for that those who read epistles whose authority is secured by having the king’s seal to them, would no way contradict what was written therein. 11.272. So he commanded the king’s scribes to be sent for, and to write to the nations, on the Jews’ behalf, and to his lieutets and governors, that were over his hundred twenty and seven provinces, from India to Ethiopia. Now the contents of this epistle were these: 11.273. “The great king Artaxerxes to our rulers, and those that are our faithful subjects, sendeth greeting. Many men there are who, on account of the greatness of the benefits bestowed on them, and because of the honor which they have obtained from the wonderful kind treatment of those that bestowed it, are not only injurious to their inferiors 11.274. but do not scruple to do evil to those that have been their benefactors, as if they would take away gratitude from among men, and by their insolent abuse of such benefits as they never expected, they turn the abundance they have against those that are the authors of it, and suppose that they shall lie concealed from God in that case, and avoid that vengeance which comes from him. 11.275. Some of these men, when they have had the management of affairs committed to them by their friends, and bearing private malice of their own against some others, by deceiving those that have the power, persuade them to be angry at such as have done them no harm, till they are in danger of perishing, and this by laying accusations and calumnies: 11.276. nor is this state of things to be discovered by ancient examples, or such as we have learned by report only, but by some examples of such impudent attempts under our own eyes; so that it is not fit to attend any longer to calumnies and accusations, nor to the persuasions of others, but to determine what any one knows of himself to have been really done, and to punish what justly deserves it, and to grant favors to such as are innocent. 11.277. This hath been the case of Haman, the son of Ammedatha, by birth an Amalekite, and alien from the blood of the Persians, who, when he was hospitably entertained by us, and partook of that kindness which we bear to all men to so great a degree, as to be called my father, and to be all along worshipped, and to have honor paid him by all in the second rank after the royal honor due to ourselves, he could not bear his good fortune, nor govern the magnitude of his prosperity with sound reason; 11.278. nay, he made a conspiracy against me and my life, who gave him his authority, by endeavoring to take away Mordecai, my benefactor, and my savior, and by basely and treacherously requiring to have Esther, the partner of my life, and of my dominion, brought to destruction; for he contrived by this means to deprive me of my faithful friends, and transfer the government to others: 11.279. but since I perceived that these Jews, that were by this pernicious fellow devoted to destruction, were not wicked men, but conducted their lives after the best manner, and were men dedicated to the worship of that God who hath preserved the kingdom to me and to my ancestors, I do not only free them from the punishment which the former epistle, which was sent by Haman, ordered to be inflicted on them, to which if you refuse obedience, you shall do well; 11.281. And I give you in charge, that you publicly propose a copy of this epistle through all my kingdom, that the Jews may be permitted peaceably to use their own laws, and that you assist them, that at the same season whereto their miserable estate did belong, they may defend themselves the very same day from unjust violence, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is Adar; 11.282. for God hath made that day a day of salvation instead of a day of destruction to them; and may it be a good day to those that wish us well, and a memorial of the punishment of the conspirators against us: 11.283. and I will that you take notice, that every city, and every nation, that shall disobey any thing that is contained in this epistle, shall be destroyed by fire and sword. However, let this epistle be published through all the country that is under our obedience, and let all the Jews, by all means, be ready against the day before mentioned, that they may avenge themselves upon their enemies.” 11.284. 13. Accordingly, the horsemen who carried the epistles proceeded on the ways which they were to go with speed: but as for Mordecai, as soon as he had assumed the royal garment, and the crown of gold, and had put the chain about his neck, he went forth in a public procession; and when the Jews who were at Shushan saw him in so great honor with the king, they thought his good fortune was common to themselves also 11.285. and joy and a beam of salvation encompassed the Jews, both those that were in the cities, and those that were in the countries, upon the publication of the king’s letters, insomuch that many even of other nations circumcised their foreskin for fear of the Jews, that they might procure safety to themselves thereby; 11.286. for on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which according to the Hebrews is called Adar, but according to the Macedonians, Dystrus, those that carried the king’s epistle gave them notice, that the same day wherein their danger was to have been, on that very day should they destroy their enemies. 11.287. But now the rulers of the provinces, and the tyrants, and the kings, and the scribes, had the Jews in esteem; for the fear they were in of Mordecai forced them to act with discretion. 11.288. Now when the royal decree was come to all the country that was subject to the king, it fell out that the Jews at Shushan slew five hundred of their enemies; 11.289. and when the king had told Esther the number of those that were slain in that city, but did not well know what had been done in the provinces, he asked her whether she would have any thing further done against them, for that it should be done accordingly: upon which she desired that the Jews might be permitted to treat their remaining enemies in the same manner the next day; as also that they might hang the ten sons of Haman upon the gallows. 11.291. Now there were slain by the Jews that were in the country, and in the other cities, seventy-five thousand of their enemies, and these were slain on the thirteenth day of the month, and the next day they kept as a festival. 11.292. In like manner the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together, and feasted on the fourteenth day, and that which followed it; whence it is that even now all the Jews that are in the habitable earth keep these days festival, and send portions to one another. 11.293. Mordecai also wrote to the Jews that lived in the kingdom of Artaxerxes to observe these days, and celebrate them as festivals, and to deliver them down to posterity, that this festival might continue for all time to come, and that it might never be buried in oblivion; 11.294. for since they were about to be destroyed on these days by Haman, they would do a right thing, upon escaping the danger in them, and on them inflicting punishment on their enemies, to observe those days, and give thanks to God on them; 11.295. for which cause the Jews still keep the forementioned days, and call them days of Phurim (or Purim.) And Mordecai became a great and illustrious person with the king, and assisted him in the government of the people. He also lived with the queen; 11.296. o that the affairs of the Jews were, by their means, better than they could ever have hoped for. And this was the state of the Jews under the reign of Artaxerxes.
5. Josephus Flavius, Life, 141-142, 146-148, 388, 100 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
altar Rubenstein, The History of Sukkot in the Second Temple and Rabbinic Periods (1995) 79
claudius, roman emperor, expulsion of jews from rome by Feldman, Judaism and Hellenism Reconsidered (2006) 575, 733, 734, 737
esther, book of, form used in antiquities Edwards, In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus (2023) 136
esther, book of, textual history Edwards, In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus (2023) 136
ezra Rubenstein, The History of Sukkot in the Second Temple and Rabbinic Periods (1995) 79
haqhel Rubenstein, The History of Sukkot in the Second Temple and Rabbinic Periods (1995) 79
jewish identity, greco-roman antipathy towards' Edwards, In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus (2023) 136
josephus Rubenstein, The History of Sukkot in the Second Temple and Rabbinic Periods (1995) 79
pilgrimage Rubenstein, The History of Sukkot in the Second Temple and Rabbinic Periods (1995) 79
rosh hashana Rubenstein, The History of Sukkot in the Second Temple and Rabbinic Periods (1995) 79
sacrifices Rubenstein, The History of Sukkot in the Second Temple and Rabbinic Periods (1995) 79
sukka Rubenstein, The History of Sukkot in the Second Temple and Rabbinic Periods (1995) 79
yom kippur Rubenstein, The History of Sukkot in the Second Temple and Rabbinic Periods (1995) 79