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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 4.324

οἱ δὲ καὶ τοῦτ' αὐτῷ χαρίζεσθαι κρίνοντες τὸ κατὰ βούλησιν ἀπελθεῖν αὐτῷ τὴν ἰδίαν ἐφεῖναι κατέχουσιν ἑαυτοὺς ἐν ἀλλήλοις δακρύοντες. μόνη δ' ἡ γερουσία προύπεμψεν αὐτὸν καὶ ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς ̓Ελεάζαρος καὶ ὁ στρατηγὸς ̓Ιησοῦς.Whereupon they thought they ought to grant him that favor, to let him depart according as he himself desired; so they restrained themselves, though weeping still towards one another. All those who accompanied him were the senate, and Eleazar the high priest, and Joshua their commander.

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1. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 4.129-4.155, 4.178-4.184, 4.218, 4.223, 4.317, 4.320, 4.326, 4.328 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

4.129. So that if you have a mind to gain a victory over them for a short space of time, you will obtain it by following my directions:—Do you therefore set out the handsomest of such of your daughters as are most eminent for beauty, and proper to force and conquer the modesty of those that behold them, and these decked and trimmed to the highest degree you are able. Then do you send them to be near the Israelites’ camp, and give them in charge, that when the young men of the Hebrews desire their company, they allow it them; 4.131. 7. So when the Midianites had sent their daughters, as Balaam had exhorted them, the Hebrew young men were allured by their beauty, and came to discourse with them, and besought them not to grudge them the enjoyment of their beauty, nor to deny them their conversation. These daughters of the Midianites received their words gladly, and consented to it, and staid with them; 4.132. but when they had brought them to be enamored of them, and their inclinations to them were grown to ripeness, they began to think of departing from them: then it was that these men became greatly disconsolate at the women’s departure, and they were urgent with them not to leave them, but begged they would continue there, and become their wives; and they promised them they should be owned as mistresses of all they had. 4.133. This they said with an oath, and called God for the arbitrator of what they promised; and this with tears in their eyes, and all other such marks of concern, as might shew how miserable they thought themselves without them, and so might move their compassion for them. So the women, as soon as they perceived they had made them their slaves, and had caught them with their conversation, began to speak thus to them:— 4.134. 8. “O you illustrious young men! we have houses of our own at home, and great plenty of good things there, together with the natural, affectionate love of our parents and friends; nor is it out of our want of any such things that we came to discourse with you; nor did we admit of your invitation with design to prostitute the beauty of our bodies for gain; but taking you for brave and worthy men, we agreed to your request, that we might treat you with such honors as hospitality required: 4.135. and now seeing you say that you have a great affection for us, and are troubled when you think we are departing, we are not averse to your entreaties; and if we may receive such assurance of your good-will as we think can be alone sufficient, we will be glad to lead our lives with you as your wives; 4.136. but we are afraid that you will in time be weary of our company, and will then abuse us, and send us back to our parents, after an ignominious manner.” And so they desired that they would excuse them in their guarding against that danger. But the young men professed they would give them any assurance they should desire; nor did they at all contradict what they requested, so great was the passion they had for them. 4.137. “If then,” said they, “this be your resolution, since you make use of such customs and conduct of life as are entirely different from all other men, insomuch that your kinds of food are peculiar to yourselves, and your kinds of drink not common to others, it will be absolutely necessary, if you would have us for your wives, that you do withal worship our gods. Nor can there be any other demonstration of the kindness which you say you already have, and promise to have hereafter to us, than this, that you worship the same gods that we do. 4.138. For has any one reason to complain, that now you are come into this country, you should worship the proper gods of the same country? especially while our gods are common to all men, and yours such as belong to nobody else but yourselves.” So they said they must either come into such methods of divine worship as all others came into, or else they must look out for another world, wherein they may live by themselves, according to their own laws. 4.139. 9. Now the young men were induced by the fondness they had for these women to think they spake very well; so they gave themselves up to what they persuaded them, and transgressed their own laws, and supposing there were many gods, and resolving that they would sacrifice to them according to the laws of that country which ordained them, they both were delighted with their strange food, and went on to do every thing that the women would have them do, though in contradiction to their own laws; 4.141. 10. Even Zimri, the head of the tribe of Simeon accompanied with Cozbi, a Midianitish women, who was the daughter of Sur, a man of authority in that country; and being desired by his wife to disregard the laws of Moses, and to follow those she was used to, he complied with her, and this both by sacrificing after a manner different from his own, and by taking a stranger to wife. 4.142. When things were thus, Moses was afraid that matters should grow worse, and called the people to a congregation, but then accused nobody by name, as unwilling to drive those into despair who, by lying concealed, might come to repentance; 4.143. but he said that they did not do what was either worthy of themselves, or of their fathers, by preferring pleasure to God, and to the living according to his will; that it was fit they should change their courses while their affairs were still in a good state, and think that to be true fortitude which offers not violence to their laws, but that which resists their lusts. 4.144. And besides that, he said it was not a reasonable thing, when they had lived soberly in the wilderness, to act madly now when they were in prosperity; and that they ought not to lose, now they have abundance, what they had gained when they had little:—and so did he endeavor, by saying this, to correct the young inert, and to bring them to repentance for what they had done. 4.145. 11. But Zimri arose up after him, and said, “Yes, indeed, Moses, thou art at liberty to make use of such laws as thou art so fond of, and hast, by accustoming thyself to them, made them firm; otherwise, if things had not been thus, thou hadst often been punished before now, and hadst known that the Hebrews are not easily put upon; 4.146. but thou shalt not have me one of thy followers in thy tyrannical commands, for thou dost nothing else hitherto, but, under pretense of laws, and of God, wickedly impose on us slavery, and gain dominion to thyself, while thou deprivest us of the sweetness of life, which consists in acting according to our own wills, and is the right of free-men, and of those that have no lord over them. 4.147. Nay, indeed, this man is harder upon the Hebrews then were the Egyptians themselves, as pretending to punish, according to his laws, every one’s acting what is most agreeable to himself; but thou thyself better deservest to suffer punishment, who presumest to abolish what every one acknowledges to be what is good for him, and aimest to make thy single opinion to have more force than that of all the rest; 4.148. and what I now do, and think to be right, I shall not hereafter deny to be according to my own sentiments. I have married, as thou sayest rightly, a strange woman, and thou hearest what I do from myself as from one that is free, for truly I did not intend to conceal myself. 4.149. I also own that I sacrificed to those gods to whom you do not think it fit to sacrifice; and I think it right to come at truth by inquiring of many people, and not like one that lives under tyranny, to suffer the whole hope of my life to depend upon one man; nor shall any one find cause to rejoice who declares himself to have more authority over my actions than myself.” 4.151. for he avoided that, lest many should imitate the impudence of his language, and thereby disturb the multitude. Upon this the assembly was dissolved. However, the mischievous attempt had proceeded further, if Zimri had not been first slain, which came to pass on the following occasion:— 4.152. Phineas, a man in other respects better than the rest of the young men, and also one that surpassed his contemporaries in the dignity of his father, (for he was the son of Eleazar the high priest, and the grandson of [Aaron] Moses’s brother,) who was greatly troubled at what was done by Zimri, he resolved in earnest to inflict punishment on him, before his unworthy behavior should grow stronger by impunity, and in order to prevent this transgression from proceeding further, which would happen if the ringleaders were not punished. 4.153. He was of so great magimity, both in strength of mind and body, that when he undertook any very dangerous attempt, he did not leave it off till he overcame it, and got an entire victory. So he came into Zimri’s tent, and slew him with his javelin, and with it he slew Cozbi also 4.154. Upon which all those young men that had a regard to virtue, and aimed to do a glorious action, imitated Phineas’s boldness, and slew those that were found to be guilty of the same crime with Zimri. Accordingly many of those that had transgressed perished by the magimous valor of these young men; 4.155. and the rest all perished by a plague, which distemper God himself inflicted upon them; so that all those their kindred, who, instead of hindering them from such wicked actions, as they ought to have done, had persuaded them to go on, were esteemed by God as partners in their wickedness, and died. Accordingly there perished out of the army no fewer than fourteen [twenty-four] thousand at this time. 4.178. I thought it reasonable not to leave off my endeavors even now for your happiness, but to do my utmost to procure for you the eternal enjoyment of good things, and a memorial for myself, when you shall be in the fruition of great plenty and prosperity. 4.179. Come, therefore, let me suggest to you by what means you may be happy, and may leave an eternal prosperous possession thereof to your children after you, and then let me thus go out of the world; and I cannot but deserve to be believed by you, both on account of the great things I have already done for you, and because, when souls are about to leave the body, they speak with the sincerest freedom. 4.181. only do you be obedient to those whom God would have you to follow. Nor do you prefer any other constitution of government before the laws now given you; neither do you disregard that way of divine worship which you now have, nor change it for any other form: and if you do this, you will be the most courageous of all men, in undergoing the fatigues of war, and will not be easily conquered by any of your enemies; 4.182. for while God is present with you to assist you, it is to be expected that you will be able to despise the opposition of all mankind; and great rewards of virtue are proposed for you, if you preserve that virtue through your whole lives. Virtue itself is indeed the principal and the first reward, and after that it bestows abundance of others; 4.183. o that your exercise of virtue towards other men will make your own lives happy, and render you more glorious than foreigners can be, and procure you an undisputed reputation with posterity. These blessings you will be able to obtain, in case you hearken to and observe those laws which, by divine revelation, I have ordained for you; that is, in case you withal meditate upon the wisdom that is in them. 4.184. I am going from you myself, rejoicing in the good things you enjoy; and I recommend you to the wise conduct of your law, to the becoming order of your polity, and to the virtues of your commanders, who will take care of what is for your advantage. 4.218. But if these judges be unable to give a just sentence about the causes that come before them, (which case is not unfrequent in human affairs,) let them send the cause undetermined to the holy city, and there let the high priest, the prophet, and the sanhedrim, determine as it shall seem good to them. 4.223. 17. Aristocracy, and the way of living under it, is the best constitution: and may you never have any inclination to any other form of government; and may you always love that form, and have the laws for your governors, and govern all your actions according to them; for you need no supreme governor but God. But if you shall desire a king, let him be one of your own nation; let him be always careful of justice and other virtues perpetually; 4.317. or rather he it was who first conducted our affairs, and brought them to a happy conclusion, by making use of me as a vicarious general under him, and as a minister in those matters wherein he was willing to do you good: 4.326. and as he was going to embrace Eleazar and Joshua, and was still discoursing with them, a cloud stood over him on the sudden, and he disappeared in a certain valley, although he wrote in the holy books that he died, which was done out of fear, lest they should venture to say that, because of his extraordinary virtue, he went to God. 4.328. He was one that exceeded all men that ever were in understanding, and made the best use of what that understanding suggested to him. He had a very graceful way of speaking and addressing himself to the multitude; and as to his other qualifications, he had such a full command of his passions
2. New Testament, Luke, 16.16 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

16.16. The law and the prophets were until John. From that time the gospel of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.
3. New Testament, Matthew, 11.13 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

11.13. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
deuteronomy, constitutional polity of DeJong, A Prophet like Moses (Deut 18:15, 18): The Origin, History, and Influence of the Mosaic Prophetic Succession (2022) 215, 219
elders (seventy) DeJong, A Prophet like Moses (Deut 18:15, 18): The Origin, History, and Influence of the Mosaic Prophetic Succession (2022) 219
gerousia (council of elders) Flatto, The Crown and the Courts (2021) 92
josephus, biblical exegesis shaped by a legal-political philosophy Flatto, The Crown and the Courts (2021) 92
josephus, legal-political philosophy Flatto, The Crown and the Courts (2021) 92
josephus, mosess successors Flatto, The Crown and the Courts (2021) 92
josephus, zimris complaint Flatto, The Crown and the Courts (2021) 92
joshua, as prophet like moses DeJong, A Prophet like Moses (Deut 18:15, 18): The Origin, History, and Influence of the Mosaic Prophetic Succession (2022) 219
nodet, etienne Flatto, The Crown and the Courts (2021) 92
passions, control of Westwood, Moses among the Greek Lawgivers: Reading Josephus’ Antiquities through Plutarch’s Lives (2023) 223
pearce, sarah Flatto, The Crown and the Courts (2021) 92
prophecy' Westwood, Moses among the Greek Lawgivers: Reading Josephus’ Antiquities through Plutarch’s Lives (2023) 223