|1. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 20.34-20.49, 20.51-20.53 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)
Tagged with subjects: • Izates • Izates, king of Adiabene
Found in books: Goodman (2006) 95, 107; Jonquière (2007) 135, 203; Price Finkelberg and Shahar (2021) 214; Taylor (2012) 17
20.34. Καθ' ὃν δὲ χρόνον ὁ ̓Ιζάτης ἐν τῷ Σπασίνου χάρακι διέτριβεν ̓Ιουδαῖός τις ἔμπορος ̓Ανανίας ὄνομα πρὸς τὰς γυναῖκας εἰσιὼν τοῦ βασιλέως ἐδίδασκεν αὐτὰς τὸν θεὸν σέβειν, ὡς ̓Ιουδαίοις πάτριον ἦν," "20.35. καὶ δὴ δι' αὐτῶν εἰς γνῶσιν ἀφικόμενος τῷ ̓Ιζάτῃ κἀκεῖνον ὁμοίως συνανέπεισεν μετακληθέντι τε ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρὸς εἰς τὴν ̓Αδιαβηνὴν συνεξῆλθεν κατὰ πολλὴν ὑπακούσας δέησιν: συνεβεβήκει δὲ καὶ τὴν ̔Ελένην ὁμοίως ὑφ' ἑτέρου τινὸς ̓Ιουδαίου διδαχθεῖσαν εἰς τοὺς ἐκείνων μετακεκομίσθαι νόμους." "20.36. ὁ δ' ̓Ιζάτης ὡς παρέλαβεν τὴν βασιλείαν, ἀφικόμενος εἰς τὴν ̓Αδιαβηνὴν καὶ θεασάμενος τούς τε ἀδελφοὺς καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους συγγενεῖς δεδεμένους ἐδυσχέρανεν τῷ γεγονότι." "20.37. καὶ τὸ μὲν ἀνελεῖν ἢ φυλάττειν δεδεμένους ἀσεβὲς ἡγούμενος, τὸ δὲ μνησικακοῦντας ἔχειν σὺν αὐτῷ μὴ δεδεμένους σφαλερὸν εἶναι νομίζων, τοὺς μὲν ὁμηρεύσοντας μετὰ τέκνων εἰς τὴν ̔Ρώμην ἐξέπεμψε Κλαυδίῳ Καίσαρι, τοὺς δὲ πρὸς ̓Αρταβάνην τὸν Πάρθον ἐφ' ὁμοίαις προφάσεσιν ἀπέστειλεν." '20.38. Πυθόμενος δὲ πάνυ τοῖς ̓Ιουδαίων ἔθεσιν χαίρειν τὴν μητέρα τὴν ἑαυτοῦ ἔσπευσε καὶ αὐτὸς εἰς ἐκεῖνα μεταθέσθαι, νομίζων τε μὴ ἂν εἶναι βεβαίως ̓Ιουδαῖος, εἰ μὴ περιτέμνοιτο, πράττειν ἦν ἕτοιμος.' "20.39. μαθοῦσα δ' ἡ μήτηρ κωλύειν ἐπειρᾶτο ἐπιφέρειν αὐτῷ κίνδυνον λέγουσα: βασιλέα γὰρ εἶναι, καὶ καταστήσειν εἰς πολλὴν δυσμένειαν τοὺς ὑπηκόους μαθόντας, ὅτι ξένων ἐπιθυμήσειεν καὶ ἀλλοτρίων αὐτοῖς ἐθῶν, οὐκ ἀνέξεσθαί τε βασιλεύοντος αὐτῶν ̓Ιουδαίου." "20.41. δεδοικέναι γὰρ ἔλεγεν, μὴ τοῦ πράγματος ἐκδήλου πᾶσιν γενομένου κινδυνεύσειε τιμωρίαν ὑποσχεῖν ὡς αὐτὸς αἴτιος τούτων καὶ διδάσκαλος τῷ βασιλεῖ ἀπρεπῶν ἔργων γενόμενος, δυνάμενον δ' αὐτὸν ἔφη καὶ χωρὶς τῆς περιτομῆς τὸ θεῖον σέβειν, εἴγε πάντως κέκρικε ζηλοῦν τὰ πάτρια τῶν ̓Ιουδαίων: τοῦτ' εἶναι κυριώτερον τοῦ περιτέμνεσθαι:" "20.42. συγγνώμην δ' ἕξειν αὐτῷ καὶ τὸν θεὸν φήσαντος μὴ πράξαντι τὸ ἔργον δι' ἀνάγκην καὶ τὸν ἐκ τῶν ὑπηκόων φόβον, ἐπείσθη μὲν τότε τοῖς λόγοις ὁ βασιλεύς." '20.43. μετὰ ταῦτα δέ, τὴν γὰρ ἐπιθυμίαν οὐκ ἐξεβεβλήκει παντάπασιν, ̓Ιουδαῖός τις ἕτερος ἐκ τῆς Γαλιλαίας ἀφικόμενος ̓Ελεάζαρος ὄνομα πάνυ περὶ τὰ πάτρια δοκῶν ἀκριβὴς εἶναι προετρέψατο πρᾶξαι τοὖργον.' "20.44. ἐπεὶ γὰρ εἰσῆλθεν ἀσπασόμενος αὐτὸν καὶ κατέλαβε τὸν Μωυσέος νόμον ἀναγινώσκοντα, “λανθάνεις, εἶπεν, ὦ βασιλεῦ, τὰ μέγιστα τοὺς νόμους καὶ δι' αὐτῶν τὸν θεὸν ἀδικῶν: οὐ γὰρ ἀναγινώσκειν σε δεῖ μόνον αὐτούς, ἀλλὰ καὶ πρότερον τὰ προστασσόμενα ποιεῖν ὑπ' αὐτῶν." "20.45. μέχρι τίνος ἀπερίτμητος μενεῖς; ἀλλ' εἰ μήπω τὸν περὶ τούτου νόμον ἀνέγνως, ἵν' εἰδῇς τίς ἐστιν ἡ ἀσέβεια, νῦν ἀνάγνωθι.”" "20.46. ταῦτα ἀκούσας ὁ βασιλεὺς οὐχ ὑπερεβάλετο τὴν πρᾶξιν, μεταστὰς δ' εἰς ἕτερον οἴκημα καὶ τὸν ἰατρὸν εἰσκαλεσάμενος τὸ προσταχθὲν ἐτέλει καὶ μεταπεμψάμενος τήν τε μητέρα καὶ τὸν διδάσκαλον ̓Ανανίαν ἐσήμαινεν αὐτὸν πεπραχέναι τοὖργον." "20.47. τοὺς δ' ἔκπληξις εὐθὺς ἔλαβεν καὶ φόβος οὔτι μέτριος, μὴ τῆς πράξεως εἰς ἔλεγχον ἐλθούσης κινδυνεύσειεν μὲν ὁ βασιλεὺς τὴν ἀρχὴν ἀποβαλεῖν οὐκ ἀνασχομένων τῶν ὑπηκόων ἄρχειν αὐτῶν ἄνδρα τῶν παρ' ἑτέροις ζηλωτὴν ἐθῶν, κινδυνεύσειαν δὲ καὶ αὐτοὶ τῆς αἰτίας ἐπ' αὐτοῖς ἐνεχθείσης." "20.48. θεὸς δ' ἦν ὁ κωλύσων ἄρα τοὺς ἐκείνων φόβους ἐλθεῖν ἐπὶ τέλος: πολλοῖς γὰρ αὐτόν τε τὸν ̓Ιζάτην περιπεσόντα κινδύνοις καὶ παῖδας τοὺς ἐκείνου διέσωσεν ἐξ ἀμηχάνων πόρον εἰς σωτηρίαν παρασχών, ἐπιδεικνὺς ὅτι τοῖς εἰς αὐτὸν ἀποβλέπουσιν καὶ μόνῳ πεπιστευκόσιν ὁ καρπὸς οὐκ ἀπόλλυται ὁ τῆς εὐσεβείας. ἀλλὰ ταῦτα μὲν ὕστερον ἀπαγγελοῦμεν." '20.49. ̔Ελένη δὲ ἡ τοῦ βασιλέως μήτηρ ὁρῶσα τὰ μὲν κατὰ τὴν βασιλείαν εἰρηνευόμενα, τὸν δὲ υἱὸν αὐτῆς μακάριον καὶ παρὰ πᾶσι ζηλωτὸν καὶ τοῖς ἀλλοεθνέσι διὰ τὴν ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ πρόνοιαν, ἐπιθυμίαν ἔσχεν εἰς τὴν ̔Ιεροσολυμιτῶν πόλιν ἀφικομένη τὸ πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις περιβόητον ἱερὸν τοῦ θεοῦ προσκυνῆσαι καὶ χαριστηρίους θυσίας προσενεγκεῖν, ἐδεῖτό τε τοῦ παιδὸς ἐπιτρέψαι.' "
20.51. γίνεται δὲ αὐτῆς ἡ ἄφιξις πάνυ συμφέρουσα τοῖς ̔Ιεροσολυμίταις: λιμοῦ γὰρ αὐτῶν τὴν πόλιν κατὰ τὸν καιρὸν ἐκεῖνον πιεζοῦντος καὶ πολλῶν ὑπ' ἐνδείας ἀναλωμάτων φθειρομένων ἡ βασιλὶς ̔Ελένη πέμπει τινὰς τῶν ἑαυτῆς, τοὺς μὲν εἰς τὴν ̓Αλεξάνδρειαν πολλῶν σῖτον ὠνησομένους χρημάτων, τοὺς δ' εἰς Κύπρον ἰσχάδων φόρτον οἴσοντας." "20.52. ὡς δ' ἐπανῆλθον ταχέως κομίζοντες τοῖς ἀπορουμένοις διένειμε τροφὴν καὶ μεγίστην αὐτῆς μνήμην τῆς εὐποιίας ταύτης εἰς τὸ πᾶν ἡμῶν ἔθνος καταλέλοιπε." '20.53. πυθόμενος δὲ καὶ ὁ παῖς αὐτῆς ̓Ιζάτης τὰ περὶ τὸν λιμὸν ἔπεμψε πολλὰ χρήματα τοῖς πρώτοις τῶν ̔Ιεροσολυμιτῶν. ἀλλὰ γὰρ ἃ τοῖς βασιλεῦσιν εἰς τὴν πόλιν ἡμῶν ἀγαθὰ πέπρακται μετὰ ταῦτα δηλώσομεν.' ". None
|20.34. 3. Now, during the time Izates abode at Charax-Spasini, a certain Jewish merchant, whose name was Aias, got among the women that belonged to the king, and taught them to worship God according to the Jewish religion. 20.35. He, moreover, by their means, became known to Izates, and persuaded him, in like manner, to embrace that religion; he also, at the earnest entreaty of Izates, accompanied him when he was sent for by his father to come to Adiabene; it also happened that Helena, about the same time, was instructed by a certain other Jew and went over to them. 20.36. But when Izates had taken the kingdom, and was come to Adiabene, and there saw his brethren and other kinsmen in bonds, he was displeased at it; 20.37. and as he thought it an instance of impiety either to slay or imprison them, but still thought it a hazardous thing for to let them have their liberty, with the remembrance of the injuries that had been offered them, he sent some of them and their children for hostages to Rome, to Claudius Caesar, and sent the others to Artabanus, the king of Parthia, with the like intentions. 20.38. 4. And when he perceived that his mother was highly pleased with the Jewish customs, he made haste to change, and to embrace them entirely; and as he supposed that he could not be thoroughly a Jew unless he were circumcised, he was ready to have it done. 20.39. But when his mother understood what he was about, she endeavored to hinder him from doing it, and said to him that this thing would bring him into danger; and that, as he was a king, he would thereby bring himself into great odium among his subjects, when they should understand that he was so fond of rites that were to them strange and foreign; and that they would never bear to be ruled over by a Jew. 20.41. and said that he was afraid lest such an action being once become public to all, he should himself be in danger of punishment for having been the occasion of it, and having been the king’s instructor in actions that were of ill reputation; and he said that he might worship God without being circumcised, even though he did resolve to follow the Jewish law entirely, which worship of God was of a superior nature to circumcision. 20.42. He added, that God would forgive him, though he did not perform the operation, while it was omitted out of necessity, and for fear of his subjects. So the king at that time complied with these persuasions of Aias. 20.43. But afterwards, as he had not quite left off his desire of doing this thing, a certain other Jew that came out of Galilee, whose name was Eleazar, and who was esteemed very skillful in the learning of his country, persuaded him to do the thing; 20.44. for as he entered into his palace to salute him, and found him reading the law of Moses, he said to him, “Thou dost not consider, O king! that thou unjustly breakest the principal of those laws, and art injurious to God himself, by omitting to be circumcised; for thou oughtest not only to read them, but chiefly to practice what they enjoin thee. 20.45. How long wilt thou continue uncircumcised? But if thou hast not yet read the law about circumcision, and dost not know how great impiety thou art guilty of by neglecting it, read it now.” 20.46. When the king had heard what he said, he delayed the thing no longer, but retired to another room, and sent for a surgeon, and did what he was commanded to do. He then sent for his mother, and Aias his tutor, and informed them that he had done the thing; 20.47. upon which they were presently struck with astonishment and fear, and that to a great degree, lest the thing should be openly discovered and censured, and the king should hazard the loss of his kingdom, while his subjects would not bear to be governed by a man who was so zealous in another religion; and lest they should themselves run some hazard, because they would be supposed the occasion of his so doing. 20.48. But it was God himself who hindered what they feared from taking effect; for he preserved both Izates himself and his sons when they fell into many dangers, and procured their deliverance when it seemed to be impossible, and demonstrated thereby that the fruit of piety does not perish as to those that have regard to him, and fix their faith upon him only. But these events we shall relate hereafter. 20.49. 5. But as to Helena, the king’s mother, when she saw that the affairs of Izates’s kingdom were in peace, and that her son was a happy man, and admired among all men, and even among foreigners, by the means of God’s providence over him, she had a mind to go to the city of Jerusalem, in order to worship at that temple of God which was so very famous among all men, and to offer her thank-offerings there. So she desired her son to give her leave to go thither; |
20.51. Now her coming was of very great advantage to the people of Jerusalem; for whereas a famine did oppress them at that time, and many people died for want of what was necessary to procure food withal, queen Helena sent some of her servants to Alexandria with money to buy a great quantity of corn, and others of them to Cyprus, to bring a cargo of dried figs. 20.52. And as soon as they were come back, and had brought those provisions, which was done very quickly, she distributed food to those that were in want of it, and left a most excellent memorial behind her of this benefaction, which she bestowed on our whole nation. 20.53. And when her son Izates was informed of this famine, he sent great sums of money to the principal men in Jerusalem. However, what favors this queen and king conferred upon our city Jerusalem shall be further related hereafter.' '. None