Matthew 5:9
The Peacemaking Ethics Of Josephus

Original English Sermon
Authored by Mike Furey

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Dedication
 This message is dedicated to the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki of 1945 at the time of the second Fall of humanity.

The Issue

 Josephus the historian lived and wrote during the Jewish War against Rome in the first century.  Why should anyone go back to his ancient histories to seek guidance in facing today's nuclear questions?  What can ancient warriors who wielded daggers, swords, lances, and catapaultic devices teach modern warriors who can deal out meagdeath with touch pad trigger panels and computer-controlled missiles?  This may be the wrong question to ask.  Humanity doesn't need to become better killers--humankind has gotten too good at it.  In this age of awesome overpowerful weaponry, war must become obsolete.  Our technology has grown beyond our maturity to control it.  The highest nuclear moral humanity has achieved so far is a morality of deterrence.  Deterrence is on the brink of obsolescence.1  Deterrence is a leftover "guiding moral principle" because it is all humans have in a world of distrust and it is what we must use until humanity can achieve full disarmament of nuclear weapons.  The dinosauric nuclear weapons of World War Two and its outdated logic of deterrence are both obsolete.  Today's super nukes will no longer support such an ethic.  The use of these weapons is immoral.  The Catholic Bishops of America once issued a pastoral letter stating that there is no situation in which the use of nuclear weapons could be morally permissible.  The bishops made a survey of U.S. public officials and found no one knew how to stop a nuclear war once it had started.  Based on that letter, theologian Robert McAfee Brown concluded if the use of nuclear weapons is wrong, then the possession of them is wrong, and if the possession of them is wrong, then the manufacture of them is wrong.2  In short, many arguments can be made for the abolition of this nuclear immorality.  No one is happy about the fact that the devastation of the entire planet can be made available in just minutes-- an instant global holocaust.  Almost every sane person senses the immorality of nuclear weapons and the need for peace.  The problem lies in the peacemaking process.  Why, then, should one go back to some ancient document to seek guidance in the contemporary peacemaking progress?  Weapons have changed, but human nature has not.  Josephus the historian has some relevant peacemaking ethics, which can be interpreted as a type of biblical midrash, or applied Judaism of the first century.  The old historian was an ethicist.  Ralph B. Potter suggests that to work as an ethicist is to work partly as an archaeologist of the ethical tradition:  Humanity needs to dig up wisdom from the past.3 

 This investigation is limited to the The Jewish War of Josephus.  Thus, this message encompasses only one quarter of the known writings of Josephus.  Josephus uses the typical genre of historical recounting with rhetoric designed to persuade the audience to a decision based on a retelling of history as seen in the speeches in The Acts Of The Apostles in the New Testament.

The Trustworthiness Of Josephus 

 Before looking into the ethical possibilities in Josephus, there should be some comments made on the trustworthiness of Josephus as a historian and ethicist.  I disagree with the common Jewish interpretation that Josephus is unreliable as a historian because of his "traitorous" conduct to his nation.  Norman Bentwich argues that Josephus failed "in life," thus "in letters."4  Since he failed as a faithful champion of the people; he failed as a historian.  Bentwich believes all of Josephus' writings had to pass the imperial censorship of Rome and implies the historian sold his soul to Rome.5  Admittedly Josephus did have to be careful not to dishonor his Roman patrons; but, the problem of accuracy was not hindered as much by Roman behavior as by Jewish behavior.  Rome could tolerate diversity and discussion of its defeats.  The Jews were bent on their own ideologies.  While Rome was a glutton for glory, the Romans still allowed their defeats to be published in Josephus' books, which was not the normal course for any Semitic nation to follow.  Furthermore, Josephus did not exhibit cowardly behavior as claimed by his detractors.  He fought time and again in the heat of battle, particularly as a general of the Galilean armies.  Most noteworthy is the "last stand" he took at Jotapata.6  Also, the many other acts of bravery he performed out of piety are especially noted in his other book called The Life Of Flavius Josephus.  (Josephus does not write much autobiographical material in The Jewish War.)  In accusing Josephus as a traitor, Bentwich still carries the same passion against him that the minority, money-hungry, blood-thirsty Zealots or robbers had for him.  The majority, the devout Jews of antiquity, loved Josephus respecting him for his military and political leadership.  Lastly, the prophecy made by Jesus of Nazareth concerning the destruction of the Holy City and the Temple also alludes to the accurate account related by the historian.  Jerusalem would be destroyed for its sinfulness.  The Jews did not want the blame for self-destruction; it has always been simpler to blame it on their perceived scapegoat disloyalist. 

 Solomon Zeitlin interprets Josephus as a conniver.7  He thinks Josephus wanted to play a good role as a peacemaker in order to impress the Roman authorities so that he could control the land and be crowned king, which, he says, was the same way Herod acquired the kingdom.  It is true that Josephus had a knack for getting out of a bad and hostile situation, yet he was never on a quest for riches and renown.  Josephus was truly devoted to God as a youth of fourteen among Pharisees, as a man of twenty-six as a representative to Rome, as a governor of Galilee, then as a mediator in the war between Rome and Jerusalem.  His devotion to God is seen faithfully as an interwoven theme in his book and as an inseparable part of his character, that, if false, would have been detected in so voluminous an account.  No impostor could impersonate such piety through so many deeds and pages.  His devotion to God is seen in that God "chose" him to write this history; not that he writes canonical records but that he did, in fact, write the surviving witness.  Josephus and Philo are the only two authors of first century Judaism with surviving works (not counting the New Testament as a primary source for Judaism).  David M. Rhoads agrees with Josephus' claim to a role as a "minister" and not a "traitor."8  In sum, Josephus is a reliable historian.  As a historian he is very pharisaic in detail and discussions. 

Josephus And The Parthians 

 In the text of The Jewish War, the author claimed to be making a peace appeal to a Parthian and not a Roman audience.  Some critics like Bentwich doubt Josephus' original audience to be Aramaic-speaking Parthians.  The critics argue that no such Aramaic manuscripts have survived to this day.  The problem sounds like a study on the Gospel of Matthew and a search for the infamous Q document.  Also, they say Josephus used non-Aramaic calendars in his reckoning of dates.  But these months could have been changed during the translation process from the original Aramaic copy to the Greek version.  The only questionable statement that supports an anti-Aramaic prototype manuscript was a reference to a Greek mythological figure: Andromeda.9  Josephus was giving a description of a sea town, Joppa, and referred to Andromeda as having been chained there long ago, thus referring to the antiquity of the town.  This enigmatic reference turns out to support a Parthian audience.  Andromeda (Roman) or Perseus (Greek) fought the infamous Medusa.  This Greek god's son, Perses, was supposed to be the legendary founder of the Persians.10  The Persians were the previous lords over the same people that the Parthians were now ruling.  Thus, this Greek reference supports a Parthian audience to some degree.  The Macedonians long ago penetrated the pre-Parthian Persians and left some of their myths.  (Although some would think all myths originate from some Pan-Babylonian source.)  This mythological reference was part of Josephus' peacemaking ethic.  He used historically perceived events of the past to build his case.  His work, The Jewish War, is one massive reference of historical detail and one giant plea for peace. 

 Josephus claimed to have written his book in order to dissuade the Parthian Jews from assisting their Palestinian kinfolk.11  Josephus did have a motive of preventing war and sedition.  The Jews passionately hated the yoke of Rome.  Ever since the Jews broke away from their Hellenist overlords, they believed they could do it again.  After all, they did enjoy autonomy for eighty years under the Hasmoneans and its significance is seen today even as they still celebrate the great military victories of that era in Hanukkah, the only major non-scriptural festival.  The Jews were put under the yoke of domination again in 63 B.C.E. and had been in continual resistance for the next one hundred and twenty years.  In 40 B.C.E. the Jews managed to break from the Roman hand for about three years.  In 37 B.C.E. Herod the Great recovered the land for Rome and became king of Judea.  The point is that the Jews were by nature insurrectionistic towards pagan authority and the Jews could potentially call upon outside assistance to make war against Rome.  And they did.  The Jews never could have broken free from Rome in 40 B.C.E. without the assistance of the Parthian government 

 Looking closer at the Parthians, they were the only formidable nation to resist successfully the conquering might of the Roman empire.12  As already mentioned, Parthia freed Jerusalem from Roman rule for three years.  Parthia captured Jerusalem for Antigonus who was the uncle and enemy of Herod the Great.  Antigonus was so much of a tyrant that his unpopularity caused him to lose control of the city.13  Nevertheless, the Parthians were a world power.  Josephus called them "Upper Barbarians," and as mentioned previously, he addressed his book to them in the preface.14  The title of barbarian suggests a people of vastly different customs and language than the Romans.  These Parthians were of Semitic stock.  From 126 B.C.E. to 227 C.E. (A.D. 227) the Parthian empire had dominion in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley.15  This territory was inhabited by the peoples of the Sumerians, the Akkadians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and the Medo-Persians.  It contained the oldest known civilization and had affinity with the Jews who thus were in a sense rooted to them as a people.  In addition to ancient racial connections, there was a large population of diaspora Jews residing in that region from the exilic period.  Thus, Parthia was a real threat to Roman security and its interests in Judea and the surrounding lands.  In the then recent history of that era, the Roman Cassius put a stop to the spreading Parthian empire which had marched into Syria at the time Pompey first moved into Jerusalem to help settle family feuding.16 

 Another event that showed the serious military might and potential of this kingdom occurred in the sixth book of The Jewish War.17  Titus recognized the power of the Parthians in his victory speech to the survivors of the Jerusalem siege.  When his family became the new Caesars after Nero he said that instead of sending ambassadors to congratulate the house of Flavius like many of the other nations of the Roman empire had done, "you sent embassies to those of your nation that are beyond Euphrates, to assist you in your raising disturbances."18  Josephus continued to recognize Parthia as a rival, "for the Jews hoped that all of their nation which were beyond Euphrates would have raised insurrection with them."  This statement was made with the recent death of Nero in mind c. 68 C.E. (A.D. 68).  After Nero's death the land was again in confusion; actually, the entire empire experiences itself "in motion" as far away as "Gaul" and "the Celtae."19  Rhoads points out that Josephus was hoping to discourage the Jews in the diaspora as well from assisting the revolutionaries in their homeland.20 
 

 Again, Parthia was a very unconquerable force.  Surely Josephus made this peace appeal to them originally.  Their power was recognized again after the fall of Jerusalem and Masada.  The Sicarii, one of the sects of the many seditious Jewish groups, tried to enlist outside help.  These desperadoes went to other parts of the world to procure assistance from Jews in other cities to revolt.21  About that time the king of Parthia, Vologeses, had presented to Titus a crown of gold for the victory gained over the Jews.22  However, this symbolic approval has not been very solid evidence of the imperial Parthian approval.  Not every one had believed Parthia's acceptant attitude about Rome over Jerusalem.  The president of Syria, Cesennius Petus, used the long distrust between the two super powers to cast doubt on Parthia's goodwill toward Rome.  He forged a letter to Rome saying that the king of Commagene, Antiochus, had made a league with the king of Parthia to rebel against Rome.23  The point of all this is to clarify that Parthia was truly a significant power to be dealt with and whose history, like the once super powerful Hittites, had not been as gloriously well-known as our Western Roman neighbors.  Thus, Josephus surely wrote this peacemaking ethical history to thwart any Parthian sympathy and support for Jerusalem.  But, was Josephus successful in containing any further local rebellion in Judea.  The final death blow to the seditious inhabitants came in 135 C.E. (A.D. 135).  Simon Bar Kokhba rose as a demagogue and brought ultimate desolation to Jewish Palestine which lasted until modern history.  The modern nation of the Israel of A.D. 1998 has celebrated its fiftieth  year of statehood.  Oddly enough, it is still war-torn.  Wise persons like Josephus still go unheeded  because of the age old problem of blind Zionist fanaticism.  Joseph is still an unheeded prophetic voice.  The Parthians seemed to have heeded the warnings of war.  Josephus did have some "successful" ethical stratagems to offer. 

Groundwork To His Procedure And Philosophy 

 As a young lad of fourteen Josephus was hungry for spiritual knowledge.  He learned from the three major sects of the day: the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Essenes.  What Josephus learned from the Essenic community laid the groundwork for his historiography.  First, Josephus learned the power of books. "They also take great pains in studying the writings of the ancients and choose out of them what is most for the advantage of their soul and body." 24  As he wrote his own books and incorporated that statement, he subliminally orchestrated a message from suggestive psychology:  "If the pious Essenes learned from books, the Parthians can learn from my book to keep peace."  Secondly, Josephus learned the power of the state.  The Essenes had an oath for every newcomer.  The oath called for the believer to "show fidelity to all men, and especially to those in authority, because no one obtains the government without God's assistance; and that if he be in authority, he will at no time whatever abuse his authority..."25  This statement taken from the Essenic community's list of oaths and rites is a foundational principle for Josephus and his peacemaking ethics.  First, he underscored a direct reference to God's providence in establishing a government or a nation.  Then he indirectly stated the importance of pious submission to authority since God ordained it.  Thus, providence and piety will be two key ideas in the call to peace as he writes his history. 

 In that quote from the Essenic oath, there is also a reference to the abuse of authority.  Josephus, interestingly, did leave room for civil disobedience.  If the state becomes abusive, then the citizens may consider rebellion.  For Josephus, however, a series of tyrants was not sufficient grounds for insurrection because they would soon be gone and a new ruler would replace the tyrannical ones.  The modern Josephus would probably align with the principles of civil disobedience outlined by Charles Mott: 26 

  1. The law opposed is immoral.
  2. Every possible nondisobedient recourse has been exhausted.
  3. The protest is not clandestine.
  4. There is a likelihood of success.

 According to Mott's criteria, Josephus would see the War of the Jews as an Unjust War because the war was not "winnable."  Rebellion was not justifiable even though the Jewish populace did have some legitimate grounds for it.  The foreign rulers of Judea were becoming more and more corrupt as time progressed.  For example, soon after the half Jew Herod the Great died, three successive Roman procurators ruled Judea.  The first two procurators, Felix and Festus, were extremely oppressive.  But the third procurator, Albinus, was worse still!  He caused chaos by his bribe-taking and releasing of seditious personalities from imprisonment.  Josephus called this time period the seed of destruction for Jerusalem.27  On the whole, Josephus described the Herods and the Caesars as relatively good to the people, that insurrection was unjustifiable, especially because the bad ruler would always soon be replaced by a good ruler if one would but be patient or pious.  Later, Josephus would ask the reader to judge if Rome or the seditious Jews were God-ordained to rule the Land.28  Furthermore, though the Jews did experience seasons of oppression under the Roman hand and did have partial reasons for  Jus Bellum, Josephus would show that these conditions were caused by God himself to bring judgment upon his impious, wicked people.  In short, divine providence will bring the ruin of a people without piety.  In fine, they did not have Jus Bellum at all.  Their war was really with God and not Rome.  Josephus said three misfortunes (kakon)had overtaken Jerusalem: war, tyranny, and sedition.29  The war with Rome was "least troublesome."  It was the internal civil wars of impious Jerusalem that had been the heart of the problem.  In fact, the Roman army was seen by Josephus as a Savior.  Vespasian went to deliver Jerusalem from its self-inflicted internal siege.30  So, Josephus would repeat his double theme of providence and piety through out The Jewish War.  His appeal to peace proclaimed a God that was still in control.  He called them to believe and serve the Lord by submission to Rome.  Josephus was a Jeremiah. 

The Design Of Josephus 

 There are three ways that these two concepts of providence and piety were designed by Josephus.  Although these two concepts are the pivot points for his peacemaking ethic, other strategies had been used.  But, the motifs of providence and piety pop out in the reading of both The Jewish War and The Life Of Flavius Josephus through the diction, the speeches, and the detailed narrative itself. 

His Diction

 The diction relating to the providence of God is quite interesting.  The concept of providence is closely related to predestination and foreknowledge.  For Josephus, it seemed to mean that God works sovereignly through creation, including animals, wind, and human will in order to bring about justice.  Generally, those who fear the gods will find the favor of the gods.  Specifically, those who fear the one true God, especially the chosen ones of Israel, will be blessed.  If Israel will not do right and keep covenant, God will chastise.  In the English text of The Jewish War by William Whiston the words "providence" and "providential" come from several different Greek words and phrases.  The following word study does not include all of Whiston's usages  of the words "providence" and its cognates. 

 One important word pronoia pronoia is used twelve times by Josephus with the nuance of divine providence.31  Seven times this word pronoia is literally qualified with the word qeou (of God), and five times the word daimoniou  (of spiritual being or of demon) is used.  Actually the word "demon" is misleading for moderns and does not immediately give a modern person the proper sense of the word.  The New Testament always uses it in a way to refer to evil spirits.  A keen N.T. reader will note the adjective "wicked" or "evil" sometimes accompanies the word "demon" or "spirit."  It was commonly understood as "a spiritual being," "a deity," or "destiny" comparable to the Roman genius or fortuna.  In its adjectival form it means "heavenly, from heaven, heaven-sent, coming from above, supernatural, miraculous, incomprehensible, unusual, extraordinary."32  Colin Brown's dictionary says, "it expresses that which lies outside 'human capacity and is thus to be attributed to the intervention of higher powers.'"33  Actually, both "God" and "demon" are used in ancient literature synonymously.  In The Jewish War, the phrase ek daimoniou pronoiaV (providence of the spiritual being or God) is then self-interpreted epexegetically in the text in the next sentence.34  It says the Romans gained assistance in battle from God.  They had assistance from God th para qeou summacia kekrhmenoi (having been helped by the assistance of God).  Another example of the synonymity of god/demon is in The Antiquities Of The Jews, a work of Josephus, in a textual variant concerning daimonion and pronoia.  One manuscript tradition uses one word and the other manuscript uses its synonymn.35  Then the adjective daimonion is translated "providential" in the following examples:

     -Providential sign36
     -Providential calamity37
     -Providential chastisement38
     -Providential misfortunes39

 The word "providence" is also translated from words beside daimonion and pronoia.  Whiston translates "providence" from the impersonal verb melw used with the word "God:" melontai qew.40 The situation described is one that God cares about, pays attention to, or controls.  God controls "the success of wars, and the dangers that kings are in."  Whiston translates another phrase as "providence of God:" tw khdemoni qew, that is God's protection.41 Josephus meant one should trust God as a defender, protector, or guardian.  In that same paragraph he mentioned pronoia: upo qeou pronoiaV, and also mentions "chance:" upo tuchV crh.42 In this word study I did not include the concepts of fate, destiny, and doom.  Although Liddell and Scott give "demon/deity/chance" equivalent meanings (kata daimona=tuch), Liddell and Scott also list "chance" (kata tuchn) and "providence" (ek pronoiaV) as opposites.43 Chance suggests the misforune that could strike anyone at any time and is a safeguard in interpreting all evil occurences as consequences of impiety and divine providence or chastisement.  Even Josephus recognized this difference as cited in the previous passage above.  Furthermore, this word study on the English translation of Whiston's "providence" does not consider other similar words and phrases such as "God's assistance," (energia), which is very loaded with providential overtones.  As I mentioned, neither does it consider the terms "fate" and "destiny."  Nor does it consider the direct references to God's activity.  For example, "God...condemned...deprived."44 Nor does it consider the Latin version from which we borrow the term "providence."  As for the Latin, suffice it to say to daimonion corresponds to numen.

 One final word on the words daimonion and pronoia is in order.  These are Hellenistic words.  Pronoia does not occur in the Septuagint, except in the Apocrypha, at least twice.  The Hebrew Old Testament does not contain any word for providence or foreknowledge.  Pronoia occurs from Herodotus onwards (at least seven Greek authors) and meant divine providence centuries before Josephus borrowed it.  It even becomes a technical term in philosophy.  Among the Stoics, it was an indisputable dogma and law of nature.  Philo and Josephus get the credit for introducing this term into Jewish literature.  The N.T. does not use the term in any providential sense.  Pronoia is after all an abstract concept.  The early Jews had no need to talk about God in a "secular" way.  They just used terms like "he said," or "he did."  As Jewry mixed in with the philosophical world of 500 B.C.E. forward, they adopted this specific term of technicality.  The abstract terms used by Josephus to denote providence seem to suggest he was appealing to a Greco-Roman audience, especially since these terms are non-Semitic and quite dependent on Greek tradition; but, in reality, the world then, as now, was very deep in cross cultural interchange so it is very difficult to trace the origin of anything.  Even the stories in Genesis were ancient at the time of their inscripturation and had a life in the spirits of men and women before they became text.  It has already been shown that the Greek god "Andromeda" was understood by the Parthian-Persian audience.  Thus, the concept of "demon" must be understood because Andromeda was a daimon  or god among the gods of the Pantheon.  For the Hebrews in Parthia or anywhere, a daimon was a cross cultural counterpart to the reality of the divine; a bridge by which to discuss the gods and God among different religions, a theological trade word.  Lastly, there is no doubt that Josephus understood that God controlled events or even that God could be sovereign over a  nation.  Josephus himself actually coined the very word "theocracy!"45 :

His Speeches

 Next, a study of the speeches recorded in The Jewish War or Bellum Judaeorum will provide further insight into Josephus' two key peacemaking ethics.  Providence implies piety and works according to it.  Several speeches will be examined.

 King Agrippa gave a marvelous speech about all the nations in the inhabitable world which have been conquered by the Roman army.46  He was urging the Jews not to revolt against the evil procurator Florus and the high tax.  He told the Jews that it was now too late to revolt because they were now Roman slaves and because the proper time for revolt when Pompey first came upon them to enslave them was long past.  They were never, nor any other nation, able to defeat Rome.  The war was "unjustifiable" (di'aitian alogon thlekoutw polemw)47  Moreover, Rome was usually good to the nations, more than the native kings typically had been.  Then King Agrippa said, "What remains, therefore, is this that you have recourse to divine assistance; but this is already on the side of the Romans; for it is impossible that so vast an empire should be settled without God's providence," (dica qeou)48  Then he argued that if the Jews really wanted to be obedient to their religion they could not make war because they would have to fight on the Sabbath.  Pompey worked his hardest on the Sabbath when their forebears rested.  If they worked on the Sabbath, they would forfeit God's help.  He persuaded the people at this time, but the robbers would soon incite the people.

 Josephus himself made the next speech of major importance.  One of the most remarkable chapters and speeches that show and tell of providence and piety is in The Jewish War Book III, Chapter VIII.  Josephus was fighting the Romans in Jotapata.  The city lost, but Josephus managed to hide in a cave of the city and found it "by a certain supernatural providence" (daimoniw tini sunergia).49  In that cave over forty people were hiding.  A woman tried to escape on the third day and was captured by the Romans.  The Romans learned the general Josephus was hidden in the cave.  The Roman general Vespasian wanted to spare Josephus so he sent a tribune to order him up.  Josephus distrusted the goodwill of the first and second tribunes.  The third tribune happened to be a familiar acquaintance of Josephus.  Josephus began to be convinced of Vespasians's goodwill.  Then some soldiers got angry at his delay and tried to set fire to the cave but the tribune intervened and halted the smokeout.  At this time Josephus recalled some old dreams that God had given him concerning the future losses of the Jews and the future Roman emperors.  He then made a secret prayer to God:50

Since it pleaseth thee, who hast created the Jewish nation, to depress the same, and since all their good fortune is gone over to the Romans; and since thou hast made choice of this soul of mine to foretell what it is to come to pass hereafter, I willingly give them my hands, and am content to live. And I protest openly, that I do not go over to the Romans as a deserter of the Jews, but as a minister from thee.

Thus far the providence of God seems evident, but in the next scene God's providence and Jospehus' piety come on very strong.  When the other forty or so Jews in the cave with him perceived his intentions to go over to the tribune, they became so angry they began to draw swords to slay him.  Josephus did not want to betray the command of God as a minister of Rome so he gave a fantastic speech on submission to Rome and piety towards the Creator.  He also gave a theology of suicide as an act of impiety especially when the enemy was offering mercy and when believers recognize that God has bestowed upon them "this divine depositum" of life.51  The Jewish men closed their ears to the speech and rushed Josephus.  Somehow Josephus individually stopped his assailants by calling their names, looking like a general to another, grabbing one's hand, and shaming another.  Then in this wild frenzied situation he trusted in the providence of God.  This word "providence" means literally the care or protection offered by a general or governor.  Since he believed God wanted him as a minister to Rome, he entrusted his life to God in the following manner.  He suggested that all forty of the Jews and himself ought to kill each other.  They would draw lots to see who would die first.  It would not be impious suicide but a mercy killing.  The man with "the first lot laid his neck bare to him that had the next."  Then it came down to the last two men who were left to cut each other's throats.  Josephus was one of the two--by the providence of God, he says.  Josephus persuaded the other survivor to live.  Then Josephus went out of the cave to become a P.O.W.  Soon after he had a private audience with Vespasian and there he prophesied that Vespasian would succeed Nero as emperor!  After careful reflection Vespasian was convinced.  From then Josephus received better treatment as a prisoner.  Later the prophecy concerning Vespasian would come to pass and Josephus would become a patron of the new empire.  Thus, Josephus was able to write this history of the Jews and made his appeal for peace to the immediate generation of the Jews through out the world especially in the Parthian empire and to future generations of Jews to this day.  Josephus not only made direct reference to providence and piety in his speech but he showed how God actually worked in his life.  This speech based on personal events is a very powerful tool to enforce peace as it grounds his providence and peace ethic in time and space just like the Exodus is historically grounded and used to promote peace and submission to God in the O.T.

 After Vespasian became emperor, his son Titus went to war at the last major stronghold of the Jews, the actual capital of Judea, the holy city Jerusalem.  (Later, Masada would undergo a great battle but it only involved a mere one thousand Jews.)  Josephus was serving as a mediator between Rome and Jerusalem and urged the Jews to seek peace through surrender.  Josephus made another fantastic speech.  He wrote in indirect discourse.52  Interestingly the content of this speech is so similar to King Agrippa's speech mentioned previously.  They both said it was too late and unlawful to rebel after having been their slaves for so many years.  They both said the empire was vast and powerful and the rule of God was "now settled in Italy."  But should this similarity in the line of reasoning argue that Josephus just manipulated these words in King Agrippa's mouth or rather that these words were so true that Josephus agreed with King Agrippa and used his precedented and established logic?  In addition, Josephus appealed to a natural law approach:  Even brute beasts observe the strong and fixed laws of yielding to those too strong for them.  From that, he argued their forebears were stronger than the present Jews and they had lost to Rome.  Moreover, a great famine had overtaken them, the Romans knew it and wanted to help them if only they would yield.  The Jews rejected his speech and shot darts at him from the wall.  Josephus persisted with a second speech.

 In the next speech Josephus quoted himself directly.  Since they despised his "good advice" in the first speech, "he betook himself to the histories belonging to their own nation; and cried out aloud, 'O miserable creatures!'..."53  Here Josephus sounded like a mighty thunderous preacher.  Listen to his voice:54

Will not you turn again, and look back, and consider whence it is that you fight with such violence, and how great a Supporter you have profanely abused? Will not you recall to mind the prodigious things done for your forefathers and this holy place, and how great enemies of your were by him subdued under you? I even tremble myself in declaring the works of God before your ears, that are unworthy to hear them: however, hearken to me, that you may be informed how you fight, not only against Romans but against God himself.

 Josephus then recounted the miraculous battles that God won for their forebears from Abraham forward.  He then preached about the hypocrisy and sin of these proponents of so-called liberty and called them "more stupid than are the stones themselves!"55  He urged them to at least have pity on their wives, children, and parents.  In contrast, Josephus was willing to sacrifice himself and his own family to prove that he was not a coward but a true believer of peace and submission to God in hope of their yielding to providence through piety.  The seditious did not listen, but the people heard it and wanted to go over to Rome according to Josephus.  But the madness of the robbers increased.  They daily slew anyone who "deserted" to Rome.  They did not pay attention to the famine that ravaged the citizens or themselves.

  For the most part the people were steeped in wickedness, even if they had surrendered to moments of pious reasoning. According to Horsley and Hanson,56  Josephus did not set out to portray the life and problems of the peasantry.  He was not a voice for the poor.  He was a general.  They say the strongest cause of the war was the extreme poverty of the people, (although Josephus did not address this directly) but, he blamed the war on the robbers and on the state of the hearts of the people.  Horsley and Hanson point out it was a time when the high priests abused their position.  They had plenty of wealth and resources while the poor peasants barely survived.  The aristocratic priests not only were unscripturally and illegitimately put into office, but also exploited the masses.  The peasants had to pay forty per cent of the land produce for the temple tax.57  In addition to the temple tax, they paid tributes to the Roman emperor and to the local governor like Herod.  Herod taxed the people  heavily in order to finance his great building programs.  Added to the financial crisis and permanent debt, the people suffered many droughts and famines.  Horsley and Hanson describe the seditious or, in their words, "the banditry" as heroes protected and loved by the peasantry.  No wonder the people at times followed the robbers.  They wanted change, and would take any change, even one effected by Herod.58  Perhaps Josephus did not address poverty as a cause of war because of its omnipresence throughout the world and not just in Palestine and because the poor are not by nature poor due to spiritual deficits whereas his case for promoting peace was built on working for piety and not built on working out of poverty.

 Several other speeches recorded in The Jewish War will be quickly noted because they describe the impiety of the priests and the people.  Ananus the High Priest gave a confessional speech urging the surrender to Rome.59  He claimed personal guilt for the troubles of the land and for the rise of the evil doers.  He said because the priests failed to condemn the evil doers, the priests now faced destruction.  The priests did not condemn the robbers when they stole from the poor of the land or the owners of property and now they have made their way to the temple-fortress.  It was far better to be at the mercy of considerably benevolent foreign rulers than under the tyranny of one's own countrypersons-robbers-rulers.  Later Ananus was slain by the command of the robbers.  John of Gischala, the leader of one sect of the Zealot robbers, said in his rebuttal speech that God sent him by divine providence twice in Book IV lines 217 and 219 for the purpose of assisting Ananus the High Priest.60  John actually was being a spy for the seditious and reported the secret plans of the priests to the robbers.  The next important speech was made by the priest Jesus.61  Jesus spoke  to the Idumeans who came to assist the robbers at John's request and who saw John and the Zealots as champions of liberty, and who would later repent of having assisted the Zealots upon learning of their hypocrisy, particularly of the robbers on the side of John of Gischala.  Jesus urged the Idumeans not to assist the robbers in the battle against Rome.  He said these men were so wicked, "everyone of them would be found to have deserved ten thousand deaths" and listed his reasons for saying so.  The leader of the Idumeans was Simon who did not believe Jesus and wanted to break down the gate.  He was suspicious of the priests because they wanted to open the gates to the enemy (Rome) but not to their fellow half brothers (the Idumeans).  He decided to wait.  That night a storm came.  Ananaus saw the storm as heaven sent protection from God as it crippled the Idumean attack.  That night amid the storm Ananus dropped his guard and John's men slipped out of the temple-fortress to let the Idumeans into the city gates.  Ananus and Jesus were slaughtered.

 A series of speeches and dialogues were made between Vespasian and his commanders.62  Here Josephus defended the integrity of Vespasian as the rightful ruler of the Roman empire.  His line of reasoning, typically, is centered on the idea of divine providence.  Vespasian actually refused to be the emperor but the force of providence crowned him.  His own men put a sword to him and demanded that he accept the imperatorship or be killed.

 One of the last and great speeches in The Jewish War was made by Titus.63  Titus offered the city of Jerusalem mercy which was by now contrary to all the laws of war because the Jews have been such rebels that they have abused every privilege granted to them.  He lined out a history of the Jew-Roman relationship.  The fact that the Jews have had such an intense civil war killing themselves proved how wicked they were.  He still offered mercy.  They refused.  They were the impious of all the impious to this king of kings named Titus and called Caesar, though his father was still the living Caesar.  Josephus used such detail in portraying the providence of God and the need for piety among persons.

Detailed Narrative Of Book I: Building The Case For Peace With Rome Through The Details Of Israel's Long Standing Impiety

 After considering the terminology and the text of the speeches relevant to his peacemaking ethic of providence and piety, now I would like to examine the detailed narrative and continue to limit this study primarily to The Jewish War, and to narrow it down even further to only Book I.  This book will carry the recurrent theme of providence and piety, to which Josephus appealed in order that the Jews might submit to the powers that be.  It will be easy for the reader to get lost in the following shuffle of facts; nevertheless the very volume of detail contains the rhetorical experience of persuasion.  Josephus employed the typical genre of public persuasion of his times as evidenced also in the New Testament.  Whenever a speech was given in the book of The Acts Of The Apostles, a long detailed history of Israel was provided and then the punchline was attached.  Josephus used the same recounting of history approach in his attempt at persuasion. It is not necessary to read the detailed account of Israel's history of impiety, but at least one should take the pains to read the narrative on Herod's history and context.

 Before the Romans had ever ruled Judea, the Hellenistic Ptolemies ruled it from Syria with a cruel hand against the religious laws of the Jews.  When a power struggle ensued between Antiochus Epiphanes and the sixth Ptolemy, then Matthias the Hasmonean rose up and drove out Antiochus' troops.  After he died he left the government to Judas.  Judas "made a league of friendship with the Romans," in order to drive the Syrian troops out a second time.64  Later Antiochus' son by the same name re-attacked and succeeded as leader of the Jews.  He continued to call upon the Romans for help.65  He died, but his brother Simeon later lead the Jews to freedom from these Macedonians after one hundred and seventy years of servitude.  Simeon soon died but his son John Hyrcanus would reign for thirty-three years.  He did battle over and over again with these Antiochuses.  Josephus said about John:  "He it was who alone had three of the most desirable things in the world--the government of his nation, and the high priesthood, and the gift of prophecy; for the Deity conversed with him."66

 In the first two chapters of Book I, one can see the goodness of Rome and the goodness of the Maccabean heroes.  The implication to be unfolded in the story would be that God was letting the Jews out of captivity because the leaders and the people of Judea were now pious.  That the Jewish forebears did sin and that God placed them in captivity were basic to Jewish knowledge.  Later the Jewish rebels would claim these heroes for their model and would believe God must free them from captivity also.  One key unthinkable thought is that the Jews went to Rome for help!  It is as if George Washington were alive during the Cold War and went to Soviet Russia for help.

 After John, his son Aristobulus was the first Jew to put a crown on his head.  Aristobulus only reigned one year.  He killed his mother and brother.  Then "by some supernatural providence" he slipped and fell unknowingly on the very spot where his brother had died.  When the spectators who knew the bloody spot of his brother gasped at the coincidence, the fallen Aristobulus asked what was the meaning of their gasp.  Then he died from ghosts and guilt.67  His brother Alexander Janneus became king.  He was such a murderer of his own people that in the first six years, he killed fifty thousand Jews.  He was much hated by the subjects of his kingdom.  Civil war was rampant.  On one occasion he crucified eight hundred of his men in the midst of Jerusalem.  While the men on the crosses looked down, he had the throats of their wives and children cut right before them, as he was having a party with wine and women.68  After twenty-seven years as king he died of sickness.  Then his wife Alexandria reigned for nine years.  She managed to keep the throne because of the great piety she had in the eyes of her subjects.  She was averse to her husband's cruelty and allowed the Jews to practice their laws.  When she died a power struggle followed between her two sons, Hyrcanus and Aristobulus.  The important point for Josephus' peacemaking ethics is that Rome was good because Hyrcanus who was the legal heir to the kingdom made great intercession to Pompey to aid in settling the internal squabble with his enemy brother Aristobulus who had more power and might.69  The good Roman Pompey cornered Aristobulus on behalf of Hyrcanus on two occasions.  He piously made two deals with him, which Aristobulus went along with just long enough to make his getaway.  Aristobulus and his associates called the power of Rome "irresistible."  Josephus provided many details to show a very confused and war-ripped state in Judea-- all because of the Jews themselves.  Simultaneously, he demonstrated the early greatness and generosity of the Romans.  For instance, while Pompey did capture Jerusalem for Alexander and while Pompey did enter the holy temple, he did not touch anything nor steal from the treasury.  The next day he caused the sacrifice to resume and appointed Hyrcanus as the high priest.  Antipater, Herod's father, was made king.

The Detailed Narrative Of Book I Dealing With Herod The Great

 Despite the greatness of Rome they were not without their own internal strife.  The Caesars were not yet ruling Rome.  The triumvirate consisted of Pompey, Cassius, and Julius.  Pompey and Julius were enemies.  So Aristobulus sought help from Julius.  Aristobulus died and his son Alexander was beheaded by Pompey, but his other son Antigonus went to Julius.  Those who sided with Pompey, like Antipater, now went with Julius.  Antigonus tried to get Julius to help him but instead was exposed as a seditious leader against Rome and caused Julius to favor Antipater more.  (Antigonus showed up in Syria a few years later and lead the Parthians to attack and take Jerusalem for three years.)  Julius, now with Pompey dead and Cassius off at war, re-affirmed Hyrcanus as high priest and Antipater as governor.  Hyrcanus as high priest was an inactive leader, thus Antipater did a lot of ruling and building. He sent his son Herod to rule Galilee.  This Herod would eventually rule as king over the Jews.  Hyrcanus brought Herod into court for some misdoings but he was acquitted by the higher Roman court.  The angry Herod set out to attack Jerusalem but Herod's father and brother both talked him out of it.  They told Herod that "God is the arbitrator of success in war, an unjust cause is of more disadvantage than an army can be of advantage."70  He might have said something like, "Herod, you've got the might to beat Hyrcanus, but not the right.  If you wait, God will likely put the kingdom into your hands."  Soon after Herod saved his enemy Hyrcanus from a traitor named Malichus from among his own court.  Herod told Hyrcanus of the plot and had him killed.  Herod was getting rid of future rivals and was also gaining more cities to his favor.  He also married into Hyrcanus' family.71  Soon after Herod was accused by his enemies of taking the government by force and Hyrcanus was said to be the high priest-governor in name only.  Herod bribed Antony.  Antony heard both sides and asked Hyrcanus "which party was the fittest to govern."  The inactive and impotent Hyrcanus said Herod's party was.  So Herod and his brother became tetrarchs of Judea, etc.  Two years later Antigonus attacked Jerusalem with the Parthian army and seized the city for three years as already mentioned.  Herod could not defeat these barbarians and went for safety to Masada.  These Parthians robbed and plundered, then set Antigonus as king.  Antigonus bit his brother John Hyrcanus' ear off "with his own teeth" so that John could never again be high priest, being blemished.72  Hyrcanus was bound off to Parthia but found comfort in knowing his lesser enemy Herod was free and "will avenge me of mine enemies."  Herod went to Rome.  There Julius, Antony, and the Senate agreed that Herod should be king of Judea.  He was most suited to rule.  Since Antigonus had taken the government by means of the Parthians and had overlooked the Romans, he was the enemy of Rome and needed to be ousted.  Herod was declared king legally by Rome.  He just had to conquer it back.  He now secured the Roman soldiers to support him.

  Josephus was showing how the powers came to be.  The land of Judea was war-filled by its own leaders in their quest for power.  Herod and Rome were shown to be the "favored" rulers in the providential process.  Granted Herod was a murderous cruel person, but during his reign a peace and prosperity came over the land.  Piracy ceased.  Towns were built.  The temple was re-built.  Jerusalem was fortified and glorified.  Much of the zeal and pride of the city came from Herod's building projects.  Also, Jesus of Nazareth was born during his relatively Pax Romana over Judea.  Thus far, Josephus in dealing with his hyper religious audience must be careful in his peacemaking method.  This carefulness required him to give minute details.  He simply just could not declare that the Romans have been good.  He just couldn't say the legendary Hasmonean family had many evil men who had killed their own blood for the throne.  He just couldn't say Herod was over all a tyrant, who though evil, did keep law and order while the full-blooded Jews could not.  He showed it in detail.  In reality the Jews have been very disloyal to God.  This is a recurrent theme from the Hasmonean dynasty to the Vespasian period.  God was putting these "foreign" rulers like Herod over the Jews on purpose.  Josephus was aware of the sensitivity of those who might be full of religious knowledge and devotion to God.  He did not use unexamined axioms to bombard their consciences but showed moral responsibility through detailed moral discourse.73  Josephus truly desires peace and at minimum Jus Bellum.  A just war, however, was no way possible under the conditions in Jerusalem, so he instructed by implication.  In effect, "we need the peace of Rome, since we can't acquire it by our own supposed piety!"  The detailed narrative of Book I is a sophisticated call to peace.

 Josephus began to use more God-oriented terminology in his Herodian narrative.  First Herod had a dream (God talk) that his brother was dead and as he leaped out of bed the news of his death arrived.74  This mysterious dream began to give Herod a prophetic mystique, thus a divine support.  Then Josephus wrote about a "providential sign," which gave Herod "the reputation of being very near to God."  Herod had a feast with his chief men and after they left, the roof fell in.  His escape from this danger gave Herod a "common signal" of the yet-to-be dangers that he would surely escape.  He soon besieged and captured Jerusalem.  He prevented the great city from being plundered and robbed by paying the Roman army he commanded out of his own money.  Typically the booty gathered from the plundering would satisfy the salaries of the soldiers.75  Herod then found himself owing Antony some favors and Cleopatra talked Antony into letting Herod do some dirty work for Rome, like fighting the Arabians.  Cleopatra didn't care who won.  Before Herod went to battle a "providential calamity" in the form of an earthquake struck Jerusalem.  The inhabitants were stricken with fear and Herod interpreted it as "providential chastisement."  But Herod's interpretation continued in this manner, "I imagine that God hath thereby laid a bait for the Arabians."76  He added, "No, nor any providential misfortunes can ever depress the courage of the Jews."  He motivated them by his speech so that they would be pumped up enough to beat their more numerous Arabian adversaries.  After this victory, Herod was "chosen by the nation for their ruler."  He had been legally appointed king at least three years before by the Romans, but now he was the choice of the people.77  During those three years power changes occurred on the highest level at Rome.  Antony and Julius were in charge but were mutual enemies.  Herod had been doing the will of Antony, but Antony lost power at Actium about the time of his own Arabian conquests.  So Herod visited Caesar to gain his favor and said, "Consider how faithful a friend, and not whose friend, I have been."  Herod was more faithful to Antony, even during Antony's final days.  Now Herod recognized that "God himself...hath bestowed the government on thee," i.e. on Julius Caesar.78  Caesar re-affirmed Herod as king and increased his territory considerably larger; he practically acquired more land than any previous ruler since perhaps Solomon reigning from the south over Judea and Arabia to the north as procurator over Syria, and from the west to the Mediterranean coast and on the east to the other side of Jordan.  This Herod was beloved by Caesar.  Herod indeed had conquered all.  At this time he began to fortify the entire country.  The cities all received protective walls.  Both Jerusalem and Masada were built up for defense purposes.  Without these fortifications would the Jews have risen against Rome later?

 Josephus did not actually say that God placed Herod on the throne like he said about the Romans.  Josephus would rather indicate that God put Herod in power in order to bring stabilization, peace, or a final opportunity for piety to flourish.  But these days called the fulness of times by the New Testament became days of maximum impiety even to the point of crucifying the son of God, (about thirty years after Herod the Great's death).  Josephus showed the great intricacy of the divine purging process.  Providence moved according to piety.  Josephus showed the constant fragility of the ancient government.  The Herodian family, for instance, was both popular and unpopular.  When Archelaus succeeded Herod the troops promised him their goodwill and prayed for God to bless his government.79  Again, this is not to say that God favored Herod and blessed his kingdom with approval, but it indicates that God placed him in position.  Herod was unpopular with the Zealots and purists who only wanted a pure Jewish king not a half breed.  These same purists were led by robbers and rebels.  Again, Josephus himself did not want Roman or any other foreign rule, but he recognized such as God-ordained on a backsliden Jewish nation.  His tone says and I paraphrase: "For if our forebears had to suffer under foreign rulers, we who are less pious must also."  Josephus showed Herod's reign as loaded with family treacheries and power struggles, which were, after all, common place in that day.  He was a bloody man.  Josephus also recognized through the voice of Nicholas, a servant of Archelaus, that the Jews were naturally disobedient to kings.80  Again, perhaps the most important providential note in Herod's kingdom was that Herod conquered the land, and fortified its cities so strongly that the seditious Jews could think they were impregnable, especially the Holy City.  The time of Herod was a time of building up the military strength of Judea and the hate for foreign power by the zealous insurrectionists.

 About ten years after Herod the Great's death a major rebellion occurred.  Many minor insurrections flashed from city to city in the next decades.  Between 66 and 70 C.E. (A.D. 70) the Great Rebellion occurred.  Through all these decades God has been trying to restore his people.  He even sent the Messiah down to try to restore them.  Instead their impiety increased.  God responded to their impiety.  Hence, the process of providence demanded not blessing but cursing.  In Herod's day the wheels of providence continued to turn in the direction of judgment.  After Herod's day and into the decades, providence continued to expose the lack of piety in the supposed Holy Land and providence worked as if to make the people insane.  The old Greco-Roman prophets have said, "For whom the Gods will destroy they first drive insane."  Josephus said the sins of the robbers were so wicked and great that they "cast a reproach upon God himself, as if he were too slow in punishing them."81  Even Bentwich acknowledged the impiety of the Land.82  He found in midrash that the city of Rome was founded on the day Solomon married an Egyptian princess.  The rabbis meant by this legend that the power of Rome was created to be a scourge for Israel's backslidings.  Providence and piety go back a long way.

Summary And Application 

 Josephus in his call to peace has urged his readers to piety, namely to submission to God-given authority.  Those who yield would have providence on their side; those who disobey would face the judging process. 

 One major problem arises when I try to apply Josephusian ethics to a modern ethical system.  It is religiously based.  Josephus was not just a historian, he was a Jew and a Rabbi.  He was a believer in God.  A modern approach to ethics might not benefit from Josephus unless that approach was theistic.  If an ethicist does not believe in God, then Josephus' method of reasoning will be intolerable.  He wrote in the world of the first century of the common era which did not know many atheists.  The Jews were monotheistic and the Greco-Roman people were god-fearing, superstitious, and religious.  As far as I could tell, the atheist did not exist in Josephus' books.  Even the most vile, wicked, blood-thirsty men like Simon Ben Giora or John of Gischala were fighting their causes in the name of God.  So, the ethical concerns discussed in this analysis may be profitable only to a believer.  Perhaps Josephus' two key peacemaking ethical principles could be secularized.  Can the providence of God and the piety of God's people be secularized concepts?  A secularized version of these motifs might be re-labeled as fortune and fate.  Providence could be re-identified as fortune, fate, or chance.  Piety could be represented as destiny or reward.  Destiny or reward suggest a law of sowing and reaping.  "What goes around comes around."  Thus, an atheist may possibly incorporate the teachings of Josephus.  With secularization of the terminology comes a more universalization of the categories and a more readiness to apply Josephusian concepts to modern thought; for the court room would not accept "religion" as readily as "reason."  But, in reality, nations are strong because of the level of piety of God's people in them.  Ultimately, the challenge is not to compromise with secularists, but for religionists to surrender to God in regular repentance. 

 The "solution" to nuclear war is principally for God's people to truly fear God, to be pious.  Piety is the part we play and is the greatest weapon to assure peace and strength.  It will cause the providential process to work in favor of the pious ones.  When God's people choose the practice of evil, this path leads to destruction.  Working for disarmament is useless unless the godly are really godly.  God does judge nations and sets up conditions of imposition by worldly lords over wayward believers.  Governments are police officers for God without realizing it.  As Cyrus the Persian King was once called the Anointed One.  It is not only Israel that has experienced purgation of sinful believers by means of a foreign imposition from Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Romans, Turks, Arabs, or Palestinians.  Of course, the idea of providence was not meant to explain all of political reality because this is also a world of irrationality or sinfulness.  Governments like Hitler's surely do not fall within the classification herein described.  Evil is a totally different equation.  Basically, the proverbs of scripture teach providence and piety.  The exception to the blessing formula, the exception to the rules of spirituality are dealt with in the other half of scripture logic which deal with the absurdities of faith's logic.  If you obey God you will be blessed, individually or nationally.  But there is an exception from the wisdom side of scripture to this rule, which is the other main message of the Bible, how to deal with a world of injustice.  The wisdom Job tells us is that things do not always work out according to the guarantee of the proverbs and the covenant.  Nevertheless, theodicy is not the issue here, but at least it has been acknowledged.  The facts have been presented that there is a basic blueprint to God's dealing with nations and the chief way to achieve peace from the perspective of Josephus. 

 In closing, the U.S.A. is a young nation and the world certainly does not revolve around it.  Other nations have much longer histories than ours.  They have risen and fallen and have been elevated or humbled in glory and power.  God elevates and drops nations, lifting and lowering, lifting and lowering.  Morality is a key factor in the health and well-being of a nation, although it is not the only factor.  Back in the 1980's there were two military superpowers that were in a Cold War with massive arms built up, namely the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A.  At that time everyone felt there was a race between the two nations to see which nation would become the strongest and the most powerful.  In the 1970's as a teenager among peers we personally expected the world "to blow up any minute whenever they push the button."  The entire Viet Nam War of the 1960's for the U.S.A. was about stopping "the domino effect," that is, the tendency of one nation to fall to communism which would lead to another nation succumbing to communism because of the evils and injustices of capitalism.   During the 1950's a feeling of fear over nuclear devastation began to sit upon the seat of everyone's awareness.  Ever since 1945, the sixth and the ninth of August in particular, with the tragic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the world has never been the same.  Nuclear power is the worst invention ever made by humanity and is a curse as world-changing and devastating as the Fall in Eden.  Humanity needs all the wisdom it can muster to deal with this problem of nuclear power.  Josephus has shown us the peacemaking ethic of bowing to providence and piety. 
 

End Notes: 

1  Alan Geyer, "Two and Three-Quarter Cheers for the Bishops' Pastoral:  A Peculiar Protestant Perspective,"  Peace In A Nuclear Age:  The Bishops' Pastoral Letter In Perspective, ed. Charles J. Reid, (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1986), p. 304. 

2  Robert McAfee Brown, Saying Yes And Saying No:  On Rendering To God And Caesar, (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1986), p. 25. 

3  Ralph B. Potter, War And Moral Discourse, (Richmond, Virginia: John Knox Press, 1969), p. 15). 

4  Norman Bentwich, Josephus, (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1914), p. 135. 

5  Ibid., p. 59. 

6 Two editions of Josephus will be cited through this analysis, but mostly:

  • Josephus and William Whiston, trans., The Works Of Flavius Josephus: The Jewish War, Vol. I, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1982), pp. 258ff. 
  • Benedictus Niese, ed., FLAVII IOSEPHI DE BELLO IVDAICO,   (Berolini: Weidmannos, 1895) 
  • Josephus Bellum Judaeorum 3:354; 

7  Solomon Zeitlin, Josephus On Jesus, (Philadelphia: The Dropsie College For Hebrew And Cognate Learning, 1931), pp. 89ff. 

8  David M. Rhoads, Israel In Revolution: 6-74 C.E.:  A Political History Based On The Writings Of Josephus, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1976), p. 9;  Josephus War III, VIII, 4. 

War III, IX, 3. 

10  Paul Harvey, ed., The Oxford Companion To Classical Literature, (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1959), pp. 314-315. 

11  War Proem, 1; Preface, 1. 

12  War I, VIII, 7-9. 

13  War I, XVII, 6. 

14  War Proem, 1; Preface, 1. 

15 Georges Roux, Ancient Iraq (Harmonsworth, Middlesex, England:  Penguin Books Ltd., 1980), p. 387. 

16  War I, VIII, 9. 

17  War VI, VI, 2. 

18  War 6:342-343; VI, VI, 2. 

19  War Preface, 2. 

20 Rhoads, op. cit., p. 173. 

21  War VII, X, 1- 2. 

22  War VII, V, 2. 

23  War VII, VII, 1. 

24  War II, VIII, 6. 

25  War II, VIII, 7. 

26 Stephen Charles Mott, Biblical Ethics And Social Change (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 1982), pp. 161-164. 

27  War II, XIV, 1. 

28  War V, VI, 3. 

29  War IV, VII, 1. 

30  War IV, VII, 3. 

31 Karl Heinrich Rengstorf, ed., A Complete Concordance To Flavius Josephus (Leiden, Netherlands:  E. J. Brills, 1973). 

32 Ibid. 

33 Colin Brown, ed., The New International Dictionary Of New Testament Theology, Vol. I, (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  The Zondervan Corporation, 1975), pp. 450-453. 

34  War  7:318;  VII, VIII, 5. 

35 Rengstorf, op. cit., p. 405; Josephus Antiquities 13:314. 

36  War  1:331;  I, XVII, 4. 

37  War  1:370;  I, XIX, 3. 

38  War  1:373  I, XIX, 4. 

39  War  1:376;  I, XIX, 4. 

40  War  5:61;  V, II, 2. 

41  War  3:387;  III, VIII, 7. 

42  War  3:391;  III, VIII, 7. 

43 Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott, eds., A Greek-English Lexicon (New York:  Harper and Brothers, 1897), p. 322. 

44  War  VII, VIII, 6. 

45 Josephus Against Apion  II, 17;  Whiston, op. cit., Vol. IV, p. 219. 

46  War  II, XVI, 4-5. 

47  War  2:389;  II, XVI, 4. 

48  War  2:390;  II, XVI, 4. 

49  War III, VIII, 1. 

50  War III, VIII, 3;  Whiston, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 258. 

51  War III, VIII, 5. 

52  War V, IX, 3. 

53  War V, IX, 4;  Whiston, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 395. 

54  War V, IX, 4;  Whiston, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 395-396. 

55  War V, IX, 4;  Whiston, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 400. 

56 Richard A. Horsley and John S. Hanson, Bandits, Prophets, And Messiahs: Popular Movements In The Time Of Jesus (Minnesota:  Winston Press, Inc., 1985), pp. 48f. 

57 Ibid. 

58  War, I,XVII,6. 

59  War IV, III, 10. 

60  War 4:217, 219; IV, III, 14;  Whiston, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 302. 

61 Whiston, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 304-308. 

62  War IV, X;  Whiston, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 341-346. 

63  War VI, VI, 2. 

64  War, I,I,4. 

65  War, I,II,1. 

66  War, II,II,8. 

67  War, I,III. 

68  War, I,IV,6. 

69  War, I,V. 

70  War, I,X,9. 

71  War, I,XII,3. 

72  War, I,XIII,9. 

73 Potter, op. cit., p. 31. 

74  War, I,XVII,3. 

75  War, I,XIV,3. 

76  War, I,XIX,4. 

77  War, I,XIX,6. 

78  War, I,XX,1. 

79  War, I,XXXIII,9. 

80  War, II,VI,2. 

81  War, VI,I,1. 

82 Bentwich, op. cit., p. 11. 

 
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