בסיעתא דשמיא

The Story of Gedaliah, as told by Titus Flavius Josephus in Antiquities of the Jews

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Source (Greek) Translation (English)

[155] Ὁ δὲ στρατηγὸς Ναβουζαρδάνης αἰχμαλωτίσας τὸν τῶν Ἑβραίων λαὸν τοὺς πένητας καὶ αὐτομόλους ἐκεῖ κατέλιπεν ἀποδείξας αὐτῶν ἡγεμόνα Γαδαλίαν ὄνομ᾽ Ἀϊκάμου παῖδα τῶν εὖ γεγονότων ἐπιεικῆ καὶ δίκαιον, ἐπέταξε δ᾽ αὐτοῖς τὴν χώραν ἐργαζομένοις τῷ βασιλεῖ τελεῖν φόρον ὡρισμένον.
(9:1) As for the general Nabuzardanes, after taking captive the Hebrew people, he left behind the poor and the deserters in the country and, appointing a governor over them, named Gedaliah, son of Aḥiqam who was of noble family and kind and just, he imposed upon them the payment of a fixed tribute to the king from the cultivation of the soil.[1]Cf. 2 Kings 25:22; Yirmiyahu 40:1

[156] Ἱερεμίαν δὲ τὸν προφήτην λαβὼν ἐκ τῆς εἱρκτῆς ἔπειθεν εἰς Βαβυλῶνα σὺν αὐτῷ παραγενέσθαι: κεκελεῦσθαι γὰρ ὑπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως πάντ᾽ αὐτῷ χορηγεῖν: εἰ δὲ τοῦτο μὴ βούλεται, δηλοῦν αὐτῷ ποῦ μένειν διέγνωκεν, ἵνα τοῦτο ἐπισταλῇ τῷ βασιλεῖ.
Then he took the prophet Yirmiyahu out of prison and tried to persuade him to go with him to Babylon, for, he said, he had been ordered by the king to provide him with everything; but, if he were unwilling, he should let him know where he had decided to remain, in order that word of this might be sent to the king.

[157] ὁ δὲ προφήτης οὔθ᾽ ἕπεσθαι ἤθελεν οὔτ᾽ ἀλλαχόσε που μένειν, ἡδέως δ᾽ εἶχεν ἐπὶ τοῖς ἐρειπίοις τῆς πατρίδος καὶ τοῖς ταλαιπώροις αὐτῆς διαζῆσαι λειψάνοις. γνοὺς δ᾽ αὐτοῦ τὴν προαίρεσιν ὁ στρατηγός, τῷ Γαδαλίᾳ προστάξας, ὃν κατέλιπεν, αὐτίκα πᾶσαν αὐτοῦ ποιεῖσθαι πρόνοιαν καὶ χορηγίαν ὅσων ἂν δέηται δωρησάμενός τε αὐτὸν δωρεαῖς πολυτελέσιν ἀπέλυσεν.
The prophet, however, neither wished to accompany him nor to dwell anywhere else, but was content to live on among the ruins of his native land and its miserable remains.[2]Cf. Yirmiyahu 40:4 When the general learned of his resolve, he commanded Gedaliah, whom he left behind, forthwith to take all possible care of him and provide him with everything he might need,[3]According to Scripture (Yirmiyahu 40:5) Nebuzaradan himself provides Yirmiyahu with food. and, having presented him with valuable gifts, he let him go.

[158] καὶ Ἱερεμίας μὲν κατέμεινεν εἰς Δάναν ἐν πόλει τῆς χώρας Μοσφοθᾶ καλουμένῃ παρακαλέσας τὸν Ναβουζαρδάνην, ἵν᾽ αὐτῷ συναπολύσῃ τὸν μαθητὴν Βαροῦχον Νήρου δὲ παῖδα ἐξ ἐπισήμου σφόδρα οἰκίας ὄντα καὶ τῇ πατρίῳ γλώττῃ διαφερόντως πεπαιδευμένον.
And so Yirmiyahu remained in the country, in a city called Mitspah, and urged Nabuzardanes to release, at the same time as himself, his disciple Barukh, the son of Neraiah, who came of a very distinguished family and was exceptionally well instructed in his native tongue.

[159] Ναβουζαρδάνης δὲ ταῦτα διαπραξάμενος ὥρμησεν εἰς Βαβυλῶνα. οἱ δὲ πολιορκουμένων Ἱεροσολύμων φυγόντες διασκεδασθέντες κατὰ τὴν χώραν, ἐπειδὴ τοὺς Βαβυλωνίους ἤκουσαν ἀνακεχωρηκότας καὶ λείψανά τινα καταλελοιπότας ἐν τῇ τῶν Ἱεροσολυμιτῶν γῇ καὶ τοὺς ταύτην ἐργασομένους, συλλεχθέντες πανταχόθεν ἧκον πρὸς τὸν Γαδαλίαν εἰς Μασαφθά. [1
(2) Then Nabuzardanes, having disposed of these matters, set out for Babylon. But, when those who had fled from Jerusalem while it was being besieged and had scattered throughout the country heard that the Babylonians had withdrawn, leaving behind some few survivors in the country round Jerusalem and some people to cultivate this land, they gathered together from all parts and came to Gedaliah at Mitspah.[4]Cf. 2 Kings 25:23; Yirmiyahu 40:7

[160] ἡγεμόνες δ᾽ ἦσαν ἐν αὐτοῖς Ἰωάδης υἱὸς Καρίου καὶ Σερέας καὶ Ἰωαζανίας καὶ ἕτεροι πρὸς τούτοις, ἐκ δὲ τοῦ βασιλικοῦ γένους ἦν τις Ἰσμάηλος πονηρὸς ἀνὴρ καὶ δολιώτατος, ὃς πολιορκουμένων τῶν Ἱεροσολύμων ἔφυγε πρὸς τὸν Ἀμμανιτῶν βασιλέα Βααλεὶμ καὶ συνδιήγαγεν αὐτῷ τὸν χρόνον ἐκεῖνον.
Their leaders were Yoḥanan, the son of Qare’aḥ, and Serayah and Yazanyahu and some others in addition to these, while there was one from the royal family, a certain Yishmael, a wicked and very crafty man, who had fled from Jerusalem during the siege to Baalim, the king of the Ammonites, and had stayed with him during all that time.

[161] τούτους τοίνυν γενομένους αὐτοῦ Γαδαλίας ἔπεισε μένειν αὐτίκα μηδὲν δεδιότας τοὺς Βαβυλωνίους: γεωργοῦντας γὰρ τὴν χώραν οὐδὲν πείσεσθαι δεινόν. ταῦτα ὀμνὺς αὐτοῖς διεβεβαιοῦτο καὶ προστάτην αὐτὸν ἔχειν λέγων, ὥστε εἴ τις ἐνοχλοίη τεύξεσθαι τῆς προθυμίας:
Accordingly, when they arrived there, Gedaliah persuaded them to remain there for the present without any fear of the Babylonians, for, he said, if they worked the land they would suffer no harm. These assurances he confirmed by giving them his oath and telling them that they should have him as their protector, so that, if anyone molested them, they would find him ready to help.

[162] καὶ συνεβούλευε κατοικεῖν εἰς ἣν ἕκαστος βούλεται πόλιν ἀποστέλλοντα μετὰ τῶν ἰδίων καὶ ἀνακτίζειν τὰ ἐδάφη καὶ κατοικεῖν: προεῖπέ τε παρασκευάζεσθαι αὐτοὺς ἕως ἔτι καιρός ἐστι σῖτον καὶ οἶνον καὶ ἔλαιον, ὅπως ἔχωσι διὰ τοῦ χειμῶνος τρέφεσθαι. ταῦτα διαλεχθεὶς πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἀπέλυσε διὰ τῆς χώρας εἰς ὃν ἕκαστος ἐβούλετο τόπον.
And he advised them to settle down in the cities, each wherever he chose, and to send others along with their own men and rebuild on the foundations and live there; he also warned them, while there was still time, to prepare stores of grain, wine and oil in order to have food throughout the winter. Having spoken to them in this manner, he dismissed them, each to whatever place in the country he chose.

[163] Διαδραμούσης δὲ φήμης εἰς τὰ περὶ τὴν Ἰουδαίαν ἔθνη, ὅτι τοὺς ἀπὸ τῆς φυγῆς παρ᾽ αὐτὸν ἐλθόντας Γαδαλίας ἐδέξατο φιλανθρώπως καὶ τὴν γῆν αὐτοῖς γεωργοῦσι κατοικεῖν ἐφῆκεν, ἐφ᾽ ᾧ τελεῖν φόρον τῷ Βαβυλωνίῳ, συνέδραμον αὐτοὶ πρὸς τὸν Γαδαλίαν καὶ τὴν χώραν κατῴκησαν.
(3) Now, when a rumour was spread among the nations round Judaea that Gedaliah had received with friendliness those of the fugitives who came to him, and had permitted them to settle down and work the land on condition of paying tribute to the Babylonian king, they[5]Josephus’s language is decidedly careless; by “they” he means the Jewish fugitives among the surrounding nations, not these nations themselves. too came together to Gedaliah and settled on the land.

[164] κατανοήσαντες δὲ τὴν χώραν καὶ τὴν τοῦ Γαδαλίου χρηστότητα καὶ φιλανθρωπίαν Ἰωάννης καὶ οἱ μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ ἡγεμόνες ὑπερηγάπησαν αὐτὸν καὶ Βαάλιμον τὸν τῶν Ἀμμανιτῶν βασιλέα ἔλεγον πέμψαι Ἰσμάηλον ἀποκτενοῦντα αὐτὸν δόλῳ κρυφίως, ὅπως αὐτὸς ἄρχῃ τῶν Ἰσραηλιτῶν: εἶναι γὰρ αὐτὸν ἐκ τοῦ γένους τοῦ βασιλικοῦ.
And, when they observed (the nature of) the land[6]text uncertain; Lat. renders “observed that the land was ruled in peace.” and the kindness and friendliness of Gedaliah, Yoḥanan and the leaders with him came to feel a very great affection for him and told him that Baalis, the king of the Ammonites, had sent Yishmael to kill him by treachery and in secret, in order that Yishmael might rule over the Israelites,[7]Cf. Yirmiyahu 40:11 for he was of the royal line.

[165] ῥύσεσθαί γε μὴν ἔλεγον αὐτὸν τῆς ἐπιβουλῆς, ἂν αὐτοῖς ἐφῇ κτεῖναι τὸν Ἰσμάηλον, ὡς οὐδενὸς γνωσομένου: δεδιέναι γὰρ ἔφασκον, μὴ φονευθεὶς αὐτὸς ὑπ᾽ ἐκείνου παντελὴς ἀπώλεια γένηται τῶν ὑπολελειμμένων τῆς τῶν Ἰσραηλιτῶν ἰσχύος.
They would, however, save him from the plot, they said, if he allowed them to kill Yishmael, as no one would know of it. For they were afraid, they declared, that, if he were murdered by Yishmael, it would mean the complete destruction of what remained of the Israelites’ strength.

[166] ὁ δ᾽ ἀπιστεῖν αὐτοῖς ὡμολόγει κατ᾽ ἀνδρὸς εὖ πεπονθότος ἐπιβουλὴν τοιαύτην ἐμφανίσασιν: οὐ γὰρ εἰκὸς εἶναι παρὰ τηλικαύτην ἐρημίαν ὧν ἔχρῃζε μὴ διαμαρτόντα οὕτως πονηρὸν εἰς τὸν εὐεργετήσαντα καὶ ἀνόσιον εὑρεθῆναι, ὡς τῷ μὲν τὸ ἀδίκημα τὸ μὴ ὑπ᾽ ἄλλων ἐπιβουλευόμενον σῶσαι, σπουδάζειν δὲ αὐτὸν αὐτόχειρα ζητεῖν αὐτοῦ γενέσθαι.
But he confessed that he did not believe them when they accused a man who had been well treated of forming such a plot, for, he said, it was not likely that a man who had not wanted for anything in the midst of so great a scarcity should be found so base and ungrateful to his benefactor as to seek to kill him with his own hands when it would be a wicked thing in itself for Yishmael not to be anxious to save him if he were plotted against by others.

[167] οὐ μὴν ἀλλ᾽ εἰ ταῦτ᾽ ἀληθῆ δεῖ δοκεῖν, ἄμεινον ἔφασκεν ἀποθανεῖν αὐτὸν ὑπ᾽ ἐκείνου μᾶλλον, ἢ καταφυγόντα πρὸς αὐτὸν ἄνθρωπον καὶ πιστεύσαντα τὴν ἰδίαν σωτηρίαν καὶ παρακαταθέμενον αὐτῷ διαφθεῖραι.
In any case, he said, even if he must believe their words to be true, it was better for him to die by the hands of Yishmael than to put to death a man who had taken refuge with him and had entrusted his very life into his hands for safe keeping.[8]In the preceding passage Josephus greatly amplifies the brief statement of Gedaliah in Scripture, “Thou shalt not do this thing; for thou speakest falsely of Ishmael.”

[168] Καὶ ὁ μὲν Ἰωάννης καὶ οἱ σὺν αὐτῷ τῶν ἡγεμόνων μὴ δυνηθέντες πεῖσαι τὸν Γαδαλίαν ἀπῆλθον. χρόνου δὲ διελθόντος ἡμερῶν τριάκοντα παραγίνεται πρὸς Γαδαλίαν εἰς Μασφαθὰ πόλιν Ἰσμάηλος μετ᾽ ἀνδρῶν δέκα, οὓς λαμπρᾷ τραπέζῃ καὶ ξενίοις ὑποδεξάμενος εἰς μέθην προήχθη φιλοφρονούμενος τὸν Ἰσμάηλον καὶ τοὺς σὺν αὐτῷ.
(4) And so Yoḥanan and those of the leaders who were with him went away without being able to convince Gedaliah. But, when a period of thirty days had elapsed,[9]Bibl. “in the 7th month.” The medieval Jewish commentator Kimchi, like Josephus, takes this to mean a month after Gedaliah’s statement to Johanan, although Scripture does not indicate how long the interval was. Yishmael came with ten men to Gedaliah at the city of Mitspah, where he entertained them with a splendid banquet and presents and, in his cordial reception of Yishmael and those with him, went so far as to become drunk.

[169] θεασάμενος δ᾽ αὐτὸν οὕτως ἔχοντα καὶ βεβαπτισμένον εἰς ἀναισθησίαν καὶ ὕπνον ὑπὸ τῆς μέθης ὁ Ἰσμάηλος ἀναπηδήσας μετὰ τῶν δέκα φίλων ἀποσφάττει τὸν Γαδαλίαν καὶ τοὺς κατακειμένους σὺν αὐτῷ ἐν τῷ συμποσίῳ. καὶ μετὰ τὴν τούτων ἀναίρεσιν ἐξελθὼν νυκτὸς ἅπαντας φονεύει τοὺς ἐν τῇ πόλει Ἰουδαίους καὶ τοὺς ὑπὸ τῶν Βαβυλωνίων καταλειφθέντας ἐν αὐτῇ τῶν στρατιωτῶν.
Seeing him in this condition, sunken into unconsciousness and a drunken sleep, Yishmael sprang up with his ten friends and slaughtered Gedaliah and those reclining with him at the banquet table;[10]Scripture says nothing of a splendid banquet or the intoxication of Gedaliah ; cf. Yirmiyahu 41:1-2, “… they ate bread together in Mitspah. Then arose Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and the ten that were with him and smote Gedaliah ” etc. after slaying them, he went out by night and murdered all the Jews in the city and the soldiers who had been left there by the Babylonians.

[170] τῇ δ᾽ ἐπιούσῃ μετὰ δώρων ἧκον πρὸς Γαδαλίαν τῶν ἀπὸ τῆς χώρας ὀγδοήκοντα μηδενὸς τὰ περὶ αὐτὸν ἐγνωκότος. ἰδὼν δὲ αὐτοὺς Ἰσμάηλος εἴσω τε αὐτοὺς καλεῖ ὡς πρὸς Γαδαλίαν, καὶ παρελθόντων ἀποκλείσας τὴν αὔλειον ἐφόνευσε καὶ τὰ σώματα αὐτῶν εἰς λάκκον τινὰ βαθύν, ὡς ἂν ἀφανῆ γένοιτο, κατεπόντισε.
But on the following day eighty of the people of the country came with gifts for Gedaliah, for no one of them knew what had happened to him.[11]Josephus omits the scriptural detail that they were in mourning; moreover Scripture says that they brought gifts for the temple, not for Gedaliah. And, when Yishmael saw them, he invited them in as if to see Gedaliah; then, when they were inside, he closed the gates of the court[12]Lit. “closed off the court,” but this implies closing the gates, as in the variant. Scripture says that he slew them “when they came into the midst of the city.” and murdered them and cast their bodies into the bottom of a deep pit, that they might not be seen.[13]Josephus omits the scriptural detail that this pit had been dug by Asa to prevent Baasha’s invasion of Judah.

[171] διεσώθησαν δὲ τῶν ὀγδοήκοντα τούτων ἀνδρῶν οἳ μὴ πρότερον ἀναιρεθῆναι παρεκάλεσαν πρὶν ἢ τὰ κεκρυμμένα ἐν τοῖς ἀγροῖς αὐτῷ παραδῶσιν ἔπιπλά τε καὶ ἐσθῆτα καὶ σῖτον. ταῦτ᾽ ἀκούσας ἐφείσατο τῶν ἀνδρῶν τούτων Ἰσμάηλος:
But of these eighty men some[14]10, according to Scripture. were saved by pleading that they might not be killed before they should deliver to him the implements and clothing and grain that were hidden in their fields.[15]Bibl. “treasures in the field, of wheat, barley, oil and honey.” When Yishmael heard their plea, he spared these men.

[172] τὸν δ᾽ ἐν τῇ Μασφάθῃ λαὸν σὺν γυναιξὶ καὶ νηπίοις ᾐχμαλώτισεν, ἐν οἷς καὶ τοῦ βασιλέως Σαχχίου θυγατέρας, ἃς Ναβουζαρδάνης ὁ τῶν Βαβυλωνίων στρατηγὸς παρὰ Γαδαλίᾳ καταλελοίπει. ταῦτα διαπραξάμενος ἀφικνεῖται πρὸς τὸν Ἀμμανιτῶν βασιλέα.
But the people in Mitspah he took captive with their wives and young children; among them were the daughters of King Sacchias himself, whom Nabuzardanes, the Babylonian general, had left with Gedaliah. Having carried out these crimes, he came to the king of the Ammonites.

[173] Ἀκούσας δ᾽ ὁ Ἰωάννης καὶ οἱ σὺν αὐτῷ ἡγεμόνες τὰ ἐν τῇ Μασφαθῇ τὰ πεπραγμένα ὑπὸ Ἰσμαήλου καὶ τὸν Γαδαλίου θάνατον ἠγανάκτησαν, καὶ τοὺς ἰδίους ἕκαστος ὁπλίτας παραλαβὼν ὥρμησαν πολεμήσοντες τὸν Ἰσμάηλον καὶ καταλαμβάνουσιν αὐτὸν πρὸς τῇ πηγῇ ἐν Ἰβρῶνι.
(5) When Yoḥanan and the leaders with him heard of the things done at Mitspah by Yishmael and of the death of Gedaliah, they were very indignant and, each taking his own soldiers, they set out to make war on Yishmael, and came upon him at the spring in Ḥebron.[16]Cf. Yirmiyahu 41:11

[174] οἱ δὲ αἰχμαλωτισθέντες ὑπὸ Ἰσμαήλου τὸν Ἰωάννην ἰδόντες καὶ τοὺς ἡγεμόνας εὐθύμως διετέθησαν βοήθειαν αὑτοῖς ἥκειν ὑπολαμβάνοντες, καὶ καταλιπόντες τὸν αἰχμαλωτίσαντα πρὸς Ἰωάννην ἀνεχώρησαν. Ἰσμάηλος μὲν οὖν μετ᾽ ἀνδρῶν ὀκτὼ φεύγει πρὸς τὸν τῶν Ἀμμανιτῶν βασιλέα.
But, when those who had been taken captive by Yishmael saw Yoḥanan and the leaders, they were filled with joy at the thought that they had come to help them and, deserting their captor, they went over to Yoḥanan. And so Yishmael fled with eight men to the king of the Ammonites.

[175] ὁ δὲ Ἰωάννης παραλαβὼν οὓς ἀνέσωσεν ἐκ τῶν Ἰσμαήλου χειρῶν καὶ τοὺς εὐνούχους καὶ τὰς γυναῖκας καὶ τὰ νήπια εἴς τινα τόπον Μάνδρα λεγόμενον παραγίνεται. καὶ τὴν μὲν ἡμέραν ἐκείνην ἐπέμεινεν αὐτόθι, διεγνώκεισαν δ᾽ ἐκεῖθεν ἄραντες εἰς Αἴγυπτον ἐλθεῖν φοβούμενοι, μὴ κτείνωσιν αὐτοὺς οἱ Βαβυλώνιοι μείναντας ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ ὑπὲρ Γαδαλία τοῦ κατασταθέντος ὑπ᾽ αὐτῶν ἡγεμόνος ὀργισθέντες πεφονευμένου.
But Yoḥanan took those whom he had saved from Yishmael’s hands and the eunuchs and women and young children, and came to a certain place called Mandra.[17]The name means “cattle-pen.” Dr. Thackeray, Josephus, the Man, etc., p.89 note, suggests that Josephus read Gid’roth Kimham “cattle-pens of Kimham” in the Heb. of Yirmiyahu 41:17 where our Masoretic text reads “Geroth Kimham (Targum and A.V. “habitation of Kimham”) near Bethlehem”… And there he remained for that day until they decided to depart from there and go to Egypt, fearing that the Babylonians might kill them, if they remained in the country, in their wrath over the murder of Gedaliah who had been appointed by them as governor.

[176] Ὄντων δ᾽ ἐπὶ ταύτης τῆς βουλῆς προσίασιν Ἱερεμίᾳ τῷ προφήτῃ Ἰωάννης ὁ τοῦ Καρίου καὶ οἱ ἡγεμόνες οἱ σὺν αὐτῷ παρακαλοῦντες δεηθῆναι τοῦ θεοῦ, ὅπως ἀμηχανοῦσιν αὐτοῖς περὶ τοῦ τί χρὴ ποιεῖν τοῦτ᾽ αὐτοῖς ὑποδείξῃ, ὀμόσαντες ποιήσειν ὅ τι ἂν αὐτοῖς Ἱερεμίας εἴπῃ.
(6) While they were considering this plan, Yoḥanan, the son of Qare’aḥ, and the leaders with him approached the prophet Yirmiyahu and urged him to entreat God to reveal to them what they should do, for they were unable to decide this, and they swore that they would do whatever Yirmiyahu told them.[18]Cf. Yirmiyahu 42:1

[177] ὑποσχομένου δὲ τοῦ προφήτου διακονήσειν αὐτοῖς πρὸς τὸν θεὸν συνέβη μετὰ δέκα ἡμέρας αὐτῷ φανέντα τὸν θεὸν εἰπεῖν δηλῶσαι Ἰωάννῃ καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις ἡγεμόσι καὶ τῷ λαῷ παντί, ὅτι ‘μένουσι μὲν αὐτοῖς ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ χώρᾳ παρέσται καὶ πρόνοιαν ἕξει καὶ τηρήσει παρὰ τῶν Βαβυλωνίων οὓς δεδίασιν ἀπαθεῖς, πορευομένους δὲ εἰς Αἴγυπτον ἀπολείψει καὶ ταὐτὰ διαθήσει ὀργισθείς, ἃ καὶ τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς αὑτῶν ἔμπροσθεν οἴδατε πεπονθότας.’
The prophet thereupon promised to use his good offices with God on their behalf, and after ten days it happened that God appeared to him and told him to announce to Yoḥanan and the other leaders and all the people that if they remained in that country He would be with them and take care of them and preserve them unharmed from the hands of the Babylonians whom they feared; but, if they set out for Egypt, He would abandon them and in His anger visit upon them the same treatment “which, as you know, your brothers suffered before you.”[19]This last clause is apparently based on Yirmiyahu 42:18, “… as mine anger and my fury have been poured forth upon the habitants of Jerusalem, so shall my fury be poured forth upon you,” etc.

[178] ταῦτα εἰπὼν τῷ Ἰωάννῃ καὶ τῷ λαῷ τὸν θεὸν αὐτοῖς προλέγειν ὁ προφήτης οὐκ ἐπιστεύετο, ὡς κατὰ ἐντολὴν τὴν ἐκείνου μένειν αὐτοὺς ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ κελεύει, χαριζόμενον δὲ Βαρούχῳ τῷ ἰδίῳ μαθητῇ καταψεύδεσθαι μὲν τοῦ θεοῦ, πείθειν δὲ μένειν αὐτόθι, ὡς ἂν ὑπὸ τῶν Βαβυλωνίων διαφθαρῶσι.
These things, said the prophet to Yoḥanan and the people, God foretold to them;[20]Cf. Yirmiyahu 43:1 however they did not believe that it was at God’s command that he bade them remain in the country but that to please Barukh, his own disciple, he was belying God and trying to persuade them to remain there in order that they might be destroyed by the Babylonians.

[179] παρακούσας οὖν ὅ τε λαὸς καὶ Ἰωάννης τῆς τοῦ θεοῦ συμβουλίας, ἣν αὐτοῖς διὰ τοῦ προφήτου παρῄνεσεν, ἀπῆρεν εἰς τὴν Αἴγυπτον ἄγων καὶ τὸν Ἱερεμίαν καὶ τὸν Βαροῦχον.
And so the people and Yoḥanan disregarded the counsel[21]Variant “alliance.” of God, which He had given them through the prophet, and departed for Egypt, taking both Yirmiyahu and Barukh.

[180] Γενομένων δὲ αὐτῶν ἐκεῖ σημαίνει τὸ θεῖον τῷ προφήτῃ μέλλοντα στρατεύειν ἐπὶ τοὺς Αἰγυπτίους τὸν βασιλέα τῶν Βαβυλωνίων, καὶ προειπεῖν ἐκέλευε τῷ λαῷ τήν τε ἅλωσιν τῆς Αἰγύπτου, καὶ ὅτι τοὺς μὲν αὐτῶν ἀποκτενεῖ, τοὺς δὲ αἰχμαλώτους λαβὼν εἰς Βαβυλῶνα ἄξει.
(7) But, when they came there,[22]To the city of Taḥpanḥes, according to Scripture. the Deity revealed to the prophet that the king of Babylonia was about to march against the Egyptians, and He bade the prophet foretell to the people[23]Josephus omits the symbolism of the stones which God commands Yirmiyahu to hide (Yirmiyahu 43:9 ff). that Egypt would be taken and that the Babylonian king would kill some of them and would take the rest captive and carry them off to Babylon.

[181] καὶ ταῦτα συνέβη: τῷ γὰρ πέμπτῳ τῆς Ἱεροσολύμων πορθήσεως ἔτει, ὅ ἐστι τρίτον καὶ εἰκοστὸν τῆς Ναβουχοδονοσόρου βασιλείας, στρατεύει Ναβουχοδονόσορος ἐπὶ τὴν κοίλην Συρίαν, καὶ κατασχὼν αὐτὴν ἐπολέμησε καὶ Μωαβίταις καὶ Ἀμμανίταις.
And so it happened; for in the fifth year after the sacking of Jerusalem, which was the twenty-third year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar,[24]Cf. Yirmiyahu 52:30 Nebuchadnezzar marched against Coele-Syria and, after occupying it, made war both on the Moabites and the Ammonites.

[182] ποιησάμενος δὲ ὑπήκοα ταῦτα τὰ ἔθνη ἐνέβαλεν εἰς τὴν Αἴγυπτον καταστρεψόμενος αὐτήν, καὶ τὸν μὲν τότε βασιλέα κτείνει, καταστήσας δὲ ἕτερον τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ πάλιν Ἰουδαίους αἰχμαλωτίσας ἤγαγεν εἰς Βαβυλῶνα.
Then, after making these nations subject to him, he invaded Egypt in order to subdue it, and, having killed the king who was then reigning and appointed another, he again took captive the Jews who were in the country and carried them to Babylon.[25]According to Scripture it was Nebuzaradan who carried off the last group of captives in the 23rd year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. Josephus’s statement about the conquest of the Moabites and Ammonites is based on the prophecies of Yirmiyahu, cc. 44-49. For Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Egypt he probably used Berosus as a source, cf. §§ 220 ff.

[183] καὶ τὸ μὲν Ἑβραίων γένος ἐν τοιούτῳ τέλει γενόμενον παρειλήφαμεν δὶς ἐλθὸν πέραν Εὐφράτου: ὑπὸ Ἀσσυρίων μὲν γὰρ ἐξέπεσεν ὁ τῶν δέκα φυλῶν λαὸς ἀπὸ Σαμαρείας βασιλεύοντος αὐτῶν Ὠσήου, ἔπειτα τῶν δύο φυλῶν ὑπὸ Ναβουχοδονοσόρου τοῦ τῶν Βαβυλωνίων βασιλέως καὶ τῶν Χαλδαίων ὃς ὑπελείφθη τῶν Ἱεροσολύμων ἁλόντων.
And so, as we have learned from history, the Hebrew race twice came to such a pass as to go beyond the Euphrates. For the people of the ten tribes were driven out of Samaria by the Assyrians in the reign of Osees, and, once again, the people of the two tribes who survived the capture of Jerusalem were driven out by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia and Chaldaea.

[184] Σαλμανάσσης μὲν οὖν ἀναστήσας τοὺς Ἰσραηλίτας κατῴκισεν ἀντ᾽ αὐτῶν τὸ τῶν Χουθαίων ἔθνος, οἳ πρότερον ἐνδοτέρω τῆς Περσίδος καὶ τῆς Μηδίας ἦσαν, τότε μέντοι Σαμαρεῖς ἐκλήθησαν τὴν τῆς χώρας εἰς ἣν κατῳκίσθησαν προσηγορίαν ἀναλαβόντες: ὁ δὲ τῶν Βαβυλωνίων βασιλεὺς τὰς δύο φυλὰς ἐξαγαγὼν οὐδὲν ἔθνος εἰς τὴν χώραν αὐτῶν κατῴκισε καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ἔρημος ἡ Ἰουδαία πᾶσα καὶ Ἱεροσόλυμα καὶ ὁ ναὸς διέμεινεν ἔτεσιν ἑβδομήκοντα.
Now, when Shalmaneser removed the Israelites, he settled in their place the nation of Chuthaeans, who had formerly lived in the interior of Persia and Media and who were then, moreover, called Samaritans because they assumed the name of the country in which they were settled. But the king of Babylonia, when he carried off the two tribes, did not settle any nation in their place, and for this reason all of Judaea and Jerusalem and the temple remained deserted for seventy years.

[185] τὸν δὲ σύμπαντα χρόνον, ὃς ἀπὸ τῆς τῶν Ἰσραηλιτῶν αἰχμαλωσίας ἐπὶ τὴν τῶν δύο φυλῶν ἀνάστασιν ἐληλύθει, ἑκατὸν ἔτη καὶ τριάκοντα καὶ μῆνας ἓξ καὶ δέκα ἡμέρας συνέβη γενέσθαι.
Now the entire interval of time from the captivity of the Israelites until the deportation of the two tribes amounted to one hundred and thirty years, six months and ten days.[26]Whether we reckon the lower limit of this interval as the deportation in the 11th year of Zedekiah’s reign (§135) or that which took place 5 years later (§181) the chronology is inconsistent with that implied earlier (cf. §143 note b). According to Antiquities 9:278 the Israelite deportation took place in the 7th year of Hezekiah. The sum of regnal years for the rest of Hezekiah’s reign and those of his successors is 132 years 6 months 20 days. There is thus a discrepancy of about 2 years (or 7 years if we take the last deportation, mentioned in §181, as the lower limit). For various theories as to the source of Josephus’s chronology here see Weill’s note ad loc. (which is not very helpful). It may be added that according to modern reckoning the interval between the two great deportations is about 135 years (722/1-587/6 B.C.E.).

From Jewish Antiquities (Ioudaikē archaiologia) by Josephus, Book 10, chapter 9 (154-187), translated by Ralph Marcus and Henry St. John Thackeray, Loeb Classical Library (1937). I have replaced the Greek names reproduced by Marcus and Thackeray with their biblical cognates. I have included most but not all of the annotation (see original for the full annotation.) The Greek source text is from the Perseus Digital Library (Flavius Josephus. Flavii Iosephi opera. B. Niese. Berlin. Weidmann. 1892). –Aharon N. Varady

Source(s)

Notes   [ + ]

1. Cf. 2 Kings 25:22; Yirmiyahu 40:1
2. Cf. Yirmiyahu 40:4
3. According to Scripture (Yirmiyahu 40:5) Nebuzaradan himself provides Yirmiyahu with food.
4. Cf. 2 Kings 25:23; Yirmiyahu 40:7
5. Josephus’s language is decidedly careless; by “they” he means the Jewish fugitives among the surrounding nations, not these nations themselves.
6. text uncertain; Lat. renders “observed that the land was ruled in peace.”
7. Cf. Yirmiyahu 40:11
8. In the preceding passage Josephus greatly amplifies the brief statement of Gedaliah in Scripture, “Thou shalt not do this thing; for thou speakest falsely of Ishmael.”
9. Bibl. “in the 7th month.” The medieval Jewish commentator Kimchi, like Josephus, takes this to mean a month after Gedaliah’s statement to Johanan, although Scripture does not indicate how long the interval was.
10. Scripture says nothing of a splendid banquet or the intoxication of Gedaliah ; cf. Yirmiyahu 41:1-2, “… they ate bread together in Mitspah. Then arose Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and the ten that were with him and smote Gedaliah ” etc.
11. Josephus omits the scriptural detail that they were in mourning; moreover Scripture says that they brought gifts for the temple, not for Gedaliah.
12. Lit. “closed off the court,” but this implies closing the gates, as in the variant. Scripture says that he slew them “when they came into the midst of the city.”
13. Josephus omits the scriptural detail that this pit had been dug by Asa to prevent Baasha’s invasion of Judah.
14. 10, according to Scripture.
15. Bibl. “treasures in the field, of wheat, barley, oil and honey.”
16. Cf. Yirmiyahu 41:11
17. The name means “cattle-pen.” Dr. Thackeray, Josephus, the Man, etc., p.89 note, suggests that Josephus read Gid’roth Kimham “cattle-pens of Kimham” in the Heb. of Yirmiyahu 41:17 where our Masoretic text reads “Geroth Kimham (Targum and A.V. “habitation of Kimham”) near Bethlehem”…
18. Cf. Yirmiyahu 42:1
19. This last clause is apparently based on Yirmiyahu 42:18, “… as mine anger and my fury have been poured forth upon the habitants of Jerusalem, so shall my fury be poured forth upon you,” etc.
20. Cf. Yirmiyahu 43:1
21. Variant “alliance.”
22. To the city of Taḥpanḥes, according to Scripture.
23. Josephus omits the symbolism of the stones which God commands Yirmiyahu to hide (Yirmiyahu 43:9 ff).
24. Cf. Yirmiyahu 52:30
25. According to Scripture it was Nebuzaradan who carried off the last group of captives in the 23rd year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. Josephus’s statement about the conquest of the Moabites and Ammonites is based on the prophecies of Yirmiyahu, cc. 44-49. For Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Egypt he probably used Berosus as a source, cf. §§ 220 ff.
26. Whether we reckon the lower limit of this interval as the deportation in the 11th year of Zedekiah’s reign (§135) or that which took place 5 years later (§181) the chronology is inconsistent with that implied earlier (cf. §143 note b). According to Antiquities 9:278 the Israelite deportation took place in the 7th year of Hezekiah. The sum of regnal years for the rest of Hezekiah’s reign and those of his successors is 132 years 6 months 20 days. There is thus a discrepancy of about 2 years (or 7 years if we take the last deportation, mentioned in §181, as the lower limit). For various theories as to the source of Josephus’s chronology here see Weill’s note ad loc. (which is not very helpful). It may be added that according to modern reckoning the interval between the two great deportations is about 135 years (722/1-587/6 B.C.E.).

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