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21. Roman Senate names Herod 'King of Jews'
284 [In 40 BCE Octavian Caesar] convened the (Roman) Senate. To it Messala, along with Atratinus, presented Herod, detailing both the good services of his father (Antipater) and (Herod's) own support for the Romans... And since the Senate was moved by these things, when (Marc) Antony came up and said that Herod should be king to help carry on the war with Parthia, all concurred.
  -- Josephus, Jewish War 1.284

22. Herod crushes Opposition in Galilee [38 BCE]
414 (During the winter of 38-39 BCE) while snow fell from God, (Herod) came to Sepphoris (in Galilee). And as the guards of Antigonus (his opponent) had left, he was unopposed for their provisions.
415 Then, planning to end the evil deeds of some bandits who were dwelling in caves, from (Sepphoris) he sent a cavalry troop and three infantry companies out against them.
416 These (caves) were very close to a village named Arbela [= khirbet Irbid, between Capernaum and Tiberias]. And in forty days he arrived in full force...
417 And he rallied all of Galilee, except those in the caves...
422 Now the caves were in extremely rugged hills. They had entrances in the middle of cliffs with sharp rocks around them. The bandits hid out in these places with their whole households.
423 But the king (Herod) had crates built and he let these down on them, hanging by iron chains from a machine on top of the mount....
424 Now the crates were full of soldiers holding big hooks with which they were going to kill the bandits who stood against them, by dragging them out and pulling them down...
430 So when these things happened, the caves were quiet. And leaving (his friend) Ptolemy as general in those parts, the king went into Samaria...
432 But those who had previously troubled Galilee attacked Ptolemy and killed him...
433 But Herod came back and punished them. For he captured some of the rebels. And he besieged and killed those who sought refuge in fortified positions. And he tore down their fortifications, thus ending the rebellion. And he also penalized the cities of Galilee 100 talents.
  --- Josephus, Antiquities 14.414-433

23. Herodians slaughter Opponents in Judea
450 After this (in 37 BCE) the Galileans rebelled against those in power in their territory and drowned those who minded Herod in the Lake [= Sea of Galilee]. Much of Judea also revolted...
479 And right away every place was filled with murders. On the one hand, the Romans were enraged by frustration in their siege (of Jerusalem). And, on the other, the Jews around Herod were eager to have no opponent left.
480 And whole masses were slaughtered: in the alleys, crowded in their houses, and even taking refuge in the temple. There was no mercy for either young or old. Nor were the weakest women spared. Rather, none controlled his hand, even when the king [Herod] circulated the order to stop. But like madmen they took vengeance on all ages.
  --- Josephus, Antiquities 14.450, 479-480

24. Herod's Tactics to pacify Jews
365 Then (about 20 BCE Herod) also excused those in his kingdom from a third of their taxes---allegedly to recover from the crop-failure, but also to regain those who harbored resentment. For they were bitter about the enactment of those practices which relaxed their religion and threw aside the traditions. And there were also arguments from all who were ever provoked or upset.
366 But (Herod) also paid much attention to such a situation, taking away their opportunities and ordering them to their labors, whatever happened. And no congregating was allowed to those around the city, nor was wandering or dwelling in community. But everything was watched...
368 Thus, on the one hand, by every method he completely suppressed those who were so bold as not to go along with his projects. On the other, he asked the people to submit to swearing loyalty and compelled them under oath to declare their good will to him, or at least to support his rule.
369 Out of good treatment and fear, therefore, the crowds yielded to what he wanted. But those who summoned courage and made trouble for him he submitted to every method of torture.
370 Now he even tried to persuade Pollion [Abtalion] the Pharisee, as well as Samaias [Shemaiah] and the bulk of their associates to take the oath. But they would not concur. Yet, by gaining respect through Pollion, (the Pharisees) were not punished like those who expressed dissent.
371 And those who were called Essenes by us were also excused from this obligation.
  --- Josephus, Antiquities 15.365-371

25. Herod enlarges the Temple
380 And so then, in the eighteenth year of Herod's reign (20 BCE),...he threw himself to an uncommon task: to reconstruct the temple of God by his own means, greatly increasing its precincts and raising it to a more worthy height. He planned this as the most significant of all his deeds, as it was, and to act as his eternal memorial...
  --- Josephus, Antiquities 15.380

26. Custody of High Priest's Robes
403 Now a well-fortified and exceedingly strong citadel was built at right angle to the north side (of the temple). The kings and high-priests of the Hasmonean family had erected this before the time of Herod and called it "Bira" [= "fortress"]. Here they deposited the ceremonial robe which the high priest wore only when he had to offer sacrifice.
404 King Herod kept it under guard there. After his death it was subject to the Romans, until the time of Tiberius Caesar (in 36 CE)...
408 But before this it was under the seal of the high-priest and treasurers. And one day before the feast the treasurers would go up to the Romans and, after examining their own seal, would take the robe. Then, after the feast was over, they would return to this place and put it back, after showing the chief of the guard the corresponding seal.
  --- Josephus, Antiquities 15.403-404, 408

27. Attempt to Purge Herod's Temple [4 BCE]
149 The most eloquent and unequalled interpreters of the patriarchal laws [= Torah] were Judah ben Sariphai and Matthias ben Margaloth, men especially endeared to the people through educating the youth. For all who preoccupied themselves with virtue were with them day after day.
150 (In 4 BCE) when they heard the king's illness was beyond cure, these men stirred up the youth against whatever works the king had built contrary to the patriarchal Torah. To tear these down, (they said), would be taken as acts of piety, stemming from the laws. For indeed, all these other things had happened to (king Herod)...---even this illness---because he dared to go against what the Torah specified....
155 Now with such words they stirred up the young men. And a report reached them corroborating these sages by indicating that the king had died. So, in broad daylight, in sight of the crowds gathered in the temple, they went up and pulled down the (imperial) eagle and cut it up with axes.
156 Now the king's officer assumed with great insight---for the deed was reported to him---that if this was done, they would go on to worse things. So, bringing a large enough force, he encountered the crowd of those who were trying to take the accursed thing down...
157 He captured no less than forty of the young men who dared to stay while the rest of the crowd fled as they approached. And the instigators of their daring, Judah and Matthias, who deemed it disgraceful to yield him space to enter he also led to the king.
160 ...And the king had them bound and sent to Jericho. Then he summoned those in charge of the Jews...
165 ...And Herod deposed Matthias from the high-priesthood. And he had the other Matthias, who stirred up the faction, burnt alive along with some of his disciples. And on this night there was a lunar eclipse.
  --- Josephus, Antiquities 17.149-157, 165

28. Herod's Death [4 BCE]
174 By (Herod's) edict, the noteworthy Jewish men of all the nation were made to come to him [at Jericho] from wherever (they were). Now there were many, as the whole nation was summoned. And all heeded the edict, for death was waiting those who did not respond to the letters. The king was mad at all alike, the innocent as well as those evidently guilty.
175 So, confining them all in the hippodrome, he sent for his sister Salome and her husband Alexas...
176 For he was not ignorant of the thinking of the Jews, how they wanted and would rejoice at his death. For even while he lived there was pressure to revolt and insult his projects.
178 So, (Herod ordered Salome and Alexas), when they saw that he had lost his life, they were to station in the hippodrome soldiers who did not yet know of his death and command them to kill the prisoners. And if they did away with them in this manner, they would not ruin his pleasure in two ways: by confirming those things which he communicated to them when he was about to die and by honoring him with a noteworthy mourning...
191 Having done these things, Herod died five days after he killed his (oldest) son, Antipater. He was king for thirty-four years after he imprisoned Antigonus but thirty-seven after he was appointed by the Romans. He was a man cruel to all alike: angry with his inferiors and haughty to the righteous.
193 But before the king's death was found out, Salome and Alexas sent back to their homes those who had been summoned to the hippodrome.
  --- Josephus, Antiquities 17.174-178, 191-193

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