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a very lamentable Manner: For Alexander, after this Battle, was in no Condition to resist him.
26 Q. Did Alexander ever recover this Defeat? A. Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, who, with her youngest Son, withheld the Kingdom from Lathyrus her eldeft, did affift and fupport Alexander Jannæus, left, if Lathyrus fhould have become Mafter of Judea, he might alfo have recovered Egypt out of her Hands: Whereupon Alexander raised his Head again, befieged other Places, and took Gadara and Amathus toward Galilee, together with much Treasure; but he was furprized by Theodorus, Prince of Philadelphia, who had laid up that Treasure there, and was overthrown, with the Slaughter of ten thousand Men. Yet, being a Man of Courage and Diligence, again he recruited his Army, took the City of Gaza from the Philistines, and gave thorough Licence to his Soldiers there to kill, plunder, and deftroy as they pleafed. He fubdued their principal Cities, and made them Part of his Dominions; whereupon feveral of the Philiftines turned Jews: And indeed it was now grown a Cuftom among the Afmonean Princes to impofe their Religion upon all their Conquefts, leaving them no other Choice but to become Profelytes, or to be banished.
27 Q. How did his own People, the Jews, carry it towards him?
A. The Pharifees continued their Wrath against him, for rigorously maintaining the Decrees of his Father, who abolished their Conftitutions; and by their powerful Influence, they firred up the People against him fo far, that while he was executing the High Prieft's Office at the Altar, they pelted him with Citrons, and called him reproachful Names.
28 Q. In
28Q. In what Manner did Alexander refent it? A. He flew fix thousand of them immediately, and he chofe his own Guards out of the Heathen Nations, never daring afterwards to trust himself with the Jews. At laft there broke out a Civil War between him and his People, which lafted fix Years, brought great Calamity on both, and occafioned the Death of above fifty thousand People,
29 Q How was this War carried on?
A. Though Alexander gained many Victories over them, yet, being wearied out, he defired Peace, and offered to grant them whatsoever they could reafonably defire: But upon his Inquiry what Terms would please them, they answered with one Voice, "That he should cut his own Throat." So dreadful was their Enmity against him; and upon this Anfwer, the War was ftill pursued with Fury on both Sides.
30 Q. How was this War ended at last ?
A. Alexander Jannæus, the King, having loft one great Battle, refumed his Courage, and afterward gained another, which concluded the War; for having cut off the greatest Part of his Enemies, he drove the Reft into the City of Bethome, and befieged them there: And having taken the Place, he carried eight hundred of them to Jerufalem, and there caused them to be all crucified in one Day; and their Wives and Children to be flain before their Faces, while they hung dying on their Croffes. In the mean Time, he treated his Wives and Concubines with this bloody Spectacle at a Feaft. This terrified the Jews indeed fo effectually, that they made no more Infurrections against him; though he got a moft infamous Name by it, in that and the following Ages. A dreadful Inftance of the Barbarity of a High Priest with Civil Power!
31 Q. Did this cruel Tyrant come to a natural Death?
A. The Providence of God, which does not always punish Sinners in this Life, permitted him to die in the Camp of a Quartan Ague, which had hung long upon him, while he was befieging a Caftle of the Gerafenes, beyond Jordan And tho' he left two Sons behind him, yet he bequeathed the Government to Alexandra his Wife, during her Life; and to be difpofed of at her Death to which of her Sons the pleased.
32 Q. How did this Woman reconcile herself to the Jews, fo as to permit her to reign over them?
A. By her Husband's Advice, upon his Deathbed, the concealed his Death, till the Caftle was taken; then leading back the Army to Jerufalem in Triumph, made her Court to the Pharifees, refigned up his dead Corps to their Pleasure, to be abused or buried, as they fhould think fit, and promised to follow their Advice in all the Affairs of Government: For he had affured her, that they were the best of Friends, and the worst of Enemies; and that if the would but be ruled by them, they would make her rule over others.
33 Q. What Succefs had this Conduct of Alex
A. All the Succefs the defired: The People were influenced by the Pharifees to give the Corps of her Hufband an honourable Funeral, the herself was fettled in the Government of the Nation, and fhe made her eldeft Son Hyrcanus High Prieft.
34 Q. How did she adminifter the Government under the Direction of the Pharisees ?
A. She immediately revoked the Decree of John Hyrcanus, whereby he had abolished their traditional Conftitutions; by which Means the Pharis
fees, and their Traditions, grew into greater Efteem and Power than ever; and the permitted them to put to Death many of thofe who advised the late King Alexander to deal fo cruelly with the Peo ple; and fome others of their own Adverfaries also were executed on this Pretence, by her Leave; for the dreaded a new Civil War, and of two Evils fhe thought to choose the leaft.
35 Q. To whom did the leave the Kingdom at her Death?
A To Hyrcanus, her elder Son, who had been entirely bred up under the Influence and Tutorage of the Pharifees.
36 Q. Did this Hyrcanus the fecond continue to reign in Peace?
A. Ariftobulus, the younger Son, finding that the Army and the People were weary of the oppreffive Adminiftration of the Pharifees, raised an Army against his Brother Hyrcanus, put him to Flight, forced him to refign the Kingdom and the High Priesthood, and to live a private Life; which he confented to, after he had been King three Months; for he naturally loved his own Ease and Quiet more than any Thing else.
37 Q Was Ariftobulus difturbed in his Go vernment?
A. There was one Antipater, an Idumean (whofe Father was advanced to the Government of Idumea by the late King Alexander) and he himself being bred up with Hyrcanus, in the Court of Alexandra, prevailed upon Hyrcanus to accept of the Affiftance of Aretas, the Arabian King, to reftore him to the Kingdom; for he affured him that his Life was in fo great Danger from his Brother Ariftobulus, that he could fave it no other Way, but by dethroning him.
38 Q. What
38 Q. What Succefs had Hyrcanus in following this Counsel of Antipater?
A. By the Help of Aretas he gained an abfolute Victory over Ariftobulus, drove him into the Mountain of the Temple, and there befieged him; where the Priests ftood by Ariftobulus, while the People declared for Hyrcanus.
39 Q What heinous Murder were the People guilty of at this Time?
A. There was one Onias at Jerufalem, fo holy a Man, that he was thought by his Prayers to have obtained Rain from Heaven in a great Drought: And the People concluding that his Curfes would be as powerful as his Prayers, preffed him to curfe Ariftobulus, and all that were with him. The good Man finding noReft from their Importunities, lifted up his Hands toward Heaven, and prayed thus;
O Lord God, Rector of the Universe, fince "those that are with us are thy People, and they "that are befieged in the Temple are thy Priests, "I pray that thou wouldst hear the Prayers of nei"ther of them against the other." Hereupon the Multitude were fo enraged, that they stoned him to Death.
40 Q Did Hyrcanus's Party profper after this Murder?
A. Hyrcanus and his People fell under great Difappointments at firft; for the Romans fpreading their Empire far at this Time, and being largely bribed by Ariftobulus, they forced Aretas to raife the Siege; whereupon Ariftobulus pursued and routed him in Battle, and flew Multitudes of Hyr canus's Party.
41 Q. In what Manner was this Conteft carried on afterwards?
A. The two Brothers Hyrcanus and Ariftobulus, first by their Ambaffadors, and afterwards in Per