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bees or Afmoneans, the Grand-daughter of Hyrcanus the Second, a Woman of great Beauty and Virtue, and admirable Qualifications, hoping the Jews would more readily receive him for their King by this Alliance; and having done this, he returned to the Siege.

5 Q. Did he carry this Place at laft?

A. He took Jerufalem by Storm, after fix Months hard and bloody Service in the Siege, at which the Romans being enraged, ravaged the City with Blood and Plunder, notwithstanding all that Herod could do to prevent it; and having taken King Antigonus there, and fent him to Antioch, Herod perfuaded Mark Anthony, by a large Bribe, to put him to Death.

Note, Here ended the Reign of the Afmoneans or Maccabees, after that Race had held the Government one hundred and twenty Years. During a great Part of this Time, as well as before, the various Changes of these Jewish Governors, or the Interruption by Heathen Conquerors, filled the Country of Judea with innumerable Calamities and Defolations, of which Jerufalem itself had a very large Share, nor did they cease in the following Years.

6 Q. How did Herod begin his Reign?


A. As he was forced to make his Way to the Kingdom through much Blood, fo he established himself by the fame Means, putting to Death feveral of the Partizans of Antigonus, and among them all the Counfellors of the great Sanhedrim, except Pollio, who is called Hillel, and Sameas, who is called Shammai; for both of them had encouraged the City to receive Herod; though it was not out of Love to him, but merely on this View, that it was in vain to refift him.

Note, This Hillel and Shammai were two very great and

and eminent Teachers among the Doctors of Traditions in the Jewish Schools.

7Q Who was made High Prieft after the Death of Antigonus, who was both Priest and King?

A. At first Herod made one Ananelus or Ananus High Priest, who was an obfcure Man, but of the House of Aaron, educated among the Jews afar off in Babylonia, and therefore not fo likely to oppose any of Herod's Defigns in Judea.

8 Q. Did Ananelus continue in the High Priefthood?

A. Herod's beloved Wife Mariamne, and her Mother, being of the Race of the Maccabees, were ever teizing him to make Ariftobulus,Mariamne's Brother, a Lad of seventeen Years old, High Prieft in Ananelus's Room, to whom indeed it rather belonged, as an Heir-Male of that Family: This he at laft complied with, against his Will; but in a very little Time he procured him to be drowned, under Pretence of Bathing.

9 Q. What became of Hyrcanus all this while? A. Though he had been banifhed for fo many Years among the Parthians and Babylonians, yet he returned to Jerufalem upon the Advancement of Herod, prefuming that the Marriage of his Grand-daughter, and his own former Merits towards him, would fecure to himself a peaceful old Age in his own Country under Herod's ProteЯion.

10 Q. How did Herod deal with him?

A. He received him at first with all Respect, but fome Time after found a Pretence to put him to Death, when he was above eighty Years of Age, left one Time or other, being of the Family of the Maccabees, or Afmoneans, he fhould be reftored to the Kingdom.

11 Q Be

IIQ. Befides all these Confufions, what other Calamity happened to the Jews about this Time? . A. A terrible Earthquake ran through the whole Land of Judea, and buried thirty thousand of the Inhabitants in the Ruins of their Houfes, in the feventh Year of Herod's Reign; a grievous Peftilence followed it in a little Time, and a defolating Famine a very few Years after, at which Time Herod was very liberal to the People, but he could not gain their hearty Affection.

12 Q. Did Herod maintain his Government, when his great Friend Mark Anthony was ruined, and vanquished by Octavius?

A. He took Care to make early Submiffion to Octavius; he laid afide his Diadem, when he waited on him, and with open Heart he confeffed his former Friendship for Anthony, but he now affured Octavius of the fame faithful Friendship and Obedience, if he might be trufted: Upon which Octavius, who now affumed the Name of Auguftus Cafar, bid him refume his Diadem, confirmed him in the Kingdom, and was his Friend and Protector even to his Death.

13 Q. Did he then continue to reign in perfect Peace?

A. Domeftic Troubles broke the Peace of his Mind, and threw him into violent Grief and Rage, which further foured his Temper for all his Life after.

14 Q. What were thefe domeftic Troubles?

A. He was jealous left any Man fhould poffefs fo great a Beauty as Mariamne his Queen after his Death, and left any Remains of the Family of the Afmoneans fhould hinder the Succeffion of his own Family to the Kingdom of Judea; and for these Reasons he gave private Orders, that in Cafe he


died, both his Wife and her Mother fhould be put to Death: Which dreadful Secret being communicated to his Queen, the refented it to fuch a Degree, that fhe would never afterwards receive him; but notwithstanding all his kind Addreffes and Importunites, fhe perpetually followed him with fharp Reproaches for the Murder of her Relations, by which he fecured the Crown to himfelf, and upbraided his Mother and Sifter with the Meannefs of their Parentage. So that between his Excefs of Love and Rage and Jealoufy, he was fo tormented, and fo wrought upon by the Artifices of his Mother, and Sifter Salome, that at laft he put his beloved Mariamne to Death, under Pretence of an Attempt to poifon him, and he executed her Mother too a little after the Daughter for a real Plot against his Life.


15 Q. Did the Death of Mariamne relieve him from this Tumult of Paffion?

A. By no Means; for now his Love returned with Violence, and his Grief and Vexation joined with other Paffions to render him a most miserable Wretch, a Torment to himfelf, and outrageous to all about him.

16 Q. What Courfe of Life did he follow afterward?

A. He grew more arbitrary and cruel in his Government; he put what Perfons he pleafed into the High Priesthood, and turned them out again at Pleasure: He made feveral Innovations in the Laws, Cuftoms, and Religion of the Jews; and introduced Spectacles of Wreftlers, of Combats between wild Beafts and Criminals, &c. in Conformity to the Heathens; pretending it was all neceffary to please Cæfar: And thus fet the Hearts of the Jews much more against him, who were very


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jealous of their Religion and Cuftoms. Then, thinking it needful for his Defence, as well as for his Grandeur and Glory, he built several strong Places and Towers within and without Jerufalem; he raised Temples in feveral Cities, and dedicated them to Cæfar, who was his great Friend; and though fometimes he remitted Part of the Taxes, and did feveral beneficent Actions to ingratiate himself with the People, it was all in vain, he could not obtain their Love.

17 Q. What was his greatest and most confiderable Attempt to pleafe the People, and to per petuate his own Name?

A. He proposed to rebuild the Temple at Jerufalem: For it having now ftood near five hundred Years, and being fo often injured, broken, and repaired, he perfuaded the People that a new one should be built with much more Magnificence and Glory.

18 Q. But could he perfuade the Jews to confent that their Temple fhould be demolished, in order to rebuild it?

A Not till he had affured them that the old Temple fhould remain untouched till all Materials were ready to build the new one; which he actually provided at vaft Expence and Labour in two Years Time, by employing ten thousand Artificers for the Work, a thoufand Waggons for Carriage, and a thousand Priefts for Direction.

19 Q. Did he fulfil his Promise in building this new Temple?

A. Yes, he performed the Work with prodigious Coft and Splendor, as it is described by Jofephus: It was built of large Stones, each twentyfive Cubits long, twelve Cubits broad, and eight in Thickness, which he Difciples defired our Sa


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