(67 - 45 BC) Rome on the Move - End of the Hasmoneans
Rome - Called to Take
Rome who boasted that destiny had called it to rule the world by force was casting its shadow Eastward
Another Civil War
- When Salome Alexandra died, her older son, Hyrcan, who was high priest, succeeded her on the throne as Hyrcan II.
- Already his brother, Aristobulus, was leading an army against Jerusalem.
- Hyrcan could not gather an army and the one that was already there deserted him and went over to his attractive brother Aristobulus.
- Hyrcan said he had never really wanted the throne and swore allegiance to
(Aristobulus) Aristobulus II.
- At this time there was a man in Jerusalem named Antipater. (not of Jewish
birth - Jewish Tradition).
- Both his parents were Idumeans and were converted to Judaism. Antipater was raised a Jew by religion
- Antipater sought power and persuaded Hyrcan to allow him and an army of Nabataen Arabs to drive Aristobulus out of Jerusalem and restore Hyrcan to power.
- Aristobulus was not prepared for such an army and he shut himself in
Jerusalem ( a long siege).
- Rome was expanding. Julius Caesar was fighting his famous wars in Gaul and making a name for himself
- His rival (former political ally) Pompey was in the East trying to equal Caesar's record.
- Both wanted supreme authority in Rome and flattered the people of Rome with new victories.
- Pompey overcame Syria easily and sought more.
- He heard about the quarrel of the two brothers in Jerusalem and sought to interfere. He was bothered by the Nabatean Arabs (they were strong) and so he sent his lieutenant Scaurus to scare the Nabateans off.
- They withdrew the siege. The Jews were happy to have had earlier friendships
with Rome. They even asked for Rome's decision as to who should rule.
- Aristobulus, who was in control of the Temple, sent Pompey a vine of pure gold as a gift.
- Pompey sent such a valuable gift back to Rome to decorate the Temple of Jupiter.
- Antipater, on behalf of Hyrcan, understanding the Roman's political situation, sought to convince Pompey that if he favored Hyrcan, then he would eventually have control of Judea (another to boast of).
- Unexpectedly a group of Pharisees asked Pompey to rid them of both brothers and restore Judea to its original
constitution where the high priest ruled with the advise of an elected council.
- Pompey marched his army into Judea.
- Aristobulus was afraid so he fortified himself in Jerusalem
- Pompey then besieged Jerusalem and Aristobulus surrendered. But the Sadducees refused to open the gates. The Romans came in and the Sadducees withdrew into the Temple.
- The Romans attacked the Temple and broke through the outer wall.
- The priests performed the sacrifices devotedly without giving any attention to what was happening
- As one priest fell by the sword another would take his place. (About 12,000 Jews perished that day)
- When it was over, Pompey entered the Temple, and even the Holy of Holies
(truly no image inside?)
- This was the end of Jewish independence. Rome would never let go of its prey
- When Pompey was called in to decide for the Jews who should rule he chose Rome
- Aristobulus was deprived of any power in the government
- The Pharisaic Party was totally disregarded (The Jewish people were not to be considered)
- Hyrcan was chosen and Antipater (now a friend of Rome) was to stand at his side
- Hyrcan now would be called Ethnarch instead of king and Judea was now a Roman province of Syria
- Pompey even brought Aristobulus and his two sons to the Roman forum in his
march in triumphal procession to impress the people and the Roman Senate.
Rome and the Idumeans
- Antipater and Rome from this time on worked together. Both were greedy for
- Rome supported Antipater and he in turn fulfilled all of Rome's demands.
- Hyrcan II, ruler and high priest (63-40 BC) was just a puppet in their hands.
- Actually Antipater ruled, and two of his sons, Phasael and Herod, were local governors.
- Phasael was governor over Jerusalem and Herod was governor over Galilee.
- The Pharisees, Sadducees, and the people wanted to drive out the Romans.
- Rome broke up the country's unity by dividing it into 5 administrative districts.
- Many Jewish patriots hid in the mountains of Judea and Galilee to make surprise attacks on the Romans.
- The Romans looked upon them as murderers and hunted them mercilessly as beasts of prey.
- Rome and the Idumeans were obviously not popular with the Jewish people.
- One patriot named Hezekiah and some men were captured by Herod in Galilee.
They were executed.
- Some relatives of these men appealed to the Sanhedrin. They could do nothing.
- In fact when Herod was charged to answer to this, this is what happened.
- The normal procedure was for the accused to appear before the Sanhedrin in black clothes as a sign of penitence. Herod marched into the hall leading a body of soldiers in uniform with swords and spears.
- Herod was so sure of Rome's support that he had no respect for the Sanhedrin's judicial opinions.
- The 70 elders were humiliated and afraid. Only one man, Shemaiah spoke up. "If you will not judge this man now...the time will come when he will judge you and show you no mercy."
- The Sanhedrin was awakened and the trial began.
- Hyrcan, as high priest was president of the Sanhedrin. He knew that if he condemned Antipater's son then he would be opposing Rome and Rome would hold him personally responsible. He postponed the meeting till the next day.
- Herod, feeling insulted and in a rage, was ready to order a massacre on the
Sanhedrin as well as all of the inhabitants of Jerusalem who would not show
respect for Rome. His father and brother stopped him.
- Julius Caesar being the rival of Pompey in Rome for power even tried to stir up a rebellion
in Judea by releasing Aristobulus to return. When Antipater heard he sent men
to poison Aristobulus in Greece before he reached Judea. He even had
Aristobulus' son executed.
- Antipater and his sons were backing Pompey to the very end up till Pompey was defeated by Julius Caesar. Hyrcan and Antipater quickly changed sides.
- Caesar accepted them and allowed them to remain in power.
- There was another civil war in Rome just after this. Brutus and Cassius were
now in power in the eastern part of the Roman Empire.
- Cassius, in dire need of money, heavily taxed the Jews in Judea.
- In order to be collected, the huge sum had to be collected ruthlessly.
- Antipater and his sons were given the responsibility and therefore they became extremely unpopular.
- Herod was even the first to turn in the part he had collected.
- But Brutus and Cassius lost in the end. Would Antony and Octavian ever forgive Herod?
- The Jews pleaded to Rome for the removal of the Idumeans but Rome was in favor of Herod. He was brave and daring, qualities the Romans could appreciate.
- Herod and Phasael came out victors again, and the members of the Jewish
delegation were executed on Antony's order.
The Last of the Hasmoneans
- The feelings of the Jews at this time were expressed in a collection of
poems written about this time called "Psalms of Solomon." Their author was undoubtedly a Pharisee whose chief interest lay not in war
and power, but in piety and right conduct. He justified the misfortunes which
befell the Hasmoneans, for they had sinned and deserved punishment.
Nevertheless, he could not help speaking with great bitterness of Pompey and the Romans.
They had been invited as friends; the gates of the city were opened to them. But
they desecrated the Temple and enslaved the people. No wonder that when the
author heard of Pompey's end, he exclaimed: "Praised be the Lord who judges the
whole earth with His justice." Moreover, the author feared lest the pagan
neighbors in league with the Romans make life unbearable for the Jews. He prayed:
"Punish us in accordance with Thy will, but deliver us not into the hands of the Gentiles."
- The Idumean brothers needed the strength of Rome but there were problems
with the eastern part of the empire. Antony ruled over the East while Octavius
took the West for himself.
- At that time Cleopatra, famed for her beauty and her seductive trickery, was trying to make herself mistress of Rome by becoming the mistress of Antony.
- For her Antony neglected the government and let his brilliant future go to waste.
- Soon the eastern Roman army became disorganized and the officials more than ever corrupt.
- Antigonus, Aristobulus II's youngest son, watched all this from the other side of the Euphrates, where he had found refuge with the Parthians.
- With their aid he invaded Judea' meeting only halfhearted Roman opposition, and arrived before the gates of Jerusalem.
- Antigonus lured Hyrcan and Phasael into the Parthian camp. How bitterly he hated them! He held them responsible for years of personal suffering, for the murder of his father and brother, for the loss of Jewish independence.
- Phasael, knowing that he had nothing to hope for, committed suicide.
- As to Hyrcan, Antigonus did not have his uncle killed. He did want to disqualify him permanently for the high priesthood so he cut off the lobe of one of Hyrcan's ears, for according to Jewish law no man who was physically mutilated could serve as high priest.
- Antigonus entered Jerusalem and assumed the royal title and the high priesthood under the name of Mattathias (40 BC).
13. Antigonus as King
- He was not like his father, Aristobulus, nor like his grandmother Salome, he possessed neither attractiveness nor charm, neither soldierliness nor statesmanship.
- He was the wrong man at a time when the right one might have changed the
future of the entire East.
- When Herod new what was happening with Antigonus entering Jerusalem he
gathered his family, including Alexandra the daughter of Hyrcan, her daughter,
Miriam or Mariamne, to whom he was betrothed, and Miriam's younger brother Aristobulus, and had fled in the direction of
the Nabatean Arabs to the south.
- He left his family in a fortress in southern Palestine and continued on his way to Egypt where he hoped to tell his sad story to Antony. But he found that Antony had temporarily escaped Cleopatra's clutches and was gone making peace with Octavius.
- Although Cleopatra tried her seduction on Herod, he paid no attention to her and went on to Rome despite the danger of crossing the Mediterranean at that season.
- As usual, luck was with him. He arrived safely in Rome and was greeted warmly by Antony and Octavius.
- What could Herod have wanted with the rulers of the Roman empire? He certainly wanted revenge on Antigonus, and no doubt asked that Antony order the Roman armies in Syria to drive Antigonus out of Judea.
- Whatever the discussion was they and the Senate proclaimed Herod king of Judea.
- The family of Antipater, whose shrewdness had dispossessed the Hasmoneans,
thus attained more than they had hoped for.
- Herod, for the time being, was a king without a country.
- His first task was to win Judea by driving out Antigonus. But this was not an easy task in view of the bribes which the Roman generals in Syria were receiving from Antigonus, and the opposition of the Jews all over the country.
- Antigonus received letters and threats from Antony. Jerusalem was besieged for three months, and Antigonus could hold it no longer.
- The Romans army slaughtered so many within the city that Herod had to take drastic measures and promise the Romans large rewards to stop it or, as he complained to the Roman officers, he might be left a king of a country without a population.
- Antigonus was captured but he pleaded for mercy. It was not customary for the Romans to execute a captured king, but at Herod's request to avenge his brother, it was done in this case.
- The Hasmonean dynasty came to a horrible end and so did the independence which it had so gloriously won for Judea.
Herod as King
- The next period of Jewish history saw the beginnings of the national
calamity which overtook the Jews a century later. It is hard to refrain from
wondering how different modern Jewish life would be if Herod had been a different sort
of man, or if Rome and the Jews had understood each other. Until Herod's reign
it was still possible to hope that the Jews and the Romans would arrive at some
compromise whereby the Jews would be permitted to look upon their nation as
almost independent. The Jews were a proud people. The more they felt themselves
under the heel of Rome, the more they were determined to reassert their freedom.
Herod was in excellent position to bring Rome and Judea to a better
understanding. But he understood and sympathized with the Jews too little; he was
interested in his own power too much. The result was infamy for himself and
catastrophe for the people over whom he ruled.
The Life of Jesus
"I marvel that whereas the ambitious dreams of myself, Caesar, and Alexander should have vanished into thin air, a Judean peasant - Jesus should be able to stretch his hands across the centuries and control the destinies of men and nations." - Napoleon I Bonaparte (1809)
The Birth of John the Baptist
The History of the Birth of Jesus
NazarethGabriel Announces to Mary (Lk 1:26-38).
BethlehemThe Decree of Augustus Caesar and the Birth of Christ (Lk 2:1-7). The Second Visitors - Magi (Mat 2:1-12).
JerusalemJesus is Circumcised and Presented in the Temple (Lk 2:21-38).
EgyptOut of Egypt (Mat 2:13-23).
Jesus' Early YearsJerusalem
The JordanJesus is Baptized in the Jordan (Mat 3:13-17; Mk 1:9-11; Lk 3:21-23).
The WildernessThe Temptation in the Wilderness (Mat 4:1-11; Mk 1:12, 13; Lk 4:1-13). The Testimony of John (Jn 1:19-34).
The First PassoverJerusalem A House of Merchandise (Jn 2:13-25). Jesus Baptizes (Jn 3:22, with 4:2).
GalileeHe Departed Again to Galilee (Mat 4:12; Mk 1:14; Lk 4:14; Jn 4:1-3).
SamariaThe Woman at the Well (Jn 4:4-42). Physician, Heal Yourself! (Mat 4:13-16; Lk 4:16-31).
Sea of GalileePeter, Andrew, James, and John (Mat 4:18-22; Mk 1:16-20; Lk 5:1-11).
GalileeAnd Jesus Went About All Galilee . . Teaching (Mat 4:23-25; Mk 1:35-39, Lk 4:42-44). Then a Leper Came to Him (Mat 8:2-4; Mk 1:40-45; Lk 5:12- 16).
JerusalemHealing at the Pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath Day (Jn 5:1-47). And in His Name Gentiles Will Trust (Mat 12:15-21; Mk 3:7-12) The Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5-7; Lk 6:20-49). My Yoke is Easy and My Burden is Light (Mat 11:20-30).
CapernaumThe Woman With the Alabaster Flask (Lk 7:36-50). The Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Mat 12:22-37; Mk 3: 19-30; Lk 11:14-20). Woe to You, Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites (Lk 11:37-54). Parable of the Fig Tree (Lk 13:6-9). Many Such Parables (Mat 13:24-53; Mk 4:26-34).
Sea of GalileeJesus Rebukes the Storm (Mat 8:18-27; Mk 4:35-41; Lk 8:22-25). The Herd of Many Swine (Mat 8:28-33; Mk 5:1-21; Lk 8:26-40).
NazarethHe Came Again to His Own City (Mat 9:1; Mk 5:21 Lk 8:40). Jairus' Daughter and the Woman With the Flow of Blood (Mat 9:18-26; Mk 5:22-43; Lk 8:41-56). A Prophet is Not Without Honor Except in His Own Country (Mat 13:53-58; Mk 6:1-6). Sent His Disciples Out With Power and Authority (Mat 10; Mk 6:6-13, Lk 9:1-6).
MachaerusJohn the Baptist is Beheaded (Mat 14:1, 2, 6-12, Mk 6:14-16, 21-29; Lk 9:7-9).
Near BethsaidaThe Disciples Return, Feeding Five Thousand (Mat 14:13-21; Mk 6:30-44; Lk 9:10-17, Jn 6:1-14).
Sea of GalileeThey Saw Him Walking on the Sea (Mat 14:22-36; Mk 6:45-56; Jn 6:15-21).
Do you also want to go away? (Jn 6:66-71). A Woman of Canaan (Mat 15:21-28; Mk 7:24-30). Feeding Four Thousand (Mat 15:32-39; Mk 8:1-9). And He Was Transfigured (Mat 17:1-13; Mk 9:2-13; Lk 9:28-36). Speaks Again of His Death (Mat 17:22, 23; Mk 9:30-32; Lk 9:43-45).
CapernaumMiracle of the Coin in the Fish's Mouth (Mat 17:24-27). He Who is Not Against Us is On Our Side (Mk 9:38, 39; Lk 9:49, 50).
The Feast of TabernaclesJerusalem The Lord Appointed Seventy Others (Lk 10:1-16). Teaches in the Temple at the Feast of Tabernacles (Jn 7:14-53; 8:1-59). The Report of the Seventy (Lk 10:17-24).
BethanyThe House of Mary and Martha (Lk 10:38-42).
JerusalemI Was Blind, Now I See (Jn 9:1-41). They Picked Up Stones To Stone Him (Jn 10:22-39).
BethabaraBeyond the Jordan (Jn 10:40-42; 11:3-16).
BethanyJesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead (Jn 11:1-46).
EphraimThe Declaration of Caiaphas (Jn 11:47-54).
JudeaThe Woman Who Was Bent Over (Mat 19:1, 2; Mk 10:1; Lk 13:10-35). Count the Cost (Lk 14:25-35). Exposes the Hypocrisy of the Pharisees (Lk 16:14-18). Increase Our Faith (Lk 17:1-10). Marriage and Divorce (Mat 19:3-12; Mk 10:2-12). Rich Young Ruler (Mat 19:16-22; Mk 10:17-22; Lk 18:18-24). Again Foretelling His Death (Mat 20:17-19; Mk 10:32-34; Lk 18:31-34). Zacchaeus who was a Chief Tax Collector (Lk 19:1-10). Jesus Enters the Temple (Mat 21:12, Mk 11:11; Lk 19:45). The Blind and Lame Came to Him (Mat 21:14). The Withered Fig Tree (Mat 21:17-22; Mk 11:12-14, 20-22). The Parable of the Vinedressers (Mat 21:33-46; Mk 12:1-12; Lk 20:9-19); The Parable of the Great Supper (Mat 22:1-14; Lk 14:16-24). Tested By the Sadducees (Mat 22:23-33; Mk 12:18-27; Lk 20:27-40); Beware of the Scribes and the Pharisees (Mat 23; Mk 12:38-40; Lk 20:45-47). The Prophecy of Isaiah About their Blindness (Jn 12:37-50). He Saw the City and Wept Over It (Mat 23:37; Lk 19:41-44). The Sheep and the Goats (Mat 25:31-46).
JerusalemThe Last Passover (Mat 26:17-30; Mk 14:12-25; Lk 22:7-20). The Hand of My Betrayer is With Me (Mat 26:23; Mk 14:18-21; Lk 22:21; Jn 13:18). What You Do . . Do Quickly (Mat 26:21-25; Mk 14:18-21; Lk 22:21-23; Jn 13:21-30). Jesus' Intercession (Jn 17). Betrayed and Taken (Mat 26:47-56; Mk 14:43-54, 66-72; Lk 22:47-53; Jn 18:2-12). He Sent Him to Herod (Lk 23:6-12).
CrucifixionJoseph of Arimathea (Mat 27:57-66; Mk 15:42-47; Lk 23:50-56; Jn 19:31-42).
The ResurrectionHas Appeared to Simon (Lk 24:34; 1Cor 15:5).
Road to EmmausAppears to Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus (Mk 16:12, 13: Lk 24:13-35).
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