Chapter 6

1. NOW Aristobulus ran away from Rome to Judea, and set about the rebuilding of Alexandrium, which had been newly demolished. Hereupon Gabinius sent soldiers against him, add for their commanders Sisenna, and Antonius, and Servilius, in order to hinder him from getting possession of the country, and to take him again. And indeed many of the Jews ran to Aristobulus, on account of his former glory, as also because they should be glad of an innovation. Now there was one Pitholaus, a lieutenant at Jerusalem, who deserted to him with a thousand men, although a great number of those that came to him were unarmed; and when Aristobulus had resolved to go to Macherus, he dismissed those people, because they were unarmed; for they could not be useful to him in what actions he was going about; but he took with him eight thousand that were armed, and marched on; and as the Romans fell upon them severely, the Jews fought valiantly, but were beaten in the battle; and when they had fought with alacrity, but were overborne by the enemy, they were put to flight; of whom were slain about five thousand, and the rest being dispersed, tried, as well as they were able, to save themselves. However, Aristobulus had with him still above a thousand, and with them he fled to Macherus, and fortified the place; and though he had had ill success, he still had good hope of his affairs; but when he had struggled against the siege for two days' time, and had received many wounds, he was brought as a captive to Gabinius, with his son Antigonus, who also fled with him from Rome. And this was the fortune of Aristobulus, who was sent back again to Rome, and was there retained in bonds, having been both king and high priest for three years and six months; and was indeed an eminent person, and one of a great soul. However, the senate let his children go, upon Gabinius's writing to them that he had promised their mother so much when she delivered up the fortresses to him; and accordingly they then returned into Judea.

2. Now when Gabinius was making an expedition against the Parthians, and had already passed over Euphrates, he changed his mind, and resolved to return into Egypt, in order to restore Ptolemy to his kingdom. This hath also been related elsewhere. However, Antipater supplied his army, which he sent against Archelaus, with corn, and weapons, and money. He also made those Jews who were above Pelusium his friends and confederates, and had been the guardians of the passes that led into Egypt. But when he came back out of Egypt, he found Syria in disorder, with seditions and troubles; for Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, having seized on the government a second time by force, made many of the Jews revolt to him; and so he marched over the country with a great army, and slew all the Romans he could light upon, and proceeded to besiege the mountain called Gerizzim, whither they had retreated.

3. But when Gabinius found Syria in such a state, he sent Antipater, who was a prudent man, to those that were seditious, to try whether he could cure them of their madness, and persuade them to return to a better mind; and when he came to them, he brought many of them to a sound mind, and induced them to do what they ought to do; but he could not restrain Alexander, for he had an army of thirty thousand Jews, and met Gabinius, and joining battle with him, was beaten, and lost ten thousand of his men about Mount Tabor.

4. So Gabinius settled the affairs which belonged to the city Jerusalem, as was agreeable to Antipater's inclination, and went against the Nabateans, and overcame them in battle. He also sent away in a friendly manner Mithridates and Orsanes, who were Parthian deserters, and came to him, though the report went abroad that they had run away from him. And when Gabinius had performed great and glorious actions, in his management of the affairs of war, he returned to Rome, and delivered the government to Crassus. Now Nicolaus of Damascus, and Strabo of Cappadocia, both describe the expeditions of Pompey and Gabinius against the Jews, while neither of them say anything new which is not in the other.