Try out the new BibleStudyTools.com. Click here!

Chapter 1

1. WHEN Antipater had thus taken off his brethren, and had brought his father into the highest degree of impiety, till he was haunted with furies for what he had done, his hopes did not succeed to his mind, as to the rest of his life; for although he was delivered from the fear of his brethren being his rivals as to the government, yet did he find it a very hard thing, and almost impracticable, to come at the kingdom, because the hatred of the nation against him on that account was become very great; and besides this very disagreeable circumstance, the affair of the soldiery grieved him still more, who were alienated from him, from which yet these kings derived all the safety which they had, whenever they found the nation desirous of innovation: and all this danger was drawn upon him by his destruction of his brethren. However, he governed the nation jointly with his father, being indeed no other than a king already; and he was for that very reason trusted, and the more firmly depended on, for the which he ought himself to have been put to death, as appearing to have betrayed his brethren out of his concern for the preservation of Herod, and not rather out of his ill-will to them, and, before them, to his father himself: and this was the accursed state he was in. Now all Antipater's contrivances tended to make his way to take off Herod, that he might have nobody to accuse him in the vile practices he was devising: and that Herod might have no refuge, nor any to afford him their assistance, since they must thereby have Antipater for their open enemy; insomuch that the very plots he had laid against his brethren were occasioned by the hatred he bore his father. But at this time he was more than ever set upon the execution of his attempts against Herod, because if he were once dead, the government would now be firmly secured to him; but if he were suffered to live any longer, he should be in danger, upon a discovery of that wickedness of which he had been the contriver, and his father would of necessity then become his enemy. And on this account it was that he became very bountiful to his father's friends, and bestowed great sums on several of them, in order to surprise men with his good deeds, and take off their hatred against him. And he sent great presents to his friends at Rome particularly, to gain their good-will; and above all to Saturninus, the president of Syria. He also hoped to gain the favor of Saturninus's brother with the large presents he bestowed on him; as also he used the same art to [Salome] the king's sister, who had married one of Herod's chief friends. And when he counterfeited friendship to those with whom he conversed, he was very subtle in gaining their belief, and very cunning to hide his hatred against any that he really did hate. But he could not impose upon his aunt, who understood him of a long time, and was a woman not easily to be deluded, especially while she had already used all possible caution in preventing his pernicious designs. Although Antipeter's uncle by the mother's side was married to her daughter, and this by his own connivance and management, while she had before been married to Aristobulus, and while Salome's other daughter by that husband was married to the son of Calleas; yet that marriage was no obstacle to her, who knew how wicked he was, in her discovering his designs, as her former kindred to him could not prevent her hatred of him. Now Herod had compelled Salome, while she was in love with Sylleus the Arabian, and had taken a fondness for him, to marry Alexas; which match was by her submitted to at the instance of Julia, who persuaded Salome not to refuse it, lest she should herself be their open enemy, since Herod had sworn that he would never be friends with Salome, if she would not accept of Alexas for her husband; so she submitted to Julia as being Caesar's wife; and besides that, she advised her to nothing but what was very much for her own advantage. At this time also it was that Herod sent back king Archelaus's daughter, who had been Alexander's wife, to her father, returning the portion he had with her out of his own estate, that there might be no dispute between them about it.

2. Now Herod brought up his sons' children with great care; for Alexander had two sons by Glaphyra; and Aristobulus had three sons by Bernice, Salome's daughter, and two daughters; and as his friends were once with him, he presented the children before them; and deploring the hard fortune of his own sons, he prayed that no such ill fortune would befall these who were their children, but that they might improve in virtue, and obtain what they justly deserved, and might make him amends for his care of their education. He also caused them to be betrothed against they should come to the proper age of marriage; the elder of Alexander's sons to Pheroras's daughter, and Antipater's daughter to Aristobulus's eldest son. He also allotted one of Aristobulus's daughters to Antipater's son, and Aristobulus's other daughter to Herod, a son of his own, who was born to him by the high priest's daughter; for it is the ancient practice among us to have many wives at the same time. Now the king made these espousals for the children, out of commiseration of them now they were fatherless, as endeavoring to render Antipater kind to them by these intermarriages. But Antipater did not fail to bear the same temper of mind to his brothers' children which he had borne to his brothers themselves; and his father's concern about them provoked his indignation against them upon this supposal, that they would become greater than ever his brothers had been; while Archclaus, a king, would support his daughter's sons, and Pheroras, a tetrarch, would accept of one of the daughters as a wife to his son. What provoked him also was this, that all the multitude would so commiserate these fatherless children, and so hate him [for making them fatherless], that all would come out, since they were no strangers to his vile disposition towards his brethren. He contrived, therefore, to overturn his father's settlements, as thinking it a terrible thing that they should be so related to him, and be so powerful withal. So Herod yielded to him, and changed his resolution at his entreaty; and the determination now was, that Antipater himself should marry Aristobulus's daughter, and Antipater's son should marry Pheroras's daughter. So the espousals for the marriages were changed after this manner, even without the king's real approbation.

3. Now Herod the king had at this time nine wives; one of them Antipater's mother, and another the high priest's daughter, by whom he had a son of his own name. He had also one who was his brother's daughter, and another his sister's daughter; which two had no children. One of his wives also was of the Samaritan nation, whose sons were Antipas and Archelaus, and whose daughter was Olympias; which daughter was afterward married to Joseph, the king's brother's son; but Archelaus and Antipas were brought up with a certain private man at Rome. Herod had also to wife Cleopatra of Jerusalem, and by her he had his sons Herod and Philip; which last was also brought up at Rome. Pallas also was one of his wives, which bare him his son Phasaelus. And besides these, he had for his wives Phedra and E1pis, by whom he had his daughters Roxana and Salome. As for his elder daughters by the same mother with Alexander and Aristobulus, and whom Pheroras neglected to marry, he gave the one in marriage to Antipater, the king's sister's son, and the other to Phasaelus, his brother's son. And this was the posterity of Herod.