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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Alexander’s Conquest of Palestine
By Josephus (37–100)
 
From the ‘Antiquities’: Translation of William Whiston

ABOUT this time (333 B.C.) it was that Darius heard how Alexander had passed over the Hellespont, and had beaten his lieutenants in the battle of Granicum, and was proceeding farther; whereupon he gathered together an army of horse and foot, and determined that he would meet the Macedonians before they should assault and conquer all Asia. So he passed over the river Euphrates, and came over Taurus, the Cilician mountain; and at Isis of Cilicia he waited for the enemy, as ready there to give him battle. Upon which Sanballat was glad that Darius was come down; and told Manasseh that he would suddenly perform his promises to him, and this as soon as ever Darius should come back, after he had beaten his enemies; for not he only, but all those that were in Asia also, were persuaded that the Macedonians would not so much as come to a battle with the Persians, on account of their multitude. But the event proved otherwise than they expected, for the king joined battle with the Macedonians, and was beaten, and lost a great part of his army. His mother also, and his wife and children, were taken captives, and he fled into Persia. So Alexander came into Syria, and took Damascus; and when he had obtained Sidon, he besieged Tyre, when he sent an epistle to the Jewish high priest, “To send him some auxiliaries, and to supply his army with provisions; and that what presents he formerly sent to Darius he would now send to him, and choose the friendship of the Macedonians, and that he should never repent of so doing.” But the high priest answered the messengers, that “he had given his oath to Darius not to bear arms against him”; and he said that “he would not transgress them while Darius was in the land of the living.” Upon hearing this answer, Alexander was very angry; and though he determined not to leave Tyre, which was just ready to be taken, yet as soon as he had taken it he threatened that he would make an expedition against the Jewish high priest, and through him teach all men to whom they must keep their oaths. So when he had, with a great deal of pains during the siege, taken Tyre, and had settled his affairs, he came to the city of Gaza, and besieged both the city and him that was governor of the garrison, whose name was Babemeses…. Now Alexander, when he had taken Gaza, made haste to go up to Jerusalem; and Jaddaa the high priest, when he heard that, was in an agony and under terror, as not knowing how he should meet the Macedonians, since the King was displeased at his foregoing disobedience. He therefore ordained that the people should make supplications, and should join with him in offering sacrifices to God, whom he besought to protect that nation, and to deliver them from the perils that were coming upon them: whereupon God warned him in a dream, which came upon him after he had offered sacrifice, that “he should take courage, and adorn the city, and open the gates; that the rest should appear in white garments, but that he and the priests should meet the King in the habits proper to their order, without the dread of any ill consequences, which the providence of God would prevent.” Upon which, when he rose from his sleep, he greatly rejoiced, and declared to all the warning he had received from God. According to which dream he acted entirely, and so waited for the coming of the King…. For Alexander, when he saw the multitude at a distance, in white garments, while the priests stood clothed with fine linen, and the high priest in purple and scarlet clothing, with his mitre on his head, having the golden plate whereon the name of God was engraved, he approached by himself, and adored that name, and first saluted the high priest. The Jews also did altogether, with one voice, salute Alexander and encompass him about; whereupon the kings of Syria and the rest were surprised at what Alexander had done, and supposed him disordered in his mind. However, Parmenio alone went up to him, and asked him “How it came to pass that when all others adored him, he should adore the high priest of the Jews!” To whom he replied:—“I do not adore him, but that God who hath honored him with his high-priesthood: for I saw this very person in a dream, in this very habit, when I was at Dios in Macedonia, who, when I was considering with myself how I might obtain the dominion of Asia, exhorted me to make no delay, but boldly to pass over the sea thither, for that he would conduct my army, and would give me the dominion over the Persians; whence it is, that having seen no other in that habit, and now seeing this person in it, and remembering that vision, and the exhortation which I had in my dream, I believe that I bring this army under the Divine conduct, and shall therewith conquer Darius and destroy the power of the Persians, and that all things will succeed according to what is in my own mind.” And when he said this to Parmenio, and had given the high priest his right hand, the priests ran along by him, and he came into the city: and when he went up into the temple he offered sacrifice to God, according to the high priest’s directions; and magnificently treated both the high priest and the priests. And when the book of Daniel was showed him, wherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended; and as he was then glad, he dismissed the multitude for the present, but the next day called them to him, and bade them ask what favors they pleased of him; whereupon the high priest desired that they might enjoy the laws of their forefathers, and might pay no tribute on the seventh year. He granted all they desired. And when they entreated him that he would permit the Jews in Babylon and Media to enjoy their own laws also, he willingly promised to do hereafter what they desired.  1
 
 
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