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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Chapter V.--Philo's Embassy to Caius in Behalf of the Jews.

Church History by Eusebius Pamphilius

Chapter V.--Philo's Embassy to Caius in Behalf of the Jews.

1. Philo has given us an account, in five books, of the misfortunes of the Jews under Caius. He recounts at the same time the madness of Caius: how he called himself a god, and performed as emperor innumerable acts of tyranny; and he describes further the miseries of the Jews under him, and gives a report of the embassy upon which he himself was sent to Rome in behalf of his fellow-countrymen in Alexandria; how when he appeared before Caius in behalf of the laws of his fathers he received nothing but laughter and ridicule, and almost incurred the risk of his life.

2. Josephus also makes mention of these things in the eighteenth book of his Antiquities, in the following words: |A sedition having arisen in Alexandria between the Jews that dwell there and the Greeks, three deputies were chosen from each faction and went to Caius.

3. One of the Alexandrian deputies was Apion, who uttered many slanders against the Jews; among other things saying that they neglected the honors due to Cæsar. For while all other subjects of Rome erected altars and temples to Caius, and in all other respects treated him just as they did the gods, they alone considered it disgraceful to honor him with statues and to swear by his name.

4. And when Apion had uttered many severe charges by which he hoped that Caius would be aroused, as indeed was likely, Philo, the chief of the Jewish embassy, a man celebrated in every respect, a brother of Alexander the Alabarch, and not unskilled in philosophy, was prepared to enter upon a defense in reply to his accusations.

5. But Caius prevented him and ordered him to leave, and being very angry, it was plain that he meditated some severe measure against them. And Philo departed covered with insult and told the Jews that were with him to be of good courage; for while Caius was raging against them he was in fact already contending with God.|

6. Thus far Josephus. And Philo himself, in the work On the Embassy which he wrote, describes accurately and in detail the things which were done by him at that time. But I shall omit the most of them and record only those things which will make clearly evident to the reader that the misfortunes of the Jews came upon them not long after their daring deeds against Christ and on account of the same.

7. And in the first place he relates that at Rome in the reign of Tiberius, Sejanus, who at that time enjoyed great influence with the emperor, made every effort to destroy the Jewish nation utterly; and that in Judea, Pilate, under whom the crimes against the Saviour were committed, attempted something contrary to the Jewish law in respect to the temple, which was at that time still standing in Jerusalem, and excited them to the greatest tumults.

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