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IV.

Nor indeed is this incapable of proof, neither is it a rash conjecture. For the kinsmen of the Saviour after the flesh, whether to magnify their own origin or simply to state the fact, but at all events speaking truth, have also handed down the following account: Some Idumean robbers attacking Ascalon, a city of Palestine, besides other spoils which they took from a temple of Apollo, which was built near the walls, carried off captive one Antipater, son of a certain Herod, a servant of the temple. And as the priest10481048    The word “priest” is used here perhaps improperly for “servant of the temple,” i.e., ἱερεύς for ἱερόδουλος. was not able to pay the ransom for his son, Antipater was brought up in the customs of the Idumeans, and afterwards enjoyed the friendship of Hyrcanus, the high priest of Judea. And being sent on an embassy to Pompey on behalf of Hyrcanus, and having restored to him the kingdom which was being wasted by Aristobulus his brother, he was so fortunate as to obtain the title of pro127curator of Palestine.10491049    So Josephus styles him “procurator of Judea, and viceroy” (ἐπιμελητὴς τῆς ᾽Ιουδαίας, and ἐπίτροπος). And when Antipater was treacherously slain through envy of his great good fortune, his son Herod succeeded him, who was afterwards appointed king of Judea under Antony and Augustus by a decree of the senate. His sons were Herod and the other tetrarchs. These accounts are given also in the histories of the Greeks.10501050    This whole story about Antipater is fictitious. Antipater’s father was not Herod, a servant in the temple of Apollo, but Antipater an Idumean, as we learn from Josephus (xiv. 2). This Antipater was made prefect of Idumea by Alexander king of the Jews, and laid the foundation of the power to which his descendants rose. He acquired great wealth, and was on terms of friendship with Ascalon, Gaza, and the Arabians.


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