Josephus the Traitor! and Historian!

Jotapata was a city in Lower Galilee about 3 mi. [5 km.] north of Sepphoris and 9 mi. [14.5 km.] north of Nazareth.  It is not mentioned in scripture, but 37 times in the works of the Jewish historian Josephus.

It was fortified by Josephus, who was the Jewish commander in Galilee at the beginning of the First Revolt (AD 66-70) and after a 47-day siege the Romans captured the city.

View to Jotapata from the north

Here Josephus went over to the side of the Romans—being one of the few survivors of the siege (War III: 141-408)!  It was here that he prophesied that the general Vespasian would become emperor—which in fact he did!

Ritual Bath (Miqvah) at Jotapata

The site has been excavated in recent years and here remains of the siege ramp, the defensive walls, houses (one with frescoes!), cisterns, caves, ritual baths, stone vessels, arrowheads, etc. have been discovered.

Josephus wrote his description of the First Jewish Revolt in his The Jewish Wars around AD 75-85.  This is a first hand description, with embellishments, of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by Titus in AD 70.

For more pictures and commentary on Jotapata Click Here.

For a description of the excavations see: Aviam, Mordechai. “Yodfat.” Pages 2076–78 in The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land — vol. 5 — Supplementary Volume. Edited by Ephraim Stern, Ayellet Lewinson–Gilboa, and Joseph Aviram. Jerusalem and Washington, DC: Israel Exploration Society and Biblical Archaeological Society, 2008.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s