IN the mean time, Herod's affairs in Judea were in an ill state.
He had left his brother Joseph with full power, but had charged him to
make no attempts against Antigonus till his return; for that Macheras would
not be such an assistant as he could depend on, as it appeared by what
he had done already; but as soon as Joseph heard that his brother was at
a very great distance, he neglected the charge he had received, and marched
towards Jericho with five cohorts, which Macheras sent with him. This movement
was intended for seizing on the corn, as it was now in the midst of summer;
but when his enemies attacked him in the mountains, and in places which
were difficult to pass, he was both killed himself, as he was very bravely
fighting in the battle, and the entire Roman cohorts were destroyed; for
these cohorts were new-raised men, gathered out of Syria, and here was
no mixture of those called veteran soldiers among them, who might have
supported those that were unskillful in war.