It was at this time that the commanders of the Idumeans got together
privately, and took counsel about surrendering up themselves to the Romans.
Accordingly, they sent five men to Titus, and entreated him to give them
his right hand for their security. So Titus thinking that the tyrants would
yield, if the Idumeans, upon whom a great part of the war depended, were
once withdrawn from them, after some reluctancy and delay, complied with
them, and gave them security for their lives, and sent the five men back.
But as these Idumeans were preparing to march out, Simon perceived it,
and immediately slew the five men that had gone to Titus, and took their
commanders, and put them in prison, of whom the most eminent was Jacob,
the son of Sosas; but as for the multitude of the Idumeans, who did not
at all know what to do, now their commanders were taken from them, he had
them watched, and secured the walls by a more numerous garrison, Yet could
not that garrison resist those that were deserting; for although a great
number of them were slain, yet were the deserters many more in number.
They were all received by the Romans, because Titus himself grew negligent
as to his former orders for killing them, and because the very soldiers
grew weary of killing them, and because they hoped to get some money by
sparing them; for they left only the populace, and sold the rest of the
with their wives and children, and every one of them at a very low price,
and that because such as were sold were very many, and the buyers were
few: and although Titus had made proclamation beforehand, that no deserter
should come alone by himself, that so they might bring out their families
with them, yet did he receive such as these also. However, he set over
them such as were to distinguish some from others, in order to see if any
of them deserved to be punished. And indeed the number of those that were
sold was immense; but of the populace above forty thousand were saved,
whom Caesar let go whither every one of them pleased.