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[216] About the same time it was that Caesar sent a letter to Bassus, and to Liberius Maximus, who was the procurator [of Judea], and gave order that all Judea should be exposed to sale 1 for he did not found any city there, but reserved the country for himself. However, he assigned a place for eight hundred men only, whom he had dismissed from his army, which he gave them for their habitation; it is called Emmaus, 2 and is distant from Jerusalem threescore furlongs. He also laid a tribute upon the Jews wheresoever they were, and enjoined every one of them to bring two drachmae every year into the Capitol, as they used to pay the same to the temple at Jerusalem. And this was the state of the Jewish affairs at this time.

1 It is very remarkable that Titus did not people this now desolate country of Judea, but ordered it to be all sold; nor indeed is it properly peopled at this day, but lies ready for its old inhabitants the Jews, at their future restoration. See Literal Accomplishment of Prophecies, p. 77.

2 That the city Emmaus, or Areindus, in Josephus and others which was the place of the government of Julius Africanus were slain, to the number of one thousand seven hundred, as were the women and the children made slaves. But as Bassus thought he must perform the covenant he had made with those that had surrendered the citadel, he let them go, and restored Eleazar to them, in the beginning of the third century, and which he then procured to be rebuilt, and after which rebuilding it was called Nicopolis, is entirely different from that Emmaus which is mentioned by St. Luke 24;13; see Reland's Paleestina, lib. II. p. 429, and under the name Ammaus also. But he justly thinks that that in St. Luke may well be the same with his Ammaus before us, especially since the Greek copies here usually make it sixty furlongs distant from Jerusalem, as does St. Luke, though the Latin copies say only thirty. The place also allotted for these eight hundred soldiers, as for a Roman garrison, in this place, would most naturally be not so remote from Jerusalem as was the other Emmaus, or Nicopolis.

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