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[49] But as to Helena, the king's mother, when she saw that the affairs of Izates's kingdom were in peace, and that her son was a happy man, and admired among all men, and even among foreigners, by the means of God's providence over him, she had a mind to go to the city of Jerusalem, in order to worship at that temple of God which was so very famous among all men, and to offer her thank-offerings there. So she desired her son to give her leave to go thither; upon which he gave his consent to what she desired very willingly, and made great preparations for her dismission, and gave her a great deal of money, and she went down to the city Jerusalem, her son conducting her on her journey a great way. Now her coming was of very great advantage to the people of Jerusalem; for whereas a famine did oppress them at that time, and many people died for want of what was necessary to procure food withal, queen Helena sent some of her servants to Alexandria with money to buy a great quantity of corn, and others of them to Cyprus, to bring a cargo of dried figs. And as soon as they were come back, and had brought those provisions, which was done very quickly, she distributed food to those that were in want of it, and left a most excellent memorial behind her of this benefaction, which she bestowed on our whole nation. And when her son Izates was informed of this famine, 1 he sent great sums of money to the principal men in Jerusalem. However, what favors this queen and king conferred upon our city Jerusalem shall be further related hereafter.

1 This further account of the benefactions of Izates and Helena to the Jerusalem Jews which Josephus here promises is, I think, no where performed by him in his present works. But of this terrible famine itself in Judea, take Dr. Hudson's note here: — "This ( says he ) is that famine foretold by Agabus, Acts 11:28, which happened when Claudius was consul the fourth time; and not that other which happened when Claudius was consul the second time, and Cesina was his colleague, as Scaliger says upon Eusebius, p. 174." Now when Josephus had said a little afterward, ch. 5. sect. 2, that "Tiberius Alexander succeeded Cuspius Fadus as procurator," he immediately subjoins, that" under these procurators there happened a great famine in Judea." Whence it is plain that this famine continued for many years, on account of its duration under these two procurators. Now Fadus was not sent into Judea till after the death of king Agrippa, i.e. towards the latter end of the 4th year of Claudius; so that this famine foretold by Agabus happened upon the 5th, 6th, and 7th years of Claudius, as says Valesius on Euseb. II. 12. Of this famine also, and queen Helena's supplies, and her monument, see Moses Churenensis, p. 144, 145, where it is observed in the notes that Pausanias mentions that her monument also.

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