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[105] Now while the Jewish affairs were under the administration of Cureanus, there happened a great tumult at the city of Jerusalem, and many of the Jews perished therein. But I shall first explain the occasion whence it was derived. When that feast which is called the passover was at hand, at which time our custom is to use unleavened bread, and a great multitude was gathered together from all parts to that feast, Cumanus was afraid lest some attempt of innovation should then be made by them; so he ordered that one regiment of the army should take their arms, and stand in the temple cloisters, to repress any attempts of innovation, if perchance any such should begin; and this was no more than what the former procurators of Judea did at such festivals. But on the fourth day of the feast, a certain soldier let down his breeches, and exposed his privy members to the multitude, which put those that saw him into a furious rage, and made them cry out that this impious action was not done to approach them, but God himself; nay, some of them reproached Cumanus, and pretended that the soldier was set on by him, which, when Cumanus heard, he was also himself not a little provoked at such reproaches laid upon him; yet did he exhort them to leave off such seditious attempts, and not to raise a tumult at the festival. But when he could not induce them to be quiet for they still went on in their reproaches to him, he gave order that the whole army should take their entire armor, and come to Antonia, which was a fortress, as we have said already, which overlooked the temple; but when the multitude saw the soldiers there, they were affrighted at them, and ran away hastily; but as the passages out were but narrow, and as they thought their enemies followed them, they were crowded together in their flight, and a great number were pressed to death in those narrow passages; nor indeed was the number fewer than twenty thousand that perished in this tumult. So instead of a festival, they had at last a mournful day of it; and they all of them forgot their prayers and sacrifices, and betook themselves to lamentation and weeping; so great an affliction did the impudent obsceneness of a single soldier bring upon them. 1

1 This and. many more tumults and seditions which arose at the Jewish festivals, in Josephus, illustrate the cautious procedure of the Jewish governors, when they said, Matthew 26:5, "Let us not take Jesus on the feast-day, lest there be an up roar among the people;" as Reland well observes on tins place. Josephus also takes notice of the same thing, Of the War, B. I. ch. 4. sect. 3.

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