And when they insisted on their law, and the custom of their country,
and how it was not only not permitted them to make either an image of God,
or indeed of a man, and to put it in any despicable part of their country,
much less in the temple itself, Petronius replied, "And am not I also,"
said he, "bound to keep the law of my own lord? For if I transgress
it, and spare you, it is but just that I perish; while he that sent me,
and not I, will commence a war against you; for I am under command as well
as you." Hereupon the whole multitude cried out that they were ready
to suffer for their law. Petronius then quieted them, and said to them,
"Will you then make war against Caesar?" The Jews said, "We
offer sacrifices twice every day for Caesar, and for the Roman people;"
but that if he would place the images among them, he must first sacrifice
the whole Jewish nation; and that they were ready to expose themselves,
together with their children and wives, to be slain. At this Petronius
was astonished, and pitied them, on account of the inexpressible sense
of religion the men were under, and that courage of theirs which made them
ready to die for it; so they were dismissed without success.