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[622] So Vespasian's good fortune succeeded to his wishes every where, and the public affairs were, for the greatest part, already in his hands; upon which he considered that he had not arrived at the government without Divine Providence, but that a righteous kind of fate had brought the empire under his power; for as he called to mind the other signals, which had been a great many every where, that foretold he should obtain the government, so did he remember what Josephus had said to him when he ventured to foretell his coming to the empire while Nero was alive; so he was much concerned that this man was still in bonds with him. He then called for Mucianus, together with his other commanders and friends, and, in the first place, he informed them what a valiant man Josephus had been, and what great hardships he had made him undergo in the siege of Jotapata. After that he related those predictions of his 1 which he had then suspected as fictions, suggested out of the fear he was in, but which had by time been demonstrated to be Divine. "It is a shameful thing (said he) that this man, who hath foretold my coming to the empire beforehand, and been the minister of a Divine message to me, should still be retained in the condition of a captive or prisoner." So he called for Josephus, and commanded that he should be set at liberty; whereupon the commanders promised themselves glorious things, froth this requital Vespasian made to a stranger. Titus was then present with his father, and said, "O father, it is but just that the scandal [of a prisoner] should be taken off Josephus, together with his iron chain. For if we do not barely loose his bonds, but cut them to pieces, he will be like a man that had never been bound at all." For that is the usual method as to such as have been bound without a cause. This advice was agreed to by Vespasian also; so there came a man in, and cut the chain to pieces; while Josephus received this testimony of his integrity for a reward, and was moreover esteemed a person of credit as to futurities also.

2

1 As Daniel was preferred by Darius and Cyrus, on account of his having foretold the destruction of the Babylonian monarchy by their means, and the consequent exaltation of the Medes and Persians, Daniel 5:6 or rather, as Jeremiah, when he was a prisoner, was set at liberty, and honorably treated by Nebuzaradan, at the command of Nebuchadnezzar, on account of his having foretold the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, Jeremiah 40:1-7; so was our Josephus set at liberty, and honorably treated, on account of his having foretold the advancement of Vespasian and Titus to the Roman empire. All these are most eminent instances of the interposition of Divine Providence. and of the certainty of Divine predictions in the great revolutions of the four monarchies. Several such-like examples there are, both in the sacred and other histories, as in the case of Joseph in Egypt. and of Jaddua the high priest, in the days of Alexander the Great, etc.

2 THAT UPON THE CONQUEST AND SLAUGHTER OF VITELLIUS VESPASIAN HASTENED HIS JOURNEY TO ROME; BUT TITUS HIS SON RETURNED TO JERUSALEM.

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