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Josephus At Jotapata: Why Josephus Wrote What He Wrote

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Chapter Summary

The episode about Josephus at Jotapata (War 3.340392) has been a subject of discussion for as long as people have been studying Josephus or even reading his writings. In the story, Josephus presents himself differently from other stories, in three ways: as a prophet, a priest and as a praying person. Prophet, priest, prayer: three words related to religion; all three particulars in a story used by Josephus as justification for his actions. Prophets and priests are prominent members of the Jewish community. Stressing that he himself is both must have seemed especially convincing to him; and saying that the prophecy he made to Vespasian was already present in Jewish scripture, and that he explained it by way of the sacred books, added to this.

Keywords: Jewish scripture; Josephus; Jotapata; praying person; priest; prophet



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