Agrippa’s Daughters–the last Queens of Jewish Palestine

berenice romeinspompeii.net
Queen Bernice…had a tricky time with her marriage alliances. Nothing she did…and she calmly complies with lots of nonsense in order to be safely “married off”…satisfied her detractors. And there is much more to come.

One other thing that Agrippa did to anger everyone hoping for a “purer” kingdom to come, was to “high-handedly” perpetuate the “wantonness” of his own virgin daughters. Josephus, bless him, tells us why they were so angered…

And thus did Agrippa depart this life. But he left behind him a son, Agrippa by name, a youth in the seventeenth year of his age, and three daughters, one of whom, Bernice, (he) married to Herod, his father’s brother, and was sixteen years old; the other two, Mariamne and Drusilla , were still virgins; the former was ten years old and Drusilla six. Now these his daughters were thus espoused by their father; Mariamne to Julius Archelaus Epiphanes, the son of Antiochus, the son of Chelcias; and Drusilla to the king of Commagena . Antiquities of the Jews XIX.IX.1

Continue reading “Agrippa’s Daughters–the last Queens of Jewish Palestine”

Jesus son of Mariamne

www-St-Takla-org--Jesus-with-Samaritan-Woman-02
The Samaritan Woman at the Well. “There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, “Give me to drink.”…(after some back and forth about “living water” vs water in the well)…Jesus saith unto her, “Go call thy husband, and come hither.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said unto her, “Thou hast well said…for thou has had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.” The woman saith unto him “Sir…I know that Messias cometh…when he is come, he will tell us all things.” Jesus saith unto her, “I that speak unto thee am he.” And upon this came his disciples, and marveled that he talked with the woman…John 4: 7-26. Note that the disciples did not marvel that he talked to a Samaritan with whom Jews had many religious and political reasons for enmity. Nor did they notice that Jesus had just called himself the Messiah for the first time. They marveled that he spoke to a woman and a “sinner.” Remembering that Jesus taught that any re-marriage is adultery. “If a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.” Mark 10:12

The way the gospels are written—and let me say again, I am no expert, merely obsessed with comparing the royal women in Josephus to the gospel women and seeing what happens– nothing deep—it often seems to me that there were two factions among the followers of Jesus according to the way the gospels are written: women and everyone else. It has often been commented on that Jesus spoke to a lot of women for his day. The 70s feminists I read going so far as to make him the first “feminist.” For instance; Jesus was called upon to defend and/or “heal” the women around him, most of whom are considered to be “sinners” by the disciples. They also had a bias against the “rich.”  If even some of the disciples around Jesus were Essen in their outlook…not surprising if they had been disciples of John the Baptist who has long been considered to be at least affiliated with the Essenes, then it is understandable.  As Josephus said of the Essen:

This is demonstrated by that institution of theirs, which will not suffer anything to hinder them from having all things in common; so that a rich man enjoys no more of his own wealth than he who hath nothing at all. Antiquities of the Jews XVIII.I.5

Add to that the “sins” of Essen belief that I have quote twice earlier about how women are not to be trusted…and rich women were the worst sinners…even for the Rabbis, as we will see in the later posts. Mary Magdalene had money enough to support Jesus but also had seven devils. The Matthew and Luke birth stories also accuse Mary, as do the Rabbis of being an adulteress. The women with enough funds to purchase expensive ointment had to have been “sinners.”

Remember that the very first designation of family for Jesus was Mark 6:3:

“Is this not Jesus…the son of Mary.”

It was changed by each subsequent gospel to make it more patriarchal…because to call a man the son of his mother was unusual. It usually meant that he was illigitimate…and that is a possibility…given all the fuss made about his birth. But I think it is something more, of course. I think that calling Jesus the “son of Mary/Mariamne” placed him immediately for his audience for those with eyes to see and ears to hear. Even forty years after Jesus’ death and after the war that leveled the Jewish nation, Jews would have known what it meant as they were dispersed over the Mediterranean. He was a son of the royal house, a son of the Tower of Mariamne…and his wrongful death will play a part in the lead-up to that war with Rome…as I will attempt to show.

Continue reading “Jesus son of Mariamne”

Herodias vs. John the son of Elizabeth

johnthebaptist
John the Baptist…If you look on the internet, there are those who feel that all the information in Josephus that I quote in this blog having to do with Christian persons was inserted later into his writings…more later. See http://vridar.org/2012/01/30/john-the-baptist-couchoud/, for instance. I am still sticking with my theory that Jesus was the son of Mariamne III and sister of Herodias…

The three Synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) give accounts of John the Baptist’s feud with Herodias over her marriage to Antipas. The closest the gospel of John comes is to say…For John was not yet cast into prison. (3:24) 

The Synoptic authors do not seem to care that Herodias is trying to get herself and Antipas named as the king and queen that would once again allow the Jews to reclaim rule in Jerusalem. John is most often depicted in the gospels as a hermit prophet and affiliated with the Essene priests perhaps living at Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. In the earlier post on Elizabeth, we saw how John’s mother was adamantly described as a “daughter of Aaron”, a daughter of a High Priest. We saw how the Essen were expecting a king messiah and a priest messiah and that a priest messiah would outrank a king messiah. Especially for the priest messiah (an anointed priest/prophet), it would have been essential that he have a genealogy and bloodline uncontaminated with Herodian blood. Coincidentally, the gospels show Elizabeth to have a prophecy and be married to a worthy priest/high priest…which is what the terms “just” and “daughter of Aaron,” meant…meaning that John could, in real life, flesh and blood, be that High Priest Messiah longed for by the writers of the Zadokite Document quoted in the earlier post on Elizabeth.

Josephus also speaks of John… Continue reading “Herodias vs. John the son of Elizabeth”

Queen Glaphyra’s Dream

200px-Glaphyra
Glaphyra daughter of the King of Cappadocia, married to Alexander son of Herod and Mariamne the Hasmonean Queen, sent back home when Alexander was executed and who later married Archelaus…

Archelaus returned from Rome where he was ratified as “Ethnarch” not king. He began to rebuild his royal palace at Jericho that had been looted and burned and to get the nation back on track. And then he divorced his wife—who I will go into in the next blog post—but now I want to continue on with who Archelaus immediately remarried and what the repercussions were…

Moreover, he transgressed the law of our fathers, and married Glaphyra…who had been the wife of his brother Alexander (eldest son of Queen Mariamne), which Alexander had three children by her, while it was a thing detestable among the Jews to marry the brother’s wife[i] (if she had children by him before he died)…so great was his affection for her.  Antiquities of the Jews XVII.XIII.1-4

Continue reading “Queen Glaphyra’s Dream”