Jewish Antiquities

Illustration from a 15th-century French manuscript of JosephusJewish Antiquities, 15th-century. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

Flavius Josephus was a first-century C.E. Jewish scholar and historian from Judea, a province of the Roman Empire, who moved to Rome after the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. The illustration shown here is from a 15th-century French manuscript illustrating one of Josephus’ most important works, Jewish Antiquities. The text provides a valuable accounting of first-century Judaism. In this illustration, we see the Israelites on the right poised to cross into Jericho and take the city (Josh 2).  Joshua (not shown) sends two spies to Rahab to investigate the city’s military strength. On the left, the spies are seen below Rahab’s window, assuring her that she will be spared in the invasion in return for her cooperation. 

Rahab helps Joshua’s two spies escape (Joshua 2). Illustration from a 15th-century French manuscript of Josephus’ Jewish Antiquities. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

A broad, diverse group of nations ruled by the government of a single nation.

A Jewish historian from the first century C.E. His works document the Jewish rebellions against Rome, giving background for early Jewish and Christian practices.

The religion and culture of Jews. It emerged as the descendant of ancient Israelite Religion, and is characterized by monotheism and an adherence to the laws present in the Written Torah (the Bible) and the Oral Torah (Talmudic/Rabbinic tradition).

The southern kingdom of Judah.

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