Jesus Stills the Storm

A storm is about to come, a rebellion of the people of Taricheae and the people of Tiberias, and all of Josephus’s companions will leave him but four. But, like Jesus, Josephus has the power to calm this storm by the word of his mouth:

“Now at the same time that certain young men of the village Dabaritta… declared to all men that Josephus was going to betray them: they also raised great disorders in all the neighboring cities, insomuch that in the morning a hundred thousand armed men came running together… Then it was that Josephus’s friends, and the guards of his body, were so affrighted at this violent assault of the multitude, that they all fled away but four; and as he was asleep, they awaked him, as the people were going to set fire to the house. And although those four that remained with him persuaded him to run awayhe was neither surprised at his being himself deserted, nor at the great multitude that came against him, but leaped out to them with his clothes rent, and ashes sprinkled on his head, with his hands behind him, and his sword hanging at his neck… But this humble appearance was only designed as preparatory to a stratagem of his, who thereby contrived to set those that were so angry at him at variance one with another about the things they were angry at. However, he promised he would confess all: hereupon he was permitted to speak, when he said, “I did neither intend to send this money back to Agrippa, nor to gain it myself… But, O you people of Taricheae, I saw that your city stood in more need than others of fortifications for your security, and that it wanted money in order for the building it a wall… therefore it was that I intended to retain this money privately, that I might encompass you with a wall… but if I have conducted myself so well as to please you, you may if you please punish your benefactor.” Hereupon the people of Taricheae loudly commended him; but those of Tiberias, with the rest of the company, gave him hard names, and threatened what they would do to him; so both sides left off quarrelling with Josephus, and fell on quarrelling with one another. So he grew bold upon the dependence he had on his friends, which were the people of Taricheae, and about forty thousand in number, and spake more freely to the whole multitude, and reproached them greatly for their rashness… Hereupon the rest of the multitude that had been deluded retired…”

– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book 2, 21:3-5

“Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?

– Matthew 8:23-27

Jesus {Josephus;} was sleeping when the storm {revolt;} came, but a few of his followers were there and woke him up because they thought they would die. But he was not afraid and got up and calmly rebuked the winds {people of Taricheae;} and the sea {people of Tiberias;}. Now that is a miracle! And the Jews were sore amazed!  These two passages tell exactly the same story.

“…There have been indeed some bad men, who have attempted to calumniate my history, and took it to be a kind of scholastic performance for the exercise of young men. A strange sort of accusation and calumny this!…”

– Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Book 1, 1:10

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