THE NEW ROOT AND BRANCH VOL.2 In other chapters of Caesar’s Messiah, having shown the methods that the Romans used to satirically communicate the real history of their struggle with the messianic Jews, I can present the most complex of their works. The reader will recognize that I have already touched on many of the passages that make up this satire. These separate elements were designed to be linked together to create a larger intertextual story. I refer to this satire as the “new root and branch”. It is a vast literary devise coursing through the Gospels and three of Josephus books. Because it extends over several different books. It is hard to discover, but, as noted above, this literary devise is not unusual in Hebrew literature. It is, for instance, similar to the way in which the Abraham saga is continued in the book of Samuel and the Book of Kings. Through a series of distinct passages, one character becomes associated with another character by means of parallel acts or locations, and by means of similar language. The purpose of this particular satire is to document that the “Root” and “Branch” of the Judaic messianic lineage has been destroyed and that a Roman lineage has been “grafted on” in its place. This satirical system actually begins in the book of Malachi, the final book of the Old Testament. Malachi means “My Messenger” in Hebrew and was used as an epithet for the prophet Elijah. This is because Judaic literature it was predicted that the Messiah would be preceded by the appearance of Elijah, who would act as the messenger of his coming. “But I shall send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the lord” Malachi 3:23 This final passage in the book of Malachi predicts a coming disaster for the “wicked”, one that will leave them destroyed by fire and with neither “root” nor “Branch”. For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up, says the Lord of Host, and will leave them neither root nor branch” Malachi 3:19 Josephus clearly records that the first part of this prophecy, concerning the ‘wicked” being “burned up”, came to pass during the war with the Romans. He also records that the second part of the prophecy-that they would be left with neither “root” nor “branch”-was also fulfilled during Titus campaign, though not so overtly. To understand that the “wicked”, that is, the messianic rebels, were to be left with no “root” or “branch”, the reader needs to comprehend the most complex literary satire ever written. As noted above, Root & Branch were Judaic metaphors used to denote the messianic lineage. For example, the Genesis Florilegium states: …until the Messiah of righteousness, the branch of David comes, because to him and his seed was given the Covenant of the kingdom of his people…(4Q252) This root and branch of messianic imagery is to be found in the Dead Sea Scrolls is a continuation of its use by the prophet Isaiah concerning the coming Messiah, as the following translation from another fragment of the scrolls shows: …Isaiah the prophet…the thickets of the forest will be felled with an axe and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one. A staff shall rise from the root of Jesse, and a planting from his roots will bear fruit…the branch of David.(4Q285) This reads like the Gospel of Luke just before he outlines the fictional genealogy of Jesus: “The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire (Luke 3:9). Romans 11 speak of grafting into the Tree. The authors of the New Testament continue the messianic root and branch metaphor, though with a totally different perspective. Within the New Testament, the root and branch imagery is presented in the context of their being transformed into a different lineage-the lineage of the new messiah. The “Branches” are described as either being pruned or “grafted onto”. Jesus predicts-echoing the book of Malachi-that those “branches” that do not abide” in the new Judaism he brings, will be “burned”. If anyone does not abide in me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire. (John 15:6) Josephus builds on the root and branch imagery in the New Testament by establishing a series of related parallels. As we have seen so often, these parallels contains puzzles that reveal the names of unnamed characters. And in every case the name of the unnamed character is Eleazar/Lazarus. My interpretation of the parallels involving Eleazar/Lazarus is that they indicate that Eleazar was the name of the individual that the messianic rebels looked to as the “root” foreseen by Judaic prophecy. Judging from the satire, this individual may actually have existed and have been the spiritual leader of the rebellion. As is the case with all the typological passages, the root and branch satire can be recognized by determing the temporal order in which its events occur, even though they are described in different books. This is the same technique required to solve “the puzzle of the empty tomb” above, where the reading has to arrange the four empty tomb texts in chronological order to comprehend the combined story that the texts create. Josephus provides the reader with a clear path to this temporal understanding. The other keys to recognizing the satire are the same ones that are used throughout the New Testament and War of the Jews. These are parallel locations and conceptual parallels. Further, some of the principles from the Roman sciences of botany and Homeopathic medicine are used in the “root and branch” satire. Roman medicine considered that whatever made you sick could sometimes cure you. For instance, one treatment for a scorpion bite was to apply mashed raw scorpion to the wound. Roman botany considered that by introducing tamed specimens into a colony of wild plants, a hybrid and tamer plant would result. Pendanius Dioscorides, the chief Physician and botanist accompanying Vespasian and Titus into Judea, was familiar with both of these scientific principles. They are key elements in the “root and branch” satire. Pendanius was justly famous for pioneering the first documented use of anesthesia and first medical use of electric shock therapy (using electric eels to generate the current). He also wrote a textbook on botany that became the basis for modern herbalism and identified hundreds of medicinal plant roots-“many very serviceable roots”, as he put it-that had not previously been known to medical science. As one of Rome’s leading scientists, Pendanius would certainly have advised Titus on what Josephus calls the “useful science” (Antiquities of Jews VIII, 2, 45) of expelling demons from apparently insane people. One of the elements of the root and branch satire is the strange plant that Josephus call Rue; it has a root by the name of Baaras. This root, Baarus, has the power to dispel demons, defined by Josephus as the “spirit of the wicked”. That Josephus mentions a plant named rue is significant, since rue is one of the plants that Pedanius studied and wrote about. In his textbook On Herbalism, he explains the dangers of the wild, or mountain rue, and the benefits of the domesticated or garden rue, which grew near Fig trees and could be safely used in tinctures and infusions. Pedanius’ gardening technique is, essentially, the core of the Roman pacification strategy documented in the root and branch satire: the Romans attempted to “domesticate” Jews by pruning the root of their demonic wickedness, the messiah Eleazar/Lazarus, and then grafting in the root that is Jesus, which has the power to dispel demons. A quote from Titus recorded by the fourth-century Christian writer Sulpcius Severus mentions his understanding of the importance of the “root” to the Jews and Christians. Titus is said to have first summoned a council and deliberated whether or not he should destroy such a mighty temple…Titus himself said that the destruction of the Temple was a prime necessity in order to wipe out more completely the religions of the Jews and Christians for they urged that these religions, though hostile to each other, nevertheless sprang from the same sources; the Christians had grown out of the Jews; if the root were destroyed, the stock would easily perish. To begin the analysis, I would first note the elements from the New Testament that are used in the root and branch satire. These concepts stem from the “root of Jesse” and “branch of David” messianic prophecies in the Old Testament and Dead Sea Scrolls. Root and branch elements in the New Testament: *The messianic lineage is described as being “pruned” * There is a prediction that the messianic lineage will be grafted onto. * Jesus’ capture occurs on the Mount of Olives * Three are crucified but one survives * Joseph of Arimathea takes survivor down from the cross. The analysis continues by presenting each of the component passages make up the satire in turn. The following passage takes place at the fortress Herodian. It occurs before the siege of Jerusalem and tells the story of an Eleazar/Lazarus who like his namesake at Masada commits suicide. For clarification, I present the following lists of concepts in the passage that are elements in the larger satire: (1). Location: Thecoe & Herodian 1. Eleazar/Lazarus 2. Pitched camp at Thecoe 3. Refusal to Surrender 4. Suicide Nor was it long ere Simon came violently again upon their country; when he pitched his camp at a certain village called Thecoe, and sent Eleazar, one of his companions, to those that kept garrison at Herodium, and in order to persuade them to surrender that fortress to him. The garrison received this man readily, while they knew nothing of what he came about; but as soon as he talked of the surrender of the place, they fell upon him with their drawn swords, till he found that he had no place for flight, when he threw himself down from the wall into the valley beneath; so he died immediately (War of the Jews 4,9, 518-520) The following passage is also part of the satire. The reader should recognize it as the passage I analyzed in Chapter 6 of Caesar’s Messiah, which led me to understand that the name of the Messiah captured on the Mount of Olives was Eleazar/Lazarus. One of the elements that makes the root and branch satire so difficult to comprehend is that it uses the solutions to other puzzles as components. In other words, a reader must first solve the puzzle, that reveals that the “certain young man” captured on the Mount of Olives was named Eleazar/Lazarus, to be able to move forward and see the even larger story that the captured Eleazar is part of. For clarification, I present the following list of the elements in the story that are part of the satire: (2). Location: Mount of Olives 1. Eleazar/Lazarus 2. Pedanius (Physician) 3. Pedanius hangs Eleazar/Lazarus down from his hand as he “carries him away. 4. Capture occurs on the Mount of Olives 5. The fact that Eleazar is ordered to be pruned. Now after one day had been interposed since the Romans ascended the breach, many of the seditious were so pressed by the famine, upon the present failure of their ravages, that they got together, and made an attack on those Roman guards that were upon the Mount of Olives, and this about the eleventh hour of the day, as supposing, first, that they would not expect such an onset, and, in the next place, that they were then taking care of their bodies, and that therefore they should easily beat them. But the Romans were apprized of their coming to attack them beforehand, and, running together from the neighboring camps on the sudden, prevented them from getting over their fortification, or forcing the wall that was built about them. Upon this came on a sharp fight, and here many great actions were performed on both sides; while the Romans showed both their courage and their skill in war, as did the Jews come on them with immoderate violence and intolerable passion. The one part were urged on by shame, and the other by necessity; for it seemed a very shameful thing to the Romans to let the Jews go, now they were taken in a kind of net; while the Jews had but one hope of saving themselves, and that was in case they could by violence break through the Roman wall; and one whose name was Pedanius, belonging to a party of horsemen, when the Jews were already beaten and forced down into the valley together, spurred his horse on their flank with great vehemence, and caught up a certain young man belonging to the enemy by his ankle, as he was running away; the man was, however, of a robust body, and in his armor; so low did Pedanius bend himself downward from his horse, even as he was galloping away, and so great was the strength of his right hand, and of the rest of his body, as also such skill had he in horsemanship. So this man seized upon that his prey, as upon a precious treasure, and carried him as his captive to Caesar; whereupon Titus admired the man that had seized the other for his great strength, and ordered the man that was caught to be punished [with death] for his attempt against the Roman wall, but betook himself to the siege of the temple, and to pressing on the raising of the banks (War of the Jews VI 2,157-163) The following passage is one of the most important in the works of Josephus, because in it he records his parallel to the crucifixion of Jesus in the New Testament. It occurs after the siege of Jerusalem but before the passage describing Eleazar’s/Lazarus capture and release at Macherus. Its temporal orientation relative to the other events in the root and branch satire is crucial, and to make this more difficult to see, the event is recorded in Josephus autobiography and not in War of the Jews. However, Josephus did provide for the alert reader-a path to understanding, when his crucifixion scene occurred relative to the other events in the satire. He did so with the statement “Moreover, when the city of Jerusalem was taken by force, I was sent by Titus”, which indicates that the event occurred after the capture of the “certain young man” on the Mount of Olives by Pedanius but before the siege of Macherus, which occurred after Titus left Judea. This relative placement is also crucially important for the overall parallel sequence between Jesus ministry and Titus campaign. In other words, as in the New testament, the “Three are crucified, one survives” episode occurs after the mount of Olives capture but before the condemnation of Simon/Peter and the sparing of John, which Titus learned of by Letter after he had left Jerusalem (War of Jews 7,2,25). The following list contains the elements that are used in the root and branch satire from the passage below, describing three Jews who are crucified and one survives at Thecoa. (3) Location: Thecoa (Inquiring Mind) place of the Skulls 1. Three are crucified but one survives 2. Joseph Bar Matthias takes survivor down from the cross 3. Pitched camp at Thecoa (Inquiring minds)-place of the skull Matthew 27:33 4. Physician Moreover, when the city Jerusalem was taken by force, Titus Caesar persuaded me frequently to take whatsoever I would of the ruins of my country; and did that he gave me leave so to do. But when my country was destroyed, I thought nothing else to be of any value, which I could take and keep as a comfort under my calamities; so I made this request to Titus, that my family might have their liberty: I had also the holy books (26) by Titus's concession. Nor was it long after that I asked of him the life of my brother, and of fifty friends with him, and was not denied. When I also went once to the temple, by the permission of Titus, where there were a great multitude of captive women and children, I got all those that I remembered as among my own friends and acquaintances to be set free, being in number about one hundred and ninety; and so I delivered them without their paying any price of redemption, and restored them to their former fortune. And when I was sent by Titus Caesar with Cerealins, and a thousand horsemen, to a certain village called Thecoa, in order to know whether it were a place fit for a camp, as I came back, I saw many captives crucified, and remembered three of them as my former acquaintance. I was very sorry at this in my mind, and went with tears in my eyes to Titus, and told him of them; so he immediately commanded them to be taken down, and to have the greatest care taken of them, in order to their recovery; yet two of them died under the physician's hands, while the third recovered (The life of Flavius Josephus 75, 417-421) Following Titus’s return to Rome, Josephus describes a valley next to the fortress Macherus in which a “magic root” that could dispel demons grew. The following list contains the elements in that passage that are used in the satire. (4) Location: Baaras 1. A root that can dispel demons 2. The fact that this root must be hung down from the hand of its captor as he “carries it away” Now within this place there grew a sort of rue (10) that deserves our wonder on account of its largeness, for it was no way inferior to any fig tree whatsoever, either in height or in thickness; and the report is, that it had lasted ever since the times of Herod, and would probably have lasted much longer, had it not been cut down by those Jews who took possession of the place afterward. But still in that valley which encompasses the city on the north side there is a certain place called Baaras, which produces a root of the same name with itself (11) its color is like to that of flame, and towards the evenings it sends out a certain ray like lightning. It is not easily taken by such as would do it, but recedes from their hands, nor will yield itself to be taken quietly, until either the urine of a woman, or her menstrual blood, be poured upon it; nay, even then it is certain death to those that touch it, unless any one take and hang the root itself down from his hand, and so carry it away. It may also be taken another way, without danger, which is this: they dig a trench quite round about it, till the hidden part of the root be very small, they then tie a dog to it, and when the dog tries hard to follow him that tied him, this root is easily plucked up, but the dog dies immediately, as if it were instead of the man that would take the plant away; nor after this need any one be afraid of taking it into their hands. Yet, after all this pains in getting, it is only valuable on account of one virtue it hath, that if it be only brought to sick persons, it quickly drives away those called demons, which are no other than the spirits of the wicked, that enter into men that are alive and kill them, unless they can obtain some help against them (War of the Jews VII VI, 178-185) Immediately following the description of the magic root, Josephus describes another incident involving an Eleazar/Lazarus at one of the Herodian fortresses, Macherus. The following elements from the passage are part of the satire: (5) Location: Macherus 1. Herodian Fort 2. Eleazar/Lazarus 3. The fact that Eleazar/Lazarus is carried away in his armor 4. The fact that Eleazar/Lazarus survives his crucifixion Now a certain person belonging to the Roman camp, whose lame was Rufus, by birth an Egyptian, ran upon him suddenly, when nobody expected such a thing, and carried him off, with his armor itself; while, in the mean time, those that saw it from the wall were under such an amazement, that Rufus prevented their assistance, and carried Eleazar to the Roman camp. So the general of the Romans ordered that he should be taken up naked, set before the city to be seen, and sorely whipped before their eyes. Upon this sad accident that befell the young man, the Jews were terribly confounded, and the city, with one voice, sorely lamented him, and the mourning proved greater than could well be supposed upon the calamity of a single person. When Bassus perceived that, he began to think of using a stratagem against the enemy, and was desirous to aggravate their grief, in order to prevail with them to surrender the city for the preservation of that man. Nor did he fail of his hope; for he commanded them to set up a cross, as if he were just going to hang Eleazar upon it immediately; the sight of this occasioned a sore grief among those that were in the citadel, and they groaned vehemently, and cried out that they could not bear to see him thus destroyed. Whereupon Eleazar besought them not to disregard him, now he was going to suffer a most miserable death, and exhorted them to save themselves, by yielding to the Roman power and good fortune, since all other people were now conquered by them. These men were greatly moved with what he said, there being also many within the city that interceded for him, because he was of an eminent and very numerous family; so they now yielded to their passion of commiseration, contrary to their usual custom. Accordingly, they sent out immediately certain messengers, and treated with the Romans, in order to a surrender of the citadel to them, and desired that they might be permitted to go away, and take Eleazar along with them (War of Jews VII, VI, 199-209) The famous depiction of the siege of Masada is also part of this satirical theme. It elements are: (6) Location: Masada 1. Herodian fort 2. Eleazar 3. Not surrendering leads to suicide …This fortress was called Masada. It was one Eleazar, a potent man, and the commander of these Sicarii that had seized upon it. He was a descendant from that Judas who had persuaded abundance of the Jews, as we have formerly related, not to submit to the taxation when Cyrenius was sent into Judea to make one (in 6AD ? War of Jews 7,8, 252-253) Finally, Josephus records his last story about “Eleazar”, this time he is located in Rome. Although included in the Antiquities of the Jews, we can be certain that the event occurred in the presence of Vespasian’s sons-notice the plural. Since Domitian did not travel to Judea, this fact establishes that the event took place after Titus had returned to Rome. In the passage, Eleazar is using a magic root to remove demons from captives. Its elements within the satire are: (7) Location: Rome 1. Eleazar/Lazarus 2. Magic Root 3. Demons cannot pass through water And he left behind him the manner of using exorcisms, by which they drive away demons, so that they never return; and this method of cure is of great force unto this day; for I have seen a certain man of my own country, whose name was Eleazar, releasing people that were demoniacal in the presence of Vespasian, and his sons, and his captains, and the whole multitude of his soldiers. The manner of the cure was this: He put a ring that had a Foot of one of those sorts mentioned by Solomon to the nostrils of the demoniac, after which he drew out the demon through his nostrils; and when the man fell down immediately, he abjured him to return into him no more, making still mention of Solomon, and reciting the incantations which he composed. And when Eleazar would persuade and demonstrate to the spectators that he had such a power, he set a little way off a cup or basin full of water, and commanded the demon, as he went out of the man, to overturn it, and thereby to let the spectators know that he had left the man; and when this was done, the skill and wisdom of Solomon was shown very manifestly: for which reason it is, that all men may know the vastness of Solomon's abilities, and how he was beloved of God, and that the extraordinary virtues of every kind with which this king was endowed may not be unknown to any people under the sun for this reason, I say, it is that we have proceeded to speak so largely of these matters ( Antiquities of the Jews VIII, 2, 46-48) To begin the interpretation of the root and branch satire, I would note that all the passages above involve a character named “Eleazar”. In the passages that occur at Herodian, Macherus, Masada, and Rome, Josephus names the character overtly. In the case of the “young man” who was “carried away” at the Mount of Olives, I have already shown the puzzle that leads to this conclusion. The crucified man who survived at Thecoa and the “magic root” of Baaras are also part of the satirical system regarding Eleazar. This is an example of the same motif that I discussed in previous chapters in Caesar’s Messiah regarding the various Mary’s and Simons. In other words, all the Eleazars are composites of a single satirical element. The passages work together to create a story describing the Roman capture of the messianic root of the Jews-Eleazar-and then their “pruning” of him and transforming him into Jesus, the demon-dispelling, pro-Roman Messiah. The parallel that indicates that Eleazar is the “root” is quite overt. The reader must recall the method by which Josephus states someone may capture the magic root baaras-that is, the “son”-without killing himself: “…it is certain death to those that touch it, unless anyone take and hang the root itself down from his hand, and so carry it away”. This is the precise, and implausible, method used by Pedanius to procure Eleazar on the Mount of Olives: …so low did Pedanius bend himself downward from his horse…and so great was the strength of his right hand…So this man seized upon that his prey, as upon a precious treasure, and carried him as his captive to Caesar. Notice the parallel language “down”, “Hand”, and “carried away”. As his depiction of the “magic root” does, Josephus’ preposterous description of Pedanius capture of the “certain young man” on the Mount of Olives stretches credulity. This literary devise alerts the reader that the tales are not literal history and that; therefore, he or she should look for another type of meaning. In this instance, the parallel methods by which they are captured identifies, metaphorically, that Eleazar is, like Baaras, a dangerous “root”. This identification is also facilitated by the name of the root-Baaras-which means “son”. Further, the satirical capture by Pedanius of the Jewish messiah, who is the “root” to the messianic rebels, contributes to the overall satirical theme and the wit. Because pedanius was the romans’ most renowned root specialist, he would have been, of course, the one chosen to handle such a dangerous one. The meaning of the tale of the “magic root of baaras within the root and branch satire is also easy to understand. It documents the existence of a metaphorical “root” that had the power to remove demons-obviously the Jesus of the New Testament, the only individual in history with such power. The Romans would graft this demon-dispelling “root” that had infected so many with a demonic spirit into one that had the power to remove demons. Parallels also indicate that the individual who survived his crucifixion at thecoa was the Messiah. This individual would have been a “Christ” because, like his “Type” in the New Testament, he was the sole survivor among three crucified men. The two must be among the few individuals in history to have survived a crucifixion. Further, a “Joseph of Arimathea” arranged for both survivors to be taken down from the cross. This is to say that the last names of the two Josephs-“Josephus Bar Matthias” and “Joseph of Arimathea”-are homophonic ally similar. “Armathea” is an obvious pun and play on Josephus last name, “Bar Matthias” because archaeology produces no city called Arimathea is an actually fact. The individual who survived his crucifixion at Thecoa is also linked to the Eleazar captured on the Mount of Olives by the Physician Pedanius, in that Josephus states that it was a physican who restored him to life. Pedanius was the physician who accompanied Titus to Judea and therefore would have been the physician at Thecoa. Finally, the Eleazar who committed suicide at the fortress Herodian, had pitched camp at Thecoe previously, and had thus answered the question Josephus asked about whether Thecoe was a “fit place to camp” The name of the place where the crucifixion occurred-Thecoa-is also part of the satirical system. Thecoa, or Theo Coeus is the name of the Roman God of the questioning intellect/Mind (Place of Skulls Matthew 27:33). The point being made here is that the irrational Jewish Messiah was taken to the place of a discerning or questioning intellect. There he was, as Titus ordered, “Pruned” and as Paul described, “Grafted onto” (Romans 11:11-24) with a new “root, and was thus transformed into a Messiah deemed rational by the Romans. Knowing that the “magic root” was named Eleazar, as was the man who survived his crucifixion at thecoa, and knowing the time sequence in which these events took place, enables the reader to perceive the satire that all the passages work together to create. The Eleazar captured by Pedanius on the Mount of Olives is taken to Thecoa, where he is “hung on a tree’-that is crucified-and, as Titus has ordered, “Pruned”. The botanist and physician Pedanius then grafts the magic root of Baaras or son onto him. This process transforms Eleazar from a root that causes the Jews to be possessed by a demonic spirit into the “root” that dispels demons and cures them from rebelling against Rome into pacifists. Eleazar has become Jesus. Once this Eleazar has been satirically pruned and grafted onto at Thecoa, he is “given back” to the Jews at Macherus. In this way the Romans introduce a “tame”, or domesticated plant into a field of wild ones to decrease the wildness of later generations. Of note is the fact that, at this point, the satire takes the story of Jesus beyond the story line of the Gospels and begins to describe the implementation of Christianity by the Romans. This satirical introduction of the domesticated “Jesus” takes place in the passage that immediately follows the description of the “magic root”. In that passage the roman general bassus seeks to make the Jews inside the Herodian fortress macherus surrender by threatening to crucify Eleazar in front of them. Those Jews who “accept these terms” are permitted to survive and Bassus then restores “Eleazar”-obviously, the Eleazar, “Carried away” at the Mount of Olives and treated by the physician at Thecoa-to them and they go on their way. In other words, those Jews who accept the tamed Messiah and his pro-Roman doctrines are allowed to live. At Masada, however, another Eleazar, a parallel to the Eleazar at Herodian, refuses to surrender and commits suicide. The point is that refusal to surrender and accept the new Judaism is tantamount to suicide. With this Eleazar’s death, Josephus is also terminating the “root” and “branch” of the Maccabean lineage so that it will not compete against the “domesticated” messianic lineage newly established by Rome. Josephus concludes the “root and branch” satire with the description of yet another Eleazar, one who performs exorcisms at Rome. This Eleazar uses the “magic root” to pull demons out of captives, clearly indicating captured messianic Jews. This image represents a complete victory for the Roman “Homeopathic” approach over the problem of the messianic “root” that caused Jews to be possessed by “Demons”. The “root” that caused the Jewish rebels to be infected has been domesticated by Pedanius and can therefore now be used to cure them of the disease it brought about. This image is both the fulfillment of the prophecy of Malachi-which foresees that the wicked will be left with no “Branch” or root But it’s just the opposite, occurs the Wicked Romans take over the Messianic Trees. Further, the passage concludes the black comedy theme regarding the inability of Demons to pass through water, (recall the witch in the Wizard of Oz) , which began in the demons of Gadara passage above and ends here with the demonic spirit knocking over the basin full of water as it leaves the prisoners. These prisoners were the 2,000 rebels who were captured at Gadara thrown into water (Wars 4, 7.389-437 are the same 2,000 pigs who are infected with demons rushed over cliff and thrown into water (Mark 5:1-20 & Luke 8:26-39). The demons of Gadara passage above and ends here with the demonic spirit knocking over the basin full of water as it leaves the prisoners. These prisoners were 2,000 rebels who were captured at Gadara. Being demonically possessed, they could not pass through water and therefore did not drown. As the demon leaves them, it concludes the wry joke by knocking over the water basin. The passage is also Josephus last depiction of the “domesticated” Christ that the Romans created and it provides us with their vision of his future. He is at Rome, working for the imperial family by calming the rebellious, just as he has been for the last 2,000 years.