JOSEPH (d. 38 B.C.E.), son of *Antipater and *Cypros, brother of *Herod I. When the Parthians invaded Judea (40 B.C.E.), they forced Herod to flee, and he left his family in the care of Joseph at *Masada, where a sudden thunderstorm enabled the fortress to hold out against the siege of *Antigonus. Later Herod returned with reinforcements and set his family free. Then, in 38, he set out for Samosata to meet Antony, after forbidding Joseph to get involved in battle with Antigonus until his arrival. Disregarding this advice, Joseph took his army into the hills near Jericho to harvest grain for his soldiers and was attacked by Antigonus and killed. His death caused some unrest in Judea and was later avenged by Herod.


Jos., Ant., 14:361, 390f., 413, 438, 448–50; Jos., Wars, 1:266, 286f., 323f.; Schuerer, Hist, 115, 118.

[Lea Roth]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.