2. Accordingly, Herod got together his kindred and friends, and set before them the children, and, with his eyes full of tears, said thus to them: "It was an unlucky fate that took away from me these children's fathers, which children are recommended to me by that natural commiseration which their orphan condition requires; however, I will endeavor, though I have been a most unfortunate father, to appear a better grandfather, and to leave these children such curators after myself as are dearest to me. I therefore betroth thy daughter, Pheroras, to the elder of these brethren, the children of Alexander, that thou mayst be obliged to take care of them. I also betroth to thy son, Antipater, the daughter of Aristobulus; be thou therefore a father to that orphan; and my son Herod [Philip] shall have her sister, whose grandfather, by the mother's side, was high priest. And let every one that loves me be of my sentiments in these dispositions, which none that hath an affection for me will abrogate. And I pray God that he will join these children together in marriage, to the advantage of my kingdom, and of my posterity; and may he look down with eyes more serene upon them than he looked upon their fathers."
3. While he spake these words he wept, and joined the children's fight hands together; after which he embraced them every one after an affectionate manner, and dismissed the assembly. Upon this, Antipater was in great disorder immediately, and lamented publicly at what was done; for he supposed that this dignity which was conferred on these orphans was for his own destruction, even in his father's lifetime, and that he should run another risk of losing the government, if Alexander's sons should have both Archelaus [a king], and Pheroras a tetrarch, to support them. He also considered how he was himself hated by the nation, and how they pitied these orphans; how great affection the Jews bare to those brethren of his when they were alive, and how gladly they remembered them now they had perished by his means. So he resolved by all the ways possible to get these espousals dissolved.
4. Now he was afraid of going subtlely about this matter with his father, who was hard to be pleased, and was presently moved upon the least suspicion: so he ventured to go to him directly, and to beg of him before his face not to deprive him of that dignity which he had been pleased to bestow upon him; and that he might not have the bare name of a king, while the power was in other persons; for that he should never be able to keep the government, if Alexander's son was to have both his grandfather Archelaus and Pheroras for his curators; and he besought him earnestly, since there were so many of the royal family alive, that he would change those [intended] marriages. Now the king had nine wives, (42) and children by seven of them; Antipater was himself born of Doris, and Herod Philip of Mariamne, the high priest's daughter; Antipas also and Archelaus were by Malthace, the Samaritan, as was his daughter Olympias, which his brother Joseph's (43) son had married. By Cleopatra of Jerusalem he had Herod and Philip; and by Pallas, Phasaelus; he had also two daughters, Roxana and Salome, the one by Phedra, and the other by Elpis; he had also two wives that had no children, the one his first cousin, and the other his niece; and besides these he had two daughters, the sisters of Alexander and Aristobulus, by Mariamne. Since, therefore, the royal family was so numerous, Antipater prayed him to change these intended marriages.
5. When the king perceived what disposition he was in towards these orphans, he was angry at it, and a suspicion came into his mind as to those sons whom he had put to death, whether that had not been brought about by the false tales of Antipater; so that at that time he made Antipater a long and a peevish answer, and bid him begone. Yet was he afterwards prevailed upon cunningly by his flatteries, and changed the marriages; he married Aristobulus's daughter to him, and his son to Pheroras's daughter.
6. Now one may learn, in this instance, how very much this flattering Antipater could do, even what Salome in the like circumstances could not do; for when she, who was his sister, and who, by the means of Julia, Caesar's wife, earnestly desired leave to be married to Sylleus the Arabian, Herod swore he would esteem her his bitter enemy, unless she would leave off that project: he also caused her, against her own consent, to be married to Alexas, a friend of his, and that one of her daughters should be married to Alexas's son, and the other to Antipater's uncle by the mother's side. And for the daughters the king had by Mariamne, the one was married to Antipater, his sister's son, and the other to his brother's son, Phasaelus.