to a village called Emmaus; whither they might go either to see their friends, or upon some secular affair, or to be retired from the noise of the city, and be secure from danger by their enemies; or it may be this was the place of Cleophas's abode, who, with the other disciple, was returning home after the celebration of the passover. The place whither they went is particularly mentioned, not because it was a place of note, but for the certainty of the fact. It was now but a village, having been burnt since the death of Herod the great, by the order of Varus, the Roman governors (l); though it afterwards became a considerable city, if it is the same with Nicopolis, as Jerom asserts (m); though that rather seems to be the Ammaus, or Chammath of Tiberias, since it was situated by the lake of Genesareth. However, it is certain, that Emmaus is reckoned, by Josephus (n), one of their chief cities; and Jarchi, and Bartenora (o) say, it is the name of a city; and Pliny (p) calls it a toparchy, and says it was watered with fountains; which agrees with the account the Jews give of it (q).
"R. Jochanan ben Zaccai had five disciples; all the time that he stood, or lived, they sat before him; when he departed, they went to Jabneh; and R. Eleazar ben Arach went to his wife, "at Emmaus", a place of pleasant waters, and a beautiful habitation.''
It is mentioned, in company with Bethoron, and Lud, or Lydda: it is said (r),
"from Bethoron, to "Emmaus", is the mountain; and from "Emmaus" to Lydda, the plain; and from Lydda to the sea, the valley.''
Bethoron is mentioned as near Nicopolis, by Jerom; and perhaps is the same with Betholone in Pliny: in Emmaus was a market: at least there was a butcher's market in it; hence we read of, , "the shambles of Emmaus" (s); mention is made of a place so called, as in:
"So they went forth with all their power, and came and pitched by Emmaus in the plain country.'' (1 Maccabees 3:40)
"So the camp removed, and pitched upon the south side of Emmaus.'' (1 Maccabees 3:57)
"Now when Judas heard thereof he himself removed, and the valiant men with him, that he might smite the king's army which was at Emmaus,'' (1 Maccabees 4:3)
Another Emmaus is here meant:
which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs; or seven miles and a half; for eight furlongs make a mile. Josephus (t) says the same, and confirms the account of the distance of this place from Jerusalem.
(l) Joseph. Antiqu. l. 17. c. 12. (m) Epitaph. Paul. fol. 59. B. Catalog. Script. Eccl. fol. 98. B. Tom. I. & in Daniel 8.14. Tom. V. (n) Antiqu. I. 14. c. 18. (o) In Misn. Ceritot, c. 3. sect. 7. (p) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 14. (q) Midrash Kohelet, fol. 74. 4. (r) T. Hieros. Sheviith, c. 9. fol. 38. 4. (s) Misn. Ceritot, c. 3. sect. 7. T. Bah, Cholin, fol. 91. 2. & Maccot, fol. 14. 1.((t) De Bello Jud. l. 7. c. 27.