Whereas the rabbinic tradition attacks King Asa of Judah for trusting in himself rather than in G-d and, in particular, for drafting the sages, Josephus, the apologist, omits such details and, indeed, whitewashes Asa completely. He is praised particularly, in language reminiscent of Josephus' portraits of Saul and David, as well as of Thucydides' Pericles, for putting his nation in order. In particular, Josephus emphasizes Asa's obedience to the ancestral laws. And yet, because he realized that his audience, consisting apparently primarily of non-Jews, would resent as intolerant the forcible destruction of idols, tree worship, and mystery cults, he omits such details. Because proselytism was such a burning issue at the time, in view of the Jews' apparently extraordinary success during this period in attracting converts, Josephus omits the passage that implies that Asa attracted proselytes to his army.

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