"What more than all else incited them [the Jews] to the [1st Roman] war was an ambiguous oracle ... found in their sacred scriptures, to the effect that at that time one from their country would become ruler of the world. This they understood to mean someone of their own race, and many of their wise men went astray in their interpretation of it. The oracle, however, in reality signified the sovereignty of Vespasian who was proclaimed Emperor on Jewish soil" — Josephus' Jewish War 6.312-13 in Crossan's Who Killed Jesus?, page 44, ISBN 0-06-061479-X




http://yeshuaincontext.com/2010/11/josephus-on-the-messiah-concept/ Here's preliminary result to tide us by for now. From: https://ccel.org/ccel/josephus/complete/complete.iii.iv.viii.html "Thou, O Vespasian, thinkest no more than that thou hast taken Josephus himself captive; but I come to thee as a messenger of greater tidings; for had not I been sent by God to thee, I knew what was the law of the Jews in this case?714 and how it becomes generals to die. Dost thou send me to Nero? For why? Are Nero's successors till they come to thee still alive? Thou, O Vespasian, art Caesar and emperor, thou, and this thy son. Bind me now still faster, and keep me for thyself, for thou, O Caesar, are not only lord over me, but over the land and the sea, and all mankind; and certainly I deserve to be kept in closer custody than I now am in, in order to be punished, if I rashly affirm any thing of God." There may be another reference where Josephus is explaining why he said this to Vespasian, that it was based upon the sacred writings of the Jews. And here it is: Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, 6.310-316 "But now, what did the most elevate them in undertaking this war, was an ambiguous oracle that was also found in their sacred writings, how, 'about that time, one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth.' The Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particular, and many of the wise men were thereby deceived in their determination. Now this oracle certainly denoted the government of Vespasian, who was appointed emperor in Judea." From: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0148%3Abook%3D6%3Asection%3D310 HOW THE ROMANS CARRIED THEIR ENSIGNS TO THE TEMPLE, AND MADE JOYFUL ACCLAMATIONS TO TITUS. THE SPEECH THAT TITUS MADE TO THE JEWS WHEN THEY MADE SUPPLICATION FOR MERCY. WHAT REPLY THEY MADE THERETO; AND HOW THAT REPLY MOVED TITUS'S INDIGNATION AGAINST THEM. [316] AND now the Romans, upon the flight of the seditious into the city, and upon the burning of the holy house itself, and of all the buildings round about it, brought their ensigns to the temple 1 and set them over against its eastern gate; and there did they offer sacrifices to them, and there did they make Titus imperator 2 with the greatest acclamations of joy. J. BJ 6.316 http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0148%3Abook%3D6%3Asection%3D316