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´╗┐Title: Against Apion
Author: Josephus, Flavius, 38?-100?
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Against Apion" ***



By Flavius Josephus

Translated by William Whiston


1. I Suppose that by my books of the Antiquity of the Jews, most
excellent Epaphroditus, [2] have made it evident to those who peruse
them, that our Jewish nation is of very great antiquity, and had a
distinct subsistence of its own originally; as also, I have therein
declared how we came to inhabit this country wherein we now live. Those
Antiquities contain the history of five thousand years, and are taken
out of our sacred books, but are translated by me into the Greek tongue.
However, since I observe a considerable number of people giving ear to
the reproaches that are laid against us by those who bear ill-will to
us, and will not believe what I have written concerning the antiquity of
our nation, while they take it for a plain sign that our nation is of a
late date, because they are not so much as vouchsafed a bare mention by
the most famous historiographers among the Grecians. I therefore have
thought myself under an obligation to write somewhat briefly about
these subjects, in order to convict those that reproach us of spite and
voluntary falsehood, and to correct the ignorance of others, and withal
to instruct all those who are desirous of knowing the truth of what
great antiquity we really are. As for the witnesses whom I shall produce
for the proof of what I say, they shall be such as are esteemed to be
of the greatest reputation for truth, and the most skillful in the
knowledge of all antiquity by the Greeks themselves. I will also show,
that those who have written so reproachfully and falsely about us are
to be convicted by what they have written themselves to the contrary.
I shall also endeavor to give an account of the reasons why it hath so
happened, that there have not been a great number of Greeks who have
made mention of our nation in their histories. I will, however, bring
those Grecians to light who have not omitted such our history, for the
sake of those that either do not know them, or pretend not to know them

2. And now, in the first place, I cannot but greatly wonder at those
men, who suppose that we must attend to none but Grecians, when we are
inquiring about the most ancient facts, and must inform ourselves of
their truth from them only, while we must not believe ourselves nor
other men; for I am convinced that the very reverse is the truth of the
case. I mean this,--if we will not be led by vain opinions, but will
make inquiry after truth from facts themselves; for they will find that
almost all which concerns the Greeks happened not long ago; nay, one may
say, is of yesterday only. I speak of the building of their cities, the
inventions of their arts, and the description of their laws; and as for
their care about the writing down of their histories, it is very near
the last thing they set about. However, they acknowledge themselves so
far, that they were the Egyptians, the Chaldeans, and the Phoenicians
(for I will not now reckon ourselves among them) that have preserved the
memorials of the most ancient and most lasting traditions of mankind;
for almost all these nations inhabit such countries as are least subject
to destruction from the world about them; and these also have taken
especial care to have nothing omitted of what was [remarkably] done
among them; but their history was esteemed sacred, and put into public
tables, as written by men of the greatest wisdom they had among
them. But as for the place where the Grecians inhabit, ten thousand
destructions have overtaken it, and blotted out the memory of former
actions; so that they were ever beginning a new way of living, and
supposed that every one of them was the origin of their new state. It
was also late, and with difficulty, that they came to know the letters
they now use; for those who would advance their use of these letters
to the greatest antiquity pretend that they learned them from the
Phoenicians and from Cadmus; yet is nobody able to demonstrate that they
have any writing preserved from that time, neither in their temples, nor
in any other public monuments. This appears, because the time when those
lived who went to the Trojan war, so many years afterward, is in great
doubt, and great inquiry is made, whether the Greeks used their letters
at that time; and the most prevailing opinion, and that nearest the
truth, is, that their present way of using those letters was unknown at
that time. However, there is not any writing which the Greeks agree to
be genuine among them ancienter than Homer's Poems, who must plainly he
confessed later than the siege of Troy; nay, the report goes, that
even he did not leave his poems in writing, but that their memory was
preserved in songs, and they were put together afterward, and that this
is the reason of such a number of variations as are found in them. [3]
As for those who set themselves about writing their histories, I mean
such as Cadmus of Miletus, and Acusilaus of Argos, and any others that
may be mentioned as succeeding Acusilaus, they lived but a little while
before the Persian expedition into Greece. But then for those that first
introduced philosophy, and the consideration of things celestial and
divine among them, such as Pherceydes the Syrian, and Pythagoras, and
Thales, all with one consent agree, that they learned what they knew
of the Egyptians and Chaldeans, and wrote but little And these are the
things which are supposed to be the oldest of all among the Greeks; and
they have much ado to believe that the writings ascribed to those men
are genuine.

3. How can it then be other than an absurd thing, for the Greeks to
be so proud, and to vaunt themselves to be the only people that are
acquainted with antiquity, and that have delivered the true accounts
of those early times after an accurate manner? Nay, who is there that
cannot easily gather from the Greek writers themselves, that they knew
but little on any good foundation when they set to write, but rather
wrote their histories from their own conjectures? Accordingly, they
confute one another in their own books to purpose, and are not ashamed.
to give us the most contradictory accounts of the same things; and I
should spend my time to little purpose, if I should pretend to teach
the Greeks that which they know better than I already, what a great
disagreement there is between Hellanicus and Acusilaus about their
genealogies; in how many eases Acusilaus corrects Hesiod: or after what
manner Ephorus demonstrates Hellanicus to have told lies in the greatest
part of his history; as does Timeus in like manner as to Ephorus, and
the succeeding writers do to Timeus, and all the later writers do to
Herodotus nor could Timeus agree with Antiochus and Philistius, or
with Callias, about the Sicilian History, no more than do the several
writers of the Athide follow one another about the Athenian affairs; nor
do the historians the like, that wrote the Argolics, about the affairs
of the Argives. And now what need I say any more about particular cities
and smaller places, while in the most approved writers of the expedition
of the Persians, and of the actions which were therein performed, there
are so great differences? Nay, Thucydides himself is accused of some as
writing what is false, although he seems to have given us the exactest
history of the affairs of his own time. [4]

4. As for the occasions of so great disagreement of theirs, there may
be assigned many that are very probable, if any have a mind to make an
inquiry about them; but I ascribe these contradictions chiefly to two
causes, which I will now mention, and still think what I shall mention
in the first place to be the principal of all. For if we remember that
in the beginning the Greeks had taken no care to have public records
of their several transactions preserved, this must for certain
have afforded those that would afterward write about those ancient
transactions the opportunity of making mistakes, and the power of making
lies also; for this original recording of such ancient transactions hath
not only been neglected by the other states of Greece, but even among
the Athenians themselves also, who pretend to be Aborigines, and to have
applied themselves to learning, there are no such records extant; nay,
they say themselves that the laws of Draco concerning murders, which
are now extant in writing, are the most ancient of their public records;
which Draco yet lived but a little before the tyrant Pisistratus. [5]
For as to the Arcadians, who make such boasts of their antiquity, what
need I speak of them in particular, since it was still later before they
got their letters, and learned them, and that with difficulty also. [6]

5. There must therefore naturally arise great differences among writers,
when they had no original records to lay for their foundation, which
might at once inform those who had an inclination to learn, and
contradict those that would tell lies. However, we are to suppose a
second occasion besides the former of these contradictions; it is
this: That those who were the most zealous to write history were not
solicitous for the discovery of truth, although it was very easy
for them always to make such a profession; but their business was to
demonstrate that they could write well, and make an impression upon
mankind thereby; and in what manner of writing they thought they were
able to exceed others, to that did they apply themselves, Some of them
betook themselves to the writing of fabulous narrations; some of them
endeavored to please the cities or the kings, by writing in their
commendation; others of them fell to finding faults with transactions,
or with the writers of such transactions, and thought to make a great
figure by so doing. And indeed these do what is of all things the most
contrary to true history; for it is the great character of true history
that all concerned therein both speak and write the same things; while
these men, by writing differently about the same things, think they
shall be believed to write with the greatest regard to truth. We
therefore [who are Jews] must yield to the Grecian writers as to
language and eloquence of composition; but then we shall give them no
such preference as to the verity of ancient history, and least of all as
to that part which concerns the affairs of our own several countries.

6. As to the care of writing down the records from the earliest
antiquity among the Egyptians and Babylonians; that the priests were
intrusted therewith, and employed a philosophical concern about it; that
they were the Chaldean priests that did so among the Babylonians; and
that the Phoenicians, who were mingled among the Greeks, did especially
make use of their letters, both for the common affairs of life, and for
the delivering down the history of common transactions, I think I may
omit any proof, because all men allow it so to be. But now as to our
forefathers, that they took no less care about writing such records,
[for I will not say they took greater care than the others I spoke of,]
and that they committed that matter to their high priests and to their
prophets, and that these records have been written all along down to our
own times with the utmost accuracy; nay, if it be not too bold for me
to say it, our history will be so written hereafter;--I shall endeavor
briefly to inform you.

7. For our forefathers did not only appoint the best of these priests,
and those that attended upon the Divine worship, for that design from
the beginning, but made provision that the stock of the priests should
continue unmixed and pure; for he who is partaker of the priesthood must
propagate of a wife of the same nation, without having any regard to
money, or any other dignities; but he is to make a scrutiny, and take
his wife's genealogy from the ancient tables, and procure many witnesses
to it. [7] And this is our practice not only in Judea, but wheresoever
any body of men of our nation do live; and even there an exact catalogue
of our priests' marriages is kept; I mean at Egypt and at Babylon, or
in any other place of the rest of the habitable earth, whithersoever our
priests are scattered; for they send to Jerusalem the ancient names of
their parents in writing, as well as those of their remoter ancestors,
and signify who are the witnesses also. But if any war falls out,
such as have fallen out a great many of them already, when Antiochus
Epiphanes made an invasion upon our country, as also when Pompey the
Great and Quintilius Varus did so also, and principally in the wars that
have happened in our own times, those priests that survive them
compose new tables of genealogy out of the old records, and examine the
circumstances of the women that remain; for still they do not admit of
those that have been captives, as suspecting that they had conversation
with some foreigners. But what is the strongest argument of our exact
management in this matter is what I am now going to say, that we have
the names of our high priests from father to son set down in our records
for the interval of two thousand years; and if any of these have been
transgressors of these rules, they are prohibited to present themselves
at the altar, or to be partakers of any other of our purifications; and
this is justly, or rather necessarily done, because every one is
not permitted of his own accord to be a writer, nor is there any
disagreement in what is written; they being only prophets that have
written the original and earliest accounts of things as they learned
them of God himself by inspiration; and others have written what hath
happened in their own times, and that in a very distinct manner also.

8. For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us,
disagreeing from and contradicting one another, [as the Greeks have,]
but only twenty-two books, [8] which contain the records of all the past
times; which are justly believed to be divine; and of them five belong
to Moses, which contain his laws and the traditions of the origin of
mankind till his death. This interval of time was little short of three
thousand years; but as to the time from the death of Moses till the
reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, who reigned after Xerxes, the
prophets, who were after Moses, wrote down what was done in their times
in thirteen books. The remaining four books contain hymns to God, and
precepts for the conduct of human life. It is true, our history hath
been written since Artaxerxes very particularly, but hath not been
esteemed of the like authority with the former by our forefathers,
because there hath not been an exact succession of prophets since that
time; and how firmly we have given credit to these books of our own
nation is evident by what we do; for during so many ages as have already
passed, no one has been so bold as either to add any thing to them,
to take any thing from them, or to make any change in them; but it is
become natural to all Jews immediately, and from their very birth, to
esteem these books to contain Divine doctrines, and to persist in them,
and, if occasion be willingly to die for them. For it is no new thing
for our captives, many of them in number, and frequently in time, to
be seen to endure racks and deaths of all kinds upon the theatres, that
they may not be obliged to say one word against our laws and the records
that contain them; whereas there are none at all among the Greeks who
would undergo the least harm on that account, no, nor in case all the
writings that are among them were to be destroyed; for they take them to
be such discourses as are framed agreeably to the inclinations of those
that write them; and they have justly the same opinion of the ancient
writers, since they see some of the present generation bold enough to
write about such affairs, wherein they were not present, nor had concern
enough to inform themselves about them from those that knew them;
examples of which may be had in this late war of ours, where some
persons have written histories, and published them, without having been
in the places concerned, or having been near them when the actions were
done; but these men put a few things together by hearsay, and insolently
abuse the world, and call these writings by the name of Histories.

9. As for myself, I have composed a true history of that whole war, and
of all the particulars that occurred therein, as having been concerned
in all its transactions; for I acted as general of those among us that
are named Galileans, as long as it was possible for us to make any
opposition. I was then seized on by the Romans, and became a captive.
Vespasian also and Titus had me kept under a guard, and forced me to
attend them continually. At the first I was put into bonds, but was
set at liberty afterward, and sent to accompany Titus when he came
from Alexandria to the siege of Jerusalem; during which time there was
nothing done which escaped my knowledge; for what happened in the
Roman camp I saw, and wrote down carefully; and what informations the
deserters brought [out of the city], I was the only man that understood
them. Afterward I got leisure at Rome; and when all my materials were
prepared for that work, I made use of some persons to assist me in
learning the Greek tongue, and by these means I composed the history
of those transactions. And I was so well assured of the truth of what
I related, that I first of all appealed to those that had the supreme
command in that war, Vespasian and Titus, as witnesses for me, for to
them I presented those books first of all, and after them to many of the
Romans who had been in the war. I also sold them to many of our own men
who understood the Greek philosophy; among whom were Julius Archelaus,
Herod [king of Chalcis], a person of great gravity, and king Agrippa
himself, a person that deserved the greatest admiration. Now all these
men bore their testimony to me, that I had the strictest regard to
truth; who yet would not have dissembled the matter, nor been silent, if
I, out of ignorance, or out of favor to any side, either had given false
colors to actions, or omitted any of them.

10. There have been indeed some bad men, who have attempted to
calumniate my history, and took it to be a kind of scholastic
performance for the exercise of young men. A strange sort of accusation
and calumny this! since every one that undertakes to deliver the history
of actions truly ought to know them accurately himself in the first
place, as either having been concerned in them himself, or been informed
of them by such as knew them. Now both these methods of knowledge I may
very properly pretend to in the composition of both my works; for, as I
said, I have translated the Antiquities out of our sacred books; which I
easily could do, since I was a priest by my birth, and have studied that
philosophy which is contained in those writings: and for the History
of the War, I wrote it as having been an actor myself in many of its
transactions, an eye-witness in the greatest part of the rest, and was
not unacquainted with any thing whatsoever that was either said or
done in it. How impudent then must those deserve to be esteemed that
undertake to contradict me about the true state of those affairs!
who, although they pretend to have made use of both the emperors' own
memoirs, yet could not they he acquainted with our affairs who fought
against them.

11. This digression I have been obliged to make out of necessity, as
being desirous to expose the vanity of those that profess to write
histories; and I suppose I have sufficiently declared that this custom
of transmitting down the histories of ancient times hath been better
preserved by those nations which are called Barbarians, than by the
Greeks themselves. I am now willing, in the next place, to say a few
things to those that endeavor to prove that our constitution is but of
late time, for this reason, as they pretend, that the Greek writers have
said nothing about us; after which I shall produce testimonies for our
antiquity out of the writings of foreigners; I shall also demonstrate
that such as cast reproaches upon our nation do it very unjustly.

12. As for ourselves, therefore, we neither inhabit a maritime country,
nor do we delight in merchandise, nor in such a mixture with other men
as arises from it; but the cities we dwell in are remote from the sea,
and having a fruitful country for our habitation, we take pains in
cultivating that only. Our principal care of all is this, to educate our
children well; and we think it to be the most necessary business of
our whole life to observe the laws that have been given us, and to
keep those rules of piety that have been delivered down to us. Since,
therefore, besides what we have already taken notice of, we have had a
peculiar way of living of our own, there was no occasion offered us in
ancient ages for intermixing among the Greeks, as they had for mixing
among the Egyptians, by their intercourse of exporting and importing
their several goods; as they also mixed with the Phoenicians, who
lived by the sea-side, by means of their love of lucre in trade and
merchandise. Nor did our forefathers betake themselves, as did some
others, to robbery; nor did they, in order to gain more wealth, fall
into foreign wars, although our country contained many ten thousands of
men of courage sufficient for that purpose. For this reason it was that
the Phoenicians themselves came soon by trading and navigation to be
known to the Grecians, and by their means the Egyptians became known
to the Grecians also, as did all those people whence the Phoenicians in
long voyages over the seas carried wares to the Grecians. The Medes also
and the Persians, when they were lords of Asia, became well known to
them; and this was especially true of the Persians, who led their armies
as far as the other continent [Europe]. The Thracians were also known to
them by the nearness of their countries, and the Scythians by the
means of those that sailed to Pontus; for it was so in general that all
maritime nations, and those that inhabited near the eastern or western
seas, became most known to those that were desirous to be writers; but
such as had their habitations further from the sea were for the most
part unknown to them which things appear to have happened as to Europe
also, where the city of Rome, that hath this long time been possessed
of so much power, and hath performed such great actions in war, is yet
never mentioned by Herodotus, nor by Thucydides, nor by any one of their
contemporaries; and it was very late, and with great difficulty, that
the Romans became known to the Greeks. Nay, those that were reckoned the
most exact historians [and Ephorus for one] were so very ignorant of the
Gauls and the Spaniards, that he supposed the Spaniards, who inhabit so
great a part of the western regions of the earth, to be no more than one
city. Those historians also have ventured to describe such customs as
were made use of by them, which they never had either done or said; and
the reason why these writers did not know the truth of their affairs was
this, that they had not any commerce together; but the reason why they
wrote such falsities was this, that they had a mind to appear to know
things which others had not known. How can it then be any wonder, if our
nation was no more known to many of the Greeks, nor had given them any
occasion to mention them in their writings, while they were so remote
from the sea, and had a conduct of life so peculiar to themselves?

13. Let us now put the case, therefore, that we made use of this
argument concerning the Grecians, in order to prove that their nation
was not ancient, because nothing is said of them in our records: would
not they laugh at us all, and probably give the same reasons for our
silence that I have now alleged, and would produce their neighbor
nations as witnesses to their own antiquity? Now the very same
thing will I endeavor to do; for I will bring the Egyptians and the
Phoenicians as my principal witnesses, because nobody can complain Of
their testimony as false, on account that they are known to have borne
the greatest ill-will towards us; I mean this as to the Egyptians in
general all of them, while of the Phoenicians it is known the Tyrians
have been most of all in the same ill disposition towards us: yet do
I confess that I cannot say the same of the Chaldeans, since our first
leaders and ancestors were derived from them; and they do make mention
of us Jews in their records, on account of the kindred there is between
us. Now when I shall have made my assertions good, so far as concerns
the others, I will demonstrate that some of the Greek writers have made
mention of us Jews also, that those who envy us may not have even this
pretense for contradicting what I have said about our nation.

14. I shall begin with the writings of the Egyptians; not indeed of
those that have written in the Egyptian language, which it is impossible
for me to do. But Manetho was a man who was by birth an Egyptian, yet
had he made himself master of the Greek learning, as is very evident;
for he wrote the history of his own country in the Greek tongue, by
translating it, as he saith himself, out of their sacred records;
he also finds great fault with Herodotus for his ignorance and false
relations of Egyptian affairs. Now this Manetho, in the second book of
his Egyptian History, writes concerning us in the following manner. I
will set down his very words, as if I were to bring the very man himself
into a court for a witness: "There was a king of ours whose name was
Timaus. Under him it came to pass, I know not how, that God was averse
to us, and there came, after a surprising manner, men of ignoble birth
out of the eastern parts, and had boldness enough to make an expedition
into our country, and with ease subdued it by force, yet without
our hazarding a battle with them. So when they had gotten those that
governed us under their power, they afterwards burnt down our cities,
and demolished the temples of the gods, and used all the inhabitants
after a most barbarous manner; nay, some they slew, and led their
children and their wives into slavery. At length they made one of
themselves king, whose name was Salatis; he also lived at Memphis, and
made both the upper and lower regions pay tribute, and left garrisons
in places that were the most proper for them. He chiefly aimed to secure
the eastern parts, as fore-seeing that the Assyrians, who had then the
greatest power, would be desirous of that kingdom, and invade them; and
as he found in the Saite Nomos, [Sethroite,] a city very proper for this
purpose, and which lay upon the Bubastic channel, but with regard to a
certain theologic notion was called Avaris, this he rebuilt, and made
very strong by the walls he built about it, and by a most numerous
garrison of two hundred and forty thousand armed men whom he put into
it to keep it. Thither Salatis came in summer time, partly to gather his
corn, and pay his soldiers their wages, and partly to exercise his
armed men, and thereby to terrify foreigners. When this man had reigned
thirteen years, after him reigned another, whose name was Beon, for
forty-four years; after him reigned another, called Apachnas, thirty-six
years and seven months; after him Apophis reigned sixty-one years, and
then Janins fifty years and one month; after all these reigned Assis
forty-nine years and two months. And these six were the first rulers
among them, who were all along making war with the Egyptians, and were
very desirous gradually to destroy them to the very roots. This whole
nation was styled Hycsos, that is, Shepherd-kings: for the first
syllable Hyc, according to the sacred dialect, denotes a king, as is Sos
a shepherd; but this according to the ordinary dialect; and of these is
compounded Hycsos: but some say that these people were Arabians." Now
in another copy it is said that this word does not denote Kings, but,
on the contrary, denotes Captive Shepherds, and this on account of the
particle Hyc; for that Hyc, with the aspiration, in the Egyptian tongue
again denotes Shepherds, and that expressly also; and this to me seems
the more probable opinion, and more agreeable to ancient history. [But
Manetho goes on]: "These people, whom we have before named kings,
and called shepherds also, and their descendants," as he says, "kept
possession of Egypt five hundred and eleven years." After these, he
says, "That the kings of Thebais and the other parts of Egypt made an
insurrection against the shepherds, and that there a terrible and long
war was made between them." He says further, "That under a king, whose
name was Alisphragmuthosis, the shepherds were subdued by him, and were
indeed driven out of other parts of Egypt, but were shut up in a place
that contained ten thousand acres; this place was named Avaris." Manetho
says, "That the shepherds built a wall round all this place, which was a
large and a strong wall, and this in order to keep all their possessions
and their prey within a place of strength, but that Thummosis the son
of Alisphragmuthosis made an attempt to take them by force and by siege,
with four hundred and eighty thousand men to lie rotund about them, but
that, upon his despair of taking the place by that siege, they came to a
composition with them, that they should leave Egypt, and go, without any
harm to be done to them, whithersoever they would; and that, after
this composition was made, they went away with their whole families and
effects, not fewer in number than two hundred and forty thousand, and
took their journey from Egypt, through the wilderness, for Syria; but
that as they were in fear of the Assyrians, who had then the dominion
over Asia, they built a city in that country which is now called Judea,
and that large enough to contain this great number of men, and called
it Jerusalem." [9] Now Manetho, in another book of his, says, "That
this nation, thus called Shepherds, were also called Captives, in their
sacred books." And this account of his is the truth; for feeding of
sheep was the employment of our forefathers in the most ancient ages
[10] and as they led such a wandering life in feeding sheep, they
were called Shepherds. Nor was it without reason that they were called
Captives by the Egyptians, since one of our ancestors, Joseph, told the
king of Egypt that he was a captive, and afterward sent for his brethren
into Egypt by the king's permission. But as for these matters, I shall
make a more exact inquiry about them elsewhere. [11]

15. But now I shall produce the Egyptians as witnesses to the antiquity
of our nation. I shall therefore here bring in Manetho again, and what
he writes as to the order of the times in this case; and thus he speaks:
"When this people or shepherds were gone out of Egypt to Jerusalem,
Tethtoosis the king of Egypt, who drove them out, reigned afterward
twenty-five years and four months, and then died; after him his son
Chebron took the kingdom for thirteen years; after whom came Amenophis,
for twenty years and seven months; then came his sister Amesses, for
twenty-one years and nine months; after her came Mephres, for twelve
years and nine months; after him was Mephramuthosis, for twenty-five
years and ten months; after him was Thmosis, for nine years and eight
months; after him came Amenophis, for thirty years and ten months;
after him came Orus, for thirty-six years and five months; then came his
daughter Acenchres, for twelve years and one month; then was her brother
Rathotis, for nine years; then was Acencheres, for twelve years and five
months; then came another Acencheres, for twelve years and three months;
after him Armais, for four years and one month; after him was Ramesses,
for one year and four months; after him came Armesses Miammoun, for
sixty-six years and two months; after him Amenophis, for nineteen years
and six months; after him came Sethosis, and Ramesses, who had an army
of horse, and a naval force. This king appointed his brother, Armais,
to be his deputy over Egypt." [In another copy it stood thus: "After
him came Sethosis, and Ramesses, two brethren, the former of whom had a
naval force, and in a hostile manner destroyed those that met him
upon the sea; but as he slew Ramesses in no long time afterward, so he
appointed another of his brethren to be his deputy over Egypt.] He
also gave him all the other authority of a king, but with these only
injunctions, that he should not wear the diadem, nor be injurious to the
queen, the mother of his children, and that he should not meddle with
the other concubines of the king; while he made an expedition against
Cyprus, and Phoenicia, and besides against the Assyrians and the Medes.
He then subdued them all, some by his arms, some without fighting, and
some by the terror of his great army; and being puffed up by the great
successes he had had, he went on still the more boldly, and overthrew
the cities and countries that lay in the eastern parts. But after some
considerable time, Armais, who was left in Egypt, did all those very
things, by way of opposition, which his brother had forbid him to do,
without fear; for he used violence to the queen, and continued to make
use of the rest of the concubines, without sparing any of them; nay, at
the persuasion of his friends he put on the diadem, and set up to oppose
his brother. But then he who was set over the priests of Egypt wrote
letters to Sethosis, and informed him of all that had happened, and
how his brother had set up to oppose him: he therefore returned back to
Pelusium immediately, and recovered his kingdom again. The country also
was called from his name Egypt; for Manetho says, that Sethosis was
himself called Egyptus, as was his brother Armais called Danaus."

16. This is Manetho's account. And evident it is from the number of
years by him set down belonging to this interval, if they be summed up
together, that these shepherds, as they are here called, who were
no other than our forefathers, were delivered out of Egypt, and came
thence, and inhabited this country, three hundred and ninety-three years
before Danaus came to Argos; although the Argives look upon him [12] as
their most ancient king Manetho, therefore, hears this testimony to two
points of the greatest consequence to our purpose, and those from the
Egyptian records themselves. In the first place, that we came out of
another country into Egypt; and that withal our deliverance out of it
was so ancient in time as to have preceded the siege of Troy almost a
thousand years; but then, as to those things which Manetbo adds, not
from the Egyptian records, but, as he confesses himself, from some
stories of an uncertain original, I will disprove them hereafter
particularly, and shall demonstrate that they are no better than
incredible fables.

17. I will now, therefore, pass from these records, and come to those
that belong to the Phoenicians, and concern our nation, and shall
produce attestations to what I have said out of them. There are then
records among the Tyrians that take in the history of many years,
and these are public writings, and are kept with great exactness, and
include accounts of the facts done among them, and such as concern their
transactions with other nations also, those I mean which were worth
remembering. Therein it was recorded that the temple was built by king
Solomon at Jerusalem, one hundred forty-three years and eight months
before the Tyrians built Carthage; and in their annals the building of
our temple is related; for Hirom, the king of Tyre, was the friend of
Solomon our king, and had such friendship transmitted down to him
from his forefathers. He thereupon was ambitious to contribute to the
splendor of this edifice of Solomon, and made him a present of one
hundred and twenty talents of gold. He also cut down the most excellent
timber out of that mountain which is called Libanus, and sent it to
him for adorning its roof. Solomon also not only made him many other
presents, by way of requital, but gave him a country in Galilee
also, that was called Chabulon. [13] But there was another passion, a
philosophic inclination of theirs, which cemented the friendship that
was betwixt them; for they sent mutual problems to one another, with
a desire to have them unriddled by each other; wherein Solomon was
superior to Hirom, as he was wiser than he in other respects: and many
of the epistles that passed between them are still preserved among the
Tyrians. Now, that this may not depend on my bare word, I will produce
for a witness Dius, one that is believed to have written the Phoenician
History after an accurate manner. This Dius, therefore, writes thus, in
his Histories of the Phoenicians: "Upon the death of Abibalus, his son
Hirom took the kingdom. This king raised banks at the eastern parts
of the city, and enlarged it; he also joined the temple of Jupiter
Olympius, which stood before in an island by itself, to the city, by
raising a causeway between them, and adorned that temple with donations
of gold. He moreover went up to Libanus, and had timber cut down for the
building of temples. They say further, that Solomon, when he was king
of Jerusalem, sent problems to Hirom to be solved, and desired he would
send others back for him to solve, and that he who could not solve the
problems proposed to him should pay money to him that solved them. And
when Hirom had agreed to the proposals, but was not able to solve the
problems, he was obliged to pay a great deal of money, as a penalty
for the same. As also they relate, that one OEabdemon, a man of Tyre, did
solve the problems, and propose others which Solomon could not solve,
upon which he was obliged to repay a great deal of money to Hirom."
These things are attested to by Dius, and confirm what we have said upon
the same subjects before.

18. And now I shall add Menander the Ephesian, as an additional witness.
This Menander wrote the Acts that were done both by the Greeks and
Barbarians, under every one of the Tyrian kings, and had taken much
pains to learn their history out of their own records. Now when he was
writing about those kings that had reigned at Tyre, he came to Hirom,
and says thus: "Upon the death of Abibalus, his son Hirom took the
kingdom; he lived fifty-three years, and reigned thirty-four. He raised
a bank on that called the Broad Place, and dedicated that golden pillar
which is in Jupiter's temple; he also went and cut down timber from the
mountain called Libanus, and got timber Of cedar for the roofs of
the temples. He also pulled down the old temples, and built new ones;
besides this, he consecrated the temples of Hercules and of Astarte. He
first built Hercules's temple in the month Peritus, and that of Astarte
when he made his expedition against the Tityans, who would not pay him
their tribute; and when he had subdued them to himself, he returned
home. Under this king there was a younger son of Abdemon, who mastered
the problems which Solomon king of Jerusalem had recommended to be
solved." Now the time from this king to the building of Carthage is
thus calculated: "Upon the death of Hirom, Baleazarus his son took the
kingdom; he lived forty-three years, and reigned seven years: after him
succeeded his son Abdastartus; he lived twenty-nine years, and reigned
nine years. Now four sons of his nurse plotted against him and slew him,
the eldest of whom reigned twelve years: after them came Astartus,
the son of Deleastartus; he lived fifty-four years, and reigned twelve
years: after him came his brother Aserymus; he lived fifty-four years,
and reigned nine years: he was slain by his brother Pheles, who took the
kingdom and reigned but eight months, though he lived fifty years: he
was slain by Ithobalus, the priest of Astarte, who reigned thirty-two
years, and lived sixty-eight years: he was succeeded by his son
Badezorus, who lived forty-five years, and reigned six years: he was
succeeded by Matgenus his son; he lived thirty-two years, and reigned
nine years: Pygmalion succeeded him; he lived fifty-six years, and
reigned forty-seven years. Now in the seventh year of his reign, his
sister fled away from him, and built the city Carthage in Libya." So
the whole time from the reign of Hirom, till the building of Carthage,
amounts to the sum of one hundred fifty-five years and eight months.
Since then the temple was built at Jerusalem in the twelfth year of the
reign of Hirom, there were from the building of the temple, until the
building of Carthage, one hundred forty-three years and eight months.
Wherefore, what occasion is there for alleging any more testimonies out
of the Phoenician histories [on the behalf of our nation], since what
I have said is so thoroughly confirmed already? and to be sure our
ancestors came into this country long before the building of the temple;
for it was not till we had gotten possession of the whole land by war
that we built our temple. And this is the point that I have clearly
proved out of our sacred writings in my Antiquities.

19. I will now relate what hath been written concerning us in the
Chaldean histories, which records have a great agreement with our books
in oilier things also. Berosus shall be witness to what I say: he was
by birth a Chaldean, well known by the learned, on account of his
publication of the Chaldean books of astronomy and philosophy among the
Greeks. This Berosus, therefore, following the most ancient records
of that nation, gives us a history of the deluge of waters that then
happened, and of the destruction of mankind thereby, and agrees with
Moses's narration thereof. He also gives us an account of that ark
wherein Noah, the origin of our race, was preserved, when it was brought
to the highest part of the Armenian mountains; after which he gives us
a catalogue of the posterity of Noah, and adds the years of their
chronology, and at length comes down to Nabolassar, who was king of
Babylon, and of the Chaldeans. And when he was relating the acts of
this king, he describes to us how he sent his son Nabuchodonosor against
Egypt, and against our land, with a great army, upon his being informed
that they had revolted from him; and how, by that means, he subdued them
all, and set our temple that was at Jerusalem on fire; nay, and removed
our people entirely out of their own country, and transferred them
to Babylon; when it so happened that our city was desolate during the
interval of seventy years, until the days of Cyrus king of Persia. He
then says, "That this Babylonian king conquered Egypt, and Syria, and
Phoenicia, and Arabia, and exceeded in his exploits all that had
reigned before him in Babylon and Chaldea." A little after which Berosus
subjoins what follows in his History of Ancient Times. I will set down
Berosus's own accounts, which are these: "When Nabolassar, father of
Nabuchodonosor, heard that the governor whom he had set over Egypt, and
over the parts of Celesyria and Phoenicia, had revolted from him, he was
not able to bear it any longer; but committing certain parts of his army
to his son Nabuchodonosor, who was then but young, he sent him against
the rebel: Nabuchodonosor joined battle with him, and conquered him, and
reduced the country under his dominion again. Now it so fell out that
his father Nabolassar fell into a distemper at this time, and died in
the city of Babylon, after he had reigned twenty-nine years. But as he
understood, in a little time, that his father Nabolassar was dead, he
set the affairs of Egypt and the other countries in order, and committed
the captives he had taken from the Jews, and Phoenicians, and Syrians,
and of the nations belonging to Egypt, to some of his friends, that they
might conduct that part of the forces that had on heavy armor, with the
rest of his baggage, to Babylonia; while he went in haste, having but a
few with him, over the desert to Babylon; whither, when he was come, he
found the public affairs had been managed by the Chaldeans, and that
the principal person among them had preserved the kingdom for him.
Accordingly, he now entirely obtained all his father's dominions. He
then came, and ordered the captives to be placed as colonies in the most
proper places of Babylonia; but for himself, he adorned the temple of
Belus, and the other temples, after an elegant manner, out of the
spoils he had taken in this war. He also rebuilt the old city, and added
another to it on the outside, and so far restored Babylon, that none who
should besiege it afterwards might have it in their power to divert
the river, so as to facilitate an entrance into it; and this he did by
building three walls about the inner city, and three about the outer.
Some of these walls he built of burnt brick and bitumen, and some of
brick only. So when he had thus fortified the city with walls, after an
excellent manner, and had adorned the gates magnificently, he added a
new palace to that which his father had dwelt in, and this close by it
also, and that more eminent in its height, and in its great splendor. It
would perhaps require too long a narration, if any one were to describe
it. However, as prodigiously large and as magnificent as it was, it was
finished in fifteen days. Now in this palace he erected very high walks,
supported by stone pillars, and by planting what was called a pensile
paradise, and replenishing it with all sorts of trees, he rendered the
prospect an exact resemblance of a mountainous country. This he did to
please his queen, because she had been brought up in Media, and was fond
of a mountainous situation."

20. This is what Berosus relates concerning the forementioned king, as
he relates many other things about him also in the third book of his
Chaldean History; wherein he complains of the Grecian writers for
supposing, without any foundation, that Babylon was built by Semiramis,
[14] queen of Assyria, and for her false pretense to those wonderful
edifices thereto buildings at Babylon, do no way contradict those
ancient and relating, as if they were her own workmanship; as indeed
in these affairs the Chaldean History cannot but be the most credible.
Moreover, we meet with a confirmation of what Berosus says in the
archives of the Phoenicians, concerning this king Nabuchodonosor, that
he conquered all Syria and Phoenicia; in which case Philostratus agrees
with the others in that history which he composed, where he mentions
the siege of Tyre; as does Megasthenes also, in the fourth book of his
Indian History, wherein he pretends to prove that the forementioned
king of the Babylonians was superior to Hercules in strength and the
greatness of his exploits; for he says that he conquered a great part
of Libya, and conquered Iberia also. Now as to what I have said before
about the temple at Jerusalem, that it was fought against by the
Babylonians, and burnt by them, but was opened again when Cyrus had
taken the kingdom of Asia, shall now be demonstrated from what Berosus
adds further upon that head; for thus he says in his third book:
"Nabuchodonosor, after he had begun to build the forementioned wall,
fell sick, and departed this life, when he had reigned forty-three
years; whereupon his son Evilmerodach obtained the kingdom. He governed
public affairs after an illegal and impure manner, and had a plot laid
against him by Neriglissoor, his sister's husband, and was slain by him
when he had reigned but two years. After he was slain, Neriglissoor,
the person who plotted against him, succeeded him in the kingdom, and
reigned four years; his son Laborosoarchod obtained the kingdom, though
he was but a child, and kept it nine mouths; but by reason of the very
ill temper and ill practices he exhibited to the world, a plot was laid
against him also by his friends, and he was tormented to death. After
his death, the conspirators got together, and by common consent put
the crown upon the head of Nabonnedus, a man of Babylon, and one who
belonged to that insurrection. In his reign it was that the walls of the
city of Babylon were curiously built with burnt brick and bitumen; but
when he was come to the seventeenth year of his reign, Cyrus came out of
Persia with a great army; and having already conquered all the rest of
Asia, he came hastily to Babylonia. When Nabonnedus perceived he was
coming to attack him, he met him with his forces, and joining battle
with him was beaten, and fled away with a few of his troops with him,
and was shut up within the city Borsippus. Hereupon Cyrus took Babylon,
and gave order that the outer walls of the city should be demolished,
because the city had proved very troublesome to him, and cost him a
great deal of pains to take it. He then marched away to Borsippus, to
besiege Nabonnedus; but as Nabonnedus did not sustain the siege, but
delivered himself into his hands, he was at first kindly used by Cyrus,
who gave him Carmania, as a place for him to inhabit in, but sent him
out of Babylonia. Accordingly Nabonnedus spent the rest of his time in
that country, and there died."

21. These accounts agree with the true histories in our books; for in
them it is written that Nebuchadnezzar, in the eighteenth year of
his reign, laid our temple desolate, and so it lay in that state of
obscurity for fifty years; but that in the second year of the reign of
Cyrus its foundations were laid, and it was finished again in the second
year of Darius. I will now add the records of the Phoenicians; for it
will not be superfluous to give the reader demonstrations more than
enough on this occasion. In them we have this enumeration of the times
of their several kings: "Nabuchodonosor besieged Tyre for thirteen years
in the days of Ithobal, their king; after him reigned Baal, ten years;
after him were judges appointed, who judged the people: Ecnibalus, the
son of Baslacus, two months; Chelbes, the son of Abdeus, ten months;
Abbar, the high priest, three months; Mitgonus and Gerastratus, the sons
of Abdelemus, were judges six years; after whom Balatorus reigned one
year; after his death they sent and fetched Merbalus from Babylon, who
reigned four years; after his death they sent for his brother Hirom, who
reigned twenty years. Under his reign Cyrus became king of Persia." So
that the whole interval is fifty-four years besides three months; for
in the seventh year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar he began to besiege
Tyre, and Cyrus the Persian took the kingdom in the fourteenth year of
Hirom. So that the records of the Chaldeans and Tyrians agree with our
writings about this temple; and the testimonies here produced are an
indisputable and undeniable attestation to the antiquity of our nation.
And I suppose that what I have already said may be sufficient to such as
are not very contentious.

22. But now it is proper to satisfy the inquiry of those that disbelieve
the records of barbarians, and think none but Greeks to be worthy of
credit, and to produce many of these very Greeks who were acquainted
with our nation, and to set before them such as upon occasion have made
mention of us in their own writings. Pythagoras, therefore, of Samos,
lived in very ancient times, and was esteemed a person superior to all
philosophers in wisdom and piety towards God. Now it is plain that
he did not only know our doctrines, but was in very great measure a
follower and admirer of them. There is not indeed extant any writing
that is owned for his [15] but many there are who have written his
history, of whom Hermippus is the most celebrated, who was a person very
inquisitive into all sorts of history. Now this Hermippus, in his first
book concerning Pythagoras, speaks thus: "That Pythagoras, upon the
death of one of his associates, whose name was Calliphon, a Crotonlate
by birth, affirmed that this man's soul conversed with him both night
and day, and enjoined him not to pass over a place where an ass had
fallen down; as also not to drink of such waters as caused thirst again;
and to abstain from all sorts of reproaches." After which he adds thus:
"This he did and said in imitation of the doctrines of the Jews and
Thracians, which he transferred into his own philosophy." For it is very
truly affirmed of this Pythagoras, that he took a great many of the laws
of the Jews into his own philosophy. Nor was our nation unknown of
old to several of the Grecian cities, and indeed was thought worthy
of imitation by some of them. This is declared by Theophrastus, in his
writings concerning laws; for he says that "the laws of the Tyrians
forbid men to swear foreign oaths." Among which he enumerates some
others, and particularly that called Corban: which oath can only be
found among the Jews, and declares what a man may call "A thing devoted
to God." Nor indeed was Herodotus of Halicarnassus unacquainted with our
nation, but mentions it after a way of his own, when he saith thus, in
the second book concerning the Colchians. His words are these: "The only
people who were circumcised in their privy members originally, were the
Colchians, the Egyptians, and the Ethiopians; but the Phoenicians and
those Syrians that are in Palestine confess that they learned it from
the Egyptians. And for those Syrians who live about the rivers Thermodon
and Parthenius, and their neighbors the Macrones, they say they have
lately learned it from the Colchians; for these are the only people that
are circumcised among mankind, and appear to have done the very same
thing with the Egyptians. But as for the Egyptians and Ethiopians
themselves, I am not able to say which of them received it from the
other." This therefore is what Herodotus says, that "the Syrians that
are in Palestine are circumcised." But there are no inhabitants of
Palestine that are circumcised excepting the Jews; and therefore it must
be his knowledge of them that enabled him to speak so much concerning
them. Cherilus also, a still ancienter writer, and a poet, [16] makes
mention of our nation, and informs us that it came to the assistance of
king Xerxes, in his expedition against Greece. For in his enumeration of
all those nations, he last of all inserts ours among the rest, when he
says, "At the last there passed over a people, wonderful to be beheld;
for they spake the Phoenician tongue with their mouths; they dwelt in
the Solymean mountains, near a broad lake: their heads were sooty;
they had round rasures on them; their heads and faces were like nasty
horse-heads also, that had been hardened in the smoke." I think,
therefore, that it is evident to every body that Cherilus means us,
because the Solymean mountains are in our country, wherein we inhabit,
as is also the lake called Asphaltitis; for this is a broader and
larger lake than any other that is in Syria: and thus does Cherilus make
mention of us. But now that not only the lowest sort of the Grecians,
but those that are had in the greatest admiration for their philosophic
improvements among them, did not only know the Jews, but when they
lighted upon any of them, admired them also, it is easy for any one to
know. For Clearchus, who was the scholar of Aristotle, and inferior
to no one of the Peripatetics whomsoever, in his first book concerning
sleep, says that "Aristotle his master related what follows of a Jew,"
and sets down Aristotle's own discourse with him. The account is this,
as written down by him: "Now, for a great part of what this Jew said, it
would be too long to recite it; but what includes in it both wonder and
philosophy it may not be amiss to discourse of. Now, that I may be plain
with thee, Hyperochides, I shall herein seem to thee to relate wonders,
and what will resemble dreams themselves. Hereupon Hyperochides answered
modestly, and said, For that very reason it is that all of us are very
desirous of hearing what thou art going to say. Then replied Aristotle,
For this cause it will be the best way to imitate that rule of the
Rhetoricians, which requires us first to give an account of the man,
and of what nation he was, that so we may not contradict our master's
directions. Then said Hyperochides, Go on, if it so pleases thee.
This man then, [answered Aristotle,] was by birth a Jew, and came from
Celesyria; these Jews are derived from the Indian philosophers; they are
named by the Indians Calami, and by the Syrians Judaei, and took their
name from the country they inhabit, which is called Judea; but for
the name of their city, it is a very awkward one, for they call it
Jerusalem. Now this man, when he was hospitably treated by a great many,
came down from the upper country to the places near the sea, and became
a Grecian, not only in his language, but in his soul also; insomuch that
when we ourselves happened to be in Asia about the same places whither
he came, he conversed with us, and with other philosophical persons, and
made a trial of our skill in philosophy; and as he had lived with many
learned men, he communicated to us more information than he received
from us." This is Aristotle's account of the matter, as given us by
Clearchus; which Aristotle discoursed also particularly of the great
and wonderful fortitude of this Jew in his diet, and continent way of
living, as those that please may learn more about him from Clearchus's
book itself; for I avoid setting down any more than is sufficient for
my purpose. Now Clearchus said this by way of digression, for his main
design was of another nature. But for Hecateus of Abdera, who was both a
philosopher, and one very useful ill an active life, he was contemporary
with king Alexander in his youth, and afterward was with Ptolemy, the
son of Lagus; he did not write about the Jewish affairs by the by only,
but composed an entire book concerning the Jews themselves; out of
which book I am willing to run over a few things, of which I have been
treating by way of epitome. And, in the first place, I will demonstrate
the time when this Hecateus lived; for he mentions the fight that
was between Ptolemy and Demetrius about Gaza, which was fought in the
eleventh year after the death of Alexander, and in the hundred and
seventeenth olympiad, as Castor says in his history. For when he had set
down this olympiad, he says further, that "in this olympiad Ptolemy, the
son of Lagus, beat in battle Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, who was
named Poliorcetes, at Gaza." Now, it is agreed by all, that Alexander
died in the hundred and fourteenth olympiad; it is therefore evident
that our nation flourished in his time, and in the time of Alexander.
Again, Hecateus says to the same purpose, as follows: "Ptolemy got
possession of the places in Syria after that battle at Gaza; and many,
when they heard of Ptolemy's moderation and humanity, went along with
him to Egypt, and were willing to assist him in his affairs; one of whom
[Hecateus says] was Hezekiah [17] the high priest of the Jews; a man of
about sixty-six years of age, and in great dignity among his own people.
He was a very sensible man, and could speak very movingly, and was very
skillful in the management of affairs, if any other man ever were so;
although, as he says, all the priests of the Jews took tithes of the
products of the earth, and managed public affairs, and were in number
not above fifteen hundred at the most." Hecateus mentions this Hezekiah
a second time, and says, that "as he was possessed of so great a
dignity, and was become familiar with us, so did he take certain of
those that were with him, and explained to them all the circumstances
of their people; for he had all their habitations and polity down in
writing." Moreover, Hecateus declares again, "what regard we have for
our laws, and that we resolve to endure any thing rather than transgress
them, because we think it right for us to do so." Whereupon he adds,
that "although they are in a bad reputation among their neighbors,
and among all those that come to them, and have been often treated
injuriously by the kings and governors of Persia, yet can they not
be dissuaded from acting what they think best; but that when they are
stripped on this account, and have torments inflicted upon them, and
they are brought to the most terrible kinds of death, they meet them
after an extraordinary manner, beyond all other people, and will not
renounce the religion of their forefathers." Hecateus also produces
demonstrations not a few of this their resolute tenaciousness of their
laws, when he speaks thus: "Alexander was once at Babylon, and had an
intention to rebuild the temple of Belus that was fallen to decay, and
in order thereto, he commanded all his soldiers in general to bring
earth thither. But the Jews, and they only, would not comply with that
command; nay, they underwent stripes and great losses of what they had
on this account, till the king forgave them, and permitted them to live
in quiet." He adds further, that "when the Macedonians came to them
into that country, and demolished the [old] temples and the altars, they
assisted them in demolishing them all [18] but [for not assisting them
in rebuilding them] they either underwent losses, or sometimes obtained
forgiveness." He adds further, that "these men deserve to be admired on
that account." He also speaks of the mighty populousness of our nation,
and says that "the Persians formerly carried away many ten thousands of
our people to Babylon, as also that not a few ten thousands were removed
after Alexander's death into Egypt and Phoenicia, by reason of the
sedition that was arisen in Syria." The same person takes notice in his
history, how large the country is which we inhabit, as well as of its
excellent character, and says, that "the land in which the Jews inhabit
contains three millions of arourae, [19] and is generally of a most
excellent and most fruitful soil; nor is Judea of lesser dimensions."
The same man describe our city Jerusalem also itself as of a most
excellent structure, and very large, and inhabited from the most ancient
times. He also discourses of the multitude of men in it, and of the
construction of our temple, after the following manner: "There are many
strong places and villages [says he] in the country of Judea; but one
strong city there is, about fifty furlongs in circumference, which is
inhabited by a hundred and twenty thousand men, or thereabouts; they
call it Jerusalem. There is about the middle of the city a wall of
stone, whose length is five hundred feet, and the breadth a hundred
cubits, with double cloisters; wherein there is a square altar, not made
of hewn stone, but composed of white stones gathered together, having
each side twenty cubits long, and its altitude ten cubits. Hard by it
is a large edifice, wherein there is an altar and a candlestick, both
of gold, and in weight two talents: upon these there is a light that is
never extinguished, either by night or by day. There is no image, nor
any thing, nor any donations therein; nothing at all is there planted,
neither grove, nor any thing of that sort. The priests abide therein
both nights and days, performing certain purifications, and drinking
not the least drop of wine while they are in the temple." Moreover, he
attests that we Jews went as auxiliaries along with king Alexander,
and after him with his successors. I will add further what he says he
learned when he was himself with the same army, concerning the actions
of a man that was a Jew. His words are these: "As I was myself going to
the Red Sea, there followed us a man, whose name was Mosollam; he was
one of the Jewish horsemen who conducted us; he was a person of great
courage, of a strong body, and by all allowed to be the most skillful
archer that was either among the Greeks or barbarians. Now this man, as
people were in great numbers passing along the road, and a certain
augur was observing an augury by a bird, and requiring them all to stand
still, inquired what they staid for. Hereupon the augur showed him the
bird from whence he took his augury, and told him that if the bird staid
where he was, they ought all to stand still; but that if he got up, and
flew onward, they must go forward; but that if he flew backward, they
must retire again. Mosollam made no reply, but drew his bow, and shot at
the bird, and hit him, and killed him; and as the augur and some others
were very angry, and wished imprecations upon him, he answered them
thus: Why are you so mad as to take this most unhappy bird into your
hands? for how can this bird give us any true information concerning our
march, who could not foresee how to save himself? for had he been able
to foreknow what was future, he would not have come to this place, but
would have been afraid lest Mosollam the Jew should shoot at him, and
kill him." But of Hecateus's testimonies we have said enough; for as to
such as desire to know more of them, they may easily obtain them from
his book itself. However, I shall not think it too much for me to name
Agatharchides, as having made mention of us Jews, though in way of
derision at our simplicity, as he supposes it to be; for when he was
discoursing of the affairs of Stratonice, "how she came out of Macedonia
into Syria, and left her husband Demetrius, while yet Seleueus would not
marry her as she expected, but during the time of his raising an army at
Babylon, stirred up a sedition about Antioch; and how, after that, the
king came back, and upon his taking of Antioch, she fled to Seleucia,
and had it in her power to sail away immediately yet did she comply with
a dream which forbade her so to do, and so was caught and put to
death." When Agatharehides had premised this story, and had jested upon
Stratonice for her superstition, he gives a like example of what was
reported concerning us, and writes thus: "There are a people called
Jews, and dwell in a city the strongest of all other cities, which the
inhabitants call Jerusalem, and are accustomed to rest on every seventh
day [20] on which times they make no use of their arms, nor meddle with
husbandry, nor take care of any affairs of life, but spread out their
hands in their holy places, and pray till the evening. Now it came to
pass, that when Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, came into this city with his
army, that these men, in observing this mad custom of theirs, instead of
guarding the city, suffered their country to submit itself to a bitter
lord; and their law was openly proved to have commanded a foolish
practice. [21] This accident taught all other men but the Jews to
disregard such dreams as these were, and not to follow the like idle
suggestions delivered as a law, when, in such uncertainty of human
reasonings, they are at a loss what they should do." Now this our
procedure seems a ridiculous thing to Agatharehides, but will appear to
such as consider it without prejudice a great thing, and what deserved
a great many encomiums; I mean, when certain men constantly prefer the
observation of their laws, and their religion towards God, before the
preservation of themselves and their country.

23. Now that some writers have omitted to mention our nation, not
because they knew nothing of us, but because they envied us, or for some
other unjustifiable reasons, I think I can demonstrate by particular
instances; for Hieronymus, who wrote the History of Alexander's
Successors, lived at the same time with Hecateus, and was a friend of
king Antigonus, and president of Syria. Now it is plain that Hecateus
wrote an entire book concerning us, while Hieronymus never mentions us
in his history, although he was bred up very near to the places where we
live. Thus different from one another are the inclinations of men;
while the one thought we deserved to be carefully remembered, as some
ill-disposed passion blinded the other's mind so entirely, that he could
not discern the truth. And now certainly the foregoing records of the
Egyptians, and Chaldeans, and Phoenicians, together with so many of
the Greek writers, will be sufficient for the demonstration of our
antiquity. Moreover, besides those forementioned, Theophilus, and
Theodotus, and Mnaseas, and Aristophanes, and Hermogenes, Euhemerus
also, and Conon, and Zopyrion, and perhaps many others, [for I have not
lighted upon all the Greek books,] have made distinct mention of us. It
is true, many of the men before mentioned have made great mistakes about
the true accounts of our nation in the earliest times, because they had
not perused our sacred books; yet have they all of them afforded their
testimony to our antiquity, concerning which I am now treating. However,
Demetrius Phalereus, and the elder Philo, with Eupolemus, have not
greatly missed the truth about our affairs; whose lesser mistakes
ought therefore to be forgiven them; for it was not in their power to
understand our writings with the utmost accuracy.

24. One particular there is still remaining behind of what I at first
proposed to speak to, and that is, to demonstrate that those calumnies
and reproaches which some have thrown upon our nation, are lies, and to
make use of those writers' own testimonies against themselves; and that
in general this self-contradiction hath happened to many other authors
by reason of their ill-will to some people, I conclude, is not unknown
to such as have read histories with sufficient care; for some of them
have endeavored to disgrace the nobility of certain nations, and of some
of the most glorious cities, and have cast reproaches upon certain
forms of government. Thus hath Theopompus abused the city of Athens,
Polycrates that of Lacedemon, as hath he hat wrote the Tripoliticus
[for he is not Theopompus, as is supposed by some] done by the city of
Thebes. Timeils also hath greatly abused the foregoing people and others
also; and this ill-treatment they use chiefly when they have a contest
with men of the greatest reputation; some out of envy and malice, and
others as supposing that by this foolish talking of theirs they may be
thought worthy of being remembered themselves; and indeed they do by no
means fail of their hopes, with regard to the foolish part of mankind,
but men of sober judgment still condemn them of great malignity.

25. Now the Egyptians were the first that cast reproaches upon us;
in order to please which nation, some others undertook to pervert the
truth, while they would neither own that our forefathers came into Egypt
from another country, as the fact was, nor give a true account of our
departure thence. And indeed the Egyptians took many occasions to hate
us and envy us: in the first place, because our ancestors had had the
dominion over their country? and when they were delivered from them, and
gone to their own country again, they lived there in prosperity. In the
next place, the difference of our religion from theirs hath occasioned
great enmity between us, while our way of Divine worship did as much
exceed that which their laws appointed, as does the nature of God
exceed that of brute beasts; for so far they all agree through the whole
country, to esteem such animals as gods, although they differ one
from another in the peculiar worship they severally pay to them. And
certainly men they are entirely of vain and foolish minds, who have
thus accustomed themselves from the beginning to have such bad notions
concerning their gods, and could not think of imitating that decent
form of Divine worship which we made use of, though, when they saw our
institutions approved of by many others, they could not but envy us on
that account; for some of them have proceeded to that degree of folly
and meanness in their conduct, as not to scruple to contradict their own
ancient records, nay, to contradict themselves also in their writings,
and yet were so blinded by their passions as not to discern it.

26. And now I will turn my discourse to one of their principal writers,
whom I have a little before made use of as a witness to our antiquity; I
mean Manetho. [22] He promised to interpret the Egyptian history out of
their sacred writings, and premised this: that "our people had come into
Egypt, many ten thousands in number, and subdued its inhabitants;"
and when he had further confessed that "we went out of that country
afterward, and settled in that country which is now called Judea, and
there built Jerusalem and its temple." Now thus far he followed his
ancient records; but after this he permits himself, in order to appear
to have written what rumors and reports passed abroad about the Jews,
and introduces incredible narrations, as if he would have the Egyptian
multitude, that had the leprosy and other distempers, to have been mixed
with us, as he says they were, and that they were condemned to fly out
of Egypt together; for he mentions Amenophis, a fictitious king's name,
though on that account he durst not set down the number of years of
his reign, which yet he had accurately done as to the other kings he
mentions; he then ascribes certain fabulous stories to this king,
as having in a manner forgotten how he had already related that the
departure of the shepherds for Jerusalem had been five hundred and
eighteen years before; for Tethmosis was king when they went away.
Now, from his days, the reigns of the intermediate kings, according to
Manethe, amounted to three hundred and ninety-three years, as he says
himself, till the two brothers Sethos and Hermeus; the one of whom,
Sethos, was called by that other name of Egyptus, and the other,
Hermeus, by that of Danaus. He also says that Sethos east the other out
of Egypt, and reigned fifty-nine years, as did his eldest son Rhampses
reign after him sixty-six years. When Manethe therefore had acknowledged
that our forefathers were gone out of Egypt so many years ago, he
introduces his fictitious king Amenophis, and says thus: "This king
was desirous to become a spectator of the gods, as had Orus, one of
his predecessors in that kingdom, desired the same before him; he also
communicated that his desire to his namesake Amenophis, who was the son
of Papis, and one that seemed to partake of a divine nature, both as
to wisdom and the knowledge of futurities." Manethe adds, "how this
namesake of his told him that he might see the gods, if he would clear
the whole country of the lepers and of the other impure people; that the
king was pleased with this injunction, and got together all that had any
defect in their bodies out of Egypt; and that their number was eighty
thousand; whom he sent to those quarries which are on the east side of
the Nile, that they might work in them, and might be separated from the
rest of the Egyptians." He says further, that "there were some of the
learned priests that were polluted with the leprosy; but that still this
Amenophis, the wise man and the prophet, was afraid that the gods would
be angry at him and at the king, if there should appear to have been
violence offered them; who also added this further, [out of his sagacity
about futurities,] that certain people would come to the assistance of
these polluted wretches, and would conquer Egypt, and keep it in their
possession thirteen years; that, however, he durst not tell the king
of these things, but that he left a writing behind him about all those
matters, and then slew himself, which made the king disconsolate." After
which he writes thus verbatim: "After those that were sent to work in
the quarries had continued in that miserable state for a long while, the
king was desired that he would set apart the city Avaris, which was then
left desolate of the shepherds, for their habitation and protection;
which desire he granted them. Now this city, according to the ancient
theology, was Typho's city. But when these men were gotten into it, and
found the place fit for a revolt, they appointed themselves a ruler out
of the priests of Hellopolis, whose name was Osarsiph, and they took
their oaths that they would be obedient to him in all things. He then,
in the first place, made this law for them, That they should neither
worship the Egyptian gods, nor should abstain from any one of those
sacred animals which they have in the highest esteem, but kill and
destroy them all; that they should join themselves to nobody but to
those that were of this confederacy. When he had made such laws as
these, and many more such as were mainly opposite to the customs of the
Egyptians, [23] he gave order that they should use the multitude of the
hands they had in building walls about their City, and make themselves
ready for a war with king Amenophis, while he did himself take into his
friendship the other priests, and those that were polluted with them,
and sent ambassadors to those shepherds who had been driven out of the
land by Tefilmosis to the city called Jerusalem; whereby he informed
them of his own affairs, and of the state of those others that had been
treated after such an ignominious manner, and desired that they would
come with one consent to his assistance in this war against Egypt. He
also promised that he would, in the first place, bring them back
to their ancient city and country Avaris, and provide a plentiful
maintenance for their multitude; that he would protect them and fight
for them as occasion should require, and would easily reduce the
country under their dominion. These shepherds were all very glad of this
message, and came away with alacrity all together, being in number two
hundred thousand men; and in a little time they came to Avaris. And now
Amenophis the king of Egypt, upon his being informed of their invasion,
was in great confusion, as calling to mind what Amenophis, the son
of Papis, had foretold him; and, in the first place, he assembled the
multitude of the Egyptians, and took counsel with their leaders, and
sent for their sacred animals to him, especially for those that were
principally worshipped in their temples, and gave a particular charge to
the priests distinctly, that they should hide the images of their gods
with the utmost care he also sent his son Sethos, who was also named
Ramesses, from his father Rhampses, being but five years old, to a
friend of his. He then passed on with the rest of the Egyptians, being
three hundred thousand of the most warlike of them, against the enemy,
who met them. Yet did he not join battle with them; but thinking
that would be to fight against the gods, he returned back and came to
Memphis, where he took Apis and the other sacred animals which he had
sent for to him, and presently marched into Ethiopia, together with
his whole army and multitude of Egyptians; for the king of Ethiopia was
under an obligation to him, on which account he received him, and took
care of all the multitude that was with him, while the country supplied
all that was necessary for the food of the men. He also allotted cities
and villages for this exile, that was to be from its beginning during
those fatally determined thirteen years. Moreover, he pitched a camp for
his Ethiopian army, as a guard to king Amenophis, upon the borders of
Egypt. And this was the state of things in Ethiopia. But for the people
of Jerusalem, when they came down together with the polluted Egyptians,
they treated the men in such a barbarous manner, that those who saw how
they subdued the forementioned country, and the horrid wickedness they
were guilty of, thought it a most dreadful thing; for they did not only
set the cities and villages on fire but were not satisfied till they had
been guilty of sacrilege, and destroyed the images of the gods, and used
them in roasting those sacred animals that used to be worshipped, and
forced the priests and prophets to be the executioners and murderers of
those animals, and then ejected them naked out of the country. It was
also reported that the priest, who ordained their polity and their laws,
was by birth of Hellopolls, and his name Osarsiph, from Osyris, who was
the god of Hellopolls; but that when he was gone over to these people,
his name was changed, and he was called Moses."

27. This is what the Egyptians relate about the Jews, with much more,
which I omit for the sake of brevity. But still Manetho goes on, that
"after this, Amenophis returned back from Ethiopia with a great army,
as did his son Ahampses with another army also, and that both of them
joined battle with the shepherds and the polluted people, and beat them,
and slew a great many of them, and pursued them to the bounds of
Syria." These and the like accounts are written by Manetho. But I will
demonstrate that he trifles, and tells arrant lies, after I have made a
distinction which will relate to what I am going to say about him;
for this Manetho had granted and confessed that this nation was not
originally Egyptian, but that they had come from another country, and
subdued Egypt, and then went away again out of it. But that those
Egyptians who were thus diseased in their bodies were not mingled with
us afterward, and that Moses who brought the people out was not one of
that company, but lived many generations earlier, I shall endeavor to
demonstrate from Manetho's own accounts themselves.

28. Now, for the first occasion of this fiction, Manetho supposes what
is no better than a ridiculous thing; for he says that, "King Amenophis
desired to see the gods." What gods, I pray, did he desire to see? If
he meant the gods whom their laws ordained to be worshipped, the ox, the
goat, the crocodile, and the baboon, he saw them already; but for the
heavenly gods, how could he see them, and what should occasion this his
desire? To be sure? it was because another king before him had already
seen them. He had then been informed what sort of gods they were, and
after what manner they had been seen, insomuch that he did not stand in
need of any new artifice for obtaining this sight. However, the prophet
by whose means the king thought to compass his design was a wise man.
If so, how came he not to know that such his desire was impossible to
be accomplished? for the event did not succeed. And what pretense could
there be to suppose that the gods would not be seen by reason of the
people's maims in their bodies, or leprosy? for the gods are not angry
at the imperfection of bodies, but at wicked practices; and as to eighty
thousand lepers, and those in an ill state also, how is it possible to
have them gathered together in one day? nay, how came the king not to
comply with the prophet? for his injunction was, that those that were
maimed should be expelled out of Egypt, while the king only sent them
to work in the quarries, as if he were rather in want of laborers, than
intended to purge his country. He says further, that, "this prophet slew
himself, as foreseeing the anger of the gods, and those events which
were to come upon Egypt afterward; and that he left this prediction for
the king in writing." Besides, how came it to pass that this prophet
did not foreknow his own death at the first? nay, how came he not to
contradict the king in his desire to see the gods immediately? how came
that unreasonable dread upon him of judgments that were not to happen
in his lifetime? or what worse thing could he suffer, out of the fear
of which he made haste to kill himself? But now let us see the silliest
thing of all:--The king, although he had been informed of these things,
and terrified with the fear of what was to come, yet did not he even
then eject these maimed people out of his country, when it had been
foretold him that he was to clear Egypt of them; but, as Manetho says,
"he then, upon their request, gave them that city to inhabit, which had
formerly belonged to the shepherds, and was called Avaris; whither when
they were gone in crowds," he says, "they chose one that had formerly
been priest of Hellopolls; and that this priest first ordained that they
should neither worship the gods, nor abstain from those animals that
were worshipped by the Egyptians, but should kill and eat them all, and
should associate with nobody but those that had conspired with them;
and that he bound the multitude by oaths to be sure to continue in
those laws; and that when he had built a wall about Avaris, he made
war against the king." Manetho adds also, that "this priest sent to
Jerusalem to invite that people to come to his assistance, and promised
to give them Avaris; for that it had belonged to the forefathers of
those that were coming from Jerusalem, and that when they were come,
they made a war immediately against the king, and got possession of
all Egypt." He says also that "the Egyptians came with an army of
two hundred thousand men, and that Amenophis, the king of Egypt, not
thinking that he ought to fight against the gods, ran away presently
into Ethiopia, and committed Apis and certain other of their sacred
animals to the priests, and commanded them to take care of preserving
them." He says further, that, "the people of Jerusalem came accordingly
upon the Egyptians, and overthrew their cities, and burnt their temples,
and slew their horsemen, and, in short, abstained from no sort of
wickedness nor barbarity; and for that priest who settled their polity
and their laws," he says, "he was by birth of Hellopolis, and his name
was Osarsiph, from Osyris the god of Hellopolis, but that he changed his
name, and called himself Moses." He then says that "on the thirteenth
year afterward, Amenophis, according to the fatal time of the duration
of his misfortunes, came upon them out of Ethiopia with a great army,
and joining battle with the shepherds and with the polluted people,
overcame them in battle, and slew a great many of them, and pursued them
as far as the bounds of Syria."

29. Now Manetho does not reflect upon the improbability of his lie; for
the leprous people, and the multitude that was with them, although
they might formerly have been angry at the king, and at those that had
treated them so coarsely, and this according to the prediction of the
prophet; yet certainly, when they were come out of the mines, and had
received of the king a city, and a country, they would have grown milder
towards him. However, had they ever so much hated him in particular,
they might have laid a private plot against himself, but would hardly
have made war against all the Egyptians; I mean this on the account of
the great kindred they who were so numerous must have had among them.
Nay still, if they had resolved to fight with the men, they would not
have had impudence enough to fight with their gods; nor would they have
ordained laws quite contrary to those of their own country, and to
those in which they had been bred up themselves. Yet are we beholden
to Manethe, that he does not lay the principal charge of this horrid
transgression upon those that came from Jerusalem, but says that the
Egyptians themselves were the most guilty, and that they were their
priests that contrived these things, and made the multitude take their
oaths for doing so. But still how absurd is it to suppose that none
of these people's own relations or friends should be prevailed with
to revolt, nor to undergo the hazards of war with them, while these
polluted people were forced to send to Jerusalem, and bring their
auxiliaries from thence! What friendship, I pray, or what relation
was there formerly between them that required this assistance? On the
contrary, these people were enemies, and greatly differed from them in
their customs. He says, indeed, that they complied immediately, upon
their praising them that they should conquer Egypt; as if they did not
themselves very well know that country out of which they had been driven
by force. Now had these men been in want, or lived miserably, perhaps
they might have undertaken so hazardous an enterprise; but as they dwelt
in a happy city, and had a large country, and one better than Egypt
itself, how came it about that, for the sake of those that had of old
been their enemies, of those that were maimed in their bodies, and of
those whom none of their own relations would endure, they should run
such hazards in assisting them? For they could not foresee that the
king would run away from them: on the contrary, he saith himself that
"Amenophis's son had three hundred thousand men with him, and met them
at Pelusium." Now, to be sure, those that came could not be ignorant of
this; but for the king's repentance and flight, how could they possibly
guess at it? He then says, that "those who came from Jerusalem, and made
this invasion, got the granaries of Egypt into their possession, and
perpetrated many of the most horrid actions there." And thence he
reproaches them, as though he had not himself introduced them as
enemies, or as though he might accuse such as were invited from another
place for so doing, when the natural Egyptians themselves had done the
same things before their coming, and had taken oaths so to do. However,
"Amenophis, some time afterward, came upon them, and conquered them
in battle, and slew his enemies, and drove them before him as far as
Syria." As if Egypt were so easily taken by people that came from any
place whatsoever, and as if those that had conquered it by war, when
they were informed that Amenophis was alive, did neither fortify the
avenues out of Ethiopia into it, although they had great advantages for
doing it, nor did get their other forces ready for their defense! but
that he followed them over the sandy desert, and slew them as far as
Syria; while yet it is rot an easy thing for an army to pass over that
country, even without fighting.

30. Our nation, therefore, according to Manetho, was not derived from
Egypt, nor were any of the Egyptians mingled with us. For it is to be
supposed that many of the leprous and distempered people were dead
in the mines, since they had been there a long time, and in so ill
a condition; many others must be dead in the battles that happened
afterward, and more still in the last battle and flight after it.

31. It now remains that I debate with Manetho about Moses. Now the
Egyptians acknowledge him to have been a wonderful and a divine person;
nay, they would willingly lay claim to him themselves, though after
a most abusive and incredible manner, and pretend that he was of
Heliopolis, and one of the priests of that place, and was ejected out
of it among the rest, on account of his leprosy; although it had
been demonstrated out of their records that he lived five hundred and
eighteen years earlier, and then brought our forefathers out of Egypt
into the country that is now inhabited by us. But now that he was
not subject in his body to any such calamity, is evident from what he
himself tells us; for he forbade those that had the leprosy either to
continue in a city, or to inhabit in a village, but commanded that they
should go about by themselves with their clothes rent; and declares that
such as either touch them, or live under the same roof with them, should
be esteemed unclean; nay, more, if any one of their disease be healed,
and he recover his natural constitution again, he appointed them certain
purifications, and washings with spring water, and the shaving off all
their hair, and enjoins that they shall offer many sacrifices, and those
of several kinds, and then at length to be admitted into the holy city;
although it were to be expected that, on the contrary, if he had been
under the same calamity, he should have taken care of such persons
beforehand, and have had them treated after a kinder manner, as affected
with a concern for those that were to be under the like misfortunes with
himself. Nor was it only those leprous people for whose sake he made
these laws, but also for such as should be maimed in the smallest part
of their body, who yet are not permitted by him to officiate as priests;
nay, although any priest, already initiated, should have such a calamity
fall upon him afterward, he ordered him to be deprived of his honor of
officiating. How can it then be supposed that Moses should ordain such
laws against himself, to his own reproach and damage who so ordained
them? Nor indeed is that other notion of Manetho at all probable,
wherein he relates the change of his name, and says that "he was
formerly called Osarsiph;" and this a name no way agreeable to the
other, while his true name was Mosses, and signifies a person who is
preserved out of the water, for the Egyptians call water Moil. I think,
therefore, I have made it sufficiently evident that Manetho, while he
followed his ancient records, did not much mistake the truth of the
history; but that when he had recourse to fabulous stories, without any
certain author, he either forged them himself, without any probability,
or else gave credit to some men who spake so out of their ill-will to

32. And now I have done with Manetho, I will inquire into what Cheremon
says. For he also, when he pretended to write the Egyptian history, sets
down the same name for this king that Manetho did, Amenophis, as also of
his son Ramesses, and then goes on thus: "The goddess Isis appeared
to Amenophis in his sleep, and blamed him that her temple had been
demolished in the war. But that Phritiphantes, the sacred scribe, said
to him, that in case he would purge Egypt of the men that had pollutions
upon them, he should be no longer troubled with such frightful
apparitions. That Amenophis accordingly chose out two hundred and fifty
thousand of those that were thus diseased, and cast them out of the
country: that Moses and Joseph were scribes, and Joseph was a sacred
scribe; that their names were Egyptian originally; that of Moses had
been Tisithen, and that of Joseph, Peteseph: that these two came to
Pelusium, and lighted upon three hundred and eighty thousand that had
been left there by Amenophis, he not being willing to carry them into
Egypt; that these scribes made a league of friendship with them, and
made with them an expedition against Egypt: that Amenophis could not
sustain their attacks, but fled into Ethiopia, and left his wife with
child behind him, who lay concealed in certain caverns, and there
brought forth a son, whose name was Messene, and who, when he was grown
up to man's estate, pursued the Jews into Syria, being about two hundred
thousand, and then received his father Amenophis out of Ethiopia."

33. This is the account Cheremon gives us. Now I take it for granted
that what I have said already hath plainly proved the falsity of both
these narrations; for had there been any real truth at the bottom, it
was impossible they should so greatly disagree about the particulars.
But for those that invent lies, what they write will easily give us very
different accounts, while they forge what they please out of their own
heads. Now Manetho says that the king's desire of seeing the gods was
the origin of the ejection of the polluted people; but Cheremon feigns
that it was a dream of his own, sent upon him by Isis, that was the
occasion of it. Manetho says that the person who foreshowed this
purgation of Egypt to the king was Amenophis; but this man says it was
Phritiphantes. As to the numbers of the multitude that were expelled,
they agree exceedingly well [24] the former reckoning them eighty
thousand, and the latter about two hundred and fifty thousand! Now, for
Manetho, he describes those polluted persons as sent first to work in
the quarries, and says that the city Avaris was given them for their
habitation. As also he relates that it was not till after they had made
war with the rest of the Egyptians, that they invited the people of
Jerusalem to come to their assistance; while Cheremon says only that
they were gone out of Egypt, and lighted upon three hundred and eighty
thousand men about Pelusium, who had been left there by Amenophis, and
so they invaded Egypt with them again; that thereupon Amenophis fled
into Ethiopia. But then this Cheremon commits a most ridiculous blunder
in not informing us who this army of so many ten thousands were, or
whence they came; whether they were native Egyptians, or whether they
came from a foreign country. Nor indeed has this man, who forged a dream
from Isis about the leprous people, assigned the reason why the king
would not bring them into Egypt. Moreover, Cheremon sets down Joseph as
driven away at the same time with Moses, who yet died four generations
[25] before Moses, which four generations make almost one hundred and
seventy years. Besides all this, Ramesses, the son of Amenophis, by
Manetho's account, was a young man, and assisted his father in his war,
and left the country at the same time with him, and fled into Ethiopia.
But Cheremon makes him to have been born in a certain cave, after his
father was dead, and that he then overcame the Jews in battle, and
drove them into Syria, being in number about two hundred thousand. O the
levity of the man! for he had neither told us who these three hundred
and eighty thousand were, nor how the four hundred and thirty thousand
perished; whether they fell in war, or went over to Ramesses. And, what
is the strangest of all, it is not possible to learn out of him who they
were whom he calls Jews, or to which of these two parties he applies
that denomination, whether to the two hundred and fifty thousand leprous
people, or to the three hundred and eighty thousand that were about
Pelusium. But perhaps it will be looked upon as a silly thing in me
to make any larger confutation of such writers as sufficiently confute
themselves; for had they been only confuted by other men, it had been
more tolerable.

34. I shall now add to these accounts about Manethoand Cheremon somewhat
about Lysimachus, who hath taken the same topic of falsehood with those
forementioned, but hath gone far beyond them in the incredible nature of
his forgeries; which plainly demonstrates that he contrived them out of
his virulent hatred of our nation. His words are these: "The people of
the Jews being leprous and scabby, and subject to certain other kinds
of distempers, in the days of Bocchoris, king of Egypt, they fled to the
temples, and got their food there by begging: and as the numbers were
very great that were fallen under these diseases, there arose a scarcity
in Egypt. Hereupon Bocehoris, the king of Egypt, sent some to consult
the oracle of [Jupiter] Hammon about his scarcity. The god's answer
was this, that he must purge his temples of impure and impious men, by
expelling them out of those temples into desert places; but as to the
scabby and leprous people, he must drown them, and purge his temples,
the sun having an indignation at these men being suffered to live; and
by this means the land will bring forth its fruits. Upon Bocchoris's
having received these oracles, he called for their priests, and the
attendants upon their altars, and ordered them to make a collection of
the impure people, and to deliver them to the soldiers, to carry them
away into the desert; but to take the leprous people, and wrap them in
sheets of lead, and let them down into the sea. Hereupon the scabby and
leprous people were drowned, and the rest were gotten together, and sent
into desert places, in order to be exposed to destruction. In this case
they assembled themselves together, and took counsel what they should
do, and determined that, as the night was coming on, they should kindle
fires and lamps, and keep watch; that they also should fast the next
night, and propitiate the gods, in order to obtain deliverance from
them. That on the next day there was one Moses, who advised them that
they should venture upon a journey, and go along one road till they
should come to places fit for habitation: that he charged them to have
no kind regards for any man, nor give good counsel to any, but always to
advise them for the worst; and to overturn all those temples and altars
of the gods they should meet with: that the rest commended what he
had said with one consent, and did what they had resolved on, and so
traveled over the desert. But that the difficulties of the journey being
over, they came to a country inhabited, and that there they abused the
men, and plundered and burnt their temples; and then came into that land
which is called Judea, and there they built a city, and dwelt therein,
and that their city was named Hierosyla, from this their robbing of the
temples; but that still, upon the success they had afterwards, they in
time changed its denomination, that it might not be a reproach to them,
and called the city Hierosolyma, and themselves Hierosolymites."

35. Now this man did not discover and mention the same king with the
others, but feigned a newer name, and passing by the dream and the
Egyptian prophet, he brings him to [Jupiter] Hammon, in order to gain
oracles about the scabby and leprous people; for he says that the
multitude of Jews were gathered together at the temples. Now it is
uncertain whether he ascribes this name to these lepers, or to those
that were subject to such diseases among the Jews only; for he describes
them as a people of the Jews. What people does he mean? foreigners, or
those of that country? Why then' dost thou call them Jews, if they were
Egyptians? But if they were foreigners, why dost thou not tell us whence
they came? And how could it be that, after the king had drowned many of
them in the sea, and ejected the rest into desert places, there should
be still so great a multitude remaining? Or after what manner did they
pass over the desert, and get the land which we now dwell in, and build
our city, and that temple which hath been so famous among all mankind?
And besides, he ought to have spoken more about our legislator than by
giving us his bare name; and to have informed us of what nation he was,
and what parents he was derived from; and to have assigned the reasons
why he undertook to make such laws concerning the gods, and concerning
matters of injustice with regard to men during that journey. For in case
the people were by birth Egyptians, they would not on the sudden have so
easily changed the customs of their country; and in case they had been
foreigners, they had for certain some laws or other which had been kept
by them from long custom. It is true, that with regard to those who had
ejected them, they might have sworn never to bear good-will to them,
and might have had a plausible reason for so doing. But if these men
resolved to wage an implacable war against all men, in case they had
acted as wickedly as he relates of them, and this while they wanted the
assistance of all men, this demonstrates a kind of mad conduct indeed;
but not of the men themselves, but very greatly so of him that tells
such lies about them. He hath also impudence enough to say that a name,
implying "Robbers of the temples," [26] was given to their city, and
that this name was afterward changed. The reason of which is plain, that
the former name brought reproach and hatred upon them in the times of
their posterity, while, it seems, those that built the city thought they
did honor to the city by giving it such a name. So we see that this fine
fellow had such an unbounded inclination to reproach us, that he did not
understand that robbery of temples is not expressed By the same word and
name among the Jews as it is among the Greeks. But why should a man say
any more to a person who tells such impudent lies? However, since this
book is arisen to a competent length, I will make another beginning, and
endeavor to add what still remains to perfect my design in the following


[1] This first book has a wrong title. It is not written against Apion,
as is the first part of the second book, but against those Greeks in
general who would not believe Josephus's former accounts of the very
ancient state of the Jewish nation, in his 20 books of Antiquities; and
particularly against Agatharelddes, Manetho, Cheremon, and Lysimachus.
it is one of the most learned, excellent, and useful books of all
antiquity; and upon Jerome's perusal of this and the following book,
he declares that it seems to him a miraculous thing "how one that was
a Hebrew, who had been from his infancy instructed in sacred learning,
should be able to pronounce such a number of testimonies out of profane
authors, as if he had read over all the Grecian libraries," Epist. 8.
ad Magnum; and the learned Jew, Manasseh-Ben-Israel, esteemed these two
books so excellent, as to translate them into the Hebrew; this we learn
from his own catalogue of his works, which I have seen. As to the time
and place when and where these two books were written, the learned have
not hitherto been able to determine them any further than that they were
written some time after his Antiquities, or some time after A.D. 93;
which indeed is too obvious at their entrance to be overlooked by even a
careless peruser, they being directly intended against those that would
not believe what he had advanced in those books con-the great of the
Jewish nation As to the place, they all imagine that these two books
were written where the former were, I mean at Rome; and I confess that
I myself believed both those determinations, till I came to finish my
notes upon these books, when I met with plain indications that they were
written not at Rome, but in Judea, and this after the third of Trajan,
or A.D. 100.

[2] Take Dr. Hudson's note here, which as it justly contradicts the
common opinion that Josephus either died under Domitian, or at least
wrote nothing later than his days, so does it perfectly agree to my own
determination, from Justus of Tiberias, that he wrote or finished his
own Life after the third of Trajan, or A.D. 100. To which Noldius also
agrees, de Herod, No. 383 [Epaphroditus]. "Since Florius Josephus,"
says Dr. Hudson, "wrote [or finished] his books of Antiquities on the
thirteenth of Domitian, [A.D. 93,] and after that wrote the Memoirs of
his own Life, as an appendix to the books of Antiquities, and at last
his two books against Apion, and yet dedicated all those writings
to Epaphroditus; he can hardly be that Epaphroditus who was formerly
secretary to Nero, and was slain on the fourteenth [or fifteenth] of
Domitian, after he had been for a good while in banishment; but another
Epaphroditas, a freed-man, and procurator of Trajan, as says Grotius on
Luke 1:3."

[3] The preservation of Homer's Poems by memory, and not by his own
writing them down, and that thence they were styled Rhapsodies, as sung
by him, like ballads, by parts, and not composed and connected
together in complete works, are opinions well known from the ancient
commentators; though such supposal seems to myself, as well as to
Fabricius Biblioth. Grace. I. p. 269, and to others, highly improbable.
Nor does Josephus say there were no ancienter writings among the Greeks
than Homer's Poems, but that they did not fully own any ancienter
writings pretending to such antiquity, which is trite.

[4] It well deserves to be considered, that Josephus here says how all
the following Greek historians looked on Herodotus as a fabulous author;
and presently, sect. 14, how Manetho, the most authentic writer of the
Egyptian history, greatly complains of his mistakes in the Egyptian
affairs; as also that Strabo, B. XI. p. 507, the most accurate
geographer and historian, esteemed him such; that Xenophon, the
much more accurate historian in the affairs of Cyrus, implies that
Herodotus's account of that great man is almost entirely romantic. See
the notes on Antiq. B. XI. ch. 2. sect. 1, and Hutchinson's Prolegomena
to his edition of Xenophon's, that we have already seen in the note on
Antiq. B. VIII. ch. 10. sect. 3, how very little Herodotus knew about
the Jewish affairs and country, and that he greatly affected what we
call the marvelous, as Monsieur Rollin has lately and justly determined;
whence we are not always to depend on the authority of Herodotus, where
it is unsupported by other evidence, but ought to compare the other
evidence with his, and if it preponderate, to prefer it before his. I do
not mean by this that Herodotus willfully related what he believed to
be false, [as Cteeias seems to have done,] but that he often wanted
evidence, and sometimes preferred what was marvelous to what was best
attested as really true.

[5]About the days of Cyrus and Daniel.

[6] It is here well worth our observation, what the reasons are that
such ancient authors as Herodotus, Josephus, and others have been read
to so little purpose by many learned critics; viz. that their main aim
has not been chronology or history, but philology, to know words, and
not things, they not much entering oftentimes into the real contents of
their authors, and judging which were the most accurate discoverers of
truth, and most to be depended on in the several histories, but rather
inquiring who wrote the finest style, and had the greatest elegance in
their expressions; which are things of small consequence in comparison
of the other. Thus you will sometimes find great debates among the
learned, whether Herodotus or Thucydides were the finest historian in
the Ionic and Attic ways of writing; which signify little as to the real
value of each of their histories; while it would be of much more moment
to let the reader know, that as the consequence of Herodotus's history,
which begins so much earlier, and reaches so much wider, than that
of Thucydides, is therefore vastly greater; so is the most part of
Thucydides, which belongs to his own times, and fell under his own
observation, much the most certain.

[7] Of this accuracy of the Jews before and in our Savior's time, in
carefully preserving their genealogies all along, particularly those of
the priests, see Josephus's Life, sect. 1. This accuracy. seems to have
ended at the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, or, however, at that by

[8] Which were these twenty-two sacred books of the Old Testament, see
the Supplement to the Essay of the Old Testament, p. 25-29, viz. those
we call canonical, all excepting the Canticles; but still with this
further exception, that the book of apocryphal Esdras be taken into that
number instead of our canonical Ezra, which seems to be no more than a
later epitome of the other; which two books of Canticles and Ezra it no
way appears that our Josephus ever saw.

[9] Here we have an account of the first building of the city of
Jerusalem, according to Manetho, when the Phoenician shepherds were
expelled out of Egypt about thirty-seven years before Abraham came out
of Harsh.

[10] Genesis 46;32, 34; 47:3, 4.

[11] In our copies of the book of Genesis and of Joseph, this Joseph
never calls himself "a captive," when he was with the king of Egypt,
though he does call himself "a servant," "a slave," or "captive," many
times in the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, under Joseph, sect. 1,
11, 13-16.

[12] Of this Egyptian chronology of Manetho, as mistaken by Josephus,
and of these Phoenician shepherds, as falsely supposed by him, and
others after him, to have been the Israelites in Egypt, see Essay on the
Old Testament, Appendix, p. 182-188. And note here, that when Josephus
tells us that the Greeks or Argives looked on this Danaus as "a most
ancient," or "the most ancient," king of Argos, he need not be supposed
to mean, in the strictest sense, that they had no one king so ancient as
he; for it is certain that they owned nine kings before him, and Inachus
at the head of them. See Authentic Records, Part II. p. 983, as Josephus
could not but know very well; but that he was esteemed as very ancient
by them, and that they knew they had been first of all denominated
"Danai" from this very ancient king Danaus. Nor does this superlative
degree always imply the "most ancient" of all without exception, but is
sometimes to be rendered "very ancient" only, as is the case in the like
superlative degrees of other words also.

[13] Authentic Records, Part II. p. 983, as Josephus could not but know
very well; but that he was esteemed as very ancient by them, and that
they knew they had been first of all denominated "Danai" from this very
ancient king Danaus. Nor does this superlative degree always imply the
"most ancient" of all without exception, but is sometimes to be rendered
"very ancient" only, as is the case in the like superlative degrees of
other words also.

[14] This number in Josephus, that Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple
in the eighteenth year of his reign, is a mistake in the nicety of
chronology; for it was in the nineteenth. The true number here for the
year of Darius, in which the second temple was finished, whether the
second with our present copies, or the sixth with that of Syncellus,
or the tenth with that of Eusebius, is very uncertain; so we had best
follow Josephus's own account elsewhere, Antiq.;B. XI. ch. 3. sect. 4,
which shows us that according to his copy of the Old Testament, after
the second of Cyrus, that work was interrupted till the second of
Darius, when in seven years it was finished in the ninth of Darius.

[15] This is a thing well known by the learned, that we are not secure
that we have any genuine writings of Pythagoras; those Golden Verses,
which are his best remains, being generally supposed to have been
written not by himself, but by some of his scholars only, in agreement
with what Josephus here affirms of him.

[16] Whether these verses of Cherilus, the heathen poet, in the days of
Xerxes, belong to the Solymi in Pisidia, that were near a small lake, or
to the Jews that dwelt on the Solymean or Jerusalem mountains, near the
great and broad lake Asphaltitis, that were a strange people, and
spake the Phoenician tongue, is not agreed on by the learned. If is yet
certain that Josephus here, and Eusebius, Prep. IX. 9. p. 412, took them
to be Jews; and I confess I cannot but very much incline to the same
opinion. The other Solymi were not a strange people, but heathen
idolaters, like the other parts of Xerxes's army; and that these spake
the Phoenician tongue is next to impossible, as the Jews certainly
did; nor is there the least evidence for it elsewhere. Nor was the
lake adjoining to the mountains of the Solvmi at all large or broad,
in comparison of the Jewish lake Asphaltitis; nor indeed were these so
considerable a people as the Jews, nor so likely to be desired by Xerxes
for his army as the Jews, to whom he was always very favorable. As for
the rest of Cherilus's description, that "their heads were sooty; that
they had round rasures on their heads; that their heads and faces were
like nasty horse-heads, which had been hardened in the smoke;" these
awkward characters probably fitted the Solymi of Pisidi no better than
they did the Jews in Judea. And indeed this reproachful language, here
given these people, is to me a strong indication that they were the poor
despicable Jews, and not the Pisidian Solymi celebrated in Homer, whom
Cherilus here describes; nor are we to expect that either Cherilus or
Hecateus, or any other pagan writers cited by Josephus and Eusebius,
made no mistakes in the Jewish history. If by comparing their
testimonies with the more authentic records of that nation we find them
for the main to confirm the same, as we almost always do, we ought to be
satisfied, and not expect that they ever had an exact knowledge of all
the circumstances of the Jewish affairs, which indeed it was almost
always impossible for them to have. See sect. 23.

[17] This Hezekiah, who is here called a high priest, is not named in
Josephus's catalogue; the real high priest at that time being rather
Onias, as Archbishop Usher supposes. However, Josephus often uses the
word high priests in the plural number, as living many at the same time.
See the note on Antiq. B. XX. ch. 8. sect. 8.

[18] So I read the text with Havercamp, though the place be difficult.

[19] This number of arourae or Egyptian acres, 3,000,000, each aroura
containing a square of 100 Egyptian cubits, [being about three quarters
of an English acre, and just twice the area of the court of the Jewish
tabernacle,] as contained in the country of Judea, will be about one
third of the entire number of arourae in the whole land of Judea,
supposing it 160 measured miles long and 70 such miles broad; which
estimation, for the fruitful parts of it, as perhaps here in Hecateus,
is not therefore very wide from the truth. The fifty furlongs in compass
for the city Jerusalem presently are not very wide from the truth also,
as Josephus himself describes it, who, Of the War, B. V. ch. 4. sect. 3.
makes its wall thirty-three furlongs, besides the suburbs and gardens;
nay, he says, B. V. ch. 12. sect. 2, that Titus's wall about it at some
small distance, after the gardens and suburbs were destroyed, was
not less than thirty-nine furlongs. Nor perhaps were its constant
inhabitants, in the days of Hecateus, many more than these 120,000,
because room was always to be left for vastly greater numbers which came
up at the three great festivals; to say nothing of the probable increase
in their number between the days of Hecateus and Josephus, which was at
least three hundred years. But see a more authentic account of some of
these measures in my Description of the Jewish Temples. However, we are
not to expect that such heathens as Cherilus or Hecateus, or the
rest that are cited by Josephus and Eusebius, could avoid making many
mistakes in the Jewish history, while yet they strongly confirm the same
history in the general, and are most valuable attestations to those more
authentic accounts we have in the Scriptures and Josephus concerning

[20] A glorious testimony this of the observation of the sabbath by the
Jews. See Antiq. B. XVI. ch. 2. sect. 4, and ch. 6. sect. 2; the Life,
sect. 54; and War, B. IV. ch. 9. sect. 12.

[21] Not their law, but the superstitious interpretation of their
leaders which neither the Maccabees nor our blessed Savior did ever
approve of.

[22] In reading this and the remaining sections of this book, and some
parts of the next, one may easily perceive that our usually cool and
candid author, Josephus, was too highly offended with the impudent
calumnies of Manethe, and the other bitter enemies of the Jews, with
whom he had now to deal, and was thereby betrayed into a greater heat
and passion than ordinary, and that by consequence he does not hear
reason with his usual fairness and impartiality; he seems to depart
sometimes from the brevity and sincerity of a faithful historian, which
is his grand character, and indulges the prolixity and colors of a
pleader and a disputant: accordingly, I confess, I always read these
sections with less pleasure than I do the rest of his writings, though
I fully believe the reproaches cast on the Jews, which he here endeavors
to confute and expose, were wholly groundless and unreasonable.

[23] This is a very valuable testimony of Manetho, that the laws of
Osarsiph, or Moses, were not made in compliance with, but in opposition
to, the customs of the Egyptians. See the note on Antiq. B. III. ch. 8.
sect. 9.

[24] By way of irony, I suppose.

[25] Here we see that Josephus esteemed a generation between Joseph
and Moses to be about forty-two or forty-three years; which, if taken
between the earlier children, well agrees with the duration of human
life in those ages. See Antheat. Rec. Part II. pages 966, 1019, 1020.

[26] That is the meaning of Hierosyla in Greek, not in Hebrew.


1. In the former book, most honored Epaphroditus, I have demonstrated
our antiquity, and confirmed the truth of what I have said, from the
writings of the Phoenicians, and Chaldeans, and Egyptians. I have,
moreover, produced many of the Grecian writers as witnesses thereto.
I have also made a refutation of Manetho and Cheremon, and of certain
others of our enemies. I shall now [1] therefore begin a confutation of
the remaining authors who have written any thing against us; although
I confess I have had a doubt upon me about Apion [2] the grammarian,
whether I ought to take the trouble of confuting him or not; for some
of his writings contain much the same accusations which the others have
laid against us, some things that he hath added are very frigid and
contemptible, and for the greatest part of what he says, it is very
scurrilous, and, to speak no more than the plain truth, it shows him
to be a very unlearned person, and what he lays together looks like the
work of a man of very bad morals, and of one no better in his whole
life than a mountebank. Yet, because there are a great many men so very
foolish, that they are rather caught by such orations than by what
is written with care, and take pleasure in reproaching other men, and
cannot abide to hear them commended, I thought it to be necessary not
to let this man go off without examination, who had written such an
accusation against us, as if he would bring us to make an answer in open
court. For I also have observed, that many men are very much delighted
when they see a man who first began to reproach another, to be himself
exposed to contempt on account of the vices he hath himself been
guilty of. However, it is not a very easy thing to go over this man's
discourse, nor to know plainly what he means; yet does he seem, amidst a
great confusion and disorder in his falsehoods, to produce, in the first
place, such things as resemble what we have examined already, and relate
to the departure of our forefathers out of Egypt; and, in the second
place, he accuses those Jews that are inhabitants of Alexandria; as, in
the third place, he mixes with those things such accusations as concern
the sacred purifications, with the other legal rites used in the temple.

2. Now although I cannot but think that I have already demonstrated,
and that abundantly more than was necessary, that our fathers were not
originally Egyptians, nor were thence expelled, either on account
of bodily diseases, or any other calamities of that sort; yet will I
briefly take notice of what Apion adds upon that subject; for in his
third book, which relates to the affairs of Egypt, he speaks thus: "I
have heard of the ancient men of Egypt, that Moses was of Heliopolis,
and that he thought himself obliged to follow the customs of his
forefathers, and offered his prayers in the open air, towards the city
walls; but that he reduced them all to be directed towards sun-rising,
which was agreeable to the situation of Heliopolis; that he also set
up pillars instead of gnomons, [3] under which was represented a cavity
like that of a boat, and the shadow that fell from their tops fell down
upon that cavity, that it might go round about the like course as the
sun itself goes round in the other." This is that wonderful relation
which we have given us by this grammarian. But that it is a false one
is so plain, that it stands in need of few words to prove it, but
is manifest from the works of Moses; for when he erected the first
tabernacle to God, he did himself neither give order for any such kind
of representation to be made at it, nor ordain that those that came
after him should make such a one. Moreover, when in a future age Solomon
built his temple in Jerusalem, he avoided all such needless decorations
as Apion hath here devised. He says further, how he had "heard of the
ancient men, that Moses was of Hellopolis." To be sure that was, because
being a younger man himself, he believed those that by their elder age
were acquainted and conversed with him. Now this grammarian, as he was,
could not certainly tell which was the poet Homer's country, no
more than he could which was the country of Pythagoras, who lived
comparatively but a little while ago; yet does he thus easily determine
the age of Moses, who preceded them such a vast number of years, as
depending on his ancient men's relation, which shows how notorious a
liar he was. But then as to this chronological determination of the time
when he says he brought the leprous people, the blind, and the lame out
of Egypt, see how well this most accurate grammarian of ours agrees with
those that have written before him! Manetho says that the Jews departed
out of Egypt, in the reign of Tethmosis, three hundred ninety-three
years before Danaus fled to Argos; Lysimaehus says it was under king
Bocchoris, that is, one thousand seven hundred years ago; Molo and some
others determined it as every one pleased: but this Apion of ours, as
deserving to be believed before them, hath determined it exactly to have
been in the seventh olympiad, and the first year of that olympiad;
the very same year in which he says that Carthage was built by the
Phoenicians. The reason why he added this building of Carthage was,
to be sure, in order, as he thought, to strengthen his assertion by
so evident a character of chronology. But he was not aware that this
character confutes his assertion; for if we may give credit to the
Phoenician records as to the time of the first coming of their colony
to Carthage, they relate that Hirom their king was above a hundred and
fifty years earlier than the building of Carthage; concerning whom I
have formerly produced testimonials out of those Phoenician records, as
also that this Hirom was a friend of Solomon when he was building the
temple of Jerusalem, and gave him great assistance in his building that
temple; while still Solomon himself built that temple six hundred and
twelve years after the Jews came out of Egypt. As for the number of
those that were expelled out of Egypt, he hath contrived to have the
very same number with Lysimaehus, and says they were a hundred and ten
thousand. He then assigns a certain wonderful and plausible occasion for
the name of Sabbath; for he says that "when the Jews had traveled a six
days' journey, they had buboes in their groins; and that on this account
it was that they rested on the seventh day, as having got safely to that
country which is now called Judea; that then they preserved the language
of the Egyptians, and called that day the Sabbath, for that malady of
buboes on their groin was named Sabbatosis by the Egyptians." And
would not a man now laugh at this fellow's trifling, or rather hate his
impudence in writing thus? We must, it seems, fake it for granted that
all these hundred and ten thousand men must have these buboes. But,
for certain, if those men had been blind and lame, and had all sorts of
distempers upon them, as Apion says they had, they could not have gone
one single day's journey; but if they had been all able to travel over a
large desert, and, besides that, to fight and conquer those that opposed
them, they had not all of them had buboes on their groins after the
sixth day was over; for no such distemper comes naturally and of
necessity upon those that travel; but still, when there are many ten
thousands in a camp together, they constantly march a settled space [in
a day]. Nor is it at all probable that such a thing should happen by
chance; this would be prodigiously absurd to be supposed. However, our
admirable author Apion hath before told us that "they came to Judea in
six days' time;" and again, that "Moses went up to a mountain that lay
between Egypt and Arabia, which was called Sinai, and was concealed
there forty days, and that when he came down from thence he gave laws to
the Jews." But, then, how was it possible for them to tarry forty days
in a desert place where there was no water, and at the same time to pass
all over the country between that and Judea in the six days? And as for
this grammatical translation of the word Sabbath, it either contains an
instance of his great impudence or gross ignorance; for the words Sabbo
and Sabbath are widely different from one another; for the word Sabbath
in the Jewish language denotes rest from all sorts of work; but the word
Sabbo, as he affirms, denotes among the Egyptians the malady of a bubo
in the groin.

3. This is that novel account which the Egyptian Apion gives us
concerning the Jews' departure out of Egypt, and is no better than a
contrivance of his own. But why should we wonder at the lies he tells
about our forefathers, when he affirms them to be of Egyptian original,
when he lies also about himself? for although he was born at Oasis
in Egypt, he pretends to be, as a man may say, the top man of all the
Egyptians; yet does he forswear his real country and progenitors, and by
falsely pretending to be born at Alexandria, cannot deny the [4] pravity
of his family; for you see how justly he calls those Egyptians whom he
hates, and endeavors to reproach; for had he not deemed Egyptians to
be a name of great reproach, he would not have avoided the name of an
Egyptian himself; as we know that those who brag of their own countries
value themselves upon the denomination they acquire thereby, and reprove
such as unjustly lay claim thereto. As for the Egyptians' claim to be of
our kindred, they do it on one of the following accounts; I mean, either
as they value themselves upon it, and pretend to bear that relation
to us; or else as they would draw us in to be partakers of their own
infamy. But this fine fellow Apion seems to broach this reproachful
appellation against us, [that we were originally Egyptians,] in order
to bestow it on the Alexandrians, as a reward for the privilege they had
given him of being a fellow citizen with them: he also is apprized of
the ill-will the Alexandrians bear to those Jews who are their fellow
citizens, and so proposes to himself to reproach them, although he must
thereby include all the other Egyptians also; while in both cases he is
no better than an impudent liar.

4. But let us now see what those heavy and wicked crimes are which Apion
charges upon the Alexandrian Jews. "They came [says he] out of Syria,
and inhabited near the tempestuous sea, and were in the neighborhood of
the dashing of the waves." Now if the place of habitation includes any
thing that is reproached, this man reproaches not his own real country,
[Egypt,] but what he pretends to be his own country, Alexandria; for all
are agreed in this, that the part of that city which is near the sea is
the best part of all for habitation. Now if the Jews gained that part of
the city by force, and have kept it hitherto without impeachment, this
is a mark of their valor; but in reality it was Alexander himself that
gave them that place for their habitation, when they obtained equal
privileges there with the Macedonians. Nor call I devise what Apion
would have said, had their habitation been at Necropolis? and not been
fixed hard by the royal palace [as it is]; nor had their nation had
the denomination of Macedonians given them till this very day [as they
have]. Had this man now read the epistles of king Alexander, or those
of Ptolemy the son of Lagus, or met with the writings of the succeeding
kings, or that pillar which is still standing at Alexandria, and
contains the privileges which the great [Julius] Caesar bestowed upon
the Jews; had this man, I say, known these records, and yet hath the
impudence to write in contradiction to them, he hath shown himself to
be a wicked man; but if he knew nothing of these records, he hath shown
himself to be a man very ignorant: nay, when lie appears to wonder how
Jews could be called Alexandrians, this is another like instance of his
ignorance; for all such as are called out to be colonies, although they
be ever so far remote from one another in their original, receive their
names from those that bring them to their new habitations. And what
occasion is there to speak of others, when those of us Jews that dwell
at Antioch are named Antiochians, because Seleucns the founder of that
city gave them the privileges belonging thereto? After the like manner
do those Jews that inhabit Ephesus, and the other cities of Ionia, enjoy
the same name with those that were originally born there, by the grant
of the succeeding princes; nay, the kindness and humanity of the Romans
hath been so great, that it hath granted leave to almost all others to
take the same name of Romans upon them; I mean not particular men only,
but entire and large nations themselves also; for those anciently named
Iberi, and Tyrrheni, and Sabini, are now called Romani. And if Apion
reject this way of obtaining the privilege of a citizen of Alexandria,
let him abstain from calling himself an Alexandrian hereafter; for
otherwise, how can he who was born in the very heart of Egypt be an
Alexandrian, if this way of accepting such a privilege, of which he
would have us deprived, be once abrogated? although indeed these
Romans, who are now the lords of the habitable earth, have forbidden the
Egyptians to have the privileges of any city whatsoever; while this fine
fellow, who is willing to partake of such a privilege himself as he is
forbidden to make use of, endeavors by calumnies to deprive those of it
that have justly received it; for Alexander did not therefore get some
of our nation to Alexandria, because he wanted inhabitants for this
his city, on whose building he had bestowed so much pains; but this was
given to our people as a reward, because he had, upon a careful trial,
found them all to have been men of virtue and fidelity to him; for, as
Hecateus says concerning us, "Alexander honored our nation to such a
degree, that, for the equity and the fidelity which the Jews exhibited
to him, he permitted them to hold the country of Samaria free from
tribute. Of the same mind also was Ptolemy the son of Lagus, as to those
Jews who dwelt at Alexandria." For he intrusted the fortresses of Egypt
into their hands, as believing they would keep them faithfully and
valiantly for him; and when he was desirous to secure the government of
Cyrene, and the other cities of Libya, to himself, he sent a party of
Jews to inhabit in them. And for his successor Ptolemy, who was called
Philadelphus, he did not only set all those of our nation free who were
captives under him, but did frequently give money [for their ransom];
and, what was his greatest work of all, he had a great desire of
knowing our laws, and of obtaining the books of our sacred Scriptures;
accordingly, he desired that such men might be sent him as might
interpret our law to him; and, in order to have them well compiled, he
committed that care to no ordinary persons, but ordained that Demetrius
Phalereus, and Andreas, and Aristeas; the first, Demetrius, the most
learned person of his age, and the others, such as were intrusted with
the guard of his body; should take care of this matter: nor would he
certainly have been so desirous of learning our law, and the philosophy
of our nation, had he despised the men that made use of it, or had he
not indeed had them in great admiration.

5. Now this Apion was unacquainted with almost all the kings of those
Macedonians whom he pretends to have been his progenitors, who were yet
very well affected towards us; for the third of those Ptolemies, who was
called Euergetes, when he had gotten possession of all Syria by force,
did not offer his thank-offerings to the Egyptian gods for his victory,
but came to Jerusalem, and according to our own laws offered many
sacrifices to God, and dedicated to him such gifts as were suitable to
such a victory: and as for Ptolemy Philometer and his wife Cleopatra,
they committed their whole kingdom to the Jews, when Onias and
Dositheus, both Jews, whose names are laughed at by Apion, were the
generals of their whole army. But certainly, instead of reproaching
them, he ought to admire their actions, and return them thanks for
saving Alexandria, whose citizen he pretends to be; for when these
Alexandrians were making war with Cleopatra the queen, and were in
danger of being utterly ruined, these Jews brought them to terms of
agreement, and freed them from the miseries of a civil war. "But then
[says Apion] Onias brought a small army afterward upon the city at the
time when Thorruns the Roman ambassador was there present." Yes, do I
venture to say, and that he did rightly and very justly in so doing;
for that Ptolemy who was called Physco, upon the death of his brother
Philometer, came from Cyrene, and would have ejected Cleopatra as well
as her sons out of their kingdom, that he might obtain it for himself
unjustly. [5] For this cause then it was that Onias undertook a war
against him on Cleopatra's account; nor would he desert that trust the
royal family had reposed in him in their distress. Accordingly, God gave
a remarkable attestation to his righteous procedure; for when Ptolemy
Physco [6] had the presumption to fight against Onias's army, and had
caught all the Jews that were in the city [Alexandria], with their
children and wives, and exposed them naked and in bonds to his
elephants, that they might be trodden upon and destroyed, and when
he had made those elephants drunk for that purpose, the event proved
contrary to his preparations; for these elephants left the Jews who were
exposed to them, and fell violently upon Physco's friends, and slew
a great number of them; nay, after this Ptolemy saw a terrible ghost,
which prohibited his hurting those men; his very concubine, whom
he loved so well, [some call her Ithaca, and others Irene,] making
supplication to him, that he would not perpetrate so great a wickedness.
So he complied with her request, and repented of what he either had
already done, or was about to do; whence it is well known that the
Alexandrian Jews do with good reason celebrate this day, on the account
that they had thereon been vouchsafed such an evident deliverance from
God. However, Apion, the common calumniator of men, hath the presumption
to accuse the Jews for making this war against Physco, when he ought
to have commended them for the same. This man also makes mention of
Cleopatra, the last queen of Alexandria, and abuses us, because she was
ungrateful to us; whereas he ought to have reproved her, who indulged
herself in all kinds of injustice and wicked practices, both with regard
to her nearest relations and husbands who had loved her, and, indeed, in
general with regard to all the Romans, and those emperors that were her
benefactors; who also had her sister Arsinoe slain in a temple, when
she had done her no harm: moreover, she had her brother slain by private
treachery, and she destroyed the gods of her country and the sepulchers
of her progenitors; and while she had received her kingdom from the
first Caesar, she had the impudence to rebel against his son: [7] and
successor; nay, she corrupted Antony with her love-tricks, and rendered
him an enemy to his country, and made him treacherous to his friends,
and [by his means] despoiled some of their royal authority, and forced
others in her madness to act wickedly. But what need I enlarge upon this
head any further, when she left Antony in his fight at sea, though he
were her husband, and the father of their common children, and compelled
him to resign up his government, with the army, and to follow her [into
Egypt]? nay, when last of all Caesar had taken Alexandria, she came to
that pitch of cruelty, that she declared she had some hope of preserving
her affairs still, in case she could kill the Jews, though it were with
her own hand; to such a degree of barbarity and perfidiousness had she
arrived. And doth any one think that we cannot boast ourselves of
any thing, if, as Apion says, this queen did not at a time of famine
distribute wheat among us? However, she at length met with the
punishment she deserved. As for us Jews, we appeal to the great Caesar
what assistance we brought him, and what fidelity we showed to him
against the Egyptians; as also to the senate and its decrees, and the
epistles of Augustus Caesar, whereby our merits [to the Romans] are
justified. Apion ought to have looked upon those epistles, and in
particular to have examined the testimonies given on our behalf, under
Alexander and all the Ptolemies, and the decrees of the senate and of
the greatest Roman emperors. And if Germanicus was not able to make a
distribution of corn to all the inhabitants of Alexandria, that only
shows what a barren time it was, and how great a want there was then of
corn, but tends nothing to the accusation of the Jews; for what all the
emperors have thought of the Alexandrian Jews is well known, for this
distribution of wheat was no otherwise omitted with regard to the Jews,
than it was with regard to the other inhabitants of Alexandria. But they
still were desirous to preserve what the kings had formerly intrusted to
their care, I mean the custody of the river; nor did those kings think
them unworthy of having the entire custody thereof, upon all occasions.

6. But besides this, Apion objects to us thus: "If the Jews [says he] be
citizens of Alexandria, why do they not worship the same gods with the
Alexandrians?" To which I give this answer: Since you are yourselves
Egyptians, why do you fight it out one against another, and have
implacable wars about your religion? At this rate we must not call you
all Egyptians, nor indeed in general men, because you breed up with
great care beasts of a nature quite contrary to that of men, although
the nature of all men seems to be one and the same. Now if there be such
differences in opinion among you Egyptians, why are you surprised that
those who came to Alexandria from another country, and had original laws
of their own before, should persevere in the observance of those laws?
But still he charges us with being the authors of sedition; which
accusation, if it be a just one, why is it not laid against us all,
since we are known to be all of one mind. Moreover, those that search
into such matters will soon discover that the authors of sedition have
been such citizens of Alexandria as Apion is; for while they were the
Grecians and Macedonians who were ill possession of this city, there
was no sedition raised against us, and we were permitted to observe our
ancient solemnities; but when the number of the Egyptians therein came
to be considerable, the times grew confused, and then these seditions
brake out still more and more, while our people continued uncorrupted.
These Egyptians, therefore, were the authors of these troubles, who
having not the constancy of Macedonians, nor the prudence of Grecians,
indulged all of them the evil manners of the Egyptians, and continued
their ancient hatred against us; for what is here so presumptuously
charged upon us, is owing to the differences that are amongst
themselves; while many of them have not obtained the privileges of
citizens in proper times, but style those who are well known to have
had that privilege extended to them all no other than foreigners: for it
does not appear that any of the kings have ever formerly bestowed those
privileges of citizens upon Egyptians, no more than have the emperors
done it more lately; while it was Alexander who introduced us into
this city at first, the kings augmented our privileges therein, and the
Romans have been pleased to preserve them always inviolable. Moreover,
Apion would lay a blot upon us, because we do not erect images for our
emperors; as if those emperors did not know this before, or stood in
need of Apion as their defender; whereas he ought rather to have admired
the magnanimity and modesty of the Romans, whereby they do not
compel those that are subject to them to transgress the laws of their
countries, but are willing to receive the honors due to them after such
a manner as those who are to pay them esteem consistent with piety and
with their own laws; for they do not thank people for conferring honors
upon them, When they are compelled by violence so to do. Accordingly,
since the Grecians and some other nations think it a right thing to make
images, nay, when they have painted the pictures of their parents, and
wives, and children, they exult for joy; and some there are who take
pictures for themselves of such persons as were no way related to them;
nay, some take the pictures of such servants as they were fond of;
what wonder is it then if such as these appear willing to pay the
same respect to their princes and lords? But then our legislator hath
forbidden us to make images, not by way of denunciation beforehand, that
the Roman authority was not to be honored, but as despising a thing that
was neither necessary nor useful for either God or man; and he forbade
them, as we shall prove hereafter, to make these images for any part of
the animal creation, and much less for God himself, who is no part of
such animal creation. Yet hath our legislator no where forbidden us to
pay honors to worthy men, provided they be of another kind, and inferior
to those we pay to God; with which honors we willingly testify our
respect to our emperors, and to the people of Rome; we also offer
perpetual sacrifices for them; nor do we only offer them every day at
the common expenses of all the Jews, but although we offer no other such
sacrifices out of our common expenses, no, not for our own children, yet
do we this as a peculiar honor to the emperors, and to them alone, while
we do the same to no other person whomsoever. And let this suffice for
an answer in general to Apion, as to what he says with relation to the
Alexandrian Jews.

7. However, I cannot but admire those other authors who furnished this
man with such his materials; I mean Possidonius and Apollonius [the son
of] Molo, [8] who, while they accuse us for not worshipping the same
gods whom others worship, they think themselves not guilty of impiety
when they tell lies of us, and frame absurd and reproachful stories
about our temple; whereas it is a most shameful thing for freemen to
forge lies on any occasion, and much more so to forge them about our
temple, which was so famous over all the world, and was preserved so
sacred by us; for Apion hath the impudence to pretend that, "the Jews
placed an ass's head in their holy place;" and he affirms that this was
discovered when Antiochus Epiphanes spoiled our temple, and found that
ass's head there made of gold, and worth a great deal of money. To this
my first answer shall be this, that had there been any such thing among
us, an Egyptian ought by no means to have thrown it in our teeth, since
an ass is not a more contemptible animal than [9] and goats, and other
such creatures, which among them are gods. But besides this answer, I
say further, how comes it about that Apion does not understand this to
be no other than a palpable lie, and to be confuted by the thing itself
as utterly incredible? For we Jews are always governed by the same laws,
in which we constantly persevere; and although many misfortunes have
befallen our city, as the like have befallen others, and although Theos
[Epiphanes], and Pompey the Great, and Licinius Crassus, and last of
all Titus Caesar, have conquered us in war, and gotten possession of
our temple; yet have they none of them found any such thing there, nor
indeed any thing but what was agreeable to the strictest piety; although
what they found we are not at liberty to reveal to other nations. But
for Antiochus [Epiphanes], he had no just cause for that ravage in our
temple that he made; he only came to it when he wanted money, without
declaring himself our enemy, and attacked us while we were his
associates and his friends; nor did he find any thing there that
was ridiculous. This is attested by many worthy writers; Polybius of
Megalopolis, Strabo of Cappadocia, Nicolaus of Damascus, Timagenes,
Castor the chronotoger, and Apollodorus; [10] who all say that it was
out of Antiochus's want of money that he broke his league with the Jews,
and despoiled their temple when it was full of gold and silver. Apion
ought to have had a regard to these facts, unless he had himself had
either an ass's heart or a dog's impudence; of such a dog I mean as they
worship; for he had no other external reason for the lies he tells of
us. As for us Jews, we ascribe no honor or power to asses, as do the
Egyptians to crocodiles and asps, when they esteem such as are seized
upon by the former, or bitten by the latter, to be happy persons, and
persons worthy of God. Asses are the same with us which they are with
other wise men, viz. creatures that bear the burdens that we lay upon
them; but if they come to our thrashing-floors and eat our corn, or do
not perform what we impose upon them, we beat them with a great many
stripes, because it is their business to minister to us in our husbandry
affairs. But this Apion of ours was either perfectly unskillful in the
composition of such fallacious discourses, or however, when he
begun [somewhat better], he was not able to persevere in what he had
undertaken, since he hath no manner of success in those reproaches he
casts upon us.

8. He adds another Grecian fable, in order to reproach us. In reply to
which, it would be enough to say, that they who presume to speak about
Divine worship ought not to be ignorant of this plain truth, that it is
a degree of less impurity to pass through temples, than to forge wicked
calumnies of its priests. Now such men as he are more zealous to justify
a sacrilegious king, than to write what is just and what is true about
us, and about our temple; for when they are desirous of gratifying
Antiochus, and of concealing that perfidiousness and sacrilege which
he was guilty of, with regard to our nation, when he wanted money, they
endeavor to disgrace us, and tell lies even relating to futurities.
Apion becomes other men's prophet upon this occasion, and says that
"Antiochus found in our temple a bed, and a man lying upon it, with a
small table before him, full of dainties, from the [fishes of the]
sea, and the fowls of the dry land; that this man was amazed at these
dainties thus set before him; that he immediately adored the king,
upon his coming in, as hoping that he would afford him all possible
assistance; that he fell down upon his knees, and stretched out to him
his right hand, and begged to be released; and that when the king bid
him sit down, and tell him who he was, and why he dwelt there, and what
was the meaning of those various sorts of food that were set before him
the man made a lamentable complaint, and with sighs, and tears in his
eyes, gave him this account of the distress he was in; and said that he
was a Greek and that as he went over this province, in order to get his
living, he was seized upon by foreigners, on a sudden, and brought
to this temple, and shut up therein, and was seen by nobody, but was
fattened by these curious provisions thus set before him; and that truly
at the first such unexpected advantages seemed to him matter of great
joy; that after a while, they brought a suspicion him, and at length
astonishment, what their meaning should be; that at last he inquired of
the servants that came to him and was by them informed that it was in
order to the fulfilling a law of the Jews, which they must not tell him,
that he was thus fed; and that they did the same at a set time every
year: that they used to catch a Greek foreigner, and fat him thus up
every year, and then lead him to a certain wood, and kill him, and
sacrifice with their accustomed solemnities, and taste of his entrails,
and take an oath upon this sacrificing a Greek, that they would ever be
at enmity with the Greeks; and that then they threw the remaining parts
of the miserable wretch into a certain pit." Apion adds further, that,
"the man said there were but a few days to come ere he was to be slain,
and implored of Antiochus that, out of the reverence he bore to the
Grecian gods, he would disappoint the snares the Jews laid for his
blood, and would deliver him from the miseries with which he was
encompassed." Now this is such a most tragical fable as is full of
nothing but cruelty and impudence; yet does it not excuse Antiochus of
his sacrilegious attempt, as those who write it in his vindication are
willing to suppose; for he could not presume beforehand that he should
meet with any such thing in coming to the temple, but must have found it
unexpectedly. He was therefore still an impious person, that was given
to unlawful pleasures, and had no regard to God in his actions. But [as
for Apion], he hath done whatever his extravagant love of lying hath
dictated to him, as it is most easy to discover by a consideration of
his writings; for the difference of our laws is known not to regard the
Grecians only, but they are principally opposite to the Egyptians, and
to some other nations also for while it so falls out that men of all
countries come sometimes and sojourn among us, how comes it about that
we take an oath, and conspire only against the Grecians, and that by the
effusion of their blood also? Or how is it possible that all the Jews
should get together to these sacrifices, and the entrails of one man
should be sufficient for so many thousands to taste of them, as Apion
pretends? Or why did not the king carry this man, whosoever he was, and
whatsoever was his name, [which is not set down in Apion's book,] with
great pomp back into his own country? when he might thereby have been
esteemed a religious person himself, and a mighty lover of the Greeks,
and might thereby have procured himself great assistance from all men
against that hatred the Jews bore to him. But I leave this matter;
for the proper way of confuting fools is not to use bare words, but to
appeal to the things themselves that make against them. Now, then, all
such as ever saw the construction of our temple, of what nature it was,
know well enough how the purity of it was never to be profaned; for it
had four several courts [12] encompassed with cloisters round about,
every one of which had by our law a peculiar degree of separation
from the rest. Into the first court every body was allowed to go, even
foreigners, and none but women, during their courses, were prohibited
to pass through it; all the Jews went into the second court, as well as
their wives, when they were free from all uncleanness; into the third
court went in the Jewish men, when they were clean and purified; into
the fourth went the priests, having on their sacerdotal garments; but
for the most sacred place, none went in but the high priests, clothed in
their peculiar garments. Now there is so great caution used about these
offices of religion, that the priests are appointed to go into the
temple but at certain hours; for in the morning, at the opening of the
inner temple, those that are to officiate receive the sacrifices, as
they do again at noon, till the doors are shut. Lastly, it is not so
much as lawful to carry any vessel into the holy house; nor is there any
thing therein, but the altar [of incense], the table [of shew-bread],
the censer, and the candlestick, which are all written in the law; for
there is nothing further there, nor are there any mysteries performed
that may not be spoken of; nor is there any feasting within the place.
For what I have now said is publicly known, and supported by the
testimony of the whole people, and their operations are very manifest;
for although there be four courses of the priests, and every one of them
have above five thousand men in them, yet do they officiate on certain
days only; and when those days are over, other priests succeed in the
performance of their sacrifices, and assemble together at mid-day, and
receive the keys of the temple, and the vessels by tale, without any
thing relating to food or drink being carried into the temple; nay, we
are not allowed to offer such things at the altar, excepting what is
prepared for the sacrifices.

9. What then can we say of Apion, but that he examined nothing that
concerned these things, while still he uttered incredible words about
them? but it is a great shame for a grammarian not to be able to write
true history. Now if he knew the purity of our temple, he hath entirely
omitted to take notice of it; but he forges a story about the seizing of
a Grecian, about ineffable food, and the most delicious preparation of
dainties; and pretends that strangers could go into a place whereinto
the noblest men among the Jews are not allowed to enter, unless they
be priests. This, therefore, is the utmost degree of impiety, and a
voluntary lie, in order to the delusion of those who will not examine
into the truth of matters; whereas such unspeakable mischiefs as are
above related have been occasioned by such calumnies that are raised
upon us.

10. Nay, this miracle or piety derides us further, and adds the
following pretended facts to his former fable; for he says that this man
related how, "while the Jews were once in a long war with the Idumeans,
there came a man out of one of the cities of the Idumeans, who there had
worshipped Apollo. This man, whose name is said to have been Zabidus,
came to the Jews, and promised that he would deliver Apollo, the god of
Dora, into their hands, and that he would come to our temple, if they
would all come up with him, and bring the whole multitude of the Jews
with them; that Zabidus made him a certain wooden instrument, and put it
round about him, and set three rows of lamps therein, and walked after
such a manner, that he appeared to those that stood a great way off
him to be a kind of star, walking upon the earth; that the Jews were
terribly affrighted at so surprising an appearance, and stood very quiet
at a distance; and that Zabidus, while they continued so very quiet,
went into the holy house, and carried off that golden head of an ass,
[for so facetiously does he write,] and then went his way back again
to Dora in great haste." And say you so, sir! as I may reply; then
does Apion load the ass, that is, himself, and lays on him a burden of
fooleries and lies; for he writes of places that have no being, and not
knowing the cities he speaks of, he changes their situation; for Idumea
borders upon our country, and is near to Gaza, in which there is no
such city as Dora; although there be, it is true, a city named Dora in
Phoenicia, near Mount Carmel, but it is four days' journey from Idumea.
[12] Now, then, why does this man accuse us, because we have not gods in
common with other nations, if our fathers were so easily prevailed upon
to have Apollo come to them, and thought they saw him walking upon the
earth, and the stars with him? for certainly those who have so many
festivals, wherein they light lamps, must yet, at this rate, have never
seen a candlestick! But still it seems that while Zabidus took his
journey over the country, where were so many ten thousands of people,
nobody met him. He also, it seems, even in a time of war, found the
walls of Jerusalem destitute of guards. I omit the rest. Now the doors
of the holy house were seventy [13] cubits high, and twenty cubits
broad; they were all plated over with gold, and almost of solid gold
itself, and there were no fewer than twenty [14] men required to shut
them every day; nor was it lawful ever to leave them open, though it
seems this lamp-bearer of ours opened them easily, or thought he
opened them, as he thought he had the ass's head in his hand. Whether,
therefore, he returned it to us again, or whether Apion took it, and
brought it into the temple again, that Antiochus might find it, and
afford a handle for a second fable of Apion's, is uncertain.

11. Apion also tells a false story, when he mentions an oath of ours,
as if we "swore by God, the Maker of the heaven, and earth, and sea,
to bear no good will to any foreigner, and particularly to none of the
Greeks." Now this liar ought to have said directly that, "we would
bear no good-will to any foreigner, and particularly to none of the
Egyptians." For then his story about the oath would have squared with
the rest of his original forgeries, in case our forefathers had been
driven away by their kinsmen, the Egyptians, not on account of any
wickedness they had been guilty of, but on account of the calamities
they were under; for as to the Grecians, we were rather remote from them
in place, than different from them in our institutions, insomuch that we
have no enmity with them, nor any jealousy of them. On the contrary, it
hath so happened that many of them have come over to our laws, and some
of them have continued in their observation, although others of them had
not courage enough to persevere, and so departed from them again; nor
did any body ever hear this oath sworn by us: Apion, it seems, was the
only person that heard it, for he indeed was the first composer of it.

12. However, Apion deserves to be admired for his great prudence, as to
what I am going to say, which is this, "That there is a plain mark among
us, that we neither have just laws, nor worship God as we ought to do,
because we are not governors, but are rather in subjection to Gentiles,
sometimes to one nation, and sometimes to another; and that our city
hath been liable to several calamities, while their city [Alexandria]
hath been of old time an imperial city, and not used to be in subjection
to the Romans." But now this man had better leave off this bragging,
for every body but himself would think that Apion said what he hath said
against himself; for there are very few nations that have had the good
fortune to continue many generations in the principality, but still the
mutations in human affairs have put them into subjection under others;
and most nations have been often subdued, and brought into subjection
by others. Now for the Egyptians, perhaps they are the only nation that
have had this extraordinary privilege, to have never served any of
those monarchs who subdued Asia and Europe, and this on account, as they
pretend, that the gods fled into their country, and saved themselves by
being changed into the shapes of wild beasts! Whereas these Egyptians
[15] are the very people that appear to have never, in all the past
ages, had one day of freedom, no, not so much as from their own lords.
For I will not reproach them with relating the manner how the Persians
used them, and this not once only, but many times, when they laid their
cities waste, demolished their temples, and cut the throats of those
animals whom they esteemed to be gods; for it is not reasonable to
imitate the clownish ignorance of Apion, who hath no regard to the
misfortunes of the Athenians, or of the Lacedemonians, the latter of
whom were styled by all men the most courageous, and the former the
most religious of the Grecians. I say nothing of such kings as have been
famous for piety, particularly of one of them, whose name was Cresus,
nor what calamities he met with in his life; I say nothing of the
citadel of Athens, of the temple at Ephesus, of that at Delphi, nor
of ten thousand others which have been burnt down, while nobody cast
reproaches on those that were the sufferers, but on those that were
the actors therein. But now we have met with Apion, an accuser of our
nation, though one that still forgets the miseries of his own people,
the Egyptians; but it is that Sesostris who was once so celebrated a king
of Egypt that hath blinded him. Now we will not brag of our kings, David
and Solomon, though they conquered many nations; accordingly we will let
them alone. However, Apion is ignorant of what every body knows, that
the Egyptians were servants to the Persians, and afterwards to the
Macedonians, when they were lords of Asia, and were no better than
slaves, while we have enjoyed liberty formerly; nay, more than that,
have had the dominion of the cities that lie round about us, and this
nearly for a hundred and twenty years together, until Pompeius Magnus.
And when all the kings every where were conquered by the Romans, our
ancestors were the only people who continued to be esteemed their
confederates and friends, on account of their fidelity to them.[16]

13. "But," says Apion, "we Jews have not had any wonderful men amongst
us, not any inventors of arts, nor any eminent for wisdom." He then
enumerates Socrates, and Zeno, and Cleanthes, and some others of the
same sort; and, after all, he adds himself to them, which is the most
wonderful thing of all that he says, and pronounces Alexandria to be
happy, because it hath such a citizen as he is in it; for he was
the fittest man to be a witness to his own deserts, although he hath
appeared to all others no better than a wicked mountebank, of a
corrupt life and ill discourses; on which account one may justly pity
Alexandria, if it should value itself upon such a citizen as he is.
But as to our own men, we have had those who have been as deserving
of commendation as any other whosoever, and such as have perused our
Antiquities cannot be ignorant of them.

14. As to the other things which he sets down as blameworthy, it may
perhaps be the best way to let them pass without apology, that he may
be allowed to be his own accuser, and the accuser of the rest of the
Egyptians. However, he accuses us for sacrificing animals, and for
abstaining from swine's flesh, and laughs at us for the circumcision
of our privy members. Now as for our slaughter of tame animals for
sacrifices, it is common to us and to all other men; but this Apion,
by making it a crime to sacrifice them, demonstrates himself to be
an Egyptian; for had he been either a Grecian or a Macedonian, [as he
pretends to be,] he had not shown any uneasiness at it; for those people
glory in sacrificing whole hecatombs to the gods, and make use of those
sacrifices for feasting; and yet is not the world thereby rendered
destitute of cattle, as Apion was afraid would come to pass. Yet if all
men had followed the manners of the Egyptians, the world had certainly
been made desolate as to mankind, but had been filled full of the
wildest sort of brute beasts, which, because they suppose them to be
gods, they carefully nourish. However, if any one should ask Apion which
of the Egyptians he thinks to be the most wise and most pious of them
all, he would certainly acknowledge the priests to be so; for the
histories say that two things were originally committed to their care
by their kings' injunctions, the worship of the gods, and the support of
wisdom and philosophy. Accordingly, these priests are all circumcised,
and abstain from swine's flesh; nor does any one of the other Egyptians
assist them in slaying those sacrifices they offer to the gods. Apion
was therefore quite blinded in his mind, when, for the sake of the
Egyptians, he contrived to reproach us, and to accuse such others as not
only make use of that conduct of life which he so much abuses, but have
also taught other men to be circumcised, as says Herodotus; which makes
me think that Apion is hereby justly punished for his casting such
reproaches on the laws of his own country; for he was circumcised
himself of necessity, on account of an ulcer in his privy member; and
when he received no benefit by such circumcision, but his member became
putrid, he died in great torment. Now men of good tempers ought to
observe their own laws concerning religion accurately, and to persevere
therein, but not presently to abuse the laws of other nations, while
this Apion deserted his own laws, and told lies about ours. And this
was the end of Apion's life, and this shall be the conclusion of our
discourse about him.

15. But now, since Apollonius Molo, and Lysimachus, and some others,
write treatises about our lawgiver Moses, and about our laws, which are
neither just nor true, and this partly out of ignorance, but chiefly
out of ill-will to us, while they calumniate Moses as an impostor and
deceiver, and pretend that our laws teach us wickedness, but nothing
that is virtuous, I have a mind to discourse briefly, according to
my ability, about our whole constitution of government, and about the
particular branches of it. For I suppose it will thence become evident,
that the laws we have given us are disposed after the best manner for
the advancement of piety, for mutual communion with one another, for a
general love of mankind, as also for justice, and for sustaining labors
with fortitude, and for a contempt of death. And I beg of those that
shall peruse this writing of mine, to read it without partiality; for
it is not my purpose to write an encomium upon ourselves, but I shall
esteem this as a most just apology for us, and taken from those our
laws, according to which we lead our lives, against the many and the
lying objections that have been made against us. Moreover, since this
Apollonius does not do like Apion, and lay a continued accusation
against us, but does it only by starts, and up and clown his discourse,
while he sometimes reproaches us as atheists, and man-haters, and
sometimes hits us in the teeth with our want of courage, and yet
sometimes, on the contrary, accuses us of too great boldness and
madness in our conduct; nay, he says that we are the weakest of all the
barbarians, and that this is the reason why we are the only people who
have made no improvements in human life; now I think I shall have then
sufficiently disproved all these his allegations, when it shall appear
that our laws enjoin the very reverse of what he says, and that we very
carefully observe those laws ourselves. And if I he compelled to make
mention of the laws of other nations, that are contrary to ours, those
ought deservedly to thank themselves for it, who have pretended to
depreciate our laws in comparison of their own; nor will there, I think,
be any room after that for them to pretend either that we have no such
laws ourselves, an epitome of which I will present to the reader, or
that we do not, above all men, continue in the observation of them.

16. To begin then a good way backward, I would advance this, in the
first place, that those who have been admirers of good order, and of
living under common laws, and who began to introduce them, may well have
this testimony that they are better than other men, both for moderation
and such virtue as is agreeable to nature. Indeed their endeavor was to
have every thing they ordained believed to be very ancient, that
they might not be thought to imitate others, but might appear to have
delivered a regular way of living to others after them. Since then this
is the case, the excellency of a legislator is seen in providing for the
people's living after the best manner, and in prevailing with those that
are to use the laws he ordains for them, to have a good opinion of
them, and in obliging the multitude to persevere in them, and to make no
changes in them, neither in prosperity nor adversity. Now I venture to
say, that our legislator is the most ancient of all the legislators whom
we have ally where heard of; for as for the Lycurguses, and Solons, and
Zaleucus Locrensis, and all those legislators who are so admired by the
Greeks, they seem to be of yesterday, if compared with our legislator,
insomuch as the very name of a law was not so much as known in old times
among the Grecians. Homer is a witness to the truth of this observation,
who never uses that term in all his poems; for indeed there was then no
such thing among them, but the multitude was governed by wise maxims,
and by the injunctions of their king. It was also a long time that they
continued in the use of these unwritten customs, although they were
always changing them upon several occasions. But for our legislator,
who was of so much greater antiquity than the rest, [as even those that
speak against us upon all occasions do always confess,] he exhibited
himself to the people as their best governor and counselor, and included
in his legislation the entire conduct of their lives, and prevailed with
them to receive it, and brought it so to pass, that those that were made
acquainted with his laws did most carefully observe them.

17. But let us consider his first and greatest work; for when it was
resolved on by our forefathers to leave Egypt, and return to their
own country, this Moses took the many tell thousands that were of the
people, and saved them out of many desperate distresses, and brought
them home in safety. And certainly it was here necessary to travel over
a country without water, and full of sand, to overcome their enemies,
and, during these battles, to preserve their children, and their wives,
and their prey; on all which occasions he became an excellent general of
an army, and a most prudent counselor, and one that took the truest
care of them all; he also so brought it about, that the whole multitude
depended upon him. And while he had them always obedient to what he
enjoined, he made no manner of use of his authority for his own private
advantage, which is the usual time when governors gain great powers to
themselves, and pave the way for tyranny, and accustom the multitude
to live very dissolutely; whereas, when our legislator was in so great
authority, he, on the contrary, thought he ought to have regard to
piety, and to show his great good-will to the people; and by this means
he thought he might show the great degree of virtue that was in him, and
might procure the most lasting security to those who had made him their
governor. When he had therefore come to such a good resolution, and
had performed such wonderful exploits, we had just reason to look upon
ourselves as having him for a divine governor and counselor. And when
he had first persuaded himself [17] that his actions and designs were
agreeable to God's will, he thought it his duty to impress, above all
things, that notion upon the multitude; for those who have once believed
that God is the inspector of their lives, will not permit themselves
in any sin. And this is the character of our legislator: he was no
impostor, no deceiver, as his revilers say, though unjustly, but such
a one as they brag Minos [18] to have been among the Greeks, and other
legislators after him; for some of them suppose that they had their laws
from Jupiter, while Minos said that the revelation of his laws was to
be referred to Apollo, and his oracle at Delphi, whether they really
thought they were so derived, or supposed, however, that they could
persuade the people easily that so it was. But which of these it was who
made the best laws, and which had the greatest reason to believe
that God was their author, it will be easy, upon comparing those laws
themselves together, to determine; for it is time that we come to that
point. [19] Now there are innumerable differences in the particular
customs and laws that are among all mankind, which a man may briefly
reduce under the following heads: Some legislators have permitted their
governments to be under monarchies, others put them under oligarchies,
and others under a republican form; but our legislator had no regard
to any of these forms, but he ordained our government to be what, by a
strained expression, may be termed a Theocracy, [20] by ascribing the
authority and the power to God, and by persuading all the people to have
a regard to him, as the author of all the good things that were enjoyed
either in common by all mankind, or by each one in particular, and of
all that they themselves obtained by praying to him in their greatest
difficulties. He informed them that it was impossible to escape God's
observation, even in any of our outward actions, or in any of our
inward thoughts. Moreover, he represented God as unbegotten, [21] and
immutable, through all eternity, superior to all mortal conceptions in
pulchritude; and, though known to us by his power, yet unknown to us as
to his essence. I do not now explain how these notions of God are the
sentiments of the wisest among the Grecians, and how they were taught
them upon the principles that he afforded them. However, they testify,
with great assurance, that these notions are just, and agreeable to the
nature of God, and to his majesty; for Pythagoras, and Anaxagoras, and
Plato, and the Stoic philosophers that succeeded them, and almost all
the rest, are of the same sentiments, and had the same notions of the
nature of God; yet durst not these men disclose those true notions to
more than a few, because the body of the people were prejudiced with
other opinions beforehand. But our legislator, who made his actions
agree to his laws, did not only prevail with those that were his
contemporaries to agree with these his notions, but so firmly imprinted
this faith in God upon all their posterity, that it never could be
removed. The reason why the constitution of this legislation was ever
better directed to the utility of all than other legislations were, is
this, that Moses did not make religion a part of virtue, but he saw and
he ordained other virtues to be parts of religion; I mean justice, and
fortitude, and temperance, and a universal agreement of the members of
the community with one another; for all our actions and studies, and all
our words, [in Moses's settlement,] have a reference to piety towards
God; for he hath left none of these in suspense, or undetermined.
For there are two ways of coming at any sort of learning and a moral
conduct of life; the one is by instruction in words, the other by
practical exercises. Now other lawgivers have separated these two ways
in their opinions, and choosing one of those ways of instruction, or
that which best pleased every one of them, neglected the other. Thus did
the Lacedemonians and the Cretians teach by practical exercises, but not
by words; while the Athenians, and almost all the other Grecians, made
laws about what was to be done, or left undone, but had no regard to the
exercising them thereto in practice.

18. But for our legislator, he very carefully joined these two methods
of instruction together; for he neither left these practical exercises
to go on without verbal instruction, nor did he permit the hearing of
the law to proceed without the exercises for practice; but beginning
immediately from the earliest infancy, and the appointment of every
one's diet, he left nothing of the very smallest consequence to be done
at the pleasure and disposal of the person himself. Accordingly, he made
a fixed rule of law what sorts of food they should abstain from, and
what sorts they should make use of; as also, what communion they
should have with others what great diligence they should use in their
occupations, and what times of rest should be interposed, that, by
living under that law as under a father and a master, we might be guilty
of no sin, neither voluntary nor out of ignorance; for he did not suffer
the guilt of ignorance to go on without punishment, but demonstrated
the law to be the best and the most necessary instruction of all others,
permitting the people to leave off their other employments, and to
assemble together for the hearing of the law, and learning it exactly,
and this not once or twice, or oftener, but every week; which thing all
the other legislators seem to have neglected.

19. And indeed the greatest part of mankind are so far from living
according to their own laws, that they hardly know them; but when they
have sinned, they learn from others that they have transgressed the law.
Those also who are in the highest and principal posts of the government,
confess they are not acquainted with those laws, and are obliged to take
such persons for their assessors in public administrations as profess to
have skill in those laws; but for our people, if any body do but ask any
one of them about our laws, he will more readily tell them all than he
will tell his own name, and this in consequence of our having learned
them immediately as soon as ever we became sensible of any thing, and of
our having them as it were engraven on our souls. Our transgressors of
them are but few, and it is impossible, when any do offend, to escape

20. And this very thing it is that principally creates such a wonderful
agreement of minds amongst us all; for this entire agreement of ours
in all our notions concerning God, and our having no difference in our
course of life and manners, procures among us the most excellent concord
of these our manners that is any where among mankind; for no other
people but the Jews have avoided all discourses about God that any way
contradict one another, which yet are frequent among other nations; and
this is true not only among ordinary persons, according as every one
is affected, but some of the philosophers have been insolent enough to
indulge such contradictions, while some of them have undertaken to use
such words as entirely take away the nature of God, as others of them
have taken away his providence over mankind. Nor can any one perceive
amongst us any difference in the conduct of our lives, but all our works
are common to us all. We have one sort of discourse concerning God,
which is conformable to our law, and affirms that he sees all things;
as also we have but one way of speaking concerning the conduct of our
lives, that all other things ought to have piety for their end; and this
any body may hear from our women, and servants themselves.

21. And, indeed, hence hath arisen that accusation which some make
against us, that we have not produced men that have been the inventors
of new operations, or of new ways of speaking; for others think it a
fine thing to persevere in nothing that has been delivered down from
their forefathers, and these testify it to be an instance of the
sharpest wisdom when these men venture to transgress those traditions;
whereas we, on the contrary, suppose it to be our only wisdom and virtue
to admit no actions nor supposals that are contrary to our original
laws; which procedure of ours is a just and sure sign that our law
is admirably constituted; for such laws as are not thus well made are
convicted upon trial to want amendment.

22. But while we are ourselves persuaded that our law was made agreeably
to the will of God, it would be impious for us not to observe the same;
for what is there in it that any body would change? and what can be
invented that is better? or what can we take out of other people's laws
that will exceed it? Perhaps some would have the entire settlement
of our government altered. And where shall we find a better or more
righteous constitution than ours, while this makes us esteem God to be
the Governor of the universe, and permits the priests in general to be
the administrators of the principal affairs, and withal intrusts the
government over the other priests to the chief high priest himself?
which priests our legislator, at their first appointment, did not
advance to that dignity for their riches, or any abundance of other
possessions, or any plenty they had as the gifts of fortune; but he
intrusted the principal management of Divine worship to those that
exceeded others in an ability to persuade men, and in prudence of
conduct. These men had the main care of the law and of the other parts
of the people's conduct committed to them; for they were the priests who
were ordained to be the inspectors of all, and the judges in doubtful
cases, and the punishers of those that were condemned to suffer

23. What form of government then can be more holy than this? what more
worthy kind of worship can be paid to God than we pay, where the entire
body of the people are prepared for religion, where an extraordinary
degree of care is required in the priests, and where the whole polity is
so ordered as if it were a certain religious solemnity? For what things
foreigners, when they solemnize such festivals, are not able to observe
for a few days' time, and call them Mysteries and Sacred Ceremonies, we
observe with great pleasure and an unshaken resolution during our whole
lives. What are the things then that we are commanded or forbidden? They
are simple, and easily known. The first command is concerning God, and
affirms that God contains all things, and is a Being every way perfect
and happy, self-sufficient, and supplying all other beings; the
beginning, the middle, and the end of all things. He is manifest in
his works and benefits, and more conspicuous than any other being
whatsoever; but as to his form and magnitude, he is most obscure. All
materials, let them be ever so costly, are unworthy to compose an image
for him, and all arts are unartful to express the notion we ought to
have of him. We can neither see nor think of any thing like him, nor is
it agreeable to piety to form a resemblance of him. We see his works,
the light, the heaven, the earth, the sun and the moon, the waters, the
generations of animals, the productions of fruits. These things hath God
made, not with hands, nor with labor, nor as wanting the assistance of
any to cooperate with him; but as his will resolved they should be made
and be good also, they were made and became good immediately. All
men ought to follow this Being, and to worship him in the exercise of
virtue; for this way of worship of God is the most holy of all others.

24. There ought also to be but one temple for one God; for likeness is
the constant foundation of agreement. This temple ought to be common to
all men, because he is the common God of all men. High priests are to
be continually about his worship, over whom he that is the first by his
birth is to be their ruler perpetually. His business must be to offer
sacrifices to God, together with those priests that are joined with him,
to see that the laws be observed, to determine controversies, and to
punish those that are convicted of injustice; while he that does not
submit to him shall be subject to the same punishment, as if he had been
guilty of impiety towards God himself. When we offer sacrifices to him,
we do it not in order to surfeit ourselves, or to be drunken; for
such excesses are against the will of God, and would be an occasion of
injuries and of luxury; but by keeping ourselves sober, orderly, and
ready for our other occupations, and being more temperate than others.
And for our duty at the sacrifices [22] themselves, we ought, in the
first place, to pray for the common welfare of all, and after that for
our own; for we are made for fellowship one with another, and he who
prefers the common good before what is peculiar to himself is above all
acceptable to God. And let our prayers and supplications be made humbly
to God, not [so much] that he would give us what is good, [for he
hath already given that of his own accord, and hath proposed the same
publicly to all,] as that we may duly receive it, and when we have
received it, may preserve it. Now the law has appointed several
purifications at our sacrifices, whereby we are cleansed after
a funeral, after what sometimes happens to us in bed, and after
accompanying with our wives, and upon many other occasions, which it
would be too long now to set down. And this is our doctrine concerning
God and his worship, and is the same that the law appoints for our

25. But, then, what are our laws about marriage? That law owns no other
mixture of sexes but that which nature hath appointed, of a man with his
wife, and that this be used only for the procreation of children. But it
abhors the mixture of a male with a male; and if any one do that, death
is its punishment. It commands us also, when we marry, not to have
regard to portion, nor to take a woman by violence, nor to persuade her
deceitfully and knavishly; but to demand her in marriage of him who hath
power to dispose of her, and is fit to give her away by the nearness
of his kindred; for, says the Scripture, "A woman is inferior to her
husband in all things." [23] Let her, therefore, be obedient to him; not
so that he should abuse her, but that she may acknowledge her duty to
her husband; for God hath given the authority to the husband. A husband,
therefore, is to lie only with his wife whom he hath married; but to
have to do with another man's wife is a wicked thing, which, if any one
ventures upon, death is inevitably his punishment: no more can he
avoid the same who forces a virgin betrothed to another man, or entices
another man's wife. The law, moreover, enjoins us to bring up all our
offspring, and forbids women to cause abortion of what is begotten, or
to destroy it afterward; and if any woman appears to have so done, she
will be a murderer of her child, by destroying a living creature,
and diminishing human kind; if any one, therefore, proceeds to such
fornication or murder, he cannot be clean. Moreover, the law enjoins,
that after the man and wife have lain together in a regular way, they
shall bathe themselves; for there is a defilement contracted thereby,
both in soul and body, as if they had gone into another country; for
indeed the soul, by being united to the body, is subject to miseries,
and is not freed therefrom again but by death; on which account the law
requires this purification to be entirely performed.

26. Nay, indeed, the law does not permit us to make festivals at the
births of our children, and thereby afford occasion of drinking to
excess; but it ordains that the very beginning of our education should
be immediately directed to sobriety. It also commands us to bring those
children up in learning, and to exercise them in the laws, and make
them acquainted with the acts of their predecessors, in order to their
imitation of them, and that they might be nourished up in the laws from
their infancy, and might neither transgress them, nor have any pretense
for their ignorance of them.

27. Our law hath also taken care of the decent burial of the dead, but
without any extravagant expenses for their funerals, and without the
erection of any illustrious monuments for them; but hath ordered that
their nearest relations should perform their obsequies; and hath showed
it to be regular, that all who pass by when any one is buried should
accompany the funeral, and join in the lamentation. It also ordains that
the house and its inhabitants should be purified after the funeral is
over, that every one may thence learn to keep at a great distance from
the thoughts of being pure, if he hath been once guilty of murder.

28. The law ordains also, that parents should be honored immediately
after God himself, and delivers that son who does not requite them for
the benefits he hath received from them, but is deficient on any such
occasion, to be stoned. It also says that the young men should pay due
respect to every elder, since God is the eldest of all beings. It does
not give leave to conceal any thing from our friends, because that is
not true friendship which will not commit all things to their fidelity:
it also forbids the revelation of secrets, even though an enmity arise
between them. If any judge takes bribes, his punishment is death: he
that overlooks one that offers him a petition, and this when he is able
to relieve him, he is a guilty person. What is not by any one intrusted
to another ought not to be required back again. No one is to touch
another's goods. He that lends money must not demand usury for its loan.
These, and many more of the like sort, are the rules that unite us in
the bands of society one with another.

29. It will be also worth our while to see what equity our legislator
would have us exercise in our intercourse with strangers; for it will
thence appear that he made the best provision he possibly could, both
that we should not dissolve our own constitution, nor show any
envious mind towards those that would cultivate a friendship with us.
Accordingly, our legislator admits all those that have a mind to observe
our laws so to do; and this after a friendly manner, as esteeming that
a true union which not only extends to our own stock, but to those that
would live after the same manner with us; yet does he not allow those
that come to us by accident only to be admitted into communion with us.

30. However, there are other things which our legislator ordained for us
beforehand, which of necessity we ought to do in common to all men; as
to afford fire, and water, and food to such as want it; to show them
the roads; not to let any one lie unburied. He also would have us treat
those that are esteemed our enemies with moderation; for he doth not
allow us to set their country on fire, nor permit us to cut down those
trees that bear fruit; nay, further, he forbids us to spoil those that
have been slain in war. He hath also provided for such as are taken
captive, that they may not be injured, and especially that the women
may not be abused. Indeed he hath taught us gentleness and humanity
so effectually, that he hath not despised the care of brute beasts,
by permitting no other than a regular use of them, and forbidding any
other; and if any of them come to our houses, like supplicants, we are
forbidden to slay them; nor may we kill the dams, together with their
young ones; but we are obliged, even in an enemy's country, to spare and
not kill those creatures that labor for mankind. Thus hath our lawgiver
contrived to teach us an equitable conduct every way, by using us
to such laws as instruct us therein; while at the same time he hath
ordained that such as break these laws should be punished, without the
allowance of any excuse whatsoever.

31. Now the greatest part of offenses with us are capital; as if any
one be guilty of adultery; if any one force a virgin; if any one be so
impudent as to attempt sodomy with a male; or if, upon another's making
an attempt upon him, he submits to be so used. There is also a law for
slaves of the like nature, that can never be avoided. Moreover, if any
one cheats another in measures or weights, or makes a knavish bargain
and sale, in order to cheat another; if any one steals what belongs to
another, and takes what he never deposited; all these have punishments
allotted them; not such as are met with among other nations, but more
severe ones. And as for attempts of unjust behavior towards parents, or
for impiety against God, though they be not actually accomplished, the
offenders are destroyed immediately. However, the reward for such as
live exactly according to the laws is not silver or gold; it is not a
garland of olive branches or of small age, nor any such public sign of
commendation; but every good man hath his own conscience bearing witness
to himself, and by virtue of our legislator's prophetic spirit, and of
the firm security God himself affords such a one, he believes that God
hath made this grant to those that observe these laws, even though they
be obliged readily to die for them, that they shall come into being
again, and at a certain revolution of things shall receive a better life
than they had enjoyed before. Nor would I venture to write thus at this
time, were it not well known to all by our actions that many of our
people have many a time bravely resolved to endure any sufferings,
rather than speak one word against our law.

32. Nay, indeed, in case it had so fallen out, that our nation had not
been so thoroughly known among all men as they are, and our voluntary
submission to our laws had not been so open and manifest as it is, but
that somebody had pretended to have written these laws himself, and had
read them to the Greeks, or had pretended that he had met with men out
of the limits of the known world, that had such reverent notions of God,
and had continued a long time in the firm observance of such laws
as ours, I cannot but suppose that all men would admire them on a
reflection upon the frequent changes they had therein been themselves
subject to; and this while those that have attempted to write somewhat
of the same kind for politic government, and for laws, are accused
as composing monstrous things, and are said to have undertaken an
impossible task upon them. And here I will say nothing of those other
philosophers who have undertaken any thing of this nature in their
writings. But even Plato himself, who is so admired by the Greeks on
account of that gravity in his manners, and force in his words, and that
ability he had to persuade men beyond all other philosophers, is little
better than laughed at and exposed to ridicule on that account, by those
that pretend to sagacity in political affairs; although he that shall
diligently peruse his writings will find his precepts to be somewhat
gentle, and pretty near to the customs of the generality of mankind.
Nay, Plato himself confesseth that it is not safe to publish the true
notion concerning God among the ignorant multitude. Yet do some men look
upon Plato's discourses as no better than certain idle words set off
with great artifice. However, they admire Lycurgus as the principal
lawgiver, and all men celebrate Sparta for having continued in the firm
observance of his laws for a very long time. So far then we have gained,
that it is to be confessed a mark of virtue to submit to laws. [24] But
then let such as admire this in the Lacedemonians compare that duration
of theirs with more than two thousand years which our political
government hath continued; and let them further consider, that though
the Lacedemonians did seem to observe their laws exactly while they
enjoyed their liberty, yet that when they underwent a change of their
fortune, they forgot almost all those laws; while we, having been under
ten thousand changes in our fortune by the changes that happened among
the kings of Asia, have never betrayed our laws under the most pressing
distresses we have been in; nor have we neglected them either out
of sloth or for a livelihood. [25] if any one will consider it, the
difficulties and labors laid upon us have been greater than what appears
to have been borne by the Lacedemonian fortitude, while they neither
ploughed their land, nor exercised any trades, but lived in their own
city, free from all such pains-taking, in the enjoyment of plenty, and
using such exercises as might improve their bodies, while they made use
of other men as their servants for all the necessaries of life, and had
their food prepared for them by the others; and these good and humane
actions they do for no other purpose but this, that by their actions and
their sufferings they may be able to conquer all those against whom they
make war. I need not add this, that they have not been fully able to
observe their laws; for not only a few single persons, but multitudes of
them, have in heaps neglected those laws, and have delivered themselves,
together with their arms, into the hands of their enemies.

33. Now as for ourselves, I venture to say that no one can tell of so
many; nay, not of more than one or two that have betrayed our laws, no,
not out of fear of death itself; I do not mean such an easy death as
happens in battles, but that which comes with bodily torments, and seems
to be the severest kind of death of all others. Now I think those that
have conquered us have put us to such deaths, not out of their hatred to
us when they had subdued us, but rather out of their desire of seeing a
surprising sight, which is this, whether there be such men in the world
who believe that no evil is to them so great as to be compelled to do or
to speak any thing contrary to their own laws. Nor ought men to wonder
at us, if we are more courageous in dying for our laws than all other
men are; for other men do not easily submit to the easier things in
which we are instituted; I mean working with our hands, and eating but
little, and being contented to eat and drink, not at random, or at every
one's pleasure, or being under inviolable rules in lying with our wives,
in magnificent furniture, and again in the observation of our times of
rest; while those that can use their swords in war, and can put their
enemies to flight when they attack them, cannot bear to submit to such
laws about their way of living: whereas our being accustomed willingly
to submit to laws in these instances, renders us fit to show our
fortitude upon other occasions also.

34. Yet do the Lysimachi and the Molones, and some other writers,
[unskillful sophists as they are, and the deceivers of young men,]
reproach us as the vilest of all mankind. Now I have no mind to make an
inquiry into the laws of other nations; for the custom of our country is
to keep our own laws, but not to bring accusations against the laws of
others. And indeed our legislator hath expressly forbidden us to laugh
at and revile those that are esteemed gods by other people? on account
of the very name of God ascribed to them. But since our antagonists
think to run us down upon the comparison of their religion and ours, it
is not possible to keep silence here, especially while what I shall say
to confute these men will not be now first said, but hath been already
said by many, and these of the highest reputation also; for who is there
among those that have been admired among the Greeks for wisdom, who
hath not greatly blamed both the most famous poets, and most celebrated
legislators, for spreading such notions originally among the body of the
people concerning the gods? such as these, that they may be allowed to
be as numerous as they have a mind to have them; that they are begotten
one by another, and that after all the kinds of generation you can
imagine. They also distinguish them in their places and ways of living
as they would distinguish several sorts of animals; as some to be under
the earth; as some to be in the sea; and the ancientest of them all to
be bound in hell; and for those to whom they have allotted heaven, they
have set over them one, who in title is their father, but in his actions
a tyrant and a lord; whence it came to pass that his wife, and brother,
and daughter [which daughter he brought forth from his own head] made
a conspiracy against him to seize upon him and confine hint, as he had
himself seized upon and confined his own father before.

35. And justly have the wisest men thought these notions deserved
severe rebukes; they also laugh at them for determining that we ought to
believe some of the gods to be beardless and young, and others of them
to be old, and to have beards accordingly; that some are set to trades;
that one god is a smith, and another goddess is a weaver; that one god
is a warrior, and fights with men; that some of them are harpers, or
delight in archery; and besides, that mutual seditions arise among them,
and that they quarrel about men, and this so far, that they not only lay
hands upon one another, but that they are wounded by men, and lament,
and take on for such their afflictions. But what is the grossest of all
in point of lasciviousness, are those unbounded lusts ascribed to almost
all of them, and their amours; which how can it be other than a most
absurd supposal, especially when it reaches to the male gods, and to the
female goddesses also? Moreover, the chief of all their gods, and their
first father himself, overlooks those goddesses whom he hath deluded and
begotten with child, and suffers them to be kept in prison, or drowned
in the sea. He is also so bound up by fate, that he cannot save his own
offspring, nor can he bear their deaths without shedding of tears. These
are fine things indeed! as are the rest that follow. Adulteries truly
are so impudently looked on in heaven by the gods, that some of them
have confessed they envied those that were found in the very act. And
why should they not do so, when the eldest of them, who is their king
also, hath not been able to restrain himself in the violence of his
lust, from lying with his wife, so long as they might get into their
bedchamber? Now some of the gods are servants to men, and will sometimes
be builders for a reward, and sometimes will be shepherds; while others
of them, like malefactors, are bound in a prison of brass. And what
sober person is there who would not be provoked at such stories, and
rebuke those that forged them, and condemn the great silliness of those
that admit them for true? Nay, others there are that have advanced a
certain timorousness and fear, as also madness and fraud, and any other
of the vilest passions, into the nature and form of gods, and have
persuaded whole cities to offer sacrifices to the better sort of them;
on which account they have been absolutely forced to esteem some gods as
the givers of good things, and to call others of them averters of evil.
They also endeavor to move them, as they would the vilest of men, by
gifts and presents, as looking for nothing else than to receive some
great mischief from them, unless they pay them such wages.

36. Wherefore it deserves our inquiry what should be the occasion of
this unjust management, and of these scandals about the Deity. And truly
I suppose it to be derived from the imperfect knowledge the heathen
legislators had at first of the true nature of God; nor did they explain
to the people even so far as they did comprehend of it: nor did they
compose the other parts of their political settlements according to it,
but omitted it as a thing of very little consequence, and gave leave
both to the poets to introduce what gods they pleased, and those subject
to all sorts of passions, and to the orators to procure political
decrees from the people for the admission of such foreign gods as they
thought proper. The painters also, and statuaries of Greece, had herein
great power, as each of them could contrive a shape [proper for a god];
the one to be formed out of clay, and the other by making a bare picture
of such a one. But those workmen that were principally admired, had the
use of ivory and of gold as the constant materials for their new statues
[whereby it comes to pass that some temples are quite deserted, while
others are in great esteem, and adorned with all the rites of all kinds
of purification]. Besides this, the first gods, who have long flourished
in the honors done them, are now grown old [while those that flourished
after them are come in their room as a second rank, that I may speak the
most honorably of them I can]: nay, certain other gods there are who
are newly introduced, and newly worshipped [as we, by way of digression,
have said already, and yet have left their places of worship desolate];
and for their temples, some of them are already left desolate, and
others are built anew, according to the pleasure of men; whereas they
ought to have their opinion about God, and that worship which is due to
him, always and immutably the same.

37. But now, this Apollonius Molo was one of these foolish and proud
men. However, nothing that I have said was unknown to those that were
real philosophers among the Greeks, nor were they unacquainted with
those frigid pretensions of allegories [which had been alleged for such
things]; on which account they justly despised them, but have still
agreed with us as to the true and becoming notions of God; whence it was
that Plato would not have political settlements admit to of any one of
the other poets, and dismisses even Homer himself, with a garland on his
head, and with ointment poured upon him, and this because he should not
destroy the right notions of God with his fables. Nay, Plato principally
imitated our legislator in this point, that he enjoined his citizens
to have he main regard to this precept, "That every one of them should
learn their laws accurately." He also ordained, that they should not
admit of foreigners intermixing with their own people at random; and
provided that the commonwealth should keep itself pure, and consist of
such only as persevered in their own laws. Apollonius Molo did no way
consider this, when he made it one branch of his accusation against us,
that we do not admit of such as have different notions about God, nor
will we have fellowship with those that choose to observe a way of
living different from ourselves, yet is not this method peculiar to us,
but common to all other men; not among the ordinary Grecians only, but
among such of those Grecians as are of the greatest reputation among
them. Moreover, the Lacedemonians continued in their way of expelling
foreigners, and would not indeed give leave to their own people to
travel abroad, as suspecting that those two things would introduce a
dissolution of their own laws: and perhaps there may be some reason to
blame the rigid severity of the Lacedemonians, for they bestowed the
privilege of their city on no foreigners, nor indeed would give leave
to them to stay among them; whereas we, though we do not think fit to
imitate other institutions, yet do we willingly admit of those that
desire to partake of ours, which, I think, I may reckon to be a plain
indication of our humanity, and at the same time of our magnanimity

38. But I shall say no more of the Lacedemonians. As for the Athenians,
who glory in having made their city to be common to all men, what their
behavior was Apollonius did not know, while they punished those that
did but speak one word contrary to the laws about the gods, without any
mercy; for on what other account was it that Socrates was put to death
by them? For certainly he neither betrayed their city to its enemies,
nor was he guilty of any sacrilege with regard to any of their temples;
but it was on this account, that he swore certain new oaths [26] and
that he affirmed either in earnest, or, as some say, only in jest, that
a certain demon used to make signs to him [what he should not do]. For
these reasons he was condemned to drink poison, and kill himself. His
accuser also complained that he corrupted the young men, by inducing
them to despise the political settlement and laws of their city: and
thus was Socrates, the citizen of Athens, punished. There was also
Anaxagoras, who, although he was of Clazomente, was within a few
suffrages of being condemned to die, because he said the sun, which the
Athenians thought to be a god, was a ball of fire. They also made this
public proclamation, "That they would give a talent to any one who would
kill Diagoras of Melos," because it was reported of him that he laughed
at their mysteries. Protagoras also, who was thought to have written
somewhat that was not owned for truth by the Athenians about the
gods, had been seized upon, and put to death, if he had not fled away
immediately. Nor need we at all wonder that they thus treated such
considerable men, when they did not spare even women also; for they very
lately slew a certain priestess, because she was accused by somebody
that she initiated people into the worship of strange gods, it having
been forbidden so to do by one of their laws; and a capital punishment
had been decreed to such as introduced a strange god; it being manifest,
that they who make use of such a law do not believe those of other
nations to be really gods, otherwise they had not envied themselves the
advantage of more gods than they already had. And this was the happy
administration of the affairs of the Athenians! Now as to the Scythians,
they take a pleasure in killing men, and differ but little from brute
beasts; yet do they think it reasonable to have their institutions
observed. They also slew Anacharsis, a person greatly admired for his
wisdom among the Greeks, when he returned to them, because he appeared
to come fraught with Grecian customs. One may also find many to have
been punished among the Persians, on the very same account. And to be
sure Apollonius was greatly pleased with the laws of the Persians, and
was an admirer of them, because the Greeks enjoyed the advantage of
their courage, and had the very same opinion about the gods which they
had. This last was exemplified in the temples which they burnt, and
their courage in coming, and almost entirely enslaving the Grecians.
However, Apollonius has imitated all the Persian institutions, and that
by his offering violence to other men's wives, and gelding his own sons.
Now, with us, it is a capital crime, if any one does thus abuse even a
brute beast; and as for us, neither hath the fear of our governors, nor
a desire of following what other nations have in so great esteem, been
able to withdraw us from our own laws; nor have we exerted our courage
in raising up wars to increase our wealth, but only for the observation
of our laws; and when we with patience bear other losses, yet when any
persons would compel us to break our laws, then it is that we choose to
go to war, though it be beyond our ability to pursue it, and bear the
greatest calamities to the last with much fortitude. And, indeed, what
reason can there be why we should desire to imitate the laws of other
nations, while we see they are not observed by their own legislators
[27] And why do not the Lacedemonians think of abolishing that form of
their government which suffers them not to associate with any others,
as well as their contempt of matrimony? And why do not the Eleans and
Thebans abolish that unnatural and impudent lust, which makes them lie
with males? For they will not show a sufficient sign of their repentance
of what they of old thought to be very excellent, and very advantageous
in their practices, unless they entirely avoid all such actions for the
time to come: nay, such things are inserted into the body of their laws,
and had once such a power among the Greeks, that they ascribed these
sodomitical practices to the gods themselves, as a part of their good
character; and indeed it was according to the same manner that the gods
married their own sisters. This the Greeks contrived as an apology for
their own absurd and unnatural pleasures.

39. I omit to speak concerning punishments, and how many ways of
escaping them the greatest part of the legislators have afforded
malefactors, by ordaining that, for adulteries, fines in money should be
allowed, and for corrupting [28] [virgins] they need only marry them
as also what excuses they may have in denying the facts, if any one
attempts to inquire into them; for amongst most other nations it is
a studied art how men may transgress their laws; but no such thing is
permitted amongst us; for though we be deprived of our wealth, of our
cities, or of the other advantages we have, our law continues immortal;
nor can any Jew go so far from his own country, nor be so aftrighted at
the severest lord, as not to be more aftrighted at the law than at him.
If, therefore, this be the disposition we are under, with regard to the
excellency of our laws, let our enemies make us this concession, that
our laws are most excellent; and if still they imagine, that though we
so firmly adhere to them, yet are they bad laws notwithstanding, what
penalties then do they deserve to undergo who do not observe their own
laws, which they esteem so far superior to them? Whereas, therefore,
length of time is esteemed to be the truest touchstone in all cases, I
would make that a testimonial of the excellency of our laws, and of that
belief thereby delivered to us concerning God. For as there hath been
a very long time for this comparison, if any one will but compare its
duration with the duration of the laws made by other legislators, he
will find our legislator to have been the ancientest of them all.

40. We have already demonstrated that our laws have been such as have
always inspired admiration and imitation into all other men; nay, the
earliest Grecian philosophers, though in appearance they observed the
laws of their own countries, yet did they, in their actions, and their
philosophic doctrines, follow our legislator, and instructed men to live
sparingly, and to have friendly communication one with another. Nay,
further, the multitude of mankind itself have had a great inclination
of a long time to follow our religious observances; for there is not
any city of the Grecians, nor any of the barbarians, nor any nation
whatsoever, whither our custom of resting on the seventh day hath not
come, and by which our fasts and lighting up lamps, and many of our
prohibitions as to our food, are not observed; they also endeavor
to imitate our mutual concord with one another, and the charitable
distribution of our goods, and our diligence in our trades, and our
fortitude in undergoing the distresses we are in, on account of our
laws; and, what is here matter of the greatest admiration, our law hath
no bait of pleasure to allure men to it, but it prevails by its own
force; and as God himself pervades all the world, so hath our law passed
through all the world also. So that if any one will but reflect on his
own country, and his own family, he will have reason to give credit to
what I say. It is therefore but just, either to condemn all mankind
of indulging a wicked disposition, when they have been so desirous of
imitating laws that are to them foreign and evil in themselves, rather
than following laws of their own that are of a better character, or else
our accusers must leave off their spite against us. Nor are we guilty of
any envious behavior towards them, when we honor our own legislator, and
believe what he, by his prophetic authority, hath taught us concerning
God. For though we should not be able ourselves to understand the
excellency of our own laws, yet would the great multitude of those that
desire to imitate them, justify us, in greatly valuing ourselves upon

41. But as for the [distinct] political laws by which we are governed, I
have delivered them accurately in my books of Antiquities; and have
only mentioned them now, so far as was necessary to my present purpose,
without proposing to myself either to blame the laws of other nations,
or to make an encomium upon our own; but in order to convict those
that have written about us unjustly, and in an impudent affectation of
disguising the truth. And now I think I have sufficiently completed
what I proposed in writing these books. For whereas our accusers have
pretended that our nation are a people of very late original, I have
demonstrated that they are exceeding ancient; for I have produced as
witnesses thereto many ancient writers, who have made mention of us
in their books, while they had said that no such writer had so done.
Moreover, they had said that we were sprung from the Egyptians, while I
have proved that we came from another country into Egypt: while they had
told lies of us, as if we were expelled thence on account of diseases
on our bodies, it has appeared, on the contrary, that we returned to
our country by our own choice, and with sound and strong bodies. Those
accusers reproached our legislator as a vile fellow; whereas God in old
time bare witness to his virtuous conduct; and since that testimony of
God, time itself hath been discovered to have borne witness to the same

42. As to the laws themselves, more words are unnecessary, for they are
visible in their own nature, and appear to teach not impiety, but the
truest piety in the world. They do not make men hate one another, but
encourage people to communicate what they have to one another freely;
they are enemies to injustice, they take care of righteousness, they
banish idleness and expensive living, and instruct men to be content
with what they have, and to be laborious in their calling; they forbid
men to make war from a desire of getting more, but make men courageous
in defending the laws; they are inexorable in punishing malefactors;
they admit no sophistry of words, but are always established by actions
themselves, which actions we ever propose as surer demonstrations than
what is contained in writing only: on which account I am so bold as to
say that we are become the teachers of other men, in the greatest number
of things, and those of the most excellent nature only; for what is more
excellent than inviolable piety? what is more just than submission to
laws? and what is more advantageous than mutual love and concord? and
this so far that we are to be neither divided by calamities, nor to
become injurious and seditious in prosperity; but to contemn death
when we are in war, and in peace to apply ourselves to our mechanical
occupations, or to our tillage of the ground; while we in all things
and all ways are satisfied that God is the inspector and governor of
our actions. If these precepts had either been written at first, or more
exactly kept by any others before us, we should have owed them thanks as
disciples owe to their masters; but if it be visible that we have made
use of them more than any other men, and if we have demonstrated that
the original invention of them is our own, let the Apions, and the
Molons, with all the rest of those that delight in lies and reproaches,
stand confuted; but let this and the foregoing book be dedicated to
thee, Epaphroditus, who art so great a lover of truth, and by thy means
to those that have been in like manner desirous to be acquainted with
the affairs of our nation.


[1] The former part of this second book is written against the calumnies
of Apion, and then, more briefly, against the like calumnies of
Apollonius Molo. But after that, Josephus leaves off any more particular
reply to those adversaries of the Jews, and gives us a large and
excellent description and vindication of that theocracy which was
settled for the Jewish nation by Moses, their great legislator.

[2] Called by Tiberius Cymbalum Mundi, The drum of the world.

[3] This seems to have been the first dial that had been made in Egypt,
and was a little before the time that Ahaz made his [first] dial in
Judea, and about anno 755, in the first year of the seventh olympiad, as
we shall see presently. See 2 Kings 20:11; Isaiah 38:8.

[4] The burial-place for dead bodies, as I suppose.

[5] Here begins a great defect in the Greek copy; but the old Latin
version fully supplies that defect.

[6] What error is here generally believed to have been committed by our
Josephus in ascribing a deliverance of the Jews to the reign of Ptolemy
Physco, the seventh of those Ptolemus, which has been universally
supposed to have happened under Ptolemy Philopater, the fourth of them,
is no better than a gross error of the moderns, and not of Josephus, as
I have fully proved in the Authentic. Rec. Part I. p. 200-201, whither I
refer the inquisitive reader.

[7] Sister's son, and adopted son.

[8] Called more properly Molo, or Apollonius Molo, as hereafter; for
Apollonins, the son of Molo, was another person, as Strabo informs us,
lib. xiv.

[9] Furones in the Latin, which what animal it denotes does not now

[10] It is great pity that these six pagan authors, here mentioned to
have described the famous profanation of the Jewish temple by Antiochus
Epiphanes, should be all lost; I mean so far of their writings as
contained that description; though it is plain Josephus perused them all
as extant in his time.

[11] It is remarkable that Josephus here, and, I think, no where else,
reckons up four distinct courts of the temple; that of the Gentiles,
that of the women of Israel, that of the men of Israel, and that of the
priests; as also that the court of the women admitted of the men, [I
suppose only of the husbands of those wives that were therein,] while
the court of the men did not admit any women into it at all.

[12] Judea, in the Greek, by a gross mistake of the transcribers.

[13] Seven in the Greek, by a like gross mistake of the transcribers.
See of the War, B. V. ch. 5. sect. 4.

[14] Two hundred in the Greek, contrary to the twenty in the War, B.
VII. ch, 5. sect. 3.

[15] This notorious disgrace belonging peculiarly to the people of
Egypt, ever since the times of the old prophets of the Jews, noted
both sect. 4 already, and here, may be confirmed by the testimony of
Isidorus, an Egyptian of Pelusium, Epist. lib. i. Ep. 489. And this is a
remarkable completion of the ancient prediction of God by Ezekiel 29:14,
15, "that the Egyptians should be a base kingdom, the basest of the
kingdoms," and that, "it should not exalt itself any more above the

[16] The truth of which still further appears by the present observation
of Josephus, that these Egyptians had never, in all the past ages since
Sesostris, had one day of liberty, no, not so much as to have been free
from despotic power under any of the monarchies to that day. And all
this has been found equally true in the latter ages, under the Romans,
Saracens, Mamelukes, and Turks, from the days of Josephus till the
present ago also.

[17] This language, that Moses, "persuaded himself" that what he did was
according to God's will, can mean no more, by Josephus's own constant
notions elsewhere, than that he was "firmly persuaded," that he had
"fully satisfied himself" that so it was, viz. by the many revelations
he had received from God, and the numerous miracles God had enabled him
to work, as he both in these very two books against Apion, and in his
Antiquities, most clearly and frequently assures us. This is further
evident from several passages lower, where he affirms that Moses was no
impostor nor deceiver, and where he assures that Moses's constitution of
government was no other than a theocracy; and where he says they are to
hope for deliverance out of their distresses by prayer to God, and that
withal it was owing in part to this prophetic spirit of Moses that the
Jews expected a resurrection from the dead. See almost as strange a use
of the like words, "to persuade God," Antiq. B. VI. ch. 5. sect. 6.

[18] That is, Moses really was, what the heathen legislators pretended
to be, under a Divine direction; nor does it yet appear that these
pretensions to a supernatural conduct, either in these legislators or
oracles, were mere delusions of men without any demoniacal impressions,
nor that Josephus took them so to be; as the ancientest and contemporary
authors did still believe them to be supernatural.

[19] This whole very large passage is corrected by Dr. Hudson from
Eusebius's citation of it, Prep. Evangel. viii. 8, which is here not a
little different from the present MSS. of Josephus.

[20] This expression itself, that "Moses ordained the Jewish government
to be a theocracy," may be illustrated by that parallel expression in
the Antiquities, B. III. ch. 8. sect. 9, that "Moses left it to God to
be present at his sacrifices when he pleased; and when he pleased, to
be absent." Both ways of speaking sound harsh in the ears of Jews and
Christians, as do several others which Josephus uses to the heathens;
but still they were not very improper in him, when he all along thought
fit to accommodate himself, both in his Antiquities, and in these his
books against Apion, all written for the use of the Greeks and Romans,
to their notions and language, and this as far as ever truth would give
him leave. Though it be very observable withal, that he never uses such
expressions in his books of the War, written originally for the Jews
beyond Euphrates, and in their language, in all these cases. However,
Josephus directly supposes the Jewish settlement, under Moses, to be a
Divine settlement, and indeed no other than a real theocracy.

[21] These excellent accounts of the Divine attributes, and that God
is not to be at all known in his essence, as also some other clear
expressions about the resurrection of the dead, and the state of
departed souls, etc., in this late work of Josephus, look more like the
exalted notions of the Essens, or rather Ebionite Christians, than those
of a mere Jew or Pharisee. The following large accounts also of the laws
of Moses, seem to me to show a regard to the higher interpretations and
improvements of Moses's laws, derived from Jesus Christ, than to the
bare letter of them in the Old Testament, whence alone Josephus took
them when he wrote his Antiquities; nor, as I think, can some of these
laws, though generally excellent in their kind, be properly now found
either in the copies of the Jewish Pentateuch, or in Philo, or in
Josephus himself, before he became a Nazarene or Ebionite Christian; nor
even all of them among the laws of catholic Christianity themselves. I
desire, therefore, the learned reader to consider, whether some of these
improvements or interpretations might not be peculiar to the Essens
among the Jews, or rather to the Nazarenes or Ebionites among the
Christians, though we have indeed but imperfect accounts of those
Nazarenes or Ebionite Christians transmitted down to us at this day.

[22] We may here observe how known a thing it was among the Jews and
heathens, in this and many other instances, that sacrifices were still
accompanied with prayers; whence most probably came those phrases of
"the sacrifice of prayer, the sacrifice of praise, the sacrifice of
thanksgiving." However, those ancient forms used at sacrifices are now
generally lost, to the no small damage of true religion. It is here also
exceeding remarkable, that although the temple at Jerusalem was built
as the only place where the whole nation of the Jews were to offer their
sacrifices, yet is there no mention of the "sacrifices" themselves, but
of "prayers" only, in Solomon's long and famous form of devotion at its
dedication, 1 Kings 8.; 2 Chronicles 6. See also many passages cited in
the Apostolical Constitutions, VII. 37, and Of the War, above, B. VII.
ch. 5. sect. 6.

[23] This text is no where in our present copies of the Old Testament.

[24] It may not be amiss to set down here a very remarkable testimony
of the great philosopher Cicero, as to the preference of "laws to
philosophy:--I will," says he, "boldly declare my opinion, though the
whole world be offended at it. I prefer this little book of the Twelve
Tables alone to all the volumes of the philosophers. I find it to be not
only of more weight,' but also much more useful."--Oratore.

[25] we have observed our times of rest, and sorts of food allowed us
[during our distresses].

[26] See what those novel oaths were in Dr. Hudson's note, viz. to
swear by an oak, by a goat, and by a dog, as also by a gander, as say
Philostratus and others. This swearing strange oaths was also forbidden
by the Tyrians, B. I. sect. 22, as Spanheim here notes.

[27] Why Josephus here should blame some heathen legislators, when they
allowed so easy a composition for simple fornication, as an obligation
to marry the virgin that was corrupted, is hard to say, seeing he had
himself truly informed us that it was a law of the Jews, Antiq. B.
IV. ch. 8. sect. 23, as it is the law of Christianity also: see Horeb
Covenant, p. 61. I am almost ready to suspect that, for, we should here
read, and that corrupting wedlock, or other men's wives, is the crime
for which these heathens wickedly allowed this composition in money.

[28] Or "for corrupting other men's wives the same allowance."

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