Eusebius of Caesarea: Praeparatio Evangelica (Preparation for the Gospel). Tr. E.H. Gifford (1903) -- Book 9
I. The Greek historians who mentioned the Jewish nation p. 403 b
II. Theophrastus concerning the Jews, from Porphyry On Abstinence from Animal Food, Bk. i p. 404 a
III. Porphyry on the illustrious philosophy of the Jews in ancient times p. 404 c
IV. Hecataeus concerning the Jews p. 408 a
V. Clearchus on the same, from Bk. i, On Sleep p. 409 b
VI. Clement, Strom. i, concerning those who have mentioned the Jewish nation. p. 410 b
VII. Numenius the Pythagorean philosopher concerning the Jews, from Bk. i, On the Good p. 411 b
VIII. The same concerning Moses and the Jews, from Bk. iii, On the Good p. 411 d
IX. Choerilus the poet concerning the Jews p. 412 a
X. Oracles of Apollo concerning the Hebrews, from the works of our contemporary Porphyry p. 412 d
XI. The foreign historians who mentioned the Flood described by Moses, from Josephus, Antiquities, Bk. i p. 414 a
XII. Concerning the Flood, from the writings of Abydenus p. 414d
XIII. The long life of the ancients mentioned by many authors, from Josephus, Antiquities p. 415 b
XIV. On the building of the Tower, from Abydenus p. 416 a
XV. Mention of the same by many others, from Josephus, Antiquities p. 416 d
XVI. On Abraham the forefather of all the Hebrews, from the same p. 417 a
XVII. Eupolemus concerning Abraham, from the work of Alexander Polyhistor On the Jews p. 418 c
XVIII. Artapanus on the same, from the same work of Polyhistor p. 420 a
XIX. Molon on the same, from the same work p. 420 d
XX. Philo on the same p. 421 c
XXI. Demetrius concerning Jacob p. 422 d
XXII. Theodotus concerning the same p. 426 b
XXIII. Artapanus concerning Joseph p. 429 b
XXIV. Philo concerning Joseph p. 430 b
XXV. Aristeas concerning Job p. 430 d
XXVI. Eupolemus concerning Moses p. 431 c
XXVII. Artapanus concerning the same p. 431 d
XXVIII. Ezekiel concerning the same p. 436 d
XXIX. Demetrius concerning the same p 439 b
XXX. Eupolemus concerning David and Solomon and Jerusalem p. 447 a
XXXI. Letter of Solomon to Vaphres, King of Egypt p. 448 a
XXXII. Letter of Vaphres to King Solomon p. 448 b
XXXIII. Letter of Solomon to Suron (Hiram), King of Phoenicia p. 448 d
XXXIV. Letter of Suron to Solomon p. 449 b
XXXV. Timochares concerning Jerusalem p. 452 b
XXXVI. The Author of The Metrical Survey of Syria on the same p. 452 d
XXXVII. Philo concerning the waters of Jerusalem p. 452 d
XXXVIII. Aristeas concerning the same p. 453 c
XXXIX. Eupolemus concerning the prophet Jeremiah p. 454 b
XL. Berossus on the Captivity of the Jews by Nabuchodonosor p. 455 b
XLI. Abydenus concerning Nabuchodonosor p. 456 d
XLII. Josephus concerning the authors who have mentioned the Jewish nation p. 458 b
Now since we have surveyed the proofs that our acceptance of the Hebrew oracles has not been made without just reasoning, but with carefully tested judgement and thought, it is time to observe that the most illustrious of the Greeks themselves have not been unacquainted with the affairs of the Hebrews; but some of them testified to the truth of the historical narratives current among them as well as to their mode of life, while others treated doctrinal theology also in the same manner as they did.
I will bring forward in the first place the subjects which naturally come first, showing how many of the Greek historians have mentioned by name both Jews and Hebrews, and the philosophy anciently taught and practised among them, as well as the history of their forefathers from the earliest times.
And I shall begin my account with their mode of life, so as to teach you that it is not without sober reasoning that we have preferred their philosophy to that of the Greeks.
At all events not only their own sacred books, but also the most illustrious of the Greek philosophers, famous even in our own day, bear witness that the duties of practical morality are performed by them in accordance with the rules which have been already examined in the preceding Book. So now take and read the statements of Theophrastus contained in the writings of Porphyry On Abstinence from Animal Food, as follows:
[PORPHYRY] 1 'NEVERTHELESS,' says Theophrastus, 'though the Syrians [of Judaea], because of their original mode of sacrifice, continue to offer animal sacrifices at the present time, if any one were to bid us sacrifice in the same way, we should revolt from the practice. For instead of feasting upon what had been sacrificed, they made a whole burnt-offering of it by night, and by pouring much honey and wine over it they consumed the sacrifice more quickly, in order that even the all-seeing sun might not be a spectator of the dreadful deed.
'And while doing this they fast throughout the intermediate days; and all this time, as being a nation of philosophers, they converse with one another about the Deity, and at night they contemplate the heavenly bodies, looking up to them, and calling upon God in prayers. For these were the first to dedicate both the other animals, and themselves, which last they did from necessity and not from any desire.'
ALSO in the fourth book of the same treatise Porphyry narrates concerning the same people such things as the following:
[PORPHYRY] 2 'The Essenes then are Jews by birth, but united among themselves even more closely than the rest of the Jews.
'They abhor pleasures as wickedness, and regard self-control and resistance to the passions as virtue. Marriage they disdain for themselves, but choose the sons of others while still easily moulded towards learning; and regarding them as their kindred, impress them with their own moral dispositions: thus without destroying marriage, and the succession of the race thereby produced, they guard themselves against the wantonness of women.
'They despise riches, and there is among them a wonderful community of goods, so that it is impossible to find any one exceeding others in wealth. For they have a law that those who eater the sect give up their substance to the common fund of the order, so that among them all there is seen neither humiliation of poverty nor excess of wealth; but every one's possessions being mixed up together, they all have one property like brothers.
'Oil they consider a defilement, and if any one be anointed against his will, he has his body wiped: for they think it becoming to have a dry skin, and always to wear white.
'The superintendents of their common interests are elected, and they are severally chosen for their offices by the whole body. They have no one city of their own, but a number of them make their abode in each city, and their means are mutually thrown open to those of the sect who have come from elsewhere; and they are received as familiar friends by those whom they have never seen before: for which reason when they travel they bring nothing with them for expenses.
'They change neither robe nor sandals before they are altogether ragged, or worn out by time. They neither buy nor sell anything, but each gives what he has himself to the man that wants it, and receives from him in return what is useful to him: and even without this return there is no hindrance to their getting a share from whomsoever they will.
'With regard to the Deity, however, their piety is of a peculiar kind. For they utter no common words before the sun has risen, but address to him certain prayers handed down by their fathers, as if entreating him to rise. After this they are dismissed by the superintendents to the crafts known to each, and after working vigorously till the fifth hour they then assemble again in one place, and having girded themselves with loin-cloths, so proceed to wash their body with cold water.
'After this purification they meet in a building of their own, in which none of another sect is permitted to join them; but being themselves purified, they come into the dining-room as if entering some holy place. And when they have quietly taken their seats, the baker sets loaves in a row before them, and the cook sets before each a single dish of one kind of meat. Then the priest first says a prayer over the food, as being pure and clean, and it is unlawful for any to taste the food before the prayer. And when they have finished the meal he again offers a prayer, and thus they honour God both at the beginning and at the end.
'Then they lay aside their robes as holy, and turn to work again till evening; when they come back and sup in like manner, the guests sitting down with them, if there happen to be any present.
'And neither clamour nor tumult ever profanes their house, but in conversation they give way in turn to each other; and to those outside the silence of those within seems like some awful mystery. The cause of this is their constant sobriety, and their limitation of food and drink to the satisfying of hunger.
'To those who desire to join the sect admission is not immediately granted, but for the space of a year while one remains outside they prescribe the same mode of life, and give him a shovel, an apron, and a white robe. And when in this period he has given proof of self-control, he approaches more nearly to their mode of life, and partakes of the purer waters for ablution.
'He is not, however, admitted as yet to the life of the community. For after the proof of his endurance his moral disposition is tested by two more years, and, if found worthy, he is then enrolled in their company.
'But before he touches the common food, they make him swear tremendous oaths: first that he will reverently worship God, then that he will observe justice towards men, and will harm no man either of his own will or under command, but will always hate the unjust and succour the righteous; that he will show fidelity to all, but especially to those in power, for it is not without God's will that the government is acquired by any man: also that, if he be himself a ruler, he will never be insolent in using his authority, nor outshine his subjects in dress or any excessive adornment: that he will always love the truth, and expose liars; keep his hands clear of theft, and his soul of unholy gain; and will neither hide anything from the members of the sect, nor disclose any secret of theirs to others, though any one should press him by violence even unto death.
'In addition to this, he swears that to no one will he impart their doctrines otherwise than he himself received them, and will abstain from, robbery, and will guard with equal care the books of their sect, and the names of the angels.
'Such are the oaths; and those who are found guilty and expelled, perish by a miserable fate. For being bound by their oaths and by their customs, they cannot partake of the food which other men have, but eating grass and wasting away by famine, they thus perish. So for this reason they have taken compassion upon many in the extremity of their distress, and received them back, considering that they had suffered punishment enough for their offences in being thus tortured to death.
'The shovel they give to those who intend to be members of the sect, because they do not themselves sit down without having dug a trench a foot deep, and covered themselves with their cloak, so as not to insult the eyes of God. And so great is their simplicity and sparingness in regard to food, that they do not need to ease nature on the seventh day, which they are accustomed to keep for singing hymns to God and for rest.
'From this asceticism they have acquired so great endurance, that though they be racked and wrenched and burned, and pass through all the instruments of torture, in order to make them blaspheme their Lawgiver, or eat some unaccustomed food, they cannot endure to do either.
'And this they clearly showed in the war against the Romans: since they cannot endure either to fawn on their tormentors, or to shed tears, but smiling in the midst of their pains, and bantering those who applied the tortures, they cheerfully gave up their lives with the hope of receiving them again. For indeed this opinion is firmly fixed among them, that though their bodies are perishable, and their material substance not lasting, their souls remain for ever immortal; and coming from the subtlest ether, drawn down by some natural force, they become entangled with the body, but when they are released from the bonds of the flesh they then rejoice, as if delivered from long bondage, and are borne up aloft.
'From such a mode of life then, and from their training in truth and piety, there are naturally many among them, who even foreknow the tilings to come, as being brought up among sacred books, and various purifications and utterances of the prophets: and they seldom, if ever, go wrong in their predictions.'
This was the testimony of Porphyry, drawn probably from ancient records, both to the piety and the philosophy of the persons aforesaid, in the fourth book of his careful work On Abstinence from Animal Food.
BUT Hecataeus of Abdera, who was both a philosopher and very competent in active life, devoted a special book to the history of the Jews, and gives very many details concerning them, from which it will for the present suffice to quote the following:
[JOSEPHUS] 3 'For most of the strongholds and villages in the country belong to the Jews; and one strong city Jerusalem, about fifty furlongs in circumference, which is inhabited by about a hundred and twenty thousand men, and is called Hierosolyma.
'And here about the middle of the city is a stone enclosure, about five hundred feet in length, and a hundred cubits wide, with two gates: and herein is a square altar, of unhewn stones collected and just put together in a rough state, twenty cubits long on each side, and the height ten cubits.
'And beside it is a large building, wherein, is an altar and a candlestick, both of gold, two talents in weight: and upon these is a light which is never extinguished either day or night. But there is no image nor any votive offering at all, nor any plant, absolutely nothing of the nature of a grove or anything of this kind. 'And there arc priests who pass both their nights and days in the temple, performing certain purifications, and never drinking any wine while there.'
After these statements, lower down:
'He has borne witness that they also served in the army of king Alexander, and afterwards of his successors. And I will quote what he says was done by a Jew in the expedition when he was himself present: he speaks as follows:
'When therefore I was marching towards the Red Sea, among the other Jewish horsemen who escorted us, we were accompanied by a man named Mosollam, a person of great spirit, and good strength, and acknowledged by all to be the best archer among either the Greeks or Barbarians.
'So while many were marching along the road, and a certain soothsayer was taking auguries, and requiring all to halt, this man asked what they were waiting for. And when the soothsayer showed him the bird, and said, that if it remained in the same place, it was expedient for all to halt, but if it rose and flew forward, they should advance, and if it flew back, they must retire again, then this man made no reply, but drew his bow and shot, and hit the bird and killed it.
'And when the soothsayer and some others were indignant and began to curse him, he said, Why are ye so mad, unhappy men? Then taking the bird into his hands, he said, For how could this bird, which could not foresee how to save itself, have given us any sound information concerning our march? For had it been able to foreknow what would happen, it would not have come to this place, for fear lest Mosollam the Jew should shoot at and kill it. These are the statements of Hecataeus.'
[JOSEPHUS] 4 'BUT Clearchus the Peripatetic philosopher, in his first book Concerning Sleep, attributes to Aristotle the philosopher a statement such as follows concerning the Jews, writing word for word thus:
'But though it would be too long to tell the greater part, it will not be amiss to go through those of his statements which are alike marvellous and philosophical. Now, said he, understand clearly, Hyperochides, I shall seem to you to relate what is as marvellous as dreams. Then Hyperochides modestly replied, Yes, that is the very reason why we all desire to hear it.
'Well then, said Aristotle, according to the rule of the rhetoricians, let us first describe the man's origin, that we may not disobey the teachers of the narrative style.
'Tell it so, if you please, said Hyperochides.
'Well then, the man was by origin a Jew, from Coele-Syria. Now these are descendants of the philosophers of India; and philosophers, it is said, are called among the Indians Calani, but among the Syrians they are called Judaeans, having taken their name from the place. For the place which they inhabit is called Judaea: and the name of their city is very awkward, for they call it Hierusalem.
'This man then, who was hospitably entertained by many on his way down from the inland districts to the sea-coasts, was Greek not only in language but also in spirit. And as at that time we were dwelling in Asia, the man having landed in the same neighbourhood fell into conversation with us and some others of the studious sort, to make trial of their wisdom. And as he had lived in intimacy with many of the learned, he imparted somewhat more than he received.'
Such is the story of Clearchus.
THIS man is mentioned also by our Clement in his first Miscellany, in what he says as follows:
[CLEMENT] 5 'Clearchus the Peripatetic says that he knew a Jew who associated with Aristotle.'
And afterwards he adds:
'But Numa the king of the Romans, though he was a Pythagorean, received benefit from the teaching of Moses, and forbade the Romans to make an image of God in the shape of man or any animal. So in the first hundred and seventy years, though they built themselves temples, they made no image, neither in sculpture nor yet in painting.
'For Numa used to teach them in secret, that it was not possible for the Perfect Good to be reached by language, but only by the mind.'
Further than this, in what follows below, he speaks thus: 6
'But most plainly does Megasthenes, the historian who lived with Seleucus Nicator, write as follows in his third book On Indian Affairs.
'All that has been said about nature among the ancients is said also among the philosophers outside Greece, partly among the Indians by the Brachmans, and partly in Syria by those who are called Jews.'
Besides this Clement also mentions Aristobulus the Peripatetic and Numenius the Pythagorean, saying: 7
'Aristobulus, in his first book addressed to Philometor, writes in these words: Plato too has followed our legislation, and has evidently studied carefully the several precepts contained in it.
'And others before Demetrius, and prior to the supremacy of Alexander and of the Persians, have translated both the narrative of the Exodus of our fellow countrymen the Hebrews from Egypt, and the fame of all that happened to them, and their conquest of the land, and the exposition of the whole Law.
'So it is perfectly clear that the philosopher before-mentioned has borrowed much, for he is very learned; as also was Pythagoras, who transferred many of our precepts into his own system of doctrines.
'And Numenius, the Pythagorean philosopher, writes expressly: "For what is Plato, but Moses speaking in Attic Greek?" '
So far Clement.
ALSO from the Pythagorean philosopher himself, I mean Numenius, I will quote as follows from his first book On the Good:
[NUMENIUS] 8 'But when one has spoken upon this point, and sealed it by the testimonies of Plato, it will be necessary to go back and connect it with the precepts of Pythagoras, and to appeal to the nations of good repute, bringing forward their rites and doctrines, and their institutions which are formed in agreement with those of Plato, all that the Brachmans, and Jews, and Magi, and Egyptians arranged.'
So much then on these points.
ALSO in his third book the same author makes mention of Moses, speaking as follows: 9
'And next in order came Jannes and Jambres, Egyptian sacred scribes, men judged to have no superiors in the practice of magic, at the time when the Jews were being driven out of Egypt.
'So then these were the men chosen by the people of Egypt as fit to stand beside Musaeus, who led forth the Jews, a man who was most powerful in prayer to God; and of the plagues which Musaeus brought upon Egypt, these men showed themselves able to disperse the most violent.'
Now by these words Numenius bears witness both to the marvellous wonders performed by Moses, and to Moses himself as having been beloved of God.
[JOSEPHUS] 10 'CHOERILUS also, an ancient poet, has mentioned the Jewish nation, and how they served with king Xerxes in his expedition against Greece. And thus he speaks:
"Next passed a nation wondrous to behold,
Whose lips pronounced the strange Phoenician tongue;
Upon the hills of Solyma they dwelt
By the broad inland sea. Rough and unkempt
Their close-cropped hair, and on their heads they wore
The smoke-dried skin flayed from a horse's face."
'Now that he spake this concerning Jews is evident from the fact that Hierosolyma lies on the mountains called by the Greeks Solyma, and that near it is the Asphaltic lake, which is very broad as the poet says, and larger than any of the lakes in Syria.'
Such then is this man's testimony.
BUT Porphyry, in the first book of his Philosophy from Oracles, introduces his own god as himself bearing witness to the wisdom of the Hebrew race as well as of the other nations renowned for intelligence.
It is his Apollo who speaks as follows in an oracle which he is uttering; and while still explaining the subject of sacrifices, he adds words which are well worthy of attention, as being full of all divine knowledge:
[PORPHYRY] 'Steep is the road and rough that leads to heaven,
Entered at first through portals bound with brass.
Within are found innumerable paths,
Which for the endless good of all mankind
They first revealed, who Nile's sweet waters drink.
From them the heavenward paths Phoenicia learned,
Assyria, Lydia, and the Hebrew race:' 11
and so forth: on which the author further remarks:
'For the road to the gods is bound with brass, and both steep and rough; the barbarians discovered many paths thereof, but the Greeks went astray, and those who already held it even perverted it. The discovery was ascribed by the god to Egyptians, Phoenicians, Chaldeans (for these are the Assyrians), Lydians, and Hebrews.
'In addition to this Apollo also says in another oracle:
"Only Chaldees and Hebrews wisdom found
In the pure worship of a self-born God." 12
'And being asked again, for what reason men speak of many heavens, he gave the following response:
"One circle girds the world on every side,
In seven zones rising to the starlit paths:
These, in their sevenfold orbits as they roll,
Chaldees and far-famed Hebrews 'heavens' surnamed."'
"With regard then to the name Jews and Hebrews, and their religion and philosophy of old renown, let these extracts suffice: but concerning their ancestral history observe how many writers have agreed.
Moses, in his ancient history of the whole world, had given an account of a deluge, and how he whom the Hebrews call Noe was preserved with his family in an ark made of wood; and Josephus, in the first book of his Antiquities, sets forth in the following manner how the historical writers. Berossus the Chaldee, and Hieronymus the Egyptian, and Nicolaus of Damascus, make mention of the same things.
[JOSEPHUS] 13 'THIS deluge and the ark are mentioned by all who have written histories of the Barbarians, among whom is Berossus the Chaldean. For in narrating the circumstances of the flood, he describes it thus:
'It is said that there is still a portion of the vessel in Armenia near the mountain of the Cordyaei, and that persons scrape off and carry away some of the pitch. And the people use what they carry away chiefly for charms to avert misfortunes.
'This is mentioned also by Hieronymus the Egyptian, who wrote The Archaeology of Phoenicia, and by Mnaseas, and several others. Nicolaus also of Damascus gives an account of them in his ninety-sixth book, speaking thus: There is above Minyas a great mountain in Armenia called Baris, to which, as the story goes, many fled for refuge at the time of the deluge and were saved; and a certain man borne on an ark landed on the top of the mountain, and the remains of the timbers were preserved for a long time. Now this must be the same of whom Moses, the Lawgiver of the Jews, wrote.'
So writes Josephus.
BUT after mentioning the Median and Assyrian records from the work of Abydenus, I will set before you his statements concerning this same story, as follows:
[ABYDENUS] 14 'After him reigned among others Sisithrus, to whom Kronos foretold that there would be a great rain on the fifteenth day of Desius, and commanded him to hide everything connected with literature at Heliopolis in the country of the Sippari.
'And when Sisithrus had accomplished this, he straightway sailed up towards Armenia, and immediately what God had predicted overtook him. But on the third day, when the rain had abated, he proceeded to let loose some of the birds, to try whether they saw land anywhere that had emerged from the water.
'But as they were met by a vast unbroken ocean, and were at a loss where to find a haven, they came safe back to Sisithrus, and others after them did the same.
'But when he was successful with the third set, for they came back with their feet full of mud, the gods removed him from men's sight: but in Armenia the ship supplied the people of the country with wooden amulets as antidotes to poison.'
These then are his statements.
BUT again, as Moses asserted that the first generations of mankind had been long-lived, Josephus brings forward the Greek writers as witnesses of this statement also, speaking as follows:
[JOSEPHUS] 15 'From comparing the life of the men of old with the life now, and the short years that we live, let no one suppose that the statements concerning the former are false, inferring that they did not attain to that length of life from the fact that men do not now extend the time of their life so long.
'For as they were beloved of God, and created by God Himself, and as their kinds of food were better fitted for a longer continuance, it was natural for them to live so many years.
'Further, God may have granted them a longer life on account of their virtue, and the usefulness of the arts which they invented, astronomy and geometry, things which they could not have announced with certainty, had they not lived at least six hundred years, for by that number the great year is completed.
'And the truth of my argument is testified by all who have written on ancient history among Greeks and Barbarians. For both Manetho who recorded the Egyptian History, and Berossus who collected the Chaldean annals, and Molos, and Hestiaeus, and in addition to them the Egyptian Hieronymus, and the compilers of Phoenician history, agree with what I say. Hesiod too, and Hecataeus, and Hellanicus, and Acusilaus, and besides these Ephorus and Nicolaus record that the ancients lived a thousand years. So on these matters let men speculate each as it may please him.'
AGAIN, whereas Moses wrote an account of the building of the tower, and how from one language men passed into the confusion of many dialects, the author just before mentioned, in his work entitled Of Assyrian History, bears the like testimony, speaking as follows:
[ABYDENUS] 16 'But there are some who say that the men who first arose out of the earth, being puffed up by their strength and great stature, and proudly thinking that they were better than the gods, raised a huge tower, where Babylon now stands: and when they were already nearer to heaven, the winds came to the help of the gods, and overthrew their structure upon them, the ruins of which were called Babylon. And being up to that time of one tongue, they received from the gods a confused language; and afterwards war arose between Cronos and Titan.
[JOSEPHUS] 17 'And the place in which they built the tower is now called Babylon, because of the confusion of what at first was clear in their language. For the Hebrews call confusion "Babel." '
'THE Sibyl also mentions this tower and the diversity of language among mankind, speaking thus: 18
'"When all mankind were of one language, some built a very lofty tower, intending by it to mount up to heaven. But the gods sent winds against the tower and overthrew it, and gave to each man a peculiar language, and for this reason it came to pass that the city was called Babylon." And the plain which is called Sennaar in the country of Babylonia is mentioned by Hestiaeus, who speaks thus: "But those of the priests who escaped took the sacred things of Zeus Enyalios, and came to Sennaar in Babylonia: afterwards they were scattered thence, and everywhere formed their communities from speaking the same language, and took possession of the land which each lighted upon."'
AGAIN, as Moses has set forth at large the history of Abraham the forefather of the Hebrews, Josephus says that the foreign historians also bear witness to him, writing as follows:
[JOSEPHUS] 19 'Berossus mentions our father Abraham, not by name, but in these terms: "In the tenth generation after the flood there was among the Chaldeans a righteous and great man, experienced also in heavenly things."
'But Hecataeus has done something more than mentioning him; for he left behind him a book which he had composed concerning him.
'And Nicolaus Damascenus, in the fourth book of his Histories, speaks thus:20 "Abraham was king of Damascus, having come as a stranger with an army from the land which lies beyond Babylon, called Chaldaea. But after no long time he removed from this country also, and migrated with his own people into what was then called Canaan, but now Judaea, and so did afterwards the multitude of his descendants, concerning whom I shall relate in another discourse what is recorded in history. Even now the name of Abraham is glorified in the district of Damascus, and a village is pointed out which is called from him the Habitation of Abraham."
'When in later times a famine had fallen upon the land of Canaan, Abraham having been informed that the Egyptians were in prosperity was eager to cross over to them, both to partake of their abundance, and to be a hearer of their priests, to learn what they said about the gods; intending either to follow them, if they were found superior, or to bring them over to the better belief, if his own opinions were preferable.'
Then next he adds:
'And he associated with the most learned of the Egyptians, and the result was that his virtue and his consequent reputation became more illustrious from this cause.
'For whereas the Egyptians delight in different customs, and disparage one another's usages, and are for this reason ill-disposed towards each other, he by conferring with them severally, and discussing the arguments which they used in defence of their own practices, proved them to be empty and devoid of all truth.
'Being therefore admired by them in their conferences as a very wise man, and strong not only in intelligence but also in persuasive speech on whatever subjects he undertook to teach, he freely imparts to them the science of arithmetic, and also communicates to them the facts of astronomy. For before Abraham's arrival the Egyptians were ignorant of these subjects; for they passed from the Chaldees into Egypt, and thence came also to the Greeks.'
So writes Josephus.
AND with this agrees also Alexander Polyhistor, a man of great intellect and much learning, and very well known to those Greeks who have gathered the fruits of education in no perfunctory manner: for in his compilation, Concerning the Jews, he records the history of this man Abraham in the following manner word for word:
[ALEXANDER POLYHISTOR] 21 'Eupolemus in his book Concerning the Jews of Assyria says that the city Babylon was first founded by those who escaped from the Deluge; and that they were giants, and built the tower renowned in history.
'But when this had been overthrown by the act of God, the giants were dispersed over the whole earth. And in the tenth generation, he says, in Camarina a city of Babylonia, which some call the city Uria (and which is by interpretation the city of the Chaldees), + in the thirteenth generation + Abraham was born, who surpassed all men in nobility and wisdom, who was also the inventor of astronomy and the Chaldaic art, and pleased God well by his zeal towards religion.
'By reason of God's commands this man came and dwelt in Phoenicia, and pleased their king by teaching the Phoenicians the changes of the sun and moon and all things of that kind. And afterwards the Armenians invaded the Phoenicians; and when they had been victorious, and had taken his nephew prisoner, Abraham came to the rescue with his servants, and prevailed over the captors, and made prisoners of the wives and children of the enemy.
'And when there came to him ambassadors asking that he would ransom them for money, he did not choose to trample upon the unfortunate, but on receiving food for his young men restored the booty; he was also admitted as a guest into the temple of the city called Argarizin, which being interpreted is "Mount of the Most High," and received gifts from Melchizedek, who was the king, and the priest of God.
'But when there came a famine Abraham removed into Egypt with all his household, and dwelt there, and the king of Egypt took his wife in marriage, Abraham having said that she was his sister.
'He also related fully that the king was unable to consort with her, and that it came to pass that his people and his household were perishing. And when he had called for the soothsayers, they said that the woman was not a widow; and thus the king of Egypt learned that she was Abraham's wife, and gave her back to her husband.
'And Abraham dwelt with the Egyptian priests in Heliopolis and taught them many things; and it was he who introduced astronomy and the other sciences to them, saying that the Babylonians and himself had found these things out, but tracing back the first discovery to Enoch, and saying that he, and not the Egyptians, had first invented astrology.
'For the Babylonians say that the first man was Belus, who is Kronos; and that of him was born a son Belus, and Chanaan; and that this Chanaan begat the father of the Phoenicians, and that his son was Churn, who is called by the Greeks Asbolus, and is father of the Aethiopians, and a brother of Mestraim the father of the Egyptians. But the Greeks say that Atlas invented astrology, and that Atlas is the same as Enoch: and that Enoch had a son Methuselah, who learned all things through angels of God, and thus we gained our knowledge.'
'ARTABANUS in his Jewish History says that the Jews were called Ermiuth, which when interpreted after the Greek language means Judaeans, and that they were called Hebrews from Abraham. And he, they say, came with all his household into Egypt, to Pharethothes the king of the Egyptians, and taught him astrology; and after remaining there twenty years, removed back again into the regions of Syria: but that many of those who had come with him remained in Egypt because of the prosperity of the country.
'In certain anonymous works, however, we found that Abraham traced Lack his origin to the giants, and that they dwelling in Babylonia were destroyed by the gods for their impiety; but that one of them, named Belus, escaped death and settled in Babylon, and lived in a tower which he had built, and which was called Belus from the Belus who built it: and that Abraham having been instructed in the science of astrology came first into Phoenicia, and taught astrology to the Phoenicians, and afterwards passed on into Egypt.'
'BUT Molon, the author of the collection Against the Jews, says that at the time of the Deluge the man who survived departed from Armenia with his sons, being driven out of his home by the people of the land; and after crossing the intermediate country came into the mountain-district of Syria which was uninhabited.
'After three generations Abraham was born, whose name is by interpretation "Father's friend," and that he became a wise man, and travelled through the desert. And having taken two wives, the one of his own country and kindred, and the other an Egyptian handmaiden, he begat by the Egyptian twelve sons, who went off into Arabia and divided the land among them, and were the first who reigned over the people of the country: from which circumstance there are even in our own day twelve kings of the Arabians, bearing the same names as the first.
'But by his lawful wife he had one son, whose name in Greek is Ge/lwj, "laughter." Abraham died of old age, but Gelos and a wife of his own country had eleven sons, and a twelfth, Joseph, and Moses was in the third generation from him.'
So much says Polyhistor; and to this he adds, after some sentences, what follows:
'But not long after God commanded Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a whole burnt-offering to Him. And he led his son up to the mountain, and heaped up a pyre, and set Isaac thereon; but when about to slay him he was forbidden by an Angel, who provided him with a ram for the offering: and Abraham took down his son from the pyre, and offered the ram.'
'PHILO also speaks of this in the first book of his work Concerning Jerusalem: 22
[PHILO] " 1Ekluon a)rxego&noisi to_ muri/on w#j pote qesmoi=j
'Abraa_m klutohxe\j u(pe/rteron a3mmati desmw~n
pamfae/j, plh&mmure, megauxhtoi=si logismoi=j,
qeiofilh~ qe/lghtra. Lipo&nti ga_r a)glao_n e3rkoj
ai0nofu&twn, e1kkauma brih&puoj ai0neto_j i1sxwn,
a)qa&naton poi/hsen e9h_n fa&tin, e0c o3t' e0kei/nou
e1kgonoj ai)nogo&noio polu&mnion e1llaxe ku~doj."
and the rest: to which after a few lines he adds:
" 'Arti/xeroj qhktoi=o cifhfo&ron e0ntu&nontoj
lh&mmati, kai\ sfara&goio paraklido_n a)qroisqe/ntoj,
a)ll' o( me_n e)n xei/ressi kerasfo&ron w!pase krio&n."
and the rest that follows this.'
This then from the fore-mentioned work of Polyhistor. But Josephus also in the first book of his Antiquities mentions the same author in the following passage:
[JOSEPHUS] 23 'Now it is said that this Afren made an expedition into Libya and subdued it; and his grandsons having settled there called the land Africa after his name.
'And my statement is confirmed by Alexander Polyhistor, who speaks thus:
'"But Cleodemus the prophet, who is also called Malchas, in narrating the history of the Jews even as Moses their Lawgiver has narrated it, says that by Chettura Abraham had many sons: and he also mentions their names, calling three of them Afer, Assur, and Afran.
'And from Assur Assyria was named; and from the other two, Afra and Afer, a city Afra and the country Africa. And these, he says, joined Hercules in his expedition against Libya and Antaeus: and Hercules having married the daughter of Afra begat of her a son Diodorus. And of him was born Sophonas, from whom the barbarian Sophae are called." '
Let it suffice then that the story of Abraham is briefly set forth in these quotations.
Now let us return to Polyhistor.
[ALEXANDER POLYHISTOR] 24 'Demetrius says that when Jacob was seventy (seven) years old he fled to Charran in Mesopotamia, having been sent away by his parents on account of the secret enmity with his brother Esau (the cause of which was that his father had blessed him thinking that he was Esau), and also in order that he might take a wife from that country.
'Jacob therefore set out for Charran in Mesopotamia, having left his father Isaac a hundred and thirty-seven years of age, and being himself seventy-seven years old.
'So after spending seven years there he married two daughters of his uncle Laban, Leah and Rachel, when he was eighty-four years old: and in seven years more there were born to him twelve sons; in the eighth year and tenth month Reuben, and in the ninth year and eighth month Symeon, and in the tenth year and sixth month Levi, and in the eleventh year and fourth month Judah. And as Rachel did not bear she became envious of her sister, and gave her own handmaid Zilpah to be Jacob's concubine, at which same time Bilhah conceived Nephthalim, in the eleventh year and fifth month, and bare a son in the twelfth year and second month, and Leah called him Gad: and of the same mother in the same year and twelfth month he begat another son, who was also named by Leah Asher.
'And in return for the mandrake apples, which Reuben brought ia and gave to Rachel, Leah again conceived in her womb, and her handmaid Zilpah at the same time, in the twelfth year and third month, and bare a son in the same year and twelfth month, and called his name Issachar.
'And again Leah bare another son in the thirteenth year and tenth month, and his name was Zabulon; and the same Leah bare a son named Dan in the fourteenth year and eighth month. And at the same time when Leah bare a daughter Dinah, Rachel also conceived in her womb, and in the fourteenth year and eighth month bare a son, who was named Joseph, so that in the seven years spent with Laban there were born twelve children.
'But when Jacob wished to go back to his father in Canaan, he was requested by Laban to stay six years more, so that in all he abode twenty years with Laban in Charran.
'And when he was on his way to Canaan an Angel of the Lord wrestled with him, and touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh, and he was benumbed and went lame: wherefore the sinew on the thigh of cattle is not eaten. And the Angel said to him, that henceforth he should no longer be called Jacob but Israel.
'And he came to another city of the land of Canaan called Sikima, having with him his children, Reuben twelve years and two months old, Symeon eleven years and four months, Levi ten years and six months, Judah nine years and eight months, Nephthalim eight years and ten months, Gad eight years and ten months, Asher eight years, Issachar eight years, Zabulon seven years and two months, Dinah six years and four months, Joseph six years and four months.
'Now Israel dwelt beside Emmor ten years; and Israel's daughter Dinah was defiled by Sychem the son of Emmor, she being sixteen years and four months old. And Israel's sons Symeon being twenty-one years and four months old, and Levi twenty years and six months, rushed forth and slew both Emmor and his son Sychem, and all their males, because of the defilement of Dinah: and at that time Jacob was a hundred and seven years old.
'So when he was come to Luz of Bethel, God said that his name was no longer to be Jacob but Israel. Thence he came to Chaphratha, and thence journeyed to Ephratha, which is Bethlehem, and begat there a son Benjamin; and Rachel died after giving birth to Benjamin, when Jacob had lived with her twenty-three years.
'Thence Jacob came to Mambri of Hebron, to his father Isaac. Now Joseph was at that time seventeen years old, and he was sold into Egypt, and had remained in the prison thirteen years, so that he was then thirty years old; and Jacob was a hundred and ten years old, one year before which time Isaac died, being a hundred and eighty years old.
'And Joseph having interpreted the king's dreams, governed Egypt seven years, in which time he married Aseneth daughter of Pentephres the priest of Heliopolis, and begat Manasseh and Ephraim: and then there followed two years of the famine.
'But though Joseph had prospered for nine years, he did not send to his father, because he was a shepherd, as were Joseph's brethren: and with the Egyptians it is disgraceful to be a shepherd. And that this was the reason why he did not send for him, Joseph himself declares. For when his kindred came, he told them that, if they should be summoned by the king and asked what was their occupation, they should say that they were breeders of cattle.
'And at the dinner they could not understand why in the world Joseph gave Benjamin a portion five times as much as theirs, as it was not possible for him to consume so much flesh. He had done this because his father had had seven sons by Leah, and two by his mother Rachel: therefore he set five portions before Benjamin, and himself took two; so they had seven portions, as many as the sons of Leah received.
'In like manner also while giving to each two changes of raiment, to Benjamin he gave five, and thirty pieces of gold, and sent to his father in the same proportion, so that his mother's house might be equal to the other.
'Now from the time when Abraham was chosen from among the Gentiles and migrated into Canaan they had dwelt in that land, Abraham twenty-five years, Isaac sixty years, Jacob a hundred and thirty years; so that all the years in Canaan were two hundred and fifteen.
'And in the third year of the famine in Egypt, Jacob came into Egypt, being a hundred and thirty years old, Reuben forty-five years, Symeon forty-four, Levi forty-three, Judah forty-two years and three months, Asher forty years and eight months, Nephthalim forty-one years and seven months, Gad forty-one years and three months, Zabulon forty years, Dinah thirty-nine years, Benjamin twenty-eight years.
'Joseph, it is said, was in Egypt thirty-nine years; and from Adam until Joseph's brethren came into Egypt there were three thousand six hundred and twenty-four years; and from the Deluge until Jacob's coming into Egypt one thousand three hundred and sixty years; and from the choice of Abraham from among the Gentiles and his coming from Charran into Canaan until Jacob and his family came into Egypt two hundred and fifteen years.
'But Jacob came from Charran to Laban, when he was eighty years old, and begat Levi, and Levi was afterwards seventeen years in Egypt from the time of his coming from Canaan into Egypt, so that he was sixty years old when he begat Clath; and in the same year in which Clath was born Jacob died in Egypt, after he had blessed the sons of Joseph, being himself one hundred and forty-seven years old and leaving Joseph fifty-six years old. And Levi was a hundred and thirty-seven years old when he died; and when Clath was forty years old he begat Amram, who was fourteen years old when Joseph died in Egypt being a hundred and ten years old: and Clath was a hundred and thirty-three years old when he died. Amram took to wife his uncle's daughter Jochabet, and when he was seventy-five years old begat Aaron and Moses; but when he begat Moses Amram was seventy-eight years old, and Amram was a hundred and thirty-six years old when he died.'
These statements I quote from the work of Alexander Polyhistor. Next let me add the following:
[THEODOTUS] 25 'Now Theodotus says in his work Concerning the Jews that Sikima took its name from Sikimius son of Emmor; for he was also the founder of the city: and in his book Concerning the Jews he describes its situation as follows:
"Rich was the land, well-watered, browsed by goats,
Nor far from field to city was the road.
No leafy copse the weary wanderer found:
Yet from it two strong mountains close at hand,
With grass and forest trees abounding, rise.
Midway a narrow path runs up the vale,
Beneath whose farther slope the sacred town
Of Sikima mid sparkling streams is seen
Deep down the mountain's side, around whose base
E'en from the summit runs the well-built wall."
'Afterwards, he says, it was subdued by the Hebrews, when Emmor was the ruler: for Emmor begat a son Sychem. Thus he speaks:
"Thence Jacob from the wandering shepherd-life
Sought Shechem's spacious streets, where o'er his tribe
Emmor with Sychem ruled, a stubborn pair."
'Then concerning Jacob and his arrival in Mesopotamia, and the marriage of his two wives, and the birth of his children, and his coming from Mesopotamia to Shechem, he says:
"To Syria rich in cattle Jacob came
From broad Euphrates' loud-resounding stream,
To shun his twin-born brother's bitter wrath.
Him Laban gladly welcomed to his home,
Laban his mother's brother, who alone
O'er Syria ruled, his sons as yet new-born.
He then his youngest daughter for a wife
To Jacob promised, but was loth to give.
Contriving thus a crafty wile, he sends
Leah, the elder, to the marriage-bed.
Such fraud could not escape the husband's eye,
But for the other daughter seven more years
He served, and both his cousins took to wife.
Eleven sons he gat both wise and brave,
And one fair daughter, Dinah, whose bright face
And faultless form a noble soul expressed."
'From the Euphrates Jacob, it is said, came to Shechem to Emmor; and he welcomed him, and gave him a part of his country. So Jacob himself was a landholder, but his sons, eleven in number, were shepherds, and his daughter Dinah and his wives wrought wool. And Dinah while yet a virgin came to Shechem when there was a great festival, wishing to see the city: and Sychem the son of Emmor saw her and loved her, and seized and carried her off to his own home, and ravished her.
'But afterwards he came with his father to Jacob, to ask her fur his partner in marriage; but he said he would not give her, until all the inhabitants of Shechem were circumcised and followed the customs of the Jews: and Emmor said he would persuade them.
'With regard to the need of their being circumcised, Jacob says:
"It is forbidden by our Hebrew laws
To bring a bridegroom to our daughters' home,
Save one who boasts to come of kindred race."
'Then a little lower down about circumcision:
"The God, who Abraham from his home had called,
Bade him from heaven to set the blood-stained seal
On flesh of every male; and it was done.
And changeless still the law which God decreed."
'When Emmor therefore was gone into the city, and was exhorting his subjects to be circumcised, one of Jacob's sons, whose name was Symeon, being unwilling to bear his sister's disgrace in a politic manner, determined to slay Emmor and Sychem: and this determination he communicated to his brother Levi, and took him as an accomplice and set forth to do the deed, alleging an oracle, that God said He would give ten nations to Abraham's descendants to destroy.
'And this is how Symeon speaks to Levi:
"For well have I remembered God's own word,
To give ten nations o'er to Abraham's sons."
'But God, it is said, had put this thought into their mind, because the inhabitants of Shechem were ungodly men. And this is what he says:
"The Shechemites who spared no guest that came,
Nor bad nor good regarded, God would smite.
No law nor justice in their state was found,
But all their thoughts were set on deeds of death."
'Levi therefore and Symeon came armed into their city, and first killed those who came in their way, and then murdered both Emmor and Sychem.
'And of their slaying them he speaks thus:
"So fiercely then on Emmor Symeon rushed,
And smote his head, and in his left hand seized
His throat, but quickly left him gasping still,
For other task appeared. Levi meanwhile
Seized Sychem, fiercely raging, by the hair
And dashed with force resistless to the earth:
Vainly he clasped the victor's knees, who drave
His keen sword deep twixt neck and shoulder-blade,
And swiftly from his breast the spirit fled."
'And when the other brethren heard of their deed, they came to their aid, and sacked the city, and rescuing their sister carried her back with the captives to their father's abode.'
To this let us add what comes next concerning Joseph out of the same work of Polyhistor:
[ALEXANDER POLYHISTOR] 26 'Artapanus says, in his book Concerning the Jews, that Joseph was a descendant of Abraham and son of Jacob: and because he surpassed his brethren in understanding and wisdom, they plotted against him. But he became aware of their conspiracy, and besought the neighbouring Arabs to convey him across to Egypt: and they did what he requested; for the kings of the Arabians are offshoots of Israel, being sons of Abraham, and brethren of Isaac. And when he had come to Egypt and been commended to the king, he was made administrator of the whole country. And whereas the Egyptians previously occupied the laud in an irregular way, because the country was not divided, and the weaker were unjustly treated by the stronger, he was the first to divide the land, and mark it out with boundaries, and much that lay waste he rendered fit for tillage, and allotted certain of the arable lands to the priests.
'He was also the inventor of measures, and for these things he was greatly beloved by the Egyptians. He married Aseneth a daughter of the priest of Heliopolis, by whom he begat sons. And afterwards his father and his brethren came to him, bringing much substance, and were set to dwell in Heliopolis and Sais, and the Syrians multiplied in Egypt.
'These he says built both the temple in Athos and that in Ileliopolis, and were called Ermiuth. Soon afterwards Joseph died, as did also the king of Egypt. So Joseph while governor of Egypt stored up the corn of the seven years, which had been immensely productive, and became master of Egypt.'
'PHILO also, in his fourteenth book Concerning Jerusalem, testifies to the truth of the sacred Scriptures, speaking as follows:
"For them the mighty lord of all the land
A happy home prepared----he, now most high,
Who from the ancient stock of Abraham
And Isaac sprang, and Jacob rich in sons
Claimed as his sire----Joseph of royal dreams
The wise interpreter, who seated high
On Egypt's throne now sways the sceptre's power,
Much tossed erewhile by waves of fickle fate:" 27
and so forth. So much concerning Joseph.'
BUT hear also what the same author tells concerning Job:
'Aristeas says, in his book Concerning the Jews, that Esau married Bassara in Edom and begat Job. This man dwelt in the land of Uz, on the borders of Idumaea and Arabia.
'He was a just man, and rich in cattle; for he had acquired "seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred she-asses at pasture"; 28 and he had also much arable land.
'Now this Job was formerly called Jobab: and God continually tried him, and invoked him in great misfortunes. For first his asses and oxen were driven off by robbers; then the sheep together with their shepherds were burned up by fire which fell from heaven, and not long after the camels also were driven off by robbers; then his children died, from the house falling upon them; and the same day his own body also was covered with ulcers.
'And while he was in evil case, there came to visit him Eliphaz the king of the Temanites, and Bildad the tyrant of the Shuhites, and Zophar the king of the Minnaei, and there came also Elihu the son of Barachiel the Zobite.
'But when they tried to exhort him, he said that even without exhortation he should continue steadfast in piety even in his sufferings. And God being pleased with his good courage, relieved him from his disease, and made him master of great possessions.'
So much says Polyhistor on this subject.
AND concerning Moses the same author again brings forward many things, which are worth hearing:
[ALEXANDER POLYHISTOR] 'But Eupolemus says that the first wise man was Moses, and that he was the first to teach the Jews letters, and from the Jews the Phoenicians received them, and from the Phoenicians the Greeks, and that Moses was the first to give written laws to the Jews.' 29
'AND Artapanus says, in his book Concerning the Jews, that after the death of Abraham, and of his son Mempsasthenoth, and likewise of the king of Egypt, his son Palmanothes succeeded to the sovereignty.
'This king behaved badly to the Jews; and first he built Kessa, and founded the temple therein, and then built the temple in Heliopolis.
'He begat a daughter Merris, whom he betrothed to a certain Chenephres, king of the regions above Memphis (for there were at that time many kings in Egypt); and she being barren took a supposititious child from one of the Jews, and called him Mouses (Moses): but by the Greeks he was called, when grown to manhood, Musaeus.
'And this Moses, they said, was the teacher of Orpheus; and when grown up he taught mankind many useful things. For he was the inventor of ships, and machines for laying stones, and Egyptian arms, and engines for drawing water and for war, and invented philosophy. Further he divided the State into thirty-six Nomes, and. appointed the god to be worshipped by each Nome, and the sacred writing for the priests, and their gods were cats, and dogs, and ibises: he also apportioned an especial district for the priests.
'All these things he did for the sake of keeping the sovereignty firm and safe for Chenepbres. For previously the multitudes, being under no order, now expelled and now set up kings, often the same persons, but sometimes others.
'For these reasons then Moses was beloved by the multitudes, and being deemed by the priests worthy to be honoured like a god, was named Hermes, because of his interpretation of the Hieroglyphics.
'But when Chenephres perceived the excellence of Moses he envied him, and sought to slay him on some plausible pretext. And so when the Aethiopians invaded Egypt, Chenephres supposed that he had found a convenient opportunity, and sent Moses in command of a force against them, and enrolled the body of husbandmen for him, supposing that through the weakness of his troops he would easily be destroyed by the enemy.
'But Moses with about a hundred thousand of the husbandmen came to the so-called Nome of Hermopolis, and there encamped; and sent generals to pre-occupy the country, who gained remarkable successes in their battles. He adds that the people of Heliopolis say that this war went on for ten years.
'So Moses, because of the greatness of his army, built a city in this place, and therein consecrated the ibis, because this bird kills the animals that are noxious to man. And he called it Hermes' city.
'Thus then the Aethiopians, though they were enemies, became so fond of Moses, that they even learned from him the custom of circumcision: and not they only, but also all the priests.
'But when the war was ended, Chenephres pretended to welcome him, while in reality continuing to plot against him. So he took his troops from him, and sent some to the frontiers of Aethiopia for an advanced guard; and ordered others to demolish the temple in Diospolis which had been built of baked brick, and build another of stone from the quarries of the neighbouring mountain, and appointed Nacheros superintendent of the building.
'And when he was come with Moses to Memphis, he asked him whether there was anything else useful for mankind, and he said the breed of oxen, because by means of them the land is ploughed: and Chenephres having given the name Apis to a bull, commanded the troops to found a temple for him, and bade them bring and bury there the animals which had been consecrated by Moses, because he wished to bury the inventions of Moses in oblivion. 'But when the Egyptians were alienated from him, he bound his friends by an oath not to report to Moses the plot which was being contrived against him, and he appointed the men who were to kill him.
'When however no one would obey him, Chenephres reproached Chanethothes, whom he had especially addressed; and he, on being thus reproached, promised to make the attempt when he found an opportunity.
'And Merris having died about this time, Chenephres professed to give the body to Moses and Chanethothes to carry it over into regions beyond Egypt and bury it, supposing that Moses would be slain by Chanethothes.
'But while they were on the way, one of those who were cognizant of the plot reported it to Moses; and he being on his guard buried Merris himself, and called the river and the city thereby Meroe. And this Merris is honoured by the people of the country not less highly than Isis.
'Then Aaron the brother of Moses, having learned about the plot, advised his brother to flee into Arabia; and he took the advice, and sailed across the Nile from Memphis, intending to escape into Arabia.
'But when Chanethothes was informed of the flight of Moses, he lay in ambush intending to kill him; and when he saw him coming, he drew his sword against him, but Moses was too quick for him, and seized his hand, and drew his sword and slew Chanethothes.
'So he made his escape into Arabia, and lived with Raguel the ruler of the district, having married his daughter. And Raguel wished to make an expedition against the Egyptians in order to restore Moses, and procure the government for his daughter and son-in-law; but Moses prevented it, out of regard for his own nation: and Raguel forbidding him to march against the Arabs, ordered him to plunder Egypt.
'About the same time Chenephres died, having been the very first person attacked by elephantiasis; and he is said to have incurred this misfortune because he ordered the Jews to wear linen garments and not to wear woollen clothing, in order that they might be conspicuous, and be punished by him.
'But Moses prayed to God now at last to put an end to the sufferings of the tribes. And God being propitiated, fire, it is said, suddenly blazed up out of the earth, and went on burning though there was no wood nor any other fuel in the place. And Moses was frightened at the occurrence and took to flight; but a divine voice spake to him, to march against Egypt, and rescue the Jews and lead them into their old country.
'So he took courage and determined to lead a hostile force against the Egyptians: but first he came to his brother Aaron. And when the king of Egypt heard of the arrival of Moses, he called him before him, and asked what he had come for: and he said, Because the Lord of the world commanded him to deliver the Jews.
'And when the king heard this, he shut him up in prison. But when it was night, all the doors of the prison-house opened of their own accord, and of the guards some died, and some were sunk in sleep, and their weapons broken in pieces.
'So Moses passed out and came to the palace; and finding the doors opened he went in, and the guards here also being sunk in sleep he woke up the king. And he being dismayed at what had happened bade Moses tell him the name of the God who sent him, scoffing at him: but Moses bent down and whispered in his ear, and when the king heard it he fell speechless, but was held fast by Moses and came to life again.
'And he wrote the name in a tablet and sealed it up; and one of the priests who made light of what was written in the tablet was seized with a convulsion and died.
'Also the king told him to work some sign for him, and Moses threw down the rod which he held and turned it into a serpent; and when they were all frightened, he seized it by the tail and took it up, and made it a rod again.
'Then he went forth a little, and smote the Nile with the rod, and the river became flooded and deluged the whole of Egypt, and it was from that time its inundation began: and the water became stagnant, and stank, and killed all living things in the river, and the people were perishing of thirst.
'But when these wonders had been wrought, the king said that after a month he would let the people go, if Moses would restore the river to its proper state; and he smote the water again with his rod, and checked the stream.
'When this was done, the king summoned the priests from above Memphis, and said that he would kill them all, and demolish the temples, unless they also would work some wonder. And then they by some witchcraft and incantations made a serpent, and changed the colour of the river.
'And the king, being puffed up with pride at what was done, began to maltreat the Jews with every kind of vengeance and punishment. Then Moses, seeing this, both wrought other signs, and also smote the earth with his rod, and brought up a kind of winged animal to harass the Egyptians, and all their bodies broke out in boils. And as the physicians were unable to heal the sufferers, the Jews thus again gained relief.
'Again Moses by his rod brought up frogs, and besides them locusts and lice. And for this reason the Egyptians dedicate the rod in every temple, and to Isis likewise, because the earth is Isis, and sent up these wonders when smitten by the rod.
'But as the king still persisted in his folly, Moses caused hail and earthquakes by night, so that those who fled from the earthquake were killed by the hail, and those who sought shelter from the hail were destroyed by the earthquakes. And at that time all the houses fell in, and most of the temples.
'At last after having incurred such calamities the king let the Jews go: and they, after borrowing from the Egyptians many drinking-vessels, and no little raiment, and very much other treasure, crossed the rivers on the Arabian side, and after traversing a wide space came on the third day to the Red Sea.
'Now the people of Memphis say, that Moses being acquainted with the country waited for the ebb, and took the people across the sea when dry. But the people of Heliopolis say, that the king hastened after them with a great force, having also with him the consecrated animals, because the Jews were carrying off the property which they had borrowed from the Egyptians.
'There came, however, to Moses a divine voice bidding him to smite the sea with the rod [and that it should divide]: and when Moses heard it, he touched the water with the rod, and so the stream divided, and the force passed over by a dry path.
'But when the Egyptians went in with them and were pursuing them, a fire, it is said, shone out upon them from the front, and the sea overflowed the path again, and the Egyptians were all destroyed by the fire and the flood: but the Jews having escaped this danger spent forty years in the wilderness, God raining down meal for them like millet, similar in colour to snow. And Moses they say was tall and ruddy, with long white hair, and dignified: and he performed these deeds when he was about eighty-nine years old.'
'WITH regard to Moses being exposed by his mother in the marsh, and taken up and reared by the king's daughter, Ezekiel the tragic poet gives an account, taking up the narrative from the beginning when Jacob and his family came into Egypt to Joseph. And he tells it as follows, bringing Moses forward as the speaker: 30
"When Jacob from the land of Canaan down
To Egypt came, with threescore souls and ten,
He there begat a multitudinous race,
Who much endured and long, by wicked men
And tyrant's hand to this our day crushed down.
For when he saw our people had waxed strong,
The king with subtle craft our fathers ruled,
And some in making bricks ho sore oppressed,
And some in raising heavy stones to build
His lofty towers, for their despite contrived.
Next he commands that all the Hebrew race
Cast every man-child in the Nile's deep flood.
And I have often heard my mother tell,
How at that time she hid me for three months:
Fearing detection then, she wrapped me close
In rough attire, and laid me secretly
'Mid the thick rushes by the river's bank.
My sister Miriam close at hand kept watch,
Till Pharaoh's daughter with her maids came down
To bathe her shining limbs in the cool stream.
She saw the babe, and straightway took it up,
And knew its Hebrew birth. My sister then
Ran up, and to the princess thus she spake:
'Wilt thou I find as nurse for this fair child
Some Hebrew wife?' The princess bade her speed,
And to her mother quick she told the tale,
Who came with speed, and took me in her arms.
Then spake the Pharaoh's daughter, 'Take this child
To nurse, good dame, and I will pay thy wage.'
'Moses' the name she gave, to mark the fact
That from the river's brink she drew me forth."
'To this farther on in the tragedy Ezekiel adds more on the following points, bringing Moses forward as speaking:
"So when my time of infancy was past,
My mother led me to the princess' home,
But first she told me all the tale, my birth
And kindred, and God's gifts of old.
The princess then through all my boyhood's years,
As I had been a son of her own womb,
In royal state and learning nurtured me.
But when the circle of the days was full,
I left the palace, urged to lofty deeds
By my own soul, and by the king's device.
Then the first day I saw two men at strife,
Egyptian one, and one of Hebrew race.
And when I saw that we were quite alone,
None else in sight, I to the rescue came,
Avenged my kinsman, and the Egyptian slew,
And buried in the sand, that none might see
What we had ventured, and lay bare the deed.
But on the morrow's dawn again I saw
Two of our kin in deadly strife, and cried,
'Why smitest thou thy weaker brother thus?'
But he replied, 'And who made thee a judge,
Or ruler here? Me also wouldest thou slay,
As that man yestermorn?' Then to myself
In fear I said, 'How came that deed abroad?'
All this was quickly carried to the king.
And Pharaoh sought to take away my life.
His plot I learned, and from his hands escaped,
And now to other lands am wandering forth."
'Then, concerning the daughters of Raguel he adds this:
"But here, behold! some seven fair maids I see."
'And on his asking them what maidens they were, Zipporah replies:
"The land, O stranger, bears the common name
Of Libya, but by various tribes is held
Of dark-skinned Aethiops: yet the land is ruled
By one sole monarch, and sole chief in war.
This city has for ruler and for judge
A priest, the father of myself and these."
'He then describes the giving drink to the cattle, and adds the account of his marriage with Zipporah, bringing forward Chum and Zipporah as speaking in alternate verses:
"Ch. 'Yet this thou need'st must tell me, Zipporah.'
Z. 'My father gave me for this stranger's wife.'"
'DEMETRIUS described the slaying of the Egyptian, and the quarrel with him who gave information about the deceased man, in the same way as the writer of the Sacred Book. He says, however, that Moses fled into Midian, and there married Zipporah the daughter of Jothor, who was, as far as one may conjecture from the names, one of the descendants of Keturah, of the stock of Abraham, from Jexan who was the son of Abraham by Keturah: and from Jexan was born Dadan, and from Dadan Raguel, and from Raguel, Jothor, and Hobab: and from Jothor Zipporah, whom Moses married.
'The generations also agree; for Moses was seventh from Abraham, and Zipporah sixth. For Isaac, from whom Moses descended, was already married when Abraham at the age of a hundred and forty married Keturah, and begat by her a second son Isaar. Now he begat Isaac when he was a hundred years old; so that Isaar, from whom Zipporah derived her descent, was born forty-two years later than Isaac.
'There is therefore no inconsistency in Moses and Zipporah having lived at the same time. And they dwelt in the city Madiam, which was called from one of the sons of Abraham. For it says that Abraham sent his sons towards the East to find a dwelling-place: for this reason also Aaron and Miriam said at Hazeroth that Moses had married an Aethiopian woman.
'Ezekiel also speaks of this in the Exodus, adding to the tradition the dream that was seen by Moses and interpreted by his father-in-law. And Moses himself talks with his father-in-law in alternate verses, as follows: 31
"Methought upon Mount Sinai's brow I saw
A mighty throne that reached to heaven's high vault,
Whereon there sat a man of noblest mien
Wearing a royal crown; whose left hand held
A mighty sceptre; and his right to me
Made sign, and I stood forth before the throne.
He gave me then the sceptre and the crown,
And bade me sit upon the royal throne,
From which himself removed. Thence I looked forth
Upon the earth's wide circle, and beneath
The earth itself, and high above the heaven.
Then at my feet, behold! a thousand stars
Began to fall, and I their number told,
As they passed by me like an armed host:
And I in terror started up from sleep."
'Then his father-in-law thus interprets the dream:
"This sign from God bodes good to thee, my friend.
Would I might live to see thy lot fulfilled!
A mighty throne shalt thou set up, and be
Thyself the leader and the judge of men!
And as o'er all the peopled earth thine eye
Looked forth, and underneath the earth, and high
Above God's heaven; so shall thy mind survey
All things in time, past, present, and to come."
'With regard to the burning bush, and the mission of Moses to Pharaoh, he again brings Moses forward as holding converse alternately with God. Moses speaks thus:
"Ha! see! What sign is this from yonder bush?
A marvel such as no man might believe.
A sudden mighty fire flames round the bush,
And yet its growth remains all green and fresh.
What then? I will go forward, and behold
This wondrous sign, that passes man's belief."
'Then God speaks to him:
"Stay, Moses, faithful servant, draw not nigh,
Ere thou hast loosed thy shoes from off thy feet:
The place thou standest on is holy ground;
And from this bush God's word shines forth for thee.
Fear not, My son, but hearken to My words.
Of mortal birth, thou canst not see My face;
Yet mayest thou hear the words I came to speak.
Thy fathers' God, the God of Abraham,
Of Isaac, and of Jacob, I am God.
I do remember all My gifts to them,
And come to save My people Israel;
For I have seen their sorrows and their toils.
Go then, and signify thou in My name,
First to the Hebrews gathered by themselves,
Then to the king of Egypt, this My will,
That thou lead forth My people from the land."
'Then lower down Moses himself speaks some lines in answer:
"I am not eloquent, O Lord, but slow
Of speech my tongue, and weak my stammering voice
To utter words of mine before the king?"
'Then God in answer to this says to him:
"Thy brother Aaron I will send with speed:
First tell thou him all I have told to thee;
And he before the king, and thou with
Me Alone shalt speak, he what he hears from thee."
'With regard to the rod, and the other wonders thus he speaks in alternate verse:
"God. 'Say, what is that thou holdest in thine hand? '
M. 'A rod, wherewith to smite or beasts or men.'
God. 'Cast it upon the ground, and flee in haste;
For a fierce serpent will affright thine eye.'
N. 'Lo! there I cast it. Save me, gracious Lord!
How huge, how fierce! In pity spare Thou me.
I shudder at the sight in every limb.'
God. 'Fear not: stretch forth thy hand, and seize the tail.
Again 'twill be a rod. Now thrust thy hand
Into thy bosom: take it out again.
See, at My word, 'tis leprous, white as snow.
Now thrust it in again, 'tis as before.' "
To this, after some words that he has interposed, he adds the following:
'Now this is what Ezekiel says in The Exodus, when he brings forward God speaking of the signs, as follows:
"With this thy rod thou shalt work all these plagues.
The river first shall flow all red with blood,
And every spring, and stream, and stagnant pool.
Then frogs and lice shall swarm o'er all the land.
Next ashes from the furnace sprinkled round
In ulcers sore shall burst on man and beast.
And swarms of flies shall come, and sore afflict
The bodies of the Egyptians. After that
On those hard hearts the pestilence and death
Shall fall. And heaven's wrath let loose on high
Shall pour down fire and hail and deadly storm
On man, and beast, and all the fruits of earth.
Then shall be darkness over all the land
For three whole days, and locusts shall devour
All food, all fruits, and every blade of grass.
Moreover I will slay each first-born child,
And crush this evil nation's wanton pride.
Yet none of these My plagues shall touch the king,
Until he see his first-born son lie dead:
Then will he send you forth in fear and haste.
This also speak to all the Hebrew race:
'This month shall be the first month of your year,
Wherein I bring you to that other land,
As to the fathers of your race I sware.'
Also command the people, in this month,
At evening ere the moon's full orb appear,
To sacrifice the Passover to God,
And strike the side-posts of the door with blood:
So shall My messenger of death pass by.
But the flesh eat ye roast with fire at night.
Then will the king drive forth your gathered host
In haste; but ere ye go, I will give grace
To this My people in the Egyptians' eyes,
So that each woman from her neighbour's store
All needful vessels freely shall receive,
Silver and gold, and raiment meet for man,
To make requital for their evil deeds.
And when ye shall have reached your promised land,
Take heed that, from the morn whereon ye fled
From Egypt and marched onward seven whole days,
From that same morn so many days each year
Ye eat unleavened bread, and serve your God,
Offering the first-born of all living things,
All males that open first the mother's womb."
'And again concerning this same feast he says that the poet has spoken with more careful elaboration:
"And when the tenth day of this month is come,
Let every Hebrew for his household choose
Unblemished lambs and calves, and keep them up
Until the fourteenth day; and then at eve
Offer the solemn sacrifice, and eat
The flesh and inward parts all roast with fire.
Thus shall ye eat it, with your loins girt up,
And shoes upon your feet, a staff withal
Held ready in your hand; for in great haste
The king will bid them drive you from his land.
Let each man's eating for the lamb make count;
And when the victim has been duly slain,
Take a full bunch of hyssop in your hand,
Dipped in the sacred blood, and therewith strike
The posts and upper lintel of the door;
That death may pass o'er every Hebrew's house.
Keep ever thus this feast unto the Lord,
Eating for seven days unleavened bread,
And in your houses let no leaven be found.
For ye shall be delivered, and the Lord
Shall lead you forth from Egypt in this month,
Henceforth to be tho first month of your year."
Again, after some other passages he further says:
'Ezekiel also, in the drama which is entitled The Exodus, brings forward a Messenger describing both the condition of the Hebrews and the destruction of the Egyptians, as follows:
"For when king Pharaoh from his house set forth
With all this crowd of countless men-at-arms,
With horsemen, and with four-horsed chariots,
In serried ranks in front and on each flank,
The embattled host was dreadful to behold.
The centre footmen held in phalanx deep
With spaces for the chariots to drive through.
And on the right wing and the left were set
The best of all the Egyptian chivalry.
The numbers of our army which I asked,
Were thousand thousands brave well-armed men.
The Hebrews, when o'ertaken by our host,
Lay some in groups hard by the Red Sea shore
Worn out with toil, and others with their wives
To feed their tender infants were intent:
Cumbered with flocks and herds and household goods.
The men themselves with hands not armed for fight,
At sight of us, set up a doleful cry,
And all, with hands uplift to heaven, invoked
Their fathers' God. Great was their multitude;
But on our side all jubilant our camp
Behind them close we pitched, where by the sea
There lies a city, Baal-zephon hight.
And as the sun was near his western couch,
We waited, longing for the fight at dawn,
Trusting our mighty host and deadly arms.
But now the signs of heaven's own wrath began,
A dread and wondrous sight. For suddenly
A pillar of cloud rose high above the earth
Midway between the Hebrew camp and ours:
And then their leader Moses took his rod
Of power divine, which late on Egypt wrought
So many baneful signs and prodigies.
Therewith he struck the waves, and the deep sea
Was cleft asunder; and with eager steps
Their host rushed swiftly o'er that briny path.
We then upon their track without delay
Trod the same path, and marching forward met
The darkness of the night; when suddenly,
As if fast bound in chains, our chariot wheels
Refused to turn; and from the sky a flame
As of a mighty fire before us shone.
Their God, methinks, was there to succour them:
For they no sooner reached the farther shore,
Than close at hand we heard the mighty roar
Of surging waves; and one in terror cried:
'Flee from the vengeful hand of the Most High,
For it is He that helps our enemies,
And works for our destruction.' Then the sea
Surged o'er our path, and overwhelmed our host."
And again soon after:
'Thence they went forward three days, as Demetrius himself says, and the Holy Scripture agrees with him: but as he found there no sweet water, but bitter, at God's command he cast the wood of a certain tree into the fountain, and the water became sweet. And thence they came to Elim, and found there twelve springs of water, and threescore and ten palm-trees. As to these, and the bird which appeared there, Ezekiel in The Exodus introduces some one who speaks to Moses concerning the palm-trees and the twelve springs thus:
''See, my lord Moses, what a spot is found
Fanned by sweet airs from yonder shady grove.
For as thyself mayest see, there lies the stream,
And thence at night the fiery pillar shed
Its welcome guiding light. A meadow there
Beside the stream in grateful shadow lies
And a deep glen in rich abundance pours
From out a single rock twelve sparkling springs.
There tall and strong, and laden all with fruit,
Stand palms threescore and ten; and plenteous grass
Well watered gives sweet pasture to our flocks."
'Then lower down he gives a full description of the bird that appeared:
"Another living thing we saw, more strange
And marvellous than man e'er saw before.
The noblest eagle scarce was half as large:
His outspread wings with varying colours shone;
The breast was bright with purple, and the legs
With crimson glowed, and on the shapely neck
The golden plumage shone in graceful curves:
The head was like a gentle nestling's formed:
Bright shone the yellow circlet of the eye
On all around, and wondrous sweet the voice.
The king he seemed of all the winged tribe,
As soon was proved; for birds of every kind
Hovered in fear behind his stately form:
While like a bull, proud leader of the herd,
Foremost he marched with swift and haughty step."
And after a few words he adds that:
'Some one asked how the Israelites got weapons, as they came out unarmed. For they said that after they had gone out a three days' journey, and offered sacrifice, they would return again. It appears therefore that these who had not been overwhelmed in the sea made use of the others' arms.'
'BUT Eupolemus says, in some comment on the prophecy of Elias, that Moses prophesied forty years; then Jesus the sou of Nave thirty years, and he lived a hundred and ten years, and pitched the holy tabernacle in Silo.
'And afterwards Samuel rose up as a prophet: and then by God's -will Saul was chosen king by Samuel, and died after a reign of twenty-one years.
'Then his son David reigned, who subdued the Syrians which live beside the river Euphrates, and Commagene, and the Assyrians in Galadene, and the Phoenicians; he also made expeditions against the Edomites, and Ammonites, and Moabites, and Ituraeans, and Nabathaeans, and Nabdaeans.
'And again he made an expedition against Suron king of Tyre and Phoenicia; and compelled these nations to pay tribute to the Jews; and contracted a friendly alliance with Vaphres king of Egypt.
'And when David wished to build a temple for God, he entreated God to point out to him a place for the altar; whereupon there appeared to him an angel standing above the place, where the altar is built in Jerusalem, who commanded him not to build the temple, because he was defiled with men's blood and had passed many years in war.
'And the angel's name was Dianathan; and he bade him commit the building of the temple to his son, but himself to prepare the things pertaining to the building, gold, silver, brass, stones, cypress wood and cedar.
'And on bearing this David built ships in Aelan a city of Arabia, and sent miners to the island Drphe which lies in the Red Sea, and contains gold mines. And thence the miners transported the gold into Judaea.
'When David had reigned forty years he gave over the government to Solomon his son, who was twelve years old, in the presence of Eli the High Priest and the twelve princes of the tribes, and delivered to him the gold and silver and brass and stone and cypress wood and cedar. Then David died, and Solomon was king, and wrote to Vaphres king of Egypt the letter which is transcribed below.
'"KING SOLOMON TO VAPHRES KING OP EGYPT, HIS FATHER'S FRIEND, GBEETING.
"KNOW thou that I have succeeded to the kingdom of my father David by the help of the Most High God, who has also enjoined on me to build a temple to the God who made heaven and earth: and withal to write to thee, to send me some of thy peoples, who shall stay and help me, until we shall have completed all things that are required, according to the injunction laid on me."
CHAPTER XXXII '"KING VAPHRES TO SOLOMON THE GREAT KING GEEETING.
"I REJOICED much when I read thy letter, and both I and all my kingdom kept a festive day in honour of thy succession, to the throne after a man so good and approved by so great a God. But as to what thou writest to me concerning the men among our peoples here, I have sent thee eighty thousand, and have clearly explained to thee their numbers and the places from which they come: from the Sebrithitic nome tea thousand, and from the Mendesian and Sebennytic twenty thousand: from the nomes of Busiris Leonto-polis and Athribites ten thousand each. And do thou carefully provide what things they require, and for the rest, that they may be in good order, and may be restored to their own country, as soon as they cease to be wanted."
'"KING SOLOMON TO SURON KING OP TYRE AND SIDON AND PHOENICIA, HIS FATHER'S FRIEND, GREETING.
"KNOW thou that I have received the kingdom from my father David by help of the Most High God, who also enjoined on me to build a temple to the God who made the heaven and the earth, and withal to write to thee to send me some men from thy peoples, who shall stay and help us until we have fulfilled the requirement of God, according to the injunction laid upon me. I have written also to Galilee, and Samaria, and the land of Moab, and Ammon, and Gilead, to supply them with necessaries from the country every month, ten thousand cors of corn (a cor is six artabae) and ten thousand homers of wine (the homer of wine is ten measures): and oil and the rest shall be supplied to them from Judaea, and from Arabia, victims for sacrifice on which to feed."
CHAPTER XXXIV '"SURON TO SOLOMON THE GREAT KING GREETING.
"BLESSED be God, who made the heaven and the earth, who hath chosen a worthy son of a worthy father. As soon as I read thy letter I rejoiced greatly, and gave praise to God for thy succession to the kingdom.
"And as to what thou writest concerning the men in our various peoples, I have sent thee of Tyrians and Phoenicians eighty thousand, and as chief architect I have sent thee a man of Tyre, of a Jewish mother of the tribe of David: on whatsoever thou shalt ask him of all things under heaven, relating to architecture, he will give thee advice, and will carry out the work.
"And with regard to necessary provisions, and to the servants whom I send to thee, thou wilt do well in commanding the local governors, that all things necessary he provided." '
'When Solomon with his father's friends had passed over to mount Lebanon with the Sidonians and Tyrians, he transported the timber which had previously been cut by his father to Joppa by sea, and thence by land to Jerusalem. And he began to build the temple of God when he was thirteen years old: and the work was done by the nations before-mentioned, and the twelve tribes of the Jews supplied the hundred and sixty thousand with all things necessary, one tribe each month; and they laid the foundations of the temple of God, sixty cubits in length, and sixty cubits in breadth, but the breadth of the building and of the foundations was ten cubits, for so had Nathan the prophet of God commanded him.
'And they built alternately a course of stone and a beam of cypress-wood, fastening the two courses together with bronze cramps of a talent in weight. And when he had built it thus, he boarded it outside with planks of cedar and cypress, so that the stone building was not visible: and covered the temple with gold on the inside, by piling up bricks of gold five cubits long, and nailing them to the walls with silver nails of a talent in weight, four in number, and shaped like a breast.
'Thus he covered it with gold from floor to roof, and the ceiling he made of golden panels, and the roof he made of brass, that is of brass tiles, having smelted brass and poured it into moulds. He made also two columns of brass, and covered them with pure gold, a finger's breadth in thickness.
'And the columns were as high as the temple, and in size each pillar ten cubits in circumference: and they stood one on the right side of the house, and the other on the left. He made also golden lamp-stands, weighing ten talents each, having taken as a pattern the lamp-stand set by Moses in the tabernacle of the Testimony.
'And he set them on either side of the shrine, some on the right and some on the left. He made also seventy golden lamps, so that there might be seven burning on each lamp-stand. He built also the gates of the temple, and adorned them with gold and silver, and roofed them over with panels of cedar and cypress.
'He made a porch also on the north side of the temple, and supported it on forty-eight pillars of brass. He made also a brazen laver, twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in width, and five cubits high. And upon it he made a brim projecting on the outside towards the base one cubit, in order that the priests might stand up on it, and wash their feet and hands. Also he made the bases of the laver, twelve in number, molten and chased, and of the height of a man, and set them at the hinder side beneath the laver, on the right side of the altar.
'He made also a brazen step two cubits high, near the laver, that the king might stand upon it, when praying, so that he might be seen by the Jewish people. Also he built the altar of twenty-five cubits by twenty cubits, and twelve cubits high.
'He made also two brazen rings of chain-work, and set them upon machines rising twenty cubits in height above the temple, and they cast a shadow over the whole temple: and to each net-work he hung four hundred brass bells of a talent in weight, and the net-works he made solid, that the bells might sound, and frighten away the birds, that they might not settle upon the temple, nor nest upon the panels of the gates and porches, and defile the temple with their dung.
'He also surrounded the city Jerusalem with walls and towers and moats, and built a palace for himself.
'And the Lord's house was at first called the Temple of Solomon ( 9Iero_n Solomw~noj ); afterwards by a corruption the city was named Hierusalem from the Temple, but by the Greeks was called Hierosolyma after the king's name.
'And when he had completed the Temple and the walls of the city, he went to Shiloh, and offered a thousand oxen for a burnt-offering. And he took the Tabernacle, and the altar, and the vessels which Moses made, and brought them to Jerusalem, and put them in the house.
'Moreover the Ark, and the golden altar, and the lamp-stand, and the table, and the other vessels he deposited there, as the prophet commanded him.
'And he offered to God an immense sacrifice, two thousand sheep, three thousand five hundred calves. And the whole amount of gold which was expended upon the two pillars and the temple was four millions six hundred thousand talents: and upon the nails and the rest of the furniture one thousand two hundred and thirty-two talents of silver: and of brass for the columns and the laver and the porch eighteen thousand and fifty talents.
'And Solomon sent away both the Egyptians and the Phoenicians each to their own country, having given to every man ten shekels of gold; now the shekel is a talent. And to Vaphres the king of Egypt he sent ten thousand measures of oil, a thousand measures of dates, a hundred vessels of honey, and spices.
'And to Suron at Tyre he sent the golden pillar which is dedicated in the temple of Zeus at Tyre.
'But Theophilus says that Solomon sent the gold that remained over to the king of Tyre; and that he made a life-sized figure as an image of his daughter, and made the golden column into a covering for the statue.
'And Eupolemus says that Solomon made also a thousand golden shields, each of which weighed five hundred staters of gold. He lived fifty-two years, of which he reigned forty in peace.'
'TIMOCHARES, in his Life of Antiochus, says that Jerusalem has a circuit of forty furlongs, and is difficult to take, being shut in on all sides by abrupt ravines: and that the whole city is flooded with streams of water, so that even the gardens are irrigated by waters which flow off from the city. But the country from the city as far as forty furlongs is without water: but beyond the forty furlongs again it is well watered.'
'THE author of the Metrical Survey of Syria says in his first book that Jerusalem lies upon a lofty and rugged site: and that some parts of the wall are built of polished stone, but the greater part of rubble; and that the city has a circuit of twenty-seven furlongs, and that there is also within the place a spring which spouts up abundance of water.
'PHILO too says, in his Account of Jerusalem, that there is a fountain, and that it is dried up in winter, but becomes full in summer. And in his first Book he speaks thus:
" Nhxo&menoj d' e0fu&perqe to_ qambhe/staton a!llo
de/rkhqron <sunaoida_> megistou&xoio loetroi=j
r9eu&matoj e0mpi/plhsi baqu_n r9o&on e0caniei/shj." 32
'And so forth. Again, lower down he adds to these a description of the refilling:
"For flashing from on high the joyous stream,
Flooded by rain and snow, rolls swiftly on
Beneath the neighbouring towers, and spreading o'er
The dry and dusty ground, far-shining shows
The blessings of that wonder-working fount."
'And the rest that follows. Then again, concerning the High Priest's fountain and the canal that carries off the water, he proceeds as follows:
"A headlong stream by channels under ground
The pipes pour forth,"
'And all that follows this.'
Thus far then our quotations from Alexander Polyhistor.
BUT Aristeas also, in the book which he wrote Concerning the Interpretation of the Law of the Jews, gives the following account of the waters in Jerusalem:
[ARISTEAS] 33 'Now the house looks towards the East, and the back part of it to the West. The whole site is paved with stone, and has slopes towards the proper places for the influx of the waters for the purpose of washing away the blood from the sacrifices: for many myriads of cattle are offered on the several feast-days.
'And there is an inexhaustible reservoir of water, as would be expected from an abundant spring gushing up naturally from within; there being moreover wonderful and indescribable cisterns under ground, of five furlongs, according to their showing, all round the foundation of the temple, and countless pipes from them, so that the streams on every side met together. And all these works have been fastened with lead at tbe bottom and the side-walls, and over these has been spread a great quantity of plaster, all having been carefully wrought.'
BESIDES this, as Polyhistor has made mention of the prophecy of Jeremiah, it would be a most unreasonable thing for us to pass it over in silence. Let this then also be set down:
[POLYHISTOR] 'Then Jonachim: in his time prophesied Jeremiah the prophet. He was sent by God, and found the Jews sacrificing to a golden image, the name of which was Baal.
'And he foreshowed to them the calamity which was to come. Jonachim then attempted to burn him alive: but he said that with that fuel they should cook food for the Babylonians, and as prisoners of war should dig the canals of the Tigris and Euphrates.
'When Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Babylonians, had heard of the predictions of Jeremiah, he summoned Astibares, the king of the Medes, to join him in an expedition. And having taken with him Babylonians and Medes, and collected a hundred and eighty thousand infantry and a hundred and twenty thousand cavalry, and ten thousand chariots, he first subdued Samaria, and Galilee, and Scythopolis, and the Jews who lived in the region of Gilead; and afterwards took Jerusalem, and made Jonachim, the king of the Jews, a prisoner. And the gold that was in the temple, and the silver and brass, they chose out and sent to Babylon, except the Ark and the tables that were in it: but this Jeremiah retained.'
To this I must necessarily append also the account of the captivity of the Jews under Nebuchadnezzar:
[JOSEPHUS] 34 'Nebuchadnezzar having encountered the rebel and joined battle with him, both mastered him, and brought the country at once under his own rule.
'And it happened that his father Nabopallasar fell sick at this time, and departed from life in the city of Babylon, after having reigned twenty-one years. And when Nebuchadnezzar heard soon after of his father's death, he set in order the affairs of Egypt and of the rest of the country, and having committed the prisoners of the Jews and Phoenicians and Syrians, the nations near Egypt, to certain of his friends, came to Babylon.'
After other statements he says:
'So then Nebuchadnezzar, after be had begun the wall before-mentioned, fell sick and died, after a reign of forty-three years, and his son Evil-Merodach became master of the kingdom.
'He governed the affairs of the kingdom in a lawless and outrageous manner, and was plotted against and put to death by his sister's husband Neriglisar, after having reigned two years.
'And after he was slain Neriglisar, who had plotted against him, succeeded to the government and reigned four years. His son Chabaessoarach succeeded to the kingdom, though he was but a boy, and held it nine mouths; but because be showed many evil dispositions, a plot was made against him by his friends, and he was beaten to death.
'Upon his death, those who had plotted against him met together, and by common consent conferred the kingdom on Nabonuedus, who was a Babylonian and one of the same conspiracy.
'In his reign the walls of Babylon adjacent to the river were handsomely repaired with baked brick and asphalt. And in the seventeenth year of his reign Cyrus came from Persia with a great force, and, after subduing all the rest of the kingdom, invaded Babylonia.
'Nabonnedus, on being informed of his advance, met him with his army, and having joined battle was defeated, and fled with a few attendants, and was shut up in the city Borsippus.
'And Cyrus having taken Babylon, and ordered the demolition of the outer walls of the city because the city had proved very troublesome to him, and hard to take, moved his army to Borsippus, to besiege Nabonnedus.
'But as Nabonnedus did not wait for the siege, but gave himself up beforehand, Cyrus treated him in a kindly manner, and, giving him Carmania to dwell in, sent him away from Babylonia. The rest of his time therefore Nabonnedus passed in that country, and there ended his life.
'This narrative contains the truth in agreement with our books. For in them it is written that Nebuchadnezzar in the eighteenth year of his reign laid waste our temple, and it remained unregarded fifty years. But in the second year of the reign of Cyrus the foundations were laid, and it was completed again in the tenth year of the reign of Darius.'
Thus far Josephus.
I FOUND also the following statements concerning Nebuchadnezzar in the work of Abydenus Concerning the Assyrians:
[ABYDENUS] 'Now Megasthenes says that Nebuchadnezzar was braver than Hercules, and made an expedition against Libya and Iberia, and, having subdued them, settled a part of their inhabitants on the right shore of Pontus.
'And afterwards, the Chaldeans say, he went up to his palace, and being possessed by some god or other uttered the following speech:
'"O men of Babylon, I Nebuchadnezzar here foretell to you the coming calamity, which neither Belus my ancestor, nor Queen Beltis are able to persuade the Fates to avert.
'"There will come a Persian mule, aided by the alliance of your own deities, and will bring you into slavery. And the joint author of this will be a Mede, in whom the Assyrians glory. O would that before he gave up my citizens some Charybdis or sea might swallow him up utterly out of sight; or that, turning in other directions, he might be carried across the desert, where there are neither cities nor foot of man, but where wild beasts have pasture and birds their haunts, that he might wander alone among rocks and ravines; and that, before he took such thoughts into his mind, I myself had found a better end."
'He after uttering this prediction had immediately disappeared, and his son Amil-marudocus became king. But he was slain by his kinsman Iglisar, who left a son Labassoarask. And when he died by a violent death, Nabannidochus, who was not at all related to him was appointed king. But after the capture of Babylon, Cyrus presents him with the principality of Carmania.'
Also concerning the building of Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar the same author writes thus:
'It is said that all was originally water, and called a sea. But Belus put a stop to this, and assigned a district to each, and surrounded Babylon with a wall; and at the appointed time he disappeared.
'And afterwards Nebuchadnezzar built the wall which remained to the time of the Macedonian empire, and was furnished with gates of brass.'
After other statements he adds:
'When Nebuchadnezzar had succeeded to the kingdom, he fortified Babylon with a triple circuit of walls in fifteen days, and he changed the course of the river Armacales, which is a branch of the Euphrates, and also of the Acracanus. To protect the city of the Sippareni he dug out a reservoir having a circuit of forty parasangs and a depth of twenty fathoms, and put gates to it, by opening which they irrigated the plain; and they call them Echetognomones.
'He also walled off the inundation of the Red Sea, and built the city Teredon at the place of the incursions of the Arabs. His palace too he adorned with trees, and gave it the name of the Hanging Gardens.'
I have wished to make these quotations from the book before mentioned, because in the prophecy of Daniel it is said that Nebuchadnezzar, walking in the palace of his kingdom in Babylon, in proud thought spoke out arrogantly and said: 'Is not this great Babylon, which I have built for the royal dwelling place, by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty? ' 35 While the word is yet in his mouth the catastrophe which followed has come upon him.
This then is enough for me to have quoted on the present subject.
BUT after all let me add the statements from the Antiquity of the Jews by Josephus, where, after quoting word for word the sayings of numberless writers, he adds the following:
[JOSEPHUS] 36 'Nevertheless the records of the Syrians and Chaldeans and Phoenicians suffice for the proof of our antiquity, and in addition to them so many writers among the Greeks, and yet further in addition to those mentioned Theophilus, and Theodotus, and Mnaseas, and Aristophanes, and Hermogenes, Euemerus also, and: Conon, and Zopyrion, and many others perhaps (for I have not read all the books) have made no slight or passing mention of us.
'Most, however, of the persons mentioned missed the truth of our earliest history because they had not read our Sacred Books: nevertheless all alike have borne testimony concerning our antiquity, the subject on which I proposed to speak at this time. Demetrius Phalereus, however, and Philo the elder, and Eupolemus, did not go far astray from the truth. And they deserve to be excused, for it was not in their power to follow our scriptures with entire accuracy.'
So says Josephus. And any one who is pleased to read his statements concerning the Antiquity of the Jews will find very many testimonies agreeing with those which I have set forth.
Also there pours in upon me a further great crowd of writers both ancient and modern as witnesses, who set their seal upon the like judgement with the authors who have been quoted; but being anxious to preserve the due limits of my discourse, I leave their utterances for students to search out and examine, and will myself pass on to fulfil the remainder of my promise.
[Footnotes numbered and moved to end]
1. 404 a Porphyry. On Abstinence from Animal Food, ii. 26
2. 404 d 2 Porphyry, On Abstinence from Animal Food, iv. 11 = Josephus, Jewish War, II. viii. 2-12
3. 408 b 1 Josephus, Against Apion, i. 22, p. 456
4. 409 b 3 Josephus, Against Apion, p. 454
5. 410 b 3 Clement of Alexandria, Strom, i. c. 15, p. 358 (Potter)
6. 410 c 12 Clement Al., Strom. i. c. 15, p. 360
7. d 9 ibid. c. 22, p. 410
8. 411 c 1 Numenius, On the Good, a Fragment preserved by Eusebius
9. d 3 Numenius, ibidem
10. 412 a 4 Josephus, Against Apion, i. 22, p. 454
11. 412 d 10 Porphyry, Of the Philosophy to be derived from Oracles, a Fragment preserved by Eusebius
12. 413 c 1 Quoted by Justin M., Exhortation to the Greeks, c. xi B, and c. xxiv E
13. 414 a 1 Josephus, Ant. i. c. 3, § 6
14. 414 d 4 Abydenus, Assyrian History. Cf. Cyril of Alexandria, Against Julian, i. p. 8
15. 415 c 2 Josephus, Ant. i. 3, 9
16. 416 b 3 Abydenus, Assyrian History. Cf. Cyril of Alexandria, ibidem, p. 9
17. 416 c 3 Josephus. Ant. i. e. 4, § 3
18. d 2 Cf. Rzach, Sibylline Oracles, iii. 97-110
19. 417 b 4 Josephus, Ant. i. c. 7, § 2
20. 417 c 1 Nicolaus Damascenus, Universal History, a Fragment
21. 418 c 7 Alexander Polyhistor, Of the Jews, a Fragment preserved by Eusebius
22. 421 c 3-422 a 1 Unintelligible Fragments referring to Abraham and Isaac from a so-called poem on Jerusalem by a certain Philo
23. 422 a 6 Josephus, Ant. i. c. 15
24. 422 d 2 Alexander Polyhistor, Fragment; cf. p. 418 c 1
25. 426 b 1 Theodotus, On the Jews, a Fragment preserved by Polyhistor
26. 429 c 1 Alexander Polyhistor
27. 430 c 1 Philo, Concerning Jerusalem
28. d 6 Job i. 3
29. 431 c 3 A Fragment of Eupolemus, On the Kings of Judaea, quoted by Clement of Alexandria, Strom, i. c. 23, p. 413 P
30. 487 a 1 Ezekiel, The Exodus; cf. Clement of Alexandria, Strom. i. 414 P
31. 440 a 2 Ezekiel, The Exodus
32. 453 a 3 These lines are so corrupt as to defy translation
33. 453 d 1 Aristeas, § 88 (Wendland)
34. 455 b 3 Josephus, Against Apion, i. 19
35. 457 d 9 Dan. iv. 30
36. 458 b 5 Josephus, Against Apion, i. 23
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