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Against Apion by Flavius Josephus

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Against Apion.(1)

by Flavius Josephus

Translated by William Whiston


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

(5)About the days of Cyrus and Daniel.

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

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

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

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

(10) Genesis 46;32, 34; 47:3, 4.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(18) So I read the text with Havercamp, though the place be

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

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

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

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

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

(24) By way of irony, I suppose.

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

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