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 one�Abdemon, 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.

(26) That is the meaning of Hierosyla in Greek, not in Hebrew.

  1. In the former book, most honored Epaphroditus, I have
  demonstrated our antiquity, and confirmed the truth of what
  I have said, from the writings of the Phoenicians, and
  Chaldeans, and Egyptians. I have, moreover, produced many
  of the Grecian writers as witnesses thereto. I have also made
  a refutation of Manetho and Cheremon, and of certain others
  of our enemies. I shall now (1) therefore begin a confutation
  of the remaining authors who have written any thing against
  us; although I confess I have had a doubt upon me about
  Apion (2) the grammarian, whether I ought to take the
  trouble of confuting him or not; for some of his writings
  contain much the same accusations which the others have laid
  against us, some things that he hath added are very frigid and
  contemptible, and for the greatest part of what he says, it is
  very scurrilous, and, to speak no more than the plain truth, it
  shows him to be a very unlearned person, and what he lays
  together looks like the work of a man of very bad morals,
  and of one no better in his whole life than a mountebank.
  Yet, because there are a great many men so very foolish, that
  they are rather caught by such orations than by what is
  written with care, and take pleasure in reproaching other
  men, and cannot abide to hear them commended, I thought
  it to be necessary not to let this man go off without
  examination, who had written such an accusation against us,
  as if he would bring us to make an answer in open court. For
  I also have observed, that many men are very much delighted
  when they see a man who first began to reproach another, to
  be himself exposed to contempt on account of the vices he
  hath himself been guilty of. However, it is not a very easy
  thing to go over this man's discourse, nor to know plainly
  what he means; yet does he seem, amidst a great confusion
  and disorder in his falsehoods, to produce, in the first place,
  such things as resemble what we have examined already, and
  relate to the departure of our forefathers out of Egypt; and,
  in the second place, he accuses those Jews that are
  inhabitants of Alexandria; as, in the third place, he mixes
  with those things such accusations as concern the sacred
  purifications, with the other legal rites used in the temple.
  2. Now although I cannot but think that I have already
  demonstrated, and that abundantly more than was necessary,
  that our fathers were not originally Egyptians, nor were
  thence expelled, either on account of bodily diseases, or any
  other calamities of that sort; yet will I briefly take notice
  what Apion adds upon that subject; for in his third book,
  which relates to the affairs of Egypt, he speaks thus: "I have
  heard of the ancient men of Egypt, that Moses was of
  Heliopolis, and that he thought himself obliged to follow the
  customs of his forefathers, and offered his prayers in the
  open air, towards the city walls; but that he reduced them all
  to be directed towards sun-rising, which was agreeable to the
  situation of Heliopolis; that he also set up pillars instead of
  gnomons, (3) under which was represented a cavity like that
  of a boat, and the shadow that fell from their tops fell down
  upon that cavity, that it might go round about the like course
  as the sun itself goes round in the other." This is that
  wonderful relation which we have given us by this
  grammarian. But that it is a false one is so plain, that it
  stands in need of few words to prove it, but is manifest from
  the works of Moses; for when he erected the first tabernacle
  to God, he did himself neither give order for any such kind
  of representation to be made at it, nor ordain that those that
  came after him should make such a one. Moreover, when in
  a future age Solomon built his temple in Jerusalem, he
  avoided all such needless decorations as Apion hath here
  devised. He says further, how he had "heard of the ancient
  men, that Moses was of Hellopolis." To be sure that was,
  because being a younger man himself, he believed those that
  by their elder age were acquainted and conversed with him.
  Now this grammarian, as he was, could not certainly tell
  which was the poet Homer's country, no more than he could
  which was the country of Pythagoras, who lived comparatively
  but a little while ago; yet does he thus easily determine the
  age of Moses, who preceded them such a vast number of
  years, as depending on his ancient men's relation, which
  shows how notorious a liar he was. But then as to this
  chronological determination of the time when he says he
  brought the leprous people, the blind, and the lame out of
  Egypt, see how well this most accurate grammarian of ours
  agrees with those that have written before him! Manetho says
  that the Jews departed out of Egypt, in the reign of
  Tethmosis, three hundred ninety-three years before Danaus
  fled to Argos; Lysimaehus says it was under king Bocchoris,
  that is, one thousand seven hundred years ago; Molo and
  some others determined it as every one pleased: but this
  Apion of ours, as deserving to be believed before them, hath
  determined it exactly to have been in the seventh olympiad,
  and the first year of that olympiad; the very same year in
  which he says that Carthage was built by the Phoenicians.
  The reason why he added this building of Carthage was, to
  be sure, in order, as he thought, to strengthen his assertion
  by so evident a character of chronology. But he was not
  aware that this character confutes his assertion; for if we may
  give credit to the Phoenician records as to the time of the
  first coming of their colony to Carthage, they relate that
  Hirom their king was above a hundred and fifty years earlier
  than the building of Carthage; concerning whom I have
  formerly produced testimonials out of those Phoenician
  records, as also that this Hirom was a friend of Solomon
  when he was building the temple of Jerusalem, and gave him
  great assistance in his building that temple; while still
  Solomon himself built that temple six hundred and twelve
  years after the Jews came out of Egypt. As for the number of
  those that were expelled out of Egypt, he hath contrived to
  have the very same number with Lysimaehus, and says they
  were a hundred and ten thousand. He then assigns a certain
  wonderful and plausible occasion for the name of Sabbath;
  for he says that "when the Jews had traveled a six days'
  journey, they had buboes in their groins; and that on this
  account it was that they rested on the seventh day, as having
  got safely to that country which is now called Judea; that then
  they preserved the language of the Egyptians, and called that
  day the Sabbath, for that malady of buboes on their groin
  was named Sabbatosis by the Egyptians." And would not a
  man now laugh at this fellow's trifling, or rather hate his
  impudence in writing thus? We must, it seems, fake it for
  granted that all these hundred and ten thousand men must
  have these buboes. But, for certain, if those men had been
  blind and lame, and had all sorts of distempers upon them, as
  Apion says they had, they could not have gone one single
  day's journey; but if they had been all able to travel over a
  large desert, and, besides that, to fight and conquer those
  that opposed them, they had not all of them had buboes on
  their groins after the sixth day was over; for no such
  distemper comes naturally and of necessity upon those that
  travel; but still, when there are many ten thousands in a camp
  together, they constantly march a settled space [in a day].
  Nor is it at all probable that such a thing should happen by
  chance; this would be prodigiously absurd to be supposed.
  However, our admirable author Apion hath before told us
  that "they came to Judea in six days' time;" and again, that
  "Moses went up to a mountain that lay between Egypt and
  Arabia, which was called Sinai, and was concealed there forty
  days, and that when he came down from thence he gave laws
  to the Jews." But, then, how was it possible for them to tarry
  forty days in a desert place where there was no water, and at
  the same time to pass all over the country between that and
  Judea in the six days? And as for this grammatical translation
  of the word Sabbath, it either contains an instance of his
  great impudence or gross ignorance; for the words Sabbo and
  Sabbath are widely different from one another; for the word
  Sabbath in the Jewish language denotes rest from all sorts of
  work; but the word Sabbo, as he affirms, denotes among the
  Egyptians the malady of a bubo in the groin.
  3. This is that novel account which the Egyptian Apion gives
  us concerning the Jews' departure out of Egypt, and is no
  better than a contrivance of his own. But why should we
  wonder at the lies he tells about our forefathers, when he
  affirms them to be of Egyptian original, when he lies also
  about himself? for although he was born at Oasis in Egypt,
  he pretends to be, as a man may say, the top man of all the
  Egyptians; yet does he forswear his real country and
  progenitors, and by falsely pretending to be born at
  Alexandria, cannot deny the (4) pravity of his family; for you
  see how justly he calls those Egyptians whom he hates, and
  endeavors to reproach; for had he not deemed Egyptians to
  be a name of great reproach, he would not have avoided the
  name of an Egyptian himself; as we know that those who
  brag of their own countries value themselves upon the
  denomination they acquire thereby, and reprove such as
  unjustly lay claim thereto. As for the Egyptians' claim to be
  of our kindred, they do it on one of the following accounts; I
  mean, either as they value themselves upon it, and pretend to
  bear that relation to us; or else as they would draw us in to
  be partakers of their own infamy. But this fine fellow Apion
  seems to broach this reproachful appellation against us, [that
  we were originally Egyptians,] in order to bestow it on the
  Alexandrians, as a reward for the privilege they had given
  him of being a fellow citizen with them: he also is apprized of
  the ill-will the Alexandrians bear to those Jews who are their
  fellow citizens, and so proposes to himself to reproach them,
  although he must thereby include all the other Egyptians
  also; while in both cases he is no better than an impudent
  4. But let us now see what those heavy and wicked crimes are
  which Apion charges upon the Alexandrian Jews. "They came
  (says he) out of Syria, and inhabited near the tempestuous
  sea, and were in the neighborhood of the dashing of the
  waves." Now if the place of habitation includes any thing that
  is reproached, this man reproaches not his own real country,
  [Egypt,] but what he pretends to be his own country,
  Alexandria; for all are agreed in this, that the part of that
  which is near the sea is the best part of all for habitation.
  Now if the Jews gained that part of the city by force, and
  have kept it hitherto without impeachment, this is a mark of
  their valor; but in reality it was Alexander himself that gave
  them that place for their habitation, when they obtained
  equal privileges there with the Macedonians. Nor call I devise
  what Apion would have said, had their habitation been at
  Necropolis? and not been fixed hard by the royal palace [as it
  is]; nor had their nation had the denomination of
  Macedonians given them till this very day [as they have]. Had
  this man now read the epistles of king Alexander, or those of
  Ptolemy the son of Lagus, or met with the writings of the
  succeeding kings, or that pillar which is still standing at
  Alexandria, and contains the privileges which the great
  [Julius] Caesar bestowed upon the Jews; had this man, I say,
  known these records, and yet hath the impudence to write in
  contradiction to them, he hath shown himself to be a wicked
  man; but if he knew nothing of these records, he hath shown
  himself to be a man very ignorant: nay, when lie appears to
  wonder how Jews could be called Alexandrians, this is
  another like instance of his ignorance; for all such as are
  called out to be colonies, although they be ever so far remote
  from one another in their original, receive their names from
  those that bring them to their new habitations. And what
  occasion is there to speak of others, when those of us Jews
  that dwell at Antioch are named Antiochians, because
  Seleucns the founder of that city gave them the privileges
  belonging thereto? After the like manner do those Jews that
  inhabit Ephesus, and the other cities of Ionia, enjoy the same
  name with those that were originally born there, by the grant
  of the succeeding princes; nay, the kindness and humanity of
  the Romans hath been so great, that it hath granted leave to
  almost all others to take the same name of Romans upon
  them; I mean not particular men only, but entire and large
  nations themselves also; for those anciently named Iberi, and
  Tyrrheni, and Sabini, are now called Romani. And if Apion
  reject this way of obtaining the privilege of a citizen of
  Alexandria, let him abstain from calling himself an
  Alexandrian hereafter; for otherwise, how can he who was
  born in the very heart of Egypt be an Alexandrian, if this way
  of accepting such a privilege, of which he would have us
  deprived, be once abrogated? although indeed these Romans,
  who are now the lords of the habitable earth, have forbidden
  the Egyptians to have the privileges of any city whatsoever;
  while this fine fellow, who is willing to partake of such a
  privilege himself as he is forbidden to make use of, endeavors
  by calumnies to deprive those of it that have justly received
  it; for Alexander did not therefore get some of our nation to
  Alexandria, because he wanted inhabitants for this his city, on
  whose building he had bestowed so much pains; but this was
  given to our people as a reward, because he had, upon a
  careful trial, found them all to have been men of virtue and
  fidelity to him; for, as Hecateus says concerning us,
  "Alexander honored our nation to such a degree, that, for the
  equity and the fidelity which the Jews exhibited to him, he
  permitted them to hold the country of Samaria free from
  tribute. Of the same mind also was Ptolemy the son of Lagus,
  as to those Jews who dwelt at Alexandria." For he intrusted
  the fortresses of Egypt into their hands, as believing they
  would keep them faithfully and valiantly for him; and when
  he was desirous to secure the government of Cyrene, and the
  other cities of Libya, to himself, he sent a party of Jews to
  inhabit in them. And for his successor Ptolemy, who was
  called Philadelphus, he did not only set all those of our
  nation free who were captives under him, but did frequently
  give money [for their ransom]; and, what was his greatest
  work of all, he had a great desire of knowing our laws, and of
  obtaining the books of our sacred Scriptures; accordingly, he
  desired that such men might be sent him as might interpret
  our law to him; and, in order to have them well compiled, he
  committed that care to no ordinary persons, but ordained
  that Demetrius Phalereus, and Andreas, and Aristeas; the
  first, Demetrius, the most learned person of his age, and the
  others, such as were intrusted with the guard of his body;
  should take care of this matter: nor would he certainly have
  been so desirous of learning our law, and the philosophy of
  our nation, had he despised the men that made use of it, or
  had he not indeed had them in great admiration.
  5. Now this Apion was unacquainted with almost all the kings
  of those Macedonians whom he pretends to have been his
  progenitors, who were yet very well affected towards us; for
  the third of those Ptolemies, who was called Euergetes, when
  he had gotten possession of all Syria by force, did not offer
  his thank-offerings to the Egyptian gods for his victory, but
  came to Jerusalem, and according to our own laws offered
  many sacrifices to God, and dedicated to him such gifts as
  were suitable to such a victory: and as for Ptolemy
  Philometer and his wife Cleopatra, they committed their
  whole kingdom to the Jews, when Onias and Dositheus, both
  Jews, whose names are laughed at by Apion, were the
  generals of their whole army. But certainly, instead of
  reproaching them, he ought to admire their actions, and
  return them thanks for saving Alexandria, whose citizen he
  pretends to be; for when these Alexandrians were making war
  with Cleopatra the queen, and were in danger of being
  utterly ruined, these Jews brought them to terms of
  agreement, and freed them from the miseries of a civil war.
  "But then (says Apion) Onias brought a small army afterward
  upon the city at the time when Thorruns the Roman
  ambassador was there present." Yes, do I venture to say, and
  that he did rightly and very justly in so doing; for that
  Ptolemy who was called Physco, upon the death of his
  brother Philometer, came from Cyrene, and would have
  ejected Cleopatra as well as her sons out of their kingdom,
  that he might obtain it for himself unjustly. (5) For this
  then it was that Onias undertook a war against him on
  Cleopatra's account; nor would he desert that trust the royal
  family had reposed in him in their distress. Accordingly, God
  gave a remarkable attestation to his righteous procedure; for
  when Ptolemy Physco (6) had the presumption to fight
  against Onias's army, and had caught all the Jews that were
  in the city [Alexandria], with their children and wives, and
  exposed them naked and in bonds to his elephants, that they
  might be trodden upon and destroyed, and when he had
  made those elephants drunk for that purpose, the event
  proved contrary to his preparations; for these elephants left
  the Jews who were exposed to them, and fell violently upon
  Physco's friends, and slew a great number of them; nay, after
  this Ptolemy saw a terrible ghost, which prohibited his hurting
  those men; his very concubine, whom he loved so well, (some
  call her Ithaca, and others Irene,) making supplication to
  him, that he would not perpetrate so great a wickedness. So
  he complied with her request, and repented of what he either
  had already done, or was about to do; whence it is well
  known that the Alexandrian Jews do with good reason
  celebrate this day, on the account that they had thereon been
  vouchsafed such an evident deliverance from God. However,
  Apion, the common calumniator of men, hath the
  presumption to accuse the Jews for making this war against
  Physco, when he ought to have commended them for the
  same. This man also makes mention of Cleopatra, the last
  queen of Alexandria, and abuses us, because she was
  ungrateful to us; whereas he ought to have reproved her, who
  indulged herself in all kinds of injustice and wicked
  both with regard to her nearest relations and husbands who
  had loved her, and, indeed, in general with regard to all the
  Romans, and those emperors that were her benefactors; who
  also had her sister Arsinoe slain in a temple, when she had
  done her no harm: moreover, she had her brother slain by
  private treachery, and she destroyed the gods of her country
  and the sepulchers of her progenitors; and while she had
  received her kingdom from the first Caesar, she had the
  impudence to rebel against his son: (7) and successor; nay,
  she corrupted Antony with her love-tricks, and rendered him
  an enemy to his country, and made him treacherous to his
  friends, and [by his means] despoiled some of their royal
  authority, and forced others in her madness to act wickedly.
  But what need I enlarge upon this head any further, when
  she left Antony in his fight at sea, though he were her
  husband, and the father of their common children, and
  compelled him to resign up his government, with the army,
  and to follow her [into Egypt]? nay, when last of all Caesar
  had taken Alexandria, she came to that pitch of cruelty, that
  she declared she had some hope of preserving her affairs still,
  in case she could kill the Jews, though it were with her own
  hand; to such a degree of barbarity and perfidiousness had
  she arrived. And doth any one think that we cannot boast
  ourselves of any thing, if, as Apion says, this queen did not
  a time of famine distribute wheat among us? However, she at
  length met with the punishment she deserved. As for us Jews,
  we appeal to the great Caesar what assistance we brought
  him, and what fidelity we showed to him against the
  Egyptians; as also to the senate and its decrees, and the
  epistles of Augustus Caesar, whereby our merits [to the
  Romans] are justified. Apion ought to have looked upon
  those epistles, and in particular to have examined the
  testimonies given on our behalf, under Alexander and all the
  Ptolemies, and the decrees of the senate and of the greatest
  Roman emperors. And if Germanicus was not able to make a
  distribution of corn to all the inhabitants of Alexandria, that
  only shows what a barren time it was, and how great a want
  there was then of corn, but tends nothing to the accusation of
  the Jews; for what all the emperors have thought of the
  Alexandrian Jews is well known, for this distribution of wheat
  was no otherwise omitted with regard to the Jews, than it was
  with regard to the other inhabitants of Alexandria. But they
  still were desirous to preserve what the kings had formerly
  intrusted to their care, I mean the custody of the river; nor
  did those kings think them unworthy of having the entire
  custody thereof, upon all occasions.
  6. But besides this, Apion objects to us thus: "If the Jews
  (says he) be citizens of Alexandria, why do they not worship
  the same gods with the Alexandrians?" To which I give this
  answer: Since you are yourselves Egyptians, why do you fight
  it out one against another, and have implacable wars about
  your religion? At this rate we must not call you all Egyptians,
  nor indeed in general men, because you breed up with great
  care beasts of a nature quite contrary to that of men,
  although the nature of all men seems to be one and the
  same. Now if there be such differences in opinion among you
  Egyptians, why are you surprised that those who came to
  Alexandria from another country, and had original laws of
  their own before, should persevere in the observance of those
  laws? But still he charges us with being the authors of
  sedition; which accusation, if it be a just one, why is it not
  laid against us all, since we are known to be all of one mind.
  Moreover, those that search into such matters will soon
  discover that the authors of sedition have been such citizens
  of Alexandria as Apion is; for while they were the Grecians
  and Macedonians who were ill possession of this city, there
  was no sedition raised against us, and we were permitted to
  observe our ancient solemnities; but when the number of the
  Egyptians therein came to be considerable, the times grew
  confused, and then these seditions brake out still more and
  more, while our people continued uncorrupted. These
  Egyptians, therefore, were the authors of these troubles, who
  having not the constancy of Macedonians, nor the prudence
  of Grecians, indulged all of them the evil manners of the
  Egyptians, and continued their ancient hatred against us; for
  what is here so presumptuously charged upon us, is owing to
  the differences that are amongst themselves; while many of
  them have not obtained the privileges of citizens in proper
  times, but style those who are well known to have had that
  privilege extended to them all no other than foreigners: for it
  does not appear that any of the kings have ever formerly
  bestowed those privileges of citizens upon Egyptians, no more
  than have the emperors done it more lately; while it was
  Alexander who introduced us into this city at first, the kings
  augmented our privileges therein, and the Romans have been
  pleased to preserve them always inviolable. Moreover, Apion
  would lay a blot upon us, because we do not erect images for
  our emperors; as if those emperors did not know this before,
  or stood in need of Apion as their defender; whereas he
  ought rather to have admired the magnanimity and modesty
  of the Romans, whereby they do not compel those that are
  subject to them to transgress the laws of their countries, but
  are willing to receive the honors due to them after such a
  manner as those who are to pay them esteem consistent with
  piety and with their own laws; for they do not thank people
  for conferring honors upon them, When they are compelled
  by violence so to do. Accordingly, since the Grecians and
  some other nations think it a right thing to make images, nay,
  when they have painted the pictures of their parents, and
  wives, and children, they exult for joy; and some there are
  who take pictures for themselves of such persons as were no
  way related to them; nay, some take the pictures of such
  servants as they were fond of; what wonder is it then if such
  as these appear willing to pay the same respect to their
  princes and lords? But then our legislator hath forbidden us
  to make images, not by way of denunciation beforehand, that
  the Roman authority was not to be honored, but as despising
  a thing that was neither necessary nor useful for either God
  or man; and he forbade them, as we shall prove hereafter, to
  make these images for any part of the animal creation, and
  much less for God himself, who is no part of such animal
  creation. Yet hath our legislator no where forbidden us to
  pay honors to worthy men, provided they be of another kind,
  and inferior to those we pay to God; with which honors we
  willingly testify our respect to our emperors, and to the
  people of Rome; we also offer perpetual sacrifices for them;
  nor do we only offer them every day at the common expenses
  of all the Jews, but although we offer no other such sacrifices
  out of our common expenses, no, not for our own children,
  yet do we this as a peculiar honor to the emperors, and to
  them alone, while we do the same to no other person
  whomsoever. And let this suffice for an answer in general to
  Apion, as to what he says with relation to the Alexandrian
  7. However, I cannot but admire those other authors who
  furnished this man with such his materials; I mean
  Possidonius and Apollonius [the son of] Molo, (8) who, while
  they accuse us for not worshipping the same gods whom
  others worship, they think themselves not guilty of impiety
  when they tell lies of us, and frame absurd and reproachful
  stories about our temple; whereas it is a most shameful thing
  for freemen to forge lies on any occasion, and much more so
  to forge them about our temple, which was so famous over
  all the world, and was preserved so sacred by us; for Apion
  hath the impudence to pretend that" the Jews placed an ass's
  head in their holy place;" and he affirms that this was
  discovered when Antiochus Epiphanes spoiled our temple,
  and found that ass's head there made of gold, and worth a
  great deal of money. To this my first answer shall be this,
  that had there been any such thing among us, an Egyptian
  ought by no means to have thrown it in our teeth, since an
  ass is not a more contemptible animal than   (9) and goats,
  and other such creatures, which among them are gods. But
  besides this answer, I say further, how comes it about that
  Apion does not understand this to be no other than a
  palpable lie, and to be confuted by the thing itself as utterly
  incredible? For we Jews are always governed by the same
  laws, in which we constantly persevere; and although many
  misfortunes have befallen our city, as the like have befallen
  others, and although Theos [Epiphanes], and Pompey the
  Great, and Licinius Crassus, and last of all Titus Caesar, have
  conquered us in war, and gotten possession of our temple;
  yet have they none of them found any such thing there, nor
  indeed any thing but what was agreeable to the strictest piety;
  although what they found we are not at liberty to reveal to
  other nations. But for Antiochus [Epiphanes], he had no just
  cause for that ravage in our temple that he made; he only
  came to it when he wanted money, without declaring himself
  our enemy, and attacked us while we were his associates and
  his friends; nor did he find any thing there that was
  ridiculous. This is attested by many worthy writers; Polybius
  of Megalopolis, Strabo of Cappadocia, Nicolaus of Damascus,
  Timagenes, Castor the chronotoger, and Apollodorus; (10)
  who all say that it was out of Antiochus's want of money that
  he broke his league with the Jews, and despoiled their temple
  when it was full of gold and silver. Apion ought to have had
  a regard to these facts, unless he had himself had either an
  ass's heart or a dog's impudence; of such a dog I mean as
  they worship; for he had no other external reason for the lies
  he tells of us. As for us Jews, we ascribe no honor or power
  to asses, as do the Egyptians to crocodiles and asps, when
  they esteem such as are seized upon by the former, or bitten
  by the latter, to be happy persons, and persons worthy of
  God. Asses are the same with us which they are with other
  wise men, viz. creatures that bear the burdens that we lay
  upon them; but if they come to our thrashing-floors and eat
  our corn, or do not perform what we impose upon them, we
  beat them with a great many stripes, because it is their
  business to minister to us in our husbandry affairs. But this
  Apion of ours was either perfectly unskillful in the
  composition of such fallacious discourses, or however, when
  he begun [somewhat better], he was not able to persevere in
  what he had undertaken, since he hath no manner of success
  in those reproaches he casts upon us.
  8. He adds another Grecian fable, in order to reproach us. In
  reply to which, it would be enough to say, that they who
  presume to speak about Divine worship ought not to be
  ignorant of this plain truth, that it is a degree of less
  to pass through temples, than to forge wicked calumnies of
  its priests. Now such men as he are more zealous to justify a
  sacrilegious king, than to write what is just and what is true
  about us, and about our temple; for when they are desirous
  of gratifying Antiochus, and of concealing that perfidiousness
  and sacrilege which he was guilty of, with regard to our
  nation, when he wanted money, they endeavor to disgrace us,
  and tell lies even relating to futurities. Apion becomes other
  men's prophet upon this occasion, and says that "Antiochus
  found in our temple a bed, and a man lying upon it, with a
  small table before him, full of dainties, from the [fishes of
  the] sea, and the fowls of the dry land; that this man was
  amazed at these dainties thus set before him; that he
  immediately adored the king, upon his coming in, as hoping
  that he would afford him all possible assistance; that he fell
  down upon his knees, and stretched out to him his right
  hand, and begged to be released; and that when the king bid
  him sit down, and tell him who he was, and why he dwelt
  there, and what was the meaning of those various sorts of
  food that were set before him the man made a lamentable
  complaint, and with sighs, and tears in his eyes, gave him this
  account of the distress he was in; and said that he was a
  Greek and that as he went over this province, in order to get
  his living, he was seized upon by foreigners, on a sudden, and
  brought to this temple, and shut up therein, and was seen by
  nobody, but was fattened by these curious provisions thus set
  before him; and that truly at the first such unexpected
  advantages seemed to him matter of great joy; that after a
  while, they brought a suspicion him, and at length
  astonishment, what their meaning should be; that at last he
  inquired of the servants that came to him and was by them
  informed that it was in order to the fulfilling a law of the
  Jews, which they must not tell him, that he was thus fed; and
  that they did the same at a set time every year: that they used
  to catch a Greek foreigner, and fat him thus up every year,
  and then lead him to a certain wood, and kill him, and
  sacrifice with their accustomed solemnities, and taste of his
  entrails, and take an oath upon this sacrificing a Greek, that
  they would ever be at enmity with the Greeks; and that then
  they threw the remaining parts of the miserable wretch into a
  certain pit." Apion adds further, that" the man said there
  were but a few days to come ere he was to be slain, and
  implored of Antiochus that, out of the reverence he bore to
  the Grecian gods, he would disappoint the snares the Jews
  laid for his blood, and would deliver him from the miseries
  with which he was encompassed." Now this is such a most
  tragical fable as is full of nothing but cruelty and impudence;
  yet does it not excuse Antiochus of his sacrilegious attempt,
  as those who write it in his vindication are willing to
  for he could not presume beforehand that he should meet
  with any such thing in coming to the temple, but must have
  found it unexpectedly. He was therefore still an impious
  person, that was given to unlawful pleasures, and had no
  regard to God in his actions. But [as for Apion], he hath
  done whatever his extravagant love of lying hath dictated to
  him, as it is most easy to discover by a consideration of his
  writings; for the difference of our laws is known not to regard
  the Grecians only, but they are principally opposite to the
  Egyptians, and to some other nations also for while it so falls
  out that men of all countries come sometimes and sojourn
  among us, how comes it about that we take an oath, and
  conspire only against the Grecians, and that by the effusion
  of their blood also? Or how is it possible that all the Jews
  should get together to these sacrifices, and the entrails of
  man should be sufficient for so many thousands to taste of
  them, as Apion pretends? Or why did not the king carry this
  man, whosoever he was, and whatsoever was his name,
  (which is not set down in Apion's book,) with great pomp
  back into his own country? when he might thereby have been
  esteemed a religious person himself, and a mighty lover of
  the Greeks, and might thereby have procured himself great
  assistance from all men against that hatred the Jews bore to
  him. But I leave this matter; for the proper way of confuting
  fools is not to use bare words, but to appeal to the things
  themselves that make against them. Now, then, all such as
  ever saw the construction of our temple, of what nature it
  was, know well enough how the purity of it was never to be
  profaned; for it had four several courts (12) encompassed
  with cloisters round about, every one of which had by our law
  a peculiar degree of separation from the rest. Into the first
  court every body was allowed to go, even foreigners, and
  none but women, during their courses, were prohibited to
  pass through it; all the Jews went into the second court, as
  well as their wives, when they were free from all uncleanness;
  into the third court went in the Jewish men, when they were
  clean and purified; into the fourth went the priests, having on
  their sacerdotal garments; but for the most sacred place,
  none went in but the high priests, clothed in their peculiar
  garments. Now there is so great caution used about these
  offices of religion, that the priests are appointed to go into
  the temple but at certain hours; for in the morning, at the
  opening of the inner temple, those that are to officiate
  receive the sacrifices, as they do again at noon, till the
  are shut. Lastly, it is not so much as lawful to carry any
  into the holy house; nor is there any thing therein, but the
  altar [of incense], the table [of shew-bread], the censer, and
  the candlestick, which are all written in the law; for there is
  nothing further there, nor are there any mysteries performed
  that may not be spoken of; nor is there any feasting within
  the place. For what I have now said is publicly known, and
  supported by the testimony of the whole people, and their
  operations are very manifest; for although there be four
  courses of the priests, and every one of them have above five
  thousand men in them, yet do they officiate on certain days
  only; and when those days are over, other priests succeed in
  the performance of their sacrifices, and assemble together at
  mid-day, and receive the keys of the temple, and the vessels
  by tale, without any thing relating to food or drink being
  carried into the temple; nay, we are not allowed to offer such
  things at the altar, excepting what is prepared for the
  9. What then can we say of Apion, but that he examined
  nothing that concerned these things, while still he uttered
  incredible words about them? but it is a great shame for a
  grammarian not to be able to write true history. Now if he
  knew the purity of our temple, he hath entirely omitted to
  take notice of it; but he forges a story about the seizing of a
  Grecian, about ineffable food, and the most delicious
  preparation of dainties; and pretends that strangers could go
  into a place whereinto the noblest men among the Jews are
  not allowed to enter, unless they be priests. This, therefore,
  the utmost degree of impiety, and a voluntary lie, in order to
  the delusion of those who will not examine into the truth of
  matters; whereas such unspeakable mischiefs as are above
  related have been occasioned by such calumnies that are
  raised upon us.
  10. Nay, this miracle or piety derides us further, and adds the
  following pretended facts to his former fable; for be says that
  this man related how, "while the Jews were once in a long
  war with the Idumeans, there came a man out of one of the
  cities of the Idumeans, who there had worshipped Apollo.
  This man, whose name is said to have been Zabidus, came to
  the Jews, and promised that he would deliver Apollo, the god
  of Dora, into their hands, and that he would come to our
  temple, if they would all come up with him, and bring the
  whole multitude of the Jews with them; that Zabidus made
  him a certain wooden instrument, and put it round about
  him, and set three rows of lamps therein, and walked after
  such a manner, that he appeared to those that stood a great
  way off him to be a kind of star, walking upon the earth; that
  the Jews were terribly affrighted at so surprising an
  appearance, and stood very quiet at a distance; and that
  Zabidus, while they continued so very quiet, went into the
  holy house, and carried off that golden head of an ass, (for so
  facetiously does he write,) and then went his way back again
  to Dora in great haste." And say you so, sir! as I may reply;
  then does Apion load the ass, that is, himself, and lays on
  him a burden of fooleries and lies; for he writes of places
  that have no being, and not knowing the cities he speaks of,
  he changes their situation; for Idumea borders upon our
  country, and is near to Gaza, in which there is no such city as
  Dora; although there be, it is true, a city named Dora in
  Phoenicia, near Mount Carmel, but it is four days' journey
  from Idumea. (12) Now, then, why does this man accuse us,
  because we have not gods in common with other nations, if
  our fathers were so easily prevailed upon to have Apollo
  come to them, and thought they saw him walking upon the
  earth, and the stars with him? for certainly those who have so
  many festivals, wherein they light lamps, must yet, at this
  rate, have never seen a candlestick! But still it seems that
  while Zabidus took his journey over the country, where were
  so many ten thousands of people, nobody met him. He also,
  it seems, even in a time of war, found the walls of Jerusalem
  destitute of guards. I omit the rest. Now the doors of the holy
  house were seventy (13) cubits high, and twenty cubits broad;
  they were all plated over with gold, and almost of solid gold
  itself, and there were no fewer than twenty (14) men required
  to shut them every day; nor was it lawful ever to leave them
  open, though it seems this lamp-bearer of ours opened them
  easily, or thought he opened them, as he thought he had the
  ass's head in his hand. Whether, therefore, he returned it to
  us again, or whether Apion took it, and brought it into the
  temple again, that Antiochus might find it, and afford a
  handle for a second fable of Apion's, is uncertain.
  11. Apion also tells a false story, when he mentions an oath
  of ours, as if we "swore by God, the Maker of the heaven,
  and earth, and sea, to bear no good will to any foreigner, and
  particularly to none of the Greeks." Now this liar ought to
  have said directly that" we would bear no good-will to any
  foreigner, and particularly to none of the Egyptians." For
  then his story about the oath would have squared with the
  rest of his original forgeries, in case our forefathers had
  driven away by their kinsmen, the Egyptians, not on account
  of any wickedness they had been guilty of, but on account of
  the calamities they were under; for as to the Grecians, we
  were rather remote from them in place, than different from
  them in our institutions, insomuch that we have no enmity
  with them, nor any jealousy of them. On the contrary, it hath
  so happened that many of them have come over to our laws,
  and some of them have continued in their observation,
  although others of them had not courage enough to
  persevere, and so departed from them again; nor did any
  body ever hear this oath sworn by us: Apion, it seems, was
  the only person that heard it, for he indeed was the first
  composer of it.
  12. However, Apion deserves to be admired for his great
  prudence, as to what I am going to say, which is this," That
  there is a plain mark among us, that we neither have just
  laws, nor worship God as we ought to do, because we are not
  governors, but are rather in subjection to Gentiles, sometimes
  to one nation, and sometimes to another; and that our city
  hath been liable to several calamities, while their city
  [Alexandria] hath been of old time an imperial city, and not
  used to be in subjection to the Romans." But now this man
  had better leave off this bragging, for every body but himself
  would think that Apion said what he hath said against
  himself; for there are very few nations that have had the
  good fortune to continue many generations in the
  principality, but still the mutations in human affairs have put
  them into subjection under others; and most nations have
  been often subdued, and brought into subjection by others.
  Now for the Egyptians, perhaps they are the only nation that
  have had this extraordinary privilege, to have never served
  any of those monarchs who subdued Asia and Europe, and
  this on account, as they pretend, that the gods fled into their
  country, and saved themselves by being changed into the
  shapes of wild beasts! Whereas these Egyptians (15) are the
  very people that appear to have never, in all the past ages,
  had one day of freedom, no, not so much as from their own
  lords. For I will not reproach them with relating the manner
  how the Persians used them, and this not once only, but
  many times, when they laid their cities waste, demolished
  their temples, and cut the throats of those animals whom
  they esteemed to be gods; for it is not reasonable to imitate
  the clownish ignorance of Apion, who hath no regard to the
  misfortunes of the Athenians, or of the Lacedemonians, the
  latter of whom were styled by all men the most courageous,
  and the former the most religious of the Grecians. I say
  nothing of such kings as have been famous for piety,
  particularly of one of them, whose name was Cresus, nor
  what calamities he met with in his life; I say nothing of the
  citadel of Athens, of the temple at Ephesus, of that at
  Delphi, nor of ten thousand others which have been burnt
  down, while nobody cast reproaches on those that were the
  sufferers, but on those that were the actors therein. But now
  we have met with Apion, an accuser of our nation, though
  one that still forgets the miseries of his own people, the
  Egptians; but it is that Sesostris who was once so celebrated a
  king of Egypt that hath blinded him. Now we will not brag of
  our kings, David and Solomon, though they conquered many
  nations; accordingly we will let them alone. However, Apion
  is ignorant of what every body knows, that the Egyptians
  were servants to the Persians, and afterwards to the
  Macedonians, when they were lords of Asia, and were no
  better than slaves, while we have enjoyed liberty formerly;
  nay, more than that, have had the dominion of the cities that
  lie round about us, and this nearly for a hundred and twenty
  years together, until Pompeius Magnus. And when all the
  kings every where were conquered by the Romans, our
  ancestors were the only people who continued to be
  esteemed their confederates and friends, on account of their
  fidelity to them.(16)
  13. "But," says Apion, "we Jews have not had any wonderful
  men amongst us, not any inventors of arts, nor any eminent
  for wisdom." He then enumerates Socrates, and Zeno, and
  Cleanthes, and some others of the same sort; and, after all,
  he adds himself to them, which is the most wonderful thing
  of all that he says, and pronounces Alexandria to be happy,
  because it hath such a citizen as he is in it; for he was the
  fittest man to be a witness to his own deserts, although he
  hath appeared to all others no better than a wicked
  mountebank, of a corrupt life and ill discourses; on which
  account one may justly pity Alexandria, if it should value
  itself upon such a citizen as he is. But as to our own men, we
  have had those who have been as deserving of commendation
  as any other whosoever, and such as have perused our
  Antiquities cannot be ignorant of them.
  14. As to the other things which he sets down as
  blameworthy, it may perhaps be the best way to let them pass
  without apology, that he may be allowed to be his own
  accuser, and the accuser of the rest of the Egyptians.
  However, he accuses us for sacrificing animals, and for
  abstaining from swine's flesh, and laughs at us for the
  circumcision of our privy members. Now as for our slaughter
  of tame animals for sacrifices, it is common to us and to all
  other men; but this Apion, by making it a crime to sacrifice
  them, demonstrates himself to be an Egyptian; for had he
  been either a Grecian or a Macedonian, [as he pretends to
  be,] he had not shown any uneasiness at it; for those people
  glory in sacrificing whole hecatombs to the gods, and make
  use of those sacrifices for feasting; and yet is not the world
  thereby rendered destitute of cattle, as Apion was afraid
  would come to pass. Yet if all men had followed the manners
  of the Egyptians, the world had certainly been made desolate
  as to mankind, but had been filled full of the wildest sort of
  brute beasts, which, because they suppose them to be gods,
  they carefully nourish. However, if any one should ask Apion
  which of the Egyptians he thinks to he the most wise and
  most pious of them all, he would certainly acknowledge the
  priests to be so; for the histories say that two things were
  originally committed to their care by their kings' injunctions,
  the worship of the gods, and the support of wisdom and
  philosophy. Accordingly, these priests are all circumcised, and
  abstain from swine's flesh; nor does any one of the other
  Egyptians assist them in slaying those sacrifices they offer to
  the gods. Apion was therefore quite blinded in his mind,
  when, for the sake of the Egyptians, he contrived to reproach
  us, and to accuse such others as not only make use of that
  conduct of life which he so much abuses, but have also taught
  other men to be circumcised, as says Herodotus; which makes
  me think that Apion is hereby justly punished for his casting
  such reproaches on the laws of his own country; for he was
  circumcised himself of necessity, on account of an ulcer in his
  privy member; and when he received no benefit by such
  circumcision, but his member became putrid, he died in great
  torment. Now men of good tempers ought to observe their
  own laws concerning religion accurately, and to persevere
  therein, but not presently to abuse the laws of other nations,
  while this Apion deserted his own laws, and told lies about
  ours. And this was the end of Apion's life, and this shall be
  the conclusion of our discourse about him.
  15. But now, since Apollonius Molo, and Lysimachus, and
  some others, write treatises about our lawgiver Moses, and
  about our laws, which are neither just nor true, and this
  partly out of ignorance, but chiefly out of ill-will to us,
  they calumniate Moses as an impostor and deceiver, and
  pretend that our laws teach us wickedness, but nothing that is
  virtuous, I have a mind to discourse briefly, according to my
  ability, about our whole constitution of government, and
  about the particular branches of it. For I suppose it will
  thence become evident, that the laws we have given us are
  disposed after the best manner for the advancement of piety,
  for mutual communion with one another, for a general love
  of mankind, as also for justice, and for sustaining labors with
  fortitude, and for a contempt of death. And I beg of those
  that shall peruse this writing of mine, to read it without
  partiality; for it is not my purpose to write an encomium
  upon ourselves, but I shall esteem this as a most just apology
  for us, and taken from those our laws, according to which we
  lead our lives, against the many and the lying objections that
  have been made against us. Moreover, since this Apollonius
  does not do like Apion, and lay a continued accusation
  against us, but does it only by starts, and up and clown his
  discourse, while he sometimes reproaches us as atheists, and
  man-haters, and sometimes hits us in the teeth with our want
  of courage, and yet sometimes, on the contrary, accuses us of
  too great boldness and madness in our conduct; nay, he says
  that we are the weakest of all the barbarians, and that this is
  the reason why we are the only people who have made no
  improvements in human life; now I think I shall have then
  sufficiently disproved all these his allegations, when it shall
  appear that our laws enjoin the very reverse of what he says,
  and that we very carefully observe those laws ourselves. And
  if I he compelled to make mention of the laws of other
  nations, that are contrary to ours, those ought deservedly to
  thank themselves for it, who have pretended to depreciate
  our laws in comparison of their own; nor will there, I think,
  be any room after that for them to pretend either that we
  have no such laws ourselves, an epitome of which I will
  present to the reader, or that we do not, above all men,
  continue in the observation of them.
  16. To begin then a good way backward, I would advance
  this, in the first place, that those who have been admirers of
  good order, and of living under common laws, and who began
  to introduce them, may well have this testimony that they are
  better than other men, both for moderation and such virtue
  as is agreeable to nature. Indeed their endeavor was to have
  every thing they ordained believed to be very ancient, that
  they might not be thought to imitate others, but might appear
  to have delivered a regular way of living to others after them.
  Since then this is the case, the excellency of a legislator is
  seen in providing for the people's living after the best
  manner, and in prevailing with those that are to use the laws
  he ordains for them, to have a good opinion of them, and in
  obliging the multitude to persevere in them, and to make no
  changes in them, neither in prosperity nor adversity. Now I
  venture to say, that our legislator is the most ancient of all
  the legislators whom we have ally where heard of; for as for
  the Lycurguses, and Solons, and Zaleucus Locrensis, and all
  those legislators who are so admired by the Greeks, they
  seem to be of yesterday, if compared with our legislator,
  insomuch as the very name of a law was not so much as
  known in old times among the Grecians. Homer is a witness
  to the truth of this observation, who never uses that term in
  all his poems; for indeed there was then no such thing among
  them, but the multitude was governed by wise maxims, and
  by the injunctions of their king. It was also a long time that
  they continued in the use of these unwritten customs,
  although they were always changing them upon several
  occasions. But for our legislator, who was of so much greater
  antiquity than the rest, (as even those that speak against us
  upon all occasions do always confess,) he exhibited himself to
  the people as their best governor and counselor, and included
  in his legislation the entire conduct of their lives, and
  prevailed with them to receive it, and brought it so to pass,
  that those that were made acquainted with his laws did most
  carefully observe them.
  17. But let us consider his first and greatest work; for when
  was resolved on by our forefathers to leave Egypt, and return
  to their own country, this Moses took the many tell
  thousands that were of the people, and saved them out of
  many desperate distresses, and brought them home in safety.
  And certainly it was here necessary to travel over a country
  without water, and full of sand, to overcome their enemies,
  and, during these battles, to preserve their children, and
  wives, and their prey; on all which occasions he became an
  excellent general of an army, and a most prudent counselor,
  and one that took the truest care of them all; he also so
  brought it about, that the whole multitude depended upon
  him. And while he had them always obedient to what he
  enjoined, he made no manner of use of his authority for his
  own private advantage, which is the usual time when
  governors gain great powers to themselves, and pave the way
  for tyranny, and accustom the multitude to live very
  dissolutely; whereas, when our legislator was in so great
  authority, he, on the contrary, thought he ought to have
  regard to piety, and to show his great good-will to the people;
  and by this means he thought he might show the great degree
  of virtue that was in him, and might procure the most lasting
  security to those who had made him their governor. When he
  had therefore come to such a good resolution, and had
  performed such wonderful exploits, we had just reason to
  look upon ourselves as having him for a divine governor and
  counselor. And when he had first persuaded himself (17) that
  his actions and designs were agreeable to God's will, he
  thought it his duty to impress, above all things, that notion
  upon the multitude; for those who have once believed that
  God is the inspector of their lives, will not permit themselves
  in any sin. And this is the character of our legislator: he was
  no impostor, no deceiver, as his revilers say, though unjustly,
  but such a one as they brag Minos (18) to have been among
  the Greeks, and other legislators after him; for some of them
  suppose that they had their laws from Jupiter, while Minos
  said that the revelation of his laws was to be referred to
  Apollo, and his oracle at Delphi, whether they really thought
  they were so derived, or supposed, however, that they could
  persuade the people easily that so it was. But which of these
  it was who made the best laws, and which had the greatest
  reason to believe that God was their author, it will be easy,
  upon comparing those laws themselves together, to
  determine; for it is time that we come to that point. (19)
  Now there are innumerable differences in the particular
  customs and laws that are among all mankind, which a man
  may briefly reduce under the following heads: Some
  legislators have permitted their governments to be under
  monarchies, others put them under oligarchies, and others
  under a republican form; but our legislator had no regard to
  any of these forms, but he ordained our government to be
  what, by a strained expression, may be termed a Theocracy,
  (20) by ascribing the authority and the power to God, and by
  persuading all the people to have a regard to him, as the
  author of all the good things that were enjoyed either in
  common by all mankind, or by each one in particular, and of
  all that they themselves obtained by praying to him in their
  greatest difficulties. He informed them that it was impossible
  to escape God's observation, even in any of our outward
  actions, or in any of our inward thoughts. Moreover, he
  represented God as unbegotten, (21) and immutable, through
  all eternity, superior to all mortal conceptions in
  and, though known to us by his power, yet unknown to us as
  to his essence. I do not now explain how these notions of
  God are the sentiments of the wisest among the Grecians,
  and how they were taught them upon the principles that he
  afforded them. However, they testify, with great assurance,
  that these notions are just, and agreeable to the nature of
  God, and to his majesty; for Pythagoras, and Anaxagoras, and
  Plato, and the Stoic philosophers that succeeded them, and
  almost all the rest, are of the same sentiments, and had the
  same notions of the nature of God; yet durst not these men
  disclose those true notions to more than a few, because the
  body of the people were prejudiced with other opinions
  beforehand. But our legislator, who made his actions agree 
  to his laws, did not only prevail with those that were his
  contemporaries to agree with these his notions, but so firmly
  imprinted this faith in God upon all their posterity, that it
  never could be removed. The reason why the constitution of
  this legislation was ever better directed to the utility of all
  than other legislations were, is this, that Moses did not make
  religion a part of virtue, but he saw and he ordained other
  virtues to be parts of religion; I mean justice, and fortitude,
  and temperance, and a universal agreement of the members
  of the community with one another; for all our actions and
  studies, and all our words, [in Moses's settlement,] have a
  reference to piety towards God; for he hath left none of
  these in suspense, or undetermined. For there are two ways
  of coining at any sort of learning and a moral conduct of life;
  the one is by instruction in words, the other by practical
  exercises. Now other lawgivers have separated these two ways
  in their opinions, and choosing one of those ways of
  instruction, or that which best pleased every one of them,
  neglected the other. Thus did the Lacedemonians and the
  Cretians teach by practical exercises, but not by words; while
  the Athenians, and almost all the other Grecians, made laws
  about what was to be done, or left undone, but had no regard
  to the exercising them thereto in practice.
  18. But for our legislator, he very carefully joined these two
  methods of instruction together; for he neither left these
  practical exercises to go on without verbal instruction, nor
  he permit the hearing of the law to proceed without the
  exercises for practice; but beginning immediately from the
  earliest infancy, and the appointment of every one's diet, he
  left nothing of the very smallest consequence to be done at
  the pleasure and disposal of the person himself. Accordingly,
  he made a fixed rule of law what sorts of food they should
  abstain from, and what sorts they should make use of; as also,
  what communion they should have with others what great
  diligence they should use in their occupations, and what times
  of rest should be interposed, that, by living under that law as
  under a father and a master, we might be guilty of no sin,
  neither voluntary nor out of ignorance; for he did not suffer
  the guilt of ignorance to go on without punishment, but
  demonstrated the law to be the best and the most necessary
  instruction of all others, permitting the people to leave off
  their other employments, and to assemble together for the
  hearing of the law, and learning it exactly, and this not once
  or twice, or oftener, but every week; which thing all the other
  legislators seem to have neglected.
  19. And indeed the greatest part of mankind are so far from
  living according to their own laws, that they hardly know
  them; but when they have sinned, they learn from others that
  they have transgressed the law. Those also who are in the
  highest and principal posts of the government, confess they
  are not acquainted with those laws, and are obliged to take
  such persons for their assessors in public administrations as
  profess to have skill in those laws; but for our people, if any
  body do but ask any one of them about our laws, he will
  more readily tell them all than he will tell his own name, and
  this in consequence of our having learned them immediately
  as soon as ever we became sensible of any thing, and of our
  having them as it were engraven on our souls. Our
  transgressors of them are but few, and it is impossible, when
  any do offend, to escape punishment.
  20. And this very thing it is that principally creates such a
  wonderful agreement of minds amongst us all; for this entire
  agreement of ours in all our notions concerning God, and our
  having no difference in our course of life and manners,
  procures among us the most excellent concord of these our
  manners that is any where among mankind; for no other
  people but the Jews have avoided all discourses about God
  that any way contradict one another, which yet are frequent
  among other nations; and this is true not only among
  ordinary persons, according as every one is affected, but some
  of the philosophers have been insolent enough to indulge
  such contradictions, while some of them have undertaken to
  use such words as entirely take away the nature of God, as
  others of them have taken away his providence over mankind.
  Nor can any one perceive amongst us any difference in the
  conduct of our lives, but all our works are common to us all.
  We have one sort of discourse concerning God, which is
  conformable to our law, and affirms that he sees all things; as
  also we have but one way of speaking concerning the conduct
  of our lives, that all other things ought to have piety for
  end; and this any body may hear from our women, and
  servants themselves.
  21. And, indeed, hence hath arisen that accusation which
  some make against us, that we have not produced men that
  have been the inventors of new operations, or of new ways of
  speaking; for others think it a fine thing to persevere in
  nothing that has been delivered down from their forefathers,
  and these testify it to be an instance of the sharpest wisdom
  when these men venture to transgress those traditions;
  whereas we, on the contrary, suppose it to be our only
  wisdom and virtue to admit no actions nor supposals that are
  contrary to our original laws; which procedure of ours is a
  just and sure sign that our law is admirably constituted; for
  such laws as are not thus well made are convicted upon trial
  to want amendment.
  22. But while we are ourselves persuaded that our law was
  made agreeably to the will of God, it would be impious for us
  not to observe the same; for what is there in it that any body
  would change? and what can be invented that is better? or
  what can we take out of other people's laws that will exceed
  it? Perhaps some would have the entire settlement of our
  government altered. And where shall we find a better or
  more righteous constitution than ours, while this makes us
  esteem God to be the Governor of the universe, and permits
  the priests in general to be the administrators of the
  affairs, and withal intrusts the government over the other
  priests to the chief high priest himself? which priests our
  legislator, at their first appointment, did not advance to that
  dignity for their riches, or any abundance of other
  possessions, or any plenty they had as the gifts of fortune;
  he intrusted the principal management of Divine worship to
  those that exceeded others in an ability to persuade men, and
  in prudence of conduct. These men had the main care of the
  law and of the other parts of the people's conduct committed
  to them; for they were the priests who were ordained to be
  the inspectors of all, and the judges in doubtful cases, and
  punishers of those that were condemned to suffer
  23. What form of government then can be more holy than
  this? what more worthy kind of worship can be paid to God
  than we pay, where the entire body of the people are
  prepared for religion, where an extraordinary degree of care
  is required in the priests, and where the whole polity is so
  ordered as if it were a certain religious solemnity? For what
  things foreigners, when they solemnize such festivals, are not
  able to observe for a few days' time, and call them Mysteries
  and Sacred Ceremonies, we observe with great pleasure and
  an unshaken resolution during our whole lives. What are the
  things then that we are commanded or forbidden? They are
  simple, and easily known. The first command is concerning
  God, and affirms that God contains all things, and is a Being
  every way perfect and happy, self-sufficient, and supplying all
  other beings; the beginning, the middle, and the end of all
  things. He is manifest in his works and benefits, and more
  conspicuous than any other being whatsoever; but as to his
  form and magnitude, he is most obscure. All materials, let
  them be ever so costly, are unworthy to compose an image
  for him, and all arts are unartful to express the notion we
  ought to have of him. We can neither see nor think of any
  thing like him, nor is it agreeable to piety to form a
  resemblance of him. We see his works, the light, the heaven,
  the earth, the sun and the moon, the waters, the generations
  of animals, the productions of fruits. These things hath God
  made, not with hands, nor with labor, nor as wanting the
  assistance of any to cooperate with him; but as his will
  resolved they should be made and be good also, they were
  made and became good immediately. All men ought to follow
  this Being, and to worship him in the exercise of virtue; for
  this way of worship of God is the most holy of all others.
  24. There ought also to be but one temple for one God; for
  likeness is the constant foundation of agreement. This temple
  ought to be common to all men, because he is the common
  God of all men. High priests are to be continually about his
  worship, over whom he that is the first by his birth is to be
  their ruler perpetually. His business must be to offer
  sacrifices to God, together with those priests that are joined
  with him, to see that the laws be observed, to determine
  controversies, and to punish those that are convicted of
  injustice; while he that does not submit to him shall be
  subject to the same punishment, as if he had been guilty of
  impiety towards God himself. When we offer sacrifices to
  him, we do it not in order to surfeit ourselves, or to be
  drunken; for such excesses are against the will of God, and
  would be an occasion of injuries and of luxury; but by
  keeping ourselves sober, orderly, and ready for our other
  occupations, and being more temperate than others. And for
  our duty at the sacrifices (22) themselves, we ought, in the
  first place, to pray for the common welfare of all, and after
  that for our own; for we are made for fellowship one with
  another, and he who prefers the common good before what is
  peculiar to himself is above all acceptable to God. And let
  our prayers and supplications be made humbly to God, not
  [so much] that he would give us what is good, (for he hath
  already given that of his own accord, and hath proposed the
  same publicly to all,) as that we may duly receive it, and
  when we have received it, may preserve it. Now the law has
  appointed several purifications at our sacrifices, whereby we
  are cleansed after a funeral, after what sometimes happens to
  us in bed, and after accompanying with our wives, and upon
  many other occasions, which it would be too long now to set
  down. And this is our doctrine concerning God and his
  worship, and is the same that the law appoints for our
  25. But, then, what are our laws about marriage? That law
  owns no other mixture of sexes but that which nature hath
  appointed, of a man with his wife, and that this be used only
  for the procreation of children. But it abhors the mixture of a
  male with a male; and if any one do that, death is its
  punishment. It commands us also, when we marry, not to
  have regard to portion, nor to take a woman by violence, nor
  to persuade her deceitfully and knavishly; but to demand her
  in marriage of him who hath power to dispose of her, and is
  fit to give her away by the nearness of his kindred; for, says
  the Scripture, "A woman is inferior to her husband in all
  things." (23) Let her, therefore, be obedient to him; not so
  that he should abuse her, but that she may acknowledge her
  duty to her husband; for God hath given the authority to the
  husband. A husband, therefore, is to lie only with his wife
  whom he hath married; but to have to do with another man's
  wife is a wicked thing, which, if any one ventures upon, death
  is inevitably his punishment: no more can he avoid the same
  who forces a virgin betrothed to another man, or entices
  another man's wife. The law, moreover, enjoins us to bring
  up all our offspring, and forbids women to cause abortion of
  what is begotten, or to destroy it afterward; and if any woman
  appears to have so done, she will be a murderer of her child,
  by destroying a living creature, and diminishing human kind;
  if any one, therefore, proceeds to such fornication or murder,
  he cannot be clean. Moreover, the law enjoins, that after the
  man and wife have lain together in a regular way, they shall
  bathe themselves; for there is a defilement contracted
  thereby, both in soul and body, as if they had gone into
  another country; for indeed the soul, by being united to the
  body, is subject to miseries, and is not freed therefrom again
  but by death; on which account the law requires this
  purification to be entirely performed.
  26. Nay, indeed, the law does not permit us to make festivals
  at the births of our children, and thereby afford occasion of
  drinking to excess; but it ordains that the very beginning of
  our education should be immediately directed to sobriety. It
  also commands us to bring those children up in learning, and
  to exercise them in the laws, and make them acquainted with
  the acts of their predecessors, in order to their imitation of
  them, and that they might be nourished up in the laws from
  their infancy, and might neither transgress them, nor have
  any pretense for their ignorance of them.
  27. Our law hath also taken care of the decent burial of the
  dead, but without any extravagant expenses for their funerals,
  and without the erection of any illustrious monuments for
  them; but hath ordered that their nearest relations should
  perform their obsequies; and hath showed it to be regular,
  that all who pass by when any one is buried should
  accompany the funeral, and join in the lamentation. It also
  ordains that the house and its inhabitants should be purified
  after the funeral is over, that every one may thence learn to
  keep at a great distance from the thoughts of being pure, if
  he hath been once guilty of murder.
  28. The law ordains also, that parents should be honored
  immediately after God himself, and delivers that son who
  does not requite them for the benefits he hath received from
  them, but is deficient on any such occasion, to be stoned. It
  also says that the young men should pay due respect to every
  elder, since God is the eldest of all beings. It does not give
  leave to conceal any thing from our friends, because that is
  not true friendship which will not commit all things to their
  fidelity: it also forbids the revelation of secrets, even
  an enmity arise between them. If any judge takes bribes, his
  punishment is death: he that overlooks one that offers him a
  petition, and this when he is able to relieve him, he is a
  person. What is not by any one intrusted to another ought
  not to be required back again. No one is to touch another's
  goods. He that lends money must not demand usury for its
  loan. These, and many more of the like sort, are the rules
  that unite us in the bands of society one with another.
  29. It will be also worth our while to see what equity our
  legislator would have us exercise in our intercourse with
  strangers; for it will thence appear that he made the best
  provision he possibly could, both that we should not dissolve
  our own constitution, nor show any envious mind towards
  those that would cultivate a friendship with us. Accordingly,
  our legislator admits all those that have a mind to observe
  our laws so to do; and this after a friendly manner, as
  esteeming that a true union which not only extends to our
  own stock, but to those that would live after the same
  manner with us; yet does he not allow those that come to us
  by accident only to be admitted into communion with us.
  30. However, there are other things which our legislator
  ordained for us beforehand, which of necessity we ought to
  do in common to all men; as to afford fire, and water, and
  food to such as want it; to show them the roads; not to let
  any one lie unburied. He also would have us treat those that
  are esteemed our enemies with moderation; for he doth not
  allow us to set their country on fire, nor permit us to cut
  down those trees that bear fruit; nay, further, he forbids us
  spoil those that have been slain in war. He hath also provided
  for such as are taken captive, that they may not be injured,
  and especially that the women may not be abused. Indeed he
  hath taught us gentleness and humanity so effectually, that he
  hath not despised the care of brute beasts, by permitting no
  other than a regular use of them, and forbidding any other;
  and if any of them come to our houses, like supplicants, we
  are forbidden to slay them; nor may we kill the dams,
  together with their young ones; but we are obliged, even in
  an enemy's country, to spare and not kill those creatures that
  labor for mankind. Thus hath our lawgiver contrived to teach
  us an equitable conduct every way, by using us to such laws
  as instruct us therein; while at the same time he hath
  ordained that such as break these laws should be punished,
  without the allowance of any excuse whatsoever.
  31. Now the greatest part of offenses with us are capital; as
  any one be guilty of adultery; if any one force a virgin; if
  one be so impudent as to attempt sodomy with a male; or if,
  upon another's making an attempt upon him, he submits to
  be so used. There is also a law for slaves of the like nature,
  that can never be avoided. Moreover, if any one cheats
  another in measures or weights, or makes a knavish bargain
  and sale, in order to cheat another; if any one steals what
  belongs to another, and takes what he never deposited; all
  these have punishments allotted them; not such as are met
  with among other nations, but more severe ones. And as for
  attempts of unjust behavior towards parents, or for impiety
  against God, though they be not actually accomplished, the
  offenders are destroyed immediately. However, the reward
  for such as live exactly according to the laws is not silver or
  gold; it is not a garland of olive branches or of small age,
  any such public sign of commendation; but every good man
  hath his own conscience bearing witness to himself, and by
  virtue of our legislator's prophetic spirit, and of the firm
  security God himself affords such a one, he believes that God
  hath made this grant to those that observe these laws, even
  though they be obliged readily to die for them, that they shall
  come into being again, and at a certain revolution of things
  shall receive a better life than they had enjoyed before. Nor
  would I venture to write thus at this time, were it not well
  known to all by our actions that many of our people have
  many a time bravely resolved to endure any sufferings, rather
  than speak one word against our law.
  32. Nay, indeed, in case it had so fallen out, that our nation
  had not been so thoroughly known among all men as they
  are, and our voluntary submission to our laws had not been
  so open and manifest as it is, but that somebody had
  pretended to have written these laws himself, and had read
  them to the Greeks, or had pretended that he had met with
  men out of the limits of the known world, that had such
  reverent notions of God, and had continued a long time in
  the firm observance of such laws as ours, I cannot but
  suppose that all men would admire them on a reflection upon
  the frequent changes they had therein been themselves
  subject to; and this while those that have attempted to write
  somewhat of the same kind for politic government, and for
  laws, are accused as composing monstrous things, and are
  said to have undertaken an impossible task upon them. And
  here I will say nothing of those other philosophers who have
  undertaken any thing of this nature in their writings. But
  even Plato himself, who is so admired by the Greeks on
  account of that gravity in his manners, and force in his words,
  and that ability he had to persuade men beyond all other
  philosophers, is little better than laughed at and exposed to
  ridicule on that account, by those that pretend to sagacity in
  political affairs; although he that shall diligently peruse his
  writings will find his precepts to be somewhat gentle, and
  pretty near to the customs of the generality of mankind. Nay,
  Plato himself confesseth that it is not safe to publish the
  notion concerning God among the ignorant multitude. Yet do
  some men look upon Plato's discourses as no better than
  certain idle words set off with great artifice. However, they
  admire Lycurgus as the principal lawgiver, and all men
  celebrate Sparta for having continued in the firm observance
  of his laws for a very long time. So far then we have gained,
  that it is to be confessed a mark of virtue to submit to laws.
  (24) But then let such as admire this in the Lacedemonians
  compare that duration of theirs with more than two thousand
  years which our political government hath continued; and let
  them further consider, that though the Lacedemonians did
  seem to observe their laws exactly while they enjoyed their
  liberty, yet that when they underwent a change of their
  fortune, they forgot almost all those laws; while we, having
  been under ten thousand changes in our fortune by the
  changes that happened among the kings of Asia, have never
  betrayed our laws under the most pressing distresses we have
  been in; nor have we neglected them either out of sloth or
  for a livelihood. (25) if any one will consider it, the
  difficulties and labors laid upon us have been greater than
  what appears to have been borne by the Lacedemonian
  fortitude, while they neither ploughed their land, nor
  exercised any trades, but lived in their own city, free from
  such pains-taking, in the enjoyment of plenty, and using such
  exercises as might improve their bodies, while they made use
  of other men as their servants for all the necessaries of life,
  and had their food prepared for them by the others; and
  these good and humane actions they do for no other purpose
  but this, that by their actions and their sufferings they may
  able to conquer all those against whom they make war. I
  need not add this, that they have not been fully able to
  observe their laws; for not only a few single persons, but
  multitudes of them, have in heaps neglected those laws, and
  have delivered themselves, together with their arms, into the
  hands of their enemies.
  33. Now as for ourselves, I venture to say that no one can tell
  of so many; nay, not of more than one or two that have
  betrayed our laws, no, not out of fear of death itself; I do
  mean such an easy death as happens in battles, but that
  which comes with bodily torments, and seems to be the
  severest kind of death of all others. Now I think those that
  have conquered us have put us to such deaths, not out of
  their hatred to us when they had subdued us, but rather out
  of their desire of seeing a surprising sight, which is this,
  whether there be such men in the world who believe that no
  evil is to them so great as to be compelled to do or to speak
  any thing contrary to their own laws. Nor ought men to
  wonder at us, if we are more courageous in dying for our
  laws than all other men are; for other men do not easily
  submit to the easier things in which we are instituted; I mean
  working with our hands, and eating but little, and being
  contented to eat and drink, not at random, or at every one's
  pleasure, or being under inviolable rules in lying with our
  wives, in magnificent furniture, and again in the observation
  of our times of rest; while those that can use their swords in
  war, and can put their enemies to flight when they attack
  them, cannot bear to submit to such laws about their way of
  living: whereas our being accustomed willingly to submit to
  laws in these instances, renders us fit to show our fortitude
  upon other occasions also.
  34. Yet do the Lysimachi and the Molones, and some other
  writers, (unskillful sophists as they are, and the deceivers of
  young men,) reproach us as the vilest of all mankind. Now I
  have no mind to make an inquiry into the laws of other
  nations; for the custom of our country is to keep our own
  laws, but not to bring accusations against the laws of others.
  And indeed our legislator hath expressly forbidden us to
  laugh at and revile those that are esteemed gods by other
  people? on account of the very name of God ascribed to
  them. But since our antagonists think to run us down upon
  the comparison of their religion and ours, it is not possible
  keep silence here, especially while what I shall say to confute
  these men will not be now first said, but hath been already
  said by many, and these of the highest reputation also; for
  who is there among those that have been admired among the
  Greeks for wisdom, who hath not greatly blamed both the
  most famous poets, and most celebrated legislators, for
  spreading such notions originally among the body of the
  people concerning the gods? such as these, that they may be
  allowed to be as numerous as they have a mind to have them;
  that they are begotten one by another, and that after all the
  kinds of generation you can imagine. They also distinguish
  them in their places and ways of living as they would
  distinguish several sorts of animals; as some to be under the
  earth; as some to be in the sea; and the ancientest of them
  all to be bound in hell; and for those to whom they have
  allotted heaven, they have set over them one, who in title is
  their father, but in his actions a tyrant and a lord; whence it
  came to pass that his wife, and brother, and daughter (which
  daughter he brought forth from his own head) made a
  conspiracy against him to seize upon him and confine hint, as
  he had himself seized upon and confined his own father
  35. And justly have the wisest men thought these notions
  deserved severe rebukes; they also laugh at them for
  determining that we ought to believe some of the gods to be
  beardless and young, and others of them to be old, and to
  have beards accordingly; that some are set to trades; that one
  god is a smith, and another goddess is a weaver; that one god
  is a warrior, and fights with men; that some of them are
  harpers, or delight in archery; and besides, that mutual
  seditions arise among them, and that they quarrel about men,
  and this so far, that they not only lay hands upon one
  another, but that they are wounded by men, and lament, and
  take on for such their afflictions. But what is the grossest of
  all in point of lasciviousness, are those unbounded lusts
  ascribed to almost all of them, and their amours; which how
  can it be other than a most absurd supposal, especially when
  it reaches to the male gods, and to the female goddesses
  also? Moreover, the chief of all their gods, and their first
  father himself, overlooks those goddesses whom he hath
  deluded and begotten with child, and suffers them to be kept
  in prison, or drowned in the sea. He is also so bound up by
  fate, that he cannot save his own offspring, nor can he bear
  their deaths without shedding of tears. These are fine things
  indeed! as are the rest that follow. Adulteries truly are so
  impudently looked on in heaven by the gods, that some of
  them have confessed they envied those that were found in the
  very act. And why should they not do so, when the eldest of
  them, who is their king also, hath not been able to restrain
  himself in the violence of his lust, from lying with his wife,
  long as they might get into their bedchamber? Now some of
  the gods are servants to men, and will sometimes be builders
  for a reward, and sometimes will be shepherds; while others
  of them, like malefactors, are bound in a prison of brass. And
  what sober person is there who would not be provoked at
  such stories, and rebuke those that forged them, and
  condemn the great silliness of those that admit them for
  true? Nay, others there are that have advanced a certain
  timorousness and fear, as also madness and fraud, and any
  other of the vilest passions, into the nature and form of gods,
  and have persuaded whole cities to offer sacrifices to the
  better sort of them; on which account they have been
  absolutely forced to esteem some gods as the givers of good
  things, and to call others of them averters of evil. They also
  endeavor to move them, as they would the vilest of men, by
  gifts and presents, as looking for nothing else than to receive
  some great mischief from them, unless they pay them such
  36. Wherefore it deserves our inquiry what should be the
  occasion of this unjust management, and of these scandals
  about the Deity. And truly I suppose it to be derived from
  the imperfect knowledge the heathen legislators had at first
  of the true nature of God; nor did they explain to the people
  even so far as they did comprehend of it: nor did they
  compose the other parts of their political settlements
  according to it, but omitted it as a thing of very little
  consequence, and gave leave both to the poets to introduce
  what gods they pleased, and those subject to all sorts of
  passions, and to the orators to procure political decrees from
  the people for the admission of such foreign gods as they
  thought proper. The painters also, and statuaries of Greece,
  had herein great power, as each of them could contrive a
  shape [proper for a god]; the one to be formed out of clay,
  and the other by making a bare picture of such a one. But
  those workmen that were principally admired, had the use of
  ivory and of gold as the constant materials for their new
  statues [whereby it comes to pass that some temples are quite
  deserted, while others are in great esteem, and adorned with
  all the rites of all kinds of purification]. Besides this, the
  gods, who have long flourished in the honors done them, are
  now grown old [while those that flourished after them are
  come in their room as a second rank, that I may speak the
  most honorably of them I can]: nay, certain other gods there
  are who are newly introduced, and newly worshipped [as we,
  by way of digression, have said already, and yet have left
  places of worship desolate]; and for their temples, some of
  them are already left desolate, and others are built anew,
  according to the pleasure of men; whereas they ought to have
  their opinion about God, and that worship which is due to
  him, always and immutably the same.
  37. But now, this Apollonius Molo was one of these foolish
  and proud men. However, nothing that I have said was
  unknown to those that were real philosophers among the
  Greeks, nor were they unacquainted with those frigid
  pretensions of allegories [which had been alleged for such
  things]; on which account they justly despised them, but have
  still agreed with us as to the true and becoming notions of
  God; whence it was that Plato would not have political
  settlements admit to of any one of the other poets, and
  dismisses even Homer himself, with a garland on his head,
  and with ointment poured upon him, and this because he
  should not destroy the right notions of God with his fables.
  Nay, Plato principally imitated our legislator in this point,
  that he enjoined his citizens to have he main regard to this
  precept, "That every one of them should learn their laws
  accurately." He also ordained, that they should not admit of
  foreigners intermixing with their own people at random; and
  provided that the commonwealth should keep itself pure, and
  consist of such only as persevered in their own laws.
  Apollonius Molo did no way consider this, when he made it
  one branch of his accusation against us, that we do not admit
  of such as have different notions about God, nor will we have
  fellowship with those that choose to observe a way of living
  different from ourselves, yet is not this method peculiar to
  but common to all other men; not among the ordinary
  Grecians only, but among such of those Grecians as are of
  the greatest reputation among them. Moreover, the
  Lacedemonians continued in their way of expelling foreigners,
  and would not indeed give leave to their own people to travel
  abroad, as suspecting that those two things would introduce a
  dissolution of their own laws: and perhaps there may be some
  reason to blame the rigid severity of the Lacedemonians, for
  they bestowed the privilege of their city on no foreigners, nor
  indeed would give leave to them to stay among them;
  whereas we, though we do not think fit to imitate other
  institutions, yet do we willingly admit of those that desire to
  partake of ours, which, I think, I may reckon to be a plain
  indication of our humanity, and at the same time of our
  magnanimity also.
  38. But I shall say no more of the Lacedemonians. As for the
  Athenians, who glory in having made their city to be common
  to all men, what their behavior was Apollonius did not know,
  while they punished those that did but speak one word
  contrary to the laws about the gods, without any mercy; for
  on what other account was it that Socrates was put to death
  by them? For certainly he neither betrayed their city to its
  enemies, nor was he guilty of any sacrilege with regard to any
  of their temples; but it was on this account, that he swore
  certain new oaths (26) and that he affirmed either in earnest,
  or, as some say, only in jest, that a certain demon used to
  make signs to him [what he should not do]. For these reasons
  he was condemned to drink poison, and kill himself. His
  accuser also complained that he corrupted the young men, by
  inducing them to despise the political settlement and laws of
  their city: and thus was Socrates, the citizen of Athens,
  punished. There was also Anaxagoras, who, although he was
  of Clazomente, was within a few suffrages of being
  condemned to die, because he said the sun, which the
  Athenians thought to be a god, was a ball of fire. They also
  made this public proclamation," That they would give a talent
  to any one who would kill Diagoras of Melos," because it was
  reported of him that he laughed at their mysteries.
  Protagoras also, who was thought to have written somewhat
  that was not owned for truth by the Athenians about the
  gods, had been seized upon, and put to death, if he had not
  fled away immediately. Nor need we at all wonder that they
  thus treated such considerable men, when they did not spare
  even women also; for they very lately slew a certain priestess,
  because she was accused by somebody that she initiated
  people into the worship of strange gods, it having been
  forbidden so to do by one of their laws; and a capital
  punishment had been decreed to such as introduced a strange
  god; it being manifest, that they who make use of such a law
  do not believe those of other nations to be really gods,
  otherwise they had not envied themselves the advantage of
  more gods than they already had. And this was the happy
  administration of the affairs of the Athenians! Now as to the
  Scythians, they take a pleasure in killing men, and differ but
  little from brute beasts; yet do they think it reasonable to
  have their institutions observed. They also slew Anacharsis, a
  person greatly admired for his wisdom among the Greeks,
  when he returned to them, because he appeared to come
  fraught with Grecian customs. One may also find many to
  have been punished among the Persians, on the very same
  account. And to be sure Apollonius was greatly pleased with
  the laws of the Persians, and was an admirer of them,
  because the Greeks enjoyed the advantage of their courage,
  and had the very same opinion about the gods which they
  had. This last was exemplified in the temples which they
  burnt, and their courage in coming, and almost entirely
  enslaving the Grecians. However, Apollonius has imitated all
  the Persian institutions, and that by his offering violence to
  other men's wives, and gelding his own sons. Now, with us, it
  is a capital crime, if any one does thus abuse even a brute
  beast; and as for us, neither hath the fear of our governors,
  nor a desire of following what other nations have in so great
  esteem, been able to withdraw us from our own laws; nor
  have we exerted our courage in raising up wars to increase
  our wealth, but only for the observation of our laws; and
  when we with patience bear other losses, yet when any
  persons would compel us to break our laws, then it is that we
  choose to go to war, though it be beyond our ability to
  pursue it, and bear the greatest calamities to the last with
  much fortitude. And, indeed, what reason can there be why
  we should desire to imitate the laws of other nations, while
  we see they are not observed by their own legislators (27)
  And why do not the Lacedemonians think of abolishing that
  form of their government which suffers them not to associate
  with any others, as well as their contempt of matrimony? And
  why do not the Eleans and Thebans abolish that unnatural
  and impudent lust, which makes them lie with males? For
  they will not show a sufficient sign of their repentance of
  what they of old thought to be very excellent, and very
  advantageous in their practices, unless they entirely avoid all
  such actions for the time to come: nay, such things are
  inserted into the body of their laws, and had once such a
  power among the Greeks, that they ascribed these
  sodomitical practices to the gods themselves, as a part of
  their good character; and indeed it was according to the same
  manner that the gods married their own sisters. This the
  Greeks contrived as an apology for their own absurd and
  unnatural pleasures.
  39. I omit to speak concerning punishments, and how many
  ways of escaping them the greatest part of the legislators
  have afforded malefactors, by ordaining that, for adulteries,
  fines in money should be allowed, and for corrupting (28)
  [virgins] they need only marry them as also what excuses they
  may have in denying the facts, if any one attempts to inquire
  into them; for amongst most other nations it is a studied art
  how men may transgress their laws; but no such thing is
  permitted amongst us; for though we be deprived of our
  wealth, of our cities, or of the other advantages we have, our
  law continues immortal; nor can any Jew go so far from his
  own country, nor be so aftrighted at the severest lord, as not
  to be more aftrighted at the law than at him. If, therefore,
  this be the disposition we are under, with regard to the
  excellency of our laws, let our enemies make us this
  concession, that our laws are most excellent; and if still they
  imagine, that though we so firmly adhere to them, yet are
  they bad laws notwithstanding, what penalties then do they
  deserve to undergo who do not observe their own laws, which
  they esteem so far superior to them? Whereas, therefore,
  length of time is esteemed to be the truest touchstone in all
  cases, I would make that a testimonial of the excellency of
  our laws, and of that belief thereby delivered to us
  concerning God. For as there hath been a very long time for
  this comparison, if any one will but compare its duration with
  the duration of the laws made by other legislators, he will
  find our legislator to have been the ancientest of them all.
  40. We have already demonstrated that our laws have been
  such as have always inspired admiration and imitation into all
  other men; nay, the earliest Grecian philosophers, though in
  appearance they observed the laws of their own countries, yet
  did they, in their actions, and their philosophic doctrines,
  follow our legislator, and instructed men to live sparingly,
  to have friendly communication one with another. Nay,
  further, the multitude of mankind itself have had a great
  inclination of a long time to follow our religious observances;
  for there is not any city of the Grecians, nor any of the
  barbarians, nor any nation whatsoever, whither our custom of
  resting on the seventh day hath not come, and by which our
  fasts and lighting up lamps, and many of our prohibitions as
  to our food, are not observed; they also endeavor to imitate
  our mutual concord with one another, and the charitable
  distribution of our goods, and our diligence in our trades, and
  our fortitude in undergoing the distresses we are in, on
  account of our laws; and, what is here matter of the greatest
  admiration, our law hath no bait of pleasure to allure men to
  it, but it prevails by its own force; and as God himself
  pervades all the world, so hath our law passed through all the
  world also. So that if any one will but reflect on his own
  country, and his own family, he will have reason to give credit
  to what I say. It is therefore but just, either to condemn all
  mankind of indulging a wicked disposition, when they have
  been so desirous of imitating laws that are to them foreign
  and evil in themselves, rather than following laws of their
  own that are of a better character, or else our accusers must
  leave off their spite against us. Nor are we guilty of any
  envious behavior towards them, when we honor our own
  legislator, and believe what he, by his prophetic authority,
  hath taught us concerning God. For though we should not be
  able ourselves to understand the excellency of our own laws,
  yet would the great multitude of those that desire to imitate
  them, justify us, in greatly valuing ourselves upon them.
  41. But as for the [distinct] political laws by which we are
  governed, I have delivered them accurately in my books of
  Antiquities; and have only mentioned them now, so far as
  was necessary to my present purpose, without proposing to
  myself either to blame the laws of other nations, or to make
  an encomium upon our own; but in order to convict those
  that have written about us unjustly, and in an impudent
  affectation of disguising the truth. And now I think I have
  sufficiently completed what I proposed in writing these books.
  For whereas our accusers have pretended that our nation are
  a people of very late original, I have demonstrated that they
  are exceeding ancient; for I have produced as witnesses
  thereto many ancient writers, who have made mention of us
  in their books, while they had said that no such writer had so
  done. Moreover, they had said that we were sprung from the
  Egyptians, while I have proved that we came from another
  country into Egypt: while they had told lies of us, as if we
  were expelled thence on account of diseases on our bodies, it
  has appeared, on the contrary, that we returned to our
  country by our own choice, and with sound and strong bodies.
  Those accusers reproached our legislator as a vile fellow;
  whereas God in old time bare witness to his virtuous conduct;
  and since that testimony of God, time itself hath been
  discovered to have borne witness to the same thing.
  42. As to the laws themselves, more words are unnecessary,
  for they are visible in their own nature, and appear to teach
  not impiety, but the truest piety in the world. They do not
  make men hate one another, but encourage people to
  communicate what they have to one another freely; they are
  enemies to injustice, they take care of righteousness, they
  banish idleness and expensive living, and instruct men to be
  content with what they have, and to be laborious in their
  calling; they forbid men to make war from a desire of getting
  more, but make men courageous in defending the laws; they
  are inexorable in punishing malefactors; they admit no
  sophistry of words, but are always established by actions
  themselves, which actions we ever propose as surer
  demonstrations than what is contained in writing only: on
  which account I am so bold as to say that we are become the
  teachers of other men, in the greatest number of things, and
  those of the most excellent nature only; for what is more
  excellent than inviolable piety? what is more just than
  submission to laws? and what is more advantageous than
  mutual love and concord? and this so far that we are to be
  neither divided by calamities, nor to become injurious and
  seditious in prosperity; but to contemn death when we are in
  war, and in peace to apply ourselves to our mechanical
  occupations, or to our tillage of the ground; while we in all
  things and all ways are satisfied that God is the inspector and
  governor of our actions. If these precepts had either been
  written at first, or more exactly kept by any others before us,
  we should have owed them thanks as disciples owe to their
  masters; but if it be visible that we have made use of them
  more than any other men, and if we have demonstrated that
  the original invention of them is our own, let the Apions, and
  the Molons, with all the rest of those that delight in lies and
  reproaches, stand confuted; but let this and the foregoing
  book be dedicated to thee, Epaphroditus, who art so great a
  lover of truth, and by thy means to those that have been in
  like manner desirous to be acquainted with the affairs of our


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

(2) Called by Tiberius Cymbalum Mundi, The drum of the world.

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

(4) The burial-place for dead bodies, as I suppose.

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

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

(7) Sister's son, and adopted son.

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

(9) Furones in the Latin, which what animal it denotes does not
now appear.

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

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

(12) Judea, in the Greek, by a gross mistake of the transcribers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(23) This text is no where in our present copies of the Old

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

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

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

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

(28) Or "for corrupting other men's wives the same allowance."

End of The Project Gutenberg Etext of Against Apion, by Flavius Josephus