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31. It now remains that I debate with Manetho about Moses. Now the Egyptians acknowledge him to bave 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 cloihes rent; and declares that such as either touch them, or live under the saine 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 purisications, and washings with spring water, and the shaving of all their hair, and enjoins that they shall offer many sacrifices, and those of several kinds, and then at length, to be admitied 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 honour of officiating. How can it then be supposed that Moses should ordain such laws against himself, or to his own reproach and damage who so ordained them ? Nor indeed is that other notion of Manetho's at all probable, wherein he relates the change of his name, and says, That 5 he was formerly called Osarsiph ;” and this a name no way agreeable to the other, while his true name was Moü« ses, and signifies a person who is preserved out of the water, for the Egyptians call water Mio. I think, therefore,
I have made it sufficiently evident that Manetho, while be 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 inen 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 "6 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 origivally, that “ of Moses had been Tisithen, and that of Joseph Pete“seph: that these two came to Pelusium, and lighted up"on three hundred and eighty thousand that had been left <a there by Amenophis, he not being willing to carry tliem “into Egypt; that these seribes made a league of friend, “ship with them, and made with them an expedition a“ gainst Egypt; that Amenophis could not sustain their at- tacks, 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 that they should so greatly disagree about the particulars. But for those that invent lies, what they write 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 foreshewed 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,* 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 after 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 county. 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 before Moses, which four generations make almost one hundred and seventy years. Besides all this, Ramesses, the son of Amenophis, hy Manetho's account, was a young man, and assisted his farther 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 bundred 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 hundred and fifty thousand) leprous people, or to the three hundred and eighty thousand that were about Pelusium. But perHaps it will be looked upon as a silly thing in me to make any larger confutation of such writers as sufficiently confute themselves; for had they been only confuted by other men, it had been more tolerable.
* By way of irony, I suppose.
+ Here we see that Josephus esteemed a generation between Joseph anni Moses to he about 42 or 43 years, which, if taken between the earlier chil. dren, well agrees with the duration of human life in those ares. See All thent. Rec. Part 11. p. 966, 1019, 1020.
34. I shall now add to these accounts about Manetho and 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 fied to the “ temples, and got their food there by begging ; and as the “ numbers were very great that were fallen under these dis“ eases, there arose a scarcity in Egypt. Hereupon Boc“choris, the king of Egypt, sent some to consult the ora“cle of Jupiter) Hammon about this scarcity. The god's “ answer was this, That he must purge his temples of im“pure and impious men, by expelling them out of those "temples into desert places; but as to the scabby and lep- rous people, he must drown them, and purge his temples, “ the sun having an indignation at these men's being suffer, “ed to live : and by this means the land will bring forth 5 its fruits. Upon Bocchoris's having received these ora"i cles 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 6 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, 46 and sent into desert places, in order to be exposed to de “ struction. In this case they assembled themselves to“gether, and took counsel what they should do, and de“ termined, 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 or“ der to obtain deliverance from them : that on the next 6 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 a place 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 com" mended what he had said with one consent, and did what " they had resolved on, and so travelled 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 66 was named Hierosyla, from this their robbing of the tem"s ples; but that stil), upon the suecess they had afterwards, " they, in time, changed its denomination, that it might " not be a reproach to them, and called the city Hierosoly" ma, and themselves Hierosolymites.”
35. Now this man did not discover and mention tlie same king with the others, but fcigned 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 the Jews were gathered together at the temples. Now it is uncertain whether he ascribes this name to these Jepers, 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