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" they used to catch a Greek foreigner, and fat him thus “ up every year, and then lead liim to a certain wood, and o kill him, and sacrifice with their accustomed solemni“ ties, 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 remain“ ing parts of the miserable wretch into a certain pit." A. pion adds farther, “ That the man said there were but a few “ days to come ere he was to be slain, and implored Antio“chus that, out of the reverence he bore to the Grecian “ gods, he would disappoint the spares 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 attempts, as those who write it in his vindication are willing to suppose : for he could not presume beforehand that he should nieet 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 for lying hath diotated to him, as it is most easy to discover by a considera.. tion of his writings ; for the difference of our laws is known not to regard the Grecians only, but they are principally opposite to the Egyptians and to some other nations also: for while it so falls out, that men of all countries come sometimes, and sojourn among us, how comes it about that we take an oath, and conspire only against the Grecians ? and that by the effusion of their blood also ? Or, how is it possible that all the Jews should get together to these sacrifices, and the entrails of one man should be sufficient for so many thousands to taste of them, as Apion pretends ? Or why did not the king carry this man, whosoever he was, and whatsoever was his name, (which is not set down in Apion's book,) with great pomp back into his own country ? When he might thereby have been esteemed a religious person himself, and a mighty lover of the Greeks, and might thereby have procured himself great assistance from all men, against that hatred the Jews bore to him. But I leave this matter;for the proper way of confuting fools, is not to use bare words, but to appeal to the things themselves that make against them. Now then, all such as never saw the construction
of our temple of what nature it was, know well enough low the purity of it was never to be profaned ; for it had four * several courts, encompassed with cloisters round about every one of which had, by our law, a peculiar degree of separation from the rest. Into the first court every body was allowed to go, even foreigners, and none but women, during their courses were prohibited to pass through it; all the Jews went into the second court, as well as their wives, when they were free from all uncleanness ; into the third court went in the Jewish men, when they were clean and purified ; into the fourth went the priests, having on their sacerdotal garments ; but for the most sacred place none went in but the high-priests, clothed in their peculiar garments, Now there is so great caution used about these offices of religion, that the priests are appointed to go into the temple but at certain hours ; for, in the morning at the opening of the inner temple, those that are to officiate receive the sacrifices, as they do again at noon, till the doors are shut. Lastly it is not so much as lawful to carry any vessel into the holy house ; nor is there any thing therein, but the altar (of incense; the table of shew. bread], the censer, and the candlestick which are all written in the law : for there is nothing farther there, nor are there any mysteries performed that may not be spoken of; nor is their any feasting within the place. For what I have now said is publickly known, and supported by the testimony of the whole people and their operations are very mani. fest: for although there be four courses of the priests, and every one of them have above five thousand men in them, yet do they officiate on certain days only: and when those days are over, other priests succeed in the performance of their sacrifices, and assemble together at mid-day, and receive the keys of the temple and the vessels by tale, without any thing relating to food or drink being carried into the temple : nay, we are not allowed to offer such things at the altar, excepting what is prepared for the sacrifices.
9. What then can we say of Apion, but that he examined pothing that concerned these things, while still he utter
* 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 the husbands of those wives that were therein), while the court of the men did not admit any women into it at all,
ed incredible words about them ? but it is a great shame for a grammarian not to be able to write true history. Now, if he knew the purity of our temple, he hath entirely omitted to take notice of it; but he forges a story about the seizing of a Grecian, about ineffable food, and the most delicious preparation of dainties; and pretends that strangers could go into a place whereinto the noblest men among the Jews are not allowed to enter unless they be priests. This, therefore, is the utmost degree of impiety, and a voluntary lie, in order to the delusion of those who will not examine into the truth of matters. Whereas, such unspeakable mischiefs as are above related, have been occasioned by such calumnies that are raised upon us.
10. Nay this miracle of piety derides us farther, and adds the following .pretended facts to his former fable ; for he says, that this man related how, " while the Jews were 66 once in a long war with the Idumeans, there came a man s out of one of the cities of the Idumeans, who there had 66 worshipped Apollo. This man, whose name is said to 56 have been Zabidus, came to the Jews, and promised 66 that he would deliver Apollo, the god of Dora, into 6 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 5 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 tó way off him to be a kind of star walking upon the earth : " that the Jews were terribly frighted at so surprising an ap“ pearance, and stood very quiet at a distance; and that 6 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 A pion 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 Þora ; although there be, it is true, a city named Dora in Phenicia, near mount Carmel, but
is four days journey from Idumea.* Now, then, why does this man accuse us because we have not gods in common with other nations ? If our forefathers were so easily prevailed upon to have Apollo come to them, and thought They saw him walking upon the earth, and the stars with kim? 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 † 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 I 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 “ do good-will to any foreigner, and particularly to none of “the Egyptians." For then his story about the oath would have squared with the rest of his original forgeries, in case our forefathers had been driven away by their kinsmen, the Egyptians, not on account of any wickedness they had been guilty of, but on account of the calanities they were under; for as to the Grecians, we are rather remote from them in place, than different from them in our institutions; insomuch that we have no enmity with them, nor any jealously of them. On the contrary, it hath so happened, that many of them have come over to our laws,
* Jedea, in the Greek, by a gross mistake of the trascribers.
+ Seven, in the Greek, by a like gross mistake of the transcribers. See Of the War, B. V. ch. 5.8 4.
I Two hundred, in the Greek, contrary to the twenty in the War, B. vii. ch. v. $ 3.
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 seenis, was the only person that heard it, for he indeed was the first composer of it.
12. However, A pion 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, bet. cause we are not governors, but are rather in subjection “ to Gentiles, sometimes to one pation and sometimes to "another; and that our city hath been liable to several 6 calamities, while their city [Alexandria] hath been of old s time an imperial city, and not used to be in subjection to " the Romans ” But now this man had better leave off his bragging, for every body but himself would think, that A pion said what he hath said against himself; for there are very few nations that have had the good furtune 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 * 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,
* This notorious disgrace belonging peculiarly to the people of Egypt, erer since the times of the old prophets of the Jews, noted both $ 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 Ecek. xxix. 14, 15. “That the Egyptiang "sliould be a base kingdom, the basest of the kingdoms," and that it " should “not exalt itself any more above the nations. The truth of which still farther 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 bren free from despotic power under any of the monarchs to that day. And all this has been found equally true in the latter ages, under the Romans, Saracens, Mammalukes, and Turks, from the days of Jose. phus to the present age also.