« PreviousContinue »
that journey. For, in case the people were by birth Egyptians, sthey would not on the sudden have loeafily 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.cultom. It is true, that with regard to those who had ejected ihem, they might have sworn never to bear good will to them, and miglit have had a plausible reason for lo doing. But if these men resolved to wage an implacable war against all men, in case they had acted as wickeuly as he relates of them, and this while they wanted the allistance of all men, this demonfrates a kind of mad conduet 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 teinples 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 haired up. on them in the times of their pofterity, while, it leems, those that built the city thought they did honour to the city by giv. ing 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, fioce this book is arisen to a competent length, I will make another beginning, and endeavour to add what still remains to perfect my design in the following book.
* That this is the meaning of Frierofyl in Greek, not in Hebrew.
$1. IN the former book, moft honoured Epaphroditus, I have
I demonstrated our antiquity, and confirmed the truth of what I have said from the writings of the Phenicians, 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.' Ishall now *cherefore 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 to the grammarian, whether I ought to take the trouble of confuting him or not: For some of his writings contain much the fame 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 sourrilous and, to speak no more than the plain iruth, it shews him to bs a very unlearned person, and what he lay's together, looks: like the work of a man of very bad morals, and ot one no bet. ter in his whole life than a mountebank. Yet, because there are a great many men lo very toolish, 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 acá cusation against us, as if he would bring us to make an answer in open court. For I also have obferved that many men are very much delighted, when they fee a man who first began to reproach another, to be himselt expoled to contempt on accouns of the vices he hath himself been guilty of. However, it is: not a very caly thing to go over this man's discourse, nor to know plainly what he means ; yet does he seem, amidit 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 lorefathers 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 de. monitrated, and that abundantly more than was necessary, chats our fathers were not originally Egyptians, nor were thence ex. pelled, either on account of bodily dilcafes, or on any other ca
The former part of this second book is written against the calumnies of Apion, and then, more briefly, against the like calumpies of Apoilonius Nolo: But af. ter that Josephus leaves off any inore particular reply to thole arlucrfarics of them Jews, and gives a large and exi ellent description and vindication of that placecracy which was fealed for the Jewish natiou by Adoles, their great legislator.
+ Called by Tiberius, Cymbalan Mandi, The drum of the world.
lamities of that fort ; yet will I briefly take notice of what A. pion 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 Moles was of Heliopolis, and that he thought himselt obliged to follow the customs of his forefathers, and offered his prayers in the open air, towarda the city walls; but that he reduced them all to be direfled towards fun-rising, which was agreeable to the situation of Heliopolis: That he also set up pillars instead of gnomons. under which was reprelented a cavily like that of a boat, and the shadow that tell from their tops fell down upon that cavia ty, that it might go round about the like courle 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 lew 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 tuch a kind of interpretation to be made at it, mor ordain that those that came after him should make such an one. Moreover, when in a future age Solomon built his ten. ple in Jerusalem, he avoided all such needless decorations as Apion" hath here devised. He says farther, “How he had heard of the ancient men, that Moses was of Heliopolis." To be sure that was becaule being a younger man himself, he belier, ed those that by their elder age were acquainted and conversed with him! Now this grammarian as he was, could ou cer. tainly tell which was the poet Homer's country, no more than he could which was the country of Pythagorus, who lived comparatively but a little while ago ; yet does he thus eally determine the age of Moses, who preceded them sucha vait number of years as depending on his ancient men's relation, which shews 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, lee how well this most accurate grammarian of oursagrees with those that have written before him. Manetho says, that the Jews departed out of Egypt, in the reign of Techmolis three hundred ninety-three years before Danaus fled to Argos; Lyfi. machus says it was under king Bocchoris, that is, one thousand seven hundred years ago ; Molo and some others determine 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 levenih olympiad, and the first year of that olympiad ; the very fame year in which he says that Carthage was built by the Phenicians. The reason why he added this building of Carthage was, to be fure, in order, as he thought, to strengthen his allertion by so evident a character of chronology. But
• This seems to have been the firlt dial that had been made in Egypt, and was a little before the time that Ahaz made his [firal dial in Judea, and about Anno 7 55 in the first year of the leventh olympiad, as we hall sce prcleatly. See a Kings $1. 11. Ila, Xxxviii. 8.
he was not aware that this charaéter confutes his assertion ; for it we may give credit to the Phenician records as to the time of the first coming of their colony to Carthage, they relate that Hirom their king was above an hundred and fifty years earlier than the building of Carthage ; concerning whom I have formerly produced testimonials out of those Phenician records, as also that this Hirom was a friend of Solomon when he was building the temple of Jerusalem, and gave him great aslistance in his building that temple ; while ftill Solomon þimlelf built that temple six hundred and twelve years alter the Jews came out of Egypt. As for the number of those that were expelled out of Egypt, he haih contrived to have · the yery same number with Lyfimachus, and says they were an hundred and ten thousand. He then assigns a certain won. derful and plausible occasion for the name of Sabbath ; " for he says, that when the Jews had travelled a fix days journey,
they had buboes in their groins; and that on this account it i was that they rested on the seyenth day, as having got safe, ly 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 Sabbatoks by the Egyptians." And would not a man now laugh at this fellow's trifling, or rather hate his im. pudence in writing thus ? We must, it seems, take it for granted, that all these hundred and ten thousand men must have thele buboes. But, for certain, it those men had been blind and lame, and had all sorts of diftempers upon them, as Apion lays they had, they could not have gone one single day's jour, ney ; But if they had been all able to travel over a large de. (ert, and besides that to fight and conquer those that opposed them, they had not all of them had buboes on their groins at ter the fixth day was over ; for no such diffemper comes naturally and of necessity upon those shat travel ; but ftill, wlien there are many ten thousands in a camp together, they con. Itantly marcb a seitled pace (in a day]. Nor is it at all proba. ble that such a thing should happen by chance ; this would be prodigiously ablurd to be supposed." However, our ad. mirable author Apion had before told us that they came to Judea in fix 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 de. sert place where there was no water, and at the lame time to pass all over the country berween that and Judea in the fix 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 Jewilh language denotes res 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 Jew's departure out of Egypi, 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 at. firms 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 ihe Egyp. tians; yet does he forfwear his real country and progenitors, and by falsely pretending to be born at Alexandria, cannot deny the pravity of his family ; tor you see how justly he calls those Egyptians whom he hates, and endeavours to reproach; for had he not deemed Egyptians to be a name of great re. proach, he would not have avoided the name of an Egyptian himselt; as we know that those who brag of their own coun. tries, value themselves upon the denomination they acquire thereby. and reprove such as unjaftly lay claim thereto. As for the Egyprians 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; of elfe as they would draw us in to be partakers of their own infanıy. But this fine fellow Apion seems to broach this re. proachful 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 tbe Alexandri. ans bear 10 thole Jews who are their fellow.citizens, and lo proposes to himself to reproach them, although he must there. by include all the other Egyptians also ; while in both cales he is no better than an impudent liar.
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 tempeftu. ous fea. and were in the neighbourhood of the dashing of the waves." Now, if the place of habitation includes any thing that is reproachful, 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 city, 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 valour : 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 can I devise what Apion would have said, had their habitation been at Necropo. lis, * and not been fixed hard by the royal palace (as it is;] DOT had their nation had the denomination of Macedonians given them till this very day (as they havel. Had this man noy
The burial place for dead bodies, as I suppose.