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nature of the universe; while our legislator speaks some things wisely, but enigmatically; and others under a decent allegory: but still explains such things as require a direct explication plainly and expressly. However, those who have a mind to know the reasons of every thing, may find here a very curious philosophical theory, which I now indeed shall have the explication of; but if God afford me time for it,* I will set about writing it after I have finished the present work. I shall now betake myself to the history before me, after 1 have first mentioned what Moses says of the creation of the world, which I find described in the sacred books, after the manner following:
* As to this intended work of Josephus’s concerning the reasons of many of the Jewish laws, and what philosophical or allegorical sense they would bear; the loss of which work is by some of the learned not much regretted ; I am inclinable, in part, to Fabricius's opinion, ap. Havercamp, page 63, 64, that “ We need not doubt but, among some vain and frigid conjectures derived from Jewish imaginations, Josephus would have taught us a great number of excellent and useful things ; which perhaps, nobody, neither among the Jews, nor among the Christians, can now inform us of."
Containing an interval of 3833 Years from the Creation to the Death of Isaac.
OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE WORLD AND THE
DISPOSITION OF THE ELEMENTS.
it; and put it together in a manner agreeable to the earth: and fitted it for giving moisture and rain, and for affording the advantage of dews. On the third day he appointed the dry
land to appear, with the sea round about it; N the beginning God created the heaven and on the same day he made the plants and
and the earth." But when the earth did the seeds to spring out of the earth. On the not come into sight, but was covered with fourth day he adorned the heaven with the thick darkness, and a wind moved upon its sun, the moon, and the stars, and appointed surface, God commanded that there should them their motions and courses, that the vicis.. be light, and when that was made, he consi situdes of the seasons might be clearly signidered the whole mass, and separated the light fied. And on the fifth day he produced the and the darkness; and the name he gave to living creatures, both those that swim, and one was night, and the other he called day; those that fly: the former in the sea, the latand he named the beginning of light, and
ter in the air. He also sorted them as to sothe time of rest, the evening and the morning. ciety, and that their kinds might increase and And this was indeed the first day. But Moses multiply. On the sixth day he created the said it was one day,t the cause of which I am four-footed beasts, and made them male and able to give even now; but because I have female. On the same day he also formed man. promised to give such reasons for all things Accordingly Moses, says, that in six days the in a treatise by itself, I shall put off its expo world, and all that is therein, was made; and sition till that time. After this, on the second that the seventh day was a rest, and a release day, he placed the heaven over the whole from the labour of such operations, whence world, and separated it from the other parts: it is that we celebrate a rest from our labours and he determined it should stand by itself. on that day, and call it the Sabbath, which He also placed a crystalline firmament round word denotes rest in the Hebrew tongue.
* Note, that this and the other titles of chapters are VIII. 5. XVIII. 4. and in the Greek, Matt. xxvin. 1. John wanting in the best MSS.
xx. 19. 1.
1 Cor. xvi. 2. as Ainsworth observes on this † See Gen. 1. 1. et sequel.
text. It is also in Philo, and among the Egyptians and I One is put for the first, not only here in the Hebrew Chaldeans, and even in Diodorus Siculus. and Numb. xxix. 1. Dan. ix. 1. but elsewhere in Josephus,
VOL. I.NO. I.
Moreover Moses, after the seventh day was Moses says farther, that God planted a paover, begins to talk philosophically;* and con radise in the east, flourishing with all sorts of cerning the formation of man says thus: that trees, and that among them was the tree of God took dust from the ground,f and formed life, and another of knowledge, whereby was man,t and inserted in him a spirit and a soul. to be known what was good and evil; and This man was called Adam, which in the He that when he had brought Adam and his wife brew tongue signified one that is red, because into this garden, he commanded them to take he was formed out of red earth compounded care of the plants.|| Now the garden was watogether, for of that kind is virgin and true tered by one river, ** which ran round about earth. God also presented the living crea the whole earth, and was parted into four tures, when he had made them, according to parts. Phison, which denotes a multitude, their kinds, both male and female, to Adam, running into India, makes its exit into the and gave them those names by which they sea, and is by the Greeks called Ganges. Euare still called. But when he saw that Adam phrates also, as well as Tigris, goes down had no female companion, no society, for there into the Red Sea,tt Now the name Euphrates, was no such created, and that he wondered or Phrath, denotes either a dispersion or a at the other animals which were male and fe flower; by Tigris, or Diglath, is signified what male, he laid him asleep, and took away one is swift, with narrowness; and Geon runs of his ribs, and out of it formed the woman;$ through Egypt, and denotes what arises from whereupon Adam knew her when she was the East, which the Greeks call Nile. brought to him, and acknowledged that she God therefore commanded that Adam and was made out of himself. Now a woman is his wife should eat of all the rest of the plants, called in the Hebrew tongue Issa: but the but to abstain from the tree of knowledge, name of this woman was Eve, which signifies and foretold to them, that if they touched it, it the mother of all living.
would prove their destruction. But while all * Since Josephus, in his preface, says, that Moses wrote or rather on both sides the Euphrates, after its conjunction some things enigmatically, some allegorically, and the rest with the Tigris, a little below the place where, in process in plain words; since in his account of the first chapter of of time, the famous city of Babylon came to be built. Thus Genesis, and the three first verses of the second, he gives we have found out a country called Eden, which for its us no hints of any mystery at all; but when he comes to pleasure and fruitfulness, as all authors agree, answers the ver. 4. &c. he says, that Moses, after the seventh day was character which Moses gives of it. Herodotus, who was over, began to talk philosophically, it is not improbable an eye witness of it, tells us, that where Euphrates runs that he understood the rest of the second and the third out into Tigris, not far from the place where Ninus is chapters in some enigmatical, allegorical, or philosophical seated, that region is, of all that ever he saw, the most ex
The change of the name of God just at this place cellent: so fruitful in bringing forth corn, that it yields two from Elohim to Jehovah Elohim, from God to Lord God, hundred fold; and so plenteous in grass, that the people in the Hebrew, Samaritan, and Septuagint, also seems to are forced to drive their cattle from pasture, lest they favour some such change in the narration or construc should surfeit themselves. B. tion.
** Whence this strange notion came, which is not pe† Gen. ji. 7.
culiar to Josephus, but Dr. Hudson says, is derived from | Josephus supposed man to be compounded of Spirit, elder authors; as if four of the greatest rivers in the world, soul, and body, with St. Paul, 1 Thess. v. 23, and the rest running two of them at vast distances from the other two, of the ancients. He elsewhere says also, that the blood by some means or other watered Paradise, is hard to say. of animals was forbidden to be eaten, as having in it soul Only, since Josephus has already appeared to allegorize and spirit.
this history, and takes notice that these four names had a Gen. ii. 22.
particular signification : Phison for Ganges, a multitude ; || The place wherein the country of Eden, as mentioned Phrath for Euphrates, either a dispersion or a flower; by Moses, seems most like to be situated, is Chaldea, not Diglath for Tigris, what is swift with narrowne-s; and Geon far from the banks of the Euphrates. To this purpose, for Nile, what arises from the east; we perhaps mistake when we find Rabshekah vaunting his master's actions, him when we suppose he literally means those four rivers, have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fa especially as to Geon, or Nile, which arises from the east; thers have destroyed, as Gazan and Haran, and Rezeph, while he very well knew the literal Nile arises from the and the children of Eden, which were in Telassar? As Te south; though what farther allegorical sense he had in lassar, in general, signifies any garrison or fortification, so view is now, I fear, impossible to be determined. here, more particularly, it denotes that strong fort which By the Red Sea is not here meant the Arabian Gulf, the children of Eden built in an island of the Euphrates, which alone we now call by that name, but all that South towards the west of Babylon, as a barrier against the in Sea which included the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, as cursions of the Assyrians on that side. And therefore, in far as the East Indies; as Reland and Hudson truly note all probability the country of Eden lay on the west side, ll from the old geographers.
the living creatures had one language* at 6 I had before determined about that time, the serpent, which then lived to how you might lead a happy life, without any gether with Adam and his wife, shewed an en affliction, care, or vexation of soul; and that vious disposition at his supposal of their living all things which might contribute to your enhappily, and in obedience to the commands joyment and pleasure should grow up by my of God; and imagining that when they dis providence, of their own accord, without your obeyed they would fall into calamities, he per labour and pains taking : which state of labour suaded the woman, out of a malicious inten would soon bring on old age, and death would tion, to taste of the tree of knowledge, tell not be at any remote distance. But now thou ing them, that in that tree was the knowledge hast abused my good-will, and hast disobeyed of good and evil, which knowledge when they my commands; for thy silence is not the sign should obtain they would lead a happy life: of thy virtue, but of thy evil conscience.” nay, a life not inferior to that of a god;t by However, Adam excused his sin, and intreated which means he overcame the woman, and God not to be angry with him; and laid the persuaded her to despise the command of blame of what was done upon his wife, and God. Now, when she had tasted of that tree, said, that he was deceived by her, and thence and was pleased with its fruit, she persuaded became an offender; while she again accused Adam to make use of it also. Upon this they the serpent. But God allotted him punishperceived that they were become naked; to ment, because he weakly submitted to the one another; and being ashamed thus to ap counsel of his wife; and said, the ground pear abroad, they invented somewhat to co should not henceforth yield its fruits of its own ver them, for the fruit sharpened their under accord, but that when it should be harassed standing; and they covered themselves with by their labour, it would bring forth some of fig-leaves, and tying these before them, out its fruits, and refuse to bring forth others. He of modesty, they thought they were happier also made Eve liable to the inconveniency than they were before, as they had dis of breeding, and the sharp pains of bringing covered what they were in want of. But when forth children; and this because she persuadGod came into the garden,|| Adam, who was ed Adam with the same arguments wherewont before to come and converse with him, with the serpent had persuaded her, and had being conscious of his wicked behaviour, thereby brought him into a calamitous condiwent out of the way. This behaviour sur tion. He also deprived the serpent of speech, prised God: and he asked what was the out of indignation at his malicious disposition cause of his procedure; and why he, that be towards Adam. Besides this, he inserted poifore delighted in that conversation, did now son under his tongue, and made him an enemy fly from, and avoid it ? When he made no to men; and suggested to them that they reply, as conscious to himself that he had should direct their strokes against his head, transgressed the command of God, God said that being the place wherein lay his mischiev
* Hence it appears, that Josephus thought several at made and consecrated a golden image, the expression least of the brute animals, particularly the serpent, could in scripture is, the people were naked, they were bespeak before the fall: and I think few of the more perfect come vile and reprobate sinners, (for so the word yuuvos kinds of those animals want the organs of speech at this signifies in the New Testament, Rev. xvi. 15.) for day. Many inducements there are also to a notion, that Aaron had made them naked unto their shame, among the present state they are in is not their original state, and their enemies, Exod. xxxii. 25. See Nicholl's conference, that their capacities have been once much greater than vol. 1. B. we now see them.
|| Our first parents were conscious of the approach of † Gen. iii. 5.
God to them in the garden by the voice which they heard † Those who take the word naked in a literal sense, sup
as usual from the divine presence.
The word voice may pose that upon the fall, the air, and other elements, imme. be rendered noise ; and since God's usual way of notidiately became intemperate and disorderly ; so that our fying his presence afterwards was either by a still small first parents soon knew, or felt, that they were naked, be voice, or noise, 1 Kings xix. 12. or by a noise like that of cause the sun scorched them, they became wet with the great waters, Ezek. i. 24, or like the rustling of wind in the rain and the cold pierced them. Others take the expres trees, 2 Sam. v. 24. we may reasonably suppose, that it sion in a figurative sense, to denote the commission of was either a soft gentle noise, like a breeze of wind such sins as man in his senses may well be ashamed of. among the trees of Paradise, or a louder one like the murTo this purpose they have observed, that when Moses re muring of some large river, which gave Adam notice of turned from the Mount, and found that the people had God's approach. B.
FROM HIM TO THE DELUGE.
ous designs towards men, and it being easiest hid his dead body, thinking to escape disto take vengeance of him that way; and when covery. But God knowing what had been done, he had deprived him of the use of his feet, he came to Cain and asked him, What was be- . made him to go rolling along, and dragging come of his brother? because he had not seen himself upon the ground; and when God had him many days, whereas he used to observe appointed these penalties for them, he re them conversing together at other times. But moved Adam and Eve out of the garden* into Cain was in doubt with himself, and knew not another place.
what answer to give to God. At first he said,
that he was himself at a loss about his broCHAP. II.
ther's disappearing; but when he was proOF THE POSTERITY OF ADAM, AND THE TEN GENERATIONS voked by God, who pressed him vehemently,
as resolving to know what the matter was, he DAM and Eve had two sons, the elder replied, “ He was not his brother's guardian
of them was named Cain, which name, or keeper, nor was he an observer of what he when interpreted, signifies a possession. The did.” But in return God convicted Cain, as younger was Abel, which signifies sorrow. having been the murderer of his brother, and They also had daughters. Now the two bre said, “I wonder at thee, that thou knowest thren were pleased with different courses of not what is become of a man whom thou thylife: for Abel the brother was a lover of self has destroyed.” God however did not righteousness, and believing that God was inflict the punishment of death upon him, on present at all his actions, he excelled in vir account of his offering sacrifice, and thereby tue, and his
employment was that of a shep- | making supplication to him not to be extreme herd. But Cain was not only very wicked in in his wrath to him : but he made him acother respects, but was wholly intent upon cursed and threatened his posterity in the getting, and he first contrived to plough the seventh generation. He also cast him, together ground. He slew his brother on the following with his wife, out of that land; and when he occasion :they had resolved to sacrifice to was afraid, that in wandering about he should God; now. Cain brought the fruits of the earth, fall among wild beasts, and by that means and of his husbandry: but Abel brought milk, | perish, God told him not to entertain such a and the first fruits of his flocks. But Godt melancholy suspicion,|| but to go over all the was more delighted with the latter oblation, earth without fear of what mischief he might when he was honoured with what grew natu suffer from wild beasts; and setting a mark rally of its own accord, than he was with what upon him that he might be known, he comwas the invention of a covetous man, and got
manded him to depart. ten by forcing the ground. Cain, therefore, When Cain had travelled over many counwas very angry that Abel was preferred by | tries, he, with his wife, built a city, named God before him, and he slew his brother, and Nod,** which is a place so called, and there * Gen. iii. 23.
by way of interrogation, is my iniquity too great to be for+ Gen. iv. et sequel.
given? A learned annotator has observed that as there are St. John's account of the reason why God accepted seven abominations in the heart of him that loveth not his the sacrifice of Abel, and rejected that of Cain; as also brother, Prov. xxvi. 25. there were the like number of why Cain slew Abel, on account of his acceptance with transgressions in Cain's conduct. 1. He sacrificed withGod, is much better than this of Josephus; I mean, be out faith. 2. He was displeased that God respected him
“ Cain was of the evil one, and slew his brother. not. 3. He hearkened not to God's admonition. 4. He And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works spake dissemblingly to his brother. 5. He killed him in were evil, and his brother's righteous.” 1 John iii. 22. the field. 6. He denied that he knew where he was. Josephus's reasons seems to be no better than a Phari 7. He neither hoped or asked for mercy from God, but saical notion or tradition.
despaired, and so fell into the condemnation of the devil. || The punishment of Cain was doubtless a severe onc,
Ainsworth's Annot. B. but not more so than his aggravated guilt demanded. Re $ of this punishment of Cain in the seventh generation, ferring to it, Moses represents him as saying, My punish and of the punishment of Lamech in the seventy-seventh ment is greater than I can bear, Gen. iv. 13. but as the generation, as also of the mark set upon Cain and his posHebrew words signifies iniquity rather than punishment, terity, see Literal Accomplishment of Scripture Propheand the verb signifies to be forgiven, as well as to bear, it cies, Supplement at large, page 106-134, seems to agree better with the context, to render the ** Gen. iv. 16. verse positively, my iniquity is too great to be forgiven ; or