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read the history of their destruction, written by Josephus, a Jew indeed, but a lover of truth, that you may see the wonderful story, such as no time ever saw before since the beginning of the world, nor ever shall see. For that none might refuse to give credit to the history of their incredible and unparalleled sufferings, truth found out, not a stranger, but a native, and a man fond of their institutions, to relate them in a doleful strain."
Eusebius often quotes Josephus, and, in his Ecclesiastical History, has transcribed from him several articles at large. Having.rehearsed from the gospels divers of our Lord's predictions of the evils then coming upon Jerusalem, and the Jewish people, he adds, “ Whosoever shall compare these words of our Saviour with the history of the whole' war, published by the above-mentioned writer, must adınire our Lord's great wisdoin, and acknowledge that his foresight was divine.”
In his Chronicle, as we have it from Jerom in Latin, Eusebius says, “ In subduing Judea, and overthrowing Jerusalem, Titus slew six hundred thousand people : but Josephus writes, that eleven hundred thousand perished by famine and the sword, and that another hundred thousand were publicly sold and carried captives; and he says that the occasion of there being so great a multitude of people al Jerusalem was this, that it was the time of the Passover: for which reason the Jews having come up from all parts to worship at the temple, were shut up in the city, as in a prison. And indeed it was fit they should be slain at the same time in which they crucified our Saviour.”
The following general character of Josephus from the pen of Dr. Lardner, concludes his observations on his works. Josephus was a man of great eminence and distinction among his people : but we do not observe in him a seriousness of spirit becoming a Christian, nor that sublimity of virtue'which is suited to the principles of the Christian religion. Nor do we discern in him such qualities as should induce us to think he was one of those who were well disposed, and were not far from the kingdom of God, Matt. xii. 34. He was a priest by descent, and early in the magistracy: then a general, and a courtier : and in all shewing a worldly mind, suited to such stations and employments; insomuch that. be appears to be one of those, of whom, and to whom, the best judge of men and things said, how can ye believe who receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only. Johň v. 24."
The utility of the works of Josephus as a companion to the Sacred History must now be obvious. A careful perusal of them cannot fail to illustrate and corroborate many facts of the inspired volume. ' On this principle they are strongly recommended to the attention of the religious public. In the present edition the translation of Mr. Whiston is retained as the most valuable which has yet appeared. The notes also which he originally added to explain bis author are here preserved. But as room remained for farther explanation than he has given, a considerable body of information is added, in a selection of notes by the Editor, which are distinguished from those of the translator by the letter B at the close of each. It is hoped therefore, on the whole, that this edition of the Genuine Works of Josephus will be an acceptable and useful work, and contribute to the enlargement of knowledge on subjects which are connected with the dispensations of religion, and the interest of the visible church of God upon earth.
London, October 1, 1811.
VOL. 1. (1.)
Those * who undertake to write histories, do not, I perceive, take that trouble on one and the same account; but for many, and various reasons. For some apply themselves to this part of learning to shew their great skill in composition ; and that they may therein acquire a reputation. Others write histories in order to gratify those who happen to be concerned in them; and on that account spare no pains, but rather exceed their own abilities, in the peformance. But there are others who of necessity are driven to write bi because they were concerned in the facts, and so cannot excuse themselves from committing them to writing, for the advantage of posterity. Nay, there are not a few who are induced to draw their historical facts out of darkness into light, and to produce them for the benefit of the public, on account of the great importance of the facts themselves, with which they had been concerned. Now of these several reasons for writing history, I must profess the two last were my own. For since I was myself interested in that war which we Jews had with the Romans, and knew myself its particular actions and conclusion, I was forced to give the history of it, because I saw that others perverted the truth of those actions in their writings.
Now I have undertaken the present work, as thinking it will appear to all the Greeks + worthy of their study: for it will contain all our antiquities, and the constitution of our government, as interpreted out of the Hebrew scriptures. And indeed, I did formerly intend when I & wrote of the war, to explain who the Jews originally were; what fortunes they had been subject to; and by what legislator they had been instructed in piety and the exercise of other virtue ; what wars they also had made in remote ages, till they were unwillingly engaged in this last with the Romans. But because this work would take up a great compass, 'I formed it into a distinct treatise, with a beginning of its own, and its own conclusion. But in process of time, as usually happens to such as undertake great things, I grew weary and went on slowly; it being a large subject, and a difficult thing to translate our history into a foreign, and to us unaccustomed, language. However, there were some persons who desired to know our history, and
* This preface of Josephus's is excellent in its kind, and highly worthy the repeated perusal of the reader, before he set about the perusal of the work itself.
+ That is all the Gentiles, both Greeks and Romans.
† Josephus never followed the Septuagint, nor any other Greek version, in these bis Antiquities, or other works, but only the Hebrew original; and this so punctually through all his known writings, as to make use of none of the sacred books but those that were written in Hebrew, and belonging to the Jerusalem catalogue.
§ 'Josephus wrote his seven books of the Jewish War, long before he wrote his Antiquities. Those books of the War were published about A. D. 75, and these ' Antiquities A. D. 93, about eighteen years later. See Fabricius apud Havercamp, page 58, 59.
exhorted me to go on with it, and above all the Test Epaphroditus,* a man who is a lover of all kinds of learning, but is principally delighted with the knowledge of history, and this on account of his having been himself concerned in great affairs, and many iurns of fortune, and having shewn a wonderful vigor of an excellent nature, and an immoveably virtuous resolution in them all. I yielded to this man's persuasions, who always excites such as have abilities in what is useful and acceptable, to join their endeavours' with his. I was also ashamed to permit any indolence of disposition to have a greater inAuence upon me than the delight of taking pains in such studies as were very useful. I therefore stirred up myself, and went on with my work more cheerfully. : Besides the foregoing motives, I had others, which I greatly reflected on; and these were, that our forefathers were willing to communicate such things to others; and that some of the Greeks took considerable pains to learn the affairs of our nation.
I found, therefore, that the second of the Ptolemies was a king who was extraordinarily diligent in what concerned learning and the collection of books; that he was also peculiarly ambitious to procure a translation of our law, and of the constitution of our government therein contained, into the Greek tongue. Now Eleazar the high-priest, one not inferior to any other of that dignity among us, did not envy the king the participation of that advantage, which otherwise he would certainly have denied him ; but that he knew the custom of our nation was, 10 binder ndihing of what we esteemed ourselves from being communicated to others. Accordingly, I thought it became me, both to imitate the generosity of our high-priest, and to suppose there might even now be many lovers of learning like the king. For he did not obtain all our writings at that time; but those who were sent to Alexandria as interpreters, gave him only the books of the law. While there were'a vast number of other matters in our sacred books. They indeed contain t the history of five thousand years. In which time happened many strange accidents, many chances of war, and great actions of the commanders, and mutations of the forın of our government. Upon the whole, a man that will peruse this bistory may principally learn from it, that all events succeed well, even to an incredible degree, and the reward of felicity is proposed by God; but then it is to those that follow his will, and do not venture to break his excellent laws; and that so far as men any way apostatize from the accurate observation of them, I what was practicable before, becomes impracticable; and whatsoever they set about as a good thing, is converted into an incúrable-calamity. And now I exhort all those that peruse these books to apply their minds to God; and to examine the mind of our' legislator, whether he hath not understood his nature in a manner worthy of him, and hath not ever ascribed 10 him such operations as become his power, and hath not preserved his writings from those indecent fables which others have framed, although, by the great distance of time when he lived, he might have securely forged such falsehoods. For he lived stwo thousand years ago. At
* This Epaphroditus was certainly alive in the third year of Trajan, A. D. 100. Who lie was we do not know, for as 10 Epaphroditus, the freed man of Nero, Tacit. Annal. XV. 55, Nero's and afterwards Domitian's secretary, who was put to death by Domitian in the fourteenth or fifteenth year of his reign, he could not be alive in the third of Trajan,
† That Josephus's chronology agreed neither with the Masorete Hebrew, nor with the present Septuagint, but almost always with that of the Samaritan Pentateuch, and contained not much less than 5000 years, see Essays on the Old Testament, page 195, 203, which is here recommended by Fabricius to the consideration of the reader, ap. Havercamp, page 59.
# Josephus bere plainly alludes to the famous Greek proverb, Bił wagória wăv snopor wógspeor. If God be with us, every thing that is impossible, becomes possible.
☆ Of Josephus's chronology both here and hereafter, the reader is not to expect much account in these Notes. However, he is to observe, that though the numbers at the beginning of every book are translations from the last editions of Josephus, and so imperfect; yet all those in the margin are my own numbers, as they are more perfectly discovered and stated in the chronology, and my chronological table, published A. D. 1721. Josephus often corrected his own chronology, and for want of Ptolemy's Canon, and of the knowledge of the years of Jubilee, which are sure guides to me in this inatter, was often mistaken ; I choose rather to give the reader in the margin the true chronology, thań to perplex him with such an one as we know to be often very
which vast distant of ages, the poets themselves have not been so hardy as to fix even the generations of their gods; much less the actions of their men, or their own laws. As I proceed, therefore, I shall accurately describe what is contained in our records, in the order of time that belongs to them. For I have - already promised so to do throughout this undertaking; and this without adding any thing to what is therein contained, or taking away any thing therefrom.
But because almost all our constitution depends on the wisdom of Moses, our legislator, I cannot avoid the saying somewhat concerniog him before-hand, though I shall do it briefly. I mean because otherwise those that read my books may wonder how it comes to pass, that my discourse, which promises an account of laws and historical facts, contains so much of philosophy. The reader is therefore to know, that Moses deemed it exceedingly necessary, that he who would conduct his own life well, and give laws to others, in the first place should consider the divine nature; and, upon the contemplation of God's operations, should thereby imitate the best of all patterns, so far as it is possible for human nature to do, and to endeavoor 10 follow after it; neither could the legislator himself have a right mind, without such a contemplation, nor would any thing he should write tend to the promotion of virtue in his readers : I mean unless he be taught first of all, that God is the father and lord of all things, and sees all things, and that thence he bestows a happy life upon those that follow him; but plunges such as do not walk in the paths of virtue into inevitable miseries. Now when Moses was desirous to teach this lesson to his countrymen, he did not begin the establishment of his laws after the same manner that other legislators did: I mean upon contracts, and other rights between one man and another; but by raising their minds upwards to regard God, and his creation of the world; and by persuading them that men are the most excellent of the creatures of God upon earth. Now when once he had brought them to submit to religion, he easily persuaded them to submit in all other things. For as to other legislators, they followed fables ; and by their discourses transferred the most reproachful of human vices unto the gods, and so afforded wicked. men the most plausible excuses for their crimes. But as for our legislator, when he had once demonstrated that God was possessed of perfect virtue, he supposed that men also ought to strive after the participation of it. And on those who did not so think and so believe, he'inflicted the severest punishment. I therefore exhort my readers to examine the whole of this undertaking in that view; for thereby it will appear to them that there is nothing therein disagreeable either to the majesty of God, or to his love to mankind. For all things have here a reference to the 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 koow the reasons of every thing, may find here a very curioùs philosophical theory, which I now indeed shall wave 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 I 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 ainong 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
POSITION OF THE ELEMENTS.
he placed the heaven over the whole world,
placed a crystalline firmament round it; and
and the earth. † But when the earth did | earth; and fitted it for giving moisture and not come into sight, but was covered with rain, and for affording the advantage of dews. thick darkness, and a wind moved upon its | On the third day he appointed the dry land surface, God commanded that there should be to appear, with the sea round about it; and light, and when that was made, he considered on the same day he made the plants and the whole mass, and separated the light and the seeds to spring out of the earth. On the the darkness; and the name he gave to one fourth day he adorned the heaven with the was night, and the other he called day; and sun the moon, and the stars, and appointed he named the beginning of light, and the time them their motions and courses, that the vicisof rest, the evening and the morning. And situdes of the seasons might be clearly signithis was indeed the first day. But Moses said fied. And on the fifth day he produced the it was one day, † the cause of which I am able living creatures, both those that swim, and to give even now; but because I have pro- || those that fly: the former in the sea, the lat. mised to give such reasons for all things in a ter in the air. He also sorted them as to sotreatise by itself, I shall put off its exposition ciety, and that their kinds might increase and till that time. After this, on the second day, multiply. On the sixth day he created the
ram * Note that this and the other titles of chapters are VIII, 5. XVIII. 4. and in the Greek, Matt. xxviii. 1. wanting in the best MSS.
John xx. 19. 1. 1 Cor. xvi. 2. as Ainsworth observes on + See Gen. i. 1. et sequel.
this text. It is also in Philo, and among the Egyptians One is put for the first not only here in the Hebrew and Chaldeans, and even in Diodorus Siculus. and Numb. xxix. 1. Dan, ix, 1. but elsewhere in Josephus, VOL. 1. (1.)