The Wars of the Jews
The Life of Flavius Josephus
Book I, footnote 35
Book XVI, Chapter 2
3 So much for Syria in general. But in detail: CommagenÍ is rather a small country; and it has a city fortified by nature, Samosata, where the royal residence used to be; but it has now become a province; and the city is surrounded by an exceedingly fertile, though small, territory. Here is now the bridge of the Euphrates; and near the bridge is situated Seleuceia, a fortress of Mesopotamia, which was included within the boundaries of CommagenÍ by Pompey; and it was here that Tigranes slew SelenÍ, surnamed Cleopatra, after imprisoning her for a time, when she had been banished from Syria.
Book I, footnote 8
The Histories by Tacitus
Book V, Chapter 9
Cneius Pompeius was the first of our countrymen to subdue the Jews. Availing himself of the right of conquest, he entered the temple. Thus it became commonly known that the place stood empty with no similitude of gods within, and that the shrine had nothing to reveal. The walls of Jerusalem were destroyed, the temple was left standing. After these provinces had fallen, in the course of our civil wars, into the hands of Marcus Antonius, Pacorus, king of the Parthians, seized Judaea. He was slain by Publius Ventidius, and the Parthians were driven back over the Euphrates. Caius Sosius reduced the Jews to subjection. The royal power, which had been bestowed by Antony on Herod, was augmented by the victorious Augustus. On Herod's death, one Simon, without waiting for the approbation of the Emperor, usurped the title of king. He was punished by Quintilius Varus then governor of Syria, and the nation, with its liberties curtailed, was divided into three provinces under the sons of Herod. Under Tiberius all was quiet. But when the Jews were ordered by Caligula to set up his statue in the temple, they preferred the alternative of war. The death of the Emperor put an end to the disturbance. The kings were either dead, or reduced to insignificance, when Claudius entrusted the province of Judaea to the Roman Knights or to his own freedmen, one of whom, Antonius Felix, indulging in every kind of barbarity and lust, exercised the power of a king in the spirit of a slave. He had married Drusilla, the granddaughter of Antony and Cleopatra, and so was the grandson-in-law, as Claudius was the grandson, of Antony.
Book I, footnote 18
Book XVI, Chapter 2
27 After AcÍ one comes to the Tower of Strato, which has a landing-place for vessels. Between the two places is Mt. Carmel, as also towns of which nothing more than the names remain ó I mean Sycaminopolis, Bucolopolis, Crocodeilopolis, and others like them. And then one comes to a large forest.
28 Then one comes to IopÍ, where the seaboard from Aegypt, though at first stretching towards the east, makes a significant bend towards the north. Here it was, according to certain writers of myths, that Andromeda was exposed to the sea-monster; for the place is situated at a rather high elevation ó so high, it is said, that Jerusalem, the metropolis of the Judaeans, is visible from it; and indeed the Judaeans have used this place as a seaport when they have gone down as far as the sea; but the seaports of robbers are obviously only robbers' dens. To these people belonged, not only Carmel, but also the forest; and indeed this place was so well supplied with men that it could muster forty thousand men from the neighbouring village Iamneia and the settlements all round. Thence to Mt. Casius near Pelusium the distance is a little more than one thousand stadia; and, three hundred stadia farther, one comes to Pelusium itself.
Book I, footnote 19
Justin, Epitome of Pompeius Trogus
I. THE Parthians, in whose hands the empire of the east now is, having divided the world, as it were, with the Romans, were originally exiles from Scythia. This is apparent from their very name; for in the Scythian language exiles are called Parthi. During the time of the Assyrians and Medes, they were the most obscure of all the people of the east. Subsequently, too, when the empire of the east was transferred from the Medes to the Persians, they were but as a herd without a name, and fell under the power of the stronger. At last they became subject to the Macedonians, when they conquered the east; so that it must seem wonderful to every one, that they should have reached such a height of good fortune as to rule over those nations under whose sway they had been merely slaves. Being assailed by the Romans, also, in three wars, under the conduct of the greatest generals, and at the most flourishing period of the republic, they alone, of all nations, were not only a match for them, but came off victorious; though it may have been a greater glory to them, indeed, to have been able to rise amidst the Assyrian, Median, and Persian empires, so celebrated of old, and the most powerful dominion of Bactria, peopled with a thousand cities, than to have been victorious in war against a people that came from a distance; especially when they were continually harassed by severe wars with the Scythians and other neighbouring nations, and pressed with various other formidable contests.
The Parthians, being forced to quit Scythia by discord at home, gradually settled in the deserts betwixt Hyrcania, the Dahae, the Arei, the Sparni and Marsiani. They then advanced their borders, though their neighbours, who at first made no opposition, at length endeavoured to prevent them, |273 to such an extent, that they not only got possession of the vast level plains, but also of steep hills, and heights of the mountains; and hence it is that an excess of heat or cold prevails in most parts of the Parthian territories; since the snow is troublesome on the higher grounds, and the heat in the plains.
II. The government of the nation, after their revolt from the Macedonian power, was in the hands of kings. Next to the royal authority is the order of the people, from which they take generals in war and magistrates in peace. Their language is something between those of the Scythians and Medes, being a compound of both. Their dress was formerly of a fashion peculiar to themselves; afterwards, when their power had increased, it was like that of the Medes, light and full flowing. The fashion of their arms is that of their own country and of Scythia. They have an army, not like other nations, of free men, but chiefly consisting of slaves, the numbers of whom daily increase, the power of manumission being allowed to none, and all their offspring, in consequence, being born slaves. These bondmen they bring up as carefully as their own children, and teach them, with great pains, the arts of riding and shooting with the bow. As any one is eminent in wealth, so he furnishes the king with a proportionate number of horsemen for war. Indeed when fifty thousand cavalry encountered Antony, as he was making war upon Parthia, only four hundred of them were free men.
Of engaging with the enemy in close fight, and of taking cities by siege, they know nothing. They fight on horseback, either galloping forward or turning their backs. Often, too, they counterfeit flight, that they may throw their pursuers off their guard against being wounded by their arrows. The signal for battle among them is given, not by trumpet, but by drum. Nor are they able to fight long: but they would be irresistible, if their vigour and perseverance were equal to the fury of their onset. In general they retire before the enemy in the very heat of the engagement, and, soon after their |274 retreat, return to the battle afresh; so that, when you feel most certain that you have conquered them, you have still to meet the greatest danger from them. Their armour, and that of their horses, is formed of plates, lapping over one another like the feathers of a bird, and covers both man and horse entirely. Of gold and silver, except for adorning their arms, they make no use.
III. Each man has several wives, for the sake of gratifying desire with different objects. They punish no crime more severely than adultery, and accordingly they not only exclude their women from entertainments, but forbid them the very sight of men. They eat no flesh but that which they take in hunting. They ride on horseback on all occasions; on horses they go to war, and to feasts; on horses they discharge public and private duties; on horses they go abroad, meet together, traffic, and converse. Indeed the difference between slaves and freemen is, that slaves go on foot, but freemen only on horseback. Their general mode of sepulture is dilaniation by birds or dogs; the bare bones they at last bury in the ground. In their superstitions and worship of the gods, the principal veneration is paid to rivers. The disposition of the people is proud, quarrelsome, faithless, and insolent; for a certain roughness of behaviour they think becoming to men, and gentleness only to women. They are always restless, and ready for any commotion, at home or abroad; taciturn by nature; more ready to act than speak, and consequently shrouding both their successes and miscarriages in silence. They obey their princes, not from humility, but from fear. They are libidinous, but frugal in diet. To their word or promise they have no regard, except as far as suits their interest.
Book I, footnote 28
Book XVI, Chapter 2
23 But Tyre is wholly an island, being built up nearly in the same way as Aradus; and it is connected with the mainland by a mole, which was constructed by Alexander when he was besieging it; and it has two harbours, one that can be closed and the other, called "Aegyptian" harbour, open. The houses here, it is said, have many stories, even more than the houses at Rome, and on this account, when an earthquake took place, it lacked but little of utterly wiping out the city. The city was also unfortunate when it was taken by siege by Alexander; but it overcame such misfortunes and restored itself both by means of the seamanship of its people, in which the Phoenicians in general have been superior to all peoples of all times, and by means of their dye-houses for purple; for the Tyrian purple has proved itself by far the most beautiful of all; and the shell-fish are caught near the coast; and the other things requisite for dyeing are easily got; and although the great number of dye-works makes the city unpleasant to live in, yet it makes the city rich through the superior skill of its inhabitants. The Tyrians were adjudged autonomous, not only by the kings, but also, at small expense to them, by the Romans, when the Romans confirmed the decree of the kings. Heracles is paid extravagant honours by them. The number and the size of their colonial cities is an evidence of their power in maritime affairs. Such, then, are the Tyrians.
Book II, footnote 1
Deuterocanonical Apocrypha, Sirach
22:12 Seven days do men mourn for him that is dead; but for a fool and an ungodly man all the days of his life.
Deuterocanonical Apocrypha, Sirach
38:17 Weep bitterly, and make great moan, and use lamentation, as he is worthy, and that a day or two, lest thou be evil spoken of: and then comfort thyself for thy heaviness.
Book II, footnote 4
That We Ought Not to Sing an Heathen or an Obscene Song, Nor to Swear by an Idol Because It is an Impious Thing, and Contrary to the Knowledge of God.
XII. Nor do the legislators give us only prohibitions concerning idols, but also warn us concerning the luminaries, not to swear by them, nor to serve them. For they say: "Lest, when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, thou shouldest be seduced to worship them." And elsewhere: "Do not ye learn to walk after the ways of the heathen, and be not afraid of the signs of heaven." For the stars and the luminaries were given to men to shine upon them, but not for worship; although the Israelites, by the perverseness of their temper, "worshipped the creature instead of the Creator," and acted insultingly to their Maker, and admired the creature more than is fit. And sometimes they made a calf, as in the wilderness; sometimes they worshipped Baalpeor; another time Baal, and Thamuz, and Astarte of Sidon; and again Moloch and Chamos; another time the sun, as it is written in Ezekiel; nay, and besides, brute creatures, as among the Egyptians Apis, and the Mendesian goat, and gods of silver and gold, as in Judea. On account of all which things He threatened them, and said by the prophet: "Is it a small thing to the house of Judah to do these abominations which they have done? For they have filled the land with their wickedness, to provoke me to anger: and, behold, they arc as those that mock. And I will act with anger. Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have mercy; and they shall cry in mine ears with a great voice, and I will not hearken unto them." Consider, beloved, how many things the Lord declares against idolaters, and the worshippers of the sun and moon. Wherefore it is the duty of a man of God, as he is a Christian, not to swear by the sun, or by the moon, or by the stars; nor by the heaven, nor by the earth, by any of the elements, whether small or great. For if our Master charged us not to swear by the true God, that our word might be firmer than an oath, nor by heaven itself, for that is a piece of heathen wickedness, nor by Jerusalem, nor by the sanctuary of God, nor the altar, nor the gift, nor the gilding of the altar, nor one's own head, for this custom is a piece of Judaic corruption, and on that account was forbidden; and if He exhorts the faithful that their yea be yea, and their nay, nay, and says that "what is more than these is of the evil one," how much more blameable are those who appeal to deities falsely so called as the objects of an oath, and who glorify imaginary beings instead of those that are real, whom God for their perverseness "delivered over to foolishness, to do those things that are not convenient!"
Avoid swearing falsely, and swearing often, and in vain; for thou shalt not be held guiltless.
"Thou shalt not forswear thyself; for it is said, "Thou shalt not swear at all." (Matt 5:34) But if that cannot be avoided, thou shalt swear truly; for" every one that swears by Him shall be commended." (Psa 63:11)
Book II, footnote 24
Book VIII, Chapter 4
IV. Wherefore we, the twelve apostles of the Lord, who are now together, give you in charge those divine constitutions concerning every ecclesiastical form, there being present with us Paul the chosen vessel, our fellow-apostle, and James the bishop, and the rest of the presbyters, and the seven deacons. In the first place, therefore, I Peter say, that a bishop to be ordained is to be, as we have already, all of us, appointed, unblameable in all things, a select person, chosen by the whole people, who, when he is named and approved, let the people assemble, with the presbytery and bishops that are present, an the Lord's day, and let them give their consent. And let the principal of the bishops ask the presbytery and people whether this be the person whom they desire for their ruler. And if they give their consent, let him ask further whether he has a good testimony from all men as to his worthiness for so great and glorious an authority; whether all things relating to his piety towards God be right; whether justice towards men has been observed by him; whether the affairs of his family have been well ordered by him; whether he has been unblameable in the course of his life. And if all the assembly together do according to truth, and not according to prejudice, witness that he is such a one, let them the third time, as before God the Judge, and Christ, the Holy Ghost being also present, as well as all the holy and ministering spirits, ask again whether he be truly worthy of this ministry, that so "in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established." And if they agree the third time that he is worthy, let them all be demanded their vote; and when they all give it willingly, let them be heard. And silence being made, let one of the principal bishops, together with two others, stand near to the altar, the rest of the bishops and presbyters praying silently, and the deacons holding the divine Gospels open upon the head of him that is to be ordained, and say to God thus:
Book IV, footnote 14
Book VII, Chapter 37
Thou who hast fulfilled Thy promises made by the prophets, and hast had mercy on Zion, and compassion on Jerusalem, by exalting the throne of David, Thy servant, in the midst of her, by the birth of Christ, who was born of his seed according to the flesh, of a virgin alone; do Thou now, O Lord God, accept the prayers which proceed from the lips of Thy people which are of the Gentiles, which call upon Thee in truth, as Thou didst accept of the gifts of the righteous in their generations. In the first place Thou did respect the sacrifice of Abel...
Book IV, footnote 21
Suetonius, Life of Vitellius
And after he was everywhere either worsted or betrayed, he made a bargain with Flavius Sabinus, the brother of Vespasian, that he should have his own life and a hundred million sesterces.
Suetonis, Life of Vespasian
Titus Flavius Petro, a burgher of Reate and during the civil war a centurion or a volunteer veteran on Pompey's side, fled from the field of Pharsalus and went home, where after at last obtaining pardon and an honourable discharge, he carried on the business of a collector of moneys. His son, surnamed Sabinus (although some say that he was an ex-centurion of the first grade; others that while still in command of a cohort he was retired because of ill-health) took no part in military life, but farmed the public tax of a fortieth in Asia. And there existed for some time statues erected in his honour by the cities of Asia, inscribed "To an honest tax-gatherer." Later he carried on a banking business in the Helvetian country and there he died, survived by his wife, Vespasia Polla, and by two of her children, of whom the elder, Sabinus, rose to the rank of prefect of Rome, and the younger, Vespasian, even to that of emperor.
Book V, footnote 7
Book IV, Chapter 13
In What Things We Ought to Be Subject to the Rulers of This World.
XIII. Be ye Subject to all royal power and dominion in things which are pleasing to God, as to the ministers of God, and the punishers of the ungodly. (1 Peter 2:13; Titus 3:1) Render all the fear that is due to them, all offerings, all customs, all honour, gifts, and taxes. (Rom 13:1,4,7) For this is God's command, that l you owe nothing to any one but the pledge of love, which God has commanded by Christ. (Rom 13:8)
Book VI, Chapter 2
Let us therefore, beloved, consider what sort of glory that of the seditious is, and what their condemnation. For if he that rises up against kings is worthy of punishment, even though he be a son or a friend,
Book VI, Chapter 25
Let us be obedient to Christ as to our King, as having authority to change several constitutions, and having, as a legislator, wisdom to make new constitutions in different circumstances; yet so that everywhere the laws of nature be immutably preserved.
Book VII, Chapter 16
Concerning the Subjection Due to the King and to Rulers.
XVI. Thou shalt fear the king, knowing that his appointment is of the Lord. His rulers thou shalt honour as the ministers of God, for they are the revengers of all unrighteousness; to whom pay taxes, tribute, and every oblation with a willing mind.
Book VIII, Chapter 13
Let us pray "for kings and those in authority," that they may be peaceable toward us, "that so we may have and lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty." (1 Tim 2:2)
Book V, footnote 20
The Histories by Tacitus
Book V, Chapter 6, 7
Eastward the country is bounded by Arabia; to the south lies Egypt; on the west are Phoenicia and the Mediterranean. Northward it commands an extensive prospect over Syria. The inhabitants are healthy and able to bear fatigue. Rain is uncommon, but the soil is fertile. Its products resemble our own. They have, besides, the balsam-tree and the palm. The palm-groves are tall and graceful. The balsam is a shrub; each branch, as it fills with sap, may be pierced with a fragment of stone or pottery. If steel is employed, the veins shrink up. The sap is used by physicians. Libanus is the principal mountain, and has, strange to say, amidst these burning heats, a summit shaded with trees and never deserted by its snows. The same range supplies and sends forth the stream of the Jordan. This river does not discharge itself into the sea, but flows entire through two lakes, and is lost in the third. This is a lake of vast circumference; it resembles the sea, but is more nauseous in taste; it breeds pestilence among those who live near by its noisome odour; it cannot be moved by the wind, and it affords no home either to fish or water-birds. These strange waters support what is thrown upon them, as on a solid surface, and all persons, whether they can swim or no, are equally buoyed up by the waves. At a certain season of the year the lake throws up bitumen, and the method of collecting it has been taught by that experience which teaches all other arts. It is naturally a fluid of dark colour; when vinegar is sprinkled upon it, it coagulates and floats upon the surface. Those whose business it is take it with the hand, and draw it on to the deck of the boat; it then continues of itself to flow in and lade the vessel till the stream is cut off. Nor can this be done by any instrument of brass or iron. It shrinks from blood or any cloth stained by the menstrua of women. Such is the account of old authors; but those who know the country say that the bitumen moves in heaving masses on the water, that it is drawn by hand to the shore, and that there, when dried by the evaporation of the earth and the power of the sun, it is cut into pieces with axes and wedges just as timber or stone would be.
Not far from this lake lies a plain, once fertile, they say, and the site of great cities, but afterwards struck by lightning and consumed. Of this event, they declare, traces still remain, for the soil, which is scorched in appearance, has lost its productive power. Everything that grows spontaneously, as well as what is planted by hand, either when the leaf or flower have been developed, or after maturing in the usual form, becomes black and rotten, and crumbles into a kind of dust. I am ready to allow, on the one hand, that cities, once famous, may have been consumed by fire from heaven, while, on the other, I imagine that the earth is infected by the exhalations of the lake, that the surrounding air is tainted, and that thus the growth of harvest and the fruits of autumn decay under the equally noxious influences of soil and climate. The river Belus also flows into the Jewish sea. About its mouth is a kind of sand which is collected, mixed with nitre, and fused into glass. This shore is of limited extent, but furnishes an inexhaustible supply to the exporter.
Life, footnote 1
1Esdr 5:24 The priests: the sons of Jeddu, the son of Jesus among the sons of Sanasib, nine hundred seventy and two: the sons of Meruth, a thousand fifty and two: 1Esdr 5:25 The sons of Phassaron, a thousand forty and seven: the sons of Carme, a thousand and seventeen.
Life, footnote 1
1Esdr 5:41 So of Israel, from them of twelve years old and upward, they were all in number forty thousand, beside menservants and womenservants two thousand three hundred and sixty.
Life, footnote 4
Book V, Chapter 18
A Constitution Concerning the Great Passover Week.
XVIII. Do you therefore fast on the days of the passover, beginning from the second day of the week until the preparation, and the Sabbath, six days, making use of only bread, and salt, and herbs, and water for your drink; but do you abstain on these days from wine and flesh, for they are days of lamentation and not of feasting. Do ye who are able fast the day of the preparation and the Sabbath-day entirely, tasting nothing till the cock-crowing of the night; but if any one is not able to join them both together, at least let him observe the Sabbath-day; for the Lord says somewhere, speaking of Himself: "When the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, in those days shall they fast." (Matt 9:15; Mark 2:20; Luke 5:35) In these days, therefore, He was taken from us by the Jews, falsely so named, and fastened to the cross, and "was numbered among the transgressors." (Isa 53:12)
Life, footnote 20
Book II, Chapter 37
Concerning Accusers and False Accusers, and How a Judge is Not Rashly Either to Believe Them or Disbelieve Them, But After an Accurate Examination.
XXXVII. But it is the duty of the bishop to judge rightly, as it is written, "Judge righteous judgment; " and elsewhere, "Why do ye not even of yourselves judge what is right? " Be ye therefore as skilful dealers in money: for as these reject bad money, but take to themselves what is current, in the same manner it is the bishops's duty to retain the unblameable, but either to heal, or, if they be past cure, to cast off those that are blameworthy, so as not to be hasty in cutting off, nor to believe all accusations; for it sometimes happens that some, either through passion or envy, do insist on a false accusation against a brother, as did the two elders in the case of Susanna in Babylon, and the Egyptian woman in the case of Joseph. Do thou therefore, as a man of God, not rashly receive such accusations, lest thou take away the innocent and slay the righteous; for he that will receive such accusations is the author of anger rather than of peace. But where there is anger, there the Lord is not; for that anger, which is the friend of Satan-I mean that which is excited unjustly by the means of false brethren-never suffers unanimity to be in the Church. Wherefore, when you know such persons to be foolish, quarrelsome, passionate, and such as delight in mischief, do not give credit to them; but observe such as they are, when you hear anything from them against their brother: for murder is nothing in their eyes, and they cast a man down in such a way as one would not suspect. Do thou therefore consider diligently the accuser, wisely observing his mode of life, what, and of what sort it is; and in case thou findest him a man of veracity, do according to the doctrine of our Lord, and taking him who is accused, rebuke him, that he may repent, when nobody is by. But if he be not pervaded, take with thee out or two more, and so show him his fault, and admonish him with mildness and instruction; for "wisdom will rest upon an heart that is good, but is not understood in the heart of the foolish."
Against Apion, footnote 11
The Testament of Joseph
Section 1, 11, 13-16
1. The record of the testament of Joseph. When he was about to die he called his sons and his brethren together, and said to them: My children and brethren, hearken to Joseph the beloved of Israel; give ear, my sons, unto your father. I have seen in my life envy and death, and I wandered not in the truth of the Lord. These my brethren hated me, and the Lord loved me: they wished to slay me, and the God of my fathers guarded me: they let me down into a pit, and the Most High brought me up again: I was sold for a slave, and the Lord made me free: I was taken into captivity, and His strong hand succoured me: I was kept in hunger, and the Lord Himself nourished me: I was alone, and God comforted me: I was sick, and the Most High visited me: I was in prison, and the Saviour showed favour unto me; in bonds, and He released me; amid slanders, and He pleaded my cause; amid bitter words of the Egyptians, and He rescued me; amid envy and guile, and He exalted me.
11. Do ye also, therefore, have the fear of God in your works, and honour your brethren. For every one who worketh the law of the Lord shall be loved by Him. And when I came to the Indocolpitae with the Ishmaelites, they asked me, and I said that I was a slave from their house, that I might not put my brethren to shame. And the eldest of them said unto me, Thou art not a slave, for even thy appearance doth make it manifest concerning thee. And he threatened me even unto death. But I said that I was their slave. Now when we came into Egypt, they strove concerning me. which of them should buy me and take me. Therefore it secured good to all that I should remain in Egypt with a merchant of their trade, until they should return bringing merchandise. And the Lord gave me favour in the eyes of the merchant, and he entrusted unto me his house. And the Lord blessed him by my means, and increased him in silver and gold, and I was with him three months and five days.
13. And Potiphar was persuaded by her words, and commanded the merchant to be brought, and said unto him, What is this that I hear, that thou stealest souls out of the land of the Hebrews, and sellest them for slaves? The merchant therefore fell upon his face, and besought him, saying, I beseech thee, my lord, I know not what thou sayest. And he said, Whence then is thy Hebrew servant? And he said, The Ishmaelites entrusted him to me until they should return. And he believed him not, but commanded him to be stripped and beaten. And when he persisted, Potiphar said, Let the youth be brought. And when I was brought in, I did obeisance to the chief of the eunuchs-for he was third in rank with Pharaoh, being chief of all the eunuchs, and having wives and children and concubines. And he took me apart from him, and said unto me, Art thou a slave or free? And I said, A slave. And he said unto me, Whose slave art thou? And I said unto him, The Ishmaelites' And again he said unto me, How becamest thou their slave? And I said, They bought me out of the land of Canaan. And he believed me not, and said, Thou liest: and he commanded me to be stripped and beaten.
14. Now the Memphian woman was looking through a window while I was being beaten, and she sent unto her husband, saying, Thy judgment is unjust; for thou dost even punish a free man who hath been stolen, as though he were a transgressor. And when I gave no other answer though I was beaten, he commanded that we should be kept in guard, until, said he, the owners of the boy shall come. And his wife said unto him, Wherefore dost thou detain in captivity this noble child, who ought rather to be set at liberty, and wait upon thee? For she wished to see me in desire of sin, and I was ignorant concerning all these things. Then said he to his wife, It is not the custom of the Egyptians to take away that which belongeth to others before proof is given. This he said concerning the merchant, and concerning me, that I must be imprisoned.
15. Now, after four and twenty days came the Ishmaelites; and having heard that Jacob my father was mourning because of me, they said unto me, How is it that thou saidst that thou wept a slave? and lo, we have learnt that thou art the son of a mighty man in the land of Canaan, and thy father grieveth for thee in sackcloth. And again I would have wept, but I restrained myself, that I should not put my brethren to shame. And I said, I know not, I am a slave. Then they take counsel to sell me, that I should not be found in their hands. For they feared Jacob, lest he should work upon them a deadly vengeance. For it had been heard that he was mighty with the Lord and with men. Then said the merchant unto them, Release me from the judgment of Potiphar. They therefore came and asked for me, saying, He was bought by us with money, And he sent us away.
16. Now the Memphian woman pointed me out to her husband, that he should buy me; for I hear, said she, that they are selling him. And she sent a eunuch to the Ishmaelites, and asked them to sell me; and since he was not willing to traffic with them, he returned. So when the eunuch had made trial of them, he made known to his mistress that they asked a large price for their slave. And she sent another eunuch, saying, Even though they demand two minae of gold, take heed not to spare the gold; only buy the boy, and bring him hither. And he gave them eighty pieces of gold for me, and told his mistress that a hundred had been given for me. And when I saw it I held my peace, that the eunuch should not be punished.
Against Apion, footnote 16
Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica
Book IX, Chapter 9
[JOSEPHUS] 'CHOERILUS also, an ancient poet, has mentioned the Jewish nation, and how they served with king Xerxes in his expedition against Greece. And thus he speaks:"Next passed a nation wondrous to behold,'Now that he spake this concerning Jews is evident from the fact that Hierosolyma lies on the mountains called by the Greeks Solyma, and that near it is the Asphaltic lake, which is very broad as the poet says, and larger than any of the lakes in Syria.'
Whose lips pronounced the strange Phoenician tongue;
Upon the hills of Solyma they dwelt
By the broad inland sea. Rough and unkempt
Their close-cropped hair, and on their heads they wore
The smoke-dried skin flayed from a horse's face."
Such then is this man's testimony.
Against Apion 2, footnote 19
Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica
Book VIII, Chapter 8
[JOSEPHUS] 'BUT who it was that made the best laws, and attained the worthiest belief concerning God, it is easy for us to discern from the laws themselves by comparing them one with another: for it is time now to speak of these points. 'Now although the particular differences in the customs and laws received among all mankind are infinite, one may go over them thus in a summary way.
'For some entrusted the authority of their civil government to monarchies, and some to oligarchical dynasties, and others to the commons. Our Lawgiver, however, paid no regard at all to these, but rendered our government, as one might call it by a strained expression, a Theocracy, ascribing the authority and the power to God, and persuading all the people to look unto Him, as being the Author of all good things, both those which are possessed by all men in common, and whatever they themselves obtained by praying to Him in difficulties; persuading them also that it was not possible for any either of one's actions or of one's inward thoughts to escape His knowledge.
'But Him he represented as uncreated, and for ever unchangeable, surpassing in beauty all mortal form, and unknown in His essential nature, though known to us by His power.
'I do not now stay to show that the wisest among the Greeks were taught to entertain these thoughts of God from the principles which he supplied: but that these thoughts are honourable and becoming to God's nature and majesty, they have borne strong testimony; for Pythagoras and Anaxagoras and Plato, and the Stoic philosophers who came after him, and almost all others, have evidently entertained such thoughts of God's nature.
'But whereas these men addressed their philosophy to few, and did not dare to publish the truth of their doctrine to multitudes prejudiced with other opinions, our Legislator, inasmuch as he made his actions agree with his laws, not only persuaded the men of his own time, but also inspired those who were to be begotten of them in every age with a belief in God that nothing could remove.
'And the reason was, that he far surpassed all others in the tendency of his legislation towards utility. For he did not make religion a part of virtue, but made other things parts of religion, and so looked at them all together and established them: I mean justice, temperance, fortitude, and the agreement of fellow citizens one with another in all things.
'For all our actions and occupations, and all our discourse, have reference to piety towards our God: and none of these did he leave unexamined nor undetermined.
'For there are in all education and moral training two methods, the one of which instructs by word, and the other by the training of moral habits. Other legislators therefore were divided in their judgements, and having chosen the one of these ways, each whichever pleased him, neglected the other. As for instance the Lacedaemonians and Cretans used to educate by habits, not by words; but the Athenians, and nearly all the other Greeks, enjoined by the laws what things men ought to do or leave undone, but took little care to habituate them thereto by actual deeds.
'Our Lawgiver, however, combined both these ways with great care; for he neither left the practice of moral habits without explanation in words, nor suffered the teaching of the Law to go unpractised; but beginning at once from the nurture of infancy and from every man's domestic mode of life, he left none even of the smallest matters freely dependent upon the wishes of those who were to deal with them; but even about kinds of food, from which one must abstain, and which one must adopt, and concerning those who should live in common with them, and concerning their diligence in labour and on the other hand their rest, he himself made the Law a limit and a rule, in order that living under this as a father and a master we might neither wilfully nor through ignorance commit any sin.
'For he did not leave even the excuse from ignorance, but appointed the Law to be both the best and most necessary instruction, to be heard by them not merely once, nor twice nor many times; but every week he commanded them to desist from all other employments, and assemble for the hearing of the Law, and to learn it thoroughly and exactly, a thing which all legislators seem to have neglected.
'And so far are the greatest part of mankind from living according to their own laws, that they hardly even know them; but when they sin, then they learn from others, that they have transgressed the law. Those too who administer the greatest and most absolute powers among them acknowledge their ignorance, for they appoint those who profess to be expert in the laws to preside with them over the administration of affairs.
'But any one of us whom a man might ask about the laws would tell them all more easily th'an his own name. So by learning them thoroughly as soon as ever we become sensible of anything, we have them engraven as it were on our souls: and while there are few who transgress, no plea can possibly save from punishment.
'It is this before all things that has produced in us so wonderful an agreement. For to have one and the same opinion concerning God, and no difference between one and another, is our daily life and customs, produces a most excellent harmony in men's moral dispositions.
'For among us alone a man will hear no statements concerning God contradictory one to another, though such things are frequent in other nations; for not only by ordinary men is the casual feeling of each expressed, but even among some of the philosophers there has been the same rashness of utterance, some having undertaken to exterminate God's nature altogether by their arguments, while others deprive Him of His providence over mankind. Nor will one observe any difference in the habits of life; but among us there is a community in all men's actions, and unity of statement, in agreement with the Law, concerning God, declaring that He takes oversight of all things.
'Moreover in regard to our habits of life, a man may learn even from women and servants that all other things must have piety for their end. Hence also has resulted the charge which some bring against us, that we have not produced men who were inventors of novelties in words or in works.
'For others think it a fine thing to abide by no customs derived from their forefathers, and testify to the shrewd wisdom of those who are boldest in transgressing them: but we on the contrary have understood that the only wisdom and virtue is neither in act nor in thought to contradict at all the original enactments of our Law.
'And this conduct may reasonably be considered a proof that the Law was admirably ordained. For ordinances which have not this character are proved by the tests of experience to require amendment: but for us, who were persuaded that the Law was from the beginning ordained in accordance with God's will, it would thenceforth have been impious not to guard it safely.
'For what part of it could one have altered? Or what could one have discovered better, or what transferred from other laws as more useful? Should the whole constitution of the state have been altered? But what could be nobler or more just than the constitution which has made God ruler of the whole, and allows the administration of the chief affairs to the priests in common, but withal has entrusted the government over the other priests to the Chief Priest of all?
'These from the very first the Lawgiver appointed to their honourable office, not as superior in wealth nor in any other accidental advantages; but he placed the service of God in the hands of those of his companions who excelled others in persuasiveness and prudence.
'And herein was an exact care both of the Law and of the other institutions: for the priests were appointed overseers of all things, and judges of disputed matters, and punishers of those who had been condemned.
'What government then could be more holy than this? Or what honour more befitting to God, since the whole people were trained to religion, and the priests entrusted with an especial superintendence, and the whole state administered in the manner of a religious solemnity?
'For what other nations call "mysteries" and "solemnities," and cannot observe in practice for a few days, these things we observe through our whole lifetime with much delight and unalterable purpose. 'What then are these premonitions and proclamations? They are simple and easily known. And the first and leading precept is that which says of God, God holds all things together, being all-perfect, and blessed, sufficing for Himself and for all; He is the beginning, middle, and end of all things, manifest in His works and gifts, and more conspicuous than any other being whatsoever, but to us in form and magnitude most invisible.
'Every material, costly though it be, is unworthy to form His image; and every art unskilled to conceive a similitude: no likeness of Him was ever seen or conceived, or may without impiety be represented.
'His works we behold, light, heaven, earth, sun and moon, waters, generations of animals, produce of fruits. These things God made, not with hands, not with labour, not with need of any fellow workers, but when He willed them to be beautiful, at once they were born in beauty.
'Him all must follow, and serve Him in the practice of virtue; for this mode of worshipping God is the most holy. 'One temple of One God (for like is ever dear to like), a temple common to all men for the common God of all. The priests continually serve Him, and their leader is ever the first by birth. He together with his fellow priests is to offer sacrifices to God, to guard the laws, to judge of disputed matters, to punish the convicted. Whoever refuses to obey him must suffer punishment, as guilty of impiety towards God Himself.
'The sacrifices which we offer are not for our own surfeit and drunkenness (for these things are contrary to God's will, and may be made a pretext for insolence and extravagance), but are sober, orderly, and simply arranged, that in sacrificing men may be most temperate. Also at the sacrifices we must first pray for the common salvation, and then for ourselves, for we are made for fellowship; and he who esteems this higher than his private interest would be most acceptable to God.
'In prayer let God be invoked and entreated, not that He give good things (for He has given them of His own free will, and has imparted them in common to all), but that we may be able to receive them, and, when we have gotten, to keep them.
'At the offering of sacrifices the Law has prescribed purifications from mourning for the dead, from defilement, from conjugal intercourse, and many other things, which it would be too long now to write. Such is our doctrine concerning God and His worship, and the same is also our law.
'Now what are the laws concerning marriages? Our law recognizes no other than the natural intercourse with a wife, and that, if it is to be for the sake of children. The intercourse of males it abhors; and should any one attempt it, the penalty is death.
'It bids men marry, not out of regard to dowry, nor by forcible abduction, nor yet by crafty and deceitful persuasion, but to ask a woman in marriage from him who has the right to give her, and a woman suitable in respect of kin. Woman, it says, is inferior to man in all things: therefore let her obey, not to be insulted, but that she may be ruled: for God gave power to the man.
'With her alone the husband must consort, and to attempt another's wife is unholy. But should any one do this, no entreaty can save him from death; nor if he should violate a virgin betrothed to another man, nor if he should entice a married woman.
'All children the Law ordered to be reared; and forbade women to cause abortion or to destroy what is begotten: but if discovered, she would be guilty of child-murder, for destroying life, and diminishing the human race.
'So then if any should proceed to defile the marriage-bed, he can no longer be pure. Even after the lawful intercourse of man and wife, the Law enjoins ablution: it supposed this act to involve a transference of part of the soul to another place. For by growing into union with bodies the soul suffers ill, and again when separated from them by death. For which reason, in all such cases, the Law appointed purifications.
'Moreover, not even on the birthdays of children did it permit us to celebrate a feast and make pretexts for drunkenness; but it directed the very beginning of education to be temperate, and commanded us to instruct children in the learning that relates to the laws, and that they should be acquainted with the deeds of their forefathers; in order that they may imitate these deeds, and being bred up in those laws may neither transgress them, nor have any excuse from ignorance.
'It provided for the reverence due to the dead, not by costly funeral rites, nor by erection of conspicuous monuments, but appointed the nearest relations to perform the usual obsequies, and made it customary for all who were passing by at the time of a burial to draw near and join in the mourning. It also commands that the house and its inhabitants be purified from the defilement of death, in order that one who has committed murder may be very far from thinking that he is undefiled.
'It ordained the honour of parents to be next to that of God; and the son who does not requite the benefits received from them, but fails in any point, it delivers over to be stoned.
'It also says that the young must pay honour to every elder, since the eldest of all things is God.
'It does not permit the concealment of anything from friends, because that is no friendship which does not trust in all things: and if any enmity occur, it has forbidden the disclosure of their secrets.
'Should any one acting as a judge take bribes, the penalty is death. If one disregards a suppliant, when it is in his power to help him, he is responsible. What a man did not lay down, he must not take up. He is not to touch anything belonging to another. If he has lent money, he must not take usury. These ordinances, and many like to these, bind close our fellowship with one another.
'But it is worth while to see also what was the mind of our Lawgiver in regard to equity towards men of other nations: for it will appear that he made the best of all provision, that we might neither destroy our own institutions, nor begrudge those who wished to share in them.
'For all who are willing to come and live under the same laws with us, he receives in a friendly spirit, considering that affinity consists not only in race, but also in the purpose of life: but those who come to us only casually he did not wish to be mixed up in close communion with us.
'He has, however, prescribed the other gifts which we are bound to impart; to supply to all that are in need fire, water, and food, to show them the roads, not to leave a corpse unburied.
'Also in the treatment of those who are judged to be our enemies we must be equitable: for he does not let us ravage their land with fire, nor has he permitted us to cut down fruit-trees; nay more, he has forbidden us to spoil those who have fallen in battle, and has provided for captives, that no outrage be done to them, especially to women.
'So far did he carry his zeal to teach us gentleness and humanity, that he did not neglect the care even of brute beasts; but permitted only the accustomed use of them, and forbade all other. Any of them which take refuge in our houses, like suppliants as it were, he forbade us to destroy; nor did he suffer us to slay the parents with the young: he bade us spare the labouring cattle even in an enemy's country, and not put them to death.
'Thus did he provide on all sides what tended to clemency, by using the aforesaid laws to instruct us, and on the other hand enacting the penal laws without any excuse against those who transgress. For most of the transgressors the penalty is death, if one commit adultery, if he violate a damsel, if he dare to make attempt on a man, if one so attempted submit to be abused.
'In the case of slaves, also, the Law is equally inexorable. Moreover, if any one should cheat in regard to measures or weights, or in an unfair and fraudulent sale, and if one steal another's property, and take up what he did not lay down, for all these there are penalties, not merely such as in other nations but more severe.
'For in regard to injury to parents, or impiety towards God, if a man even think of it, he is immediately put to death.
'For those, however, who act in all things according to the laws there is a reward not of silver nor gold, no, nor yet a crown of wild-olive or parsley, with a corresponding proclamation; but each man who has the testimony of his own conscience is persuaded by the prophetic declaration of the Lawgiver, and by God's confirmation of his faith, that to those who have constantly kept His laws, and would readily die, if it were needful in their defence, God granted that they should be born again, and receive in exchange a better life.
'I should hesitate to write thus now, were it not manifest to all by their actions that many of our countrymen many times ere now, to avoid uttering a word against the Law, have nobly preferred to endure all sufferings. And yet had it not been the case that our nation is well known to all men, and that our voluntary obedience to the laws is manifest, but had some one either read them to the Greeks, saying that he had written them himself, or had asserted that somewhere out of the limits of the known world he had met with men, who held such a reverent notion concerning God, and had through long ages lived in constant obedience to such laws, I think that all men would have marvelled, because of the continual changes among themselves. At all events when men have attempted to write anything of a like kind in regard to polity and laws, they charge them with having made a collection of marvels, and assert that they adopted impossible assumptions.
'And here I say nothing of those other philosophers who dealt with any such subject in their writings: but Plato, though admired among the Greeks, both as distinguished by gravity of life, and as having surpassed all who have been engaged in philosophy in power of expression and persuasiveness, is little better than scoffed at continually and ridiculed by those who claim to be clever in political matters.
'And yet any one examining his writings would constantly find things milder and more nearly like the customs of mankind in general. And Plato himself has confessed that it was not safe to publish the true opinion concerning God to the unintelligent multitudes. Some, however, think that Plato's discourses are empty words written in a fine style of great authority.
Among lawgivers Lycurgus has been most admired; and all men sing the praises of Sparta for having so long patiently endured his laws.
'Well then, let it be confessed that this is a proof of virtue, to be obedient to the laws. But let those who admire the Lacedaemonians compare their duration with the more than two thousand years of our political constitution: and let them further consider that though the Lacedaemonians seemed to observe their laws strictly so long as they retained their own liberty, yet when changes of fortune occurred to them they forgot almost all their laws: but we, though involved in countless vicissitudes, because of the changes of the ruling monarchs of Asia, yet never even in the extremities of danger betrayed our laws.'
These are the statements of Josephus concerning the political constitution of the Jews established by Moses. But with regard to the allegorical meaning shadowed out in the laws enacted by him, though I might say much, I think it sufficient to mention the narratives of Eleazar and Aristobulus, men originally of Hebrew descent, and, as to date, distinguished in the times of the Ptolemies.
Of these Eleazar, as we showed a little above, had been honoured with the dignity of the High-Priesthood, and when the ambassadors had come to him from the king for the sake of the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into the Greek tongue, he sketches out the nature of the allegorical sense in the sacred laws, and presents the doctrine of his discourse in the following form:
Against Apion 2, footnote 22
Book VII, Section 37
A Prayer Containing the Memorial of His Providence, and an Enumeration of the Various Benefits Afforded the Saints by the Providence of God Through Christ.
XXXVII. Thou who hast fulfilled Thy promises made by the prophets, and hast had mercy on Zion, and compassion on Jerusalem, by exalting the throne of David, Thy servant, in the midst of her, by the birth of Christ, who was born of his seed according to the flesh, of a virgin alone; do Thou now, O Lord God, accept the prayers which proceed from the lips of Thy people which are of the Gentiles, which call upon Thee in truth, as Thou didst accept of the gifts of the righteous in their generations. In the first place Thou did respect the sacrifice of Abel, (Gen 4) and accept it as Thou didst accept of the sacrifice of Noah when he went out of the ark; (Gen 8) of Abraham, when he went out of the land of the Chaldeans; (Gen 12) of Isaac at the Well of the Oath; (Gen 26) of Jacob in Bethel; (Gen 35) of Moses in the desert; (Exo 3) of Aaron between the dead and the living; (Num 16) of Joshua the son of Nun in Gilgal; (Josh 5) of Gideon at the rock, and the fleeces, before his sin; (Judg 6; 8) of Manoah and his wife in the field; of Samson in his thirst before the transgression; (Judg 13, 15, 16) of Jephtha in the war before his rash vow; of Barak and Deborah in the days of Sisera; (Judg 11) of Samuel in Mizpeh; (1Sam 7) of David in the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite; (1Chron 21) of Solomon in Gibeon and in Jerusalem: (1Kings 3, 8) of Elijah in Mount Carmel; (1Kings 18) of Elisha at the barren fountain; (2Kings 2) of Jehoshaphat in war; (2Chron 18) of Hezekiah in his sickness, and concerning Sennacherib; (2Kings 20, 19) of Manasseh in the land of the Chaldeans, after his transgression; (2Chron 33) of Josiah in Phassa; (2Chron 35) of Ezra at the return; (Ezra 8) of Daniel in the den of lions; (Dan 6:16) of Jonah in the whale's belly; (Jonah 2) of the three children in the fiery furnace; (Dan 3) of Hannah in the tabernacle before the ark; (1Sam 1) of Nehemiah at the rebuilding of the walls; (Neh 3) of Zerubbabel; of Mattathias and his sons in their zeal; (1Macc 1, etc.) of Jael in blessings. Now also do Thou receive the prayers of Thy people which are offered to Thee with knowledge, through Christ in the Spirit.
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