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term, it would fall under their power: and farther he says, he pointed out his own fortune at a distance, that he would not be slain, but taken alive. Yet none of these particulars could any one divine from Voltaire's detail, important as they are, to give any shadow of reasonableness to Vespasian's reliance on his prediction of his future grandeur, amidst the appearances which it had of artful and interested flattery.
S E C TI O N IV.
Of his Misrepresentations in Chapter forty-fifth ;
where he affirms that Josephus makes Daniel Governor of three hundred and fixty provinces, and ZOROBABEL a Jewish Slave, an intimate Friend of the King of Kings, and very imperfectly relates his Account of Darius's Question, and of the Answers of his Academy of Wits.
NOW pass over to Voltaire's forty-fifth chapter.
This will furnish several instances of gross mifrepresentation. I might observe, that he has no authority from Josephus's book against Appion, to affert, as he does, that his history of the Jewish nation met with a small number of readers, when it appeared at Rome. For he says in his preface, or dedication to Epaphroditus, ' That he wrote his answer to Appion, because he* faw many gave ear to flanders, which
thrown out by fome through hatred, and did • not credit his Antiquities; and used as an argument that their nation was of a later rise, that the
• Επει δε συχνες ερω, &c.
• illustrious Greek historians were silent about them:' which leads rather to suppose, that he had a great number of readers, so far as it justifies any conclusion about the matter:---But I do not dwell upon this. He goes on a little after*, ` Jofephus relates, that • Darius the son of Altyages, had appointed the pro
phet Daniel governor of three hundred and fixty cities, whom he forbade, upon pain of death, to pray to any God for a month.' But is this a fair account? The Jewish historian writes thus: “ That + • Daniel was one of the three presidents whom Da
rius fet over three hundred and fixty provinces; ' for he made so many.' He is therefore filent about the number of cities, and does not represent him to have been vested alone with the government and superintendency of so many provinces, but to have had two others joined with him in rule over them. It is even probable, that the provinces are here swelled to three hundred and fixty, through a mistake of some transcriber, or, according to Hudson, through a flip of memory in Josephus himself, since Daniel, from whose book the relation here is in general plainly borrowed, intimates, that the empire was divided only into one hundred and twenty provinces. It
pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred ' and twenty princes, who should be over the whole
kingdom; and over these three presidents, of whom • Daniel was first, &c. Further, Josephus himself makes the number of the provinces only one hundred and twenty-seven, in the reign of Darius | Hystafpes, about eighteen years after; when
yet the empire had Page 216. † Antiq. 10. 11. 4. # 1b. 11. 3. 2. Compare Daniel vi, s.
been enlarged by additional conquests through the interval.
It follows, “ Josephus seems to imagine afterwards, + • that all the Persians turned Jews. But where is
the foundation for this? For my part I can see none. It is true, that after mentioning Daniel's deliverance from the lions, and the destruction of them who accused him, laying snares for his life, Josephus writes, * King * Darius fent through the whole country,
praising the God whom Daniel worshipped; and
saying that he alone was true, and pofsefsed all . power.' But surely every one must be fenfible this is not enough to fhew, that the historian entertained such a conceit, as is here imputed to him.
Mr. Voltaire proceeds: The same Jofephus gives the facred temple of the Jews rebuilt by Zorobabel,
a singular origin. “ Zorobabel, says he, was the “ intimate friend of king Darius." " A Jewish slave ' an intimate friend of the king of kings! This is « much the same as if one of our historians should tell
us, that a fanatic of the Cevennes, released from
the gallies, was the intimate friend of Lewis XIV.' How unjust this reflection, let every reader judge. Josephus indeed, when he begins to inform us how the second temple, the foundations of which were laid under Cyrus, was at last completed in Darius's time, (the progress of the work having been stopped in the intermediate reigns, through the artifices of the Samaritans, and other enemies,) fpeaks in this manner: “ This Darius, son of Hystaspes, while he
was a private person, had vowed to God, if he · should be raised to the kingdom, that he would
* Antiq. 10. 11. 7. † Ib. 11. 3. 1.
• fend all the vessels of God, which were in Babylon,
to the teinple in Jerusalem. But about that time,' (the time of his being made king) • Zorobabel, who
had been anointed prince or ruler of the Jewish captives, came from Jerusalem to Darius, for he had a 'friendship of a long standing with the king; where being accounted worthy to be a body-guard to him
also with two others, he enjoyed the honour which • he hoped. Now where is the absurdity of this account of his friendship with the Persian monarch? Zorobabel, though a captive in war, was not adjudged as a public criminal and malefactor to some ignominious punishment, like Voltaire's fanatic condemned to the gallies. Besides he was a man of high birth in his own nation, and of exalted rank: for in Cyrus's decree, which granted liberty to the Jews to return, he is long before denominated governor or leader of the Jews, and hath a joint commission with Mithridate, the keeper of the king's treasure, to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem; and a joint trust given him of the vessels which had been carried away to Babylon, though of immense value. His intimacy moreover with Darius, is not represented to have commenced after his elevation to the throne, but faid to have been many years previous to it; for it was * a' friendship which had been of old, or of long
continuance,' says the historian, speaking of the time when he was chosen king, after t nurdering with the assistance of others, Smerdis the mage, who usurped the crown as Cyrus's son, "hrough the well known stratagem of his groom. bis incredible then as it is, that a fanatic released fror, the gallies, should
* Παλαι γαρ ην ωτω Φιλια πη 2, τον βασιλέα.
have been an intimate friend of Lewis XIV. who succeeded to the throne of France, in right of his defcent from a long race of kings, there is no improbability at all, that there fhould have been a familiarity between Darius a Persian nobleman, before his election to sway the Persian sceptre, and Zorobabel a prince of the Jews; especially when we consider that we are certain some captives of this nation dwelt about Susa or Sulhan, where that nobleman's father resided as governor. Have not persons, who have been prisoners by the fate of war, been often admitted to a familiarity and friendihip with subjects of the most distinguished parentage, fortune, and station, in the country where they were detained? The fact cannot be denied.---It were therefore needless to bestow more words on exposing the futility of Mr. Voltaire's scoff here.
He goes on : ' Be this as it may, according to Fla'vian Jofephus, Darius who was a very sensible
prince, proposed to all his court a question worthy of the Mercure Gallani; namely which had the ' most power, wine, kings, or women? The person ' who gave the best answer, was to be recompenced with a flaxen + head-dress, a purple robe, a golden necklace, &c. Darius seated himself upon his gold
en throne, to hear the answers of his academy of (wits. One entered into a differtation in favour of • wine, another was for kings, Zorobabel was an ad
+ So re&apor Guoginn is turned ; but the expression denotes a tiara of fine linen. Now the titra was a kind of turban rising up with a sharp point without bending, which was a dress peculiar to the Persian kings; for the other Perlians wore their turbans hending downwards to their foreheads, in token of lubjation. See Ant. Univ. Hift. vol. 5. p. 121.