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JOS E P H US
AGAINST MR. VOLTAIRE.
P A R T I.
OF MR. VOLTAIRE'S INJURIES TO JOSEPHUS.
BEGIN with the injuries done by Mr. Voltaire to the Jewish historian, and I take them all from
his Philosophy of History, though I bring my proofs of the succeeding parts of my complaint against him, not only from this, but from several ou ther of his literary compositions.
It requires greater pains to justify the reproach of disingenuity and bad faith against our author here, that he feldom obliges his readers with any direction in what book and chapter of Josephus's works, the passages are to be seen which he professes to cite or build on. But with chearfulness I submit to the additional trouble which this vague and loose manner of reference creates, that I may convict him of unfair dealing, and furnish an effectual caveat against a
blind dependance upon him, and a precipitate resignation of the understanding to the light he hangs out about those antient facts which have any connection, more immediate or more remote, with divine revelation. Perhaps some may examine the charge of such abuse of a writer merely human, and allowed by all to be under no superior guidance, more impartially; and by finding it made good against him, may be more disposed to listen to the same accusation of him, for trying to mislead the world by false accounts and explications of those authors, whom Christians maintain to have been favoured with inspiration more or less plenary.
SECTION 1. Of his saying in Chapter twenty-fourth of his Phis
LOSOPHY of History, that the Jews called their city HERSHALAÏM, and that the Greeks altered it to JERUSALEM, according to JOSEPHUS.
"O enter then upon this branch of my task, I
will first remark upon his detail in chapter xxiv. *' Josephus himself, in the book against Appion, acknowledges that the Greeks could not pro
nounce the barbarous name of Jerusalem, because ' the Jews pronounced it Herthalaim: this word grated the throat of an Athenian, and it was ? changed by the Greeks from Hershalaïm to Jerusa
lem. But where hath Josephus said that the Jews
* Page u 6 of English Translation, printed at Glasgow 1766, which I always quote.
called the metropolis of their country Hershalaïm? or that the Greeks, unable to pronounce so harsh a word, altered it into Jerusalem? I find indeed, in his first book against Appion, he quotes * a passage from a treatise upon sleep by Cleanthes, a famous peripatetic philosopher, where Aristotle is introduced, saying, “That the region which the Jews possess is cal" led Judea, and that the name of their city is very
crabbed or uncouth, for they call it Jerusalem.' And this I suppose to be the place Voltaire had in his eye, as it is the only one which seems to have any
relation to the matter. But how far is it from affording any fufficient handle for his story? The plain sound of the Hebrew term is lerushalaïm, or Ierufhelem, as it is variously pointed. Accordingly, all Greek writers, both those who are now loft, in their testimonies produced by Jofephus, as Manetho, Dius, Menander, Berosus, Lysimachus, Hecataeus, Agatharcides, and those who are still preferved, as Strabo, Diodorus, &c. call it Ierofolyma, without
any intimation that they made such an alteration as he speaks of, to accommodate it to the ears and lips of those among whom they lived. Even Lysimachus, who had said that the first settlers in Judea named the city which they built and inhabited, Ierosula, from + their carrying thither the spoils of the temples of the gods, which he makes them to have destroyed in their retreat from Egypt, confefses, that their posterity, having waxed powerful there, in process of time changed the name of the * Edit. Hudson, fedt 22. p. 1347; Orope & TXVU Troncor esot,
'Iρεσαλήμ γαρ αυτην καλεσι.
† ibid. fect. 34. Quod iepa ceruanaoi, says Hudson,
city into Ierofoluma, that they might not, in its appellation, furnish any handle to upbraid them for such facrilegious plunder. The falfhood of that tale however, is easily manifested by repeating Josephus's observation with a view to confute it: “ This fine writer*, says he, through his too keen desire to
calumniate us, did not consider that we Jews do . not express robbing temples by the same word as
the Greeks, for what more need be faid against one • who lies so impudently?' And, in like manner, 2nother of these writers whom Jofephus quotes, Agatharcides, expressly affirms t, 'That the natives or ' inhabitants of the country, called the city Ierofolu
ma;' as the attentive reader must have observed Aristotle fay, that the Jews called the city Ierusalem, in the passage itself which Voltaire is thought to allude to.
• Se&. 35. Edit. Hadf. 'o de yervanos utTO TOMAMS TV 2018 opetr ακρασιας και συνηκεν οτι ιεροσυλειν και κατα την αυτην φωνην Ιεδαιοι τοις "Ελλησιν ονομαζομεν, &c.
+ Ibid. feet. 22. Ην καλεν Ιεροσολυμα συμβαινει τις εγχώριες.
Of his saying in Chapter twenty-fifth of the fame,
that JOSEPHus owns Minos received his Laws from a God, where also Dr. MIDDLETON's Affection, that he does not inlift on any divine Authority of Moses, nay that he had no inward Conviction of it, is considered.
UT let us now proceed to the detection of a
fallhood more important. Says Voltaire, chap. xxv. *. Flavian Josephus does not hesitate saying, - that Minos received his laws from a god. This is • a little strange in a Jew, who, it should seem, ought S to allow no other god than his own, unless he
thought like the Romans his masters, and like all ' the first people of antiquity, who allowed the exift? ence of all the gods of other nations. With the sentiments of the Romans, and other idolatrous nations, on this point, I have at present no concern. My business now is only to enquire, whether Josephus hath allowed such divine authority to the lawgiver of Crete. This I confess would appear to me not a little ftrange, as Voltaire pronounces it: but altogether inconsistent with his character as a Jew, who professed to believe that Jehovah, the God of Ifrael, was the God of the universe, and that there was none besides. But there is no reason for imputing such an absurdity to him. What he says is. Our
lawgiver, Moses, was not a juggler or impostor, as 4 they say, reviling us unjustly, but such a one as the
See page 118.