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more reasonable to suppose Josephus was mistaken about the order of time in which the journey to Jerusalem was executed, then to conclude the whole an idle fiction, merely because it is omitted by the few heathen authors now extant, out of the great number that wrote Alexander's transactions, who, they observe, muft in general be thought to have entertained too much aversion and hatred against the Jewish nation, to preserve and perpetuate the memory of a fact in its circumstances and effects so honourable to them, whatever information they might have of its certainty. They conclude, therefore, Alexander went thither while his troops were employed in the fiege of Tyre, or after it was finished, while the main army was refreshing; rather than that he first passed so considerable a fortress, and then went back from Gaza to take it in: which is making Jofephus only guilty of an error in a circumstance, wtiile they admit him a good voucher for the principal fact. Nor is this shewing him greater respect than is often paid to the single testimony of historians of approved credit. For upon such evidence we often allow the truth of a fact about which others are silent. Efpecially we do fo when it is corroborated or supported by any appearances which are best accounted for from it, and of that kind is the present one. For Josephus informs us, that Alexander granted to them extraordinary privileges, the use of their own laws, and freedom from tribuţe every seventh year, as in it they did not cultivate and sow their lands. And Hecataeus, * a contemporary of this prince, as
* His words, as he is cited by Jofephus against Appion, 2. 4. are, Την Σαμαρειτιν χωραν προσεθηκεν αυτοις εχεις αφορολογητον.
27 sures us, appealing to Alexander's letters, and other monuments in testimony of it, that he also bestowed upon them the country of the Samaritans, after they had mutinied, and murdered Andromachus their governor, with an immunity from taxes for its poffefsion: which are indications they muft have stood high in his favour.
After this, Voltaire having related Jaddus's order from God to salute this king, and his obedience to it, with Alexander's persuasion, that he was the fame man who had instructed him seven or eight years before to come and conquer Persia, which he communicated to Parmenio, proceeds thus: “Jad
dus had upon his head his cap, ornamented with a plate of gold, upon which a Hebrew word was
engraved. Alexander, who was doubtless a pro* ficient in the Hebrew, immediately discovered the * word Jehovah, and proftrated himself with humi! lity, knowing very well that none but God could have this name. In this manner he laughs, and leads his readers to think Alexander considered the high-priest as the Divinity. But Josephus having observed, that the name of God was inscribed on the plate of gold, (without marking whether it was Hebrew or Greek; though I suppose it was the former, wherefore Alexander would need to receive an explication of its import from others,) only says, that
hereon het worshipped the name, and faluted the • high-priest.' So that he plainly distinguishes between his behaviour toward Jehovah, and toward his priest. Accordingly he acquaints us, that when
+ Antig. xi. 8. 5. Το τε Θες ονομα εγεγραπτο, προςελθων μου τος προσεκύνησε το όνομα, και τον αρχιερέα πρωτος έσπασατο.
Parmenio, as the king and he were alone, asked why he whom all men worshipped, worshipped the Jewish high-priest, he replied, “I did not worthip this man, but the God with whose high-priesthood he hath been
dignified;' and that thereafter having gone up into « the temple, he offered sacrifice to God according to • his direction, and bestowed upon the high-priest and
the priests suitable honours. Further, whereas Voltaire adds, “ Jaddus instantly displayed prophecies, ' which clearly indicated that Alexander would con
quer Persia, prophecies that were eyer made after 16 the event had happened;' Josephus says no more than this: 'The book of Daniel having been shewed him, in which he declared that a certain person among " the Greeks would destroy the empire of the Per
sians, thinking himself was the person signified,
he with joy dismissed the multitude; and having * called them to him on the succeeding day, he com• manded them to ask whatever gifts they pleased.' And then adds, “ In consequence of this, he indulged ' them in the use of their own laws, and in freedom • from tribute every seventh year, as in it they did ' not cultivate their land? As to his charge, that the prophecies in Daniel concerning the destruction of the Persian empire by the Greeks, were forged after its actual overthrow, it does not now fall under my consideration, unless it be to remark, that it hath no foundation in Jofephus, lest any person should suspect, strange as it may seem, that it was his suggestion, when it is wholly Voltaire's own sense of things. So much for the misrepresentations of Jofephus in his forty, fixth chapter.
I cannot, however, forbear here to vindicate se
agreeable and profitable a writer, as Rollin, from a reflection which he hath thrown upon him in it. It is this: ' Rollin indeed says, that Alexander took Tyre, only because the inhabitants scoffed the Jews, and that God would avenge the honour of his people; but Alexander might have had still other reasons. By his manner of expression, a person is inclined to believe, that Rollin made Alexander to be actuated by a desire of chastising the Tyrians, for their injuries to the people of God. But does Rollin afford any reason to impute this sentiment to him? Far otherwise. He says in his Antient History, ' Tyre had now filled up the measure of her ini
quity by her impiety against God, and her barbarity exerciled against his people;' and having recounted her insults over the ruins of Jerusalem, and her violence to the inhabitants of the land, and her seizure of the most precious things from the temple of God there, to enrich therewith the temples of her idols, he remarks, · This profanation and cruelty • drew down the vengeance of God upon Tyre. But though God had this intention in prospering his efforts against Tyre, he always supposes Alexander to have been animated by other motives, such as, his refentment at the affront the Tyrians put upon him, in refusing him entrance into their city when he aske ed it, that he might offer a sacrifice to Hercules its tutelar god, and the importance of his possession of it to his interest. For he thus expresses himself, speaking of the above
mentioned indignity: “ This conqueror, after gaining so many victories, had too hi h an heart to put up such an affront, and thereupon was resolved to force them to it by a liege.'
Again, “ Alexander imagined that there were effen•tial reasons why he thould poffefs himself of Tyre, 6 * &c. Indeed while Rollin had such veneration for the Jewish scriptures, as to acknowledge the interposition of Providence, in his determination to lay siege to the place, in spite of all the difficulties of the work, when according to the rules of war, after the battle of Iffus, he should have pursued Darius with vigour, because God had therein denounced its ruin for its pride and other vices, he was too wise not to be aware, that Alexander, who knew not God and his oracles, was wrought upon by very different principles.
the Book of Job among the Writings of the Heó
"O return from this digression, which, it is be
lieved, was due to so excellent a writer's me rit, as nothing occurs in Voltaire's forty-seventh chapter that requires animadversion, according to my present design, I go forward to his forty-eighth chapter 7 where is a sentence too material to be overlooked, viz. That Josephus does not include the book of Job among the writings of the Hebrew canon. After affirming, that the book of job was firft.written by the Arabians, his words are: “Flavian · Josephus, who does not include it among the writ
See Rollin's Ancient History, Book XIV. Sect. vi. pages 166, 167, 183, 184.
+ Page 231.