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"Foundation: Arifteas, and the other 7 ws of Alxandria, would never "have wrote fuch Things, had not the Law been tranflated into Greek "by the Jews in the Reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus. There must be "fome Truth that hath given Rife to his Fable, and that this Prince "did in Effe&t demand, and caufe to be made a Greek Verfion of the "Books of the Law." Well then, thus much is granted by one of the greatest Adversaries to this Verfion; and I know of none that have abfolutely denied this Antiquity. Dean Prideaux, who seems to be one of the greatest Adverfaries to this Tranflation, allows the five Books of Mofes to have been tranflated in the Time of Ptolemy Philadelphus by the Alexandrian Jews, and repofited in his Library. But if Philadelphus, or his Library-Keeper, defired to have thefe Books of the Jews, why fhould they not rather defire to have them from Jerufalem, the Fountain Head, than from the Alexandrian Jews? Dr. Prideaux himself tells us, "That they feized all the Books, that were by "any Greek or other Foreigner brought into Egypt, and fending them "to the Mufæum, caused them there to be written out by thofe of that "Society, whom they there maintained, and then fent the Tranfcripts "to the Owners, and kept the Originals to lay up in the Library." This fhews that they were curiously nice to have the best and most authentick Copies in their Library. Can we think then, that when they wanted the Books of the Jews, they would not rather fend for them to Jerufalem, which was in a bordering Country, and under Ptolemy's Jurifdiction, than take it from an Alexandrian Copy? And to defire a Copy immediately taken from the Original repofited in the Temple? And as that Copy was in a Language the wife Men of Egypt understood not, to defire a Number of Tranflators well verfed both in the Hebrew and Greek, who might foon make a faithful Translation of it? This was certainly the best Method to fecure a good Tranflation of this Book.
But fays Du Pin, "Why muft 72 Perfons be fent to make this "Tranulation? Were not 12 enough, and more than fufficient to "accomplish it? This great Number was fit for nothing but to con"found the Work." It may be answered, that fuch a Number of Perfons was convenient, and would be fo far from confounding the Work, that it would forward it very much. Indeed, in a Number of Years one Man might tranflate the whole, as we know St. Jerom did, and others have done fince: But where a Tranflation is foon wanted, a Number is neceffary. When our King James I. ordered a new Translation of the Bible, no fewer than 54 Perfons were appointed for, and laboured in that Work. Each Man had his Part allotted him to tranflate, and then it was fupervised and corrected until it was approved by the reft. And 72 Perfons might very well do the fame. The Number 70, or 72, is therefore no Argument against that Number of Interpreters. But fays Dean Prideaux, it was done by Alexandrians, for it is in the Alexandrian Dialect. But I conceive the Alexandrian and Jewish Greek Dialect was the fame at that Time: For both learned that Language from the Macedonians, which was hardly formed into different Dialects between the Conqueft made by Alexander and the Reign of Philadelphus. Then he also pretends that only the
Law, and not the reft of the Scriptures, were tranflated at that Time, because the different Books are found written in different Styles, and the fame Hebrew Word and Phrafes are differently tranflated in diffe rent Places. Now as to different Styles, I believe the feveral Books of Scripture, though they were all to be tranflated by one Man, would not in all Places bear the fame Style, much lefs when they are tranflated by feveral Men: And, in like Manner, feveral Men tranflating the fame Words and Phrafes, will not turn them into the fame Words and Phrases of the Language into which they tranflate. Let but two Men be employed to tranflate a Chapter of the Bible from the Original into English, and I dare fay, though they both tranflate at the fame Time, and their Senfe be the fame, the Words and Phrases shall be different. But here are fuppofed to be 72 Tranflators, each of which tranflated the Part affigned him: What Wonder then, if in tranflating the fame Hebrew Words and Phrases they fhould do it different Ways?
But Dean Prideaux has another ftronger Argument to prove that the Law only, and not the reft of the Scriptures, were tranflated for Ptolemy, and that is, Arifteas, Ariftobulus, Philo and Jofephus, do all directly tell us that the Law only was tranflated. Now thefe four being the moft ancient of all that have written concerning this Matter, their Testimony is of the greatest Weight. But in the first Place I must obferve, that the learned Dean was under a great Mistake when he named Ariftobulus as telling us that the 72 interpreted the Law only: For in a Fragment cited from him by Eufebius (Præp. Evan. 1. 1.) he afferts the direct contrary, faying, That the whole facred Scripture was rightly tranflated through the Means of Demetrius Phalereus, and by the Command of Philadelphus the King. And what Arifteas and Philo call the Law, may very well be understood to comprehend the whole Jewish Scripture: It is certain tit Word did often comprehend the whole Scripture in our Saviour's Time, and no Doubt before. Thus our Lord fays, John xv. 25. It is written in their Law, they hated me without a Caufe: Yet this is no where written in the Pentateuch, but Pfal. XXXV. 19. Again, John x. 34. Is it not written in your Law, I faid, ye are Gods? Thefe Words refer to Pfal. Ixxxii. 6. And 1 Corinthians xiv. 21. St. Paul fays, In the Law it is written, with Men of other Tongues, and other Lips, will 1 fpeak unto this People. Yet there is no fuch Text in the Law of Mofes, but in Ifaiah xxviii. 11. This is a fufficient Answer to what is alledged from Arifleas and Philo, who men tion only the Law when they fpeak of this Tranflation: Since that Word may very well be understood to comprehend all the Scriptures of the Jewish Church.
But then, as to Jofephus, the learned Dean fays, that He more exprefly tells us in his Preface to his Antiquities, that they did not tranflate for Ptolemy the whole Scriptures, but the Law only. But to this Testimony we may juftly oppofe that of Ariftobulus, who fays, they did tranflate all the holy Scriptures at the Command of Philadelphus the King, as before obferved. Now Ariftobulus was an Alexandrian Jew, Tutor to an Egyp tian King, confequently it cannot be doubted but he had free Accels to the Mufaum, and faw the Tranflation made by the 72, and there B 3
repofited; and therefore could not but know whether all the Books of Scripture were contained in it or not. Befides, he lived, according to the learned Dean's own Computation, within 100 Years after the Translation was made; whereas Jofephus lived not until 300 Years or more after this Tranflation was inade, and many Years after it was burnt with all the reft of that noble Library: So that he could never fee the original MS. there repofited by Demetrius Phalereus, as Ariftobulus did. It is certain, from what he relates of this Matter, that he took his Account of it from Arifteas; who having mentioned only the Law, Jofephus took that Word in the ftrict Senfe, as if it implied only the Pentateuch, whereas the Jews (for Chrift and his Apoftles were Jews, and fpake what I have before cited to Jews) often comprehended the whole Scriptures under that Word, and fo might Arifleas, though Jofephus miftook him. And the pofitive Teftimony of Ariftobulus is certainly preferable to that of Jofephus, both as he lived fo much nearer to the Time when this Tranflation was made, and faw the original Book which was repofited in the Ptolemaan Library.
But Dean Prideaux feems to make it a Queftion, Whether there ever was such an Author as Ariftobulus, who wrote Commentaries upon the five Books of Moles: Confequently Clemens Alexandrinus and Eufebius, who have cited large Extracts from him, were impofed upon by a fpurious Author; who, as Dr. Hody conjectures, lived in the fecond Century after Chrift, and forged a Book under the Name of Ariflolulus, which he impofed upon Clemens, who lived and wrote in that Century, as the Work of a more ancient Author. But is it likely that fo learned a Man as Clemens, fo well verfed in all ancient Authors, fhould be impofed upon, and, made believe that a Book which never appeared until his own Time, was written by one who lived fome hundred of Years before? But let us hear the Reasons why they could not be written by that Ariftobulus, whofe Name they bear.
"He is faid, 2 Maccab. i. 10. to have been King Ptolemy's Mafter, "in the 188th Year of the Era of Contracts, when it was by no "Means likely he could have been in that Office. For the Ptolemy
that then reigned in Egypt was Ptolemy Phyfcon, and the 188th Year of the Era of Contracts was the twenty-firft Year of his Reign, and "the fifty-fixth after his Father's Death, and therefore he must then "have been fixty Years old, if not more." But when the Dean wrote, if not more, he had forgot that he had before told us that Philometer Phyfcon's elder Brother was but fix Years old when their Father died, confequently Phyfcon might not have been one Year old at that Time. But to proceed with the Dean's own Words. "Which is an Age past "being under the Tuition of a Matter. If it be faid he might still re"tain the Title, though the Office had been over many Years before; "the Reply hereto will be, that he must then have been of a very great "Age, when mentioned by this Title: For Men ufe not to be made "Tutors to Princes, till of eminent Note, and of mature Age; forty "is the leaft we can fuppofe himn of, when appointed to this Office, if "he ever were at all in it. And fuppofing he was firft called to it "when Ptolemy Phyfcon was ten Years of Age, he must be ninety at "leaft at the Time when this Title was given him in the Place above
" cited." And is ninety an improbable Age for a Man to live ? Muft not a Man be at a Lofs for Argument that ufes fuch a one as this? Who has lived in the World that has not feen or heard of a Man ninety Years old, or more? The 188th Year of the Era of Contracts,! the Dean tells us, was 152 Years after the Verfion of the LXX was! made. Ariftobulus was then ninety Years old, confequently born about fixty-two Years after that Verfion was made; and as Greck was his Mother-Tongue, and he a Jaw, bred to the Reading of the Scriptures, he must know by the Time he was ten or twelve Years old, whether the Jews had all the Scriptures in the Greek Language or not; and before he was twenty, might have Opportunity to fee that Copy which was repofited in the Mufaum. This will make but about eighty Years from the Time of making the Tranflation of this LXX.
- Now the Dean places the making the Tranflation to the eighth Yearof Philadelphus, 277 before Chrift. Ariftobulus was capable of examin ing this Tranflation fo far as to know what Books were tranflated within eighty Years after, and he tells us they were all the Holy Scriptures. These eighty Years fubtracted from 277, bring down Ariftobulus's Teftimony to the Year before Chrift 197. This was at least ten Years before Antiochus Epiphanes prohibited the reading of the Law in the Jewish Synagogues, which brought them to the Cuftom of reading the Prophets in their Synagogues of Judea. From whence the Dean fuppofes the Alexandrian Jews took up that Cuftom alfo; and then, and not till then, tranflated the Reft of the Scriptures into.Greek, haring only a Tranflation of the Law until that Time. But the pofitive Teftimony of Ariftobulus fully refutes the Conjecture.
But another Objection is," If he had been Præceptor to Ptolemy "Phyfcon, how came it to pafs, that he should dedicate his Book of "Commentaries on the Law of Mofes to Ptolemy Philometer, who "reigned before Phyfcon ?" If we could give no Reafon for this, it is certainly a very weak Argument to prove a Book to be fpurious, becaufe the Author has dedicated it to one Man, and we think be should rather have dedicated it to another. Do we know what private Rea fons an Author has to choose one Man for his Patron, rather than another? And fuppofe we could not at this Distance of 2000 Years tell why Ariftobulus dedicated his Book to Philometer rather than to Phy/con, would that be any Reason to reject it as fpurious? A Man must be at a great Lofs for Arguments, who ufes fo weak a one as this, Yet even at this Distance Reafons may be given why Ariftobulus chofe to dedicate to Philometer rather than to Phyfcon, notwithstanding Phyfcon had been his Pupil. For, in the firft Place, it is moft reafonable to believe that Ariftobulus wrote his Book before he was feventy Years of Age, until which Time Phyfcon reigned only in Lybia and Cyrene, and Philometer reigned in Egypt, where Ariftobulus lived: And it is more likely that a Man would choose to dedicate to his own King, than to a King of another Nation. And in the next Place, though Phyfcon had been Pupil to Ariftobulus, yet he proved fuch a cruel and vicious Tyrant, that Ariftobulus might very well have more Respect for his Brother than for him.
Another Objection is," As to what he is faid to have written in B 4 "thofe
"thofe Commentaries, of there being a Greek Verfion of the Law be
fore that of the LXX, and that the Greek Philofophers borrowed "many Things from thence, it looks all like Fiction." I grant it to have been a miftaken Conjecture. Ariftobulus in reading the Greek Philofophers, particularly Pythagoras, who lived before the Rife of the Perfian Empire, and Plato, who lived before Alexander the Great, had faid many Things which, he conceived, they could learn only from the Holy Scriptures; this induced him to think that fome Parts of the Scriptures must have been tranflated into Greek before their Time: But confidering, as the learned Dean rightly obferves, that "The "Light of Reafon, or elfe Tradition, might have led them to the say"ing of many Things, especially in moral Matters, which accord
with what is found in the Writings of Mofes; and if not, yet there "were other Ways of coming at them without fuch a Verfion. Con"verfe with the Jews might fuffice for it, and particular Instruction "might be had from fome of their learned Men for this Purpose: "And fuch, Clearchus tells us, Ariftotle had from a learned few in the "Lower Afia." Ariftobulus thought not of thefe Reafons, and from thence was drawn into a groundlefs Conjecture. But because a wrong Argument, and from thence a wrong Conclufion, appears in a Book, does it therefore follow that it must be fpurious, and not belong to the Author whofe Name it bears? If this be an Argument to reject a Book, and condemn it as fpurious, what human Writing can efcape? But though Ariftobulus has made fuch a Mistake in what he has written concerning ancient Times, he has given us no Reason to question the Truth in Matters wherein he could not be mistaken. He could not but know whether all the Scriptures of the Old Teftament were tranflated into Greek before he was born: And as he was born but fixty Years after the LXX Tranflation was made, the Tradition concerning that Tranflation was of fo short a Date, that no Man bred to Learning, as he was, could be impofed upon, and made believe, that the LXX did tranflate the whole Scriptures, if they had tranflated the Law only. As foon as he could read, he faw the whole Scriptures written in Greek; when he was admitted into the Museum, he faw them in the Library, and was informed by his Tutors who they were that tranflated them. They, queftionless, were fome of them old Men, who if they were not themselves of an Age to remember the Making of the Verfion, yet might be just born at the Time it was made: And therefore as foon as they could read, could not but know whether they had only the Law in Greek. And if they had the reft of the Scriptures alfo, no Doubt but the LXX tranflated the Whole. Thefe Men could not be deceived in the Matter, and from them Ariftobulus had his Information.
I know the learned Dean and others fuppofe Ariftobulus to have taken his Account of this Matter from Arifteas; That Book, it feems, fays he, having been forged before his Time. Now that the Book which bears the Name of Arifteas was forged by an Hellenistical Jew, I do not difpute: But that it was forged before the Time of Ariftobulus, I deny. For Men dare not offer fuch Forgeries to the World while there are living Witnefies to contradict them; and there were certainly many fuch