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ship, witnessed by Ezekiel in the temple of Jerusalem.'
4th. The Jews previous to the captivity, had been preparing theniselves in the school of superstition and wickedness, for embracing such opinions at Babylon. Jahn says, p. 392. “During the period immediately preceding their overthrow, every kind of superstition, and every moral pollution prevailed in both kingdoms, especially in that of Judah. No other means therefore remained to correct their vices, but that of extreme severity, by which their whole nation, dispersed from their country into distant regions, and humbled and afflicted, might learn that they could do nothing without God, and that idols could lend them no assistance."
5th. The long duration of their captivity, unavoidably led to the adoption of such opinions in religion. It was known by the Jews, that their captivity was to be for seventy years, and were desired to make their temporal arrangements accordingly. See the prophets' injunctions about this. But let us suppose, what'is hardly supposable, that all the persons who went to Babylon over twenty years of age, were proof against imbibing any false opinion. Suffer me to ask, how were all under that age, and all born there to be preserved ? Without a constant miracle they could not, and no one affirms that a miracle was wrought to preserve them. It is then morally certain, that the Jews on their return, must bring back with them many of the religious opinions of the people among whom they had lived: unless we can prove, that they changed all their religious opinions, as easily as a man can shift his clothing.
6th. Prideaux shows from the Old Testament Scriptures, that some of the Jews had gone over to the Magian religion. He refers to Ezek. viii. 16. where the prophet being carried in vision to Jerusalem, saw
“about five and twenty men standing between the porch and the altar, with their backs towards the temple of the Lord, and their faces towards the east; and they worshipped the sun.” The meaning of which is, that they had turned their backs upon the true worship of God, and had gone over to that of the Magians. Here then is direct proof of the fact from Scripture, that Zoroaster's religion was not only imbibed, but the worship it enjoined practised by the Jews. But as very little of the Old Testament was written after the captivity we observe,
7th. That learned men agree, that the Jews brought back from their captivity religious opinions, not taught in their Scriptures. I shall only quote the following writers in proof. Michaelis on the laws of Moses, vol. ii. p. 348. thus writes-"In the New Testament, indeed, and in the Jewish language after the period of the Babylonish captivity, from which the Ísraelites returned much enriched in names for the Devil, Belial means the Devil: But in the Old Testament it neyer has this meaning." Again; L'Enfant in his introduction to the reading of the Scriptures, p. 14. thus writes—“But this much is certain, that from that time (of Alexander the Great) the Jews began to Helenize ; that the Greek tongue, spoken by the Macedonians, became more common among them, and that they also introduced some of the opinions of the Greek philosophers, as the transmigration of souls, for instance. We find some steps of this notion even in the New Testament, as in Luke xvi. 23. where there is an account of the abode of departed souls, conformable to the Grecian philosophy, and in John, ix. 2. where we find an allusion to the pre-existence and transmigration of souls. It is moreover evident from the Apocryphal writings, from Philo, Josephus, and the Talmudists, that the Jews, especially the Pharisees, had learned and followed the Grecian philosophy ever
since their conversing with the Greeks under Alexander the Great, the Ptolemies and Seleucide his successors, who reigned in Egypt and Syria." Those who wish to see more authorities in proof of this point may consult Dr. Campbell's 6th Dissertation, part i. sect. 19. quoted in my first Inquiry, chap. 1. sect. 3. See also Jahn's Arch. p. 235. 396. The Jews then had two sources from which they derived opinions in religion not taught in their Scriptures. The opinions of Zoroaster and that of the Greek philosophers.
8th. What conclusively proves, that the Jews brought back from their captivity, many opinions not learned from their sacred books, are the Apocryphal writings. The books called Apocrypha, though not canonical, are allowed to be the best writings extant, relative to the Jews after the captivity. To these 1 shall now call the attention of the reader, collecting from them, what were the religious opinions of the Jews in the times to which they relate. Let us consider
1st. What were their opinions respecting evil beings or spirits? We shall begin with their use of the term satan. It occurs only in Eccles. xxi. 27. It is doubtful what idea the writer attached to this word. The word diabolos, occurs frequently in the original, but is rendered slanderer, accusation, &c. in the English version. See Eccles. xix. 15. xxvi. 5. xxviii. 9. xxxviii, 19. and li. 2. 1 Macc. i. 36. 2 Macc. xiv.
The only place where it is rendered devil, and which has a connexion with our present subject is Wisd. of Sol. ii. 24. Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world: and they that do hold of his side do find it." The allusion here is to Gen. 3. and from this passage, Christians have derived the idea that it was the devil that deceived Eve. If they can show a better source for this opinion, we hope it will be done. Paul says, death en
tered by sin, Rom. v. 12. and it was shown, Sect. 2. that no Old Testament writer intimates that death entered by the devil. Where then did the Apocryphab writers get this opinion? It must have been from the heathen, and it is evident this idea agrees to Zoroaster's angel of darkness, who was the author and director of all evil, death not excepted. - In the Apocrypha evil spirits are frequently mentioned. What child, has not been amused with the account of “ Asmodeus the evil spirit” killing Sara's seven husbands? Also, of Raphael curing Tobit's eyes, and binding Asmodeus. *And of the wonderful efficacy of the heart, liver, and gall of a fish, which leaped out of the Tigris, the smoke of which smelled by the evil spirit, he fled into the utmost parts of Egypt, where the angel bound him. See Tobit, chaps. 3. 6. 8. 11. In Baruch, iv. 7. 35. we read of devils, but the original word is not diabolos but daimonion, the same which is rendered so in the New Testament. But as it is admitted on all hands, that demons, and the being Christians call the devil
, are very different, it requires no attention from me in the present investigation. I would only remark in passing, that people's notions about satan, the devil, evil spirits, witches and wizzards, must be from a heathen source, for none of them are admitted to be real beings in the Old Testament. On the contrary they are there condemned as superstitions, and the Jews commanded to give no heed to them. Where then could the Jews learn such opinions, but from their intercourse with the heathen? If the Jews imbibed the idea of witches in Canaan, and that of the devil and evil spirits at Babylon, and such beings are mentioned in the Apocrypha, are these sufficient reasons for our believing their existence? And is it possible that such beings can be recognized as real in the New Testament?
2d. What are the opinions taught in the Apocry: pha about Hell? The Greek word Hades, rendered hell, occurs Eccles: xxi. 10. and li. 5, 6. Song of the three children, verse 36. Tobit, xii. 2. 2 Esd. iv. 8. viii. 53. and ii. 29. It is the same word, which is frequently rendered Hell in the New Testament, and is synonimous with Sheol, also rendcred Hell in the Old. The word Gehenna, also rendered Hell in the New Testament, does not occur in any of the books of the Apocrypha. By Hell, in all ihe above texts, seems meant the same as Sheol, the grave, or state of the dead. The idea of a place of endless punish'ment, does not appear to be meant in any one of them. Indeed, such a place of punishment, could not be learned by the Jews, either from the ancient Magian religion or from Zoroaster's improvements of it, for not a word is said about Hell in either. I have shown, in my Inquiry into the words Sheol, &c. that Hades or hell as a place of future punishment, was learned by the Jews from their intercourse with the Greeks. See chap. i. sect. 3.
3d. What were the opinions of the Apocryphal writers, concerning the number that should be saved ? Their opinion was, that all men 6 shall not be saved.” See 2 Esdras, viii. 38–42. on the contrary, the Most High" made this world for many, but the world to come for few." See 2 Esd. viii. 1. And in verse 3. it is said there be many created, but few shall be saved." And chap. ix. 15-"there be many more of them which perish, than of them which shall be saved.” No sentiment like this is to be found in the Magian creed, or, in its improvements by Zoroaster, so far as my knowledge of them extends. Where the Apocryphal writers learned it I am unable to say with certainty ; but Whitby, on Rom. 2. shows, that the Jews in our Lord's day, believed that none but Jews were to be saved, and they were all to be