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doth not appear from hiftory that they ever returned into their own country, at least all of them, though we find it afferted by fome modern Jerus, and ancient fathers of the church (s). It is true that mention is often made in the Nerv Teftament of the twelve tribes (t), and that St. James directs his Epifle to them: but it cannot be concluded from thefe paffages, that they were then gathered together: all that can be inferred from them, is, that they were ftill in being. Perhaps the whole body of the Jewish nation retained the name of the twelve tribes, according to the ancient divifion, as we find the difciples called the twelve, after the death of Judas, and before the election of St. Matthias (u), as we have obferved on the Epiftle of St. James. There were moreover Jews enough of the ten tribes mixed with that of Judah, or difperfed into several parts of the world, to give the facred writers an occafion of fpeaking of the twelve tribes, as making but one body with the Jervish nation. What Jofephus fays concerning the Samaritans (x), that they tiled the Jews their brethren, as long as they were profperous, and called themselves the pofterity of Jofeph, gives us reafon to believe that there was abundance of Ifraelites among them, fince the Cutheans could have had no manner of pretence for faying any fuch thing; and accordingly he exprefly says elsewhere (y), that in the time of Alexander the Great, Samaria was peopled by Jewish deferters. The fame Hiftorian relates upon the authority of Arifteas (z), that the high-priest Eleazar fent Ptolemy Philadelphus king of Egypt, fix men out of each tribe, to make that Greek tranflation of the holy fcriptures which goes by the name of the LXX: from which it is evident that there was a confiderable number of Jews of the ten tribes mixed with thofe of Judah and Benjamin. We own that this account of the Verfion of the LXX, is justly looked upon as a forgery, as we shall have occafion to fhew hereafter. But then, unless it had been true that there were at that time a great many Ifraelites of the ten tribes, among thofe of Judah and Benjamin, the falfhood would have been fo very palpable, that every one could have difcovered it. Jofephus tells us in the fame place, that Ptolemy informed the high-prieft Eleazar by letter, "That there were "great numbers of Jews in Egypt, that were brought captives thither "by the Perfians." A heathen author (a) quoted by Jofephus, affirms that the Perfians had carried feveral thoufands of fews into Babylon, from whence it is natural to conclude, that a confiderable number returned home with the others, when they were fet at liberty by Cyrus. But, without having recourse to the authority of Jofephus, we are affured from fcripture that the ten tribes were not confined to Perfia or Media. For it appears from the II book of Chronicles (b), that in the reign of Jofiah, there were great numbers of Ifraelites in Paleftine, and particularly of the tribes of Simeon, Manalleh, and Ephraim, fince the Levites
(s) See Dr. Hody de verf. 70 Interpr. p. 79.
() Matt. xix. 28. Luke xxii. 30. Acts xxvi. 7. James i. 1. (*) John xx. 24. (*) Jofeph. Antiq. 1. ix. e.. 14 and 1. xi, c, 8, (y) Jofeph. Antiq. 1. xi. c. 8. (z) Id. 1, xii, c. 2, (4) Hecatæus ap. Jofeph. contra Appion. p. 1049. 2 Chron. xxxiv. 9.
collected money from them for repairing the temple. It may alfo be inferred from the IXth chapter of the Ift book of Chronicles (c), where we find the Ifraelites diftinguished from the Jews, and mention made of the tribes of Ephraim and Manaffeh, that feveral perfons belonging to the ten tribes fled into Judea, when the reft of their countrymen were carried away captive. The prophet Jeremiah (d) when he foretold the return from the Babylonish captivity, declared likewise, that at that time, the children of Ifrael fhould come, they and the children of Judah together, and feek the Lord their God. The fame thing is further evident from the gospel. Anne the daughter of Phanuel, mentioned by St. Luke (e) was of the tribe of Afer. St. Matthew fays (f) that JESUS CHRIST went and preached in the borders of Zabulon and Nepthalim, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Efaias the prophet, faying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nepthalim hath seen great light. It may indeed be faid that the tribe of Judah and the remains of that of Benjamin took poffeffion of thefe countries after their return from the captivity. But this opinion cannot well be reconciled with the contemptuous manner with which the Jews treated the Galileans and their extreme averfion of the least mixture with the Gentiles. It is manifeft from the whole tenour of the gospel, and the teftimony of Jofephus (g), that though the Galileans profeffed the Jewish religion, and had fome dealings with the Jews, yet that they were looked upon by the latter as perfons of a quite different character from themselves. It is moreover evident from the fame authors, that Galilee was a very populous country, which could not posfibly have been if it had been peopled only by colonies fent thither from the tribe of Judah, whofe country was large enough to hold them all. It is then very probable, that the cities of Galilee were peopled with fuch of the ten tribes, as remained in the land, or had returned thither from feveral parts, upon different occafions.
The Captivity of The tribe of Judah did not continue more faithful the tribe of Judah. to God, than Samaria, the metropolis of the kingdom of Ifrael had done. Accordingly they were alike feverely punished for their difobedience, by being (b) often delivered into the hands of their enemies, and at laft carried all captive away by Nebuchadnezzar in the 19th year of his reign. Nebuzaradan, the captain of his guard, having taken and deftroyed the city and temple of Jeru falem, carried away Zedekiah, the laft king of Judah, captive to Babylon, with fuch as furvived their unhappy country, excepting fome of the poorest, whom he left to drefs and till the ground. Their number muft notwithstanding have been pretty confiderable. For they are ftiled a people; they inhabited feveral towns; and Nebuchadnezzar appointed a very famous man for their governor, fince all the Jews, who had fled for refuge among the Moabites, Ammonites, Idumæans, and other neighbouring nations, came and implored his protection. As foon indeed as this prefident had been barbaroufly murdered by the treachery of
(d) Jer. l. 4.
(c) Chron. ix. 3. (e) Luke ii. 36. (ƒ) Matt. iv. 13. 15. 16. (g) Jofeph. de Bell. Jud. 1. iii. c. 2. (b) 2 Chron. xxxiii. 2. xxxvi, 6. 17. a Kings xxiv. xxv. Jer, lü»,
of Ifbmael, the greateft part of them being afraid of falling into the hands of the Chaldæans, went down into Egypt; though God had given them an exprefs prohibition to the contrary by his Prophet Jeremiah (i), because he was defirous of keeping together thefe remains of Judah.
However this be, after the captivity of Babylon had lasted feventy years, according to the prophecy of Jeremiah (k), it ended with the empire of the Chaldeans, which was destroyed by Cyrus the founder of the Perfian monarchy. This prince, being moved thereto by God, in a fpecial manner, fignalized the first year of his reign over the Babylonians, by his edict in favour of the Jews; fulfilling thereby the prophecy of Ifaiah (!), which, as Jofephus pretends (m), Cyrus himfelf had read. Thus much is plain from feripture (n), that he acknowledges, it was by God's order he fet the Jews at liberty, and caufed the city and temple of Jerufalem to be rebuilt. However, this work was but just begun during the life-time of Cyrus, wholly taken up with his war against the Meffageta, wherein he fell. It was afterwards interrupted and stopped (0) for feveral years, under the reigns of fome of Cyrus's fucceffors, by the treachery and calumnies of the Samaritans or Cuthaans, the profeffed and perpetual enemies of the Jews. So that the temple could not be finifhed till the reign of Darius the fon of Hyftafpes (p), nor Jerufalem rebuilt till the time of Artaxerxes his fucceffor, according to the opinion: of the most famous Chronologers. About thefe times prophefied Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi the last of the prophets, with whofe writings the Jewish canon ends. This is neceflary to obferve in relation to the New Testament, because neither the facred authors, nor Jefus Chrift, have quoted any other books but what were in that.
The Jews after their return from the Babylonifb captivity, remained in fubjection to the kings of Perfia, till the time of Alexander the Great: : Though they were tributary to them, yet they enjoyed the free exercise of their religion, and were governed by kings of their own nation. Jofephus relates (q) that Alexander the Great being highly incenfed against the fetus, because they had refufed him afliitance, had refolved to go and lay fiege to Jerufalem; but that as he was marching towards it, his anger was immediately turned into a reverend awe at the fight of Jaddus the high-prieft, who came out to meet him in his pontifical robes, and that he granted the Jews all the privileges they required of him. We are not indeed obliged to give credit to all the fine things Jofephus hath advanced in this part of his hiftory. But thus much is certain, that from that time the Jerus began to hellenize (r); that the Greek tongue, fpoken by the Macedonians, became more common among them; and that they alfo embraced fome of the opinions of the Greek philofophers,
(i) Jer. xli. xlii. xliii.
(k) Jer. xxix. IO.
(m) Jof. Ant. Jud. 1. xi. c. 1.
(a) 2 Chron. xxxvi. 22, 23. Ezra i. 1, 2.
(p) Ezra vi. vii. Eufeb. Chron.
(9) Jofephus Antiq. Jud. 1. xi. c. 8.
(7) See Eufeb. Chron, & Præpar, Evang. vii. 14. & viii. 10.
as the tranfmigration of fouls, for inftance. We find fome steps of this notion even in the New Teftament, as in St. Luke xvi. 23. where there is an account of the abode of departed fouls, conformable to the Grician Philofophy, and in St. John ix. 2. where we find an allufion to the præexistence, and tranfmigration of fouls. It is moreover evident from the apocryphal writings (s), from Philo (t), Jofephus (u), and the Thalmudifts, that the fews, especially the Pharifees, had learned and followed the Grecian Philofophy, ever fince their converfing with the Greeks under Alexander the Great, the Ptolemies and Seleucida his fucceffors, who reigned in Egypt and Syria. After the death of this illuftrious monarch, the administration of the common-wealth of Ifrael came into the hands of the high-priefts, and was fometimes protected, and at other times oppreffed by the kings of Egypt, and Syria its neighbours, who became fucceffively mafters of it. Ptolemy Lagus (x) king of Egypt and fucceffor of Alexander the Great, furprised Jerufalem, and carried feveral thoufands of Jews with him prifoners into Egypt, where they were followed by feveral others, who were induced to go thither, upon account of the great truft which Ptolemy repofed in them. Ptolemy Philadelphus had a great kindness for them, and gave feveral thousands leave to return into their own country. They underwent very great hardfhips, during the long and continual wars between the kings of Egypt and Syria. But their religion and state never were in fo great danger, after their return from the Babylonifh captivity, as under Antiochus Epiphanes. What a terrible perfecution that cruel and impious prince raised against them, is fo well known, that we need not give an account of it here; nor of the valour nor heroic zeal of the Maccabees, who then freed them from it. A few years after, the regal authority and the priesthood were united in Ariftobulus, the fon of Hyrcanus (y), who had fhaken off the yoke of the Macedonians, deftroyed the temple of Gerizim, facked feveral towns in Syria, and forced the Idumæans to be circumcifed, for which reafon they were thenceforward looked upon as Jews. We may obferve by the by, that it came likewife to pafs about the fame time that Onias, exafperated at seeing the high-priesthood given to Alcimus, who was not of the facerdotal race, went into Egypt, and got Ptolemy Philometor's leave to build a temple there upon the model of that at Jerufalem. Thus the Jews came to have three temples, that rivalled one another, one at Jerufalem, another at Gerizim in Samaria, built by the permiffion of Darius, and afterward of Alexander the Great; and that of Onias in Egypt.
The Jewish ftate remained in this condition till the time of Pompey the Great, who deprived Hyrcanus of his crown, leaving him however in poffeffion of the priesthood, and invested with princely power, and made the Jews tributary to the Romans (z). Thus did the Jews forfeit their liberty, by means of the factions
(s) Wisdom vii. 17.
) Jof. Antiq. Jud, 1. xiii. c. 19.
(t) Philo paffim.
(*) Id. Antiq. Jud. . xii, c. 1.
of thofe very Afmoneans, whose valour had procured it for them before (a).
JULIUS CESAR having defeated Pompey, he continued Hyrcanus high-priest, and gave the government of Judea to Antipater, an Idumean by birth, but a Jewish Profelyte, and the father of Herod, firnamed the Great (b), who was afterwards king of the Jews. Antipater divided Judea between his two fons, beftowing upon Phafael, who was the eldest, the government of Jerufalem; and that of Galilee, upon Herod, his fecond fon: who, being naturally bold and active, was not long without fhewing the greatnefs of his mind; for he cleared his country of the robbers it was infefted with, and fignalized his courage against Antigonus the competitor of Hyrcanus in the priesthood, who was fet up by the Tyrians. Mark Anthony ratified thefe regulations of Antipater, and gave his two fons the name of Tetrarchs, or Princes (c). In the mean time, the Parthians having invaded Judea, carried away captive Hyrcanus, and Phafael, Herod's brother (d). Whereupon Herod, giving up all for loft, fled to Mark Anthony at Rome, who, with the confent of the Senate, beftowed upon him the title of King of Judea (e), which he defigned to beg for Ariftobulus the brother of Mariamne, and grandfon of Hyrcanus, of the Afmonean family. He kept himself in poffeffion of this dignity by the help of the Roman arms, notwithstanding the faction of Antigonus, who had the greatest part of the Jewish nation on his fide (f). The intestine war that happened upon this occafion, and lafted for about three years, brought Judea to the very brink of deftruction: Jerufalem was taken, the temple plundered and ravaged, and a dreadful flaughter enfued on both fides. Though Herod got the better, yet he was not well fettled on his throne, fo long as he had the difpleafure of Auguftus to fear, after the overthrow of Mark Anthony, with whom he had fided. However he was continued by Auguftus in his government of Judea.
If this prince may be faid to have had any good qualities, his vaft magnificence in buildings must be reckoned as one. This manifeftly appeared in his founding or repairing of several cities (g), to which he gave the names of Auguftus Cæfar, and Agrippa; as for inftance, Samaria which he called Sebafte (b), that is Augufta; Turris Stratonis (i) which he named Cæfarea, different from that other Cafarea which Philip the Tetrarch honoured with that name out of respect to Tiberius Cæfar, and which for that reafon is ftiled in the New Teftament Cæfarea Philippi (k). But the greatest glory and ornament of Herod's reign, in this refpect, was the building of the temple of Jerufalem anew, which had been rebuilt about five hundred years before by Zerubbabel. The reafon he alledged for this undertaking, was, that the fecond temple was fixty cubits
(a) Jof. de Bello Jud. 1. i. c. 5.
(c) Id. Antiq. xiv. 23. &. de Bell. Jud. 1. ii. 8.
(d) Id. Antiq. xiv. 25.
Concerning the Hrods, and first of Herod the Great.
(6) Jof. Antiq. xiv. 2, 12.
(e) Id. ibid. c. 26.
(g) Jof. de Bell. Jud. 1. i. c. 16. (i) Id. ibid. & c. 13.