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up and down with this Story, do utterly overthrow the Credit of it.
14 Q. Upon the whole View of Things, what is the best Account of this Translation ?
A. In the Reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus, there was such a Version made of the five Books of Mo. ses, by the Jews of Alexandria, into the Greek Language, probably for their own Use, and for the Use of their Countrymen; for the Jews in their Difperfions had used themselves to the Greek Tongue, the Conquests of Alexander and his Grecian Army having spread their Language through the World; and when Ptolemy Philadelphus had erected such a noble Library, he was desirous to have this Book deposited there. Whether his Request or Command gave any Occasion to this: Translation, is hard to determine.
15 Q. Were not the other sacred Writings tranRated into Greek also, as well as the five Books of Moses? . A. When the Reading of the Prophets as well as the Law came into Use in the Synagogues, many Years afterwards, in the Time of Antiochus Epiphanes, this occafioned a Greek Translation of the Prophets to be made; and so the whole Old Testament was complete, which we now call the „Septuagint?
16 . Did the Jews generally come to use this. Greek Translation of the Bible ?
A. In and after the Time of Ezra, the Scriptures were read to the Jews in Hebrew, and, in terpreted into the Chaldee Language, which they had learnt in Babylon, and was become most fam miliar to them.. But at Alexandria, after the making of this Greek Version, it was afterwards interpreted to them in Greek, which was after
wards wards done also in all other Grecian Cities, whic ther the Jews were dispersed. And from hence those Jews were called Hellenists, or Grecizing Jews, because they used the Greek Language in their Synagogues; and by that Name they were diftinguished from the Hebrew Jews, who used only the Hebrew and Chaldee Languages in their Synagogues. And this distinction we find made between them, Aits vi. l. For the Word which we there translate Grecians, is in the Original 'Eaa muisão. that is, Hellenists. So Dr Prideaux.
.17 Q But did not the Evangelists and the Apoftles, who were the Writers of the New Testa. ment, pay great Honour to this Greek Translation?
A. Yes, they cited many Scriptures of the Old Testament, according to this Translation, becaufe it was the best Greek Translation they had ; and it was by this Time well known amongst the Jews in Judea, as well as those who were scattered round the Nations.
18 0. Did the Jews in Judea continue in Peace under the Government of the Kings of Egypt? :
A. The Succeffors of the four Generals of Alexander the Great, who divided the World amongst them, and particularly the Kings of Egypt and Syria, being frequently engaged in Wars for enlarging their Kingdoms, the Jews were reduced to very great Difficuliies, and sometimes were at at a Lors what Side to choose ; they were in Danger on both Sides, and were sometimes distressed and miserably grinded between the one and the other."
19 Q. Did they maintain the Purity of their Temple and Worship?
A. They were often exposed to grievous Difficulties on this Account. When Ptolemy Philopater,of Egypt, reigned over those Provinces, he would
offer up Sacrifices to the God of Ifrael for his Success against Antiochus the Great, the Succeffor of Seleucus, King of Syria ; and he was not content to stay in the outer Court, but he would have pressed into the Sanctuary, and even the Holy of Holies.
20 Q. How was he prevented from entering ?
A. The Priests and the Levites, and all the People lifted up their Hands to God in Prayer, and when the King had passed the inner Court; and was entering into the Temple, he was smitten from God, with fuch Terror and Confusion of Mind, that he was carried out of the Place halfdead.
21 Q. But did not Ptolemy resent this afterwards ?
.A. He purposed to be revenged on all the Jewish Nation; when he came to Alexandria, he ordered them to sacrifice to his Gods; and if they refused, he took away their Privileges, which they had enjoyed in Egypt from the Time of Alexander the Great : He ordered them to be enrolled among the common People of Egypt, and to have the Mark of an Ivy-leaf, the Badge of his God Baca chus, impressed upon them by an hot Iron; and those who refused it, should be made Slaves, or put to Death. ,
22 Q. What did the Jews of Alexandria do on this Occasion ?
A. A few of them forsook their God to gain the Favour of their King: But many Thousands stood firm to their Religion; and though several of them were enrolled, and branded with the Ivyleaf against their Will, yet they shewed a great Abhorrence of all their Countrymen that sacrificed to the Gods of the King.
23 Q. How
23 Q. How did Ptolemy bear with this Conduct of theirs ?
A. He resolved to destroy the whole Nation of the Jews; and therefore, first he ordered all that lived any where in Egypt, to be brought in Chains to Alexandria to be fain by his Elephants.
24 Q. And were they destroyed according to the King's Appointment?
A The Elephants being made drunk with Wine and Frankincense, and let loose upon them, in- , stead of falling upon the Jews, they turned all their Rage upon the Spectators, and destroyed great Numbers of them.
25 Q. What Influence had this upon the King ? • Å. He durft no longer prosecute his Rage against them; but fearing the Vengeance of the God of Israel upon himself, he revoked his cruel Decrees, restored their Privileges, and gave Leave to put to Death the Jews that had abandoned their Religion, and worshipped Idols. Note, This story is found in that which is called the
third Book of Maccabees, written by some ancient few under that Title, because it gives an Account of the Persecution and Deliverance of the Jews, as the first and second Books of Maccabees do. Though this was transacted long before the Name of Maccabees arose ; and therefore it ought rather to have been called the first Book than the third. It is not found among our Apocryphal Books, because it was never inserted in the Vulgar Latin Version of the Bible, but it is found in many of the Manuscripts of the Greek Septuagint, and particularly that of the Alexandrian Manuscript in the King's Library.
Sect. IV. Of the Jewish Affairs under ANT10
CHUS the Great, SELEUCUS, and ANTIOCHUS
iQ. D ID the Jews afterwards at Jerusalem
continue under the Government of the Ptolemies, who were Kings of Egypt?
A. When Ptolemy Philopater was dead, and Ptolemy Epiphanes came to the Crown, the Jews having been greatly perfecuted by the Ptolemies, submitted themselves to Antiochus the Great, King of Syria ; and when he came to Jerusalem in a solemn Proceffion, they went to meet him, and received him gladly.
2 Q. How did Antiochus reward them?
A. He granted them many Privileges, as he had done to their Countrymen who were fettled in Babylonia and Mesopotamia, having always found the Men of that Nation faithful to him.
3Q. What Confidence did he put in them on this Account? · A. He transported several of them from Babylonia to the Lesler Afia, to keep his Forts and Garrifons, and gave them good Settlements there; whence sprang a great part of the Jews that were found in that Country in the Apostles Times.
.4 Q. What remarkable Events fell out in the Days of Seleucus Philopater, Son and Successor to Antiochus the Great ?
A. Simon, a Benjamite, being made Governor of the Temple, some Differences arose between him and Onias the third, the High Priest, an excellent Man, concerning some Disorders in the City: And when Simon could not obtain his Will, he informed Apollonius, the Governor of the Pro