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their Parts*. Thus did Josephus answer Appion, and fairly retort the Calumny upon him. But here again I wish he had not stopt there, but had given us his Thoughts concerning the Rise and Original of this Slander, which I am persuaded must have been very curious, and far more satisfactory than all the Guesses and Conjectures of the modern Writers. ist, A learned Man thinks, that when the Heathen faw the Jews pray with Hands and Eyes lifted up to Heaven, they concluded they worshipped the Clouds and the Heavens ; which is hinted at by Dio in his Account of the Jews, and laid to their Charge by Juvenal, Sat. xiv. v. 97. Nil præter nubes, & cæli numen adorant ; and that spavos, the Heavens, being by Contradiction written õvos, this might give occasion to think that the Jews worshipped that Animal. The judicious Mr. Reland endeavours at another Solution : He thinks 'that as the Grecian Vessels, with two Ears, called duoct.045, were also named o vol, Asles, the Ass faid to be found by Antiochus in the Temple, was no more than the Pot or Veffel of Manna which was reposited there : But as it is agreed on all Hands, that this Veffel, as well as the Altar of Incense, the Shew-Bread Table, and the golden Candlestick, was destroyed with the firft Temple ; and it does not appear it was made anew after the rebuilding of the second, as indeed it could not be for want of
* Agyptius, fi quid tale apud nos fuiffet, nunquam debuerat nos increpare, cum non fit asinus deterior, furonibus, hircis, & aliis qui apud eos sunt dii.---Hæc igitur debuerat Appion respicere, nifi cor afini ipíe potius habuiffet, atque impudentiam canis, qui apud eos affolet coli. Nos asinis neque honorem, neque aliquam potestatein damus, ficut Ægyptii crocodilis & afpidibus ; quando eos qui ab iftis mordentur, & a crocodilis rapiuntur, felices & deo dignos arbitrantur; fed apud nos funt afini, quod apud alios fapientes viros, onera fibi impofita fuftinentes, & fi proposita non adimpleant, valde multas plagas accipiunt. fofeph. ib. pag. 106
that Manna that came down from Heaven ; there seems to be no Ground at all for the Conjecture of that learned Writer: As to the Traditions of the Jews, those religious Triflers, that it was hid with the Ark and other Utensils, and preserved by Jeremy; or that Joiab, hearing from Huldah the Prophetess, that the Temple would speedily after his Death be destroyed, caused the Ark to be put in a Vault under Ground, which Solomon, foreseeing that Destruction, had caused on Purpose to be built for the preserving them ; these are too trilling and inconsiderable to suffer any Stress to be laid upon them. Tanaquil Faber, one of the boldest Criticks of his Time, faith, this Calumny might proceed from the schismatical Temple of the Jews, built by Onias in Egypt; and that it being called Over vdQ, and the Town 'Ovčov, from its Founder (which comes very near to 'OrQ, an Ass) this might give the first Rise and Occasion to that Report. This may strike at first sight, and seem to carry some Probability along with it; but besides that Appion was too learned a Man to commit such a Miftake, as he himself lived in Egypt, where that Temple was built, it is likely he would have fixed the Adoration there, not have placed it at Jerusalem, where he faith it was discovered by Antiochus Epiphanes. But the most pleasant Solution of all is that of the late Mr. Jurieu, a French Clergyman in Holland; which' he thinks is very clear, and comes up to the Point, if of his Suppositions : He faith, that as the Cherubims in the Temple were represented by four Faces, one of which was that of an Ox; this last, if the Horns were taken away, and Ears clapt on instead of them, might very easily pass for the Head of an Ass. But, allowing this to be true, can it ever be supposed that the Jews at that Time should play such a silly Prank, should so disguise
you will allow
their Cherubim, and this at the very Time that Antiochus was besieging their City, and ready to break into their Temple. By this Way of Reasoning, and the Help of such Suppofitions, one may prove any Thing in the World, that Black is White and White is Black.
But I rather believe that the Law of Moses, and the Practice of the Jews, might give the Heathen Occasion to invent this Calumny. They had observed, that the Jews offered and consecrated the First-born of all their Beasts, except that of an Ass, which was not offered nor facrificed, but was redeemed by Money ; from which Distinction they might infer, that they had some special Regard and Esteem for that Animal * beyond the rest ; and from a Regard and Efteem, the Transition was easy to a religious Worship. This is what yosephus particularly wards against, and lays the greatest Stress upon, declaring that the Jew's paid no other Honours and Regard to the Afs, than other Nations did ; that they employed them in laborious Offices, and punished them when they neglected their Works. I shall now have done with Appion, whom I will leave under the Lash of Josephus, who has treated him as he justly deserved; and shall proceed to the Accounts which some other Authors have given of the Religion of the Jews, as Trogus Pompeius, Tully, Strabo, Dio, Tacitus, and Plutarch ; of whom I have already observed, that the most antient and early of these Writers have given truer, fairer, and more impartial Accounts of the Jews, than later Authors, who had greater Opportunities to be better informed, which I shall endeavour to account for in the Sequel of my Discourse. To set the Matter in a clearer Light,
See Mr. Selden's Table-Talk.
and make the Contrast the stronger, I shall begin with these last. And ift, Dio, an excellent Historian, does the Jews the Justice to say, that they had no Statues and Images in their Temples ; it being their Opinion that God could not be described or represented by any visible or corporeal Appearance whatsoever. He extols the Beauty and Magnificence of their Temple, and only finds Fault that its Courts had no Roof or Covering, but were naked and open to the Air; from whence he seems to conclude, they paid theit Adoration to the Heavens and the Clouds. Some learned Men have thought this Notion of their worshipping the Clouds, which Juvenal, as I have before observed, had taxed them with, might proceed from God's appearing to Moses in a Cloud, for the Space of fix Days in Mount Sinai, when he called him up through that Cloud, and delivered him the Laws on the two Tables of Stone : Others derive it from that Pillar of Cloud which went before the Israelites, and was a Guide to them when they travelled through the Wilderness; and lastly, others think it came from the Cloud which filled the Tabernacle when it was first dedicated to God; so that Mofes was not able to enter into the Tent of the Congregation, because of the Cloud and the Glory of the Lord, which filled the Tabernacle. But of all Writers of the Affairs of the Jews, no one has shown more Malignity, and been guilty of greater Errors and Miltakes, than Tacitus. He stumbles at the very Threshold, and trifles egregiously about the Original of that People, whom he sometimes derives from Mount Ida in Crete, sometimes from Egypt, or the Land of Ethiopia. I do not take this Author to Task upon the Account of any new Calumny he
* Turner's Calumnies, p. 107.
has cast upon the Jews, but to shew the Blunders, Mistakes, and Self-contradictions he has fallen into, in Relation to that Nation. He has little more than copied the Slanders of Manetbo, Appion, and others. He follows the first in the Story of their being expelled Egypt by Reason of their Leprosy ; and the second in the ridiculous Accusation of their worshipping an Ass ; of which he gives this Reason, that as the People of Israel in their travelling through the Wilderness, were ready to perish for Want of Water, Moses, by the Direction of a Drove of Asses, discovered some green and Morid Grass, and found out Springs, that refreshed his Army, and hindered it from dying with Thirft ; and that, out of Gratitude for this Discovery, he made the Figure of an Afs, consecrated and placed it in the * Sanctuary, there to be adored and worshipped by the People; in which he betrays a shameful Ignorance of the Jewish Worship ; since the Septuagint, yofephus, or any of the Jews, would have told him, that the High-Priest only, and that but once a Year, was allowed to come into that Holy Place ; and that the People were so far from being permitted to come there, that they cou'd not so much as look into it, by Reason of a Veil and Tapestry that was hung before the Door, to stop and intercept the Sight. This Writer seems to agree with Josephus, Dio, and Strabo, who say the Jews had no Statues and Images in their Temples, as not thinking that God could be pourtrayed and represented by any human Art. The Jews (faith he) own
* Sed nil æque quam inopia aquæ fatigabat, jamque haud procul ab exitio erant, cum grex asinorum agreftium e paftu in rupem nemore opacam concellit. Secutus Mofes, largas aquarum venas aperit. Effigiem animalis, quo monftante errorem fitimque depulerant, penetrali facravere. Vide Tacit. Edit. Elz. 1634. P. 671.