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SECT. XVI. The authority of the books of the Old Testament.

BUT, since God has been pleased to leave us the records of the Jewish religion, which was of old the true religion, and affords no small testimony to the Christian religion, it 144is not foreign to our purpose to see upon what foundation the credibility of these is built. That these books are theirs to whom they are ascribed, appears in the same manner as we have proved of our books. And they, whose names they bear, were either prophets, or men worthy to be credited; such as Esdras, who is supposed to have collected them into one volume, at that time when the prophets Haggai, Malachi, and Zecharias, were yet alive. I will not here repeat what was said before in commendation of Moses. And not only that first part delivered by Moses, as we have shewn in the first book, but the later history, is confirmed by many pagans. Thus, the Phœnician annals mention the names of David and Solomon,445445   See what Josephus cites out of them, book viii. chap. 2. of his ancient history; where he adds, that if any one would see the copies of those epistles which Solomon and Hirom wrote to each other, they may be procured of the public keepers of the records at Tyrus. (We must be cautious how we believe this; however, see what I have said upon 1 Kings v. 3.) There is a remarkable place concerning David, quoted by Josephus, book vii. chap. 6. of his ancient history, out of the fourth of Damascenus’s history: “A long while after this, there was a certain man of that country, who was very powerful, his name was Adadus, who reigned in Damascus, and the other parts of Syria, except Phœnice: he waged war with David, king of Judæa, and having fought many battles, the last was at Euphrates, where he was overcome: he was accounted one of the best kings, for strength and valour: after his death, his children reigned for ten generations, each of them continuing his father’s government and name, in the same manner as the Egyptian kings are called Ptolemies. The third being the most potent of them all, being willing to recover the victory his grandfather had lost, made war upon the Jews, and laid waste that which is now called Samaria.” The first part of this history we have in 2 Sam. viii. 5. 1 Chron. xviii. and the latter part in 1 Kings xx. This Adadus is called by Josephus, Adar; and Adores by Justin, out of Trogus. Eusebius, in his Gospel Preparation, book iv. chapter 30. tells us more things concerning David, out of Eupolemus. And the fore-mentioned Josephus. in the same chapter, and in his first against Appion, brings this place oat of Dius’s Phœnician history: “After Abibalus’s death, his son Hirom reigned; this man increased the eastern part of the city, and much enlarged the city; and he joined Jupiter Olympius’s temple to the city, which before stood by itself in an island, by filling up the space between; and he adorned it with the gifts of gold offered to the gods; he also went up to Libanus, and cat down wood to adorn the temple with. And they say that Solomon, who reigned in Jerusalem, sent riddles to Hirom, and received some from him; and he that could not resolve the riddles was to pay a large stun of money. Afterwards Abdemonus, a man of Tyre, resolved the riddles that were proposed, and sent others, which Solomon not resolving, paid a large sum of money to Hirom.” He afterwards adds a famous place of Menander, the Ephesian, who wrote the affairs of the Greeks and barbarians. “After Abibalus’s death, his son Hirom succeeded in the government; he lived thirty-four years, and inclosed a large country, and erected the golden pillar in Jupiter’s temple. He afterwards cut down wood from the mountain called Libanus, cedar trees for the roof of the temple, and pulled down the old temples, and built new. He consecrated the grove of Hercules and Astarte. He first laid the foundation of Hercules’s in the month Peritius, and afterwards Astarte’s, about the time that he invaded the Tityans for not paying tribute, and returned after having reduced them. About this time there was one Abdemonus, a young man, who overcame, in explaining the riddles proposed by Solomon, the king of Jerusalem. The time from this king, to the building of Carthage, is reckoned thus: After Hirom’s death, Beleazar his son succeeded in the kingdom; who lived forty-three years, and reigned seven. After him was his son Abdastratus, who lived twenty-nine years, and reigned nine. This man was slain by the four children of his nurse, who lay in ambush for him; the eldest of which reigned twelve years. After these was Astartus, the son of Delæstartus, who lived fifty-four years, and reigned twelve. After him came his brother Asergmus, who lived fifty-four years, and reigned nine; this man was killed by his brother Pheletes, who seized the kingdom, and reigned eight months; he lived fifty years; he was slain by Ithobalus, the priest of Astarte, who reigned thirty-two years, and lived sixty-eight. He was succeeded by his son Badezorus, who lived forty-five years, and reigned six. His successor was Matgemus his son, who lived thirty-two years, and reigned nine. He was succeeded by Pygmalion, who lived fifty-six years, and reigned forty-seven. In his seventh year, his sister, who fled from him, built the city of Carthage in Libya.” Theophilus Antiochenus, in his third book to Autolychus, has set down this place of Menander, but has contracted it. Tertullian, in his apology, chap. 19. says, “We must look into the records of the most ancient nations, Egyptians, Chaldæans, Phœnicians, by whom we are supplied with knowledge; such as Manethon the Egyptian, or Berosus the Chaldæan, or Hirom the Phœnician, king of Tyre; and their followers, Mendesius Ptolemæus, and Menander the Ephesian, and Demetrius Phalereus, and king Juba, and Appion, and Thallus.” This Hirom, and Solomon, who was cotemporary with him, are mentioned also by Alexander Polyhister, Menander, Pergamenus, and Lætus in the Phœnician accounts, as Clemens affirms, Strom. i. whence we may correct Tatian, who wrote Χαϊτος Chætus, for λαϊτος Lætus, who is reported to have translated into Greek what Theodotus, Hypsicrates, and Mochus wrote about Phœnicia. The memory of Hazael king of Syria, whose name is in 1 Kings xix. 15. 2 Kings viii. 13. xii. 17. xiii. 3, 24. is preserved at Damascus, with divine worship, as Josephus relates, book ix. chap. 2. of his ancient history. The same name is in Justin, out of Trogus. Concerning Salmanasar, who carried the ten tribes into captivity, as it is related in 2 Kings xvii. 3, &c. and who took Samaria, 2 Kings xviii. 9. there is a place of Menander the Ephesian, which I mentioned before, in Josephus, book ix. ch.14. “Elulæus reigned thirty-six years: this man with a fleet reduced the Cittæans, who revolted from him. But the king of Assyria sent an army against them, and brought war upon all Phœnicia; and having made peace with them all, returned back again. But Sidon, Arce, Palætyrus, and many other cities, who had yielded themselves to the king of Assyria, revolted from the Tyrian government; yet the Tyrians not submitting, the king of Assyria returned upon them again, after he had received from the Phœnicians sixty ships and eight hundred rowers. Against which the Tyrians coming out with twelve ships, broke their enemies ships in pieces, and took five hundred men prisoners: hereupon the price of every thing was raised in Tyre. Then the king of Assyria departed, and placed guards upon the river, and upon the water-pipes, that they might hinder the Tyrians from drawing any; and this they did for fire years, and they were forced to drink out of wells which they digged.” Josephus adds in the same place, that Salmanasar, the name of this king, remained till his time in the Tyrian records. Sennacherib, who subdued almost all Judæa, except Jerusalem, as it is related, 2 Kings xviii. 13. 2 Chron. xxxii. 1. Isaiah xxxvi. l. his name and expeditions into Asia and Egypt are found in Berosus’s Chaldaics, as the same Josephus testifies, book x. chap. 1. and Herodotus, in his second book, mentions the same Sennacherib, and calls him king of the Arabians and Assyrians. Baladan king of Babylon is mentioned in 2 Kings xx. 12. and Isaiah xxxix. And the same name is in Berosus’s Babylonics, as Josephus testifies in his ancient history, book x. chap. 3. Herodotus mentions the battle In Mageddo, in which Nechao king of Egypt overcame the Jews, (which history is in 2 Chron. xxxv. 22. Zech. xii. 1.) in the fore-said second book, in these words: “And Necho encountered the Syrians” (for so Herodotus always calls the Jews, as do others also) “in a land battle, and overcame them in Magdolus. and the league 145they made with the Tyrians. And Berosus, as well as the 146 147Hebrew books, mention Nabuchadonosor,446446   Concerning him, Josephus has preserved us a place of Berosus, in the tenth of his ancient history, and in his first book against Appion; which may be compared with Eusebius, who, in his Chronicon about these times, and in his Prepar. book ix. chap. 40 and 41. produces this and the following place of Abydenus: “Nabopallasarus his father, hearing that he who was appointed governor over Egypt, and the places about Cœlo-Syria and Phœnice, had revolted, being himself unable to bear hardships, he invested his son Nabuchadonosor, who was a young man, with part of his power, and sent him against him. And Nabuchadonosor, coming to a battle with the rebel, smote him, and took him, and reduced the whole land to his subjection again. It happened about this time that his father Nabopallasarus fell sick, and died, in the city of Babylon, after he had reigned twenty-nine years. Nabuchadonosor in a little time hearing of the death of his father, after he had put in order his affairs in Egypt, and the rest of the country, and committed to some of his friends the power over the captives of the Jews, Phœnicians, Syrians, and the people about Egypt, and ordered every thing that was left of any use to be conveyed to Babylon, he himself with a few came through the wilderness to Babylon; where he found affairs settled by the Chaldæans, and the government maintained under one of the most eminent amongst them, so that he inherited his father’s kingdom entire; and having taken a view of the captives, he ordered them to be dispersed by colonies, throughout all the proper places in the country about Babylon. And he richly adorned the temple of Belus, and others, with the spoils of the war; and he renewed the ancient city of Babylon, by adding another to it; so as that afterwards, in a siege, the river might never be turned out of its course, to assault the city. He also encompassed the city with three walls within, and three without, some made of tile and pitch, others of tile alone. The city being thus well walled, and the gates beautifully adorned, he added to his father’s palace a new one, far exceeding it in height and costliness; to relate the particulars of which would be tedious. However, as exceeding great and beautiful as it was, it was finished in fifteen days; on this palace he built very high walks of stone, which to the sight appeared like mountains, and planted them with all sorts of trees, and made what they call a pensile garden, for his wife, who was brought up in Media, to delight herself with the prospect of the mountainous country. After he had begun the fore-mentioned wall, he fell sick and died, having reigned forty-three years.” This wife of Nabuchadonosor is Nitocris, according to Herodotus, in his first book, as we learn from the great Scaliger, in his famous appendix to the Emendation of Time. These things are explained by Curtius, in his fifth book, to which I refer you, and partly by Strabo, book xv. and Diodorus, book ii. Berosus, out of whom we have quoted these things, and those before, was the priest of Belus, after Alexander the great’s time; to whom the Athenians erected a statue with a golden tongue, in the public gaming place, for his divine predictions. This is mentioned by Pliny, book vii. chap. 37. of his natural history. Athenæus, in his fifteenth, calls his book Babylonica. Tatian (who himself also affirms that Berosus mentions Nabuchadonosor) and Clemens call it Chaldaica. King Juba confesses, that he took out hence what he wrote concerning the affairs of Syria, as Tatian observes. He is also mentioned by Vitruvius, and by Tertullian in his apology, and by the writer of the Alexandrian Chronicon. Eusebius, both in his Chronicon and in the end of the ninth of his Preparation, tells us, that Nabuchadonosor is mentioned also by Abydenus, who wrote of the Assyrians: the words are these: “Megasthenes says, that Nabuchodrosorus was stronger than Hercules, and waged war against Libya and Iberia, and having overcome them, he planted them in several colonies on the right shore of the sea. And the Chaldæans relate moreover concerning him, that as he was going into his palace on a certain time, he was inspired by a god, and spake the following words: I Nabuchodrosorus foretel a sad calamity that will befal you, O Babylonians; which neither Belus, our forefather, nor queen Beltia, could persuade the fates to avert: there shall come a Persian mule, who, assisted by your gods, shall bring slavery upon you; Medus, the glory of the Assyrians, will also help to do this. I wish, that, before he betrays his countrymen, some Charybdis, or sea, would swallow him up, and destroy him; or that he were directed another way, through the wilderness, where there are no cities, or footsteps of men, where the wild beasts feed, and the birds fly about; that he might wander solitary amongst the rocks and dens; and that a happy end had overtaken me, before these things were put into my mind. Having prophesied this, he suddenly disappeared.” Compare this last with that which is said of this Nabuchadonosor in the book of Daniel; the first, out of Megasthenes, we have also in Josephus, book x. chap. 11. of his ancient history; and he says it is in the fourth of his Indian history. Eusebius likewise has this concerning Nabuchadonosor, out of Abydenus: “It is reported (of the place where Babylon stands) that at first it was all water, called sea, but Belus drained it, and allotted to every one his portion of laud, and encompassed Babylon with a wall, which time has worn out. But Nabuchadonosor walled it again, which remained till the Macedonian empire; and it had brazen gates.” And a little after: “When Nabuchadonosor came to the government, in fifteen days time he walled Babylon with a triple wall, and be turned out of their course the rivers Armacale and Acracanus, which is an arm of Euphrates. And, for the city of the Sipparenians, he digged a pool forty furlongs round, and twenty fathoms deep; and made sluices to open and water the fields; they call them guides to the aquæducts. He also built up a wall to exclude the Red sea; and he rebuilt Teredon, to hinder the incursions of the Arabians; and he planted his palace with trees, called the pensile gardens.” Compare this with Dan. iv. 30. And &mho, book xv. quotes these words also out of the same Magasthenes: “Nabuchadonosor, whose fame amongst the Chaldæans is greater than Hercules, went as far as the pillars.” There were others who touched upon the history of this king, but we have only the names of them remaining. Diocles in the second of his Persian history, and Philostratus in that of the Indians and Phœnicians, who says that Tyre was besieged by him thirteen years, as Josephus tells us, in the fore-cited place of his ancient history, and in his first book against Appion, where he quotes the following words out of the public acts of the Phœnicians: “When Ithobalus was king, Nabuchadonosor besieged Tyre thirteen years. After him, Baal reigned ten years; after him, judges were appointed to govern Tyre; Eccibalus, the son of Baslacus, two months; Chelbes, the son of Abdaius, ten months; Abbarus, the high priest, three months; Mutgonus aud Gerastratus, the sons of Abdelinus, were judges six years; betwixt whom Belatorus reigned one. After his death they sent and fetched Cerbalus from Babylon; he reigned four years. After his death they sent for his brother Hirom, who reigned twenty years. In his time Cyrus the Persian flourished.” For the exact agreement of this computation with the sacred books, see Josephus in the fore-cited book against Appion: where follows in Josephus these words concerning Hecatæus “The Persians,” says he, “drew many millions of us to Babylon.” And concerning the war of Sennacherib, and Nabuchadonosor’s captivity, see the place of Demetrius in Clemens, Strom. i. Hecatæus’s authority is very little to the purpose, because he is a spurious writer. See Ger. J. Vossius upon the Greek historians. Le Clerc. and other 148 149 150Chaldeans.447447   After the fore-cited words of Berosus, follow these, according to Josephus, in both the places now mentioned: “His son Evilmaradoch was made head of the kingdom; he managed affairs unjustly and wantonly; after he had reigned two years, he was treacherously slain by Neriglissoroorus, who married his sister: after his death, Neriglissoroorus, who thus killed him, possessed the government, and reigned four years. His son Laborosoarchodus, a youth, reigned nine months: but, because there appeared In him many evil dispositions, he was slain by the treachery of his friends. After his death, they who killed him agreed to devolve the government upon Nabonnidus, a certain Babylonian, who was also one of the conspirators. In this reign, the walls of the city Babylon, along the river, were beautified with burnt brick and pitch. In the seventeenth year of his reign, Cyrus came out of Persia with a great army, and, having subdued all the rest of Asia, he came as far as Babylon; Nabonnidus, hearing of his coming, met him with a great army also, but he was overcome in the battle, and fled away with a few, and shut up himself in the city of the Borsippeni. Then Cyrus, having taken Babylon, ordered the outward walls of the city to be rated, because the people appeared to be very much given to change, and the town hard to be taken; and went from thence to Borsippus, to besiege Nabonnidus; but he not mining the siege, yielded himself immediately; whereupon Cyrus treated him kindly, and, giving him Carmania to dwell in, he sent him out of Babylonia; and Nabonnidus passed the reminder of his days in that country, and died there.” Eusebius, to the fore-mentioned place, has preserved the following words of Abydenus, immediately after those now quoted concerning Nabuchadonosor: “After him reigned his son Evilmaruruchus: his wife’s brother Neriglasarus, who slew him, left a son, whose name was Labossoarascus. He dying by a violent death, they made Nabannidachus king, who was nut related to him. Cyrus, when he took Babylon, made this man governor of Carmania.” This Evilmerodach is mentioned by name in 2 Kings xxv. 27. Concerning the rest, see Scaliger. That of Cyrus’s taking Babylon agrees with this of Herodotus: “So Cyrus made an irruption as far as Babylon; and the Babylonians having provided an army, expected him: as soon as he approached the city, the Babylonians fought with him; but, to save themselves from being beaten, they shut themselves up in the city.” Compare this with the fifty-first of Jeremiah, 29, 30, 31. Concerning the flight at Borsippe, see Jeremiah li. 30. Concerning the drying up the river’s channel, Herodotus agrees with Jeremiah li. 32. The words of Herodotus are: “He divided the river, bringing it to a standing lake, so that he made the ancient current passable, having diverted the river.” It is worth considering, whether what Diodorus relates in his second book, concerning Belesis the Chaldæan, may not have respect to Daniel, whose name in Chaldee was Beltashazzar, Dan. i. 7. The truth of what we read in scripture, concerning the Chaldæan kings, is strongly confirmed by the chronology of the astronomical canon of Nabonassar, as you may see in sir John Marsham’s chronological canon. Le Clerc. Vaphres,448448   So the Seventy and Eusebius translate the Hebrew word חפרע Chephre. He was contemporary with Nabuchadonosor. the king of Egypt in Jeremiah, 151is the same with Apries in Herodotus.449449   Book ii. And the Greek books are filled with Cyrus and his successors,450450   See the places already quoted; and Diodorus Siculus, b. ii. and Ctesias in his Persics; and Justin, book i. chap. 5. and the following. The foundation of the temple of Jerusalem was laid in Cyrus’s time, and was finished in Darius’s, according to Berosus, as Theophilus Antiochenus proves. down to Darius;451451   Cadomannus. See the fore-mentioned persons, and Æschylus’s account of Persia, and the writers of the affairs of Alexander. lu the time of this Darius, Jaddus was the high priest of the Hebrews, Nehem. xii. 22. the same that went out to meet Alexander the great, according to the relation of Josephus, in his ancient history, book xi. 8. At this time lived Hecatæus Abderita, so famous in Plutarch, in his book concerning Isis; and Laërtius in Pyrrho; he wrote a single book concerning the Jews, whence Josephus, in book ii. against Appion, took a famous description of the city and temple of Jerusalem; which place we find in Eusebius, b. ix. c. 4. of his Gospel Preparation; and in each of them there is a place of Clearchus, who commends the Jewish wisdom, in the words of Aristotle. And Josephus, in the same book, names Theophilus, Theodoret, Mnaseas, Aristophanes, Hermogenes, Euemerus, Conoron, Zopyrion, and others, as persons who commended the Jews, and gave testimony concerning the Jewish affairs. and Josephus, in his book against Appion, quotes 152many other things relating to the Jewish nation: to which may be added that we above took out of Strabo and Trogus.452452   Book i. But there is no reason for us Christians to doubt of the credibility of these books, because there are testimonies in our books, out of almost every one of them, the same as they are found in the Hebrew. Nor did Christ, when he blamed many things in the teachers of the law, and in the Pharisees of his time, ever accuse them of falsifying the books of Moses and the prophets, or of using supposititious or altered books. And it can never be proved or made credible, that, after Christ’s time, the scripture should be corrupted in any thing of moment; if we do but consider how far and wide the Jewish nation, who every where kept those books, was dispersed over the whole world. For, first, the ten tribes were carried into Media by the Assyrians, and afterwards the other two. And many of these fixed themselves in foreign countries, after they had a permission from Cyrus to return; the Macedonians invited them into Alexandria with great advantages;453453   Hecatæus, transcribed by Josephus, in his first book against Appion, speaking of the Jews: “Not a few,” (viz. thousands, as appears from the foregoing words), “after the death of Alexander, went into Egypt and Phœnicia, by reason of the commotions in Syria.” To which we may add that of Philo against Flaccus; “There are no less than ten hundred thousand Jews, inhabitants of Alexandria, and the country about it, from the lower parts of Libya, to the borders of Ethiopia.” See moreover Josephus, book xii. chap. 2, 3, and the following; book xiii. chap. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. xviii. 10. And the Jews were free of Alexandria, Josephus xiv. 17. the cruelty of Antiochus, the civil war of the 153Asmonæi, and the foreign wars of Pompey and Sossius, scattered a great many; the country of Cyrene was filled with Jews;454454   See Josephus, book xvi. 10. of his ancient history. Acts vi. 9. xi. 20. the cities of Asia,455455   Josephus xii. 3. xiv. 17. xvi. 4. Acts xix. Macedonia,456456   Acts xvii. Lycaonia,457457   Acts xiv. 19. and the isles of Cyprus,458458   Acts xiii. 5. and Crete,459459   Acts ii. 11. (and others, were full of them; and that there was a vast number of them in Rome,460460   Josephus xviii. 5. of his ancient history. Acts xviii. 2. xxviii. 17. we learn from Horace,461461   Book i. Sat. iv.    ——“For we are many,
And, like the Jews, will force you to our side.”

   And Sat. v.

   —“Let circumcised Jews believe it.”

   And Sat. ix.

   —“This is the thirtieth Sabbath,” &c.
Juvena1,462462   Sat. ix.
   Some are of parents born, who sabbaths keep.”

   And what follows, Sat. xiv.
and Martial.463463   IV. 4.
   “The sabbath-keepers’ fasts.”

   And in other places: as vii. 29, and 34. xi. 95. 57. To which we may add that of Rutilius, book i. of his Itinerary:—
“I wish Judæa ne’er had been subdu’d By Pompey’s war, or Titus’s command; The more suppress’d, the dire contagion spreads; The conquer’d nation crush the conqueror.”
   Which is taken out of Seneca, who said of the same Jews, “The customs of the must wicked nation have prevailed so far, that they are embraced all the world over; so that the conquered give Laws to the conquerors.” The place is in Augustine, book vi. ch. 11. of his city of God. He calls them the most wicked nation, only for this reason, because their laws condemned the neglect of the worship of one God, as we observed before; upon which account Cato Major blamed Socrates. To which may be added the testimony of Philo, in his embassy, on the vast extent of the Jewish nation. “That nation consists of so great a number of men, that it does not, like other nations, take up one country only, and confine itself to that; but possesses almost the whole world; for it overspreads every continent and island, that they seem not to be much fewer than the inhabitants themselves.” Dion Cassius, book xxxvi. concerning the Jewish nation, says, “That though it has been often suppressed it has increased so much the more, so as to procure the liberty of establishing its laws.”
It is impossible that such distant bodies of men should be imposed upon by any art whatsoever, or that 154they should agree in a falsity. We may add further that, almost three hundred years before Christ, by the care of the Egyptian kings, the Hebrew books were translated into Greek, by those who are called the seventy;464464   See Aristæus and Josephus, book xii. 2. that the Greeks might have them in another language, but the sense the same in the main; upon which account they were the less liable to be altered: and the same books were translated into Chaldee, and into the Jerusalem language, that is, half Syriac, partly a little bcfore,465465   By Onkelos, and perhaps by Jonathan. and partly a little after, Christ’s time.466466   By the writer of the Jerusalem Targum, and by Josephus Cæcus, or by him, whoever he was, one man or many, who translated Job, Psalms, Proverbs, and what they call the Hagiography. After which followed other Greek versions, that of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion; which Origen, and others after him, compared with the seventy interpreters, and found no difference in the history, or in any weighty matters. Philo flourished in Caligula’s time, and Josephus lived till Vespasian’s. Each of them quote out of the Hebrew books the same things that we 155find at this day. By this time the Christian religion began to be more and more spread, and many of its profession were Hebrews:467467   Or next to Hebrews, as Justin, who was a Samaritan. many had studied the Hebrew learning,468468   As Origen, Epiphanius, and especially Jerom. who could very easily have perceived and discovered it, it the Jews had received any thing that was false, in any remarkable subject; I mean, by comparing it with more ancient books. But they not only do this, but they bring very many testimonies out of the Old Testament, plainly is that sense in which they are received amongst the He. brews, which Hebrews may be convicted of any crime sooner than (I will not say of falsity, but) of negligence, in relation to these books; because they used to transcribe and compare them so very scrupulously, that they could tell how often every letter came over.469469   Josephus in his first book against Appion. “It is very manifest, by our deeds, how much credit we give to our own writings; for after so many ages past, no one has presumed to add, take away, or change any thing.” See the law, Deut. iv. 2. and the Talmud, inscribed Shebuoth.—(We are to understand this of the time after the Massora; for it was otherwise before, in the time of their commonwealth: and after it was overturned by the Chaldæans, they were not so accurate as is commonly thought. This is evident from Lud. Cappellus’s critics upon the Bible, and from the commentaries of learned men upon the Old Testament, and likewise from Grotius’s own annotations. And we have also shewn it to be so on the historical books of the Old Testament. Le Clerc.) We may add, in the first place, an argument, and that no mean one, why the Jews did not alter the scripture designedly; because the Christians prove, and, as they think, very strongly, that their Master Jesus was that very Messiah who was of old promised to the forefathers of the Jews; and this from those very books which were read by the Jews. Which the Jews would have taken the greatest care should never have been, after there arose a controversy between them and the Christians, if it had ever been in their power to have altered what they would.

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