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fes, and one which happened only a little before the war broke out with the Romans, in the reign of Claudius and pontificate of Ishmael, about their abftinence from all use of a supply of corn which arrived at the paffover, though the famine was so severe before, that an affar* had been fold for four drachmas, in order to fhew the credibility of the Scripture accounts of the refpect paid to their legiflator, by the immense numbers whom he led through the wilderness, seeing the ftatutes delivered by him had still so great force and authority, that their enemies themfelves confeffed a divine establishment of their polity by Moses, he, in like manner, fays, 'But every one will receive these things as to him feemeth fit.' The true key therefore to these phrases appears to be, not that he rejected, or even fufpected, the divinity of the Mofaic religion, but that he was de

As I could not find this ancient measure in any tables of Arbuthnot and others, I was a while uncertain about its capacity, though defirous to explain it to the reader. I have, however, at last discovered, that Jofephus tranflates by this term the Hebrew word gnomer, which we turn omer, as indeed his Greek word aσoapwr is eafily formed from the Hebrew gnasharon, which is ufed as equivalent to it, Exod. xxix. 40, &c. for the omer is declared to have been (as gnaSharon fignifies) the tenth part of the ephah, Exod. xvi. 36. thus, Antiq. 3. 1. 6. he uses it to express the measure of manna which was to be gathered for every man, which all know to have been an omer; now an omer is reckoned equal to 5 pints of English corn measure, being the tenth part of the ephah, which made three pecks, three pints, or a bushel and a half, sixteen pints going to compose the peck, and two pecks to form the bufhel. By confequence, Jofephus's meaning is, that a measure of meal, containing about a third part of our peck, was fold at half a crown, the drachm being about seven pence half-penny of our currency. A great dearth indeed!

firous to obviate the prejudices of the heathens against it as unfociable, and against himself and his countrymen who embraced it as turbulent; and to wipe off the imputation, frequently caft upon them, as if they required that all men fhould renounce their opinions for theirs, and would not allow the world to live in tranquillity, without such a change in their faith t. And this point he might think more important to be accomplished, as they were then in a state of distress and affliction, through the belief which the Romans entertained of their restlefs and perverfe temper.

As to the quotations which Dr. Middleton further brings from Philo, Clemens Alexandrinus, and Eufebius, to juftify his hypothefis, That Mofes had recourse to the fiction of having received his law from God, that he might give it greater force and authority, every one must be fenfible it would require a long digreffion to examine them; the hypothesis which he urges them to fupport, muft ine deed seem very strange in one who profeffed himself a fincere friend to Christianity, and was vested with the character of a public teacher of it, after the clear declarations by Jefus, Paul, and Stephen, that Mofes was a prophet of God; and the more ftrange, that, notwithstanding thefe, he pronounces the opposite scheme only a fenfelefs prejudice, which it becomes rational apologifts for the gospel to deftroy

†The fame account Dr. Warburton gives of these expressions in the Jewish hiftorian, which have a fceptical or libertine air, while in other paffages, he hath all the marks of a zealous believer, as I have lately obferved. Div. Legation, vol. 4. book 5. p. 274, and 280, See Dr. Middleton's Defence, &c. p. 71,



in this age, when it is fo vigorously affaulted; even as a skilful engineer demolishes the weak outworks of a place he would defend, that serve only for a fhelter and lodgement to the enemy, whence to batter it the more effectually. Nevertheless the accurate difcuffion of his arguments for it, as I aim at brevity, cannot be now undertaken. I will only therefore remark concerning Philo's words, who is the fole Jewish evidence he offers after Jofephus, Whatever • Mofes dictated to them, whether he had invented it himself, or received it from the deity, they imputed 'it all to God.' That they can never afford any good ground to conclude fuch was his creed, as he reprefents, fince he must be reasonably thought there to express himself according to the principles of those enemies of their polity, with whom he had been arguing, when he speaks of Mofes's having contrived his statutes himself, as in numberless other places of his writings he afferts his divine miffion and guidance. And I refer to Pearce † for full fatisfaction about the reft.

If this article hath been more prolix, it is hoped the

Philo, apud Eufeb Praepar. lib. 8 cap. 6.

f He at that time curate of St. Martin's in the Fields, and fince bishop of Rochester, was, if I mistake not, author of the Reply to Dr. Middleton's Letter to Waterland, and of the Reply to his Defence of it, and fhews, according to my information. (for I have not been able to procure a fight of these pieces,) that Clement of Alexandria, where he makes him fpeak of the Greeks borrowing from Mofes the practice of lying, to serve the ends of government, intends no more than the use of ftratagems of war against enemies; and that Eufebius Praepar. lib. 2. where he fays there are infinite examples of fictions for the benefit of mankind in the books of Mofes, only means metaphorical reprefentations of God, as fufceptible of human paffions.

plaufibility of Dr. Middleton's pretences for thinking that Jofephus fuppofed Mofes only to feign a divine commiffion, together with his diftinguished reputation for literature, and the moment of fhewing there was no folid foundation for fuch an inference about his fentiments, will abundantly vindicate it from any blame.


Of his lame and defective Account of JOSEPHUS'S
Prediction to VESPASIAN in Chapter thirty-firft.




HE next example I will mention of Voltaire's misrepresentation of the Jewish hiftorian, is from his thirty-first chapter. Having related Jofephus's prediction to Vefpafian, in the name of the God of the Jews, that he and his fon would become emperors, and obferved that hereby he ran no rifque, he goes on, Vefpafian informed this Jofephus, that, if 'he were a prophet, he should have foretold him' (Voltaire should have said, himself) the lofs of Joto'pat, which he had ineffectually defended against 'the Roman army. Jofephus replied, that he had in fact foretold it; which was not very furprizing. 'What commander, who sustains a siege in a small place against a numerous army, does not foretel that the place will be taken?' But is this a juft account of Jofephus's reply? far from it; though I mean not to defend the truth of the story about his prophecy, only to correct Voltaire's recital of the fact.

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The hiftorian's + narrative runs thus: When Jo'fephus had foretold the advancement of Vespasian ' and Titus to the imperial dignity, Vefpafian seem'ed at first to give him no credit, and fufpected he fpoke thofe things craftily, to fave himself. But by degrees he was induced to believe he would be * raised to the government by divine providence---He 'found alfo Jofephus true in other things: for one ' of the two friends, who with Titus was present at this private conference, faid he wondered that he ⚫ neither foretold to the Jotopatans the taking of their town, nor to himself his being made a prifoner, if 'these things were not fictions from a defire to avert


his displeasure. But Jofephus answered, "That he "had predicted to the Jotopatans, that they would "be taken after the forty-feventh day of the fiege, "and that he himself would be taken captive by the "Romans." Thefe things, upon private inquiry of

the prisoners, Vefpafian learned to have happened, ' and began to believe his prophecies about his own 'preferment.' Indeed Jofephus was too wise to rest Vefpafian's faith of his prediction, that he would be exalted to the throne, upon the fulfilment of another prophecy by him, about the fate of that poft, which he was employed to maintain against the Romans, so general, vague, and indeterminate, as that which Voltaire mentions. He eafily faw it behoved him to make it more minute and circumftantial: he therefore reprefents himself to have shewed, that it would baffle and difappoint all the efforts of the enemy for forty-feven days; but that at the expiration of this

De Bello, 3.7.9.

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