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1 HOW, AFTER THE DEATH OF ANTIOCHUS, HYRCANUS MADE AN EXPEDITION AGAINST SYRIA, AND MADE A LEAGUE WITH THE ROMANS. CONCERNING THE DEATH OF KING DEMETRIUS AND ALEXANDER.
2 This account of the Idumeans admitting circumcision, and the entire Jewish law, from this time, or from the days of Hyrcanus, is confirmed by their entire history afterward. See Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 8. sect. 1; B. XV. ch. 7. sect. 9. Of the War, B. II. ch. 3. sect. 1; B. IV. ch. 4. sect. 5. This, in the opinion of Josephus, made them proselytes of justice, or entire Jews, as here and elsewhere, Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 8. sect. 1. However, Antigonus, the enemy of Herod, though Herod were derived from such a proselyte of justice for several generations, will allow him to be no more than a half Jew, B. XV. ch. 15. sect. 2. .But still, take out of Dean Prideaux, at the year 129, the words of Ammouius, a grammarian, which fully confirm this account of the Idumeans in Josephus: "The Jews," says he, are such by nature, and from the beginning, whilst the Idumeans were not Jews from the beginning, but Phoenicians and Syrians; but being afterward subdued by the Jews, and compelled to be circumcised, and to unite into one nation, and be subject to the same laws, they were called Jews." Dio also says, as the Dean there quotes him, from Book XXXVI. p. 37, "That country is called Judea, and the people Jews; and this name is given also to as many others as embrace their religion, though of other nations." But then upon what foundation so good a governor as Hyrcanus took upon him to compel those Idumeans either to become Jews, or to leave the country, deserves great consideration. I suppose it was because they had long ago been driven out of the land of Edom, and had seized on and possessed the tribe of Simeon, and all the southern parts of the tribe of Judah, which was the peculiar inheritance of the worshippers of the true God without idolatry, as the reader may learn from Reland, Palestine, Part I. p. 154, 305; and from Prideaux, at the years 140 and 165.
3 In this decree of the Roman senate, it seems that these ambassadors were sent from the "people of the Jews," as well as from their prince or high priest, John Hyrcanus.
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