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[426] So Ptolemy complied with his proposals, and gave him a place one hundred and eighty furlongs distant from Memphis. 1 That Nomos was called the Nomos of Hellopolls, where Onias built a fortress and a temple, not like to that at Jerusalem, but such as resembled a tower. He built it of large stones to the height of sixty cubits; he made the structure of the altar in imitation of that in our own country, and in like manner adorned with gifts, excepting the make of the candlestick, for he did not make a candlestick, but had a [single] lamp hammered out of a piece of gold, which illuminated the place with its rays, and which he hung by a chain of gold; but the entire temple was encompassed with a wall of burnt brick, though it had gates of stone. The king also gave him a large country for a revenue in money, that both the priests might have a plentiful provision made for them, and that God might have great abundance of what things were necessary for his worship. Yet did not Onias do this out of a sober disposition, but he had a mind to contend with the Jews at Jerusalem, and could not forget the indignation he had for being banished thence. Accordingly, he thought that by building this temple he should draw away a great number from them to himself. There had been also a certain ancient prediction made by [a prophet] whose name was Isaiah, about six hundred years before, that this temple should be built by a man that was a Jew in Egypt. And this is the history of the building of that temple.

1 We must observe, that Josephus here speaks of Antiochus who profaned the temple as now alive, when Onias had leave given them by Philometer to build his temple; whereas it seems not to have been actually built till about fifteen years afterwards. Yet, because it is said in the Antiquities that Onias went to Philometer, B. XII. ch. 9. sect. 7, during the lifetime of that Antiochus, it is probable he petitioned, and perhaps obtained his leave then, though it were not actually built or finished till fifteen years afterward.

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