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1 This language, that Moses, "persuaded himself" that what he did was according to God's will, can mean no more, by Josephus's own constant notions elsewhere, than that he was "firmly persuaded," that he had "fully satisfied himself" that so it was, viz. by the many revelations he had received from God, and the numerous miracles God had enabled him to work, as he both in these very two books against Apion, and in his Antiquities, most clearly and frequently assures us. This is further evident from several passages lower, where he affirms that Moses was no impostor nor deceiver, and where he assures that Moses's constitution of government was no other than a theocracy; and where he says they are to hope for deliverance out of their distresses by prayer to God, and that withal it was owing in part to this prophetic spirit of Moses that the Jews expected a resurrection from the dead. See almost as strange a use of the like words, "to persuade God," Antiq. B. VI. ch. 5. sect. 6.
2 That is, Moses really was, what the heathen legislators pretended to be, under a Divine direction; nor does it yet appear that these pretensions to a supernatural conduct, either in these legislators or oracles, were mere delusions of men without any demoniacal impressions, nor that Josephus took them so to be; as the ancientest and contemporary authors did still believe them to be supernatural.
3 This whole very large passage is corrected by Dr. Hudson from Eusebius's citation of it, Prep. Evangel. viii. 8, which is here not a little different from the present MSS. of Josephus.
4 This expression itself, that "Moses ordained the Jewish government to be a theocracy," may be illustrated by that parallel expression in the Antiquities, B. III. ch. 8. sect. 9, that "Moses left it to God to be present at his sacrifices when he pleased; and when he pleased, to be absent." Both ways of speaking sound harsh in the ears of Jews and Christians, as do several others which Josephus uses to the heathens; but still they were not very improper in him, when he all along thought fit to accommodate himself, both in his Antiquities, and in these his books against Apion, all written for the use of the Greeks and Romans, to their notions and language, and this as far as ever truth would give him leave. Though it be very observable withal, that he never uses such expressions in his books of the War, written originally for the Jews beyond Euphrates, and in their language, in all these cases. However, Josephus directly supposes the Jewish settlement, under Moses, to be a Divine settlement, and indeed no other than a real theocracy.
5 These excellent accounts of the Divine attributes, and that God is not to be at all known in his essence, as also some other clear expressions about the resurrection of the dead, and the state of departed souls, etc., in this late work of Josephus, look more like the exalted notions of the Essens, or rather Ebionite Christians, than those of a mere Jew or Pharisee. The following large accounts also of the laws of Moses, seem to me to show a regard to the higher interpretations and improvements of Moses's laws, derived from Jesus Christ, than to the bare letter of them in the Old Testament, whence alone Josephus took them when he wrote his Antiquities; nor, as I think, can some of these laws, though generally excellent in their kind, be properly now found either in the copies of the Jewish Pentateuch, or in Philo, or in Josephus himself, before he became a Nazarene or Ebionite Christian; nor even all of them among the laws of catholic Christianity themselves. I desire, therefore, the learned reader to consider, whether some of these improvements or interpretations might not be peculiar to the Essens among the Jews, or rather to the Nazarenes or Ebionites among the Christians, though we have indeed but imperfect accounts of those Nazarenes or Ebionite Christians transmitted down to us at this day.
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