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 By such doctrine Moses1 persuaded a large body of right-minded persons to accompany him to the place where Jerusalem now stands. He easily obtained possession of it, as the spot was not such as to excite jealousy, nor for which there could be any fierce contention; for it is rocky, and, although well supplied with water, it is surrounded by a barren and waterless territory.2 The space within [the city] is 60 stadia [in circumference], with rock underneath the surface. Instead of arms, he taught that their defence was in their sacred things and the Divinity, for whom he was desirous of finding a settled place, promising to the people to deliver such a kind of worship and religion as should not burthen those who adopted it with great expense, nor molest them with [so-called] divine possessions, nor other absurd practices. Moses thus obtained their good opinion, and established no ordinary kind of government. All the nations around willingly united themselves to him, allured by his discourses and promises.
1 Strabo appears to have had little acquaintance with the Jewish history previous to the return from captivity, nor any exact knowledge until the arrival of the Romans in Judæa. Of the Bible he does not seem to have had any knowledge.
2 Probably Strabo copies from accounts when the country was not well cultivated.
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