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[80] This calamity happened in the six hundredth year of Noah's government, [age,] in the second month, 1 called by the Macedonians Dius, but by the Hebrews Marchesuan: for so did they order their year in Egypt. But Moses appointed that ยท Nisan, which is the same with Xanthicus, should be the first month for their festivals, because he brought them out of Egypt in that month: so that this month began the year as to all the solemnities they observed to the honor of God, although he preserved the original order of the months as to selling and buying, and other ordinary affairs. Now he says that this flood began on the twenty-seventh [seventeenth] day of the forementioned month; and this was two thousand six hundred and fifty-six [one thousand six hundred and fifty-six] years from Adam, the first man; and the time is written down in our sacred books, those who then lived having noted down, 2 with great accuracy, both the births and deaths of illustrious men.

1 Josephus here truly determines, that the year that the Flood began, our Hebrew and Samaritan, and perhaps Josephus's own copy, more rightly placed it on the 17th day, instead of the 27th, as here; for Josephus agrees with them, as to the distance of 150 days to the 17th day of the 7th month, as Genesis 7. ult. with 8:3.

2 Josephus here takes notice, that these ancient genealogies were first set down by those that then lived, and from them were transmitted down to posterity; which I suppose to be the true account of that matter. For there is no reason to imagine that men were not taught to read and write soon after they were taught to speak; and perhaps all by the Messiah himself, who, under the Father, was the Creator or Governor of mankind, and who frequently in those early days appeared to them.

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