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[74] Now it came to pass that the Alexandrian Jews, and those Samaritans who paid their worship to the temple that was built in the days of Alexander at Mount Gerizzim, did now make a sedition one against another, and disputed about their temples before Ptolemy himself; the Jews saying that, according to the laws of Moses, the temple was to be built at Jerusalem; and the Samaritans saying that it was to be built at Gerizzim. They desired therefore the king to sit with his friends, and hear the debates about these matters, and punish those with death who were baffled. Now Sabbeus and Theodosius managed the argument for the Samaritans, and Andronicus, the son of Messalamus, for the people of Jerusalem; and they took an oath by God and the king to make their demonstrations according to the law; and they desired of Ptolemy, that whomsoever he should find that transgressed what they had sworn to, he would put him to death. Accordingly, the king took several of his friends into the council, and sat down, in order to hear what the pleaders said. Now the Jews that were at Alexandria were in great concern for those men, whose lot it was to contend for the temple at Jerusalem; for they took it very ill that any should take away the reputation of that temple, which was so ancient and so celebrated all over the habitable earth. Now when Sabbeus and Tlteodosius had given leave to Andronicus to speak first, he began to demonstrate out of the law, and out of the successions of the high priests, how they every one in succession from his father had received that dignity, and ruled over the temple; and how all the kings of Asia had honored that temple with their donations, and with the most splendid gifts dedicated thereto. But as for that at Gerizzm, he made no account of it, and regarded it as if it had never had a being. By this speech, and other arguments, Andronicus persuaded the king to determine that the temple at Jerusalem was built according to the laws of Moses, 1 and to put Sabbeus and Theodosius to death. And these were the events that befell the Jews at Alexandria in the days of Ptolemy Philometor.

2

1 A very unfair disputation this! while the Jewish disputant, knowing that he could not properly prove out of the Pentateuch, that "the place which the Lord their God shall choose to place his name there," so often referred to in the Book of Deuteronomy, was Jerusalem any more than Gerizzim, that being not determined till the days of David, Antiq. B. VII. ch. 13. sect. 4, proves only, what the Samaritans did not deny, that the temple at Jerusalem was much more ancient, and much more celebrated and honored, than that at Gerizzim, which was nothing to the present purpose. The whole evidence, by the very oaths of both parties, being, we see, obliged to be confined to the law of Moses, or to the Pentateuch alone. However, worldly policy and interest and the multitude prevailing, the court gave sentence, as usual, on the stronger side. and poor Sabbeus and Theodosius, the Samaritan disputants, were martyred, and this, so far as appears, without any direct hearing at all, which is like the usual practice of such political courts about matters of religion. Our copies say that the body of the Jews were in a great concern about those men (in the plural) who were to dispute for their temple at Jerusalem, whereas it seems here they had but one disputant, Andronicus by name. Perhaps more were prepared to speak on the Jews' side; but the firstraying answered to his name, and overcome the Samaritans, there was necessity for any other defender of the Jerusalem temple.

2 HOW ALEXANDER HONORED JONATHAN AFTER AN EXTRAORDINARY MANNER; AND HOW DEMETRIUS, THE SON OF DEMETRIUS, OVERCAME ALEXANDER AND MADE A LEAGUE OF FRIENDSHIP WITH JONATHAN.

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