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[247] The decree of those of Pergamus. "When Cratippus was prytanis, on the first day of the month Desius, the decree of the praetors was this: Since the Romans, following the conduct of their ancestors, undertake dangers for the common safety of all mankind, and are ambitious to settle their confederates and friends in happiness, and in firm peace, and since the nation of the Jews, and their high priest Hyrcanus, sent as ambassadors to them, Strato, the son of Theodatus, and Apollonius, the son of Alexander, and Eneas, the son of Antipater, and Aristobulus, the son of Amyntas, and Sosipater, the son of Philip, worthy and good men, who gave a particular account of their affairs, the senate thereupon made a decree about what they had desired of them, that Antiochus the king, the son of Antiochus, should do no injury to the Jews, the confederates of the Romans; and that the fortresses, and the havens, and the country, and whatsoever else he had taken from them, should be restored to them; and that it may be lawful for them to export their goods out of their own havens; and that no king nor people may have leave to export any goods, either out of the country of Judea, or out of their havens, without paying customs, but only Ptolemy, the king of Alexandria, because he is our confederate and friend; and that, according to their desire, the garrison that is in Joppa may be ejected. Now Lucius Pettius, one of our senators, a worthy and good man, gave order that we should take care that these things should be done according to the senate's decree; and that we should take care also that their ambassadors might return home in safety. Accordingly, we admitted Theodorus into our senate and assembly, and took the epistle out his hands, as well as the decree of the senate. And as he discoursed with great zeal about the Jews, and described Hyrcanus's virtue and generosity, and how he was a benefactor to all men in common, and particularly to every body that comes to him, we laid up the epistle in our public records; and made a decree ourselves, that since we also are in confederacy with the Romans, we would do every thing we could for the Jews, according to the senate's decree. Theodorus also, who brought the epistle, desired of our praetors, that they would send Hyrcanus a copy of that decree, as also ambassadors to signify to him the affection of our people to him, and to exhort them to preserve and augment their friendship for us, and be ready to bestow other benefits upon us, as justly expecting to receive proper requitals from us; and desiring them to remember that our ancestors 1 were friendly to the Jews even in the days of Abraham, who was the father of all the Hebrews, as we have [also] found it set down in our public records."

1 We have here a most remarkable and authentic attestation of the citizens of Pergamus, that Abraham was the father of all the Hebrews; that their own ancestors were, in the oldest times, the friends of those Hebrews; and that the public arts of their city, then extant, confirmed the same; which evidence is too strong to be evaded by our present ignorance of the particular occasion of such ancient friendship and alliance between those people. See the like full evidence of the kindred of the Lacedemonians and the Jews; and that became they were both of the posterity of Abraham, by a public epistle of those people to the Jews, preserved in the First Book of the Maccabees, 12:19-23; and thence by Josephus, Antiq. B. XII. ch. 4 sect. 10; both which authentic records are highly valuable. It is also well worthy of observation, what Moses Chorenensis, the principal Armenian historian, informs us of, p. 83, that Arsaces, who raised the Parthian empire, was of the :seed of Abraham by Chetura; and that thereby was accomplished that prediction which said, "Kings of nations shall proceed from thee," Genesis 17:6.

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