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1 This fact, that one Joseph was made high priest for a single day, on occasion of the action here specified, that befell Matthias, the real high priest, in his sleep, the night before the great day of expiation, is attested to both in the Mishna and Talmud, as Dr. Hudson here informs us. And indeed, from this fact, thus fully attested, we may confute that pretended rule in the Talmud here mentioned, and endeavored to be excused lay Reland, that the high priest was not suffered to sleep the night before that great day of expiation; which watching would surely rather unfit him for the many important duties he was to perform on that solemn day, than dispose him duly to perform them. Nor do such Talmudical rules, when unsupported by better evidence, much less when contradicted there by, seem to me of weight enough to deserve that so great a man as Reland should spend his time in endeavors at their vindication.
2 This eclipse of the moon (which is the only eclipse of either of the luminaries mentioned by our Josephus in any of his writings) is of the greatest consequence for the determination of the time for the death of Herod and Antipater, and for the birth and entire chronology of Jesus Christ. It happened March 13th, in the year of the Julian period 4710, and the 4th year before the Christian era. See its calculation by the rules of astronomy, at the end of the Astronomical Lectures, edit. Lat. p. 451, 452.
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