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[651] At the same time that these men made this speech to their disciples, a rumor was spread abroad that the king was dying, which made the young men set about the work with greater boldness; they therefore let themselves down from the top of the temple with thick cords, and this at midday, and while a great number of people were in the temple, and cut down that golden eagle with axes. This was presently told to the king's captain of the temple, who came running with a great body of soldiers, and caught about forty of the young men, and brought them to the king. And when he asked them, first of all, whether they had been so hardy as to cut down the golden eagle, they confessed they had done so; and when he asked them by whose command they had done it, they replied, at the command of the law of their country; and when he further asked them how they could be so joyful when they were to be put to death, they replied, because they should enjoy greater happiness after they were dead. 1

1 Since in these two sections we have an evident account of the Jewish opinions in the days of Josephus, about a future happy state, and the resurrection of the dead, as in the New Testament, John 11:24, I shall here refer to the other places in Josephus, before he became a catholic Christian, which concern the same matters. Of the War, B. II. ch. 8. sect. 10, 11; B. III. ch. 8. sect. 4; B. VII. ch. 6. sect. 7; Contr. Apion, B. II. sect. 30; where we may observe, that none of these passages are in his Books of Antiquities, written peculiarly for the use of the Gentiles, to whom he thought it not proper to insist on topics so much out of their way as these were. Nor is this observation to be omitted here, especially on account of the sensible difference we have now before us in Josephus's reason of the used by the Rabbins to persuade their scholars to hazard their lives for the vindication of God's law against images, by Moses, as well as of the answers those scholars made to Herod, when they were caught, and ready to die for the same; I mean as compared with the parallel arguments and answers represented in the Antiquities, B. XVII. ch. 6. sect, 2, 3. A like difference between Jewish and Gentile notions the reader will find in my notes on Antiquities, B. III. ch. 7. sect. 7; B. XV. ch. 9. sect. 1. See the like also in the case of the three Jewish sects in the Antiquities, B. XIII. ch. 5. sect. 9, and ch. 10. sect. 4, 5; B. XVIII. ch. 1. sect. 5; and compared with this in his Wars of the Jews, B. II. ch. 8. sect. 2-14. Nor does St. Paul himself reason to Gentiles at Athens, Acts 17:16-34, as he does to Jews in his Epistles.

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