Home About Network of subjects Linked subjects heatmap Book indices included Search by subject Search by reference Browse subjects Browse texts

Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



7236
Josephus Flavius, Against Apion, 1.305-1.309


πλάσμασι, δῆλος συντεθεικὼς κατὰ πολλὴν ἀπέχθειαν: λέγει γὰρ ἐπὶ Βοχχόρεως τοῦ Αἰγυπτίων βασιλέως τὸν λαὸν τῶν ̓Ιουδαίων λεπροὺς ὄντας καὶ ψωροὺς καὶ ἄλλα νοσήματά τινα ἐχόντων εἰς τὰ ἱερὰ καταφεύγοντας μεταιτεῖν τροφήν. παμπόλλων δὲ ἀνθρώπων νοσηλείᾳ περιπεσόντων ἀκαρπίαν ἐν τῇ Αἰγύπτῳ γενέσθαι.His words are these:—“The people of the Jews being leprous and scabby, and subject to certain other kinds of distempers, in the days of Bocchoris, king of Egypt, they fled to the temples, and got their food there by begging; and as the numbers were very great that were fallen under these diseases, there arose a scarcity in Egypt.


Βόχχοριν δὲ τὸν τῶν Αἰγυπτίων βασιλέα εἰς ̓́Αμμωνος πέμψαι περὶ τῆς ἀκαρπίας τοὺς μαντευσομένους, τὸν θεὸν δὲ ἐρεῖν τὰ ἱερὰ καθᾶραι ἀπ' ἀνθρώπων ἀνάγνων καὶ δυσσεβῶν ἐκβάλλοντα αὐτοὺς ἐκ τῶν ἱερῶν εἰς τόπους ἐρήμους, τοὺς δὲ ψωροὺς καὶ λεπροὺς βυθίσαι, ὡς τοῦ ἡλίου ἀγανακτοῦντος ἐπὶ τῇ τούτων ζωῇHereupon Bocchoris, the king of Egypt, sent some to consult the oracle of [Jupiter] Hammon about this scarcity. The god’s answer was this, that he must purge his temples of impure and impious men, by expelling them out of those temples into desert places; but as to the scabby and leprous people, he must drown them, and purge his temples, the sun having an indignation at these men being suffered to live; and by this means the land will bring forth its fruits.


καὶ τὰ ἱερὰ ἁγνίσαι καὶ οὕτω τὴν γῆν καρποφορήσειν. τὸν δὲ Βόκχοριν τοὺς χρησμοὺς λαβόντα τούς τε ἱερεῖς καὶ ἐπιβωμίτας προσκαλεσάμενον κελεῦσαι ἐπιλογὴν ποιησαμένους τῶν ἀκαθάρτων τοῖς στρατιώταις τούτους παραδοῦναι κατάξειν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὴν ἔρημον, τοὺς δὲ λεπροὺς εἰς μολιβδίνους χάρτας ἐνδήσαντας, ἵνα καθῶσινUpon Bocchoris’s having received these oracles, he called for their priests, and the attendants upon their altars, and ordered them to make a collection of the impure people, and to deliver them to the soldiers, to carry them away into the desert; but to take the leprous people, and wrap them in sheets of lead, and let them down into the sea.


εἰς τὸ πέλαγος. βυθισθέντων δὲ τῶν λεπρῶν καὶ ψωρῶν τοὺς ἄλλους συναθροισθέντας εἰς τόπους ἐρήμους ἐκτεθῆναι ἐπ' ἀπωλείᾳ, συναχθέντας δὲ βουλεύσασθαι περὶ αὑτῶν, νυκτὸς δὲ ἐπιγενομένης πῦρ καὶ λύχνους καύσαντας φυλάττειν ἑαυτοὺς τήν τ' ἐπιοῦσαν νύκτα νηστεύσαντας ἱλάσκεσθαι τοὺς θεοὺς περὶ τοῦ σῶσαι αὐτούς.Hereupon the scabby and leprous people were drowned, and the rest were gotten together, and sent into desert places, in order to be exposed to destruction. In this case they assembled themselves together, and took counsel what they should do; and determined, that, as the night was coming on, they should kindle fires and lamps, and keep watch; that they also should fast the next night, and propitiate the gods, in order to obtain deliverance from them.


τῇ δ' ἐπιούσῃ ἡμέρᾳ Μωσῆν τινα συμβουλεῦσαι αὐτοῖς παραβαλλομένοις μίαν ὁδὸν τέμνειν ἄχρι ἂν ὅτου ἔλθωσιν εἰς τόπους οἰκουμένους, παρακελεύσασθαί τε αὐτοῖς μήτε ἀνθρώπων τινὶ εὐνοήσειν μήτε ἄριστα συμβουλεύσειν ἀλλὰ τὰ χείροναThat on the next day, there was one Moses, who advised them that they should venture upon a journey, and go along one road till they should come to places fit for habitation: that he charged them to have no kind regards for any man, nor give good counsel to any, but always to advise them for the worst; and to overturn all those temples and altars of the gods they should meet with:


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

3 results
1. Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 1.28.2, 40.3, 40.3.2, 40.3.4-40.3.5 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.28.2.  They say also that those who set forth with Danaus, likewise from Egypt, settled what is practically the oldest city in Greece, Argos, and that the nation of the Colchi in Pontus and that of the Jews, which lies between Arabia and Syria, were founded as colonies by certain emigrants from their country;
2. Philo of Alexandria, Against Flaccus, 41 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

41. And when the multitude perceived this, I do not mean the ordinary and well-regulated population of the city, but the mob which, out of its restlessness and love of an unquiet and disorderly life, was always filling every place with tumult and confusion, and who, because of their habitual idleness and laziness, were full of treachery and revolutionary plans, they, flocking to the theatre the first thing in the morning, having already purchased Flaccus for a miserable price, which he with his mad desire for glory and with his slavish disposition, condescended to take to the injury not only of himself, but also of the safety of the commonwealth, all cried out, as if at a signal given, to erect images in the synagogues
3. Josephus Flavius, Against Apion, 1.229, 1.239-1.240, 1.248-1.250, 1.289, 1.306-1.309, 2.10-2.27 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.229. but after this he permits himself, in order to appear to have written what rumors and reports passed abroad about the Jews, and introduces incredible narrations, as if he would have the Egyptian multitude, that had the leprosy and other distempers, to have been mixed with us, as he says they were, and that they were condemned to fly out of Egypt together; 1.239. He then, in the first place, made this law for them, that they should neither worship Egyptian gods, nor should abstain from any one of those sacred animals, which they have in the highest esteem, but kill and destroy them all; that they should join themselves to nobody but to those that were of this confederacy.— 1.248. And this was the state of things in Ethiopia. But for the people of Jerusalem, when they came down together with the polluted Egyptians, they treated the men in such a barbarous manner, that those who saw how they subdued the forementioned country, and the horrid wickedness they were guilty of, thought it a most dreadful thing; 1.249. for they did not only set the cities and villages on fire, but were not satisfied till they had been guilty of sacrilege, and destroyed the images of the gods, and used them in roasting those sacred animals that used to be worshipped, and forced the priests and prophets to be the executioners and murderers of those animals, and then ejected them naked out of the country. 1.306. Hereupon Bocchoris, the king of Egypt, sent some to consult the oracle of [Jupiter] Hammon about this scarcity. The god’s answer was this, that he must purge his temples of impure and impious men, by expelling them out of those temples into desert places; but as to the scabby and leprous people, he must drown them, and purge his temples, the sun having an indignation at these men being suffered to live; and by this means the land will bring forth its fruits. 1.307. Upon Bocchoris’s having received these oracles, he called for their priests, and the attendants upon their altars, and ordered them to make a collection of the impure people, and to deliver them to the soldiers, to carry them away into the desert; but to take the leprous people, and wrap them in sheets of lead, and let them down into the sea. 1.308. Hereupon the scabby and leprous people were drowned, and the rest were gotten together, and sent into desert places, in order to be exposed to destruction. In this case they assembled themselves together, and took counsel what they should do; and determined, that, as the night was coming on, they should kindle fires and lamps, and keep watch; that they also should fast the next night, and propitiate the gods, in order to obtain deliverance from them. 1.309. That on the next day, there was one Moses, who advised them that they should venture upon a journey, and go along one road till they should come to places fit for habitation: that he charged them to have no kind regards for any man, nor give good counsel to any, but always to advise them for the worst; and to overturn all those temples and altars of the gods they should meet with: 2.11. that, he also set up pillars instead of gnomons, under which was represented a cavity like that of a boat, and the shadow that fell from their tops fell down upon that cavity, that it might go round about the like course as the sun itself goes round in the other.” 2.11. Now, if he knew the purity of our temple, he hath entirely omitted to take notice of it; but he forges a story about the seizing of a Grecian, about ineffable food, and the most delicious preparation of dainties; and pretends that strangers could go into a place whereinto the noblest men among the Jews are not allowed to enter, unless they be priests. 2.12. This is that wonderful relation which we have given us by this great grammarian. But that it is a false one is so plain, that it stands in need of few words to prove it, but is manifest from the works of Moses; for when he erected the first tabernacle to God, he did himself neither give order for any such kind of representation to be made at it, nor ordain that those who came after him should make such a one. Moreover, when in a future age Solomon built his temple in Jerusalem, he avoided all such needless decorations as Apion hath here devised. 2.12. though it seems this lamp-bearer of ours opened them easily, or thought he opened them, as he thought he had the ass’s head in his hand. Whether, therefore, he returned it to us again, or whether Apion took it and brought it into the temple again, that Antiochus might find it, and afford a handle for a second fable of Apion’s, is uncertain. 2.13. He says farther, “How he had heard of the ancient men, that Moses was of Heliopolis.” To be sure that was because, being a younger man himself, he believed those that by their elder age were acquainted and conversed with him. 2.13. for it is not reasonable to imitate the clownish ignorance of Apion who hath no regard to the misfortunes of the Athenians, or of the Lacedemonians, the latter of whom were styled by all men the most courageous, and the former the most religious, of the Grecians. 2.14. Now, this [man], grammarian as he was, could not certainly tell which was the poet Homer’s country, no more than he could which was the country of Pythagoras, who lived comparatively but a little while ago; yet does he thus easily determine the age of Moses, who preceded them such a vast number of years, as depending on his ancient men’s relation, which shows how notorious a liar he was. 2.14. However, if any one should ask Apion which of the Egyptians he thinks to be the most wise, and most pious of them all, he would certainly acknowledge the priests to be so; 2.15. But then as to this chronological determination of the time when he says he brought the leprous people, the blind, and the lame, out of Egypt, see how well this most accurate grammarian of ours agrees with those that have written before him. 2.15. and if I be compelled to make mention of the laws of other nations, that are contrary to ours, those ought deservedly to thank themselves for it, who have pretended to depreciate our laws in comparison of their own; nor will there, I think, be any room after that for them to pretend, either that we have no such laws ourselves, an epitome of which I will present to the reader, or that we do not, above all men, continue in the observation of them. /p 2.16. Manetho says that the Jews departed out of Egypt, in the reign of Tethmosis, three hundred and ninety-three years before Danaus fled to Argos; Lysimachus says it was under king Bocchoris, that is, one thousand seven hundred years ago; 2.16. When he had therefore come to such a good resolution, and had performed such wonderful exploits, we had just reason to look upon ourselves as having him for a divine governor and counsellor; and when he had first persuaded himself that his actions and designs were agreeable to God’s will, he thought it his duty to impress, above all things, that notion upon the multitude; for those who have once believed that God is the inspector of their lives, will not permit themselves in any sin; 2.17. Molo and some others determined it as every one pleased; but this Apion of ours, as deserving to be believed before them, hath determined it exactly to have been in the seventh olympiad, and the first year of that olympiad; the very same year in which he says that Carthage was built by the Phoenicians. The reason why he added this building of Carthage was, to be sure, in order, as he thought, to strengthen his assertion by so evident a character of chronology. But he was not aware that this character confutes his assertion; 2.17. The reason why the constitution of this legislation was ever better directed to the utility of all than other legislations were, is this, that Moses did not make religion a part of virtue, but he saw and he ordained other virtues to be parts of religion; I mean justice, and fortitude, and temperance, and a universal agreement of the members of the community with one another; 2.18. for if we may give credit to the Phoenician records as to the time of the first coming of their colony to Carthage, they relate that Hirom their king was above one hundred and fifty years earlier than the building of Carthage; concerning whom I have formerly produced testimonials out of those Phoenician records 2.18. for no other people but we Jews have avoided all discourses about God that any way contradict one another, which yet are frequent among other nations; and this is true not only among ordinary persons, according as every one is affected, but some of the philosophers have been insolent enough to indulge such contradictions, while some of them have undertaken to use such words as entirely take away the nature of God, as others of them have taken away his providence over mankind. 2.19. as also that this Hirom was a friend of Solomon when he was building the temple of Jerusalem, and gave him great assistance in his building that temple, while still Solomon himself built that temple, six hundred and twelve years after the Jews came out of Egypt. 2.19. What are the things then that we are commanded or forbidden?—They are simply and easily known. The first command is concerning God, and affirms that God contains all things, and is a being every way perfect and happy, self-sufficient, and supplying all other beings; the beginning, the middle, and the end of all things. He is manifest in his works and benefits, and more conspicuous than any other being whatsoever, but as to his form and magnitude, he is most obscure. 2.21. for he says, that “when the Jews had travelled a six days’ journey, they had buboes in their groins: and that on this account it was that they rested on the seventh day, as having got safely to that country which is now called Judea; that then they preserved the language of the Egyptians, and called that day the Sabbath, for that malady of buboes in their groin was named Sabbatosis by the Egyptians.” 2.21. Accordingly our legislator admits all those that have a mind to observe our laws, so to do; and this after a friendly manner, as esteeming that a true union, which not only extends to our own stock, but to those that would live after the same manner with us; yet does he not allow those that come to us by accident only to be admitted into communion with us. /p 2.22. And would not a man now laugh at this fellow’s trifling, or rather hate his impudence in writing thus? We must, it seems, take it for granted, that all these hundred and ten thousand men must have these buboes! 2.22. 32. Nay, indeed, in case it had so fallen out, that our nation had not been so thoroughly known among all men as they are, and our voluntary submission to our laws had not been so open and manifest as it is 2.23. But, for certain, if those men had been blind and lame, and had all sorts of distempers upon them, as Apion says they had, they could not have gone one single day’s journey; but if they had been all able to travel over a large desert, and, besides that, to fight and conquer those that opposed them, they had not all of them had buboes in their groins after the sixth day was over; 2.23. while they made use of other men as their servants for all the necessaries of life, and had their food prepared for them by the others: and these good and humane actions they do for no other purpose but this, that by their actions and their sufferings they may be able to conquer all those against whom they make war. 2.24. for no such distemper comes naturally and of necessity upon those that travel; but still, when there are many ten thousands in a camp together, they constantly march a settled space [in a day]. Nor is it at all probable that such a thing should happen by chance: this would be prodigiously absurd to be supposed. 2.24. uch as these, that they may be allowed to be as numerous as they have a mind to have them; that they are begotten one by another, and that after all the kinds of generation you can imagine. They also distinguish them in their places and ways of living, as they would distinguish several sorts of animals: as some to be under the earth; as some to be in the sea; and the ancientest of them all to be bound in hell; 2.25. However, our admirable author Apion hath before told us, that “they came to Judea in six days’ time;” and again, that “Moses went up to a mountain that lay between Egypt and Arabia, which was called Sinai, and was concealed there forty days, and that when he came down from thence he gave laws to the Jews.” But then, how was it possible for them to tarry forty days in a desert place where there was no water, and at the same time to pass all over the country between that and Judea in the six days? 2.25. 36. Wherefore it deserves our inquiry what should be the occasion of this unjust management, and of these scandals about the Deity. And truly I suppose it to be derived from the imperfect knowledge the heathen legislators had at first of the true nature of God; nor did they explain to the people even so far as they did comprehend of it: nor did they compose the other parts of their political settlements according to it 2.26. And as for this grammatical translation of the word Sabbath, it either contains an instance of his great impudence or gross ignorance; 2.26. and perhaps there may be some reason to blame the rigid severity of the Lacedemonians, for they bestowed the privilege of their city on no foreigners, nor indeed would give leave to them to stay among them; 2.27. for the words iSabboand iSabbathare widely different from one another; for the word Sabbath in the Jewish language denotes rest from all sorts of work; but the word Sabbo, as he affirms, denotes among the Egyptians the malady of a bubo in the groin. /p 2.27. And to be sure Apollonius was greatly pleased with the laws of the Persians, and was an admirer of them, because the Greeks enjoyed the advantage of their courage, and had the very same opinion about the gods which they had. This last was exemplified in the temples which they burnt, and their courage in coming, and almost entirely enslaving the Grecians. However, Apollonius has imitated all the Persian institutions, and that by his offering violence to other men’s wives, and castrating his own sons.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
anderson, gary Gardner, The Origins of Organized Charity in Rabbinic Judaism (2015) 5
apion Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 139
apocalypticism/apocalyptic Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 139
begging, at sacred spaces Gardner, The Origins of Organized Charity in Rabbinic Judaism (2015) 5
begging, shame of Gardner, The Origins of Organized Charity in Rabbinic Judaism (2015) 5
begging Gardner, The Origins of Organized Charity in Rabbinic Judaism (2015) 5
cadmus Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 29
chaeremon Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 139
collection, problem of Gardner, The Origins of Organized Charity in Rabbinic Judaism (2015) 5
danaus Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 29
dignity Gardner, The Origins of Organized Charity in Rabbinic Judaism (2015) 5
egypt, jews expelled from Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 29
emperor cult l Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 139
exodus story, egyptian rewritings Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 139
food Gardner, The Origins of Organized Charity in Rabbinic Judaism (2015) 5
gift exchange Gardner, The Origins of Organized Charity in Rabbinic Judaism (2015) 5
hecataeus of abdera, jewish excursus in appendix of the origo section Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 29
hecataeus of abdera, on high priests Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 29
hecataeus of abdera, on the egyptians Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 29
high priests, hecataeus on Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 29
identity emergence, under roman rule Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 139
jews, expelled from egypt Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 29
jews, hostile toward strangers Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 29
kitos war/diaspora revolt Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 139
lysimachus Gardner, The Origins of Organized Charity in Rabbinic Judaism (2015) 5
manetho Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 139
moses, hecataeus on Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 29
philo, on the pogrom/riots of Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 139
potters oracle Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 139
shame' Gardner, The Origins of Organized Charity in Rabbinic Judaism (2015) 5