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various Readings of Ben Ascher and Ben Naphtali of the Oriental and Occidental Jews, and of the Keri and Ketib. But those who are skilled in the Hebrew, even those who are most zealous for the Integrity of the Hebrew Text, tell us, that there are many other various Readings in the Manuscript Bibles, though I know of none who has taken the Pains to make a Collection of them, as Dr. Milles and others have done the various Readings of the New Testament. :
The LXX is the most ancient Translation of the Scriptures that has been made. Some indeed pretend that there was an elder Version of the Jewish Scriptures into Grcek, made about the Time of the Babylonijh Captivity, or soon after, before the Reign of Cyrus, from whence Pythagoras and Plato learned many Things, for which they cite one Ariftobulus, some Fragments of whose Books have been preserved, and handed down to us by Clemens Alexandrinus, Eusebius, and others of the ancient Fathers, who generally accuse the Philosophers of having stolen many of their Doctrines from the holy Scriptures, and corrupted them with a Mixture of their own Notions. But though Ariftobulus and the Fathers accuse them of this Theft, they do not say that the Scriptures, but only some small parts of the Law, were translated into Greek. And this is said only on Conjecture, and not historical Authority. They tell us, that Pythagoras, Plato, and other Philosophers, travelled into Egypt and Babylon, and others Parts where the Jews were dispersed, from conversing with whom they learned many of those Things which were written in the Scriptures, and which could not be known but from thence. All this might easily be done, without a Translation of any Book of the Scriptures into Greek. No Question can be made but that Pythagoras and Plato, and other Philosophers who travelled into Chaldea and Egypt to obtain the Learning of those Countries, and for which Purpose they sojourned there many Years, would, in order to attain that Learning, endeavour to attain a tolerable Knowledge in the Language of the Country where they sojourned, that they might freely converse with the learned Men of those Countries, who before the Macedonian Conquests had no Occasion to learn Greek: The Learning of that Age residing amongst them, and they had no Occasion to seek any from the Greeks. But when the Macedonians had conquered the Persian Empire, and after the Death of Alexander had there erected their several Kingdoms, the Greek became the Court-Language in all those Nations, and the Learning of Egypt and Chaldea was translated into Greek, which by that Means became an universal Language over all those Parts of the World.
When the Greeks were thus become Masters of all those Countries, and had there for a considerable Time firmly established their Empire, Ptolemy Lagis, the first Macedonian King of Egypt, gave great Encourágement to all learned Men to settle in his Dominions : And his Son Prolemy Philadelphus erected a noble Library for their Use at Alexandria his capital City. Demetrius Phalereus, his Library Keeper, acquainted that Prince, that the Law of the Jews ought to have a Place in his Library. The King answered him, that it was his Fault if it was not put there. Demetrius replied, that it must be translated first, because it was written in a Language and Characters unknown to the Egyp
that Pork of the Scribis might“Saland which any of these were difpelled
- Piato, and Greek.done, wild not i
him the Book Solved to write to the
Ancient Version of the Bible. tians. Hereupon the King resolved to write to the High Priest of the Jews to send him the Book, with Interpreters to translate it. Then Aristeas, a great Officer in the Court, and who wrote the History of this Transaction, represented to the King, that he could not send Ambassadors to the Jews, while he kept so many Jews in Slavery in his Kingdom, being no less than 100,000; all which, with their Wives and Children, the King redeemed from their Masters, paying out of his Treasury twenty Drachmas a Head for every one. Then Demetrius acquainted hiin, that it would be convenient to write to the High Priest at Jerusalem, to send him fix Men out of every Tribe, noted for their Learning, Virtue and Age, to make an exact Version of the Books of the Jews. Aristeas gives us a Copy of the King's Letter to Eleazar the High Priest, and the Names of the 72 Persons sent to translate the Law, with an Account of the magnificent Presents the King made to the High Priest, to the Temple at Jerusalem, and to the 72 Interpreters, so that, as Dean Prideaux has computed, the whole Expence the King was at on this Occasion amounted to near two Millions of our Money. Demetrius conducted the Interpreters to a House prepared for them in the land Pharus, where in 72 Days they finished their Version.
Ariftobulus, who was Tutor to Ptolemy Physcon, Philo also, who lived in our Saviour's Time, and was Contemporary to the Apostles, and Josephus, who saw and wrote the History of the Destruction of Jerufalem by the Romans, all speak of this Translation as made by 72 Interpreters, by the Care of Demetrius Phalereus, under the Reign of Ptolemy Philadelpus. And all Christians, who inention how this Translation' was made, for 1500 Years, speak of it as made by 72 Interpreters (or by 70, which is the nearest round Number to 72, and from thence gave it the Naine of the Septuagint) in the Time of Ptolemy Philadelphis, without any Exception. It is true, they have differed in several Circumstances relating to the Manner of their Translating, as whether they were shut up every Interpreter in a Cell by himself, or whether there were two in one Cell, or whether they conferred all together as often as they pleased, and other Circumftantials : But in the main both Jews and Christians were agreed until after the Year 1500, that this most ancient Greek Translation was made by 72, or, as called for the Sake of the round Number, 70 Interpreters, in the Time of Ptolemy. Philadelphus. But since that Time Criticks are arisen who question every Thing; and not only the Circumstances wherein the Ancients both jews and Christians differ in their Relation, but even where they all agree, are denied. They question whether this Version was made in the Reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus, by 72 Persons. And say, were not 12 enough, and more than sufficient?
Du Pin, who, in his Compleat History of the Canon of Scripture, has rejected all the 'Accounts given by Aristeas, Ariftobulus, Philo, JoJephus, and the Ancient Fathers concerning this Translation, as fabulous Stories, yet grants the Transation to be as old as the Reign of Phila. delphus. For, speaking of the History of Aristeas, the ancienteft and most particular of all that is written concerning this Matter, he says, " That how fabulous foever it be in its Circumstances, it has a true
“ Foundation: Aristeas, and the other j ws of Al. xandria, would never 6 have wrote such Things, had not ihe Law been translated into Greek « by the Jews in the Reign of Ptolen.y Philade.phus. There must be “ some Truth that hath given Rise to his Fable, and that this Prince “ did in Effret demand, and cause to be made a Greek Version of the " Books of the Law." Well then, thus much is granted by one of the greatest Adversaries to this Version; and I know of none that have absolutely denied this Antiquity. Dean Prideaux, who seems to be one of the greatest Adversaries to this Tranflation, allows the five Books of Mofes to have been translated in the Time of Ptolemy Philadelphus by the Alexandrian Jews, and repofited in his Library. But if Philadelphus, or his Library-Keeper, desired to have these Books of the Jews, why should they not rather desire to have them from JeruFalem, the Fountain Head, than from the Alexandrian Jews ? Dr. Prideaux himself tells us, 66 That they seized all the Books, that were by “ any Greek or other Foreigner brought into Egypt, and sending them “ to the Mufæum, caused them there to be written out by those of that « Society, whom they there maintained, and then sent the Transcripts " to the Owners, and kept the Originals to lay up in the Library." This thews that they were curiously nice to have the best and most authentick Copies in their Library. Can we think then, that when they wanted the Books of the fews, they would not rather send for them to Jerusalem, which was in a bordering Country, and under Ptolemy's jurisdiction, than take it from an Alexandrian Copy? And to desire a Copy immediately taken from the Original reposited in the Temple? And as that Copy was in a Language the wise Men of Egypt understood not, to desire a Number of Translators well versed both in the Hebrew and Greek, who might soon make a faithful Translation of it? This was certainly the best Method to fecure a good Translation of this Book
But lays Du Pin, “ Why must 72 Perfons be sent to make this « Tranviation ? Were not 12 enough, and more than sufficient to “ accomplish it? This great Number was fit for nothing but to con6 found the Work," It may be answered, that such a Number of Persons was convenient, and would be so far from confounding the Work, that it would forward it very much. Indeed, in a Number of Years one Man might translate the whole, as we know St. Jerom did, and others have done since : But where a Translation is foon wanted, a Number is necessary. When our King James I. ordered a new Translation of the Bible, no fewer than 54 Persons were appointed for, and laboured in that Work. Each Man had bis Part allotted him to translate, and then it was supervised and corrected until it was approved by the rest. And 72 Perlons might very well do the fame. The Number 70, OF 72, is therefore no Argument against that Number of Interpreters. But says Dean Prideaux, it was done by Alexandrians, for it is in the Alexandrian Dialect. But I conceive the Alexandrian and Jewish Greek Dialect was the same at that Time : For both learned that Language from the Macedonians, which was hardly formed into different Dialects between the Conquest made by Alexander and the Reign of Philadelphus. Then he also pretends that only the
Law, and not the rest of the Scriptures, were translated at that Time, because the different Books are found written in different Styles, and the same Hebrew Word and Phrases are differently translated in diffe. rent Places. Now as to different Styles, I believe the several Books of Scripture, though they were all to be translated by one Man, would not in all Places bear the same Style, much less when they are trans. lated by several Men : And, in like Manner, several Men translating the same Words and Phrases, will not turn them into the same Words and Phrases of the Language into which they translate. Let but two Men be employed to translate a Chapier of the Bible from the Original into English, and I dare say, though they both translate at the same Time, and their Sense be the same, the Words and Phrases shall be different. But here are supposed to be 72. Translators, each of which translated the Part assigned him: What Wonder then, if in translating the same Hebrew Words and Phrases they should do it different Ways ?
But Dean Prideaux has another stronger Argument to prove that the Law only, and not the rest of the Scriptures, were translated for Ptolemy, and that is, Aristeas, Ariftobulus, Philo and Josephus, do all directly tell us that the Law only was translated. Now these four being the most ancient of all that have written concerning this Matter, their T'esti. mony is of the greatest Weight. But in the first Place I must obferve, that the learned Dean was under a great Mistake when he named Ariftobulus as telling us that the 72 interpreted the Law only: For in a Fragment cited from him by Eusebius (Præp. Evan. I. 1.) he asserts the direct contrary, saying, That the whole facred Scripture was rightly translated through the Means of Demetrius Phalereus, and by the Command of Philadelphus the King. And what Aristeas and Philo call the Law, may very well be understood to comprehend the whole Jewish Scripture: It is certain tidt Word did often comprehend the whole Scripture in our Saviour's Time, and no Doubt before. Thus our Lord says, John xv. 25. It is written in their Law, they hated me without a Cause: Yet this is no where written in the Pentateuch, but Pfal. xxxv. 19. Again, John x. 34. Is it not written in your Law, I said, ye are Gods? These Words refer to Pfal. lxxxii. 6; And 1 Corinthians xiv. 21. St. Paul says, In the Law it is written, with Men of other Tongues, and other Lips, will I speak unto this people. Yet there is no fuch Text in the Law of Moses, but in Isaiah xxviii. 11. This is a sufficient Answer to what is alledged from diffeas and Philo, who men. tion only the Law when they speak of this Translation : Since that Word may 'very well be understood to comprehend all the Scriptures of the Jewish Church.
But then, as to Josephus, the learned Dean fays, that He more expresly tells us in his Preface to his Antiquities, that they did not transate for Ptolemy the whole Scriptures, but the Law only. But to this Teitimony we may juftly oppose that of Ariftobulus, who says, they did translate all the boly Scriptures at the Command of Philadelphus the King, as before observed. Now Ariftobulus was an Alexandrian Jew, Tutor to an Egyptian King, consequently it cannot be doubted but he had free Access to the Mufæum, and saw the Translation made by the 72, and there
reposited; reposited ; and therefore could not but know whether all the Books of Scripture were contained in it or not. Besides, he lived, according to the learned Deal's own Computation, within ico Years after the Translation was made ; whereas Josephus lived not until 300 Years or more after this Translation was inade, and many Years after it was burnt with all the rest of that noble Library : So that he could never see the original MS. there reposited by Demetrius Phalerens, as Aristobulus did. It is certain, from what he relates of this Matter, that he took his Account of it from Arifleas; who having mentioned only the Law, Josephus took that Word in the strict Sense, as if it implied only the Pentateuch, whereas the Jews (for Christ and his Apostles were Jews, and spake what I have before cited to Jews) often comprehended the whole. Scriptures under that Word, and so might Arifteas, though Jofephus miftook him. And the positive Testimony of Ariftobulus is certainly preferable to that of 7 ofephus, both as he lived so much nearer to the Time when this Translation was made, and saw the original Book which was reposited in the Ptolemæun Library. ,
But Dean Prideaux seems to make it a Question, Whether there ever was such an Author as Aristobulus, who wrote Commentaries upon the five Books of Moles : Consequently Clemens Alexandrinus and Eufebius, who have cited large Extracts from hin, were imposed upon by a spurious Author ; who, as Dr. Hody conjectures, lived in the second Century after Christ, and forged a Book under the Name of Airistolulus, which he imposed upon Clemens, who lived and wrote in that Century, as the Work of a more ancient Author. But is it likely that fo learned a Man'as Clemens, so well versed in all ancient Authors, should be imposed upon, and, made believe that a Book which never appeared until his own Time, was written by one who lived fome hundred of Years before? But let us hear the Reasons why they could not be written by that Arifobulus, whose Name they bear. .“ He is said, 2 Maccab. i. 10. to have been King Ptolemy's Master, “ in the 188th Year of the Æra of Contracts, when it was by no « Means likely he could have been in that Office. For the Prolemy
that then reigned in Egypt was Prolemy Płylcon, and the 188th Year “ of the Æra ot Contracts was the twenty-first Year of his Reign, and ļ the fifty-sixth after his Father's Death, and therefore he must then “ have been fixty Years old, if not more.” But when the Dean wrote, if not more, he had forgot that he had before told us that Philometer Physcon's elder Brother was but fix Years old when their Father died, consequently Physcon might not have been one Year old at that Time. But to proceed with the Dean's own Words..Which is an Age past « being under the Tuition of a Master. If it be said he might ftill re“ tain the Title, though the Office had been over many Years before ; " the Reply hereto will be, that he must then have been of a very great " Age, when mentioned by this Title : For Men use not to be inade “ Tutors to Princes, till of eminent Note, and of mature Age ; forty " is the least we can suppose birn of, when appointed to this Office, if “ he ever were at all in it. And suppofing he was first called to it u when Ptolemy Physcon was ten Years of Age, he must be ninety at « least at the Time when this Title was given him in the Place above