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with profound awe, at the extraordinary spectacle, that instead of indulging in revenge, he hastened forward and saluted the man of God with religious veneration. All stood amazed at his singular behaviour; and Parmenio, a favourite of the king, asked the reason of this act of unexpected homage. To this Alexander is said to have replied, that the worship was not offered to the priest, out to his God; in grateful acknowledgment for a vision at Dio, in Macedonia; in which this very priest, and in this very habit, appeared to him, promising to give him the empire of Persia.

Having cordially embraced Jaddua, it is said that Alexander entered Jerusalem, and offered up sacrifices in the temple. The high-priest showed him the prophecies of Daniel, which foretold the subversion of the Persian empire by a Grecian king: by reading these, Alexander went against Darius with still greater confidence of success in his expedition; and, at the request of Jaddua, granted the Jews the free exercise of their religion, the observance of their laws, and exemption from the payment of tribute every seventh year, in which the law required that they should neither reap nor sow. Alexander defeated the immense army of Darius, and the predictions of Daniel were accomplished in his overthrow of the Persians, Dan. ii. 39. viii. 2. 5. 7. 20, 21. x. 20. xi. 2—4.

The conqueror greatly favoured the Jews, and Egypt having submitted to his power, he built Alexandria, and induced multitudes of that people to settle in the new city, granting them equal privileges with the Macedonians. This mighty conqueror died, aged only thirty-two years, B. C. 323; all his family were murdered, and four of his generals divided among themselves the vast dominions of their royal master.

Egypt fell to the lot of Ptolemy Lagus, who invaded Judea, and led a hundred thousand of its people captives into his country: but treating them liberally, many were glad to follow their brethren, on account of the miserable condition into which wars had plunged their native land.

In the year B. C. 292, Simon, surnamed the just, highpriest of the Jews, died. He was a man of singular

wisdom and virtue, and the last of the men of the great synagogue, consisting of one hundred and twenty persons, appointed by Ezra for perfecting the restoration of the Jewish church. Simon the just, it is considered, made the last revision of the books of the Old Testament, and completed the sacred canon by adding the books of Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and Malachi.

The Jews in Egypt forgetting the Hebrew language, procured the sacred books to be translated into Greek for their use, and a copy of them was placed in the royal library of Ptolemy Philadelphus, about the year B. C. 284. This translation of the scriptures into Greek, which is called the septuagint, became commonly used in all the churches of the Jews wherever they were dispersed. "This version, therefore," as Rollin observes, which renders the scriptures of the Old Testament intelligible to a vast number of people, became one of the most considerable fruits of the Grecian conquests. In this manner did God prepare the way for the preaching of the gospel, which was then approaching, and facilitate the union of so many nations, of different languages and manners, into one society, and the same worship and doctrines, by the instrumentality of the finest, most copious, and correct language that was ever spoken in the world, and which became common to all the countries that were conquered by Alexander."

For more than a century, Judea suffered grievously in the continual wars of Alexander's successors; especially from Antiochus, surnamed by himself Epiphanes, the illustrious, but by others, Epimanes, the madman. He deposed Onias, the pious high-priest of the Jews, and sold the sacred office, for an annual tribute of 360 talents, to his brother Jason. Him he soon deposed, and again sold it to his brother Menelaus for 660 talents. On a false report that Epiphanes was dead, Jason attempted to recover the priesthood; with a thousand soldiers he entered Jerusalem, and by the sword, and with various torments, he put to death all whom he considered his adversaries. Antiochus having heard that the Jews rejoiced at his death, and supposing that all the nation

had revolted, took Jerusalem by storm, the year B. C. 170: he slew 40,000 persons, and sold as many more for slaves; and plundered the temple of its splendid furniture to the amount of 800 talents of gold. In contempt of the God of Israel, he entered the holy of holies, and sacrificed a sow upon the altar of burnt offering. Antiochus then returned to Antioch, laden with the riches of his spoils, appointing Philip, a barbarous Phrygian, governor of Judea; Andronicus, a wicked wretch, to preside in Samaria; and the unprincipled Menelaus to the high priesthood.

In his fourth expedition to Egypt, ambassadors from the Roman people arrived, and threatened him with the vengeance of their victorious legions unless he withdrew his forces. Infuriated to madness by their authoritative interference, he led back his army through Palestine, and despatched Apollonius with_twenty thousand of his soldiers, with orders to destroy Jerusalem, to put to the sword all the men, and to make slaves of all the women and children. These commands were executed with savage fierceness on the sabbath day, when the people were assembled for public worship; and none escaped but those who could reach the mountains by flight, or who concealed themselves in caverns of the earth. The city was spoiled of its riches by these impious invaders, and set on fire in several places: they broke down its walls and demolished the houses, and with the materials they erected a strong fortress on mount Acra; which, overlooking the temple, the garrison were ready to sally forth and murder those who dared to approach it as worshippers.

On his arrival at Antioch, Antiochus published a decree, requiring all people in his dominions to conform to the religion of the Greeks; and Atheneus was com missioned to instruct the Jews in the Grecian idolatrous ceremonies, and to put to death with the most grievous torments, those who refused compliance with his commands. Arriving at Jerusalem, he obtained the cooperation of some apostate Jews: he put down the daily sacrifice, suppressed all the public and private observances

of the Jewish religion, defiled the temple of God itself, and rendered that sacred edifice unfit for sacred worship. He also sought out every copy of the scriptures, and burnt all that could be found; he dedicated the temple of Jehovah to Jupiter Olympus, erected his statue on the altar of burnt offering, and punished with death all that could be found who had acted contrary to the decree of his sovereign.

Mattathias, a venerable priest of the Asmonean family, with his five sons, John, Simon, Judas, Eleazar, and Jonathan, retired from the persecution at Jerusalem to their native city Modin, in the tribe of Dan. They were followed by Apelles, an officer of the king, who strove to compel them to observe the commands of Antiochus. The people being called together, Apelles addressed Mattathias to engage his compliance with the idol worship, promising him a reward of great honour and riches. The aged priest not only rejected his offers, but slew the first apostate Jew who approached the idolatrous altar. He also rose upon the king's agent, and, with the assistance of his sons, put him to death with all his attendants, demolished the idols and their altars, and then withdrew to the mountains. Being joined by a number of his faithful countrymen, he marched through Judea; broke down the heathen altars in all the cities; restored circumcision; cut off the ministers of the idols, and those Jews who had apostatized to their abominations, and re-established the true worship of God, B. C. 167. Mattathias died the next year, appointing his son Judas, surnamed Maccabeus, to succeed him in the command of the army, which was soon joined by many who were zealous for the law of God. He defeated several large armies of Antiochus under his bravest commanders, recovered Jerusalem, purified the temple, restored the appointed worship of God, and repaired the city, which had been almost a heap of ruins, B. C. 165. Transported with rage at the defeat of his generals, Antiochus threatened to exterminate the whole nation of the Jews, and make Jerusalem their common burial place: but while these proud words were passing over his

lips, the judgment of Heaven fell upon him; he was smitten with an incurable disease, with grievous torments in his bowels, and an intolerable ulcer, breeding vermin, by which his guilty life was terminated, B. C. 164. His son Eupator, under Lysias his general, engaged the neighbouring nations to unite in destroying the whole race of the Jews; but Judas, hearing of the alliance, carried the war into the countries of his enemies, and became a terrible scourge to the Syrians, Idumeans, and Arabians. Judas died in battle, B. C. 161, and was succeeded by his brother Jonathan; who, with Simon his brother, continued to manage the affairs of his people with singular bravery and prudence.

Onias, the high-priest, having settled in Egypt, Jonathan assumed the sacerdotal office at Jerusalem, uniting it with the honour of civil governor, and formed an alliance with the Romans, B. C. 161. Jonathan being slain at Ptolemais, by the treachery of Tryphon, who had usurped the throne of Syria, Simon was chosen to succeed him, B. C. 144; and after a reformation at Jerusalem, he rendered the Jews independent of foreign nations. Having made a tour through the cities of Judea, for the purpose of promoting their peace and order, his son-in-law Ptolemy entertained him in his castle Dochus, at Jericho, and murdered him, with his sons Judas and Mattathias, B. C. 135.

Simon was succeeded in the government and priesthood by his son John Hyrcanus, who extended his authority to several adjacent provinces; he destroyed the Samaritan temple on mount Gerizim, B. c. 130, after it had stood two hundred years, and compelled the Idumeans to embrace the Jewish religion. He renewed the alliance with the Romans, by which he secured considerable advantages for his nation, and died, B. C. 107, leaving the sovereignty and priesthood to his son Aristobulus. This prince raised Judea again into a monarchy, and was the first after the captivity who assumed to himself the title of king. He was succeeded by his son Alexander Janneus, who compelled the Philistines to embrace the profession of the Jewish faith, B. C. 97.

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