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high, expecting that at his Desire the King would order Mordecai to be hanged thereon, ver. 9-14. 14 Q. How did the King pass the Time that

Nighi? A. He could not sleep, and he had the Book of Records read to entertain him, wherein was written Mordecai's Information of the Conspiracy against the King, Esther vi. 1, 2.

15 Q. What Effect had this on the King ?

Ā. When he enquired and found that Mordecai had received no Recompence for his Faithfulness, he ordered Haman to array him in Royal Apparel, to set him on the King's own Horse, and do the higheft Honours to him in a public Proceflion through the City, ver. 6-II.

16 Q. In what remarkable Hour did Haman receive this Order from the King ?

A. At that very Time when he was come to Court to speak to the King to hang Mordecai on the Gallows he had set up, ver. 4, 5.

17 Q. When the King and Haman were come to the Banquet, what was Queen Esther's further Requeft?

A. That the Nation of the Jews, which were her Kindred, might be delivered from the general Massacre that Haman had contrived for them, Esther vii. 1-7.

18 Q. What Change of Affairs ensued on this Petition to the King?

A. The King commanded Haman to be hanged on the Gallows he had prepared for Mordecai; he put Mordecai into Haman's Place at Court; and fent Orders throughout his Dominions for the Jews to defend themselves, Esther vii. 9, 10, and chap. viii. 1.-17

19 Q. Why was not the Order for the Slaughter of the Jews rather reversed ?

A. Because

A. Because what is written in the King's Name, and sealed with his Ring, could not be reversed, according to the Laws of the Government, ver. &. and God ordered it thus in his Providence, for the public Deftruction of their Enemies.

20 Q. How did the Jews defend themselves in the Day designed for their general Slaughter?

A. They flew seventy-five thousand of those that rose up against them, and the ten Sons of Haman. among the rest, EAber ix. 1-16.

21 Q. What Memorial of this great Deliverance was preserved amongst the Jews ?

A. All the Jews agreed, by and with the Authority of Esther and Mordecai, to keep the 14th and 15th Day of the Month Adar, every Year, as a Day of Thanksgiving for this Salvation,ver, 20--32

22 Q. What was the Name of this Festival?

A. These two Days were called the Days of Purim, from Pur,, which fignifies a Lot ; because Haman had caft Lots in a superstitious Manner, to find out what Month or Day was the most lucky to execute his Bloody Device against the Jews, Esther ix. 26, 27, and chap. iii. 7.

23. How does this History appear to be a true Account of Things, since there is not the leaft Hint who was the Writer of it, nor is the Name of God in it?

A. Because it is delivered down to us among the sacred Writings by the Jews themselves, who were the Keepers of the Oracles of God, Rom. iii. 2. and because this Feast of Purim is observed by the Jews to this Day, in Memory of their Deliverance.

The End of the HISTORIES of the

OLD TESTAMENT.

CHAP

CH A P. XIX.

A Continuation of the History of the Govern

ment and Church of the Jews, from the End of the Old Testament, to the Times of CHRIST.

INTRODUCTION.
*H E learned Dr Prideaux has written

twolargeand valuable Volumes, which T he calls The Connexion of the History of

the Old and New Testament ; wherein

he gives us an Account of all the moft credible Things that he can find in ancient Historians, relating to the Jews and their Cuftoms, as - well as their History, during that Period of Time between the End of the Old Testament and the Beginning of the New: He intermingles also a large Collection of Historical Matters relating to Persia, Babylon, Egypt, Syria, Afia minor, Greece, Rome, and all the more known and remarkable Nations of the Earth, wherein the great Affairs of the four Monarchies of the World were transacted. This renders bis Work a little too tedious to those who expected nothing more than a mere Continuation of the Jewish History to the Times of our Saviour.

Now it is only a very brief Abstract of the His. tory of the Jews which I endeavour here to set before the Reader, that he may gain a little Acquaintance with the Affairs of the Jews, or the Church of God, from the Days of Nehemiah, when Scripgure History ends, to the Beginning of the Gospel, and the Times of Christ. A great Part of it must be taken originally from Jofephus, the Jewish Historian, and from the Books of Maccabees, whom I have consulted upon this Occafion ; but I have borrowed much further Light and Afiftance from Dr Prideaux in this Matter, whose laborious Collection from Heathen Writings, and his judicious Determination in

ture

many

dubious Points, has rendered his Work more complete and accurate, and mine more easy.

Sect. I. Of Nehemiah's further Reformation,

Synagogues, Targums, Samaritans, Profelytes, Eg*c.

Note, This Chapter being so long, the Questions of

each Section shall be numbered apart. iQ. WHAT further Reformation did Nehe

miah make in Israel ? A. It is reported by the Jews, that he himself, together with Ezra the Scribe, having found a great Want of the Knowledge of the Law among the People, did about this Time appoint the reading of the Law in the several Towns and Cities; And on this Occasion, it is supposed, that Syna, gogues began to be built throughout the Land, or at least to be restored and renewed, if there had been any built before.

2 Q. Where were the Synagogues to be built?

A. According to the Account which the Jews have given us, they might be built in any Town wheresoever they could find ten Persons of full Age, and of such Condition and easy Circumstances of Life, as to be always at Leisure to attend the Service.

3 Q. What

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3 Q. What was the Service performed in the Synagogues ?

4. Prayer and Praises to God, Reading the holy Scriptures, and Preaching and Expounding them.

4 Q. In what Manner were the Scriptures expounded?

A. The Jews and their Posterity having loft much of their own Language in Babylon, did not so well understand the Scriptures in the Hebrew Tongue ; and therefore when Ezra read the Law to the People, the Sense was given to them in Chaldee, by many Levites who ftood by, and caused them to understand the Reading, Nchem. viii. 4-8. And this Manner of reading the Scripture, Verse by Verse, and translating it into the Chaldee, with some little Paraphrase upon it, was the Manner of Expounding used in the ancient Synagogues. Note, 1. This was the Original of the Jewish Targums,

which Word in Chaldee fignifies an Interpretation.-
For when Synagogues were multiplied among the
Jews. beyond the Number of able Interpreters, it
became necessary that such Translations of the He-
brew into Chaldee should be made, for the Use of
the Teachers and the People, and that in private

Families also, as well as in Synagogues.
There were anciently many of these Targums, orTran-

flations or Expositions, and that upon differentParts
of Scripture, and of different Sorts; as there were
also
many

different Versions of the Scripture into Greek, in following Ages, for the fame Purposes. Several of these Targums are loft, through Length of Time; but the chicfof those which remain to this Day, is the Targum or Chaldee Paraphrase of Onkelos, upon the Law of Moses; and the Targum of 70nathan Ben Uzziel, upon the Prophets : Both which, fome learned Men suppose to be written before Christ; and are by the Jews valued as equal to the Hebrew Text. As for the Jerusalem Targum, it is an

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