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high, expecting that at his Defire the King would order Mordecai to be hanged thereon, ver. 9-14.
14Q. How did the King pafs the Time that Night? A. He could not fleep, and he had the Book of Records read to entertain him, wherein was written Mordecai's Information of the Confpiracy against the King, Efther vi. 1, 2.
15Q. What Effect had this on the King? A. When he enquired and found that Mordecai had received no Recompence for his Faithfulness, he ordered Haman to array him in Royal Apparel, to fet him on the King's own Horse, and do the highest Honours to him in a public Proceffion through the City, ver. 6—11.
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 fet 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 Maffacre that Haman had contrived for them, Efther vii. 17.
18 Q. What Change of Affairs enfued 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 what is written in the King's Name,. and fealed with his Ring, could not be reverfed, 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 defigned for their general Slaughter?
A. They flew feventy-five thousand of those that rofe up against them, and the ten Sons of Haman. among the reft, Efther 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 Efther 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 fuperftitious Manner, to find out what Month or Day was the moft lucky to execute his Bloody Device against the Jews, Efther ix. 26, 27. and chap. iii. 7.
23 Q. How does this Hiftory appear to be a true Account of Things, fince 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 facred Writings by the Jews themselves, who were the Keepers of the Oracles of God, Rom. iii. 2. and because this Feaft of Purim is obferved by the Jews to this Day, in Memory of their Deliverance.
The End of the HISTORIES of the
A Continuation of the History of the Government and Church of the Jews, from the End of the Old Testament, to the Times of CHRIST.
HE learned Dr Prideaux has written twolargeand valuable Volumes, which he calls The Connexion of the Hiftory of the Old and New Teftament; 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 Hiftory, during that Period of Time between the End of the Old Teftament and the Beginning of the New: He intermingles also a large Collection of Hiftorical Matters relating to Perfia, 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 tranfacted. This renders his Work a little too tedious to thofe who expected nothing more than a mere Continuation of the Jewish Hiftory to the Times of our Saviour.
Now it is only a very brief Abstract of the Hiftory of the Jews which I endeavour here to fet 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 Scrip
ture Hiftory ends, to the Beginning of the Gospel, and the Times of Chrift. A great Part of it must be taken originally from Jofephus, the Jewish Hiftorian, and from the Books of Maccabees, whom I have confulted upon this Occafion; but I have borrowed much further Light and Affistance from Dr Prideaux in this Matter, whofe laborious Collection from Heathen Writings, and his judicious Determination in 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, &c.
Note, This Chapter being fo long, the Questions of each Section fhall be numbered apart.
1QWHAT further Reformation did Nehe
miah make in Ifrael?
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 feveral Towns and Cities; And on this Occafion, it is fuppofed, that Synagogues began to be built throughout the Land, or at least to be reftored 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 wherefoever they could find ten Perfons of full Age, and of fuch Condition and eafy Circumftances of Life, as to be always at Leifure to attend the Service.
3 Q. What
3 Q. What was the Service performed in the Synagogues?
A. 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 Pofterity having loft much of their own Language in Babylon, did not fo well understand the Scriptures in the Hebrew Tongue; and therefore when Ezra read the Law to the People, the Senfe was given to them in Chaldee, by many Levites who ftood by, and caused them to underfland the Reading, Nchem. viii, 4-8. And this Manner of reading the Scripture, Verfe by Verfe, and tranflating it into the Chaldee, with fome 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 neceffary that fuch Tranflations of the Hebrew into Chaldee fhould be made, for the Use of the Teachers and the People, and that in private Families alfo, as well as in Synagogues. There were anciently many of thefe Targums, orTranflations,orExpofitions, and that upon different Parts of Scripture, and of different Sorts; as there were alfo many different Verfions of the Scripture into Greek, in following Ages, for the fame Purposes. Several of these Targums are loft, through Length of Time; but the chief of thofe which remain to this Day, is the Targum or Chaldee Paraphrafe of Onkelos, upon the Law of Mofes; and the Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel, upon the Prophets: Both which, fome learned Men fuppofe to be written before Chrift; and are by the Jews valued as equal to the Hebrew Text. As for the Jerufalem Targum, it is an