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discover from whence the cosmogony was borrowed, not to tell it The evidence of circumstances is often unanswerable, and there is no other than this which I have given that goes to the whole of the case, and this does.
Diogenes Laertius, an ancient and respectable author, whom the bishop, in his answer to me, quotes on another occasion, has a passage that corresponds with the solution here given. In speaking of the religion of the Persians as promulgated by their priests or magi, he says, the Jewish rabbins were the successors of their doctrine.—Having thus spoken on the plagiarism, and on the nonreality of the book of Genesis, I will give some additional evidence that Moses is not the author of that book.
Eben-Ezra, a celebrated Jewish author, who lived about seven hundred years ago, and whom the bishop allows to have been a man of great erudition, has made a great many observations, too numerous to be repeated here, to show that Moses was not, and could not be, the author of the book of Genesis, nor any of the five books that bear his name.
Spinosa, another learned Jew, who lived about an hundred and thirty years ago, recites, in his treatise on the ceremonies of the Jews, ancient and modern, the observations of Eben-Ezra, to which he adds many others, to show that Moses is not the author of these books. He also says, and shows his reasons for saying it, that the Bible did not exist as a book, till the time of the Maccabees, which was more than a hundred years after the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity.
In the second part of the Age of Reason, I have, among other things, referred to nine verses in the 36th chapter of Genesis
, beginning at the 31st verse. “And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel,” which it is impossible could have been written by Moses, or in the time of Moses, and could not have been written till after the Jew kings began to reigo in Israel, which was not till several hundred years after the time of Moses.
The bishop allows this, and says, “I think you say true." But he then quibbles and says,
“ that a small addition to a book does not destroy either the genuineness or authenticity of the whole book.” This is priestcraft. These verses do not stand in the book as an addition to it, but as making a part of the whole book, and which it is impossible that Moses could write. The bishop would reject the antiquity of any other book if it could be proved from the words of the book itself, that a part of it could not have been written till several hundred years after the reputed author of it was dead. He would call such a book a forgery. I am authorised, therefore, to call the book of Genesis a forgery.
Combining, then, all the foregoing circumstances together, respecting antiquity and authenticity of the book of Genesis,
conclusion will naturally follow therefrom ; those circumstances
First, that certain parts of the book cannot possibly have been written by Moses, and that the other parts carry no evidence of having been written by him.
Secondly, the universal silence of all the following books of the Bible, for about a thousand years, upon the extraordinary things spoken of in Genesis, such as the creation of the world in six days—the garden of Eden—the tree of knowledge the tree of life--the story of Eve and the serpent—the fall of man and his being turned out of this fine garden, together with Noah's flood, and the tower of Babel.
Thirdly, the silence of all the books of the Bible upon even the name of Moses, from the book of Joshua until the second book of Kings, which was not written till after the captivity, for it gives an account of the captivity, a period of about a thousand years. Strange that a man who is proclaimed as the historian of the Creation, the privy-councillor and confident of the Almighty—the legislator of the Jewish nation, and the founder of its religion ; .strange, I say, that even the name of such a man should not find a place
in their books for a thousand years, if they knew or believed any thing about him, or the books he is said to have written.
Fourthly, the opinion of some of the most celebrated of the Jewish commentators, that Moses is not the author of the book of Genesis, founded on the reasons given for that opinion.
Fifthly, the opinion of the early Christian writers, and of the great champion of Jewish literature, Maimonides, that the book of Genesis is not a book of facts.
Sixthly, the silence imposed by all the Jewish rabbins, and by Maimonides himself, upon the Jewish nation, not to speak ofany thing they may happen to know, or discover, respecting the cosmogony (or creation of the world) in the book of Genesis.
From these circumstances the following conclusions offer:
Secondly, that as no mention is made throughout the Bible o any of the extraordinary things related in Genesis, that it has not been written till after the other books were written, and put as a preface to the Bible. Every one knows that a preface to a book, though it stands first, is the last written.
Thirdly, that the silence imposed by all the Jewish rabbins and by Maimonides upon the Jewish nation, to keep silence upon every thing related in their cosmogony, ovinces a secret they are not willing should be known. The secret therefore explains itself to be, that when the Jews were in captivity in Babylon and Persia, they became acquainted with the cosmogony of the Persians, as registered in tha Zend-Avesta of Zoroaster, the Persian law-giver, which, after then , eturn from captivity, they manufactured and modelled as their own, and anti-dated it by giving to it the name of
Moses. The case admits of no other explanation. From all which it appears that the book of Genesis, instead of being the oldest book in the world, as the bishop calls it, has been the last written book of the Bible, and that the cosmogony it contains has been manufactured.
ON THM TAMY IN THE BOOK OF GENESIS. Every thing in Genesis serves as evidence or symptom that the aok has been composed in some late period of the Jewish nation. even the names mentioned in it serve to this purpose.
Nothing is more common or more natural, than to name the ebildren of succeeding generations, after the names of those who had been celebrated in some former generation. This holds good with respect to all the people and all the histories we know of, and it does not bold good with the Bible. There must be some cause for this.
This book of Genesis tells us of a man whom it calls Adam, and of his sons Abel and Seth ; of Enoch, who lived 365 years (it is exactly the number of days in a year,) and that then God took him up. It has the appearance of being taken from some allegory of the Gentiles on the commencement and termination of the year, by the progress of the sun through the twelve signs of the zodiac, on which the allegorical religion of the Gentiles was founded.
It tells us of Methuselah, who lived 969 years, and of a long train of other names in the fifth chapter. It then passes on to a man whom it calls Noah, and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japhet : then to Lot, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and his sons, with which the book of Genesis finishes.
All these, according to the account given in that book, were the most extraordinary and celebrated of men. They were, moreover, heads of families. Adam was the father of the world. Enoch, for his righteousness, was taken up to heaven. Methuselah lived to almost a thousand years. He was the son of Enoch, the man of 365, the numb of days in the year. It has the appearance of being the continuation of an allegory on the 365 days of a year and its abundant productions. Noah was selected from all the world to be preserved when it was drowned, and became the second father of the world. Abraham was the father of the faithful multitude, Isaac and Jacob were the inheritors of his fame, and the last was the father of the twelve tribes.
Now, if these very wonderful men and their names, and the book that records them, had been known by the Jews before the Babylonian captivity, those names would have been as common among the Jews before that period as they have been since. We now hear of thousands of Abrahams, Isaacs, and Jacobs
among the Jews, but there were none of that name before the Babylonian captivity. The Bible does not mention one, though from the time
that Abraham is said to have lived to the time of the Babylonian captivity is about 1400 years.
How is it to be accounted for that there have been so many thousands, and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Jews of the names of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, since that period, and not one before? It can be accounted for but one way, which is, that before the Babylonian captivity the Jews had no such book as Genesis, nor knew any thing of the names and persons it mentions, nor of the things it relates, and that the stories in it have been manufactured since that time. From the Arabic name Ibrahim (which is the manner the Turks write that name to this day) the Jews have, most probably, manufactured their Abraham.
I will advance my observations a point further, and speak of the names of Moses and Aaron, mentioned for the first time in the book of Exodus. There are now, and have continued to be from the time of the Babylonian captivity, or soon after it, thousands of Jews of the names Moses and Aaron, and we read not of any of that name before that time. The Bible does not mention one. The direct inference from this is, that the Jews knew of no such book as Exodus before the Babylonian captivity.. In fact, that it did not exist before that time, and that it is only since the book has been invented, that the names of Moses and Aaron have been common among the Jews.
It is applicable to the purpose to observe, that the picturesque work, called Mosaic-work, spelled the same as you would say the Mosaic account of the Creation, is not derived from the word Moses, but from Muses (the Muses), because of the variegated and picturesque pavement in the temples dedicated to the Muses. This carries a strong implication that the name Moses is drawn from the same source, and that he is not a real but an allegorical person, as Maimonides describes what is called the Mosaic account of the Creation to be.
I will go a point still further. The Jews now know the book of Genesis, and the names of all the persons mentioned in the first ten chapters of that book, from Adam to Noah: yet we do not bear (I speak for myself) of any Jew, of the present day, of the name of Adam, Abel, Seth, Enoch, Methuselah, Noah, Shem, Ham, or Japhet, (names mentioned in the first ten chapters,) though these were, according to the account in that book, the most extraordinary of all the names that make up the catalogue of Jewish chronology.
The names the Jews now adopt, are those that are mentioned in Genesis after the tenth chapter, as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, &c. How then does it happen, that they do not adopt the names found in the first ten chapters ? Here is evidently a line of division drawn between the first ton chapters of Genesis, and the remaining chapters, with respect to the adoption of names. There must be some cause for this, and I go to offer a solution of the problem.
The reader will recollect the quotation I have already made from
the Jewish rabbin Maimonides, wherein he says, We ought not to understand nor to take according to the letter that which is written in the book of the Creation. It is a maxim (says he) which all our sages repeat, above all with respect to the work of six days."
The qualifying expression above all, implies there are other parts of the book, though not so important, that ought not to be understood or taken according to the letter, and as the Jews do not adopt the names mentioned in the first ten chapters, it appears evident those chapters are included in the injunction not to take them in a literal sense, or according to the letter; from which it follows that the persons or characters mentioned in the first ten chapters, as Adam, Abel, Seth, Enoch, Methuselah, and so on to Noah, are
not real but fictitious or allegorical persons, and therefore the Jews do not adopt their names into their families. If they affixed the same idea of reality to them as they do to those that follow after the tenth chapter, the names of Adam, Abel, Seth, &c., would be as common among the Jews of the present day as are those of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Aaron.
In the superstition they have been in, scarcely a Jew family would have been without an Enoch, as a presage of his going to heaven as ambassador for the whole family. Every mother who wished that the days of her son might be long in the land, would call him Methuselah ; and all the Jews that might have to traverse the ocean would be named Noah, as a charm against shipwreck and drowning
This domestic evidence against the book of Genesis, which, joined to the several kinds of evidence before recited, show the book of Genesis not to be older than the Babylonian captivity, and to be fictitious. I proceed to fix the character and antiquity of the book of
JOB. The book of Job has not the least appearance of being a book of the Jews, and though printed among the books of the Bible, does not belong to it. There is no reference in it to any Jewish law or ceremony. On the contrary, all the internal evidence it contains shows it to be a book of the Gentiles, either of Persia or Chaldea.
The name of Job does not appear to be a Jewish name. There is no Jew of that name in any of the books of the Bible, neither is there now, that I ever heard of. The country where Job is said or supposed to have lived, or rather where the scene of the drama is laid, is called Uz, and there was no place of that name ever belonging to the Jews. If Uz is the same as Ur, it was in Chaldea, the country of the Gentiles. The Jews can give no account how they came by this book, nor