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Did Moses Exist

The biblical figure of Moses has been the center of fascination for over 2,000 years, but what do we really know about him? Was he a real person? Did the Exodus truly happen? Or is the story in the Pentateuch a mythical tale written centuries after the alleged events? Why does Moses’s story resemble that of many other lawgivers and legendary individuals? Why are there so many elements of sun and wine god myths in the story of Moses? What does the focus on the serpent in his story signify? Who was Yahweh? The Elohim?

"The existence of Moses as well as the veracity of the Exodus story is disputed amongst archaeologists and Egyptologists, with experts in the field of biblical criticism citing logical inconsistencies, new archaeological evidence, historical evidence and related origin myths in Canaanite culture." "Moses," Wikipedia

Moses receiving tablets from Yahweh on Mt. SinaiDid Moses Exist? provides a massive amount of information from antiquity about the world's religious traditions and mythology, including how solar mythology, wine cultivation and fertility cults have shaped the Bible and Judaism.

"There is no historical evidence outside of the Bible, no mention of Moses outside the Bible, and no independent confirmation that Moses ever existed."

Dr. Michael D. Coogan, lecturer on the Old Testament at Harvard Divinity School




Moses parts the Red Sea and leads the Israelites out of Egypt"We cannot be sure that Moses ever lived because there are no traces of his earthly existence outside of tradition." 

Egyptologist Dr. Jan Assmann, Moses the Egyptian (2)

"The life of Moses contains elements—canonical and apocryphal—that mark him as a true mythic hero, and certainly he is Judaism’s greatest hero and the central figure in Hebrew mythology."

Dr. David Leeming, The Oxford Companion to World Mythology (270)

"…the stories of the creation, of the flood, of Abraham, of Jacob, of the descent into and the exodus from Egypt, of the career of Moses and the Jews in the desert, of Joshua and his soldiers, of the judges and their clients, are all apocryphal, and were fabricated at a late period of Jewish history."

Dr. Thomas Inman, Ancient Faiths and Modern (5) 



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Moses, the Promised Land and Easter

by D.M. Murdock

Excerpted and adapted from

Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver

The story of Moses, the Exodus, desert sojourn and entry into the Promised Land is shown to be myth, not history. What does it mean? How does this myth tie into the festival of Easter?

"No archaeological traces can be attributed to the early Israelites in Canaan before the early Iron Age (after 1200 B.C.E.), and there is no evidence of a distinct population of early Israelites in Egypt. The area west of the Jordan River reveals an archaeological picture quite at odds with the biblical accounts of the Israelite journey to the Promised Land, and there is little to no evidence of the Conquest, as it is described in the book of Joshua, in the archaeological record of the Late Bronze Age (1550-1200 B.C.E.) Canaan."

Dr. Barbara J. Sivertsen, The Parting of the Sea (xiv)

"…The basic Moses mytheme is that of the sun (god) which emerges from the tent of concealment, the night, and bestows commandments upon a king. The sun is also the source of both death (by sunstroke) and healing. Psalm 19...speaks of the sun's glorious emergence from his tent, then extols the glory of the commandments, as...the sun was the origin of the law. We also see this atop the famous stone table of Hammurabi's Code which shows the emperor receiving the law from the hand of Shamash the sun god. Moses was originally the law-giving sun, as we can still glimpse in Exodus 34:29-35, where Moses emerges from the tent of a meeting with new commandments, and with his face shining, not coincidentally, like the sun! And like Apollo, he can inflict flaming doom or heal it (Numbers 21:4-9) and even bears the caduceus like Apollo..."

Dr. Robert M. Price "Of Myth and Men"

Moses's shining face on Mt. Sinai (20th cent., artist unknown)In my book Did Moses Exist? I provide substantial evidence that the biblical story of Moses and the Exodus reside in the realm of myth, not history. Firstly, I disassemble the purported historicity of the Mosaic tale, and secondly I demonstrate the previous myths and legends from which the story evidently came in significant part. In this effort, I include numerous primary sources in multiple languages from antiquity, eventually showing that, as my friend Bob Price states in the quote above, Moses is a solar hero, a fictional compilation of several sun, storm, wine and serpent deities of the eastern Mediterranean and beyond. In this analysis, the Exodus symbolizes the seasonal movement away from the desolation (Egypt) and desert (Sinai) of winter, into the fertile Promised Land (Israel) of spring.

Passover, Vernal Equinox and Wilderness

This contention of the Exodus-Promised Land tale signifying the transition between winter and spring is demonstrated by several factors, including the biblical establishment of the celebration of Passover and New Year at the vernal or spring equinox:

You shall keep the feast of unleavened bread; as I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. (Exod 23:15)

This month shall be for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. (Exod 12:2)

Abib or the green ears of barley, signifying the entrance into the Promised Land and beginning of the Mosaic New YearAs it is called in the Passover passage, the first month of the year is named at Exodus 13:4 as "Abib," later styled "Nisan" and running from March to April. The Hebrew word אביב 'abiyb means:

1) fresh, young barley ears, barley
2) month of ear-forming, of greening of crop, of growing green Abib, month of exodus and passover (March or April)

As we can see, the month of Abib or Aviv is named for its vernal fertility, the reawakening of life after the death of winter.

Concerning this Exodus scripture, English bible scholar and minister Rev. Dr. Matthew Henry  (1662-1714) comments:

They had hitherto begun their year from the middle of September, but henceforward they were to begin it from the middle of March, at least in all their ecclesiastical computations.... This new calculation began the year with the spring, which reneweth the face of the earth, and was used as a figure of the coming of Christ...

The Babylonian-named Nisan or Nissan is the month in which the "Passover lamb" Christ—here equated with the spring—was said to be "crucified" and "resurrected," essentially also at the vernal equinox, representing the old myth of dying and rising spring deities. Thus, rather than commemorating the death and revivification of a historical Jewish savior, Easter in fact is the "resurrection of spring," signifying a very ancient vernal-equinox celebration.

Sun crossing the equinoxes and solsticesIn this astrotheological analysis, the "cross" of the equinox represents the time of the year when the day and night are equal. There are thus two crosses, spring and fall or autumnal, explaining the different crucifixion scenes in the biblical myth. The autumnal equinox also clarifies why the Israelites were said to start their year previously in the middle of September, the time of the fall harvest and new wine.

As concerns the mythical nature of the Passover, we read:

Despite the Exodus story, scholars believe that the passover festival originated not in the biblical story but as a magic ritual to turn away demons from the household by painting the doorframe with the blood of a slaughtered sheep. ("The Exodus," Wikipedia, summarizing Levinson, 58.)

This bloody magic ritual was part of the Babylonian priesthood, discussed further in Did Moses Exist? ("DME").

Dionysian Spring Festival

Bacchic coin of grape cluster with two vines on either sideAlso examined in detail in DME is the profound connection between Moses and the Greek solar and wine god Dionysus/Bacchus. As is to be expected, emphasis on the vernal equinox occurs in the Dionysian religion as well, during which time the god and his ark were carried in procession. Regarding Bacchus’s association with the vernal equinox, Greek historian Pausanias (c. 110-180 AD/CE) states:

Above Migonium is a mountain called Larysiumi sacred to Dionysus, and at the beginning of spring they hold a festival in honor of Dionysus, and among the things they say about the ritual is that they find here a ripe bunch of grapes. (Description of Greece 3.22.2

This story is reminiscent of the biblical tale of the twelve spies entering the Promised Land and discovering enormous grapes at Numbers 13:23, said to have occurred at the new year or spring equinox:

Joshua and Caleb carry an enormous grape cluster as a sign of the fertile Promised LandAnd they came to the Valley of Eshcol, and cut down from there a branch with a single cluster of grapes, and they carried it on a pole between two of them; they brought also some pomegranates and figs.

The Hebrew word אשכל 'Eshkol means "cluster" (H812), and it appears that the valley was named for a Semitic grape god by that name. The numbering of these 12 spies as representing the heads of each tribe of Israelites is significant because in antiquity it was understood that the tribes symbolized the 12 signs of the zodiac, as explicated by Jewish writers Philo (Moses 1.34.188-189De Fuga 33:184-186) and Josephus (Ant. 3.7) during the first century AD/CE.

Beautiful Meadows and Rams

Zeus Ammon wearing ram's hornsThe Bacchic spring theme also involves the wilderness sojourn, along with the emphasis on the Ram or Lamb:

The Legislator of the Jews fixed the commencement of their year in the month Nisan, at the Vernal Equinox, at which season the Israelites marched out of Egypt and were relieved of their long bondage; in commemoration of which Exodus, they ate the Paschal Lamb at the Equinox. And when Bacchus and his army had long marched in burning deserts, they were led by a Lamb or Ram into beautiful meadows, and to the Springs that watered the Temple of Jupiter Ammon.

In the Dionysian myth the "burning meadows" and "desolated wilderness" are metaphors for the winter months, traditionally dry in the relevant regions during that time. The entry into the "promised land" and "beautiful meadows" is the renewal of spring, with the watery temple of the father god's ram aspect symbolizing the new year rains.

During the first millennium BCE, emphasis was made on the ram as denoting the vernal equinox in the constellation of Aries. Zodiac mosaic from Jewish temple at Beth Alpha, Israel, 6th century AD/CEIn this regard, Orthodox Jewish rabbi Avraham Greenbaum recounts the tradition of the Exodus in the spring as occurring in Aries:

The Exodus from Egypt took place under the spring-time astrological sign of Aries, the Ram. In flagrant defiance of Egyptian worship of the Ram, the Children of Israel took their paschal lambs and slaughtered them as a sacrifice to HaVaYaH, showing that God alone rules in heaven and on earth.

Thus, the story of escaping bondage commemorated at the vernal equinox, when a new year begins, represents a solar myth based on winter's transition to spring. This transition is viewed as the passing of the torch from the fall/winter sun (Moses) to the spring/summer sun (Joshua). This mythical motif would explain why Moses takes his people only up to the edge of the Promised Land, after spending so much time with them, while Joshua actually leads them into the lush paradise.

40 Days and Years

As part of this nature-worshipping or astrotheological theme, the number 40 as the period of years in the desert before entering theA Land Flowing with Milk and Honey, illustration from Henry Davenport Northrop's 1894 'Treasures of the Bible'fertile region also appears to represent a nature myth. There is likewise the 40-day period of "Lent" and fasting celebrated each year by Christians as a time of the spring blooming. This 40-day period in ancient myth apparently represents the time it takes for certain seeds to germinate completely after they have been sown, depending on the temperature and other conditions. The 40 years of the Exodus seems to be a reiteration of this mythical and sacred number. In this scenario, we have a period of 40 from the barren soil of the desert germinating into the "land of milk and honey." 

In summary, it appears that the themes of the Exodus, Wilderness Sojourn and Promised Land represent mythical motifs recording very ancient observations of natural cycles. In this regard, as did their divine counterparts in other religions such as the Egyptian and Indian, Moses and Joshua symbolize two halves of the sun's annual movement, conceived as the deities of these different periods, in this case Moses constituting the solar hero from the autumnal to vernal equinoxes, while Joshua is the sun from the spring to the fall. The transition between them is the end of winter and the beginning of spring, celebrated modernly as "Easter."

For more information, see my books, including Did Moses Exist? and Suns of God.

Further Reading

Easter: The Resurrection of Spring
Is Easter Christian or Pagan?



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Egyptian Account of the Leper's Exodus

Below an analysis of the account of Manetho by Redford, and below that is a translation of the parts of the account quoted by Joesphus.  Since the original did not survive, though Tacitus would have had access to it, the most profitable reading would be that of Tacitus rather than Josephus who was hostile to this account.  Nevertheless for the sake of completeness, I have included Josephus’ rendering.  Against Apion can be read at  Unfortunately, like most of the work relating to the Bible, the production is slanted by a person of faith, William Whiston.  One of the numerous errors is the presumption, still made today, though not on the bases of usage defendable—translation of Hyksos as Israeli  I have read his work in its entirety in 1994.  Josephus was once the 4th most read book--after Bunyan’s Pilgrim's Progress, the Bible, and the Hymnal .


Enter subhead content here

Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times 
Donald B. Redford 

Egypt and the Hebrew Kingdoms 

None of this [exodus from Egypt story] suggests a close familiarity with Egypt. . . . It takes little discernment to recognize in the first plot pattern a repeated motif in Egyptian history--Thebes in the south had thrice attempted to spearhead wars of liberation against the north--but in its present formulation the story owes more to the national fervor awakened by the disastrous invasions (or attempted invasions) of the Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian, and Persian states from 671 to 525 B.C. The second story-type, on the other hand, has deeper roots, although it too was shaped and brought to relevance by the ubiquity of foreign enclaves in Egypt from Saite times on. 
As we have them from the Hellenistic age--none earlier have survived--examples show that both plot patterns could be welded into a single tale, athough they also appear separately(97). Certainly the earliest to come down to us in detailHecataeuS of Abdera bears an earlier but imperfect witnessis the account in Manethos "Aegyptica" (first half of the third century B.C.)(98). The bare bones of Manethos account runs as follows: 

A. 1. The King (Amenophis/Ilor) desires to see the gods. 
2. Amenophis son of Paapis the seer declares he may if he cleanses the land of lepers. 
3. The King sends all lepers to the quarries east of the Nile. 
4. Amenophis the seer predicts an invasion of thirteen years. 
5. Amenophis commits suicide. 
6. The lepers ask that they be allowed to live in Avaris. 
7. In Avaris the lepers choose as their leader Osarsiph, priest of Heliopolis. 
8. Osarsiph makes monotheistic and racially exclusive laws. 
9. Osariph invites the Shepherds back to Avaris. 
B. 10. The Shepherds return. 
11. The King hides the divine images and sends his five-year-old son to safety. 
12. The King declines to fight the Shepherds and retreats to Ethiopia. 
13. The Shepherds lay Egypt waste. 
14. Reiteration of the PN Osarsiph and identification with Moses. 
A + B 15. Amenophis and his son Rapsaces drive out the Shepherds. 

It is clear that numbers 10-13 with the addition of 15 is but a variant of the lnvasion from-the-North theme. In fact, the details of numbers 12 and 13 point directly to the inspiration of the popular view of events in the seventh and sixth centuries. Both Taharqa and Tanwetaman, as noted, had beat a hasty retreat from Memphis to Nubia, not wishing to engage the Assyrians in battle. And in the slaughter of the sacred animals, the Shepherds emulate the reputed acts of the Persians (99). 

But items 1-8 (100) and one form of 15 compose our version of the tale of the unclean ones, and here at least the underlying historical reality can be extracted easily. Amenophis the king (or Hor, a sobriquet) is Amenophis Ill, and his desire to see the gods a folk interpretation of passages from his inscriptions (101). Amenophis son of Paapis is Amenhotep son of Hapu, the historical secretary of labor who served under Amenophis III, gained a reputation for wisdom while he lived, and for over fifteen centuries was revered as a healing demigod.(102) The dispatch of the impure ones to quarries east of the Nile is an etiological explanation of the whirlwind of quarrying and construction that went on during the reigns of Amenophis III and Akhenaten, prominent textual records of which remained on view for all to see. Memorial stelae commemorating the quarry work were inscribed at Tura opposite Memphis in Middle Egypt under Amenophis III (103): and the stela of Akhenaten at Gebel Silsileh is the most prominent monument at the site (104). The text of the latter suggests a magnitude for the operation not much different from that of Amenophiss roundup of lepers: The first occasion when His Majesty issued a command. . . to pursue all work from Elephantine to Sam-behdet, and to the commanders of the army to levy a numerous corvee for quarrying sandstone in order to make the great benden of Re-harakhty . . . the princes, courtiers, supervisors and managers were in charge of its impressment for transporting the stone. The use of the Greek terms lepers and unclean suggests a pejorative in the original Egyptian (or demotic) that in Pharaonic propaganda was customarily attached to undesirable antisocial elements, whether native or foreign. In the present case it seems clear that the devotees of Akhenatens sun cult are the historical reality underlying the lepers, and this is confirmed by the iconoclastic nature of the lepers legislation and the figure of thirteen years for the occupation, which corresponds to the period 
of occupation of Amarna(106). Osarsiph moreover is remembered as a priest of Heliopolis. . . . 

97 Most will be found translated in M. Stern, Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism, vol. 1 (Jerusalem, 1974); see also S. K. Eddy, "The King Is Dead" (Lincoln, 1961); D. B. Redford, Pharaonac King-lists, Annals and Day-books (Toronto, 1986), 281-96. 
98 Redford, "King-lists", 282-83. 
99 A. T. Olmsread, "History of the Persian Empire" (Chicago, 1948), 89-90. 
100 With the exception of 45, which as it now stands anticipates 1013. 
101 Redford King-lists, 248-51. 
102 D. Wildung, Imhotep und Amenhoeep (Berlin, 1977). 
103 Urk IV, 1677, 1681. 
104 Urk IV, 1962, Redford, "King-lists", 293, n. 113. 
105 I.e., from the First Cataract to the Mediterranean. 
106 I.e., eleven full years under Akhenaren and two under Tutankhamun. 

Donald B. Redford, "Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times", Princeton University Press, Jew Jersey, 1992. 




An account of this tale is found in Jospehus' second Jewish History:  the first, on the Jewish Wars (especially the revolt against Rome), the other Antiquitates Judaicae.  Appended to Antiquitates Judaicae is a rebuttal of this tale in against Appion 

Amenophis desired to become a spectator of the gods, as had Orus, one of his predecessors in that kingdom, before him. He communicated his desire to his namesake Amenophis, who was the son of Papis, and one that seemed to partake of a divine nature, both as to wisdom and the knowledge of futurities.


Amenophis the prophet told him that he might see the gods, if he would clear the whole country of the lepers and of the other impure people. The king was pleased with this injunction, and got together all that had any defect in their bodies out of Egypt. He sent eighty thousand to those quarries which are on the east side of the Nile, that they might work in them, and might be separated from the rest of the Egyptians.


There were some of the learned priests that were polluted with the leprosy, but Amenophis, the wise man and the prophet, was afraid that the gods would be angry at him and at the king, if there should appear to have been violence offered them. Out of his sagacity about futurities he foretold that certain people would come to the assistance of these polluted wretches, and would conquer Egypt, and keep it in their possession thirteen years. However, he dared not tell the king of these things, but left a writing behind him about all those matters, and then slew himself, which made the king disconsolate.


After those that were sent to work in the quarries had continued in that miserable state for a long while, the king was desired that he would set apart the city Avaris, which was then left desolate of the Hyksos or foreign kings, for their habitation and protection; which they had requested he grant them. Now this city, according to the ancient theology, was Typho's city. But when these men were gotten into it, in crowds, and found the place fit for a revolt, they appointed themselves a ruler out of the priests of Hellopolis, whose name was Osarsiph, and they took their oaths that they would be obedient to him in all things.


He then, in the first place, made this law for them; that they should neither worship the Egyptian gods, nor should abstain from any one of those sacred animals which they have in the highest esteem, but kill and destroy them all and that they should join themselves to nobody but to those that were of this confederacy.


When he had made such laws as these, and many more such as were mainly opposite to the customs of the Egyptians, he gave order that they should use the multitude of the hands they had in building walls about their City, and make themselves ready for a war with king Amenophis, while he did himself take into his friendship the other priests, and those that were polluted with them, and sent ambassadors to those foreign kings (Hyksos) who had been driven out of the land by Tefilmosis to the city called Jerusalem; whereby he informed them of his own affairs, and of the state of those others that had been treated after such an ignominious manner, and desired that they would come with one consent to his assistance in this war against Egypt. He also promised that he would, in the first place, bring them back to their ancient city and country Avaris, and provide a plentiful maintenance for their multitude, and that he would protect them and fight for them as occasion should require, and would easily reduce the country under their dominion.


These foreign kings (Hyksos) were all very glad of this message, and came away with alacrity all together, being in number two hundred thousand men; and in a little time they came to Avaris.


Now Amenophis the king of Egypt, upon his being informed of their invasion, was in great confusion, as calling to mind what Amenophis, the son of Papis, had foretold him; and, in the first place, he assembled the multitude of the Egyptians, and took counsel with their leaders, and sent for their holy images to him, especially for those that were principally worshipped in their temples, and gave a particular charge to the priests distinctly, that they should hide the images of their gods with the utmost care.


He also sent his son Sethos, who was also named Ramesses, from his father Rhampses, being but five years old, to a friend of his. He then passed on with the rest of the Egyptians, being three hundred thousand of the most warlike of them, against the enemy, who met them at Pelusium. Yet did he not join battle with them; but thinking that would be to fight against the gods, he returned back and came to Memphis, where he took Apis and the other holy images which he had sent for to him, and presently marched into Ethiopia, together with his whole army and multitude of Egyptians; for the king of Ethiopia was under an obligation to him, on which account he received him, and took care of all the multitude that was with him, while the country supplied all that was necessary for the food of the men. He also allotted cities and villages for this exile, that was to be from its beginning during those fatally determined thirteen years. Moreover, he pitched a camp for his Ethiopian army, as a guard to king Amenophis, upon the borders of Egypt. And this was the state of things in Ethiopia.



But for the people of Jerusalem, they got the granaries of Egypt into their possession, and perpetrated many of the most horrid actions there. When they came down together with the polluted Egyptians, they treated the men in such a barbarous manner, that those who saw how they subdued the aforementioned country, and the horrid wickedness they were guilty of, thought it a most dreadful thing; for they did not only set the cities and villages on fire, but were not satisfied till they had been guilty of sacrilege, and destroyed the images of the gods, and used them in roasting those sacred animals that used to be worshipped, and forced the priests and prophets to be the executioners and murderers of those animals, and then ejected them naked out of the country.


The Egyptians themselves were the most guilty, because it was their priests that contrived these things, and made the multitude take their oaths for doing so.


It was reported that the priest, who ordained their polity and their laws, was by birth of Hellopolls, and his name Osarsiph, from Osyris, who was the god of Hellopolls; but that when he was gone over to these people, his name was changed, and he was called Moses.


After this on the thirteenth year, Amenophis returned back from Ethiopia with a great army, as did his son Ahampses with another army also, and both of them joined battle with the foreign kings (Hyksos) and the polluted people, and beat them, and slew a great many of them, and pursued them to the bounds of Syria.


The goddess Isis appeared to Amenophis in his sleep, and blamed him that her temple had been demolished in the war. But Phritiphantes, the sacred scribe, said to him, that if he would purge Egypt of the men that had pollutions upon them, he should be no longer troubled with such frightful apparitions. Amenophis accordingly chose out two hundred and fifty thousand of those that were thus diseased, and cast them out of the country.


Two scribes Tisithen and Peteseph, Peteseph being a sacred scribe, came to Pelusium, and lighted upon three hundred and eighty thousand that had been left there by Amenophis, he not being willing to carry them into Egypt. These scribes made a league of friendship with them, and made with them an expedition against Egypt. The scribes names were Egyptian originally but were changed, Tisithen to Moses and Peteseph to Joseph.


Amenophis could not sustain their attacks, and fled into Ethiopia, but left his wife with child behind him, who lay concealed in certain caverns. There she brought forth a son, whose name was Messene, and when he was grown up to man's estate he pursued the Jews into Syria, being about two hundred thousand, and then received his father Amenophis out of Ethiopia.

The people of the Jews being leprous and scabby, and subject to certain other kinds of distempers, in the days of Bocchoris, king of Egypt, fled to the temples, and got their food there by begging. As the numbers were very great that were fallen under these diseases, there arose a scarcity in Egypt.


Hereupon Bocehoris, the king of Egypt, sent some to consult the oracle of [Jupiter] Hammon about his scarcity. The god's answer was this, that he must purge his temples of impure and impious men, by expelling them out of those temples into desert places; but as to the scabby and leprous people, he must drown them, and purge his temples, the sun having an indignation at these men being suffered to live; and by this means the land will bring forth its fruits.


Upon Bocchoris's having received these oracles, he called for their priests, and the attendants upon their altars, and ordered them to make a collection of the impure people, and to deliver them to the soldiers, to carry them away into the desert; but to take the leprous people, and wrap them in sheets of lead, and let them down into the sea. Hereupon the scabby and leprous people were drowned, and the rest were gotten together, and sent into desert places, in order to be exposed to destruction.


In this case they assembled themselves together, and took counsel what they should do, and determined that, as the night was coming on, they should kindle fires and lamps, and keep watch and that they also should fast the next night, and propitiate the gods, in order to obtain deliverance from them.


On the next day there was one Moses, who advised them that they should venture upon a journey, and go along one road till they should come to places fit for habitation. He charged them to have no kind regards for any man, nor give good counsel to any, but always to advise them for the worst; and to overturn all those temples and altars of the gods they should meet with. The rest commended what he had said with one consent, and did what they had resolved on, and so travelled over the desert.


The difficulties of the journey being over, they came to a country inhabited, and that there they abused the men, and plundered and burnt their temples; and then came into that land which is called Judea, and there they built a city, and dwelt therein, and that their city was named Hierosyla, from this their robbing of the temples. Still, upon the success they had afterwards, they in time changed its denomination, that it might not be a reproach to them, and called the city Hierosolyma, and themselves Hierosolymites.

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