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won the city of Sardes; though the castle or citadel thereof was defended against them, and held still for king Ardys; whose long reign was unable, by reason of this great storm, to effect much.
Phraortes was not king until the third year of the twenty-ninth Olympiad, which was six years after the Messenian war ended; the same being the last year of Manasseh's reign over Judah.
Deioces, the father of this Phraortes, was king of Media, three and fifty of these five and fifty years in which Manasseh reigned. This Deioces was the first that ruled the Medes in a strict form, commanding more absolutely than his predecessors had done. For they, following the example of Arbaces, had given to the people so much licence, as caused every one to desire the wholesome severity of a more lordly king. Herein Deioces answered their desires to the full. For he caused them to build for him a • stately palace; he took unto him a guard for defence of his person; he seldom gave presence, which also when he did, it was with such austerity, that no man durst presume to spit or cough in his sight. By these and the like ceremonies he bred in the people an awful regard, and highly upheld the majesty, which his predecessors had almost let fall, through neglect of due comportments. In execution of bus, royal office, he did uprightly and severely administer justice, keeping secret spies to inform him of all that was done in the kingdom. He cared not to enlarge the bounds of his dominion, by encroaching upon others; but studied how to govern well his own. The difference found between this king, and such as were before him, seems to have bred that opinion which Herodotus, 1. i. delivers, that Deioces was the first who reigned in Media.
This was he that built the great city of Ecbatana, which now is called Tauris; and therefore he should be that king Arphaxad, mentioned in the story of Judith; as also Ben Merodach, by the same account, should be Nabuchodonosor the Assyrian, by whom Arphaxad was slain, and HolopherneS sent to work wonders upon Phud and Lud, and I know not what other countries. For I reckon the last year of Deioces to have been the nineteenth of Ben Merodach; though others place it otherwise, some earlier, in the time of Merodach Baladan, some later, in the reign of Nabulassar, who is also called Nabuchodonosor.
In fitting this book of Judith to a certain time, there hath much labour been spent, with ill success. The reigns of Cambyses, Darius Hystaspes, Xerxes, and Ochus, have been sought into, but afford no great matter of likelihood; and now of late, the times foregoing the destruction of Jerusalem have been thought upon, and this age that we have now in hand, chosen by Bellarmine, as agreeing best with the story; though others herein cannot, (I speak of such as fain would,) agree with him. Whilst Cambyses reigned, the temple was not rebuilt, which, in the story of Judith, is found standing and dedicated. The other Persian kings, Darius and Xerxes, are acknowledged to have been very favourable to the Jews; therefore neither of them could be Nabuchodonosor, wlwse party they refused to take, and who sent to destroy them. Yet the time of Xerxes hath some conveniences, aptly fitting this history; and above all the opinion 01 a few ancient writers, (without whose judgment the authority of this book were of no value,; having placed this, argument in the Persian monarchy, inclines the matter to the reign of this vain-glorious king. As for Ochus, very few, and they faintly, entitled him to the business, Manifest it is, and granted, that in the time of this history, there must be a return from captivity lately foregoing; the temple rebuilt; Eliachim, high priest; and a long peace, of threescore and ten years, or thereabouts, ensuing. All these were to be among the Jews. Likewise, on the pther side, we must find a king that reigned in Nineveh, eighteen years at the least; that vanquished and slew a king of the Medes; one whom the Jews refused to assist; one that sought to be generally adored as God, and that therefore commanded all temples of such as were accounted gods to be destroyed ; one whose viceroy or captain-general knew not the Jewish nation, but was fain to learn what they were of the bordering people.
Of all these circumstances,—the priesthood of Eliachim, with a return from captivity, are found concurring, with either the time of Manasseh before the destruction of Jerusalem, or of Xerxes afterward; the rebuilding of the temple a while before, and the long peace following, agree with the reign of Xerxes; the rest of circumstances requisite, are to be found all together, neither before, nor after the captivity of the Jews and desolation of the city. Wherefore the brief decision of this controversy is, * that the * book of Judith is not canonical.' Yet hath Torniellus done as much, in fitting all to the time of Xerxes, as was possible in so desperate a case. For he supposseth, that under Xerxes there were other kings, among which Arphaxad might be one, (who perhaps restored and re-edified the city of Ecbatana, that had formerly been built by Deioces,) and Nabuchodonosor might be another. This granted, he adds, that from the twelfth year to the eighteenth of Nabuchodonosor, that is, five or six years, the absence and ill fortune of Xerxes, in his Grecian expedition, (which he supposeth to have been so long,) might give occasion unto Arphaxad of rebelling; and that Nabuchodonosor having vanquished and slain Arphaxad, might then seek to make himself lord of all by the army which he sent forth under Holophernes. So should the Jews have done their duty, in adhering to Xerxes their sovereign lord, and resisting one that rebelled against him; as also the other circumstances rehearsed before be well applied to the argument. For in these times, the af.
fairs of Jewry were agreeable to the history of Judith, and such a king as this supposed Nabuchodonosor might well enough be ignorant of the Jews, and as proud as we shall need to think him. But the silence of all histories takes away belief from this conjecture ; and the supposition of itself is very hard, that a rebel, whose king was abroad, with an army consisting of seventeen hundred thousand men, should presume so far, upon the strength of twelve hundred thousand foot, and twelve thousand archers on horseback, as to think that he might do what he lists, yea, that there was none other God than himself. It is indeed easy to find enough that might be said against this device of Torniellus; yet if there were any necessity of holding the book of Judith to be canonical, I would rather chuse to lay aside all regard of profane histories, and build some defence upon this ground, than, by following the opinion of any other, to violate, as they all do, the text itself. That Judith lived under none of the Persian kings, Bellarmine, (whose works I have not read, but find him cited by Torniellus,) hath proved by many arguments. That she lived not in the reign of Manasseh, Torniellus hath proved very substantially, shewing how the cardinal is driven, as it were, to break through a wall, in saying that the text was corrupted, where it spake of the destruction of the temple foregoing her time. That the kings Arphaxad and Nabuchodonosor, found out by Torniellus, are the children of mere phantasy, it is so plain, that it needs no proof at all. Wherefore we may truly say, that they, which have contended about the time ©1 this history, being well furnished of matter wherewith to confute each other, but wanting wherewith to defend themselves, (like naked men in a stony field,) have chased Holophernes out of all parts of time, and left him and his great expedition, extra anni soUsque vias, in an age that never was, and in places that never were known.
Surely to find out • the borders of Japhet, which 'were towards the south, and over-against Arabia',' or the countries of Phud and Lud, that lay in Hoh> phernes's way j I think it would as much trouble cosmographers, as the former question hath done chronologers. But I will not busy myself herewith5 having already so far digressed, in shewing who liv* ed not with Manasseh, that I think it high time to Teturn unto mine own work, and rehearse what others I find to have had their part in the long time of hi* reign.
Of other princes and actions that 'were in these thnest
The first year of Manasseh was the last of Romu* lus; after whose death one year, the Romans wanted a king. Then was Numa Pompilius, a Sabine, cho* sen; a peaceable man, and seeming very religious in his kind. He brought the rude people, which Romulus had employed only in wars, to some good ci«
effected, by filling their heads with superstition; as persuading them, that he had familiarity with a nymph called Egeria, who taught him many ceremonies, which he delivered unto the Romans as things of great importance. But all these devices of Numa were, in his own judgment, no better than mere de* lusions, that served only as rudiments, to bring the savage multitude of thieves and outlaws, gathered into one body by Romulus, to some form of milder discipline than their boisterous and wild natures were otherwise apt to entertain. This appeared by the books that were found in his grave almost six hundred years after his death, wherein the superstition taught by himself was condemned as vain. His grave was opened by chance, in digging a piece of
vility, and a more