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Of the Holy Times, Feasts and Fasts, the
Sect. 3. The Jewish Affairs under the Ptolemies Kings
of Egypt. Of the great Synagogue, the Mishnah and
Sect. 6. Of the Jewish Government under the Asmo-
neans, or Maccabees; and first of the three Brothers,
Judas, Jonathan, and Simon,
Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Herodians, and Kara-
and Sufferings, his life and Death,
THERE is no history in the world so ancient as the Bible, nor is there any which gives us so early an account of things. The Old Testament begins with the creation of the world, brings us into acquaintance with Adam and Eve, our first parents, informs us of their state of innocence, their sin against God, and their being driven out of paradise ; it recounts the first generations of men, and their multiplied iniquities, which provoked Gou to destroy them by a flood.
Then it treats of the character, circumstances and conduct of Noah and Abraham, and of their families after the flood, enlarging most upon the household of Jacob, or Israel, the grandson of Abraham, who, at the invitation of his son Joseph, went down with his family to dwell in Egypt, where they were enslaved by Pharaoh the king.
The history proceeds to the deliverance of the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage by Moses and Aaron, and their being set apart to be a peculiar people to God. It rehearses the laws and statutes which were given them, together with their sins and punishments while they were