Note [original edition] :
This grievous charge against the Jews
the commentators endeavour to
support by telling us that it is meant of some ancient heterodox Jews,
of some Jews
; who said so for no other reason than for that the law
being utterly lost and forgotten during the Babylonish captivity, Ezra,
been raised to life after he had been dead one hundred years3
whole anew to the scribes, out of his own memory; at which they greatly
marvelled, and declared that he could not have done it unless he were the son
. Al Beidâwi,
adds that the imputation must be true, because this
verse was read to the Jews,
and they did not contradict it; which they were
ready enough to do in other instances.
did thus restore not only the Pentateuch,
but also the other
books of the Old Testament, by divine revelation, was the opinion of several
of the Christian
fathers, who are quoted by Dr. Prideaux5
and of some other
which they seem to have first borrowed from a passage in that very
ancient apocryphal book, called (in our English Bible) the second book of
tells us that herein the fathers attributed more to
than the Jews
themselves, who suppose that he only collected and set
forth a correct edition of the scriptures, which he laboured much in, and went
a great way in the perfecting of it. It is not improbable, however, that the
fiction came originally from the Jews,
though they be now of another opinion,
and I cannot fix it upon them by any direct proof. For, not to insist on the
testimony of the Mohammedans
(which yet I cannot but think of some little
weight in a point of this nature), it is allowed by the most sagacious critics
that the second book of Ezra
was written by a Christian
but yet one
who had been bred a Jew,
and was intimately acquainted with the fables of the
and the story itself is perfectly in the taste and way of thinking
of those men.
See chap. 3. p. 31.
Al Beidawi, Al Zamakhshari, &c.
Connect. part. 1. l. 5, p. 329.
Chap. xiv. 20, &c.
Athanasius junior, in Synopsi S. Script. T. 2. p. 86. Leontius
Byzantin. de Sectis, p. 428.
See 2 Esdras 2. 45-47; and vii. 28, &c.
V. Dodwelli Dissert. Cyprian. Dissert. 4, § 2. Whiston’s Essay on the
Apostolical Constit. p. 34, 76, and 304, &c.; et Fabricii Codic. Apocryph.
Novi Test. part 2. p. 936, &c.