Chap. IV. Of the Babylonian Empire

After the regions upon Tigris & Euphrates became free from the dominion of Egypt, Babylon & Nineveh (cities built soon after the flood) continued for some time under their own kings. And when the kings of Nineveh began to conquer their neighbours the husband of Semiramis reigned over Babylon & she succeeded him being five generations older then Nitocris. And soon after reigned Nabonassar in whose days a body of Egyptians flying from Sabacon carried to Babylon the Egyptian year of 365 days & founded the Astronomical Æra of this king as above, beginning the years thereof on the very same day with the Astronomical years of Egypt. And in the year of Nabonassar 68 Asserhadon king of Assyria conquered Chaldea & Susiana & captivated the people placing many of them in Samaria, & carried the people of Samaria captive into Assyria. And thus Chaldea & Susiana became provinces of Assyria for a time, but at length revolted, & in conjunction with the Medes, destroyed Nineveh.

By the fall of the Assyrian Empire, the kingdoms of the Chaldeans & Medes grew great & potent. The reigns of the kings of Babylon are stated in Ptolomy's Canon: for understanding of which, you are to note that every kings reign in that Canon began with the last Thoth of his Predecessor & ended with the last Thoth of his own reign, as I gather by comparing the reigns of the Roman Emperors in that Canon with their reigns recorded in years months & days by other authors. Whence it appears from that Canon that Asserhadon died in the year of Nabonassar 81, Saosducheus his successor in the year 101, Chiniladon in the year 123, Nabopolassar in the year 144, & Nebuchadnezzar in the year 187. All these kings reigned successively over Babylon, & this last king died in the 37th year of Iehojachin's captivity (2 King. XXV. 27) & therefore Iehojachin was captivated in the 150th year of Nabonassar.

This captivity was in the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign over Iudea (2 King. XXIV. 12) & eleventh of Iehojakim's. For the first year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign was the fourth of Iehojakim's (Ier. XXV. 1) & Iehojakim reigned eleven years before this captivity (2 King. XXIII. 36. 2 Chron XXXVI. 5) & Iehojakin three months ending with the captivity. And the 10th year of Zedekiah, that is, the 10th year of Iehojakin's captivity, was the 18th year of Nebuchadnezzars reign (Ier. XXXII. 1) & the 11th year of Zedekiah in which Ierusalem was taken, was the 19th of Nebuchadnezzar (Ier. LII. 5, 12) & therefore Nebuchadnezzar began his reign in Iudea in the year of Nabonassar 142, that is, two years before the death of his father Nabopolassar, he being then made king by his father, & Iehojakim succeeded his father Iosiah in the year of Nabonassar 139, & Ierusalem was taken & the Temple burnt in the year of Nabonassar 160, about twenty years after the destruction of Nineveh.

The reign of Darius Hystaspis by the Canon & the consent of all Chronologers, & by several eclipses of the Moons, began in spring in the year of Nabonassar 227. And in the fourth year of king Darius, in the 4th day of the ninth month, which is the month Chislen when the Iews had sent into the house of God–syaing, should I weep in the fift month as I have done these so many years? the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, speak to all the people of the land, & lo the Priests saying, when ye fasted & mourned in the fift & seventh month even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me? Zech. VII. Count backwards those seventy years in which they fasted in the fift month for the burning of the Temple, & in the seventh for the death of Gedaliah; & the burning of the Temple & death of Gedaliah will fall upon the fift & seventh Iewish months in the year of Nabonassar 160 as above.

As the Chaldean Astronomers counted the reign of their kings by the years of Nabonassar, beginning with the month Thoth, so the Iews (as their authors tell us) counted the reign of theirs by the years of Moses, beginn– <2r> ing every year with the month Nisan. For if any king commenced his reign a few days before this month began, it was recconed to him for a whole year, & the beginning of this month was accounted the beginning of the second year of his reign. And according to this recconing the first year of Iehojakim began with the month Nisam Anno Nabonass. 139, tho his reign might not really begin till five or six months after; & the fourth year of Iehojakim & first of Nebuchadnezzar (according to the recconing of the Iews) began with the month Nisan Anno Nabonass. 142; & the first year of Zedekiah & of Iehojakins captivity & ninth year of Nebuchadnezzar began with the month Nisan in the year of Nabonassar 150, & the tenth year of Zedekiah & 18th of Nebuchadnezzar began with the month Nisan in the year of Nabonassar 159. Now in the ninth year of Zedekiah, Nebuchadnezzar invaded Iudea & the cities thereof, & in the tenth month of that year & tenth day of the month he & his host beseiged Ierusalem (2 King XXV. 1 Ier XXXIV. 1 & XXXIX. 1 & LII. 4.) From this time to the tenth month in the second year of Darius are just seventy years, & accordingly on the 24th day of the eleventh month of this second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, & the Angel of the Lord said, O Lord of hosts how long will thou not have mercy on Ierusalem & on the cities of Iudah against which thou hast had indignation these threescore & ten years, Zech. 1. 7, 12. So then the ninth year of Zedekiah in which this Indignation against Ierusalem & the cities of Iudah began commenced with the month Nisan in the year of Nabonassar 158; & the eleventh yeare of Zedekiah & 19th of Nebuchadnezzar in which the city was taken & the Temple burnt, commenced with the month Nisan in the year of Nabonassar 160 as above.

By all these characters the years of Iehojakim Zedekiah & Nebuchadnezzar seem to be sufficiently determined & thereby the chronology of the Iews in the old Testament is connected with that of later times. For between the death of Solomon & the ninth year of Zedekiah wherein Nebuchadnezzar invaded Iudea & began the siege of Ierusalem, there were 390 years, as is manifest both by the Prophesy of Ezekiel chap. IV, & by summing up the years of the kings of Iudah; & from the ninth year of Zedekiah inclusively to the vulgar Æra of Christ were 590 years: both which numbers, with half the reign of Solomon, make up a thousand years.

In the end of the reign of Iosiah, Anno Nabonass. 139, [1] Pharaoh Nechoh the successor of Psammiticus came with a great army out of Egypt against the king of Assyria, & being denyed passage through Iudea beat the jews at Megiddo or Magdolus before Egypt, slew Iosiah their king, marched to Corchemish or Circutium, a town of Mesopotamia upon Euphrates, & took it, possest himself of the cities of Syria, sent for Iehoahaz the new king of Iudah to Riblah or Antioch, deposed him there, made Iehojakim king in the room of Iosiah, & put the kingdom of Iudah to tribute. But the king of Assyria being in the mean time beseiged & subdued & Nineveh destroyed by Assuerus king of the Medes & Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, & the conquerors being thereby entitled to the countries of Assyria Mesopotamia & Syria, they led their victorious forces against the king of Egypt. For Nebuchadnezzar assisteda[2] by Astibares (that is by Assuerus, Achsweres Axeres or Cy–Axeres) king of the Medes in theb[3] third year of Iehojakim, came with a army of Babylonians Medes Syrians Moabites & Ammonites to the number of 10000 chariots & 180000 foot & 120000 horse, & laid wast Samaria, <3r> Galilee, Scythopolis, & the Iews in Galeatis, & besieged Ierusalem, & took king Iehojakim alivec[4], & bound him in chains for a time & carried to Babylon Daniel & others of the people, & part of what gold & silver & brass they found in the Temple. And ind[5] the 4th year of Iehojakim (which was the 20th of Nabopolasser) they routed the army of Pharaoh Nechoh at Carchemish, & by pursuing this war took from the king of Egypt whatever perteined to him from the river of Egypt to the river of Euphrates. This king of Egypte[6], Berosus calls the Satrapa of Egypt & Cælosyria & Phœnicia. And this victory over him put an end to his reign in Cælosyria & Phœnicia which he had newly invaded & gave a beginning to the reign of Nebuchadnezzar there. And by the conquests over Assyria & Syria the Babylonian Empire was erected.

Whilst Nebuchadnezzar was acting in Syriaa[7] his father Nabopolasser died having reigned 21 years, & Nebuchadnezzar upon the news thereof having ordered his affairs in Syria returned to Babylon leaving the captives & his army with his servants to follow him. And from hence forward he applied himself sometimes to war, conquering Sitacene, Susiana, Arabia, Edom, Egypt & some other countries; & sometimes to peace, adorning the Temple of Belus with the spoiles which he had taken, & the city Babylon with magnificent walls & gates & stately palaces & pensile gardens, as Berosus relates, & amongst other things he cut the new rivers Naarmalcha & Pallacopas above Babylon, & built the city Teredon.

Iudea was now in servitude under the king of Babylon being invaded & subdued in the third & fourth years of Iehojakim, & Iehojakim served him three years & then turned & rebelled (2 King. XXIV. 1.) While Nebuchadnezzar & the – army of the Chaldeans continued in Syria, Iehojakim was under compulsion. After they returned to Babylon Iehojakim continued in fidelity three years that is, during the 7th 7th & 9th years of his reign, & rebelled in the tenth. Whereupon Nebuchadnezzar in the return or end of the year, that is in spring, sent and besieged Ierusalem, captivated Iehojachin[8] the son & successor of Iehojachim spoiled the Temple & carried away to Babylon the Princes, craftsmen, smiths, & all that were fit for war, & when none remained but the poorest of the people, made Zedekiah their king, & bound him upon oath to serve the king of Babylon. This was in [9] spring in the end of the eleventh year of Iehojakim & beginning of the year of Nabonassar 150.

Zedekiah notwithstanding his oath revolted & made a [10] covenant with the king of Egypt, & therefore Nebucahdnezzar in the ninth year of Zedekiah invaded Iudea [11] & the cities thereof, & in the tenth Iewish Month of that year besieged Ierusalem again, & in the eleventh year of Zedekiah in the 4th & 5th months, after a siege of one year & an half, took & burnt the city & temple.

Nebuchadnezzar after he was made king by his father reigned over Phenicia & Cœlosyria 45 years &a[12] after the death of his father 43 years &a[13] after the captivity of Iehojakim 37, & then was succeeded by his son Evilmerodach called {Leuaredamus} in Ptolomys Canon. Ierome tells us that Evilmerodach reigned seven years in his fathers life [14] time while his father eat grass with oxen, & after his fathers restauoation was put in prison with Ieconiah king of Iudah till the death of his father, & then succeeded in the throne. In the fift year of Ieconiahs captivity, Belshazzar was next in dignity to his father Nebuchadnezzar, & was designed to be his successor (Baruch I. 2, 10, 11, 12, 14) & therefore Evilmerodach was even then in [15] <4r> disgrace. Vpon his coming to the throne he brought his friend & companion Ieconiah out of prison in the 27th day of the 12th month, so that Nebuchadnezzar died in the end of winter, Anno Nabonass. 187.

Nergalasser in the name of his young son Laboasserdach the grandchild of Nebuchadnezzar reigned four years (according to the Canon & Berosus) including the short reign of Laboasserdach alone. For Laboasserdach (according to Berosus & Iosephus) reigned nine months after the death of his father, & then for his evil manners was slain in a feast by the conspiracy of his friends with Nabonidus a Babylonian to whom by consent they gave the kingdom: But these nine months are not recconed apart in the Canon.

Nabonidus (according to the Canon) began his reign in the year of Nabonassar 193, reigned seventeen years & ended his reign in the year of Nabonassar 210, being then vanquished & Babylon taken by Cyrus.

Herodotusa[16] calls this last king of Babylon Labynitus, & says that he was the son of a former Labynitus & of Nitocris an eminent Queen of Babylon. By the father he seems to understand that Labynitus who (as he tells us) was king of Babylon when the great Eclips of the Sun predicted by Thales put an end to the five years war between the Medes & Lydians, & this was the grat Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel calls the last king of Babylon Belshazzar, & saith that [17] Nebuchadnezzar was his father. And Iosephus tells us that the last [18] king of Babylon was called Naboandel by the Babylonians, & reigned seventeen years; & therefore he is the same king with Nabonidus or Labynitus. And this is more agreable to sacred writ then to make Nabonidus a stranger to the royal line. For all nations were to serve Nebuchadnezzar & his posterity till the very time of his – land should come, & many nations should serve themselves of him Ier. 27. 7. Belshazzar was born & lived in honour before the fift [19] year of Iehojakims captivity which was the eleventh year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign; & therefore he was above 34 years old at the death of Evilmerodach, & so could be no other king then Nabonidus. For Laboasserdach the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar was a child under tuition when he reigned. Yet it is not necessary that Belshazzar should be the immediate son of Nebuchadnezzar. Nitocris might be the wife of Evilmerodach & Belshazzar their son supposing Nebuchadnezzar above 25 years old at the taking of Nineveh. And this is consonant to the Prophesy that all nations should serve Nebuchadnezzar & his son & his sons son till the time of his land should come Ier. 27. For Belshazzar was the only king of Babylon who can be called the son of the son of Nebuchadnezzar.

Herodotus tells us that there were two famous Queens of [20] Babylon, Semiramis & Nitocris; & that the latter was more skillfull. She observing that the kingdom of the Medes, having subdued many cities, & among others Nineveh, was become great & potent, intercepted & fortified the passages out of Media into Babylonia; & the river which before was streight she made crooked with great windings that it might be more sedate & less apt to overflow. And on the south side of the river above Babylon in imitation of the lake Mœris she dug a Lake every way forty miles broad to receive the water of the river & keep it for watering the land. She built also a bridge over the river in the middle of Babylon, turning the stream into the Lake till the Bridge was built. Philostratus saith that she made [21] a Bridge under the river two fathoms broad meaning an arched vault over which the River flowed & under, which they might walk cross the river. He calls her Μηήδεια a Mede.

Berosus tells us that Nebuchadnezzar built a pensile garden upon arches, because his wife was a Mede, & delighted in mountanous <5r> prospects, such as abounded in Media but were wanting in Babylonia. She was Amyite the daughter of Astyages & sister of Cyaxeres kings of the Medes. Nebuchadnezzar married her upon a league between their fathers against the king of Assyria. But Nitocris was another woman who in the reign of her son Labynitus a voluptuous & vitious king, took care of his affairs, & for securing his – kingdom against the Medes, did the works above mentioned. This is that Queen mentioned in Daniel, chap. V. 10.

Iosephus relates out of the Tyrian records that in the reign [22] of Ithobalus king of Tyre, that city was besieged by Nebuchadnezzar thirteen years together. In the end of that siege Ithobalus their king was slain (Ezek. XXVIII. 8, 9, 10) & after him according to the Tyrian records reigned Baal ten years. Ecribalus & Chelbis one year, Abbarus three months, Mitgonius & Gerastratus six years, Balatorus one year, Merbalus four years, & Iromus twenty years; & in the 14th year of Iromus say the Tyrian Records, the reign of Cyrus began in Babylonia. Therefore the siege of Tyre began 48 years & some months before the reign of Cyrus in Babylonia. It began when Ierusalem had been newly taken & burnt with the Temple (Ezek. 26) & by consequence after the eleventh year of Iehojakins captivity or 160th year of Nabonassar, & therefore the reign of Cyrus in Babylonia began after the year of Nabonassar 208. It ended before the eighth & twentieth year of Iehojakin's captivity or 176th year of Nabonassar (Ezek. 29. 17) & therefore the reign of Cyrus in Babylonia began before the year of Nabonassar 211. By this argument the first year of Cyrus in Babylonia was one of the two intermediate years, 209, 210. Cyrus invaded Babylonia in the year of Nabonassar 209. Babylone[23]held out, & the next year was taken (Ier 51. 39, 57) by diverting the river Euphrates, & entring the city through the emptied channel (Herod. l. 1. Xenophon l. 7) & by consequence after midsummer. For the river by the melting of the snow in Armenia, overflows yearly in the beginning of summer, but in the heat of summer grows low. And that night was the king of Babylon slain (Xenophon l. 7. Dan. 5. Ioseph. Antiq. l. 12) & Darius the Mede, or king of the Medes, took the kingdom being about threescore & two years old. So then Babylon was taken a month or two after the summer solstice in the year of Nabonasser 210, as the Canon also represents, & as has been otherwise determined above.

After the taking of Babylon Cyrus went to the king of the Medes at Ecbatone, & succeeded him in the kingdom (I think by conquest having beaten him in a battel at Pasaroadæ & reigned over all Media & Persia seven years as Xenophon relates; but over Babylonia he reigned nine years, two years under the king of the Medes, & seven years alone; & in the first year of his reign over the whole Empire he set the Iews at liberty to return from Babylon to Ierusalem & rebuild their Temple: For the jews remained in captivity at Babylon untill the reign of the kingdom of Persia (2 Chron. XXXVI. 20) & were set at liberty in the first year of the reign of Cyrus king of Persia over all the kingdoms of the earth (Ezra I. 1, 2, 3.) Cyrus then reigning at Ecbatane over the Medes, Ezra VI. 2.

Now in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign over Iudea & fourth of Iehojakim's, Ieremiah prophesied that the land of Iudea & the nations round about, should serve the king <6r> of Babylon seventy years, & at the end of seventy years God would punish the king of Babylon & make the land of the Chaldeans desolate (Ier. XXV. 1, 11, 12) & thereby bring back the Iews from captivity (Ier. XXIX. 10.) From the year of Nabonassar 140, which was the second year of Iehojakim in which Nineveh was destroyed & the Empire of the Assyrians fell & that of Babylon was erected upon its ruins unto the year of Nabonassar 210 in which Babylon was taken by the Medes there were just 70 years. And from the year of Nabonassar 142 which was the fourth year of Iehojakim & first of Nebuchadnezzar in which this Prophesy was given, unto the year of Nabonassar 212 which was the first year of Cyrus which the Iews returned from captivity, there were also just 70 years. For there was a seventy years which ended with the fall of Babylon (Ier XXV. 11, 12, 13, 14) & another seventy years which lasted till the reign of the kingdom of Persia & ended with the return of the captivity in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia (Ier XXIX. 10 & 2 Chron. XXXVI. 20, 21, 22, 23.) Also the fulfilling of the first seventy years might enable Daniel in the first year of Darius to understand by books the number of the years whereof the word of the Lord came to Ieremiah the Prophet that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Ierusalem (Dan. IX. 2) which desolations began with the firstyear of Nebuchadnezzar & ended with the captivity in the first of Cyrus.

Some date the seventy years from the captivity of Iehojakim, others from that of Zedekiah; but they are plainly the duration of the dominion of the kingdom of Babylon over the nations & ended with the fall thereof, 2 Chron. XXXVI. 21, 22 Ier. XXV. 1 12. Yet the ancient Iews counted also a seventy years from the beginning of the war in the 9th year of Zedekiah to the building of the second Temple in the second year of Darius Hystaspis (Zech. 1. 12) & another seventy years from the taking of Ierusalem & burning of the Temple in the 11th year of Zedekiah to the fourth year of the same Darius (Zech. VII. 5.) In these seventy years the Iews fasted in the fift month on account of the conflagration of the Temple in that month. And when they had fasted seventy years they sent to the house of the Lord to enquire of the Priests & Prophets whether they should continue that fast any longer. This message was in the fourth year of Darius in the ninth month, (in the end of the year of Nabonassar 230,) & therefore the last fast of the seventy was in the fifth month of the same year: which month was just seventy years after the conflagration of the Temple was we noted above.

Now it is very remarkable that this Prophesy was the cause of its own fulfilling. Isaiah two hundred years before, called Cyrus by name, & prophesied that God said of him; Cyrus is my shepherd, he shall perform all my pleasure, even saying to Ierusalem, Thou shalt be built, & to the Temple, Thy foundation shall be laid &c. Isa. XLIV. 28. And Ieremy predicted the time when Cyrus should conquer Babylon & do this. And these prophesies being made known to Cyrus, so soon as he was freed from subjection to Darius & succeeded him in the throne, he put forth a Proclamation throughout all his kingdom in writing, saying, Thou saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth, & he hath charged me to build him an house at Ierusalem which is in Iudah. Who is there among you of all his people, his God be <7r> with him & let him go up to Ierusalem which is in Iudah, & build the house of the Lord God of Israel (he is the God) which is in Ierusalem. Ezra. I. And this Proclamation being laid up among the Records in the Palace at Ecbatane in Media, was issued from thence by Cyrus reigning there after the conquest & deposing of Darius.

The extent of the Babylonian Empire was much the same with that of Nineveh after the revolt of the Medes. Berosus saith that Nebuchadnezzar held Egypt, Syria, Phœnicia & Arabia; & Strabo adds Arbela to the territories of Babylon; & saying that Babylon was anciently the metropolis of Assyria, he thus describes the limits of the Assyrian Empire. Contiguous, saith he, to Persia & Susiana are the Assyrians. For so they call Babylonia & the greatest part of the region about it: part of which is Assyria (wherein is Nineveh) & Apolloniatis & Chalonetis by the mountain Zagrus, & the fields neare Nineveh, & Dolomena, & Chalachena, Chazena, Adiabena, & the nations of Mesopotamia neare the Gordieans & Mygdoues about Nisibis unto Zeugma upon Euphrates, & a large region on this side Euphrates inhabited by the Arabians & Syrians properly so called as far as Cilicia & Phœnicia & Libya & the sea of Egypt & the sinus Issicus. And a little after, describing the extent of the Babylonian region, he bounds it on the north with the Armenians & Medes unto the mountain Zagrus, on the east side with Susa Elymais & Paretica (inclusively,) on the south with the Persian Gulph & Chaldea, & on the west with the Arabes Scenitæ as far as Adiabena & Gordiœa. Afterwards speaking of Susiana & Sitacene a region between Babylon & Susa, & of Paratica & Cossea & Elymais & of Gabiana & Massabatica & Corbiana Provinces of Elymais, & of the Sagapens & Silocenes, two little adjoining Provinces, he concludes. And these are the nations which inhabity Babylonia eastward. To the north are Media & Armenia [exclusively] & westward are Adiabene & Mesopotamia [inclusively.] The greatest part of Adiabene is plane, the same being a part of Babylonia. In some places it borders on Armenia. For the Medes Armenians & Babylonians warred frequently on one another. Thus far Strabo.

When Cyrus took Babylon, he changed the kingdom into a Satrapy or Province: whereby the bounds were long after known. And by this means Herodotus gives us an estimate of the bigness of this [24] Monarchy in proportion to that of the Medo–Persian, telling us that whilst every region over which the king of Persia reign{s} is distributed for the nourishment of his army besides the tributes, the Babylonian region nourishes him four months of the twelve in the year, & all the rest of Asia eight. So the power of this region is equivalent to the third part of Asia, & its Principality (which the Persians call a Satrapy) is far the best of all the Provinces. To this estimate of Herodotus may be added Egypt. For after the siege & taking of Tyre, Nebuchadnezzar invaded & with a great slaughter conquered & captivated Egypt, (Ezek XXIX. 18, 29. & Chap. XXX. 31, 32. & Ier. XLIII.) & the Egyptians slew Pharaoh Hophra or Vaphres the successor of Psammis the successor of Nechaoh (Ezek. XXXI. 18 & XXXII. 31, 32, & Ier. XLIV. 30 & XLVI. 25, 26) after whom reigned Amasis who served the king of Babylon 40 years (Ezek. XXIX. 11, 13) that is, till the death of Cyrus; & then revolting reigned four years more. After which Egypt was subdued by Cambysos, & hath almost ever since remained in servitude.

Babylon was a square city of 120 furlongs or 15 miles on [25] every side, compassed first with a broad & deep ditch, & then with a wall fifty cubits thick & two hundred high. Euphrates flowed through the middle of it southward a few leagues on this side Tigris. And in the <8r> middle of one half westward stood the kings new Palace built by Nebuchadnezzar, & in the middle of the other half stood the Temple of Belus with the old Palace between that Temple & the river. Who founded this old Palace, whether Pul or Semiramis or Nabonassar or Asserhadon, is uncertain. This Temple was dedicated to that Belus who first set on foot the study of the starrs [26] in Chaldea. He was recconed the progenitor of Nebuchadnezzar, & might be Pul the founder of the Assyrian Empire, or one of his sons the husband of Semiramis or perhaps Sesac. For Babylon is sometimes called Sesac (Ier. XXV. 26 & LI. 41.) & the Belus of the Chaldeans was the Bacchus of the Arabians, that is Osiris. [] This practis of observing the stars began in Egypt in the days of Ammon as above & was propagated from thence in the reign of Sesac into Afric Europe & Asia by conquest; & then Atlas formed the sphere of the Libyans & Chiron that of the Greeks, & the Chaldeans also made a sphere of their own. But Astrology was invented in Egypt by Nechepsos one of the kings of the lower Egypt & Petosiris his Priest a little before the days of Sabacon ✝ < insertion from f 7v > ✝ & propagated thence into Chaldea where Zoroaster the legislator of the Magi met with it. Soa Paulinus:        Quiqs Magos docuit mysteria vana Nespsos.    Andb[29] Diodorus: They say that the Chaldeans in Babylonia are colonies of the Egyptians, & being taught by the Priests of Egypt became famous for Astrology. Andc[30] Hestiæus: The Priests who escaped, taking the things sacred to Iupiter Enyalius, came into Senaar a field of Babylonia. This seems to relate to the escape of some Priests from the slaughter of Egypt by Sabacon. < text from f 8r resumes > And this makes it probable that the Priests of Egypt who fled from Sabacon carried their Astrology with them into Chaldea, & there introduced the Egyptian Astronomical year, & for the sake of Astrology began to observe the starrs at Babylon as diligently as they had done before in Egypt. And at that time or not long before, the king of Babylon might erect the Temple of Iupiter Belus in the form of the Egyptian Pyramids. For this Temple was a solid Tower or Pyramid a furlong square & a furlong [31] high, with seven retractions which made it appear like eight towers standing upon one another. And in the eighth Tower was a Temple with a bed & a golden Table kept by a woman after the manner of the Egyptians in the Temple of Iupiter Ammon at Thebes. And above the Temple was a place for observing the starrs. They went up to the top of it by steps on the out side. And the bottom was compassed with a Court & the Court with a building two furlongs in length on every side.

The Babylonians were extremely addicted Sorcery, Inchantments, Astrology & Divinations (Ier. I. 2, 40) & to feasting wine & weomen. Nihil urbis ejus corruptius moribus, nec ad irritandas inliciendasqs immodicas voluptates instructius. Liberos conjugesqs cum hospitibus stupro coire, modo pretium flagitij detur, parentes maritiqs patiuntur. Convivales ludi tota Perside Regibus Purpuratisqs cordi sunt. Babylonij maxime in vinum & quæ ebrietatem sequuntur effusi sunt. Feminarum convivia ineuntium in principio modestus est habitus: dein summa quæque amicula exuunt; paulatimqs pudorem profanant: ad ultimum (honos auribus sit) ima corporum velamenta projiciunt. Nec meretricum <9r> hoc dedecus est sed in atronarum virginumqs, apud quas comitas habetur vulgati corpons vilitas. Q. Curtius lib. V. cap. 1. And this leudness of their weomen coloured over with the name of civility was encouraged even by their religion. For it was the custome for their weomen once in their life to sit in the Temple of [32] Venus for the use of strangers: which Temple they called Succoth Benoth, the Temple of weomen. And when any woman was once sat there, she was not to depart till some stranger threw money into her bosom, took her away & lay with her. And the money being for sacred uses, she was obliged to accept of it how little so ever & follow the stranger. This leudness voluptuousness sorcery & idolatry is alluded unto in the description of the great whore of Babylon (Apoc. XVII, XVIII) & so are the rivers of Babylonia & the great deserts between Iudea & Babylon.

The Iews in their return from the Babylonian captivity brought back with them the names of the Chaldean months, not those of the months of the solar year of Nabonassar, but those of the ancient Lunisolar year of the Chaldees. And so also the Samaritans, when they were transplanted by Salmanasser, brought with them into Samaria the year & Æra of the Assyrians. This year was Lunisolar, & the Assyrian names of the months used by the Samaritans, were the same with the Chaldean names used by the Iews: so that the Assyrian year seems to have spread with their Empire. Scaliger informs us that the Samaritans still use the Epocha of these years, & that some of them suppose it to be the Epocha or Æra of Salmanasser, others the Æra of the desolation & captivity of Samaria. It began (according to Scalinger) four entire years before the Olympiads, & therefore was the Æra of Pul, the founder of the Assyrian Empire. As the Babylonians had the Æra of Nabonassar their first king upon record, so the Assyrians might have the Æra of the first king of Assyria. For Pul reigned & made war in the beginning of this Æra. For in the ninth eyar of this Æra Menahen king of Israel began to reign, & in or near the beginning of his reign destroyed Thapsach, a town upon Euphrates, for not opening to him; & thereupon Pul, having extended his conquests into Mesopotamia before, came against Israel, & Menahen gave him a thousand Talents to desist & confirm the kingdom to him. From the beginning of this Æra of the Assyrians their Monarchy stood 173 years to the destruction of Ninaveh & 70 years more to the fall of Babylon.

The Temple of Solomon being destroyed by the Babylonians, it may not be amiss here to give a description of that edifice.

This Temple looked eastward, & stood in a square area [33] called the Separate place, & before it stood the Altar in the [34] center of another square area called the inner Court or Court of the Priests; & these two square areas, being parted only by a marble rail, made an area 200 cubits long from west to east & 100 cubits broad. This area was compassed on the west with a wall & on the other three sides with a pavement [35] fifty cubits broad upon which stood the buildings for the Priests with cloisters on the outside. And the pavement & buildings upon it were encompassed on the outside with a marble rail before the cloysters. The whole made an area 250 cubits long from west to east & 200 broad, & was compassed with the outward court called also the great court or court of the people, which was an hundred cubits broad on every side. For there were but two courts built by Solomon.

[1] 2 King. 23.

[2] a Eupoleonus apud Euseb. Prœp. l. 9. c. 39. 2 King. XXIV. 2, 7.

[3] b Dan. I. 1.

[4] c Dan I. 2. 2 Chron XXXVI. 6.

[5] d Ier. XLVI. 2.

[6] e Apud Ioseph. Antiq. l. 10. c. 11.

[7] a Beros. apud Ioseph. Antiqu, l. 10. c. 11.

[8] 2 King. XXIV. 12 14. 2 Chron. XXXVI. 10.

[9] Ezek. XVII. 13, 16, 18.

[10] Ezek. XVII. 15

[11] 2 King. XXV. 1, 2, 3. Ser. XXXII. 1. & XXXIX. 1, 2.

[12] a Canon & Berez

[13] b 2 King. XXV. 27.

[14] Hieron. in Isa XIV. 19.

[15] 2 King. XXX. 27.

[16] aHerod. l. 1

[17] Dan. V. 12, 22.

[18] Antiq. l. 10. c. 12.

[19] Baruch I. 11, 12

[20] Herod. l. 1.

[21] Philost. in vita Apollonij.

[22] Cont. Apion l. 1. & Antiq. l. 10. c. 11.

[23] e Herod. l. 1.

[24] Herod. l. 1

[25] Herod. l. 1

[26] Plin. l. 6. c. 26. Megathenes apud Euseb. Prœp. l. 9. c. 41.

[27] Pausan. l. 4. c. 23.

[28] Diodor. l. 1. p. 17, 51.

[29] b Lib. 1. p. 51

[30] c Apud Ioseph. Antiq. l. 1. c. 5

[31] Herod l. 1

[32] Herod. l. 1. Strabo l. 16. p. 745. & Baruch VI. 43.

[33] Ezek. 41. 13, 14.

[34] Ezek. 40. 47.

[35] Ezek. 40. 29, 33, 36.

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