Page:LostApocryphaOfTheOldTestamentMRJames.djvu/111

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THE OLD TESTAMENT

quote apocrypha,[1] but the pseudo-Ezekiel, we have seen, is known to him; this may be from it.

Hystaspes

A book of a somewhat different kind from those we have been considering has to be noticed now. It is the Prophecy of Hystaspes, a soi-disant pagan prophetical book of the same general character as the Sibylline Oracles (of which, it is hardly necessary to say, a large corpus, wholly Jewish or Christian, exists).

The supposed author, Hystaspes, Hydaspes, Gushtasp, is described as an ancient Persian king, contemporary with Zoroaster. Agathias (ii. 24) says that Zoroaster was "in the time of Hystaspes," but that it was uncertain to him whether this was the father of Darius or some other Hystaspes. He speaks on the authority of the Persians of his own time (middle of the sixth century). In passing, I remind the reader that a Christian prophecy of Zoroaster, mentioned above under Baruch, is addressed to his disciple Gushnasp. Of Hystaspes, Ammianus Marcellinus (xxiii. 6, 32) has this to say: "Hystaspes, a most wise King, father of Darius. He, while boldly exploring the hidden parts of Upper India, came upon a lonely forest region whose still quietude was peopled by the wisest of the Brachmani: from them he learnt, so far as he was able, the system of the course of the world and the stars, and the ritual of a fire-worship; and some part of his learning he infused into the minds of the Magi, by whom, along with the lore of predicting the future, it is handed down to later ages through the descendants of each." This passage does not show Hystaspes as the author of a written work; our evidence as to that is all derived from Christian sources. There are four passages.

Clement of Alexandria, Str. vi. 5. 42, 43: "In addition to the Preaching of Peter this will be seen from

  1. He is generally known to have used Enoch; and Mr. H. N. Bate has recently called my attention to a passage in his de bono patientiæ, xiii., in which he not only alludes to the Ascension of Isaiah, but also, undoubtedly, to the Testament of Job, chap. xx.