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Chapter LXXX.

After this, it seemed proper to Celsus to term the Chaldeans a most divinely-inspired nation from the very earliest times,46794679    ἐξ ἀρχῆς. from whom the delusive system of astrology46804680    γενεθλιαλογία. has spread abroad among men.  Nay, he ranks the Magi also in the same category, from whom the art of magic derived its name and has been transmitted to 611other nations, to the corruption and destruction of those who employ it.  In the preceding part of this work, (we mentioned) that, in the opinion even of Celsus, the Egyptians also were guilty of error, because they had indeed solemn enclosures around what they considered their temples, while within them there was nothing save apes, or crocodiles, or goats, or asps, or some other animal; but on the present occasion it pleases him to speak of the Egyptian people too as most divinely inspired, and that, too, from the earliest times,—perhaps because they made war upon the Jews from an early date.  The Persians, moreover, who marry their own mothers,46814681    [On the manners of heathen nations, note this.  See 1 Cor. v. 1.] and have intercourse with their own daughters, are, in the opinion of Celsus, an inspired race; nay, even the Indians are so, some of whom, in the preceding, he mentioned as eaters of human flesh.  To the Jews, however, especially those of ancient times, who employ none of these practices, he did not merely refuse the name of inspired, but declared that they would immediately perish.  And this prediction he uttered respecting them, as being doubtless endued with prophetic power, not observing that the whole history of the Jews, and their ancient and venerable polity, were administered by God; and that it is by their fall that salvation has come to the Gentiles, and that “their fall is the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles,”46824682    Cf. Rom. xi. 11, 12. until the fulness of the Gentiles come, that after that the whole of Israel, whom Celsus does not know, may be saved.


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