Elephantine TempleJewish Mercenaries

The Letter of Aristeas also mentions Jews who were in the Persian forces that invaded Egypt. The Yeb (e.g. Island of Elephantine) papyrus reports on the existence of a Jewish settlement on Egypt’s southern border even before the Persian invasion (525 B.C.E.), a colony that grew in numbers and importance under the Hellenistic rulers.

Source: Ben-Zvi, Itzhak. The Exiled and the Redeemed (p. 288); How the Septuagint Differs. Biblical Archaeology Review 2.2 (Jun 1976): 33-34, 38.; Mission To Alexandria Truth and legend about the creation of the Septuagint, the first Bible translation By Leonard J. Greenspoon.; The English translation used in this article is from R.J.H. Shutt, “Letter of Aristeas (A New Translation and Introduction),” which can be found in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, vol. 2, ed. James H. Charlesworth (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1985).


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