The Embassy of Zerrubbabel and four other Jewish chiefs to the court of Darius, to obtain the protection of that monarch from the encroachments of the Samaritans, who interrupted a the labors in the reconstruction of the Temple, constitutes the legend of the Sixteenth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and also of the Red Cross Degree of the American Rite, which seems borrowed from the former. The history of this Embassy is found in the eleventh book of the Antiquities of Josephus, whence the Masonic ritualists have undoubtedly taken it. The only authority of Josephus is the apocryphal record of Esdras, and the authenticity of the whole transaction is doubted or denied by modern historians.
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