Amongst Voltaire’s numerous observations on Israel and the Bible, see his evaluations in chapter 4 of An Important Study by Lord Bolingbroke, or The Fall of Fanaticism: “I conjecture that Ezra forged all these Tales of a Tub on his return from captivity. He wrote them in cuneiform, in the jargon of the country just as today’s northern Ireland peasants would write in English characters.”

And: “[Assume] that the Pentateuch is by Moses. So, my friends, what would be proved? That Moses was a fool. One thing is sure, that today I would have a man who wrote similar extravagances committed to Bedlam” (Voltaire on Religion: Selected Writings, trans. Kenneth W. Applegate [New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1974], pp. 105, 107–108).