« PreviousContinue »
the Phenicians as my principal witnesses, because nobody can complain of their testimony as false, on account that they are known to have borne the greatest ill-will towards us : I mean this as to the Egyptians in general all of them while of the Phenicians it is known the 'Tyrians have been most of all in the same ill disposition towards us : yet do I 'confess, that I cannot say the same of the Chaldeans, since our first leaders and ancestors were derived from them, and they do make mention of us Jews in their records, on account of the kindred there is between us. Now, when I sball have made my assertions good, so far as concerns the others, I will demonstrate that some of the Greek writers have made mention of iis jews also, that those who envy us may not have even this pretence for contradicting what I have said about our nation.
14. I shall begin with the writings of the Egyptians; not indeed of those that have written in the Egyptian language, which it is impossible for me to do.. But Manetho was a man who was by birth an Egyptian, yet had be made himself master of the Greek learning, as is very evident ; for he wrote the history of his own country in the Greek tongue, by translating it, as he saith himself, out of their sacred records: he also finds great fault with Herodotus for his ignorance and false relations of Egyptian afiairs. Now this Manftho, in the second book of his Egyptian history, writes concerning us in the following manner. I will set down his very words, as if I were to bring the very man himself into a court for a witness : “ There was " a king of ours whose name was Timaus. Under bim it " came to pass, I know not how, that God was averse to cus, and there came, after a surprising manner, men of
"ignoble birth out of the eastern parts, and had boldness 166 enough to make an expedition into our country and with « ease subdued it by force, yet without our hizarding a 6 battle with them. So, when they had gotten those that “ governed us under their power, they afterwards burnt “ down our cities, and demolished the temples of the gods, “ and used all the inhabitants after a most harbarous man. “ ner; nay, some they slew, and led their children and “ their wives into slavery. At length they made one of “ themselves king, whose name was Salatis ; he also lived " at Memphis, and made both the upper and lower regions " pay tribute, and lost garrisons in places that were the s most proper for them. He chiefly aimed to secure tlte, eastern parts, as foreseeing that the Assyrians, who had “ then the greatest power, would be desirous of that king* dom, and invade them; and, as he found in the Saite “ Nomos, (Seth-roitel, a city very proper for his purpose 5 and which lay upon the Bubastic channel, but with regard
to a ceriain theologic notion was called Avaris, this he “rebuilt, and made very strong by the walls he built about wit, and by a most bumerous garrison of two hundred and “ forty thousand armed men which he put into it to keep “it. Thither Salatis came in summer time, parıly to “gether his corn, and pay his soldiers their wages, and “partly to exercise his armed men, and threby to terrify “ foreigners When this man had reigned thirteen years, “after him reigned another, whose name was Bion, for. “ forty-four years; after bim reigned another,called Apach“nas, thirty-six years and seven months ; after him Apo“phis reigned sixty-one years, and then Janias fifty years "and one month; after all these reigned Assis forty-nine " years and two months. And these six were the first rulers "among them, who were all along making war with the “ Egyptians, and were very desirous gradually to destroy " them to the very roots. This whole nation was styled “Hycsos that is, shepherd-kings, for the first syllable “Hyc, according to the sacred dialect, denotes a king, “as is som a shepherd; but this according to the ordinary “ dialect; and of these is compounded Hycsos: but some “say that these people were Arabians.” Now, in another copy it is said that this word doth not denote kings, but on the contrary denotes captive shepherds, and this on account of the particle Hyo ; for that Hyc, with the as, piration in the Egyptian tongue again denotes shepherds, and that expressly also : and this to me seems the more probable opinion, and more agreeable to ancient history. [But Manetho goes on]: « These people, whom we “have before named king's, and called shepherds also, and so their descendants," as he says, “ kept possession of Egypt “ five hundred and eleven years. After these,” he says, «« That the kings of Thebais and of the other parts of Egypt, " made an insurrection against the shepherds, and that f there a terrible and long war was made between them." He says farther, “ That under a king, whose name was 56 Alisphraginuthosis, the shepherds were subdued by him, " and were indeed driven out of other parts of Egypt, but
is were shut up in a place that contained ten thousand acres : " this place was named Avaris.” Manetho says, " That “the shepherds built a wall round all this place, which was “ a large and a strong wall, and this in order to keep all " their possessions and their prey within a place of strength, “ but that Thummosis, the son of Alisphragmuthosis, made " an attempt to take them by force and by siege with four “ hundred and eighty thousand men to lie round about " them ; but that upon his despair of taking the place by " that siege, they came to a composition with them, that “ they should leave Egypt, and go, without any harm to be
done to them, whithersoever they would ; and that, after , “ this composition was made, they went away with their “ whole families and effects, not fewer in number than two “ hundred and forty thousand, and took their journey from “ Egypt, through the wilderness for Syria ; but that, as " they were in fear of the Assyrians, who had then the do“ minion over Asia, they built a city in that country which " is now called Judea, and that large enough to contain this " great number of men, and calied it Jerusalem."* Now Manetho, in another book of his, says, “ That this nation, “ thus called shepherds, were also called captives in their 56 sacred books.” And this account of his is the truth, for feeding of sheep was the employment f of our forefathers in the most ancient ages: and, as they led such a wandering life in feeding sheep, they were called shepherds. Nor was it without reason that they were called captives by the Egyptians, since one of our ancestors, Joseph, told the king of Egypt that he was a captive, I and afterward sent for his brethren into Egypt by the king's permission. But as for these matters, I shall make a more exact inquiry about them elsewhere. I
15. Bur now I shall produce the Egyptians as witnesses to the antiquity of our nation. I shall therefore here bring Manetho again, and what he writes as to the order of the times in this case ; and thus he speaks: “When this peo
* Here we have an account of the first building of the city of Jerusalem, according to Manetho, when the Phenician shepherds were expelled out of Egypt. about thirty-seven years before Abraham came out of Haran.
+ Gen. xlvi. 33, 34. xlvii. 3, 4. I In our copies of the book of Genesis and of Josephus, this Joseph never calls himself a captive, when he was with the king of Egypt, though he does call himself a servant, a slave, or a captive, many times in the Testament of the twelve Patriarchs, under Joseph, g 1, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16. || This is now wanting.
< ple or shepherds were gone out of Egypt to Jerusalem, - Tehnosis the king of Egypt, who drove them out, “ reigned afterward twenty-five years, and four months, s and ibeo died ; alter bin his son Chebron took the king. “dom for thirteen years; after whom came Amenophis, * for twenty years and set en months; then came his sister “ Amezses, brtwenty-one years and cine months; after
her came Membres, for twelve years and nine months ; “ after him Was Jepbrancathosis, for twenty-five years and “ ten months; aller nim was Thmosis, for nine years and " eight months; aiter him came Amedophis, for thirty years “ and tep months ; afier him came Orus, fer thirty-six “ years and five months ; then came his daughter Acen“ chres, for twelve years and one month; then was her “ brother Rathotis, for nine years ; then was Acencheres, " for twelve years and five months ; then cane anot, r 66 Acercheres, for twelve years and three months ; after “ him Armais, for four years and one month ; alter “ him was Ramesses, for one year and four months ; “ after liim came Armesses Miam noun, for sixty years " and two months; after him Amenophis, for nineteen “5 years and six months ; after him came Sethosis, and “ Ramessus, who had an army of borse, and a paval “ force. This king appointed his brother Arnais !0 “ be his deputy over Egypt. [In another copy it stood “ thus : after bim cane Sethosis and Ramesses, two 66 brethren, the former of which had a naval force, and “ in an hostile manner destroyed those that met him upon 66 the sea; but as he slew Ramesses in no long time alier. *“ ward, so he appointed another of his brethren to be bis
deputy over Egypt). He also gave him all the other au“thority of a king, but with these only injunctions, that he 5 should not wear the diadem, nor be injurious to the “ queen, the mother of his children, and that he should not “meddle with the other concubines of the king, while he "made an expedition against Cyprus and Phenicia, and be66 xides against the Assyrians and the Medes. He then "subdued them all, some by his arms, some without fight“ing, and some by the terror of his great army; and, be“ing pussed up by the great successes he had had, he went “still on the more boldly, and overtbrew the cities and “ countries that lay in the fariern parts Rut after some “ considerable time, Armais, who was left in Egypt, did all
" those very things by way of opposition, which his bro"other had forbid him to do, without fear; for he used vio“ lence to the queen, and continued to make use of the rest " of the concubines, without sparing any of them : nay, at “the persuasion of his friends, he put on the diadem, and * set up to oppose his brother. But then, he who was set s over the priests of Egypt, wrote letters to Sethos, and ines formed him of all that had happened, and how his bro" ther had set up to oppose him: he therefore returned back “to Pelusium immediately, and recovered his kingdom “ again. The country also was called from his name " Egypt; for Manetho says, that Sethosis was himself cal. "led Egyptus, as was his brother Armais called Danaus."*
16. This is Manetho's account. And evident it is, from the number of years by him set down belonging to this interval if they be summed up together, that these shepherds, as they are here called, who were no other than our forefathers, were delivered out of Egypt, and came thence, and inhabited this country, three hundred and ninety-three years before Danaus came to Argos ; although the Argives look upon him f as their most ancient king. Manetho, therefore, bears this testimony to two points of the greatest consequence to our purpose, and those from the Egyptian records themselves. In the first place, that we came out of another country into Egypt, and that withal our deliverance out of it was so ancient in time as to have preceded the siege of Troy almost a thousand years ;* but then, as to those things which Manetho adds, not from the Egyptian records, but, as he confesses himself, from some stories of an uncertain original, I will disapprove them hereafter,
* Of this Egyptian chronology of Manetho, as mistaken by Josepbus, and of these Phenician shepherds, as falsely supposed by him, and others after him, to have been the Israelites in Egypt, see Essay on the Old Testament, Appendix, page 182—188. And note here, that when Josephus tells us that the Greeks or Argives looked on this Danaus as a P XAIOTOTOS, a most ancient, or the most ancient king of Argos, he need not be supposed to mean, in the strictest sense, that they had no one king so ancient as he ; for it is certain that they owned nine kings before him, and Inachus at the head of them. See Authentic Records, Part ii. page 983, as Josephus could not but know very well; but, that he was esteemed as very ancient by them, and that they knew they had heen first of all denominated Dania from this very ancient king Danaus. Nor does this superlative degree always inn; lv the most ancient of all without exception, but is sometimes to be rendered lery ancient only, as is the case in the like superlative degrces of other words also.
† See the preceding note.