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up Iphigenia ; others suppose this to have been a perverted account, framed on the sacred relation of the sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter.
The accounts collected by Sanchoniatho are confirmed by Eratosthenes, the learned librarian' of Alexandria, under Ptolemy Euergetes, of whose writings there are some remains *. Hestiæus also, and Hieronymus, present as with some particulars of the history of Phænicia, which accord with the truth.
Josephus speaks of copies extant among the Tyrians in his time, of the letters which passed between Hiram and Solomon; and he appeals to Dius, whom he states to have been a Phænician historian, of undisputed credit, in confirmation of the account that Hiram went up to Mount Libanus, to cut wood for temples, and that Solomon interchanged problems with Hiram for solution t.
Nicolaus, of Damascus, affords some accounts which deserve attention : we know little more of him than that he was a distinguished advocate, and that he pleaded for
Published at Oxford, in 1672.
lib. viii. c. 2. Cont. Apion. lib. i. $ 17.
the Jews in a cause which was heard before Marcus Agrippa, and upon other important occasions. In the fourth book of his history, he mentions Abraham as coming from beyond Babylon, and reigning in Damascus, and afterwards removing to Judæa : he states, that the name of the patriarch was celebrated every where in the country of Damascus, and that a town existed which went by the name of Abraham ; that afterwards upon a famine, in Canaan, he settled in Egypt, and communicated instruction to the people in religion, arithmetic, and astronomy *.
Alexander Polyhistor represents Artapanus likewise to have related, that Abraham went from Syria to Egypt, and remained there twenty years, teaching the Egyptians astronomy f.
Alexander Polyhistor mentions, also, that Melo, who wrote against the Jews, stated, that Abraham sojourned in the desert and had two wives ; and that, of the one who had been an Egyptian slave, he begat twelve children, who divided Arabia and became
princes of that country; that, of his legitimate wife, he begat a son, called Laughter, (yawla) *, who, when Abraham was dead, begat twelve sons, of whom the youngest was named Joseph, from whom Moses is reckoned the third in descent. Polyhistor adds, that Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his son, and that he immediately, taking him to a mountain, prepared a pile and set him on it, but, being about to slay him, he was forbidden by an angel, who furnished a ram to him for an oblation), and that Abraham drew his son from the pile and sacrificed the ram f. · The same author gives a great part of the history of Jacob and Esau, and of the birth of the twelve Patriarchs, particularly of Joseph, from Demetrius, so as to exhibit an abridgment of the sacred history, though he extends the period from Adam to the removal into Egypt, to 3624 years, and differs from Scripture in some particulars ..
Demetrius also mentions events in the life of Moses, as of his killing the Egyptian, and marrying Zipporah.g; and Alexander
. Gen. xvii. 12. Evang. lib. ix. c. 19. is, c. 29.
* Gen. xviii. 12.
The name “ Isaac," means laughter.
# Ibid. lib, ix, c. 21.
Ibid, lib. ix, c. 29.
Polyhistor relates, that Theodotus speaks of the fruitfulness of Judæa, of the coming of Jacob into Mesopotamia, of his two marriages and removal to Canaan, of the treatment which Dinah experienced, and its consequences *..
Menander, the Ephesian, relates that Hiram went up to Libanus to cut down cedar for temples: but he speaks of the temples as being dedicated to Heathen deities. He mentions also the employing of a young man,
called Abdemon, to expound the riddles of Solomon ተ. .
* Euseb. Præp. Evang. lib. ix. c. 22. † Joseph. lib. viii. c. 5.
Of the Connection which subsisted between the
Jews and the Egyptians.
Egypt was probably colonized in part before the dispersion of mankind took place, from the plains of Shinar. Mizraim, the son of Ham, is generally considered as having first established a settlement there.
The Israelites, who took up their abode in Egypt with Jacob, continued there, four hundred and fifteen years, completing, according to Josephus, a period of four hundred and thirty years from Abraham's arrival in Canaan *. From the account which Moses gives of the departure of this people from their bondage, it appears, that all the descendants of Jacob at that time quitted the country, young and old, sons and daughters t, and with them a mixed multitude 1.
· By the law of Moses to his people it was directed that they should look with some fa
* Exod. xii. 40. Joseph. Antiq. lib. ii. c. 14. + Exod. x. 9. xii. 31, 32. Ibid. xii. 38.