Page images
PDF
EPUB

between them, that required this allifance? On the contrary, thele people were enemies, and greatly differed from them in their customs. He says, indeed, that they complied immedia ately, upon their promising them that they should conquer Egypt; as if ihey did not themselves very well know ihat country out of which they had been driven by force. Now had these men been in want, or lived miserably, perhaps they might have undertaken so bazardous an enterprize, but as they dweli in an happy city, and had a large country, and one better than Egypt itlelt, how came it about, that for the sake of those that had of old been their enemies, of those ihat were maimed in their bodies, and of those whom none of their own relations would endure, they should run such hazards in assist. ing them ? For they could not foresee that the king would run away from them : On the contrary he faith himself that " A. menophis's fon had three hundred thousand men with hirt, and met them at Pelusium.” Now, to be lure thołe that came could not be ignorant of this; but for the king's repentance and. fligla, how could they possibly guess at it ? He then lays, that " those who came from Jerusalem, and made this invasion, got the granaries of Egypt into their possession, and perpetrated many of the most horrid allions there.” And thence he re. proaches them, as though he had not himself introduced them as enemies, or as though he might accuse such as were invit. ed from another place for so doing, when the natural Egyptians themselves had done the lame things before their coming and had taken oaths so to do. However, “Amenopbis, some time afterward came upon them, and conquered them in batile, and Dew his enemies, and drove them before him as far as Syria :” As if Egypt were so eally taken by people that came from any place whatsoever, and as if thole that had conquered it by war, when they were inlormed that Amenophis was alive, did neither fortify the avenues out of Ethiopia into it, although shey had great advantages !or doing it, nor did get their other forces ready for their defence; but that “he followed them over the sandy delert, and flew them as far as Syria;" while yet it is not an ealy thing for an army to pass over that coun. iry, even without fighting.

30. Our nation, therefore, according to Manetho, was not derived from Egypt, nor were any of the Egyptians mingled with us. For it is to be supposed, that many of the leprous and diftempered people were dead in the mincs, since they had been there a long time, and in so ill a condition ; many others must be dead in ihe battles that happened alcerward, and inore Bill in the lad battle and flight alter it. .

31. Il now remains that I debate with Manctho about Mo. ses. Now the Egyprians acknowledge him to have been a wonderful and a divine person : Nay, they would willingly lay claim to him themselves, though alter a molt abusive and incredible manner, and pretend that he was of Heliopolis, and Vol. III.

N 3

one of the prielts of that place, and was ejected out of it a. mong the rest, on account o! his leprosy ; although it had been demonstrated out of their records, that he lived five hundred and eighteen years earlier, and then brought our forefathers out of Egypt into the country that is now inhabited by us. But now that he was not subject in his body to any such ca. lamity, is evident from what he himselt tells us: For he for. bade thole that had the leprosy either to continue in a city. or to inhabit in a village, but commanded that they should go about by themselves with their clothes rent ; and declares that such as either touch them, or live under the same root with them, should be esteemed unclean : Nay more, it any one of their disease be healed, and he recover his natural constitution again, he appointed them certain purifications, and walhingi with spring water, and the shaving of all their hair, and en. joins that they fall offer many facrifices, and those of several kinds, and then at length, to be admitted into the holy city : although it were to be expected that, on the contrary, if he had been under the same calamity; he fhould have taken care ol such persons beforehand, and have had them treated after a kinder manner, as affected with a concern for those that were to be under the like misfortunes with himselt. Nor was it og. Jy those leprous people for whole fake he made these laws. but also for such as Thould be maimed in the smallest part of their body, who yet are not permitted by him to officiale as priests: Nay, although any priest; already initiated, should have such a calamity fall upon him afterward, he ordered him to be deprived of his honour ot officiating. Now can it then be supposed that Moses should ordain such laws againft bimlelt, to his own reproach and damage who lo ordained them? Not mdeed is that other notion of Manetho's at all probable whereini be relates the change of his name, and says, that "he was formerly called Ojars ph;and this a name no way agreeable to the other, while his true name was Mouses, and signifies a person who is preserved out of the water, for the Egyptians call water Muio. I think, therefore, I have made it fufficient ly evident that Manetho, while he followed his ancient records, did not much mistake the truth of history, but that when jie had recourse to fabulous flories, without any certain author. he either forged them himself, without any probability, or else gave credit to some men who spake so out of their ill will to us.

32. And now I have done with Manetho, I will enquire in. to what Cheremon says. For he also, when he preteaded to write the Egyptian history; sets down the same name for this kink that Manetho did, Amenoplis, as also of his son Ramel. ses, and then goes on ihus : “The goddess Isis appeared to Amenophis in his slecp, and blamed him that her temple had been demolished in the war. But that Phritiphantes, the las · cred Icribe, said to him, that in case he would purge Egypt of : the men that had pollutions upon them; he fhould be no Ica

ger troubled with such frightful apparitions. That Ameno, phis accordingly chose out two hundred and fifty thousand of those that were thus diseased, and cast them out of the country: That Moses and Joseph were scribes, and Joseph was a sacred scribe: That their names were Egyptian originally, that ot Mo. ses had been Tihthen, and that of Josepb Petefeph : That these two came to Pelusium, and lighied upon three hundred and · eighty thousand that had been left there by Amenophis, he not being willing to carry them into Egypt : That these scribes made a league of friendship with them, and made with them an expedition against Egypt: That Amenophis could not sustain their attacks, but fled into Ethiopia, and left his wile with child behind him, who lay concealed in certain caverns, and there brought forth a son, whose name was Mefene, and wlio, · when he was grown up to man's estate, pursued the Jews into Syria, being about iwo hundred thousand, and then receiv. ad his father Amenophis out of Ethiopia."

33. This is the account Cheremon gives'us. · Now I take it for granted, that what I have laid already hath plainly proved the falsity of both these narrations; for had there been any real truth at the bottom, it was impoffible that they should so greatly dilagree about the particulars. But for those that in. vent lies, what they write will easily give us very different ac*counts, while they forge what they please out of their own heads. Now Manetho Says, that the king's desire of seeing the gods, was the origin of the ejection of the polluted people ; but Cheremon seigns that it was a dream of his own, sent upon him by Isis that was the occasion of it. Manetho says, that the person who foreshewed this purgation of Egypt to the king, was Amenophis, but this man Tays it was Phritiphantes. As to the numbers of the multitude that were expelled, they agree exceedingly well;* the former reckoning them eighty thousand, and the latter about two hundred and fifty thou. fand. "Now, for Manetho, he describes there polluted persons as sent first to work in the quarries, and says, that after that the city Avaris was given them for their habitation. As allo he relates, that it was not till after they had made war with the rest of the Egyptians, that they invited the people of Jerusalem to come to their allistance; while Cheremon" says only, that . they were gone out of Egypt, and lighted upon three hundred and eighty thousand men about Pelufium, who had been lelt there by Amenophis, and so they inva:led Egypt' with them again ; that thereupon Amenophis fled into Ethiopia. But then, this Cheremon commits a most ridiculous blunder in not informing us who this army of so many ten thousands were, or whence they camc; whether they were native Egyp• tians, or whether they came from a foreign country. Nor indeed has this man, who forged a dream from llis, about the Weprous people alligned the reason why the king would not

* By way of irony, I suppose.

bring them into Egypt. Moreover, Cheremon sets down Joseph as driven away at the fame time with Moses, who yet died four* generations before Mole's, which four generations make almost one hundred and leventy years. Befides all this, Ramesses, the fon of Ameñophis, by Manetho's account, was a young man, and allifted his father in his war, and left the country at the same time with him, and fled into Ethiopia. But Cheremon makes him to have been born in a cetiaio cave, after his father was dead, and that he then overcame the Jews in battle, and drove them into Syria being in number about two hundred thoutand. O the levity of the man ! For he had neither told u's who these three hundred and eighty thouland wete, nor how the four hundred and thirty thousand perished; whether they fell in war, of went over to Ramelles. And what is the strangeit of all, it is not possible to learn out of him, who they were whom he calls Jews, or to which of these two parties he applies that denomination, whether to the hundred and fifty thoufand leprous people, of to the three hundred and eighty thousand iliat were abuut Peluluth. But perhaps it will be looked upon as a lilly thing in me to make any larger confutation of !uch writers as sufficiently confure themselves : For had they been only contuted by other men, . it had been more tolerable.

34. I ihall now add to these accounts about Manetho and Cheremon, lomewhat about Lysimachus, who hath taken the same topic of falsehood with those forenientioned, but hah gone far beyond them in the incredible nature ot his totge ties; which plainly demonftrates that he contrived the ti out of his virulent hatred of our nation. His words are thele: "The people of the Jews beirg leprous and scabby, and fubject to certain other kinds of duidempers, in the days of Bocchoris, king of Egypt, they fled to the temples, and got their food there by begging; and as the numbers were very great that were fallen under theie dileales, there arole a scarcity in Egypt. Hereupon Bocchoris, the king of Egypt, fent loftie to consult the oracle of Jupiter) Hanimon about this scarci. ty. The god's answer was tñis, That he muft purge his temples of impure and impious mon, by ex pelling them out of those temples into defert placés; but as to the Icabby and leprous people, he mult drown them, and purge his temples, the lun having an indignation at these men's being luffered to live. And by this means the land will bring forth its fruits. Upon Becchoris's having received these oracles, he called for their priests, and the attendants upon their altars, and ordered thein to make a collection of the ind pure people, and to dellver the in to the foldiers, to carry thein a way into the delert, but to take

* Here we fee that Josephus eleemed a generation between Joseph and Moles to te about 42 or 43 years; which, if cakea between the earlier children, weil agrees with the duration cf human lie in those ages. See Authent. Rec. Part II. cage 566, 1019, 1020.

the leprous people and wrap them in fheets of lead, and let them down into the sea. Hereupon the scabby and leprous people were drowned, and the rest were gotten together and fent into defert places, in order to be exposed to dettruction. In this case they assembled themselves together, and took counfel what they should do, and determined that as the night was coming on, they thould kindle fires and lamps, and keep watch; that they also thould faft the next night, and propitiate the gods, in order to obtain deliverance from them : That on the next day there was one Motes, who adviled them that they Should venture upon a journey, and go along one road till they should come to places fit for habitation; that he charged then to have no kind regards for any man, nor give good counsel to any, but always to advise them for the wirft, and to overiurn all thote temples and altars of the gods they should ireet with : That the rest commended what he had laid with one consent, and did what they had relolved on, and so travel. led over the defert. But that the difficulties of the journey being over, they came to a country inhabited, and that there threy abufed the men, and plundered and burnt their temples, and then came into that land which is called Judea, and there they built a city, and dwelt therein, and that their city was named Hierosyla, from this their robbing of the temples; but that flitl, upon the fuccess they had atcerwards, they in time changed its denomination, that it might not be a reproach to thenti, and called the city Hierosolyma, and themselves Hieroso. lomites."

35. Now this man did not discover and mention the same king with the others, but leigned a newer name, and palling by the dream and the Egyptian prophet, he brings him to Jupiter] Hammon, in order to gain oracles about the scabby and leprous people; for he says, That the multitude of Jews were gathered together at the temples, Now it is uncertain wheth. er he ascribes this name to these lepers, or to those that were subject to such diseases among ihe Jews only ; for he describes them as a people of the Jews. What people does he mean? foreigners, or those of that country? Why then doft thou call them Jews, if they were Egyprians ? But if they were foreigners, why dost thou not tell us whence they came? And how could it be that, after the king had drowned many of them in the sea, and ejected the rest into desert places, there Ihould be still so great à multiude remaining ? Or after what manner did they pass over the desert, and get the land which we now dwell in, and build our city, and that temple which hath been solamous among all mankind ? And belides, he ought to have Spoken more about our legislator, than by giving us his bare name ; and to have informed us of what nation he was, and what parents he was derived from ; and to have assigned the reasons why he undertook tomakeluch laws concerning the gods and concerning matters of injultice with regard to men during

« PreviousContinue »