Page images
PDF
EPUB

For indeed Sell was born wlien Adain was in his two hundred and thirtieth vear': who lived nine hundred and thirty years. Seth begat Enoch in his two hundred and fifth year ; who, when he had lived nine hundred and twelve years, delivered the government to Cain his son; whom he had at his hundred and ninetieth year. He lived nine hundred and five years. Cain, when he had lived nine hundred and ten years, kad his son Malaleel, who was born in his hundred and seventieth year. This MaJaleel having lived eight hundred' and ninety-five years, died, leaving his son Jared, whom he begat when he was at his hundred and sixty-fifth year. He lived nine hundred and sixty-two years;

and then his son Enoch succeeded him; who was born when his father was one hundred and sixiy two years old. Now he, when he had lived three hundred and sixty five years, departed and went to God. Whence it is that they have not written down his death. Now Mathusala, the son of Enoch, who was born to him when he was one hundred and sixty.five years old, had Laipech for his son, when he was one hundred and eighty-seven years of age ; 10 whom he delivered the government when he had retained it nine hundred and sixty-nine years. Now Lamech, when he had governed seven hundred and seventy-seven years, appointed Noab his son to be Tuler of the people; who was born to Laniech when he was one hundred and eighty-two years old, and retained the government nine hundred and tifty years. These years collected together make up the sum before set down. But lei no one enquire into the deaths of these men, for they extended their lives all along together with their children and grandchildren: but let him have regard to their births oply.

When God gave the signal, and it began to rain, the water poured down forty intire days, till it became fifteen cubits * higher than the earth; which was the reason why there were no greater number preserved, since they had no place to fly to. When the rain ceased, the water did but just begin to abate after one hundied and fifty days, that is, on the seventeenth day of the seventh month. After this the Aik rested on the top of a certain mountain in Armenia; which, when Noah understood, he opened it, and seeing a small piece of land about it,

he continued quiet, and conceived some hopes of deliverance. But a few days afterward, when the water was decreased to a greater degree, he sent out a raven, as desirous to learn whether any.

other part of the earth was left dry by the water, and whether he might go out of the Ark with safety ; but the raven, finding all the land still overflowed, returned to Noah again.

But after seven days he sent out a dove, to know the state of the ground, which came back to him covered with mud, and bringing an olive branch. Hereby Noah learned that the earth was become clear of the flood. So after he had stayed seven more days, he sent the living creatures out of the Ark, and both he and his family went out; when he also sacrificed to God, † and feasted with his companions. However, the Armenians call this place Arobalisiou, † the place of descent: for the Ark being saved in that place, its remains are shewed by ihe inhabitants to this day.,

Now all the writers of profane history make menlion of this flood, and of this ark, among whom is Berosus, the Chaldean; for when he was describing the circumstances of the flood, he goes on thus : " It is said there is siill some part of this ship, in Armenia, at the mountain of the Cordyæans; and that some people carry off pieces of the bitumen, which they take away, and use chielly as amulers, for the averting of mischiefs.” Hieronymus the Egyptian also, who wrote the Pliænician Antiquities; and Mnaseas, and many more make mention of the same. Nay. Nicolaus of Damascus, in his ninety-sixth Book, hath a particular relation about them, where he speaks thus: “There is a great mountain in Armenia, over Minyas, called Baris; upon which it is reported that many who fled at the time of the deluge were saved; and that one who was carried in an ark, came on shore upon the top of it, and that the remains of the timber were a great while preserved: this might be the man about whom Moses, the legislator of the Jews, wroie.

But as for Noah, he was afraid, since God had deterinined to destroy maokind, lest he should drown the earıha every year. So he offered burnt offerings, and besought God that nature might hereafter go on in its former orderly course, and that he would not bring on so great a judgment any more, by which the whole race of creatures might be in

Who also says,

whigd I suppose to be the true account of that matter ; for there is no reason to imagine that men were not taught to read and write soon after they were taught to speak; and perhaps all by the Messiah himself, who, under the father, was the creator or governor of mankind, and who frequently, in those early days, appeared to them. * Gen. vij. 20.

+Gen. viii. 20. This place of descent is the proper interpretation of the Armenian name of this city. It is called in Ptolemy Naxuana, and by Moses Chorenensis, the Armenian HisLorian, Idslacuan; but at the place itself Nachidsbeuan,

wlaich signifies the first place of descent; and is a lasting monument of the preservation of Noah in the Ark upon the top of that mountain, at whose foot it was built, as the first city or town after the Hood.

See Antių, sx, ?, and Moses Chorenensis, page 71–72. page 19, that another town was related by tradition to have been called Seron, or the place of dispersion, on account of the first dispersion of Xisuthrus’s or Noah's sons from thence. Whether any remains of this Ark be still preserved, as the people of the country suppose, I cannot certainly tell.

danger

[ocr errors]

danger of destruction; but that, having now punished I have laid aside my anger by my bow;"* whereby the wicked, he would of his goodness spare the re- is meant the rainbow: for they determined that the mainder, and such as he had hitherto judged fit to rainbow was the bow of God. And when God be delivered from so severe a calamity ; for that had said and promised thus, he went away. otherwise these last must be more miserable than Now when Noah had lived three hundred and. the first, and that they must be condemned to a fifty years after the flood, and all that time happily, worse condition than the others, unless they be suf- he died; being nine hundred and fifty years old. fered to escape entirely ; that is, if they be reserved But let no one, upon comparing the lives of the an. for another deluge, while they must be afflicted cients with our lives, and with the few years which with the terror and the sight of ihe first deluge, and we now live, think that what we have said of them must also be destroyed by a second. He also in- is false ; or make the shortness of our lives ar pre. treated God to accept of his sacrifice, and to grant, sent an argument that they did not attain to so long that the earth night never again undergo the like a duration of life ; for those ancients were beloved. effects of his wrath; that men might be permitted of God, and lately made by God himself; and, beto go on cheer tully in cultivating the same ; to capise ibeir food was then fitter for the prolongation build cities, and live lappily in their ; and that they of life, night well live so great a number of years. might not be deprved of any of those good things And besides, God afforded them a longer time of life which they enjoyed before the flood; but in'ght at on account of their virtue, and the good use they tain to the old age which the ancient people had made of it in astronomical and geometrical discoarrived at before.

veries, which would not have afforded them tiine for When Noah had iuade these supplications, God, foretelling the periods of the stars, unless they had who loved the man for his righteousness, granted his lived six hundred years, for the great year is comprayers, and said, “ that it was not he who brought plered in that interval. Now I have for witnesses to the destruction on a polluted world, but that they what I have said all those that have written an under went that vengeance on account of their own tiquities, both among the Greeks and Barbarians ; wickedness; and that he had not brought men into for even Manecho, who wrote the Egyptian Histhe world, if he had himself determined to destroy tory; and Berosus, who collected the Chaldean them; it being an instance of greater wisdom not to Monuments; and Mochus, and Hestiæus, and bea have granted them life at all, than after it was granted, sides these, Hieronymus, the Egyptian, and those to procure their destruction. But the injuries,” said that composed the Phænician llistory, agree to he," they offered to my holiness and virtue, forced what I here say. Hesiod + also, and Hecatæus, me to bring this punishment upon them; but I will and Hellanicus, and Aculsilaus ; and besides these, leave off for the time to come lo require such pu.

Ephorus and Nicolaus relare, that the ancients lived nishments, the effects of so great wrath, for their a ibousand years. But, as to these matters, let every, future wicked actions ; and especially on account one look upon them as they think fit. of thy players. But if I shall at any time send tempests of rain in an extraordinary manner, be not affrighted at the copiousness of the showers, for the

CHAP. IV. water shall no more overspread the earth. However, I require you to abstain from sheilding the blood of of the Tower of Babylon, and the Confusion of men, and to keep yourselves pure from murder,

Tongues. and to punish those that com init any such thing; I permit you to make use of all the other living 'HE sons af Noah were three, Shem, Japhel, crediures, at your pleasure, and as your appetites and Ham, born one hundred years before the lead

you; for I have made you lords of them all: deluge. These first of all descended from the mounboth of those that walk on the land, and those tains into the plains, and fixed their habitation there, that swiin in the waters, and of those that fly in the and persuaded others, who were greatly afraid of the regions of the air on high, excepting the blood, for lower grounds on account of the flood, and so were therein is the life. But I will give you a sign that very loth to come down from the higher places, 10

THE

Gen. ix. 13. + Since the Latin copies have here generally Isiodorus, instead of Hesiodus; Vossius, and perhaps Hudson, incline to think the writer here meant was Isidorus Characenus, who produced instances of. hings who reigned a long time. But since the Greek copies, have coustantly Hesiod, and since Hesiod says, that mens lives were once so long, that at one hundred years of age they might be esteemed great

infants, I prefer that realing. But whai a catalogue of ancient authors are here! that confirm the Sacred His tory in one of its most difficult branches ! To which had Josephus read the Latin authors, as he did tlre Greek, he might have added Varro, the most learned of the Romans, who made this enquiry, what the reason was that the ane. cients were supposed to have lived one thousand years?

yentures

[ocr errors]

by producing in them divers languages, and cause ing that, through the multitude of those languages, they should not be able to understand one another.

T place wherein they built the lower is now called Babylon, because of the confusion of that lan. guage which they readily understood before, for the Hebiews mean by the word Babel, * confusion. The Sibly + also makes mention of the tower, and of the confusion of the language, when he says thus :“ When all men were of one language, some of them built an high tower, as if they would thereby ascend up to heaven, but the gods sent storms of wind, and overthrew the tower, and gave every one his peculiar language ; and for this reason it was that the city was called Babylon." But as to the plain of Shinar, in the country of Babylonia, Hesriæus mentions it when he says,

“ Such of the priests as were saved took the sacred vessels of Jupiter Enyalius, and came to Shinar of Babylonia."

[ocr errors]

ventore to follow their example. Now the plain in which they first dwelt was called Shinar. God also commanded them to send colonies abroad, for the thorough peopling of the earth, that they might not raise seditions among themselves, but might cultivale a great part of the earth, and enjoy its fruits after a plentiful manner; but they were so illo instructed, that they did not obey God, for which season they fell into calamities, and were made sen. sible by experience of what sin they had been guilty of; for when they flourished with a numerous youth, God adınonished them again to send out colonies ; but they, imagining that she prosperity they enjoyed was not derived from the favor of God, but supposing that their own power was the proper cause of the plentiful condition they were in, did noi obey lini. Nay, they added to this disobedience to the divine will, the suspicion that they were ordered to send out separate colonies, that, being divided asunder, they might the more easily be oppressed.

Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an -affront and contempt of God; he was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it to God, as if it were through his means that they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence on his own power. He also said, “ He would be revenged on God, if he should have a mind to drown the world again; for that he would build a tower too high for the waters to be able to reach, and that he would avenge himself on God for destroying their forefathers."

Now the multitude were very ready to follow the deterinination of Nimrod, and to esteem it a piece of cowardice to submit to God; and they built a tower, neither sparing any pains, nor being in any degree negligent about the work ; and by reason of the multitude of hands employed in it, it grew very high sooner than any one could expect; but the thickness of it was so great, and it was so strongly built that thereby its great height seemed, upon view to be less than it really was. It was built of burnt brick, cemented together with mortar, made of bitumen, that it might not be liable to admit water. When God saw them acting so madly, he did not resolve to destroy them utteriy, since they were not grown wiser by the destruction of the former sinners, but he caused a tumult among them,

CHAP. V. Of the Manner in which the Posterity of Noah, sent out Colonies, and inhabited the whole Earth. FTER this they were dispersed abroad, on ac.

count of the difference of their languages, and went out by colonies every where, and each colony took possession of that land unto which God led them, so that the whole continent was filled with them, both the inland and the maritime countries. There were some also who passed over the sea in ships, and inhabited the islands ; and some of those nations still retain the denoininations which were given them by their first founders, but some have lost them, and some have only admitted certain changes in them, that they might be more intelligible to the inliabitants; and they were the Greeks who became the authors of such mutations; for when, in after ages, they grew potent, they claimed to themselves the glory of antiquity, giving names to the nations that sounded well in Greek, that they might be better understood anong themselves, and setting agreeable forms of government over them, as if they were a people derived from themselves.

[blocks in formation]

* Genesis, xi. 29.

+ See this testimony in the original, and in English in my cd tion of the Sibylline Oracles, page 11, 93, 94. but there it is in verse, as here in prose, the reason of which difference I by no means understand. But what is here

remarkable is, that Moses Chorenensis, the Armenian historian, confirms this bistory, that God overthrew this tower by a terrible and divine storm; and confounded the language of the builders, and this from the earliest records belonging to that nation.

they

nations by those that first seized upon them. Japhet, pronounce them ; but the names in all cases are of the son of Noah, had seven sons; they inhabited so, one and the same ending ; for the name we liere that beginning at the mountains Taurus and Ama- pronounce Noeus, is there Noah, and in every case nus, they proceeded along Asia, as far as the river retains the same termination. Tanais, and along Europe to Cadiz, and seriling The children of Ham possessed the land from themselves on the lands they chose, which none Syria and Anianus, and the niountains of Libanus, hadinhabited before, they called the nations by their seizing upon all the maritime parts, and keeping own names; for Gomer founded those whom the them as their own. Some, indeed, of its names are Greeks call Galatians, but were then called Gome- utterly vanished: others of them being changed, and rites. Magog founded those that from him were another sound given them, are hardly to be disconamed Magogites, but who are by the Greeks called vered; yet there are a few which have kept their Scythians. Now as to Javan and Madai, the sons denominations entire ; for of the four sons of Ham, of Japliet; from Madai caine the Madeans, which time has not at all hurt the name of Chus; for the are called Medes by the Greeks, but from Javan Ethiopians, over whom he reigned, are even at this Jonio, and all the Grecians are derived. Thobel day both by themselves and by all men in Asia, founded the Thobelites, now called Iberes: and the called Chusites. The memory also of the Mesraites Mosocheni, now called Cappadocians, were founded is preserved in their name, for all we who inhabit by Mosoph. There is also a mark of their ancient the country of Judea call Egypt Mestre, and the denomination still to be shown, for there is even Egyptians Mestrians. Phut also was the founder of now among them a city called Mazaca, which may Libya, and called the inhabitants Phutites, from inform those who are able to understand, that so was himself ; there is also a river in the country of the the nation once called. Thiras also called all those Moors which bears that name, whence the greatest whom he ruled over, Thirasians, but the Greeks part of the Grecian historians mention that river, changed the name into Thracians; and so many and the adjoining country, by the appellation of were the countries that had the children of Japhet Phut; but the name it has now is derived from one for their inhabitants.

of the sons of Mestraim, who was called Lybyos. Of the three sons of Gomer, Aschanax founded We will inform you presently what has been the the Arschanaxians, who are now called by the occasion why it has been called Africa also, Canaan, Greeks Rheginians; Ripath founded the Ripheans, the fourth son of Ham, inhabited the country now now called Paphlagonians; and Thrugramma the called Judea, and called it from his own name Thrugrammeans, who, as the Greeks resolved, were Canaan. The children of these four were, Sabas, named Phrygians. Of the three sons of Javan also, who founded the Sabeans : Evilas, who founded the the son of Japhet, Elisa gave name to the Eliseans, Evileans, now called Getuli ; Sabathes, who founded who were his subjects ; ihey are now the Æolians. the Sabathens, called by the Greeks Astaborans ; Tharsus to the Tharsians, for so was Cilicia of old Sabactas, who settled the Sabactens ; and Ragmus called ; the sign of which is, that the noblest city who founded the Ragmeans. This latter had two they have, and a metropolis also, is Tausus, the let- sons, one of whom, Judadas, settled the Judadeans, ter Tau being hy change put for Theta. Cethimus a nation of the western Ethiopians, and left them possessed the island Cerhima. It is now called Cy- his name; as did Sabas, to the Sabeans. But Nim. prus, and from that all islands, and the greatest part rod, the son of Chus, stayed and tyrannized at Baof the sea-coasts, are named Cethim by the He- bylon, as we have already observed. brews; and one city there is in Cyprus that has Now all the children of Mestraim, being eight in been able to preserve its denomination ; it is called number, possessed the country from Gaza to Egypt, Citius by those who use the language of the Greeks, though it retained the name of one only, the Philis. and has not, by the use of that dialect, escaped the tim, for the Greeks call part of that country Palesname of Cethim; and so many nations have the tine. As for the rest, Ludiem, Enemim, and children and grand-children of Japhet possessed. Labim, who alone inhabited Libya, and called the Now when I have premised somewhat which, per. country from himself; Nedim and Phethrosim, and haps, the Greeks do not know, I will return and Chesloim and Cepthorim, we know nothing of explain what I have omitted, for such names are them besides their names : for the Ethiopic war, pronounced here after the manner of the Greeks, to which we shall describe hereafter, was the cause please my readers, for our own language does not so that those cities were overthrown.

* One observation ought not here to be neglected, with regard to that Ethiopic war, which Moses, as general of the Egyptians, put an end to, II. 10, and about which modern writers seem very much unconcerned ; viz. that it was a war of that consequence, as to occasion the removal

VOL. 1.-N0. H.

or destruction of six or seven nations of the posterity of Mesraim, with their cities, which Josephus would not have said, if he had not bad ancieat records to justify his assertions, though those records be now lost,

Tlic

The sons of Canaan were these; Sidonius, who built a city of the same name, but called by the Greeks Sidon ; Amatbus inhabited Amathine, which is even now called Amathe by the inhabitants, although the Macedonians named it Epiphania, from one of his posterity; Arudeus possessed the island Aradeus : Arucas possessed Arce, which is in Libaljus. But of the seven others, Chetteus, Jebuseus, Amorreus, Gergeseus, Eudeus, Sineus and Samareus, we have nothing in the sacred books but their names; for the Hebrews overthrew their cities, and their caJamities came upon them on the occasion following.

When, after the deluge, the earth was resettled in its former condition. Noah set about its cultivation, and planted it with vines; and when the fruit was ripe, and he had gathered the grapes in their season, and the wine was ready for use, he offered sacrifice, and feasted; and being incbriated, he fell asleep, and lay naked in an unseemly manner. * When his youngest son saw this, lie came laughing and shewed him

to his brethren, but they covered their father's nakedness; and when Noah was made sensible of what had been done, he prayed for prosperity to his other sons; but for Ham, he did not curse him by reason of bis nearness in blood, but cursed his posterity, and when the rest of them escaped that curse, God inflicted it on the children of Canaan. But of these matters we shall speak more liereafter,

Shem, the third son of Noah, had five sons,twho inhabited the land that began at Euphrates, and reached to the Indian ocean. For Elam left behind him the Elamites, the ancestors of the Persians. Askur lived at the city Ninive, and named his suba jects Assyrians, who became the most fortunate nation beyond others. Arphaxad nained the Arphaxadices, who are now called. Chaldeans. Aram had the Aramites, whom the Greeks call Syrians; as Lud founded the Ludites, who are now called Lydians. Of the four sons of Aram, Uz founded Trachonitis and Damascus; this country lies between Palestine and Celesyria. Ul founded Armenia ; and Onther' the Bactarians.; and Mesa the Mesaneans: it is now called Charax Spasina. Sala was the son of Arphasad : and his son was Heber, from whom they originally called the Jews Hebrews. I Heber begat Joetan and Phaleg. He was called Phaleg because he was born g at the dispersion of the nations to their

several countries, for Phaleg among the Hebrews signifies division. Now Joctan, one of the sons of Heber, had these sons, Elmodad, Saleph, Asermoth, Jera, Adoram, Aziel, Decla, Ebal, Abimeal, Sabeus, Ophir, Euilat, and Jobab : these inhabited from Cophen, an Indian river, and in part of Asia adjoining to it; and this may suffice concerning the sons of Shem.

I will now treat of the Hebrews. The son of Phaleg, whose father was Heber, was Ragau, whose son was Serug, to whom was born Nahor: bis son was Terah, wlio was the 'father of Abraham, who accordingly was the tenth from Noah, who was born in the two hundred and ninety-second year after the deluge: for Terah begat Abram in his seventieth year. Nahor begat Haran when he was one hundred and twenty years old ; Nabor was born to Serug at his hundred and thirty-second year; Ragau had Serug at one hundred and thirty : at the same age also Phaleg had Ragau ; Heber begat Phaleg in his hundred and thirty-fourth year, he himself being begotten by Sala when he was a hundred and thirty years old : whom Arplia xad bad for his son at the hundred and thirty-fifth year of bis age. Arphaxad was the son of Shem, and born twelve years after the deluge. Now Abram had two brethren, Nahor and Haran; of rbese, Haran, left a son, Lor; as also Sarai and Milcha, his daughters; and died among the Chaldeans, in a city of the Chaldeans cailed Ur, and his monument is shown to this day. These married their nieces ; Nalor married Milchai and Abram married Sarai. Now Terah hating Chaldea on account of his mourning for Haran, they all removed to Haran of Mesopotamia, where Terah died, and was buried, when he had lived to be two hundred and five years old; for the life of man was already, by degrees, diminished, and became shorter than before, till the birth ** of Moses, after whom the term of human life was one hundred and ewenty years, God determining it to the length that Moses happened to live. Now Nabor had eight sons by Milcha ; Uz and Buz, Kemuel, Chesed, Azau, Pheldas, Jadelph, and Bethuel. These were all the genuine sons of Nahor; for Teha and Gaam, and Tachas and Maaca, were born of Reuma his concubine ; but Bethuel had a daughter Rebecca, and a son Laban.'

* Gen ix. 21.

+ Gen. x. 2). That the Jews were called Hebrews from their progenitor, Heber, our author Josephus here rightly affirms; and not from Abram the Hebrew, or passenger over Euphrates, as inany of the moderns suppose. Shem is also called the Father of all the Children of Heber, or of all the Hebrews, in’a history long before Abram passed over, Euphrates, Gen. 'x. 21.

§ If Phaleg 'were so called at his birth, as Josephus herunsightly asseris, it is plain the short Hebrew, or Ma

sorete chronology was not the chronology of Josephus, by which the confusion of languages, and the dispersion of mankind fell no later than the 100th year after the deluge, which is impossible to be supposed, and is a great deal too soon for such confusion of languages and dispersion of mankind, which, by the best chronology, did not happen till 300 years later, or till 400 years after the flood.

|| Therefore the second Cainan is spurious.. See Bernard's note. 9 An, 1962.

** An. 1612.

CHAP.

« PreviousContinue »