Page images
[graphic][subsumed][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

a song unto God, containing his praises, and of God to destroy the monarchy of the Pera thanksgiving for his kindness, in hexameter sians; and this is confessed to be true by all verse.

that have written about the actions of AlexAs for myself, I have delivered every part ander; but as to these events let every one of this history as I found it in the sacred determine as he pleases. books; nor let any one* wonder at the On the next day Moses gathered together strangeness of the narration, if a way were the weapons of the Egyptians, which were discovered to those men of old time, who brought to the camp of the Hebrews by the were free from the wickedness of the modern current of the sea, and the force of the winds ages, whether it happened by the will of God, assisting it; and he conjectured that this also or whether it happened of its own accord; happened by Divine providence, that so they while, for the sake of those that accompanied might not be destitute of weapons.

So when Alexander, king of Macedonia, who yet lived he had ordered the Hebrews to arm themcomparatively but a little while ago, the selves with them, he led them to Mount Sinai, Pamphylian sea retired, and afforded them a in order to offer sacrifice to God, and to renpassage through itself, when they had no der oblations for the salvation of the multiother way to go; I mean, when it was the will tude, as he had been previously commanded.

* Take here the original passages of the four old authors with him supposed, and afforded him an easy and quick that still remain, as to the transit of Alexander the Great passage.” Appian, when he compares Cæsar and Alexover the Pamphylian Sea, (for most of the oldest authors, ander together, (De Bell. Civil. II. page 522,) gays, “ That seen by Josephus, are entirely lost,) I mean of Callis they both depended on their boldness and fortune, as thenes, Strabo, Arrian, and Appian. As to Callisthenes, much as on their skill in war. As an instance of which, who himself accompanied Alexander in this expedition, Alexander journeyed over a country without water, in the Eustatius, in his notes upon the third Iliad of Homer, tells heat of summer, to the Oracle of Jupiter Ammon; and us, that “this Callisthenes wrote how the Pamphylian quickly passed over the bay of Pamphylia, when by DiSea did not only open a passage for Alexander, but by vine providence the sea was cut off ; this Providence rerising and elevating its waters did pay him homage as its straining the sea on his account, as it had sent him rain king.” Strabo's account is this, Geog. XIV.

page 666,

when he travelled over the desert.' “ Now about Phaselis is that narrow passage by the sea N. B. Since, in the days of Josephus, as he here assures side, through which Alexander led his army.

There is a

us, all the more numerous original historians of Alexander mountain called Climax, which adjoins to the sea of Pam gave the account he has here set down, as to the proviphylia, leaving a narrow passage on the shore; which in dential going back of the waters of the Pamphylian Sea, calm weather is bare, so as to be passable by travellers ; when he was going with his army to destroy the Persian but when the sea overflows, it is covered to a great degree monarchy, which the afore-named authors now remaining by the waves. Now the ascent by the mountains being fully confirm ; it is without any foundation that Josephus round about, and steep, in still weather they make use of is here blamed, by some late writers, for quoting those the road along the coast. But Alexander fell into the ancient authors upon the present occasion. Nor can the winter season, and committing himself chiefly to fortune, reflections of Plutarch, or any other author later than he marched on before the waves retired; and so it hap Josephus, be in the least here alledged to contradict him. pened that they were a whole day journeying over it, Josephus went by all the evidence he then had, and that and were under water up to the navel.” Arrian's ac evidence of the most authentic sort. So that whatever count is this, I. page 72, 73, “When Alexander removed the moderns may think of the thing itself, there is hence from Phaselis, he sent some part of his army over the not the least colour for finding fault with Josephus. He mountains to Perga, which road the Thracians shewed had rather been to blame had he omitted these quotations. him. A difficult way it was, but short. However, he However, since the pretended epistles of Alexander himself conducted those that were with him by the sea omitted what all the ancient historians asserted about this shore. The road is impassable at any other time than matter, and which I know no sufficient grounds to conwhen the north wind blows; but if the south wind prevail, tradict, as Plutarch informs us, De Vit. Alexand, page there is no passing by the shore. Now at this time, after 674 : there will be reason te question those Epistles, strong south winds, a north wind blew, and that not with whether they were genuine, or at least to think they were out the Divine providence, as both he and they that were an imperfect collection of them.


Containing an Interval of Two Years.





[ocr errors]


The water, however, was bitter, and not fit
for men to drink; and not only so, but it was
intolerable even to the cattle themselves.

When Moses saw how much the people
CHEN the Hebrews had obtained such were cast down, and that the occasion of it

a wonderful deliverance, the country could not be contradicted; for the people was a great trouble to them, for it was en were not in the nature of a complete army of tirely a desert, and had not water enough to men, who might oppose a manly fortitude to suffice

any of the cattle; for it was parched the necessity that distressed them; and the up, and had not moisture that might afford multitude of the children and of the women, nutriment to the vegetables. So they were being of too weak capacities to be persuaded forced to travel over this country, as having by reason, blunted the courage of the men no other route. They had, indeed, carried themselves; Moses was in great difficulties, water with them from the land over which

and made every body's calamities to be his they had travelled before, as their conductor own; for they all ran to him, and begged of had bidden them; but when that was spent him; the women begged for their infants, and they were obliged to draw water out of wells, the men for the women, that he would not with pain, by reason of the hardness of the overlook them, but procure some way or soil. The water thus obtained, also, was other for their deliverance. He therefore bitter, and unfit for drinking, and this in small betook himself to prayer to God, that he quantities. And as they thus travelled, they would change the water, and make it fit for came late in the evening to a place called drinking. And when God had granted him Marah,* from the badness of its waters: for that favour, he took the top of a stick that lay Mar denotes bitterness.f Thither they came at his feet, and divided it in the middle, and afllicted, both by the tediousness of the jour- | made the section lengthways; he then let it ney, and by want of food; for it entirely failed down into the well, and persuaded the Hethem at that time. Now here was a well, brews that God had hearkened to his prayers, which induced them to stay in the place; for and had promised to render the water such although it was not sufficient to satisfy so as they desired it to be, in case they would great an army, it afforded them some comfort be subservient to him in what he should enin such a desert place; for they heard from join them to do, and this not after a remiss or those who had been to search, that there was negligent manner. And when they asked, nothing to be found, if they travelled farther. what they were to do in order to have the

* Dr. Bernard takes notice here, that this place Mar, himself. Which waters are bitter still, as Thevenot as.
where the waters were bitter, is called by the Syrians sures us ; as there are also abundance of palm-trees. See
and Arabians, Mariri; and by the Syrians sometimes his Travels, part I. chap xxvi page 166.
Marath, all derived from the Hebrew Mar· as also he † Exod. xv. 23.
takes notice, that it is called the bitter fountain, by Pliny

water changed for the better; he bid the were zealous to stone him, as the direct ocstrongest men among them that stood there, casion of their present miseries. to draw up water; and told them that when But while the multitude were irritated and the

greatest part was drawn up, the remain bitterly set against him, Moses cheerfully reder would be potable.* So they laboured at lied upon God, and upon his consciousness it till the water was so agitated and purged of the care he had taken of his own people, as to be fit to drink.

and he came into the midst of them, even Removing from thence, they came to Elim,t while they clamoured against him, and had which place looked well at a distance, for stones in their hands, in order to despatch there was a grove of palm-trees, but when him. Now he was of an agreeable presence, they came nearer, it appeared to be a bad and very able to persuade the people by his place, for the palm-trees were no more than speeches: accordingly he began to mitigate seventy, and they were ill-grown, and creep their anger, and exhorted them not to be over ing trees, by the want of water, for the coun mindful of their present adversities, lest they try about was all parched, and no moisture should thereby suffer the benefits that had sufficient to water them, and make them hope- formerly been bestowed on them, to slip out ful and useful, was derived to them from the of their memories; and he desired them by fountains, which were twelve in number; no means on account of their present uneasithey were rather a few moist places, than ness, to cast those great and wonderful fasprings, which not breaking out of the ground, vours and gifts, which they had obtained of nor running over, could not sufficiently water God, out of their minds: but to expect delithe trees. And when they dug into the sand, verance out of their present troubles, which they met with no water, and if they took a they could not free themselves from; and this few drops of it into their hands, they found by the means of that Divine providence which it to be useless on account of its mud. The watched over them: as it was probable that trees also were too weak to bear fruit, for God merely tried their virtue, and exercised want of being sufficiently cherished and enli their patience by these adversities, that it vened by the water. So they laid the blame

might appear what fortitude they had, and on their conductor, and made heavy com what memory they retained of his former plaints against him; and said, that this their wonderful works in their favour: and whether miserable state, and the experience they had they would not think of them upon occasion of adversity, were owing to him: for that they of the miseries they now felt. He told them, had then journeyed thirty days, and had it appeared they were not really good men, spent all the provisions they had brought either in patience, or in remembering what with them, and meeting with no relief, they had been successfully done for them, somewere in a very desponding condition. Thus times by contemning God, and his commands, by fixing their attention upon nothing but when, by those commands, they left the land their present misfortunes, they were hindered of Egypt; and sometimes by behaving themfrom remembering what deliverances they selves ill towards him who was the servant of had received from God, and those by the God, and this when he had never deceived virtue and wisdom of Moses also; so they them, either in what he said, or had ordered were very angry at their conductor, and them to do by God's command. He also re

* The additions here to Moses's account of the sweet upon many occasions. This is, however, barely conjectuening the waters at Marah, seem derived from some an and since Josephus never tells us when his own copy, cient profane author, and he such an author also, as looks taken out of the temple, had such additions; or when any less authentic than are usually followed by Josephus. ancient notes supplied them; or indeed when they were Philo has not a syllable of these additions ; nor any other derived from Jewish, and when from Gentile antiquities, ancient writer that we know of. Had Josephus written his we can go no farther than bare conjecture in such cases. Antiquities for the use of the Jews, he would hardly have Only the notions of Jews were generally so different from given them these very improbable circumstances ; but those of Gentiles, that we may sometimes make no improwriting to Gentiles, that they might not complain of his bable griesses to which sort such additions belong. See omission of any accounts of such miracles derived from also somewhat like these additions in Josephus's account Gentiles, he did not think proper to conceal what he had of Elisha's making sweet the bitter and barren spring near." met with there about this matter. Which procedure is Jericho. Of the War, IV. 8. . perfectly agreeable to the character and usage of Josephus 7.Exod. xv. 27


« PreviousContinue »