Page images
PDF
EPUB

!

his sons and their wives ; and put into it not || accuracy, both the births and deaths of illusonly provisions to support their wants there, trious men. but also sent in with the rest all sorts of living For, indeed, Seth was born when Adat was creatures, the male and his female, for the pre-in his two hundred and thirtieth year: who servation of their kinds : and others of them lived nine hundred and thirty years. Seth by sevens.* Now this ark had firin walls, begat Enoch in his two hundred and fifth and a roof; and was braced with cross beams, year; who, when he had lived nine hundred so that it could not be any way drowned, or and twelve years, delivered the government overturned by the violence of the water : thus to Cain his son ; whom he had at his hundred was Noah, with his family, preserved. Now and nipetieth year. He lived nine hundred he was the tenth from Adam, as being the son and five years. Cain, when he had lived nine of Lamech, whose father was Methusela : he hundred and ten years, had his son Malaleel, was the son of Enoch, the son of Jared ; and who was born in his hundred and seventieth Jared was the son of Malaleel ; who, with year. This Malaleel, having lived eight bunmany of his sisters, were the children of Cain, dred and ninety-five years, died, leaving his the son of Enos: now Enos was the son of son Jared, whom he begat when he was at his Seth, the son of Adam.

hundred and sixty-fifth year. He lived nine This calamity happened in the six hundredth || hundred and sixty-two years: and then his year of Noah's government or age, in the se

in the se- , son Enoch "succeeded him, who was born cond month, † called by the Macedonians when his father was one hundred and sixty

but by the Hebrews Marhesvan: for so two years old. Now he, when he lived three did they order their year in Egypt. But hundred and sixty-five years, departed and Moses appointed that Nisan, which is the went to God. Whence it is that they have same with Xanthicus, should be the first not written down his death. Now Mathusela, month; so that this month began the year, as the son of Enoch, who was born to him when to all the solemnities they observed in honor | he was one hundred and sixty-five years old, of God: although he preserved the original had Lamech for his son, when he was one order of the months as to buying and selling, hundred and eighty-seven years of

age;

to and other ordinary affairs. Now he says that whom he delivered the government when he this flood began on the seventeenth day of the had retained it nine hundred and sixty-nine before-mentioned month; and this was one years. Now Lamech, when he had governed thousand five hundred and fifty-six years seven hundred and seventy-seven years, apfrom Adam the first man; and the time is pointed Noah his son to be ruler of the people; written down in our sacred books, those who was born to Lamech when he was one who then lived having noted down, with great hundred and eighty-two years old, and retained

Dius;

little controverted. Some will have it to be the cedar, Gen. vii. 2. others the pine, others the box, and others (particularly + Josephus here truly determines, that the years at the the Mahometans) the Indian plane tree. But our learned flood began about the Autumnal Equinox. As to what day Fuller, in his Miscellanies, has observed, that it was no of the month the flood began, our Hebrew and Samaritan, thing else but that which the Greeks call Kuwapiocos, or and perhaps Josephus's own copy, more rightly placed it the cypress tree: for, taking away the termination, cupar on the 17th day instead of the 27th, as here: for Josephus and gopher differ very little in the sound. This observa- | agrees with them as to the distance of one hundred and tion the great Bochart has confirmed, and shown very || fifty days to the 17th day of the seventh month, as Gen. plainly that no country abounds so much with this wood vii. ult. with viji. 3. as that part of Assyria which lies about Babylon. To † Josephus here takes notice, that these ancient gethis we may add the observation of Theophrastus, who, nealogies were first set down by those that then lived, speaking of trees that are least subject to decay, makes and from them were transmitted down to posterity :

the most durable; for which Vitruvius gives which I suppose to be the true account of that matter : this reason, that the sap, which is in every part of the l for there is no reason to imagine that men were not taught wood, has a peculiarly bitter taste, and is so very offensive to read and write soon after they were taught to speak; that no worm or other corroding animal will touch it, so and perhaps all by the Messiah himself, who, under the that such things as are made of this wood will in a manner: Father, was the Creator or Governor of mankind, and who last for ever, Universal Hist, B.

frequently, in those early days, appeared to them.

the

the cypress

[ocr errors]

the government nine hundred and fifty years. whom is Berosus, the Chaldean; for when he
These years collected together make up the was describing the circumstances of the flood,
sum before set down. But let no one inquire he went on thus :
into the deaths of these men, for they extended “ It is said there is still some part of the
their lives all along together with their chil- ship, in Armenia, at the mountain of the
dren and grandchildren; but let him have Cordyæans; and that some people carry off
regard to their births only.

pieces of the bitumen, which they take away, When God gave the signal, and it began and use, chiefly as amulets, for the averting to rain, the water poured down forty entire of mischiefs." Hieronymus the Egyptian days till it became fifteen cubits* higher than also, who wrote the Phænician Antiquities; the earth; which was the reason why there and Manaseas, and many more, make mention were no greater number preserved, since they of the same. Nay, Nicolaus of Damascus, in had no place to fly to. When the rain ceased, his ninety-sixth Book, hath a particular rethe water did but just begin to abate after one lation about them, where he speaks thus: hundred and fifty days, that is, on the seven-" There is a great mountain in Armenia, over teenth day of the seventh month. After this Minyas, called Baris; upon which it is rethe ark rested on the top of a certain moun-ported that many who fled at the time of the tain in Armenia; which, when Noah under- deluge were saved; and that one, who was stood, he opened it, and, seeing a small piece | carried in an ark, came on shore upon

the top of land about it, he continued quiet, and con- of it, and that the remains of the timber were ceived some hopes of deliverance. But a a great while preserved: this might be the few days afterward, when the water was de- man about whoin Moses, the legislator of the creased to a greater degree, he sent out a Jews, wrote.” raven, as desirous to learn whether any other But as for Noah, he was afraid, since God part of the earth was left dry by the water, had determined to destroy mankind, lest he and whether he might go out of the ark with should drown the earth every year. So he safety; but the raven, finding all the land still offered burnt offerings, and besought God overflowed, returned to Noah again. But that nature might hereafter go on in its former after seven days he sent out a dove, to know orderly course, and that he would not bring the state of the ground, which came back to on so great a judgment any more, by which him covered with mud, and bringing an olive the whole race of creatures might be in danbranch. Hereby Noah learned that the earth ger of destruction ; but that, having now was become clear of the flood. So after he punished the wicked, he would of his goodhad stayed seven more days, he sent the living ness spare the remainder, and such as he had creatures out of the ark, and both he and hitherto judged fit to be delivered from so his family went out; when he also sacrificed severe a calamity ; for that otherwise these to God,ť and feasted with his companions. last must be more miserable than the first, However, the Armenians call this place and that they must be condemned to a worse Akobalybov,f the Place of Descent: for, the ark condition than the others, unless they be sufbeing saved in that place, its remains are fered to escape entirely: that as, if they be showed by the inhabitants to this day. reserved for another deluge, while they inust

Now all the writers of profane history make be afflicted with the terror and the sight of mention of this flood and of this ark, among the deluge, and must also be destroyed by a

* Gen. vii. 20.
+ Gen. viii. 20.

first city or town after the flood. See Antiq. XX. 2. I This place of descent is the proper interpretation of and Moses Chorenensis, page 71, 72. Who also says, the Armenian name of this city. It is called in Ptolemy page 19, that another town was related by tradition 10 Naxuana, and by Moses Chorenensis, the Armenian His- have been called Seron, or the place of dispersion, on torian, Idsheuan; but at the place itself Nichidsheuan, account of the first dispersion of Xisuthrus's or Noah's which siguifies the first place of descent: and is a lasting | sons from thence. Whether any remains of this ark be monument of the preservation of Noah in the ark upon still preserved, as the people of the country suppose, I the top of that mountain, at whose foot it was built, as the cannot certainly tell.

second,

[ocr errors]

second. He also intreated God to accept of blood, for therein is the life. But I will give his sacrifice, and to grant that the earth you a sign that I have laid aside my anger by might never again undergo the like effects my bow;"* whereby is meant the rainbow : of his wrath; that men might be permitted for they determined that the rainbow was the to go on cheerfully in cultivating the same; bow of God. And when God had said and to build cities, and live happily in them, I promised thus, he went away. and that they might not be deprived af any Now when Noah had lived three hundred of those good things which they enjoyed and fifty years after the flood, and all that before the food; but might attain to the time happily, he died; being nine hundred old age which the ancient people had arrived and fifty years old : but, let no one, upon comat before.

paring the lives of the ancients, with our lives, When Noah had made these supplications, and with the few years which we now live, God, who loved the man for his righteousness, think that what we have said of them is false; granted his prayers : and said, " that it was or make the shortness of our lives at present not be who brought the destruction on a pol- | an argument that they did not attain to so luted world, but that they underwent that long a duration of: life; for those ancients vengeance on account of their own wicked were beloved..of God, and lately made by ness; and that he had not brought men into. God himself; and, because their food was the world if he had himself determined to de- then fitter for the promulgation of life, might stroy them; it being an instance of greater well live so great a number of years. And wisdom not to have granted them life at all, besides, God afforded them a longer time of than, after it was granted, to procure their life on account of their virtue, and the good flestruction. But the injuries,” said he, “ they use they made of it in astronomical and offered to my holiness and virtue, forced me geometrical discoveries, which would not to bring this punishment upon them; but I have afforded them time for fortelling the will leave off for the time to come to require periods of the stars, unless they had lived six such punishments, the effects of so great hundred years, for the great year is completed wrath, for their future wicked actions, and in that interval. especially on account of thy prayers. But Now I have for witnesses to what I have if I shall at any time send tempests of rain ini said all those that have written antiquities, an extraordinary manner, be not affrighted at: both among the Greeks and Barbarians; for the copiousness of the showers, for the water even. Manetho, who wrote the Egyptian Hisshall no more overspread the earth. How-tory; and. Berosus, who collected the Chalever I require you to abstain from shedding dean Monuments; and Mochus, and Hesthe blood of men, and to keep yourselves paretiæus, and besides these, Hieronymus, the from murder, and to punish those who com- Egyptian, and those that composed the Phemit any such thing; I permit you to make | nician History, agree to what I bere say. use of all the other living creatures, at your Hesiod † also, and Hecatæus, and Hellani. pleasure, and as your appetites lead you; for cus, and Aculsilans; and besides these, EphoI have inade you lords of them all; both of rus and Nicolaus relate, that the ancients those that walk on the land, and those that lived a thousand years. But, as to these swim in the waters, and of those that fy in matters, let every one look upon them as they the regions of the air on high, excepting the think fit.

* Gen. ix. 13,

they might be esteemed great infants, I prefer that read+ Since the Latin copies have here generally Isiodorus, ing. But what a catalogue of ancient authors are there instead of Hesiodus; Vossius, and perhaps Hudson, in that confirm the Sacred History in one of its most difclined to think the writer bere meant was Isidorus. ficult branches ! To which, bad Josephus read the Latin Characenus, who produced instances of kings who reign- ||-authors, as he did the Greek, he might have added Varro, ed a long time. But since the Greek copies have con the most learned of the Romans, who made this inquiry, stantly Hesiod, and since Hesiod says, that men's lives What the reason was that the ancients were supposed to were once so long, that at one hundred years of age have lived one thousand years a VOL. I. (2)

CHAP.

OF THE TOWER OF BABYLON, AND THE CONFUSION OF

TONGUES.

THE

was.

tyranny, seeing no other method of turning CHAP. IV.

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 HE sons of Noah were three, Shem, Ja-world again; for that he would build a tower

phet, and Ham, born one hundred years too high for the waters to be able to reach, before the deluge. These first of all de- | and that he would avenge himself on God for scended from the mountains into the plains, destroying their forefathers.” and fixed their babitation there, and per Now the multitude were very ready to folsuaded others, who were greatly afraid of low the determination of Nimrod, and to the lower grounds on account of the flood, esteem it a piece of cowardice to submit to and so were very loth to come down from the God; and they built a tower, neither sparing higher places, to venture to follow their ex- any pains, nor being at any degree negligent ample. Now the plain in which they first about the work; and, by reason of the multidwelt was called Shinar. God also com- | tude of hands employed in it, it grew very manded them to send colonies abroad, for the high sooner than any one could expect; but thorough peopling of the earth, that they | the thickness of it was so great, and it was so might not raise seditions among themselves, strongly built, that thereby its great height but might cultivate a great part of the earth, || seemed, upon view, to be less than it really and enjoy its fruits, after a plentiful manner; It was built of burnt brick, cemented but they were so ill-instructed, that they did together with mortar, made of bitumen, that not obey God, for which reason they fell into it might not be liable to admit water. When calamities, and were made sensible by expe- | God saw them acting so madly, he did not rerience of what sin they had been guilty of; for solve to destroy them utterly, since they were when they flourished with a numerous youth | not grown wiser by the destruction of the forGod admonished them again to send out colo- || mer sinners; but he caused a tumult among nies; but they imagining that the prosperity them by producing in them divers languages, they enjoyed was not derived from the favour and causing that, through the multitude of of God, but supposing that their own power those languages, they should not be able to was the proper cause of the plentiful con- | understand one another. The place wherein dition they were in, did not obey him. Nay, they built the tower is now called Babylon, they added to this disobedience to the divine because of the confusion of that language will, the suspicion that they were ordered to which they readily understood before, for the send out separate colonies, that, being divided | Hebrew means, by the word Babel,* conasunder, they might the more easily be fusion. The Sibyi † also makes mention of oppressed

the tower, and of the confusion of the lanNow it was Nimrod who excited them to guage, when she says thus :-“When all mnen such an affront and contempt of God; he was were of one language, some of them built an the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold high tower, as if they would thereby ascend man, and of great strength of hand. He up to heaven; but the gods sent storms of persuaded them not to ascribe it to God, as wind, and overthrew the tower, and gave if it were through his means that they were every one his peculiar language; and for this happy, but to believe that it was their own reason it was that the city was called Babycourage that procured that happiness. He lon.' But as to the plain of Shinar, in the also gradually changed the government into country of Babylonia, Hestiæus mentions it

* Gen. xi. 29.

remarkable is, that Moses Chorenensis, the Armenian his+ See this testimony in the original, and in English intorian, confirms this history, that God overthrew this my Edition of the Sybylline. Oracles, p. 11. 93, 94; but lower by a terrible and divine storm; and confounded the there it is in verse, and here in prose, the reason of which language of the builders, and this from the earliest records difference I by no means understand. But what is bere belonging to that nation.

when

« PreviousContinue »