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

Containing an Interval of 3833 Years, from the Creation to the Death of Isaac

CHAP. I. * Of the Constitution of the l'orld, and the Dis

position of the Elements. N the beginning God created the heaven and the

sight, but was covered with thick darkness, and a wind moved upon its surface, God commanded that there should be lighi, and when that was made, he considered the whole mass, and separated the light and the darkness; and the name he gave to one was night, and the other he called day; and he named the beginning of light, and the time of rest, the evening and the morning. And this was indeed the first day. But Moses said it was one day, f the cause of which I am able to give even now; but because I have promised to give such reasons for all things in a treatise by itself, I shall put off its exposition till that time. After this, on the second day, he placed the heaven over the whole world, and separated it from the other parts : and he determined it should stand by itself. He also placed a crystalline firmament round'it; and put it together in a man

ner agreeable to the earth ; and fitted it for giving moisture and rain, and for affording the advantage of dews. On the third day he appointed the dry land to appear, with the sea round about it; and on the same day he made the plants and the seeds to spring out of the earth. On the fourth day he adorned the heaven with the sun, the moon, and the stars, and appointed them their motions and courses, that the vicissitudes of the seasons might be clearly signified. And on the fifth clay he produced the living creatures, both those that swim, and those that fly; the former in the sea, the latter in the air.. He also sorted them as to society, and that their kinds might increase and multiply. On the sixth day he created the four-footed beasts, and made thém male and female. On the same day he also formed man. Accordingly Moses says, that in six days the world, and all that is therein, was made; and that the seventh day was a rest, and a release from the labor of such operations, whence it is that we celebrate a rest from our labours on that day, and call it the Sabbath, which word denotes rest in the Hebrew tongue.

* Note that this and the other titles of chapters are wanting in the best MSS. + See Genesis i. l. et sequel.“

One is put for the first not only here in the Hebrew and Numb. xxix. 1. Dan. ix. 1. but elsewhere in Josephus;

VOL. I.NO....

VIII. 5. XVIII. 4. and in the Greek, Matt. xxviii. 1. John, xx. 1. 19. I Cor. xvi. 2. as Ainsworth observes on this text. It is also in Philo, and among the Egyptians and Chaldeans, and even in Diodorus Siculus.


Moreover Moses, after the seventh day was over, begins to talk philosophically;* and concerning the formation of inan says thus: that God took dust from the ground, t and formed man, and inserted in him a spirit and a soul. This man was called Adam, which in the Hebrew tongue signifies one that is red, because he was forned out of red earth compounded together, for of that kind is virgin and true earth. God also presented the living creatures, when he had made them, according to their kinds, both male and female, to Adam, and gave them those names by which they are still called. But when he saw that Adam had no female companion, no society, for there was no such created, and that he wondered at the other animals which were male and female, he laid him asleep, and took away one of his ribs, and out of il formed the woman;s whereupon Adam knew her when she was brought to hiin, and acknowledged that she was made out of himself. Now a woman is called in the Hebrew tongue Issa ; but the name of this woman was Eve, which signifies the mother of all living,

Moses savs farther, that God planted a paradise in the east, flourishing with all sorts of trees, and that among them was the tree of life, and another of knowledge, whereby was to be known what was good and evil; and that when he had brought Adam and his wife into this garden, he commanded them to take care of the plants. Now the garden was watered by one river, || which ran round about the whole earch, and was parted into four parts. Phison, which denotes a multitude, running into India, makes its exit into the sea, and is by the Greeks

called Ganges. Euphrates also, as well as Tigris, goes down into the Red Sea. I Now the name Euphrates, or Phrath, denotes either a dispertinn, or a flower; by Tigris, or Diglath, is signified what is swift, with narrowness; and Geon runs through Egypt, and denotes what arises from the East, which the Greeks call Nile.

God therefore commanded that Adam and his wife should eat of all the rest of the plants, but to abstain from the tree of knowledge, and foretold to them, that if they touched it, it would prove their destruction. But while all the living creatures had one language** at that time, the serpent, which then lived together with Adam and his wife, sliewed an envious disposition at bis supposal of their living happily, and in obedience to the commands of God; and imagining that when they disobeyed they would fall into calamities, he persuaded the woman, out of a malicious intention, to taste of the tree of knowledge, telling them, that in that trec was the knowledge of good and evil, which knowledge when they should obtain they would lead a happy life; nay, a life not inferior to that of a god; it by which means he overcame the woman, and persuaded her to despise the command of God. Now, when she had tasted of that tree, and was pleased with its fruit, she persuaded Adam to inake use of it also. Upon this they perceived that they were be. come naked to one another; and being ashamed thus to appear abroad, they invented somewhat 10 cover them, for the fruit sharpened their understanding; and they covered themselves with fig. leaves, and lying these before them, out of modesty,

Since Josephus, in his Preface, says, that Moses wrote some things enigmatically, some allegorically, and the rest in plain words; since in his account of the first chapter of Genesis, and the three first verses of the second, he gives us no hints of any mystery at all; but when he comes to ver. 4. &c. he says, that Moses, after the seventh day was over, began to talk philosophically, it is not improbable that he understood the rest of the second and the third chapters in somie enigmatical, allegorical, or philosophical sense. The change of the name of God jöst at this place from Elohim to Jehovab Elohim, from God to. Lord God, in tbe Hebrew Samaritan and Septuagint, also seems to favour some such change in the warration or construction, + Gen. ii. 7.

Josephus supposed man to be compounded of spirit, soul, and body, with St. Paul, 1 Thess. v. 23. and the rest of the ancients. He elsewhere says also, that the blood of animals was forbidden to be eaten, as having in it soul and spirit. Š Gen. ii. 29.

Whence this strange notion came, which is not pecubiar to Josephus, but, as Dr. Hudson says, is derived from elder authors; as if four of the greatest rivers in the world, running two of them at vast distances from the other two, by some means or other watered Paradise, is

hard to say. Only since Josephus has already appeared to allegorize this history, and takes notice that these four names had a particular signification : Phison for Ganges, a multitude; Phrath for Euphrates, either a dispersion or a flower ; Diglath for Tigris, what is swift with narrowness; and Geon for Nile, what arises from the east; we perhaps mistake him when we suppose he literally means those four rivers, especially as to Geon, or Nile, which arises from the east, while he very well knew the literal Nile arises from the south; though what farther allegorical sense he had in view is now, I fear, impossible to be determined.

4 By the Red Sea is not here meant the Arabian Gulf, which alone we now call by that name, but all that South Sea which included the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, as far as the East Indies; as Reland and Hudson truly note from the old geographers.

** Hence it appears, that Josephus thought several, at least, of the brute animals, particularly the serpent, could speak before the fall; and I think few of the more perfect kinds of those animals want the organs of speech at this day. Many inducements there are also to a notion, that the present state they are in is not their original state, and that their capacities bave been once much greater than we now see them. ++ Gen. iii. 5.


they thought they were happier than they were


. . before, as they had discovered what they were in want of. But when God came into the garden,

Of the Posterity of Adam, and theirn Generations Adam, who was wont before to come and converse

from him to the Deluge. with him, being conscious of his wicked behaviour, went out of the way. This behaviour surprized God; DAM Eve had two sons; the and he asked what was the cause of his procedure ; them' was named Cain, which and why he, that before delighted in that conversa- interpreted, signifies a possession. The younger tion, did now fly from, and avoid it? When her was Abel, which signifies sorrow. They had also made no reply, as conscious to himself that he daughters. Now the two brethren were pleased had transgressed the command of God, God said, with different courses of life; for Abel, the younger, “ I had before determined about you both, how you was a lover of righteousness, and believing ihat God might lead a happy life, without any affliction, was present at all his actions, he excelled in virtue, care, or vexation of soul; and that all things which and his cipployınent was that of a shepherd. But might contribute to your enjoyment and pleasure Cain was not only very wicked in other respects, should grow up by my providence, of their own but was wholly intent upon getting, and he first accord, without your labor and painstaking: which contrived to picugh the ground. He slew his brostate of labor would soon bring on old age, and ther on the following occasion :--they had resolve: death would not be at any remote distance.


to sacrifice to God; now Cain brought the fruits of now thou hast alused my good will, and hast dis- the earth, and of his husbandry: but Abel brought obeyed my commands; for thy silence is not the

milk, and the first fruits of his flocks. But Godt sign of thy virtue, but of thy evil conscience." was more delighted with the latter oblation, when However, Adam excused his sin, and intreated God he was honored with what grew naturally of its not to be angry with him; and laid the blame of own accord, than he was with wbat was the invenwhat was done upon his wife, and said, that he was tion of a covetous man, and gotien by forcing the deceived by her, and thence became an offender;

Cain, therefore, was very angry that Abel while she again accused the serpent. But God was preferred by God before him, and he slew his allotted him punishment, because he weakly sub- brother, and hid his dead body, thinking to escape mitted to the counsel of his wife ; and sail, the discovery; but God, knowing what had been done, ground should not henceforth yield its fruits of its came to Cain, and asked him, What was become of own accord, but that when it should be harassed his brother? because he had not seen him many by their labor, it should bring forth some of its days, whereas he used to observe them conversing fruits, and refuse to bring forth others. He also together at other times. But Cain was in doubt with made Eve liable to the inconveniency of breeding, himself, and knew not what answer to give to God. and the sharp pains of bringing forth children; and At first he said, that he was himself at a loss about this because she persuaded Adam with the same his brother's disappearing; but when he was pro. arguments wherewith the serpent bad persuaded her, voked by God, who pressed him vehemently, as and had thereby brought him into a calamitous resolving to know what the matter was, he replied, condition. He also deprived the serpent of speech,

“ He was not his brother's guardian or keeper, nor out of indignation at bis malicious disposition to- was he an observer of what he did."

But in return wards Adam. Beside this, he inserted poison under God convicted Cain, as having been the murderer his tongue, and made him an enemy to men; and of his brother, and said, " I wonder at thee, that thou suggested to them that they should direct their knowest not what is become of a man whom thou strokes against his headl, that being the place thyself bast destroyed.” God however did not inflict wherein lay his mischievous designs towards men, the punishment of death upon him, on account of and it being easiest to take vengeance on him that his offering sacrifice, and thereby making supplicaway; and when he had deprived him of the use tion to him not to be extreme in his wrath to him; of his feet, he made him to go rolling along, but he made him accursed, and threatened his posand dragging himself upon the ground : and when terity in the seventh generation. He also cast him, to. God had appointed these penalties for thein, he gether with his wife, out of that land; and when he removed Adam and Eve out of the garden* into was afraid, that in wandering about he should fall another place.

among wild beasts, and by that means perish, God told


* Gen ji. 23. + Gen iv. et sequel.

St. John's account of the reason why God accepted the sacrifice of Abel, and rejected that of Cain; as also why Cain slew Abel, on account of his acceptance with God, is much better than this of Josephus; I mean because


“ Cain was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous," John, iii. 12. Josephus's reasons seem to be no better than a Pharisarcal notion or tradition,


him not to entertain such a melancholy suspicion, but to go over all the earth without fear of what mischief he might suffer from wild beasts; and setting a mark upon him that he might be known, he commanded him to depart.*

When Cain haid travelled over many countries, he, with his wife, built a city, named Nod,+ which is a place so called, and there he settled his abode : where also be had children. However, he did not accepi of his punishment in order to amendment, but to increase his wickedness; for he only aimed to procure every thing that was for his own bodily pleasure, though it obliged him to be injurious to his neighbours. He augmented his household substance with much wealth by rapine and violence; he excited his acquaintance to procure pleasure and spoils by robbery; and became a great leader of men into wicked couises. He also introduced a change in that way of simplicity wherein men lived before, and was the author of measures and weights. And whereas they lived innocently and generously while they knew nothing of such arts, he changed the world into cunning and craftiness. He first of all set boundaries about lands; he built a city, and fortified it with walls; and he compelled his family to come together to it: and called that city Enoch, after the name of his eldest son. Now Jared was the son of Enoch, whose son was Malaliel, wliose son was Mathusela, whose son was Lamech, who had seventy-seven children by two wives, Silla and Ada. Of those children by Ada, one was Jubal; he erected tenis, and loved the life of a shepherd. But Jubal, who was born of the sanie moiher with him exercised himself in rrusic, and invented the psallery and the harp. Tubal, one of his children by the other wife, ex. cecded all men in sirengih, and was very expert and famous in martial performances: he procured what tended to the pleasures of the body by that method, and first invented the art of making brass; Lamech also was the father of a daughter, whose

name was Naamah, And because he was so skilful in maiters of divine revelation, that he knew he was to be punished for Caiu's murder of his brother, he made, that known to his wives. Nay, even while Adam was alive the posterity of Cain becaine exceeding wicked ; every one successively dying one after another more wicked than the former. They were intolerable in war, and vehement in robberies, and if any one were slow to inurder people, yet was he bold in his profligate behaviour in acting unjustly and duing injuries for gain.

Now Ariam, who was the first man, and made out of the earth, (for our discourse must now be about him.) after Abel was slain, and Cain Aed away on account of bis inurder, was soliciions for posterity, and had a vehement desire of children, he being two hundred and thirty years old, atier which time he lived other seven hundred, and then dierl. He had, indeed, || many other children, but Seth in particular. As for the rest it would be tedious to name them: I will therefore only endeavour to give an account of those that proceeded from Sethi. Now this Seth, when he was brought up, and came to those years in which he could discern what was good, became a virtuous man; and as he was bimself of an excellent character, so did he leaves children behind him who imitated his virtues. ATH these proved to be of good dispositions ; they also inhabited the same country without dissensions, and' in happy condition, without any misfortunes falling upon them, till they died. They also were the inventors of that peculiar sort of wisdom which

concerned with the heavenly bodies, and their order. And that their inventions might not be lost before they were sufficiently known, upon Adam's prediction that the world was to be destroyed at one time by the force of fire, and ac another time by the violence and quantity of water, they made two pillars ;** the one of brick, the other of stone ; they inscribed their discoveries on them both, that in case the pillar of brick should be de. stroyed by the flood, the pillar of stone might

* Of this punishment of Cain in the seventh generation, and of the punishment of Lamech in the seventy-seventh generation, as also of the mark set upon Cain and his posterity, see Literal Accomplishment of Scripture Prophecies, Suppleinent at large, page 106---134.

of Gen iv, 16. I Gen. iv. 17.

Ś From this Jubal not improbably came Jobel, the trumpet of Jobel, or Jubilee ; that large and loud musical instrument used in proclaiming the liberty at the Year of Jubilee.

li The number of Adam's children, as says the old tradition, was thirty-three sons, and twenty three daughters.

What is here said of Seth and his posterity, that they were very good anci virtuous, and at the same time very happy, without any considerable misfortunes for seven ge

nerations, is exactly agreeable to the state of the world, and the conduct of providence, in all the first ages.

** Of Josephus's mistake here, when he took Seth tbe son of Adam, for Seth or Sesostris king of Egypt, the erecter of these pillars, in the land of Siriad, 'see Essay on the Old Testament, Appendix, page 159.--160. Althongh the main of this relation might be true, and Adam might fortel a conflagration and a deluge, which all antiquity witnesses to be an ancient tradition; nay, Seth's posterity might engrave their inventions in astronomy on two such pillars; yet is it no way credible that they could survive the deluge, which buried all such pillars and edi. tices far under ground, in the sediment of its waters ;. especially since the like pillars of the Egyptian Seti og Sesostris were extant, after the flood, in the land of Sia riad, and perhaps in the days of Josephus also.


teinain, and exhibit those discoveries to mankind; their lives, and making their years not so many as and also inform them that there was another pillar they formerly enjoyed, but one hundred and twenty I of brick erected by them. Now this remains in only, he turned the dry land into sea. And thus the land of Siriad, to this day.

were all these men destroyed. But Noah alone was saved, for God suggested to him the following

contrivance and way of escape:-That he should CHAP. III.

make an ark of four stories high, three hundred

cubits ☆ long, fifty cubi:s broad, and thirty cubits Of the Deluge: Noah's preservation in an drk, high. Accordingly he entered into that ark, with and his subsequent Debarkation and Death. his wife, and his sons, and their wives, and put into

it not only provisions to support their wants there, "HE posterity of Seth continued to esteem God but also sent in with the rest, all sorts of living crea

tures, the male and his female, for the preservation entire regard to virtue for seven generations: but of their kinds : and others of them by sevens. If in process of time they were perverted, and for

Now this Ark had firm walls, and a roof; and was sook the practices of their forefathers, and did braced with cross beams, so that it could not be any neither pay those honors to God which were ap- way drowned, or overturned by the violence of the pointed them, nor had they any concern to justice water : thus was Noah, with his family, preserved. towards men. But for what degree of zeal they Now he was the tenth from Adam, as being the son had formerly evinced for virtue, they now shewed of Lamech, whose father was Mechusela; he was by their actions a double degree of wickeduess ; the son of Enoch, the son of Jared; and Jared was whereby they made God to be their enemy. For the son of Malaleel ; who, with many of his sis. many angels * of God t accompanied with women, ters, were the children of Cain, the son of Enos : and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers now Evos was the son of Seth, the son of Adam, of all that was good, on account of the confidence This calamity happened in the six hundreth year they had in their own strength; for the tradition is of Noah's government or age, in the second month, I that these men did what resembled the acts of those called by the Macedonians Dius; but by the He. whom the Grecians call giants. But Noah was brews Marhesvan : for so did they order their year "very uncasy at what they did; and being displeased in Egypt. But Moses appointed that Nisan, which at their conduct, persuaded them to change their is the same with Xanthicus, should be the first dispositions and their actions, for the better. But month ; so that this month began the year, as to all seeing they did not yield to him, but were slaves the solemnities they observed in honour of God: to their wicked pleasures, lie was afraid they would although he preserved the original order of the kill him, together with his wife and children, and months as to buying and selling, and other ordinary those they had married so he departed out of that affairs. Now he says, that this flood began on the seland.

venteenth day of the before mentioned month; and Now God loved this man for his righteousness, this was one thousand five hundred and firty-six yet he not only condemned those other men for their years from Adam the first man; and the tiine is wickedness, but determined to destroy the whole written down in our sacred books, those ** who then race of mankind, and to make anoiher race that lived having noted down, with great accuracy, both should be pure froin wickedness, and cutting short the births and deaths of illustrious men.

* This notion that the fallen angels were in sine sense the fathers of the old giants, was the constant opinion of antiquity.

| Gen. vi. 4.

I Josephus here supposes, that the life of these giants, for of them only do I understand him, was now reduced to one hundred and twenty years; for as to the rest of mankind, Josephus himself confesses their lives were much longer than one hundred and twenty years, for many generations after the flood, as we shall see presently: and he says they were gradually shortened till the days of Moses, and then fixed for soine time at one hundred and twenty. Nor indeed need we suppose, that either Enoch or Josephus meant to interpret these one hundred and twenty years for the life of men before the flood, to be different from the one hundred and twenty years of God's patience,(perhaps while the Ark was preparing) till the de

VOL. I.--NO. I.

luge; which I take to be the meaning of God when he
threatened this wicked world, that if they so long con-
tinued impenitent, their days should be no more than one
hundred and twenty years.
* A cubit is about twenty-one Euglish inches.
|| Gen. vii. 2.

© Josephus here truly determines, that the year at the flood began about the Autumnal Equinox. As to what day of the month the flood began, our Hebrew and Samaritan, and, perhaps, Joseplius's own copy, more rightly placad it on the 17th day instead of the 27th as here ; for Josephus agrees with them as to the distance of one hundred and fifty days to the 17th day of the seventh month, as Gen, vii. ult. with viii, 3.

** Josephus here takes notice, that these ancient genealogies were first set down by those that then lived, and from them were transmitted down to posterity :


« PreviousContinue »