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ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS.
CHAP. XIV.

and as they died; they also spoiled their vessels in

their houses which they used, and were found among
OF THE TEN PLAGUES WHICH CAME UPON THE EGYPTIANS.

what they ate and what they drank, and came in
When the king despised the words of Moses, and great numbers upon their beds. There was also a
had no regard at all to them, grievous plagues seized noisome smell arose from them, as they were born,
the Egyptians; every one of which I will describe ; and as they died therein. Now when the Egyptians
both because no such plagues ever happened to any were under the oppression of these miseries, the
other nation as the Egyptians now felt; and because king ordered Moses to take the Hebrews with him,
I would demonstrate that Moses did not fail in any and be gone: upon which the whole multitude of
one thing that he foretold them; and because it is the frogs vanished away; and both the land and
for the good of mankind, that they may learn this the river returned to their former natures. But as
caution, not to do any thing that may displease God, soon as Pharaoh saw the land freed from this plague,
lest he be provoked to wrath, and avenge their he forgot the cause of it, and retained the Hebrews;
iniquities upon them.

and, as though he had a mind to try the nature of
The Egyptian river ran with bloody water,* at more such judgments, he would not yet suffer Moses
the command of God, insomuch, that it could not and his people to depart; having granted that liberty
be drank; and they had no other spring of water. rather out of fear, than out of good consideration.
For the water was not only of the colour of blood, Accordingly, God punished his falseness with
but it brought upon those that ventured to drink it another plague, added to the former. For there
great pains, and bitter torment. Such was the river arose, out of the bodies of the Egyptians, an in-
to the Egyptians. But it was sweet and fit to drink numerable quantity of lice;f by which, wicked as
to the Hebrews, and noway different from what it they were, they miserably perished; being unable
naturally used to be. As the king, therefore, knew to destroy this sort of vermin, either with washes,
not what to do in these surprising circumstances, or with ointments. ||At this terrible judgment, the
aud was in fear for the Egyptians, he gave the He- king of Egypt was in disorder, upon the fear into
brews leave to go away. But when the plague which he reasoned himself

, lest his people should be ceased, he changed his mind, and would not suffer destroyed, and that the manner of this death was

also reproachful. So that he was forced in part to But when God saw that he was ungrateful, and recover himself from his wicked temper to a sounder upon the ceasing of the calamity would not grow mind; for he gave leave for the Hebrews themselves wiser, he sent another plague upon the Egyptians : to depart. But when the plague thereupon ceased, an innumerable multitude of frogst consumed the he thought it proper to require, that they should fruit of the ground. The river was also full of leave their children and wives behind them, as them; insomuch that those who drew water had it pledges of their return; whereby he provoked God spoiled by the blood of these animals, as they died to be more vehemently angry at him; as if he in, and were destroyed by, the water ; and the thought to impose on his providence; and as if it country was full of filthy slime, as they were born, were only Moses, and not God, who punished the

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* Exod. vii. 20.

+ Exod. viii. 6. tians. But upon the supposition that they were no worse than The river Nile naturally produces frogs; but so great an common lice, this was plague enough to the Egyptians, who abundance appearing on a sudden, filling the country, and affected neatness to such a degree, that they bathed themselves leaving the rivers and fields, to go into the cities and houses, every day, and some of them frequently shaved their bodies all was really miraculous. How they got into the cities and houses over, for fear of such vermin. Those who pretended that these is not so hard a matter to conceive: for if expert generals, ac- lice were a new species, make this a reason why the magicians cording to both ancient and modern history, have sometimes could not counterfeit this miracle, because, though they could surprised an enemy by entering cities through the common easily provide the serpents, the blood, and the frogs, yet this sewers, with much less difficulty might the frogs, these armies sort of animal was now nowhere to be had; and therefore, as of the divine vengeance, find a conveyance into the cities, the organs of sight are more liable to be imposed upon than which stood all upon the banks of the river, by aqueducts and those of feeling, the magicians might impose upon the king, subterraneous communications; and being got into the cities, and the other spectators, with fantastical blood and frogs, they might find apertures in the walls of the houses, which the but visionary lice could not vex and torment the body; so that inhabitants never perceived before. Bibliotheca Bibl. in now it was time for the enchanters to desist, and to own their locum. B.

inability to mimic Moses any farther. But, supposing that what $ Exod. viii. 17.

the magicians did, in the three former miracles, was not illusion li Some would have the word Cinnim, which we render lice, and imposition upon the senses, but reality, the true reason why to signify gnats. The Septuagint call them Knures; but what they could proceed no farther was, that God Almighty had laid kind of creatures these were, is not so certainly known. Others his restraint and prohibition upon the evil spirits, who had would have them to be a new species of animals, called ana- hitherto been subservient to them, that they might not assist logically by an old name; or if they were lice, that they were them any longer. Le Clerc's Commentary; and Bibliotheca such as had wings, and cruelly stung and ulcerated the Egyp-Bibl. in locum. B.

Egyptians for the sake of the Hebrews. For he | their bodies had terrible boils, breaking forth filled that country full of various sorts of pestilential with blains ; while they were already inwardly creatures, * with their various properties ; such, consumed; and a great part of the Egyptians indeed, as never came into the sight of men before. perished in this manner. But when the king was By their means the men perished themselves, and not brought to reason by this plague, hail was the land was destitute of husbandmen for its cultiva- sent down from heaven ;f and such hail as the tion: but if any thing escaped destruction from climate of Egypt had never suffered before, nor them, it was killed by a distemper, which the men was it like to that which falls in other climates|| underwent also.

in winter time, but larger than that which falls in Pharaoh did not yet yield to the will of God; the middle of spring to those that dwell in the but while he gave leave to the husbands to take northern and north-western regions. This hail their wives with them, he insisted that the child brake down their boughs laden with fruit. After dren should be left behind; God therefore resolv- this a tribe of locusts consumed the seed which ed to punish his wickedness with several sorts was not hurt by the hail; so that to the Egyptians of calamities, and those worse than the foregoing, all the hopes of future fruits of the ground were which had yet so generally afflicted them ; but entirely lost. I

* The word Arob, which we render fly in general, is by the with frost : he gave up the cattle also to the hail, and their flocks Septuagint called Kuvouuia, i. e. dog-fly, from its biting; for it to hot thunderbolts. Ps. lxxviii. 47, 48. And from the plain

e fastens its teeth so deep in the flesh, and sticks so very close, account of Moses, where he mixes thunder, hail, and fire to. that it oftentimes makes cattle run mad; and the congruity of gether, Exod. ix. 23, the observation is obvious, that here were this plague seems to be greater, because one of the Egyptian no less than three of the elements in confederacy against Pha. deities, which they called Anubis, bore the head of a dog. The || raoh's obstinacy; the air in the thunder; the water in the hail ; Psalmist indeed tells us, that God sent divers sorts of flies and the fire in the lightning, all jointly demonstrating and proamong them, which devoured them. Ps. lxxviii. 45. So that claiming, that the God of Israel was the God of nature. B. according to him, it was not one particular kind, but all sorts $ Exod. ix. 24. of fies mingled together in one prodigious swarm or conflux. li As to this winter or spring hail near Egypt and Judea, see Some translate it a mixture of beasts, which they suppose went the like on thunder and lightning there in the note on VI. 5, into Egypt to infest and destroy the country; but this is not so and Havercamp's note on III. 1. probable a construction, because the punishments hitherto in- 1 This is the creature which we properly call the grasshopficted were nauseous and troublesome, rather than mortal ; per; and wonderful is the account which several authors give though this plague of infinite numbers of small tormentors is of them. Thevenot, in his travels, tells us, “ That in that part so great a one, that God calls it his army, Joel ii. 25, and the of Scythia which the Cossacks now inhabit, there are infinite Greeks thought fit (as Pliny, l. 20, c. 28, tells us) to have a numbers of them, especially in dry seasons, which the northgod to deliver them from it, under the style of Myiagros, or east wind brings over from Tartary, Circassia, and Mingrelia, Myiodes, even as Belzebub signifies the Lord or God of flies. which are seldom or never free from them; that they fly in the Bochart, Hier. part 2. B.

air all compact together, like a vast cloud, sometimes 15 or † The Hebrew word Shechin properly signifies an inflamma- | 18 miles long, and about 10 or 12 miles broad; so that they tion, which first makes a tumor or boil, (as we translate it,) and quite darken the sky, and make the brightest day obscure; and thence turns a grievous ulcer. Dr. Lightfoot indeed observes, that wherever they light, they devour all the corn in less than that in the book of Job, chap. ii. 7, 8, where the same word oc- two hours' time, and frequently make a famine in the country. curs, it signifies only a burning itch, or an inflamed scab; an These insects,” says he, “ live not above six months; and when intolerable dry itch, which Job could not scratch off with his they are dead, the stench of them so corrupts and infects the nails, and was therefore forced to make use of a potsherd: but air, that it very often breeds dreadful pestilences.” God (as we then he confesses that this Shechin here spoken of, was more hinted before) calls the locust, the canker worm, caterpillar, and rancorous than that, having blains and ulcers that broke out the palmer worm, his great army which he sends amongst a with it, which Job's had not. So that the Egyptians, accord- wicked and rebellious people. Joel, ii. 25. And how proper ing to this, must have been vexed with a triple punishment at the expression is, in relation to the locust in particular, will aponce, (a punishment fitly calculated for the mortification of a pear from the account which Aldrovandus and Fincelius give us delicate and a voluptuous people,) aching boils, nauseous ulcers, of these animals, viz. “That in the year of our Lord 852, an inand a burning itch ; and to this that communication of Moses to finite number of them was seen to fly over twenty miles in Ger. the people, in case they proved disobedient, does, without all many in one day, in the manner of a formed army, divided in peradventure, allude. The Lord will smite thee with the botch several squadrons, and having their quarters apart when they of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the rested; that the captains marched a day's journey before the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed. Deut. xxviii. 27. B. rest, and chose the most opportune places for their camp; that

# This infection was the more terrible in Egypt, because, ac- they never removed until sun-rising, at which time they went away cording to the account of Herodotus, (1. 3, c. 10,) a very rare in as much order as any army of men could do ; that at last having thing it was to see any rain, and much more any hail, in that done great mischief wherever they passed, (after prayers made to climate: and accordingly he mentions it as a kind of prodigy, God,) they were driven by a violent wind into the Belgic ocean, that in the reign of Psammenitus, there happened to be a shower and there drowned; but that, being cast by the sea upon the in Thebes, which was never known before in the memory of shore, they covered 140 acres of land, and caused a great pes. man, nor ever after, to the age wherein our author wrote. The tilence in the country;" which is enough to show how dreadful Psalmist has given us a very poetic description of this judg. a punishment this was, especially considering that these locusts ment: He destroyed the vines with hail, and the sycamore trees were such as were never known before, and yet the ordinary

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OF THE DEPARTURE OF THE HEBREWS FROM EGYPT, UNDER THE

CONDUCT OF MOSES.

ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS.

One would think the aforementioned calamities the Macedonians call it Xanthicus. And that he might have been sufficient for one that was only should carry away the Hebrews, with all they had. foolish, without wickedness, to make him sensible Accordingly Moses having got the Hebrews ready what was for his advantage. But Pharaoh, led for their departure, and having gathered the peonot so much by his folly, as by his wickedness, ple into tribes, kept them together in one place. even when he saw the cause of his miseries, still But when the fourteenth day was come, and all contested with God, and wilfully deserted the were ready to depart, they offered sacrifice, and cause of virtue. So he bid Moses to take the purified their houses with the blood; using bunches Hebrews away, with their wives and children; of hyssop for that purpose: and when they had but to leave their cattle behind, since their own supped, they burnt the remainder of the flesh as cattle were destroyed. But when Moses said, just ready to depart. Whence it is, that we do that what he desired was unjust, since they were still offer this sacrifice in like manner, and call this obliged to offer sacrifice to God of those cattle, festival Pasch; which signifies the feast of the Passand the time being prolonged on this account, a over: because on that day God passed us over, thick darkness,* without the least light, spread and sent the plague upon the Egyptians. For itself over the Egyptians; whereby their sight the destruction of the first-born came upon the being obstructed, and their breathing hindered by Egyptians that night; so that many of the Egypthe thickness of the air, they died miserably; and tians who lived near the king's palace, persuaded under a terror lest they should be swallowed up Pharaoh to let the Hebrews go. Accordingly he by the dark cloud. Besides this, when the dark- called for Moses, and bid them begone: as supponess, after three days, and as many nights, was sing that if once the Hebrews were gone out of dispatched; and when Pharaoh did not still repent, the country, Egypt should be freed from its miseand let the Hebrews go, Moses came to him, and ries. They also honoured the Hebrews with gifts, I said, “ How long wilt thou be disobedient to the some in order to get them to depart quickly, and command of God? for he enjoins thee to let the others on account of their neighbourhood, and Hebrews go; nor is there any other way of being the friendship they had with them. freed from the calamities you are under, unless you do so.” But the king was angry at what he

CHAP. XV. said, and threatened to strike off his head, if he came any more to trouble him about these matters. Hereupon Moses said, he would not speak Thus the Hebrews went out of Egypt, while to him about them ;t but that he himself, together the Egyptians wept, and repented they had treatwith the principal men among the Egyptians, ed them so hardly. Now they took their journey should desire the Hebrews to go away. So when by Letopolis, a place at that time deserted, but Moses had said this, he went his way.

where Babylon was built afterward, when CamWhen God had signified, that with one more byses ravaged Egypt. But as they went away plague he would compel the Egyptians to let the hastily, on the third day they came to a place Hebrews go, he commanded Moses to tell the called Baalzephon, on the Red Sea; and when people, that they should have a sacrifice ready; they had no food out of the land, because it was and that they should prepare themselves on the a desert, they eat of loaves kneaded of flour, only tenth day of the month Xanthicus, against the warmed by a gentle heat; and this food they fourteenth; which month is called by the Egyp- made use of thirty days: for what they brought tians Pharmuthi, and Nisan by the Hebrews; but with them out of Egypt, would not suffice them

, locust (as Aristotle and Pliny have described it) was an animal so + Exod. viii. 7. fierce and formidable, that one single one would kill a serpent, * These large presents made to the Israelites, of vessels of by taking it fast by the jaws, and biting it to death. Arist. silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, were, as Josephus truly Hist., Animal. 1. 5, c. 23. Pliny's Nat. Hist. 1. 11, c. 9, and calls them, gifts, really given them; not lent them, as our Eng. Le Clerc's Commentary. B.

lish falsely renders them. They were spoils required, not bor. * The Septuagint, and most translations, render it a darkness rowed of them ; Gen. xv. 14, Exod. iii. 29, xi. 2, Ps. cv. 37, as which might be felt, i. e. consisting of black vapours and exha- the same version falsely renders the Hebrew word here used. lations, so condensed, that they might

be perceived by the Exod. xii. 35, 36. God had ordered the Jews to demand these organs of touch. But some commentators think, that this is as their pay and reward, during their long and bitter slavery in carrying the sense too far; since, in such a medium as this, Egypt; as atonements for the lives of the Egyptians ; and as the mankind could not live an hour, much less for the space of condition of the Jews' departure, and the Egyptian deliverance three days, as the Egyptians are said to have done : and there from these terrible judgments; which, had they not now ceased, fore they imagine, that instead of a darkness that may be felt, they had soon been all dead men, as they themselves confess, the Hebrew phrase may signify a darkness wherein men were xii. 23. groping and feeling about for every thing they wanted. B.

Nor was there any sense in borrowing or lending,

when the Israelites were finally departing out of the land. 9

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any longer time; and this only while they dis- ment of their wickedness, and of the breach of pensed it to each person to use so much only as those promises they had made to them: he also would serve for necessity, but not for satiety. chose this route on account of the Philistines, who Whence it is, that in memory of the want we had quarrelled with them, and hated them of old; were then in, we keep a feast for eight days, that by all means they might not know of their which is called the feast of Unleavened-bread. departure, for their country is near that of Egypt: Now the entire multitude of those that went out, and thence it was that Moses led them not along including the women and children, was not easy the road that tended to the land of the Philistines, to be numbered; but those that were of an age but he was desirous that they should go through fit for war, were six hundred thousand.

the desert; and so, after a long journey, and after They left Egypt in the month of Xanthicus, on many afflictions, they might enter upon the land the fifteenth day of the lunar month: four hun- of Canaan. Another reason was, that God had dred and thirty years after our forefather Abraham commanded him to bring the people to mount came into Canaan. But two hundred and fifteen Sinai; that there they might offer him sacrifices. years* only after Jacob removed into Egypt; it Now, when the Egyptians had overtaken the was the eightieth year of the age of Moses, and Hebrews, they prepared to fight them, and by their of that of Aaron three more. They also carried multitude they drove them into a narrow place: out the bones of Joseph with them, as he charged for the number that pursued after them was six his sons to do.

hundred chariots, with fifty thousand horsemen, The Egyptians, however, soon repented that and two hundred thousand footmen, all armed. the Hebrews were gone ;t and the king also was They also seized on the passages, by which they greatly concerned that this had been procured by imagined the Hebrews might fly, shutting them the magical arts of Moses; so they resolved to go up between inaccessible mountains and the sea, after them. Accordingly they took their weapons, for there was on each side a ridge of mountains and other warlike furniture, and pursued after them, that terminated at the sea, which was impassable in order to bring them back, if once they overtook by reason of their roughness, and obstructed their them; because they would have no pretence to flight; wherefore they there pressed upon the Hepray to God against them, since they had already brews, with their army, where the ridges of the been permitted to go out. And they thought they mountains were close with the sea, which army should easily overcome them, as they had no ar- they placed at the defiles of the mountains, that mour, and would be weary with their journey. So so they might deprive them of any passage into they made haste in their pursuit

, and inquired of the plain. every one they met, which way they were gone? When the Hebrews, therefore, were neither able And indeed that land was difficult to be travelled to bear up, being thus, as it were, besieged, beover, not only by armies, but single persons. Now cause they wanted provisions, nor saw any possiMoses led the Hebrews this way, that in case the ble way of escaping; and if they should have Egyptians should repent, and be desirous to pur- thought of fighting, they had no weapons ; they sue after them, they might undergo the punish- expected an universal destruction, unless they de

1

* Why our Mazorete copy so groundlessly abridges this ac- manded by God to return back, (see Exod. xiv. 2,) and to pitch count in Exod. xii. 40, as to ascribe four hundred and thirty their camp between Migdol and the sea; and that when they years to the sole peregrination of the Israelites in Egypt; when were not able to fly, unless by sea, they were in the place bere it is clear, even by that Mazorete chronology elsewhere; as well denoted by the letter B, where they were shut in on each side as from the express text itself in the Samaritan, Septuagint, and by mountains, and that on the part where stands D was the army Josephus, that they sojourned'in Egypt but half that time, and of Pharaoh. He also thought we might evidently learn hence that by consequence the other half of their peregrination was in how it might be said that the Israelites were in Etham before the land of Canaan, before they came into Egypt, is hard to say. they crossed the sea, and yet might be said to have come into + Exod. xiv. 5.

Etham, after they had passed over the sea. Besides, he gave me I Take the main part of Reland's excellent note here, which an account how he passed over the river in a boat near the city greatly illustrates Josephus and the Scriptures in this history, Suez, which he said must needs be the Heroopolis of the an

. with the small map thereunto belonging, as follows :-“ A trav- cients, since that city could not be situated anywhere else in eller," says

Reland, “ whose name was Eneman, when he re- that neighbourhood.” turned out of Egypt, told me, that he went the same way from As to the famous passage produced here by Dr. Bernard, out Egypt to mount Sinai, which he supposed the Israelites of old of Herodotus, as the most ancient heathen testimony of the Istravelled, and that he found several mountainous tracts that ran raelites coming from the Red Sea into Palestine, Bishop Cumndown towards the Red Sea, as he delineated them to me. berland has shown that it belongs to the old Canaanite or A, B, C. He thought the Israelites had proceeded as far as the Phænician shepherds, and their retiring out of Egypt into Ca. desert of Etham, (see Exod. xiii. 20,) when they were com- naan, or Phænicia, long before the days of Moses.

See

WHEN THEY WERE PURSUED BY THE EGYPTIANS; AND OF THE

livered themselves up voluntarily to the Egyptians: || as is able to make small things great, and to show so they laid the blame on Moses, and * forgot all that this mighty force against you is nothing but the signs that had been wrought by God for the weakness; and be not affrighted at the Egyptian recovery of their freedom, and this so far, that army; nor do you despair of being preserved, betheir incredulity prompted them to throw stones cause the sea before, and the mountains behind, at the prophet, while he encouraged them, and afford you no opportunity of flying; for even these promised them deliverance, and they resolved mountains, if God so please, may be made plain that they would deliver themselves up to the ground for you, and the sea become dry land.”+ Egyptians; so there was sorrow and lamentation among the women and children, who had nothing

CHAP. XVI. but destruction before their eyes, while they were

OF THE MIRACULOUS DIVISION OF THE SEA FOR THE HEBREWS encompassed with mountains, the sea, and the enemies, and discerned no way of flying from OVERTHROW OF THEIR ENEMIES. them.

WHEN Moses had said this, he led them to the But Moses, though the multitude looked fiercely sea,& while the Egyptians looked on, for they were at him, did not relinquish the care of them, but within sight. Now these were so distressed by the despised all dangers, out of his trust in God, who, toil of their pursuit, that they thought proper to put as he had afforded them the several steps already off fighting till the next day: but when Moses was taken for the recovery of their liberty, which he come to the sea-shore, he took his rod, and made had foretold, he would not now suffer them to be the supplications to God, and called upon him to be subdued by their enemies; to be either made their helper and assistant: and said, “Thou art not slaves, or be slain by them; and standing in the ignorant, O Lord, that it is beyond human strength, midst of them, he said, “ It is not just for us to and human contrivance, to avoid the difficulties we distrust even men, when they have hitherto well are now under ; but it must be thy work altogether managed our affairs, as if they would not be the to procure deliverance to this army, which has left same men hereafter ; but it is no better than mad- Egypt at thy appointment. We despair of any other ness, at this time, to despair of the providence of assistance or contrivance, and have recourse only God, by whose power all has been performed to that hope we have in thee: and if there be any which he promised, when you expected no such method that can promise us an escape by thy provithings: I mean all that I have been concerned in dence, we look up to thee for it; and let it come for your deliverance, and escape from slavery. quickly, and manifest thy power to us, and do thou Nay, when we are in the utmost distress, as you raise up this people unto good courage, and hope of see we now are, we ought the rather to hope that deliverance, who are deeply sunk into a disconsolate God will succour us, by whose operation it is, that state of mind. We are in a helpless place; but still we are now encompassed within that narrow place, it is a place that thou possessest, for the sea is thine, that he may deliver us out of such difficulties as and the mountains that inclose us are thine: so that are otherwise insurmountable, and out of which these mountains will open themselves if thou comneither you nor your enemies expect you can be mandest them; and the sea also, if thou commanddelivered, and may at once demonstrate his own est it, will become dry land: nay, we might escape power, and his providence over us ; nor does God by a flight through the air, if thou shouldest deteruse to give his help in small difficulties to those mine we should have that way of salvation.” whom he favours, but in such cases where no one When Moses had thus addressed himself to God, can see how any hope in man can better their con- he smote with his rod upon the sea, which parted dition. Depend, therefore, upon such a Protector asunder at the stroke, and, receiving those waters

* Exod. xiv. 11.

Mare Rubrum, and we, the Red Sea. The Hebrews call it the + This speech is very short in our copies. Exod. xiv. 13, 14. Sea of Suph, or Flags, by reason of the great abundance of that

# The Red Sea, called by the ancients Sinus Arabicus, and kind of weed, which grows at the bottom of it; and the Arabs now Gulfo de Mecca, is that part or branch of the southern sea at this day name it Bubr el Chaisem, i. e. the sea of Clysona, which interposes itself between Egypt on the west; Arabia. | from a town situate on its western coast, much about that place Felix, and some parts of Petræa, on the east; while the north- where the Israelites passed over from the Egyptian to the Ara. ern bounds of it touch upon Idumea, or the coast of Edom. | bian shore. But as the word Clysona may denote a drowning Edom, in the Hebrew tongue, signifies Red, and was the nick or overflowing with water, it is not improbable that the town name given Esau for selling his birthright for a mėss of pottage. built in this place, as well as this part of the sea, might have The country which his posterity possessed was called after his such a name given it, in memory of the fate of the Egyptians, name, and so was the sea which adjoined to it; but the Greeks, who were drowned herein. Wells Geography of the Old Tes. not understanding the reason of the appellation, translated it tament, vol. ii. B. into their tongue, and called it sguapa Jaladra, thence the Latin,

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