Page images
PDF
EPUB

till they being put to flight by Gideon, two of them, to wit, Oreb and Zeb, were taken and slain by the Ephraimites, at the passage of Jordan, as in the 6th, 7th, and 8th of Judges it is written at large. Afterwards, in the pursuit of the rest, Gideon himself laid hands upon Zebah and Zalmana, or Zalmunna, and executed them, being prisoners; in which expedition of Gideon there perished 120,000 of the Madianites, and their confederates. Of the Idumeans, Moabites, and Ammonites, I will speak hereafter in the description of their territories.

SECT. III.

Of the Amalekites and Ismaelites. OF the kings of the Amalekites and Ismaelites, I find few that are named; and though of the Ismaelites there were more in number than of the rest, (for they were multiplied into a greater nation, according to the promise of God made unto 9 Abraham,) yet the Amalekites, who together with the Midianites were numbered among them, were more renowned in Moses's time than the rest of the Ismaelites. So also were they when Saul governed Israel ; for Saul pursued them from Sur into Havilah, to wit, over a great part of Arabia Petræa, and the desert. The reason to me seemeth to be this ; that the twelve princes which came of Ismael were content to leave those barren deserts of Arabia Petræa, called Shur, Paran, and Sin, to the issue of Abraham by Keturah, that joined with them, (for so seem the Amalekites to have been, and so were the Madianites,) themselves taking possession of a better soil in Arabia the Happy, and about the mountains of Galaad in Arabia Petræa. For Nabaioth, the eldest of those twelve princes, planted that part of Arabia Petræa, which was very fruitful, though adjoining to the desert in which Moses wandered, afterwards called Nabathea ; the same which neighboureth Judæa on the east side. They also peopled a province in Arabia the Happy, whereof the people were in aftertimes called Napathei, b changed into p.

Judg. vii.

4 Gen. xvii. 20.

[ocr errors]

Kedar, the second of Ismael's sons, gave his own name to the east part of Basan, or Batanea, which was afterwards possessed by Manasseh, so much thereof as lay within the mountains Traconi or Gilead. Which nation Lampridius calleth Kedarens, and Pliny, Cedræans.

Adbeel sat down in the desert Arabia, near the mountains which divide it from the Happy; and gave name to the Adubens, which Ptolomy calleth Agubens.

Mibsam was the parent of the Masamancuses, near the mountain Zamath, in the same Arabia the Happy.

The Raabens were of Mishma, who joined to the Orchens, near the Arabian gulf, where Ptolomy setteth Zagmais.

Of Duma were the Dumeans, between the Adubens and Raabens, where the city Dumeth sometimes stood.

Of Massa the Massani, and of Hadar, or Chadar, the Athritæ, who bordered the Napatheans in the same Happy Arabia.

Thema begat the Themaneans among the Arabian mountains, where also the city of Thema is seated.

Of Jetur the Itureans, or Chamathens, of whom Tohu was king in David's time.

Of Naphri the sNubeian Arabians, inhabiting Syria Zoba; over whom Adadezer commanded while David ruled Israel.

Cadma, the last and twelfth of Ismael's sons, was the ancestor of the Cadmoneans, who were afterwards called

Asitæ, because they worshipped the fire with the Babylonians.

The Amalekites gave their kings the name of Agag, as the Egyptians the name of Pharaoh to theirs, and the ancient Syrians Adad to theirs, and the Arabians, Nabatheans, Aretas, as names of honour.

The Amalekites were the first that fought with Moses, after he passed the u Red sea ; when of all times they flourished most, and yet were vanquished.

s Plin, l. 6. c. 28.

t Junius.

u Exod. xvii.

Afterwards they joined with the Canaanites, and beat the Israelites near Cades-barne. After the government of Othoniel, they joined them with the Moabites; after Barak with the Madianites, and invaded Israel. God commanded, that as soon as Israel had rest, they should root out the name of the Amalekites; which Saul executed in part, when he wasted them from the border of Egypt to the border of Chaldea, from Havilah to Shur.

In y David's time they took Ziklag in Simeon ; but David followed them, and surprised them, recovering his prisoners and spoils. And yet, after David became king, they again vexed him, but to their own loss.

In Hezekiah's time, as many of them as joined to ? Idumæa, were wasted and displanted by the children of Simeon.

SECT. IV. Of the instauration of civility in Europe about these times, and of

Prometheus and Atlas. THERE lived at this time, and in the same age together with Moses, many men exceeding famous, as well in bodily strength as in all sorts of learning. And as the world was but even now enriched with the written law of the living God, so did art and civility (bred and fostered far off in the east and in Egypt) begin at this time to discover a passage into Europe, and into those parts of Greece neighbouring Asia and Judæa. For if Pelasgus, besides his bodily strength, was chosen king of Arcadia, because he taught those people to erect them simple cottages to defend them from rain and storm; and learned them withal to make a kind of meal and bread of acorns, who before lived for the most part by herbs and roots; we may thereby judge how poor and wretched those times were, and how falsely those nations have vaunted of those their antiquities, accompanied not only with civil learning, but with all other kinds of knowledge. And it was in this age of the world, as both Eusebius and a St. Augustine have observed, that Pro

Z

* Numb. xiv.
y i Sam. xxx. 2 Sam. viii. 12.

1 Chron. iv.
Aug. I. 18. c. 8. de Civit. Dei.

a

metheus flourished: Quem propterea ferunt de luto formasse homines, quia optimus sapientiæ doctor fuisse perhibetur ; “ Of whom it is reported, that he formed men out “ of clay, because he was an excellent teacher of wisdom :" and so Theophrastus expoundeth the invention of fire, ascribed to Prometheus, ad inventa sapientiæ pertinere ; “ to have reference to wise inventions:" and b Æschylus affirmeth, that by the stealing of Jupiter's fire was meant, that the knowledge of Prometheus reached to the stars and other celestial bodies. Again, it is written of him, that he had the art so to use this fire, as thereby he gave life to images of wood, stone, and clay; meaning that before his birth and being, those people among whom he lived had nothing else worthy of men, but external form and figure. By that fiction of Prometheus, being bound on the top of the hill Caucasus, his entrails the while devoured by an eagle, was meant the inward care and restless desire he had to investigate the natures, motions, and influences of heavenly bodies: for so it is said, Ideo altissimum ascendisse Caucasum, ut sereno cælo quam longissime astra, signorum obitus et ortus spectaret; “ That he ascended Cauca“ sus, to the end that he might in a clear sky discern afar “ off the settings and risings of the stars :” though Diodorus Siculus expounds it otherwise, and others diversely.

Of this man's knowledge Æschylus gives this testimony:

d Ast agebant omnia
Ut fors ferebat: donec ipse reperi
Signorum obitus ortusque, qui mortalibus
Sunt utiles : et multitudinem artium
His reperi : componere inde literas ;
Matremque musarum auxi ego memoriam
Perutilem cunctis, &c.

But fortune governed all their works, till when
I first found out how stars did set and rise ;
A profitable art to mortal men :

b Æschyl. in Prom. vinct. in c. 8. 1. 18. de Civit. Dei.

c L. Vives ex Hes.
" Æschyl, in Prom. vinct.

And others of like use I did devise;
As letters to compose in learned wise
I first did teach; and first did amplify
The mother of the muses memory.

Africanus makes Prometheus far more ancient, and but ninety-four years after Ogyges. Porphyrius says, that he lived at once with Inachus, who lived with Isaac.

There lived also at once with Moses, that famous Atlas, brother to Prometheus, both being the sons of Japetus, of whom though it be said that they were born before Moses's days, and therefore are by others esteemed of a more ancient date; yet the advantage of their long lives gave them a part of other ages among men which came into the world long after them. Besides these sons of Japetus, Æschylus finds two other, to wit, Oceanus and Hesperus, who being famous in the west, gave name to the evening, and so to the evening star. Also besides this Atlas of Libya, or Mauritania, there were others which bare the same name: but of the Libyan, and the brother of Prometheus, it was that those mountains which cross Africa to the south of Marocco, Sus, and Hea, with the sea adjoining, took name, which memory Plato in Critias bestows on Atlas, the son of Neptune.

Cicero, in the fifth of his Tusculan Questions, affirmeth, that all things written of Prometheus and Atlas were but by those names to express divine knowledge: Nec vero Atlas sustinere cælum, nec Prometheus affixus Caucaso, nec stellatus Cepheus cum uxore traderetur, nisi divina cognitio nomen eorum ad errorem fabulæ traduxisset; “ Neither should Atlas be said to bear up heaven, nor Pro“ metheus to be fastened to Caucasus, nor Cepheus with his 6 wife to be stellified, unless their divine knowledge had 66 raised

their names these erroneous fables.” Orpheus sometimes expressed time by Prometheus, sometimes he took him for Saturn; as Rheæ conjux alme Prometheu. But that the story of Prometheus was not altoge

upon

C Aug. 1. 18. c. 3. de Civit. Dei.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »