Page images

chapter, verse 26. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God; which seemeth rather to have been meant by the covenant which Joshua made with Israel in Sichem, where they all promised to serve and obey the Lord; which promise Joshua caused to be written in the book of the law; and of this opinion were Cajetan and Abulensis. Theodoret doth likewise conceive that the book of Joshua was collected out of an ancient volume, entitled, Liber Justorum, remembered by Joshua himself; and others, that it was the work of Samuel ; for whereas Montanus groundeth his opinion upon these words of the 26th verse, And Joshua wrote these words, &c. this place hath nothing in it to prove it; for when the people had answered Joshua, n The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey; it followeth that Joshua made a covenant with the people, and wrote the same in the book of the law of God.

There lived at once with Joshua, Erichthonius in Attica, who taught that nation to yoke beasts together, thereby to till the ground with more ease and speed; and about the same time the fifty daughters of Danaus (as it is said) slew the fifty sons of Ægyptus, all but Lynceus, who succeeded Danaus, if the tale be true. There lived also with Joshua, Phønix and Cadmus, and near the end of Joshua's life, Jupiter is said to have ravished Europa the daughter of Phænix, (afterwards married to Asterius king of Creta,) and begat on her Minos, Radamanthus, and Sarpedon. But • St. Augustine reports this ravishment to be committed by Xanthus, and yet they are more commonly taken for the sons of Jupiter. But it may be doubted whether p Minos was father to Deucalion, and Deucalion to Idomeneus, who was an old man at the war of Troy, and Sarpedon was in person a young or strong man at the same Trojan war. And so doth Nestor reckon up in the counsel of the Greeks, Theseus and Perithous for men of antiquity, and of ages past; Minos being yet more ancient than any of these. But hereof elsewhere.

n Josh. v. last verse, and xxiv. 24.

Lib. xviii. c. 12. de Civitate Dei.

p Homer, Odyss, and Iliad. 9 Hom. Iliad. 1.

CHAP. VII. Of the tribes of Israel that were planted in the borders of Phoenicia, with sundry stories depending upon

those places.

SECT. I. The proem to the description of the whole land of Canaan, with an

exposition of the name of Syria. THE

story of the Judges ought to follow that of Joshua, after whom the commonwealth of the Jews was governed by kings, of which so many of them as ruled the ten tribes shall be remembered when we come to the description of Samaria: but because the land of Canaan, and the borders thereof, were the stages and theatres whereon the greatest part of the story past, with that which followeth, hath been acted, I think it very pertinent (for the better understanding of both) to make a geographical description of those regions ; that all things therein performed, by the places known, may the better be understood and conceived. To which purpose (besides the addition of the neighbour countries) I have bestowed on every tribe his proper portion, and do shew what cities and places of strength were by the Jews obtained, and what numbers it pleased God to leave unconquered; by whom he might correct and scourge them, when, ungrateful for his many graces, they at sundry times forgat or neglected the Lord of all power, and adored those deaf and dead idols of the heathen: Divina bonitas, (saith St. Augustine,) ideo maxime irascitur in hoc sæculo, ne irascatur in futuro; et misericorditer temporalem adhibet severitatem, ne æternam juste inferat ultionem ; The “ divine goodness is especially therefore angry in this world, 66 that it may angry

in the world to come; and doth mercifully use temporal severity, that it may not justly “ bring upon us eternal vengeance."

To the cities herein described, I have added a short story of the beginnings and ends of divers kingdoms and commonweals; and to help myself herein, I have perused divers of the best authors upon this subject ; among whom,

not be

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

because I find so great disagreement in many particulars, I have rather in such cases adventured to follow mine own reason, than to borrow any one of their old patterns.

And because Canaan, with Palæstina of the Philistines, and the lands of Og and Sihon kings of Basan, and the Arabian Amorites, were but small provinces of Syria ; it shall be necessary first to divide and bound the general, and so descend to this particular, now called the Holy Land.

Syria, now Soria, according to the largest description, and as it was anciently taken, embraced all those regions from the Euxine sea to the Red sea; and therefore were the Cappadocians, which look into Pontus, called s Leucosyrians, or white Syrians. But taking it shorter, and from the coast of Cilicia, which is the north border, unto Idumæa towards the south, Tigris towards the sun-rising, and the Mediterranean sea westward; it then containeth, besides Babylonia, Chaldea, Arabia the Desert, and Arabia Petræa, that region also which the Greeks call Mesopotamia, the Hebrews Syria; of the two rivers, to wit, Tigris and Euphrates, for so Aram-Naharaijm is expounded; also Padan Aram; that is, Jugum Syriæ, because the two rivers go along in it as it were in a yoke.

· Edessa, sometimes Rages, now Rage, was the metropolis of this region of Syria. In Syria, taken largely, there were many small provinces, as Colesyria, which the Latins call Syria Cava, because it lay in that fruitful valley between the mountains of Libanus and Anti-Libanus, in which the famous cities of Antioch, Laodicea, Apamea, with many others, were seated. Then Damascena, or Syria Libanica, taking name of the city u Damascus, and the mountains of Libanus, the regal seat of the Adades, the first kings of Syria. Adjoining to it was the province of Sophene, or * Syria Soba, Choba, or Zobal, over which Adadezer commanded in Solomon's time. Then Phoenicia and the people Syraphænices; and lastly, Syria Palæstina bordering Egypt,

r Ptol. Aşiæ Tab. 4.
s Ptol. 5.
· Aurogallus.

u i Kings xi.
* Herod. in Polym. Dion. 1. 27.

of which y Ptolemy maketh Judæa also a part; and to that province which Moses calleth Seir and Edom, Pomponius Mela giveth the name of Syria Judæa.


Of the bounds of the land of Canaan, and of the promises touching

this land. BUT that land which was anciently Canaan, taketh a part of Phænicia, and stretcheth from behind Libanus to the great deserts between Idumæa and Egypt; bounded by the midland sea on the west, and the mountains of Hermon, Gilead, and Arnon towards the east; the same hills which Strabo calleth Traconi, or Traconitæ, and Ptolemy Hippus. The name of Canaan it had from z Canaan the son of Cham, et lingua appellata fuit Canaan ; “the language “ was also called Canaan," saith Montanus; and after Hebræa of the Hebrews, who took name from Heber, the son of Sale, according to a St. Augustine. But Arius Montanus, not so well allowing of this derivation, makes it a common name to all those of Noah's sons which passed over Euphrates towards the west sea. For the word Heber, saith he, is as much as transiens, or transmittens, of going or passing over. And because the children of Abraham had for a long time no certain abiding, therefore, as he thinks, they were by the Egyptians called Hebræi, as it were passengers, which is also the opinion of C. Sigonius, and of b Eusebius long before them both. It had also the name of Judæa from Juda, and then afterwards entitled the Holy Land, because therein our Saviour Christ was born and buried. Now this part of Syria was again divided into four, namely, into Edom, (otherwise Seir, or Edumæa,) Galilee, Samaria, and Judæa. Galilee is double, the superior, called gentium, and the inferior; and that Galilee and Judæa are distinguished, it is plain in the c Evangelists, though both of them belong to Phænicia.

Now besides these provinces of Phænicia and Palæstina, y Ptol. Asiæ Tab. 4.

1) Euseb. Præp. Evang. 1. 7. C. 3. z Strab. 1. 10.

c Matt. ii. Luke ji. John iv. a Caleb. f. 62.

(both which the river of Jordan boundeth, saving that Phænicia stretcheth a little more easterly towards Damascus,) that part also to the east of Jordan, and within the mountains of Hermon, Gilead, and Arnon, otherwise Traconi, fell to the possession of half Manasseh, Gad, and Reuben, and therefore are accounted a part of Canaan also ; as well because anciently possessed by the Amorites, as for that they were conquered and enjoyed by the Israelites; which eastermost parts are again divided into Basan, or Batanea, into Gilead, Moab, Midian, Ammon, and the territories of the Machati, Gessuri, Argobe, Hus. They are known to the later cosmographers by the name of Arabia in general, and by the names of Trachonitis, Pieria, Batanea, &c. of which I will speak in their proper places.

But where Moses describeth the land of Canaan in the tenth of Genesis, he maketh no mention of the latter provinces which fell to Manasseh, Gad, and Reuben; for these be his words; Then the border of the Canaanites was from Zidon, as thou comest to Gerar until Azzah, (which is Gaza,) and this was the length of the country north and south; then it followeth in the text, And as thou goest unto Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Seboim, even unto Lasha; by which words Moses setteth down the breadth, to wit, from the Dead sea to the Mediterranean. But in d Deuteronomy it seemeth to be far more large ; for it is therein written, All the places whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours; your coast shall be from the wilderness, and from Lebanon, and from the river Perah, unto the uttermost sea. Now for the length of the country north and south, this description agreeth with the former, only Lebanon is put for Zidon, and the wilderness for Gerar and Azzah, which make no difference: but for the breadth and extent east and west, if Perah be taken for Euphrates, then the land promised stretcheth itself both over Arabia Petræa and the Desert, as far as the border of Babylon, which the Israelites never possessed, nor at any

d Deut. xi. 24.

« PreviousContinue »