Page images
PDF
EPUB

of all the gods, (as they were styled,) held the kingdom of Isis, Diodorus Siculus plainly saith, and Plutarch as much ; to which all old histories agree. Krentzhemius hereupon infers, that six years may be allowed to the wars which Hercules made in so many countries, after the Egyptian wars were ended; so should the death of Osiris have been the 34th of Baleus, when himself had reigned 297 years. I think that Krentzhemius was a greater scholar than soldier: for surely in those days, when commerce was not such as now, but all navigation made by coasting, a far longer time would have been required to the subduing of so many countries. An allowance of more time, though it would alter his computation, yet would it well agree with his intent; which was, doubtless, to find the truth. If, according to his account, the death of Osiris had been the 34th of Baleus, then must Israel have come into Egypt but seven years before the death of Osiris, and have lived there in the reign of Typhon: a thing not easily believed. For it was the same king who advanced Joseph, bade him send for his father, and gave him leave to go into Canaan to the performance of his father's funeral ; as may easily be gathered out of the book of Genesis. Whereas therefore the reign of Osiris cannot be extended by any possible allowance in account of times, beyond the seventh year of Israel's coming into Egypt; we must needs cut off twenty-three years from that number, which Krentzhemius conjectures his reign to have continued ; namely, seven which he should have lived after Jacob's coming into Egypt; nine in which Joseph had there flourished ere his father's coming; and other seven in which Typhon and Hercules had reigned after the death of Osiris, yet before Joseph's advancement.

Neither will this disagree with the time of Hercules Libyus's wars. For the war which Hercules made in Italy is said to have endured ten years; after which proportion we may well give, not only six years, as Krentzhemius doth, but twenty-three more, to so many wars in so many

and so

x Diod. Sic. l. 2. c. 1. Plut. l. de Iside et Osir.

far distant countries, as are named before; yea, by this proportion we may attribute unto Orus the thirteen years which passed between the time of Joseph's being sold into Egypt, unto his advancement; considering that Putiphar, who bought him, and whose daughter he may seem to have married, continued all that while chief steward unto Pharaoh ; a thing not likely to have been, if so violent alterations had happened the whilst in Egypt, as the tyrannous usurpation of Typhon must needs have brought in. If citing some fragment of a lost old author, I should confidently say, that Putiphar, for his faithfulness to Orus, the son of Osiris, was by him in the beginning of his reign made his chief steward ; at which time buying Joseph, and finding him a just man, and one under whose hand all things did prosper, he rather committed his estate into Joseph's hands, than unto any of his Egyptian followers, (many of whom he had found either falsehearted, or weak and unlucky in the troublesome days of Typhon,) I know not what could be objected against this. Perhaps I might proceed further, and say, that when the saying of Joseph pleased Pharaoh, and all his servants; then Putiphar, priest of On, being chief officer to Pharaoh, did acknowledge in Joseph the ancient graces of God, and his injurious imprisonment, whereupon he gave him his daughter to wife; and being old, resigned his office of chief steward unto him ; who afterwards, in regard of Putiphar, did favour the priests, when he bought the lands of all other Egyptians. This might appear to some a tale not unlike to the friarly book of Asenath, Putiphar's daughter ; but unto such as consider that God works usually by means, and that Putiphar was the steward of that king under whom Jacob died; it would seem a matter not improbable, had it an author of sufficient credit to avouch it. Concerning the wars of Hercules, in which by this reckoning he should have spent forty-two years after he left Egypt, ere he began in Italy, it is a circumstance which (the length of his Italian wars considered, and his former enterprises and achievements proportioned to them) doth not make against us, but for us; or if it were

against us, yet could it not so weaken our supposition, as these probabilities collected out of the undisputable truth of scripture do confirm it. Nevertheless I freely grant, that all these proofs are no other than such as may be gathered out of authors not well agreeing, nor to be reconciled in such obscurity, otherwise than by likelihoods, answerable to the holy text.

SECT. VI. Of Typhon, Hercules Ægyptius, Orus, and the two Sesostres, suc

cessively reigning after Misraim; and of divers errors about the former Sesostris.

CONCERNING the reign of Typhon and of Hercules, I find none that precisely doth define how long either of them continued. Daniel Angelocrator giveth three years to Typhon, omitting Hercules. But he is so peremptory without proof, as if his own word were sufficient authority in many points very questionable; alleging no witness, but as it were saying, teste meipso: yet herein we may think him to speak probably, forasmuch as the learned Krentzhemius affirmeth, that Hercules did very soon undertake his father's revenge, and was not long in performing it; and that leaving Egypt to his brother, he followed other wars, in the same quarrel, as hath been shewed before. True it is, that I cannot collect (as Krentzhemius doth) out of Berosus, that Hercules reigned after Typhon; yet seeing Aventinus, a follower of Berosus, hath it so, I will also believe it. That in the reign of Typhon and Hercules seven years were spent, howsoever divided between them, I gather out of Krentzhemius only, who placeth the beginning of Orus seven years after the death of Osiris ; forgetting to set down his reasons, which, in a matter so probable, I think he wanted not. Now whereas he alloweth ninety years of the eighteenth dynasty to Osiris, Typhon, Hercules, and Orus; it seems that the reign of Orus lasted 115 years. From the death of Orus to the departure of Israel out of Egypt, there passed 122 years by our account; who (according to Beroaldus and others) think that Abraham was

born in the 130th year of Terah, and thereupon reckon thus. From the end of the flood to the birth of Abraham

352 s

75 departure out of Egypt 430

.

[ocr errors]

From that time to the { vocation of Abraham

{

Total, 857 which sum divers other ways may be collected. Since therefore to the departure out of Egypt there do remain (as is aforesaid) only 122 years from the death of Orus; we are now to consider how many of them are to be allowed unto Sesostris, or Sesonchosis, who is placed next unto Orus, by authority of the Scholiastes Apollonii, not without good probability. For this great king or conqueror is by many histories recorded to have overrun a great part of Asia ; to have built a fleet of ships on the Red sea; and so to have entered into India; likewise with another fleet on the middle-earth seas to have passed into Europe, and subdued many nations. This is he (as Reineccius judgeth) whom Justin, erring in account of his time, calleth Vexoris ; for Justin placeth Vexoris in ages before Ninus; whereby it would follow that Sesostris, if he were Vexoris, was more ancient than was Osiris, (otherwise Mizraim,) a thing altogether unlikely. Certain it is, that after the departure of Israel out of Egypt, no one Pharaoh came into the land of Canaan (which lieth in the way from Egypt into Asia) till the father-in-law of Solomon, Pharaoh Vaphres, took Gerar, and gave it to his daughter ; after which time Sesac oppressed Rehoboam, and Necho sought passage through the land of Israel, when he made his expedition against the Chaldeans. Of king Vaphres and Necho it is out of question, that neither of them was the great king Sesostris. Of Sesac it is doubted by some, forasmuch as he came into Judæa with a great army. Reineccius propounding the doubt, leaveth it undecided; unless it be sufficient proof of his own opinion, that he himself placeth Sesostris next to Orus, following the Scholiastes Apollonii. But further answer may be made to shew that they were not one. For as Justin witnesseth, Sesostris, otherwise Vexoris, made war on people far removed, abstaining from his neighbours. Sesac came up purposely against Jerusalem. Sesostris, as Diodorus witnesseth, had but 24,000 horse; Sesac had 60,000; Sesostris had 8020 chariots, Sesac but 1200. Sesostris made his expedition for no private purpose, but to get a great name ; Sesac, as most agree,

had

no other purpose than to succour Jeroboam, and give him countenance in his new reign, whom he had favoured even against Solomon; therefore Sesostris must needs have reigned whilst Israel abode in Egypt.

Whereas Krentzhemius collecteth out of Herodotus and Diodorus, that one Menas, or Menis, was next to Orus; because those historians affirm, that he reigned next after the gods, it moveth me nothing. For Osiris did succeed those fifteen gods; namely, the twelve greater and three lesser, himself also (as the learned Reineccius noteth) being called Menas : which name, as also Minæus and Menis, were titles of dignity, though mistaken by some as proper names. Krentzhemius doth very probably gather, that Menas was Mercurius Ter-maximus; the Hebrew word meni signifying an arithmetician; which name, Ter-maximus, might well be attributed to Osiris, who was a great conqueror, philosopher, and benefactor to mankind, by giving good laws, and teaching profitable arts. In prowess and great undertakings Sesostris was no wit inferior to Osiris. For he sought victory, not for gain, but for honour only; and being well contented that many nations had acknowledged his power, and submitted themselves to his will and royal disposition, leaving them in a manner to their liberty, returned into Egypt. Soon upon his return he was endangered by a great treason, the house in which he was being by his own brother purposely fired; which nevertheless he is said to have escaped, and to have reigned in all thirty-three years; after which time he chose rather to die than to live, because he fell blind. Both Herodotus and Diodorus affirm, that Sesostris left a son, whose name was Pheron, or Pherones,

RALEGH, HIST. WORLD. VOL. II.

Q

E

« PreviousContinue »