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and the Vulgar edition, for Zoan write Heliopolis; Pagninus, Vatablus, Junius, and our English, call it on; and Ptolemy, Onium. There are two cities of that name, the one on the frontier of the lower Egypt, towards the south; the other somewhat lower, on the easternmost branch of Nilus, falling into the sea at Pelusium. And it may be, that Heliopolis to the south of the river Trajan, was the same which Vatablus and our English call Aven. Of the latter it is that the scriptures take certain knowledge; the same which Pomponius Mela and Pliny call Solis oppidum; Tyrius, in the Holy War, Malbec; the Arabians, Bahalbeth; and Simeon Sethi, Fons Solis. Of this Heliopolis, or On, was Putiphar, priest or prince, whose daughter Joseph married. In the territory adjoining, Jacob inhabited while he lived in Egypt. In the confines of this city, Onias, the high priest of the Jews, built a temple, dedicated to the eternal God; not much inferior to that of Jerusalem, (Ptolemy Philopater then governing in Egypt,) which stood to the time of Vespasian, 333 years after the foundation by Onias, whom Josephus falsely reporteth herein to have fulfilled a prophecy of Isaiah, cap. 19. In die illa erit altare Domini in medio terræ Ægypti; “ In that day shall the altar “ of the Lord be in the midst of the land of Egypt." Antiochus Epiphanes at that time of the building tyrannizing over the Jews, gave the occasion for the erecting of this temple in Egypt. Lastly, there it was that our Saviour Christ Jesus remained, while Joseph and the Virgin Mary feared the violence of Herod ; near which, saith Brochard, the fountain is still found, called Jesus well, whose streams do afterward water the gardens of Balsamum, no where else found in Egypt. And hereof see more in Brochard, in his description of Egypt.
There is also the city of Noph, remembered by < Isaiah and Ezekiel, the same which Hosea the prophet calleth Moph; which latter name it took from a mountain adjoining so called, which mountain d Herodotus remember: eth. And this is that great city which was called Memphis, and so the Septuagint write it. It is known to the Arabians by the name of Mazar. The Chaldeans name it Alchabyr; and Tudalensis, Mizraim.
e Isa. xix. 33. Ezek. xxxiv. Hosea ix. 6.
d Lib. 2.
Pelusium, which Vatablus, Pagnin, Junius, and our English write Sin, the Septuagint call Sais, and Montanus Lebna; is not the same with Damiata, as e Gul. Tyrius witnesseth. In the time of Baldwin III. Pelusium was called Belbeis: Belbeis, saith Tyrius, quæ olim dicta est Pelusium ; “ Belbeis, that in times past was called Pe- lusium.”
The city of No, the f Septuagint call Diospolis ; of which name there are two or three in Egypt. Jerome converts it Alexandria, by anticipation, because it was so called in the future.
Bubastus (for so Jerome and Zeigler write it) is the same which the & Hebrews call Pibeseth.
To make the story the more perceivable, I have added a description of the land of Gosen, in which the Israelites inhabited, with those cities and places so often remembered in the scripture; as of Taphnes or Zoan, Heliopolis or Bethsemes, Balsephon, Succoth, and the rest; together with Moses's passage through the deserts of Arabia the Stony. For all story, without the knowledge of the places wherein the actions were performed, as it wanteth a great part of the pleasure, so it no way enricheth the knowledge and understanding of the reader ; neither doth any thing serve to retain what we read in our memories, so well as these pictures and descriptions do. In which respect I am driven to digress in many places, and to interpose some such discourse, otherwise seeming impertinent, taking for my authority, after many others more ancient, that great learned man Arias Montanus; who, in his preface to the story of the Holy Land, hath these words: Si enim absque locorum observatione res gestæ narrentur, aut sine topographiæ cognitione historia legantur, adeo confusa atque perturbata erunt omnia, ut ex iis nihil non obscurum, nihil non difficile elici possit; “ If narration,” saith he, “ be made of “ those things which are performed, without the observa« tion of the places wherein they were done, or if histories “ be read without topographical knowledge, all things will “ appear so intricate and confused, as we shall thereby un“ derstand nothing but obscurely, nor draw thence any
| Ezek. XXX. 17.
• G. Tyr. 1. 20. C. 17. lib. 2. c. 5. ? Ezek. xxx, 15, 16.
knowledge but with the greatest difficulty.”
SECT. III. Of the cruelty against the Israelites' young children in Egypt; and
of Moses's preservation and education. BUT to return to the story itself. It appeareth that notwithstanding the labour and slavery which the Israelites endured, yet they decreased not in numbers ; insomuch as Pharaoh considering the danger of discontented poverty, and the able bodies of an oppressed multitude, how perilous they might be to his estate, by suggestion of the Devil resolved to slaughter all the male children of the Hebrews, as soon as they should be born. To which end he sent for Sephora and Thura, women the most famous and expert amongst them; quæ præerant, saith Comestor, multitudini obstetricum : “ who had command given them over all mid“ wives;" by whom, as it seemeth, he gave order to all the rest for the execution of his edict. For to have called all the midwives of Egypt together, had been a strange parlia
Now whether these two before named were of the Hebrews or of the Egyptians, it is diversely disputed. St. Augustine calls them Hebrews, because it is written, Exod. i. 15. The king of Egypt commanded the midwives of the Hebrew women, &c. But b Josephus, Abulensis, and Pererius believe them to be Egyptians. Whosoever they were, when it pleased God to frustrate the execution of that secret murder, to the end the world might witness both the wickedness of the Egyptians, and the just cause, thereby made manifest, of his future indignation and revenge ; Pharaoh, finding those women filled with piety and the fear of God, commanded others of his people to execute his former intent; and publicly, or howsoever, to destroy all the male Hebrew children born within his dominions.
Joseph. Ant. 1. 2. c. 5. Abul. et Perer. in Exod.
Now besides the doubts which Pharaoh had of the multitudes of the Hebrews, the greatest part of whom he might have assured, by affording them the justice which every king oweth to his vassals, and the rest he might have employed or sent away at his pleasure, i Josephus giveth another cause of his rage against them; namely, that it was prophetically delivered him by an Egyptian priest, that among the Hebrews there should be born a child, who, growing to man's estate, should become a plague and terror to his whole nation. To prevent which, (and presuming that he could resist the ordinance of God by a mean contrary to the laws of heaven and of nature,) he stretched out his bloody and merciless hand to the execution of his former intent. The same prevention Herod long after practised, when fearing the spiritual kingdom of Christ, as if it should have been temporal, he caused all the male children at that time born to be slaughtered. And that Pharaoh had some kind of foreknowledge of the future success, it may be gathered by these his own words in Exod. i. 10. Come, let us work wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, if there be war, they join themselves also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and get them out of the land. But we see, and time hath told it us from the beginning, how God derideth the wisdom of the worldly men, when, forgetting the Lord of all power, they rely on the inventions of their own most feeble and altogether darkened understanding. For even by the hands of the dearly beloved daughter of this tyrant, was that great prophet and minister of God's marvellous works taken out of Nilus, being thereinto turned off, in an ark of reeds, a sucking and powerless infant. And this princess having beheld the child's form and beauty, though but yet in the blouth, so pierced her compassion, as she did not only preserve it, and cause it to be fostered, but commanded that it should be esteemed as her own, and with equal care to the son of a king nourished. And for memory that it was her deed, she called the child Moses, as it were extractus, or ereptus, taken out, to wit, out of the water; or after Josephus and Glycas, Moy, a voice expressing water, and hises ; as much as to say, that which is drawn out of water, or thence taken. k Clemens Alexandrinus was of opinion that Moses was circumcised before he was put into the ark of reeds, and that Amram his father had named him Joachim. In his youth he was carefully bred, by the care and at the charge of Pharaoh's daughter, and by men of the most understanding taught and instructed.: Quem regio more educavit, præfectis ei sapientibus Ægyptiorum magistris, a quibus erudiretur, saith Basil; “ Unto whom she
i Joseph. Ant. 1. 2. c. 5.
gave princely education, appointing over him wise mas
ters of the Egyptians for his instructors.” Thereby, saith Josephus and Philo, he became excellently learned in all the doctrine of the Egyptians; which also the martyr Stephen, in the seventh of the Acts, confirmeth: And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. Which wisdom or sapience, such as it was, or at least so much thereof as Sixtus Senensis hath gathered, we have added, between the death of Moses and the reign of Joshua.
SECT. IV. Of Moses's flying out of Egypt; and the opinions of certain ancient
historians of his war in Ethiopia, and of his marriage there. Philo's judgment of his pastoral life, and that of Pererius of the books of Genesis and Job.
WHEN Moses was grown to man's estate, Josephus and Eusebius, out of Artapanus, tell us of ten years war that he made against the Ethiopians; of the besieging of Saba, afterwards by Cambyses called Meroe ; and how he recovered that city by the favour of Tharbis, a daughter of Ethiopia, whom he took to wife. So hath Comestor a pretty tale of Moses; How after the end of that war, Thark Strom. 1. 1.
| Phil. de Vita Moys.