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army of Pharaoh, "Josephus affirmeth, that it consisted of 50,000 horse, and 20,000 foot; which were it true, then it cannot be doubted but that Pharaoh intended long before to assail the Hebrews at their departure, or to destroy them in Gosen ; and refused them passage, till such time as he had prepared an army to set on them. For, as it is written in the first of Exodus, he doubted two things; either that the Hebrews might join themselves to his enemies within the land; or, being so multiplied as they were, might leave his service, and get themselves thence at their pleasure. But the plagues which God grieved him withal enforced him at this time to give an assent to their departure; perchance forerunning his intent. But were it otherwise, and Josephus partial in this affair, yet by the words of the text, Exod. xiv. 7. it appeareth, that he gathered all the chariots of Egypt, which could not be done in haste. For Moses made but three days' march, ere Pharaoh was at his heels; and yet the last day he went on sixteen miles : which, in so hot a country, and to drive their cattle and sheep with them, pestered with a world of women and children, was a march witnessing the dread of a powerful enemy at hand. Now, as Moses well knew that he went out with a mighty hand, and that God guided his understanding in all his enterprises ; so he lay not still in the ditch crying for help, but, using the understanding which God had given him, he left nothing unperformed becoming a natural wise man, a valiant and a skilful conductor, as by all his actions and counsels from this day to his death well appeared.
When Moses perceived that Pharaoh was enraged against him, and commanded him not to dare to come thenceforth into his presence; after he had warned Israel of the passover, he appointed a general assembly or rendezvous of all the Hebrews at Ramases, in the territory of s Gosen, a city standing indifferent to receive from all parts of the country the dispersed Hebrews; and gave commandment, that every family should bring with them such store as they had of dough and paste, not staying to make it into bread; knowing then that Pharaoh was on foot, and on his way towards them. Which done, and having considered the great strength of Pharaoh's horsemen and chariots, of which kind of defence Moses was utterly unprovided, (though, as it is written, the Israelites went up armed,) he marched from Ramases eastward towards the deserts of Etham, and encamped at Succoth, which he performed on the 15th day of the month Abib: which month, from that time forward, they were commanded to account as the first month of the year. Whether in former times they had been accustomed to begin their year in some other month, following the manner of the u Egyptians, and were now recalled by Moses to the rule of their forefathers, it is uncertain. Certain it is, that they had and retained another beginning of their politic year, which was not now abrogated, but rather, by some solemnities thereunto annexed, was confirmed, and still continued in use. Wherefore, in referring things done or happening among them, unto the beginning, midst, or ending of the year, that distinction of the sacred and the politic year is not to be neglected. Concerning the number of days in every month, and the whole form of their year, like enough it is, that Moses himself, in forty years space, did sufficiently instruct the priests, to whose care the ordering thereof (as common opinion holds) was given in trust; but that any rule of framing their calendar was made public, before the captivity of Babylon, I do not find. Now because time and motion begin together, it will not, I think, be any great breach of order, to shew here at their first setting forth, what was the form of the Hebrew year; with the difference between them and other nations, in ordering the account of time.
r Joseph. Ant. 1. 2. c. 6.
· The territory of Gosen was afterwards called Ramases, after the name
of this city, as appeareth in Gen. xlvii. and Numb. xxxiii.
SECT. VI. Of the solary and lunary years, and how they are reconciled; with
the form of the Hebrew year, and their manner of intercalation.
The Hebrew months are thus named. The first month, Nisan, or Abib.
1. March. The second, Jar, or Tiar, Zio, or Zin. 2. April. The third, Sivan, or Sinan, or Siban.
3. May. The fourth, Tamuz.
4. June. The fifth, Ab.
5. July. The sixth, Elul.
6. August. The seventh, Tysri, or Ethavin, or Ethanim. 7. September. The eighth, Marchesuan, or Mechasuan,
, or with * Josephus, Marsonane."; } 8. October.
The ninth, Chisleu, or Casleu.
9. November. The tenth, Tebeth, or Thobeth.
10. December. The eleventh, Sebeth, or Sabath.
11. January The twelfth, Adar, and Ve Adar, 12. February
Ve Adar was an intercalary month, added, some years, unto the other twelve, to make the solary and lunary year agree; which (besides the general inconvenience that would otherwise have risen, by casting the months of summer into the winter season, to the great confusion of all account) was more necessarily to be regarded of the Hebrews, because of the Ydivine precept. For God appointed especial feasts to be celebrated precisely in such a month of the year, and withal on a set day, both of the moon and of the month ; as, the feast of the first-fruits, the new moons, and the like; which could not have so been kept, if either the day of the moon had fallen in some other part of the month, or the month itself been found far distant from his place in the season of the
year. Other nations, the better to observe their solemnities in the due time, and to ascertain all reckonings and remembrances, (which is the principal commodity of time, that is, the measure of endurance,) were driven in like manner to make their years unequal, by adding sometimes, and sometimes abating one or more days, as the error committed in foregoing years required. The error grew at first by not knowing what number of days made up a complete year. For though by the continual course of the sun, causing summer and winter duly to succeed each other, it is plain enough, even to the most savage of all people, when a year hath passed over them; yet the necessity of ordinary occurrences, that are to be numbered by a shorter tally, makes this long measure of whole years insufficient for the smaller sort of more daily affairs. Therefore men observed the monthly conspicuous revolution of the moon, by which they divided the year into twelve parts, subdividing the month into 2 twenty-nine days and nights, and those again into their quarters and hours. But as the marks of time are sensible, and easily discerned, so the exact calculation of it is
y Deut. xvi.
x Ant. c. 4.
very intricate, and worketh much perplexity in the understanding. Twelve revolutions of the moon, containing less time by eleven days, or thereabouts, than the yearly course of the sun through the zodiac, in the space of sixteen years, every month was found in the quite contrary part of the year to that wherein it was placed at the first. This caused them to add some days to the year, making it to consist of twelve months, and as many days more as they thought would make the courses of the sun and moon to agree. But herein were committed
many new errors. For neither did the sun determine his yearly revolution by any set number of whole days; neither did the moon change always at one hour; but the very minutes and lesser fractions were to be observed by him that would seek to reduce their motions (which motions also were not still alike) into any certain rule.
Here lay much wisdom and deep art, which could not soon be brought to perfection. Yet as making an estimate at random, the Athenians held the
year to contain 360 days, wherein most of the Greeks concurred with them. That 360 days filled up the Grecian year, (besides many collateral proofs,) it is manifest by that which Pliny directly affirmeth, telling of the statues erected int z Deut. xvi. 30. and 29.
* Plin. l. 34. c. 6.
honour of Demetrius Phalereus, which were, saith he, 360, whilst as yet the year exceeded not that number of days. By this account neither did any certain age of the moon begin or end their months; neither could their months continue many years in their own places; but must needs be shifted by little and little, from winter to summer, and from summer to winter, as the days forgotten to be inserted into the almanack by men, but not forgotten by the superior bodies in their courses, should occupy
their own rooms in their due turns. Now, because the solemnity of the Olympian games was to be held at the full moon, and withal on the fifteenth day of the month Hecatombæon, (which answereth in a manner to our June,) they were careful to take order that this month might ever begin with the new moon, which they effected by adding some two days to the last month of every year ; those games being held once in four years. This intercalation sufficed not to make the matter even, which caused them sometimes to omit one day in the fourth year, which was the second of the month Boëdromion, agreeing nearly with our August ; sometimes not to omit it, or, which is all one, to insert another for it into the fourth lunary year, accounting by the moon, after a manner that was not vulgar. All this notwithstanding, their month of June would every year have grown colder and colder, had they not sought to keep all upright, by intercalating in each other Olympiad, that is, each eighth year, one whole month, which they called the second Posideon, or December; which was the device of Harpalus, who also taught them to make one month of twenty-nine days, another of thirty, and so successively through the whole year. Thus with much labour they kept their year as near as they could unto the high way of the planets : but these marks, which they observed, were found at length to be deceitful guides. For it was not possible so to fashion this eighth year's intercalation, that it should not deceive them in eleven hours and eighteen minutes at the least, or some ways in thirty-four hours and ten minutes, or thirtysix and forty-one minutes; which differences would in few