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abouts, in which tract it was that Moses passed it over, though others would have it to be over against Elana, or Toro, but without judgment; for from Ramases to Pihacheroth and Baalzephon, there is not above thirty miles interjacent, or thirty-five miles at most, which Moses passed over in three days; and between the land of Egypt opposite to Elana, or Toro, the distance is above eighty miles. For Ramases, to which city Moses came (being the metropolis of Gosen) when he left Pharaoh at Zoan, and took bis last leave, standeth in thirty degrees five minutes of septentrional latitude; and Migdol, or the valley of Pihacheroth, at the foot of the mountain Climax, or Baalsephon, in twenty-nine and a half, which made a difference of thirty-five English miles; the way lying in effect north and south.
That the passage through the Red sea was miraculous, and not at a
low ebb. THE Egyptians, and of them the Memphites, and other heathen writers, who in hatred of the Hebrews have objected that Moses passed over the Red sea at a low ebb, upon a great springtide; and that Pharaoh, conducted more by fury than discretion, pursued him so far, as before he could recover the coast of Egypt he was overtaken by the flood, and therein perished, did not well consider the nature of this place, with other circumstances. For not to borrow strength from that part of the scriptures which makes it plain that the waters were divided, and that God wrought this miracle by an easterly wind, and by the hand and rod of Moses, (which authority to men that believe not therein persuadeth nothing,) I say, that by the same natural reason unto which they fasten themselves, it is made manifest, that had there been no other working power from above, or assistance given from God himself to Moses, and the children of Israel, than ordinary and casual, then could not Pharaoh and all his army have perished in that pursuit.
For wheresoever there is any ebbing of the sea in any gulf or indraught, there do the waters fall away from the
land, and run downward towards the ocean ; leaving all that part towards the land, as far as the sea can ebb, or fall off, to be dry land. Now Moses entering the sea at Migdol under Baalzephon, (if he had taken the advantage and opportunity of the tide,) must have left all that end of the Red sea towards Sues, on his left hand, dry and uncovered. For if a passage were made by falling away of the water, ten or twelve miles further into the sea than Sues, much more was it made at Sues, and between it and where Moses passed, who entered the same so far below it, and towards the body of the same sea; it followeth then, that if all that part of the sleeve or strait had been by the ebb of a springtide discovered, when Pharaoh found the flood increasing, he needed not to have returned by the same way toward Egypt side, but might have gone on his return before the tide, on his right hand, and so taken ground again at the end of that sea, at Sues itself, or elsewhere. But the scriptures do truly witness the contrary, that is, that the sea did not fall away from the land, as naturally it doth; but that Moses passed on between two seas, and that the waters were divided. Otherwise, Pharaoh by any return of waters could not have perished as he did ; and therefore the effects of that great army's destruction prove the cause to have been a power above nature, and the miraculous work of God himself. Again, those words of the scriptures, that God caused the sea to run back by a strong east wind, do rather prove the miracle, than that thereby was caused an ebb more than ordinary; for that sea doth not lie east and west, but, in effect, north and south. And it must have been a west and north-west wind, that must have driven those waters away through their proper channels, and to the south-east into the sea. But the east wind blew athwart the sea, and cut it asunder; so as one part fell back towards the south and main body thereof, the other part remained towards Sues and the north ; which being unknown to Pharaoh, while he was checked by that sea, which used in all times before to ebb away, the flood pressed him and overwhelmed him. Thirdly, seeing Josephus avoweth, that Moses was not only of excellent judgment generally, but also so great a captain, as he overthrew the Ethiopians in many battles, being employed by Pharaoh, and won divers cities seeming impregnable; it were barbarous to condemn him of this grossness and distraction; that rather than he would have endured the hardness of a mountainous passage at hand, (had not God commanded him to take that way, and foretold him of the honour which he would there win upon Pharaoh,) he would have trusted to the advantage of an ebbing water; for he knew not the contrary, but that Pharaoh might have found him, and pressed him, as well when it flowed as when it ebbed, as it seemeth he did. For the people, beholding Pharaoh's approach, cried out against Moses, and despaired altogether of their safety; and when Moses prayed unto God for help, he was answered by God; Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward, and lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thy hand upon the sea, and divide it : which proves that there was not at the time of Pharaoh's approach any ebb at all; but that God did disperse and cut through the weight of waters, by a strong east wind, whereby the sands discovered themselves between the sea on the left hand towards Sues, from whence the waters moved not, and the sea which was towards the south on the right hand, so that the waters were a wall unto them on the right hand and on the left hand, Exod. xiv. 22. that is, the waters so defended them on both sides, as the Egyptians could only follow them in the same path ; not that the waters stood upright as walls do, as some of the schoolmen have fancied. For had Pharaoh and the Egyptians perceived any such buildings in the sea, they would soon have quitted the chase and pursuit of Israel. Furthermore, there is no man of judgment that can think that Pharaoh and the Egyptians, who then excelled all nations in the observations of heavenly motions, could be ignorant of the Auxes and refluxes of the sea, in his own country, on his own coast, and in his own most traded and frequented ports and havens, and wherein his people having had so many
hundreds of years experience of the tides, he could not be caught, as he was, through ignorance, nor by any foreknown or natural accident, but by God's powerful hand only; which then falleth most heavily on all men, when looking through no other spectacle but their own prosperity, they least discern it coming, and least fear it. Lastly, if the army of the Egyptians had been overtaken by the ordinary return of the flood, before they could recover their own coast, their bodies drowned would have been carried with the flood which runneth up to Sues, and to the end of that sea, and not have been cast ashore on that coast of Arabia where Moses landed, to wit, upon the sea-bank over against Baalzephon, on Arabia side, where it was that the Israelites saw their dead bodies; and not at the end of the Red sea, to which place the ordinary flood would have carried them; which flood doth not any where cross the channel, and run athwart it, as it must have done from Egypt side to Arabia, to have cast the Egyptians' bodies there; but it keeps the natural course towards the end of that sea, and to which their carcasses should have been carried, if the work had not
een supernatural and miraculous. Apollonius, in the lives of the fathers, affirmeth, that those of the Egyptians which stayed in the country, and did not follow Pharaoh in the pursuit of Israel, did ever after honour those beasts, birds, plants, or other creatures, about which they were busied at the time of Pharaoh's destruction; as he that was then labouring in his garden made a god of that plant or root about which he was occupied; and so of the rest. But how those multitudes of gods were erected among them, a more probable reason shall be given elsewhere. Orosius, in his first book and tenth chapter against the pagans, tells us, that in his time, who lived some 400 years after Christ, the prints of Pharaoh's chariot wheels were to be seen at a low water on the Egyptian sands; and though they were sometime defaced by wind and weather, yet soon after they appeared again. But hereof I leave every man to his own belief.
CHAP. IV. Of the journeying of the Israelites from the Red sea to the place where the law was given them; with a discourse of laws.
A transition, by way of recapitulation of some things touching chro
nology; with a continuance of the story, until the Amalekites
met with the Israelites. BUT to go on with the story of Israel, in this sort I collect the times. 9 Moses was born in the year of the world 2434, Saphrus then governing Assyria; Orthopolis, Sycionia, or Peloponnesus ; Criasus, the Argives; Orus, Egypt; and Deucalion, Thessaly. He fled into Midian, when he had lived forty years, in the year of the world 2474, and two years after was Caleb born. He returned by the commandment and ordinance of God into Egypt, and wrought his miracles in the fields of Zoan, in the year 2514, in the last month of that year. On the fourteenth day of the first Hebrew month Abib, or the fifteenth of that month, beginning the day (as they) at sunsetting, in the year of the world 2514, was the celebration of the passover; and in the dead of the night of the same day were all the "first-born slain through Egypt, or in all those parts where the Hebrews inhabited. The sfifteenth day of the first month of the Hebrews, called Abib, being about the beginning of the year of the world 2514, Moses, with the children of Israel, removed from the general assembly at Ramases, and marched to Succoth.
And departing thence they made their third station at + Etham ; and journeying from Etham they encamped in the valley of Pihacheroth, or Migdol, under the mountain
Baalzephon, and in the same night, after midnight, they passed the Red sea; Pharaoh and his army perishing in
4 Acts vii. Joshua xiv.
Exod. xii. • Numb. xxxiii.
+ Exod. xiii. Numb. xxxiii. u Exod. xiv.