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'is mine own, and I have made it myself. But I “ will put hooks in thy jaws.” But nothing can prove the situation of the Israelites more plainly than the words of Moses. I have mentioned before that lower Egypt differed from the upper ; inasmuch as it was all a flat, but the upper had hills and declivities. It is observed by travellers that it scarce ever rains here : but this want is amply supplied by the waters of the Nile ; which annually overflow, and render the country amazingly fruitful. These are circumstances that are peculiar to Egypt, and which are not observable in other regions. Moses therefore, to prevent any disappointment among the Israelites on account of the different soil and climate where they were going, tells them before hand what they were to expect.
80 " For the land whither “ thou goest in to possess it is not as the land of
Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs : But the land whither ye go to
possess it is a land of hills and valleys, and drink“eth water of the rain of heaven.” This description can relate only to that part of Egypt called Delta ; for the other had hills and mountains, and springs of water. The soil of the lower was very little above the surface of the river : on which account in early times they were continually making
80 Deuteron. 11. v. 10, 11.
artificial mounds (xwpata), on which they raised their cities. It was likewise of a soft, yielding nature ; owgov T8 TOTapa, composed of the sediment of the Nile; so that a person might easily with his foot make a channel; and the water would in many places flow in, or rise up towards the surface. All these passages relate manifestly to lower Egypt, which was triangular, flat, and abounded with canals and rivers : and they afford strong evidence in favour of what I have been proving. The situation of the children of Israel at the vertex of the country agrees well, as I before mentioned, with the place of residence of Joseph, which must have been below : and it is therefore with great propriety said, that “ he made ready his chariot, and went up to “ meet Israel his father.” It agrees likewise with the account given by 81 Josephus ; who makes the general rendezvous of the children of Israel at their departure to have been at Latopolis or Litopolis. He calls it indeed Letopolis : but that was an inland city, to the west ; far out of the way
for people who were taking this journey: &* Antes Todos Metoy &105. But he explains himself in such a manner, as not possibly to be mistaken.
They journeyed from a city, that was then in ruins where Babylon was “afterwards built :” but Babylon was built upon
$1 Antiq. Jud. lib. 2. cap. 15.
the hill of the quarries, close by Latopolis, which is the city meant here : and so it should be read in Josephus ; Thu de Topelav ET OLSUTO MOTO A&TOTONI &page or εσαν εν τοις τοτε Βαβυλων γαρ ύσερον κτιζεται εκει. This Latopolis is the same that is mentioned by 83 Strabo, overagainst Cercasoura, and the province of Cushan. The next place that the Israelites came to was Succoth, or Tabernacula, called by the Greeks Exnues; which lay directly in the rout. The Greeks should rather have interpreted Succoth by Enxos, which more immediately expresses the meaning, and is probably derived from it. All these circumstances correspond marvellously to the establishment of what I have been endeavouring to prove.
$3 Litopolis, or, as it is called in the Itinerary, Latopolis, was originally a town where the people who belonged to the quarries dwelt. Babylon, when it was rebuilt, was made use of for a gara, rison, and was close to Latopolis : so that they are mentioned as the same place. Ba@uaar Peepsor spurvor. Strab. Vol. 2. pag. 1 160. Latopolis was at that part of Egypt where it was narrowest; at the junction of the upper and lower country, overagainst the apex of Delta. It was of so particular a situation, that people could not well come from any other part, but the province of Cushan or Goshen, to make it a place of rendezvous : it lay so much out of the way of other places. See also Herodotus, lib. 2. cap. 8. of the hill of Arabia. Strabo distinguishes between Litopolis and Latopolis. The former he places close by Babylon, as I have shewn: the latter he mentions, vol. 2. pag. 1171, in the vicinity of the city of Crocodiles, above four hundred miles higher, almost as far as Syene.
Here then was the land to which the children of Israel succeeded, after it had been abandoned by its former inhabitants : but at what interval is uncertain. It seems pretty plain, from the tenor of the Scripture, that they came into a vacant, unoccupied district. And, as it was the best of the land, there is no accounting for its being unoccupied, but by the secession of the Cuseans, whose property it had lately been. Joseph, when he instructs his brethren what answer they were to give to Pharaoh, when he should inquire about their occupation, lays this injunction upon them: 84 “ Ye shall say, thy " servants trade hath been about cattle, from our "youth even until now, both we and also our fa“thers : that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen ; “ for every shepherd is an abomination unto the “ Egyptians.” From whence Le Clerc very justly collects, that this land must have been in possession of shepherds or herdsmen before. Qui enim colli. gere potuisset Josephus fratribus, arte editá, eum tractum incolendum concessum iri, nisi, &c. The inference he makes is good, that there must have been shepherds in those parts before; otherwise Joseph could not have foreseen that, upon telling their occupation, this land would necessarily be given to his brethren. But, that the shepherds were Egyptians, as he affirms, is unwarrantable to suppose :
84 Gen. 46, y: 34.
and, as to the national custom that he alludes to it, is all matter of groundless surmise. Authority for it he has none : nor can any reason possibly be given to suppose that the Egyptians deserted the best of their 85 land. They were undoubtedly the Arabian shepherds, who were before in possession of it; and were called Cushan or Cuseans, from Chus, the founder of their race. They gave name to this part of the country, which was called from them Cushan and Gushan ; by Ptolemy Phaccusa, Oaxx85& ; which is supposed to have been the name both of the city and province. They deserted it at last, being expelled by the natives : and the land lay for some time desolate : which accounts for the words of Joseph, which cannot otherwise be explained. It likewise affords a satisfactory reason for the Israel, ites finding such easy access into the country; so as not only to dwell in it, but to have the land of Goshen given them for a possession, even the best of the land of Egypt. 866 And Israel dwelt in the
land.of Egypt in the country of Goshen; and they ko had possessions therein.” . It is supported strongly by the evidence of Ma
.85 The words of Le Clerc are these : antea etiam eam regionem Pastoribus Ægyptiis attributam, qui sejuncti ab aliis vicebant. Qui eniin colligere potuisset Josephus, fratribus, arte editâ, eum tractum concessum iri, nisi ex more gentis ?
86 Gen. 47. v. 27.