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Αιγυπτιων γεωμορεντων, δια του την χωραν αδιαιρετoν ειναι, και των ελασσονων υπο των κρείσσονων αδικουμενων" τατον [Ιωσηφ] πρωτον την τε γην διελειν, και δρους διασημηνασθαι, και την πολλην χερσευομενην γεωργησιμον αποτελεσαι, και τινας των αρερων τοις ξερευσιν αποκληρωσαι. By this compromise and establishment, which Joseph so happily enacted, the king was invested with the property of the land : but four parts out of five of the produce was secured to the people. All this was done for the general good, to which each particular in his turn was obliged to contribute. And this tax for
the services of the crown, and maintenance of so great a monarchy, was certainly a light one. The removal of the Egyptians into new and ditferent allotments, from one end of the kingdom to the other, was an instance of great policy. It was the very thing that many ages after was practised by that consummate commander Hannibal ; in which he was copied by the Romans. The kings of Assyria are observed to have acted in the same man
It was a sure way to prevent innovation and rebellion. That Egypt had originally many
different tribes, if not nations, we learn from Scripture; and that they were not all equally subordinate to the principal person of the land, but had their separate attachments and jurisdictions, I have shewn. It appears farther from the many various and opposite customs which prevailed among them, even to the times of the Romans. Each of the portions into which the land was cantoned out having its particular succession of kings; there has arisen from it great confusion and uncertainty in the chronology of Egypt: which seems to be inexplicable. From the first peopling of the country I imagine this variety of governments to have subsisted; which defect in the national establishment was in great measure remedied by Joseph: whence arose a very powerful monarchy, and one of the longest duration in history. It is not however meant that Egypt after the days of Joseph continued always uniformly under one head. It was at times divided, and lapsed into a kind of oligarchy: but
still it recovered itself, and flourished for many ages: and the means of such recovery, and the original form of their government, which they returned to, were owing to the primeval institutions of this great patriarch. "Some have thought that the memory of Joseph was preserved in the Egyptian rites and symbols, though it has been long obscured; and that divine honours were paid to him. This may perhaps be doubtful: but thus far we may be assured, that every honour that a grateful people could in reason pay to a benefactor, this wonderful man deserved at the hands of the Egyptians.
12 See Marsham IloAuxosparin Ægypti, ad Sec. XVI. pag. 470. Vossius de Orig, et Progr. Idol. lib. 1. cap. 28.
ARABIANS WHO RESIDED IN EGYPT.
may perhaps be expected that I should say something of the time, when the Arabian Shepherds first made their migration from Babylonia ; and of the reasons that induced them to leave their native country, and betake themselves to the land of Ham. This is a very remote inquiry; and both the time and the cause of their coming obscure. Yet there áre means left us to trace it out to a degree, though not perhaps precisely; and the grounds on which I shall proceed may, I think, be warranted.
Upon the dispersion of mankind, it is observable that the sons of Shem had the pre-eminence, either by the allotment of their great progenitor, or else by divine appointment: which latter is pretty plainly implied. Hence Elam, Aram, Ashur, and Arphaxad retired to their several provinces, which were