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not very far removed froin the place whence all set out; and which for many ages retained their names, The sons of Japhet were removed farther ; but did not hesitate to obey. As to the lot of Ashur, it seems to have been the region between the two great rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates ; and that particular spot which was the centre of the general 'dissipation. But it appears that the sons of Chus, under the influence of their imperious leader Nimrod, stood their ground, and maintained themselves in opposition to the general partition. They usurped the lot of Ashur : and Nimrod, to secure what he
• It seems, as if the design of Providence was that the three branches of Noah's family should divide the earth between them ; that Asia was to be allotted to the sons of Shem, Europe to Japhet, and Africa to Ham. America was too remote to be then considered. These three large continents were in great measure peopled according to this distribution. The only exception was Nim. rod together with his people, and the sons of Canaan; who went contrary to the general allotment, and, as it seems to be implied, in opposition to the divine decree : which was the reason that the Canaanites and Amorites, and all the collateral branches, together with the Amalekites, were so particularly obnoxious, and devoted by the express ordinance of God to destruction for their rebellion and impiety. See Syncellus. p. 45. Nestigioato é te Xau duos X«« vaar, Eme6n tors oproes te Enje, .7.X. taken from Euseb. Chron. p. 10. Νεωτερισας και το Χαμ υιος Χανααν εσεβη τους οριους τε Σημ, και κατώκησεν εκει παραβας την εντολην Νωε, συν τοις εξ αυτε γενομενοις εθνεσιν εστα,ες δια Μωσεως και Ιησε το Ναυη εξωλοθρευσεν ο Θεος, και κατα τινας καιρες δια των Κρητων απεδωκε τοις υιούς Ισραηλ την πατρωναν γήν, δικαιος και εν τετω φωνεις ο Θεος. See Additional Remarks.
had unjustly seized upon, immediately set about fortifying the country. He built Babylon, that famous city of old; also Erech, Accad and Calneh, all in the land of Shinaar ; which land was occupied originally by Ashur; but he was forced to quit it, and leave the kingdom he had laid the foundation of to others. * “ Behold,” says Isaiah, “the land of the “Chaldeans ; this people was not till the Assyrian u founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness" (i. é. the Cuseans or Arabians :) "they set up the
towers thereof, they raised up the palaces thereof; " and he brought it to ruin.” And accordingly we are told in Genesis ; “Out of that land went forth “Ashur,” that is, went by compulsion; for all went out of the land originally; but he went out of the place of his allotment; and having so powerful an enemy to deal with, and not knowing where his encroachments would end, set about fortifying in his turn; and built a chain of cities, equal both in strength and number to those that had been founded by Nimrod. He 3“ builded Nineveh, and the
city Rehoboth, and Calah, And Resen between “ Nineveh and Calah : the same is a great city.” • Bochart and Hyde, men of most excellent learn
2 Isaiah. 23. v. 13.
Gen. 10. v, 11, 12.
Hyde chap. 2. pag. 41. Bochart Geogr. Sacr. pars prior. lib. 4. cap. 12.
ing, interpret this passage otherwise : and, instead of “out of this land went Ashur and built Nineve,” they translate it, Nimrod went out of this land into Ashur or Assyria, and built Nineve. Whether the original will bear this interpretation, let those determine who are sufficiently skilled in it. The chief objection made by these writers to the common acceptation of the passage arises from this; that Ashur, they say, is here mentioned out of his place : which is the most frivolous and ill grounded allegation that could be thought of. Nothing is more common with the sacred writers, in giving a list of people, than to introduce some little history of particular persons, as they mention them: of which many instances may be produced. The person here spoken of is Nimrod, of the line of Ham; who is mentioned as an extraordinary character. As he trespassed upon Ashur, and forced him to leave the land of Shinaar; his history is so blended with that of Ashur, that one could not be mentioned without the other. What is said is so far from being introduced out of its place, that nothing could come in more naturally, or with greater propriety. It was impossible to omit it, without rendering the history defective. Cush begat Nimrod : he was a bold and powerful man. He seized upon Babylon, and forced Ashur to leave
Gen. 36, y. 24, 30.
5 See Gen. 10. v. 5. 14, 18, 19, 30. 1 Chron. 7. v. 21.
that country, who went out of the land, and built Nineve and other cities. This is the amount of it: and what can be more natural and proper? These circumstances are not introduced as belonging to the history of Ashur, but of Nimrod, to which they are an appendage. If the genealogy of Ashur had been here spoken of, it might have been excepted to with more shew of propriety. But that was reseryed to its particular place.
We may therefore venture to accede to the interpretation of the Bible according to our present translation; and say that Ashur built Nineve, as Babylon was founded by Nimrod. The differences that must have subsisted between these two states are not recorded : but it is pretty certain that the sons of Ashur got possession of Babylon very early, and recovered the place of their original destination. It was in consequence of their being expelled from Babylon, that I imagine the Cuseans went into Egypt, and occupied the best of the country; to which they gave their name. Whether it was immediately upon their retreat, and at once, or at different times, is uncertain. Here they certainly settled ; and built cities in memory of those that they left behind: a circumstance of all others the most natural, and of which we have many instances. Here they had a succession of kings, who were called the Pastor Kings; for all the Cuseans were nomades or shepherds. It is observable that, during their whole re
sidence in this country, they seem to have been in perpetual fear of the Assyrians. They had one king in particular that was named Salatis ;; who is represented as very cautious and vigilant; placing garrisons in the most convenient places ; but especially fortifying all to the east, for fear the Assyrians should form any design of making an attack upon them that way. Φρεραν εν τοις επιτηδείοτατους καταλειπων τοπoις" μαλισα δε και τα προς ανατολην ησφαλισατο μέρη, προορωμενος Ασσυρίων, τοτε μείζον ισχυόντων, εσομενην επιθυμιαν της αυτης βασιλείας εφοδε. Ιn process of time this people was expelled from Egypt : and it is said at their departure, when upon a compromise they were obliged to leave the country, that they were greatly distressed where to betake themselves, for fear of the Assyrians. What other nation, but the sons of Cush, had any reason to be afraid of the Assyrians ? And why should the Cuseans themselves be afraid of this people, 'unless, as I said before, they had been grievous aggressors ; and Babylon was now in the hands of their enemies ? The Assyrian was for many ages quiet : they contended not for empire till long after : and the first acts of violence began under 7 Pul of Nineve, and were continued by his successors.
But in these early days there was nothing to be feared from that quarter,
Maneth. apud Joseph. contra Apion. lib. 1. §. 14. ? 2 Kings, 15. v. 19.