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triarch had a place of residence allotted him in the
30 Gen. 46. v. 28, 29.
upon the western side of it, as many were in the lower or Delta : especially such as lay near the Pelusiac branch. The first were actually in Arabia : and the others could not pass the river, but they were in it likewise. The stream that they lived upon was the great barrier of lower Egypt; the very limit that separated them from Arabia. Beyond it was the wilderness :
απο Πηλεσιε μεχρις 'HXlowonews. Why then does this excellent writer introduce as particular, what was so general ? and speak of a circumstance as peculiar to the lower parts of the country, which was common to all that lay in the same direction, for some hundreds of miles ? Why would he speak so hastily and prematurely? and not weigh well, and consider the rich treasure of learning he was fraught with? A little diligence and a nearer inspection, would more successfully have determined his judgment. Nothing can bring a greater scandal on human reason than the abuse of it in sacred inquiries. As the holy Scriptures are so very precise and exact; and, when collated and compared, so wonderfully explain themselves, and discover so many interesting truths; how injurious is it to treat them so superficially! If we would but be at the trouble to look into the scope and meaning of the authorities we
31 Diodorus Siculus, lib. 1. p. 36.
have recourse to; no writings in the world would so amply reward our pains.
The learning and penetration of Mr. Bayle are greatly celebrated. He has some observations upon this subject in his account of the city Pithom : where his own mistakes, and those that he adopts, are remarkable. He supposes the land of Goshen to be in the lower Egypt, towards the bottom: that Abaris, Pithom, Sethron, Typhon and Pelusium were one and the same place : yet gives no reason for this his opinion ; but seems to copy Marsham implicitly. I shall have occasion to speak at large of Abaris and Pithom hereafter ; which were distinct cities, and far enough removed from Pelusium. There were cities in Egypt called "Typhonian; but I do not recollect any of the name of Typhon. And as for Sethron being the same as Pelusium, it is a gross mistake. Sethron was the capital of the Sethroïtic nome, to which it gave name. It was called 33 Heracleopolis parva, and lay midway between Tanis and Pelusium. This is as manifest as any circumstance in history; and may be proved from the Itinerary, and by the
32 One Typhonian city was very high in superior Egypt : ειτα Τυφωνεια καλεμενα, και η ες Κοστον διωρυξ. Strabo. vol. 2.
33 Σεθρούτης νομος, και μητροπολις Ηρακλεoπoλις μικρα. Ptol. Geogr.
march of Titüs from 34 Alexandria to Syria. It is too well certified to need any formal discussion.
I must mention another very respectable and learned writer; and that is 35 Perizonius. He places Goshen at Zoan, or the fields of Zoan; which, he says, was Tanis, where was the residence of Pharaoh. I shall pass over many exceptionable positions and unwarrantable demands; and only observe, that, if Tanis was the abode of Pharaoh, it is little probable that Goshen was in the fields of that capital. Goshen was a province itself; and is all along distinguished by Moses, not only from the district where Pharaoh dwelt, but from all the provinces in Egypt. 36 In the plague of flies all Egypt suffered: but the land of Goshen was severed, and not subject to the calamity. All Egypt was hurt by the hail : “ only in the land of Goshen, “ where the children of Israel were, was there no “ hail.” The Egyptians were in palpable dark- . ness; “ but all the children of Israel had light in “ their dwellings.” The intention of Joseph, from the first arrival of his brethren in Egypt, was to fix them in a situation, where they might live recluse
34 Josephus de Bell: Jud. lib. 4. cap. 11.
35 Jac. Perizonii Ægyptiarum Originum et Temp. antiquissimorum investigatio. vol. 1. p. 351. Lugd. Bat. 1711.
36 Exod. 8. v. 22.-9. v. 26.-10. v. 23. Gen. 47. v. 11.47. v. 27.
and separated from the rest of the world. Could this end be answered, if they lived in the precincts of a metropolis ? No province could be more particularized and distinguished : not Moph, not Thebes, not Tahpanhes : for the sacred writer describes it both in general and in particular; that it cannot be mistaken :-“ And Israel dwelt in the “ land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen.” In short, the whole history of the place shews that it was a detached district, where the Israelites dwelt unmixed with the people of the land; till they were forced into their cruel service, and subjected to their tyranny. And even then the place remained to them still distinct and separate : indeed, it had been given to them for a possession ; nor did they ever intirely quit it, till they left the country. The principal evidence that Perizonius applies to is this, that 37 God is said to have done, “ marvellous
things in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.” And again;
They remembered not his hand-how he had “ wrought his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in “ the field of Zoan.” These are slight grounds to proceed upon in determining the habitation of the Israelites, whether it was at Tanis, or elsewhere : yet Perizonius from this evidence is led to determine it; and he gives this for a reason.
37 Psalm. 78. v. 12. 42, 43.