« AnteriorContinuar »
name to a nation, which is mentioned some centuries before his birth. 15 « Amalek was the first “ of the nations ; that is,” says the bishop, “one “ of the earliest plantations : and accordingly we “ find Amalekites named by prolepsis among the “ people invaded by Chederlaomer, Gen. 14. 7. “ and placed about Kadesh and Hazezon-tamar, " which lay within the Horites territory. Amalek, “ Esau's grandchild, was not then born: but that
country in Moses's time being under Amalek's " posterity, is called Amalek : and so I conceive " that Balaam meant, that the kingdom, which in ** his time was under Amalek, was an antient
kingdom even before Amalek was born.” What unnecessary pains are here taken to perplex a plain and precise piece of history! At this rate, what can we depend upon for a certainty? what is there so express and determinate, but may be set aside by this evasive manner of interpretation? According to the bishop's notion, all is to go for nothing, that Moses has here told us. When Chederlaomer smote the country of the Amalekites, there was no such people. When the prophet looked on Amalek and said, Amalek was the first of the nations, it was only by anticipation; for the Amalekites were not in being at the time alluded to: so that it related to another people. But with due deference to this
15 Origines Gent. Antiquissimæ. pag. 139.
excellent prelate, this is a dangerous way of
proceeding; as we can never at this rate have any sure grounds to go upon. A plain narrative is hereby embarrassed; and we are robbed of that confidence, which we may implicitly repose in the words of Moses. How does it follow, if a person chances to be of the same name, as a nation or tribe, that he must necessarily be the father of that tribe or nation? or at least, that he must give name to that body of men, and to the country, which they possess ? It is notorious that there are innumerable instances to the contrary. Yet upon such a notion, backed with no show of authority, is this hypothesis founded; and the plain evidence of the sacred writer set aside. Thus we balance a feather against a talent of gold, and blindly fancy that it preponderates. The Amalekites were certainly a people of the highest antiquity. The founder of this nation, according to the Arab historians, was the fifth from 16 Ham. Noah, Cham, Aram or Aran, Hutz or Um, Ad called Aad, Amalek. Ad the father of Amalek is reported to have been a person of great renown. His ' name appears to
16 Relandi Palæstina. lib. 1. cap. 14.
!! Ad signifies both a prince and a deity. In Phenicia they called the sun Adad and Achad: the former is translated from Sanchoniutho Baoinus Barthewo, the king of kings: the latter is Uc or Ouc Ad, a title which I have sufficiently explained. See Euseb. Præp. Evang. lib. 1. cap. 10; and Voss. de Orig. et
have been after his death taken by many " princes as an honourable title. The Horites of Seir, whence Eliphaz took Timna his concubine, seem to have been of the Amalekitish race: and, as it is usual in families to keep up the memory of their forefathers by calling some of the posterity by their names ; so among the sons of Seir the Horite we find the names of two of Amalek's ancestors retained: which in some degree may authenticate this genealogy, that the Arabians present us with, The sons of 19 Dishon, who was the son of Seir, were Uz and Aran : which being the names of two of Amalek's ancestors seem to point out that the Horites were of the same original. It is to be observed, that this Seir the Horite, with whose family the sons of Edom seem to have made a close alli. ance, is distinguished in a particular manner by Moses : for he is the only person, not immediately of patriarchic descent, that has his posterity in its different branches recorded.
Ham we find in many instances was pronounced
Progr. Idololatr. lib. 1. cap. 22. Macrobius Saturnal. lib. 1. cap. 23. gives a different interpretation.
18 Hadad, Bedad, Benhadad, Hadadezer. One of the chief cities
upon the Red Sea near Midian was Adad. Ptolemy, lib. 6. All these names seem to have been compounded from Ad, and Aad. Hadad an Edomite is mentioned i Kings. 11. v. 14. See Pocock's Specimen Hist. Arab. pag. 2. with his note at pag. 35.
19 Gen. 36. v. 28. i Chron, 1. y. 42. Gen. 36. v. 20.
Cham, and probably Chem : as several places, that took their name from him in Egypt, were called 20 Chemmis. Hence it is, that in the above genealogy, some have by mistake altered his name to Shem, and supposed Amalek to be descended from that branch of Noah : on which account the name of Chus is likewise omitted. This mistake appeared more plausible from Aram being the next in order; as Shem had a son of that name. que Aad filius Arami, filius Semi, filius Noa. But there is reason to think, that the true name of this person was Aran : and it was Chem or Cham that was the ancestor of the people spoken of: and next to him was Chus, though omitted in the recital. This mistake in mentioning one of the sons of Noah for another occurs too often. In the Paschal Chronicle, Chus is said to be the son of Shem :
εκ της φυλης τε Σημ, Xες ονοματι κ. τ. λ. for Χημ Or Xocpa. In like manner Syncellus ; 23 'Iseor de éri és Χαλδαιοι απο τα Σημ καταγονται, εξ ων ο Αβρααμ.
It should have been απο τα Χημ or Χαμ. He mistook Shem for Cham; and in consequence of it has made Abraham a Chaldean by blood as well as by country.
36 See page 102. note 6.
Eutychii Annales, interpr. Pocockio. tom. 1. pag. 60. 22 Chron. Pasch. pag. 36. See Vossiys de Orig. et Progr. Idol. lib. 1. cap. 24.
33 Syncelli Chron. pag. 98.
14 Εκ δε της αυτης
There is another passage in the Paschal Chronicle, as erroneous as the former. φυλης τα Σημ της κρατησασης Συριαντα πρωτα για τα Νωε εγεννηθη και ανεφανη ανθρωπος γιγαντογενης, ονοματι Kpovos. The person he alludes to, is Nimbrod, whom he represents as of the line of Shem : and makes Shem the eldest of the sons of Noah : whose posterity he says conquered Syria. But Syria they had by allotment: and Shem was not the eldest : for the Scripture mentions him as the brother of Japhet the elder.
These mistakes, though very capital, occur frequently in the later Greek historians : particularly in John Malala, and writers of his stamp. One instance will give an idea of his merit, as it contains a complication of blunders. 15 Εν δε τοις χρονους το Αβρααμ εβασίλευσεν Ασσυριων και εκ της φυλης τε Σημ Ναραχω. . " In the days of Abraham, Naracho
was king of the Assyrians, who was of the fa
mily of Shem :"-instead of, AsyunTWY Ó Ex The QuÀs T8 Xa Nexo ; “ Necho, of the race of Ham,
was king of Egypt.” His meaning in this passage cannot be mistaken ; and the whole of it must relate to Egypt: for he mentions the history of Joseph ; and absurdly says, that Naracho's cook bought Joseph of the Saracens.
24 Chron. Pasch. pag. 92.