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And, 12 « That is it that I spake unto you, saying, ! Ye are spies".
Although he knew them, and only affected to speak in this manner, yet it must be imagined, that he spoke the language of the times; and that such suspicions and jealousies were not uncommon among the Egyptians. Now almost all nations in those days, particularly those of Canaan, who were the nearest, were so small and circumscribed, that it was impossible they could give uneasiness to so powerful a kingdom, as Egypt. 14 In Asia regna vetustissima sunt angustissima.Urbes singule suos habebant τoπαρχας. .
15 Strabo says the same: Τοπαλαιον μεν ουν οι Αραδιοι καθ' αυτες εβασιλευοντο παραπλησιως, ώσσερ και των αλλων έκαση πολεων των Φοινικιδων. One prince of that country, and of no great extent of province, is said to have had seventy vassal kings ". A people so numerous, and every way so secured as the Egyptians, (suosioβολος πανταχοθεν Αιγυστος) could not have entertained any fears about sach puny states. Their jealousies and alarms must have been on account of some more powerful enemy, whose strength, and whose hostile inclination they had experienced. In short, it could be no other nation than the Cu
12 Gen. 42. v. 14.
16 Judges, 1. v. 7. VOL. VI.
seans; who were in the vicinity of Egypt, and always ready to take every opportunity to molest it. By this means we may explain the words of Joseph; which undoubtedly were not thrown out at random; but had some allusion to the times, and were uttered with a particular reference to the circumstances of the country.
EDOMITES AND PHENICIANS.
AFRICANUS styles the shepherds, that were in Egypt, Phenicians : by which circumstance many have been misled. This I wonder at: for though there is a difference in the name of the people, yet one and the same nation is meant. The true Phenicians were the sons of Esau, who was called 'Edom : and they settled first at mount Seir; and upon the Red Sea, which received its name from them. Both Phoinic and Edom signify red; which the Greeks changed to Erythrus, a word of the same meaning. They appear to have been a very great and knowing people : and though there are no annals of their nation remaining; and their history is very obscure; yet so far we may learn in general, that they were very rich and powerful ; carrying on an extensive traffic in the sea, which they lived upon, and a great way farther; engrossing all the trade of the east. Their character must have been very respectable: for the prophets men
· Genesis 25. V. 30.
tion *“ The wise men out of Edom, and under“ standing out of the mount of Esau ; And thy “ mighty men, O Teman.” 3 “ Concerning Edom, “ thus saith the Lord of hosts; Is wisdom no more «« in Teman? is counsel perished from the prudent? ” is their wisdom vanished?”. And so truly noble and royal do they seem to have been, that the prophet Isaiah borrows his ideas from their supposed dignity and appearance; when he mystically describes our Saviour in his state of manhood, making his glorious advances upon earth. 4" Who is this “ that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments 66 from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his ap'“ parel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? “ I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save." This people in process of time got possession of Tyre and Sidon, and the adjacent country; which was called from them Phenicia : but how early they settled here, is uncertain. They sent out many colonies : and traces of them are to be found, as far as Gades and Tartessus. Herodotus mentions, that they came originally from the Red Sea. 5 Ουτοι δε δι Φοινικες το παλαιον οικεον, ως αυτοι λεγεσι, εσι τη Ερυθρη θαλασση" ενθευτεν δε υπερβαντες της Συριης
2 Obadiah v. 8, 9.
οικεεσι το παρα θαλασσαν. Τετες γαρ [Φοίνικας] απο της Ερυθρης, καλεομενης θαλασσης απικομενες. But the best account of them is in the poet? Dionysius; who celebrates them for their ingenuity and knowledge; mentions the chief places where they settled; and speaks of them, as the first merchants upon the earth:
Those, who settled at Gades and the remoter parts of Spain, carried thither many memorials of their original country; particularly the name of Edom, by translation Erythra, which they conferred on that part, where they inhabited ; and especially on an island, mentioned by Plinys. Erythia dicta
. o Herodotus lib. 1. cap. 1.
1 Περιηγ. ν. 905. * Plin. Nat. Ηist. lib. 4. cap. 22. Strab. vol. 1. pag. 257. Fest. Avieni Orbis Terr. Descr. v. 1063.
Hi Rubro a littore quondam
Mutavere domos. Quam [insulam] Tyrii a Rubro profecti mari Erythram nominarunt. Solin, cap. 26.,