Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

42 66

went up

said in the original that Joseph

to meet Israel his father to Goshen”) they translate it x@@? 'Heww Foliv, the city Heroum or Heroopolis. In other 43 places they term it yn Terapi Agables. Now Heroopolis, at least the only city we know of that name, was upon the north west point of the Red Sea ; as we learn from 44 Ptolemy and 45 Strabo. This situation for Goshen is more extravagant than any that has been yet thought of: it cannot be supposed that the best of the land of Egypt was here. The few towns upon the upper part of the Red Sea were solitary seaports, that stood upon the verge of a barren wilderness; and were not of Egyptian original. We are told by Strabo, that the kings of Egypt for a long time were averse to trade, particularly by sea, and discouraged navigation. They were satisfied with the produce of their own fertile soil ; and needed not any foreign importations : which circumstance made them ill affected to sailors and shipping, and little solicitous about seaports and harbours ; especially beyond the limits of their own country.

μεν ουν προτεροι των Αιγυπτιων βασιλεις

46 Os

42 Genes. 46. v. 29.
43 Genes. 46. v. 34.-45. v. 10.
44 Geogr. Edit. Bertii. p. 103.

45 Vol. 2. p. 1158. H Tây Heally s5 GoAs xav + KAEWTRES, EP το μυχω τε Αραβιε κολασε το προς Αιγυπτον. pag. 1193. καθ' Ηρωων πολιν την εν τω μυχό τ8 Αραβια κολπα.

46 Vol. 2 p. 1142.

αγασαντες δις ειχον, και ο πανυ επεισακτων δεομενοι, διαβεGλημενοι προς

απαντας τις πλεοντας κ. τ. λ. 47 Diodorus Siculus says the same. The histories of Egypt are continually describing the care and cost of their first kings, in fortifying the country to the east, and securing it from foreign attacks. They made the river of Pelusium the boundary of their kingdom ; and never thought of founding 48 seaports on the Red Sea. Hercopolis, and the few towns near it were separated from Egypt at the distance of four days journey; and were occupied by the Arabians, and by the sons of Ishmael and Edom for ages. The latter, in the time of Jehoshaphat, seem to have been sole masters of the gulf of Elah.

As soon as this king had subdued them; he took possession of their ports, and built a fleet, and projected a scheme of trade. It was the first attempt of any prince of that house since the days of Solomon ; and soon

47 Καθολύ δε πρωτος [Ψαμμιτιχος] των κατ’ Αιγυπτον βασιλεων ανεωξε τους αλλους εθνεσι τα κατα την αλλην χωραν εμπορια, και πολλην ασφαλειαν τους καταπλεσι ξενους σαρειχετο. lib. 1. pag. 43.

48 The priests of Egypt esteemed it an abomination for a person to quit his native country : for which reason they never left it; thinking it inexcusable in any persons, excepting those, who were obliged to go abroad for the service of the crown by the king's appointment. This we learn from Chæremo the Stoic in his account of the Egyptian priests, δι γε εν τοις ασεβεγατoις ετιθεντο πλειν ασΑιγυπτω διευλαβωμενοι ξενικας τρυφας και επιτηδευματα: ? Μονοις

youp

δσιον εδοκει τους κατα τας βασιλικας χρειας ααση αγκασμενους: Porph. de Abstin. lib. 4.

proved abortive. The other and nearer gulf was possessed by the Arabians. The face of the country may be supposed to have been much the same at all times. What it is now, may be learned from a modern 49 traveller, who passed from Suez, the most northern part of the Red Sea, to Cairo. Ex hoc loco pergentes venimus in campum Choas dictummediá ibi nocte exactá recessimus, iter laboriosum per latissimos et prorsus steriles campos tota die illa conficientes ; ubi nec virens aliquid vidimus, nec aquam reperimus, neque tentoria figere poteramus : quod tenuissima arena, quæ illic est copiosa, funium claves tenere non posset. Agreeable to this is what so Egmont and Heyman tell us, that about

49. Bernardi de Bredenback sancta peregrinationes in montem Sion et montem Sinai anno 148S confecté. Impress. Spira. 1490.

So Egmont and Heyman's Travels. vol. 2. p. 148. and 188. See also Viaggi fatti nel Egitto opera del Signor Gabrielle Bremond. In Roma, 1679. lib. 1. “ Indi tirando fra levante e mezzo giorno

senza fermarsi al Birco, o stagno d'acqua fontano dal Cairo 4 “ hore di camino, entrammo nel deserto, dove si travano cam

pagni sterili, non di rena, ma di terra secca, che per esser priva “ d'acqua non produce ne anche un filo d'erba eccetto verso il

Facemmo tre giornate per questi diserti, riposando la sera sotto padiglioni che portavamo, et accommodando il viver “ nostro all' uso Arabo, ne si reposava se non a 21 hore per risto“ rarci. La sera del terzo giorno havendo scoperte alcune pic“ ciole montagne, bisogno caminar sino alle tre hore di notte, per “ arrivar ad un picciol castello, sotto il quale ci firmammo: si

noma Agirild : et e fabricato di fresco per guardia d'un pozzo

mare.

the Red Sea they saw neither shrub, nor tree, nor vegetable, except a kind of bramble. But the account they give, as they were advancing towards it, will afford a truer idea of the country.

66 The next “morning (the fourth from Cairo) we set out as

usual, and during the whole day saw only two

trees; but on our right hand was the sepulchre of “a kaijia or governor of Suez, who lost his life here ' in defending the caravan against a body of Arabian robbers. We also saw, in the road, several “ skeletons of camels, which had sunk under their

burdens, and expired in these thirsty deserts. But “ what appeared much more shocking to us, was a “ human arm appearing above the sand : this person “had been here overtaken with a whirlwind, and

was suffocated with the dust.”—Let any body judge, if in these parts could be situated the best of the land of Egypt.

To conclude ; the Scriptures, as I have observed, inform us that the place of sojournment allotted to the children of Israel was in Egypt : 55" And Jo

“ d'acqua amara, et per rendre piu che si puo sicuro il camino “ alle caravane della Meka, che passan per di la. E assai mal

guardato non vi essendo, per mancamento di paga, e viveri che

poche Soldati in questo deserto, dove observai che la rugiada "intessa sia salata.” I quote this passage, because some have thought that the castle here inentioned was the antient Heroopolis.

si Genes. 50. v. 22.

[blocks in formation]

seph dwelt in Egypt, he and his father's house.” The first thing for these learned men to have inquired into should have been what was Egypt. This many of them took but little pains to be certified of: and the errors above mentioned are in consequence of this failure.

Thus have I given an account of the miscarriages of some eminent writers out of many, who have been engaged in this subject. In prosecuting which, I have not exhibited the whole series of their mistakes : but have thought it sufficient, if I could shew that they were fundamentally in the wrong. Many of these writers were undoubtedly men of consummate parts and learning: great artists, who laid in excellent store of materials for their purpose ; as may be seen from what they produce upon the occasion. It was through a misapplication of these materials, that they failed in the execution. Instead of setting out upon something well known and warranted ; the first postulatum they make is matter of guess and surmise. This is ascertained by other conjectures ; till the evidence does not amount to the lowest degree of probability: nay, their allegations are found repugnant both to history and reason; and are many times absolutely ridiculous. What can be more strange than 52 Dr. Shaw's method

[ocr errors]

52 Travels or observations relating to several parts of Barbary and the Lexunt by Tho. Shaw. D. D. Oxford, 1738.

« AnteriorContinuar »