Imágenes de páginas

the name of a ship, for so Virgil calleth one of the greatest ships of Æneas".

Ion also, from whom the Athenians, (being igno. rant of the antiquity of their parent Javan,) derive their name of Iones, is said to have been about Ehud's time; Homer calls them Iaones'), which hath a near resemblance to the word Javan. Perhaps it might be so, that Ion himself took name from Javan ; it being a custom observable in the histories of all times, to revive the ancient name of a forefather, in some of the principal of his issue.

The invasion of India by Liber Pater, is by some reported as done in this age ; but St. Augustine makes him far more ancient ; placing him between the coming out of Egypt, and the death of Joshua.

About the end of the eighty years, ascribed to Ehud and Samgar, Pelops flourished; who gave name to Peloponnesus in Greece, now called Morea.

Sect. IV. Of Deborah, and her contemporaries. AFTER Israel had lived in peace and plenty to the end of these eighty years, they again began to forget the Giver of all goodness, and many of those being worn out, which were witnesses of the former misery, and of God's deliverance by Ehud, and after him by Samgar, the rest began to return to their former neglect of God's commandments. For as plenty and peace are the parents of idle security; so is security as fruitful in begetting and bringing forth both danger and subversion; of which all estates in the world have tasted by interchange of times. Therefore, when their sins were again ripe for punishment, Jabin king of Hazor, after the death of Ehud, invaded the territory of Israel; and having in his service nine hundred iron chariots, besides the rest of his forces, he held themin subjection twenty years, till it pleased God to raise up Deboralı, the prophetess, who encouraged Barak to levy a force out of Nephtalim, and Zabulon, to encounter the Canaanites. That the men of Nephtalim were more forward than the rest in this åction, it may seem to have proceeded, partly from the authority that Barak had among them, being of the same tribe; and partly from their feeling of the common grievances, which in them was more sensible than in others, because Hazor and Haroseth, the chief holds of Jabin, were in Nephtalim. So, in the days of Jephtha, the Gileadites took the greatest care, because the Ammonites, with whom the war was, pressed most upon them, as being their borderers. Now, as it pleased God, by the left hand of Ehud, to deliver Israel from the Moabites ; and by the counsel and courage of a woman, to free them from the yoke of Canaan, and to kill the valiant Sisera by Jael the Kenite's wife; so was it his will, at other times, to work the like great things by the weakest means. For the mighty Assyrian Nabuchodonosor, who was a king of kings, and resistless, he overthrew by his own imaginations, the causers of his brutish melancholy; and changed his matchless pride into the base humility of a beast. And to prove that he is the Lord of all power, he sometimes punished by invisible strength, as when he slaughtered the army of Senacherib by his angel; or as he did the Egyptians in Moses's time; sometimes by dead bodies, as when he drowned Pharaoh by the waves of the sea, and the Canaanites by hail. stones in the time of Joshua ; sometimes by the ministry of men, as when he overthrew the four kings of the east, Chedorlaomer and his companions, by the household servants of Abraham. He caused the Moabites and Ammonites to set upon their own confederates, the army of the Edomites'; and having slain them, to kill one another in the sight of Jeho.

13 Homer in hymno ad Apoll. Lib. xviii. c, xii, de Civ.

12 L. v. Æneid. Dei. I. xviii, c. xv.


a Chron. Ir. ,

shaphat; and of the like to these, a volume of examples may be gathered. And to this effect did Deborah the prophetess speak unto Barak in these words:-- But this journey that thou takest shall

not be for thine honour, for the Lord shall sell • Sisera into the hand of a woman' In which victory all the strength of the Canaanite Jabin fell to the ground, even to the last man; in the end of which war, it seemeth that Jabin himself also perished, as appeareth by Judges iv. 24.

Afier all which Deborah giveth thanks to God, and after the acknowledment of all his powerfulness, and great mercies, she sheweth the weak estate whereunto Israel was brought for their idolatry, by the Canaanites, and other bordering nations in these words : · Was there a shield or spear seen among • forty thousand of Israel 3 ?She also sheweth how the Israelites were severed and amazed, some of them confined over Jordan, and durst not join themselves with the rest, as those of Reuben and Gilead ; that the Asherites kept the sea coast, and forsook their habitations towards the land; and the children of Dan, who neighboured the sea, crept into their ships for safety, shewing thereby that all were dispersed; and all in effect lost. She then cursed the inhabi. tants of Meroz, who dwelling near the place of the battle, belike fearing the success, came not out to assist Israel ; and then blessed Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite, who nailed Sisera in her tent; shewing the ancient affection of that race to the Israel. ites. For though the family of Heber were enforc: ed in that miserable time of subjection, to hold correspondence with Jabin the Canaanite; yet, when occasion offered them means, they witnessed their love and faith to their ancient friends. Lastly, she derided the mother of Sisera, who promised her. son the victory in her own hopes ; and fancied to herself, and described the spoils, both of garments 2 Judg. iv. 9. 3 Judg. v. 18.

otes were sesrael > >sh spear tions in the boy

and maidens, by him gotten. For conclusion, she directeth her praises and thanks to God only victorious.

From the beginning of Jabin's oppression, to the end of that peace which Deborah and Barak purchased unto Israel, there passed forty years. In which time, the kingdom of Argos, which had continued five hundred and forty-four years, was translated to Mycænæ. The translation of this kingdom, Vives, out of Pausanias, writeth to this effect: After Danaus, Lynceus succeeded in Argos, after whomi the children of Abas the son of Lynceus divided the kingdom ; of which Acrisius, being eldest, held Argos itself; Prætus his brother possessed Ephyra or Corinth, and Tyrinthos, and other cities, with all the territory towards the sea; there being many monuments in Tyrinthos which witness Prætus's possession, saith Pausanias“.

Now Acrisius was foretold by an oracle, that he should be slain by the son of his daughter Danae ; whereupon he caused her to be inclosed in a tower, to the end that no man might accompany her. But the lady being exceeding fair, it is feigned that Ju. piter turned himself into a golden shower, which falling into her lap, begat her with child; the mean, ing whereof was, that some king's son, or other worthy man, corrupted her keepers with gold, and enjoyed her, of whom Perseus was born; who, when he grew to man's estate, either by chance, (saith Ctesias,) or in shewing his grandfather the invention of the Discus, or leaden ball, slew him unwillingly. After this, Perseus, to avoid the infamy of parricide in Argos, changed kingdoms with his uncle Pratus, and built Mycænæ. This imprison. ment of Danae, Sophocles reporteth otherwise; and says, that she was enclosed in a brazen vault, under the king's hall, with her nurse and keepers. Upon

4 Pausan, in Corinthiacis.

this close custody, Horace hath this witty observa


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

" Inclusam Dapæn turris ahenea,
• Robustæque fores, et vigilum canum
• Tristes excubiæ, munierant satis

• Nocturnis ab adulteris :
"Si non Acrisium, virginis abditæ
• Custodem pavidum, Jupiter et Venus
Risissent; fore enim tutum iter et patens,

Converso in pretium Deo.
Aurum per medios ire satellites,
« Et perrumpere amat saxa, potentius
" Ictu fulmineo.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

"The brazen tower with doors close barr'd,
And watchful bandogs, frightful guard,

" Kept safe the maidenhead
6 Of Danae from secret love :
« Till smiling Venus and wise Jove

• Beguil'd her father's dread :
• For, chang’d into a golden shower,
« The God into her lap did pour

"Himself, and took his pleasure.
« Thro' guards and stony walls to break,
The thunder.bolt is far more weak,

" Than is a golden treasure,'

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The early kings of the Argives were these : Inachus the first king, who began to reign in the first year of Jacob, and the sixty-first of Isaac ; from which time, to the end of Sthenelus, Castor misreckoneth four hundred years. This kingdom before the translation, Eusebius accounteth to have stood five hundred and forty-four years; others but at four hundred and seventeen. Io was the daughter of this Inachus, whom the Egyptians call Isis.


« AnteriorContinuar »