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those beasts, whose images and forms the kings did carry in their arms when they obtained victory, were adored for gods, because under those ensigns they prevailed over their enemies. Moreover, the Egyptian divines had a peculiar kind of writing, mystical and secret, wherein the highest points of their religion and worship of God, which was to be concealed from the vulgar sort, were obscured.
b Clemens distributeth the whole sum of this latter Egyptian learning into three several sorts; viz. epistolar, which is used in writing common epistles; sacerdotal, which is peculiar to their priests; and sacred; which sacred containeth scripture of two kinds, the one proper, which is expressed by letters alphabetical in obscure and figurative words: as for example, where it is written, the ibis by the beetle participateth the beauty of the hawk, which is read thus: The moon doth by the sun borrow part of the light of God, because light is an image of divine beauty. The other symbolical, or by signatures, which is threefold; viz. imitative, tropical, and enigmatical; imitative, which designeth things by characters, like to the things signified; as by a circle the sun, and by the horns of the moon the moon itself: tropical or transferent, which applies the divers forms and figures of natural bodies or creatures, to signify the dignities, fortunes, conditions, virtues, vices, affections, and actions of their gods and of men. So with the Egyptian divines, the image of an hawk signifieth God; the figure of the beetle signifieth the sun ; the picture of the bird ibis signifieth the moon; by the form of a man, prudence and skilfulness; by a lion, fortitude; by a horse, liberty; by a crocodile, impudency; by a fish, hatred is to be understood. Enigmatical is a composition or mixture of images or similitudes; in which sense, the monstrous image of a lion's body having a man's head, was graven on their temples and altars, to signify, that to men all divine things are enigmatical and obscure. So the image of the sun set on the head of a crocodile (which liveth as well in the waters as on land) expresseth, that the sun nourisheth meteors in the air, as well from the waters as from the earth. So a sceptre, at the
b Clem. Strom. 1. 5.
whereof is made an eye and an ear, signifieth God hearing, seeing, and governing all things. The Scythians are thought to have been delighted with this kind of writing. For Pherecydes Syrius reporteth, that when Darius sending letters, threatened Idanthura, king of the Scythians, with ruin and destruction of his kingdom, unless he would acknowledge subjection, Idanthura returned to him a mouse, a frog, a bird, a dart, and a ploughshare; which Orontopagas, tribune of the soldiers, interpreted to signify, that by the mouse, their dwellings; by the frog, their waters; by the bird, their air ; by the dart, their weapons ; by the plough, their lands, were signified to be ready to be delivered to Darius, as their sovereign lord. But Xyphodres made another construction, viz. that the king meant, that except Darius with his men did hasten away, as a bird through the air, or creep into holes as a mouse, or run into the waters which they had passed as a frog, they should not escape his arms, but either be slain, or (being made captives) till his grounds. The same history is with little difference reported by Herodotus, 1. 4.
The fourth and last part, which is moral and politic, doth contain especially the laws, which (according to Laertius) Mercurius Trismegistus, or Ter Maximus devised; who in his books or dialogues of Pimander and Asclepius, hath written so many things of God worthy of admiration well (saith Sixtus Senensis) of the Trinity, and of the coming of Christ, as of the last and fearful day of judgment; that (as saith the same author, the opinion being also ancient) he is not only to be accounted a philosopher, but a prophet of things to come.
Jamblicus, in his book of mysteries of the Egyptians, taking two very ancient historians for his authors, to wit, Seleucus and Menætus, affirmeth, that this Mercury was not only the inventor of the Egyptian philosophy, but of all other learning, called the wisdom of the Egyptians, before remembered, and that he wrote of that subject 36,525
books, or pages. Of which there were numbered, of fiery spirits 100 books, of aerial spirits as many, and of spirits celestial a thousand ; which because they were out of the Egyptian language converted by certain learned philosophers into the natural Greek, they seemed to have been first written in that tongue.
c Clemens Alexandrinus writeth, that among the books of Hermes, to wit, of the wisdom of the Egyptians, there were extant in his time thirty-six, of physic six books, of the orders of priests ten, and of astrology four.
A brief of the history of Joshua, and of the space between him and
Othoniel, and of the remainders of the Canaanites, with a note of some contemporaries to Joshua, and of the breach of faith.
AFTER the death of Moses, and in the one and fortieth year of the egression, in the first month called Nisan, or March, Joshua the son of Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim, being filled with the spirit of wisdom, took on him the government of Israel; God giving him comfort, and encouraging him to pass the river of Jordan, and to possess and divide among the Israelites the land promised.
The beginning of Joshua's rule d St. Augustine dates with the reign of Amyntas, the eighteenth king in Assyria ; with Corax the sixteenth king in Sicyonia, when Danaus governed the Argives, and Ericthonius Athens.
e Joshua, imitating in all things his predecessor, sent over Jordan certain discoverers to view the seat and strength of Jericho, the next city unto him on the other side of the river, which he was to pass over. Which discoverers being saved, and sent back by Rahab, a woman of ill fame, because she kept a tavern or victualling house, made Joshua know, that the inhabitants of Jericho, and those of the country about it, hearing of the approach of f Israel, had lost courage. Whereupon, the day after the return of the spies, which was the sixth day of the one and fortieth year after the egression, Joshua removed from 8 Shittim in the plains of Moab, and drew down his army to the banks of the river Jordan, and gave them commandment to put themselves in order h to follow the ark of God, when the Levites took it up, and moved towards the river; giving them withal this forcible encouragement, that they should thereby assure themselves of his favour and presence, who is Lord of all the world, when the river of iJordan should be cut off and divided, and the waters coming from above should stand still in a heap; whereby those below towards the Dead sea wanting supply, they might pass over into the land of Canaan with dry feet.
« Clem. Strom. 1.6.
e Josh. ii. I.
He also commanded k Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, to prepare themselves (according to their covenant made with Moses) to march in the head of the rest, and (as we call it in this age) to lead in the vanguard, which through all the deserts of Arabia, from the mount Sinai to this place, those of the tribe of Judah had performed. For these tribes being already provided of their habitations, and the country and cities of the Amorites, by the help of the rest, conquered for them; it agreed with justice and equality, that Reuben, Gad, and the half of Manasseh should also assist their brethren in the obtaining of their parts, as yet in their enemies possession.
On the banks of Jordan they rested themselves from the sixth day to the ninth ; and on the tenth day of the first month Nisan, or March, they passed over to the other side, taking with them twelve stones from the dry ground in the midst of the river; which, for a memory of that miracle by God wrought, they set up at Gilgal, on the east side of the city of Jericho, where they encamped the first night. At which place 1 Joshua gave commandment, that all born in the last fortieth year in the deserts m should be circumcised; which ceremony to that day had been omitted. Of the neglect whereof n St. Augustine giveth for cause, the people's contempt of their superiors; Thomas excuseth it in this sort; that the Israelites knew not the certain time of their removing from one place to another; Damascen, that it was not needful by circumcision to distinguish them from other nations, at such time as they lived by themselves and apart from all nations.
1 Josh. iv. 19.
& Josh, iji. I.
On the fourteenth day of the same month, the children of Israel celebrated the passover now the third time; first, at their leaving Egypt; secondly, at mount Sinai ; and now at P Gilgal. After which, being desirous to taste of the fruits of the country, and having, as it were, surfeited on manna, they parched of the corn of the land, being not yet fully ripe, and eat thereof.
And as Moses began to distribute those regions beyond Jordan, to wit, the lands of the Amorites, which Og of Basan and Sihon held, so did Joshua perform the rest ; and after a view and partition made of the territories, he gave to each tribe his portion by lot. But this partition and distribution was not done at once, but at three several times ; first, by 9 Moses to Gad, Reuben, and the half tribe of Manasseh, of the lands over Jordan ; secondly, by Joshua to the tribe of Judah, Ephraim, and the other half tribe of Manasseh, about the fifth year of his government, proved in Joshua xiv. 10. and a third division was made to the other seven tribes at Shilo, where ' Joshua seated the tabernacle of the congregation.
The victories of Joshua against the kings of the Canaanites are so particularly set down in his own books, as I shall not need to lengthen this part by their repetition. In whose story I chiefly note these particulars.
First, How in the beginning of the war those little kings, or reguli of the Canaanites, had not so much understanding as to unite themselves together against the Israelites; but according to the custom of those estates, from whose governors God hath taken away all wisdom and foresight, they
Thom. part. 3. quæst. 70. art. 4: ad 3
P Josh. v. 10.
y Josh. xiv. 3. r Josh. xviii.