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of which y Ptolemy maketh Judæa also a part; and to that province which Moses calleth Seir and Edom, Pomponius Mela giveth the name of Syria Judæa.
SECT. II. Of the bounds of the land of Canaan, and of the promises touching
this land. BUT that land which was anciently Canaan, taketh a part of Phænicia, and stretcheth from behind Libanus to the great deserts between Idumæa and Egypt; bounded by the midland sea on the west, and the mountains of Hermon, Gilead, and Arnon towards the east; the same hills which Strabo calleth Traconi, or Traconitæ, and Ptolemy Hippus. The name of Canaan it had from 2 Canaan the son of Cham, et lingua appellata fuit Canaan ; “the language “ was also called Canaan," saith Montanus; and after Hebræa of the Hebrews, who took name from Heber, the son of Sale, according to a St. Augustine. But Arius Montanus, not so well allowing of this derivation, makes it a common name to all those of Noah's sons which passed over Euphrates towards the west sea. For the word Heber, saith he, is as much as transiens, or transmittens, of going or passing over. And because the children of Abraham had for a long time no certain abiding, therefore, as he thinks, they were by the Egyptians called Hebræi, as it were passengers, which is also the opinion of C. Sigonius, and of b Eusebius long before them both. It had also the name of Judæa from Juda, and then afterwards entitled the Holy Land, because therein our Saviour Christ was born and buried. Now this part of Syria was again divided into four, namely, into Edom, (otherwise Seir, or Edumæa,) Galilee, Samaria, and Judæa. Galilee is double, the superior, called gentium, and the inferior; and that Galilee and Judæa are distinguished, it is plain in the Evangelists, though both of them belong to Phænicia.
Now besides these provinces of Phænicia and Palæstina, y Ptol. Asiæ Tab. 4.
1. Euseb. Præp. Evang. 1.7.c.3. z Strab. 1. 10.
Matt. ii. Luke ji, John iv. a Caleb. f. 62.
(both which the river of Jordan boundeth, saving that Phænicia stretcheth a little more easterly towards Damascus,) that part also to the east of Jordan, and within the mountains of Hermon, Gilead, and Arnon, otherwise Traconi, fell to the possession of half Manasseh, Gad, and Reuben, and therefore are accounted a part of Canaan also ; as well because anciently possessed by the Amorites, as for that they were conquered and enjoyed by the Israelites; which eastermost parts are again divided into Basan, or Batanea, into Gilead, Moab, Midian, Ammon, and the territories of the Machati, Gessuri, Argobe, Hus. They are known to the later cosmographers by the name of Arabia in general, and by the names of Trachonitis, Pieria, Batanea, &c. of which I will speak in their proper places.
But where Moses describeth the land of Canaan in the tenth of Genesis, he maketh no mention of the latter provinces which fell to Manasseh, Gad, and Reuben; for these be his words; Then the border of the Canaanites was from Zidon, as thou comest to Gerar until Azzah, (which is Gaza,) and this was the length of the country north and south; then it followeth in the text, And as thou goest unto Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Seboim, even unto Lasha; by which words Moses setteth down the breadth, to wit, from the Dead sea to the Mediterranean. But in d Deuteronomy it seemeth to be far more large ; for it is therein written, All the places whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours; your coast shall be from the wilderness, and from Lebanon, and from the river Perah, unto the uttermost sea. Now for the length of the country north and south, this description agreeth with the former, only Lebanon is put for Zidon, and the wilderness for Gerar and Azzah, which make no difference: but for the breadth and extent east and west, if Perah be taken for Euphrates, then the land promised stretcheth itself both over Arabia Petræa and the Desert, as far as the border of Babylon, which the Israelites never possessed, nor at any time did so much as invade or attempt. And therefore Vadianus doth conceive, that by the river Perah was meant Jordan, and not Euphrates, taking light from this place of Joshua; e Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance according to your tribes, from Jordan, with all the nations that I have destroyed, even unto the great sea westward.
d Deut. xi. 24.
And though it be true, that David greatly enlarged the territory of the Holy Land; yet, as f Vadianus well noteth, if Perah in the former place be taken for Euphrates, then was it but per gentes in amicitiam receptas : for David did not at any time enter so far to the east as Assyria, or Babylonia. Neither doth the not possessing of all these countries give advantage to those that would make any irreligious cavil, as touching the promise of God to the Israelites unperformed; for when both their kings, magistrates, and people fell from his worship and service, it pleased him, not only to enclose them within that territory, which was for so many people exceeding narrow, but therein, and elsewhere, to subject them unto those idolatrous nations, whose false and foolish gods themselves also served and obeyed. And sure, the promise by which the Hebrews claimed the inheritance of & Canaan, and the lasting enjoying thereof, to wit, as long as the heavens were above the earth, was tied to those conditions, both in the verses preceding and subsequent, which the Israelites never performed. And therefore they could not hope for other than all mankind could or can expect; who know, that all sorts of comforts, from the merciful goodness of God looked for, as well in this life as after it, are no longer to be attended, than while we persevere in his love, service, and obedience. So in Deut. xi. 8, 9. the keeping God's commandments was a condition joined to the prosperity of Israel ; for therein it is written, Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that ye may be strong, and go in and possess the land, whither ye go to possess it. Also that you may prolong your days in the land, which the Lord sware. unto your fathers, &c.
e Josh. xxiii. 4.
& Deat. xi. 21. i Isa. xlix. 14.
The like condition was also annexed to the enjoying of the land conquered, and the possession thereof, so long as the heavens are above the earth; h For if ye keep diligently, saith he, all these commandments which I command you, to do, that is, to love the Lord your God, &c. then will the Lord cast out all these nations before you, and ye shall possess great nations and mightier than you. And here, though it be manifest, that by reason of the breach of God's commandments, and their falling away from the worship of his all-powerful majesty, to the idolatry of the heathen, the conditional promises of God were absolutely void, as depending upon obedience unperformed; yet I cannot mislike that exposition of Melancthon ; for, saith he, Ostendit promissionem præcipuam non esse de hoc politico regno; “ He sheweth that his chief promise is not of a civil king“ dom.” To which agrees that answer which St. Jerome made to a certain heretic, in his epistle ad Dardanum, who accused St. Jerome, that he overthrew the reputation of the Jews' story, and brought the truth thereof in question, by drawing it altogether into an allegory, and ad illam duntaxat viventium terram quæ in cælis est, that is, “only to " that land of the living which is in heaven.” Quoniam tota Judæorum regio adeo angusta sit ambitu, ut vix longitudinem habeat 160 milliarium, latitudinem vero 40, et in his etiam regiones, loco, urbes, et oppida sunt plurima, nunquam a Judæis occupata, sed tantum divina pollicitatione promissa ; “ Because the whole country of the Jews 66 is so narrow in
that it scarce hath 160 miles in length, and forty miles in breadth; and in these are coun“ tries, places, cities, and many towns which the Jews never
possessed, but were only granted by divine promise.” In like manner the same father speaketh upon Isaiah, touching the blessings promised unto Jerusalem ; where he hath these words: i De quo discimus Hierusalem nequaquam in Palæstina regione petendam: quæ totius provinciæ deterrima est, et saxosis montibus asperatur ; et penuriam patitur sitis : ita ut cælestibus utatur pluviis, et raritatem fontium cisternarum extructione soletur: sed in Dei manibus, ad quam dicitur, Festinaverunt structores tui; “From whence," saith he, “ we learn that Jerusalem is not to be sought in “ that region of Palæstina, which is the worst of the whole
h Deut. xi. 22, 23.
province, and ragged with craggy mountains, and suffer“eth the penury of thirst ; so as it preserveth rain-water, “ and supplieth the scarcity of wells, by building of cisterns: 66 but this Jerusalem is in God's hands, to which it is said, “ Thy builders have hastened.” So far St. Jerome. Where also, to prevent mistaking, he thus expoundeth himself ; Neque hoc dico in suggillationem terræ Judææ, ut hæreticus sycophanta mentitur: aut quo auferam historiæ veritatem : quæ fundamentum est intelligentiæ spiritualis, sed ut decutiam supercilium Judæorum: qui synagogæ angustias latitudini ecclesiæ præferunt. Si enim occidentem tantum sequuntur literam, et non spiritum vivificantem, ostendant terram promissionis lacte et melle manantem ; “ Neither," saith he, “ say I this to disgrace the land of Judæa, (as the “ heretical sycophant doth belie me,) or to take away the “ truth of the history, which is the foundation of spiritual
understanding; but to beat down the pride of the Jews, “ which enlarge the straits of the synagogue further than “the breadth of the church ; for if they follow only the
killing letter, and not the quickening spirit, let them shew “ the land of promise flowing with milk and honey.”
By this it may also be gathered, howsoever it be unlikely, (seeing the west bound in the place, Deut. xi. 24. had his truth in the literal sense,) that Euphrates or Perath, which is made the east bound, should be taken only in a spiritual sense, yet nevertheless that Jerome's opinion inclineth to this, as if this Perath were not to be understood for Euphrates; and that the promise itself was never so large, much less the plantation and conquest of Israel.
And now for a more particular description of this Holy Land, because Asher, Nephtalim, and Zabulon held the