« 前へ次へ »
publishing in their own name such as pleased them best, have confirmed them, and as it were enforced them upon us by their authority. A third and general cause of more than Egyptian darkness in all ancient histories is the edition of many authors by John Annius, of whom (if to the censures of sundry very learned I may add mine) I think thus; that Annius having seen some fragments of those writers, and added unto them what he would, may be credited as an avoucher of true histories, where approved writers confirm him, but otherwise is to be deemed fabulous. Hereupon it cometh to pass, that the account of authors, either in the chronology or genealogy of the Egyptian kings, runs three altogether different ways. The Christian writers, such as are ancient, for the most part follow Eusebius; many late writers follow the edition of Annius's authors; the profane histories follow Herodotus, Diodorus, and such others.
SECT. II. That by the account of the Egyptian dynasties, and otherwise, it
appears that Cham's reign in Egpyt began in the year after the flood 191.
TO reconcile these, or gather out of them the times of the ancient kings, about whom is most controversy, the best mean is by help of the dynasties, of whose continuance there is little or no disagreement. The account of the dynasties, besides the authority of approved authors, hath this good ground, that it agreeth for the most part, if not altogether, with the histories of the Assyrians, Trojans, Italians, and others, &c. The beginning of the 16th dynasty is joined by general consent with the 43d year of Ninus, in which Abraham was born. The twelve first dynasties lasted each of them seven years, under the twelve, which were called the greater gods ; so that all the years of their continuance were eighty-four. The thirteenth dynasty endured fourteen years; the fourteenth, twenty-six; the fifteenth, thirty-seven. These three last are said to have been under the three younger gods. So the fifteen first dynasties lasted 161 years. As I do not therefore believe that the continuance of these dynasties was such as hath been mentioned, because Annius in such wise limits out their time; so I cannot reject the account upon this only reason, that Annius hath it so; considering that both hitherto it hath passed as current, and is greatly strengthened by many good reasons. For, whereas Eusebius placeth the beginning of the sixteenth dynasty in the year of Abraham's birth, as aforesaid, the reckoning is easily cast; by which the sum of 161 years, which according to our account were spent in the fifteen former, being subducted out of the sum of 352 years, which were between the flood and Abraham's birth, shew that the beginning of the first dynasty, which was the beginning of Cham's reign in Egypt, was in the year 191 ; as also by other probabilities the same may appear. For it is generally agreed, that the multitude of mankind which came into Shinar arrived at Babel anno a diluvio 131. In building the tower were consumed forty years, as Glycas recordeth ; whose report I have elsewhere confirmed with divers probabilities. That Cham was long in passing with his company, their wives, children, cattle, and substance, through all Syria, then desolate and full of bogs, forests, and briers, (which the deluge and want of culture in one hundred and seventy-one years had brought upon it,) no reasonable man will doubt. To this his
passage therefore, and the seating of himself in Egypt, we allow twenty years; and these sums being added together, to wit, one hundred thirty-one years after the flood, before they arrived at Babel, forty years for their stay there, and twenty for Cham's passage into Egypt and settling there, make up the sum of one hundred and ninety-one years; at which time we said that Cham began his reign in Egypt, in the beginning of the first dynasty. And to this sum of 191 years, if we add the 161 years of the fifteen first dynasties, as they are numbered in common account, we shall fall right with the year of Abraham's birth, which was an. dil. 352. And hereto, omitting many other reasons which might be brought to prove that these first dynasties must needs have been very short, and not containing in the whole sum of their several times above 161 years ; let it suffice, that had they lasted longer, then either must Egypt have been peopled as soon as Babel after the flood, or the dynasties, as Mercator thinks, must have been before the flood. That the arrival at Babel was many years before the plantation of Egypt, after the flood, enough hath been said to prove; and that the dynasties were not before the flood, the number of the long-lived generations between Adam and the flood, which was less than the number of the dynasties, may sufficiently witness. Or if we will think that one life might, perhaps, be divided into many dynasties, then may this have been as well after the flood as before; considering that the sons of Noah did not in every country erect such form of policy as had been used in the same ere the deluge, but such as the disposition of the people, the authority and power of the conductor, together with many other circumstances, did induce or enforce them to.
SECT. III. That these dynasties were not divers families of kings, but rather
successions of regents, ofttimes many under one king. THE short continuance of the dynasties doth shew that they were not several races of kings, as the vaunting Egyptians were wont to style them. What they were, it cannot certainly be warranted. For in restitutions of decayed antiquities, it is more easy to deny than to affirm. But this may be said, partly upon good circumstance, partly upon the surest proof, that it was the manner of the Egyptian kings to put the government of the country into the hands of some trusty counsellor, only reserving the sovereignty to themselves, as the old kings of France were wont to the masters of the palace, and as the Turk doth to the chief vizier. This is confirmed, first, by the number of the dynasties, whereof many are under Cham, and more than one under Osiris, or Mizraim; and must therefore have been successions, not of kings, but rather of counsellors and regents. Secondly, by custom of such princes, borderers to Egypt, as are mentioned in the scriptures; of whom Abimelech the Philistine, in his dealing with Abraham and Isaac about confederation, did nothing without Phicol, captain of his host; though in taking Abraham's wife, and in his private carriage, he followed his own pleasure. Likewise of Abimelech the son of Gideon it was said, Is not he the son of Jerubbaal, and Zebul his officer? Also Ishbosheth the son of Saul feared Abner the captain of the host. Yea, David himself hating Joab for his cruelty, did not punish him in regard of his greatness, which was such, as was feared even of Hadad the Edomite, living then in Egypt. Thirdly, this is confirmed by the temper and disposition of Cham, who was lewd, as appears by the scriptures ; therefore likely, both for his own idleness and pleasure, to have laid the burden of government upon others; and upon jealousy, the companion of unworthiness, to have changed his lieutenants often. Above all other proofs is the advancement of Joseph by Pharaoh. For Pharaoh said to Joseph, Only in the king's throne will I be above thee ; behold I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. P William, archbishop of Tyre, who flourished about the year of our Lord one thousand one hundred eighty, affirms, that the like or very same form of government by viceroys was in his time practised in Egypt, having there been in use, as he believed, ever since the time of Joseph. He plainly shews, that the soldans of Egypt were not lords of the country, however they have been so deemed; but that they acknowledged and humbly performed the duty of subjects unto the caliph ; who residing in a most magnificent palace in Cairo, did commit the charge, not only of civil government, but the power of making war and peace, with the whole office and authority royal into the soldan's hands. He that shall read in 9 William of Tyre the state of the caliph, or Mulene Elhadech, with the form of his court, shall plainly behold the image of the ancient Pharaoh, ruling by a lieutenant, as great in authority as Joseph was, though far inferior in wisdom. To think that many names of such regents or lieutenants William Tyr. de Bell. sacro, l. 19. c. 17, 18, 19, et 20.
as Joseph was, have crept into the list of the Egyptian kings, were no strange imagination : for Joseph's brethren called him," the man, that is lord of the land, and the lord of the country: besides, it is not unlikely that the vainglorious Egyptian priests would as easily report him a king to posterity, as ignorant men and strangers deem him such, under whose hand all despatches of importance and royal managing of the state had passed, whilst that the king himself intending his quiet, had given his office to another. How strangers have mistaken in this kind, the example already cited of Joseph's brethren doth sufficiently witness. The reports of priests do appear in Diodorus and Herodotus, each of whom, citing their relations as good authority, say; Diodorus, that Sesostris was the ninetieth king after Menas; Herodotus, that he was the 332d after Menas; which could not have been, if Menas had been Adam. Therefore we may well conclude, that the dynasties were not so many races of kings, but successions of regents, appointed by the kings of so many sundry lineages or sorts of men. Now by whatsoever means a dynasty or regency continued, whether in one family, as being made an hereditary office, or in one order of men, as held by faction ; sure it is, that it was the king's gift and free choice that gave the office. But the crown royal always passed by descent, and not by election ; which (beside consent of authors) the scriptures also prove. For whereas Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, if the crown had passed by election, then should Pharaoh's children hereby either have been enthralled amongst the rest of the people to the next successor; or, enjoying their father's land, though not his estate, have been more mighty than the king; as landlords of all Egypt, and the king himself their tenant. Likewise we find in Exod. xii. that God smote the first-born of Pharaoh, that was to sit on his throne : and in Isaiah it is said of Pharaoh, s I am the son of the ancient king.
r Gen. xlii. 30. and 33.
s Isa. xix. II.