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born in the 130th year of Terah, and thereupon reckon thus. From the end of the flood to the birth of Abraham
352 From that time to the vocation of Abraham
| departure out of Egypt 430
Total, 857 which sum divers other ways may be collected. Since therefore to the departure out of Egypt there do remain (as is aforesaid) only 122 years from the death of Orus; we are now to consider how many of them are to be allowed unto Sesostris, or Sesonchosis, who is placed next unto Orus, by authority of the Scholiastes Apollonii, not without good probability. For this great king or conqueror is by many histories recorded to have overrun a great part of Asia ;_to have built a fleet of ships on the Red sea ; and so to have entered into India; likewise with another fleet on the middle-earth seas to have passed into Europe, and subdued many nations. This is he (as Reineccius judgeth) whom Justin, erring in account of his time, calleth Vexoris ; for Justin placeth Vexoris in ages before Ninus; whereby it would follow that Sesostris, if he were Vexoris, was more ancient than was Osiris, (otherwise Mizraim,) a thing altogether unlikely. Certain it is, that after the departure of Israel out of Egypt, no one Pharaoh came into the land of Canaan (which lieth in the way from Egypt into Asia) till the father-in-law of Solomon, Pharaoh Vaphres, took Gerar, and gave it to his daughter ; after which time Sesac oppressed Rehoboam, and Necho sought passage through the land of Israel, when he made his expedition against the Chaldeans. Of king Vaphres and Necho it is out of question, that neither of them was the great king Sesostris. Of Sesac it is doubted by some, forasmuch as he came into Judæa with a great army.' Reineccius propounding the doubt, leaveth it undecided ; unless it be sufficient proof of his own opinion, that he himself placeth Sesostris next to Orus, following the Scholiastes Apollonii. But
further answer may be made to shew that they were not
For as Justin witnesseth, Sesostris, otherwise Vexoris, made war on people far removed, abstaining from his neighbours. Sesac came up purposely against Jerusalem. Sesostris, as Diodorus witnesseth, had but 24,000 horse; Sesac had 60,000; Sesostris had 8020 chariots, Sesac but 1200. Sesostris made his expedition for no private purpose, but to get a great name ; Sesac, as most agree, had no other purpose than to succour Jeroboam, and give him countenance in his new reign, whom he had favoured even against Solomon; therefore Sesostris must needs have reigned whilst Israel abode in Egypt.
Whereas Krentzhemius collecteth out of Herodotus and Diodorus, that one Menas, or Menis, was next to Orus; because those historians affirm, that he reigned next after the gods, it moveth me nothing. For Osiris did succeed those fifteen gods; namely, the twelve greater and three lesser, himself also (as the learned Reineccius noteth) being called Menas : which name, as also Minæus and Menis, were titles of dignity, though mistaken by some as proper names. Krentzhemius doth very probably gather, that Menas was Mercurius Ter-maximus; the Hebrew word meni signifying an arithmetician ; which name, Ter-maximus, might well be attributed to Osiris, who was a great conqueror, philosopher, and benefactor to mankind, by giving good laws, and teaching profitable arts. In prowess and great undertakings Sesostris was no wit inferior to Osiris. For he sought victory, not for gain, but for honour only; and being well contented that many nations had acknowledged his power, and submitted themselves to his will and royal disposition, leaving them in a manner to their liberty, returned into Egypt. Soon upon his return he was endangered by a great treason, the house in which he was being by his own brother purposely fired; which nevertheless he is said to have escaped, and to have reigned in all thirty-three years; after which time he chose rather to die than to live, because he fell blind. Both Herodotus and Diodorus affirm, that Sesostris left a son, whose name was Pheron, or Pherones,
RALEGH, HIST. WORLD. VOL. II.
who afterwards took the name of Sesostris, but was nothing like to his father in glory, for he shortly fell blind. The cause of his blindness Herodotus attributes to his assaulting the river Nilus with a javelin; which tale Diodorus having likewise heard, yet reports as a fable, saying, that perhaps he took the disease naturally from his father. How long this man reigned it is no where expressed; yet forasmuch as Orus the second, (otherwise Busiris,) who succeeded him, began fourteen years after that this Sesostris had been king, it must needs be that this reigned fourteen years at least. That Busiris began not until these fourteen years at least were expired, the very account of time, from the first of Busiris to the departure of Israel out of Egypt, plainly shews, being almost generally agreed upon to have been seventy-five years. That none came between Sesostris the second and Busiris, or Orus the second, it stands only upon probabilities; which are these. After Sesostris had reigned somewhile, he fell blind; after certain years he recovered his sight, as is said ; which may have been true, but is more like to have been a fable ; surely the manner of his recovery, as it is set down, is very
fabulous; namely, that by looking upon a woman, or washing his eyes with her water, who had only known her own husband, he got his sight again. As the time of his reign, before his blindness, and when he was well again, (if ever he were,) may have taken up a good part of fourteen years ; so his works, which were great, do much more strongly argue, that his reign was not very short. His works are largely set down by Herodotus and Diodorus; a part of which may seem to have been the finishing of that which his father had begun, about the channels and sluices of Nilus; whom I think he rather frighted (as his father had done) with spades and shovels, than with darts and javelins; and by his diligent oversight of that work, was like enough to lose both his eyesight and his people's love, whom his father had very busily employed in excessive labour about it.
SECT. VII. Of Busiris the first oppressor of the Israelites; and of his successor,
queen Thermutis, that took up Moses out of the water. AND herein (if I may presume to conjecture) Busiris, who was afterwards king, is like to have dealt with him as Jeroboam did with the son of Solomon. For that Busiris himself was much addicted to magnificent works, it well
appeared by the drudgery wherewith he wearied the children of Israel in his buildings; if therefore he were employed by the great Sesostris, as Jeroboam was by Solomon, in the oversight of those businesses, he had good opportunity to work his greatness with the king by industry; and afterwards with the people, by incensing them against their new king, as Jeroboam did. For what the multitude will endure at one prince's hands, they will not at another's; unless he have either an equal spirit or a surer foundation. If moreover he sought to derive all the pain and labour of public works from the Egyptians to the Israelites, he surely did that which to his own people was very plausible, who (as appears in Exodus i.) were nothing slack in fulfilling the king's cruelty. Now that Orus the second, or Busiris, was the king that first oppressed Israel, and made the edict of drowning the Hebrew children, which, saith Cedrenus, lasted ten months ; it is a common opinion of many great and most learned writers, who also think that hereupon grew the fable of Busiris sacrificing strangers. It is also a common interpretation of that place, Exodus i. that the king, who knew not Joseph, was a king of a new family. That Busiris was of a new family, Reineccius doth shew; who also thinks him author of the bloody edict. Nevertheless true it is, that Busiris, according to all men's computation, began his reign five years after the birth of Moses ; before whose birth it is most manifest that the law was made, and much more, that the persecution began ; which Bunting thinks to have lasted eighty-seven years, ere the departure out of Egypt. Let us therefore consider, besides the blindness of Sesostris the second, how great the power of the regents or viceroys in Egypt was, and how great confidence the kings did put in them; seeing Joseph ruled with such full power, that he bought all Egypt, and all the Egyptians for bread, giving at the same time the best of the land to his own father and brethren, for nothing ; seeing also that when the Egyptians cried out upon Pharaoh for bread, Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, Go to Joseph; what he saith to you, do ye. If to a stranger born, lately fetched out of prison, a king well able to have governed himself would give such trust and sovereign authority, it is not unlikely that a blind prince should do it to a man of especial reputation. For God often prospers, not only the good, (such as Joseph was,) but wicked men also, as his instruments against the day of wrath. Therefore perhaps the king did (as many have done) resign his kingdom to him, though his reign was not accounted to have begun till the death of Sesostris. But whether Busiris did usurp the kingdom, or protection of the land, by violence; or whether the blind king resigned it, keeping the title ; or whether Busiris were only regent whilst the king lived, and afterwards (as is acknowledged by all) king himself; it might well be said that Pharaoh's daughter took up Moses, and that Pharaoh vexed Israel; seeing he both at that time was king in effect, and shortly after king in deed and title both. It were not absurd for us to say, that the blind king, Sesostris the second, oppressed Israel ; but forasmuch as it may seem that the wicked tyrant shewed his evil nature even when he first arose, I think it more likely, that Busiris did it, using at first the power of a king, and shortly after the style. Thus of the 122 years which passed between the beginning of Sesostris's reign and the departure of Israel out of Egypt, forty-seven being spent; the seventy-five which remain are to be accounted to Busiris, or Orus the second, and his children. Busiris himself reigned thirty years, according to Eusebius ; whom very many judicious authors herein approve. After him his daughter, who took Moses out of the water, is said, by all that I have read, to have reigned twelve years ; her name was Thermutis Phareis, or Muthis, according to Cedrenus; Eusebius