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ensium regis; “ Moses," saith he, “ led the people of God “out of Egypt about the end of Cecrops's time, king of “ the Athenians." In this sort therefore is the time of Moses's birth, and of his departure out of Egypt, best proved. St. Augustine affirms, (as before remembered,) that Moses was born, Saphrus governing Assyria ; and that he left Egypt about the end of Cecrops's time. Now Saphrus ruled twenty years, his successor Mamelus thirty years, Sparetus after him forty years ; in whose fourth crops began to govern in Attica; Ascatades followed Sparetus, and held the empire forty-one; so as Moses being born while Saphrus ruled Assyria, Orthopolis Sicyonia, and Criasus Argos, (for these three kings lived at once at his birth, saith St. Augustine, as Cecrops did when he departed Egypt,) it will follow that the birth of Moses was in the nineteenth
of the Assyrian Saphrus; for take one year remaining of twenty, (for so long Saphrus reigned,) to which add the thirty years of Mamelus, and the forty years of Sparetus, these make seventy-one, with which there were wasted three years of Cecrops's fifty years; then take nine years out of the reign of Ascatades, who was Sparetus's successor, those nine years added to seventy-one make eighty, at which age Moses left Egypt; and add these nine years to the three years of Cecrops formerly spent, there will remain but four years of Cecrops's fifty; and so it falleth right with St. Augustine’s words, affirming that towards the end of Cecrops's time, Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt.
Now the time in which the Hebrews were oppressed in Egypt, seemeth to have had beginning some eight or nine years before the birth of Moses, and fifty-four years, or rather more, after Joseph ; between whose death and the birth of Moses there were consumed sixty-four years; some of which time, and eighty years after, they lived in great servitude and misery. For as it
For as it is written in Exodus i. They set taskmasters over them, to keep them under with burdens; and they built the cities, Pithom and Raamses, &c. And by cruelty they caused the children of Israel to 'serve;
and made them weary of their lives, by sore labour in clay and brick, and in all work of the field, with all manner of bondage. All which, laid upon them by a mastering power and a strong hand, they endured to the time by the wisdom of God appointed ; even from fifty-four years, or not much more, after the death of Joseph, who left the world when it had lasted 2370 years, to the eightieth year of Moses, and until he wrought his miracles in the field of Zoan, which he performed in the world's age 2514 towards the end thereof, according to Codoman, or after our account 2513. And because those things which we deliver of Egypt may
the better be understood, I think it necessary to speak a few words of the principal places therein named in this dis
Of divers cities and places in Egypt mentioned in this story, or else
where in the scripture. THIS city, which the Hebrews call a Zoan, was built seven years after Hebron.
Ezekiel calleth it Taphnes, and so doth Jeremy; the Septuagint, Tanis ; Josephus, Protaidis, after the name of an Egyptian queen ; Antonius gives it the name of Thanis; Hegesippus, Thamna ; and William Tyrius, Tapius. It adjoineth to the land of Gosen, and is the same wherein Jeremy the prophet was stoned to death for preaching against the Egyptian and Jewish idolatry.
Zoan, or Taphnes, was in Moses's time the metropolis of the lower Egypt, in which their Pharaohs then commonly resided ; and not unlikely to be the same city where Abraham in his time found him. But Eusebius out of Artapanus affirmeth, that Abraham read astronomy in Heliopolis, or On, to Pharetates king of Egypt. Alexander Polyhistor out of Eupolemus hath it otherwise, saying, that Abraham instructed the Egyptian priests, and not the king; both which authorities b Eusebius citeth. The Septuagint
• Numb. xxxiij. Ezekiel xxx. Jer. b Euseb. de Præp. Evang. 1. 9. c.4. ii. 43, 44, 46. Joseph. 1. 1. c. 9. Tyr. Gen. xii, 15. Isa. xix. 11. de Bel, sac. 1. 19. c. 23.
and the Vulgar edition, for Zoan write Heliopolis; Pagninus, Vatablus, Junius, and our English, call it on; and Ptolemy, Onium. There are two cities of that
the one on the frontier of the lower Egypt, towards the south; the other somewhat lower, on the easternmost branch of Nilus, falling into the sea at Pelusium. And it may be, that Heliopolis to the south of the river Trajan, was the same which Vatablus and our English call Aven. Of the latter it is that the scriptures take certain knowledge ; the same which Pomponius Mela and Pliny call Solis oppidum; Tyrius, in the Holy War, Malbec; the Arabians, Bahalbeth; and Simeon Sethi, Fons Solis. Of this Heliopolis, or On, was Putiphar, priest or prince, whose daughter Joseph married. In the territory adjoining, Jacob inhabited while he lived in Egypt. In the confines of this city, Onias, the high priest of the Jews, built a temple, dedicated to the eternal God; not much inferior to that of Jerusalem, (Ptolemy Philopater then governing in Egypt,) which stood to the time of Vespasian, 333 years after the foundation by Onias, whom Josephus falsely reporteth herein to have fulfilled a prophecy of Isaiah, cap. 19. In die illa erit altare Domini in medio terre Ægypti; “ In that day shall the altar 6 of the Lord be in the midst of the land of Egypt.” Antiochus Epiphanes at that time of the building tyrannizing over the Jews, gave the occasion for the erecting of this temple in Egypt. Lastly, there it was that our Saviour Christ Jesus remained, while Joseph and the Virgin Mary feared the violence of Herod ; near which, saith Brochard, the fountain is still found, called Jesus well, whose streams do afterward water the gardens of Balsamum, no where else found in Egypt. And hereof see more in Brochard, in his description of Egypt.
There is also the city of Noph, remembered by c Isaiah and Ezekiel, the same which Hosea the prophet calleth Moph; which latter name it took from a mountain adjoining so called, which mountain d Herodotus remembereth. And this is that great city which was called Mem
e Isa. xix. 33. Ezek. xxxiv. Hosea ix. 6.
d Lib. 2.
phis, and so the Septuagint write it. It is known to the Arabians by the name of Mazar. The Chaldeans name it Alchabyr; and Tudalensis, Mizraim.
Pelusium, which Vatablus, Pagnin, Junius, and our English write Sin, the Septuagint call Sais, and Montanus Lebna; is not the same with Damiata, as e Gul. Tyrius witnesseth. In the time of Baldwin III. Pelusium was called Belbeis: Belbeis, saith Tyrius, quæ olim dicta est Pelusium ; “ Belbeis, that in times past was called Pe« lusium.”
The city of No, the Septuagint call Diospolis; of which name there are two or three in Egypt. Jerome converts it Alexandria, by anticipation, because it was so called in the future.
Bubastus (for so Jerome and Zeigler write it) is the same which the 8 Hebrews call Pibeseth.
To make the story the more perceivable, I have added a description of the land of Gosen, in which the Israelites inhabited, with those cities and places so often remembered in the scripture; as of Taphnes or Zoan, Heliopolis or Bethsemes, Balsephon, Succoth, and the rest ; together with Moses's passage through the deserts of Arabia the Stony. For all story, without the knowledge of the places wherein the actions were performed, as it wanteth a great part of the pleasure, so it no way enricheth the knowledge and understanding of the reader ; neither doth any thing serve to retain what we read in our memories, so well as these pictures and descriptions do. In which respect I am driven to digress in many places, and to interpose some such dis course, otherwise seeming impertinent, taking for my authority, after many others more ancient, that great learned man Arias Montanus; who, in his preface to the story of the Holy Land, hath these words : Si enim absque locorum observatione res gestæ narrentur, aut sine topographie cognitione historiæ legantur, adeo confusa atque perturbata erunt omnia, ut ex iis nihil non obscurum, nihil non difficile elici possit ; “ If narration," saith he, “ be made of “ those things which are performed, without the observa« tion of the places wherein they were done, or if histories “ be read without topographical knowledge, all things will “ appear so intricate and confused, as we shall thereby un“derstand nothing but obscurely, nor draw thence any
8 Ezek. XXX. 17.
• G. Tyr. 1. 20. c. 17. lib. 2. c. 5. ? Ezek. XXX. 15, 16.
knowledge but with the greatest difficulty.”
SECT. III. Of the cruelty against the Israelites' young children in Egypt; and
of Moses's preservation and education. BUT to return to the story itself. It appeareth that notwithstanding the labour and slavery which the Israelites endured, yet they decreased not in numbers; insomuch as Pharaoh considering the danger of discontented poverty, and the able bodies of an oppressed multitude, how perilous they might be to his estate, by suggestion of the Devil resolved to slaughter all the male children of the Hebrews, as soon as they should be born. To which end he sent for Sephora and Thura, women the most famous and expert amongst them; quæ præerant, saith Comestor, multitudini obstetricum : “ who had command given them over all mid6 wives ;" by whom, as it seemeth, he gave order to all the rest for the execution of his edict. For to have called all the midwives of Egypt together, had been a strange parliament. Now whether these two before named were of the Hebrews or of the Egyptians, it is diversely disputed. St. Augustine calls them Hebrews, because it is written, Exod. i. 15. The king of Egypt commanded the midwives of the Hebrew women, &c. But h Josephus, Abulensis, and Pererius believe them to be Egyptians. Whosoever they were, when it pleased God to frustrate the execution of that secret murder, to the end the world might witness both the wickedness of the Egyptians, and the just cause, thereby made manifest, of his future indignation and re
h Joseph. Ant. 1. 2. c. 5. Abul. et Perer. in Exod.