ページの画像
PDF
ePub

Whether this were the practice, I can neither affirm nor deny ; yet surely it must needs have bred a great confusion, if in the eighteenth year every month were removed from his own place by the distance of forty-eight days, that is, half a quarter of the year and more; which inconvenience by such a reckoning was unavoidable. Wherefore I prefer the common opinion, which preventeth such dislocation of the months, by setting down a more convenient way of intercalation in the eighth year. For the six days remaining after the two former intercalations made in the third and sixth years, added unto the twenty-two days, arising out of the epacts of the seventh and eighth years, do fitly serve to make

up a month, with the borrowing of one day or two from the year following ; and this borrowing of two days is so far from causing any disorder, that indeed it helps to make the years ensuing vary the less from the proper season of every month. This may suffice to be spoken of the Hebrew months and years, by which they guided their accounts.

SECT. VII. Of the passage of Israel from Succoth towards the Red sea ; and of

the divers ways leading out of Egypt. FROM Succoth, in the morning following, Moses led the Israelites towards the desert of Etham, to recover the mountain foot, by the edge of that wilderness, though he intended nothing less than to go out that way, of all other the nearest. But being assured of the multitude of horsemen and armed chariots that followed him, he kept himself from being encompassed, by keeping the rough and mountainous ground on his left hand. At Etham he rested but one night, and then he reflected back from the entrance thereof, and marched away directly towards the south; the distance between it and Succoth being about eight miles. That he forbare to enter Arabia, being then in sight thereof, it seemeth to proceed from three respects; the first two natural, the third divine. For Pharaoh being then at hand, and having received intelligence of the way which Moses took, persuaded himself that the numbers which Moses led, consisting of

above a million, if not two millions of souls, (for as it is written, Exodus the 12th, Great multitudes of sundry sorts of people went out with them d) could not possibly pass over those desert and high mountains with so great multitudes of women, children, and cattle, but that at the very entrance of that fastness he should have overtaken them, and destroyed the greatest numbers of them. For these his own words, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in, do shew his hopes and intents, which Moses by turning another way did frustrate. Secondly, Moses, by offering to enter Arabia that way, drew Pharaoh towards the east side of the land of Gosen, or Rameses ; from whence (missing Moses there) his pursuit after him with his chariots was more difficult, by reason of the roughness of the way; and howsoever, yet while the Hebrews kept the mountain foot on the left hand, they were better secured from the overbearing violence both of the horse and chariots. Thirdly, Moses's confidence in the all-powerful God was such, by whose Spirit, only wise, he was directed, as he rather made choice to leave the glory of his deliverance and victory to Almighty God, than either by an escape the next way, or by the strength of his multitude, consisting of 600,000 men, to cast the success upon his own understanding, wise conduction, or valour. The third day he marched with a double pace from Etham towards the valley of Pihacheroth, sixteen miles distant, and sat down between two ledges of mountains adjoining to the Red sea; to wit, the mountains of Etham on the north, and Baalzephon towards the south, the same which Osorius calleth e Climax; on the top whereof there stood a temple dedicated to Baal. And as Phagius noteth, the word so compounded is as much to say, as dominus specule sive custodiæ, “lord of the “ watch-tower.” For the Egyptians believed, or at least made their slaves believe, that if any of them offered to escape way into Arabia, this idol would both arrest them,

d It is probable, that all those E. • Climax is rather so called in regyptians and others brought by the spect of a passage up and down, than Hebrews to the knowledge of the true that it is any proper name. God, followed Moses at his departure.

that way

rome.

and force them to return to their lords and masters. For the Egyptians had gods for all turns: Ægyptii diis cundi, “ the Egyptians were fruitful in gods," saith St. Je

But Moses, who encamped at the foot of this mountain with a million of souls, or, as others conceive, with two millions, found this lord of the watch-tower asleep, or out of countenance.

Now these two passages leading out of Egypt into Arabia upon the firm land f Moses refused, as well that of Pelusium and Casiotis, the fairest and shortest of all other, in respect of Judæa, as the other by Etham ; from which he reflected, for the reasons before remembered, and took the way by the valley of Pihacheroth, between the mountains, which made a straight entrance towards the sea. After whom Pharaoh made so great speed with his horsemen and chariots, as he

gave

the Hebrews no time at all to rest them after so long a march; but gat sight of them, and they of him, even at the very brink and wash of the sea ; insomuch as the Hebrews being terrified with Pharaoh's sudden approach, began to despair and to mutiny, at that time when it behoved them most to have taken courage for their own defence; laying it to Moses's charge, that themselves foresaw those perils in which they were wrapped. And fear, & which, saith the book of Wisdom, is the betraying of those succours which reason offereth, made them both despair in God's former promises, and to be forgetful of their own strength and multitudes.

SECT. VIII. Of their passage over the Red sea ; and of the Red sea itself.

BUT Moses, who feared nothing but God himself, persuaded them to be confident in his goodness, who hath never abandoned those that assuredly trust in him, using this comfortable and resolved speech ; h Fear not, &c. for the Egyptians whom you have seen this day, ye shall never see them again. The Lord shall fight for you. After which Moses calling on God for succour, received encouragef Exod. xiii. 17. & Wisd. xvii. 12.

h Exod. xiv. 13, 14.

sea.

ment, and commandment to go on, in these words : i Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward : and lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon

the
sea,

and divide it : and let the children of Israel go on dry ground through the midst of the

Moses obeying the voice of God, in the dark of the night finding the sands uncovered, passed on towards the other side and coast of Arabia ; two parts of the night being spent ere he entered the ford, which it pleased God, by a forcible eastern wind, and by Moses's rod, to prepare.

Pharaoh followed him even at the heels, finding the same dry ground which Moses trod on. Therefore, as it is written, the angel of God which went before the host of Israel, removed, and went behind them ; also the pillar of the cloud went from before them, and stood behind them ; which is, that it pleased God therein either by his immediate power, or by the ministry of his angel, to interpose his defence between the Hebrews and their enemies; to the end that the k Egyptians might hereby be blinded, in such sort as they could not pursue Israel with any harmful speed. But in the morning watch Moses seized the other bank of Arabia side ; and Pharaoh (as the dawn of day began to illighten the obscure air) finding a beginning of the seas return, hasted himself towards his own coast; "but Moses stretched forth his hand, and the sea returned to his force ; that is, the sea, moved by the power of God, ran back towards the land with unresistible fury and swiftness, and overwhelmed the whole army of Pharaoh, so as not one escaped. For it is written, that God took off their chariot-rheels, that is, when the waters began to cover the sands, the Egyptians being stricken with fear of death, ran one athwart another, and missing the path by which they had passed on after the Hebrews, their wheels stuck fast in the mud and quicksands, and could not be drawn out; the sea coming against them with supernatural violence.

Lyranus upon Exodus xiv. and others, following the opinions or old traditions of the Hebrews, conceived, that after i Exod. xiv. 15, 16.

k Joshua xxiv. 7.

I Exod. xiv, 27. RALEGH, HIST. WORLD. VOL. II.

Moses had by the power of God divided the Red sea, and that the children of Israel were fearful to enter it, Aminadab, prince or leader of the tribe of Judah, first made the adventure, and that therefore was that tribe ever after honoured above the rest, according to the prophecy of Jacob, Gen. xlix. 8. Thy father's sons shall bow down unto thee. But Jerome upon the 11th of Hosea condemns this opinion. And though it be true, that Judah had the first place in all their marches in the desert, and, as we now call it, led the vanguard, (whereupon it may be inferred, that he also led the way through the Red sea,) yet that Moses himself was the conductor of Israel at that time, it is generally received. For, as it is written in the 77th Psalm, Thou didst lead thy people like sheep by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

The Hebrews have also another fancy, that the Red sea was divided into twelve parts, and that every tribe passed over in a path apart, because it is written in the 135th Psalm, according to the Vulgar, Divisit mare rubrum in divisiones; “He divided the Red sea in divisions." Also that the bottom of the sea became as a green field or pasture. But Origen, Epiphanius, Abulensis, and Genebrard, favouring this conceit, had forgotten to consider, that there were not twelve pillars nor twelve armies of the Egyptians. It is written, Psalm lxxvii. 19. Thy way is in the sea; not thy ways ; and in the last of the Book of Wisdom, ver. 7. In the Red sea there was a way.

Now this sea, through which Moses passed, and in which Pharaoh, otherwise called Chencres, perished in the sixteenth year of his reign, is commonly known by the name of the Red sea ; though the same differ nothing at all in natural colour from other waters. But, as Philostratus in his third book noteth, and ourselves know by experience, it is of a bluish colour, as other seas are.

It entereth at a narrow strait between Arabia the Happy and Ethiopia, or the land of the Abyssins; the mouth of the indraught from the cape, which Ptolemy calleth Possodium, to the other land of Ethiopia, hath not above six leagues in breadth; and the same also filled every where with islands, but afterwards it ex

« 前へ次へ »