« 前へ次へ »
tendeth itself fifty-eight leagues from coast to coast; and it
in the year
m Plin. 1. 6. c. 29.
P Arian. de Gest. Alex. mag. 1.8.
Hakluyt to publish,) that there is an island called Dalaqua, sometimes Leques, containing in length twenty-five leagues, and twelve in breadth, the earth, sands, and clifts of which island, being of a reddish colour, serve for a foil to the waters about it, and make it seem altogether of the same colour. Secondly, the same Castro reporteth, that from twenty-four degrees of septentrional latitude, to twentyseven, (which make in length of coast 180 miles, lying as it doth northerly and southerly,) all the clifts and banks are of red earth, or stone, which by reflection of the sunbeams, give a kind of reddish lustre to the waters. Thirdly, those Portugals report, and we know it by many testimonies, that there are found in the bottom of this sea, towards the shore, great abundance of red stones, on which the greatest store of coral grows, which is carried into most parts of Europe, and elsewhere. There are also on the islands of this sea many red trees, saith Strabo, and those growing under water may also be a cause of such a colour. Of these appearances of redness by the shadows of these stones, sands, earth, and clifts, I suppose that it first took the name of the Red sea, because in so many places it seemeth to be such ; which Johannes Barros, in his second decade, eighth book and first chapter, confirmeth.
The breadth of this sea from Elana, or Ezion Gaber adjoining, now Toro, called by the ancient cosmographers Sinus Elaniticus, which washeth the banks of Madian, or Midian, is for sixteen or seventeen leagues together, along northward towards Sues, some three leagues, or nine English miles, over, and from this port of Toro to Sues, and the end of this sea, it is in length about twenty-eight leagues, of which the first twenty-six have nine miles breadth, as aforesaid, and afterwards the lands both from Egypt and Arabia thrust themselves into the sea, and straiten it so fast, as for six miles together it is not above three miles over; from thence upward, the land on Egypt side falleth away, and makes a kind of bay or cove for some ten miles together, after which the land grows upon the sea again, and so binds it into the very end thereof, at four miles breadth, or thereabouts, in which tract it was that Moses passed it over, though others would have it to be over against Elana, or Toro, but without judgment; for from Ramases to Pihacheroth and Baalzephon, there is not above thirty miles interjacent, or thirty-five miles at most, which Moses passed over in three days; and between the land of Egypt opposite to Elana, or Toro, the distance is above eighty miles. For Ramases, to which city Moses came (being the metropolis of Gosen) when he left Pharaoh at Zoan, and took his last leave, standeth in thirty degrees five minutes of septentrional latitude; and Migdol, or the valley of Pihacheroth, at the foot of the mountain Climax, or Baalsephon, in twenty-nine and a half, which made a difference of thirty-five English miles; the way lying in effect north and south.
That the passage through the Red sea was miraculous, and not at a
low ebb. THE Egyptians, and of them the Memphites, and other heathen writers, who in hatred of the Hebrews have objected that Moses passed over the Red sea at a low ebb, upon a great springtide; and that Pharaoh, conducted more by fury than discretion, pursued him so far, as before he could recover the coast of Egypt he was overtaken by the flood, and therein perished, did not well consider the nature of this place, with other circumstances. For not to borrow strength from that part of the scriptures which makes it plain that the waters were divided, and that God wrought this miracle by an easterly wind, and by the hand and rod of Moses, (which authority to men that believe not therein persuadeth nothing,) I say, that by the same natural reason unto which they fasten themselves, it is made manifest, that had there been no other working power from above, or assistance given from God himself to Moses, and the children of Israel, than ordinary and casual, then could not Pharaoh and all his army have perished in that pursuit.
For wheresoever there is any ebbing of the sea in any gulf or indraught, there do the waters fall away from the
land, and run downward towards the ocean ; leaving all that part towards the land, as far as the sea can ebb, or fall off, to be dry land. Now Moses entering the sea at Migdol under Baalzephon, (if he had taken the advantage and opportunity of the tide,) must have left all that end of the Red sea towards Sues, on his left hand, dry and uncovered. For if a passage were made by falling away of the water, ten or twelve miles further into the sea than Sues, much more was it made at Sues, and between it and where Mošes passed, who entered the same so far below it, and towards the body of the same sea ; it followeth then, that if all that part of the sleeve or strait had been by the ebb of a springtide discovered, when Pharaoh found the flood increasing, he needed not to have returned by the same way toward Egypt side, but might have gone on his return before the tide, on his right hand, and so taken ground again at the end of that sea, at Sues itself, or elsewhere. But the scriptures do truly witness the contrary, that is, that the sea did not fall away from the land, as naturally it doth; but that Moses passed on between two seas, and that the waters were divided. Otherwise, Pharaoh by any return of waters could not have perished as he did; and therefore the effects of that great army's destruction prove the cause to have been a power above nature, and the miraculous work of God himself. Again, those words of the scriptures, that God caused the sea to run back by a strong east wind, do rather prove the miracle, than that thereby was caused an ebb more than ordinary; for that sea doth not lie east and west, but, in effect, north and south. And it must have been a west and north-west wind, that must have driven those waters away through their proper channels, and to the south-east into the sea. But the east wind blew athwart the sea, and cut it asunder; so as one part fell back towards the south and main body thereof, the other part remained towards Sues and the north ; which being unknown to Pharaoh, while he was checked by that sea, which used in all times before to ebb away, the flood pressed him and overwhelmed him. Thirdly, seeing Josephus avoweth, that Moses was not only of excellent judgment generally, but also so great a captain, as he overthrew the Ethiopians in many battles, being employed by Pharaoh, and won divers cities seeming impregnable; it were barbarous to condemn him of this grossness and distraction; that rather than he would have endured the hardness of a mountainous passage at hand, (had not God commanded him to take that way, and foretold him of the honour which he would there win upon Pharaoh,) he would have trusted to the advantage of an ebbing water; for he knew not the contrary, but that Pharaoh might have found him, and pressed him, as well when it flowed as when it ebbed, as it seemeth he did. For the people, beholding Pharaoh's approach, cried out against Moses, and despaired altogether of their safety; and when Moses prayed unto God for help, he was answered by God; Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward, and lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thy hand upon
sea, and divide it: which proves that there was not at the time of Pharaoh's approach any ebb at all; but that God did disperse and cut through the weight of waters, by a strong east wind, whereby the sands discovered themselves between the sea on the left hand towards Sues, from whence the wa. ters moved not, and the sea which was towards the south on the right hand, so that the waters were a wall unto them on the right hand and on the left hand, Exod. xiv. 22. that is, the waters so defended them on both sides, as the Egyptians could only follow them in the same path ; not that the waters stood upright as walls do, as some of the schoolmen have fancied. For had Pharaoh and the Egyptians perceived any such buildings in the sea, they would soon have quitted the chase and pursuit of Israel. Furthermore, there is no man of judgment that can think that Pharaoh and the Egyptians, who then excelled all nations in the observations of heavenly motions, could be ignorant of the fluxes and refluxes of the sea, in his own country, on his own coast, and in his own most traded and frequented ports and havens, and wherein his people having had so many