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403. (Gen. xi. 1.) As to the antiquity of the Chinese | generally believed that the old religion of the Arabs was language, it is not without good grounds, say the Editors entirely Sabian: it is indeed certain, that the majority in of Universal History, that several very learned men have Yemen very soon fell into the common, but fatal error of given it the preference above all the antient ones, that of the worshipping the sun, the planets, and fixed stars; but from Mosaic books not excepted, as carrying a much greater an inscription found on a marble in that country, it should variety of such characteristics as one would reasonably expect seem that many of its inhabitants, from whom the idolaters to find in an original or primitive tongue. (Sce Howell's had divided or separated, did still preserve for a long time Essay on the Chinese language, passim.)-This accounts the religion of Eber, professing a belief in miracles and a for the singular contempt they have ever had for all other future state. nations; their interdicting all commerce and intercourse with
Sir W. JONES.- See Bib. Research. vol. ii. p. 95. them ; their shutting up the entrance into their dominions against all strangers, unless by way of embassy; and their forbidding their natives to go into foreign countries, without 407.
It appears from Scripture, that Joktan and the emperor's permission, lest their religion, laws, and cus- his posterity remained in Chaldea, within the lot of their toms, should become corrupted by such intermixtures. great ancestor Arphaxad, till Terah, the father of Abram, Modern Univer. Hist. vol. viii, pp. 201, 323. left Ur of the Chaldees, to remove into the land of Canaan.
Univer. Hist. vol. i. p. 374.
(Gen, x 31.) These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.
408. (Gen. xi. 32.] And the days of Terah were 145 years, and Terah died in Haran (five years after he left Ur. Chasdim, or Ur of the Chaldees). Exod. xii. 40,
Samaritan Pentateuch.-See KNATCHBULL'S Annot. on Acts xiii. 20.
404. (Gen. x. 22.] When the name Ashur signifies the sou of Shem, it should be kept in a version; but when it signifies his country, it should be rendered Assyria, and when it signifies the inhabitants of the country, it should he translated Assyrians.-Apply this remark to ver. 4, 6, 13, 14, of this Chap., and to 1 Chron. i 7, 8, 11, 12.; and read Kittites, Dodanites, Egyptians (from Cham), Ludites, Hanamites, Lekabites, Naphtuhites, Pathrasites, Cashlaites and Caphtorites.
See Essay for a New Translation,
part ii. pp. 2, 3, 4.
409. (Gen. xi. 26.] When Terah was seventy years of age he begat Abram, and lived afterwards seventy-five years, until the seventy-fifth of Abram (wheu he left Haran, or Charran):
See Eusebius's Samaritan Chronology.
410. (Gen. xi. 31.] Abram came from a northern provinco on the east side of the Black sea.
Smith's Michaelis, vol. iii. p. 83.
Persia, in Gen. x. 22, called Elam, is in Daniel, Esdras, &c., called Paras, agreeably to the Persian name Pars or Phârs, its present denomination.—In its most antient state, it reached from the Hellespent to the river Indus, about 2800 English miles; extending in breadth from Pontus to the Arabian gulph, about 2000 miles. In its more modern state, it extended from the river Arases to the mouth of the Indus, about 1840 of our miles; and in breadth, from the river Oxus to the Persian gulph, about 1080 of our miles : bounded on the north by the Caspian sea, the river Oxus, and mount Caucasus; on the cast, by the river Indus and the dominions of the great Mogul; on the south, by the Persian gulph and the Indian ocean, and on the west by the dominions of the grand Signior.
See Univer. Hist, vol. iv. pp. 407, 409.
411. (Gen. xi. 29–31.] Abram having no son of his own adopted Lot, his brother Haran's son, and his wife Sarai's brother; and he left the land of Chaldea, when he was seventy-five years old, and at the command of God went into Canaan, and therein he dwelt himself, and left it to his posterity.
JOSEPH. Antiq. b. i. ch. vii. § 1.
412. (Gen. xi. 26.] That Abram was born in the forty-third year of king Ninus, is most authentically attested by Castor, Thallus, Eusebius Pamphilus, Cedrenus, Epiphanius, Gerard, Mercator, Sethus Calvisius and Capellus.
See Dr. GREGORY's Assyrian Monarchy, p. 229.
406. (Gen. 8. 25.] The universal tradition of Arabia is, that Yoktan, the son of Eber, first settled his family in that country; which settlement, by the computation admitted in Europe, must have been three thousand six hundred years ayo: consequently Nuumen, king of Yemen, in the ninth generation from Eber, was contemporary with Joseph. It is
413. (Gen. xi. 31.] The birth of our Saviour might be taken as a common point of Bible Chronology, at which all numeration should beyin ; so that as we now reckon after the birth of Christ all the events posterior to it, one might reckon the foregoing by the number of the years by which they are distant from his coming into the world. Thus,
instead of placing the journey of Abrain in such or such year secure their happiness with vigilant solicitude; they are of the world, or of the Julian period, which is either uncer- attached to him with the most tender affection, and inviolable tain, or a very superfluous piece of erudition, it might be fidelity.'' preferable to say, the vocation of Abram happened about nine
Orient. Memoirs, vol. iii. p. 88. teen hundred years before the birth of our Saviour ; because this calculation is pretty near certain, and awakens an idea which the mind seizes more easily when Christ is made 419. [Gen, xii. 3.) On the western coasts of Africa, are the centre of all.
extended for a considerable way, a people called Zafe IbraNat. Delin. vol. vi. p. 54. hims, or offspring of Abraham. They have long flowing hair,
and are much fairer than any other of the Africans. But, what is most remarkable, they are not, like the rest of their countrymen, addicted to plundering, nor to murder, being of a free, liberal, and hospitable spirit.
Dr. W. ALEXANDER's Hist. of Women, THE JEWISH COVENANT.
vol. i. p. 274.
414. [Gen. xii. 7.) And the Lord appeared to Abram, and said, To thy seed will I give this land ;--not to his 420. [Gen. xviii. 19.] The offspring of domesticated aninatural posterity, but to such as embraced his religious prin- mals inherit, in a very remarkable manner, the acquired habits ciples. The Apostle says, they are not all Israel who of their parents. In all animals this is observable; but in are of Israel; neither because they are the seed of the doy it exists to a wonderful extent; and the offspring Abraham, are they all children, Rom. ix. 6, 7. And, appears to inherit not only the passions and propensities, but I know, says Jesus Christ to the Jews, that ye are even the resentments, of the family from which it springs. Abraham's seed :-if ye were Abraham's children, ye I ascertained, says T. A. KNIGHT, Esq., by repeated expewould do the works of Abraham, John viii. 37, 39. But riment that a terrier, whose parents had been in the habit of to Zaccheus the Roman publican, he said, This day is sal- fighting with polecals, will instantly shew every mark of vation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son anger when he first perceives the scent of that animal ; of Abraham, Luke xix. 2, 9.
though the animal itself be wholly concealed from bis sight. A young spaniel brought up with the terriers shewed no marks
whatever of emotion at the scent of the polecat; but it pur415. (Gen. xvii. 4, 6.] In this sense the Pope became sued a woodcock, the first time it saw one, with clamor and Papa, the Holy Father of many nations ; and under his exultation : and a young pointer, which I ain certain had oppointment and supremacy, kings came out of hiin.
never seen a partridge, stood trembling with anxiety, its eyes fixed, and its muscles rigid, when conducted into the
midst of a covey of those birds. Yet each of these is a 416. (Gen. xii. 7.) According to the appointment of Menu,
mere variety of the same species; and to that species none the king is the sole lord and proprietor of all the land in the
of these habits is given by nature. The peculiarities of chakingdom: and this rule prevails in Malabar to the present | acquired habits of the parents, which are inherited by the
racter can, therefore, be traced to no other source than the day. Temples, next to kings, are also considered as proprietors ; for a belief prevails in India, that the piece of ground offspring, and become what I shall call instinctive hereditary
propensities. which they occupy belongs to the gods.
Phil. Trans. 1807, p. 240. BARTOLOMEO, by Johnston, p. 306.
417. (Gen. xvii. 8.) The Earth belongs not to him who takes forcible possession of it, but to him who cultivates it. Every man therefore, has a right to settle on a desert.
St. Pierre's Studies of Nature, vol. iv. p. 423.
418. (Gen. xviii. 19.) The Hindoo Rajahs, recorded in the early Brahmin chronicles, we have every reason to believe, says FORBES, were the Fathers of their people. Accordingly, remarks the celebrated Dr. Robertson,—“ A Hindoo Rajah, as I have been informed by persons well acquainted with the state of India, resembles more a father presiding in a numerous family of his own children, than a sovereign ruling over inferiors, subject to his dominion. He endeavours to
421. (1 Cor. iv. 7.] The evil propensities of human beings have been variously accounted for: the divine ascribes them, with pious faith, to original sin, derived from the transgression of our first progenitors : this is an easy solution of the difficulty, because nothing is required but to believe; yet to those who are accustomed to reflect more deeply, it appears neither rational nor convincing : the religious moralist, who differs little from the divine, attributes them to innate Ideas, which reason is unable to counteract; these notions are the remains of that ridiculous philosophy which endeavours to account for present appearances, by theoretical systems, rather than by practical experience. Ideas, being formed only from sensible objects, can have no existence in a being who possesses not the means by which they are produced. The first Ideas which an infant forms, are those of sensation ;
those of reflection succeed, and form what is called the
Burdon's Materials for
Thinking, p. 388.
427. (Gen. xii. 6.] It was under this Oak (elon) that God appeared again to Abraham, Gen. xviii. 1. Jacob hid the strange gods which his servants (slaves) kept, and the ear-rings that were in their ears; and it was likewise under it that Deborah, Rebecca's nurse, was buried, Gen. xxxv. 4,8. It was also under it that Joshua set up a great stone, Josh. xxiv. 26, and that Abimelech was made king, Judg. ix. 6; and under it likewise, the sons of the old prophet found the man of God sitting, 1 Kings xiii. 14.
SOZOMENE writes that this oak was still famous in the time of Constantine the emperor for pilgrimages, and for an anniversary feast which was solemnized there ; that it was distant from Hebron but six miles, where were still to be seen some cottages which Abram had built near to that oak, and a well which he had digged ; and where the Jews, Christians and Payans travelled every year, either out of devotion, or with a design to trade. Bocharr assures us that he had seen this oak, and had carried home some of its fruit and wood : he also observes that its leaves are somewhat larger than those of the mastick-tree, but that its fruit resembles an acoru.
Essay for a New Trans. part ii. pp. 148, 149.
422. [Gen. i. 31.] Bring together all the children of the miverse, you will see nothing in them but innocence, gentleness, and fear: were they born wicked, spiteful, and cruel, some signs of it would come from them ; as little snakes strive to bite, and little tygers to tear. But nature having been as sparing of offensive weapons to man as to pigeons and rabbits, it cannot have given them an instinct to mischief and destruction.
423 [Prov. xxii. 6.) Vice oftener flows from a bad education and improper customs, than from a bad religion.
428. [Gen. xiii. 18.) At the distance of six furlongs from ALEXANDER’s Hist. of Women, vol. i. p. 287. Hebron, there is still shewn a very large turpentine tree,
or grove, which some of the Antients call an oak. It has been eminently famous in all past ages, not only as Abram's
first shady abode after he had removed out of Mesopotamia, 424.
Numa proposed to harmonize the minds of but as the place whence his posterity descended into Egypt. men, in their state of maturity, from their having been, in It is also particularly distinguished at present, as a mart for childhood, trained in the same habits of order, and cast in the the annual meeting of merchants, according to the accounts of same moulds of virtue. This, independent of other advan- modern travellers. tages, greatly contributed likewise to the support of the Laws
See Joseph. Wars, b. iv. ch. is. $7; Lycurgus; for respect to the oath, by which the Spartans
and Whiston's Note there. had bound themselves, must have produced a much more powerful effect, froin his having by carly instruction and nurture, as it were, dyed in the wool the morals of the
young, 429. (Gen. xxxv. 4, 8,) Pliny (Nat. Hist. l. xvi. c. 44.) and made them suck in with the milk from their nurse's breast quotes instances of holmes, of plane-trees, and of cypresses, the love of his Laws and Institutions.
which existed in his time, and which were more antient than PLUTARCH, comparison of Nuna and Lycurgus. Rome; that is, more than seven hundred years old. He The education which a man receives on the breast, extends further tells us, that there were still to be seen near Troy, its influence even to decrepitude.
around the tomb of Ilus, oaks which has been there from the St. Pierre's Studies of Nature, vol. iv. p. 78. time that Troy took the name of Ilium, which carries als
back to an antiquity more remote.
St. Pierre's Studies of Nature, vol. ii p. 405. 425. It is expecting almost a solecism in na
In America, there are upwards of twenty different species of oak.
WELD, vol. i. p. 281. ture, to hope that a youth of umbridled profligacy should be succeeded by an age of virtue and of wisdom. See No. 217.
430. [Gen. xxi. 33.] The trees of our natal soil have a farther and most powerful attraction, when they are blended, as was the case among the Antients, with some religious idea, or with the recollection of some distinguished personage.
Whole Nations have attached their patriotism to this object. 426. [Gen. xiii. 18.) And Abram dwell in the plain of Trees, from the different seasons at which they send forth Mamre, which is in Hebron.
leaves, flowers and fruits, are in Savage Nations their only Elon (Hebr.), so frequently rendered a calendar; and even our own peasantry make frequent use of it. plain, always signifies an oak.
Jer. i. 13,
St. Pierre's Studies of Nature, Univer. Hist. vol.ii. p. 360.
vol. iii. pp. 248, 249.
The Brahmins, that dwell under the banian shades in northern Hindostan, seclude themselves among the cassia groves of Malabar.
See FORBES' Oriental Memoirs, vol. i. p. 397.
432. (Gen. xii, 18.) Druidism is thought by many to be derived, though not without perversions and corruptions, from the patriarchal religion. See No. 297.
Archæologia, vol. viii. p. 16.
the order or similitude of my Son (Melchizedek, a Priest also for ever) . 21. In refutation of such absurdities, EPIPHANIUS simply remarks, that in the nature of things no man can be said to be like himself; and Beza hesitates not to assert, that such interpreters are notorious fanatics.
- It is certainly more rational to adnit with Sir NORTON KNATCHBULI., and other solid expositors, that Melchizedek, a mere man, is here represented by the Apostle only as a type of Christ.-Words, says RIBERTUS (in Heb.), are always to be taken in their proper sense, unless some circumstance necessarily vary their meaning; otherwise nothing in Scripture will be firmly established. His words are: Proprie semper sumenda sunt vocabula, nisi quid aliter accipere cogat, alioqui nihil firmum erit in Scriptura.-Now on solid, circumstantial, and scriptural ground, the acute Knatchbull
“As Melchizedek is by Moses styled the priest of the Most High God, and the king of righteousness and peace; and as neither his genealogy, birth, nor death are recorded in Scripture, he was therefore a most fit and proper type or figure of the eternal priesthood and royalty of Christ, and for that cause said to be (aphomoiomenos to uio tou Theou) made like to the Son of God.”
See his Annotations.
thus argues ;
438. (Heb. vii. 3.) The laws and constitution of England do not admit of any interreynum; therefore, in the eye of the law, the king never dies.
Archæologia, vol. xiv. p. 163.
435. (Gen. xiv. 18.] In Melchizedek, the God OF HEAVEN had still a Priest at Salem; and I have often thought it probable, says Michaelis, that it was in order to extricate Abraham from idolatry, that God guided him from his native country into this land, where the worship of the One True God yet subsisted. (SMITH's Michaelis, vol. i. p. 186.) It was to this Priesthood of the Noahic Covenant, that Abraham would have devoted his son Isaac,
History speaks of several people wlio had no (traceable) original. They who inhabited the country where Rome is built since, were called Aborigines before Æneas and the Phrygians came thither and took the name of Latins. Seneca , speaking of two of the first kings of the Romans, says, the one had no father, and the other no mother ; which he explains thus, they doubted of the mother of Servius, and there was no mention made of the father of Ancus: but Canulcius explains it in Livy, by saying, that Servius was born of a captive; an idea confirmed by HORACE:
Persuades hoc tibi recte
Sat. lib. i. sat. vi. 8-12.
- See also HUTCHINSON's Nat. Hist. of the Bible, p. 117.
Abraham was also a priest of the Most High God; and, I think (says HUTCHINSON) the chief of all the men on earth, by right of birth (as Shem's heir).
Natural History of the Bible, p. 117.
437. [Heb. vii.1-3.) Cunaus, Hutchinson, and others, have vainly supposed that Jesus, the Son of God, was the very same MelCHIZEDEK who met Abraham (Gen. xiv.), clothed in human flesh, and habited as a High-priest and King:-On this supposition the Apostle is made to say, absurdly enough, that the Son of God (Melchizedek) was made like to the Son of God (Jesus) v. 3; that the Son of God (Jesus) arises a high-priest after the likeness of the Son of God (Melchizedek) v. 15; and that God has testified, Thou (my Son Jesus) art a Priest for ever after
440. (Gen. xiv. 18.] It is universally allowed, that earliest ages, the religious ceremonies of most nations consisted principally in their oblations of bread and wine to the Deity. These were their usual tributes of praise and thanksgiving
Nat. Delin. vol. ii. p. 234
The Hebrew word Lechem not only sig- adopted him, as if he were his own child ; and in consequence nifies bread, but likewise the wheat of which it is made. of the death of his adopting father, he possessed his estates. Essay for a New Translation, p. 158. If a person, after he had adopted a child, happened to have
children of his own; then the estate was equally divided between the adopted and real children. The Romans had
regular forms of law, by which all these matters were settled. 442. Thus “ wine was offered with bread by
Dr. A. CLARKE, on Rom. viii. 15. the Patriarch Melchizedek (Priest to the Noahic Shechinah), among his first-fruits, as a well-pleasing sacrifice to God.” BARRY's Observations, &c. on Wines, p: 27. 448. (Gen. xv. 3.] It is still the custom in India, especi
ally among the Mahomedans, that in default of children, and sometimes where there are lineal descendants, the master of a
family adopts a slave, frequently a Haff'shee, Abyssinian, of 443. (Gen. xiv. 20.] In like manner, Jacob promised to
the darkest hue, for his heir : he educates him agreeably to give the Divine MANIFESTATION, that appeared to him at
his wishes, and marries him to one of his daughters. As the Luz, the tenth of all that He should give him. See Gen.
reward of superior merit, or to suit the caprice of an arbitrary xxviü. 22.
despot, this honor is also conferred on a slave recently purchased, or already grown up in the family; and to him he
bequeaths his wealth, in preference to his nephews, or any 444. (Gen. xiv. 18.] Sir Isaac Newton is of opinion, collateral branches. This is a custom of great antiquity in that the Canaanites persevered in the true religion till the the East, and prevalent among the most refined and civilized death of Melchizedek; but afterwards fell away to the idolatry nations. In the earliest period of the patriarchal history, we which spread from Chaldea.
find Abraham complaining for waụt of children, and declaring Chronol. of Antient Kingd. Amend. p. 188. that either Eliezer of Damascus, or probably one born from
him in his house (Ishmael ?), was his heir ; to the exclusion of Lot, his favourite nephew, and all the other collateral branches of his family.
Forbes' Oriental Memoirs, vol. iv. p. 201.
(Gen. xvi. 15.) And Hagar bare Abram a son; and Abrana called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.
419. (Gen. xvi. 2.] Among the American Indians, if any neighbours are bereaved by death or by an enemy of their children, those, who are possessed of the greatest number of slaves, supply the deficiency; and these are adopted by them, and treated in every respect as if they really were the children of the person to whom they are presented.
Caryer's Trav, in North America, p. 158.
445. [Exod. xxi. 4.] An Indian Bharta (or husband), whatever number of women he may maintain, has only one lauful spouse, to whom he is actually married.
BARTOLOMEO, by Johnston, p. 270.
450. (Gen. xxi. 10, 13.) But if to a man, who has before 446. [Gen. xvi. 15.] In Heb. xi. 17 (as in Gen. xxii. 2.),
patronised an adopted son, a son should afterwards be born of Isaac is called Abraham's only begotten son ; Ishmael, there- his own seed; after the death of the father, the adopted son fore, like Lot's children by his daughters, was only adopted shall receive a single share, and the begotten son shall receive at the instigation of Sarah by a ceremonious introduction to a double share of his property. Hagar, when presumed to be with child, probably, by her
Halhed's Gentoo Laws, p. 81. newly married husband. Eliezer, the husband of Hagar Sarah's handmaid, was Abraham's beir, till Ishmael Eliezer's son was born and adopted by Abraham ; who in his turn was
451. [Gen. xv. 2.] Among the Mamelukes the freed supplanted by Isaac. Gen. xy. 3.
man is called the child of the house." Ibrahim, one of the Kiayas or colonels of the Janisaries, had so multiplied
and advanced his free-men, that of the twenty-four Beys, 447.
Adoption was an act frequent among the which should be their number, no less than eight were of antient Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans; by which a person his household.–At his death, which happened in 1757, was taken out of one family, and incorporated with another. his house, that is, his enfranchised slaves, divided among Persons of property, who (like Abraham) had no children of themselves, but united against all others, continued to give their own, adopted those of another family. The child thus the law.” adopted [as Ishmael), ceased to belong to his own family,
VOLNEY's Trav. vol. i. pp. 112, 113, 153, and was, in every respect, bound to the person who had
and the Note.