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8 to that of %. This granted, to wit, that Evilmerodach reigned twenty-eight years, whereof five together with his father, and twenty-three after his death, and the same number of twenty-three added to the twenty-five, which Nabuchodonosor lived after the destruction of Jerusalem, make forty-nine; then four years of Niglisar, according to Berosus, nine months of Labassardach his son, and seventeen years of Labonidus, or Balthasar, make up the number of seventy years to the first of Cyrus. But whether by error in figures or in words, the numbers be utterly mistaken in all copies extant; upon how weak a foundation do they build, who have nothing to help them, save only the bare names of two unknown kings, found in authors manifestly corrupted, and such as, if they had been entirely extant, were not worthy to have that place of Jeremy called into dispute, in regard of their authority.
SECT. V. A more particular examination of one opinion touching the number,
persons, and reigns of the Babylonian kings. OTHER suppositions, little different in substance from this of Mercator, I purposely forbear to rehearse, as falling under the same answer. That of Joseph Scaliger I may not forget, as deserving to be considered apart from the rest. He gives to Nebuchadnezzar forty-four years, to Evilmerodach two, to Balthasar five, and to Nabonidus seventeen. So that from the nineteenth of Nebuchadnezzar, in which Jerusalem was destroyed, unto the time of Cyrus, he accounteth only fifty-nine years; beginning (as many do) the captivity eleven years sooner, from the transportation of Jechonia. But hereof enough hath been said already. That which we are now to consider is his distribution of the time running between the nineteenth of Nebuchadnezzar and the fall of the Chaldean empire; wherein if he have erred, then is all further inquisition frivolous.
Concerning the length of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, I shall hereafter upon better occasion deliver my opinion. The time which he gives to Evilmerodach is very short, and
more precisely agreeing with Berosus than with the scriptures. For we find in Jeremy that this Evilmerodach in the first of his reign, shewing all favour to Jechonia, did among other things take order for him at his table; and that he did continually eat bread before him all the days of his life. His portion was a continual portion given him of the king of 9 Babel, every day a certain, all the days of his life, until he died. The very sound of these words (which is more to be esteemed than the authority of Berosus, were he perfectly extant) imports a far longer time than two years, wherein Jechonia, under this gentle prince, enjoyed the comfort sent by God, whose commandment he had obeyed in yielding himself to Nebuchadnezzar. Indeed how long Jechonia did live, it cannot be proved; but plain it is hereby, that all his remaining days he did eat bread before this king. Now that he lived not so short a while after this as two years, it is more than likely, for he was but fifty-five years old when he was set at liberty, having been thirtyseven years in the prison, whereinto he was cast at the age of eighteen years; after which time it seems plain that he begat Salathiel, as well by the age of Zorobabel, who is said to have been but a young man, and one of Darius's pages threescore years after this, as by other circumstances of his imprisonment itself.
Of Balthasar, to whom Scaliger gives the next five years, naming him also Laborosoardach, I should wonder why he calls him Nebuchadnezzar's daughter's son, were it not that herein I find him very careful to help out Berosus, by shifting in his Niriglissoroor, as husband to Nebuchadnezzar's daughter, and protector of his son four of these years; by which means there remains about one year to Balthasar alone, agreeing nearly with the nine months assigned by Berosus to the son of Niglisar. But Jeremy hath told us that it was to Nebuchadnezzar, and to his son, and to his son's son, (not to his daughter's son,) that the empire was promised: which difficulty if Scaliger could not help, it was well done of him to pass it over with silence.
Jer. lii. 33, 34.
Nabonidus, the last of these, whom others (desirous to reconcile Berosus to the scriptures) have judged to be all one with Balthasar, is by Scaliger thought to be Darius of the Medes. But herein Scaliger is no firm Berosian ; for Berosus makes him of the same stock or race, a Babylonian. I speak not this to disgrace the travail of that most learned man,
(for it highly commends his diligence and judgment, that he was not so wedded to any author as affected with the love of truth,) but to shew that he himself having in some points disliked those writers whom in general he approveth, might with greater reason have wholly reformed them by the scriptures, wherein can be no error. Two things there are which chiefly did breed or confirm this opinion in Scaliger, that he whom Berosus calls Nabonidus was the same whom Daniel had called Darius of the Medes: first, the phrase of scripture, which signifies unto us, that Darius took the kingdom, not saying that he won it by force of arms; secondly, a fragment of Megasthenes found in Eusebius, wherein this Nabonidus is called the Median. Touching the word of the original, or of the Greek translation, which expressing no force of arms doth only signify that Darius took or received the kingdom, I see no reason why we should thereupon infer that the next king entered by election; seeing Daniel relateth not the means and circumstances of Balthasar's death, but only the swift accomplishment of his own prophecy. Neither could it indeed have properly been said, (if Daniel had cared to use the most expressive terms,) that Darius of the Medes breaking into the city, did win the kingdom ; seeing this was performed by Cyrus in the absence of Darius, though by his forces, and to his use. Now concerning the fragment of Megasthenes, true it is, that in Eusebius's works, printed at Basil in the year 1559, I find only thus much of Megasthenes cited out of Alpheus: that Nabuchodonosor was more valiant than Hercules; that he subdued all Libya, and the rest of Asia as far as to the Armenians; and that, as the Chaldeans report, being returned into his kingdom, and rapt with a divine fury, he cried with a loud voice,
“ O Babylonians, I foretell ye of a great calamity that shall “ come upon you, which neither Bel nor any of the gods 6 shall avert: there will come a Persian, half an ass, that “ shall bring slavery upon ye:" and that this and the like when he had spoken, he vanished. Of all this I believe little or nothing, saving that Nabuchodonosor knew beforehand that his empire should be translated, as Daniel had foretold, from the golden head to the silver breast. But that he won all Africa, or Libya, I hold it neither true nor probable.
If Scaliger's copy of Eusebius were the more perfect, out of which Megasthenes tells us that Nabuchodonosor won both Africa and Spain, I believe the fragment so much the less; and am as little moved with the authority of it, where it calls a Median the pride and confidence of the Assyrians, as where it tells of Nebuchadnezzar's own vanishing away. Indeed that same title of half an ass, by which he calleth Cyrus, makes me to suspect the fable as cunningly forged out of Apollo's oracle, wherein he termeth him a mule, because his parentage was more noble on the mother's side than on the father's; as mules are begotten by asses upon mares. And thus much in answer of the two principal foundations whereon this opinion is built. As for the concinnity and coherence which it hath within itself, I easily allow it. But this proves nothing, for mere fictions have not wanted these commendations: neither can any man believe that one so judicious, industrious, and deeply learned as Joseph Scaliger, would overshoot himself in setting down repugnancies.
It now remaineth to examine the agreement of this with the scriptures, from which there is no appeal. And herein it seems that Scaliger, well knowing his own sufficiency, hath been little careful to satisfy men that would frame arguments against him. For if the prophecy of Daniel were true, that the kingdom of Balthasar was divided, and given to the Medes and Persians, either we must think that Darius of the Medes was not Nabonidus, or else we must bethink ourselves what Persian it might be that shared the
RALEGH. VOL. III
kingdom with him. For it is not more certain that Balthasar lost his life and kingdom, than that his kingdom was divided and given to the Medes and Persians. Neither did the Medes and Persians fall out and fight for it, as by supposing Nabonidus to have been Darius, they should be thought to have done; but these two nations did compound the body of that empire, and were accounted as lords over all the subject provinces, insomuch that the Greek historians did commonly call those wars which Darius, and after him Xerxes, made upon Greece, the wars of the Medes. Yea, to clear this point, even Daniel himself resembles that king, with whom Alexander fought, unto a ram with two horns, calling him the king of the Medes and Persians. Wherefore the whole nation of chronologers were not to have been condemned by Joseph Scaliger, for maintaining upon such good grounds that Darius of the Medes was partner with Cyrus in his victories, and not a Chaldean king by him subdued. Neither was Josephus to be the less regarded for affirming that Balthasar was destroyed by Darius of the Medes and his nephew Cyrus, though herein he varied from Berosus and others, whose authority elsewhere he gladly citeth. For Josephus had no reason to believe any man's faith or knowledge of those times half so well as Daniel's, whom I believe that he understood as far as was needful in this case. Lawful it was for him to allege all authors that had any mention, though unperfect, of the same things that were contained in the writings of the Jews, to whose histories thereby he procured reputation in the Ro man world, where they were strangers, and might seem fabulous. Even so do Eusebius and other Christian writers willingly embrace the testimonies of heathen books making for the truth in some particulars; yet will they not therefore be tried in general by the self-same ethnick philosophers, but leave them where they are against the truth, as Josephus in this case hath left Berosus. And thus much I thought it meet to say of Scaliger's opinion in this point; holding nevertheless in due regard his learning and judg
, Daniel viii. 20