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fore, undoubtedly, here is no dry land, unless when God, by an extraordinary miracle, was pleased to make it so.. · But, II. If the passage of Moses and the Israelites over the Red Sea, was upon the recess of a tide, then all the particulars in Moses' account of this affair are false. 1. There needed no cloud nor pillar of fire, to direct the journey of the Israelites to the Red Sea; for they were, upon this supposition, conducted thither by the contrivance of Moses, who thought, that by his skill in the flux and reflux of the sea, he could better escape from Pharaoh there, than in any other place. 2. Moses represents, that the waters were die vided and stood on heaps on both sides of the Israelites, and were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left; but this could not be true, if here was only an ebb or reflux of the tide. For if the tide was driven back by the strongest wind, the water could stand on heaps on one side only, namely toward sea ; the land side would be entirely drained, the water being driven by the wind down the channel. 3. Moses represents, that God caused a strong East wind to blow, in order to divide the waters, and this indeed

is a proper wind, to have by God Almighty’s direction , such an effect as he ascribes to it; but if a reflux of

the tide had been the only thing here caused, an East wind had not been proper to cause it. The Red Sea runs up from the ocean towards the North-west, therefore a North, or North-west wind would have had the only proper direction to have driven back the tide, if that had been what was done in this matter.

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An East wind blows across this sea, and the effect of
it must be to drive the waters partly up to the land's
end, and partly down to the ocean, so as to divide the
waters, as Moses relates, and not to cause a great ebb
of tide ; and the blowing of such a wind as this, with
a force sufficient to cause so extraordinary an effect,
for the opening the Israelites so unexpected and un-
heard-of a passage through the midst of a şeą, must
be looked upon as a miraculous interposition of God's
power for their preservation.

III. As to what Artapanus suggests, that the Egyp-
tians who lived at Memphis related, that Moses con-
ducted the Israelites over the Red sea, by his skill in
the tides, there is no regard due to this fiction, espe-
cially if we consider, that the wise and learned part of
the Egyptians rejected it. For the same author testi-
fies, that the priests of Heliopolis related the affair

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• Εuseb. Praep. Evang. ubi sup. The words are : Ηλιαπολιτας δε λεγειν, επικαταδραμειν τον Βασιλεα μετα πολλης δυναμεως, αμα και τους καθιερωμενοις ζωοις, δια το την υπαρξιν της Ιεδαιας των Αιγυπτιων χρησαμενες διακομιζειν· τω δε Μωυσω θειαν φωνης γενεσθαι, παταξαι την θαλασσαν τη Ραβδω τον δε Μωυσον ακεσανία, επιθιγειν τη Ρας δω το υδαίος, και στα το μεν ναμα διασληναι, την δε δυναμιν (some word, perhaps παρασχησαι, seems here to be omitted in the text) δια ξηρας οδε πορεύεσθαι" συνεμβανίων δε των Αιγυπτιων και διωκονίων, φησι πυρ αυτοις εκ των εμπροσθεν εκλαμψαι, την δε θαλασσαν παλιν την οδον επικλυσαι τες δε Αιγυπλιας υπο τε τα πυρος, και της πλημμυριδος πανlας διαφθαρηναι: This account of the Memphites is remarkably agreeable to that of Moses. It indeed hints, that there were some lightnings, which

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quite otherwise. Their account agrees with that of Moses. The Ileliopolitans were always esteemed to be the wisest and most learned of all the Egyptians;' and if Moses' authority, or the faithfulness of his nar. ration could be questioned, this agreement of the Heliopolitans with him, would be of far more weight with all reasonable enquirers to confirm his account, than what is suggested from the Memphites can be of to im. pair its credit.

We have brought the Israelites out of Egypt, over the Red sea into the wilderness, the period which I designed for this volume. The reader must observe from the whole of it, that from the creation to this time, God had been pleased in sundry manners to reveal himself to mankind, in order to plant his true religion in the world ; and yet, notwithstanding all that had been done, this religion at this time had well nigh perished from off the face of the earth. All na. tions under heaven, of eminence or figure, were lost to all sense of the true God, and were far gone into the errors of idolatry. The Apostle seems to hint, that the defection was caused by their not liking to retain God

Moses has not expressly mentioned; but perhaps it may be conjectured from Psalm 1xxvii. 16-20, that there were lightnings contributing to the overthrow of the Egyptians in the Red sea, and very probably there were anciently many true relations of this fact, besides that of Moses, from some of which the Memphites might deduce their Rarration.

a Herodotus lib. 2, c. 3.

s mihi in their knowledge. But why should men not like to yo este retain the knowledge of God? I can think of no suffiSe Eyre cient answer to this question, suitable to the circum_nes de stances of these ages, unless I may offer what follows: mentat God had given exceeding great promises to Abraham ore he and his posterity; that he would make of him a great - ame Nation; make his name great, and that in him, or in canki his seed all the families of the earth should be blessed ;f

that he would give him northward and southward, Es eastward and westward all the land, which he then

saw in the length and in the breadth of it, from the

· river Euphrates unto the river of Egypt ;that he orain would make him a father of many nations, that he a would raise nations from him, and that kings should

come out of him.h. God protected him, wherever he

lived, in so signal a manner, that whenever he was cities in danger of suffering injury, his adversaries were

prevented from hurting him. His son Ishmael was to be made a nation, because he was his seed ; k nay, twelve princes were to descend from him, and the seed of Abraham was to possess the gate of his enemies. * Most of these promises were repeated to Isaac," and afterwards to Jacob; ° and the remarkable favours designed for this family, were not bestowed upon them

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• Rom. i. 28.

hatid

Gen. xii.
6 Chap. xiji. 14, 15, 16, 17. & xv. 18.
* Chapxvii. 4, 5, 6.

i Chap. xx. 3.
Chap. xxi. 13.

| 1 Chap: xvii. 20.. m Chap. xxii. 17.

n Chap. xxvi. 4. & 24) • Chap. xxviii. 13, 14, 15.'

t dit

in private, so as to be little known to the world ; but when they were but a few, even a few, and strangers in the land where they sojourned, they went from nition to nation, and from one kingdom to another people, and God suffered no man to do them wrong, but reproved even kings for their sakes. The name of Abraham was eminently famous in most nations of the then inhabited world ; and I cannot but think it probable, that the kings of many countries might greatly mistake the design of God toward him and his descendants, as the Jews themselves afterwards did, when they came to have a nearer expectation of their Messiah, and imagined that he was to be a mighty temporal prince to subdue all their enemies. In this manner the early kings might misinterpret the promises to Abraham, and think that in time his descendants were to cover the face of the earth, and to be the góvernors of all nations. I cannot say whether the Hittites might not in some measure be of this opinion, when they styled Abraham (Nesi Elohim)”, Beotheus Tagoe Jey say the Lxx, i. e. a prince from or appointed by God; and perhaps Abimelech might apprehend that Abraham's posterity would in time become the possessors of his country, and being willing to put off the evil for at least three generations, he made a league with him, and obtained a promise, that he would not afflict his people, during his time, nor in the days of his son, or his son's son. Thus the promises, and

p Psalm cv. 12, 13, 14. .Gen. xxi. 23.

4 Gen. xxiii. 6.

.

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