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tines, Midianites, Moabites, Ammonites and Amalekites against Israel in the time of the Judges, or of Saul, or of king David. Solomon reigned over all the kings from the river (i. e. from the Euphrates) unto the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt? so that no Egyptian conqueror came this way until after his death. In the fifth year of Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem with twelve hundred chariots and threescore thousand horsemen ; and he took the fenced cities, which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem ;r and the Israelites were obliged to become his servants. Sesac conquered not only them, but the neighbouring nations; for the Jews in serving him felt only the service of the kingdoms of the countries' round about them; that is, all the neighbouring nations underwent the same. This therefore was the first Egyptian conqueror who came into Asia, and we must
.either think this Sesac and Sesostris to have been the same person, or, which was perhaps the opinion of Josephus,' say, that Sesostris was no conqueror; but that Herodotus and the other historians through mistake ascribedb to him what they found recorded of ^esac. Josephus represents Herodotus to have made two mistakes about this Egyptian conqueror, one in misnaming him, calling him Sesostris, when his real name was Sesac; the other, in thinking him a greater conqueror than he really was:' and this mistake many of the historians have indeed made in the accounts which they give of him. 2, For neither Sesostris nor Sesac did ever conquer so many nations, as the historians represent; nor were they ever masters of any of those countries which were a part of the Assyrian empire. DiodorusSiculus indeed supposes, that Sesostris conquered all
Asia, not only all the nations, which Alexander afterwards subdued, but even many kingdoms which he never attempted; that he passed the Ganges, and conquered all India; that he subjugated the Scythians, and extended his conquest into Europe ;d and Strabo agrees with Diodorus in this account. What authority these great writers found for their opinion, I cannot say; but I find the learned annotator upon Tacitus did not believe any such accounts to be well grounded. In his note upon Germanicus* relation of the Egyptian conquests, he says, De hac tantd potentid JEgyptiorum nihil legi, nee facile credam f and indeed there is nothing to be read, which can seem well supported, nothing consistent with the allowed history of other nations, to represent the Egyptians as having ever obtained such extensive conquests. Herodotus confines the expedition of Sesostris to the nations upon the Asiatic coasts of the Red Sea; and after his return from subduing them, to the western parts of
'Diodor. Sic. lib. 1. p. 35.
'Lip«ii Comment. ad Tacit. Annal. 1. 2. n. 1ST.
the continent of Asia. He represents him as having subdued Palestine and Phoenicia, and the kingdoms up to Europe; thence passing over to the Thracians; and from them to the Scythians, and coming to the river Phasis. Here he supposes that he stopped his progress, and returned back from hence to Egypt/ Herodotus appears to have examined the expedition of Sesostris with far more exactness than Strabo or Diodorus. He enquired after the monuments or pillars, which Sesostris set up in the nations he subdued;' but it no way appears from his accounts that this mighty conqueror attacked any one nation, which was really a part of the Assyrian empire; but rather the course of his enterprises led him quite away from the Assyrian dominions. Sesostris did great things, but they have been greatly magnified. The ancient writers were very apt to record a person as having travelled over the whole world, if he had been in a few different nations. Abraham travelled from Chaldea
'Herodot. lib. 2. c. 102, 103.
into Mesopotamia, into Canaan, Philistia, and Egypt; the prbfane writers speaking of him under the name of Chronus say he travelled over the whole world.1" Thus the Egyptians might record of Sesostris, that he conquered the whole world; and the historians who took the hints of what they wrote from them, might, to embellish their history, give us what they thought the most considerable parts of the world, and thereby magnify the conquests of Sesostris far above the truth. But Herodotus seems in this point to have been more careful; for he examined particulars, and according to the utmost of what he could find, none of the victories of this Egyptian conqueror reached to any of the nations subject to the Assyrians. Sir Isaac Newton mentions Memnon as another Egyptian conqueror, who possessed Chaldea, Assyria, Media, Persia and Bactria, Ac. so that it may be thought that lome successor of Sesostris (for before him the Egyptians had no conquerors) subdued and reigned over these countries. I shall