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Jonah, is probably also a misrepresentation of the particulars recorded in this sacred Book.*
(15.) The fertility of Palestine. See Josephus, (Ant. l. v. c. 1, § 21; 1. xv. c. 5, § 1; Bell. 1. iii. c. 3, § 2), Hecatæus, (in Joseph. cont. Ap. l. i. § 22), Pliny, (l. v. c. 17), Tacitus, (1. v. c. 6), Justin, (l. xxxvi. c. 3), and Ammianus Marcellinus, (l. xix. c. 26.) See also Maundrell, Shaw, Dr. E. D. Clarke, (Trav. P. ii. pp. 520, 521, 4to.) &c.t
(16.) The destruction of the Canaanites by Joshua and the Israelites.— Besides several of the transactions related in the Book of Joshua being confirmed by the traditions current among heathen nations, and preserved by ancient profane historians of undoubted character, there are ancient monuments extant, which prove that the Carthaginians were a colony of Syrians who escaped from Joshua; as also that the inhabitants of Leptis in Africa came originally from the Sidonians, who abandoned their country on account of the calamities with which it was overwhelmed.§ Procopius relates, (Vandal. 1. ii. c. 10), that the Phoenicians fled before the Hebrews into Africa, and spread themselves abroad as far as the pillars of Hercules, and adds, “In Numidia where now stands the city Tigisis, (Tangiers,) they have erected two columns, on which, in Phoenician characters, is the following inscription: We are the Phoenicians, who fled from the face of Jesus (or Joshua) the son of Naue (Nun).'" The overthrow of Og, king of Bashan, and the Anakim, is considered as having given rise to the fable of the overthrow of the giants; || and the tempest of hail-stones was transformed by the poets into a tempest of stones, with which Jupiter overwhelmed the enemies of Hercules in Arim, exactly the country where Joshua fought with the children of Anak.¶
(17.) Jephthah's devoting his daughter-which gave rise to the story of Iphigenia (Iphthygenia, i. e. the daughter of Jephthah,) being sacrificed by her father Agamemnon to gain the gods over to his side.**
(18.) The history of Samson.-The Vulpinaria, or feast of foxes, celebrated by the Romans at the feast of Ceres, in the month of April, (the Jewish harvest, but the Roman seed-time,) in which they fixed burning torches to the tails of a number of foxes, and let them run through the circus till they were burnt to death, said to be in revenge upon that species of animal for having once burnt up the fields of corn,++ was evidently derived from the story of Samson, probably conveyed into Italy by the Phoenicians.
• Comprehensive Bible, Concluding Remarks to Jonah. See Grotius, de Veritate, l. i. c. 16. Huet, Demonstrat. Evangelica, prop. iv. vol. i. p. 433. 8vo. edit. Bocharti Opera, tom. iii. p. 742. et seq. Pfeiffer, in Difficiliora loca Scripturæ, Cent. iv. Locus 86. Opera, tom. i. pp. 447, 448.
+ Comprehensive Bible, Introd. p. 59.
↑ See particularly Justin, 1. 36. c. 2. and Tacitus, l. 5. c. 2, 3. Allix's Reflections on the Books of the Old Testament, ch. 2. Polybius Frag. 104. Sallust. Bell. Jugurthin. c. 22.
Allix's Reflections ut supra. Huet. Demonstrat. Evangel. vol. i. p. 273, et seq. Comprehensive Bible, Concluding Remarks to Joshua,
**Ovid. Metam. 1. 13.
Ovid. Fasti, 1. 4. v. 684, et seq.
In the history of Samson and Delilah, we have the original of Nisus, king of Megara, and his daughter Scylla, who cut off the fatal purple;lock, upon which victory depended, and gave it to his enemy Minos, then at war with him, who by that means destroyed both him and his kingdom.* And, to mention no more, it appears highly probable, that Samson is the original and essential Hercules of fable; for, although the poets have united several particulars drawn from Moses and Joshua, and have added their own inventions, yet the most capital and considerable belong to Samson, and are distinguished by characters so peculiar to him, as to render him easily discerned throughout the whole.†
We have been Raise to us a king,
(19.) The history of Samuel and Saul.-The following history is given by the Afghans, a people generally supposed to be of Jewish origin: “In a war which raged between the Children of Israel and the Amalekites, the latter being victorious, plundered the Jews, and obtained possession of the Ark of the Covenant. Considering this [as] the God of the Jews, they threw it into the fire, which did not affect it. They afterwards attempted to cleave it with axes, but without success: every individual who treated it with indignity was punished for his temerity. They then placed it in their temple; but all their idols bowed to it. At length they fastened it upon a cow, which they turned loose in the wilderness. When the prophet Samuel arose, the Children of Israel said to him, totally subdued by the Amalekites, and have no king. that we may be enabled to contend for the glory of God.' Samuel said, 'In case you are led out to battle, are you determined to fight?' They answered, 'What has befallen us, that we should not fight against infidels? That nation has banished us from our country and children.' At this time the angel Gabriel descended, and delivering a wand, said, ' It is the command of God, that the person whose stature shall correspond with this wand shall be king of Israel.' Melec Tálút was at that time a man of inferior condition, and performed the humble employment of feeding the goats and cows of others. One day, a cow under his charge was accidentally lost. Being disappointed in his searches, he was greatly distressed, and applied to Samuel, saying, 'I have lost a cow, and I do not possess the means of satisfying the owner. Pray for me, that I may be extricated from this difficulty.' Samuel perceiving that he was a man of lofty stature, asked his name. He answered, Tálút.' Samuel then said, 'Measure Talut with the wand which the angel Gabriel brought.' His stature was equal to it. Samuel then said, 'God has raised Talut to be your king.' The Children of Israel answered, We are greater than our king. We are men of dignity, and he is of inferior condition. How shall he be our
• Ovid. Metam. 1. 8. fab. 1.
This is clearly shewn by M. Lavaur, Conference de la Fable avec l'Histoire Saint; a translation of part of which is given by Dr. A. Clarke on Judges 16. Comprehensive Bible, Concluding Remarks to Judges. ་:
king?' Samuel informed them, they should know that God had constituted Talut king, by his restoring the Ark of the Covenant. He accordingly restored it, and they acknowledged him their sovereign." Researches, vol. ii. p. 119, et seq.*
Similar accounts are current among the Orientals. They relate, that Samuel having made his report to God, that the Hebrews were resolved to have a king, God gave him a vessel or horn full of oil, and a staff, revealing to him, that the man in whose presence the oil should boil in the vessel, and whose stature should be equal to that staff, was appointed for their king. No sooner was this determination published among the people, but all the chiefs of the tribes came with great eagerness to measure themselves by the staff, and to try if the oil would boil in their presence; but in vain. Saul, otherwise called Sharek, and surnamed Talut, i. e. the Tall, who was no more than a carrier of water, or dresser of leather, came to the prophet among the rest, and immediately the oil began to boil in his presence, and he was found just the height of the miraculous staff. On these tokens, Samuel declared him king; but the heads of the tribes, especially that of Judah, to whom the royal dignity had been promised, expostulated, saying, How can this man be our king, who has no estate? How can he support the expence and dignity of the royal state? Samuel replied, The Lord has chosen him, who disposes of kingdoms without control, to whomsoever he pleases. The Israelites would not yet submit, but insisted on having a sign from Samuel, that they might be assured from God, that this was his will. Samuel answered them, This is the miracle that God gives you to confirm his choice; the ark of the Lord which was taken away by the Philistines, shall be brought back to you by the angels. When, therefore, the election of Saul was proclaimed, the Philistines being resolved to conceal the ark of the Lord, which had caused them so many misfortunes by its presence, they hid it in a dunghill, but they were smote with a shameful disease, which determined them to send it back to the confines of the land of Israel. It was no sooner arrived at this place, than the angels of the Lord took it up, and carried it to the tabernacle of Shiloh; and this miracle secured Saul in his kingdom. (See D'Herbelot, Biblioth. Orient. p. 735, 1021.) These traditions may justly be regarded as a confirmation, if such were really wanting, of the Scripture History; and as genuine instances of the variations of tradition from that precision which belongs to truth, even while it approaches near to truth. In reading this, and similar tales, it is impossible the observation should escape our notice, how much SUPERIOR the simple narrations of Scripture are to whatever is current elsewhere; what additional authority they derive from their simplicity, and their unlaboured, unassuming manner; what nature there is in them, what
* Comprehensive Bible, note on 1 Sam, 10. 9.
ease and verisimility. No person, whose taste and judgment is undepraved, can hesitate which system to prefer, even supposing the nonexistence of other criteria.*
(20.) The slaying of Goliath.-The tradition of the combat between David and Goliath, in which the latter was killed, is preserved among the Arabs; for he is mentioned in the Koran, (sur. ii. 250.) where he is called Galut or Jalut. The Arabs also call the dynasty of the Philistine kings, who reigned in Palestine, when the Hebrews came there, Galutiah or Jalutiah. Achmed al Fassi, in his book called Ketab al Jamman, says, 'those kings were as well known by the name of Jalaut, as the ancient kings of Egypt by that of Pharaoh. David killed the Jalaut, who reigned in his time, and entirely rooted out the Philistines, the rest of whom fled into Africa, and from them descended the Brebers or Berbers who inhabit the coast of Barbary.' (D'Herbelot under Gialut.) It is remarkable that the Berbers themselves should acknowledge their descent from the Philistines. "The name Goliath, which they pronounce Sghiàlud, is very common among the Brebers, and the history of the champion of the Philistines is very well known to the Moors. When children quarrel, and the bigger one challenges the smaller to fight, the latter answers, 'Who will fight with you? (Enta men ulid Sgialud.) You are of the race of Goliath.' The Jews who dwell among them, on the mountains, all call themselves Philistines." Host's Account of Morocco and Fez, p. 133+.
(21.) Many remarkable circumstances respecting David and Solomon, which are mentioned by Eupolemus and Dius, as quoted by Eusebius, (Præp. Evang. lib. ix. c. 30-34, 39-41.) agreeing with those detailed in the Sacred books; and furnishing additional external evidence, if such were needed, of the truth of these inspired records.
(22.) The narrative of the invasion of Israel by Shalmaneser, and the deportation of the ten tribes, which is confirmed by certain ancient sculptures on the mountains of Be-Sitoon, on the borders of the ancient Assyria. For the knowledge of these antiquities we are indebted to the persevering researches of Sir R. K. Porter, by whom they were first discovered and delineated; and to his Travels we refer our readers for a very luminous and interesting description. §
(23.) The destruction of Sennacherib's army, which is confirmed by Herodotus, (1. ii. c. 142.)'; who, quoting the Egyptian priests, says, that Sethon, being attacked by Sennacherib, king of the Arabians and Assyrians, and seeing himself deserted by his own soldiers, begged of Vulcan some speedy assistance. Vulcan appeared to him the night following, and promised him help. Sethon therefore, marching with a few troops, advanced to Pelusium; and the same night, a great number of rats came into the camp of the Assyrians, and gnawed their shield straps, quivers,
Comprehensive Bible, Concluding Remarks to 1 Samuel.
+ Idem, Note on 1 Samuel xvii. 50. 1 Idem, Concluding Remarks to 2 Samuel. Travels in Georgia, Persia, &c, vol. ii. pp. 154–162. Concluding Remarks to 2 Kings.
and bow-strings; so that on rising next morning, and finding themselves unable to use their arms, they raised the siege and fled. Here it is to be particularly remarked that Herodotus calls the Assyrian king Sennacherib, as the Scriptures do; and that the time referred to in both is perfectly accordant. This plainly shews that it is the same fact to which Herodotus refers, although much disguised in the relation; which may be easily accounted for when it is considered that Herodotus derived his information from the Egyptian priests, who cherished the greatest aversion both to the nation and the religion of the Jews, and therefore would relate nothing in such a manner as would give reputation to either.*
(24.) The defeat of Josiah by Pharaoh Necho, and the subsequent reduction of Jerusalem, when he took Jehoahaz away; and he came into Egypt and died there,' which is also confirmed by Herodotus, and the researches of the late intrepid Mr. Belzoni. The account of Herodotus is as follows: Now Necos was the son of Psammiticus, and reigned over Egypt. And Necos joined battle with the Syrians, in Magdolus, and after the battle he took Cadytis, a large city of Syria. And having reigned (1. ii. c. 159.) in the whole sixteen years, he died, and left the throne to his son Psammis.' Here it is evident that Magdolus is the same as Megiddo ; and Cadytis, which he mentions again, (l. iii. c. 5.) 'as a city belonging to the Syrians of Palestine, and as a city not less than Sardis,' is undoubtedly the same as Jerusalem, called Alkuds, or El Kouds, that is, the holy city, by the Syrians and Arabians from time immemorial to the present day. We now turn to the researches of Mr. Belzoni in the tomb of Psammethis, or Psammis, the son of Pharaoh-Necho. In one of the numerous apartments of this venerable monument of ancient art, there is a sculptured group, describing the march of a military and triumphal procession, with three different sets of prisoners, who are evidently Jews, Ethiopians, and Persians. The procession begins with four red men with white kirtles, followed by a hawk-headed divinity: these are Egyptians apparently released from captivity, and returning home under the protection of the national deity. Then follows four white men in striped and fringed kirtles, with black beards, and with a simple white fillet round their black hair: these are obviously Jews, and might be taken for the portraits of those who, at this day, walk the streets of London. After them come three white men with smaller beards, and curled whiskers, with double-spreading plumes on their heads, tattooed, and wearing robes or mantles spotted like the skins of wild beasts: these are Persians or Chaldeans. Lastly, come four negroes, with large circular ear-rings, and large petticoats, supported by a belt over their shoulders: these are Ethiopians. Among the Hieroglyphics in Mr. Belzoni's drawings of this tomb, Dr. Young has succeeded in discovering the names of Nechao, and of Psammethis.*
Comprehensive Bible, Concluding Remarks to 2 Kings.
+ See Golii. Notæ ad Alfraganum, p. 137. Sandy's Travels, B. iii. p. 155, and other modern