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person named Apis, who came from Egypt to Argos: where he succeeded that ancient prince Phoroneus. From him the country is said to have had the name of Apia. He brought with him the learning of his country: and was esteemed both as a prophet, and a physician.
Thus have I given an account of some of the most early migrations from Egypt into Greece; and of the persons by whom the colonies are supposed to have been conducted. I am sensible, that these accounts are mixed with fable; and there are many, if not imaginary, yet mistaken characters alluded to in the process of Grecian chronology; upon which there can be no just dependence. I do not believe that any such persons reigned at Argos as Inachus: or Phoroneus, avgwwv ανθρώπων Tgwros or as Atlas in Mauritania, or as Hel
len, or Deucalion in Thessaly. The history of Cecrops and Danaus is to my apprehension of another climate and æra. They were each imported into Greece, and afterwards adopted and ingrafted upon the histories of the country. Yet I make no doubt, but that persons stiled Cecropidæ, Danaïdæ, Apidaneï, and the like, came over from Egypt: and though their arrival may not be precisely determined, yet we may plainly perceive, that it was at different intervals, and in very remote ages. In short, these colonies from Egypt were of so high antiquity, that from the rites which they imported, we may judge of those which prevailed in the time of Moses. For they, who introduced those rites, were of Egypt, and either cotemporary with that lawgiver, or antecedent to him. This will warrant any application which I may sometimes make to the traditions and customs of Greece, when I have occasion to illustrate by them the rites and worship of Egypt. In like manner, I shall have recourse to the religion and mysteries of the Sidonians, Tyrians, and Babylonians: aş they were undoubtedly of great antiquity.
CONCERNING THE JUDGMENTS OF
GOD IN EGYPT;
AND OF THEIR PROPRIETY.
Of the PLAGUES inflicted upon the Egyptians. I SHALL now proceed to the great object, which I had originally in view. This was to describe the peculiarity of God's judgments upon the Egyptians and to shew how significant they were in their operation; and particularly adapted to the people, upon whom they were inflicted. They would have been marks of divine power to any nation upon earth at Nineve, or Babylon: in Carthage, or Tyre. But they are remarkably pointed in respect to the Egyptians; and in every instance have a strict reference to their idolatry: such as cannot be so particularly applied to any other people.
THE FIRST PLAGUE.
THE RIVER TURNED TO BLOOD:
EXODUS, Chap. vii.
Ver. 17. Thus saith the Lord. In this thou shalt know, that I am the Lord: Behold, I will smite with the rod, that is in mine hand, upon the waters, which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood.
V. 18. And the fish, that is in the river, shall die: and the river shall stink: and the Egyptians shall lothe to drink of the water of the
V. 19. And the Lord spake unto Moses. Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone.
V. 20. And Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord commanded: and he lift up the rod and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants: and all the waters that were in the river, were turned to blood.
V. 21. And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank.
This judgment brought upon the Egyp tians is very remarkable, and introduced with great propriety, though the scope of it may not at first be obvious. It was a punishment particularly well adapted to that blinded and infatuated people: as it shewed them the baseness of those elements, which they reverenced, and the insufficiency of the gods, in which they trusted. And this knowledge was very salutary to the Israelites; as it warned them not to fall into the same, or any similar, idolatry; when they had seen it thus debased and exposed, and attended with such accumulated evil. The Egyptians honoured the * Nile with a religious reverence; and valued themselves much upon the excellence of their * river. Nor was this blind regard confined to the Egyptians only, but obtained in many parts of the 3 world: so that it was expedient
I Ουδεν yae όντω τιμη (or τιμηεις) Αιγυπτίοις, ὡς ὁ Νειλος. Plutarch. Is. et Osir. p. 353.
Νείλον τον πατέρα και σωτηρα της χώρας. Idem. Sympos. 1. 8. p. 729.
3 Εςι τ8 και ποταμων τιμη. Maximus Tyrius, cap. 8. p. 79. See Heliodorus, l. 9. p. 425. and 443.