« PoprzedniaDalej »
Ulher; and the accession of Saul carried 28 years higher than in the Short, Chronicle; the sacred history is consistent with itself, with the verity of computation, and with the course of NATURE. 2. Coexistence of SHISHAC and SESOSTRIS with
REHOBOAM. « In the year before Christ 974, Sesac spoils the Temple, and invades Syria and Persia, setting up pillars in many places *." “ Sefoftris in the 5th year of Rehoboam, came out of Egypt with a great army, spoiled the Temple, reduced Judea into servitude, and went on conquering, first eastward toward India, which he invaded, and then westward as far as Thrace +.”
HERE again is a train of controvertible postulates. From the teflimony of the sacred writers, in two texts , the Greek interpreters call Shillac, Soufakim; and of Josephus, who gives the naine Soufacos; certain it is, that he was contemporary with Rehoboam. The dynasties, as constructed by Eusebius and Syncellus, characterize Souffakeim as the son of Smendes, or Vennephes, the 66th king numbered by Syncellus; whereas Sethos, Sethosis, Sefoftris, or Sefac, is the 55th of Manetho. These notations are at variance with identity.
Sir I. Newton argues, “ That Sesac and Sesostris were kings of all Egypt, at one and the same time ; and that they agree not only in the time, but in their actions and conquests. Where Herodotus describes the expe
* Short Chronicle, p. 20. + Chronol. ch. ii. p. 216. I 1 Kings, xiv. 25. and 2 Chron. xii. 9. Ant, viii. 10.3.
dition of Sefoftris, Josephus tells us, that he described the expedition of Sesac, and attributed his actions to Sefoftris, erring only in the name of the king. Corruptions of names are frequent in history : Sesostris was otherwise called Sesochris, Sesoosis, Sethosis, Sesonchis *". $ Egypt was at first divided into many smaller kingdoms, like other nations, and grew into one monarchy by degrees.”
All great empires were composed of petty principalities, accumulated by successive conquests ; and, if Egypt were at first under the government of several independent chieftains, with local jurisdiction, it was consolidated into one monarchy long before the days of Rehoboam. In the time of Abraham and Jacob, it was under one sovereign. “ When Jofeph was set over all the land of Egypt, Pharaoh only in the THRONE was greater than he ; and, when the seven years of dearth began to come, and the dearth was in ALL lands ; in ALL the land of Egypt was bread ; and when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread +.” Every circumstance indicates one supreme monarch, and one prime minister, over the whole land. About the time of Moses' birth ss arose A NEW KING, who knew not Joseph.” His name too was Pharaoh.. At the egress, the Pharaoh of those days, with all his hoft, perished in the Red Sea 1.
HERODOTUS * Chronol. ch. i. p. 68. + Gen. xli. 40–57.
| Herodotus makes Pheron the son and sucoeffor of Sefoftris. Sir I. Newton affirms, that he was the first of the
HERODOTUS and D. Siculus, do not mention the father or predecessor of Sefoftris. But Josephus, quoting from Manetho, records, that Amenophis was the father of Serhóls. Africanus and Eusebius place Amenophis last in the 18th dynasty, and Sethos first in the 19th ; Africanus, in his 12th dynasty, inserts Sefoftris as the successor of Ammenemis.
SIR J. Marsham, and Sir I. Newton take for granted, that Amenophis, Ammemenes, Ammon, and Memnon, were one and the fame person, otherwise called Jupiter ; and that Bacchus, Osiris, Sethos, Sethosis, Sesonchosis, Sesac, were but different naines for Sesostris. If this be a discovery, it is a fabric built on conjecture, and the conclusion, weak, as the hypothesis is ambiguous.
SESØSTRIS and Sesac, it is said, reigned at the same time over all Egypt. But other chronologers, on grounds equally probable, refer the former to the times of the patriarch Jacob; and a third class represent him to be the Pharaoh who was drowned in the Red Sea. These surmises are, perhaps, all alike uncertain. Of Sefoftris nothing occurs, but in poetical traditions, or legendary catalogues of kings, without chronological notations. The time of Şelac's exiftence is determined by infallible authority.
But farther; to neither the one nor the other, or to any one Egyptian monarcb, so early as the days of Rehoboam, can the achieveinents, long voyages, and
Pharaohs; that in the reign of Afa he was drowned in the Nile; and that he was afterward deified under the name of Orus.
extenfive extensive conquests, enumerated by Sir Isaac Newton, be ascribed. This great author poftulates, “ That Amon, the father of Seloftris, having, by the aslistance of the Edomites, built a fleet on the Red Sea, the fun coasted Arabia Felix, failed beyond the Persian Gulf, and in those countries set up columns, with inscriptions, denoting his conquests. After these things, he invaded and conquered Libya, prepared a fleet on the Mediterranean, penetrated as far as the Ocean, and at the mouth of the Straits set up the famous pillars. At length he came out of Egypt and spoiled the Temple *. The allistance of the Edomites is the baseless fabric of a vision. That people first acquired reputation as navigators in the Chronology of ancient Kingdonis amended.
THE Egyptians at the time specified, and many ages after, had no skill in maritime affairs. In the infancy of arts, expeditions over a wide trackless sea, for traffic or conquest, were impracticable. « That of Sesostris has been considered as the most favourable era in the history of Egypt, for sending a colony into China. But, when examined with the greatest attention, it is nothing more than a facerdotal fi&tion, without the smallest particle of reality. Megaltenes, cited by Strabo, was perfe&tly right in maintaining, that Sesoftris had never set foot in India. What must be considered still more extravagant, is the opinion that he constructed a fleet of 6oo long vessels, on the Red
Sea. This prodigy is placed at a period, when the ignorance of the Egyptians in navigation was extreme, because their aversion to the sea was invincible. Ship timber besides was so very scarce in Egypt, that a sufficient quantity could with difficulty be found for completing the vessels employed on the Nile, and the different canals. It was, surely, after many unsuccessful attempts, that boats were constructed of baked earth, an invention hitherto never imitated by any nation. The method of burning these vessels, of giving them a certain degree of strength by exaîness of proportions, of varnishing and covering them with rushes, is now unknown. When the Ptolomeys endeavoured to establish a trade with India by the Red Sea, the want of wood forced them to use wretched barks, stitched with reeds and papyrus. It appears likewise, that they were always conducted by Greek pilots; for the Egyptians understood nothing of working them
ISAIAH, who prophesied two ful) centuries after Rehoboam, thus describes the state of navigation in Egypt, while he denounces execrations on the Æthiopians; “ Wo to the land, shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, that sendeth embassadors by the fea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters +.” Too bold, in a serious history of arts and wars, is the paradox of powerful fleets, conveyed from the Nile to the Eastern Ocean, in vessels of earth, burnt like
• Paw's Differtations on the Egyptians and Chinese, vol. i. p. 28. † Ila. xviii, z.