Obrazy na stronie

years, died in a good old age. The phraseology of that time. justifies the conclusion, that he lived one. full century.

In the continually decreasing period of longevity, Eli, about 66 years after, died by accident, at the age of 98, an old man; yet nothing is said of his having exceeded the ordinary term of life. Samuel succeeded him in the pontificate. Thirty years. was the age of consecration, and he had ministered in the vocation of a subordinate priest, before he rose to the primacy, when his age was probably 36. His administration, at the inauguration of Saul, was a period of 36 years more. Jofephus reports that Saul survived him only two years *. Every circumstance in the history confirms this notation; and more particularly Saul's confultation with the woman at Endor. If Samuel's death had not been a recent occurrence, it is not supposable, that the king would have desired an interview with that prophet. All these characters of time evince that Samuel lived 110 years,

UNCERTAIN is the date of Jesse's birth. He went for an old man in the days of Saul, when his son, David, was but a stripling. In the 36th of that reign, David committed his father and mother to the protection of the king of Moab;, and they most probably were living at the death of Saul. Hence it may be presumed, that Jesse's age filled up one complete century; and that human life was first reduced to the term of 70

• Ant. VI. 14. 8.

or 80 years in the time of David. In the 33d of this reign, and at the age of 8o, Barzillai pronounced himself a very old man.

3. RELYING on the certain truth of his postulate, Usher dedu&ts 31 years from the government of Joshua, which, with other mis-arrangements, to be specified in their proper places, abbreviates the chronology from Moses to Othniel.

4. In the Treatise on the Sacred Chronology, the age of procreation assigned to the three ancestors of David, after Salmon, contradicts the term of natural life, said, in the ANNALS, to have been fixed in the year after the Exodus, to 70, or 80. There it is alfumed, that Boaz lived 102, Obed and Jesse each 111, before the birth of their respective fons. The interval from the birth of Boaz to that of David is 324. This sum divided by 3, quotes 108, for the common measure. But is it credible, in a period of the world when very

few mortals lived more than 80 the space between three descents, in immediate succeslion, 'did exceed a century? To no purpose is it alleged, that a great many examples of persons, who lived from 130 to 150 years, from the days of Vespafian to Thomas Parr, are recorded in history. These examples the Primate has been at great pains to collect. His conclusion is a paralogism. The point to be proved was, that three fathers, in lineal and continuous order, in any

period since the time of David, begat sons at

years, that

• Fart. I. C. 12.


the age of 102, or ; that is 20 or 30 years after the usual and ultimate term of life. Serious reasoning in support of a paradox is ridiculous.

Much easier it is to demolish a tottering, than erect a firm and well proportioned fabric. The scheme. of scripture chronology will derive both firmness and proportion from genealogy. In this directory, for computation, two rules are carefully to be observed. The age of procreation must neither anticipate the course of nature, nor be extended to the utmoft term of life. The birth of a son prior to the 14th of a father's life may, as not vouched by experience or history, be considered as a physical improbability; and in the sacred genealogies no example of procreation before 16 occurs, and none ought to be admitted.

FROM. Abraham to David the generations are 14, counting Solomon the first of a new series.

When the long lives of the first three patriarchs are considered, (175, 180, and 147), the birth of Isaac in the 100dth of Abraham, of Jacob in the both of Isaac, and of Judah in the 8ift of Jacob, are events in perfect agreement with the course of nature. From the descent into Egypt, with which the birth of Pharez has been connected, to the egress, the years are 215, and the generations four, excluding Nahshon, whose age at the egress is supposed to have been 19. This number taken from 215 leaves 196 for the four intermediate generations, of which the mean quantity for each is precisely 49. The ages of Levi, Joseph, Kohath, and Amram, were severally 137, 110, 133, and 137, and


the common measure 129. These four were contempoyary with Pharez, Hezron, Aram, and Amminadab. It involves no absurdity to affirm, that 49. was the mean interval of defcents, at a time, when the mean term of life was 129

From the birth of Nahlhon, as above ftated, to that of Solomon, are 475 years, and six generations, the common measure being 79. It has been shewn, that the mean: term of life in this interval was 108, which exords the mean age of procreation by 29. In none of these computations is any thing affirmed, at variance with the course of nature.

The foregoing arrangements proceed on the fuppofition, that David was the last in the first series of 1 generations. But the Evangelists words may be couldered as placing David at the top of the second kories without enlarging the number of generations na chat, or the fublcquent dividiva.

This conjeture reits on the authority of an inSpind writer: * Pharca begat Hezron, Hezron begat Ram Raro begat Amminalab, Ammiadab began Mariana Nate brya Sama?, and Salmon begat viac, Boaz byat Oon, Obed bgar Jezie, ani jede Arga Daradi Samoa w kore ciuratorued as the Wa Swain, and great of a Trade

wa Exhihirum Asram, zi de soci A hardest luck in its Chetcugaal AzequiBoletim gelince when return of tra

[ocr errors]

names denotes two different persons. In his second dissertation On the State of the Printed Hebrew Text *, Kennicott approves the conjecture, as ingenious, probable, and satisfactory. This emendation, if it be one, is mentioned not as absolutely necessary to ascertain the genuine chronology of the Bible, and its conformity with the course of nature ; but merely as an expedient for weakening an objection, otherwise not forcible t.

• P. 184. and 543,

+ The reasons which justify the fixing of Nahshon's birth to the 19th year before the Exodus, evince that he died after Joshua. Certain it is, that fome elders, at least, who had seen all the great works of the Lord, (both in Egypt and at the Jordan), did actually survive Joshua; Eleazar, for instance.; and if Nahshon did not, it will be impossible to find the plurality implied in All. The same reafuns which demonstrate the im. probability, that the Rachab, Mat. i. S. was the fame Rahab who entertained the spies, Jolh. ii. are set forth at large in the Dissertation on the Hebrew Genealogies. If the name in both passages describe the same person, she must have been 180 years old at the birth of Boaz.

Sir Isaac Newton, 'finding a Jeshua who had fons in the retinue of Zorobabel from Chaldea, confounds that Levite with the high priest of that name. In the same register he finds an Ezra, and a Nehemiah, whom he affirms to have been living 100 years after.



« PoprzedniaDalej »