Obrázky na stránke

observed from the very earliest times in the new world, and the Brahmans profess that it was the same in the old. In the 43d chapter of Genesis, verse 32, we read, that “they set on for Joseph by himself, and for his brethren by themselves; and for the Egyptians which did eat with him by themselves ; because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians.” And this, we know, was the case not only in Egypt but Chaldea and every part of Hindostan. This extract from Alexander Polyhistor, therefore, so far from invalidating the accounts given by Abydenus and Apollodorus, confirms what those authors relate. And it is ebservable, that the trifling alteration of reading days for years, a system followed by the prophets in our own sacred writings,* reconciles the whole Chaldean record with the Hebrew text of our Scripture. Mr. Bryant attempts to parry these evident truths, by asserting, "Berosus never wrote that the rule of the Chaldean kings reached to the time of the deluge; they are the words of the copier; for Alorus was indubitably Nimrod, and those ten, supposed to have been antediluvian kings, were the genealogy of Nimrod, consisting of four persons only." Does this author mean,


that four reigns only occupied twelve hundred years at any given period after the deluge? Or that the reign of Nimrod reached down to A. M. 2838 ? Had the Greeks omitted these words, the text would have been equally clear. For the events which they record are to be found in no other period of history, sacred or profane. But how does this system agree with the comment of Mr. Bryant in a preceding page, where he censures Apollodorus for having omitted Otiartes, whom he styles the ninth in the genealogy of Noah! “There seems,” says he, “some omission in the transcript, given by Eusebius from Apollodorus, which is supplied by Syncellus; he mentions Amempsinus as eighth king, in order, who reigned ten Sari ; after him comes Otiartes, to whom he allots eight Sari. His son was Xisusthrus, in whose time was the well-known deluge.” If this author believed that the genealogy was that of Nimrod, and consisted of four persons only, “the rest being foreign to the catalogue, and through ignorance inserted,” what motive could induce him to enforce the introduction of Amempsinus and Otiartes ? For if Xisusthrus was Noah, and the son of Otiartes, then. must all the preceding have been antediluvian kings; which militates entirely against the inverted system that he is so anxious to establish. The Chaldeans name the father of Xisusthrus or Sisusthrus, which is the same, Ardates.


We can scarcely suppose that Mr. Bryant follows Syncellus, for the purpose of establishing that mankind were preserved in the race of Cain ; which must be the case, if Sisustbrus was the son of Otiartes. It was the history of the kings, not of the patriarchs, that Berosus promised to give an account of in his second book. As this, unfortunately, has not been preserved, we must be satisfied with the information which we find in the first, where it is recorded, that of the ten generations of antediluvian princes, seven only, inclusive of Alorus, became sovereigns before the flood; and where their names and the number of years each prince in the line of Alaparus reigned from the death of Alorus to the deluge are specified. And after telling us that those six reigns collectively occupied seventy-four Sapoi, or 740 years, and reached to the deluge, Alexander Polyhistor further informs us, “that after the death of Ardates, his son Sisutbrus succeeded, and reigned eighteen Eapoi; in his time was the well-known deluge.” Now, as Ardates was not of the race of Alaparus, Sisuthrus the son of Ardates must have been of the race of Seth. Berosus wrote of the kings who governed the antediluvian world; and the Chaldeans, equally with the Hebrew, Chinese, Egyptian, and Hindu historians, repre

[ocr errors]

sent all the kings except one who governed the world, from the death of the first-created to the deluge, as the descendants of the eldest son of our first parent; thus admitting the eighth prince, who was saved in the ark, to have descended from a younger son ; and clearly evincing, that, if the eighteen Lapoi noticed by Alexander Polyhistor, were intended for the reign of Sisuthrus, they could not have been in the antediluvian world, But here, I conceive, we have an error of the translator; who, reading in Berosus, that “the prince during whose reign happened the great deluge, reigned eighteen Lapor," and in another part, that during the time of Sisuthrus, the son of Ardates, happened the great deluge, attached the eighteen Lapor as the reign of the latter ; not recollecting that Anodaphus, who reigned that number of years, and whose reign reached to the deluge, although the contemporary of Sisuthrus, was not of the same rank at the same time with him. Anodaphus was the seventh and last king of the old world ; Sisuthrus the eighth and first king of the new world. How, says Mr. Bryant, “could the ancients be so weak as to imagine, that there was a city in Babylon, and a country named from it, ten generations before the flood, also a province styled Chaldea? These names were circumstantial and imposed in after times, for particular reasons, which could not before have existed. Babylon was the Babel of Scripture, so named from the confusion of tongues. In like manner Chaldea was denominated from people named Chusdim or Chassdim.” The first assertion is founded on very high authority, but we have the same authority for saying that when the city of Babylon was first built the whole world was “ of one language, and of one speech." Consequently, unless the Hebrew was that one language, neither the city nor the tower, could have been then named from the word confusion : Although it might subsequently have been so called, by the Hebrews, but not by the Chaldeans. On or about the time that Peleg was born, Noah divided the world between his three sons. Ham and Japheth travelled westward. They departed from their father Noah, to inhabit those countries which the Almighty had appointed for them. They stopt at a plain in the land of Shinar, and disregarding the orders which they had received to separate, they determined to build a city and a tower, which employed them for twentyfour years : when they left off building the city, all the workmen being necessary for the completion of the tower. By this time, the population being greatly increased, they set about enlarging the city. For on that work they were employed, when they were scattered from thence, over the

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PredošláPokračovať »