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pass them over at low water“; and the Egyptians, who pursuing them came later, might at first enter the wash safely as they did, but at midway, they might find the waters in their flow, loosening the sands, and prevent their going further. Hereupon they turned back, but it was too late ; for the flood came to its height before they could reach the shore. Arta panus in Eusebius informs us, that the inhabitants of Memphis related this transaction in this manner. And it may perhaps be thought that Josephus favoured this account, and therefore compared the passage of the Israelites over the Red Sea, to Alexander's over the sea of Pamphilia.” I have given this cavilall the weight and strength of which it can be capable ; let us now see how it may be refuted. And I would observe,
I. That the passage of Alexander the Great over the sea of Pamphylia, bears no mamer of resemblance to this of the Israelites over the Red Sea. Alexander was to march from Phaselis, a sea port, to Perga, an inland city of Pamphylia. The country near Phaselis, upon the shore of the Pamphylian sea, was mountainous and rocky, and he could not find a passage for his army without taking a great compass round the mountains, or attempting to go over the strand between the rocks and the sea. Arrian observes, that there was no passing here, unless when the wind blew from
y Euseb. Præp. Evang. lib. 9. c. 27. Artapanus' words are, Μεμφιτας μεν λεγειν, εμπειρον ούλα τον Μωυσον της χωρας την αμπωτιν τηρησανία δια ξηρας της θαλασσης το πλήθος περαιωσαι. .
2 Josep. Antiq. lib. 2, c. 16.
the North. A wind from this quarter was so directed as to keep back the tide from flowing so far up the shore as the southern winds would drive it; and therefore Alexander, perceiving just at this juncture, that there was a violent north wind, laid hold of the opportunity, and sent some of his army over the mountains, but went himself with the rest of his forces along the shore. It is evident that there was no mi. racle, unless we suppose the wind's blowing opportunely for Alexander's purpose, a miracle ; and Plutarch justly remarks, that Alexander himself thought, there was nothing extraordinary in this his passage ;' and it was certainly very injudicious in Josephus, to seem to compare this passage to that of the Israelites, when they are not in any one respect like to one another. The Israelites crossed over a sea, where no historian ever mentions any person but they, to have ever found a passage. Alexander only marched upon the shore of the sea of Pamphylia, where the historians, who most magnified the Providence that protected him, do allow that any one may go at any time when the same wind blows, which favoured him. It does not appear from any historian, that the Red Sca ebbs backward as far as where the Israelites passcd over, so as to leave a large tract of sand dry in the recess of every tide, six or seven miles in length, and three or four miles over. No one but the Israelites ever travelled over dry land in this place, and there
* Arrian. de Exped. Alex. lib. 1.
o Plut. in Alexand. p. 674. VOL. II.
fore, undoubtedly, here is no dry land, unless when Gon, by an extraordinary miracle, was pleased to make it so.
But, 11. If the passage of Moses and the Israelites over the Red Sea, was upon the recess of a tide, then all the particulars in Moses' account of this affair are false. 1. There needed no cloud nor pillar of fire, to direct the journey of the Israelites to the Red Sea ; for they were, upon this supposition, conducted thi. ther by the contrivance of Moses, who thought, that by his skill in the flux and reflux of the sea, he could better escape from Pharaoh there, than in any other place. 2. Moses represents, that the waters were divided and stood on heaps on both sides of the Israelites, and were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left; but this could not be true, if here was only an ebb or reflux of the tide. For if the tide was driven back by the strongest wind, the water could stand on heaps on one side only, namely toward sea ; the land side would be entirely drained, the water being driven by the wind down the channel. 3. Moses represents, that God caused a strong East wind to blow, in order to divide the waters, and this indeed is a proper wind, to have by God Almighty's direction such an effect as he ascribes to it; but if a reflux of the tide had been the only thing here caused, an East wind had not been proper to cause it. The Red Sea runs up from the ocean towards the North-west, therefore a North, or North-west wind would have had the only proper direction to have driven back the tide, if that had been what was done in this matter.
An East wind blows across this sea, and the effect of it must be to drive the waters partly up to the land's end, and partly down to the ocean, so as to divide the waters, as Moses relates, and not to cause a great cbb of tide ; and the blowing of such a wind as this, with a force suflicient to cause so extraordinary an effect, for the opening the Israelįtes so unexpected and unheard-of a passage through the midst of a sea, must be looked upon as a miraculous interposition of God's power for their preservation.
III. As to what Artapanus suggests, that the Egyptians who lived at Memphis related, that Moses conducted the Israelites over the Red sea, by his skill in the tides, there is no regard due to this fiction, especially if we consider, that the wise and learned part of the Egyptians rejected it. For the same author testifies, that the priests of Ileliopolis related the affair
• Εuseb. Praep. Evang. ubi sup. The words are : Ηλιο. πολιτας δε λεγειν, επικαταδραμεν τον Βασιλεα μετα πολλης δυναμεως, αμα και τους καθιερωμενοις ζωοις, δια του την υπαρξιν της Ικδαιας των Αιγυπλιων χρησαμενες διακομιζειν" τω δε Μωυσω θελαν φωνην γενεσθαι, παταξαι την θαλασσαν τη Ραβδω τον δε Μωυσον ακεσανία, επιθιγειν τη Ρας δω τα υδαλος, και πτω το μεν ναμα διασθηναι, την δε δυναμιν (some word, perhaps παρασχησαι, 9cens here to be omitted in the text) δια ξηρας oδει πορεύεσθαι" συνεμβανίων δε των Αιγυπλιων και διωκονίων, φησι πυρ αυτοις εκ των έμπροσθεν εκλαμψαι, την δε θαλασσαν παλιν την οδον επικλυσαι' τες δε Αιγυπλιο: υπο τε τα πυρος, και της τσλημμυριδος πανlας διαφθαρηναι: This account of the Memphites is remarkably agreeable to that of Moses. It indeed hints, that there were some lightnings, which
quite otherwise. Their account agrees with that of Moses. The Heliopolitans were always esteemed to be the wisest and most learned of all the Egyptians; and if Moses' authority, or the faithfulness of his narration could be questioned, this agreement of the leliopolitans with him, would be of far more weight with all reasonable enquirers to confirm his account, than · what is suggested from the Memphites can be of to impair its credit.
We have brought the Israelites out of Egypt, over the Red sca into the wilderness, the period which I designed for this volume. The reader must observe from the whole of it, that from the creation to this time, God had been pleased in sundry manners to reveal himself to mankind, in order to plant his true religion in the world ; and yet, notwithstanding all that had been done, this religion at this time had well nigh perished from off the face of the earth. All na. tions under heaven, of eminence or figure, were lost to all sense of the true God, and were far gone into the errors of idolatry. The Apostle seems to hint, that the defection was caused by their not liking to retain Gop
Moses has not expressly mentioned ; but perhaps it may be conjoctured from Psalı lxxvii. 16-20, that there were lightnings contributing to the overthrow of the Egyptians in the Red sea, and very probably there were anciently many true relations of this fact, besides that of Moses, from some of which the Memphites might deduce their Rarration.
Herodotus lib. 2, c. 3.