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A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728 ; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3548. A. C. 1863. GEN. xxxvij. TO THE END. an alliance, and took this occasion to establish the rite | dreams, had gained a great reputation for knowledge, of circumcision, if not in all Egypt, at least among per- and perhaps among the populace, might pass for a sons of the sacred order, who, according to the account diviner, he took an occasion from hence, in order to of those who wrote the history of that country, in very carry on his design, to assume a character that did not early days certainly were not without it.
belong to him. There is no reason, however, to infer from Some may imagine, that the better to personate an the words, that the art of divining by the cup, as it came Egyptian lord, and thereby conceal himself from his afterwards to be practised, was then in use in Egypt; brethren, or rather to comply with the language of the because the words before us, according to the sense of court, in this particular, “ Joseph swore by the life of the best interpreters, do not relate to this cup as the Pharaoh,' in the same manner as the Romans, in adula- instrument, but as the subject of divination ; not as the tion to their emperor, were wont to swear by his genius. thing with which, but as the thing concerning which this It must be acknowledged indeed, that, as every oath is a magical inquiry was to be made. And so the sense of the bolemn appeal to God, to swear by any creature what-steward's words will be, “ How could you think, but that ever must needs be an impious and idolatrous act; and my lord, who is so great a man at divination, would use therefore the proper solution of this matter is,—not that the best of his skill to find out the persons who had oaths of this kind were allowable before the institution robbed him of the cup, which he so much prizes ?” And of Christianity, but that Joseph, in making use of these this tallies exactly with the subsequent words of Joseph, words, did not swear at all. For since every oath im-"Wot ye not that such a man as 1,' “ I, who have raised plies in it either an invocation of some witness, or a myself to this eminence, by my interpretation of dreams, postulation of some revenge, as our great Sanderson and may therefore well be accounted an adept in all terns it, to say that Joseph appealed to the life of other sciences, should not be long at a loss to know who Pharaoh as a witness is ridiculous ; and without a very the persons were that had taken away my cup?”. This forced construction indeed, the words can never be sup- seems to be the natural sense of the words; the only posed to include in them a curse, and therefore their one, indeed, that they will fairly bear : ' and though most easy signification must be, what we call indicative: they do not imply that Joseph was actually a magician, * By the life of Pharaoh,' that is, as sure and certain as yet they seem to justify the notions of those men who Pharaoh liveth, ‘ye are spies ;' just as we say, “By the think, that he carried his dissimulation to his brethren so sun that shines, I speak truth,' that is, as sure as the sun far, as to make them believe that he really had some shines ; neither of which can with any propriety be called knowledge that way. oaths, but only vehement asseverations.
The royal psalmist, in his description of the sufferings The words which Joseph's steward, sent to apprehend of Joseph, & tells us, that he was not only sold to be a his brethren, makes use of, are, : • Is not this the cup in 'bond-servant, but that' his feet were hurt in the stocks, which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth ?' and iron entered into his soul,' which signifies at least that and the words wherein Joseph accosts them, when they he endured very hard usage, before the time came that are brought before him, are, 3 « What deed is this that ye his cause was known,' and his innocence discovered ; have done? Wot ye not, that such a man as I can cer- and of all this his brethren, when they sold him into tainly divine ?' And from hence * some have imagined, slavery, were properly the occasions. So that, could that Joseph was a person addicted to magical arts, and we conceive, that any angry resentments could harbour by virtue of this single cup, could discover strange and in a breast so fully satisfied of a divine providence in wonderful things. But in answer to this, others have all this dispensation, we might have imagined that observed,' that the word nashah, which we render to Joseph took this opportunity to retaliate the injuries divine, was formerly of an indefinite sense, and meant which were formerly done to him ; but this he did not. in general to discover, or make a trial of; and accord- He desired indeed to be informed in the circumstances ingly they have devised a double acceptation of the of their family, without asking any direct question; and steward's words, as if he should say,—By this cup (viz : therefore he mentions his suspicion of their being spies, left in a careless and negligent manner) my master was merely to fish out of them, as we call it, whether his aged minded to make an experiment, whether you were thieves, or honest men ; or say,—By this cup, wherein
Heidegger's Hist. Patriar, vol. 2. Essay 20. be drinketh, my a master discovers and finds out the * Saurin's Dissertations.
8 Ps, cv, 17, 18. temper and dispositions of men, when they are in liquor.
6 Julius Serenus tells us, that the method of divining by But both of these senses seem a little too much forced, the cup, among the, Assyrians, Chaldees, and Egyptians, was and are far from agreeing with the other words of Joseph. to fill it first with water, then to throw into it thin plates of It must be acknowledged, therefore, that as magical gold and silver, together with some precious stones
, whereon arts of divers kinds were in use among the Egyptians, who came to consult the oracle, used certain forms of incanta
were engraven certain characters; and after that, the persons many years before Joseph's time of coming thither; and tion, and so calling upon the devil, were wont to receive their that as Joseph, by his wonderful skill of interpreting answers several ways: sometimes by articulate sounds ; some
times by the characters which were in the cup rising upon the Sanderson's Prælec, 5. sect. 7. : Gen, xliv. 5.
surface of the water, and by their arrangement forming the 'Gen, xliv. 15. * See Saurin's Dissertation 38.
answer; and many times by the visible appearing of the persons s Poole's Annotations, and Patrick's Commentary.
themselves, about whom the oracle was consulted. Cornelius
Agrippa, (De Occult. Philos. b. 1. c. 57,) tells us likewise, a What may seem to give some small sanction to this sense, that the manner of some was, to pour melted wax into the cup, is that known passage in Horace :-"Kings are said to have sup- wherein was water, which wax would range itself in order, and plied liberal potations to him whom they wished to scrutinize, so form answers, according to the questions proposed. -Saurin's is be was worthy of their friendship.”
Dissertation 38; and Heidegger's Hist. Patriar. Essay 20.
A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3548. A. C. 1863. GEN. CH. XXxvij. TO THE END. father, and his younger brother were yet alive. For never imitate. So that, upon a review of his whole conupon their return, we may perceive, especially consider- duct, Joseph is far from deserving blame, that all this ing that it is the first minister of a mighty state that seeming rigour and imperiousness of bis did eventually speaks to a company of poor indigent shepherds, a produce a great deal of good ; and was in reality no wonderful tenderness in his expressions : " • Is your more than the heightening the distress, or thickening the father well; the old man of whom you spake, is he still plot, as we call it in a play, to make the discovery, or alive ?' besides the instructions which he plainly gave future felicity he intended his family, more conspicuous his steward to bid them be of good cheer.' When he and agreeable. understood that his father and brother were both alive, It must be acknowledged, indeed, that Moses has done and as yet had not matters prepared for the removal of justice to the history of Joseph, and employed most of his father and family, the eagerness of his affections may the tender passions of human nature to give it a better perhaps be thought to have carried him a little too far, grace; but we must not therefore infer, either that he in demanding his brother to be brought to him ; but we hath transcended truth or committed an error, in recordare not to doubt but that Joseph, by the Divine Spirit ing the quality of the persons employed to embalm his wherewith he was endowed, did certainly foresee what father. What has led some into a great mistake conwould happen, and that his father's grieving a little time cerning the origin of physic, and that it was of no for Benjamin, would be so far from endangering his vogue in the world until the days of Hippocrates, was health, that it would only increase his joy, when he saw the great superiority of skill and genius which he him again, and dispose him the better for the reception demonstrated both in his practice and writings. The of the welcome news of his own advancement in Egypt; truth is, the divine old man, as one expresses it, did so which, had it come all upon him at once, and on a totally eclipse all who went before him, that as posterity sudden, might have been enough to have bereaved him esteemed his works the canon, so did it look upon him of his senses, if not of his life itself, by a surfeit of joy, as the great father of medicine. But if we will credit
Upon their second dismission, after a very kind enter the testimony of Galen, who, though a late writer, was a tainment, it may be thought perhaps a piece of cruelty very competent judge, we shall find, that he was far from in Joseph, to have his cup conveyed, of all others, into being the first of his profession, even among the Greeks. Benjamin's sack, and thereupon to threaten to make him Homer, indeed, in his poem of the Trojan war, seems a bond-slave for a pretended felony: but herein was to have cut out more work for surgeons than physicians ; Joseph's great policy and nicety of judgment. He and therefore we find the chief of the faculty only emhimself had been severely treated by the rest when he ployed in healing wounds, extracting arrows, preparing was young, and therefore was minded to make an expe- anodynes, and other such like external operations ; but riment, in what manner they would now behave towards if we look into his other work, which is of a more pacific his brother ; whether they would forsake him in his dis- strain, we shall soon discern the use of internal applicatress, and give him up to be a bond-slave, as they had tions, when we find Helen brought in as giving Telemasold him for one ; or whether they would stand by him chus a preparation of opium, which, as the poet informs in all events, make intercession for his release, or ad- us, she had from Polydamna, the wife of Thon, an venture to share his fate.
Egyptian physician of great note. And well might the This, perhaps, may be thought, was carrying the matter physicians of Egypt be held in great esteem," when (as a little too far : but, without this conduct, Joseph could Herodotus relates the matter) every distinct distemper not have known whether his brethren rightly deserved had its proper physician, who confined himself to the the favour and protection which he might then design, study and cure of that only; so that one sort having the and afterwards granted them. Without this conduct we cure of the eyes, another of the head, another of the bad not had perhaps the most lively images that are to teeth, another of the belly, and another of occult diseases, be met with in Scripture, of injured innocence, of meek- we need not wonder, that all places were crowded with ness and forbearance, and the triumphs of a good con- men of this profession, or that the physicians of Joseph's science in him; and of the fears and terrors, the convic-household should be represented as a large number." tions and self-condemnations of long concealed guilt in True it is indeed, that these physicians, and the very them. Without this conduct, we had not bad this lovely portraiture of paternal tenderness, as well as brotherly Warburton's Divine Legation of Moses, vol. 2. b. 4. sect. 3. affection; we had never had those solemn, sad, and
6 Meth. Medic, b. 1. melting words of Jacob, 3 . If I am bereaved of my worth our notice and serious consideration. " Since such paschildren, I am bereaved,' enough to pierce a tender sages are related by men, who affect no art, and who lived long parent's heart; or those words, * * Joseph is yet alive, 1 after the parties who first uttered them, we cannot conceive how will see him before I die,' enough to raise it into joy and they had been suggested by his Spirit, who gives mouth and exultation again. In a word, without this conduct, we speech to man; who, being
alike present to all successions, is able had never had that courteous, that moving, that pleasingly to communicate the secret thoughts of forefathers to their children, mournful speech, wherein Moses makes Judah address and put the very words of the deceased, never registered before, Joseph, in behalf of his poor brother Benjamin, which after, and that as exactly and distinctly as if they had been caught
into the mouths or pens of their successors, for many generations exceeds all the compositions of human invention, and in characters of steel or brass, as they issued out of their mouths: a flows indeed from such natural passions, as art can for it is plain every circumstance is here related, with such
natural specifications, as he terms it, as if Moses had heard them Gen, xliii. 7.
? Universal History, b. 1. c. 7. talk; and therefore could not have been thus represented to es, * Gen. xliii. 14.
• Gen. xlv. 28. unless they had been written by his divine direction, who knows a The observation of a learned author upon the dialogue he all things, as well forepast, as present, or to come." —Dr Jacksen tween Jacob and his sons, as well as the speech of Judah, is well on the Creed, b. 1. c. 4.
A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3548. A. C. 1863. GEN. CH. XXXVİL TO THE END. best of them, were employed in embalming the dead; but come to a conclusion, he gave the people back their then there was a wise designation in this, 'namely, not liberties and estates, reserving to the king no more than only to improve them in the knowledge of anatomy, but a double tenth out of the produce of their lands, as a to enable them likewise to discover the causes of such tribute of their vassalage ; which, considering the richdisorders as were a baffle to their art. And therefore ness of the soil, and the little pains required in cultivatit was the custom of the kings of Egypt, as Pliny ing it, was an imposition far from being burdensome to inforns us, to cause dead bodies to be dissected, on the subject, or vastly disproportionate to the benefit they purpose to find out the origin and nature of all diseases. had received, a Thus it appears from the concurring testimony of other There is but one thing more that I find objected to historians, that the practice of physic was a common Joseph, in this public station, and that is, his favour thing in Egypt, as early as the days of Joseph ; that the and indulgence to the priests, and priests that were multitude of its professors makes it no strange thing his idolaters, in sparing their lands, and laying no tax upon having a number of them in his family; and that the them. nature of the thing, as well as the order of the state, The Jewish doctors have a tradition, that when Joseph obliged the very best of them to become dissectors and was in prison, and his master bad bad designs against embalmers.
him, it was by the interest of the priests that he was set This may serve for a vindication of what the sacred free, and that, consequently, in gratitude, he could not historian has related of our patriarch in his private life, do less than indulge them with some particular marks of and we come now to consider him in his public capacity. his favour, when he came into such a compass of power. As soon as he had foretold the king the long famine But there is no occasion for any such fiction as this. that was to befall Egypt, he gave him advice to have the The priests of Egypt were taken out of the chief famififth part of the product of the country laid up in store lies of the nation ; they were persons of the first quality; against the ensuing want. The tenth part, according to the constitution of the nation, belonged to the king
* Lord Shaftesbury's Characteristics, vol. 3. Miscel. 3.
* Shuckford's Connection, vol. 2. b. 7. already, and to advise him to purchase as much more, for seven succeeding years, was to consider him as the Joseph as viceroy of Egypt: but fortunately that conduct stands
a This is rather a feeble attempt to vindicate the conduct of public father of his people, for whose support and wel in need of no other vindication, than to be fairly stated. If credit fare he was concerned to provide. When himself was be due to Diodorus Siculus, all the land of Egypt was, prior to appointed to the office of gathering in the corn, he took this period, divided, in equal shares, among the king, the priestcare , no doubt, to have his granaries in fortified places, the beginning, adscriptitii glebæ; and they were not likely to
hood, and army. The people therefore must have been, from and as the scarceness increased, to have them secured suffer by being transferred with the soil, which they cultivated, by a guard of the king's forces, to prevent insurrections from the vassalage in which they had hitherto been held by a and depredations. When he came to open his store- fierce soldiery to the common sovereign and father of his people. bouses, he sold to the poor and to the rich ; and was it But let us suppose, that Diodorus was mistaken, and that not
the army but the people at large, shared the soil in equal not highly reasonable, that he who bought the corn, portions with the king and the priests. Even on this supposishould likewise sell it ? or that the money, which by the tion they were gainers by the new regulation of Joseph; for king's commission and order, had been laid out for such they henceforth enjoyed four-fifths of two-thirds of the produce of a stock of provisions against the approaching necessities the whole kingdom, instead of one-third as formerly. Indeed of his subjects, should return to the king's coffers again, happy for them that the minister, whom they acknowledged to
whatever was the state of the Egyptians before this famine, it was to answer his occasions ? When their money was gone, have saved their lives, was not on that occasion influenced by they brought him their cattle ; but this they did of their modern notions of civil and political liberty.—“ By the policy of own accord, without any compulsion or circumvention; Joseph, the whole of the land of Egypt, not occupied by the and might he not as legally exchange corn for cattle, as
priests, became the property of the sovereign, and the people with
their children his slaves; an event, which, however unpropitious he did it for money before ? His corn he kept up perhaps might be in any other country, was necessary there, where at a high rate ; but had he sold it cheap, or given it every harvest depended on the Nile, and where the equal distrigratis, the people, very likely, would bave been profuse bution of its waters could alone produce a general cultivation. and wanton in the consumption of it; whereas his great possible to induce individuals to sacrifice their own possessions,
When the lands of Egypt were private property, would it be care and concern was, to make it hold out the whole time that they might be turned into canals for the public benefit ? or, of the famine. He obliged the inhabitants of one city when the canals were constructed, would it be possible to prevent and district to remove, or make room for those of the inhabitants of the upper provinces from drawing off' more another ; but this he might do, not so much to show their water than was requisite for their own use, and thereby injuring
the cultivators lower down? But when the whole belonged to subjection to Pharaoh, as to secure the public peace, by one man, the necessary canals would be constructed; the distridisabling them in this way from entering into any sedi- bution of water would be guided by prudence ; each district would tious measures and combinations.
receive its necessary proportion; and the collateral branches It cannot be imagined, indeed, but that, in a time of would then, as they are now, be opened only when the height of such general want and calamity, men's minds would be Valentia's Travels, vol. 3, p. 348.)–Our author's supposition,
the river justified such a measure for the public benefit.” (Lord ripe for rapine, violence, and mutiny; and yet we meet that the people who had sold their lands to preserve their lives, with no one commotion, during the whole period of his were transplanted into cities far from their former places of abode, critical ministry; which bespeaks the skill of the mariner, that they might, in time, lose the remembrance of their ancient when he is found able to steer steady in the midst of so
possessions, is a groundless dream. Granaries were formed, and
cities and villages built in every district of the kingdom; and In fine, after be had a long while when cultivation ceased, the people were transplanted, for the executed his high trust, and the years of famine were easiness of distribution, from the country into such of those cities A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3548. A. C. 1863. GEN. CH. xxxvii. TO THE END. were consulted upon all affairs of consequence ; and, That the memory of Joseph, and of the wonderful upon a vacancy, generally some one of them succeeded benefits he did, during the time of his administration, to the crown. It was not likely, therefore, that persons was preserved among the Egyptians, under the worship of their high rank and station wanted Joseph's assistance of Apis, Serapis, and Osiris ; that the Egyptian manner to strengthen their interest, for the obtaining of any of interpreting dreams was taken from what occurs in immunities ; nor is it apparent that they had it. On the his history; and that the Charistia, mentioned by Valecontrary, it seems evident from the text, that whatever rius and Ovid, namely, festival entertainments, either peculiar favours they were vouchsafed, proceeded all, for confirming friendship, or renewing it when broken, not from Joseph's good-will, but from the king's imme- were transcripts of the feast which Joseph made for his diate direction and appointment; for the land of the brethren, is the general opinion of such learned men as priests bought he not,' says Moses, (ci chok le cohanim have made the deepest inquiry into these matters. meeth Pharaoh) because Pharaoh had made a decree That the patriarch Jacob went down with his whole expressly against it, or, in analogy to our translation, family into Egypt, where he found his son Joseph in * because there was an appointment for the priests, even great power and prosperity, is reported by several pagan from Pharaoh ; and the portion, which he gave them, they writers, who are cited by Eusebius ; that the Egyptians, did eat, and therefore sold not their lands.'
as were nearest to them; and when the famine ceased, they were Warburton's Divine Legation of Moses, b, 4. sect. 3. sent back, with seed to sow their former fields.
tumultuous a sea.
according to what Moses tells of them, had an unaccountWhy Pharaoh, when he thought fit to lessen the pro-able antipathy to shepherds, especially foreigners, is perty of his common subjects, did not, at the same tine, related by Herodotus ; that the priests in that country attempt to reduce the exorbitant riches of the priests, we enjoyed several high privileges, and were exempted from may in some measure account for, if we consider, that paying all taxes and public imposts, is every where according to the constitution of the kingdom, the Egyp- apparent 6 from Diodorus ; and that Joseph was just tian priests were obliged to provide all sacrifices, and to such a person as Moses has represented him, the testibear all the charges of the national religion, which, in mony ’ of Justin, with which we conclude the patrithose days, was not a little expensive ; so very expen- arch's story, is enough to convince us. “ Joseph, the sive, that we find, in those countries where the soil was youngest of his brethren,” says he,“ had a superiority not fruitful, and consequently the people poor, men did of genius, which made them fear him, and sell him to not well know how to bear the burden of religion; and foreign merchants, who carried him into Egypt, where therefore Lycurgus, when he reformed the Lacedemonian he practised the magic art with such success as rendered state, instituted sacrifices, the meanest and cheapest that him very dear to the king. He had a great sagacity in he could think of. But Egypt, we know, was a rich and the explanation of prodigies and dreams ; nor was there fertile country, and therefore, in all probability, the king any thing so abstruse, either in divine or human knowand people being desirous that religion should appear ledge, that he did not readily attain. He foretold a with a suitable splendour, made settlements upon the great dearth, several years before it happened, and priests from a the very first institution of government prevented a famine’s falling upon Egypt, by advising among them, answerable to the charges of their function. the king to publish a decree, requiring the people to Add to this, that the priests of Egypt were the whole make provision for divers years. His knowledge, in body of the nobility of the land ; that they were the king's short, was so great, that the Egyptians listened to the counsellors and assistants in all the affairs which con- prophecies coming from his mouth, as if they had procerned the public; 'were joint agents with him in some ceeded, not from man, but from God himself.” things, and in others, his directors and instructors. Add again, that they were the professors and cultivators of astronomy, geometry, and other useful sciences; that they were the keepers of the public registers, memoirs, CHAP. III.- Of the Person and Book of Job. and chronicles of the kingdom; and, in a word, that, under the king, they were the supremne magistrates, and that Job was a real person, and not a fictitious char
. filled all prime offices of honour and trust : and consider-acter, and his story matter of fact, and not a parabolical ing them under these views, we may possibly allow, that representation, is manifest from all those places in Pharaoh might think that they had not too much to support Scripture where mention is made of him; and, therethe station they were to act in, and for that reason, ordered that no tax should be raised upon them.
* Diodorus Siculus, b. 2. c. 1. * De Fast. b. 2. Thus we have endeavoured to clear the sacred history | Prep. Evan. b. 9. Ib. b. 2. c.47. • Ib. b. 1. 'Ib. b. 36. c. 2. from all inputations of improbability or absurdity, as
b Nay, upon the supposition that the whole book were a dramwell as Joseph's conduct, both private and public, fromatic composition, this would not invalidate the proofs which we all unjust censure, during this period of time; and may have from Scripture, of the real existence of this holy patriarch, now produce the testimony of several heathen writers, or the truth of his exemplary story. On the contrary, it in confirmation of many particulars related herein.
much confirms them; seeing it was the general practice of dramatic writers, of the serious kind, to choose any illustrious
character, and well known story, in order to give the piece 1 Diodorus Siculus, b. 1.
its due dignity and efficacy; and yet, what is very surprising a It is the opinion of some, that Mizraim, the founder of the the writers on both sides, as well those who hold the book
. of Joh Egyptian monarchy, might, in memory of some Noachical tradi- to be dramatical, as those who hold it to be historical, have fallen tion, set apart, at the very first, a maintenance for the priesthood, into this paralogism, that, if dramatical, then the person and however degenerate and corrupt. Be this as it will, it is certain, history of Job is fictitious : which nothing
but their inattention that, in process of time, their allotment increased to such a to the nature of a dramatic work, and to the practice of dramatic degree, that they became possessors of one-third part of the whole writers, could have occasioned-Warburton's Divine Legation, land, according to Diodorus, b. 1.
vol. 3. b. 6.
A. M. 2976. A. C. 1728; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3548. A. C. 1863. GEN. CH. XXXVII. TO THE END. fore when, in the Old Testament, we find Job put in them originally from the instruction of his parents, as company with Noah and Daniel, and equally dis- they successively derived them from the first' father of tinguished for his righteousness, as in the New he is the faithful,' who had them immediately from God. But, commended for his patience, we cannot well suppose what is an undoubted matter of fact, by his wife Ketuthat the Spirit of God, in both these places, intended to rah, ' Abraham had a son, whose name was Shuah; and delude us with a phantom, instead of presenting us with therefore when we read of Bildad the Shuhite, we may a real man.
well suppose, that he was a descendant from that family; Whether we allow that the book of Job is of divine who living in the neighbourhood perhaps, might think revelation or not, we cannot but perceive, that it has in himself obliged by the ties of consanguinity, to go and it all the lineaments of a real history; since the name, visit his kinsman, in such sad circumstances of distress. the quality, the country of the man, the number of his In what part of the world the land of Uz lay, various children, the bulk of his substance, and the pedigree of opinions have been started, according to the several his friends, together with the names and situations of families from whence Job is made to descend ; but, upon several regions, can give us the idea of nothing else ; supposition that he sprung from one of Keturah's sons, though it must not be dissembled, that in the introduc- his habitation is most properly placed in that part of tion more especially, there is an allegorical turn given to Arabia Deserta which has to the north, Mesopotamia some matters, which, as they relate to spiritual beings, and the river Euphrates ; to the west, Syria, Palestine, would not otherwise so easily affect the imagination of and Idumea ; and to the south, the mountains of the the vulgar.
Happy Arabia. And this description receives some Job, according to the fairest probability, was in a farther confirmation from the mention which the history direct line, a descended from Abraham, by his wife Ke- makes of the Chaldeans and Sabæans plundering his turah : for by Keturah, the patriarch had several sons, estate, who were certainly inhabitants in these parts. whom he, being resolved to reserve the chief patrimony In what age of the world this great exemplar of sufentire for Isaac, portioned out, as we call it, and sent fering lived, the difference of opinions is not small, even them into the east to seek their fortunes, so that most of though there be some criterions to direct our judgment them settled in Arabia ; and for this reason perhaps it is, in this matter. ' That Job lived in the world much that the author of his history records of Job, that before earlier than has been imagined, is, in some measure, his calamities came upon him, he was the greatest of evident from his mentioning with abhorrence, that ancient all the men of the east.'
kind of idolatry, the adoration of the sun and moon, and The character which God himself gives of Abraham is yet passing by in silence the Egyptian bondage, which, this, * • I know him that, he will command his children, upon one occasion or other, could have hardly escaped and his household after him, and that they shall keep the notice either of him or his friends, had it not been the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment;' which subsequent to their times. That he lived in the days of may well afford another argument for Job's being the patriarchs therefore is very probable, from the long descended from the house of Abraham, since we find duration of his life, which, continuing an hundred and dispersed everywhere in his speeches, * such noble sen- forty years after his restoration, could hardly be less in timents of creation and providence, of the nature of all than two hundred ; a longer period than either Abraangels and the fall of man, of punishments for sin and ham or Isaac reached. That he lived before the law, justification by grace, of a redemption, resurrection, and may be gathered from his making not so much as one final judgment,-notions which he could never have allusion to it through the whole course of his life, and struck out from the light of nature, but must bave had from his offering, even with God's order and acceptance,
such sacrifices in his own country as were not allowable
after the promulgation of the law, to be offered in any 'Spanheim's History of Job, c. 5. Job, 1, 3. "Gen. xviii, 19. 1 Spanheim's History of Job, c. 10.
other place, but that 8 • which the Lord had chosen in a At the end of the Greek, the Arabic, and Vulgate ver
one of the tribes of Israel ;' and that he lived after sious of Job, we have this account of his genealogy, which is Jacob may be inferred from the character given him by said to have been taken from the ancient Syriac:-“ Job dwelt God, namely, that for uprightness and the fear of God, in Ausitis, upon the confines of Idumea and Arabia. His name there was none like unto him upon the earth,' which at first was Jobab. He married an Arabian woman, by whom he had a son called Ennon. For his part, he was the son of large commendation could not be allowed to any Zerah, of the posterity of Esau, and a native of Bozrah; so that whilst Jacob, God's favourite servant, was alive ; por he was the fifth from Abraham. He reigned in Edom, and the can we suppose it proper to be given to any, even while kings before him reigned in this order:-Balak, the son of Beor, Joseph lived, who, in moral virtues and other excelJobab.. Job was succeeded by Hushanı, prince of Teman; lencies, made as bright a figure as any in his time. after him reigned Hadad, the son of Bedad, who defeated the Midianites in the field of Moab. Job's friends, who came to visit him, were Eliphaz, of the posterity of Esau, king of Teman;
5 Gen. xxv. 2. 6 Job ii, 11, 7 Spanheim, c. 3. Bildad, king of the Shuhites; and Zophar, king of the Naama
8 Deut. xii. 13, 14, thites." According to this account, Job must be contemporary 6 The Rev. Dr Hales, from a variety of historical and astrowith Moses, and the three friends who came to see him must be nomical deductions, calculates the time of Job's trial as happening kings. But the learned Spanheim, who has examined this B.C. 2337, or 818 years after the deluge, 184 years before the matter to the bottom, finds reason to think, that Job was a dis- birth of Abraham, 474 years before the settlement of Jacob's tinct person from Jobab; was sprung from Abraham by his wife family in Egypt, and 689 years before their departure from that Keturah ; and lived several years before the tinie of Moses.--country. Taking this view of the era of Job—and it is the best Calmet's Dictionary, on the word Job; and Spanheim's life of supported of any yet advanced—the deduction in the text from
the words, and there was none like unto him upon the earth,'