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day in the evening;' and accordingly on the fourteenth
" Ver. 7.
• Exod. xii. 6.
Ver. 33. · Exod. xii. 37.
account of the History of the Jewish Nation, a He tells us, that some time after the birth of Moses, “The Egyptians had the leprosy amongst them; that upon consulting their oracle for a cure, they were directed to send away, all the infected persons out of the land, under the conduct of Moses. Moses undertook the command of them, and at his leaving Egypt stole away the Egyptian Sacra. The Egyptians pursued them, in order to recover their Sacra, but were compelled by storms to return home again, Moses in seven days passed the Desart of Arabia, and brought the people to Sinai.' This account is indeed short, imperfect, and full of mistakes ; but so are the heathen accounts of the Jews and their affairs. If the reader peruses the whole of what Justin says of the Jews, he will see that his account of them is all of a piece, and that he had made no true enquiry into their history. Ilowever, after all the mistakes, which either the misrepresentation of the Egyptian writers might cause, or the carelessness and want of examination of other historians occasion, thus much we may conclude from Justin to be on all hands agreed ; that the Jews were sent out of Egypt under the conduct of Moses, that the Egyptians might get free from plagues inflicted upon them by the divine hand; and that after they were dismissed the Egyptians pursued them, but were disappointed in their pursuit, not by force of arms, but by obstructions from providence, in the direction of storms and weather to defeat them.
· Justin. Hist. lib. xxxvi. cap. 2.
Justin hints so many points, which are so near the truth, in the several parts of the Jewish history, that I imagine, if due pains had been taken to examine,, he would have given a truer account of this, and all the other particulars which he has hinted about them, and their affairs. · Justin relates, that the Jews at their departure stole the Egyptian Sacra, We say, they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment. If they borrowed them, we cannot say that they had any design of returning them again ; and therefore the injustice may be thought the same as if they stole them. Some modern writers have taken the greatest liberty of ridiculing this particular, and are pleased in thinking that it affords them a considerable objection against the sacred Scriptures. For they insinuate, with more than ordinary assurance, that no one can, consistently with plairi and common honesty, which all men know too well to be deceived in, suppose that God Almighty directed, or ordered the Israelites to borrow in this manner. • The wit of the best poet, is not sufficient to reconcile us' to the retreat of a Moses, by the assistance of an Egyptian loan ;' said Lord Shaftsbury, amongst other things, which he thought might bear hard against the morality of the sacred history. Some very judicious » writers have endeavoured to justify the Israelites borrowing of the Egyptians; but I shall not offer any of their arguments, because I cannot find, that the sae'
cred text does in the least hint, that they borrowed, or attempted to borrow any thing of them. The Hebrew word which our translators have rendered borrow is shaal, which does not signify to borrow, but to ask one to give. It is the very word used Psalm ü. 8. Sheal-ve ettenah, ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. The fact was, God had told Moses, that the Israelites should not go out of Egypt empty; but that every woman should ask her neighbour, and the person she lived with, to give her jewels and raiment, and that he would dispose the Egyptians to give them. Thus when they were leaving Egypt, the children of Israel asked the Egyptians for jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment; and the LORD' gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they gave them what they asked for, so freely as to impoverish themselves by making presents to them. Josephus represents this fact agreeably to the true sense of the sacred text. He says that the Egyptians, δωροις τε τες Εβραιες ετιμων οι μεν υπερ το ταχιον εξελθειν' οι δε και κατα γειτνιακης agos aut's ourndalavo made the Hebrews considerable presents ; and that some did so, in order to induce them to go the sooner away from them; others out of respect to, and upon account of the acquaintance they had had with them.
• Ibid. iii.
d See Exod. iii. 22. & xii. 35. Joseph. Antiq. Jud. lib. 2. c. 14.
The exit of the children of Israel out of Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years after Abraham's first coming into Canaan. Now Abraham came into Canaan A. M. 2083, so that counting four hundred and thirty years forward from that year, we shall fix the exit A. M. 2513, in which year it was accomplished. Our English translators have rendered the xiith chapter of Exodus, verse 40, very justly; nowo the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwell in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. The interlinear translation of the Hebrew Bible, and the vulgar Latin version, both misrepresent the true sense of the place, by rendering it to this effect; now the inhabiting of the children of Israel, whereby they inhabited in Egypt, were four hundred and thirty years. The children of Israel did not live in Egypt four hundred and thirty years; for they came into Egypt with Jacob A. M. 2298, and they went out of Egypt A. M. 2513, so that they lived in Egypt but two hundred and fifteen years; therefore the sojourn. ing of the children of Israel must not be limited to their living in Egypt only, but taken in a more gencral sense, and extended to the time of their living in Canian; for the four hundred and thirty years, herc mentioned, begin from Abraham's first coming into Canaan. The Samaritan text has the verse thus, now the inhabiting of the children of Israel, and their fathers, whereby they inhabiled in the land of Canaan, and in the land of Egypt, were four hun.
3 See vol. i, B. v, p. 218.
Sce vol. ii, B. vii.