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According to this computation, the period which elapsed from the creation of the world to the birth of our Saviour, contains not less than 5441 years, exceeding the Hebrew text by 1437 years. This period must be divided into two parts; one preceding, the other following the deluge; the former comprehends the space of 600 years, the latter a little more than 800; according therefore, to the computation of the Septuagint, the deluge of Noah happened in the year 2262 of the world; and from that time to the birth of Christ, have passed not less than nearly 3200 years. This period, with a very trifling difference, agrees with the greatest part of the chronological accounts recorded by the different chronographers; and, with very trifling variations, corresponds with the chronology of most of the Eastern nations, the Persians, the Hindoos, the Chinese, the Phoenicians, and the Egyptians; and it is quite sufficient to account for any degree of civilization and improvement, which we find recorded by the historian, under the first leaders of mankind. Amongst these are the founders of the Babylonian and Assyrian monarchies, Nimrod, and Ashur, or, more properly, Ninus. By adopting the computation of the

Septuagint, Nimrod was born 334 years after the

flood; to these, 30 years at least must be added, to allow him to be of an age sufficiently strong to become the head of his people, and we shall have 364 years as the period in which Babylon was founded. Now this number is large enough to

suppose the children of Ham to have multiplied to an extent quite sufficient for the establishment of the Babylonian empire; for during this period, there must have been eleven or twelve generations, which would produce a number of individuals sufficiently large to undertake the building of Babel, and soon after to separate under different leaders. And here perhaps, I may be permitted to observe, that in adopting the reckoning of 5441 years from Adam to Christ, I have not assumed the largest number. According to the Alphonsine Tables, the computation would have carried us to nearly 7000 years; and even, according to Riccioli, to 5634, which is nearly 200 years more. Having thus proved the existence of the Babylonian empire, anterior to the time of Abraham visiting Egypt, my next object will be to ascertain the period in which that patriarch made his appearance at the court of Pharaoh. According to the Hebrew text, he visited Egypt 1921 years before Christ, that is, 292 after the Flood. This computation is wrong. For if I have proved Nimrod to have established the Babylonian empire in the fourth century after the Flood, it is evident that Abraham, who was much later in point of time, must have lived long after the period assigned by the Hebrew Bible; and we shall find that, in fact, he did not come into the world till the year 1072, reckoning from the same point. The proof of this assertion is by no means diffiC C

cult, though perhaps, it may be a little intricate; but if you favour me with a little attention, I hope to make the whole quite plain. It seems a point agreed upon by all the most learned writers of antiquity, that Abraham was contemporary with Ninus. This monarch, having conquered the Babylonian empire, added its fertile provinces to his Assyrian dominions. By ascertaining therefore the age of Ninus, we shall in fact ascertain the age of Abraham; and as this patriarch visited Egypt, at a time when that kingdom had already acquired a great degree of civilization and power, by establishing the date of his appearance at the court of Pharaoh, we shall remove every possible objection that can be urged against the antiquities of Egypt; for it is only in reference to Egypt that we enter into all this discussion; my object being to point out to you, that the antiquity of the monuments found in that country is proved by the most undeniable historical authorities, and by no means contradictory to, or contradicted by, the Mosaic account; on the contrary, confirming every syllable of it. Amongst the ancient writers who have endeavoured to transmit to posterity the history of the Assyrian and Babylonian empires, the most remarkable are Syncellus, Alexander Polyhistor, Africanus, and the celebrated Moses Chorenensis, commonly called Moses of Chorene, who, in his Armenian history, has preserved a valuable fragment, copied from Abydenus, an industrious com

piler of Chaldean records. All these writers appear to have copied from more ancient authors, the passing of the events which they have recorded, the date of which is now lost in the darkness of a very remote antiquity. All these historians agree in mentioning the names of eighteen different kings, who succeeded Nimrod at Babylon, and from their account it seems an established fact, that, between Nimrod and Ninus, three successive dynasties held the sceptre of that empire. The first, which commenced with Nimrod, consisted of seven kings, and continued for the space of 225 years; some writers say 190. The second dynasty consisted of six kings; it was founded by Mardocentes, an Arabian, who invaded Babylon, and, together with his successors, held the empire for 215 years. The third dynasty, consisting of five kings, began with Belus, and lasted 217 years. Now by adding together these three different numbers of 225 years, which is the duration of the first dynasty; 215, the duration of the second; and 217, the duration of the third, we shall have the sum of 657 years for the whole duration of the Babylonian monarchy, from Nimrod to Arbelus, the fourth descendant of Belus. This Arbelus was conquered by Ninus, from whose reign begins the Assyrian empire, strictly speaking. He was a descendant of Ashur, the first founder of that monarchy, who according to the Mosaic account, went forth from the the land of Babel, and built Nineveh, and other cities. Now, if to the 364 years, which is the period in which Nimrod built Babylon, we add the 657, which is the whole duration of the Babylonian monarchy previous to Ninus, we shall have the sum of 1021 years, as the date of the birth of Ninus, who afterwards conquered Arbelus, and added the Babylonian to his Assyrian dominions. And as Ninus was a contemporary of Abraham, it follows, that the computation of the Septuagint, which places the birth of that patriarch in the year 1070 after the Flood, is perfectly correct. I have said, that the Assyrian empire, strictly speaking, begins from Ninus, although it had been founded by Ashur. The reasons of this assertion are the following. In the first place, during the first 400 years of the Babylonian empire, no mention is made, by any writer either sacred or prophane, of the Assyrian monarchy, or even of the colony which left Babylon, under the guidance of Ashur; and in the second place, we are assured by the sacred pages, that this Ashur was a descendant of Nimrod, although we know not the date of his birth, or how far distant he was in regard to relationship from the founder of Babylon; for the language of Moses is rather general : “And from that land,” (that is, Babel), “ went forth Ashur, and built Nineveh.” Genesis x. Considering, therefore, that the population of Babylon

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