Sidor som bilder

Moses; but upon inquiry you will find this objection perfectly groundless; for during these 215 years, seven generations may easily have existed, allowing to each generation the usual length of thirty years. Now even supposing that only the ten children of Jacob, excepting Joseph and Levi, were married, and that from each marriage five sons were produced, we shall have, after the first

30 years . . . . 50 males in the first generation. 60 . . . . . . . 250 in the second. 90 . . . . . . 1250 in the third.

120 . . . . . . 6250 in the fourth.

150 . . . . . 31,250 in the fifth.

180 . . . . . 156,250 in the sixth.

210 . . . . . 781,250 in the seventh;

a number much exceding that which is mentioned by Moses. And here you are to observe, that out of the twenty individuals who went with Jacob into Egypt, I have calculated only upon ten marriages. I have not included the children of Joseph, or the children of Levi, or the children of any other of Jacob's grandsons, who was actually married at the time. Upon all these considerations, Mr. Bryant has a right to conclude, that the dwelling of the Israelites in Egypt did not exceed 215 years; and I have dwelt so long on some of the arguments which militate in favour of his opinion, to convince those of my hearers who perhaps for the first time hear of it, that this is actually the fact; a fact upon which I have endeavoured to establish my reasoning in regard to the Pharaohs who held the throne of Egypt at the time of Joseph and of Moses. I now return to Mr. Bryant. Another remarkable observation he makes, affects the royal Shepherds as well as the Israelites, and consists in the mode in which he calculates the sojourning of both of them in Egypt. As according to Mametho, the first empire of the Hyk-shos lasted 260 years, and the servitude of the Israelites 215; by adding these two numbers together, we have the sum of 475 years. These being deducted from the 511 years, which constituted the entire period which elapsed from the first invasion, to the total expulsion of the Shepherds, we have a deficiency of thirty-six years; and this period must have elapsed between the first expulsion of these invaders by Thumosis, to the arrival of Israel. Not less important in its results, though not quite so reasonable in regard to its origin, is the adoption of the old opinion, that the royal Shepherds were the Cushim of Babylonia. Mr. Bryant, in reviving this hypothesis, is perfectly correct in regard to the country from whence these strangers came, for such appears to me to be the fact; although, by the reasons which I have already stated, the mode for which he leads them to make the conquest of Egypt, appears to me utterly inadmissible. That the Shepherds belonged to the family of Cush, who had taken up their residence and built Babylon, is certainly true; but that they came from Babylon to Egypt immediately after their defeat at Babel, is an opinion that, on every possible ground, cannot be defended for a moment. Perhaps, before I have done with Mr. Bryant, I ought to mention the mode in which he explains the passage in the first chapter of Exodus, in which it is stated, “that a new king arose up over Egypt, who knew not Joseph.” Mr. Bryant considers that these expressions specify the accession to the throne of Memphis of a new dynasty, who must have been strangers to the country; “otherwise,” says he, “they could not be unacquainted with the benefits that Joseph had bestowed upon the distressed inhabitants, during the seven years of famine.” We shall see, in our next Lecture, that this is also the opinion of Mr. Faber. Such are the merits and the objections which must strike every intelligent reader, when he considers the hypothesis of Mr. Bryant. I have endeavoured to state them to you in the clearest way I could, because I considered it my duty, whilst endeavouring to explain the objections to which it is liable, to pay a proper tribute of respect to the extensive knowledge and indefatigable efforts of that learned gentleman, whose very name ought to carry conviction, if, in literary discussions, authority alone could enforce conviction. Although at all times I am ready to submit my opinions to those of the great writers who, like Mr. Bryant, are giants in literature; yet with all due deference to their talents and their knowledge, I shall never

shrink from what I consider to be my duty, as a public Lecturer, to state the judgment I have been led to form, upon due consideration, on all the circumstances of the case. And I do so with the less hesitation, because the great authority attached to the names of acknowledged scholars is apt to mislead the generality of readers; because being prejudiced in their favour, on account of the deference they are inclined, and have been properly taught to pay to the opinions of such men, they very often adopt, as indisputable truths, sentiments, systems, and notions, which by no means deserve the flattering appellation.

[ocr errors]

Continuation of the same subject—Hypothesis of Mr. Faber in regard to the Erodus and the Hyk-shos analysed—General reflections—Historical monuments—Important facts—Attempt at explanation—Objections–Conclusion.

We concluded our last Lecture with the criticism on the system imagined by Mr. Bryant, to solve the grand question, who were the Hyk-shos, or Shepherd kings, whence they came, and at what period they ruled over Egypt. As, according to the authority of Manetho and other ancient writers, the history of these invaders is closely connected with the eventful departure of the Israelites from Egypt, I endeavoured, in as full a way as I could, to put you in possession of what is known, or rather of what has been said about them by the most credible ancient authors. I quoted the fragment of Manetho, which has been preserved by Josephus, Chaeremon, and Lysimachus; and I quoted also what Diodorus and Tacitus have written on the subject. I endeavoured to point out to you the most important points on which these several authors agree or disagree

« FöregåendeFortsätt »