|« Prev||Jewish Chronology.||Next »|
Chapter XXVI.—Jewish Chronology.
…From Haran, a city of Mesopotamia, (Abraham, by the command)10591059 There is here a hiatus, which Abbe Cruice thinks is caused by those portions of the ms. being lost, in which Hippolytus furnishes his Summary of the Jewish Sects. The object of introducing these genealogical and ethnic remarks might at first seem irrelevant; but they are intended to be subservient to Hippolytus’ Demonstration of the Truth, by proving the superior antiquity, as coming down from Abraham, of revelation above all pagan philosophy. [See cap. xxvii. infra.] Abbe Cruice refers us to his work (pp. 72–77), Études sur de Nouveaux Documents Historiques empruntés à L’Ouvrage des φιλοσοφουμενα, Paris, 1853. of God, transfers his residence into the country which is now called Palestine and Judea, but then the region of Canaan. Now, concerning this territory, we have in part, but still not negligently, rendered an account in other discourses. From the circumstance, then, (of this migration) is traceable the beginning of an increase (of population) in Judea, which obtained its name from Judah, fourth son of Jacob, whose name was also called Israel, from the fact that a race of kings would be descended from him.10601060 [Vol. ii. p. 306, this series.] Abraham removes from Mesopotamia (when 75 years old, and) when 100 years old he begat Isaac. But Isaac, when 60 years of age, begat Jacob. And Jacob, when 86 years old, begat Levi; and Levi, at 40 years of age, begat Caath;10611061 That is, Kohath (see Gen. xlvi. 11). and Caath was four years of age when he went down with Jacob into Egypt. Therefore the entire period during which Abraham sojourned, and the entire family descended from him by Isaac, in the country then called Canaanitis, was 215 years. But the father of this Abraham is Thare,10621062 That is, Tera (see Gen. xi. 26). and of this Thare the father is Nachor, and of this Nachor the father is Serag, and of this Serag the father is Reu, and of this Reu the father is Peleg, and of this Peleg10631063 Gen. xi. 16.the father is Heber. And so it comes to pass that the Jews are denominated by the name of Hebrews. In the time of Phaleg,10641064 [Possibly a physical catastrophe. Gen. x. 25, and 1 Chron. i. 19.] however, arose the dispersion of nations. Now these nations were 72,10651065 The system of seventy-two nations here adopted by Hippolytus is that advanced by Jewish writers generally, and has been probably deduced from the tenth chapter of Genesis. Another historian of the heresies of the Church adopts it—Epiphanius. A chronographer, however, contemporary with Hippolytus—Julius Africanus—discarded this number, as is proved by the fragments of his work preserved by Eusebius and Syncellus. corresponding with the number of Abraham’s children. And the names of these nations we have likewise set down in other books, not even omitting this point in its own proper place. And the reason of our particularity is our desire to manifest to those who are of a studious disposition the love which we cherish towards the Divinity, and the indubitable knowledge respecting the Truth, which in the course of our labours10661066 The allusion here made constitutes a strong reason for ascribing The Refutation to Hippolytus, the author of which here states that he had written a Chronicle. But the fragment in our text corresponds with a Latin translation of a Chronicon given by Fabricius, and bearing the name of Hippolytus. The terms in which Hippolytus delivers himself above imply that he was the inventor of a chronological system, thus harmonizing with the fact that the Paschal Cycle, though ever so faulty, was selected out of all his writings for being inscribed on Hippolytus’ statue, dug up on the road to Tivoli a.d. 1551, in the vicinity of Rome, near the Church of St. Lorenzo. [This modest note is of no slight importance to the case, as elucidated by Bunsen and Wordsworth.] we have acquired possession of. But of this Heber the father is Salah; and of this Salah the father is Caïnan; and of this Caïnan the father is Arphaxad, whose father is Shem; and of this Shem the father is Noah. And in Noah’s time there occurred a flood throughout the entire world, which neither Egyptians, nor Chaldeans, nor Greeks recollect; for the inundations which took place in the age of Ogyges and Deucalion prevailed only in the localities where these dwelt.10671067 [Hippolytus does not call in the Greek fables to support the biblical story; he dismisses them with indifference. Yet the universality of such traditions is unaccountable save as derived from the history of Noah. There are, then, in the case of these (patriarchs—that is, from Noah to Heber inclusive)—5 generations, and 495 years.10681068 Cruice has 435 years. This Noah, inasmuch as he was a most religious and God-loving man, alone, with wife and children, and the three wives of these, escaped the flood that ensued. And he owed his preservation to an ark; and both the dimensions and relics of this ark are, as we have explained, shown to this day in the mountains called Ararat, which are situated in the direction of the country of the Adiabeni.10691069 [That such relics were exhibited need not be doubted if the account of Berosus is credited. We may doubt as to their genuineness, of course.] It is then possible for those who are disposed to investigate the subject industriously, to perceive how clearly has been demonstrated the existence of a nation of worshippers of the true God, more ancient than all the Chaldeans, Egyptians, and Greeks. What necessity, however, is there at present to specify those who, anterior to Noah, were both devout men, and permitted to hold converse with the true God, inasmuch as, so far as the subject taken in hand is concerned, this testimony in regard of the antiquity of the people of God is sufficient?
|« Prev||Jewish Chronology.||Next »|