A Miracle in Stone: The Great Pyramid, by Joesph A. Seiss, , at sacred-texts.com
"And I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of His testimony."—REV. 12: 10, 11.
It is a singular fact and not without significance that whilst this oldest, largest and highest edifice of stone ever piled by human hands
has been before the eyes of the most intelligent portions of the race for more than four thousand years, the learned world has not yet been able to settle what to think of it. Strange to say, it has always been a puzzle and a mystery.
THE ANCIENT TRADITIONS.
The Jews up to the Saviour's time had a cherished tradition that this Pyramid was built before the flood. Josephus, the learned scribe, gives it as historic fact that Seth and his immediate descendants "were the inventors of that peculiar sort of wisdom which is concerned with the heavenly bodies and their order. And that their inventions might not be lost before they were sufficiently known, upon Adam's prediction that the world was to be destroyed, they made two pillars, the one of brick, the other of stone. They inscribed their discoveries on them both, that in case the pillar of brick should be destroyed by the flood, the pillar of stone might remain and exhibit these discoveries to mankind." He also adds, "Now this (pillar) remains in the land of Siriad (Egypt) to this day." (Jewish Antiquities, i, 2.) Such an idea so strongly rooted in the mind of God's chosen people is very noteworthy, to say the least.
The Arabians had a corresponding tradition. In a manuscript (preserved in the Bodleian Library, and translated by Dr. Sprenger) Abou Balkhi says, "The wise men previous to the flood, foreseeing an impending judgment from heaven, either by submersion or by fire, which would destroy every created thing, built upon the tops of the mountains in Upper Egypt many pyramids of stone, in order to have some refuge against the approaching calamity. Two of these buildings exceeded the rest in height, being four hundred cubits high, and as many broad, and as many long. They were built with large blocks of marble, and they were so well put together that the joints were scarcely perceptible. Upon the exterior of the building every charm and wonder of physic was inscribed."
Massoudi, another Arab writer, gives the same even more circumstantially, and says that on the eastern or Great Pyramid as built by these ancients the heavenly spheres were inscribed, "likewise the positions of the stars and their circles, together with the history and chronicles of time past, of that which is to come, and of every future event."
Another Arabic fragment, claiming to be a translation from an ancient Coptic papyrus,
gives a similar account of the origin of the pyramids, and states that "innumerable precious things" were treasured in these buildings, including "the mysteries of science, astronomy, geometry, physic, and much useful knowledge."
So, too, the famous traveller, Ibn Batuta, says, that "the pyramids were constructed by Hermes, the same person as Enoch and Edris, to preserve the arts and sciences and other intelligence during the flood." And it was by reason of fanciful exaggerations of this same tradition that Al Mamoun made his forced entrance into this edifice.
Of course these accounts cannot be accepted in their literal terms. They are manifestly at fault in various particulars. The very oldest of the pyramids, by its own testimony, was not built till six hundred years after the flood. Seth and Enoch therefore were not its builders, whatever they may have contributed indirectly to it. Nor was the motive for it just the one alleged, though perhaps involving something of the truth. The idea of the storage of material treasures, or of literal inscriptions on the walls and stones, has also been proven erroneous, at least as to what now remains of the edifice. But where so much smoke is there is
apt to be some fire. Nearly every superstition in the world has some truth at the bottom by which it was brought into being, and there is every probability that there is here also some kernel of reality. The pyramids certainly exist, and they exist just where these traditions locate them. The great one also proves itself possessed of a marked scientific character. Much of this science must necessarily have come over from antediluvian times. Six hundred years were too short for mankind to have made all the observations here recorded. Noah had special revelations in the science of measures, mechanics, and all that superior wisdom necessary for the building of a ship larger than the Great Eastern, and capable of weathering a wilder and wider sea than ever was navigated before or since. What he and his fathers knew before the flood he certainly would not leave behind when he embarked for a new world, which it was his conscious mission to people. The implements used in the building of the ark, the knowledge of their uses, and how to manufacture them, together with all that God had taught or man had learned on the other side of the flood, he took with him into the ark, and with the same disembarked on our side of that awful water.
[paragraph continues] By some of his immediate descendants only a short time after the death, if not within the lifetime of his son Shem, the Great Pyramid was built. Of necessity, therefore, the science by which and to which this pyramid was fashioned, and perhaps the very tools which helped to build the ark, at least the knowledge of how to make and use such tools, came over from beyond the flood, and found imperishable memorial in this monument. Hence, though not built by Seth and the Sethite antediluvian patriarchs, there was still a real connection between it and them—between their science and what it embodies.
And even what these traditions state with regard to the intent of the building is not wholly without basis in reason. It is pretty clear that there was an atheistic and God-defiant science before the flood the same as now, which would necessarily create anxiety on the part of the holy patriarchs to preserve and perpetuate the pure truth as God had given it. Their religious fidelity would involve this, and we know that they were faithful in this respect. As a false worship, an oppressive rule, a corrupt system of weights and measures, and a perverted life in general were set up by Cain and his wicked seed, luring the world to destruction,
[paragraph continues] Seth and his posterity, as they "continued to esteem God as the Lord of the universe and to have an entire regard to virtue," held to another theology, science, and system of things very sacred and dear to them, which they would be most religiously concerned to preserve and transmit to remotest generations. Noah as a faithful Sethite would be specially anxious and diligent to inculcate and perpetuate that order, his faithfulness to which had saved him and his house when all the rest of mankind perished. The faithful among his descendants could not but share in the same anxieties, particularly when they saw mankind again relapsing into the old Cainite apostasy. Out of devotion to the truth of God, nothing could be more natural for them than, over against the impious Babel tower, to wish for some permanent memorial to God and the sacred wisdom and teaching which they had from him. Acting thus under the holiest of impulses, especially if aided in it by divine inspiration, as Noah was in the building of the ark, just such a modest but mighty science-laden pillar as the Great Pyramid might be anticipated as the result, and the essential import of these strange traditions thus be realized.
MORE MODERN OPINIONS.
But over against all such ideas there is a long array of the most diverse and contradictory opinions.
For a long time it has been customary to regard the pyramids as mere monuments of the power and folly of the monarchs by whom they were erected, and of the enslavement of their subjects. Pliny says that they were built for ostentation and to keep an idle people at work. Hales calls them "stupendous monuments of ancient ostentation and tyranny." F. Barham Zincke enlarged on the theory that "capital is bottled-up labor, convertible again at pleasure into labor or the produce of labor;" that as there were no government bonds, consols, and productive stocks in which to invest in the time of the pyramid builders, they might as well invest their barren surplusage in making for themselves eternal monuments, or some safe and magnificent abodes for their mummies, as to conceal it in barren treasuries to tempt other people's covetousness; and that this is the way to account for the pyramids! Robinson refers to them as "probably the earliest as well as the loftiest and most vast of all existing works of man upon the face
of the earth," but thinks "there is little room to doubt that they were erected chiefly if not solely from the vain pride of human pomp and power." Stanley speaks of them as the product of a silly ambition, the study of which can make them only "more definite objects of contempt." To such an estimate Brande has sufficiently answered that "this is a very superficial and prejudiced view of the matter. The varying magnitude of the pyramids, the fact of their being scattered over a space extending lengthwise about seventy miles, and their extraordinary number, appear to show pretty conclusively that they must have been constructed (in their original, at least) from a sense of utility and duty, and not out of caprice or from a vain desire to perpetuate the names or the celebrity of their founders."
Some trace the pyramids to Nimrod, and think they were meant to be towers of security. But the idea of a Nimrodic origin of these structures is a mere surmise, wild and without a particle of evidence looking in that direction. And as retreats for men in case of flood or invasion, no such structures ever could have been thought of by any rational people, and none others could have built them. Destitute of habitable space within, incapable in
their perfect state of being ascended, and furnishing neither standing room nor shelter on their summits, they would be a poor resort for safety in any such emergency.
Mandeville considered them the granaries built by Joseph to store up the products of the seven years of fatness against the succeeding seven years of famine. But nothing could be more ill adapted for a purpose of that sort. They were a thousand times more costly than the worth of all the corn they could hold, and any one of them would require more time to construct than double the number of years Joseph had to prepare for the famine. We also have the highest evidence now that the Great Pyramid, which alone was capable of serving in this line, was built hundreds of years before Joseph was born.
Others have regarded them as astronomical observatories, and some have even figured an imaginary base around each where the students of the sky might sit and contemplate like great heavenly choirs. But that such amazing buildings all in one low place and incapable of being ascended should have been erected merely to furnish sittings for a few star-gazers, for whom any rock or hillock would answer as well, is a little too much for credulity
itself. And the modern uncovering of the Great Pyramid's finish at the base has effectually dispersed forever all these imaginary choirs.
Others have supposed the pyramids intended as artificial barricades against the sands of the desert or the breaking forth of the Nile. But the eye of an observer sees at a glance the paltry absurdity of such an idea. The Nile never had any notion of breaking over this hill of solid rock, and if it had the pyramids were a vain thing to hinder either it or the sands of the desert.
THE TOMB THEORY.
A more extensively accepted opinion now is that the pyramids were all designed for royal sepulchres "and nothing else," which is doubtless true of most of them. It is possible also that the idea of a tomb for Cheops may have mingled with the original design of the first and greatest of them, though there is no evidence to that effect. It may have been given out for a tomb for him as a mere blind to the nation at large, but in any event the tomb idea never could have been more than subordinate and incidental.
We know now that this pyramid was built
during the reign of Cheops, in the so-called Fourth Dynasty of Egyptian Kings. But it is nearly as certain that Cheops never was entombed in it. The account given by Herodotus is sometimes quoted in proof that he was, but it is clearly a misunderstanding. That account says that Cheops was buried in some subterraneous place where "the Nile water introduced through an artificial duct surrounds an island." But there is not a single opening either in or under the Great Pyramid which is not far above the highest Nile level. That Cheops never was entombed in the so-called King's Chamber is therefore certain in so far as what Herodotus tells about it is accepted. Personally he knew nothing. He only records what was told him. And the priest from whom he got his statement either was as ignorant as himself, or Cheops never was buried in this pyramid. Diodorus says positively that Cheops was not buried here, but in some obscure and unknown place. For six hundred years after Al Mamoun broke open this pyramid the Arab writers who tell of the feat, say not a word of any human remains or indications of sepulture being found. Shehab Eddin Amed Ben Yahiya, on the contrary, says that "nothing was discovered as to the motive or time of its
construction." Massoudi tells of certain findings, such as colored magic stones, columns of gold which nobody could move, images in green stone, and a cock with flaming eyes, which stories none but a Moslem can believe; but says not a word of the finding of any man or any evidence of the use of the place as a tomb. And not less than a dozen of the best European authors on the subject, from Helfricus to Sir Gardiner Wilkinson's Guide Book to Modern Egypt, though some of them believe that the Great Pyramid was intended for a sepulchral monument, agree in stating that there is no proof that anybody ever was entombed in it. *
But if this edifice was reared to be a royal sepulchre, why was it not used as such? Very curious are the explanations to which the tomb theorists have resorted to account for the failure. Diodorus among the old writers, and Baumgarten among the more modern ones, say, that the people of Egypt were so enraged at the sufferings endured from the builders of the two greatest pyramids, and at their various violent actions, as to threaten to tear them out of their sepulchres, whereupon "they both charged their relatives at their death to inter them secretly in some obscure place." To this Colonel Vyse has conclusively answered, "If Cheops reigned fifty years, and had sufficient power to construct the Great Pyramid, it can scarcely be supposed that his body was not deposited in it [if so intended], particularly as his successor is said to have reigned fifty-six years, and to have erected a similar tomb for himself, which he could scarcely have done had his predecessor's tomb been violated or any doubt have existed about the security of his own."
Helfricus and Veryard get over the difficulty
by assigning the Great Pyramid to that Pharaoh who perished in the Red Sea while pursuing the departing children of Israel. As that monarch's body was never recovered, they say of course his sepulchre never was used! Still others explain that the tomb was Joseph's, and became vacant at the time of the Exodus, as his brethren took his body with them when they went up to the land of promise. But unfortunately for these explanations, the Great Pyramid was built some six hundred years before Moses and several hundred year's before the viceroyalty of Joseph.
The truth is that the tomb theory does not fit the facts, the traditions, or any knowledge that we have on the subject. It is wholly borrowed from the numerous later pyramids, ambitiously and ignorantly copied after it, which were intended and used for royal sepulchres, but with which the Great Pyramid has nothing in common, save locality and general shape. In all the examination to which it has been subjected, whether in ancient or modern times, and in all the historic fragments concerning it, there is nothing whatever to give or to bear out the idea that its intention was simply that of a royal sepulchral monument, or that can legitimately raise the tomb
theory any higher than a possible but very improbable supposition.
SOMETHING MORE THAN A TOMB.
It is also important in this connection to note that something wholly distinct from a mere sepulchre, or something additional and of much greater significance, has always haunted the convictions of those who have most profoundly studied this wonderful structure.
Sandys gives place to the idea of a tomb, but considers it a tomb built with special reference to the symbolization of spiritual doctrines and hopes, together with "conceits from astronomical demonstrations." Greaves accepts it for a tomb, but one framed with intent to represent spiritual ideas. Shaw denies its tombic character altogether, and pronounces it a temple of religious mysteries. Perry admits that it may have served as a royal tomb, but had special reference to sacred beliefs. Jomard gave but little credit to the treasure theory of the East or the tomb theory of the West, and considered this pyramid likely to prove itself gifted with something of great value to the civilized world, particularly in the matter of measures and weights. Wilkinson considers
the pyramids tombs, but is persuaded that some were "intended for astronomical purposes." Mr. St. John holds them as meant for religious uses and symbolisms. Agnew takes them as tombs, but at the same time as embodiments of science—"emblems of the sacred sphere, exhibited in the most convenient architectural form"—a squaring of the circle outside (which is true only of the Great Pyramid) and a setting forth of various geometric, astronomic, and mathematical mysteries inside. Sir Isaac Newton considered them sources of very important information on the subject of measures. Sir John Herschel was persuaded of the Great Pyramid's astronomical character, and found in it standards of measure which he urged England to adopt in preference to any other on earth. Beckett Denison admits it to be a highly scientific monument of metrology, mathematics, and astronomy. Hekekyan Bey, of Constantinople, in a volume published in 1863, ignores the idea of the granite Coffer being a sarcophagus, and speaks of it as "the king's stone," deposited in its sanctuary as a record of a standard of measure. Proctor argues that it is "highly probable" that the builders of the Great Pyramid sought "to represent symbolically in the proportions of the
building such mathematical and astronomical relations as they were acquainted with," and "may have had a quasi scientific desire to make a lasting record of their discoveries, and of the collected knowledge of their time." And since what has been written and pointed out by John Taylor, Piazzi Smyth, Sir John Vincent Day, Rev. T. Goodsir, Captain B. F. Tracy, Mr. James Simpson, Henry Mitchell, Dr. Alexander Mackey, Charles Casey, Rev. F. R. A. Glover, Hamilton Smith, J. Ralston Skinner, and others, within the last fifteen years, we can but wonder that any one at all read up on the subject should think of withholding from this colossal monument the award of something vastly more than a mere tomb.
That subterranean chamber cut deep into the solid rock would seem to indicate a tomb, but that chamber never was finished, and no one pretends that it was ever used for sepulture. It must have been meant for some other purpose. A vast tumulus, solidly built, with but few and narrow openings, terminating in finely polished rooms in its interior, would seem to agree with the idea of a grand sepulchre, but when we find in it a transcendent geodesic plan of location, equally dividing the
earth surface between the equator and the north pole, palpably marking the centre of all habitable land distribution on the globe, and giving the best meridional line for the zero of latitude for all nations, surely we ought to begin to think of something else. A square with four sloping sides built up to a point in the centre, would seem to be a proper device for an enduring royal mausoleum, and hence the same was long accepted in Egypt for sepulchral monuments of the kings, but when we find in the first and original of them a perfect geometric figure, so framed that the four sides of its base bear the same proportion to its vertical height as the circumference of a circle to its radius, that each of its base-lines measures the even ten millionth part of the semi-axis of the earth just as many times as there are days in the year, that its height multiplied by 109 gives the mean distance between the earth and its great centre of light, that its unit of length is the even five hundred millionth part of the polar diameter of the globe we inhabit, that its two diagonals of base measure in inches the precise number of years in the great precessional cycle, that its bulk of masonry is an even proportion of the weight of the earth itself, and that its setting and shaping are
squared and oriented with microscopic accuracy,—nothing of which is to be found in the 4 scores of neighboring pyramidal tombs,—by what law of right reason are we to dismiss from our thoughts every idea but that of a mere sepulchre? A polished stone coffer, conveniently deep, and wide, and long to accommodate the body of a man, and put up in noble place as here, would seem to bespeak a royal sarcophagus, but when we find that Coffer of the utmost plebeian plainness, quite disproportioned to such a purpose, devoid of all known covering, ornament, inscription or sepulchral insignia, incapable of being placed in its chamber with a body in it, is there not room for rational doubt that it was ever meant or used for a burial casket? And when we perceive in it a most accurately shaped standard of measures and proportions, its sides and bottom cubically identical with its internal space, the length of its two sides to its height as a circle to its diameter, its exterior volume just twice the dimensions of its bottom, and its whole measure just the fiftieth part of the chamber in which it was put when the edifice was built, we may well wonder what all such unparalleled scientific elaborations have to do with a mere tomb! The inclined entrance
of a fitting size to receive a coffin, and down which a coffin could be conveniently slid to some chamber in the depths below, would be in keeping with a tombic intent, but when we find it terminating below in what never was a burial-chamber, and turned above in a sharp angle which no coffin such as the Coffer could pass, and that entrance most inconveniently located just to bring it into the plane of the meridian at an angle to point to the lower culmination of a pole star at the same time that the Pleiades are on the meridian above,—does it not become necessary to think of something more than a mere tomb, if not to abandon that idea altogether? All the other pyramids of Egypt were meant for tombs, but none of them have any upward passages or upper chambers. The Grand Gallery in this edifice, so sublime in height, so abrupt in beginning and termination, so different from all the other passages before or beyond it, so elaborately and peculiarly contrived and finished in every part, is absolutely incomprehensible on the tomb theory or on any other, save that of a high astronomical, historical, and spiritual symbolism, having nothing whatever to do with the entombment of an Egyptian despot. And when we find in this edifice throughout, one great system of
interrelated numbers, measures, weights, angles, temperatures, degrees, geometric problems, cosmic references, and general geodesy, which modern science has now read and verified from it, reason and truth demand of the teachers of mankind to cease writing that "no other object presented itself to the builder of the Great Pyramid than the preparation of his own tomb."
That all these things should appear in a great metrologic, scientific, and symbolic structure, meant to memorialize the most important features of universal nature, history, and theology, we can easily understand. But that they should turn up in what was never meant to be anything but a tomb, as Lord Valentia, Shaw, Jomard, and others have submitted, is beyond all rational comprehension or belief. Mere literary Egyptologists, whose world of inquiry is bounded by classic tombs, Siriadic sepulchres, and heathen temples,—a few sneering scientists, who find here an impediment to their atheistic philosophies,—consequential theologues and pedants, who have reached the boundaries of wisdom,—and all the wise owls of stereotyped learning, ensconced in their hollownesses of decay,—may pooh-pooh and hoot, but if this pyramid was meant for a tomb
it is the most wonderful sepulchre ever constructed, the mere accidents of which are ten thousand-fold more magnificent in wisdom, interest, and worth to mankind, than all the tombs and Pharaohs of all the dynasties, and all their other works besides,—a tomb, too, to which there has now fortunately come a resurrection morning, second only to that which split open the rocks of Calvary and demonstrated a glorious immortality for man.
NOT A TEMPLE OF IDOLATRY.
Brande has expressed the opinion, that "if we had sufficient knowledge of antiquity, it would probably be found that the motives which led to the construction of the pyramids were, at bottom, nearly identical with those which led to the construction of St. Peter's and St. Paul's, and that they are monuments of religion and piety, as well as of the power of the Pharaohs." To whatever extent this was the fact with regard to the Great Pyramid, there is no evidence that it was built for an idol temple, whether to Athor, as suggested by Mr. St. John, or to Cheops, as insinuated by Mr. Osburn. Certain Eastern peoples may have made pilgrimages to it, as the Western people do now, or as the Queen of Sheba came
to hear the wisdom of Solomon. The Egyptians themselves may afterwards have accepted it as "the great temple of Suphis," and even appointed priests for the celebration of his worship in connection with it. But that can be much better explained in other ways than by assuming that Cheops built it either as a tomb for his body or as a temple for the honor of his soul.
Egypt was a hotbed of idolatry from the beginning. Its people began by the worship of heroes and heavenly bodies, and ended in the worship of bulls, and goats, and cats, and crocodiles, and hawks, and beetles. Their false religion was in full sway when Cheops was born. Lepsius tells us that the whole land was full of temples, filled with statues of gods and kings, their walls within and without covered with colored reliefs and hieroglyphics in celebration of the virtues of their hero gods and their divine and ever faultless children. "Nothing, even down to the palette of a scribe, the style with which a lady painted her eyelashes, or a walking stick, was deemed too insignificant to be inscribed with the name of the owner, and a votive dedication of the object to some patron divinity." And yet, here is the Great Pyramid, the largest, finest, and
most wonderful edifice in all Egypt, situated in the midst of an endless round of tombs, temples, and monuments, all uniformly loaded down with these idolatrous emblems and inscriptions, and yet in all its thirteen acres of masonry, in all its long avenues, Grand Gallery, and exquisite chambers, in any department or place whatever, there has never been found one ancient inscription, votive record, or the slightest sign or shred of Egypt's idolatry! In the centre of the intensest impurity, the Great Pyramid stands without spot, blemish, or remotest taint of the surrounding flood of abominations,—like the incarnate Son of God, sinless in a world of sinners. And to hold such a monument to be itself a temple of idol worship is like calling Christ a minister of Beelzebub.
Passing then to the historic fragments relating to the subject, we find additional reason for the same conclusions.
It is given as a fact, and specially emphasized, that during the building of the Great Pyramid the government of Egypt was strangely and oppressively adverse to the established idolatry of the nation. Cheops stands
charged on all sides as at that particular time very "arrogant towards the gods," having shut up the temples, interdicted the customary worship, cast out the images to be defiled on the highways, and compelled even the priests to labor in the quarries. Hence the indignant hierophant whom Herodotus consulted, said, "The Egyptians so detest the memory of these kings that they do not much like to mention their names." It thus appears that Cheops was the positive foe and punisher of idolatry at the time this building was being put up, which fact alone wholly and forever sweeps away all idea of this pillar having been erected for any idol's temple or as a votive offering to any god or gods of the Egyptian Pantheon.
It further appears from these fragments, along with other indications, that after the Great Pyramid was completed, late in his life, Cheops relapsed into the old Egyptian idolatry, became a devotee of the very worship which he had so sternly suppressed, and not only reopened the temples, but actually put forth a book on the gods of his country, which was highly esteemed for ages after. * How,
then, did it happen that during the thirty or more years in which the Great Pyramid was building, this man, born and reared in idolatry, and dying a devôt of it, was the suppressor of its temples, the enslaver of its priests, and the defiler of its gods? The answer may perhaps be found in another particular with which these fragments make us acquainted.
During the building of the Great Pyramid there was a noted stranger abiding in Egypt, and keeping himself about the spot where the building was going on. The priest consulted by Herodotus describes him as a shepherd, to whom rather than to Cheops the Egyptians attribute this edifice. The precise words recorded by Herodotus are, "They commonly call the pyramids after Philition, a shepherd who at that time fed his flocks about the place." (Rawlinson's Herodotus, vol. ii, p. 176.) Here is a most remarkable and significant item of information,—an unknown but conspicuous stranger, possessed of flocks and herds, abides about the locality of the Great Pyramid for all the years it was in building, and is so related to the work that all Egypt for more than seventeen hundred years considered him its real originator and builder, Cheops merely furnishing the site, the workmen, and the
materials. Nor was he some great professional architect, whom Cheops heard of and sent for to build him a sepulchre. The account says he was a shepherd—a keeper of flocks—and hence of an order whose business lay in the line of keeping sheep, but not in the line of building pyramids to the order of foreign kings. He is called "Philition" or Philitis. This would seem to imply that he was one of a peculiar and special religious brotherhood, or that he was a Philistian,—one who carne from or located in Philistia.
There were several classes of Philistines, different in religion and race. The Philistines of Jewish times are of unsavory odor. But it was not so with certain earlier Philistines whom the Scriptures mention with honor as a people specially favored of Jehovah. When Israel was on the way to Canaan, in order to revive their drooping confidence, God told them of a much earlier people whom he had in like manner conducted up from Egypt. He calls them "the Caphtorims which came out. of Caphtor" (Deut. 2: 23). This Caphtor was the very region of Egypt in which the Great Pyramid stands, and these Caphtorims from Caphtor, God elsewhere calls "the Philistines," whom He "brought up from Caphtor."
[paragraph continues] (Amos 9: 7.) So that not only from Herodotus and his informant, but from the Bible itself, we learn of Philistines once in the neighborhood of the Great Pyramid, who were the objects of the Divine favor, and whom God brought up from thence, as he long afterwards brought up the children of Israel. *
There is also another remarkable fragment bearing on the subject. Manetho, an Egyptian priest and scribe, is quoted by Josephus, and others, as saying, "We had formerly a king whose name was Timaus. In his time it came to pass, I know not how, that the Deity was displeased with us; and there came up from the East in a strange manner men of an ignoble race, who had the confidence to invade our country, and easily subdued it by their power without a battle. And when they had our rulers in their hands they demolished the temples of the gods." (See Cory's Fragments, p. 257.) This Timaus of Manetho is doubtless the same person as the Chemmes of
[paragraph continues] Diodorus, the Cheops of Herodotus, and the Chufu or Suphis of the monuments. The description is peculiar, and though tinctured with Egypt's proverbial hatred to this class of shepherds, indicates a wonderful influence won over the king by purely peaceable means, which could hardly have been less than supernatural. Manetho himself refers it to the pleasure and displeasure of the Deity, and further adds, that this people "was styled Hycsos, that is, the shepherd kings," and that "some say they were Arabians." *
Manetho wrote about three hundred years
before Christ, and his statements are somewhat mixed with the history of another set of shepherd kings of a long-subsequent dynasty, but the ground of the story belongs to the period of Cheops and the Great Pyramid, for it was then that this peaceable control was obtained over the reigning sovereigns by a shepherd prince, the temples closed, the gods destroyed, and the people oppressed with labor for the government. Manetho says that these "Arabians" left Egypt in large numbers, but instead of going to Arabia, they went up "that country now called Judea, and there built a city and named it Jerusalem."
It would thus appear that the shepherd prince connected with the building of the Great Pyramid was from Arabia, and subsequently located in Palestine (Philistia), hence probably called "Philition"—the Philistian. The connection of him with the building of Jerusalem is very remarkable, and may serve to identify him with some Scripture character. Joseph us quotes the passage as referring to the Jews, but that can hardly be the case. The Jews did not originally build Jerusalem. They did not even have possession of it till the time of David, about five hundred years after the Exodus. Jerusalem existed, and wore at
least a part of its present name, full a thousand years before David. As early as Abraham's time it was the seat of a great king, to whom Abraham himself paid reverence and tithes, and from whom he accepted blessing and communion, as "priest of the Most High God." With reference to his character and office, the Bible calls him MELCHISEDEC, plainly a descriptive and not a proper name, he being first "king of righteousness, and after that also king of Salem." (Heb. 7: 1, 2.)
WHO WAS MELCHISEDEC?
An illustrious personage thus breaks upon our notice with all the sudden grandeur of the Great Pyramid itself. Who he was has been something of a question for thousands of years,—a question which perhaps cannot be positively answered. Kohlreiff, in his Chronologia Sacra (Hamburg, 1724), as cited by Wolfius, identifies this personage with the patriarch Job. There is also more to sustain this view than any other ever presented.
The time is the same. On general internal evidences, Dr. Owen (in Theologoumen.), assigns the Book of Job to the period immediately preceding Abraham. The length of Job's life places him in the pre-Abrahamic age of Serug,
[paragraph continues] Reu, and Peleg. * He evidently lived before the Exodus, and before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, for though the Book of Job refers to Adam, the fall, and the deluge, there is. no allusion whatever to the awful disaster to the cities of the plain, the Sinaitic laws, or any of the miraculous events of Israelitish history. Such an omission in such a discussion, in the vicinity of these great
occurrences, could not happen if these events had preceded it. Job speaks of the rock yielding him a spring of mineral oil (19: 6), and such oilsprings there evidently were in the region of Sodom and Gomorrah prior to the great burning of those cities, and the earth under and about them; but they have never since been found. Moses alludes to the same, but only by way of metaphor drawn from the Book of Job, for no such circumstance ever literally occurred in the history of Israel. Those oilsprings were drained and exhausted when those cities burned. Besides, sundry astronomical calculations made from notices of constellations contained in the Book of Job fix the time of the patriarch's great trial contemporaneous with Melchisedec. *
The country of the one is also that of the other. Abraham met Melchisedec in Palestine, but no one claims that he was born and reared there. There were important Shemitic migrations hitherward prior to that of Abraham. † In the Chronicon Paschale the tradition
is received with strong assurance, that Melchisedec, like Abraham, calve from beyond the Jordan. Nor is there any doubt of Job's having come from that same mysterious "East."
In general character and position, Job and Melchisedec appear to be one and the same. Paul calls on his Jewish readers to "consider how great this man (Melchisedec) was," and of Job the sacred record is, "This man was the greatest of all the men of the East." Melchisedec was "priest of the Most High God," and of Job it is written that he sent and offered burnt-offerings for his sons and daughters "continually." Melchisedec was a princely personage—"King of Salem;" and all agree in assigning a princely rank to Job. It remains a question till now, whether he was not a real "king," many maintaining that he was.
[paragraph continues] He certainly was at least a great emir. Melchisedec was a worshipper of the one true God, outside of the Abrahamic line, and the same is true of Job. From these and other coincidences it would seem that in Melchisedec, King of Salem, we do really meet the great patriarch of Uz, near the end of those one hundred and forty years of glory which succeeded his sore affliction.
The genealogical tables also supply a name which would seem to indicate the existence of an Arabian Job, who appears at the right time and in the right connections to be this same identical patriarch. In the tenth of Genesis, the sacred historian departs entirely from his usual method, in naming the thirteen sons of Joktan, as if for the special purpose of reaching the last in the list. * He sets down
that name as Job-ab, which is quite capable of being read father-Job, in allusion to some such position and career as that of the great patriarch of Uz, or Melchisedec. Alterations were likewise made in the names of Abraham and Sarah in allusion to their special calling and office. The seventy translators from tradition, most of the Hebrew authors, Origen, the Coptic version of Job, the Greek fathers, and various modern writers, represent Job-ab and Job as one and the same name. In that case we would here have a Job, a veritable Arabian, a descendant of Eber (through Joktan, as Abraham through Peleg), and hence a true Hebrew in the older and wider sense, who answers well to all we know either of Melchisedec or the Uzean patriarch.
From Job we have the most unique and independent book in the sacred canon—the sublimest
section of the inspired records,—a grand monument. of patriarchal life, manners, and theology,—evidencing a knowledge of earth and sky, of providence and grace, and a command of thought, sentiment, language, and literary power, which no mere man has ever equalled. In it we find a familiarity with writing, engraving in stone, mining, metallurgy, building, shipping, natural history, astronomy, and science in general, showing an advanced, organized, and exalted state of society, answering exactly to what pertains above all to the sons of Joktan, whose descendants spread themselves from Upper Arabia to the South Seas, and from the Persian Gulf to the pillars of Hercules, tracking their course as the first teachers of our modern world with the greatest monuments that antiquity contains.
THE PRIMITIVE CIVILIZERS.
It has become the fashion to refer all this to Arabian Cushites, or a people of Hamitic blood, but it is one of the blunders of the would-be wise. Because the name of Cush, usually rendered Ethiopia, became early attached to some undefined portions of Arabia, and because the children of Canaan originally settled in Palestine, therefore everything relating
to prehistoric Arabians and dwellers along the Mediterranean shores must needs be credited to the children of Ham, though it should leave to the Shemites scarce a place on earth! Such a theory may have its day, but there is every evidence, biblical and secular, literary and monumental, that the greatest and mightiest population of the ancient Arabia was mainly, if not exclusively, of pre-Abrahamic Shemitic stock. The tribes which possessed it were mostly of the seed of Joktan, son of Eber, till the descendants of Abraham through Esau and Keturah, and the descendants of Lot, began to fill in from the northwest. * These Joktanites were the true Arabians, and the superior people who occupied the most important portions of the country, populated its shores, gave it their Heberic language, cultivated every interest of human society and greatness, planted their colonies in Eastern Africa, around the whole eastern coast
of the Mediterranean, and westward as far as Carthage, the Guadalquiver, and the shores of the Atlantic. They were
The first great founders of the world,
Of cities, and of mighty states, and who first viewed
The starry lights, and formed them into schemes. *
Nor does it argue anything against Job's being Joktan's son, that in the Mosaic or subsequent
editing of the Book of Job, his friends are said to be from countries called after the
names of some of Abraham's descendants. Names which did not exist for thousands of
years afterwards are in like manner given to the country about the Garden of Eden. (Gen. 2: 11-14.)
There is no evidence that the chief river of Palestine bore the name Jordan—River of Dan—till long after the time of Moses and Joshua, and yet that subsequent Jewish name is everywhere inserted in the antecedent records. And so Eliphaz might much more intelligibly be said in Moses' time to have been from the country then known as Teman, and Bildad from the country then known as Shuah, though they both lived and occupied those regions hundreds of years before Teman and Shuah were born. There may also have been an earlier Teman and Shuah whose names others long after them in some way inherited. The original name of the territory in general is preserved in the designation of the country of Job himself, which also plainly antedates the Teman and Shuah descended from Abraham. From Stony Arabia to Damascus, along the whole east of Palestine, the country is called Uz. The more precise region whence Job came, likely was that portion of Arabia bordering on the east of Edom, south of Trachonitis, and extending indefinitely towards the Euphrates. Uz is a Shemitic name, called
[paragraph continues] Aws in the Arabian antiquities, and denotes the region where Shem himself probably lived and died. * Judging from chapter 8: 8-10, and 12: 12, we may readily believe that Job himself saw, heard, and often consulted Shem, and got his sacred wisdom from him. In the providence of God he in a measure at least, and perhaps by special call and ordination, took Shem's place as the principal representative of the patriarchal religion after Sheen's death, as Abraham subsequently, whom Melchisedec blessed and consecrated as meant to fill this office after him, till he, of whom Melchisedec was the illustrious type, should come. †
JOB AND PHILITIS.
And as Melchisedec and Job were most likely one and the same person, so the same would seem to be the Philition of Great Pyramid notoriety. Job was the youngest of a
family in which was the science, faith, and enterprise for such a work, beyond all others then living. Job was an Arabian, and a shepherd prince, just as the Egyptian fragments testify respecting Philitis. Job's account of his own greatness, doings, and successes, depicted with so much beauty in chapter 29, grandly harmonizes with Manetho's story of the strange power of the Hicsos over the Egyptian rulers obtained "without a battle." He held idolatry to be a crime punishable by the authorities (chap. 31: 26-28), just as Cheops was persuaded while the Great Pyramid was building. He was a true man of' God, a public instructor in sacred things, with whom Jehovah communicated, and whom the Spirit of God inspired. * The Almighty speaks to
him in chapter 38 as if he were the identical person who had laid the measures of the Great Pyramid, stretched the lines upon it, set its foundations in their sockets, and laid its topstone amid songs of exalted triumph. * Chap. 19: 23-27 looks like a description of the high intent of the Great Pyramid, and a prayer that it might endure with its glorious freight even to the end of the world. And the more I study the Book of Job in the light of its author's identity with the mysterious Arabian stranger to whom the Egyptians attribute the Great Pyramid, the stronger and
more satisfying to me becomes the likelihood that here is the mighty prince and preacher of Jehovah from whom we have that monument. All the facts, dates, and circumstances amply accord with the theory that "Melchisedec" was Job, and that the same was the "Philition" of Herodotus.
But whether such identity can be established or not, the effect in this argument is essentially the same. If these three names denote three distinct persons, they all belong to the time of the Great Pyramid's erection and to the same general community or class of people. They were all shepherd princes. They all hated idolatry, worshipped the true God, and fulfilled a sacred mission mostly before Abraham came upon the stage. And closely related to them were others of the same faith and spirit, and scarcely inferior in dignity. Eliphaz, and Bildad, and Zophar, and Elihu, must be counted with them, and of them we may judge from what we read and hear of them from the Book of Job. From all these together we get an impression of the age and communities in which they had their homes, and what sort of men then lived and operated. What we find in them we may put
down as characteristic of their period, and from it safely reason.
We thus learn what is indeed of very great moment, to wit, that God then had his priests and worshippers upon earth, and that they were the most princely, learned, and commanding people living. We thus learn that it was God's habit to converse with them, to direct their ways by special revelations, and to inspire them for the utterance and recording of his mind, will, and purposes. We thus learn that they were the family kindred and blood relatives, the same in language and country, with those whence the after world obtained all the original elements of science and civilization. We thus learn that with them was the competency and every qualification, both natural and supernatural, for the erection of just such a monument of science, theology, and prophetic history, as we find in the Great Pyramid. Nay more, we thus learn that it was the subject of their special craving, that their words, wisdom, and immortal hopes should be engraven with pens of iron in imperishable memorials of rock! (Job 19: 2327.)
No matter then whether Philitis, Melchisedec and Job were one, or two, or three; such mighty men of Jehovah there were in that far-off age. They believed in one God, and in holy angels, and in a devil, whose subtle depravity had inoculated all natural humanity. They feared sin, and sought forgiveness and salvation through bloody sacrifice. They hoped for a coming Redeemer, and for resurrection through him. They treasured the primeval records, traditions, and revelations from Adam down, even the same from which Moses compiled when he framed his Genesis. *
[paragraph continues] Special communications, teachings and impulses from God were also as common to these people
as to Abraham after them. (See Job 4: 12, 13; 6: 10; 23: 12; 33:14-16; 38:1; 42:5-7.)
[paragraph continues] They had the moral and intellectual qualifications to furnish the sublimest section of the holy Scriptures. There was no superior enlightenment, no higher civilization, no purer faith, no truer science, no more intimate familiarity
with the works and purposes of God, than they possessed. And a princely member of their mysterious and loving brotherhood it was who dwelt in Egypt while the Great Pyramid was building. Having obtained peaceable possession of the king's heart, he induced him to shut the temples, punish the priests, cast out the gods, and lend his royal co-operation for the building of a pillar to Jehovah of hosts, which should last to the end of time, and which men should open and read in this last evil age, and know that it is from Him who is about to judge the world for its apostasies.
Thus then, by a chain of traditions, facts, and Bible testimonies, we connect the origin of the Great Pyramid with a mighty prehistoric people, wholly separate from Egypt and its abominations,—a people among whom inspiration, as true and high as that of Moses, wrought, and from whom we have not only the noblest of the sacred books, but likewise the noblest edifice on earth, equally fraught with holy intelligence, divine truth, and inspired prophecy.
What have we then in this unrivalled pillar, but A MIRACLE IN STONE—a petrifaction of wisdom and truth, revealed of God, preserved
among his people from the foundation of the world, and thus memorialized by impulse and aid from Him, that it might outlive the apostasies of man, and stand as a witness to the Lord Almighty when he cometh to judge the world, and to fulfil his promise of "the restitution of all things."
Men may combat and scorn a conclusion so sublime. They may utterly reject it, as they also rejected Christ, and still reject his salvation. But it involves nothing impossible—nothing improbable—nothing but what we might reasonably expect in view of what God did in ancient times, and promised to the fathers. It is agreeable to every item of history of which we can avail ourselves. It conforms to the remarkable traditions on the subject, which cannot otherwise be accounted for. Passages and allusions in both Testaments imply, if they do not positively declare, that it is a thing of God. And the great monument itself gives palpable demonstration of what cannot be rationally explained on any other hypothesis.
Materialistic and skeptical science appears disposed to settle upon the belief that man is a being who has had to educate himself up to
what he is, from a troglodyte, if not from something much lower. Of course this goes against the Scriptures, and sets aside as fable and mythic superstition all the most essential substance of the Scriptures. But what care such scientists for that? Such consequences to a theory they take rather as a recommendation. But no such philosophizing can stand before the Great Pyramid. If the primeval man was nothing but a gorilla or a troglodyte, how, in those far prehistoric times, could the builders of this mighty structure have known what our profoundest savants, after a score of centuries of observation and experiment, have been able to find out only imperfectly? How could they know even to make and handle the tools, machines, and expedients indispensable to the construction of an edifice so enormous in dimensions, so massive in its materials, so exalted in its height, and so perfect in its workmanship, that to this day it is without a rival on earth? How could they know the spherity, rotation, diameter, density, latitudes, poles, land distribution, and temperature of the earth, or its astronomic relations? How could they solve the problem of the squaring of the circle, calculate the π proportion, or determine the four cardinal points? How could
they frame charts of history and dispensations, true to fact in every particular for the space of four thousand years after their time, and down even to the final consummations? How could they know when the Mosaic economy would start, how long continue, and in what eventuate? How could they know when Christianity would be introduced, by what great facts and features it would be marked, and what would be the characteristics, career, and end of the Church of Christ? How could they know of the grand precessional cycle, the length of its duration, the number of days in the true year, the mean distance of the sun from the earth, and the exact positions of the stars at the time the Great Pyramid was built? How could they devise a standard and system of measures and weights, so evenly fitted to each other, so beneficently conformed to the common wants of man, and so perfectly harmonized with all the facts of nature? And how could they know to put all these things on record in one single piece of masonry, without one verbal or pictorial inscription, yet proof against all the ravages and changes of time, and capable of being read and understood down to the very end of the world?
Yet, THESE THINGS THEY DID KNOW! Here
they are in solid stone, displayed to all eyes, and challenging the scrutiny of all the savants of the earth. Men may sneer, but they cannot laugh down this mighty structure, nor scoff out of it the angles, proportions, measures, nature references, and sacred correspondences which its makers gave it. Here they are in all their speaking significance, stubborn and invincible beyond all power to suppress them. Nothing now can blot out this record, and on it is written the true Scriptural dignity of primeval man, fashioned in the image of his Maker, furnished of God with everything requisite to his highest life on earth, and illumined and impelled of heaven to make this memorial of his sacred possessions, ere they should be finally lost amid the ever-increasing deterioration. It is a record whose antiquity none can dispute, whose authenticity none could corrupt, and whose readings none can construe without the admission of a Divine intervention!
And then what? Why then inspiration is a demonstrated reality,—then miracle is a tangible fact,—then the foundations of infidelity are dissolved,—then the Scriptures are true,—AND THEN OUR CHRISTIAN FAITH AND HOPES ARE SURE, AND CANNOT DISAPPOINT US!
Wondrous Providence of a wondrous God, to have planted in our world such a memorial as this,—
USE OF THE PYRAMID RESPECTING FAITH.
It is not a substitute for our glorious Bible that we find in this marvellous pillar, nor a thing to be put on equality with the Scriptures, as though the written word were in any manner deficient. We throw back the imputation that we would propound a new religion with a new oracle. Our vaulting scientists have quite monopolized that business. The world resounds with the pratings of their varied sects and schools, agreeing in nothing but in negations of the supernatural. We are content with what our holy books record. But when a sacrilegious rationalism would emasculate them, and an Epicurean philosophy would trample them into the slough, we rejoice and thank God that before he gave these books he caused this mighty pillar to be stationed in the very path of vaunting science, that his assailed, abused, and oft-bewildered children in the extremity of the ages might
be able to appeal to it exultantly for monumental attestation of their faith, and, amid the wrinkles and infirmities of failing Time, still have to show an unfaded memorial of its glorious youth.
GLORY BE TO THE FATHER, AND TO THE SON, AND TO THE HOLY GHOST; AS IT WAS IN THE BEGINNING, IS NOW, AND EVER SHALL BE, WORLD WITHOUT END. AMEN.
183:* Helfricus (1565) and Baumgarten (1594) considered the Great Pyramid a tomb, but held that no one was ever buried in it. Pietro Della Valle (1616), Thevenot (1655), and Maillet (1692) give it as the common belief that no one ever was therein entombed. Vausleb (1664) could find no clue by which to determine why this pyramid was built. Shaw (1721) denies that it ever was a tomb or ever was intended to be one. Jomard (1801), having studied all the features of this edifice, and compared them day by day with all the facts and forms of old Egyptian pyramids, wrote concerning it, "Everything is mysterious, I repeat it, in the construction and distribution of this monument, the passages oblique, horizontal, sharply bent, of different dimensions!" "We are not at all enlightened either upon the origin or the employment, the utility or any motive whatever for the Grand Gallery and various passages." Sir G. Wilkinson says, "It may be doubted whether the body of the king was really deposited in the sarcophagus," as he calls it. p. 184 And Mr. St. John does not consider the Coffer a sarcophagus at all, and thinks the Great Pyramid never was and never was meant to be a tomb.
196:* See Osburn's Mon. Hist. of Egypt, vol. i, p. 277. Also, Shuckford's Sac. and Prof. Hist., vol. i, p. 157. Also, Lenorment and Chevallier's Anc. Hist. of the East, vol. i, p. 207.
199:* It has been found very difficult to trace the origin and history of this early people. The Philistines of the. time of the Judges, and of David, were a long subsequent people, who do not appear in the settlement of Israel under Joshua. They are not mentioned in any of the assaults and conquests of the Jews on their first arrival. Ewald considers this conclusive against their being inhabitants of Palestine at that time. Still, in the time of Abraham, we read of Philistines in Canaan. (Gen. 21: 32-34.) Abraham was on friendly terms with them, entered into a covenant of peace with them, and "sojourned many days" with them. They feared and reverenced the true God. (Gen. 21: 22.) Ewald agrees that their language was Shemitic. They were an organized and powerful people. Their sovereigns had the title of Abimelech, a Hebrew word, meaning Father King, as the sovereigns of Egypt were all called Pharaoh, and the sovereigns of Rome, Cæsar. The Caphtor, whence they came, Stark makes the Delta of Egypt, and they themselves some early part of the Hycsos or shepherd kings, known to Egyptian history. Dr. Jamieson says, "There is every reason to believe the sovereigns were connected with the shepherd kings of Lower Egypt, and were far superior in civilization and refinement to the Canaanitish tribes around them." (Com. on Gen. 20: 2.) The Phœnician traditions say they came from Arabia. They differed from the Egyptians in dress and manners, as proven by the monuments; and also in language, laws, and religion, as justly inferable from the Bible notices of them. The intent of the reference to them in Amos 9: 7 plainly is to show that Israel was not the only people which p. 200 had been divinely led from one country to settle in another. R. G. Pool considers the allusion as seeming to imply oppression prior to the migration, but that is not necessarily involved. There is no allusion to deliverance, but simply to a bringing of them thither by special divine direction. Abimelech in Gerar, and Melchisedec in Salem, would seem to be closely related as to religion, language, and race. They were perhaps the representatives of two branches of one and the same people, who came into Palestine at one and the same time, from one and the same place in Egypt, under one and the same motive, close about the time of the completion of the Great Pyramid. There certainly is nothing to disprove this conclusion. The name of Abimelech's general-in-chief, Phicol, though made up of Hebrew syllables, is not a Hebrew word, but seems to bear an Egyptian influence in its formation, as Pi-hahiroth, Pi-beseth, Pi-thom. It is most likely a designation of office, bearing traces of some connection with Egypt, but not of it.
201:* Wilford, in his Asiatic Researches, vol. iii, p. 225, gives an extract from the Hindoo records which seems to sustain, in some important particulars, this fragment of Manetho. The extract says, that one Tamo-vatsa, a child of prayer, wise and devout, prayed for certain successes, and that God granted his requests, and that he came into Egypt with a chosen company, entered it "without any declaration of war, and began to administer justice among the people, to give them a specimen of a good king." This Tamo-vatsa is represented in the account as a king of the powerful people called the Pali, shepherds, who in ancient times governed the whole country from the Indus to the mouth of the Ganges, and spread themselves, mainly by colonization and commerce, very far through Asia, Africa, and Europe. They colonized the coasts of the Persian Gulf, and the sea-coasts of Arabia, Palestine, and Africa, and were the longhaired people called the Berbers in North Africa. They are likewise called Palestinæ, which name has close affinity with the Philition of Herodotus. These Pali of the Hindoo records are plainly identical with some of the Joktanic peoples. See infra.
204:* "The lives of mankind were so much shortened ere the days of Abraham, that though he lived but one hundred and seventy-five years, yet he is said to have 'died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years.' Peleg, who was five generations before Abraham, lived two hundred and thirty-nine years. Reu, the son of Peleg, lived as many. Serug, the son of Reu, lived two hundred and thirty. But the lives of their descendants were not so long. The LXX in their translation say that Job lived in all two hundred and forty or two hundred and forty-eight years Nahor, the grandfather of Abraham, lived but one hundred and forty-eight years. Torah, Abraham's father, lived two hundred and five. Abraham lived one hundred and seventy-five, Isaac lived one hundred and eighty, and the lives of their children were shorter. If, therefore, Job lived two hundred and forty or two hundred and forty-eight years, he must have been contemporaneous with Peleg, Rau, or Serug, for men's lives were not extended to so great a length after their days. He lived one hundred and forty years after his affliction, and when that affliction came he had seven sons and three daughters, and all his children seem to have been grown up and settled in life from the beginning of his misfortunes." His age could not therefore be less than two hundred years at the least. See Shuckford's Sac. and Profane History, vol. i, p. 263, 264, who also makes Job contemporaneous with Suphis (Cheops).
205:* Four constellations are mentioned together in the Book of Job 9: 9, and 38: 31, 32, and in four opposite quarters of the heavens, Kimah, the Pleiades in the constellation Taurus; Kesil, the equinoctial nodus in Scorpio, the name being perpetuated in the Chaldean Kislev or November; Mazzaroth, Sirius or literally Egypt's star sign; and Ish, Aquarius, who in a manner revenged himself on the sons of men in the deluge. These four are named in their oppositions, and so in Job's day, they correspond to the two equinoctial and the two solstitial constellations. Kimah answers to the vernal equinox, Kesil to the autumnal, and Mazzaroth corresponds to the summer solstice, and Ish to the winter solstice. President Goguet, in his Origin of Laws, a translation of which was published in Edinburgh, in 1761 (the Paris ed. of 1758), makes the calculation by the p. 206 precessional cycle, and says that it fixes the epoch of Job's trial in the year 2136 B.C., which would be just thirty-four years after the building of the Great Pyramid. Dr. Brinkley, of Dublin, repeated the calculation, and brought it out somewhere about 2130 B.C. Dr. Hales adopts the calculation by Brinkley, and refers to another calculation on the same data by Ducoutant, in a Thesis published in Paris, in 1765, which gives the same within forty-two years. Such a coincidence, says Wemyss, is very striking, and the argument deduced from it, if well founded, would amount nearly to a demonstration.
206:† "The primeval Canaanites were of the race of Ham, and no doubt originally spoke a dialect closely akin to the Egyptian, but it is clear that before the coming of Abraham into their country they had by some means become Shemitized, since all the Canaanitish names of the time are palpably Shemitic. Probably the movements from the country about the Persian Gulf, of which the history of Abraham furnishes an instance, had been in progress for some time before he quitted Ur, and an influx of emigrants from that-quarter had made Shemitism already predominant in Syria and Palestine at the date of his arrival"—Rawlinson's Herodotus, vol. i, p. 537.
Ewald, in his Hist. of Israel, argues to the same effect. He says, "It is clear that there was here a primitive people which once extended over the whole land of the Jordan to the left, and to the Euphrates on the right, and to the Red Sea on the south," and that "these people," who had very largely displaced the old Canaanites in Palestine, "were of Shemitic race."—Vol. i, p. 231.
Hence, as Wilkins observes, Abraham on his arrival found the population consisting, at least in a very large measure, of p. 207 tribes with which he would have close affinities of blood and language. Hence, also, we have no hint in the Biblical narrative that points to any difference of language, such as we often have when the Jews came in contact with nations whose speech was really unintelligible to them, as the Egyptians (Psalm 81: 5, 114: 1). On the contrary we find Abraham negotiating with the children of Heth, making a treaty with Abimelech, Jacob and his sons communing with the people of Shechem, Israel's spies conversing with the inhabitants of the land, and Solomon corresponding with Hiram, without the slightest reference to the need of any interpreter between them. See Wilkins's Phœnicia and Israel, pp. 3-10.
208:* "The design of Moses after he has completed the narrative of the dispersion of the third and fourth generations of the descendants of Noah, and thus related the ancestry of the chief nations of the world, undoubtedly was to continue the line of Shem to that of Abraham only. All interest in the other patriarchal families appears to have ceased; he takes no notice of any but that of Joktan. The family of Joktan were not the ancestors of the Messiah; neither were any of the sons of this patriarch so peculiarly distinguished in the subsequent history of Israel, that the enumeration of their names only might have been anticipated in this genealogy. But nothing is written in the Holy Scriptures without an object, and in the absence of any other object for which Moses deviated from his plan, and p. 209 recorded the names of the sons of Joktan only, terminating the list with the name of Job-ab or Job,—I conclude that his design was to tell us that the Job who was the youngest son of Joktan was the Job who lived in the land of Uz, though he was not born there, and who suffered and was tempted as the Book of Job has recorded. The sons of Joktan were enumerated that the name of Job might be placed before the children of Israel as the witness to the truth of those doctrines which their patriarchal ancestors received, which Moses taught, and which the Church of God in all ages has believed."—Dr. Townsend's Bible, vol. i, p. 131.
211:* "Ethnologers are now agreed," says Rawlinson, "that in Arabia there have been three distinct phases of colonization—first, the Cushite occupation, recorded in Gen. 10: 7; secondly, the settlement of the Joktanites, described in verses 26-30 of the same chapter; and thirdly, the entrance of the Ishmaelites, which must have been nearly synchronous with the establishment of the Jews in Palestine."—Rawlinson's Herodotus, vol. i, p. 357.
212:* The names of the progenitors of these peoples, and the notices we have of them and their descendants, abundantly indicate all this.
Almodad means the measurer, and the Chaldee paraphrase of Onkelos and Jonathan attests that he was accounted the inventor of geometry, and the man who lined or measured the earth with lines; hence, also a great astronomer.
Of Sheleph, the same paraphrase says that he led forth the waters of rivers, that is, instituted canals, and operated in water-works, perhaps the inventor of water-mills.
Hazarmaveth gave his name to a country which still bears it, and was, according to tradition, a great grammarian.
Jerah, the fourth son of Joktan, who is called Ierab in the ancient Arabic records and traditions, is the man from whom we have the name of Arabia, the land of Ierab. He gave his name to a province of Tehama, in which he settled, and thence it became extended to the country in general, which the natives still call the Peninsula of Ierab, son of Joktan, whom the Arabians call Kahtan. The Jerachæans were growers of grains, miners, and refiners of gold.
Uzal peopled the great country of Yemen, "famous from all antiquity for the happiness of its climate, its fertility, and riches." Its capital, Sanaa—the city of learning—vied with Damascus in the abundance of its fruits, and the pleasantness of its water. His descendants were manufacturers, merchants, and travelling traders, whom Ezekiel refers to as present in the fairs of Tyre, with possessions of bright iron, cassia, and calamus. p. 213
Dikla was the father of a great tribe of traffickers in aromatics.
Obal peopled the southern extremity of Arabia, whence colonies crossed the Straits of Babelmandeb, and took possession of the bay still called after him, the Avalitic. His descendants were great merchants, and carried on large trade in the best myrrh, and other odorous drugs, also in ivory, tortoiseshell, tin, wheat, and wine.
Sheba was the father of one of the tribes of the Sabeans. There was a tribe of Cushite-Sabeans, whose vulgar depredations are referred to in the Book of Job, and also a later tribe headed by a son of Jokshan, grandson of Abraham The Joktanic Sabeans were located near the Red Sea, and were the richest of all the ancient Arabians in gold, silver, and precious stones. Ezekiel mentions them as trading with ancient Tyre. They were metallurgists, lapidaries, and dealers in all rare luxuries. They were among the wisest and most intelligent, as well as the richest and most enterprising of ancient peoples. It was their queen who came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from among them, according to the Egyptian accounts, there came up delegations to visit and view the Great Pyramid as if comprehending and reverencing it as no Egyptians ever did.
Ophir is the very word for wealth, and from the name of the descendants of this son of Joktan, we have our word magazine, illustrative of their consequence as bankers and depositaries of treasures. From them Solomon got almug trees for pillars to the temple, brought in the ships of Hiram, himself being of this same Joktanic blood and language
And with Job to complete the list we have here beyond question the most illustrious family of peoples of prehistoric times.
Baldwin, in his Prehistoric Nations, says, "It would he unreasonable to deny or doubt that in ages farther back in the past than the beginnings of any old nation mentioned in our p. 213 ancient histories, Arabia was the seat of a great and influential civilization. This fact, so clearly indicated in the remains of antiquity, seems indispensable to a satisfactory solution of many problems that arise in the course of linguistic and archæological inquiry. It is now admitted that they were the first civilizers and builders throughout Western Asia, and they are traced by remains of their language, their architecture, and the influence of their civilization on both shores of the Mediterranean. It is apparent that no other race did so much to develop and spread civilization, that no other people had such an extended and successful system of colonization, that they seem to have monopolized the agencies and activities of commerce by sea and land, and that they were the lordly and ruling race of their time. The Arabians were the great maritime people of the world in ages beyond the reach of tradition. As Phœnicians and Southern Arabians they controlled the seas in later times, and they were still the chief navigators and traders on the Indian Ocean when Vasquez di Gama went to India around the Cape of Good Hope."—Pp. 66, 67.
From Herodotus we learn that the Phœnicians came from the Erythræan Sea, which he explains to be the Persian Gulf, that having crossed over from thence they established themselves on the coast of Syria on the Mediterranean, and that their chief cities were Tyre and Sidon. McCausland says they were once supreme throughout the Mediterranean, and even beyond the pillars of Hercules. Tyre sent forth numerous colonies and founded flourishing commercial communities in various parts of the world. Her merchant princes spread their dominion over Cyprus and Crete and the smaller islands of the Archipelago in their vicinity. They also made settlements in Sardinia, Sicily, and Spain, and their vessels penetrated as far as the islands of Madeira to the west, and to the British Isles and the Baltic on the north. Traces also are found of them in India, Ceylon, and onward across the Pacific to the shores of the New World. Carthage, for a long time the rival of the Roman p. 215 Aryans, was the most flourishing and last surviving of the Phœnician colonies. The renowned Hamilcar and Hannibal were members of this family, also Cadmus, who was the first to introduce letters into Greece, and Ninus, the just and wise king of Crete, who according to Thucydides, was the first known founder of a maritime empire.—McCausland's Builders of Babel, pp. 53-55.
That the Phœnicians were Shemitic, and not Hamites, is proven by their language, which from the inscriptions they have left is manifestly and incontrovertibly the same for the most part and in every case with what is familiar to the modern student as Hebrew. See Gesenius's Scripturæ Linguæque Phœniciæ Monumenta, where that distinguished scholar, as Gale and others have also observed, says "Omnino hoc tenendum est, pleraque et pæne omnia cum Hebræis convenire, sive radices spectas, sive verborum et formandorum et flectendorum rationem."
Rawlinson, in his Essays on Herodotus, Bunsen, in his Philosophy of Un. History, and Wilkins, in his Phœnicia and Israel, with every degree of confidence assert and maintain that the Phœnicians were Shemites, and hence of the Joktanic lineage. Rawlinson also remarks that these people possessed, "a wonderful capacity for affecting the spiritual condition of our species, by projecting into the fermenting mass of human thought new and strange ideas, especially those of the most abstract kind. Shemitic races have influenced far more than any others the history of the world's mental progress, and the principal intellectual revolutions which have taken place are traceable in the main to them."—Herodotus, p. 539.
An item of evidence of Melchisedec's connection with this people is found in the name of the Deity given in Gen. 14: 18, where the God of Melchisedec is called, not Eloah or Elohim, but Eliun, which is the Phœnician designation of God used by Sanchoniathon, the Phœnician sage, from whom sundry fragments have been preserved. See Kenrick's Phœnicia, p. 288.
217:* "Sham appears in his own annals as one who had left his native [original] land, and in the course of ages migrated west and south from the primitive common seat of the civilized stock of Central Asia, with an unceasing tendency towards Egypt."—BUNSEN'S Univ. Hist.
217:† This would give us a most remarkable and unbroken succession or line of sacred prophets from the foundation of the world—Adam, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Sham, Job, Abraham and the chosen people, terminating in Jesus Christ and his Church, which abides to the end of this present world.
218:* Dr. Lee renders chap. 29: 7, "When I went forth from the gate to the pulpit and prepared my seat in the broad place" Herder translates the same,
In verses 21-23, there is a further allusion to his addresses to the people, and the reverence and eagerness with which they listened to him.
The account of the convening of "the sons of God," given in the first chapter, implies the existence of assemblies for worship in those times, and the giving forth of instruction on those occasions.
219:* The spirit of the passage admirably interprets in this sense. The object is to convince Job of his incompetency to judge of and understand God, and the address runs as if the Almighty intended to say to him, "You laid the foundations of the great structure in Egypt, but where were you when I laid the foundations of the far greater pyramid of the earth? You laid the measures on the pyramid in Egypt, but who laid the measures of the earth, and stretched the line upon it? You fastened down in sockets the foundations of the pyramid in Egypt, but whereupon are the foundations of the earth fastened? You laid the pyramid's completing capstone amid songs and jubilations, but who laid the capstone of the earth when the celestial morning stars sang together, and all the heavenly sons of God shouted for joy?" The image is unquestionably that of the pyramid, and the appeal is best interpreted and tenfold intensified on the hypothesis that it was the builder of that pyramid who is thus addressed. This would also give adequate reason for the departure from the idea of the earth's nature and position given in another part of the book, to take up the image of a pyramidal edifice in this grand passage.
222:* From Luke 1: 69, 70, and Acts 3: 21, we learn that there were sacred prophets, inspired of God, from the earliest beginnings of human history. Who were they? Adam, Seth, Enoch, Noah, and Shem were most eminent among the primeval worthies, and most blessed and honored of God of all the ancients; these would then be the greatest sacred teachers, and the men most fitted to hand down accounts of the things they saw and had learned of the Lord. The indications also are that they did severally record and transmit what they knew and held as sacred, and that Moses in making up the Book of Genesis incorporated these sacred heirlooms into his records, weaving them into one narrative, condensing, adding to, but carefully preserving the ancient texts which he employed. Hence the name of the art called Mosaic work. Nor would it seem impossible, even at this late day, to point out what parts of the holy records have come from each.
I. If we take Genesis 2: 4, on to the end of the third chapter as the Book of the Prophet Adam, it at once assumes a life and vividness which it does not otherwise possess. Its title and contents show that it is a monograph. Its close would seem to p. 223 indicate the time when it was written and its probable author. Certainly no one was so well qualified to write it as Adam himself. And if he wrote anything, it must above all have been this. Assuming also that he, and not Moses, was the original narrator, we are greatly helped with regard to the allusions to the topography of Eden, which doubtless was much changed, at least in the apprehensions with which men looked upon the geography of the earth in the time of Moses, from what it was in the time of Adam. Two thousand years make a wonderful difference in the statements of a gazetteer, even with regard to the same localities. The account of the temptation and fall also becomes more intelligible and interesting in its simplicity as Adam's own statement, than as that of so remote a historian as Moses. The name for the Deity (Jehovah Elohim), Jehovah God, is also peculiar to this one section of the divine word.
II. Genesis 4: 1-26 is again a distinct monograph, the close seeming to indicate the author, who speaks of the Deity always under the name Jehovah. If we have anything from Seth, this is the section above all others that would fall to him. It is perhaps only the conclusion of an ampler record from that holy patriarch.
III. From Enoch we certainly have at least a fragment which is preserved in the Epistle of Jude, beginning at verse 14. He uses the name of Deity the same as Seth.
IV. From Noah we would seem to have several books, the first including Gen. 5: 1-32. Its title shows its monographic character, and its close indicates when and by whom it was written. It denotes the Deity exclusively by the one name (Elohim) God.
V. A second Book of Noah would seen, to be Gen. 4: 9-22; 7: 7-24; 8: 1-19; 9: 1-27. None was so competent to write this account as he, and the occurrences are so wonderful that it could hardly be otherwise than that he would, as a preacher of righteousness, have solemnly recorded this momentous account. Its end is indicated by a change in the name denoting the p. 224 Deity in what follows. It also adds greatly to the life character of the narrative to take it as from the hand of him who was the most deeply concerned in the matter.
VI. There is probably a third Book of Noah, in the form of an apocalypse of the creation work, given in Gen. 1: 1-31; 2: 1-3. The nature of this revelation was quite apart from any personal experience or recollection, and could as well have been given to one prophet as another. The form of designating the Deity (Elohim) is that in the sections which appear to have come from Noah, and the style corresponds to those sections as to no other portions of the Bible. It is a complete monograph in itself, and can be best conceived by referring it to the prophet Noah.
VII. Genesis 4: 1-4, 6-8; 7: 1-6; 8: 20-22; 9: 28, 29; 11: 1-9, shows quite a different style from either of the other sections. It does not appear as a continuation of the Noachian narrative, but rather as fragments of an independent account, from which Moses has interwoven parts to give a greater fulness to the record in general. It designates the Deity (Jehovah) the same as Seth and Enoch, and not as either Adam or Noah. The author evidently lived after Noah, though personally familiar with the affairs attending and following the deluge. Therefore, it is most probable that we have these fragments from the patriarch Shem.
VIII. So, Genesis 10: l-32 and Genesis 11: 10-26, are plainly monographs, and as plainly from distinct sources. Had Moses been the original author of both, the one would have been made to correspond with the other, and we would have had one symmetrical statement of the genealogy, continuous and digested. The first bears internal evidence, amounting almost to certainty, that it was composed by Eber from his own personal knowledge, and while living with his younger son Joktan. That it was written before Sodom was destroyed is proven by verse 19. Had it been written by Moses, he would not have said, "as thou goest unto Sodom and Gomorrah, p. 225 and Admah and Zeboim," but "as thou goest unto the Salt Sea," as in Deut. 3: 17 and elsewhere. The genealogy in the eleventh chapter is also more orderly in style, and was most likely made up by Torah or Abraham, from information handed down from father to son in the family from which he was himself descended.
It would be presumption to speak confidently on such a subject, or to claim that this is beyond mistake the authorship of these several sections of the sacred word. The inspiration of Moses is warrant enough for all of them. But Moses nowhere claims to have been the original author of these records, neither does the Scripture assert that they were written by him. On the contrary, it tells us of a succession of inspired men from Adam's time, from whom we have nothing, except as above indicated. And as the nearer the historian lived to the events which he relates, the more satisfactory his account; if there is reason to believe that these documents were written by the parties personally concerned, they become the more impressive, interesting, and easy to be understood.
It is at least interesting to take the Bible and read the several portions as above assigned to Adam, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Shem, etc., in order to see what life and spirit these records take on, when viewed in a way which is at once so probable and so fully in accord with other statements of the Scriptures.
From the texts in Luke and Acts it is clear that the Gospel is as old as the race, and that there never was a time when it was unknown and unsounded. It is traceable in the constellations of the heavens, as represented of old; it is reflected in the traditions and mythologies of all ancient peoples, and in every age there were holy prophets who treasured the divine oracles, and prophesied and taught concerning the coming and achievements of Jesus Christ, and "the restitution of all things."