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"The fifth Satrapy extended from the frontiers of Cilicia and Syria as far as Egypt, parts of Arabia alone excluded, which paid no tribute."-IBID. c. 91.
"The Arabians inhabit a tract partly desert, and in other parts without water, and very little of it there is that bears any fruit: therefore the inhabitants live by robbery and plunder, roving up and down the countries far and near, killing the inhabitants, who find it very difficult to resist them. For in the arid parts of the country they have wells in convenient places unknown to strangers, whither they flee for refuge and are safe; while those who pursue them, not knowing where to procure water, perish of thirst, or meet with other disasters, and scarcely ever return home. These Arabians, therefore, as they are not to be conquered, are never enslaved, nor ever admit any foreign prince over them, but preserve their liberty at all times. Neither the Assyrians, nor the Medes, nor the Persians, nor even the Macedonians, though they often marched great forces against them, were ever able to overcome them."-DIOD. SIC. 1. II. c. 48.
"Augustus Cæsar despatched Ælius Gallus against the Arabians, whom it was his intention either to conciliate or subdue. Gallus arrived at Leuce-Come with the army labouring under diseases of the country, affecting the mouth and the legs with a kind of paralysis, caused by the water and the plants used for food: he was, therefore, compelled to pass the summer and the winter there for the recovery of the sick.........He assaulted and besieged Marsiaba, but raised the siege in consequence of a scarcity of water. Finally, he returned to Alexandria with so much of his army as could be saved: the remainder he lost, not by the enemy, but by disease, fatigue, famine, and marches through bad roads; for seven men only perished in battle. For these reasons this expedition contributed little in extending our knowledge of the country."-STRAB. 1. XVI. c. 4.
"All Alexander's projects terminated with his death, which happened suddenly; but certainly one of his projects was to try whether the Arabians would receive him voluntarily or resist him by force of arms: for finding that they did not send ambassadors to him either before or after his expedition to India, he was beginning to make preparations for war against them."-IBID.
"The Arabians neither sent ambassadors to Alexander requesting his friendship, as all others thereabouts had done, nor made him any presents, nor paid him homage." ARR. Exped. Alex. 1. vII. c. 19. 13. And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seeest me for she said, Have I not also here looked after him that seeth me?
"There is verily a God who both sees and hears what we do."
PLAUT. Capt. Act II. sc. 2.
1. I am the Almighty God.
power is his, and whatsoe'r he wills,
The will alone, omnipotent, fulfils."-Hom. Oydss. 1. XIV. v. 445. "If God thou knowest, thou wilt know this also, that God is able to do all things." CALLIM. fragm.
"The all-powerful and all-good, Jupiter."-Cic. de nat. Deor. 1. III. e. 36.
Ov. Metam. 1. I. v. 154.
"The omnipotent Father."-VIRG. Æn. 1. 1. v. 64,
10. This is my covenant which ye shall keep between me and you and thy
seed after thee; every man child among you shall be circumcised.
Circumcision was practised by the Egyptians and some other nations from the remotest antiquity, and the Jews are said by the heathen writers to have inherited or borrowed this custom. But Moses has given a clear account of its original, while other historians offer only imperfect hints and conjectures; and the Egyptians, doubtless, learned this rite from Abraham, who, with his family, were circumcised at an earlier period than any instance related by heathen writers can be referred to. The Egyptians had a particular inclination to copy whatever was introduced into Abraham's religion. They followed him, therefore, in the practice of circumcision; as afterwards, when they heard of his intending to sacrifice his son Isaac, they instituted human sacrifices, a barbarous custom which continued among them for five or six hundred years.
"Male children, except in those places which have borrowed the custom from hence, are left in other nations as nature formed them: in Egypt they are circumcised." HDT. 1. II. c. 36.
"The inhabitants of Colchis, Egypt, and Ethiopia, are the only people who, from time immemorial, have used circumcision. The Phoenicians and the Syrians of Palestine acknowledge that they borrowed this custom from Egypt.........As this practice can be traced both in Egypt and Ethiopia to the remotest antiquity, it is not possible to say which first introduced it."-IBID. 1. II. c. 104.
"The Colchians prove that they are derived from the Egytians, by the fact of their being circumcised after the manner of the Egyptians."-DIOD. SIC. 1. 1. c. 55.
"The Egyptians circumcise their males; as is the custom among the Jews, who are of Egyptian origin."-STRAB. 1. XVII. c. 2.
"The Jews instituted circumcision on purpose to be distinguished by a peculiar mark. The same is assumed by their proselytes."-TAC. Hist. 1. v. c. 5.
12. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you.
Many infants die before the seventh day; for which reason their names are given to them at that time, because there is then more ground for expecting that they will survive."—ARISTOT. de animal. 1. vII. c. 7.
The young of the oxen and the sheep were not to be dedicated to the Lord before the eighth day for the same reason. See Exod. XXII. 30.
1. And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;
2. And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground.
The ancient mythology abounds in stories of the descent of the gods upon earth in human forms. See Acts XIV. 11.
"In this low disguise Wanders, perhaps, some inmate of the skies; They (curious oft of mortal actions) deign
In forms like these to round the earth and main."
HOм. Odyss. 1. Xvii. v. 484"Are you not, Theodorus, unconsciously bringing in, not a guest, but some god?" PLAT. Sophist. c. 1.
"It is said that the five gods travel through the world representing themselves to men, sometimes in the form of sacred living creatures, and sometimes in the form of men. And this is not a fable, but very possible, if it be true that these give birth to all things." DIOD. SIC. 1. I. c. 12.
Ovid tells how
"Jupiter, and the god who reigns in the wide ocean, and Mercury, took their journey together," &c.-Ov. Fast. 1. v. v. 495 and v. 688.
3. And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant :
"Full oft, while piety was yet revered
By pristine man, the gods on earth appear'd,
Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:
And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.
Miltiades, as he sat before the door of his house, perceived the Dolonci passing by, and as by their dress and spears they appeared to be foreigners, he called to them. On their approach he offered them the use of his house and the rites of hospitality.” HDT. 1. VI. c. 35.
"They, seeing guests arrived, together all
Advanced, and grasping courteously their hands
"According to these laws, it is meet to receive all strangers, both male and female from another country, and to send out our own people, doing honour to Zeus, who presides over hospitality."-PLAT. de leg. 1. XII. c. 6.
'Among the Germans, to refuse admitting under your roof any man whatsoever is held wicked and inhuman. Every man receives every comer and treats him with repasts as long as his ability can possibly furnish them."-TAC. Germ. c. 21.
6. And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.
7. And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.
8. And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.
Homer gives a similar picture of the simplicity and hospitality of patriarchal
"Patroclus o'er the blazing fire
Heaps in a brazen vase three chines entire :
The brazen vase Automedon sustains,
Which flesh of porket, sheep, and goat contains:
The parts transfixes and with skill divides.
Then, when the languid flames at length subside,
His thirst and hunger soberly repress'd."-Hoм. I. 1. IX. v. 206.
17. And the Lord said, shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; 18. Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
19. For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
"Apollo manifests himself not to every one, but to a good man only."
"The good......are God's peculiar care,
And such as honour him shall heav'nly honour share.”
CALLIM. H. in Apoll. v. 9.
"To whom could I suppose that the Gods of Heaven would rather reveal and disclose their secrets, than the truth to the hallowed Cato? Assuredly thy life has ever been regulated according to the laws of heaven, and thou art a follower of the God." LUCAN. Phars. 1. IX. v. 557.
25. That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
Contrast the following :
The deity, deeming fortune common, is wont, in the ruin of him that is depraved, to destroy him that is not depraved and has done no evil."-EURIP. Suppl. v. 226.
8. Therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
The ancients, and especially those of Eastern countries, were very strict in their observance of the rites of hospitality. No sacrifice was too great to offer in defence of those who had broken bread or tasted salt under their roof. Even an enemy, having once been received as a guest, might expect protection. Lycaon had been a captive to Achilles who sent him to Lemnos, to be sold; but he escaped from thence and was again found by Achilles on the field of ttle. He thus pleads for life,—
Thy well-known captive, great Achilles! see,
Once more Lycaon trembles at thy knee.
Some pity to a suppliant's name afford,
Who shared the gifts of Ceres at thy board."-HOм. Il. 1. XXI. v. 74.
Penelope thus upbraids Antinous:
"Wretch to destroy a prince that friendship gives,
Eetes says to Argus
"My table ye have touch'd with genial rite;
Or direful thanks intrusion should requite;
APOL. RHOD. Arg. 1. II. v. 377.
11. And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great; so that they wearied themselves to find the door..
So the Phracians were blinded that they could not see Ulysses.
So Pallas order'd. Pallas to their eyes
The mist objected, and condensed the skies."
"MINERVA. He (Ajax) will not see thee, be thou e'er so near.
HOM. Odyss. 1. vii. v. 38.
"Propitious to the journey, Juno shrouds
SOPH. Ajax. Act I. v. 83.
17. And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
The history of Lot and the angels seems to have been preserved among the Romans in the story of Jupiter and Mercury visiting the house of Baucis and Philemon, and as a recompense for their hospitality, delivering them from the destruction with which all the other inhabitants of the place were visited for their wickedness.
"Jove, with Hermes came; but in disguise
"The neighbourhood, said he,
Shall justly perish for impiety:
And many toilsome steps together trod :
Not one of all the thousand but was lock'd.
At last an hospitable house they found.
Baucis and Philemon receive them hospitably, and Jove declares himself.
With speed, and follow where we lead the way: