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FIRST PART OF THE HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY
Chap. III. Sect. ii. §. 12. ONCE more, the prophet Jeremiah, foretelling the taking of Babylon by Cyrus the Great, has this expression, ch. li. ver. 27. Call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat and Minni, &c.] I cannot omit observing, that it is not altogether improbable, that the name Armenia might be made up of Ararat and Minni, or Menni, as it is written by some. And it is plain, that the Syriac interpreter of Jeremy did take Menni to denote Armenia; as also did the Chaldee paraphrast Jonathan.
Chap. III. Sect. ii. §. 46. I must now speak something of the colonies of Magog.] I look upon this to be a proper place to take notice, that although the Swedish historians may with some probability esteem themselves to be colonies of Magog, yet it seems very absurd for them to go about to shew the world, that the kingdom of Sweden is the most ancient kingdom in Eu
rope, and that this country was after the deluge sooner stored with inhabitants than the other parts of Europe. Forasmuch as it is not likely, that the first planters of Europe should settle themselves in the more northern and unfruitful parts of it, before they had stored or filled the more southern and fruitful countries of it.
Chap. III. Sect. iv. §. 24. That the Caphtorim were situated near to the Casluhim, &c.] I am not ignorant that some learned men, particularly Bochart, contend, that the Caphtorim were seated in Cappadocia, and prove this by several instances out of Oriental writers, by whom the Cappadocians are denoted by the word Caphtorims. But then this does not prove that Cappadocia was first planted after the flood by the Caphtorims, which is what we are speaking of here. All that is proved by the citations out of the said Oriental books, is only thus much, viz. that a colony of the Caphtorim did in process of time possess themselves of Cappadocia, having subdued the descendants of Japhet; just as another colony of the Caphtorims did possess themselves of that tract of Canaan, which is called in Scripture by the name of the land of the Philistines, having subdued the first planters of that tract, the descendants of Ca
Chap. V. §. 3. Being thus occasionally trained up to the art of war, &c.] I cannot forbear observing here, that, agreeably to what is here supposed, concerning the manner how Nimrod came to be a good warrior, the great philosopher and general Xenophon does particularly advise, that young men should not slight hunting, because hereby they might become fitter for the soldiery. See his Kurnyérix. or Tract of Hunting, chap. ii. sect. 1. Oxford edition, 8vo.
Chap. VIII. g. 4.
And it seems very probable, that there was a remarkable oak in or near this plain of Moreh.] Indeed, upon further consideration, I think it most probable to suppose, with the learned Mr. Mede, that the Hebrew word, which we translate here an oak, does rather denote a grove or plantation of oaks. For, as the said learned person observes, here God appeared first unto Abraham upon his coming into the land of Canaan, and made him a promise of giving the said land unto his seed: whereupon Abraham built an altar there unto the Lord. On which account, this place was held in great esteem ever after by the descendants of Abraham ; insomuch that Joshua judged this the most proper place to assemble the Israelites together, in order to renew their covenant with God a little before his death, as we read, Josh. xxiv. and also we are informed ver. 26. of the same chapter, that, after the solemn renewing of the covenant, Joshua took a great stone, and set it up there (under an oak, rather) in or by the oak-grove, that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. From which last clause Mr. Mede very judiciously infers, that, since this was never the settled place of the ark, it therefore follows, that here was a proseucha, or oratory, i. e, a place of prayer, in those early times; it being made choice of for such religious worship on account of God's appearing here first to Abraham in the land of Canaan, and of Abraham's here building the first altar to God, after his coming into Canaan. That here was a grove of oaks, not only a single oak, is further probable, from what we read, Gen. xxi. 33. And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the Lord. Where we learn that Abraham did plant a grove about the place he had set apart for a proseucha; and that probably in resemblance of the grove near Sichem, where God first appeared to him after his coming into Canaan. See note on §. 42.