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Of Carche. mish.
In chap. xix. ver. 12. besides Gozan, and Haran, and CHAP. 1V. the children of Eden, which were in Thelasar, (which have
15. been all spoken of already,) we have mention made of of Rezeph. Rezeph. Now since we find in Ptolemy mention made of Resapha in the country Palmyrene, on the west of the Euphrates, and above spoken of; and also of Rezipha, a city of Mesopotamia, and so on the east of the Euphrates; it is very probable, that one of these two might be the place here called Rezeph; and most probably the last, as carrying in it the greatest affinity to the letters of the Hebrew word.
In the history of the reign of the good King Josiah, we 16. have mention made of Carchemish by Euphrates, 2 Chron. xxxv. 20. This is probably thought to be the same, called by the Greeks and Latins, Circesium.
In 2 Kings xxiii. 33. we read, that Pharaoh-necol put 17. Jehoahaz, the son of Josiah, in bands at Riblah, in the land of Hamath. Where the land of Hamath lay, has already been shewn. And it is hence evident, that Riblah lay in the land of Hamath; and consequently out of the land of Canaan, contrary to the opinion of some. Hence others more reasonably suppose it to be Antioch, or else Apamea, or some other of the cities situated on the river Orontes; on which stood Epiphania, called Hamath in the days of Jerom, and therefore probably thought by him to be the Hamath mentioned so often in Scripture.
And thus I have gone through the second book of 18. Kings. The places mentioned in the books of the Chroni- of the cles are chiefly the same with those mentioned in the books Chronicles, of the sacred history already gone through: some few that are mentioned peculiarly in these books of the Chronicles, and are not mentioned in the other preceding sacred books, I have inserted in their proper places, into the geography of the books of Kings. As to the following books of the sacred Scripture, the principal places mentioned in them, and of which, I think, we have any tolerable knowledge, have also been taken notice of be
· PART III. fore; excepting the cities and other places lying in Per
sia or Media, or adjoining to the Persian empire, and mentioned in the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ezekiel, Daniel, and some other; of these therefore I shall speak something in the following chapter.
Of Places situated in, or bordering on, the ancient Persian
Empire, and mentioned in the Old Testament, but not spoken of already. WE meet not with the name of Persia in the sacred bistory, before the time of Daniel the prophet, who lived Persia, in the reign of Cyrus, the founder of the Persian empire. called. This great and famous Emperor is said, not only to have taught the inhabitants of Persia properly so called, the art of horsemanship; but also to have published an edict or law, importing, that it should be esteemed mean and scandalous for any man of that country to go on foot, whether the journey he went were long or short; by this means enjoining the inhabitants to become horsemen. Now the word Paras in the Oriental tongues denoting an horseman, hence it is not improbably thought, that upon the said inhabitants thus becoming universally horsemen, the country and people came to be denoted by the name of Paras, first in the days of Cyrus; whereas, in former days, both country and people were denoted by the name of Elam, one of the sons of Shem, who first settled in these parts after the Flood. From the word Paras, the Greeks easily framed the word Persis, and from it the Latins the word Persia.
Paras, or Persis, in its most proper acceptation, denoted only one province of the Persian empire, which adjoined Persis, or
Persia, proon to the east side of Susiana, formerly spoken of; and perly taken, which is said to this day to be called Phars, or Pharsistan, names which apparently retain footsteps of the ancient Oriental name Paras. But this name is also used to de. note several other and large provinces, that were subdued by the Persians, properly so called, and lay chiefly to the north and east of the province of Persis. As to the extent of the Persian empire, we find that it was in the days of
PART III. Ahasuerus, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred
and seven and twenty provinces. Esth. i. 1.
The word here rendered Ethiopia is Cush ; which has of Cush or been largely shewn to denote in Scripture, Arabia, not Ethiopia.
Libya or Africa; and therefore, by Ethiopia here men-
The word rendered India is in the original Hoddu, or of India. Hondu, as it is now-a-days read. But it is likely that it
was formerly read Hiddu, or Hindu. Whence the Greeks derived the names India and Indus, the latter given by them to the great river, which has been generally esteemed the eastern boundary of Persia, and the former to the country lying on the east side of the said river, called nowa-days by us most commonly the East-Indies, to distinguish it from the West-Indies, otherwise called America, and unknown to the ancients; who therefore called the East-Indies simply India, as knowing no other than that.
It is evident from Dan. viii. 2. and Esth. i. 2. that the
Kings of Persia had a palace in a city called Shushan, shan,
which we may well suppose to be the same called by the Greeks Susa, and so situated in the province of Susiana; which is the first province of Persia that lies on the east of the Euphrates, or Tigris. This city probably took its name from the lilies which abound in these parts, for the lily is called shushan in the Hebrew tongue. As from Shushan, the Greeks called the city itself Susa; so from their Greek name of the city, they called the province it lay in Susiana. The city is thought to have been founded by Tithonus, brother to Priamus King of Troy, and father of Memnon: from whom the citadel was called Memnonium; the palace and walls, Memnonians; and Susa itself, the city of Memnon. But others will for these reasons have the city to have been built not by Tithonus the father, but by the son himself, Memnon. The walls of this city are said by Cassiodorus, as Heylin relates, to
5. Of Shu.
be cemented with gold. It was doubtless a very great, CHAP. V. stately, and rich city. Alexander the Great is said to have found therein fifty thousand talents of uncoined gold, besides wedges of silver, and jewels of an inestimable value. It is now said to be nothing but ruins, and perhaps not that.
In the forecited chap. viii. ver. 2. of Daniel, the prophet 6. tells us, that he had a vision by the river of Ulai, which of the river doubtless is the same called by the Greeks, Euleus. That it ran by the city, nay the palace of Shushan, is also clear from the forecited text. It is said to be the greatest river of the province of Susiana, and of so rare a stream, that the Persian Kings would drink of no other water.
To the north of Persia lay the country called Me- 7. dia, frequently mentioned in the sacred history, and Of Media. that in conjunction with Persia; not only on account of their neighbouring situation one to the other, but of their being for a long time under one and the same prince. It is generally believed, that it took its name from Madai, one of the sons of Japhet. But upon weighing what is offered by the judicious and learned Mr. Mede on this subject, I am inclined to embrace rather his opinion; that though it is not to be doubted but this country, called in Hebrew Madai, took its name from one Madai, yet probably he was not the same with the son of Japhet, (who rather settled himself in Mysia in Lesser Asia, and in Æmathia or Macedonia in Europe,) but was a descendant of Shem.
In Ezr. vi. 2. we read, that there was found at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of the Medes, a roll, &c. Now the word Achmetha may denote (as is ob- batana. served in the margin of our Bible) a coffer; but it is rather understood by the learned to denote the principal city of Media, called by the Greeks Ecbatana, and often mentioned in the Apocryphal books of Esdras or Ezra, and of Tobit and Judith. It was built not long after Babylon. For we find, saith Dr. Heylin, that Semiramis, the wife of Ninus, in a war against the Medes, who had then rebelled,
8. Of Achmetha, or Ec