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e simple here an
House of the Sanctuary; and they offer burnt-
(5) Josh. xxiv. 32.
(6) “We saw on our right hand, just without the city, a small
not liable to controversy; since tradition is, in w this respect, maintained upon the authority of
sacred Scripture; and the veneration paid to it,
(1) “In Sichem verò relata fuerunt ossa Joseph ex ÆGYPTO.' Eugesippus, P. ii. Suppo L. Allat, Col. 1653.
(2) See Vol. II. of these Travels, c. ii. p. 75. octavo edit.
(3) Petachiæ Itinerarium. Vid. Thes. antiq. Sacr. tom. VI. Venet. 1746.
(4) “Non licet R. Petachiam seculo xii. statuere antiquiorem, sed illud potiùs consequitur, R. Benjaminem et R. Petachiam fuisse coævos.” Introd. in Petach. Itin. ab J. Christoph. Wagenseilio. Ibid. 1161, 1162.
(5) "Mons. Gaasch valdè excelsus est, atque in eo conditus Obadias Propheta. In hunc montem præaltum, per gradus fit ascensus, qui, ibi incisi sunt, atque in medio montis sepultus est Josua filius Nun, et, juxta eum, Caleb Jephunne filius. PROPE HORUM MONUMENTA FONS SCATURIT, E QUO AQUA OPTIMA PER MONTEM MANAT, IPSISQUE SEPULCHRIS, BASILICA EGREGIÆ ADJICIUNTUR.” Petachiæ Itiner. Ibid. 1205, 1206.
Palæstine as the place where the Temple of CHAP. Solomon originally stood. It was, in fact, in the midst of a renowned cemetery, containing also the sepulchres of other Patriarchs ; particularly of one, whose synagogue is mentioned by Benjamin of Tudela, as being in the neighbourhood of the warm baths of Tiberias. These tombs are hewn in the solid rock, like those of Telmessus in the Gulph of Glaucus, and are calculated for duration, equal to that of the hills in which they have been excavated. It may also be worthy of notice, that, when writers of the age of Benjamin and Petachias are speaking of the immediate receptacles of embalmed bodies, as relics held in veneration by the Jews, they refer to SoRoi constituting integral parts of mountains ; which have been chisseled with a degree of labour not to be conceived from mere description. These are monuments on which a lapse of ages effects no change : they have defied, and will defy, the attacks of time, and continue as perfect at this hour as they were in the first moment of their completion. Thus we are informed in sacred Scripture, according to the Septuagint Version,
(6) Benjaminis Itinerarium, cap. 10. Helmst. 1636.
CHAP. that, when Joseph died', “they embalmed him,
and he was put “év rý Łópo' in Egypt;" that is to say, in one of those immense mono-lithal receptacles to which alone the Antients applied the name of ΣΟΡΟΣ : they were appropriated solely to the burial of men of princely rank; and their existence, after the expiration of three thousand years, is indisputably proved, by the appearance of one of them in the principal Pyramid of Egypt. Therefore, when our English Translators render the Hebrew or the Greek appellation of such a receptacle by our word coffin, necessarily associating ideas of a perishable box or chest with the name they use, it is not surprising to find it stated by Harmer, in his Observations on Scripture, as an extraordinary fact, that the remains of distinguished persons in the East were honoured with a coffin, as a mark of their rank; whereas, says he', “ with us, the poorest people have their coffins :" or that other authors should deride, and consider as preposterous, the traditions mentioned by Jewish Rabbins, which, at this distance of time,
(1) Gen. L. 26. In the English Version, the words are, “He was put in a coffin."
(2) See Harmer's Observations on Scripture, vol. III. p. 69, 70. Lond. 1808.
presume to identify the coffins of their Patriarchs CHAP.
In the time of Alexander the Great, Sichem was considered as the capital of Samaria“. Its inhabitants were called Samaritans, not merely as people of Samaria, but as a sect at variance
(3) Gerrans, translator of the Hebrew Itinerary of Rahbi Benjamin, published in 1783, makes use of an allusion to the Prophet Daniel's coffin, as a proof of the spurious nature of the Work. (See Dissert. p. 10, prefixed to the volume.) There is every reason to believe that Benjamin's Itinerary is a mere compilation ; but the objection thus urged does not impeach its veracity.
The tradition alluded to was probably borrowed from former writers.
(4) Josephus, Antiq. lib. xi. c. 8.