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CHAP.
VI.

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House of the Sanctuary; and they offer burnt-
offerings, both on the Passover and on other
festivals, on the altar which was built on Mount
Gerizim, of those stones which the Children of
Israel set up, after they had passed over Jordan.
They pretend that they are descended from the
tribe of Ephraim; and have among them the
Sepulchre of Joseph the Just, the son of our father
Jacob, who rests in peace according to that
saying, The bones also of Joseph, which the
Children of Israel brought up with them out of
Egypt, buried they in Shechem.'”—Maundrell,
the only English writer who has visited Napolose,
is more explicit than the earlier Christian pil-
grims, concerning this place; but he was prin-
cipally occupied in discussions with a Samaritan
priest, concerning the difference between their
text and the Hebrew, and in identifying the two
mountains, Ebal and Gerizim, between which
the city stands. He notices, however, the
Tomb of Joseph; still bearing its name, unaltered,
and venerated even by the Moslems, who have
built a small temple over it®. Its authenticity is

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(5) Josh. xxiv. 32.

(6) “We saw on our right hand, just without the city, a small
mosque, said to have been built over the sepulchre purchased by Jacob
of Emmor the father of Shechem. (Gen. xxxiii. 19.) It goes by the
name of Joseph's Sepulchre, his bones having been here interr'd,
after their transportation out of EGYPT. (Josh. xxii. 32.)” Journ.
from Aleppo to Jerus. p. 62. Oxf. 1721.
VOL. IV.

T

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CHAP.

VI.

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not liable to controversy; since tradition is, in w this respect, maintained upon the authority of

sacred Scripture; and the veneration paid to it,
by Jews, by Christians, and by Moslems, has
preserved, in all ages, the remembrance of its
situation'. Having shewn upon a former occa-
sion, that tombs were the origin of temples?, it is
not necessary to dwell upon the utter improba-
bility of their being forgotten among men who
approached them as places of worship. The Tomb
of Joshua was also visited by Jewish pilgrims
in the twelfth century. This is proved by the
Hebrew Itinerary of Petachias', who was con-
temporary with Benjamin of Tudela; and its
situation, marked by him with the utmost
precision", is still as familiar to the Jews of

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(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.

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VI.

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.

VI.

CHAP. that, when Joseph died', “they embalmed him,

and he was put “év 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.

VI.

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presume to identify the coffins of their Patriarchs CHAP.
and Prophets'. When it is once understood
what the real monuments are, to which those
traditions allude; the veneration always paid
by that people to a place of sepulture ; their
rigorous adherence, in burial, to the cæmeteries
of their ancestors ; the care with which memo-
rials are transmitted to their posterity; and
other circumstances connected with their
customs and history, which cannot here
be enumerated; it is not merely probable
but it amounts almost to certainty, that the
sepulchres they revere were originally the
tombs of the persons to whom they are now
ascribed.

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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

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(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.

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