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all things living or inanimate, which are placed in this fortunate region. The women, and the females of other species, are more fruitful than any where else; the lands are more productive. As the men there, commonly enjoy perfect health, the trees and plants never lose their verdure, and the fruits are always delicious, or at least salutary. It is true, that this air, good as it is, is nevertheless subject to be corrupted in some proportion as other climates. I even acknowledge that it is bad in those parts, where, when the inundations of the Nile have been very great, this river, in retiring to its channel, leaves marshy places, which infect the country round about. The dew is also very dangerous in Egypt."

But though the air is, by the acknowledgement of this partial writer unwholesome in some places in November and December, when the Nile returns into its channel, on the account of some marshy places which infect the air; yet these disorders, whatever they may be, surely hardly deserve to be described by a word that signifies the pestilence, or to be spoken of as something peculiar to Egypt. It is, according to this author, and I imagine his assertion will not be contested, about the time the Nile begins to rise, and when the South wind blows, that the sickly season begins; then fevers rage, and it is then the pestilence makes its ravages in Egypt.' The Egyptian autumnal complaints then are not to be compared with those of the Let. 1, p. 14, 15*

• Let. 2, p. 57.

summer, and consequently it will hardly be admitted that the Prophet refers to them, as his lordship supposes.

Nor is there indeed any thing so particular in the pestilence in Egypt, as to distinguish it from that disease in other countries ; since then the original phrase Diosd 7773 bederek mitsrayim, is ambiguous, and may as well be translated in the way of Egypt, as after the manner of Egypt. I should apprehend that this 10th verse refers to some severe chastisement Israel received, in the way to Egypt, not the way from Judea by Gaza, or the land of the Philistines, but the way by the eastern side and southern end of the Dead Sea, in which march, in that part

of the desert, they were at once assailed by some mortal disease, which carried off great numbers; by the sword, either of the wild Arabs, or some other enemy: their horses unexpectedly carried off in the night, according to the Arab custom, in whose swiftness and usefulness in war Israel was wont to place no little confidence; and their camp rendered a scene of complete desolation and ruin.

The books of Kings and Chronicles make no distinct mention of such an event; but as they are very short accounts of the Jewish princes, so several things are referred to in the Prophets which are not mentioned there. The succeeding verse, of this 4th of Amos, is a proof of the truth of such omissions. It becomes the more necessary to adopt such

Şce Exod. xiii. 17, 18.


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an interpretation of Amos, as supposes he refers to the ravages of the pestilence among the Israelites, as they were marching in the wilderness in the more southern road to Egypt, on some warlike expedition, since the recent publication of the Memoirs of the Baron de Tott, who assures us, that the noxious exhalations from the stagnation of the water left on the land, when the Nile retires into its proper channel, and the ravages of the pestilence there, are not so great, as in many other places. His words are as follows:

To this fertility and richness of the productions of Egypt, must be added a most salubrious air. We shall be more particularly struck with this advantage, when we consider that Rosetta, Damietta, and Mansoora, which are encompassed with rice-grounds, are much celebrated for the healthiness of their neighbourhood; and that Egypt is, perhaps, the only country in the world where this kind of culture, which requires stagnant waters, is not unwholesome.

Riches are not there destructive to the lives of men.

« The researches I have carefully made, concerning the plague, which I once believed to originate in Egypt, have convinced me, that it would not be so much as known there, were not the seeds of it conveyed thither by the commercial intercourse between Constantinople and Alexandria. It is in this last city that it always begins to appear; it but rarely reaches Gairo, though no precaution is taken to pre


vent it: and when it does, it is presently extirpated by the heats, and prevented from arriving as far as the Saide. It is likewise well known, that the penetrating dews, which fall in Egypt about Midsummer, destroy, even in Alexandria, all remains of this distemper.'

If this account be accurate, the Prophet Amos cannot be supposed to refer to mortal disorders, arising from the exhalations of marshy places in Egypt, nor yet to the pestilence there, which certainly carry off many in that country, for both the one and the other are found to be gentler than in many other places.

But the breaking out of a pestilential disorder in an army of Israel in the wilderness, in the southern road to Egypt, when harassed by the Arabs of the desert, must have been a severe scourge upon them. · That the kingdom of the ten tribes had some contest with those that lived in that part of the country, appears from what is said concerning Jeroboam, the second of its princes of that name, in 2 Kings xiv. 25, 26: He restored the coast of Israel, from the entering of Hamath, unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel. ... For the Lord saw the affliction of Israel that it was very bitter, &c. He had, according to this, some contest with those near the Dead Sea, in which he was successful, but before that the affliction of Israel had been very bitter, according to the historian: and bitter it must have been indeed,

& Part. 4, p. 60, 70.

if some pestilential disease raged in their camp, while their soldiers were killed in considerable numbers, their horses, on which they had great dependance, carried off, and they so circumstanced, as for some time not to be able to quit the place where they were encamped.

That large bodies of people are sometimes attacked in this desert with mortal diseases, and which kill very suddenly, we learn from Maillet. “During the summer, a fresh North wind blows in this climate all day long, which very much assuages the heat. ... But if this North wind happen to fail, and instead of that it blows to the South, which however but rarely happens, then the whole caravan becomes so sickly and exhausted, that there die very commonly three or four hundred persons in a day. They have sometimes been known to amount to fifteen hundred," of whom the greatest part have been stified at once by this burning air, and the dust this dreadful wind brings along with it in such quantities."

In a time of such mortality, when the dead and the sick were so numerous, those that were well were held in perpetual employment by continual alarms from the Arabs, instead of applying themselves to the burying their dead; when the sword might cut off as many as this corrupting wind: the stench of the camp of Israel must have been exceeding great.

The loss also of their horses of war in such a

^ Out of about 50,000 persons, according to his estimation. Let. dern. p. 228.

i P. 232.

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