Menasseh ben Israel
Hope of Israel
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It is hard to say what is certaine among the so many, and so uncertaine opinions concerning the originall of the Indians of the new World. If you aske, what is my opinion upon the relation of Montezinus, I must say, it is scarce possible to know it by any Art, since there is no demonstration, which can manifest the truth of it; much lesse can you gather it from Divine, or humane Writings; for the Scriptures doe not tell what people first inhabited those Countries; neither was there mention of them by any, til Christop. Columbus, Americus, Vespacius, Ferdinandus, Cortez, the Marquesse Del Valle, and Franciscus Pizarrus went thither; and though hitherto I have been of this minde, that I would speake only of solid, and infallible things, (as those things are which concerne our Law) and the obscurity of the matter, making me doubt, whether it would be worth a while for me to attempt it; yet at last I was content to be perswaded to it, not that I looke to get credit by it, but that my friends, and all who seeke for truth, that have put me upon this work, may see how very desirous I am to please them.
I shall speake somewhat in this Discourse, of the divers opinions which have been, and shall declare in what Countries it is thought
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the ten Tribes are; and I shall close, after that I have brought them into their owne Country, which I shall prove by good reasons, following the Revelations of the holy Prophets, who I beleeve cannot be expounded otherwise, whatever some thinke; yet I intend not to dispute these things, but according to my custome, shall lay down fairly, and faithfully, the opinions of the Jewes only.
S E C T. 2.You must know therefore, that Alexis Vanegas saith, that the first Colonies of the West-Indies were of the Carthaginans, who first of all inhabited New-Spaine, and as they encreased, spread to the Island Cuba; from thence to the continent of America; and after that towards Panama, New-Spaine, and the Isle of Peru. And he grounds himselfe on that reason, that as the Carthaginians (who of old did most use the Seas) so those of Peru, and the Inhabitants of New-Spaine, did make use of Pictures instead of Letters.
But this opinion doth not satisfie, because they anciently were white men, bearded, and civill in converse; but contrarily those of Panama, St. Martha, and the Isles in Cuba, and Barlovent, went naked. Further-more, who can thinke that the language which he saith, they first spoke, should be so soone changed, that it should be wholly another; and there is no agreement between the one and the other. The learned Arias Montanns thinkes, that the Indians of New-Spaine, and Peru, are the Off-spring of Ophir the sonne of Jokton, the nephew of Heber. And he backes his opinion, by the name Ophir, which by transposition of letters, is the same with Peru; and he adds, that the name Parvaim in the duall number, doth signifie the Istmus between New-Spaine and Peru, which first was called Ophir, then Peru; and that these Countries are that Peru, from whence King Solomon brought Gold, precious Stones, &c. as in 1 King. chap. 9. v. 10 & 2 Chron. 9. 21. This opinion seems more probable than the other, and may be backed by another name of the River Piru, which according to Gomoras, lyes in the second degree from the Equinoctall line, from Panama 222 miles; as also by the name of the Province Jucatan, which may be derived from Joktan the father of Ophir. But besides that this notation is somewhat farre fetcht, it crosses what Josephus Acosta affirmes in 1. Histor. of Ind. c. 13, who saith, that the name Peru was unknowne to the Indians themselves before those Spaniards gave that name. Add
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to this what Garcillasso de la Vega in the first part of his Commentary on Peru, c. 4. saith, that when a certaine Spanyard, Basco Nunnez de Balboa, lived in that Country, and asked a Fisher-man, what was the name of that Province, he answered Beru; (which was the Fisher-mans owne name, he thinking that was the question) and he farther said, that the name of the River where he fished, was called Pelu. Hence you may see, that Peru is made of both those words; which also many Spanyards besides him, we have mentioned, doe testifie. Besides, who can thinke that Solomon neglecting the East-Indies, a place so rich, and abounding with all things, should send a Fleet so farre off as to the West-Indies. Also we read in 1 King. 9. that Solomon made ships in Ezion-Geber on the shoare of the red Sea, which also Jehosaphat did, with Ahaziah, as Ezra saith, in 2 Chron. 20. and it is certaine that those of those Countries went that ordinary way to India. And it will not follow, that because the holy Scripture sometimes saith, that they went to Tarsis, and sometimes; that they went to Ophir, that therefore both those places are the same; since that Tarsis is not, as some thinke Carthage, or Tunes in Africa for that the Navie of Solomon did not set sayle from Joppa, a port of the Mediterranean, but from Ezion-Geber, a Port of the red Sea, from whence they could not sayle to Carthage, but to the East-Indies. The answer of Isaac Abarbanel to that argument, cannot be admitted, who saith, that an arme of Nilus did run into the red Sea, and another arme ran into the Mediterranean, by Alexandria in Aegypt; since it was never heard, that ships of great burden, did swim in those rivers; and would not he then have built his Navie in the Port of Alexandria? It is more true that Tarsis is the Ocean, or Indian Sea; and because they came into the Ocean, after that they had sayled over the red Sea, which is but narrow, therefore the Scripture saith, They Sayled to Tarsis. Rabbi Jonathan ben Uziel followes this opinion, who in his Paraphrase, for Tarsis, puts (the Sea.) The same saith Franciscus de Ribera, in his Comment. on Jonah, and also Rabbinus Josephus Coen, in his Chronology; who ascribe the word Tarsis, to the Indian Sea; because that Ophir is the same Country, which of old is called, The Golden Chersonesus; and by Josephus, The Golden Land; and at this day Malacca; from whence they brought Ivory, for the great number of Elephants which are there; none of which are in the West-Indies, and Solomons Navie stayed in those Ports of India three yeares, because they traded with the Inhabitants!
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I know that learned Grotius, and famous de Laet thinke differently; as also those quoted by them; but I shall not insist in confuting their opinions because I study brevity. I doe like of, in part, the opinion of the Spaniards who dwell in the Indies, who by common consent doe affirme that the Indians come of the ten Tribes. And truly they are not altogether mistaken, because in my opinion, they were the first planters of the Indies; as also other people of the East-Indies came by that Streight which is between India, and the Kingdome of Anian. But that people, according to our Montezinus, made warre upon those Inhabitants the Israelites, whom they forced up unto the mountaines, and the in-land Countries, as formerly the Brittaines were driven by the Saxons into Wales.
S E C T. 3.The first ground of that opinion is taken from 2 Esdra. 13. v. 40. &c. (which we quote as ancient, though it be Apocryphall) where it's said, that the ten Tribes which Shalmanester carried captive in the reigne of Hoseas, beyond Euphrates, determined to goe into Countries farre remote, in which none dwelt, whereby they might the better observe their Law. And as they passed over some branches of Euphrates, God wrought Miracles, stopping the course of the Floud, till they had passed over; and that Country is called Arsareth. From whence we may gather, that the ten Tribes went to New-Spaine, and Peru, and possessed those two Kingdoms, till then without Inhabitants. Genebrardus, quoting Esdras concerning that wandring of the ten Tribes, saith, that Arsareth is Tartaria the greater, and from thence they went to Greenland, for that America is lately found to be on that side farther from Sea, than it is upon other sides, being almost an Island, and they might passe from Greenland by the streight of Davis into the Country Labrador, which is now called India, being fifty miles distant from thence, as Gomoras saith in his History. The same journying of the ten Tribes into India, is confirmed by that which P. Malvenda reports, That Arsareth is that Promontory which is neare to Scythia, or Tartary, neare the Sea, called by Pliny, Talis, where America is parted from the Country of Anian by a narrow Sea; which also on that side parts China, or Tartary from America; so that there might be an easie passage for the ten Tribes through Arsareth, or Tartary into
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the Kingdomes of Anian, and Quivira; which in time might plant the new world, and firme land; which in bignesse equals Europe, Asia, and Africa put together; Alonsus Augustinianus counting from the shoare of the North Sea, from the Country of Labrador 3928 miles, and from Sur, 3000 miles; but Gomaras counts from India by the South, and Sur, 9300 miles; which space is bigge enough for the ten Tribes, that they may there spread in places hitherto unknowne.
S E C T. 4.He strengthens this opinion, that in the Isle St. Michael, which belongs to the Azores, the Spaniards found Sepulchres under ground, with very ancient Hebrew letters, which Genebrardus hath Printed, in lib. I. chro. p. 159. From whence we gather, that in that inscription there is a mistake of the letter (T.) so that the sense of it is, How perfect is God. Sehalbin is dead. Know God. Unlesse you will have them to be proper Names, and to signifie him that is dead, and his Father, in which sense for (M) you must read (B) and then the sense will be, Meetabel seal, the Son of Matadel; such names ending in (el) are common in Scripture, as Raphael, Immanuel, and the like. Let it suffice him who is pleased with neither of those conjectures, that Hebrew Letters were found there. And though that Island is remote from the West-Indies, yet it might be by accident that they might put in thither.
S E C T. 5.That seemes to be to the purpose which Garcillassos de la Vega saith in his Comment. on Peru, lib. 3. c. 1. That in Tiahuanacu a Province of Collai, among other Antiquities, this is worthy of memory, (being scituated at the Lake which the Spaniards call Chutuytu.) That among the great buildings which are there, one was to be seene of a very great pile, which hath a Court 15 fathoms broad; a wall that compasseth it, 2 furlongs high; on one side of the Court is a Chamber 45 foot long, and 22 broad; and the Court, the Wall, the Pavement, the Chamber, the Roofe of it, the entrance, the posts of the 2 gates of the Chamber, and of the entrance, are made only of one stone; the three sides of the Wall are an ell thick; the Indians say, that that House is dedicated to the Maker of the World. I conjecture that building to be a Synagogue,
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built by the Israelites; for the Authors who writ about the Indies, tell us, that the Indians never use Iron, or Iron weapons. Also the Indians were Idolaters, and therefore it could not be that they should build an house to God. P. Acosta in lib. 6. Ind. histor. c. 14. mentions such buildings as are in that place; and he reports that he measured a stone which was 38 foot long, 18 foot broad, and sixe foot thick. Petrus Cieza in his first part of his Chronicles of Peru, c. 87, relates, That in the City Guamanga, which is scituated by the river Vinaque, there is a vast building, which because then it seemed almost ruined by time, it therefore had lasted many yeares. He asking the neighbouring Indians, Who built that great Pile? He learnt, that it was made by a people (who were bearded, and white as the Spaniards) who came thither a long time before (and staid some time after) the Indians raigned there; and the Indians said, that they had received it from their Fathers by Tradition. The same Cieza, cap. 10. 5. of the Antiquity of Tiguanac, saith, that what the Indians boast to be very ancient, can by no meanes be compared with that Ancient building, and other things. From all which you may well gather, that the first Inhabitants of that place were the Israelites of the ten Tribes, because they were white, and bearded.
S E C T. 6.To this opinion adde an argument taken from what Logicians call simili; for he that will compare the Lawes and Cuftomes of the Indians and Hebrewes together, shall finde them agree in many things; whence you may easily gather, That the Indians borrowed those of the Hebrewes (who lived among them) before, or after they went to the unknowne Mountaines. The Indians of Jucatan, and the Acuzainitenses doe circumcise themselves. The Totones of New Spaine, and Mexicans (as Roman and Gomaza in the generall History of the Indians testifie) rend their garments, if there happen any sudden misfortune or the death of any. Gregorius Gracias in Monarchia Ingasonum, an Isle of Peru, saith, that Guainacapacus hearing that his sonne Atagualpa fled for feare of the Army of his enemy, he rent his garments. The Mexicans, and Totones, or the Totonacazenses kept continually fire upon their Altars, as God commands in Leviticus. Those of Peru doe the same, in their Temples dedicated to the Sun. The Nicaraguazenses doe forbid their women who were lately brought a bed, to enter their
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Temples, till they are purified. The inhabitants of Hispaniola thinke those doe sin, who lye with a woman a little after her childe-birth. And the Indians of new Spaine doe severely punish Sodomie. Many of the Indians doe bury their dead on the Mountaines; which also is the Jewish cuftome; and Garcias saith, the name Chanan is found in those Countries. You may wonder at this, that the Indians doe every fifty yeares celebrate a Jubilee, with great pomp, in Mexico, the Metropolis of the whole Province. Also that on the Sabbath day all are bound to be present in the Temple, to performe their Sacrifices, and Ceremonies. They also were divorced from their wives, if they were not honest. The Indians of Peru, New-Spaine, and Guatemala did marry the Widdowes of their dead Brethren. May not you judge from these things, that the Jewes lived in those places, and that the Gentiles learned such things of them? Adde also to what hath been said, that the knowledge which the Indians had, of the Creation of the world, and of the univerfall Flood, they borrowed from the Israelites,
S E C T. 7.The fourth ground of this opinion is, that the Indians are of a browne colour, and without beards; but in the new world, white, and bearded men were found, who had never commerce with the Spaniards; and whom you cannot affirme to be any other than Israelites; because also as they could never be overcome, so shall they never be fully knowne, as appeares by what followes. Petrus Simon a Franciscan, in his History of finding out the firme Land, saith, that in the reigne of Charles the fifth, he commanded one called Philippus de Utre thither, to discover, and plant those Countries; that he found them unknowne toward the North of America about five degrees, in the Province of Omeguas, which is neare the Province of Venezuela, and now is called Garracas. And he having learned of their neighbours, the greatnesse of that people both in wealth, and in war, he determined to war upon them. Who when they had marched a good way, at last found a rich City, full of people, and faire buildings; and not farre off two Husband-men tilling the ground; whom they would have made Prisoners, that they might be their interpreters. But when they saw themselves set on, they fled apace towards the City; but Philippus d'Utre and his Souldiers followed them hard on Horse-back, and had almost taken them;
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whereupon the Husband-men stood still, and with their Speares wounded Philip in the breast, piercing through his Brest-plate made of wooll to keep off Arrowes, He wondering at the dexterity of that people, judged it a wiser course, not to make war upon that Province, and people so expert in warre, and who dared to resist armed men. Therefore he retreated with his Company. And to this day none goe to that people, neither is it knowne which way to goe to them. It is probable that they are Israelites whom God preserves in that place against the day of redemption. Alonsus de Erzilla testifies the same thing, in 2. part. sua Arancania. Cant. 27. where describing those places, he thus speakes in Spanish.
As one continued City; which have been
Never as yet discovered; but unknowne
To other Nations; have laine hid alone;
Not found by forreigne sword, nor forreigne trade
Doe either seeke, nor suffer to be made,
But unacquainted live, till God shall please
To manifest his secrets: shew us these.
S E C T. 8.Joannes Castilianus Vicarius living in the City Pampelona of Nova Granada in Peru, saith, that when Gonzalus Pisarrus had revolted from his people, he sent some to search out new Countries of the Indians who lived East-ward, whose number could never be knowne, because that (as some say) their Country is above two thousand miles in length, if you compute from the head of the river Maragnon, which runs neare Andes of Cusco, unto the place where it runs into the Sea, where therefore the River began to be navigable, Petrus d'Orsna being a Captaine, went by water, and his Souldiers with him, in Vessels called Canows; which when they were too small for the force of the streame, he built Brigandines, on the banke of the River Guariaga, which washing the Province Chachapoyas, runs into Maragnon. He was scarce gone aboard his Brigandines, when one of his own Souldiers named Aquirre, a stout man, killed him, who by common consent succeeded the slaine. When they had gone a little way, they found a plaine without a mountaine, where many houses stood on each side of the banke of Maragnon, being built by
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the Indians. They still went on for forty eight houres together, and saw nothing but tall, and white houses, which they feared to goe into, because the Inhabitants were numerous, and because they heard the noyse of Hammers; for which cause they thought the Inhabitants to be Gold-smiths. They went on still, and now sayled in the North Sea, but alwayes neare to the shoare of the Province of Margareta, where Aquirre was catcht by the Inhabitants and hanged; for they heard that he had killed his Captaine Petrus de Orsua.
S E C T. 9.Caspar Bergarensis (whom I have oft spoke with) went from the City Laxa, which is in the Province of Quiti in Peru, and accompanied the Colonell Don Diego Vaca de la Vega going to seeke a new Country.
In the yeare 1622, they came to the Province Jarguasongo, which had been discovered by Captaine Salines; and they passed the Mountaines Cordillerae, where the River Maragnon is not above a stones cast over. In the Province of the Inde Mainenses they built a City, whose name was St. Franciscus de Borja, at Esquolache. In his company were one hundred Spaniards in Canows. Having conquered those Indians, and compelling them to sweare fealty to the King of Spaine; the Colonell being instructed by the Mainenses, went to other places, after he had put a Garrison in to his new City. Having sailed fifty leagues in the River (he found some Cottages of the Indians which there hid themselves) by favour of many Rivers which there run into Maragnon. When they had sayled into the River Guariaga, where Petrus de Orsua had built his Brigandines, and was killed by Aquirre; they asked the Indians whom they had taken (who were called Guariaga, from the Rivers name) what people doe live on the Rivers side? they told the Colonell, that five dayes journey off there live men of tall stature, comely in prefence, and have as great beards as the Spaniards have, valiant, and warlike, who are not skilled in Canowes, though the rest of the Indians use no other; he prefently returned the same way he came.
S E C T. 10.In Farnambuc about forty yeares since, eight Tabaiares had a minde to looke out new Countries, and to see whether the Land that was beyond, and unknowne, were inhabited. They having spent
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foure moneths in travelling Weftward, they came to mountaines, to whose top they got with difficulty, and found a plaine which a pleasant river doth compasse, by whose banke side dwelt a people who loved commerce, they were white, and bearded; and this five of the Tabaires (for three perished by the way, and only five returned) told to the Brasilians after nine moneths.
S E C T. 11.In our time, under King Philip the third, Captaine Ferdinades de Queiros being returned out of India (where he had spent most of his life) to Rome, he shewed a Table of Lands yet undiscovered. From thence he went to Madrid, and five ships were given him by the Governour of Panama (to whom he was sent) to perfect his designe. He began his journey, and was scarcely entered the South Sea, but he found Land, which he called. The Isle of Solomon, and Hierusalem, for reasons which he told me. He in his course of sayling alwayes kept close to the shoare of those Islands; he saw those Islanders of a browne colour, and took many others dwelt in greater Islands, and more fruitfull; these were white, and wore long garments of silk; and the Pilot being bid to bring his Ship neare the shoare, he split his Ship upon a Rock, (and the lslanders running greedily to the sight) which being sunke, the Captaine went thence, looking for the firme Land, which he found to be forty degrees beyond; and he went three hundred miles neare the shoare; and when he perceived the Country to be inhabited by the smoke which he saw, and would put into a Port on the side of the River, there ran to him many white men, of yellow haire, tall like Giants, richly cloathed, and of long beards. But one of the Vessels being wracked in the Havens mouth, he was forced to put out to Sea; whereupon the Islanders sent two Chaloffi of a browne colour, (as the inhabitants were of the first Island) with sheep, and other provisions, and fruits, but desiring, and threatning them, if they did not depart: The Captaine brought those Chaloffi into Spaine, from whom the Spaniards could learne nothing but by signes; and instead of answers, (when they were asked) would shew their beards, as if such those were, who were their Lords, and had sent them, and if they were asked about Religion, they would hold up their fingers to Heaven, implying, that they worshipped but one God. A little while after, they dyed in Spaine. The Captaine returned to Panama, having left his two Ships which were wracked;
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and when the Governour sued him, by meanes of the Senators, who are over the Indian affaires, he was dismissed, and returned with his Ships into Spaine, where he abode two yeares before his matters were dispatched. But the King created him Marquesse of the Countries found out by him, and commanded to give him a good Army, where-with to compasse his designes. But he scarce got to Panama, when he dyed, not without suspition of being poysoned by the Governour.
That which I am about to tell, shall serve for a proofe of that which I said of the West-Indians. A Dutch Mariner told me, that not long since he was with his ship in America, seven degrees towards the North between Maragnon, and great Para, and he put into an Harbour in a pleasant River, where he found some Indians who understood Spanish, of whom he bought Meats, and Dywood; after he had stayed there six moneths, he understood that that River extended eighteen leagues towards the Carybes Indians, as far as the ship could goe; and that the River is divided there into three branches, and they sayling two months on the left hand, there met them white men, and bearded, well bred, well cloathed, and abounding with gold and silver; they dwelt in Cities enclosed with wals, and full of people; and that some Indians of Oronoch went thither, and brought home much gold, silver, and many precious stones. Which he having understood, sent thither some Sea-men; but the Indian dyed by the way, who was their guide, and so they did not proceed, but stayed there two months, and trucked with the Indians who were sixty leagues from Sea. That Province is called Jisbia, and is subject to Zealand; they have no commerce with the Spaniards, and the inhabitants travell securely every way. I heard that story by accident from that Dutch Master of the Ship; whence some of us guessing them to be Israelites, had purposed to send him againe to enquire more fully. But he dyed suddenly the last yeare, whence it seemes that God doth not permit that those purposes should take any effect till the end of dayes.
S E C T. 13.Yet I give more credit to our Montezinus, being a Portingal, and a Jew of our Order; borne in a City of Portingal, called
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Villefleur, of honest and known Parents, a man about forty yeares old, honest, and not ambitious. He went to the Indies, where he was put into the Inquisition, as the succesor of many who were borne in Portugal, and descended from them, whom the King of Portingal, Don Manuel forced to turne Christians: (O wicked, and unjust action, saith Osorius); and a little after, This was done neither according to Law, nor Religion, and yet to this day they privately keep their Religion, which they had changed, being forced thereto. He being freed from the Inquisition, very diligently sought out these things, and oft spoke with those men, and then was not quiet till he came hither, and had told us that good newes. He endured much in that journey, and was driven to great want, so that no house would give him food, or give him money for his worke. I my selfe was well acquainted with him for six months together that he lived here; and sometimes I made him take an Oath in the presence of honest men, that what he had told, was true. Then he went to Farnambuc where two yeares after he dyed, taking the same Oath at his death. Which if it be so, why should not I beleeve a man that was vertuous, and having all that which men call gaine. And who knowes but that shortly the truth of that Prognostick may appeare, which our Montezinus learned from the Mohanes, answerable to that which Jacobus Verus an Astrologer of Prague writ after the apparition of the Comet in Ann. 1618, and dedicated to his Highnesse the Prince Palatine, where he thus discourseth: The Comet going towards the South, doth intimate that the Cities and Provinces which God doth threaten, are those of the West-Indies, which shall revolt from the King of Spaine, who will finde that losse greater then he imagined, not that the Indians rebell against him of themselves, but that they are provoked to it being stirred up by others. Neither did the Comet only fore-tell that, but the eclipse of the Sun, which was in that Country the yeare before. Thus far the Astrologer. Our ancient Rabbins say, though we doe not beleeve the Astrologers in all things, yet we doe not wholly reject them, who sometimes tell truth.
S E C T. 14.Thus farre of the West-Indies, of which Isaiah may be understood (because it lyes in the midst of the Sea, and also hath many Islands) in Isa. 60. 9, The isles shall waite for me, and the ships of Tarshosh, to bring their Sons from far, their siver
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and their gold with them, Jer. 31. 10, Heare the Word of the Lord ye Nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattereth Israel will gather him, Psal. 97. 1, The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoyce, and the multitude of isles he glad. Where part of the ten Tribes doe dwell unknown to this day.
S E C T. 15.You must know that all the ten Tribes were not carried away at the same time. Pul the King of Assyria (as I shew in the second part of my Reconciler) conquered, and carried away the Tribes of Reuben, Gad, and halfe Manasseh, in the reigne of Peka, as you may see in 1 Chron. 5. 26, and Josephus in li. 9. c. 11. Tiglah-pileser eight yeares after took Ijon, Abel-beth-maachah, Hazor-Gilead, Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and he carryed away all the Captives into Assyria, in 2 King. 15. 29. At last Shalmaneser King of Assyria, nine yeares after, in the reign of Hoshea the Son of Elah, besieged Samaria three yeares; which being taken, he carried away, Hoshea, with the rest of the Tribes, in 2 King. 17. 6. Of those three times the Prophet Isaiah speakes, Isa. 9. 1, saying, the first captivity was gentle, if you compare it with the last, which was grievous, and unsufferable, when the Kingdome and Monarchy of Israel ceased.
S E C T. 16.The ten Tribes being conquered at severall times, we must thinke they were carried into severall places. As we beleeve they went to the West-Indies by the strait of Anian, so we thinke that out of Tartary they went to China, by that famous wall in the confines of both. Our argument to prove it, is taken from the authority of two Jesuites, who erected their Colledges in those Countries. Nicholaus Trigantius a Dutch-man in his discourse of the Christian expedition under-taken by the Jesuites to Sina, saith, We finde that in former time they first came into these Kingdomes. And when that society had for some yeares seated it selfe in the Court of the Pequinenses, a certaine Jew came to P. Matthaeus Riccius; he was borne in Chamsamfu the metropolis of the Province Honan, and was surnamed Ogay; and now being licensed to the degree of a Doctor, he went to Pequin. But when he read in a certaine Booke writ by a Doctor of China, concerning the European affaires. That our
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fathers are not Sarazens, and know no God but the Lord of Heaven and Earth; and would perswade himselfe that ours did professe the Law of Moses, he went into the Church with P. Matthaeas Riccius. On an Altar there was the effigies of the Virgin Mary, and the childe Jesus, whom St. John his fore-runner worshipped with bended knees; now that day was the Holy-day of John the Baptist. The Jew thinking it was the effigies of Rebecca, and her two Sons, Jacob and Esau, he bowed also to the Image, but with this Apology, that he worshipped no Images, but that he could not but honour these who were the Parents of our Nation. And he asking if the foure Evangelists on both sides of the Altar, were not foure of the twelve sons of Jacob; the Jesuite answered, Yes, thinking he had asked of the twelve Apostles. But afterward the Jew acknowledged to the Jesuite that he was an Israelite; and he found the Kings Bible, and acknowledged the Hebrew Letters, though he could not read them. By this occasion our people learnt, that ten or twelve families of Israelites were there, and had built a very neat Synagogue which cost ten thousand Crownes, in which they have kept the five Bookes of Moses with great veneration for fix hundred yeares. He also affirmed, that in Hamcheu the Metropolis of the Province Chequiona, there are farre more Families, with a Synagogue; and else-where that many Families live without a Synagogue, because that by little and little they are extinguished. He relating many things out of the Old Testament, he differed but little in pronouncing those names. He said, that some among them were not ignorant of the Hebrew Tongue, but that himselfe had neglected it, having studied the China Tongue from a Childe. For which cause he was counted almost unworthy of their society, by the Ruler of the Synagogue. But he chiefly looked after this, that he might get to Doctor. Three yeares after P. Matthaeus Riccius sent one of our brethren to that Metropolis, who found all those things true. He compared the beginnings, and endings of the Bookes which the Jewes keep in their Synagogue, with our Pentateuch, and saw no difference, this only, that those had no pricks. The other Jesuite is Alsonsus Cimedro, who likewise saith, that there is a great number of Jewes in the Province of Oroensis, on the West part of China, who know nothing of the comming, and suffering of Jesus, And he from thence gathers, that they are of the ten Tribes, (which opinion I also am of) because those Chineses observe many Jewish Rites, which you may see in a manuscript, which
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the noble Jaochimus Wicosortius hath. And why might not some of them saile from China to New-Spaine, through the streight between China, and Anian, and Quivira, which doe border upon New-Spaine; and from thence they went to the Isles of Panama, Peru, and those thereabouts. These in my judgement are those Chineses of whom Isaiah speakes. Chap. 49. vers. 12, (treating about Israels returne to his Country.) Behold, these shall come from afarre, and these from the North, and from the West, and these from the Land of Sinim. And so Ptolomy in lib. 7. c. 3. tab. 11. cals it The country of Sinim, or Sina; and this is the true sense of the words; Aben Ezra therefore is mistaken, who derives it of Sene, a bush or wood, which he placeth in Aegypt.
S E C T. 17.I could easily beleeve, that the ten Tribes as they increased in number, so they spread into more Provinces before-mentioned, and into Tartary. For Abraham Ortelius in his Geography of the World, and Map of Tartary, he notes the place of the Danites which he cals the Hord, which is the same which the Hebrew Jerida, signifying A descent. And lower, he mentions the Hord of Naphtali, possessed by Peroza in the yeare 476. Schikhardus in his Tarich or series of the Kings of Persia, amplifies the History of this War, where ex lib. 4. of Agathias, he thus saith, A little after, when they were eased of that Plague, (sc. 7 yeares drought) in the time of the Emperour Zeno, Firuz made a double warre with Naphtali, in which at last he was destroyed. For first of all he was brought to the streights of places unknowne; who then fought for peace upon this condition (and obtained it) that he should sweare that he would never after provoke them; and that he should doe reverence to this Conquerour in token of subjection: which afterward by the counsell of the Magicians he performed craftily, for he bowed towards the Eastern Sun, that his owne people might thinke that he bowed rather to the Sun (after his Country custom) then to honour his Enemy. But he did not truly performe that first agreement, though confirmed by Letters Patents; who because he could not digest the disgrace of bowing to his Enemy, he prepared a new Army and went against them; but a second time he being entrapped by the badnesse of the Country, he lost his life; and many with him, in a Gulf which the Naphthalites had prepared for him, having dressed
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it over with reeds, and some earth thrown a top; they having left in the middle some high grounds, and trees where their Scouts were, that their stratagem might not be found, and that the Persians might more confidently attempt the ditch. Thus a rash King paid for his perfidy, he excelling more in daring, then in counsell, as Agathias saith. The patent by which peace had been agreed, was hung upon a speare, and might be seene of him at distance, that he might remember his Oath, repent, and desist from his enterprise; but he cared little for that. But when by his unexpected fall he saw he should dye, it is said that he pulled off from his right eare a pearle of huge bignesse, and whitenesse, and least any after him should finde it (more likely that his corps should not be knowne) he threw it a great way off. The same Author askes, who those Naphthalites were, and by many arguments he proves that they are the relicks of the Jewes; saith he, I doe wholly thinke that they are the relicks of the Jewes of the Tribe of Naphtali, whom Triglath Pilesser the Assyrian carried into those places, in 2 King. 15. 39. For 1. The name, in the best copies of Agathias, which Lewenclavius hath mended, is the same fully; in other Bookes it wants nothing but an (h) now it is scarce possible that in a word of many syllables that should fall out by chance. 2. Their countenance discovers it, for as Procopious I. C saith, they are not blacke, or foule in their countenance, as the Huns are among whom they live, but the only white men of that Country; that it may evidently appeare that they came from some other place thither. 3. Their manners agree, for the same Author saith, that they are not Nomades, as the Huns who are unconstant in their dwelling, and eate up one place after another; but they inhabite one certaine place. Besides, they observe Law and equity, as the Romans; and have pollicy, being well governed by their Prince: both which is rare among their neighbour Nations. Also they doe not lay abroad their dead, as the Barbarians doe, but they decently cover them with earth. Lastly, their jornalls doe testifie that many Jewes live there, especially in the mountaines, who have searched to the mid-land countries of East-Asia, R. Benjamin, f. 23. From thence (the coast of Persia) is 28 dayes journey to the mountaines Nisebor, which are neare the river Gozan. The Israelites which come from thence into Persia, say, that there in the Cities of Nisebor, are four Tribes (sc. Dan, Zebulon, Aser, Naphtali,) of the first captivity, which Shalmaneser
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the Assyrian carried thither, as in 2 King. 17. 6, he brought them to Habor, and Halah, the river Gozan and the Mountaines of Media. The compasse of that Country is twenty dayes journey; and they possesse Cities, and Castles upon the Mountaines, by one side of which, runs the river Gozan; neither are they subject to the Nations, but have a Governour over them, by name R. Joseph Amarkela a Levite, and there are among them some who study wisdome. They sow, and reap; yea they wage war to the Country of Cuth. In the same place Ortelius adds, in the Country Tabor, or Tibur (which Solinus commends, in c. 49,) they dwell a people, who though they have lost the holy writings, they obey one King, who came into France, in Ann. 1530, and spoke with Francis the first, was burnt at Mantua by the command of the Emperour Charles the fifth, because that he did privately teach Judaism to Christian Princes, and to the Emperour himselfe. Boterus saith the same in his relations of the farthest part of Tartary. But both these were deceived; for Rabbinis Josephus Cohon, a man worthy to be beleeved, relates this more truly in his Chronology, saying, that the Jew who came out of that Country, was the brother of the King of the Israelites, was called David the Reubenite; and having seene India in his passage, he came to Portugal, where he converted the Kings Secretary to Judaism, who fled from thence with him, taking the name of Selomoh Molho; he in short time was so well versed in the Law, yea in the Cabala it selfe, that he made all Italy admire him. The Secretary together with the Reubenite, endevoured to draw the Pope, Charles the fifth, and Francis the first to Judaism. Selomoh Molho was taken at Mantua, and burnt alive, in the yeare 1540. He yet was offered his life, if he would turne Christian. The Reubenite was by Charles the fifth carried prisoner into Spaine, where he shortly after dyed. Abraham Frisol Orchotolam remembers the Reubenite, saying, Forty five years agone David Reubenita, a Prince of the Israelites, came from Tabor, a Province of Tartary, into Europe, who said that two Tribes are there; and other Tribes a little farther, under their Kings, and Princes, and also an unfpeakable number of people. Perhaps the Province Tabor is the same that Habor; which is mentioned in 2 King. 17. 6, that the ten Tribes were brought by Salmaneser to Habor, and Halah; now the Hebrew letters (h) and (t) are neere in fashion. Eldad Danita of the Tribe of Dan, came out of those Countries
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five hundred yeares agone (a letter from whom, which we call Sephar Eldad Danita, is kept to this day) and being examined by the Rabbins, was found an approved man. The learned Rabbi David Kimhi, who lived 450 yeares since, in etymol. suo in the word Segiah, he saith, Rabbi Jonah writes of the name of Rabbi Juda Aben Karis, that he heard Eldad Danita say, &c. And so what I said is true, as appeares by the testimonies produced.
S E C T. 18.Part of the ten Tribes also live in Ethiopia, in the Habyssin Kingdome; as divers Habyssins reported at Rome. Boterus in his relations speakes the same thing, that two potent Nations doe live neare Nilus, and that one of them is that of the Israelites, who are governed by a mighty King. A Cosmographer who hath added notes to Ptolomyes tables, saith thus in his table of New Africa; that part of New Africk was unknowne of old, the head of Nilus not being knowne, which is in the Mountaines of the Moone, as the Ancients call them; where there dwels a great number of Israelites, paying tribute to Prester John. Rabbi Abraham Frisol in the Book already quoted, saith, that in his time some who had been in those Countries, reported the same to Hercules the Duke of Ferraria. And without question from hence the Habyssins learned Circumcision, the observation of the Sabbath, and many more Jewish rites. Of these Isaiah seemes to speake, in Isa. 18. 1, 2, Woe to the Land which under the shadow of sails doth saile beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, by whom (the Prophet saith) are sent Ambassadors in ships of Bul-rushes, (such as the Aethiopians use, commonly called Almadiae.) Bring back a people driven out of their Country, and torn, and more miserable then any among us. Gifts shal be brought to the Lord of Sebaoth, in the place where the name of the Lord of Sebaoth is worshipped, in the mount Sion. The Prophet Zephany saith the same, in Zeph. 3. 9, 10, Then will I give to the people that they speaking a pure language, may all call upon the name of God, whom they shall serve with reverence; from beyond the rivers of Ethiopia they shall bring to me for a gift, Hatray the daughter of my dispersed ones, (that is, the Nations of Aethiopia.) Which agrees with that of Isa. And your Brethren, (which are the ten Tribes) shall bring gifts to the Lord.
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S E C T. 20.Lastly, all thinke, that part of the ten Tribes dwell beyond the river Sabbathian, or sabbaticall. Rabbi Johanan the Author of the Jerusalem Talmud, who lived 160 yeares after the destruction of the second Temple, saith in his treatise of the Sanhedrim, cap. 17, that the ten Tribes were carryed into three places, sc. to the Sabbaticall river, to Daphne the suburbs of Antioch, and thither where a cloud comes downe and covers them: And that they shall be redeemed from those three places; for so he opens that place of Isa. Cha. 49. 9, That they may say to the Captives, Goe forth, (sc. to them who are at the Sabbaticall river) to them that are in darknesse, shew yourselves, (sc. to them who are compared with the cloud) and to all, they shall be refreshed in the wayes, (sc. to them who live in Daphne of Antioch which is in Syria.) Whence you may observe, that the learned man l'Empereur translated it ill, at the sides of Antioch, whereas Daphne is the proper name of a pleasant Grove near Antioch. Sedar olam makes mention of that cloud, and calls them mountaines of obscurity, And in Talmud tractat. Sanhedr. c. 11.
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R. Jonathan ben Uziel, who lived a hundred yeares before the destruction of the second Temple, in Exod. 34. 10, where the Lord saith, I will doe wonders before all thy people, such as was never done in the whole earth, or in any Nation, &c. and he refers all those things to the transportation of the people. He shall draw them to the rivers of Babylon: and shall carry them to the Sabbaticall river, and shall teach them, that those miracles were never performed to any Nation of the known world.
Our ancient Rabins in Beresit Rabba (no mean book) in Perasach, do say that Tornunsus asking how it should appeare that the day which we keep, is the seventh day, on which God rested after the creation of the world; Rabbi Aquebah (who lived 52 yeares after the destruction of the second Temple) answered by an argument taken from the stones of the Sabbatical River, which in the six dayes are tolled up and down with a continuall motion, but do rest on the Sabbath day and move not. The same is said in the Babylonian Talmud, tractat. Sanhed. c. 7. &c. in Tanuh Perasach. c. 9. In eodem Beresit Raba, in Perasach 37. Rabbi Simon saith, The ten Tribes were carried to the Sabbaticall river but Juda and Benjamin are dispersed into all Countrys. In Afrim Raba, the last verse of the Song, its said. Our bed is flourishing; that it is meant the ten Tribes, which were carryed to the Sabbaticall river; and that river running all the week, doth cause the ten Tribes there remaining to be shut up; for though on the seventh day the river doth rest, yet it is forbidden by our Law to take a journey then; and for that reason they remained there miraculously, as lost, and concealed from us. So that of Isa. 49, That they say to the prisoners, go forth, is interpreted of them in Jalcut. R. Aquebah after the same manner explains that of Levit. 36. 38, And ye shal perish among the heathen. And that of Isa. 27. ult. And they shall come, who were ready to perish in Assyria. Because they are remote from the rest, therefore another Rabbi in Bamibar Raba Parasa 16. applyes to them that of Isaiah 49. 12, Behold them who come from farre: that so all those Authors mention that River.
The testimony of Josephus is famous, lib. 7. de Bel. Jud. cap. 24. saying. The Emperour Titus passing between Arca, and Raphanea, Cities of King Agrippa, he saw the wonderfull river, which though it be swift, yet it is dry on every seventh day; and that day being past, it resumes its ordinary course, as if it had no change; and it
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always observes this order. It is called Sabbaticall; from the solemne feast of the Jews, because it imitates their rest every seventh day. I know some do otherwise expound those words of Josephus, but they hit not his meaning, as appears by this, that he calls the River, Sabbathio, or fabbaticall: which word cannot be derived but from Sabbath; and who doth not see that it ceaseth to flow, or move, on the Sabbath day; and so Josephus must be understood according to my sense. Pliny also confirms this opinion, lib. 1. Nat. His. c. 2. he saith, In Judea a River lies dry every Sabbath; yet I think Pliny is deceived and ill informed, when he saith it is a River in Judea; neither is to be found in Judea, but in another place, where many Jewes live. R. Selomoh Jarchi who lived 540 years since mentions that River in Comment. Talm. saying, The stones, and sand of that River do continually move all the six dayes of the week, until the seventh. R. Mardochus Japhe in his learned book Jephe Thoar saith, The Arabians derive Sabbathion from the Sabbath, who use to adde the particle (ion) to adjectives. The same saith, that it was told him of an hour-glasse filled with the sand of Sabbathion, which ranne all the weeke till the Sabbath. And I heard the same from my father; which testimony I account as good, as if I saw it myselfe; (for fathers do not use to impose upon their sons.) He told me that there was an Arabian at Lisborn, who had such an hour-glasse; and that every Friday at evening he would walk in the street called the new street, and shew this glasse to Jewes who counterfeited Christianity, and say, Ye Jewes, shut up your shops, for now the Sabbath comes. Another worthy of credit, told me of another hour-glasse, which he had some years before, before the Port Mysketa. The Cadi, or Judge of that place, saw him by chance passing that way, and asked him, what it was he commanded it to be taken away; rebuking the Mahomitans, that by this, they did confirme the Jewish Sabbath. I should not speak of these glasses, if the authority of such a man whom I have alledged, did not move me; though I beleeve that God did not only work that miracle, that he might keep part of the ten Tribes there, but other also, as you may see in Esdras. R. Moses Gerundensis, a learned Cabalist, and Interpreter of the Law in Parasa Aazinu, thinks the River Sabbathion to be the same with Gozan, of Guz, which signifies to snatch away, because except the seventh day, on all the other, it carryes with it, by its swiftnesse, the very stones. Of this there is mention in 2 King, whither the King of Assyria led his captives;
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and so relates Benjamin Tudelensis in his journall, that part of the ten Tribes dwelt at the bank of that River. But I know not where the River Gozan is. In the year 5394, that is, 15 years agon in the City Lubin, two Polonians after they had travelled long, they wrot in Dutch a book of the originiall of the Sabbaticall River, but the Senate commanded it to be burnt at the Mart of Breslaw, by the perswasion of the Jesuites. Abraham Frisal in his Orchot Olam. c. 26, will have this river to be in India, he saith, The head of the Sabbaticall river is in the country of Upper India, among the rivers of Ganges. And a little after, The Sabbaticall river hath its originall from the other side of Kalikout (which lyes far above the bound of Lamik, which he placeth beyond the finus Barbaricus) and it parts the Indians from the Kingdome of the Jewes, which river you may certainly find there, Though he takes Gozan for Ganges, for some nearnesse of writing; yet its not to be doubted that in that place there are many Jewes, witnesse Johannes de Bairos in his Decads. Eldad Danita speaking of the four Tribes: which he placeth at Gozan saith, The Sabbaticall river is among them. Josephus saith, that Titus saw the Sabbathion between Arca And Raphanea. Which testimony seems the truer, because its not to be thought that Josephus would tel a lie of him, by whom he might be rebuked. I think that ye must look for it not far from the Caspian Sea: and I am not alone in this opinion. What ever it be it appeares that this river is somewhere, and that part of the ten Tribes are hid there; and I may say with Moses in Deut. 29. 28, 29, And the Lord cast them out of their Land in anger, and in wrath; Secret things belong to the Lord our God. For it is not known when they shall return to their Countrey; neither can it perfectly be shewed where they are, God suffering it, as its said in Deut. 32. 26, I determined to cast them forth unto the ends of the earth, and to make their remembrance cease from among men. As if he should say, I wil cast them unto the furthest places of the world that none may remember them; and therefore they are truly in Scripture called imprisoned, and lost.
S E C T. 21.Neither is there weight in the Argument which some have brought to me, if they be in the world, why doe we not know them better? There are many things which we know, and yet know not their original; are we not to this day ignorant of the heads of the four
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Rivers, Nilus, Ganges, Euphrates, and Tegris? also there are many unknown Countryes. Besides though some live in knowne and neighbour Countrys, yet they are unknown by being behind Mountains; so it happened under the reign of Ferdinand, and Isabel, that some Spaniards were found out by accident, at Batueca, belonging to the Duke of Alva, which place is distant but ten miles from Salamanca, and near to Placentia, whither some Spaniards fled, when the Moors possessed Spaine, and dwelt there 800 years. If therefore a people could lie hid so long in the middle of Spaine, why may we not say that those are hid, whom God will not have any perfectly to know, before the end of days?
And these things we have gathered concerning the habitations of the ten Tribes, who, we beleeve, do still keep the Jewish Rites, as in 2 King. 17. 26. when the Israelites were carryed captive by Salmaneser, and those of Cuthah came in their stead, an Israelitish Priest was sent by the King, to teach them, because Lyons infested them, for that they were ignorant that there was another worship used in the land: but when the Priest saw that it was impossible to take that people wholly off from Idolatry, he permitted them to worship divers gods, so that they would acknowledge one, to be the mover of all things. The same is also sufficiently proved out of all the Histories which we have alledged. And our brethren do keep the law more zealously out of their land, then in it, as being neither ambitious, nor contentious (which hath sometimes happened with the family of David) by which means they might easily erre in the true Religion, not acknowledge Jerusalem, and withdraw that obedience, which is due to the Lord, and to his Temple.
S E C T. 22.We learne out of the first of Ezra, that none of the ten Tribes entred the second Temple; for it is said that only some of the Tribe of Judah, and some of Benjamin did returne. Ezra also saith the same in the first of Chronicles, that Salmaneser carryed the ten Tribes to Hala, Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan to this day: so that you may gather that at that time they were there. So likewise Josephus in Antiq; Jud. lib. 11. c. 5.
Perhaps some will say, since Media and Persia, are near to Babylon, why did they not return to Jerusalem with the two Tribes? I answer, because so few of the two neighbouring Tribes did return from
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thence to Jerusalem, for that they were wel seated in Babylon; or else because they heard the Prophets say, that they must not look for any redemption but that which was to be at the end of dayes. How then can we thinke that they who were more remote, and also had learnt the same things of the Prophets, should leave their place, perhaps to suffer new miseries, and calamities? Besides, we doe not read that Cyrus gave leave to any to return, but only to the two Tribes of Juda and Benjamin. And also it is probable (as some Authors affirme) that they could not goe up from thence, because they had continually Wars with the neighbour people.
S E C T. 23.Hitherto we have shewed that the ten Tribes are in divers places, as in the West-Indies, in Sina; in the confines of Tartary, beyond the river Sabbathion, and Euphrates, in Media, in the Kingdome of the Habyssins; of all which the Prophet Isaiah is to be understood, in Isa. 11. 11, It shall come to passe in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall he left from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Ethiopia, from Elam, from Sinear, from Hamath, and from the Islands of the Sea. From whence you may gather, that it is meant of those places where the ten Tribes dwell. Syria and Aegypt shall be the two places of their generall meeting; as more fully hereafter.
Pathros, is not Pelusium, nor Petra, but Parthia, neare to the Caspian Sea, where I thinke, with many others, the Sabbaticall river is. Although there is a Pathros in Aegypt, as the learned Samuel Bochardus saith in his holy Geography.
Chus, according to common opinion, is Aethiopia, as is proved out of Jer. 13. 23, and in this place of Jeremy are meant the Israelites, who live in the Country of the Abyssins.
Elam, is a Province in Persia, as it appeares in Dan. 8. 2, where are desert places, in which, perhaps, the remnant of the ten Tribes is.
Shinar, is a Province about Babylon, as in Gen. 10. 10, where Babel is said to be in Shinar; and Dan. 1. 2, it is said, that Nebuchadnezzar carryed the holy Vessels to the Land of Shinar.
Hamath, there are many Hamaths mentioned in the Scripture, many understand it of Antioch; but because Geographers reckon up 12
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places named Antioch, therefore we can affirme nothing for certain; but I thinke, that that is meant, which is placed in Sythia. The seventy Interpreters by Hamath, understand the Sun, from Hamath the Sun; and they translate it. From the rising of the Sun; and I thinke it is no ill translation; for hereby all the Israelites who are in greater Asia, India, and Sina, may be understood.
The Islands of the Sea; so almost all translate it; but I thinke it is to be rendred The Islands of the West, for (jam) in holy Scripture signifies The West, as in Gen. 28. 14, and in many other places; and upon this account those Israelites are implyed, who are Westward from the Holy Land, among whom the Americans are.
S E C T. 24.The Prophet adds in Isa. 11. 12, And he shall set up a signe for the Nations, and he shall assemhle the out-casts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the foure quarters of the earth. Where he notes two things; 1. That he cals the Israelites out-casts, but the Jewes scattered; and the reason is, because the ten Tribes are not only farre off from the Holy Land, but also they live in the extremities and ends of Countries; from whence the Prophet cals them cast-out. But he doth not say, that the Israelites are to be gathered from the foure quarters of the Earth, because they are not so dispersed through the World, as the Tribe of Judah is, which now hath Synagogues, not only in three parts of the World, but also in America. The Prophet adds in ver. 13, The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off. For then there shall be no contention between Judah, and the ten Tribes, which are comprehended under the name of Ephraim, because their first King Jeroboam was of that Tribe. And then, as it is in Ezek. 37. 22, One King shall be King over them all, and they shall be no more two Nations, neither shall they be divided any more into two Kingdoms. There shall be one King to them both, of the family of David. Also the Lord at that redemption will dry up Nilus, and Euphrates, and will divide it into seven streames (answerable to his drying up the red Sea when they came out of Aegypt) perhaps that the seven Tribes, which are in those parts, may goe over it; as they passe into their Country, as Isaiah saith in ch. 27. 12, 13, And it shall be in that day, and he shall shake off from the bank of the river, (some understand Euphrates) unto the river of Egypt (Nilus) and ye, O children of Israel, shall be gathered one by one. Which was never done in the captivity of Babylon.
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The Prophet Isaiah saith in chap. 11. 11, that he will return them the second time, &c. Now the redemption from Babilon, cannot be called such an one, because all of them were not brought back to their Country. But the redemption shall be universall to all the Tribes, as it was when they went out Aegypt, which redemption shall be like the first in many things, as I shewed in the third part of my Reconciler; and so it may be called the second, in reference to that first from Aegypt. Whence Jeremiah saith, Cha. 23. 7, 8, That then it shall not he said, He that brought Israel out of Egypt, but from the North, and from all Countries, whither he had driven them. That they shall not mention their departure from Aegypt, for the cause fore-mentioned.
S E C T. 25.The same Prophet, sc. Isa. 43. 5, 6, saith, I will bring thy seed from the East, and will gather thee from the West: I will say to the North, Give up; and to the South, Keep not back; bring my Sons from farre, and my Daughters from the ends of the earth. For Media, Persia, and China, lye on the East; Tartary and Scythia on the North; the Kingdome of the Abyssins on the South; Europe on the West, from the Holy Land. But when he saith, Bring ye my sons from farre, he understands America; so that in those verses he understands all those places, in which the Tribes are detained. Also in Chap. 49. from ver. 7, to the end of the Chapter, he saith, that that returne shall be most happy. And in ch, 56. vers. 8, God saith, He that gathers the out-casts of Israel. And the Prophet Jeremiah, in ch. 33. ver. 16, In those dayes shall Juda be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely. It is certaine, and Jerome assents to all our Authors, that when Judah is joyned with Israel, by Israel the ten Tribes are meant. The same adds in chap. 31 . ver. 15, in the comforting of Rachel, who wept for the carrying away her sons, Joseph, and Benjamin, the first by Salmaneser into Assyria, the last by Nebuchadnezzar into Babilon, he saith, in vers, 16, Refraine thy voyce from weeping, and thine eyes from teares, for thy work shall be rewarded. And it followes in Chap. 33. ver. 7, And I will cause the captivity of Judah, and the captivity of Israel to returne, and I will build them up as at the first. Ezekiel saith the same in Chap. 34. 13, and in Chap. 37. 16, under the figure of two sticks, on which were written the names of Judah, and Ephraim, by which he proves the gathering together of the twelve Tribes to be subject to
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Messiah the Son of David, in ver. 22, he saith, And one King shall he King to them all; according as Hosea saith in Chap. 2. So also saith Amos, in chap. 9. vers 14, 15, And I will bring againe the captivity of my people Israel, and they shall build the wast Cities, and inhabite them; and they shall plant vine-yards, and drink the wine thereof: they shall make gardens, and eate the fruit of them. And they shall be no more pulled up out of their Land, which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God. So also Mica, in cha. 2. 12, I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee, I will gather the remnant of Israel, I will also place him as the flock in the sheep fold. For that in the captivity of Babilon all were not gathered together. The Prophet Zechariah in chap. 8. 7, and in chap. 10. 6, and all the rest of the Prophets do witnesse the same thing.
S E C T. 26.But which way that redemption shall be, no man can tell; but only so farre as we may gather out of the Prophets. That at that time the ten Tribes shall come of Jerusalem under the leading of a Prince, whom some Rabbins in the Talmud, and in some places of the Chaldy Paraphrase, doe call Messiah the Son of Joseph; and elsewhere Messiah the Son of Ephraim; who being slaine in the last War of Gog and Magog, shall shew himselfe to be Messiah the sonne of David, who shall be, as Ezekiel, and Hosea say, The everlasting Prince of all the twelve Tribes. Our wise men doe, in many places, especially in the Babilonian Talmud, in tract. suca. c. 5, make mention of that Messiah the sonne of Ephraim; where they say, that he shall dye in the last war of Gog, and Magog; and they so expound that of Zach. 12. 10, And they shall looke upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourne for him, as one mourneth for his only sonne. They adde also, that the foure Captaines, of whom the same Prophet speakes in chap. 11, are, Messiah the son of David, Messiah the son of Joseph, the Prophet Elias, and the high Priests which foure are those dignities, which shall shew their power in that blessed age. Observe, that sometime they call Messiah the son of Ephraim, sometime of Joseph; for he shall come out of the Tribe of Ephraim, and shall be Captaine of all the ten Tribes, who gave their name to Ephraim, because that their first King Jeroboam was of that Tribe. Not without cause doe they call him the son of Joseph, for he was the true type of the house of Israel, in his imprisonment
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and future happinesse. Adde to this, that he was so long hid from his brethren, that they did not know him: as in like manner the ten Tribes are at this day, who are led captive, but hereafter shall come to the top of felicity, in the same manner as Joseph did. That Messiah of Joseph shall dye in the battel of Gog, and Magog, and afterward shall rise againe, that he may enjoy the dignity, not of a Kingly Scepter, but the office only of a Vice-roy, as Joseph in Aegypt; for that the Empire of the house of Israel fell under the reigne of Hosea the son of Elah; as the Prophet Amos saith in chap. 5. 2, Therefore the Kingdome of the ten Tribes shall not be restored, as Ezekiel saith in Chap, 37, under the reigne of Messiah the son of David, who shall be everlasting; and by the death of Messiah the son of Joseph, the ten Tribes shall see, that God will not that they should have more Kings then one. As its already spoken.
S E C T. 27.Those Tribes then shall be gathered from all quarters of the earth, into Countries neare to the Holy Land; namely, into Assyria, and Aegypt; and from thence they shall goe into their Country; of which Isaiah speakes, in chap. 27. 13, And it shall be in that day, that the great trumpet shall he blown, and they who were lost, shall come into the Land of Assyria; and they who were cast out, into Egypt; and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem. As if he should say, as trumpets found, to call any army together: so they shall come together, who were dead (that is, dispersed through all Asia) into Assyria; and the out-casts (that is, which are in America) shall come by the Mediterranean Sea to Alexandria of Aegypt; and in the like manner those who are in Africa, when Nilus shall be dried up, and Euphrates shall be divided; as we have already said. And because the gathering together of the captivity, shall begin at those who are in America, therefore Isaiah saith, The Islands shall trust in me, and the ships of Tarsis (that is of the Ocean) first of all, that they may bring thy sons from farre, and with them, their silver, and gold. They shall then come with speed from those Countries, prostrating themselves at the mountaine of the Lord in Jerusalem, as the Prophet Hosea saith of that redemption in chap. 11. 11, They shall come as birds out of Egypt, and as Doves out of Assyria; so saith Isaiah in Chap. 60. 8, Who are those that fly as a cloud and as Doves to their nests? They which
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come first, shall also partake of this joy, to see others to come to them every moment; for which cause the same Prophet saith, Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold them who gather themselves to thee. And because the two Countrys of Assyria and Egypt, shall first of all kindly receive the people of Israel, and shall know the truth, first of all imbracing the Religion of the Jewes, sacrificing and praying to God, therefore the prophet Isaiah saith, in c. 19. 25, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the worke of my hands; but Israel is my inheritance. For so those words are to be understood.
S E C T. 28.All those are the sayings of the holy Prophets, from whence it doth appeare the returne of Israel into their Country. It is given to none to know the time thereof, neither is it revealed to Rabby Simeon ben Johay, the Author of the Zoar; because that God hath reserved that mystery to himself, as Moses saith, It is hid with me. And Isaiah in ch. 63. 4, For the day of vengeance is in my heart, and the year in which the redemption shall come. Which the Rabbins thus interpret, I have reveiled it to my heart and not to Angells: and elsewhere, If any man tell you when Messiah shall come, beleeve him not. So also the Angel saith to Daniel ch. 12. 9, All things are closed up and sealed to the time of the end. Therefore all those, who search after that time, as Rabbi Seadiah, Moses Egyptius, Moses Gerundensis, Selomoh Jarchi; Abraham bar Ribi Hijah, Abraham Zacculo, Mordehai Reato, and Isaac Abarbanel, have been mistaken; for that they would go beyond humane capacity, and reveale that, which God concealed. And even to Daniel himselfe (to whom was made knowne the secret of the change of the four Monarchies) it was so revealed to him, that hee confessed he did not understand it. Our Ancients did point at this from the Letter (m) in Isa. 9. 7, where he saith, Of the increase of his government: which (m) in the Hebrew, being such an (m) which they write onely in the end of words, and a close letter, yet is put in the middle of the word, against common practise: because that the time of the fifth Monarchy shall be hid, till the time when it shall begin.
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1. We see many prophesies fulfilled, and others also which are subservient to a preparation for the same redemption; and it appears by this, that during that long and fore captivity, many calamities are fore-told us under the four Monarchies. David saith in Psal. 120. 7, Lord when I speake of peace, they speake of war. And elsewhere, We are slaine all the day for thy name, and are accounted for sheep which are slain. In Isa. 53. 7, He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before his shearers: he shall be dumb, and shall not open his mouth. O how have we seen these things in the banishments of England, France and Spaine, and how have they proved those crimes, which most false men have said that ours did commit! Behold they have slaine them, not for wickednesses, which they did not commit, but for their riches which they had. O how have we seen all those things done by divine providence, for that those misfortunes for the most part happened on the ninth day of the month Ab, an ominous, and unhappy day, on which the first, and second Temple were burnt, and the spies wept without a cause.
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Also we have many examples of our own, which did equalize them, of which that is one, which is done in our time, and is worthy to be remembred; Isaac Castrensis Tartas (whom I knew, and spoke with)
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a learned young man, and versed in the Greek, and Latine; he being but newly come to Fernambuc, was taken by the Portugese, and carryed to Lisbone, and burnt alive; he was a young man of 24 years old; scorning riches, and honours, which were offered to him, if he would turne Christian. They who say he was a traytor, do lye egregiously; for he did defend that place where he was Governour, most valiantly; as ours do deport themselves in those fortified places which are committed to their charge. The same Martyrdom was undergone at Lima, by Eli Nazarenus, in Ann. 1639, Janu. 23, who after he had lived 14 whole years in prison, all which time hee eat no flesh, lest he should defile his mouth; he called himselfe by that name, after he had circumcised himselfe. Such a Martyr also, this year, was Thomas Terbinon in the City of Mexico.
S E C T. 31.If the Lord fulfilled his word in calamities, he will fulfill it also in felicities. Therefore Rabbi Aquibah laughed, when hee saw a Fox run out of the Temple being destroyed, though his companions wept; he saying. Now is fulfilled that prophecy of Jeremiah, Lament. 5. 18, And the foxes shall run therein; and he added, and those blessings also shall follow, which the Lord hath promised. We see all the curses of God come to passe, which are mentioned in Leviticus and Deuteronomy; as well as those, which concerne our being scattered to the ends of the earth (which is Portugall) and those concerning the calamities of the Inquisition; and those of our banishments, as I have opened in my booke, De termino vitae; from whence it appears, that all the happy prophesies shall be fulfilled. And as we have perished, so also shall Bozra (that is, Rome) perish. See Isa. 34. 6.
S E C T. 32.Secondly; The argument which we bring from our Constancy under so many evills, cannot be eluded, that therefore God doth reserve us for better things. Moses in Levit. 26. 44, saith, Though they be in the land of their enemies, yet I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them to destroy them utterly, and to breake my covenant with them, for I am the Lord their God. And truly these things are now fulfilled, for that in this captivity, and among the many reproaches which we Jewes suffer, yet many of ours are
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honourably entertained by Princes, with a singular affection. So D. Ishac Abarbanel, who comes of Davids line, is Counsellor to the King of Spaine, and Portugall. By this also he hath got a great name, for that he composed the differences, which arose [between] the King of Portugall, and the Republique of Venice. And from that Family of Abarbanel (which I note by the by) doe proceed my Children, by my wives side. And in the house of his fonne, D. Samuel Abarbanel, and of his wife Benuenida, the lady Leonora de Toledo, was brought up at Naples, who is the Daughter of D. Peter de Toledo, the Vice-roy of Naples; who afterwards was married to the most eminent Duke Cosmus de Medicis, and having obtained the Dukedome of Toscani, she honoured Benuenida with as much honour, as if she were her mother.
That peace, which the Venetians made with the Emperour Sultan Selim, 75 yeares agone, was made, and ratified by a certaine Jew Don Selomo Rophe, who was sent Ambassadour to Venice, and received with great pomp, by the Venetians. At Constantinople D. Ben Jaefe, Anaucas, and Sonsinos are of great authority with the Turk. In Aegypt the Jewes were alwayes Saraph baxas, and also at this day is D. Abraham Alholn. Who knowes not that D. Josephus Nassi, otherwise called Joannes Michesius, about the 66 yeare of the former age, was Duke of Naccia, Lord of Milum, and of the seven Islands, of whom see Famian. Strada in Histor. Belgic. part. I. lib. 5. He was raifed to these honours by Sultan Selim. As also by Sultan Amurat, Jacob Aben Jaes, otherwise called Alvoro Mendez, was made Governour of Tyberias; witnesse Boterus in Relation, part. 3. lib. 2. in Barbary, the Lords Rutes were always Governours of Sekes, Phes, and Taradanta. In Ann. 1609. D. Samuel Palaxe was sent Ambassadour to the States, by Mulai Zidan the King of Maracco. But he dyed at the Haghe in Anno. 1616. And the most eminent Prince Maurice, and the Nobles, were at his Funerall. In Persia who knowes not of what account they are? There, thirty years since, Elhazar was second to the King, and as it were Governour. Now David Jan succeeds him, to whom others also being joyned, they live in the Court. And that must not be forgot, that when the most eminent Duke of Holstein sent Otto Burchmannus Ambassadour to Persia, in Ann. 1635. he desired commendatory letters from our Jewes at Hamburgh, to them, who (as we have already told you) doe live there in the Court, that they would
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make way there, for him that was a stranger: that he might dispatch his affaires: Which was also performed. By which means ours, who are in Persia, dismissed Burchmannus, with rich gifts, and with Letters to the most eminent Duke of Holstein, which the twelve Chuzae, or Princes, had subsigned. A copy of which Letters the most excellent D. Benjamin Mussapha, one familiar with the Prince helped me to. Also Claudius Duretu en fon thresor des langues, fol. 302, saith, that there are almost an infinite number of Jewes in Asia, especially in India, and that King Cochini is their great favourer. Yea Linschotes saith (where he treats of Cochini) that they have Synagogues there, and that some of them are of the Kings Counsell. At Prague, Mordocheas Maisel had Armes given him by the Emperour Matthias, who also knighted him. Which honour Jacob Bathsebah also had, under the Reigne of Ferdinand; and many other Families are graced with other honours. And in this very captivity (who could thinke it) they are so wealthy, that (Gods providence favouring them) they may challenge to themselves a place among the most Noble.
S E C T. 33.Who can enumerate the number of ours, who are renowned by fame, and learning? The learned R. Moses bar Maimon was Phisician to Saladin the King of Aegypt. Moses Amon to the Emperour Sultan Bajaseth. Elias Montalto to the most eminent Queen of France, Loysia de Medicis; and was also her Counsellor. At Padua Elias Cretensis read Philosophy; and R. Abraham de Balmas, the Hebrew Grammer. And how much honour had Elias Grammaticus at Rome? And almost all the Princes of Italy honoured him with all kinde of honour, Abraham Kolorni; as appeares by a Letter writ to him by Thomas Garzoni nella sua piazza universale del mundo. Picus Mirandula (who useth to say, That he had but small understanding, who only looked after his owne things, and not after other mens) and others, had Hebrew teachers. David de Pomis dedicated his Book to Pope Sextus the fifth, who lovingly, and courteously received both the Author, and work. So at this day we see many desirous to learne the Hebrew tongue of our men. Hence may be seene that God hath not left us; for if one persecute us, another receives us civilly, and courteously; and if this Prince treats us ill, another treats us well; if one banisheth us out of his country,
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another invites us by a thousand priviledges; as divers Princes of Italy have done, the most eminent King of Denmarke, and the mighty Duke of Savoy in Nissa. And doe we not see, that those Republiques doe flourish, and much increase in Trade, which admit the Israelites?
S E C T. 34.Moses saith in his last song, that God would revenge the bloud of his people who are scattered. And Jeremiah saith, in chap. 2. 3, Israel is the Lords holy thing, the first fruits of his increase; all who devoure him shall he found guilty; evill shall come upon them, saith the Lord. And that the Histories of divers times, even from Nebuchadnezzar to these very times, doe testifie. Have not the Monarchies of great Princes been destroyed Consider with me the miserable ends of Antiochus, of Pompey, of Sisibuthus, of Philip the King of France, of Alonsus the sonne of John the second. And we may remember, how King Sebastian with his fourth Generation, and with all his Nobles, was slaine in a battell of Africa, in that same place, in which he had caused the Jews to be banished. Ferdinand, and Isabel were the great Persecutors of our Nation, but how did both he, and she dye? as for him his Son-in-law, and his owne Subjects did persecute him; and his only sonne dyed (leaving no issue) on his Wedding-day, being seventeen yeares old. His daughter being Heire of the Kingdome, and of her Fathers hatred, would not marry to Emanuel King of Portugal, unlesse he would compell us to be banished, and change our Religion. But she dyed in Child-birth of her Sonne Saragoci, and also her Son, before he was halfe a yeare old; and the succession was devolved upon the Kingdome of Spaine. It is not long since, that the Spaniards exercised upon us at Mantua, what ever cruelties they could invent; what shall we say of that at Madrid in the yeare 1632, was done by the Inquisition, the King, and Princes of the Kingdome concurring; but in the very same month dyed the Infant Charles and their Kingdome declined. What wonder is it if God hath chastised divers Kingdomes by sundry wayes: but of this I treat farther in my History of the Jewes. Let us conclude therefore, that that good, which God hath promised, will shortly come, since we see that we have suffered those evils, which he hath threatned us with, by the Prophets.
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S E C T. 36.To these, let us adde that, which the same Prophet speakes, in ch. 12. ver. 4, That knowledge shall he encreased; for then the prophecies shall better be understood, the meaning of which we can scarce attaine to, till they be fulfilled. So after the Otteman race began to flourish, we understood the prophesie of the two leggs of the Image of Nehuchadnezzar, which is to be overthrowne by the fifth Monarchy, which shall be in the World. So Jeremiah after he had handled in Chap. 30, the redemption of Israel, and Judah, and of the war of Gog, and Magog (of which Daniel also speakes in ch. 12,) when he treats of the Scepter of the Messiah the son of David, of the ruine of the Nations, of the restoration of Judah, of holy Jerusalem, and of the third Temple, he adds in ver. 24, The fierce anger of the Lord shall not returne, till he hath executed it, and till he hath performed the intents of his heart; in the latter dayes ye shall understand it. From whence followes what we have said, that the time of redemption is at hand. And because Jeremiah in that Chapter makes an abridgement of all things that shall be, therefore it is said in ver. 2, Write thee all the words which I have spoken to thee in a book. By this meane making the Prophecie clearer, by relating in a cleare style, whatever the Prophets had fore-told; imitating Moses, the last words of whose song are, Sing, O ye Nations, with his people, in Deut. 32. 43, also the last words which he spake, after that he had blessed the Tribes, are these, Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like to thee, O people? saved by the Lord, who is the sheild of thy help, and the sword of thy excellency; and
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thine enemies shall he found lyars to thee, and thou shalt tread upon their high places, in Deut. 33. 29. From whence it appeares, that God will revenge the bloud of Israel, which had been shed. Joel confirmes the same in ch. 3. 19, Aegypt shall he a desolation, and Edom shall be a filthy desert, for the violence, and injury offered to the Jewes, and because they have shed innocent bloud in their Land. And as they shall be punished by the just judgement of God, who with us evill: so also God will give blessings upon them who favour us. And those are the trees of the field which then shall rejoyce. So God saith to Abraham, in Gen. 12. 3, I will blesse them who blesse thee, and curse them that curse thee.
S E C T. 37.These are the things which I could gather concerning this matter, which hath not been heretofore handled; from whence these consequences may be deduced.
1. That the West-Indies, were anciently inhabited by a part of the ten Tribes, which passed thither out of Tartary, by the Streight of Anian.
2. That the Tribes are not many one place, but in many; because the Prophets have fore-told their return shall be into their Country, out of divers places; Isaiah especially saith it shall be out of eight.
3. That they did not returne to the second Temple.
4. That at this day they keep the Jewish Religion.
5. That the prophecies concerning their returne to their Country, are of necessity to be fulfilled.
6. That from all coasts of the World they shall meet in those two places, sc. Assyria, and Aegypt; God preparing an easie, pleasant way, and abounding with all things, as Isaiah saith, ch. 49, and from thence they shall flie to Jerusalem, as birds to their nests.
7. That their Kingdome shall be no more divided; but the twelve Tribes shall be joyned together under one Prince, that is under Messiah the Son of David; and that they shall never be driven out of their Land.
S E C T. 38.I Returne to the relation of our Montezinus, which I prefer before the opinions of all others as most true For that Peru should be derived from the name Ophir, as Gulielmus Postellus, Goropius in Ortelius,
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Bozius de signis Eccles. lib. 2. c. 3, Marinus in arca Noah, P. Sa. in. 3, Reg. Pomarius in his Lexicon, and Possevinus lib. 2. Biblith. c. 8. do think, cannot be proved; as Pineda hath wel observed, in Job. c. 28. p. 500, for we have said out of Garcilasso de la Vega, that that name was unknown to them of Peru. Ophir then is East-India, if we beleeve Josephus, lib. 8. Antiquit. Judaic. c. 6. & Acosta in lib. 1. Histor. Ind. from whence Solomon fetched gold, and precious stones. But what Gomara in part 1. hist. Ind. fol. 120, and Zarate in proaem. hist. Peru, would have, that ours did passe over that famous, and much praised Island (by Plato in Critia, and Timaeus) of Atlantis, and so went into the neighbour Islands of Barlovent, and from thence to the firm land, and at last to the Kingdom of Peru and New-Spaine; it is deservedly exploded as fabulous; and Acosta laughs at it, in lib. 1. hist. Ind. c. 22. But Marcilius Ficinus in comment, in Timeum, c. 4. & Critia, that he might defend Plato, thinkes (and his Disciples, Porphiry, Origen, and Proclus doe follow him) that all that which is in Critia, and in Timaeus, is to be understood ailegorically. And who will beleeve Lescarbotus, who saith that they are the Canaanites, who fled thither for feare of Joshua? For I cannot be perswaded that they fought out Countries so far remote. They who will have them of Peru to have come out of Norwey, or Spain, may be confuted by their very form, manners and the unlikenesse of their Languages. But that is more false, that they are Israelites, who have forgot circumcision, and their rites. For they are of a comly body, and of a good wit, as saith Doct. Johannes Huarte, in his book which is called, Examen ingenior. c. 14. But contrarily all men know that the Indians are deformed, dul, and altogether rude. And we have abundantly shown, with how great study, and zeal, the Israelites have kept their Language, and Religion, out of their Country.
S E C T. 39.Montezinus then speaks most likely; that as other people forced the Israelites to betake them to the mountains: so America being first of all inhabited by the persecuting Tartars, they were driven to the mountains of Cordillere, where at last they were hid, as God would have it. Truly, comparing the Israelites themselves, or their Laws, with other people, I see not anything that comes nearer truth. Perhaps also America was not of old contiguous to Asia on the North side. It doth not seeme to me such an absurdity, to say, that the
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Israelites went out of Tartary into America by land; and afterward, that God, to preserve his, among other miracles, also wrought this to make that a Sea, where now is the streight of Anian. Yea that might be don without a miracle, by accident, as we know that more than once, the Sea by a violent storm hath carryed away the Land, and made Islands. Xenophon in suis aequivoc. mentions the inundations of Aeygpt, which happened in the days of Prometheus, and Hercules. Also Berosus in lib. 5, and Diodorus li. 6, mentions the inundation of Attica, in which Athens stands. Pliny in lib. 2. c. 85. & lib. 13. c. 11, Strabo in l. 1. & l. 12, and Plutarch in Alexandr. relate the drowning of the Isle Pharaonica; of which Luther speaks so elegantly in lib. ultimo. Besides, who knows not how many, and how great Cities have at divers times been almost wholly ruined by several earthquakes? Sueton, in Tiberio, c. 48, writes, that under Tiberius, twelve Cities in Asia have been by this means ruined. Orosius lib. 7. c. 4. and Dion Cassius lib. 57, do affirm the same, though they differ about the time. Tacitus in lib. 14, and Eusebius in Chron. relate the destruction of that famous and rich City of Laodicea. Origen tom. 25. in Joan. and Baronius tom. 2, Annal. Ecclesiast, Ann. 340: do speak of other earth-quakes, which have destroyed divers, and very many men, and Cities. And P. Alonsus in suo manual, tempor. relates, that the same hath happened in our dayes; saith he, In the year 1638, A great Earthquake happened in the Islands of the Tercerce, but especially in St. Michael, where the Governour dwells; for that unheard of shaking of the earth, and houses, struck so great terror into the Inhabitants, that al fled out of their houses & lived in the fields, a little after, two miles from thence, they saw the Sea vomit up abundance of fiery matter, which made a very thicke smoake, which covered the very clouds; and it cast up many great stones which seemed like rocks; part whereof falling downe againe, made an Island in the Sea which was halfe a mile over, and sixty fathom high, & an hundred & fifty fathom deep. That hot exhalation which that fiery mountain sent forth, pierced the very waters, and stifled so many fishes, that two Indian ships could not carry them. The same Island two years after, was swallowed up again of the Sea.
S E C T. 40.He that doth seriously weigh those things, may (I think) well gather, that the Sea of the Streight of Anian was an inundation. By affirming which, this doubt may be answered, &c. That after
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the universall Flood, man-kinde encreased againe, and all beasts, which had been preserved in the Arke. But how could so many kinds of beasts, (which come by propagation, and are not bred out of the earth) be found in those Countries? Some did swim thither, some were brought thither by some huntsmen, some were bred out of the earth, as Austin thinks it happened in the first Creation. But what Land-beast can swim over so great a Sea? And would Huntsmen carry Lyons thither, and other such kind of beasts, often times to the great hazzard of their lives? And if God would have created those beasts out of the earth, he would not have commanded Noah to have kept them in the Ark. I am fully perswaded, that the beasts which are found there passed that way into America; unlesse any thinks that this new world is joyned to the old, on some other side, as Herrera beleeves Dec. 3. lib. 11. c. 10.
S E C T. 41.As for the other things in the relation of our Montezinus, they say nothing which savours of falshood. For their saying that the Semah, truly is the custom of our people, in what part soever of the world they live; and it is the abridgement of the confession and religion of the Jewes. That revelation of the Magicians whom they call Mohanes, it agrees with those things which in 2 Esdras you may see, concerning the Miracles which God wrought for the Israelites, as they passed over Euphrates, concerning those conditions of not revealing secrets to any, but such an one who hath seen three hundred Moons, (which make twenty five years) it appeares to be true, by what the famous De Laet tells in many parts of America, that the Indians do compute their years by Moones. That a secret must be told in the Field, doth not that argue a Jewish custome, which the ancients have observed in Jacob? who being about to depart from Laban, he called his Wives into the field.
I now conclude this discourse, in which this only was in my intention, that I might briefly, and compendiously declare mine, and the Rabbies opinion, concerning those things which I have handled. I hope that this my indeavor will not be unacceptable, being desired by many men famous both for Birth, and for Learning; not unprofitable, having therein explained the relation of Montezinus, with what brevity I could. The Name of God be blessed for ever. Amen.
Israelite American Indians?
Menasseh ben Israel (1604–1657)
For a modern reprint of the second edition of The Hope of Israel, see Lynn Glaser's Indians or Jews? (Gilroy, CA: R. V. Boswell, 1973, ISBN: 0913278041) -- The first half of this book is a modern study by Lynn Glaser examining the myth of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel and their possible connection to Native Americans. The second half of the book is a facsimile reprint of Manasseh Ben Israel's The Hope of Israel as it was printed in 1652.