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[345] But the Hebrews were not able to contain themselves for joy at their wonderful deliverance, and destruction of their enemies; now indeed supposing themselves firmly delivered, when those that would have forced them into slavery were destroyed, and when they found they had God so evidently for their protector. And now these Hebrews having escaped the danger they were in, after this manner, and besides that, seeing their enemies punished in such a way as is never recorded of any other men whomsoever, were all the night employed in singing of hymns, and in mirth. 1 Moses also composed a song unto God, containing his praises, and a thanksgiving for his kindness, in hexameter verse. 2

1 What some have here objected against this passage of the Israelites over the Red Sea, in this one night, from the common maps, viz. that this sea being here about thirty miles broad, so great an army conld not pass over it in so short a time, is a great mistake. Mons. Thevenot, an authentic eye-witness, informs us, that this sea, for about five days' journey, is no where more than about eight or nine miles over-cross, and in one place but four or five miles, according to De Lisle's map, which is made from the best travelers themselves, and not copied from others. What has been further objected against this passage of the Israelites, and drowning of the Egyptians, being miraculous also, viz. that Moses might carry the Israelites over at a low tide without any miracle, while yet the Egyptians, not knowing the tide so well as he, might be drowned upon the return of the tide, is a strange story indeed ! That Moses, who never had lived here, should know the quantity and time of the flux and reflux of the Red Sea better than the Egyptians themselves in its neighborhood! Yet does Artapanus, an ancient heathen historian, inform us, that this was what the more ignorant Memphites, who lived at a great distance, pretended, though he confesses, that the more learned Heliopolitans, who lived much nearer, owned the destruction of the Egyptians, and the deliverance of the Israelites, to have been miraculous: and De Castro, a mathematician, who surveyed this sea with great exactness, informs us, that there is no great flux or reflux in this part of the Red Sea, to give a color to this hypothesis; nay, that at the elevation of the tide there is little above half the height of a man. See Essay on the Old Test. Append. p. 239, 240. So vain and groundless are these and the like evasions and subterfuges of our modern sceptics and unbelievers, and so certainly do thorough inquiries and authentic evidence disprove and confute such evasions and subterfuges upon all occasions.

2 What that hexameter verse, in which Moses's triumphant song is here said to be written, distinctly means, our present ignorance of the old Hebrew metre or measure will not let us determine. Nor does it appear to me certain that even Josephus himself had a distinct notion of it, though he speaks of several sort of that metre or measure, both here and elsewhere. Antiq. B. IV. ch. 8. sect. 44; and B. VII. ch. 12. sect. 3.

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