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[103] This is Manetho's account. And evident it is from the number of years by him set down belonging to this interval, if they be summed up together, that these shepherds, as they are here called, who were no other than our forefathers, were delivered out of Egypt, and came thence, and inhabited this country, three hundred and ninety-three years before Danaus came to Argos; although the Argives look upon him 1 as their most ancient king Manetho, therefore, hears this testimony to two points of the greatest consequence to our purpose, and those from the Egyptian records themselves. In the first place, that we came out of another country into Egypt; and that withal our deliverance out of it was so ancient in time as to have preceded the siege of Troy almost a thousand years; but then, as to those things which Manetbo adds, not from the Egyptian records, but, as he confesses himself, from some stories of an uncertain original, I will disprove them hereafter particularly, and shall demonstrate that they are no better than incredible fables.

1 Of this Egyptian chronology of Manetho, as mistaken by Josephus, and of these Phoenician shepherds, as falsely supposed by him, and others after him, to have been the Israelites in Egypt, see Essay on the Old Testament, Appendix, p. 182-188. And note here, that when Josephus tells us that the Greeks or Argives looked on this Danaus as "a most ancient," or "the most ancient," king of Argos, he need not be supposed to mean, in the strictest sense, that they had no one king so ancient as he; for it is certain that they owned nine kings before him, and Inachus at the head of them. See Authentic Records, Part II. p. 983, as Josephus could not but know very well; but that he was esteemed as very ancient by them, and that they knew they had been first of all denominated "Danai" from this very ancient king Danaus. Nor does this superlative degree always imply the "most ancient" of all without exception, but is sometimes to be rendered "very ancient" only, as is the case in the like superlative degrees of other words also.

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