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SACRED AND PROFANE
HISTORY OF THE WORLD
CREATION OF THE WORLD
DISSOLUTION OF THE ASSYRIAN EMPIRE AT THE
DEATH OF SARDANAPALUS,
AND TO THE
DECLENSION OF THE KINGDOM OF JUDAH AND ISRAEL
UNDER THE REIGNS OF AHAŽ AND PEKAH.
P R E F A C E.
VHE first and second volumes of this history, which I some
years ago offered to the public, do so fully explain the nature and design of my undertaking, that there can be no need of any further account of it. This third volume contains the sacred history from the Israelites having passed the Red sea to the death of Joshua ; and I have, as in the former volumes, offered in it not only such observations as I thought might obviate or answer objections to, or difficulties in, the Scripture accounts of some facts of these times, but also such hints of the heathen nations, as can belong to this period, and may conduce to my being able to deduce the profane history in a clear light, when I shall come down to an age which may afford plenty of materials for a relation of the affairs of it.
I am sensible the reader may expect from me some account of the Jewish year, which he will not find in the ensuing volume. If the Israelites, when they came into Canaan, had not been instructed to compute such a number of days to a year, as might come very nigh to the true measure of it, they could not long have continued to keep their set feasts in their proper seasons. The heathen nations had as yet no notion of the year's containing more than 360 daysa : but such a year falling short five days, and almost a quarter of a day of a true solar revolution, it must be evident that the stated feasts of Moses's law, if they had been observed in a course of such years, would have returned five days and almost a quarter of a day, in every year, sooner than the true season of the year for observing them could have returned with them; and this in a very few have brought them into a great confusionb. Moses ap
a See Pref. to vol. i.
have come about before the barley was b They must in a few years have ripe to be reaped ; and the tecost come to celebrate the Passover before before the time of wheat-harvest. Prithey could have had lambs fit to be deaux, Preface to part i. of his Coneaten; the wave-sheaf-offering would nection.