The Deluges Of Ogyges And Deucalion -- By: J. Richards

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 006:21 (Feb 1849)
Article: The Deluges Of Ogyges And Deucalion
Author: J. Richards


The Deluges Of Ogyges And Deucalion

J. Richards

Geologists have admitted, from the actual state of the superficial strata of the terrestrial globe, that the surface of our planet must have experienced, at an epoch relatively not far remote, a grand revolution, which engulphed beneath its waters the continents then inhabited by men, and from which there escaped but a small number of individuals, the sole ancestors of the nations who successively repeopled the new lands which that same revolution disclosed. Divers nations have preserved a tradition, more or less confused, of this catastrophe, whence recommences, necessarily, the history of men, such as has been transmitted to us; and, what is very remarkable, those nations who have preserved the slightest relations with one another have yet agreed in placing this event at about the same time, that is to say, from 4,000 to 5, 000 years before the year now current (1820).

Every one indeed knows that the books of Moses, according to the text of the Septuagint, (which allows the longest interval between the deluge and us,) do not place the deluge higher than 5340 years ago; and according to the Hebrew text, whose chronology is the shortest, than 4168, following the calculation of Usher, or 4393 following that of Freret. But few have remarked that the dates given to this catastrophe by the Chaldeans, the Chinese, the Hindoos, and the Greeks, are very nearly the same.

The authors who have written in Chaldee, in Syriac, or who, by their means, have consulted the ancient traditions, as Berosus,1 Hieronymus, Nicolas of Damascus, agree in speaking of a deluge. Berosus describes it with circumstances so similar to those of Genesis, that it is almost impossible that what he says of it should not have been drawn from the same sources. It is true that, so far as one can judge from the scattered extracts which Josephus (Lib. I. c. 3), Eusebius (Praep. Ev. Lib. IX. c.12), and Syncellus (p. 30) have given us of his writings, he has removed the epoch a great number of centuries; but those numerous centuries, that long line of kings between Xixuthrus”2 and Ninus, is something novel and peculiar to him. Ctesias,3 who is anterior to him, had no such idea; nor have they been adopted by any profane authors posterior to Berosus. Justin and Velleius consider Ninus the first of conquerors, and do not place him more than forty-two centuries anterior to the present time.

The Armenian authors of the middle ages, who have collected the traditions concerning Xixuthrus, and perhaps extracted the ancient ...

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