Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 182

Text, translated from the 1591 German 4th Add., 1595 Latin and 1624L Parergon/1641 Spanish edition:

182.1. {1591G4Add{The PEREGRINATION of ABRAHAM the Patriarch

182.2. Abraham, the first Patriarch (whom Jesus, the son of Syrach, calls a great man, and admirable for glory and honour), the son of Thare, was born, as Josephus writes, in the 292th year after the universal flood, in VR, a city of the Chaldees also called Camarine, as Eusebius writes; maybe it is the same as what Ptolemæus calls Urchoa. He goes forth from his country and native soil {1624LParergon/1641S{at the age of fourteen, as Suidas states}1624LParergon/1641S} at the command of God, into CHARRAN, which St. Stephen in the oration he addressed to the Jews in the history of the apostles, as also Achior in the story of Judith in her speech to Holofernes and likewise the 70 interpreters explain to be Mesopotamia. Josephus takes it to be a city.
182.3. Whether this place was [indeed] Carræ, famous for the great defeat here achieved by the Roman forces, led by Crassus, although there are some that hold this opinion, yet, I dare not wholly agree with them and I leave it to the learned to determine [this]. After staying for a while in this country of Mesopotamia, he goes away from there {1624LParergon/1641S{his father having died, as Suidas states}1624LParergon/1641S} with Sarai, his wife, Lot, his brothers son, and all his family and the souls or living creatures he had gotten in Charran, towards the land of Canaan.
182.4. (And if you are willing to believe Nicolaus Damascenus in Josephus, he lived some time near Damascus, where in his days, he says, there was a street to be seen which they commonly called Abraham's house). When he arrived from there to SICHEM at the plain of MOREH, (a place which various commentators interpret in different ways, some [calling it] Oak Moreh, others Oak grove of Moreh, Zozomene writes that in his time it was called Terebinthus, God appeared to him, and to lead him and his wife to the promised land and he built an altar where God had appeared to him.
182.5. From there moving on, he pitched his tent between Bethel and Haim. And there God built an altar for him, calling Abraham's name, and calls on the name of the Lord. From there he moves on and goes towards the South. But a great famine developed in that land, and every day becoming still more grievous than the previous one, he goes down into EGYPT to stay there. And coming to this place with his wife, a very fair and beautiful woman, he [now] called her by the name of his sister.
182.6. Pharao, the king of Ægypt fell in love with her, and took her into his house, and for her sake, [he] treated Abram extraordinarily well, and bestowed great gifts upon him, who was also there [at Pharao's court] as Josephus confirms, for his eloquence, wisdom, and great experience in all things, and was held in high esteem by the Egyptians. But when the Lord punished Pharao and all his family with many great and grievous plagues, he [the Pharao] debated the matter with him for Sarai, Abrams wifes sake, and examined with him [Abraham] what his reason was, to say that she was his sister, and why he had not told him that she was his wife, and so he restored her to her husband again, and commanded that he, his wife and all that he had should be allowed to leave the land.
182.7. Therefore, Abram returned to Bethel, into that place where he had formerly built an altar, and there he called upon the name of the Lord. After his return Abram and Lot (who had always accompanied him) grew exceedingly wealthy and rich in sheep, cattle, tents and family, [so] that the land could not contain both of them, [and] neither might they dwell together. {1595L(Next to that, their herdsmen, shepherds and servants could not agree [either]}1595L}. Therefore, they agreed to divide the land between them. Lot chose the plain of the Jordan, an excellent country well watered everywhere by that excellent river, various small brooks, lakes, wells and pools, a tract of land in pleasantness and fertility similar to paradise and Ægypt.
182.8. In this area were Sodom, Gomorrah and other cities which as yet the Lord had not [yet] destroyed. In these cities Lot lived. But Abram still lived in the land of Canaan. As they were thus separated, the Lord appeared to Abram, and pointed to all the land around him, North and South, East and West, as far as he could see, all of which he promised to him and his seed forever. From there he moved, and came to live in the plain of Mambre. (The Septuagint interpreters have translated it [as] The oak of Mambre quercum Mambre, Josephus has the Oak Ogyn). Evagrius writes that in his time the place was called Therebinthus, after the Turpentine tree, I presume, that stood six furlongs away, as we read in Josephus, and which Eusebius Pamphilus describes as being still there when he lived.
182.9. This place was not far from HEBRON or, as we write it Chebron. Here Abram, hearing about news of Lots captivity with his whole family, and goods, and all his possessions whatsoever, he armed 318 slaves and bond-servants, bred and born in his own house, and with all possible speed went after the enemy, following them even as far North as DAN and CHOBA, (Saint Hierome calls it Hoba, and Josephus Soba), rescued his nephew, recovered all his goods and booty that they had taken, and brought them back again with the women and all the people.
182.10. Having returned at the VALLEY OF SAVE (the kings valley, as Saint Hieronymus calls it, or the kings field, as Josephus calls it), the king of Sodom met him, together with Melchisedech, king and priest of Salem or Jerusalem, who offered bread and wine, {1595L{entertained him most kindly, blessing him and wishing all kinds of good fortune to him}1595L}, to whom Abram gave tithe of all that he had.
182.11. These things being thus performed, God appeared to him again, and promised him an heir of his own seed, from whom should come an offspring or issue as great in number as the stars of heaven or the sand of the sea. And he, not considering that his body was withered and [almost] dead, (being almost one hundred years old) nor the deadness of Sarais womb, but being not weak in faith, nor doubting any of the promises of God, knowing for certain that he who had promised was able to carry out what he had promised, against all hope, believed in hope, and therefore it was ascribed to him because of his virtues, and for confirmation and further testimony of its truth, he slaughtered a calf, a goat, a ram, a turtle and a dove, and slit them apart, except for the birds, and that on the explicit command of God.
182.12. The birds [of prey] which came down on the carcasses Abram drove away. And after the sun went down, there was a great darkness, and behold, there was smoke [like from a] furnace and a burning fire passing between those places, and the Lord made a covenant with Abram, and gave to his seed and posterity the entire country that lies between the Nile (that river of Egypt) and the Euphrates, that great river.
182.13. Sarai his wife, having hitherto been barren, and having an Egyptian maid called Hagar induces Abram to sleep with her. Abram, consenting to his wife, sleeps with Hagar, who, conceiving, bore him a son, whom she called Ismael. After this, the Lord appeared to Abram [and] made a covenant with him, promising greatly to multiply him and his seed, and to make him a father of many nations. Therefore he changes his name from Abram that is High-father (Altiparens) to Abraham, that is, Many-father (Multiparens), and his wife's name from Sarai, (that is: My princess) to Sarah (The princess) and promises to give him a son by her, and he made the covenant of circumcision.
182.14. Abraham therefore took Ismael and all the males of his whole family and cut off the foreskin of their flesh that very same day. Again the Lord appeared to him in the plain of MAMBRE as he sat in the tent door, and lifting up his eyes, he saw three men (in the epistle to the Hebræans they are called angels) whom he entertained in his house, and went along with them to Sodom.
182.15. And having returned home again, looking towards Sodom and Gomorrha, he saw the smoke ascending from the land as if it were smoke from a furnace, for the Lord had caused fire and brimstone to rain down from heaven on those cities.
182.16. Afterwards, Abraham went from there Southwards and dwelled between Cades and Sur in the land of GERAR. Now Abimelech, king of that country, sent for Sarah (whom Abraham, as before called by the name of his sister), but being warned by God in a dream that she was his wife, before such time as he had come near her, he restored her to Abraham untouched, richly endowed, and with great treasures.
182.17. In this country Sarah travelled, and bore Abraham a son in his old age, (in accordance with what the Lord before had promised,) and Abraham called him Isaac, and circumcised him when he was 8 days old. Now, when he was to be weaned, Abraham made a great feast, at which Ismael, whom Abraham had begotten from Hagar the bond-woman, mocked Isaac, his son, for which reason on the advice of Sarah his wife, both Hagar and Ismael were expelled.
182.18. After this, Abraham and Abimelech contended about a water well which Abimelechs servants had by force taken from the servants of Abraham, yet, they agreed, and made a covenant at a place which was called B'ER-SHEBAA, that is, the well of the league or oath. Here Abraham planted a GROVE where he called upon the name of the Lord, everlasting. These things being thus performed, God tempted Abraham, commanding him to take Isaac, his only son, (who was now, as Josephus writes, 25 years old), by whom he had promised to give him innumerable issue, and to offer him as a sacrifice, on one of the mountains in the land of MORIAH, this mountain was since then called Zion, where David later decided to build a temple.
182.19. Therefore he built an altar here, in no way distrusting the goodness and power of God, but persuading himself that God could certainly raise his posterity from the dead. And having laid wood on the altar, takes the knife with the purpose to slay him, but behold, an angel is sent charging him not to lay a hand on the child. Therefore, looking around him and spying a ram behind him, entangled with its horns in a bush, he catches it and offers it to him instead.
182.20. After this, Sarah his wife, being 127 years old, died in KIRIATH-AREAA, a place that was also called HEBRON, and Abraham buried her in a double cave which he had bought from Ephron the Hittite. Then he married a second wife named Keturah who bore him many children. Finally, Abraham reaching the fortunate and ripe old age of eight score and fifteen [175] years, he died. Isaac and Ismael, his sons, buried him next to Sarah in the double cave}1591G4Add ends here}.


182.22. About the Dead sea, or lake Asphaltites, because we have described it in a different form on this map, I have thought it right to say something here. For I give it here in the form which I think it had in the time of Abraham, before the time, I mean, when it was burned by fire and sulphur from heaven by God. For we consider it to be a valley lying between the mountains, watered by the river Jordan running through it, in which there were then these five cities: Sodom, Gomorrha, Ademah, Zebeim and Segor. Why and how this place was later converted into a lake, is described at large and copiously in the holy scriptures, and has also been discussed in our Thesaurus, which we will not repeat here.
182.23. Josephus in the 5th chapter of his 5th book on the wars of the Jews, as commented on by Gelenius, describes it like this: It is, he says, a salt and barren lake in which, by reason of its great lightness, even the heaviest things that are being cast into it will float on top of the water. A man will hardly sink or go down to the bottom of it, even if he wants to. Recently Vespasianus the emperor who came there to see it commanded certain fellows who could not swim to have their hands tied behind them, and to be cast into the middle and the deepest place of it; and it so happened that all of them floated on top of the water, as if they had been forced upwards by the air or by spirits coming up from the bottom. Moreover, the diversity of the colours of this lake, which change and turn the upper layer of the water three times a day, and because of the various positions and impact of the sun beams on it, give a lustre to it that is most wonderful.
182.24. In many places it emits black lumps of bitumen which float to the top of the lake, in form and size like black oxen without heads. But when those who exploit the lake come and find a lump thus clotted together, they hoist it into their ships, and because it is tough, being full, they cannot break it to pieces, but as it were bound to the boat, it hangs from its top, until it is dissolved by the menstruation blood of women or by urine. [This is by Plinius attributed to a thread stained with a womans menstrues].
182.25. It is good, not only for filling the joints of a ship, but is also mixed with many medicines used to cure diseased bodies. The length of this lake is 580 furlongs, extending itself as far as Zoara in Arabia. Its breadth is more than 150 furlongs. (Diodorus Siculus claims it to be only 500 furlongs long, and sixty in breadth.)
182.26. The land of Sodom, once a most blessed and happy province in all kinds of wealth and commodities, but now all burnt up, because of the wickedness of its inhabitants, and consumed by fire, was not far from this place. Finally, some remnants of that wrathful fire can to this day be seen, both in those five cities, as also in the ashes, emerging together with the fruits of the earth (which when you see them look like being good, wholesome fruits, but once touched, they immediately vanish into smoke and ashes). So far for Josephus. Tacitus in the fifth book of his histories states that the heaps and lumps of bitumen, after having been drawn to the shore and dried, partly by the sun, partly by the vapours from the earth, are cleft to pieces.
182.27. Moreover he adds that this lake, though it looks like the sea, but much more corrupt and stinking both in taste and smell, is pestilent and unwholesome to its neighbours around it. Again, [he reports] that it is never moved or driven to and fro by the wind, nor does it contain any fish or water fowls to live in it, as happens in other waters. Yes, it entertains no kind of living creatures, as Pausanias and Hegesippus in the 4th chapter of his 18th book writes, so that, as Plinius notes, bulls and camels swim and float on the top of the water of this lake. Strabo writes the same things, but under the name of lake Sirbon, quite erroneously, for that is another lake.
182.28. Diodorus reports that its water is bitter and stinking. Similarly, that it pushes up all things that breathe, but not those that are massive and solid, such as gold, silver and the like, although even those sink to the bottom more slowly than they do in other lakes. See more about this in the same author, books 2 and 19. That all vegetable matter that does not live sinks to the bottom, and that it will not be sent floating again unless covered with bitumen (alumen is said in some copies), is what Trogus Pompeius says in the 36th book. That a candle that has been lit will float; but that it will sink when extinguished, has been recorded by Isidorus. Aristoteles in the second book of his Meteorologics writes that the water of this lake bleaches cloths, if one only shakes them well after wetting them with it.
182.29. About the fruits which resemble wholesome ones, good to be eaten, yet indeed vanish into ashes, next to the authors mentioned, has also been written by Solinus, Josephus, St. Augustinus and Tertullianus. But they only report this about apples. Hegesippus adds clusters of grapes to these, as regards their shape. Tacitus writes that this does not only happen to all natural things arising from the earth, but also to artificial things, made by man. This then is the nature and appearance of this place now, which was once, as Moses testifies, as glorious as the garden or paradise to look at.}1595L & 1624LParergon/1641S end here}.

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