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. : A ; CRITICAL ESSAY
Ο Ν Τ Η Ε LONGEVITY of the ANTEDILU
SIR, T SEND you here, according to your Des
fire and my Promise, my Thoughts con
cerning the Longevity of the Antedilu vian Fathers; and I do not in the least doubt but that you will be entirely convinced, the Years by which their Lives are computed, were very near of an equal Length and Dutation with ours, when you have heard the Arguments I shall offer in order to prove it. I therefore will, without any further Introduction, lay them before you.
I might now here set forth the leveral Errors committed by Commentators, in endeavouring to adjust the point in question ; but it not being my Purpose to fhew wherein others have erred, but, as far as I can, to set the Matter in its true Light, I shall de
cline entering thereupon, and proceed directly to prove the Affertion I have laid down.
And first; it will be necessary to Thew, that the Months in use before the Flood, consisted of thirty Days each. This will evidently appear from the seventh and eighth Chapters of Genesis. For it is there faid, (Gen. vii. 2.) that In the fix hundredth Tear of Noah's Life, in the second Month, on the seventeenth day of the Month, the fame Day, were all the Fountains of the great Deep broken up, and the Windows of Heaven were opened. This is the beginning of the Flood. In Chap. viii. ver. 4. we're told, that, The Ark rested in the seventh Month, on the reventeenth Day of the Month, upon the Moun. tains of Arrarat. So, from the beginning of the Flood, to the resting of the Ark upon the Mountains, there were just five Months, namely, from the seventeenth of the second Month, to the seventeenth of the seventh Month.
Now, that each of those Months consisted of 'thirty Days, is plain from what we read Gen. vii. 24, that, The Waters prevailed upon the Earth an hundred and fifty Days; and Chap. viii, ver. 3. that after the end of an hundred and fifty Days, the Waters were abated; and immediately after in the next Verse, that upon the seventeenth of the fee venth Month, the Ark refted upon the Mountains of Arrarat. For, the Interval of time, from the beginning of the Flood to the reft
ing of the Ark, which we have before found to be equal to five Months, is here said to be an hundred and fifty Days, which being divided by five, gives us thirty Days for each Month. :
This being clear beyond dispute, I pro'ceed next to thew, that the Years mentioned · by Mofes, and by which the Lives of the
Antediluvian Fathers are computed, were each of them composed of twelve of those Months, or of three hundred and fixty Days in all.
It may not be improper here to observe, that several Persons finding the Months in use before the Flood to have consisted of thirty Days each, and the Flood being said to have lasted a Year, have immediately concluded from thence, that the Year was com-posed of twelve of those Months, or of three hundred and fixty Days; and among others, the learned Dr. Prideaux in the Preface to his excellent Connection of the Old and New Testament: But under favour, that is by no means a just way of Reasoning. For the Months consisting of thirty Days each, is no Proof that the Year was composed of twelve Months; it not being an absolute Property of a Year to be composed of twelve Months. The Year according to Romulus's Calendar, for Example, had buc ten. It therefore remains still to be proved, that the Year ip use before the Flood, was com