And Ishmael his son [was] thirteen years old when he
circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
]. Hence the Arabians, as Josephus F23 relates, circumcise their children when at thirteen years of age, because Ishmael, the founder of their nation, was circumcised at that age; and Origen F24 asserts the same; and with which agrees what an Arabic writer says F25 of the Arabians before Mahomet, that they used to circumcise at a certain age, between the tenth and fifteenth years of their age. So Rauwolff says F26, there are some, chiefly among the Arabians, that imitate their patriarch Ishmael. As for the Mahometans, though they circumcise, they do not always do it in the thirteenth year, as some write; for it is performed by them sometimes in the thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, or sixteenth, and sometimes in the sixth or seventh year F1. The Egyptians, according to Ambrose F2, circumcised their children at fourteen years of age, which comes pretty near to the time of the Ishmaelites or Arabs, from whom they might receive circumcision, if not of the Israelites, as before observed. A certain traveller says F3, the modern Egyptians, as the rest of the Mahometans, are not circumcised until the thirteenth year. The Africans circumcise on the seventh day, which comes nearer to the Jews F4.
F23 Antiqu. l. 1. c. 12. sect. 2.
F24 Philocalia, c. 23. p. 77.
F25 Ebnol Athir apud Pocock. Specimen Arab. Hist. p. 319.
F26 Travels, part 1. ch. 7. p. 59. by Ray.
F1 Vid. Reland. de Relig. Mohammed. p. 75.
F2 De Abraham, l. 2. c. 11. p. 266.
F3 Baumgarten. Peregrin. l. 1. c. 16.
F4 Leo. African. Descriptio Africae, l. 3. p. 33.