Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

serve with rigor: and they made their lives bitter with hard bondage." Exod. i, 6-14.

One of the first tasks imposed on the afflicted children of Israel was to build two treasure cities named Pithom and Raamses. It is commonly assumed by those Egyptologers who ignore the supremacy of Scripture that as the name of one of these places was "Raamses," it must be accepted as proof that Ramesses, or Raraessu,* as his name is more frequently written, commonly called "the Great," must have been the "new king which knew not Joseph." But, independent of the fact that history as well as chronology are alike subversive of this theory, it goes a great deal farther than its founders contemplate, for it equally shows that the same name must have been in use nearly a century earlier, namely, at the commencement of Joseph's rule, when "he placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rtimeses, as Pharaoh had commanded." Gen. xlvii, 11. Moreover, since the several instances recorded in Scripture during the 126 years of bondage which remained to the children of Israel after the rise of the new king do agree very closely with the history of the early kings of the eighteenth dynasty, and do not in any wise accord with the history of Egypt after the accession of Ramessu the Great, there should not remain in the mind of any one who bows in reverence to the oracles of God the slightest doubt to whom belongs the shame of having reduced the inoffensive children of Israel from their quiet life in Goshen to a state of the most cruel bondage.

The name of "Pithom " has been identified by Brugsch with the Pd-chtovm en Zalou, that is, "the treasure city of Thom, built by foreign captives," f and which occurs in the annals of Pharaoh Thothmes III., grandson of Amosis, the new king which knew not Joseph; and there can be little doubt but that it was the original treasure city Pithom, buili by the enslaved children of Israel. So as regards the other treasure city, which-is variously rendered in the Authorized Version as Raamses or Itameses; which some Egyptologers contend is a proof that it is confined to the Pharaohs of the nineteenth dynasty. But this is a mistake; Lepsius in his Kijniasbuch shows that Amosis, the conqueror of the Shepherds, and founder of the eighteenth dynasty, had a son whose name in hieroglyphs reads Ra-M SS. The Raamses of Exodus was written in Hebrew R H M S S, and sufficiently near in sound to the son of Amosis to warrant the conclusion tliat they refer to one and the same name.

We have already noticed that various incidents recorded in Scripture connected with the story of the Exodus accord with the history of the early kings of- the eighteenth dynasty. And in order to see at a glance the claims which they have for identifi

* See Lepsius, Kdnigtbuch der Alien Agypter, Tnfeln xxxii.

f Cotnp. Brugsch, liUt.d 'Eyypte, p. 129, with Brugsch, Qiograph. Iiueript., iii, 21. cation with the Pharaohs of the time of Moses, it may be advisable to insert a brief genealogical sketch of the order in which they stand, as gathered from the monuments and the papyri, together with Manetho's history of thirty dynasties of Egyptian kings:

Shkphxrd Kings. The XVIII. Dynasty.

Xoubti-Sutekh. Ra-Sekenen L

Apophis, the patron of Joseph, and I

last of the Shepherd Kings. Ra-Sekenen II.

Karnes.

B.C. 1706, Amosis, conqueror of the Shepherds.

Amenophis I. Thothmes I., father of "Pharaoh's daughter." ob. s. p. j

1 i

Queen IIat-asu=Thothmes II. Thothmes III.

I

Amenophis II.
I

Thothmes IV.
The Pharaoh of the Exode, whose tomb is not found.
I .

Amenophis III,*

the invader of Mesopotamia, and probably "the hornet" figuratively referred to in Exod. xxiii, 28; Deut. vii, 20; Josh. xxiv, 12.

It is sometimes asserted that no names resembling those of the "Hebrews," or " Jews," or "Israelites," have yet been discovered on any Egyptian monument. But this is probably incorrect. In the statistical tablet of Karnac, erected by Pharaoh Thothmes III., on which Dr. Birch has commented with his usual ability, we find among the various captives under that king the name of Hebu, (Brugsch, i, 364, reads the name as Hibu, in Abusembel called Ilibuu) as the seventy-ninth on the list, which is sufficiently like the word Hebrew to make it possible that they refer to one and the same people.

So in an inscription deciphered by Brugsch, certain captives called "the Ftiichu" of the time of Amosis, "the king which knew not Joseph," are mentioned as employed in transporting blocks of limestone from the quarries of Kufu to Memphis and other Egyptian cities. According to Brugsch, the name means "bearers of the shepherd's staff," and the occupation of these captives corresponds with the forced labor of the children of Israel during their bondage. Hence he observes, in his Geograph

* Amenophis III. extended his conquests as far as Mesopotamia, and must have passed through Canaan, weakening the power of its inhabitants, at the very time the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness, thus fulfilling God's purpose, as mentioned in Josh, xxiv, 12, and other passages of Holy Writ. One of the wellknown symbols of the Egyptian kings is a "hornet," just as marked a feature in their heraldry as the lion is in that of the kings of England. The writer has in his possession a large rubbing or squeeze of Amenophis III.'s name, sent him by a friend from Egypt, in which the "hornet" is very plainly represented over the cartouche of the king's name.

ische Inschriften, "with this name are designated the pastoral and nomad tribes of Semitic origin, who lived in the neighborhood of Egypt, and who are to be thought of standing to Egypt in the same relation as the Jews." In his more recent history, Brugsch speaks of the same people when describing the conquests of Pharaoh Shishak, of the time of Rheoboam, the son of Solomon, as follows: "The smitten peoples (Jews and Edomites) are named 'the 'Am of a distant land,' and the Fenekh, (Phoenicians.) The 'Am would, in this case, answer exactly to the equivalent Hebrew 'Am, which signifies 'people,' but especially the people of Israel and their tribes. As to the mention of the Fenekh, I have a presentiment that we shall one day discover the evidence of their most intimate relationship with the Jews."*

Puaraoh's Daughtke.

One of the earliest statements in the Book of Exodus after the enslavement of the Israelites under the rule of the new king which knew not Joseph, is the wonderful preservation of the child Moses by the instrumentality of Pharaoh's Daughtke. The name bestowed on the child by his royal preserver is thus described in Exodus: "And the child grew, and she [the child's mother] brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and ne became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water." Hence Josephus ("Antiq.," ii, ix, 6) derives the name Moses from the Coptic for "water," and also "to deliver." And in strong confirmation of the truth of our understanding this period to apply to the eighteenth dynasty and not to the nineteenth dynasty, two centuries later, as some Egyptologers contend, this fact comes clearly out from our investigation of Egyptian history. The equivalent to the word Moses in hieroglyphs is found in the names of both the grandfather and father of "Pharaoh's daughter," both of which might be rendered according to the Greek transcript, as Aa-moses, Thoth-moses. Brugsch shows, in his "Hieroglyphic Dictionary," that the sense "drawing out" is the original one; but Birch seems to limit it to being " born" or " brought forth," and hence the signification of 31es or Mesa is "child." Canon Cook renders the speech of Pharaoh's daughter, on having adopted Moses as "her son "—" I gave him the name of Moses, ' brought forth,' because I brought him forth from the water."f And it is worthy of note that Josephus calls Pharaoh's daughter by the name of Thur-muthis, which is probably only another way of writing the name of her father Thoth-moses.

The other references in Scripture to Moses' treatment by Pharaoh's daughter, such as Acts vii, 22, and Heb. xi, 24, show that he was reared as her adopted son, with the possible succession to her throne, only that by grace he "chose rather to suffer afflic

* Brugsch's "History of Egypt under the Pharaohs," vol. ii, p. 210.
f Cook's "Excursus," in vol. i, p. 484, of the "Speaker's Commentary."

tion with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt." Further, we may fairly infer that this royal princess must have been a queen regnant in her own right, as none hut such could have compelled a jealous priesthood to train her adopted child "in all the wisdom of the Egyptians." Now it may be shown from the monuments that in the whole line of Pharaohs, extending over nigh 2,000 years, there is only one real queen regnant with whose history we are at all acquainted during that long period of time. Her name appears on the monuments in full as Hat-am or Hasheps (as it is variously read) Numpt-amun, and exactly in the place we should expect to find her from the account in Exodus, she being, as appears in the above genealogical tree, the granddaughter of "the king which knew not Joseph." She reigned many years most gloriously, first in the name of her father, then conjointly with her insignificant husband, and subsequently alone, until she took into partnership with herself, probably when Moses refused any longer to be called her son, her younger half-brother,* Thothmes III., who after her death showed the meanness of revenge by erasing, wherever he 'could, every sign of his great sister's rule over Egypt, either in malice on account of her having offered the succession to Moses, or from some other unknown cause.

There are many existing monumental proofs of her reign, the most glorious in the annals of the female sovereigns of Egypt, like that of her present majesty, our own Queen Victoria. She erected at Thebes two obelisks in honor of her father, one of which is still standing, and fragments of the other are scattered all around. The standing one, thirty feet higher than the obelisk which now adorns the Thames embankment, and certainly the most beautiful one in the world, is formed of a single block of red granite, ninety-eight feet in length, from the far Syene, highly polished, with reliefs and hieroglyphs of matchless beauty. The inscription on the plinth states that the work was commenced in the fifteenth year of her majesty's reign, on the first day of the month Mechir, and finished on the last day of the month Mesore, making seven months from its commencement in the mountain quarry. "Her Majesty," it adds, "gave two obelisks capped with

* Any one who has seen the beautiful style of features belonging to Queen Hatasu, as represented in Rossellini's great work, and compares it with the hideous original bust of Thothmes III., in the British Museum, with its strongly-developed negro cast of countenance, will be inclined to doubt if they could he as nearly related as half brother and sister. Sir G. Wilkinson, in describing a statue of Thothmes III., where Queen Hat-asu is called his "sister," observes that "she was probably only so by an earlier marriage of his father;" and such was the hatred borne by Thothmes against her, that, after her death, he ordered her name to be erased from her monuments and his own to be sculptured in its stead. But this was not always done with the care required to conceal the alterations; and sentences of this kind frequently occur:'" King Thothmes, she has made this work for her father Amun."—Wilkinson, in Rawlinson's "Herodotus," App.. ii, viii, 19. Such animosity, as shown by the unforgiving brother toward his great sister after death, can only be explained in the way we have suggested above.

gold, and so high that each pyramidal cap should reach to the heavens, that she should place them before the pylon of her father, Thothmes I., in order that her name should remain always and forever in this temple." Among othsr titles which the obelisk bears, such as those of "Royal Wife," "Queen of Upper and Lower Egypt," is found the significant and well-known name of "pharaoh's Daughter."

The temple of Der-el-bahri is another monument due to the munificence of this great queen, under the superintendence of one Semnut, the son of Rames, the chief architect of all Egypt during her reign. And although Brugseh seems to entertain an unworthy prejudice against Queen Hat-asp, he admits that her buildings are " the most tasteful and most brilliant speebnens of the matchless splendor of Egyptian art history." The walls of this temple, besides recording the expedition of her fleet to the shores of Arabia Felix, in order to collect the marvelous productions of this country—which recalls to mind the voyages of Solomon's fleet to the same country seven centuries later—such as gums, scents, incense, trees, ebony, ivory, gold, emeralds, asses, etc., etc., give the details of a campaign against the Ethiopians in the Arabian peninsula. They represent the Egyptian commander-in-chief of Queen Hat-asu's army receiving the enemy's general, who presents himself as a suppliant before him, accompanied by his wife and daughter. And it is not impossible that the Egyptian queen's general may refer to her adopted son, Moses; as Scripture tells us that he became "mighty in words and in deeds " in Egypt; and Josephus and Irenams alike relate "the fame which Moses gained as general of the Egyptian army in a war with Ethiopia," * which, though somewhat incumbered with romance, still helps to explain a statement in the book of Numbers that Moses married a woman of that country.f

The most satisfactory proof, however, of the existence of the enslaved Israelites in Egypt at this period of history is found in the well-known picture of the brick-makers at the village of Gournou, near Thebes, at which place there is to be seen the remains, now fast crumbling away, of a magnificent tomb belonging to an Egyptian nobleman, named Ittkhmara. He appears to have been overseer of all the public buildings in Egypt during the reign of Thothmes III. The paintings on this tomb, which are admirably delineated in Lepsius' grand work on Egypt,J not only afford evidence of the Israelites being in Egypt at the time Moses was compelled to flee to Midian, but of their having been forcibly engaged in the occupation of brick-making. There are several inscriptions on this monument, some of which read as follows:

* Josephus, "Antiq.," ii, x, § 2; Irenaeus, Frag, de Perdid Iren. Tract., p. 347.

\ Num. xii, 1. Three different explanations have been given of this text respecting the wife of Moses. 1. A real inhabitant of Ethiopia, or a Cushite, that is, nn Arabian, (see Bryant's "Analysis," vi, 122.) 2. The Ethiopian princess mentioned by Josephus. 3. Zipporah herself; which last opinion is possible from the juxtaposition of Cush with Midian in Hab. iii, 7.

J Lepsius, Dmkmiiler Abclh., iii, pi. 40.

« IndietroContinua »