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far as it was possible in those times, Egypt stood pre-eminent. Here, then, there can be no dispute; Abraham's account is so far accurate and beyond controversy. But the opponents of Bible history state, that such a condition of things, at so remote a period, indicates a chronology far more remote than that claimed by the writer of Genesis; that the time required for a people to make such progress, from a state of barbarism, would carry us back thousands of years beyond the time given by the same authority as the date of the creation of the world, and therefore they infer the coincidence is merely a happy guess, but of little historical value. It would be enough to reply to this, that supposing the chronology of the writer of Genesis to be seriously inaccurate, which we do not admit, that would not affect the statements as to facts; nor, when those facts are corroborated by a thousand other testimonies which cannot lie, scattered over all the country, and remaining to tell their story to this day, do they at all affect their historical value. But then, who told these objectors that the earliest races of man were savages or barbarians? The assumption, where the question is one of reasoning, is a mere impertinence, and a refuge to hide a conscious and ignominious defeat. There is no vestige of proof in history that man commenced his career as a savage, but there is much evidence which goes to prove the contrary. The only history we have of the period before the deluge is in the Bible, and there we have certainly no traces of savage life, which, doubtless, is a degeneracy from an original civilization in some greater or less degree. The monumental remains of Egypt show, we admit, a long-continued civilization before Abraham's time, and the Bible accounts fully harmonize with the story those remains supply.
We find from the accounts in Genesis that the Egyptian kings were called "Pharaoh," and sometimes in the sacred narrative Pharaoh appears to be used as a proper name, while in other cases the real name of the monarch is given, as Pharaoh-Necho, and Pharaoh-Hophra. Wilkinson tells us that the name "is written in Hebrew Phrah, and is taken from the Egyptian word Pire, or Phre (pronounced Phra), signifying the sun, and represented in hieroglyphics by the hawk and globe, or sun, over the royal banners. It was through the well-known system of analogies that the king obtained this title, being the chief of earthly, as the sun was of heavenly bodies. "The name," he says, "is properly Phrah in Hebrew, and Pharaoh is an unwarranted corruption." The name is used, however, in the account we have of Abraham, and was the name by which the kings of Egypt were known at that day; and the same name occurs frequently on the monuments-occurs, too, as a generic term which was applied to the native sovereigns generally, showing that in this particular the two accounts tell exactly the same story.
The writer of Genesis intimates that domestic servitude was an institution of Egypt, for we are told that Abraham was "treated well" for his wife's "sake," he having "sheep, and oxen, and asses, and men-servants, and maid-servants." We are aware that the word "servant does not always mean a slave, as used in the Bible, it in many cases it has this meaning; and, doubtless, this is its
meaning in the above passage. Now, the monuments supply abundant evidence that in these early times slavery existed in Egypt. We see the mistress enforcing her authority over female domestics like a tyrantess; the poor creatures are made to cringe and tremble, in scores of instances, under the rods of their superiors, and in some cases the mistress wields a huge whip for the purpose of enforcing her mandates. The famine spoken of in Canaan, while there was abundance in Egypt-though the countries were not so very far apart— is quite consistent with what we might expect in the order of nature. For many ages Egypt, as we have seen, was the granary of Western Asia. Whatever peoples ran short of grain, they always expected to find it there. There is corn in Egypt" has long enough since become a proverb. Canaan depended for its crops on sunshine and rain, which might easily fail, but Egypt knew little or nothing of rain, and her fertility was assured by the waters of an overflowing Nile; so that want in Canaan and plenty in Egypt was a state of things perfectly consistent with the natural phenomena of both countries. Sarai, the wife of Abraham, we are told, was "a fair woman to look upon;" "the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair," and the licentious despot took her into his own house to make her his wife. Though polygamy was not practised in the country-for each man, as we have seen, was restricted to one wife-yet it was allowed to the kings. It would further appear that Sarai was unveiled, for we are told that "the princes also of Pharaoh saw her," though it was the practice of all Eastern nations to require females to appear in public with their faces covered. This habit of
"veiling," however, was not in vogue in Egypt, for the ladies there were allowed to go abroad, and mix as freely and openly with the other sex as are the ladies of modern Europe, while Abraham's wife took advantage of the custom as if she had been one of the natives. This custom of not "veiling" the face is attested by scores of monumental remains, and the fact that Sarai was "unveiled" shows the writer of Genesis to have been perfectly conversant with the prevailing fashions of Egypt at the time. The practice of "veiling" was not introduced into Egypt till after the conquest of the country by the Persians. It is said that Sarai " was fair." The Western Asiatics were of lighter complexion than either the Numidians or the Egyptians.
It would further appear from the narrative that there was no objection to Abraham, because he was a "shepherd," for he was allowed to keep "sheep and oxen," and so forth. It would certainly be interesting to know what was the proper name of the Pharaoh who reigned at this time; but here the monuments give no light, and the sacred records supply no proper names of Egyptian kings till after the time of Solomon. This, however, we do know, that, at a subsequent period of Egyptian history, "every shepherd was an abomination to the Egyptians." Some have tried to prove that this arose from the fact that the shepherds lived more or less on the flesh of animals, which, in the view of the people, were sacred. But this is no explanation at all, for the Egyptians, who could procure them, eat freely enough both of beef and mutton, as well as of the flesh of goats. Different districts had, indeed, different usages. While
one district held sheep in adoration, another eat them, and so of goats. Some venerated the crocodile, but in another part of the country the crocodile was slain without hesitation. The cow was deemed a sacred animal, and the bull, Apis, was worshipped, but the priests, and, it would appear, other people, had no scruples about encountering a round of beef or a loin of veal.
This general hatred of shepherds plainly arose from the invasion of a race of what were called "shepherd kings," from the East, who took and ruled Lower Egypt, while Upper Egypt was in the hands of the native sovereigns. They are represented by the priests as a herd of the most cruel tyrants, probably because they curtailed priestly authority, and closed many of the temples. Manetho, the Egyptian priest and historian, tells the story of these kings, who, he says, ruled 511 years, and originally came from Arabia. The narrative or a fragment of it, rather-of Manetho, is preserved by Josephus, who says this invading people were not Arabs, but Canaanites, who, on their expulsion from Egypt, went to Syria and built Jerusalem. Manetho seems to have confounded this shepherd race with the Jews, or to have mixed the two accounts, and gives a story of a priest who became their leader, and who, he says, changed his name from Osarsiph to Moses. He states that Moses was a leprous person, plainly to bring his character into disrepute, in order to cover the national humiliation and disgrace of his country, contained in the narrative of the Scriptures, which had been made known in the version called the Septuagint, just about that time translated from the Hebrew into Greek. Some authorities, however, are of opinion that the writer of this passage was not the genuine Manetho, but a pretender who had adopted his name, and written this passage for mere party purposes, while Bunsen, seeing the whole thing to be fable, states that the account might be Manetho's, but that he only "relates it as a popular legend." Be that as it may, there is little doubt that the narrative of the invasion and expulsion of the shepherd kings is correct in substance, though mixed with fable, and it supplies us with this testimony, at least, that there was a man called Moses, who lived in Egypt, but was not a native; that he taught his countrymen to abhor idolatry (for so the account goes on to state); and that at length he and his followers were driven out of Egypt. This, at all events, is an ancient Egyptian record, agreeing in several important particulars with the Bible account. Even if a pretended Manetho were the writer (the real Manetho derived his account from the records of the priests), he must have recorded the traditionary account of the events as preserved in Egypt, for no one could have invented a story so near the truth in some of the main facts. Moreover, the "shepherd kings," according to Manetho, reigned at Memphis, and names are given of the first six. Two of these names have been found at the burial-place of that ancient city, now in ruins, namely, Aphophis and Assis, and the tomb of one of the officers of the king who, according to Manetho, expelled the shepherds, has been found in the same ruins. Besides this, Rosellini, in his work, has a picture copied from the walls of Karnac, representing the conquests of King Sethos. Among the long row of captives, translated from the hieroglyphics, is one whose name is given as "Shōs," which
in the Coptic, we are told, is "shepherd," and which Josephus, in his version of Manetho, writes in Greek "Sōs." Another of these pictures shows, on a hill, near a fort, covered with trees, and skirted on one side by a lake, a great victory over the "Shōs," and on this fort is inscribed in hieroglyphics these words-" The fort of the land of Canaan." This seems to indicate, at all events, that these "shepherds" were not Arabs, as represented by Manetho, but Canaanites, according to Josephus ; and it seems strongly to support the substance of Manetho's narrative,
As Manetho proceeds with his story-mixing up the account of the shepherd race with the bondage and exodus of the children of Israel he tells us that, warned by the priests, the King of Upper Egypt resolved to cleanse the whole country of these lepers, and gathered 80,000 of them together, and sent them to work in the quarries on the east side of the Nile. It is while in this miserable state that they are erroneously said to have revolted under the leadership of Moses, and under whom they were driven from the country. Whatever may have been the period during which these "shepherd kings" ruled in Lower Egypt, it is plain that when Abraham was in Egypt, the shepherd was not held as "an abomination by the Egyptians." Either their rule, as it would seem from this, commenced immediately after his return to Canaan, or they were at that time in possession of the country-Lower Egypt-and therefore looked upon Abraham's calling as an honourable occupation. It is quite possible that when Abraham was in the country, and especially as there appears to have been no particular antipathy to "shepherds,' that these "shepherd kings" were actually at that time in possession, which would account for it. But between the time of Abraham and Joseph, on this theory, they must have been expelled, for Joseph told his brethren that "a shepherd was an abomination in Egypt." Other authorities give other theories, but the whole subject of Egyptian chronology is confused and uncertain. Manetho, it should be observed, speaks of the shepherds coming a second time; but there is no evidence beyond his own assertion to back the statement. Some have objected, that as the account in Genesis speaks about the animals given to Abraham, and leaves out the horse, which was native to the country, that the writer was ignorant of this, and simply named the animals common in his own country; but to this it is enough to say, that even the Egyptians themselves made little use of horses as we use them at present. They are spoken of as used in war, it is true, but it is strange that amongst the huge mass of sculptures found in Egypt, depicting all kinds of customs, occupations, and events, only one (at least so it was a few years back) has been found representing a man on horseback. And then, it is well known-to say nothing of the fact that a shepherd needs no horses while he has oxen -that, for a very long period, the Jews did not use the horse at all, certainly not until the times of the Kings of Judea; so that the absence of the horse in the enumeration of Abraham's stock rather goes to show the truthfulness of this narrative; at all events, it is a very strong presumption that the writer of the account was conversant with the position occupied by the horse in both countries. Some have even said-and even pretentious German critics, too—
that there were no asses in Egypt; but this is nothing less than a mark of want of information, for there are plenty pictured on the monuments, loaded with a kind of pannier, and doing their work in earnest.
If we look into the incidents connected with the life of Joseph, as related in Genesis (which the reader will now do well to read), we shall find the same agreement between the sacred narrative and the story as told by the monuments. Joseph was sold by his brothers to the "Midianites," or Arab merchants. There is good reason for believing that, at that time, Arab merchants traded in Egypt, where in the earliest periods the people made very free use of spices and gums. Sir Gardner Wilkinson speaks of certain wells in the desert, by which the Arabs would be obliged to pass for water on their way to the Nile, and then states that, according to the monuments, King Amun-in gori (of the sixteenth dynasty) erected a station to command these wells at the Wady Jasoos, for the convenience of caravans and passengers from Arabia to Egypt; besides which, he believes that the port Aenum, on the Red Sea, was founded for the same purpose. Joseph was sold, it will be remembered, for "twenty pieces of silver," not evidently in "coined" money. This agrees, too, with the usages of the times and with the monuments, where, though the Egyptians had reached so advanced a civilization, money is shown to have passed by weight, in the shape of ingots, bars, and rings. That he should have been sold as a slave, and to a "captain of the guard," is not unlikely, for that slavery existed there we have already seen, and that the king kept a "body guard" is beyond dispute, as these are seen on the monuments, while Herodotus mentions the "king's body guard" expressly. The "overseership" which Joseph got at Pharaoh's house is quite consistent with the common custom of the country; for "overseers" were a class, or rather were classes of men, as we have before seen represented on the monuments, found in every establishment of any note or magnitude. They were placed over land, over the corn-crop, over granaries, over the household, over gardens, and over many other departments of labour. Both Herodotus and
Diodorus distinctly state that there was great looseness of principle in Egypt as to the marriage relation, and there is no wonder, therefore, that after Potiphar's wife had been rebuked for certain indecent behaviour towards Joseph, that she should have sought revenge by trying to throw the blame on him. The interpretations of the dreams of the "chief baker and butler" by Joseph, need not be dwelt upon, for we have before seen that these men-bakers, &c.—were commonly employed in respectable houses, and we have spoken of the kitchen, with all its appurtenances, boilings, roastings, and bakings, as sculptured on the tombs and other places. It will be remembered that in the baker's dream he is made to carry "three white baskets on his head," the "uppermost" of which was full of "bakemeats." Now these baskets, which were wicker-work, abound on the monuments; and they are made flat, so that a person might easily have half a dozen placed on his head. One of the monuments shows a servant, with such a loaded basket, kneeling, that another might the more easily remove it from her head; and the custom of carrying burdens in this fashion is still common in Egypt. When Joseph was