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the past, and containing an account of their immigration and diffusion. Much more is such care in the preservation of genealogies to be expected in the case of the Hebrews and the Egyptians, both of whom were in different degrees literate. In the Kosseir road he has found an inscription of the times near the first Persian invasion of Egypt, in which an Architect of the name of Ranum-het reckons up his ancestors to the 24th degree--a genealogy which according to the usual average of years to a generation would carry us to the end of the 19th Dynasty and the age of Moses. That nations in a low state of civilization attach great value to genealogies, is undoubted; Celtic and Cambro-British pedigrees are obvious examples; but some other proof would be required, by a cautious genealogist, of a pedigree of four and twenty degrees, or even half that number, than the assertion of its possessor. We are the more surprised at the historical value which Lepsius ascribes to Arab genealogies, from the very opposite account which Eichhorn gives of them. Remarking on the difficulties which the genealogy of David in the Book of Ruth creates, where only four generations appear from Nahasson, the contemporary of Moses, to David, though according to Süssmilch's Tables there should have been twelve (supposing the interval to be 450 years), he says, “ But who that is versed in oriental history does not know that it is accustomed to shorten genealogies in order to relieve the
? This is done by the Arabs, who for this purpose give the great grandson his great grandsire for a father."* Even so sturdy a conservative as Hengstenberg admits that the author of the genealogy in Matthew, in order to make out the triple series of fourteen generations from Abraham to David, from David to the Captivity, and from the Captivity to Christ, has sacrificed several generations. These facts do not promise satisfactory results to an attempt to deduce chronology from genealogical tables.
The difficulty in regard to the residence of the children of Israel in Egypt is a complicated one. Supposing we adhere to the Hebrew reading, and reckon its duration at 430 years, we have thus a sufficient time for their growth from a family of 70 persons to a nation numerous enough
* Einleitung in das A. T., 2. 494.
to alarm the sovereign of the country in which they sojourned. But if Moses were fourth in descent from Levi, how can 430 years have elapsed between them? Suppose, to get rid of this difficulty, we say that the genealogy of Moses has been designedly shortened in the same way as that of David and of Christ, or that a certain number of steps have been accidentally lost. But Gen. xv. 13-16, Jehovah is represented as saying to Abram, “Thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them, and they shall afflict them 400 years. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again.”. There is no difficulty in understanding 400 as a round number for 430, but how are we to explain the occurrence in the same speech of the number of 400 years, and, as its equivalent, the fourth generation ? Modern criticism deals very freely with such prophecies and . promises, and considers them as written subsequently to the events; but any one who in later times devised a prophecy to do honour to the patriarch must have known that 400 years and four generations were not commensurate, and would not have imputed a paradox to one whom he designed to represent as a prophet. We see no other solution than that 797 (generation) was meant to be taken here, as the Latin sæculum (see Gesenius s. voc.) in the sense of a century. Whether it happened accidentally that all names except four were lost from the Hebrew genealogies of the time between Jacob and Moses, or that the promise to Abram being misunderstood of four ordinary generations, the number was purposely shortened to accord with the prophecy, we do not undertake to decide. All that is certain is, that if we adhere to the four generations we must abandon the 430 years and vice versa.
Lepsius accepts the four generations, and reduces the residence of the children of Israel in Egypt to about 90 years. He does not avail himself of any superior longe
. vity of man in that age of the world, to lengthen out a generation. Having the most decisive proofs in the Egyptian genealogies and reigns, that with them the duration of human life was the same as at present, he does not suppose it possible that the Israelites, who lived and married and were naturalized among them, should have been subject to any different law of mortality, though a
triple period of 40 years is assigned to the life of Moses. A grave difficulty presents itself, however, on this supposition: How in the short space of 90 years should the family of 70 persons spread into a nation of 600,000 fighting men ? Lepsius has recourse to no supernatural multiplication of the human race, to produce a result so contrary to the laws of political arithmetic. He thinks the history of the Israelites in Egypt has been very imperfectly told us; that it was an age in which many Semitic tribes pressed towards the frontiers of Egypt; that in the recent expulsion of the Shepherds many had been left behind, with whom from a similarity of origin and nomadic habits the Israelites would easily unite, and that this composite people, not merely the descendants of Jacob, were those whom Moses led forth towards Canaan. Ewald has the same view, and even finds a trace of Eber in Abaris, the Hyksos' camp and city.
Such a shortening of the sojourning in Egypt, Lepsius considers to be necessary, in order to reconcile Scripture history with Egyptian. The account which Manetho gives of the Expulsion of the Lepers runs thus: “A pious king, desirous of obtaining a vision of the gods, was exhorted as a necessary condition to clear the land of all impure persons, and those who laboured under any bodily defect. He accordingly collected them, to the number of 80,000, and confined them in the quarries eastward of the Nile. There were among them some priests, one more eminent than the rest, Osarsiph, a priest of Heliopolis. The king, moved by compassion for the sufferings which they endured in the quarries, removed them to Abaris, a Typhonian city near Pelusium, which had been formerly occupied by the Shepherds, but was then deserted. Here Osarsiph formed them into a confederacy whose principle was hostility to the religion and institutions of Egypt. Having fortified their city, they sent for aid to the Shepherds who had been expelled by Tethmosis, and were then in occupation of Jerusalem; 200,000 men obeyed the call, and the king of Egypt, Amenophis, not venturing to face them, retired into Ethiopia, whither he had previously sent his son Sethos, also called Rameses, after the father of Amenophis, and here he remained for thirteen years.
Meanwhile the impure men and their allies plundered Egypt and insulted
its religion. Osarsiph changed his name to Moses. At the end of thirteen years Amenophis returned, and with the aid of his son Rameses attacked the Shepherds and impure persons, and pursued them to the borders of Syria.” Such is the tale in which the Egyptian popular tradition had wrapped up the events of the Exodus. As two Egyptian royal names are mentioned in it, Lepsius thinks we may by their means fix the date, which the Jewish history leaves uncertain, only calling the kings by the general title of Pharaoh. The indications seem pretty precise. The king's own name is Amenophis—his father's Rameses, his son's Sethos, also Rameses. Could we but find in the monuments such a succession as Sethos-Rameses- Amenophis-Sethos-Rameses, the matter would be settled. But here, between the cup and the lip, comes one of those tantalizing slips to which we have before alluded. All suits, except that the king who should fill the place between Rameses and Sethos is called in the monuments not Amenophis but Menephtha. The case however is not desperate. Africanus calls him Amenephthes-a prothetic A is not uncommon. Amenophis was a king very celebrated for his piety-he married an Ethiopian wife. May not these circumstances account for Manetho's having called the Pharaoh of the Exodus Amenophis, instead of Menephthes ? We should be glad to be delivered from many difficulties in Egyptian chronology on such easy terms. In this Lepsius differs from all preceding writers; among the rest, from Bunsen, who thinks Thothmes III. to have been the Pharaoh of the Exodus, nor can we flatter ourselves that the question will be set at rest, when every hypothesis involves some gratuitous assumption and contradicts some of the ancient authorities. This king Menephthes is the same in whose reign a renewal or establishment of the Sothiac cycle took place (see p. 198), and he cannot therefore have lived far from 1322 B.C., considerably later than the Exodus is usually placed. Lepsius, however, applying the same method to the Hebrew chronology between Moses and Solomon, as between Moses and Jacob, that is, neg. lecting the dates and calculating the generations, brings out the interval 318 years, which added to 1000 B.c. for the age of Solomon, gives 1318 B.c. for that of Moses.
A necessary consequence of shortening the residence of
the Israelites in Egypt to about 90 years, is that the descent of Jacob falls within the 18th dynasty, not in the Hyksos period as many have supposed. Lepsius argues that the whole narrative shows a native dynasty to have been upon the throne. An interpreter is necessary for communication between the Israelites and the Egyptians; a strong repugnance of usages subsists between them; the religion, the court ceremonial, the occupations of the people, show regular and peaceful times, not the tyrannical sway of foreigners by whom the country was plundered and the temples burnt. The conformity of the whole description to what we know of Egypt under its native princes is so complete, that it cannot be explained by supposing that the invading Hyksos, like the Tartars in China, had adopted the customs of the nation which they had conquered: This reasoning, however, assumes that we have an accurate contemporaneous history of the events described, and it would not be wonderful if some one, emboldened by the freedom with which Lepsius attributes the chronology to a redactor of the Pentateuch, should extend the supposition to the history, and say that its details have been put in, according to the idea which the Jews had of Egypt in later times.
Without entering into the question whether Lower Egypt were governed by the Hyksos or by its native princes, when the children of Israel went down thither, we must confess that we see insuperable difficulties in the supposition that their residence extended to only 90 years. Had their history been summed up in a few general words, we might have admitted that the increase of the people was owing to incorporation with others, and that the laws of political arithmetic were an inapplicable criterion. But in a history so precise and minute, the omission of such a remarkable event would be a suppressio veri irreconcileable with integrity. The people are said to grow and multiply, they are everywhere spoken of as one; their name, their usages, their religion, their mutual feeling and consciousness, all bespeak their unity, and contradict the notion that they were either the offscourings of Egyptian society, as Egyptian malice represented, or a colluvies of Semitic tribes, according to the modern hypothesis. The history itself contains no detail of any events between the
CHRISTIAN TEACHER.—No. 48.