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The fact of the coming into that country in the very ancient times of a numerous race of shepherds, of the conquest of the country by them, and of their rule over it for several centuries, is admitted by all Egyptologists, although some difference of opinion exists as to the period and the time of this occupancy. The circumstance of such Occupancy is, indeed, quite unnoticed on the monuments, which record only events honorable to the country or to the sovereign by whom they were erected; but we arrive at a knowledge of it partly by perceptible gaps among the events there recorded, and fully and satisfactorily in the history and the lists of sovereigns by Manetho, who was a high priest of the temple of Isis at Sebenytus in Lower Egypt in the reign of the first Ptolemy (322 to 284 B. C.) “Although," says Lepsius, “his history is lost, we have his dynasties tolerably entire. His excellence as a historian is placed in the clearest light by the monuments which are now made accessible to us, and the notices concerning him transmitted to us by the Greek and Latin authors are in no respects contradictory. The lists of Manetho comprise thirty dynasties." His own works have perished, but nearly his entire lists of sovereigns are preserved in the writings of Eusebius, Julius Africanus, in part by Josephus; and a portion of his Egyptian history is transmitted to us by Josephus. The last is the more fully reliable, because it is quoted literally by that writer in his controversy with Apion; and Apion, born in Oasis, in Egypt, and having his home afterward at Alexandria, was the author of a learned treatise on the antiquities of Egypt, and was hostile to the Jews. Anything quoted by Josephus, in a controversy with him, would consequently have to be given with great care and accuracy; and we are therefore able to make extracts with confidence from his history so given.
Manetho says, “ There was a king of ours whose name was Timaus. Under him it came to pass, I know not how, that God was averse to us, and there came, after a surprising manner, men of ignoble birth out of the eastern parts, and had boldness enough to make an expedition into our country, and with ease subdued it by force, yet without our hazarding a battle with them. So when they had gotten those that governed us under their power, they afterward burnt down our cities and demolished the temples of the gods, and used all the inhabitants after a most barbarous manner; nay, some they slew, and led their children and wives into slavery. At length they made one of themselves king, whose name was Salatis; he also lived at Memphis, and made both the upper and lower regions pay tribute, and left garrisons in places that were most proper for them. He chiefly aimed to secure the eastern parts, as foreseeing that the Assyrians, who had then the greatest power, would be desirous of that kingdom and invade them, and as he found in the Saite Nomos, a city very proper for his purpose, and which lay upon the Bubastic channel, but with regard to a certain theologic notion was called Avaris,' this he rebuilt and made very strong by the walls he built about it, and by a most numerous garrison of two hundred and forty thousand armed men whom he put into it to keep it.” [The names of his six successors, all of whom were occupied in completing the subjugation of the country are next given.] “This whole nation was styled Hyksos, that is Shepherdkings; for the first syllable Hyc, according to the sacred dialect, denotes a king, as is Sos a shepherd, but this according to the ordinary dialect; and of these is compounded Hyksos; but some people say that these people were Arabians. These people,” Manetho proceeds to say, “ kept possession of Egypt five hundred and eleven? years ;” and he adds that, finally,“ the kings of Thebais and of the other parts of
1 Supposed to have been where Pelusium was afterward built. » Bunsen estimates the time at nine hundred and twenty-two years.
Egypt made an insurrection against the shepherds," and that “a terrible and long war was made between them.” At last the strangers were driven out of all parts of the country except the fortified place, Avaris, “which contained ten thousand acres," and where they were besieged by four hundred and eighty thousand men headed by Thummosis, son of the Egyptian king, who, in despair of taking the place, " came to a composition with them that they should leave Egypt and go without any harm to be done them, whithersoever they would ; and after this composition was made they went away with their whole families and effects, not fewer in number than two hundred and forty thousand, and took their journey from Egypt through the wilderness for Syria ;” and he proceeds then to say that “they went northward and built Jerusalem.”ı
Indeed, it is probable that long before their final expulsion, branches of this restless, roving set of people had scattered northwardly along the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, carrying with them from Egypt the germs of many useful ideas, which we shall have a future occasion to notice, and which, through Phænicia to Greece, have come even over to our own country. They probably formed the race of Philistines in Canaan; for in the languages of Western Asia, whence they originally came, Pali means shepherds and Stan or Sthan signifies land, and Palistan, whence Philistines, means the Land of Shepherds, the Hyksos of the Egyptian language. From this comes our word Palestine.
The easterly origin of the shepherd-kings of Egypt appears to receive a singular elucidation in the sacred books of the Hindoos, which record two migrations from the East in remote times; first of the Yadavas or sacred race, and secondly of the Pali or shepherds, called Pali-putras in those annals (Pali-bothri in Pliny). The last, we are informed
by these Hindoo records, were a powerful race, occupying the country between the Indus and mouth of the Ganges, whence, with the roving habits of a pastoral people, they spread over a great part of Asia, Africa and Europe. A portion of them, crossing the Persian Gulf and spreading through Arabia Felix, reached the Red Sea, crossing which they occupied a region on its western shore called in the Grecian histories Barbaria, from the word Berber, a shepherd. Traces of these early rovers are said by Bruce to be found as a distinct race in Abyssinia, different in appearance from the other inhabitants, and still a pastoral people, living in tents and leading a roving life. They seem to have been the Eastern Ethiopians, as distinct from the Western noticed in Herodotus and Homer.
We shall in a future chapter of the present work endeavor to settle the period of this expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt; and if. the chronology we shall there trace out be correct, then the time of Abram's visit to Egypt was at the latter part of their dominion,' when, by long residence, they had changed greatly from their primitive habits and had become Egyptianized in character and civilization, while still retaining their old shepherd proclivities; exactly as the Mongolian conquerors and rulers of China, a shepherd race, present themselves in our own time greatly changed and softened by the influence of their subjects.
This will account for the treatment which Abram received, and the nature of the gifts presented to him; and as the expulsion of the Hyksos and restoration of the Egyptian power occurred before Jacob came to that country, it will explain the grandeur in the new dynasties amid which Joseph's glory shone out, and the fact of the hatred toward the
1 Modern writers on the monuments and history of Egypt differ greatly as respects chronology, according as they make dynasties successive or in part simultaneous; but almost all of them agree in making Abram's visit to have been during the time of the shepherd-kings.
pastoral race, in consequence of which the Hebrews had to be isolated in a corner of the kingdom, because “every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians.”
TT was a greatly enlarged party which followed the HeI brew chief as he left Egypt and took his course backward toward Canaan ; for now " Abram was very rich in cattle and silver and in gold.” The monarch had bestowed upon him “sheep and oxen and he-asses, and men-servants and maid-servants, and she-asses and camels,” and at the last, also royal gifts from his treasury. The gifts were indeed made in kingly style.
From Lepsius. Egyptian Money, as represented on the Monuments; the White is Silver, the Black is
Gold: also, a Man Weighing Money.
1 See Gen. xiii. 2. Money among the Egyptians at that time consisted of rings of gold and silver, and there were public weighers whose business