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the field," Ex. i. 14 :—and in Deuteronomy, the phrase occurs, "Egypt where thou sowedst thy seed and wateredst it."

While the Memphitic dynasty lasted, Wilkinson thinks this grant was respected, and nothing more was required of the Hebrews than a compliance with the terms on which it was made. But when the Theban family came to the throne, the grant was rescinded, and the services notwithstanding required; and thus commenced the bondage, when despotism and prejudice soon found a pretext for imposing additional burdens. It was pretended that the Hebrews, who certainly had rapidly increased in numbers, had thereby become dangerous to Egypt; particularly as they lived on the side next to the Nomade tribes, with whom they might make alliances; and, more especially, as they were not very far distant from the descendants of the old invaders, the shepherds, who had withdrawn to Palestine only, and there constituted the valiant and powerful race of the Philistines.

Whether this pretext were well or ill founded, it furnished the Egyptian monarch with sufficient grounds for treating the Israelites like captives taken in war, and compelling them gratuitously to erect "treasure cities" for him, which they did. All we can say of this conjecture, in the absence of positive proof, is that it does not violate probability, and is perfectly consistent with the details of the Bible story.

The next point that we have to consider, consists of the details of Jewish oppression, at the hands of Egypt:—" They did set over them taskmasters, to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses."—" And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve, with rigor: and they made their lives bitter with hard bondage in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve was with rigor."

i. They set over them taskmasters. This is perfectly Egyptian; and exists at this day, with the single difference that the Egyptians occupy the place of the oppressed, instead of the oppressors. The bitter cup is returned to their own lips. A modern writer states that, "when the labor of the people is required for any public work, the officers of Mehemet Ali collect the whole neighborhood—men, women, and children; and dividing them into so many companies or droves, appoint taskmasters over them. These are armed with whips which they use pretty freely, as they are responsible for the completion of the work." The monuments show that this was precisely the custom of ancient Egypt. Below are representations in illustration. In the first, the culprit is subjected to the bastinado; a punishment by no means uncommon now in Egypt, which is governed very much by the cudgel or stick.

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The following affords another example, where the taskmasters all appear with sticks; and while one offender has


hands already laid- upon him. another is in the posture of deprecatory supplication.

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They were employed in building cities. Josephus tells us, that his nation was also engaged in building pyramids, and making canals and embankments. It seems questionable, however, whether the Israelites took any part in the work of building the pyramids of Memphis, or the Arsinoite nome. The better opinion is, that they did not. But captives were, in general, the builders of public works. Thus Diodorus tells us, that Sesostris placed on all his buildings erected by captives, an inscription, stating that no native citizen had been engaged in the servile work.

n. Pithom and Raamses were the cities they built. They were fortified towns, in which provisions were stored up. The first named, is the Patumos of Herodotus; which, as we learn from him, was on the Pelusiac arm of the Nile, not far from the entrance of the canal which, in his day, connected the Nile with the Red Sea. The initial P, is but the Egyptian article; and in the rest of the name, we recognize the Thum, which the Itinerary of Antoninus places at twelve Roman miles from Heroopolis. Guided by these indications, the French savans place Pithom on the site of the present village of Ahbaseh. This is in ancient Goshen. The same scholars have also satisfactorily shown, that Raamses was the same place which the Greeks called Heroopolis; and was between the Pelusiac arm of the Nile and the Bitter Lakes, at a place now called Abu Keisheid. This also is within ancient Goshen. With the opinions of the French scholars, we may add that Hengstenberg, who has bestowed great labor and learning on this subject, entirely concurs.

in. They were subjected to hard bondage in mortar and brick. Bricks in Egypt are of great antiquity, and, as we learn from the Scripture story, were usually made with straw, intermixed with clay. Thus writes Wilkinson:—"The use of crude brick baked in the sun, was universal in Upper and Lower Egypt, both for public and private buildings; and the brick field gave abundant occupation to numerous laborers throughout the country. These simple materials were found to be peculiarly suited to the climate; and the ease, rapidity, and cheapness with which they were made offered additional

recommendations So great was the demand that the

Egyptian government, observing the profit which would accrue to the revenue from a monopoly of them, undertook to supply the public at a moderate price, thus preventing all unauthorized persons from engaging in their manufacture. And in order more effectually to obtain their end, the seal of the king, or of some privileged person, was stamped upon the bricks at the time they were made." Bricks have been found thus marked, both in public and private buildings. The monopoly must have been profitable to the kings, inasmuch as they availed themselves of the cheap, because unpaid, labor of the captives. It would seem, however, from the monuments, that some native laborers were employed, though the majority there represented are foreigners.

As to the use of straw, it is proved, by an examination of the bricks brought by Rosellini from Thebes, bearing the stamp of Thothmes IV., the fifth king of the eighteenth dynasty. "The bricks" (says Rosellini) "which are now found in Egypt belonging to the same period, always have straw mingled with them, although in some of those that are most carefully made, it is found in very small quantities." Another writer, quoted by Hengstenberg, Prokesch, says, "The bricks (of the first pyramid at Dashoor) are of fine clay from the Nile, mingled with chopped straw. This intermixture gives the bricks an astonishing durability."

In connection with this subject of brick-making in Egypt, a most interesting painting was found by Rosellini, at Thebes, in the tomb of Roschere. He did not hesitate to call his comments on it, "explanation of a picture representing the Hebrews as they were engaged in making brick." We present a copy of it, from Wilkinson's drawing, and cannot but consider it one of the most interesting of the pictorial representations yet found in Egypt, even should it be supposed not to represent the Hebrews. Wilkinson's copy is too small to bring out all the details as Rosellini's representation does: we will first give Rosellini's description.

"Of the laborers," (says he,) "some are employed in transporting the clay in vessels; some in intermingling it with the straw; others are taking the bricks out of the form and placing them in rows; still others, with a piece of wood upon their backs and ropes on each side, carry away the bricks already burned or dried. Their dissimilarity to the Egyptians appears

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