« PreviousContinue »
towards the north-east, between the two northern ranges of mountains ($ 37), But, instead of carrying out the first intention, the procession turned away from the ordinary caravan road at the express command of God, and had to take the road through the Wady er-Ramliyeh and the Wady et-Tawarik to the plain of Baideah by the sea-shore. It was here that they were overtaken by Pharaoh and his army. With the deep sea, which is here about fifteen miles broad, before them; with Mount Atâkah on the north, and, opposite to this, Mount Knaibe on the south; and with Pharaoh's chariots behind, they were to all human appearance utterly lost. But God caused an east wind to blow during the night, and thus opened a way through the heart of the sea. They followed this road; and the next morning, they found themselves safe on the other side, at a place which is still called by the Arabs the wells of Moses (Ayun Musa).-At first sight there is something very plausible in this view. But on closer investigation we find it beset with insuperable difficulties. Its main features are not derived from scriptural data, but from the statements of Josephus (Ant. ii. 15, 1), who says that the Israelites started from Raemses above the place where Babylon was afterwards built (Latopolis, Old Cairo). But no particular evidence is required to prove, that the authority of Josephus is of little value in questions of this kind. Moreover, his account is founded upon the tradition, which has given to the valley the name of Wady et-Tih (Valley of Error), and which fixed upon Ayun Musa as the spot near to which the passage took place. But with regard to the first, the name Wady et-Tih originated with Sicard, and for the second we must bear in mind the warning given by Niebuhr (Beschreib. v. Arabien p. 404), who says that the Arabs always declare the spot, at which the question is proposed to them, to be the very spot where the children of Israel went through the Sea. As decisive objections, however, the following are of especial importance: (1), Raemses is always the name of a city, never of a province (cf. $ 41). (2), Justice is not done to the word and, which always means to turn. (3), The same remark applies to the expression “ Etham, at the end of the desert;" for, according to Raumer's hypothesis, Etham was not at the end, but in the middle of the desert. (4), Without the least ground for so doing, it gives us two Ethams, one in the Egyptian desert and the other in the desert of Arabia Petræa.
(5), It places the passage through the sea at a point where the sea is too broad, not indeed for it to be miraculously divided, but for the natural part of the event, namely their crossing over in the time stated. The breadth of the gulf at this point is fifteen miles. Now a few hours of the night had certainly gone,
before the sea was sufficiently dried up by the east wind, to allow the passage to commence; and yet at the morning watch (two o'clock), they were on the opposite shore.
A second class of commentators fix upon Suez as the point at which the passage took place.
This class includes Niebuhr, Robinson, Hengstenberg, Laborde, Ewald, Tischendorf, and many others. But whilst they agree upon this point, they differ in many respects as to the road by which Suez was reached. Hengstenberg's opinion is that the Israelites started from Raemses, which he supposes to have been the same as Heroopolis ; that Etham was at the point, which now forms the northern extremity of the gulf; and that when the procession had reached that point it turned round, that is went back into the Egyptian territory, and proceeded along the western shore of the gulf, till it reached Suez, where it passed through the sea upon dry ground. Robinson gives upon the whole the same route, but leaves it an open question, whether Heroopolis was identical with Raemses; though he has not the least doubt that Raemses was situated in the Wady Tumilat, not far from the northern extremity of the Bitter Lakes. From our previous enquiry, however, it necessarily follows that this opinion is erroneous. Ewald's view is closely related to that of Hengstenberg, only much more confused (cf. Stickels critique, p. 358 sqq.). Laborde looks upon Raemses as
name applied to the whole of the land of Goshen, and supposes the Israelites to have assembled at Succoth, whence they proceeded in a straight line to Etham, which was somewhere in the neighbourhood of Ajrud. There they received a command from God, not to travel any farther in a easterly direction, and went towards the south-east to Suez. From this point they crossed the gulf, still in a south-easterly direction, and emerged at Ayun Musa. After what we have already said, we regard it as unnecessary to criticize, that is, to refute this opinion. Tischendorf supposes the procession to have started from Heliopolis, whence it proceeded to a spot somewhere near the northern end of the Bitter Lakes (which in his opinion was at that time
the northern boundary of the gulf). At this point it turned towards the south-east and proceeded to Suez. In several essential points his view agrees with our own.
Lastly we may mention Thierbach's romantic conjecture (Erfurter Osterprogramm, 1830); though we do so, merely to make the list complete. According to his view, the Israelites set out from Heliopolis (i.e., Raemses). They then journeyed to Pithom, (or Etham) on the Mediterranean (the sea of reeds). From this point they proceeded through Lake Menzaleh. Here the phosphorescence of the water supplied them with light; and at the same time a cloud, which hung suspended like a pillar over the surface of the water and was strongly charged with electricity, was driven behind them by a change in the wind, and discharged its electric fluid upon the foe. Thus death and destruction fell upon the Egyptians, whilst light and safety were afforded to the Israelites. Compare Stickel p. 331, 332.
THE HYKSOS AND THE ISRAELITES.
SOURCES : vid. Bunsen's Urkundenbuch, an appendix to the third part of his work on Egypt; C. Meier, Judaica, Jena 1832; and Stroth, Aegyptiaca, Gotha 1782.
LITERATURE: Jac. Perizonii Aegyptiarum originum investigatio. 1711. c. 19 p. 327 ss.-Fr. Buddei, Historia ecclesiastica V. T. I. iii. $ 24, Ed. iv. p. 560 ss.—Thorlacius de Hycsosorum Abari. Copenh. 1794.-J. Chr. C. Hofmann, unter welcher Dynastie haben die Israeliten Aegypten verlassen? (in the Studien und Kritiken 1839. ii. p. 393 sqq.), and also, Aegyptische und israelitische Zeitrechnung, ein Sendschreiben an Dr Böckh. Nördl. 1847.-E. Hengstenberg, Manetho and the Hyksos, in his Egypt and the Books of Moses, p. 227 sqq. transl.—E. Bertheau, zur Gesch. d. Israel. p. 227 sqq.-H. Ewald, Gesch. d. Israel. i. 445 sqq.-C. v. Lengerke, Kenaan i. 360 sqq.-A. Böckh, Manetho und die Hundssternperiode, Berl. 1845.—Chr. C. J. Bunsen, Aegyptens Stelle in der Weltgeschichte, 3 vols. Hamburg 1843. -R. Lepsius, die Chronologie der Aegypter, i. Berlin 1849, and Herzog's Real-Encyclopädie d. prot. Theol. i. 144 sqq.J. L. Saalschütz, Forschungen auf dem Gebiete der hebr. ägypt. Archäologie, Königsb. 1851, iii. Die manethonischen Hyksos, p. 41 sqq.-Consult also : J. G. Müller, Krit. Untersuchung der Taciteischen Berichte über den Ursprung der Juden, in the Studien und Kritiken, 1843, iv. p. 893 sqq.-Fr. Werner, chronologische Bemerkungen über einige Gegenstände der alttestamentlichen Gegenstände (in the lutherische Zeitschrift, 1845, i. p. 29 sqq.)-K. B. Stark, Forschungen zur Geschichte der Alterthumskunde des hellenischen Orients : Gaza, oder die philistäische Küste, Jena 1852, p. 82 sqq.-Fr. Delitzsch, Commentar zur Genesis, 2. Aufl. 1853, ii. 71 sqq. ; and Nachtrag p. 221 sqq.-A. Knobel, Die Völkertafel der Genesis, Giessen 1850, p. 208 sqq.; and Genesis p. 271 sqq.-Raoul-Rochette, in the Journal des Savants, 1846 and 1848, (review of Bunsen's work), particularly 1848, p. 354 sqq.
$ 43. The Pentateuch does not inform us what dynasty was in power, or what king was reigning, either when the Israelites went down to Egypt, when the oppression commenced, or at the time of their departure. We must therefore turn to the Egyptian and other profane history before we can solve these questions; and what we have now to do, is to determine from these sources, to what periods of time the events described in the Pentateuch respectively belong. The simplest means of obtaining the information we need, would be to compare the two chronologies ; but unfortunately, both in the biblical and Egyptian histories, there is so much uncertainty, obscurity, and even confusion, in the matter of dates, that comparative chronology is a most uncertain, and therefore impracticable, method of ascertaining the points of coincidence between the two. Our knowledge of the facts, connected with the early history of Egypt,
is for the most part confined to bare catalogues of dynasties which do not of themselves afford any information, that can be brought to bear upon the history of Israel. But Josephus has preserved two considerable fragments from the old historica) work of Manetho, the contents of which coincide in many respects with the history of the Pentateuch. The first extract from Manetho treats of the Hyksos dynasty, and contains unmistakeable traces of the relation which existed between this dynasty and the Israelites (1); the second identifies the Israelites with a number of lepers, whom the king, Amenophis, is said to have Banished from Egypt (2). The same tradition, in a somewhat modified form, is found in Chaeremon and Lysimachus, and on the authority of the latter it has been repeated by Apion, Diodorus Siculus, Tacitus, and Justin (3).
(1). The first extract from Manetho (on the reign of the Hyksos) is found in Josephus against Apion, i. 14. Josephus there says: “Manetho was a man who was by birth an Egyptian; yet had he made himself master of the Greek learning, as is very evident: for he wrote the history of his own country in the Greek tongue, by translating it, as he saith himself, out of their sacred records; he also finds great fault with Herodotus for his ignorance and false relations of Egyptian affairs. Now this Manetho, in the second book of his Egyptian history, writes concerning us in the following manner (I will set down his very words, as if I were to bring the very man himself into court for a witness): * 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 afterwards burned 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 wives and children into slavery At length they made one of themselves king, whose