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clear and irresistible. It is the name of the king that knew not Joseph.
The time of the rise of the new king is our first question. We have ascertained that Aaron was born eighty-three years, and Moses eighty years before the Exodus. It further appears from the inspired narrative, that the infanticidal decree of the new king (Exod. i. 22.) had been issued in the interval between the two births : for on the birth of Aaron (Exod. vi. 20.) no concealment was required, such as took place on that of Moses, chap. ii. 147. Seven years being allowed for the former attempts to keep down the numbers of Israel, (which is probable enough, chap. i. 8—21,) would give us ninety years before the Exodus for the rise of the new king.
The cotemporary monuments of this epoch are numerous, but their testimony is obscure and hard to understand. The histories collected by the curiosity of the later Greeks, about the time of our Saviour, from the temple records of Egypt, are the other source of our knowledge. They exactly resemble all other histories written in similar circumstances. A vast mass of fable, often incoherent, has accumulated upon a skeleton or frame-work of truth. The very laborious collation of these two, has done something to expose the fables of the one, and to unravel the perplexities of the other. It is
with this something, and with this alone, that we intend to trouble our readers.
We must of necessity commence with a brief summary of the previous history of Egypt.
The temple records open with the statement that when Menes the human founder of the kingdom ascended the throne, Egypt had been governed by the gods for more than 17,000 years.
The monuments disclose the origin of this manifest fiction. The first gods of Egypt were the patriarchs of the Old World, who were made in some cases local gods of cities founded by their descendants. In other instances they were themselves the founders of the cities wherein they were worshipped after their death. It was the well-known long lives of men before the flood, and immediately after it, that originated the fable of the 17,000 years.
In order to prove this point, namely, that the first gods of Egypt were dead men, and the patriarchs of the Bible, we take the opportunity of giving here the few notices of this false religion which are required to illustrate the text before us.
el atm, i. e. Ons Adam, the father of mankind. He was the local god of the city of On, or Heliopolis, the capital of Aphophis, and at all times one of the capitals of Egypt. He was the human impersonation of the sun, which was the father of the potter . It " יצר He was first named .מצרים
all the gods” of Egypt. All idolatry seems to have began with the notion that the sun was God.
2 or 21 or 50 nu or nuh, 771 Noah, the god of the annual overflow, and of water generally. The city in which he was first worshipped we shall find presently. He was afterwards made local at any new point to the southward of former settlements in the valley in which a city was built. He was often named 135 nu-mu, that is “No or Noah of the waters.' He was also named “ father of the gods," in allusion, doubtless, to the post-diluvian origin of mankind. 08-iri, Osiris, called afterwards Mizraim,
“.” was changed to Mizraim, “two cities,” when Menes founded Memphis. Other names were also changed for like purposes. This father of ancient Egypt most probably died and was buried at Busiris in the Delta, where he was afterwards local god. In this circumstance originated a number of myths or fables, wherein he was made king of the dead; being, as we have elsewhere explained, the rightful king of all Egyptians, as the father of the race. The changes in the religion of Egypt introduced by King Mencheres, in which began the civil broils which Abram is said to have composed during his sojourn in Egypt, were all of them connected with the worship of Osiris.
Soad Asb, i. e. nzim, Seba the son of Cush. Gen. x. 7. He is the youngest of all the deified men in the system. For this reason he is entitled 1999
youngest of the gods.” The city in which he was local was Crocodilopolis in Middle Egypt, which was near Abydos. This was one reason why, very long afterwards, he was feigned to be the father of Osiris.
ad Phtha or pth, i. e. 293 Phut, the brother of Mizraim. Gen. x. 6. Menes, the founder of the monarchy, was the first of the clan of Mizraim to cross the Nile and colonize the western bank. Phut has given its Egyptian name to the bow, (Copt. phit hieroglyphic pt,) either because he was its inventor, or because he greatly excelled in the use of it. The Nile seems to have been the limit of the territories of Mizraim and Phut on the first peopling of North-East Africa. When Menes crossed the Nile, he made the patriarch of the district the local god of his new city. All pictures of the idol Phtha (i. e. Phut deified) have a green skin ; which denotes conventionally the sallow hue acquired by light-complexioned races when first exposed to the sun of the desert. The family of Phut is not given in the Bible. He had probably nine sons; for his descendants, the negroes of the Lybian desert, were named in hieroglyphics i. e. the nine nations of the Phutim.
domamn or hmn, the patriarch on Ham. In one dialect of Egyptian every final m took an n after it. He was first deified at Peremoun in the Delta. The introducer of Ham into Upper Egypt has left the record of it in his own name. the king who founded the twelfth dynasty of the lists. He seems to have colonized Eastern Thebes, and to have made Ham or Amoun the local god of his new city.
For this reason he named himself 63 or D i. e. “the beginner or bringer-in of Amun." In later times Amun became one of the greatest gods in Egypt, as the tutelary of the race of kings by whom the shepherds were expelled. Many of the great revolutions that shook the monarchy during the period now before us, originated in the pretensions of Amun to rule over the gods of other cities.
These will sufficiently prove the truth of our statement, that the gods of Egypt were dead men. They were demons (darpoves) only in the sense of “the souls of dead men,” and not in that of " fallen spirits” or “ devils,” as is generally supposed. The inventors of this mythology were well acquainted with the truth regarding this mysterious subject, as it was taught by the patriarchal tradition. Of this the following group affords us a perfectly satisfactory evidence.