Obrazy na stronie

were the lineal descendants of MENES, the first king, who also first crossed the Nile and built the city of Memphis, on the western bank, overcoming the children of Phut who were settled in that locality. He then married the daughter of the Phutite king whom he had conquered, and ruled over his kingdom which he added to Egypt. He still further benefited his country by diverting the course of the Nile, causing it to flow more to the eastward than heretofore. By this work he greatly increased the fertility, not of the land around his new city of Memphis only, but also of Heliopolis, and one or two other localities on the eastern border of the Delta, where cities were at this time also in process of being founded by the Migraites. Menes was the son of the founder and petty king of one of these rising cities, Tanis, the Zoan of our quotation. Such was the reputation which Menes acquired by these good works among his tribe and kindred, both for himself and his family, that he was unanimously elected king of Upper Egypt, or Egypt on the left bank of the Nile, and his father or brother king of Lower Egypt, or Egypt on the right bank. This division of the kingdom and these two co-regent families of kings, both of the race of Menes, continued actually up to the period of the Exodus, and formally up to the extinction of the monarchy. Both lines pretended to the whole kingdom, and never waived this pretension, even when there was peace between them. It was in these strange political circumstances that the fable of the shepherd invasion originated. The dominions of the Lower Egyptian Pharaohs had, at the time of it, been for more than two centuries circumscribed within the limits of a province or two, on the extreme eastern border of the Delta, by the successes of the rival pretension. They were compelled by this their position, to seek the alliance of the Canaanites, who, as shepherds or merchants, ranged the desert of Suez. Abram's visit to Egypt took place at this period. The Pharaoh with whom he had intercourse was a Lower Egyptian king, one of the 10th dynasty of the lists. Sebennytus in the eastern Delta was his chief city.* This explanation, for which we are altogether indebted to the monuments, converts our seeming difficulty into a high probability.

The alliances with Canaan of these Sebennyte Pharaohs, enabled them about a century afterwards, with the help of their auxiliaries, to become once more the aggressors upon the dominions of the Upper Egyptian Pharaohs. They retook Memphis, and expelled the rival pretension from the whole of Egypt. The history of this war was written by the partizans of the defeated faction. They therefore named the Lower Egyptians, foreigners ; and the Sebennyte Pharaohs, shepherd-kings, in reproach and derision. The monarchs thus designated were nevertheless natives of Egypt, and the lineal descendants of Menes. The monuments declare this fact clearly and unequivocally. It cannot be too early or too plainly stated.

* It is called Heracleopolis in the lists of Manetho, who was a native of it, because Hercules was its local god, and because Manetho did not care to expose what he felt to be a disgrace to his native city-viz. that it had been the capital of a race of shepherd-kings. Sebennytus is the 720 Seveneh of the Bible, Ezek. xxix. 10, where it is translated by mistake, Syene.

The circumstance that “every shepherd was an abomination to the Egyptians," was a far older rivalry than this. It began with Cain and Abel. It was that between the husbandman and the herdsman. Egypt was especially the land of the former, and therefore the latter was unclean in it; and remained so, even to the end of the monarchy.

These, and many more such facts, have appeared from the reading of the writings on the ruins of Egypt. They are highly interesting and important; needful to be known, not by the Biblical critic only, but also by every reader of the Bible. Yet do they remain to this day absolutely inaccessible to either class of students. The knowledge of them is strictly confined to the few who have devoted themselves to a most laborious and uninviting subject, and they are themselves altogether the issue of their longcontinued and unnoticed labours. It is the practical results of those labours in the illustration and verification of the portions of Holy Writ which discourse of Israel in Egypt, that we purpose to lay before the general reader; omitting the processes and analyses whereby they have been worked out, as not essential to the matter in hand. We do not fear to state that, as we proceed with the history of Israel in Egypt, we shall find the illustration thrown upon the inspired narrative by the monuments of the latter, progressively increasing in value and importance, so as triumphantly to establish the validity of the anticipations of great light upon the Bible from Ancient Egypt, and also to afford a proof of the Divine purpose in the wondrous preservation of her monuments.



An interval of 215 years elapses after the sojourn of Abram in Egypt, and then the valley of the Nile becomes once more the scene of the inspired narrative :

“ And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph being seventeen years old, was feeding his flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and with the sons of Zilpah his father's wives. And Joseph brought unto his father their evil report. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age ; and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. And Joseph dreamed a dream,

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