« הקודםהמשך »
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Protestantism vs. Dr. F. C. Ewer,
Stephen Loines, 370
Ralph Waldo Emerson,
From the German of H. Grimm. 133
Rev. J. W. Chadwick, 116
Rev. Stephen H.Tyng,
Robert Collyer's Old Home,
Religion or Reason,
Stephen Loines, 315
Sunday vs. Sabbath,
C. K. Whipple, 243
Vol. 111.- JANUARY, 1868.- NO. 25.
EGYPT'S PLACE IN UNIVERSAL HISTORY,
An Historical Investigation, in 5 volumes. By C. C. I. Baron Bunsen, D.Ph.,
D.C.L., and D.D. Translated from the German by CHARLES H. Cottrell, Esq., M.A., with additions by Samuel Birch, L.L.D. Vol. 5.—London: LONGMANS, Green & Co. 1867.
T is an unsatisfactory way to begin to write history in the middle, but
we have endeavored, in a former article, to indicate in a general way Egypt's position in the great tide of dividing, immigrating races.
It was seen, then, that her civilization threw a bridge from Asia into Europe, and, standing upon it, we look “ before and after." We believe with Bunsen, that the Hebrew residence in the Delta was of long duration ; that seventy souls went down with Jacob into Egypt was a steadfast tradition. The Egyptians counted “ bonds-people" among the “goods " or possessions of these new colonists. Abraham had carried down 318 fighting men ; Jacob may easily have had 1,500. Joseph made his brothers chief herdsmen of the royal flocks. Soon after, the crown owned all the land, and then there was fertile pasturage in the Payoum. In the first numbering Moses showed 603,550 soldiers ; twenty years after, near Jericho, 601,730. There had been losses by war, sickness, hardship and discipline. Their bondage could not have begua till the Shepherds, a protecting kindred race, were driven out of the city of Avaris, the Scriptural Ramses, in the Delta, in the tenth year of Tuthmosis III, the oppressor, who was so hated that cowardiy, fanatical Menepthah could never complete his tomb. In this year he began his great building operations ; 215 years from this, the Scripture period brings us to 1320 B. C., our assumed year of the Exodus ! The king, who knew not Joseph, was a Pharaoh from the lately reconquered upper Egypt. Sesortosen 1. is the Sesostris of Herodotus. Birch gives us a remarkable inscription from the tomb of a lieutenant of his army, which says, in the person of the dead man : “ When in the time of Sesortosen I. there was a great famine in all the districts; there was corn in mine.”
Only a sovereign, firm in power, could have lifted a hated slave into a viceroy. The position is changed again before Joseph asks permission to carry the body of Jacob into Hebron. He is a rich man, but a private citizen, and makes his request humbly, through a servant. Reckoning back from this period—the period of the famine-will help us to adjust the earlier chronology. The Scripture seems to imply that Abraham lived 175 years ; Isaac 180 ; Jacob 147; and Joseph 110. Now we have historical records far older than the time of Abraham, but we know of no historical lives succeeding each other like these. These must be Eras of migration, then, as Bunsen thinks; a supposition strengthened by the recently discovered fact that the Jews of Cochin China continue to date after the Exodus.
Abraham emigrated into Canaan 2877 B. C. Isaac, born in the 26th year after this emigration, died in the rooth year of Abraham, aged 80. Jacob died in the 147th year of this era, or 42 years after his father. The Egyptian Hebrews, however, began a new era with the period of Jacob's coming, into that country, and Joseph died in the 110th year of Jacob. Jacob was 70 when he went down into Egypt, in the 130th year of Abraham, and he lived to be 98. Joseph died at 78 in the 110th year of Jacob, when his great grandson was 12 years old.
At the time of Abraham's migration, the whole of Canaan and East Jordan was tributary to the king of Elam. This included South Babylonia, Arabia 'Petræa, and the plain. The allied kings of the five cities were therefore a small body, and Abraham pursued only one detachment of their forces. Oldest inscriptions tell us that civilization came from South Babylonia. Rawlinson identifies “Kedor-laomer" with the “ Kedor-mapula,” or conqueror of the West, in these inscriptions. The circumstances by which Abraham was surrounded can be found at no later date than that we assign to him. This is confirmed by the astronomically ascertained date of the destruction of the cities of the plain, which occurred about the time of Isaac's birth in 2854 B. c. Justin, borrowing from Trogus Pompeius says,
“the ancestors of the Phænicians were compelled by an earthquake, near the Assyrian lake, to seek the coast." Now the chronology of Melkarth, in the island of Tyre, began in 2750 B. C. There was in Tyre a still older shrine, so they may easily have come to the coast a cen
Now, if the Israelites went into Egypt in the ninth year of Sesortosen I., 2754 B. C., and staid there till the eleventh of Menepthah, 1320 B. C., they were there 1434 years, (according to computations of Bunsen's first four vols.) In this period they changed from a nomadic to an agricultural people, and it closed with 215 years of bondage. In the first 200 years, if not beloved, they prospered greatly, and spread throughout the country as itinerant traders. When the Hycsos came in, their knowledge of the country might easily be valuable to these new rulers of a kindred race, Their power lasted for 929 years. From the restoration under Amos to the oppression of Tuthmosis III., they doubtless kept very quiet, but union, independence and national character, were stimulated by 215 years of endurance. The building of the Canal opened a hope of escape ; then came Moses, the secret arming, and the Exodus. Fourteen hundred years is not too long for a people to grow from one family to two millions and a half of souls. It is perfectly clear that a period of this length is required to make the life of Abraham the legend Moses found it. The ancestors of Abraham are before chronology. Yet there is a strict chronology of the South Babylonian Empire, nearly a thousand years older, i. e., back to 3758 B. c. Abraham undoubtedly possessed some memorials of the 2000 years before his own time, of the flood, etc. The traditions have a strict astronomical basis. The interval between Noah and Terah seems to proceed by similar geographic and historic methods. See Gen. x. 21.
Arphaxad is the district of Arrapak hitis, the South-western slope of the mountains, where the first men took refuge from food and disaster on the Northern Plains. Elam is South Babylonia, to the east of the Tigris ; Assur is to the East of the Upper Tigris ; Arphaxad, then, is near the sources of the Euphrates. Lud went to Asia Minor, crossed the Halys, and settled Lydia. The Aramæans or Highlanders passed from Arphaxad into the land of the “ Two Rivers,” (see Aram and Uz in Nedjir) as far as northern Arabia.
These geographical periods passed, then come the purely historical. “ The Mission,” or the advanced settlement; “ The Partition,” or the division of lands, as when Abraham and Lot separated later ; “ The Passage,” or the crossing of the Tigris. In the “ Mission” the race descended from the hills; in the “ Partition,” a part branched off to South Arabia ; in the “ Passage” they crossed the Upper Tigris to the South-west. Then come two geographical entries ; Rohi, the old name of Edessa in Haran, and Serug to the West of it, once Osroene ; South-east was Resen and Ur of the Chaldees, places fixed by the genius of D'Anville before Niebuhr found them. The names of Nahor and Terah are the first names of persons.