E'gypt (or, more strictly, AEgypt, since the word is but anglicized from the Gr. and Lat. Αἴγυπτος, AEgyptus), a region important from the earliest times, and more closely identified with Bible incidents than any other, except the Holy Land itself. For a vindication of the harmony between Scripture history and the latest results of Egyptological research (Brugsch, Aus dem Orient, Berl. 1864), see Volck in the Dorpater Zeitschrift, 1867, 2, art. 2.
I. Names. — The common name of Egypt in the Hebrews Bible is Mizraim, מַצרִיַם, Mitsra'yim (or, more fully; "the land of Mizraim"). In form Mizraim is a dual, and accordingly it is generally joined with a plural verb. When, therefore, in Ge 10:6, Mizraim is mentioned as a son of Ham, some conclude that nothing more is meant than that Egypt was colonized by descendants of Ham. SEE MIZRAIM. The dual number doubtless indicates the natural division of the country into an upper and a lower region, the plain of the Delta and the narrow valley above, as it has been commonly divided at all times. The singular Mazor, מָצוֹר, Matsor', also occurs (2Ki 19:24; Isa 37:25; perhaps as a proper name in Isa 19:6; Mic 7:12; A.V. always as an appellative, "besieged city," etc.), and some suppose that it indicates Lower Egypt, the dual only properly meaning the whole country; but there is no sure ground for this assertion. SEE MAZOR. The mention of Mizraim and Pathros together (Isa 11:11; Jer 44:1,15), even if we adopt the explanation which supposes Mizraim to be in these places by a late usage put for Mazor, by no means proves that, since Pathros is a part of Egypt, Mizraim, or rather Mazor, is here a part also. The mention of a part of a country by the same term as the whole is very usual in Hebrew phraseology. This designation, at all events, is sometimes used for Egypt indiscriminately, and was by the later Arabs extended to the entire country. Josephus (Ant. 1:6, 2) says that all those who inhabit the country call it Mestre (Μέστρη), and the Egyptians Mestraeans (Μέστραιοι). The natives of Modern Egypt invariably designate it by the name Misr, evidently cognate with its ancient Hebrews appellation (Hackett's lllustra. of Scripture, page 120).
Egypt is also called in the Bible אֶרֶוֹ חָם, "the land of Ham" (Ps 105:23,27; compare Ps 78:51), referring to the son of Noah. SEE HAM. Occasionally (Ps 87:4; Ps 89:10; Isa 51:9) it is poetically styled Rahab, רִהִב, i.e., "the proud" or "insolent." SEE RAHAB. The common ancient Egyptian name of the country is written in hieroglyphics. SEE KEM
which was probably pronounced Chem; the demotic form is KEMI (Brugsch, Geographische Inschriften, 1:73, Number 362); and the Coptic forms are Chame or Chemi (Memphitic), Keme or Keme (Sahidic), and Knemi (Bashmuric). This name signifies, alike in the ancient language and in Coptic, "black," and may be supposed to have been given to the land on account of the blackness of its alluvial soil (comp. Plutarch, De Isaiah et Osir. c. 33). It would seem, however, to be rather a representative of the original Hebrews name Ham (i.e. Cham), which likewise in the Shemitic languages denotes sun-burnt, as a characteristic of African tribes. The other hieroglyphic names of Egypt appear to be of a poetical character.
The Greek and European name (ηΑ῾ἴγυπτος, Egyptus), Egypt, is of uncertain origin and signification (Champollion, L'Egypte, 1:77). It appears, however, to have some etymological connection with the modern name Copt, and is perhaps nothing more than "land of the Copts" (the prefix αἰ — being perhaps for αϊvἇγαῖα or γῆ). In Homer the Nile is sometimes (Odys. 4:351, 355; 14:257, 258) called Egypt (Αἴγυπτος).
II. Extent and Population. — Egypt occupies the northeastern angle of Africa, between N. lat. 31° 37' and 24° 1', and E. long. 27° 13' and 34° 12'. On the E. it is bounded by Palestine, Idumaea, Arabia Petraea, and the Arabian Gulf. On the W., the moving sands of the wide Libyan desert obliterate the traces of all political or physical limits. Inhabited Egypt, however, is restricted to the valley of the Nile, which, having a breadth of from two to three miles, is enclosed on both sides by a range of hills: the chain on the 'eastern side disappears at Mokattam, that on the west extends to the sea. Its limits appear to have always been very nearly the same. In Eze 29:10; Eze 30:6, according to the obviously correct rendering, SEE MIGDOL, the whole country is spoken of as extending from Migdol to Syene, which indicates the same limits to the east and the south as at present. Egypt seems, however, to have always been held, except by the modern geographers, to include no more than the tract irrigated by the Nile lying within the limits we have specified. The deserts were at all times wholly different from the valley, and their tribes more or less independent of the rulers of Egypt. Syene, now Aswan, is also assigned by Greek and Arabian writers as the southern limit of Egypt. Here the Nile issues from the granite rocks of the cataracts, and enters Egypt proper. The length of the country, therefore, in a direct line, is 456 geographical miles. The breadth of the valley between Aswan and the Delta is very unequal; in some places the inundations of the river extend to the foot of the mountains; in other parts there remains a strip of a mile or two in breadth, which the water never covers, and which is therefore always dry and barren. Originally the name Egypt designated only this valley and the Delta; but at a later period it came to include also the region between this and the Red Sea from Berenice to Suez, a strong and mountainous tract, with only a few spots fit for tillage, but better adapted to pasturage. It included also, at this time, the adjacent desert on the west, as far as to the oases, those fertile and inhabited islands in the ocean of sand. The name Delta, also, was extended so as to cover the districts between Pelusium and the border of Palestine, and Arabia Petraea; and on the west it included the adjacent tract as far as to the great deserts of Libya and Barca, a region of sand of three days' journey east and west, and as many north and south.
Egypt, in the extensive sense, contains 115,200 square geographical miles, yet it has only a superficies of about 9582 square geographical miles of soil, which the Nile either does or can water and fertilize. This computation includes the river and lakes as well as sandy tracts which can be inundated, and the whole space either cultivated or fit for cultivation is no more than about 5626 square miles. Anciently 2735 square miles more may have been cultivated, and now it would be possible at once to reclaim about 1295 square miles. These computations are those of Colonel Jacotin and M. Esteve, given in the Memoir of the former in the great French work (Description de l'Egypte, 2d edition 18, part 2, page 101 sq.). They must be very nearly true of the actual state of the country at the present time. Mr. Lane calculated the extent of the cultivated land in A.D. 1375-6 to be 5500 square geographical miles, from a list of the cultivated lands of towns and villages appended to De Sacy's Abd-Ahatif. He thinks this list may be underrated. M. Mengin made the cultivated land much less in 1821, but since then much waste territory has been reclaimed (Mrs. Poole, Englishwoman in Egypt, 1:85). The chief differences in the character of the surface in the times before the Christian era were that the long valley through which flowed the canal between the Nile and the Red Sea was then cultivated, and that the Gulf of Suez perhaps extended further north than at present.
As to the number of its inhabitants, nothing very definite is known. Its fertility would doubtless give birth to and support a teeming population. In very remote times as many as 8,000,000 souls are said to have lived on its soil. In the days of Diodorus Siculus they were estimated at 3,000,000. Volney made the number 2,300,000. A late government estimate is 3,200,000, which seems to have been somewhat below the fact (Bowring's Report on Egypt and Candia, page 4). According to the census taken in 1882, the inhabitants number 6,817,265 in Egypt proper. The Copts are estimated at 300,000, the Bedouins being the most in number. Seven eighths of the entire population are native Mohammedans. In Alexandria, at the close of the last century, scarcely 40,000 inhabitants were counted, whereas at present that city contains 300,000, about half of whom are Arabs and half Europeans. The nationality of the latter has been ascertained to be as follows (the figures represent thousands): Greeks, 25; Italians, 18; French, 16; Anglo-Maltese, 13; Syrians and natives of the Levant, 12; Germans and Swiss, 10; various, 6. Cairo, the capital, contains upwards of 400,000 inhabitants; within its walls are 140 schools, more than 400 mosques, 1166 cafes, 65 public baths, and 11 bazaars. The other towns of importance, from their population, are, in Lower Egypt, Damietta, 45,000; Rosetta, 20,000; and in Upper Egypt, Syout, on the left bank of the Nile, numbering 20,000 souls.
III. Geographical Divisions. — Under the Pharaohs Egypt was divided into Upper and Lower, "the two regions" TA-TI? called respectively "the Southern Region" TA-RES, and "the Northern Region" TAMEHIT. There were different crowns for the two regions, that of Upper Egypt being white, and that of Lower Egypt red, the two together composing the pshent. The sovereign had a special title as ruler of each region: of Upper Egypt he was SUTEN, "king," and of Lower Egypt SHEBT, "bee," the two combined forming the common title SUTEN-SHEBT. The initial sign of the former name is a bent reed, which illustrates what seems to have been a proverbial expression in Palestine as to the danger of trusting to the Pharaohs and Egypt (1Ki 18:21; Isa 36:6; Eze 29:6): the latter name may throw light upon the comparison of the king of Egypt to a fly, and the king of Assyria to a bee (Isa 7:18). It must be remarked that Upper Egypt is always mentioned before Lower Egypt, and that the crown of the former in the pshent rises above that of the latter. In subsequent times the same division continued. Manetho speaks of it (ap. Josephus, c. Apion. 1:14), and under the Ptolemies it still prevailed. In the time of the Greeks and Romans, Upper Egypt was divided into the Heptanomis and the Thebais, making altogether three provinces, but the division of the whole country into two was even then the most usual. The Thebais extended from the first cataract at Philae to Hermopolis, the Heptanomis from Hermopolis to the point where the Delta begins to form itself. About A.D. 400 Egypt was divided into four provinces, Augustamnica Prima and Secunda, and AEgyptus Prima and Secunda. The Heptanomis was called Arcadia, from the emperor Arcadius, and Upper Egypt was divided into Upper and Lower Thebais.
From a remote period Egypt was subdivided into nomes (HESPU, sing. HESP), each one of which had its special objects of worship. The monuments show that this division was as old as the earlier part of the twelfth dynasty, which began cir. B.C. 1900. They are said to have been first 36 in number (Diod. Sic. 1:54; Strabo, 17:1). Ptolemy enumerates 44, and Pliny 46; afterwards they were further increased. There is no distinct reference to them in the Bible. In the Sept. version, indeed, מִמלָכָה (Isa 19:2) is rendered by νόμος, but we have no warrant for translating it otherwise than "kingdom." It is probable that at that time there were two, if not three kingdoms in the country. Two provinces or districts of Egypt are mentioned in the Bible, Pathros (q.v.) and Caphtor (q.v.); the former appears to have been part of Upper Egypt; the latter was evidently so, and must be represented by the Coptite nome, although no doubt of greater extent. The division into nomes was more or less maintained till the invasion of the Saracens. Egypt is now composed of 24 departments, which, according to the French system of geographical arrangement, are subdivided into arrondissements and cantons (Bowring's Report).
IV. Surface, Climate, etc. — The general appearance of the country cannot have greatly changed since the days of Moses. The Delta was always a vast level plain, although of old more perfectly watered than now by the branches of the Nile and numerous canals, while the narrow valley of Upper Egypt must have suffered still less alteration. Anciently, however, the rushes must have been abundant; whereas now they have almost disappeared except in the lakes. The whole country is remarkable for its extreme fertility, which especially strikes the beholder when the rich green of the fields is contrasted with the utterly bare yellow mountains or the sand-strewn rocky desert on either side. Thus the plain of Jordan, before the cities were destroyed, was, we read, "well watered everywhere" ... . "[even] like a garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt" (Ge 13:10). The aspect of Egypt is remarkably uniform. The Delta is a richly cultivated plain, varied only by the mounds of ancient cities and occasional groves of palms. Other trees are seldom met with. The valley in Upper Egypt is also richly cultivated. It is, however, very narrow, and shut in by low hills, rarely higher than 300 feet, which have the appearance of cliffs from the river, and are not often steep. They, in fact, form the border of the desert on either side, and the valley seems to have been, as it were, cut out of a table-land of rock. The valley is rarely more than twelve miles across. The bright green of the fields, the reddish-brown or dull green color of the great river, the tints of the bare yellow rocks, and the deep blue of the sky, always form a pleasant view, and often one of great beauty. The soil consists of the mud of the river, resting upon desert sands; hence this country owes its existence, fertility, and beauty to the Nile, whose annual overflow is indispensable for the purposes of agriculture. The country around Syene and the cataracts is highly picturesque; the other parts of Egypt, and especially the Delta, are exceedingly uniform and monotonous. The prospect, however, is extremely different, according to the season of the year. From the middle of the spring season, when the harvest is over, one sees nothing but a gray and dusty soil, so full of cracks and chasms that he can hardly pass along. At the time of the autumnal equinox, the whole country presents nothing but an immeasurable surface of reddish or yellowish water, out of which rise date-trees, villages, and narrow dams, which serve as a means of communication. After the waters have retreated, which usually remain only a short time at this height, you see, till the end of autumn, only a black and slimy mud. But in winter nature puts on all her splendor. In this season, the freshness and power of the new vegetation, the variety and abundance of vegetable productions, exceed everything that is known in the most celebrated parts of the European continent; and Egypt is then, from one end of the country to the other, nothing but a beautiful garden, a verdant meadow, a field sown with flowers, or a waving ocean of grain in the ear.
The climate is very equable, and, to those who can bear great heat, also healthy; indeed, in the opinion of some, the climate of Egypt is one of the finest in the world. There are, however, unwholesome tracts of salt marsh which are to be avoided. Rain seldom falls except on the coast of the Mediterranean. At Thebes a storm will occur, perhaps, not oftener than once in four years. Cultivation nowhere depends upon rain or showers. This absence of rain is mentioned in De 11:10-11) as rendering artificial irrigation necessary, unlike the case of Palestine, and in Zec 14:18 as peculiar to the country. The atmosphere is clear and shining; a shade is not easily found. Though rain falls even in the winter months very rarely, it is not altogether wanting, as was once believed. Thunder and lightning are still more infrequent, and are so completely divested of their terrific qualities that the Egyptians never associate with them the idea of destructive force. Showers of hail descending from the hills of Syria are sometimes known to reach the confines of Egypt. The formation of ice is very uncommon. Dew is produced in great abundance. The wind blows from the north from May to September, when it veers round to the east, assumes a southerly direction, and fluctuates till the close of April. The southerly vernal winds, traversing the arid sands of Africa, are most changeable as well as most unhealthy. They form the simoom or samiel, and have proved fatal to caravans and even to armies (View of Ancient and Modern Egypt, Edin. Cab. Library).
Egypt has been visited at all ages by severe pestilences, but it cannot be determined that any of those of ancient times were of the character of the modern plague. The plague with which the Egyptians are threatened in Zechariah (l.c.) is described by a word, מִגֵּפָה, which is not specially applicable to a pestilence of their country (see verse 12). SEE BOTCH. Cutaneous disorders, which have always been very prevalent in Egypt, are distinctly mentioned as peculiar to the country (De 7:15; De 28:27,35,60, and perhaps Ex 15:20, though here the reference may be to the plague of boils), and as punishments to the Israelites in case of disobedience, whereas if they obeyed they were to be preserved from them. The Egyptian calumny that made the Israelites a body of lepers and unclean (Joseph. c. Apion.) is thus refuted, and the traditional tale as to the Exodus given by Manetho shown to be altogether wrong in its main facts, which depend upon the truth of this assertion. Famines are frequent, and one in the Middle Ages, in the time of the Fatimite caliphate El-Mustansir- billah, seems to have been even more severe than that of Joseph. Mosquitoes, locusts, frogs, together with the small-pox and leprosy, are the great evils of the country. Ophthalmia is also very prevalent. SEE DISEASE.
V. The Nile. — Egypt is the land of the Nile, the country through which that river flows from the island of Philas, situated just above the Cataracts of Syene, in lat. 24° 1' 36", to Damietta, in 31° 35' N., where its principal stream pours itself into the Mediterranean Sea. In lat. 30° 15' the Nile divides into two principal streams, which, in conjunction with a third that springs somewhat higher up, forms the Delta, so called from its resemblance to the Greek letter Δ. At Khartum, 160 miles north of Sennar, the Nile forks into two rivers, called Bahr el-Abiad and Bahr el-Azrak, or the white and blue river, the former flowing from the west, the latter from the east. The blue river is the smaller of these, but it possesses the same fertilizing qualities as the Nile, and is of the same color. The sources of this river were discovered by Bruce; those of the white river were, until quite recently, undiscovered. They are now known to flow from lakes situated among the mountains south of the equator (Beke, Sources of the Nile, Lond. 1860). Most ancient writers mention seven mouths of the Nile, beginning from the east: 1, Pelusiac or Bubastic; 2, Saitic or Tanitic; 3, Mendesian; 4, Bucolic or Phatmetic (now of Damietta); 5, Sebennytic; 6, Bolbitine (now of Rosetta); 7, Canopic or Heracleotic.
The Nile is called in the Bible Shichor', שַׁיחוֹר, or "the black (river)"; also eor' , יאוֹר, יאֹר, "the river." As to the phrases נִהִר מַצרִיַם, "the river of Egypt," and נִחִל מַצרִיַם, "the brook of Egypt," it seems unlikely that the Nile should be so specified; and נחל or נהר here more probably denotes a mountain stream, usually dry, on the borders of Egypt and Palestine, near the modern El-Arish (Nu 34:5; Jos 13:3, etc.). SEE EGYPT, RIVER OF. Some have thought that נחל is the origin of the word Nile; others have been anxious to find it in the Sanscrit Nila, which means dark blue. The Indus is called Nil-ab, or "the blue river;" the Sutlej also is known as "the blue river." It is to be observed that the Low Nile was painted blue by the ancient Egyptians. The river is turbid and reddish throughout the year, and turns green about the time when the signs of rising commence, but not long after becomes red and very turbid. The Coptic word is iom, "sea," which corresponds to the Arab name for it, bahr, properly sea; thus Na 3:3, " Populous No (Thebes), whose rampart was the sea." In Egyptian the Nile bore the sacred appellation HAPI, or HAPI-MU, "the abyss," or "the abyss of waters." As Egypt was divided into two regions, we find two Niles, HAPI-RES, "the Southern Nile," and HAPI-MEHIT, "the Northern Nile," the former name being given to the river in Upper Egypt and in Nubia. The common appellation is ATUR, or AUR, "the river," which may be compared with the Hebrews Yeor.
The inundation, HAPI-UR, "great Nile," or "high Nile," fertilizes and sustains the country, and makes the river its chief blessing, a very low inundation or failure of rising being the cause of famine. The Nile was on this account anciently worshipped, and the plague in which its waters were turned into blood, while injurious to the river itself and its fish (Ex 7:21; Ps 105:29), was a reproof to the superstition of the Egyptians. The rise begins in Egypt about the summer solstice, and the inundation commences about two months later. The greatest height is attained about or somewhat after the autumnal equinox. The inundation lasts about three months. During this time, and especially when near the highest, the river rapidly pours along its red turbid waters, and spreads through openings in its banks over the whole valley and plain. The prophet Amos, speaking of the ruin of Israel, metaphorically says that "the land ... shall be drowned, as [by] the flood [river] of Egypt" (Am 8:8; Am 9:5). Owing to the yearly deposit of alluvial matter, both the bed of the Nile and the land of Egypt are gradually raised. The river proceeds in its current uniformly and quietly at the rate of two and a half or three miles an hour, always deep enough for navigation. Its water is usually blue, but it becomes of a deep brick-red during the period of its overflow. It is salubrious for drinking, meriting the encomiums which it has so abundantly received. On the river the land is wholly dependent. If the Nile does not rise a sufficient height, sterility and dearth, if not famine, ensue. An elevation of sixteen cubits is essential to secure the prosperity of the country. Such, however, is the regularity of nature, and such the faithfulness of God, that for thousands of years, with but few and partial exceptions, these inundations have in essential particulars been the same. The waters of the stream are conveyed over the surface of the country by canals when natural channels fail. During the overflow the land is literally inundated, and has the appearance of a sea dotted with islands. Wherever the waters reach abundance springs forth. The cultivator has scarcely more to do than to scatter the seed. No wonder that a river whose waters are so grateful, salubrious, and beneficial should in days of ignorance have been regarded as an object of worship, and that it is still revered and beloved. SEE NILE.
VI. Geology. — The fertile plain of the Delta and the valley of Upper Egypt are bounded by rocky deserts covered or strewn with sand. On either side of the plain they are low, but they overlook the valley, above which they rise so steeply as from the river to present the aspect of cliffs. The formation is limestone as far as a little above Thebes, where sandstone begins. The First Cataract, the southern limit of Egypt, is caused by granite and other primitive rocks, which rise through the sandstone and obstruct the river's bed. In Upper Egypt the mountains near the Nile rarely exceed 300 feet in height, but far in the eastern desert they often attain a much greater elevation. The highest is Jebel Gharib, which rises about 6000 feet above the sea. Limestone, sandstone, and granite were obtained from quarries near the river; basalt, breccia, and porphyry from others in the eastern desert between the Thebais and the Red Sea. A geological change has, it is thought, in the course of centuries raised the country near the head of the Gulf of Suez, and depressed that on the northern side of the isthmus. The Delta is of a triangular form, its eastern and western limits being nearly marked by the courses of the ancient Pelusiac and Canopic branches of the Nile: Upper Egypt is a narrow winding valley, varying in breadth; but seldom more than twelve miles across, and generally broadest on the western side. Anciently there was a fertile valley on the course of the Canal of the Red Sea, the Land of Goshen (q.v.), now called Wady Tumeilat: this is covered with the sands of the desert. To the south, on the opposite side, is the oasis now called the Feyum, the old Arsinoite Nome, connected with the valley by a neck of cultivated land.
VII. Agriculture, etc. — The ancient prosperity of Egypt is attested by the Bible, as well as by the numerous monuments of the country. As early as the age of the Great Pyramid it must have been densely populated and well able to support its inhabitants, for it cannot be supposed that there was then much external traffic. In such a climate the wants of man are few, and nature is liberal in necessary food. Even the Israelites in their hard bondage did "eat freely" the fish, and the vegetables, and fruits of the country, and ever afterwards they longed to return to the idle plenty of a land where even now starvation is unknown. The contrast of the present state of Egypt with its former prosperity is more to be ascribed to political than to physical causes. It is true that the branches of the Nile have failed, the canals and the artificial lakes and ponds for fish are dried up; that the reeds and other water-plants which were of value in commerce, and a shelter for wild-fowl, have in most parts perished; that the Land of Goshen, once, at least for pasture, "the best of the land" (Ge 47:6,11), is now sand- strewn and unwatered, so as scarcely to be distinguished from the desert around, and that the predictions of the prophets have thus received a literal fulfillment (see especially Isa 19:5-10), yet this has not been by any irresistible aggression of nature, but because Egypt, smitten and accursed, has lost all strength and energy. The population is not large enough for the cultivation of the land now fit for culture, and long oppression has taken from it the power and the will to advance.
Egypt is naturally an agricultural country. As far back as the days of Abraham, we find that when the produce failed in Palestine, Egypt was the natural resource. In the time of Joseph it was evidently the granary — at least during famines — of the nations around (Ge 12:10; compare Ex 16:3; Josephus, Ant. 15:9, 2). The inundation, as taking the place of rain, has always rendered the system of agriculture peculiar; and the artificial irrigation during the time of low Nile is necessarily on the same principle. We read of the Land of Promise that it is "not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst [it] with thy foot, as a garden of herbs: but the land whither thou goest in to possess it, [is] a land of hills and valleys, [and] drinketh water of the rain of heaven" (De 11:10-11). Watering with the foot may refer to, some mode of irrigation by a machine, but we are inclined to thinly that it is an idiomatic expression implying a laborious work. The monuments do not afford a representation of the supposed machine. That now called the shaduf, which is a pole having a weight at one end and a bucket at the other, so hung that the laborer is aided by the weight in raising the full bucket, is depicted, and seems to have been the common means of artificial irrigation (q.v.). There are detailed pictures of breaking up the earth, or ploughing, sowing, harvest, threshing, and storing the wheat in granaries. SEE AGRICULTURE. The threshing was simply treading out by oxen or cows, unmuzzled (compare De 25:4). The processes of agriculture began as soon as the water of the inundation had sunk into the soil, about a month after the autumnal equinox (Ex 9:31-32) Vines were extensively cultivated, and there were several different kinds of wine, one of which, the Mareotic, was famous among the Romans. Of other fruit-trees, the date-palm was the most common and valuable. The gardens resembled the fields, being watered in the same manner by irrigation. SEE GARDEN; SEE VINEYARD. On the tenure of land much light is thrown by the history of Joseph. Before the famine each city and large village — for עַיר must be held to have a wider signification than our city" — had its field (Ge 41:48); but Joseph gained for Pharaoh all the land, except that of the priests, in exchange for food, and required for the right thus obtained a fifth of the produce, which became a law (Ge 47:20-26). The evidence of the monuments, though not very explicit, seems to show that this law was ever afterwards in force under the Pharaohs. There does not seem to have been any hereditary aristocracy, except perhaps at an earlier time, and it is not impossible that these lands may have been held during tenure of office or for life. The temples had lands which of course were inalienable. Diodorus Siculus states that all the lands belonged to the crown except those of the priests and the soldiers (1:73). It is probable that the latter, when not employed on active service, received no pay, but were supported by the crown lands, and occupied them for the time as their own. SEE LAND.
The great lakes in the north of Egypt were anciently of high importance, especially for their fisheries and the growth of the papyrus. Lake Menzeleh, the most eastern of the existing lakes, has still large fisheries, which support the people who live on its islands and shore, the rude successors of the independent Egyptians of the Bucolia. Lake Moeris, anciently so celebrated, was an artificial lake between Beni-Suweif and Medinet el- Feyum. It was of use to irrigate the neighboring country, and its fisheries yielded a great revenue. SEE ANGLING. It is now entirely dried up. The canals are now far less numerous than of old, and many of them are choked and comparatively useless. The Bahr Yusuf, or "river of Joseph" — not the patriarch, but the famous sultan Yusuf Salah-ed-deen, who repaired it is a long series of canals, near the desert on the west side of the river, extending northward from Farshut for about 350 miles to a little below Memphis. This was probably a work of very ancient times. There can be no doubt of the high antiquity of the canal of the Red Sea, upon which the Land of Goshen mainly depended for its fertility. It does not follow, however, that it originally connected the Nile and the Red Sea.
VIII. Botany. — The cultivable land of Egypt consists almost wholly of fields, in which are very few trees. There are no forests and few groves, except of date-palms, and in Lower Egypt a few of orange and lemon trees. There are also sycamores, mulberry trees, and acacias, either planted on the sides of roads or standing singly in the fields. The Theban palm grows in the Thebais, generally in clumps. All these, except, perhaps, the mulberry-tree, were anciently common in the country. The two kinds of palm are represented on the monuments, and sycamore and acacia-wood are the materials of various objects made by the ancient inhabitants. The chief fruits are the date, grape, fig, sycamore-fig, pomegranate, banana, many kinds of melons, and the olive; and there are many others less common or important. These were also of old produced in the country. Anciently gardens seem to have received great attention, to have been elaborately planned, and well filled with trees and shrubs. Now horticulture is neglected, although the modern inhabitants are as fond of flowers as were their predecessors. The vegetables are of many kinds and excellent, and form the chief food of the common people. Anciently cattle seem to have been more numerous, and their meat, therefore, more usually eaten, but never as much so as in colder climates. The Israelites in the desert, though they looked back to the time when they "sat by the flesh-pots" (Ex 16:3), seem as much to have regretted the vegetables and fruits, as the flesh and fish of Egypt. "Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish which we did eat in Egypt freely, the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic" (Nu 11:4-5). The chief vegetables now are beans, peas, lentils, of which an excellent thick pottage is made (Ge 25:34), leeks, onions, garlic, radishes, carrots, cabbages, gourds, cucumbers, the tomato, and the eggfruit. There are many besides these. The most important field-produce in ancient times was wheat; after it must be placed barley, millet, flax, and, among the vegetables, lentils, peas, and beans. At the present day the same is the case; but maize, rice, oats, clover, the sugar-cane, roses, the tobacco-plant, hemp, and cotton, must be added, some of which are not indigenous. In the account of the plague of hail four kinds of field-produce are mentioned — flax, barley, wheat, and כֻּסֶּמֶת (Ex 9:31-32), which is variously rendered in the A.V. "rye" (l.c.), "spelt" (Isa 28:25), and "fitches" (Isa 28:27). It is doubted whether the last be a cereal or a leguminous product: we incline to the former opinion. SEE RYE.
It is clear from the evidence of the monuments and of ancient writers that, of old, reeds were far more common in Egypt than now. The byblus or papyrus is almost or quite unknown. Anciently it was a common and most important plant: boats were made of its stalks, and of their thin leaves the famous paper was manufactured. It appears to be mentioned under two names in the Bible, neither of which, however, can be proved to be a peculiar designation for it.
(1.) The mother of Moses made תֵּבִת גֹּמֶא, "an ark" or "skiff" "of papyrus," in which to put her child (Ex 2:3), and Isaiah tells of messengers sent apparently from farthest Ethiopia in כּלֵי9גֹמֶא , "vessels of papyrus" (Isa 18:2), in both which cases גמא must mean papyrus, although it would seem in other places to signify "reeds" generically.
(2.) Isaiah prophesies, "The papyrus-reeds (עָרוֹת) in the river (יאוֹר), on the edge of the river, and everything growing [lit. sown] in the river shall be dried up, driven away [by the wind], and [shall] not be" (Isa 19:7). Gesenius renders עָרָה a naked or bare place, here grassy places on the banks of the Nile. Apart from the fact that little grass grows on the banks of the Nile, in Egypt, and that little only during the cooler part of the year, instead of those sloping meadows that must have been in the European scholar's mind, this word must mean some product of the river which with the other water plants should be dried up, and blown away, and utterly disappear. Like the fisheries and the flax mentioned with it, it ought to hold an important place in the commerce of ancient Egypt. In can therefore scarcely be reasonably held to intend anything but the papyrus. SEE PAPER REED.
The marine and fluvial product סוּŠ, from which the Red Sea was called יִםאּסוּŠ, will be noticed under RED SEA. The lotus was anciently the favorite flower, and at feasts it took the place of the rose among the Greek and Arabs: it is now very rare.
IX. Zoology. — Anciently Egypt was far more a pastoral country than at present. The neat cattle are still excellent, but lean kine are more common among them than they seem to have been in the days of Joseph's Pharaoh (Ge 41:19). Sheep and goats have always been numerous. Anciently swine were kept, but not in great numbers; now there are none, or scarcely any, except a few in the houses of Copts and Franks. The Egyptian oxen were celebrated in the ancient world (Aristot. Hist. Anim. 8:28). — Horses abounded (1Ki 10:28); hence the use of war- chariots in fight (Isa 31:1; Diod. Sic. 1:45), and the celebrity of Egyptian charioteers (Jer 46:4; Eze 17:15). Under the Pharaohs the horses of the country were in repute among the neighboring nations who purchased them as well as chariots out of Egypt. Thus it is commanded respecting a king of Israel: "He shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way" (De 17:16), which shows that the trade in horses was with Egypt, and would necessitate a close alliance. "Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt; and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price. And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred [shekels] of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty; and so for all the kings of the Hittites and for the kings of Syria did they bring [them] out by their hand" (1Ki 10:28-29). The number of horses kept by this king for chariots and cavalry was large (1Ki 4:26; 1Ki 10:26; 2Ch 1:14; 2Ch 9:25). Some of these horses came as yearly tribute from his vassals (1Ki 10:25). In later times the prophets reproved the people for trusting in the help of Egypt, and relying on the aid of her horses and chariots and horsemen, that is, probably, men in chariots, as we shall show in speaking of the Egyptian armies. The kings of the Hittites, mentioned in the passage quoted above, and in the account of the close of the siege of Samaria by Benhadad, where we read, "The Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, [even] the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to come upon us" (2Ki 7:6)-these kings ruled the Hittites of the valley of the Orontes, who were called by the Egyptians SHETA or KHETA. The Pharaohs of the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties waged fierce wars with these Hittites, who were then ruled by a great king and many chiefs, and whose principal arm was a force of chariots, resembling those of the Egyptian army. —Asses were anciently numerous: the breed at the present time is excellent. — Buffaloes are common, and not wild. — Dogs were formerly more prized than now; for, being held by most of the Moslems to be extremely unclean, they are only used to watch the houses in the villages. — Cats are as numerous, but less favored. — The camel has nowhere been found mentioned in the inscriptions of Egypt, or represented on the monuments. In the Bible Abraham is spoken of as having camels when in Egypt, apparently as a gift from Pharaoh (Ge 12:16), and before the Exodus the camels of Pharaoh or his subjects were to be smitten by the murrain (Ex 9:3; compare verse 6). Both these Pharaohs may have been shepherds. The Ishmaelites or Midianites who took Joseph into Egypt carried their merchandise on camels (Ge 37:25,28,36), and the land traffic of the Arabs must always have been by caravans of camels; but it is probable that camels were not kept in Egypt, but only on the frontier. On the black obelisk from Nimrud, now in the British Museum, which is of Shalmanubar, king of Assyria, contemporary with Jehu and Hazael, camels are represented among objects sent as tribute by Egypt. They are of the two-humped sort, which, though perhaps then common in Assyria, has never, so far as is known, been kept in Egypt. — The deserts have always abounded in wild animals, especially of the canine and antelope kinds. The wolf, fox, jackal, hyena, wild cat, weasel, ichneumon, jerboa, and hare are also met with. — Anciently the hippopotamus was found in the Egyptian Nile, and hunted. This is a fact of importance for those who suppose it to be the behemoth (q.v.) of the book of Job, especially as that book shows evidence of a knowledge of Egypt. Now this animal is rarely seen even in Lower Nubia. — The elephant may have been, in the remotest historical period, an inhabitant of Egypt, and, as a land animal, have been driven further south than his brother pachyderm, for the name of the island of Elephantine, just below the First Cataract, in hieroglyphics, AB. "Elephant- land," seems to show that he was anciently found there. — Bats abound in the temples and tombs, filling the dark and desecrated chambers and passages with the unearthly whirr of their wings. Such desolation is represented by Isaiah when he says that a man shall cast his idols "to the moles and to the bats" (Isa 2:20). See each animal in its place.
The birds of Egypt are not remarkable for beauty of plumage: in so open a country this is natural. The Rapaces are numerous, but the most common are scavengers, as vultures and the kite. Eagles and falcons also are plentiful. Quails migrate to Egypt in great numbers. The Grallitores and Anseres abound on the islands and sandbanks of the river, and in the sides of the mountains which approach or touch the stream.
Among the reptiles, the crocodile (q.v.) must be especially mentioned. In the Bible it is usually called תִּנַּין, תִּנַּים, "dragon," a generic word of almost as wide a signification as "reptile," and is used as a symbol of the king of Egypt. Thus, in Ezekiel, "Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh, king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river [is] mine own, and I have made [it] for myself. But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales. And I will leave thee [thrown] into the wilderness, thee and all the fish of thy rivers ... I have given thee for meat to the beasts of the field and to the fowls of the heaven" (Eze 29:3-5). Here there seems to be a retrospect of the Exodus (which is thus described in Isa 51:9-10,15), and with a more close resemblance in Ps 74:13-14, "Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons (תִנַּינַים) in the waters. Thou brakest the heads of leviathan (לַויָתָן) in pieces, [and] gavest him [to be] meat to the dwellers in the wilderness" (צַיַּים, i.e., to the wild beasts; comp. Isa 13:21). The last passage is important as indicating that whereas תנין is the Hebrew generic name of reptiles, and therefore used for the greatest of them, the crocodile, לויתן is the special name of that animal. The description of leviathan in Job (Job 41) fully bears out this opinion, and it is doubtful if any passage can be adduced in which a wider signification of the latter word is required. In Job 26:12 also there is an apparent allusion to the Exodus in words similar to those in Isa 51:9-10,15?), but without mention of the dragon. In this case the division of the sea and the smiting of Rahab, רָהִב, the proud or insolent, are mentioned in connection with the wonders of creation (verses 7-11, 13): so, too, in Isaiah (verses 13, 15). The crossing of the Red Sea could be thus spoken of as a signal exercise of the divine power. — Frogs are very numerous in Egypt, and their loud and constant croaking in the autumn in "the streams," נהָרֹת, "the rivers," יאֹרַים, and "the ponds" or "marshes," אֲגִמַּים (Ex 8:1, A.V. 5), makes it not difficult to picture the Plague of Frogs. — Serpents and snakes are also common, including the deadly cerastes and the cobra di capello; but the more venomous have their home in the desert (comp. De 8:15).
The Nile and lakes have an abundance of fishes; and although the fisheries of Egypt have very greatly fallen away, their produce is still a common article of food.
Among the insects the locusts must be mentioned, which sometimes come upon the cultivated land in a cloud, and, as in the plague, eat every herb, and fruit, and leaf where they alight; but they never, as then, overspread the whole land (Ex 10:3-6,299). They disappear as suddenly as they come, and are carried away by the wind (verse 19). As to the lice and flies, they are now plagues of Egypt, but it is not certain that the words כַּנָּם and עָרֹב designate them (Ex 8:16-31). The dangerous scorpion is frequently met with. Beetles of various kinds are found, including the sacred scarabaeus. Bees and silkworms are kept, but the honey is not very good, and the silk is inferior to that of Syria.
X. Ancient Inhabitants. — The old inhabitants of Egypt appear from their monuments and the testimony of ancient writers to have occupied in race a place between the Nigritians and the Caucasians. The constant immigrations of Arab settlers have greatly diminished the Nigritian characteristics in the generality of the modern Egyptians. The most recent inquiries have shown that the extreme limit at Philae was only of a political nature, for the natives of the country below it were of the same race as those who lived above that spot — a tribe which passed down into the fertile valley of the Nile from its original abode in the south. These Ethiopians and the Egyptians were not negroes, but a branch of the great Caucasian family. Their frame was slender, but of great strength. Their faces appear to have been oval in shape, and narrower in the men than in the women. The forehead was well-shaped, but small and retiring; the eyes were almond-shaped and mostly black; the hair was long, crisp, and generally black; the skin of the men was dark brown, chiefly from exposure; that of the women was olive-colored or even lighter. The women were very fruitful (Strabo, 15, page 695; Heeren, Ideen, 11:2, 10). The ancient dress was far more scanty than the modern, and in this matter, as in manners and character, the influence of the Arab race is also very apparent. The ancient Egyptians in character were very religious and contemplative, but given to base superstition, patriotic, respectful to women, hospitable, generally frugal, but at times luxurious, very sensual, lying, thieving, treacherous, and cringing, and intensely prejudiced, through pride of race, against strangers, although kind to them. This is very much the character of the modern inhabitants, except that Mohammedanism has taken away the respect for women. The ancient Egyptians are indeed the only early Eastern nation that we know to have resembled the modern Westerns in this particular; but we find the same virtue markedly to characterize the Nigritians of our day. That the Egyptians in general treated the Israelites with kindness while they were in their country, even during the oppression, seems almost certain from the privilege of admission into the congregation in the third generation, granted to them in the Law, with the Edomites, while the Ammonites and Moabites were absolutely excluded, the reference in three out of the four cases being to the stay in Egypt, and the entrance into Palestine (De 23:3-8). This supposition is important in its bearing on the history of the oppression.
XI. Language. — The ancient Egyptian language, from the earliest period at which it is known to us, is an agglutinate monosyllabic form of speech. It is expressed by the signs which we call hieroglyphics. The character of the language is compound: it consists of elements resembling those of the Nigritian languages and the Chinese language on the one hand, and those of the Shemitic languages on the other. All those who have studied the African languages make a distinct family of several of those languages, spoken in the north-east quarter of the continent, in which family they include the ancient Egyptian; while every Shemitic scholar easily recognizes in Egyptian, Shemitic pronouns and other elements, and a predominantly Shemitic grammar. As in person, character, and religion, so in language we find two distinct elements, mixed but not fused, and here the Nigritian element seems unquestionably the earlier, Bunsen asserts that this language is "ante-historical Shemitism:" we think it enough to say that no Shemitic scholar has accepted his theory. For a full discussion of the question, see Poole, The Genesis of the Earth and of Man, chapter 6. As early as the age of the 26th dynasty, a vulgar dialect was expressed in the demotic or enchorial writing. This dialect forms the link connecting the old language with the Coptic or Christian Egyptian, the latest phase. The Coptic does not very greatly differ from the monumental language, distinguished in the time of the demotic as the sacred dialect, except in the presence of many Greek words. SEE COPTIC LANGUAGE.
The language of the ancient Egyptians was entirely unknown until the discoveries made by Dr. Young from the celebrated Rosetta stone, now preserved in the British Museum. This stone is a slab of black marble, which was found by the French in August 1799, among the ruins of Fort St. Julien, on the western bank, and near the mouth of the Rosetta branch of the Nile. It contains a decree in three different kinds of writing, referring to the coronation of Ptolemy V (Epiphanes), and is supposed to have been sculptured B.C. cir. 195. As part of the inscription is in Greek, it was easily deciphered, and was found to state that the decree was ordered to be written in sacred, enchorial, and Greek characters. Thence, by carefully comparing the three inscriptions, a key was obtained to the interpretation of the mysterious hieroglyphics. The language which they express closely resembles that which was afterwards called Coptic when the people had become Christians. It is monosyllabic in its roots, and abounds in vowels. There were at least two dialects of it, spoken respectively in Upper and Lower Egypt. SEE ROSETTA STONE.
"The wisdom of Egypt" was a phrase which, at an early period, passed into a proverb, so high was the opinion entertained by antiquity of the knowledge and skill of the ancient Egyptians (1Ki 4:30; Herod. 2:160; Josephus, Ant. 8:25; Ac 7:22). Nor, as the sequel of this article will show, were there wanting substantial reasons for the current estimate. If, however, antiquity did not on this point exceed the bounds of moderation, very certain is it that men of later ages are chargeable with the utmost extravagance in the terms which they employed when speaking on the subject. It was long thought that the hieroglyphical inscriptions on the monumental remains of Egypt contained treasures of wisdom no less boundless than hidden; and, indeed, hieroglyphics were, in the opinion of some, invented by the priests of the land, if not expressly to conceal their knowledge from the profane vulgar, yet as a safe receptacle and convenient storehouse for their mysterious but invaluable doctrines. Great, consequently, was the expectation of the public when it was announced that a key had been discovered which opened the portal to these long- concealed treasures. The result has not been altogether correspondent, especially with regard to the presumed secrets of ancient lore. Men of profound learning, great acuteness of mind, and distinguished reputation have engaged and persevered in the inquiry: it is impossible to study without advantage the writings of such persons as Zoega, Akerblad, Young, Champollion, Spohn, Seyffarth, Kosegarten, Ruhle; and equally ungrateful would it be to affirm that no progress has been made in the undertaking; but, after all, the novel conclusions and positions which have been drawn and set forth are only in a few cases (comparatively) definite and unimpeachable (Heeren, Ideen. 2:2,4; Quatremere, Recherches sur la langue et la litterature de l'Egypte). SEE HIEROGLYPHICS. The results in point of history and archaeology, as detailed by Lepsius, Brugsch, and other late Egyptologists, are far more important than in a purely scientific view. See below.
XII. Religion. — The basis of the religion was Nigritian fetichism, the lowest kind of nature-worship, differing in different parts of the country, and hence obviously indigenous. Upon this were engrafted, first, cosmic worship, mixed up with traces of primeval revelation, as in Babylonia; and then a system of personifications of moral and intellectual abstractions. The incongruous character of the religion necessitates this supposition, and the ease with which it admitted extraneous additions in the historical period confirms it. There were, according to Herodotus, three orders of gods — the eight great gods, who were the most ancient, the twelve lesser, and the Osirian group. They were represented in human forms, sometimes having the heads of animals sacred to them, or bearing on their heads cosmic or other objects of worship. The fetichism included, besides the worship of animals, that of trees, rivers, and hills. Each of these creatures or objects was appropriated to a divinity. There was no prominent hero-worship, although deceased kings and other individuals often received divine honors — in one case, that of Osirtasen II, of the 12th dynasty, the old Sesostris, of a very special character. The great doctrines of the immortality of the soul, man's responsibility, and future rewards and punishments, were taught. Among the rites, circumcision is the most remarkable: it is as old as the time of the 4th dynasty.
Wilkinson gives us the following classification of the Egyptian deities (Materia Hieroglyphica, page 58, modified by himself in Rawlinson's Herod. 2:241 sq.):
I. FIRST ORDER.
1. Amen, or Amun-ra, "the king of all the gods."
2. Maut, or Mut (Sanchon. mot), the material principle, sometimes as Buto (=Latona).
3. Noum, Nu, Nef, or Kneph=Mercury.
5. Pthah, or Ptah, the creative power [a function assigned by others to Kneph]=Vulcan.
6. Neith, self-born and of masculine character=Minerva.
7. Khem, the generative principle (phallus).
II. SECOND ORDER.
1. Re, Ra, or Phrah, the Sun, father of many deities, often combined with those of the others.
2. Seb, the Earth=Saturn, father of the inferior gods.
3. Netpe, wife of Seb, the Sky, mother of gods=Rhea.
4 Khous, son of Amun and Maut, the Moon=Hercules.
5. Anouke [Fire]=Vesta.
6. Atmu [? or Mat], Darkness, or Twilight.
7 Mui, or Shu, son of Re, Light [=Phoebus].
8. Taphne (Daphne), or Tafnet, a lion-headed goddess.
9. Thoth, the Intellect=Hermes and the Moon.
10. Sanak-re, or Sebak.
12. Mandu, or Munt=Mars.
1. Osiris III. THIRD ORDER.
2. Isis, son and daughter of Seb and Netpe.
3. Aroeris, the elder Horus, son of Netpe.
4. Seth, or Typhon, the destructive principle [Death].
5. Nepthys (Nebtei), "lady of the house"=Vesta.
6. Horus the younger, god of Victory=Apollo.
7. Harpocrates, son of Osiris and Isis, emblem of Youth.
8. Anubis, son of Osiris.
1. Thmei, or Ma (θέμις), goddess of Truth and Justice, headless.
2. Athor (eit-Hor)=Venus, another daughter of Ra.
3. Nophr-Atmu, perhaps a variation of Atmu above.
4. Hor-Hat, a winged globe, as ἀγαθοδαίμων.
5. Hakte (Hecate), a lion-headed goddess.
6. Selk, a scorpion-headed goddess.
7. Tore, a god connected with Ptah.
8. Amunta, perhaps a female Amun.
9. The, "the heavens."
10. Hapi, or the god of the Nile.
11. Ranno, an asp-headed goddess, as ἀγαθοδαίμων.
12. Hermes Trismegistus, a form of Thoth.
13. Asclepius, Moth, or Imoph, "son of Ptah."
14. Soph, the goddess of Speech.
Together with about 50 more, some of them local divinities, and personifications of cities, besides deified animals, etc
Num, Au, or Kneph, was one of the most important of the gods, corresponding to the "soul" of the universe, to whom was ascribed the creation of gods, men, and the natural world. He is represented as a man with the head of ram and curved horns. The chief god of Thebes was Amen, or Amen-Ra, or Amen-Ra Khem, also worshipped in the great oasis, and sometimes portrayed under the form of Kneph. He was the Jupiter Ammon of the classics. The goddess Mut, or "the mother," is the companion of Amen, and is represented as a female wearing the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt, and the vulture headdress of a queen. Khem was the god by whom the productiveness of nature was symbolized. His name reminds us of the patriarch Ham. The Greeks identified him with Pan, and called Chemmis, a city in the Thebais, where he was worshipped, Panopolis. He is accompanied by a tree or a flower on the sculptures, which may have been, as supposed by Mr. Poole, the asherak or sacred grove spoken of in the Bible. Ptah was the god of Memphis, and worshipped there under the form of a pigmy or child; but, as his temples have been destroyed, little is known of his worship. The goddess Neit or Neith is often associated with Ptah. She was the patron deity of Sais, in the Delta; and the Greeks say that Cecrops, leading a colony from thence to Athens, introduced her worship into Greece, where she was called Athene. This name may be derived from the Egyptian, if we suppose the latter to have been sometimes called Thenei, with the article prefixed like the name of Thebes. She is represented as a female with the crown of Lower Egypt on her head. Ra, or the sun, was worshipped at Heliopolis. His common figure is that of a man with a hawk's head, on which is placed the solar disk and the royal asp. Thoth was the god of science and letters, and was worshipped at Hermopolis Magna. His usual form is that of a man with the head of an ibis surmounted by a crescent. Bast was called Bubastis by the Greeks, who identified her with Artemis. She is represented as a lion or catheaded female, with the globe of the sun on her head. There is a similar goddess called Pasht. Athor was the daughter of Ra, and corresponded to the Aphrodite of the Greeks; the town of Tentyra or Denderah was under her protection. Shu represented solar or physical light, and Ma-t or Thma (Themis) moral light, truth, or justice. Sebak was a son of Ra. He has a crocodile's head. Osiris is the most remarkable personage in the Egyptian Pantheon. His form is that of a mummied figure holding the crook and flail, and wearing the crown of Upper Egypt, generally with an ostrich feather on each side. He was regarded as the personification of moral good. He is related to have been on earth instructing mankind in useful arts; to have been slain by his adversary Typhon (Set or Seth), by whom he was cut in pieces; to have been bewailed by his wife and sister His; to have been embalmed; to have risen again, and to have become the judge of the dead, among whom the righteous were called by his name, and received his form- a wonderful fore-feeling of the Gospel narrative, and most likely symbolizing the strife between good and evil. Isis was the sister and spouse of Osiris, worshipped at Abydus and the island of Philae. Horus was their son. Apep, Apophis of the Greeks, an enormous serpent, was the only representative of moral evil. The worship of animals is said to have been introduced by the second king of the second dynasty, when the bull Apis, at Memphis, and Mnevis, at Heliopolis, and the Mendesian goat, were called gods. The cat was sacred to Pasht, the ibis to Thoth, the crocodile to Sebak, the scarabaeus to Ptah and a solar god Atum. In their worship of the gods, sacrifices of animals, fruit, and vegetables were used, as well as libations of wine and incense. No decided instance of a human sacrifice has been found. After death a man was brought before Osiris: his heart weighed against the feather of truth. He was questioned by forty-two assessors as to whether he had committed forty-two sins about which they inquired. If guiltless, he took the form of Osiris, apparently after long series of transformations and many ordeals, and entered into bliss, dwelling among the gods in perpetual day on the banks of the celestial Nile. If guilty he was often changed into the form of some base animal, and consigned to a fiery place of punishment and perpetual night. From this abstract it may be seen that the Egyptian religion is to be referred to various sources. There is a trace of some primeval revelation in it; also a strong Sabaean element. (See a full discussion of the subject, with figures of the leading deities, in Kitto's Pictorial Bible, note on De 4:16). A more favorable view of the ancient Egyptian theology is taken by Wilkinson in his Ancient Egyptians (see his summary in the abridged ed. 2:327 sq.); and it is probably true, as was the case with the polytheism of the Greeks and Romans likewise, that the more learned and philosophical classes were able to spiritualize to some extent a religion which could have been to the populace nothing but a gross idolatry.
The Israelites in Egypt appear, during the oppression, to have adopted to some extent the Egyptian idolatry (Jos 24:14; Eze 20:7-8). The golden calf, or rather steer, עֵגֶל, was probably taken from the bull Apis, certainly from one of the sacred bulls. Remphan and Chiun were foreign divinities adopted into the Egyptian Pantheon, and called in the hieroglyphics RENPU (probably pronounced Remphu) and KEN. It can hardly be doubted that they were worshipped by the shepherds; but there is no satisfactory evidence that there was any' separate foreign system of idolatry. SEE REMPHAN. Ashtoreth was worshipped at Memphis, as is shown by a tablet of Amenoph II, B.C. cir. 1415, at the quarries of Tura, opposite that city (Vyse's Pyramids, in, "Tourah tablet 2"), in which she is represented as an Egyptian goddess. The temple of "the Foreign Venus," in "the Tyrian camp" in Memphis (Herod. 2:112), must have been sacred to her. Doubtless this worship was introduced by the Phoenician shepherds.
As there are prominent traces of primeval revelation in the ancient Egyptian religion, we cannot be surprised at finding certain resemblances to the Mosaic law, apart from the probability that whatever was unobjectionable in common belief and usages would be retained. The points in which the Egyptian religion shows strong traces of truth are, however, doctrines of the very kind that the Law does not expressly teach. The Egyptian religion, in its reference to man, was a system of responsibility mainly depending on future rewards and punishments. The Law, in its reference to man, was a system of responsibility mainly depending on temporal rewards and punishments. All we learn, but this is of: the utmost importance, is that every Israelite who came out of Egypt must have been fully acquainted with the universally recognised doctrines of the immortality of the 'soul, man's responsibility, and future rewards and punishments, truths which the law does not, and of course could not, contradict. The idea that the Mosaic law was an Egyptian invention is one of the worst examples of modern reckless criticism.
XIII. Laws. — We have no complete account of the laws of the ancient Egyptians either in their own records or in works of ancient writers. The passages in the Bible which throw light upon the laws in force during the sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt most probably do not relate to purely native law, nor to law administered to natives, for during that whole period they may perhaps have been under shepherd rulers, and in any case it cannot be doubted that they would not be subject to absolutely the same system as the Egyptians. The paintings and sculptures of the monuments indicate a very high degree of personal safety, showing us that the people of all ranks commonly went unarmed, and without military protection. We must therefore infer that the laws relating to the maintenance of order were sufficient and strictly enforced. The punishments seem to have been lighter than those of the Mosaic law, and very different in their relation to crime and in their nature. Capital punishment appears to have been almost restricted, in practice, to murder. Crimes of violence were more severely treated than offenses against religion and morals. Popular feeling seems to have taken the duties of the judge upon itself in the case of impiety alone. That in early times the Egyptian populace acted with reference to any offense against its religion as it did under the Greeks and Romans, is evident from the answer of Moses when Pharaoh proposed that the Hebrews should sacrifice in the land. "It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone, us?" (Ex 8:26.)
XIV. Government. — The rule was monarchical, but not of an absolute character. The sovereign was not superior to the laws, and the priests had the power to check the undue exercise of his authority. The kings under whom the Israelites lived seem to have been absolute, but even Joseph's Pharaoh did not venture to touch the independence of the priests. Nomes and districts were governed by officers whom the Greeks called nomarchs and toparchs. There seems to have been no hereditary aristocracy, except perhaps at the earliest period, for indications of something of the kind occur in the inscriptions of the 4th and 12th dynasties.
XV. Foreign Policy. — This must be regarded in its relation to the admission of foreigners into Egypt and to the treatment of tributary and allied nations. In the former aspect it was characterized by an exclusiveness which sprang from a national hatred of the yellow and white races, and was maintained by the wisdom of preserving the institutions of the country from the influence of the pirates of the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, and the robbers of the deserts. Hence the jealous exclusion of the Greeks from the northern ports until Naucratis was opened to them, and hence, too, the restriction of Shemitic settlers in earlier times to the land of Goshen, scarcely regarded as part of Egypt. It may be remarked as a proof of the strictness of this policy that during the whole of the sojourn of the Israelites they appear to have been kept in Goshen. The key to the policy towards foreign nations, after making allowance for the hatred of the yellow and white races balanced by the regard for the red and black, is found in the position of the great Oriental rivals of Egypt. The supremacy or influence of the Pharaohs over the nations lying between the Nile and the Euphrates depended as much on wisdom in policy as prowess in arms. The kings of the 4th, 6th, and 15th dynasties appear to have uninterruptedly held the peninsula of Sinai, where tablets record their conquest of Asiatic nomads. But with the 18th dynasty commences the period of Egyptian supremacy. Very soon after the accession of this powerful line most of the countries between the Egyptian border and the Tigris were reduced to the condition of tributaries. The empire seems to have lasted for nearly three centuries, from about B.C. 1500 to about 1200. The chief opponents of the Egyptians were the Hittites of the valley of the Orontes, with whom the Pharaohs waged long and fierce wars. After this time the influence of Egypt declined; and until the reign of Shishak (B.C. cir. 990-967), it appears to have been confined to the western borders of Palestine. No doubt the rising greatness of Assyria caused the decline. Thenceforward to the days of Pharaoh Necho there was a constant struggle for the tracts lying between Egypt, and Assyria, and Babylonia, until the disastrous battle at Carchemish finally destroyed the supremacy of the Pharaohs. It is probable that during the period of the empire an Assyrian or Babylonian king generally supported the opponents of the rulers of Egypt. Great aid from a powerful ally can indeed alone explain the strong resistance offered by the Hittites. The general policy of the Egyptians towards their eastern tributaries seems to have been marked by great moderation. The Pharaohs intermarried with them, and neither forced upon them Egyptian garrisons, except in some important positions, nor attempted those deportations that are so marked a feature of Asiatic policy. In the case of those nations which never attacked them they do not appear to have even exacted tribute. So long as their general supremacy was uncontested they would not be unwise enough to make favorable or neutral powers their enemies. Of their relation to the Israelites we have for the earlier part of this period no direct information. The explicit account of the later part is fully consistent with what we have said of the general policy of the Pharaohs. Shishak and Zerah, if the latter were, as we believe, a king of Egypt or a commander of Egyptian forces, are the only exceptions in a series of friendly kings, and they were almost certainly of Assyrian or Babylonian extraction. One Pharaoh gave his daughter in marriage to Solomon, another appears to have been the ally of Jehoram, king of Israel (2Ki 7:6), So made a treaty with Hoshea, Tirhakah aided Hezekiah, Pharaoh Necho fought Josiah against his will, and did not treat Judah with the severity of the Oriental kings, and his second successor, Pharaoh Hophra, maintained the alliance, notwithstanding this break, as firmly as before, and, although foiled in his endeavor to save Jerusalem from the Chaldaeans, received the fugitives of Judah, who, like the fugitives of Israel at the capture of Samaria, took refuge in Egypt. It is probable that during the earlier period the same friendly relations existed. The Hebrew records of that time afford no distinct indication of hostility with Egypt, nor have the Egyptian lists of conquered regions and towns of the same age been found to contain any Israelitish name, whereas in Shishak's list the kingdom of Judah and some of its towns occur. The route of the earlier Pharaohs to the east seems always to have been along the Palestinian coast, then mainly held by the Philistines and Phoenicians, both of whom they subdued, and across Syria northward of the territories occupied by the Hebrews. With respect to the African nations a different policy appears to have been pursued. The Rebu (Lebu) or Lubim, to the west of Egypt, on the north coast, were reduced to subjection, and probably employed, like the Shayretana or Cherethim, as mercenaries. Ethiopia was made a purely Egyptian province, ruled by a viceroy, "the prince of Kesh (Cush)," and the assimilation was so complete that Ethiopian sovereigns seem to have been received by the Egyptians as native rulers. Further south the negroes were subject to predatory attacks like the slave-hunts of modern times, conducted not so much from motives of hostility as to obtain a supply of slaves. In the Bible we find African peoples, Lubim, Phut, Sukkiim, Cush, as mercenaries or supporters of Egypt, but not a single name that can be positively placed to the eastward of that country.
XVI. Army. — There are some notices of the Egyptian army in the O.T. They show, like the monuments, that its most important branch was the chariot force. The Pharaoh of the Exodus led 600 chosen chariots, besides his whole chariot-force, in pursuit of the Israelites. The warriors fighting in chariots are probably the "horsemen" mentioned in the relation of this event and elsewhere, for in Egyptian they are called the "horse" or "cavalry." We have no subsequent indication in the Bible of the constitution of an Egyptian army until the time of the 22d dynasty, when we find that Shishak's invading force was partly composed of foreigners; whether mercenaries or allies cannot as yet be positively determined, although the monuments make it most probable that they were of the former character. The army of Necho, defeated at Carchemish, seems to have been similarly composed, although it probably contained Greek mercenaries, who soon afterwards became the most important foreign element in the Egyptian forces.
XVII. Customs, Science, and Art. — The sculptures and paintings of the tombs give us a very full insight into the domestic life of the ancient Egyptians, as may be seen in Sir G. Wilkinson's work. What most strikes us in their manners is the high position occupied by women, and the entire absence of the harem system of seclusion. The wife is called "the lady of the house." Marriage appears to have been universal, at least with the richer class; and if polygamy were tolerated it was rarely practiced. Of marriage ceremonies no distinct account has been discovered, but there is evidence that something of the kind was usual in. the case of a queen (De Rouge, Essai sur une Stele Egyptienne, pages 53, 54). Concubinage was allowed, the concubines taking the place of inferior wives. There were no castes, although great classes were very distinct, especially the priests, soldiers, artisans, and herdsmen, with laborers. A man of the upper classes might, however, both hold a command in the army and be a priest; and therefore the caste system cannot have strictly applied in the case of the subordinates. The general manner of life does not much illustrate that of the Israelites from its great essential difference. The Egyptians from the days of Abraham were a settled people, occupying a land which they had held for centuries without question except through the aggression of foreign invaders. The occupations of the higher class were the superintendence of their fields and gardens, their diversions, the pursuit of game in the deserts or on the river, and fishing. The tending of cattle was left to the most despised of the lower class. The Israelites, on the contrary, were from the very first a pastoral people: in time of war they lived within walls; when there was peace they "dwelt in their tents" (2Ki 13:5).
The Egyptian feasts, and the dances, music, and feats which accompanied them for the diversion of the guests, as well as the common games, were probably introduced among the Hebrews in the most luxurious days of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The account of the noontide dinner of Joseph (Ge 43:16,31-34) agrees with the representations of the monuments, although it evidently describes a far simpler repast than would be usual with an Egyptian minister. The attention to precedence, which seems to have surprised Joseph's brethren (verse 33), is perfectly characteristic of Egyptian customs.
The Egyptians were in the habit of eating much bread at table, and fancy rolls or seed-cakes were in abundance at every feast. Those who could afford it ate wheaten bread, the poor alone being content with a coarser kind, made of dura flour or millet. They ate with their fingers, though they occasionally used spoons. The table was sometimes covered with a cloth; and in great entertainments among the rich, each guest was furnished with a napkin. They sat on a carpet or mat upon the ground, or else on stools or chairs round the table, and did not recline at meat like the Greeks and Romans. They were particularly fond of music and dancing. The most austere and scrupulous priest could not give a feast without a good band of musicians and dancers, as well as plenty of wine, costly perfumes and ointments, and a profusion of lotus and other flowers. Tumblers, jugglers, and various persons skilled in feats of agility, were hired for the occasion, and the guests played at games of chance, at mora, and the game of latrunculi, resembling draughts. The latter was the favorite game of all ranks, and Rameses III is more than once represented playing it in the palace at Thebes. The number of pieces for playing the game is not exactly known. They were of different colors on the opposite sides of the board, and were not flat as with us, but about an inch and a half or two inches high, and were moved like chessmen, with the thumb and finger.
The religious festivals were numerous, and some of them were, in the days of Herodotus, kept with great merry-making and license. His description of that of the goddess Bubastis, kept at the city of Bubastis, in the eastern part of the Delta, would well apply to some of the great Mohammedan festivals now held in the country (2:59, 60). The feast which the Israelites celebrated when Aaron had made the golden calf seems to have been very much of the same character: first offerings were presented, and then the people ate; and danced, and sang (Ex 32:5-6,17-19), and even, it seems, stripped themselves (verse 25), as appears to have been not unusual at the popular ancient Egyptian festivals.
The funeral ceremonies were far more important than any events of the Egyptian life, as the tomb was regarded as the only true home. The body of the deceased was embalmed in the form of Osiris, the judge of the dead, and conducted to the burial-place with great pomp and much display of lamentation. The mourning lasted seventy-two days or less. Both Jacob and Joseph were embalmed, and the mourning for the former lasted seventy days.
The Egyptians, for the most part, were accustomed to shave their heads; indeed, except among the soldiers, the practice was probably almost universal. They generally wore skull-caps. Otherwise they wore their own hair, or wigs falling to the shoulders in numerous curls, or done up in the form of a bag. They also shaved their faces; kings, however, and other great personages had beards about three inches long and one inch broad, which were plaited. The crown of Upper Egypt was a short cap, with a tall point behind, which was worn over the other. The king often had the figure of an asp, the emblem of royalty, tied just above his forehead. The common royal dress was a kilt which reached to the ankles; over it was worn a shirt, coming down to the knees, with wide sleeves as far as the elbows: both these were generally of fine white linen. Sandals were worn on the feet, and on the person, armlets, bracelets, and necklaces. The upper and middle classes usually went barefoot; in other respects their dress was much the same as that of the king's, but of course inferior, in costliness. The priests sometimes wore a leopard's skin tied over the shoulders, or like a shirt, with the fore legs for the sleeves. The queen had a particular headdress, which was in the form of a vulture with expanded wings. The beak projected over the forehead, the wings fell on either side, and the tail hung down behind. She sometimes wore the uraeus or asp. The royal princes were distinguished by a side-lock of hair elaborately plaited. The women wore their hair curled or plaited, reaching about half way from the shoulders to the waist.
The Egyptians were a very literary people, and time has preserved to us, besides the inscriptions on their tombs and temples, many papyri of a religious or historical character, and one tale. They bear no resemblance to the books of the O.T., except such as arises from their sometimes enforcing moral truths in a manner not wholly different from that of the book of Proverbs. The moral and religious system is, however, essentially different in its principles and their application. Some have imagined a great similarity between the O.T. and Egyptian literature, and have given a show of reason to their idea by dressing up Egyptian documents in a garb of Hebrew phraseology, in which, however, they have gone so awkwardly that no one who had not prejudged the question could for a moment be deceived. We find frequent reference in the Bible to the magicians of Egypt. The Pharaoh of Joseph laid his dream before the magicians, who could not interpret it (Ge 41:8); the Pharaoh of the Exodus used them as opponents of Moses and Aaron, when, after what appears to have been a seeming success, they failed as before (Ex 7:11-12,22; Ex 8:18-19; Ex 9:11; 2Ti 3:8-9). The monuments do not recognize any such art, and we must conclude that magic was secretly practiced, not because it was thought to be unlawful, but in order to give it importance. SEE MAGIC; SEE JAMBRES; SEE JANNES.
In science, Egyptian influence may be distinctly traced in the Pentateuch. Moses was "learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians" (Ac 7:22), and probably derived from them the astronomical knowledge which was necessary for the calendar. His acquaintance with chemistry is shown in the manner of the destruction of the golden calf. The Egyptians excelled in geometry and mechanics: the earlier books of the Bible, however, throw no light upon the degree in which Moses may have made use of this part of his knowledge. In medicine and surgery, the high proficiency of the Egyptians was probably of but little use to the Hebrews after the Exodus: anatomy, practiced by the former from the earliest ages; was repugnant to the feelings of Shemites, and the simples of Egypt and of Palestine would be as different as the ordinary diseases of the country. In the arts of architecture, sculpture, and painting, the former of which was the chief, there seems to have been but a very slight and material influence. This was natural, for with the Egyptians architecture was a religious art, embodying in its principles their highest religious convictions, and mainly devoted to the service of religion. Durable construction, massive and grand form, and rich, though sober color, characterize their temples and tombs, the abodes of gods, and "homes" of men. To adopt such an architecture would have been to adopt the religion of Egypt, and the pastoral Israelites had no need of buildings. When they came into the Promised Land they found cities ready for their occupation, and it was not until the days of Solomon that a temple took the place of the tent, which was the sanctuary of the pastoral people.
Details of ornament were of course borrowed from Egypt; but, separated from the vast system in which they were found, they lost their significance, and became harmless until modern sciolists made them prominent in support of a theory which no mind capable of broad views can for a moment tolerate.
It is hardly needful to observe that the ancient Egyptians had attained to high degrees of civilization and mental culture. This is evidenced by many facts. For instance, the variation of the compass may even now be ascertained by observing the lateral direction of the pyramids, on account of their being placed so accurately north and south. This argues considerable acquaintance with astronomy. Again, we know that they were familiar with the duodecimal as well as the decimal scale of notation, and must therefore have made some progress in the study of mathematics. There is proof that the art of painting upon plaster and panel was practiced by them more than 2000 years before Christ; and the sculptures furnish representations of inkstands that contained two colors, black and red; the latter being introduced at the beginning of a subject, and for the division of certain sentences, showing, this custom to be as old as that of holding the pen behind the ear, which is often portrayed in the paintings of the tombs. Alabaster was a material much used for vases, and as ointment was generally kept in an alabaster box, the Greeks and Romans applied the name alabastron to all vases made for that purpose; and one of them found at Thebes, and now in the museum at Alnwick Castle, contains some ointment perfectly preserved, though from the queen's name in the hieroglyphics it must be more than 3000 years old. In architecture they were very successful, as the magnificent temples yet remaining bear evident witness, though in ruins. The Doric order is supposed to have been derived from columns found at Beni-Hassan, and the arch is at least as old as the 16th century B.C. In medical science, we know from the evidence furnished by mummies found at Thebes that the art of stopping teeth with gold, and probably cement, was known to the ancient Egyptians, and Cuvier found incontestible proof that the fractured bone of an ibis had been set by them while the bird was alive.
Sacred music was much used in Egypt, and the harp, lyre, flute, tambourine, cymbals, etc., were admitted in divers religious services, of which music constituted an important element. Sacred dancing was also common in religious ceremonies, as it seems to have been among the Jews (Ps 149:3). Moses found the children of Israel dancing before the golden calf (Ex 32:19), in imitation probably of rites they had often witnessed in Egypt.
The industrial arts held an important place in the occupations of the Egyptians. The workers in fine flax and the weavers of white linen are mentioned in a manner that shows they were among the chief contributors to the riches of the country (Isa 19:9). The fine linen of Egypt found its way to Palestine (Pr 7:16). That its celebrity was not without cause is proved by a piece found near Memphis, and by the paintings (compare Ge 41:42; 2Ch 1:16, etc.). The looms of Egypt were also famed for their fine cotton and woolen fabrics, and many of these were worked with patterns in brilliant colors, sometimes being wrought with the needle, sometimes woven in the piece. Some of the stripes were of gold thread, alternating with red ones as a border. Specimens of their embroidery are to be seen in the Louvre, and the many dresses painted on the monuments of the 18th dynasty show that the most varied patterns were used by the Egyptians more than 3000 years ago, as they were subsequently by the Babylonians, who became noted for their needle-work. Sir G. Wilkinson states that the secret of dyeing cloths of various colors by means of mordants was known to the Egyptians, as proved by the manner in which Pliny has described the process, though he does not seem to have understood it. They were equally fond of variety of patterns on the walls and ceilings of their houses and tombs, and some of the oldest ceilings show that the chevron, the checker, the scroll, and the guilloche, though ascribed to the Greeks, were adopted in Egypt more than 2000 years before our aera.
A gradual progress may be observed in their choice of fancy ornament. Beginning with simple imitations of real objects, as the lotus and other flowers, they adopted, by degrees, conventional representations of them, or purely imaginary devices; and it is remarkable that the oldest Greek and Etruscan vases have a similarly close imitation of the lotus and other real objects. The same patterns common on Greek vases had long before been introduced on those in Egypt; whole ceilings are covered with them; and the vases themselves had often the same elegant forms we admire in the cilix and others afterwards made in Greece. They were of gold and silver, engraved and embossed; those made of porcelain were rich in color, and some of the former were inlaid or studded with precious stones, or enameled in brilliant colors. Their knowledge of glass-blowing is shown by a glass bead inscribed with the name of a queen of the 18th dynasty which proves it to be as old as 3200 years ago. Among their most beautiful achievements in this art were their richly-colored bottles with waving lines and their small inlaid mosaics. In these last, the fineness of the work is so great that it must have required a strong magnifying power to put the parts together, especially the more minute details, such as feathers, the hair, etc. "They were composed," says Sir G. Wilkinson, "of the finest threads or rods of glass (attenuated by drawing them when heated to a great length), which, having been selected according to their color, were placed upright side by side, as in an ordinary mosaic, in sufficient number to form a portion of the intended picture. Others were then added until the whole had been composed; and when they had all been cemented together by a proper heat, the work was completed. Slices were then sawn off transversely, as in our Tunbridge ware, and each section presented the same picture on its upper and under side." The more wealthy Egyptians had their large townhouses and spacious villas, in which the flower-garden and pleasure-grounds were not the least prominent features. Avenues of trees shaded the walks, and a great abundance of violets, roses, and other flowers was always to be had, even in winter, owing to the nature of their climate and the skill of their gardeners. A part also was assigned to vines and fruit-trees; the former were trained on trellis-work, the latter were standards. It is a curious fact that they were in the habit of employing monkeys, trained for the purpose, to climb the upper branches of the sycamore-trees, and to gather the figs from them. The houses generally consisted of a ground floor and one upper story; few were higher. They were often placed round an open court, in the center of which was a fountain or small garden. Large houses had sometimes a porch with a flight of steps before the street door, over which latter was painted the name of the owner. The wealthy landed proprietors were grandees of the priestly and military classes (Mr. Birch and M. Ampere may be said to have proved the non-existence of castes, in the Indian sense, in Egypt); but those who tended cattle were looked down upon by the rest of the community. This contempt is often shown in the paintings, by their being drawn unshaven, and squalid, and dressed in the same covering of mats that were thrown over the beasts they tended. None would intermarry with swineherds. It was the custom for the men to milk, as it is still among some Arab tribes, who think it disgraceful for a woman to milk any animal.
Potters were very numerous, and the wheel, the baking of cups, and the other processes of their art were prominent on the monuments. It is singular, as affording illustration of Scripture language, that the same idea of fashioning the clay was also applied to man's formation; and the gods Ptah and Num, the creative agencies, are represented sitting at the potter's wheel turning the clay for the human creation. Pottery appears to have furnished employment to the Hebrews during the bondage (Ps 81:6; Ps 68:13; compare Ex 1:14).
The Egyptians were familiar with the use of iron from a very remote period, and their skill in the manufacture of bronze was celebrated. They were acquainted also with the use of the forceps, the blowpipe, the bellows, the syringe, and the siphon. Gold mines were wrought in Upper Egypt (Diod. Sic. 3:12).
Leather was sometimes used for writing purposes, but more frequently paper made from the papyrus, which grew in the marsh-lands of the Delta. The mode of making it was by cutting the pith into thin slices lengthwise, which being laid on a table were covered with similar layers at right angles, and the two sets, being glued together and kept under pressure a proper time, formed a sheet. The dried flower-heads of the papyrus have been found in the tombs.
As illustrating Scripture, it may be mentioned that the gods are sometimes represented in the tombs holding the Tau or sign of life, which was adopted by some of the early Christians in lieu of the cross, and is mentioned by Eze 9:4,6, as the "mark (Tau) set upon the foreheads of the men" who were to be preserved alive. Christian inscriptions at the great oasis are headed by this symbol; it has been found on Christian monuments at Rome.
Egyptian edicts seem to have been issued in the form of a firman or written order; and from the word used by Pharaoh in granting power to Joseph ("According to thy word shall all my people be ruled;" Hebrew kiss, Ge 41:40, alluding evidently to the custom of kissing a firman), we may infer that the people who received that order adopted the usual Eastern mode of acknowledging their obedience to the sovereign. Besides the custom of kissing the signature attached to these documents, the people were doubtless expected to "bow the knee" (Ge 41:43) in the presence of the monarch and chiefs of the nation, or even to prostrate themselves before them. The sculptures represent them thus bowing with the hand stretched out towards the knee.
The account of brick-making in Ex 5:7-19 is illustrated in a remarkable degree by a painting in a tomb at Thebes, in which the hardness of the work, the tale of bricks, the straw, and the native taskmasters set over foreign workmen, are vividly portrayed. The making of bricks was a monopoly of the crown, which accounts for the Jews and other captives being employed in such numbers to make bricks for the Pharaohs. SEE BRICK.
Certain injunctions of the Mosaic law appear to be framed with particular reference to Egyptian practices, e.g. the fact of false witness being forbidden by a distinct and separate commandment, becomes the more significant when we bear in mind the number of witnesses required by the Egyptian law for the execution of the most trifling contract. As many as sixteen names are appended to one for the sale of a part of certain properties, amounting only to 400 pieces of brass. It appears that bulls only, and not heifers, were killed by the Egyptians in sacrifice. Compare with this the law of the Israelites (Nu 19:2), commanding them to "bring a red heifer, without spot, wherein was no blemish." It was on this account that Moses proposed to go "three days' journey into the desert," lest the Egyptians should be enraged at seeing the Israelites sacrifice a heifer (Ex 8:26); and by this very opposite choice of a victim they were made unequivocally to denounce and separate themselves from the rites of Egypt. The Egyptian common name for Heliopolis was AN, from which was derived the Hebrew On or Aon, pointed in Eze 30:17, Aven, and translated by Bethshemesh (Jer 43:13). So also the Pi- beseth of the same place in Ezekiel is from the Egyptian article Pi, prefixed to Bast, the name of the goddess there worshipped, and is equivalent to Bubastis, a city named after her, supposed to correspond to the Grecian Artemis. The Tahpanhes of Scripture (Jer 43:8; Eze 30:18) was perhaps a place called Daphnae, sixteen miles from Pelusium.
XVIII. Comparison with the Manners of the modern Inhabitants. — The mode of life of the Egyptians has in all ages necessarily been more or less influenced by their locality: those who dwelt on high lands on the east, as well as those who dwelt on the marshy flat country in the Delta, have become shepherds, as their land does not admit of cultivation. The people who live along the Nile become fishermen and sailors. The cultivated part of the natives who live on the plains and over the surface of the country diligently and most successfully practice all the arts of life, and in former ages have left ever-during memorials of their proficiency and skill.
On this natural diversity of pursuits, as well as on a diversity of blood — for besides the master and ruling race of Ethiopians there were anciently others who were of nomad origin — was early founded the institution of so-called castes, which Egypt had, although less marked than India, and which pervaded the entire life of the nation. These, according to Herodotus (11:164), were seven in number (compare Diod. Sic. 1:73). The priestly caste was the most honored and influential. It had in every large city a temple dedicated to the deity of the place, together with a high-priest, who stood next to the king and restricted his power. The priesthood possessed the finest portions of the country. They were the judges, physicians, astrologers, architects — in a word, they united in themselves all the highest culture and most distinguished offices of the land, while with them alone lay tradition, literature, and the sacred writings. This class exerted the most decided and extensive influence on the culture not only of their own country, but of the world; for during the brightest periods of Grecian history the love of knowledge carried into Egypt men who have done much to form the character of after ages, such as Solon, Pythagoras, Archytas, Thales, Herodotus, Plato, and others (compare Ge 41:8; Ex 7:11; Ex 8:11; Ex 13:7; Josephus, Ant. 2:9, 2).
The peculiarities of the ancient Egyptians of the lower castes seem to have survived best, and to be represented, at least in some particulars, by the Fellahs of the present day. These Fellahs discharge all the duties of tilling the country and gathering its rich abundance. They are a quiet, contented, and submissive race, always living, through an unjust government, on the edge of starvation, yet always happy, with no thought for the morrow, no care for, no interest in, political changes. "Of the Fellahs it may be said, as was said by Amrou of the ancient Egyptians, 'they are bees always toiling, always toiling for others, not themselves.' The love of the Fellah for his country and his Nile is an all-absorbing love. Remove him, and he perishes. He cannot live a year away from his village; his grave must be where his cradle was. But he is of all men most submissive: he will rather die than revolt; resignation is his primary virtue; impatience under any yoke is unknown to him; his life, his faith, his law is submission. 'Allah Kerim!' is his hourly consolation, his perpetual benediction. He was made for peace, not for war; and, though his patriotism is intense, there is no mingling in it of the love of glory or the passion for conquest. His nationality is in his local affections, and they are most intense. Upon this race, the race of bright eyes and beautiful forms, it is impossible to look without deep interest: of all the gay, the gayest; of all the beings made for happiness, the most excitable. If days of peace and prosperity could be theirs, what songs, what music, what joys!" (Bowring's Report, page 7).
The ruling class consists of Arabs intermingled with Turks, who have been in succession the conquerors of the land, and may be regarded as representing the priestly and military castes.
The only other tribe we have room to notice is that of the Copts; equally with the preceding indigenous. They are Christians by hereditary transmission, and have suffered centuries of cruel persecutions and humiliations, though now they seem to be rising in importance, and promise to fill an important page in the future history of Egypt. In character they are amiable, pacific, and intelligent, having, of course, the faults and vices of dissimulation, falsehood, and meanness, which slavery never fails to engender. In office they are the scribes, the arithmeticians, the measurers, the clerks — in a word, the learned men of the country. The language which they use in their religious services is the ancient Egyptian, or Coptic, which, however, is translated into Arabic for the benefit of tem laity (Bowring's Report). SEE EGYPT, CHRISTIAN; and SEE COPTS.
XIX. Technical Chronology. — That the Egyptians used various periods of time, and made astronomical observations from a remote age, is equally attested by ancient writers and by their monuments. It is, however, very difficult to connect periods mentioned by the former with the indications of the same kind offered by the latter; and what we may term the recorded observations of the monuments cannot be used for the determination of chronology without a previous knowledge of Egyptian astronomy that we have not wholly attained. The testimony of ancient writers must, however, be carefully sifted, and we must not take their statements as a positive basis without the strongest evidence of correctness. Without that testimony, however, we could not at present prosecute the inquiry. The Egyptians do not appear to have had any common aera. Every document that bears the date of a year gives the year of the reigning sovereign, counted from that current year in which he came to the throne, which was called his first year. There is, therefore, no general means of testing deductions from the chronological indications of the monuments.
There appear to have been at least three years in use with the Egyptians before the Roman domination, the Vague Year, the Tropical Year, and the Sothic Year; but it is not probable that more than two of these were employed at the same time. The Vague Year contained 365 days without any additional fraction, and therefore passed through all the seasons in about 1500 years. It was used both for civil and for religious purposes. Probably the Israelites adopted this year during the sojourn in Egypt, and that instituted at the Exodus appears to have been the current Vague Year fixed by the adoption of a method of intercalation. SEE YEAR. The Vague Year was divided into twelve months, each of thirty days, with five epagomenae, or additional days, after the twelfth. The months were assigned to three seasons, each comprising four months, called respectively the 1st, 2d, 3d, and 4th of those seasons. The names by which the Egyptian months are commonly known, Thoth, Paophi, etc., are taken from the divinities to which they were sacred. The seasons are called, according to our rendering, those of Vegetation, Manifestation, and the Waters, or the Inundation: the exact meaning of their names has, however, been much disputed. They evidently refer to the phenomena of a tropical year, and such a year we must therefore conclude the Egyptians had, at least in a remote period of their history. If, as we believe, the third season represents the period of the inundation, its beginning must be dated about one month before the autumnal equinox, which would place the beginning of the year at the winter solstice, an especially fit time in Egypt for the commencement of a tropical year. The Sothic Year was a supposed sidereal year of 365+ days, commencing with the so-called heliacal rising of Sothis. The Vague Year, having no intercalation, constantly retreated through the Sothic Year, until a period of 1461 years of the former kind, and 1460 of the latter had elapsed, from one coincidence of commencements to another.
The Egyptians are known to have used two great cycles, the Sothic Cycle and the Tropical Cycle. The former was a cycle of the coincidence of the Sothic and Vague years, and therefore consisted of 1460 years of the former kind. This cycle is mentioned by ancient writers, and two of its commencements recorded, the one, called the AEra of Menophres, July 20, B.C. 1322, and the other on the same day, A.D. 139. Menophres is supposed to be the name of an Egyptian king, and this is most probable. The nearest name is Mern-ptah, or Menephthah, which is part of that of Sethi Menptah, a title that seems to have been in one form or another common to several of the first kings of the 19th dynasty. Chronological indications seem to be conclusive in favor of Sethos I. The Tropical Cycle was a cycle of the coincidence of the Tropical and Vague years. We do not know the exact length of the former year with the Egyptians, nor, indeed, that it was used in the monumental age; but from the mention of a period of 500 years, the third of the cycle, and the time during which the Vague Year would retrograde through one season, we cannot doubt that there was such a cycle, not to speak of its analogy with the Sothic Cycle. It has been supposed by M. Biot to have had a duration of 1505 years; but the length of 1500 Vague Years is preferable, since it contains a number of complete lunations, besides that the Egyptians could scarcely have been more exact, and that the period of 500 years is a subdivision of 1500. Ancient writers do not fix any commencements of this cycle. If the characteristics of the Tropical Year are what we suppose, the cycle would have begun B.C. 2005 and 507: two hieroglyphic inscriptions are thought to record the former of these epochs (Poole, Horae AEgyptiacae, page 12 sq., pl. 1, Nu 5; Nu 6). The return of the Phoenix has undoubtedly a chronological meaning. It has been supposed to refer to the period last mentioned, but Poole is of opinion that the Phoenix Cycle was of exactly the same character, and therefore length, as the Sothic, its commencement being marked by the so-called heliacal rising of a star of the constellation BENNU HESAR, "the Phoenix of Osiris," which is placed in the astronomical ceiling of the Rameseium of El-Kurneh six months distant from Sothis. The monuments make mention of Panegyrical Months, which can only, it is supposed, be periods of thirty years each, and divisions of a year of the same kind. Poole has computed the following as dates of commencements of these Panegyrical Years, in accordance with which he has adjusted his chronology: 1st, B.C. 2717, 1st dynasty, aera of Menes (not on monuments); 2d, B.C. 2352, 4th dynasty, Suphis I and II; 3d, B.C. 1986 (12th dynasty, Osirtasen III? not on monuments); the last-mentioned date being also, according to him, the beginning of a Phoenix Cycle, which he thinks comprised four of these Panegyrical Years. The other important dates of the system of panegyrics which occur on the monuments are, in his scheme: B.C. 1442, 18th dynasty, queen Amen-nemt; and B.C. 1412, 18th dynasty, Thothmes III.
Certain phenomena recorded on the monuments have been calculated by M. Biot, who has obtained the following dates: Rising of Sothis in reign of Thothmes III, 18th dynasty, B.C. 1445; supposed vernal equinox, Thothmes III, B.C. cir. 1441; rising of Sothis, Rameses II, 19th dynasty, B.C. 1301; star-risings, Rameses VI and IX (? Meneptah I and II), 20th dynasty, B.C. cir. 1241. Some causes of uncertainty affect the exactness of these dates, and that of Rameses II is irreconcilable with the two of Thothmes III, unless we hold the calendar in which the inscription supposed to record it occurs to be a Sothic one, in which case no date could be obtained.
Egyptian technical chronology gives us no direct evidence in favor of the high antiquity which some assign to the foundation of the first kingdom. The earliest record which all Egyptologers are agreed to regard as affording a date is of the fifteenth century B.C., and no one has alleged any such record to be of an earlier time than the twenty-fourth century B.C. The Egyptians themselves seem to have placed the beginning of the 1st dynasty in the twenty-eighth century B.C., but for determining this epoch there is no direct monumental evidence, and a comparison with Scripture does not favor quite so early a date. SEE CHRONOLOGY.
XX. Historical Chronology. — The materials for this are the monuments and the remains of the historical work of Manetho. Since the interpretation of hieroglyphics has been discovered the evidence of the monuments has been brought to bear on this subject, but as yet it has not been sufficiently full and explicit to enable us to set aside other aid. We have still to look elsewhere for a general framework, the details of which the monuments may fill up. The remains of Manetho are now generally held to supply this want. A comparison with the monuments has shown that he drew his information from original sources, the general authenticity of which is vindicated by minute points of agreement. The information Manetho gives us, in the present form of his work, is, however, by no means explicit, and it is only by a theoretical arrangement of the materials that they take a definite form. The remains of Manetho's historical work consist of a list of the Egyptian dynasties and two considerable fragments, one relating to the Shepherds, the other to a tale of the Exodus. The list is only known to us in the epitome given by Africanus, preserved by Syncellus, and that given by Eusebius. These present such great differences that it is not reasonable to hope that we can restore a correct text. The series of dynasties is given as if they were successive, in which case the commencement of the first would be placed full 5000 years B.C., and the reign of the king who built the Great Pyramid, 4000. The monuments do not warrant so extreme an antiquity, and the great majority of Egyptologers have therefore held that the dynasties were partly contemporary. A passage in the fragment of Manetho respecting the Shepherds, where he speaks of the kings of the Thebais and of the rest of Egypt rising against these foreign rulers, makes it almost certain that he admitted at least three contemporary lines at that period (Josephus, Apion, 1:14). The naming of dynasties anterior to the time of a single kingdom, and then of later ones, which we know generally held sway over all Egypt — in other words, the first seventeen, distinct from the 18th and following dynasties — lends support to this opinion. The former are named in groups: first a group of Thinites, then one of Memphites, broken by a dynasty of Elephantinites, next a Heracleopolite line, etc., the dynasties of a particular city being grouped together; whereas the latter generally present but one or two together of the same name, and the dynasties of different cities recur. The earlier portion seems therefore to represent parallel lines, the later a succession. The evidence of the monuments leads to the same conclusion. Kings who unquestionably belong to different dynasties are shown by them to be contemporary (see, for example, in Rawlinson's Herod. 2:289). In the present state of Egyptology this evidence has led to various results as to the number of contemporary dynasties, and the consequent duration of the whole history. One great difficulty is that the character of the inscriptions makes it impossible to ascertain, without the explicit mention of two sovereigns, that any one king was not a sole ruler. For example, it has lately been discovered that the 12th dynasty was for the greatest part of its rule a double line; yet its numerous monuments in general give no hint of more than one king, although there was almost always a recognised colleague. Therefore, a fortiori, no notice would be taken, if possible, on any monument of a ruler of another house than that of the king in whose territory it was made. We can therefore scarcely expect very full evidence on this subject. Mr. Lane, as long ago as 1830, proposed an arrangement of the first seventeen dynasties based upon their numbers and names. The subjoined table, after Poole, contains the dynasties thus arranged, with the approximative dates B.C. which he assigns to their commencements.
The monuments will not justify any great extension of the period assigned in the table to the first seventeen dynasties. The last date, that of the commencement of the 18th dynasty, cannot be changed more than a few years. Some Egyptologists, indeed, place it much earlier (Bunsen, B.C. 1625; Bockh, 1655; Lepsius, 1684; Brugsch, 1706), but they do so in opposition to positive monumental evidence. The date of the beginning of the 1st dynasty, which Poole is disposed to place a little before B.C. 2700, is more doubtful, but a concurrence of ethnological evidence points to the twenty-fifth century. The interval between the two dates cannot therefore be greatly more or less than nine hundred years, a period quite in accordance with the lengths of the dynasties according to the better text, if the arrangement here given be correct. Some have supposed a much greater antiquity for the commencement of Egyptian history (Bunsen, B.C. 3623; Lepsius, 3892; Brugsch, 4455; Bockh, 5702). Their system is founded upon a passage in the chronological work of Syncellus, which assigns a duration of 3555 years to the thirty dynasties (Chron. page 51 B). It is by no means certain that this number is given on the authority of Manetho, but apart from this, the whole statement is unmistakably not from the true Manetho, but from some one of the fabricators of chronology, among whom pseudo-Manetho held a prominent place (Encyc. Brit. 8th edit., "Egypt," page 452; Quarterly Review, Number 210, page 395-7). If this number be discarded as doubtful or spurious, there is nothing definite to support the extended system so confidently put forth by those who adopt it.
The importance of this ancient list of Egyptian kings — it being, in fact, the only completely connected line extant — requires a fuller exhibit than we usually give, and especially a somewhat minute examination of the monumental records compared with ancient historical documents. The dates given by us are essentially those assigned by Wilkinson in Rawlinson's Herodotus, volume 2, chapter 8. The identifications are in part made by Kenrick (Egypt under the Pharaohs, volume 2). The names of Manetho exhibit many striking coincidences with the elements afforded by the latest researches and discoveries, especially Mariette's "Apis list" on the tablet of Sakkarah, Diimichen's "Sethos list" on that of Abydos, and the "Turin papyrus," as these are given in detail by Unger (Chronologie des Manetho, Berlin, 1867), although we have not been able to adopt all the conclusions of this author, whose work is the most elaborate on the subject. The fact that the names in all these lists are in continuous order does not prove an unbroken succession of reigns, for such is the case in Manetho's list, although he expressly states that the several dynasties were of different localities. That the dynasties of the monumental lists likewise are not all consecutive is further proved by at least two conclusive circumstances: 1. The sum of the years of those 74 reigns, to which an explicit length is assigned in the Turin roll, is 1060; now if to this we add a corresponding number for the other 160 reigns whose duration is not specified in the same document, and also for the 10 subsequent names in the parallel lists down to Sethi I (B.C. 1322), we obtain a total of 3484
years for the first eighteen dynasties, or a date for Menes of B.C. 4806; but this would be 2144 years before the Flood, even according to the longest computation of the Biblical text. SEE AGES OF THE WORLD.
2. Several dynasties are wholly and designedly omitted in one of these monumental lists, which are given at length in the others (e.g. the 7th, 8th, 9th, 13th, 14th, and 15th), and at least one of them (the 11th) is absent in all of them, not to speak of numerous gaps and discrepancies: they must therefore, if at all trustworthy, be intended as contemporaneous lines in different sections of the empire, precisely as were those of Manetho, who frequently dispatches an entire dynasty without any details whatever, as being of local importance only. SEE MANETHO.
XXI. History. —
1. Traditionary Period. — We have first to notice the indications in the Bible which relate to the earliest period. In Genesis 10 we find the colonization of Egypt traced up to the immediate children of Noah, for it is there stated that Mizraim was the second son of Ham, who was himself the second son of Noah. That Egypt was colonized by the descendants of Noah in a very remote age is further shown by the mention of the migration of the Philistines from Caphtor, which had taken place before the arrival of Abraham in Palestine (Ge 10:14; compare De 2:23; Am 9:15). Before this migration could occur the Caphtorim and other Mizraites must have occupied Egypt for some time. Immediately after these genealogical statements, the sacred narrative (Genesis 12) informs us that the patriarch Abraham, pressed by famine, went down (B.C. 2087) into Egypt, where it appears he found a monarch, a court, princes, and servants, and where he found also those supplies of food which the well- known fertility of the country had led him to seek there; for it is expressly stated that the favor which his wife had won in the reigning Pharaoh's eyes procured him sheep and oxen, as well as he-asses, and men-servants, and maid-servants, and she-asses, and camels. A remarkable passage points to a knowledge of the date at which an ancient city of Egypt was founded: "Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt" (Nu 13:22). We find that Hebron was originally called Kirjath-arba, and was a city of the Anakim (Jos 14:15), and it is mentioned under that appellation in the history of Abraham (Ge 23:2): it had therefore been founded by the giant race before the days of that patriarch. In Ge 21:9, mention is made in the case of Ishmael, the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whose mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt (B.C. cir. 2055), of a mixed race between the Egyptians and the Chaldaeans, a race which in after times became a great nation. From this mixture of races it has been supposed the Arabs (עֵרֶב, "mixed people") had their name (Sharpe's Early Hist. of Egypt, 1:11).
The evidence of the Egyptians as to the primeval history of their race and country is extremely indefinite. They seem to have separated mankind into two great stocks, and each of these again into two branches, for they appear to have represented themselves and the negroes, the red and black races, as the children of the god Horus, and the Shemites and Europeans, the yellow and white races, as the children of the goddess Pesht (comp. Brugsch, Geogr. Inschr. 2:90, 91). They seem, therefore, to have held a double origin of the species. The absence of any important traditional period is very remarkable in the fragments of Egyptian history. These commence with the divine dynasties, and pass abruptly to the human dynasties. The latest portion of the first may indeed be traditional not mythical, and the earliest part of the second may be traditional and not historical, though this last conjecture we are hardly disposed to admit. In any case, however, there is a very short and extremely obscure time of tradition, and at no great distance from the earliest date at which it can be held to end we come upon the clear light of history in the days of the pyramids. The indications are of a sudden change of seat, and the settlement in Egypt of a civilized race, which, either wishing to be believed autochthonous, or having lost all ties that could keep up the traditions of its first dwelling-place, filled up the commencement of its history with materials drawn from mythology. There is no trace of the tradition of the Deluge which is found in almost every other country of the world. The priests are indeed reported to have told Solon, when he spoke of one deluge, that, many had occurred (Plat. Tim. 23), but the reference is more likely to have been to great floods of the Nile than to any extraordinary catastrophes. SEE DELUGE.
2. Uncertain Period. — The history of the dynasties preceding the 18th is not told by any continuous series of monuments. Except the bare lists indicated in the above table, there are scarcely any records of the age left to the present day, and thence in a great measure arises the difficulty of determining the chronology. From the time of Menes, the first king, until the Shepherd invasion, Egypt seems to have enjoyed perfect tranquility. During this age the Memphite line was the most powerful, and by it, under the 4th dynasty, were the most famous pyramids raised. The Shepherds were foreigners who came from the east, and, in some manner unknown to Manetho, gained the rule of Egypt. Those whose kings composed the 15th dynasty were the first and most important. They appear to have been Phoenicians, and it is probable that their migration into Egypt, and thence at last into Palestine, was part of the great movement to which the coming of the Phoenicians from the Erythraean Sea, and the Philistines from Caphtor, belong. It is not impossible that the war of the four kings — Chedorlaomer and his allies — was directed against the power of the kings of the 15th dynasty. Most probably the Pharaoh of Abraham was of this line, which lived at Memphis, and at the great fort or camp of Avaris on the eastern frontier. The period of Egyptian history to which the Shepherd invasion should be assigned is a point of dispute. It is generally placed after the 12th dynasty, for it is argued that this powerful line could not have reigned at the same time as one or more Shepherd dynasties. Poole is of the opinion that this objection is not valid, and that the Shepherd invasion was anterior to the 12th dynasty. It is not certain that the foreigners were at the outset hostile to the Egyptians, for they may have come in by marriage, and it is by no means unlikely that they may have long been in a position of secondary importance. The rule of the 12th dynasty, which was of Thebans, lasting about 160 years, was a period of prosperity to Egypt, but after its close those calamities appear to have occurred which made the Shepherds hated by the Egyptians. During the interval to the 18th dynasty there seems to have been no native line of any importance but that of the Thebans, and more than one Shepherd dynasty exercised a severe rule over the Egyptians. The paucity of the monuments proves the troubled nature of this period. SEE HYKSOS.
Of these first seventeen dynasties, Menes, the first mortal king of Egypt, according to Manetho, Herodotus, Eratosthenes, and Diodorus, and preceded, according to the first, by gods, heroes, and Manes (?), νέκυες, is accepted on all hands as a historical personage. His hieroglyphic name reads MENI or MENA, and is the first on the list of the Rameseium of el- Kurneh. It is also met with in the hieratic of the Turin Papyrus of Kings. Strong reasons are given by Mr. Stuart Poole for fixing the date of his accession at B.C. 2717 (Horae AEgyptiacae, pages 94-98); but even this date must be somewhat lowered, as it would precede that of the Flood (B.C. 2515); on the other hand, Unger (ut sup.) raises it to June 27, B.C. 5613. As one step in Poole's argument involves a very ingenious elucidation of a well-known statement of Herodotus, we cannot forbear to mention it. Herodotus says that, in the interval from the first king to Sethon, the priest of Hephaestus, the priests told him that "the sun had four times moved from his wonted course, twice rising where he now sets, and twice setting where he now rises." Upon this Mr. Poole remarks: "It is evident that the priests told Herodotus that great periods had elapsed since the time of Menes, the first king, and that, in the interval from his reign to that of Sethon, the solar risings of stars — that is to say, their manifestations — had twice fallen on those days of the Vague Year on which their settings fell in their time, and vice versa; and that the historian, by a natural mistake, supposed they spoke of the sun itself." Menes appears to have been a Thinite king, of the city of This, near Abydus, in Upper Egypt. Herodotus ascribes the building of the city of Memphis to him, while Manetho says that he made a foreign expedition and acquired renown, and that eventually he was killed by a hippopotamus. Menes, after a long reign, was succeeded by his son Athothis, who was the second king of the first dynasty. Manetho says that he built the palace at Memphis, that he was a physician, and left anatomical books; all of these statements implying that even at this early period the Egyptians were in a high state of civilization. About the time of Athothis, the 3d dynasty is supposed, according to the scheme which seems most reasonable, to have commenced, and Memphis to have become independent, giving its name to five dynasties of kings — 3d, 4th, 6th, 7th, and 8th. The 1st Thinite dynasty probably lasted about two centuries and a half. Of the 2d very little has reached us; under one of the kings it was determined that women could hold the sovereign power; in the time of another it was fabled, says Manetho, that the Nile flowed mixed with honey for the space of eleven days. The duration of this dynasty was probably between 300 and 400 years, and it seems to have come to a close at the time of the Shepherd invasion. The 3d (Memphite) dynasty, after having lasted about 200 years, was succeeded by the 4th, one of the most famous of the lines which ruled in Egypt; while the 5th dynasty of Elephantinite kings arose at the same time. This was emphatically the period of the pyramids, the earliest of which was probably the northern pyramid of Abu Sir, supposed to have been the tomb of Soris or Shurai, the head of the 4th dynasty. He was succeeded by two kings of the name of Suphis, the first of whom, the Cheops of Herodotus, the Shilphu of the monuments, was probably the builder of the great pyramid. On these wondrous monuments we find traces at that remote period of the advanced state of civilization of later ages. The cursive character scrawled on the stones by the masons proves that writing had been long in common use. Many of the blocks brought from Syene are built together in the pyramids of Ghizeh in a manner unrivalled at any period. The same manners and customs are portrayed on them as on the later monuments. The same boats are used, the same costume of the priests, the same trades, such as glassblowing and cabinet-making. At the beginning of the 4th dynasty, moreover, the peninsula of Sinai was in the possession of the Egyptians, and its copper mines were worked by them. The duration of this dynasty probably exceeded two centuries, and it was followed by the 6th. The 5th dynasty of Elephantinites, as just remarked, began the same time as the 4th. The names of several of its kings occur in the Necropolis of Memphis. The most important of them is Sephres, the Shuphra of the monuments, the Chephren of Herodotus, and Chephren of Diodorus. This dynasty lasted nearly 600 years. Of the 6th dynasty, which lasted about 150 years, the two most famous sovereigns are Phiops or Pepi and queen Nitoeris. The former is said to have ruled for a hundred years. With the latter the dynasty closed; for at this period Lower Egypt was invaded by the Shepherds, who entered the country from the north-east, about 700 years after Menes, and eventually drove the Memphites from the throne. Of the 7th and 8th dynasties nothing is known with certainty; they probably followed the 15th. To the former of them, one version of Manetho assigns a duration of 70 days, and 150 years to the latter. The 9th dynasty of Heracleopelites, or, more properly, of Hermonthites, as Sir G. Wilkinson has suggested (Rawlinson's Herod. 2:293), arose while the 6th was in power. Little is known of either the 9th or 10th dynasties, which together may have lasted nearly 600 years, ending at the time of the great Shepherd war of expulsion, which resulted in the overthrow of all the royal lines except the Diospolite or Theban. With the 11th dynasty commenced the Diospolite kingdom, which subsequently attained to greater power than any other. Amenemhet I was the last and most famous king of this dynasty, and during part of his reign he was co-regent of Osirtasen or Sesertesen I, head of the 12th. An epoch is marked in Egyptian history by the commencement of this dynasty, since the Shepherd rule, which lasted for 500 years, is coeval with it. The three Osirtasens flourished in this dynasty, the second of whom is probably the Sesostris of Manetho. It began about Abraham's time, or somewhat later. In ancient sculptures in Nubia we find kings of the 18th dynasty worshipping Osirtasen III as a god, and this is the only case of the kind. The third Osirtasen was succeeded by Amenemhet III, supposed to be the Moeris of Herodotus, who built the labyrinth. After the reigns of two other sovereigns, this dynasty came to a close, having lasted about 160 years. The 13th dynasty, which lasted some 400 years, probably began before the close of the 12th. The kings of this dynasty were of little power, and probably tributary to the Shepherds. The Diospolites, indeed, did not recover their prosperity till the beginning of the 18th dynasty. The 14th, or Xoite dynasty, seems to have risen with the 12th. It was named from Xois, a town of Lower Egypt, in the northern part of the Delta. It may have lasted for nearly 500 years, and probably terminated during the great Shepherd war. The 15th, 16th, and 17th dynasties are those of the Shepherds. Who these foreigners were who are said to have subdued Egypt without a battle is a question of great uncertainty. Their name is called Hyksos by Manetho, which is variously interpreted to mean shepherd kings, or foreign shepherds. They have been pronounced to have been Assyrians, Scythians, AEthiopians, Phoenicians, and Arabs. The kings of the 15th dynasty were the greatest of the foreign rulers. The kings of the 16th and 17th dynasties are very obscure. Mr. Poole says there are strong reasons for supposing that the kings of the 16th were of a different race from those of the 15th, and that they may have been Assyrians. Having held possession of Egypt 511, or, according to the longest date, 625 years, the Shepherds were driven out by Ames, or Amosis, the first king of the 18th dynasty; and the whole country was then united under one king, who rightly claimed the title of lord of the two regions, or of Upper and Lower Egypt.
3. Period of the Hebrew Sojourn. — In Genesis 39 begins the interesting story of Joseph's being carried down to Egypt, with all its important consequences for the great-grandchildren of Abraham. The productiveness of the country is the allurement, famine the impulse. Attendant circumstances show that Egypt was then famous also for its commercial pursuits; and the entire narrative gives the idea of a complex system of society (about B.C. 1890), and a well-constituted yet arbitrary form of government. As in Eastern courts at later periods of history, elevation to high offices was marked and sudden. The slave Joseph is taken from prison and from impending death, and raised to the dignity of prime vizier, and is intrusted with making provision for an approaching dearth of food, which he had himself foretold, during which he effects in favor of the ruling sovereign one of the greatest revolutions of property which history has recorded. The high consideration in which the priestly order was held is apparent. Joseph himself marries a daughter of the priest of On. Out of respect towards, as well as -by the direct influence of Joseph, the Hebrews were well treated. The scriptural record, however, distinctly states (Ge 46:34) that before the descent of Israel and his sons "every shepherd" was "an abomination unto the Egyptians." The Hebrews, whose "trade had been about cattle," must have been odious in the eyes of the Egyptians, yet they are expressly permitted to dwell "in the best of the land" (Ge 43:6), which is identified with the land of Goshen, the place which the Israelites had prayed might be assigned to them, and which they obviously desired on account of the adaptation of its soil to their way of life as herdsmen. Having settled his father and family satisfactorily in the land, Joseph proceeded to supply the urgent wants of a hungry nation, and at the same time converted the tenure of all property from freehold into tenancy-at-will, with a rent-charge of one fifth of the produce, leaving the priests' lands, however, in their own hands; and thus he gave another evidence of the greatness of their power.
The richness of Goshen was favorable, and the Israelites "grew and multiplied exceedingly," so that the land was filled with them. But Joseph was now dead; time had passed on, and there rose up a new king (probably one of a new dynasty) "which knew (Ex 1:8) not Joseph," having no personal knowledge, and, it may be, no definite information of his services; who, becoming jealous of the increase of the Hebrews, set about persecuting them with the avowed intention of diminishing their numbers and crippling their power. Severe task-masters are therefore set over them; heavy tasks are imposed; the Hebrews are compelled to build "treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses." It is found, however, that they only increase the more. In consequence, their burdens are doubled and their lives made bitter with hard bondage (Ex 1:14), "in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field." SEE BRICK. Their firstborn males, moreover, are doomed to destruction the moment they come into being. The deepest heartburnings ensue; hatred arises between the oppressor and the oppressed; the Israelites seek revenge in private and by stealth (Ex 2:12). At last a higher power interferes, and the afflicted race is permitted to quit Egypt (B.C. 1658). At this time Egypt appears to have been a well-peopled and well-cultivated country, with numerous cities, under a despotic monarch, surrounded by officers of his court and a life- guard. There was a ceremonial at audience, a distinction of ranks, a state-
prison, and a prime minister. Great buildings were carried on. There was set apart from the rest of the people an order of priests who probably filled offices in the civil government; the priest of Midian and the priest of On seem to have ruled over the cities so named. There was in the general class of priests an order — wise men, sorcerers, and magicians — who had charge of a certain secret knowledge; there were physicians or embalmers of the dead; the royal army contained chosen captains, and horsemen, and chariots. The attention which the people at large paid to agriculture, and the fixed notions of property which they in consequence had, made them hold the shepherd or nomad tribes in abhorrence, as freebooters only less dangerous than hunting-tribes. SEE PHARAOH.
According to the scheme of Biblical chronology, which we have adopted as the most probable, the whole sojourn in Egypt would belong to the period before the 18th dynasty. The Israelites would have come in and gone forth during that obscure age, for the history of which we have little or no monumental evidence. This would explain the absence of any positive mention of them on the Egyptian monuments. Some assert that they were an unimportant Arab tribe, and therefore would not be mentioned, and that the calamities attending their departure could not be commemorated. These two propositions are contradictory, and the difficulties are unsolved. If, as Lepsius supposes, the Israelites came in under the 18th dynasty, and went out under the 19th, or if, as Bunsen holds, they came in under the 12th, and (after a sojourn of 1434 years!) went out under the 19th, the oppression in both cases falling in a period of which we have abundant contemporary monuments, sometimes the records of every year, it is impossible that the monuments should be wholly silent if the Biblical narrative is true. Let us examine the details of that narrative. At the time to which we should assign Joseph's rule, Egypt was under Shepherds, and Egyptian kings of no great strength. Since the Pharaoh of Joseph must have been a powerful ruler and held Lower Egypt, there can be no question that he was, if the dates be correct, a Shepherd of the 15th dynasty. How does the Biblical evidence affect this inference? Nothing is more striking throughout the ancient Egyptian inscriptions and writings than the bitter dislike of most foreigners, especially Easterns. They are constantly spoken of in the same terms as the inhabitants of the infernal regions, not alone when at war with the Pharaohs, but in time of peace and in the case of friendly nations. It is a feeling paralleled in our days by that of the Chinese alone. The accounts of the Greek writers, and the whole history of the later period, abundantly confirm this estimate of the prejudice of the Egyptians against foreigners. It seems to us perfectly incredible that Joseph should be the minister of an Egyptian king. In lesser particulars the evidence is not less strong. The Pharaoh of Joseph is a despot, whose will is law, who kills and pardons at his pleasure; who not only raises a foreign slave to the head of his administration, but through his means makes all the Egyptians, except the priests, serfs of the crown. The Egyptian kings, on the contrary, were restrained by the laws, shared the public dislike of foreigners, and would have avoided the very policy Joseph followed, which would have weakened the attachment of their fellow-countrymen by the loosening of local ties and complete reducing to bondage of the population, although it would have greatly strengthened the power of an alien sovereign. Pharaoh's conduct towards Joseph's family points to the same conclusion. He gladly invites the strangers, and gives them leave to dwell, not among the Egyptians, hut in Goshen, where his own cattle seem to have been (Ge 46:34; Ge 47:6). His acts indicate a fellow-feeling, and a desire to strengthen himself against the national party. SEE JOSEPH.
The "new king," "which knew not Joseph," is generally thought by those who hold with us as to the previous history, to have been an Egyptian, and head of the 18th dynasty. It seems at first sight extremely probable that the king who crushed, if he did not expel the Shepherds, would be the first oppressor of the nation which they protected. Plausible as this theory appears, a close examination of the Biblical narrative seems to us to overthrow it. We read of the new king that he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel [are] more and mightier than we: come on, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and [so] get them up out of the land" (Ex 1:9-10). The Israelites are therefore more and stronger than the people of the oppressor; the oppressor fears war in Egypt, and that the Israelites would join his enemies; he is not able at once to adopt open violence, and he therefore uses a subtle system to reduce them by making them perform forced labor, and soon after takes the stronger measure of killing their male children. These conditions point to a divided country and a weak kingdom, and cannot, we think, apply to the time of the 18th and 19th dynasties. The whole narrative of subsequent events to the Exodus is consistent with this conclusion, to which the use of universal terms does not offer any real objection. When all Egypt is spoken of, it is not necessary either in Hebrew or in Egyptian that we should suppose the entire country to be strictly intended. If we conclude, therefore, that the Exodus most probably occurred before the 18th dynasty, we have to ascertain, if possible, whether the Pharaohs of the oppression appear to have been Egyptians or Shepherds. The change of policy is in favor of their having been Egyptians, but is by no means conclusive, for there is no reason that all the foreigners should have had the same feeling towards the Israelites, and we have already seen that the Egyptian Pharaohs and their subjects seem in general to have been friendly to them throughout their history, and that the Egyptians were privileged by the law, apparently on this account. It may be questioned whether the friendship of the two nations, even if merely a matter of policy, would have been as enduring as we know it to have been, had the Egyptians looked back on their conduct towards the Israelites as productive of great national calamities, or had the Israelites looked back upon the persecution as the work of the Egyptians. If the chronology be correct, we can only decide in favor of the Shepherds. During the time to which the events are assigned there were no important lines but the Theban, and one or more of Shepherds. Lower Egypt, and especially its eastern part, must have been in the hands of the latter. The land of Goshen was in the eastern part of Lower Egypt: it was wholly under the control of the oppressors, whose capital or royal residence, at least in the case of the Pharaoh of the Exodus, lay very near to it. Manetho, according to the transcript of Africanus, speaks of three Shepherd dynasties, the 15th, 16th, and 17th, the last of which, according to the present text, was of Shepherds and Thebans, but this is probably incorrect, and the dynasty should rather be considered as of Shepherds alone. It is difficult to choose between these three: a passage in Isaiah, however, which has been strangely overlooked, seems to afford an indication which narrows the choice. "My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there, and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause" (Genesis 52:4). This indicates that the oppressor was an Assyrian, and therefore not of the 15th dynasty, which, according to Manetho, in the epitomes, was of Phoenicians, and opposed to the Assyrians (Josephus, Apion, 1:14). Among the names of kings of this period in the royal Turin papyrus (ed. Wilkinson) are two which appear to be Assyrian, so that we may reasonably suppose that some of the foreign rulers were of that race. Their exact date, however, is undecided. It cannot be objected to the explanation we have offered that the title Pharaoh is applied to the kings connected with the Israelites, and that they must therefore have been natives, for it is almost certain that at least some of the Shepherd kings were Egyptianized, like Joseph, who received an Egyptian name, and Moses, who was supposed by the daughters of Jethro to be an Egyptian (Ex 2:19). It has been urged by the opponents of the chronological schemes that place the Exodus before the later part of the fourteenth century B.C., that the conquests of the Pharaohs of the 18th, 19th, and 2Cth dynasties would have involved collisions with the Israelites had they been in those times already established in Palestine, whereas neither the Bible nor the monuments of Egypt indicate any such event. It has been overlooked by the advocates of the Rabbinical date of the Exodus that the absence of any positive Palestinian names, except that of the Philistines, in the lists of peoples and places subject to these Pharaohs, and in the records of their wars, entirely destroys their argument; for while it shows that they did not conquer Palestine, it makes it impossible for us to decide on Egyptian evidence whether the Hebrews were then in that country or not. Shishak's list, on the contrary, presents several well-known names of towns in Palestine, besides that of the kingdom of Judah. The policy of the Pharaohs, as previously explained, is the key to their conduct towards the Israelites. At the same time, the character of the portions of the Bible relating to this period prevents our being sure that the Egyptians may not have passed through the country, and even put the Israelites to tribute. It is illustrative of the whole question under consideration that, in the most flourishing days of the sole kingdom of Israel, a Pharaoh should have marched unopposed into Palestine and captured the Canaanitish city Gezer, at no great distance from Jerusalem, and that this should be merely incidentally mentioned at a later time instead of being noticed in the regular course of the narrative (1Ki 9:15-16). SEE EXODE.
4. Definite Period. — With the 18th dynasty, about B.C. 1520, a new and clearer epoch of Egyptian history begins, both as regards the numerous materials for reconstructing it, and also its great importance. In fact, the history of the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties is that of the Egyptian empire. Amosis, orAhmes, the head of the first of these, overthrew the power of the Shepherds, and probably expelled them. No great monuments remain of the first king, but from various inscriptions we are warranted in supposing that he was a powerful king. During his reign we first find mention of the horse, and, as it is often called by the Shemitic name sus, it seems probable that it was introduced from Asia, and possibly by the Shepherd kings. If so, they may have been indebted to the strength of their cavalry for their easy conquest of Egypt. It is certain that, while other animals are frequently depicted on the monuments, neither in the tombs near the pyramids, nor at Beni-Hassan, is there any appearance of the horse, and yet, subsequently, Egypt became the great depot for these animals, insomuch that in the time of Solomon they were regularly imported for him, and for "all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria;" and when Israel was invaded by Sennacherib, it was on Egypt that they were said to put their trust for chariots and for horsemen. Amenoph I, the next king (B.C. cir. 1498), was sufficiently powerful to make conquests in Ethiopia and in Asia. In his time we find that the Egyptians had adopted the five intercalary days, as well as the twelve hours of day and night. True arches, not "arches of approaching stones," also are found at Thebes, bearing his name on the bricks, and were in common use in his time. See ARCH. Some of the more ancient chambers in the temple of Amen-ra, or El-Karnak, at Thebes, were built by him. In the reign of his successor, Thothmes I (B.C. cir. 1478), the arms of Egypt were carried into Mesopotamia, or the land of "Naharayn:" by some Naharayn is identified with the Nairi, a people south-west of Armenia. Libya also was subject to his sway. A monument of his reign is still remaining in one of the two obelisks of red granite which he set up at El- Karnak, or Thebes. The name of Thothmes II (B.C. cir. 1470) is found as far south as Napata, or Gebel Berkel, in Ethiopia. With him and his successor was associated a queen, Amense or Amen-numt, who seems to have received more honor than either. She is thought to have been a Semiramis, that name, like Sesostris, probably designating more than one individual. Queen Amen-nemt and Thothmes II and III are the earliest sovereigns of whom great monuments remain in the temple of El-Karnak, the chief sanctuary of Thebes. Thothmes III (B.C. cir. 1463) was one of the most remarkable of the Pharaohs. He carried his arms as far as Nineveh, and reduced perhaps Babylon also to his sway, receiving a large tribute from Asiatic nations over whom he had triumphed. This was a common mode of acknowledging the supremacy of a conqueror, and by no means implied that the territory was surrendered to him; on the contrary, he may only have defeated the army of the nation, and that beyond its own frontier. The Punt, a people of Arabia, the Shupha, supposed to be of Cyprus, and the Ruten, a people of the Euphrates or Tigris, thus confessed the power of Thothmes; and the monuments at Thebes are rich in delineations of the elephants and bears, camelopards and asses, the ebony, ivory, gold, and silver which they brought for tribute. Very beautiful specimens of ancient Egyptian painting belong to the time of this king;
indeed his reign, with that of Thothmes II preceding it, and those of Amenoph II (B.C. cir. 1416), Thothmes IV (whose name is borne by the sphinx at the pyramids), and Amenoph III following it, may be considered as comprising the best period of Egyptian art; all the earlier time showing a gradual improvement, and all the later a gradual declension. In the reign of Thothmes IV (B.C. cir. 1410), according to Manetho, the Shepherds took their final departure. The conquests of Amenoph III (B.C. cir. 1403) were also very extensive; traces of his power are found in various parts of Ethiopia; he states on scarabaei, struck apparently to commemorate his marriage, that his northern boundary was in Mesopotamia, his southern in Kara (Choloe?). From his features, he seems to have been partly of Ethiopian origin. His long reign of nearly forty years was marked by the construction of magnificent temples. Of these, the greatest were two at Thebes; one on the west bank, of which little remains but the two great colossi that stood on each side of the approach to it, and one of which is known as the vocal Memnon. He likewise built, on the opposite bank, the great temple, now called that of El-Uksor, which Rameses II afterwards much enlarged. The tomb of this king yet remains at Thebes. For a period of about thirty years after the reign of Amenoph III, Egypt was disturbed by the rule of stranger kings, who abandoned the national religion, and introduced a pure sun-worship. It is not known from whence they came, but they were regarded by the Egyptians as usurpers, and the monuments of them are defaced or ruined by those who overthrew them. Sir G. Wilkinson supposes that Amenoph III may have belonged to their race; but, if so, we must date the commencement of their rule from the end of his reign, as then began that change of the state religion which was the great peculiarity of the foreign domination. How or when the sun-worshippers were destroyed or expelled from Egypt does not appear. Horus, or Harem- heb, who succeeded them (B.C. cir. 1367), was probably the prince by whom they were overthrown. He was a son of Amenoph III, and continued the line of Diospolite sovereigns. The records of his reign are not important; but the sculptures at Silsilis commemorate a successful expedition against the negroes. Horus was indirectly succeeded by Rameses I, with whom substantially commences the 19th dynasty, about B.C. 1324. His tomb at Thebes marks the new dynasty, by being in a different locality from that of Amenoph III, and being the first in the valley thenceforward set apart as the cemetery of the Theban kings. After a short and unimportant reign, he was succeeded by his son Sethi I, or Sethos (B.C. 1322). He is known by the magnificent hypostyle hall in the great temple of El-Karnak, which he built, and on the outside of the north wall of which are sculptured the achievements of his arms. His tomb, cruelly defaced by travelers, is the most beautiful in the Valley of the Kings, and shows that his reign must have been a long one, as the sepulcher of an Egyptian king was commenced about the time of his accession, and thus indicated the length of his reign. He conquered the Kheta, or Hittites, and took their stronghold Ketesh, variously held to be at or near Emesa, on or near the Orontes, or Kadesh, or even Ashtaroth. His son Rameses II, who was probably for some time associated with him in the throne, became the most illustrious of the ancient kings of Egypt (B.C. cir. 1307). If he did not exceed all others in foreign conquests, he far outshone them in the grandeur and beauty of the temples with which he adorned Egypt and Nubia. His chief campaign, as recorded on his numerous monuments, was against the Kheta or Hittites, and a great confederacy they had formed. He defeated their army, captured Ketesh, and forced them to conclude a treaty with him, though this last object does not seem to have been immediately attained. It is he who is generally intended by the Sesostris of classic writers. He built the temple which is erroneously called the Memnonium, but properly the Rameseum of El-Kurneh, on the western bank of the Nile, one of the most beautiful of Egyptian monuments, and a great part of that of El-Uksor, on the opposite bank, as well as additions to that of El- Karnak. Throughout Egypt and Nubia are similar memorials of the power of Rameses II, one of the most remarkable of which is the great rock- temple of Abu-Simbel, not far north of the second cataract. The temple of Ptah, at Memphis, was also adorned by this Pharaoh, and its site is chiefly marked by a very beautiful colossal statue of him, fallen on its face and partly mutilated through modern vandalism. He was succeeded by his son Meneptah, who is supposed by the advocates of the Rabbinical date of the Exodus to have been the Pharaoh in whose time the Israelites went out. The monuments tell us little of him or of his successor, which latter was followed by his son Rameses III, perhaps the head of the 20th dynasty (B.C. cir. 1200). With this sovereign the glories of the Theban line revived, and a series of great victories by land and sea raised Egypt to the place which it had held under Rameses II. He built the temple of Medinet-Habu, on the western bank at Thebes, the walls of which are covered with scenes representing his exploits. The most remarkable of the sculptures commemorating them represents a naval victory in the Mediterranean, gained by the Egyptian fleet over that of the Tokkari, probably the Carians, and Shairetana (Khairetana), or Cretans. Other Shairetana, whom Mr.
Poole takes to correspond to the Cherethim of Scripture, served in the Egyptian forces. This king also subdued the Pelesatu, or Philistines, and the Rebu (Lebu), or Lubim, to the west of Egypt. Several kings hearing the name of Rameses succeeded Rameses II, but their tombs alone remain. Under them the power of Egypt evidently declined, and towards the close of the dynasty the country seems to have fallen into anarchy, the high- priests of Amen having usurped regal power at Thebes, and a Lower Egyptian dynasty, the 21st, arisen at Tanis. Of these, however, but few records remain.
With the succeeding dynasty occurs the first definite point of connection between the monumental and Che scriptural history of Egypt. The ill feelings which the peculiar circumstances connected with the exode from Egypt had occasioned served to keep the Israelites and the Egyptians strangers, if not enemies, one to another during the lapse of centuries, till the days of David and Solomon, when (1Ki 3; 1Ki 7; 1Ki 9; 1Ki 11) friendly relations again spring up between the two countries. Solomon marries the daughter of Pharaoh, who burns the city of Gezer, and who, in consequence, must have been master of Lower Egypt (B.C. cir. 1010). "And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn:" six hundred shekels was the price of a chariot, and one hundred and fifty the price of a horse. Probably the Egyptian princess who became Solomon's wife was a daughter of a king of the Tanite dynasty. It was during the reign of a king of this age that "Hadad, being yet a little child," fled from the slaughter of the Edomites by David, and took refuge, together with "certain Edomites of his father's servants," at the court of Pharaoh, who "gave him to wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen" (1Ki 11:17-19), B.C. cir. 1040-1000. The 22d dynasty was of Bubastite kings; the name of one of them has been found among the sculptured remains of the temples of Bubastis; they were probably not of unmixed Egyptian origin, and may have been partly of Assyrian or Babylonian race. The first king was Sheshonk I (B.C. cir. 990), the contemporary of Solomon, and in his reign it was that "Jeroboam arose and fled into Egypt unto Shishak, king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon" (1Ki 11:40), B.C. 973. In the 5th year of Rehoboam, B.C. 969, Sheshonk invaded Judaea with an army of which it is said "the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt, the Lubims, the Sukkiims, and the Ethiopians;" and that, having taken the "fenced cities" of Judah, he "came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house," and "the shields of gold which Solomon had made" (2 Chronicles 12). "The record of this campaign," says Sir G. Wilkinson, "which still remains on the outside of the south wall of the great temple of Karnak, bears an additional interest from the name of Yuda-Melchi (kingdom of Judah), first discovered by Champollion in the long list of captured districts and towns put up by Sheshonk to commemorate his success." Perhaps it was by Jeroboam's advice that he thus attacked Judah. It is doubtful, however, whether Jeroboam did not suffer by the invasion as well as Rehoboam. SEE SHISHAK. The next king, Osorkon I, is supposed by some to have been the Zerah whom Asa defeated (2Ch 14:9); and in that view, as the army that Zerah led can only have been that of Egypt, his overthrow will explain the decline of the house of Sheshonk. According to others, Zerah was a king of Asiatic Ethiopia. SEE ZERAH. Of the other kings of this dynasty we know scarcely more than the names. It was followed by the 23d dynasty of Tanite kings, so called from Tanis, the Zoan of Scripture. They appear to have been of the same race as their predecessors. Bocchoris the Wise, a Saite, celebrated as a lawgiver, was the only king of the 24th dynasty (B.C. cir. 734). He is said to have been burned alive by Sabaco the Ethiopian, the first king of the 25th or Ethiopian dynasty. Egypt therefore makes no figure in Asiatic history during the 23d and 24th dynasties; under the 25th it regained, in part at least, its ancient importance. This was a foreign line, the warlike sovereigns of which strove to the utmost to repel the onward stride of Assyria. It is not certain which of the Sabacos — Shebake, or his successor Shebateke — corresponded to the So or Seva of the Bible, who made a treaty with Hoshea, which, as it involved a refusal of his tribute to Shalmaneser, caused the taking of Samaria, and the captivity of the ten tribes. SEE SO. The last king of this dynasty was Tirhakah, or Tehrak (B.C. 690), who, probably while yet ruling over Ethiopia or Upper Egypt only, advanced against Sennacherib to support Hezekiah, king of Judah, B.C. 713. It does not appear whether he met the Assyrian army, but it seems certain that its miraculous destruction occurred before any engagement had been fought between the rival forces. Perhaps Tirhakak availed himself of this opportunity to restore the supremacy of Egypt west of the Euphrates. SEE TIRHAKAH. With him the 25th dynasty closed. It was succeeded by the 26th, of Saite or native kings. The first sovereign of importance was Psammetichus, or Psametik I (B.C. 664), who, according to Herodotus, had previously been one of a dodecarchy which had ruled Egypt.
Rawlinson finds in Assyrian history traces of a dodecarchy before Psammetichus. This portion of the history is obscure. Psammetichus carried on a war in Palestine, and is said to have taken Ashdod, or Azotus, i.e., according to Wilkinson, Shedid, "the strong," after a siege of twenty- nine years (Herod. 2:157; see Rawlinson in loc. 2:204). It was probably held by an Assyrian garrison, for a Tartan, or general of the Assyrian king, had captured it apparently when garrisoned by Egyptians and Ethiopians in the preceding century (Isaiah 20). Psammetichus was succeeded by his son Neku, the Pharaoh-Necho of Scripture, B.C. 610. In his first year he advanced to Palestine, marching along the sea-coast on his way to Carchemish on the Euphrates, and was met by Josiah, king of Judah, whom he slew at Megiddo, B.C. 609. The remonstrance of the Egyptian king on this occasion is very illustrative of the policy of the Pharaohs in the East (2Ch 35:21), no loss than in his lenient conduct after the defeat and death of the king of Judah. Neku was probably successful in his enterprise, and on his return deposed Jehoahaz, the son of Josiah, and set up Jehoiakim in his stead. He apparently wished by this expedition to strike a blow at the falling power of the Assyrians, whose capital was shortly after taken by the combined forces of the Babylonians and Medes. The army, however, which was stationed on the Euphrates by Neku met with a signal disaster three years afterwards, being routed by Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish (Jer 46:2). The king of Babylon seems to have followed up his success, as we are told (2Ki 24:7) that "the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land, for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt." Neku either commenced a canal to connect the Nile and the Red Sea, or else attempted to clear one previously cut by Rameses II; in either case the work was not completed. SEE NECHO. The second successor of Neku was the next sovereign of note, Ruahprah, or Vaphrah, called Pharaoh-Hophra in the Bible, and by Herodotus Aprics. He took Gaza and Sidon, and defeated the king of Tyre in a sea-fight. He also worsted the Cyprians. Havinga thus restored the power of Egypt, he succored Zedekiah, king of Judah, and when Jerusalem was besieged, obliged the Chaldaeans to retire (Jer 37:5,7,11). He was so elated by these successes that he thought "not even a god could overthrow him." In Eze 29:3, he is thought to be called "the great dragon (i.e. crocodile?) that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself." At last, however, Amosis, or Ahmes II, who had been crowned in a military revolt, took him prisoner and strangled him (B.C. 569), so that the words of Jeremiah were fulfilled: "I will give Pharaoh-Hophra, king of Egypt, into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of them that seek his life" (Jer 44:30). There seems little doubt that at the time of this rebellion, and probably in conjunction with the advance of Amosis, Egypt was invaded and desolated by Nebuchadnezzar. SEE HOPHRA. The remarkable prophecies, however, in Ezekiel 29-31 may refer for the most part to the invasion of Cambyses, and also to the revolt of Inarus under Artaxerxes. Amosis, the successor of Apries, reigned nearly fifty years, and, taking advantage of the weakness and fall of Babylon, he somewhat restored the weight of Egypt in the East. But the new power of Persia was to prove even more terrible to his house than Babylon had been to the house of Psammetichus. He was succeeded by his son Psammenitus, held to be the Psametik III of the monuments, B.C. 525. Shortly after his accession this king was attacked by Cambyses, who took Pelusium, or "Sin, the strength of Egypt," and Memphis, and subsequently put Psammenitus to death. With Cambyses (B.C. 525) began the 27th dynasty of Persians, and Egypt became a Persian province, governed by a satrap. The conduct of Darius Hystaspis (B.C. 521) to the Egyptians was favorable, and he caused the temples to be adorned with additional sculptures. The large temple in the Great Oasis was principally built by him, and in it is found his name, with the same honorary titles as the ancient kings. Before the death of Darius, however, the Egyptians rebelled, but were again subdued by Xerxes (B.C. 485), who made his brother Achaemenes governor of the country. Under Artaxerxes Longimanus they again revolted, as above referred to, and in the 10th year of Darius Nothus contrived to throw off the Persian yoke, when Amyrtaeus the Saite became the sole king of the 28th dynasty (B.C. 414). After having ruled six years, he was succeeded by the first king of the 29th or Mendesian dynasty. Of the four kings comprising it little is known, and the dates are uncertain. It was followed by the last, or 30th dynasty of Sebennyte kings. The first of these was Nectanebo, or Nekt-har-heb (B.C. 387), who successfully defended his country against the Persians, had leisure to adorn the temples, and was probably the last Pharaoh who erected an obelisk. His son Teos, or Tachos, was the victim of a revolt, from which he took refuge in the Persian court, where he died, while his nephew Nectanebo II, or Nekt-neb, ascended the throne as the last native king of Egypt (B.C. 361). For some time he successfully opposed the Persians, but eventually succumbed to Artaxerxes Ochus, about B.C. 343, when Egypt once more became a Persian province. "From that time till our own day," says Mr. Poole, "a period of twenty-two centuries, no native ruler has sat on the throne of Egypt, in striking fulfillment of the prophecy, 'There shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt' (Eze 30:13)." Egypt was governed by a Persian satrap till Persia itself was conquered by Alexander the Great, B.C. 332. When Alexander's army occupied Memphis, the numerous Greeks who had settled in Lower Egypt found themselves the ruling class. Egypt became at once a Greek kingdom, and Alexander showed his wisdom in the regulations by which he guarded the prejudices and religion of the Egyptians, who were henceforth to be treated as inferiors, and forbidden to carry arms. He founded Alexandria as the Greek capital. On his death, his lieutenant Ptolemy made himself king of Egypt, being the first of a race of monarchs who governed for 300 years, and made it the second chief kingdom in the world, till it sunk under its own luxuries and vices and the rising power of Rome. The Ptolemies founded a large public library and a museum of learned men. SEE ALEXANDRIA.
After the time of the exile the Egyptian Ptolemies were for a long while (from B.C. 301 to about 180) masters of Palestine, and during this period Egypt became as of old a place of refuge to the Jews, to whom many favors and privileges were conceded; This shelter seems not to have been for ages withdrawn (Mt 2:13). Yet it cannot be said that the Jews were held in esteem by the Egyptians (Philo, c. Apion, 2, page 521). Indeed, it was from an Egyptian, Manetho (B.C. 300), that the most defamatory misrepresentations of Jewish history were given to the world; and, in the days of Augustus, Chaeremon took special pains to make the Jewish people appear despicable (Josephus, Apion, 1:32; comp. Creuzer, Com. Herod. 1:270). SEE PTOLEMY.
In the reign of Ptolemy Philometor, Onias, whose father, the third high- priest of that name, had been murdered, fled into Egypt, and rose into high favor with the king and Cleopatra his queen. The high priesthood of the Temple of Jerusalem, which belonged of right to his family, having passed from. it to the family of the Maccabees, by the nomination of Jonathan to this office (B.C. 153), Onias used his influence with the court to procure the establishment of a temple and ritual in Egypt which should detach the Jews who lived there from their connection with the Temple at Jerusalem. The king complied with the request. To reconcile the Egyptian Jews to a second temple, Onias alleged Isa 19:18-19. He close for the purpose a ruined temple of Bubastis, at Leontopolis, in the Heliopolitan nome, one hundred and fifty stadia from Memphis, which place he converted into a sort of miniature Jerusalem (Josephus, War, 1:1), erecting an altar in imitation of that in the Temple, and constituting himself high-priest. The king granted a tract of land around the temple for the maintenance of the worship, and it remained in existence till destroyed by Vespasian (Josephus, Ant. 13:3; 20:9; War, 7:11). The district in which this temple stood appears to have been, after Alexandria, the chief seat of the Jews in Egypt, and which, from the name of its founder, was called ῾Ον ῾ιου χ ῾ωρα (Josephus, Ant. 14:8; Helon's Pilgrim. page 328). SEE ONIAS, CITY OF.
Under these Alexandrian kings the native Egyptians still continued building their grand and massive temples, nearly in the style of those built by the kings of Thebes and Sais. The temples in the island of Philae, in the Great Oasis, at Latopolis, at Ombos, at Dendera, and at Thebes, prove that the Ptolemies had not wholly crushed the zeal and energy of the Egyptians. An Egyptian phalanx had been formed, armed and disciplined like the Greeks. These soldiers rebelled unsuccessfully against Epiphanes, and then Thebes rebelled against Soter II, but was so crushed that it never again held rank among cities. But while the Alexandrians were keeping down the Egyptians, they were themselves sinking under the Romans. Epiphanes asked for Roman help; his two sons appealed to the senate to settle their quarrels and guard the kingdom from Syrian invasion. Alexander II was placed on the throne by the Romans, and Auletes went to Rome: to ask for help against his subjects. Lastly, the beautiful Cleopatra, the disgrace of her country and the firebrand of the republic, maintained her power by surrendering her person, first to Julius Caesar, and then to Mark Antony. On the defeat of Mark Antony by Augustus, B.C. 30, Egypt became a province of Rome, and was governed by the emperors with jealous suspicion. It was still a Greek state, and Alexandria was the chief seat of Greek learning and science. Its library, which had been burned by Caesar's soldiers, had been replaced by that from Pergamus. The Egyptians yet continued building temples and covering them with hieroglyphics as of old; but on the spread of Christianity the old superstitions lost their sway, the animals were no longer worshipped, and we find few hieroglyphical inscriptions after the reign of Commodus. On the division of the Roman empire, A.D. 337, Egypt fell to the lot of Constantinople. See Smith's Dict. of Class. Geogr. s.v. AEgyptus.
Ever since its first occupancy by the Romans Egypt has ceased to be an independent state, and its history is incorporated with that of its different conquerors and possessors. In A.D. 618 it fell under the power of the Persians, but in 640 it was transferred to the Saracens by the victorious Amru, general of the caliph Omar, under whose successors it continued till about 1171, when the Turcomans expelled the caliphs; these again were in their turn expelled in 1250 by the Mamelukes. The latter raised to the throne one of their own chiefs with the title of sultan, and this new dynasty reigned over Egypt till 1517, when the Mamelukes were totally defeated, and the last of their sultans put to death by the Turkish sultan Selim. This prince established the government of Egypt in twenty-four beys, whose authority he subjected to a council of regency, supported by an immense standing army. The conqueror did not, however, entirely suppress the Mameluke government, who continued to be "the power behind the throne" until their massacre in 1811, which made the pacha virtually independent of the Sublime Porte. Great and rapid changes have taken place in this interesting country within the last fifty years. The campaign of the French army in 1800, undertaken with a view to subdue Egypt, and so secure to the French an important share of the East India trade, though it resulted unsuccessfully, was attended with important consequences to the interests of science and learning. Mohammed Ali, the late viceroy, though a perfect despot, did much to elevate his dominions to a rank with civilized nations in arts, commerce, and industry. The works of internal improvement which he undertook, the extensive manufactories he established, and the encouragement he gave to literary institutions, have done much to change the political, if not the moral aspect of Egypt. His successors have carried out his enlightened views by establishing railroads and opening out canals, which, while they increase the commerce of the country, greatly facilitate communication with India by what is called the overland route by the Mediterranean, Egypt, and the Red Sea, to Bombay. See M'Culloch's Gazetteer, s.v. For the history of Christianity in Egypt, SEE EGYPT, CHRISTIAN.
XXII. Monumental Localities. — Of the towns on the northern coast the most western is Alexandria or El-Iskenderiyeh, founded B.C. 332 by Alexander the Great, who gave it the form of a Macedonian chlamys or mantle. Proceeding eastward, the first place of importance is Er-Rashid, or Rosetta, on the west bank of the branch of the Nile named after this town. In ascending the Rosetta branch the first spot of interest is the site of the ancient Sais, on the eastern bank, marked by lofty mounds and the remains of massive walls of crude brick. It was one of the oldest cities of Egypt, and gave its name to the kings of the 26th dynasty. The goddess Neith, supposed to be the origin of Athene, was the local divinity, and in her honor an annual festival was held at Sais, to which pilgrims resorted from all parts of Egypt. On the eastern side of the other branch of the Nile, to which it gives its name, stands the town Dimyat, or Damietta, a strong place in the time of the Crusades, and then regarded as the key of Egypt. It has now about 28,000 inhabitants. To the eastward of Damietta is the site of Pelusium, the Sin of Scripture, and the ancient key of Egypt, towards Palestine. No important remains have been found here. Between this site and the Damietta branch are the mounds of Tanis, or Zoan, the famous Avaris of the Shepherds, with considerable remains of the great temple, of which the most remarkable are several fallen obelisks, some of them broken. This temple was as ancient as the time of the 12th dynasty, and was beautified by Rameses II. Tanis was on the eastern bank of the Tanitic branch of the Nile, now called the canal of El-Moiz. A little south of the modern point of the Delta, on the eastern bank of the river, is the site of the ancient Heliopolis, or On, marked by a solitary obelisk, and the ruins of a massive brick wall. The obelisk bears the name of Osirtasen I, the head of the 12th dynasty. At a short distance south of Heliopolis stands the modern capital, Cairo, or El-Kahireh. The ancient city of Memphis, founded by Menes, stood on the western bank of the Nile, about ten miles above Cairo. The kings and people who dwelt there chose the nearest part of the desert as their burial-place, and built tombs on its rocky edge or excavated them in its sides. The kings raised pyramids, round which their subjects were buried in smaller sepulchers. The site of Memphis is marked by mounds in the cultivated tract. A few blocks of stone and a fine colossus of Rameses II are all that remains of the great temple of Ptah, the local deity. SEE MEMPHIS.
There is not space here for a detailed account of the pyramids; suffice it to say that the present perpendicular height of the great pyramid is 450 feet, 9 inches and its present base 746 feet. It is about 30 feet lower than it was originally, much of the exterior having been worn off by age and man's violence. Like all the other pyramids, it faces the cardinal points. The surface presents a series of great steps, though when first built it was cased, and smooth, and polished. The platform on the summit is about 32 feet square. The pyramid is almost entirely solid, containing only a few chambers, so small as not to be worthy of consideration in calculating its contents. It was built by Rhufa (Cheops), or Shufu (Suphis). The second pyramid stands at a short distance south-west of the great pyramid, and is not of much smaller dimensions. It is chiefly remarkable for a great part of its casing having been preserved. It was built by Khafra or Shafra (Chephren), a king of the same period. The third pyramid is much smaller than either of the other two, though it is constructed in a more costly manner. It was built by Mycerinus or Mencheres, the fourth ruler of the 4th dynasty. Near the three pyramids are six smaller ones; three of them are near the east side of the great pyramid, and three on the south side of the third pyramid. They are supposed to be the tombs of near relatives of the kings who founded the great pyramid. To the east of the second pyramid is the great sphinx. 188 feet in length, hewn out of a natural eminence in the solid rock, some defects of which are supplied by a partial stone casing, the legs being likewise added. SEE PYRAMIDS.
In the tract between the pyramids of Sakkarah and Abu-Sir are the remains of the Serapeum, and the burial place of the bulls Apis, both discovered by M. Mariette. They are enclosed by a great wall, having been connected, for the Serapeum was the temple of Apis. The tomb is a great subterranean gallery, whence smaller passages branch off, and contains many sarcophagi in which the bulls were entombed. Serapis was a form of Osiris, his name being Osir-hapi, or Osiris Apis. In ascending the river we arrive at the ancient Ahnas, supposed by some to be the Hanes of Isaiah, and about sixty miles above Cairo, at Beni-Suweif, the port of the province of the Feyum. In this province are supposed to be the remains of the famous Labyrinth of Moeris, probably Amen-em-ha III, and not far off, also, may be traced the site of the Lake Moeris, near the ancient Arsinoe, or Crocodilopolis, now represented by Medinet el-Feylum. The next objects of peculiar interest are the grottoes of Beni-Hassan, which are monuments of the 12th dynasty, dating about B.C. 2000. Here are found two columns of an order which is believed to be the prototype of the Doric. On the walls of the tombs are depicted scenes of hunting, fishing, agriculture, etc. There is also an interesting representation of the arrival of certain foreigners, supposed to be Joseph's brethren — at least illustrative of their arrival. In the town of Asyrt, higher up the river, is seen the representative of the ancient Lycopolis. It was an important place 3500 years ago, and has thus outlived Thebes and Memphis, Tanis and Pelusium.
Further on, a few miles south-west of Girga, on the border of the Libyan desert, is the site of the sacred city of Abydus, a reputed burial-place of Osiris, near which, also, must have been situated the very ancient city of This, which gave its name to the 1st and 2nd dynasties. About forty miles from Abydus, though nearly in the same latitude, is the village of Denderah, famous for the remains of the temple of Athor, the Egyptian Venus, who presided over the town of Tentyra. the capital of the Tentyrite nome. This temple dates from the time of the earlier Caesars, and the names of the last Cleopatra, and Caesarion her son, are found in it. SEE DENDERAH.
About twenty miles still higher up the Nile than Denderah, and on the western bank, are the ruins of Thebes, the No-Amon of the Bible. In the hieroglyphic inscriptions the name of this place is written AP-T, or with the article prefixed T-AP, and AMENHA, the abode of Amen. The Copts write the former name Tape, which becomes in the Memphitic dialect Thaba, and thus explains the origin of the Greek Θ'ηβαι. The time of its foundation is unknown, but remains have been found which are ascribed to the close of the 11th dynasty, and it probably dates from the commencement of that first Diospolite line of kings. Under the 18th and two following dynasties it attained its highest prosperity, and to this period its greatest monuments belong. The following is a description of this celebrated locality by Mr. Poole: "The monuments of Thebes, exclusive of its sepulchral grottoes, occupy a space on both sides of the river, of which the extreme length from north to south is about two miles, and the extreme breadth from east to west about four. The city was on the eastern bank, where is the great temple, or, rather, collection of temples, called after El- Karnak, a modern village near by. The temple of El-Karnak is about half a mile from the river, in a cultivated tract. More than a mile to the south- west is the temple of El-Uksur, on the bank of the Nile. On the western bank was the suburb bearing the name Memnonia. The desert near the northernmost of the temples on this side almost reaches the river, but soon recedes, leaving a fertile plain generally more than a mile in breadth. Along the edge of the desert, besides the small temple just mentioned as the northernmost, are the Rameseum of El-Kurneh, and that of Medinet-Habu less than a mile farther to the south-west, and between them, but within the cultivated land, the remains of the Amenophium, with its two gigantic seated colossi. Behind these edifices rises the mountain, which here attains a height of about 1200 feet. It gradually recedes in a southwesterly direction, and is separated from the cultivated tract by a strip of desert in which are numerous tombs, partly excavated in two isolated hills, and two small temples. A tortuous valley, which commences not far from the northernmost of the temples on this bank, leads to those valleys in which are excavated the wonderful tombs of the kings, near the highest part of the mountain, which towers above them in bold and picturesque forms" (Encyclop. Britannica, art. Egypt, page 506). At the entrance to the temple of El-Uksur stood two very fine obelisks of red granite, one of which is now in the center of the Place de la Concorde, at Paris. There is also a portal with wings 200 feet in width, covered with sculptures of the highest interest, illustrating the time of Rameses II. Within is a magnificent avenue of 14 columns, having capitals of the bell-shaped flowers of the papyrus. They are 60 feet high, and elegantly sculptured. These are of the time of Amenoph III. — On a south portal of the great temple of El-Karnak is a list of countries subdued by Sheshonk I, or Shishak, the head of the 22d dynasty. Among the names is that of the kingdom of Judah, as before mentioned. The great hypostyle hall in this temple is the most magnificent work of this class in Egypt. Its length is 170 feet, its width 329; it is supported by 134 columns, the loftiest of which are nearly 70 feet in height and about 12 in diameter, and the rest more than 40 feet in height and about 9 in diameter. The great columns, 12 in number, form an avenue through the midst of the court from the entrance, and the others are arranged in rows very near together on each side. There is a transverse avenue made by two rows of the smaller columns being placed further apart than the rest. This great hall is therefore crowded with columns, and the effect is surpassingly grand. The forest of pillars seems interminable in whatever direction one looks, producing a result unequalled in any other Egyptian temple. This great hall was the work of Sethi I, the head of the 19th dynasty, who came to the throne B.C. cir. 1340, and it was sculptured partly in his reign and partly in that of his son and successor Rameses II. — The Rameseum remains to be briefly noticed. This temple on the edge of the desert is perhaps the most beautiful ruin in Egypt, as Karnak is the grandest. It also records the glories of Rameses II, of whom there is in one of its courts a colossal statue hewn out of a single block of red granite, supposed to weigh nearly 900 tons, and transported thither from the quarries of Syene. This temple is also noted for containing the celebrated astronomical ceiling, one of the most precious records of ancient Egyptian science. Not the least interesting among the monuments of Thebes are the tombs of the kings. The sepulchers are 20 or 21 in number. Nineteen are sculptured, and are the mausolea of kings, of a queen with her consort, and of a prince, all of the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties. The paintings and sculptures are almost wholly of a religious character, referring chiefly to a future state. Standing on the resting places of kings and warriors who figured in the history of Egypt while the world was yet young, and long before the age of others whom we are accustomed to consider heroes of antiquity, it seems as though death itself were immortalized; and proudly indeed may those ancient Pharaohs, who labored so earnestly to preserve their memory on earth, look down upon the paltry efforts of later aspirants, and their slender claims to be regarded as either ancient or immortal. SEE THEBES.
About twenty miles further south of the site of Thebes is the village of Edfu, representing the town called by the Greeks Apollinopolis Magna, where is still found in a comparatively perfect state a temple of the Ptolemaic period. SEE TEMPLE. Above Edfu, at Jebel es-Silsileh, the mountains on either side, which have for some time confined the valley to a narrow space, reach the river, and contract its course and higher still, about thirty miles, is the town of Aswan, which represents the ancient Syene, and stands among the palm-trees on the eastern bank, opposite to the island of Elephantine. The bed of the river above this place is obstructed by numerous rocks and islands of granite, which form the rapids called the first cataract. During the inundation boats are enabled by a strong northerly wind to pass this cataract without aid, and, in fact, at other times the principal rapid has only a fall of five or six feet, and that not perpendicular. The roaring of the troubled stream, and the red granite islands and rocks which stud its surface, give the approach a wild picturesqueness till we reach the open stream, less than two miles further, and the beautiful island of Philae suddenly rises before our eyes, completely realizing one's highest idea of a sacred place of ancient Egypt. It is very small, only a quarter of a mile long and 500 feet broad, and contains monuments of the time of the Ptolemies. In the desert west of the Nile are situate the great and little wahs (oases), and the valley of the Natron lakes, containing four Coptic monasteries, the remains of the famous anchorite settlement of Nitria, recently noted for the discovery of various Syrian MSS. In the eastern desert the chief town of importance is Es-Suweis, or Suez, the ancient Arsinoe, which gives its name to the western gulf of the Red Sea.
XXIII. Prophecies. — It would not be within the province of this article to enter upon a general consideration of the prophecies relating to Egypt; we must, however, draw the reader's attention to their remarkable fulfillment. The visitor to the country needs not to be reminded of them; everywhere he is struck by the precision with which they have come to pass. We have already spoken of the physical changes which have verified to the letter the words of Isaiah. In like manner we recognize, for instance, in the singular disappearance of the city of Memphis and its temples in a country where several primeval towns yet stand, and scarce any ancient site is unmarked by temples, the fulfillment of the words of Jeremiah: 'Noph shall be waste and desolate without an inhabitant" (Jer 46:19), and those of Ezekiel, "Thus saith the Lord God, I will also destroy the idols, and I will cause [their] images to cease out of Noph"? (Eze 30:13).
The principal passages relating to Egypt are as follows: Isa 19; Jer 43:8-13; Jer 44:30; Jer 46; Eze 29-32, inclusive. In the course of what has been said, several allusions have been made to portions of these prophecies; and it may here be observed that the main reference in them seems to be to the period extending from the times of Nebuchadnezzar to those of the Persians, though it is not easy to elucidate them to any great extent from the history furnished by the monuments. Nebuchadnezzar appears to have invaded Egypt during the reign of Apries, and Sir G. Wilkinson thinks that the story of Amasis' rebellion was invented or used to conceal the fact that Pharaoh-Hophla was deposed by the Babylonians. It is not improbable that Amasis came to the throne by their intervention. The forty years' desolation of Egypt(Eze 29:10) is a point of great difficulty, owing chiefly to the statements of Herodotus (2:161, 177) as to the unexampled prosperity of the reigns of Apries and Amasis (B.C. 588- 25), during which the period in question must have fallen. That the Greek historian was misled by the accounts of the Egyptian priests, who wished to conceal the extent of the national humiliation by Nebuchadnezzar and Cambyses, is made evident by Browne (Ordo Saeclorum? page 191 sq.), who thus arranges the events: "Soon after B.C. 572, Nebuchadnezzar invades Egypt, conquers Apries, and puts him to death, and carries off the spoil of Egypt, together with its chief men, to some other part of his dominions: Amasis is appointed his viceroy. Cyrus, about B.C. 532, 'turns the captivity of Egypt,' as he had before done that of the Jews. On his death Amasis revolts, and Cambyses invades and fully subjugates all Egypt, B.C. 525." SEE EZEKIEL.
XXIV. Literature. — For a very full classified list of works on Egypt, see Jolowicz's Bibliotheca -Egyptiaca (Lpz. 1858, 8vo), with the Supplement thereto (ib. 1861). The following are the most useful, excepting such as relate to the modern history. On Egypt generally: Description de l'E'gypte (2d ed. Par. 1821-9); Encyclopaedia Britannica (8th edit. art. Egypt). Description, Productions, and Topography: Abd-Allatif, Relation de E'gypte (ed. Silvestre de Sacy, Par. 1810); D'Anville, Memoires sur l'Egypte (Par. 1766); Belzoni, Narrative of Operations (London, 1820); Brugsch, Geographische Inschriften d. alt-Egyptischen Denkmaler (Lpz. 1857); Id. Reiseberichte aus AEgypten (ib. 1855); Champollion le Jeune, L'E'gypte sous les Pharaons (Par. 1814); Id. Lettres ecrites pendant son Voyage en Egypte (2d edit. Par. 1833); Ehrenberg and Hemprich, Naturgeschichtliche Reiser — Reisen in AEgypten, etc. (Lpz. 1828); Symbolae Physicae (ib. 1829-1845); Forskal, Descriptiones animalium, etc. (Hafn. 1775-6); Id. Flora AEgyptiaco-arabica (ib. 1775); Harris, Hieroglyphical Standards (London, 1852); Linant de Bellefonds, Memoire sur le lac de Moeris (Paris, 1843); Quatremere, Memoires Geographiques et Historiques (Paris, 1811); Russegger, Reisen (Lpz. 1841-8); Vyse and Perring, Pyramids of Gizeh (Lond. 1839-42); Perring, 58 Large Views, etc., of the Pyramids of Gizeh (Lond. 1841); Wilkinson, Modern Egypt and Thebes (Lond. 1843); Id. Hand-book for Egypt (2d edit. Lond. 1858); Id. Survey of Thebes (plan); Id. on the Eastern Desert (in the Jour. Geogr. Soc. 2:1832, p. 28 sq.); Hartmann, Naturgesch. der Nillander (Lpz. 1865); Kremer, Egypten (modern, Lpz. 1863); Parthey, Erdk. des alten AEgyptens (ib. 1859); Pethorick, Egypt, etc. (Lond. 1861). Monuments and Inscriptions: Champollion le Jeune, Monuments (Paris, 1829-47); Id. Notices descriptives (ib. 1844); Gliddon, Lectures (N.Y. 1843); Lepsius, Denkmaler (Lpz. 1849 sq.); Letronne, Recueil des inscriptions grecques et latines d'E'gypte (Par. 1842); Rosellini, Monumenti (Pisa, 1832-44); Dumichen, Altagypt. Inschriften (in three series, Lpz. 1865 -8); Brugsch, Recueil de Monuments Egyptiens (Par. 186263); Leemans, Monuments Egyptiens (ib. 1866); Rhind, Thebes, etc. (Lond. 1862). Language: Brugsch, Grammaire Demotique (Berl. 1855); Id. Hierog.-Demot. Worterb. (Berl. 1867); Id. Zwei bilingue Papyri (ib. 1865); Birch, Dictionary of Hieroglyphics (in Bunsen, volume 5); Champollion le Jeune, Grammaire Egyptienne (Paris, 1836-41); Dictionnaire E'gyptien (ib.
1841); Encyclop. Brit. (8th edit. art. Hieroglyphics); Parthey, Vocabularium Coptico-Latinum, etc. (Berl. 1844); Peyron, Grammatica linguae Copticae (Turin, 1841); Id. Lexicon (ib. 1835); Schwartze, Das Alte Aegypten (Lpz. 1843). Ancient Chronology, History, and Manners: Bunsen, Egypt's Place (London, 1850-59); Cory, Ancient Fragments (2d edit. Lond. 1832); Herodotus (ed. Rawlinson, volumes 1-4, Lond. and N.Y. 1861); Hengstenberg, Egypt and the Books of Moses (Lond. 1843); Ideler, Handbuch der Chronologie (Lpz. 1825); Lepsius, Chronologie der Aegypter (volume 1, Lpz. 1849); Id. Konigsbuch der alten Aegypter (ib. 1858); Poole, Horae Egyptiacae. (Lond. 1851); Wilkinson, Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians (ib. 1837, 1841); Id. Popular Account of the Ancient Egyptians (Lond. and N.Y. 1855); Kenrick, Egypt under the Pharaohs (Lond. and N.Y. 1852); Osburn, Monumental History (Lond. 1854); Sharpe, Hist. of Egypt (Lond. 1846); Brugsch, Histoire de l'E'gypte (Paris, 1859 sq.); Hincks, Years of the Egyptians (London, 1865); Lauth, Der Dynast. Manetho's (Leipzig, 1865); Unger, Chronologie des Manetho (Berlin,1867). Ancient Religion: Herodotus; Diodorus of Sicily; Plutarch; Porphyry; Iamblichus, etc.; Jablonski, Pantheon Aegypt. (Frankf. 1750-52, 3 volumes); Schmidt, De sacerdot. et sacrificiis AEgyptiorum (Tub. 1786); Hirt, U. d. Bildung d. agyptischen Gottheiten (1821); Champollion, Pantheon egyptied (Paris, 1832); Haymann, Darstellung d. A.-nr. M. (Bonn, 1837); Roth, Die ag. u. Zoroastrische Glaubenslehre (Manh. 1846); Beauregard, Les divinites E'gyptiennes (Paris, 1866); Sharpe, Egyptian Mythology (Lond. 1863); Lepsius, D. Todtenbuch (Lpz. 1867); Rouge, Ritual des E'gyptiens (Paris, 1866); Birch, The Funeral Ritual (in Bunsen, volume 5); Pleyte, La Religion des Pre-Israelites (Par. 1862). Modern Inhabitants: Lane, Modern Egyptians (3d ed. 1860); Id. Thousand and One Nights (2d edit., by Poole, Lond. 1859); Mrs. Poole, Englishwoman in Egypt (Lond. and N.Y. 1844). The periodicals of Great Britain, France, and Germany contain many valuable papers on Egyptian history and antiquities, by Dr. Hincks, Mr. Birch, M. de Rouge, and others. There is a monthly Egyptological Zeitschrift, edited by M. Brugsch, published at Berlin; and a society called the "Eg. Explor. Fund" of London, has published several Memoirs of new researches.