(1 Esdr. 3:2; Est. 13:1; 16:1; Judith 1:10; Ac 8:27; the Hebrew כּוּשׁ, Kush, i.e., CUSH, as it is generally rendered, Ge 2:13; 2Ki 19:9; Es 1:1; Job 28:19; Ps 68:31; Ps 87:4; Isa 18:1; Isa 20:3,5; Isa 27:9; Isa 45:14; Eze 30:4-5; Eze 38:5; Na 3:9), a country which, as thus designated by the ancients, lay to the south of Egypt, and embraced, in its most extended sense, the modern Nubia, Sennaar, Kordofan, and northern Abyssinia, and in its more definite sense the kingdom of Meroe, from the junction of the Blue and White branches of the Nile to the border of Egypt. In one passage in the description of the garden of Eden, an Asiatic Cush or Ethiopia must be intended (Ge 2:13), and the distribution of the descendants of Cush, with later Biblical historical indications, should be compared with the classical mentions of eastern and western Ethiopians, and other indications of profane history. In all other passages, the words Ethiopia and the Ethiopians, with one possible exception, "the Arabians, that [were] near the Ethiopians" (2Ch 21:16), which may refer to Arabians opposite to Ethiopia, may be safely considered to mean an African country and people or peoples. In the Bible, as in classical geography, but one limit of Ethiopia is laid down, its northern frontier, just beyond Syene, the most southern town of Egypt. Egypt is spoken of as to be desolate "from Midol to Syene, even unto the border of Ethiopia" (Eze 29:10), or "from Midol to Syene" (30:6), showing that then, as now, the southern boundary of Egypt was at the First Cataract. In other directions the boundaries can only be generally described as the Red Sea on the E., the Libyan desert on the W., and the Abyssinian highlands on the S. The extent assigned to Ethiopia in ancient times may have been very great, as it was the land of the negroes, and therefore represented all that was known of inner Africa, besides that part of the continent south is of Egypt which is washed by the Red Sea. The references in the Bible are, however, generally, if not always, to the territory which was at times under Egyptian rule, a tract watered by the Upper Nile, and extending from Egypt probably as far as a little above the confluence of the White and Blue Rivers.
The Hebrews do not appear to have had much practical acquaintance with' Ethiopia itself, though the Ethiopians were well known to them through their intercourse with Egypt. They were, however, perfectly aware of its position (Eze 29:10), and they describe it as a well-watered country lying "from the side of" (A.V. "beyond") the waters of Cush (Isa 18:1; Zep 3:10), being traversed by the two branches of the Nile, and by the Astaboras or Tacazze. 'The Nile descends with a rapid stream in this part of its course, forming a series of cataracts: its violence seen is to be referred to in the words of Isa 18:2, "whose land the rivers have spoiled." The Hebrews seem also to have been aware of its tropical characteristics, the words translated in the A.V. "the land shadowing with wings" (Isa 18:1), admitting the sense of "the land of the shadow of both sides," the shadows falling towards the north and south at different periods of the year, a feature which is noticed by many early writers (compare the expression in Strabo, 2, page 133, αμφισκιοι; Virgil, Ecl. 10:68; Pliny, 2:75). The papyrus boats ("vessels of bulrushes," Isa 18:2), which were peculiarly adapted to the navigation of the Upper Nile, admitting of being carried on men's backs when necessary, were regarded as a characteristic feature of the country. The Hebrews carried on commercial intercourse with Ethiopia, its "merchandise" (Isa 45:14) consisting of ebony, ivory, frankincense, and gold (Herod. 3:97, 114), and precious stones (Job 28:19; Josephus, Ant. 8:6, 5).
⇒Bible concordance for ETHIOPIA.
The following close translation of Isaiah's splendid summons (chapter 18) to the Ethiopians, as auxiliaries to the Egyptians in the struggle against Sennacherib, is inserted here as graphic of many salient features of that warlike state:
Ho! land of whirring wings, That art across the rivers of Cushi; That sendest on the sea ambassadors, Even in vessels of papyrus upon the face of the waters.
⇒See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.
Go ye light messengers, To a nation drafted and drilled, To a people fearful henceforth and onward, A nation most valiant and dominant, Whose land rivers have split: All ye inhabitants of the world, And dwellers of the land, At the lifting of the standard of the mountains you shall see, And at the clanging of the trumpet you shall hear.
For thus has Jehovah said to me:I will calmly look in my place — Like serene heat above sunlight, Like the cloud of dew in the heat of harvest; Yet before the harvest, when the blossom has grown perfect, Or a plump green grape can the flower become, Then has one cut the shoots with the pruning-knives, And the twigs has he removed, lopped. And they shall be left together for the buzzard of the mountains, And for the beast of the earth; And upon him shall the buzzard summer, And every beast of the earth shall winter upon him. In that time shall a present be led to Jehovah of armies, Of a people drafted and drilled, Even from a people fearful henceforth and onward, A nation most valiant and dominant, Whose land rivers have split, To the place of the name of Jehovah of armies, Mount Zion.
The inhabitants of Ethiopia were a Hamitic race (Ge 10:6), and are described in the Bible as a dark-complexioned (Jer 13:23) and stalwart race (Isa 45:14, "men of stature;" 18:2, for "scattered," some substitute "tall"). Their stature is noticed by Herodotus (3:20, 114) as well as their handsomeness. Not improbably the latter quality is intended by the term in Isa 18:2, which in the A.V. is rendered "peeled," but which may mean "fine-looking." Their appearance led to their being selected as attendants in royal households (Jer 38:7). The Ethiopians are on one occasion coupled with the Arabians, as occupying the opposite shores of the Red Sea (2Ch 21:16); but elsewhere they are connected with African nations, particularly Egypt (Ps 68:31; Isa 20:3-4; Isa 43:3; Isa 45:14), Phut (Jer 46:9), Lub and Lud (Eze 30:5), and the Sukkiim (2Ch 12:3). They were divided into various tribes, of which the Sabaeans were the most powerful. SEE SEBA; SEE SUKKIIM.
The name Cush is found in the Egyptian KISH, which is evidently applied to the same territory, though we have the same difficulty in determining its limits, save on the north. The classical Ethiopia (Αἰθιοπια) may have the same origin, through the Coptic ethos, of which, unless it be derived from thos, "a boundary," the Sahidic form esos may be the purest, and connect the classical with the ancient Egyptian name. The Greeks themselves regarded it as expressive of a dark complexion (from αἴθω, "to burn," and ὤψ, "a countenance"). In the Bible there is no certain notice of any Ethiopian race but Cushites.
According to Dr. Brugsch, the first country above Egypt was TA-MERU- PET, or TA-HENS, corresponding to Nubia, and extending, under the Pharaohs, at least as far south as Napata. Dr. Brugsch supposes that TA- HENS was, in the earlier times, the whole tract south of Syene under Egyptian rule [therefore governed by the prince of KISH, and corresponding to or included in that country], and, in the later times, little more than the Dodecasotcenus of the Ptolemies and Romans, the remains of the older territory (Geographische Inschriften, 1:100). As a nome, Nubia, before the formation of the Ombite Nome, included Ombos, Silsilis being probably the first city of the Egyptian Apollinopolite Nome. Although it is not impossible that at Silsilis was anciently the great natural barrier of Egypt on the south, we think that this extension of Nubia was simply for purposes of government, as Dr. Brugsch seems to admit (Geogr. Inschr. 1:100). South of the Nubia of the Pharaohs he places a region of which the name perhaps reads PENT-HEN-NUFRE, which, however, was probably a district of the former country. Still further, and near Merob, he puts the land of KISH, and in and, about Meroe the land of the NEHSI or negroes. Others, however, think that KISH commenced immediately above Egypt, lerobably always at the First Cataract, and included all the known country south of Egypt, TA-MERU-PET or TAKENS, save as a nome, being a part of it, the modern Nubia. Names of conquered negro nations, tribes, or countries occur on the monuments of the empire: of these, the most suggestive are the BARBARTA and TAKRERR (see Brugsch, Geogr. Inschr. 1:100 -107, 150164; 2:4-13, 20; 3:3, 4, and indices s.v. Athiopien, Kes, etc.).
Ethiopia comprises two very different tracts. North of the region of tropical rains, it is generally an extremely narrow strip of cultivated land, sometimes but a few Cards wide, on both sides, or occasionally on one side only, of the Nile. Anciently the watered tract was much broader, but the giving way of a barrier at Silsilis (Jebel es-Silsileh) or Syene (Aswatn) has lowered the level of the river for some distance above the First Cataract; exactly how far cannot be accurately determined, but certainly for the whole space below the Third Cataract. The cultivable soil which was anciently productive is now far above the highest level of the stream. The valley is, however, never broad, the mountains seldom leaving a space of more than a mile within the greater part of the region north of the limit of tropical rains. The aspect of the country is little varied. On either side of the river, here narrower than in its undivided course in Upper Egypt, rise sterile sandstone and limestone mountains, the former sometimes covered by yellow sand-drifts. At the First Cataract, at Kalab'sheh, and at the Second Cataract, the river is obstructed, though at the second place not enough to form a rapid, by red granite and other primary rocks. The groves of date-palms, here especially fine, are the most beautiful objects in the scene, but its general want of variety is often relieved by the splendid remains of Egyptian and Ethiopian civilization, and the clearness of the air throws a peculiar beauty over everything that the traveler beholds. As he ascends the river, the scenery, after a time, becomes more varied, until on the east he reaches the Abyssinian highlands, on the west the long meadows, the pasture-lands of herds of elephants, through which flows the broad and sluggish White Nile. In this upper region the climate is far less healthy than below, save in Abyssinia, which, from its height, is drained, and enjoys an air which is rare and free from exhalations. The country is thus for the most part mountainous, the ranges gradually increasing in altitude towards the S., until they attain an elevation of about 8000 feet in Abyssinia.
The Nile is the great fertilizer of the northern regions of Ethiopia, which depend wholly upon its yearly inundation. It is only towards the junction of the two great streams that the rains take an increasingly important share in the watering of the cultivable land. In about N. lat. 170 40', the great river receives its first tributary, the Astabloras, now called the Atbarah. In about N. lat. 150 40' is the confluence of the Blue and White Niles. The Blue Nile, which has its source in Abyssinia, is a narrow, rapid stream, with high, steep mild-banks, like the Nile in Egypt; it is strongly charged with alluvial soil, to which it owes the dark color which has given it its distinctive name. From this stream the country below derives the annual alluvial deposits. The White Nile is a colorless river, very broad and shallow, creeping slowly through meadows and wide in marsh-lands. Of the cultivation and natural products of Ethiopia little need be said, as they do not illustrate the few notices of it in Scripture. It has always been, excepting the northern part, productive, and rich in animal life. Its wild animals have gradually been reduced, yet still the hippopotamus, the crocodile, and the ostrich abound, though the second alone is found throughout its extent. The elephant and lion are only known in its southernmost part.
In the Bible a Cushite appears undoubtedly to be equivalent to a negro, from this passage, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his stripes?" (Jer 13:23); and it is to be observed, that whenever the race of KISH is represented on the Egyptian monuments by a single individual, the type is that of the true negro (Wilkinson, Anc. Eg. 1:404, abridgm.), It is therefore probable that the negro race anciently extended further to the north than at present, the whole country watered by the Nile, as far as it is known, being now peopled by a race intermediate between the negro race and the Caucasian. There is no certain mention in the Bible of this intermediate race in Ethiopia, but the Egyptian and Ethiopian monuments afford us indications of its ancient existence in its modern territory, though probably it did not then extend as far south as now. At the present day, Ethiopia is inhabited by a great variety of tribes of this race: the Kunuz, said to be of Arab origin, nearest to Egypt, are very dark; the Nubeh, the next nation, much lighter; beyond them are some fair Arabs, the Caucasian Abyssinians, with scarcely any trace of negro influence save in their dark color, and tribes as black as the true negro, or nearly so, though not of the pure negro type. The languages of Ethiopia are as various as the tribes, and appear to hold the same intermediate place between the Shemitic group and the Nigritian, if we except the Ethiopic, which belongs to the former family. SEE ETHIOPIC LANGUAGE.
In all that relates to the civilization of ancient Ethiopia we see the same connection with Egypt that is constantly indicated in the Bible. So far as the Egyptian sway extended, which was probably, under the empire, as far as somewhat above the junction of the two Niles the religion of Egypt was probably practiced. While the tract was under Egyptian rule this was certainly the case, as the remains of the temples sufficiently show. We find it as the religion of Tirhakah in his Ethiopian as well as his Egyptian sculptures, and this is also the case with the later kings of Ethiopia who held no sway in Egypt. There were evidently local differences, but apparently nothing more. Respecting the laws and forms of government the same may be supposed. We have very little evidence as to the military matters of the Ethiopians, yet, from their importance to Egypt, there can be little doubt that they were skillful soldiers. Their armies were probably drawn from the Ethiopian or intermediate race, not from the negro. Of the domestic life of this people we have but slight hints. Probably they were more civilized than are their modern successors. Their art, as seen in the sculptures of their kings in Ethiopian temples from Tirhakah downwards, is merely a copy of that of Egypt, showing, after the first, an inferiority in style to the contemporary works of the original art. Their character can scarcely be determined from scanty statements, applying, it may be, to extremely different tribes. In one particular all accounts agree: they were warlike, as, for instance, we equally see in the defiance the Ethiopian king sent to Cambyses (Herod. 3:21), and in the characteristic inscription at Kalab'sheh of Silco, "king (βασιλίσκος) of the Nubadse and all the Ethiopians" (Modern Egypt and Thebes, 2:81, 312), who is to be regarded as a very late Ethiopian king or chief in the time of the Roman empire. The ancients, from Homer downwards, describe them as a happy and pious race. In the Bible they are spoken of as "secure" or "carelessly (Eze 30:9), but this may merely refer to their state when danger was impending. Probably the modern inhabitants of Ethiopia give us a far better picture of their predecessors than we can gather from the few notices to which we have alluded. If we compare the Nubians with the representations of the ancient Egyptians on the monuments, we are struck by a similarity of type, the same manner of wearing the hair, and a like scantiness of clothing. There can be no question that the Nubians are mainly descended from an Egyptianized Ethiopian people of two thousand years ago, who were very nearly related to the Egyptians. The same may be said of many tribes further to the south, although sometimes we find the Arab type and Arab manners and dress. The Ethiopian monuments show us a people like the ancient Egyptians and the modern Nubians. The northern Nubians are a simple people, with some of the vices, but most of the virtues of savages. The chastity of their women is celebrated, and they are noted for their fidelity as servants. But they are inhospitable and cruel, and lack the generous qualities of the Arabs. Further south manners are corrupt, and the national character is that of Egypt without its humanity, and untouched by any but the rudest civilization.
In speaking of the history of the country, we may include what is known of its chronology, since this is no more than the order in which kings reigned. Until the time of the 12th dynasty of Egypt we have neither chronology nor history of Ethiopia. We can only speculate upon the earlier conditions of the country with the aid of some indications in the Bible. The first spread of the descendants of Cush seems to be indicated by the order in which the Cushite tribes, families, or heads are enumerated in Genesis 10. All the names, excepting Nimrod, might be thought to indicate a colonization of Southern and Eastern Arabia, were there not good reason to suppose that Seba, though elsewhere mentioned with Sheba (Ps 72:10), is connected with Ethiopia, and is probably the Hebrew name of the chief Ethiopian kingdom from the time of Solomon downwards. (Josephus calls Meroh Saba, Ant. 2:10, 2, and Seba of Cush he calls Sabas, ib. 1:6, 2.) If this be the case, it would be remarkable that Nimrod is mentioned at the end of the list and Seba at the beginning, while the intervening names, mostly if not all, are Arabian. This distribution may account for the strongly-Caucasian type of the Abyssinians, and the greater indication of Nigritian influence in all the other Ethiopian races; for a curve drawn from Nimrod's first kingdom there can, we think, be little doubt that the meaning in Genesis is, that he went northward and founded Nineveh — and extending along the South Arabian — coast, if carried into Africa, would first touch Abyssinia. The connection of Southern Arabia and Abyssinia has been so strong for about two thousand years that we must admit the reasonableness of this theory of their ancient colonization by kindred tribes. The curious question of the direction from which Egyptian civilization came cannot here be discussed. It is possible that it may have descended the Nile, as was, until lately, supposed by many critics, in accordance with statements of the Greek writers. The idea or tradition of which these writers probably build may be due to the Nigritian origin of the low nature- worship of the old Egyptian religion, and perhaps, as far as it is picture- writing, of the hieroglyphic system, of which the characters are sometimes called Ethiopic letters by ancient writers.
The history of Ethiopia is closely interwoven with that of Egypt. The two countries were not unfrequently united under the rule of the same sovereign. The first Egyptian king who governed Ethiopia was one of the 12th dynasty, named Osirtasen I, the Sesostris of Herod. 2:110. During the occupation of Egypt by the Hyksos, the 13th dynasty retired to the Ethiopian capital, Napata; and again we find the kings of the 18th and 19th dynasties exercising a supremacy over Ethiopia, and erecting numerous temples, the ruins of which still exist at Semneh, Amada, Soleb, Abusimbel, and Jebel Berkel. The tradition of the successful expedition of Moses against the Ethiopians, recorded by Josephus (Ant. 2:10), was doubtless founded on the general superiority of the Egyptians at that period of their history.
Under the 12th dynasty we find the first materials for a history of Ethiopia. In these days Nubia seems to have been thoroughly Egyptianized as far as beyond the Second Cataract, but we have no indication of the existence at that time in Ethiopia of any race but the Egyptian. We find an allusion to the negroes in the time between the 12th dynasty and the 18th, in the name of a king of that period, which reads RA?-NEHSI, or "the Sun? of the Negroes," rather than "the Negro Sun?" (Turin Papyrus of Kings, ap. Lepsius Konigsbuch, pl. 18:197; 19:278). The word NEESI is the constant designation of the negro race in hieroglyphics.
Before passing to the beginning of the 18th dynasty, when the Egyptian empire definitely commenced, SEE EGYPT, we may notice two possible references to the Ethiopians in connection with the Exodus, an event which probably occurred at an early period of that empire. In Isaiah 43, which though relating to the future, also speaks of the past, and especially mentions or alludes to the passage of the Red Sea (see particularly verse 16, 17), Ethiopia is thus apparently Connected with the Exodus: "I gave Egypt [for] thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee" (verse 3). It can scarcely be supposed that this is an emphatic relation of future events, and it is difficult to connect it with any other known past event, as the conquest of Egypt by Sennacherib, which may have already occurred. If this passage refer to the Exodus, it would seem to favor the idea that the Israelites went out during the empire, for then Ethiopia was ruled by Egypt, and would have been injured by the calamities that befell that country. In Amos there is a passage that may possibly connect the Ethiopians with the Exodus: "[Are] ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?" (9:7). But the meaning may be that the Israelites were no better than the idolatrous people of Cush.
At the beginning of the 18th dynasty we find the Egyptians making expeditions into Ethiopia, no doubt into its farther regions, and bringing back slaves. At this time the Egyptians seem to have intermarried with people of Ethiopia, probably of the intermediate race, darker than the Egyptians, but not of the negro race. One of the wives of Adhhmes, or Amosis, the first king of the. 18th dynasty, is represented as black, though not with negro features. A later sovereign of the same dynasty, Amenoph III, is seen by his statues to have been partly Ethiopian, and this may have been one cause of his identification by the Greeks with Memnon. Daring this and the dynasty which succeeded it, the 19th, we have no proof that the regularly-governed Egyptian dominions extended beyond Napata, but it is probable that they reached a little beyond the junction of the White and Blue Niles. There can be no doubt that Ethiopia remained subject to Egypt as late as the reign of Rameses VI, soon after whom the proper Egyptian empire may be said to have closed, having lasted three centuries from the beginning of the 18th dynasty. Under that empire, Ethiopia, or at least the civilized portion, was ruled by a governor, who bore the title SUTEN-SA- EN-KISH, "Prince," literally "Royal son," "of Cush," etc. The office does not seem to have been hereditary at any time, nor is it known to have been held by a son of the reigning king, or any member of the royal family.
After the reign of Rameses VI, the feebleness of the later Theban kings may have led to the loss of Ethiopia, and we know that in Solomon's time there was a kingdom of Sehna. Shishak, the first king of the 22d dynasty, probably made Ethiopia tributary. When this king, the Sheeshonk I of the monuments, invaded the kingdom of Judah, he had in his army "the Lubim, the Sukkiim, and the Cushiim" (2Ch 12:13). The Lubinm are a people of Northern Africa, near Egypt and the Sukkiimi are of doubtful place. The indications are of an extensive dominion in Africa; for, though the Lubim and Sukkiim may have been mercenaries, it is unlikely that the Cushim were also. There can be no doubt that Shishak was a powerful king, especially as he was strong enough to invade Judah, and it is therefore probable that he restored the influence of the Egyptians in Ethiopia. SEE SHISHAK. Zerah the Ethiopian, on account of his army being of Cushim and Lubim, and thus, as well as in consisting of chariots, horsemen, and foot, of like composition with that of Shishak (2Ch 16:8; 2Ch 14:9,12-13; 2Ch 12:2-3), seems certainly to have been either a king of this dynasty, or else a general of such a king. In the former case he would probably correspond to Osorkon II. The names Osorkon and Zerah seem very remote, but it must be remembered that Egyptian words transcribed in Hebrew are often much changed, and that in this case it is probable that both Egyptian and Hebrew forms, if they be two orthographical representations of one word, come from a third source. The style "Zerah the Cushite" is unlike that applied to kings of Egypt who were foreigners, or of foreign extraction, as in the cases of "So, king of Egypt," and "Shishak, king of Egypt." On this account, and especially from the omission of the word king, or any royal appellation, though we cannot infer positively from the few instances in Scripture, Zerah may be rather supposed to have been a general, but the army that he commanded must, from the resemblance of its composition to that of Shishak's, have been that of a king of the same line. Mr. Kenrick rather too hastily remarks as to the term Cushite, that "no king of the Bubastite [22d] dynasty could have been so designated," and is at some pains to explain what he considers to be a mistake (Ancient Egypt, 2:297 sq.). It is recorded that Asa had an army of 580,000, and that Zerah the Ethiopian came against him with 1,000,000, and 300 chariots. These high numbers have been objected to; but the history of our times shows that war upon this large scale is not alone possible to great kingdoms, but also to states of no very large population which put forth their whole strength. It is to be noticed that Asa was evidently struck by the greatness of the hostile army, to which the prophet Hanani alludes, reproving him at a later time (2Ch 16:8). SEE NUMBER. Asa encountered Zerah "in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah, and, praying for God's aid against this huge army, it was put to the rout, and he pursued it to Gerar, and smote all the cities round Gerar, which seem to have been in alliance with the invaders, and took much spoil from the cities, and also smote the tents of cattle, from which he took many sheep and camels (14:8-15). This great overthrow may have been a main cause of the decline of the power of the 22d dynasty, which probably owed its importance to the successes of Shishak. SEE ZERAH.
During the later period of this dynasty, it is probable that Ethiopia became wholly independent. The 23d dynasty appears to have been an Egyptian line of little power. The 24th, according to Manetho, of but one king, Bocchoris the Saite, was probably contemporary with it. In the time of Bocchoris, Egypt was conquered by Sabaco the Ethiopian, who founded the 25th dynasty of Ethiopian kings. The chronology and history of this line is obscure. We take Manetho's list for the chronology, with a few necessary corrections in the length of the reigns, in the following table SEE EGYPT:
The duration here given to the first and second reigns can only be considered to be conjectural. Herodotus assigns 50 years as the duration of the Ethiopian dominion in Egypt (2:137, 139), and as he lived at no great distance from the time, and is to be depended upon for the chronology of the next dynasty, we should lay some stress upon his evidence did he not speak of but one Ethiopian king, Sabacos. Perhaps he includes in this single reign that of Tirhakah, and omits that of the first Sabacos. There are two Hebrew synchronisms and one Egyptian point of evidence which aid us in endeavoring to fix the chronology of this dynasty. Either the first or second king of the dynasty is supposed to be the So of the Bible, with whom Hoshea, who began to reign B.C. 729-8, made a treaty at least three years before the taking of Samaria: the latter eyent is fixed at B.C. 720; therefore one of these two Ethiopians was probably reigning in B.C. 723, or somewhat, perhaps seven. years, earlier. See So. Nor is it supposable that the treaty may have been made before the conquest of Egypt; for So is expressly called "king of Egypt" (2Ki 17:4), whereas Zerah and Tirhakah are distinctively styled Cushites (2Ch 14:9; 2Ki 19:9). Tirhakah was contemporary with Hezekiah and Sennacherib at the time of the destruction of the Assyrian army. The chronology of Hezekiah's reign is, with respect to these synchronisms, difficult; but we are disposed to think that the common reckoning, varying not more than three years, is correct, and that the preferable date of the accession of Hezekiah is B.C. 726. Some chronologers follow Dr. Oppert in supposing that the date of Sennacherib's invasion should be Hezekiah's 24th year instead of the 14th year (Chronologie des Assyriens et des Babyloniens, pages 14, 15), but we rather infer a long interval between two wars. SEE HEZEKIAH. The last year of Hezekiah is thus B.C. 697, unless we suppose that his reign was longer than is stated in the Masoretic text, and that it was for the latter part contemporary with Manasseh's. Tirhakah's reign is nearly determined by the record in a tablet of the tombs of the Butls Apis, that one of them was born in his twenty-sixth year, and died at the end of the 20th of Psammetichus I. The length of its life is unfortunately not stated, but it exceeded twenty years, and the longest age recorded is twenty-six. Supposing it to have lived twenty-one years, the first year of Tirhakah's reign would fall in B.C. 690 (see Rawlinson's Herod. 2:319, where the successor of Psammetichus is proved to date from B.C. 664), which would correspond to the 8th year of Manasseh. The contemporaneousness of Tirhakah and Hezekiah can be explained by one of two suppositions, either that Hezekiah's reign exceeded twenty-nine years, or that Tirhakah ruled in Ethiopia before coming to the throne of Egypt. It must be remembered that it cannot be proved that the reigns of Manetho's 25th dynasty form a series without any break, and also that the date of the taking of Samaria is considered fixed by the Assyrian scholars. At present, therefore, we cannot venture on any changes. SEE CHRONOLOGY;
We do not know the cause of the rise of the 25th dynasty. Probably the first king already had an Ethiopian sovereignty when he invaded Egypt. That he and his successors were natives of Ethiopia is probable from their being kings of Ethiopia and having non-Egyptian names. Though Sabaco conquered Bocchoris and put him to death, he does not seem to have overthrown his line or the 23d dynasty: both probably continued in a tributary or titular position, as the Sethos of Herodotus, an Egyptian king of the time of Tirhakab, appears to be the same as Zet, who, in the version of Manetho by Africanus, is the last king of the 23d dynasty, and as kings connected with Psammetichus I of the Salte 26th dynasty are shown by the monuments to have preceded him in the time of the Ethiopians, and probably to have continued the line of the Salte Bacehoris. We think it probable that Sabaco is the "So, king of Egypt," who was the cause of the downfall of Hoshea, the last king of Israel. The Hebrew name סוא, if we omit the Masoretic points, is not very remote from the Egyptian SHEBEK. It was at this time that Egypt began strongly to influence the politics of the Hebrew kingdoms, and the prophecies of Hosea, denouncing an Egyptian alliance, probably refer to the reign of So or his successor; those of Isaiah, of similar purport, if his book be in chronological order, relate to the reign of Tirhakah. Tirhakah is far more fully commemorated by monuments than his predecessors. At Thebes he has left sculptures, and at Jebel-Berkel, Napata, one temple and part of another. There seems to be no doubt that Sethos (Zet?) was at least titular king of part of Egypt, or the whole country, under Tirhakah, on the following evidence: In the Bible; Tirhakab, when mentioned by name, is called "king of Cush (Ethiopia)," and a Pharaoh is spoken of at the same period (Isa 30:2-3; Isa 36:6; 2Ki 18:21); in the Assyrian inscriptions a Pharaoh is mentioned as contemporary with Sennacherib; and the Egyptian monuments indicate that two or three royal lines centered in that of the 26th dynasty. The only event of Tirhakah's reign certainly known to us is his advance against Sennacherib, apparently in fulfillment of a treaty made by Hezekiah with the Pharaoh whom we suppose to be Sethos. This expedition was rendered needless by the miraculous destruction of the Assyrian army, but it is probable that Tirhakah seized the occasion to recover some of the cities of Palestine which had before belonged to Egypt. Herodotus gives a traditional account of Sennacherib's overthrow, relating that when Egypt was ruled by Sethos, a priest-king, the country was invaded by Sennacherib, against whom Sethos, who had offended the military class, marched with an army of artificers and the like, and encamped near Pelusium, where in the night a multitude of field-mice gnawed the bow- strings and shield-straps of the Assyrians, who, being thus unable to defend themselves, took to flight (2:141). It has been well observed that it is said by Horapollo that a mouse denoted "disappearance" in hieroglyphics (Herog. 1:50). Here we have evidently a confused tradition of the great overthrow of the Assyrians. Strabo, on the authority of Megasthenes, tells us that Tirhakab, in his extensive expeditions, rivaled Sesostris, and went as far as the Pillars of Hercules (15:686).
The beginning of the 26th dynasty was a time of disaster to Egypt. Tirhakah was either dead or had retired to Ethiopia, and Egypt fell into the hands of several petty princes, probably the dodecarchs of Herodotus, whose rule precedes, and perhaps overlaps, that of Psammetichus I, who is said to have been at first a dodecarch. In this time Esarhaddon twice invaded and conquered the country; but, after his second invasion, Psammetichus seems to have entirely thrown off the Assyrian yoke, and restored Egypt to somewhat of its ancient power. There are several passages in Scripture which probably refer to these invasions, and certainly show the relation of Ethiopia to Egypt at this time. The prophet Nahum, warning Nineveh, describes the fall of Thebes, "Art thou better than No Amon, that was situate among the rivers, [that had] the waters round about it, whose rampart [was] the sea, [and] her wall from the sea? Cush and Mizraim [were her] strength, and [it was] infinite; Put and Lubim were in thy help" (Na 3:8-9). The sack and captivity of the city are then related. The exact period of Nahum is not known, but there is much probability that he lived about the time of the invasion of Judaea by Sennacherib (Na 1:11-12). SEE NAHUM. He therefore appears, to refer to one of the conquests of Egypt by Sennacherib, Sargon, or Shalmaneser. See No. The close alliance of Cush and Mizraim seen as to point to the period of the Ethiopian rule, when the states would have united against a common enemy. Three chapters of Isaiah relate to the future of Ethiopia and Egypt, and it is probably that they contain what is virtually one connected subject, although divided into a prophecy against Ethiopia, the burden of Egypt, and the record of an event shown to prefigure the fall of both countries, these divisions having been followed by those who separated the hook into chapters. The prophecy against Ethiopia is extremely obscure. (See the version above.) It appears to foretell the calamity of Ethiopia to its farthest people, to whom messengers should be sent in vessels of papyrus, by the sea, here the Nile, as in the description of Thebes by the prophet Nahum (1.c.), bearing, probably, that news which is related in the next chapter. In the end the Ethiopians would send a present to the Lord at Zion (chap. xviii). Then follows " the burden of Egypt," apparently foretelling the discord and strife of the dodecarchy, the delivering of the people into the hand of a cruel lord, probably the Assyrian conqueror, the failure of the waters of Egypt and of its chief sources of revenue, and the partial conversion of the Egyptians, and, as it seems, their ultimate admission to the Church (chapter 19). We then read how a Tartan, or general; of Sargon, the king of Assyria, took Ashdod, no doubt with a garrison from the Egyptian army. At this time Isaiah was commanded to walk "naked and barefoot," probably without an outer garment, three years, as a sign to show how the Egyptians and Ethiopians, as no doubt had been the case with the garrison of Aehdod, probably of both nations, should be led captive by the king of Assyria. This captivity was to be' witnessed by the Jews who trusted in Ethiopia and Egypt to be delivered from the king of Assyria, and the invasions of Egypt by Esarhaddon are therefore probably foretold (chapter 20). In the books of later prophets Ethiopia does not take this prominent place: no longer a great power, it only appears as furnishing part of the Egyptian forces or sharing the calamities of Egypt, as in the history of Egypt we find Ethiopia occupying a position of little or no political importance, the successors of Tirhakah in that country being perhaps tributaries of the kings of the 26th dynasty. In the description by Jeremiah of Phaiaob-Necho's army, the Ethiopians (Cush) are first spoken of among the foreign warriors mentioned as serving in it (Eze 46:9). Ezekiel prophecies the fear of Ethiopia at the overthrow of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar (Eze 30:4-9), and though the helpers of Egypt were to fall, it does not seem that the invasion of their lands is necessarily to be understood. One passage illustrates the difficult 18th chapter of Isaiah: "In that day shall messengers go forth from me in ships to make ["secure" or] careless Ethiopia afraid, and. great pain shall come upon them as in the day of Egypt" (Eze 30:9). Zephaniah, somewhat earlier, mentions the Ethiopians alone, predicting their overthrow (Zep 2:12). It is probable that the defeat of the Egyptian army at Carchemish by Nebuchadnezzar is referred to, or else the same king's invasion of Egypt.
The kings of Egypt do not appear to have regained the absolute rule of Ethiopia, or to have displaced the native kings, though it is probable that they made them tributary. Under Psammetichus, a revolt occurred in the Egyptian army, and a large body of rebels fled to Ethiopia, and there established themselves. A Greek inscription on one of the colossi of the great temple of Abu-Simbil, not far; below the Second Cataract, records the passage of Greek mercenaries on their return from an expedition up the river, "king Psamatichus" having, as it seems, not gone beyond Elephantine. This expedition was probably that which Herodotus mentions Psammetichus as having made in order to bring back the rebels (2:30), and, in any case, the inscription is valuable as the only record of the 26th dynasty which has been found above the First Cataract. It does not prove, more especially as the king remained at Elephantine, that he governed any part of Ehiopia. The next event of Ethiopian history is the disastrous expedition of Cambyses, defeated by the desert-march, and not by any valor of the invaded nation. From this time the country seems to have enjoyed tranquillity, until the earlier Ptolemies acquired part of Lower Nubia that was again lost to them in the decline of their dynasty. When Egypt became a Roman province, Syene was its frontier town to the south; but when, under Augustus, the garrison of that town had been overwhelmed by the Ethiopians, the prefect Petronius invaded Ethiopia, and took Napata, said to have been the capital of queen Candace. The extensive territory subdued was not held, and though the names of some of the Caesars are found in the temples of Lower Nubia, in Strabo's time Syene marked the frontier. This part of Ethiopia must have been so unproductive, even before the falling of the level of the Nile, which Sir Gardner Wilkinson supposes to have happened between the early part of the 13th dynasty and the beginning of the 18th, that it may well have been regarded as a kind of neutral ground.
The chronology of the kings of Ethiopia after Tirhakah cannot yet be attempted. Professor Lepsius arranges all the Ethiopians under four periods: 1st. The 25th dynasty, first and second kings, 2d. Kings of Napata, beginning with Tirhakah, who, in his opinion, retired from Egypt, and made this his capital: of these kings, one, named NASTES-SES, or NASTES-NEN, has left a tablet at Dongolah, recording the taking in his wars of enormous booty in cattle and gold (Lepsius, Denkminler, 5:16; Brugsch, Geogr. Istschr. 1:163, 164). 3d. Older kings of Meroe, among whom is a queen KENTAHI, in whom a Candace is immediately recognized, and also MI-AMEN ASRU and ARKAMEN, the latter Ergamenes, the contemporary of Ptolemy Philadelphus, who had, according to Diodorus Siculus, received a Greek training, and changed the customs of Ethiopia (3:6). Some of these princes had an extensive dominion. The name of Ergamenes is found from Lower Nubia to Meroe. 4th. Later kings of Meroe, some, at least, of whom ruled both Meroe and Napata, though the former seems to have been the favorite capital in the later period (Konigsbuch, pl. 71, 72, 73). The importance of queens is remarkably characteristic of an African people. SEE MEROE.
The spread of Christianity in Ethiopia is a remarkable event in the history of the country, and one in which the truth of "the sure word of prophecy" has been especially evident. In this case, as in others, the Law may have been the predecessor of the Gospel. The pious eunuch, "Ebed-melech the Ethiopian," who befriended Jeremiah (Jer 38:7-13; Jer 39:15-18), may have been one of many converts from paganism, but it is scarcely likely that any of these returned to their native land. The Abyssinian Jews, being probably a colony of those of Arabia, were perhaps of later origin than the time of the introduction of Christianity. But in the case of the Ethiopian eunuch, who had charge of all the treasure of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, and who, on his return from worshipping at Jerusalem, was baptized by Philip the deacon, we see evidence of the spread of the old dispensation in Ethiopia, and of the reception there of the new (Ac 8:27-39). In Psalm 68 (31), in Isaiah (Isa 45:14), and probably in Zephaniah (Zep 3:10), the calling of Ethiopia to God's service is foretold. Whether conversion to the Law or to Christianity, or indeed to both, is in. tended, it is remarkable that, though-long deprived of its actual geographical contact with the Coptic Church. of which it is a branch, by the falling away of Nubia, the Abyssinian Church yet remains, and the empire and the kingdom of Shoa are the only Christian sovereignties in the whole of Africa. SEE ABYSSINIAN CHURCH.
The ancient monuments of Ethiopia may be separated into two great classes, the Egyptian and the Egypto-Ethiopian. In Lower Nubia the Egyptian are almost universal; at Napata we find Egypto-Ethiopian, as well as higher up in the island of Meroe. In the monuments north of Napata, of which the chief lie between the first and second cataracts, we perceive no difference from those of Egypt save in the occurrence of the names of two Ethiopian kings-ARKAMEN, or Ergamenes, and ATSHERAMEN. The remains attest the wealth of the kings of Egypt rather than that of the country in which they are found; their abundance is partly owing to the scanty modern population's not having required the ancient masonry for building materials. The nearness of the mountains on either side to the river, and the value of the little tracts of alluvial soil, have rendered wholly or partly rock-hewn temples numerous here. Tombs are few and unimportant. Above the second cataract there are some similar remains, until the traveler reaches Jebel Berkel, the sacred mountain beneath which stood Napata, where, besides the remains of temples, he is struck with the sight of many pyramids. Other pyramids are seen in the neighborhood. They are peculiar in construction, the proportion of the height to the base being much greater than in the pyramids of Egypt. The temples are of Egyptian character, and one of them is wholly, and another partly, of the reign of Tirhakah. The pyramids are later, and are thoroughly Ethiopian. Yet higher up the river are the monuments of Meroe and neighboring places. They are pyramids, like those of Napata, and temples, with other buildings, of a more Ethiopian style than the temples of the other capital. The size and importance of these monuments prove that the sovereigns who ruled at Meroe must have been very rich, if not warlike. The farthest vestiges of ancient civilization that have been found are remains of an Egyptian character at Sobah, on the Blue Nile, not far south of the junction of the two rivers. The name suggests the Biblical Seba, which, as a kingdom, may correspond to that of Meroe; but such resemblances are dangerous. The tendency of Ethiopian art was to imitate the earliest Egyptian forms of building, and even subjects of sculpture. This is plain in the adoption of pyramids. The same feeling is strongly evident in Egypt under the 26th dynasty, when there was a renaissance of the style of the pyramid period, though no pyramids seem to have been built. This renaissance appears to have begun under, or immediately after, the later part of the 25th dynasty, and is seen in the subjects of sculpture and the use of titles. The monuments of Ethiopian princes, at first as good as those of Egypt at the same time, become rapidly inferior, and at last are extremely barbarous, more so than any of Egypt. The use of hieroglyphics continues to the last for royal names, but the language seems, after the earlier period, to have been little understood. An Ethiopian demotic character has been found of the per iod, which succeeded the hieroglyphic for common use, and even for some inscriptions. We do not offer any opinion on the language of this character. The subject requires full investigation. The early Abyssinian remains, as the obelisk at Axum, do not seem to have any connection with those of more northern Ethiopia: they are of later times, and probably are of Arab oririn. Throughout Ethiopia we find no traces of an original art or civilization, all the ancient monuments save those of Abyssinia, which can scarcely be called ancient, showing that the country was thoroughly Egyptianized. Lepsius has published the Ethiopian monuments in his Denkmdler (part 5; pl. 1-75), as well as the inscriptions in Ethiopian demotic (part 6; pl. 1-11; see also 12, 13).
For the Christian history and relations of Ethiopia, see Titelmann, De fide, religione et moribus AEthiopum (Antwerp, 15034); De Goes, id. (Par. 1541, and since); Dresser, De statu eccles. Ethiopicae (Lips. 1584); De Vereta, Historia de Etiopia (Valentia, 1590); Predicadores en la Etopia (ib. 1611); Godiger, De rebus Abassinorum (Lugd. 1615); Machalt, De rebus in AEthiopia (Paris, 1624-6) ; Da Viega, Christ. religio in Ethiopia (Laus. 1628); Dannhauer, Ecclesia Ethiopica (Argent. 1664); Ludolf, Historia Ethiopica (Fr. ad M. 1681; with the supplemental Specimen, Ib. 1687; Commentarius, ib. 1691; and Adpendix, ib. 1693; the original work in English, Lond. 1684; abridged in French, Par. 1684); Cavatus, Descriptio Congo, Matambe et Angola (Bonn, 1687); Geddes, Hist. of Ethiopia (Lond. 1696); Windham, Einleitung in d. ithiop. Theologie (Helmst. 1719); Lobo, Iter hist. in Abyssiniam (publ. only in a transl. Relation historique d'Abyssinie, Par. 1727, Amst. 1728) La Croze, Christianisme dEthiopie (Hague, 1739, in Germ. 1740); Oertel, Theologia
AEthiopum (Wittemb. 1746); Kocker, Fasti Habissinorumn (Berne, 1760); Bruce, Travels in Abyssinia (Edinb. 1790). SEE ABYSSINIA.