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Hyksos are shasus - robbers” - if not lepers ; being despicably loathsome as heretics, all the more because not agreeable as conquering masters. That-even from political motives—they defaced the ancient monuments of native Egyptian independence, we have learned from the statesmanship of Edward Longshanks in Scotland. But into such details we are not called to venture in a Bible study of Genesis or Exodus.

Rameses II. has been identified not many months ago among the dead Egyptian kings. His very face bears witness to his having Hyksos blood in his veins. All the more he might-like the Idumean Herods posing as Jews—be disposed to extremes in playing the “true born" Egyptian. His being the oppressor of the infant Moses, is a very fair conjectural hypothesis ; which fits conveniently into the view of the oppression that is given in our Book.

NOTE (2).-On Exodus Chronology. Within the eighty years of Mosaic life in the Book, and the two years of exodus movement, the history itself is distinct as to time. What has to be inquired about is, the place of the exodus in connexion with the whole chronological system of Scripture for the ancient time. And the inquiry has difficulties :-e.g. in the circumstance, as to the three cardinal statements, that the text of one of them (1 Ki. vi. 1) is not of undisputed genuineness; while of another (Ex. xii. 40), the Heb. text is departed from by the Septuagint and Samaritan Versions ; and the third (Ge, xv. 13) is ostensibly contradicted by Gal. iii. 17. The following representation is intended simply as a fair view of the matter, according to the best judgment of the present writer.

In connexion with numbers, a certain amount of hopeless difficulty is part of our inheritance from the past ; occasioned by the ancient manner of marking numbers, which involved a peculiar liability to misapprehension in the reading, and confusion in the copying, and effacement through tear and wear of manuscript. But, relatively to the real interest of history, we must beware of imagining, that the importance of the numbers which may be thus obscured is in proportion to the difficulty in reading them aright. History is not an Almanac, nor a bill bearing interest, whose value is always vitally dependent on accurate chronology of date. The fate of Europe depended, not on the Almanac date of Waterloo, but on the victory. The date of the greatest event in all history is quite undetermined, as to the day, and even the season of the year; even as to the year itself, of the birth of Christ, it is certain that the generality of Christians have been mistaken. But that in no way clouds the true historical order of events,-the connexion, for instance, of the birth of Jesus with Paul's conversion and the new creation of the world. The essential order of history is organic, not chronological merely, as if constituted by succession in time, but logical, as arising out of moral if not also physical causation. In the Bible history, the real interdependence of events is nowhere obscured by difficulty as to dates. And even where the numbers have got confused beyond hope of expiscation, the fact of numbers is important, like the naming of places that now cannot be identified, as indicating careful accuracy in the original composition. But the chronology connected with Exodus is by no means hopelessly confused.

1. Presumable date of the Exodus. Where to place it in connexion with Egyp

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tian history, is, we saw, a question of no importance; because the Egypt of Exodus is found all through the third Egyptian empire until long past the Mosaic age. The generally “received” date (Hales) is 1491 B.C. (Usher placed the event at 1648 B.C.). Calculations by Egyptologists now before us range from 1320 B.C. to 1593 B.C. : their middle point is about 1500 B.C., thus nearly coinciding with the “received" date. If we assume the genuineness of 1 Ki. vi. I, that gives 480 years from the exodus to the building of Solomon's temple; and if we place this event at 1020 B.C., we again have 1500 B.C., which thus variously appears as the true date of the exodus.

2. Duration of the sojourn in Egypt. The fundamental witness is Ex. xii. 40. Our A.V. has a mistranslation, “who dwelt in Egypt,” which the R. V. has corrected into, "which they sojourned,"—430 years. The Sept. and Samarit. Versions, by their departure from the Heb. text, make the 430 years to include the patriarchal residence in “the land of Canaan," along with the Israelitish residence in "the land of Egypt.” And in Ga. iii. 17, 430 years are spoken of as elapsing between the Abrahamic covenant and the Sinaitic legislation. Thus ostensibly in two ways, the Egyptian sojourn is made to shrink into 215 years, – half of the 430. And that twofold presumptive evidence is corroborated by the observation, that the shorter sojourn would bring the original settlement in Goshen within 130 years of the birth of Moses ; which again would be manifestly consistent with Ex. vi. 16-20, where there are to be found only three ancestors between Moses and Levi ; and with Ex. ii, 1, which makes his mother "6 a daughter of Levi."

Answer :-(1) The direct and primary evidence is Ex. xii. 40, of which the Heb. text is clear and unquestionable, on proper grounds of textual judgment. It states only what could be verified with ease in the Mosaic age, from family and tribal histories. There is no assignable reason to imagine that the writer did not simply state the fact as thus ascertained by him. On the other hand, the Samarit. and Sept. Versions have internal evidence of deliberately tampering with the original in their translation. (2) The longer period is favoured by the round number 400 in Acts vii. 6 and Ge, xv, 13 ; especially as there the whole period in view is spoken of as one of oppressive bondage in a strange land. In Ge. xv. 16, " the fourth generation," in reference to the time of Israel's returning, is, in accordance with a common use and wont of languages, a generality of expression, of which the special meaning depends on the connexion : here, it is to be regarded as a parallelism to ver. 13, which it resumes (“at the close of the fourth century "). (3) As to those passages ostensibly conflicting. a. “A daughter of Levi” (Ex. ii. 1) may mean simply, a Levitess, one of the tribe :—which here is the mportant point. Cp.“ a daughter of Abraham," Lu. xiii. 16 (also the “Son of David ”). b. As to paucity of ancestors in Ex. vi. 16-20 :-In a Scripture Genealogy names may be omitted ; three are omitted in the genealogy of Christ : a

; genealogy is not a census return. Very strong on the other side is the fact (1 Chron. vii. 20—27) that to Joshua, younger contemporary of Moses (40 years his junior), the number of ancestors assigned is ten. 6. As to Ga. iii. 17, Paul makes “the law" (Sinaitic, ver. 13), to have been 430 years after “the Covenant" (Abrahamic, vers. 14–16, 18). He does not say, only 430 years. His interest here is


not chronological merely. The point he is making is theological intensely : what he wants is, a long time between Covenant and law. His point is sufficiently made by the number 430. And his employment of that number may be accounted for in two ways. First, in fact, there was a well-known 430 years between the covenanting and the law, namely, that of the Egyptian sojourning. That sufficed for Paul's argument, which would in no wise have been strengthened if he had added, prosaically if not prosily—“and 215 years besides.” Paul the soldier does not seek more if the enemy be already shot through the heart. Second, here, Paul is a Hellenist, a reader of the Septuagint addressing readers of that Version, -Gentiles, as well as Jews, who read the Scriptures only in that form. Their conventional manner of speaking of the period between Abraham and Moses would be founded on that Version. Paul may not have thought it necessary to depart from that manner, which had nothing to do with the theological purpose of his reference—to (a long) time.

NOTE (3). —On Egypt's place. 1. Though so close to the main world, Egypt never did really rule the main stream of world - history. The great series of empires—Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman-had Egypt as a contemporary, parallel to them all, though more and more dwindling into servitude complete and confessed. The Hyksos domination was, like that of the Normans in England, comparatively an internal movement. And in relation to the world beyond itself, Egypt was unbroken for generations after the Exodus, and befure that event had attained to the culmination of its power and glory. 2. The place of the Egyptians as a people, in the ethnology of mankind, is not very easily defined. By Scripture (Ge. x.) in its Table of nations, they are put under the name of Mitsraim, along with Cush, Put, and Canaan, as the children of Ham. But the Hamitic Canaanitish monuments gave place to the Shemitism which early came to southern Syria in the person of the Phoenicians. Of the two “Ethiopias” (Cush), African and Asiatic, not much is distinctly known; and Phut was early effaced beyond recognition. The native Egyptian physique is finer than the common Hamite, while distinct in type from the Japhetic and the Semitic. The language, and even the mode of writing, show essential distinctness of origin, in which the Semitic element is only an infusion and influence natively from without. And there appears to have been a very pronounced religious antipathy going as far back as the light of history really trustworthy. The suggestion thus is, that of a fundamentally Hamite people, with some foreign elements of refining strength. 3. A large amount of distinctness, otherwise unaccountable, may perhaps be accounted for by the uniqueness of position in the Nile valley, with a soil more fertile than that of the Euphrates basin, and a cloistral seclusion as compared with which Mesopotamia was an exposed common for mankind. 4. Egypt is peculiarly interesting as being, along with Babylon, equivalent to the most ancient civilisa. tion of mankind. The civilisation in the substance of it appears, not as a gradual development, but as if placed there from the first. There is no real accounting for it, but in the supposition of some such preceding history as that of the Babel dispersion.

2. Sinai and the Red Sea.

Real Geographical Knowledge of this region did not lie in Israel's way at any period of their residence in Canaan. For centuries after they first entered the land of promise they were occupied with a chronic warfare against a still surviving power of heathenism within it; while around them, to the east and south, blocking the way to the Sinaitic Peninsula, there was a fire-girdle of hostile heathenism, Ammon-Moab—Edom, and “the great and terrible wilderness," of et Tih. So late as the time of Elijah, his visit to “Horeb, the mount of God” (1 Ki. xix. 8), has in the narrative the aspect of a strange unwonted thing, as if he had gone into the unseen world without the chariot of flame. At a yet later period, when the “Jews" began to take part in outside business of the world, if any of them crossed the Peninsula on the caravan route between Euphrates and Nile, they are not likely to have turned aside, from the way of safety and of wealth, to linger in those wild solitudes for the prosecution of antiquarian geographical researches. Nothing is more notable in the New Testament than complete absence of interest in such things. And Paul's mind must have been absorbingly occupied with a wholly different interest of the kingdom of God, if Sinai was the Arabia (Ga. i. 17 cp. iv. 25) to which he retired for seclusion in a great crisis of that kingdom ; as Moses and Elias had similarly found a seclusion there before.

After the Primitive Church found rest in the converted Roman empire, there arose à superstitious interest in Sinai, which led to visible contrast with New Testament feeling, in pilgrimages thither ; and a certain amount of information thus was obtained ; along with vain tradition, to which additions were made by Mohammedanism when it came to be in power there. But a really full and accurate knowledge of the Peninsula was not within reach of mankind, until our own day. A crowning work of accurate observation has been the Survey of the district by Queen Victoria's Engineers (under Captains Wilson and Palmer), combining the skill of military science with mathematical exactness. And in connexion with that labour there ought to be kept in memory the uniquely valuable contribution made to real knowledge of the primitive manner of life in that region by Professor Palmer, who afterwards was murdered in the neighbourhood by men whom he had trusted. He, for the first time in human history, placed the qualifications of rarely high oriental scholarship at


the service of the western world for a real study of that life, by a personal sojourn of years among the rovers of “the great and terrible wilderness.” 1

There is, however, a sort of spiritual identification involved in that legendary Mosaic tradition of the region as a whole. It lies between a more ancient, pre-Mosaic, old heathen tradition, and the more recent Mohammedan and Christian traditions. It is distinct from both, as one stratum of rock is from the strata beneath it and above it. And in this respect there is a remarkable contrast between Sinai and Egypt in their connexion with Israel's Exodus. In Egypt, the land of memory, with its monuments vast as mountains, its literature more durable than brass, Israel's hundreds of years of sojourning, with the terribly memorable events of the departure from Egypt, has left no trace, more than if a congregation" of shadows had flitted over the land's face. In Sinai, on the other hand, there is only an oral tradition, the passing breath of men. The men themselves have been changing, in language, in religion, and in race. And Israel's abiding there, thirty centuries ago, was only as the wild-asses' halting in the wilds to quench their thirst. Yet the memory of that transition abides there like the “everlasting hills ;” as if the spirits of the Israelites were posted there, to keep watch and ward over the region where once they were the masters in the flesh. Their great leader appears to be still in command of the region, as when Robert Bruce, a solitary fugitive in the Scottish highlands, was named “the monarch of the mountain." That is not the result simply of impression that may be made by a great personality, a commanding puissant individuality ; like that of Solomon, whose proverbial wisdom is (not very gloriously) represented in oriental tradition by the mightiest "magician” of its legends. Rather, the deep abiding impression (Ex. xxiii. 27) in Sinai is to be accounted for by the historical reality of the exodus, with its wonders of mercy and of judgment. Not only Israel saw those wonders, but surrounding peoples felt them, when Sinai shook “at the presence of God, the God of Israel.” The deep ineffaceable impression, made on the wandering populations of that

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1 His observations were published in two interesting volumes. There is a compact account of “Sinai" by Captain Palmer in one of the Christian Evidence volumes ; and one on“ Egypt” in the same series from the master hand of Dr. Birch. The whole theatre of events is illustrated, with letterpress descriptions of the first quality, in Virtue & Co.'s magnificent Picturesque Palestine, Sinai, and Egypt.

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