Egyptology, Oriental Archaeology And Travel -- By: Joseph P. Thompson

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 022:88 (Oct 1865)
Article: Egyptology, Oriental Archaeology And Travel
Author: Joseph P. Thompson


Egyptology, Oriental Archaeology And Travel

Joseph P. Thompson

It is hopeful for the future of Egyptology that the leading scholars in this department are combining their labors for a common end. The Zeitschrifl fur Aegyptische Sprach-und Alterthumskunde, which was commenced in July, 1863, by Dr. Heinrich Brugsch, as an independent publication, is now issued under the joint editorship of Lepsius and Brugsch (the latter being Prussian consul at Cairo), and with the special co-operation of Messrs. Birch, Chabas, and other well-known Egyptologists. Mons. Chabas has lately published a second series of his Mélanges Egyptologiques,1 containing articles from Drs. Birch and Hincks, and Mr. C. W. Goodwin. This cooperation gives assurance of important results in the interpretation of hieroglyphic texts. Already there are indications that the monuments of Egypt are about to yield up the mystery of the Hebrew bondage and exodus. The Bibliotheca Sacra has reported the supposed identification of the Hebrews by Mons. Chabas in the hieroglyphic group Aperiu=Hiberim;2 and also the confirmation of this reading by Dr. Brugsch.3 As the result of more recent investigation, Mons. Chabas believes that documentary evi-

dence points to Ramses II. as the Pharaoh who received Moses into his court, and to his son and successor Meï-en-Ptah (perhaps the same with Amenophis) as the king under whose reign the events of the exodus took place. The argument on this is presented in an essay upon Ramses and Pithom, in the Mélanges Égyptologiques, of which the following is a summary.

The sacred historian concentrates his attention upon the Hebrew people, without caring to introduce the contemporaneous history of other nations. Had Moses given us the names of the Egyptian kings from Joseph to the exodus, we should have had several important synchronisms; but he uniformly designates the sovereign by the generic title of Pharaoh. In the whole history of Israel in Egypt there is nothing so specific with regard to Egypt itself as the mention made of Pithom and Ramses, in Exodus 1:11: “Therefore they did set over them task-masters, to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure-cities (מִּסְכְּנוֹתּ), Pithom and Raamses.”

That the Egyptians thus utilized their captives is evident from numerous hieroglyphic records. The familiar picture in the funeral chapel of Abdel-Qurna at Thebes, representing captives engaged in ...

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