Richard Lepsius.

Letters from Egypt, Ethiopia, and the peninsula of Sinai online

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mis-stated, but in his assumption (to which we shall after-
wards return) that the first year of Abraham was also the
first year of the 16th Manethonic Dynasty. He only
counted, as he himself states, 75 years^ from this year to
Abraham's removal to Haran, and then the 430 years of
bondage in Egypt. By that means he obtained the year of
the Exodus of Moses from Egypt. This happened, accord-
ing to his Egyptian list, in the sixteenth year of Chenclieres ;
consequently, in his annals, he entered the Exodus under
this king.

The most fabulous recital of the Exodus is in Lysimachus,
who appears to have written about the time of Christ's birth,

^ Compare the passages of Justin and Africanus.

2 Contra, Ap. i. 15. ^ p. 63, B; 123, D.

* Euseb. Armen. Canon, vol. ii. p, 105. Aucher.

* According to Gen. xii. 4,


-liortly before Apion. It is not, therefore, worth while to
investigate whether the name of the King Bocchoris, in whose
reign he makes Moses depart, was arbitrarily imagined, or
whether it originated in some great misunderstanding. His
romance appears, however, to have found acceptance, since
we again meet with the fable of Lysimachus in Tacitus^, with
some new and additional facts. Tacitus says, that according
to some the Jews wandered to Palestine during the reign of
Isis, led by Hierosolymus and Judah ; according to others,
they were descendants of the Ethiopians, and departed during
the reign of King Cepheus ; but most people said, that at the
breaking out of a plague. King Bocchoris had cleared the
land of them, according to the sentence of an oracle.

But Josephus has rendered the narrative of Lysimachus
still more confused, and by that means has also led astray
later scholars. He relates, namely, as follows, in the second
book of his controversy with Apion : " Manetho says that
the Jews wandered out of Egypt in the reign of Tethmosis,
393 years before the flight of Danaus to Argos ; but Lysi-
iiiachus makes it under King Bocclwris, that is, 1700 years
ago ; ISIolon and others make it as it seems best to them ;
but Apion, the one most to be depended upon of all of them,
placed the Exodus exactly in tlie seventh Olympiad, and in the
first year of it, in which, as he says, the Phoenicians founded

It was impossible that Josephus could place Bocchoris 1700
years before his own time, for that would make him nearly
cotemporary with the first kings of the Egyptian succession,
whose names he cites, without, however, mentioning a Boc-
choris among them. This king lived, rather, according to
Manetho, about 750, and not about 1650 before Christ. If,
furthermore, it is asserted that Apion placed the Exodus at
the Olympiad 7. 1., namely, B.C. 752, that is most decidedly
contradicted by Clemens of Alexandria, Justin Martyr,
and Africanus, in passages above referred to, who, on the
1 HisU V. 2.


contrary, agree in relating that Apion followed Ptoleray
Mendesius, and placed tlie Exodus under Amosis, therefore
about 1650 years before Christ. It is evident that Josephus
has here in his careless way confused the authors and the
.numbers with one another. He meant to say, or ought to
have said, that Manetho fixed the Exodus (not of the Jews,
indeed, but of the Hyksos) 393 years before Danaus, i. e.
1700 years before Josephus, and Lysimachus fixed it, during
the reign of Bocchoris. The fabulous narrator, Lysimachus,
could hardly have affixed any statement of time to the name
of Bocchoris, or he would certainly have discovered his error ;
but Apion, the grammatist and liyper-critic, had probably
subjected tlie opinion of Lysimachus to his own critical ex-
amination, and reckoned tliat if he assumed Bocchoris to be
the king under wliom the Exodus was made, he must intend
to fix his date at Olympiad 7. 1. At any rate there is no
doubt that tlie Olympiad calculation belonged to Lysimachus,
and tlie 1700 years to the ^lanethonic statement. The latter
point miglit be remedied if we could place the words TovrtoTi
TTpo €Ta)u ^iXtwi' (TrraKoaioiv (That is ouc thousand seven hun-
dred years) after AavaoO

Online LibraryRichard LepsiusLetters from Egypt, Ethiopia, and the peninsula of Sinai → online text (page 37 of 54)