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E LAND OF GO SHI



: \ND THE EXODUS



R.H.BROU'X







BS! 197

3I.B87




6./. 2.2-



LIBRARY OF THE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY



PRINCETON, N. J.



Division. Sih \ \ 9 7
Section *U\». DO I



THE LAND OF GOSHEN

AND

THE EXODUS




THE DELTA

LOWED EGYP1

- "



THE

LAND OF GOSHEN



AND



THE EXODUS



BY

v/
MAJOR R. H. BROWN, C.M.G.

LATE ROYAL ENGINEERS, -
INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF IRRIGATION, LOWER EGYPT



ROYAI^^ATIC



#



WITH TWO MAPS AND FOUR PLATES



LONDON: EDWARD STANFORD

26 & 27 COCKSPUR STREET, CHARING CROSS, S.W.

1899



LONDON : EDWARD STANFORD,
26 & 27 COCKSPUR STREET, CHARING CROSS, S.W.



CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE

INTRODUCTION ..... 9

I. THE LAND/)F GOSHEN . . . . 16

II. THE EXODUS ..... 43

III. MODERN EVENTS IN THE LAND OF GOSHEN . . 80



MAPS AND PLATES

MAPS

THE DELTA OF EGYPT . . . Frontispiece

THE LAND OF GOSHEN . . . To face pacje 29

PLATES

I. PHOTOGRAPH OF THE MUMMY OF RA-SEKENEN To face page 21

II. PHOTOGRAPH OF THE MUMMY OF RAMSES THE

GREAT . . . . ,, 47

III. PHOTOGRAPH OF THE MUMMY OF SETI I „ 49

IV. PHOTOGRAPH OF THE MUMMY OF A PRIESTESS

OF AMON . . . . „ 52



THE LAND OF GOSHEN

AND

THE EXODUS



INTRODUCTION

It may perhaps be becoming in me to begin with
a personal explanation to justify or excuse my bold-
ness in venturing without a pass upon ground to
which Egyptologists lay claim. I have trespassed
once before, and alone, within their property along
the shores and upon the waters of Lake Mceris. I
mention alone, because I was then tenderly warned
that, if I came again, I should do well to bring in
my company "a man of peace who knows Greek and
who has studied Egyptian antiquities ; " to show me,
I presume, the way along the beaten track, and to
keep me from making little excursions off it on my
own account. But I do not refer to the precedent of
my previous act of trespass as my present justification,
nor as an answer to the inevitable suggestion that if
the blind lead the blind, shall they not both fall into
the ditch. To this suggestion, if any feel inclined to
make it, I reply that, though my own eyes are not



io THE LAND OF GOSHEN

trained to see so far into the past with such slight
illumination of the distant objects as suffices to reveal
their forms to the antiquary, yet I have sat at the
feet of those who have eyes to see and who have
recorded what they have seen in their valuable
works, of which a list is given at the end of this
Introduction.

Moreover, I have stood before the Pharaohs of the
past (or what is left of them) and the Rulers of
Egypt of the present, and I have gone throughout all
the land of Egypt.

Still, notwithstanding all this, I know that I shall
be sternly bidden to put my shoes from off my feet.
Tli at much I will gladly do to show my great respect
for the proprietors, so long as I am allowed to prome-
nade about the property with my bare feet, a con-
dition which will keep me on the smooth road of
Egyptological orthodoxy and prevent me wandering
into the pathless thicket of original speculations.

Now, I wonder if I shall be misunderstood when I
explain that I have put together the story of the
following pages for the perusal of those ordinary
mortals who are as ignorant of Egyptology as I am
myself; and that, in doing so, I consider that I
possess an advantage over the learned student of
antiquity of much the same sort that a thief has over
the honest man when set to catch a thief. In the
Introduction to Cameron's Egyi^t in the Nineteenth
Century there is this passage — " the success of the
writer will largely depend on his guessing the happy
medium of his reader's information, on availing him-



AND THE EXODUS n

self of that average, and applying it at the right
moment and in the proper way." The Egyptologist
either writes for his brother Egyptologist, or is too
complimentary to the general public in estimating the
" happy medium " too high.

And that is my excuse for intruding upon holy
ground. I do it for the sake of the exoterics. In the
country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

And another excuse is this, that during the past
few years it has been my duty from time to time to
inspect the land of Goshen as an irrigation officer, so
that I am intimate with the topography. It was this
connection with the scene of the story, which aroused
afresh my interest in the subject of the Exodus and
the preceding sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt, an
interest which all, who are brought up on the Bible,
have born in them during their early childhood. A
knowledge of the ground is an advantage in estimat-
ing the amount of probability that any speculative
part of the history may possess, and in helping the
mind to picture the past events that are established
as known facts. It was knowledge of the soundings
that gave me sufficient daring, on the occasion of my
first trespass, to embark upon the waters of Lake
Moeris without being " personally conducted," and to
get safely over notwithstanding.

So much for personal explanation, and I will now
point out what are the sources of information from
which light is thrown upon the history of the Israelites
in Egypt.

These sources may be divided into the contempor-



12 THE LAND OF GOSHEN

aneous and the traditional, or, as some consider, the
revealed. The contemporaneous sources, or records
written at the same time or shortly after the occur-
rence of the events which they describe, are the
hieroglyphic writings on papyri, inscriptions on clay
and stone tablets and on the ancient monuments of
Egypt and other countries of antiquity, which exca-
vations have, from time to time, brought to light ;
such, if they could be found, would be the broken
fragments of the two tables of the testimony which
Moses in his anger cast out of his hands and brake

o

beneath the mount of Sinai.

The traditional, sometimes called revealed, sources
are the Hebrew Bible in its original form, and its
three translations, the English, the Septuagint, and
the Coptic. Now, as Max Midler tells us, whatever
may be the age of the Mosaic traditions or of the
written records from which the Pentateuch was com-
piled, the Hebrew text of the Bible, as we now
possess it, can hardly be referred to an earlier date
than the sixth century B.C. 1 Since, then, it is reck-
oned that Jacob and his family migrated from Canaan
to Egypt about the year 1720 B.C., and that his
descendants left Egypt less than five centuries later,
the events that the Hebrew text records took place
from 700 to 1100 years before they were so recorded !
Hence the value of any confirmation of the history
that may be obtained from the contemporaneous
record of the hieroglyphics and other ancient
inscriptions.

During the last few years the additions to our

1 Max M tiller's Chips from a German Workshop.



AND THE EXODUS 13

knowledge of the past from these last sources has
been great. But the Egyptologists, who have
collected this information, have had to lead rough
lives in doing so. Among the most notable dis-
coveries are those of Tel el Amarna in Upper Egypt,
where there was found a kind of diplomatic corres-
pondence, which had been carried on between Egypt
on the one hand, and Babylon, Syria, and Palestine
on the other. The letters w T ere written in the
cuneiform character on clay tablets, and docketed in
due clerkly style in hieratic. These Foreign Office
archives were formed about 1500 B.C. In 1887
Professor Flinders Petrie added largely to what had
already been discovered at Tel el Amarna by a
winter's work there.

Now I hope the Professor will not consider it an
abuse of hospitality if I describe what I might call,
without being guilty of slang, his " diggings." I
went with a friend one day to visit him at Tel el
Amarna in his temporary home ; it reminded me of
the mud-cells formed by a wasp-like insect, common
in Egypt, as a preparation for laying an egg.
Though Professor Petrie' s object was, we happen to
know, a different one to the insect's, the general
result was much the same upon a larger scale. The
house (to give it a dignified name) consisted of three
low mud walls, enclosing about six square yards,
which the Professor had plastered against somebody
else's mud wall. A gap in one of the sides was the
doorway, which we entered bowing because w T e could
not help it. The roof, I expect, was made of millet-



14 THE LAND OF GOSHEN

stalks, but I forget. The seats, however, I remember
well. I sat on a rickety bed about six inches above
ground level, in which many ancient things seemed
to have been laid to rest ; my friend sat on an empty
kerosene tin, and the Professor himself sat on a box
containing a large bottle of pickled Egyptian lizards,
snakes, bats, toads and other reptiles, and smaller
mammalia destined for the British Museum. Lying
in the corner of this, his reception-room, was the
recently discovered cast of Khu-n-Aten's head, which
he picked up and discoursed about, drawing attention
to certain details in the cast that showed that it was
taken after death. In this mean hut were collected
treasures of discovery which were soon to create a stir
in the world of Egyptologists and antiquaries.

Professor Petrie had also the good fortune to
discover in 1896 an inscription on a slab of black
syenite, in which the Israelites are referred to by
name in the following terms (according to the
translation adopted by Professor Sayce) — "The
Israelites are spoiled so that they have no seed, the
land of Khar (Southern Palestine) is become like the
widows of Egypt." And what gives additional
interest to this discovery is the fact that the in-
scription was made by Meneptah, the reputed Pharaoh
of the Exodus. This inscription, it is thought, may
refer to the suppression of an incipient revolt of the
Israelites in Goshen, in connection with the Libyan
invasion shortly before the Exodus ; or to a defeat
inflicted on the Israelites, within the first two or
three years after the Exodus, either in the Sinaitic



AND THE EXODUS 15

peninsula, or while they were threatening the southern
frontier of Canaan. 1

The following is a list of the books which have
been largely drawn upon in the following pages, and
so largely that each contribution levied has not been
separately acknowledged —

A History of Egypt under the Pharaohs. . . H. Brugsch Bey.
The Exodus and the Egyptian Monuments. . H. Brugsch Bey.

Higher Criticism Rev. Prof. A. H. Sayce.

The Egypt of the Hebrews and Herodotus.

Rev. Prof. A. H. Sayce.
The Early History of the Hebrews. Rev. Prof. A. H. Sayce.

The Struggle of the Nations M. Maspero.

An Atlas of Ancient Egypt Egyptian Eploration.

Route of the Exodus M. Naville.

Egypt and Syria Sir J. W. Dawson.

Mariettas Outlines of Ancient Egypt.

Translated and edited by Miss Brodrick.
History of Egypt Prof. Petrie.

The photographs have been most kindly given me
by Emile Brugsch Bey, who was himself the photo-
grapher, and who has, therefore, the right to boast
that his subjects were kings.

So far as Egyptology is concerned, I have had to
be unscientific and accept Authority unverified. But
I have, I feel sure, selected as good authorities as are
to be had, and as one could wish for. M. Naville is
the " man of peace " whose footsteps I have closely
followed.

1 The Presbyterian Quarterly, No. 43. January 1898.



CHAPTER I

THE LAND OF GOSHEN

The period embraced in the following account of
the Israelites' sojourn in Egypt commences with the
arrival of Joseph, some twenty years before the settle-
ment of the Hebrew tribes in Goshen, about 1720 B.C.,
and ends with their Exodus about 1277 B.C., according
to the latest reckonings.

In order to give a continuous and intelligible account
of the Israelites' connection with the different places
mentioned in the Bible narrative, the situations of
which are now known or conjectured, it will be best
perhaps to draw an outline of the Hebrew nation's
sojourn in Egypt from beginning to end, as pictured
in the Bible, and to explain what is known, or believed
to be known, concerning the geography of the history,
as we proceed.

The Bible account every one knows, but it is always
heard and read in the self-same words, a monotonous
proceeding that tends to send the mind to sleep : so,
possibly, it may seem more real, or may awake in-
terest anew, if so much of the story, as it is necessary
to repeat, is told with variation of expression, assisted

16



GOSHEN AND THE EXODUS 17

by local colouring and illuminated by side-lights from
the contemporaneous history of Egypt as recorded by
the Monuments.

It will be an advantage to the reader to have from
the outset a correct general idea of the locality of the
scenes of this story. He may, if he has entered or
left Egypt via Ismailiyah, have anything but a lively
recollection of his railway journey to or from Cairo.
The railway-line runs almost all the way through what
was once the land of Goshen from Heliopolis (On), via
Zagazig (Bubastis), past Tel el Maskhuta (Pithom) to
Ismailiyah, on the edge of Lake Timsah, not a day's
march from where the Israelites crossed the sea. The
Railway Administration is kind enough to allow plenty
of time between the termini for a deliberate con-
templation of the scenery and for complete mental
digestion by the slowest working intellect of all the
ideas of the past that the journey along the line of the
Hebrew Exodus may suggest.

We are now in a position to begin the story.

In the ancient history of Egypt there stands out
prominent among proud Pharaohs and privileged
priests the figure of a self-made man, Joseph the alien.
While the old man, Jacob, his father, mourned in
Canaan for his much-loved son, whom he believed
that he had lost for ever, Joseph was being carried
along the caravan route between Canaan and Egypt
by Ishmaelites, to whom his brothers, in their jealous
hate, had sold him. In Egypt he was sold again to
Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officers. At this time,
when Joseph was separated from his own relations



1 8 THE LAND OF GOSHEN

and people, and thrown upon his own resources, he
was seventeen years of age. He served Potiphar
so well and inspired such confidence that he was
made overseer over all his master's house, and was
given charge of all his property. Under Joseph's
management the estate prospered, and Potiphar placed
implicit trust in him. In addition to being endowed
with exceptional ability and trustworthiness, he was
gifted with good looks and a good figure. But this at
the outset brought him no advantage, for it was the
inciting cause that led to an intrigue of Potiphar's
wife, by which she succeeded in getting him cast into
prison.

Even there he made his way and climbed the ladder.
The jailer having taken a fancy to him, eventually
committed all the prisoners and prison management
into his hands. But it appears that it was only
internal management, and that there was an outer
door kept closed against Joseph, for he is afterwards
twice spoken of as being in a dungeon.

Now it so happened, when things were thus arranged,
that Pharaoh was given a bad dinner ; or else was
persuaded that there was a plot to tamper w T ith his
food and drink. At least such is the presumption,
for he cast the chief of the cupbearers and the chief of
the cooks into the prison where Joseph was confined ;
and Joseph was told off to look after them. Not
being accustomed to prison beds, both the butler and
the cook had disturbing dreams, which next morning
they told to Joseph and heard his interpretation of
them. Subsequent events showed that he had inter-
preted rightly.



AND THE EXODUS 19

Two years after this, Pharaoh himself had a dream,
twice repeated, and Joseph, being named to him as
an expert in the interpretation of dreams, was accord-
ingly sent for from his prison. After a shave and a
change of clothes, he came before Pharaoh and heard
him tell his dreams about the seven fat and the seven
lean kine, and the seven full and the seven withered
ears of corn. These dreams Joseph interpreted as
foretelling seven bountiful and seven famine years to
come, and he added to his interpretation some judi-
cious and practical advice as to the steps that should
be taken to avoid the evils of famine by measures of
foresight in the years of plenty.

Accepting Joseph's interpretation as the true one,
Pharaoh esteemed Joseph to be so discreet and wise
that he made him ruler of his house and people and
kept the throne only for himself. From being a
bought slave and a foreigner, Joseph became Prime
Minister of what was then one of the most civilized
nations of the world ; and passing through prison to
the Court was proclaimed greater than the greatest in
Egypt save Pharaoh only. And as yet he was only
thirty years old.

The advancement of Joseph in the three periods
of his life to posts of trust and honour in Potiphar's
household, in the prison and in the Court, was pro-
bably not so rapid as the Bible account seems to
indicate. Evidently much detail is omitted, and the
history of thirteen years condensed and foreshortened.

There are two points to be noticed in this account :
first, the remark about Joseph's toilet, and, secondly,
the belief in dreams. The shaving of the head before



20 THE LAND OF GOSHEN

an audience with the Pharaoh was an Egyptian
custom, and this casual mention of its observance in
Joseph's case shows accuracy of detail in description.
As regards the second point, the prophetic character
of dreams was recognized by all the nations of anti-
quity, and in Babylonia the interpretation of them was
a regular branch of science. But the belief in dreams
was more pronounced in Egypt than in any other
country, and on that account we find, in the later
days of the Roman empire, the adjective Egyptian
applied to dreams that were deemed prophetic.

A third point might also be noticed. We have in
Joseph a precedent, and an eminently encouraging
one, for putting young men of foreign nationality into
high administrative posts in the Egyptian Govern-
ment. The modern history of Egypt can furnish
examples of the precedent being followed ; and let us
hope the parallel will be made perfect by the same
sequel of success.

The Pharaoh who dreamed these dreams and ad-
vanced Joseph to his high position in the Government
was, according to Christian tradition and Egyptological
research, Apophis, one of the last, if not the last, of
the Hyksos or Shepherd Kings. These kings did not
belong to the established dynasties, but were invaders
from a foreign country ; what country is not known,
further than that they came from the east and invaded
Lower Egypt. They were most likely Mesopotamians.
Hyksos signifies Prince of the Shepherds, probably of
the pastoral tribes of the eastern deserts. The seven
years immediately following their invasion was a
period of anarchy. A king was then chosen and



AND THE EXODUS 21

order established, and the invaders became thoroughly
Egyptianized in all respects except as regards their
names and religion. Their first king, Salatis, com-
menced his reign about a hundred years or more before
Joseph came to Egypt, when Apophis sat on the
throne. It was during the reign of Apophis, to whom
Joseph was Prime Minister, that the National Party,
headed by the Princes of Thebes, began the war of
independence, which, later on, was to succeed in
driving out the Hyksos aliens. But the first attempt
under Ra-Sekenen failed, and the leader fell in battle
with three deep wounds in his head, as may be seen in
his mummy, which was discovered at Deir el Bahari
in 1886, and is now in the Gizah museum. The
photograph of this prince (Plate I.) shows what bad
treatment he suffered before and after death. A
dagger or spear wound above the right eye is clearly
visible. The effects of a blow by some blunt weapon
are evident in a split left cheek-bone and a broken
lower jaw ; while a long cleft in the skull from the
blow of an axe is concealed by the hair. There must
have been some delay in embalming the body, as
there are signs of decomposition having commenced
before the preservatives were applied ; or else the
embalming must have been imperfectly performed, as
the entire body is in a bad state of preservation.

But in spite of the revolt led by Ra-Sekenen and
others after him, the Hyksos continued, for some time
to come, to rule over at least Lower Egypt. They
had their Courts at Bubastis (now Tel el Basta, close
by Zagazig), and at Zoan or Tanis (now San el Hagar,



22 THE LAND OF GOSHEN

a small fishing village). Most probably the Court
where Joseph had his head- quarters was Bubastis, the
Pi-Beseth of the Bible. For the sake of forming a
definite picture of the events connected with his life
in Egypt we will assume, on account of the probability,
that Bubastis was his abode and not Zoan, though
either place would be in agreement with the Bible
narrative. The excavations made in the ruins of old
Bubastis, near Zagazig, have brought to light evidence
to show that the Pharaoh Apophis certainly resided
there, and that the town was a large and important
one in his time. It w r as the key of the road to Syria.

With the Hyksos Pharaohs at Bubastis and Zoan,
intercourse between Egypt and Canaan would have
been encouraged. A Hebrew stranger of ability, once
brought to the notice of the Pharaoh, himself a
stranger in the land, would have met with no pre-
judice to make his rise at Court a difficulty. And
this is shown by Joseph being given to wife Asenath,
the daughter of Potipherah, priest of On ; for there
was no more exclusive class than that of the priesthood.
We have seen that Joseph had been appointed the
chief officer of the State to make arrangements for
dealing with the famine which he had predicted. To
fit himself for his duties, the first thing he did was
to travel all over Egypt and make himself personally
acquainted with the conditions of the problem with
which he had to deal. Arab tradition tells of great
achievements of irrigation and drainage carried out
by him. And the Bible tells of the famine of seven
years which he successfully dealt with by establishing
stores of grain during the preceding seven years



AND THE EXODUS 23

of plenty, whereby lie not only provided food to keep
the people alive but enriched the treasury at the
same time.

Famines in Egypt have from time to time resulted
from a deficiency in the height of the flood following
on a failure of the usual summer rains in Central
Africa and the mountains of Abyssinia. In Egypt
the rainfall is so slight that, excepting on a narrow
strip along the Mediterranean coast-line, no crops are
raised by it. Cultivation is, in the present day.
wholly dependent either on the soaking that the
ground gets during a flood, or on artificial irrigation
by canals. Possibly, in the period we are concerned
with, there may have been a greater rainfall than now
in the north of the Delta, which, with changes of
land level, may account for Zoan having once been a
pleasant place to live in and a favourite residence of
the Pharaoh; whereas it is now deserted by all but
poor fishermen, and is surrounded by a bleak,
inhospitable waste and by salt lands unfit for
cultivation. 1

Of a famine which visited Egypt over 2000 years
ago, we have what professes to be contemporaneous
evidence. A hieroglyphic inscription was discovered
a short time ago by the late Mr. Wilbour on an
island in the centre of the first cataract midway
between Aswan and Phihe, which refers to a famine
of seven years' duration followed by years of plenty.
The inscription is of comparatively late date, probably
not older than the third century B.C., and seems to
have been engraved by the priests of Khnum for the

1 Higher Criticism, by Rev. Prof. A. H. Sayce.



24 THE LAND OF GOSHEN

purpose of securing the tithes of the district, which,
they asserted, had been granted to them by an
ancient king. The inscription begins in the follow-
ing way — " In the year 1 8 of the king, the master of
diadems, the Divine incarnation, the golden Horus "
(the reading of the royal name is doubtful), " when
Madir was prince of the cities of the south land and
director of the Nubians in Elephantine, this message
of the king was brought to him — ' I am sorrowing upon
my high throne over those who belong to the palace.
In sorrow is my heart for the great misfortune, be-
cause the Nile flood in my time has not come for
seven years. Light is the grain, there is lack of
crops and of all kinds of food. Each man has be-


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