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seen on the monuments, are represented as bound, with their limbs in the most painful positions. Beside, these have arms and are playing on musical instruments; two things, which, according to all the representations in Egypt, are incompatible with the fact of their being captives. Rosellini, on the ground of the inscription alone, supposed them to be captives. He, however, gives a copy from a representation of "some foreign slaves, sent by king Osirtasen II. as a present to a military chieftain."
Such may be the story told here; for the individual to whom these persons are presented, is not, according to Wilkinson, the king himself, but one of his officers. If we may venture to give our own interpretation, we should say that they are either the representatives of some distant and subjugated people, bringing their customary tribute as vassals; or they are "strangers," coming to ask an abode in Egpyt, and seeking to enforce their petition by gifts. Of this latter custom, we find evidence in the monuments. Although, therefore, we do not believe that the coming of Jacob and his sons is here storied, yet the sculpture is valuable for two purposes; first, as confirming the Scripture history as to the existence and condition of the Jebusitcs; and secondly, as proof that emigration with women and children, and formal admission of them into Egypt as inhabitants, took place in the earliest times of which we have any certain knowledge: and with this, the story of Jacob's coming agrees.
It will be remembered that Joseph informed his father and brethren, on their arrival, that, with a view to their settlement in Goshen, he would tell Pharaoh that they were "shepherds," and had brought with them "their flocks and their herds:" and he instructed them to say the same thing to Pharaoh, adding,—" that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians." After this Joseph presented five of them to the king, of whom his father was one: "And Pharaoh said unto his brethren, What is your occupation? And they said unto Pharaoh, Thy servants are shepherds, both we and our fathers. They said, moreover, unto Pharaoh: For to sojourn in the land are we come; for thy servants have no pasture for their flocks; for the famine is sore in the land of Canaan: now, therefore, we pray thee, let thy servants dwell in the land of Goshen." Pharaoh granted their request.
Here we must fix our attention upon two facts distinctly stated. First, that "every shepherd was an abomination to the Egyptians;" and secondly, that these shepherds were settled in Goshen. As to the first, our readers will remember that in speaking of Abraham, we showed that though his was a pastoral calling, yet in his day, no objection was made to him on that account; and we endeavored to show that the cause of this was to be found in the fact that a race of invading shepherds, governed by "shepherd kings," then had sway in Lower Egypt, where Abraham was. But now, in the same locality, we find the state of feeling entirely changed; and we will add, in passing, that the truth of the statement we are now considering, is confirmed by hundreds of representations, to be gathered from the monuments. As if to show their utter contempt of them, the artists, both of Upper and Lower Egypt, delighted, on all occasions, in representing shepherds as dirty and unshaven; and caricatured them as a deformed and unseemly race. Sometimes, they were delineated, as were the captives taken in war, on the soles of their sandals; that they might express the fulness of habitual contempt by treading them under their feet. So much for the fact of the " abomination."
In the absence of all other testimony but the simple fact of the different feeling toward shepherds, in the days of Abraham and in those of Joseph, we should, if required to account for it, naturally conclude that events had transpired, in the interval of time between these two personages, which in some way were connected with shepherds, and by some means had created an aversion toward them in the ruling powers. And here, actual history comes in and confirms this conclusion. It is not our purpose to weary the reader with the uninteresting details of our chronological research: we must, therefore, for the present, content ourselves with the statement, that the result of it has been the satisfactory establishment, to our own minds at least, of the fact, that the "shepherd kings/' of whom we spoke in the chapter on Abraham, and who ruled in his day, were expelled from their last stronghold in Egypt, and the native sovereigns had again obtained sway, just before Joseph was brought down and sold as a slave in Egypt. That these shepherd kings and their followers (Manetho's fable to the contrary notwithstanding) never were invited back by the pretended leprous followers of Moses, and never did come back; that the Egyptians, on the re-establishment of a native dynasty, under a sense of national humiliation to which they had been subjected b'y a foreign yoke, not only cordially hated all shepherds, but looked on all pastoral people with distrust and suspicion; that Joseph himself, had he come down avowedly as a shepherd, would have fared accordingly; but he was brought as a slave, sold as a slave, with little of interest, and less of inquiry, as to his origin; that rising by degrees, by a providential combination of circumstances, in the fulfilment of God's purposes, he had become a naturalized Egyptian, of strong family alliance and of great power; and that t\e did not suffer from this aversion to shepherds; because no man in Egypt ever could have known him as a shepherd boy; and none probably knew of his alliance with a shepherd race, until the strange news was rumored in the palace, "Joseph's brethren have come." The aversion to shepherds, therefore, mentioned in the sacred writings, is to our minds one of the strong proofs of the truth of the story; for history, we think, furnishes a full and satisfactory explanation of that aversion, in the existence of adequate causes for it; which causes perfectly synchronize with the true date of events, recorded in our Scriptural narrative.
Of this national aversion to shepherds, Joseph took a wise advantage, in the settlement of his father and brethren:— "Say (thus he directed them), thy servants' trade hath been about cattle from our youth, even until now, both we, and also our fathers: that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen."
Now where, and in what condition was this land of Goshen? The Pentateuch is not a formal treatise on geography; it is, therefore, not surprising that it does not give us a minute and direct account of the situation of this land. But it is very gratifying to remark that it incidentally furnishes so many particulars concerning it as fully enable us to identify its locality; and that facts so fully substantiate what, at first view, would seem to be discrepancies in these particulars, that the very references to Goshen conclusively show that the author of the Pentateuch (no matter now who he may have been) possessed a most accurate knowledge of the topography of the country about which he was writing. He was not dependent on uncertain reports for his information. He had seen, and knew for himself; and on no other principle can we explain the fact that all his allusions to the position and nature of the land are sustained by its actual geography, without the slightest reference to any imaginary region. A study of the whole subject, will (as Hengstenberg has remarked) impress conviction on the impartial mind that the writer of the Pentateuch "wrote from personal observation, with the freedom and confidence of ozie to whom the information communicated comes naturally and of its own accord; and from one who has not obtained it for a proposed object." Let us first look at the supposed discrepancies.
It would appear, on the one hand, that it was the eastern border-land of Egpyt." "And he [Jacob] sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct his face unto Goshen." Gen. xlvi. 28. Now, Jacob came from the East.
Jacob did not receive any instructions or orders from Joseph, until he had reached Goshen: this shows it to have been the border of the country on the eastern side.
Joseph tells Pharaoh, that his father and brethren were in Goshen. There they were obliged, in conformity with Egyptian custom, to abide until they had permission to enter Egypt. This shows it to have been on the eastern border.
Tell Pharaoh, says Joseph to his relations, that your business through your lives has been about cattle; and he gives them this reason for it:—"that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians." Unless Goshen were a frontier province, what force would there have been in this reason? If it were, then the Israelites would not be brought into close contact with the great mass of Egypt's inhabitants, to whom they were an "abomination."
When Moses led the children of Israel out, they went east