Page images


attempted was to punish those who consulted them. But the Jewish law called upon the mob to punish ch. xx. 27. their own deceivers, and ordered them to stone to death anybody that practised magic or divination.

[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

(5) We may also mention a few among the cases in which the Jewish law seems to have borrowed something from the country which they had left. The Egyptians carved the praises of their kings and gods upon the walls of their Deuteron. buildings, both inside and out; and in the same ch. xi. 20; way the Jews were ordered to write the words of ch, vị. 9. their law upon their door-posts, and upon their gates. The Egyptians in their sculpture added wings to gods, to serpents, to crowns, and to the sun; and the ch. xxv. 20. Jews were ordered to place on each side of the Denon, mercy-seat a golden cherub, stretching out its pl. 134. wings. In the painting of a religious procession of Exodus, Rameses III., an ark or box (see Fig. 132) is carried ch. xxxvii. after the statue of the god Chem; it is represented as two cubits and a half long and a cubit and a half high,


2 Kings, xviii. 4.


exactly of the size and form of the ark which they were ordered in their Law to make, and to carry with them till they found a spot whereon to build a temple to the Lord. In Jerusalem was a brazen serpent, said to be that which Moses had made in the desert and set upon a pole, that those who had been bitten might look on it and be healed; and among the Egyptian standards we often see the same serpent set upon a pole (see Fig. 133). And lastly, when the Israelites fell into idolatry, they made a golden calf to worship, the animal which, under the name of Mnevis, they had so often seen worshipped at Heliopolis.

pl. 119.

Fig. 132.

Fig. 133.

(6) But the friendship between Egypt and Judæa was not

lasting; the Egyptian throne, now seated in Bu- 1 Kings,

bastis, was becoming stronger. Shishank now gave ch. xi. 19, his countenance to the Edomites, and in Solomon's

old age he encouraged them to rebel against the Israelites. He thus stopped Solomon's trade on the Red Sea, which could only have been looked upon by the Egyptians with



1 Kings,

jealousy. Forty years before, when David conquered Edom, and put to death every male within his reach, Hadad, a child belonging to the chief's family, was carried away by his servants, and brought safely into Egypt. There he was educated; and when he grew up Shishank gave him the sister of Queen Talpenes for his wife. Hadad's son lived in Shishank's palace at Bubastis with the Egyptian princes; and as Solomon's power grew weaker, Shishank sent Hadad home to raise the Edomites in rebellion against the ch Israelites. When Jeroboam, the prefect over the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, was in danger of being put to death by Solomon, he fled to Shishank for safety. On the death of Solomon took place the unfortunate division in the Hebrew kingdom. The two tribes in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem obeyed his son Rehoboam; while the northern and eastern tribes revolted, sent for Jeroboam from Egypt, and made him king. In the war which followed, Shishank, as is usual with those who interfere in their neighbours' quarrels, sided with Jeroboam,

2 Chron. ch. xii. 2.

king of Israel, whose territories were furthest from him. Shishank then made a wanton attack on Judæa, and marched against Rehoboam at the head of a large army. His soldiers were not only Egyptians from the Delta, but Thebans, called by the historian Ethiopians, from the south, Libyans from the west, and Troglodytic Arabs from the eastern coast. His army was said to contain the improbable number of twelve hundred chariots and sixty thousand horse, together with a crowd of foot. The fortified cities offered no resistance to him; he made himself master of Jerusalem, and returned to Egypt, carrying off a great booty, and, among other treasures, the golden shields which Solomon had hung up as ornaments of his new temple. On the walls of the great temple at Karnak, Shishank carved his victories in Asia by the side of those of Rameses; and on the figure of one of the conquered kings is written in hieroglyphics "The kingdom of Judah" (see Fig. 134). At

Fig. 134.




the same time, the alliance between Egypt and the revolting tribes was shown in the idolatry which Jeroboam then established in Israel. He set up two golden calves; one at Dan, at the northern end of his kingdom, and one at Bethel, at the southern end; and he established an order of priests to attend to their worship. This idolatry was the act of homage which the Egyptians made Israel pay for being spared when Judah was conquered.

De repub

vii. 10.

(7) We have before seen that, under Joseph, the land owners of Lower Egypt lost their liberty; but it is reasonable to suppose that the great revolution by which the crown of Upper and Lower Egypt was removed to the Delta was not brought about without some advantages to the Lower country. It was probably at this time that the military of Lower Egypt gained the freedom from land-tax which had always been enjoyed by the order of priests, and probably by both orders in the less despotic Upper Egypt. Aristotle says that the military class was divided licâ, lib. from the agricultural class by Sesostris; and, while some of the great deeds which the Greek historians have given to that fabulous name seem to belong to the great Rameses, we may perhaps give to Shishank some others, including this re-establishment of the military class in Lower Egypt. Another and a more important change which followed upon the removal of the seat of government was the separation of the temporal and spiritual powers. Their union had been a cause of strength to the Theban monarchy; and their separation caused the weakness of the several governments which succeeded to it in Lower Egypt. When the seat of empire left Thebes, the priesthood, whose power had centered in that city, can have had no longer that weight in the state which they before enjoyed. Shishank, indeed, bore the same priestly titles as the kings of Thebes; but the great body of the priests, of whom he claimed to be the head, looked upon him as an enemy. Though the soldiers of Bubastis made themselves obeyed in the Thebaid, the priests of Bubastis had no such claim to be listened to. They worshipped other gods, and spoke another dialect.

(8) The most flourishing time for the city of Bubastis was this reign, and its fortified temple was probably then built. When Herodotus admired it, five hundred years later, its great

age was proved by the height of the city mounds, which had been raised higher and higher each century, Lib. ii. 138. as the Nile's mud raised the soil of the Delta. He had seen larger and more costly temples in other cities, but he thought none so beautiful as this. It was dedicated to Bubast, a goddess, whom the Greeks called Diana. It was a strongly-walled grove in the middle of the city, two hundred yards square. Its entrance was guarded by two towers thirty feet high; and on the other sides its wall was surrounded by a deep moat or canal from the Nile, one hundred feet wide. The walls were ornamented with carved figures nine feet high, and the moat was shaded with overhanging trees. In the middle of this sacred grove, which was all called the temple, stood the covered building, containing in one of its rooms the statue of the goddess. The two tall towers at the entrance faced the east, and from them ran a paved road through the market-place to the temple of Thoth, at the other end of the city. But the arts did not flourish in these times of change and civil war. Many of the statues of gods in black syenite, which bear the name Museum. of King Shishank, seem from their style to have Jeremiah, been made three hundred years earlier, in the ch. xliii. 9. reign of Amunothph III. Shishank gave the Isaiah, ch. name of his queen, Tahpenes, to a city which the Greeks called Daphnæ, about twenty miles from Pelusium. But perhaps the lady's name was only Hanes, and hence the city would be called Tape-Hanes. Here was a royal palace; and from the name of the city we may suppose that it was one of those whose revenues were allotted to the maintenance of the queen's state and dignity.


XXX. 4.

(9) Shishank was not one of those great kings who have left a throne established for a long Manetho. line of descendants. He was succeeded by his son OsORKON (see Fig. 135), and with him the power of the family ended. After his death the country was divided into several little kingdoms for two centuries; and as these years are marked by no national deeds abroad, and by no great works of art at home, we must fear that the energies of the people were chiefly wasted in their civil wars. Their lessened strength was shown

[ocr errors]

Fig. 135.

« PreviousContinue »