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they naturally looked to Egypt for help. Had these little Hebrew kingdoms been united, and had they allied themselves with their Syrian neighbours, who were of the same blood as themselves, they might perhaps have withstood the advance of the Assyrian armies. But since their quarrel they were unable to defend themselves; and Egypt could be of no service to them against Shalmanezer. To Egypt, however, many of the Israelites fled from the coming destruction, though the prophet Hosea warned them that they never would be able to return home. He tells them, that they would die among strangers, that Egypt would gather up their bones, and Memphis, so famous for its pyramids, would bury them. Shalmanezer soon conquered all the neighbouring countries, Menander, Sidon, and Acre, and the island of Cyprus. Tyre ap. Joseph. alone held out against a siege. The Assyrians 2 Kings, therefore overran the rebellious Samaritans in spite of their Egyptian allies; they put down the kingdom of Israel, carried away the nobles as captives to the banks of the Caspian, and made Samaria a province of Assyria.
ch. xviii. 10.
Hosea, ch. ix. 6.
(25) The danger from Shalmanezer had threatened Judæa as well as Israel, and about the same time King Hezekiah seems to have hoped for succour from the Jews of Abyssinia, with whom his nation kept up some little intercourse by sea. The prophet Isaiah, though fearing an union with their Egyptian neighbours, saw no danger in receiving help from a people half way down the Red Sea, and he thus addresses Abyssinia: "O land of the winged Tsaltsal (or Spear-fly), beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, that sendest ambassadors by sea in reed boats upon the face of the waters." And he adds that at a future time the Abyssinian Jews will send gifts to Jehovah of hosts to the dwelling-place of the name of Jehovah on Mount Zion. Already, in their habits of wandering, many of the Jews had settled in Abyssinia; and when the prophet Zephaniah speaks of the piety towards Jehovah, which will be shown by the whole nation, he adds that even from beyond the rivers of Ethiopia his worshippers, the children of the lispersion, will bring their offerings.
Ch. iii. 10.
(26) TIRHAKAH (see Fig. 145), the third Ethiopian king
of Egypt, on coming to the throne, found Sennacherib, the next king of Assyria, pursuing these 2 Kings, successes, and threatening the dech. struction of the kingdom of Judæa. The prophet Isaiah had warned Hezekiah, the Jewish king, that trusting in Egyptian help was leaning on a bruised reed; and so it proved. Sennacherib marched towards
Egypt to attack Tirhakah instead of waiting to be Josephus, attacked. He came to the walls of Pelusium, the
lib. x. 2. frontier city, and laid siege to it in due form. He dug his trenches and raised his platforms to a level with the city walls, and was nearly ready for the assault, when he heard that the Egyptian army was marching from Memphis to the relief of the place. But the Egyptians were stopped by a revolt, arising perhaps from a jealousy between the priesthood and the soldiers. The governor of Memphis, the priest of Pthah, whom Herodotus calls by his priestly Herodotus, title Sethon, who was the general of the Egyptian lib. ii. 141. army, had unwisely quarrelled with the soldiers
about their allowance of land, at the rate of six acres a man, which they had been allowed to hold free of rent. He had treated them with great severity. So the soldiers refused to march with him. On this he encamped near Pelusium, with such citizens and volunteers as would join him, for the defence of the city. But the courage of these raw tribes was never tried. Before they met the enemy, the army of Sennacherib was no more. An unseen hand had Xxxvii, 36. routed or destroyed the Assyrians in the night; or the loss of their supplies by sea had left them without food with the desert in their rear; the prophet Isaiah gave glory to Jehovah for the destruction of the nation's enemy, and the Egyptians set up a monument in the temple of Memphis in gratitude to their god Pthah.
(27) Pelusium was one of the naval stations of the Egyptians; its population was made up of sailors. Dionysii They were not Egyptians, but Phenicians and other seafaring Asiatics, who settled there of old. The place had to be attacked by sea, as well as by land, and for the siege of Pelusium, the Assyrians employed a fleet of
2nd Edit. Fig. 53.
Phenician vessels, or ships of Tarsus, to meet the land forces with timber. This was cut on Mount Lebanon, and 2 Kings, xix. 23. put on shipboard at the city of Tyre, as we see in Bonomi's a picture carved on the Assyrian monuments (see Fig. 146). But the timber ships were lost in a storm, and with them probably the other necessary supplies for the land forces; and when the Hebrew Psalmist speaks of the enemy retreating in fear from the walls of Jerusalem, he also thanks God for breaking to pieces these ships of Tarsus with an cast wind. Another Assyrian army, which, under the command of Tartan, had been sent against Ashdod, a
Psalms, xlviii. 7.
Isaiah, ch. xx. 1.
strong city of the Philistines, was more successful; it continued the siege of that place, and shortly afterwards took it.
(28) The kingdom of Ethiopia was now in its greatest prosperity. The Nubian gold mines added to its revenues; and kings who could hold Upper and Lower Egypt as a province did not forget to ornament their own cities with
taste formed in Thebes. The grand temple built at Napata by Tirhakah was equal in size, though hardly in beauty, Hoskins's to those of Egypt. There the pigmy grotesque Ethiopia. figure of the god of Memphis stands against the columns, and the king styles himself Beloved by the Theban goddess Athor. Sabacothph had built on the large island of Argo, or Gagaudes, as Pliny calls it; and the colossal statues there still declare its grandeur (see Fig. 147). And the kings of these distant regions, eight hundred miles to the south of Memphis, were now meddling in the quarrels between the Assyrians and the Israelites. Under Tirhakah Egypt was less a province of Ethiopia than it had been under the two former Ethiopian kings. Tirhakah probably removed his seat of government from the poorer to the wealthier part of his dominions. The priests of Thebes Wilkinson, recorded on their walls his victories
Thebes. over the Assyrians, as to the honour of Egyptian arms; and thus Thebes again. Burton's gave laws to Ethiopia. The city Excerpta, of Tanis now quietly submitted; and we find the name of Tirhakah among the sculptures which ornament the temple of that city.
(29) Hitherto, the dates in our history, during the thousand years which we have hastily run over, have been settled by calculating backwards from this reign along the line of Egyptian kings and Jewish priests, by allowing about twenty years to a reign and thirty to a generation. Hence, the error at the beginning may have amounted to one or even two centuries, and must have grown less as we approached this time. But here we have arrived at certainty in chronology. Tirhakah, the Ethiopian, reigned in Egypt while Hezekiah reigned in Judæa, ch. xxxix. Sennacherib in Assyria, and Mardoch Empadus in Ptolemæi Babylon; and with this last begins the series of Syntax. recorded Babylonian eclipses on which the historian now builds his chronology, while he acknowledges his debt to the Alexandrian astronomers who have preserved
them for us, and to modern science which has calculated them. Henceforth the error in our dates ought not to be greater than twelve months, and is probably seldom twice as great; and with exactness in the dates follows greater certainty in history. The Egyptians kept no records of eclipses or of occultations of the stars.