Skip to main content

Full text of "Israel and Egypt"

See other formats


Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in the World 

This article is one of nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone in 
the world by JSTOR. 

Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other 
writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the 
mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. 

We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this 
resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non-commercial 

Read more about Early Journal Content at 
journal-content . 

JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people 
discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching 
platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit 
organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please 


follow the developing social life, its interests, needs, and problems and 
show how their satisfaction, solution, or frustration produced the char- 
acteristic religious forms and beliefs of the people. Only so is it possible 
to understand their joy in a religion different from that of other peoples. 
This probably accounts for the fact that the author condemns some 
things and often regrets that other religions did not achieve the exalted 
ideas of God and salvation attained in Christianity. The reason is in 
the social situation and the task of the historian of religion is to under- 
stand it. 

Professor Soper has chosen deliberately to give to his book an apolo- 
getic cast in the interest of Christianity as he interprets it. His philoso- 
phic presupposition is that God has been progressively revealing himself 
to the peoples as they were able to receive the truth and that he has 
revealed himself most completely in Jesus Christ. There can be no 
objection to this position if one is writing apologetics. It is just so 
that modern Buddhist and Moslem writers are presenting their own reli- 
gions. But for all things there is a time — a time for apologetics and a 
time for history of religions. They do not belong together. The sacred 
duty of the scientific student of religions is not to pity, nor to preach, 
nor to condemn, but to understand and to interpret. And yet, in spite 
of its apologetics, which may indeed commend it to the general reader, the 
Christian pastor, and beginning students to whom it is addressed, the 
book is a welcome addition to the literature of the science. 

A. Eustace Havdon 
University of Chicago 


This is the work of a busy pastor in Glasgow. The amount of labor 
that has gone into the making of this book is amazing. Mr. Knight 
has read almost everything of importance upon the subject and he has 
reported his reading accurately. The care that is shown in the proof- 
reading is typical of the whole work. The book is a veritable mine of 
information upon Egypt and Palestine and will constitute a monument 
to the diligence of the author. 

The historical value of this book is open to serious question. The 
reviewer will not concern himself with its contribution to the history of 
Egypt, except to point out that Mr. Knight takes Petrie as his guide for 

'Nile and Jordan. An Archaeological History of the Inter-Relations between 
Egypt and Palestine from the Earliest Times to the Fall of Jerusalem in A .D. 70. G. A. 
Frank Knight. London: James Clarke and Co., 1921. xii-f-572 pages. 5 maps. 36s. 


the most part and consequently adopts the longer chronology. For 
example, he places the beginning of the First Dynasty at 5510 B.C., in 
contrast to Erman, Meyer, Breasted, et al., who put it at about 3500 B.C. 
He follows Hommel in making Egyptian civilization to have originated 
in Babylonia, whence it was brought to Egypt by Semitic invaders, who 
were in turn conquered by the Egyptians to whom, however, the Semites 
taught the arts of civilization. 

In the field of Hebrew history, there can be no serious difference of 
judgment on the part of historical students as to the slight value of Mr. 
Knight's treatment. It is innocent of any knowledge of historical 
method. There is no sharp discrimination in the evaluation of sources. 
The Chronicler ranks high as a credible historian. The Targum, 
Josephus, Manetho, the Apocrypha, and the Apostle Stephen all come 
in for recognition as witnesses to the history of the ancient world and are 
given much weight as preserving ancient traditions. The Song of Songs 
furnishes "facts " as to Solomon. All is grist to Mr. Knight's mill. The 
plagues recorded in Exodus actually happened as there related. The 
tabernacle of the Priestly Code was an actual building as described. 
The story of Joseph, including the episode with Potiphar's wife, is liter- 
ally true as told. It is refreshing after wandering so long in uncertainty 
about early Hebrew chronology, to turn to Mr. Knight's table and find 
that Isaac was born in 2065 B.C., Abraham died in 1990 B.C., Moses was 
born in 1525 B.C., the Exodus occurred in 1445 B.C., Moses died in 
1405 B.C., and David was born in 1039 B.C. and died in 969 B.C. The 
"Pharaoh of the Oppression" was Thothmes III and Amenhotep II 
was the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Queen Hatshepset was the daughter of 
Pharaoh who saved the life of the infant Moses. 

One end that Mr. Knight had in view in writing this book was to 
stress the influence exerted by Egypt upon the life and thought of the 
Hebrews. This is a perfectly proper purpose and is in the main right. 
It is practically certain that the influence of Egypt upon Hebrew life has 
so far been underestimated. But Mr. Knight overdoes the matter. 
He sees Egyptian influence where there is no reason to see it. For 
example, why must Job's longing for a record of his words inscribed upon 
the rock be connected with the rock-inscriptions of Egypt? Was not 
the rock of Behistun known to the Hebrews of that day ? The Assuan 
colony had an Aramaic copy of the Behistun inscription. Were there 
not rock-cut inscriptions in Sinai and on the Dog River? Again, 
why must Job's reference to "clay under the seal" argue for Egyptian 
influence ? Was not the seal well known in Palestine itself, to say nothing 
of the clay tablets and the seals of Babylonia? When Job says, "Oh, 


that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his 
seat!" must we see an Egyptian background? Were gods enthroned 
only in Egypt? The Code of Hammurabi, for example, represents 
Shamash, the sun-god, as seated upon his throne delivering the laws to 
the king. Is it to be supposed that contemporary Persian or Greek god 
were never thought of as sitting down ? Need we go abroad at all to 
account for Yahweh's being thought of as seated upon a throne ? Such 
claims as these weaken an otherwise good case. In so far as Mr. Knight 
succeeds in impressing upon his readers the fact that the relations 
between the life of Egypt and the life of Palestine were continuous and 
intimate, his work will be of service in enlightening the present age re- 
garding the unity of the civilization of the ancient oriental world. 

J. M. Powis Smith 
University of Chicago 

Mr. Robinson Smith's solution of the Synoptic Problem, as readers of 
his earlier publications know, is the simple one "that Luke followed on 
after Matthew and used him as a source, even as Matthew followed on 
after Mark and used him as a source." To the demonstration and elabo- 
ration of this thesis, with related investigations, the present volume is 
dedicated. There are five main lines of argument, summarily presented 
in the first chapter. Proof 1, which Mr. Smith seems to regard as most 
telling, consists of a list of twenty-two passages in Mark, of which 
Matthew in eighteen cases chose the first part and Luke the second, or 
what was left after Matthew had had "first choice." Proof 2 consists in 
over one hundred and fifty passages in which Luke "consciously or 
unconsciously" agrees with Matthew in the latter's alterations of his 
Markan source. Only a half dozen of these are given; for the rest 
reference is made to E. A. Abbott's Corrections of Mark, and to Sir John 
Hawkins. Proof 3 is the citation of nineteen passages in which Luke 
seems to change further Matthew's changes from Mark. Proof 4 is 
based on eleven passages in which Luke pieces together a detail from 
Mark and a detail from Matthew. Proof 5 consists of four doublets in 
Luke, one of which comes from Mark, the other, says Mr. Smith, from 

If these five lines of proof could be substantiated, without discount, 
they would indeed make a very strong case. But a careful examination 

1 The Solution of the Synoptic Problem. Robinson Smith. London: Watts and 
Co., 1920. 10s. net.