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a late Exodus, he still feels that, somehow or other, Israelites must be got into Palestine before it! The point is worth noting, because we shall recognize the same makeshift theory when we come to the Tel-el-Amarna correspondence.1

As regards Rameses III, Prof. Sayce wrote strongly in 1895, without himself volunteering a date for the monarch:

When Rameses III overran the southern portion of Palestine, and built the temple of the Theban god at the spot now known at Khurbet Kan'an, not far from Hebron, the Israelites could not as yet have entered the Promised Land. There is no reference to the Egyptians in the Pentateuch, and there is no reference to the Israelites in the hieroglyphic texts of Medinet Habu. Hebron, Migdal, Karmel of Judah, Ir-Shemesh and Hadashah, all alike fell into the hands of the Egyptian invaders, but neither in the Egyptian nor in the Hebrew records is there any allusion to a struggle between Egypt and Israel. When Joshua entered Canaan all these cities belonged to the Canaanites, and when Rameses III attacked them this was also the case. The Palestinian campaign of Ramcses must have prepared the way for the Israelitish conquest; it could not have followed after it.

But ten years later Prof. Petrie, in his History of Egypt (vol. iii. pp. 152-3), puts the matter in a very different light.

Unfortunately there is no account of the Syrian war; and that a great land fight took place we only learn form the scenes of groups of Amorite captives, and the Philistines and Zakkaru escaping in ox wagons. Unhappily the lists of captive towns have been so largely copied from earlier conquests, that we cannot use them for history; especially as the walls of the Ramesseum, which were probably their prototype, have nearly all been destroyed, and cannot be compared.

We may thus reasonably decline to take this difficulty very seriously until the main facts are more clearly ascertained. We may also, of course, allege Merenptah's inscription once more, and further suggest that possibly the Philistines might be holding Jewish towns in South Palestine. Prof. Petrie gives 1202-1170 B.C. as the date of Rameses III; this date does not bring us anywhere near Samson, who seems to be the only judge of moment belonging to the southern group of tribes. We may presume Samgar to belong to this group, since he smites the Philistines (Judges iii. 31), but we are hardly told anything of him, and there

1 The Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement for 1916 (p. 42} gives a new interpretation of this inscription by Prof. Edward Naville, trans. lating 'The Israelites are swept off, his seed are no more.' On this astonishing change in the rendering we have yet to hear the experts' final judgment.


Egypt of the Hebrews, pp. 89, 90.

is no other southern judge whatever. Even in Samson's time Judah is represented as under Philistine domination (Judges xv. 11). Here again, even in what concerns the Hebrews, and abstracting from the Egyptian monuments, the objection appears to be based on an insufficient realization of the general state of affairs in the time of the judges.

Nevertheless the Philistines are a whole difficulty in themselves; but a difficulty of such large proportions as not to bear with particular weight against any one system of chronology. The Philistine settlement in Canaan, writes Prof. Sayce,' 'must be ascribed to the age of Rameses III, and it was already with the Philistines that the Israelites came into conflict under almost the earliest of their judges.' As a matter of fact, the Philistines are mentioned long before the period of the judges, in connexion with Abraham (Genesis xxi. 32-34), and Isaac (Genesis xxvi. 1-18), and elsewhere. Prof. Macalister, in his Philistines (p. 39), explains the matter in a sensible way, that clears the sacred text from any charge of error :

The use of the word 'Philistine in these stories has long been recognized as an anachronism. Perhaps with less harshness and equal accuracy we might characterize it as a rather free use of modern names and circumstances in telling an ancient tale. Even now we might find, for example, a popular writer on history saying that this event or that of the Early British period took place in Norfolk,' although it is obvious that the territory of the North Folk must have received its Saxon name in later times. The tales of Abraham and Isaac were written when the land where their scenes were laid was in truth the Land of the Philistines; and the story-teller was not troubled with the question as to how far back that occupation lasted.

If, then, the early occurrence of the term 'Philistine can be explained by the popular character of the narrative in the case of Genesis, so it can be in Judges. Nevertheless it is not clear that we need to fall back on this solution. Is it really certain that, as Prof. Sayce asserts, 'the Philistine settlement in Canaan must be ascribed to the age of Rameses III' ? The actual disturbances which caused their invasion of South Palestine began in the fourteenth century, and Rameses II himself felt the pressure of the moving of the peoples. Prof. Flinders Petrie 3 is uncertain whether the Philistines of Rameses III came from Palestine or Crete, but inclines to the latter; may they

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not have had a footing in Palestine also? -half raid and half settlement-the Saxon and Danish invasions of England would appear to offer some parallel.


We come to another difficulty, raised, for example, by Driver: the Tel-el-Amarna letters show that about 1400 B.C. Palestine was still an Egyptian province, under the rule of Egyptian governors; the entry of the Israelites into Canaan could not, consequently, have taken place till after 1400 B.C.' About the Tel-el-Amarna tablets we need here say no more than that they were letters from monarchs of western Asia, like Kadashman-Kharbe, King of Babylonia; Ashuruballit, King of Assyria; and Tushratta, King of Mittanni, to Amenophis III, or Amenophis IV, Kings of Egypt, or they were despatches from various governors or princes of Syria or Palestine, Philistia, or Phoenicia, to these same Egyptian kings, whom they acknowledged as lawful rulers or suzerains over their territories.' Driver does not even mention the possibility, discussed by many, that the Khabiri' mentioned in these inscriptions may be the Hebrews invading under Josue. It appears to be generally admitted that there is no difficulty in equating the names, and, if we allow for the vast difference in the point of view, it appears not unreasonable to equate much of their deeds also. The story of the invasion as told in Holy Writ is only a bare summary, and in these letters we should in any case have merely some odd references to it from the fearful victims, so that some rein must be given to historical imagination in attempting a reconciliation. Dr. Rogers 3 is chiefly impressed with the chronological difficulty of the identification; but is there not here some danger of a vicious circle? We have already sufficiently seen that, as far as the biblical chronology itself goes, this early date is that which does least violence to the text. However, there is a formidable difficulty still awaiting us, and it may be that which Dr. Rogers has chiefly in view. And so too may Dr. Skinner in his Genesis (p. 218), though he likewise refrains from mentioning the fact. He actually feels bound to postulate an invasion of Palestine by the ancestors of the Israelites in the fifteenth century B.C., but will not suppose the Exodus an already accomplished fact. "There is thus a strong probability,' he

1 Genesis, Introduction, p. xxix.

2 R. W. Rogers, Cuneiform Parallels to the Old Testament, p. 254.
3 Ibid. p. 260.

writes, that pay ['ibhrim, Hebrews] was originally the name of a group of tribes which invaded Palestine in the fifteenth century B.C., and that it was afterwards applied to the Israelites as the sole historic survivors of the immigrants.' Here, too, the chronological difficulty is imagined to be insuperable, although the synchronism is precisely what could most easily be squared with the Scripture record.1

The last difficulty upon which we shall touch is the most serious, and it shall be stated quite frankly. In Exodus i. 11 we read that the Israelites built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses '-so the Revised Version, following the Hebrew. Now it is contended that the excavations of M. Naville have shown that Rameses II, of the nineteenth dynasty, was the builder of Pithom; and the name of the other city, though it is still not certainly identified, is sufficient evidence that he was its founder likewise.' Rameses II appears to have been reigning during the first half of the thirteenth century B.C.,3 so that if the Israelites built for him, the Exodus cannot have been as early as the middle of the fifteenth century. M. Naville's witness, it should be noticed, is very explicit

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The founder of the city, the king who gave to Pithom the extent and the importance we recognize, is certainly Rameses II. I did not find anything more ancient than his monuments. It is possible that before his time there may have been here a shrine consecrated to the worship of Tum, but it is he who built the enclosure and the storehouses; he is the only king whose name appears on the naos and on the monuments of Ismailiah. Nowhere is it said, as on the monolith of Abou Seyfeh, that he restored constructions of former kings.

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As for other monuments,' these may be those already here indicated as difficulties; at all events, the chief difficulties actually raised have here been reproduced. But it is what M. Naville has to tell us about Pithom itself that seems the most formidable of all. Are we simply to accept Rameses II as the Pharaoh of the Oppression? The opinion of such a distinguished Egyptologist is not lightly to be

1 Some 'Khabiri' appear to have been found 'some six centuries before the era of the Tel-el-Amarna tablets,' in Babylonia (Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement for 1916, pp. 140, 141). But the name ('the men from across') might fit many tribes at different times, and it is not clear that this has any important bearing on what has been written above.

2 Driver, Genesis, Introduction, p. xxix.

3 Cf. ante p. 6.

4 Naville, The Store-City of Pithom, p. 13.

rejected, and he has borne such willing witness in his Archaeology of the Old Testament to the general trustworthiness of the Pentateuch in matters Egyptian, that he can scarcely be accused of any unhealthy bias in the matter. Nor would it be right to commit the Church herself to an opposite view, in a matter so obscure and from every point of view undecided; indeed the French Crampon Bible, for instance, notes that the Pharaoh of Exodus ii. 15 is probably' Rameses II, and Father Hugh Pope, O.P., in his Catholic Students' Aids leans at least as much towards the later date for the Exodus as towards the earlier one which we have given. Still, this entails treating the biblical figures very cavalierly, and, as regards the nonbiblical data, we have already found twice over that the hypothesis of a late Exodus compels the experts to assume Israelites in Palestine before it (pp. 7-8, 10-11). It is, therefore, worth while to consider carefully whether this last difficulty be indeed absolutely insuperable.

Sometimes the best way to attack a problem is to suppose it already solved, and then to consider the implications of the solution. This method we may apply to the present case, without pressing unduly any one particular method of reconciliation. Let us, then, suppose that the Israelites built these cities much earlier, say for the conqueror Thothmes III. In the Egyptian monuments no record exists of their having done so; but then there is nothing in these same monuments to tell us that they did so for Rameses II either. We should presumably have to suppose that Rameses II was restoring the store-cities; there does not seem to be any cogent proof that he was bound to mention the fact if he did so. Indeed, several eminent scholars, including M. Naville himself, identify Raamses, the second store-city, with Zoan, a city greatly enlarged by Rameses II, but originally built much earlier. The name was therefore changed, and we could well imagine the later name slipping into the text in the days when it was in vogue. An argument from silence is seldom absolutely trustworthy; in this case we have to reconcile ourselves to much silence on the side of the pagan records in any case. We could even imagine the epithet store-cities' coming in with the later names; but, on the other hand, Thothmes III was a

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1 Cf. Driver's note on Exodus i. 11 (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges).

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