When the hieroglyphic inscriptions of ancient Egypt first came to be deciphered and read, one of the earliest questions put to their interpreters was, Have you discovered any allusions in them to the Israelites and their exodus out of Egypt? For many years the answer was no; and as the study of the Monuments advanced the conviction deepened that no other answer could be expected. The Israelites were but a small body of despised Asiatics, living on the outskirts of the Pharaoh's kingdom and reduced, during the latter part of their settlement in Egypt, to the condition of public serfs. It was no more probable that the lordly scribes and rulers of Egypt would take any notice of them in their records, than that notice should be taken to-day by English writers of the Bedouin tribes who still hover on the borders of Egypt. The Hebrews were hated by the native Egyptians, and after their departure from the country, which was accompanied by so many disasters to the Egyptian people, the natives were likely to endeavor to banish them from their memory. As for the piagues which forced the reluctant Pharaoh to set free his workmen, a veil of silence would naturally be drawn over them.

But it is always the unexpected that happens in Egyptian exploration. Not only has the name of the Israelu or Israelites been found on an Egyptian monument, but there is also a reference to the oppression under which there suffered. Sidelights, moreover, have been thrown on the history and geography of the Exodus, and the event has been fitted into what we now know to have been the current of Egyptian history. Prof. A. H. Sayce,

The Homiletic Review.

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January 25, 1900

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