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Sidelights on the Scriptures.
The Egyptian Gallery. Israel in Egypt.
pp. 9, 10
The expulsion of the Hyksos conquerors of Egypt, the shepherd kings, introduces us to
the kings of the XVIIIth dynasty, of which Thothmes III is a king of great importance:
he is called by some historians, "the Alexander the Great of Egyptian history". Thothmes
engaged in many wars, and carried his arms to the extremes of the then known world. An
"These are the unknown peoples of the furthest end of Asia whom His Holiness
carried away as living prisoners (unknown was their land): it had never been trodden by
the other kings of Egypt with the exception of His Holiness."
Cleopatra's Needle, so-called, which to-day stands upon the Thames Embankment,
was erected by Thothmes III, and in every probability, was seen many times by Moses
and Israel while in Egypt.
Standing in the centre of the North Gallery (No. 360) is a red granite head from a
colossal statue of Thothmes 3: He wears the double crown of the South and the North,
the left arm and leg are in Bay 5; the total height of the head is 9 feet 5 inches, and its
weight 4 tons 1 cwt. On the walls of the Temple of Karnak at Thebes, Thothmes III
gives a list of 119 names of places in Palestine that were tributary. Among the list are
such names as Gibeah, Migdol, Ophrah, Chinneroth, Joppa, Megiddo, Hamath and
Damascus: the two names, however, that are most suggestive are those which occur in the
102nd and 78th positions in the list, they are JACOB-EL and JOSEPH-EL.
The coalition of the Canaanite tribes against Thothmes III, which included the tribes
of Jacobel and Josephel, may illustrate the reason of the suspicion that the Israelites in
Goshen would prove to be a menace if allowed to increase, although the oppression does
not appear to have been instituted under this king.
The last king of the XVIIIth dynasty was named Amenophis 4: The mother of this
king was a princess of Mesopotamia, and this may account for the fact that
Amenophis IV (Amenhotep IV as sometimes written) discarded all titles that connected
him with the ancient Egyptian Ra, and assumed another title, Khuenaten, meaning, "The
splendour of the Solar Disc". He thereupon renounced all the polytheism of Egypt, with
its animal worship, and became a worshipper of the Sun. A rebellion of the Egyptian
priesthood against this Semitic faith followed, which ended in the overthrow of the
dynasty. A seated statute of the fire-goddess Sekhet (Bay 6, No. 410) gives an idea of the
Egyptian gods; this one is dedicated to the goddess in her awful character of "crusher of
We now commence the examination of the history of a completely new line of kings,
whose whole being was entirely opposed to the foreign element that had crept into the