| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 8 - Page 114 of 141 Index | Zoom | |
of Khuenaten, which linked him with the old dynasty, and gave his eldest Son,
Rameses II, greater chances of being respected and honoured than he himself could
expect to be. This marriage also, in the person of Rameses II, succeeded in uniting the
claims of the two great rival houses. Rameses was only ten or twelve years of age when
he joined his father on the throne, and the sculpture and inscriptions constantly represent
him as sharing the administration of the affairs of state. The great historical monument at
Abydos records the induction of the young prince; "I was solemnly inducted as the eldest
son unto the dignity of heir to the throne on the chair of the earth god Set".
Rameses II was the father of 3 sons and 51 daughters, he married many wives, some
of them being near relatives. Rameses II is famous as a great builder, and the demand
that his buildings made for labour, together with the need for constructing defensive
works, caused great pressure to be put upon captives and aliens who laboured in the
making of brick, and the building of cities. When we understand the details of Egyptian
architecture, the great demand for bricks becomes understandable. Had the buildings and
cities been built upon the ground, the next overflow of the Nile would have destroyed
them; the yearly inundation made it necessary that the buildings should be erected upon
raised foundations of brickwork. The bricks were of two sorts; those made of alluvial
mud of the Nile, and those of the firmer clay. The Israelites labouring in Goshen were
limited to the Nile mud, and "straw" was absolutely essential to make this into bricks.
Several monuments of Rameses the Great may be seen in this gallery, the gigantic
proportions of them indicating a very high pitch of engineering skill on the part of those
who conceived, executed, and erected them.
Israel's exodus from Egypt makes Egyptian archaeology from that point less
interesting, but before we consider the memorials of the Assyrians, we must give one
more monument our careful attention.
The Egyptian Gallery. The Rosetta Stone.
A key is not to be valued by the amount of metal that enters into its composition, but
rather by the access that it gives to the possessor of it.
The Rosetta Stone contains an inscription concerning the birthday celebrations of
Ptolemy, and of itself possesses an interest that is neither startling nor of immeasurable
value, but when we realize that this stone provided the key to unlock the Egyptian
hieroglyphic inscriptions, and makes them speak again after millenniums of silence, then
its value will become apparent.
The Rosetta Stone is an irregularly shaped slab of black basalt. Some of the lines of
the inscription are lost. The inscription is in two languages, Egyptian and Greek: the
writing of the Egyptian, however, is in two different sets of characters; the first is in the