PraysHome - Prayer Book Explained - Preaching - Presbyterian - Catholic - Bible Myths - Men's Bible
Most ViewedHe Descended Into Hell
Jonah Swallowed By A Big Fish
Jacob's Vision Of The Ladder
Receiving The Ten Commandments
Samson And His Exploits
Christ Crishna And Christ Jesus Compared
Least ViewedThe Genealogy Of Christ Jesus
The Song Of The Heavenly Host
The Trial Of Abraham's Faith
The Temptation And Fast Of Forty Days
The Miracles Of Christ Jesus And The Primitive Christians
The Second Coming Of Christ Jesus And The Millennium
Why Christianity Prospered
The Tower Of Babel
The Slaughter Of The Innocents
The Star Of Bethlehem
The Exodus From Egypt And Passage Through The Red Sea
The children of Israel, who were in bondage in Egypt, making bricks, and
working in the field,[48:1] were looked upon with compassion by the
Lord.[48:2] He heard their groaning, and remembered his covenant with
Abraham,[48:3] with Isaac, and with Jacob. He, therefore, chose Moses
(an Israelite, who had murdered an Egyptian,[48:4] and who, therefore,
was obliged to flee from Egypt, as Pharaoh sought to punish him), as his
servant, to carry out his plans.
Moses was at this time keeping the flock of Jeruth, his father-in-law,
in the land of Midian. The angel of the Lord, or the Lord himself,
appeared to him there, and said unto him:
"I am the God of thy Father, the God of Abraham, the God of
Isaac, and the God of Jacob. . . . I have seen the affliction of
my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by
reason of their tormentors; for I know their sorrows. And I am
come down to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians,
and to bring them up out of that land into a good land and a
large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. I will send
thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people, the
children of Israel, out of Egypt."
Then Moses said unto the Lord:
"Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall
say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent me unto you,
and they shall say unto me: What is his name? What shall I say
Then God said unto Moses:
"I AM THAT I AM."[48:5] "Thus shalt thou say unto the children
of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."[48:6]
And God said, moreover, unto Moses:
"Go and gather the Elders of Israel together, and say unto
them: the Lord God of your fathers . . . appeared unto me,
saying: 'I have surely visited you, and seen that which is
done to you in Egypt. And I have said, I will bring you up out
of the affliction of Egypt . . . unto a land flowing with milk
and honey.' And they shall hearken to thy voice, and thou
shall come, thou and the Elders of Israel, unto the king of
Egypt, and ye shall say unto him: 'the Lord God of the Hebrews
hath met with us, and now let us go, we beseech thee, three
days journey in the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the
Lord our God.'[49:1]
"I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no,
not by a mighty hand. And I will stretch out my hand, and
smite Egypt with all my wonders, which I will do in the midst
thereof: and after that he will let you go. And I will give
this people (the Hebrews) favor in the sight of the Egyptians,
and it shall come to pass, that when ye go, ye shall not go
empty. But every woman shall borrow of her neighbor, and of
her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver and jewels
of gold, and raiment. And ye shall put them upon your sons and
upon your daughters, and ye shall spoil the
The Lord again appeared unto Moses, in Midian, and said:
"Go, return into Egypt, for all the men are dead which sought
thy life. And Moses took his wife, and his son, and set them
upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt. And Moses
took the rod of God (which the Lord had given him) in his
Upon arriving in Egypt, Moses tells his brother Aaron, "all the words of
the Lord," and Aaron tells all the children of Israel. Moses, who was
not eloquent, but had a slow speech,[49:4] uses Aaron as his
spokesman.[49:5] They then appear unto Pharaoh, and falsify, "according
to the commands of the Lord," saying: "Let us go, we pray thee, three
days' journey in the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our
The Lord hardens Pharaoh's heart, so that he does not let the children
of Israel go to sacrifice unto their God, in the desert.
Moses and Aaron continue interceding with him, however, and, for the
purpose of showing their miraculous powers, they change their rods into
serpents, the river into blood, cause a plague of frogs and lice, and a
swarm of flies, &c., &c., to appear. Most of these feats were imitated
by the magicians of Egypt. Finally, the first-born of Egypt are slain,
when Pharaoh, after having had his heart hardened, by the Lord, over and
over again, consents to let Moses and the children of Israel go to serve
their God, as they had said, that is, for three days.
The Lord having given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians,
they borrowed of them jewels of silver, jewels of gold, and raiment,
"according to the commands of the Lord." And they journeyed toward
Succoth, there being six hundred thousand, besides children.[50:1]
"And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in
Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. And the Lord went before
them by day, in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way;
and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light to go
by day and night."[50:2]
"And it was told the king of Egypt, that the people fled. . . .
And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him.
And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots
of Egypt, . . . and he pursued after the children of Israel,
and overtook them encamping beside the sea. . . . And when
Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel . . . were sore
afraid, and . . . (they) cried out unto the Lord. . . . And
the Lord said unto Moses, . . . speak unto the children of
Israel, that they go forward. But lift thou up thy rod, and
stretch out thine hand over the Red Sea, and divide it, and
the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the
midst of the sea. . . . And Moses stretched out his hand over
the sea,[50:3] and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a
strong east wind that night, and made the sea dry land, and
the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into
the midst of the sea upon the dry ground; and the waters were
a wall unto them upon the right hand, and on their left. And
the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of
the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, and his chariots, and his
After the children of Israel had landed on the other side of the sea,
the Lord said unto Moses:
"Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come
again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their
horse-men. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea,
and the sea returned to his strength. . . . And the Lord
overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the
waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horse-men,
and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after
them; there remained not so much as one of them. But the
children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the
sea, and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand,
and on their left. . . . And Israel saw the great work which
the Lord did upon the Egyptians, and the people feared the
Lord, and believed the Lord and his servant Moses."[51:1]
The writer of this story, whoever he may have been, was evidently
familiar with the legends related of the Sun-god, Bacchus, as he has
given Moses the credit of performing some of the miracles which were
attributed to that god.
It is related in the hymns of Orpheus,[51:2] that Bacchus had a rod
with which he performed miracles, and which he could change into a
serpent at pleasure. He passed the Red Sea, dry shod, at the head of
his army. He divided the waters of the rivers Orontes and Hydaspus, by
the touch of his rod, and passed through them dry-shod.[51:3] By the
same mighty wand, he drew water from the rock,[51:4] and wherever they
marched, the land flowed with wine, milk and honey.[51:5]
Professor Steinthal, speaking of Dionysus (Bacchus), says:
Like Moses, he strikes fountains of wine and water out of the rock.
Almost all the acts of Moses correspond to those of the Sun-gods.[51:6]
Mons. Dupuis says:
"Among the different miracles of Bacchus and his Bacchantes,
there are prodigies very similar to those which are attributed
to Moses; for instance, such as the sources of water which the
former caused to sprout from the innermost of the
In Bell's Pantheon of the Gods and Heroes of Antiquity,[51:8] an account
of the prodigies attributed to Bacchus is given; among these, are
mentioned his striking water from the rock, with his magic wand, his
turning a twig of ivy into a snake, his passing through the Red Sea and
the rivers Orontes and Hydaspus, and of his enjoying the light of the
Sun (while marching with his army in India), when the day was spent, and
it was dark to others. All these are parallels too striking to be
We might also mention the fact, that Bacchus, as well as Moses was
called the "Law-giver," and that it was said of Bacchus, as well as of
Moses, that his laws were written on two tables of stone.[52:1]
Bacchus was represented horned, and so was Moses.[52:2] Bacchus "was
picked up in a box, that floated on the water,"[52:3] and so was
Moses.[52:4] Bacchus had two mothers, one by nature, and one by
adoption,[52:5] and so had Moses.[52:6] And, as we have already seen,
Bacchus and his army enjoyed the light of the Sun, during the night
time, and Moses and his army enjoyed the light of "a pillar of fire, by
In regard to the children of Israel going out from the land of Egypt, we
have no doubt that such an occurrence took place, although not in the
manner, and not for such reasons, as is recorded by the sacred
historian. We find, from other sources, what is evidently nearer the
It is related by the historian Choeremon, that, at one time, the land of
Egypt was infested with disease, and through the advice of the sacred
scribe Phritiphantes, the king caused the infected people (who were none
other than the brick-making slaves, known as the children of Israel), to
be collected, and driven out of the country.[52:8]
Lysimachus relates that:
"A filthy disease broke out in Egypt, and the Oracle of Ammon,
being consulted on the occasion, commanded the king to purify
the land by driving out the Jews (who were infected with
leprosy, &c.), a race of men who were hateful to the
Gods."[52:9] "The whole multitude of the people were
accordingly collected and driven out into the
Diodorus Siculus, referring to this event, says:
"In ancient times Egypt was afflicted with a great plague,
which was attributed to the anger of God, on account of the
multitude of foreigners in Egypt: by whom the rites of the
native religion were neglected. The Egyptians accordingly
drove them out. The most noble of them went under Cadmus and
Danaus to Greece, but the greater number followed Moses, a
wise and valiant leader, to Palestine."[52:11]
After giving the different opinions concerning the origin of the Jewish
nation, Tacitus, the Roman historian, says:
"In this clash of opinions, one point seems to be universally
admitted. A pestilential disease, disfiguring the race of
man, and making the body an object of loathsome deformity,
spread all over Egypt. Bocchoris, at that time the reigning
monarch, consulted the oracle of Jupiter Hammon, and received
for answer, that the kingdom must be purified, by
exterminating the infected multitude, as a race of men
detested by the gods. After diligent search, the wretched
sufferers were collected together, and in a wild and barren
desert abandoned to their misery. In that distress, while the
vulgar herd was sunk in deep despair, Moses, one of their
number, reminded them, that, by the wisdom of his councils,
they had been already rescued out of impending danger.
Deserted as they were by men and gods, he told them, that if
they did not repose their confidence in him, as their chief by
divine commission, they had no resource left. His offer was
accepted. Their march began, they knew not whither. Want of
water was their chief distress. Worn out with fatigue, they
lay stretched on the bare earth, heart broken, ready to
expire, when a troop of wild asses, returning from pasture,
went up the steep ascent of a rock covered with a grove of
trees. The verdure of the herbage round the place suggested
the idea of springs near at hand. Moses traced the steps of
the animals, and discovered a plentiful vein of water. By this
relief the fainting multitude was raised from despair. They
pursued their journey for six days without intermission. On
the seventh day they made halt, and, having expelled the
natives, took possession of the country, where they built
their city, and dedicated their temple."[53:1]
Other accounts, similar to these, might be added, among which may be
mentioned that given by Manetho, an Egyptian priest, which is referred
to by Josephus, the Jewish historian.
Although the accounts quoted above are not exactly alike, yet the main
points are the same, which are to the effect that Egypt was infected
with disease owing to the foreigners (among whom were those who were
afterwards styled "the children of Israel") that were in the country,
and who were an unclean people, and that they were accordingly driven
out into the wilderness.
When we compare this statement with that recorded in Genesis, it does
not take long to decide which of the two is nearest the truth.
Everything putrid, or that had a tendency to putridity, was carefully
avoided by the ancient Egyptians, and so strict were the Egyptian
priests on this point, that they wore no garments made of any animal
substance, circumcised themselves, and shaved their whole bodies, even
to their eyebrows, lest they should unknowingly harbor any filth,
excrement or vermin, supposed to be bred from putrefaction.[53:2] We
know from the laws set down in Leviticus, that the Hebrews were not a
remarkably clean race.
Jewish priests, in making a history for their race, have given us but
a shadow of truth here and there; it is almost wholly mythical. The
author of "The Religion of Israel," speaking on this subject, says:
"The history of the religion of Israel must start from the
sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt. Formerly it was usual
to take a much earlier starting-point, and to begin with a
religious discussion of the religious ideas of the
Patriarchs. And this was perfectly right, so long as the
accounts of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were considered
historical. But now that a strict investigation has shown
us that all these stories are entirely unhistorical, of
course we have to begin the history later on."[54:1]
The author of "The Spirit History of Man," says:
"The Hebrews came out of Egypt and settled among the
Canaanites. They need not be traced beyond the Exodus. That
is their historical beginning. It was very easy to cover up
this remote event by the recital of mythical traditions, and
to prefix to it an account of their origin in which the gods
(Patriarchs), should figure as their ancestors."[54:2]
Professor Goldzhier says:
"The residence of the Hebrews in Egypt, and their exodus
thence under the guidance and training of an enthusiast for
the freedom of his tribe, form a series of strictly historical
facts, which find confirmation even in the documents of
ancient Egypt (which we have just shown). But the traditional
narratives of these events (were) elaborated by the Hebrew
Count de Volney also observes that:
"What Exodus says of their (the Israelites) servitude under
the king of Heliopolis, and of the oppression of their hosts,
the Egyptians, is extremely probable. It is here their
history begins. All that precedes . . . is nothing but
mythology and cosmogony."[54:4]
In speaking of the sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt, Dr. Knappert
"According to the tradition preserved in Genesis, it was the
promotion of Jacob's son, Joseph, to be viceroy of Egypt, that
brought about the migration of the sons of Israel from Canaan
to Goshen. The story goes that this Joseph was sold as a slave
by his brothers, and after many changes of fortune received
the vice-regal office at Pharaoh's hands through his skill in
interpreting dreams. Famine drives his brothers--and
afterwards his father--to him, and the Egyptian prince gives
them the land of Goshen to live in. It is by imagining all
this that the legend tries to account for the fact that
Israel passed some time in Egypt. But we must look for the
real explanation in a migration of certain tribes which could
not establish or maintain themselves in Canaan, and were
forced to move further on.
"We find a passage in Flavius Josephus, from which it appears
that in Egypt, too, a recollection survived of the sojourn of
some foreign tribes in the north-eastern district of the
country. For this writer gives us two fragments out of a lost
work by Manetho, a priest, who lived about 250 B. C. In one of
these we have a statement that pretty nearly agrees with the
Israelitish tradition about a sojourn in Goshen. But the
Israelites were looked down on by the Egyptians as foreigners,
and they are represented as lepers and unclean. Moses himself
is mentioned by name, and we are told that he was a priest and
joined himself to these lepers and gave them laws."[55:1]
To return now to the story of the Red Sea being divided to let Moses and
his followers pass through--of which we have already seen one
counterpart in the legend related of Bacchus and his army passing
through the same sea dry-shod--there is another similar story concerning
Alexander the Great.
The histories of Alexander relate that the Pamphylian Sea was divided to
let him and his army pass through. Josephus, after speaking of the Red
Sea being divided for the passage of the Israelites, says:
"For the sake of those who accompanied Alexander, king of
Macedonia, who yet lived comparatively but a little while ago,
the Pamphylian Sea retired and offered them a passage through
itself, when they had no other way to go . . . and this is
confessed to be true by all who have written about the actions
He seems to consider both legends of the same authority, quoting the
latter to substantiate the former.
"Callisthenes, who himself accompanied Alexander in the expedition,"
"wrote, how the Pamphylian Sea did not only open a passage for
Alexander, but, rising and elevating its waters, did pay him homage as
It is related in Egyptian mythology that Isis was at one time on a
journey with the eldest child of the king of Byblos, when coming to the
river Phoedrus, which was in a "rough air," and wishing to cross, she
commanded the stream to be dried up. This being done she crossed
There is a Hindoo fable to the effect that when the infant Crishna was
being sought by the reigning tyrant of Madura (King Kansa)[56:2] his
foster-father took him and departed out of the country. Coming to the
river Yumna, and wishing to cross, it was divided for them by the Lord,
and they passed through.
The story is related by Thomas Maurice, in his "History of Hindostan,"
who has taken it from the Bhagavat Pooraun. It is as follows:
"Yasodha took the child Crishna, and carried him off (from
where he was born), but, coming to the river Yumna, directly
opposite to Gokul, Crishna's father perceiving the current to
be very strong, it being in the midst of the rainy season, and
not knowing which way to pass it, Crishna commanded the water
to give way on both sides to his father, who accordingly
passed dry-footed, across the river."[56:3]
This incident is illustrated in Plate 58 of Moore's "Hindu Pantheon."
There is another Hindoo legend, recorded in the Rig Veda, and quoted
by Viscount Amberly, from whose work we take it,[56:4] to the effect
that an Indian sage called Visvimati, having arrived at a river which he
wished to cross, that holy man said to it: "Listen to the Bard who has
come to you from afar with wagon and chariot. Sink down, become
fordable, and reach not up to our chariot axles." The river answers: "I
will bow down to thee like a woman with full breast (suckling her
child), as a maid to a man, will I throw myself open to thee."
This is accordingly done, and the sage passes through.
We have also an Indian legend which relates that a courtesan named
Bindumati, turned back the streams of the river Ganges.[56:5]
We see then, that the idea of seas and rivers being divided for the
purpose of letting some chosen one of God pass through is an old one
peculiar to other peoples beside the Hebrews, and the probability is
that many nations had legends of this kind.
That Pharaoh and his host should have been drowned in the Red Sea, and
the fact not mentioned by any historian, is simply impossible,
especially when they have, as we have seen, noticed the fact of the
Israelites being driven out of Egypt.[56:6] Dr. Inman, speaking of this,
"We seek in vain amongst the Egyptian hieroglyphs for scenes
which recall such cruelties as those we read of in the Hebrew
records; and in the writings which have hitherto been
translated, we find nothing resembling the wholesale
destructions described and applauded by the Jewish historians,
as perpetrated by their own people."[57:1]
That Pharaoh should have pursued a tribe of diseased slaves, whom he
had driven out of his country, is altogether improbable. In the words
of Dr. Knappert, we may conclude, by saying that:
"This story, which was not written until more than five
hundred years after the exodus itself, can lay no claim to be
[48:1] Exodus i. 14.
[48:2] Exodus ii. 24, 25.
[48:3] See chapter x.
[48:4] Exodus ii. 12.
[48:5] The Egyptian name for God was "Nuk-Pa-Nuk," or "I AM THAT I
AM." (Bonwick: Egyptian Belief, p. 395.) This name was found on a temple
in Egypt. (Higgins' Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 17.) "'I AM' was a Divine
name understood by all the initiated among the Egyptians." "The 'I AM'
of the Hebrews, and the 'I AM' of the Egyptians are identical." (Bunsen:
Keys of St. Peter, p. 38.) The name "Jehovah," which was adopted by
the Hebrews, was a name esteemed sacred among the Egyptians. They called
it Y-HA-HO, or Y-AH-WEH. (See the Religion of Israel, pp. 42, 43; and
Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 329, and vol. ii. p. 17.) "None dare to enter
the temple of Serapis, who did not bear on his breast or forehead the
name of JAO, or J-HA-HO, a name almost equivalent in sound to that of
the Hebrew Jehovah, and probably of identical import; and no name was
uttered in Egypt with more reverence than this IAO." (Trans. from the
Ger. of Schiller, in Monthly Repos., vol. xx.; and Voltaire: Commentary
on Exodus; Higgins' Anac., vol. i. p. 329; vol. ii. p. 17.) "That this
divine name was well-known to the Heathen there can be no doubt."
(Parkhurst: Hebrew Lex. in Anac., i. 327.) So also with the name El
Shaddai. "The extremely common Egyptian expression Nutar Nutra
exactly corresponds in sense to the Hebrew El Shaddai, the very title
by which God tells Moses he was known to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob."
(Prof. Renouf: Relig. of Anc't Egypt, p. 99.)
[48:6] Exodus iii. 1, 14.
[49:1] Exodus iii. 15-18.
[49:2] Exodus iii. 19-22. Here is a command from the Lord to deceive,
and lie, and steal, which, according to the narrative, was carried
out to the letter (Ex. xii. 35, 36); and yet we are told that this same
Lord said: "Thou shalt not steal." (Ex. xx. 15.) Again he says:
"That shalt not defraud thy neighbor, neither rob him." (Leviticus
xix. 18.) Surely this is inconsistency.
[49:3] Exodus iv. 19, 20.
[49:4] Exodus iv. 10.
[49:5] Exodus iv. 16.
[49:6] Exodus v. 3.
[50:1] Exodus vii. 35-37. Bishop Colenso shows, in his Pentateuch
Examined, how ridiculous this statement is.
[50:2] Exodus xiii. 20, 21.
[50:3] "The sea over which Moses stretches out his hand with the staff,
and which he divides, so that the waters stand up on either side like
walls while he passes through, must surely have been originally the Sea
of Clouds. . . . A German story presents a perfectly similar feature.
The conception of the cloud as sea, rock and wall, recurs very
frequently in mythology." (Prof. Steinthal: The Legend of Samson, p.
[51:1] Exodus xiv. 5-13.
[51:2] Orpheus is said to have been the earliest poet of Greece, where
he first introduced the rites of Bacchus, which he brought from Egypt.
(See Roman Antiquities, p. 134.)
[51:3] The Hebrew fable writers not wishing to be outdone, have made the
waters of the river Jordan to be divided to let Elijah and Elisha pass
through (2 Kings ii. 8), and also the children of Israel. (Joshua iii.
[51:4] Moses, with his rod, drew water from the rock. (Exodus xvii. 6.)
[51:5] See Taylor's Diegesis, p. 191, and Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii.
[51:6] The Legend of Samson, p. 429.
[51:7] Dupuis: Origin of Religious Beliefs, p. 135.
[51:8] Vol. i. p. 122.
[52:1] Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. p. 122; and Higgins: Anacalypsis vol.
ii. p. 19.
[52:2] Ibid. and Dupuis: Origin of Religious Belief, p. 174.
[52:3] Taylor's Diegesis, p. 190; Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. under
"Bacchus;" and Higgins: Anacalypsis ii. 19.
[52:4] Exodus ii. 1-11.
[52:5] Taylor's Diegesis, p. 191; Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. under
"Bacchus;" and Higgins: p. 19, vol. ii.
[52:6] Exodus ii. 1-11.
[52:7] Exodus xiii. 20, 21.
[52:8] See Prichard's Historical Records, p. 74; also Dunlap's Spirit
Hist., p. 40; and Cory's Ancient Fragments, pp. 80, 81, for similar
[52:9] "All persons afflicted with leprosy were considered displeasing
in the sight of the Sun-god, by the Egyptians." (Dunlap: Spirit. Hist.
[52:10] Prichard's Historical Records, p. 75.
[52:11] Ibid. p. 78.
[53:1] Tacitus: Hist. book v. ch. iii.
[53:2] Knight: Anc't Art and Mythology, p. 89, and Kenrick's Egypt, vol.
i. p. 447. "The cleanliness of the Egyptian priests was extreme. They
shaved their heads, and every three days shaved their whole bodies. They
bathed two or three times a day, often in the night also. They wore
garments of white linen, deeming it more cleanly than cloth made from
the hair of animals. If they had occasion to wear a woolen cloth or
mantle, they put it off before entering a temple; so scrupulous were
they that nothing impure should come into the presence of the gods."
(Prog. Relig. Ideas, i. 168.)
"Thinking it better to be clean than handsome, the (Egyptian) priests
shave their whole body every third day, that neither lice nor any other
impurity may be found upon them when engaged in the service of the
gods." (Herodotus: book ii. ch. 37.)
[54:1] The Religion of Israel, p. 27.
[54:2] Dunlap: Spirit Hist. of Man, p. 266.
[54:3] Hebrew Mythology, p. 23.
[54:4] Researches in Ancient History, p. 146.
[55:1] The Religion of Israel, pp. 31, 32.
[55:2] Jewish Antiq. bk. ii. ch. xvi.
[55:3] Ibid. note.
"It was said that the waters of the Pamphylian Sea miraculously opened a
passage for the army of Alexander the Great. Admiral Beaufort, however,
tells us that, 'though there are no tides in this part of the
Mediterranean, considerable depression of the sea is caused by
long-continued north winds; and Alexander, taking advantage of such a
moment, may have dashed on without impediment;' and we accept the
explanation as a matter of course. But the waters of the Red Sea are
said to have miraculously opened a passage for the children of Israel;
and we insist on the literal truth of this story, and reject natural
explanations as monstrous." (Matthew Arnold.)
[56:1] See Prichard's Egyptian Mytho. p. 60.
[56:2] See ch. xviii.
[56:3] Hist. Hindostan, vol. ii. p. 312.
[56:4] Analysis Relig. Belief, p. 552.
[56:5] See Hardy: Buddhist Legends, p. 140.
[56:6] In a cave discovered at Deir-el-Bahari (Aug., 1881), near Thebes,
in Egypt, was found thirty-nine mummies of royal and priestly
personages. Among these was King Ramses II., the third king of the
Nineteenth Dynasty, and the veritable Pharaoh of the Jewish captivity.
It is very strange that he should be here, among a number of other
kings, if he had been lost in the Red Sea. The mummy is wrapped in
rose-colored and yellow linen of a texture finer than the finest Indian
muslin, upon which lotus flowers are strewn. It is in a perfect state of
preservation. (See a Cairo [Aug. 8th] letter to the London Times.)
[57:1] Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 58.
[57:2] The Religion of Israel, p. 41.
Next: Receiving The Ten Commandments
Previous: Jacob's Vision Of The Ladder