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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

228                         Egypt and Israel
States; and here we find Egypt and Israel fighting side by side
against the common foe. The former was doubtless actuated by
alarm at the growing power of Assyria. Of this battle no mention
is made in the Old Testament, but on Shalmaneser's inscription,
'The Black Obelisk', among the allies the name of the Israelite
king occurs: '2,000 chariots and 10,000 men of Ahab of Israel.5
The silence of the Old Testament is difficult to account for; an
Egyptian inscription mentions the contingent sent to aid the
It is rather more than a century before we have the next
mention of contact between Egypt and Israel. In 733 Hoshea
came to the throne, and of him we read in 2 Kings svii. 1-6
that he reigned in Samaria over Israel nine years, and that
'against him came up Shalmaneser (i.e. the Vth), king of
Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and gave him presents.
And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea, for he had
sent messengers to So, king of Egypt (Mizraim), and brought
no present to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year;
therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in
prison. Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the
land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. In
the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and
carried Israel away unto Assyria . . .'. The Egyptian king here
called So, or Sewa, was, as Breasted surmises, 'an otherwise
unknown Delta dynast'; the point of interest for our present
purpose is that 'unable to oppose the formidable armies of
Assyria, the petty kinglets of Egypt constantly fomented dis-
content and revolt among the Syro-Palestinian states in order,
if possible, to create a fringe of buffer states between them and
the Assyrians*.1 It would thus appear that Egypt's one objective
now was to secure herself against Assyrian aggression. In illustra-
tion of this we have, under Egyptian incitement, the rebellion
of Ashdod, and other cities against Assyria, in 715 B.C.; but it
1 A History ,. ., p. 549.