234 Egypt and Israel true; in the following year Jerusalem fell, and the kingdom of Judah ceased to exist. It should be added that the recently discovered Lachish letters throw some interesting light on this tragic event; they are *the first personal documents found, reflecting the mind, the struggles, sorrows and feelings of ancient Judah in the last days of the kingdom'.1 A further reference will be made to them below. Ill Judging from the purely political standpoint, as outlined above, the relations between Egypt and Israel were of a character far from profitable to the latter. It must not, however, be concluded from this that Israel gained nothing through her contact with Egypt. There must have been much intercourse between the two peoples, the details of which we know but little, see, e.g., Gen. xiL 10-20, and Hagar was an Egyptian (Gen. xxi. 9; xxv. 12); see also Gen. xlvi. 3-7; 1. 22 ff.; for, as will be seen, the marks of Egyptian influence in certain cultural respects were very significant. It will be instructive to note, first, the indications we have of Israelites making their permanent home in Egypt. It is, of course, impossible to say to what period the earliest settlement of Hebrews in Egypt is to be assigned; though such a passage as Gen. xlvii. 27 is suggestive: cAnd Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen; and they gat them possessions therein, and were fruitful, and multiplied exceedingly', cp. Gen. 1. 8; though belonging to the latest, Pentateuchal, docu- ment (P), this reflects the idea of a permanent settlement according to the tradition. Further, the possibility can hardly be excluded of some of those who were in bondage in Egypt having remained in the country, whether forcibly detained or of their own accord; the nucleus of a permanent settlement 1 Lacbisb I (Tell ed Duweir): tte Lacbisb Letters, by Torczyner and others, p. 18 (1938).