Egypt and Israel 235 might thus have been formed. Adaptation to environment and the propagation of the race have always been characteristic of the Hebrews. This is, however, pure surmise. Although the first indisputable references to Hebrew settlements in Egypt do not appear until the time of Jeremiah, it can be proved, as will be seen, that long before this time Israelites were living as permanent settlers in Egypt. We may point first to an indirect indication. In Jer. xrvi, 20-3 it is told how, following Jeremiah's example, Uriah the son of Shemaiah of Kiriath-jearim 'prophesied against this city (i.e. Jerusalem) and against this land, according to all the words of Jeremiah5; in consequence of this the king, Jehoiakim,1 sought to put him to death. Uriah therefore fled to Egypt. It is not inappropriate to ask why he should have fled to Egypt, and the obvious answer is that it was because he would find people of his own race there, which, as will be seen, was actually the case. In passing, it is worth mentioning that this episode is dealt with in one of the Lachish Letters, where further details are given, a most striking corroboration of the Old Testament record. That there were Israelite settlements in Egypt is made clear from Jer. sliv. i, where reference is made to 'all the Jews which dwelt in the land of Egypt, which dwelt at Migdol, and at Tahpanes, and at Noph, and hi the country of Pathros'; these places were widely separated; Migdol was in the extreme north-west, Tahpanes in the north-east, Noph (Memphis) on the Nile, about a hundred miles to the south, and Pathros farther south in Upper Egypt.2 Although we know nothing further about these settlements, nor yet when they were founded, their widely separated positions suggest that they had existed long before the time of Jeremiah. Of particular interest is the colony at Elephantine, of which the Aramaic 1 It is recognized by all authorities that 'JehoiaKm' is erroneously written for 'ZedeHah', as in Jer. xxvii.'i. 2 On this last, see Condamin, Le Livre dajsremie^ p. 291 (1936).