240 Egypt and Israel
is suggestive as the reason why the 'Calf was called 'golden*.
Figures of this goddess have also been found at Bethshean,
Gezer, and Jericho;1 and the goddess Astarte is sometimes repre-
sented with the head-dress of Hathor. Some justification, there-
fore, it must be allowed, exists for identifying the 'Golden Calf
with the Egyptian goddess Hathor.
The widespread forms of Egyptian worship in Palestine raise
the question as to whether in the ritual of the New Year festival
which, as the Old Testament shows, played an important part
in ancient Israel, Egyptian influence may be discerned in any
particulars? But it must be confessed that the evidence is
definitely against this, and solely in favour of Mesopotamian
influence. On the other hand, it is possible that belief in the
divine kingship in Israel may have been influenced by Egypt.
Such influence on Canaanite ideas is visible in the Tell-el-
Amarna letters, and may have indirectly affected those of Israel;
but, in any case, not deeply; for none of the mummification or
immortality elements connected with the divine kingship in
Egypt seem to have come in.
Knowledge of some branches of Egyptian literature on the
part of certain circles of Israelite thinkers is proved beyond doubt
by the* discovery of many Egyptian literary compositions of
various types. It is not unreasonable to postulate intercourse
from time to time between those of kindred spirit belonging to
the two nations. The presence of Egyptians in Palestine and
of Israelite settlements in Egypt, to which reference has been
made above, would have offered plenty of opportunities for like-
minded men to consort together and exchange thoughts on
Agypter, p. 30 (1934), where mention is also made of dancing in connexion
with her worship, cf. Exod. TTTII. 6.
1 S. A. Cook, TJ&* Religion of Ancient Palestine in the ligbt of Archaeology^
p. 125 (1930); Gressmann, op. cit., plates 281-4,