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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

242                          Egypt and Israel
word in one line is taken up and repeated in the next line
(anadiplosis). The use of metaphors is also frequent. Now when
it is seen that all these features occur in Hebrew poetry, it is
difficult to resist the conclusion that the Hebrew poets were to
some extent, at any rate, indebted to Egyptian patterns for
structural form in their poetic literature. It will be instructive
if we give an illustration of each of these features. The Egyptian
illustrations, both here and in what follows, are taken from the
writings of various experts (Griffith, Erman, Ranke, Grapow,
Lange, and Anthes). We omit an illustration of strophic form,
as this would take up too much space.
Parallel thoughts occur in the following quotation from an
Egyptian poem:
Then spake these friends of the Hng,
And they answered in the presence of their god.
Similarly in one of the most ancient Hebrew poems which have
come down to us:
Adah and Zillah, hear my voice,
Ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech (Gen. iv. 23).
In each case the thought of the first line has its parallel in the
second. These quotations offer also an illustration of rhythmic
beats; in the former each line has three rhythmic beats; accord-
ing to Erman, in Egyptian poetry the lines have either three or
four of such stresses. In the second, each line has four beats in
the Hebrew. The beats fall, of course, on the dominating words.
Word-plays, as Erman says, cannot be illustrated in transla-
tion, but he refers to an ancient ritual poem concerning the
presentation of offerings in which the name of each offering is
followed by a word-play on it. As an instance of alliteration
we have:
The flood flows to thy fields,
which corresponds to the original. For Hebrew poetry, here is
an example of both word-play and alliteration combined: