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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

Egypt and Israel                         245
hymn of praise to the sun, offered by Amenhotep IV, and
Ps. civ.1 To appreciate this fully it would be necessary to place
the two side by side; unfortunately, want of space forbids this.2
Reference has been made above to the New Year festival, and
to the belief in the divine kingship. In the latter of these the
presence of Egyptian influence, though indirect, may be dis-
cerned, so that the references to this in the Psalms come into
consideration here; and these references are probably more in
number than is often held to be the case. But to deal with this
would take us too far afield, for it would involve giving quota-
tions from Egyptian mythical texts as well as from the Psalms*
It must, therefore, suffice merely to draw attention to the
fact that we have here, in all probability, further evidence of
Egyptian influence upon the literature of the Hebrews.
We turn now to the Wisdom literature. That the wisdom
of Egypt was proverbial among the Israelites may be gathered
from the mention of it in I Kings iv. 30, where it is said that
'Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of
the east, and all the wisdom of Egypt'; and the prophet Isaiah,
in prophesying the utter break-up of the kingdom of Egypt, is
represented as saying (text slightly emended): ^Nought but fools
are the princes of Zoan, the wisest counsellors of Pharaoh are
an ignorant counsel; how say ye to Pharaoh, A son of the wise
am I ? . . . Where, then, are thy wise men ? Let them make
know, let them declare unto thee. . . .' Of the Wisdom litera-
ture of Egypt some highly interesting specimens have come
down to us: The Teaching of Ptab-boUp, not later than the
middle of the third millennium B.C. ; The Teaching ofKa-Gemni^
of which only a fragment is extant; these belong to what is
1  On the subject in general see Blacfctnan's interesting essay in The Psalm-
ists^ ed. D. C. Simpson, pp. 177 £f. (1926).
2  See the present writer's A Fresh Approach to the Psalms^ pp. 16-19 (*937)»
where both are given in full.
3  The matter is dealt with in Myth and Ritual^ ed. S. H. Hooke (1933).