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trace of the steps, and attracts by a fatal security others to follow, until, warned by the danger, they seek to save themselves at the moment when there remains no means of salvation. For a man thus engulfed in the mud can neither move nor extricate himself, the movements of the body being hindered ; neither could he come out of it, having no solid support to raise himself up.

This intimate mixture of the water and the sand constitutes a kind of substance on which it is impossible either to walk or to swim. Thus, those who found themselves engulfed there are dragged away to the bottom of the abyss, since the stores of sand sink with them. Such is the nature of these plains, to which the name Barathra (gulfs) perfectly suits."

The Hebrews, on approaching this tongue of land in the north-east direction, found themselves thus confronted by these gulfs ; for, according to the Egyptian texts, opposite Khirot (that is the ancient name which answers exactly to the gulfs in the lake of seaweed) near the place Gerrhon. Thus will be perfectly understood the Biblical expression Pihahiroth, a word which literally designates “the entrance to the bogs," and agrees with the geographical situation. This indication is finally pointed out by another place, of the name of Baalzephon, which, according to the discovery of an eminent Egyptologist, Mr. Goodwin, is found in one of the papyri of the British Museum, with its Egyptian writing Baali-zapouna, designating a divinity whose part is not difficult to recognize. According to the indication, extremely curious, by the god Baalzephon, “the master of the north," the Egyptian texts represented under his Semitic name the Egyptian god Amon, the great falconer, who crossed the lagoons, the master of the northern countries, and above all of the marshes, and to whom the inscriptions give the title of the master of Khirot, that is to say “gulf” of the papyrus lagoons. The Greeks, according to their habit, have compared him to one of their corresponding divine types. And it is thus that the god Amon of the lagoons presented himself, from the time of the visits made by the Greeks to this region, under the new form of a Zeus Kasius. The geographical nickname of Kasios given to this Zeus explains by itself the Semitic Egyptian name, the region where his temple was built. It is Hazi or Hazion, “ land of the asylum,” which is perfectly in accordance with the position of the sanctuary, situated at the point of the extreme Egyptian frontier on the eastern side.

On this narrow tongue of land, bordered on one side by the Mediterranean, on the other by the lagoon of seaweed, between the point of entrance to the Kiroth or gulfs, towards the west, and the sanctuary of Baalzephon towards the east, where this great catastrophe occurred, I cannot but repeat that which I have already said in another place on the same subject.

After the Hebrews crossed on foot the shallows which extend themselves between the Mediterranean Sea and the lake of Sirbonis, a high tide took the Egyptian horsemen and the captains of the chariots of war who pursued the Hebrews. Baffled in their movements by the presence of their frightened horses, and by their chariots of war thrown into disorder, it happened to these soldiers and horsemen, that which in the course of history has sometimes happened, not only to simple travellers, but also to whole armies. The miracle it is true ceases then to be a miracle ; but, let us confess it in all sincerity, Divine Providence maintains always His place and His authority.

When, in the first century of our era, the geographer Strabo, a wise man and a great observer, was travelling in Egypt, he entered in his journal the following notice :

“ At the time of my sojourn in Alexandria there was a high tide at the town of Pelusium, and near to Mount Casios. The waters inundated the country, so that the mountains appeared to be islands, and the road near to them, leading towards Palestine, became practicable for ships.”

Another fact of the same nature is related by an ancient historian. Diodorus, in speaking of a campaign the Persian King Artaxerxes directed against Egypt, makes mention of a catastrophe which happened to his army in the same place :

" When the Persian King,” said he, “had united all the troops, he made them advance towards Egypt. Having arrived at the Great Lake, where they found places named 'gulfs,' he lost part of his army, because he was ignorant of the character of this region.”

Without wishing to make the least allusion to the passage of the Hebrews, these authors have made known in their notices historical facts which perfectly agree with all that the sacred books tell us of the crossing of the Hebrews through the sea.

Far from diminishing the value of these sacred traditions on the subject of the departure of the Hebrews out of Egypt, the Egyptian

tell us,

monuments, on the faith of which we are obliged to change our ideas on the passage through the Red Sea-traditions cherished since our infancy, — the Egyptian monuments, I say, contribute rather to furnish us with the most striking proofs of the truthfulness of the Biblical accounts, and thus to re-assure the weak-hearted and the sceptical on the supreme authority and authenticity of Holy Writ.

If for more than eighteen centuries translators have wrongly understood and wrongly translated the geographical notions contained in Holy Scripture, the fault is not with the sacred history, but with those who, not knowing the geography of ancient times, have endeavoured to reconstruct at any price the Exodus of the Hebrews according to the level of their slight knowledge.

Permit me to say the last word upon the country of the march of the Hebrews after their passage across the “gulfs." Sacred books

“ Then Moses made the Israelites to go forth, and they drew towards the desert of Shour; and, having marched three days by the desert, they did not find any water: from thence they came to Marah, but they could not drink the waters of Marah because the waters were bitter. For this reason the place was called Marah, which is bitter. Then they came to Elim, where there are twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the waters."

All these indications agree, as may be expected beforehand, with our new ideas on the subject of the march of the Jews. After having reached the Egyptian fortress, close to the sanctuary of Baalzephon, situated on the heights of Mount Casios, the Hebrews found themselves in front of the highway which led from Egypt to the country of the Philistines. Agreeably to the orders of the Eternal, who forbad them to follow this road, they turned to the south, and thus arrived at the desert of Shour. This desert, that is to say the Wall, called after a place named in Egyptian “the Wall,” and in the Greek “Gerrhon," a word which equally signifies “the Wall,” lay to the east of the two districts of Pitom and Ramses. There was in this desert a road, little frequented, leading to the Gulf of Suez in our time, a road the Roman author Pliny has characterized in the following terms: “ Asperum montibus et inops aquarum,” that is to say, mountainous and deprived of water.

The bitter waters of the place Marah are recognized in the bitter

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lakes of the Isthmus of Suez. Elim is the place which the Egyptian monuments designate by the name of Aa-lim or Tent-lim, that is

“fish town,'' situated near the Gulf of Suez on the northern side.

When the Jews arrived at Elim, the words of Scripture—"but God made the people make a circuit by the way of the desert, by the sea of seaweed ”—were finally confirmed.

To follow the Hebrews, station by station, until they arrived at Mount Sinai, is not our task; it is beyond this Conference. I can only say that the Egyptian monuments contain all the materials necessary to find again the road, and to place against the Hebrew names of the different stations their corresponding Egyptian names.








Nos connaissances des mesures de l'ancienne Égypte, jusqu'ici encore très imparfaites, seront augmentées considérablement par le papyrus mathématique, nommé Papyrus Rhind d'après son ancien possesseur. De ce papyrus Mr. le Dr. Birch a donné une brève notice dans la Zeitschrift für aegyptische Sprache, 1868, p. 110). Il y a deux ans lors de mon séjour à Londres que je trouvais l'occasion de prendre notice de ce document. Depuis ce temps j'ai fait ce papyrus l'objet d'une étude sérieuse et j'espère en peu d'en publier une traduction avec commentaire. Pour le moment, Messieurs, je vous propose

de vous communiquer quelques renseignements sur la métrologie égyptienne fondés sur ce document.

Quant à l'âge du papyrus mathématique, la preface à la première page du papyrus nous donne d'excellents renseignements. On y lit: “Cet écrit a été rédigé l'an 33, mesori (tel ou tel) sous le roi Raauser

0 du roi (les premiers signes de son nom manquent) . . atu (..

par le scribe Aahmesu a été faite cette copie.” २।।। Les mots "par le scribe Aahmesu ne se rapportent pas

la rédac


(21N 31 d'après le modèle d'anciens écrits faits aux temps

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