Page:The Bible Against Slavery (Weld, 1838).djvu/45

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Egyptian bondage analyzed. (1.) The Israelites were not dispersed among the families of Egypt,[1] but formed a separate community. Gen. xlvi. 35. Ex. viii. 22, 24; ix. 26; x. 23; xi. 7; ii. 9; xvi. 22; xvii. 5. (2.) They had the exclusive possession of the land of Goshen.[2] Gen. xlv. 18; xlvii. 6, 11, 27. Ex. xii. 4, 19, 22, 23, 27. (3.) They lived in permanent dwellings. These were houses, not tents. In Ex. xii. 6, 22, the two side posts, and the upper door posts, and the lintel of the houses are mentioned. Each family seems to have occupied a house by itself,—Acts vii. 20. Ex. xii. 4—and judging from the regulation about the eating of the Passover, they could hardly have been small ones, Ex. xii. 4, probably contained separate apartments, and places for concealment. Ex. ii. 2, 3; Acts vii. 20. They appear to have been well apparelled. Ex. xii. 11. To have had their own burial grounds. Ex. xiii. 19, and xiv. 11. (4.) They owned "a mixed multitude of flocks and herds," and "very much cattle." Ex. xii. 32, 37, 38. (5.) They had their own form of government, and preserved their tribe and family divisions, and their internal organization throughout, though still a province of Egypt, and tributary to it. Ex. ii. 1; xii. 19, 21; vi. 14, 25; v. 19; iii. 16, 18. (6.) They seem to have had in a considerable measure, the disposal of their own time,—Ex. xxiii. 4; iii. 16, 18, xii. 6; ii. 9; and iv. 27, 29—31. And to have practiced the fine arts. Ex. xxxii. 4; xxxv. 22—35. (7.) They were all armed. Ex. xxxii. 27. (8.) They held their possessions independently, and the Egyptians seem to have regarded them as inviolable. No intimation is given that the Egyptians dispossessed them of their habitations, or took away their flocks, or herds, or crops, or implements of agriculture, or any article of property. (9.) All the females seem to have known something of domestic refinements; they were familiar with instruments of music, and skilled in the working of fine fabrics. Ex. xv. 20; xxxv. 25, 26. (10.) Service seems to have been exacted from none but adult males. Nothing is said from which the bond service of females could be in-

  1. The Egyptians evidently had domestic servants living in their families; these may have been slaves; allusion is made to them in Ex. ix. 14, 20, 21.
  2. The land of Goshen was a large tract of country, east of the Pelusian arm of the Nile, and between it and the head of the Red Sea, and the lower border of Palestine. The probable centre of that portion, occupied by the Israelites, could hardly have been less than sixty miles from the city. The border of Goshen nearest to Egypt must have been many miles distant. See "Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt," an able article by Professor Robinson, in the Biblical Repository for October, 1832.