Chapter

Semites in Egypt: The First and Second Intermediate Periods

James K. Hoffmeier

in Israel in Egypt

Published in print May 1999 | ISBN: 9780195130881
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195130881.003.0003
Semites in Egypt: The First and Second Intermediate Periods

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This chapter examines the main points of the story line described in Genesis and Exodus to see if they are plausible within the limits of present knowledge of ancient Egypt. It explores what became of the Semites who entered Egypt during the First and Second Intermediate Periods. The fate of these peoples during this period is not altogether clear. Certainly there is no evidence of any organized effort to rid Egypt of these people, such as that at the end of the Hyksos period. Since many were pastoral nomads, some may have returned to the Levant, though it appears that a significant portion stayed on and assimilated into Egyptian culture. There is ample documentation during the Middle Kingdom of a significant Semitic-speaking population in Egypt. An oft-cited document that provides information on Semites in Egypt during the late Middle Kingdom is Papyrus Brooklyn 35.1446.

Keywords: Genesis; Exodus; Egypt; Semites; First Intermediate Period; Second Intermediate Period; pastoral nomads; Levant; Middle Kingdom; Papyrus Brooklyn 35.1446

Chapter.  13466 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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