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sand years ago. The authenticity of the documents of our faith thus rests, not on manuscripts and written records alone, but the hardest and most enduring substances in nature have added their unsuspecting testimony.
“Egyptian history and the manners of the most ancient nations,” Mr. Wilkinson remarks, “cannot but be interesting to every one, and so intimately connected are they with the scriptural accounts of the Israelites and the events of succeeding ages relative to Judea, that the name of Egypt need only to be mentioned to recal the early impressions we have received from the study of the Bible.”
It is the object of the present volume to collect and apply the results obtained by these and numerous other authors as far as they relate to the Books of Moses. This had not been done before the appearance of this work in 1840. Even the most recent German commentators are sadly deficient in this respect. They have scarcely made any advance upon the works of Spencer and Le Clerc, who wrote more than a century ago. Some of the other works of the author of this volume, Dr. E. W. Hengstenberg, are too well known in this country to render a statement of his general qualifications for the work which he has here undertaken necessary. It may, however, be proper to say that he has made the Pentateuch a subject of special study, and probably no one in Germany or elsewhere has devoted more attention to that interesting, but too much neglected portion of the sacred volume. His situation as Professor at Berlin also gave
him access to the rich collection of Egyptian antiquities in the Berlin Museum, and the reader is left to judge whether he has not made good use of his advantages.
The form of the work has been somewhat changed in the translation. The references to authorities, which in the original volume were in the text, are thrown to the bottom of the page. Nearly all of the italic headings have been inserted. In a very few cases notes, which it was thought would add more to the size than value of the volume to an English reader, have been omitted or abridged. In one instance a long note from another untranslated work of the author has been inserted in the text. The very few notes at the end have been added by the translator. It was his intention to insert many more but they have been unavoidably omitted.
The translator is under great obligations to Prof. H. B. Hackett of Newton Theological Seminary, who consented to listen to a large part of the manuscript before it was printed, and make such corrections as his accurate knowledge of the German language suggested. Much valuable advice and assistance has also been received from Professor B. B. Edwards of Andover Theological Seminary.
Andover, Sept. 1843.