||Title: Israeliten und Hyksos; der historische Kern der Sage vom aufenthalte Israels in Ägypten, nebst einem Anhange: Indogermanische mythologie im alten Orient...
A volume on the Jews in Egypt, their relationship with the Hyksos and also about Indo-European mythology. The author also wrote Grundsteine zur Geschichte Israels: alttestamentliche Studien. (Leipzig, 1911).
Hyksos, a dynasty of Asiatics who exercised political control over Egypt between approximately 1655 and 1570 B.C.E. The Hyksos established their capital at Avaris in the Eastern Delta, controlled the Nile Valley as far south as Hermopolis, and claimed overlordship over the rest of Upper Egypt. A mixture of Semites and Hurrians, they were known to the contemporary Egyptians as the hekau khoswe, "the rulers of foreign lands." After having infiltrated into the Nile Valley over a period of several centuries, they managed to seize the kingship during the chaotic period which ended the Egyptian Middle Kingdom. At the beginning of the 18th Dynasty (c. 1580 B.C.E.) Pharaoh Ahmes expelled the Hyksos from Egypt and pursued them to southern Palestine. After besieging Sharuhen (Tell el-Far'ah) in the south, for three years, he defeated them. His successors, Amenophis I, Tuthmosis I, and Tuthmosis III, completed their expulsion from Egypt.
It appears that the Hyksos were not a homogeneous people with a specific culture of their own. However, new cultural elements distinguished the period of Hyksos rule in Egypt, although it is not certain whether these elements can be related to the migration of the Hyksos. Two such elements are in the realm of military warfare and the area of material culture. Hyksos centers were constructed with a unique system of fortification, aimed at improving the defensive capabilities of the city. For this purpose the city wall was surrounded by a glacis, around which a deep ditch was dug. The horse and chariot also made their appearance in Egypt during the rule of the Hyksos, but again there is no evidence that they were introduced specifically by the Hyksos. Similarly the Hyksos migration may be related to a new type of ceramic, called "Tell al-Yahudiyya ceramics," named after the capital of the Hyksos, Avaris, which is Tell al-Yahudiyya, where this type was first discovered. The vessels which characterize this group of ceramics are small juglets and bowls, brown-gray in color, decorated with geometric designs, and made of punctures filled with white chalk. Although never really accepted by the Egyptians, the Hyksos nevertheless quickly attempted to Egyptianize and assimilate Egyptian culture. This synthesis is attested by the Hyksos religion. Their chief god was the Egyptian god Seth, brother and enemy of Horus, but in addition to him they also worshiped Canaanite-Horite gods, such as Resheph, Ashtoreth, and Anath. In Contra Apionem, Josephus, attempting to establish the great antiquity of the Jews, quotes the history of the Ptolemaic Egyptian writer Manetho, who describes a brutal, savage invasion of Egypt by a people from the east, their period of domination in Egypt, and their subsequent expulsion by the rulers of the 18th dynasty. Manetho called these Asiatic invaders "Hyksos" and interpreted their name as meaning "king-shepherds" (1:82), although Josephus claims Manetho also had an alternative interpretation, "captive shepherds" (1:83, 91). Josephus identified the Hyksos as the patriarchal Jews, equating their appearance in Egypt with the Joseph story in Genesis and their subsequent expulsion with the biblical tale of Exodus. He made this identification partially following Manetho who made the expelled Hyksos, together with a host of lepers, the founders of Jerusalem, and partially because the Hyksos were "shepherds" and "captives" and, indeed, "sheep-breeding was a hereditary custom of our remotest ancestors" (1:91) and "Joseph told the king of Egypt that he was a captive" (1:92). Following assumptions of Manetho and Josephus some scholars have attempted to set the Exodus within the chronological framework of the 18th Dynasty, but with little success. There is no warrant either in the Bible or outside it for equating the Hyksos with the later Hebrews, although it is not impossible that some of the latter may have been ultimately decended from some of the Hyksos. Of special significance is the fact that some of the Hyksos rulers bore distinctly Semitic names, e.g., Ya'qb-'al, Anath-'al; and that one of the kings of the period is named Shesha which is similar to the name Sheshai, one of the ruling families in Kiriath-Arba (Judg. 1:10).
The Hyksos are not mentioned explicitly in the Bible, but some scholars who associate the migrations of the Hyksos with those of the Patriarchs (especially of the time of Joseph), and their expulsion from Egypt with the Exodus, have detected allusions to them. Thus, Genesis 46:34 states: "For all shepherds are abhorrent to Egyptians" and, as mentioned, the Hyksos were called "king-shepherds" by Josephus. Similarly, Avaris, the capital of the Hyksos, is Zoan, of which it is said: "Hebron was founded seven years before Zoan of Egypt" (Num. 13:22). Zoan, i.e., Avaris, was built in 1725–1575 B.C.E., and it is assumed that the reference is to the building of these places by the Hyksos after their first conquests.
There are two instances where the history of the Hyksos is connected with Palestine. The first is during the beginning of their penetration into Egypt, since their domination over Lower Egypt must have been preceded by control over Palestine. The second is during the decline of the Hyksos, when they were expelled from Egypt by the rulers of the 18th Dynasty northward toward southern Palestine.
It is not surprising, therefore, to find signs which distinguish the culture characteristic of the rule of the Hyksos in Egypt also in Palestine. The fortification system of the Hyksos capital, Avaris, including the glacis and the ditch, appears in most contemporary tells of Palestine: Sharuhen (Tell el-Far'ah) Megiddo, Jericho, Tell el-'Ajjul, Hazor, Lachish, Tell Beit Mirsim. Similarly, ceramics of the "Tell al-Yahudiyya" type appear in the strata of the tells which date to that period.