Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times
Princeton University Press
, 1992 - History
- 488 pages
Covering the time span from the Paleolithic period to the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., the eminent Egyptologist Donald Redford explores three thousand years of uninterrupted contact between Egypt and Western Asia across the Sinai land-bridge. In the vivid and lucid style that we expect from the author of the popular Akhenaten, Redford presents a sweeping narrative of the love-hate relationship between the peoples of ancient Israel/Palestine and Egypt. Who were the Egyptians, Canaanites, and Hebrews? Why did Egypt act like a magnet on the peoples of Palestine? And what did Egypt see in the area later called the Holy Land? Why did she create an empire there? In answering these questions, Redford argues that Egypt's attitude arose from a fundamental position adopted toward Asia in general. This stance was taken by Pharaonic civilization centuries before the Israelites appeared and prevailed long after the end of the Biblical period. Redford uses both textual and archaeological evidence to assess political, cultural, and religious phenomena. He avoids the common bias of placing Israel/Palestine "center stage", but he does draw on the latest research to present new insights into the Exodus, the bondage in Egypt, the Joseph Story, and the Conquest. Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times contributes a wealth of information essential to the history of north-east Africa and the Middle East, and, more generally, to our appreciation of the ties that bind the world's two largest continents.