Who were the Hyksos?

ABOUT two thousand years before Christ, Egypt was conquered by the invasion of a nomadic horde from Asia, whom the native Egyptians afterward called in hate and derision the Hyksos or "shepherd kings." These Hyksos ruled for four centuries without ever becoming really united with the Egyptians. The power of the invaders was constantly recruited by the coming of other Asiatic nomads, whom they naturally welcomed as allies. Most celebrated of these additions to their number was that of the "children of Israel."

Perhaps the Hyksos sovereign-in whose time the Hebrew shepherd lad, Joseph, was brought as a slave into Egypt-was the Set-ah-peti of whom a later monarch speaks as ruling about this time, and being a mighty king favored by the gods. We cannot, however, speak fully of those days; for in after years the Egyptians destroyed every record they could find of the hated Hyksos. Hence the Biblical account stands as the only narrative of the time. It shows us just such a condition of affairs as we would expect. The native Egyptian soothsayers are little trusted by the foreign king. When they and the priests seek to explain his dreams of the seven cows and seven ears of corn, Pharaoh turns from their interpretations contemptuously and seeks instead the divinations of the young Asiatic slave of whom he has heard, and whom he releases from captivity to become his chief councillor.

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Read about Who were the Hyksos? in the The Story of the Greatest Nations and the Worlds Famous Events Vol 1

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