9th Edition of Encyclopedia Britannica - free ninth edition online encyclopedia Britannica » Volume 10 [G-GOT]: Geul1nck to William Lloyd Garrison


land egypt

GOSHEN ():t:Th, or the land of Goshen, a territory of Egypt in which the Israelites were settled from Jacob's immigration to the Exodus. In the Septuagint the equivalent is usually the land Gesem (I'co-ip,), but in Gen. xlv. 10 "the land Gesem of Arabia," Arabia being here either the Arabian nome ('Apa/3ias votA) or the extreme east of Lower Egypt. According to Dr Brugsch the Arabian nome was the 20th of Lower Egypt in the older division known to us, the 32d in the later, the alteration in the number being due to a new division under the Ptolemies (Dirt. Geo,o.r., List following preface). The Egyptian name of the norm was Supt, and the capital was Kesem, probably Kosem, also called Kesem-Abot, Kesem of the East (Arabia), equivalent to the Gesem of the Septuagint, preserved in the classical Phacusa (Pa-Kesem), and the modern Fakoos, where mounds mark the site of the ancient town (cf. Brugsch, lb., 876-7, 1049-50). The etymology is doubtful; probably the name is like many others in the same part of Egypt of Semitic origin, as another land of Goshen, with a capital city of the same name, is mentioned in southern Palestine. It is therefore certain that the land of Goshen was around the town of Phacusa. The site of this town lies within the easternmost part of Lower Egypt, under 20 miles in a direct line south of San, the site of Tanis. These conditions suit those of the Biblical narrative. It is obvious that Goshen was a pastoral country, that it was suited for a Shemite settlement, and was in the Shemite part of Lower Egypt, its north-eastern portion. It was near the seat of government in that part of the country, which at this time was Tanis-Rameses, which town, or another of the same name, was the starting-point at the Exodus. In one place (Gen. xlvii. 11) the "land of Rameses" occurs where we should expect "the land of Goshen." We are not sufficiently acquainted with the administrative divisions at this early time to be able to explain this. It may, how. ever, be conjectured that if the Rameses of the Exodus journey was the same as Tanis-Rameses, the archaic Tanite nome may have included the land of Goshen.

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