Triumphal Accounts in Hebrew and Egyptian
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Triumphal Accounts in Hebrew and Egyptian

A Structural and Literary Comparison

About the Book

This ebook contains the text approved by the external and internal PhD examiners for a thesis carried out under the supervision of Dr John Bimson at Trinity College, Bristol, England. It will be of interest to those who wish to explore cross-cultural connections between early Israel and New Kingdom Egypt, as expressed in triumphal literature. The thesis looks at issues to do with the creation of poetry in each of those cultures, and the links between them, as well as investigating when appropriate cross-cultural contacts might have happened to forge common links between them.

From the abstract:This study aims to show that the Israel Stele of Merenptah and the Song of the Sea in Exodus 15 share sufficient common compositional principles and poetic devices as to support a similar dating for the two works. Indeed, the specific combinations of large-scale principles and small-scale devices are shown to be unique within their respective cultures. These claims are supported by analysis of a wide spectrum of both Egyptian and Hebrew triumphal material, together with insights drawn from wider studies in poetics and culture. Some original insights into Egyptian principles of poetic composition are suggested, together with the corresponding cross-cultural implications for Israelite poetry. The later textual history of incorporation of the original poetic work into its current narrative context is also considered.

About the Author

Richard Abbott
Richard Abbott

Richard Abbott lives in London, England and works professionally in IT quality assurance.

He writes in two quite different genres. First, there is historical fiction set in the Middle East at the end of the Bronze Age, around 1200BC. The second area is science fiction, set in a near-future solar system exploring issues of high-tech crime and human-machine relationships.

His first science fiction book, Far from the Spaceports, introduces Mitnash Thakur and his virtual partner Slate as they investigate financial crime in the asteroid belt.

His first book, In a Milk and Honeyed Land, explores events in the Egyptian province of Canaan at the end of the Bronze Age, around 1200BC. It follows the life, loves, and struggles of a priest in the small hill town of Kephrath.

A follow-up novel entitled Scenes from a Life begins in Egypt. It follows the journey of a scribe as he travels to discover his origins. down the Nile from Luxor and finally out into Canaan.

A third book, The Flame Before Us, is set in the middle of calamity. New settlers are arriving from the north, sacking cities and disrupting the established ways of life as they come. This story follows several different groups each trying to adjust to the new situation.

Author readings from both In a Milk and Honeyed Land and Scenes from a Life are available online as YouTube videos.

See the website for more details and background information.

When not writing words or computer code, he enjoys spending time with family, walking, and wildlife, ideally combining all three pursuits in the English Lake District.

Table of Contents

  • Triumphal accounts in Hebrew and Egyptian
    • A structural and literary comparison
    • Richard Abbott
  • Copyright
    • Triumphal accounts in Hebrew and Egyptian
      • A structural and literary comparison
      • Richard Abbott
  • Abstract
  • Dedication and Acknowledgements
  • Author’s Declaration
  • Preface to ebook published edition
  • Introduction
    • Scope and limitations
    • Brief statement of the aim of this study
    • Broad outline of this study
    • Ethnic boundary issues and cultural heritage
    • Introduction - Footnotes
  • Chapter 1 - Methodology
    • 1.1. Basic directions
    • 1.2. Some conceptual difficulties
    • 1.3. Poetics
      • 1.3.1. Prose and verse
      • 1.3.2. The use of literary devices
      • 1.3.3. Hebrew poetry
      • 1.3.4. Egyptian poetry
    • 1.4. Techniques employed
    • Chapter 1 - Footnotes
  • Chapter 2 - Syllable and stress counts
    • 2.1. Overview
    • 2.2. Review of previous work
    • 2.3. Some versification schemes built on syllable counts
    • 2.4. Syllabic analysis – Egyptian and Hebrew poetry
      • 2.4.1. Methodology
      • 2.4.2. Results – syllables
      • 2.4.3. Results – accentual stress counts
      • 2.4.4. Results – Hebrew syllable counts from the psalms
      • 2.4.5. A comparative discussion
    • 2.5. Conclusions
    • Chapter 2 - Footnotes
  • Chapter 3 - Merenptah’s Israel Stele
    • 3.1. Historical context and interpretation
      • 3.1.1. General background
      • 3.1.2. Merenptah’s campaign
    • 3.2. The Stele considered as a whole
      • 3.2.1. The large-scale literary structure
      • 3.2.2. Literary devices considered in more detail
      • 3.2.3. Summary
    • 3.3. The Coda: literary and geopolitical aspects
      • 3.3.1. Overview
      • 3.3.2. Literary devices in detail
      • 3.3.3. Geography and politics
      • 3.3.4. Israel – descriptions and determinatives
      • 3.3.5. Other geographical issues: The Karnak reliefs revisited
      • 3.3.6. A suggestion for a revised interpretation of these lines
    • 3.4. Summary and conclusions
    • Chapter 3 - Footnotes
  • Chapter 4 - The Exodus Triumphal Account
    • 4.1. Literary setting and context
      • 4.1.1. Review of opinions on the extent of the poem
      • 4.1.2. Review of opinions on line and strophe divisions
      • 4.1.3. Some historical background
    • 4.2. The large-scale literary structure
      • 4.2.1. The basic text
      • 4.2.2. Large-scale chiastic structure
      • 4.2.3. Syllabic analysis
      • 4.2.4. Comparison with other analyses
      • 4.2.5. The list of nations and other Egyptian connections
      • 4.2.6. Parallels with Merenptah’s Israel Stele
    • 4.3. Small-scale literary structures used
      • 4.3.1. Parallelism
      • 4.3.2. Chiasmus
      • 4.3.3. Alliteration
    • 4.4. Connections with Canaanite poetry
      • 4.4.1. General approach
      • 4.4.2. Introductory phrases
      • 4.4.3. Personal or corporate response
      • 4.4.4. Triplet patterns
      • 4.4.5. Thematic similarities
    • 4.5. Intertextual use of Exodus 15
    • 4.6. Summary
    • Chapter 4 - Footnotes
  • Chapter 5 - Other triumphal accounts
    • 5.1. General Introduction
    • 5.2. Poems from Egyptian sources
      • 5.2.1. Overview
      • 5.2.2. The Old Kingdom
      • 5.2.3. The Middle Kingdom
      • 5.2.4. The New Kingdom
      • 5.2.5. The Third Intermediate Period
      • 5.2.6. Summary and conclusions - Egyptian sources
    • 5.3. From Hebrew sources
      • 5.3.1. Overview
      • 5.3.2. The Pentateuch
      • 5.3.3. Joshua and Judges
      • 5.3.4. Other material
      • 5.3.5. Summary and conclusions - Hebrew sources
    • 5.4. Triplet forms - a study of chronological development
      • 5.4.1. Overview
      • 5.4.2. Previous work
      • 5.4.3. Egyptian parallels
      • 5.4.4. Climactic parallelism
      • 5.4.5. Conclusions
    • 5.5. Overall conclusions
    • Chapter 5 - Footnotes
  • Chapter 6 - Reviewing the wider historical context
    • 6.1. Overview
    • 6.2. Contact between Egypt and Israel
      • 6.2.1. The Egyptian record
      • 6.2.2. The biblical record
      • 6.2.3. Combining the two pictures
    • 6.3. Other evidence of a persistent Egyptian scribal tradition
      • 6.3.1. Direct textual evidence
      • 6.3.2. Stylistic evidence
      • 6.3.3. An example – the structural use of poems in the Piye (Piankhi) Stele and the book of Exodus
    • 6.4. Other Late Bronze or New Kingdom literary traces
      • 6.4.1. Proverbs and wisdom literature
      • 6.4.2. Campaign descriptions
      • 6.4.3. Route lists and personal names
      • 6.4.4. Symbolic and religious imagery
      • 6.4.5. Covenant forms
    • 6.5. Summary
    • Chapter 6 - Footnotes
  • Concluding remarks
    • Overview
    • Directions for further work
    • Conclusions - Footnotes
  • References
  • Appendices
    • Appendix 1 - Some definitions
      • 1.1. Definitions relating to parallel structures
      • 1.2. Definitions relating to chiasmus
      • 1.3. Other poetic or literary definitions
    • Appendix 2 - Syllable counts – Egyptian
      • 2.1. Texts used for the study
      • 2.2. Summary of syllabic analysis – Informal
      • 2.3. Summary of syllabic analysis – Popular piety
      • 2.4. Summary of syllabic analysis – Royal inscriptions
      • 2.5. Summary of syllabic analysis – Formal religious
      • 2.6. Statistical T-test results
    • Appendix 3 - Stress counts – Egyptian
      • 3.1. Texts used for the study
      • 3.2. Summary of syllabic analysis – Informal
      • 3.3. Summary of syllabic analysis – Popular piety
      • 3.4. Summary of syllabic analysis – Royal inscriptions
      • 3.5. Summary of syllabic analysis – Formal religious
      • 3.6. Statistical T-test results
    • Appendix 4 - Syllable counts – Hebrew
      • 4.1. Texts used in this thesis for study
      • 4.2. Summary of syllabic analysis
      • 4.3. Summary of Fokkelman’s results
      • 4.4. Couplets used from Exodus 15 for section 2.4.4
      • 4.5. Fokkelman’s syllabic lengths for the above lines
    • Appendix 5 - Egyptian textual layouts
      • 5.1. Merenptah’s Israel Stele
      • 5.2. Copy of Israel Stele, Cour de la Cachette, Karnak
      • 5.3. The year 5 inscription of Rameses III
      • 5.4. Couplet A- and B-line values for Merenptah’s Israel Stele
    • Appendix 6 - Proposed connections in the Israel Stele coda
    • Appendices - Footnotes
  • About the author
  • About Matteh Publications

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