Biblical Geography and History

By Charles Foster Kent | Go to book overview

XI
PALESTINE UNDER THE RULE OF EGYPT

Reasons Why Egypt Conquered Palestine . The Egyptian rule in Palestine was established about 1580 B.C. and, with the exception of two long lapses, was maintained for nearly three centuries. Thotmose III, the greatest warrior and organizer in Egyptian history, after fifteen energetically fought campaigns, extended the border of Egypt to the Euphrates and brought all the petty little rival kingdoms in Palestine and Syria under his control. The reason for his intense activity was not merely the lust for conquest and spoil, but the desire to deliver Egypt from the danger of another attack similar to that of the Hyksos. From a very early period the northeastern boundary of Egypt was guarded by fortresses, since there were no natural barriers between it and Palestine. The population of northern Arabia was too scattered to be a menace to the peace of Egypt; but Palestine and Syria, with their fertile fields and growing population, were a just cause of anxiety and fear to the peace-loving dwellers of the Nile valley. The powerful kingdoms on the Tigris and Euphrates were also from the earliest times ever eager for western conquest. Thus with the sixteenth century B.C. began the great struggle between the East and the West for the possession of Palestine.

Commanding Position of Megiddo . Throughout the Egyptian period the city of Megiddo, on the southwestern side of the Plain of Esdraelon, overshadowed all others in importance. Here the united kings of Syria and Palestine made their stand against Thotmose III, and after capturing this mighty fortress, the Egyptian ruler was left master of Palestine. The reason

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