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Alignment of Hebrew and Egyptian Chronologies
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it must have been just a traditional response, smartie. It was kind of an official rule that an Egyptian princess was NEVER given in marriage to a foreign ruler--the idea behind it being that this would give that foreign ruler a claim to the Egyptian throne.
Perhaps in the later dynasties this was not true, but in the time of Soloman the rule would apply.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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There is mention in one of the campaigns that the army actually harvested the fields.


The original "swords into plough-shares," I guess. Very Happy

Stfranklin's post reminded me of an article I had read some time ago, and it was nagging at me enough that I dug through piles of magazines till I found it. It's an article called "How to Date a Pharaoh" from the July/August 2005 issue of Archaeology Odyssey. I won't go into detail because I don't want to detract from stfranklin's work.

In short this article discusses other ancient records and how they have helped scholars adjust and fine-tune the dynasties and events of ancient Egypt. Ptolemy's Canon and the Venus Tablets are two such records. The astronomer-geographer Claudius Ptolemy compiled a list of Babylonian and Alexandrian rulers, probably from lists compiled earlier than his time; this is Ptolemy's Canon. The Venus Tablets (excavated in Nineveh in 1850 and written in cuneiform) are probably copies of records from a thousand years earlier, and are based on observations made of the risings and settings of Venus; Venus forms a pattern that repeats every 60 years, so it's a very reliable marker for recording the dates of events.

This is a very interesting article and I recommend it to anyone who's interested in the subject stfranklin brought up. Most scholars shy away from the Bible as a tool for dating ancient people and events because it's dubious as a work of history, but there are lots of other ancient records out there whose validity and reliability seem to have much firmer footing. Wink

And what does this teach me? Considering how long it took me to find this article, I need to organize my magazines some day. (I won't even go into the chaos that is my collection of National Geographics because I don't want to frighten anyone!)
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been looking at Josephus' quotations from Manetho in Against Apion and Manetho appears to be describing the events that led up to Merneptah's incursion into Palestine. If Manetho is to be believed, the reign of Amenmesse was wholly contained within the reign of Merneptah, who fled to "Ethiopia" when he was attacked. He further contends that Amenmesse was in fact Moses, which annoys Josephus to no end. Now Manetho identifies the allies of Amenmesse (Osarsiph) with the Hyksos, and it is the Hyksos whom Merneptah drives out of Jerusalem. So the presence of Israelites in Palestine at the time is suspect. As someone mentioned, Israel is a people or tribe, not a state at the time. That Merneptah would wreak his vengeance upon his local Hebrews at the same time he was driving the Hyksos into Syria is not surprising, since a lot of people did, and still do, identify the two groups. Only when the timescale from Shem to Solomon is halved do the Hyksos drop out of the picture, for it is an early king of the 18th Dynasty whom Abraham visits.

This revolt of the stone cutters under a priest of Heliopolis was not the first and, if I have the timeline right, it was not the last. There was a revolt at Wadi Hammamat, source of much of the finer stone used in the monuments and temples, just north of Thebes in upper Egypt under Ramses II. This was put down brutally with a force that included a couple of thousand chariots. Erman quotes a papyrus sent from a scribe on the Hittite border who apparently witnessed the events. And then, of course, there is Moses, whom I doubt was actually Amenmesse, though the confusion is understandable, who was also intimately associated with the stone cutters. Whether he was a priest at Heliopolis, I don't know yet. Keep in mind that Joseph's father-in-law was associated with the same group, and Moses was obviously a priest of Yahweh, whether a volcano god or the local version of Jupiter.

As for my attempts to prove the bible correct, that is not precisely what I am doing. I am simply trying to place it in a rational light based on what I strongly suspect is a faulty timescale. This differs from all those scholars of the 19th and 20th Centuries in that they all failed to realise that many of the "miraculous" events were simply based on a falsely extended timeline. For example Sarah having Isaac at 90 rather than 45, Moses living to 120 rather than 60, and so on. No one seems to have noticed this, which really does astound me. There seem to be only two parties you can belong to here. You either take the bizarre chronology on faith or you throw it all out with the bathwater because it's "obviously" ridiculous. In essence, I simply am trying to be objective. I have no preconceived notions. I simply shorten the scale by a divisor of 2 and then see if anybody I recognize shows up. So far Moses hasn't shown up where I would expect him. What has shown up is a political background that would have allowed him to do what Exodus claims he did at the time it claims he did it, after the powerful kings of the 19th Dynasty left the scene. And it allows Joshua to conquer Palestine, not during the 13th Century BC but after the death of Ramses III.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Now Manetho identifies the allies of Amenmesse (Osarsiph) with the Hyksos, and it is the Hyksos whom Merneptah drives out of Jerusalem.


Keep in mind that Manetho (Merendjehuty) was an Egyptian priest commissioned by the Macedonian pharaoh Ptolemaios I Soter to write a history of Egypt. Scholars to this day aren't sure how seriously they should take Manetho, given how reticent Egyptian priests were to share too much knowledge of their people and culture with their Greek overlords, even though Ptolemaios I Soter was by all accounts a pretty popular guy.

When reading Manetho and similar writers, including Herodotus of the 5th century BCE, we also have to remember that these men were compiling their histories and describing events that took place far in their past. The Hyksos, for instance, had lived in Egypt over 1200 years prior to the time of Ptolemaios and Manetho. Many basic facts are off by wide margins, though to be sure many facts are surprisingly accurate, too. I wouldn't count the Hyksos among them, though. Shocked

The word "Hyksos" comes from the Egyptian hk3-kh3swt, which simply means "foreign rulers." This was the Egyptian term for the Canaanites who had slowly taken control over much of Lower Egypt by Dynasty 15 (1663-1550 BCE). There is no evidence that these Canaanites were ancient Jews, a people who, if they existed at this time, probably comprised a handful of farmers and herders in the highlands of present-day Israel. The Hyksos were finally expelled once and for all from Egypt by Ahmose I in around 1550 BCE, the start of Dynasty 18 and dawn of the New Kingdom. Merneptah would not even ascend to the throne until some 330 years later, in mid-Dynasty 19. Merneptah and the Hyksos were entirely unrelated. By this time a small number of farmers and herders called the "Israia" by the Egyptians did in fact exist in the Levant.

Quote:
As for my attempts to prove the bible correct, that is not precisely what I am doing. I am simply trying to place it in a rational light based on what I strongly suspect is a faulty timescale.


The timeline of the ancient Israelites is certainly hotly debated to this day. I'm certain you know it better than I, but it is a subject that has interested me from a historical perspective. I suppose it also depends on who you read, too--from folks like Dever at one end of the spectrum to folks like Finklestein at the other. But in the end it makes for fascinating study. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was curious about where Josephus may have come up with his idea about the Hyksos, and found out that he had mistranslated the word "Hyksos" as "Shepherd kings." I am not certain if he viewed them as his own ancestors (i.e., Hebrews of earlier times), but he was considerably off in his timeline. Here is one source I found about this issue:

http://www.mystae.com/restricted/streams/thera/hapiru.html

I've been studying a bit about Josephus lately to help me acquire a better understanding of those long-ago Roman days. Josephus certainly lived in interesting times. Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The whole point of Against Apion was to demonstrate that the Jewish people were ancient, as opposed to their detractors who claimed they were fairly recent in origin. This tendency continues among modern scholars... Yes, Josephus claims the "Shepherds" (Hyksos) were the Jews. His problem with the story I mentioned is that it places the those same Hyksos much later in Egyptian history, thus contradicting Josephus' own contention that their expulsion was the Exodus. I reproduce the significant passages here: http://neros.lordbalto.com/ChapterThree.htm. I see no reason, however, to think that there weren't Hyksos remaining at Jerusalem in the time of Merneptah despite having invaded Egypt centuries earlier. The gist of Manetho's story is that they entered into an alliance with Osarsiph (Amenmesse) in order to regain their old capitol of Avaris. Josephus seems to be completely oblious of this distinction, probably because of Manetho's identification of Osarsiph with Moses. The importance of this story is that it posits a Jerusalem controlled not by the Jews but by the Hyksos, thus clearing the way for their removal by Merneptah and replacement by the Jews later on. I brought this up because it supports my contention that the Israel Stele does not refer to Judea but to Israel as a people still living in Egypt.

I failed to respond to complaints about my identification of Shoshenq I. with Shishak. This is a fairly common identification, buttressed by Shoshenq's invasion of Israel and his taking of the golden Temple furniture from Jerusalem along with the Ark of the Covenant. (Yes, that ark!) The problem with this identification has always been that Shoshenq was supposedly allied with Jeroboam, later king of break-away Israel, and not with Judah, since he gave a daughter to Jeroboam. And yet he attacks the cities of Israel and leaves Judah relatively unscathed, except for the theft of the Temple gold. Or was this simply payment for his attack on Israel? The gold was replaced with brass and there is no further mention of such thefts in the bible. The other, more serious objection, is that Shoshenq didn't live long enough to do everything attributed to Shishak in the bible. It has even been suggested that he wasn't yet king when his daughter married Solomon. The solution to that problem is obvious. Once we realise they are using a 6-month year in the bible, the problem evaporates like the morning dew from the nose of the Sphinx.

There are already two instances here of the pharaoh giving his daughters to "foreigners," which they supposedly didn't do. I can make two responses to this. One, Shoshenq was a Libyan general and usurper. It was he who needed to legitimize his rule. After all, Solomon was presumably descended from the same royal bloodline that placed the descendants of Joseph on the throne of Egypt, at least according to Osman. Two, if I am correct about Ham being Hammu-rabi, his son Samsu-iluna being Shem, and his grandson Abi-eshu being Arpachshad, Solomon descended from the royal house of Babylon, which had intermittently ruled Palestine, so that by marrying his daughters to the two Jewish kings there, he was cementing his claim to that part of the world against the claims of the Assyrians.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I failed to respond to complaints about my identification of Shoshenq I with Shishak.

It wasn't a complaint. It was a question.
I was just brainstorming through some of the details.

Quote:
a systematic 2:1 error

Do we know for sure that this was systematic?

My reason for asking is that I personally don't believe that Merneptah's stela can refer to the killing of the hebrew children. I do think Breasted is correct in hius assessment that this refers to the people of Israel after the exodus.


I was wondering if anyone had ever considered Ramesses Ahsa-hebsed as a model for Moses?

The reason for my suggesting him is that according to the stories Moses grew up with the royal family/was somehow connected with them. He travels to Nubia at some point. He is also associated with Heliopolis by some people.
Ramesses Asha-hebsed was a royal cup-bearer and hence very close to the royal family. Some think that his name is an indication of him being of foreign descent (canaanite). He is known to have been sent to Nubia at some point to represent the king there (I think with regards to the building in Abu Simbel). He was also a royal envoy to foreign lands. He later becomes the attendant to Prince Meryatum who becomes High Priest of Re at Heliopolis.

Could be coincidence, but I thought it was interesting Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stfranklin wrote:
Quote:
I see no reason, however, to think that there weren't Hyksos remaining at Jerusalem in the time of Merneptah despite having invaded Egypt centuries earlier.


The question with which scholars still struggle is the exact identity of the Hyksos. Remember that "Hyksos" is a corruption of an Egyptian term applied to the Canaanites who had migrated into and taken control of Egypt by around 1660 BCE; they were violently driven out of Egypt not quite 100 years later, and indeed were pursued deep into the Levant. But even the term "Canaanites" is rather generic. I don't doubt there were people in Merneptah's time in Jerusalem who may have considered themselves descendants of the Hyksos, but they certainly didn't call themselves the "Hyksos." You'd probably know better than I, but there was such a dizzying array of tribes and peoples in the Levant at this time; the Israelies were but a minor faction. Who were the people occupying Jerusalem at the time? Were they Hurrians? Arameans (i.e., Syrians)? I don't know. Technically they weren't Hyksos, though.

Quote:
I brought this up because it supports my contention that the Israel Stele does not refer to Judea but to Israel as a people still living in Egypt.


I'm not sure I understand your statement, so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. In Merneptah's time the distinction between the Jewish Northern Kingdom (Israel) and Southern Kingdom (Judah) was still quite a ways off. The Hebrews do not appear to have been a cohesive, socio-political entity yet. I have no problem seeing ancient Jews living in Egypt nonetheless. Many peoples from the Levant migrated to Egypt down through time because of the frequent drought and famine and plague that overshadowed their homeland back to the north. I should stress that I am far from convinced that anything like the Exodus as told in the Pentateuch ever took place to begin with; outside the Pentateuch, in fact, there is no convincing evidence to date of such a colossal event ever occurring.

Quote:
And yet he attacks the cities of Israel and leaves Judah relatively unscathed, except for the theft of the Temple gold.


I don't know to what extent an alliance between Sheshonq and Jeroboam would have been lasting. Sheshonq did not require such assistance. On the temple walls of Karnak Sheshonq left a list of the many cities of the Levant he crushed in this campaign, and Jerusalem was more or less a footnote. There's a reason for that. The territories of the Northern Kingdom were much wealthier than the small and less affluent Southern sites, including Jerusalem. Your assessment is more than plausible that Sheshonq wouldn't have necessarily followed traditional pharaonic customs such as not allowing a daughter to marry outside the royal house, given Sheshonq's own origins and customs as a Meshwesh of Libya. I'm not certain myself, but what evidence outside the Bible is there that he gave a daughter to Solomon? And isn't that timeline quite off, or is this answered by your fix on the Judaic calendar?

anneke wrote:
Quote:
My reason for asking is that I personally don't believe that Merneptah's stela can refer to the killing of the hebrew children.


I'd have to agree with that. Extracting that theory from the stela is a bit of a stretch. Rather, it strikes me as "boilerplate" Egyptian terminology when boasting of military victories. I thought VBadJuJu's explanation of it was interesting.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Do we know for sure that this was systematic?


I don't know anything for a "fact" at this point... My normal procedure is to arrange the pieces of the puzzle so that they appear to fit together and then to see if there is evidence that supports or casts doubt on the arrangement. If there are problems, I see if there are alternate arrangements that make more sense. This is akin to the mathematical procedure of finding closer and closer approximations. That being said, I use the term "systematic" advisedly. If you will look at the second table here: http://neros.lordbalto.com/ChapterSix.htm, you will see that there is a definite pattern to the artificial extension of the time scale. These (arithmetical) factors are based on the absurd lifetimes of the characters. But keep in mind that the actual timescale is based on the "age at birth of son" and not on the "age at death." This is constant from Ham all the way to Solomon and probably slightly beyond. There is a whole "industry" in the extra-biblical Jewish writings explaining how Noah's ancestors could have survived past the Flood which supposedly killed everybody. Beyond this, there is a string of individual events that point to a doubled timescale.

There is a strong tendency for those who take the bible literally to see anything unusual as a miracle. But stories like the advanced age of Sarah at the birth of Isaac are not presented that way. It can be argued that the entire concept of a miracle didn't appear until much later. Sarah's advanced age is simply portrayed as unusual. As for it being the result of intervention by God, virtually *everything* in the Old Testament is presented that way. No, it is clear that she has just begun to enter menopause, which is consistent with her being 45 and not 90. This age fits the tenor of the description much better than a "miraculous" age of 90.

I have already mentioned the extended ages of the Patriarchs and their descendants. My contention that the scale is out by a factor of exactly two is based on the fairly obvious presence of the sexagesimal (base-60) numbering system here. This is supposed to have arisen in Sumeria and ultimately led to our 60-minute hour, 360-degree circle, twelve-inch foot, etc. This is not a random extension, it is the result of the use of non-annual units in the original texts: months, double-months (used in Mesopotamia), four-month seasons (used in Egypt), and six-month "years" (equinox to equinox or solstice to solstice [used later in Gaul along with a solar Easter]).

Both the alignment of Shoshenq with Solomon and the alignment of Thutmosis IV with Joseph suffer from the same chronological disease, in that their supporters have to do some pretty fancy "explaining" to remove similar problems based on what appear to be too short reigns on the Egyptian side of the equation. These evaporate with the reduced Hebrew timescale. There are further examples from the time of the Judges. One judge serves two 40-year terms, I forget which offhand, which is well-nigh absurd. And the recurrent 40-year cycle makes no particular sense, whereas 20 years is a well-known unit examined in detail in Hamlet's Mill, and represents the cycle of conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn, the two main cosmological characters in the bible (Yahweh and Elohim). Freud points out that there is a continuing tension between the followers of Elohim (whom he identifies with the worshippers of Aton and with Israel) and those of Yahweh (whom he identifies with a local Arabian volcano god and with Judah). I don't necessarily agree with his identifications.

Finally, the period of 240 years from the Exodus to Solomon's Temple is one tenth of the 2400-year period during which one corner of the great trigon of conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn returns to the same point in the zodiac. No, I am not saying the underlying stories are necessarily all true, I'm just saying that the description is based on obvious astronomical considerations and not random coincidences. Remember, Samuel keeps the Ark of the Covenant for 10 years before giving it over to Saul, apparently simply to align the institution of the Hebrew monarchy with the 20-year cycle of conjunctions.

Is Moses an anomaly, the equivalent of a geologic erratic boulder that doesn't fit the local geology? This is certainly possible. Noah, for one, appears to be such. I would not rule out a religious and historical figure commemorated at the beginning of Spring who could have become associated with the leaving of Egypt, perhaps some variation of Min worshipped at Koptos or another member of the list of historical lawgivers that includes Menes, Manis-tusu, Minos, and Manu. There is, however, circumstantial evidence for Moses and the Exodus. First, there was unrest among the stone cutters already under Ramses II, who crushed them unmercifully. Then there was Manetho's description of a revolt led by Osarsiph who appears to have changed his name to Amenmesse. Even later, under Ramses III, when I have Moses already in the desert, the stonecutters strike for lack of pay. Second, there is the suspicious name Mery-amun that appears toward the end of the 19th Dynasty that I suspect relates to the name of the sister of Moses, Miriam. Finally, there is the matter of Siptah's foot, which was originally thought to have been clubbed, but now is supposed to have been the result of Polio, which would go a long way toward explanating how a reverse quarantine could have protected the Hebrew children from that particular plague. I am not sure what to make of the presence of water in Siptah's tomb when it was opened. It is certainly suggestive of something. Perhaps someone can enlighten me on this.

As for the Hyksos, I am aware of how murky they are in the historical record. It is possible to read all kinds of things into their presence in Egypt and the Levant. As for their relation to the Hebrews, a good place to start might be with Melchizedek, king of Jerusalem, apparently by appointment of, perhaps, the Egyptians rather than heredity. If he is a remnant of the Hyksos presence in the area, then we can see that he and Abraham saw each other as co-religionists and possibly fellow princes and, dare I call them this, fellow warrior priests.

I can't see how one can get around the claim that the Hebrews were in Egypt. As Freud points out, the practise of circumcision is fundamentally Egyptian and there were all kinds of psychological and religious reasons to reject it, yet it remained a basic tenet of the Jewish religion. Thus, since the Jews are no longer living in great number in Egypt, they must have left at some point. You can call this an Exodus or an emigration. It certainly happened. As I have just indicated, there is no prima facia reason to identify it with miracles and wonders. These are either mythological or legendary, or they were the result of technical interventions that would have been available, above all others, to artisans and craftsmen engaged in stonecutting and metal working. Keep in mind that Hammu-rabi himself, whom I have tentatively identified with Ham, was not averse to damning up rivers and then releasing them to flood out his enemies downstream. There are echos of this maneuver in the actions of both Moses and Joshua. Again, I am just speculating here....
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmt_sesh wrote:
Extracting that theory from the stela is a bit of a stretch. Rather, it strikes me as "boilerplate" Egyptian terminology when boasting of military victories. I thought VBadJuJu's explanation of it was interesting.


It caem from _Ancient Times_ by Redford among other books and such.

Many of T-III's campaigns (such as the flower picking one) were timed for the army to show up at harvest time to collect annual tribute. Now, who is gonna argue with an entire army standing there? If they do, they stand to lose the entire harvest. Pretty shrewd.

The killing of the children aside, this whole thing assumes the associated exodus actually took place, and there is no evidence for it. The Biblical story it self smacks of an oral "history" passed down for a while and exaggerated greatly; then many years later when someone went to write it down they added some factual detail (like King's names).

Something like it might have happened - but nothing even close to the scale mentioned - but the distortion and backdating of "facts" is why it defies being pinned down.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Something like it might have happened - but nothing even close to the scale mentioned - but the distortion and backdating of "facts" is why it defies being pinned down.


To me it seems in many ways an almost carbon copy of the much older Gilgamesh epic from Mesopotamia--revised and tweaked to fit Judaic sensabilities. Very Happy The expulsion of the Canaanites known as the Hyksos may have been the impetus or inspiration (much later in Israel) to borrow the fable in the first place.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Something like it might have happened - but nothing even close to the scale mentioned


I have added the quotations from Adolf Erman from the Anastasi papyrus to those from Manetho: http://neros.lordbalto.com/ChapterThree.htm. Both these accounts are of massive revolts on the part of the stonecutters of the New Kingdom. In this light, the contention that there couldn't possibly have been a third, just as massive, revolt a generation after the second one is, dare I say, silly. Just because this third revolt is identified with the Jews and their legendary hero Moses, it seems to me, is no reason to treat it as any more mythical and borrowed than the other two. As Erman says in regard to the revolt under Ramses II:

Quote:
...We hear of a military expedition being sent to Hammamat "in order to destroy those rebels"; exclusive of officers, the number of troops employed is given as 5000, the text therefore cannot refer to one of the petty wars frequently carried on with the wretched Beduins of these mountains. If in other respects we may believe the account, there must have been a mutiny amongst the workmen to necessitate the employment of so great a number of soldiers [my emphasis].


Quote:
but the distortion and backdating of "facts" is why it defies being pinned down.


I must admit I am growing tired of these incessant, baseless, assertions about distortions and backdating of events. Are we to believe that the accounts of Manetho and Nechtsotep are also distorted and backdated? Perhaps Mr. Very Bad JuJu will next suggest that the killing of Ramses III was just a distorted and backdated account of the murder of Julius Caeser.

Let me just say that I have gone to a lot of trouble to make my argument readable and accessible. Personally, I think I have been rather successful at pinning down the key points of alignment of the Egyptian and Hebrew chronologies. If certain clairvoyant members of this discussion group find themselves able to argue against my work without ever having read it, then I would respectfully request that they use their mystical powers to tell me just how exactly Siptah died and why his tomb was filled with water when it was opened. This information would be invaluable to the continuation of my work. Please let me know whether I have to await the next full moon before receiving your answer. I am so anxious to here more of your revelations.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stfranklin wrote:
In this light, the contention that there couldn't possibly have been a third, just as massive, revolt a generation after the second one is, dare I say, silly.

Thats a strawman argument. No one said it couldnt possibly have happened. I said there is no evidence for an event of that scale.

Exodus 12:37 says "And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot men beside children."

This is the cornerstone of the actual point I made; namely that nothing on that scale is likely. We might assume that 80% of the men were married and 80% of them had one and only one child -- this is very conservative because Exodus also states that the more they were oppressed, the more they thrived and flourished.

With those numbers, that would mean there were about 1.2 MILLION Hebrew slaves in Egypt. You'd think with so many of them about they would leave massive evidence but they didnt. Secondly, slavery on that scale was not the Egyptian way. Slaves came about mostly from military forays not selective oppression (though it is not out of the question), and came into the country to be "Egyptified". Documents from that very time show slaves taken in battle being 'adopted' and made heirs of their captors.

Most importantly, with 1,250,000 or so Hebrews streaming out of Egypt, there would certainly be mention made of it as they wandered about. There isnt. There is no account anywhere of a migration on that scale. This is in stark contrast to the "Sea Peoples" which is widely and very well attested even though less numerous by about half. Furthermore, at that time the population of Egypt was about 1.5 million. So to suppose Exodus is a historical account would require a staggering portion of the population as overseers and when the did Hebrews exit, it would depopulate the country and cause it to collapse - and we know that didnt happen.

The story shows every likelihood of having been an oral tradition passed down over many years before being written down. Tidbits like baby Moses being found by Phaoraoh's daughter are one of the ironic twists common in most fables; as is giving a Hebrew 'fugitive' a Hebrew name (but doesnt mean it is a fable). When comitted to paper, the names of those who came into Egypt (Exodus 1:1-4); the names of the households (Exodus 6:14-25) etc etc would be added to flesh out the story, make it more credible etc.

It is how early history (and literature) were passed along. There is no evidence that Exodus is anything like a modern day contemporaneous news account, so any attempt and what you call alignment requires it be taken into account that storied and timelines were often distorted in the various retellings before it was written down. Various manuscripts from the Middle Ages (including the New Testament) show this definitively to be the case even when simply copying written sources.

More likely a few dozen (up to 1-2 hundred) Jews were involved and in the retelling it became the whole of the Children of Israel. Works better that way to cast them as God's Chosen People.

Given the many curious and extremely dubious elements of the story, it is a legitimate question to ask if it is mostly fable with some facts added or mostly fact with some elements exaggerated. Given the penchant for the people of the time and region to rely on parable to relay an underlying truth and the lack of independant attestation the balance of enlightened opinion is on the side of fable.

Quote:
I must admit I am growing tired of these incessant, baseless, assertions about distortions and backdating of events.
Poor you.

After your initial barrages of sarcastic remarks dripping in condescention were unleashed, I have in fact absented myself, so as to keep the peace. So my comments cannot have not been "incessant". And as my late message shows, I was in fact responding to kmt on the general issue of the reliability of the Book of Exodus as a historical fact and not attacking your pet theory.

I don't know why you react with sarcasm and hostility to every post bearing a contradictory message. I think pride of authorship and vanity have a bit to do with it, but you do need to get over yourself. Not everything is about you or your pet theory.

Quote:
to tell me just how exactly Siptah died and why his tomb was filled with water
I have actually read a reason why, but your churlishness makes me curiously disinclined to elucidate.

Quote:
I am so anxious to here [sic] more of your revelations.
I think otherwise.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

People need to stop sniping at each other.

Please keep the discourse civil and respectful.

People have had they say. Now please discuss ancient egypt, theories, whatever you want, but personal attacks are not allowed.

Please note that further personal attacks will be deleted.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're free to keep posting about the interesting subject stfranklin brought up, people. Don't be bashful about it, but as anneke said, just remain civil. And please don't be put off, stfranklin. Your information is worth sharing. Most of us tend to be very traditional when it comes to what we read and write and believe, so don't be surprised if you find resistance, but also don't hesitate to keep sharing. I apologize if some of us have come across as overly harsh. This is a forum for the sharing of ideas and the debating of theories, and though most of us are quite conservatice academically, it does us all good to be introduced to new ideas as long as they're based on study and scholarship, and your ideas certainly are. Very Happy
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