[Chapter Twelve: Tangled Bloodlines]

 

Chapter Thirteen: The Hyksos and the Hebrews

 

Dynasties in Chaos

Continuing the process of elucidating the intricacies of the Egyptian timeline, begun in Chapter Eleven with the recognition of the Akkadian role in Egypt during the First Intermediate Period, we will take a quick look at another problem that has existed since Josephus first claimed that the Hebrews could be identified with a group of Asiatic invaders that ruled lower Egypt before the rise of the New Kingdom. The Hyksos appear in Egyptian history during the Second Intermediate Period. There are two versions of this period in the surviving lists of Manetho, each using its own sequence of dynasties, one from Africanus and three from Eusebius transmitted to us by later authors.

The primary stumbling block has always been the lengths of Manetho's reigns, too long according to the accepted chronology. Once the lengths of his earlier dynasties have been halved, however, we are left with a period roughly twice as long as the one into which modern scholars have tried to cram the kings of Manetho's 13th through 17th Dynasties. As we saw in Chapter Eleven, this halving and aligning with the invasion of Sargon brings us to the year 2002 BC at the end of the 12th Dynasty, leaving us with an astounding 468 years for the supposed five-dynasty period that ended in 1534 BC. The following table will give the reader an idea of where we are headed.

Dynasties 13 through 17 from Manetho—Who They Were

Africanus  [Josephus]

Correct?

EusebiusArm

 

Identification

 Dynasty1
King

Reign
yrs

Reign
yrs

Reign
yrs

Dynasty
King

Ruled BC

Dynasty
King [other ID]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13

453

453

453

13

2002–1549

13th Dynasty
[Theban]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

184

284

284AS

14

2002–1718

14th Dynasty
[Minoan]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A152

284

184

189

E172

1718–1534

["Hyksos"
(Phoenician)]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saites [Salatis]

19 [13]

19

19

Saites

1718–1699

 

Bnon [Beon]

44 [44]

40

40

Bnon

1699-1659

 

Pakhnan [Apachnas]

61 [36]

31

—

—

1659-1628

[Khyan]

Staan [Jonias]

50 [50]

50

—

—

16285-?

[Sethos]

Arkhles [Assis]

49 [49]

30

30

Arkhles

?

 

Aphobis [Apophis]3

61 [61]

14

14

Aphobis

?–1534

[Apepi]
[Khamudi, 3] [1534-1531] [Kamose]
             
    "Thebans"    
             
    248 250 E152 1549–1301 18th Dynasty
             
    116 (5 legitimate kings4) 190 (5 kings) E162 1301–1185 19th Dynasty
             
          1286-1219 Ramses II
             
"Other [or Hellenic] Hyksos"        
             
A162 518 (32 kings) 518 (29 kings/
35 rulers)
    1504–986 [Canaan]
             
A172 151 (43 kings) 151 (43 kings)     ca 1509–ca 1358 [Crete]
             
          ca 1358-? Theseus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1The commonly used scheme is from Africanus.
2
Prefixed lettering has been used to distinguish the dynasties of Africanus from those of Eusebius.
3
Josephus has Apophis after Apachnas.
4Ramses I, Seti I, Ramses II, Merneptah, Seti II.  5400 years before 400-year Stela.

ArmArmenian.  ASAlternate version from Syncellus. R Reconstructed.  Green: Cometary years.

Even the academics have managed to figure out that the kings that follow the 12th Dynasty in the Turin Papyrus belong to Manetho's 13th Dynasty. Both Africanus and Eusebius agree that these ruled from Diospolis, or Thebes, and that they held the reigns of Upper Egypt for 453 years from 2002 until the installation of Ahmose in 1549 BC according to the current reconstruction. Both ancient authors also agree that there were 60 kings in this dynasty and the surviving fragments of Turin have room for something in the neighborhood of 58 rulers. These are clearly the same kings of the same dynasty and they represented legitimate authority in Egypt even as the Delta was being overrun and then ruled by Asiatics. Despite the attempts of the residents of the academy to shorten this period and to attach their so-called 17th Dynasty to its later end, it is to this 13th that we must look for those kings who finally succeeded in defeating in battle and then driving the Hyksos out of Egypt, and we will not be disappointed. Unfortunately, the last king of the 13th Dynasty is missing from Turin, but the next to last ruler is there in fragmentary form. This Se[...]enre is none other than Seqenenre Tao, the father of Kamose and Ahmose.

The 13th is followed by the 14th in Turin, and again the academy has managed to get the position of its first king correct. Unfortunately, at least in the case of K. S. B. Ryholt, in The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, they end the 14th Dynasty at position 10/20 of Turin, whereas the kings that follow in positions 10/23 thru 11/14 are ascribed to the 15th and 16th Dynasties of Manetho, among the latter of which may be found a fragment containing the name Dedumose, apparently Manetho's Tutimaios whom the Egyptian priest placed at the fall of Lower Egypt to the Hyksos, as described in the Papyrus Ipuwer. All versions of Manetho agree that the 14th was ruled from Xoοs in the Delta and that it was made up of 76 kings. The 14th (plus the "15th" and "16th") of Turin contains approximately 77 rulers. Its length varies between 184, 284, and 484 years, whereas the Hyksos dynasty lasted for 284 years according to the version preserved by Africanus and 189 in the Armenian version of Eusebius. It appears that the correct values should be 284 for the 14th and 184 for the 15th (the 17th of Eusebius), with reigns of the six named members of the 15th perhaps artificially extended to make up for missing kings from that period. This gives a total of 468 years and brings us down to the year the Hyksos were finally driven out of Egypt by Ahmose in 1534 BC. Thus, despite the belief of the majority of modern academics, the Turin papyrus contains neither Manetho's 15th, 16th, nor 17th Dynasties, except perhaps for a misplaced fragment of the 15th from the very end of the surviving text. As a result, though we know little about the Hyksos, we know absolutely nothing from Manetho about the purported 16th and 17th except a few scraps about the number of kings and how long they collectively ruled.

Though it has long been assumed that the 16th and 17th of Africanus and the 15th and 16th of Eusebius were the same dynasties, this appears to be incorrect. Consider the following. The 16th and 17th of Africanus contain 75 kings altogether, ruled for 667 years, and are called "Shepherds." The 15th and 16th of Eusebius ran for 440 years and made their home at Thebes. It has also long been assumed that the Hyksos were the last dynasty in this group of supposedly five dynasties to rule, and that Eusebius was correct in placing the Hyksos at the end of the group. However, Africanus places the Hyksos directly after the 14th, where one would expect to find their fellow rulers of the Delta, and places two non-Theban dynasties after them. This makes a grand total of seven dynasties in the period between the 12th and the 18th. Clearly something is seriously wrong with this interpretation. As we will see below, four of these seven dynasties extend beyond the end of the Hyksos 15th.

 

Who Were the Hyksos?

No less an authority than Kamose, the brother of Ahmose, tells us who the Hyksos were in an inscription found at Karnak spread across multiple stelae. As translated in "Textual Sources for the Hyksos Period," in The Hyksos: New Historical and Archaeological Perspectives, Kamose describes the progress of an attack on the Hyksos that presaged the eventual victory of his brother Ahmose over the despised Asiatics:

I sailed north in my might to repel the Asiatics through the command of Amun, exact-of-council, with my brave army before me like a flame of fire and the Medjay archers a-top our fighting-tops on the lookout for the Asiatics in order to destroy their places....

"Bad news is in your town: you are driven back in the presence of your army, and your authority is restricted ...."

I put in at Per-djedken, my heart happy, so that I might let Apopy experience a bad time, that Syrian prince with weak arms, who conceives brave things which never come about for him! ....

"Syrian prince"? The Egyptian word is actually Retenu, and it refers to the entire region from the Orontes River to the Negev.

Remember, in 1511 BC Chedorlaomer, purportedly of Elamite extraction, began his rule over the Canaanite kingdoms of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar. In 1534 Ahmose had defeated the Hyksos at Avaris in the eastern delta. Sometime around 1531, after a siege that consumed the better part of three years, he defeated the remaining Hyksos forces holed up at Sharuhen and thus left a power-vacuum in southern Canaan, a vacuum that would soon be filled by Chedorlaomer in alliance with Amraphel, Arioch, and Tidal. Josephus saw these kings acting under the authority of the Assyrians. Now the Hyksos were early on afraid of Assyrian attack, and were more concerned with them than with any kind of threat the legitimate Egyptian dynasty at Thebes might pose. As Josephus tells us, Saites (or Salitis),

made both the upper and lower regions pay tribute, and left garrisons in places that were the most proper for them. He chiefly aimed to secure the eastern parts as foreseeing that the Assyrians, who had then the greatest power, would be desirous of that kingdom, and invade them ....

We have already noted that the Egyptian term "Syrian" included the Hebrews and other inhabitants of Canaan, so that we would be justified in suspecting that these "Rulers of Foreign Lands," the Hyksos, were none other than the rulers of Canaan and Transjordan among whose inhabitants were the very enemies of Chedorlaomer mentioned in Genesis—Bela, Bera, Birsha, Shinab, and Shemeber—as well as the unnamed kings of the Rephaim, Zuzim, Emim, Horites, Amalekites, and Amorites. Yet none of these peoples approached the power of the Hyksos, even assuming their military defeat by the Egyptians of the New Kingdom. This is the whole problem with the identification of the Hyksos as Canaanites and the root of the mystery surrounding their demise. In short, where did they go after their defeat by Ahmose?

 

Two More Clues

We have two other clues to the identity of the Hyksos. One is fairly obvious. The other requires a bit of thought and a generally suspicious mind.

The first is that Manetho, in the version preserved by Eusebius, refers to the Hyksos not only as Shepherds, but as "Phoenicians." This squares with the identification by Kamose of the Hyksos as inhabitants of Retenu. But remember from Chapter Nine that the Hebrew alphabet was derived from that of the Phoenicians and that it was ultimately derived from a lunar zodiac that went back at a bare minimum to 1860 BC and most likely to 2400 or earlier. Herodotus has the foundation of Tyre at 2300 years before the 5th Century BC. What we appear to be looking at here is something on the order of a Third Power operating in the eastern Mediterranean sphere during the closing years of the 18th Century BC. Beside the Egyptians and the Assyrians, we have a hitherto unsuspected armed force, identified by the Egyptians with Retenu and the Phoenicians, that ruled southern Canaan and expanded into the very heart of the Egyptian state. Unfortunately, the origins of the Phoenicians are almost as murky as those of the Hyksos.

The problem is that scarabs of the Hyksos period, the most obvious means of tracking Hyksos domination of the lands of the eastern Mediterranean, appear most commonly in southern and central Palestine and are rarely found in northern Palestine and Syria, suggesting that the "Syrians" of Kamose and the "Phoenicians" of Manetho ruled neither northern Israel, Lebanon, nor Syria, as Breasted suggests in A History of Egypt, where he attempts to identify them with Kadesh on the Orontes. Which is not to say that they didn't have political affiliations or even common origins with the northerners. By the very maritime nature of their civilization, the Phoenicians were capable of sailing off to new lands where they could found new colonies independent of their home cities on the Levantine coast. An obvious case in point was their later foundation of the city of Carthage. The great port city of the Hyksos in Palestine was Tell el-Ajjul. Aharon Kempinski of Tel Aviv University, in "The Hyksos, A View from Northern Canaan and Syria" (in The Hyksos: New Historical and Archaeological Perspectives), identifies it with Sharuhen. In any case, the city had ties with Cyprus. Another city farther north, Tel Kabri, had links to Cyprus, Crete, and the Aegean. Minoan frescos have been found at Kabri. They have also lately been found at Tell el-Dab'a, thought to be the Hyksos capital of Avaris. The city of Kabri died precipitously, according to Kempinski, "just before 1600 B.C." This destruction was not limited to Kabri. It occurred across a wide front "in the latter part of the 17th century B.C." Even mighty Aleppo was affected, leaving it open to Hittite and Hurrian attack. Amazingly enough, Kempinski can find no reason for the destruction. The tree ring minimum at 1628 apparently never happened in his universe. I am being sarcastic here, but one begins to wonder whether any of these people really wants to solve the problems of ancient history and whether they are not all suffering from a particularly debilitating form of historical amnesia.

The second clue relates to the common assumption that the mistranslation of Hyksos as "Shepherds" was limited to Josephus and his successors and their attempt to identify the Hyksos with the Hebrews. But we have already seen that the Hebrew patriarchs themselves were not sheep herders any more than the Hyksos were, so we have to wonder whether all of the cute little stories in the Old Testament based on their lives as shepherds weren't tall tales constructed to explain an already existent confusion between the two terms.

 

The Holy Grail of Biblical Chronology

Once we manage to break free from the assumption that the two unknown dynasties of Africanus and Eusebius were the same two dynasties, we are left with two Theban dynasties that look much like the 18th and 19th dynasties of the New Kingdom and two post-Hyksos dynasties of "other Shepherds," other being a supposed correction of the word Hellenic that actually appears in the manuscripts. It took me a while to understand who the first of these two latter dynasties were, and even longer to figure out who the second were. As to the first, the length of their rule was quite extraordinary. At 518 years, I was sorely tempted to write this off as a mere clerical or transmission error on the part of Manetho and Africanus. Yet the identification of them as "Kings of Foreign Lands" intrigued me. Where in the region was there a group of rulers who could claim anything resembling such a long period of continuous existence during the height of Egyptian power and could also claim the role of alternate dynasty of Egyptian princes? Surely such an important though peripheral royal line would have survived in the annals of ancient civilization.

Josephus was quite insistent in claiming that the Hyksos were actually the Hebrews and that the Exodus was the expulsion of the last of the 15th Dynasty* kings from Egypt. This was obviously in error; yet, I wondered, what if the Jewish historian had only gotten part of the story wrong? What if the Hebrews were these other Hyksos from the 16th Dynasty? What would be the implications of such a hitherto unsuspected relationship between the Egyptians and the Hebrews? Looking at the timeline in Chapter Five, we see that Abraham entered Egypt sometime during the reign of Thutmosis I. We already know from Chapter Seven that Saul took the newly minted position of King of Israel in 986 BC. Thus a total period of 518 years would place the arrival of Abraham in Egypt at 1504 BC. If this is indeed the same 518-year period suggested by the 16th Dynasty, we would be left with some very unusual, though far from impossible, implications. The first is that Abraham's visit to Egypt entailed a series of events a bit different from the rather peculiar account given in the bible.

But first, the reader may have already noticed that dynasties 16, 17, and 18 in the list of Africanus appear to be in reverse order. Let me take a moment to try to explain this discrepancy.

Dynasties 12 through 18 from Africanus—
The Source of the Misalignment

Africanus
Theban
Dynasties
Theban+Hyksos "Hyksos"
Dynasties
     
12    

13

14

15

18 17 16
19    

 

 

 

Original order from Manetho.  ← Order of Africanus.

We have already seen that the problem with the earlier dynasties of Manetho had to do with the artificial extension of their reigns by a factor of two. During this period and later most of the dynasties of Egypt followed each other sequentially and the possibility of error was thus limited. However, during the "Second Intermediate Period" and, as is becoming apparent, during the years of the New Kingdom as well, there were more than one contemporaneous kingdoms claiming dynastic privileges, all of whom appeared in the original text of Manetho. At some point his history was condensed into an Epitome that appears to have contained these concurrent dynasties in tabular form, if they did not appear in such form in his original work. The above table shows these dynasties as they would have appeared in a table consistent with modern methods of representing such data, where horizontal position indicates the geographical origins of the dynasties and vertical position indicates their chronological relationships. As indicated by the black arrows, the flow is from top to bottom, and from left to right within each row, returning to the left after the end of each such row, so that there is an added chronological element to the flow from left to right. What we have in Africanus appears to indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the parameters of the table. In the latter case, as indicated by the red arrows, Africanus simply followed the flow of adjacent names from left to right at first, then downwards through the Hyksos dynasties at the right, and then back to the left when he ran out of vertical elements of the table. The specific parameter that he has missed is the added chronological aspect of the sequence 18–17–16, an aspect that is not expressly indicated by the table but only suggested by the general tendency in the European world to read from left to right. That the numbering follows the reading of Africanus would indicate that this numbering system was added after the publication of the original work by Manetho and also tends to explain the lack of a clear break between dynasties 18 and 19 in Josephus, the divisions also having been added later on. The importance of the error is that it placed dynasties 16 and 17 within the Second Intermediate Period, where they have been open to constant misinterpretation, rather than during the New Kingdom where they belong. By this new interpretation, Dynasty 17 must have followed the expulsion of the Hyksos in 1534 and Dynasty 16 must have followed that event sometime later on during the 18th Dynasty.

By the time he visited Melchizedek, Abraham was already a prince. Never before had he been addressed as such. His new position had something to do with what happened in Egypt. According to the biblical account, Sarah, the "sister" of Abraham as well as his wife, married the king of Egypt, Thutmosis I according to the current reconstruction. But this would certainly not lead to the institution of a line of Hebrew princes, even if there were offspring from their union, at least if we are talking about the biblically enumerated descendants of Abraham. There is really only one way that any of this makes any sense, if we would identify the 16th Dynasty with the Hebrews. By the inherent logic of the situation, Sarah would have had to have been the sister of Thutmosis, and it would have been her marriage to Abraham that would have created a new Egyptian royal line. In this case the barrenness of Sarah would have been a simple excuse for her lack of offspring until after Abraham arrived in Egypt, while Abraham was impregnating every woman in sight, and his earlier offspring would have had nothing to do with this supposed inability to bear children. Even the woman's supposed name reinforces this implied relationship, for both Sarai and Sarah refer to the idea of a princess, quite a coincidence if they were not simply indications of her position rather than her actual name.

The indication in Manetho that there were 32 kings in this succession may not be a precise representation of the situation, though it is not really problematical. There were 29 generations from Abraham until Samuel, using the sequence given in I Chronicles, but there were actually 35 rulers if we include foreign conquerors, some of whom came from nearby kingdoms. One could certainly come up with a line of 32 rulers by the judicious inclusion and exclusion of these foreign rulers. For example, I would suggest leaving out Cushan-rishathaim because he was Assyrian and clearly aligned against the Egyptians, but I would include the other foreign kings with the exception of the Philistines who were allied with Ammon. The following table is one possibility.

16th Dynasty—Hebrew Governors of Canaan

# Hebrew Dynasty1 Egyptian Identity Ruled Concurrent
Egyptian King
Ruled
           
1 Abraham Akheperenre 1504–1458 Thutmosis I 1505–1492
Thutmosis II 1492–1484
Thutmosis III + Hatshepsut 1484–1430
2 Isaac Mempsasthenoth (Amenhotep II?) 1458–1405
Amenhotep II 1430–1405
3 Jacob Yey?/Yi? 1405–1392 Thutmosis IV 1405–1396
4 Joseph Zaphnath-Paaneah/Yuya 1392–1365 Amenhotep III (Manasseh/Minos)2 1396–1358
5 Ephraim3,4 Ay 1365–1325? [Amarna Period] [1358–1325]
Ay ?–1325
6 Beriah     Horemhab 1325–1301
7 Rephah     Ramses I 1301–1300
8 Resheph     Seti I 1300–1286
9 Telah     Ramses II 1286–1219
10 Tahan    
11 Ladan     Merneptah 1219–1206
12 Ammihud     Amenmesse (Aaron) 1206–1201
13 Elishama     Seti II 1201–1195
Siptah 1195–1193
Tausret (Miriam) 1193–1186
14 Nun of Ephraim     Setnakhte (Seti II again) 1186–1182
  [Amorite Rule]     Ramses III 1182–1150
15 Joshua Son of Tausret & Nun ?–1149
  [Assyrian Conquest]     Ramses IV 1150–1144
16 Othniel   1145–1134 Ramses V 1144–1140
Ramses VI 1140–1132
17 Eglon of Moab   1134–1125 Ramses VII 1132–1131
Ramses VIII 1131–1124
18 Ehud   1125–1115 Ramses IX 1124–1105
19 Jabin of Canaan   1115–1105
20 Deborah   1105–1089 Ramses X 1105–1097
21 ? of Midian   1089–1085 Ramses XI 1097–1069
22 Gideon   1085–1084
23 Abimelech   1084–1082
24 Tola   1082–1071
25 Jair   1071–1060 Nesbanebdjed I (Smendes) 1069–1043
  [Philistine Conquest]    
26 Jephthah   1051–1048
27 Ibzan   1048–1045
28 Elon   1045–1040 Amenemnisu
(Amenophthis)
1043–1039
29 Abdon   1040–1036 Pasebakhaenniut I
(Psousennes I)
1039–991
  [Philistine Conquest]    
30 Shamgar   ?–1016
31 Eli   1016–996
32 Samuel   996–986 Amenemope (Nepherkheres) 991–984

1This is a king-list, not a genealogy. None of these rulers is necessarily related to his predecessor, even in those parts in which the bible has them as father and son.
2
Highlighted in gray=direct Hebrew rule of Egypt?  3Blue=Foreign rulers.
4Possibly the commissioner mentioned in the Amarna Letters by Abdi-Heba, king of Jerusalem, and Labayu, king of Shechem.

The important thing is the light this identification throws on the political and religious situation in western Asia during the long years before the establishment of an independent Israelite kingdom. In one fell swoop, the identification of the Hebrews with the 16th Dynasty explains the close relationship between the kings of Egypt and the Hebrews, for these relations of the former were not with a foreign power but with their in-laws from a secondary line of kings. It also casts doubt on the biblical contention that the kings after Thutmosis IV did not "know" Joseph, the further implication being that (at least the rulers of) the Hebrews were never slaves, though there is no good reason to rule out other elements of the story.

We have seen already that there was a conscious effort on the part of the editors of the bible to reduce the interactions between the Egyptians and the Hebrews to a bare minimum, but until now this appeared to apply only to individual incidents and relatively short historical periods. If, however, the entire era from Abraham through Samuel fell within the confines of Manetho's 16th Dynasty, then the elimination of recorded Egyptian influences on the Hebrew nation during the period before the appearance of the Israelite monarchy rises to the level of an absolute denial of political reality over more than 500 years and leaves the reader of the bible with a completely distorted understanding of the political situation at the time. One of the results of this distortion is that any time Egyptian officials and even the king himself appear within the narrative of the bible, they are magically transformed into unrecognizable characters of a decidedly metaphysical nature. This begins to look like the solution to the question of why there is so little overt reference in the bible to the rulers of the nearby Egyptian kingdom. In a manner analogous to the way the Egyptian commanders at Troy were transformed into gods by Homer, the Egyptians appear to have been transformed into angels of the Lord and, in the case of the pharaoh, into a physical manifestation of El-Yahweh himself when they appear in the everyday lives of their Hebrew subjects, even those with close family ties to their dynastic rulers. One need only read the book of Joshua, for example, substituting "the king of Egypt" for "God" and "our lord the king of Egypt" for "Lord God" in order to comprehend the simple reality that lies beneath the incessant biblical attribution of all actions and events to the ever more mystical "God." What we have here, in essence, is the elevation of the Egyptian king to a holy office higher even than that to which the Egyptians themselves had raised him and a concurrent diminishing of the Hebrews' own earlier God to the position of temporal ruler of the land of Egypt.

What we are left with when we pursue the possibility of a Hebrew dynasty is a royal family directly related to the pharaohs, during its later centuries ruling over a large multitude of Canaanite followers from the nation of "Israel," most likely the same Israel defeated by Merneptah somewhere near the year 1215 and commemorated by the Israel Stele. At this point it will be useful to sketch in a possible history of this family of leaders as it would appear if the identity of the 16th Dynasty with the Hebrew ruling elite were assumed to be representative of actual political conditions in the region at the time, so that we will at least have a baseline with which to compare the biblical account.

After arising from the mutually beneficial marriage of Abraham with the sister of Thutmosis I, later members of the 16th Dynasty would hold the position of solar priest at Heliopolis and even rise to the level of chief assistant to the pharaoh himself. These priests and administrators all had Egyptian names and some of them served under their Canaanite names as rulers of the Syrian territories of Egypt. The pharaoh, however, did not remain in his capital and leave matters exclusively to his subordinates in Canaan. As I have already suggested, the visit that Lot received from "angels" was not carried out by some metaphysical beings in human form. They were officers of his uncle's brother-in-law who knocked on his door and to whom he bowed down in abject submission. And it was the very real pharaonic god on earth who took offense at the generally unrestrained behavior of the citizens of the Cities of the Plain and their inhospitality to strangers that led not to natural disaster but to the intentional torching of their cities and fields. This is the sort of thing one would expect living in an area where a nearby kingdom was ruled by a person whose subjects firmly believed he was the incarnation of Osiris.

The relationship between the descendants of Joseph through Nun and their Egyptian superiors is largely unknown except so far as Joseph was leader of the Egyptian chariot corps and Nun was a general associated with the tribe of Ephraim, so that what we are left with is a family of hereditary military leaders whose function was to rule the northeastern provinces under their more powerful relations on the Nile. These military rulers may have seized the throne of Egypt at the end of the Amarna Period in the persons of Ephraim, Beriah, and Rephah (Ay, Horemhab, and Ramses I?), and sometime during the Trojan War these military rulers of Syria and Canaan made another, nearly successful, attempt on the kingship of Egypt and were only thwarted by the return of Seti II from the Black Sea campaign. At this point there is a temporary break in relations between the two branches of the royal family. I say temporary because the dynasty appears as a single 518-year entity in Manetho's records. This is where the biblical account becomes especially murky, with Joshua, the son of one of the line of military rulers on his father's side and one of the conspirators on his mother's side, prosecuting a campaign of personal conquest in Canaan. One has to wonder if support for the assassination of Ramses III in 1150 did not arrive from supporters of the Canaan campaign. It might even be argued that the ultimate success of this assassination of the much hated Ramses prevented a permanent break in relations between the two families.

 

The Papyrus Ipuwer

Josephus transmits the description of Manetho of the coming of the Hyksos:

There was a king of ours, whose name was Timaus. Under him it came to pass, I know not how, that God was averse to us; and there came, after a surprising manner, men of ignoble birth out of the eastern parts, and had boldness enough to make an expedition into our country, and with ease subdued it by force, yet without our hazarding a battle with them. So when they had gotten those that governed us under their power, they afterwards burnt down our cities, and demolished the temples of the gods, and used all the inhabitants after a most barbarous manner; nay, some of them slew, and led their children and their wives into slavery. At length they made one of themselves king, whose name was Salitis; he also lived at Memphis, and made both the upper and lower regions pay tribute ....

This description is amplified and extended by the Papyrus Ipuwer.

The Papyrus Ipuwer describes a calamity in Egypt that left the Egyptians starving and the Nile flowing with blood and corpses. Velikovsky thought this document was a description of the events surrounding the Exodus. But John Van Seters, in The Hyksos: A New Investigation, an analysis of the linguistic elements of the papyrus, has determined that the original dated from the Second Intermediate Period. Thus, the events described in Ipuwer appear to be those of 1718 and the following years, when Egypt was overrun by the Hyksos.

Indeed, the desert is throughout the land, the nomes are laid waste, and barbarians from abroad have come to Egypt.

Trade had ceased with the countries north of Egypt:

None shall indeed sail northward to Byblos today; what shall we do for cedar trees for our mummies, and with the produce of which priests are buried and with the oil of which [chiefs] are embalmed as far as Keftiu [Crete]? They come no more; gold is lacking [. . .] and materials for every kind of craft have come to an end.

Then we are told that Upper Egypt no longer pays taxes to the north, again indicating the period when Thebes did not rule the entire land.

Indeed, Elephantine and Thinis [...] of Upper Egypt, (but) without paying taxes owing to civil strife.

Finally, the king has ceased to govern:

Behold, things have been done which have not happened for a long time past; the king has been deposed by the rabble.

Clearly, this was the end of a reign; if we are correct, that of Dedumose, and the new king was Salitis. There is a major theme here of tables being turned, of the lower classes becoming the upper classes, and vice versa, in short, of class warfare and revolution. The implication is that kinsmen of the invaders already lived in Egypt. This was clearly not the situation at the time of the Exodus, despite Velikovsky's skillful editing of the text.

 

The 400-Year Stela

Sometime during his reign a monument was erected by Ramses II that commemorated the 400th anniversary of the worship of Seth at Avaris, an occasion that was celebrated, according to The Cambridge Ancient History, during the reign of Horemhab, who ruled between 1325 and 1301 according to the current reconstruction. This would make King Seth Apehty ("the Ombite") of the stela the same person as the Saites of Manetho, who came to power, again according to the current reconstruction, in 1718 BC. The Cambridge Ancient History places the event "around 1720 B.C." This is as clear an indication as we have found so far that our placement of the rise of the Hyksos in Egypt 284 years after the cometary event of 2002 BC is essentially correct.

 

The Trials of Job

Dating Job has always been difficult, there being a number of clues that point in no single direction. We do know that Josephus identifies Uz, his home, with Damascus, though the current reconstruction would modify this slightly to place it at Ugarit in line with the identification of Abraham, the purported king of Damascus according to Nicholas of Damascus, with Ibiranu III of Ugarit. Job himself may have been a king. The bible calls him "the greatest of all the children of the east." It does seem probable that he would have lived at Ugarit during the period after the birth of Eber in 1655 and before Jacob left the throne and headed for Egypt in 1400. This fits nicely with the age of Job when he died, which was 140 years plus a number of years before the catastrophe, a period during which he had seven sons and three daughters, presumably by the same wife, all of whom, again presumably, were grown, making him approximately 220. As we can see from the table in Chapter Six, there is a relatively short period when the patriarchs were purported to have lived to around 200 years, from the birth of Peleg in 1640 until the death of Terah in 1512. Assuming for the moment that the catastrophic events described in Job fit the pattern elucidated above in Chapter Eight, this event can be identified with the tree ring minimum of 1628, 58 years after the death of Ham. The details of these events, as experienced by Job, are instructive. The book of Job describes them graphically, including the acts of men as well as those from the natural world:

And it fell on a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house, that there came a messenger unto Job, and said: 'The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them; and the Sabeans made a raid, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.' While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said: 'A fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.'  While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said: 'The Chaldeans set themselves in three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have taken them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.' While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said: 'Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house; and, behold, there came a great wind from across the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead; and I only escaped alone to tell thee.'

Seth is not finished:

So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot even unto his crown.

"Satan in Arabic means a serpent," according to Ignatius Donnelly. Donnelly elucidates the events that followed in his Ragnarok:

When Job's afflictions fall upon him he curses his day—the day, as commonly understood, wherein he was born. But how can one curse a past period of time and ask the darkness to cover it?

The original text is probably a reference to the events that were then transpiring:

"Let that day be turned into darkness; let not God regard it from above; and let not the light shine upon it. Let darkness and the shadow of death cover it; let a mist overspread it, and let it be wrapped up in bitterness. Let a darksome whirlwind seize upon that night.... Let them curse it who curse the day, who are ready to raise up the leviathan."

De Dieu says it should read, "And thou, leviathan, rouse up." "Let a mist overspread it"; literally, "let a gathered mass of dark clouds cover it."

"The Fathers generally understand the devil to be meant by the leviathan."

We shall see that it means the fiery dragon, the comet:

"Let the stars be darkened with the mist thereof; let it expect light and not see it, nor the rising of the dawning of the day...."

We dealt with this comet in Chapters Eight and Nine.

Donnelly goes on.... and on.... and on. Of particular interest, we have those,

"Whose harvest the hungry eateth up, and taketh it even out of the thorns, and the robber swalloweth up their substance."

That is to say, in the general confusion and terror the harvests are devoured, and there is no respect for the rights of property.

In the end, Job survived and prospered. De Moor (1997) calls him Ayyabu, a common enough name in the area for millennia, though he tries to identify him with a character mentioned in the Amarna Letters a couple of centuries later.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

* From this point on I will use the dynastic numbering of Africanus without any further qualifications.

 

[Chapter Fourteen: The Phaistos Disc and the Early Kings of Crete]

 

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