Hyksos Exodus, contra Bimson & Drews
mattfeld at mail.pjsnet.com
Wed Feb 2 13:21:35 EST 2000
Thankyou for calling my attention to Dr. Bimson's counter arguments of my
thesis regarding certain aspects of the Exodus.
My rebuttals are to the points made by Dr. Bimson, as relayed by Professor
Neils Peter Lemche to the "b-hebrew list," as I have not seen the alluded to
ANE rebuttals personnally.
I was not aware of Drews" article "Canaanites and Philistines" (SJOT 81,
1989, pp.39-61) and have not yet had the opportunity to read it. So my
rebuttals are to what I can understand/fathom from the following sentence:
Bimson citing Drews:
"Essentially (to quote from the abstract) the Pelest/Palashtin were most
likely 'the Northwest Semitic' speaking majority among whom the [kaptorim]
immigrant minority settled. (p.61) Which means they were there all the
I doubt that "they were there all the time" -in Philista- if that is what is
being argued. Ramses III annals speaks of the Sea Peoples and suggests
their odyssey began in Anatolia, they conquered Northern Syria, and swept
down the coast to Egypt, by land and by sea.
If the Pelest/Palashstin "had been there- in coastal Canaan and Gaza- all
the time," why is it that we have no mention of the Pelest in Egyptian
annals before the invasion of 1177 BCE ? The Egyptian warrior Pharaohs
ransacked Canaan repeatedly, listing the captives they took, yet they never
mention the Pelest (or the Canaanite "Kaptorim" for that matter, either).
The Pelest appear for the first time in Egyptian annals in the 1177 BCE
Breasted makes this point quite clear:
"The restless and turbulent peoples of the northern Mediterranean, whom the
Egyptians designated the 'peoples of the sea,' were showing themselves in
ever increasing numbers in the south. Among these, two in particular whom WE
HAVE NOT MET BEFORE, the Thekel and the PELESET, better known as the
Philistines of Hebrew history, were prominently aggressive."
(p.477, James Henry Breasted, A History of Egypt, NY, Charles Scribner &
As to Pelest being settled in Egyptian stronholds in Philista by Ramses III,
"sealed in his name," I make the following observations: Earlier Pharaohs
mention Gaza as part of their empire, it was a key control point for
Egyptian invasions of Canaan. It is unthinkable that an Egyptian fortress
would not have been in that city. And as Ramses claimed Canaan as Egypt's
Gaza's fortress/es would be his too. He wisely allowed these Pelest warriors
to settle Philista, and serve the interests of Egypt.
As to how many Hyksos were expelled we have only what Manetho states, he
understood thousands were involved. According to eyewitness accounts the
siege of Avaris involved Egyptian land and naval forces, so there must have
been considerable numbers engaged in the struggle. As to whether or not they
remained in the Delta after their defeat, we have only "the pure speculation
of scholars," no hard evidence. I do note that Bietak has suggested that
Avaris was apparently abandoned for a period following the expulsion,
although a temple to Seth was kept up by the 18th dynasty Pharaohs. So, if
any Hyksos remained, they apparently weren't in Avaris !
As readers of this list are well aware, I take the position that the Exodus
as portrayed in the Pentateuchal narratives never happened, its all fiction
and make-believe. I have also taken the position that neither the Hyksos
Exodus of 1540, or the 1446 (1 Kings 6:1), or Humanist posited 1250 BCE,
scenarios support "in toto" the Pentateuchal narratives. Every scenario at
some point or another contradicts the Pentateuchal portrayal of events. The
day will never come that archaeologists or bible scholars will find the
confirmation they seek in "proving" the Exodus is a real historical account-
it is make-believe fantasy.
The only thing scholars will be able to do, is "tease out" from the
Pentateuchal texts, "historical kernels," that underlie the fantasy story.
My posts have been an attempt to reveal those "historical kernels" which
have been "torn out of their true historical contexts" as revealed by
archaeology, and re-arranged in a "jumbled manner" by the Pentateuchal
author, to tell the inspiring story of a merciful God who liberated his
people from the invincible Egyptian oppressor and brought them to their
The fact that the Philistines/Pelest had not arrived in Philista until 1177
BCE reveals that the Pentateuchal narratives are not eye-witness
compositions, they had to have been written hundreds of years after the
memory of the Pelest arrival had been erased from the collective memory bank
(Genesis having Abraham "cutting deals" with Philistines in the 3rd
All the best,
Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld
Walldorf by Heidelberg
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