Hyskos and Hebrews

Jonathan Bailey jonathan.bailey at gmx.de
Sat Jan 29 03:33:49 EST 2000

Well, since nobody liked my post about doublets in paleo-Hebrew inscriptions 
(probably the only Hebrew language post that I wrote in quite some time), I thought I 
would join in on this off-topic discussion.

Could it be that the Hebrews were not the Hyskos? Perhaps the Pharaoh that made 
Joseph ruler was a Hyskos king who was expelled and was replaced by Mitsraimite 
Egyptian Pharaoh who then began to oppress all of the semitic peoples that had been 
invited down by Joseph's friendly patron. The Hebrews, being one of the wealthiest 
and most populous of the semitic groups in the area thanks to Joseph, were probably 
not interested in leaving until well after the Hyskos expulsion as their fortunes 
continued to wane and their social situation took a few turns for the worse.

Now I am not using this scenario to support a humanistic 13th century dating for the 
Exodus. I just also notice that Dr. Mattfield is incorrect in asserting a 1446+ masoretic 
date for the Exodus. 1Ki 6:1 is not talking about 480 years from Solomon to the 
entering in of, or conquering of Canaan. It is stating 480 years from the exiting of 
Egypt to the building of the temple. Therefore, wandering, Joshua, etc. are not taken 
into account. So we have Exodus at 1446, wandering until 1406, etc.

So a 15th century Exodus works well with a 16th century Hyskos expulsion according 
to the scenario I painted above. Now I am not at all versed in really any area of 
Egyptology, especially chronology, so would appreciate any criticisms of the idea that 
one may have. I am also looking for introductions to the field of chronology in general, 
particularly Egyptian chronology, that have been produced by unclouded scientific 

To illustrate what I mean by unclouded, let me give 2 examples. I was talking about 
this theme with a friend of mine who is up on his Egyptian history and he says the 
Exodus must have been after the 13th century because we have Egyptian records of 
2 egyptian cities cities being built by Hebrews in the 13th century. Now he overlooked 
the possibility that not all the Hebrews left in the Exodus. This is a typical biblical 
pattern. Not all the Hebrews warded off the angel of death with blood on the door. Not 
all the Hebrews left exile in Babylon. Also, he did not conceive of the possibility that 
some (if not most) of the Hebrews got scared and went back to Egypt. Also a biblical 
theme. Check Jeremiah. Anyway, I am trying to find histories and chronological data 
by people who know that if you find an ear of corn in a field it means you found a field 
with an ear of corn in it, not necessarily a corn field. Such understanding seems to 
escape most people, it seems.

"If there are many wisemen in a city, this means that the city will soon fall."
Babylonian proverb

Jonathan Bailey
Hochschule für Jüdische Studien

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