[b-hebrew] The Exodus' mention in Egyptian Annals ?

MarianneLuban at aol.com MarianneLuban at aol.com
Wed Aug 25 16:06:08 EDT 2004

In a message dated 8/25/2004 9:14:08 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
mattfeld12 at charter.net writes:

> "In sum, therefore, we may state that the memory of the Hyksos expulsion 
> did 
> indeed live on in the folklore of the Canaanite population of the southern 
> Levant. The exact details were understandably blurred and subconsciously 
> modified over time, for the purpose of 'face-saving.' It became not a 
> conquest but a peaceful descent of a group with pastoral associations who 
> rapidly arrived at a position of political control. Their departure came not 
> as a result of an ignominious defeat, but either voluntarily or as a flight 
> from a feud, or yet again as salvation from bondage." (p. 413. "Four Great 
> Origin Traditions." Donald B. Redford. _Egypt, Canaan and Israel in Ancient 
> Times_. Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton University Press. 1992)
> Redford's analysis, is not a "new" one though, he was preceded by some 2000 
> years, by the Egyptian priest-historian Manetho and the Jewish historian 
> Josephus, who associated the Hebrew Exodus with the defeat and expulsion of 
> the Hebrews under two events, the Hyksos expulsion and a later expulsion 
> under Amenophis and son Rameses.

I can agree with Redford about the facts being "blurred"--but cannot 
otherwise agree.
If there was more than one exodus--then we commemorate an amalgamation of 
them.  And not only two.  Yes, Josephus belonged to the camp that claimed the 
exodus (assuming only one) took place under Ahmose I.  Because he was from the 
Hebrew tradition that asserted the 430 years from Abraham to this exodus.  But 
Manetho clearly states that the "prolonged war" between his Hyksos and the 
Thebans did not result in a complete routing of the folks at Avaris until the time 
of "Tethmosis", whom he calls a "son" of Ahmose.  Too much need not be read 
into that as the word for "son" in Egyptian was used not only with that 
connotation but also for "grandson", etc. and even "successor".  Why Ahmose and a 
certain Thutmose were confused by some of the ancient historians (but not 
Manetho) I fully explain in my book.  It is quite an involved thing--but the main 
thrust behind the confusion was faith--the faith of the Jewish and Christian 
chronographers that there had been only this one exodus described in the 
Bible--and so Ahmose and Thutmose were actually *fused* into one by them for this 
reason.  But Manetho, himself, had nothing to do with this and, as Walter points 
out, lists yet another exodus under "Amenophis", the only one that he mentions 
in connection with the name Moses.

> If _"IF"_, Manetho and Redford are correct, then the Exodus _IS INDEED_ 
> recalled in Egyptian annals, but as a VICTORY not a _defeat_ for Egypt ! It 
> was, then an "earth-shaking event" for both nations, Egypt was LIBERATED and 
> the enemy defeated and chased back to Canaan, while the Israelite version 
> had the Egyptians as oppressors who were defeated. That is to say both 
> versions, Egyptian and Israelite are somewhat "mirror-images" of each other 
> (you know, two sides to the same coin).

Well, yes, that is chauvanism for you.  Ahmose fought with and drove out a 
certain foreign element and that was tallied as a victory.  Which didn't 
evidently last long because his "son" faced the same problem again--but this time 
instead of waging a bloody battle, this successor raised a large army and 
besieged the walled city of Avaris and simply waited.  When everyone got tired of the 
siege, an agreement was reached and the foreigners were allowed to go 
free--into Canaan.  At some later point, a certain "Amenophis" had problems with an 
epidemic of leprosy, which he, himself, contracted.  An advisor counseled him 
to get rid of all the lepers by banishing them to the stone quarries, which 
were actually the "penal colonies" of the pharaohs.  Both foreigners and 
Egyptians were subject to this decree of Amenophis.
For some reason, probably because his counselor committed suicide and this 
was seen as an ill omen by the king, the leprous population was allowed to go to 
live at the ruined citadel, Avaris.  The walls of which they prompted 
restored and then decided to rebel against the pharaoh, inviting Canaanites to join 
them in the revolt.  This they did and then began to sack Egypt, causing 
general havoc.  The pharaoh left Memphis and went east to fight these people, but 
evidently realized it was no use and turned around, collected some followers and 
sacred animals, and went south beyond the Egyptian border for his own safety. 
 This was a temporary defeat that lasted up to 13 years, until Amenophis and 
his son could muster sufficient might to fight the rebels and drive them out 
by force.  The leader of the rebellious faction was called Moses, according to 
Manetho, by the Canaanites after he had become their ally.  That is the 
Egyptian version of the events and somewhere between this and the Jewish one the 
truth probably lies--under a shroud.

> Although the Egyptian annals which have been unearthed suggest that the 
> Hyksos did not reign over Egypt for 400 years, they do reveal that after the 
> Hyksos expulsion Egypt ruled over her former oppressors for 400 years (again 
> another "mirror-image" or inversion/reversal).

And this plainly shows that there was an ongoing situation in the Delta--the 
Canaanite "revolving door" that I mentioned before.  


> Thus, if the Bible is right (Judges 3:5-7) Israel of Iron II (ca. 1000-587 
> BCE) is an AMALGUM of Canaanites and Hebrews; Why wouldn't these Canaanites 
> NOT pass on to their "Israelite sons and daughters" THEIR Hyksos Expulsion 
> origins, and Egypt's 400 year oppression of their ancestors ?

The BOE mentions that a "mixed multitude" left in the first place, implying 
that not all the ones leaving  were Hebrews even at that point

> Well, that's _my_ "Spin" on the notion that Egypt NEVER made any mention of 
> the Exodus.

Don't forget the "Elephantine Stela" of King Setnakht, who recorded that he 
drove out a group of foreigners to Asia, at which time they left behind a lot 
of gold and silver.  That is yet another "mirroring" of the BOE which says just 
the opposite.  

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