[b-hebrew] The Exodus Mention in Egyptian Annals ?

RGmyrken at aol.com RGmyrken at aol.com
Wed Aug 25 22:58:20 EDT 2004


Dear Walter,

       Donald Redford also tried to correlate Manetho's second story with 
Akhenaten (see Redford, Pharaonic King-Lists, pp. 292-93; idem, Egypt, Canaan, 
and Israel, pp. 415-16).  Redford's central argument was that the sacrilegious 
legislation and acts of the heretic Osarseph reflected the theological reforms 
of Amenophis IV (Akhenaten) who promoted the monotheistic religion of the sun 
disk Aten.  This interpretation of Osarseph does not appear to be correct.  
Osarseph is associated with Seth-Typhon and Avaris, not Aten and El Amarna.  The 
Sethian context to these stories has been overlooked in earlier discussions 
on Manetho, including that of Redford.  Yet Manetho is quite clear in 
associating the Hyksos (in both stories) and Osarseph (in the second story) with 
Avaris, and associating Avaris with Typhon, i.e. Seth-Typhon:

     "When the men in the stone-quarries had suffered hardships for a 
considerable time, they begged the king to assign to them as a dwelling-place and a 
refuge the deserted city of the Shepherds, Auaris, and he consented.  According 
to religious tradition this city was from earliest times dedicated to 
Typhon."  (CAp I.237, LCL)

       Manetho's geography is quite accurate, in that Avaris was a Hyksos 
center and a center for the cult of Seth (in Manetho's day equated with Typhon).  
Manetho's chronology is also correct in assigning a revival of the worship of 
Seth to the Ramesside period.  In Manetho's day, the cult of Seth was 
demonized as atheistic, a religion of (evil) foreigners, inimical to the rest of 
Egypt's gods, etc. -- exactly as the Hyksos and especially the followers of 
Osarseph are described in Manetho.  Clearly Manetho's literary source was aiming its 
invective at the cult of Seth-Typhon, and not at the cult of Aten (or, for 
that matter, the Jews, although some in Manetho's time tried to identify Yahweh 
with Seth-Typhon and Moses with Osarseph).  "The Expulsion of Seth and his 
Gang" into Asia is a common theme in Egyptian literature, and is quite adequate 
to account for both stories in Manetho.  
       This native Egyptian background to the stories in Manetho is further 
extensively discussed in my book "Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus" 
(forthcoming).  

Best regards,
Russell Gmirkin



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