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

MarianneLuban at aol.com MarianneLuban at aol.com
Thu Aug 26 01:19:42 EDT 2004

In a message dated 8/25/2004 4:24:07 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
RGmyrken at aol.com writes:

> It is important to note that Manetho does not describe any expulsion of 
> Hebrews, but rather an expulsion of Hyksos, and then an expulsion of Hyksos 
> together with polluted Egyptians.  It is only Josephus who equated these 
> groups 
> with the Jews of the Exodus (although some Egyptians in Manetho's day 
> equated 
> the figure Osarseph in the second story with Moses - but neither the Jews 
> nor 
> Moses appear in the story itself).

That is not so.  Josephus directly quotes Manetho:  "It is said that the 
priest who framed their constitution was a native of Heliopolis, named Oserseph 
after the god Osiris, worshipped at Heliopolis; but when he joined the people, 
he changed his name and was called Moses."

So Moses is mentioned as having taken part in the rebellion--rightly or not.  
Also, Manetho says that the foreigners who came from the east to join in the 
insurrection were the "Solymites", the people of Jerusalem.  Apparently, these 
were the descendants of the same people who had formerly occupied Avaris and, 
according to Manetho, had in previous times "built in a land now called Judea 
a city large enough to hold all those thousands of people, and gave it the 
name of Jerusalem."

Well...it was built by the time of Manetho--and apparently he was satisfied 
with this account of the city.  

 >Note that the Hyksos worshipped the god Seth 

Yes, but not at first.  At first they worshipped Baal who came to be 
identified with the Egyptian Seth, because both had many of the same attributes.  On 
his "Stela of the 400 Years", Ramesses II shows a Caananite god and not an 
Egyptian one.  It is Baal--although called "Seth" (also sometimes written Sutekh). 

> at Avaris, and Osarseph revived the cult of Seth ["Typhon"] at this same 
> city 
> (which reflects the historical Ramesside revival of the cult of Seth).
But Manetho never says this.  He only gives the information that Oserseph was 
a priest, a native of Heliopolis who became the leader of the anti-pharaoh 

> Egyptian literature (and in Plutarch's Isis and Osiris) the followers of 
> Seth 
> are repeatedly defeated, expelled from Egypt, yet regroup and return.  The 
> two 
> expulsion of Sethians in Manetho reflect this stock Egyptian 
> literary-religious 
> motif.  I wouldn't put much stock in Manetho's account as historical, 
> especially his second story (as there appears no historical evidence for a 
> Ramesside 
> return of Hyksos to Avaris!).

I think Manetho's account reflects the very same thing you imply--and that I 
asserted before--the revolving door.  But, in the second story involving 
Osarseph/Moses, there is no mention of any "Sethians", just a disgruntled group 
angry with the king of Egypt and his policies who rebel and allow foreigners to 
come into Egypt to assist them--because the pharaoh could not stop them at the 
Egyptian  eastern frontier.  No evidence for a return of foreigners in 
Ramesside times?  I beg to differ!  

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