[b-hebrew] Shishak

MarianneLuban at aol.com MarianneLuban at aol.com
Thu Aug 26 15:10:46 EDT 2004

In a message dated 8/26/2004 9:16:52 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
peterkirk at qaya.org writes:

> >     When it comes to (ancient) Egyptian matters you refer again and
> >     again to Rohl. Do you know any established Egyptologist who takes
> >     his work seriously?

Likely darned few.  Personally, I can't think of any.

> >
> >     Uri
> >
> That is not the point. I am quoting Rohl's book as a convenient source 
> of data which needs explanation. If Rohl or his associates have found 
> data which seems to contradict "established" Egyptology, this 
> establishment needs to provide explanations for this data, and not write 
> it off by ad hominem arguments against its source.

But it is the point.  Egyptologists are learned in the field.  The is a good 
reason why Rohl is popular with those who are not.  Think of Rohl as a kind of 
lawyer.  He is articulate and knows how to make a good case.  Someone who 
does not know the law could be swayed by his arguments quite easily.  But a judge 
or another attorney can spot the weaknesses in the case.  They know the 
precedents and can tell when another lawyer is making a point that "will not wash" 
within that framework.  You may think this is "apples and oranges"--but it 
isn't.  Precedents are set only in unestablished law but the arguments for them 
becoming precedents still have to be based on established law and deemed to be 
sound and, of course, the buck stops at the highest court--or with congress, so
metimes.  By the same token, an Egyptologist has to operate within a 
framework, too--that is rely on previous scholarship--points of which have been 
extensively argued in the journals and books until a consensus has been reached.  
This can be a very lengthy process, indeed, and is receives the contributions of 
various specialists in aspects of the field.  However, in the instance of 
Rohl, he has chosen an area where there is no consensus, that being the Bible vis 
a vis Egyptian history.  Unfortunately for him, though, he has elected to 
alter ANE chronology, a matter that has received very much consideration.  
Therefore, unless his arguments are very excellent, they are bound to be rejected 
within the framework.  But Rohl knew that when he went in.  Your statement that 
the "establishment" is required to make sound arguments to disprove him if 
they do not agree with his assertions is incorrect.  If Rohl wants to set new 
precedents, it is *he* who is required to make the sound arguments, not vice 
versa.  If not, he loses in the lower court or it is simply a matter of "case 
dismissed" because of a brief that relies on an untenable premise.  It is not 
encumbent upon Egyptology to address any and all "crackpot theories".  I am not 
calling Rohl a crackpot because in a certain area he has done well--and that is 
in dealing with the TIP.  But the TIP is late in Egyptian history and the 
alteration of its chronology does nothing to change the chronology in retrospect.  
Only prospectively.  And only by around 140 years.   No matter what, this 
still does not make Ramesses II the "Shishak" of the Bible by anybody's math.  
All it can do is make the dates assigned to world history higher until the Dark 
Ages when perspective becomes muddied.  The fact is, we say it is 2004 CE, but 
nobody really knows exactly what year it is.  You may notice we are 
discussing Manetho and the viability of what he wrote, but you would be surprised to 
know just how much of accepted Egyptian chronology is based on him--and the 
dates given in the Bible, as well.  There is no alternative because the Egyptians 
did not use a running calendar like the Julian, Gregorian or Hebrew.  Each 
time a new king was crowned, it was Year One all over again by their civil 
calendar.  And, if some dynasties happened to be ruling concurrently, so much the 

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