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

RGmyrken at aol.com RGmyrken at aol.com
Sun Aug 29 13:54:56 EDT 2004

Dear Joe Baker,

       Thanks for your comments.  I agree (along with most writers on this 
passage in Manetho!) that Manetho's chronology here is confused.  One point I'll 
comment on is the problematic identity of Orus, the "predecessor" of 
Amenophis.  The passage in Josephus (Contra Apion I.232-33) quoting Manetho is as 

(232) Thus, after admitting that so many years had elapsed since out 
forefathers left Egypt, Manetho now interpolates this intruding Amenophis.  This king, 
he states, conceived a desire to behold the gods, as Or, one of his 
predecessors on the throne, had done; and he communicated his desire to his namesake 
Amenophis, Paapis' son, who, in virtue of his wisdom and knowledge of the 
future, was reputed to be a partaker of the divine nature.  (233) This namesake, 
then, replied that he would be able to see the gods if he cleansed the whole land 
of lepers and other polluted persons.

       Rather than looking for some pharaoh with a throne name of Or = Horus 
(which I imagine, without having studied the point, probably included most 
pharaohs, considering the proliferation of royal titles), I think it best to take 
this as a direct reference to Horus, son of Isis and Osiris.  Osiris was 
considered the first king of Egypt (in Dynasty I, consisting of gods and 
demigods), and Horus was the second "good" king, who overthrew the wicked rule of Seth, 
who slew Osiris and ruled Egypt with his gang of confederates.  The expulsion 
of Seth and his gang by Horus is a central motif in Egyptian religious 
literature and plays into both stories in Manetho (where the Hyksos as well as the 
polluted followers of Osarseph are worshippers of Seth-Typhon at Avaris, and in 
effect historical stand-ins for the wicked god Seth).  Seth and his followers 
are associated with various pollutions, including leprosy, in Egyptian texts. 
 The overthrow of Seth is effectively functions as a cleansing of pollution 
from Egypt (especially in the literature of the Saite period and later, when 
Seth had been demonized, and in late royal propaganda in which the suppression 
of Egyptian rebellions is often portrayed as a victory of the [Ptolemaic] 
pharaoh-as-Horus over the rebels-as-Sethians).  Note that Horus was the archetypal 
predecessor of all Egyptian pharaohs (as shown by enthronement inscriptions 
such as the Rosetta Stone, where identification of the new king with Horus is 
prominent).  This mythological interpretation of Horus seems the best, most 
natural interpretation of the reference to Or in the Amenophis story IMHO.

Best regards,
Russell Gmirkin

> I agree that the equation Osarsiph = Moses was not in Manetho's 
> original source about the rebellion of polluted Egyptians and their 
> Hyksos supporters. As noted by Russell the equation was supplied by 
> Manetho and presumably was based on a belief held by some in his days.
> Although the original story does have some connection with the days of 
> Akhenaten/Amenophis 4. via Amenophis son of Paapis and also Manetho's 
> Oros, the king who succeeded Amenophis/Amenophis 3 and was father to 
> the female ruler Akenkheres (Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten = Meritaten) 
> and her brother Rathotis (Tutankhamun). The story of the battles and 
> expulsion of the polluted Egyptians and their Hyksos allies has its 
> closest Egyptian parallel in the year 2 stela of Setnakht where he 
> records his defeat and expulsion of certain ruling Egyptians and their 
> hired Asiatic allies.

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