[b-hebrew] Re: g(r Psa. 106:9

MarianneLuban at aol.com MarianneLuban at aol.com
Sat Dec 18 20:06:47 EST 2004

I sent the following to Doug Pickrel in a private communication, but I think 
it would be of general interest to the list:

 I am here mostly to learn, myself, although once in awhile I am able to 
chime in with the Egyptian perspective or to offer parallel terms in the Egyptian 
language.  My Hebrew is minimal, but I am in the constant pursuit of 
information relevant to the Hebrew Bible.  For example, I have found that Jews and 
Samaritans--and the Septuagint all agree on one matter at least.  That the 430 
years mentioned in the Book of Exodus hark back to the time Abraham settled in 
Canaan and did not constitute merely the sojourn of the Hebrews in Egypt from 
the time of Jacob coming there with his tribe.  The Samaritan Pentateuch and the 
LXX specify this.  The Masoretic text does not, but Josephus, a Jew who lived 
in the first century after the Common Era, indicates that this was the Jewish 
tradition, as well. [In his writings, he does not appear so keen on 
Samaritans and would not purposely agree with their writings if he deemed them in 
error].  His words are "...and they left Egypt in the month Xanthicus, on the 
fifteenth day of the lunar month; four hundred and thirty years after our 
forefather Abraham came into Canaan, but two hundred and fifteen years only after Jacob 
removed into Egypt." [Antiquities of the Jews]  In another place, Josephus 
provides that Xanthicus corresponds to the Egyptian month of Pharmouti and the 
Nisan of the Jewish calendar.  Now--despite the mention of the toponym 
"Raamses" in Exodus, on balance, it is not very likely that the exodus of the Jewish 
and Samaritan traditions can have occurred within the 19th Dynasty, which is 
when "Raamses" [pr-ramss mryimn] was first built by Ramesses II.  In the 
Samaritan tradition, Abraham is dated to as early as 2112 BCE and the exodus to 1682 
BCE.  These dates were affirmed by a Samaritan scholar with whom I conferred 
in person at the beginning of this month.  If anything, this tradition harks 
back to the routing of the Hyksos [shepherd kings] by King Ahmose I, the founder 
of the 18th Dynasty.  And  this Josephus appears to corroborate in his 
arguments contra some Egyptian historians who argued for a later exodus or exodoi.  
He wrote that one of them, Manetho, "stuck to the Scriptures" when he said the 
Hyksos were evicted and then went on to found Jerusalem--but then Josephus 
accused him of manufacturing some "lying tales" about Moses living in the time 
of a pharaoh called "Amenophis".  That Manetho was "lying" is far from evident, 
but it is quite clear what the two factions, the Jews and the Samaritans, 
believed about the Biblical exodus and its chronological timeframe.  Anyone who 
believes they can place this exodus in the era of another pharaoh based on the 
Samaritan chronology will be mistaken.  There is really no such thing as a 
chronology or chronologies of ancient Egypt.  Any that have  been constructed are 
based on "Sothic sightings" in the reigns of certain pharaohs but each and 
every one of these astronomical concordances with the Egyptian civil calendar 
contains severe problems and are based upon more guesswork than the average 
layman can possibly imagine.  For anyone who cares to know about those problems, 
please see


I can personally vouch that everything the author says about those ancient 
primary sources is true.

Marianne Luban

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