[b-hebrew] Moses

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Fri Jul 30 22:57:10 EDT 2004

Taking Genesis as a historical book as it claims to be, what does it 
say about Joseph? 
>From the clues there, I believe that the pharaoh who appointed Joseph 
grand vizier was a native Egyptian, not Hyksos. Yes, I have heard 
since I was young that that pharaoh was Hyksos, but it doesn't add up: 
* The high official who first bought Joseph had an Egyptian, not 
Semitic, name. 
* The pharaoh upon appointing Joseph grand vizier gave him an Egyptian 
name. If the pharaoh were Hyksos, it doesn't add up. 
* The language spoken in the Egyptian court and the language spoken in 
Canaan were so different that most people needed a translator to 
understand each other. If the Hyksos were Canaanites, as I understand, 
or Semites from close to there, Joseph's brothers should have 
understood Joseph when he spoke in "Egyptian" with other officials. 
* Shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians, they would not even 
eat with them. They did not eat with Joseph. The Hyksos were the 
"shepherd kings". 
* Though the land of Goshen was "close to Joseph", apparently it was 
not that close, as can be seen by: 
   * Joseph brought only a small number of his family to see the 
pharaoh. If they had really been near, as in Avaris, it would have 
been easy to bring the whole family. 
   * Apparently the distance from where Joseph lived to the land of 
Goshen was far enough that Joseph did not introduce his sons to his 
father until at least a few years after Jacob moved to Egypt. 
Conclusion, Joseph was stationed in Thebes. Even though he was grand 
vizier, technically he was still a slave stolen from his land who 
would like to return to his family, so was a flight risk should he 
leave the country. He was too important a slave to risk losing. By 
bringing his family to the land of Goshen, though it was still a 
distance from Thebes, was still within Egypt so that Joseph could 
visit his family without special permission from pharaoh. The 
closeness was more political than physical. 
Though shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians, they still had 
need for people to do that work. In Genesis, pharaoh gave a special 
appointment of Joseph's family to be in charge of shepherding for the 
whole land of Egypt, making the whole family have a vested interest in 
the welfare of the Thebian monarchy. Therefore, when a new king came 
who did not remember Joseph (Hyksos), there was automatically bad 
blood between the Hyksos and Hebrews. 
This is making the a priori assumption that Genesis is a historically 
accurate record, which not everyone here assumes. 
Making a similar a priori assumption that Exodus is essentially 
historical, gives a picture that the pharaoh that Moses dealt with was 
Hyksos, not Egyptian. He may have been next to the last or the last of 
the Hyksos pharaohs. In fact, it may have been the loss of the main 
Hyksos army as they pursued Israel that weakened them so that Ahmose I 
was able to drive the remaining Hyksos out of Egypt. 
* The Hyksos princess went down to the river to bathe, which the 
Egyptians didn't do. 
* She gave Moses a Semitic name. 
* Moses' sister, who then was less than 10, had no trouble speaking 
with the princess. Since there were no public schools to teach the 
"official" language, especially to little girls and often even to 
princesses, that would indicate that the languages were similar. 
* Apparently the royal household lived near the land of Goshen, but 
apparently there was a separation because the people didn't live 
together. It was a few miles apart, a distance that could be travelled 
within a day. 
* The pharaoh was concerned that Israel would join their enemies. This 
was a concern because: 
   * Israel had had a privilaged position under the Thebian pharaohs 
   * Though the Hyksos were the rulers, apparently they did not have a 
majority of the population in Egypt. Thus they were concerned about a 
hostile population becoming too great and conquoring them. 
* Israel continued calling cities and areas by their pre-Hyksos 
Egyptian names. 
* Assuming that God predicted that that pharaoh would be forgotten 
(recorded in Exodus), the Egyptians worked hard to destroy all records 
of the Hyksos after they drove the Hyksos out. 
* Archeology shows that there was friction between the Hyksos and 
other Semites who lived in northern Egypt. 
Again, not everyone shares the assumption that Genesis and Exodus are 
essentially accurate records of history, so I don't expect everyone to 
agree with the above.  
Karl W. Randolph. 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: MarianneLuban at aol.com 
> In a message dated 7/30/2004 1:23:23 PM Pacific Daylight Time,  
> kwrandolph at email.com writes: 
> > There are several clues, taken individually don't mean much, but 
> > together suggests to me that the pharaoh of the Exodus could very 
> > have been Hyksos 
> Many of the ancient historians believed there was an exodus of the 
Hebrews at  
> the time of the Hyksos--but that the pharaoh who presided over that 
> Ahmose I, which these chroniclers named specifically.  The Hyksos 
was Semites.   
> They sacked Memphis ca. 1760 BCE and assumed rule over the Delta as 
far south as  
> Hermopolis--but no farther.  But it wasn't until around a half a 
century later  
> that one of their number actually felt sufficiently confident to 
> himself "pharaoh" in the north of Egypt, assuming Egyptian throne 
names, etc.   
> The Hyksos rule lasted about 108 years.  Then, as Manetho tells us, 
a fierce and  
> prolonged war broke out between the Hyksos and a dynasty ruling from 
> in the south.  Several Theban princes fought the Hyksos, but only 
Ahmose I  
> succeeded in driving them into Canaan.  The reason some of the 
historians of  
> antiquity believed an exodus took place at this time was because the 
Land of Goshen  
> was part of the Hyksos holdings.  And, yes, it would seem likely 
that, once  
> it became known that Ahmose was on the water,  everyone in the 
eastern Delta  
> headed for Avaris, a large and very great Hyksos fortified city with 
> walls, for shelter.  I really do not know of any evidence at all 
that a Hyksos  
> king could be the pharaoh of the BOE.  On the contrary, Manetho 
seems have  
> have indicated that it was Joseph who served a Hyksos King, Apophis, 
and even  
> gave the exact years of his lengthy reign when Joseph arrived in 
Egypt and then  
> became vizier.  If one credits this, then it is impossible for any 
Hyksos ruler  
> to have been coexistent with Moses because Joseph came into Egypt 
215 years  
> prior to the exodus.  Manetho--quite obviously-- did not agree with 
the theory  
> that an exodus took place at that time.  He said the negotiations 
for a  
> release did not arise until the time of a king named Thutmose, 
Avaris having been  
> resettled by then--and Manetho admitted he didn't know just what 
kind of people  
> the Hyksos really were.  There is a lot to be said about the 
ancients and  
> their various theories--but Manetho was considered to be a very 
great authority by  
> them all.  In order for me to set it down here, I would have to 
re-type my  
> whole book.  Too much work :-( 
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