[b-hebrew] Jericho, Rameses, & San Fransisco

kwrandolph kwrandolph at email.com
Tue May 25 01:41:11 EDT 2004

Dear David:

I read a book a while back attributing Beitek (sp?) claim that the 
site of the Hyksos capital, Avaris, was built on the site of an 
Egyptian port that had a pre-Hyksos name of pi-Rameses. That Israel 
called it by its pre-Hyksos name indicates that they had come to 
Egypt before the Hyksos. After the Hyksos were expelled, the site 
remained unimportant until the time of Rameses I or thereabouts.

Thus there is no need to posit either a late date of Jacob's arrival 
in Egypt nor that later writers were writing anachronistically.

Years ago I came to the conclusion that Exodus occurred during the 
time of the Hyksos who were concerned that Israel would pose a danger 
to them. Israel called the Hyksos pharaoh "Egyptian" because he ruled 
Egypt (the same way later writers called the Mongol rulers "Chinese" 
or in more recent times the Manchus). The fly in my understanding is 
that the traditional dates for the Hyksos is earlier than the Exodus, 
but then I learned that other writers more learned than I also 
question the traditional dates, making my understanding a possibility.

If the traditional dates are off by two or more centuries as some 
have claimed, that would put the beginning of the iron age at the 
time of King David. Tanakh mentions that David ran extensive iron 
works. That would explain how Israel, a small, weak country with a 
history of being a vassal nation to its neighbors, could suddenly 
become a world power under David: he had wrested the secret of 
tempering iron into steel from the Philistines and armed his soldiers 
with steel while his enemies were all still armed with bronze.

While my understanding is not the statements of an expert (my main 
interest being lexicography) I don't see how it can be ruled out.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: <david.kimbrough at charter.net>

>  A different way to look at the issue is to consider that
>  the OT in four separate locations assoicates the Isrealites
>  with a region of Egypt called "Rameses" which appears to be
>  located in the North-East corner of the delta (Gen 47:11,
>  Exd 12:37 Num 33:3, Num 33:5).  " Rameses " is not
>  inconsistent with the city of "Pi-Rameses ", near "Pi-Thom".
>  Although it is not certain when Pi-Ramesses was built, it
>  was probably not built before Ramesses I (who was born in
>  the north eastern delta and died in 1290 BC) although it
>  may have been built by Seti I.  If we take the OT at face
>  value and assume that "Rameses " is the same as "Pi-
>  Ramesses ", then according to Gen 47:11 Joseph settled in
>  Rameses no earlier than the mid 1200?s BC.
>  Of course this may be an anachronism.  If it is assumed
>  that the author(s) of Genesis, Exodus, and Numbers were
>  writing many centuries after the fact, they may have used
>  the name of a region of Egypt that they and their readers
>  were familiar with, not knowing it was built after then
>  exodus.
>  All of this is assuming the actually was a battle of
>  Jericho.  If for the moment that it is assumed that City IV
>  was in fact destroyed by fire as Kenyon argued, that does
>  not mean that it was destroyed by the Isrealites or that
>  the fire was the result of warfare.  Both the cities of
>  Chicago and London were destroyed by fire that had nothing
>  to do with war.  In 1908 most of San Fransisco was
>  destroyed by fires caused by an earthquake.  If three
>  thousand years from now archeologists were to examine the
>  ruins of San Fransisco, they would find a layer of upended
>  foundations and carcoal.  They might conclude that San
>  Fransisco was destroyed by invading isrealites.

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