[b-hebrew] Hyksos, Isreal, and Exodus

david.kimbrough at charter.net david.kimbrough at charter.net
Tue May 25 13:59:16 EDT 2004


Many writers have, like yourself, assoicated the Isrealites 
with the Hyksos.  They both arrived in Egypt from the 
Levant sometime in the mid-2nd millenium BC.   Genesis 47 
is quite provocative on this issue of the Joseph and the 
Hyksos.  It tells the story of how the Pharaoh (who was not 
always ?ethnically? Egyptian as we know) gave Josephs 
brothers land to raise the flocks and charge over the 
Pharaoh?s flocks as well (a sign of favor and a position of 
some authority).  Later, through Josephs fiscal shrewdness 
and famine, Joseph was able to acquire all of the land in 
Egypt for the Pharaoh.  The land had been  in ?Egyptian? 
hands but after Joseph?s actions, it was in Pharaoh?s!

Some have argued that the Hyksos were an ethnically mixed 
group of conquorers from the Levant, rather like the 
?Mongols Hoards ? which included many  non-Mongols such as 
Tartars and Turks.  The Isrealites might have been one 
element of this group, or a group that arrived later.  
These Pharaohs would have been friendly to new arrivals, 
and possible allies, from the levant.

The ?new king who did not know Joseph? it has been argued 
could have been the Ahmose I who expelled the Hyksos (who 
subsequently retreated to Caanan).  He would have viewed 
the Isrealite shepherds of the east delta as remainants of 
the hated foreign oppresor.  He may have enslaved them or 
at least made their life bitter.  Following this line of 
reasoning, the Exodus would occured some time after this 
event, which would still be hundreds of years before 

> From: kwrandolph <kwrandolph at email.com>
> Date: 2004/05/25 Tue AM 05:41:11 GMT
> To: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Subject: [b-hebrew] Jericho, Rameses, & San Fransisco
> 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 
> Thus there is no need to posit either a late date of 
Jacob's arrival 
> in Egypt nor that later writers were writing 
> 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 
> question the traditional dates, making my understanding a 
> 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 
> 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 
> 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 
> >  the OT in four separate locations assoicates the 
> >  with a region of Egypt called "Rameses" which appears 
to be
> >  located in the North-East corner of the delta (Gen 
> >  Exd 12:37 Num 33:3, Num 33:5).  " Rameses " is not
> >  inconsistent with the city of "Pi-Rameses ", near "Pi-
> >  Although it is not certain when Pi-Ramesses was built, 
> >  was probably not built before Ramesses I (who was born 
> >  the north eastern delta and died in 1290 BC) although 
> >  may have been built by Seti I.  If we take the OT at 
> >  value and assume that "Rameses " is the same as "Pi-
> >  Ramesses ", then according to Gen 47:11 Joseph settled 
> >  Rameses no earlier than the mid 1200?s BC.
> >
> >  Of course this may be an anachronism.  If it is 
> >  that the author(s) of Genesis, Exodus, and Numbers 
> >  writing many centuries after the fact, they may have 
> >  the name of a region of Egypt that they and their 
> >  were familiar with, not knowing it was built after 
> >  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 
> >  not mean that it was destroyed by the Isrealites or 
> >  the fire was the result of warfare.  Both the cities 
> >  Chicago and London were destroyed by fire that had 
> >  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 
> >  ruins of San Fransisco, they would find a layer of 
> >  foundations and carcoal.  They might conclude that San
> >  Fransisco was destroyed by invading isrealites.
> >
> >
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David Kimbrough
San Gabriel

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