[b-hebrew] Re: PS /g/

MarianneLuban at aol.com MarianneLuban at aol.com
Wed Nov 17 16:56:27 EST 2004

In a message dated 11/17/2004 1:10:06 PM Pacific Standard Time, 
kwrandolph at email.com writes:

> For example, when I read Exodus, the first chapters practically scream at 
> me a description of Israel during the Hyksos period, and that the pharaoh of 
> the exodus was Hyksos. Then when reading other histories about the expulsion 
> of the Hyksos from Egypt and the almost total destruction by the victorious 
> Egyptians of Hyksos traces including their records, should we expect to find 
> Egyptian records of the exodus? I think not. I think it would be a waste of 
> time to look. It is only the interpretation of dates that posits a different 
> pharaoh as the pharaoh of the exodus, and how far can we trust that 
> interpretation?

I wrote an entire book about this problem.  It is called "The Exodus 
Chronicles".  Why do you say the first part "screams at you" the Hyksos period?  
Mostly, it has yelled "Ramesside" times at a lot of people due to the mention of 
the toponym "Raamses", [Pr-Ramesses-Meryamun], which did not exist until 
Ramesses II built it.
Regardless, for whatever reason you favor the Hyksos period, most ancient 
writers agreed with you in this.  I have mentioned before the Samaritan counting 
of the years of their calendar [and trust me, the Samaritans put a lot of 
stock in their abilities as calendrical calculators] and that it serves as a 
*terminus*, for those who credit it, for the time of the exodus, because it goes no 
further back than the time Joshua entered Canaan.  However, that does not 
necessarily imply that the Samaritans were the only ones who calculated that the 
exodus (assuming only one) occurred in 1678 BCE.  The Jews can very well have 
thought the same and Josephus certainly indicates that this exodus happened 
"in great antiquity"--that is 500 years before the Trojan Wars.  Egyptology has 
a "high" chronology and a "low"--and something in between.  In writing my 
book, I accepted one of them--but the fact remains that the Egyptolological 
chronologies are based upon various factors, mostly astronomical, that are disputed 
and suspect.  Since most of the ancient authors thought the exodus took place 
in the time of the Theban prince, Ahmose, who later became king of all Egypt 
after he had expelled the Hyksos, this is a timeframe that cannot be totally 
rejected as having been as early as 1678 BCE, as this is less than a century 
from the "high chronology" of Egyptology for the reign of Ahmose I.  As it 
happens, the "Raamses" of the BOE was built practically on the same site as the 
ruined Avaris, the former Hyksos stronghold.  So is it an anachronistic 
reference--or not?
I have no opinion, as I am a heretic.  I don't believe in only one expulsion 
of the proto-Jews from Egypt.  In fact, nobody should believe in only a single 
exodus, as another occurred again in our own time--under "Pharaoh Nasser".  
So to think that the proto-Jews, Hebrews, whatever, never "grew too mighty or 
too many"  and wanted to leave or be expelled in all the centuries between 
these two episodes is rather naive.  The problem boils down to this:  there may 
have been more than one exodus but there was only one Moses.  When did he 
live--at the time of Ahmose or during the reign of some subsequent king?  In 
antiquity, the consensus was "Ahmose", but certain chronographers had other ideas 
like the Egyptian, Manetho, who considered that Joseph flourished under the 
Hyksos king ,Apophis.  And Moses came later.  The whole Hyksos supremacy lasted 
only about 108 years.  According to the Biblical reckoning, Joseph died 170 years 
before Moses was born.

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