[b-hebrew] Re: PS /g/

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Wed Nov 17 20:09:57 EST 2004


What follows is what I remember, for I would have to reread all the story to get all the details. But I think I caught the main ones.

When I look at the story of Joseph, I see one of a young Semite sold to Egyptian buyers:

He was bought by one who had an Egyptian name

When elevated to prime minister, given an Egyptian name

His inlaws had Egyptian names

Even though his family was settled in Raamses, "close" was only a relative term, as before they had been outside of Egyptian control, making it impossible for Joseph to visit them

Apparently Joseph lived some distance from Raamses, as he waited a while before introducing his sons to his father.

>From all of these, I get the picture that Joseph was stationed in Thebes under an Egyptian pharaoh. He was a distance away, but close enough that he could make regular trips to visit his family.

Then in Exodus, we see a new pharaoh "who did not know Joseph" who was concerned about the numbers of this people who had a special relationship with the Thebian rulers. So they tried to reduce the numbers. That the pharaoh was worried that Israel would become more numberous than his own people is a clue that "his people" were relatively a small people in numbers ruling over a larger, sometimes restive, population. Didn't that fit the Hyksos shortly after they assumed power? Even a generation later?

Moses, when he was pulled out of the water, was given a Semitic name (the Hebrew form of the name was probably pronounced MoSeh, or I think more likely MoSeHe, not like what I was told about the Egyptian names having "mosis" in them, such as Thutmosis.)

The capital was apparently in the land of Goshen, near to where Israel lived

The Egyptian people had favor for Israel indicates that Israel stood up to an unpopular ruler

That the pharaoh would be forgotten, unknown to history fits the destruction of the Hyksos kingdom after the exodus

All in all, taken together, this is a picture that sounds to me like that of the Hyksos and none others.

As for the name Raamses for a city name, it is mentioned in Genesis from before the Hyksos period. It was one of the major production cities during the Hyksos period. Is there enough information to rule out that that was a city that was destroyed when the Hyksos were expelled, and never rebuilt? Or if rebuilt, had a different name?

The picture doesn't sound like Raamses the Great, because there was no long term royal presence in the area before the exodus (80 years at least, if not longer), Raamses was not killed with his army, in fact there is no record of him losing an army while chasing a large group of runaway slaves, and Raamses was too late according to other chronology (not even considering Rohl's theories).

Marianne, I know that you're agnostic, but even you can't rule out an exodus occuring during the Hyksos period of fleeing Semitic slaves. I remember reading that Beitek in his excavations found evidence that the Hyksos were not on good terms with even all the Semitic population in the Nile delta, let alone the native Egyptians, so a restive group of Semites fleeing during the Hyksos period cannot be ruled out.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: MarianneLuban at aol.com

> 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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