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Jewry: Fake and truth in the Old Testament (OT) according to documents and excavations

New identity by new Jewish history by help of chronology and archaeological research

7. The legend of faked exodus to Egypt under Jakob because of a famine

Nile Delta in Pharaoh's
              times: many arms, Memphis, Auaris / Avaris, and country of
              Canaan
Nile Delta in Pharaoh's times: many arms, Memphis, Auaris / Avaris, and country of Canaan

by Michael Palomino (2006 / 2010)

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from: Israel Finkelstein / Neil A. Silberman: The Bible unearthed. Archeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts; The Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2001; German edition has got the title "No trombones before Jericho" (orig. German: "Keine Posaunen vor Jericho"): edition C.H.Beck oHG, Munich 2002;

From the German version "Keine Posaunen vor Jericho" of DTV, Munich 2004, second edition of 2005. All page indications refer to the German version. I hope the page numbers are not very different.


The prescription about Jacob according to the outdated Bible

OT claims:

-- Jacob is said having had 12 sons
-- these 12 sons of Jacob are said having fled from a famine to Egypt, and Jacob's testament is said having rated the son Judah over all other (p.20)
-- Egypt is said having been full of Jews (Exodus 1,7)
-- a Pharaoh who did not know anything of Josephs history is said having claimed that the Jews could reveal Egypt to it's enemies
-- as a reaction the Pharaoh is said having enslaved all Jews, and the Jews are said having built as slaves the towns of the kings Pithom and Ramses
-- as enslaved Jews the Jews are said not having had children any more (Ex. 1,12)
-- and by this the slavery is said having been extended to heavy brickworks and heavy agriculture (Ex. 1,14)
-- under the alleged conditions of slavery the 12 sons of Jacob in Egypt are said having formed one nation (p.62).


The documents speak: the extreme poetry of Egypt historian Manetho in 3th century B.C. with a dreadful Hyksos dynasty

Egypt poet Manetho is writing texts with descriptions of invasions from the East:

-- Manetho is stating immigrants in the eastern part of the Nile Delta who have an extraordinary success, and he claims that these immigrants from the East (named "Hyksos", "rulers from abroad", he translates it as "kings of shepherds") are a national tragedy for Egypt as if there had been an invasion from the East (p.67)

-- these hyksos are said having settled in the delta in the town of Avaris (later Tell ed-Daba) and had founded an own dynasty governing in a dreadful way over Egypt for 500 years (p.67-68)

-- prescribing this invasion Manetho also is commemorating the latest invasions from Assyria, Babylonia and Persia in Egypt during 7th and 6th century B.C. (p.69).

So, there are new doubts what is true or not with this Manetho. Because of this there has to be more investigation.


The "scholars" - the Hyksos of the "mid Bronze Age"

For a long time the scholars rated the Hyksos as the kings of 15th dynasty of Egypt 1670-1570 B.C. (p.68), compared with Europe this would be in the mid Bronze Age (p.78). In mid Bronze Age around 1600 B.C. Canaan (today's Israel Palestine) is a wealthy society (p.91).

But how should ruled a foreign folk from Canaan in Egypt? This question has to be cleared.

Archaeological proof for the Jacob case

The Nile Delta is a center of safe nutrition during dry periods in Canaan - and there was constant immigration

The documents and archeology confirm a steady immigration from Canaan to Egypt to the eastern part of the Nile Delta (p.65). This immigration is a very old rhythm of the Middle East performed in all times (p.67). Egypt always was the spot of rescue and safety when there was a dry season or war in Canaan (p.65), because the flood of the Nile in Egypt was a guarantee for a good harvest every year, in case of doubt with irrigation. Add to this Egypt state had store houses for the case of dry seasons (p.66).

During Bible times the Nile Delta was parted in 7 arms and had a bigger territory than today with only two arms of the river. In Bible times the eastern Delta arm of the Nile  for example arrived the north western Sinai. And corresponding to this also the irrigation system was more expanded. Excavations can prove this (p.66).

The Nile Delta of Bible times and of today
Nile Delta in Pharaoh's times: many arms,
                      Memphis, Avaris, Canaan
Nile Delta in Pharaoh's times: many arms, Memphis, Avaris, Canaan

Nile Delta of today: only 2 arms have left,
                        and Suez Channel
vergrössern Nile Delta of today: only 2 arms have left, and Suez Channel
Nile Delta in 1706: there are
                      4 or 5 arms
Nile Delta in 1706: there are 4 or 5 arms


The immigrants in the eastern Nile Delta - making career in Egypt administration

Probably these immigrants were nomads and farmers of Canaan (p.66-67), eventually also economic refugees or merchants. They had their salary with jobs as landless workers. Add to this Canaan war prisoners were settled in eastern Nile Delta, when Egypt executed a punitive action in Canaan, and these war prisoners had to work in the Egypt temple plants. Some of the immigrants succeeded with their career and got posts of government, were soldiers and priests. Joseph who is said having sent with a caravan to Egypt would be not a singular case, but this would be only the most known case of many cases (p.67).


Archeology with seals, inscriptions and texts

-- in the Nile Delta of these times (which is situated more in the East than today) archeology finds inscriptions and seals with names of Canaanite origin (p.69)

-- latest excavations confirm the Canaanite origin of the Hyksos rule and an immigration step by step, but a sudden military invasion as it is claimed by the Egypt extreme poet Manetho is not confirmed by archeology (p.69)

-- the today's Tell ed-Daba in the eastern Nile Delta of these times is identified as Aurais / Avaris, the former capital of the Hyksos rulers (p.69)

-- archaeologists can prove that since 1800 B.C. appr. there was a Canaanite influence on the eastern Nile Delta enforcing with ceramics, architecture and graves. Since 1670 B.C. Avaris (today's Tell ed-Daba) was growing up to the 15th dynasty and was a huge town, mainly in Canaanite style. And there was a peaceful takeover of power to the Canaanites, because there are no fire traces or ash layers in the hill of ruins (p.69).


The documents speak: Pharaoh Ramses did not exist yet - and not either a town of Ramses

A name "Ramses" for a town which the Jews are said having constructed in 15th century B.C. during the alleged time of a certain Jacob is not possible in this 15th century B.C., because first Pharaoh named "Ramses" comes only in 1320 B.C. on it's throne, only over 100 years after the traditional date of the Bible (p.70).

Egypt sources report about a construction of the town Pi-Ramesse ("House of Ramses", "Palace of Ramses") in the Nile Delta under king Ramses II (1279-1213 B.C.), whereas it seems that Semites were the workers (p.71).

[If this was a slavery or not is not said by Finkelstein / Silberman].


Evidence: Later invasions of the Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians provoking anxiety in Egypt with reproaches to the Israelites

OT claims:

The immigrants from Canaan are confronted with the reproaches by Egypt (Genesis 42,9) that they would be spies investigating where "the country is open", and by this all Jews should be enslaved (p.81).

The documents say: Such reproaches of espionage have no reason before 7th century B.C., but after the invasions of Assyria, Babylonia and Persia in Egypt and in Mid East in 7th and 6th century B.C. such reproaches of espionage would have their reasons (p.81).

Conclusion
The contradiction about a steady immigration to Egypt because of dry seasons and wars and the contradictions about the fear of invasions and espionage in Egypt are provoking to put in doubt the events with the 12 sons of Jacob in Egypt. The evidence indicates that the history of Jacob was written in the 7th century B.C. only.


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Photo sources

-- Nile Delta in about 1000 B.C. during Pharaoh times with Avaris: http://nefertiti.iwebland.com/manetho_hyksos.htm
-- Nile Delta of 1706, map of Cellarius: http://www.antiquemapsandprints.com/scans/scans60.htm
-- Nile Delta of 2001, satellite photo: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=4712


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