DID MOSES EXIST? … AND WHAT MUCH OF WHAT IS REPRESENTED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT AS THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL AND JEWISH HISTORY REPRESENTS ACCORDING TO A JEWISH ARCHAEOLOGIST

NOTE THE FOLLOWING CHRONOLOGY .. BEFORE THE DATE GIVEN FOR MOSES … AND AFTER THE DATE GIVEN FOR  MOSES’ HISTORICAL EXISTENCE:

Note:  Between 2000 B.C. and 1300 B.C. – Pharaoh Sesostris I – 2212 B.C.]

In Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature: Volume I: The Old and Middle Kingdoms, Part Three: “The Middle Kingdom”:; “Didactic Literature: 

“The Eloquent Peasant” (University of California Press: Berkeley, Los Angeles

=====

Notes:  Sinuhe was specifically in the service of Princess Nefru, the wife of Sesostris I, the latter being co-regent at the time of his father’s death.  Khenemsut and Kanefru are the names of the pyramids of Sesostris I and Amenemhet I.”

The numerous, if fragmentary, copies of this work testify to its great popularity, and it is justly considered the most accomplished piece of Middle Kingdom prose literature.  The two principal manuscripts are: (1) P. Berlin 3022 (abbr. B) which dates from the Twelfth Dynasty. … (2) P. Berlin 10499 (abbr. R) which contains 203 lines and includes the beginning.  It dates to the end of the Middle Kingdom.  A third major copy is in a large ostracon in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

“I give bread to my neighbor,

“… You deliver the poor from harm” [222-223, 228, 232-233]

In Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature: Volume I: The Old and Middle Kingdoms, Part Three: “The Middle Kingdom” “Prose Tales”: “The Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor”  (University of California Press: Berkeley, Los Angeles, London), 1973, it was indicated:

“Prose Tales: …. Like all Egyptian writings, the tales come from the sphere of the educated scribes and from the ambience of the court. … The Tale ofthe Shipwrecked Sailor, and the Tales from Papyrus Westcar share the quality of fairy talesThey are tales of wonder, of miraculous events in which human beings encounter the supernatural.  The Story of Sinuhe, on the other hand, is the story of a life as it could have been lived. … Whether or not it relates the actual experience of an individual, the story reflects a true historical situation–the death of Amenemhet I and the reign of Sesostris IBut to the Egyptians it was above all a tale magnificiently told, which, using all the modes of a rich and refined literary art, created a character whose actions, sorrows, and joys enthralled the listeners.  It became a classic, endlessly recopied, and it can still fascinate today.

“ .. The papyrus, called Leningrad 1115, is now in Moscow.  The work, and the papyrus copy, date from the Middle Kingdom.  The tale is set In a narrative frame.  A high official is returning from an expedition that apparently failed in its objective, for he is despondent and fearful of the reception awaiting him at court”

“Then I heard a thundering noise and thought, ‘It is a wave of the sea.  Trees splintered, the fround trembled.  Uncovering my face, I found it was a snake that was comingHe said to me: ‘Who brought you, who brought you, fellow, who brought you to this island of the sea, whose two sides are in water. … Then he said to me: ‘Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, felllow; don’t be pale-faced, now that you have come to me.  It is god who has let you live and brought you to this island of the ka.” [Lichtheim 1973: 211, 213]

1925 B.C. Abraham – 1900 B.C. B 1720 B.C. –

Isaac – 1800 B.C. B 1700 B.C. B Jacob

1750 B.C. B 1640 B.C. – Joseph

Sesostris II – Sesostris III – 1570 B.C. – 1546 B.C.

Pharaoh Ahmose

1551 B.C. B 1524 B.C. B Pharaoh Amenhotep I

1524 B.C. – 1518 B.C. B Pharaoh Thutmose I –

1504 – 1450 B.C. – Pharaoh Thuthmose III

Kathleen M Kenyon, Revised Edition by P.R.S. Moorey, The Bible and Recent Archaeology (John Knox Press: Atlanta), 1978, 1987 indicated:

Archaeological Evidence indicating the conquest and placing in vassalage the inhabitants of the Levant, Canaan, or Ancient Israel by African-Egyptian Pharaoh Thuthmose III is provided  by an eminent and respected Jewish archaeologist, Kathleen M Kenyon who stated:

It is now largely agreed that the first organization of Canaan into a political and commercial empire under Egypt’s domination falls a century or so later, under Thutmose III (1479 B.C. – 1425 B.C.), whose campaigns in the Eastern Mediterranean are among the best documented in Egyptian History.  Following them, towns in western Canan controlling the coastal route and in the north guarding Egypt’s route into Syria, began to flourish as the principal suppliers of food and other needs for the military enterprises and local administration undertaken by Egyptians in the following two centuries.

“… The Amarna letters were letters to Pharaoh Akhenaten from client rulers of city-states in Canaan composed in a form of the Akkadian language included actual Canaanite  words, and written on clay tablets in the cuneiform script.   In the Thirteenth and Earlier Twelfth centuries B.C. both textual and archaeological evidence may now increasingly be seen to indicate that Egypt sharply tightened her military control with increased numbers of Egyptian army and administrative personnel established in Canaan.

1453 – 1419 B.C. – Pharaoh Amenhotep II – 1387 – 1350 – Pharaoh Amenhotep III

Moses:  14th century B.C. (1400 B.C. – 1300 B.C.)

=====

[NOTE   [ALLOF THE ABOVE TOOK PLACE HISTORICALLY BEFORE “THE ENTRANCE OF MOSES INTO HISTORY”  !   …  NOTE THE “TALKING SERPENT” IN THIS TALE IN ANCIENT EGYPTIAN LITERATURE !  ….(RECALING THE “TALKING SERPENT” IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN AND THE “TREE OF LIFE” PRIOR TO ADAM EATING THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT INFLUENED, ACCORDING TOT HE HEBREW BIBLE, BY EVE !   … FOLLOWED BY THE FALL OF “MAN” … AND “THE ATONEMENT” … ]

=====

—–

Israel in Egypt:

1350 – 1230 Moses  [the period of Moses about 1300 B.C. – the settlement of Palestine after 1200 B.C. – and the period of the two united kingdoms of Israel and Judah from 946 B.C. – to to 600 B.C.]

Israel in Canaan:

1291 B.C.- 1279 B.C. – Pharaoh Seti I

1280 B.C. – 1035 B.C.

1280 – 1260 approximately for Exodus and Joshua

1240 – (or 1220) approximatey for Crossing the Jordan

Isaac Asimov, Asimov’s Guide To The Bible: The Old And New Testaments (Avenel Books: New York), 1981, Pp. 125-126 indicated:

“The Septuagint named the book ‘Exodos’ (or, in the Latin equivalent, ‘Exodus’), meaning ‘going out,’ because it deals with the departure of the Israelites from Egypt.  It would seem then that Rameses II would have to be the Pharaoh of the Oppression, If there is any Pharaoh of the Oppression at all.

“This last reservation is made necessary by the facts that there is no record outside the Bible of Israelites in Egypt, of their enslavement, and of their escape.  In Particular, none of the events in Exodus are to be found anywhere in the Egyptian Records uncovered by modern archaeologists.

“The Pharaoh “Who Knew Nothing of Joseph’ (Exodus 1:8) would therefore have been one of the martial New Kingdom Egyptian monarchs who threw the Hyksos out.  But who?  All that can be said with any reasonable certainty is that if there was an Exodus, It would most likely have occurred at some time in the period covered by the chart shown above.

=====

THE BIRTH OF THE BABYLONIAN KING SARGON AND THE BIRTH OF MOSES AS TOLD IN THE BIBLE:  —

http://www.tektonics.org/copycat/sargon.html ==

AND AN UPDATED REVIEW OF “WHETHER MOSES EXISTED” —

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses

DID MOSES EXIST?  … In a shocking revelation of his research findings

“Biblical Iconoclast (Israel Finkelstein tilts with colleagues over the historyof Early Iron Age Palestine),” Archaeology, September/October 2001

In Archaeology: A Publication of the Archaeological Institute of America,September/October 2001,

Biblical iconoclast: Israel Finkelstein tilts with colleagues over the history of early Iron Age Palestine,@  by Haim Watzman, it was indicated:

“No one in the field of Biblical Archaeology likes the smell of battle better than Israel Finkelstein.  When the director of Tel Aviv University’s Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology, gets up to speak at the Institute’s annual seminar on Early Iron Age Palestine, a ripple runs through the audience–the listeners know that within a few minutes they’ll either be seething or cheering.  … His talk centers around the story of David and Goliath which Finkelstein declares reflects the period in which it was written, not in which it supposedly took place.”  That makes Goliath yet another literary creation that Finkelstein attributes to the reign of King Josiah (r. 659-609 B.C.), the time that Finkelstein believes the biblical account of Israel’s origin and history was first drafted.

“Archaeology and historians long accepted this story of a glorious united kingdom, followed by a north-south split.  Many still believe that it is fundamentally true, even if the Bible exaggerates the grandeur of David and Solomon’s realm.

But over the last three decades a growing number of scholars has begun to argue that archaeology finds previously taken as corroborations of the biblical story have in fact been misinterpreted.

Author and leading advocate of a new chronology for most of the major finds of Early Iron Age Palestine, Finkelstein maintains that major construction projects at northern sites such as Megiddo and Gezer, which other archaeologists and historians assign to the time of the united kingdom of David and Solomon, actually date to the period of King Ahab a century later.

“According to Finkelstein, the united kingdom of David and Solomon–and much of the history of the people of Israel presented in the Bible–represents the political and theological interests of the court of King Josiah, which reinstituted the exclusive worship of the god of the Israelites, centered on the Temple in Jerusalem, and aspired to see their king reign over both Judah and the territory of the former northern kingdom.

The intellectual and spiritual atmosphere of this new religious movement led its leaders to create a coherent narrative of Israelite history as an instrument of God’s will.  Finkelstein has now presented this theory in The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origins of its Sacred Texts, a book written with archaeological journalist Neil Asher Silberman.”

“Egyptian Literature”: 

During the Middle Kingdom literature began to flourish, particularly folk tales and collections of proverbsOne narrative of importance was the “Tale of the Two Brothers” which has striking resemblances to the biblical story of Joseph and his brethren.

Most of the literature was expressed in poetic language, even though in prose form.  The most beautiful surviving piece of Egyptian literature is Ikhnaton’s “Hymn to the Sun.  A few lines will suffice to give some idea of its poetic quality and its conception of an all-powerful creator and heavenly father:

“Thy dawning is beautiful in the horizon of the sky,

O living Aton, beginning of life!

When thou risest in the eastern horizon,

Thou fillest every land with thy beauty

Thou are beautiful, great, glittering, high above every land,

Thy rays, they encompass the lands, even all that thou hast made,

How manifold are thy works!

They are hidden from before us,

O sole god, whose powers no other possesseth,

Thou didst create the earth according to thy heart

While thou wast alone

[Footnote: Quoted by James H. Breasted, in The Development Of Religion And Thought In Ancient Egypt (Charles Scribner’s Sons: New York), 1912, p. 324, 326.  Erik Hornung, translated from the German by John Baines, Conceptions Of God In Ancient Egypt: The One And The Many (Cornell University Press: Ithaca, New York), 1971, 1982, 1996

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About Harold L Carter

Bachelor of Science, Columbia University Masters degree, Ohio State University Undergraduate National Officer, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eastern Asst Vice President, when a student at Columbia University Profile Photograph: Mom & Me, when I was a graduate student
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