and the Bible
The Exodus Part 3
revised chronology surrounding the Exodus has,as we have
seen,supporting evidence,not only from the Bible,but other sources as
well.It was,no doubt,Ahmosis who was Pharoah at the time Moses was
born.That would,according to record,put the co-regency of Queen
Hathsepshut and Thutmosis III at the time of the Exodus.At the death
of Thutmosis II ,Thutmosis III was to young to serve as King.His
stepmother Hathsepshut took His place,and Thutmose went north to the
delta where He assembled an army and set Himself up as king of the
North.That was not out of the ordinary,as Egyptian history
reveals.The Israelites may not have known anything about the “king”
of the south,as they would not have needed to travel into populated
Egypt to visit the palace.Thutmose not only ruled the delta,but
controlled all trade coming into Egypt from Mesopotamia and Syria.He
built other cities as well as garrisons on the north eastern
Frontier,and made military campaigns into Canaan and Syria,to
maintain Egypt's hold on foreign territory.He was recognized as
King,by those in the Goshen area.He would have been the Pharoah that
was confronted by Moses and Aaron,and felt the full brunt of the
plaques.Hathsepshut was nearly 400 hundred miles to the south.An
Egyptian military leader wrote about His allegiance to both Thutmose
III and Hathsepshut,which seems to contradict the historical belief
that Thutmose carried a grudge against Hathsepshut."As
for me, I was the very faithful [instrument] of the sovereign, the
half of the heart of the king of the south, the light of the heart of
the king of the north, while I followed my master in his expeditions
to the regions of the north or of the south, [those which] he
desired, for I was as the companion of his feet, and that in the
midst of his valour and his power, in order to give
Amenemheb,author of the inscription,was divided in His loyalty to both,although he preferred to fight alongside Thutmose.That would not seem likely if Thutmose was angry at Hathsepshut for seizing the throne that was rightfully His.Amenenheb not only led the military for Thutmose,but they were enseperable.Thutmose was sent on several campaigns into Nubia by Hathsepshut,which,as King of the North,he was not obligated to do.All the glory would have gone to her,and Thutmose volunteering to go,doesn't seem like the actions of an angry king.His comrade in arms,Amenemhab,led Hathsepshut's army to Nubia.It also doesn't seem likely that Thutmose would wait 20 years to assassinate her,since he had command of His own large and well trained army.That is apparent in the many inscriptions that tell of his defeats of Canaanite and Syrian armies.One thing that history knows for sure is that Hathsepshut mysteriously disappeared.Her mummy has never been found,and there are no Egyptian texts,so far that tell what happened to her.Some have claimed that she ran away,but don't give a reason as to why she felt the need to escape and what she was running from.She apparently wasn't afraid of Thutmose.She even had an inscription made proclaiming herself ruler through devine authority.She ruled without question until her disappearance in 1458 bce,which happens to be the most likely date for the Exodus.It is very likely She perished in the Red Sea.The Bible calls the Pharoah “He” which is logical,since the Israelites most likely saw only the pharaoh in the delta.Egyptian texts do not mention a woman ruling in the south,although archeology now knows there was.We also know she dressed as a man,and even called herself Pharoah,which was unheard of.All other female rulers called themselves Queen,and most Egyptian apparently believed she was a man.There is no reason why the Israelites would have known any different.They may even have believed it was the same pharaoh they encountered in the Nile delta.The reason why it may not have been is that according to archaeologists,Thutmose was on a campaign in Syria in 1458 bce,and possibly at the time the Israelites left Egypt.With Him gone,Hathsepshut would have been obligated to chase them,and having to travel such a distance to get to the desert east of the delta,the Israelites would have had ample time to arrive at the red Sea.That would also answer another question posed by critics,which is why they were able to get there without being overrun by an army on horses.They may have had a 400 mile head start.
One of the deciding factors in giving the Exodus a date in the 14th century b.c. was a stele erected by the son of Ramesses II, Merenepthah.It was called the Israel stele because of the reference to Israel.Although it depicts a battle,which History has seen as an attempt to stop the conquest,Isreal is mentioned along with organized nations such as Hatti(The Hittites)Israel was still a tribal group when they crossed the Jordan,and had no land,as yet.At that time,they were known to the Egyptians and Canaanites alike as Habiru(Hebrews),and would have been called that.
The princes are prostrate, saying: "Mercy!"
Not one raises his head among the Nine Bows.
Desolation is for Tehenu; Hatti is pacified;
Plundered is the Canaan with every evil;
Carried off is Ashkelon; seized upon is Gezer;
Yanoam is made as that which does not exist
Israel is laid waste, his seed is not;
Hurru is become a widow for Egypt!
All lands together, they are pacified;
When the entire inscription is read,it is apparently the context is one of putting down a revolt and not a conquest.
There are texts,depicting a major battle,that would fit into the Conquest much better.Called the Amarna letters,they are correspondences Between the rulers of the Egyptian held territory of Canaan,and the Pharoahs Amenhotep III (1402-1364) and Akhenaten IV, 1350-1334)They tell of cities being handed over to the Hebrews,in areas where the conquest took place.They are lengthy,and represent correspondence not only from Canaan,but Hatti ,Cyprus as well as other nations.
The Amarna Letters
is interesting to note that during the reigns of both Akhenaten and
Amenhotep,there was a reported plague.One Hittite King died from
it,as did Akenaten’s daughters.There is no evidence of such a
plague during the reign of Ramesses II nor Mernepthah.The Bible also
records the same plague,which killed twenty four thousand,as They
camped in Moab near the Jordan river,Numbers,25:9.It is likely that
They caught the plague through mingling with the local people.It has
been said that Akenaten refused to send soldiers to Canaan,because He
was preoccupied with His newly formed relegion.It does not seem
likely that He would risk losing His territory,for a religion that
the Egyptian priests,as well as most of the population,was against.If
He lost,he would be directly responsible.If he won,He would have a
better chance of imposing His monotheism on the people.A plague would
be a better reason for leaving His Canaan states to fend for
themselves.Such a plague was mentioned in an inscription left by the
Hittite King Mursalis,as
well as the Amarna
Egyptian Kings often left petty quarrels to the local rulers,but the
letters,reflect more than a petty quarrel.The land was being overrun
by not only Habiru,in
the south,but by Amorites and Hittites in the north.Had local
Canaanites been battling each other,Canaan would still belong to
Egypt.In this case,a take over would mean a loss of Egyptian
territory to foreign leaders.
The Israel stele and Mernepthah’s campaigns would better fit into a time when Israel was a power,and had gained a name.According to historical dating,that would coincide with the Judges,and more closely with the Judge Deborah.In Judges four and five,she gives an account of battles that resemble those of Mernepthah.The Israelite army marched north to the Kishon river,near Kedesh.That is one of Mernepthah’s as well as Ramesses battlegrounds.The Hittites were in Syria,and trying to take over Canaan,which now belonged to Israel.The Philistines had also been trying to invade Israel.It is possible that Deborah’s army as in Hazor before or after Mernepthah’s army.While marching north the Egyptians confronted the Philistines,whose cities were mentioned in the stele.Judges 5,tell us that there had been a lot of Military activity in that area during the reign of Shamgar.”In the days of Shamgar,the son of Anath,in the days of Jael,the highways were unoccupied,and the travelers walked through the byways.The inhabitants of the villages ceased,they ceased in Israel until I Deborah arose,that I arose a mother of Israel”.She also wrote of parts of Isreal staying behind.That could have been due to the Egyptian presence.From Bethel,her army could have gone north undetected.That would not have been possible from the cities closer to the Mediterranian.Mernepthah,wrote as if He had completely destroyed Israel,but such bragging is not uncommon for Kings of any nation.Israel may have actually encountered the Egyptians,or the stele may be reflecting the damage done to the Northern cities near the border.
One other obscure passage that helps to tie things together is the reference in to Dan .”Gilead abode beyond Jordan,and why did Dan remain in ships”?Dan,during and shortly after the Conquest was not a ship going people.In fact,it was not until the land had been divided that Dan was forced farther north.They are,according to several historians,mentioned in the Ramesses II inscriptions.In His annals commemorating His battles with the Sea Peoples,several groups of people were listed.
As for the foreign countries, they made a (conspiracy) in their isles (rww).
(Removed) and scattered in the fray were the lands at one time.
No land could stand before their arms, from Hatti, Kode, Carcamesh, Yereth and Yeres on,
(but they were) cut off at one time. A camp (was set up) in one place in Amor.
They desolated its people and its land was like that which had never come into being.
They were coming, while the flame was prepared before them, forward towards Egypt.
Their confederation was the PELESET, TJEKKER, DENYE(n) and the WESHESH, lands united............"
It has generally been agreed that the Denye,were none other than the Biblical Danites.If that is true,then either Dan was confederate with the Philistines,or they were obliged to stay out of the Battle.It is possible that they were allied with the Philistines to stop the Egyptians.Both sides would have benefited by eliminating them.It should be noted also that history has recorded that that was the time the Philistines made their appearance in Caanan.Although they had been in the area for quite some time it was the first time they had been seen as a power.That is something the Bible also agrees with.They had been settled along the coast,well before Abraham got there.