Living in Truth:
Archaeology and the Patriarchs

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by Charles N. Pope
Copyright 1999-2004, 2016 by Charles Pope
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Chapter 7
"A Sceptre Shall Rise"
(The Genesis of Israel)


The Generations of Israel, the Second Adam

Sargon is considered to be the first Semitic king of Mesopotamia.  He took the throne at a time when the Akkadian (Semitic) language was becoming predominant both as the common tongue and in the royal court in Mesopotamia.  Sargon was considered Semitic, however no more so than his royal predecessors.  It was shown in Chapter 4 that Nimrod (Enmerkar/Narmer) was both the natural son of Cush (Agga/Aha) and the legal heir of Shem (Etana/Semerkhet).  The Old Kingdom pharaohs and Mesopotamian kings who descended from Nimrod were simultaneously Hamitic and Semitic.  Their biological ancestor was, however, the Joseph-styled prince, Japheth.  Sargon was no exception and explicitly included Gurmu (Gomer) son of Japheth in his personal genealogy (rather than Ham or Shem).  And like Nimrod, Sargon was the son of a “barren” and “brazen” princess, the Ishtar of her generation.  He was also sired by one prince (Ur-Zababa king of Kish) but adopted by another (Akigalaguba king of Lagash).  Sargon could claim inheritance from two rival lines.  Early in his life, this was not an advantage but a liability.  His claim to the Great Throne, if he had one at all, was not valued.  He was even perceived as a threat.  What was later claimed as his by right was not attained without a fight.  At least that’s the official story!

Sargon may have been big, bold and beautiful.  He may have had charisma.  However, if he had not excelled his rivals in producing royal heirs, the name of Sargon would now be unknown to us, and the prince that assumed it a mere footnote to history.  Sargon’s father did not seem to possess the kingly “birthright.”  The story of Zerah’s arm reaching out his mother’s womb to receive the “scarlet thread” was likely an attempt to explain his unexpected rise to power as something fore-ordained.  Sargon was, or became, the son (ben) of a tanist (yem), a “ben-yem.” [a]   According to the Egyptian Westcar Papyrus, there were perhaps two other princes (and their sons)[b] ahead of Sahure in the royal pecking order.  By law, the son of Sahure was as legitimate as any other royal prince.  In practice, his pedigree was inferior and he faced discrimination.  His royal uncles would have preferred to carry on their respective dynasties through a true son of their own.  They did not want to place the natural son of a rival prince upon the throne until all other options had been exhausted.  Sargon would have to wait, and wait, and wait!

The young prince Sargon is characterized as covetous of kingship.  According to the Legend of Sargon,[c] he was a little too eager.  He dreamed that on his own behalf Ur-Zababa was to be “drowned in a river of blood.”  He also had the poor judgment to boast about it to the king himself.  Not surprisingly, Ur-Zababa reacted, but not in the manner we might expect of a father toward an ambitious son.  Sargon was required (perhaps unwittingly) to hand deliver his own execution order.  If still living, it would have been the Great King Neferirkare (“Perez”/Puzur) himself, who would have required Ur-Zababa to deliver up his own son Sargon.[d]   Needless to say, the command was not carried out.  It was not because Neferirkare hated his younger twin brother Ur-Zababa (“Zerah”).  It was also not because he wanted to retain Sargon as his own heir.  In reality he didn’t want an adopted heir at all.  The reason is that even a Great King was expected to play by the rules (that included royal female authority) and allow the fickle finger of genetic fate to ultimately decide kingly succession, whether it be through his own natural line or that of a brother.  And while this game of chance played out, the family engaged in the more predictable sport of emulating the secret lives of the gods.

Lugalzagesi (in the role of Kingu) clashed with Ur-Zababa of Kish (in the role of Marduk).  In fulfillment of Sargon’s dream, the result was “a river of blood,” that is, a type of “exodus” event patterned after the archetypal flood of the Enuma Elish (the greatest of the Mesopotamian Creation Epics), as well as the Epic of Gilgamesh.[e]   Lugalzagesi also deposed the alter ego of Ur-Zababa in Lagash, namely the “great equalizer,” Urukagina.  Urukagina is hailed as the first known reformer of Post-Flood civilization, and a champion of the “little guy.” [f]   Sargon was propelled by this conflict to an independent kingship (separate from his father Ur-Zababa/Urukagina).  Only later did he “avenge” Ur-Zababa and complete the role of Marduk by killing Lugalzagesi, not literally but figuratively.  This was all an act. 

Sargon was made king in Egypt under the name of Pepy (Apep/Apophis) and ruled from Memphis in the North (“Lower Egypt”).  He assumed a second pharaonic identity, Akhtoy, at Herakleopolis from which he adopted a highly aggressive policy, and eventually imposed his influence in the South (“Upper Egypt”) as far as Elephantine Island.  (In the lead-up to the Egyptian New Kingdom, a 17th Dynasty pharaoh also assumed the dual identities of Apophis and Tao in emulation.)  Akhtoy is also a variant/anagram of another obscure dynastic name of the so-called 1st Intermediate Period of Egypt, namely Khety, which suggests, “The Hethite/Hittite.”  One of the pharaohs named Akhtoy also bore the throne name of Nubkaure (a variation on Nebkhaure Khety, the otherwise unattested pharaoh of the contemporary Tale of the Eloquent Peasant.) 

Yet another alias of Sargon in Egypt was that of Inyotef (A), a prominent nomarch in Upper Egypt and founder of the 11th Dynasty.  However, Sargon supervised his “sons” (the first pharaohs of the 11th Dynasty), not as a mere nomarch, but as “Chancellor Khety.”  The contemporary nature of the 6th and 11th Dynasties is further manifested by the tomb of Pepi-nakht at Aswan (Elephantine Island in Nubia).  Pepi II, successor of Pepi I/Sargon, sent his minister Pepi-nakht on three epic journeys to Nubia (one of which may have been to fetch the much celebrated dwarf), and Pepi-nakht even decided to build a tomb for himself at Aswan.  This tomb was honored with donations from various members of the 11th Dynasty, including Montuhotep I, Inyotef II and Inyotef III.

The name of Sargon’s true father, Ur-Zababa (also written as Ur-Zabaia), corresponds closely to Zabaya of Larsa.  Sargon became the eventual successor of Ur-Zababa at Kish, and was evidently also the successor of Zabaya of Larsa under the name Gungunum, which is perhaps an actual source of the legendary name of Sar-gon)!  It is therefore proposed that the Dynasty of Larsa was partially contemporary with both the Dynasty of Lagash and the Dynasty of Agade, and that Sargon had a kingly identity in each city.  Otherwise, one has to propose that Sumerian culture (at Lagash, Larsa and Isin) long-survived Sargon’s Dynasty.  At Isin, Sargon corresponds to King Ur-Ninurta, whose reign followed the conquest of that city by Gungunum of Larsa.  Ur-Ninurta was preceded at Isin by the famous “law giver” Lipit-Ishtar, even as Sargon was immediately preceded by the social reformer Urukagina of Lagash.  The Code of Ur-Nammu was then not the oldest known code, but followed that of Lipit-Ishtar/Urukagina.  It also follows that the Sumerian culture of Isin only survived that of Ur-Nammu’s 3rd Dynasty of Ur by a short time.  It should also be noted that a similar equalitarian movement was afoot in Old Kingdom Egypt, as evidenced by the Tale of the Eloquent Peasant.

The world of the Patriarchs had been largely depopulated by the Flood and subsequent re-conquest of Nimrod.  By the time of Urukagina, it was again teaming with the offspring of the Patriarchs.  These descendants were not to be oppressed, but blessed.  A noble society was not to be ruled by might, but by law.  Nevertheless, high-minded Urukagina was brought low by a new oppressor of the old-school, pre-Flood Noah (“Kingu”) typecasting, Lugalzagesi, a brute and braggart, was prepared to save only that which he could then enslave.  Lugalzagesi not only opposed constructive social change, but also crushed any dynastic hopes of Sargon, or so it would seem.  (One of Lugalzagesi’s role models, Biblical Noah, didn’t learn humility until after the flood of his own time.)

Lugalzagesi imposed his agenda from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea.  However, he only required token submission of Egyptian princes, if at all.  In Egypt, Sargon’s name In-yo-tef meant, “Born of Yo,” but connoted, “Beloved of Yo (Ea),” to Semitic speakers.  The Hebrew root tef means “beloved,” and corresponds to the Egyptian root mer, as in the Egyptian name Mery-re, “Beloved of Re.”  It also relates to the name of Sargon at Lagash, that is, Ningirsu-kiag, “Beloved of Ningirsu/Ninurta.”  After the coup of Lugalzagesi, Sargon became known as Mar-Yamina and Ben-Yamina,[g] both of which have the meaning “Son of the South.” [h]   However, in Hebrew, Mar-Yamina does not connote “Son of the South,” “Beloved of the South,” or even “Son of the Tanist,” but “Bitter, Rebellious, Terrifying Lord of the South.” [1]   To the south of Mesopotamia the strength of Sargon continued to grow along with his resentment toward Lugalzagesi.   When Sargon deposed Lugalzagesi, he was no longer a mere bin-yem or ben-yamina on the run.  He emerged as a Biblical Benjamin, which also means, “Son of the South,” as well as “Son of the Strong Hand.”  He proved himself to be the strongest prince of his day, not so much by warfare but through prevailing in fatherhood.  This royal but “red-haired step-child” broke in through the back door and seized ownership of the house.

Lugalzagesi had shown no mercy on the reformer Urukagina, nor any respect for the holy precincts of Kish and Lagash.  The “angry young man” Sargon showed no mercy on him, regardless of what their blood ties might have been.  Nor was he lenient with any other prince or city that resisted his rule.  Sar-gon is a Semitic name.  However, in Sumerian, the root gon/gun means “to swallow.”  Sar-gon (similar to the name Gungunum of Larsa) would then connote “Lord Gulper,” or “Lord Bela” in Hebrew.  The Hebrew name Bela means “swallow, destruction” and is an obvious allusion to Bilah, the Semitic name of Nimrod used in the Sumerian king-list.  The designated role of Sargon was transformed from that of a passive “Mama’s Boy” (ala Ur-Nanshe) to that of a neo-Ninurta/Marduk-Bel, the dreadful “Judge” and “Avenger.”

Another epithet of Sargon may have in fact been Bel (after Marduk-Bel) or “Bela,” which was also a play on the Sumerian a-bala, “drawing water” and the Sumerian ba.al, “hostility, enemies.”  Sargon seized power with a vengeance.  By his own admission he destroyed cities.  According to legend, he “caused thousands of clay tablets, engraved with timeless legends, precepts of wisdom, manuals of medicine and magic, produced by generations of scribes, to be thrown into the Euphrates.” [i]   The epithet of Bela was also shared with at least one of his kingly successors in the genealogies of 1 Chronicles.  The name of his first co-regent, Rim-ush (Rim-u), also connotes “Destroyer” in Sumerian.[j]   This leading “son” (if not heir) campaigned with Sargon (if not always for him).  Their combined reign was known both for constructive and violently destructive change.

In the Assyrian king-list, Sargon is named as Tudiya, “Beloved of Ya.”  His successor is called Adamu.  In the Babylonian king-list, Tudiya and Adamu are composited as a single name, Tu-ub-ti-ya-mu-ta (Tudiya-muta).[2]   Mut means “man” and is synonymous with Adam.  Sargon was even dubbed as the “Second Adam” by the Book of Genesis author.  Sargon by any other name was credited with the Semiticization of Mesopotamia, and with the creation of what was later known as Israel, a federation of tribal nations in Canaan (of which he is the eponymous ancestor).

The Egyptian name of Sargon was Inyotef, “Born/Beloved of Yo,” as noted above.  It is a faithful rendition of the Mesopotamian name Tudiya, “beloved of Ya.”  That is, the root tef in Inyo-tef is an Egyptianized form of the Hebrew root tseph/tsaph.[k]   In addition to “beloved,” this root connotes “crowned.”  To a Semitic speaker, Inyotef suggests “Ruling by/as God.”  It is the origin of the Biblical name Israel.  Another innovation of Sargon was an increased emphasis on divine kingship.  Sargon did not invent the idea of divine kingship.  However, he did revive it, and to such a degree that he begged comparison with the Pre-Diluvian god-king Adam.  After over twenty years of unrequited thirst for power, Sargon relished every drop of glory.

According to the Biblical typing, Israel was first called Jacob.  Tef is in turn synonymous with another Hebrew word chob,[l] meaning “a cherisher.”  A Hebrew equivalent of the names Tudiya and Inyotef is Yechub, meaning “Cherished/Cherisher of God.”  However, in the Bible the name of Inyotef/Tudiya is not written simply as Yechub, but was deliberately modified to Ya’aqob (Jacob).  Instead of meaning “Beloved of God,” “Crowned by God” or “Ruling by/as God,” the nickname Jacob takes on the very different meaning of “heal-catcher (i.e. supplanter).”  Tudiya/Inyotef did not found a new dynasty through love of God and his fellow man alone, but by hotly overtaking a rival royal brother.  With his (staged) triumph over Lugalzagesi, Sargon was transformed from a “rebel of the south” to Ben-ye-minah, the “son appointed by God.”  Yechub the grabber became Israel, “He Rules as God.”

The “dynasty” of Sargon is somewhat of a misnomer.  It was a succession of (apparent) usurpers.  Sargon had deposed the usurper Lugal-zagesi and made rebellion respectable.  The sons of Sargon (Inyotef A) then took turns overthrowing each other.  First Montuhotep II “killed” Montuhotep A (Rimush).  Then Inyotef I (Naram-Sin) “killed” Montuhotep II (Mannu-Dannu/Ehud).  Finally, Inyotef II (Gudea) “overthrew” Inyotef I and his co-regent Sharkalisharri, “Ruler of Rulers.”  By virtue of being the final usurper of his generation, Gudea became “Benjamin son of Benjamin (Sargon).”  However, the epithet of Benjamin had also applied to Sargon in his days as a young prince.  In the Book of Ezra (1:5; 4:1; 4:59; 10:9-10), the name of Benjamin is actually equated to Israel.  Among the sons of Sargon, Gudea was the youngest, therefore he assumed the Benjamin moniker almost by default.  The taking of the throne by force from his brother Naram-Sin was mostly for show.  Each prince was allowed by Sargon to enjoy their moment in the sun, however the founder of the Egyptian 12th Dynasty would have been determined once again by genetics rather than conflict.

Benjamin is both a pseudonym of Sargon (Jacob-Israel) and a nickname of one of his prominent sons.  Sargon was Benjamin.  Gudea was “Benjamin son of Israel.”  Like Sargon, Gudea has multiple Biblical identities.  He is also called Uzziel, “Strong (One) of God,” and Huppim/Hupham.  The related names of Huppim and Hupham are synonymous with Tudiya and Inyotef.  They have the meaning, “to cover,” however they do not imply covering in the sense of loving and cherishing, but “acting secretly.”  Sargon had used the element of surprise when overthrowing Lugal-zagesi.  Gudea also appears as a world-class conniver.  Like Sargon, Gudea became Israel, the “divinely appointed ruler,” not by election but staged insurrection.  And like Sargon, Gudea also chose the Egyptian name of Inyotef.  Unlike Sargon and his immediate predecessor Naram-Sin, Gudea did not publicly glory in his divine status.  He did not portray himself to be a living god, even if he privately considered himself to be such.  The name Gudea itself connotes “proclaimed (as) God,” which may have made more explicit declarations of divinity unnecessary.  Despite their differences, both Sargon and Gudea are strongly the archetypes for the much later (New Kingdom vintage) Patriarch Jacob, “the grabber.”  (See Chapter 15.)

There are four variants of the Benjamin genealogy in the Bible.  Two are found among the “family records” of 1 Chronicles.  One of these (1 Chron. 7:6-12) is a genealogy of the first Benjamin, Sargon.  The other genealogy (1 Chron. 8:1-5) is actually a composite.  It melds together the genealogy of Sargon with that of Gudea, both of whom were called Benjamin.  The genealogy found in the Book of Genesis (46:21) and the one in the Book of Numbers (26:38-41) are variations of this composite Benjamin genealogy.  (See Chart 11.)

Sargon and his “rebel” sons are pivotal in the Biblical formulation of history.  Sargon (Inyotef A) became the ancestor and archetype of all future Jacob figures.[m]   Senusret II “grabbed” the throne in the 12th Dynasty (Middle Kingdom) under very suspicious circumstances.  He became the father of a prominent Joseph-figure.  The Hyksos king Yakubher (Ammi-ditana) was the Jacob of the so-called 2nd Intermediate Period.  The last and most notable Jacob from the perspective of Genesis was Amenhotep II of the 18th Dynasty (see Chapter 15).   Like Sargon, Amenhotep II adopted the name of Israel and became the eponymous ancestor of a new tribal federation in the Egyptian New Kingdom under the 12 princes of his court.  The concept that “history repeats itself” was very much established even at this early date. (See Chart 1).

As the narrative of Genesis moves forward in time, the descriptions become more detailed and comparisons between earlier and later Patriarchs more complete.  In fact, every major Patriarch in the Torah is depicted as a repetition of at least one earlier ancestor.  In this manner, the history of the Torah, rather than being a linear progression, spirals downward through time (Charts 3 &4).  In the Torah, the accounts of all the major Patriarchs from Adam to Moses are composites made up of as matching pairs.  Each of the early Patriarchs is the archetype or “father-figure” of a later Patriarch.  Conversely, the life of each later Patriarch is modeled after that of a prominent ancestor.  Rather than being fully unique, each character of the Torah is a product of two “parents.”  It is the dominant theme of the Torah, and a literary creation modeled after “genetics.”  Both sets of rulers (earlier and later) were stripped of their divine status by the Genesis author.  However, they were all still claimed as great ancestors.  (This concept of repetition will be developed much further in the next chapter.)

Historically speaking, the Patriarch Jacob corresponds to pharaoh Amenhotep II of the Egyptian 18th Dynasty (See Chapter 15).  Amenhotep II had two queens, Tia (Leah) and the more favored Merit-Amon (Rachel).   As in the story of Patriarch Jacob, six princes were born to Tia (Leah) and two were the sons of Merit-Amon (Rachel).  Jacob is characterized in the Bible as crafty, but also as a caring husband and father.  He was accused of “stealing his brother’s birthright.”   Nevertheless, he tried (somewhat unsuccessfully) to prevent similar strife from repeating itself among his own sons.  Ultimately, he did as his father had done, and appointed a younger son to be his successor.  In later life, Jacob is quoted as saying, “My years have been few and filled with affliction.” [n]   The Egyptian name Inyo(tef) is similar in form to the Hebrew aniyah, meaning “groaning, lamentation, sorrow.”  From Patriarch Jacob’s depiction we can also gain a glimpse of the character of his archetype Sargon/Inyotef, and the price that he paid to establish a new dynasty. 

The name of Israel is not introduced in the Book of Genesis until the account of the Patriarch Jacob, grandson of Abraham.  This is long after the time of Sargon, the second Adam.  A leading theme in the life of Patriarch Jacob (Amenhotep II) is how this brainy son of Isaac managed to prevail over his elder and more brawny twin brother Esau (Saussatar).[o]   After wrestling with his brother and with “God” (his father Isaac), the Patriarch Jacob receives the “birthright” (kingly succession) and is declared to be Israel.  Upon “grabbing” the throne, Amenhotep II, like the earlier Gudea, was renowned in the Bible (if not archaeology) for gathering expensive building materials from abroad, including timber from the forests of Lebanon, in order to build a magnificent temple.  (See discussion in Chapter 9.)  The title of Israel (“He Rules as God”) was bestowed upon Amenhotep II (Patriarch Jacob).  However, he was not the original Israel.

Jacob (son of Isaac) had twelve sons.  Eight were by his two wives Leah and Rachel, and four were by two “concubines” Bilhah and Zilpah.  These sons were given the familiar names of the twelve tribes of Israel.  However, we can now understand that these tribes and tribal names predate the time of the Patriarch Jacob (Amenhotep II).  They derive from Sargon (Inyotef) and his “dynasty.”  Sargon had as many as five royal sons.  However, the “twelve sons” of the archetypal Jacob-Israel were the names of the twelve successors (a.k.a., “The Twelve Amans”) to his throne (see Charts 1 & 11).  These powerful kings each founded one or more clans, which naturally were named after them.  These clans or tribes initially settled in Egypt.  They would not make their Exodus until the end of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom.

Adam and Seth: Inyotef and Montuhotep

In the genealogy of the second Adam (Sargon), Enosh is the first Patriarch of distinction.  Patriarch Enosh corresponds to pharaoh Amenemhet I, founder of the Egyptian 12th Dynasty.  We are told that it was not until his time that “men began to call upon the name of the Lord [Jehovah-Amen].”  The kings before him are simply named as Seth and Adam (II).  We do know from archaeology that prior to Amenemhet there were four kings named Inyotef and four others named Montuhotep.  The name Montu is easily identified as an Egyptian form of the Biblical Seth.[3]   Rather than providing names of four Patriarchs called Inyotef and at least four others called Montuhotep, the Inyotefs collectively become Adam II and the Montuhoteps become Seth son of Adam II.

Although Gudea (Inyotef II, youngest son of Sargon) is the more prominent “Adam” of the era from archaeology, his father was by far more famous in legend.  It is also Sargon who stands at the head of the Assyrian and Babylonian king-list.  From the perspective of Egypt, the most renowned “Seth” was Montuhotep II (the “Levi” and “third son” of Sargon).  It was this Seth that was considered founder of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom.  He assumed the title of “Uniter of the Two Lands,” and was remembered in the Book of Judges as Ehud, which also means, “The Uniter.”  Levi also means “Unite” in Hebrew.

Amenemhet (Enosh, “a (new) man,” assumed the Horus name/title of “Repeater of Births,” which signaled the end of the 1st Intermediate Period (and founding of a new dynasty, the 12th).  Amenemhet was also called Manasseh, “causing to forget,” which further emphasized a fresh start.  It also suggests that a new cycle of role playing had also been initiated.  (As shown in Chart 27, Year 1 of a later king nicknamed Manasseh also coincided with a declared “Year of Rebirth” in Egypt).  However, Amenemhet proved to be more of a new Shem than a new Adam.  He represented the infertility of the “old line” of the previous dynasty, which needed to be replaced by a vigor and fertile new line of a new Ham and Canaan/Nimrod, which were represented by Senusret (Ephraim, meaning, “doubly fruitful”).  Senusret was not the literal son of Amenemhet, but was actively producing heirs for Amenemhet.

The genealogy of Amenemhet and its link to the previous dynasty of Sargon is (as usual) difficult to trace.  He is thought to be the Vizier of Upper Egypt named Amenemhet, who buried and then succeeded Montuhotep III (the last significant “Seth” of Sargon’s Dynasty).  The throne name of Amenemhet, Sehotep-Ibre, “He who appeases Ibre,” may actually allude to Sargon as a royal “crossover” (Eber/Hebrew) and Moses figure.  Amenemhet would certainly have been a natural descendant of Sargon, and likely one of his grandsons.  The name of Amenemhet’s father, Senusret (A) is a genealogical dead end unless it was the Egyptian birth/prince name of Inyotef II or III.  However, princely names, if they were in fact different from the known king names, are thus far unknown in the 11th Dynasty. 

The first four pharaohs of the 11th Dynasty (Montuhotep I & II, Inyotef I & II) must have ruled largely in parallel, as all were “sons” of Inyotef A/Chancellor Khety/Akhtoy (Sargon).  This still doesn’t make it any easier to identify the remaining pharaohs of the 11th Dynasty, and two ancient king-lists (at Abydos and Saqqara) even omit them.  There is some indication that Inyotef III was a son of Inyotef II (Gudea).  The identity of Montuhotep III is even less certain, but he may represent the ill-fated successor of Naram-Sin (Inyotef I), Shar-kali-shari.  Therefore, the most likely identity of Amenemhet is Inyotef III, or a son of that pharaoh.[p]   If so, then Senusret (“Man of the Mighty Goddess”) was an epithet of Inyotef II or Inyotef III.  Consistent with this, Gudea (Inyotef II) was particularly devoted to the Goddess Anna (the bellicose goddess Inanna/Ishtar) and exulted in building a temple for her.  It may also be telling that Inyotef II was the last 11th Dynasty pharaoh honored in an inscription at Karnak of the Egyptian New Kingdom conqueror Thutmose III.[q]

It is the name of Amenemhet itself that reveals the most.  Amenemhet was the first pharaoh that included “Amen/Amun” in his name.  It is unlikely though that he was himself the architect of the new religion.  It was his likely grandfather Gudea (Inyotef II) that fancied himself as the humble servant of “all the gods,” which is consistent with the all-inclusive nature of the Amen cult.  Sargon declared himself a living god.  However, Gudea compared himself to a lowly but loyal donkey (ala Issachar, the “fifth prince,” in addition to the “youngest/Benjamin prince” of Sargon), anxious to carry the burden of the gods.  The name of Gu-dea, “(He is) Proclaimed God,” perhaps made it unnecessary for him to explicitly boast of divinity.

The motivation for simplifying the dynasty of Inyotef-Sargon in the Book of Genesis was two-fold.  First of all, it placed greater emphasis on Amenemhet and the emergence of the cult of Amen (proto-Judaism) in particular.  Secondly, it allowed the line of Sargon to be styled more closely after that of the earlier god-kings.   Although condensed in Genesis, all eight predecessors of Amenemhet, that is, the four Inyotef’s and four Montuhotep’s, continued to be venerated, and were duly recorded in the various Biblical genealogies (see Charts 1 & 11).  In most cases, these eight kings had at least one popular Hebrew epithet.  Besides the lofty title of Israel, Sargon was also remembered as Benjamin and Arphaxad.  The pastoral narratives and colloquial names used in the Book of Genesis have masked the true identities of the Patriarchs as the Sovereign Lords of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt.  When recognized as a royal line, the succession of Patriarchs named in Genesis readily correlates to the king-lists of both Egypt and Mesopotamia.  Ice Age Adam is the great progenitor of the gods, named in Egypt as the “self-created” Atum.  The Second Adam (Adam father of Seth) is Sargon the Great.  “Self-made” Sargon re-combined all the major divine roles, including Re and Apophis, making him also a Second Atum.  The new god Amen, also a contemporary creation, likewise included every god (see Chapter 6).

Enosh: Amenemhet I

Enosh, son of Seth, represents the historical pharaoh Amenemhet I, first king of the Egyptian 12th Dynasty.  The Bible states (Gen 4:26) that in the time of Enosh “men began to call upon the name of the Lord,” i.e., Yahweh-Amen.  Amen-em-het means “Amen in the Forefront.”  With the reign of Amenemhet, the god “Yo” (Ea-Ptah) gave way to a new namesake of kings and men, that of Amun.  Rather than apostasy, this change was seen as a step in the right direction by the author of Genesis.  Amenemhet chose the Horus name, Wehem-meswet, “Repeater of Births.”  This designates his reign as yet another new beginning and himself as yet another Adam (Egyptian Atum/Tem).  Enosh, meaning “a mortal, a man” is itself a synonym of Adam, and is derived from the word anash, meaning “frail, feeble.”  Amenemhet was not remembered for his physical prowess, but for spiritual greatness.  Enosh (or Henosh) is also an adaptation of this king’s name in the Assyrian king-list, Hanu.  At the city of Lagash, Amenemhet was variously known as Nam-hani, Nam-mahni and possibly also Nam-maghani. 

Although he is considered the successor of Montuhotep III (Seth) in Egypt, he was the son of another prince named Senusret (designated by Egyptologists as Senusret A).  The nominal founding of a new dynasty (“dynastic break”) is evidence that he represented a collateral line.  In Mesopotamia, his claim to the throne was based on his family ties both with Gudea (Inyotef II) and with Ur-Bau (Montuhotep I).  Nam-hani married a daughter of Ur-Bau even as Gudea had done much earlier.  In Lagash, Nam-hani was the third successor of Gudea.  In Egypt, he was the third successor of Inyotef II (also Gudea).  However, as we have seen, there are a number of parallel reigns in the 11th Dynasty.  Despite his high standing in Mesopotamia, Amenemhet seemed especially proud of his Egyptian heritage.  He boasts of his birth to Nefert, a “Nubian woman” [r] from Elephantine Island in the Land of Seth, that is Upper Egypt.  Amenemhet may have been Vizier of Upper Egypt under Montuhotep III.  As pharaoh, Amenemhet became a prolific builder.  He established a new capital in the Delta, which he named after himself, Amenemhet-Itj-Tawy, “Amenemhet, Seizer of the Two Lands.” [s]

In the genealogy of Benjamin, Amenemhet is called Bilhan son of Jedeiel.[t]   Bilhan, which means “timid,” i.e., pacified, is derived from the verb “to terrify.”   This name is an adaptation of the name Hani, and of Amenemhet’s praenomen, Se-hetep-ib-re, “The Heart of Re is Expatiated.”  The god Re had punished, even terrorized, Egypt with famine since the days of the pharaohs Djoser and Snofru.  At last, in the reign of Amenemhet good floods began to return.  The days of distress that characterized the Dynasty of Sargon were also over.  A kinder, gentler monarchy had arrived.  In fact, the Amenmehet claimed that his coming had been prophesied in the time of Snofru!  This “prophesy” was still a popular school exercise in the Egyptian New Kingdom.[u]   In it, Amenemhet is called “The Son of Man,” which later became one of the most popular epithets of Jesus in the Gospels.  It was said that the coming of Amenemhet would signal the end of Egypt’s impoverishment.

In the Bible, Amenemhet I was also remembered by the name of Manasseh, which is another variant of the name Amen and means, “made to forget.”  The dynasty of Sargon was characterized by turmoil.  One brother usurped the station of the next.  After Gudea, the transfer of power became somewhat more orderly.  However, Amenemhet was not without rivals.  Shattered pottery from this period in Egypt was inscribed with death wishes for Zebulun (Wegaf), Ameni (Amenemhet I), and Senusret the younger (Senusret I).  The curses include: “Ameni, born to Hetep [Nefert] and son of Senusret [Senusret A], shall die.” [v]   (From this pottery we also have possibly the earliest reference to the city of Jerusalem.  During this time period, Jerusalem would not have referred to Jebus/Salem in Palestine, but to Western Thebes in Egypt.)  These may have been idle threats.  However, as almost all of his predecessors, Amenemhet’s reign did not end in peace.  He too fell victim to a usurper, or at least one styled as such.

The devotion of Amenemhet to building up Egypt may have led to the neglect and loss of his throne in Mesopotamia.  Ur-Nammu, founder of the 3rd Dynasty of Ur claims responsibility for killing Nam-hani (Amenemhet I).  The Egyptian texts provide additional information.  The Instruction of Amenemhet, written after the death of Amenemhet, serves to explain how “Amenemhet the Triumphant” could have suffered such an ignominious fate.[w]   We are told that the weary king had laid down to rest when he was surprised in the night.  His men were overcome and Amenemhet was left defenseless.  The Instruction identifies the assailant as a former recipient of Amenemhet’s favor and support, who had ungratefully turned against him.  This all served to make Amenemhet even more of a martyr and messianic figure.

It is expected that the whereabouts of Amenemhet would have been a well-guarded secret, especially if he was away from a fortified city.  Therefore, it must have been suspected that there was an informant at the court who had betrayed the king’s position or itinerary.  According to the Tale of Sinuhe, the crown prince Senusret was campaigning with the military when he learned of the death of his father Amenemhet.  His courtier Sinuhe overheard Senusret talking to other aides and suddenly became terrified.  Sinuhe fled the country in search of refuge.  Presumably, he feared that he would become a victim in an expected bloodbath associated with a regime change.

As it turns out, there was nothing for Sinuhe to fear.  Amenemhet, who made the mysterious declaration of “Repetition of Births,” was himself having difficulty in fatherhood.  The primary reason for Amenemhet’s demise (literal or figurative) was that he simply did not produce the next generation of heirs.  The first prince (Gilead) was produced for him by his “son” (younger brother) Senusret.  This first prince appears to have died young, but not before the births of three additional princes, two of which were twins and called “Sheresh and Peresh.”  These names are clearly a take-off on the earlier “Zerah and Perez” of the 5th Dynasty (discussed above).  Gilead seems to have been the true father of Ishod (the future Senusret III), while the honor of fathering the twins was shared by Senusret I with the dead or dying Gilead.

The so-called Instruction of Amenemhet was not written by Amenemhet himself, but by his “son” and successor Senusret.  In this work, Senusret claimed that his departed “father” spoke to him in a dream.  By dictating the auto-eulogy of Amenemhet, Senusret both confirms the divinity of his predecessor and his own right to succeed him.  The Instruction also sets the tone for a royal house cleaning.  Upon the death of Amenemhet, Senusret had the power to eliminate any courtiers who may have been suspected of “betraying” his father.  He would also have disposed of any who had objected to his earlier election as co-regent.  Whether rumors of Wegaf’s murder (a likely son of Senusret) were true or not, those who were bound by oath to Amenemhet (and therefore now out of favor) were going to be sacked, if not outright executed.  “Suspicion of treason” in association with the deaths of Amenemhet and Wegaf would have made a convenient justification for a general purge of the administration.  The strong possibility of false accusations may have been the primary concern of Sinuhe and the reason for his flight.

Kenan/Cainan: Senusret I

Senusret, the successor of Amenemhet (Enosh) corresponds to the next Patriarch Kenan.  The name Kenan means, “fixed,” and is derived from qen, “a nest,” and qanan “to nestle.”  Nestled about Senusret’s own pyramid were nine smaller pyramids for the many royal ladies of his reign.  Because of his many marriages and royal children (particularly the celebrated twins), Senusret I became the eponymous ancestor of two tribes of Israel, namely Asher and Ephraim, meaning, “doubly fruitful.”  In the separate genealogy of his father Manasseh (1 Chron. 7:14), Ephraim is called Asriel.  The name Asriel (Ashriel) is in turn derived from the same Hebrew root as Asher.  As an honorary descendant of Shem, this Patriarch is called Cainan.  In the two Middle Kingdom genealogies of Benjamin (Ham), he is variously called Kenaanah, Shaharaim (1 Chron 7:10) and Ahishahar (1 Chron 8:8).  Kenaanah is a variant of Kenan.  Ahishahar means “brother of the dawn.”  Shaharaim means “double sunrise.”  Shaharaim is similar in form to Eph(a)raim, but is actually derived from Senusret’s throne name Kheper-ka-re, “The Soul of Re Comes into Being.” [x]   Kheperkare includes the name of the sun god, Re, and also Re in his rising form, Kheper.

Senusret served as co-regent during the final 10 years of Amenemhet’s 30-year reign.  However, in the dawn of his career, the prospects of Senusret were not as rosy.  He became the “eldest son” of Amenemhet, but was initially a younger brother.   Kenaanah is listed as the fourth son of Bilhan (Enosh/Manasseh), i.e., the fourth son of Amenemhet.  In the first 20 years of Amenemhet’s reign, a son produced for him (by his brother Senusret) was designated as co-regent.  The eldest son of Bilhan (Amenemhet) is called Jehush, which in turn recalls the name of Rimush, a much favored (but adopted) son of Sargon that didn’t ultimately gain election to the Great Throne.

The name Kenan is also a variant of Cain.  By this choice of epithet, the Genesis author signified that Senusret played the role of Cain among the Middle Kingdom pharaohs.  If Senusret was responsible for the death of a more favored brother, he was not disgraced for it.  In the Age of the Gods, divine kingship continued through Cain (Anu) who had killed Abel (Alal).  The kingly line of the Middle Kingdom continued through Senusret.   The likely identity of the ill-fated co-regent that preceded him is that of Wegaf, who is listed as the first pharaoh of the “unlucky” 13th Dynasty.  This was primarily a grouping of Middle Kingdom co-regents who predeceased their fathers, but also included kingly lines that were contemporary with the 12th Dynasty.

In order to correctly interleave the 13th Dynasty pharaohs with 12th Dynasty pharaohs, we have to look both backwards to the Old Kingdom and forward to the New Kingdom.  Everything followed a precedent, and anything new set a precedent.  The Old Kingdom Ephraim was Khafre of the 4th Dynasty, who according to the Westcar Papyrus ruled immediately before the 5th Dynasty twins Sahure and Kakai (Neferirkare).  If the founder of the 5th Dynasty was the actual/biological father of the twins Sahure and Neferirkare, then this must mean that he was also one and the same as Khafre.  In other words, he set the precedent for the Ephraim of the 12th Dynasty to follow (and was himself also following some earlier precedent).  It has already been shown that members of the first three dynasties are not unique to those dynasties, but are also included in subsequent dynasties.  For example, Scorpion is the same as Hor-Aha, Narmer the same as Huni, and Djoser the same as Snefru.  Similarly, Pepi of the 6th Dynasty was the same as Akhtoy, Khety and Inyotef of (supposedly) later dynasties!

Certainly the wife of Userkaf, Khentkaues, was a powerful figure in her own right, and smoothed the transition between the 4th and 5th Dynasties by assuming male authority and a false beard (of a pharaoh).  She also claimed the title, “Mother of the Twin/Dual Kings,” referring to her twin sons Sahure and Neferirkare (Kukai).  It seems to have become traditional for a queen to rule as a king in order to mark the end of one major dynasty and the beginning of another. If the twins were born in Khafre’s old age, then it was all the more important to insist upon repeating that tradition.

12th Dynasty pharaoh Senusret, like Khafre, was not only the father of twin princes, but also of a double dynasty.  It should be no surprise that the members of that quasi-independent dynasty were included in the 13th Dynasty (even as 4th Dynasty Khafre and his sons were placed in the 5th Dynasty).  Senusret doubles as the 13th Dynasty pharaoh Ka-ankhre Sobekhotep I.  The throne name Kaankhre associates well with the typecasting of Senusret (Kenan) as a neo-Cain/Canaan.  Senusret/Kaankhre is even called Cainan in the genealogy of Shem.  His twin sons also assumed the name of Sobekhotep (II & III), as well as the “twin throne names” of Sekhemre-swadjtawy and Sekhemre-khutawy.  The crocodile god Sobek was a form of the god of war and chaos, Set, and naturally a deified aspect of the Nile River.  Honoring the god Sobek with the pharaonic name Sobek-hotep, “Sobek is Appeased,” signified the return to order and normalcy, especially with respect to beneficial annual flooding of the Nile after a period of drought and aridity (a condition also associated with the god Set).

Not only do events of the previous period (Old Kingdom) allow us to interpret those of the Middle Kingdom, so do events of the following periods (Hyksos and New Kingdom), and vice versa.  The Hyksos Ephraim was evidently known as Sobekemsaf I.  It was however Sobekemsaf rather than his twin sons that met with an early tragic death (see Chapter 10)!  In the New Kingdom, the so-called Libyan 22nd Dynasty was also quite clearly a double dynasty.  Its founder Sheshonq, the “Libyan Ephraim,” will be discussed in great detail in Chapters 17-26.  By examining the “fates” of his “twin co-regents” Osorkon (the analog of Sekhemkare) and Takelot (the analog of Amenemhet II), we can gain further insight into the Middle Kingdom history.  In Greek myth, Libya was mother of the twins Agenor (Ham) and Belus (Japheth).  Belus in turn became father of another set of twins, Aegyptus/Egypt (Mizraim) and Danaus (Cush) by Anchinoe daughter of Nilus.  This appears to be the source of the tradition of a junior dynasty of kings that eventually became the senior dynasts.  As in the earlier history, the younger twin, Sekhemkare, excelled the older, Amenemhet II, at least in royal fatherhood.  (Going back much, much farther, the fabled Empire of Atlantis was said to have been ruled by a succession of five sets of twins!)

Mahalalel: Amenemhet II

The first priority of Senusret I (Kenan/Cainan) was securing the mineral wealth of Nubia and the Sinai.  Senusret I was renowned as a trafficker, not only of foreign goods, but also foreign wives.  The variant Kenaanah means merchant.  Through this kind of diplomacy, relations seem to have been “normalized” with the rival house of Ur-Nammu in Mesopotamia (if the 3rd Dynasty of Ur was actually independent from Senusret, which is doubtful).  However, upon the death of his “father,” Senusret did something a bit out of the ordinary.  The “doubly fruitful” Ephraim established a dual co-regency with his two other sons, who happened to also be twins.  The more prominent of the two is the Patriarch Mahalalel (“Praised of God”).   The name Mahalalel is synonymous with the more familiar epithet of Judah, “praised, celebrated.”  Mahalalel is also a take-off on the Judah of the Gods (Egyptian Horus the Elder), i.e., the pre-Flood Patriarch of Mehushael, “He Who is of God.”  His twin brother Sekhemkare was patterned after the pre-Flood Issachar of the Gods, namely Mehujael, which means “smitten of God” (a Hebrew form of the Egyptian Osiris).  Like Horus the Elder and Osiris, Amenemhet II and Sekhemkare met untimely deaths, at least as far as their Egyptian identities were concerned.

In the genealogy of Shem, Sargon is called Arphaxad (Arpakkad, a word play on Akkad/Agade) and his dynasty is followed by those of Lud and Aram.  Lud (like Adam) appears to be a catch-all name for the pharaohs named Inyotef.  Aram (like Seth) associates well with the pharaohs named Montuhotep.  It also indicates that the natural line of the Montuhotep kings may have returned as dominant in the 12th Dynasty, or at least dignified as “honorary fathers” of the following dynasty.  The four sons of Aram correspond to the four leading Middle Kingdom propagators of the royal line, which included Sekhemkare (“Shechem”/ ”Issachar”), Inyotef IV (“Hul”), Auibre Hor (“Gether”) and Smenkhkare (“Meshech/Mash”). 

The cult of Issachar (i.e., Osiris) was extremely popular during the Middle Kingdom and this must have been associated with the prominence of the Issachar-figure Sekhemkare and his natural line.  This line continued through the Hyksos Period and onward into the New Kingdom.  It also explains why the Moses-figure Auibre Hor remained highly venerated in spite of his character faults.  He was the ancestor of all future royalty.  (Both Sargon and Hammurabi set the precedent for a Moses-figure to establish/perpetuate a kingly dynasty.  Akhenaten in the role of Moses would have held this same expectation, but failed in that regard.  His mistakes were not forgiven by royal posterity.  He was even denied the status of an honorary founder of a dynasty ala Shem.  The 18th Dynasty Smenkhkare also failed to fulfill the expectation derived from his own Middle Kingdom namesake.)

Prior to his “death (as pharaoh),” Amenemhet II and Sekhemkare had ruled alongside Senusret for 33 years.  At the Temple of Montu at el-Tod (just south of Hermonthis on the opposite side of the Nile) were found items from both Greece and Mesopotamia.  The first Amenemhet had been killed when his camp was attacked at night.  The second Amenemhet would also be killed in an ambush.  In fact, we are told that both sons of Ephraim died in the raid.  1 Chron. 7:21 (NIV) states, “Ezer and Elead were killed by the native-born men of Gath, when they went down to seize their livestock.”  In this passaged, Ezer corresponds to Sekhemkare (a.k.a. Eliezer/Abiezer) and Elead to Amenemhet II (a.k.a. Mahlah/Eladah).  (See Chart 1 for all name identifications.)

The death of two pharaohs, especially in the act of seizing property (prohibited under the reforms of Urukagina and also those of the late Old Kingdom), was a huge embarrassment and a bitter tragedy for the family.  As Re had mourned for Osiris, the setting sun god Ephraim grieved over his embalmed sons “for many days.”  Elead, also called Shuthelah in 1 Chronicles 7, is the younger but “stronger” son of Ephraim.[y]   He is the Patriarch Mehalalel of Genesis.  His older brother Ezer is variously named as Zabad in 1 Chronicles 7.  Zabad and Issachar were equivalent (interchangeable) Hebrews names, much like John and Jack in English.  Issachar (a.k.a. Shechem) is the Hebrew form of the Egyptian name Sekhem (as in Sekhem-kare). [z]

The assignment of the names “Sheresh and Peresh” to Amenemhet II and Sekhemkare helps to interpret the “family tragedy” of that time.  In the 5th Dynasty, Sahure (Ur-Zababa) submitted himself to symbolic death, which may have been precipitated by the actual passing of his twin brother Neferirkare (or at least his conceding the throne to Sahure and his sons).  This contrived scenario served to advance the career of Sargon son of Sahure (“Zerah”).  In the 12th Dynasty “Repetition of Births,” it is again the sons of the younger twin, Sheresh/Zerah II, that are highlighted (rather than the elder Peresh/Perez II).  These sons were called “Rekem” (Inyotef IV) and Ulam (Auibre Hor), who became pharaohs along with Ephraim’s grandson “Ishod” (Senusret III), the surviving son of “Gilead” (Wegaf).

It appears that “Sheresh and Peresh” (Amenemhet II and Sekhemkare) resigned Egypt in order to clear room for the junior princes, and perhaps to devote themselves to royal business elsewhere within the global Empire.  Their “deaths” at the hands of some wary “cattle herders” certainly provided a dramatic object lesson.  They essentially made examples of themselves as a warning to others.  No one was to be above the law.  However, the names and activities of Amenemhet II and Sekhemkare outside of Egypt are not readily discernible.  The lack of a clear father-figure in the decades to come also indicates that royal male leadership may have in fact been severed.  Perhaps the twins were dying of some shared illness, or perhaps they were literally killed in a para-military operation gone wrong.  Perhaps there was even an element of intrigue.

The raiding of nearby territories and seizure of their livestock (against the token resistance of a provincial chieftain) was a stock theme of pharaonic rule from at least the time of the Old Kingdom.  In fact, the first known depiction comes from the mortuary temple of Sahure, the very role model of Senusret’s son Sekhemkare.  Even more telling, the name Sekhemkare itself was one intimately associated with the reign of Sahure, and appears to have been the alias of Sahure himself as Grand Vizier prior to his succession of Khafre (and/or Userkaf) as Pharaoh of Egypt.  Is it possible that Sekhemkare son of Senusret was literally killed (along with his twin brother Amenemhet II) in a routine razzia? Certainly, but this was a time when real tragedy was increasingly being replaced by ritualized (substitutional) tragedy.  If history could not be prevented from repeating itself, it could at least be “stage-managed.”  The premature death of a royal person did continue to happen on occasion, but rarely due to genuine conflict or intrigue.  It was no longer necessary to feel the pain of one’s own loss, but only relive that of less enlightened ancestors.

The House of Jacob

Jared: Senusret II

No sons are mention in the genealogy of Peresh (1 Chron. 7).  Sheresh is, however, the father of two princes, Ulam and Rakem.  Rakem (“multi-colored, embroidered fabric”) is an obvious epithet for the 12th Dynasty Joseph figure (Inyotef IV).  Ulam (“mute”) corresponds to Auibre Hor (a.k.a. “Moses” with the speech defect).  However, according to the rules of succession, priority had to first be given to any surviving brothers of Peresh and Sheresh.  It became necessary for Ephraim to replace the two fallen heirs with a younger son.  In other words he was forced to name a new co-regent and successor.  There were other prominent princes in the reign of Senusret I.  These included Khnumhotep (II) of Beni Hassan, Sarenput (II) at Elephantine and Djehutyhotep of Bersha.  The exact relationship of these princes with Senusret I is not known.  The Bible is our only source of insight, and even its records are sketchy during this time period.

According to 1 Chron. 7:20-23, the slain sons of the elderly Ephraim (Senusret I) were replaced by an existing younger son named Bered (Senusret II), as well as another son yet to be born.  The Hebrew epithet of the existing prince was Bered.  On account of the tragic event, the name of the newborn prince was to be Beriah (“trouble”).  However, the identities of these two (separate) princes understandably became somewhat confused.  After three decades of steady expansion, Senusret I endured a major setback, not to mention humiliation and grief.  The Genesis author does not call Senusret II by the name of Beriah or Bered, but Jered.  In the Genesis list, Jered follows Mahalalel.  The name Jered means “fallen, cast down.”  The pseudonym of Jered makes identification with the fallen sons of Senusret I.  It was chosen in order to forge a connection with the Ante-Diluvian Patriarch Irad, who “went down” to Egypt and became the leading god-king there, only to fall sensationally from grace. 

The career of Senusret II was effectively that of the god Re in reverse.  In other words, the death of the Osiris-figure preceded his rise to power rather than followed it.  It is unlikely that Senusret II was complicit in the deaths of his predecessors, but tradition had to still be fulfilled (even backwards, if necessary).  If the deaths were real, perhaps he had been careless of negligent in some way.  If the deaths had been staged, then Senusret II may have deliberately been give some token role to play.  It was not enough for the senior princes to simply abdicate in favor of Senusret II.  They had to also set up the typecasting of Senusret within the overall dynasty.  That role of Senusret II was as the 12th Dynasty “Jacob the Grabber (Usurper),” and the analog of Khufu in the Old Kingdom.  If he had truly murdered his older brothers, it is highly doubtful he could have ever become a pharaoh.

Perhaps the biggest source of “trouble” facing the new pharaoh Senusret II (“Jered/Bered/Beriah the Elder”) was in turning excess floodwater from a bane into a bumper crop.  The diversion of Nile water into the artificial lake region of the Faiyum was a desperate and initially successful attempt to increase food production.  The project would have sustained a larger population and a bigger army with which to compete with their rivals, not only in Egypt and Canaan, but also in Mesopotamia.  Senusret II shared most of the credit for this grand project with his adopted son Inyotef IV (Rakem, “multi-colored coat”), true son of the departed Sekhemkare.  As the Hebrew nickname Rakem suggests, this prince was typecast as “Joseph son of Jacob” in the 12th Dynasty.  And as the Joseph figure his job description was to supervise water works and the stockpiling of grain as a precaution against famine (from too much or too little water).

It was in the reign of Senusret II that prince Khnumhotep (II) received ambassadors and gifts from Abi-Shu of the Hyksos, “rulers of foreign lands,” i.e., Mesopotamia.  About this time, the reigning king of the 3rd Dynasty of Ur would have been Shu-Sin.  For propaganda purposes, a routine state visit from Mesopotamian dignitaries and customary exchange of gifts may have been boasted of as tribute.  However, the presence of Hyksos ambassadors indicates that the might of Egypt was on the increase and the rulers of Mesopotamia were eager to maintain good relations and spy on their progress.  It is interesting that the Hyksos did not come to Senusret II, but to Khnumhotep (II) of the old regime.  Leading princes of the reign of Senusret I such as Khnumhotep II, Sirenput II and Djehutihotep retained their power into the reign of Senusret II.[aa]   Rather than forcing the submission of these nomarchs, Senusret was compelled (as were the Hyksos) to induce their cooperation with gifts and honors.  The implications is that Amenemhet II and his twin brother were still very much in power, but now dominating Egypt as “foreign overlords.” [bb]   Senusret II was afforded a reasonable number of years to produce an acceptable heir of his own.  However, when he did not, he was forced to step down and give other princes an opportunity to rule.  Senusret II, already forced to accept the branding of a killer and usurper, would not be difficult to depose.

Enoch II: Auibre Hor (Wahibre), Pre-Exile

In the Genesis narrative, the lines of the two Adam’s are twisted together.  One artifact of this literary device is that attributes of the earlier group of “god-kings” appear to be mixed up with those of the later group.  Conversely, attributes of the later line of Adam are obviously much more appropriate for the earlier gods.  The cross coupling was probably intended, but it does lead to some confusion.  For example, extraordinary life spans are attached to the second line of Adam, which correspond to the Middle Kingdom pharaohs.  These pharaohs were renowned for their long reigns, but they did not live exceptionally long lives by today’s standard.  It was the gods who possessed great longevity.  However, we are not told how long each Patriarch descending from the first Adam lived.  The fantastical life spans of those earlier god-kings are instead attached to the second line of Adam.

In Chapter 3, it was noted that the 777 years attributed to Lamech was only a symbolic figure.  The number seven was the number of Thoth (Lamech I), it was the number of the Great Pyramid, and also the Biblical number of completion.  The Patriarch Enoch was said to live 365 years.  This figure of 365 is likewise highly symbolic.  The god Enki (Enoch) was “Lord of the Earth,” and responsible for determining the properties of Earth.  Of course, 365 is the number of whole days in one year.  The Earth revolves around the Sun in approximately 365.25 days.  The 365 years of Enoch are the fewest of all the early Patriarchs.  However, there is no indication that the life span of the god Enki was in any way cut short.  In the lore of Mesopotamia, Ea-Enki remained alive (if not fully active) right up until the time of the Great Flood.  He did “vanish” at this time, but so did the rest of the pantheon.[4]

The premature disappearance of Enoch would then seem to apply more to the second Patriarch by that name.  It was once considered possible that an ephemeral 13th Dynasty pharaoh named Au-ibre Hor actually belonged to the late 12th Dynasty.  The rationale for this was that Au-ibre Hor had been buried within the pyramid complex of the 12th Dynasty pharaoh Amenemhet III at Dahshur.  In addition to the coffin and mummy of Au-ibre Hor, his tomb also contained a funerary chest inscribed with the praenomen of Amenemhet III, Nymaatre.[cc]   According to the Turin king-list, Auibre ruled for only a matter of months.  However, there is a variant of Au-ibre in the Egyptian 13th Dynasty, that being Wah-ibre, who was considered to rule for over 11 years.  If these two pharaohs were actually one and the same, then Wah-ibre/Au-ibre Hor would have been appointed as co-regent very early in the reign of Senusret II.

An artifact of the Egyptian king-list is that the 12th and 13th Dynasties are interleaved rather than being sequential (See Chart 6).[dd]   The Middle Kingdom pharaohs were renowned for their long reigns.  Moreover, the Middle Kingdom was also noted for the practice of co-regency.  A number of these co-regents did not survive their long-lived fathers to reign in their own right, but were nevertheless considered pharaohs.  The so-called 13th Dynasty pharaohs Wegaf, Sekhemkare and Sobekhotep I, II & III were mentioned above. The two sons of Sekhemkare were also included in the 13th Dynasty list under the names of Inyotef and Auibre Hor.

Auibre Hor is best known for another item found in his tomb.  This is a full-scale “ka-statue” of the naked Auibre Hor in a striding pose.  Nudity in burial statues may have symbolized rebirth along with the removal of guilt for the sins of one’s lifetime.  (It also was associated with the later Moses figure, Akhenaten, and relates to the “nakedness” of Adam/Atum (before “eating the forbidden fruit”).[ee]   The media of carved wood accentuates the natural state of the pharaoh.  Antenna-like arms of the ka symbol protruding from his head, and the spooky inlaid eyes of the statue lend an alien quality to the departed Auibre.[ff]   The first Enoch, that is the god Enki, was believed to have ascended to heaven on more than one occasion.  However, the disappearance of the second Enoch can be attributed to more mundane factors. 

Au-ibre was made to share the blame in his own father’s death, and forced into exile.  If Senusret II was the god Re on the rise, Auibre Hor was the god Re in disgrace.  An Osiris-figure (namely Sekhemkare) was dead, and a price had to be paid.  Guilty or not, Auibre Hor was given refuge in Babylon, but eventually allowed to leave and renew his kingship elsewhere.  During the reign of Amenemhet III, he finally returned to Egypt with a vengeance.  Auibre had been typecast as the 12th Dynasty “Moses son of Joseph,” and with Joseph corresponding to Auibre’s older brother Inyotef. 

The tragedy of Sekhemkare’s death (real or staged) presented a challenge to the royal family elders and advisors in portioning out the various divine roles among the various princes of the day.  It was decided to divide the role of Re between two princes. Like the god Re, Senusret II “went down to Egypt” and usurped the throne.  Auibre Hor, on the other hand, was forced out of Egypt.  Like the god Re he only returned just prior to a major natural disaster.

House of Benjamin (12th Dynasty)

Methuseleh: Senusret III

Senusret II (Jared) and Auibre-Hor (Enoch) were succeeded, and quite probably also deposed by the warrior king Senusret III.  In Genesis, Senusret III is called the Patriarch Methuseleh (“Man of the Missile”) and indicates that he took assumed the role of Horus the Younger (son of Horus the Elder and honorary son of the fallen Osiris).  Normally, the Horus the Younger role spanned two dynasties, however Senusret III occupies the middle of the 12th Dynasty instead.  This was an innovation later repeated by Thutmose III in the middle of the 18th Dynasty.  As Horus became the champion of his fallen fathers Horus the Elder and Osiris, so Senusret III avenged the deaths of the “twins” Amenemhet II and Sekhemkare.  He usurped the place of the usurper Senusret II (Jared) and his fallen son Auibre Hor.  One of his Biblical epithets is Malkiel, “king (appointed) by God,” which hails back to the earlier grabber, Sargon/Israel, “ruler by right/God.”

Amenemhet II had a world-view.  The towering Senusret III also looked outward.  According to Manetho, Senusret stood seven feet and two inches tall.  Herodotus makes him a more modest six feet and six inches.  One Biblical epithet of Senusret III is Ishod, “man of great size.” [gg]   The legendary long legs of Senusret were certainly put to good use in his wide travels.  Another Biblical epithet of Senusret is Shashak, the “pedestrian/strider.”  Although not confirmed by archaeology, Manetho asserted that Senusret “conquered all Asia in 9 years and Europe as far as Thrace.” [hh]   Senusret assumed the Kassite (Indian/Sanskrit) name of Gandash.  In China, he was remembered as Kun, founder of the very first imperial dynasty of China.

As lord of all Mesopotamia, Senusret would later assume the lofty title of Suma-abum.
At this time, Ibbi-Sin was king of the still powerful 3rd Dynasty of Ur.  However, Ibbi-Sin was overthrown by one of his own ministers named Ishbi-Erra.  It was said of Ishbi-Erra that he was “not of Sumerian seed.”  This was probably no more than name-calling.  Ishbi-Erra had been a high-ranking minister of Ibbi-Sin.  Senusret III evidently made an alliance with Ishbi-Erra and encouraged his rebellion.  After Senusret III took possession of Ur, the daughters of Ishbi-Erra stayed on as high priestesses in that city.  However, it should no longer be concluded that this (non-Sumerian) Ishbi-Erra was also the founder of a new Sumerian kingdom in Isin.

There is a “striking” resemblance between the name Methuseleh (a.k.a. Patriarch Shelah) “Man of the Missile/Spear” and that of Senusret meaning “Man of (the goddess) Sret.”  The Egyptian sret would have been similar in pronunciation to the Hebrew seleh.  Sret, also written as Wosret, was the manifestation of Isis as the Earth Goddess or Goddess of the Mines.  Another Biblical name for Methuseleh is Resheph son of Beriah (the Elder).  Senusret III was not the literal son of Senusret II, however he was his political successor.  The name Resheph means “thunderbolt.”  This nickname links the famous military man Senusret III (a.k.a. Sesostris) to the patron Greek god Zeus.

In the Bible, the long-lived Methuseleh dies one year before the Flood.  After a sole reign of over 39 years, Senusret III died about one year before the cataclysmic flood of the Nile that occurred at the end of the 12th Dynasty in Egypt.[ii]   The timing of Senusret’s conquest is remarkable.  Only a year after his death, Egypt was itself overcome by uncontrollable flooding.  Rather than bringing down the line of the Middle Kingdom pharaohs, it provided the impetus to make Mesopotamia the primary court once again.

Lamech and Noah: Amenemhet III

Sargon was large and had a bellowing voice.  Auibre Hor was small and had a speech impediment.  Between the time of the death of the twins and his own death, Senusret sired one more prince, the future Amenemhet III.  He intended for this prince not only to replace his fallen sons, but potentially to also replace Auibre Hor as an avenging Marduk/Moses-figure.  Auibre Hor had to share the role of Re with Senusret II.  He would next be required to share the role of Marduk with Amenemhet III (Beriah II/Beriah the Younger).

Between Sesostris (Senusret III) and the female ruler Skemiophirs (Queen Sobeknofru), Manetho lists three pharaohs, namely, Lamares, Ameres and Ammenemes.  Two of these three names logically correspond to last two pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom, Amenemhet III and Amenemhet IV (with similar names).  The Biblical name of Lamech bears an obvious resemblance to that of the Greek Lamares (Lemur/Thoth).  In the Book of Genesis, the “son” of Methuseleh is named as Lamech.  Manetho notes that Lamares “built the Labyrinth in Arsinoe[jj] to be his tomb.”  The structure typically associated with the Labyrinth of legend belonged to the Pyramid complex of Amenemhet III.

Amenemhet was crowned at a very early age and ruled for up to 45 years.  About 30 of those 45 years were alongside Senusret III.  Within about eight years of rule, Amenemhet III reached puberty and was unable to sire royal sons of his own.  His counterpart in the role of Lamech/Marduk was successful in royal fatherhood and eventually fulfilled the role of Lamech/Marduk.  The childless Amenemhet was then pigeon-holed more exclusively as a Noah-figure, who was granted wisdom and longevity but not immortality (that came though a dynastic line).  Although Amenemhet III was a king of the late Egyptian Middle Kingdom, circumstances of his reign provided a convenient place for a “flashback” to a great hero and event of a much earlier age.  Amenemhet was seen as a repetition of the Great Flood survivor Utnapishtim, who was memorialized in the Gilgamesh legends and in the Bible beginning with Genesis 6.

Senusret III recorded the annual flood level of the Nile during the first eight years of his reign.  When Amenemhet III was appointed co-regent, he assumed this responsibility.  Many of these readings have now been destroyed, however enough remain to indicate that Egypt was being vexed with greater and greater amounts of river water during this time period.  The troubled expressions on the faces of Amenemhet III and Senusret III suggest that there were more disastrous floods than beneficial ones.

The chosen throne name (praenomen) of Amenemhet III was Ny-maatre, which means “Belonging to the Justice/Truth of (the god) Re.”  His Babylonian name was Sumulael.  The suffix “la-el” also means “belonging to God.”  Ny/Utna, or Noah II as he is called in the Bible, [kk] was the Patriarch who was forced to cope with the actual Middle Kingdom Flood.  He was not entirely successful in this endeavor, and the statuary of his reign attempts to portray him as empathizing with the suffering of the people.  However, in Mesopotamia there must have been much cause for rejoicing.  An article of jewelry belonging to princess Merit, daughter of Senusret III, names Amenemhet III as “the good god, lord of both lands and all foreign lands.” [ll]   The fortunes of Amenemhet III now lay beyond the borders of Egypt.

Shem: Amenemhet IV

Upon the death of Senusret III, Amenemhet III became master of the realm and appointed a co-regent of his own, Amenemhet IV.  Although they shared a common Egyptian name, this designated successor was probably not a son of Amenemhet III.  Amenemhet IV was more likely a younger brother of Senusret III.  The name Shem is synonymous with the Egyptian Het, “forefront, renown.”  Another Biblical nickname for Shem is Tahan son of Telah (Chart 7).  Tahan, which means “station,” is synonymous with the name Shem, “conspicuous position.”  Tahan is derived from the Hebrew word chanah, which is a variant of Hanan/Amen.  As the pseudonym Shem indicates, this king was also more concerned with the land of Mesopotamia (Shumer) than that of Egypt.  When he succeeded to the greater throne upon the deaths of Amenemhet III and Amenemhet IV, Egypt was devastated.  The primary royal court was eventually moved back to Mesopotamia.  Although there is little or no evidence of the Patriarch Shem in Egypt, he was somewhat better attested in Babylonian as the wise king and appointee of judges, Sabium.

Shem (Sabium/Amenemhet IV) is portrayed as the dominant Patriarch after the Great Flood of Egypt.  This was necessary in order for the Genesis author to pattern the Egyptian Middle Kingdom after the earlier time of the gods.  Like Etana, the first Shem, the second Shem had powerful rivals.  During the late Middle Kingdom, Mesopotamia was being conquered by Egyptian kings and princes.  The five “sons” of Shem given in Genesis 10:22 is a “Who’s Who” of contemporary powers.  Although Aram is listed fifth, his sons are given priority over the others.  He was the first of this group to achieve kingship.  In fact, his kingship actually preceded that of Shem himself.


[a] Yem is a proto-Indo-European root meaning “twin” or tanist.  J.P. Mallory, In Search of the Indo-Europeans, p 140.
[b] These higher ranking princes included Userkaf and Kakai/Nefer-ir-kare, as well as Nefer-ir-kare’s sons Nefer-ef-re/Ranefer and Ny-user-re, in addition to a possible son and grandson of former pharaoh Menkaure, viz., Menkauhor and Djedkare/Teti.
[c] For translations of the Sargon Legend, see:  www-etcsl.orient.ox.ac.uk/index.htm, www.piney.com/BabSarLeg2.html, www.earth-history.com/sumer-sargon-legend.htm
[d] An expression used in the contemporary Instruction of Merikare from Egypt indicates that it may have been expected that Sahure/Ur-Zababa “kill his ‘son’ [Sargon] for the sake of his ‘brother’ [Puzur/Nefer-ir-kare].” 
[e] See, A Twisted History: Genesis and the Cosmos for parallels between Moses and Marduk.
[f] S.N. Kramer, The Sumerians, pp 35, 58, 75, 79-83, 124.
[g] Joan Oates writes, “Another tribal federation of this period [of Hammurabi] were the Maru- or Binu-Yamina, a name meaning ‘Sons of the South’ which is linguistically related to the Old Testament tribal name of Benjamin.”  Babylon, p 56.
[h] Mer and Mar are different roots, however they lend themselves in this case to word play between Egyptian, Sumerian and Akkadian languages, and even between dialects of Akkadian and Canaanite.
[i] Pierre Levy, Cyberculture (Electronic Mediations), University of Minnesota Press, p xv. (Robert Bononno, translator from the French)
[j] From the root rim/erim/erin, “enemy, destruction, hostile, evil.”  The direct meaning of Ri-mush in Sumerian may have been something like:  “Surging/Flood Serpent,” “Inundation Inspector” or “Far/Place Explorer”; or from Ri-mu: “Well-Formed/Fat Begetting/Plan” or “Take/Exchange an Oath/Name.”
[k] English spelling: zeph/zaph.  Related Hebrew words based on this root are tsepheth (“to encircle”); tsephiyrah (“a crown, as encircling the head”); tsaphan (“to hide by covering over”); and tsaphah (“expansion, overlay”). 
[l] Chob is a contraction of the word chabab, meaning “to hide (as in the bosom), i.e. to cherish (with affection), to love.”  The Biblical name Yechubbah means “hidden.”
[m] The Jacob role was based upon the god Re/Ra, and had been played numerous times before Sargon.  The latest to do so was Khufu of the Old Kingdom.
[n] Gen 47:9 (KJV)
[o] See Chapter 15 of this book.
[p] Gad (Inyotef III) and Manasseh (Amenemhet I) are also linked and share the tribal inheritance of Gilead (a renowned site of standing stones) in the Trans-Jordan.
[q] Aidon Dodson & Dyan Hilton,The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, p 84.
[r] “The Prophesy of Neferti, in Ancient Near Eastern Texts, J. Pritchard, ed., p 445.
[s] This epithet makes Amenemhet something of an archetypal “Ahaz.”
[t] From the genealogy of Benjamin in 1 Chronicles 7:6-12 it appears that Senusret A (Jediael) was the most junior of the three sons of Gudea (Benjamin). 
[u] “The Prophesy of Neferti,” in Ancient Near Eastern Texts, J. Pritchard, ed., p 444.
[v] “The Execration of Asiatic Princes,” in ANET, J. Pritchard, ed., p 329, parentheticals mine.
[w] “The Instruction of King Amen-em-het,” in ANET, J. Pritchard, ed., p 418-419.
[x] Peter Clayton, Chronicles of the Pharaohs, p 78.
[y] Elah means “strong.”  In other genealogies, Amenemhet II (Elead/Shuthelah) is called Eladah, Gilead and Imnah (“right hand, prosperity”).  See Chart 7.
[z] In other genealogies, pharaoh Sekhemkare (Issachar/Zabad/Ezer) is called Ishvi and Tahath.  See Chart 7.  Ishvi and Tahath are synonymous and signify “flatness.”  This appears to be a pun on the Egyptian name Sekhem (Shechem), which in Hebrew denotes just the opposite, “hilly.”  Hezron, an epithet of the first Patriarch named Zerah, has the meaning of “enclosed courtyard,” i.e., an “expansion” or enlargement of a house.
[aa] Miroslav Verner, The Pyramids, p 385.
[bb] The tombs of Ur III are the first royal burials known in Mesopotamia.
[cc] Miroslav Verner, The Pyramids, 426.
[dd] For a more complete list of 13th Dynasty pharaohs see Aidan Dodson, Monarchs of the Nile, p 207.
[ee] For the cosmological parallels between Atum and Adam, see A Twisted History: Genesis and the Cosmos.
[ff] Compare the 6th Dynasty statues of Meryre-ha-ishetef, Overseer of Entertainers. 
[gg] In the genealogy of Manasseh (Amenemhet I), the eldest son of Gilead (Amenemhet II) is named as Ishod.  Strong’s Concordance defines Ishod (379) as “man of grandeur (i.e. an imposing form and appearance.”  (from 376 and 1935)  Ishod is a fitting epithet for the gigantic Senusret III. 
[hh] G. Verbrugghe and J. Wickersham, Berossos and Manetho, p 138.
[ii] David Rohl, Pharaohs and Kings, p339.
[jj] Possibly referring to the Arsinoite Nome.
[kk] Noah means “rest.”  Amenemhet, the second Patriarch named Noah, is also called Telah, which has the meaning of “breach.”  This nickname may allude to the uncontrollable waters of the Nile, and the required evacuation of Amenemhet and his court. 
[ll] Miroslav Verner, The Pyramids, p 419.


[1]
Note 1:

An “amplified” profile of Sargon would be as a man who was large, handsome, active, and domineering, with a distinctive facial feature (such as throat/voice, beard or nose) and a bitter, rebellious attitude (something stuck in his craw).

mara (4754) maw-raw’ to rebel, hence (through the idea of maltreating) to whip, i.e., lash (self with wings, as the ostrich in running):-- be filthy, lift up self.

marad (4775) maw-rad’; to rebel:-- rebel(ious)

mare (4756) maw-ray’; domineering; a master:-- lord, Lord.
            Or mora (see 4172) “terror”

mora (4172) from 3372; fear; by impl. a fearful thing or deed:-- dread, (that ought to be) fear (-ed), terribleness, terror.

mareh (4758) mar-eh’; handsome, a vision

murah (4760) moor-aw’; something conspicuous, i.e. the craw of a bird (from its prominence).

marah (4784) maw-raw’; to be bitter; (fig.) to rebel (or resist; causat. to provoke):-- bitter, change, be disobedient, disobey, grievously, provocation, provoke(ing), (be) rebel (against, -lious).

meriy (4805) mer-ee’; bitterness, i.e. (fig.) rebellion; concr. bitter, or rebellious.
meriy’ (4806) mer-ee’; from 4754 in the sense of grossness, through the idea of domineering (comp. 4756); stall-fed; often (as noun) a beeve:-- fat (fed) beast (cattle, -ling).

 

[2]
Note 2:

The Hebrew word mutta means “scepter, rule.”  Therefore, Ya-muta could be interpreted as “God Rules” or “He Rules as God.”  This latter definition is the same as the name or title of Israel, which was later bestowed upon the Patriarch Jacob.

matta (4302) mat-taw’; something planted, i.e. the place (a garden or vineyard), or the thing (a plant, fig. of men); by impl. the act, planting.  (Cf Sargon, son of the Gardiner.)

 

[3]
Note 3:

The Biblical name of Seth derives from the god known in the Egyptian Delta as Set or Seth.  In Upper Egypt, Seth was called Montu.  In Canaan and Syria this same god was called Ba’al or Aram.  Aram means “elevated place, highlands,” i.e., the mountainous regions where Baal worship was most prevalent.  Baal/Seth was a god with a thundering (bellowing) voice.  His home was among dark clouds of the high mountains.  He represented the strong and handsome champion.  Baal was bold and beautiful, the god of the “over-dog.”  The Bible documents the bitter dispute that arose in later times regarding whether Yahweh (Amen) or Baal was to be venerated as the supreme god.  However, in the dynasty of Sargon, the cult of Amen was newly formed and not in conflict with that of Montu.

Montu-hotep means “(the god) Montu is Appeased.”   Montu was a god of aggression and war, and the dynasty of Sargon indulged Montu with almost continual warfare.  Three other prominent sons and grandsons also assumed the Egyptian name of Montuhotep.  Manishtushu/Ur-Bau became pharaoh Montuhotep I.  His son and co-regent was also a Montuhotep (II).  Ur-Gar, a son of Gudea became Montuhotep III. 

 

[4]
Note 4:

A case can be made that Patriarch Enoch (II) should not be associated with Auibre Hor, but the leading Joseph-figure of the Middle Kingdom, i.e., Inyotef IV, who is discussed in detail in Chapter 8.  If it could be determined that the Auibre Hor was the biological son of Inyotef IV, then that would make for a stronger case.  However, Inyotef IV does not seem to have produced any natural sons/heirs and therefore does not become more than a supporting actor in the royal drama of that time.

In the book, A Twisted History: Genesis and the Cosmos, it was concluded that the first Patriarch Enoch represented both a god and a planet.  The god was Enki/Ptah, but the planet was Uranus (prior to its impact with the triple planet “Marduk” (“Hermes Trismegistus”).  Therefore, the name Enoch has associations with both the god Ptah (En-Ki) and the god Osiris (“En-Akh”).  It may be that the Middle Kingdom prince known as Wah-ibre/Au-ibre (“Stable/Supporting is the Heart of Re”) was first typecast as an Osiris, and only later acquired the roles of Hor/Horus (Ham/Benjamin) and Marduk (Moses).  This could also explain the Osiris styled name of Akh-en-aten and why Akhenaten also bore the epithet of Wa-en-Re (modelled after Wah-ib-Re).

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