"The Fullness of Time"
(The Dual Identities of Joseph, Moses and Joshua)
Kings and Shepherds
The rise of Joseph from obscurity to the highest administrative office in Egypt is brilliantly scripted in the Biblical narrative (see Chapter 15). Nevertheless, in the ancient world all positions of power were reserved for favored members of the ruling family, and for them alone. It was within their right to flaunt royalty, but often their delight to disguise it. With consummate understatement, Joseph is depicted as only a cherished shepherd boy with a dream to be someone great. He was in fact an eminently pedigreed royal prince in a family with a very long tradition as "shepherds of the people." Joseph did more than leave a legacy, he lived out a legacy. For this reason, his story is not told as a simple biography, but as a repetition of an earlier ancestor.
In the Book of Genesis, the lives of the Patriarchs do not appear to be completely their own. It is as if they are powerless to resist their fates. For example, Abraham and his royal sister-wife Sarah are urged to abandon their comfortable home in Babylon, and are then "carried away by the Lord" to the strange land of Egypt. Similarly, the Patriarch Joseph is ushered out of a pastoral setting in Canaan so that he can become the "double" of pharaoh, and be used by God himself to preserve life. "It is this very dramatic power of the story that has caused some modern biblical critics to view it as something other than a recitation of the facts of the 'historical Joseph's' life. Some have suggested that, before it became the biblical story of Joseph, a tale of this sort must have existed in schematic form, a folktale, which was only later 'tacked on' to fit the family and circumstances of the biblical Joseph."a
It can now be said, in literary terms, that the Torah (first five Biblical books) is written as a series of epic cycles.b However, the cycles of the Torah have an additional element of complexity, because they are also doublets. Each main character (cycle) combines the memory of two persons, not one. More specifically, every major Patriarch is described as a "second coming" of some previous ancestor. As with the second Adam (Sargon-Israel) and his descendants, so it is with the later figures of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses. Genesis does not explicitly tell us the kingly identity of Patriarch Joseph, much less that of the earlier ancestor within the Patriarchal line that served as his archetype. Neither does Genesis provide this information for any of the other Patriarchs. However, all Patriarchs and their archetypes can now be determined with the help of archaeology. This is possible, because the Bible provides us with a nearly continuous family history from the first king of Sumer until the last king of Jerusalem.
In Stranger in the Valley of the Kings, Ahmed Osman proved that the identity of Biblical Joseph was that of Prime Minister Yuya in the Egyptian New Kingdom. However, there is another dimension to this discovery that may now be understood. An ancestor of Yuya in the Egyptian Middle Kingdom served as his role model. This earlier member of Yuya's family had a similar name and held an identical office to his own. Working backwards from the time of Yuya in the Egyptian 18th Dynasty, the identity of the first Joseph can be found among the great princes of the 12th Dynasty.
A Middle Kingdom context for the Biblical Joseph has recently been championed by David Rohl in Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest.c Rohl identifies Amenemhet III as the pharaoh who appointed Joseph as Vizier (Prime Minister) of Egypt. In the late 12th Dynasty, it was also pharaoh Amenemhet III who commissioned the building of the legendary Labyrinth at Hawara in Lower Egypt. Rohl presents evidence that this enigmatic structure functioned as a sophisticated granary before being incorporated into Amenemhet's mortuary temple. The remains of this vast complex are found near Amenemhet's own pyramid. Both the pyramid and mortuary complex of Amenemhet were built alongside an offshoot of the Nile that is known even today as the Bahr Yousef ("Waterway of Joseph"). Rohl proposes that the Biblical Joseph modified a parallel branch of the Nile in order to divert excess floodwater into the vast artificial lake of the Faiyum (a.k.a. Moeris).
During the reign of Amenemhet III, disastrously high water levels were recorded at the second cataract in Upper Egypt. The civil engineering of the first Joseph was performed in order to divert some of this excess into the new agricultural district of the Faiyum, and to prevent the Delta from being swamped. However, beginning with Year 20 of Amenemhet III, the annual floodwaters of the Nile rose to even higher levels. Flood control was either inadequate or overwhelmed. Consequently, normal planting and harvesting was not possible. The myriad compartments of the "Labyrinth" at Hawara would have made ideal "safe deposit boxes" for the grain reserves of Egypt's many temples and estates, which were stored away during "good years." This food was then "withdrawn" and distributed during the years of famine.
House of Joseph
Joseph: Inyotef IV
During the early Egyptian 12th Dynasty, Egypt became separated politically from Mesopotamia. The founder of the 12th dynasty, Amenemhet I, was killed by a rival prince, Ur-Nammu. Ur-Nammu seized control over Mesopotamia, and founded the 3rd Dynasty of Ur.d This effectively stranded the house of Amenemhet in Egypt. Nevertheless, the pharaohs of the Egyptian 12th Dynasty ultimately recaptured the throne of Mesopotamia and reunited their "world." In the Egyptian New Kingdom, Egypt was again cut off from Mesopotamia, much as it had been during the Egyptian Middle Kingdom. Collateral lines of the royal family were ruling independently over those respective regions as they had in the Middle Kingdom. The pharaohs of the New Kingdom looked back upon that period for inspiration and for a plan.e Despite the intrigue and conflict among Egyptian princes of the Middle Kingdom, they still managed to prevail over their rivals in Mesopotamia. The princes of the New Kingdom carefully followed the earlier example, even to the point of assuming their names, relationships, actions and alliances. Even so, the New Kingdom royals were not able to re-conquer Mesopotamia. Nevertheless, the extreme measures they undertook to emulate their Middle Kingdom ancestors became the basis for the Torah narratives.
The story of Joseph in the Torah is a composite of two historical persons. The Joseph of the Egyptian 18th Dynasty was patterned specifically after a prominent royal person of the 12th Dynasty. The first major event in the life of Biblical Joseph was his persecution. Joseph was favored by his father, which along with his pride provoked the jealousy of his elder brothers. He was cast into a pit and then left to die. However, he did not perish but was instead rescued by his brother Judah. The metaphor of being left to die in a well is an obvious allusion to the Legend of Etana. The prince who was cast into the well was not rescued for purely humanitarian reasons. He was needed in order to produce an heir for Etana. (See Chapter 4) Likewise, Joseph was spared by Judah for dynastic purposes. The Middle Kingdom Judah was Amenemhet II (Patriarch Mehalalel). In exchange for his life, Inyotef produced an heir, named Auibre, on the behalf of Amenemhet II.
According to the Biblical typecasting, Joseph was the son of Jacob. The leading Jacob figure of the 12th Dynasty was pharaoh Senusret II. Therefore, it can be deduced that he was the father of Inyotef (Joseph). Shortly after the birth of Auibre, Senusret II supplanted Amenemhet II and Sekhemkare, probably through treachery. However, like the earlier Gudea, he was careful to present himself as a pious, compassionate king.f In an attempt to appease the deposed house of Amenemhet II, Senusret II named a very young Auibre as his co-regent. Although Auibre would have been a legal son of Amenemhet II, he was the biological grandson of Senusret II through Inyotef. However, Amenemhet II and Sekhemkare had other sons who challenged this arrangement. They no doubt considered themselves to be the rightful heirs of their fallen fathers. Both Auibre and Senuret II were eventually overthrown. Senusret III (Patriarch Methuseleh) reclaimed the throne of his father Amenemhet II and named a brother Khendjer (Patriarch Lamech II) as his co-regent. Sobekhotep II (Aram) re-established the throne of Sekhemkare (Issachar) and named Sobekhotep III (Arphaxad) his co-regent. With the demise of Senusret II (Jacob) and Auibre, the fortunes of Inyotef (Joseph) also fell. There was no place for him in the new order of Egypt. (See Chart 15 for the chronology of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom.)
In the previous chapter, the "scarlet thread" of kingship was traced down through the Patriarch Shelah, who was identified as the Mesopotamian king Sin-Muballit and Egyptian pharaoh Neferhotep I. Neferhotep (Shelah) was the successor of Sobekhotep III (Arphaxad). Two brothers of Neferhotep ruled alongside him as his own co-regents. The Egyptian names of these brothers were Si-Hathor and Sobekhotep IV. In Mesopotamia, Si-Hathor was known as Zimri-Lim king of Mari, and Sobekhotep IV was called Shamsi-Adad king of Assyria. The pharaohs of this period were naturally proud of their newly won Asiatic dominions. The term "Asiatic" ceased to be a pejorative epithet, and instead became a mark of distinction even in Egypt.
After ruling alongside Senusret III for about 10 years, Khendjer either died or was disgraced. He was replaced as co-regent of Senusret III by Amenemhet III. At this time Sobekhotep IV was the dominant king of the secondary ruling house. It was during the tenure of Sobekhotep IV (Shamshi-Adad) that the Egyptian Delta was overrun by yet another "Asiatic" prince. This family rival of Sobekhotep assumed the Egyptian name of Dedumesiu. In Mesopotamia, he corresponds to Dadusha king of the important city of Eshnunna, and a known contemporary of Shamshi-Adad.g It can be deduced that he was a son or grandson of the disgraced Inyotef. See the section "Hammurabi and the Hyksos," below). After the conquest of Dedumesiu, Pharaoh Amenemhet III appointed a new vizier, none other than Inyotef, the father or grandfather of Dedumesiu. Inyotef became no ordinary minister, but was given pharaonic titles and powers. He is designated as the fourth pharaoh by this name.
In the Genesis narrative, Joseph was pardoned, released from prison, and given divine status because he was able to both tell the pharaoh his forgotten dream, and also interpret it!h There had been famine in Egypt before. Storing up grain was not a new idea. However, the plan of Inyotef (Joseph) to store grain and control flooding of the Nile on an unprecedented scale and complexity likely was novel, at least in the dynastic period. Because of the defeat of Sobekhotep IV by Dedumesiu, Amenemhet III also saw the wisdom in selecting Inyotef as the one best qualified to implement that plan. From this time, the house of Sekhemkare (Biblical Issachar) was replaced by that of Inyotef (Biblical Joseph) as the secondary kingly line in Egypt.
In the Book of Genesis, the leading "son" of Patriarch Lamech (Thoth) was named in Genesis as Jabal, which has the curious meaning of "water course," i.e., canal.i As noted in the previous chapter, statements made about a particular god, e.g., Enki (Enoch) or Thoth (Lamech), also have an application in the life of a later Patriarch who was patterned after him. Jabal of the pre-dynastic period is an archetype for the canal building Joseph. After the demise of the second Lamech (Khendjer), Inyotef IV (Joseph/Jabal II) came to power in Egypt. The Bahr Yuseph ("Waterway of Joseph") named for this deified vizier was one of the most significant projects of the entire Egyptian Middle Kingdom.
Inyotef IV is found among the 13th Dynasty king-list, which is a collection of co-regents and deified viziers who ruled alongside 12th Dynasty pharaohs. The Biblical name Joseph (Heb. Yo-ceph) is actually a more direct adaptation of the Egyptian name Inyotef than is the name Jacob (Yo-tsef ~ Ya-chob). In Gen. 41:45, Joseph is given the Egyptian name of "Zaph-enath Paaneah." However, this epithet now emerges as a Hebrew transliteration of the actual Egyptian name, Inyotef. Zaph ("covered, cherished") is the Hebraized form of the Egyptian tef, as demonstrated in the etymology of the name Jacob given in the previous chapter. The Hebrew anath/enath means "answer." This can be derived from a metathesis of In-yo-(tef), i.e., Yo-in. The Hebrew ya-an is synonymous with anath and means "respond." The Hebrew word nath means "give or add," and corresponds to the name Joseph (Heb. Yoceph), which itself means, "let him add, increase." Therefore, Zaph-enath (Tsef-ya-an) is a Hebraized form of Inyotef. In Judges 3:31, Anath is named as the father of the Judge Shamgar. From archaeology, a pharaoh of the (later?) 16th Dynasty is also called Anather. Either, or both, could have been regional names of Inyotef IV (Zaph-anath).
David Rohl notes that in the Egyptian language, Pa-aneah, the second part of Joseph's Egyptian name, conveys "the life."j In the Genesis narrative, Joseph is hailed as the savior of Egypt, which makes this an appropriate interpretation. However, the Patriarchal family were both Egyptian and Hebrew speakers. Names with relevant meanings in both languages should be expected. In Hebrew, Paa-neah can alternatively be interpreted as "the mouth of Noah." The deified Vizier Inyotef IV (Joseph/Jabal) became the "double" of pharaoh Amenemhet III, the Noah of the second Adam's line. Except by the word of Joseph, nothing was to be done in all of Egypt (Gen. 41:44).
The Cycle of Life
It should cause no consternation that a pharaoh such as Amenemhet III could be a contemporary of archetypal Joseph, but also depicted in the Bible as a second Noah, that is, the Utnapishtim of Gilgamesh fame. The Patriarchal history corresponding to the Middle Kingdom, like that of the New Kingdom, was typecast as a repetition of even earlier kings and catastrophes. The time of the gods came to an abrupt end with the Great Flood. The Great Nile Flood likewise swept away the Egyptian Middle Kingdom. The flow of history in the Bible is more like a drifting eddy than a plummeting waterfall. The culture of the royal court changed little over the centuries. Within any given generation, there were only so many roles to play. Each prince and princess was at an early age steeped in the family history, and was given nicknames that connected him or her to the heroes and heroines of past dynasties. Young royals reveled in their assumed identities, and each eager youth tried to live up to or even excel the expectations that went along with those identities.
Ancient kings considered themselves de jure rulers of the world, if not always de facto. The greatest kings truly were renowned the world over. The legends of their triumphs and defeats were naturalized to Greece as they were in Israel, only using a different language and geography. The Patriarchal line was the stock from which came all the leading dynasties of Babylon, Assyria, Egypt and elsewhere in the ancient Near East from the Middle Kingdom onward. With this firmly established, the dynamics of Greek myth and Biblical tradition can finally be comprehended. With the help of archaeology, the drifting eddy of ancient royal history is no longer a hopelessly complex enigma, but can be understood as a perfectly simple and natural phenomenon. The wealth of cultural information from the Bible and other sources can finally be used to breathe life into sterile statues and other public monuments from the ancient world. For better or worse, blessing and curse, the Western World is the legacy of the Patriarchal family. We formerly looked upon these gods and goddesses through a glass darkly, but now we see their statuary and mummified remains face to face, and can be satisfied.
Eber (Moses I): Auibre/Wahibre
A critical element in unlocking both the history and chronology of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom is determining the exact relationship between Joseph and Moses. The Biblical account of the Exodus implies that a great deal of time elapsed between the death of Joseph and the Exodus led by Moses. In fact, one gets the impression that Moses was not even born until after the death of Joseph. But this turns out to be misleading. In Historicae Philippicae by Pompeius Trogus, Moses was identified as the son of Joseph.k This was literally true in the New Kingdom repetition of the history, as will be abundantly demonstrated in later chapters of this book. But was the archetypal Moses the literal son of the archetypal Joseph? The answer is emphatically yes! There is sufficient evidence to infer that the New Kingdom relationship was based specifically on the Middle Kingdom pattern. In the progression of Senusret II - Inyotef IV - Auibre we have the archetypal sequence of Jacob - Joseph - Moses. This same sequence was intentionally reproduced in the New Kingdom. These roles were at that time played by Amenhotep II (Jacob), Vizier Yuya (Joseph) and Akhenaten (Moses). The New Kingdom relationships are analyzed in Chapters 15 and 16 of the book.
The first Sojourn of the Patriarchs corresponds to the Egyptian 12th Dynasty (Middle Kingdom). The second took place during the Egyptian 18th Dynasty (New Kingdom).
New Kingdom persons and events were fashioned as a repetition of the Middle Kingdom. The Middle Kingdom was in turn seen as a repetition of the Age of the Gods. Neither repetition was a perfect one, and the comparisons are in some respects strained. However, the Torah clearly preserves an ancient belief that history was spiraling downward through time. The Middle Kingdom fell short of the ideal established during the "First Time." Although glorious, the New Kingdom also did not fulfill the expectations set by the Middle Kingdom. The protagonists had each played their part, but the final act ended in tragedy, not triumph.
During the second "Sojourn" of the Egyptian New Kingdom, Pharaoh Amenhotep II played the role of Jacob. One of his archetypes was Senusret II, the Jacob of the Middle Kingdom. In addition to the epithet of Jacob, Senusret II was also called the Patriarch Irad. This name associates him with the god Re. Vizier Yuya of the New Kingdom was typecast as a second Joseph. The archetypal Joseph, Inyotef IV, was in turn seen as a repetition of the demi-god Jabal from before the Great Flood. The New Kingdom Pharaoh Akhenaten assumed the role of Moses. This role had earlier been played by Auibre of the Middle Kingdom. Auibre was himself typecast as a second Enoch. It had been Enoch (the god Ptah-Enki) who acted to save Noah and his family. Likewise, the second Enoch, Pharaoh Auibre, took it upon himself to save many descendants of Noah who were being overcome by a great flood of the Nile in Egypt.
Before Au-ibre could save others, he first had to be saved himself. Au-ibre was a promising young crown prince who suddenly vanished from Egypt. In this stage of his life, he is first given the pseudonym of Enoch II by the author of Genesis. However, this second Enoch was not taken up to heaven, but away to exile. It will be shown that he committed a high crime and was forced to seek refuge in Babylon of Mesopotamia where he assumed the Semitic name of Hammurabi. As noted above, Senusret II the grandfather of Auibre/Hammurabi was also subsequently deposed. The throne was claimed by Senusret III (Methuseleh), a son of Amenemhet II (Mahalalel). He in turn named his brother Khendjer (Lamech II) as co-regent. In the genealogy of the second Adam, Enoch II is followed by Methuseleh and Lamech II.
The Lamech of the first line of Adam corresponds to the god Thoth.l The lament of Lamech found in Genesis 4 preserved the role of Thoth in the murder of Osiris. However, this lament was deliberately composed to also apply to the circumstances of the second Lamech, Khendjer. It is another example of the "cross-talk" or cross coupling between the two lines of Adam, which are twisted together in the Genesis narrative. The homicidal thoughts of Khendjer, the second Lamech, were considered justified by the Genesis author. According to Jewish tradition, the second Lamech was blind.m In Genesis 4, the speech made by Lamech to his two wivesn expresses a desire to murder the one who had injured him. Genesis 4:23 is most accurately translated in the future tense. In other words, Lamech states, "I will kill a man for wounding me, and a young man for bruising me."
Thoth, the first Lamech premeditated the murder of Osiris (Patriarch Mehujael). It can now be deduced whom it was that the second Lamech, Khendjer, wished to kill. It was none other than Auibre (Enoch II), the crown prince who disappeared toward the end of the reign of Senusret II. The Hebrew phrase translated "for my bruise" in Genesis 4:23 is le-habburati." What we have here is a word play on the name of Hammurabi, the most famous of all Babylonian kings, and which is the name Auibre chose for himself in Mesopotamia. The verse was intended to imply, "I will kill a man for wounding me, and a young man, the Hammurabi. In the case of the second Lamech, Khendjer, he may well have murdered commoners, however his vision to take revenge on the young crown prince Auibre/Hammurabi did not go beyond the intent to kill.
Babylon, City of Refuge
The flight of Auibre took place as much as three years prior to the end of Senusret II's reign. Senusret II was the god with whom Auibre (Enoch II) walked, and the one who took him away to safety in exile.o The city of Babylon was occupied by Auibre first as a "city of refuge." When the god Re had himself been exiled from Egypt, he chose this very location as his own "minimum-security prison." At the city of Babylon, Auibre cum Hammurabi would have been obliged to acknowledge the sovereignty of his wardens.p These would have included the major powers of that time, viz., Sumu-abum (Senusret III), Abisare (Khendjer), Sumu-lael (Amenemhet III), Sabium (future Amenemhet IV), Apil-Sin (Sobekhotep III) and Sin-Muballit (Neferhotep I). In exchange, the sanctity of his refuge was also respected. The exile of Auibre served to insulate him from further conflict in this highly volatile period. He was not hindered in his pursuit of knowledge or in rebuilding both the temple and ziggurat of Re.q Meanwhile, his many "brothers" competed with each other to retain possession of other important Mesopotamian sites. Rather than weakened by constant warfare, the strength of Hammurabi grew through his neutrality and the cultivating of good relations with all factions.
In Year 21 of his exile Hammurabi erected the famous Law Stela. This was not the first collection of laws, nor the first public display of laws. Samsu-iluna, the co-regent of Hammurabi at Babylon, referred to an earlier stela of this kind at the city of Ur in his Year 5. Year 5 of Samsu-iluna likely corresponds to Year 7 of Hammurabi.r The stela of Hammurabi dating to his Year 21 was a magnificent work of art and also of high literary quality. However, it differed markedly from the laws of his predecessors in a philosophical sense. Instead of the customary monetary payment for certain crimes, physical punishment and the death penalty were often called for, and applied even to nobility. The "eye-for-an-eye and tooth-for-a-tooth" justice of Hammurabi amounted to a significant departure from earlier tradition.
There certainly would have been resistance to any laws that increased the liability and personal jeopardy of the noble class. Moreover, these laws served to exonerate Hammurabi with respect to the action that had caused his banishment from Egypt. As god-elect, the young prince Auibre had blinded a fellow prince Khendjer, presumably for having maimed or killed others of lesser nobility.s The new laws of Hammurabi not only justified the punishment he had imposed on Khendjer, but required it. However, as an exiled prince, Hammurabi had no authority to impose his laws. He could only recommend them for use, and there is no indication that they were adopted by any other king, either in the time of Hammurabi or later. This makes their re-appearance as the "Laws of Moses" in the Torah all the more significant.
Brothers in Law
After 30 years of exile, Hammurabi once again became a contender to the greater throne. This was made possible with the defeat of Sobekhotep IV (Shamshi-Adad) by Dedumesiu (Dadusha), and the elevation of his father Inyotef IV to the status of pharaoh in Egypt. Hammurabi no longer campaigned only through his co-regent Samsu-iluna, but directly. The submission of Mesopotamia was achieved in about three years' time. Joan Oates writes: "After Shamshi-Adad's death, Assyrian power declined, and the letters suggest that Hammurapi was now in a position to request or even order military reinforcements from the Assyrian king."t The new king of Assyria was Shamshi-Adad's son Ishme-Dagan. The two pharaohs that follow Sobekhotep IV (Shamshi-Adad) in the 13th Dynasty king list, Sobekhotep V and Merneferre Ay, appear to the continuation of Sobekhotep IV's line. Two prominent sons of Shamshi-Adad are known from Assyrian and Babylonian archaeology. Ishme-Dagan was the eldest, and corresponds to Sobekhotep V in Egypt. Yasmah-Adad was his bumbling and much-maligned brother, and corresponds to Merneferre Ay (Ya ~ Ay) in Egypt.
The resurgent Hammurabi became renowned not only as a lawgiver, but also as a census taker, a usurper of temple authority, a tireless administrator, and like his role model the fallen god Re, a willing judge.u Oates writes of Hammurabi's reign: "There is evidence to suggest the appointment of more permanent judges . known as 'judges of the king', first attested under an earlier monarch, Sabium." Although Sabium is presently considered to be an earlier inspiration of Hammurabi, this was not actually the case. These two were very much contemporaries and collaborators. You might even call them "brothers in law." A third great lawgiver is considered to be the predecessor of Sabium. Lipit-Eshtar of Isin is the last king to have written laws in the Sumerian language. However, he too was a peer of Hammurabi. In fact, Lipit-Ishtarv could very well have been the name of Sabium or Sumu-abum at Isin.
The expression to "dwell in the tents of Shem and Eber" meant to be a scribe, and a master of law, science, astronomy and wisdom.w The Patriarch Eber corresponds to the great sage Hammurabi/Au-ibre. Patriarch Shem (II) corresponds to the Babylonian king Sabium, who later was crowned Amenemhet IV in Egypt. Amenemhet IV was the last in the line of contemplative 12th Dynasty (Middle Kingdom) pharaohs. Amen-em-het means "Amun in the forefront." The Hebrew word shem means "conspicuous position," and is synonymous with the Egyptian word het.
Sometime during his fourth decade of rule, Hammurabi felt confident enough to declare himself "King of the Four Quarters (of the World)." Despite this claim, Hammurabi was still not welcome back in Egypt. Khendjer was long dead, but the crime committed against him was not forgotten or forgiven by Senusret III. Upon the death of Inyotef IV (Joseph), Senusret III did not allow Auibre (Hammurabi) to take his father's place. The elder statesman Sabium (Amenemhet IV) was appointed ahead of him. Even after Senusret III died several years later, his will continued to be honored, and Amenemhet IV was confirmed as successor to Amenemhet III is Egypt. The former prince Auibre probably accepted that he would not again be king in Egypt. Nonetheless, the pharaoh who sought to kill him was now dead, and he was free to return to the land of his youth.
Crashing the King's Party
When Sabium traveled to Egypt for his crowning (as pharaoh Amenemhet IV), he was joined or followed by Hammurabi. It was the occasion of Amenemhet III's Sed Festival or Jubilee.x Not only was he celebrating 30 years of kingship (as co-regent), but his succession to the greater throne upon the passing of Senusret III. But these were not days of rejoicing for Egyptians or Israelites.y After the death of Inyotef IV, disastrously high floods prevailed for several more years. It was then that Senusret III also died in his 39th year of rule. Auibre-Hor, typecast as Enoch (II) had once vanished from Egypt. He "crossed over" the waters of the Euphrates only to resurface as the Patriarch Eber in Mesopotamia. The Hebrew name Eber means "to cross over," and especially to go across the Euphrates. It is patently a play on the Egyptian name of Au-ibre. After a literal 40 years of exile, he then returned to Egypt and became Moses.
With the return of Hammurabi and Sabium to Egypt there arrived yet another devastating annual flood, and possibly the greatest Nile flood of all the Middle Kingdom. Only a disaster of this magnitude could compel a million or more people to abandon the relative security and prosperity of Egypt for the perils of the wilderness. They did not merely leave, but fled - away from the rising waters and from the whip of Amenemhet III. An equally tempestuous Moses was once again denied the throne of Egypt, but he would become king and deliverer of a nation of Egyptian refugees. As the sun god Re,z Hammurabi was seen as stirring up the winds and creating dry land from the Nun, that is, the chaotic floodwater of the Nile. When cataclysmic natural and political events coincided, a drama like none other unfolded. It would leave an indelible mark on the culture of the region and ultimately on the psyche of all mankind.
Right or wrong, the throne of Egypt had once belonged to Auibre. He may have become powerful enough to reclaim his birthright by force. However, it appears that Hammurabi did not invade Egypt intent on conquest. Neither did he try to play spoiler and prevent the crowning of Amenemhet IV. Rather it appears that Hammurabi was motivated by the power of a name and of family honor. In Egyptian, Au-ibre means, "Re Succors the Heart."aa Succor is defined as "assistance or help in time of distress; relief - literally, to run to the aid of."ab The former Auibre did not demand that Amenemhet III surrender the rule of the land . but he did insist on taking away its people. The royal court of Egypt had begun its exodus at least a generation earlier. The fall of the 3rd Dynasty of Ur opened up a world of open space and new possibilities. However, the other descendants of Sargon-Israel were still pent up by pharaoh and the Nile.
By the end of the Middle Kingdom, the tribes of Israel would have grown quite large, especially if they assimilated earlier groups occupying the land. They began to suffer, not only from overpopulation and overwork, but also from the unpredictable floods that brought an end to the high civilization of Middle Kingdom Egypt. They were the oldest tribes descending from Sargon/Israel. However, instead of being the most respected, they had become the most oppressed. They were the furthest removed from the ruling pharaoh and his immediate family. In Joseph (Inyotef IV), they may have enjoyed some relief. Although famine caused by excessive flooding continued for seven years, the people were provided for. But then Joseph died. Reserves from the "storehouse of Joseph" either expired with him or were deliberately withheld.
Egypt was being ruled by two aging pharaohs whose thoughts increasingly turned to the extent of their kingdom in Mesopotamia and Asia. "Asiatic" campaigns probably required considerable resources from Egypt. The demands of Senusret III and Amenemhet III upon their Egyptian subjects were not held back. Nor did the insufferable flooding come to an end. After the death of Inyotef IV, compassion was not shown to the Israelites. The rations of the workforce were reduced, but their production quotas were increased. In addition to foreign conquests, monuments and houses of eternity for gods, living and dead, had to be built, rain or shine, feast or famine, in sickness or in health. Senusret III and Amenemhet III were not getting any younger. In fact, within five years Senusret would be dead.
Amnesty for Lost Sheep and Shepherds
In an attempt to win popular support in Mesopotamia, the freedom of persons who had recently fallen into slavery was restored. The extent to which a private citizen could be forced to work on behalf of the king was also limited to four days each month. However, the same benevolence offered to the dispossessed of Mesopotamia was not extended to the Israelites and other subjects living under the rule of pharaoh in Egypt. Hammurabi did not advocate the abolishment of slavery, or of the permanent slave class. Helping a slave to escape was an offence punishable by death in his "code." Yet, Hammurabi evidently did agree that noble persons should be given their liberty, both in Mesopotamia, and especially in Egypt. The name Hammurabi had the meaning of "the people's ruler." Within the limits of his jurisdiction, it was possible for any citizen to bring their case before the king himself. All citizens were encouraged to know the law, and a scribe was presumably provided to read it to them upon demand.
The father of Hammurabi himself, Inyotef IV, had devised a plan to save the people, but it also served to enslave them. Hammurabi must have pitied these persons and felt that it was his obligation to redeem them. In the calamity of Amenhotep III's reign, even the nobles were forced to deed not only their property but also their very souls to the state in exchange for food to keep them alive. These were descendants of Sargon (Inyotef A) and his immediate successors. They had been the nobility of the land during the 11th and early 12th Dynasties. None of their proud heritage had been forgotten by the time of Hammurabi. They were actually more closely related to the ruling king than those people recently freed in Mesopotamia. This double standard of the Egyptian imperialists favored their new subjects in Mesopotamia and discriminated against native Egyptians.
Auibre returned to Egypt on a humanitarian mission. The work of his father was unfinished. Those whom Joseph had saved were now in need of deliverance. These proud but destitute children of Israel were in no position to refuse his help or his laws. Hammurabi designated his Year 41 as the "Year of Tashmetum." Year 42 was called the "Year after the Year of Tashmetum." Clearly these year names were symbolic of something very important. Tashmetum was consort of the god Nabu (Thoth), and she corresponds to the goddess Maat (a form of Sheshat) in Egypt. The preoccupation of Hammurabi at this time was with an appeal to Ny-Maat-Re, Amenemhet III. Hammurabi appealed not only to Amenemhet III, but also to the "Justice of Re," as a basis for setting free the Israelites in Egypt.ac
As in his earlier Egyptian incarnation, the tactics Hammurabi employed were less than honorable. They included "divinely" ordained killings, which were carried out by the "Angel of the Lord." In this historical context, the "Angel of the Lord" logically refers to the newly crowned co-regent Amenemhet IV. Authorized or not, Auibre found himself once again fleeing for his life from a pharaoh who wanted to kill him. His life had come full circle. He left Egypt the first time as Auibre (Enoch). He returned to Egypt as Hammurabi (Eber). He departed once more as Moses. The "Angel of the Lord" (Amenemhet IV) left with him and Pharaoh (Amenemhet III) gave chase to both.
In the Bible, we are told that a young Moses killed an Egyptian (or Israelite labor foreman) for abusing a Hebrew slave. This would have been resented, however the crown prince Auibre could not have been impugned for blinding or even killing a commoner. No, the true nature of this act involves an attack on a rival prince. Khendjer ("the Boar") may have proscribed blinding or other cruel and unusual treatment of workers. Extreme corporal punishment and even torture were hallmarks of kingship in all ages. However, in ancient Egypt, capital punishment was not as prevalent as one would expect. Those condemned to die were often consigned to hard labor or some indirect form of execution. If guilty of a capitol offense, noble persons were required to take their own lives. Royalty were offered asylum through exile. The prohibition of Thoth-Shamash against the taking of human life still held considerable power. There existed a belief that "all men are created equal," that all descendants of Noah were "holy."ad This high standard was perverted by kingship. After the Great Flood, Etana (Shem I) was called "king of the beasts." In the Egyptian 4th Dynasty, the renowned Egyptian despot Khufu begrudgingly acknowledged that his subjects held the status of "noble herd."ae
Lessons Learned and Remembered
The life of Biblical Moses was in jeopardy both as an infant and as an adult. In both time periods, there would have been older qualified princes. Auibre/Wah-ibre would have been considered a threat for that reason alone. An analogy is drawn in the Bible between the peril of the baby Moses and that of the Hebrew slave children. The Bible indicates the babies of commoners were being put to death as a remedy for overpopulation. As fate would have it, many of these slaves participated in the Exodus and became Jews. Therefore the identification of the royal prince Moses with oppressed Hebrews was considered appropriate and egalitarian as well.
In his youth, the crown prince Auibre had used his humanitarian ideals for political advantage. His newly acquired kingly prerogative was exploited in order to repay Khendjer in kind for his cruelty to inferiors. It may have been within his "divine right," but the ulterior motive of Auibre was wrong. Although calculated, it was also not particularly astute. Khendjer was a son of the late Amenemhet II (Mahalalel-Judah), and possibly his most favored son. He may have been considered by many as the rightful heir of the greater throne of Egypt upon his father's death. The blinding of Khendjer was the type of offense that could and probably did lead to civil war.af It was certainly the real reason for Auibre's flight to Midian (Mesopotamia). It must also have given Senusret III and Sekhemkare the justification they needed to overthrow Senusret II only a short time later.
With the overthrow of Senusret II, the kingdom was split into three parts. Senusret III (Methuseleh) assumed the throne of his father Amenemhet II (Mahalelel-Judah). Sobekhotep II reclaimed the throne of his own father Sekhemkare (Issachar). Although humbled, the line of Senusret II would recover. A son of Senusret would later become the deified Vizier Inyotef IV (Joseph). Surprisingly, this proliferation of princes did not lead to a weakened empire, but was accompanied by rapid expansion. In the decades that followed, Middle Kingdom pharaohs re-conquered all of Mesopotamia and led expeditions into Europe and Asia. See Charts 12 & 15 for the mapping of Biblical Patriarchs to Middle Kingdom pharaohs and Babylonian kings.
The pharaohs of the Egyptian New Kingdom believed that if they repeated this same model, they would achieve the same results. During the reign of Amenhotep II in the 18th Dynasty, the empire of New Kingdom Egypt was deliberately divided into three parts. These three kings were three sons of Amenhotep II, namely Thutmose IV, Yuya and Osokhor. These princes assumed the identities of their Middle Kingdom ancestors and were called Judah, Joseph and Issachar, respectively. This strategy promoted rapid growth, even as it had in the Middle Kingdom. However, the greater throne of Mesopotamia was not recovered. Their cousins ruling Mesopotamia were equally aware of what had happened in the Middle Kingdom era. The 3rd Dynasty of Ur had collapsed and was easily overrun by the princes of Egypt. The new rulers of Mesopotamia must have been just as determined to keep that history from repeating itself. This was something the New Kingdom pharaohs may not have counted on. Despite the constant campaigning of the warrior king Thutmose III and the best efforts of his successors, Mesopotamia did not fall. Rather, Egypt was eventually conquered by Mesopotamian kings.
Hammurabi and the Hyksos
Genesis 10:25-26 states that in the time of Eber's "son" Peleg, "the world was divided." Although it was Eber who lost his throne in Egypt, the Bible associates the splitting of the family's "world empire" with Joktan and Peleg. Eber was very highly esteemed in Jewish tradition, therefore it was important that he not be associated with the calamity. Joktan is listed first, however the name Joktan means "made small, diminished." In Babylonian history, the first successor of Hammurabi was Samsu-iluna. This "son" of Hammurabi is named as Elishama ("God of Hearing") in Numbers 10:22, where he is placed over the prestigious tribe of Ephraim.ag Elishama is very close in form to the historical name of Illishuma, which is evidently the name of Samsu-iluna in Assyria.ah
Here, and in the genealogy of Joshua (1 Chron 7:25-27), Elishama is named as the son of Ammihud (Neferhotep I). Therefore, Samsu-iluna was not likely a true son of Hammurabi, but a legal son produced on his behalf. Moreover, archaeology indicates that Samsu-iluna was not entirely successful in subduing his rivals. (Oates, Babylon, p83-84) Regardless of whether he died or was disgraced, the birthright (kingly succession) did not pass (in the immediate sense)ai to any of the many sons of Joktan, but to a son of Peleg. Peleg was a contemporary of Eber (Chart 8), and probably a half-brother. He was a son only in the political sense. However, naming Peleg as a "son" of Eber gave the desired appearance that the "division" occurred after Eber's time, and was not related to his aborted reign in Egypt.
In the Exodus account, the "mantle" is transferred by Moses (Eber) to Joshua son of Nun (Num 27:18-23). The names Peleg and Nun are synonymous, and correspond to a single historical person. Nun, also written as Non, means "to perpetuate by division."aj In Egyptian mythology, Nun is associated with the waters of chaos from which the world separated and sprang to life. Therefore, Nun signifies regeneration, which is a more positive outcome of division. On the other hand, the name Peleg has the meaning of "earthquake," and is derived from the verb palag, "to split, divide."ak Rather than having a positive connotation, the name Peleg emphasizes the traumatic effects of both geological and political rift. The record in Genesis of the family split was deliberately placed after Eber's watch. Instead of Eber, his "sons" Peleg and Joktan were made to bear the shame.
A Prophet Like unto Moses
The next Patriarch in Genesis after Peleg is named as Reu. In the Exodus account, Reu son of Peleg is called Joshua son of Nun. Numbers 11:2 states that Joshua was the "young aide" and "constant companion" of Moses (Eber/Moses). The Hebrew name Reu means "friend, associate, constant companion." In the Babylonian king list, the second successor of Hammurabi is named Abi-eshuuh ("Father of Salvation?"). The Babylonian name Eshuuh is an obvious form of the Biblical name Joshua. The Bible states parenthetically in Numbers 13:16 that Moses gave Hoshea son of Nun the name Joshua (Jeho-shuah). In other words, Joshua/Hoshea was not his original name. Formerly, Abi-eshuuh was known as Ibal-pi-el. (Note: Dadusha was also known to be the king of Eshnunna at this time, and is the likely father of Ibal-pi-el.) Prince Ibal-pi-el of Eshnunna wrote: "When Hammurapi is disturbed by some matter, he does not hesitate to send for me, and I go to him wherever he is."al
It is the conquest of Abi-eshuuh that is described in the book of Joshua. In addition to his victories in Palestine, Abi-eshuuh established the Hyksos dynasty in the Egyptian Delta under the name Salitis. The title of Hyksos meant "Ruler of a Foreign Land." The homeland of Salitis and of the Hyksos rulers who followed him was no longer Egypt, but Babylon. This name Salitis is related to the English words salvation, salutation and salubrious, and therefore is also synonymous with the name Joshua. Salut! is a greeting that wishes "health and preservation."am Yet another Biblical name of Joshua was Salmon. This name contains the root sal, however the name Salmon means a "garment, robe, or mantle." It was upon Joshua that Moses placed his mantle, which symbolized the transfer of kingly succession from the previous co-regent Joktan/Elishama (Samsu-iluna) to Joshua/Salmon (Abi-eshuuh).
Difficulty in producing heirs is a constantly repeating theme in the Bible. As with Moses (Hammurabi), no true sons of Joshua (Reu) are mentioned in the book of Joshua or elsewhere in the Bible. The book of Ruth was originally written to explain how the rule of Israel passed from Joshua son of Nun to the collateral line of Boaz (Serug).1 In the opening passage of Ruth, the magnate Joshua is named by the generic title of Elimelech ("God of/and King"). The two sons of Elimelech/Joshua died young. The symbolic nicknames given to these sons indicate that they were sickly. They both had been given wives, but neither produced an heir before their deaths. Ruth was the widowed wife of one of these sons. According to the courtly protocol, she was "redeemed" by her wealthy kinsman Boaz. By virtue of the marriage of Ruth and Boaz, the "birthright" subsequently passed to their son Obed. According to Ruth 2:1 (NIV), Boaz was "from the clan of Elimelech" and "a man of standing."an Serug (Boaz) follows Reu (Salmon) in the Genesis king-list.ao
According to the 3rd Century B.C. Jewish historian Artapanas (as quoted by the later Christian historian Eusebius), the first Exodus occurred after the reign of a king called "Khenephres." David Rohl has convincingly identified "Khenephres" as the pharaoh Khaneferre Sobekhotep IV of the late Middle Kingdom (13th Dynasty). Sobekhotep IV was a contemporary of the first Moses, Au-ibre/Hammurabi. He was certainly one nemesis of the young Hammurabi. However, it was shown above that another pharaoh named Khendjer was the pharaoh (and the Patriarch) who first wished to kill him.
The Biblical Exodus includes the account of a second Moses who followed the second Joseph of the Egyptian 18th Dynasty. This Exodus was liberally documented by the 3rd Century B.C. Egyptian priest Manetho (as quoted by the Jewish historian Josephus). In the 18th Dynasty, famine resulted from the lack of water, rather than excess. However, the method of preparation, that is stockpiling grain, was very much the same. The two men who administered these programs had similar names and held identical offices. The upbringing and career of the Egyptian New Kingdom Joseph, namely Yuya, was typecast in the book of Genesis as a repetition or fulfillment of the earlier Middle Kingdom archetype. The Moses and the Exodus that followed the Sojourn of the 18th Dynasty Joseph is likewise described in the Torah as a composite or repetition of the earlier Middle Kingdom (12th/13th Dynasty) Exodus.ap
The Exodus is the climax of the Torah. It is also the most pronounced cycle of the Torah. Four of the five books of the Torah are devoted to this event. On the other hand, there is only one book, Genesis, describing all previous Patriarchal history. In the Torah, Egyptian 18th Dynasty royals are depicted as repetitions of great 12th Dynasty ancestors, and are even called by the names or nicknames of those ancestors. The character of Moses (Hammurabi + Akhenaten) is no exception. In fact, in the account of Moses the genre reaches its most complete form. Similarities between New Kingdom royals and notable ancestors were seized upon by the 18th Dynasty royals themselves, and were not merely applied retrospectively by later writers. The ancients delighted in repetitions of family heroes and consciously cultivated them. A comparison did not need to be perfect in order to be considered appropriate and useful. Persons and events of the Egyptian New Kingdom were more recent and therefore more dominant in the Torah narratives. However, that which was still remembered about the earlier Middle Kingdom archetypes was also carefully preserved.
Exodus 6:26-27 confirms the existence of more than one Moses when it states, "It was this same Aaron and Moses...who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. It was this same Moses." The passage is trying to discriminate between this Moses (Hammurabi) and another Moses (Akhenaten) who led "Hebrews" out of Egypt at another time and under different circumstances. The New Kingdom protagonists were not exact duplications of Middle Kingdom Thespians, but the similitude was compelling enough to be useful as a construct in dramatizing the history. The Biblical compilers were attempting to harmonize, or at least salvage, material from two distinctly different Sojourns. The Exodus of Akhenaten occurred at the end of the 18th Dynasty. As expected, this later event is the more lucid, and provided the overall structure for the Biblical narrative. Yet, the Exodus of Akhenaten was not depicted as a unique event, but quite strongly as a repetition of the earlier 12th Dynasty Exodus.
Knowing this, can we still say that the later pharaoh Akhenaten was truly Moses? Yes and No. In Moses: Pharaoh of Egypt, Ahmed Osman convincingly compared Akhenaten with Biblical Moses. Recent titles by Jan Assmann (Moses the Egyptian) and Jonathan Kirsch (Moses: A Life) have eloquently contrasted the two figures. The story of Moses in the Torah is actually a "mosaic." It was an attempt to do justice to the travails of both Akhenaten and the earlier Hammurabi. Therefore, it is not an exact representation of either. The Exodus narratives include detailed information from the life of Hammurabi, who was the archetypal Moses. Therefore, the depiction of Akhenaten as a repetition of Hammurabi goes well beyond the broad typecasting of other Patriarchs in Genesis. The Biblical Moses account is a composite sketch of the archetype Hammurabi and his "repetition" Akhenaten. Hammurabi became Moses. Akhenaten played Moses. The Biblical account is simultaneously the story of Hammurabi and the story of Akhenaten.
Certainly there were distinct similarities and differences between Akhenaten and Hammurabi. A young Hammurabi (Wah-ibre) must have been optimistic about his future. Upon his election, Middle Kingdom Egypt was burgeoning. The dawn of Akhenaten's reign was likewise entirely auspicious. The reign of his predecessor Amenhotep III had seen unprecedented growth in wealth, industry and culture. However, Akhenaten, like his ancestor Wahibre/Hammurabi, was rejected after being appointed as co-regent. Both Wahibre (Hammurabi) and Waenre (Akhenaten) would ultimately recover their thrones.
After Moses (Wahibre/Eber) was "exiled" from Egypt, the Biblical account tells us that he sought refuge in "the land of Midian." During the time of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom, Midian referred to Mesopotamia. The root meso actually means "middle." Mesopotamia is literally the "middle country between the two rivers," and corresponds to the Hebrew Naharaim, "(land between) the two rivers." The two rivers are the Tigris and Euphrates. Mesopotamia is the first of at least three Biblical "Midians." The last of the three Midians was in the Trans-jordan, and this is now considered the traditional site. However, Midian would not have referred to the Trans-jordan at the early date of the first Moses, Wahibre/Hammurabi.
Akhenaten did not flee to the Median of Mesopotamia, but built a city of refuge for himself at a deserted locale in Middle Egypt. The use of generic names such as Moses and Midian is deliberate, because it allows a double history to be told. Akhenaten called his city Akhet-aten ("Horizon or Resting Place of the Aten.") In Exile, Akhenaten changed his name from Amenhotep IV,aq and adopted the title of Wa-en-re ("Unique One of Re"). The choice of Wa-en-re was not only made to identifiy with the earlier Wah-ib-re, but also an attempt to redefine the role. The New Kingdom royals may not have seen themselves as the exact replicas (reincarnations?) of Middle Kingdom ancestors. However, they carefully crafted their lives to be variations on the earlier theme.
Hammurabi had spent a literal 40 years away from Egypt. This amounted to the entire reign of Senusret III. Senusret was the brother of the pharaoh who had determined to kill Hammurabi and the one who also upheld his banishment from Egypt. The pharaoh who forced out Akhenaten was forced out by Aye and Amenhotep III. Amenhotep III, like Senusret III, reigned for almost 40 years. However, Akhenaten was deposed in his Year 5, which corresponded to Year 32 of Amenhotep III. He only spent about 7 years in exile before "returning to [Upper] Egypt" upon that pharaoh's death. Yuya (Joseph II) died at about this same time as well. Only about 5 years separated the time of Yuya's death and the Exodus led by Akhenaten. (See Chapter 16 of this book for more detail on the second Exodus.) This very closely matches the amount of time between the death of Inyotef IV, the first Joseph, and the Exodus led by Hammurabi, the first Moses.
Family relationships were complex, however it can be determined that Hammurabi (Moses I) and his successor Abi-eshuuh (Joshua I) were separated by roughly only a generation. Exactly one generation separated Akhenaten from his son Tutankhamun. The second Joshua (Tut) was the literal son of the second Moses (Akhenaten), however this relationship is not made explicit in the Exodus account. The reason is that the first Joshua was not the natural son of the first Moses. The Exodus narrative was made to apply equally to both sets of Israelite leaders. Moses was the son of Joseph in both periods. The author of the Book of Exodus had other reasons for disguising this direct relationship, which will become evident in Chapter 16 of this book.
The Exodus account states that a generation passed between the Exodus and the Conquest of Joshua. However, it was not necessarily a literal 40 years. In the second Exodus, the orphaned survivors were resettled in the reign of Tutankhamun. Tut was the successor of Akhenaten and being projected as a second Joshua prior to his early death. Resettlement of the second Exodus participants took place within 4 years of their departure from the Delta (See Chapter 16). In this second journey, only Akhenaten and his court fled to the Sinai desert. The Mount Sinai of this Exodus was likely not the same as the earlier Exodus. Two distinct wilderness journeys are described in the Torah. As part of a "covenant" made with family rivals, Akhenaten returned from Mount Sinai to the Egyptian Delta. Unlike Hammurabi, his return to Egypt was not entirely voluntary. The Hebrews that he drew out of the Delta were not bound for freedom, but to be liberated from their contagious and incurable diseases. He did not lead this "Exodus party" back through the Sinai to Palestine, but to his sacred city of Akhet-aten in Middle Egypt. This location where the Israelites "dwelt for a long time" is called by the generic name of Kadesh ("holy city") in the Exodus account. The use of a symbolic descriptor allows the narrative to represent both desert treks.
Hammurabi was undoubtedly also criticized for meddling in a business that was no longer his own. In the Exodus account, 250 tribal leaders of Israel rejected his right to take the people out of a land of milk and honey that was Egypt. (Korah's Rebellion, Num 16)
Joan Oates further notes that unlike contemporary kings, "Hammurabi never assumed the title of divinity in any form." On the other hand, Akhenaten was consumed with his own deification, at least until the coup that forced him to abdicate in his Year 17. Akhenaten, like Hammurabi/Amminadab, showered his "Midianite" courtiers with liberal gifts. However, blame was ultimately laid on him for the extreme suffering and deprivation endured by the people of Egypt as a whole during his ill-fated reign. The Bible downplays the kingship of Moses and makes pains to portray him in exodus as thoroughly broken, "the most humble man on earth." (Num. 12:3) The conquest of Mesopotamia had already occurred by the time of the first Exodus. Akhenaten must have realized that the re-dramatization of his time was going horribly wrong. He was trapped in a bad play and was given no choice but to finish the last act.
At the end of his over 40 year reign, Hammurabi could at least claim sovereignty over the "Four Quarters of the World." At the end of his 17 years of rule, the sun of Akhenaten set in disgrace. Nevertheless, the comparisons between Akhenaten and Hammurabi still gleam. Although made a scapegoat in his own day, Akhenaten was nonetheless honored in the Torah tradition as a great philosopher in the order of Hammurabi. The top panel of the famous "Law Code Stela" depicts Hammurabi in prayer before the sun god Shamash (Thoth/Hermes). Akhenaten likewise worshipped the sun god Aten and was remembered as Hermes Trismegistus ("Hermes Thrice Great") by the Greeks. He was the last great philosopher pharaoh in a dynasty of Thoth's, the Egyptian 18th Dynasty.
If the mummy found in the tomb of Auibre is actually his own, then the bones of Hammurabi, the archetypal Moses, are now in the Cairo Museum. The death of Moses is spoken of in Deuteronomy 34. Moses had personally reburied the body of his father Joseph, the living god Inyotef. IV. The body of Moses was also taken and buried "by God." In this time period, the greatest god was Amenemhet III. He was the pharaoh who resisted the Exodus. The confrontation of Moses (Auibre/Hammurabi) and Aaron (Amenemhet IV/Sabium) with "pharaoh" (Amenemhet III) was a standoff between brothers. Prior to the death of Senusret III, these three brothers would have been allies, and must have had countless discussions on kingship, philosophy and justice. After Senusret's death, they remained the three most powerful kings on earth. It was this power that divided them.
In the final debate over the matter of slavery in Egypt, Auibre and Amenemhet III did not see eye-to-eye. However, Amenemhet remained a brother to him in death. Auibre was buried within the mortuary complex of Amenemhet III at Dasshur. This complex had earlier been abandoned by Amenemhet when the adjoining pyramid began to have structural problems. He built a new pyramid for himself at Hawara. The abandoned mortuary complex later became the site for Auibre's tomb. This burial appears to have been commissioned by Amenemhet III himself, as a canopic chest with his name was found among the tomb equipment.
The mummy of the second Moses, Akhenaten, has not been located or at least has not been identified with any certainty. It has been speculated that his mummy is the one found in the Valley of the Kings, tomb KV55. However, this is probably not the case. This mummy is more likely that of Smenkhare. Akhenaten built a tomb for himself in his city of refuge. However, it does not appear that he was actually buried there. "Fate" may have dictated that Akhenaten (Wa-enre) be buried in the tomb of Amenhotep III, even as Wah-ibre had been buried in a tomb complex originally belonging to Amenemhet III. How far were the ancients determined to go in fulfilling their "destiny?"
Tutankhamun, the second Joshua, died young and was buried in the "Valley of the Kings" in Upper Egypt. On the other hand, the archetypal Joshua (Abi-eshuuh) was said to have lived to a ripe old age. He was also said to have been buried in the "hill country of Ephraim," indicating northern Palestine (Joshua 24). The New Kingdom relationships were not exactly the same as those of the Middle Kingdom, but they were certainly close enough to evoke a deep meaning to the family. Tutankhamun was deliberately patterned after Abi-eshuuh at a very young age. In the Amarna Letters, a young Tutankhamun is named as "Tutu," and is called the "chamberlain" of Akhenaten, that is, Akhenaten's young steward or assistant (Reu). By the age of seven, Tutu had already been sent as an emissary to Damascus, and the king of Damascus addressed Tutu directly in his letters. Although Tutu was given his own tomb at Akhet-aten (and none is acknowledged for Tutankhamun), archaeologists refuse to even entertain that Tut and Tutu could have been one and the same person. Rather, it is conjectured that Tutu must have been an elderly minister of Syrian origin.
The Joseph of the second Sojourn, Prime Minister Yuya, was buried in the prestigious Valley of the Kings. His well-preserved tomb (KV 46) and mummy were found by Theodore Davis in 1905. Of all the tombs that have been discovered in the Valley of the Kings, this tomb is second only to Tutankhamun's in perservation, and in the quantity and quality of its burial goods. However, in the book of Joshua (24:32) we are told that Moses took the bones of Joseph out of Egypt and buried them in Shechem of Palestine. These would have been the bones of the Middle Kingdom Joseph. According to Jewish tradition, the bones of Joseph had become submerged beneath the waters of the Nile.ar This is another indication that the first Exodus occurred during a time of massive flooding.
The Book of Joshua is not part of the Torah and was not written in the style of the Torah. More specifically, the history in the Book of Joshua is not told as a repetition, but pertains entirely to events occurring shortly after the first Exodus in the 12th/13th Dynasty. The Joseph, Moses and Joshua it refers to are those of the Middle Kingdom. The Book of Joshua has nothing to do with the second Joseph, Moses and Joshua of the Egyptian 18th Dynasty. However, for lack of a more appropriate place, the Book of Joshua comes after the Torah in the Bible's table of contents. This only served to canonize the misconception. But, we now see just how misleading a "Table of Contents Chronology" can be.
According to 1 Kings 6:1, Solomon began construction of his temple 480 years after the Exodus. Scholars have long noted a mismatch between this figure and the one derived from the year numbers given in the books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and 1 & 2 Samuel. These books have until now been thought to cover the intervening period between the Torah and the book of 1 Kings. To summarize, there is more than 500 years of history in the book of Judges alone. To this must be added the reigns of David (40 yrs) and Saul (42 yrs), and the time of Samuel. Moreover, there had been 40 years of "wandering in the wilderness" after the Exodus, and about 40 more years between the Conquest of Joshua and his death at the ripe old age of 110. One could arrive at an elapsed time of 600 years or more by this method. On the other hand, the 480-year figure can be derived from the Torah by working backward from the time of Shiloh (Solomon) to that of Eber (Moses I). This is an indication that the author of 1 Kings 6:1 did understand the relationship of the Kings narrative with the Torah, and may have even used the year numbers specified in the Torah history to make their own calculation.
Although an attempt was made to create a running narrative in the Book of Judges, it is clear that not all of the history of that book is in its proper chronological order. The introduction of the book specifies that Joshua was deceased, however the narrative backtracks at multiple points in order to assimilate older history. For example, the account of Ehud, grandson of Benjamin (Inyotef A/Sargon) found in Judges 3:12-30 takes place in the Egyptian 11th Dynasty, long before the time of Joshua, the first Exodus or even the Patriarchs Shem (Sabium) and Eber (Hammurabi). The defeat of Jabin king of Hazor found in Judges 4-5 is evidently also described in Joshua 11. Gideon of Judges 6-8 and Abimelech of Judges 9 are the stories of Tao II and Thutmose I of the later Egyptian New Kingdom period (See Essays 3, 4 & 5). However, the story of Samson in Judges 13-16 does not belong to the New Kingdom, but is a return to the Middle Kingdom or Hyksos Period. Therefore, the book of Judges cannot be said to strictly come after the book of Joshua, because it includes at least one account that is associated with the Conquest of Joshua, and other material that precedes the book of Joshua.
Note: The 14th Dynasty pharaoh Nehesy aligns with the archetypal Phineas, who received an "everlasting (divine) priesthood." The name Phineas is a Hebraized form of the Egyptian name Pa-Nehesy ("the Southerner"), the founder of Manetho's ephemeral 16th Dynasty. The last story of the book of Judges (20:28) mentions, parenthetically, that "in those days Phineas was ministering." If the editor was correct in his assessment, this places the final episode of Judges only a short time after the first Exodus, and therefore, shortly before the conquest of Joshua. (We learn in the book of 1 Samuel 2:27-36 that the eternal franchise of Phineas was annulled only two generations later. This accounts for the brevity of the 16th Dynasty king-list.)
There were two very distinct Moses figures, however only one Exodus account was included in the Torah. As with Joseph, the story of Moses is not a pure biography but an epic cycle. The second Moses (Akhenaten) was depicted as a repetition of the archetypal Moses (Hammurabi). Material belonging to both persons and events was integrated into a single narrative. It was later mistakenly assumed that the Book of Joshua followed the Exodus account and therefore, the entire Torah in time. The Joshua of the Books of Joshua and Judges was a younger contemporary of Eber, and he is not composited with a later person. In a chronological sense, the Book of Joshua should be inserted immediately after the Patriarch Eber of the Genesis narrative. The Book of Joshua cannot be said to follow the composite Exodus account, because the Torah account is a single history covering two time periods. Chart 9 compares the "table of contents" chronology of the Bible with the actual relationships between books.
- James L. Kugel, In Potiphar's House, Harvard University Press, 1994, p 14. See also, Donald B. Redford, A Study of the Biblical Story of Joseph (Genesis 37-50), Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 20 (Leiden: Brill, 1970).
- A cycle is defined as "the aggregate of traditional poems or stories organized around a central theme or hero." American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
- See especially Chapter 12.
- The Ur-Nammu dynasty was likewise denied access to the traditional burial ground of Egypt. The tombs of Ur III are the first royal burials known in Mesopotamia.
- From archaeological evidence alone, Jan Assmann concludes, "the early rulers of the Eighteenth Dynasty . modeled themselves closely on the Twelfth Dynasty in the style of their inscriptional and artistic self-representation." (The Mind of Egypt, p 199.)
- In addition to Jered, Senusret was also called Jerahmeel (3396), meaning "God will be compassionate." Cf Jerahmeel (Heb. Ye-rachm-el) and Rekem/Racham (1 Chron. 2:43-44.
- Joan Oates, Babylon, p 80.
- Egyptian subjects were required to "bow the knee" to Joseph, that is to recognize his divinity.
- Genesis 4:19-24
- David Rohl, Pharaohs and Kings, p 350.
- See citation by Jan Assmann, Moses The Egyptian, pp 35-36.
- See Chapter 3 of this book.
- James Kugel, In Potiphar's House, Chapter 6, "Why Was Lamech Blind?", pp 159-172.
- The inclusion of two wives is a further indication of a double history.
- Genesis 5:24
- Rim-Sin (Sobekhotep II) and Shamshi-Adad (Sobekhotep IV) are notable exceptions.
- The temple was called the Esagila and the ziggurat Etemenanki, the "Tower of Babel."
- The regnal years of Hammurabi and those of his co-regent Samsu-iluna appear to be offset by about two years. Year 1 of Samsu-iluna would have begun in the second or third year of Hammurabi. It is presumed that Samsu-iluna was appointed co-regent of Hammurabi upon the death of Senusret II.
- The blinding of slaves was one remedy for rebellion.
- Joan Oates, Babylon, p 64. Parentheses mine.
- Joan Oates, Babylon, Chapter 3
- Senusret, "Man of Sret (Ishtar)" was a popular king name in the 12th Dynasty. It was the name of Sumu-abum in Egypt.
- James Kugel, In Potiphar's House, pp 100-1.
- David Rohl, Pharaohs and Kings, p 339.
- The distinction between these groups is rather arbitrary. They are both the descendants of a continuous line of kings, the main difference being that the later group may have not yet fully lost their Akkadian language, culture and identity.
- Compare the Egyptian 10th Dynasty text, "Instruction for Merikare" and see commentary in Religion in Ancient Egypt, Byron Shafer, ed., p 103.
- The variant Wah-ibre means "Constant is the Heart of Re." Both translations by Peter Clayton, Chronicle of the Pharaohs, p 91, 195.
- The American Heritage Dictionary.
- Sobeknefru, daughter of Amenemhet III, became a female pharaoh about this time. The reference to Tashmetum may suggest a role of this queen in the Exodus.
- Compare Numbers 16.
- In Ancient Egypt, commoners were variously called "noble herd" or "flock of the god." "Tales of the Magicians," Joseph Kaster, The Wisdom of Ancient Egypt, p 264. As in the Tale of Etana, a loophole in the law of Thoth was found by declaring men to be animals!
- In the Exodus account (Num. 16:1-14), rebels are summoned to appear before Moses, but refuse to go. They exclaim, "Will Moses also blind us!" It is evident that Moses had a reputation for putting eyes out. In Deut. 34:7 we are assured that the eyesight of Moses himself was not diminished in his old age. In other words, his own eyes had not been put out. It was the second Moses, Akhenaten (Greek Oedipus), who blinded himself.
- Only 38 regnal years are recorded for Samsu-iluna. The Exodus would have occurred around his 39th year.
- In the "Sargon Chronicle," Illishuma is named as the king of Assyria during the reign of Sumu-abum (Senusret III). Ref: Ancient Near Eastern Texts, ed. J. Pritchard, p 267. By association, Illishuma is likely an alternative name of Samsu-iluna.
- Ammi-ditana (Yakubher), the "successor" of Abi-eshuuh was probably a son of Samsu-iluna, which represents a resurgence of his natural line.
- A fuller form of the Biblical name Nun/Non was Naashon, which means "enchanter." In Numbers 10:14, the tribe of Judah led by Naashon marches out before the tribe of Ephraim led by Elishama.
- Abingdon's Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible used for all Hebrew word studies.
- Joan Oates, Babylon, p 64. Year 4 of Ibal-pi-el corresponded to Year 17 of Hammurabi. Joshua may have been youthful looking, but was not especially young by the time of the Exodus. In 1 Samuel 9:1, Joshua is named as Aphiah ("breeze"), the great ancestor of King Saul. Aphiah is similar to the Hebrew word aphiyl, meaning "immature fruit," and relates to the description of the "youthful" Joshua.
- Compare the Latin salutare and salus (stem salut-) Ref. The American Heritage Dictionary.
- Obed corresponds to Ammi-ditana (Hyksos Yakubher). However, the next king Ammi-saduga claims to have been the son (of the male line) of Samsu-iluna!
- The name Serug is derived from the Hebrew verb serag, meaning "to intertwine." This is perhaps symbolic of his "intermarriage" with the woman Ruth of "Moab." However, in a broader Biblical sense, intertwined implies strong. Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV) states: "A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Likewise, the root "az" in Boaz also indicates strength in Hebrew. The name Moab means "Father Land," i.e., the Patriarchal family homeland of Mesopotamia. Moab, like Midian, refers to Mesopotamia during the time period of Ruth, and not to the Trans-Jordan.
- It has been shown that the 13th Dynasty did not follow the 12th Dynasty, but was fully overlapping with it. The two "dynasties" concluded with the Great Nile Flood and evacuation of a sizable percentage of the population.
- Akhenaten rejected his given name Amenhotep (IV). He extolled a form of the sun god Aten, and became the scourge of Yahweh-Amen. In his name, the temples of Amun were desecrated and closed. In the book of Exodus, it is not Moses but Jethro who offers the first sacrifice to Yahweh in the wilderness. Moses evidently refrains from participation. (See commentary by Jonathan Kirsch, Moses: A Life, p 232.)
- James Kugel, In Potiphar's House, p 131.
In Joshua 2 a harlot (or innkeeper) named Rahab hung a "scarlet thread" from her window so that her home would be "passed over" by the invading army of Joshua. The rabbis later construed this to mean that she became the mother of a king. In Matthew 1, she is named as the mother of Boaz by Salmon. It is significant that she is made a contemporary of both Joshua and Salmon. Salmon turns out to be another name for Joshua. However, Joshua/Salmon was not succeeded by one of his own biological sons. Princesses on occasion play the role of prostitutes or wanton women in Scripture. Rahab may indeed have been a royal woman, however there is no other indication in the Old Testament that she became the mother of the successor. The Book of Ruth is the story of how the throne passed from Joshua (there called Elimelech) to the son of Boaz and Ruth. Boaz was a "kinsman" of Joshua/Elimelech, but not a son. He was more likely the son of Joktan (Samsu-iluna). The next to last king of the Hammurabi dynasty, Ammi-saduqa was considered to be the son (of the line) of Samsu-ditana (Joktan) rather than Abi-eshuuh (Joshua). See "List of Year Names: Samsu-iluna, King of Babylon," Ancient Near Eastern Texts, ed. J. Pritchard, p 271.
The Hyksos name of Boaz was Yakub-her, a form of Jacob. This choice of name suggests that succession upon the death of Salitis to Yakubher was not entirely smooth. In other words, Yakubher was not elected by Salitis to be his successor. Ruth, the wife (queen) of Yakhubher and former daughter-in-law of Salitis (Joshua) is likened unto the two wives of Jacob, Rachel and Leah (Ruth 6:11). This could be an anachronism resulting from late editing of the text of Ruth. Alternatively, it could be alluding to the royal wives of an earlier Jacob, especially the archetypal Jacob, Sargon the Great.
In Ruth 6:12, there is a definite anachronism. This was the result of confusion between the Middle Kingdom twins Peresh and Sheresh and New Kingdom twins Perez and Zerah. See Charts 1 & 7 and Chapter 12. The conflation of these two sets of prominent kings is also evident in the genealogy of 1 Chronicles 2, and was propagated in the New Testament genealogy of Matthew 1. It is an artifact of the strong typecasting of New Kingdom kings as repetitions of their Middle Kingdom ancestors. This may seem like a relatively minor and understandable error, however it had enormous implications in terms of chronology