Review of Ted T. Stewart’s “Solving the Exodus Mystery”
by Charles Pope
Stewart observes that the founder of the Egyptian 12th Dynasty, Amenemhet, had formerly been a Vizier (the position held by Biblical Joseph). In additiona he correctly identifies many other Joseph figures in the 12th Dynasty:
1) Amenemhet, Vizier under Montuhotep IV of the 11th Dynasty.
2) Khnumhotep, Governor/Nomarch of Beni-Hasan.
3) Amuny, Vizier of the Pyramid City (at el Lisht).
4) Ameni son of Khnumhotep (and successor of Khnumhotep in Year 18 of pharaoh Senusret "son" of Amenemhet (pp 161-2).
5) Montuhotep, Vizier beginning about Year 18 of Senusret (pp 94-99).
6) Inyotef-okre (pp 76, 102), Vizier and Governor of the Pyramid City (at el Lisht).
7) Intefyoker of Thinis (p 144-5).
8) Intef son of Sent (pp 162-3).
9) Ankhu son of Seni priest of Heliopolis (pp 177-8).
10) Hepzefi nomarch and 1st Prophet in Asyut/Siut of Middle Egypt (pp 109-111, 142-4).
Note: Sarenput can be added to this list, another official with a Joseph type name, as well as I-em-hotep (Imhotep) High Priest of Re (at Heliopolis) in the reign of Senusret.
Note: Stewart mentions the name of Amenemhet’s known Vizier Khenty-Bau (pp 78-79), which appears to be a hybrid Egyptian-Mesopotamian name. Stewart notes that Khenty-Bau had no tomb at el-Lisht, but that a “Chancellor” with a more typical Egyptian name Rehu-er-djer-sen did. The Chancellor was not necessarily an inferior official to the Vizier as Stewart states. It was a title also referred to as the “Seal Bearer” and often held by the heir apparent or regent. The name Rehu-er-djer-sen is suggestive of the Hebrew Zebulun, “the man of safety (Egyptian djer)”. Rehu-er-djer-sen was evidently a more formal name for Prince Wegaf, the Crown Prince prior to his death. On the other hand, Khenty-Bau is likely one and the same as Khnumhotep of Beni-Hasan who was depicted in his tomb as standing in the place of pharaoh before the people.
Note: The Egyptian 18th Dynasty Joseph (Yuya) also had a home and priesthood in Akhmin of Middle Egypt.
The ministry of governor Khnumhotep (father of Ameni) ends as Vizier Montuhotep's begins, but Stewart doesn't make the connection between Vizier Montuhotep and Ameni son of Khnumhotep. Stewart also does not entertain the idea that Joseph, although he traveled "throughout the land of Egypt", could have been known by a number of regional Egyptian names. Many of the above listed names can be reasonably associated with a single high official/Vizier, viz., Ameni/Amuny/Mentuhotep/Hepzepi/Inyotefokre/Intefyoker/Intef/Ankhu.
Note: The Egyptian names Amen (as in Amenemhet) and Yo (as in the name Inyotef) are prototypical forms of YHWH/Jehovah, the “God of Joseph”.
Stewart does not have any fundamental problem with the Biblical narrative's depiction of Joseph receiving an Egyptian name. Nor does he have any qualms over Joseph accepting as wife (and even courting as he speculates) an Egyptian priestess, as well as dutifully building a temple to the sun god fully equipped with one or more "standing stones" (obelisks)! Instead, Stewart eliminates all of the above Egyptian magnates of the period as being candidates for Biblical Patriarch Joseph on one or more account:
1) They have parents with Egyptian names (although Joseph did also).
2) They claim to have inherited offices (particularly priesthoods).
3) They have character flaws, such as pride.
4) They are connected with Egyptian (pagan) cults
Steward swallows whole the Biblical propaganda of Joseph rising from the ranks of Hebrew commoners to become "second to pharaoh". He likewise fails to recognize the propaganda in the matching Egyptian inscription that describes Vizier Montuhotep as being selected by pharaoh from among millions. The list of eligible candidates for such a position would have been exceedingly short and restricted to members of the extended royal family. However, it was good for business to lend an impression to the people that the chief minister was an "Ordinary Joe".
Note: An example of Stewart’s flawed method of “selective discovery” is his rejection of Imhotep as a potential “Joseph” in the Egyptian Old Kingdom. Stewart dismisses the Ptolemaic inscription of a seven-year flood in the time Djoser and Imhotep as a forgery (not to mention Imhotep’s fabled life span of 110 years). There was in fact an obvious Old Kingdom analogue of Jacob as well, namely Khufu. Steward also notes that the High Priest of On/Heliopolis in the reign of Senusret was called I-em-hotep, but does not even realize that this name is essentially the same as the earlier Imhotep.
Stewart espies the similarity between the Joseph temptation story of Genesis and the Egyptian “Tale of Two Brothers”. However, he doesn’t put two and two together and realize that the “Egyptian” Potiphar was the “Hebrew” Joseph’s brother and that the woman trying to seduce him was his own brother’s wife! Stewart further recognizes that Senusret claimed to have been divinely appointed as "shepherd" over the entire world and its people. He fails to perceive that Senusret was consequently the only Jacob-figure of historical significance during that time period. What's more, it was the cunning of his "son" Khunmhotep (in the role of "Joseph") that allowed Senusret (as the "Jacob") to "go down" to the Egyptian Delta and firmly establish his power there.
The "Letter of Amenemhet" supposedly written by pharaoh Amenemhet to his "son" Senusret is one of the most blatant works of propaganda we have from the ancient world, and yet Stewart accepts it as genuine. The letter authorizes (and even urges) Senusret to take drastic (and ruthless) measures in order to secure the throne (that he was usurping). It posthumously has Amenemhet declare Senusret the rightful heir, and claims that Amenemhet had been negligent in not appointing him earlier (prior to his death). And if Amenemhet were still alive would he really have needed to put all of this in a letter? The fears of Sinuhe and his flight to Canaan were well justified. Senusret could not at all be trusted.
The mention of only the white crown of Egypt in the "Letter of Amenemhet" and not also the red crown is also suspicious. It suggests that Senusret was already the recognized as the de facto king of Lower Egypt upon Amenemhet's death. He only needed to rationalize his take-over of Upper Egypt (symbolized by the white crown). The typecasting of Senusret was one of the lying, conniving "Jacob the Grabber". He had in fact done more than simply steal the birthright from a rival "brother" (Prince Wegaf/Zebulun), he had assassinated him. He probably also manipulated Amenemhet into recognizing him as heir to at least the red crown. And although he may not have been complicit in the assassination of Amenemhet, Senusret was the one that gained by it. In the Book of Genesis he is called Kenan, a name that connotes profiteering and murder (after the earlier figure of Cain).
Note: The author of Genesis needed to find a prince with similar characteristics as Amenemhet (Enosh) to reckon as founder of the Egyptian New Kingdom. He did so in the 17th Dynasty pharaoh Sekhemre-sementawy Djehuty (Abraham). Like Enosh, Abraham is depicted as a lone lamb in the company of power-hungry wolves.
In terms of Egyptian tradition/mythology, Amenemhet was a neo-Ptah. Upon becoming pharaoh and founder of a new dynasty assumed the Horus name "Repeater of Births", i.e., renewing the divine dynasty of the gods and in the same general pattern. As the nominal son and successor of Amenemhet, Senusret became the next "Ra son of Ptah". However, due to his murderous ways, he also became something of an An (Anu/Cain) son of Atum (Adam). Steward notes that Senusret even fancied himself as the resplendent "son of Atum".
Upon becoming pharaoh it was the prerogative of Senusret to select or confirm the leading minister (in the role of "Joseph son of Jacob"). This was initially Khnumhotep and later Ameni/Montuhotep. Ameni was in turn succeeded by his "son" Khnumhotep II. The final great minister of the 12th Dynasty was the deified Vizier Inyotef IV (Ameny-Inyotef), who may have been one and the same as Khnumhotep II, if not his son/successor in the office. The 110 years attributed to Joseph in the Bible is a symbolic number. It does however closely match the span of Joseph figures who managed 12th Dynasty Egypt (starting with Khnumhotep in the reign of Amenemhet and ending with the death of Inyotef IV shortly before the Exodus). The entire 12th Dynasty lasted scarcely more than 110 years. (Stewart takes the Biblical life times of Joseph and Moses literally and arrives at a length of 246 years for the 12th Dynasty. The bloated “standard chronology” length is only 209 years!)
It could be said that the 12th Dynasty was a "Joseph Dynasty". Egypt itself was the land of the younger son who eventually gained the birthright over the elder. In the beginning, Egypt was subordinate to Mesopotamia. In Mesopotamia, the god Ea/Enki son of Anu served his older brother Enlil. In Egypt, this relationship is mirrored by Khnum/Ptah's and his line (through Ra) being subordinate to Shu and his line (through Geb, Osiris, and Thoth). However, after the Flood the junior line supplanted the senior one. This made for an example to be followed throughout the Pharaonic Age.
Besides naming/confirming the Vizier or "Joseph", Senusret had other sons that were being groomed to succeed him as pharaoh. The elder was Sekhemkare, who was typecast as a new Osiris (a.k.a. Sekhem) in the ongoing scenario involving "repetition of births". The younger was Amenemhet II, who was to be the next Horus the Elder. Sekhemkare and Amenemhet II were both killed and Senusret had little choice but to acknowledge their killer as his successor. What Senusret had done to others was in turn done unto him. He had been usurped by another usurper, who was also typecast as a "Jacob the Grabber". Furthermore, he even had the name of Senusret (II).
Note: The list of 13th Dynasty pharaohs were junior (subordinate) princes that ruled in parallel with the main 12th Dynasty list. This is not understood by Egyptologists, although at least one other alternative researcher now agrees.
Note: Stewart correctly identifies the slain Biblical Ezer and Elead sons of Ephraim (from the Book of 1 Chronicles) as Middle Kingdom figures, however he does not perceive their lofty place in the Egyptian heirarchy, or that of their successor, Beriah, “trouble”. The epithets of Manasseh and Ephraim for pharoahs Amenemhet and Senusret indicate that they were probably brothers rather than literal father and son, and that both had been sired by an 11th Dynasty “second to pharaoh” figure (namely Senusret A/Didanu/”Dan”, a tribal name for Adam).
As there was a succession of three major Joseph figures in the 12th Dynasty, so there was a succession of three major Jacob figures. The first Jacob (Senusret I) represented the god Re in his apotheosis, that is, his going down to Egypt and becoming the greatest. The second Jacob (Senusret II) represented the god Re in his falling, that is, in his culpability over the murder of Osiris.
The third Jacob (Au-ibre Hor) of the 12th Dynasty was originally typecast as a Horus the Younger figure (Benjamin/Ham). However, after he blinded a rival prince named Khendjer, he was forced to assume the (as yet unfulfilled) role of the god Re in exile and exodus. This third element of the Jacob cycle is better known as "Moses". From the Middle Kingdom forward the Jacob and Moses roles became separate, although they were originally associated with a single god, Ra.
Note: At the end of the Old Kingdom, Sargon was a Benjamin/Ham type that became a "Moses". However, Sargon was something of an inverted Jacob figure. He was exiled from Mesopotamia to Egypt (rather than the other way around). He later returned to Mesopotamia not to lead an Exodus, but to regain power as Great King (by deposing and killing Lugal-zaggesi). The later pharaoh Tao/Apophis of the early Egyptian New Kingdom was another example of this inverted Jacob type.
With the Benjamin typecasting (Horus the Younger son of Horus the Elder and heir of Osiris) vacated by Auibre Hor, two other princes claimed that coveted role. It was Senusret III son of Amenemhet II that emerged as the dominant military leader. He became the beloved champion and unifier of the world by defeating the 3rd Dynasty of Ur in Mesopotamia. Senusret III was the undisputed Great King and Egypt remained the primary royal court.
As the annual Nile flood levels continued to rise, the other prince with Ham-like aspirations, Amenemhet III, assumed the throne name of Ny-maatre and the role of a new Ny-netjer (Noah). Stewart notes that the amount of “cursing” (a voodoo-like form of sympathetic magic related to the calling of Balaam to curse the Israelites) doubled in the reign of Amenemhet III. Cursing was a specific typecasting element of Biblical Noah/Mesopotamian Adapa, who cursed the tempest and later cursed over having his "nakedness" exposed.
Note: In the Egyptian New Kingdom, these Middle Kingdom roles of Senusret III and Amenemhet III were taken up by the warrior king Thutmose III (as Horus the Younger) and by the great builder king Neb-maatre Amenhotep III (as Nynetjer).
Note: Stewart is willing to embrace the pagan Old Kingdom pharaoh Unas as a true prophet for writing (in his Pyramid Texts) about the death of the firstborn and a catastrophic flood (pp 263-5). However, Unas was speaking about a flood that had already occurred, and was only being prophetic in the sense that the ancients believed that what had happened in the past was destined to happen again.
Note: The “prophesy” regarding the “coming of Ameny” (and application to pharaoah Amenemhet) is similarly taken at face value by Stewart (pp 263-4).
Stewart identifies Amenemhet IV as the “pharaoh of the Exodus”, and asserts that he should be lumped together with the likes of Adolf Hitler, Nero, and other notorious sociopaths of history. Regardless of whether or not Amenemhet IV was deranged, he cannot be the "pharaoh of the Exodus" based on his typecasting. Amenhotep III was still alive at the time of the 12th Dynasty Exodus, therefore it was he (and not Amenemhet IV) who still had the obligation of “chasing” the Israelites out of Egypt in the role of Noah. He was also doubling in the Ham role, which further indicates he was expected to survive the event. Amenemhet IV was of the Shem/Aaron typecasting. His role was to assist Auibre Hor ("Moses") in challenging Amenemhet III and to accompany Auibre Hor in Exodus. He was not to stay behind or to die with the “pharaoh of the Exodus”. As Shem survived the Great Flood, so would Amenemhet IV, although he would die shortly into the wilderness experience (according to the Biblical account of Aaron). See, www.domainofman.com/book/chap-8.html
There is contrary information in both the Bible and the Quran/Koran regarding whether or not the “pharaoh of the Exodus” was literally killed in the Red Sea (or Reed Sea).
There has also been much debate over this question, but the answer is quite simple in terms of typecasting. And the answer is emphatically, NO!
There was an Exodus event associated with each of the major Egyptian Kingdoms (Old, Middle, New). In each case the pharaoh assigned the role of oppressing the people (with endless construction projects) and then resisting an Exodus of that workforce possessed a distinct Noah typecasting. And it was not the “fate” of Biblical Noah to die in the Great Flood but to be miraculously saved along with his wife and three other couples. We also now know that Noah was considered a pharaoh in Egypt (both before and after the Great Flood) by the name of Ny-netjer/Nutjeren. See, again, www.domainofman.com/book/chart-14b.pdf
Biblical Noah is thought of as a gentle, peace-loving soul. But we can now discern that he very much had a dark side. Prior to the Flood he was only interested in saving a few (including and especially himself), and not the many. He evidently continued to harrass his "neighbors" right up until the final hour. It was only after the Flood that he had a change of heart and gave up his slave-driving ways.
Noah and those with him endured an ordeal ("baptism") by water. Typologically, the baptizer was Osiris (archetypal Elijah and John the Baptist). Osiris was the "water pourer". It was his brutal sacrifice of Osiris that precipitated the Great Flood, an event that broke the killing drought and brought renewed fertility to the earth, or so it was believed. Baptism is associated with repentance and rebirth, a transformation of the soul leading not only to physical salvation but spiritual renewal. Prior to the Flood, Noah was faithful to God (or the gods) and was declared righteous. However, it was only after the Flood that he could be considered good in the eyes of the people (at least outside Mesopotamia where some common people survived, and particularly "far-away" Egypt where Noah eventually resettled).
Note: In contrast to Osiris, a Horus figure “baptized with fire” - the fire of warfare.
The pharaoh of the Exodus was always a wise but tyrannical Noah figure. It was necessary for him to be hated as an oppressor, but in the final analysis, redeemed. In none of the various accounts of an Exodus does the pharaoh chasing the runaway slaves die. In the Book of Exodus pharaoh sends his army into the sea and witnesses its destruction. In the Leiden Papyrus (of Ipuwer) there are plagues and disaster from “pouring of water”. Kingship is even removed (as in “carried off” to Mesopotamia ala the King-List), but nowhere does it state that a pharaoh was literally killed. In another record, the el-Arish stela, a pharaoh gives chase to a rebellious people in a time of upheaval and encounters both whirlpool and whirlwind. In all the above cases, the informed reader knows that stock roles are being fulfilled and the “end of an age” (and beginning of a new one) is signified.
James D. Long in his book, “Riddle of the Exodus” discusses the el-Arish inscription. He also notes that Jewish tradition names Melol as pharaoh of the oppression. Melol could correspond to an Old Kingdom pharaoh as James Long proposes, but it is also very close in form to the Mesopotamian name of Amenemhet III of the Middle Kingdom, that being Sumulael, “belonging to God/El”. Thoum, the name given in the el-Arish inscription to the pharaoh that pursued slaves into a whirlpool could reflect the Old Kingdom pharaonic name of Nemtyemsaf as James Long proposes. It is also a name that can be associated with Inyotef II of the 11th Dynasty (Mesopotamian Gudea). See, www.domainofman.com/book/chart-14b.pdf
Gudea/Inyotef II was strongly typecast as a Benjamin within the Dynasty of Sargon the Great. Yet, it appears that Gudea also set the precedent for a Benjamin figure to take on the secondary role of “pharaoh of the Exodus” (a precedent that Amenemhet III of the 12th Dynasty followed).
A dramatic death by “pouring of water” was also orchestrated by Queen/Pharaoh Nitocris at the end of the Old Kingdom. She gathered many of the magnates of the kingdom, hosted them to a sumptuous banquet in a subterranean vault, and then had them all drowned by flooding out the chamber from above. She is believed to have perished with them, but this also seems to be mistaken. The other known “Queens of the Exodus” survived similar re-enactments of Noah’s Flood (as did Noah’s wife), such as Queen Sobeknofru of the Middle Kingdom and Queen Tiye of the 18th Dynasty. In Egyptian myth, the matriarchal goddess Hathor was ill-disposed toward mankind during the Flood, but like her counterpart the “pharaoh of the Exodus” she ultimately “repented” in killing them all.
It has also been shown that Solomon (Amenhotep III of the Egyptian New Kingdom) was of the Noah typecasting. He was both a wise king and a bitter oppressor through his monumental construction projects. He was also implicitly the one that ordered babies to be destroyed as a means of population control. As in the days of Noah (as well as in Old and Middle Kingdoms repetitions), the world/kingdom of the 18th Dynasty Egypt was said to have been lessened and then divided. However, Solomon himself was not involved with the associated Exodus event of his generation. He died before this aspect of the Noah role could be fulfilled. The real life Solomon, hedonist pharaoh Amenhotep III, expired in the seventh year of Akhenaten’s exile to Amarna, his Babylon on the Nile. Biblical Noah (Pharaoh Ny-netjer) went “overboard” in his indulgent lifestyle after the Great Flood. However, Pharaoh Nebmaatre Amenhotep III ate and drank himself to death before a proper Exodus could be arranged. As the Bible records, Solomon refused himself no pleasure, nothing his eyes desired.
Akhenaten must have breathed a sigh of relief at the passing of Amenhotep III. Nonetheless, two other members of the royal family (both with Ham/Benjamin typecasting) took up the aborted role of “pharaoh of the Exodus” in Amenhotep III’s place. Together they forced an exodus of Akhenaten (Rehoboam) five years after the death of Amenhotep III (Solomon).
We saw that pharaoh Ny-maatre Amenemhet III of the 12th Dynasty demonstrated “works meet for repentance” by coming for the body of Moses (Auibre Hor/Hammurabi) and giving it burial within a pyramid once built as his own final resting place or mortuary cult. In the end, both “Moses” and the “pharaoh of the Exodus” were seen as vindicated.
In the New Kingdom repetition of the Exodus, neither Aye nor Ramses were killed when Akhenaten was forced out of Egypt and pursued to the Red Sea. After the event, Aye came to Akhenaten in the Sinai and even brought his children to him as if to make amends for his former harsh treatment. Akhenaten was eventually allowed by Aye to come back to Egypt and “see God”, i.e., to receive a proper Egyptian kingly burial in the manner of his role model Auibre Hor/Hammurabi.
Stewart’s identification of Amenemhet’s capital city of Itj-tawy as Tanis is well worth considering. One must wonder if the Greek Danites were also among those that made an Exodus from Tanis in Egypt during the 12th Dynasty.
Other difficulties with Stewart’s model include:
- Stewart has Hammurabi pre-dating the Egyptian Middle Kingdom rather than coming at the end of the Middle Kingdom or following it.
- Stewart does not mention any of the Patriarchs prior to Abraham. Were they “living with the Mek”?
- Stewart follows the theory of Ron Wyatt regarding the location of Sodom and Gomorrah. He claims that the finding of sulfur balls in specific locations near the Dead Sea is proof of the Biblical judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. However, what evidence there is points instead to a highly selective and vindictive act by human authority and not by God (and performed as a repetition of some earlier natural catastrophe).
-Stewart suggests that “Moses” may have been a general under Senusret III sent to campaign in Nubia, but stops short of associating him with an Egyptian name from archaeology, such as General Mentuemhet (pp 170, 186-7).
-Stewart’s placement of Sekhemre at the end of the 12th Dynasty is unclear (pp 286-8). Sekhemre seems to be a variant of Sekhemkare son of Senusret I and not a minister serving Queen/Pharaoh Sobeknefru. Stewart resigns himself to identifying only those pharaohs that he thinks were associated with Joseph and Moses.
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