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The Joshua Trio
In Response To: Re: Aristobulus III or VI ()

Eddie,

Interestingly enough Paul was the half-brother of Jesus (by the same father, Antipater). Jesus was the half-brother of James and also the two sons of Zebedee (by the same mother, Mariamne IV). James was in turn the half-brother of Peter (by the same father, Antipas)!

Jesus, John the son of Zebedee, and Paul were all designated as "Benjamin" types. (Benjamin is another name for Joshua.) The reason why three simultaneous Benjamins were considered necessary is outlined below.

In the late Middle Kingdom/early Hyksos Period there had also been mutliple Benjamins. The leading Joshua/Benjamin was Salitis/Neferhotep II of the "House of Joseph" (Yu/Inyotef IV).

Yasmah Adad/Ay, the younger son of Shamshi-Adad IV, was the Benjamin/Joshua in the rival "House of Issachar" (Amenemhet son of Senusret I).

Yasmah Adad (known as Ay in Egypt) was a comical figure whose father wrote in frustration concerning him, "Is he not capable of mounting a donkey?" (Linguistically, the name Ay also relates to the word for donkey.) Yasmah Adad/Ay appears in the Exodus story as the humorous character Balaam who has an accident riding a donkey. Yasmah Adad and his older brother Ishme-Dagon went down in extra-biblical Jewish legend as the antagonists Jannes and Jambres in the court of pharaoh. These names seem to have morphed into John and James by New Testament times.

In the Egyptian New Kingdom, Aye/Sheshonq son of Yuya ("Joseph"), was initially designated for the role of back-up Joshua. He was secondary in this part to a son of prince Amenhotep/Ossachor ("Issachar"). As such Aye was the life-long antagonist of his "twin". (Reflected in the Biblical account of Asa and Baasha.)

By the time of Akhenaten (Rehoboam) and the Amarna Period Exodus, the roles of 1st and 2nd Joshua had been reassigned. The new primary Joshua was a prince we now know only by his Libyan name, Sheshonq II. Tutankhamun was the secondary Joshua, but became primary Joshua after Sheshonq II was murdered. Nevertheless, during the Exodus, Tut was required to also play the role of Balaam (secondary Joshua). In Tut's case, he needed assistance in mounting a donkey, not so much due to laziness but illness.

After Tut died young, the role of Joshua was again vacant and coveted by Seti. Seti was considered too old for the part, but arranged for it to be taken by his son Ramses II.

In New Testament times, Jesus was the primary Joshua figure. John the Evangelist (the younger son of Zebedee) was the alternate or "twin"/comic relief in this role. (James son of Zebedee was a back-up to John the Baptist.) As in Amarna times, a third Joshua was identified in case both Jesus and John should fail to fulfill expectations. As with Ramses II son of Seti, Paul was named very late for this role. He seems to have also been given the part of Balaam, the rogue prophet who was accused of leading Israel astray, that is, away from strict observance of the Laws of Moses.

-Charles

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