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Hyksos and Exodus, Revisited
In Response To: Re: Josephus and the Hyksos ()

I'm amazed at how many people are drawn to the Hyksos Period. It was such an obscure time in history.

I said I wasn't going to revisit this era until finishing the latest series on the New Testament, but the other day I couldn't resist taking a fresh look. And it might be important in better understanding Josephus. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

In the Hyksos Period we have the succession order of:

Salitis
Yakhuber
Khyan
Apophis I
Apophis II

Salitis was a Joshua type.
Yakhuber was a Jacob type.

In the following (18th) dynasty, we have a similar pattern in which Thutmose III, a Joshua type, was followed by Amenhotep II, a Jacob type. Examples of this pattern can also be found in other dynasties.

One of Khyan's Biblical epithets was Obed, which would later also be appled to Shiloh/Solomon. (He was called Zalmunnah in Judges.) In the following dynasty the Jacob type was in fact succeeded directly upon his death by Shiloh, Amenhotep III. However, Amenhotep III/Shiloh was not the son but a grandson of Amenhotep II/Jacob. The true father of Amenhotep III was Prime Minister Yuya, a Joseph type.

Getting back to the Hyksos dynasty, Khyan was perhaps also a grandson of Yakhuber and there was a Hyksos Joseph figure lurking behind the scenes.

The emergence of a Noah/Shiloh required the parallel appearance of a Ham/Benjamin. This need was filled by the election of Apophis who ruled alongside of Khyan for decades. Apophis was the Hyksos equivalent of the earlier Pepi of the Old Kingdom, who we have recently also associated with the Benjamin figure Sargon in Mesopotamia. So, all is going along as expected when Khyan suddenly decides to dump Apophis as his heir and elect another son or grandson as successor. This leads to the epic battle of Genesis 14 in which five kings led by Khyan are defeated by four kings led by Apophis.

This scenario can be interpreted as follows. Khyan decided to transform Apophis from a simple Ham/Benjmain into an even more potent Moses figure in the fashion of Sargon and then Hammurabi. Apophis did not seem to have been flattered by the idea, or didn't believe that Khyan was actually going to follow through with. There is indication that Khyan was determined to replace Apophis permanently with some other more favored son. The name of one of the five invading kings, Arioch (from the Hebrew ari, "lion") indicates that a new Benjamin had been dubbed. This king is called Zeeb ("wolf") in Judges, which even more specifically designates him as a Benjamin type.

Apophis and his clan withheld their tribute in exile. Khyan and his other sons and grandsons came down to take it by force. But something unexpected happened. The overwhelming forces of Khyan were routed. The Great King Khyan and the kings with him were all put to death by Apophis II son of Apophis I.

Rather than being praised for killing Khyan, Apophis II was instead disgraced by his father and eventually captured and killed near Avaris. Apophis II had been patterned after the earlier Pepi II (a Judah type), but apparently he had failed to recognize his proper role. It was not his place to kill Khyan. He more correctly should have sent the captured kings to his father, or imposed a treaty upon them which brought his father back from exile and on the Great Throne(thereby fulfilling his role as the Hyksos Sargon). Instead, the younger Apophis took matters into his own hands.

It was not the great battle of Genesis 14 that was remembered as the defeat of the Hyksos. Rather it was the defeat of Apophis II and expulsion of his followers that signaled the end of the Hyksos age and beginning of a new cycle. Although this was certainly significant Hebrew history, it had little or nothing to do with the founding of Jerusalem or the formation of traditional Israel.

But did it have anthing to do with the Hasmonean personal family history? This is very unlikely. Lacking any actual family history relating to the Exodus (outside the generic descriptions of the Torah), Josephus seems to simply choose the least offensive of those accounts produced by other writers of Egyptian history.

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