Living in Truth:
Archaeology and the Patriarchs

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by Charles N. Pope
Copyright ©1999-2004, 2016 by Charles Pope
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Chapter 8
"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 somebody 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  Each main character (cycle) combines the memory of at least two historical persons that played the same divine role (such as the god Ptah in the case of Joseph).  With each new dynasty the cycle evolved to include variations on the original theme.l  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph were real historical persons, and each was expected to interpret their assigned role in their own generation.  Genesis does not explicitly tell us their royal identities, much less the specific royal ancestors that had earlier played and modified the basic role.  However, all Patriarchs and their archetypes can now be determined by melding the stories and genealogies of the Bible with what is now known about the royal family from archaeology. 

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 also played and somewhat redefined the role.  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 was championed by David Rohl.c Rohl presented evidence that the enigmatic structure called the “Labyrinth at Hawara” in Lower Egypt initially 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).  Rohl identified Amenemhet III as the pharaoh who appointed Joseph as Vizier (Prime Minister) of Egypt.  However, a new analysis indicates that Middle Kingdom Joseph was an older member of the royal family than Amenemhet III (rather than younger).

During the Middle Kingdom, beneficial Nile flooding returned.  The Faiyum project was initiated during the reign of Senusret II.  In the following co-reign of Senusret III and Amenemhet III, disastrously high water levels began in Year 20 of Amenemhet III and peaked in Year 30, the year that Pharaoh Senusret III passed away.  This is the obvious time for an “Exodus of Israelites” from Egypt to have taken place (and not over 100 years later, as inexplicably proposed by Rohl).  Previous flood control measures became inadequate and overwhelmed.  Consequently, normal planting and harvesting was not possible.  The myriad compartments of the “Labyrinth” at Hawara made for 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 “famine years.”  After the Middle Kingdom Exodus, the “Labyrinth” was converted into a mortuary facility.

 Joseph: Inyotef IV

The founder of the 12th dynasty, Amenemhet I, was killed by Ur-Nammu, who appears to have merely been the Mesopotamian identity of Amenemhet (a.k.a. Nam-hani).  In other words, Amenemhet removed himself as pharaoh in favor of Senusret and his sons.  (In the Egyptian 18th Dynasty, an apparent break-away dynasty once again was established in Mesopotamia.  However, the princes of the New Kingdom were only following the earlier example, even to the point of assuming their names, relationships, actions, artistic style and alliances,d and including the fabrication of a rival dynasty in Mesopotamia.  The extreme measures they undertook to emulate their Middle Kingdom ancestors became the basis for the Torah narratives.)  Amenemhet had failed to produce a qualified heir and consequently removed himself in favor of Senusret, who sired at least four princes.  The clincher was the celebrated birth of twins, a new “Perez and Zerah” pair, who were called “Peresh and Sheresh” to distinguish them from the earlier 5th Dynasty set.  Peresh did not have sons, and therefore adopted at least one son of Sheresh as his own.  That son became the Joseph-figure of the Middle Kingdom, but also claimed both an Issachar typecasting from his true father Sekhemkare (“Sheresh/Zerah II”) and a Judah aspect from his uncle and adoptive father Amenemhet II (“Peresh/Perez II”).

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 (with help from Reuben).   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), and he did not have an eligible royal son.  In exchange for “saving” his life, the Joseph-figure Inyotef produced (or raised) an heir named Auibre Hor (“Horus the Younger”) on the behalf of Amenemhet II (“Horus the Elder”).  However, in a twist of the Egyptian original, the soon-to-be “sacrificed” Issachar (“Osiris”) was the actual (rather than honorary) father this time around.e Auibre Hor in turn acquired inheritance from all three lines – Judah, Issachar and Joseph.

According to the Biblical typecasting, Joseph was the son of Jacob.  The leading Jacob figure of the 12th Dynasty was pharaoh Senusret II.  However, the relevant genealogical records (found in 1 Chronicles 7:14-19) from the Middle Kingdom call this Joseph by the epithet of Rakem, meaning “of the multi-colored, finely embroidered fabric/coat”).  “Rakem is also identified as a son of “Sheresh.”  Because the succession passed through the younger twin Zerah in the Old Kingdom, it was expected to do so again in the Middle Kingdom.  Therefore, the sons of Sheresh would have been given priority.  “Rakem” (Inyotef IV) would only be adopted by Senusret II in order to fulfill the expected relationship of “Joseph son of Jacob.”  It did not reflect his standing within the royal family.

In Chronicles, the other son of Sekhemkare (“Zerah II/Sheresh”) is called Ulam, meaning “mute” ala Moses).  He had to in turn be adopted by his older brother Rakem in order to satisfy the traditional relationship of “Moses son of Joseph.”  It was expedient for the newborn prince, Auibre Hor, to also be “adopted by the daughter of pharaoh (Senusret II),” which indicates that the twins Amenemhet II and Sekhemkare had already departed the scene in Egypt by this time.  Senusret II became the nominal ruler of Egypt, and even though he had “supplanted” Amenemhet II and Sekhemkare through a livestock seizure (ostensibly) gone horribly wrong.  However, Senusret II was careful to present himself as a pious, concerned and compassionate king in the tradition of the god Re.f  He was also expected to diligently cultivate the careers of the two heirs, Inyotef and Auibre Hor, at least when they were in Egypt.

Senusret II seems to have been a typical Jacob-figure.  His sons were produced by others.  His father (the elder Senusret) had many other prominent sons.  The career of the eldest, Wegaf, had ended under mysterious circumstances during his co-regency with Amenemhet.  A son of Wegaf was eventually allowed to succeed the childless Senusret II under the name of Senusret III (Patriarch Methuseleh).  Yet another son of Senusret I served as the “eldest son” of Senusret IIII and ruled alongside him as the co-regent, namely Amenemhet III.  We are told that this son was born to Senusret I (“Ephraim son of Manasseh”) after the untimely deaths of the twins Amenemhet (“Elead”) and Sekhemkare (“Zabad”).  The mother of the new prince is identified as Ephrathah/Eprhath, a name that suggests she was the female equivalent of Ephraim (in terms of fertility) or perhaps was his own daughter.

In the 18th Dynasty “remix, the Judah-figure (Thutmose IV) and Issachar-figure (Prince Amenhotep) both died prematurely (and from “foul play”), which led to the reign of the Jacob-figure (Amenhotep II) being “shortened” and “full of trouble.”  After the death of Thutmose IV (“Judah”), he was not replaced as co-regent by another of the many other grown princes, but by the child-pharaoh Amenhotep III.  After the death of Amenhotep II, the Joseph-figure (Vizier Yuya) acted as regent to the boy-king and managed the empire until the next generation of princes were produced and a clear successor emerged.  In the words of the Bible, the “scepter remained between the feet of Judah,” i.e., Amenhotep III the son of Thutmose IV became “ruler,” however the “birthright belonged to Joseph,” at least until such time as “Shiloh” came, i.e., the next Messianic, Joshua-styled prince manifested the ability to complete the dynastic cycle and begin a new one.

In the 18th Dynasty, the Moses-figure was Akhenaten.  It was hoped that his “younger son” Tutankhamun might grow out of his childhood handicaps and turn into a worthy Joshua figure.  Despite his good qualities, the health of Tutankhamun only further deteriorated and he ultimately could not fulfill the required role.  Therefore, the birthright was restored to the formerly disgraced line of the Reuben-figure, Neby/Webenenu.  The handsome and vigorous prince named Seti emerged from this collateral royal line and was consequently designated as the new Joshua.  There had been a prominent Reuben-figure in the 12th Dynasty named Wegaf (“Gilead son of Ephraim”).  He likewise was disgraced or died young, yet his leading son was declared a pharaoh and is the most famous of all of the Middle Kingdom pharaohs, the giant Senusret III.  It was perhaps hoped and even expected that his line would continue, but genetics dictated otherwise. 

Instead, it was the diminutive Middle Kingdom Moses-figure Auibre Hor (cum Hammurabi) that sired the leading princes and received the birthright from the contemporary Joseph-figure, Inyotef IV (a.k.a. Rim-Sin of Mesopotamia, who dominated that region for over 60 years).  Auibre Hor and Amenemhet III initially shared the Marduk epithet of Ashhur.  It was, however, Auibre Hor that ultimately fulfilled the role.  The exile of Auibre Hor from Egypt paralleled that of Shamshi-Adad from Asshur (proto-Assyria).  Shamshi-Adad spent seven-years in Babylon even as Akhenaten would later hole up for seven years at the city of Akhet-aten.  Akhenaten also appears to have assumed the named of Shamshi-Adad (IV) in Mesopotamia in emulation of Hammurabi.

Amenemhet III not only ruled Egypt from his youth, but also was a leading king in Mesopotamia under the name of Zimri-Lim.  (Probably, there was a tradition that a Noah-figure had to be a child-king.)  As the nominal Great King, Amenemhet III was “father” of all other princes, including even those that were older than himself.  The two sons of Auibre Hor/Hammurabi, namely Samsu-iluna and Sumu-Ditana were claimed by Amenemhet III under the names of Ishme-Dagan and Yasmah-Adad.  (In the 18th Dynasty, Amenhotep III/Aye was expected to mentor Smenkhkare and Tutankhamun, the “two sons” of the Moses-figure Akhenaten, and did so under the regional epithet of Rib-Adad.)  The elder son had initial priority, but the Great Throne was eventually held in reserve for an attractive grandson of Hammurabi, the son of the notorious “slacker” and “ladies man” Yasmah-Adad.  Yasmah-Adad assumed the Egyptian name of Neferhotep (“Beauty is Satisfied”).  His favored son became Neferhotep II, but is better known as Salitis, the conqueror of the “Land of Canaan” as a new Joshua figure.  Previously, the succession of Sargon seems to have passed through the youngest son (Senusret A) of the youngest (Gudea/Inyotef II).  This probably explains why a son of Hammurabi’s younger son was tapped to found another new dynasty.  Regardless, after only one generation the throne reverted to the line of the eldest son of Hammurabi.  The attempt of Akhenaten to replicate the original pattern of Sargon (or even the Hammurabi repetition) was similarly frustrated.  Neither Tut nor Smenkhkare were able to establish any lasting dynastic line.

By Year 27 of Hammurabi in Babylon, the succession had for all practical purposes been settled.  However, Hammurabi had until that time lived in relative isolation (due to his presumed exile).  A major conflict was needed to bolster the reputation of Hammurabi as a man of action (rather than mere diplomacy).  A king of Persia (Elam) suddenly began to bully the city-states of Mesopotamia and then invaded with a massive army cobbled together from allied territories beyond (east of) the Tigress River.  Hammurabi formed a make-shift coalition against them, which failed at first, but hung together long enough for the multifarious invaders to run afoul of each other and withdraw.  It wasn’t the most elegant military operation, but served its purpose.  The “victorious” Hammurabi immediately punished Larsa and deposed its king Rim-Sin for withholding its military support in the time of crisis.  He then used other pretexts for destroying the cities of Mari and Eshnunna, and deposing their kings Zimri-Lim and Sin-Shilli (Senusret III?).  In reality, the other great princes were simply conceding their crowns to Hammurabi in accordance to established royal family protocol.  Hammurabi was the undisputed king of Mesopotamia, not by conquest but behest.  Upon the death of Senusret III a few years later, Hammurabi would also “exact his vengeance” upon Egypt and (like his role models Sargon and Nimrod) become “King of the World.” 

It was a stock scenario, and one that was dusted off for use at the end of the so-called Hyksos Period as well.  A “King of Elam” brought the hordes of the East against a new Moses/Marduk in the making.  (This battle is discussed in detail in Chapter 10.)  The seemingly irresistible forces once more struck a damaging blow before fracturing and fleeing before a smaller but more “courageous” group of defenders.  After the “miraculous” victory, neutral parties were again singled out for punishment.  The Moses/Marduk-figure then quickly moved to reconsolidate the Empire through one of his sons or grandsons designated as the next Joshua-figure.

The Exodus Event that ended the Middle Kingdom occurred during the tenure of Khaneferre/“Khenephres” Sobekhotep IV (a.k.a. Amenemhet III).  Shortly afterwards, a largely depopulated Egyptian Delta was overrun by an “Asiatic” interloper with the assumed 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 the younger son of Hammurabi known as Sumu-ditana in Babylon.  See the section “Hammurabi and the Hyksos” (below).  With the conquest of Dedumesiu, the career of Pharaoh Amenemhet III was likely finished, at least in Egypt.  As the Noah-figure, Amenemhet III had been entitled to renew his kingship in Egypt after the Flood, which he evidently did under a new name, Merneferre Ay.  In the 18th Dynasty, Amenhotep III repeated this precedent and redoubled his kingship under the name of Kheperkheperure (It-netjer) Aye, which also re-emphasized his Ephraim (“doubly fruitful) typecasting.

In the Book of Genesis, the leading “son” of Patriarch Noah was named in Genesis as Japheth, who in turn became father of the Maritime peoples.h  As noted in the previous chapter, statements made about a particular god, e.g., Ptah/Ea/Enki (Divine Joseph) also have an application in the life of a later Patriarch who was patterned after him.  The exploits of Ptah were the inspiration for the water works of the Middle Kingdom Joseph.  By the time of the demise of the second Lamech (Amenemhet III/Sobekhotep IV), Inyotef IV (Joseph) had already passed the Joseph mantle onto the younger son of Hammurabi, Dadusha/Dedumesiu.  This younger prince was designated as the new Japheth.  As in the previous cycle, the new Nimrod (“Joshua”) figure would be his son/descendant.

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 (KJV), 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 In-yo-tef.  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).

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!i  There had been famine in Egypt before.  Storing up grain was not a new idea.   However, the plan of Inyotef (as the “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.  The Bahr Yuseph (“Waterway of Joseph”) named for this deified vizier was one of the most significant projects of the entire Egyptian Middle Kingdom.  (The leading Joseph-figure of the Old Kingdom was named Ptah-Shepses/Teti.)

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) 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, Post-Exile

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?  It had to at least appear to be so, because the god Marduk was called the “son of Ea.”  The New Kingdom Moses (Akhenaten) may have in fact been the biological son of the contemporary Joseph figure (Yuya).  In the progression of Senusret II - Inyotef IV - Auibre we have the archetypal sequence of Jacob - Joseph - Moses.  This same sequence was also intentionally reproduced in the New Kingdom as 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 Jered.  This name associates him with the god Re.  Vizier Yuya of the New Kingdom was typecast as a second Joseph.  The 12th Dynasty Joseph, Inyotef IV, was in turn seen as a repetition of even earlier Joseph-figures, and particularly archetypal Joseph, the god Ptah/Ea/Enki from before the Great Flood.  The Biblical story of Joseph in the Torah is a composite of two main historical persons, one from the 12th Dynasty and another from the 18th Dynasty.  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 the fallen Wegaf (“Gilead”).  He in turn designated the boy-king Amenemhet III (Lamech II) as his 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 Chapter 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, Amenemhet III, as well.  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 Amenemhet III, the second Lamech, were considered justifiable 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, Amenemhet III, wished to kill.  It was not his rival in the role of Lamech, but probably his rival in the throne of Egypt, namely Khendjer son of Senusret IIII.  The Hebrew phrase translated “for wounding” 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 the Heber/Habiru/Hebrews (people of Hammurabi), and a young man for bruising me.

Babylon, City of Refuge

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.o  These would have included the major powers of that time, viz., Sumu-abum (Senusret III), Azarah (Khendjer), Sumu-lael (Amenemhet III), Sabium (future Amenemhet IV), Apil-Sin (Inyotef IV) and perhaps even his own son Samsu-iluna (Smenkhkare).  In exchange, the sanctity of his refuge was also respected.  However, after seven years Hammurabi seems to have been free to operate outside of Babylon under other aliases, particularly as Shamshi-Adad.  The exile of Auibre/Hammurabi 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.p  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.  Most importantly of all, he was also fathering the leading princes of the next generation!

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.q  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 may have served to criminalize the former actions of political rivals, such as fellow prince Khendjer, who presumably maimed or killed others of lesser nobility.r  The new laws of Hammurabi not only justified the punishment he (and Amenemhet III) would inflict on Khendjer, but required it.  Ironically, this new “standard of excellence” may have required Hammurabi to execute one of his own sons, Samsu-iluna, as well!  Prior to his rise from exile to the status of Great King, 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 the Law

After at least two decades in dynastic limbo, Hammurabi once again became a contender to the greater throne.  The façade of his exile was lifted, and he began to campaign directly (as Hammurabi) rather than through his Assyrian pseudonym Shamshi-Adad, which he discarded.  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.”s  The new king of Assyria was Shamshi-Adad’s “son” Ishme-Dagan, which was actually Hammurabi’s leading son (and future successor) Samsu-iluna.  Two prominent sons of Shamshi-Adad are known from Assyrian and Babylonian archaeology.  Ishme-Dagant was the eldest, and corresponds to Samsu-iluna son of Hammurabi.  Yasmah-Adad was his fun-loving and much-maligned younger brother, and corresponds to Hammurabi’s second son Sumu-ditana. 

Sumu-ditana’s son would become Hammurabi’s second successor, and was designated as the “expected” Joshua figure.  Very little time, if any, transpired between the death of one (former) boy-king and the election of another boy-king.  Both the Noah/Solomon and Ham/Joshua roles seemed to require that “a child shall lead them.”  The appointment of a Great King at a very young age became traditional, but must have initially served to curb competition (and the potential for intrigue and unscripted warfare) by placing the emphasis on a Great Queen/Mother-centric family rather than the individual royal male.  The role of the Great Queen has often been overlooked.  However, more often than not, it was a queen that called the shots.  And the concept of queenly succession was of equal if not greater importance to the culture of the court.  The daughter or daughters (rather than nieces) of the Great Queen had priority (along with their sons) in regard to succession in the following generation.  A kingly lineage (“dynasty”) was broken before that of the queenly descent.

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.”v

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.  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.x  Elishama is very close in form to the historical name of Illishuma, which is evidently the name of Amenemhet/Sabium in Assyria.y  Here, and in the genealogy of Joshua (1 Chron 7:25-27), Elishama is named as the “son” of Ammihud (Senusret III/Neferhotep I). 

Sometime during his fourth decade of rule, Hammurabi felt confident enough to declare himself “King of the Four Quarters (of the World).”  In other words, he was claiming the status of Great King.  He may have had to wait until the death of Senusret III to acquire that status, at which time he could essentially grant himself a full pardon for any act of his youth, either deliberate, accidental or staged!  The “pharaoh (Senusret III) that sought to kill him” was now dead, and he was free to return to the land of his youth.  He also had the power to deal with Egypt exactly as he pleased.

Crashing the King’s Party

When Sabium traveled to Egypt for his crowning (as pharaoh Amenemhet IV and co-regent of Amenemhet III), he was joined or followed by Hammurabi.  It was the occasion of Amenemhet III’s Sed Festival or Jubilee.z  Not only was he celebrating 30 years of kingship (as co-regent), but his succession to the throne of Egypt upon the passing of Senusret III.  But these were not days of rejoicing for Egyptians or Israelites.aa  After the death of Inyotef IV, disastrously high floods prevailed for at least 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 their Solomonic-styled “oppressor” Amenemhet III.  An equally tempestuous Moses was once again denied the throne of Egypt, this time by choice, and instead became king and deliverer of a nation of Egyptian refugees.  As the sun god Re,ab 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.

The throne of Egypt was once Auibre’s to lose, and it was considered his fate to lose it.  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 III and Amenemhet IV as his co-regent.  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.”ac   Succor is defined as “assistance or help in time of distress; relief – literally, to run to the aid of.”ad  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 construction of memorials to their greatness.  Precedent, and not merely vanity, dictated this behavior.  “Asiatic” campaigns probably also 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.

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.

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.  He seems to have gone above and beyond his assigned role as Marduk in that respect.  We don’t see the same concern from Sargon or even the god Re for the plight of the people in crisis.  Hammurabi was a deliberate rather than an accidental leader.  The reign of Hammurabi ended in Babylon shortly after the Great Nile Flood and Exodus event, and when Hammurabi may have still in his fifties.  We don’t know exactly when he died, and therefore how many years he spent with the new nation in the desert.  It could have been about a decade!

Auibre had 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, as well as Egypt’s sitting  The “Year of Tashmetum” also involved the settling of old scores from his own persecuted youth!  Hammurabi had already severely “judged” the great cities of Isin, Larsa and Mari.  His anger was now directed toward Egypt. 

Hammurabi was known to be particularly moody, even before his rise to absolute power.  As a youth, Hammurabi (i.e., Auibre Hor, “Prince of Egypt”) must have endured ridicule for his speech impediment.  He was then forced to accept the unpleasant role of Marduk, which included the unfair stigma of being held accountable for the death of his own father!  The true father of Hammurabi had been Sekhemkare (“Zerah II”), who just happened to be the designated Osiris/Issachar-figure of his generation.  His death had to be attributed to the command (or at least the consent) of a Marduk-Re figure.  Therefore, blame was shared between Senusret II (as “Re”) and Auibre Hor (as “Marduk”).  Anger was also an integral part of the Marduk typecasting, but perhaps Hammurabi was sufficiently provoked to cultivate this trait.

To add insult to injury, the family Godfather, Senusret I, sired another son in his old age, and specifically for the purpose of replacing his fallen sons and their disappointing heir, Auibre Hor.  Despite being one of the youngest princes of that generation (only Amenemhet IV may have been younger), Amenemhet III takes precedence in many of the genealogical lists (see Charts 7 & 8).  As the substitute for Amenemhet II (Elead) and Sekhemkare (Zabad) he is called Beriah (II) and placed at the head of a succession list of Great Kings.  As the alternate of Auibre Hor in the Horus the Younger (Benjamin/Ham) and Marduk roles, Amenemhet III is called Hur and Ash-hur, and placed at the head of yet another illustrious group of royal persons.  As the new favored son of Senusret I, he is also given the dual epithet of Zimri/Carmi.  Zimri (“musical”) emphasizes the Horus typecasting and Carmi (“vintner”) identified him as the Noah/Solomon of the 12th Dynasty.  This new boy-king, called Amenemhet III, was styled as an “avenger of his father,” and became a “co-Marduk” with Hammurabi of Mesopotamia. 

The seven-year exile of Shamshi-Adad in Babylon probably corresponds to the first seven years of Hammurabi’s reign.  If the emulation of Hammurabi by the later Akhenaten was exact, then the exile of Shamshi-Adad occurred in his Year 5, which may have also been Year 5 of Auibre Hor in Egypt.  After seven years (of “madness”) were finished, Shamshi-Adad was allowed to leave Babylon and reclaim his throne in Upper Mesopotamia (proto-Assyria).  Tellingly, in Year 10 of Hammurabi an oath was recorded that called upon “Marduk, Hammurabi and Shamshi-Adad” as witnesses/enforcers.  Hammurabi was one and the same as Shamshi-Adad and his designated typecasting was that of the god Marduk.

Unlike Hammurabi, Amenemhet III was not naturally aggressive.  He and Hammurabi appear to have enjoyed a close and non-competitive relationship throughout their kingly careers.  Amenemhet III accepted the two sons of Hammurabi as his own and even took an active role in mentoring them.  When Shamshi-Adad captured the city of Mari, he established his younger son Yasmah-Adad (Sumu-Ditana) as king there.  However, he later allowed Amenemhet III (Zimri-Lim) to take up residence as king and build a legendary palace.  Zimri-Lim and Hammurabi remained allies through the “war” with Elam and right up until the “end game” of succession was complete.  Even then, Zimri-Lim offered little or no resistance to Hammurabi’s take-over of the major cities of Mesopotamia.  He even amiably hosted a visit by Hammurabi’s son Sumu-Ditana just prior to Hammurabi’s taking (back) of Mari.  Only a short time after that, Amenemhet III would fully cooperate with Hammurabi’s despoiling of Egypt itself!

Amenemhet III of the 12th Dynasty emerges as the “ultimate role player.”  When he was unable to sire royal sons of his own, he did not try to be the spoiler, but increasingly deferred to Hammurabi.  There is a 7 to 9 year offset between the reigns of Senusret III and Amenemhet III, which indicates that Amenemhet III’s was about 8 years old at the time of his coronation.  Nile flood measurements were recorded in the first 8 years of Senusret III only, after which they became the responsibility of the Noah-figure, Ny-Maatre Amenemhet III.  His 18th Dynasty emulator, Neb-Maatre Amenhotep III, was at most 12 years old when he was appointed pharaoh in Egypt, and could have been as young as seven or eight upon his coronation.  The Queen Mother, Mutemwia, and Joseph-figure, Yuya, acted as his regents.  As the Noah-figure of the 18th Dynasty, Amenhotep III gave the impression that he was without a son.  However, under his alias Aye, he had a number of sons and was even typecast as the Ephraim (“doubly fruitful”) prince of the 18th Dynasty.  Conversely, the Marduk/Moses-figure of his day, i.e., Akhenaten, did not have sons, and his relationship with Amenhotep III/Aye was strained at best.  It was murderous at worst.

In the Bible, we are told that a self-righteous young Moses killed an Egyptian “taskmaster” 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.  The true nature of the crime and punishment involves an attack on a fellow royal person.  As best as can be determined, the father of Auibre Hor tragically died (literally or figuratively) in a bungled training exercise (1 Chron. 7:21-22; 1 Chron. 2:21-23), in which his young son was being taught how to ride roughshod over his own subjects!  This turned out to be an intense and lifelong lesson, for sure, especially when Auibre himself was made to take the blame for it.  Auibre Hor was disgraced and his cousin Senusret III took full advantage.  Forty years later, Auibre Hor was vindicated, and there was little to restrain his mood swings then.

The wrath of Hammurabi was not directed toward Amenemhet III and IV.  These two (Hur and Aaron) were portrayed as highly supportive of Hammurabi (Moses) during the Exodus.  All three would have been eager to dismantle the administration of Senusret III and the network of loyalties associated with it.  The dynastic hopes of any surviving sons of Senusret III would also have to be killed (at least symbolically) as part of the regime change.  One such son of Senusret III appears to have been a prince named Khendjer, whose throne name Ny-khan-i-maetre linked him directly to Senusret I (the neo-Cain), but also mirrored (or challenged) Ny-Maetre Amenemhet as the Noah-figure.  It does not appear that he was as willing to share a typecasting with Khendjer as he was with Auibre Hor/Hammurabi.

The royal identity of Khendjer in Egypt was exterminated with prejudice (as evidenced by the tomb complex of Khendjer).  In order to fulfill his own typecasting as Marduk/Lamech, Amenemhet III may have blinded Khendjer, put him to death, or both, and with the full blessing (and legal code) of his partner  If Hammurabi literally put any prince to death directly, it was his own son Samsu-iluna (known as Smenkhkare in Egypt) and possibly also his sister “Meriam.”  This became the basis for the Egyptian 18th Dynasty Smenkhkare (“son” of Akhenaten) to also be put to death.  Hammurabi had not literally killed his own father.  Tradition still probably dictated that Hammurabi kill someone in the royal family, and possibly two persons (a king/Kingu and a queen/Tiamat).  In emulation of Hammurabi/Shamshi-Adad, Akhenaten (Shamshi-Adad IV) chose (or was induced) to eliminate Smenkhkare and Nefertiti, as their mummies (KV55 and the “Younger Lady”) grimly demonstrate.

If Hammurabi fled Egypt in Exodus (as he had entering Exile), it was part of the show and only made more urgent by the elements.  The extent of the flood waters in that year probably could not have been fully anticipated.  And once the people had been evacuated, there wasn’t anywhere specific for them to go!  After a few years they presumably could have been led back to Egypt.  But, they were evidently more useful to the Crown as a means of eradicating even more unruly and obstinate peoples in Palestine.  This was the royal and ancient practice of population control!

Khendjer (“the Boar”) may have proscribed blinding and other cruel and unusual treatment of workers associated with the forced labor of late 12th Dynasty building programs of Amenemhet III.  These oppressive work programs were deliberately repeated in the reign of the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Amenhotep III (“Solomon”).  A taskmaster named “Adoram” was killed by an angry mob.  However, the Moses/Marduk-figure Akhenaten (“Rehoboam”) took the blame for it anyway!  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 generally offered asylum through exile (even for high treason).  The prohibition on the taking of human (and particularly royal) life still held considerable power.  There existed a belief that “all men are created equal,” and that all descendants of Noah were “holy.”ag  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.”ah

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, if not more 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.

With the “exile” of Auibre Hor and the demise of Senusret II, the Egyptian kingdom was reorganized.  Senusret III (Methuseleh) became pharaoh along with Amenemhet III (Lamech/Noah) and with Inyotef IV staying on as a deified Vizier.  The “twin” Libyan throne was also reorganized.  Senusret III assumed the Libyan throne name of Neferhotep and Amenemhet III took the name of Sobekhotep IV.  Neferhotep and Sobekhotep were considered the sons of Khaankhre, which appears to be an alias or even the given name of Pharaoh Senusret.  After the death of Senusret I, it was likely the Joseph-figure, Inyotef IV, that was charged with stewardship over the Empire, at least until a new dynastic line emerged as dominant (through a multi-generational succession).  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.

Hammurabi and the Hyksos

Genesis 10:25-26 states that in the time of Eber’s “son” Peleg, “the earth was divided.”   Although it was Eber who lost his throne in Egypt, the Bible associates the splitting of the family’s “world empire” with his sons Joktan and Peleg.  However, one of Hammurabi’s probable epithets, Telah, “the divider,” suggests that it was the change in election from the older to the younger son that created the rift.  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.  He was suppressed in favor of Peleg and his son Reu/Joshua.  However, when the sons of Reu/Joshua died without a qualified heir, the throne passed back to the line of Joktan through his son Almodad/Molid/Boaz and his son Nahor/Obed!

Samsu-iluna was not entirely successful in subduing his  Regardless of whether he died or was disgraced, the birthright (kingly succession) did not pass (in the immediate sense)aj to any of the many sons of Joktan, but to a son of Peleg.  Peleg is a Joseph-styled name, and recalls a hero from a previous flood, namely the Greek Peleus.  Peleg performed his heroics under the name of Dudimose, who overran Egypt with relative ease after the country was devastated by the Great Nile Flood and then largely evacuated of its population.  The naming of Eber’s younger son as Peleg gave the desired appearance that the “division” occurred after Eber’s time, and was not related to his waffling with regard to the succession.

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.”ak  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.”al  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 (NIV) states that Joshua was the “aide since youth” 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 likely known as Ibal-pi-el.  (Note: The father of Ibal-pi-il was Dadusha and the king of Eshnunna at this time.)  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.”am

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.”an  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).2 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.”ao  Serug (Boaz) follows Reu (Salmon) in the Genesis king-list.ap

Which Exodus?

According to the 3rd Century B.C. Jewish historian Artapanas (as quoted by the later Christian historian Eusebius), the first Exodus occurred during 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).  However, the Exodus did not occur over a hundred years after the floods of the late 12th Dynasty (as Rohl goes on to propose), but precisely during those catastrophic floods.  Therefore, Sobekhotep IV must have been a contemporary (or alter ego) of either Senusret III or Amenemhet III.  Because the very worst year of flooding occurred shortly after the death of Senusret III, the Exodus and the “Pharaoh of the Exodus” must then have been Amenemhet III. 

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 and roles.  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)

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 the best example.  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 usually more dominant in the Torah narratives.  The character of Moses is, however, a notable exception.  The earlier person of Hammurabi (not to mention Sargon the Great) was a more significant figure of royal history than Akhenaten.  However, that which was still remembered about each was carefully preserved.

Exodus 6:26-27 (KJV) 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 emulator Akhenaten (with elements of Sargon the Great thrown in, as well).  Hammurabi was Moses.  Akhenaten played Moses.  The Biblical account tried to do justice to both.

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 predecessors 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 have their banishments lifted and ultimately take revenge for it.  The exile of Akhenaten occurred in his Year 5 and his return to Thebes occurred seven years later.  Throughout his exile and restored kingship, there was a prolific amount of “official correspondence” (known today as the Amarna Tablets).  Similarly, the “homebody” Hammurabi conducted business extensively through inscribed clay “letters,” some of which was discovered in the ruins of the city of Mari.  These letters exhibit much of the same confusion found in the Amarna Tablets.

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.  (Although Akhenaten vowed not to leave, he obviously did under other assumed names, and much like Hammurabi would have himself done.)  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/Resting Place of the Aten.”  In Exile, Akhenaten changed his name from Amenhotep IV,ar and adopted the title of Wa-en-re (“Unique One of Re”).  The choice of Wa-en-re was not only made to identify 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 (or even reincarnations) of Middle Kingdom ancestors.  However, they carefully crafted their lives to be variations on the earlier theme, and were allowed some wiggle room.  Obviously, many felt that Akhenaten had taken far too much license with his role.

Hammurabi had spent a literal 40 years away from Egypt.  This amounted to the entire reign of Senusret III.  Senusret was the pharaoh who had determined to kill Hammurabi (if he violated his “probation”) and the one who also upheld his banishment from Egypt.  The pharaoh who forced out Akhenaten was Amenhotep III, not directly, but under an assumed alternative pharaonic identity of Sheshonq (patterned after Sesostris/Senusret).  Akhenaten was deposed in his Year 5, which suggests that Auibre Hor was also deposed in his own Year 5 (or at least fairly early in his co-regency).  Akhenaten 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.  This means that only about 5 years separated the time of Yuya’s death and the “tribute” Exodus led by Akhenaten.  (See Chapter 16 of this book for more detail on the second Exodus.)  The Middle Kingdom Joseph also died sometime before the Exodus of that earlier time, and his bones were to be carried out of Egypt with the Israelites.

Due to extensive inbreeding, royal family relationships were complex and often disguised for the sake of discretion.  The eventual successor Hammurabi (Moses I), namely Abi-eshuuh (Joshua I), was either his grandson or great-grandson.  On the other hand, only a generation separated Akhenaten from his successor Tutankhamun.  The second Joshua (Tut) was not the literal son of the second Moses (Akhenaten), which is perhaps why the exact relationship between Moses and Joshua is not made explicit in the Exodus account.  The Exodus narrative was made to apply to both sets of Israelite leaders.  Moses was the biological son of Joseph in the 18th Dynasty, but probably not in the 12th Dynasty.  (See Chapter 16 for more detail on the second Moses.)  In both periods, the first successor of the Moses-figure was named Smenkhkare, and in both cases Smenkhkare was rejected (probably forcefully) in favor of the Joshua-figure.  The first Smenkhkare/Samsu-iluna (a.k.a. Joktan) was likely the true son of Moses/Hammurabi.  DNA testing indicates that the second Smenkhkare was not the true son of Akhenaten.  However, it is difficult to explain why the first Smenkhkare was suppressed (and perhaps even killed/beheaded) if Hammurabi did not have other qualified heirs.  In contrast, Akhenaten was not in a position to choose.  He didn’t have any qualified sons to succeed him.  About all he could do was to play out his designated role.

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 his personal “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 (like Sargon) 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 (Utu/Re).  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.  The 18th Dynasty, like the Egyptian Old Kingdom of Sargon ended in crushing drought.  The names of the Amarna royals were patterned quite closely after those of the 6th Dynasty (see Chapter 5).  The 12th Dynasty ended in devastating floods.  Both Hammurabi and Sargon had capable sons that perpetuated the royal line.  Akhenaten had only daughters (more like a Shem-figure than a Moses) and was therefore a dynastic dead-end.  His legacy suffered accordingly.

Habeas Corpus

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 Smenkhkare.  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.  Alternatively, Akhenaten’s mummy may be found in (behind) the tomb of Tut, which originally was intended for the burial of Aye.  The names and careers of Amenhotep III and Aye are linked, even as Amenemhet III and Ay were in the Middle Kingdom.

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 preservation, 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  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.

The 14th Dynasty pharaoh Nehesy aligns with the archetypal Phinehas, who received an “everlasting (divine) priesthood” for performing a “righteous killing.”  The name Phinehas is a Hebraized form of the Egyptian name Pa-Nehesy (“the Southerner,” i.e., Theban/Upper Egyptian), the founder of Manetho’s ephemeral 16th Dynasty.  The last story of the book of Judges (20:28) mentions, parenthetically, that “at that time Phinehas 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 Phinehas was annulled only two generations later.  This accounts for the brevity of the 16th Dynasty king-list.  However, if Phinehas was one and the same as Boaz of the Book of Ruth, then the “promise” was essentially honored due to the kingly and therefore priestly succession passing through Boaz from that time forward.)  Phinehas was a Levite and the name Phinehas, “mouth of the serpent” is itself quintessentially a Levi-styled name.  In the time of Sargon (the previous Moses-figure), the Levi-figure Ehud/Montuhotep II killed Rimush and started a war with Midian (Mesopotamia).  In fulfillment of that precedent, Phinehas kills Zimry (an anagram of Rimush) and then helps the “Israelites” defeat the “Midianites” in battle.  There would be two further princes named Panehesy in royal history (See Chapters 16, 25, 26 and 37).  Although both deliberately provoked strife and warfare, neither could gain election to the Great Throne much less an “everlasting priesthood.”

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.

  1. 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).
  2. 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
  3. David Rohl, Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest, Chapter 12.
  4. 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.”  (Jan Assmann, The Mind of Egypt, p 199.)
  5. In the time of the so-called gods, Horus the Elder produced an heir for Osiris.
  6. 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.
  7. Joan Oates, Babylon, p 80.
  8. Genesis 10:2-5
  9. Egyptian subjects were required to “bow the knee” to Joseph, that is to recognize his divinity.
  10. David Rohl, Pharaohs and Kings, p 350.
  11. See citation by Jan Assmann, Moses The Egyptian, pp 35-36.
  12. See Chapter 3 of this book.
  13. James Kugel, In Potiphar’s House, Chapter 6, “Why Was Lamech Blind?”, pp 159-172.
  14. The inclusion of two wives is a further indication of a double history.
  15. Shamshi-Adad is a notable exception.
  16. The temple was called the Esagila and the ziggurat Etemenanki, the “Tower of Babel.”
  17. 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.
  18. The blinding of slaves was one remedy for rebellion.
  19. Joan Oates, Babylon, p 64.
  20. This Ishme-Dagan has been confused with a much earlier prince by the same name in the Dynasty of Isin.  This Ishme-Dagan was the predecessor of Lipit-Ishtar.
  21. Joan Oates, Babylon, Chapter 3
  22. A third great lawgiver of the time period is considered to have been Lipit-Eshtar of Isin, however this king was the contemporary or alter ego of Urukagina (predecessor of Sargon) and not of Sabium (predecessor of Hammurabi).
  23. ] James Kugel, In Potiphar’s House, pp 100-1.
  24. Only 38 regnal years are recorded for Samsu-iluna.  The Exodus would have occurred around his 39th year.
  25. 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 future Amenemhet IV (“Shem”).
  26. David Rohl, Pharaohs and Kings, p 339.
  27. 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.
  28. Compare the Egyptian 10th Dynasty text, “Instruction for Merikare” and see commentary in Religion in Ancient Egypt, Byron Shafer, ed., p 103.
  29. The variant Wah-ibre means “Constant is the Heart of Re.”  Both translations by Peter Clayton, Chronicle of the Pharaohs, p 91, 195.
  30. The American Heritage Dictionary.
  31. Sobeknefru, daughter of Amenemhet III, became a female pharaoh about this time.  The reference to Tashmetum may suggest the role of this queen in the Exodus.
  32. 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.
  33. Compare Numbers 16.
  34. In Ancient Egypt, commoners were variously called the “cattle of Re,” “noble herd” or “flock of the god.” See “Tales of the Magiciansin 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!
  35. Joan Oates, Babylon, p83-84.
  36. Ammi-ditana the second successor of Abi-eshuuh was a son of Samsu-iluna (Joktan), which represents a resurgence of his natural line.
  37. 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.
  38. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible used for all Hebrew word studies.
  39. 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.
  40. Compare the Latin salutare and salus (stem salut-)  Ref. The American Heritage Dictionary.  
  41. Boaz corresponds to Ammi-ditana.  The next king Ammi-saduga also claims to have been the “son” (of the male line) of Samsu-iluna rather than Abi-eshuuh/Salitis.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. Akhenaten rejected his given name Amenhotep (IV).  He extolled a form of the sun god Aten, which perhaps incorporated elements of Sargon’s association with Apophis (the “Anti-Sun,” and became the relentless 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.) 
  45. James Kugel, In Potiphar’s House, pp 131.

Note 1:

In the time of the Patriarchs this tradition of role playing must have already been thousands of years old, and had become increasingly complex with each successive dynasty.  Like all precedent-based systems, it eventually lost its power to provide meaningful structure and essentially collapsed under its own weight.  The ultimate fix was for Christianity to effectively remove the burden on the royal family of acting out all of the divine roles in every new royal generation.  Islam further simplified royal culture and religious practice in Arabia.

Note 2:

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, and there is 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 Ruth by Boaz (son of Rahab).  Boaz was a "kinsman" of Joshua/Elimelech, but not a son.  He was more likely the son of Joktan (Samsu-iluna) and Rahab.  The next to last king of the Hammurabi dynasty, Ammi-saduqa, claimed to be the son/descendant of Samsu-iluna (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 son and successor Salitis/Joshua/Salmon would have been the Hyksos king Yakub-her, a form of Jacob.  However, when neither Yakubher (or his brother) produced a qualified son, the succession passed to a collateral line.  Ruth, the wife (queen) of Yakubher and former daughter-in-law of Salitis (Joshua), and Orpah are even compared to the wives of Jacob, Rachel and Leah (Ruth 6:11), which is further confirmation that Yakubher is the correct king in question.  It also indicates that other Jacob-figures had difficultly in producing heirs and required help from other royal males. 

In Ruth 6:12, there is also an apparent anachronism.  Boaz is being compared to Judah and Ruth’s son Obed is compared to the son of Judah and Tamar named Perez.  However, the story of Judah and Tamar postdates that of Boaz and Ruth.  In actuality, there were three separate twins named Perez and Zerah in royal history.  The first belonged to the Egyptian 5th Dynasty, the second to the 12th Dynasty and the third to the 18th Dynasty.  The Middle Kingdom twins were called Peresh and Sheresh to distinguish them from the other two sets.  See Charts 1 & 7 and Chapter 12.  The conflation of these three 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 and Old Kingdom ancestors.  This may seem like a relatively minor and understandable error, however it had enormous implications in terms of chronology.  The story of Ruth occurs between the second and third sets of Perez and Zerah twins.  Boaz is implicitly assigned the Judah typecasting, but he does not have first rights to Ruth for marriage purposes.  The more senior “kinsman-redeemer” is not named in the story, but was perhaps a younger son of Elimelech (Salitis) or an older brother of Boaz (Arik-den-ili).  Ruth herself was probably the actual daughter of Naomi, as well as her former daughter-in-law, which meant that any royal son of hers was going to be designated as successor to the Great Throne.  Consistent with this, Naomi adopts the child Obed as her own son and heir.

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