218 MCCURDY Dr.
CANADA, K2L 2L6
This paper proposes a Revised Chronology (RC) model for Egypt from the Exodus onwards using secular data. Results compare favourably to the dates of the Biblically Inerrant Chronology (BIC) published previously [Montgomery, 1998]. The 22nd Dynasty is reduced by 74 years. It was preceded, as proposed by Velikovsky by the 18th Dynasty that lasted about 210 years. The Second Intermediate Period, or Hyksos Dynasty preceded it and lasted about 515 years. The Hyksos invasion caused the downfall of the Egyptian 12th Dynasty, which shows the characteristics of the sojourn and Exodus. The Israelites are identified as a group of "egyptianized Asiatics" of the Middle Kingdom level at Tell el-Daba (Goshen). Amenemhet IV is identified as the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Joshua's Jericho can be identified as the Middle Bronze Level IV of Tell es-Sultan that was destroyed, circa 1550 (BIC). Since Jericho was abandoned from Joshua until the reign of Ahab 929-908 (BIC) the gap from Level IV to the succeeding Late Bronze II town must be at least 621 (BIC) years. This confirms the 472-year advance of the 18th Dynasty as proposed.
KEYWORDS: Exodus, Bible, inerrant, Egypt, Middle Kingdom, Babylon, chronology, Josephus, Middle Bronze, Late Bronze, archaeology, and Velikovsky.
Finkelstein recently claimed that the archaeologists had demonstrated that Abraham and Isaac did not use camels; Jacob and Joseph never went to Egypt; Moses never led the Israelite nation out of Egyptian bondage into the Sinai nor fought with the town of Arad; Joshua never conquered Canaan; and David and Solomon never controlled a empire to the border of the Euphrates. The Old Testament was a fraud [Finkelstein, 2001]. Archaeology has become the 20th century's most potent science of unbelief. The current view starts with the assumption that Ramses II was the Pharaoh was the Exodus, which, together with the facts of archaeology, leads logically to the conclusion that the Bible is false. On the other hand, if the Bible is inerrant then this assumption must be false. Who then is the Pharaoh of the Exodus?
The Biblically Inerrant Chronology (BIC) paper constructed biblical dates back to the Exodus. These ought not to remain biblical but should be applied to problems of secular chronology. This paper proposes a Revised Chronology (RC) model based on secular historical and radiocarbon evidences to date the Exodus in Egyptian history to circa 1590 - the BIC Exodus date. Validation of the Revised Model follows not only from the agreement with BIC dates but also from archaeology and Babylonian chronology. Biblically Inerrant Dates (BID) differ from Generally Accepted Dates (GAD) as follows: the fall of Jerusalem, 590 (586 GAD), the construction of the temple, 1023 (967 GAD), and the Exodus, 1591 (1270 to 1446 GAD) [Montgomery, 1998]. All dates are BC unless otherwise indicated.
The Exodus has been placed at various times. Josephus dated the Exodus about 1662. He and scholars such as Africanus, Clement, Tatian and Theophilus believed that at this time Pharaoh Ahmose I drove out the Hyksos. Josephus identified them with the Israelite "forefathers (who) were delivered out of Egypt, and came thence and inhabited this country (Judea) 393 years before Danaus came to Argos. "[Josephus, Against Apion I.16, p 612]. Eusebius alone opines that the pharaoh of the Exodus was a late 18th Dynasty pharaoh named Cencheres. These guesses are the product of chronological juxtaposition. Manetho said that Ahmose attacked the Hyksos stronghold at Avaris and drove them into Syria where they built "Jerusalem". A contemporary inscription from the tomb of Ahmose, an army officer of Ahmose I, says that the Hyksos withdrew to Sharuhen where he besieged them 3 years and took the city [Wilson, 1969c, p. 233]. On the contrary, Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go. The Israelites left despite him. When Pharaoh pursued them, he and his army were drowned [Ex 14; Ps 106:11; Ps 136:15]. The Hyksos were not Israelites. Ahmose's mummy was discovered in AD 1881 in the "Royal Cache". He did not drown in the Red Sea nor was he the Pharaoh of the Exodus.
In the 17th century Archbishop Ussher placed the Exodus at 1492. Modern conservatives date it near 1446 during the reign of either Thutmose III or his son Amenhotep II. Thutmose III was perhaps the greatest military leader of the pharaohs. He conquered Canaan and all Syria west of the Euphrates River. An Exodus date of 1446 would cause a major disruption in Egyptian power in Canaan and Syria. However, there is no evidence of any serious breakdown at that time. Like the Hyksos/Israelite misidentification, it is a chronological juxtaposition. Besides, the mummies of these pharaohs were found in the tomb of Amenhotep II in AD 1898. They did not drown chasing the Israelites into the Red Sea.
Modern scholars prefer Ramses II as the pharaoh of the Exodus, circa 1270, primarily because Pi-Ramses was the name of the city that the Israelites built. But this assumption is not compelling; Pi-Ramses existed long before. Also this view lacks any confirmation from the archaeology of Palestine that a massive invasion took place near 1230 and fails to allow enough time for the period of the Judges. Merenptah's mummy was discovered in the tomb of Amenhotep II and Ramses's mummy in the "Royal Cache". Neither can be the pharaoh who drowned in the Red Sea.
Bimson concluded from an analysis of Palestinian archaeology that Joshua's conquest began at the end of the Middle Bronze [Bimson, 1981]. Rohl and James support his position [Rohl, 1995; James, et al., 1993, p. 368, n. 4]. Rohl thinks the Exodus occurred in 1446 in the middle of the Second Intermediate Period. His view requires a 350-year compression of Egyptian history. Aardsma dated the Exodus 2446, 1000 years earlier, adjusted for a supposed textual error in I Kings 6:1 that should be read 1480 instead of 480 years [Aardsma, 1993]. Velikovsky placed the Exodus at the end of the 12th Dynasty and that the Hyksos were driven out 400 years later under Ahmose [Velikovsky, 1952]. This involved a 500-year reduction in the Egyptian chronology by removing the 19th, 20th and 21st dynasties to other times. These views are sometimes referred to as Revisionist. The RC model will use Velikovsky's scheme, as it is the one that fits both the evidence and the BIC requirements.
THE REVISED MODEL
The revised model starts with the 22nd Dynasty that ended about 730. A 74-years reduction in its length results in a starting date 871. The 18th Dynasty preceded it as proposed by Velikovsky. It lasted about 210 years, 1077-868. The Second Intermediate Period (SIP) including the Hyksos Dynasty preceded it and lasted, according to Manetho, about 515 years. The Hyksos invasion caused the downfall of the12th Dynasty and established their power about 1590. Egyptian reigns in this paper follow Grimal [Grimal, 1992].
Conventionally, the invasion of Israel by Libyan Pharaoh Shoshenq I, 926 GAD, is synchronized with the invasion of Pharaoh Shishak in the 5th year of Jeroboam I [I Kings 14:25]. This identification is based on the similarity of their names. In Egyptology this is seldom a good criterion for identifications. A comparison of the two campaigns shows that Shishak campaigned against Judah and Jerusalem while Shoshenq I campaigned in Samaria and Galilee [James, 1993, pp.229-31; Rohl, 1995, pp.122-127]. The comparison of the spoils demonstrates also that they are two different campaigns. Shishak received the treasures of Solomon's temple. The tribute of Shoshenq I was unspecified yet a pharaoh who had taken the treasures of Solomon's Temple would have boasted greatly. Another problem is the alliance between the Ethiopians and the Egyptians during the era of Asa, 30 years later [II Chr 12:3; II Chr 14:8]. The Libyans never made such an alliance. Indeed, Shoshenq I conquered Ethiopia and it did not recover until the 8th century. Finally, Shishak's invasion is dated 982 BID, which is impossible to synchronize with the reign of Shoshenq I, 945925 GAD.
Several evidences point to a lowering of the conventional chronology. First, several pharaohs had shorter reigns in their inscriptions or Manetho's king list. The highest attested year of Osorkon I is 12 and Manetho gives him 15 years. The conventional 35 years is based primarily on a mummy bearing a token of Osorkon I. Markings on its bandage reads year 33 and year 3 of two unknown kings [Kitchen, 1986, p 110]. Such inconclusive evidence is hardly satisfying. Next came Takelot I who has no undisputed inscriptions [Kitchen, 1986, p.310]. His 15-year reign is based on another inscription with no name. Manetho says that the three kings that followed Osorkon I reigned for a total of 25 years. These must include Osorkon II who ruled at least 23 and probably 24 years. Accordingly, Takelot I cannot have reigned more than 1 year. Accordingly, Libyan chronology could be lowered by 34 years.
Second, Manetho (Africanus) recorded that the Libyans' 9 kings reigned 120 years although their individual reigns summed to 116. If the last king, who reigned for only a short period, is omitted then the first 8 kings reigned 120 years for an average of 15 years. Even if a 20-year average were used the expected length of the dynasty would be only 160 years, 60 years shorter than Kitchen's dates.
Thirdly, there are genealogical inconsistencies in the middle of the dynasty. Kapes, the wife of Shoshenq I, outlived her great-grandson Osorkon II, who died, according to GAD dates, 74 years after Shoshenq I [Kitchen, p.311 n.381]. Even if she was much younger than her husband, this is hardly credible. The proposed dates in Table 1 reduce the problem by 34 years. Hor x was vizier under Osorkon II. His nephew's grandson, Hor viii, was attested in the reign of Osorkon III of the parallel 23rd Dynasty [Kitchen, 1986, p.133]. From the middle of the reign of Osorkon II, 863 GAD to the middle of the reign of Osorkon III 764 GAD should be 60 years (using 20 years a generation) rather than 99. This suggests the accepted chronology between Osorkon II and Osorkon III is too long by about 40 years. Kitchen admits that this genealogy "would allow the 23rd Dynasty Petubates (818-793) to begin soon after Osorkon II", 40 years less than GAD [Kitchen,1986, p.132]. Similarly, Neteru iv and Nakhtefmut B lived in the reign of Osorkon III. The former was the grandson of Hor vii and the latter was the great grandson of Hariese, both contemporaries of Osorkon II. Also, Crown Prince Shoshenq D, the son of Osorkon II, held office until the 28th year of Shoshenq III or 55 years after Osorkon's death. Again, a reduction of over 30 years is in order. Lastly, the successions of the prophets of the 22nd Dynasty have substantial gaps that also give support to an overlap.
The synchronism that establishes the exact overlap is found in the career of Takelot II's son, High Priest of Amun, (HPA) Prince Osorkon B. He held office for 54 years, a very long reign, but had an awkward 21-year hiatus in the middle. Suppose the reigns of Osorkon II and Takelot I are advanced exactly 40 years with respect to Shoshenq III and Petubates, then Shoshenq III would completely overlap Takelot II, who ruled 25 years, and would overlap Osorkon II by 15 years. Petubates of the 23rd Dynasty would overlap Osorkon II by 8 years. Prince Osorkon B made votive offerings in Thebes as HPA in years 11-14 and 24 of Takelot II. He also made votive offerings in years 22-29 and 39 of Shoshenq III. In my supposition, year 14 of Takelot II is the year 29 of Shoshenq III and year 22 of Petubates. In year 22, Petubates supported a revolt and installed Takelot E as HPA in Thebes. In year 15 of Takelot II, HPA Osorkon B failed to quash a revolt in Thebes and continued to fight a civil war for 10 years. During these 10 years his offerings ceased in both the reign of Takelot II and Shoshenq III. Reconciliation happened in year 24 of Takelot and year 39 of Shoshenq III, when the offerings of HPA Osorkon B recommenced. The proposed 40-year overlap of the reigns of the Osorkon and Petubates fits together exactly and eliminates the hiatus in Prince Osorkon's priesthood.
Table 1 shows the proposed dates under RC, Manetho and Kitchen for the 22nd Dynasty. The RC dates for Shoshenq III agree with Kitchen. The previous two pharaohs overlap by 40 years and the two prior to them are reduced by 34 years. The total reduction for the Dynasty is 74 years.
Table 1: REVISED CHRONOLOGY OF THE LIBYAN PHARAOHS
|Takelot I|| 3 kings
25 year total
|Pimay|| Last 3 kings
Total 42 years.
Libyan Cultural Links to the 18th Dynasty
Velikovsky proposed that the 22nd Dynasty was preceded by the 18th. He gave many evidences that suggest a close connection of the 18th and 22nd Dynasties [Velikovsky, 1980]. Chalices made in the latter part of the 18th Dynasty and in the early 22nd Libyan Dynasty appear to be made with the same craftsmanship and artistry. Egyptologists would have assigned the Libyan chalices to the 18th Dynasty were it not for the inscriptions of Shoshenq I [Velikovsky, 1980, p. 6]. Why are there no similar chalices known in the 19th, 20th or 21st Dynasties? Over 100 statuettes of the lion-goddess Sekhmet stand in the Temple of Mut in Karnak. They date according to the inscriptions to the time of Amenhotep II. Later, in the Libyan Dynasty, other statuettes in exactly the same style were added but inscribed by Shoshenq I. Again this makes sense, if the dynasties are consecutive. If not, why did no pharaoh inscribed a new statuette during the intervening 500 years [Velikovsky, 1980, p. 2]? Furthermore, Osorkon II celebrated a royal jubilee in his 22nd year by reading a jubilee text in the Temple of Amon. Kitchen states, "this very text is nothing more than a word-for-word copy of just such a text as occurs over the king carried in procession for a jubilee of Amenhotep III depicted at Soleb Temple." [Kitchen, 1986, p. 321]. Osorkon II is supposedly overlooked the many jubilee texts of the 19th Dynasty in favour of a 500-year-old text of the 18th Dynasty. Why did Osorkon II not use a more recent text?
At first the authorities in Thebes did not recognize Shoshenq's sovereignty but, in his second year, referred to him as the "Chief of the Ma". Finally, in year 5, they referred to him as pharaoh [Kitchen, 1986. p. 288]. As the last 18th Dynasty pharaoh, Ay, reigned 4 years, I will assume that Ay was recognized at Thebes in the first 4 years Shoshenq I. Table 2 shows the most commonly used Egyptian chronology for the Amarna period together with Grimal reign lengths for the pre-Amenhotep III period [Moran, 1992]. For comparison, the corresponding years from Gardiner [Gardiner, 1961, p 443] and Grimal [Grimal, 1992 p. 392-3] have been included.
Table 2: REVISED CHRONOLOGY (RC) 18th
|PHARAOH 18th, 22nd DYNASTY|| YEARS
|Ahmose I||19||1086 - 1068||25||1091 -1067||19||1096 - 1078|
|Amenhotep I||27||1067 - 1041||22||1066 -1045||27||1077 - 1051|
|Thutmose I||13||1040 - 1028||4||1044 -1041||13||1050 - 1038|
|Thutmose II||14||1027- 1014||18||1040 -1023||14||1037 -1024|
|Thutmose III||54||1013 - 960||54||1022 - 969||54||1023 - 970|
|Amenhotep II||24||959 - 936||23||968 - 946||24||969 - 946|
|Thutmose IV||11||935 - 925||8||945 - 938||11||945 - 935|
|Amenhotep III||37||924 - 888||38||937 - 900||38||934 - 897|
|Akhenaten||17||898 - 882||11||17||899 - 883||14||896 - 883|
|Smenkaure||3||882 - 880||1||3||882 - 880||2||882 - 881|
|Tutankhamun||8||879 - 872||8||879 - 872||9||880 - 872|
|Ay||4||871 - 868||4||4||871 - 868||4||871 - 868|
|Shoshenq I||21||871 - 851||21||871 - 851||21||871 - 851|
In the Bible two major invasions from Egypt are recorded during the above years. The later occurred in the 15th year of King Asa in 952 (BID) [II Chronicles 14:10:13] as an invasion by Zerah the Ethiopian. Zerah the Ethiopian invaded Judah with a vast army of Ethiopians and Libyans He was routed at Mareshah in southern Judah and fled. Velikovsky identifies Amenhotep II as Zerah [Velikovsky, 1952, p. 205]. Amenhotep II led one invasion of Palestine in his 9th year. He fought a battle in southern Judah, at y-r-s-t, a day's journey beyond the border of Egypt and took insignificant booty [Wilson, 1969a, p. 245]. He immediately returned to Egypt. This was obviously a major defeat. According to Table 2 (column 3), the 9th year of Amenhotep II was 951. Only a one-year adjustment is needed to synchronize with BID.
The earlier invasion is recorded in the 5th year of Rehoboam 982 (BID) when Pharaoh 'Shishak' invaded Judah. Shishak defeated Rehoboam at Megiddo. Rehoboam escaped but later surrendered Jerusalem. Shishak took all the gold and silver from Solomon's Temple. Velikovsky identified Shishak as Thutmose III [Velikovsky, 1952, p. 143 ff]. In his 23rd year Thutmose III led an army against Megiddo in Palestine and defeated a coalition of Syrian princes but in the excitement of the victory and looting, the enemy escaped. Thutmose III claimed conquest and tribute from the most important city Kadesh (Line 1 of his list of conquered cities). In Hebrew Kadesh means the "Holy City" i.e. Jerusalem. He proudly displayed the tribute on his wall at Karnak, tribute with similar quantity and quality to the Temple treasure of King Solomon. No item in the tribute exalts any Canaanite deity such as Baal or Ashtara [Velikovsky, 1952, p.155-163]. To synchronize the invasion of Shishak with the campaign of Thutmose III in his 23rd year, his reign must be 1004-951. This requires a 10-year co-regency with his son less the one-year adjustment above. The coregency was between 1 and 11 years [Wilson, 1969a, p. 245 n. 1]. The RC dates synchronize the Egyptian invasions of the 18th Dynasty with the BIC.
The date of the Hyksos invasion of Egypt can be calculated as follows: Ahmose I reigned (column 3 in Table 2 less 9) 1077-59. Adding 515 years (average of 511 years Manetho (Josephus) and 518 years Manetho (Africanus)) for the Hyksos Dynasty brings us to 1592 +/- 4. This is the BID of the Exodus. Thus in the Revised Chronology (RC) the Exodus occurred at the time of the Hyksos invasion of Egypt.
The Carbon-14 dating method has been applied to a limited number of 18th Dynasty materials. These results must be adjusted by data obtained from dendrochronological studies, the most popular of which has been the Suess curve. Recent studies that increased the sample size and refined the measurement of the background radiation published by Stuiver and Becker in 1993 [Stuiver & Becker, 1993, p. 60]. The results of applying the new curve to the known published data are evaluated in Table 3. The first observation is that the 1993 curve shows lower dates than the Suess curve by 80-200 years. Note, because the wood pieces are not always freshly cut and not necessarily close to the bark, they show systematic older dates than non-wood samples. This effect is even more prominent with the charcoal pieces. Thus the radiocarbon results show a need to down date the 18th Dynasty by 250-400 years.
Table 3 - SUMMARY OF CARBON DATING IN THE 18th
DYNASTY (Dates in BC)
RESULT in BC
The Second Intermediate Period
Several historical sources suggest a long duration for the Hyksos period. Josephus quotes Manetho that the Hyksos Dynasties lasted 511 years [Josephus, Against Apion I.14, p. 611]. Africanus (Manetho) gives 518 years. Eusebius gives only the individual dynastic totals: 453 years for the 13th, 484 years for the 14th, 440 years for the 15th and 16th combined and 103 years for the 17th [Petrie, 1904, p201]. These dynasties overlap. The Turin Canon lists the pharaohs from the 1st Dynasty to the 18th Dynasty. For the 13th Dynasty, the Turin Canon lists over 55 kings. It agrees closely to the 60 kings given in Africanus and Eusebius versions of Manetho. Only a dozen reigns of the 60 13th Dynasty pharaohs are legible, for a total of 75 years. The average of almost 7 years per reign projected over 60 pharaohs would yield about 420 years. The secular view allows only 115 years for the 13th Dynasty or 2 years per reign. Both the Turin Canon and Manetho agree that the conventional Hyksos rule is too short.
The archaeology of Shechem also points to a longer duration. In the book of Judges, the people of Shechem rebelled against Abimelech, Gideon's son. Abimelech attacked the town and burned them alive in the Temple of Baal Berith. The excavators of Shechem uncovered a large walled town that had been badly burned. Inside the walls they found a huge tower with walls 17 feet thick that had also been burned. The American excavator Wright thought they had found the tower of Baal Berith. "This structure some 21 m. long by 26 m. wide had walls circa 5.3 m. thick, the thickness of a city fortification; it must surely have been the temple of Baal Berith mentioned in the story of Abimelech." [Wright,Vol144, p. 9] But the ceramics at this level were MB, not the expected LB pottery. As a result of this chronological consideration the excavators abandoned this opinion and proposed another less suitable temple in the LB. Given an Exodus date of 1591, which is in MB IIB, the destruction of Shechem in 1292 BID, 300 years later, could still be in the MB era. Since no other temple of the same size and no other major conflagration were found in later strata, one must concede that Wright's initial identification is correct and that the strata at Shechem confirm that the Hyksos era lasted at least 300 years.
Conventionally, the 13th and 14th Dynasties are placed before the Hyksos 15th. This I believe needs correction. Manetho (Josephus) said of the Hyksos invasion, "There was a king...whose name was Timaus. Under him it came to pass, I know not how, that God was averse to us, and there came, after a surprising manner, men of ignoble birth (Hyksos)...and subdued our land by force, yet without hazarding a battle." Then they gained control of the governors of Egypt, burned the cities, razed the temples, abused the inhabitants, sold many into slavery, left garrisons in key locations and put both Upper and Lower Egypt under tribute [Josephus, Against Apion I.14, p.610]. The Turin Royal Canon says in the list of 13th Dynasty pharaohs that after the second king "-no king for 6 years." This is the only time in history where it is stated that no king reigned during a dynasty. Furthermore, in Goshen, a stone block of bearing the cartouche of Hetepibre, inscribed with the throne name "Amu, son of Saharnedjheryotef" was found together with stelae of Sobeknefru, the last pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty [Habachi, L.] (The Amus were the shepherds who lived in the desert next to Egypt and were ruled by shepherd kings or Hyksos). The fourth pharaoh of the dynasty, "Amenemhet V, the Amu" was also Hyksos. Egyptian literature shows they feared the Amu/Hyksos most and held them in contempt. To an Egyptian, an Amu name in a cartouche was a presumption that they would never tolerate. Only the conquest of Egypt by the Hyksos can explain these cartouches. Hyksos rule began with the 13th Dynasty. This can be seen at Tell el-Daba.
At Tell el-Daba, in biblical Goshen, excavations revealed that egyptianized Semites dwelt there during the 12th Dynasty. Unlike Egyptians, they attached their graves to their homes in Middle Bronze Levantine fashion. Pictures and sculptures show these Semites with peculiar mushroom style hairstyle. These I identify as the Israelites. From the 12th Dynasty Level d/2 (=Level H) to Level d/1 (=Level G) there was a significant change in the Semite population. First, at the entrances to the graves, the new people began to bury pairs of donkeys. The only known parallel is at Tell el-Ajjul, which was the centre of Hyksos influence in Palestine during the SIP. Tell el-Ajjul is usually identified with Sharuhen where Ahmose I besieged the Hyksos after he drove them out of Egypt. Second, there are no longer any images of people with mushroom hairstyle. Third, the pottery that had been imported from northern Canaan and the Levant ceased and pottery from southern Canaan (Tell el-Ajjul) replaced it. These changes show the changeover from the Israelites to the Hyksos happened at the Level d/2-d/1 boundary, which conventionally separates the 12th and 13th Dynasty [Bietak, 1996]. The Hyksos who occupied the Eastern delta as per Manetho crowned themselves pharaohs of the 13th Dynasty. Only afterward, did they begin their own 15th Dynasty at Avaris.
The Pharaoh of the Exodus
In the Sinai the Israelites complained about the lack of meat. God sent them quail. Their gluttony produced a plague [Numbers 11:31-35]. They buried the dead at Kibroth Hattaavah or the "graves of craving". Niebuhr rediscovered these graves in 1761 AD at Serabit el-Khadem [Niebuhr, 1761]. Many other graves are situated nearby on Mt. Sarbal, which the Bedouins call "Turbet es Yahoud" or the "graves of the Jews". The translations of the inscriptions on the graves on the plateau of Serabit el-Khadem in both hieroglyphics and alphabetic scripts were published by Forster with photographs in 1862 [Forster, 1862]. The inscriptions use an old Yamharic script. They mention the dividing of the Red Sea, the drowning of the Egyptians and the plague caused by gluttony. They mention by name, Moses and Miriam. The inscriptions can be dated by a 12th Dynasty chapel. The cartouche of Amenemhat IV, the author's candidate for the pharaoh of the Exodus, is written within. The Exodus cannot be far from his reign. By Moses' birth, Pharaoh had turned against the Israelites [Ex 1:8]. At age 40 Moses murdered an Egyptian to protect an Israelite, fled to Midian for 40 years. Josephus records that sometime after the death of this pharaoh Moses asked his father-in-law for permission to return to Egypt. Thus this pharaoh and his successor ruled at least 40 years. In the latter part of the 12th Dynasty, prior to Amenemhat IV, Amenemhat III reigned 48 years. Moses could have been born under Senurset III, who ruled 38 years, fled to Midian under Amenemhat III and returned to confront Amenemhat IV. All the pyramids and tombs of the 12th Dynasty are accounted for except those of Amenemhat IV and his sister Sobekhotep I.
When the Israelites departed, Egypt lost a prime source of cheap labour. This could only bring economic disaster. After the reign of Amenemhat IV and his sister Sobekhotep I, the Middle Kingdom went from riches to poverty. Egyptologists have no explanation for Egypt's sudden misfortune. Velikovsky proposed that the Egyptians, having lost all their slaves and their capacity to fend off the Hyksos, recorded this disaster in the Middle Kingdom papyrus called "Admonitions of Ipuwer". Its author complained of a lack of authority, justice and social order as if the central authority no longer had the will or power to keep control. He also complained about barbarians and foreigners as though the country had been invaded. He wrote, "Nobody is planting crops" because they were not sure what will happen. Their crops were devastated, "Grain is perished on every side." The southernmost districts no longer paid taxes. The Nile strangely turned to blood so that "If one drinks it, one rejects it as human (blood) and thirsts for water." The similarities to the plagues of the Exodus are obvious. Gardiner dated the events of Ipuwer to the FIP but Wilson conceded that the language and orthography belong to the Middle Kingdom [Wilson, 1969b, p. 442]. Other scholars such as Van Seters and Velikovsky, however, have argued for an SIP date [Van Seters, 1966, pp.103-120], [Velikovsky, 1952, pp. 48-50]. The proposed RC/BIC chronology is summarized in Table 4.
Table 4: REVISED CHRONOLOGY
|Middle Kingdom||13th, 14th||1778-1646||1591-1077||Moses, Joshua, Judges|
|SIP-Hyksos||15th, 16th, 17th||1663-1540||1591-1077||Moses, Joshua, Judges|
|New Kingdom||18th, 21st||1552 945||1077 -868||United Kingdom|
|TIP-Libyan||22nd /23rd||945 - 727||871-730||Divided Kingdom|
The Pharaoh of Joseph
When his family entered Egypt, he warned them not to mention that they were shepherds because the Egyptians loathed shepherds [Gen 46:33]. This warning tells us that Pharaoh was an Egyptian, not a Hyksos. When Joseph was brought before Pharaoh to interpret his dreams, Pharaoh made him Vizier, the second highest office in the land. Courville identified Joseph as Vizier Mentuhotep, the most powerful Vizier of the 12th Dynasty. Under Senurset I, his many impressive titles were: Vizier, Chief Judge, Overseer of the Double Granary, Chief Treasurer, Governor of the Royal Castle, Wearer of the Royal Seal, Chief of all the Works of the King, Hereditary Prince, Pilot of the People, Giver of Good -Sustaining Alive the People, Count, Sole Companion, Favourite of the King [Courville, 1977, Vol. 1, p.142]. Such titles were unprecedented. Particularly the epithet, "Sustaining Alive the People", brings some deed of national salvation to mind. During the famine storage and distribution of grain was well planned. The inscription on the tomb of Ameni in the reign of Senurset I, of the 12th Dynasty, claims that in the time of famine, he distributed the food to both rich and poor without favouritism. This suggests that food had been stored in anticipation of a famine. Over 100 years later, in the reign of Senurset III, Mentuhotep's figure was defaced, so that his memory was dishonoured. Courville identified Senurset III as the pharaoh of oppression [Courville, 1977, Vol. 1, p.149].
Egypt's only king list, the Turin Canon, gives the 12th Dynasty 213 years. Sobeknofrure reigned the final 4 years, leaving 209 years until the death of Amenemhat IV. Adding 209 to 1591 BID yields 1800 for the dynasty's beginning. Jacob entered Egypt 215 years before the Exodus, or 1806 BID, during the 2nd year of the 7 years of poor crops. Thus, these years can be dated 1807 to 1801 RC. According to the Turin Canon, the 7 years before the 12th Dynasty were called the "7 empty years" [Grimal, p. 158]. The name of the Pharaoh at this time is omitted from the king list. The previous Pharaoh was Mentuhotep III who ruled 12 years. It would be this Pharaoh who made Joseph Vizier.
After 40 years in the Sinai, the Israelites under Joshua captured Jericho and burned it completely. Only the Middle Bronze (MB) Level IV at Jericho meets uniquely the requirements for Joshua's Jericho [Wood, 1990]. It was burned to the ground. Its upper walls, which were situated on top of the Early Bronze walls, toppled outward (almost unique in archaeological sites). The fallen bricks provided the attackers with a convenient ramp to enter the city. In its rubble, charred wheat in jars was found in unusual quantities - six bushels. Normally, grain would be consumed or carried off as booty. Except for a brief occupation in the Late Bronze II (LB), the city remained uninhabited until the beginning of the Iron Age II.
Among Group II artefacts of MB Jericho were Babylonian cylinder seals of the era of Hammurabi [Rohl, 1995, p309]. This proves that Jericho had established trade with Mesopotamia in the MB era. Although conventionally dated to 1750, a recently published chronology has advanced the dates of the First Babylonian Dynasty 100 years [Gasche et al, 1998]. Thus the Babylonian seals date to 1650. Achan stole gold, silver and a Babylonian robe from Jericho 1551 BID [Josh 7:21]. The mention of a Babylonian robe would not be unexpected.
After Joshua defeated Jabin, Canaanite King of Hazor, he burned Hazor and hamstrung its horses [Joshua 11:10]. Concerning Hazor, Kenyon states, "The remains of the final Middle Bronze Age buildings were covered with a thick layer of burning. A comparison of the pottery suggests that this was contemporary with the destruction of Middle Bronze Age Jericho." [Kenyon, 1973, p. 100]. Thus this MB level Hazor was burned at the same time as MB IV Jericho. In a lower MB level At Hazor, a tablet in Old Babylonian was found that was addressed to King Ibni-Addu (Jabin in Hebrew). Thus, at least one king of that name ruled in Hazor in the Middle Bronze. Ibni-Addu was also found on a tablet with similar epigraphy in the palace at Mari, which, using Gasche's chronology dated to circa 1650.
If the Exodus occurred in the MB rather than in the LB, an overall comparison of the archaeology of the cities mentioned in the books of Joshua and Judges should be useful. In the MB these sites were walled and occupied. However, in the LB, many of these sites were unoccupied or unwalled, e.g. Gibeon [Bimson, Livingstone, 1987, p.46]. In the MB there is an influx of a new people with a deep religious feeling but in the LB the new people came from Syria. Bimson concluded that only MB archaeology fully agrees with the biblical account of the Israelites under Joshua. All the revisionists except Aardsma adopt Bimson's view. Aardsma's puts the Conquest at the end of the Early Bronze. His case is totally dependent on the identification of et-Tell as Ai. This is no longer accepted [Bimson, J. Livingstone, 1987]. Furthermore, many cities recorded in Joshua's conquest did not exist in the Early Bronze [Wood, B., 1993].
Middle Bronze Jericho and secular dating
In 1908, Watzinger and Sellin, excavated ancient Jericho and found a city fortified by double walls and a sloping glacis that lasted until 1500. They concluded this was Joshua's Jericho. At the Late Bronze level, they found no walled city at Jericho. Garstang continued the excavation and found 18th Dynasty tombs he could date to 1400 BC. He concluded that Joshua's Jericho fell circa 1400. He invited Kenyon to confirm the date. Her study showed that Garstang's walls were Early Bronze, circa 2000, and the glacis was MB, long before the LB tombs. She dated fall of MB Jericho at 1580, after which, it was abandoned for 180 years. She based her dates on the absence of LB bichrome ware. Her own excavations confirmed her opinion, "...there is a complete gap (in the occupation of Jericho) both on the tell and in the tombs between 1580 and 1400." [Kenyon, p. 198]. Biblical conservatives were not pleased. Wood, Bimson and Livingstone have attempted again to redate the fall of this city to 1400 from its pottery evidence [Wood, 1990; Bimson and Livingstone, 1987]. They were opposed by Bienkowski, Bietak, the excavator of Tell el-Daba, and Halpern [Bienkowski, 1990; Bietak, 1987, p54; Halpern, 1987]. The case against the conservative dating was well stated by Bartlett; "The explanation is not simply that Jericho was a backwater in the Jordan valley which bichrome ware ... failed to reach, for that leaves its failure to reach Tell Beit Mirsim unexplained and, in any case, it is not just bichrome ware but a whole range of pottery of that period that is missing from Jericho." [Bartlett, 1982, p. 96].
Bruins and Vander Plicht recently have published radiocarbon data from Jericho [Bruins & Vander Plicht, 1996, p. 213]. They believe that the Exodus is associated with a Middle Bronze volcanic eruption of Santorini. Short-lived materials from Akrotiri (Santorini) averaged 3356±18 uncalibrated years BP while those derived from cereals gathered at Jericho averaged 3311±13 BP. They noted "These averages taken together yield 3356±18, 45 years older than our 14C destruction date for MB IIC Jericho. This time difference is rather striking as it could fit the desert period of 40 years separating the Exodus from the destruction of Jericho, mentioned in ancient Hebrew texts." Because of the "wiggle" in the mid-16th century, the calibrated results are ambiguous. However, if one uses the lower calibrated dates for Jericho, one obtains a composite interval of 1551-1535. The radiocarbon date for the fall of Jericho agrees with both the BIC and Kenyon's ceramic dates.
The Gap at Jericho
Joshua pronounced a curse on anyone who rebuilt its gates and walls [Joshua 6:26] and Jericho remained abandoned until the time of Hiel in the reign of Ahab [I Kings 16:34]. The BIDs are from 1551 to 929, Ahab's first year, or 622 years (535 GAD). This should be easy to find at Jericho. According to liberal thought there is no sign of occupation in the LB 13th century. Thus, there is no evidence of Joshua's attack at Jericho. This supports the view that the Bible is Jewish mythology but not history. In the conservative view, the Conquest happened at Jericho Level IV in 1405. After this it remained abandoned until Iron Age II. This is contradicted by Kenyon's findings that the Tell was abandoned from 1580 to 1400 and was occupied from 1400 to 1325 [Kenyon, 1979]. Aardsma's Early Bronze Exodus fares worse still. Either the Middle Bronze is the Jericho of Hiel, which is ridiculous or there was an MB occupied town at Jericho between Joshua and Hiel in contradiction to the Scripture. The Revisions do better. Rohl accepts MB IV Jericho as Joshua's. The 180-year gap is widened to 530 years by a down dating the 18th Dynasty by 350 years but he shortens the gap to 350 years by down dating MB IV 180 years to 1405. Velikovsky down dated the 18th Dynasty by 500 years to make the gap at Jericho 500 years in reasonable agreement with the required gap. The RC case is similar to Velikovsky except that the Conquest is earlier and the down dating of the 18th Dynasty is 472 years. This gap is from 1551 to 928 (1400 - 472) or 623 years as required. Clearly, the only two models to account for the gap at Jericho are the Velikovsky and RC. This validates Velikovsky and RC as the only chronological models that comply with Scripture.
One objection to this model is the lack of the mention of Israel in 18th Dynasty material. This is not a good objection. The control of Canaan by the Israelites may be reasonably inferred from the names of cities with the Semitic names that Thutmose III conquered: Beth Zur, Etam, Joseph-El and Jacob-El [Wilson, 1969a, p. 242]. These first two names are listed as Israelite clan leaders in biblical genealogies [I Chr 2:45; I Chr 4:3]. In fact, Beth Zur and Etam were cities fortified by Rehoboam [II Chr 11:6]. The spelling of place names in the list corresponds to their spelling in the time of David and Solomon [Vycichl, 1942]. The officers of the palace in 18th Dynasty Egypt had similar titles to those in David's day [De Vaux, 1939]. More evidence of Israelite occupation of Canaan exists at the temple of Soleb. An inscription from the time of Amenhotep III referred to "Yahweh of the Land of Shosu" [Redford, 1992, p.272]. This is the earliest known reference to the name of Israel's God outside Israel. Egyptian reference to "Yahweh" as a divine name not only suggests that the Israelites had invaded Canaan but also firmly controlled it. The el-Amarna letters also confirm the presence of Israelite authority. In letters 74 and 290, the name "Beth Sulman" is mentioned in relation to a temple in Jerusalem [Velikovsky, 1978]. In el-Amarna letter (EA 256 line 18) the Israelite name "Yashuya" was used [Moran, 1992].
Would not the RC down dating of the 12th Dynasty of 190 years destroy the accepted synchronism with the First Dynasty of Babylon? Smith placed Hammurabi of the First Babylonian Dynasty at 1792-50 using the Assyrian king lists, ceramic evidence and data from astronomical tablets [Smith, 1940]. This is the so-called "Middle Chronology". The "Middle Chronology" is supported partially by Schaeffer who discovered Babylonian cylinder seals together with material found in tombs of the12th and 13th Dynasties in Ras Sharma, the ancient Ugarit. He observed that objects of the era of Hammurabi are "always found in strata more recent than those containing objects of the time of Senusret II, circa 1900 (GAD) and that they may even come after the level containing a sphinx of Amenemhet III, circa 1836-1790 (GAD) [Schaeffer]." But these dates have always been controversial.
The "High Chronology" places Hammurabi at 1856-1814. Evidence for this date comes from Platanus Crete, where ceramics that relate to early 12th Dynasty material were discovered at the Middle Minoan I Palace at Cnossus. "There comes from Tholos B at Platanus a Babylonian seal of haematite which is dated to the time of Hammurabi. ... The latest finds in this context consist of Middle Minoan I a/b pottery." (2000-1850 GAD) [Matz, 1973, p. 144]. The "Low Chronology" places Hammurabi at 1728-1686. Evidence for this date comes from the Assyrian king lists and the 15th century cylinder seals of the 1st Babylonian Dynasty found at Nuzi and Arrapha [Smith, p. 16]. A recent Babylonian ceramic chronology supports an Ultra low date for Hammurabi 1696-1654 [Gasche (et al), 1998]. They concluded "our examination of Babylonian and peripheral ceramic and archaeological contexts that postdate the collapse of the 1st Dynasty of Babylon indicates a chronological scheme much shorter than the Middle Chronology would best fit the available archaeological evidence [Gasche et al, 1998, p. 45]."
Woolley, who excavated Alalakh, had an excellent opportunity to resolve the issue. In Level VII, he found a letter of Yarim-Lim, a contemporary of Hammurabi, who appealed to an unknown pharaoh to come to his aid. Woolley noted that this was 90 years after the close of the 12th Dynasty, the latest time a Syrian king might expect a serious military response from Egypt [Woolley, p. 389] If the letter was sent to Amenemhet III, the last powerful Pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty, it supports 130-year adjustment, i.e. the "High Chronology". Woolley also had difficulty aligning the post-Babylonian pottery in Levels VI and V. Specifically, "Union Jack" ware is found at Alalakh in Level VI, 50-100 years later than its counterpart in Hyksos strata in Palestine. This supports the "Middle Chronology" [Woolley, p. 389]. And still the Mesopotamian evidence, including the Assyrian king list, supported the "Low Chronology". There was no resolution.
The RC model accepts Gasche's Ultra low chronology for Mesopotamia, i.e. Hammurabi 1696-54. The Yarim-Lim letter now dates to circa 1660, which is in the reign of Senurset III, a powerful 12th Dynasty pharaoh. Furthermore, in the RC the Middle Minoan I a/b is dated 190 years later to 1810-1660, which aligns the Hammurabi type seal at Platanos. Since the RC advances the Hyksos 74 years, the Union Jack ware, 50-100 years too late at Alalakh according to Woolley, now aligns with Palestinian strata. Lastly, these relationships are confirmed by Tell el-Yehudiyah pottery from the late 12th Dynasty, 1600 BID. In Syria, similar pottery occurs everywhere in a context later than 1600 [Schaeffer, p.25-27]. Not only does the RC down dating not breach known synchronisms between Hammurabi and the Middle Kingdom, it resolves the tensions between divide the High, Middle and Low chronologies.
CONCLUSIONS PART 1
The Revised Model dates the Exodus to the MB era circa 1600 by several independent lines of secular data. The RC date of the Exodus agrees with the secular evidence of (1) the Middle Bronze archaeology of Tell el-Daba and Jericho, (2) the ceramic chronology at Jericho and (3) the carbon-14 results at Jericho. These results, in turn, are in total agreement with BIC. BIC is no longer just a theological chronology that agrees with secular evidences and chronology.
The Middle Bronze 12th Dynasty has all the necessary elements to qualify as that of the Israelite sojourn. Middle Bronze Canaan also has all the requirements for Joshua's Jericho. The longer chronologies of Judges of the early Christian era chronologists that dated the Exodus to the Middle Bronze are confirmed. The accepted conservative and liberal chronologies that place the Exodus in the Late Bronze are no longer tenable. Conservative placement of the Exodus leaves biblical archaeology without a credible evidence of Joshua's conquest of Canaan. Liberal placement of the Exodus results in no Conquest at all. Their view leads to confusion in the interpretation of the stratigraphy and to the conclusion there is no evidence to support the biblical account prior to Samaria.
The RC model proposes a 200-year advance of the Egyptian 12th Dynasty, a 74-year advance of the Hyksos and a 472-year down dating of the 18th Dynasty. Together with Gasche's new chronology, this aligns the ceramic and historical evidences from Syria and Mesopotamia. This is a remarkable result as only Egyptian/Hebrew evidences were used to construct the model. The independent agreement confirms the RC model including the deductions about the 13th Dynasty in relation to the Hyksos.
Both James and Rohl synchronize the invasion of Shoshenq I with the "saviour" who freed Israel from the oppression of the Arameans during the reigns of Jehoahaz and Jehoash [II Kings 13:1-7]. Although they propose a good synchronism, their date 804 GAD is too late. Velikovsky dated the Libyans between the end of the el-Amarna era, circa 820, and the invasion of Ethiopian Emperor Piankh, circa 730. However, like the chronologies of James and Rohl, Velikovsky's 90-year chronology fails because it relies on Thiele's biblical chronology. The BIC, however, allows 53 more years for the Israelite "Divided Kingdom", which in turn allows a more reasonable 141 years for the Libyans.
Gasche's dates for the stele of the code of Hammurabi are circa 1660. This stele has been the object of great study because of its similarity to the Mosaic laws. The RC/BIC now puts Hammurabi's famous Code within 100 years of Moses as might be expected. Abraham, who entered Canaan 430 years before the giving of the Law by Moses [Gal 3:17] left Haran 2021 BID. This says that he lived prior to Ur III circa 2000 (Gasche). At this time Gutium (related to Elam) armies dominated Mesopotamia during unstable times. This could be the era of Chedarlaomer. This area needs more research.
I wish to acknowledge the steady encouragement of Tom Goss in bringing this research to fruition. I also credit Brad Sparks with the suggestion that Amenemhet IV was the pharaoh of the Exodus.
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Posted November 21, 2003