Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ham, Mizraim and the origin of Egypt

I want to make a quick post about what I think on the very beginning of Egypt's history.

First I want to explain that that the Tale of Nations (Genesis 10) is not necessarily listing all of Noah's grandchildren and even less so all the great grandchildren.  It's listing the founders of the earliest nations.  So I don't think Ham stopped reproducing at only 4 or 5 male children and a daughter to marry each.  And I certainly don't think all Egyptians need to go back to one of the 7 offspring listed of Mizraim, in fact strictly speaking I think none of them do, those are tribes that broke off from Mizraim's main nation and helped Phut populate the rest of North Africa.  Josephus says these off shoot nations were wiped out during a mysterious ancient Ethiopic War which was ended by Moses.  Whether or not there is any truth to that, the Philistines descend from an intermingling of two of them, they're NOT the prst of the Ramses III inscriptions and have nothing to do with Crete or the Agean, they were in Caanan already in the days of Abraham.

The Bible refers to Egypt as "the land of Ham" in Psalms 78:51; 105:23,27; 106:22; 1Ch 4:40.  The Egyptian word Kmt or Kem is another word the Egyptians used for themselves, and it looks like it could be related to the name of Ham, which in the Hebrew is Cham or Kham or Khem.  Claims that the Egyptians worshiped a Horned god named something like Khum of Chum have actually not stood up under scrutiny.  Based on the above observation however, I shall conjecture that Egypt is the land were Ham himself settled after the dispersion.

The name of Mizraim ends in the dual suffix -āyim, perhaps referring to the "two Egypts", and has also been interpreted to mean "the two straits".  I've seen it suggested that Mizraim is really a term that implies a set of Twins.

Egypt was a dual kingdom, Upper Egypt (the south) and Lower Egypt (the North).  The myth of brothers Osiris and Seth/Set in Egyptian mythology was not simply a matter of Osiris is Good and Set is evil, Many traditions about Set also affiliate him with being a Hero who defeats Apep (not to be confused with the name of Apepi the latter Hycsos king, however similar they seem to us their distinct in how their written in Egyptian) a chaotic deity.  And before the Second Intermediate period it wasn't uncommon for there to be sects of the Egyptian religion that favored Set over Osiris.  The vilification of Set seems to have happened largely in response to the Hycsos occupation as they favored worshiping Set.   The key distinction here is that Set had his seat in Lower Egypt and Osiris in Upper Egypt. 

I think it's possible Osiris and Set were the Mizraim twins, and that Isis and Nephthys were daughters of Ham they married.  Ham divided Egypt between them before he died, but they inevitably fought a war with each other.

Horus was the son of Osiris and his successor who defeated Set.  That is well known but what isn't as well known is that the Turin Papyrus lists a second Horus reigning at the end of the dynasty of the gods, between the two are Thoth and Maat.  Even less well known is that Horus's wife Hathor is depicted in the Dendera Temple as bearing him a son named Ihy who is also called Hor-seme-tawy.

The earliest known ruler of Pre-Dynastic Egypt that archeology has uncovered is Iry-Hor in Upper Egypt.
I think he is Ihy/Horus the Younger.

Another theory I'd considered in the past was started with the fact that Bill Cooper in Chapter 6 of After The Flood, argues that the name Seth in place of Sceaf in some genealogies could justifiably come from Japheth.  I instantly thought of the Egyptian Seth/Set but didn't make much of it till I read on the Wkipedia page for Red Hair that that the Egyptian considered Red Hair a sign of Descent from Set, and Red Hair is today at least most common among certain Japhethite people like the Irish and some Scandinavians (Thor was usually depicted with Red Hair unlike Marvel Comics and the MCU).

Adding to that that Seth and Osiris like Iapetos in Greek mythology are made the direct offspring of Heaven and Earth (but Egypt switched the genders).  I thought about identifying Osiris with Ham and Japheth with Set.

But I now know better then to simplistically think such ethnic features tell us for certain who someone descends from.   The Bible arguably identifies Red Hair with Esau/Edom and David, showing it's not limited to Japheth.  Maybe Set was a twin born with Red Hair like Esau was?

And I'm uncomfortable with any theory that vilifies Ham due to their ties to Racism.  Canaan and Canaan alone sinned in Genesis 9.

It's possible I think that Satan inspired Egyptian mythology to give the name Seth to fratricide not originally named Seth in order to plant a seed for perverting Genesis 4 to say it was Seth who killed his Brother.

Additional note.  You can read my view on The Great Pyramid here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Tribe of Dan and the Sea Peoples inscirptions.

I agree with Velikovsky on Ramses III being the Nektenbos of Greek historians who revolted against Persia.  The 30th Dynasty according to conventional chronology.

I agree also about the Prstt being the Persian Empire and "Peoples of the Sea" as Ionian Greeks.  But I do feel his desire in the question of the Sardan/Sherdan/Shardana to prove Sardis over Sardinia is unnecessary, Sardinia was colonized by Sardis, their having a similar name isn't a coincidence.  And Herdotus refers to Sardinians of this time period serving as pirates and mercenaries.

But his identification of the "Peoples of the Islands" the Denyen, as Athens I think is silly. The Denyen are also in the Amarna letters where they are in northern Syria, very northern, by the modern Turkish border. Associated with Hammath. They're also identified with Adana is Cilicia.

"And of Dan he said, Dan is a lion's whelp: he shall leap from Bashan." Deuteronomy 33:22

The Tribe of Dan originally settled just north of the Philistine Lands, around the port city of Joppa/Jaffa modern Tel-Aviv. The books of Joshua and Judges both record events when Danites left their allotted land, traveled north, conquered a city and renamed it Dan.

"And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father." Joshua 19:47

The longer Judges 18 account, where the City is Laish, is often assumed to be the same event. There are however key differences between the two accounts:

1. In the Book of Joshua the children of Dan had received an inheritance in the south but it was insufficient for them and so they went to fight against Leshem. In Judges however the Danites were in the region of Zorah and Eshtaol (in the south) they had not taken possession of their own.

2. In Judges, at least at first, only six hundred went forth after receiving the report of a reconnoitering mission: on the other hand, the Book of Joshua may be understood to say that all (or nearly all) of Dan went to fight.

3. In the Book of Joshua the city taken is called Leshem: In Judges the city is called LAISH. Some Commentators have tried to state that "Leshem" and "Laish" are different forms of the same word but "leshem" in Hebrew is a type of precious stone (maybe amber) while "laish" means a young male lion.

The Joshua account refers to the Dan that is frequently used as an idiom of the Northern Border of the Kingdom, where Jeroboam built one of his Calf Idols, and which on the map of modern Israel is in the Golan heights on the Lebanon border.

The Judges event is clearly much further north. They encountered Sidonians, but those Sidonians are also implied to be far from home. Laish is also known as Luash and the Danites who migrated there became known as Dananu.

"The king of Sma'al in the valley north of ASI (Orontes embouchemont) on the edge of LUASH (LIASH) called himself "KING of the DANIM" i.e. of the Danes of Dan. The Danes (Dananu) also controlled the neighbouring area of Cilicia and at one stage their capital was Adana by Tarsis of Cilicia and their suzerainity reached as far north as Karatepe. A bi-lingual inscription of theirs found at Karatepe employs a Phoenician type of Hebrew and a version of Hittite. Branches of the Hittites in Anatolia neighboured the Dananu of Cilicia. This northern portion of Dan is referred to variously as Dananu, Danau, Denye, Denyen, Danuna. "

Above I've borrowed a great deal from Britam's "Dan and the Serpent Way" study. I don't agree with all of Britam's premise obviously, or any other form of British Israelism, but Dan does have a unique history.
Secular scholars agree on connecting the Denyen to the Tribe of Dan, you can read about it on Wikipedia's Denyen and Dan pages, but the sequence is reversed.  They believe the Denyen traveled south and became incorporated into the Hebrew confederation. This supports their desire to claim that the various Tribes of Israel didn't even really have a common origin. Traditional chronology makes that argument easy for them but still doesn't make the Biblical picture impossible. But revised chronology makes it indisputable that The Bible's Dan came first.

The connection Dan has to Greece, is Biblically alluded to in Ezekiel 27. But that hardly means I take all the Greek myths about the Danoi/Danaans at face value.  The connection of Andromeda to Joppa is interesting, but I feel the true origins of the Agrid royal houses was Edom, and that this is a factor in how they got to Rome.

I've been reading articles on another website by an individual who believes Shishak was Ramses III.  His arguments do not beat out the argument for Tuthmosis III any more then Rohl's for Ramses II do, but once again I learned some new things studying a wrong theory.

Eldad ben Mahli ha-Dani commonly known as ELDAD THE DANITE was a 9th century Jewish traveler and philologist. The Encyclopedia Britannica describes him thus :-

"Probably originally from southern Arabia, Eldad visited Mesopotamia, Egypt, North Africa, and Spain and caused a stir by his account of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. He himself claimed to be a descendant of the Danites, who, together with the tribes of Naphtali, Asher, and Gad, were said to have established a Jewish kingdom in Cush (Kush), variously interpreted as Ethiopia or, roughly, present-day Sudan."

He was probably of the Ethiopian Beta-Israel community who claim Danite descent.  Biblical Kush/Cush rendered Ethiopia in the Septuagint and KJV as well as New Testament usually refers broadly to all Black Africa and specifically to Nubia, but there are exceptions and I believe Isaiah 18 is among them.
It is how and when the tribe of Dan got to Ethiopia which is fascinating for our chronology.

The account can be found in Louis Ginzberg's monumental work "The Legends of the Jews".

Eldad recounts that at the time of Jeroboam after his return from Egypt and the breakup of the Kingdom into two parts (Judah and Benjamin under Rehoboam in the South and the rest of the tribes under Jeroboam in the North) the Northern King had a plan to attack Judah and once again have a United Kingdom. Jeroboam put that plan to the elders of the 10 tribes.

The elders suggested that the job of attacking the south should be placed in the hands of the Tribe of Dan who were referred to as "the most efficient of their warriors".

The tribe of Dan however refused the request to attack the South believing it a sin to attack and shed the blood of their fellow Children of Israel. They actually threatened to attack Jeroboam instead, according to Eldad.

This was averted only because "God prompted the Danites to leave the promised land" ....their destination, Egypt!
They tie this into their believing Jeroboam was contemporary with Ramses III.  I think Eldad's legend had pushed back the date of their migration to Egypt.  Likewise I believe the Ark is in Ethiopia, but the Solomon-Sheba-Menelik legend is a Christian Auxumite invention.  Gram Hancock (not a Christian) and Bob Cornuke (who is a Bible believing Christian) have argued a different rout for how The Ark came there.

First it was removed from the Temple when it was violated by King Manasseh.  Then was in the Elephantine Jewish Temple until it was destroyed in the time of Cambyses son of Cryus king of Persia.  Then it was on the Island of Tana Kirikos (a source of the Nile) until it was taken by the Auxumite kingdom in the 4th Century A.D.

The thing about the Elephantine Jewish colony is, it was created by Israelite mercenaries hired by Psammetichus who like his Ionian mercenaries helped him liberate Egypt from Assyria.  He gave them the colony as a reward and let them build a Temple there.  Thanks to Velikovsky we know Psammetichus is actually Seti The Great, and among those Ionian mercenaries were the Sherden/Sardan/Shardana and possibly Denyen.  Israelites could have easily come to help Seti out also, survivors of the Northern Kingdom wanting revenge on Assyria.

Attempts to connect other Sea Peoples (casual usage forgets the Denyen were not called Sea Peoples) with other Tribes have been made as well, from both Atheist and Christian viewpoints.  Weshesh has been argued to have a strong etymological connection to Asher.  Shekelesh has been argued to derive from both Issachar (Rabbinic tradition says the sea faring Zebulonites always had scholars of Issachar with them on their boats) and Shechem.  While most attempts at an Israelite origin for the Sherden make them also Danites, I feel like pointing ot that Numbers 46 lists a clan of Sardites as coming from Sered son of Zebulun, a Tribe that Genesis 49 seems to foretell a sea faring or port city destiny for.

The tale of Wenamun who was an elder in the Temple of Amun probably at the time of the Pharaoh Smendes of the XXIst Dynasty. He was sent to obtain timber and this is the only other reference to the Tjekker in the Egyptian annals besides the time of Ramses III.  supporters of Velikovsky's model know this was the later Persian period.

""And I arrived at Dor, a Tjekker-town, and Beder its Prince caused to be brought to me 50 loaves..............". (Egypt of the Pharaohs: Sir Alan Gardiner p. 307)"  Dor was a port town of the Tribe of Manasseh but was often actually inhabited by Asher.  1 Kings 4:11 says Solomon appointed Abinadab who was married to his daughter Taphath a prince over Dor. 

These theories need not conflict with Velikovsky's emphasis on their Ionian nature.  The list of Sea Powers (Thalassocracies) preserved by Eusebius from Diodorus has the dominant Sea Power when the Norhtern Kingdom fell as the Milesians (725-707 B.C.) and a generation or two later the Mileasian philosophers become the first Monotheists of ancient Greece.  The city is also known to have had a Phoenician element to their population.  The Milesians invaded Ireland around 509 B.C. displacing the Tutha de Danann who arrived in 701 B.C. from northern Europe.

 I date the invasions of Ireland based on Bill Cooper's dates from After The Flood.
 701 BC in our terms, the Firbolgs were subdued in their turn by the returning colony of Tuatha de Danaun.

The last colonisation of Ireland is then recorded under Anno Mundi 3500 (i.e. ca 504 BC):

    'The fleet of the sons of Milidh came to Ireland at the end of this year, to take it from the Tuatha de Danann, and they fought the battle of Sliabh Mis with them on the third day after landing.'
But his flaw is accepting other attempts to give the Tuatha Dé Danann descent from the Nemed led colony by making them the Fir Domnann. The Fir Domnann became the Dumnonii of Britain.

I believe the Denyen sometime after the Amarna era continued migrating, sometimes by Sea (Song of Deborah and Ezekiel 27 imply a Sea Faring nature for Dan).  Inspired the Danavas of Sanskrit mythology, but ultimately wound up in northern Europe, giving their name to rivers like the Danube and locations like Denmark. 

I think they sometimes maintained a loose trade and connection with the Danites in the Northern Kingdom, perhaps when Samaria's fall was drawing near many Danites fled to their far northern brethren, and brought Four sacred relics with them.  Then in 701 BC the Danites in Northern Europe came to the British isles and became the Tuatha De Danann of Irish legend and the Children of Don of Welsh legend.

In 504 BC Ireland was taken by those fleeing Miletus, but might have maintained strongholds on other islands for a few centuries.  Many eventually travailed west to Tir na nOg, being among the pre Colombian travelers to the new world.

Going back.  The modern Ethiopian Jews may not be the only African Jews to descend from this population.  But the Lemba are separate.

Eithiopia, from the Greek Aethiopia, often used to translate the Hebrew Kush, became during the Classical and Hellenistic era a word for Africa south of Egypt in general but specifically Nubia.  But the references to this land in Greek mythology don't seem to fit that.

Joppa/Jaffa that Andromeda came from is also refereed to as Aethiopia.  But also Memnon an ally of Troy during the Trojan war was a King of Aethiopia.  But the statements in geography about his Kingdom and ethnicity are also contradictory, and he was said to have a brother Emathon who was King of Arabia, which in classical sources refers mainly to parts of modern Jordan and north-western Saudi Arabia. And these Arabians mostly descended from brothers of Isaac, most prominently Ishmael.  Though Edom also fits in the Classical Greek definition of Arabia.

People disagree on whether the Judges 18 account of Dan's migration should be set chronologically before the rest of the book, or after the time of Samson.  Either way Samson's story shows some Danites remained in their original region around Joppa/Jaffa all through the Judges period.  Also the Danites who "remain in ships" in the Song of Deborah (Judges 5:17) were likely Danites living in this region, they had a port city in Joppa/Jaffa that would have served this sea faring nature far better.

Traditional dates from Greek writers for the time of Perseus place him in the middle of the Judges period Biblically.  What if Aethiopia originally refereed to Dan's original allocation? and the Greeks later started using it for where a certain portion of Dan settled south of Egypt, and in time forgot the real reason?

Memnon is a name can easily be explained by a Hebrew origin, since it's basically two letter of the Hebrew Alphabet spelled out phonetically and put together.  Mem and Nun.  Non/Nun is also the name of Joshua's father, both spellings appear in the KJV.  It's also not impossible the name comes from Amnon.  Emathon or Hemathon probably comes from the Hebrew name Mattan (Strong number 4977) with a He (the Hebrew definite article) at the beginning which often happens in Hebrew for emphasis.

Cepheus could come from Kefa (Hebrew Strong number 3710), which means rock and was a name Simon Peter was also known by (Greek Strong number 2786) since it's the Semitic equivalent of the Greek Petros.  Cephalus/Kephalos could derive from that same Hebrew word also, who could be interpreted as the grandfather of Memnon and Emathon via Tithonios.  Cepheus's brother Phineus is an obviously Semitic name, appearing as Phinehas in the KJV.  Phoenix could also come from the same name as a more corrupt form.

Perses is the name of one of the sons of Perseus and Andromeda, the one who stayed in the East and was believed to be ancestral to the Persians.  Perses and Perseus both could come from the Hebrew name Pharez.  I do believe deported northern Israelites possibly contributed to the ancestry of various peoples of Persia/Iran.

To my own surprise even Cassiopia could have a Hebrew origin, from Kasheph (Strong number 3784-3786) the word for Sorcerer.  Putting a Heh on the end would make it feminine, and transliterated into Greek that often results in ending with an Alpha.

Andromeda alone of the Aethiopian dynasty has a clearly Greek and not Semitic name, it could be originally that was a name she took only after marrying Perseus.  The Hebrew word for Woman/Wife is unlike the Greek a feminine form of the word for Man/Husband, Andros.  And I've read conflicting claims of what the other part of the name is supposed to mean.

A similar name is Adromache, the last part of that name does occur in Hebrew (Strong number 4347) with virtually the same meaning.  Makhe in Greek means to fight, and Makkah in Hebrew means blow, wound or slaughter.  And in Hebrew it is grammatically feminine.  So maybe the -meda part of Andromeda comes from Madon, or Madai or Medan.  Which could mean stature or discord or strife.

Agenor could derive from Aggan (Strong number 101) the Hebrew word for Goblet.  Cadmus could derive from Kedem (East Strong number 6930) or Kedemah, Kedemoth, Kadimiel or Kadmonites.

Cillicia is part of the region I have above affiliated with Dan.  Cilix was a mythical progenitor of the inhabitants of that region in Greek mythology.  And he is also variantly a son of Agenor of Phoenix.  A Hebrew name that could come from is Kelal (Chelal in the KJV).

The Prose Edda says Memnon fathered a Thor with a daughter of Priam from whom descended Sceaf and then Geat and then Woden and from him all the royal houses of the Anlgo-Saxon chronicles and of Denmark and Norway.  Fitting Britam's identification of Denmark with Dan.  I disagree with Bill Cooper on Sceaf being Japheth.

I think DNA Y Chromosome Haplogroup I indicates Pater-Lineal descent from Dam.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

More evidence for Shishak being Tuthmosis III

The Tablets of Ras Shamra of Ugarit are contemporary with the 18th Dynasty. This is agreed by Conventional and Revised chronology. The Amarna letters record Ugarit's destruction (Letter 151). So none of them could be referring to any 22nd dynasty Pharaoh.

One of the Ugarit tablets uses the name. "Le mot swsk semble, un nom propres, a rapprocher peut-etre de l'egyptien Sosenq, hebreu Sosaq, et Sisag." Dhorme, Revue biblique, XL (1931),55.

This is definitive proof on top of everything cited before that Shishak should be looked for in the 18th Dynasty.

I argued before for trying to find Shishak among Egyptian names of Tuthmosis, but I now mostly reject that.

Shishak is a Hebrew name that means "greedy of fine linen"-Strong# 7895. It's similar to Sheshach Strong # 8347 which is an Atbash encryption for Babylon and means "thy fine linen". It's possible referring to conquerors who pillage the Temple as something about fine Linen is a pattern.

Shishak actually has two different spellings across it's various appearances in the Masoretic text of Kings and Chronicles.  Shin-Yot-Shin-Qoph and Shin-Vav-Shin-Qoph, it's numbering in the Strong's is based on the Yot version being the presumed default, the latter spelling would be pronounced Shushak.  Yot and Vav have in common that they started being used as Vowls once later Hebrew scribes become more concerned with representing vowels.  So that they are interchangeable in regards to this name suggests to me that originally neither was there.  And Shin-Shin-Qoph is the spelling of Strong's number 8349, which is the Hebrew name Shashak, the name of a Benjamite mentioned in 1 Chronicles 8:14&25.

The Hebrew root it comes from in Shesh, Strong's number 8336, which means Linen.  The only difference between 8347 and 8349 is Jeremiah's ends with Kaph rather then Qoph.  Those two represent similar sounds, but I think Jeremiah used a different letter only to fit his Atbash.

So the name is not Egyptian and not the Pharaoh's actual name, period.

Velikovsky's source for proving that Ahmose had a wife named Tahpenes or Tanthap/Tanthape (to tie in with 1 Kings 11:19-20) isn't in English so I can't verify it.  The source in question is Gauthier, Le Livre des rois d'Egypt.  Wikipedia doesn't list a wife with that name for Ahmoses, nor for Khamose, Amenhotep I or Tuthmosis I.

The relevant passage of 1 Kings seems weird regardless of chronology.  That Pharoh's wife would wean her sister's son for her.  But hardly impossible.

On checking The Hebrew, I noticed the word for Queen used here, isn't really a word for Queen, it's not a feminine form of Melek or Sar.  It means Mistress.  So this is probably a lesser wife of his Harem and not an actual Queen or Royal wife.

The source for the claim that Genubath is mentioned by name in 18th dynasty Egyptian records of Tuthmosis III as Gebybatye is Breasted Records Volume II Section 474.

The Ugarit Poem of Keret refers to an army of Tereh, who parallels both the Biblical Zerah the Ethiopian of the days of King Asa, and the Egyptian campaigns in this region during the reign of Amenhotep II. As I said before I equate Zerah with User-tatet, Amenhotep's Nubian (Ethiopian) commander.

Menhet, Menwi and Merti were three minor foreign-born wives of pharaoh Thutmose III who were buried in a lavishly furnished rock-cut tomb in Wady Gabbanat el-Qurud. Two of their names are West-Semitic in origin though none are Hurrian. ( Christine Lilyquist, The Tomb of Thutmosis III's foreign wives: A survey of Architectural Type, Contents and Foreign Connections in Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Egyptologists, Cambridge 3–4 September 1995; ed. C.J. Eyre, Uitgeberij Peeters, Leuven, 1998. pp.679-680).

The possibility of them being connected to either the House of David or Jeroboam I find interesting.

Nimrod and Babel identified Part 2

This is a follow up post, for part 1 go here.

Now to discus this Enmerkar in more detail. He's second only to Gilgamesh among the heroes of ancient Sumerian literature. Gilgamesh is also of the same Dynasty, a generation or two later.

In Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta a previous confusion of the languages of mankind is mentioned. This agrees with the Biblical conclusion I came to earlier, Nimrod didn't instigate Babel (at least not originally) but came sometime later, though definitely still when it was a fairly recent memory. Aside from founding Uruk, Enmerkar is said here to have had a temple built at Eridu, and is even credited with the invention of writing on clay tablets, for the purpose of threatening Aratta into submission. Enmerkar furthermore seeks to restore the disrupted linguistic unity of the inhabited regions around Uruk, listed as Shubur, Hamazi, Sumer, Uri-ki (the region around Akkad), and the Martu land.

This, and the other three major legends about Enmerkar chiefly revolve around his conflict with a Kingdom called Aratta, and it's ruler En-suhgir-ana. Aratta obviously sounds a lot like Ararat, but most scholars won't connect them because they are used to the traditional identification of Ararat referring to a mountain in Turkey, and these texts clearly seem to place Aratta in northern Iran.

But Bob Conruke has shown that The Bible clearly places Ararat in northern Iran.
He even addresses the connection between Ararat and Armenia.

From Genesis 10 and other sources referenced in Bill Cooper's After The Flood this region is indeed likely to be one of the earliest major settlements of Japheth's descendants (Gomer and Madai chiefly). Some Rabbinical traditions (like the so called book of Jasher from medieval times), suggest there was a war or conflict between Nimrod and Japheth (or Japheth's descendants).

According to the ancient Armenian historian Moses of Khorene and Georgian historian Leonti Mroveli.  Hayk was a Son of Togarmah son of Gomer son of Japheth who founded Armenia and inherited Arrarat.  Hayk is said to have fought wars with a Mesopotamian king named Bel who is sometimes identified with Nimrod.  Though to the Greeks Belus was the father of Ninus.

Enmerkar's successor was Lugalbanda, who appears in the narratives about Enmerkar as a military figure. It's possible that Lugalbanda was just an interim military governor ruling Uruk, and that the rule of Sumer as a whole went to Etana in Kish, who is said to have "consolidated all the foreign countries". Although his reign has yet to be archaeologically attested, his name is found in later legendary tablets, and Etana is sometimes regarded as the first king and founder of Kish himself.

Etana has been a Nimrod candidate on some websites I've visited.  The Evidence for Enmerkar far outweighs the evidence for Etana in my view.  But maybe it's not impossible Etana and Enmerkar are the same person simply known by different names in different cities.  But for now my working theory is that they are different people.

Etana could easily have been one of Cush's other sons, and the brother of Nimrod, creating possible parallels to Set overthrowing Osiris in Egyptian mythology, and many other myths about a a tyrant becoming King by killing his brother to latter be avenged by his brother's son. Zababa was the name of the patron deity of Kish, which makes Sabtah or Sabtecha seem the likely candidates to me.

The next King of Uruk was Dumuzid, who's name is another form of Tammuz. Modern mythology makes him the Son of Nimrod and likely an inspiration for figures like Osiris and/or Horus, I'm skeptical of all that, but it could fit here. Dumuzid was captured by Enmebaragesi of Kish, the earliest ruler on the kings-list whose name is attested directly from archaeology. So we are at the dawn of recorded history now.

There are two Dumuzids on the Kings-list. The Antediluvian one is who the Tammuz myths are usually attributed to. But I believe that's because of Confusion, while I do think some real Pre-Flood history may be remembered in the myths associated with the Antediluvian Sumerian Kings, I believe this was the only real Dumuzid. The Tammuz myths are clearly heavily mythologized and harder to identify with history anyway, because they revolve around Inanna.  But in part I feel this comes from this Dumuzid's relationship with the High Priestess of Inanna, who's Temple was in Uruk, and the sacred Marriage ritual that was key to the religion of Uruk.  I suspect the same thing about Inanna's role in the Gilgamesh legends.  Indeed every other myth about Inanna is known to be about the importance of Uruk.

Dumuzid was succeeded by Bilgames, more commonly known as Gilgamesh. The "Epic of Gilgamesh" most commonly refereed to is a much later construction, the earliest actual Sumerian poems about Bilgames (Which are still well after when he actually lived) are very different. Enkidu is not a wild-man who needed to be tamed, he has no origin story, he's just a loyal friend and partner (and possibly Lover) of Bilgames. Also in the Sumerian poems Bilgames dies first and it is Enkidu who mourns him.

One of the Bilgames poems lacks a parallel story in the latter Epic. "Bilgames and Aga", which is about his conflict with King Aga of Kish, the successor of Enmebaragesi.

Bilgames/Gilgamesh is sometimes cited as a son of Lugalbanda, but the Sumerian Kingslist calls him "The Son of Lilu" a phrase often translated Phantom, but also taken to mean an Incubus (Male Sucubus) and associated with Lilith. Lilith would in medieval times become the alleged first wife of Adam in Jewish folklore. But her original Sumerian origin story was as a "Sacred Prostitute" in the service of Inanna in Uruk. It's possible both names refer to the same man, or that Bilgames was adopted, or one was his step father by marriage. Bilgames' mother is always refereed to as the goddess Ninsun, who I'm simply going to randomly guess was a daughter of Nimrod.

One of the most noted things about Gilgamesh is his having traveled to meet the man who built the Ark and survived the Flood. This event isn't depicted directly in the surviving Sumerian Bilgames poems, but it is mentioned.  In the Sumerian poems the Noah figure is named Ziusudra rather then the more well known Utnapishtim of the later Epic of Gilgamesh.

Noah lived 350 years after The Flood, the time of Bilgames could very well have been that early after The Flood.  If he was a nephew or grandson of Nimrod as I suspect, that would make him the same generation as Eber or Peleg, Peleg actually died before Noah did.

So I feel I have succeeded in identifying Nimrod's true place in early history. And in so doing connected the first 10 and a half chapters of Genesis with the earliest recorded History.

If you want to read the Enmerkar and Bilgames Sumerian poems, they are online including English translations here.
I am well aware this theory has been suggested before (most notably by David Rohl), I have however added my own new contributions and twists to it.

Nimrod and Babel identified Part 1

First I want to say I'm skeptical of the common assumption that Nimrod was the instigator of the Babel project. Extra Biblical traditions, both Jewish and Christian, have been making this assumption since at least as far back as Josephus. But The Bible itself doesn't really say that. And I feel that sometimes the more nearly unanimous an extra-Biblical assumption is the more likely it is it's completely wrong.

Babel is discussed in the first part of Genesis 11, which is in fact the Prequel to what's discussed in Genesis 10. Genesis 10 tells us about how the different nations divided, 11 then goes back and explains for us why.

The city of Babel is cited as one of Nimrod's cities, it's mentioned first, but that doesn't mean it was Nimrod's capital. Genesis 14:1 also lists the King of Shinar first, but it's later made clear the King of Elam is the leader of that alliance. Shinar/Babel is a focal point from the Biblical view of History, so The Holy Spirit will often list it first, whether by the contemporary secular reckoning it should be or not. Genesis 11 clearly implied Babel is the only City in existence at this time, so this project in my view can't be the result of Nimrod's Imperialism.

Another detail about Babel I want to point out. "may reach unto" is not in the Hebrew text, the popular view of the Babel Tower and it's intent is entirely wrong. What they where making was their own heaven at the Top of the Tower, it's the birth of Idolatry, not merely an engineering feat. Nor was it a portal or "Stargate" or any other Sci-Fi concept you want to read into it.

 The Tower of Babel was the first Ziggurat, since new Ziggurats where constructed later, I do think it's possible that when Nimrod was ruling Babel later that he may have restarted the project.  Or maybe not, we don't know.

Many mistakes are made in trying to identify Nimrod historically by Christian scholars wanting to make countless ancient mythical heroes connected to Nimrod. And their attempts to identify a verifiable figure from the ancient history and archaeology of Mesopotamia are always trying too hard to pick someone very well known and so often wind up too late.

He's certainly not Hammurabi, or the same person as Genesis 14's King of Shinar (who I don't think was Hammurabi either, but that theory is popular). He's not Sargon of Akkad, though I myself was attracted to that theory before I was more informed. Nor is he Gilgamesh, though I believe Gilgamesh is at least in the right basic historical context.

And he did not have a wife named Semiramis. Semiramis comes from Hellenistic Greek historians giving their very confused mythologized account of Mesopotamian and Syrian antiquity. The name is a Hellenization of Shammuramat or Sammu-ramat who was a Queen of Assyria between 811 and 808 B.C. The Greek mythologizing of her begins with Herodotus, but he doesn't do any of the major exaggerations yet, if anything his implied chronology made her more recent, not more ancient. Latter Greek sources make her sometimes contemporary with the Fall of Troy (1182 B.C.), but others would try to place her supposed husband Ninus over 2000 B.C.

Ninus was the supposed founder of Nineveh, so he probably does have attributes of ancient memories of Nimrod added into him.. Modern Christian scholars get obsessed with Semiramis, Hislop's scholarship was very flawed, and people like Hunt have followed him with little adjustment.

Is Babel the same as the Babylon we know today? The name is the same, but lots of times new cities are built with older names, and the Babylon of Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar seems to in fact be basically one of the younger major cities of ancient Mesopotamia.

Historical tablets (like the so-called "Weidner Chronicle" ) state that Sargon of Akkad (23rd century BC) dug up the original "Babylon" and rebuilt it near Akkad, though some scholars suspect this may in fact refer to a much later Assyrian King Sargon (there were two).  The exact location of Akkad isn't known either, but it's assumed it was basically near Hammurabi's Babylon but on the Tigris, possibly by were Seleucia and Baghdad would be built later.

Simplicius of Cilicia (ad Arist De Caelo. ii. 503A) recorded that Callisthenes in the 4th century BC traveled to Babylon and discovered astronomical observations on cuneiform tablets stretching back 1903 years before the taking of Babylon by Alexander the Great in 331 BC. This makes the sum 1903 + 331 which equals 2234 BC as the founding date for Babylon.  A similar figure is found in Berossus, who according to Pliny (Natrual History vii 57) stated that astronomical observations commenced at Babylon 490 years before the Greek era of Phoroneus, and consequently in 2243 BC. Stephanus of Byzantium, wrote that Babylon was built 1002 years before the date (given by Hellanicus of Mytilene) for the siege of Troy (1229 BC), which would date Babylon's foundation to 2231 BC.

Each of those dates is during the reign of Sargon of Akkad (2272-2217 BC)) according to the Short ChronologyCtesias, who is quoted by Diodorus Siculus and in George Syncellus's Chronographia, claimed to have access to manuscripts from Babylonian archives which date the founding of Babylon to 2286 BC by Belus who reigned as Babylon's first king for fifty five years.  Sargon reigns 56 years.  The date is only 14-16 years before his reign.  The middle chronology would have Sargon reign begin in 2334 BC.  My views on revised chronology do not change the Mesopotamian Kings Lists, I favor the Short Chronology.

Dalley Stephanie, Oriental Institute SAOC, pp. 25–33 discusses the well-known interchangeability of "Babylon" and "Eridu" in ancient texts, and proposes a hypothesis that the name "Babylon" was also applied to many other cities in Mesopotamia at times.

The Sumerian Kings list has Eridu as the oldest city, but the much later Greek version of the King-list by Berossus (c. 200 BC) reads "Babylon" in place of "Eridu" in the earlier versions, as the name of the oldest city where "the kingship was lowered from Heaven". The Ziggurat ruins of Eridu are far older than any others.

One name of Eridu in cuneiform logograms was pronounced "NUN.KI" ("the Mighty Place") in Sumerian, but much later the same "NUN.KI" was understood to mean the city of Babylon. If they had this name in common, they certainly could have had others.

In Sumerian mythology, Eridu was the home of the Abzu temple of the god Enki, the Sumerian counterpart of the Akkadian water-god Ea. Like all the Sumerian and Babylonian gods, Enki/Ea began as a local god, who came to share, according to the later cosmology, with Anu and Enlil, the rule of the cosmos. His kingdom was the waters that surrounded the World and lay below it (Sumerian ab=water; zu=far).

The stories of Inanna, goddess of Uruk, describe how she had to go to Eridu in order to receive the gifts of civilization. At first Enki, the god of Eridu attempted to retrieve these sources of his power, but later willingly accepted that Uruk was now the center of the land. This seems to be a mythical reference to the transfer of power northward.

Babylonian texts also talk of the creation of Eridu by the god Marduk as the first city, "the holy city, the dwelling of their [the other gods] delight".

Uruk, which was mentioned above, is the city the Bible refers to as Erech, another of Nimrod's core cities.

I think Babel was originally just a nickname for the City, a Hebrew name meaning "confusion" but the pagans reinterpreted it to mean "gate of the gods". It wasn't until the new NUN.KI was founded by Sargon that Babylon became a city's official name.

The Sumerian Kings List has the beginning of Post-Flood kingship at Kish. Kish is a name clearly derived form Cush. But the King-lists itself I feel is trying to create a more ancient kingdom then it ever had, and I think this city was originally a Democracy of some sort, which also technically Genesis 11 implied Babel/Eridu was as well. The first listed ruler of Kish was Jushur (also transliterated Jucur, Gushur, Ngushur, Gishur, etc) which could also be derived from Cush. Second is Kullassina-bel, the name seems to be an Akkadian phrase meaning "All of them (were) lord". The following kings of Kish on the list preceding Etana are all names of animals. I will return to Etana later.

Since an earlier referenced myth has civilization traveling from Eridu to Uruk not Kish, I think Uruk's earliest Kings where in fact the first. It's first ruler was Mesh-ki-ang-gasher (Mèš-ki-áĝ-ga-še-er, Meš-ki-aĝ-gašer; also transliterated Mes-Kiag-Gasher, Mesh-Ki-Ang-Gasher, Meskiagkasher, Meckiagkacer and variants) you can clearly see there connection to the variants of Jushur and to Cush.  He is also refereed to on the King's list as the son of Utu, The Sun.  His son and successor was Enmerkar. But besides the Kings List Enmerkar himself seems to be treated as the son of Utu and founder or first king of Uruk.

The myths above do also seem to treat Eridu as having been a Pre-Flood city, but the same is true of Beorsous referencing Babylon as the first city.  The Bible only mentions one city in the Pre-Flood world, in Genesis 4:17.

The face value assumption is that Cain founded the city and named it after his son.  But Cain was also told he'd be a Vagabound till he died before this.  That the very end of the verse gives Enoch (Cain's son not the Genesis 5 Enoch), is the only reason we think Cain was the one who founded a city and named it after his son.  The text could just as easily otherwise be read as saying Enoch founded a city and named it after, or to more properly represent the Hebrew according to the name of his son.

Looking at my Greens Masoretic Text based Interlinear-Bible that one occurrence of the name Enoch at the end of verse 17 is different from the others, there is something added after it.  Maybe we've misunderstood what it really says.  Maybe it was called Enoch temporarily but he also planed to change it once he had a son and the son was named.  Most of the time in Biblical custom the mother names the child at birth, so Enoch may not have known in advance what his son would be named.

The name of Enoch's son we're told in verse 18 was Irad.  The name Eridu could possibly come from Irad.  Maybe Babel was also thought of as being a Post-Flood refunding of the great Pre-Flood city.

 The Bible doesn't always list the actual real names of the foreign rulers it refers to, but often gives them names that are Hebraic puns on their names. Nimrod is refereed to as a Mighty Hunter, the element 'kar' in Enmerkar was the Sumerian word for 'hunter'. Thus the king of Uruk's name consists of a nomen plus epithet - Enmer 'the hunter'. Ancient Hebrew was originally written without vowels, in early copies of Genesis the name Nimrod would simply have been written 'nmrod' or 'nmrd'. The name Enmer could also have been transcribed into Hebrew as 'nmr' (the En prefix is only one symbol in cuneiform) - identical to Nimrod but for the last 'o' and 'd'. The added 'od' at the end I can't guess the meaning of now.

Eusebius of Caesarea in the early 4th century cited the Babylonian historian Berossus in the 3rd century BC as stating that the first king after the flood was Euechoios of Chaldea, and identified him with Nimrod. George Syncellus (c. 800) also had access to Berossus, and he too identified Euechoios with The Biblical Nimrod.

More recently, Sumerologists have suggested additionally connecting both this Euechoios, and the king of Babylon and grandfather of Gilgamos who appears in the oldest copies of Aelian (c. 200 AD) as Euechoros .  Later more commonly cited copies of Aelian have Sacchorae in place of Euechoros.  Gilgamesh was called the son of Enmerkar's successor Lugal-Banda, so Alien could have assumed him to be his grandfather regardless.  Looking at how some Egyptian names got transliterated into Greek, I could easily see Enmerkar becoming Euechoios or Euechoros.

I'm going to continue this and discus Enmerkar in more detail in the next post.

Friday, March 21, 2014

My Pharaoh of the Exodus working theory

During the time Khnumhotep II was Nomarch (from year 19 of Amenenhat II to 6 of Senruset II) a Semitic chief named Abishai, a Biblical Hebrew name,offered gifts to him in the Bani Hassen region.  (Bard, Kathryn A. An Introduction To The Archaeology Of Ancient Egypt. Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell Ltd, 2008. p. 190.).  Also this link.

We do have documented Evidence of Semitic Slaves with Hebrew names during the 13th Dynasty at least one of them matches a name of an individual mentioned in Exodus.
The text in question is discussed here, with no mention of a possible Exodus tie in.
Add to that the mysterious Sithathor being listed on some kings-lists between Neferhotep I and Sobekhotep IV though Archaeology presents no evidence of his Reign, in my theory he was the 1st Born of Pharaoh, who may have been made a Co-Ruler with Neferhotep already before he died as was a common Egyptian practice.

Sir Flinders Petrie excavated the city of Kahun in the Fayum and Dr Rosalie David wrote a book about his excavations in which she said,
‘It is apparent that the Asiatics were present in the town in some numbers, and this may have reflected the situation elsewhere in Egypt … . Their exact homeland in Syria or Palestine cannot be determined … . The reason for their presence in Egypt remains unclear.’(David, A.R., The Pyramid Builders of Ancient Egypt: A Modern Investigation of Pharaoh’s Workforce, Guild Publishing, London, p. 191, 1996.)

Neither Rosalie David nor Flinders Petrie could not identify these Semitic slaves with the Israelites because they held to the traditional chronology which placed the Biblical event centuries later than the 12th dynasty.

There was another interesting discovery Petrie made. ‘Larger wooden boxes, probably used originally to store clothing and other possessions, were discovered underneath the floors of many houses at Kahun. They contained babies, sometimes buried two or three to a box, and aged only a few months at death.’(David, Ref. 15, Plate 16.)

My time frame for the Hyksos period is longer then normally given, It really begins with the later 13th Dynasty. Dedoumes was the Pharaoh they overthrew, and I believe Hor II was the same as the Midianite king Hur mentioned in the Bible as contemporary with the Wandering.

The original reason for identifying Neferhotep is that he's the last Pharaoh attested by Scarabs at Kahun.

There are also numerous inscriptions in the Aswan region mentioning Neferhotep I's name, as well as the names of family members and officials serving under this king. It is from these inscriptions that we know the name of his wife (Senebsen) and his son Haankhef and his daughter Kemi. (Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, 231)
He had a Son, and yet the throne was passed to his brother, this suggests his Son predeceased him, and perhaps was the same person as Si-Hathor (That being his Throne name or something like that).

I don't agree with the Traditional assumption (Which also influenced The Ten Commandments) that the Bithiah mentioned in Chronicles is Moses's foster mother. Mostly for two reasons, she probably adopted Moses in part because she was barren (She may have been at the Nile at the time doing a sort of fertility ritual) and Bithiah bore Children to Mered. At the time of the Exodus Moses's Foster Mother would have been nearly 100 at the youngest if still alive which is itself unlikely.

Bithiah is interesting though, she was probably the Daughter of the Exodus Pharaoh, or one soon before. Bithiah is not an Egyptian name, it's Hebrew, in fact it's Yahweh theophoric. So that wasn't her original name but one she took after converting. It's possible she is the same person as Kemi.

There are several monuments mentioning Neferhotep I and Khaneferre Sobekhotep IV together. This could mean that they may have reigned for some time together. Nevertheless the reigns of these two brothers in the Thirteenth Dynasty mark the peak of this otherwise rather shaky era.[W. Grajetzki: The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, London 2006] There are many private monuments date-able under these kings, and especially in sculpture some remarkably high quality art works were produced.

Artpanus claims Chenephres/Khaneferre was the Phraorh Moses served under when he campaigned for Egypt against Ethiopia (an extra Biblical detail about Moses recorded by Josephus) he may have had garbled information that Chenephres/Khaneferre was involved in Moses's life, but was mistaken on how. If this Pharaoh did campaign against Nubia, perhaps it was to try and replace the recently lost Hebrew slaves? Maybe in a fictional depiction based on this theory, if Neferhotep did perish in the Red Sea (I've decided it's unclear whether or not the Bible says that happened, but Neferhotep doesn't have a Mummy found yet) then maybe it's Chenephres who should get the "His god is God" line, though originally I would have given that to either Jannus or Jambres.

The 13th Dynasty was originally just a local Theban Dynasty under the 12th, Sobekhotep II is the soonest one to have likely had sole rule of Egypt, his reign starts about 25 years before Neferhotep died. So that means it was under the 12th Dynasty that Moses fled. It makes sense, if I recall God said ALL who sought Moses's life where gone, which could imply an entire change in Dynasty.

Amenemhet IV is frequently listed as a son of Amenemhat III, but there isn't much evidence to back that up, it seems how long it took Amenemhat III to choose a co-regent implies a dynastic Crisis. I think Moses was exiled right before Amenemhat IV was made co-regent (And perhaps Moses had an alternate Egyptian Throne or Horus name while being groomed as a possible Heir that could potentially be Hellenized as Lamares or Ameres, who Manetho throws into the 12th Dynasty though no records of him exist).

This would make Moses's birth early in Amenemhat III's reign.
I agree with this timeline for the 12th Dynasty.

I would sort of put Sobekneferu in the Nefertari role, the woman the successor has to marry. Given the length of this Pharaoh's Reign, I think she was a much younger Daughter then the lesser known Neferuptah, who seems to have predeceased her Father and was originally the intended Dynastic wife. Neferuptah was the Foster Mother of Moses I think.

Rameses II as Pharaoh Necho

"A fragment of a mural from a Theban temple of Ramses II, preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, shows a Palestinian prince, mortally wounded by a dart or a lance thrown by one of the Egyptian Warriors, an the army of this prince is in great dismay."-H.E. Winlock: Excavations at Deir el Bahari, 1911-1913 (New York 1942), p. 12 and plate 6g.

"An obelisk of Rameses II at Tanis mentions "Carrying off the princes of Retenu (Palestine) as living prisoners" The word "princes" is written on the obelisk with a heiroglyph of a size disproportionate to the rest of the inscription, emphasizing their royal status."-See Kemi, revue de philologie et d'archeologie egytpiennes et coptes, V(1935). Plate 26. and p. 113
Above are footnotes from Ages in Chaos II about the first Syrian campaign of Ramses II.
The immediate antecedents to the Battle of Kadesh were the early campaigns of Ramesses II into Canaan and Palestine. His first campaign seems to have taken place in the fourth year of his reign and was commemorated by the erection of a stele near modern Beirut. The inscription is almost totally illegible due to weathering. His records tell us that he was forced to fight a Palestinian prince who was mortally wounded by an Egyptian archer, and whose army was subsequently routed. Ramesses carried off the princes of Palestine as live prisoners to Egypt. Ramesses then plundered the chiefs of the Asiatics in their own lands, returning every year to his headquarters at Riblah to exact tribute.
Now compare that to what Necho does.
II Kings 23: 29-35.
In his days Pharaohnechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him. And his servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own sepulchre. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father's stead.-----And Pharaohnechoh put him in bands at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and put the land to a tribute of an hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold. And Pharaohnechoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the room of Josiah his father, and turned his name to Jehoiakim, and took Jehoahaz away: and he came to Egypt, and died there. And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh: he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of every one according to his taxation, to give it unto Pharaohnechoh.

II Chronciles 35:20-35:4.
After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him. But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not. Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo. And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded. His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchres of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written in the lamentations.-----Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in his father's stead in Jerusalem.----And the king of Egypt put him down at Jerusalem, and condemned the land in an hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. And the king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and turned his name to Jehoiakim. And Necho took Jehoahaz his brother, and carried him to Egypt.
The same number of years that separate this event from Carchemish, separated Ramses II's first Syrian Campaign from his second. Which was his battle of "Kadesh".

Herodotus (Book II: 158) says Necho II initiated but never completed the ambitious project of cutting a navigable canal from the Pelusiac branch of the Nile to the Red Sea. Necho's Canal was the earliest precursor of the Suez Canal.  Archaeology says Ramses II did that, and there is no evidence of any Suez Canal construction by any 26th Dynasty Pharaohs.

Supporters of the conventional chronology care a great deal about names. So Necho not being identical to Ramses is a big deal to them. But the Bible often refers to foreign leaders by code names or nicknames, sometimes being puns on a real name of theirs. mean while Pharaohs, especially Ramses, had many names, usually at least 5, but Ramses is known to have had many more.

Names Ramses II is known to have had
Hor “Falcon King”: Ka-nakht "Strong Bull”, Mery-Ma’at “Beloved of Truth"
Nebty “He of the Two Goddesses”:, Mek-Kemet "Protector of Egypt,” Waf-khasut “Who curbs foreign lands",
Hor-nub “Horus of Gold”: User-renput "Rich in Years,” Aa-nehktu “Great in Victories",
Nesu-bity (Insibya) “King of Upper & Lower Egypt”: User-maat-Re ("Strong in Right is Re") [Setep-en-Re "Chosen of Re"]
Se Re “Son of Re”: Rameses Mery-Amun “Beloved of Amun” [Nutjer-Heqa-Iunu "God, Ruler of Heliopolis"]

Leaving out Translations you get.

Hor: Ka-nakht Mery-Ma’at;
Nebty: Mek-Kemet Waf-khasut;
Hor-nub: User-renput Aa-nehktu;
Nesu-bity (Insibya): USER-MAAT-RE Setep-en-Re;
Se Re: RAMESES Mery-Amun Nutjer Heqa-Iunu.

Either nakht or nehktu could be the basis for Necho, especially if corrupted for the sake of a Hebraic pun.  This Egyptian epithet means Mighty.

Necho's Strongs Number is 5224 (Pharohnecho is 6549 near Pharaoh). Necho is similar to the Hebrew words Nekeh (5222 abject) or Nakeh (5223, Contrite, Lame).  And also Nachon (5225) the name of an Israelite mentioned in 2 Samuel 6:6.

The Talmud implies somewhere Nehco was a Jewish nickname for that King meaning "The Lame One".  A source for this I now have, Page 93 of Disability and Isaiah's suffering Servant by Jeremy Shchiper.  The name is believed to reflect him having some sort of disability, perhaps one effecting his ablity to walk.  From Wikipedia about Ramses II's Mummy.
In Paris, fungus was found attacking Ramesses's mummy and killed. During the examination, scientific analysis revealed battle wounds, old fractures, arthritis and poor circulation.
Ramesses II's arthritis is believed to have made him walk with a hunched back for the last decades of his life.[Bob Brier, The Encyclopedia of Mummies, Checkmark Books, 1998, p. 153.] A recent study excludedankylosing spondylitis as a possible cause.[Can. Assoc. Radiol. J. 2004 Oct;55(4):211–7, PMID 15362343.] 
 As far as Herodotus knowing him by the same name, he often got names wrong, and he was accused by Manetho and others of outright lying. Either directly or indirectly he could have heard the name from a Jewish source, or another Semitic one.  And then heard he was named after his grandfather and just assumed that was the same name he knew him by.

Supporters of conventional chronology love to insist that generally only the Insybya (USER-MAAT-RE Setep-en-Re for Ramses II) and Nomen (RAMESES Mery-Amun Nutjer Heqa-Iunu. for Ramses II) were ones the Pharaoh was generally refereed to buy, especially by foreigners. But given our lack of total information that's frankly an assumption. Maybe scholars have decided that simply because those two names are often best the ones that verify conventional chronology.

They've also claimed my two potential Necho sources here are names all or most Pharaoh's of the period had so it's be useless in identifying which Pharaoh. Thing is I don't believe identification was the intent in the Biblical accounts at all, I believe both Biblical accounts were written soon after the events happened, their original readers would have known who without issue. Notice how Pharaoh and Necho are often put together as if they're one word Pharaohnecho.

In fact it's primarily because of The Bible modern society is so used to calling the rulers of Egypt Pharaoh.  That wasn't really a thing in ancient Egypt, the word Pharaoh comes from a title of the King's Royal Palace.  So it really was similar to referring to a United States Presidential administration as The White House.

On Shishak and Agag

Shoshenk's City List
Shoshenk I campaign into Palestine: His city list is an imitation of that of Thutmoses III but very instructive. The first 9 names are the `Nine Bows', #10 is the introduction saying simply "List of the towns". They are: 11=Gaza, 12=Makkedah, 13=Rubuti, 14=Aijalon, 15=Kiriathaim?, 16=Beth- horon, 17=Gibeon, 18=Mahanaim, 19=Shaud[y], 20=?, 21=Adoraim, 22=Hapharaim, 23=Rehob, 24=Betshan, 25= Shunem, 26=Taanach, 27=Megiddo, 28=Adar, 29=Yadhamelek, 30=[Heb]el?, 31=Honim?, 32=Aruna, 33=Borim, 34=Gathpadalla, 35=Yahma, 36=Betharuma, 37=Kekry, 38=Socoh, 39=Bethappuah... Between #17 & 18 should be Jerusalem by sequence if that is where he went according to conventional history, 1.Kings 14:25-26 & 2.Chronicles 12:2-9. In fact he went no where near there.

Kadesh comes from Qdsh, the Hebrew word for Holy, it applied to many cities in the region, to assume Egyptian records always meant the same one is naive, The Bible repeatedly refers to Jerusalem as Holy.

While the "n" is sometimes dropped from Shoshenk, it never is in inscriptions recognizing him from this region.

It is well known that the later Egyptian pharaohs had as many as five names. Now Birch has noted in this regard that "... the (Golden) Horus names of Thutmose III comprise variations on: Tcheser-khau, Djeser-khau, Cheser-khau, (Sheser-khau?);" names that come very close indeed to "Shishak" (Hebr. qwaOwi) according to Birch. Nor do these names have the problem of the presence of the letter "n" as found greatly complicating discussions on the name Shoshenq's appropriateness for "Shishak". Regarding the succession of consonants - considered much more important than the changeable vowels in ancient names - we get for Sheser-kau the pattern, Sh-S-K, corresponding almost exactly to Sh-Sh-K, and more suitable than Shoshenq (Sh-Sh-N-K). And since an R is dropped in getting Ozymandias from the Throne Name of Ramses II I see no reason to make that an objection here.

As far as whether or not that's a normal name for a foreigner to call that pharaoh by, again the Bible is often abnormal, Shishak works well as a Hebrew pun, for example it's similar to Jeramiah's code for Babylon.

Among the Treasures looted from Tuthmosis's campaign are many matching relics of Solomon's Temple including the Menorah.
There are a lot of ideas on this site I like. But plenty that annoy me, like Hatshepsut as Sheba but especially Solomon as Senenmut.

In the textbooks, that equate Sosenk I with the biblical Shishak, it is pharaoh Osorkon IV - or his (Nubian) general (un-named) - who is usually regarded as "Zerah the Ethiopian" who, in c.897 BC, attacked king Asa of Jerusalem with a massive army of Ethiopians and Libyans, but was soundly defeated by the Jewish king (2 Chronicles 14:9-15). Velikovsky had synchronized this biblical incident with the reign of the belligerent Amenhotep II (son of Thutmose III, Velikovsky's "Shishak") whom he equated with Zerah. Whilst I completely accept Velikovsky's dating here, I believe that his attempts to 'prove' that pharaoh Amenhotep II had Ethiopian blood flowing in his veins was not quite convincing.

Nor does the Bible say that Zerah was even a pharaoh; nor that he led native Egyptian troops. I, for my part, prefer to equate Zerah with Amenhotep's old friend, User-tatet, Nubian (Ethiopian) commander. I do not think that it is stretching the imagination too far to believe that Semites - who in the EA letters called Akhnaton, Naphuria, from his coronation name, Nepher-kheperura - could have turned User into Zerah. Moreover, we know from the Egyptian records that User-tatet did campaign in the vicinity of Maresha, in the Shephelah plain of Israel (given in the Egyptian records as Retenu - and distinguished from Upper Retenu, or the hill country). The Egyptian records, as it is thought, are not going to record any military defeat.

Now that I've synchronized Tuthmosis III's Kadesh campaign with the 5th year of Rehoboam, lining up Biblical dates with 18th Dynasty dates we get the final overthrow of the Hycsos in the same year the Amalekites attacks Ziklag and David became king. And the overthrow of Apepi is about 10-11 years before that, which is only a year or to before when Saul was sent to war against Agag.

I agree with Ages in Chaos about Agag being Apepi,

The early Hebrew written signs as they are preserved on the STELE OF MESHA show a striking resemblance BETWEEN THE LETTERS G (GIMEL) AND P (PEI). NO OTHER LETTERS are so much alike in shape as these: each is an oblique line connected to a shorter, more oblique line, and is similar to the written number 7, THE SIZE. OF THE ANGLE BETWEEN THE TWO OBLIQUE LINES CONSTITUTES THE ONLY DIFFERENCE.

Nevertheless, it seems that not the Hebrew reading but rather the EGYPTIAN MUST BE CORRECTED....Almost EVERY hieroglyphic consonant [Egyptian] stands for MORE THAN ONE SOUND, and only empirically are all the sounds symbolized by a consonant found.
but I don't agree with how this is presented in many other theories were Saul's war with him is the same battle as when the Thebans overthrew him.

Apepi seems to have been a usurper to begin with.

Apepi is thought to have usurped the throne of northern Egypt after the death of his predecessor, Khyan, since the latter had designated his son, Yanassi, to be his successor on the throne as a foreign ruler.
Ryholt, p.256
Who knows maybe neither his predecessor or successor where even Amalekites but of other Hyksos tribes.

Velikovsky and others are wrong in citing Genesis 14 as proving the Amalekites existed already before Esau/Edom. The reference to them there is an editorial note form Moses, telling his reader where on the Geography their familiar with he's referring to. Like how we after say "near modern _____".

So when it was his tyrannical behavior, particularly killing Seqenenre Tao, sparked the Theban revolution, I suspect the other Hyksos leaders overthrew him with a coup and banished him. He then with whatever supporters he had (mainly the fellow Amalekites) and set himself up a new home base in southern Israel.

Saul's refusal to simply kill Agag as ordered may have been politically motivated, seeing Agag as a useful hostage. Now if as generally thought he was just a leader of violent nomads I don't see him being to useful. But if he was an exiled former Pharaoh of Egypt? That makes sense. I Samuel 30 records an Amalekite having an Egyptian slave.

The timing also makes Tuthmosis I the Pharaoh when Solomon began his reign, and this who's Daughter Solomon married.
Nefrubity (Akhbetneferu) was an ancient Egyptian princess of the 18th dynasty. She was the daughter of Pharaoh Thutmose I and Ahmose, the sister of Hatshepsut and the half-sister of Thutmose II, Wadjmose and Amenmose.
Aidan Dodson & Dyan Hilton: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson, 2004, ISBN 0-500-05128-3 p.140

She is depicted with her parents in Hatshepsut's Deir el-Bahari mortuary temple, then vanishes. It is assumed that she died young.
Dodson & Hilton, p.130
Joyce Tyldesley: Queens of Egypt. 2006
The assumption she died young is of course I feel a false one. She disappears from Egyptian records because she was married to Solomon and after that remained in Israel.

Where I differ from Velikovsky

I agree with the basic pillars of Immanuel Velikovsky's Egyptian chronology (Middle Kingdom Exodus with the Hyksos invading some time after the Red Sea incident, Thuthmosis III as Shishak, El Amarna era during the divided Kingdom, Ramses II as Necho, Ramses III as Nectenbos of Diodorus with the Prstt being the Persian Empire and Sea Peoples as Ionian Greeks, The Maunier Stele depicts Alexander's visit to the Siwa Oasis).

 I don't agree with his weird theories about the planets though.

Rohl I don't agree with on Egyptian chronology, but I like his identification of Enmerkar with Nimrod and Eridu with Babel and have written my own study on that subject.

I do want to discus some of the details of Velikovsky and his contemporary supporters' model I disagree with.

On the Hyksos Amalekites connection which I've touched on elsewhere I just want to say I feel it's not that simple. The Hyksos were many tribes of Asiatic peoples. They included the Amalekites and possibly other Edomite tribes (I think the king remembered by Greek myth as Belus was an Edomite King connected in some way to Bela son of Beor of Genesis 36:32&33), I think they had a Midianite aspect too (Hor II of the 13th Dynasty I think was the Midanite king Hur mentioned in The Bible). Archaeology clearly shows they had an Amorite aspect at all.

The most prominent is Hatshepsut as the Queen of Sheba. If she was an Egyptian queen The Bible wouldn't have obscured that, it dealt with Solomon's interactions with Egypt unambiguously both before and after this. Also since Tuthmosis I must be the Pharaoh who's daughter Solomon married, Hatshepsut was her Sister. If this Queen was Solomon's sister in law that wouldn't been overlooked.

Yeshua calls her the "Queen of The South" in Matthew 12:42 and Luke 11:31. And then Daniel 11 is cited where the "King of The South" is consistently Egypt. South in Biblical geography is south of Israel/Jerusalem, in the context of Alexander's successors only Ptolemy is south of Israel, and Egypt was the core of his Kingdom but not all of it.

There are three Shebas on the Table of Nations, Two in Genesis 10 and another being Abrahamic. The two in Genesis 10 are one Hamitic/Cushite and the other Semitic/Joktanite. But in both I Kings 10 and II Chronicles 11 the Queen of Sheba narrative is linked to Ophir another Joktanite name. And the other two Shebas are virtually inseparable from the Dedan who is their brother, but no Dedan is alluded to here.

Serious Archaeologists all know that Sheba was the name of a Kingdom in southern Arabia, modern Yemen. ( Israel Finkelstein, Neil Asher Silberman,David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition p. 167). The Saba that was a capital of Nubia/Ethiopia didn't appears till very late, Meroë was their Capital until after the fall of the 25th Dynasty (When Nubia ruled Egypt). The Cushite Sheba of Genesis 10 I believe settled in Ancient India where he was deified as Shiva and his rather Ramaah as Rama an avatar of Vishnu.

I do believe the Ark of the Covenant came to Ethiopia. But the Menelik legend is propaganda created by the Christian Auxomite kings to give them a Biblical lineage. I believe Graham Hancock and Bob Cornuke's theory for how it got there. First being at Elephantine island from sometime after King Manasseh's reign of terror to the time of Cambyses.

The Arabic traditions of Balqis/Bilqis/Bilquis did exist in Pre-Islamic times (Mohammed didn't really come up with much of anything new) and so have good reason to be viewed as more Ancient and Valid then the purely invented Ethiopian legend.

I do believe Hatshepsut probably visited Solomon also. The Bible says many rulers come to visit Solomon and witness his Wisdom. The Queen of Sheba is singled out NOT because she's the most important by secular standards, but because she became a Saved individual, so Yeshua cited her as such.

So I do agree that Punt was an Egyptian name for Canaan/Israel. And I don't think the similarity between Make-Ra (A name of Hatshepsut) and Makeda (The name of the Queen of Sheba in the Ethiopian traditions) is a coincidence. I think various Egytpian Jews, first at Elephantine and then latter in Alexandria and the Onias colony, drew the same false conclusion and began giving her that name. And this may have influenced Josephus who was very familiar with Alexandrian Jewish traditions.

El Amarna period.

I agree with Velikovsky's on Jehoshaphat as Ebed-Tov/Abdi-Heba King of Jerusalem and Mesha King of Moab with the Mesh of the Amarna letters. The Amarna letters also lsit 3 of the Captains of Jehoshaphat from II Chronicles 17:14-19. Addudani/Addadani=Adna and Ada-danu mentioned by Shalmaneser in 825 BC, "Son of Zuchru" = "son of Zichri", Iahzibada=Iehozabad/Jehozabad.

And I agree about the Habiru being bandits or mercenaries, not an ethnic term.

But his identity for Ahab is very problematic. Gubla is the Amarna letters name for Byblos not Jezreel. So Rib-Addi/Rib-Hadda was not Israelite.

Labaya I feel is logically is Ahab, (or whoever the Northern Kingdom ruler was at the time). The whole Jezebel-Nefertiti connection suggested by SpecialtyInterests I don't like however.

Velikovsky's references to "Sodomites" is really weird, he's unaware that that is a reference to Sodom only in English.

Velikovsky did NOT believe in the infallibility of Scripture. Which of course is an assumption many critics of revised chronology make about all revised chronologists. This fact about him is most apparent in the part of Age sin Chaos about the Death of Ahab. He basis it on what he saw as a contradiction between this verse.

II Kings 1:17 "So he died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; because he had no son."

And these two verses.

II Kings 3:1 "Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years."

II Kings 8:16 "And in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being then king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign."

There is no contradiction here however, he'd know this if he'd studied Ussher's chronology. Jehoshaphat made his son a co ruler for the latter years of his reign, this is why the 18th year of Jehoshaphat can also be the second year of Jehoram.

As for the fact that Ahab did Repent after Elijah rebuked him over the Naboth business. That was negated when Ahab sinned again believing the False Prophets over Micaiah.

But Velikovsky creates a whole convoluted theory that Ahab survived the battle of Ramoth-Gilead and lived another 9 years.

Mesha of Moab's rebellion was right after Israel's defeat at Ramoth-Gilead, Velikovsky sees the Moabite stone documenting this event as saying it was in the Middle of Ahab's reign, not after he died. First off the stone sounds like he's relating a Prophesy made by a Prophet of Chemosh, who's Prophecy may have came true not not completely accurately. But also if it was made immediately at the start of the rebellion he may not have heard of Ahab's death yet.

Regardless of those arguments, not all readings of the Mesha Stele even agree with the one Velikovsky used to support his theory.

The Denyen of the Greek Islands

I said I agreed about the Prstt being the Persian Empire and Sea Peoples as Ionian Greeks. But his Identity of the "Peoples of the Islands" the Denyen as Athens I think is silly. The Denyen are also in the Amarna letters where they are in northern Syria, very northern, by the modern Turkish border. Associated with Hammath. Their also identified with Adana is Cilicia.

"And of Dan he said, Dan is a lion's whelp: he shall leap from Bashan." Deuteronomy 33:22

The Tribe of Dan originally settled north of the Philistine Lands, around the port city of Joppa/Jaffa modern Tel-Aviv. The books of Joshua and Judges both record events when Danites left their allotted land traveled north conquered a city and renamed it Dan.

"And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father." Joshua 19:47

The Judges 18 account, where the City is Laish, is often assumed to be the same event. There are however several differences between the two accounts:

1. In the Book of Joshua the children of Dan had received an inheritance in the south but it was insufficient for them and so they went to fight against Leshem. In Judges though the Danites were in the region of Zorah and Eshtaol (in the south) they had yet not taken possession of their own.

2. In Judges, at least at first, only six hundred went forth after receiving the report of a reconnoitering mission: on the other hand, the Book of Joshua may be understood to say that all (or nearly all) of Dan went to fight.

3. In the Book of Joshua the city taken is called Leshem: In Judges the city is called LAISH. Some Commentators have tried to state that "Leshem" and "Laish" are different forms of the same word but "leshem" in Hebrew is a type of precious stone (maybe amber) while "laish" means a young male lion.

The Joshua account refers to the Dan that is frequently used as an idiom of the Northern Border of the Kingdom, where Jeroboam built one of his Idols, and which on the map of modern Israel is in the Golan heights on the Lebanon border.

The Judges event is clearly much further north. They encountered Sidonians, but those Sidonians are also implied to be far from home. Laish is also know as Luash and the Danites who migrated there became known as Dananu.

The king of Sma'al in the valley north of ASI (Orontes embouchemont) on the edge of LUASH (LIASH) called himself "KING of the DANIM" i.e. of the Danes of Dan. The Danes (Dananu) also controlled the neighbouring area of Cilicia and at one stage their capital was Adana by Tarsis of Cilicia and their suzerainity reached as far north as Karatepe. A bi-lingual inscription of theirs found at Karatepe employs a Phoenician type of Hebrew and a version of Hittite. Branches of the Hittites in Anatolia neighboured the Dananu of Cilicia. This northern portion of Dan is referred to variously as Dananu, Danau, Denye, Denyen, Danuna.

Above I've borrowed a great deal from Britam's "Dan and the Serpent Way" study. I don't agree with all of Britam's premise obviously, or any other form of British Israelism, but Dan does have a unique history.

Secular scholars agree on connecting the Denyen to the Tribe of Dan, you can read about it on Wikipedia's Denyen and Dan pages, but the sequence is reversed.  They believe the Denyen traveled south and became incorporated into the Hebrew confederation. This supports their desire to claim that the various Tribes of Israel didn't even really have a common origin. Traditional chronology makes that argument easy for them but still doesn't make the Biblical picture impossible. But revised chronology makes it indisputable which Dan came first.

The connection Dan has to Greece, is Biblically alluded to in Ezekiel 27.