Friday, April 25, 2014

Hatshepsut was not the Queen of Sheba

This is my most unique quality as a supporter of the basic Velikovsky model starting with Tuthmosis III as Shishak.  I seem to be the lone voice in the wilderness on this particular pairing of beliefs.

If the Queen of Sheba 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 (Nefrubity is my hunch on that), Hatshepsut was her full blooded Sister. If this Queen was Solomon's sister in law that is a strange thing to overlook.

Shishak is Tuthmosis III, his invasion of Retenu that corresponds to Shishak's taking Jerusalem was in the first year of his sole reign (21st year total).  Which means over 5 years earlier when Jeroboam fled to Egypt was while Hatshepsut was still alive.

The visit of the Queen of Sheba I believe is meant to be understood as taking place very near the events of the previous chapter, 1 Kings 9.  Which opens about 24 years into Solomon's 40 year reign.  Which means timing wise it's either before Tuthmosis II died or very early in Hatshepsut's reign.  The reigning Pharaoh of Egypt is mentioned in the prior chapter, it might seem the Kings narrative isn't consistent with this being no longer the same Pharaoh who's daughter Solomon married, but I don't think that's a big deal.  The Biblical authors I think weren't always concerned with distinguishing different Pharaohs.  But a Pharaoh of Egypt they always refereed to as Pharaoh.

Hatsheput like other Egyptian Queens ruled as if she were a man.  And the term Pharaoh that the Bible uses was actually to the Royal Palace.  So I really would not expect The Bible to refer to Hatsheput any differently then it would a male Pharaoh.

The Punt expedition was in Hatsheput's Eight year.  So it's too late.

Jesus calls her the "Queen of The South" in Matthew 12:42 and Luke 11:31.  Daniel 11 is cited where the "King of The South" is consistently Egypt.  So this correlation is the start of attempts to argue she was an Egyptian queen.

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 though not all of it. But without that context South by no means always means Egypt, and usually refers to further south then that.  In Jesus' time I'm inclined to think South of anything Rome ruled might have been the context.  And Rome ruled Egypt at that time.

The word translated South in Daniel 11 (Negev) isn't the only Hebrew word used to communicate the idea of the South, there at least three others.   Jesus I believe was actually speaking the above quote in Hebrew, but we have no idea if he used the same word.  And I argued in one Bible study that it's used of Egypt there only when the Ptolemies ruled the Negev desert.

Another Hebrew word for South is Teman, which is interesting since Temani is also a name used of Yemenite Jews, not unlike Germanic Jews being Ashkenazim after Ahskenaz ben Gomer.  In fact there is an argument to be made for the name Yemen itself coming from Teman/Teyman.  Espically given the tendency of Hebrew naming to treat the Y/I/J and T as interchangeable, examples Yeshua/Teshua, Yerekh/Terekh, and Judas/Thadeus.  And another word for South used in Yamen, derived from Yam.

Velikovsky unintentionally argued once that Mount Sinai was in Yemen.  What's interesting about that is Habbukah 3:3 is a verse that parallels the reference to Seir and Sinai in Deuteronomy 33, that possibly justifies using Teman as a name for where Sinai is.

Then Josephus (Antiquities of The Jews Book 8 Chapter 6 Section 5) is cited.  I'll address why I think Josephus was mistaken on this later.  But the point here is that Josephus is a good source for history near contemporary to himself.   But before the Hellenistic era he screws many things up (including the Persian King Esther married).  The farther back he goes the more he's basing his Extra-Biblical information on legends of questionable reliability.  In fact this very section of Josephus is totally absurd and he admits dependence on Herodotus.  He acts like Pharaoh was an actual name the Pharaoh's used like Caesar.

There are three Shebas in the Table of Nations, Two in Genesis 10 and another being Abrahamic (of Keturah). 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.  I think Bill Cooper's biggest mistakes in After The Flood's appendices are in how he dealt with the repeat names.

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).

Do not think that the Ancient Yemenite kingdom who's capital was Ma'rib is called Sheba only because of a desire to put that Biblical identification on it.  They are known by that name independent of Biblical or Judeo-Christian influences.

Res Gestae Divi Augusti paragraph 26.5, (a funeral inscription of Augustus).
"By my command and under my auspices two armies were led at about the same time into Ethiopia and into Arabia, which is called the Blessed [?]. Great forces of each enemy people were slain in battle and several towns captured. In Ethiopia the advance reached the town of Nabata, which is close to Meroe; in Arabia the army penetrated as far as the territory of the Sabaeans and the town of Ma'rib."
This reference could interestingly make Ma'rib as far South as Roman armies ever went.

They were a seafaring people and were known to have had significant trade with the Northeast African kingdom of Dʿmt, across the Red Sea in Somalia, Eritrea, the only other source of both frankincense and myrrh.  But the desire to use that African connection to make Axum or Nubia part of what's defined as Sheba is horribly flawed, those kingdoms were no where near those coastal lands.

The Yemen region was a place many Jews fled to following the fall of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms in the 8th-6th centuries BC.   The Lemba tribe used to live in Yemen according to their oral history.

Very early on in Church History the Gospel came to this region.  Among those who became Christians were the Ghassanids, who later migrated north and became a significant Arab-Christian Kingdom in roughly modern Jordan.

The famous Arabic proverb “They were scattered like the people of Saba” refers to them and other tribes of the Yemen region leaving after the destruction of the Ma'rib Dam.

The ancient Nubian city of Saba (which was later renamed Meroe during the time of Cambyses) I feel probably got that name not from a Sheba but from Cush's son Seba/Sebah.  In English that name looks very similar to Sheba, and they could also transliterate into African languages similarly, but in Hebrew they begin with a different letter.  Isaiah 43 refers to "Seba and Ethipoia" after mentioning Egypt, in a context where by Seba it could mean a city or region in Ethiopia.  And Ethipoia/Cush linked to Egypt in this way always means the Nubian civilization just to the south of Egypt.

Seba and Sheba are mentioned next to each other in the Messianic Kingdom Psalm 72 verse 10.  "The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts."  The point here I think is nations that Israel's contact with was by Sea bringing gifts to The Messiah.  Tarshish and it's isles (British isles) to the west, and Seba and Sheba are both through the Red Sea port, in that context Yemen or India could work for Sheba while Seba is Nubia.

The Cushite Sheba of Genesis 10 I believe settled in Ancient India where he was deified as Shiva and his father Ramaah as Rama an avatar of Vishnu.  Rama and his wife Sita had two sons just like Ramaah.  One of those sons was named Kush.  So the Indian mythology has confused the genealogy over the ages, but I believe that's where Ramaah and his sons went.

The Sheba and Dedan of Keturah I think probably lived in northern Saudi Arabia like the other Keturite tribes.  They are probably the Sabeans who are mentioned in Job.

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 to the time of Cambyses, then was on Tana Kirkos until the Auxomite Kingdom took it.  The Menilik legend was invented by the Auxomite Kings as propaganda do give them a Biblical;y significant Royal lineage (making them Davidic kings).  The Jews of Ethiopia do not believe that story at all.

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.  However the details of the Bilqis legend as presented in the Koran and other surviving Arabic sources do not seem credible.  I would not bet on that actually being her original real name.  But if I wrote any fiction based on this I'd probably use something like it.

 I do believe Hatshepsut probably visited Solomon also. The Bible says many rulers came 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.  Which is why Jesus cited her as such alongside the "men of Nineveh" who believed the message of Jonah.

That's the biggest problem to me actually, Hatshepsut was a faithful worshiper of the Egyptian gods to the end, no evidence she responded to Solomon how the Queen of Sheba did.

Actually, back to Psalm 72.  It's also called a Psalm of Solomon, because Solomon foreshadowed the Messianic Kingdom.  So the Sheba and Sebah reference could show both Ethiopia and Sheba had rulers visit Solomon, but they were distinct from each other.

Strictly speaking, what we call the Nubian civilization was kind of born around 800 BC.  During the Old and Middle Kingdom as well as early 18th Dynasty, the civilization in that region was Kerma.  During the reign of Tuthmosis I Kerma was conquered by Egypt, and campaigns further south were carried out during the reign of Hatshepsut.  So yes, the logic for saying Hatshepsut could be called a Queen of Ethiopia is justifiable.

 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 Egyptian Jews, first at Elephantine and then later in Alexandria and the Onias colony (and maybe much later Coptic Christians), drew the same conclusion Velikovsky thinks they did, and began giving The Queen of Sheba that name (adjusting it to remove the pagan god). And this may have influenced Josephus who was very familiar with Alexandrian Jewish traditions.

I can't make up my mind if I feel the Punt expedition was her visit to Solomon.  The arguments for it being synonymous with or part of Retenu (the Egyptian name for Canaan) are valid, but so are plenty of arguments for it being in the South. Maybe there was more then one land called Punt and "God's Land", after all the Egyptians believed in more then one god.  Maybe even her specific Punt expedition was to more then one place.

The fact that Parahu and Ati (of the Punt expedition) are often refereed to as King and Queen is based on creative assumptions.  Breasted translated Parahu's title as "Chief" and refereed to Ati only as his wife.

Velikovsky saw Parahu as being Paruah father of Jehosophat governor of Issachar from 1 Kings 4:17.  Numbers 26:23 dealing with the offspring of Issachar says "Of the sons of Issachar after their families: of Tola, the family of the Tolaites: of Pua, the family of the Punites:"  So maybe the Punite clan has something to do with where the name Punt came from.

But there are also Pre-Islamic Arabian legends that say the Sheba kingdom of Yemen once had a ruler named Phar’an or "Pharaoh" who annexed Ophir and Havilah.  But after that King Sheba was ruled only by Women.

Genesis 10:30 referring to the sons of Joktan including Sheba, Ophir and Havilah settling near a mountain called Sephar. That mountain is Mount Zafar in the hear of Yemen, where the Capital of the Himyarite kingdom was.  Also the Kingdom of Hadramaut came from Joktan's son Hazarmaveth.

The idea of Punt being the same as Sheba is suggested in Nicholas Clapp's book about Sheba.

Tuthmosis III had three mysteries foreign wives.  Menhet, Menqi and Merti.  All three seem to have been Semitic.  Two are said to be West Semitic, the idea that they could be daughters of Solomon or Rehoboam or Jeroboam I find interesting.  I have also read it suggested that one could have been from Sheba, and thus used to support the idea of Punt being Sheba.

Also, while this is mostly irrelevant to the actual study here.  I feel like saying that I also disapprove of the desire to interpret Solomon and Sheba as Romantically and/or Sexually involved with each other.  The Bible gives no hints of that, the fact that it nearly universally happens in Extra-Biblical expansions just speaks the problems society has with gender relations.

Update: A follow up I did about the Magi.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

About Ahab, Labaya, Mesha and the Amarna era.

I agree with Velikovsky's argument 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 list 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.

One objection to the proposed model is that during the Amarna period Burnaburiash, king of Karduniash and Assur-uballit, king of Assyria, are already identified as Burnaburiash II, a Kassite king, and Assur-uballit I, King of Assyria, who lived in the 14th century. Unfortunately, this synchronism is just coincidental and has hampered the uncovering of the true situation. The identification Of Burnaburiash as a Kassite has great difficulties. Amarna Burnaburiash, proclaimed himself to be a 'Great King', and claimed Assyrians were his subjects (Letter 9). Burnaburiash II, the Kassite king, never ruled over Assyria nor referred to himself as 'Great King'. The identification of Amarna Assur-uballit has equal difficulties. The Armana Assur-uballit's father was Assur-nadin-ahhe but no ancestor of King Assur-uballit I of Assyria was known by that name. Furthermore, Assuruballit's role as spoiler of Shuttarna II, the Mitanni King is doubtful. The Mitanni king forced his vassals to pay him tribute to give to an unnamed Assyrian king.  According to Roux "Without shooting an arrow, Assur-uballit I not only freed his country from the Mitanni domination but brought about the downfall of the kingdom to which his fathers had paid tribute" [Roux, G. p260]. History shows that Assur-uballit I was a vassal of the Hurrians who ruled Nuzi and Arraphka only a few miles from Asshur. His inscriptions never mentioned any tribute from Khanigalbat, nor did he use the title 'Great King' or 'King of the Universe' as his Amarna namesake did. Gadd has to admit that it is strange history to receive rewards for rebellion -"the wealth, the princes and even the territory of his former sovereign" - instead of punishment [Gadd, 1975, p. 27].

Who, then, is Burnaburiash? The Burnaburiash of the el-Amarna letters ruled Babylon sometime in 910-880 RC. When Babylonian king, Nabu-apla-iddina, died about 910 BIC, his son, Marduk-zakir-shumi, ascended the throne. His brother Marduk-Bel-usate rebelled against him and he was forced to call on Shalmaneser III to help him. Shalmaneser defeated Marduk-Bel-usate and then "joined Babylonia and Assyria together". Thus, Shalmaneser III was the king of Babylon during the Amarna era. This agrees with Velikovsky's identification [Velikovsky, 1952]. Many kings who conquered foreign lands took another name. It is possible that Shalmaneser took the name Burnaburiash as king of Babylon. Shalmaneser III also took the titles 'Great King', 'King of the Universe' [Oppenheim, 1969a, p.233]. Thus he meets the conditions necessary for the Amarna king, Burnaburiash.

A seal of Kidin-Marduk, son of Sa-ilima-damqa, 'the Great Official of Burnaburiash', the 'King of All', was found in Mycenaean strata at Thebes Greece [Bacon, 1971, p.87]. This stratum is Mycenaean. Its Burnaburiash belongs to the Amarna era and per RC must be Shalmaneser III. Archaeologists found lapis lazuli and agate cylinder seals in the same strata [Platon, N. 1964. p.859-61]. The seals were classified as Mycenaean, Kassite/Babylonian of the 14th century and older Babylonian. One was classified as Mitannian and another was Syro-Hittite. According to the RC model, the Mitannian, Syro-Hittite and Mycenaean era is the 10th and 9th century but the Kassite and older Babylonian seals are dated to the 14th and 15th century. But, Sa-ilima-damqa is a very rare name. It is found in Assyria during only one reign, that of Assurnasirpal. He is the eponym for year 880 GAD. His son Kidin-Marduk is the same generation as Shalmaneser III. Thus, the Kassite and older Babylonian seals are not a product of 14th century Babylon but the 9th century.

In Shalmaneser's 6th year, he faced a coalition of forces headed by a commander named Biridri. The coalition included Aduni and Matinu-Baal and the Prince of Asu [Oppenheim, 1969a]. Velikovsky identifies Biridia in the Amarna period as the Commandant of Meggido. He notes a King Aduni mentioned in Letter 75; a Mut-Baal sender of Letter 255; and in Letter 150, Abimilki, King of Tyre, mentions Uzu [Velikovsky, 1952, pp. 310-11]. Hittite King, Suppilulimas I wrote a congratulatory letter to Pharaoh Tutankhamun who could be Saplel, King of Hattina, mentioned in Shalmaneser's annals [Oppenheim, 1969b] These Syrian rulers appear both in the Amarna letters and the 9th century annals of Shalmaneser III. Lastly, in Letter 55 to Akhenaten, Abimilki, king of Tyre, refers to himself three times as the "servant of Shalmatiata". The fall of Tyre to Shalmaneser in year 18, 897 BIC, agrees with the date of the Letter 155 in the reign of Akhenaten is 898-882 RC.

Burnaburiash's Amarna (Letter 9) complained of Egypt's reception of the Assyrian king because he had asked Egypt to stop trade with him in a prior letter [Oppenheim, 1967, p. 116]. Burnaburiash's claim that Assyrians were his subjects and his objection to Egypt's recognition of the Assyrians are consistent only if Assyria was in revolt against him at that time. It was led initially by Assur-danin-apli, son of Shalmaneser. Shalmaneser was forced to seek refuge in Babylon. After his death, his son, Shamsi-Adad V, fought for several years to quell the rebellion. During that time, a non-canonical Assur-uballit could have claimed the throne of Assyria, as 'King of All'.

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

In an earlier post I said I disagreed with Velikovsky's identification for the Northern Kingdom ruler and went along with many others who insist Labaya must be the Northern Kingdom ruler. But I've gone over the arguments again and changed my mind.  Gubla is used of Byblos but also of other cities too. So now Rib-Addi king of Sumur and Gubla the Northern Kingdom Omrid ruler of Jezreel and Samaria I do agree with.

But I disagree on that being Ahab, since the Rebellion of "The people of Mesh" (Mesha and his Moabites) is going on right from the beginning of this period, we're in the reign of Jehoram not Ahab.

The whole Jezebel-Nefertiti connection suggested by SpecialtyInterests I don't like.

Who is Labaya then?

Labaya and his questionable behavior seems to have some link to the "people of the rebel Mesh".  2 Chronicles 20 says Ammonites were allied with Mesha's rebellion.  "It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle".  Shalmaneser records that at the Battle of Qargar "King Ba'asa, son of Ruhubi, of the land of Ammon sent 100 soldiers."  Note, "son of Ruhubi" here could mean "House of Ruhubi".  Labaya's son Mutbaal ruled in the Transjordan region, the geographical clues for Labaya himself are unclear and possibly misleading, Shechem was not his Capital as some have assumed for example.

On the other hand Labaya's role seems too duplicitous to be an obvious ally like the Amonites.   But I'm still leaning towards a Transjordan location.

On further thought I feel that's unlikely to.  Those who want to make Labaya a northern Kingdom ruler like to minimize the references to Shechem in the Labaya letter, saying they don't make Shechem his capital city but only that he's responsible for it.  But in my current view, I'm coming to think Maybe this is simply telling us Labaya is a governor entrusted with the city of Shechem, and maybe also areas around Shechem like Mount Gerizim and Ebal.

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 Ages in Chaos about the Death of Ahab. He takes it from what he saw as a contradiction between this verse.

The Tel Dan Stele discovered since Veilikovsky's time confirms Jehoram existed, but creates other confusion.

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 have known 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 Mesha's relating a Prophesy made by a Prophet of Chemosh, who's Prophecy may have came true but 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.  At any rate Ahab is not named on the Stone.

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

As for his argument that Rib-Addi refers to himself as an old man?  Solomon is called an old man when he died, but he never lived to see 60.  We don't know how old Jehoram was when he took the throne, but I think it likely all three of Ahab's named children where born before Omri died.  The context of the letter is mainly that he was in too poor health to travel to visit Pharaoh.  He could have been lying/making excuses and just didn't want to go to Egypt, or he could have had any number of illnesses or injuries.

As for his argument about there being not even enough time according to the Assyrian inscriptions of the reign of Shalmaneser between Qarqar (where an Ahab of Israel or Jezreel is mentioned) and when Jehu gave his tribute.  A few possibilities.

1. The two inscriptions could have been counting his reign differently, his becoming King of Babylon presents one excuse for different starting points.

2. Some have argued that Jehu is just an incomplete inscription of Jehoram.  Based on Jehu not being a son of Omri as the inscription says, and a purely conjectural opinion that Jehu wouldn't give tribute to Shalmaneser.  The latter argument however is a naive interpretation of Jehu's character.  And for the former, the Assyrians called the Northern Kingdom in general the "House of Omri" well after his dynasty ended.

3. The leaders Shalmaneser fought at Qargar he refers to in general as Sars (princes) and refers to no individual one by a specific title.  The Bible in this period uses Sars frequently of City governors, Assyrians never used Sar this way strictly, but this refers to foreign leaders here, who knows how accurate their info on their enemies even was.

Ahab had at least 70 sons we're told, only two are named, and probably neither of those even included in the referenced 70 who Jehu massacred at Jezreel.  Kings especially back then usually named at least one son after themselves.  And when you have that many your bound to run out of original ideas.  So I think the Ahab at Qarqar may actually have been a brother of the reigning King and son of Ahab who was appointed Sar of Jezreel and entrusted with some key military authority and thus also been the General sent to command Israel's contribution to the Qargar war.

Or maybe this Israelite Sar was simply refereed to as "Ben Ahab" (Son of Ahab)  but some poor communication caused the Assyrian record to only hear the Ahab part.

But also, I don't think Jehoram was that king's original birth name, Jezebel would not likely have given her Son a Yahweh theophoric name.  We are told Jerhoram broke with her Mother's religion and returned to the religion of Jeroboam (which I believe was never a non Yahweh religion, but simply worshiped him in an Idolatrous fashion).  So he may have taken the name Jehoram when he did that, but was at birth Ahab II.

Leaving Amarna now, lets go to other Egyptian material from the same period.

Shasu is a term used in the Soleb Temple built by Amenhotep III and latter copied by Seti I and Ramesses II.  The 19th Dynasty Pharaohs may not have accurately known what the various Shasus originally refereed to.

They're all in the Transjorabn region, the list mentions six groups of Shasu: the Shasu of S'rr, the Shasu of Rbn, the Shasu of Sm't, the Shasu of Wrbr, the Shasu of Yhw, and the Shasu of Pysps.  And there are also refrences elsewhere to a Shasu of Edom,  Since Seir was the holy mountain of Edom they're likely the same group.  The Shasu of Rbn I think is likely the tribe of Reuben.

 The "Shasu of Yhw" is popularly speculated as having something to do with the Biblical YHWH, and I indeed believe there were Yahweh worshipers in the Transjordan region at this time.  But this would be the only occasion where the name after Shasu refers to a deity they worship rather then a tribal or regional name.

I then thought, "Yhw is just as similar to Yhwo (Jehu) as it is to YHWH".  And Jehu was in Rammoth-Giliead, a Transjordan region, before he was anointed King and given his mission to overthrow the Omrids.  Maybe the Shasu of Yhw are the Shasu of Jehu, maybe Jehu was not his personal name but the name of a Clan he was the leader of?

For a different perspective you can read Amarna Names.  The least credible claim made there is Labaya as Mesha, but the argument for the name actually meaning "The Moabite" is interesting.  Now I have agreed here that Labaya was in cahoots with Mesha.  Maybe he was called the Moabite because he was ethnically Moabite or half Moabite?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The refrence to Chaneferre in Artapanus

Artapanus of Alexandria, was a Hellenistic Jewish writer who's works haven't survived directly, we know them form Eusebius and Clement of Alexandria quoting Alexander Polyhistor's quotations of him.

Sites on the subject of revised chronology make much of him referring to a Chaneferre as a Pharaoh linked to the life of Moses.  The name Chaneferre is very rare and can only be linked to 1 known Pharaoh,  Khaneferre Sobekhotep IV

While other facts far more solid then a much later Jewish writer reciting Extra-Biblical legends lend credence to looking for Moses in this period of the Thirteenth Dynasty, there is a major Problem with taking what we're told Artapanus said as face value.

Clement of Alexandria Stormata Book 1 Chapter 23.
And so Artapanus, in his work On the Jews, relates that Moses, being shut up in custody by Chenephres, king of the Egyptians, on account of the people demanding to be let go from Egypt, the prison being opened by night, by the interposition of God, went forth, and reaching the palace, stood before the king as he slept, and aroused him; and that the latter, struck with what had taken place, bade Moses tell him the name of the God who had sent him; and that he, bending forward, told him in his ear; and that the king on hearing it fell speechless, but being supported by Moses, revived again.
Eusebius  of Caesarea Praeparatio Evangelic Book 9 chapter 27
'AND Artapanus says, in his book Concerning the Jews, that after the death of Abraham, and of his son Mempsasthenoth, and likewise of the king of Egypt, his son Palmanothes succeeded to the sovereignty.
'This king behaved badly to the Jews; and first he built Kessa, and founded the temple therein, and then built the temple in Heliopolis.
'He begat a daughter Merris, whom he betrothed to a certain Chenephres, king of the regions above Memphis (for there were at that time many kings in Egypt); and she being barren took a supposititious child from one of the Jews, and called him Mouses (Moses): but by the Greeks he was called, when grown to manhood, Musaeus.
'And this Moses, they said, was the teacher of Orpheus; and when grown up he taught mankind many useful things. For he was the inventor of ships, and machines for laying stones, and Egyptian arms, and engines for drawing water and for war, and invented philosophy. Further he divided the State into thirty-six Nomes, and. appointed the god to be worshipped by each Nome, and the sacred writing for the priests, and their gods were cats, and dogs, and ibises: he also apportioned an especial district for the priests.
'All these things he did for the sake of keeping the sovereignty firm and safe for Chenepbres. For previously the multitudes, being under no order, now expelled and now set up kings, often the same persons, but sometimes others.
'For these reasons then Moses was beloved by the multitudes, and being deemed by the priests worthy to be honoured like a god, was named Hermes, because of his interpretation of the Hieroglyphics.
'But when Chenephres perceived the excellence of Moses he envied him, and sought to slay him on some plausible pretext. And so when the Aethiopians invaded Egypt, Chenephres supposed that he had found a convenient opportunity, and sent Moses in command of a force against them, and enrolled the body of husbandmen for him, supposing that through the weakness of his troops he would easily be destroyed by the enemy.
'But Moses with about a hundred thousand of the husbandmen came to the so-called Nome of Hermopolis, and there encamped; and sent generals to pre-occupy the country, who gained remarkable successes in their battles. He adds that the people of Heliopolis say that this war went on for ten years.
'So Moses, because of the greatness of his army, built a city in this place, and therein consecrated the ibis, because this bird kills the animals that are noxious to man. And he called it Hermes' city.
'Thus then the Aethiopians, though they were enemies, became so fond of Moses, that they even learned from him the custom of circumcision: and not they only, but also all the priests.
'But when the war was ended, Chenephres pretended to welcome him, while in reality continuing to plot against him. So he took his troops from him, and sent some to the frontiers of Aethiopia for an advanced guard; and ordered others to demolish the temple in Diospolis which had been built of baked brick, and build another of stone from the quarries of the neighbouring mountain, and appointed Nacheros superintendent of the building.
'And when he was come with Moses to Memphis, he asked him whether there was anything else useful for mankind, and he said the breed of oxen, because by means of them the land is ploughed: and Chenephres having given the name Apis to a bull, commanded the troops to found a temple for him, and bade them bring and bury there the animals which had been consecrated by Moses, because he wished to bury the inventions of Moses in oblivion. 'But when the Egyptians were alienated from him, he bound his friends by an oath not to report to Moses the plot which was being contrived against him, and he appointed the men who were to kill him.
'When however no one would obey him, Chenephres reproached Chanethothes, whom he had especially addressed; and he, on being thus reproached, promised to make the attempt when he found an opportunity.
'And Merris having died about this time, Chenephres professed to give the body to Moses and Chanethothes to carry it over into regions beyond Egypt and bury it, supposing that Moses would be slain by Chanethothes.
'But while they were on the way, one of those who were cognizant of the plot reported it to Moses; and he being on his guard buried Merris himself, and called the river and the city thereby Meroe. And this Merris is honoured by the people of the country not less highly than Isis.
'Then Aaron the brother of Moses, having learned about the plot, advised his brother to flee into Arabia; and he took the advice, and sailed across the Nile from Memphis, intending to escape into Arabia.
'But when Chanethothes was informed of the flight of Moses, he lay in ambush intending to kill him; and when he saw him coming, he drew his sword against him, but Moses was too quick for him, and seized his hand, and drew his sword and slew Chanethothes.
'So he made his escape into Arabia, and lived with Raguel the ruler of the district, having married his daughter. And Raguel wished to make an expedition against the Egyptians in order to restore Moses, and procure the government for his daughter and son-in-law; but Moses prevented it, out of regard for his own nation: and Raguel forbidding him to march against the Arabs, ordered him to plunder Egypt.
'About the same time Chenephres died, having been the very first person attacked by elephantiasis; and he is said to have incurred this misfortune because he ordered the Jews to wear linen garments and not to wear woollen clothing, in order that they might be conspicuous, and be punished by him.
'But Moses prayed to God now at last to put an end to the sufferings of the tribes. And God being propitiated, fire, it is said, suddenly blazed up out of the earth, and went on burning though there was no wood nor any other fuel in the place. And Moses was frightened at the occurrence and took to flight; but a divine voice spake to him, to march against Egypt, and rescue the Jews and lead them into their old country.
'So he took courage and determined to lead a hostile force against the Egyptians: but first he came to his brother Aaron. And when the king of Egypt heard of the arrival of Moses, he called him before him, and asked what he had come for: and he said, Because the Lord of the world commanded him to deliver the Jews.
'And when the king heard this, he shut him up in prison. But when it was night, all the doors of the prison-house opened of their own accord, and of the guards some died, and some were sunk in sleep, and their weapons broken in pieces.
'So Moses passed out and came to the palace; and finding the doors opened he went in, and the guards here also being sunk in sleep he woke up the king. And he being dismayed at what had happened bade Moses tell him the name of the God who sent him, scoffing at him: but Moses bent down and whispered in his ear, and when the king heard it he fell speechless, but was held fast by Moses and came to life again.
'And he wrote the name in a tablet and sealed it up; and one of the priests who made light of what was written in the tablet was seized with a convulsion and died.
'Also the king told him to work some sign for him, and Moses threw down the rod which he held and turned it into a serpent; and when they were all frightened, he seized it by the tail and took it up, and made it a rod again.
'Then he went forth a little, and smote the Nile with the rod, and the river became flooded and deluged the whole of Egypt, and it was from that time its inundation began: and the water became stagnant, and stank, and killed all living things in the river, and the people were perishing of thirst.
'But when these wonders had been wrought, the king said that after a month he would let the people go, if Moses would restore the river to its proper state; and he smote the water again with his rod, and checked the stream.
'When this was done, the king summoned the priests from above Memphis, and said that he would kill them all, and demolish the temples, unless they also would work some wonder. And then they by some witchcraft and incantations made a serpent, and changed the colour of the river.
'And the king, being puffed up with pride at what was done, began to maltreat the Jews with every kind of vengeance and punishment. Then Moses, seeing this, both wrought other signs, and also smote the earth with his rod, and brought up a kind of winged animal to harass the Egyptians, and all their bodies broke out in boils. And as the physicians were unable to heal the sufferers, the Jews thus again gained relief.
'Again Moses by his rod brought up frogs, and besides them locusts and lice. And for this reason the Egyptians dedicate the rod in every temple, and to Isis likewise, because the earth is Isis, and sent up these wonders when smitten by the rod.
'But as the king still persisted in his folly, Moses caused hail and earthquakes by night, so that those who fled from the earthquake were killed by the hail, and those who sought shelter from the hail were destroyed by the earthquakes. And at that time all the houses fell in, and most of the temples.
'At last after having incurred such calamities the king let the Jews go: and they, after borrowing from the Egyptians many drinking-vessels, and no little raiment, and very much other treasure, crossed the rivers on the Arabian side, and after traversing a wide space came on the third day to the Red Sea.
'Now the people of Memphis say, that Moses being acquainted with the country waited for the ebb, and took the people across the sea when dry. But the people of Heliopolis say, that the king hastened after them with a great force, having also with him the consecrated animals, because the Jews were carrying off the property which they had borrowed from the Egyptians.
'There came, however, to Moses a divine voice bidding him to smite the sea with the rod [and that it should divide]: and when Moses heard it, he touched the water with the rod, and so the stream divided, and the force passed over by a dry path.
'But when the Egyptians went in with them and were pursuing them, a fire, it is said, shone out upon them from the front, and the sea overflowed the path again, and the Egyptians were all destroyed by the fire and the flood: but the Jews having escaped this danger spent forty years in the wilderness, God raining down meal for them like millet, similar in colour to snow. And Moses they say was tall and ruddy, with long white hair, and dignified: and he performed these deeds when he was about eighty-nine years old.'
 Khaneferre Sobekhotep only reigned about 10 years according to what we can gather from Archeological information.  Also his capital was the Fayum region, so saying he ruled only above Memphis doesn't work.  So maybe Artapanus knew something helpful that's since been lost, but his narrative is clearly exaggerated. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Abraham was from Urkesh not Sumeria.

It's a pretty controversial position to take, that the Ur Kassadim "Ur of the Chaldeans" Abraham came from wasn't Ur in Southern Mesopotamia, but a city in modern Turkey.
First I'll copy this information from the Urkesh Wikipedia Talk page.
The gratuitous polemic "There seems to be a need to prove that Urkesh was not Ur of the Chaldees" has no place in this article, since no such link can be proven or disproven. While there may indeed be no link between Urkesh and the Biblical "Ur Kasdim", the obsessive and repeated attempts by archeologists, historians, and scholars to force an identification of Ur Kasdim with Sumerian "Ur" have proven groundless, and none of the aforementioned seems to have the courage to simply admit that the link is tenuous at best. The following are worth bearing in mind: 1. Sumerian "Ur" is a pure misnomer. In Sumerian cuneiform, it is called "Urima", and in Accadian "Uriwa", and the root of both names URI, is demonstrably of different form from the Hebraic name Ur. 2. The "Chaldees" is not the name of a country in the Bible, but of a tribe, Chaldeans. They are depicted in later books of the Bible as conquerors from outside Mesopotamia who conquered the area and took control of Babylon. However, there is no mention of the Chaldeans as a tribe anywhere in the Pentateuch, only the refererence to "Ur Kasdim". The name Kasdim may be ethymologically related to a relative of Abraham, Kesed, who, together with Aram, are descendants of Abraham's brother Nahor based in the vicinity of Harran, in Upper Mesopotamia. This region, known in Genesis as Aram Naharaim, is very clearly and repeatedly referred to as the place of origin of the Hebrew patriarchs, NOT Sumeria (which is referred to in Genesis as the 'Plain of Shinar'). There is no mention of Chaldeans active in this region until the late Israelite monarchy, more than 1000 years later, and their is no precedent in the Pentateuch for an anachronism on a scale of this magnitude. After the Exodus from Egypt, in Deuteronomy 26, the Hebrews are asked to recite a passage to recall their patrimony: "A wandering Aramean was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien, few in number, and there he became a great nation, mighty and populous." It is clear that the association of their patrimony was with rustic pastoralism, and not with the settled urbanised city life characteristic of the bustling urban metropolis and port city of Sumerian "Ur". The lifestyles of the early patriarchs simply cannot be tallied with those of the cityfolk of the Sumerian metropoli. It is evident from the Biblical narratives that the patrimony of the Hebrews is placed in the vicinity of Harran. I do not believe that Urkesh was Ur Kasdim, and in my opinion, a far more likely candidate for it is Urfa, AKA Edessa, which is regarded in Islamic tradition as the birthplace of Abraham. Such a tradition is not a recent invention, but stemmed from ancient Syriac Christian tradition linked to the city, which in turn must have come from the very ancient Jewish community there (one of the ancient Greek names for the town was reputedly Αντιόχεια της Ιουδαίας , i.e. Antioch of the Jews.) In fact, one of the earliest known Hellenistic Greek names of the city, was Ορρα (ORRA, Romanized form Orrha). Such a link cannot be made with certainty, but it is the certainty with which sholars identify Sumerian "Ur" with Ur of the Chaldees when not a shred of evidence exists to justify such a link that ought to raise eyebrows. --Jacob Davidson
Urkesh also had a King named  Te'irru . He's probably not the same person as Terah the Father of Abraham, but often people are named after Kings, or Kings are named after famous people.

I agree with the Specialtyinterests site's argument for the Kassites and the Kassadim/Chaldeans being the same people.  They connect the etymology very well.  But I'm not sure I agree with moving down the Kassite period.
The point is that identification verifies that the Kassadim where NOT in Mesopotamia until well after the time of Abraham, at the soonest the Kassites came to Shinar at the start of the Hycsos/Judges period.  They originally migrated from a mountain region in modern Turkey, which one is uncertain, the Zargos mountains are popular , but the Taurus mountains where Urkesh is are also possible.  They may have inhabited more then one range.

I enjoy Velikovsky's article on Hammurabi.