Ancient Records Reconsidered
Did the biblical account of the “Exodus” of Israel out of Egyptian bondage really occur, or have we all been treated to a fabulous racial mythological scenario, or at the very least, an insignificant tribal event with highly exaggerated emphasis? Historians claim it couldn’t have happened. But some historians are starting to recognise that the period which saw the Exodus of Israel from Egyptian slavery also saw the entire world plunged cosmically into a terrifying Dark Age from which it took centuries to recover. This lecture will identify Moses in ancient Egyptian history, reveal why God slaughtered the firstborn of Egypt, and explain the surprising truth of how the Israelites crossed the Red Sea.
“For enquire, I pray thee, of the former age,
and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers:
For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing,
because our days upon the earth
are a shadow” (Job 8.8-9).
Historians are in total agreement. The “Exodus” of the people of Israel from Egypt didn’t happen! “The annals of Egypt are silent concerning any exodus of Hebrew slaves under Moses.” So claim all the eminent historians. And so have many of us been led to believe over the years. Christians and Jews must rely on an unsubstansive faith that the most important event in the ancient history of Israel actually happened! We are informed even by Christian authorities, including (in some quarters) revered men of the cloth, that we can rely on the biblical account of the Exodus from Egypt only inasmuch as the story is a reflection of “salvation-history” or “faith-history.” What the modern priests of the Temples of Non-Think actually mean by these terms is that the story of the Exodus is sheer mythology — useful for Christian or church growth but of no firm historical substance. This sentiment is shared equally and enthusiastically by secular writers as well. Propounds
“The connection of the Hebrews with Egypt has been the subject of long and wearisome discussion among historians: few Egyptian records even mention Israel, and none of them are particularly informative about the nation or the people who founded it. There is no Egyptian reference to Moses… no text contains even a faint echo of the long captivity [of 400 years], which began with the enslavement of the Hebrews by a Pharaoh who knew not Joseph and ended with the miracles of the Exodus. It is no wonder that the theories about the Hebrews in Egypt vary considerably. One school of thought would place the exodus in the fifteenth century BC; another in the thirteenth; a third version contends that there was no single large exodus of enslaved peoples but a series of small exodi, so to speak, which were coalesced by Jewish traditions and historians into a single event” (Dr Barbara Metz, Temples Tombs and Hieroglyphics, 151. See also Peet,
Egypt and the Old Testament; S.W. Baron, A Social and Religious History of the Jews).
The “exodus” did not happen. Moses never existed. Egyptian records remain silent. But are the records of Egypt silent on this matter? According to the historical account in the Hebrew Scriptures Egypt was facing a turbulent period of political and economic chaos with enormous civil strife and social disorder as Israel prepared to leave the land of their imprison-ment after 400 years of foreign subjection. Surely if this was the case somewhere in Egyptian documents we would locate some reference to it, even allowing for the well-attested Egyptian tendency to manipulate the truth in order to serve Egyptian interests. But historians tell us that there are no such references.
Yet, again from the Hebrew Scriptures, we read that as the nation of Israel prepared to flee from the rigorous confines and deplorable conditions of Egyptian slavery that area of the world was under siege from the most devastating plagues the earth had ever witnessed, at least since the period of the Deluge. Yet we are told there are no Egyptian records! It seems hardly possible. The land of Egypt faced the full front of a prodigious cataclysm and cosmic upheaval that rent the entire country apart, and which abruptly terminated the so-called Middle Kingdom and the Middle Bronze civilisation in general. As Israel’s 2 million slaves raced across the Egyptian borders there was a frightful destruction of Egypt’s national wealth culminating in economic collapse. And, as Israel made well their escape to the dry shores on the far side of the
Red Sea, the eyes of the chosen people of the angelic-elohim witnessed the death of Egypt’s most powerful rulers!
Nevertheless, we are assured, the whole conjecture of an “exodus” of slaves from Egyptian bondage is nothing more than a fabulous arrangement of pure fantasy (John Allegro, The Chosen People: The Myth Shattered, 1971, 46).
ARCHAEOLOGY IN 2973 C.E. Have very many of us ever really stopped to consider the motives of historians? Have we ever hesitated to question their objectivity about the past, especially if that past may enlighten us all to a more meaningful appreciation of ancient records including the valuable biblical text? And, for that matter, what about our more recent past? After all, our entire understanding of the Second World War, we are now informed by historians, must undergo an enormous readjustment with the reluctant admission of Russian documents to the West giving Soviet accounts of the involvement of the (then) USSR in the international conflict. Our thinking must be subject to a continuing reshaping and readjustment and rearrangement as new facts about the past (whether ancient or modern history) come to light.
We are informed by Polybius (c. 201-120 BCE) there are essentially three classes of historians. One class slants their documentation for financial gain, expressing “the pleasure or the plans of kings and states”; another class writes for those who enjoy “rhetorical display,” an enjoyment of the sensuous exploitation of words (what in fact sounds pleasant); finally, some record the truth, “for the good of mankind” (Polybius, The Histories, Introduction p.xiv, Loeb ed., Col. H.J. Edwards, C.B.,W.R. Paton trans., Bk.16.14). Indeed, the historian Procopius was commissioned to glorify the emperor Justinian in a forthcoming history (De aedificiis). Procopius realised that if he were to tell the truth of Justinian and Theodora’s ignominious reign he would not be around long enough to read his finished composition.
“If he [the historian] writes what people wish to believe, he must frequently violate his conscience; if he writes the full truth, a storm of indignation may overwhelm him” (Richard Atwater’s Introduction to his trans. of Secret History).
The perplexed Procopius solved his dilemma after giving the whole problem considerable thought. He would describe both sides of the question in different volumes. By authoring a volume for public release, Procopius pleased Justinian. By composing the real truth in a secret volume “shall they who then happen to survive [the rule of the emperor Justinian], discover the truth” and he, Procopius, could feel justified in his attempt for the solution to the agony of conscience (Anecdota, Intro.,3). Procopiushimself admits, in his foreword to the Secret History:
“You see, it was not possible, during the life of certain persons, to write the truth of what they did, as a historian should. If I had, their hordes of spies would have found out about it, and they would have put me to a most horrible death. I could not even trust my nearest relatives. That is why I was compelled to hide the real explanation of many matters glossed over in my previous books… I find it hard indeed to have to stammer and retract what I have written before…” (ibid., XXX., 145).
“Our knowledge of any past event,” writes Durant, “is always incomplete, probably inaccurate, beclouded by ambivalent evidence and biased historians, and perhaps distorted by our own patriotic or religious partisanship” (Will & Ariel Durant,
The Lessons of History, 1968, 11,12).
What an admission! Our knowledge of history is incomplete, inaccurate, containing conflicting facts, distorted by biased men reflecting their own “patriotic or religious” bigotry. And yet these are the very men who guide our children’s minds in their formative years, whose texts are venerated, whose disciples enshroud their master’s memories with flowery rhetoric, and who tell us “that Egyptian records are silent about Moses and the Exodus from Egypt. Moses never lived. The Exodus exists only as a Cecil B. DeMille Hollywood movie production.”
Frederick B. Jueneman, in his “Innovative Notebook” column of the periodical Industrial Research, describes an archaeological expedition to the capitol of the United States over a millennium from now. He writes, “Of the few tombs which are still in evidence, the one in Wshing-aton, C.D., remains the most enigmatic. Some scholars maintain that it was built by a chief named Kennedy, in honour of his scribe, Lincoln. Others insist that a chief named Lincoln was buried there, who had a personal scribe called Kennedy. A third group – much in the minority – has tried to further confound the issue by claiming that the two separate rulers were being treated, and who lived a century apart. Because of the extensive recycling of raw materials in the early centuries of this millennium, precious little remains from the archives and libraries of that age. But astute reconstruction has shown that Lincoln/Kennedy was a single individual, who was assassinated while attending a performance at the Dallas Theatre in a suburb of Wshing-aton. He died of head wounds, and was known to have been succeeded by his vice-chief, Johnson” (Ind. Res., Feb 1973, 15).
Unconventional wayward polymath Professor Immanuel Velikovsky outraged scientists in many fields when he radically challenged contemporary views of history and theories of chronology producing a fundamental reinterpretation of the history of the Middle East between the fifteenth and the fourth centuries BCE. In his own words, “Many wondrous things happen when historical perspective is distorted. In order to understand the scope of displacements in the history of the ancient world, one must try to conceive of the chaos which would result if a survey of Europe and America were written in which the history of the British Isles were some six hundred years out of line, so that in Europe and America the year would be 1941 while in Britain it would be 1341. As Columbus discovered America in 1492, the Churchill of 1341 could not have visited this country [America] but must have visited some other land – the scholars would be divided in their opinion as to the whereabouts of that land – and met its chief. Ancient history is distorted in this very manner.”
What we really need, from Egyptian documents, is a contemporaneous eyewitness report of Egypt’s sudden decline and collapse. If we had such a witness, and if his firsthand statements paralleled the account given in the biblical book of Exodus concerning the intervention of “a great hand from Somewhere out There” in world history — and, further, if such an eyewitness could be taken at face value for the evidence he submits would the authorities be prepared to accept him at his word? The answer to this probing question is a very likely loud resounding, deafening “NO.”
Historians and archaeologists generally refuse to acknowledge the historical accuracy (let alone the Divine inspiration) of the Jewish Scriptures. Moreover, these great learned men have been schooled in the hallowed Mysteries of uniformitarian-ism which teaches us dogmatically that the present physical processes “are sufficient to account for all past changes and for the present state of the astronomic, geologic and biologic universe” (Whitcomb & Morris, The Genesis Flood, 1961, xx). In other words, if our modern historians and others were to admit that catastrophic cosmic disturbances have at any time in our history influenced our planet to any degree (especially in a negative manner) then the whole sacred evolution-ary position is not only undermined, its very foundations are shaken. For, evolutionary theory depends on “all things continuing as they were from the beginning” as the apostle Peter so aptly worded it (2 Pet 3.4). The theory demands uninterrupted continuance of all the forces of nature for evolution to occur.
Of recent days, some scientists have come forward with a recognition that our planet has experienced dark times in its early past when maverick asteroids have had close contact with us. But, despite mounting evidence against uniformitarianism, these recent findings which confirm catastrophism have not been received with mounting enthusiasm. This new evidence is still receiving stiff opposition in some segments of the scientific community. At this stage, the consensus scientific opinion cannot allow for any upset in the gradual, agonising, billion-year long process which ultimately produced mankind — a drama which excludes any form of extraterrestrial intervention in mankind’s affairs. To accept an outright uniformitarianism is to reject nature’s revelation of catastrophism in the overthrow of the original primeval order of our planet (Gen 1.2 Hebrew), the Deluge in the days of Noah (Gen 8), the awesome destruction in a fiery inferno of “the cities of the plain” (Gen 19), and the cosmic reverberations which produced the sudden eclipse of the so-called “Middle Kingdom” in Egyptian history.
But what if we can produce the testimony of an eyewitness to the calamity which befell the land of Egypt during the biblical period which claims Moses as this dark epoch’s darling? Is there such a witness?
DISCOVERED — AN EYEWITNESS TO EGYPTIAN CALAMITY
In 1909, a translation byAlan H. Gardiner of an ancient papyrus (found in the 19th century near Memphis inEgypt) was published. Under the title, Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage from a hieratic papyrus in Leiden (and commonly referred to as the “Papyrus Ipuwer”) it has been generally placed to the end of the Old Kingdom in conventional Egyptian chronology. As Gardiner’s title suggests, these same scholars see nothing more in the text than a series of quaint epileptic admonitions, “proverbs and axioms, a philosophic treatise, a collection of riddles, a prophecy of doom” and parables with religious overtones (D.A. Courville, The Exodus Problem and its Ramifications: A Critical Examination of Chronological Relationships Between Israel and the Contemporary Peoples of Antiquity, 1971, Vol.1.,129; Moret in Le Nil et La Civilisation Egyptienne, 261-268; also Breasted, The Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt, 204-215).
I remember the very first time I examined the “Papyrus Ipuwer” in the Public Library of NSW in the very early ‘sixties. As I poured over the manuscript it told of wanton destruction, civil war, immense social disorder, great unrest in the general population, strange atmospheric disturbances, with death everywhere. Even Gardiner was compelled to admit, “It is no merely local disturbance that is here described, but a great and overwhelming national disaster” (See Gardiner,
Admonitions, note to 1.8). Ipuwer, the anguished scribe, vents his infuriation at a deceased Pharaoh squarely depositing on his shoulders an ultimate responsibility for the scenes of national turbulence to which he is witness. There can be little doubt that in Ipuwer’s mind this particular king is to blame personally for the unbelievable catastrophe which has enveloped and befallen Egypt. The fact that this Pharaoh is dead is understood by the frequent use of the term “the Almighty” by the scribe in his address to the Regent — an appellation only used of a Royal Dignitary who had departed this mortal existence. The text itself indicates Pharaoh’s person has been subjected to violence. With our apologies to some authorities to the contrary, this king was dead (Lange, Sitzungsberichte der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1903, 602).
The Ipuwer Papyrus is lengthy, but we have excerpted certain passages and have taken the liberty of comparing them with the biblical texts of the Exodus period. For brevity’s sake we will use IP to stand for Ipuwer Papyrus. Sections of the Papyrus subject to the ravages of time and lost are indicated by “[…..]”.
IP 2.5-6 Plague is throughout the land. Blood is everywhere. (Ex 7.21) …there was blood all throughout the land of
IP 2.10 The river is blood. (Ex 7.20) …all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.
IP 2.10 Men shrink from tasting – human beings […] thirst after water. (Ex 7.24) And all the Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink; for they could not drink of the water of the river.
IP 3.10-13 That is our water! That is our happiness! What shall we do in respect thereof? All is ruin! (Ex 7.21) And the river stank!
IP 4.14 Trees are destroyed.
IP 6.1 No fruit nor herbs are found […] (Ex 9.25) …and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.
IP 2.10 Forsooth, gates, columns and walls are consumed by fire. (Ex 9.23-24) …the fire ran along the ground… there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous.
IP 10.3-6 Lower Egypt weeps […] The entire palace is without revenues. To it belong by right wheat and barley, geese and fish. (Ex 7.21) And the fish that was in the river died.
IP 6.3 Forsooth, grain has perished on every side.
IP 5.12 Forsooth, that has perished which yesterday was seen. The land is left over to its weariness like the cutting of flax. (Ex 10.15) …there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the fields, through all the land of Egypt.
IP 5.5 All animals, their hearts weep. Cattle moan [….] (Ex 9.3) …the hand of the Lord is upon thy cattle which is in the field… there shall be a grievous murrain.
IP 9.2,3 Behold, cattle are left to stray, and there is none to gather them together. Each man fetches for himself those that are branded with his name. (Ex 9.19) …gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field. (Ex 9.21) And he that regarded not the word of the Lord left his servants and his cattle in the field.
IP 9.11 The land is not light […] (Ex 10.22) And there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt.
IP 5.12; 6.1 Men […] are in affliction […] Would that there might be an end of men, no conception, no birth! O that the earth would cease from noise […]
IP 4.1,2 Forsooth […] on account of noise. Noise is not lacking in years of noise. There is no end to noise! (Ex 9.23) And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder (Hebrew, “loud noise”).
IP 5.3,6 Forsooth, the children of princes are dashed against the walls. The offspring of desire are laid out on the high ground. (Ex 12.29) And it came to pass that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon.
IP 2.13 He who places his brother in the ground is everywhere. (Ex 12.30) …there was not a house where there was not one dead.
IP 3.14 It is groaning that is throughout the land, mingled with lamentations. (Ex 12:30) …there was a great cry in Egypt.
IP 7.1 Behold, the fire has mounted up on high. Its burning goes forth against (Egyptian: “toward” or “with”) the enemies of the land. (Ex 13.21) …by day in a pillar of a cloud to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.
IP 7.1,2 Behold, things are done, that have never happened for long time past; the king has been taken away by poor men.
IP 7.2 Behold, he who was buried as a hawk is […] what the pyramid concealed is become empty. (Gen 50.26; Ex 13.19) So Joseph died, an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him and he was put in a coffin in Egypt… And Moses
took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel saying, God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones away hence with you.
IP 2.4,5 Forsooth, poor men are become owners of good things. He who could make for himself no sandals is now the possessor of riches.
IP 2.7 Forsooth, the wealthy are in mourning.
IP 2.9 The robber is a possessor of riches.
IP 3.2,3 Forsooth, gold and lapis lazuli, silver and malachite, carnelian and bronze, stones of Yebhet and […] are fastened on the necks of female slaves. Good things are in the land. Yet the mistresses of houses say: would that we had some-thing to eat!
IP 5.5 All his property is carried off […] (Ex 11.2; 12.35-36) Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man steal of his neighbours and every woman of her neighbours, jewels of silver and jewels of gold. And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians… And they stole of the Egyptians jewels of silver… and of gold, and raiment… and they spoiled the Egyptians.
These are just a few of the similarities between the biblical account of the Exodus period and the portrait of disaster given to us by the Imperial scribe, Ipuwer. Incredibly, these similarities passed unnoticed by Gardiner! Yet in this document we find described the effects of the ten plagues brought by nature upon the land of bondage resulting in the freeing of the people of Israel from the yoke of slavery.
WHO WAS MOSES?
But what of Moses? Was he also a figment of the pious imagination of Jewish rabbis and Hebrew historians? Was
Moses the lever extraordinaire for cleric control over little innocent Sunday school minds? Is Moses merely an adjunct to religious sentimentality and Christian slobberdrool? Or was he a real personality of some stature and substance in
Egypt as the Jewish Scriptures claim? The whole sequence of interviews which Moses has with the most powerful man in Egypt, as recorded in the book of Exodus, gives one the distinct impression that Moses has absolute dominance over the Pharaoh, the government and the people. In fact the record states explicitly: “The man Moses was very great in the
land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people” (Ex 11.3).
The very word of Moses was LAW in ancient Egypt! Notice what most expositors have overlooked in the biblical account: “And all these your servants” [Moses is directing a verbal attack of some insolence on the king of Egypt] “shall come down to me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get you out and all the people that follow you: and after that I WILL GO OUT! And he went out from Pharaoh in the heat of a great anger” (11.8).
Moses dictating with power and authority to the most powerful ruler of the ancient world. Moses was notable, exceptional, talented, no ordinary man by any standard. We will see as we progress in this study that Moses really lived, was a most powerful entity in the so-called “Middle Kingdom” before the LORD called him to service, and that the plagues which devastated the land of Egypt were nightmarish, cataclysmic episodes of cosmic proportions which almost annihilated the human race.
MOSES, MOSES — WHERE ARE YOU HIDING?
Once we understand that we have been searching for a trace of Moses in the wrong period of Egyptian history, under the wrong choice of Pharaohs, in the wrong dynasties, in the wrong millennium, and that we ought to be searching for his shadow in the century immediately prior to the sudden fall of the so-called “Middle Kingdom” our attention will be focused directly on the XIIth Dynasty. It was in this chapter of Egypt’s history that Ipuwer wrote his description of the death of his age which the world, by and large, has ignored. Yet, in the XIIIth Dynasty (Thebes) we find a slight trace of the influence of the man history has mythologised, if not forgotten. On a mummy wrapping, in the days of a king called Semenkhkare, appear the words, “Thy God lives!”
Egyptologists are well aware of the fact that monotheism was rife in the days of this Theban Dynasty. Of course! The worship of a single deity was as the direct result of angelic intervention in world affairs for the sake of a chosen people,
Israel. It is written that the horror which descended on the earth at that time happened for one reason, and for one reason only! “And the Egyptians shall KNOW that I am Adonai WHEN I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them” (Ex7.5).
Egypt did learn that the God of Israel lived! There can be little doubt that Moses was the Superman of his day. The biblical text plainly tell us that the angelic-elohim had made Moses a god in Pharaoh’s eyes (7.1). The texts further inform us that Moses was mighty in words and in deeds before he was sent by the angelic-elohim to deliver Israel from their captivity (Ac 7.22). A little more is understood when we read that “when Moses was grown, that he went unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens” (Ex2.11-14). This was not a mere casual stroll around the local concentration camps. The term “grown” actually is to be understood as “when Moses had become a great one” (Dr J.H. Hertz, The Pentateuch and Haftorahs – Hebrew Text, English Translation & Commentary, 1961, 211).
As one of his functions, Moses held the position of Commissioner for Public Works in Goshen, in the eastern Nile Delta (C.C. Robertson, On the Track of the Exodus, 1936, 23). As such, the expression “he went… and looked on their burdens” can be literally “inspected their services for public works” (ibid.,23). The author of the letter to the Hebrews
speaks of Moses, basing his knowledge on current Rabbinic traditions, as “refusing to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter” (11.24), and the Christian martyr Stephen tells us that Moses was “learned in all the wisdom” of Egypt (Ac 7.22).
Now we also know that Moses was quite capable of exercising leadership, and most assuredly displayed the uncanny ability to command and receive the loyalty and allegiance of over two million slaves from the slime-pits of Egyptian captivity in the greatest mass exodus of emancipated peoples in the history of our world. This very ability may grant us a clue to the eventual exposure of this enigmatic individual. William Smith observes:
“As a leader, his life divides itself into… three epochs – the march to Sinai; the march from Sinai to Kadesh; and the conquest of the transjordanic Kingdoms. On approaching Palestine the office of the leader becomes blended with that of the general or the conqueror. By Moses the spies were sent to explore the country. Against his advice took place the first disastrous battle at Hormah. To his guidance is ascribed the circuitous route by which the nation approached Palestine from the east, and to his generalship the two successful campaigns in which Sihon and Og were defeated. The narrative is told so briefly that we are in danger of forgetting that at this last stage of his life Moses must have been as much a conqueror and victorious soldier as was Joshua” (William Smith, A Dictionary of the Bible, 1884, 418,419).
Smith keenly perceives certain qualities of character in Moses, which God utilised in a mighty manner for the sake of His chosen people. Moses seems to display not only a natural and gifted ability to lead others unfalteringly and with nerves of steel through some incredible epics and adventures, but Moses also shows himself capable of exercising military strategy and dictatorial control when it is needed the most. It would almost certainly appear that part of Moses’ training in Egypt involved a military education. The fact of the matter is that a great part of the 40 years spent in Egypt in Pharaoh’s court was occupied with a military education. Josephus, the Jewish historian, tells us that Moses even rose to the rank of supreme commander of the Egyptian forces, second only to Pharaoh himself. Not only so, but that in this capacity and office he took control of the fortunes of war, repulsing an impressive Ethiopian invasion from the south (Josephus, Ant., Bk.II.,X,I).
Is there a record of an Ethiopic invasion in the same general period which produced the Ipuwer document? Yes, there is! And not only is the invasion verified but praise is extended toward a mighty general who, as a “fierce-eyed lion,” was undaunted in his objective of repelling the hosts and leading a counter-force into Nubian territory with a subsequent mass slaughter of thousands of the rebels. This record is located in what is called the Semneh Inscription. The date of this inscription is lost, but it doubtless refers to the Ethiopic Revolution. The viceroy, Mer-Mose, levies an army in lower Nubia, marches on Ibhet, and quells the rebellion. The beginning of the inscription is missing but it apparently contained the announcement of the invasion and revolt.
“[…] occurred the reaping of the harvests of the foe of Ibhet. Every man reported for duty and one mustered an army of Pharaoh […] which was under command of this king’s son. He made troops commanded by commanders […] from the fortress of Beki to the fortress of Taroy […] The might of Nibmare took them in one day, in one hour, making a great slaughter […] their cattle; not one of them escaped; each one of them was brought […] fear. The might of Amenhotep took them; the barbarians among them, male as well as female, were not separated; by the plan of Horus, the Lord of the Two Lands, King Nibmare, mighty bull strong in might. Ibhet had been haughty, great things were in their hearts, but the fierce-eyed Lion, this ruler, he slew them by command of Amon-Atum, his august father; it was he who led him in might and victory […] The king’s son, vigilant for his Lord, favourite of the Good God, Governor of the entire Land of Kush, king’s scribe, Mer-Mose. He saith: “Praise to thee! O Good God! Great is thy might against him that reacheth thee; Thou causest them that are rebellious against thee to say: ‘The fire that we have made rages against us.’ Thou hast slain all thy enemies, overthrown beneath thy feet.”
Prior to circa 700 BCE there are no fixed dates for Egyptian history. Egyptian chronology is well overdue for revision. Since the radical opposition to accepted chronology by Immanuel Velikovsky in the fifth decade of the twentieth century, many Egyptologists are now reconsidering his major hypotheses. They are realising that the Amenhotep mentioned in the Semneh Inscription is not the Amenhotep III of the XVIIIth Dynasty but is more than likely Amenemhet III (Amenemmes III) of the XIIth (or possibly XIIIth) Dynasty!
Archaeologists are now uncovering evidence of the once-famed Mer-Mose (also known variously as Mer-Mshau, Mer-Moshoi, Mir-Mashau) as their spades dig deeper into the past of the so-called “Middle Kingdom.” As they continue, the land of Egypt casts further light in fragmentary ways on the career of one of the most controversial characters in the historical past of both Egypt and Israel. Mer-Mose, or Mer-Mes-Hau (which is Egyptian for “the General’) — or as some render it, “General of generals” — was also known as “Son of the sun”: Ra-Semenkh-Ka. Brugsch hastened to point out that Semenkhka-Re took the name “Mer-Meshau” (“the General,” or “General of generals”) because it was the official title which graced the High Priest and that “the king adopted it rather in his priestly than in his military capacity” (Brugsch,
Egypt Under the Pharaohs, Vol.I., 220).
Of course! This famed general of Egypt was also a king serving the interests of his people not only as a political figure but also in his priestly office. So did Moses. It is also worthy of note, and to be thoughtfully considered, that the features of Semenkhka-Re (as portrayed on colossal monuments discovered at Tanis by Mariette) are TOTALLY un-Egyptian. That he was a foreign or alien king is recognised by most — if not all — students of Egyptian history (Kurt Lange & Max Hirmer,
Egypt: Architecture, Sculpture, Painting in Three Thousand Years). These two large granite statues of this impressive general have suffered the humiliation of being overinscribed with the name of an Amalakite (Hyksos) king Apepe II (Agog II of 1 Sam 15) and one of the statues bears evidence of yet another overinscription by Rameses II. This is remarkable when we realise that even the Temples established by the Amalekite (Hyksos) invaders when they swept into Egypt after its collapse — notably those centres of worship at Avaris and in Tanis in the Delta region in honour of their god Set — were destroyed; and if not utterly destroyed, then completely overthrown though they included passageways and halls built during dynasties prior to, and including, the XIIth. This indicates that the world was compelled, almost beyond itself, to remember this General.
Now, we know that the General was rewarded, as a result of his repulsion of the Nubian invasion, with the hand in marriage of an Ethiopian princess (The Fragments of Irenaeus, ap. Edit. Grab., 472). Josephus informs us that she was the famed “Tharbis” (Ant., II,X,2). The idea that this Ethiopian princess was identical with Zipporah is nonsense born of racist attitudes, though many Bible students accept this fable eagerly (See for example Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible, 109,169k).
Certainly, from the biblical record itself, we find that Moses received opposition from family members when he produced a black woman and told them she was his wife (Num 12). She was black, the wife of Moses the General, the daughter of the sovereign of Ethiopia. For the record, forty years after the reign of the General, Egypt collapsed. As any child at Sunday school can tell, Moses spent a total of forty years in Egypt, fled into the wilderness for another forty years, and returned at that time to lead Israel out of bondage. We have, there is little doubt, discovered Moses. He is none other than Semenkhk-Re, the General, second only to Pharaoh himself, and the adopted son of the daughter of a Pharaoh (Ex 2.10;
Ac 7.21; Heb 11.24). And, it is almost needless to say, heir to the throne of Egypt.
THE CASE OF THE MISSING PHARAOH
The Pharaoh of the Oppression is not to be confused with the Pharaoh of the Exodus. The biblical record states that the Pharaoh who enslaved Israel died (Ex 2.23). But the king who reigned during the period of the plagues and the Exodus has been variously identified (depending which version of Egyptian history is read) as ranging from Rameses II to Thothmes III, from Siptha to Menephthah. Yet we can say categorically that ALL are greatly mistaken. For, not only are the contemporaneous records of each of these periods silent regarding the holocaust vividly described in Exodus but each of these Pharaoh’s mummies have been located and tabulated. The Bible tells us that the king who pursued Israel perished in the engulfing waters of the swirling Red Sea. We cannot help but feel that historians and Egyptologists would be better occupied by attempting to uncover a lost Pharaoh whose body has never been found. But historians, as we have seen, like to argue with ancient records, biblical or otherwise.
Some wish to accept a theory “that the Pharaoh did not accompany his armies on this pursuit, an assumption contradicted by Ex 14.8. Others would assume that while he accompanied his armies, he did not enter the sea basin and commanded his armies from the shore line and was not thus destroyed with his armies. Just how these commands were given without a loud speaker or how it was done in darkness is not explained; furthermore it makes an absolute coward of the Pharaoh, which the Pharaohs were not. Extant inscriptions are available telling of the heroic exploits of the Pharaohs as they led their armies into battle. Nor is the theory of a recovery of the body with a return to Egypt for burial any more logical since there was no one left of the Egyptian army to return it and certainly the Israelites did not return it… certainly the Egyptians remaining in Egypt had enough problems of their own without sending out a search party to see what had happened to the army that had left Egypt at least a week before” (Courville, op.cit., Vol. 1., 37,38).
The first century Jewish Christian apostle, Rav Shaul, readily having access to secret traditions and records of the Jewish priesthood, refers to Jannes and Jambres as a type of the coming Antichrist and his cohort, the false prophet (2 Tim 3.8).
Nowhere in the pages of the Bible are the names of these two men recorded. Only Paul in the pages of the New Testament mentions them. These two men “withstood Moses, resisting the truth” and were “corrupt in mind” (Conybeare & Howson, The Life and Epistles of Paul, reprinted 1976, 777). Just how “corrupt in mind” will become plain shortly.
Paul was well aware that these personalities are not named in the Exodus account. He is referring to Jewish rabbinic traditions extant in his time, and which were circulating before the Christian era (Martin McNamara, Targum & Testament: Aramaic Paraphrases of the Hebrew Bible. A Light on the New Testament, 1972, 89) although the original forms of the names have been lost in the course of the centuries (H. Odeberg, TDNT, III, 192). The Babylonian Talmud refers to them as Yohane and Mamre (Menahoth 85a). In Aramaic Jannes is Yohanna, and in Greek it appears as Iannes. In a few Greek manuscripts (and in the Latin) of 2 Timothy Jambres is rendered as Mambres (J. Stafford Wright, NIDNTT, II, 557; See also Knox NT & Douay version). They were certainly men of some significance as they are also mentioned by ancient pagan authorities (Pliny, Hist.Nat., XXX,I,II; Apul., Apologia., 90; Numenius, quoted in Eus., Praep. Ev., IX,8).
Now, an important point! A major factor in contributing to the confusion regarding the identity of the Pharaoh of the Exodus has been the insistence that the ancient king-lists of Egypt (Manetho, etc) are correct in maintaining a veritable succession of Pharaohs.
Yet in the case of Manetho (an Egyptian priest who lived in the third century BCE) none of his actual writings today exists. We depend, rather, on historical interpretation of what he said (or apparently said) from such historians as Josephus, Africanus, Eusebius and others who cannot agree among themselves about some of the most simple statements of this priestly chronologist. His king-list of 30 Dynasties (along with each Pharaonic length of reign) is today so garbled that really we do not know what he originally wrote! Yet the scholastic world insists on basing Egyptian chronology on a base so thwart with uncertainty. However, Egyptologists are beginning to comprehend, and to admit, that many kings reigned contemporaneously rather than successively! These same scholars are also, albeit somewhat hesitantly, coming to the realisation that the king-lists of Dynasties are in dire need of a total revision.
Of recent date five scholars have published a revisionist thesis entitled Centuries of Darkness. In the Foreword to this mammoth work Professor Renfrew of Cambridge University wrote, “this disquieting book draws attention… to a crucial period in world history, and to the very shaky nature of the dating… upon which our current interpretations [of Egyptian history] rest… and that in consequence, history will have to be rewritten.” Adds James K. Hoffmeier (Professor of Archaeology & Old Testament, Wheaton College, Illinois):
“The authors have drawn attention to serious problems that cannot be ignored. Even if this study does not provide satisfying solutions to every case, the issues underscored should prompt the reassessment of all areas of Near Eastern chronology… this book forces us to think, and thus is an important contribution to reconstructing the past” (see Biblical Archaeology Review 19:6, Nov/Dec 1993).
As to successive dynasties, the Bible states quite candidly that more than one Pharaoh ruled Egypt at the same time (2 Kgs 7.6). So it was during the collapse of Egypt at the time of the exodus under Moses. Is there an insignificant Egyptian Pharaoh in the king-lists whose mummy has never been found? Yes, there most certainly is! His name is Thoum. And, as if to add insult to injury, history tells us he drowned! And he was contemporary with a magician-king, Unas (Onnas, Uses = Iannes). Some scholars would see Merenre II as the controversial Pharaoh who perished only after about one years reign, but there are difficulties with this identification. Thoum, however, is identical with the Talmud’s Mamre, or Mambres. This king, ancient records tell us, pursued his enemies in thick darkness which agrees with the biblical account of dark-ness over the entire region (Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews, 1925, II, 359,360).
When he finally caught up with his “enemies of the Land” the king “fought with the evil-doers in this pool, the Place of the Whirlpool… His Majesty leapt into the so-called Place of the Whirlpool” (F.L. Griffith, The Antiquities of Tell el Yahudiyeh and Miscellaneous Work in Lower Egypt during the Years 1887-1888, 1890, 73). It is also highly signifi-cant that this Pharaoh is recorded as “leaping into” the Red Sea. We shall cover this point a little later.
A source of understandable confusion is that many Pharaohs adopted more than one name and appellation. Mam-Re was no exception. An inscription on a shrine at el-Arish tells us that the Pharaoh who died in the whirling, hurricane-lashed waters of the Red Sea was known as Thom or Thoum (See I. Velikovsky, Ages in Chaos, I, 45). He is also identical with Tutimaeus whose body has never been located. But we also made mention of Unas, the magician-king who dabbled in the Black Arts. What became of him? The pyramid texts reveal a great deal about Iannes. We do not have to skim through English translations of the texts at much length before we are greeted with revulsion.
“When they see king Unis dawning as a soul, As a god living on his fathers, Feeding on his mothers” and, the king “lives on the being of every god, eating their organs who come with their belly filled with charms.”
The dead Unas, ascending into the Egyptian heavens, is assured of a continual banquet of human flesh! “King Unis is one who eats men and lives on gods, Lord of Messengers, who ‘despatches’ his messages […] It is the ‘Punisher-of-Evil-Doers’ who stabs them for king Unis. He takes out for him their entrails […] he […] cuts them up for king Unis and cooks them for him a portion. In his evening kettles king Unis is he who eats their charms [sexual organs] and devours their glorious ones [sexual organs]. Their great ones are for his morning portion, Their middle-sized ones are for his evening portion, Their little ones are for his night portion […] The kettles are replenished with the legs of women […] Whom he finds in his way he devours […] King Unis is a god […] Thousands revert to him, Hundreds are offered to him.”
We shall not pursue this matter further. Our BRI files are full of information decoded into English from the pyramid texts of Unas. Suffice to say, Unas was a sorcerer, a magician-king who cannibalised his victims. As Conybeare and Howson recognised, this Pharaoh was “corrupt of mind.” That the pyramid texts portray Unas as a grotesque cannibal is perfectly clear and all Egyptologists understand this fact. Yet, the barbarous nature of this savage has been a contributing factor in the decision of archaeologists and Egyptologists to place him in a Dynasty much earlier than the XIIth. Not only so, but what has been consistently overlooked by these same gentlemen of science is the KEY, plainly given to us in the Unas pyramid texts which will help us to UNLOCK the secret of exactly WHY the the angelic-elohim slew all the firstborn of the Land of Egypt! And haven’t we as believers always pondered that question? Why the firstborn? Why such a judgment as this? Even Jewish authorities can only produce lame and feeble postulations. Writes Rabbi Hertz,
“In smiting the firstborn of all living beings, man and beast, God smote objects of Egyptian worship. Not a single deity of Egypt was unrepresented by some beast…” (Hertz, op.cit.,255).
What utter nonsense! Listen! The ancient texts of the Jews teach us that angelic-elohim often judge a nation according to the way its rulers have exercised the function of their office. As a prime example look at king David. David, in a moment of faithless behaviour, and prompted by an occult-induced compulsion of some urgency, numbered Israel for war without first paying the required sacred half-shekel (1 Chron 21.1). The nation of Israel suffered a terrible retribution as a direct result. God laid the entire responsibility squarely on king David’s shoulders!
With this prime teaching in mind, let us dare to venture as students of these ancient records one final time into the darkness of the “corrupt mind” of Jannes (2 Tim 3.8). For, in the pyramid texts of Unas is the KEY which will unlock this mystery of millennia. We are about to grasp what Christians for many centuries (and Jewish students for thousands of years) have not been privileged to understand.
“Unis has weighed his words with the Hidden God who has no name” — the I AM THAT I AM of the captive Israelites (Ex 3.13-14) — “on the day of hacking in pieces THE FIRSTBORN […] Unis devoureth men […] The slayer of lords hath cut their throats and drawn out their inward parts […] (He) hath cut them in pieces and boiled their members in his blazing cauldrons. Unis hath eaten their words of power, and hath swallowed their spirits […] The Mighty Ones in heaven shoot out fire under the cauldrons which are heaped up with the haunches of THE FIRSTBORN. UNIS IS THE FIRSTBORN OF THE FIRSTBORN!” (Transcript, M. Maspero, 1882).
Can we grasp the primary significance of these statements as revealed in the Unas pyramid texts? Unas ate the firstborn of his enemies, the firstborn of the Israelites. As one of the kings of Egypt who as a sorcerer opposed Moses and Aaron (as powerful miracle-workers representing the LORD God of Israel), and himself a firstborn son, Unas wanted to become as great as the servants of the angelic-elohim by “eating [Israelite-firstborn] words of power” and “swallowing [Israelite-firstborn] spirits.” Instead of becoming as great as Moses and Aaron, and as a consequence of a cannibalistic orgy of feasting upon “the haunches of the [Israelite] firstborn,” Unas met the Angel of Death on that very first Passover evening! In the 9th century of our present era, the pyramid of Unas was forcibly entered by thieves and his black basalt sarcophagus cover overlaid with magical incantations and inscriptions was wrenched off by the plunderers who sought his treasures. The mummy of Unas was broken in pieces, and when rediscovered centuries later, all that remained of the magician-king who withstood Moses and the sacred knowledge of the Metatron were the right arm, some skull fragments, a tibia, and the ribs along with a few of the linen bandages. These items are all carefully preserved in the Cairo museum.
THE ISRAELITE CROSSING OF THE RED SEA — STARTLING FACTS!
It is commonly assumed that a great wind was caused by the Lord to part the waters of the Red Sea, forming a sort of tunnel through which the Israelites were able to cross “dry shod” on the Sea bed in order to escape the pursuing Egyptians. When Israel had safely crossed to the other side the “angels” allowed the waters, which were banked up as huge walls on either side of them, to close back over the pursuers, drowning them. When one reads the biblical text this certainly seems — at least at first glance — to be what the Bible is telling us. Moreover, it is the general populace impression shared by Hollywood filmmakers and novelists. But when we put all the biblical texts together and compare them we come up with conflicting difficulties. We shall consider these problems in a moment. One thing for certain, the biblical epic describing the Egyptian plagues is in actual fact narrating a worldwide phenomenon.
In the second millennium before this present era the earth underwent an enormous cosmic cataclysm. The sacred volume of the Maya Indians tells us that the sun’s motion was interrupted and the waters, rivers and streams turned into blood (Brasseur, History of the Nations and Civilisations in Mexico and Central America, 1857, Vol.I, 130). Ipuwer, an Egyptian eyewitness to the chaos that descended upon Egypt, lamented: “Plague is throughout the land. Blood is every-where. Men shrink from tasting; human beings thirst after water. That is our water. That is our happiness. What shall we do in respect thereof? All is ruin!” (Alan H. Gardiner, op.cit, 1909). The Altai Tartars record a time when “blood turns the world red.” These tribal peoples of Central Asia inform us that following this spectacle, a massive cosmic disturbance followed hot on its heels (Holmberg. Finno-Ugric: Siberian Mythology, 1927, 370).
The Finns add that the world was covered with “red milk” in the days when chaos reigned (Kalevala, Rune 9). Babylonian myths tell of the slaying of a monster, whose blood covered the earth (King, The Seven Tablets of Creation, 1902). The Thracians named their highest mountain “Haemus” (from which we get our word for ‘blood’) due to the “stream of blood which gushed out on the mountain” during a cosmic war between Zeus and Typhon (Apollodorus, The Library, VI). Writes Moses, “All the waters that were in the river were turned to blood… There was blood throughout all the land of Egypt… And the river stank… And all the Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink; for they could not drink of the water of the river” (Ex 7.20-21,24).
The Egyptians call the Red Sea the “sea of disaster” — Shari. The Hebrews refer to it as Yam Suf — the Sea of the Passage. Some scholars, not wishing to attribute miracles to a super-technological alien intelligence, see in the Exodus account of the crossing of Yam Suf an error in translation. They believe the words Yam Suf refer to a ‘Sea of Reeds.’ Comprehending that a universal upheaval is in view in the account of the liberation of Israel from Egypt we should note that “hurricane” in the Hebrew tongue is suf or sufa. Moses writes that “Adonai caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the Sea dry land, and the waters were divided” (14.21). We have noted that when we put all the biblical texts together referring to the Red Sea crossing by Israel, we are confronted by a mass of difficulties — if they crossed on the sea bottom.
For one thing, while it seems to say that the Israelites went across on dry ground or land (cf 14.21-22,29; 15:19), and the waters were a wall on each side of Israel’s passageway (14.22,29), Pharaoh and his host of Egyptian warriors “were thrown into the sea” (15.1,21) and “cast into the sea” (15.4). “Thrown and cast” into the Sea implies, if language means anything, a jettisoning from at least a height of some feet! Certainly the Psalmist agrees with the assessment of Moses, “But (God) overthrew [margin, shaked off] Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea” (Ps 136.15). Again, if the Red Sea had parted in such a manner that the Israelites could cross on the bottom of the sea bed with walls of water piled high on each side like a veritable canyon then why would Moses write that the Egyptians were “swallowed [down]” (Ex 15.12)? Egypt-ian records, referring to the death of the Exodus Pharaoh, have told us that “His Majesty leapt” into the Red Sea (Griffith,
op.cit, 1890, 73). But these difficulties disappear when we come to realise that the words “land” and “ground” in most versions of the Bible (in the Exodus section) are in italics. These words do not appear in the original. All we are told is that Israel went across the Red Sea on a “dry” [substance]. Read these Scriptures again without “ground” or “land” to get the point. How would an ancient people describe — “dry ice”? The refugees and the Egyptians that followed after them crossed on a massive bridge or slab of ice.
The word “wall” in Hebrew is ghohmah. Reflect that the prophet Nahum uses ghohmah to describe the waters which walled — surrounded — the royal city of Thebes. Notice in what way the prophet used the term. “Are you better than Thebes, situated on the Nile, with water around her? The river [Nile] was her defense, the waters her WALL [ghohmah]”
(Nah 3.8 NIV). The city of Thebes was not submerged by walls of water. She rose high above sea level, yet the waters were called “walls”! The walls of the Red Sea were not perpendicular rising up from the dry floor of the Red Sea! In no way! For, Moses tells us that the Red Sea was “divided” (bah’kag) and this same word for comparison’s sake is also found in 1 Chron 11.18 where an army is divided and Jer 52.7 and 2 Chron 21.17 where the wall of a house or a city is breached in two.
Most of these facts are becoming common public knowledge with the recently published research work of the late Professor Ernest Martin, an American historian of some note. This understanding of an ice bridge was discussed by my own father when I sat on his knee as a child in front of our fireplace in the depths of winter over sixty years ago. Although principally an agnostic, who hated and despised all forms of Christianity, he was also a great student of ancient records and bequeathed to me a unique and enthusiastic appreciation for the historical past. In the case of the crossing of the Red Sea the super-technological angelic powers caused a frigid hurricane to act as the agent in freezing a massive section of the Sea in order for the freed captives to cross “dry shod.” Martin points out that icebergs stand out of the surrounding “walls of water” about 10% above sea level. After spending an entire night in freezing (almost ‘Arctic’) conditions, the Israelites having crossed to the east shore safely under the guidance of Moses, the Egyptians dared to follow. Half way across, Moses tells us that the Egyptian chariots started to experience “slippage” and therefore the charioteers “drove the horses heavily forward” (Ex 14.25 Heb).
Why the sudden slippage? Israel crossed by night. The Egyptians started to cross as the sun came up! The iceberg began to melt. This is why “The horse and his rider has he thrown into the Sea” (15.1,4,21). The writer of Hebrews also recognised that this was the case. “By faith they passed through the Red Sea AS by dry [“land” does not appear in the original Greek of this verse]: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned” (Heb 11.29). The angelic-elohim made the water AS something “dry.” Those who would reject the necessity of angelic intervention in this chronicle of terrifying devastation and lay claim to “acts of nature” in this regard should be reminded that in biblical Hebrew there is no word for “nature.” It was ALL God.
The Psalmist tells us that God “TURNED [transformed] the Sea into DRY [substance]” (Ps 66.6). Moses adds that “With the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together” (Ex 15.8) so much so that they congealed as a solid mass of ice “STANDING UPRIGHT as a HEAP” (15.8). Not like two heaps of rocks but a single heap or mass like a bridge or slab linking one shore with the other and walled by chilled, icy water on either side. Even calling the bridge or slab of ice “dry land” is really not a problem for what is ice but a congealed solid mass?
Moses again informs us, “The horse and his rider has he thrown into the Sea… Pharaoh’s chariots and his host has he cast into the Sea; his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea. The depths have covered them; THEY SANK to the bottom as a stone… thou hast shaken them off… and with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as a heap and the depths were congealed in the heart of the Sea… the Sea covered them, they SANK as lead in the mighty waters…[they were] swallowed” (15.1,4,10,12,58).
Such detail as this given to us in the biblical revelation cannot depict mighty walls of water collapsing on the Egyptians from awesome heights. Our author of Hebrews says they walked across as it were on a dry substance. And walls of water surrounded them as they did so. The Egyptians didn’t make it and they perished, slipping off and falling into the Sea. Moses said the “depths were congealed.” And so they were! As Professor Martin has rightly stated, “The Israelites actually crossed the Red Sea on top of the water, not in a ‘canyon-like’ roadway on the bottom of the sea” (Ernest L.Martin, 101 Bible Secrets That Christians Do Not Know, 1993, 18-21,161-165. See also Finis Jennings Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible, 1963). Oh, the depths of the power and the majesty of God! The Bible is historically accurate even in the minute details. It is our reading of it that must improve. The biblical facts and history itself clearly evidences that a large portion of the Red Sea had become ice.
THE EXODUS PERIOD — EARTH IN CHAOS
The Mayan manuscript Troano speaks of a time in the distant past when an ocean fell on their continent and a bitter, icey hurricane swept over the world which destroyed all towns and much of the forest (Brasseur, Manuscript Troano, 1869, 141). The Popol Vuh adds much detail about this event, when the gods warred in the heavens, and the agent of destruction called ‘Hurakan’ (from which we get our word ‘hurricane’) destroyed most of the human race.
“The desperate ones ran as quickly as they could; they wanted to climb to the tops of the houses, and the houses fell down and threw them to the ground; they wanted to climb to the treetops, and trees cast them far away; they wanted to enter the caverns, and the caverns repelled them. So was the ruin of the men who had been created and formed, the men made to be destroyed and annihilated; the mouths and faces of all of them were mangled” (Popol Vuh, The Sacred Book of the Ancient Quiche Maya, 92).
A great darkness swept the land in the wind, a resinous substance fell from the sky, and meteorite showers nearly exterminated the Indian population (ibid.,ch.3). The Maoris tell us of a time when “the mighty winds, the fierce squalls, the clouds, dense, dark, fiery, wildly drifting, wildly bursting” exploded upon their land in the midst of the greatest hurricane in legendic memory (E. Tylor, Primitive Culture, 1929, Vol.I., 322ff).
Accompanying the hurricane was a piercing noise so terrifying and prolonged it is reminiscent of the testimony of “noise” recorded by the Egyptian scribe Ipuwer, and the Book of Exodus. The Polynesians talk of a deluge of water which was drawn away by the mighty pull of a hurricane called “Tefaafanau.” To commemorate the event, the natives of this scenic paradise celebrate a feast of the same name in March — the very time when the Exodus took place! (Williamson,
Religious and Cosmic Beliefs of Central Polynesia, Vol.I.,36,154,237). The Japanese myths contain the same national memory of this event, not only including the noise and the tidal waves with the hurricane but adding the unnatural dark-ness which descended upon their land: “The source of light disappeared, and the whole world became dark” (Nihongi,
Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times in Transactions and Proceedings of the Japanese Society, I, (1896), 37f,47). This strange darkness is recorded by Josephus. He tells us it descended upon Egypt causing blindness and severe choking problems (Josephus Flavius, Ant., Thackeray tr.,1930, II,xiv,5). At el-Arish, on the border of Israel and Egypt, stands a shrine of black granite which contains a hieroglyphic inscription: “The land was in great affliction. Evil fell on this earth… There was a great upheaval in the residence… Nobody could leave the palace during nine days, and during those nine days of upheaval there was such a tempest that neither men nor gods could see the faces of those beside them” (Griffith, op cit.). This plague of darkness, the Scripture says, “could be felt” (Ex10.21). Israel, in Goshen, had light — but what sort, form or quality of light is not stated (10.23).
The biblical record is silent as to whether any Israelites suffered with “choking” or “blindness” in a manner similar to the Egyptians but rabbinical traditions claim that the loss of Israelites (perhaps those on the very borders of Goshen) was severe (Targum Yerushalmi on Ex 10.23; Mekhilta d’rabbi Simon ben Jokhai, 1905, 38). The Bible refers to three days of darkness, Egyptian records speak of nine, and rabbinical traditions claim at least seven. The solution is simple enough.
For most of the time there was slight visibility but for three days there was absolutely no visibility whatsoever. If this plague was also worldwide then we would expect even lengthier darkness or gloom on the opposite side of the earth. And that is exactly what the mythologies of ancient peoples tell us occurred! The ancient Persians reveal that a threefold day and threefold night enveloped the world (The Anugita, Vol.III of The Sacred Books of the East, tr. by K. Telang, 1882). The Babylonians speak of “desolation… stretched to heaven; all that was bright was turned into darkness… nor could a brother distinguish his brother… Six days… the hurricane, deluge, and tempest continued sweeping the land… and all human back to its clay was returned(Ep. Gilg, tr. Thompson, 1928, 11th tablet). The Peruvians tell us that the sun did not shine in the sky for five days. “The earth remained in darkness” (Brasseur, Sources de l’hist. primitive du Mexique, 40). Solinus bespeaks of a “heavy night” spreading over the globe which lasted according to one translator “nine days” and to another “nine months” (Caius Julius Solinus, Polyhistor., 1847, ch.XI). The Brahman Indians claim the sun stayed in the sky a full total of ten days, while in China (as would be expected) during the reign of Emperor Yahou the sun did not set for exactly the same period of time — ten days (“Yao” Universal Lexicon, 1732-1754, Vol. LX).
It would appear that in the second millennium BCE a major cosmic catastrophe occurred during which our planet was subjected to turbulence and violence unknown since the days of Noah. It would be apparent that this disturbance, if we are to believe all the consenting records of ancient peoples, nearly wiped out the human race. We are also led to the conclusion that the planet underwent a radical alteration in its normal path around the Sun. Certainly the scribe Ipuwer seemed to think so: “Forsooth, the land is reversed like a potter’s wheel” (IP 2.8). The land being reversed can mean only one thing! Egyptian priests told Herodotus that within their land’s reckoning of time, “four times in this period… the sun rose contrary to his wont; twice he rose where he now sets, and twice he set where he now rises” (Herodotus, Hist., II, 142). Again, in Egyptian records we find a time when, during cosmic upheaval, “the south becomes north, and the Earth turns over” (The Magical Papyrus Harris.,tr. Lange, in K. Danske Videnskabernes Selskab, 1927, 58). There is another ancient papyrus, written during the time of Ipuwer, which states that “the land (is) upside down; happens that which never (yet) had happened” (Ermitage Papyrus Leningrad, 1116b recto). The celebrated Breasted has contained an inscription from the so-called “Middle Kingdom”: “Harakhte [the Egyptian name for the western sun], he riseth in the west!”
(Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Vol.III, Sect.18). The pyramid texts leave us in no doubt about the fact that the sun “ceased to live in the Occident, and shines, a new one, in the orient” (L. Speelers, Les Textes des Pyramides, 1923, Vol.I). It has astounded Egyptologists for years, in confirmation of these records, that the constellations on Egyptian artwork, especially that in the tomb of Senmut, are reversed! Egyptologists have no easy answer to the puzzle (A. Pogo, The Astronomical Ceiling Decoration in the Tomb of Senmut (XVIIIth Dynasty), Isis 1930, 306). Even Plato understood what our historians today have largely rejected. Cosmic disturbances have not left our planet untouched!
Plato relates: “I mean the change in the rising and the setting of the sun and the other heavenly bodies, how in those times they used to set in the quarter where they now rise, and used to rise where they now set… At certain periods the universe has its present circular motion, and at other periods it revolves in the reverse direction… Of all the changes which take place in the heavens this reversal is the greatest and most complete” (Plato, The Statesman or Politicus, tr. Fowler, 1925, 49,53). Plato adds, “There is at that time great destruction of animals in general, and only a small part of the human race survives” (ibid).
Other ancient philosophers tell the same story: “Zeus… changed the course of the sun, causing it to rise in the east and not in the west” (A.C. Pearson, The Fragments of Sophocles, III, 5, Frag.738). Euripides confirmed it (Euripides, Electra, II,727ff). Eskimos of Greenland (Olrik, Ragnarok, 407), Talmudic traditions (Taam Zekenim 55b, 58b), the Arabic Koran (Surah LV), Mexican Indians (Seler, Gesammelte Abhandlungen Vol.III), the Chinese (Bellamy, Moons, Myths, and Man, 69), and the Syrians (C. Virolleaud, Mission de Ras Shamra, Vol.IV, 1938) all speak of the dis-arrangements of the heavens, the new paths of the constellations and the rising of a new sun in the east instead of the west. The ancient peoples knew what they were talking about. We may scoff today and call them ignorant barbarians. They were not! They were recording what they were witnessing in their world. It is we who are the true barbarians. We laugh and smirk at these ancient writings, yet they have been left to posterity as an historical record of cosmic disturb-ances in the far past, and as a warning of what the future may yet hold for each and every one of us. These ancient records must be reconsidered by each and every one of us and evaluate them in the light of the revelation which the angelic-elohim have left us in the capable hands of the secret schools of the prophets. No records of Israel’s escape from the concentration camps of ancient Egypt? No records of Moses? No records of the Exodus?
THE WORLD IS FULL OF RECORDS. We have shown that the biblical record can be substantiated, that it has substance. We have shown that the ancient sacred texts can be trusted. Theologians and historians alike should not seek to preserve unchangeable dogmatic systems, but be continually open to the constant emergence of new understanding and knowledge. As the great Berkouwer has said, “Surely Reformation thinking is by definition willing to accept the challenge” (G.C.Berkouwer, A Half Century of Theology: Movements and Motives, 1977, 8). Those of us associated with the (BRI/IMCF) are certainly making such an attempt.