ISRAEL IN EGYPT. THE BEGINNING
” Now there arose a new King over Egypt who knew not Joseph,” Exodus 1:8. This statement is a conflation of two events separated in space and time. The defining event in separating the Israelites from the five sons of Leah, the later Judahites, was the conspiracy to kill Joseph by his half-brothers after stripping him of his coat of many colors and throwing him down a well. Then his rescue by Midianites and sale to a caravan of Ishmaelites heading to Egypt, who sold him into slavery in Egypt about 1640- 1635 BCE, Genesis 37. This ties in with the 430 years mentioned in Exodus 12:41 as the time the Judahites stayed in Egypt (1640-1210 BCE). Joseph became vizier of the Hyksos, the Asiatics from Canaan, who established the Fifteenth Dynasty in Egypt with their capital at Avaris, about 1645 BCE. Joseph was 30 years of age when he became Vizier of the Hyksos about 1627 BCE, Genesis 41:46.
THE COAT OF MANY COLORS
JOSEPH WAS STRIPPED OF HIS COAT AND THROWN DOWN
A DRY WELL BY FIVE OF HIS JEALOUS HALF-BROTHERS
Ibscha.jpg Author: Nebmaatre. After Lepsius
The site of Avaris, Tell el-Daba, has been well characterised by the Austrian Archaeological Institute under Manfred Bietak and latterly Irene Forstner Muller. See Tell el-Daba excavation reports on line. auaris.at.html. Joseph married Asenath a daughter of a priest of the Moon god I’ah (Yah) Genesis 41:51-52. who was based at On or Egyptian Iunu. When the Israelites came to Avaris seeking grain Joseph was careful to separate the five conspirators, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah and Gad Genesis 47:2-6 from the Israelites. There was no reconciliation. The Judahites were given grazing land at Goshen and stayed there with their sheep and cattle until Moses led them out of Egypt after the death of Ramessess II in 1213 BCE.. The rest, the Israelites were welcomed into Avaris 1625-1620 BCE.
CANAANITES COMING TO EGYPT
THE ISRAELITES CAME TO AVARIS IN EGYPT
AFTER THE CANAANITES HAD ESTABLISHED
A DYNASTY THERE
Ibscha.jpg Author Nebmaatre. After Lepsius
According to Genesis 46:26 only sixty six people came into Egypt as the eleven tribes. Plus Ephraim and Manasseh the sons of Joseph and Asenath. Total seventy. The sons of the five conspirators at Goshen totalled twenty five. Total 30 adult males. With wives and children about one hundred to one hundred and twenty at Goshen. And at Avaris 38 adult males or about 160 men, women and children.
AVARIS, PI-RAMESSES AND GOSHEN on PELUSIAC NILE. EGYPTIAN DELTA
M. Bietak and I.Forstner- Muller.Topography of New Kingdom Avaris and Per-Ramesses
Isra’el the patriarch stayed with the son of his beloved Rachel in Joseph’s palace at Avaris. Isra’el changed his name to Yah’chov, “the debt to Yah (I’ah)” demonstrating his determination to adopt the family God YHW, “Yah is Great” or more generally “God is Great” in an attempt to reunite his family. I’ah (YH) the Moon Egyptian N11 and W G43 from Gardiner’s hieroglyphic list. W means “great” in the Coptic Dictionary and in Gardiner’s list for G43. The original hieroglyphs for YHW used by Yah’chov were ;
w i’ah (yh)
I’AHW (YHW) FAMILY GOD OF THE ISRAELITES IN EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHS
This version uses the Egyptian crescent moon I’ah and Isra’el would not have known the difference. Ryholt in his book, ‘The Political Situation during the Second Intermediate Period.’ points out that the Hyksos (and Israelites) misunderstood the signs they produced during the 15th Dynasty. The name YHW was transmitted orally not by any written means of transmission purely by aural cognition. As shown on the inscription at the Soleb temple using phonograms the ‘correct hieroglyphs’ for YHW are;
w w3 h y
YHW was accepted by both Israelites at Avaris and Judahites at Goshen but did not result in a reconciliation. I’ah had already been introduced into Joseph’s family by his wife, Asenath, daughter of Potiperah the priest of I’ah (Yah), based at On or Egyptian Iunu. The Ahmosid Kings of Egypt indicates the popularity of I’ah at this time, including King Senakhtenre Ahmose, almost contemporary with these events. Yah’chov is recorded as dying at the palace of Joseph after blessing his grandsons Ephraim and Manasseh. Genesis 48:8-15. The palace found at Avaris is a 18,000 square metre construction recently excavated at Tell el-Daba on the south Harbor of Avaris
PALACE OF KING KHYAN AT AVARIS ON HARBOUR 2 c. 1600 BCE
JOSEPH THE VIZIER LIVED EITHER WITHIN THE PALACE OR NEARBY
I. Forstner-Muller. Providing a Map of Avaris. With modifications.
The Israelites and Judahites worshipped YHW in a syncretic form as YHW-El just as the Hyksos worshipped Seth-Baal. Abraham the patriarch had already introduced El the Western Semitic Creator God to his family shortly after leaving his brother Nahor at Padan-Aram. The El of Shaddai a town on the Euphrates River in North Syria was adopted by Abraham. Isra’el set up an altar to El at Shechem, El-e-lo’he-Israel (El is the God of Israel). Genesis 33:20.. Isra’el (Isura’el) as a given name was already in use at Ebla and Mari in 2500 BCE. The God of Isra’el was a fusion of the Family God with the Creator God. Later great stress was placed on the oneness of God, encapsulated in the Shema.
” Hear O Israel the Lord thy God The Lord is One.”
Joseph the vizier would have encouraged his brethren to engage in the lucrative trade available with olive oil, wine, incense and honey carried in Tell el-Yeduhiyah jars from Retenu or Canaan. From further afield trade in gold, silver, faience, turquoise and bronze weapons. From Lebanon resinous cedar wood and other woods. ” All the good products of Retenu,” as King Kamose said rather wistfully on his second stela at Karnak.
The Hyksos palace at area F/II is dated to Phase D/3 about 1600 BCE and may have an area up to 18000 square metres, see auaris.at Area F/II by Forstner Muller 2013. Scarabs of King Khyan have been found at the palace site giving a date for this King. Perhaps 1615-1585, during the time of a mature Joseph, son of Isra’el.
POLITICAL SITUATION IN EGYPT AT TIME OF
KING KHYAN 1600 BCE
Carte de l’Egypte de Seconde Periode
d’Antikforever.com Joel Guillet
THE FIRST EXODUS
Of the Israelite tribes from Avaris Egypt about 1540 BCE
King Ahmose expelled the Hyksos and Israelites from Avaris in Egypt into Canaan. This was an Exodus of haste and pursuit as described by Ahmose son of Ebana and on the Rhind Papyrus. The crossing of the Sea of Reeds (yam suph) or Lake Ballah.was later added to the story of the Second Exodus and changed to the Red Sea. See The Haggadah Seitz ed. p 106 for the Sea of Reeds.
LAKE BALLAH THE SEA OF REEDS “YAM SUPH”
THE EGYPTIANS HAD PROBLEMS HERE
THE SEA WAS MORE EXTENSIVE DURING EXODUS
biblearchaeology.org/post/2008/08/19/New Evidence from Egypt on Location of Exodus Sea Crossing Pt.1
The Hyksos were pursued into Lebanon while the Israelites went into Canaan and sheltered in Shechem and some of the Hyksos in Jericho. Shechem had ties to the Israelites. The patriarch Isra’el had bought land there Genesis 33:18-19, and the body of Joseph may have been taken and buried there. Both cities were destroyed about 1540-1535 BCE. Archaeology records the destruction of these cities, Shechem, Tell Balatah stratum XV and Jericho, Tell es-Sultan IVC.
KING AHMOSE WHO LED THE ATTACK ON THE HYKSOS AND ISRAELITES
Painting on Limestone slab. Manchester Museum 3303
Two Seals of Khamudi last King of the Hyksos have been found at Jericho. Radiocarbon dates for the destruction of Jericho gave 2 calibrated date ranges, 1601-1566 and 1561-1524 BCE. See Bruins and van der Veen 1995. These dates correlate well with the reign of King Ahmose 1551-1526 BCE. The Israelites were forced into the Trans Jordan.by the Egyptians. The most recent expedition to Jericho has confirmed a destruction level in area A Tell Es-Sultan IVC, Middle Bronze III. To quote, ” a violent destruction brought to a sudden end Jericho period IVC, around 1550 BCE or some years later….. the city was so badly shattered that it was abandoned for several centuries and the inhabitants probably moved to another part of the Jericho oasis.” See http://www.lasasapienzatojericho.it/Results%201997-2000/res_sulIVc.htm
SEPARATE ROUTES OF FIRST AND SECOND EXODUS
THE FIRST THE ISRAELITES c.1540 BCE.
THE SECOND THE JUDAHITES c.1210 BCE
M.Byers. Biblical Archaeology August 23 2008 Modified route.
CAMPAIGN OF KING AHMOSE WHO EXPELLED THE HYKSOS
AND THE ISRAELITES FROM AVARIS 1540-1535 BCE
SHECHEM WHERE THE ISRAELITES SHELTERED
AND JERICHO WHERE SOME OF THE HYKSOS SHELTERED
SEAL OF KHAMUDI FROM TOMB 30 JERICHO
Israel Museum 33.1256
MIDDLE BRONZE AGE PALACE AT JERICHO 1800-1540
“HYKSOS” PALACE OF GARSTANG
Tell es-Sultan/Jericho 2015 Fig.9 lasapienzatojericho.it
SHECHEM MIDDLE BRONZE AGE
LOOKING WEST WITH NORTH WEST GATE AND FORTIFIED TEMPLE
C. Baloge Balogh
Between 1540 and 1535 King Ahmose captured Avaris, besieged and captured the fortress of Sharuhen and pursued the Hyksos as far as Kedem according to hieroglyphs in the tomb of Queen Aahmes Nefertari, possibly near the pool of Ein Kedem, Carmel, Israel.. Then he besieged and destroyed Shechem forcing the Israelites into the Trans Jordan as Shasu-YHW. Besieged and destroyed Jericho forcing the Hyksos into the Trans Jordan as Shasu and in addition King Khamudi of the Hyksos may have died during the siege of Jericho.
For three hundred years the Israelites were in the Trans Jordan as Shasu YHW, wanderers of YHW. However during campaign 8 of Thutmose III beyond the Euphrates River c.1447-46 the Shasu including the Shasu-YHW may have entered Canaan but were expelled during Thutmose III’s campaign 14 of 1440 BCE.
ENTRY OF ISRAELITE TRIBES INTO CANAAN
Led by Joshua the Ephraimite 1235
Joshua the Ephraimite, a direct descendant of Joseph, led the Israelites into Canaan about 1235 BCE. At a time when the aged Ramesses II had only weak control over north Canaan. The Shasu YHW are mentioned in Egyptian sources including the temple of Amenhotep III at Soleb and on the base of a statue, Berlin 21687.The statue base inscription mentions “Is-ra-er” but is of unknown provenance. Jephthah a Manassehite. a descendant of Joseph, mentions the 300 years in the Trans Jordan approx.1535-1235 BCE Judges 11:26.
PART OF COLUMN FROM SOLEB TEMPLE SHOWING SHASU-YHW
TEMPLE OF AMUN-RE AMENHOTEP III 1392-1353 BCE
The Israelites entered Canaan about 1235 BCE and moved past Gilgal, Bethel, Shiloh and to the Hills of Ephraim. The later scribes could not resist adding nearby Jericho and Ai to the conquests of Joshua however there is no Archaeological evidence for this.
EASTERN ENTRY OF ISRAELITES INTO CANAAN
LED BY JOSHUA THE EPHRAIMITE
There were no wholesale conquests of Canaan except for Hazor. The Ben Tor and Zuckerman expedition has dated destruction of stratum XIII at Hazor to the mid 13th Century..ASOR blog, Ceremonial Precinct in the Upper City of Hazor. The recent find of a worship table with the name Rahotep a priest of Ramesses II (1279-1213 BCE) at Stratum XIII supports the dating. Deborah and Barak led the tribes of Naphthali and Zebulun Judges 4:14-15 and destroyed the army of Hazor led by Sisera as a prelude to the destruction of Hazor at a time between 1235-1210 BCE. The presence of the Israelites in Canaan is confirmed by the victory stele of King Merneptah about 1208 BCE who mentions the punishment of Israel. Israel as a people not a country and not as Shasu-YHW. Note this was before the southern Judahites had entered Canaan.
MERNEPTAH STELE DESCRIBING PUNISHMENT OF ISRAEL
COROLLARY TO MERNEPTAH STELE FROM KARNAK. SETI I
SHASU AT PER-KANAN
The coalition of 5 Kings defeated by Joshua, see Joshua 10, were all from cities of Judah. This story has been added to support the combined Exodus of Israelites and Judahites under Joshua. The city of Lachish stratum VI was destroyed after 1150 BCE and a cartouche of Ramesses III (1184-1153 BCE) beneath the destruction level discovered by the Ussishkin expedition, see BAR 13:01 1987 confirms the date. This destruction was either by Philistines from nearby Gath or perhaps the Judahites of Hebron. The late date confirms this was not an Israelite conquest led by Joshua the Ephraimite.
The Israelites had to adapt quickly and gain experience and knowledge in agriculture, building and metallurgy. Local farms and the city of Shechem would have provided this. The third generation Gideon is recorded as threshing wheat by the wine press on his father’s farm at Ophrah in the territory of Manasseh Judges 6:11 about 1150 BCE. The expansion of the Israelites into Canaan was a slow process over centuries not decades.For example Megiddo became Israelite during the Ir IIA period. However the actual date is controversial either the United Kingdom of Solomon or the time of Ahab, a difference of 100 years.See Finkelstein and Ussishkin.
THE SECOND EXODUS LED BY MOSES THE LEVITE
Of the Judahite tribes from Goshen Egypt about 1210 BCE
The pastoral Judahites were given land to the east of Avaris by the Hyksos King, at the prompting of his vizier Joseph but would have moved around as conditions of flood and pasture availability changed. The Judahites remained in the broad area of Goshen until the Nineteenth Dynasty when adult males were conscripted to work on the new and nearby capital of Pi-Ramesses from about 1294 BCE. Pi-Ramesses had an area of about 15 square kilometres. Industrial areas of glass making and bronze smelting were within the city limits..
FERTILE GOSHEN EAST OF THE PELUSIAC NILE
HOME OF THE JUDAHITE TRIBES 1630-1210 BCE
After Ferrell Jenkins
BEDOUIN TENT SIMILAR TO THAT OF THE JUDAHITE TRIBES
IN GOSHEN c. 1630-1210 BCE
commons wikimedia.org bedouin-tent
During the time of Ramesses the movement of the Judahites was probably restricted to ensure Judahite conscripts were readily available. See reports of Austrian Archaeological Institute for Qantir and ongoing excavation now under Dr Henning Franzmeier ucl.ac.uk QANTIR-PIRAMESSE and UCL QATAR. Pabasa the scribe describes Pi-Ramesses, ” I arrived at the House of Ramesses, beloved of Amun and I found it extremely prosperous… life in the Residence is pleasant. Its fields abound with all good produce. Its canals are filled with fish and its marshlands with birds. Its plains are abundant with green pastures… from the cultivated fields come fruit with the taste of honey, its granaries are filled with barley and wheat.”
EGYPTIAN EMPIRE UNDER RAMESSES II 1250 BCE
FAIENCE TILE FROM THE DAIS
LEADING TO THE THRONE OF RAMESSES II
DUCKS FROM THE MARSHES AND FISH FROM THE
CANALS OF PI-RAMESSES- TILES FROM PI-RAMESSES
H.E. Winlock. Faience tiles from an Egyptian Palace. Bull Met Mus of Art. pdf
This description would also apply to Goshen. For the first three hundred years the pastoral Judahites would have prospered until Pi-Ramesses was built nearby..During the slavery period the Judahites worked to excavate the canals (K1 and K2) and harbor area (S1) of Pi-Ramesses. The mud was mixed with straw then poured into moulds and baked in the sun to make mud bricks for the dwellings of Pi-Ramesses and Pithom Exodus 1:11. The Judahite tribes were a convenient source of foreign workers. Ramesses had an army based at Pi-Ramesses to coerce the Judahites into doing his bidding.
PI-RAMESSES WHERE CONSCRIPTED JUDAHITES WORKED
PROBABLY ON THE CANALS (K1 K2) AND MAKING MUD BRICKS
M. Bietak and I. Forstner-Muller. Topography of New Kingdom Avaris and Per Ramesses. Detail of Per Ramesses
MAGNETOMETRY SHOWING PALACE AREA OF PI-RAMESSES
I’AH-MOSE PROBABLY LIVED HERE
E. Pusch. Erforschung der Ramesse stadt. rpmuseum.de
After the death of Ramesses II in 1213 BCE I’ah (Yh)-mose (Moses) “born of I’ah,” a common Egyptian theophoric name, the prophet of YHW a descendant of Levi, led the pastoral Judahite tribes to Midian in Arabia, from where Moses had recently returned to Egypt after his exile Exodus 2:23, Exodus 3:1. Moses was an educated and literate man, in contrast to the majority of the pastoral Judahite tribes. He would have been a natural choice as a leader for the Judahite Exodus.The name I’ah-mose is a convenience it may have equally been Ra-mose, Thut-mose or Ptah-mose. The use of the Hebrew masheh, “to draw out,” has no relevance to the name Moses. Moses was raised by one of the younger Princesses, daughters of Ramesses, although he had contact with the Levites via his older sister Miriam and his natural mother Yocheved, as a wet nurse. In the palace of Ramesses he would have been raised with an Egyptian theophoric name as described above. Later the reference to the Egyptian God was removed from his name to give Mose = Moses. The name change was associated with the definitive break between a young Moses and the Egyptians, after Moses was involved in the manslaughter of an Egyptian overseer who was assaulting a Judahite conscript.Exodus 2:11-12. After this violent act Moses fled from Pi-Ramesses to Midian Moses stayed in Midian until after the death of King Ramesses.in 1213. Exodus 2:23 .
PRINCESS NEBETTAWY (OR HENUTTAWY)
DAUGHTERS OF RAMESSES II
MOSES (I’AH MOSE) MAY HAVE BEEN RAISED
IN ONE OF THESE HOUSEHOLDS
mathcls.slu.edu Anneke Bart after Lepsius.
This was a leisurely Exodus with women, children, sheep, goats and cattle. Exodus 12:32. There is no Egyptian record of this Exodus in contrast to the earlier Exodus of Hyksos and Israelites. The Judahites packed their tents on donkeys just as Abisha the Canaanite did when he came to 12th Dynasty Egypt. And the numbers on this Exodus, the painting of Abisha shows a family group of 15 however the hieroglyph mentions a total of 37 Asiatics. Indicating an original family group of about 200 for the 5 Judahite families at Goshen. Infant mortality was high, probably only about 400-500 souls left Goshen for Midian, in Arabia, despite the 400 year sojourn at Goshen. According to Genesis 46:8-26 there were only about 100-120 individuals at the time of the five Judahite tribes arrival at Goshen.
RAMESSES II KING OF EGYPT 1279-1213 BCE
AT LEAST 60 STATUES OF THIS KING AT PI-RAMESSES
THE GRAVEN IMAGE BECAME ANATHEMA TO JUDAISM
commons.wikimedia.org Torino Museo Egizio statua
The Passover of the angel of death and the death of all the first born of Egypt refers to the death of the Crown Prince of Egypt, perhaps Prince Khaemwaset in 1224 BCE about the time Moses was forced to flee Egypt after killing an Egyptian. Pharaoh WAS EGYPT! The story derives from a misunderstanding of the term ” first born of Egypt.” The very name Egypt indicates the late derivation of this story. Egypt derives from Greek Aigyptos which in turn derives from the name for 26th Dynasty (664-525 BCE) Memphis, Hut-ka-Ptah, the enclosure of Ptah. The date corresponds well with the reign of King Josiah or perhaps from contact between the Jews and Greeks after the First Aliyah to Egypt of 586 BCE. The Greeks had a military presence at Memphis after 570 BCE and had been at Tahpanhes when the Jewish immigrants arrived. The ancient Egyptian name for their land was Kmt, Ku-mat or black land. The other nine plagues have been described as natural phenomena, the blood is a red algal bloom common at times of low and stagnant water flow and high temperatures. There were no doors, the Judahites were living in tents at the time of this Exodus.
Two of the plagues, ” so there was hail and fire mingled with the hail,” Exodus 9:24 and “there was a thick darkness in the land of Egypt for three days.” Exodus 10:22. may be folk memories of the effect of the volcanic eruption of Thera. The Judahites were in the delta region from about 1625- 1620 to 1210 BCE, certainly in the area at the time of the great volcanic eruption.
After leaving Goshen the Judahites arrived at Pithom or Egyptian Per-Atum, the city of Atum, where some Judahites had been sent to work, probably using their expertise from making mud bricks at Per-Ramesses. Per-Atum is Tell El-Retaba and a Polish-Slovak team have uncovered some of the archaeology of this town from the Hyksos and Ramesside periods. From Pithom Moses added another 100 Judahites to his Exodus.
So the total number of Judahites leaving Egypt was 600. Later scribal hyperbole expanded this number to a totally unsustainable 600,000 souls. Exodus 12:37. The convoluted route of the Exodus described in Exodus 14:2 is an attempt, by the Judahite scribes, to include details of the First Exodus of the Israelites into Canaan.. This was part of the revised combined Exodus of both Israelites and Judahites under Moses the Levite
PITHOM OR PER-ATUM. PLAQUE WITH ENGRAVING AND CARTOUCHE
OF RAMESSES II – USERMAATRE SETEPENRE
bible.archaeology.free.fr Temple of Atum Tell el-Retaba
Sinai was not an option for the Judahites. Sinai was added for dramatic effect to demonstrate the might and power of YHW the Judahite God. Why would they go back toward Egypt and unknown territory. There are NO trees or bushes on MT Sinai. There was NO confrontation between Pharaoh and Moses, Ramesses died before the return of Moses to Goshen Exodus 2:23 and Exodus 3. The next Pharaoh Merneptah had his capital at Men-nefer ( Memphis) NOT Pi-Ramesses. There was no parting of the Red Sea this is a borrowing from the First Exodus where the Egyptians had problems crossing the Sea of Reeds (yam suph) or Lake Ballah.
DIRECT ROUTE OF JUDAHITES FROM GOSHEN TO MIDIAN.
Moses took the Judahites directly to his father in-law Jethro Exodus 18:1-5. Moses had only recently returned to Goshen and knew the route well. The route took Moses and the Judahite tribes along the ancient Egypt to Arabia trade route. Not the hostile and barely travelled area now called the Sinai peninsula and part of Egypt..There is a possibility this person Jethro may have been Shu’ayb mentioned in the Koran. Shu’ayb was based at Madyan which may be modern Al Bad where a cave of Shu’ayb and wells and caves of Moses are said to be. See The Koran Al Ara-Af 7:85-93, Al Shuara 26:1176-191, Hud 11:84-95 and Al-Hijr 15:78-79. Also see Demetrius the Chronographer about 225 BCE, in Eusebius Preparatio Evangelica 9:29.1-3, long before Helena decided Sinai was in Egypt not Arabia. There are at least 12 wells around Al Bad. In addition not too far away is Jabal al-Lawz, also known as Jabal Musa, the Mountain of Moses, which may be the Holy Mountain of Moses which had already been part of Moses experience on his first time in Midian. Exodus 3:1-6
MIDIAN IN ARABIA ON GULF OF AQABA.
AL BAD PERHAPS MADYAN
AND JABAL AL-LAWZ OR JABAL MUSA
PERHAPS THE HOLY MOUNTAIN
JABAL AL-LAWZ IN MIDIAN PERHAPS MT HOREB OF MOSES
Moses knew every well and pasture in Midian having lived there as a shepherd for his father in-law Jethro or Reuel for over 10 years. Moses had discovered Mount Horeb at the backside of the desert. Exodus 3:1. Moses would have ensured the livestock of the Judahites were well looked after. Protection of the livestock was paramount for the survival of the Judahites, providing meat, milk, wool and leather. For food, clothing and shelter.
“HE LED THE FLOCK TO THE BACKSIDE
OF THE DESERT AND CAME TO THE
MOUNTAIN OF GOD, EVEN TO HOREB”
C . Google Earth
On his previous enforced stay at Midian Moses had married Tzipporah and had two sons Gershom and Eliezer. Exodus 18:1-6 . These sons and probably some of the tribe of Jethro were introduced to the God is Great concept or “Allahu Akbar” in Arabic and the symbolism of the crescent Moon.. This phrase was carried down the generations by oral tradition and was incorporated into Islamic religion under Muhammad the prophet. THE symbol of Islam is the crescent Moon found on the flag of most Islamic States.
THE FLAG OF IRAN WITH CRESCENT MOON AND STAR
The Judahites remained at Midian for about 15 years and during this time Moses the prophet of YHW made a new covenant with YHW reinforced by daily prayer and rituals to strengthen the ties between the National God and the Judahites. Moses tribe the Levites became the priests of YHW.
MIDIAN TO KADESH BARNEA
FOLLOWED BY DIVIDED ROUTES
INTO CANAAN AND TRANS-JORDAN c 1195-1190 BCE
The Judahites moved to Kadesh Barnea at a time when the Egyptian 19th dynasty was preoccupied with dynastic rivalries about 1195-1190 BCE. This was a short stay, including a scouting expedition by Caleb the Judahite to Hebron,.” and surely the land flows with milk and honey and this is the fruit of it,.” so the report of Caleb to Moses went. Numbers 13:22-27. The Judahite tribes separated after leaving Kadesh Barnea c 1195 BCE. The tribe of Levi, which included the Priests of YHW, were divided between the other four tribes. This indicates a nominal 150 individuals for each of the four tribes.
The Simeonites moved to Hormah (Tel Masos) in the north Negev. A scarab of King Seti II (1203-1197) found at Hormah, but not in situ, supports the date. See Aharon Kempinski Tel Masos penn.museum/documents/publications/expedition/PDFs/20-4/Kempinski. on Penn Museum site. Tel Masos stratum IIIB revealed cooking pits and baking ovens around a group of wells. Bones of sheep, goats and cattle were found. Later in Stratum IIIA four room buildings appear. Livestock were kept within the buildings..
HORMAH STRATUM II.. PUBLIC BUILDINGS MAY HAVE
BEEN USED BY THE LEVITES
BASED ON EGYPTIAN MODELS PROVIDED BY I’AH-MOSE
Kempinski. Tel Masos Reference above.
The Judahites conquered Hebron or Khirbet Arba led by Caleb the Judahite. At this time Hebron was in the area of Mediterranean woodland and scrub. Dates, grapes, pomegranates and figs were grown for domestic consumption. Excavation at Tel Rumeida (Eisenberg 2014) suggest there was only a small settlement during the LBA to Iron Age I transition. (1200-1100 BCE).There is no or very little evidence of settlement during the Late Bronze Age (1550-1200 BCE).
Moses the Levite and Aaron his brother, the Priest of YHW, went with the Reubenites and Gadites into the Trans Jordan with their sheep and cattle. Parts of the Trans Jordan were still Mediterranean woodland and scrub. Of the family of Moses the Levite, the Prophet of YHW, his sister Miriam died at Kadesh. His brother Aaron the Priest of YHW died near Mt Hor in Edom not long after. Moses died near Mt Nebo in the territory of the Reubenites, just east of the northern shore of the Dead Sea, probably less than 10 years later c.1185 BCE.
EVIDENCE FOR SEPARATION OF ISRAELITES AND JUDAHITES
Note the forty years, 1235 and 1195 BCE, separating the arrival of the Israelites and Judahites in Canaan. This figure was incorporated into the later Combined Exodus of all the tribes of Israel, the “forty years in the wilderness.” Numbers 32:13, Deuteronomy 2:7 and Joshua 5:6. Said to be a punishment of Israel for their transgressions. In fact a rewrite of the details of the First and Second Exoduses. If the livestock of the Judahite tribes had been subjected to such harsh conditions most of the sheep and cattle would have died. Protection of the livestock was a major concern for the pastoral Judahite tribes. That is why Moses went directly to an area where he knew water was available for the men, women and children of the Five Tribes as well as for the sheep, cattle, goats and donkeys. Evidence from Tel Masos shows the livestock survived the Judahite Exodus.
The separation of Judahites and Israelites is nowhere more clearly demonstrated than in the war between neighbouring Judah and the Josephite tribe of Benjamin.Judges 20:18. The territory of Benjamin was incorporated into the later Kingdom of Judah. In 1004 BCE a strategic advance north from the capital at Hebron to Jerusalem was made. King David the Judahite captured Jerusalem, the city becoming for a time the capital of a United Israel and then of the Kingdom of Judah..
During the United Kingdom period King David took separate censuses of Israelites with 800,000 valiant men. And in Judah 500,000 men. II Samuel 24:9
During the United Kingdom of Israel under King Solomon Jeroboam the Ephraimite was appointed “ruler”over the Josephite tribes, I Kings 11:28. After the death of Solomon Jeroboam became King of Israel and Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, was King of Judah. This indicates the continuing long term division between the tribes of Israel and the tribes of Judah extending all the way back to Joseph, son of the Patriarch Isra’el.
In fact this division stems from the wives of Isra’el the patriarch. Leah was buried at the Cave of Machphelah with a life of tradition, convention and child bearing behind her. Rachel, the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, was impulsive, adventurous and clever. She was to die near Bethlehem after giving birth to Benjamin. These two strands were to continue down the generations of Jews to the present day via the sons of Leah and of Rachel In a twist of fate, or the will of YHW, the sacrifice of Rachel was not in vain. Benjamin was to carry his mother’s genes down the generations..
VIEW FROM MT NEBO JORDAN LOOKING WEST
PROBABLY SIMILAR TO THE VIEW MOSES HAD
Much later this story of the Exodus of the Judahites was changed to include both the Israelites and Judahites. All the tribes of a United Israel, travelling to the Trans Jordan with Moses and then into Canaan with Joshua. The Israelite tribes were deported to Assyria in 722 BCE, their story was assimilated into that of the Judahite tribes.The basic facts of the two Exoduses are still in the Bible overlaid with later scribal hyperbole and some omissions, such as the identity of the five who came before the King of the Hyksos, and some alterations.
The miracles in the Bible and the hyper-inflated numbers were to tie the Judahites to their National God YHW at times when their very survival was threatened. King Hezekiah (715-686) centralized worship of YHW at the Temple of Jerusalem when the Judahites were threatened by Assyria. King Hezekiah introduced the celebration of Passover (Jewish Pesach) during the early part of his reign, II Chronicles 30: 1-5. This may have been the 500th Anniversary of the Exodus of the Judahite tribes from Egypt on the 15th of Nisan in 712-710 BCE. Passover was tied to the ancient lunar Spring Festival on the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox. To the Samaritans anything to do with the Judahite Exodus was a laughing matter..The Yahwist King Josiah (641-609) was a strong proselytizer of the Yahwist cause, II Chronicles 34:3-7 and II Chronicles 34:14-19. The Book of Deuteronomy was probably written by the scribe Shaphan during his reign based on material held in the Temple at Jerusalem. The threat of Pharaoh Necho and then later the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar were threats to the very survival of the Judaeans as a people.
When the Jewish immigrants in Egypt translated their books from Hebrew to Greek, the Pentateuch, about 270 BCE the story of the combined Exodus of Israelites and Judahites under Moses was already well established in the Torah, the Five Books of Moses. In addition the story of the Israelites at the Sea of Reeds pursued by King Ahmose had been changed to include all the Israelite tribes and the Judahites under Moses, the miraculous parting of the Red Sea and the drowning of the army of King Ramesses. The Greek translation was to diffuse throughout the literate world of Europe and the Near East.
KINGDOMS OF ISRAEL AND JUDAH
KING DAVID TOOK SEPARATE CENSUSES
OF ISRAELITES AND JUDAHITES II Samuel 24:9
The historical derivation of the Judaean God in no way affects the moral and spiritual values of Judaism. They are separate and entirely different issues and should remain so.
This blog is not a scholarly dissertation on the Exodus. Some references, available on line, have been indicated. Many hundreds more are available. The major reason for this blog is to stimulate discussion and interest. In particular on how the two Exoduses have impacted religious beliefs and attitudes even to this day.
I am a Medical Scientist, now retired, with an avid interest in the Exodus story and the Archaeology of the period. The story of the Exodus, presented here, is based on the available Archaeological and Literary evidence. Recent information on Avaris (Tell el-Daba) has revolutionized our knowledge of this early period and the background to the arrival of the Israelites in Egypt. Similarly excavations at Pi-Ramesses (Qantir) has and will continue to provide background on the period of the Judahites and the time of Moses. Much of the later Literary material centred around Moses, the Prophet of YHW, has been dramatized by the later Biblical scribes, I have called this scribal hyperbole. The combined Exodus under Moses the Levite and the entry into Canaan via the Trans Jordan under Joshua the Ephraimite demonstrate the attempt to stitch together the Judahite and Israelite Exoduses.The miracles and highly improbable numbers are to reassure the Judahites of the power and protection of the Lord and ensure the continuing unity of the Judaeans, during times when their very existence was threatened.
The story of the Exodus is a miracle of belief and survival against almost impossible odds.