Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharaoh says to you, Prove yourselves by working a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’” So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. Still Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the LORD had said. -- Exodus 7:8-13, English Standard Version
The two failed deification of men: Pharaoh and Magicians. The mighty man who thinks himself a king, and the manipulator who thinks to connect himself with Unlimited Power…
…Unlimited Power from below, of course. Unlimited Power from above is the exclusive property of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God.
Unlimited Power from below is a cheat and a fraud.
Unlimited Power from above is never unlimited in use, as it is tied to the Father’s Law and the Father’s Will. There was a time when Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, could be killed by a common sword (a spear was actually used, as He hung on a cross), but there was never a time when He chose to do evil, or ever defied His Father’s will.
It’s not about power, or safety, or invulnerability.
It’s about righteousness, holiness, justice… even mercy and love.
It’s about obedience to the Father’s will. His Commandments. His Law-Word.
Note that Jesus Christ – like His Father – is willing to share His authority and rule with those who also place the will of the Father above all things.
No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. -- Revelations 22:3-5, ESV
Those who seek Power from Below share nothing but delusions, deceptions, and death.
(Did you really think that the home of the Holy One was some big brothel? Or that the enemies of God would escape justice by hiding in an eternal nothingness – the eternal hope of our Secularist Masters?
Reality doesn’t work that way.
All debts will be paid in full.
And if you are too proud to have Christ pay it on your behalf as your Lord and God, you will pay it yourself before His throne. In full.)
This post touches on the rise of loser-magicans today, but focuses on a loser-empire of the past which depended on their own magicians and astrologers and priests.
It starts out short, focusing on current magicians.. and moves on to the artist-as-prophet, finally focusing long and hard on the magic-dominated world of Egypt.
That is, the historical evidence of the Exodus, how magic enslaved the Egyptians, and how God freed His people from the evil Mighty Man and their word-magic magicians.
From Rod Dreher‘s article Mainstreaming Satanism Target sells pro-trans merch designed by devil worshiper. No, really
Hadn’t intended to post today, but readers sent in two related stories that are signs of the times. First, this sympathetic BBC profile of Satanists who met in Boston recently for a convention. Excerpts:
A newly launched children’s book, titled Goodnight Baphomet, draws coos from bystanders.
The Satanic Temple’s code of guiding principles – the Seven Tenets – prioritises empathy, control over one’s own body, and respect for other people’s freedoms, including the freedom to offend.
Translate that into a kids’ book, and it includes rhymes like: “Respect everyone’s right to be, especially when they disagree. If their words make you mad, set them free – don’t be sad!”
Baphomet is the androgynous, goat-headed deity seen as a symbol of devil-worship. More:
Araceli Rojas, who flew from California to be here, finds the tenets relatable and easy to apply.
“I feel like I’ve always been quote-unquote a Satanist, I just didn’t know it.”
She says she first learned about TST through TikTok in 2020. “At that point I looked into it. A little scared, I think, like most would be. And I really wanted to make sure that they weren’t sacrificing babies! Then I started getting into the culture, and the scene, and I started to join meetings… and eventually I realised no, they’re not, it’s just a symbol that they use and it’s genuinely really good people.”
Chatting around the merch stalls, many people say their intro to The Satanic Temple came from the 2019 documentary Hail Satan?, directed by Penny Lane, which explores the Temple’s principles and early activism.
TST says it boosted membership from perhaps 10,000 in 2019, to more than 700,000 today.
Those gathered in Boston include local government staff, medics, engineers, artists, people in finance, a social worker, a therapist, and a circus performer. Many belong to the LGBTQ community. Plenty are married to Christians – or at least to non-Satanists.
The BBC presents these people as fun, freedom-loving folks who get a bad rap from the squares.
Meanwhile, the mainstream retailer Target has started carrying a few products by Abprallen UK, run by Erik, a self-described queer designer. From Abprallen’s site:
As a gay trans man it can be hard to find a place in this world that suits you, so I carved out my own and learned just how many people out there are like me. I get to speak with people all over the world, from so many unique and beautiful backgrounds, and I hope I incorporate some of our stories into my work.
Christians would be wise — indeed, are commanded — to marry their own, as opposed to devil worshippers.
Explicit Satanists as today, or implicit ones via marriage to an unbeliever (openly or some nominal Christian).
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? -- II Corinthians 6:14-16, ESV
Why sign up wth the losers and the damned — especially when you bring yourself and your children under judgement by God for your foolishness?
God’s people are to be separate from the damned.
Faithful Christians have nations to teach, sciences to lead, cultures to create, houses to build, discoveries to make. Filled with the Holy Spirit, we are the weak clay tools God has chosen to continue the work of His Son, the redemption of the world.
Humanism’s Prophet, the Artist
From the article “Humanism’s Prophet, the Artist” by R. J. Rushdoony. In the Journal of Christian Reconstruction, Volume 2, No. 1, Summer 1975. Pages 127 – 130. (Intro page here.)
The italicization of block quotes is mine.
The italicization of book titles is Rushdoony’s.
Joseph (or Josephin) Peladan (1858-1918), a French writer, mystic, and occultist, called himself Sar or “magician,” harking back to ancient Persia for an ideal. As a man opposed to Christianity, he sought to eradicate the older Christian idea of the artist as an artisan, i.e., a skilled businessman working in a particular medium as a means of exercising his godly dominion under God. Peladan wanted a rigorously humanistic idea of the arts, one more in line with the implications of the modern age, of humanism and Romanticism. He founded the order of Rose-Croix and made it a sponsor of art exhibits. He himself wrote a series of novels titled Decadence Latine. In an Easter Day proclamation which appealed to many artists, Peladan declared, “Artist—you are the king! Artist— you are the priest! Artist—you are the Magician!”1
Much earlier, the Romantic Movement, a logical development of humanism, had made explicit what art previously had held implicitly, “a new set of human values.”2 However, these new values appeared even in such a champion of classicism as Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780- 1867). According to Clark,
For his role as the high priest of tradition, for which Ingres deliberately cast himself, he had one qualification—a sublime faith in art. He really believed that the truth had been revealed to him. He was one of the elect. He was possessed by a higher power, so much so that he used to refer to himself in the third person, as Monsieur Ingres, even in his love letters.3
Faith now was not in God but in art; the elect people were artists, and inspiration now had a new class of prophets, the artists. Shelley, of course, declared poets to be the unacknowledged legislators of the world.
More than artists believed this idea. Inspiration for humanism increasingly had a new, inspired source. No old order, religion, or law could act as a brake to this wave of the future, inspiration welling out of the fountain of free, unfettered, uninhibited artistic man. The truth is man: this was the new doctrine, and man the artist, being most free from the past and its laws, most freely and fully expressed this truth.
Even so pious a soul as Gladstone contributed to this new spirit by absorbing Greek art into a pietistic Christianity. Gladstone felt that he had done a service to art, in that he believed himself to “have been the first to preach and teach that the secret of excellence in the art of Greece lay in the anthropomorphism, or, as I commonly call it, the the anthrophism of the Olympian religion.”4 The vast difference between man as God, and God incarnate as man, a most elementary and obvious fact, was blurred by Gladstone.
The artists, however, were usually wiser. They saw the difference between the Christian world view, and all art which, however humanistic, still echoed that world view, as against humanism and its perspective. Pablo Picasso saw the distinction clearly, declaring, in 1935, “In the old days pictures went forward towards completion by stages. Every day brought something new. A picture used to be a sum of additions. In my case a picture is a sum of destructions.”5 Because humanism wants to rebuild man totally, it means also to reconstruct his seeing and his universe. This involves a steady erosion and destruction of the older sight and its replacement with a new kind of vision.
The artists differ on what this new vision must be, but they are agreed that it must be totally a human product, unconditioned by external reality or by any tradition imposed by the past.
Much earlier, Eugene Delacroix, in his Journal entry for May 1, 1850, wrote:
It is evident that nature cares very little whether man has a mind or not. The real man is the savage; he is in accord with nature as she is. As soon as man sharpens his intelligence, increases his ideas and the way of expressing them, and acquires needs, nature runs counter to him in everything. He has to do violence to her continually.7
These ideas were increasingly common in intellectual circles. By the 1960’s, two areas of the new savagery appeared. First, the worlds of the university and the arts began to manifest self-consciously dirty, shaggy, ostentatiously pseudo-primitive peoples. If the youth of the middle classes and working men wanted to imitate them, it was necessary to leave home and congregate in university communities or “arty” areas. Second, the ghetto began to turn into a lawless area also, in imitation of the intellectuals. The intellectuals had begun by establishing the Negro, i.e., the lawless Negro, as an ideal man, and by trying to become White Negroes. By their example, the intellectuals had given confidence to, weakened laws against, and given ascendancy to, the the more lawless elements in the ghettos. Black leadership was shifted from its educators and business leaders to the agitators and champions of violence.
Since the world of God is the world of logic, and logic requires consequence and responsibility, the denial of logic by De Chirico and others is an affirmation of irresponsibility.
William Snaith titled his study of modern art The Irresponsible Arts (1964) because modern art places “a higher goal . . . on the fulfillment of esthetic goals than on the service of human needs.” The arts have become obscurantist and non-communicative in their esthetic purposes, and “The artist has become increasingly involved with the means by which he accomplishes his ends. The practice has reached a point wherein the means in themselves have become the sole purpose.”8 This a deliberate course. As the prophets of humanism, the artists must of necessity give a pure word of revelation, uncontaminated by outside influences. This pure word is an entirely subjective word, of necessity concentrated on the being of the artist rather than an objective world order. Since the essence of man, i.e., autonomous man, divorced by rebellion from God, is lawlessness, magic and occultism are important to modern art.9 There is of necessity a studied lawlessness and an exaltation of the occult, the novel, the strange, perverse, and the offensive. The beginnings of this impetus are at least as old as the Romantic movement. Newton observed:
If then the essence of romanticism . . . is a refusal to look for absolutes of law and harmony in the outer, material world and an attempt to discover, empirically, any means that will serve to symbolize the inner, spiritual life, it follows that romanticism in any of the arts is always characterized by experiment—attempts to discover new formal devices whose only requirement is that they shall be appropriate to the mood to be expressed.10
But man himself is a creation of God, and hence man’s total being is revelational of God’s handiwork. For modern art to renounce God means therefore to renounce man also. The logical conclusion (and man, in spite of himself, is logical, and pursues ideas to their logical consequences) is that humanism ends by denying man and by seeking the destruction of man. The artist-prophet becomes anti-human, in flight from himself and humanity; he becomes the voice of unreason and destruction. Art ceases to be construction and becomes destruction, because it has become dedicated to an inspiration that speaks only of chaos.
- Philippe Jullian, The Symbolists (London: Phaidon Press, 1973), p. 26.
- Kenneth Clark, The Romantic Rebellion (New York: Harper and Row, 1973), p. 20.
- Ibid., p. 130.
- William Gaunt, The Pre-Raphaelite Tragedy (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1942), p. 158.
- Robert Goldwater and Marco Treves, eds., Artists on Art, from the XIV to the XX Century (New York: Pantheon Books,  1972), p. 419.
- William Snaith, The Irresponsible Arts (New York: Athenaeum, 1964), p. 5.
- See T. H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, Mom Lisa’s Mustache, A Dissection of Modern Art (New York: Knopf, 1947).
- Eric Newton, The Romantic Rebellion (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1963), p. 29; cf. p. 173.
And in the meantime, the AI artist draws closer. Depending on the programmer and the kind of art that is used to develop the patterns (algorithms) the AI is to follow, it can be a much better artist than these modern meaningless babblers.
Reconstructing Egypt’s Chronology
From the article “A Biblical Reconstruction of Egypt’s Early Chronology” by Donovan A. Courville. In the Journal of Christian Reconstruction, Volume 2, No. 1, Summer 1975. Pages 131 – 159. (Intro page here.)
The block quote in the original – from Kathleen Kenyon – is rendered here in italics.
The italic centred headers are original to the book.
If conservative Bible scholars have not been able to recognize the demand of the scriptural details of the Exodus and related events for producing an unconcealable crisis in Egypt, certainly the opponents of a historically dependable Scripture have had no difficulty in this matter. This is indicated by the extreme lengths to which scholars have gone to reduce the significance of the Exodus to one of more manageable proportions. The interpretations of biblical archaeology start with the premise that no specific statement of Scripture is necessarily historical except as it can first be confirmed by archaeology. Starting with this supposition, there is no difficulty in avoiding the implications of Scripture for such a dire crisis.
Those of us who believe in Scripture for what it claims to be do not have recourse to such reasoning in meeting these problems. The detail of the loss of perhaps 2,000,000 of the total population (estimated to have been about 8,000,000), of whom some 600,000 were adult male slaves, must be considered. The effects of the ten plagues must be taken as the record reads. The last of the ten involved the death of the firstborn, but certainly there must have been many more deaths from the preceding plagues.5 The loss of the Egyptian army cannot be ignored. It is not improbable that Egypt, at this time, lost up to one-half of its population. To these disasters must be added the loss of most of the cattle (Ex. 9:6, 19-21; 11:5), most of the season’s crops (Ex. 10:5), and much of the wealth of Egypt (Ex. 12:36).
To avoid the implications of these details, as is done by scholars generally, the number of escaping Israelites is reduced to about 5,000. To avoid the expected crisis from the loss of the army, the pursuit was made by a mere task force. The plagues are made the results of not too unusual weather conditions.6 The pharaoh did not lose his life in the Red Sea; he either did not accompany his army or else commanded his army from the shore line. To accept these details as part of the inspired and dependable historical record, is to face the overwhelming incongruity of the 18th dynasty placement of the Exodus. E. Eric Peet recognized that the single factor of the loss of the slaves would have been adequate to have produced such an unconcealable crisis. He wrote: “—Whereas, if the numbers of the emigrants were nearly 2,000,000, which is a legitimate deduction from Ex. 12:37, the movement was one, which would have shaken Egypt to its very foundations, and which, even if it had failed to be recorded in one of the numerous monuments which have survived in Egypt, would at any rate have left some unmistakable impression in Egyptian history.”7
|Dynasties by number||Dates||Notes|
|I||There are no dates of general agreement. Dates are assigned by individual scholars as each sees best. Some continue to recognize beginnings from 3400 B.C., others from 2850-2800 B.C. The period for the first eleven dynasties ends with the year 1991 B.c., regarded as astronomically fixed.|
|XV with XVI+XIV||1688-1588||XV and XVI are Hyksos dynasties. XIV is a native line under the Hyksos.|
|Dynasties by number||Dates||Notes|
|I||c. 2125-1880||III is parallel to late I starting about one century later than I.|
|IV||c. 1880-1780||First half of II is parallel with IV.|
|V||c. 1780-1640||Last half of II is parallel with V.|
|XII||1692-1480||II and V extend briefly into the era of XII. VI is parallel with XII but starts about 75 years later and extends about 75 years past the end of XII. XIII is composed of subrulers and officials under XII.|
|XVI||1445-1028||XVI is Hyksos, ruling parallel with XV, also Hyksos. XIV, VII to X were local dynasties ruling by permission of the Hyksos. XVII was composed of the kings during the war of liberation.|
|XVIII||1028-700||The dates are for the recomposed XVIII. XIX is but a brief offshoot from XVIII|
dated 840-790 B.C., XXIII is a line of usurper kings ruling locally, 776-730 B.C. XX overlaps late XVIII as recomposed and was fragmented after the rule of Rameses III.
|XXI||710-?||The fragmented rule of XX was in competition with XXI, composed itself of a dual line of kings, the line of High Priests ruling from Thebes, the other at Tanis. Dynasty XXI soon took over the fragments of XX. XXII was Assyrian and competed for control with XXIV, XXV and early XXVI.|
|XXVI||663-525||XXIII to XXVI retain the dates as traditionally held.|
Major Mistakes in Developing the Traditional Chronology
The earliest mistake may be recognized as the acceptance of the evaluation of Scripture as proposed by the higher criticism. By this evaluation, much of the Pentateuch was not reduced to writing until the post-exilic period in the early fifth century B.C. The contained accounts are presumed to have been passed on orally in poetic or semipoetic form over the interim between occurrence and reduction to writing. During this period of telling and retelling, additions, subtractions, and modifications are assumed to have been made to such a degree that there remained no demand that any specific statement be regarded as necessarily dependable historically. This opened the door for rejection of the miraculous and of any other unsavory detail which did not fit into the developing chronology. Thus, the most valuable source for providing correct interpretations of the obscure archaeological observations was lost to archaeology in its infancy.
To this irreparable loss, was added the acceptance of the premise of the invariable sequence of the dynasties as noted above. The factor demanding such a premise was the necessity for providing maximum time to allow for the evolutionary development of man’s intelligence to that observed at the beginning of the pyramid age of the fourth dynasty (date uncertain; revised chronology, c. 1880-1780 B.C.). A severe blow was given to this premise with the necessary abbreviations of the antiquity of dynastic Egypt as noted previously. However, the premise survived by avoiding assignment of definite dates to either the beginning of the period or to any of the specific dynasties prior to Dynasty XII (see note in Table I).
There had been developing in the meantime the basis for an additional mistake which was to fix the chronological structure beyond further possibility of significant modification. No matter how severe were the anachronisms (synchronistic failures), the incongruities or enigmas that were to result, the structure must be maintained and the difficulties explained as best could be done. The culprit this time was the so-called sothic dating method.13
To complete the confusion beyond any possible recognition of need for reconstruction, a severe error was made in the modern reconstitution of Manetho’s Dynasties XVIII and XIX. That there was a degree of confusion at this point on the part of Manetho’s transcribers seems obvious. When modern scholars were unable to recognize the basis for this confusion, it was elected to reconstitute these dynasties in terms of the demands of the monumental inscriptions.
The difficulty lay in the fact that the names of Rameses II and his successor Memeptah had been included (evidently in error) in both Dynasties XVIII and XIX.14 In the reconstitution, these two names were deleted from Dynasty XVIII and left in Dynasty XIX. The credit for founding Dynasty XIX was shifted from Seti, as given by Manetho, to Harmhab. These moves seemed innocent enough and the gross errors introduced by the alterations seem not to have been recognized to the present day. What should have been done was to remove these names from Dynasty XIX and leave them in Dynasty XVIII. Such a move would have made it obvious that what was left of Dynasty XIX was but a brief offshoot from XVIII at about the time of the redivision of rule between the son and daughter of Amenhotep III. Dynasty XIX ruled locally in the Delta region, coming to its end a full century before the end of Dynasty XVIII.
As a result of the unwarranted reconstitution, a critical synchronism was assigned to the era following Memeptah which actually belongs a century earlier.15 This in turn was one factor in deducing an erroneous chronology of Greece and in turn confusing the chronologies of other areas which had imported a characteristic Greek pottery, datable to this misdated era.16 It is the correction of this error that provides the basis for the reconstruction of the late Egyptian dynasties as shown in Table I.
The Reconstruction Provides Solutions, Not Problems
The ultimate weight of the evidence supporting the reconstruction rests on the fact that numerous problems are provided solutions by it without introducing any new problems of significance. Well over one hundred such have been noted in the author’s more complete treatise. Many of these are problems quite unrelated to Scripture, thus meeting this specific demand on a reconstruction.17 It is, of course, out of the question to review any large fraction of these in this brief summary. Selections will be noted from both areas, hopefully in sufficient number and significance to lead the reader to a complete confidence in the general correctness of the reconstruction. That minor modifications may be required with continued investigations must always be recognized. Primary attention will be given to scriptural problems (1) related to the Exodus, (2) related to the conquest under Joshua, and (3) related to the era from Joseph to the Exodus. Others will be referred to by reference to the author’s more complete work. An outline of the manner in which the major incidents and eras of biblical history are placed by the traditional and reconstructed chronologies as provided in Table II. Frequent reference to this table will be helpful in following the subsequent discussions.
Another Look at the Exodus Problem
By the reconstruction, the Exodus incident is set at the point of the Hyksos invasion of Egypt. This setting explains the enigmatic statement of Josephus18 to the effect that the Hyksos were able to take over Egypt without a battle. Egypt had been beaten to her knees by the disasters resulting from the plagues. The slaves were gone, the army was gone, the king was gone, and there was not even an heir apparent to take over the control. The population had been decimated to perhaps half. The cattle were gone, the season’s crops were gone, much of the wealth of Egypt was gone. It was only necessary for the Hyksos to move in and take over.
This invasion was in line with the recognized sequence of events expected to follow any situation of weakness in Egypt. The desert tribes lurked on the fringes of civilization, ever ready to take advantage of the first indication of weakness in the government. Thus is explained the incongruity in the current views which place the incident at points where there is no indication of this sort of crisis and no indication of invasion, or even of the expected loss of the empire. It is also explained how the Isralites could leave Egypt with any reasonable hope of finding a new home in Palestine, which territory was controlled to a degree, and at least periodically thereafter, by the Egyptians.19 There is thus no need to qualify the number of escaping Israelites from the biblical figure of 600,000 adult males, besides women and children to a few thousand.20 There is no need to question the census figures, twice taken during the following forty years. There is no need to assume a split Exodus such as Kathleen Kenyon and others have been driven to believe. She wrote: “It is, however, generally accepted by scholars that the Old Testament account is a conflation of different ancient sources. A theory that has gained acceptance from a number of scholars is that there is evidence in the biblical account that not all the tribes which make up the subsequent Israelite nation took part in the Exodus. This school of thought holds that the religious significance of the Exodus was such that in the course of time all the tribes came to believe that their ancestors took part in it. Such a theory has many attractions, particularly since it goes far to reconciling the biblical account with other historical records and with archaeological evidence.”21 The acceptance of such a theory leads to a necessary abandonment as historical of a large fraction of the materials in the five books of Moses.
Correlation of Scriptural Incidents with Egyptian History by the
Traditional and Reconstructed Chronologies
|Incident or era||Traditional Background or Date||Reconstruction Background or Date|
|Noachian Flod||Not recognized as factual. The proper background for the immediate post-diluvian period is the Mesolithic period, dated c. 10,000 B.C. or earlier.||The Mesolithic background for the immediate post-diluvian period is accepted. Date c. 2300 B.C.|
|Dispersion from Babel||If recognized at all, the incident is set fat back in the pre-dynastic.||Dated 27 years before the unification of Egypt under Mena. Date, c. 2125 B.C.|
|Abraham enters Canaan||Commonly set in early Dynasty XII dated c. 1900 B.C. Earlier dates are entertained.||Dated very soon after Dynasty IV; 1875 B.C.|
|Famine of Joseph||No famine inscription datable to the era of Joseph as placed in the Hyksos period.||Equated with the famine inscription in the reign of Sesostris I of the twelfth dynasty. Dated 1600 B.C.|
|Enslavement of Israel||Eighteenth dynasty theory of Exodus must recognize an early king of this dynasty as the pharaoh initiating the enslavement. This would be Amenhotep I or Thutmose I.||Enslavement initiated by Sesostris III of Dynasty XII. Date, c. 1560 B.C.|
|The Exodus||Eighteenth dynasty theory must recognize the position either at the end of the reign of Thutmose III or early in the reign of Amenhotep II Date c. 1445 B.C.||The reconstruction places the Exodus at the end of the five year reign of Koncharis, second primary ruler of Dynasty XIII, but 26th in the Turin list. Date is 1446-1445 B.C.|
|Period of the Judges||Encompasses the period of Dynasty XVIII from Amenhotep III, all of XIX as currently composed, and the first half of XX. Dates: 1375-1050.||Falls in the Hyksos period, c. 1375-1050 B.C.|
|United Monarchy of Israel||Background is in Dynasties XX and XXI. Dates, 1050-930 B.C.||Background is in early Dynasty XVIII ending near the beginning of the sole reign of Thutmose III. Dates, 1050-930 B.C.|
|Sacking of Solomon’s Temple||Shishak identified as Sheshok I of Dynasty XXII. Date is 926 B.C. in fifth year of Rehoboam.||Shishak identified as Thutmose|
III of Dynasty XVIII. Date 926 B.C.
|Fall of Israel to Assyria||Must be placed in the background of Dynasty XXIII to retain the established date 722-721 B.C.||Falls in the fifth year of Merneptah dated 721 B.C. Synchronism indicated by inscription of this year telling of catastrophe to Israel.|
|Fall of Judah to Babylon||In Dynasty XXVI. Date c. 606 B.C.||In Dynasty XXV. Date c. 606 B.C.|
The explanations offered, which would make the pharaoh a very stupid individual or a coward are revealed for what they are: mere ruses to avoid the clear implications of the clear statements of Scripture. These pharaohs were not cowards,22 and they were not stupid; obstinate, yes, but not stupid. The Exodus pharaoh was thoroughly convinced that these plagues were beyond any powers possessed by his gods or by his magicians (Ex. 8:18, 19, 9:21). The entire experience was pre-ordained to be a “judgment” on Egypt (Gen. 15:14), for the cruel manner in which they had treated the descendants of the one who had earlier saved them from catastrophe in time of famine. The experience was also designed to be a demonstration of the incomparable superiority of the God of the Israelites over the gods of Egypt (Ex. 12:12; Num. 33:4), not only to Egypt but to all surrounding peoples. It is evident that reports of the Exodus had reached the ears of these neighboring peoples before the conquest. The peoples of Jericho were demoralized by the reports of the approaching Israelites (Josh. 2:9). To reduce the significance of the incident is to lose the force of the entire story, beginning back in the time of Abraham.
Neither can it be argued with reason that the apparent silence of the Egyptian inscriptions relative to the incident provides a basis for such modification of Scripture. Velikovsky, who also recognized this setting of the Exodus,23 calls attention to two inscriptions describing crisis in Egypt of an unprecedented magnitude. One of these (the Ipuwer papyrus inscription) has been dated, on the basis of its form and content, to the dark period following the end of Dynasty VI (dates uncertain; revised chronology, c. 1620-1400 B.C.) By the reconstruction, this is the era of the Exodus. The inscription makes mention of plague in general and to situations reflecting the plague of waters turned to blood, the plague on the cattle, the destruction of the vegetation, and of widespread death to the Egyptians.
The Ermitage papyrus refers also to such a dire crisis. Velikovsky cites excerpts from this document, some of which are here reproduced: “The land is utterly perished and nought remains. . . . The sun is veiled by clouds.. . . The river is dry [even the river] of Egypt. Bedouins pervade the land. . . . The beasts of the desert shall drink from the rivers of Egypt. . . . I show thee the land upside down, happened that which never had happened. . . . Men laugh with the laughter of pain. None there is who weepeth because of death. . . .”24 This situation would seem to apply to the situation in Egypt after the Exodus and at the time when the Hyksos had taken over.
Josephus points out that on the morning following the Red Sea debacle, the Israelites were able to recover weapons from the bodies of the Egyptians washed ashore.25 These would be warriors without armor which would otherwise have left them at the bottom of the sea. Thus is explained how the Israelites, as unarmed on leaving Egypt, possessed weapons at the time of the conquest.
The Conquest Under Joshua
The point of the conquest under Joshua in Egyptian history cannot be determined from any evidence of Egyptian origin. There is no ultimate reason for supposing that this conquest should be reflected in the history of Egypt. This is even more certain in this case since the point is forty years into the Hyksos period, an era from which not a single inscription has come down to us. This point can be defined only in terms of the appearance of the expected evidence in Palestine as observed archaeologically. This expected evidence would include a widespread destruction of cities, but even more nearly unique,26 there should appear unmistakable evidence of a total change in culture (pottery forms) which continued in use, with traceable variations for the period of the next 800 years.
This evidence should appear at some point archaeologically between 1400 and 1250 B.C. . The observation of the expected evidence, datable more closely within the period, would support one or the other of the two popular settings for the Exodus. But no such break in culture was found to exist at any point between these dates as defined by the traditional chronology. By the current views, these dates encompass the entire period from Thutmose III to Rameses II.
The failure to find such evidence led R. A. Macalister to propose that the invading Hebrews had no culture of their own. He commented: “It is no exaggeration to say that throughout these long centuries the native inhabitants of Palestine do not appear to have made a single contribution of any kind whatsoever to material civilization. It was perhaps the most unprogressive country on the face of the earth. Its entire culture was derivative.”27 He commented in another connection: “As a result of the Israelite settlement in Canaan, the civilization of the country, such as it was, was effaced and had to be painfully built again with
the help of the cultured Philistines.”28 By the reconstruction, what Macalister was looking at as the basis for these comments was the decline in culture in Palestine during the times of the Assyrian and Babylonian conquests, when the intellectuals and the more cultured were removed from the land, leaving the poor and the lower class to cope with the results of the disaster (II Kings 17:23, 24; Jer. 52). Kathleen Kenyon echoed this picture by noting that there “is no complete break [in culture] within the period [1400-1200 B.C.].”29 Evidence of destruction could be observed throughout the period but it did not “tell a coherent story.”30
As with the Exodus, there is only one point in the archaeology of Palestine which reveals such a complete cultural break. This is at the end of the so-called Early Bronze Age. This is the era represented by the fallen walls at Jericho, which were universally recognized as those of the Joshua story, that is, until it was found that these walls belonged back in the 21st century in Early Bronze.31 This is also the era of the rock pile representing the final end of the walled city at Ai, also destroyed at the time of Joshua.32
This designation of Early Bronze need have no pertinence to the present discussion beyond a recognition that the end of the period can be roughly correlated with the end of Dynasty VI in Egypt.33 This point is marked in Palestine archaeology by widespread destruction in Palestine followed by a complete change of culture. Kathleen Kenyon commented on the situation at this point in a manner reflecting clearly the background of the conquest.
The final end of the Early Bronze Age civilization came with catastrophic completeness. The last of the Early Bronze Age walls of Jericho was built in a great hurry, using old and broken bricks and was probably not completed when it was destroyed by fire. Little or none of the town inside the walls has survived subsequent denudation, but it was probably completely destroyed for all the finds show that there was an absolute break, and that a new people took the place of the earlier inhabitants. Every town in Palestine that has so far been investigated shows the same break. . . . All traces of the Early Bronze Age civilization disappeared.”34
The subsequent period of Middle Bronze was characterized by a series of destructions, but after each the same culture reappeared, indicating that there is no other point in the archaeology of Palestine subsequent to the end of Early Bronze which reveals this expected break. Furthermore, this new people occupied the same territory as that held by the Israelites, and the culture continued for the expected period of time. Miss Kenyon commented further: “Moreover, the culture now introduced into Palestine was to have a very long life. In spite of the fact that a series of events took place of major political importance, there is no cultural break until at least 1200 B.C. [reconstruction date, c. 750-700 B.C.]. . . . Archaeology can show a recognizable progression of artifacts such as pottery, and can show that towns suffered a succession of destructions, but after these destructions, the old culture was re-established.”35
The identification of this new people as the Israelites is confirmed by the fact that at no other time than during the Israelite occupation was this territory occupied by a single culture (Josh. 3:10). Miss Kenyon notes further that these people had a tribal organization,36 as indicated by a variety of burial customs, and that they were a numerous people. William F. Albright noted that the weapons of early Middle Bronze showed an Egyptian influence.37 This is to be expected if the Israelites obtained many of their weapons from the dead Egyptians at the Red Sea debacle, as stated by Josephus.
With the necessary redating of the fallen walls at Jericho, with the dating of the final end of the walled city at Ai back in Early Bronze, and with the runs of the city of Pi-Rameses in Egypt providing not a hint of occupation by an eighteenth dynasty king,38 the eighteenth dynasty setting of the Exodus was in increasingly deep difficulty. Conservative Bible scholars were ready to grasp at any evidence that would provide a basis for retention of this placement of the Exodus. Such evidence seemed to be offered in the library of correspondence found at Tell el Amama in Egypt and known as the Amama Letters. These letters constituted correspondence between Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV (Akhnaton) with certain personages in western Asia, mostly from the territory to the north of Palestine. These letters contained references to a people called the ‘apiru or Habiru who were involved in political difficulties in this territory. Attempts were made to interpret these letters as providing the Canaanite version of the conquest under Joshua, the Habiru being identified with the invading Hebrews.
While some few scholars seem to be desparately clinging to this interpretation of the letters,39 most have bowed to the overwhelming evidence that the Habiru of the letters were not an ethnic people and hence could not be the Hebrews. The political difficulties are, for the most part, in the territory to the north of Palestine which was never involved in the Israelite conquest. The difficulties are of local concern and certainly no invasion is involved. The Habiru-Hebrew equation was dealt a death blow with the discovery of one inscription containing the term Habiru but also containing reference to the Hebrews, but by a spelling notably different from that for the Habiru.
By the revision, the letters belong to a much later period than the time of the Conquest, and under no circumstance is it feasible to use these letters as support for the conquest under Joshua in the fourteenth century B.C. A discussion of the fallacies in the bases used for such an interpretation cannot be undertaken in this treatise.40
From Joseph to the Exodus
Neither of the popular placements of the Exodus can refer to an inscription of famine at a point properly related chronologically to the Exodus placement. If there were no such references to a famine which meet the unique details of Scripture for the famine of Joseph, one might presume that such records were not made, or if made, they have not survived. With two such inscriptions being extant, such a supposition has little merit. The famine inscription from the reign of Sesostris I, of early Dynasty XII, not only meets the biblical details for the famine of Joseph, but has been shown to fall chronologically at a date properly related to the Exodus placed at the point of the Hyksos invasion.
An identification of this famine inscription with that of Joseph’s time was recognized many years ago by Henry Brugsch-Bey.41 The identification had to be rejected because it could not be made to agree with the era of Joseph as then assigned. Brugsch attempted to correlate the second of these famine inscriptions, which met the details of Scripture, with the era of Joseph.42 This was the inscription found in the tomb of Bebi. Brugsch dated the tomb in the eighteenth dynasty to meet this chronological demand. It was later shown by Jacques Vandier43 that this dating of the tomb was in error. The tomb belonged to the thirteenth dynasty era. (By my reconstruction, Dynasty XIII follows Dynasty II. The name Bebi occurs at the juncture of the names of the kings of Dynasties II and III in the king list of Sakharah as an alternate name for Zazay in the Abydos list.44)
Since neither list gives the kings by dynasties, the name could belong to either late Dynasty II or early Dynasty III, the latter being commonly accepted. It is here contended that the name belongs at the end of Dynasty II which immediately precedes Dynasty XIII, the era assigned to the tomb of Bebi by Jacques Vandier. Thus, both these famine inscriptions, which meet the details of Scripture, should be recognized as the same famine as that of Joseph’s time. It develops further that the famine in the reign of Unas of late Dynasty V45 belongs to this same position though the inscription gives no specific details. A reference to famine also is extant from the reign of Ibbi-Sin of the third dynasty at Ur in Chaldea, which by the reconstruction falls in this same position.46 It appears that this famine not only involved the areas of Egypt and of Palestine, but extended into the valleys of the Euphrates and the Tigris Rivers. This was no ordinary famine.
The reconstruction recognizes the name Yufni, of the early Turin list47 of the thirteenth dynasty, as an Egyptianized form of the name Joseph. The position of the name in the list permits a chronological correlation with the reign of Sesostris I of the famine inscription. James Henry Breasted was intrigued with the appearance of this name in the list since it was clearly not in the royal form. He commented: “The succession may have lasted during four reigns when it was suddenly interrupted, and the list of Turin records as the fifth king one Yufni, a name which does not display the royal form showing that at this point the usurper had again triumphed.”48 Such a conclusion seemed logical, starting with the premise that these numerous names of the Turin list were full kings of Egypt. When it is recognized that they were only important officials or rulers of local areas, the name is susceptible to another interpretation. Yufni was a foreigner who had earned a position as one of the important officials of the king. With the name standing opposite that of Sesostris I chronologically, the identification with Joseph, reached by independent data, is confirmed.
A legend is extant to the effect that the foster father of Moses had the name Chenephres.49 This name also occurs in the Turin list of Dynasty XIII. It was not possible to equate the name with the time of Moses by the developed chronology. By the reconstruction, such a correlation is reasonable, if we understand that these names do not represent a sequence of rulers, but rather overlapping groups of officials under a sequence of kings.50 This is the heart of my reconstruction thesis.
A prominent official under Dynasty XIII records possession of an Asiatic female slave by a name transliterated as Shiprah,51 quite the same name as that of one of the midwives at the time of Moses’ birth (Ex. 1:15). Again, the name could not be thus identified, since the time was not correctable with the era conventionally assigned to Moses. Another of the names in the Turin list is given as Mermesha. Mesh or Mesu is the Egyptian equivalent of the name of Moses,52 and a possible correlation with Moses during his years of service in Egypt is not out of the question.
Modern maps of Egypt show a man-made canal running parallel with the Nile and bearing the name Canal of Joseph.53 The populace regards this canal as the work of Joseph of Scripture, constructed as one means of increasing the productive land in Egypt in preparation for the coming famine. Such an origin must be rejected by scholars who would identify this Joseph as a Mohammedan of a later era. By the reconstruction, Dynasty XII, which provides a reference to the construction of such a canal, is the background for the era of Joseph. This reference is from the reign of Amenemhet III, a later king of the dynasty than Sesostris I. This does not negate the identification. The reference may well be to repair or extension of a system begun at an earlier date.
Scripture does not provide identification of the factor which changed the attitude of the Egyptian kings to the descendants of Joseph. This gap is filled in by Egyptian sources. During the reign of Sesostris III, there was a radical change in the form of government. Egypt had been under a feudal form of government in which the authority was distributed among rulers of local areas called nomes, much as is now done among the governors of states in the United States. Sesostris III abolished these local governments by princes and took over the entire authority to himself. James Henry Breasted commented on the shift in a few succinct statements: “For thirty-eight years Sesostris III continued his vigorous rule of a kingdom which now embraced a thousand miles of the Nile Valley. He had succeeded in suppressing the feudal nobles; and their tombs, as at Beni-Hasan and Bersheh, now disappear.”54
Joseph occupied a position as a prince of Egypt (Gen. 47:22, margin) and was evidently a local prince over Goshen as well as being second ruler to the king. With such a modification in the form of government, the Israelite descendants would have been stripped of their favored position and possessions along with the other princes. Having taken this step, it was but one further move of necessity to enslave the people, lest they rise in rebellion and join an invader (Ex. 1:10).
It was thus Sesostris III who enslaved Israel. Under the reign of this king and of his successor, Amenemhet III, an extensive building program in brick was carried out in the Delta region, providing the proper background for the period of oppression of Israel. James Henry Breasted commented:
All the Delta cities of all ages, as we have so often mentioned, have perished, and but little survives to testify to the activity of these kings there, but in the eastern part, especially at Tanis and Bubastis, massive remains still show the interest which the Twelfth Dynasty manifested in the Delta cities.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Amenemhet I followed their example [kings of dynasty XI] in the erection of his pyramid at Lisht; the core was of brick masonry. . . . The custom was continued by all the kings of the dynasty with one exception.55
Josephus states that the Israelites built pyramids for the Egyptians.56 Yet pyramids were obsolete in the eighteenth dynasty, where the era of enslavement is conventionally placed. The building activity at Tanis, noted above, is of interest since this is the site commonly identified with the Pi-Rameses rebuilt by Rameses II. The mistake here has been in supposing that it was the rebuilt city by Rameses II,57 rather than the original, that was built by the Israelites.
It was then the daughter of Amenemhet III who adopted Moses. It was under this king that Moses was trained as the future heir to the throne (Heb. 11:24-27). It was evidently this daughter of Amenemhet III who eventually took over the kingship after the flight of Moses and in the absence of any male heir. After a brief reign of four years, indicating her advanced age, she died, and the dynasty came to its end. The rule passed smoothly to one of the more powerful thirteenth dynasty princes. The Exodus occured in the fifth year of the reign of the second of these kings, a king whose tomb has never been found.
5. Josephus states that there were many deaths from the plagues of lice, of frogs, of boils, and of darkness, with a note that “a great part of the Egyptians perished.” Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, tr. William Whiston (Philadelphia: The John C. Winston Co.), bk. II, chap. XIV, para. 4.
6. G. Ernest Wright, Biblical Archaeology (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1957), p. 54.
7. T. Eric Peet, Egypt and the Old Testament (London, 1924), pp. 105, 106. One sees little indication that these early views have been relinquished.
13. The method is noted briefly in subsequent sections. A more complete discussion appears in Courville, op. cit., II, chap. IV.
14. The names occur in Dynasty XVIII of Manetho as “Rameses, also called Aegyptus,” and “Ammenophis,” the first being recognized by his long reign of 67 years, the latter as his successor. In Dynasty XIX, the names appear as Rapsaces and Ammenophthis.
15. This error resulted from regarding the Thuoris of late Dynasty XIX as the same person as Tausert (by similarity of name), who is one of four “antikings” following Merneptah. This error was inexcusable, since Thuoris is identified as husband of Alcandra, while Tausert was sister to Siptah. To gloss over the error, it has more recently been proposed that the identification is with the brother of Tausert, though even the similarity of the names is lost in the shift.
16. This is the so-called Mycenaean pottery, widely exported into many of the surrounding areas. Between this error, and the assumed, but unwarranted, 300-year gap in Greek history, dating by correlation with this pottery type has led to confusion.
17. Courville, op. cit., I, 102, provides a statement of recognition of this and other demands on the proposed reconstruction.
18. Flavius Josephus, Against Apion (see note 5), bk. I, para. 14.
19. Peet, op. cit., p. 121.
20. Wright, op. cit., p. 67.
21. Kathleen M. Kenyon, Archaeology in the Holy Land (London, 1960), p. 208.
22. See quotation of reference in note 8.
23. Immanuel Velikovsky, Ages in Chaos (Garden City: Doubleday & Co., 1955), pp. 5if.
24. Ibid., p. 45.
25. Josephus, op. cit., bk. II, chap. XVI, para. 6
26. This principle of archaeological interpretation is clearly stated by Leonard Woolley, Digging Up the Past (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1937), p. 75.
27. R. A. S. Macalister, A Century of Excavation in Palestine (London, 1925), p. 210.
28. Ibid., p. 164.
29. Kenyon, op. cit., p. 209.
31. Wright, op. cit., p. 67; Courville, op. cit., 1,68.
32. Courville, op. cit., I, 72.
33. Ibid., pp. 78ff., gives further material on the significance of the archaeological ages.
34. Kenyon, op. cit., p. 134. This conquest is attributed by Miss Kenyon to the Amorites.
35. Ibid., p. 162.
36. Ibid., pp. 141,143.
37. William F. Albright, The Archaeology of Palestine (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1961), p. 87.
38. Wright, op. cit., p. 60.
39. Personal communication.
40. Courville, op. cit., II, 314ff.
41. Henry Brugsch-Bey, A History of Egypt (London, 1881), I, 304-305.
43. Jacques Vandier, La Famine Dans L’Egypte Ancienne (Cairo, 1936), p. 18.
44. Petrie, op. cit., 1 ,23.
45. Courville, op. cit., I, 203.
46. Ibid., II , 314.
47. Ibid., I, 153ff.
48. Breasted, op. cit., p. 211.
49. E. A. Wallis Budge, Books On Egypt and Chaldea (London, 1904), IX, 100.
50. On occasion, a recognition of some such interpretation has been voiced. Courville, op. cit., I, 152.
51. Jack Finegan, Light from the Ancient Past (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1959), pp. 93, 94.
52. E. A. Wallis Budge, The Nile (London, 1910), p. 16.
53. Courville, op. cit., I, frontispiece.
54. Breasted, op. cit., p. 189.
55. Ibid., pp. 197, 198.
56. Josephus, op. cit., bk. II, chap. IX, para. 1.
57. See note 38.
I recommend that you read the original article in full.
Then, read the book. Note that the book has more details, but is not as tightly organized and as coherent as the article.
Magic, Power Religion, and Dominion Religion
Also worth a read: Moses and Pharoah: Dominion Religion vs. Power Religion
From that book:
The Cult of the Dead
The Egyptian cult of the dead was, in fact, a religion of death and rebirth. It was also a fertility cult. The voluminous and painstaking researches of E. A. Wallis Budge in the early years of the twentieth century have made this clear. “The central figure of the ancient Egyptian Religion was Osiris, and the chief fundamentals of his cult were the belief in his divinity, death, resurrection, and absolute control of the destinies of the bodies and souls of men. The central point of each Osirian’s Religion was his hope of resurrection in a transformed body and· of immortality,. which could only be realized by him through the death and resurrection of Osiris.”29
Budge tried to reconstruct the basics of Egyptian religion without too extensive a reliance on the native Egyptian literature, since “we find that in no portion of it does there exist a text which is not associated with magic, that no text contains a connected statement of the purely religious beliefs which we know the Egyptians certainly possessed. . . . “30 But magic was basic to Egyptian religion, as Moses’ confrontation with the court magicians indicates. It will not do to attribute such “base characteristics” of Egyptian religion to later developments, as Budge did, and to link them with foreign gods.31 The Egyptians believed in a power religion, in contrast to the ethics religion of the Hebrews.
The gods of the Egyptians remind us of the nature gods of the American Indians. Like the Amerindians, the Egyptians were polytheistic. Budge said in 1911 that Egyptologists knew then of at least three thousand different names of their gods. But he could not resist adding, as so many anthropologists add to their accounts of pagan polytheism, “the Egyptians believed in the existence of One Great God, .self-produced, self-existent, almighty and eternal, Who created the ‘gods,’ the heavens and the sun, moon and stars in them, and the earth and everything on it, including man and beast, bird, fish, and reptile. They believed that he maintained in being everything which He had created, and that He was the support of the universe and the Lord of it a11.”32 In short, the Egyptians supposedly believed in the same sort of distant, impotent god that late-nineteenth- century nominal Anglicans believed in, and this god was just about as important to the Egyptians in their daily lives as the Anglicans’ god was to the English in 1900.
According to Budge, the Egyptians seldom even mentioned this god’s name, “Neter.” “No proof of any kind is forthcoming which shows that the Egyptians ever entirely forgot the existence of God, but they certainly seem to have believed that he had altogether ceased to interfere in human affairs, and was content to leave the destinies of men to the care of the gods’ and spirits.”33 In short, Budge implies, they were all basically Deists when it came to formal theism, and polytheists when it came to ritual. But ritual was the heart and soul of Egyptian religion.
Ethics vs. ritual: here is the heart of the difference between the Egyptians’ religion of death and resurrection and the Hebrews’ religion of death and resurrection. Biblical religion places ethics above ritual. In the Book of Micah, we read: “Wherewith shall I come before the LORD , and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:6-8). In contrast, consider Budge’s summary of the Egyptians’ concern over resurrection, and their attempt to achieve this exalted state through the manipulation of physical means. Theirs was a world filled with demons that could be controlled only by magic, especially word magic. They were obsessed with the physical signs of death. […]
29. E. A. Wallis Budge, “Preface,” Osiris: The Egyptian Religion of Resurrection (New Hyde Park, New York: University Books,  1961), p. xi.
30. Ibid., p. xiii.
31. Ibid., p. xiv.
32. Ibid., pp. xxvii-xxviii.
33. Ibid., pp. xxviii-xxix.
Meanwhile, back in the Civilized West, men and women really, truly believe that men can become women if they say they are.
If backed by government force, of course.
Or is that power magic? “All things come from a barrel of a gun.”
In any case, the mad God-haters will have to be left to their lunacy, as surely as the other totalitarians were abandoned to the chains and the graves they hungered for.
WE must live.
WE must fear and obey the Lord Jesus.
(But I repeat myself.)