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Archaeological Evidence For Moses


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#16    jaylemurph

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 05:00 PM

View PostRiaan, on 13 January 2010 - 04:08 PM, said:

This is not quite true, but I suppose it all depends on how far back (or how recent) you are prepared to go. Josephus did us the favour of recording several (antagonistic) reports of Moses (from my website):

As usual, I think it's telling you quote these things without telling us their source. We can't see if (or how) you've changed them, or if they agree with other translations. I can't see any real difference between using a religious source and using material from your website, since they're both essentially propagandist.

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#17    Agent. Mulder

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 05:07 PM

View Postjaylemurph, on 13 January 2010 - 05:00 PM, said:

As usual, I think it's telling you quote these things without telling us their source. We can't see if (or how) you've changed them, or if they agree with other translations. I can't see any real difference between using a religious source and using material from your website, since they're both essentially propagandist.

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yeah, i was looking for a works cited, bibliography thing on the page and couldnt find one.

the truth is out there....

#18    Mattshark

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 05:52 PM

View PostAgent. Mulder, on 13 January 2010 - 03:53 PM, said:

is that a religious site?

Yes it is an apologist site.

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#19    SlimJim22

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 05:57 PM

View PostMattshark, on 13 January 2010 - 05:52 PM, said:

Yes it is an apologist site.
Does it matter it is only a translation of the word Moses? By all means find other translations I am eager to know what you find.

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#20    sinewave

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 05:24 PM

Thanks for all of the responses.  So, it seems the existence of Moses is supported more by tradition than history.  Not much can be drawn from that I suppose but it puts things in better perspective for me.  Separating tradition from history and knowing when they overlap must be a difficult task.  Hence all of the discussion in forums like this one. :)

Edited by sinewave, 14 January 2010 - 05:32 PM.


#21    kmt_sesh

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 10:40 PM

View PostSlimJim22, on 13 January 2010 - 12:59 PM, said:

Amenhotep IV (Akhenaton). The date of Akhenaten's ascension to the throne varies from 1370 B.C. to 1358 B.C. He was the Father of Tutankhamun and reigned towards the end of the 18th dynasty. Moses is most likely to be either the last king of the Hyskos Intermediate period Kamose or adopted son of Thutmose I. Moses comes from what is left of a combo of the Egyptian words for "child of" and "water" (swh -- which was generally applied to the Nile as well). So "Moses" would be a child of the water, one who was "born of" or, metaphorically, drawn out of the water (the metaphorical usage being made precisely in order to draw the pun between "Moses" and "draw out" in Hebrew.
Source

As far as the Sargon link goes there is little weight to it other than the reed basket so very flimy argument. Sargon was King of Aagade some time before 2,000bce. This is the accepted view as I understand it. Perhaps the story was embelished with parts of other stories or maybe it was not that uncommon for babies to be found in reed basksets. As far as Moses is concerned it could be a case of a hidden meanig.

I'd like to weigh in, if I might. I'm starting from this post of SlimJim22's--and in doing so, SlimJim22, please know that I am not picking on you but am only responding to points made in the web page from which you quoted.

People have long tried to fix a time for the biblical Exodus. The Old Testament (1 Kings 6:1) tells us the Exodus occurred 480 years after the building of Solomon's temple, which was erected around 968 BCE. This would place the Exodus in around 1448 BCE. In Egypt this would place the Exodus in Dynasty 18, specifically during the reign of Tuthmosis III, who was on the throne from around 1479 to 1425 BCE (Reeves & Wilkinson 1996).

There are a number of reasons that the Exodus could not have occurred at this time, however. During the reign of Tuthmosis III, the most powerful warrior pharaoh of Egyptian history, Egypt was the uncontested superpower of the Near East. Tuthmosis III conquered everything from the fourth or fifth Nile cataract in Lower Nubia to beyond the Euphrates River in Syria--more than 1,500 miles from south the north. No upstart band of Hebrews could have bettered him. And there is of course the unassailable fact that the Hebrews did not yet even exist.

But let's allow for the possibility of some play in the timeline as gleaned from the Bible, which is ultimately our only source for the Exodus and Moses. It does not work for the reign of Akhenaten, either. Putting aside the fact that there is no evidence that the Hebrews yet existed at this time, either, there is the thorny issue of the Amarna Letters. These clay tablets with cuneiform writing, discovered in the nineteenth century in the ruins of Akhenaten's ancient city, Akhetaten, give us very interesting details into events occurring in Syro-Palestine and Mesopotamia in that period. The letters were written by vassal princes and foreign rulers to the Egyptian kings Amunhotep III and his son and successor, Akhenaten. Nothing in these ancient examples of documentation lend any weight to the idea of an Exodus having taken place, nor of a great figure called Moses. Nothing. Jerusalem was of course a city at this time and we even know who ruled it because this vassal prince wrote some of the letters himself. This was pre-Hebraic Canaan.

I would roundly rule out any association with the Hyksos, a group of southern Canaanites who had migrated into Egypt. The timeline simply doesn't work. I'll write a bit more about the Hyksos in my next post. I will say that the Egyptian kings who battled the Hyksos were Seqenenre Tao II, Kamose, and finally Ahmose I, none of whom can be tied to any association with the biblical Moses.

There is in fact documented evidence of several ancient Egyptians named Meses. How the vowels worked exactly, we can't tell. The word mss was a common element in Egyptian names like Tuthmosis and Ramesses, and as SlimJim22's posts states mss can mean "born of." That's only one meaning, however. The name Meses on its own would mean something else, unless such a man liked to go by the name "Child," which is quite unlikely. By the way, swh does not mean "water." The Egyptian word for that was mw. There are a number of words in ancient Egyptian that go by swh or have it as a root or element, but they do not pertain to the name Moses.

The web page to which SlimJim22 linked us seems a bit muddled when it comes to Sargon and the myth of the basket. It seems to be intertwining the two kings named Sargon. The web page repeatedly refers to the Assyrian king by that name, who reigned from his ancient city at Khorsabad in the eighth century BCE, but this is not the king about whom that legend was written. It was the more famous Sargon of Akkad, who forged arguably the world's first empire throughout Mesopotamia, Syria, and parts of the Levant. The legend of humble beginnings and being plucked from a basket in a river pertain to this king, who reigned from 2334 to 2279 BCE.

This would place Sargon of Akkad contemporary to the late Egyptian Old Kingdom--well over a millennia before the Hebrews first appeared on the scene. The myth of the basket probably did not exist in the time of Sargon of Akkad himself, and it's not known precisely when the story first appeared, but it's most likely true that the early Hebraic scribes writing sometime in the eighth century BCE borrowed this story for their Moses when the earliest versions of the Old Testament were being penned.

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#22    OhZone

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:05 PM

There are more people who think that Akenaten was Moses.
We have here a discussion on the matter.

http://www.domainofm...rames;read=1037
"A reader emailed saying, "I need to know the name of the Egyptologist who first theorized that Moses could have been Akhenaten."

I'm not sure if there is an answer to this question. Perhaps it is best to start from the beginning and work forward. In a new book titled 'The Seventy Great Mysteries of Ancient Egypt,' it is stated (p 273): "Since antiquity, many writers have tried to associate Moses with Akhenaten ... Manetho, who claimed that the founder of monotheism - whom he called Osarsiph - assumed the name Moses, and led his folllowers out of Egypt in Akhenaten's reign. The spectre of Akhenaten was also transformed into Moses by writers such as Lysimachus, Tacitus and Strabo."

A good summary of the relevant works of Lysimachus, Tacitus and Strabo is found in a book by Egyptologist Jan Assmann called 'Moses the Egyptian.' Assmann does not believe that Akhenaten was Moses, but he does provide a detailed "audit trail" of thinking on the subject up until the modern era. After Manetho, Strabo, and the other writers of antiquity, Assmann continues a discussion of "two periods of Egyptian 'revival' or 'Egyptomania' that are associated with two events in the history of Europe: the Renaissance and Napoleon's expedition to Egypt. The first revival consists mainly in the discovery of alleged 'Egyptian texts,' such as the treatise on the Egyptian hieroglyphs by Horapollo and the Corpus Hermeticum." (p 17-18) In the Renaissance, the figure known as Hermes Trismegistus ("Hermes/Thoth the Thrice Great") emerges as the Egyptian Moses."

.....snip....

"In his 'Dawn of Consciousness' (New York: Scribner's, 1934)... Breasted directed attention to the striking parallels between Akhenaten's hymn to the sun and Psalm 104 and to other parallels between Egyptian religious texts and the Old Testament, notably the Proverbs. Breasted then drew the revolutionary conclusion that Akhenaten was the pathfinder in the recognition of one God, a universal Creator of all men ... When the Hebrew prophet caught the splendor of this vision and rose to a higher level he was standing on the Egyptian's shoulders.' Thus, Breasted concluded, 'Our moral heritage therefore derives from a wider human past enormously older than the Hebrews, and it has come to us rather through the Hebrews than from them.'"

see artice for further


#23    Lander7

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:07 PM

View Postsinewave, on 12 January 2010 - 08:54 PM, said:

......is there any archaeological evidence that Moses was a real person?


Yeah....The Bible.


#24    sinewave

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:20 PM

View PostLander7, on 14 January 2010 - 11:07 PM, said:

Yeah....The Bible.


Awesome.  Thank you.


#25    jaylemurph

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:24 PM

View PostOhZone, on 14 January 2010 - 11:05 PM, said:

There are more people who think that Akenaten was Moses.
We have here a discussion on the matter.

http://www.domainofm...rames;read=1037
"A reader emailed saying, "I need to know the name of the Egyptologist who first theorized that Moses could have been Akhenaten."

I'm not sure if there is an answer to this question. Perhaps it is best to start from the beginning and work forward. In a new book titled 'The Seventy Great Mysteries of Ancient Egypt,' it is stated (p 273): "Since antiquity, many writers have tried to associate Moses with

That book was published in 2003. It's hardly new. Nor is one statement taken totally out of context, hardly a ringing endorsement of current academic consensus. Nor is someone saying "There are people who believe X" make that X an actual point of debate for people who know what they're talking about.

Quote

"In his 'Dawn of Consciousness' (New York: Scribner's, 1934)... Breasted directed attention to the striking parallels between Akhenaten's hymn to the sun and Psalm 104 and to other parallels between Egyptian religious texts and the Old Testament, notably the Proverbs. Breasted then drew the revolutionary conclusion that Akhenaten was the pathfinder in the recognition of one God, a universal Creator of all men ... When the Hebrew prophet caught the splendor of this vision and rose to a higher level he was standing on the Egyptian's shoulders.' Thus, Breasted concluded, 'Our moral heritage therefore derives from a wider human past enormously older than the Hebrews, and it has come to us rather through the Hebrews than from them.'"

see artice for further

Well, at least the first book was written in this century. It's a typical trick of pseudo-historian fringe writers to rely on out-of-date or exploded theories. You could cite any number of 19th Century texts to make it look like there's an active debate on whether the Irish or African-Americans are legitimately human: that doesn't make it so.

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#26    jaylemurph

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:27 PM

View PostLander7, on 14 January 2010 - 11:07 PM, said:

Yeah....The Bible.

As pointed out, no serious historian or archaeologist uses the Bible as archaeological evidence or historical source.

Not that that stops a fair amount of Bible-thumping Christian nimrods from doing it, but those people make a public spectacle of the trouble they take to keep themselves from ever thinking.

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#27    sinewave

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:31 PM

View Postkmt_sesh, on 14 January 2010 - 10:40 PM, said:


People have long tried to fix a time for the biblical Exodus. The Old Testament (1 Kings 6:1) tells us the Exodus occurred 480 years after the building of Solomon's temple, which was erected around 968 BCE. This would place the Exodus in around 1448 BCE. In Egypt this would place the Exodus in Dynasty 18, specifically during the reign of Tuthmosis III, who was on the throne from around 1479 to 1425 BCE (Reeves & Wilkinson 1996).




First, thanks for that excellent breakdown of the timeline but I am a little confused.  Given those dates, wouldn't the Exodus have occurred before the building of Solomon's Temple?

Edited by sinewave, 14 January 2010 - 11:40 PM.


#28    jaylemurph

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:32 PM

View Postsinewave, on 14 January 2010 - 11:31 PM, said:

OK, I am a little confused here.  Given those dates, wouldn't the Exodus have occurred before the building of Solomon's Temple?

I caught that, too, but I'm sure it's just a typo for "before" -- the maths work out.

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#29    kmt_sesh

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:48 PM

View PostRiaan, on 13 January 2010 - 04:08 PM, said:

This is not quite true, but I suppose it all depends on how far back (or how recent) you are prepared to go. Josephus did us the favour of recording several (antagonistic) reports of Moses (from my website):

Manetho (an Egyptian historian) [AA I.15 (74-102), 26 (227-252)]

* The Hebrews were in fact called the Hyksos (shepherds), and that they had previously invaded Egypt and subdued its inhabitants. They were driven from Egypt and resettled in Jerusalem.
* The Hebrews were affected by the plagues of Egypt as much as the Egyptians.
* Moses was a priest born in, Heliopolis and was known by the name Osarsiph.
* A king called Amenhotep was advised by his high priest that he would 'see the gods' if he were to clear the country of the lepers and the impure people. He drove eighty thousand of them into the quarries (which resulted in a revolt).
* Those who revolted appointed Moses as their leader, who instructed them to fortify Avaris in preparation for war against Amenhotep.
* Moses' followers included Egyptian priests and other 'polluted' Egyptians.
* Moses sent ambassadors to the shepherds in Jerusalem, explaining the situation in Egypt and asking for their assistance in his war against Egypt.
* The shepherds were delighted at this news and two hundred thousand men from Jerusalem later invaded Egypt, upon which Amenhotep gathered his army, but 'did not join them in battle' and instead fled with his army and a multitude of Egyptians into Ethiopia. There they remained for thirteen years.
* Under instruction of Moses, the people of Jerusalem, who along with the expelled polluted Egyptians had invaded Egypt, treated the men in a barbarous manner, set the cities and villages on fire, destroyed the images of the gods and forced the priests to slaughter their sacred animals and eat them. These men were then ejected naked out of Egypt.
...

Manetho always presents a good example of why one must be wary when consulting literature of the Classical period as source material. It is generally unreliable. A person well acquainted with pharaonic history can easily spot the many errors in material written by Manetho, Herodotus, and others. They are not really to be blamed because they were not quite historians as we think of the term. It is no exaggeration to say we modern people who study the history have a much clearer and more reliable understanding of ancient Egyptian history than Manetho did. Some examples:

Quote

* The Hebrews were in fact called the Hyksos (shepherds), and that they had previously invaded Egypt and subdued its inhabitants. They were driven from Egypt and resettled in Jerusalem.

The Hebrews and Hyksos were two completely different people. The word "Hyksos" is a Greek corruption of the original Egypt HKA-xAswt, which does not mean "shepherds" but literally "foreign rulers." They were pastoralists just as the Egyptians were, but Manetho was clearly confused as to the source. Born in the Delta and serving his Macedonian masters in Alexandria, it's quite possible Manetho never saw the inscriptions at sites much farther south in Egypt where the battle narratives existed from the time of the Hyksos. These inscriptions are well known to historians today.

The first identifiable Hyksos are shown on tomb walls dating to the Middle Kingdom, around Dynasty 12. They are depicted as pastoralists leading livestock and wagons full of possessions, migrating into Egypt. The particular relief of which I'm thinking even identifies the man up front as HKA-xAst, the leader of this particular band of migrants. There was no sweeping invasion of Egypt on their part. Rather, all evidence suggests the Hyksos had been settling down in Egypt long before they assumed power of Lower Egypt. They were growing strong as Egypt was growing weak, and they took advantage. Archaeology of Avaris and other Hyksos centers clearly shows most of these people were from the southern Levant, and their burials and architecture directly reflect the veneration of Baal and other Canaanite deities.

There is no Hebraic association. The Hebrews would not exist for a long time after the Hyksos were expelled. They were not resettled in Jerusalem, a pagan Canaanite village at that time, but were violently attacked all the way deep into the Levant as they retreated. The goal of Ahmose I wasn't to resettle them but to exterminate them.

Quote

* Moses was a priest born in, Heliopolis and was known by the name Osarsiph.

No such evidence exists. "Osarsiph" is the name Manetho gives to the priest who supposedly created monotheism in Egypt and upset the natural order of the Egyptians, but it's clear Manetho did not possess any sort of reliable historical record. Obviously he was working from a dim memory of Akhenaten, the heretic king, most of whose life would have been completely forgotten by the time Manetho lived. At most there would have been oral traditions of a heretic king who proscribed the worship of important gods in the murky depths of their own ancient history.

Quote

* A king called Amenhotep was advised by his high priest that he would 'see the gods' if he were to clear the country of the lepers and the impure people. He drove eighty thousand of them into the quarries (which resulted in a revolt).

There were several kings who went by the name Amunhotep (Akhenaten among them), and we know a great deal about them all. Nothing from their reigns would corroborate the above statement. Again, Manetho may have been working from mostly lost history, but I've always found the line about the lepers to be a bit interesting. One working theory for why Akhenaten built a brand-new capital at a virgin site, was the probability of plague striking the land at the time. It was almost certainly happening in the time of the previous king, Amunhotep III. Most likely Asiatics migrating from the Levant brought the plague with them. The theory states that the gods had failed the Egyptians and were allowing the plague to wreak havoc, so Akhenaten changed his loyalty to the Aten and built a new city on untouched ground to venerate that god. It's just a theory and there is no definitive evidence to support it, but it's more reliable on all levels than Manetho's statement.

Quote

* Moses sent ambassadors to the shepherds in Jerusalem, explaining the situation in Egypt and asking for their assistance in his war against Egypt.

* The shepherds were delighted at this news and two hundred thousand men from Jerusalem later invaded Egypt, upon which Amenhotep gathered his army, but 'did not join them in battle' and instead fled with his army and a multitude of Egyptians into Ethiopia. There they remained for thirteen years.

Jerusalem was a Canaanite village at this time. There is no connection to the Hebrews, who did not exist yet. And if we're trying to place this in the time of the Hyksos, the Egyptians were already giving the Hyksos a hell of a beating, so it's quite unrealistic to think that a little village in the highlands of the Levant would want to take on the might of the new Egyptian army.

There was a king in the Late Period who did in fact flee to Nubia when Egypt was invaded the first time by the Persians and Manetho was probably familiar with this event--he lived only a short time later--but it has nothing to do with the time of the Hyksos.

To sum it up, Manetho's account is not a reliable work of history in most respects. He was probably familiar with the figure of Moses from the early Old Testament of the Hebrews, which was first put into written words long before Manetho lived, so as with other Classical writers Manetho was drawing from other traditions when rendering his history.

To regard Manetho's work as factual history is a mistake from the get-go. It simply must be supplemented with modern archaeology and philology, the sum of which paint for us a much clearer picture of history in ancient Egypt.

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#30    kmt_sesh

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:57 PM

View Postjaylemurph, on 14 January 2010 - 11:24 PM, said:

...

Well, at least the first book was written in this century. It's a typical trick of pseudo-historian fringe writers to rely on out-of-date or exploded theories. You could cite any number of 19th Century texts to make it look like there's an active debate on whether the Irish or African-Americans are legitimately human: that doesn't make it so.

--Jaylemurph

I agree. While Breasted was a brilliant man and one of the pioneers of Egyptology, it's always been annoying to me that fringe writers draw on only very old and often outdated material. It's a mistake that will lead them to ruin, every time. You will also notice that fringe writers earnestly avoid citing current research, because current research will shred to bits almost every argument these whackadoo fringe writers make. It's not only painfully obvious but really quite pathetic. What troubles me more is that people sincerely wishing to learn more but accidentally succumbing first to loons like Osman, Sitchin, Hancock, Bauval, et al, will be intellectually polluted for the rest of their lives.

Man, I must be in a harsh mood.

View Postsinewave, on 14 January 2010 - 11:31 PM, said:

First, thanks for that excellent breakdown of the timeline but I am a little confused.  Given those dates, wouldn't the Exodus have occurred before the building of Solomon's Temple?

:w00t: Yes, sinewave, I should've written "before." That was really quite idiotic of me. A big thanks for pointing that out. :tu:

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