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Bronzesnake
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« on: April 14, 2006, 12:31:40 AM »

I'm going to dig around and try to provide as much evidence as I can of the Exodus.

Here goes!


Evidence for the exodus

Many people do not believe the Exodus took place. They often claim that there is no historical evidence, other than that found in the Bible. But there is evidence of the Exodus as stated by Grant Jeffrey in his book "Unveiling Mysteries of the Bible". An important Egyptian historical manuscript was discovered in Egypt more than a century ago.

Remarkably, this ancient papyrus parallels the history of the Exodus account as found in the Scriptures. This manuscript recorded the writings of an ancient Egyptian named Ipuwer. The papyrus manuscript, now called the Ipuwer Papyrus, was discovered by someone named Anastasi in the area of Memphis, near the pyramids of Saqqara in Egypt.

The museum of Leiden in the Netherlands acquired the papyrus in 1828. It was translated and published in English for the first time in 1909 by Professor Alan H. Gardiner. Gardiner wrote that the manuscript was one that recorded a genuine historical catastrophe when the whole country of Egypt was in distress and violence. "It is no merely local disturbance that is here described, but a great and overwhelming national disaster."

Gardiner suggests that Ipuwer was an Egyptian sage who directed his writing to the king as a complaint that the national catastrophe was in part caused by the king’s failure to act and deal with the crisis.

A comparison of several key passages from the Biblical Book of Exodus with the ancient Egyptian papyrus reveals remarkable correspondences and parallels that point to a real historical catastrophe.

1. The Plague of Blood
In Ipuwer Papyrus 2:5-6, it says: Plague is throughout the land. Blood is everywhere. Compare this with the Book of Exodus 7:21: There was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.

In Ipuwer Papyrus 2:10, it says: The River is Blood. Compare with Exodus 7:20: All the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.

In Ipuwer Papyrus 2:10, it says: Men shrank from tasting...and thirst for water. Compare with Exodus 7:24: And all the Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink; for they could not drink of the water of the river.

2. The Plague of Hail
Ipuwer papyrus 9:23: The fire ran along the ground. There was hail, and fire mingled with the hail. Exodus 9:25: And the hail smote every herb on the field, and brake every tree in the field.

3. The Plague of Darkness
Ipuwer Papyrus 9:11: The land is not light. Exodus 10:22: And there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt.

4. The Plague of Egyptian Cattle
Ipuwer papyrus 5:5: All animals, their hearts weep. Cattle moan. Exodus 9:3: Behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be grievous murrain (disease).

5. The Plague of the Firstborn of Egypt
Ipuwer Papyrus 2:13: He who places his brother in the ground is everywhere. Exodus 12:27: He (the angel of the Lord) smote the Egyptians. Ipuwer Papyrus 4:3: Forsooth, the children of princes are dashed against the walls. Exodus 12:29: At midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt. Ipuwer Papyrus 6:12: Forsooth, the children of the princes are cast out in the streets, Exodus 12:30: There was not a house where there was not one dead.

6. Response of the Egyptians to the Loss of their First born
Ipuwer Papyrus 3:14: It is groaning that is throughout the land, mingled with lamentations. Exodus 12:30: There was a great cry in Egypt.

In light of the ample evidence accumulated from ancient Jewish and Greek historians, together with the Ipuwer Papyrus that parallels several of the 10 Biblical plagues, it is clear that there is compelling non-Biblical evidence to confirm the scriptural account about the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. Further proof of the Exodus is the fact; the Jews have annually celebrated three great festivals in commemoration of their Exodus (Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles) for 3500 years. Therefore, logically, the public observance of the Exodus Passover festival can only be explained if the Jewish people actually participated in these historical events as recorded in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible.

More to follow
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Bronzesnake
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2006, 01:43:35 AM »

Josephus gives an additional bit of information in his Antiquities of the Jews" Book II, Chapter XV. Speaking of pharaoh's army pursuing the multitude, he states:

"They also seized upon the passages by which they imagined the Hebrews might fly, shutting them up between the inaccessible precipices and the sea; for there was [on each side] a [ridge of] mountains that terminated at the sea, which was impassable by reason of their roughness, and obstructed their flight; wherefore they there pressed upon the Hebrews with their army, where [the ridges of] the mountains were closed with the sea..."

This is the spot the Egyptians chased the Hebrews to. As you can see, they are walled in by mountains and the sea, just as the Bible describes.


This is the exact place where the crossing took place when Moses parted the sea.
Have a look at the amazing natural roadway that is large enough for the estimated 600,000 people to cross. God in His wisdom obviously created this structure just for this purpose.




This picture shows the route they took to the mountain
.



This is also the exact spot where divers discovered Egyptian chariot wheels on the sea floor.




A couple of men actually went to Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and found all these locations. They followed the direction exactly as the Bible laid them out, and they found a load of proof, such as the exact place the Hebrews were trapped at by the sea - The underwater land bridge which is large enough to hold all the people, animals, provisions etc.

They read about how many days the Hebrews walked before they came to a place where there was twelve springs, and guess what? They actually found the twelve springs, but the water was bitter, just as the Bible said it was!
I have a video of all these places and things, so I know it's legitimate.

They continued on following the Bible's directions and found many, many matches, one of which was the real Mount Sinai! I will give you photos of the burnt mountain top where Moses spoke with God and the mountain top was on fire.
There are also marble column fragments which are described in the Bible. They found alters - one built by the Hebrews while Moses was on the mountain talking to God. It's a huge boulder which was fashioned into a pagan alter. There are inscriptions of Egyptian calves carved into it!

There were many, many marble markers placed in a peculiar fashion, but then the two men realized they had found the boundary markers the Bible describes. That anyone who went beyond the boundaries would be toast!

On the north end of the beach area, there are the remains of an ancient Egyptian fortress, which would have prevented their going north when they entered the area. This fortress was another evidence that Egyptian territory extended all the way through the Sinai peninsula. That's the exact spot where an ancient Egyptian fortress was found.

They also found human remains on the sea floor.

Here's a photo of the scorched mountain top. The men went to the top and were able to wipe away soot from the rocks! the mountain top had been burnt!



Here's a column of marble which the Bible describes as being part of a shrine of marble built by Moses.


You'll have to have bionic eyes to read the labels on this map of the mountain area, but it details significant discoveries of the Exodus description from the Bible.


Hopefully I will soon be able to provide even more convincing evidence for the Exodus. The archaeological evidence gets even more astonishing than this - if you can believe that!
This mountain location is in Saudi Arabia, and the entire mountain has been fenced in, and is guarded by two guards.
The two men had to be very sneaky while investigating this location. This Islamic government does not want any of this solid Judeao/Christian evidence getting out to the world, for obvious reasons.

John
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Bronzesnake
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2006, 10:18:32 AM »

Hey Pastor Roger! This is the post I was pming you about...have you seen this before now?

I recall you asking about any information I had on this subject when I posted that I did have some excellent reference material on the Exodus.

I still have to get some of the source material I lent out a while back, because I do have some very , very excellent corroborating evidence for the Exodus.

John
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2006, 10:44:36 AM »

Hi brother, yes I did see this post. Some really great stuff. I was waiting for the more that you mentioned.

I just saw something about this on another web site with the pictures that you posted above as well as some more that showed a natural wall where the Israelites would have been boxed in with no where to go but across the water or to go back into the hands of the Egyptians. I'll see if I can find it again and post some of those pictures as well.

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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2006, 04:08:11 PM »

Link to The Exodus...Conclusive proof! Grin
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2006, 06:02:47 PM »

Amen brother, that is the group of pictures that I was talking about. Excellant post.

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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2006, 06:38:02 PM »

Here is a few more pictures of evidence along the exodus route.





Sinaitic Inscriptions in Wadee El-Mukattab, Sinai
Above Inscription shot in 1857 by Francis Frith (1822-1898)


Following is a group of inscriptions found on different rocks along the route.


"The wind blowing, the sea dividing into parts, they pass over"

"The Hebrews flee through the sea; the sea is turned into dry land."

"The waters permitted and dismissed to flow, burst rushing unawares upon the astonished men, congregated from quarters banded together to slay treacherously being lifted up with pride."

"The leader divideth asunder the sea, its waves roaring. The people enter, and pass through the midst of the waters."

"Moses causeth the people to haste like a fleet-winged she-ostrich crying aloud; the cloud shining bright,
a mighty army propelled into the Red sea is gathered into one;
they go jumping and skipping.
Journeying through the open channel,
taking flight from the face of the enemy.
The surge of the sea is divided."

"The people flee, the tribes descend into the deep.
The people enter the waters.
The people enter and penetrate through the midst.
The people are filled with stupor and perturbation.
Jehovah is the keeper and companion."

"Their enemies weep for the dead, the virgins are wailing.

The sea flowing down overwhelmed them.
The waters were let loose to flow again."

The people depart fugitive.
A mighty army is submerged in the deep sea,
the only way of escape for the congregated people."

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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2006, 06:41:55 PM »

SANDSTONE INSCRIPTIONS





In 1761, Barthold Niebuhr, a German explorer, found a huge cemetery with tombs and a sepulcher atop an inaccessible mountain called Sarbut-el-Khaden. Inscriptions were found on the tombs and inside the sepulcher. (Voyage en Arabie, tom. i. p. 191). Niebuhr offered his doubts that the inscriptions were made by Egyptians as no carved inscriptions were ever found in Egypt; rather they were partial to painting images on plaster. He also found legible inscriptions not only on the tombs but also within a small temple carved out of rock, all found to be of the same written language as the Hebrew Exodus inscriptions. In another book, Niebuhr remarked "the wonderful preservation of the inscriptions upon this soft sandstone, exposed as they have been to the air and weather during the lapse of so many ages. On some of the stones they are quite perfect" (Niebuhr, Biblical Researches, vol. i. pp. 113-114). He found, as in the other Sinai inscriptions, that the heiroglyph-like writings were significantly different in form from Egyptian hieroglyphics, yet sharing similarities nonetheless. Also, no mention of Egyptian gods or common Egyptian symbols are to be found in the mountain-top graveyard.

In addition to all of this, Niebuhr found numerous engravings of quails on the tombstones "standing, flying and apparently, even trussed and cooked" (Rev. Charles Forster, Sinai Photographed [London: Richard Bentley, 1862], p. 62) and noted that the Bedouins refer to this graveyard as the "Turbet es Yahoud" (grave of the Jews).
 

When Dr. Stewart later later explored this huge graveyard, he made molds of the inscriptions there which were later translated by Rev. Charles Forster to appear in his 1962 book Sinai Photographed (p. 84):
-The apostates smitten with disease by God,  by means of feathered fowls.
-Smitten by God with disease in the sandy plain, (when) exceeding the bounds of moderation.
-Sickening, smitten by God with disease;  thier marrows corrupted by God by means of the feathered fowls.
-The people, given over to destruction, cry aloud.
-God pours down deep sleep, messenger of death, upon the pilgrims.
-The tomb is the end of life to the sick, smitten with disease by God."
 
Miriam's Rebellion (inscriptions found)
-Miriam, Prophetess of lying lips an ddecietful tongue.
-She causes the tribes to conspire against the pillar and prince of the people.
-Convoked for tumult, perverted, full of strife, the people revile the meek and generous man.
-They lead with reproaches the blessed one of God.
-The Plague of Fiery Serpents
-Bitten and destroyed by fiery, hissing serpents, the Hebrews are wounded for their crimes.
-Jehovah makes a stream flow from the stony rock.

The people, given over to destruction, cry aloud.
God pours down deep sleep,
messenger of death, upon the pilgrims.
The tomb is the end of life to the sick,
smitten with disease by God."

Other inscriptions:
-The Hebrews Murmur Against Moses / God Provides Water Miraculously.
-Pilgrims fugitive through the sea find a place of refuge at Sidri.
-Lighting upon plain ground they proceed on their pilgrimage full of terror.
-The Hebrews pass over the sea into the wide waterless desert,  famishing with hunger and thirst.
-The people clamor vociferously. The people anger Moses.
-Swerving from the right way, they thirst for water insatiably.
-The water flows, gently gushing out of the stony rock.
-Out of the rock a murmur of abundant waters.
-Out of the hard stone a springing well.
-Like the wild braying, the Hebrews swallow down enormously and greedily.
-Greedy of food like infants, they plunge into sin against Jehovah.
-The people drink, winding on their way, drinking with prone mouth,
-Jehovah gives them drink again and again.
-The people sore athirst, drink vehemently.
-They quaff the water-spring without pause, ever drinking.
-Reprobate beside the gushing well-spring.
-God Judges The People's Gluttony.
-The people have drink to satiety. In crowds they swill.
-Flesh they strip from the bone, mangling it.
-Replete with food, they are obstreperous.
-Surfeited, they cram themselves; clamoring, they vomit.
-The people are drinking water to repletion.
-The tribes, weeping for the dead, cry aloud with downcast eyes.
-The dove mourns, devoured by grief.
-The hungry ! Huh the tempted men, brought to destruction, perish. Apostasy from the faith leads them to the tomb.
-Devouring flesh ravenously, drinking wine greedily.
-Dancing, shouting, they play.
-Congregating on all sides to ensnare them, the people voraciously devour the quails.
-Binding the bow against them, bringing them down.
-Eagerly and enormously eating the half raw flesh,  the pilgrims become plague-stricken.
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2006, 06:49:54 PM »

 Moses' description in the Bible
Exodus 12:31-42

31 During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, "Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested. 32Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me."

33 The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country. "For otherwise," they said, "we will all die!" 34 So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs wrapped in clothing. 35 The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. 36 The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.

37 The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children.38 Many other people went up with them, as well as large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds.39 With the dough they had brought from Egypt, they baked cakes of unleavened bread. The dough was without yeast because they had been driven out of Egypt and did not have time to prepare food for themselves.

40 Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years. 41 At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the Lord's divisions left Egypt. 42Because the Lord kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the Lord for the generations to come.


Bones found in the same vicinity with the chariot wheels:



human femur found in Red Sea


Aaron Sen has dived on several occasions at this site, and can
testify to the validity of the discovery. In March 1998, he photographed the remains of a four spoke chariot wheel, and has taken up human bones of which there are 'dozens' scattered on the sea bed. One specimen was taken to the Department of Osteology at Stockholm University, and tested, proving to be a human, male,
right side femur. Although it cannot be dated, it was evidently from ancient times. The man's height was estimated at 165-170cm (5.4-5.5 feet), and the bones had been replaced by minerals. Tiny amounts of coral were growing off the mineral replacement. Aaron has seen the drop off of the southern end of the underwater land bridge. He has also seen a pathway that the Israelites would have cleared in order to cross the Red Sea, leading from the shore, descending into the sea. The Israelites would have had to push the stones and rocks aside in order to allow access for their wagons.

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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2006, 06:51:31 PM »

Writings of 2 ancient Egyptian priest/scholors identifying Joseph and Moses as Jewish leaders

Diodorus Siculus, Greek Historian from Sicily living from 80 BC to approximately 15 BC (20 years before Christ's birth in AD 5 or 6)

Diodorus Siculus wrote, "In ancient times there happened a great plague in Egypt, and many ascribed the cause of it to God, who was offended with them because there were many strangers in the land, by whom foreign rites and ceremonies were employed in their worship of the deity. The Egyptians concluded; therefore, that unless all strangers were driven out of the country, they should never be freed from their miseries."

Upon this, some writers tell us, the most eminent and enterprising of those foreigners who were in Egypt, and abliged to leave the country...who retired into the province now called Judea, which was not far from Egypt, and in those times uninhabited. These emigrants were led by Moses, who was superior to all in wisdom and prowess. He gave them laws, and ordained that they should have no images of the gods, because there was only one deity, the heaven, which surrounds all things, and is Lord of the whole." (Diodorus Siculul, Library of History, lib. 1., ap Phot.)


Flavius Josephus was a Jewish historian born in AD 37. In his book, Josephus Against Apion, I., 26, 27, 32, he references two ancient Egyptian priest-scholors named Manetho and Cheremon. The ancient scholors, in reporting on Egyptian history, specifically name Joseph and Moses as Jewish leaders.

"Josephus recorded that the Egyptians remembered a tradition of an Exodus from their country by the Jews whom they hated because they believed the Israelites were unclean...these pagan historians acknowledged that the Jews killed the animals which they held sacrad, indicating the Israelite's practice of sacrificing lambs on that first Passover...the statement by Manetho that the sudden Exodus from Egypt occurred in the reign of "Amenophis, son of Rameses, and father of Sethos, who reigned toward the close of the 18th dynasty" which places this event (the Exodus) between 1500 and 1400 BC. This evidence confirms the chronological data found in the Old Testament that suggests the Exodus occurred approximately 1491 BC."1

Herodotus, an ancient Grecian historian, discusses the Exodus

Herodotus, dubbed the Father of History, was a Greek historian who wrote the book, Polymnia. In section c.89 he wrote the following:

"This people (the Israelites), by their own account, inhabited the coasts of the Red Sea, but migrated thence to the maritime parts of Syria, all which district, as far as Egypt, is denominated Palestine."

The coasts of the Red Sea are, in part, located in current day Egypt, while the maritime parts of ancient Syria are, in part, located at what is current day Israel.

Strabo, was a Pagan historian as well as a geographer, who was born in 54 BC. He also referenced the exodus account under the direction and leadership of Moses. "Among many things believed respecting the temple and inhabitants of Jerusalem, the report most credited is that the Egyptians were the ancestors of the present Jews. An Egyptian priest named Moses, who possessed a portion of the country called lower Egypt, being dissatisfied with the institutions there, left it and came to Judea with a large body of people who worshipped the Divinity." (Strabo,Geography, lib. xvi., c.2).
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2006, 06:52:19 PM »

"As for the connection existing between the Sinaitic writing and that of Egypt, we are perfectly of Mr. Forster's opinion, and shall support him with proofs. Twenty-four letters of the demotic Egyptian alphabet are constantly found in the Sinaitic inscriptions. With the exception of two of three variants, it is the same alphabet...[It is impossible that] a people so intelligent, so persevering as the Hebrew people, have not left in the indelible granite of the Peninsula of Sinai a single monument of thier Exode, to thank God for being able, in the midst of so much misery and danger, to recover safety and liberty." Prof. M. Lottin de Lavel, Voyage dans la Peninsule Arabique de Sinai et l'Egypt emoyenne [S.E.M. le Ministre de l'Instruction publique et des Cultes, 1859]     

During the last century many explorers rediscovered a group of ancient inscriptions in the Wadi Mukatteb ("The Valley of Writing") on the Sinai Peninsula. It is commonly agreed that these inscriptions were made by the escaped Hebrew slaves of Egypt as they passed throught the area under the leadership of Moses. While these inscriptions received much attention at first, the concept that these inscriptions were made by the Hebrews of the Exodus was summarily rejected by most scholars merely because they are most commonly known from the Bible. Thier evidence was...well, no evidence at all, as they generally refused to even examine the inscriptions, the written record or the testimony of any of these explorers. They had made reference to an event related in the Bible and that was enough to refute that the inscriptions held anything of substance.


Nonetheless, the few scholars who examined the inscriptions affirmed that these inscriptions were indeed written by the Hebrews who actually witnessed the miraculous events described:

Cosmas Indicopleustes, Byzantine Christian author, wrote that the inscriptions appeared "at all halting places, all the stone in that region which were broken off from the mountains, written with carved Hebrew characters" usually proclaiming, "The departure of such and such a man of such a tribe, in such a year, in such a month." (from Arthur Penrlyn Stanley, Sinai and Palestine [London: John Murray, 1905], p. 57)
Examiners concluded that, as the inscriptions had survived in such good shape for as long as the locals could recall in the dry, hot climate they could easily have survived since the time that the Exodus in thought to have occurred.

Bishop Robert Clayton of Ireland also confirmed that the inscriptions were definitely of ancient Hebrew origin, consisting mostly of name, tribe and date or similar inscriptions by persons obviously passing through or, perhaps, camping nearby for a short period of time. He published these findings in the Journal of Franciscans of Cairo (1753)

A more detailed examination by Rev. Charles Forster, described in his book Sinai Photographed [London: Richard Bentley, 1852] asserted that the Hebrew characters throughout the inscriptions in the area had been obviously influenced in form by Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Historian Diodorus Siculus, about 10 B.C. described the Sinai Peninsula in his Library of History wrote, "Moreover, an altar is there built of hard stone and very old in years, bearing an inscription in ancient letters of an unknown tongue. the oversight of the sacred precinct is in the care of a man and woman who hold the position for life." (Bk. 3, sect. 42, Loeb Classical Library, C.H. Oldfather, trans. [Cambridge Harvard University Press, 1993], p.211)

Some critics, Professor Arthur Penrhyn Stanley among others, suggested that these inscriptions were unreliable as they had suffered heavy traffic from ancient christian pilgrims and may have been written by them. Stanley and a few other explorers routinely stated that graffiti and "numerous" crosses inscribed near, in or around these sites had been left by christian indicating a record of their pilgrimage as they were known to have done in other areas in the Middle East. However:

-A detailed examination of seven hundred of the actual Sinai inscription sites reveal only ten symbols that could reasonably be mistaken for the crosses that Prof. Stanley and other critical scholars refer to. And each of these can be easily explained as an example of the Egyptian cross-form (or their form of the letter "T" which appears in most written languags). The Egyptian cross-form is shaped more like an actual cross than most other T-shaped letters of other languages and could easily be mistaken for a "cross". Prof. Stanley made no attempt the hide the fact that he had little familiarity with the written languages of either Hebrew or Egyptian present in the inscriptions.
-While it is undeniable that many of the medieval christian pilgrims left similar inscriptions along their journeys historians, scholars and translators have rarely had any difficulty distinguishing them from ancient Hebrew inscriptions. The context and writing styles of both cultures tended to be dramatically different and few christian pilgrims would have likely made inscriptions in Hebrew anyway, much less a Hebrew writing as heavily influenced by Egyptian as these inscriptions were. Furthermore, even to the casual eye of laymen present during the various examinations of these sites, both the christian and Hebrew inscriptions were easily distinguishable.
-Most scholars who have actually deigned to examine the hebraic inscriptions have been forced to agree that they were written by the Exodus Hebrews. Further, all of the inscriptions sites which are obviously far too ancient to be the product of christian pilgrims, occur on the western side of the Sinai (the side closest to Egypt) suggesting that the writers came from that direction. None of these sites contain either Christian or Jewish names (such as those common to citizens of Israel decades later) and no Christians lived in the western part of the Sinai during the times that these ancient inscriptions were written.

-Those inscription describing Exodus events, especially miraculous events, are written in the context of having actually witnessed the events. That is, as an original account rather than an attempt to copy passages of the Torah/Old Testament or to paraphrase these texts.

-The writers of those inscriptions which vividly describe the major events of the Exodus do not use any of the words or language that Moses uses to describe the same. In other words, they are obviously not inspired by Moses' writings. They are plainly written in the context of independent witnesses to these events.
-No examples of Egyptian gods or similar symbols are found among these inscriptions as we have come to expect from Egyptian writers, even those few that contained specific illustrations. Nor is there any historical evidence of any group of Egyptians living in the Sinai in or around the time the inscriptions were made. This despite the fact that the writing style was heavily influenced by the Egyptian written language (as one would expect from the escaped Hebrew slaves of the Exodus).

Who was Tutankhamun?

Was the young Eqyptian Tutankhamun the pharoah's (Ramses?) son whom the Angel of Death killed because he was the first born of the reigning pharoah's family?  Many are now beginning to think so...
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« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2006, 07:02:14 PM »

Many people do not believe the Exodus took place. They often claim that there is no historical evidence, other than that found in the Bible. But there is evidence of the Exodus as stated by Grant Jeffrey in his book "Unveiling Mysteries of the Bible". An important Egyptian historical manuscript was discovered in Egypt more than a century ago.

Remarkably, this ancient papyrus parallels the history of the Exodus account as found in the Scriptures. This manuscript recorded the writings of an ancient Egyptian named Ipuwer. The papyrus manuscript, now called the Ipuwer Papyrus, was discovered by someone named Anastasi in the area of Memphis, near the pyramids of Saqqara in Egypt.

The museum of Leiden in the Netherlands acquired the papyrus in 1828. It was translated and published in English for the first time in 1909 by Professor Alan H. Gardiner. Gardiner wrote that the manuscript was one that recorded a genuine historical catastrophe when the whole country of Egypt was in distress and violence. "It is no merely local disturbance that is here described, but a great and overwhelming national disaster."

Gardiner suggests that Ipuwer was an Egyptian sage who directed his writing to the king as a complaint that the national catastrophe was in part caused by the king’s failure to act and deal with the crisis.

A comparison of several key passages from the Biblical Book of Exodus with the ancient Egyptian papyrus reveals remarkable correspondences and parallels that point to a real historical catastrophe.

1. The Plague of Blood
In Ipuwer Papyrus 2:5-6, it says: Plague is throughout the land. Blood is everywhere. Compare this with the Book of Exodus 7:21: There was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.

In Ipuwer Papyrus 2:10, it says: The River is Blood. Compare with Exodus 7:20: All the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.

In Ipuwer Papyrus 2:10, it says: Men shrank from tasting...and thirst for water. Compare with Exodus 7:24: And all the Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink; for they could not drink of the water of the river.

2. The Plague of Hail
Ipuwer papyrus 9:23: The fire ran along the ground. There was hail, and fire mingled with the hail. Exodus 9:25: And the hail smote every herb on the field, and brake every tree in the field.

3. The Plague of Darkness
Ipuwer Papyrus 9:11: The land is not light. Exodus 10:22: And there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt.

4. The Plague of Egyptian Cattle
Ipuwer papyrus 5:5: All animals, their hearts weep. Cattle moan. Exodus 9:3: Behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be grievous murrain (disease).

5. The Plague of the Firstborn of Egypt
Ipuwer Papyrus 2:13: He who places his brother in the ground is everywhere. Exodus 12:27: He (the angel of the Lord) smote the Egyptians. Ipuwer Papyrus 4:3: Forsooth, the children of princes are dashed against the walls. Exodus 12:29: At midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt. Ipuwer Papyrus 6:12: Forsooth, the children of the princes are cast out in the streets, Exodus 12:30: There was not a house where there was not one dead.

6. Response of the Egyptians to the Loss of their First born
Ipuwer Papyrus 3:14: It is groaning that is throughout the land, mingled with lamentations. Exodus 12:30: There was a great cry in Egypt.

In light of the ample evidence accumulated from ancient Jewish and Greek historians, together with the Ipuwer Papyrus that parallels several of the 10 Biblical plagues, it is clear that there is compelling non-Biblical evidence to confirm the scriptural account about the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. Further proof of the Exodus is the fact; the Jews have annually celebrated three great festivals in commemoration of their Exodus (Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles) for 3500 years. Therefore, logically, the public observance of the Exodus Passover festival can only be explained if the Jewish people actually participated in these historical events as recorded in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible.
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« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2006, 07:46:54 PM »

Merneptah Stele

One of the most important discoveries that relate to the time of the Exodus is the Merneptah stele which dates to about 1210 BC. Merneptah, the king of Egypt, boasts that he has destroyed his enemies in Canaan. He states: Plundered is the Canaan with every evil; Carried off is Ashkelon; seized upon is Gezer; Yanoam is made as that which does not exist; Israel is laid waste, his seed is not; (ANET 1969, 378).The word "Israel" here is written in Egyptian with the determinative for people rather than land (ANET 1969, 378 note 18). This implies that Israel did not have a king or kingdom at this time. This would be the time of the judges. The text also implies that Israel was as strong as the other cities mentioned, and not just a small tribe. The south to north order of the three city-states may provide a general location for Israel. There is an interesting place named in Joshua 15:9 and 18:15, "well of waters of Nephtoah," that may be the Hebrew name of Merneptah. The well which is probably anachronistically named after Merneptah would be near Jerusalem. The Egyptian Papyrus Anastasi III contains "The Journal of a Frontier Official" which mentions this well. It says:Year 3, 1st Month of the 3rd Season, Day 17. The Chief of Bowmen of the Wells of Mer-ne-Ptah Hotep-hir-Maat--life, prosperity, health!--which is (on) the mountain range, arrived for a (judicial) investigation in the fortress which is in Sile (ANET 1969, 258).Yurco has recently re-analyzed the Karnak battle reliefs, and has concluded that they should be ascribed to Merneptah and not Ramses II (1990, 21-38). There are four scenes which Yurco correlates with the Merneptah stele. One scene is the battle against the city of Ashkelon which is specifically named. Yurco argues that the other two city scenes are Gezer and Yanoam. He concludes that the open country scene must be Israel. Rainey rejects this view because it shows them with chariots and infantry (1990, 56-60). Lawrence Stager suggests that the small horses pulling the chariot belong to pharaoh's army as in the Ashkelon scene (1985, 58). Rainey thinks the Shasu are Israelites, but others identify the Shasu as Edomites (Stager 1985, 60). Both scholars Yurco and Rainey agree that these battle scenes are from Merneptah's reign (Yurco 1991, 61; Rainey 1992, 73-4; Hess 1993, 134). Before the discovery of the Merneptah stele scholars placed the date of the exodus and entry into Canaan much later. They are now forced to admit that Israel was already in Canaan at the time of Merneptah. Israel was big and strong enough to challenge Egypt in battle. This stele puts a terminus ante quem date of 1210 BC for the exodus (McCarter 1992, 132).

 
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« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2006, 07:47:48 PM »

Execration Texts

There are two types of execration texts from the 12th Dynasty of Egypt. The oldest type are inscribed red clay bowls that date to the reign of Sesostris III (1878-1842 BC). The second type, dating a generation or two later (Middle Bronze II, 1800-1630 BC) are clay figurines which list cities along major routes of travel (McCarter 1996, 43). The Egyptians practiced the magical cursing of their enemies by inscribing pottery bowls and figurines with the names of their enemies, and then smashing them to break the power of their enemies. "Iy-'anaq" is named which may be related to the Anaqim or giants who dwelt in Canaan before the conquest (ANET 1969, 328). There is the ruler of "Shutu" named Job. Shutu is probably Moab the sons of Sheth (Numbers 24:17; Ahituv 1984, 184). There are the rulers of Shechem, Hazor, Ashkelon, Laish, Tyre, and Pella ('Apiru-Anu). The ruler of Shamkhuna is Abu-reheni (Abraham). The tribes of 'Arqata and Byblos are mentioned (ANET 1969, 329). Jerusalem is named, but there is no mention of Israel. There is the interesting mention of the personal name "Zabulanu" which is similar to the cuneiform for "Zebulon" (ANET 1969, 329 note 6). This was probably not the son of Jacob, but just a popular name? In Ugaritic zbl is a place name (Gordon 1965, Text 1084:13; Glossary #815). Rohl finds the name Jacob and Joseph (Iysipi, E31), but this is highly questionable (1995, 352; ANET 1969, 329). The Execration texts seems to parallel the time of the patriarchs.
Inscription of Khu-Sebek, Called Djaa

A stele found at Abydos tells about an Asiatic campaign by Sen-Usert III (1880-1840 BC) which says: His majesty proceeded northward to overthrow the Asiatics. His majesty reached a foreign country of which the name was Sekmem. His majesty took the right direction in proceeding to the Residence of life, prosperity, and health. Then Sekmem fell, together with the wretched Retenu (ANET 1969, 230b).Some scholars think "Sekmem" is probably Shechem which is located in a pass between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim. Shechem controlled an important trade route and the fertile valley to the East. It seems that Shechem was a very powerful and important city at the time of the patriarchs. The city was surrounded by massive embankments of earth with mudbrick walls on top. During the 17th century BC a rectangular fortress temple was built with walls 17 feet thick (Toombs 1985, 936; Wright 1962; See Judges 9:46). In the Amarna Letters the king at Shechem was Lab'ayu who was the most important ruler in central Palestine (Na'aman and Aviv 1992, 288). Lab'ayu is accused of going over to the side of the Hapiru. The Hapiru are probably the Hebrews during the time of the Judges. Joshua renews the covenant with Israel's leaders at Mount Ebal (Joshua Cool and again at Shechem (Joshua 24). Joshua never took Shechem so some scholars think that the Gibeonite deception included the city of Shechem (NIV, Joshua 9). Joseph's bones which were brought out of Egypt were buried at Shechem. There is no mention of Israel in this text.
The Story of Sinuhe

The story of Sinuhe also gives us a background picture about Syria-Palestine life in the Middle Bronze Age which is most likely the patriarchal period. Sinuhe flees Egypt on hearing of the death of King Amenemhet I (1960 BC) and becomes an exile like Moses. His path of flight may have been similar to the Exodus, but his destination was Byblos. He says, "I came up to the Wall-of-the-ruler, made to oppose the Asiatic and to crush the Sand-Crossers....I halted at the Island of Kem-wer. An attack of thirst overtook me" (ANET 1969, 19; Lichtheim 1975, vol.1, 224; Gardiner 1916; Anati 1963, 386; Rainey 1972). This "Wall" is the fortresses on the eastern frontier near the present day Suez Canal. Kem-wer is the area of the Bitter Lakes.The ruler of the Upper Retenu (northern Palestine and southern Syria) then befriended him, and Sinuhe marries his eldest daughter. It is a tribal society which fights over pasture land and wells. One battle is similar to the story of David and Goiath.In his old age Sinuhe is allowed to return to Egypt. He leaves his eldest son in charge of his tribe and all his possessions of serfs, herds, fruit, and trees. Finally, Sinuhe receives a proper burial in a pyramid tomb. This story gives helpful background information, but there is no mention of Israel. There is a Movie called The Egyptian (1954) that tells the story of Sinuhe.
The Hyksos

It seems most likely that Joseph rose to power during the time of the Hyksos, or just before in the 12th Dynasty when many Asiatics came into Egypt. It also seems most likely that the Exodus from Egypt should be equated with the expulsion of the Hyksos. Not all the Hyksos were Israelites. It says in Exodus that a great mixed multitude came out of Egypt with Moses (Exodus 12:38). The Greek name "Hyksos" was coined by Manetho to identify his fifteenth Dynasty of Asiatic rulers of northern Egypt. The word comes from the Egyptian Hk3(w) h3swt, which means "ruler(s) of foreign countries" (Meyers 1997, 3:133) which Manetho mistranslated as "Shepherd Kings". The Hyksos were of West Semitic background probably from southern Palestine who migrated down into northern Egypt during the 12th and 13th dynasties. At first they lived peacefully with the Egyptians until the deterioration of Egypt's power when in 1648 BC they captured the Egyptian capital at Memphis.

The Hyksos made Avaris their capital which is modern Tell ed-Dab'a, which was later known as Piramesse (Exodus 1:11). "Avaris" is the Greek term for the Egyptian Hwt-w'rt meaning "mansion of the desert plateau" (Meyers 1997 3:134). Other important Hyksos cities were Tell el-Yahudiyeh (meaning "mound of the Jews") known for its distinctive black and white ware, and Tell el-Maskhuta (probably Succoth in Exodus 12:37 NIV note, 13:20).
Store Cities of Pithom and Rameses

Exodus 1:11 states, "So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh" (NIV).

Professor Hans Goedicke believes that the Biblical city of Ra'amezez is incorrectly equated with Pi-Ramesses. Hershel Shanks writing about Goedicke's view states, "But the fact is that the store city of Ra'amezez cannot be identified with Pi-Ramesses, the Residence of the Ramessides. This identification is impossible phonetically, as has been demonstrated conclusively more than 15 years ago (D.B.Redford, "Exodus I, II", Vetus Testamentum, Vol. 13, pp. 408-413, 1963). Moreover, the Residence of the Ramessides is never denoted in Egyptian sources by the use of the royal name Ramesses alone. When the Residence of the Ramessides is referred to, the royal name is always connected with the Egyptian word pr, meaning house or residence: the reference is always in the form "Per Ramesses" (BAR, September/October 1981, p. 44).

Long before Per Ramesses, in the same area was Avaris the capital of the Hyksos kings and a border town when written in hieroglyphic transliteration is R3-mtny (Khatana) which is today called Tell ed-Dab'a and is being excavated by Manfred Bietak, Director of the Austrian Archaeological Institute in Cairo. The hieroglyphic R3-mtny can be projected back into Semitic transcription as Ramesen. Therefore Shanks concludes, "Biblical Ra'amezez can therefore almost certainly be identified with Tell el-Daba (Ibid.).

Pithom is most likely to be identified with Tell el-Rataba according to Goedicke (Ibid.)
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« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2006, 07:50:13 PM »

Jacob-El

According to the Turin king list there were six Hyksos kings who ruled for 108 years. One important ruler was named "Y'qbhr" or "Jacob-hr" (Albright 1934, 11). There have been several different translations of this name. Early scholars purposed the meaning of "Jacob-El" as "Jacob is my god", but Albright observed that the name is a name-pattern verb plus theophorous element (1935, 191, n.59; Ward 1976, 358). In Phoenician and Akkadian hr means "mountain". Ward states:Here hr, 'mountain,' appears as a synonym for 'ilu, 'god, much as Hebrew sur, 'rock,' and similar words were used, e.g., Suri-'el, 'El is my rock.' I would thus render Y'qb-hr as '(My) mountain (i.e. god) protects,' which would be identical in meaning to Yahqub-'il (1976, 359).Hr meaning "mountain" or "rock" is identical to the word El or "god". In the Old Testament Zobel proposes:The name (Jacob) is a hyocoristic form of what was originally a theophorous name belonging to the class of statement-names made up of a divine name and the imperfect of a verb. Its full form, not found in the OT, was 'Jacob-El'(1990, 188-9; Shanks 1988, 24-25).

Therefore the name "Jacob" found in the Bible would be the same as the name "Jacob-El" which is found on a number of Hyksos Scarabs. Although this name was common among the Arameans, but uncommon among the Canaanites and Phoenicians (Zobel 1990, 189), R. Weil was the first to connect the Hyksos princes with the Biblical story of Jacob (Kempinski 1985, 134). In 1969 a scarab of Jacob-El was found in the Middle Bronze II tomb at Shiqmona, a suburb of Haifa, that was from a mid-18th century deposit 100-80 years before the Hyksos (Kempinski 1985, 132-3). The Jacob-El of Shiqmona must have been a local Palestinian ruler, possibly the same Jacob of the Bible. According to Genesis 32:23-33 Jacob's name was changed to Israel. Steuernagel was the first to propose the idea of the "Jacob tribe" or "proto-Israelite Jacob group" (Zobel 1990, 194). It may be that the name "Israel" was not officially used until after the conquest of Canaan when a league of 12 tribes was formed. This would help explain the absence of the name "Israel" from early sources. Joseph Austrian Manfred Beitak excavating Tell ed Dab'a, the ancient capital of the Hyksos, between 1984 to 1987 discovered a palace and garden dating back to the 12th Dynasty with a tomb containing a statue of an Asiatic with a mushroom hairstyle that some scholars think might be Joseph (Aling 1995, 33; 1981; Rohl 1995, 327-367). Much more evidence is needed to claim for certain that this is Joseph's tomb (Redford 1970). There is an interesting study done by Barbara Bell on the records of the Nile's water levels. She concluded that in the middle of the 12th Dynasty there were erratic Nile water levels that caused crop failure (Bell 1975, 223-269). Could this be Joseph's famine? There is "The Tradition of Seven Lean Years in Egypt" written during the Ptolemaic period about the reign of Djoser that states: To let thee know. I was in distress on the Great Throne, and those who are in the palace were in heart's affliction from a very great evil, since the Nile had not come in my time for a space of seven years. Grain was scant, fruits were dried up, and everything which they eat was short. Every man robbed his companion (ANET 1969, 31).

The Story of Two Brothers is an Egyptian text that dates to about 1225 BC that is very similar to the story of Joseph. This tale tells how a young man was falsely accused of a proposal of adultery by the wife of his older brother after he had rejected her advances (ANET 1969, 23-25; Lichtheim 1976, 2:203-211). In the 12th Dynasty Egyptian tomb of Khunum-hotep (1890 BC) at Beni Hasan is pictured a caravan of 37 Asiatics arriving in Egypt trading black eye paint (stibium) from the land of Shutu (ANEP 1969, fig. 3). The leader is named Ibsha and bears the title "ruler of foreign lands" from which the name "Hyksos" is derived (ANET 1969, 229). The land of Shutu is probably an ancient term for Gilead (Aharoni 1979, 146). The Ishmaelites who took Joseph down to Egypt came from Gilead through Dothan (Genesis 37:25). In the 13th Dynasty there were a number of Asiatics serving in Egyptian households. One text lists 95 servants from one Theban household with 37 of the names being Asiatics, and at least 28 females (ANET 1969, 553-4; Albright 1955, 222-233). There is a Asiatic women named Sekratu (line 13) which is related to "Issachar." In line 23 an Asiatic woman is called "Asher," and in line 37 another woman is called Aqaba which is related to "Jacob." This may indicate that some of the tribes of Israel were in Egypt at this time. In the Book of Sothis which Syncellus believed was the genuine Manetho it gives the specific time when Joseph rose to power under Hyksos king, Aphophis who ruled 61 years. It says: Some say that this king (Aphophis) was at first called Pharaoh, and that in the 4th year of his kingship Joseph came as a slave into Egypt. He appointed Joseph lord of Egypt and all his kingdom in the 17th year of his rule, having learned from him the interpretation of the dreams and having thus proved his divine wisdom (Manetho 1940, 239). Halpern has concluded, "Overall, the Joseph story is a reinterpretation of the Hyksos period from an Israelite perspective" (1992, 98).

 
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