January 5, 2014: The Covenant — A New Generation

admin/ January 8, 2014/ Uncategorized/ 0 comments

The Timeline: Middle Bronze Age Canaan & Egypt circa 1897 – 31 BCE

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s lives have been fulfilled with each producing heirs. Jacob’s progeny however is the most fruitful; twelve sons from several wives. It is within this fourth generation of the covenant that Yahweh expands his promises by direct and powerful contacts with Egypt and the wider world through Joseph.

As we proceed, let’s compare and contrast the lives of the patriarchs regarding their ages, attitudes and trials. We can see that Joseph’s role is the most dramatic of them all: “difficult” family conflicts; personal growth despite his vanity and immaturity; finally fulfilling Yawah’s will for him through dream interpretation, surviving natural catastrophes and prophesies. But first, let us examine the world of the Middle Kingdom Egypt

A new dynastic line of eight heroic pharaohs has risen in Egypt whose goal is to rebuild a land divided and weakened by wars and famine. A-me-nem-hat I (1956-1911 ca. BCE) is the first of these dynamic pharaohs eager to recover Egypt’s prior splendor in the Old Kingdom through aggressive expansion of the Middle Kingdom’s influence and boundaries. For that he will build and command armies of conquest south into Nubia where gold and other valued treasured is abundant; colonizing the Kerma people, long resisted enemies of the Egyptians. For more information, see the article “Competition and Exchange: The Complex Interrelations of Kerma and Pharaonic” by Paul Joseph De Mola.

But it will be two pharaohs, Senworset II & and Senworset III or their Greek name Sesostris whose legendary valor and conquests set the stage for later New Kingdom heroes. In particular, it is Sesostris III who devastates the Kerman people of Nubia, absorbing their gold reserves into his treasury to make Egypt wealthy beyond envy.

Sesostris III 1878-1839 ca. subjugates not only Nubia but also the barbarian lands of Libya, to the west, and Canaan (or Retjenu) to the north, supplanting the early Hittites. Some have conjectured that he may have taken his armies as far as the eastern end of the Black Sea called the Colchis in modern Georgia in search of new sources of gold. It is the same location known to the ancient Greeks as the land of the legendary Gold Fleece where Jason sailed. One historian, Martin Bernal, asserts that the ancient Greek legends put him in Attica, Greece where he leaves a colony in a yet unfounded Athens. Colchis_map

According to our timeline, these two pharaohs correspond best to the men under whom Joseph received his vizier-ship with heavy supporting documentary and archeological evidence.

Achievements of the Middle Kingdom Pharaohs:

. Great expansive public building projects.

. Began taking farm-lands from ruling class of nobles and reducing their authority who were as powerful as pharaoh Sesostris III himself and in the Bible, Joseph during the worst part of the famine enjoins all the peasants into serfdom in Genesis 47:13-31. (Read Ginzberg’s Joseph’s tale in Legend of the Jews i.e. his wife Asenath the Egyptian).

. Constructing vast new canal projects *Joseph’s Canal, called Bar Yusef in modern Egypt, has been solidly dated to the reigns of Sesostris II &amp, more correctly, Sesostris III.

. Trade expansion into Punt, Nubia, Aegean Islands Crete, Cyprus & Thera (modern Santorini) Retjenu, Mesopotamia & Colchis.

. A firm presence of foreigners in the delta region from Asia Minor and Canaan.

It is doubtful that Joseph comes to power during the rule of the famous Hyksos invaders (also known as the “usurpers”), as this event is very late for Joseph’s famine time. One minor clue derives from the fact that the Hyksos ruled the delta region only in the north. The Bible resolutely states that Joseph rules “all” of a unified Egypt under the Sesostris pharaohs in their time from Nubia to the delta.

A second minor clue is that Joseph when freed from prison is commanded to shave before seeing pharaoh. Archeological evidence shows that the Asiatic Hyksos wore beards beneath long hair. No vast building projects rise from the Hyksos like the native pharaohs.

Bible Chronology- Moses writes that Jacob arrived in Egypt 430 years before the Exodus. If the Exodus happens as many have agreed 480 years before Solomon’s Temple in the fourth year of his reign then: Exodus is 1446 ca + 430 years places Joseph firmly within the reigns of Sesostris II & III 1897-1843 in the Middle Kingdom

Hyksos rule from a Delta city named Avaris later renamed “Ramasees” by Ramses II or Great.

Joseph married the daughter of the Egyptian high-priest @ city named On or Heliopolis in Greek > city of the sun in honor of Amen-Ra. If a Hyksos high-priest had given Joseph his daughter, she would have been from Avaris where Set was the supreme deity. Moses clearly writes On which was under the full control of Sesostris I-II & III.

Finally, regarding Joseph’s enslavement, slavery did not exist during the Old Kingdom pyramid building period but the labor was paid for and the workers well cared for by pharaoh. However that changed during the Middle Kingdom and strong documentary evidence for the presence of slavery was discovered by American Egyptologist William C. Hayes published in 1972 with a papyrus showing a list of slaves on one side and a list of prisoners on the other. These are solidly linked to the conquering warrior pharaohs in the Middle Kingdom.

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