The Exodus, Joseph, Jericho … Harmonized With Eqyptian Chronology
A BOOK REVIEW
From the back cover … “In Pharoahs and Kings, Egyptologist and ancient historian David Rohl presents a revolutionary theory that challenges the modern skeptical view of Old Testament history. Rohl demonstrates that archaeologists have been looking in the right places for evidence of the Israelites–but in completely the wrong time. Pharoahs and Kings reveals the true historical setting of the biblical epics, providing astonishing archaeological evidence for the existence of the Old Testament’s most charismatic personalities.
Highlights (Rohl’s page numbers in parentheses) …
* Champollion identified Shishak with Shoshenk I based on an incorrect reading of Name Ring 29 on Shoshenk I’s campaign city list (p. 122)
* Although this was pointed out as early as 1888 by Max-Muller, the identification of Shoshenk I with Shishak had not been challenged by Egyptologists until Rohl. (p. 122)
* Rohl makes an excellent case that the Conventional Chronology (Kitchen’s TIP chronology) is off by several hundred years (p. 11)
* Rohl points out several serious problems with dendrochronological ‘calibration’ of Carbon 14 dating which lends support to the several hundred year adjustment he proposes (App. C)
* In Rohl’s corrected New Chronology, we find much evidence for Israel’s activities (assumed to be missing by conventionalists), including …
* A Papyrus dated to the generation just prior to the birth of Moses listing slaves with Hebrew names–Menahem, Issachar, Asher, and Shiprah (one of the names of a Hebrew midwife listed in Exodus 1:15-21) (p. 276)
* Manetho wrote that that in the reign of Dudimose (the Pharoah of the Exodus under the New Chronology), ‘a blast of God smote us’ (i.e. the Egyptians) (p. 283)
* The 13th Dynasty of Egypt ended abruptly with the reign of Dudimose and we are told by Manetho that a foreign power took over the rule of Egypt. This would make sense if Dudimose’s army had just been destroyed as related in the Book of Exodus.
* The archaeology of Avaris (northern city in the land of Goshen) shows that, at approximately at this time, there was a terrible catastrophe–shallow burial pits all over Avaris into which victims had been hurriedly cast. (p. 279)
* The palace and cult statue of Joseph the Vizier of Egypt (p. 327)
* Evidence for the fallen walls and burned city of Jericho in the correct time period thus vindicating Garstang and refuting Kenyon (p. 299)
CHAMPOLLION’S BIG MISTAKE
Jean Francois Champollion has been called ‘the Father of Egyptology.’ David Rohl, in his book Pharoahs and Kings: A Biblical Quest, relates that the Conventional Chronology of Egypt, such as that presented by Professor Kenneth Kitchen is based upon certain key assumptions received from Champollion, one of which, Rohl says, has never been questioned before his time. This key assumption is that the Egyptian Pharoah, Shoshenk I whose name is found on the Egyptian monuments is one and the same as ‘Shishak,’ the Pharoah who plundered Solomon’s temple according to the Bible (II Chron. 12). (Rohl, p. 10) But where did this assumption come from? It came from Champollion when he made his first (and only) visit to Egypt. Rohl writes (p. 122) …
First, Champollion was entirely wrong in reading name-ring 29 as Iouda-ha-malek (‘Judah the Kingdom’). As Wilhelm Max-Muller pointed out as early as 1888 (Rohl footnote 5), ring 29 should be read Yad-ha-melek which translated literally means ‘Hand of the King’ and should be understood as ‘Monument’ or ‘Stela of the King.’ In other words, it is a location in Palestine where some un-named ruler had erected a commemorative stela. More damaging still to Champollion’s hasty reading is the geographical location of this Yadhamelek;(6) its position in the list locates it in northern Israel, well outside the boundaries of Judah, and so name-ring 29 cannot possibly be translated as ‘Judah the Kingdom.’
Below is a map of Shoshenk’s campaign with Rehoboam’s fortified cities shown with letters. As you can see, name-ring 29 would most logically fall somewhere close to name-rings 30 & 31 and 27 & 28 on the map … that is, nowhere close to Rehoboam’s kingdom at all.
Finally, I Kings 11:40 tells us that Jeroboam, the king of Israel (Northern kingdom) took refuge with Shishak to escape the wrath of Solomon. If Shishak = Shoshenk (Champollion’s view), then why would Shishak invade his ally’s (Jeroboam’s) kingdom in the northern part of Israel and leave the southern kingdom untouched? This is not logical.
SUMMING IT UP
Rohl goes on to explain how this fundamental error of Champollion has caused the Third Intermediate Period (TIP) Chronology to be out by several centuries, thus causing archaeologists to look in the wrong dynasty for evidence of Israel’s activities. Again, the points Rohl makes are …
1) Champollion mistranslated name-ring 29 on Shoshenk I’s campaign list, causing him to equate Shoshenk I with the Biblical Shishak.
2) Champollion failed to notice that the location represented by name-ring 29 could not possibly have been ‘Judah the Kingdom’ because of the positively identified locations of the name-rings surrounding name-ring 29
3) No Egyptologists since Champollion (except Rohl) — including the great Kenneth Kitchen — have questioned Champollion’s assertion that Shoshenk = Shishak, thus perpetuating a several century error in Egyptological studies
4) Once we correct this error, we find all kinds of evidence for Israel’s activities as Rohl shows in this book. (See above)
Why does this matter? It matters because now, with Rohl’s New Chronology, the Biblical accounts of the Israelites is confirmed as historical by the findings of archaeology. The Bible is a real history book which relates real activities of real people. It is not a “Bronze Age myth” as skeptics like to say. In fact, it is the most accurate history book in the world … which makes sense that it would be if it truly is the Message of the Creator to Mankind.