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Amenhotep son of Hapu known as “Amenophis son of Paapis”

Published August 30, 2019 by amaic

Amenhotep son of Hapu had rôle like Senenmut

Part Four:

Amenhotep son of Hapu known as “Amenophis son of Paapis”

 

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

“In the view of some scholars, Manetho was using Osarsiph to allude not to Moses,

but to Akhenaton, and the lepers were symbolic of Akhenaton’s ill-regarded revolution;

in Egyptian (and Greek) literature, plague and illness were a common metaphor

for rebellion, anarchy and the havoc wreaked by foreign invaders”.

Yaakov Shavit

 

 

The era of Manetho’s “Osarsiph” and “Amenophis son of Paapis” has nothing whatsoever to do with Moses and the Exodus which preceded the former era by at least half a millennium.

 

Josephus, following Manetho, introduces this “Amenophis … son of Paapis”.

I have taken the quotation from Russell Gmirkin’s Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus …, p. 197:

 

Josephus, Apion I, 232-33

 

(232) Thus, after admitting that all those years had elapsed since our forefathers left Egypt, he now interpolates this fictitious [sic] Amenophis. This king, he states, wishing to be granted, like Or, one of his predecessors on the throne, a vision of the gods, communicated his desire to his namesake, Amenophis, son of Paapis, whose wisdom and knowledge of the future were regarded as divinity. (233) This namesake replied that he would be able to see the gods if he purged the entire country of lepers and other polluted persons.

 

Russell Gmirkin then proceeds to tell of Donald Redford’s interpretation of this incident, according to which “Amenophis, son of Paapis” was none other than Amenhotep son of Hapu, high official to pharaoh Amenhotep III (p. 198):

 

Redford argued that the episode actually pertained to Amenophis [Amenhotep] III and Amenophis IV of Dynasty XVIIII. … Redford argued that the prophet “Amenophis, Paapis’ son”, referred to Amenophis son of Haapi [Amenhotep son of Hapu], scribe of Amenophis III …. Additionally, Redford noted that Or is simply Horus, and pointed out that Manetho listed listed “Oruus” as a Dynasty XVIII ruler immediately following Amenophis II. Redford asserted that Horus was part of the throne-name of Amenophis III. For these various reasons Redford found identification of Or with Amenophis III plausible.

 

The author then proceeds to tell how Redford connected the priest Osarsiph [“Osarseph”] with Akhnaton: “Redford’s central argument was that the sacrilegious legislation and acts of the heretic Osarseph … reflected the theological reforms of Amenophis IV (Akhenaten) who promoted the monotheistic [sic] religion of the sun disk Aten”.

 

That same view finds further expression in Yaakov Shavit’s article, “From One God to Sun God”: https://www.haaretz.com/1.5289498

 

Others believe that Akhenaton is none other than the Egyptian priest Osarsiph in Josephus’s account, “Against Apion,” which draws on the history of Egypt written in Greek by the Egyptian priest Manetho in the third century B.C.E.

 

According to the version in “Against Apion,” Osarsiph was an Egyptian priest from Heliopolis, who joined the masses of Egyptians afflicted with leprosy and other ailments who rebelled after being forced to do hard labor. He offered them a new religious doctrine, fought against Egypt in league with the descendants of Hyksos (who had built Jerusalem after being expelled from Egypt years before), introduced a reign of terror, burned temples and slaughtered priests. In the view of some scholars, Manetho was using Osarsiph to allude not to Moses, but to Akhenaton, and the lepers were symbolic of Akhenaton’s ill-regarded revolution; in Egyptian (and Greek) literature, plague and illness were a common metaphor for rebellion, anarchy and the havoc wreaked by foreign invaders.

 

Manetho’s writings, which made use of the traditions directed against the “heretic” Egyptian king and his revolution, came to be read as referring to Moses, Jews and Judaism, and greatly influenced successive generations. In his “Life of Moses,” Philo notes the wide dissemination of anti-Mosaic literature, when he describes the numerous writings that were intended to spread slander about Moses.

 

 

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Amenhotep son of Hapu and Horemheb

Published August 28, 2019 by amaic

Amenhotep son of Hapu,

emulating Senenmut –

mirror image of Horemheb

 

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

 

Emulating Senenmut

  

The career of Amenhotep son of Hapu appears to have been

modelled closely on that of the great man, Senenmut.

  

 

Amenhotep son of Hapu was a highly influential figure, whose fame reached down even into Ptolemaïc times. Horemheb, for one, may have been stylistically influenced by Amenhotep. For according to W. Smith and W. Simpson (The Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt, Yale UP, 1998, p. 195): “The large grey granite statue of Horemheb in the pose of a scribe … is related stylistically to those of Amenhotep son of Hapu … Horemheb has the same plump, well-fed body and wears a long wig similar to that of the aged wise man …”.

 

Who really was this Amenhotep son of Hapu, upon whom there were bestowed “unprecedented” honours, investing him with virtually regal status?

 

Statuary and Privileges

 

Egyptologist Joann Fletcher offers us a glimpse of his extraordinary power (Egypt’s Sun King. Amenhotep III, Duncan Baird, 2000, p. 51):

 

In an unprecedented move, Amenhotep III gave extensive religious powers to his closest official and namesake, Amenhotep son of Hapu, not only placing the scribe’s statuary throughout Amun’s temple, but also granting his servant powers almost equal to his own: inscriptions on the statues state that Amenhotep son of Hapu would intercede with Amun himself on behalf of those who approached. The king’s chosen man, who was not a member of Amun’s clergy, could act as intermediary between the people and the gods on the king’s behalf, bypassing the priesthood altogether.

[End of quote]

In light of what we learned, however, in:

 

Solomon and Sheba

 

https://www.academia.edu/3660164/Solomon_and_Sheba

 

the powers accorded by pharaoh Amenhotep III to his namesake, the son of Hapu, were not “unprecedented”. All of this – and perhaps even more – had already been bestowed upon Senenmut, the ‘power behind the throne’ of Pharaoh Hatshepsut.

 

I have identified this Senenmut as King Solomon in Egypt.

 

We read in “Solomon and Sheba” of Senenmut’s quasi-royal honours (compare the son of Hapu’s “virtually regal status” above):

 

  1. SENENMUT IN HATSHEPSUT’S

KINGSHIP (REGNAL YEARS 7-16)

 

Hatshepsut’s Coronation

 

In about the 7th year of Thutmose III, according to Dorman [52], Hatshepsut had herself crowned king, assum­ing the name Maatkare or Make-ra (‘True is the heart of Ra’). In the present scheme, this would be close to Solomon’s 30th regnal year. From then on, Hatshepsut is referred to as ‘king’, sometimes with the pronoun ‘she’ and sometimes ‘he’, and depicted in the raiment of a king. She is called the daughter of Amon-Ra – but in the picture of her birth a boy is moulded by Khnum, the shaper of human beings (i.e. Amon-Ra) [53].

According to Dorman, Senenmut was present at Hatshep­sut’s coronation and played a major rôle there [54]. On one statue [55] he is given some unique titles, which Berlandini-Grenier [56] identifies with the official responsible for the ritual clothing of the Queen ‘the stolist of Horus in privacy’, ‘keeper of the diadem in adorning the king’ and ‘he who covers the double crown with red linen’. Winlock was startled that Senenmut had held so many unique offices in Egypt, including ‘more intimate ones like those of the great nobles of France who were honored in being allowed to assist in the most intimate details of the royal toilet at the king’s levees’ [57].

The rarity of the stolist titles suggested to Dorman [58] ‘a one-time exercise of Senenmut’s function of stolist and that prosopographical conclusions might be drawn’, i.e., he had participated in Hatshepsut’s coronation.

….

 

And even more startling is this:

 

…. of special interest is the astronomical information in tomb 353, particularly the ceiling of Chamber A [75]. Senenmut’s ceiling is the earliest astronomical ceiling known. We are reminded again of Solomon’s encyclopaedic knowledge of astronomy and calendars (Wisdom 7:17-19). The ceiling is divided into two parts by transverse bands of texts, the central section of which contains the names ‘Hatshepsut’ and ‘Senenmut’ [76]. The southern half contains a list of decans derived from coffins of the Middle Kingdom period that had served as ‘a prototype’ for a family of decanal lists that survived until the Ptolemaïc period; whilst ‘The northern half is decorated with the earliest preserved depiction of the northern constellations; four planets (Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn) are also portrayed with them, and the lunar calendar is represented by twelve large circles’. [77]

 

In tomb 71 at Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, · the sarcophagus itself is carved of quartzite in a unique oval form adapted from the royal cartouche shape. Dorman [78] says ‘… the sarcophagus seemed to be yet another proof … of the pretensions Senenmut dares to exhibit, skirting dangerously close to prerogatives considered to be exclusively royal’. Winlock [79] would similarly note that it was ‘significantly designed as almost a replica of royal sarcophagi of the time’,

 

  • one of the painted scenes features a procession of Aegean (Greek) tribute bearers, the first known representation of these people [80] – the only coherent scene on the north wall of the axial corridor portrays three registers of men dragging sledges that provide shelter for statues of Senenmut, who faces the procession of statues.

 

Senenmut had presented to Hatshepsut ‘an extraordinary request’ for ‘many statues of every kind of precious hard stone’, to be placed in every temple and shrine of Amon-Ra [81]. His request was granted. Meyer [82] pointed to it as an indication of his power.

 

[End of quotes]

 

Titles

 

Amenhotep son of Hapu, likewise, had some most imposing titles

(http://euler.slu.edu/~bart/egyptianhtml/kings%20and%20Queens/Amenhotep-Hapu.html):

 

Hereditary prince, count, sole companion, fan-bearer on the king’s right hand, chief of the king’s works even all the great monuments which are brought, of every excellent costly stone; steward of the King’s-daughter of the king’s-wife, Sitamen, who liveth; overseer of the cattle of Amon in the South and North, chief of the prophets of Horus, lord of Athribis, festival leader of Amon. ….

 

Several inscriptions outline his career and show how he rose through the ranks.

Amenhotep started off as a king’s scribe as mentioned on his statue:

 

I was appointed to be inferior king’s-scribe; I was introduced into the divine book, I beheld the excellent things of Thoth; I was equipped with their secrets; I opened all their [passages (?)]; one took counsel with me on all their matters.

 

After distinguishing himself, Amenhotep was promoted to the position of Scribe of Recruits.

 

… he put all the people subject to me, and the listing of their number under my control, as superior king’s-scribe over recruits. I levied the (military) classes of my lord, my pen reckoned the numbers of millions; I put them in [classes (?)] in the place of their [elders (?)]; the staff of old age as his beloved son. I taxed the houses with the numbers belonging thereto, I divided the troops (of workmen) and their houses, I filled out the subjects with the best of the captivity, which his majesty had captured on the battlefield. I appointed all their troops (Tz.t), I levied ——-. I placed troops at the heads of the way(s) to turn back the foreigners in their places.

 

Amenhotep mentions being on a campaign to Nubia.

 

I was the chief at the head of the mighty men, to smite the Nubians [and the Asiatics (?)], the plans of my lord were a refuge behind me; [when I wandered (?)] his command surrounded me; his plans embraced all lands and all foreigners who were by his side. I reckoned up the captives of the victories of his majesty, being in charge of them.

 

Later he was promoted to “Chief of all works”, thereby overseeing the building program of Pharaoh Amenhotep III

His connections to court finally led to Amenhotep being appointed as Steward to Princess-Queen Sitamen.

[End of quotes]

 

 

Official Relationship to Amon

 

The son of Hapu was, as we read above, “overseer of the cattle of Amon in the South and North … [and] festival leader of Amon”. ….

 

Now regarding Senenmut, as I wrote in “Solomon and Sheba”:

 

Historians claim ‘Steward of Amon’ was the most illustri­ous of all Senenmut’s titles. This would be fitting if he were Solomon, and Amon-Ra were the Supreme God, the ‘King of Gods’, as the Egyptians called him. Senenmut was also ‘overseer of the garden of Amon’ (see Appendix A). Like Solomon, a king who also acted as a priest, Senenmut’s chief rôle was religious. He was in charge of things pertaining to Amon and was ‘chief of all the prophets’. Solomon, at the beginning of his co-regency with David, had prayed for wisdom and a discerning mind (I Kings 3:9). On the completion of the Temple, he stood ‘before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, [he] spread forth his hands towards heaven’ (I Kings 8:22). Likewise, Senenmut is depicted in Hatshepsut’s temple with arms up-stretched to heaven, praying to Hathor, the personification of wisdom.

 

The career of Amenhotep son of Hapu in relation to Egypt reminds me in many ways of that of that other quasi-royal (but supposed commoner), Senenmut, or Senmut, at the time of Pharaoh Hatshepsut. Amenhotep son of Hapu is in fact so close a replica of Senenmut that I would have to think that he had modelled himself greatly on the latter.

Senenmut was to pharaoh Hatshepsut also a Great Steward, and he was to princess Neferure her mentor and steward.

So was Amenhotep son of Hapu to pharaoh Amenhotep III a Great Steward, and he was to princess Sitamun (Sitamen) her mentor and steward.

 

Again, as Senenmut is considered by scholars to have been a commoner, who, due to his great skills and character, rose up through the ranks to become scribe and architect and steward of Amun, so is exactly the same said about Amenhotep son of Hapu.

Each seemed to be a real ‘power behind the throne’.

 

Son of Hapu, like Senenmut, is thought not to have (married or to have) had any children.

 

 

Mirror image of Horemheb

 

Amenhotep son of Hapu                      Horemheb

 

 

“The large grey granite statue of Horemheb in the pose of a scribe … is related stylistically to those of Amenhotep son of Hapu … Horemheb has the same plump, well-fed body and wears a long wig similar to that of the aged wise man …”.

 

  1. Smith and W. Simpson

 

 

Amenhotep son of Hapu, Horemheb, contemporaneous, having lived during the reign of Amenhotep III. And in Part One:

https://www.academia.edu/40182006/Amenhotep_son_of_Hapu_had_r%C3%B4le_like_Senenmut._Part_One_So_alike_despite_being_about_a_century_apart

it was observed:

 

Horemheb, for one, may have been stylistically influenced by Amenhotep. For according to W. Smith and W. Simpson (The Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt, Yale UP, 1998, p. 195): “The large grey granite statue of Horemheb in the pose of a scribe … is related stylistically to those of Amenhotep son of Hapu … Horemheb has the same plump, well-fed body and wears a long wig similar to that of the aged wise man …”.

 

Using information on “Amenhotep son of Hapu” as provided by Anneke Bart:

https://mathstat.slu.edu/~bart/egyptianhtml/kings%20and%20Queens/Amenhotep-Hapu.html

I shall point out some comparisons between him and Horemheb (for whom I shall be drawing largely from Arianna Sacco’s article “Soldier, scribe, king: the career of Horemheb”).

 

Some of his titles:

Hereditary prince, count, sole companion, fan-bearer on the king’s right hand, chief of the king’s works even all the great monuments which are brought, of every excellent costly stone; steward of the King’s-daughter of the king’s-wife, Sitamen, who liveth; overseer of the cattle of Amon in the South and North, chief of the prophets of Horus, lord of Athribis, festival leader of Amon

 

Horemheb’s titles (“In this tomb, Horemheb is given 90 titles, most of which are military”):

https://www.karwansaraypublishers.com/awblog/soldier-scribe-king-the-career-of-horemheb/

 

But Horemheb progressed also in his administrative career, becoming scribe and chief registrar of recruits, as well as royal messenger to foreign lands. He was awarded the title, “Royal messenger at the front of his army to the southern and northern lands”. Other titles included: “Crown Prince, Fan-bearer on the Right Side of the King, and Chief Commander of the Army”, “Attendant of the King in his footsteps in the foreign countries of the south and the north”, “Sole Companion, he who is by the feet of his lord on the battlefield on that day of killing Asiatics”.

 

Family background and career:
Amenhotep called Huy, son of Hapu was a very influential noble from the time of Amenhotep III. Amenhotep was the son of Hapu (Hapi) and the Lady Itu.

 

Horemheb’s origins unknown:

 

Early military career

The original name of Horemheb may have been Paatenemheb. His family came from Herakleopolis Magna. However, nothing is known for sure about the origins of the king.

https://www.osirisnet.net/tombes/saqqara_nouvel_empire/horemheb_saqqara/e_horemheb_saqqara_01.htm

Horemheb doesn’t speak of his parentage, which suggests that he was probably of modest origin and that he was a self-made man. One knows that his family was from Herakleopolis, close to the entry of the Fayum, whose tutelary god was Herishef, a god with the head of a ram.

Nevertheless no monument of this city makes allusion to Horemheb, and it seems that he had no particular devotion for its god, no more that he erected a place of cult worship there for his family (at least nothing has been found).

 

Several inscriptions outline his career and show how he rose through the ranks.

 

Horemheb rose through the ranks:

 

Horemheb’s career started in the army during the reign of Akhenaten.

He may have led an attack against the Nubians, who lived in the extreme south. He managed to secure a number of military successes in Nubia. Evidence for these military victories are reflected in his titles and the representations in his tomb at Saqqara, described further down in this article.

Horemheb ascendant

During the reign of Tutankhamun (r. 1336–1327 BC), Horemheb progressed in his military career and became the commander of all the army.

Amenhotep started off as a king’s scribe as mentioned on his statue:

I was appointed to be inferior king’s-scribe; I was introduced into the divine book, I beheld the excellent things of Thoth; I was equipped with their secrets; I opened all their [passages (?)]; one took counsel with me on all their matters.

After distinguishing himself, Amenhotep was promoted to the position of Scribe of Recruits.

 

… he put all the people subject to me, and the listing of their number under my control, as superior king’s-scribe over recruits. I levied the (military) classes of my lord, my pen reckoned the numbers of millions; I put them in [classes (?)] in the place of their [elders (?)]; the staff of old age as his beloved son. I taxed the houses with the numbers belonging thereto, I divided the troops (of workmen) and their houses, I filled out the subjects with the best of the captivity, which his majesty had captured on the battlefield. I appointed all their troops (Tz.t), I levied ——-. I placed troops at the heads of the way(s) to turn back the foreigners in their places.

 

Ample evidence above of Horemheb as king’s scribe.

 

Amenhotep mentions being on a campaign to Nubia.

 

I was the chief at the head of the mighty men, to smite the Nubians [and the Asiatics (?)], the plans of my lord were a refuge behind me; [when I wandered (?)] his command surrounded me; his plans embraced all lands and all foreigners who were by his side. I reckoned up the captives of the victories of his majesty, being in charge of them.

 

Horemheb campaigned in Nubia and against Asiatics:

 

Horemheb’s career started in the army during the reign of Akhenaten. He may have led an attack against the Nubians, who lived in the extreme south. He managed to secure a number of military successes in Nubia. Evidence for these military victories are reflected in his titles and the representations in his tomb at Saqqara, described further down in this article.

Horemheb ascendant

During the reign of Tutankhamun (r. 1336–1327 BC), Horemheb progressed in his military career and became the commander of all the army. He was responsible for campaigns into Nubia and Asia. Mostly, the Egyptian efforts were focused on Syria, where the Hittites had wrested control from the Egyptians over Amurru and Karkemish.

The goal of the Egyptian campaigns in the region was to re-establish Egyptian rule over Palestine and Lebanon. These campaigns turned into further successes for Horemheb and, as with the Nubian expeditions, the victories secured here were quickly reflected in the honorary titles bestowed on him.

 

Later he was promoted to “Chief of all works”, thereby overseeing the building program of Pharaoh Amenhotep III

 

Horemheb was “uppermost of all works of the king and Regent to the young king”:

https://www.osirisnet.net/tombes/saqqara_nouvel_empire/horemheb_saqqara/e_horemheb_saqqara_01.htm

 

His connections to court finally led to Amenhotep being appointed as Steward to Princess-Queen Sitamen.

 

Horemheb was “Steward of the Lord of the Two Lands”.

 

Mortuary temple edict
An inscription on a limestone stela records how Amenhotep son of Hapu was allowed to build a mortuary temple right next to the temple of Amenhotep III. This type of honor is exceedingly rare.

Year 31, fourth month of the first season, sixth day, under the majesty of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the Lord of the Two Lands, Nibmare, L.P.H.; Son of Re, of his body, Lord of Diadems, Amenhotep (III), L.P.H.

On this day, one (=the king) was in the ka-chapel of the hereditary prince, count, king’s-scribe, Amenhotep. There were brought in: the governor of the city, and vizier, Amenhotep, the overseer of the treasury, Meriptah, and the king’s-scribes of the army.
One said to them in the presence of his majesty, L.P.H.: “Hear the command which is given, to furnish the ka-chapel of the hereditary prince, the royal scribe, Amenhotep, called Huy, Son of Hapu, whose excellence is [extolled (?)]
in order to perpetuate his ka-chapel with slaves, male and female, forever; son to son, heir to heir; in order that none trespass upon it forever.

 

“[Horemheb] also usurped the mortuary temple of Ay at Medinet Habu for his own, rebuilding it on a much larger scale”:

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/horemheb.htm

 

At Luxor, he continued the work of Amenhotep III and Tutankhamun, usurping the latter’s monuments both there and elsewhere. Perhaps much of the work completed during the reign of Tutankhamun was actually commissioned by Horemheb for today, many of the statues and reliefs bearing Horemheb’s cartouches was actually work completed during Tutankhamun’s reign.

 

Amenhotep son of Hapu would go down in history as a god. He was worshipped for centuries and there are inscriptions showing Amenhotep was venerated as a healer.

 

“Once Ramses II was on the throne, Horemheb was deified” (Charlotte Booth, “Horemheb: The Forgotten Pharaoh”, 2012).

 

 

Huy connection

 

 

Doherty will discuss what he calls “three versions of the Nubian campaign”: i.e. one in the tomb of Tutankhamun, one in the tomb of Huy, and one in the tomb of Horemheb. …

But his complete separation of these last two, which I consider to belong to the one general, will necessitate from him this somewhat convoluted explanation ….

 

 

 

It is commonly agreed that Huy was another name for Amenhotep son of Hapu.

To give just these two examples (Margaret Bunson, Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, p. 31): “Amenhotep, son of Hapu, was one of only a few commoners to be deified in Egypt. Also called Huy …”.  And (Fayza M. H. Haikal, “Amenhotep Son of Hapu- Oxford eEncyclopedia of the Ancient World”: https://www.academia.edu/4440012/Amenhotep_Son_of_Hapu-_Oxford_eEncyclopedia_of_the_Ancient_World “Born at Athribis in the Delta near modern Benha in the time of Tuthmosis III (or Amenhotep II) from a father called Hapu and a mother called Itu, Amenhotep son of Hapu’ s (also known as Huy …)”.

 

Now, there was a most notable general Huy at the time of Tutankhamun and Horemheb whom I identified in my thesis as Horemheb himself. So, given that Horemheb was a virtual mirror-image of Amenhotep son of Hapu, as discovered in Part Two:

https://www.academia.edu/40182399/Amenhotep_son_of_Hapu_had_r%C3%B4le_like_Senenmut._Part_Two_Amenhotep_also_compares_well_with_Horemheb

then Huy may turn out to be a name-link connecting Horemheb to Amenhotep son of Hapu.

 

I drew the connection between Horemheb and general Huy in my university thesis:

 

A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah

and its Background

 

https://www.academia.edu/3822220/Thesis_2_A_Revised_History_of_the_Era_of_King_Hezekiah_of_Judah_and_its_Background

 

(Volume One, pp. 242-244):

 

 

Horemheb as General Huy

 

With regard to the highly successful Nubian campaign effected during the reign of Tutankhamun, Horemheb is thought to have played a rôle only secondary to Huy. And Horemheb was entirely absent from Tutankhamun’s burial, according to Doherty,[1] who has told of Ay’s sinister part in the entire funerary rites.[2] Horemheb’s presumed absence though may be a misconception, based on what might be a one-dimensional view of this multi-dimensional official. He was I believe to the fore in both the Nubian campaign and the funeral; but not under the actual name of ‘Horemheb’.

…. Horemheb is perhaps also the multi-titled Huy, “one of Ay’s close lieutenants”,[3] who was at the forefront of both the Nubian campaign and Tutankhamun’s funeral.

 

Doherty has described the Nubian campaign, with Tutankhamun as merely a passive onlooker by contrast with the real power in Egypt at the time:[4]

 

If Tutankhamun was not the real leader in the projected campaign against Kush then who was? General Horemheb must have played a part: paintings from his tomb at Sakkara portray the general bringing Nubian captives before Pharaoh and receiving [his] approval and approbation …. Horemheb was involved in the Nubian campaign and displayed his exploits both in his tomb at Sakkara and on the stela describing the events which led to his own coronation as Pharaoh. Nevertheless, his nose may have been put out of joint, for the real star [sic] of Tutankhamun’s Nubian campaign was … the court official … Huy … Viceroy of Nubia and Huy unashamedly described his achievements in his own tomb paintings … These paintings place Huy very much at the heart of affairs. …

 

But this Huy was, I suspect, Horemheb himself. And this makes it almost certain that he was therefore the same also as Amenhotep Huy, king’s son of Kush, not to be confused with Amenhotep/Haya …. Whilst Doherty can only conclude about the Nubian campaign:[5] “Very little if any mention is made of General Horemheb’s role”, the situation of course takes on a completely different aspect when Horemheb is equated with Huy. General Huy, as Doherty tells it, had returned victorious from Nubia as a virtual pharaoh (if he had not been that already before he had departed):[6]

 

Huy’s tomb also gives an insight into the power structure at Thebes. He is not bashful in viewing himself as Viceroy, or even more. One scene … depicts Huy’s return almost as a Pharaoh holding the flail as well as the crook. He may pay homage to Tutankhamun but Huy’s tomb pictures also illustrate Nubian tributes being presented directly to the Viceroy … nosing the ground … in front of [him].

… The inescapable conclusion … is that Huy saw himself very much in charge. He is active while the Pharaoh is passive.

He does not receive the seal of office directly from the Pharaoh but from another powerful official which can only be Ay. Tutankhamun can be depicted as a warlike chieftain in the pictures on the fan found in his tomb. He may have had body armour buried with him but, as far as Huy was concerned, Huy was the victor of Nubia and, rather than Huy basking in Pharaoh’s glory, the positions are reversed.

 

Doherty will discuss what he calls “three versions of the Nubian campaign”: i.e. one in the tomb of Tutankhamun, one in the tomb of Huy, and one in the tomb of Horemheb.[7] But his complete separation of these last two, which I consider to belong to the one general, will necessitate from him this somewhat convoluted explanation:[8]

 

On one level these different versions can be amusing but they do betray the tensions [sic] at Tutankhamun’s court. Huy, in his paintings, claims the credit, whilst General Horemheb presents an alternate [sic] version. There is no evidence of two Nubian campaigns. Horemheb may have gone ahead to prepare the ground for Huy or may have acted in concert with him. Nevertheless, the inescapable conclusion is that both [sic] men claimed the glory for … a victorious campaign.

 

Horemheb as Huy certainly also attended Tutankhamun’s funeral. Doherty again:[9]

 

Huy, who was also present at Tutankhamun’s mysterious burial, rejoiced in some of the highest titles in the land. He was not only Viceroy of Nubia but ‘Divine Father’, one of the ‘Fanbearers on the King’s Right Hand’, ‘Supervisor of the Amun’s Cattle in the land of Kush’, ‘Supervisor of the Land of Gold of the Lord of the Two Countries’ … His Majesty’s Brave in the Cavalry.

 

…. Horemheb had other astonishing titles as well [e.g. ‘King’s Deputy in All Countries’, ‘King’s Elect’, ‘The Greatest Amongst the Favourites of the Lord of the Two Countries’, ‘The True Scribe Well Beloved of the King’].[10] Courville marvelled at the nature of Horemheb’s titles and privileges.[11] That Horemheb was already at least quasi-pharaoh during the reign of Tutankhamun is quite apparent from the fact that Horemheb’s cartouche has been found together with that of Tutankhamun on commemorative stone slabs found at the base of sphinxes as part of the Avenue of Sphinxes at Karnak.[12]

 

[End of quotes]

 

 

It is highly unlikely that, along with the Machiavellian Ay, there were two quasi-pharaohs, Horemheb and Huy, even whilst Tutankhamun was ruling as pharaoh.

 

[1] Op. cit, p. 151.

[2] Ibid, ch. 4.

[3] Ibid, p. 105.

[4] Ibid, pp. 119-120.

[5] Ibid, p. 120.

[6] Ibid, pp. 121-122. Emphasis added.

[7] Ibid. p. 121.

[8] Ibid, p. 122.

[9] Ibid, p. 120.

[10] Ibid, p. 124.

[11] Op. cit, p. 288.

[12] J. Zwick, ‘The Age of Pharaoh Haremhab’, with reference to KMT Magazine, Vol. 10, Summer, 1999, p. 38.

Isaiah 9 points to both King Hezekiah of Judah and Jesus the Christ

Published August 23, 2019 by amaic

isaiah-9-6

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

 

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on

his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”.

Isaiah 9:6

  

 

 

Some Christians will, due to ignorance, take an event (or events) literally fulfilled already in BC time and project it onto a modern (AD) landscape. And they will take a biblical reference directed to a specific BC personage and try to make it apply in a literal sense to Jesus Christ.

 

 

There are various recognised levels of scriptural interpretation and we firstly need to address the literal (“plain meaning”) level, even though this may not be the most important level of interpretation.

Since the sacred scriptures are relevant for all times, it may be that, say, a book of scripture has remarkable resonance with our own times, though its literal aspect is based wholly in non-contemporaneous events. Many, for instance, try to bend the data of the Book of Apocalypse, or Revelation, to fit contemporary, or anticipated near future, events.

But that is a complete waste of time.

The Apocalypse is, for its most part, centred upon events leading up to, and culminating in, the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD (conventional dating). See e.g. my series:

 

Book of Revelation Theme: The Bride and the Reject

 

https://www.academia.edu/8230853/Book_of_Revelation_Theme_The_Bride_and_the_Rejec

 

Book of Revelation Theme. The Bride and the Reject. Part Two: The “Seven Hills” cannot pertain to Rome

 

https://www.academia.edu/33235779/Book_of_Revelation_Theme._The_Bride_and_the_Reject._Part_Two_The_Seven_Hills_cannot_pertain_to_Rome

Book of Revelation Theme. The Bride and the Reject. Part Three: Jerusalem allegedly has “Seven Hills”

 

https://www.academia.edu/36932567/Book_of_Revelation_Theme._The_Bride_and_the_Reject._Part_Three_Jerusalem_allegedly_has_Seven_Hills_

 

Isaiah 7, with its famous sign of the child Immanuel, cannot reasonably be projected, in its literal sense, to the era of Jesus Christ, because Immanuel was a literal son of the prophet Isaiah and the era was clearly the Assyrian era.

But, on a higher (spiritual) level, the text is perfectly applicable to Jesus Christ, who – though not named “Immanuel” at the time of his birth (Matthew 1:21): ‘you shall call his name Jesus’ – was, as a divine Person, more perfectly an Emmanuel (“God is with us”) than Isaiah’s son could ever be.

And this use of double identification is, I believe, the way that we should approach Isaiah 9. Whilst Christians can try to make the whole thing apply to Jesus Christ, and to him alone, and some Jewish commentators, for example, can make it apply to a BC person, say King Hezekiah, I would take it to apply literally to a BC person, but spiritually to Jesus Christ.

And my preference for the former would definitely be King Hezekiah of Judah – but I would now supplement him with his alter ego (as I see it) King Josiah of Judah. See e.g. my article:

 

‘Taking aim on’ king Amon – such a wicked king of Judah

 

https://www.academia.edu/37575781/Taking_aim_on_king_Amon_-_such_a_wicked_king_of_Judah

Now, Grace Song has done exactly this, connected the Isaian text to both Hezekiah and Jesus:

https://thirdmill.org/magazine/article.asp?link=http:%5E%5Ethirdmill.org%5Earticles%5Egra_song%5EOT.Grace_Song_article.html&at=Hezekiah%20or%20Jesus:%20Who%20is%20the%20Child%20of%20Isaiah%C2%A09:6-7

 

Reformed Perspectives Magazine, Volume 10, Number 14, April 2 to April 8, 2006

 

Hezekiah or Jesus:

 

Who is the Child of Isaiah 9:6-7

by Grace Song

I.             Viewpoint One

There are some Christian Old Testament scholars who treat the prophecy in Isaiah 9 as referring to the birth of Hezekiah. There are several issues to be considered in interpretation of the passage.

1) With respect to the child: The issue is whether the passage is referring to literal birth or royal succession. R. E. Clement translates the verse 6 as “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given”, and proposes that it should be understood as a reference to a royal succession and not to a literal birth. Thus, he concludes that the passage is referring to the accession of Hezekiah after the death of Ahaz. Gray in The International Critical Commentary also takes the child in verse 6 as referring to Hezekiah. He writes, “The ideal standpoint of the poet seems to be shortly after the birth of the prince, after he has been recognized as prince of Israel, but before the wide extension of his kingdom has begun.” 1

Wildberger also points out the usage of the imperfect consecutive tense and suggests that this birth is not in the distant future but it has possibly already taken place.And in the same light, Wildberger takes the phrase “the sovereign authority came upon (cf. the imperfect consecutive) his shoulder” as that will make most sense in the context of a royal enthronement: “This sentence does not assert something about enthronement but must be interpreted as an act of investiture, by means of which the child is officially elevated to the status of crown prince and is proclaimed the future ruler.” 2

2) With respect to the names: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace: Clement claims that these titles portray various functions of the king, using the imagery and ideology of Egyptian origin: “The series of four names which follow, built up in word couples, almost certainly derives from the Egyptian practice of giving throne names to the Pharaoh…The Egyptian practice was for a series of five names to be given, suggesting that this was originally the case here, and that one name has been lost in the transmission.” 3 Clement explains the titles as follows: Wonderful Counselor describes the king’s role as political guide; Mighty God emphasizes the extraordinary skill and strength of the king as a warrior. However, Wildberger cautions against watering down the title and understanding it as anything less than “mighty God”. He explains the title in relation to the ancient Near Eastern idea of kingship, in which the king was portrayed as the divinity whom he represents; Everlasting Father should be understood as “father for ever’ and expresses the king’s fatherly concern for the well-being of his people. (Gray also understands the third title as “Father forever” rather than as “Eternal Father”, and takes its meaning as “the benevolent guardian of his people so long as he and they endure.” He supports his view by giving other instances in which the word “forever” was used in the Old Testament which do not necessitate understanding the title as equivalent to “Eternal Father”, which implies the eternity of God: Is.47:7: ” You said, ‘I will continue forever — the eternal queen…”; Dt 15:17: “Then you shall take an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your servant forever…” Gray also directs attention to Job 29:16 and Is 22:21 where “father” was used figuratively of a protector and benefactor.) ; Prince of Peace underscores the king’s role as the promoter of peace and prosperity.

3) With respect to the nature of the promise in verse 7: Clement takes the proclamation in verse 7, “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace…” as a promise of a solid and independent kingdom under a Davidic ruler rather than a promise of a great universal kingdom ruling over many nations — which was fulfilled in the accession of Hezekiah who provided a reprieve for the dynasty. Gray also takes the similar approach to the promise in verse 7 and understands the main thought of the promise to be that Yahweh will establish and secure a righteous and just government under the new Davidic dynasty. Wildberger finds several motif in verse 7: the motif of stable order, the possibility of flourishing development, the steadfastness and permanence of the rule, and the quality of the rule as that of justice and righteousness. Yet Wildberger also cautions against taking the motif of duration in the sense of a strict eschatology. His view is recapitulated in the following: “This section, 9:1-6, is targeted for a time which addresses a situation full of distress brought on by foreign domination … The message is thus not about an absolute, unalterable, eternal plan of salvation wrought by God. Even if it were incorrect to connect this message with events surrounding the loss of the territory of Israel to the Assyrians, the ‘darkness’ through which the people were traveling would not refer to the human condition in general…Isaiah is talking about the birth of a crown prince, from the house of David. It has either already taken place or, if “child” and “give” in v.5 are to be interpreted as prophetic perfects, it will happen in the very near future. … We have already mentioned that the widespread term ‘messianic’ is problematic as a designation for this present section. There is no place in the OT which speaks of a Messiah as a savior figure who comes forth out of the transcendent regions and brings world history to an end. The child, about whose birth Isaiah speaks in this passage, will sit upon the throne of David in Jerusalem. Yet without a doubt, his birth is a salvation event; the future ahead of him will be more than just a drawn out continuation of the present; it is indeed still history in the normal, earthly-human realm, but it is at the same time fulfilled history. ” 4

 

II. Viewpoint Two

 

On the other side are scholars such as John Oswalt and J. A. Alexander who take the birth of the child in verse 6 as referring to the birth of Jesus Christ. Both Oswalt and Alexander reject the view that Isaiah 9:6 is simply a recognition of the birth of the crown prince Hezekiah for the following reasons: 1) Such view does not accord with the chronology of Hezekiah’s birth; 2) The description of the child cannot be applied to merely a human king; 3) The nature of the rule promised in verse 7 transcends a normal earthly rule.

According to Oswalt, the titles in verse 6 are above normal and highlight the ultimate deity of the child.

Against the attempts to understand the titles as reference to the Egyptian throne names, he gives the following arguments. First, the customary practice of Egypt was to give five throne-names to the king upon his accession. But there are only four names in Isaiah 9; and only speculating some kind of emendation can add fifth. Second, this is a birth announcement and not an enthronement hymn. Third, the Egyptian throne-names were expression of their belief that the kings were gods — a belief that goes against the grain of Hebrew monotheism. 5

Oswalt also repudiates the attempt to deny divine attributes inherent in the titles. For example with respect to the rendering of “Mighty God” as “great hero”, he writes, “Apart from the attempt to deny deity to the person in question, however there is no reason to depart from the traditional rendering. Wherever el gibbor elsewhere in the Bible there is no doubt that the term refers to God (10:21; cf. also Deut 10:17; Jer 32:18).” 6

Along with Oswalt, Alexander repudiates renderings with respect to “Eternal Father”– such as “benefactor of the people” and “founder of a new or everlasting age” — that exclude and discredit the obvious meaning of “an eternal being”. Besides, Motyer points out that “Father” is not current in the OT as a title of the kings, and it is used of the Lord in His concern for the helpless and the care of His people.

Furthermore, the rule promised in verse 7 transcends a normal and earthly rule. Thus it could not have been applied to Hezekiah whose rule was confined to Judah, and which was neither progressive nor perpetual. As Alexander writes, “The reign here predicted was to be not only peaceful but in every respect prosperous. And this prosperity, like the reign of which it is predicted, is to have no limit, either temporal or local. It is to be both universal and eternal…” 7

III. Evaluation

 

A proper two-fold consideration must be given in interpreting the Old Testament prophecy: 1) the original meanings in light of their historical backgrounds; 2) the covenant theology that undergirds prophetic writings. Frequently, Isaiah speaks to his contemporaries concerning their own times, and even his eschatological oracles issue from a historical setting.

 

Isaiah 9:6-7 is a part of Isaiah’s response to the Assyrian crises in the days of Ahaz, in which Ahaz fails to trust God and makes Judah an Assyrian vassal state. In the oracles of judgment and hope surrounding the event, Isaiah pronounces the royal hope of Davidide in 9:6-7. The original audience of Isaiah were Ahaz and the Judahites facing the Assyrian threat.

Thus, that these were the words of hope held out to the people living in a situation full of distress brought by Assyrians in the eighth century BC should not be dismissed, but rather should be underscored.

One of the most crucial issues in approaching this passage is understanding the relationship between messianism and the Davidic dynasty which entails the following: 1) The messianic thinking in the prophets is frequently tied up with specific historical events with the following themes: that the family of anointed kings would be subject to judgment; that however, their line would be restored after the exile; and that they would take a leading role in rebuilding the temple. The prophets often show how the Davidic covenant was to be interpreted in particular, historical circumstances. 2) The messianic aspect is inherent in the Davidic covenant.

And the messianic concepts attached to David’s dynasty brings a focus to the hopes offered by the prophets in relation to both the present and future. 3) Thus much of the messianism found in the prophets is a form of dynastic messianism (i.e., it expresses a hope that all descendants of David will be the king par excellence). 4) However, there is another side to this dynastic messianism. It also pointed to the fact that often the ruler on the throne at the time fell far short of the ideal, and thus needed to be replaced. In the end, there will be a seed of David who will not fail but bring to full realization the hopes for eternal peace and world dominion of righteousness under Davidic dynasty. 8

Furthermore, the approach of dynastic messianism to the text takes into the account the undergirding covenant theology of the prophets. Isaiah 9:1-7 seems to be a recapitulation of the Davidic covenant announced in 2 Samuel 7. In Davidic covenant, the Lord promises that David’s dynasty will never be utterly rejected, although individual Davidic king may be chastised. This promise of God to David was extended to contemporary Israelites, as well as pointing ultimately to the ideal king that is to come, the true king of par excellence typified by David, Hezekiah, and the like. Thus it is God who raises up the Davidic offspring and guarantees the continuity of the kingdom forever under the Davidic king in both Isaiah 9 and 2 Samuel 7.

Thus from all these appears that the royal hope pronounced in Isaiah 9:6-7 had its immediate reference to the Davidic king born in the prophet’s own days (i.e., Hezekiah). However, it also had a farfetching reference (despite the fact that the prophet himself probably did not have a full understanding of the exact nature of this more remote reference) to another king that is to come in ultimate and complete fulfillment of the pronounced hope — the one who is the antitype that completely and truly satisfies all the criteria of the king par excellence. As Daniel Schibler writes, “What is important is to realize that messianism in general and messianic prophecies in particular all had a beginning, a terminus quo. and an end, a terminus ad quem., and in between a whole range or history of fulfillment. But when Jesus of Nazareth had come, the early church and generations of Christian following it have believed that, ultimately speaking, every messianic prophecy, every messianism even, found its fulfillment in Jesus, the ‘Christ’ which… means the Messiah.” 9

 

IV. Conclusion

The major scholarly consensus with respect to approaching Isaiah 9:6-7 has been either messianic or Isaianic (i.e., that it is reference to Hezekiah as the awaited king), and not both. However, in light of “dynastic messianism”, the most appropriate approach to Isaiah 9 seems to be that which embraces both messianic and Isaianic outlook. Hezekiah does play a major role in the book of Isaiah. He is the king par excellence that replaces Ahaz, and the first to be the “child” of Isaiah 9:6. Hezekiah was the first Messiah for Isaiah and the people living in the eight century BC Judah, for Hezekiah’s birth signified God’s presence with them in a most precarious circumstance. 10 Moreover, this oracle of royal hope was to serve as a model for Hezekiah and the ensuing kings to follow.

However as Provan notes, Hezekiah as well as the rest of the earthly Davidic kings that followed– in the total effect within the context of the entire book of Isaiah — was only a type and “a paradigmatic king in whose reign the promises were in fact as yet unfulfilled, and who thus points beyond himself to another Davidic monarch to come.” 11

Thus, the ultimate fulfillment of the royal hope — announced with an immediate reference to the prophet’s own day, and with somewhat pale and shadowy understanding of its remote reference — began with the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is continuing, and will be consummated with His glorious return.

 

Notes

  1. 1. George B. Gray, The International Critical Commentary (Edinburgh: T & T Clark LTD., 1980), 180.
  2. 2. Hans Wilderberger, Isaiah 1-12A Commentary (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991), 400.
  3. 3. R.E. Clements, New Century Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1980), 108.
  4. 4. Wildberger, Isaiah 1-12, 406.
  5. 5. John Oswalt, The International Commentary on the OT: The Book of Isaiah 1-39(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1986), 246.
  6. 6. Ibid., 247.
  7. 7. J.A. Alexander, Commentary on the Prophecies of Isaiah (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1974), 205.
  8. 8. Philip E. Satterthwaite, Richard Hess, and Gordon Wenham, eds., The Lord’s Anointed ( Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1995), 97-104.
  9. 9. Ibid., 103.
  10. 10. Ibid., 98.
  11. 11. Ibid., 83.

 

 

Mesha of Moab and Hiel the Bethelite

Published August 20, 2019 by amaic

Elijah Denouncing King Ahab (Original) by Don Lawrence at The Illustration Art Gallery

Might Dr. Velikovsky

have been right after all

about Mesha of Moab?

 

 

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

“In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof

in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub,

according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun”.

 I Kings 16:34

 

 

That Mesha king of Moab – {“… known most famously for having the Mesha Stele inscribed and erected at Dibon. In this inscription he calls himself “Mesha, son of Kemosh[-yatti], the king of Moab, the Dibonite”.”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesha} – biblically attested during king Ahab’s dynasty (2 Kings 3:4-27), but named otherwise, elsewhere (I Kings 16:34), as “Hiel the Bethelite”, was the conclusion that I reached in my article:

 

Hiel’s Jericho. Part Two (a): Who was this “Hiel of Bethel”?

 

https://www.academia.edu/31553055/Hiels_Jericho._Part_Two_a_Who_was_this_Hiel_of_Bethel_

 

 

Chapter 16 of the First Book of Kings will, in the course of its introducing us to King Ahab and his no-good ways as follows (vv. 30-34):

 

Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him. He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him.

 

suddenly interrupt this description with its surprising and bloody note about Hiel the Bethelite’s building of Jericho at the cost of the lives of his two sons. A surprising thing about this insertion (apart from the horrific sacrifice of the sons) is that an otherwise unknown personage, Hiel (unknown at least under this name), is found to be building a city at a major and ancient site, Jericho (Tell es-Sultan), whilst the country is under the rulership of two most powerful kings – Omride in the north allied to a mighty king of Judah in the south.

 

How might this strange situation concerning Hiel have come about?

 

Before my attempting to answer this question, I should like simply to list a few of the more obvious reasons why I am drawn to the notion that Hiel was a king of Moab, and that he was, specifically, Mesha.

We find that:

 

  • A king of Moab, Eglon, has previously ruled over a newly-built Jericho (MB IIB);
  • Hiel and Mesha were contemporaneous with King Ahab of Israel;
  • Hiel and Mesha were sacrificers of their own sons (cf. I Kings 16:34 & 2 Kings 3:27).

 

 

But, far more startling than any of this is the following potential bombshell:

 

Does Mesha King of Moab tell us straight out in his stele inscription

that he built Jericho – and with Israelite labour?

 

I have only just become aware of this bell-ringing piece of information – after I had already come to the conclusion that Hiel may well have been Mesha. It is information that may be, in its specificity, beyond anything that I could have expected or hoped for. Thus we read at: http://christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a019.html

 

Later on in the inscription he [King Mesha of Moab] says,

 

I built Qeriho [Jericho?]: the wall of the parkland and the wall of the acropolis; and I built its gates, and I built its towers; and I built the king’s house; and I made banks for the water reservoir inside the town; and there was no cistern inside the town, in Qeriho, and I said to all the people: “Make yourself each a cistern in his house”; and I dug the ditches for Qeriho with prisoners of Israel (lines 21-26).

 

Since Mesha erected his stela to honor Chemosh in “this high place for Chemosh in Qeriho,” and since the stela was found at Dhiban, identified as ancient Dibon, most scholars believe that Qeriho was the name of the royal citadel at Dibon. Note that Israelite captives were used to cut the timber used to construct Qeriho. ….

 

Conclusion 1: Mesha of Moab was “Hiel the Bethelite” who built Jericho at about the time of king Ahab.

 

But why would a Moabite king named Mesha, who apparently built Jericho, have a Hebrew name, Hiel (חִיאֵ֛ל) “El lives”, and be called a ‘Bethelite’ (בֵּית הָאֱלִי)?

 

To answer the last question first, why was he called a ‘Bethelite’?, it would be expected that the foreign king’s incursion into Israelite territory, thereby enabling for him to build Jericho, must have required that he first have a solid base in the land, hence Bethel. Now, is there any evidence that, in the time of king Ahab, the town of Bethel was under any sort of foreign threat?

Yes, I believe that there is (see below).

 

As for why Mesha would have also a Hebrew name – we have found that foreign kings were thus named by the biblical writers. One example of this is Abimelech, ruler of the Philistines and, too, so I think, of Egypt. See e.g. my article:

 

Toledôt Explains Abram’s Pharaoh

 

https://www.academia.edu/26239534/Toled%C3%B4t_Explains_Abrams_Pharaoh

 

 

Thutmose III, biblically named “Shishak, is probably another example of this:

 

Thutmose III best candidate for “Shishak”

 

https://www.academia.edu/38779502/Thutmose_III_best_candidate_for_Shishak_

 

To find worrying indications in ancient texts that Bethel was under threat from foreign incursions we need to turn to the El Amarna letters, at the time of Abdi-Hiba of Urusalim (Jerusalem) and Lab’ayu further to the north.

And we need to put these two characters into a revised historical context, with Abdi-hiba as king Jehoram of Judah:

 

King Abdi-Hiba of Jerusalem Locked in as a ‘Pillar’ of Revised History

 

https://www.academia.edu/7772239/King_Abdi-Hiba_of_Jerusalem_Locked_in_as_a_Pillar_of_Revised_History

 

{but not certainly corresponding with an El Amarna pharaoh as is usually thought, “no Egyptian ruler appears to be specifically named in this set of letters …”}:

 

https://www.academia.edu/30408905/King_Abdi-Hiba_of_Jerusalem_Locked_in_as_a_Pillar_of_Revised_History._Part_Two_With_whom_was_Abdi-hiba_corresponding

 

and with Lab’ayu as King Ahab himself:

 

Bible Illuminates History & Philosophy. Part Twenty Two: King Ahab of Israel (ii): His “two sons” in El Amarna

 

https://www.academia.edu/34866487/Bible_Illuminates_History_and_Philosophy._Part_Twenty_Two_King_Ahab_of_Israel_ii_His_two_sons_in_El_Amarna

 

Neither of these El Amarna characters can be said unequivocally to have been writing to a pharaoh.

 

Then, having accepted these biblical identifications of El Amarna personages, we need to embrace the view that a “Bethel” (of which there were likely more than one) was the strategically important city of Shechem. On this, see my article:

 

Geography of the Book of Judith

 

https://www.academia.edu/40094743/Geography_of_the_Book_of_Judith

 

Conclusion 2: El Amarna’s Lab’ayu was king Ahab of Israel, and Bethel was another name for Shechem.

 

Happily for us, now, Shechem was indeed under threat from foreign, or outlaw, incursion during the very time of Lab’ayu/Ahab. See next.

 

 

 “… “sa-gaz”, which ideographically can also be read “habatu”, is translated “plunderers”, or “cutthroats”, or “rebellious bandits” … sometimes the text speaks of “gaz-Mesh”

as a single person … and therefore here Mesh cannot be the suffix for the plural.

I shall not translate Mesh … because it is the personal name of King Mesha …”.

 

Dr. I. Velikovsky

 

 

My conclusion that Mesha and his Moabites were the hapiru of EA 289 accords perfectly with Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky’s argument (in Ages in Chaos I: From the Exodus to King Akhnaton, pp. 232-233) that the people of king Mesha, the sa-gaz (Mesh), were the hapiru:

 

In the tablets written by the vassal king of Jerusalem (Urusalim) to the pharaoh, repeated mention is made of the “Habiru,” who threatened the land from east of the Jordan. In letters written from other places, there is no reference to Habiru, but an invasion of sa-gaz-mesh {sa-gaz is also read ideographically “habatu” and translated as “cutthroats”, pillagers) is mentioned over and over again. With the help of various letters it has been established that Habiru and sa-gaz (habatu) were identical. ….

[End of quote]

 

Previously, in my article:

 

King Ahab in El Amarna

 

https://www.academia.edu/34875766/King_Ahab_in_El_Amarna

 

I had written (and had then completely forgotten some of this) regarding Mesha of Moab, Bethel, and the sa-gaz:

 

The House of David and Southern Moab

 

“And the house [of Da]vid dwelt in Horanaim” (line 31)

 

Line 31 is perhaps the most significant line in the entire inscription. In 1993, a stela was discovered at Tel Dan in northern Israel mentioning the “House of David” (Bible and Spade, Autumn 1993: 119-121). This mid-ninth century BC inscription provided the first mention of David in a contemporary text outside the Bible. The find is especially significant since in recent years several scholars have questioned the existence of David. At about the same time the Dan stela was found, French scholar Andre Lemaire was working on the Mesha Inscription and determined that the same phrase appeared there in line 31 (Bible and Spade, Summer 1995: 91-92). Lemaire was able to identify a previously indistinguishable letter as a “d” in the phrase “House of David.” This phrase is used a number of times in the Old Testament for the Davidic dynasty.

From this point on in Mesha’s record it appears that he is describing victories south of the Arnon river, an area previously controlled by Judah. Although there are only three lines left in the surviving portion, Lemaire believes we only have about half of the original memorial (1994: 37). The missing half would have told how Mesha regained the southern half of Moab from Judah. The complete text regarding Horanaim reads as follows:

And the house [of Da]vid dwelt in Horanaim […] and Chemosh said to me: “Go down! Fight against Horanaim.” And I went down, and [I fought against the town, and I took it; and] Chemosh [resto]red it in my days (lines 31-33).

Horanaim is mentioned in Isaiah’s prophecy against Moab (15:5). He says that fugitives would lament their destruction as they travelled the road to Horanaim. Jeremiah says much the same in 48:3, 5, and 47. The town is located south of the Arnon, but exactly where is a matter of conjecture. …”.

 

 

But the location and identification of some of the places to which Mesha refers are, as a according to the above, “a matter of conjecture”.

 

No apparent mention here of “Bethel”, the town with which Hiel is associated. Earlier we referred to Dr. John Osgood’s view that Bethel was the same as Shechem – a town that we have found figuring importantly in the EA letters associated with Laba’yu, my Ahab.

Now, according to EA letter 289, written by Abdi-hiba of Jerusalem, Lab’ayu had actually given Shechem to the rebel hapiru: “Are we to act like Labaya when he was giving the land of Šakmu to the Hapiru?”

The cuneiform ideogram for the hapiru (or habiru) is SA GAZ which occurs in EA sometimes as Sa.Gaz.Mesh, which Velikovsky thought to relate to Mesha himself (Ages in Chaos, I, p. 275):

 

“… “sa-gaz”, which ideographically can also be read “habatu”, is translated “plunderers”, or “cutthroats”, or “rebellious bandits” … sometimes the text speaks of “gaz-Mesh” as a single person … and therefore here Mesh cannot be the suffix for the plural. I shall not translate Mesh … because it is the personal name of King Mesha …”.

 

King Mesha, unable to make any progress against Israel in the days of the powerful Omri, was able to make deep inroads into Israelite territory later, however, when he was powerfully backed (I think) by Ben-Hadad I and the Syrians (before Ahab had defeated them).

Ahab, as EA’s Lab’ayu, was pressurised to hand over to the invading rebels (hapiru) a large slice of his territory in the important Shechem region.

 

Since Shechem was also Bethel, this would be how Mesha – known variously as Hiel – would be connected with the Bethel which he must have occupied.

 

This is how he was able to build his Iron Age Jericho with Israelite labour.

 

 

Mohammed’s talking donkey taken from story of Balaam

Published August 1, 2019 by amaic
Image result for talking donkey

A funny thing happened

on the way to Mecca

Part Three:

Mohammed’s talking donkey taken from Balaam

 

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

 

The seer, Balaam, is famous for having a talking donkey (Numbers 22:21-30), an ancient story whose marvel has been picked up, but altered, in later mythologies.

 

The Egyptian tale of Bata, for instance, has talking oxen, and animals are made to talk even in the Book of the Dead.

 

The Prophet Mohammed is said to have ridden a donkey, Ya`fūr, and, according to an account of it this donkey spoke first to Mohammed, telling him that it had formerly been owned by a Jew.

 

At: https://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/yafoor.htm we read this one of the “Amazing Fables of Islam”:

 

Muhammad and his Donkey:

 

The Amazing Fables of Islam

Dimitrius & Sam Shamoun

 

 

From the book “The Beginning and the End” written by Ibn Kathir, Chapter Six, Entry title: “The Conversation of the Donkey” ….

 

More than one of the reciters have denied this hadith, however it was narrated by Abu Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Ibn Hamid, narrated by Abu Al-Hussian Ahmad Ibn Hadan Al-Sijsi, narrated by Umar Ibn Muhammad Ibn Bajir, narrated by Abu Jafaar Muhammad Ibn Mazid, narrated by Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Akba Ibn Abu Al-Sahba’, narrated by Abu Huthaifa, narrated by Abdullah Ibn Habib Al-Hathli, narrated by Abu Abd Al-Rahman Al-Silmy, narrated by Abu Manthur who said,

 

“When Allah opened Khaybar to his prophet Muhammad – may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him – he (Muhammad) received as his share of the spoils four sheep, four goats, ten pots of gold and silver and a black, haggard donkey.

 

The prophet – may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him – ADDRESSED the donkey asking, ‘What is your name?’ THE DONKEY ANSWERED, ‘Yazid Ibn Shihab. Allah had brought forth from my ancestry 60 donkeys, none of whom were ridden on except by prophets. None of the descendants of my grandfather remain but me, and none of the prophets remain but you and I expected you to ride me. Before you, I belonged to a Jewish man, whom I caused to stumble and fall frequently so he used to kick my stomach and beat my back.’

 

The prophet – may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him – said to him, ‘I will call you Ya’foor, Oh Ya’foor.’ Then Ya’foor REPLIED, ‘I obey.’ The prophet then asked, ‘Do you desire females?’ The donkey replied, ‘NO!’

 

So the prophet used to ride the donkey to complete his business and if the prophet dismounted from him he would send the donkey to the house of the person he wanted to visit and Ya’foor would knock at the door with his head. When the owner of the house would answer the door, the donkey would signal to that person to go see the prophet.

 

When the prophet died, the donkey went to a well belonging to Abu Al-Haytham Ibn Al-Tahyan and threw himself in the well out of sadness for the prophet’s death, making it his grave.”

Arabic Text:

لما فتح الله على نبيه صلى الله عليه وسلم خيبر أصابه من سهمه أربعة أزواج نعال وأربعة أزواج خفاف وعشر أواق ذهب وفضة وحمار أسود، ومكتل قال: فكلم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم الحمار، فكلمه الحمار، فقال له: “ما اسمك؟” قال: يزيد بن شهاب، أخرج الله من نسل جدي ستين حمارا، كلهم لم يركبهم إلا نبي لم يبق من نسل جدي غيري ولا من الأنبياء غيرك، وقد كنت أتوقعك أن تركبني قد كنت قبلك لرجل يهودي، وكنت أعثر به عمدا وكان يجيع بطني ويضرب ظهري، فقال له النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: “قد سميتك يعفورا، يا يعفور” قال: لبيك. قال “أتشتهي الإناث؟” قال: لا فكان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يركبه لحاجته فإذا نزل عنه بعث به إلى باب الرجل، فيأتي الباب فيقرعه برأسه، فإذا خرج إليه صاحب الدار أومأ إليه أن أجب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فلما قبض النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم جاء إلى بئر كان لأبي الهيثم بن التيهان فتردى فيها فصارت قبره، جزعا منه على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

راجع البداية و النهاية لإبن كثير .. باب حديث الحمار

 

Comments:

 

Muhammad converses with a donkey who is a believer in Muhammad’s prophethood and uses him as one of his means of transportation. The donkey, which Muhammad named Ya’foor, comes from a line of donkeys many of which were ridden by prophets only. Muhammad asking the donkey his name and the donkey identifying himself as Yazid Ibn Shihab assumes that animals communicate and even name their offspring much like humans. What is amazing is that they even identify themselves as the son of their fathers much like the Arabs of Muhammad’s time did! This perhaps explains the following Quranic verse:

 

There is not an animal that crawls in the earth, nor a bird that flies on its two wings, but they are communities like you. WE have left out nothing in the Book. Then to their Lord shall they all be gathered together. S. 6:38 Sher Ali

 

Furthermore, the donkey’s response to Muhammad’s question whether he preferred females implies that Ya’foor was either celibate or had homosexual inclinations.

 

The sad thing about all this is that Yafoor went to hell for committing suicide. It seems that the donkey wasn’t told that committing suicide is a sin that leads to the fire:

 

Narrated Thabit bin Ad-Dahhak:
The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, “Whoever intentionally swears falsely by a religion other than Islam, then he is what he has said, (e.g. if he says, ‘If such thing is not true then I am a Jew,’ he is really a Jew). And whoever commits suicide with piece of iron will be punished with the same piece of iron in the Hell Fire.” Narrated Jundab the Prophet said, “A man was inflicted with wounds and he committed suicide, and so Allah said: My slave has caused death on himself hurriedly, so I forbid Paradise for him.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 23, Number 445)

 

Hence, the donkey believed in vain since, by committing suicide, he was forbidden Paradise. In light of all these fantastic details, it is little wonder that some reciters had difficulties with this fable.

 

Now a person may say that the Holy Bible also speaks of a talking ass. Yet the biblical account greatly differs with this Islamic story since the Holy Bible clearly shows that the donkey only spoke as a result of a miracle:

 

“Then THE LORD OPENED THE DONKEY’S MOUTH, and she said to Balaam, ‘What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?’” Numbers 22:28

“Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, but was rebuked for his own transgression; A SPEECHLESS DONKEY spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.” 2 Peter 2:15-16

 

The Islamic tradition, on other hand, presumes that donkeys do actually communicate with each other in the same way humans do and that, much like humans, they even name their offspring and keep track of their ancestors for many generations!

The miracle in the account is not that Allah caused an animal to speak, but that Muhammad was allegedly given the ability to understand the language of the animals.

 

This is confirmed in the next set of traditions.

 

Amazingly, one Sunni Muslim, Shibli Zaman, pokes fun at Shias for including a donkey as a narrator:

 

No shia`a on this planet will dispute the veracity of al Kulayni and his work. Usool al Kaafi is the primary source of narrations for their distorted sunnah. This is the same Usool al Kaafi which quotes the donkey of the Prophet (s) as a narrator in a chain of transmission (isnaad) which al Kulayni declared authentic. It literally says “`an Himaar ar rasooli-Llah” meaning “On the authority of the donkey of the Prophet (s)”! ….

 

We wonder what this same Muslim will say about Muhammad conversing with a donkey who claims to be from a line of donkeys, many of whom were only ridden by prophets. ….