& CREATION OF JUDAISM
Ancient Near Eastern History
If an excavator believes from the scriptures that an
ancient mound must contain buildings from Solomon’s reign, it is almost
certain that sooner or later he will find structures that fit the bill.
The spurious air of biblical authority given to such a discovery can then
make the identification stick, despite any evidence to the contrary. In
the meantime a small tourist industry may even have grown up around this
“confirmation” of the Bible.
The debates on biblical chronology among biblical archaeologists of the
last two decades of the twentieth century have been vigorous but mainly on
the best adjustment to the dating of Albright in the twenties and
thirties. William G Dever of Arizona university seems satisfied with
this, while others would say that Albright made a pig’s ear out of
For the Bronze Age, we are now debating issues regarding a century or
so, usually much less, and dependent as always on the synchronisms with
astronomically fixed Egyptian chronology.
William G Dever
The chronology of the Iron Age remains fixed within rather narrow
margins by Egyptian and Mesopotamian synchronisms, together with
William G Dever
For Dever, there is no room here for doubt, yet we have seen there is a
great deal of room for doubting Egyptian chronology in this time and room
enough for doubting Assyrian dates before the eighth century. As for
speaking about astronomically fixed Egyptian chronology, presumably
meaning the Sothic system, it is utterly discredited.
Dever claims that the raid of the mysterious Pharaoh Shishak biblically
dated to about 925 BC is confirmed by destruction layers at two dozen
sites that can be precisely dated. Since Dever seems not to know what
“precise” as opposed to “relative” means, he must mean that
destruction layers are found at a particular common stratum that might
correspond to the biblical mention of Shishak, if you believe the bible.
We are back to the sort of dubious correlationism that Albright used often
to date the non-existent conquest by Joshua. It is about the right time,
it is a destruction as we expect, so it must be the event that we expect.
He also denies that there is any doubt about the excavations of Jericho,
even writing, “What excavation?” He, lastly, denies that any
archaelogists use calculations of dates based on biblical chronology “at
The chronology of Israel worked out from its own internal relativities
and keyed into Babylonian and Assyrian anchor points suggests a shortening
of dates by at least two centuries. The Iron Age then coincides with the
setting up of the statelets of Palestine in the ninth century, not with
any invasion of the Israelites from the south. All the evidence is that
people came into Palestine from the north or east not from the south.
The nineteenth and twentieth dynasties in the Egyptian scheme
correspond with the end of the Bronze Age. If these are put forward by two
or three hundred years, then voids in the historical data disappear.
Nubian specialists see continuity from the twentieth dynasty to the twenty
fifth Nubian dynasty even though in the conventional scheme there are four
dynasties between them. It seems to be this two century gap that is wrong.
These dynasties are in the so-called Third Intermediate Period—the very
name implies doubt and indecision—stretching from 1070 to 664 BC in
orthodox terms. It is a 400 year period full of kings that no one knows
anything about and whose reigns are often given arbitrary values.
Ken (Dodd) Kitchen, the humorist who knows all there is to know about
king David, is one of the modern scholars to perpetuate this travesty,
devised to keep a neat space for his heroes David and Solomon. To magnify
Solomon and to justify his impossible success, the scholars build an
artificial void in Egyptian history literally full of ruling nonentities.
Third Intermediate Period
After the twentieth dynasty, Egypt must have had problems. Libyans
began flooding into the country, not as conquerors but apparently as
refugees fleeing famine in north Africa. The organisation of the social
order weakened and priests and feudal lords set themselves up as local
rivals to the pharaoh. By 666 BC, the Assyrians under Ashurbanipal
could say that Egypt was ruled by 20 kings. The Greeks made it 12. Even
Eusebius, who preserved part of Manetho’s king list, admitted that the
kings in this period were not all consecutive but that some ruled locally.
Psamtik I (640-610 BC) united the country once more. Who are
these kings in the present reconstructions?
Merely to give this brief account suggests that the dynasties listed by
the Egyptologists as consecutive were not, or did not even exist in such
difficult times. The high priests of Amun are listed separately, evidently
as rulers in Thebes, but not constituting a dynasty. The twenty third
dynasty is accepted as overlapping the twenty second. It seems also that
the twenty second and twenty third dynasties overlapped the start of the
twenty fifth, and the twenty fifth and twenty sixth dynasties also
overlapped. Kitchen allows small degrees of overlap but keeps the scheme
essentially intact even though the twenty third dynasty is nothing but a
depository of otherwise undateable kings. Between Yuput I and Yuput II
is a half century of “kings”.
The 400 years of the Third Intermediate Period has chunks of time when
nothing seems to happen at all, no monuments, architecture, art or
statuary—social breakdown is always the excuse, but nothing happening
never happens. There is little to show a Libyan influence. Indeed the
artistic styles are continuous with the Ramesides. The twenty first
dynasty is placed as consecutive with the twenty second but scarcely
anything is known about the earlier dynasty compared with the later one.
Nothing outside Egypt testifies to the twenty first dynasty. Were they
really just a single dynasty that had divided responsibility between two
Jonathan Wade, who defends the orthodox chronology with the vigour of a
witchfinder general at his site called Waste
of Time, gives the following table listing the Southern Viziers of
Egypt from the 21st to the 25th dynasties. His point seems to be that the
list is complete and consecutive allowing no space for a concurrent
dynasty with the 21st without creating concurrent southern viziers.
||Hori son of
||Harsiese D, son
of Nesipakashuty A
son of Hor xviii
||Year 8 Pedubast
||Yr 39 Shoshenq
||Year 11 of ??
Married daughter Takeloth II
||Hor x, son of
||Pakharu, son of
daughter of Takeloth III
son of Pamiu
||Nesmin A, Son
daughter of Takeloth III
||Pediese, son of
||Khamhor A, son
of Harsiese F
Montemhat 4 PA
||Pahrer, son of
||Nesmin B, son
son of Nesipaqashuty C
D, son of Nespamedu A
||Yr 14 Psamtek
Certain features of this table will strike the interested observer.
- There are only three southern viziers (mean term of office, ~35
years) in the 130 year extent of the 21st dynasty, when there were
seven pharaohs (mean reign, ~19 years).
- There are 24 southern viziers (mean term of office, ~10 years) in
the 230 year period of the 22nd dynasty, when there were ten pharaohs
(mean reign, ~23 years).
- There are 16 southern viziers (mean term of office, ~7 years) in the
110 year period of the 25th Nubian dynasty, when there were six
pharaohs (mean reign, ~18 years).
The mean period that each Pharaoh reigns is roughly the same but the
viziers became much less permanent as time went on. While it is plain that
such variations are statistically possible, they are the sort of thing
that should make a scientist suspicious, because they might indicate that
the lists were not truly consecutive, just as the revisionists think.
With some accepted overlap, the Pharaohs reigned 18 years on average
while the viziers held office typically for 12 years, but Amenhirpamesha
was in office for 80 years! Is this true? The figures suggest there is
something wrong with the lists.
Puzzles of Egyptian Chronology
A twenty second dynasty mummy found intruding into a cache of mummies
sealed in the twenty first dynasty suggests an overlap of dynasties. The
tombs of twenty first dynasty Psusennes II and twenty second dynasty
Osorkon II are built next to each other and so close that a wall of
the tomb of Osorkon had to be chiselled away to make room for the tomb of
Psusennes. Yet Psusennes was supposed to have lived 100 years before! The
excuse is that Osorkon used an empty tomb built before Psusennes built
his, but Psusennes could have used the empty tomb if it already stood in
the way of the tomb that he eventually built. Further investigation shows
intimate family links between the two lists supporting the idea that they
ruled in parallel.
The strongest evidence, ignored by those desperate to hang on to
conventional chronology, is provided by the absence of burials of the Apis
Bull in the twenty first and twenty second dynasties. The average age of
the bulls was 18 years and there should therefore have been about 12 in
the two dynasties. None, or possibly only one, are known. If no bulls were
buried but worship of the Apis Bull continued, as it must have, then these
two dynasties must have overlapped with another.
Two objects clearly of the reign of Soshenq I, founder of the
twenty second dynasty, have been found in Palestine. As objects difficult
for biblicists always are, they were unstratified. One of these had been
inscribed by a Phoenician king for whom it was evidently a gift from the
king of Egypt. It seems to have been a custom because another gift, a bust
of Soshenq’s son, Osorkon I, was also found inscribed by another
Phoenician king. These two important finds not only link two Egyptian
kings with two contemporary Phoenician kings, but allow the Canaanite
script to be compared with scripts elsewhere like that on the stele of
Mesha of Moab.
Moreover, the Phoenican kings can be identified as part of a series
ending in a king dateable from Assyrian tribute tablets as 740 BC.
The two previous kings were the ones contemporaneous with Soshenq I
and Osorkon I. These two kings can therefore be firmly dated at about
800 BC not 150 years earlier. The proto-Canaanite script is also
dated to the same time not the eleventh century as the biblicists want. It
therefore matches the Greek alphabet of the eighth century.
A jar found in Assur belonging to the wife of Sennacherib (701-681 BC)
is of a similar style to a bowl found in a tomb in Tanis and attributed to
Psusennes, 300 years before. The Saite Oracle Papyrus, dated to 651 BC
in the reign of Psamtik is remarkably similar to the Rameside style of 400
years before. Instances of supposed eleventh or tenth century objects
turning up with eighth century ones are not rare, but they are usually
judged in favour of the high date to leave space for the Israelites. It is
time they were properly dated to the eighth century and the Egyptian
chronology corrected to match. Then the early “history” of the
Israelites can be seen as myths.
Peter James has the twentieth dynasty starting in 950 BC not 1185 BC
and ending about the time of Soshenq I in 810 BC instead of 1070 BC.
The twenty first dynasty was part of the twenty second and operated in
parallel. The effect is that at least 260 spurious years (1070 to 810 BC)
can be taken out of the Egyptian chronology, and this brings into
alignment many confusing datings in various parts of the Near East, and
even further afield. Through misdating, some kings have appeared twice,
like Osorkon IV, who is really Osorkon III, and further
adjustments on these lines could bring down the dates even more.
In the century of the twenty first dynasty, P John Crowe explains:
- the country was divided,
- no king was sole ruler of Egypt,
- temple priests acted as local governors, ruled their local areas and
maintained the temples,
- an anonymous “Great King of the North” is mentioned on
- a mysterious “renaissance era” of double dating starts to
- no national armies, foreign campaigns or attempts at reunification
The obvious interpretation is that Egypt was a vassal of the Great King
of the north.
Did Rameses III rule during the Persian period? Immanuel
Velikovsky thought Rameses III, who was never in the twentieth
dynasty of Manetho, was the pseudonym of the fourth century pharaoh,
Nectanebo, a full 800 year adjustment. Velikovsky is derided as a crank
but derision does not answer questions. Consider his arguments.
F L Griffiths and E Naville, both reputable
archaeologists, excavating in the 1880s at Tell-el-Yahudiyeh, near Cairo,
found faience tiles from the palace of Rameses III some of which
seemed to have Greek letters on the back of them, taken to be potters’
marks. Conventionally Rameses died in about 1150 BC, 400 years before
Homer. In the necropolis they found tombs, some undisturbed, with painted
coffins and rough hieroglyphs typical of the Greek and Roman times. In the
intact graves of two children they found scarabs of Rameses III and
his father Setnakht. Griffiths said the scarabs were twelfth century,
while Naville said the tombs had to be fourth century and the scarabs were
heirlooms. Neither thought it possible that the mysterious Rameses was
himself fourth century.
The pylon of Rameses III at Medinet Habu—a pristine temple for
its putative age—is in a remarkably similar style to Ptolemaic pylons at
Edfu and Kom Ombo, 800 years later—but looks newer! Egyptologists tell
us that the Nectanebos, who fought off Persians, first without, then later
with Greek support, described by Diodorus of Sicily, the Greek historian,
was Nekhthorheb, but this king’s monuments make no such claims. He was
an unusually modest Pharaoh, unless the reliefs of Rameses III at
Medinet Habu which show battle scenes of Egyptians and “Prst”
defeating Libyans, and of Egyptians and apparently Greek allies fighting
off the “Prst.” Finally the Egyptians defeat both Greeks and Persians
Persians are “Prstt” in the trilingual Ptolemaic Canopus decree.
Other Egyptian texts identify Persia as “Prs”. Persian soldiers with
headgear like “Prst” at Medinet Habu appear on the monuments at
Persepolis. The Persians also uniquely provided for camp followers and
wagons of women and children are shown on the battle murals.
Conventionally these are the families of the migrant “Sea Peoples.”
later the Philistines. The improbability of wagon loads of women,
children, grannies and family belongings being carried a thousand miles
round the coast from Ionia over mountains in Souther Turkey and through
the countries of hostile people while the chaps sail their ships offshore
is never observed upon.
Breasted tells us that Rameses III said of his enemy, “the
Pereset are hung up… in their towns.…” What can this damaged
inscription mean? The Persians used to hang people—it was crucifixion.
If however the expression just means trapped or delayed in their towns,
then what were “their towns?” These are supposed to have been
unsettled people, but they had evidently settled somewhere north of Egypt
already. Egyptologists say the “Prst” were not Persians but
Philistines, and they are convinced of this from… the bible! Yet the
bible mentions none of this.
In 1979, at Tell el Daba in the Eastern Delta, M Bitak reported
Rameses III remains immediately below the Ptolemaic strata, and in
1980, the linen wrapping of a mummy firmly dated to the reign of Setnakht,
the Pharaoh who preceded Rameses III was C-14 dated to 345 BC
+/- 75 years, according to a Canadian journal. E A Wallis Budge says
Nekhtaneb was a Horus name of Rameses III. The plausible explanation
is that Nebo was a Babylonian God acceptable to the Persians and his name
was given to Nectanebos (Nebo Conquers) as their puppet, but he gained
military prowess with Persian help fighting off Libyans then turned on the
Persians themselves first with the mercenary Greeks as allies then
fighting both Greeks and Persians. Rameses had become a title of honour
just as Caesar and Ptolemy did. Nectanebo apparently took the title for
himself to describe his military successes.
It is not for us to uphold Velikovsky, far fetched as he seems, against
the scholarship of the Egyptologists, but they show no inclination to be
bothered about all these puzzles, unlikely coincidences and anachronisms.
They ought to be. These questions should be properly addressed and not
A Chronological Revolution?
Chris Bennett, in a staunch
defence of conventional TIP chronology complains of the “swingeing
rhetorical attacks on the hidebound Egyptological establishment who are
held to be incapable of seeing the obvious wisdom of the new theories
because of their purblind and musty academic vision.” The British
Museum, confirming this false mockery, banned a revisionist book from the
BM Bookstore. Yet, though Bennett’s review of Egyptian evidence favours
conventional chronology, he admits:
It is possible that the standard chronology is wrong, even though no
fatal logical contradictions have as yet been found… Synchronisms on
which the current chronology rests are few in number and are not without
difficulties of interpretation. The dated Sothic sighting which was once
held to fix New Kingdom chronology is now widely discounted as not being
a Sothic sighting at all. The lunar observations which date the reigns
of Ramses II and Thutmosis III admit multiple solutions,
repeated in a 25-year cycle. Assur-uballit of Assyria does have a
different father in the Amarna letters (Assur-nadin-ahhe II) from
that given to Assur-uballit I in the kinglists (Eriba-Adad I). The
Palestinian campaign of Shoshenq I does not match well with the
Judean campaign of Shishak described in the Book of Kings.
Chris Bennett PhD, FAS, FSO
And these concessions are supported by further admissions that around
half a century has recently been trimmed from older chronologies. This
though is “fine tuning!”.
Revision of Egyptian chronology puts under particular attack Kenneth
Kitchen’s The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt, “which is
widely regarded as one of the major intellectual achievements of modern
Egyptology.” The new chronology of the Third Intermediate Period raised
problems of identification. Kitchen in his genealogies assigned some
important royal figures, like Shoshenk I in the Neseramun genealogy,
Osorkon, and High Priests of Amun, entirely on the conventional
chronology. Such assignments have to be re-thought to see whether they can
fit the new paradigm.
Doubtless Kitchen has devoted a great deal of sweat to his endeavour,
but, to judge by his intemperate language, his motivation has been to
defend the conventional chronology and not to examine the evidence with
any sort of critical eye or even objectivity. Kitchen’s irate response
to the proposals for revision and his foolish attempts at irony in
attacking his detracters make him sound like a religious nut-case who
thinks he is defending God, not Egyptian dates. Kitchen, in the Times
Literary Supplement, condemned the authors of Centuries of Darkness
as “sons of Velikovsky,” intended as a shocking insult to any
scientist, and wished them to “the same oblivion.” Who can believe
such a man, despite his scholarship, if that is what it is? Graeme Barker
of Leicester University, more honestly says:
Most regional specialists acknowledge that their local chronology is
pretty shaky but assume that Egyptian chronology must be cast in stone,
and it is salutary to find that things are not quite what they seem
G W van Oosterhout in Bibliotheca Orientalis also
admits “everyone with some knowledge of chronology knows that there are
difficulties, but the accumulation of problems is truly disquieting…
Evidently something is wrong with Egyptian chronology.” Even James
Mellaart, who has been critical, is happy to admit that attention must be
paid to the deficiencies of dating, and better dating methods found. Lord
Colin Renfrew also is willing to recognize the “shaky nature” of our
present dating, and thinks a chronological revolution could be
coming—one is inclined to think, not while so many religious bigots are
in powerful places, though even some of them are ready to accept
that the accepted chronology is shaky.
James K Hoffmeier, Professor of Archaeology & Old Testament at
Wheaton College, Illinois, writes in BAR that the authors (of Centuries
of Darkness) “have drawn attention to serious problems that cannot
be ignored… The issues underscored should prompt the reassessment of all
areas of Near Eastern chronology.” W H C Frend, Emeritus
Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Glasgow University, says in the Church
Times, “much may be said for bringing the end of the Mycenaean and
Hittite eras some two centuries later than the traditional dating of 1150 BC.”
Hyam Maccoby, Lecturer in Jewish History, Leo Baeck College, recognizes
the problem of the chronological thumb suckers when he writes in Midstream
that “it is inevitable that this book will arouse strong opposition from
those wedded to the conventional chronology.” and he sounds approving
when he adds that there is “an excellent case for scrapping the old
chronology and substituting a new one”.
Aidan Dodson, himself an Egyptologist, writing in Palestine
Exploration Quarterly speaks most sensibly when he says that scholars
must “reconsider their chronologies from first principles, since it is
only from this basis that any sound chronology can ever be maintained”.
Computer Matching Ancient Astronomical Records
Wayne Mitchell, seeking to establish an absolute chronology for the
ancient Near East, reviewed the records of ancient astronomers,
particularly the extensive Kassite collection called Enuma Anu Enlil
for Agade, Guti/Uruk V, and Ur III, preserved in the library of
the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (669-627 BC). To minimize any doubt, his
analysis was based upon “observations for which there are very few
date-assignment possibilities within a large span of time”.
P M Muller and F R Stephenson had classified ancient solar eclipse
records according to their reliability. Only four were classed as truly
- 7 July 709 BC—total eclipse at Chu-Fu
- 26 September 322 BC—timed eclipse at Babylon
- 4 March 181 BC—total eclipse at Ch’ang-An
- 15 April 136 BC—total eclipse at Babylon.
Of these the last one is the most reliable of all, and two descriptions
of it are known that agree with each other. This reliable date allowed the
factor that applied to the deceleration of the earth’s rotation in the
first millennium BC to be found. The rate of deceleration of the earth’s
rotation varies but the extrapolation from the second century back two
millennium is considerably less than the extrapolation of the present
conditions back for four millennia.
Using computer programs taking account of the deceleration of the
Earth’s rate of rotation, such as that used by P J Huber, and other
modern analysts and statisticians, Mitchell found sensible matches later
than any previously proposed. Strikingly, and with some certainty (a
“rather probable solution”), the accession of king Ammi-saduga of the
1st Dynasty of Babylon was revised down from J A Brinkman’s 1646 BC
to 1419 BC. It gives the least number of severe inaccuracies,
calculating back, of three—or only one, depending on the precise
adjustment of the deceleration factor—and it matched those solutions
yielding the “remarkable” coincidence of a lunar and solar eclipse in
the succeeding reign of Samsu-ditana.
This finding confirmed that of Huber and co-workers, covering the
period 1978 BC to 1363 BC, who also found that the accession of
Ammi-saduga at 1419 BC gave the best fit with the data. Beginning
from the accession date for Ammi-saduga, the period to the end of the Ur
III Dynasty is 360 +/- 15 years, making 19 April 1793 BC the
best candidate for the eclipse marking the end of the reign of Ibbi-suen (Ibbisin,
conventionally 2028-2004 BC). Another known eclipse marks the end of
the reign of Shulgi (conventionally 2094-2047 BC), now dated to 31 July
1835 BC. From the accession of Ur-Nammu (conventionally 2112-2094 BC)
now 1901 BC, the Du’uzu eclipse, associated with the victory of
Utu-hegal, must have been 28 June 1908 BC.
The period from the fall of Agade to the start of Ur III is given
precisely by Brinkman as 42 years, but really lies between 15 and 100
years. If the king-list of Gutium is accurate and the Gutian king,
Sarlagab (1988-1983 BC) is the contemporary of Shar-kali-sharri of Agade
(conventionally 2217-2193 BC), the lowest feasible chronology
corresponds to the partial eclipse on the 25 April 2035 BC,
which would mark the end of Rimush (conventionally 2278-2270 BC). The
successive eclipses on the 27 March 1959 BC and the 16 March
1958 BC would then be the accurately dated end of Shar-kali-sharri.
Mitchell concludes that a satisfactory match for the accounts requires
the accessions of Ammi-saduga and Ur-Nammu, respectively, to be 1419 BC
and 1901 BC. From these, by historical interpolation, the accession
of Hammurabi (conventionally 1792-1750 BC) is 1565 BC. If
Hammurabi and Neferhotep I are contemporaries then the chronology of
the Egyptian dynasties before Babylon I are clarified. Neferhotep
(conventionally 1751-1740 BC) acceded to the throne between 1550 and
Finally, five possibilities exist for for an eclipse at sunset
mentioned in Ugaritic tablets, and the only candidate from 1450 BC to
1000 BC that can correspond is that of the 9 May 1012 BC.
Cross-dating from historical records confirms a date of 1362 BC for
the end of Babylon I (conventionally 1595 BC). If 1012 BC
reasonably dates Nikmed II, then Akhenaten is dated similarly, and
the date of the Hittite king, Murshili (conventionally ?-1590 BC), is
984 BC, matching the solar eclipse of 30 April of that year. Perhaps
the Murshilis of Hatti have been confused or have not been properly
distinguished, like the Shoshenqs of Egypt, and the Jeroboams of Israel.
Biblicist, Frank Yurco, calls those he disagrees with
“minimalists,” “nihilists” and even “charlatans!” Yurco thinks
everything in the biblical, historical and archaeological gardens is
lovely. He still thinks that the Sothic system of dating is valid, that
mice erupt spontaneously from dirty linen and that demons are responsible
for disease. The Mesha Stone, the Merneptah Stela and the Shoshenq I
campaign relief all confirm everything the bible tells us.
|The best extant evidence for the existence of Israel, and David and
Solomon’s kingdom comes from their foes in antiquity.
|Merenptah first mentions Israel in his Canaanite campaign of about
1207 BC. Israel existed.
|Pharaoh Sheshonq of Dynasty 22 campaigned against Judea and
Israel and this is cited in the Bible—Shishak (Sheshonq) came up
against Rehoboam, son of Solomon, in his fifth regnal year. Sheshonq
took enough plunder from his campaign that he could afford to reopen
the sandstone quarries and to add a whole court onto the Karnak
complex of temples. Rehoboam had inherited a wealthy kingdom. Rehoboam
is Solomon’s son, so how can Solomon be a late invention?
|André Lemairé published in BAR (May/June 1994) a Moabite
inscription that mentions the House of David.|
Yurco concludes that Israel existed in the late 13th century BC,
by Dynasty 22 Judea and Israel had emerged as powerful and wealthy
states that appealed to Sheshonq I for plunder, and the Moabites,
Israel’s staunch foes, acknowledged the House of David existed. “Why
do the minimalists persist in their single-minded myopia?”
Yurco thinks the Merneptah Stele proves that Israel “already existed
back in the late 13th century BC.” Yurco illustrates that
biblicists cannot get the bible out of their heads. It is like a supporter
of Hunslet Football club finding an ancient reference to Hunslet and
concluding that the football team existed in antiquity. The place where
the football team was founded existed but not the team. Merneptah’s
inscription shows Israel was a name that Merneptah knew. The questions are
what was the entity called Israel, and when did Merneptah live—in the
13th century BC or as late as the 9th century BC? In the first
case, the Israelites were just moving into Canaan, or so the bible says.
In the second case, Israel was a statelet in Canaan confirmed by Assyrian
archives, though they called it the House of Omri, not Israel!
Yurco studied the Ashkelon Wall at Karnak where there were scenes of
19th Dynasty Egyptians battling supposed Israelites using chariots—when
they should have been slaves fleeing from Egypt pursued by the Egyptian
chariots, according to Exodus. If the Canaanites of prosperous
cities like Megiddo were considered as Israelites, then the possibility
that the carvings depict thirteenth century Israelites is possible, but
then they were not escaping slaves from Egypt! The Israel of Omri in the
ninth century might have included these cities in the north either as
subjects or as allies, and had chariots, but then the pictures are 400
years later than Yurco thinks. Biblicists can never see the contradictions
of their rationalizations.
Yurco also thinks that Pharaoh Shoshenq I of the 22nd Dynasty is
the biblical pharaoh, Shishak, plunderer of Solomon’s temple in the 5th
year of Rehoboam, king of Judah. Yet, the Assyrians vocalized the name
Shoshenq as Su-si-in-ku, which gives no basis for the nasal sound being
omitted in Semitic language vocalizations of the Egyptian. More important,
contrary to Yurco’s statement, the places Shoshenq attacked noted on the
walls of the temple of Karnak did not include Judah, nor is Jerusalem
featured in his list of cities, even though the bible makes it the focus
of his attack and claims it bought him off with a vast treasure. Should
not Shoshenq have mentioned this particularly lucrative vassalage,
espacially as it was previously a large empire that he had subdued?
Shishak is the ally of Jeroboam of Israel and the enemy of the kingdom of
Judah, according to the bible, while Shoshenq, in his monuments, plunders
the country known at that time, according to the bible, as Israel, while
ignoring Judah as if it did not exist. Biblicists like Yurco cannot see
these important distinctions and fool the ordinary Christian with their
Yurco ignores science and logic to imply that Shoshenq was able to
carve monuments from the plunder he took from the wealthy kingdom of
Judah, his biblical belief. Millennia of Pharaohs that carved monuments
never needed any such source previously, yet monuments were carved.
Professor Finkelstein has shifted the archaeological material previously
associated with Solomon down into the 9th century, one of the most
impoverished archaeological periods in Levantine history. Solomon now
rules in Iron Age IB when there is no monumental architecture. It is
pure fantasy to imagine that Judah could ever have been wealthy before it
became the centre for collecting the taxes of Abarnahara for the Persian
There are no identifiable remains of Western Asiatics at Pi-Ramesse
(biblical Raamses) which have come to light, even after a quarter of a
century of excavations. There was no destruction of a fortified city of
Jericho because it was a ruin at the end of the Bronze Age. Nor is a
destruction of Hazor attributable to the time of Joshua’s conquest.
Excavations of the Late Bronze Age palace at Hazor is producing a date
for the burning of that building around the time of Seti I, some 100
years before the proposed date for any Israelite destruction of the city.
No destructions of Canaanite cities can be unequivocally attributed to the
Israelites. There was a cultural continuity between the Late Bronze Age
and the Early Iron Age. Domestic pottery was continuous between the two
periods, with no particular sudden Egyptionizing as would be expected from
an influx of people that had lived in Egypt for 400 years. Admittedly
population increased and technological advances were made, but all this is
better explained by increasing prosperity caused by climatic improvement.
Fundamentalists like Yurco are at a total loss to understand that the
bible stories of David and Solomon are mythical wnd therefore simply wrong
when read as history. They persist in accepting biblical “history” and
think therefore that the elimination of spurious years still allows
Solomon and David to remain. If Rameses II was Shishak, as some
revisionists suggest, then the apologists protest Seti I was invading
Judah when Solomon was a great emperor. One apologist writes, utterly
What are we to make of these Egyptian operations against rulers in the
heart of Israel during the 25th year of Solomon. Why doesn’t the Bible
record this and why doesn’t Seti mention Solomon?
Why doesn’t he answer his own questions? Seti I erected a stele
in Bethshan lauding his campaign in the Jordan valley, sending one army to
Hamath another to Bethshan and a third to Yanoam. These seem like
individual city states being disciplined, and not a mighty empire able to
fend him off. If Omri was the founder of Israel around 900 BC, all
that could have existed before were city states. There never was an
This same apologetic source notes that the principle states to the
north and east of the Palestinian hills in David’s days were Hamath and
Zobah, the same as they were when Sargon the Assyrian king conquered the
area in 720 BC, whereas a shortened chronology would make the
principle northern states at the time of David Qadesh, Qatna and Tunip, as
they were at the time of the El Amarna correspondence. “You don’t need
to be a genius to see that the New Chronology is flawed,” he smugly
writes. That the David stories were made up after the later period,
drawing upon the situation as the author knew it, quite evades the
apologist. He cannot grasp that these stories in the bible are fictional.
This same debunker dates the Egyptian kings from the Assyrian eponyms
even though he admits they are flawed before 911 BC. They are only
ten years out back to 1450 BC, he tells us. He cannot grasp that the
earlier lists of kings and eponyms were written by the later Assyrian
administrators to give prestige and continuity to the country and the line
of kings, when there is reason to think that for several hundred years
Assyria was a divided country with parallel dynasties. Certain that the
king lists as well as the bible are God sent, these apologists defend them
In the 3000 year long history of Ancient Egypt, 300 years is a minor
adjustment. It is only major in the briefer history of Israel—and that
is what the biblicists do not like. Even if it were accepted, it would not
deter them from their fancies. They would be certain then that the
Israelites were the Hyksos and old ideas would be revived once again to
save God’s reputation as an historian. Rohl reveals himself to be one of
these, a latter day Albrightian, declaring from a close study of his bible
that the few Egyptian remains found in Jerusalem are the palace of a
Bronze Age Solomon’s Egyptian wife. He admits quite openly referring to
biblicist F Yurco, a critic of new chronologies:
It is ironic that Yurco should describe people like me as
“minimalists” when, in fact, what the New Chronology advocates is a
maximalist view of biblical history.
He now declares that the plaque nailed to the cross of Jesus has been
found. And Rohl calls Kitchen a Christian fundamentalist! Why can’t they
all find a god that does not need fools and liars to defend him, so that
honest people can try to find out what happened in history?