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March 29, 2020
ESCAPE FROM PLANET EGYPT
The last three chapters of Escape From Planet Egypt have re-synchronized a steady succession of Egyptian Pharaohs with the chronology of Israel found in the Old Testament.
After anchoring the sequence connecting the Egyptian monuments on the Step Pyramid (describing Imhotep as the architect of the first pyramid) with the person of Joseph in the book of Genesis, we've moved through each sequential phase of Israel in Egypt.
By the time we got to Part IX, we showed how the female Pharaoh Hatshepsut, universally placed in the 16th or 15th century BC by the scholars, was actually the Queen of Sheba, who visited Solomon in the 9th century BC.
The Egyptian inscriptions show she was succeeded by Thutmose III – once again, placed by mainstream research in the 15th century. Instead, we found him under the name Shishak, Hatshepsut's successor who invaded Jerusalem in the days of Rehoboam, Solomon's son.
Part X then established that Shishak's successor Amenhotep II was actually the Scriptural Zerah the Ethiopian who also fought Asa, Rehoboam's grandson, a generation after Thutmose III.
"And Asa cried unto the Lord his God, and said…let not man prevail against thee. So the Lord smote the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah…and the Ethiopians were overthrown" (II Chronicles 14:11-13).
We note how the Holy Spirit moved to say these forces were "overthrown," indicating Zerah's contingent had an association with the ongoing tyranny of Egypt, as opposed to a new enemy embodied by the term "the Ethiopians."
Even though Amenhotep II was decisively defeated by Asa of Judaea in a spectacular upset, the residual power of Egypt continued to cast a large shadow over Samaria in the North and Jerusalem in the South.
Up to this point, the Egyptian chronologies we've used to re-synchronize secular sequence with the Biblical record have primarily featured information found in Egyptian inscriptions, papyri, and monuments. Among these are the temple found at Deir El Bahari, an ancient construction with extensive information about Hatshepsut (the Queen of Sheba), and her famous journey to Jerusalem (the land of "punt" in the inscriptions).
Her successor Thutmose III, impressed with Hatshepsut's enthusiastic descriptions concerning Solomon's fabulous wealth, eventually invaded and sacked the Jerusalem temple, then ruled by Solomon's son Rehoboam. The plunder was taken to Egypt, and an inventory of it was inscribed on the walls of the temple of Amon Ra at Karnak (see Part X for details).
As both the Old Testament narrative concerning the sacred items that were in Solomon's temple, and the Karnak inscriptions enumerating the booty taken by Thutmose III are both still available for scrutiny, a detailed comparison will indicate they are part of the same collection.
The Ras Shamra tablets found in Syria in 1928, also told us much about the time of Thutmose III (and his military exploits), as well as his successor, Amenhotep II (who turns out to be Zerah the Ethiopian in II Chronicles 14:9).
In the late 1800's, another important archaeological find in Egypt would profoundly impact our knowledge of this period with a series of tablets encompassing letters of correspondence to and from the Egyptian throne.
Far more than simple fragments of pottery or statues of some ancient king which could be interpreted in many different ways, these letters provided enormously important information about kingdoms which were adjacent to Israel and Egypt. Further, they mention military alliances, diplomatic intrigue, and even administrative structure of the vassal states.
In short, the letters collected at Tell El Amarna amounted to the state archives of the Egyptian government from a short time after that of Asa and Amenhotep II!
Amarna in Egypt turns out to be the location of Akhet-Aton, which would have been the headquarters of Pharaoh Amenhotep IV. Once again, mainstream scholars, still following the faulty sequence that placed Hatshepsut (and Thutmose III) in the 15th century BC, erroneously dated this material in the 14th century.
After Asa's father Abijah (the short lived king of Judaea) punished Jeroboam's Samaritan nation (the 10 tribes) for seceding from Israel in a devastating battle described in Part XI of the present work, the Egyptian throne evidently wearied of the constant wars generated by the great conqueror Thutmose III, and turned to diplomacy.
Thutmose III's many campaigns had taken him to the North of Syria, where he clashed with forces from an emerging kingdom called Mitanni. This dominion was one of many regional powers that were rising in the 9th century. Far from his home, Thutmose III was unable to subdue Mitanni, but the two powers inflicted enough damage upon each other that each was wary of their opponents and, in a later time, they were both amenable to a peace treaty.
From the letters found at Tell El Amarna, we learn that after Thutmose III died, and Egypt's tributaries were in turmoil as they sought to break away from subservience to Egypt, the next Pharaoh took a lesson from Solomon, and negotiated a peace treaty with the kingdom of Mitanni. This political instrument involved an arranged marriage with a Mitanni princess coming to Egypt as a bride.
The son of Amenhotep II (the Ethiopian Zerah who was defeated by the Judaean Asa in II Chronicles 14:12) is thought to be Thutmose IV, who made these political moves. His reign was largely peaceful, but it marked an early stage of the decline of Egypt as a superpower. At the same time, the Amarna letters indicate the Mitanni king was willing to cede any aggression against Syrian territory controlled by Egypt, because he was already experiencing conflict with a new enemy, therein identified as the King of Hatti.
The King of Hatti, related to the people known as Hittites, is an early reference to the rise of the Assyrian Dominion. As Mitanni was in Northern Syria and Southeast Anatolia (modern Turkey), the Assyrian power was rising at that point in their vicinity.
By the time the Princess Tadukhipa of Mitanni arrived in Egypt, Amenhotep III (the successor to Thutmose IV) had died, adding to the political disarray. Eventually the Egyptians betrothed her to his successor, Amenhotep IV.
Meanwhile, in Jerusalem after Asa died, his son Jehoshaphat became king, even as Judah was experiencing a great revival. During this time, in the midst of an increasingly complex political and military landscape, the ancient kingdom of Moab (on the other side of the Dead Sea in the same region), decided to rebel. Moab had been paying tribute to Samaria, then under the rule of Egypt.
As we have already pointed out, when Jeroboam led the Northern tribes against Judah in the days of the reign of Solomon's son Rehoboam, it was obvious the Egyptians were meddling in Israelite affairs as they had harbored Jeroboam during his exile from Solomon. Thus, the Egyptian hand in the civil war which resulted in two houses of Israel (Samaria in the North and Judah in the South) was self evident.
As a result, the proof of Egyptian complicity emerged a couple of generations later when Moab rebelled against Samaria.
Now, in the Tell El Amarna letters, we have correspondence between the king of Israel and the Pharaoh concerning this rebellion – an event recorded in the Scriptures.
"And Mesha king of Moab was a sheepmaster, and rendered unto the king of Israel an hundred thousand lambs, and an hundred thousand rams, with the wool. But it came to pass…the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel" (II Kings 3:4,5).
Moreover, yet another significant archaeological find, entitled the Stele of Mesha, also recorded events from this time, and this amazing discovery addressed the same period from the point of view of the very same king of Moab, with both the Scriptures and the stele recording the name of the king as Mesha!
Apparently the diplomacy of Thutmose IV paid off, as even though Jehoshaphat of Judah had sought to turn the Jews back towards the LORD, a couple of kings after Jeroboam died, the Northern Israelites had again become dependent on Egypt. Worse yet, even though Israel was still worshiping the golden calves set up by Jeroboam, and Jehoshaphat is chronicled in the Bible as a relatively good king, he renewed relations with the king of Israel who had turned to Baal.
"And Jehoshaphat made peace with the [apostate] king of Israel [even as] the high places [in Judah] were not taken away: for as yet the people had not prepared their hearts unto the God of their fathers" (I Kings 22:44; II Chronicles 20:33).
Over the course of the years when the letters of Tell El Amarna were written, the Pharaoh Amenhotep III was succeeded by Amenhotep IV – who was one of the most famous figures in all Egyptian history as he was also known as Akhnaton.
This was the infamous Egyptian leader who moved his throne to Akhet-Aton (the ancient location of Tell El Amarna), as he sought to shift the historic religion of the people of Egypt away from the deity known as Amon. Akhenaton preached a universalist religion, with a god he referred to as "the" Aton.
Once again, because consensus scholarship places Akhnaton in a much earlier time, he is commonly (and mistakenly) represented as the first believer in one God. The Scriptures tell us Moses encountered and preached the truth of the one God many centuries earlier than Akhnaton.
The renegade Pharaoh Akhnaton was notorious for shirking the responsibilities of the king, as he sought to live an unorthodox life of Spiritual contemplation – even as his downright bizarre behavior scandalized the office of Pharaoh.
For example, King Akhnaton and his wife and daughters appeared in front of his Egyptian subjects completely nude – a practice completely unheard of -- and there is evidence that at one stage of his debauched life, he married his mother.
In fact, the Spiritual evil that had taken root in Egypt was also seen in Egyptian vassal states such as Syria, Moab, and Israel. In this regard, in the Amarna letters, we learn of all sorts of political skullduggery, deceit, and murder.
As we shall see, there are accounts of violent plots, greed, and betrayal. There are, for instance, recurring derogatory phrases referencing many deplorable deeds of Mesha, the king of Moab who rebelled against Israel. Because Israel received tribute from Moab, and that tribute would have been included in the Israelite tribute sent to Egypt, the king repeatedly used the phrase "sa.gaz.mesh" with the first two words translated as "plunderers" or "cutthroats."
It is relatively obvious the name "mesh" is referring to King Mesha of Moab. In multiple letters, he is referred to as "Mesh, the dog." Further, one gets the distinct impression the writer – the king of Israel – continually seeks to convince the Pharaoh that Mesha's attacks against Israel were detrimental to Egypt – perhaps in the hope the Pharaoh would retaliate against Moab. For instance, one letter speaks of Mesha's taking of cities of Israel:
"He takes thy cities the amel-gaz-mesh, the dog" (Letter of Tell El Amarna, cited in Ages In Chaos, Velikovsky, page 282).
At the same time that Samaria was the target of terrorist attacks from Moab, the Syrian king in Damascus (who also was a tributary to Egypt), was suspected of instigating these stealthy assaults via the Arab forces of Mesha of Moab – and the king of Israel sought to expose this fact in another letter.
"Know that…all amelut-gaz-Mesh [the people of the bandit Mesh] have directed their face against me, in accordance with the demand of Abdi-Ashirta [the king in Damascus]. Let my lord…send me a garrison to defend the city of the king…And if there are no archers then all lands will unite with amelut-gaz-Mesh [the people of the bandit Mesh]" (Letter #79, Amarna, Ages In Chaos).
After clandestinely orchestrating incessant attacks by his surrogate Mesha in Moab, (without any military repercussions from Pharaoh Akhnaten, who was busy posing naked before his nation), an emboldened king of Damascus sent his own militia into Samaria in concert with Moabite soldiers, and openly demanded the Israelite king submit to him.
"And Ben-hadad [Abdi-Ashirta in the Amarna letter] the [emboldened] king of Syria gathered all his host together…and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it. And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Ben-hadad, Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine" (I Kings 20:1-3).
Obviously, ancient linguistics and translation play an important role in documents such as the library at Tell El Amarna – the Akhet Aton of ancient Egypt. Thus, the archived letters, originating in multiple languages (particularly those sent to the Pharaoh from multiple countries) feature a multitude of exotic places and names.
Nimmuria was Amenhotep III, and Naphuria was Amenhotep IV – who adopted the name of Akhnaton. Abdi–Ashirta was Ben-Hadad of Damascus, Abdi-Hiba was Jehoshaphat, and Rib-Addi was King Ahab.
"The kings of Jerusalem, as well as the kings of Samaria and Damascus, also had more than one name. Five different names for Solomon are preserved. King Hezekiah of Jerusalem had nine names" (Legends of the Jews, Louis Ginsburg, 1909).
Mainstream scholarship tells us that Amenhotep IV was indeed the Pharaoh Akhnaten, but the long standing chronological error in the timeline continues, and the consensus believes Akhnaten lived in the 14th century – about 100 years after Joshua led the Israelites into Canaan.
Some have even suggested Akhnaten was the Pharaoh of the Exodus, a proposition that is – surprise – off by about 600 years.
However, in the present installment of Escape From Planet Egypt, after re-synchronizing the Egyptian royal succession from Hatshepsut through Amenhotep II (a contemporary of Asa the king of Jerusalem and Solomon's great-grandson), we have now briskly moved past Egypt's Thutmose IV, Amenhotep III, and three kings in Samaria (Baasha, Elah, and Omri), to arrive at the time of Ahab, who the Scriptures tell us was the most wicked king Israel ever had.
"And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him" (I Kings 16:30, 31).
– James Lloyd
To Be Continued
Christian Media has an eye-opening, on-demand video elaborating on the crucial facts seen in the above article — which also includes predictions concerning the enormous turn of events associated with the present political tumult in America – especially with reference to the American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the political state known as Israel. We also publish a regularly issued companion letter commenting on the material seen in each chapter of ESCAPE FROM PLANET EGYPT. The latest edition of that letter (entitled the Christian Median MINISTRY STATUS REPORT), has even more prophetic projections concerning the amazing explosion of prophetic understanding which has occurred at the Christian Media ministry.
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