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The paragraph marks beginning with “S-” are part of an internal cross-reference system and do not represent anything found in the original sources. Where inserted, my own comments and observations are enclosed in braces {}



S-1. The Deeds of Suppiluliuma

Excerpted from A. Goetze, JCS 10 (1956), online as at 01/04 at http://www.geocities.com/farfarer2001/hittite_letters/deeds_of_suppiluliuma.htm, from which the Fragments are referenced.

The Letter from the Egyptian Queen: KBo V. 6. iii. 1ff.

Fragment 28. {Mursili II is recounting the history of the reign of his father Suppiluliuma I. (The Egyptian Pharaoh’s name is transcribed with an intial b as in KBo V. 6.)}

S-1a. A iii 1ff.: “While my {Mursili II’s} father {Suppiluliuma I} was down in the country of Carchemish, he sent Lupakki and Tarhunda-zalma forth into the country of Amka {the Beka Valley between the two ranges of Lebanon}. So they went to attack Amka and brought deportees, cattle and sheep back before my father. But when the people of Egypt heard of the attack on Amka, they were afraid. And since, in addition, their lord, Bibhururiya had died, therefore the queen of Egypt, who was Dahamunzu {seemingly a transcription of the Egyptian title “Tahemnesu,” “The King’s Wife”}, sent a messenger to my father and wrote to him thus: My husband died. A son I have not. But to thee, they say, the sons are many. If thou wouldst give me one son of thine, he would become my husband. Never shall I pick out a servant of mine and make him my husband!… I am afraid.” When my father heard this, he called for the Great Ones for council saying: “Such a thing has never happened to me in my whole life!” So it happened that my father sent forth to Egypt Hattusaziti, the chamberlain with this order: “Go and bring thou the true word back to me! Maybe they deceive me! Maybe in fact they do have a son of their lord! Bring thou the true word back to me!” (In the meantime) until Hattusaziti came back from Egypt, my father finally conquered the city of Carchemish. He had besieged it for seven days and on the 8th day he fought a battle against it for one day and [took] it in a terrific battle on the 8th day in [one] day. And when he had conquered the city — since [my father] fear[ed] the gods — in the upper citadel he let no one in[to the presence] of [Kubaba] and of the deity KAL and he did not r[ush] close to [any one of the temples]. Nay he even bowed to them and then gave…. But from the lower town he removed the inh[abitants], silver, gold, bronze utensils and carried them to Hattusa {the Hittite capital}. And the deportees whom he brought to the palace were 3,330, [whereas] those whom the Hatti brought home [were without number] Then [he…] his son Sarri-Kusuh and [gave] him the country of Carchemish and the city of [Carchemish] to govern and ma[de] him a king on his own. But when he had e[stablished] Carchemish, he [went] back to the land of Hatti and spe[nt] the winter in the land of Hatti.

S-1b. But when it became spring, Hattusaziti [came back] from Egypt and the messenger of Egypt, Lord Hani, came with him. Now, since my father had, when he sent Hattusaziti to Egypt, given him orders as follows: “Maybe they have a son of their lord! Maybe they deceive me and do not want my son for the kingship!” therefore the queen of Egypt wrote back to my father in a letter thus: “Why didst thou say ‘they deceive me’ in that way? Had I a son, would I have written about my own and my country’s shame to a foreign land? Thou didst not believe me and hast even spoken thus to me. He who was my husband has died. A son I have not! Never shall I take a servant of mine and make him my husband! I have written to no other country, only to thee have I written! They say thy sons are many: so give me one son of thine! To me he will be husband, but in Egypt he will be king.” So since my father was kindhearted, he complied with the word of the woman and concerned himself with the matter of a son.

S-1c. …Suppiluliuma speaks thus to Hani: “……I [myself] was friendly, but you, you suddenly did me evil. You [came] and attacked the man of Kinza {Kadesh on the Levantine coast} whom I [had taken away] from the king of Hurri-land. I, when I heard this, became angry and I sent [forth] my own troops and chariots and the lords. So they came and attacked your territory, the country of Amka. And when they attacked Amka, which is your country, you probably were afraid; and therefore you keep asking me for a son of mine (as if it were my) duty. [H]e will in some way become a hostage, but [king] you will not make him!” [Thus spoke Hani to my father “O my lord! This [is…] our country’s shame! If we had [a son of the king] at all, would we have come to a foreign country and kept asking for a lord for ourselves? Bibhururiya, who was our lord, died; a son he has not. Our lord’s wife is solitary. We are seeking a son of our Lord for the kingship in Egypt and for the woman, our lady, we seek him as her husband. Furthermore, we went to no other country, only here did we come. Now O our lord, give us a son of thine!” So then my father concerned himself on their behalf with the matter of a son. Then my father asked for the tablet of the treaty again, how formerly the Storm God took the people of Kurustama, sons of Hatti, and carried them to Egypt and made them Egyptians and how the Storm God concluded a treaty between the countries of Egypt and Hatti and how they were continuously friendly with each other. And when they read aloud the tablet before them, my father then addressed them thus: “Of old, Hattusa and Egypt were friendly with each other and now this too on our behalf has taken place between them. Thus Hatti and Egypt will continuously be friendly with each other!

S-1d. {The presumed murder of the son of Suppiluliuma:} Fragment 31. XIX 4

…z]i, the king of Barga, H[u…], the man of … When they did not send …., then a tabl[et…] they…and they … one to another. [When] they brought this tablet, they spoke thus: “[the people of Egypt?] killed [Zannanza] and brought word: “Zannanza [died?]. And when my father he[ard of] the slaying of Zannanza, he began to lament for [Zannanza and] to the go[ds…] he spoke [th]us: “O Gods! I did [no e]vil, [yet] the people of Egy[pt d]id [this to me] and they also [attacked] the frontier of my country!” …heard..

S-1e. Fragment 32. XXIII 8

….it….in the country of E[gypt….] I ….-ed but not …..treaty, the man of…. had concluded…..someone turned…..evil….”

S-1f. The Second Plague Prayer of Mursili II

My father sent foot soldiers and charioteers who attacked the country of Amka, Egyptian territory. Again he sent troops, and again he attacked it. When the Egyptians became frightened, they asked outright for one of his sons to (take over) the kingship. But when my father gave them one of his sons, they killed him as they led him there. My father let his anger run away with him, he went to war against Egypt and attacked Egypt … [Translation by A. Goetze, in ANET, p. 394.]


A tentative English version of the Dutch translation of letter no. 6 which appeared in Phoenix 39,3 (1993) by the hand of Theo van den Hout:

(Found online as at 1/27/2004 at http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Alley/4482/Ay.html. Credited to Aayko Eyma.)

S-1g. (recto) “{snip} Also Kargamis {Carchemish} have I [conquered]. Now shall I address(?) [the dead?] of my son and his [.. [Concerning that what you wrote:] “Your [so]n (for?) you not [.. I did not know at all [.. …not yet [..But now] you write again and again as King of Egypt …However when one] asked [me he]re for a son as hu[sband… I kne[w] not. I was willing to send my son for the [kin]gship, [but that you already were se]ated [on the throne], that [I knew] not. [Concerning that what you] wrote: “Your son has died [but] I have done [him no ha]rm” . [..

S-1h. (verso) “[When the queen of E]gypt wrote again and again, you(?) not [.. was you/she(?) But if you [in the meanwhile? had seated yourself on the throne, then] you could have sent my son back home. [.. [top] [bottom] Your [serva]nt Hani held us responsible [.. What [have you done] with my son?!”

S-1i. “Concerning that (what you wrote) that bloodshedding [in the past between us] did not occur: to shed bl[ood among us], that was not right. By bloodshed it [becomes a capital crime?]. If you now perhaps also have [done harm to my son?] then perhaps you have also killed my son! You continuously praise [your troop]s and charioteers, but I shall [praise?/mobilize?] my troops and [charioteers], everything I have as army. For me the Stormgod, my Lord, is [the king of all lands and the Sungoddess of A]rinna, my Mistress, is the Queen of all lands. They will come and the Stormgod, my Lord, and the Sungoddess of Arinna, my Mistress, shall execute [judgement]! [.. everytime you boast. As many pitturi as there are in heaven [for me], [so l]arge [will not] be
for you [your army?]. What shall we do about it (?) [..
Because the falcon has [seized] one young chicken [, a whole army]
shall not be chased away by one falcon!”

S-1j. “[Concerning that what you w]rite: “Should you come for revenge, then shall I tak[e away that lust for revenge] from you!” [But you must not take] that lust for revenge from me, but from the Stormgod, my lord, you must take it! [.. Those who denied him (i.e. Zannanza) the rulership, those ones should [.. en who for you [.. those ones shall [.. [Concerning that what you write to me: “If] you write to me in brotherhood, then I will make [peace? / alliance?] with you” , [..wh]y would I write about brotherhood? [..



The translation following is adapted from: James P. Allen “The Speos Artemidos Inscription of Hatshepsut”, Bulletin of the Egyptological Seminar 16 (2002), pp.1-17, pls.1+2. [Spellings have been anglicized, some elements of terminology have been altered slightly; otherwise, the translation represents James Allen’s published work.]

S-2a. (1) [The living one, Horus Powerful of Life-Force; Two Ladies Fresh of] Years; Gold Falcon Divine of [Appearan]ce; Young God, Lord of the [Two] Land[s, King of Upper and Lower Egypt MAATKARE {Makare}; Son] of Re, [Lord of] Appearance [HATSHEPSUT UNITED WITH AMUN, given life like the Sun forever — ] (2) she whose titulary has been set and remains like the sky, setting up the annals of her diligence on the cliff of Her of the Mountain Top toward the (3) rising of the lord of [rays] over the desert edge, when his flames are on the back of the two deserts.

S-2b. The favourite place(s) [of] all the gods have had their braziers spread and (4) their chapels broadened, each (god) at the sanctuary he has desired, his life-force content with his thrones, (5) for I have stipulated the fulfillment of their enjoyment, their colonnades having been [ … ]ed, the hidden place of the house’s interior having been made defensive for it with respect to “bringing away the foot”, (6) every (god) fashioned in his body of electrum of Upper Nubia, their festivals stable in (their) totality, (7) the register of festival-offerings (in effect) with respect to to its timing in adherence to the system of my making, the rites of its arrangement haveing been made firm, which (rites) he (the Sun) made in the past (8) for the first (gods).

S-2c. My divine mind is looking out for posterity, the king’s heart has thought of eternal continuity, because of the utterance of him who parts the ished-tree, Amun, (9) lord of millions, and I have magnified the Order he has desired. For it is known to me that he lives on it: it is my bread, and it is of its dew that I drink. I was (10) in one body with him, and he has brought me up to make the awe of him powerful in this land. I am one who Atum-Khepri, who made what is made (11) know(ledgable], one whom the Sun has fated as established for him.

S-2d. The shores are united under my supervision, the Black Land and the Red Land under terror of me, (12) my impressiveness making foreign lands bow down. For the uraeus on my front pacifies for it all lands < … >. (13) Rashaut and Iuu cannot be concealed from my incarnation. Punt has [swollen] forth for me on <all its> field, (14) its trees bearing fresh myrrh. The roads that were blocked in both lanes are (now) trodden. (15) My troops, which were unequipped, have finery since my appearance as king.

S-2e. The temple of the mistress of Qusae, which had <completely> (16) fallen into dissolution — the earth having swallowed its noble sanctuary, children dancing on its roof<s>, (17) no tutelary goddess causing fear, the lowly reckoning defencelessness in (her) absence, nor (18) her days of appearance having <be>en experienced — I hallowed it, built anew, fashioning its Leading Serpent of gold < … > (19) in order to defend its town in the processional bark.

S-2f. Great Pakhet, who roams the wadis, resident in the eastern desert, [was] s[eeking] (20) the rainstorm’s paths, since there was no relevant libation-service that fetched water (for her). I have made her enclosure as [what this goddess] intende[d] (21) for her Ennead, the doorleaves of acacia inlaid with bronze, in [or]der that [they] might be [in it, her register of festival-offerings] (22) (in effect) with respect to (its) timing, the lay-priests learning of its time.

S-2g. Hur and Hermopolis were im[poverish]ed of provisions. (23) I have hallowed the sacred precincts of their towns, established as a frequented place.

S-2h. Those who were in [ … ] the storehouse (24) are (now) requisitioner(s) from it.

S-2i. Since great Thoth, who came from the Sun, has been reveal[ing (this) to] me, I [have consecrated to] him an altar in (25) silver and gold and chests of cloth, every vessel set in its (proper) place. For the one authorised to see, the leader of (26) Atum’s two Enneads, did not know how to do it, there being no knowledge in his house; the god’s-fathers were empty-headed, [and there was no son who] learned from <his> father. (27) My incarnation’s vision gives clarity of vision to those who shoulder the god. I have constructed his great temple of white stone of Tur[a], its gateways (28) of alabaster of Hatnub, the doorleaves of bronze of Asia, the reliefs on them in electrum, holy with (the image of) him of high plumes. I have [magni]fied (29) the incarnation of this god with a double festival of Nehebkau and the festival of Thoth, which I set for him anew (30) when they were (only) in the mouth and not on his calendar since the time when the conduct of the festival was single. I have multiplied the god’s offering for him more (31) than what was before, by my acting for the Ogdoad — for Khnum in his forms and for Heqet, Renenet, (32) and Meshkenet, united to build my body; Nehmetawy, Nehbetka, She of Whom it is Said (33) that the Sky and Earth are Hers, and He in the Mummy Wrappings — in Hebenu.

S-2j. The relevant towns are in a festival of witnessing to me with (the words) “Unknown! Unknown!” The enclosure (34) walls are in foundation , for I have established them and made them festive, giving the houses to [their] owner(s). Every [god] says to himself: “One who will achieve eternal continuity has come, (35) whom Amun has caused to appear as king of eternity on Horus’ throne”.

S-2k. So listen, all you elite and multitude of commoners, I have done this by the plan of my mind. (36) I do not sleep forgetting, (but) have made firm what was ruined. For I have raised up what was dismembered beginning (37) from the time when the Asiatics were in the midst of the Delta, (in) Avaris, with vagrants in their midst, (38) toppling what had been made. He ruled without the Sun {Re}, and he did not act by god’s decree down to my (own) uraeus-incarnation. (Now) I am set (39) on the Sun’s thrones, having been foretold from ages of years as one born to take possession. I am come as Horus, the sole (40) uraeus spitting fire at my enemies. I have banished the gods’ abomination, the earth removing their footprints.

S-2l. This is the system of the father (41) of [my] fathers, the Sun, who (now) comes at his dates. Damage will not happen (again), for Amun has decreed that my decree remain like the mountains. When the sun-disk shines, (42) it will spread rays over the titulary of my incarnation, and my falcon will be high on the top of the serekh for the course of eternity.



From B. Cumming, Egyptian Historical Records of the Later Eighteenth Dynasty, Fasc. 1, Aris and Phillips Ltd., Warminster, UK, 1982

No. 390 A Letter of Amenophis II to his Nubian Viceroy User-satet on Stela No. 25.632 from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston


(From a photograph and transcription which Dunham placed at Helck’s disposal.)

The scene shows User-satet bringing gifts to the king:

S-3a. Bringing great dedicatory gifts and broad collars of fine gold; filling treasury with the dues of wretched Kush by the viceroy and confidant of his Majesty, User-satet.

Principal Inscription:

S-3b. Regnal year 23, month 4 of The Inundation, day 1, the day of the coronation festival. A copy of the stela which his Majesty made with his own hands for the viceroy, User-satet.

S-3c. Now his Majesty was in the southern city{??}* in the private apartments {lit. secluded place}* of Pharoah, LPH. He was sitting drinking and spending a holiday.

S-3d. (Now) see, there is brought to you this order of the king, the great of sword-thrust, the powerful of arm, and valiant in might, who subdues the inhabitants of the north and overthrows the dwellers in the south in all their habitations, without there being an opponent in any land.

S-3e. You sit …………….. a brave man who has taken booty in all foreign lands a charioteer who has fought for his Majesty, Amenophis, ruler-of-Heliopolis ………… Naharin, who gave orders to Pa-Khaty* the owner of a woman from Babylon and a serving man from Byblos, a young girl from Alalah and an old woman of Arapha. These people of Tjekhsy are all of no consequence. What earthly* use are they? Another message to the viceroy: Do not be lenient towards the Nubians, no indeed not! Beware of their people and their magicians.*

S-3f. Look, this servant of a lowly man whom you have taken in order to appoint (him) as an official, he is not worthy of your recommending him to his Majesty, unless you wanted to have men hear: “When a battle-axe of fine gold bound with bronze is missing, then a stout quarterstaff is in the place of the water and the other is in the acacia fountain.”* Do not listen to their words and do not investigate their messages.

Cumming’s Footnotes to 390

southern city Helck Ubersetzung p.50, n.l., states that this restoration is uncertain. The text could refer to another residence, maybe Peru-nefer near Memphis. private apartments k3p usually refers to the royal nursery. Here it must mean a secluded area of some kind because of its derivation from the verb k3p to conceal, “to hide”, hence the translation “private apartments.” Khaty A place of uncertain location. The writing does not suit the spelling of Khatti. earthly m-kf3t A word used for emphasis, usual meaning “indeed”, hence my translation. magicians An example of the persistant belief that magic directed against an individual was as damaging as physical violence. When a battle-axe … acacia fountain This must be a saying or proverb. The exact translation is uncertain but it seems to mean something to the effect that the lack of a worthy man in an official position means that those of lesser authority are thereby rendered incompetent also.



From B. Cumming, ut sup.

No. 391. List of Nubian Tribute in the Cenotaph of the Viceroy of Nubia, User-satet Ibrim*

(Champollion Not. Descr. 1, 85, supplemented with a transcription of Breasted which Saeve Soederbergh placed at Helck’s disposal; see also Caminos Ibrim 17.28 and Shrines and Rock Inscriptions of Ibrim, p.67 [translation only]). Description: Amenophis II is shown seated in a kiosk attended by a servant with a sunshade and by two fanbearers. He is receiving Nubian tribute whilst Satis {a goddess} waits in attendance. Upper Text:

S-4a. (Long) live Horus, “Mighty bull, great of strength”, Two Ladies, “Rich in splendour, crowned in Thebes”, “Golden Horus”, he who conquers by means of his might in all lands, the good god, Akheperure’, beloved of ………. given life. His Majesty appeared in the Residence of Thebes on the great Dais in order to proclaim wonders for this army ……….. and steadfast in battle. The campaign ……. all …….. and who were standing in the presence of his Majesty presenting the tribute of the foreign lands of the south before this good god. The entourage gave praises; this army praised his Majesty saying “Your power is great, O good god, abundant of monuments and rich in marvels. This tribute is greater than (that of) the lowlands. This has not been seen since the (time of) the ancestors for those who existed aforetime did not achieve this, but our lord has brought it about.

The list of the tribute: (Saeve-Soederbergh Agypten and Nubien, p.207)

S-4b. A list of those who brought this tribute:

Those laden with gold 200 men Those laden with gold 150 men Those laden with hm3gt* 200 men Those laden with ivory 340 men Those laden with ebony 1,000 men Those laden with all kinds of pleasant fragrances of the foreign lands of the south 200 men Those with chariots 50 men Those with live panthers 10 men Those with hounds 20 men Those with long-horned and short-horned cattle 400 men Total of those with this tribute 2,657 men*

Cumming’s Footnotes to 391

List of Nubian Tribute etc. This text has undergone substantial revision. See Helck’s emendations.

hm3gt A semi-precious stone. See Harris Lexicographical Studies 118 ff. where he suggests it may be garnet. 2,657 men Helck has noted (Ubersetzung p.51 n.2.) that this total does not correspond to the individual entries. He attributes this to the fact that the inscription is poorly preserved.



(Translation follows Breasted, Records, §§370ff., with minor adjustments to the English and the transcription of names.)

Prayer for the King and Queen

S-5a. §370. 1 Giving praise to Amun-[Re, king of] gods; adoring his majesty every day at his rising in the eastern heavens, for the sake of the life, prosperity, and health of King Makere (Hatshepsut), given life forever, and King Menkheperre (Thutmose III), given life, stability, satisfaction, health like Re, forever. Titles of Djehuty

S-5b. §371. 2 Hereditary prince, count, overseer of the double silver house, overseer of the double gold-house, great favorite of the Lord of the Two Lands, Djehuty. 3 Hereditary prince, count, chief of prophets in Hermopolis, Djehuty. 4 Hereditary prince, count, sealing the treasures in the king’s-house, Djehuty. 5 Hereditary prince, count, who gives instruction to the craftsmen how to work, Djehuty. 6 Hereditary prince, count, who reveals [to] him who is skilled in work, Djehuty. 7 [Hereditary prince, count] .. .. who gives regulations, Djehuty. 8 [Hereditary prince, count] .. .. the head in indolence, Djehuty. 9 Hereditary prince, count, [/vigilant\ when] commissions are commanded him, Djehuty 10 [Hereditary prince, count] executing the plans that are commanded him, Djehuty. 11 [Hereditary prince, count], not forgetful of that which is commanded him, Djehuty 12 Hereditary prince, count, knowing the useful things that are established forever, Djehuty. 13 Hereditary prince, count, favorite of Horus, lord of the palace, Djehuty. 14 Hereditary prince, count, of sweeping step in the court, Djehuty. 15 Hereditary prince, count, wearer of the royal seal, overseer of every handicraft of the king, Djehuty. 16 Hereditary prince, count, great companion of the Lord of the Two Lands, the excellent scribe, active with his hands, Djehuty.

List of Works

S-5c. §372. 17 He says: “I acted as chief, giving the directions; I led the craftsmen to work in the works, in: Second Nile-Barge

S-5d. §373. 18 the great barge of the “Beginning-of-the-River” (named): “Userhet-Amun” {“Great Front of Amun”} wrought with gold of the best of the highlands; it illuminated the Two Lands with its rays. Unknown Shrine

S-5e. §374. 19 a shrine, the horizon of the god, his great seat, of electrum of the best of the highlands, in work established for eternity. 20 “Seret-mat” {“Exhibiting Truth”}; its august facade of electrum, great .. .. [Amun].

Works in Deir el-Bahari

S-5f. §375. 21 “Holy of Holies” the temple of myriads of years, its great doors fashioned of black copper, the inlaid figures of electrum. 22 “Khiket,” the great seat of Amun, his horizon in the west; all its doors of real cedar, wrought with bronze, 23 the house of Amun, his enduring horizon of eternity; its floor wrought with gold and silver; its beauty was like the borizon of heaven. 24 a great shrine of ebony of Nubia; the stairs beneath it, high and wide, of pure alabaster of Hatnub. 25 a palace of the god, wrought with gold and /silver\; it illuminated the faces (of people) with its brightness.

Works in Karnak

S-5g. §376. 26 great doors, high and wide in Karnak; wrought with copper and bronze; the inlaid figures of electrum. 27 magnificent necklaces, large amulets of the great seat, of electrum and every costly stone. 28 two great obelisks; their height was 108 cubits; wrought throughout with electrum; which filled the Two Lands with their brightness. 29 an august gate (named): “Terror-of-Amun,” fashioned of copper in one sheet; its likenesses likewise. 30 many offering-tables of Amun in Karnak, of electrum without limit; of every costly stone … 31 magnificent chests, wrought with copper and electrum; every vessel; linen; of every precious stone of the divine members. {A recut line here has produced confusion.} 32 a great seat, a shrine, built of granite; its durability is like the pillars of heaven; its work is a thing of eternity.

Measuring of the Punt Tribute, Etc.

S-5h. §377. 33 Behold, all the marvels and all the tribute of all countries, the best of the marvels of Punt, were offered to Amun, lord of Karnak [for the sake of the life, prosperity, and health of the King Makere (Hatshepsut), /given life, stability, health.\] He (Amun) hath given the Two Lands, 34 (for) he knew that he (the king) would offer them to him. Now, I was the one who counted them, because I was so excellent in his heart; my praise was .. with him .. .. .. .. me more than his suite 35 .. my /integrity\ of heart for him. He recognized me, as one doing that which is spoken, concealing my speech concerning the affairs of his palace. He appointed me to be leader of the palace, knowing that I was instructed in work. 36 .. .. .. the double silver-house; every splendid costly stone in the temple of Amun in Karnak, filled with his tribute to their roof. The like has not happened since the time of the ancestors. His majesty commanded to make 37 .. of electrum of the best of the highlands, in the midst of tie festival-hall; measured by the heket for Amun in the presence of the whole land. Statement thereof: of electrum 88 1/2 heket, making: 38 .. (x +) 57 1/2 deben; for the life, prosperity, and health of the king [Makere (Hatshepsut), who is given] life forever.


S-5i. §378. I received (snw-) loaves from that which comes forth before Amun, lord of Karnak. All these things happened in truth; no deceitful utterance [came from my mouth]. 39 I .. them; I was vigilant, my heart was excellent for my lord; that I might rest in the highland of the blessed who are in the necropolis; that my memory might abide on earth; that my soul might live with the lord of eternity; that he may not be repelled 40 [by] the porters who guard the gates of the nether world; that he may come forth at the cry of the offerer in my tomb of the necropolis; that he may /abound\ in bread; that he may overflow with beer, that he may drink at the living water of the river. 41 May I go in and out like the glorious ones, who do that which their gods praise; may my name be goodly among the people who shall come after years; may they give to me praise at the two seasons with the praise / .. .. \.


It is incomprehensible how anyone could interpret the content of the following letters as anything other than a graphic, contemporary, account of the invasion of Canaan by the Hebrew ex-slaves (“runaway dogs” of Pharaoh EA 67) which commenced at the end of the 15th century BC in the reign of Amenophis III and continued through the reigns of the Amarna kings. The setting of most of these letters is roughly the period described in Judges chapter 1, but the Jerusalem letters (EA 287, mentioned infra, etc.) originate from the time of the occupation itself. The invasion led to a withdrawal and recomposition of native Canaanite forces around the Lebanon ranges under Abdi-Asirta (pronounced Abdi-Ashirta) and his family, who aimed to form a new state of Amurru (Amorite state) there with Egyptian blessing. The Pharaohs, however, seem to have tacitly welcomed the Hebrew invasion, seeing that the Hebrews had no designs on Egypt itself and would clearly form in Canaan a powerful buffer against the aspirations of Hittites, Hurrians and other nations to the North. Hence their reluctance, evident in many of these letters, to provide help to the retreating or threatened Canaanites. The translation is from Moran, The Amarna Letters (1992), with occasional minor adjustments. Letter 287, when correctly translated, proves the account of the occupation as related in the Book of Joshua is the simple, historical, truth, because it names the king of Jerusalem at the time it was written as Adoni-zedek (Adunia-ṣaduq in Canaanite), which is the name of the king of Jerusalem defeated by Joshua, on the very occasion the most amazing miracle was performed by him through the power of God, viz. the stopping of the sun and moon in their courses (Joshua 10. 1-27). Letter 256 (at the end of the series here) may contain a reference to Joshua (“Yishuya” as the name is written), whose military activity is described as “robbery,” which is known to have been the traditional Canaanite terminology (Procopius, de Bello Vandilico, lib. ii. cap. 10). The Classical accounts corroborate the account in the Bible but, like the el-Amarna letters, take a line antipathetic to the Hebrews: Manetho apud Josephus (§S-202d, below, >>): “When they {viz. the Hyksos remnants who left Egypt with Moses} came down together with the polluted Egyptians, they treated the men {viz. the native inhabitants of Canaan, cp. §S-202l, below, >>} in such a barbarous manner, that those who saw how they subdued the forementioned country, and the horrid wickedness they were guilty of, thought it a most dreadful thing; for they did not only set the cities and villages on fire but were not satisfied till they had been guilty of sacrilege, and destroyed the images of the gods, and used them in roasting those sacred animals that used to be worshiped, and forced the priests and prophets to be the executioners and murderers of those animals, and then ejected them naked out of the country.” Lysimachus apud Josephus (§S-202l, below, >>): “They came to a country inhabited, and that there they abused the men, and plundered and burnt their temples; and then came into that land which is called Judaea, and there they built a city, and dwelt therein, and that their city was named Hierosyla, from this their robbing of the temples; but that still, upon the success they had afterwards, they in time changed its denomination, that it might not be a reproach to them, and called the city Hierosolyma, and themselves Hierosolymites.”

EA 67

A plea for a reckoning TEXT: VAT 1591.

COPIES: WA 186; VS 11, 31.

1-6 … 6-13[ … ] He resides i[n Sumur along with] his [troops] [and] along with [his] c[hariots. Now may the Sun call] to account [S]umur, [the ci]ty of the Su[n], my lord, [and] may the [Sun k[now] [the facts]. Is it pleasing? A[l]l the E[gyptians wh]o had resided in Sumur, the city of the Su[n, my lord, came out and are residing in my land, [m]y [lord]. 13-18 He made a [tr]eaty [wi]th the ruler of Gubla and with the ru[ler of . . . , and] all the fortress commanders of your land … [… ]became friendly with him, my lord. Now he is l[ike] the Habiru, a runaway dog, and he has seized [Su]mur, the city of the Sun, my lord. .. .

EA 68

Byblos under attack TEXT: VAT 1239.

COPIES: WA 80; VS 11, 32.

TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION: Youngblood, Amarna Correspondence, pp. lff.

TRANSLATION: Ebeling, p. 373.

[R]ib-Hadd[a] says to his lord, [king] of all countries, Great King: May the Lady of Gubla grant power to the king, my lord. 7-11 I fall at the feet of my lord, my Sun, 7 times and 7 times. May the king, my lord, know that Gubla, the loyal maidservant of the king, is safe and sound. 12-18 The war, however, [o]f the Habiru forces [aga]inst me is extremely severe, and so may the king, my lord, not [ne]glect Sumur lest ever[yo]ne be joined to the Habiru forces. I9-26 Through the king’s commissioner who is in Sumur, Gubla is alive. Paha[mna]ta, the commissioner of the king who is in Sumur, knows the straits: ma-na-AS[?] that Gubla is in. 27-32 It is from the land of Yarimuta that we have acquired provisions. The w[a]r [agai]nst us is extremely severe, and so may the king not [ne]glect his [ci]ties.

EA 69

Report to an official TEXT: BM 29856.

copy: BB 73.

TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION: Youngblood, Amarna Correspondence, pp. 41ff.

[Say to … : Message of Rib-Hadda. I fall at your feet. May the Lady of Gubla, the goddess of the king, my lord, establish your honor] in the pr[esence of the king, my lord, my god], my Sun. … 10-I4 [I] said repeatedly, “They have a[ll] agr[eed] among themselves against [me].” Moreover, look, they have now attacked day and ni[ght] in the war against [me]. 15-18 Mor[eo]ver, you yourself know that my towns are threatening me, [and] I have [no]t been able to make [pe]ace wi[t]h the[m]. 19-24 [M]ore[ov]er, [… ] … [o]f Magdalu, and the forces of Kuasbat are at war with me, and there is no one who can rescue me from them. 24-30 Moreover, on Appiha’s re[ac]hing me, there was an outcry against me, and, as for all my gates, the bronze : nu-hu-us-tu4 was taken. As[k] Appiha about the w[hole] affair. 30-39 Moreover, urge with lo[ud cries] the king, [your] lor[d, and] if [archers] come out [this year] [… ] … [I will be able to mak]e pe[ac]e.

EA 71

To a wise man TEXT: VAT 1632. COPIES: WA 72; VS 11, 33.

TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION: Youngblood, Amarna Correspondence, pp. 78ff.

[To] Haya, the vizi[er]: Message of Rib-Hadda. I fal[I] at your feet. May Aman, the god of the king, [y]our lord, establish your honor in the presence of the king, your lord. 7-16 You are a wise man; the king knows [this] and because of your wis[d]om he sent you as commissioner. Why have you been negligent, not speaking to the king so he will send archers to take Sumur? 16-22 What is Abdi-Asirta, servant and dog, that he takes the land of the king for himself? What is his auxiliary force that it is strong? Through the Habiru his auxiliary force is strong ! 23-27 So send me 50 pairs of horses and 200 infantry that I may resist him in Sigata until the coming forth of the archers. 28-35 Let him not gather together all the Habiru so he can take Sigat[a] and Ampi, and [seize … ] … What shall I be able to d[o]? There will be no place where [men] can enter against [him].

EA 73

Of ambivalent Amurru TEXT: BM 29798.

copy: BB 15.

TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION: Youngblood, Amarna Correspondence, pp. 106ff.

To Amanappa, my father: Message of Rib-Hadda, your son. I fall at the feet of my father. May the Lady of Gubla establish your honor in the presence of the king, your lord. 6-11 Why have you been negligent, not speaking to the king, your lord, so that you may come out together with archers and fall upon the land of Amurru? 11-16 If they hear of archers coming out, they will abandon their cities and desert. Do not you yourself know that the land of Amurru follows the stronger party? 17-25 Look, they are not now being friendly to Abdi-Asirta. What will he do to them? [And so] they are longing day and night for the coming out of the archers, and [they say], “Let us join them!” All the mayors long for this to be done to Abdi-Asirta, 26-33 since he sent a message to the men of Ammiya, “Kill your lord and join the Habiru.” Accordingly, the mayors say, “He will do the same thing to us, and all the lands will be joined to the Habiru.” 33-38 Report this matter in the presence of the king, your lord, for you are father and lord to me, and to you I have turned. 39-45 You know my conduct when you were in [S]umur; I am your [I]oyal servant. So speak to the king, [your] lord, that an auxiliary force be [s]en[t] t[o] me with all speed.

EA 74

Like a bird in a trap TEXT: BM 29795.

copy: BB 12. PHOTOGRAPH: BB, pl. 20. TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION: Youngblood, Amarna Correspondence, pp. 122ff.

Rib-Hadda says, to [his] lord, king of all countries, Great King, King of Battle: May [the Lady] of Gubla grant power to the king, my lord. I fall at the feet of my lord, my Sun, 7 times and 7 times. 5-10 May the king, the lord, know that Gubla, the loyal maidservant of the king since the days of his ancestors, is safe and sound. The king, however, has now withdrawn his support of his loyal city. 10-12 May the king inspect the tablets of his father’s house [for the time] when the ruler in Gubla was not a loyal servant. 13-19 Do not be negligent of your servant. Behold, the war of the Habiru against [me] is severe and, as the gods of y[our] land [are ali]ve, our sons and daughters [as well as we ourselves] are gone since they have been sold in the land of Yarimuta for provisions to keep us alive. “For lack of a cultivator, my field is like a woman without a husband.” 19-22 All my villages that are in the mountains : ha-ar-ri or along the sea have been joined to the Habiru. Left to me are Gubla and two towns. 23-30 After taking Sigata for himself, Abdi-Asirta said to the men of Ammiya, “Kill your leader and then you will be like us and at peace.” They were won over, following his message, and they are like Habiru. 30-38 So now Abdi-Asirta has written to the troops: “Assemble in the temple of NINURTA, and then let us fall upon Gubla. Look, II there is no one that will save it from u[s]. Then let us drive out the mayors from the country that the entire country be joined to the Habiru, ……. to the entire country. Then will [our] sons and daughters be at peace forever. 39-45 Should even so the king come out, the entire country will be against him and what will he do to us?” Accordingly, they have made an alliance among themselves and, accordingly, I am very, very afraid, since [in] fact there is no one who will save me from them. 45-50 Like a bird in a trap : ki-lu-bi [cage], so am I in Gubla. Why have you neglected your country? I have written like this to the palace, but you do not heed my words. 51-57 Look, Amanappa is with you. Ask him. He is the one that knows and has experienced the stra[its] I am in. May the king heed the words of his servant. May he grant provisions for his servant and keep his servant alive so I may guard his [lo]yal [city], along with our L[ad]y [and] our gods, f[or you]. 57-62 May [the king] vis[it] his [land] and [his servant]. [May he] give thought to his land. Pac[ify your [land]! May it seem go[od] in the sight of the k[ing], my [lo]rd. May he send a [ma]n of his to stay this time so I may arri[ve] in the presence of the king, my lord. 62-65 It is good for me to be with you. What can I do by [my]self? This is what I long for day and night.

EA 75

Political chaos TEXT: C 4757 [12191]. copy: WA 79. TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION: Youngblood, Amarna Correspondence, pp. 155ff.

Rib-Hadda [says t]o his lord, k[ing of all countries]: May the Lady of [Gubla] grant power t[o my lord]. I fall at the feet of my lord, my Sun, [7] times and 7 times. 6-14 [May] the king, my lord, know th[at] Gubla, the maidserva[nt of the king] from ancient times, is safe and sound. The war, however, of the Habiru agai[nst] me is severe. [Our] sons and daughters and the furnishings of the houses are gone, since they have been sold [in] the land of Yarimuta for ou[r] provisions to keep us alive. 15-21 “For the lack of a cultivator, my field is like a woman without a husband.” I have written repeatedly to the palace because of the illness afflicting me, [but there is no one] who has looked at the words that [keep arr]iving. [May the king] give heed [to] the words of [his] servant. 22-25 … 25-29 The Habiru killed Ad[una, the king] of Irqata, but there was no one who [s]aid anything to Abdi-Asirta, and so they go on tak[in]g [territory for themselves]. 30-34 Miya, the ruler of Arasni, seized Ar[d]ata, and just now the men of Ammiy[a] have killed the[ir] lord. I am afraid. 35-48 May the king be informed that the king of Hatti has seized all the countries that were vassals of the king of Mitta[ni]. Behold, [he] is king of Nah[ri]ma [and] the land of the Gre[at] Kings, [and] Abdi-Asirta, [the servant] and dog, is tak[ing the land of the king]. Send arc[hers]. Severe is … 49-50 [and sen]d a man to [Gubla] that I may [… ] … his word[s].

EA 76

Of ambition and arrogance TEXT: VAT 324.

COPIES: WA 74; VS 11, 35.

TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION: Youngblood, Amarna Correspondence, pp. 168ff.

Rib-Hadda says to the king of all countries, Great King, King of Battle: May the Lady of Gubla grant power to the king, my lord. I fall at the feet of my lord, my Sun, 7 times and 7 times. 7-16 May the king, my lord, know that the war of Abdi-Asirta against me is severe. [H]e wants to take [for himself], the two cities that have remained to me. [Mo]reover, what is A[bdi]-As[ir]ta, the dog, that he strives to [ta]ke all the cities of the king, the Sun, [fo]r himself? Is he the king of Mittana, or the king of Kassu, that [h]e strives to take the land of the king for himself? 17-29 He has just gathered together all the Habiru against Sigata [and] Ampi, and [h]e himself has taken these two cities. [I s]aid, “There is no place where [me]n can enter against him. He has seized [… ] …. [so] send me [a garris]on of 400 men a[nd x pairs of h]orses [with all speed. “ It] is [thus that I keep writing to the pal ]ace, but [you do not reply [to m]e. 30-37 [ … ] … For years archers would come out to inspect [the coun]try, and yet now that the land of the king and Sumur, your garrison-city, have been joined to the Habiru, you have done nothing. 38-46 Send a large force of archers that it may drive out the king’s enemies and all lands be joined to the king. Moreover, you are a great lord. You must not neglect this message.

EA 77

A rebellious peasantry TEXT: VAT 1635 + 1700.

COPIES: WA 81 [only 1635]; VS 11, 36.

TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION: Youngblood, Amarna Correspondence, pp. 178ff.

To Ama[nappa, my father]: Message of [Rib-Hadda, your son]. I fall [at your feet]. May [Aman, the god of the king], your lord, and [the Lady of Gu]b[la] establi[sh] your hon[or] in the presence of the king, [your] lord. As to 7-15 your writing me f[or] copper and for sinnu, may the Lady of Gubla be witness: there is no copper or sinnu of [cop]per available to me or [to] her unjustly treated ones. Milkayu overlaid one with … [… ], but I gave his sinnu to [the ruler] of Tyr[e f ]or [my] provisions. 15-25 [Y]ou yourself [should] know [the straits I am i]n … Wh[y have you been neg]ligent? … who [m]oves [agains]t the country. You do not spe[ak t]o your lord so he will send you at the head of the archers to drive off the Habiru from the [m]ayors. 26-37 If t[hi]s year no [ar]chers come out, then all lands will be joi[ne]d t[o the Habir]u. If [the king, my for]d, is neg[ligent] and there are no [archers], then let a ship [fetch] the men [of Gubla], your [me]n, [and] the g[ods] [to bring them] all the wa[y to you so I can abandon Gubla. Look], I am afraid the peasa[ntry] will strike m[e] down.

EA 79

At the brink TEXT: VAT 1634. COPIES: WA 75; VS 11, 38.

TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION: Youngblood, Amarna Correspondence, pp. 197ff.

[Ri]b-Hadda says [to] his [lord], king of all countries, Great King, [King of Battle: May the Lady [of] Gubla grant [pow]er to the king, my lord. 6-12 I fall [at] the feet of my lord, my Sun, 7 times and 7 times. Be informed that since Amanappa reached me, all the Habiru have at the urging of Abdi-Asirta turned against me. 13-17 May my lord heed the words of his servant. Send me a garrison t[o] guard the city of the king un[til] the archers [co]me out. 18-26 [If there are no ar[chers], then al[l lands will be joined to the [Habi]ru. Listen! [Si]nce Bit-Ar[ha] was seized [at] the urging of Abdi-Asirta, they have as a result been striving to [ta]ke over, Gubla and Batruna, and thus all lands would be joi[ned] to the Habiru. 27-33 There are two towns that remain to [me], and they want to take th[em] from the king. May my lord sen[d] a garrison to his two towns until the archers come out, and may something be given to me for their food. 34-47 1 have nothing at all. Like a bird in a trap: ki-lu-bi [cage], so am I in Gubla. Moreover, [i]f [the kin]g is unable to save me fr[om] his enemies, [then al]l lands will be [j]oined [to Abd]i-Asirta. [What is h]e, the dog, that [he ta]kes the lands of the king for [him]self?

EA 81

An attempted assassination TEXT: VAT 1318.

COPIES: WA 89; VS 11, 40.

TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION: Youngblood, Amarna Correspondence, pp. 210ff.

[Rib-Hadda say]s to [his] lord, [king of all countries, Great King, King of Battle: May the Lady of Gubla grant power [to the kin]g, [my lord]. I fa[I]l [at the feet] of my lord, my [Sun], 7 times and 7 times. 6-13 [May] the king, my lord, know that the war of Abdi-Asirta is [se]vere, [and] he has taken all my cities [for] himself. Gubla and Batru[na re]main to me, and he strives to take the two towns. He said to the men [of Gubl]a, “[Ki]ll your lord and be join[ed] to the Habiru like Amm[iya].” 14-24 [And so] they became trait[ors] to me. A man with a bronze dagger: <pat>-[r]a [at]tacked m[e], but I ki[ll]ed him. A sirdanu [wh]om I know g[ot away t]o Abdi-Asirta. At his order was this [de]ed done! I have stayed [like th]is [in] my city and done nothing. I am unable to go out [into the countryside, and] I have written to the palace, [but you do not re]ply [to me]. I was struck [9 ti]mes. 25-33 [According]ly, I f[ear for] my life. [And 1 have writt]en re[peatedly to the palace], “Do not [be negligent. Why are you ne]gligent o[f the distress afflicting me?” I]f within these two months there are no archers, then [… ] May he not fall [upon] my [city] and take me. I h[ave written to the pal]ace. What [am I to say] to my pea[santry]? 34-41 Like a bird in a [tr]ap: ki-lu-bi [cage], so are they in [Gubl]a. “[Fo]r l[ac]k of a cultivator their [field] is [li]ke a woman without a husband.” [Their sons, their] dau[gh]ters, [the furnishings of their houses are gone, [since they have been s]old [i]n the land of [Ya]rimuta [for] provisions to keep them alive. 41-47 [I] was the one that said to them, “My god [is sending archers.” Since they [now] kno[w that] there are none, they have tu[rned against] [u]s. If within two months archers do not come ou[t], then [Ab]di-Asirta will certainly come up and take the two t[owns. 48-51 Pre]viously Sumur and [its] men were [st]rong, and there was a [gar]rison with us. Wh[at] can I [d]o by my[sel]f? 52-59 …

EA 82

A threat to abandon Byblos TEXT: BM 37648.

copy: Scheil, Memoires, p. 306.

TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION: JCS 2 [1948] pp. 241f.; Youngblood, Amarna Correspondence, pp. 224ff.

Say to Am[a]nappa, my father: Message of Rib-Hadda, your son. I fall at the feet of my father. 5-13 1 have said to you again and again, “Are you unable to rescue me from Abdi-Asirta? All the Habiru are on his side, and as soon as the mayors hear anything, they write to him. Accordingly, he is strong.” 14-22 You ordered me again and again, “Send your man to me at the palace, and as soon as the request arrives, I will send him along with an auxiliary force, until the archers come out, to protect your life.” But I told you, “I am unable to send [him]. 23-30 Let not Abdi-Asi[rta] hear about it, or who would rescue m[e] from him?” You sa[id] to me, “Do not fea[r]!” You ordered me again and again, “Send a ship to the land of Yarimuta so silver and clothing can get out to you from them.” 31-41 All the men whom you gave me have run off. The [legal] violence done to me is your responsibility, if you neglect me. Now I have obeyed. Is it not a fact that I sent my man to the palace, and he gave orders to a man and he attacked me with a bronze dagger. I was stabbed 9 times! He is strong through this crime, and from another crime what could rescue me? 41-46 If within two months there are no archers, then I will abandon the city, go off, and my life will be safe while I do what I want to do. 47-52 Moreover, do not you yourself know that the land of Amurru longs day and night for the archers? Has it not been distressed: na-aq-sa-pu [have they not been angry]? So tell the king, “Come with all haste.”

EA 83

Pleas and threats TEXT: BM 29797. copy: BB 14. PHOTOGRAPH: BB, pl. 13. TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION: Youngblood, Amarna Correspondence, pp. 237ff.

TRANSLATION: Ebeling, pp. 373f.

[R]ib-[Hadda sa]ys to his [lord], king of all countries, Great King: May the [L]ady of Gubla grant p[owe]r to the king, my lord. I fall at the feet of my lord, my Sun, 7 times and 7 times. 7-14 Why do you not send back word to me that I may know what I should d[o]? I sent a man of mine to my lord, and both his horses were taken. A second man-a man of his-was taken, [and] a tablet of the king was not put [i]n my man’s hand. Listen t[o m]e! 15-20 Wh[y] are you negligent so that your land is being taken? Let it not be said in the days of the commissioners, “The Habiru have taken the entire country!” Not so shall it be said in the days [of the commissioners], or you will not be able to take it back. 21-29 Moreover, I have written for a garrison and horses, but they are not given. Send back word to me, or like Yapah-Hadda and Zimredda I will make an alliance with Abdi-Asirta and stay alive. Moreover, now that over and above everything else Sumur and Bit-Arha have defected, 30-37 may [yo]u put me in Yanhamu’s charge so he will give me grain to eat th[at] I may guard for him the king’s city. May the king also give the order and release my man. His family are very upset with me, [saying] day and night, “You gave our son to the king.” So release him, especially him. 38-42 [The other is a citizen of Ibirta.] He is, I assure you, in Yanhamu’s house. Moreover, tell Ya[n]hamu, “I declare Rib-Hadda to be in your charge and whatever [ha]ppens to him to be yo[ur] responsibility.” 43-51 May the troops on campaign not fall upon me. And so I write, “If you do not tell him this, I will abandon the city and go off. Moreover, if you do not send word back to me, I will abandon the city and go off, together with the men who are loyal to me.” 51-57 Also for your information: Ummahnu [along with Milkuru, her husband], the maidservant of the Lady [of] Gu[bl]a, . . . p[ow]erful [pray]s [t]o the Lady of Gubla for the king, my lord].

EA 85

Nothing to eat TEXT: VAT 1626. COPIES: WA 48; VS 11, 42.

TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION: Youngblood, Amarna Correspondence, pp. 264ff.

Sa[y to the king], my lord, the Sun: [Mes]sage of Rib-Hadda, your servant. I fal[1] at the feet of my lord 7 times and 7 times. May [the Lad]y of Gubla grant [pow]er to the king, my lord. 6-I5 Though I keep writing like this to the king, my lord, he does not heed my words. Since he has attacked me 3 times this year, and for two years I have been repeatedly robbed of my grain, we have no grain to eat. What can I say to my peasantry? Their sons, their daughters, the furnishings of their houses are gone, since they have been sold in the land of Yarimuta for provisions to keep us alive. 16-22 May the king, my lord, heed the words of his loyal servant, and may he send grain in ships in order to keep his servant and his city alive . May he grant 400 men and 30 pair[s of horses, as were given to Su[r]a[t]a, that they may guard the city for you. 22-32 As to Yanhamu’s having said, “I [ga]ve grain to Rib-Hadda, [and I would g]ive [… ] … : hu-ta-ri-ma [?] [… ] g[rai]n for 40 men.” W[ha]t did he give m[e]? I deposited the payment for them with Yapah-Hadda. Look, P[uhleya is with, you; ask him to tell the whole story in your presence. 33-39 May it be pleasing in the sight of the king, my lord, and may he give grain that is pro[du]ced in the land of Yarimuta. What used to be given in Sumur, may it now be [g]iven in Gubla, [so that] we may have provisions until you gi[ve thou]ght to your city. 39-50 Moreover, [as the kin]g, my lord, li[ves], truly my men are loyal to me. Abdi]-Asirta and the Habi[ru have gone t]o Yapah-Hadda in [Beiru]t so [an alliance] might be formed. [As] there is no one in [your] city, send a garrison [to protect [y]our land, lest your [city] be seized. Listen to me. [Te]ll Yanhamu to [tak]e the money [… ] … for the people of [Gubla in the land of Yarimuta. 51-63 Moreover, the king of [Mi]ttana came out as far as Sumur, and though wanting to mar[ch] as far as Gubla, he returned to [h]is own land, as there wa[s n]o water for him to drink. I keep writing like this t[o] the palace for what [I] need. [Wh]y do you not reply, “What my servant [re]quests is available,” or “is not avail[able],” so I may know [wh]at I should do [un]til the king ar[riv]es and visits his loyal servant? 63-74 Who is Abdi-Asirta, the servant and dog, that they [men]tion his name in the presence of the king, my lord? Just let there be one man whose heart is one with my heart, and I would drive Abdi-Asirta from the land of Amurru. Moreover, since your father’s return from Sidon, from that time the lands have been joined to the Habiru. Accordingly, I have nothing. 75-87 May the king heed the words of his servant; may he [g]ive men to guard his [c]ity, lest he gather together all the Habiru and they seize [the city]. At [thi]s time send a [large] force that they may drive him f[rom the land of Amur]ru. When the commissioner of the k[ing was wi]th us, it was to hi[m] that [we used to writ]e; we cannot write t[o hi]m [now]. Umma[hnu-along with] her [hus]band Milkuru, the maidservant of the La[dy] of Gub[la], as truly as the king [li]ves, i[n … ] … from the hand of the magnate, to] the Lad[y … ].

EA 87

Broken promises TEXT: BM 29805. copy: BB 22. PHOTOGRAPH: BB, pl. 5.

TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION: Youngblood, Amarna Correspondence, pp. 294f

[To] Amanappa, m[y] l[or]d: Message of Rib-Hadda, your servant. I fall at the feet of my lord. May Aman and the Lady of Gubla establish your honor in the presence of the king, your lord. 8-14 Why did you lead me astray, saying, “Send your messenger here to me before the king so he may give you troops and chariots as a help to you to guard the city”? 15-24 So I listened to your words, and I sen[t [him]], and he came out empty-handed. Then he heard that there were no troops with him, and as a result Batruna was join[ed] to him. He has stationed the Habiru and chariots there, and they have not moved [f]rom the entrance of the gate of Gub[la]. 25-31 [Loo]k, urge the king, my lord, with loud cries! Let an elite force, [together with] chariots, [advan]ce with you that I may … [. . . the Habir]u from it [the gate]. [So] come out, but be on your gua[rd, for if] you die, [then I too] must die.

EA 88

Blockaded TEXT: BM 29800. COPY: BB 17. TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION: Youngblood, Amarna Correspondence, pp. 305ff.

[Ri]b-Had[da s]ay[s to his lord: Be]fore the king of all countries, [Great King], a[t the feet of my lord], my Sun, I fall [7] times and 7 times. I have w[ritten] 5-12 repeatedly to y[ou, “The war is against] Ardat, against Irqat, and agai[nst . . . , an]d Am[mi]y[a and Sigat]a, loyal [ci]ties of the king,” [but the king], my lord, [has done nothing]. Moreover, what is [he, A]bdi-Asrati, the servant [and] dog, that he has a[ct]ed as he pleased in the lands of my lord, [and yet] the king, my lord, has done nothing for [his] servant? 13-21 [Moreov]er, I sent my messenger [each time] that [he too]k my cities and moved u[p aga]inst me . [N]ow he has taken Batruna, and he has moved up against me. [Beh]old the city! He has … the entrance of the gate of Gubla. How long has he not moved from the gate, and so we are unable to go out into the countryside. 21-28 Moreover, look, he strives to seize Gubla! And [. . . and] may the king, my lord, give heed t[o the words of] his [servant, and [may] he hasten [with] all speed chariots and [troops] that they may gu[ard the city of the king], my lord, and [… until] the arr[iva]l of the king, [my] for[d]. 28-39 For my part, I will [no]t neglect the word of [my] lord. But i[f the k]ing, my lord, does [not give heed] to the words of [his] ser[vant], then Gubla will be joined to him, and all the lands of the king, as far as Egypt, will be joined to the Habiru. Moreover, should my lord not have wor[d] brought to hi[s] serv[ant] by tablet, with all speed, then . . . the city to him and I will request a town from him to stay in, and so I will stay al[iv]e. 40-51 [Moreov]er, may the king, my lord, hasten the troops [and] chariots that they may guard the city of the king, my lord. Look, Gubla is not like the [other] cities; Gubla is a loyal city of the king, [my] lo[rd], from most ancient times. Still, the messenger of the king of Akka is honored more than [my] messeng[er], ft or or they fur]nished [h]im with a horse. [May he furnish him [my messenger] … with 2 horses. May he not come out [empty-handed].

EA 90

Alone and unheeded TEXT: VAT 1661.

COPIES: WA 53; VS 11, 44.

TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION: Youngblood, Amarna Correspondence, pp. 337ff.

[S]ay [t]o the king, my lord: Message of Rib-Hadda, [your] se[rvant]. I fall at the feet of my lord, [my] Su[n, 7 times and 7 times]. Be informed [that] the war against me] is severe. [He has taken], all my cities; [Gubla] alone remains] 8-12 to me. I was in Sigata and I wr[ote] to [y]ou, “Give thought to [your] city lest Abdi-Asirta take it.” 13-19 [But] you did not listen to m[e. Then fr]om Batruna I wr[ote to yo]u, “Send men to ta[ke the ci]ty for you.” [My] words went [u]nheeded, [and] they were [no]t taken to heart. Now they have [ta]k[en] my cities. 19-28 Moreover, that [do]g is [i]n Mittana, but his eye is on [Gu]bla. What can I do by myself? You yourself have been [neg]ligent of your cities so that the Habiru [dog] takes them. It is to you that I have tu[rn]ed. Moreover, all the [mayors] are at peace with Abdi-A[sirta]. 29-35 … 36-47 [Ou]r [sons], [our daughters, the furnishings] of the houses are gone, since they have been so[ld in the land] of Yarimuta [[[fo]r]] for provisions to keep [u]s alive. Li[k]e [a bird] in a tr[ap], s[o am I] in [Gub]la. “For lack of a cultivator my field] is [l]ike a woman without a [hus]band.” Moreover, . . . [… ], and send [x m]en and 30 pairs of [h]ors[es] that [I] may g[ua]rd the city for yo[u]. 48-56 [And] yo[ur] me[ss]engers send …. and if you do not send a garrison, [then] … I am afrai[d] for my life. [And] al[l] messengers that] were b[ou]nd have been rele[ased]. … 57-62 Do not be negligent. Send ar[chers that they may take the land of [Amurru]. Day and night [everyone awaits the coming forth of the arch[ers].” I have been plundered of [my grain, and] it is [to you] that I have tur[ned].

EA 91

A plea for a payoff TEXT: VAT 931.

COPIES: WA 56; VS 11, 45.

TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION: Youngblood, Amarna Correspondence, pp. 351ff.

[Rib-Hadda says to] h[is] lord: 1 fall [at the feet of my lord 7 times and 7 times. I wrote to you, “W]hy have you sat idly by [and] done nothing, so that the Habiru dog tak[es you]r cities?” 6-13 [When] he took Sumur, [I wrote to you, “Why do you [do nothing?” [Then B[it]-arq[a] was taken.] [Wh]en he saw [that] there was no one [t]hat said anything [to h]im about Sumur, his intentions were re[in]forced, so that he strives to take Gubla. 14-23 He has attacked me [and] my orchards, [and] my own [me]n have become hostile. I have been plundered of my [grain]. [May] you pay a thousand [shekels of] silver and 100 [shekels of] gold, so he will go away [fr]om me. He has taken [al]l my cities; Gubla alone remains [t]o me, and he strives to take it. 23-30 1 have just heard [that] he has gathered together [a]ll the Habiru [t]o attack me. What can I [d]o by myself? I go on writing like this for archers and an auxiliary force, but my words go unheeded. 31-36 [Mo]reover, give [thought your]se[lf t]o your lands. [… ] … Moreover, [listen to me, and i]f there are no [archers] and auxiliary force, [then there will be no … ] for Gubla, [and it will be] joined [to the Habiru]. 36-41 O king, [listen to me, and send ar[chers t]o take the land of Amurru. [Now indeed] everyone aw[aits day and nigh]t [the coming forth of the arch]ers. 42-49 [And may] the king, my lord, [… ] …

EA 104

Ullassa taken

TEXT: C 4751 [not collated]. COPY: WA 60.

Say to the king, my lord, my Sun: Message of Rib-Hadda, your servant. I fall at the feet of my lord, my Sun 7 times and 7 times. 6-13 May the king, my lord, know that Pu-Bahla, the son of Abdi-Asirta, has occupied Ullassa. Theirs are Ardata, Wahliya, Ampi, Sigata. All the cities are theirs. 14-26 So may the king send an auxiliary force to Sumur until the king gives thought to his land. Who are the sons of Abdi-Asirta, the servant and dog? Are they the king of Kassu or the king of Mittani that they take the land of the king for themselves? Previously, they would t[ak]e cities of your mayors, and you did nothing. 27-39 Now they have driv[en] out your commissioner and have taken his cities for themselves. They have taken Ullassa. If in these circumstances you do nothing, then they are certainly going to take Sumur and kill the commissioner and the auxiliary force, in Sumur. What am I to do? I cannot go personally to Sumur; 40-48 the cities of Ampi, Sigata, Ullassa, Erwada, are at war with me. Should they [[they]] hear that I was entering Sumur, there would be these cities with ships, and the sons of Abdi-Asirta in the countryside. 49-54 They would attack [me], and I would be unable to get out, and Gubla would be joined [t]o the Habiru. They have gone to Ibirta, and an agreement has been made with the Habiru.

EA 108

Unheard-of deeds TEXT: VAT 345.

COPIES: WA 42; VS 11, 56.

Rib-Hadda writes to his lord, king of all countries, Great King, King of Battle: May the Lady of Gubla grant power to the king, my lord. 6-17 I fall at the feet of my lord, my Sun, 7 times and 7 times. Moreover, is it pleasing in the sight of the king, who is like Baal and Samas in the sky, that the sons of Abdi-Asirta do as they please? They have taken the king’s horses and chariots, and they have sold into captivity charioteers : si-x-y(?) and soldiers to ((to)) the land of Su(ba)ru. 18-25 In whose lifetime has such a deed been done? False words are now being spoken in the presence of the king, the Sun. I am your loyal servant, and whatever 1 know or have heard I write to the king, my lord. 25-33 Wh[o] are they, the dogs, that they could res[ist} the archers of the king, the Sun? I wrote t[o} ((to)) your father, and he he[eded] my wor[d]s, and he sent ar[ch]ers. Did he not take Abdi-Asirta for h[imself]? 34-45 Moreover, since the mayors have not oppo[sed] th[em], they are stron[g]. The army furnishes whatever they ne[ed], and so they are not afra[id] of the magnate. Because they have taken the horsfes], they are bold. Because we know that they are strong, we have to(ld) the king, “They are strong.” Truly, they will not prevail. 46-58 When I sent 2 messengers to Sumur, I retained this man in order to report to the king. Moreover, why do you listen to other men? The king’s messengers must bring (news) by night and bring (it) back by night because of the dog. If the king, the Sun, desires, they will be taken in a day. 59-69 Moreover, has he [n]o[t] plotted evils [upon evils against you, and rev[olted? A]nd as for the man of [my] god, Habiru came from Sumur to take him prisoner, but I did not give him up. May the [k]ing he[ed] the words of his servant. Send me [2]0 men from Meluhha and 20 men from Egypt to guard the city for the king, the Sun, my lord. (I am) your loyal se[rvan]t.

EA 111

Army activities TEXT: VAT 1631. COPIES: WA 68; VS 11, 59.

… 17-24 [If] this [year] there [are no a]rchers, then all lands [will be joined] to the Habi]ru. Look, members of the ar[my] have en[ter]ed Akka [in] or[der to tr]ansport … [. . .] [nee]ded by the king. 25-end …

EA 112

Questions for the king TEXT: VAT 1664.

COPIES: WA 57; VS 11, 61.

Rib-[Hadda says t]o his lord, ki[ng of all lands], Great [Kling: [I] fall at the feet of [my] lord, my Sun, 7 times and 7 times. Why does the king, my lord, write to me, 9-15 “Guard! Be on your guard!” With what, shall I guard? With my enemies, or with my peasantry? Who would guard me? If the king guards his servant, [then I will survive. 16-24 [But i]f the [ki]ng does not [gu]ard me, who will guard me? If the king sends men from Egypt and Meluhha, and horses in the charge of this man of mine, with all speed, then I will survive to serve the king, my lord. 25-39 [No]te well, I have nothing with which to acquire horses. Every[ thing of] mine [is gone through being sol[d i]n the land of Yarimuta for provisions to keep me alive. I[f] the king wants his servant and his city to survive, then send a [g]arrison to guard your city and your servant until the king is [really] concerned for his lands, sends his archers, and brings peace to his lands. 40-50 Thus was it pleasing in the si[ght] of the king when you wrote to [your servant, “Get Haya into Sumur.” I paid 13 [shekels of] silver and a pair of mantles as the hire of the Habiru when he brou[gh]t the tablet into Sumur. Look, ask Haya. Truly it was by night that he got [him] into [[into]] Sumur. 50-56 Previously, provisions from the king were at [m]y disposal, and we could pay the hi[r]e of a man whom we sent. But [lo]ok, now there are n[o prov]isions from the king, [and there is no garrison [at my disposal]. . . . 57-59 …

EA 116

Who do they think they are? TEXT: C 4752 [not collated].

copy: WA 61.

[Rib-Had]da writes t[o his lord], Great [Kin]g, king of all countries, King of [Ba]ttle: May the Lady of Gub[la gr]ant power to the king, my [lord]. I fall at the feet of [m]y lord, the Sun, [7 times] and 7 times. 6-16 May the king, my lord, know that the war [again]st us is very severe. As to its being told to you, “Sumur belongs to the king,” may the [ki]ng know that there was an attack on our garrison, I and the sons of Abdi-Asirta seized it. And so there has been no one to carry wor[d t]o the king. But give thought to the fact that I am your loyal servant, and whatever I hear I write to [my] lord. 17-24 Moreover, give thought to Sumu[r]. It is like a bird in a trap]: ki-lu-[bi] [cage]. [The war] is very severe, and the messengers that [came] from the palace were [u]nab[le] to get [in]to Sumur. It was by nig[ht] that I got them in. 25-33 And here is how Yapah-Hadda is not just in my regard: when my man arrived, he bound him. May what is due to me [be gi]ven; it is very much. Now as the king is going to send the royal commis­sioners, may the king tell them to decide between us. 34-44 If the king gives [the property] to his servant, well and good! Or, on the other hand, let the king take everything for himself. Moreover, all my towns have been joined to the Habi[ru], and all of them [are extremely hostile] to me, for [Yapah-Hadda keeps devising] evil upon evil against me. They have no[th]ing, having paid ransom money, some twice, some three times. 44-55 May the king heed the words of his loyal servant and give provisions to his servant and his maidservant, Gubla. Moreover, it would please me were I with you and so at peace. Look, Aziru and Yapah-Hadda have made an agreement against me, and I am unable [to d]o anything. Their actions [are hosti]le to me. Accordingly, my situation is [ext]remely gra[ve]. 55-69 Moreover, note that we have been loyal servants of the king from ancie[nt ti]mes. Moreover, note that I am [your] loyal servant, but I have nothing but distress. No[te] this matter. Note that I am the dirt at your feet, O king! Note: did not your father come out and visit [his] lands and his mayors? And now the gods and the Sun and the Lady of Gubla have granted that you be seated on the throne of your father’s house [to rule] your land. Who are they, the sons of Abdi-Asirta, that they have [t]aken the lands of the king for themselves? 70-74 The king of Mittani? The king of Kassu? The king of Hatti? May the king send archers [and] Yanha[mu] along with [the prefec]ts from the land of Yarimuta. 75-80 The commissioner from Kumidu [… ] …

EA 117

A lesson from the past TEXT: VAT 350.

COPIES: WA 45; VS 11, 62.

Rib-Hadda [writes to his lord], Great [Kin]g, King of [Battle]; May the Lady of G[ubl]a gr[ant power to the king, my lord, [m]y [Sun]. I fall at the feet of my lord, [m]y Sun, [7] times and 7 times. Indeed the king, my lord, keeps saying, “Why do you alone keep writing to me?” Here is my situation: there is not 10-21 a mayor from Sumur [southward] that supports me, and indeed, everyone is turned against me. And the two men from Egypt whom I sent to the palace have not come out. Did I not write to the king, “There is no one to bring my tablet to the palace. It is these two men that must bring a tablet to the king.” And [n]ow, as they have not come out, I am accordingly afraid and I have turned to my lord. 21-28 Moreover, I sent a ma[n] to your father. When Amanappa ca[me] with a small force, I wrote to the palace that the king should s[en]d [[should send]] a large force. Did he not take Abdi-Asirta along with everything belonging to him, just as I said? 29-34 Had I been writing treacherous words to my lord? And you say, “Why do you write treacherous words?” If my words are heeded, Azaru will certainly be taken like [hi]s f[ather]. Look, I am the strong one of the king, [my] l[ord]. 35-43 Moreover, just who are they, the sons of Abdi-Asirta, the servant [and] dog, [that they have tak]en the cities of the king’s mayors for [themselves]? They are with you? The cities are in Aziru’s se[rvice]. May the king not en[ter] their cities. They are not at peace [with you] from … [… as faros] Ullassa, the city where he has been sen[ding] chariots. 43-52 Previously, I would desire to send a man [… ] … I [sent] men to Egypt an[d] [[and]] a g[ar]ri[so]n was sent to me in their charge. Accordingly, I have sent this man. 53-64 Moreover, did I not write to the king, “The two men from Egypt must now come out to me. There is treachery against me.” But they have not come out. If th[is] year there are no archers, all the lands will belong to the Habiru. And if the king does not want to sen[d] archers, may he write to Yanhamu and Pihura, “March along with your mayors. Take the land of Amurru.” In a day they will take it. 64-71 Moreover, I have litigation with Yapah-Hadda and Ha’[ip]. May the king send a com[missioner to] de[ci]de between us. Everything that is taken from them belongs to the king. Let no one else take it for himself. May it please the king. 71-82 Moreover, may the king send horses to [[to]] his servant that I may guard the city of the king. I have nothing. Everything is gone, having been sold for provisions to keep me alive. May the king send this man of mine with all speed and give a garrison to guard his loyal servant and his city, and along with them men from Meluhha, according to the practice of your ancestors. 83-94 Moreover, as to the king’s saying, “Guard! Be on your guar[d],” [wh]at i[s to guard me? Look, in] the days of [my] ancestors, there was property of the king at their disposal, and] a garri[son of the king] was with them. [But now], as for me, the wa[r is severe against me. I [have become of ]raid of my peasantry. Thus must I be the one that keeps writing [to] the palace fo[r] a garrison and men from Meluhha. But you have not wri[tt]en. Only one is st[ro]ng. What am I to do? May the king se[n]d a gar[ri]son and men from Meluhha to guard me. May the city not be joined to the Habiru.

EA 118

Not like other mayors TEXT: BM 29808 + VAT 1662. COPIES: BB 25 + WA 54; VS 11, 54.

Say to the king, my lord: Message of Rib-Hadda, your servant. I fall at the feet of my lord 7 times and 7 times. 6-15 May the Lady of Gubla grant power to the king, my lord. I keep writing like this to the pala[ce], … […] the war against me, and so may the king give a garrison to his servant. Moreover, I have litigation. Send the commissioner, let him hear my case, 16-23 and give me [m]y due, I or, on the other hand, let the king take from the mayors anything of mine for himself. Moreover, the war [against me is severe, and so there are no provisions [for] the peasantry. 24-33 Look, [th]ey have [gone off] to the sons of Abdi-Asirta, to Si[do]n and Beirut. As the sons of Abdi-Asirta are hostile to the king, and Sidon a[nd] Beirut do not belong [any longer] to the king, send the commissioner to take them, 34-44 lest I abandon the city and go off to you. Look, if the peasantry goes off, the Habiru will seize the city. Seeing that my only purpose is to serve the king in accordance with the practice of my ancestors, may the king send archers and pacify them. 45-56 As for the mayors, since the cities are theirs and they are at peace, they do not keep writing to the king. It is against me and against Yanhamu that there is war. Look, previously the commissioner at Sumur would [d]ecide between us, but now no mayor listens to hi[m]! The king has no servant like Yanhamu — a loyal servant!

EA 121

Past and present TEXT: VAT 1665. COPIES: WA 59; VS 11, 66.

Rib-Hadda w[rit]es to his lord, king of all countries, Great King: May the Lady of Gubla grant power to the king, my lord. I fall at the feet of my lord, my Sun, [7] times and 7 times. As to the king, my lord’s, writing me, 8-17 “Guard yourself,” what is to g[uar]d [me]? Consider that with my ancestors there was a garrison of [the king], and pro[visions from the k]ing were at th[eir] disposal, but in my case, [there are no pro]visions [or] garrison of the king for [me. 18-25 And] as the war against [me] is very severe, the sons of Abdi-Asirta have said to the Habiru and the men who have [jo]ined them, “What is there [wit]h Rib-Hadda?” [So give thought t[o] your [ser]vant and let me tell my [lord]. 26-40 … 41-49 [I wrote to [the king, my lord, “S]end [archers].” Did they [no]t take [in a day] the lands for the k[ing, your father]? Now, may the king [heed] the words of [his] servant] and send archers to [t]a[ke] the land of the king for the king, 50-53 that you may give p[ea]ce in the lands to the [king’s] mayors. Have they not been [ki]lled like [do]gs, and you have done nothing? 54-59 Moreover, . . . 60-64 [S]end … [… ] If [the king, my lord], love[s] his servant, [then may he fetch his servant] to himself [… ].

EA 130

Life among the Habiru TEXT: VAT 1624.

COPIES: WA 46; VS 11, 72.

Say [t]o the king, my lord: Message of Rib-Hadda, your servant. May the Lady of Gubla grant power to the king, my lord. I fall at the feet of the king, my lord, my Sun, 7 times and 7 times. 9-14 As to the king’s having written to me, “Irimayassa is coming to you,” he has not come to me. 14-20 As to the king’s having written me, “Guard yourself and guard the city of the king where you are,” who can guard me? 21-31 Look, formerly my ancestors [were str]ong. There was war against the[m, but] a garrison [of the king] was wi[t]h them. There were provisions from the king at their disposal. [Though the war against me] is seve[re], I have [n]o [provision]s [from the king or gar]ri[son of the king]. Wh[at shall I] do? 32-42 As for the mayors, [the]y are the ones who strik[e] our city. They are like dogs, and there is no one who wants to serve them. What am I, who live among Habiru, to do? If now there are no provisions from the king for me, my peasantry is going to fi[gh]t [against me] . 43-52 A[ll] lands are at war against me. If the desire of the king is to guard his city and his servant, send a garrison to guard the city. [I] will guard it while I am [a]live. When [I] die, who is going to [gu]ard it?

EA 132

The hope for peace TEXT: BM 29801.

copy: BB 18.

[S]ay [to] the king, my lord, m[y] Sun: Message of Rib-Hadda, your [ser]vant. May the Lady of Gubla grant power to the king, my lord. I fall at the feet of my lord 7 times and 7 times. 8-18 Moreover, give thought to Gubla, your loyal city. Earlier, Abdi-Asirta attacked me, and I wrote to your father, “Send the royal archers, and the entire land will be taken in a day.” Did he not take fo[r himself] Abdi-Asirt[a], together with his possessions? 19-23 Now Aziru has gathered alit] the Habiru and has said to them, “If Gubla is not … […]” 24-28 [… ] … 29-37 [L]ook, Yanhamu being with you, a[sk him] if I did not say to him, “If you make an alliance . . . [… ] with the sons of Abdi-Asirta, they will take you prisoner.” He listened t[o me], and he guarded the c[ities] of the king, his lord. 37-50 I said the same thing to Pawuru so he would not listen to the words of Ha’i[p], whose father turned the citi[es] into enemies. 5 Now Ha’ip has handled over] Sumur. May the king not neglect this deed, since a commissioner was killed. If now you are negligent, then Pihura will not stay in Kumidu, and all your [ma]yors will be killed. 51-59 I keep [wr]iting like this to the pa[lac]e, [but] no attention is paid [t]o me. Send ships to fetch the Lady’s property and me. [Sen]d 50-100 men and 50-100 m[en fro]m [Meluh]ha, 50 chariots, [to guard [the city] for you. Se[nd] archers and bring peace to the land.

EA 144

Zimreddi of Sidon TEXT: VAT 323.

COPIES: WA 90; VS 11, 76.

TRANSLATION: Oppenheim, LFM, pp. 126f.

Say to the king, my lord, my god, my Sun, the breath of my life: Thus, Zimreddi, the mayor of Sidon. 6-12 I fall at the feet of my lord, god, Sun, breath of my life, [[at the feet of my lord, my god, my Sun, the breath of my life]] 7 times and 7 times. May the king, my lord, know that Sidon, the maidservant of the king, my lord, which he put in my charge, is safe and sound. 13-21 And when I heard the words of the king, my lord, when he wrote to his servant, then my heart rejoiced, and my head went [h]igh, and my eyes shone, at hearing the words of the king, my lord. May the king know that I have made preparations before the arrival of the archers of the king, my lord. I have prepared everything in accordance with the command of the king, my lord. 22-30 May the king, my lord, know that the war against me is very severe. All the cit[i]es that the king put in [m]y char]ge, have been joined to the Hab[ir]u. May the king put me in the charge of a man that will lead the archers of the king to call to account the cities that have been joined to the Habiru, so you can restore them to my charge that I may be able to serve the king, my lord, as our ancestors [did] before.

EA 148

The need for mainland Tyre TEXT: C 4765.

copy: WA 99.

To the king, my lord, [m]y god, my Sun: Message of Abi-Milku, your servant. I fall at the feet of the king, my lord, 7 times and 7 times. 4-17 The king, my lord, has written for glass. I give to the king, my lord, what I have on hand-100 [units] in weight. May the king, my lord, give his attention to his servant and give Usu to his servant so he can drink a jug: a-ku-ni of: mi-ma [water]. May the king, my lord, give 10 palace attendants to guard his city in order that I may enter and see the face of the king], my lord. 18-26 My presence will be as pleasing to the king, my lord, as when the king, my lord, charged me with the guarding of his city. I write to the king, my lord, because every day the king of Sidon has captured a palace attendant of mine. 26-34 May the king give attention to his servant, and may he charge his commissioner to give Usu to his servant for water, for fetching wood, for straw, for clay. 34-40 Since he has acted hostilely, has he not violated the oath? There is not another palace attendant. The one who rai[d]s the land of the king is the king of Sidon. 41-47 The king of Hasura has abandoned his house and has aligned himself with the Habiru. May the king be concerned about the palace attendants. These are treacherous fellows. He has taken over the land of the king for the Habiru. May the king ask his commissioner, who is familiar with Canaan.

EA 179

A treacherous brother TEXT: VAT 1703.

COPIES: WA 171; VS 11, 103.

…11-18 May [the king, my lord], my [g]od, my Sun, send back word. And brea[the on me], the servant of the king, my lord, [my Sun]. Look, my brother who is in Tubihu, is a . . . , and he goes about taking over cities of the king, my lord, my god, [my] Sun. 19-29 [He has made] Amurru an enemy territory, [and] has turned over all the men in the cities of the king, my lord, [m]y god, [my] Sun, to the Habiru And now the god of the king, my lord, my god, my Sun, has permitted [it] and he has seized Tubihu. And so I would curse my brother and guard Tubihu for the king, my lord, my god, [my Sun], for, consider, Tubihu is my ancestral city.

EA 185

An Egyptian traitor TEXT: VAT 1725.

COPIES: WA 189; VS 11, 106.

TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION: Bottero, Habiru, pp. 97ff. [lines 9-63]; Greenberg, Hab/piru, pp. 41f.

[lines 1-64]. Say to the king, my lord, my god, [m]y Sun: Message of [M]ayarzana, the ruler of Hasi, your servant, the dirt under the feet of the k[in]g, my lord, my god, m[y] Sun, the groun[d h]e t[r]ea[d]s on. I fall at the feet [of the kin]g, m[y] lord, [7 times] and 7 times. 9-15 M[ay] the king, my lord, [m]y [g]o[d], my S[un], know of the d[ee]d that Amanhatpe, the ruler of Tusultu, committed against the [c]ities of the king, my lord, when the Habiru forces [w]a[ge]d war against me and captured the cities of the king, my lord, my god, my Sun. 16-20 The Habiru captured Mabzibtu, a city of the ki[n]g, my lord, and plundered [it] and sen[t] it up in flames, and then the Habiru took refuge with Ama[nhatp]e. 21-27 And the Habiru captured Gilunu, a city of the king, my lord, plundered it, sent it up in flames, and hardly one family escaped from Gilunu. Then the Habiru t[o]ok refuge with Amanhatpe. 28-36 And the Habiru cap[tu]red [M]agd[a]lu, a [ci]ty of the king, my lord, my god, m[y] Sun, plundered it, se[n]t it up in flames, and h[a]rd[1]y [on]e family escaped from Mag[da]lu. Then the Habiru took refuge with Amanhatpe. 37-41 And Ustu, a [ci]ty of the king, my lord, the Habi[ru] captured, plundere[d i]t, and sent it up in flames. Then the Habiru took refuge with Amanhatpe. 42-75 And then the Habiru having raided Hasi, a [ci]ty of the king, my lord, we did battle with the Habiru and we defeated them. Then 40 Habiru w[ent] t[o Amanh]atpe, and Amanhatpe welcomed whoever had escaped. [And] they were gathered [together] [in] the city. [Ama]nhatpe is an Habir[u]! We hear]d [tha]t the Habi[ru w]ere with Amanhatpe, so [m]y brothers] and my so[ns], your servants, d[rov]e a chariot t[o] Amanhatpe. My [br]others sa[i]d to Amanhatpe, “Hand ov[er] the Habiru, traitors to the king, our lord, so we can [de]mand a reckoning of those Habiru that have taken re[fu]ge with you, f[or having captured cities of the king, my lord, and burning them down.” He [a]gre[e]d to hand over the Habiru, but he took them in the nights and fled to the Habiru Amanhatpe being a traitor, may the king, my lord, demand a reckoning of him. He has fled from him. May the king, my lord, not be negligent, with no reck[on]ing demanded of Amanhatpe. [As to another ruler, traitors are not to be [al]lowed into the loyal land of the king, my lord.] When [the kin]g, my lord, has demanded a reckon[ing of] Amanhatpe, the traitor, he will make [him] fl[ee] from him.- [And so we] [always] obey. And note: 1 am a loyal servant of the king, my lord.

EA 186

Another report on the Egyptian traitor TEXT: VAT 1724.

COPIES: WA 193; VS 11, 107.

TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION: Bottero, Habiru, pp. 100ff. [lines 12-69].

[To the king, my lord, my god, m]y [Sun: Message of Mayarzana, the ruler of Hasi, your servant, the dirt beneath your feet. I fal]l [at the feet of the king, my lord, my god, my] Sun, [7 times and 7 times. A]s I a[m] a loy[al] servant of [the king], my lord, [my god], my Sun, I serve the [k]ing, [my lord, my god], my [Su]n, together with [my] brothers and [my] sons, loyal servants of the king, my lord], my god, my Sun. [Nolte that [we would] die beneath the feet of the king, [my] lord, my [Sun], my god. 12-27 A[s fo]r [Am]anha[tp]e, the ruler of Tusul[tu, whe]n the Hab[ir]u captured [Mahzib]tu, a loyal city of the king, my] l[ord, my god], my Sun, p[lundered] i[t, and] burned it down, they [w]en[t] to [Aman]hatpe, the r[uler of Tusultu, and Amanhatpe, the ruler of Tusu]ltu, [kept giving food along with … to] the Habir[u. Gilunu, too], a loyal city [of the king, my lord, my gold, [my Sun, the Habiru] captured, plundered it, burned [it down], and then took ref[ug]e [w]th A[manhatpe], the ruler of T[usultu], and [Amanhatp]e, the ruler of T[usultu], kept giving food a[long with … t]o the Habiru. 28-34 [Magd]al[u, too, a loyal] city of the king, [my] lord, my god, [my Sun], the Habiru captu[red], plundered it, [burned it down], and then they t[ook refuge with [Amanhatpe], the ruler of [Tusultu], and [Amanhatp]e, the ruler of [Tusultu], kept gi[ving food along with … to the Habiru]. 35-42 … 43-85 And there was [Hasi, a loyal city of the king, my lord]. The Habiru r[aided Hasi, a loyal city] of the king, my lord, my god, [my Su]n, [and] the loyal servants of [the king], m[y lord, my [god], my Sun, f[ough]t, and the loyal servants of the king, my lord, my god, my Sun, personally co[nquered] the Habiru. But 40 Habi[ru] [[Habiru]] took refuge with A[manhatpe], the ruler of [Tusul]tu. We heard] th[at] the 40 Habi[ru were] wi[th Amanhatp]e, the ruler of Tu[sultu], and [my] broth[ers] and [m]y [s]on[s], servants of the king, my lord, m[y] god, m[y Su]n, d[rov]e their chariots and en[tered] the presence of Amanhatpe, the rule[r of T]usultu. They said to Amanhatpe, “[Hand over] the Ha[bi]ru, the traitors to the king, [m]y to[rd], [m]y god, my Sun, so we can demand a reckoning of th[em] fo[r having captured cities of the king, m[y lord, [my gold, my Sun, and for having raided [Has]i, [a city of the kin]g, my lord, my god, my Sun.” [64-85] [He agreed to hand over the Hab[iru. I was going to remove the Habiru, but he to[ok] his [servants] and [w]ent off to the Habi[ru. . .] … from his city. [And] I knew his crime, but he went [off to] the Hab[ir]u. [What] can I do? [… ] I have sent [. . . to the king], my lord, m[y] god, [my] S[un, . . .] … Like … [… ] he raised [ag]ain[st the king, my lord], my god, [my] Sun, [and] against [his lo]yal land. But we listen t[o the words of the king, my lord], my [go]d, [m]y Sun [. . . And] as to his having said [to the king, my lord], my god, my Sun, [… ] …

EA 189

Etakkama of Qadesh TEXT: VAT 336.

COPIES: WA 142; Vs 11, 108.

To the king, my lord: Message of Etakkama, your servant. I fall at the feet of my lord, my Sun, 7 times plus 7. My lord, I am your servant, but the wicked Biryawaza has gone on defaming me in your sight, my lord, and when he was defaming me in your sight, then he took my entire paternal estate along with the land of Qidsu, and sent my cities up in flames. 13-20 But, I assure you, the commissioners of the king, my lord, and his magnates know my loyalty, since I said to the magnate Puhuru, “May the magnate Puhuru know that [. . .] . . .”


1-8 […] … Biryawaza. Thus do I serve you along w[it]h all my brothers, and wherever there is war against the king, I go, together with my troops, together with my chariots, and together with all my brothers. 9-18 Since Biryawaza had allowed all of the cities of the king, my lord, to go over to the Habiru in Tahsi and Upu, I went, and with your gods and your Sun leading me, I restored from the Habiru the cities to the king, my lord, for his service, and I disbanded the Habiru. 19-27 May the king, my lord, rejoice at Etakkama, his servant, for I serve the king, my lord, together with all my brothers. I serve the king, my lord, but Biryawaza caused the loss of all [your] lan[ds. His intention] is solely injustice, but I am [your servant] forever.

EA 195

Waiting for the Pharaoh’s words TEXT: C 4761 [12230].

COPY: WA 96.

Say to the king, my lord: Message of Biryawaza, your servant, the dirt at your feet and the ground you tread on, the chair you sit on and the footstool, at your feet. I fall at the feet of the king, my lord, the Sun of the dawn [over]: li-me-ma [peoples], 7 times plus 7 times. 16-23 My lord is the Sun in the sky, and like the coming forth of the Sun in the sky [your] servants await the coming forth of the words from the mouth of their lord. 24-32 I am indeed, together with my troops and chariots, together with my brothers, my Habiru and my Suteans, at the disposition of the archers, wheresoever the king, my lord, shall order [me to go].

EA 196

Unheard-of deeds TEXT: VAT 1592 + 1710. COPIES: WA 159 [+] 143; VS 11, 111.

[S]a[y to the king, m]y [lord: Message of Biry]awaza, [your] servant. I fall [a]t the feet of the k[in]g, [my] l[ord], 7 times pl[us] 7 times. 5-12 I obeyed when the k[ing, my] lord, sent [… ]saya. [I a]m on my [guard],, and I [serv]e [the k]in[g, my lord], i[n] this [plac]e. May [a larg]e [force of the king, my lord, co[m]e [immediately] aga[inst the king of H]at[ti]. The gar[rison of the king, my lord, has left [me]]. 12-19 1 [am the servant of] the ki[ng] that has [o]pened the [w]ays fo[r the troops, but] the king, my lord, [should know that [al]l the servants of the king [have g]one [run off ]s [to] Hatti, and all the commissione[rs of the king], my [lo]rd, who came [forth], 20-26 […] … 27-33 [. . .] my wives [and] my [daug]hter-in-law, and [he pu]t in [his] lap [anyone] [pre]sent. Now [the kin]g, [my] lord, has been informed of this affair. No one has ever done such a thi[ng]. 33-43 Moreover, may the king, [my] lord, send me 200 men to guard [[to guard]] the cities of the king, [my] lord, [un]til [1] see the archers [of the king], my lord. The king, my lord, must not negle[ct] this deed that Biridagwa [has] committed, for he has moved the land of [the king], my lord, and [his] cities to rebellion.

EA 197

Biryawaza’s plight TEXT: BM 29826. copy: BB 43. PHOTOGRAPH: BB, pl. 3.

[… he] said t[o me when] your servant was in A[dura. … They gave] his horses and hi[s] chariot to the Habiru, and they did not [give them] to the king, my lord. 5-12 And who am I? My [only] purpose is to be a servant. Everything belongs to the king. Biridaswa saw this deed and moved Yanuamma to rebellion against me. Having barred the city gate against me, he took chariots from Astartu but gave both of them to the Habiru and did not give both of them to the king, my lord. 13-23 When the king of Busruna and the king of Halunnu saw [this], they waged war with Biridaswa against me, constantly saying, “Come, let’s kill Biryawaza, and we must not let him go to [ … ] …” But I got away from them and stayed in [… ] Dimasqa, for [by myself h]ow can I serv[e the king, my lord]? 23-31 [They] keep saying, “[We are servants of the king of [Hat]ti,” and I keep saying, “I am a servant of the king of Egyp[t].” Arsawuya went to Ki[ssa], took [some of] Aziru’s troops, and captured Saddu. He gave it to the Habiru and did not give it to the king, my lord. 31-42 Now, since Itatkama has caused the loss of the land of Kissa, and since Arsawuya along with Biridaswa is causing the loss of Apu, may the king look carefully to his land lest the enemies take it. Since my brothers are at war with me, I am guarding Kumidu, the city of the king, my lord. May the king indeed be at one with his servant. [M]ay the king [not] abandon his servant, [and may] the kings of [. . . [and] the ki]ngs of Apu see whe[then … ] . . . I have seen the archers.

EA 207

A loyal servant TEXT: VAT 1593.

COPIES: WA 194; VS 11, 118.

[Slay to the king, my lord, [my Sun]: [Message of Ipte[…], your [servant. I fall alt the feet of m[y] lord. 4-9 I have obeyed a[ll the orders of the kin]g on the [tablet]. Look, I am a [loyal] servant [that] has served [the king. Wh]o [is a loyal] servant like m[e? 9-14 As to your saying, “Wh]y must the commissioner of the king [sp]eak twice the wor[d of … ] … Look, [I … l … 15-24[ … ] … like the Sun and like [Baal]. In fact, Puhur has not protected me. Lost to the Habiru ha-[… ] from [my] control are all the cities of the king.

EA 215

A warning

TEXT: BM 29843. copy: BB 60. PHOTOGRAPH: BB, pl. 7.

To the king, my lord, my Sun, my god: Message of Bayawa, your servant. I fall at the feet of the king, my lord, my Sun, my god, 7 times and 7 times, on the stomach and on the back. 9-17 Should Yanhamu

not be here within this [year, a]ll the lands are [lo]st to the Habiru. So give life to your lands.

EA 243

Around-the-clock defense TEXT: VAT 1669.

COPIES: WA 113; VS 11, 141.

[Say] to the king, [my I]ord and my Sun and [my] go[d]: Message of Biridi[ya], the loyal servant of the king. I f[a]ll at the feet of the king, [my] lord and my Sun and my god, 7 times and 7 times. 8-22 I have obeyed the orders of the king, my lord and my Sun, and I am indeed guard[ing] Magidda, the city of the king, my lord, day and night : l[e-1 ]a. By day I guard [it] [f ]rom the fields with chariots, and by n[ight] on the wall[s of] the king, my lord. And as the warring of the Ha[bi]ru in the land is seve[re], may the king, my lord, take cognizance of his land.

EA 246

The sons of Lab’ayu TEXT: VAT 1649.

COPIES: WA 111; VS 11, 142.

Say to the king, my lord and my Sun: Message of Biridiya, your loyal servant. I fall at the feet of the king, m[y] lord and my Sun, 7 times and 7 times. 8-9 I have heard the mes[sage] off] the ki[ng …

] . . .


1-11 and […], and indee[d …] you ar[e …]. May the king, my lord, know. The two sons of Lab’ayu have indeed gi[v]en their money to the Habiru and to the Su[teans in ord]er to w[age war again]st me. [May] the king [take cognizance] of [his servant].

EA 254

Neither rebel nor delinquent [2] TEXT: VAT 335.

COPIES: WA 112; VS 11, 145.

TRANSLATIONS Albright, ANET, p. 486; Campbell, Shechem, pp. 196f; Oppenheim, LFM, p. 125; Freydank, in A. Jepsen, ed., Von Sinuhe bis Nebukadnezar [see EA 244, headnote], pp. 254f.; Seux, Textes du Proche-Orient, pp. 52f.

To the king, my lord and my Sun: Thus Lab’ayu, your servant and the dirt on which you tread. I fall at the feet of the king, my lord and my Sun, 7 times and 7 times. 6-10 I have obeyed the orders that the king wrote to me. Who am I that the king should lose his land on account of me? 10-15 The fact is that I am a loyal servant of the king! I am not a rebel and I am not delinquent in duty, I have not held back my payments of tribute; I have not held back anything requested by my commissioner. 16-29 He denounces me unjustly, but the king, my lord, does not examine my [alleged] act of rebellion. Moreover, my act of rebellion is this: when I entered Gazru, I kept on saying, “Everything of mine the king takes, but where is what belongs to Milkilu?” I know the actions of Milkilu against me! 30-37 Moreover, the king wrote for my son. I did not know that my son was consorting with the Habiru. I herewith hand him over to Addaya. 38-46 Moreover, how, if the king wrote for my wife, how could I hold her back? How, if the king wrote to me, “Put a bronze dagger into your heart and die,” how could I not execute the order of the king?

[you].” 22-29 May the king know of this deed, and may the king, my lord, send chariots and fetch me to himself lest I perish.

EA 271

The power of the Habiru TEXT: VAT 1531.

COPIES: WA 110; VS 11, 154.

TRANSLATIONS: Albright, ANET, pp. 486f.; Seux, Textes du Proche-Orient, p. 54.

Say to the king, my lord, my god, my Sun: Message of Milkilu, your servant, the dirt at your feet. I fall at the feet of the king, my lord, 7 tines and 7 times. 9-16 May the king, my lord, know that the war against me and against Suwardata is severe. So may the king, my lord, save his land from the power of the Habiru. 17-27 O[th]erwise, may the king, my lord, send chariots to fetch u[s] lest our servants kill us. Moreover, may the king, my lord, ask Yanhamu, his servant, about what is bein[g] done in his [l]and.

EA 272

Habiru activity TEXT: BM 29863. COPY: BB 80.

[T]o the kin[g, my lord, my Sun: Messa]ge of Sum-[. . . , the ruler of] . . . [. . . , your servant, the dirt a[t your feet. I fal]l Wt the f[eet of] the k[in]g, [my] lord, [my god], my [Sun, 7 times and 7 ti[mes]. 8-17 I [a]m the [lo]ya[l servan]t of the [king], my lord. [May] the king, my lord, [kn]ow [tha]t the mayors that were in the [major] ci[ties of my lord] are gone, and the [entire] land of the king, my l[or]d, [has deserted to the Habiru. 18-25 May the king, my lord, inquire of [h]is commissioner about what is b[eing done in the land of the k[ing], m[y l]ord, so the king, my lord, will instruct his arc[hers] in my regard.

EA 273

From a queen mother TEXT: VAT 1686.

COPIES: WA 137; VS 11, 155.

Say to the king, my lord, my god, my Sun: Message of [f]NIN-UR.MAH. MES, your handmaid. I fall at the feet of the king, my lord, 7 times and 7 times. 8-14 May the king, my lord, know that war has been waged in the land, and gone is the land of the king, my lord, by desertion to the Habiru. 15-24 May the king, my lord, take cognizance of his land, and may the [k]ing, my lord, kn[ow] tha[t] the Habiru wrote to Ayyalunu and to Sarha, and the two sons of Milkilu barely escaped being killed. 25-26 May the king, my lord, know of this deed.

EA 274

Another city lost TEXT: C 4773 [12216]. COPY: WA 138.


Say to the king, my lord, my god, my Sun: Message of fNIN-UR.MAH. MES, your handmaid, the dirt at your feet. I fall at the feet of the king, my lord, 7 times and 7 times. 10-19 May the king, my lord, save his land from the power of the Habiru lest it be lost. Sapuma has been take[n]. For the information of the king, my lord.

EA 286

A throne granted, not inherited TEXT: VAT 1642.

COPIES: WA 102; VS 11, 162.

PHOTOGRAPHS: H. V Hilprecht et al., Explorations in Bible Lands during the Nineteenth Century [Philadelphia, 1903], p. 621; R. W Rogers, Cuneiform Parallels to the Old Testament [New York and Cincinnati, 1912], p. 529, pl. 30.

TRANSLATIONS: Ebeling, pp. 374f.; Albright, ANET, pp. 487f.; Borger, in Galling, ed., Textbuch zur Geschichte Israels [Tubingen, 1968], pp. 25f.; Seux, Textes du Proche-Orient, pp. 54f.

Say [t]o the king, my lord: Message of Abdi-Heba, your servant. I fall at the feet of my lord, the king, 7 times and 7 times. 5-15 What have I done to the king, my lord? They denounce me: u2-sa-a-ru [I am slandered] before the king, my lord, “Abdi-Heba has rebelled against the king, his lord.” Seeing that, as far as I am concerned, neither my father nor my mother put me in this place, but the strong arm of the king brought me into my father’s house, why should I of all people commit a crime against the king, my lord? 16-21 As truly as the king, my lord, lives, I say to the commissioner of the king, [my] lord, “Why do you love the Habiru but hate the mayors?” Accordingly, I am slandered before the king, my lord. 22-31 Because I say, “Lost are the lands of the king, my lord,” accordingly I am slandered before the king, my lord. May the king, my lord, know that [though] the king, my lord, stationed a garrison [here], Enhamu has taken i[t al]l away. [… ] … 32-43 [Now], O king, my lord, [there is n]o garrison, [and so] may the king provide for his land. May the king [pro]vide for his land! All the [la]nds of the king, my lord, have deserted. Ili-Milku has caused the loss of all the land of the king, and so may the king, my lord, provide for his land. For my part, I say, “I would go in to the king, my lord, and visit the king, my lord,” but the war against me is severe, and so I am not able to go in to the king, my lord. 44-52 And may it seem good in the sight of the king, [and] may he send a garrison so I may go in and visit the king, my lord. In truth, 5 the king, my lord, lives: whenever the commissioners have come out, I would say [to them], “Lost are the lands of the king,” but they did not listen to me. Lost are all the mayors; there is not a mayor remaining to the king, my lord. 53-60 May the king turn his attention to the archers so that archers of the king, my lord, come forth. The king has no lands. [That] Habiru has plundered all the lands of the king. If there are archers this year, the lands of the king, my lord, will remain. But if there are no archers, lost are the lands of the king, my lord. 61-64 [T]o the scribe of the king, my lord: Message of Abdi-Heba, your [ser]vant. Present eloquent words to the king, my lord. Lost are all the lands of the king, my lord.

EA 287

A very serious crime TEXT: VAT 1644 [not collated]. COPIES: WA 103; VS 11, 163.

PHOTOGRAPH: A. Jepsen, ed., Von Sinuhe bis Nebukadnezar [see EA 244, headnote], pl. 29.

TRANSLATIONS: Ebeling, pp. 375f; C. Mullo Weir, in D. Winton Thomas, ed., Documents from Old Testament Times [London, 1958], pp. 39f.; Albright, ANET, p. 488; Freydank, in A. Jepsen, ed., Von Sinuhe bis Nebukadnezar, pp. 102f.; Seux, Textes du Proche-Orient, pp. 55ff.

[Say to the kin]g, m[y] lord: [Message of Ab]di-Heba, your] servant. [I fall at the feet] of my lord 7 t[imes and 7 times. 4-9 Consider] the entire] affair. [Milkilu and Tagi brought [troop]s into [Qiltu] against me. [Consider] the deed that they did [to your servant]. Arrow[s] [. . .] … 10-19 [… ] they brought into [gilt]u. May the [kin]g know [that] all the lands are [at] peace [with one another], but I am at war. May the king provide for his land. Consider the lands of Gazru, Asqaluna, and L[akis]i. They have given them food, oil, and any other requirement. So may the king provide for archers and send the archers against men that commit crimes against the king, my lord. 20-24 If this year there are archers, then the lands and the mayors will belong to the king, my lord. But if there are no archers, then the ki[ng] will have neither lands nor mayors. 25-32 Consider Jerusalem! This neither my father nor m[y] mother gave to me. The [str]ong hand: zu-ru-uh [arm] [of the king] gave it to me. Consider the deed! This is the deed of Milkilu and the deed of the sons of Lab’ayu, who have given the land of the king [to] the Habiru. Consider (this), the king Aduniaaduq is against me. {See the footnote on Adunia-ṣaduq. } 33-42 With regard to the Kasites, may the king make inquiry of the commissioners. Though the house is well fortified, they attempted a very serious crime. They [t]ook their tools, and I had to seek shelter by a support for the roof: ga-ag-gi. A[nd so i]f he is going to send [troop]s into [Jerusalem], let them come with [a garrision for] [regular] service. May the king provide for them; [all] of the land might be in dire straits” on their account. 43-52 May the king inquire about the[m. Let there be] much food, much oil, much clothing, until Pauru, the commissioner of the king, comes up to Jerusalem. Gone is Addaya together with the garrison of soldiers [that] the king [pro]vided. May the king know [that] Addaya [sa]id to me, “[Beh]old, he has dismissed me.” Do not abandon it, [and] send this [year] a garrison, and send right here’s the commissioner of the king. 53-59 I sent [as gift]s to the king, my lord, [x] prisoners, 5000 … [… ], [and] 8 porters, for the caravans of the k[ing, my lord], but they have been taken in the countryside: sade4-e of Ayyaluna. May the king, my lord, know [that] I am unable to send a caravan to the king, my lord. For your information! 60-63 As the king has placed his name in Jerusalem forever, he cannot abandon it-the land of Jerusalem. 64-70 Say to the scribe of the king, my lord: Message of Abdi-Heba, your servant. I fall at [your] feet. I am your servant. Present eloquent words to the king, my lord: I am a soldier of the king. I am always yours. 71-78 And please make the Kasites responsible for the evil deed. I was almost killed by the Kasites [i]n my own house. May the king [make an inquiry] in the[in] regard. [May the kin]g, my lord, [provide] for th[em 7 t]imes and 7 times may the king, my lord, [provide] for me .

{Footnote ed. Moran’s rendering of this line is “Consider, O king, my lord, I am in the right!” The last phrase is italicized by Moran because the translation is not certain. The problematic word here is a-du-uq, “aduq.” This is a West-Semitic (Canaanite) word, not Akkadian (Akkadian being Mesopotamian Semitic). It is found in Mesopotamia only in Amorite (Canaanite) personal names, e.g. Ammi-aduqa. (See Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, s.v. aduq.) Such West-Semitic words are found more frequently, of course, in the El Amarna letters, which originated in the zone where West-Semitic was the native dialect. Moran mentions other possible translations for the phrase in which the West-Semitic word “aduq” appears in his note to this line, but is not satisfied with any of

Above: A photograph of the clay tablet on which this letter is written, with the name Adunia-ṣaduq, the Biblical Adoni-zedek, highlighted, along with a transcription of the portion of the letter containing the king’s name (likewise highlighted) produced by the 19th century scholar, Winckler.

The five cuneiform signs spelling the name are as follows:


which is Adoni-zedek (Joshua 10. 1-27) in Hebrew

them. The translators have missed the fact that the word “aduq” is more probably a personal name or part of a personal name, for the reasons stated, than a common verb. The line should be translated as follows: “Consider (this), the king Adunia-aduq is against me.” The original reads “Amur sharru Adunia-aduq ana iyashi.” “Consider (a-mur) the king (LUGAL) Adunia-ṣaduq (EN-ia ṣa-du-uq) is against (a-na) me (ia-a-shi).” Adunia-ṣaduq means “My righteous lord.” The first part of the name, Adunia, means “my lord” or “my Lord.” If it is a divine name here, it would be that of the god Adunu (“Lord”), most likely the god the Sumerians knew as Damu (see Moran, p. 386, the name appears in EA 84 line 33 as dDA.MU-ia, read, it is thought, “Adunia”). The West-Semitic word Adunu (Hebrew Adon) is equivalent to the East Semitic Bel (which likewise means “Lord”), and is therefore written with the same cuneiform sign as Bel, viz. EN. The identical words found in this Canaanite name form the significant elements in the name of the king of Jerusalem at the time of Joshua (Joshua 10. 1-27, when Joshua, by the power of God, stopped the sun and moon in the sky), viz. Adoni-zedek (edeq), which means literally “My lord of righteousness,” that is, “My righteous lord” in Hebrew. Abdi-Heba describes himself as Pharaoh’s “soldier,” that is, his military commissar. (See EA 285 line 6, EA 287 line 69, EA 288 line 10.) Evidently, the king of the city of Jerusalem for which Abdi-Heba bore military responsibility, was Adunia-ṣaduq (Adoni-zedek), since he is simply termed “king” (LUGAL = sharru, “king”) by Abdi-Heba, without any indication he ruled elsewhere. These Jerusalem letters, therefore, provide strong confirmatory and background evidence to the Biblical account of the occupation of Canaan by the Hebrews under Joshua, at the time when Adoni-zedek (Adunia-ṣaduq) was king of Jerusalem.

EA 288

Benign neglect

TEXT: VAT 1643 [not collated]. COPIES: WA 103; VS 11, 164. TRANSLATIONS: Ebeling, pp. 376f.; C. Mullo Weir, in D. Winton Thomas, ed., Documents from Old Testament Times, pp. 43f.; Albright, ANET, pp. 488f.; Freydank, in A. Jepsen, ed., Von Sinuhe bis Nebukadnezar, pp. 103f.

Say [t]o the king, my lord, [my Su]n: [M]essage of Abdi-Heba, your servant. I fall at the feet of the king, my lord, 7 times and 7 times. 5-10 Behold, the king, my lord, has placed his name at the rising of the sun and at the setting of the sun. It is, therefore, impious what they have done to me. Behold, I am not a mayor; I am a soldier of the king, my lord., 11-15 Behold, I am a friend of the king and a tribute-bearer of the king. It was neither my father nor my mother, but the strong arm of the king that [p]laced me in the house of [my] fath[er]. 16-22 [. . . c]ame to me. . . . [… ]. I gave over [to his charge 10 slaves. Suta, the commissioner of the king, ca[me t]o me; I gave over to Suta’s charge 21 girls, [8]0 prisoners, as a gift for the king, my lord. 23-28 May the king give thought to his land; the land of the king is lost. All of it has attacked me. I am at war as far as the land of Seru and as far as Ginti-kirmil. All the mayors are at peace, but I am at war. 29-33 1 am treated like an Habiru, and I do not visit the king, my lord, since I am at war. I am situated like a ship in the midst of the sea. 34-40 The strong hand [arm] of the king took the land of Nahrima and the land of Kasi, but now the Habiru have taken the very cities of the king. Not a single mayor remains to the king, my lord; all are lost. 41-47 Behold, Turbazu was slain in the city gate of Silu. The king did nothing. Behold, servants who were joined to the Habi[r]u smote Zimredda of Lakisu, and Yaptih-Hadda was slain in the city gate of Silu. The king did nothing. [Wh]y has he not called them to account? 48-53 May the king [pro]vide for [his land] and may he [se]e to it tha[ t] archers [come ou]t to h[is] land. If there are no archers this year, all the lands of the king, my lord, are lost. 54-61 They have not reported to the king that the lands of the king, my lord, are lost and all the mayors lost. If there are no archers this year, may the king send a commissioner to fetch me, me along with my brothers, and then we will die near the king, our lord. 62-66 [To] the scribe of the king, my lord: [Message] of Abdi-Heba, [your] servant. [I fa]ll a[t [your] feet]. Present [the words that I have offered to [the king, my lord]: I am your servant [and] your [s]on.

EA 289

A reckoning demanded TEXT: VAT 1645 + 2709. COPIES: WA 105 + WA 199; VS 11, 165.

TRANSLATIONS: Ebeling, pp. 377f; Albright, ANET, p. 489; Campbell, Shechem, pp. 200f.; Seux, Textes du Proche-Orient, pp. 58f.

[Say t]o the king, my lord: Message of Abdi-Heba, your servant. I f[all] at the feet of my lord, the k[ing], 7 times and 7 times. 5-10 Milkilu does not break away from the sons of Lab’ayu and from the sons of Arsawa, as they desire the land of the king for themselves. As for a mayor who does such a deed, why does the king not [c]all him to account? 11-17 Such was the deed that Milkilu and Tagi did: they took Rubutu. And now as for Jerusalem, if this land belongs to the king, why is it [not] of concern to the king like Hazzatu? 18-24 Ginti-kirmil belongs to Tagi, and men of Gintu are the garrison in Bitsanu. z Are we to act like Lab’ayu when he was giving the land of Sakmu to the Habiru? 25-36 Milkilu has written to Tagi and the sons [of Lab’ayu], “Be the both of you a protection. Grant all their demands to the men of Qiltu, and let us isolate Jerusalem.” Addaya has taken the garrison that you sent in the charge of Haya, the son of Miyare; he has stationed it in his own house in Hazzatu and has sent 20 men to Egypt. May the king, my lord, know [that] no garrison of the king is with me. 37-44 Accordingly, as truly as the king lives, his irpi-official, Pu’uru, has left me and is in Hazzatu. (May the king call [this] to mind when he arrives.) And so may the king send 50 men as a garrison to protect the land. The entire land of the king has deser[ted]. 45-51 Send Ye[[eh]]enhamu that he may know about the land of the king, [my lord]. To the scribe of the king, [my lord: Message of Abdi-Heba, [your] servant. Offer eloq[uent] words to the king: I am always, utterly yours. I am your servant.

EA 290

Three against one TEXT: VAT 1646. COPIES: WA 106; VS 11, 166.

TRANSLATIONS: Ebeling, p. 378; Albright, ANET, p. 489; Seux, Textes du Proche-Orient, pp. 58f.

[Sa]y [t]o the king, my lord: Message of [Abdi]-Heba, your servant. I fall at the feet [of the kin]g, my lord, 7 times and 7 times. 5-13 Here is the deed against the land that Milkilu and Suardatu did: against the land of the king, my lord, they ordered troops from Gazru, troops from Gimtu, and troops from Qiltu. They seized Rubutu. The land of the king deserted to the Habiru. 14-21 And now, besides this, a town belonging to Jerusalem, Bit-dNIN. URTA by name, a city of the king, has gone over to the side of the men of Qiltu. May the king give heed to Abdi-Heba, your servant, and send archers to restore the land of the king to the king. 22-30 If there are no archers, the land of the king will desert to the Habiru. This deed against the land was [alt the order of Milki[lu and a]t the order of [Suard]atu, [together with Gint[i]. So may the king provide for [his] land.

EA 298

A perfidious younger brother TEXT: BM 29833.

copy: BB 50.

TRANSLATIONS: Albright, ANET, p. 490; Freydank, in A. Jepsen, ed., Von Sinuhe his Nebukadnezar, p. 100.

[T]o the king, my lord, my god, my Sun, the Sun from the sky: Message of Yapa[h]u, the ruler of Gazru, your servant, the dirt at your feet, the groom of your horses. I prostrate myself at the feet of the king, my lord, the Sun from the sky, 7 times and 7 times, both on the stomach and on the back. 14-19 Whatsoever the king, my lord, has said to me, I have listened to very carefully. I am a servant of the king and the dirt at your feet. 20-33 May the king, my lord, be informed that my younger brother, having become my enemy, entered Muhhazu and pledged hi[m]self to the Habiru As [Ti]anna is at war with me, take thought for your land. May my lord write to his commissioner with regard to this deed.

EA 299

A plea for help TEXT: BM 29832. copy: BB 49.

PHOTOGRAPH: Barnett, Illustrations, p. 14.

To the king, my lord, my god, the Sun, the Sun [f]rom the sky: Message of Yapahu, the ruler of Gazru, your servant, the dirt at your feet, the groom of your horses. Truly I fall at the feet of the king, my lord, my god, my Sun, the Sun from the sky, 7 times and 7 times, on the stomach and on the back. 12-21 I have listened to the words of the messenger of the king, my lord, very carefully. May the king, my lord, the Sun from the sky, take thought for his land. Since the Habiru are stronger than we, may the king, my lord, [g]ive me his help, and may the king, my lord, get me away from the Habiru lest the Habiru destroy us.

EA 305

The power of the Habiru TEXT: C 4780 [12215].

copy: WA 116.

To the king, my lord, the Sun from the sky, my god, my Sun: Message of Subandu, your servant, the dirt at your feet, the groom of your horses. 8-14 I indeed prostrate myself, on the stomach and on the back, at the feet of the king, my lord, the Sun from the sky, 7 times and 7 times. 15-24 I have heard the words of the king, my lord, that he sent me, and I am indeed guarding the place of the k[i]ng where I am. As the Habiru are more p[ow]erful than we, may the king take cognizance of his lands.

EA 313

Payment to the commissioner TEXT: C 4782 [12228].

copy: WA 197.

[. ..] 1-11 your […] 13 mer[chants] from Egypt, who were struck down in the attack of the Habiru. I have given 400 shekels of silver, plus 1000, to the commissioner of the k[in]g who is over me. 11-20 And [[and]] the men that did this deed the Sun has given into the powerful . . . of the king. And truly the 2 servants [of the king [were] not [… ]; they were struck [down], …

EA 318 Save me TEXT: BM 29857. copy: BB 74. PHOTOGRAPH: BB, pl. 1. TRANSLITERATION: Artzi, JNES 27 [1968] p. 170.

Dagantakala, your servant, says to the Great King, [my] lord, the Sun in the sky: I fall at the feet of the Great King, my lord, 7 times and 7 times. Save me from the powe[rful] enemies, from the hand of the Habir[u], robbers, and Suteans. And save m[e], Great King, m[y] lord! And behold! I have wr[it]ten [to] you! Mo[reov]er, you G[reat] Ki[ng], my lord, save me or I will be lo[st] to the Great King, [my] lord!

EA 256

Oaths and denials _ TEXT: BM 29847.


TRANSLATION: Albright, ANET, p. 486.

Say to Yanhamu, my lord: Message of Mut-Bahlu, your servant. I fall at the feet of my lord. 4-10 How can it have been said in your presence, “Mut-Bahlu has fled. He has hidden Ayyab”? How can the king of Pihilu flee from the commissioner: su2-ki-ni of the king, his lord? 10-19 As the king, my lord, lives, as the king, my lord, lives, I swear Ayyab is not in Pihilu. In fact, he h[as been in the fie]ld, for two months. Just ask Ben-Elima. Just ask Tadua. 19-28 Just ask Yisuya {Yishuya} whether, after he [ro]bbed Sulum-Marduk, I went to the aid of Astartu, when all the cities of Garu had become hostile: Udumu, Aduru, Araru, Mesta, Magdalu, Heni-anabi, Sarqu. [Hayyunu, along with Yabiluma, has been captured.] 29-35 Moreover, seeing that, after you sent me a tablet, I wrote to him, before you arrive from your journey, he will surely have arrived in Pihilu. And I do obey [your] orders.


1 The rhetoric of defense: a rhetorical question challenging the two charges against Mut-Bahlu [lines 4-6]; another rhetorical question challenging the first charge [6-10]; under oath by the life of the king, twice invoked, denial of second charge, followed by statement of the facts [10-14]; invocation of possible witnesses to support denial of implied third charge [15-28]; transition [“Moreover”] and, by implication, return to the first two charges: assuring Ayyab’s presence in Pihilu [29-34], general statement of compliance with orders [35, as against the charge of flight?].

2. ia-a[r-b]i-is: this reading fits the traces, which ia-[a-nu]-ma [Albright], though making very good sense [“he is not/has not been here”], does not; cf. surbusu at Mari, said of putting troops in camps [ARMT 2 23:22]. Ayyab, in this reading, is still engaged in stamping out the rebellion referred to later in lines 22-28. He might therefore be difficult for Yanhamu to reach, who might then suspect Ayyab’s alleged ally of hiding him.

3. This new understanding of lines 15-27 depends on Na’aman, OF 20 [1988] pp. 181f. Line 20: of the two readings that have been proposed-<gan2>-ba [Knudtzon] and <E2>- sa [BB, followed by Albright]-only the first is possible. The reading sa is wrong: of the putative two oblique wedges before the last vertical, the lower is the end of the middle horizontal in ba, the upper a break in the tablet and not writing at all. Besides, only most rarely are personal names written without a determinative [the final vertical of the alleged sa]. Mut-Bahlu wishes to deny that after Ayyab’s serious crime against a Babylonian-according to Na’aman, robbing his caravan, but the usage of ganab in biblical Hebrew favors kidnapping [cf. EA 8:34ff.]-he gave any [further?] support to the ruler of Astartu when the latter was faced with rebellion. [If the city Astartu were the subject of ennerir [Albright], the form would have to be either tennerir or ennerirat.] What remains unclear in this reconstruction is how Mut-Bahlu, having in some sense broken off relations with Ayyab, could assure Yanhamu of Ayyab’s presence soon in Pihilu.

4. Does this mean that these cities have been retaken?

5. istimuna: first person, following Rainey, AOAT, 8, p. 94.


S-100a. SOLOMON OF BASRA, BOOK OF THE BEE: CHAPTER XXIX. OF MOSES AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. AFTER Joseph was dead, and another king had arisen who knew not the Israelitish people, the people increased and became strong in Egypt. And Pharaoh was afraid of them, and laid a burden upon them, and oppressed them with hard work in clay, and demanded a tale of bricks from them without giving them straw. At that time Moses the son of Amram, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, was born. Levi was forty-six years old when he begat Kohath; Kohath was sixty-three years old when he begat Amram; and Amram was seventy years old when he begat Moses. When Moses was born, Pharaoh the king commanded to throw the new-born children of the Israelites into the river. Moses was beautiful in appearance, and he was called Pantîl and Amlâkyâ; and the Egyptians used to call him the Shakwîthâ (2) of the daughter of Pharaoh. The name of Moses’ mother was Yokâbâr (Jochebed). When the command of the king went forth for the drowning of the infants, she made a little ark covered with pitch, and laid the child in it; and she carried it and placed it in a shallow part of the waters of the river Nile (that is Gîhôn); and she sat down opposite (that is, at a distance), to see what would be the end of the child. And Shîpôr (3), the daughter of Pharaoh, came to bathe in the river some say that she was called Tharmesîs (4) and she saw the ark and commanded it to be fetched. When she opened it, and saw that the appearance of the child was beautiful and his complexion comely, she said, ‘Verily this child is one of the Hebrews’ children;’ and she took him, and reared him up as her son. She sought a Hebrew nurse, and the mother of the child Moses came, and became a nurse to him; and he was reared in the house of Pharaoh until he was forty years old. One day he saw Pethkôm (1) the Egyptian, one of the servants of Pharaoh, quarreling with an Israelite and reviling him. Moses looked this way and that way, and saw no man; and zeal entered into him, and he slew the Egyptian and buried him in the sand. Two days after, he saw two Hebrews quarrelling with one another. And he said to them, ‘Ye are brethren; why quarrel ye with one another?’’’ And one of them thrust him away from him, saying, ‘Dost thou peradventure seek to kill me as thou didst the Egyptian yesterday?’ Then Moses feared lest Pharaoh should perceive (this) and slay him; and he fled to Midian, and sat by the well there. Now Reuel the Midianite had seven daughters, who used to come to that well and water their father’s flocks; and the shepherds came and drove them away; and Moses arose and delivered them, and watered their flocks. When they went to their father, he said to them, ‘Ye have come quickly to-day.’ They said to him, ‘An Egyptian rescued us from the hands of the shepherds, and watered the flocks also.’ He said to them, ‘Why did ye not bring him? Go quickly and call him hither to eat bread with us.’ When Moses came to the house of Reuel and dwelt with him, Reuel loved him and gave him his daughter Zipporah the Cushite to wife. And he said to him, ‘Go into the house, and take a shepherd’s crook, and go feed thy flocks.’ When Moses went into the house to take the rod, it drew near to him by divine agency; and he took it and went forth to feed his father-in-law’s flocks.


S-100b. In the Oxford MS. chap. xxxii. (2) I do not know the meaning of this word nor its correct pronunciation. (3) Brit. Mus. MS. Or. 2441, fol. 374 a, col. 1. On the margin is written, ‘When Moses was born, he was thrown into the river, and Shipôr the Egyptian, the daughter of Pharaoh, took him out.’ Bezold, Die Schatzhöhle, p. 41; Brit. Mus. Add. 25,875, fol. 30 a, col. 1. (4) … She was also called Makrî; see note 1 on next page. (1) ‘And he was in the house of Pharaoh forty years, and then he slew Pethkôm the Egyptian, the chief baker of Pharaoh. When this was heard in the house of Pharaoh, after Makrî the daughter of Pharaoh — who was called the “Trumpet of Egypt,” and who reared up Moses was dead, he feared,’ etc. See Bezold, Die Schatzhöhle {the Cave of Treasures}, p, 42; Brit. Mus. Add. 25,875, fol. 30 a, col. 2.

S-100c. [Moses.] And when Moses was born he was cast into the river, and Shîpôr (in Ethiopic, Sephurah), the Egyptian woman, the daughter of Pharaoh, took him up, and he lived in the house of Pharaoh for forty years. And then [Fol. 30a, col. 2] he killed Pethkôm, the Egyptian, the chief of the bakers of Pharaoh. Now this was noised abroad in the house of Pharaoh, after Pharaoh’s daughter Makrî, who was called “Shîpôr Mesrên (i.e. “Trumpet of Egypt”), was dead, and Moses was afraid, and he fled to Midian, to Reuel, the Cushite, the priest of Midian. [NOTES. — Moses was a beautiful child, and was called “Pantîl” (Paltîêl ?), and “Amlâkyâ,” and the Egyptians used to call him the “Shakwîthâ of Pharaoh’s daughter.”{Is “Shakwîthâ” a transcription of the Egyptian Djehuty, which was pronounced something like “Tchekhootey”? — ed.}. Various names are given to this princess, e.g. Makrî, Mary, Shîpôr, Tharmesîs, Tarmûthîsâ; Bar Hebraeus says she was the daughter of Amûnpthîs, or Amûnpâthîôs. Book of the Bee (chapter xxix).]


S-101a. From Bar Hebraeus’ Chronography, translated from the Syriac by E. A. Wallis Budge (London, 1932)

{From Dynasty I: the numbers in square brackets refer to the pages of Bedjan’s [Syriac] text. Braces enclose my comments.}

[12] …. When JACOB was one hundred and thirty years old he went down to EGYPT, in the second year of the famine.

After JACOB [came] LEVI his son. When he was forty-seven years old he begot KAHATH {= Kohath}; all his life was one hundred and thirty and seven years. In his days the FLOOD which [came] in the days of ‘AGOGOS {= Ogyges} took place, when BILOS (BELUS) was reigning in ASSYRIA; and MAPOS (MEMPHIS) in EGYPT was built. And STASIKOROS [13] (or, STIKOROS) brought acrobatic dancing and games into the world, for his bringing up (or, education) had been among women. And MANOS (HUMANOS) the king displayed luxuriousness in his own person (?).

And that fourth Shepherd king, ‘APAPOS {= Aphophis}, reigned in EGYPT fourteen years. He it was who dreamed dreams and who made JOSEPH ruler, according to the histories of the CHALDEANS, and it seemeth likely that the ‘SHEPHERDS’ were called ‘KINGS’ because of JOSEPH’S brethren.

After LEVI [came] KAHATH (KOHATH) his son. When he was sixty years old he begot ‘AMRAM; all [the days of] his life were one hundred and thirty-three years.

After KAHATH [came] ‘AMRAM his son. He was seventy-five years old when he begot MOSES in the three hundred and fiftieth year of the promise {viz. the promise of 400 years to be spent by his seed in Egypt made by God to Abraham}; all [the days of] his life were one hundred and thirty and seven years. And in his days MAPROS reigned in EGYPT twelve years; and then TOMOTHOS (THOTHMES?) eighteen years; and then ‘AMONPATHIS (AMENOPHIS?) forty-three years. It was this king who began to strangle (i.e. drown) the children of the HEBREWS in the NILE.

After ‘AMRAM [came] MOSES his son. He ruled over the children of ISRAEL when he was eighty years old, and he led the people in the wilderness forty years. When he was born he was cast into the river, and the daughter of ‘AMONPATHIS (AMENOPHIS?), whose name was TREMOTHISA {= Tharmuthis}, who is RA’OSA (RA’MOSO) whom the HEBREWS call ‘DAMARIS’, the wife of KANPARA {= Chenephres}, the king of MAPAS (MEMPHIS), found him and saved him from the waters, and brought him up as a son of hers. And when he was ten years old YANES and YAMBRES {= Jannes and Jambres} taught him wisdom, as ‘ARTAMONIS {= Artapanus} showeth in his Epistle; this [fact] is not written in the Book of the Law, but the Apostle PAUL (Acts vii. 22) mentioneth it. {The names Jannes and Jambres appear as the opponents of Moses in a fragment of Artapanus in Numenius of Apamea, the derivation from Artapanus being evidenced by the use of the name Musaeus for Moses, which is characteristic of that writer, Reinach, Textes d’auteurs grecs et romains relatifs au judaisme, Paris, 1805, §95, p. 174f. and p. 175 n. 1.}

And in his twenty-second year PHARAOH ‘AMONPATHIS began to compel the HEBREWS to throw (i.e. cast or mould) bricks and to build the city of ARMOPOLIS (sic) (HERMOPOLIS?). And he also conquered the CUSHITES, and he took RA’OSA, the daughter of SOROS (ZOROS?) their king to wife. And the people were ascribing this victory to MOSES, and saying, ‘he hath taken this RA’OSA to wife’. And because of this KANPARA (?) was jealous of him, [because he wished to marry RA’OSA, but] was unable to do so until DAMARIS his wife was dead. Then he sent a certain KHANOTHIS {= Chanethothes} to kill him. But MOSES prevailed and killed [14] this man, and fled into ARABIA, to RA’U’IL {= Reuel}, the MIDIANITE. And when he was forty years old, he took to wife ZEPORA (ZIPPORAH), the daughter of YATHRON (JETHRO) the son of RA’U’IL, the MIDIANITE, the son of DARAN {= Dedan}, the son of YAKSHAN {= Jokshan}, the son of ABRAHAM by KENTORA {= Keturah} his wife. The expositors say that YATHRON (JETHRO) is RA’U’IL.

And at this time a flood took place, the third, in THESSALY in the days of DOKALYON (DEUCALION); and a great conflagration in KUSH in the days of PARATON; and the famous war of the CHALDEANS with the PHOENICIANS; and EUNOMIUS invented the art of signs (i.e. the alphabet?); and MENANDER invented comedy; and KHYARON and ‘ASCLEPIADIS [the art of] healing.

And when MOSES was eighty years old, that is to say, in the four hundred and thirtieth year of the promise, he was commanded by God to take the HEBREWS out from EGYPT. And when the HEBREWS had passed over in the middle of the sea on dry land, PHARAOH PSONOS {= Petissonius}, who rose [as king] after ‘AMONPATHIS, and all his army were drowned in the SEA OF SUPH {= Heb. Yam Suf, the Red Sea or Gulf of Suez}. Now when those EGYPTIANS who had not sallied forth with PHARAOH saw the destruction of those who had sallied forth, each one with the labour which was found in his hands made an [object of] fear for himself and worshipped it, as if forsooth by means of it he had been prevented from the going forth [which was] the cause of the disaster. And in that year MOSES warred with ‘AMALIK (AMALEK). And he went up into the mountain in the third month and received the LAW and the JUDGEMENTS for ISRAEL. And from the time when God said unto ABRAHAM, ‘Know well that thy seed shall be dweller[s] and sojourner[s] in a country which is not theirs’, must be counted the four hundred and thirty years of the subjugation, as it is written in the BOOK OF EXODUS, and this also PAUL testifieth, although in the first Book, GENESIS, four hundred years only are written. And from ADAM to the death of MOSES is three thousand eight hundred (or, four hundred) and fifty years, according to ANIANUS the monk, and this computation agreeth with his. According to the Septuagint, however, it is three thousand eight hundred (or, four hundred) and eighty-two years, and according the Syrian and Hebrew [Books] it is two thousand four hundred and twenty [years]. MOSES lived in EGYPT forty years, and in MIDIAN forty years, and in the desert forty years.”



Birth of Moses, 1-4. Adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter, 5-9. Slays an Egyptian and flees (into Midian), 10-12. (Cf. Exod. i.22; ii. 2-15.) [Chapter 47]

1. And in the seventh week, in the seventh year, in the forty-seventh jubilee, thy father went forth [2303 A.M.] from the land of Canaan, and thou wast born in the fourth week, in the sixth year thereof, in the [2330 A.M.] forty-eighth jubilee; this was the time of tribulation on the children of Israel. 2. And Pharaoh, king of Egypt, issued a command regarding them that they should cast all their male children which were born into the river. 3. And they cast them in for seven months until the day that thou wast born 4. And thy mother hid thee for three months, and they told regarding her. And she made an ark for thee, and covered it with pitch and asphalt, and placed it in the flags on the bank of the river, and she placed thee in it seven days, and thy mother came by night and suckled thee, and by day Miriam, thy sister, guarded thee from the birds. 5. And in those days Tharmuth, the daughter of Pharaoh, came to bathe in the river, and she heard thy voice crying, and she told her maidens to bring thee forth, and they brought thee unto her. 6. And she took thee out of the ark, and she had compassion on thee. 7. And thy sister said unto her: ‘Shall I go and call unto thee one of the Hebrew women to nurse and suckle this babe for thee?’ 8. And she said <unto her>: ‘Go.’ And she went and called thy mother Jochebed, and she gave her wages, and she nursed thee.



S-201a. Ch. ix …. 5. Thermuthis was the king’s daughter. She was now diverting herself by the banks of the river; and seeing a cradle borne along by the current, she sent some that could swim, and bid them bring the cradle to her. When those that were sent on this errand came to her with the cradle, and she saw the little child, she was greatly in love with it, on account of its largeness and beauty; for God had taken such great care in the formation of Moses, that he caused him to be thought worthy of bringing up, and providing for, by all those that had taken the most fatal resolutions, on account of the dread of his nativity, for the destruction of the rest of the Hebrew nation. Thermuthis bid them bring her a woman that might afford her breast to the child; yet would not the child admit of her breast, but turned away from it, and did the like to many other women. Now Miriam was by when this happened, not to appear to be there on purpose, but only as staying to see the child; and she said, “It is in vain that thou, O Queen, callest for these women for the nourishing of the child, who are no way of kin to it; but still, if thou wilt order one of the Hebrew women to be brought, perhaps it may admit the breast of one of its own nation.” Now since she seemed to speak well, Thermuthis bid her procure such a one, and to bring one of those Hebrew women that gave suck. So when she had such authority given her, she came back and brought the mother, who was known to nobody there. And now the child gladly admitted the breast, and seemed to stick close to it; and so it was, that, at the Queen’s desire, the nursing of the child was entirely intrusted to the mother.

S-201b. 6. Hereupon it was that Thermuthis imposed this name Mouses upon him, from what had happened when he was put into the river; for the Egyptians call water by the name of Mo, and such as are saved out of it, by the name of Uses: so by putting these two words together, they imposed this name upon him. And he was, by the confession of all, according to God’s prediction, as well for his greatness of mind as for his contempt of difficulties, the best of all the Hebrews, for Abraham was his ancestor of the seventh generation. For Moses was the son of Amram, who was the son of Caath, whose father Levi was the son of Jacob, who was the son of Isaac, who was the son of Abraham. Now Moses’s understanding became superior to his age, nay, far beyond that standard; and when he was taught, he discovered greater quickness of apprehension than was usual at his age, and his actions at that time promised greater, when he should come to the age of a man. God did also give him that tallness, when he was but three years old, as was wonderful. And as for his beauty, there was nobody so unpolite as, when they saw Moses, they were not greatly surprised at the beauty of his countenance; nay, it happened frequently, that those that met him as he was carried along the road, were obliged to turn again upon seeing the child; that they left what they were about, and stood still a great while to look on him; for the beauty of the child was so remarkable and natural to him on many accounts, that it detained the spectators, and made them stay longer to look upon him.

S-201c. 7. Thermuthis therefore perceiving him to be so remarkable a child, adopted him for her son, having no child of her own. And when one time had carried Moses to her father, she showed him to him, and said she thought to make him her successor, if it should please God she should have no legitimate child of her own; and to him, “I have brought up a child who is of a divine form, and of a generous mind; and as I have received him from the bounty of the river, in , I thought proper to adopt him my son, and the heir of thy kingdom.” And she had said this, she put the infant into her father’s hands: so he took him, and hugged him to his breast; and on his daughter’s account, in a pleasant way, put his diadem upon his head; but Moses threw it down to the ground, and, in a puerile mood, he wreathed it round, and trod upon his feet, which seemed to bring along with evil presage concerning the kingdom of Egypt. But when the sacred scribe saw this, (he was the person who foretold that his nativity would the dominion of that kingdom low,) he made a violent attempt to kill him; and crying out in a frightful manner, he said, “This, O king! this child is he of whom God foretold, that if we kill him we shall be in no danger; he himself affords an attestation to the prediction of the same thing, by his trampling upon thy government, and treading upon thy diadem. Take him, therefore, out of the way, and deliver the Egyptians from the fear they are in about him; and deprive the Hebrews of the hope they have of being encouraged by him.” But Thermuthis prevented him, and snatched the child away. And the king was not hasty to slay him, God himself, whose providence protected Moses, inclining the king to spare him. He was, therefore, educated with great care. So the Hebrews depended on him, and were of good hopes great things would be done by him; but the Egyptians were suspicious of what would follow such his education. Yet because, if Moses had been slain, there was no one, either akin or adopted, that had any oracle on his side for pretending to the crown of Egypt, and likely to be of greater advantage to them, they abstained from killing him.

S-201d. Ch. x. 1. MOSES, therefore, when he was born, and brought up in the foregoing manner, and came to the age of maturity, made his virtue manifest to the Egyptians; and showed that he was born for the bringing them down, and raising the Israelites. And the occasion he laid hold of was this: — The Ethiopians, who are next neighbors to the Egyptians, made an inroad into their country, which they seized upon, and carried off the effects of the Egyptians, who, in their rage, fought against them, and revenged the affronts they had received from them; but being overcome in battle, some of them were slain, and the rest ran away in a shameful manner, and by that means saved themselves; whereupon the Ethiopians followed after them in the pursuit, and thinking that it would be a mark of cowardice if they did not subdue all Egypt, they went on to subdue the rest with greater vehemence; and when they had tasted the sweets of the country, they never left off the prosecution of the war: and as the nearest parts had not courage enough at first to fight with them, they proceeded as far as Memphis, and the sea itself, while not one of the cities was able to oppose them. The Egyptians, under this sad oppression, betook themselves to their oracles and prophecies; and when God had given them this counsel, to make use of Moses the Hebrew, and take his assistance, the king commanded his daughter to produce him, that he might be the general of their army. Upon which, when she had made him swear he would do him no harm, she delivered him to the king, and supposed his assistance would be of great advantage to them. She withal reproached the priest, who, when they had before admonished the Egyptians to kill him, was not ashamed now to own their want of his help.

S-201e. 2. So Moses, at the persuasion both of Thermuthis and the king himself, cheerfully undertook the business: and the sacred scribes of both nations were glad; those of the Egyptians, that they should at once overcome their enemies by his valor, and that by the same piece of management Moses would be slain; but those of the Hebrews, that they should escape from the Egyptians, because Moses was to be their general. But Moses prevented the enemies, and took and led his army before those enemies were apprized of his attacking them; for he did not march by the river, but by land, where he gave a wonderful demonstration of his sagacity; for when the ground was difficult to be passed over, because of the multitude of serpents, (which it produces in vast numbers, and, indeed, is singular in some of those productions, which other countries do not breed, and yet such as are worse than others in power and mischief, and an unusual fierceness of sight, some of which ascend out of the ground unseen, and also fly in the air, and so come upon men at unawares, and do them a mischief,) Moses invented a wonderful stratagem to preserve the army safe, and without hurt; for he made baskets, like unto arks, of sedge, and filled them with ibes, and carried them along with them; which animal is the greatest enemy to serpents imaginable, for they fly from them when they come near them; and as they fly they are caught and devoured by them, as if it were done by the harts; but the ibes are tame creatures, and only enemies to the serpentine kind: but about these ibes I say no more at present, since the Greeks themselves are not unacquainted with this sort of bird. As soon, therefore, as Moses was come to the land which was the breeder of these serpents, he let loose the ibes, and by their means repelled the serpentine kind, and used them for his assistants before the army came upon that ground. When he had therefore proceeded thus on his journey, he came upon the Ethiopians before they expected him; and, joining battle with them, he beat them, and deprived them of the hopes they had of success against the Egyptians, and went on in overthrowing their cities, and indeed made a great slaughter of these Ethiopians. Now when the Egyptian army had once tasted of this prosperous success, by the means of Moses, they did not slacken their diligence, insomuch that the Ethiopians were in danger of being reduced to slavery, and all sorts of destruction; and at length they retired to Saba, which was a royal city of Ethiopia, which Cambyses afterwards named Meroe, after the name of his own sister. The place was to be besieged with very great difficulty, since it was both encompassed by the Nile quite round, and the other rivers, Astapus and Astaboras, made it a very difficult thing for such as attempted to pass over them; for the city was situate in a retired place, and was inhabited after the manner of an island, being encompassed with a strong wall, and having the rivers to guard them from their enemies, and having great ramparts between the wall and the rivers, insomuch, that when the waters come with the greatest violence, it can never be drowned; which ramparts make it next to impossible for even such as are gotten over the rivers to take the city. However, while Moses was uneasy at the army’s lying idle, (for the enemies durst not come to a battle,) this accident happened: — Tharbis was the daughter of the king of the Ethiopians: she happened to see Moses as he led the army near the walls, and fought with great courage; and admiring the subtility of his undertakings, and believing him to be the author of the Egyptians’ success, when they had before despaired of recovering their liberty, and to be the occasion of the great danger the Ethiopians were in, when they had before boasted of their great achievements, she fell deeply in love with him; and upon the prevalency of that passion, sent to him the most faithful of all her servants to discourse with him about their marriage. He thereupon accepted the offer, on condition she would procure the delivering up of the city; and gave her the assurance of an oath to take her to his wife; and that when he had once taken possession of the city, he would not break his oath to her. No sooner was the agreement made, but it took effect immediately; and when Moses had cut off the Ethiopians, he gave thanks to God, and consummated his marriage, and led the Egyptians back to their own land.

S-201f. Ch. xi. 1. Now the Egyptians, after they had been preserved by Moses, entertained a hatred to him, and were very eager in compassing their designs against him, as suspecting that he would take occasion, from his good success, to raise a sedition, and bring innovations into Egypt; and told the king he ought to be slain. The king had also some intentions of himself to the same purpose, and this as well out of envy at his glorious expedition at the head of his army, as out of fear of being brought low by him and being instigated by the sacred scribes, he was ready to undertake to kill Moses: but when he had learned beforehand what plots there were against him, he went away privately; and because the public roads were watched, he took his flight through the deserts, and where his enemies could not suspect he would travel; and, though he was destitute of food, he went on, and despised that difficulty courageously; and when he came to the city Midian, which lay upon the Red Sea, and was so denominated from one of Abraham’s sons by Keturah, he sat upon a certain well, and rested himself there after his laborious journey, and the affliction he had been in. It was not far from the city, and the time of the day was noon, where he had an occasion offered him by the custom of the country of doing what recommended his virtue, and afforded him an opportunity of bettering his circumstances.

S-201g. 2. For that country having but little water, the shepherds used to seize on the wells before others came, lest their flocks should want water, and lest it should be spent by others before they came. There were now come, therefore, to this well seven sisters that were virgins, the daughters of Raguel, a priest, and one thought worthy by the people of the country of great honor. These virgins, who took care of their father’s flocks, which sort of work it was customary and very familiar for women to do in the country of the Troglodytes, they came first of all, and drew water out of the well in a quantity sufficient for their flocks, into troughs, which were made for the reception of that water; but when the shepherds came upon the maidens, and drove them away, that they might have the command of the water themselves, Moses, thinking it would be a terrible reproach upon him if he overlooked the young women under unjust oppression, and should suffer the violence of the men to prevail over the right of the maidens, he drove away the men, who had a mind to more than their share, and afforded a proper assistance to the women; who, when they had received such a benefit from him, came to their father, and told him how they had been affronted by the shepherds, and assisted by a stranger, and entreated that he would not let this generous action be done in vain, nor go without a reward. Now the father took it well from his daughters that they were so desirous to reward their benefactor; and bid them bring Moses into his presence, that he might be rewarded as he deserved. And when Moses came, he told him what testimony his daughters bare to him, that he had assisted them; and that, as he admired him for his virtue, he said that Moses had bestowed such his assistance on persons not insensible of benefits, but where they were both able and willing to return the kindness, and even to exceed the measure of his generosity. So he made him his son, and gave him one of his daughters in marriage; and appointed him to be the guardian and superintendent over his cattle; for of old, all the wealth of the barbarians was in those cattle.



Contra Apionem I. 14 — II. 3 (= I. 73 — II. 32) (The transcription of the royal names follows Waddell, Manetho, LCL up to S-202j, thereafter Niese)

The Greek text (ed. Niese) can be found online as at 1/04 at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=J.+Ap.+1.73

S-202a. 14. I shall begin with the writings of the Egyptians; not indeed of those that have written in the Egyptian language, which it is impossible for me to do. But Manetho was a man who was by birth an Egyptian, yet had he made himself master of the Greek learning, as is very evident; for he wrote the history of his own country in the Greek tongue, by translating it, as he saith himself, out of their sacred records; he also finds great fault with Herodotus for his ignorance and false relations of Egyptian affairs. Now this Manetho, in the second book of his Egyptian History, writes concerning us in the following manner. I will set down his very words, as if I were to bring the very man himself into a court for a witness: “Some (god) or other, the god of Timai — I know nothing more than this of (his) name — blasted against us {Greek: tou Timaios onoma epi toutou ouk oid’ ‘opôs ‘o theos antepneusen, Footnote 1}, and there came, after a surprising manner, men of ignoble birth out of the eastern parts, and had boldness enough to make an expedition into our country, and with ease subdued it by force, yet without our hazarding a battle with them. So when they had gotten those that governed us under their power, they afterwards burnt down our cities, and demolished the temples of the gods, and used all the inhabitants after a most barbarous manner; nay, some they slew, and led their children and their wives into slavery. The end result was that they made one of themselves king, whose name was Salitis {var. Saites}; he also lived at Memphis, and made both the upper and lower regions pay tribute, and left garrisons in places that were the most proper for them. He chiefly aimed to secure the eastern parts, as foreseeing that the Assyrians, who had then the greatest power, would be desirous of that kingdom, and invade them; and as he found in the Sethroite nome a city very proper for this purpose, and which lay upon the Bubastic channel, but with regard to a certain theologic notion was called Avaris, this he rebuilt, and made very strong by the walls he built about it, and by a most numerous garrison of twenty-four myriads of armed men whom he put into it to keep it. Thither Salitis came in summer time, partly to gather his corn, and pay his soldiers their wages, and partly to exercise his armed men, and thereby to terrify foreigners. When this man had reigned nineteen years, after him reigned another, whose name was Bnon {var. Beon}, for forty-four years; after him reigned another, called Apachnan, thirty-six years and seven months; after him Apophis {vars.: Aphophis, Aphobis} reigned sixty-one years, and then Iannas fifty years and one month; after all these reigned Assis forty-nine years and two months. And these six were the first rulers among them, who were all along making war with the Egyptians, and were very desirous gradually to destroy them to the very roots. This whole nation was styled HYK[OUS]SOS (Footnote 2 ), that is, Herder-kings: for the first syllable HYK, according to the sacred dialect, denotes a king, as is SOS a herder; but this according to the ordinary dialect; and of these is compounded HYK[OUS]SOS: but some say that these people were Arabians.” Now in another copy it is said that this word does not denote Kings, but, on the contrary, denotes Captive Herders, for in Egyptian HYK, and HAK {Egyptian hak, booty, prisoners of war}, with the aspiration, expressly denote Captives; and this to me seems the more probable opinion, and more agreeable to ancient history. [But Manetho goes on]: “Now these before-named kings, and those of the so-called Herders, and their descendants, held sway over Egypt, he says, during a period amounting to five hundred and eleven years” (Footnote 3). Thereafter he says, “That the kings of the Thebaid and the other parts of Egypt made an insurrection against the Herders, and that there a terrible and long war was made between them.” He says further, “That under a king, whose name was Misphragmuthosis, the Herders were subdued by him, and were indeed driven out of other parts of Egypt, but were shut up in a place that contained ten thousand arûrae {1 arûra = approx. half an acre}; this place was named Avaris.” Manetho says, “That the Herders built a wall round all this place, which was a large and a strong wall, and this in order to keep all their possessions and their prey within a place of strength, but that Thummosis the son of Misphragmuthosis made an attempt to take them by force and by siege, with forty-eight myriads of men to lie round about them, but that, upon his despair of taking the place by that siege, agreements were reached, that they should leave Egypt, and go, without any harm to be done to them, whithersoever they would; and that, after this composition was made, they went away with their whole families and effects, not fewer in number than twenty-four myriads {seemingly a reminiscence of the Hyksos population of Avaris above}, and took their journey from Egypt, through the wilderness, for Syria; but that as they were in fear of the Assyrians, who had then the dominion over Asia, they built a city in that country which is now called Judaea, and that large enough to contain this great number of men, and called it Jerusalem. Now Manetho, in another book of his, says, “That this nation, thus called Herders, were also called Captives, in their sacred books.” And this account of his is the truth; for tending herds was the employment of our forefathers in the most ancient ages and as they led such a nomadic life in this occupation, they were called Herders. Nor was it without reason that they were called Captives by the Egyptians, since one of our ancestors, Joseph, told the king of Egypt that he was a captive, and afterward sent for his brethren into Egypt by the king’s permission. But as for these matters, I shall make a more exact inquiry about them elsewhere. {Josephus’ epitome of Manetho is continued after the following three footnotes at §S-202b, below, >>.}

Footnote 1: (For a Timeline of the Hyksos Period see §62, above, >>.) The Greek here clearly includes the word onoma. The common modern emendation — Toutimaios, epi toutou, ouk oid’ ‘opôs,‘o theos antepneusen (“Tutimaeus. In his reign, I know not how, God blasted against us”) — as well as omitting the word onoma, introduces a king Tutimaeus, who is otherwise unlisted in Manetho, at least in the extant sources, and also, on the face of it, represents Manetho as an advocate of monotheism, which he clearly was not. The emendation should therefore be rejected. The translation offered here, which makes perfect sense of the Greek as it actually appears in the manuscripts, is preferable. Though Manetho knew nothing specific about this god, he knew he was referred to as the “god of Timai.” The name Timai looks like a tribal or a geographical name, and it would be natural if it represented the tribal or geographical origin of at least some elements of the Hyksos. It was as traders that the historical Hyksos (“sheikhs of foreign countries”) first made contact with Egypt. Most of their names, as recorded on the Egyptian monuments, are Semitic, and the language in which they are written is related to Arabic and Hebrew. The Hyksos are sometimes referred to simply as “Arabs.” Though their first kings, according to Manetho (Dynasty XV [apud Africanus] or Dynasty XVII [apud Eusebius], Waddell, LCL Manetho, Frs. 43, 48, 49), originated from the Levantine coast (Phoenicia), the Hyksos themselves migrated into Egypt from a part of the Sinai desert traditionally associated with the Ishmaelites. That was the wilderness of Shur. The Ishmaelites traced their descent from Ishmael, the son of Abraham’s Egyptian serving-girl, Hagar. The area in the northern Nile Delta eventually settled by the Hyksos, the Avaris region, is marked today by numerous Arabic place-names commemorating the name of Hagar. One of the principal Ishmaelite tribes descended from Hagar was Tema. The first occurrence of this name in Genesis (25. 15) connects it precisely with the Sinai area bordering on Egypt to the east, the wilderness of Shur. It seems probable, therefore, that the “god of Timai” referred to by Manetho, and of whose proper name he was ignorant, was the unnamed (or unnamable) God of Abraham worshipped by the Ishmaelite tribe of Tema. And, in fact, the name Tema occurs as the name of a divinity, employed as a component in personal names, in the Aramaic inscriptions in the Sinai desert, which are commonly dismissed nowadays as “Nabataean graffiti,” but are credited by the earliest writer to make mention of them, Cosmas Indicopleustes (early 6th century AD), to the Exodus Israelites. (A study of these inscriptions can be downloaded from this link.) The name Tema means “South.” It was also the designation of the hot desert wind that originated from that region. It may be that Manetho is deliberately playing on this tribal name and connecting the arrival of the Hyksos with a time of drought, caused by the “blast” of the desert wind. In that case his account is reminiscent of the Biblical account. That depicts the Israelites as arriving in Egypt during a period of severe drought, which affected all lands (Gen. 41. 57ff.), and also represents the episode as engineered by the God of Abraham to preserve the lives of the patriarchs (Gen. 45. 5). Ishmaelites are recorded as being in regular trade with Egypt in this area at the time of Joseph (Gen. 37. 25-28, 39. 1), which is traditionally, i.e. in the Christian transmitters of and commentators on Manetho’s king-list, the time of the first Hyksos kings. (See also §S-300, below, >>, for Artapanus’ dating of Joseph’s presence in Egypt to the period when “Syrians” or ‘Ermiouth [equivalent to the native Egyptian ‘Amu = Asiatics] were in power there.) Joseph is dated by Eusebius to his XVIIth Dynasty, the only Hyksos Dynasty in his epitome of Manetho, and more specifically in the Book of Sothis preserved by Syncellus to the reign of Aphophis, one of the first six Hyksos rulers (Waddell, LCL Manetho, pp. 96f., 238ff., Eusebius [epitome of Manetho Dynasty XVII in his Chronicle, in Greek apud Syncellus, and in the Armenian version] and Syncellus [Book of Sothis, s.n. 29. Aphophis, the Ap(h)ophis of Josephus’ epitome and Africanus’ Dynasty XV who ruled 61 years, see further Footnote 3 below]). The kings of this Dynasty are described in Eusebius’ Manetho as follows: “The Seventeenth Dynasty consisted of Herders who were brothers from Phoenicia and foreign kings: they seized Memphis. The first of these kings, Saites, reigned for 19 years: from him, too, the Saite nome derived its name. These kings founded in the Sethroite nome a town {viz. Avaris}, from which they made a raid and subdued Egypt. The second king was Bnon, for 40 years. Next, Archles, for 30 years. Aphophis, for 14 years. Total, 103 years. It is under these kings that Joseph arises, to rule over Egypt {Greek apud Syncellus: “It is in their time that Joseph is, to all intents and purposes, king of the Egyptians [lit. is shown forth (as) king of the Egyptians],” cp. Gen. 41. 40}. (Eusebius’ epitome of Manetho, in the Armenian translation, Waddell, LCL Manetho, Fr. 48b, following Karst’s interpretation of the last sentence, and Greek apud Syncellus, Fr. 48a.) The entry in Syncellus’ Book of Sothis reads: “26. Silites (the first king of the 6 kings of the Seventeenth Dynasty in Manetho), 19 years. 27. Baion, 44 years. 28. Apachnas, 36 years. 29. Aphophis, 61 years. Some say that this king was first called Pharaoh, and that by [or, in] the 4th year of his reign Joseph had come into Egypt as a slave. This [king] did make Joseph lord of Egypt, and of his whole kingdom, by [or, in] the 17th year of his rule, because of the fact that he learned from him the interpretation of the dreams, and had had experience of his divine wisdom. But the Holy Scriptures also call the king in the time of Abraham Pharaoh.” The Biblical question aired here whether the Pharaoh of Joseph’s time or the Pharaoh of Abraham’s time is the first so called in the Bible is a moot point. The Pharaoh in the time of Joseph’s imprisonment is the first referred to as Pharaoh in direct speech, Gen. 40. 11, that is, 2 years before Joseph’s release, cf. Gen. 41. 1, implying the title was in popular use at that period. However, as this entry notes, the Pharaoh in Abraham’s time is the first referred to as Pharaoh in the text of the Bible itself, Gen. 12. 15, 17, 18, 20, but not in direct speech. The usage in those passages could be conventional and retrospective. The chronological statements respecting the 4th and 17th years of Aphophis could be translated differently to read “in the 4th year … in the 17th year. “ However, the temporal dative of the word “year” (Gk. etei) is used elsewhere in the Book of Sothis only once, and there it means “by” that year, not “in” that year: the other phrase reads: “By this 5th year of Concharis … 700 years are fulfilled” (s.n. 25, Concharis, Waddell, LCL Manetho pp. 236ff.). Contrariwise when the Book of Sothis wants to express the meaning “in” a year, it uses the preposition en (“in”) (ibid., p. 238). The statements of Eusebius and the Book of Sothis are consistent with the chronology of Manetho’s account in Josephus. Manetho there reckons 511 years from the earliest of the first 6 Hyksos kings (Salitis) to the final departure of the Hyksos from the land. The latter he dates to the reign of Misphragmuthosis (Thutmosis III) and his son. Other evidence provides a more precise date for this departure, viz. the final year of Thutmosis III, the year of the Exodus, 1446 BC (§57, above, >>, §51b, above, >>). Therefore the first Hyksos king is datable to 1446 + 511 = 1957 BC. This is precisely the era, during what is known as the First Intermediate Period, around 1950 BC, when Asiatics penetrated Egypt and took control of some areas of the country. They were most prominent in the Delta, and Memphis was abandoned to them by the native Egyptians. Later they made Avaris their capital. These findings corroborate the account of Manetho. According to Josephus’ epitome, which claims to represent Manetho’s exact words, king Ap(h)ophis succeeded to the throne 99 years 7 months after the beginning of the Hyksos rule, viz. some time in 1858 BC, and reigned for 61 years, i.e. till 1797 BC. Joseph can be proved from the data given in Genesis and Exodus to have been in power in Egypt at this very period. According to the Bible, the children of Israel dwelt in Egypt for 430 years before the Exodus (Ex. 12. 41), viz. the Entry into Egypt was the 430th year before 1446 = 1875 BC. Joseph was the first child of Israel to dwell in Egypt and his two children, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were likewise reckoned amongst the “children of Israel” (cf. Gen. 48. 5), were born in Egypt during the 7 years of abundance, after Joseph was exalted to power by Pharaoh (Gen. 41. 48-50). These, beginning with Joseph, were the first of Israel’s children to dwell in Egypt (Gen. 50. 22), and the 430 years of Exodus 12. 41 must, therefore, begin with the arrival of Joseph in Egypt as a slave in 1875 BC. Joseph was at least 16 years old (i.e., in his 17th year, according to Hebrew usage) when he related the dreams which caused his brethren to be jealous of him (Gen. 37. 2), and he was in his 30th year (age 29 modern style) when he “stood before Pharaoh” (Gen. 41. 46). There was a minimum of 2 years inclusive imprisonment prior to this (Gen. 41. 1). Joseph, therefore, was 16 or older, but younger than 28 years of age, when he arrived in Egypt in 1875 BC. The earliest possible age is the most probable, as there seems no other clear reason for the Bible to specify his age at this juncture in the narrative, except for the purpose of highlighting the crucial year in which he was taken down into Egypt, to initiate a new era in the Divine history. Nevertheless, even if Joseph had attained the latest possible age of 28 at that point, he would have been only 45 years old 17 years later at the beginning of the reign of Aphophis, 1858 BC, and would thus have lived the major part of his life till his expiration at 110 (Gen. 50. 26) during the 61 year reign of the same king. By this simple comparison of the Biblical data and Josephus’ epitome of Manetho, we find the general chronology of Eusebius’ Chronicle and the Book of Sothis, as they relate to Aphophis and Joseph, confirmed. A more detailed analysis also highlights: 1) the 4th year, 2) the 14th year, and 3) the 17th year of Aphophis, which all feature in the epitomes of Manetho preserved by Eusebius and Syncellus as important years in the history of Joseph. Joseph was in his 17th year in 1875 BC and in his 30th year in 1862 BC. In his 30th year he was promoted from prison and set by Pharaoh over the whole of Egypt. Immediately thereafter followed 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine, spanning the years 1861 to 1848 BC inclusive. Through his management of the famine relief Joseph brought 100% of the silver of both Egypt and Canaan, and of the Egyptian livestock and real estate, into the royal treasury, apart from what belonged to the priests, and negotiated a 20% levy on the whole population for the future (Gen. 47. 13-27). In the 2nd year of famine, 1853 BC, Joseph’s father, Jacob-Israel, and Joseph’s brethren came down into Egypt. From the immediately succeeding period (Middle Bronze II, or Middle Bronze IIB, as it is also known, see Hyksos Timeline §62, above, >>) dates a scarab from a cave tomb in the Shiqmona suburb of Haifa inscribed with the name “Jacob” (y‘kb ‘r, Ya‘kub, followed by Er, otherwise written y‘kb hr) in Egyptian hieroglyphics. According to Petrie (History of Egypt, vol. 1, 3rd ed., New York, 1897, Addenda p. xxi, n. to p. 122) the fabric of one scarab with the throne name of Ya‘kub-Har”, viz. “Mery-User-Re” (see infra), inscribed on it, is identical to that of scarabs made around the time of Sesostris (Petrie’s “Usertesen”) I, that is at the beginning of Dynasty XII, c. 1850-1800 BC, which is precisely the era of Jacob and Joseph. The same combination y‘kb ‘r has been found in Egypt, too, and is generally ascribed, rather loosely, to the Hyksos period. The initial element is identical to the Biblical Jacob. The second element ‘r or hr is most easily explained as a Semitic root, Ugaritic ‘r (Hebrew ‘yr), meaning “to be excited, fervent, roused, aggressive, contentious,from which is derived the name Er of Judah’s firstborn (Gen. 38. 3ff.) and of Judah’s grandson by Shelah (I Chron. 4. 21). A throne name appears on this and other scarabs, Mery-User-Re, “Beloved of User-Re.User-Re is perhaps a translation of Isra-el, in which the name of the High God Re stands in place of the Hebrew El, and the Egyptian “user” (wsr) corresponds to the Hebrew isra-, “he is powerful.” El is a sun-god in Canaan and Canaanites may even have read the hieroglyphic sign for Re on this scarab as El, employing their customary name for the sun-god, rather than the foreign Egyptian name. It was a daughter of a priest of Re of Heliopolis whom Joseph married, according to Gen. 41. 45, 50, 46. 20. The inscription on the Shiqmona scarab reads therefore: “Er, beloved of IsraelJacob, given life.” The scarab was found in a tomb, and it may actually mark the site of Er’s tomb. Er was the son of a Canaanitess. He was “wicked in the sight of the Lord” according to Genesis 38. 7, and was slain by God in consequence. Canaanite idolatry rose to the level of evil indicated by those statements, and the scarab on the face of it is an idolatrous memento. We would expect Egyptian and Hyksos forms of Jacob’s name to occur in the archaeological record at just this point in time, in the generation following his sojourn in Egypt. The year of Jacob’s arrival in Egypt is an important chronological marker in Biblical history because from it — the 130th year of his life (Gen. 47. 9) — the Patriarchal generations back to the Flood and Adam can be calculated, with the precise genealogical data supplied in Genesis. However, the Christian chroniclers make nothing of this, the 6th year of Aphophis, 1853 BC, but instead highlight the 4th year of Aphophis, 1855 BC. According to the Biblical chronology, that would be the last year of plenty, when Joseph was in power in Egypt. Contrariwise, the Book of Sothis makes it the year by which (or in which) Joseph had come into Egypt as a slave. More agreeable with the Biblical scheme is the alternative Hyksos king-list preserved by Eusebius (Dynasty XVII, in the Armenian translation, and in scholia on Plato’s Timaeus derived from an identical source, Waddell, LCL Manetho, Fr. 48b, 49, pp. 96ff.). In that the reign of Aphophis begins in the 90th year of Hyksos rule (1868 BC), commencing immediately after the 30 year reign of Archles, and the 40 year reign of Bnon, rather than after the 36 year 7 month reign of Apachnan and the 44 year reign of Bnon as in Josephus’ epitome. According to that scheme, Aphophis ruled 14 years (viz. from 1868 to 1855 BC) then Joseph “was, to all intents and purposes, king over the Egyptians.” Once again the crucial year is 1855 BC, though it is here treated as the 14th year of Aphophis, because this scheme dates the beginning of Aphophis’ rule earlier, rather than the 4th year of Aphophis, and it is not the year Joseph arrived in Egypt but more correctly a point in time in which Joseph had all but total power over the country. The idea that Joseph was a slave in Egypt in the 4th year of Aphophis seems also to be derived from an entry connected originally with this other scheme preserved by Eusebius. In that, the 4th year of Aphophis corresponds to 1865 BC, and then Joseph was still in prison. In fact, 1865 BC was separated by an interval of precisely 2 years from the year of Joseph’s promotion out of prison by Pharaoh in 1862 BC. The Bible records that Joseph was left in prison 2 years after interpreting the dreams of Pharaoh’s butler and baker before Pharaoh granted him freedom when he interpreted Pharaoh’s dream (Gen. 41. 1). For some Christian chroniclers, therefore, the 4th year of Aphophis was the year Joseph interpreted the dreams in prison. That synchronism is historically viable. The same synchronism elucidates the reference to the “17th” year of Aphophis in the Book of Sothis as the year in which Joseph was exalted to power over all Egypt. This occurred historically, as we have seen, after an interval of 2 years following the 4th year of Aphophis in Eusebius’ scheme, viz. 1862 BC. But the same interval of 2 years following the 4th year of Aphophis in Josephus’ scheme would yield a result of 1852 BC. Reckoning the regnal years anomalously by the Eusebian scheme, 1852 BC is the 17th year of Aphophis. I.e. that entry originated by a confusion of the two Manethonian king-lists preserved by the Christian chroniclers. It is likely, therefore, that the original notes were as follows (with figures still surviving in the extant sources underlined): 1) 4th year of Aphophis [= 1865 BC], Joseph, a prisoner in Egypt, interprets the dreams (> 14th year); 2) 7th year of Aphophis [= 1862 BC], Joseph exalted to power in Egypt (> 17th year). Both entries are correct by the strict Biblical chronology, given regnal figures for the first four Hyksos kings like those found in the epitome of Manetho preserved in Eusebius’ Chronicle (Armenian version) and in the scholia on Plato’s Timaeus, and a 511 year Hyksos era, as in Josephus’ epitome of Manetho, terminating at the Exodus in 1446 BC.

Table of Synchronisms Between Joseph and the Reign of the Hyksos King Aphophis

Year BC

Year of Hyksos Era Commencing 1957 BC

Regnal Year of Aphophis (Eusebius, Scholia)

Regnal Year of Aphophis (Josephus, Sothis)

P=Plenty F=Famine


Biblical Era




















Joseph arrives in Egypt as a slave in his 17th year

430th Year Before Exodus (1446 BC)





































































Joseph interprets the dreams in prison in his 27th year





















Joseph exalted to power in his 30th year































































Jacob-Israel and his household arrive in Egypt

130th year of Jacob-Israel


















































Scarab of Jacob-Har

Scarab from a Burial Cave at Shiqmona near Haifa, in the land of Israel, ancient Canaan, reading “Er, beloved of User-Re (= Isra-El) Jacob, Given Life.”


Footnote 2: Hyksos: Eusebius §S-206d, below, >>, has Hykoussos, Gk. Hukoussôs. The word is composed of two elements: 1) huk, plural hukou, = heka, plural hekau, sheikh, king, ruler, 2) (s)sôs = hase, foreign country. In the “ordinary dialect,” as in many Coptic dialects, the word hase could be pronounced like the word shasu (Coptic shôs), “bedouin, nomadic pastoralists, herders, shepherds.” This latter term was used to describe the kind of Asiatics with whom the Hyksos were bracketed and hence the form Hyk(ou-s)sos came into use and the second element was interpreted as though it actually was shasu. Wordplay seems to have played a part in the process, as also in the interpretation (or reinterpretation) of the first element as hak, captives, booty. The “sheikhs of a foreign country” became by wordplay, and when enslaved by the New Kingdom Pharaohs, the “bedouin booty.”

Footnote 3: This period of 511 years is much longer than modern historians allocate by custom to the Hyksos Dynasties. When they refer to the Hyksos, most modern historians mean the Asiatic kings of what they call Dynasty XV, who ruled large parts or all of Egypt at various times from their capital at Avaris in the interval between c. 1700 and 1550 BC. These people were ousted from power by Ahmosis I of the XVIIIth Dynasty c. 1570-1550 BC and their remnant population was enslaved and oppressed for the next 100 years or so up to the time of the co-regency of Thutmosis III and Amenophis II. However, Manetho is referring here to something else. He is tracing the origin of these people back to their very first appearance in the Delta, which occurred historically 500 years and more before their final departure from Egypt in the reign of Thutmosis III and his son. If Manetho is read closely, it can be seen that he nowhere specifies that the Hyksos ruled the whole of Egypt for the whole of that period. He implies a substantial degree of power was exercised over the native Egyptians by some at least of the first 6 kings, particularly by the first of them. He then refers to an undetermined period when the Hyksos gained the mastery over the native Egyptian rulers. Manetho tells us that Ahmosis I (Tethmosis) broke that political stranglehold. Finally he describes here and in the following sections of his work how the last of the Hyksos departed from Egypt, during a period when they again, for a short period at least, had ascendancy over the native Egyptian population. These three phases of Hyksos power are listed in order in this section of Manetho’s account: “Now these before-named kings {Phase 1: the 6 Phoenician kings, from c. 1960 BC}, and those of the so-called Herders {Phase 2: what modern historians refer to as Dynasty XV, the period of control from Avaris over much or all of Egypt, c. 1700-1570 BC; Manetho says “so-called” Herders because the element sôs in the name Hyk-sos meant “herders” only in the “common dialect,” as he himself points out, whereas originally it represented the Egyptian hase, “foreign country,” see Footnote 2 above}, and their descendants {Phase 3: the Exodus period at the end of the reign of Thutmosis III}, held sway over Egypt, he says, during an interval {accusative} amounting to five hundred and eleven years. Modern historians have come to designate as the Hyksos period Phase 2. Because the rulers or one ruler of that period bore the name Aphophis (Apopi), it has been wrongly concluded that the 6 original Phoenician kings, including the Aphophis mentioned by Manetho, which Manetho bracketed in his Dynasty XV (according to Africanus’ epitome) or Dynasty XVII (according to Eusebius’ epitome), are to be dated to that phase. Such a reconstruction is refuted by the literary evidence (The Prophecy of Neterty and the Admonitions of Ipuwer), which shows that Asiatics were present in overwhelming force in the North already in the First Intermediate Period c. 2000 to c. 1850 BC, and that this, as the Bible describes the era of Joseph, was a time of severe hardship caused by drought and associated natural calamities. The term hekau hase (Hyksos) was used already to describe such Asiatics in the Middle Kingdom period from at least c. 1850 BC. The findings of the excavators at Tell el-Dab’a further prove there was a settlement at the site later known as Avaris already one hundred years or so before the reign of Amenemhat I, the founder of Dynasty XII, i.e. before c. 1850 BC. Africanus represents Manetho as placing the 6 Phoenician kings including Aphophis, the last with a long reign of 61 years, in Dynasty XV, and as designating all Dynasties XV through XVII as Hyksos. Eusebius represents Manetho as designating Dynasties XV through XVI as native Egyptian and Dynasty XVII only as Hyksos (including at the beginning some only of the 6 Phoenician kings and ending with Aphophis’ truncated 14, not 61, year rule: the most probable explanation for this is that Amenemhat I, the native Egyptian founder of Dynasty XII, then began to reign, from 1854 BC, viz. the first year of the 7 years of famine, with an overlapping of reigns with some of the later Hyksos kings). Therefore we should accept the arrangement of the Dynasties in Africanus’ epitome of Manetho as better expressing the historical facts of the case and list these 6 kings as Dynasty XV, located chronologically at the beginning of the period of Hyksos infiltration. Clearly Manetho’s native Egyptian Dynasties XIII and XIV, and perhaps sections of the other Dynasties preceding Dynasty XVIII, were composed of native Egyptian rulers who ruled at various times, contemporaneously in some cases with Hyksos kings. However, Dynasty XVII is likely to have been mainly, if not wholly, Hyksos, and this was the Dynasty of the Apopi (Aphophis) who came in conflict with the rising House of Thebes. Dynasty XVII would then be defined as the line of dynasts ousted by Ahmosis I. Phase 1 of this redefined scheme would be Hyksos Dynasty XV, when the 6 Phoenician kings exercised more or less control over greater or lesser parts of the country, and Dynasty XVI of occasional or partial Hyksos dominance in the remainder of the period up to c. 1700 BC. Phase 2 would be Hyksos Dynasty XVII, c. 1700-1570 BC, composed of Hyksos kings ruling large parts of the country from Avaris, more or less continuously. Phase 3 would be the very brief Exodus Phase in the early XVIIIth Dynasty c. 1446 BC. An alternative Manethonian scheme preserved in Eusebius and partially in the Book of Sothis (s.n. 26, Silites, Waddell, LCL Manetho, p. 238f.) brackets both Phases 1 and 2 as Hyksos Dynasty XVII and labels two dynasties of native Egyptian leaders as Dynasties XV and XVI.

Supplementary Note


{Note: Manetho’s figures and reigns should not be understood as running in sequence: there were overlapping dynasties and reigns, but the details are still obscure.}

The most probable reconstruction of Manetho’s scheme:

At the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrhah c 2044 BC, Dynasty VI came to an end.

There was an interlude of chaos: Dynasty VII of 70 kings for 70 days (alt. 5 kings for 70 days, or for 75 years).

Dynasty VIII of 5 kings ruled in Memphis for 100 years till c. 1960 BC when the Hyksos kings arrived in the Delta and Memphis area.

The Hyksos overthrew the current native Egyptian dynasty (presumably the latter kings of Dynasty VIII, or an ephemeral or nominal hegemony exercised by the earliest Heracleopolitan kings of Dynasty IX and earliest Theban kings of Dynasty XI), but some Memphites claimed to rule for another 46 years (Africanus), making a total of 27 Memphite kings for 146 years.

The native Egyptians were compelled to cover the period of intermittent Hyksos incursion and occasional ascendancy by emphasizing the relatively continuous line of Dynasty IX and Dynasty X of Heracleopolitan kings (Dynasty IX comprising 19 kings for 409 [!] years, or 4 kings for 100 years, followed by Dynasty X comprising 19 kings for 185 years), who ruled from a region in Middle Egypt at Ihnasya (Heracleopolis), near the entrance to the Fayum, where they built a new capital, and were therefore not so readily under Hyksos suzerainty. These ruled for a total of 285 (one variant reads 594 years), viz. from c. 1900 BC. (If Manetho’s tradition reflects any chronological reality, some kings may have reigned to as late as c. 1570 BC, when the New Kingdom was inaugurated.) The principal and earliest Heracleopolitan rulers, Achthoes I etc., flourished before the rise of the more powerful Thebans of Dynasty XI, and there was rivalry initially between the two houses.

Dynasty XI of 16 kings for 43 years ruled in Thebes well outside of the Hyksos zone, preceding Amenemhat I, the earliest of them perhaps c. 1950 BC, and up to c. 1830 BC.

Amenemhat I inaugurated the strong and independent Theban Dynasty XII (7 kings ruling 160 years or 245 years), which overthrew the Hyksos suzerainty for a period till c. 1700 BC. Joseph served the latter part of his time in Egypt under Amenemhat I till c. 1782 BC, though he was first exalted to power earlier in his career by the fourth of the original six Hyksos kings, Aphophis (see infra). (Africanus’ Manetho makes Aphophis the sixth and last king of Hyksos Dynasty XV.)

Dynasty XIII of Thebans (60 kings for 453 years) was considered to represent the legitimate Egyptian line thereafter, even during times of Hyksos pre-eminence, and contemporaneously, or nearly or partly so, a Dynasty XIV (76 kings for 184 or 484 years) ruled at Xois (Sakha), in the Western Delta, during the principal period of Hyksos ascendancy c. 1700-1570 BC.

In Africanus’ Manethonian scheme Dynasty XV through Dynasty XVII were all Hyksos (from c. 1960 BC to c. 1570 BC). Africanus’ Dynasty XV comprised the original 6 Hyksos or Phoenician kings (for 284 years), the last of them being the king Aphophis who exalted Joseph to power in Egypt: these reigned from c. 1960 BC to c. 1830 BC. Dynasty XVI comprised those Hyksos kings, it may be, who were considered legitimate during the Dynasty XII Theban or other native Egyptian ascendancy following that (Dynasty XVI of 32 Hyksos kings for 518 years), say from c. 1830 BC to c. 1750 BC. Dynasty XVII represented the Hyksos Ascendancy (43 Hyksos kings and 43 kings at Thebes, for 151 years), from c. 1700 BC to c. 1570 BC.

In the alternative Manethonian scheme, Dynasty XV and Dynasty XVI of Theban kings (Dynasty XV comprising an unrecorded number of kings for 250 years, and Dynasty XVI, 5 kings for 190 years) followed on at Thebes after Dynasty XIII. These dynasties ruled from just before, till the end of, the Hyksos Ascendancy, that is from just before c. 1700 BC to c. 1570 BC.

In archaeological terms, Dynasties VII through XI (c. 2044 BC to c. 1850 BC), including the arrival and reign of the first Hyksos kings up to Aphophis, represent the First Intermediate Period; Dynasty XII (c. 1850 BC to c. 1700 BC) the Middle Kingdom; and Dynasty XVII (the Hyksos Ascendancy c. 1700 BC to c. 1570 BC) the Second Intermediate Period.

Joseph’s native Egyptian name:

Joseph is traditionally credited with the construction of the canal feeding Lake Moeris, otherwise known as the Fayum, in Middle Egypt, hence the water-system is known to this day amongst the Egyptian Arabs as Bahr Yusuf, “Joseph’s Lake.” The construction of the lake commenced historically in the reign of Amenemhat I, called Meny by the Egyptians and Mendes by the Greeks, in the Middle Kingdom period c. 1830 BC. The date synchronizes with the latter period of Joseph’s exaltation in Egypt, according to the strict, conservative, Biblical chronology (which dates the Exodus to 1446 BC and the entry of Joseph into Egypt to 1875 BC). From papyrus remains unearthed in Egypt it is known Amenemhat I had in his court a notable official whose name matches Joseph’s Egyptian name Zaphenath, and who appears (see infra) to have come into Egypt as a foreign slave from Canaan. This person’s name was Sinuhe, otherwise written, more properly, Sa-nahat. It means “Son [sa] of the sycamore [nahat].” The name Sa-nahat, like any such Egyptian personal name, might also appear in the form Sa-pa-nahat, with the addition of the definite article “pa:” “Son (sa) of the (pa) Sycamore (nahat).” Since the initial “s” was pronounced something like an “s” or “z,” the name might be transcribed in Hebrew as Za-phe-nath, which is precisely the Egyptian name said to have been given to Joseph, Genesis 41. 45. The name Zaphenath in that passage is followed by a second element “Paaneah.” This represents the definite article (pa) followed by the word for “living one” (aneah, pronounced with a guttural final consonant, Egyptian “ankh”). Joseph was “Zaphenath (Sa-pa-nahat = “Sinuhe”) the Living One (Pa-ankh)” the latter being an honorificum, or honorary title, bestowed on gods and pharaohs, describing its bearer as a partaker of the everlasting life enjoyed by the divinity. It is confirmation that Joseph had quasi-royal status. In the LXX the name Zaphenath-Paaneah is transcribed Psontho-mphanech, seemingly for Pa-Sa-nahat pa-ankh, with the “pa” in the initial position, and omitting it before the -nahat. The Egyptian name may have been a phonetic echo of the Hebrew name Joseph, the latter being in its full form “Yoseph ben aher” (“He [God] will add [= Yoseph] another [aher] son [ben]”): in the Egyptian form the contiguous pe and beth (the pe or ph-sound at the end of Yoseph, and the beth or b-sound at the beginning of ben) merged into one sound, and was represented by the “p” of “pa,” and the “-n aher” at the end, with a medial aspirated heth, or h-sound, and an hardly pronounced final resh, or r-sound, was represented by the name of the sycamore tree “nahat,” in which the medial “h” was aspirated, and the final “t” might, or might not, be dropped in pronunciation. Thus: Yoseph-ben-aher > [Yo]seph-[b]en-ahe[r] > Sa-pa-naha[t]. The meaning of the name was nicely retained, as the sycamore represented a reinvigorating of natural powers, or renewal of life, therefore, “Son of the sycamore” could be interpreted to mean “son of renewal,” i.e. “an additional son.” The whole name Zaphenath Paaneah was translated traditionally “Savior of the world,” which probably goes back to an ancient Hebrew interpretation of the Egyptian name-cum-title as “mihyat-olam” meaning “Everlasting Life-preserver.” See Genesis 45. 5: Joseph said God brought him down to Egypt as a “way to preserve life” (mihyah). The element “mihyah” translates the Egyptian “son of the sycamore” as a metaphor: “he that has the quality of the sycamore,” that is, “life-preserver” (in the same way that “son of the north-wind” in Egyptian means “northerner”). The sycamore, because of its refreshing and curative fragrance, was a symbol of health-giving, restorative, power. The other element “olam” means eternity, everlastingness, or the world of time, and is grammatically in a construct relationship with the first element: it should properly, therefore, have been translated as an adjective, the “everlasting” one, corresponding to the Egyptian Pa-ankh (= Paaneah), but it could also be understood as a noun (“olam” = “the world of time”) and hence the interpretation “Savior of the world:” 1) “Savior” = Heb. “mihyat” or “preserver of life,” corresponding to the Egyptian “son of the sycamore,” meaning “life-preserver,” Sa-pa-nahat, Zaphenath; 2) “of the world” = Heb. “olam,” understood as a simple noun instead of what it was originally, that is, an adjectival noun meaning “world-enduring,” or “everlasting,” corresponding to the adjective “everlasting,” viz. the Egyptian title “Living/Everlasting One,” Pa-ankh, Paaneah.

A famous story, the so called “Tale of Sinuhe,” which was popular in post-Middle-Kingdom Egypt, told of a servant of the royal household who slipped away secretly to Canaan when king Amenemhat I died, because he feared for his safety till the succession was settled. (See http://www.christianhospitality.org/resources/6-days-creation-online/content/6-days-creation40.html for the text) This servant prospered in Canaan, then returned to Egypt after many years, by personal request of the new king Sen-wosret (Sesostris) I of Dynasty XII, for ultimate burial in Egypt. The time and circumstances of this tale match those of Zepho the servant of Joseph, according to post-Biblical Rabbinic legend. The name Zepho is a nominal formation from the root z-ph-h, “watch, attend to, guard,” so Zepho is the “watcher,” “attendant,” or “guard.” The hero of the Egyptian tale refers to himself as Shemsu, and this means precisely “the Attendant,” corresponding to the Hebrew Zepho. The phrase “I Shemsu …” occurs prominently in the introductory section of the tale (ms.: Berlin 104998, line 2). However, because the servant also describes himself as “shemsu Sa-nahat” it has been presumed by modern translators that shemsu in the latter phrase is in apposition to Sa-nahat and means “the attendant Sa-nahat,” as if Sa-nahat (Sinuhe) was his personal name. Notwithstanding the universality of this understanding, the more usual construction in ancient Egyptian is shemsu governing a genitive: “shemsu Har” means “the attendant of Horus,” “shemsu Asari,” “the attendant of Osiris,” etc., so “shemsu Sa-nahat” would mean “the attendant (shemsu) of Sa-nahat.” In that case the hero of the tale is not Sa-nahat himself, but the attendant [shemsu] of Sa-nahat, whose personal name happens also to be Shemsu, as indicated in the phrase in the introductory passage already referred to, “I Shemsu ….” This Shemsu describes himself, accordingly, a little later in the story, as the “servant of the great household (bak ah) of Sa-nahat.” (Though here too the phrase has been taken to be appositional, as if it meant, “servant of the great household, Sa-nahat.”) It is presumed throughout the tale that Shemsu’s master Sa-nahat was well known to Pharaoh, that he was a member of the court elite, and that he was deceased at the time of the relation, since he nowhere features in the action of the story. Indeed in one passage Sa-nahat is proclaimed by Pharaoh to have “come again” in the form of Shemsu on the latter’s return to Egypt, this time as an “Amu [‘Asiatic’] produced by Setians [‘Syrians’].” This implies Sa-nahat entered Egypt like Shemsu, and that would be: from Canaan, as a servant, of foreign stock (an Habiru [Eg. prw], or ‘Hebrew,’ to use the later terminology, but evidently not ‘Setian,’ whatever precisely that meant), and in favor with Pharaoh. Sa-nahat is the Biblical Zaphenath (Joseph), for the reasons given, and all those conditions are met in the case of Joseph. Since further Shemsu translates Zepho, the Egyptian story of Shemsu the servant of Sa-nahat might be expected to mirror the Rabbinic legend of Zepho, the servant of Joseph. According to the Rabbinic legend Joseph led an expedition into Canaan at the time he buried his father Jacob there, which resulted in a conflict between Joseph’s attendants and the Edomites, and in the slaughter of Joseph’s uncle Esau. Other battles ensued between the parties, and Joseph triumphed each time over his Edomite enemies and their allies. He also brought back Edomite captives to Egypt, including Esau’s grandson, Zepho, who remained thereafter his servant in Egypt. On the death of Joseph, Zepho fled Egypt for the land of the Latins (the Latins being equated in Rabbinic literature with the Lotanites of Mount Seir), married the daughter of the king of the Latins (Lotanites), overmastered and slew a monstrous robber single-handed, and then became king of the Latins (Lotanites), and the founder of Rome (Rome being equated in Rabbinic literature with the Edomite Iram). He was worshiped subsequently as a god under the names Janus and Saturnus, the most ancient divinities of Rome. In the Egyptian legend, Shemsu similarly fled Egypt (on the death of Amenemhat I, viz. around the time of the death of Joseph), settled in the land of Retenu (the tribal name Retenu = Lotan, l > r in Egyptian), married the daughter of the king of Retenu, became a Canaanite kinglet himself, fought single-handed and then slew a monstrous robber chief, and returned finally to Egypt in triumph at the invitation of Sen-wosret I, attended by a Canaanite retinue. The precise accord with the story of Zepho confirms that Shemsu is Zepho and Shemsu’s (deceased) master Sa-nahat the Biblical Zaphenath-Joseph.

S-202b. 15. But now I shall produce the Egyptians as witnesses to the antiquity of our nation. I shall therefore here bring in Manetho again, and what he writes as to the order of the times in this case; and thus he speaks: “When this people or Herders were gone out of Egypt to Jerusalem, Tethmosis {Ahmosis} the king of Egypt, who drove them out, reigned afterward twenty-five years and four months, and then died; after him his son Chebron took the kingdom for thirteen years; after whom came Amenophis, for twenty years and seven months; then came his sister Amessis, for twenty-one years and nine months; after her came Mephres, for twelve years and nine months; after him was Mephramuthosis {var. Africanus, Eusebius: Misphragmuthosis}, for twenty-five years and ten months; after him was Thmosis {var. Tuthmosis, Tuthmoses} for nine years and eight months; after him came Amenophis, for thirty years and ten months; after him came Orus, for thirty-six years and five months; then came his daughter Acencheres, for twelve years and one month; then was her brother Rathotis, for nine years; then was Acencheres, for twelve years and five months; then came another Acencheres, for twelve years and three months; after him Harmais, for four years and one month; after him was Ramesses, for one year and four months; after him came Harmesses Miamun, for sixty-six years and two months; after him Amenophis, for nineteen years and six months; after him came Sethos {var. Sethosis}, also called Ramesses, who had an army of horse, and a naval force. This king appointed his brother, Harmais {later called Hermaeus} to be his deputy over Egypt.” [In another copy it stood thus: After him came Sethosis, and Ramesses, two brethren, the former of whom had a naval force, and in a hostile manner destroyed those that met him upon the sea; but as he slew Ramesses in no long time afterward, so he appointed Harmais, another of his brethren to be his deputy over Egypt.] He also gave him all the other authority of a king, but with these only injunctions, that he should not wear the diadem, nor be injurious to the queen, the mother of his children, and that he should not meddle with the other concubines of the king; while he made an expedition against Cyprus, and Phoenicia, and besides against the Assyrians and the Medes. He then subdued them all, some by his arms, some without fighting, and some by the terror of his great army; and being puffed up by the great successes he had had, he went on still the more boldly, and overthrew the cities and countries that lay in the eastern parts. But after some considerable time, Harmais, who was left in Egypt, did all those very things, by way of opposition, which his brother had forbid him to do, without fear; for he used violence to the queen, and continued to make use of the rest of the concubines, without sparing any of them; nay, at the persuasion of his friends he put on the diadem, and set up to oppose his brother. But then he who was set over the priests of Egypt wrote letters to Sethos, and informed him of all that had happened, and how his brother had set up to oppose him: he therefore returned back to Pelusium immediately, and recovered his kingdom again. The country also was called from his name Egypt; for Manetho says, that Sethos was himself called Aegyptus, as was his brother Harmais called Danaus.” (Footnote)

Footnote. The eponym Aegyptus (Gk. Aiguptos) was attached to several kings in this era who were called Ramesses or were thought to be so called, viz. 1) Thutmosis III in Syriac sources (where he is called Petissonios, “Phosinus”), the Pharaoh who drowned in the Red Sea at the Exodus, this most likely on account of the fact the inscriptions of Thutmosis III were chiseled out and replaced by those of Ramesses II, as Ramesses II was titled Aegyptus, infra; 2) Seti the “Officer”, the physical son of Amenophis II abandoned at 5 years of age at the Exodus, and called Ramesses after his adoptive father Ramesses of Avaris, sic in Manetho’s account of the Exodus; 3) Ramesses I, sic in Manetho’s account of the expulsion of Danaus (Haremheb), where Aegyptus’ succession to Haremheb is that of Ramesses I, and Ramesses I father of Seti I is confused with Ramesses the adoptive father of Seti the “Officer”, see infra; 4) Ramesses II, sic in some versions of Manetho’s king-list where Ramesses titled Aegyptus is given a regnal figure of 66/68 years which is that of Ramesses II. This usage is likely to have arisen on account of the fact the “House of Ramesses” was the name given to Avaris by the XIXth Dynasty Pharaoh Ramesses II, because his dynastic line (“house”) originated there, and the region around was called the “land of Rameses” accordingly in the Hebrew Scriptures and described as the “prime part” of the land of Egypt (Mizraim), Gen. 47. 11. This same area (the environs of the land of Rameses in the Delta) was known as Aiguptos (Egypt) amongst the Greeks, and hence “Rames(s)es” as a topographical term came to be considered equivalent to “Egypt”. Since also Seti was surnamed Ramesses after his father, the eponym Aiguptos was attached to some of the kings called Seti: 1) Seti the “Officer” abandoned by Amenophis II, sic in Manetho’s account of the Exodus; 2) Seti I, sic in Manetho’s account of the transition to Dynasty XIX, where the king’s military campaigns in Canaan and his succession to Haremheb show Seti I son of Ramesses I is meant. Doubtless Seti the “Officer”, Manetho’s Sethos-Ramesses born to Amenophis and named Ramesses after his adoptive father, has been confused with Seti I and his (actual) father Ramesses I. The eponym Danaos (Danaus) was attached to one king only at this period in history, viz. Haremheb, and he seems to have acquired it because of his migration to the Danaan city of Argos. The original eponyms were Aiguptos, “Egypt”, meaning Mizraim (Men), the founding patriarch of Egypt, and Danaos, meaning the ancestral patriarch of the Danaan Greeks. These were depicted as sons of Belos by Libya, and therefore termed “brothers”. The appearance of Haremheb at the end of Dynasty XVIII and his identification with Danaus, led to Manetho’s excursus at this point on Aegyptus and Danaus, which, in turn, led him to background the Greek legend in the story of Seti the “Officer” (Sethos-Ramesses) in the days of Amenophis II and the Exodus. Hence the dislocation of Amenophis II in the Greek epitomes of Manetho.

S-202c. 16. This is Manetho’s account. And evident it is from the number of years by him set down belonging to this interval, if they be summed up together, that these Herders, as they are here called, who were no other than our forefathers, were delivered out of Egypt, and came thence, and inhabited this country, three hundred and ninety-three years before Danaus came to Argos; although the Argives look upon him as their most ancient king. Manetho, therefore, bears this testimony to two points of the greatest consequence to our purpose, and those from the Egyptian records themselves. In the first place, that we came out of another country into Egypt; and that withal our deliverance out of it was so ancient in time as to have preceded the siege of Troy almost a thousand years. {I.e. the terminus a quo of the thousand years is the arrival of the Israelites in Egypt, at the earliest 511 years before the Exodus. The Exodus was dated by Josephus to the reign of Tethmosis, and this was 518 years before the reign of the “interpolated” Amenophis. The reign of Thuoris-Polybus, the last king of Manetho’s XIXth Dynasty and the contemporary of the Trojan War, followed around 200 years thereafter. If Josephus, like Eusebius, had a tradition that Joseph was datable to the era of the Hyksos king Aphophis, whose reign began 99 years after the first Hyksos infiltration, according to Josephus’ version of Manetho, and terminated 61 years thereafter, that makes the interval between the arrival of the Israelites and the Trojan War, by strict, though unhistorical, addition of the consecutive reigns in Manetho’s king-list, somewhere between one thousand and eleven hundred years.} But then, as to those things which Manetho adds, not from the Egyptian records, but, as he confesses himself, from some stories of an uncertain original, I will disprove them hereafter particularly, and shall demonstrate that they are no better than incredible fables ….

S-202d. Ibid. 26. And now I will turn my discourse to one of their principal writers, whom I have a little before made use of as a witness to our antiquity; I mean Manetho. He promised to interpret the Egyptian history out of their sacred writings, and premised this: that “our people had come into Egypt, many myriads in number, and subdued its inhabitants;” and when he had further confessed that “we went out of that country afterward, and settled in that country which is now called Judaea, and there built Jerusalem and its temple.” Now thus far he followed his ancient records; but after this he permits himself, in order to appear to have written what rumors and reports passed abroad about the Jews, and introduces incredible narrations, as if he would have the Egyptian multitude, that had the leprosy and other distempers, to have been mixed with us, as he says they were, and that they were condemned to fly out of Egypt together; for he mentions Amenophis, a fictitious king’s name, though on that account he durst not set down the number of years of his reign, which yet he had accurately done as to the other kings he mentions; he then ascribes certain fabulous stories to this king, as having in a manner forgotten how he had already related that the departure of the Herders for Jerusalem had been five hundred and eighteen years before; for Tethmosis {Ahmosis} was king when they went away. Now, from his days, the reigns of the intermediate kings amounted to three hundred and ninety-three years, as he says himself, till the two brothers Sethos and Hermaeus; the one of whom, Sethos, was called by that other name of Aegyptus, and the other, Hermaeus, by that of Danaus. He also says that Sethos cast the other out of Egypt, and reigned fifty-nine years, as did his eldest son Rampses reign after him sixty-six years. When Manetho therefore had acknowledged that our forefathers were gone out of Egypt so many years ago, he introduces an interpolated king Amenophis, and says thus: “This king was desirous to become a spectator of the gods, like Horus, one of those who ruled before him (Footnote 1); he also communicated that his desire to his namesake Amenophis, who was the son of Paapis {= the historical Amenophis son of Hapu}, and one that seemed to partake of a divine nature, both as to wisdom and the knowledge of futurities.” Manetho adds, “how this namesake of his told him that he might see the gods, if he would clear the whole country of the lepers and of the other impure people; that the king was pleased with this injunction, and got together all that had any defect in their bodies out of Egypt; and that their number was eight myriads; (Footnote 1a) whom he sent to those quarries which are on the east side of the Nile, that they might work in them, and might be separated from the rest of the Egyptians.” He says further, that “there were some of the learned priests that were polluted with the leprosy; but that still this Amenophis, the wise man and the prophet, expressed a fear that the gods would be angry at him and at the king, if there should appear to have been violence offered them; that later he made a prediction that certain people would come to the assistance of these polluted wretches, and would conquer Egypt, and keep it in their possession thirteen years; that, however, he did not dare tell the king of these things, but that, having left for posterity a written account on the whole affair, he slew himself. Now the king was in despair ….” After which he writes thus verbatim: “After those that were sent to work in the quarries had continued in that miserable state for a long while, the king was desired that he would set apart the city Avaris, which was then left deserted of the Herders, for their habitation and protection; which desire he granted them. Now this city, according to the ancient theology, was Typhon’s city. But when these men were gotten into it, and found the place fit for a revolt, they appointed as their ruler one termed an ‘Osarsephan’ (Footnote 2) of the Heliopolitan priests, and they took their oaths that they would be obedient to him in all things. He then, in the first place, made this law for them, That they should neither worship the Egyptian gods, nor should abstain from any one of those sacred animals which they have in the highest esteem, but kill and destroy them all; that they should join themselves to nobody but to those that were of this confederacy. When he had made such laws as these, and many more such as were mainly opposite to the customs of the Egyptians, he gave order that they should use the multitude of the hands they had in building walls about their City, and make themselves ready for a war with king Amenophis, while he did himself take into his friendship the other priests, and those that were polluted with them, and sent ambassadors to those Herders who had been driven out of the land by Tethmosis {Ahmosis} to the city called Jerusalem; whereby he informed them of his own affairs, and of the state of those others that had been treated after such an ignominious manner, and desired that they would come with one consent to his assistance in this war against Egypt. So he engaged that he would, in the first place, bring them to their ancient homeland, Avaris, and provide a plentiful maintenance for their multitude; that he would protect them and fight for them as occasion should require, and would easily reduce the country under their dominion. These Herders were all very glad of this message, and came away with alacrity all together, making up a total of 20 myriads of men; and in a little time they came to Avaris. And now Amenophis the king of Egypt, upon his being informed of their arrival, was in great confusion, as calling to mind what Amenophis, the son of Paapis, had foretold him; and, in the first place, he assembled the multitude of the Egyptians, and took counsel with their leaders, and sent for their sacred animals to him, especially for those that were principally worshiped in their temples, and gave a particular charge to the priests distinctly, that they should hide the images of their gods with the utmost care; he also sent his son Sethos, who was also named Ramesses, from his father Rapses, being but five years old, to a friend of his. He then passed on to the other Egyptians {under the command of his son at Pelusium, see §S-202g, below, >>}, who numbered thirty myriads of the most warlike troops, and to the opposing forces, with whom he finally came into contact {seemingly whilst still on his way to Pelusium}. Yet did he not join battle with them; but thinking that would be to fight against the gods, he returned back and came to Memphis, where he took Apis and the other sacred animals which he had sent for to him, and presently marched into Ethiopia, together with his whole army and multitude of Egyptians; for the king of Ethiopia was under an obligation to him, on which account he received him, and took care of all the multitude that was with him, while the country supplied all that was necessary for the food of the men. He also allotted cities and villages for this exile, that was to be from its beginning during those fatally determined thirteen years. Moreover, he pitched a camp for his Ethiopian army, as a guard to king Amenophis, upon the borders of Egypt. And this was the state of things in Ethiopia. But as for the people of Jerusalem, when they came down together with the polluted Egyptians, they treated the men {viz. the native inhabitants of Canaan, cp. §S-202l, below, >>} in such a barbarous manner, that those who saw how they subdued the forementioned country, and the horrid wickedness they were guilty of, thought it a most dreadful thing; for they did not only set the cities and villages on fire but were not satisfied till they had been guilty of sacrilege, and destroyed the images of the gods, and used them in roasting those sacred animals that used to be worshipped, and forced the priests and prophets to be the executioners and murderers of those animals, and then ejected them naked out of the country. It was also reported concerning the priest who ordained their polity and their laws, being by origin of a tribe of Heliopolis, named Osarseph, after Osiris, the god of Heliopolis, that, when he crossed over to this tribe, his name was changed, and he was called Moses.”

Footnote 1: “ …. like Horus, one of those who ruled before him …. “ Greek: ‘ôsper ôr, ‘eis tôn pro autou bebasileukotôn:. The reference is probably to “The Great Horus,” Arueris, who was equated with Herakles by the Greeks, as Herakles similarly is said to have desired to “see Zeus” in Herodotus II. 42. Herakles was held to have been an ancient king of Egypt (Syncellus, Chronographia, ed. Mosshammer, p. 19 = ed. Dindorf, p. 33).

Footnote 1a: Since Manetho’s Amenophis is Amenophis II, it is likely the figure 80,000 is derived from the total of 89,600 Levantine prisoners (described in the ancient inscription as “booty”) hauled back by Amenophis II from his “first campaign of victory” during his co-regency with Thutmosis III. This included 127 chieftains of Retjenu {Canaan}, 179 brothers of the chieftain, 3,600 Aperu {Habiru, Hebrews}, 15,200 living Bedouin, 36,300 Khorians {a term used to describe inhabitants of Palestine and Syria}, 15,070 people of Nugashu {from the area around Homs and Aleppo}, and their families, 30,652. Though Amenophis gives on the Memphis stela the total as 89,600, the sum of the individually listed figures is 101,018. These would class as “Hyksos” in Manetho’s punning sense of “bedouin booty,” if not in the literal sense that some, at least, of them originated from the remnants of the Hyksos scattered in Canaan by Ahmosis I in the sixteenth century BC. The round figure of 110,000 which also occurs in later Greek accounts of the enslavement and oppression of the Israelites in Egypt (Lysimachus and Apion, §S-202n, below, >>), is probably derived from the same source.

Footnote 2: “ …. they appointed as their ruler one termed an ‘Osarsephan’ of the Heliopolitan priests.” Greek: ‘êgemona autôn legomenon tina tôn ‘Êliopolitôn ‘iereôn Osarsêphon estêsanto. This is the reading of Codex Laurentianus (and is retained here, legomenon standing before tina rather than after Osarsêphon, as transposed by Niese). The interpretation presumes that the Greek termination in the form Osarsêphon — as opposed to the form Osarsêph at the end of the passage which lacks the termination — is significant and that it is adjectival. Moses is termed an “Osarsephan” ruler of the Heliopolitan priests, being described otherwise as “of the tribe of Osarseph.” (See the final sentence of this section, and §S-202f, below, >>, sub fin.) Heliopolis in Manetho seems to be the home town of Moses’ tribe, rather than, specifically, the place where he exercised his priestly functions. Waddell observes (LCL Manetho, p. 125, n. 3), that the Jews would see in the name Osarseph a form of the name of Joseph. Joseph, according to Genesis, married the daughter of the priest of Heliopolis (= On, Gen. 41. 45, 50; 46. 20). Chaeremon likewise introduces Joseph into his Exodus narrative, (§S-202j, below, >>), in his case as though the patriarch participated in that event, perhaps because Joseph’s mummy was taken out of Egypt at the Exodus and transported by the Israelites to Canaan, Ex. 13. 19, Jos. 24. 32. He also gives him a similar-sounding Egyptian name (“Peteseph,” §S-202j Footnote, below, >>). So it is likely Manetho is referring here to Joseph and in effect describing Moses as a “Josephite,” meaning “of the same tribe as Joseph,” implying all the while that he was a native Egyptian. His comment in the last sentence of this section that the name incorporated the name of the Egyptian god Osiris is a further clue that Joseph is meant, since Joseph was believed, at least as early as the time of Tertullian (fl. late 2nd, early 3rd, century AD), and possibly because of this very tradition recorded by Manetho, to be the Egyptian god Serapis (Tertullian, Ad Nationes II. 8.10: Nam Serapis iste quidem olim Ioseph fuit). The divine name Serapis was similarly believed to incorporate the divine name Osiris, as though it was a combination of the names Osiris and Apis. Manetho himself played a prominent role in the introduction of the cult of Serapis (Plut. De Is. et Osir., 28). Here the Heliopolitan tradition Manetho was drawing on seems to have reinterpreted the Hebrew name Joseph, which means “He (God) shall add (another son),” as though either the initial “He,” or alternatively the first two Hebrew letters (Yw), understood as an abbreviation of the tetragrammaton, referred to a native Egyptian divinity, viz. Osiris (“Osar”-seph). The Asian deity Sabazius was identified with the God of the Jews (“Iao” = Yw) by Jewish syncretists from at least as early as the second century BC (Valerius Maximus 1. 3. 3 [Par.]), as well as with the Egyptian god Osiris, and this or a similar syncretistic tradition may have provided rationale for the reinterpretation of Joseph’s name. I.e. the name was taken to mean “Iao (Sabazius) shall add (another son),” then “Osiris (Sabazius) shall add (another son).” It is remarkable that the positive Manethonian image of Moses as a member of a priestly family of Heliopolis (a reflection, it is suggested here, of the Biblical account of the marriage of Joseph to the daughter of the priest of Heliopolis), is parallelled in a section of the account of Artapanus (§35, above, >>), which similarly paints a more positive portrayal of Moses, and derives from Heliopolis. It refers, just as Manetho does, to the fact that the Pharaoh at the time of the Exodus took with him the Egyptian idols in his pursuit of the departing Israelites. When the Egyptians wanted to claim Moses as their own, they evidently preferred the depiction of him as a relative of the priest of Heliopolis in Joseph’s day, which was current at that time in Heliopolis.

S-202e. 27. This is what the Egyptians relate about the Jews, with much more, which I omit for the sake of brevity. But still Manetho goes on, that “after this, Amenophis returned back from Ethiopia with a great army, as did his son Rampses with another army also, and that both of them joined battle with the Herders and the polluted people, and beat them, and slew a great many of them, and pursued them to the bounds of Syria.” These and the like accounts are written by Manetho. But I will demonstrate that he trifles, and tells arrant lies, after I have made a distinction which will relate to what I am going to say about him; for this Manetho had granted and confessed that this nation was not originally Egyptian, but that they had come from another country, and subdued Egypt, and then went away again out of it. But that. those Egyptians who were thus diseased in their bodies were not mingled with us afterward, and that Moses who brought the people out was not one of that company, but lived many generations earlier, I shall endeavor to demonstrate from Manetho’s own accounts themselves.

S-202f. 28. Now, for the first occasion of this fiction, Manetho supposes what is no better than a ridiculous thing; for he says that king Amenophis desired to see the gods. What gods, by Zeus, did he desire to see? If he meant the gods whom their laws ordained to be worshipped, the ox, the goat, the crocodile, and the baboon, he saw them already; but for the heavenly gods, how could he see them, and what should occasion this his desire? To be sure, it was because another king before him had already seen them. He had then been informed what sort of gods they were, and after what manner they had been seen, insomuch that he did not stand in need of any new artifice for obtaining this sight. However, the prophet by whose means the king thought to compass his design was a wise man. If so, how came he not to know that such his desire was impossible to be accomplished? for the event did not succeed. And what pretense could there be to suppose that the gods would not be seen by reason of the people’s maims in their bodies, or leprosy? for the gods are not angry at the imperfection of bodies, but at wicked practices; and as to eight myriads of lepers, and those in an ill state also, how is it possible to have them gathered together in one day? nay, how came the king not to comply with the prophet? for his injunction was, that those that were maimed should be expelled out of Egypt, while the king only sent them to work in the quarries, as if he were rather in want of laborers, than intended to purge his country. He says further, that this prophet slew himself, as foreseeing the anger of the gods, and those events which were to come upon Egypt afterward; and that he left this prediction for the king in writing. Besides, how came it to pass that this prophet did not foreknow his own death at the first? nay, how came he not to contradict the king in his desire to see the gods immediately? how came that unreasonable dread upon him of judgments that were not to happen in his lifetime? or what worse thing could he suffer, out of the fear of which he made haste to kill himself? But now let us see the silliest thing of all:— The king, although he had been informed of these things, and terrified with the fear of what was to come, yet did not he even then eject these maimed people out of his country, when it had been foretold him that he was to clear Egypt of them; but, as Manetho says, he then, upon their request, gave them that city to inhabit, which had formerly belonged to the Herders, and was called Avaris; whither when they were gone in crowds, he says, they chose one that had formerly been priest of Heliopolis; and that this priest first ordained that they should neither worship the gods, nor abstain from those animals that were worshiped by the Egyptians, but should kill and eat them all, and should associate with nobody but those that had conspired with them; and that he bound the multitude by oaths to be sure to continue in those laws; and that when he had built a wall about Avaris, he made war against the king. Manetho adds also, that this priest sent to Jerusalem to invite that people to come to his assistance, and promised to give them Avaris; for that it had belonged to the forefathers of those that were coming from Jerusalem. {This goes beyond what Manetho actually says, see supra, as it is the Herders who were “expelled by Ahmosis I to Jerusalem” that Manetho refers to, but, it can be presumed, those of that race still within the borders of Egypt in the days of Amenophis (II) and Moses}. And when they were come, they made a war immediately against the king, and got possession of all Egypt. He says also that they came with an army of twenty myriads of men, and that Amenophis, the king of Egypt, not thinking that he ought to fight against the gods, ran away presently into Ethiopia, and committed Apis and certain other of their sacred animals to the priests, and commanded them to take care of preserving them. He says further, that the people of Jerusalem came on accordingly, and overthrew their {the Canaanites’, cp. §S-202l, below, >>} cities, and burnt their temples, and slew their horsemen, and, in short, abstained from no sort of wickedness nor barbarity; and that priest who settled their polity and their laws, he says, was from a tribe of Heliopolis, named Osarseph, after Osiris the god of Heliopolis, but when he crossed over, he called himself Moses. He then says that on the thirteenth year afterward, Amenophis, according to the fatal time of the duration of his misfortunes, came upon them out of Ethiopia with a great army, and joining battle with the Herders and with the polluted people, overcame them in battle, and slew a great many of them, and pursued them as far as the bounds of Syria.

S-202g. 29. Now Manetho does not reflect upon the improbability of his lie; for the leprous people, and the multitude that was with them, although they might formerly have been angry at the king, and at those that had treated them so coarsely, and this according to the prediction of the prophet; yet certainly, when they were come out of the mines, and had received of the king a city, and a country, they would have grown milder towards him. However, had they ever so much hated him in particular, they might have laid a private plot against himself, but would hardly have made war against all the Egyptians; I mean this on the account of the great kindred they who were so numerous must have had among them. Nay still, if they had resolved to fight with the men, they would not have had impudence enough to fight with their gods; nor would they have ordained laws quite contrary to those of their own country, and to those in which they had been bred up themselves. Yet are we beholden to Manetho, that he does not lay the principal charge of this horrid transgression upon those that came from Jerusalem, but says that the Egyptians themselves were the most guilty, and that they were their priests that contrived these things, and made the multitude take their oaths for doing so. But still how absurd is it to suppose that none of these people’s own relations or friends should be prevailed with to revolt, nor to undergo the hazards of war with them, while these polluted people were forced to send to Jerusalem, and bring their auxiliaries from thence! {A repetition of the error referred to supra.} What friendship, I pray, or what relation was there formerly between them that required this assistance? On the contrary, these people were enemies, and greatly differed from them in their customs. He says, indeed, that they complied immediately, upon their praising them that they should conquer Egypt; as if they did not themselves very well know that country out of which they had been driven by force. Now had these men been in want, or lived miserably, perhaps they might have undertaken so hazardous an enterprise; but as they dwelt in a happy city, and had a large country, and one better than Egypt itself, how came it about that, for the sake of those that had of old been their enemies, of those that were maimed in their bodies, and of those whom none of their own relations would endure, they should run such hazards in assisting them? For they could not foresee that the king would run away from them: on the contrary, he saith himself that Amenophis’s son (Footnote) had thirty myriads of men with him, and marched to confront them at Pelusium. Now, to be sure, those that came could not be ignorant of this; but for the king’s repentance and flight, how could they possibly guess at it? He then says, that those who came from Jerusalem, and made this invasion, got the granaries of Egypt into their possession, and perpetrated many of the most horrid actions there. {A repetition of the same error referred to supra, compounded by a misunderstanding: the land devastated by the “people of Jerusalem” was Canaan, not Egypt.} And thence he reproaches them, as though he had not himself introduced them as enemies, or as though he might accuse such as were invited from another place for so doing, when the natural Egyptians themselves had done the same things before their coming, and had taken oaths so to do. However, Amenophis, some time afterward, came upon them, and conquered them in battle, and slew his enemies, and drove them before him as far as Syria. As if Egypt were so easily taken by people that came from any place whatsoever, and as if those that had conquered it by war, when they were informed that Amenophis was alive, did neither fortify the avenues out of Ethiopia into it, although they had great advantages for doing it, nor did get their other forces ready for their defense! but that he followed them over the sandy desert, and slew them as far as Syria; while yet it is not an easy thing for an army to pass over that country, even without fighting.

Footnote: Since this son is a commander of Amenophis’ army, he is clearly not the 5 year old Sethos-Ramesses, and is, most probably, the later-to-be-Pharaoh Thutmosis IV, son of Amenophis II, see §51b, above, >>, referred to also as “son” [= grandson] of Misphragmuthosis-Thutmosis III in §S-202a, above, >>.

S-202h. 30. Our nation, therefore, according to Manetho, was not derived from Egypt, nor were any of the Egyptians mingled with us. For it is to be supposed that many of the leprous and distempered people were dead in the mines, since they had been there a long time, and in so ill a condition; many others must be dead in the battles that happened afterward, and more still in the last battle and flight after it.

S-202i. 31. It now remains that I debate with Manetho about Moses. Now the Egyptians acknowledge him to have been a wonderful and a divine person; nay, they would willingly lay claim to him themselves, though after a most abusive and incredible manner, and pretend that he was of Heliopolis, and one of the priests of that place, and was ejected out of it among the rest, on account of his leprosy; although it had been demonstrated out of their records that he lived five hundred and eighteen years earlier, {on Josephus’ understanding that the Exodus was the military expulsion of the Hyksos in the time of Tethmosis-Ahmosis I, i.e. 393 years from Tethmosis to the time of Sethos and Harmais, 59 years for the reign of Sethos, and 66 years for his successor Rampses, see §S-202d, above, >>} and then brought our forefathers out of Egypt into the country that is now inhabited by us. But now that he was not subject in his body to any such calamity, is evident from what he himself tells us; for he forbade those that had the leprosy either to continue in a city, or to inhabit in a village, but commanded that they should go about by themselves with their clothes rent; and declares that such as either touch them, or live under the same roof with them, should be esteemed unclean; nay, more, if any one of their disease be healed, and he recover his natural constitution again, he appointed them certain purifications, and washings with spring water, and the shaving off all their hair, and enjoins that they shall offer many sacrifices, and those of several kinds, and then at length to be admitted into the holy city; although it were to be expected that, on the contrary, if he had been under the same calamity, he should have taken care of such persons beforehand, and have had them treated after a kinder manner, as affected with a concern for those that were to be under the like misfortunes with himself. Nor was it only those leprous people for whose sake he made these laws, but also for such as should be maimed in the smallest part of their body, who yet are not permitted by him to officiate as priests; nay, although any priest, already initiated, should have such a calamity fall upon him afterward, he ordered him to be deprived of his honor of officiating. How can it then be supposed that Moses should ordain such laws against himself, to his own reproach and damage who so ordained them? Nor indeed is that other notion of Manetho at all probable, wherein he relates the change of name, and says that “it was formerly called Osarseph;” this name is in no way agreeable to the other, while his true name was Moses, and signifies a person who is preserved out of the water, for the Egyptians call water Moü. I think, therefore, I have made it sufficiently evident that Manetho, while he followed his ancient records, did not much mistake the truth of the history; but that when he had recourse to fabulous stories, without any certain author, he either forged them himself, without any probability, or else gave credit to some men who spake so out of their ill-will to us.

S-202j. {Greek text ed. Niese online as at 01/04 at http://vanth.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=J.+Ap.+1.288} 32. And now I have done with Manetho, I will inquire into what Chaeremon says. For he also, when he pretended to write the Egyptian history, sets down the same name for this king that Manetho did, Amenophis, as also of his son Ramesses, and then goes on thus: “The goddess Isis appeared to Amenophis in his sleep, and blamed him that her temple had been demolished in the war. But that Phritiphautes, the sacred scribe, said to him, that in case he would purge Egypt of the men that had pollutions upon them, he should be no longer troubled with such frightful apparitions. That Amenophis accordingly chose out twenty-five myriads of those that were thus diseased {cf. the Hyksos population of Avaris and the number of Hyksos who departed from Egypt in §S-202a, above, >>}, and cast them out of the country: that Moses and Joseph were scribes, and Joseph was a sacred scribe; that their names were Egyptian originally; that of Moses had been Tisithen, and that of Joseph, Peteseph (Footnote): that these two came to Pelusium, and lighted upon thirty-eight myriads that had been left there by Amenophis, he not being willing to carry them into Egypt; that these scribes made a league of friendship with them, and made with them an expedition against Egypt: that Amenophis could not sustain their attacks, but fled into Ethiopia, and left his wife with child behind him, who lay concealed in certain caverns, and there brought forth a son, whose name was Ramesses {this presumably is Ramesses, the younger brother of the “five-year-old” Sethos abandoned by Amenophis when he fled to Ethiopia, according to Manetho, §S-202d, above, >>, the latter also named Ramesses, after his [adoptive] father, who was eventually slain by his elder brother, §S-202b, above, >> [according to another copy]}, and who, when he was grown up to man’s estate, pursued the Jews into Syria, being about twenty myriads, and then received his father Amenophis out of Ethiopia.”

Footnote: Tisithen is most likely a corrupt transcription of Moses’ Egyptian name Djehuty. Initial “tisi” is for “tsi”, with dissimilation of the constituent phonemes of the initial consonant dj > t-s. Ancient Egyptian dj is the Coptic letter Djandjia, which was transcribed into Greek most commonly as ts, tau sigma, or tz, tau zeta (see Crum, Coptic Dictionary, letter Djandjia, sub fin.). Final n is a scribal mistake for u. The medial vowel (“i”) and the final diphthong (“eu”) have been transposed. The uncorrupted form would be Tseuthi (= Djehuti), with a softening and disappearance of the medial aspirated h (as in the common Greek transcriptions of the god’s name “Theuth” ). Tseuthi > Tsitheu > Tisitheu > Tisithen.

b) Peteseph probably represents an abbreviated form of Joseph’s Egyptian name, Sa-(pa-)nahat (Sapanat) > Hebrew Zaphenath, with an initial pa (“the”) added as commonly in Egyptian names: Peteseph = Pe (Pa) Tese-ph, Teseph being a shortened form of Teseph[enath] = Zaphenath. The initial consonant of the Hebrew (z = tsade) is identical to the Egyptian dj and Coptic Djandjia referenced supra, and is liable therefore to the same phenomenon of dissimilation, “tse” (tsade) becoming “tese”. The original Egyptian name (Sa-pa-nahat) begins with “s” (sa = “son”), but the identical consonant is found in the Egyptian word sab, “jackal”, and there it corresponds to the Hebrew “z” (zayin) in zeeb (“jackal, wild dog, wolf”), whilst zayin is otherwise transcribed into Egyptian as dj, for example in the Egyptian form of the Canaanite (and Hebrew) geographical name Gezer. Here evidently in Genesis, as well as in Chaeremon, the initial consonant of the Egyptian name was understood to have a sound rather like the “z” in Gezer, and was transcribed as tsade (Egyptian dj), in the Egyptian manner, rather than zayin. The first part of the Egyptian name (omitting the final element nahat) is Sa-pa (“Zaph-” in Hebrew), which echoes the sound of the Hebrew -seph in Jo-seph, and deliberately drops the divine reference (“He” = Jo = Yo, Yahweh) at the beginning. Egyptian optionally adds an initial Pa (meaning “the”) to personal names, so Sa-pa would become Pa-Sa-pa, or, with the dissimilation of the Hebrew tsade which stands for the medial Egyptian “s”, Pa-Tese-pa > Pe-tese-ph[e]. The resulting form, Peteseph, happens also to resemble a pagan divine name, or a typical Egyptian amalgam of divine names. It is analogous to the form “Osarseph” in Manetho, which substitutes “Osar” (Osiris) for the Hebrew “He” of the Hebrew name Joseph: “He” (Jo-, that is Yo, Yahweh) shall add (-seph) another son. There might also be at work a reinterpretation of the second element of the Hebrew name as though it included the name Apis. Peteseph resembles an amalgam of the divine names Ptah, Osiris and Apis (Pet[Ptah]-Es(r)[Usar = Osiris]-Eph(i)[Hapy = Apis]). The name of the god Serapis was imagined to be a combination of the names Osiris and Apis, whilst Apis was the animal form of Ptah, the chief god of Memphis. Joseph was believed to have been deified as Serapis, see §S-202d Footnote 2, above, >>.

S-202k. 33. This is the account Chaeremon gives us. Now I take it for granted that what I have said already hath plainly proved the falsity of both these narrations; for had there been any real truth at the bottom, it was impossible they should so greatly disagree about the particulars. But for those that invent lies, what they write will easily give us very different accounts, while they forge what they please out of their own heads. Now Manetho says that the king’s desire of seeing the gods was the origin of the ejection of the polluted people; but Chaeremon feigns that it was a dream of his own, sent upon him by Isis, that was the occasion of it. Manetho says that the person who foreshowed this purgation of Egypt to the king was Amenophis; but this man says it was Phritiphautes. As to the numbers of the multitude that were expelled, they agree exceedingly well the former reckoning them eight myriads, and the latter about twenty-five {myriads}! Now, for Manetho, he describes those polluted persons as sent first to work in the quarries, and says that the city Avaris was given them for their habitation. As also he relates that it was not till after they had made war with the rest of the Egyptians, that they invited the people of Jerusalem to come to their assistance; while Chaeremon says only that they were gone out of Egypt, and lighted upon thirty-eight myriads of men about Pelusium, who had been left there by Amenophis, and so they invaded Egypt with them again; that thereupon Amenophis fled into Ethiopia. But then this Chaeremon commits a most ridiculous blunder in not informing us who this army of so many myriads were, or whence they came; whether they were native Egyptians, or whether they came from a foreign country. Nor indeed has this man, who forged a dream from Isis about the leprous people, assigned the reason why the king would not bring them into Egypt. Moreover, Chaeremon sets down Joseph as driven away at the same time with Moses, who yet died four generations before Moses, which four generations make almost one hundred and seventy years. Besides all this, Ramesses, the son of Amenophis, by Manetho’s account, was a young man, and assisted his father in his war, and left the country at the same time with him, and fled into Ethiopia. But Chaeremon makes him to have been born in a certain cave, after his father was dead, and that he then overcame the Jews in battle, and drove them into Syria, being in number about twenty myriads. {The number 20 myriads, 200,000, for the Hebrews who entered Canaan is reasonable, given the total of 40,000 Hebrew fighting men who fought at Jericho according to Joshua 4. 13: this allows double that number including wives for the overall total of those who entered Canaan, presuming each male had an average of one wife each, and an average of 4 children/other dependents per household, 40,000 × 5 = 200,000.} O the levity of the man! for he had neither told us who these thirty-eight myriads were, nor how the forty {sic Greek editio princeps, Froben, 1544} and three {myriads} perished; whether they fell in war, or went over to Ramesses. {The total of 38 myriads around Pelusium and 25 myriads of leprous is 63 myriads, yet only 20 myriads reached Syria, hence the question, what happened to the other 43 myriads? If, in fact, and as seems probable, the 63 myriads, or 630,000, represent the same body of men as the (“about”) 600,000 men who departed from Rameses and the 603,550 (excluding Levites) mustered in the wilderness of Sinai according to Exodus 12. 38 and Numbers 1. 46, then the 38 + 25 myriads of these Greek accounts show the composition of the body of adult males who left Egypt in the Exodus, and the 43 myriads are those who perished in the wilderness. Exodus 12. 38: “And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. And a mixed multitude (Heb. erev) went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.” Niese’s Greek text has 23 instead of 43 myriads here in Chaeremon, supported by some Latin texts, though other Latin texts have 180,000 (18 myriads). The latter figure is 380,000 200,000, which means the question was thought to be: how was the 38 myriads reduced to 20 myriads? Niese’s figure is not easily explained.} And, what is the strangest of all, it is not possible to learn out of him who they were whom he calls Jews, or to which of these two parties he applies that denomination, whether to the 25 myriads of leprous people, or to the 38 myriads that were about Pelusium. But perhaps it will be looked upon as a silly thing in me to make any larger confutation of such writers as sufficiently confute themselves; for had they been only confuted by other men, it had been more tolerable.

S-202l. 34. I shall now add to these accounts about Manetho and Chaeremon somewhat about Lysimachus, who hath taken the same topic of falsehood with those forementioned, but hath gone far beyond them in the incredible nature of his forgeries; which plainly demonstrates that he contrived them out of his virulent hatred of our nation. His words are these: “The people of the Jews being leprous and scabby, and subject to certain other kinds of distempers, in the days of Bochchoris, king of Egypt, they fled to the temples, and got their food there by begging: and as the numbers were very great that were fallen under these diseases, there arose a scarcity in Egypt. Hereupon Bocchoris, the king of Egypt, sent some to consult the oracle of [Jupiter] Hammon {Amun} about his scarcity. The God’s answer was this, that he must purge his temples of impure and impious men, by expelling them out of those temples into desert places; but as to the scabby and leprous people, he must drown them, and purge his temples, the sun having an indignation at these men being suffered to live; and by this means the land will bring forth its fruits. Upon Bocchoris’s having received these oracles, he called for their priests, and the attendants upon their altars, and ordered them to make a collection of the impure people, and to deliver them to the soldiers, to carry them away into the desert; but to take the leprous people, and wrap them in sheets of lead, and let them down into the sea. Hereupon the scabby and leprous people were drowned, and the rest were gotten together, and sent into desert places, in order to be exposed to destruction. In this case they assembled themselves together, and took counsel what they should do, and determined that, as the night was coming on, they should kindle fires and lamps, and keep watch; that they also should fast the next night, and propitiate the gods, in order to obtain deliverance from them. That on the next day there was one Moses, who advised them that they should venture upon a journey, and go along one road till they should come to places fit for habitation: that he charged them to have no kind regards for any man, nor give good counsel to any, but always to advise them for the worst; and to overturn all those temples and altars of the gods they should meet with: that the rest commended what he had said with one consent, and did what they had resolved on, and so traveled over the desert. But that the difficulties of the journey being over, they came to a country inhabited, and that there they abused the men, and plundered and burnt their temples; and then came into that land which is called Judaea, and there they built a city, and dwelt therein, and that their city was named Hierosyla, from this their robbing of the temples; but that still, upon the success they had afterwards, they in time changed its denomination, that it might not be a reproach to them, and called the city Hierosolyma, and themselves Hierosolymites.”

S-202m. 35. Now this man did not discover and mention the same king with the others, but feigned a newer name, and passing by the dream and the Egyptian prophet, he brings him to [Jupiter] Hammon, in order to gain oracles about the scabby and leprous people; for he says that the multitude of Jews were gathered together at the temples. Now it is uncertain whether he ascribes this name to these lepers, or to those that were subject to such diseases among the Jews only; for he describes them as a people of the Jews. What people does he mean? foreigners, or those of that country? Why then dost thou call them Jews, if they were Egyptians? But if they were foreigners, why dost thou not tell us whence they came? And how could it be that, after the king had drowned many of them in the sea, and ejected the rest into desert places, there should be still so great a multitude remaining? Or after what manner did they pass over the desert, and get the land which we now dwell in, and build our city, and that temple which hath been so famous among all mankind? And besides, he ought to have spoken more about our legislator than by giving us his bare name; and to have informed us of what nation he was, and what parents he was derived from; and to have assigned the reasons why he undertook to make such laws concerning the gods, and concerning matters of injustice with regard to men during that journey. For in case the people were by birth Egyptians, they would not on the sudden have so easily changed the customs of their country; and in case they had been foreigners, they had for certain some laws or other which had been kept by them from long custom. It is true, that with regard to those who had ejected them, they might have sworn never to bear goodwill to them, and might have had a plausible reason for so doing. But if these men resolved to wage an implacable war against all men, in case they had acted as wickedly as he relates of them, and this while they wanted the assistance of all men, this demonstrates a kind of mad conduct indeed; but not of the men themselves, but very greatly so of him that tells such lies about them. He hath also impudence enough to say that a name, implying “Robbers of the temples,” was given to their city, and that this name was afterward changed. The reason of which is plain, that the former name brought reproach and hatred upon them in the times of their posterity, while, it seems, those that built the city thought they did honor to the city by giving it such a name. So we see that this fine fellow had such an unbounded inclination to reproach us, that he did not understand that robbery of temples is not expressed. By the same word and name among the Jews as it is among the Greeks. But why should a man say any more to a person who tells such impudent lies? However, since this book is arisen to a competent length, I will make another beginning, and endeavor to add what still remains to perfect my design in the following book.

S-202n. Ibid. II. 2. Now although I cannot but think that I have already demonstrated, and that abundantly more than was necessary, that our fathers were not originally Egyptians, nor were thence expelled, either on account of bodily diseases, or any other calamities of that sort; yet will I briefly take notice of what Apion adds upon that subject; for in his third book, which relates to the affairs of Egypt, he speaks thus: “I have heard of the ancient men of Egypt, that Moses was of Heliopolis, and that he thought himself obliged to follow the customs of his forefathers, and offered his prayers in the open air, towards the city walls; but that he reduced them all to be directed towards sun-rising, which was agreeable to the situation of Heliopolis; that he also set up pillars instead of gnomons, under which was represented a cavity like that of a boat, and the shadow that fell from their tops fell down upon that cavity, that it might go round about the like course as the sun itself goes round in the other.” This is that wonderful relation which we have given us by this grammarian. But that it is a false one is so plain, that it stands in need of few words to prove it, but is manifest from the works of Moses; for when he erected the first tabernacle to God, he did himself neither give order for any such kind of representation to be made at it, nor ordain that those that came after him should make such a one. Moreover, when in a future age Solomon built his temple in Jerusalem, he avoided all such needless decorations as Apion hath here devised. He says further, how he had “heard of the ancient men, that Moses was of Heliopolis.” To be sure that was, because being a younger man himself, he believed those that by their elder age were acquainted and conversed with him. Now this grammarian, as he was, could not certainly tell which was the poet Homer’s country, no more than he could which was the country of Pythagoras, who lived comparatively but a little while ago; yet does he thus easily determine the age of Moses, who preceded them such a vast number of years, as depending on his ancient men’s relation, which shows how notorious a liar he was. But then as to this chronological determination of the time when he says he brought the leprous people, the blind, and the lame out of Egypt, see how well this most accurate grammarian of ours agrees with those that have written before him! Manetho says that the Jews departed out of Egypt, in the reign of Tethmosis {Ahmosis}, three hundred ninety-three years before Danaus fled to Argos; Lysimachus says it was under king Bocchoris, that is, one thousand seven hundred years ago; Molon and some others determined it as every one pleased: but this Apion of ours, as deserving to be believed before them, hath determined it exactly to have been in the seventh Olympiad, and the first year of that Olympiad; the very same year in which he says that Carthage was built by the Phoenicians. The reason why he added this building of Carthage was, to be sure, in order, as he thought, to strengthen his assertion by so evident a character of chronology. But he was not aware that this character confutes his assertion; for if we may give credit to the Phoenician records as to the time of the first coming of their colony to Carthage, they relate that Hirom their king was above a hundred and fifty years earlier than the building of Carthage; concerning whom I have formerly produced testimonials out of those Phoenician records, as also that this Hirom was a friend of Solomon when he was building the temple of Jerusalem, and gave him great assistance in his building that temple; while still Solomon himself built that temple six hundred and twelve years after the Jews came out of Egypt. As for the number of those that were expelled out of Egypt, he hath contrived to have the very same number with Lysimachus, and says they were eleven myriads (§S-202d Footnote 1a, above, >> ). He then assigns a certain wonderful and plausible occasion for the name of Sabbath; for he says that “when the Jews had traveled a six days’ journey, they had buboes in their groins; and that on this account it was that they rested on the seventh day, as having got safely to that country which is now called Judaea; that then they preserved the language of the Egyptians, and called that day the Sabbath, for that malady of buboes on their groin was named Sabbatosis by the Egyptians.” {This seems to a misunderstanding of a Jubilee cycle or “week” of 49 years (7 cycles of 7 years), in which the seventh cycle is a “Sabbath”. Thus the Israelites wandered in the wilderness of Sinai for six “days” (cycles), pars pro toto, 40 out of 42 years, and entered into the “Sabbath” or “Rest” on their entry into Canaan, as in Psalm 95. 11.} And would not a man now laugh at this fellow’s trifling, or rather hate his impudence in writing thus? We must, it seems, take it for granted that all these eleven myriads of men must have these buboes. But, for certain, if those men had been blind and lame, and had all sorts of distempers upon them, as Apion says they had, they could not have gone one single day’s journey; but if they had been all able to travel over a large desert, and, besides that, to fight and conquer those that opposed them, they had not all of them had buboes on their groins after the sixth day was over; for no such distemper comes naturally and of necessity upon those that travel; but still, when there are many myriads in a camp together, they constantly march a settled space [in a day]. Nor is it at all probable that such a thing should happen by chance; this would be prodigiously absurd to be supposed. However, our admirable author Apion hath before told us that “they came to Judaea in six days’ time;” and again, that “Moses went up to a mountain that lay between Egypt and Arabia, which was called Sinai, and was concealed there forty days, and that when he came down from thence he gave laws to the Jews.” But, then, how was it possible for them to tarry forty days in a desert place where there was no water, and at the same time to pass all over the country between that and Judaea in the six days? And as for this grammatical translation of the word Sabbath, it either contains an instance of his great impudence or gross ignorance; for the words Sabbo and Sabbath are widely different from one another; for the word Sabbath in the Jewish language denotes rest from all sorts of work; but the word Sabbo, as he affirms, denotes among the Egyptians the malady of a bubo in the groin.

S-202o. 3. This is that novel account which the Egyptian Apion gives us concerning the Jews’ departure out of Egypt, and is no better than a contrivance of his own. But why should we wonder at the lies he tells about our forefathers, when he affirms them to be of Egyptian original, when he lies also about himself? for although he was born at Oasis in Egypt, he pretends to be, as a man may say, the top man of all the Egyptians; yet does he forswear his real country and progenitors, and by falsely pretending to be born at Alexandria, cannot deny the pravity of his family; for you see how justly he calls those Egyptians whom he hates, and endeavors to reproach; for had he not deemed Egyptians to be a name of great reproach, he would not have avoided the name of an Egyptian himself; as we know that those who brag of their own countries value themselves upon the denomination they acquire thereby, and reprove such as unjustly lay claim thereto. As for the Egyptians’ claim to be of our kindred, they do it on one of the following accounts; I mean, either as they value themselves upon it, and pretend to bear that relation to us; or else as they would draw us in to be partakers of their own infamy. But this fine fellow Apion seems to broach this reproachful appellation against us, [that we were originally Egyptians,] in order to bestow it on the Alexandrians, as a reward for the privilege they had given him of being a fellow citizen with them: he also is apprized of the ill-will the Alexandrians bear to those Jews who are their fellow citizens, and so proposes to himself to reproach them, although he must thereby include all the other Egyptians also; while in both cases he is no better than an impudent liar.


S-203. TACITUS, HISTORY, 5. 3-4

S-203a. 3. Most writers, however, agree in stating that once a disease, which horribly disfigured the body, broke out over Egypt; that king Bocchoris, seeking a remedy, consulted the oracle of Hammon, and was bidden to cleanse his realm, and to convey into some foreign land this race detested by the gods. The people, who had been collected after diligent search, finding themselves left in a desert, sat for the most part in a stupor of grief, till one of the exiles, Moyses by name, warned them not to look for any relief from God or man, forsaken as they were of both, but to trust to them selves, taking for their heaven-sent leader that man who should first help them to be quit of their present misery. They agreed, and in utter ignorance began to advance at random. Nothing, however, distressed them so much as the scarcity of water, and they had sunk ready to perish in all directions over the plain, when a herd of wild asses was seen to retire from their pasture to a rock shaded by trees. Moyses followed them, and, guided by the appearance of a grassy spot, discovered an abundant spring of water. This furnished relief. After a continuous journey for six days, on the seventh they possessed themselves of a country, from which they expelled the inhabitants, and in which they founded a city and a temple.

S-203b. 4. Moyses, wishing to secure for the future his authority over the nation, gave them a novel form of worship, opposed to all that practised by other men. Things sacred with us, with them have no sanctity, while they allow what with us is forbidden. In their holy place they have consecrated an image of the animal by whose guidance they found deliverance from their long and thirsty wanderings. They slay the ram, seemingly in derision of Hammon, and they sacrifice the ox, because the Egyptians worship it as Apis. They abstain from swines flesh, in consideration of what they suffered when they were infected by the leprosy to which this animal is liable. By their frequent fasts they still bear witness to the long hunger of former days, and the Jewish bread, made without leaven, is retained as a memorial of their hurried seizure of corn. We are told that the rest of the seventh day was adopted, because this day brought with it a termination of their toils; after a while the charm of indolence beguiled them into giving up the seventh year also to inaction. But others say that it is an observance in honour of Saturn, either from the primitive elements of their faith having been transmitted from the Ideai, who are said to have shared the flight of that God, and to have founded the race, or from the circumstance that of the seven stars which rule the destinies of men Saturn moves in the highest orbit and with the mightiest power, and that many of the heavenly bodies complete their revolutions and courses in multiples of seven.



S-204a. CHAPTER 38 THE EGYPTIANS PLACE MOSES IN THE REIGN OF INACHUS. Of the Egyptians also there are accurate chronicles. Ptolemy, not the king, but a priest of Mendes, is the interpreter of their affairs. This writer, narrating the acts of the kings, says that the departure of the Jews from Egypt to the places whither they went occurred in the time of king Amosis, under the leadership of Moses. He thus speaks: “Amosis lived in the time of king Inachus.” After him, Apion the grammarian, a man most highly esteemed, in the fourth book of his Aegyptiaca (there are five books of his), besides many other things, says that Amosis demolished Avaris in the time of the Argive Inachus, as Ptolemy of Mendes wrote in his annals. But the time from Inachus to the taking of Troy occupies twenty generations. The steps of the demonstration are the following:

S-204b. CHAPTER 39 CATALOGUE OF THE ARGIVE KINGS The kings of the Argives were these: Inachus, Phoroneus, Apis, Criasis, Triopas, Argeius, Phorbas, Crotopas, Sthenelaus, Danaus, Lynceus, Proetus, Abas, Acrisius, Perseus, Sthenelaus, Eurystheus, Atreus, Thyestes, and Agamemnon, in the eighteenth year of whose reign Troy was taken. And every intelligent person will most carefully observe that, according to the tradition of the Greeks, they possessed no historical composition; for Cadmus, who taught them letters, came into Boeotia many generations later. But after Inachus, under Phoroneus, a check was with difficulty given to their savage and nomadic life, and they entered upon a new order of things. Wherefore, if Moses is shown to be contemporary with Inachus, he is four hundred years older than the Trojan war. But this is demonstrated from the succession of the Attic, [and of the Macedonian, the Ptolemaic, and the Antiochian] kings. Hence, if the most illustrious deeds among the Greeks were recorded and made known after Inachus, it is manifest that this must have been after Moses. In the time of Phoroneus, who was after Inachus, Ogygus is mentioned among the Athenians, in whose time was the first deluge; and in the time of Phorbas was Actaeus, from whom Attica was called Actaea; and in the time of Triopas were Prometheus, and Epimetheus, and Atlas, and Cecrops of double nature, and Io; in the time of Crotopas was the burning of Phaethon and the flood of Deucalion; in the time of Sthenelus was the reign of Amphictyon and the coming of Danaus into Peloponnesus, and the founding of Dardania by Dardanus, and the return of Europa from Phoenicia to Crete; in the time of Lynceus was the abduction of Kore, and the founding of the temple in Eleusis, and the husbandry of Triptolemus, and the coming of Cadmus to Thebes, and the reign of Minos; in the time of Proetus was the war of Eumolpus against the Athenians; in the time of Acrisius was the coming over of Pelops from Phrygia, and the coming of Ion to Athens, and the second Cecrops, and the deeds of Perseus and Dionysus, and Musaeus, the disciple of Orpheus; and in the reign of Agamemnon Troy was taken.



(Transcription of royal names follows Waddell, LCL Manetho, p. 109f.)

S-205a. CHAPTER 20 ANTIQUITY OF MOSES And Moses, having become the leader of the Jews, as we have already said, who had been expelled from the land of Egypt by the king, Pharaoh, whose name was Tethmosis {Ahmosis}, (it was) he who, they say, reigned after the expulsion of the people 25 years and 4 months, as Manetho assumes. {Theophilus himself held that Tethmosis was the Pharaoh of the Oppression, not of the Exodus, as he states at the end of this king-list, and as argued in §58d, above, >> .} And after him [reigned] Chebron, 13 years. And after him Amenophis, 20 years 7 months. And after him his sister Amesse, 21 years 1 month. And after her Mephres, 12 years 9 months. And after him Mephrammuthosis, 20 years and 10 months. And after him Tuthmoses, 9 years 8 months. And after him Amenophis, 30 years 10 months. And after him Orus, 35 years 5 months. And after him a daughter, 10 years 3 months. After her Mercheres, 12 years 3 months. And after him his son Harmais, 4 years 1 month. After him Ramesses, 1 year 4 months. After him, Ramesses Miammu(n), [6]6 years 2 months. After him Amenophis, 19 years 6 months. After him his son Sethos who is also Ramesses, 10 years, who, it is said, had a large cavalry force and naval equipment. The Hebrews, indeed, after their own separate history, having at that time migrated into the land of Egypt, and been enslaved by the king Tethmosis, as already said, built for him strong cities, Peitho, and Rameses, and On, which is Heliopolis; so that the Hebrews, who also are our ancestors, and from whom we have those sacred books which are older than all authors, as already said, are proved to be more ancient than the cities which were at that time renowned among the Egyptians. And the country was called Egypt from the king Sethos. For Sethos, they say, is called Aegyptus. And Sethos had a brother, by name Armais. He is called Danaus, the same who passed from Egypt to Argos, whom the other authors mention as being of very ancient date.

S-205b. CHAPTER 21 OF MANETHO’S INACCURACY And Manetho, who among the Egyptians gave out a great deal of nonsense, and even impiously charged Moses and the Hebrews who accompanied him with being banished from Egypt on account of leprosy, could give no accurate chronological statement. For when he said they were Herders, and enemies of the Egyptians, he uttered truth indeed, because he was forced to do so. For our forefathers who sojourned in Egypt were truly Herders, but not lepers. For when they came into the land called Jerusalem, where also they afterwards abode, it is well known how their priests, in pursuance of the appointment of God, continued in the temple, and there healed every disease, so that they cured lepers and every unsoundness. The temple was built by Solomon the king of Judaea. And from Manetho’s own statement his chronological error is manifest. (As it is also in respect of the king who expelled them, Pharaoh by name. For he no longer ruled them. For having pursued the Hebrews, he and his army were engulfed in the Red Sea. And he is in error still further, in saying that the Herders made war against the Egyptians.) For they went out of Egypt, and thenceforth dwelt in the country now called Judaea, 313 years before Danaus came to Argos. And that most people consider him older than any other of the Greeks is manifest. So that Manetho has unwillingly declared to us, by his own writings, two particulars of the truth: first, avowing that they were Herders; secondly, saying that they went out of the land of Egypt. So that even from these writings Moses and his followers are proved to be 900 or even 1000 years prior to the Trojan war.

S-205c. CHAPTER 22 ANTIQUITY OF THE TEMPLE Then concerning the building of the temple in Judaea, which Solomon the king built 566 years after the exodus of the Jews from Egypt, there is among the Tyrians a record how the temple was built; and in their archives writings have been preserved, in which the temple is proved to have existed 143 years 8 months before the Tyrians founded Carthage (and this record was made by Hiram (that is the name of the king of the Tyrians), the son of Abimalus, on account of the hereditary friendship which existed between Hiram and Solomon, and at the same time on account of the surpassing wisdom possessed by Solomon. For they continually engaged with each other in discussing difficult problems ….”



(Trans. mostly follows Gifford; an exception is the citation from Manetho apud Josephus. Online as at 02/04 at http://tertullian.org/fathers/eusebius_pe_10_book10.htm.


[AFRICANUS] (33) “UNTIL the beginning of the Olympiads no accurate history has been written by the Greeks, the earlier accounts being all confused and in no point agreeing among themselves: but the Olympiads have been accurately recorded by many, because the Greeks compared the registers of them at no long interval of time, but every four years. For which reason I shall collect and briefly run over the most celebrated of the mythical histories down to the first Olympiad: but of the later any which are remarkable I shall combine together in chronological order each to each, the Hebrew with the Greek, carefully examining the Hebrew and touching upon the Greek, and shall fit them together in the following manner. By seizing upon one action in Hebrew history contemporary with an action narrated by Greeks, and adhering to it, while either deducting or adding, and indicating what Greek or Persian or any one else synchronized with the Hebrew action, I shall perhaps succeed in my aim. Now a most remarkable event is the migration of the Hebrews, when carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, which continued seventy years, according to the prophecy of Jeremiah. Now Nebuchadnezzar is mentioned by Berossus the Babylonian. After the seventy years of the Captivity Cyrus became king of Persia, in the year in which the fifty-fifth Olympic festival was held, as one may learn from the Bibliotheca of Diodorus, and the histories of Thallus and Castor, also from Polybius and Phlegon, and from others too who were careful about Olympiads: for the time agreed in all of them. So then Cyrus in the first year of his reign, which was the first year of the fifty-fifth Olympiad, made the first partial dismissal of the people by the hand of Zerubbabel, contemporary with whom was Jesus the son of Josedek, after the completion of the seventy years, as is related in the Book of Ezra among the Hebrews. (34) The narratives therefore of the reign of Cyrus and of the end of the Captivity synchronize: and the calculations according to the Olympiads will thus be found to agree down to our time; for by following them we shall fit the other histories also one to another according to the same principle. And the Athenian chronology computes the earlier events in the following way; from Ogyges, who was believed among them to be an aboriginal, in whose time that great and first flood occurred in Attica, when Phoroneus was king of Argos, as Acusilaus relates, down to the first Olympiad from which the Greeks considered that they calculated their dates correctly, a thousand and twenty years are computed, which agrees with what has been stated before, and will be shown to agree also with what comes after. For both the historians of Athens, Hellanicus and Philochorus who wrote The Attic Histories, and the writers on Syrian history, Castor and Thallus, and the writer on universal history, Diodorus the author of the Bibliotheca, and Alexander Polyhistor, and some of our own historians recorded these events more accurately even than all the Attic writers. If therefore any remarkable narrative occurs in the thousand and twenty years, it shall be extracted as may be expedient.”

And soon after he proceeds: (35)

We assert therefore on the authority of this work that Ogyges, who has given his name to the first deluge, as having been saved when many perished, lived at the time of the Exodus from Egypt of the people with Moses, proving it in the following way. From Ogyges to the first Olympiad aforesaid there will be shown to be a thousand and twenty years: and from the first Olympiad to the first year of the fifty-fifth, that is the first year of the reign of Cyrus, which was the end of the Captivity, two hundred and seventeen years. From Ogyges therefore to Cyrus there were one thousand two hundred and thirty-seven years. And if any one would carry back a calculation of one thousand two hundred and thirty-seven years from the end of the Captivity, there is found by analysis the same distance to the first year of the Exodus of Israel from Egypt by the hand of Moses, as from the fifty-fifth Olympiad to Ogyges who founded Eleusis. Which is the more notable point to take as the commencement of the Athenian chronology.”

Again after an interval: (36)

So much for events prior to Ogyges. Now about his times Moses came out of Egypt: and that there is no reason to disbelieve that these events occurred at that time, we show in the following manner. From the Exodus of Moses to Cyrus, who reigned after the Captivity, there were one thousand two hundred and thirty-seven years. For the remaining years of Moses life were forty: of Joshua, who became the leader after him, twenty-five years: of the elders who were judges after him, thirty years; and of those included in the Book of Judges, four hundred and ninety years. Of the priests Eli and Samuel, ninety years. Of the kings of the Hebrews, who came next, four hundred and ninety years: and seventy of the Captivity, the last year of which was, as we have said before, the first year of the reign of Cyrus. From Moses to the first Olympiad there were one thousand and twenty years, since there were one thousand two hundred and thirty-seven years to the first year of the fifty-fifth Olympiad: and the time in the Greek chronology agreed with this. But after Ogyges, on account of the great destruction caused by the flood, what is now called Attica remained without a king one hundred and eighty-nine years until the time of Cecrops. For Philochorus asserts that that Actaeon who comes after Ogyges, and the fictitious names, never even existed.” {36a}

And again: (37)

From Ogyges therefore to Cyrus there were as many years as from Moses to the same date, namely one thousand two hundred and thirty-seven. And some of the Greeks also relate that Moses lived about those same times; as Polemon in the first book of his Hellenic histories says, that “in the time of Apis son of Phoroneus a part of the Egyptian army was expelled {or, departed, Gk. exepesen} from Egypt, who took up their abode not far from Arabia in the part of Syria called Palestine,” being evidently those who went with Moses. And Apion the son of Poseidonius, the most inquisitive of grammarians, in his book Against the Jews, and in the fourth Book of his Histories, says that in the time of Inachus king of Argos, when Amosis was reigning in Egypt, the Jews revolted, with Moses as their leader. Herodotus also has made mention of this revolt and of Amosis in his second Book;(38) and, in a certain way, of the Jews themselves {correct the translation as follows: Herodotus also has made mention of this revolt and of Amosis in his second book, indirectly, and of the Jews themselves …}, enumerating them among those who practise circumcision,(39) and calling them the Assyrians in Palestine, perhaps on account of Abraham. And Ptolemaeus of Mendes, in writing the history of the Egyptians from the beginning, agrees with all these, so that the variation of the dates is not noticeable to any great extent.(40) But it is to be observed that whatever especial event is mentioned in the mythology of the Greeks because of its antiquity, is found to be later than Moses, their floods, and conflagrations, their Prometheus, Io, Europa, Sparti, Rape of Persephone, Mysteries, Legislations, exploits of Dionysus, Perseus, labours of Hercules, Argonauts, Centaurs, Minotaur, tale of Troy, return of the Heracleidae, migration of Ionians, and Olympic Festivals. It seemed good then to me, when about to compare the Hellenic histories with the Hebrew, to explain the aforesaid date of the monarchy in Athens: for it will be open to any one who will, by taking his starting-point from me, to calculate the number of years in the same way as I do. So then in the first year of the thousand and twenty years set forth from the time of Moses and Ogyges to the first Olympiad there occurs the Passover, and the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt, and in Attica the flood in the reign of Ogyges; and very naturally. For when the Egyptians were being scourged by the wrath of God with hailstorms and tempests, it was natural that some parts of the earth should suffer with them; and that the Athenians should experience the same fate with the Egyptians was natural, being supposed to be emigrants from them, as is asserted, among others, by Theopompus in the Three-headed.(41) The intermediate time, in which no special event has been recorded by the Greeks, is passed by. But after ninety-four years, as some say, came Prometheus, who was said in the legend to form men; for being a wise man he tried to reform them out of their extreme uncouthness into an educated condition.”

Thus writes Africanus. And now let us pass on to another.


[TATIAN] (42) “BUT now I think it behoves me to prove that our philosophy is older than the institutions of the Greeks. And Moses and Homer shall be set as our limits: for since each of them is very ancient, and the one the oldest of poets and historians, and the other the founder of all Barbaric wisdom, let them now be taken into comparison by us. For we shall find that our doctrines are older not only than the learning of the Greeks, but even than the invention of letters. And I shall not adopt our own native witnesses, but rather make use of Greeks as my allies. For the one course would be injudicious, because it would not be accepted by you; but the other, if proved, would be admirable, if at any time by opposing you with your own weapons I should bring against you proofs beyond suspicion. For concerning the poetry of Homer, and his parentage, and the time at which he flourished, previous investigations have been made by very ancient writers, as Theagenes of Rhegium who lived in the time of Cambyses, and Stesimbrotus of Thasos, and Antimachus of Colophon, Herodotus also of Halicarnassus, and Dionysius of Olynthus: and after them Ephorus of Cumae, and Philochorus of Athens, and Megacleides and Chamaeleon the Peripatetics: then the grammarians, Zenodotus, Aristophanes, Callimachus, Crates, Eratosthenes, Aristarchus, Apollodorus. Now of these Crates says that he flourished before the return of the Heracleidae, within eighty years after the Trojan war; but Eratosthenes says, after the hundredth year from the capture of Troy; while Aristarchus says, at the time of the Ionian migration, which is a hundred and forty years after the Trojan war; and Philochorus says, forty years after the Ionian migration, in the archonship at Athens of Archippus, a hundred and eighty years after the Trojan war; and Apollodorus says, a hundred years after the Ionian migration, which would be two hundred and forty years after the Trojan war: but some said that he lived before the Olympiads, that is four hundred years after the capture of Ilium; while others brought down the time, and said that Homer had been contemporary with Archilochus; now Archilochus flourished about the twenty-third Olympiad, in the time of Gyges king of Lydia, five hundred years after the Trojan war. With regard then to the times of the aforesaid poet, I mean Homer, and the dispute and disagreement among those who gave an account of him, let this our summary statement suffice for those who are able to examine the matter carefully. For it is in every man s power to show that their opinions also about the historical statements are false; for with those authors whose record of times is inconsistent, the history cannot possibly be true.”

Again shortly after: (43)

Granted, however, that Homer was not only not later than the Trojan war, but let him be supposed to have lived at that very time of the war, and further even to have shared in the expedition, with Agamemnon, and, if any wish to have it so, to have lived even before the invention of letters had taken place: for the aforesaid Moses will be shown to be very many years older than the actual capture of Troy, much more ancient too than the building of Troy was, and than Tros and Dardanus. And for proof of this I will employ the testimony of Chaldeans, Phoenicians, and Egyptians. But why need I say much? For one who professes to persuade ought to make his narration of the facts to his hearers very brief. Berossus, a Babylonian, a priest of their god Belus, who lived in the time of Alexander, composed the history of the Chaldaeans in three Books for Antiochus the third successor of Seleucus; and in setting forth the account of the kings he mentions the name of one of them Nabuchodonosor, who made an expedition against the Phoenicians and Jews; events which we know to have been announced by our prophets, and which took place long after the age of Moses, and seventy years before the Persian supremacy. Now Berossus is a most competent man, and a proof of this is given by Iobas, who writing Concerning the Assyrians says that he has learned their history from Berossus: he is the author of two books Concerning the Assyrians. Next to the Chaldaeans, the case of the Phoenicians is as follows. There have been among them three authors, Theodotus, Hypsicrates, Mochus. Their books were rendered into the Greek language by Laetus, who also wrote an accurate treatise on the lives of the philosophers. In the histories then of the aforesaid authors the rape of Europa is shown to have taken place in the time of one of the kings, also the arrival of Menelaus in Phoenicia, and the story of Hiram, who gave his daughter in marriage to Solomon king of the Jews, and presented him with timber of all kinds for the building of the Temple. Menander also of Pergamus wrote the record of the same events. Now the date of Hiram approaches somewhat near to the Trojan war; and Solomon the contemporary of Hiram is much later than the age of Moses. Then the Egyptians have accurate registers of dates. And Ptolemy, not the king but a priest of Mendes, the translator of their writings, in narrating the actions of their kings says that the journey of the Jews from Egypt to whatever places they chose, under the leadership of Moses, took place in the time of Amosis king of Egypt. And this is how he speaks: “Now Amosis lived in the time of king Inachus.” After him Apion the grammarian, a man of great reputation, in the fourth Book of his Egyptian History (there are five of his Books) among many other things says that Amosis demolished Avaris, and that he lived in the time of Inachus the Argive, as Ptolemy of Mendes recorded in his Chronology. Now the time from Inachus to the capture of Troy makes up twenty generations; and the mode of the proof is as follows: The kings of the Argives have been these:— Inachus, Phoroneus, Apis, Argeius, Criasus, Phorbas, Triopas, Crotopus, Sthenelaus, Danaus, Lynceus, Abas, Proetus, Acrisius, Perseus, Eurystheus, Atreus, Thyestes, Agamemnon, in the eighteenth year of whose reign Troy was taken. Also the intelligent reader must understand quite distinctly that according to the tradition of the Greeks there was no written record of history among them. For Cadmus, who taught the aforesaid people the alphabet, landed in Boeotia many generations afterwards. After Inachus Phoroneus with difficulty put an end to their savage and wandering mode of life, and the people were brought into a state of order. Wherefore if Moses has been shown to have been contemporary with Inachus, he is four hundred years earlier than the Trojan war. And this is proved to be so both from the succession of the kings of Athens, and Macedonia, and the Ptolemies, and also those of the dynasty of Antiochus; whence it is manifest that if the most illustrious deeds among the Greeks were recorded in writing and begin to be known after the time of Inachus, they were also later than the time of Moses. For as contemporary with Phoroneus who followed Inachus the Athenians mention Ogyges, in whose time the first flood occurred: and as contemporary with Phorbas Actaeus, from whom Attica was called Actaea: and as contemporary with Triopas Prometheus, and Epimetheus, and Atlas, and Cecrops of double sex, and Io. In the time of Crotopus there was Phaethon’s conflagration, and Deucalion’s flood: in the time of Sthenelaus was the reign of Amphictyon, and the arrival of Danaus in the Peloponnese, and the colonization of Dardania by Dardanus, and the abduction of Europa from Phoenicia to Crete. In the time of Lynceus there was the rape of Persephone, and the foundation of the sanctuary at Eleusis, and the husbandry of Triptolemus, and the arrival of Cadmus at Thebes, and the reign of Minos. In the reign of Proetus occurred the war of Eumolpus against the Athenians; and in that of Acrisius the crossing of Pelops from Phrygia, and the arrival of Ion at Athens, and the second Cecrops, and the exploits of Perseus. And in the reign of Agamemnon Troy was taken. Therefore from what has been said above Moses is shown to be older than all heroes, cities, or daemons: and he who preceded them in age ought rather to be believed, than the Greeks who drew his doctrines from the fountain-head without fully understanding them. For there were many sophists among them, who indulged a meddling curiosity, and these attempted to put a false stamp on all that they had learned from Moses and those who agreed, with his philosophy, in order first that they might be thought to say something original; and secondly that, disguising what they did not understand by a kind of rhetorical artifice, they might misrepresent the truth as being a mere fable. With regard, however, to our polity, and the history of our laws, and all that the learned among the Greeks have said, and how many and who they are that have mentioned us, proof shall be shown in my “Answer to those who have set forth opinions concerning God.” But for the present I must endeavour with all accuracy to make it clear that Moses is earlier not only than Homer, but also than the writers before him, Linus, Philammon, Thamyris, Amphion, Orpheus, Musaeus, Demodocus, Phemius, the Sibyl, Epimenides the Cretan, who came to Sparta, Aristaeus of Pro-connesus, who wrote the Arimaspia, and Asbolus the Centaur, and Basis, and Drymon, and Euclus of Cyprus, and Horus of Samos, and Pronapides of Athens. For Linus was the teacher of Hercules, and Hercules has been shown to be one generation earlier than the Trojan war; and this is manifest from his son Tlepolemus, who joined the expedition against Troy. Orpheus was contemporary with Hercules; moreover, the writings afterwards attributed to him are said to have been composed by Onomacritus of Athens, who lived during the government of the Pisistratidae about the fiftieth Olympiad. Musaeus was a disciple of Orpheus. And as Amphion was two generations earlier than the Trojan war, this prevents our collecting more about him for the information of the studious. Demodocus too and Phemius lived at the very time of the Trojan war; for they abode, the one among the suitors, the other with the Phaeacians. Thamyris also and Philammon are not much more ancient than these. So then with regard to their work of various kinds and their dates and record, I think I have described them to you with all possible accuracy. But that we may also complete what is as yet deficient, I will further set forth the evidence concerning those who are considered the Sages. For Minos, who was considered to be pre-eminent in all wisdom, and sagacity, and legislation, lived in the time of Lynceus who reigned after Danaus, in the eleventh generation after Inachus. And Lycurgus, born long after the capture of Troy, made laws for the Lacedaemonians a hundred years before the commencement of the Olympiads. Draco is found to have lived about the thirty-ninth Olympiad, and Solon about the forty-sixth, and Pythagoras about the sixty-second. Now we showed that the Olympiads began four hundred and seven years after the Trojan war. So then, after these facts have been thus proved, a few more words will suffice to record the age of the Seven Sages. For as Thales the eldest of them lived about the fiftieth Olympiad, the approximate dates of those who came after him are thus stated concisely. This is what I have composed for you, O men of Greece, I, Tatian, a follower of the Barbarians in philosophy, born in the land of the Assyrians, but instructed first in your doctrines, and afterwards in such as I now profess to preach. And knowing henceforward who God is, and what is the doing of His will, I present myself to you in readiness for the examination of my doctrines, while my mode of life according to God s will remains incapable of denial.”

Thus much says Tatian. But let us now pass on to Clement.


[CLEMENT] (44) “THE subject has indeed been carefully discussed by Tatian in his Discourse to the Greeks, and by Cassian in the first book of his Exegetics. But nevertheless my commentary demands that I also should run over what has been said upon the topic. Apion then the grammarian, who was surnamed Pleistonices, in the fourth Book of his Egyptian Histories, although being an Egyptian by birth he was so spitefully disposed towards the Hebrews as to have composed a book Against the Jews, when he mentions Amosis the king of Egypt and the transactions of his time, brings forward Ptolemaeus of Mendes as a witness. And his language is as follows: “But Avaris was demolished by Amosis, who lived in the time of Inachus the Argive, as Ptolemaeus of Mendes recorded in his Chronology.” Now this Ptolemaeus was a priest, who published The Acts of the Kings of Egypt in three whole books, and says that the departure of the Jews out of Egypt under Moses as their leader took place in the time of Amosis king of Egypt; from which, it is clearly seen that Moses flourished in the time of Inachus. Now Dionysius of Halicarnassus teaches us in his Chronology that the history of Argos, I mean the history from Inachus downwards, is mentioned as older than any Hellenic history. Forty generations later than this is the Athenian history, beginning from Cecrops the so-called aboriginal of double sex, as Tatian says in so many words: and nine generations later the history of Arcadia from the time of Pelasgus, who also is called an aboriginal. More recent than this last by other fifty-two generations is the history of Phthiotis from the time of Deucalion. From Inachus to the time of the Trojan war twenty or twenty-one generations are reckoned, four hundred years, we may say, and more. And whether the Assyrian history is many years earlier than the Hellenic, will appear from what Ctesias says. In the four hundred and second year of the Assyrian empire, and in the thirty-second year of the reign of Beluchus the eighth, the movement of Moses out of Egypt took place in the time of Amosis king of Egypt, and of Inachus king of Argos. And in Hellas in the time of Phoroneus the successor of Inachus the flood of Ogyges occurred, and the reign in Sicyon, of Aegialeus first, then of Europs, and then of Telchis, and in Crete the reign of Cres. For Acusilaus says that Phoroneus was the first man: whence also the author of the poem “Phoronis” says that he was “the father of mortal men.” Hence Plato in the Timaeus, following Acusilaus, writes: “And once when he wished to lead them on to a discussion about antiquity, he said that he attempted to speak of the most ancient things in this city, about Phoroneus who was called the first man, and about Niobe, and the events that followed the flood.”(45) Contemporary with Phorbas was Actaeus, from whom Attica was called Actaea: and contemporary with Triopas were Prometheus, and Atlas, and Epimetheus, and the biform Cecrops, and Io: in the time of Crotopus there was Phaethon’s conflagration, and the flood of Deucalion: and in the time of Sthenelaus was the reign of Amphictyon, and the arrival of Danaus in the Peloponnese, and the colonization of Dardania by Dardanus, whom Homer calls “The first-born son of cloud-compelling Zeus,” (46) and the abduction of Europa from Crete to Phoenicia. In the time of Lynceus was the rape of Core, and the foundation of the sanctuary at Eleusis, and the husbandry of Triptolemus, and the arrival of Cadmus in Thebes, and the reign of Minos. In the time of Proetus there was the war of Eumolpus against the Athenians: and in the time of Acrisius the migration of Pelops from Phrygia, and the arrival of Ion in Athens, and the second Cecrops, and the exploits of Perseus and Dionysus, and also Orpheus and Musaeus. And in the eighteenth year of the reign of Agamemnon Troy was taken, in the first year of the reign in Athens of Demophon son of Theseus, on the twelfth day of the month Thargelion, as Dionysius the Argive says. But Agius and Dercylus in their third Book say, on the eighth day of the last decade of the month Panemus: Hellanicus says, on the twelfth of Thargelion; and some of the writers of Athenian history say, on the eighth of the last decade, in the last year of the reign of Menestheus, at the full moon. The poet who wrote The Little Iliad says: “At midnight, when the moon was rising bright.” (47) But others say, on the same day of the month Scirophorion. Now Theseus, who was a rival of Hercules, is older than the Trojan war by one generation: Homer at least mentions Tlepolemus, who was the son of Hercules, as having joined in the expedition against Troy. Moses therefore is shown to be six hundred and four years older than the deification of Dionysus, if at least he was deified in the thirty-second year of the reign of Perseus, as Apollodorus says in his Chronicles. And from Dionysus to Hercules and the chiefs who sailed in the Argo with Jason, there are sixty-three years comprised. Asclepius too and the Dioscuri sailed with them, as Apollonius Rhodius testifies in the Argonautica.(48) From the reign of Hercules in Argos to the deification of Hercules himself and of Asclepius there are comprised thirty-eight years, according to Apollodorus the chronicler: and from that point to the deification of Castor and Pollux fifty-three years: and somewhere about this time was the capture of Troy. And if we are to believe the poet Hesiod, let us hear what he says:

Admitted to the sacred couch of Zeus, Fairest of Atlas daughters, Maia bare Renowned Hermes, herald of the Gods. And linked with Zeus in sweetest bonds of love Fair Semele conceived a glorious son, Great Dionysus, joy of all mankind.” (49)

Cadmus the father of Semele came to Thebes in the reign of Lynceus, and became the inventor of the Greek letters. And Triopas was contemporary with Isis in the seventh generation from Inachus. But there are some who say that she was called Io from her going (ienai) through all the earth in her wanderings: and Istrus in his book Of the migration of the Egyptians says that she was the daughter of Prometheus: and Prometheus was contemporary with Triopas, in the seventh generation after Moses; so that Moses would be earlier even than the origin of mankind was according to the Greeks. Now Leon, who wrote a treatise On the gods of Egypt, says that Isis was called by the Greeks Demeter, who is contemporary with Lynceus in the eleventh generation after Moses. Apis also the king of Argos was the founder of Memphis, as Aristippus says in the first Book of the Arcadica. Moreover Aristeas of Argos says that this Apis was surnamed Sarapis, and that it is he whom the Egyptians worship. But Nymphodorus of Amphipolis, in the third Book of The Customs of Asia, says that when Apis the bull died and was embalmed, he was deposited in a coffin (soros) in the temple of the daemon who was worshipped there, and thence was called Soroapis and afterwards Sarapis. And Apis is the third from Inachus. Moreover Latona is contemporary with Tityus:

For Leto erst he strove to violate, The noble consort of immortal Zeus.” (50)

And Tityus was contemporary with Tantalus. With good reason therefore the Boeotian Pindar writes:

For late in time Apollo too was born.” (51)

And no wonder, since he is found in company with Hercules serving Admetus

A whole long year.” (52)

Zethus too and Amphion, the inventors of music, lived about the age of Cadmus. And if any one tell us that Phemonoe was the first who uttered an oracle in verse to Acrisius, yet let him know that twenty-seven years after Phemonoe came Orpheus, and Musaeus, and Linus the teacher of Hercules. But Homer and Hesiod were much later than the Trojan war, and after them far later were the lawgivers among the Greeks, Lycurgus and Solon, and the Seven Sages, and Pherecydes of Syros, and the great Pythagoras, who lived some time later about the beginning of the Olympiads, as we proved. So then we have demonstrated that Moses was more ancient than most of the gods of the Greeks, and not merely than their so-called Sages and poets.”

So far Clement. But since the question before us was carefully studied before our Christian writers by the Hebrews themselves, it would be well to consider also what they have said: and I shall use the language of Flavius Josephus as representative of them all.


[JOSEPHUS] (53) “I WILL begin then first with the writings of the Egyptians. It is not possible, however, to quote their own actual words; but Manetho an Egyptian by birth, a man who had a knowledge of Hellenic culture, as is evident from his having written the history of his own country in the Greek language, and translated it, as he says himself, out of the sacred books, who also convicts Herodotus of having from ignorance falsified many things in Egyptian history this Manetho then, I say, in the second Book of his Egyptian History writes concerning us as follows: and I will quote his words, just as if I brought himself forward as a witness. “Some (god) or other, the god of Timai — I know nothing more than this of (his) name — blasted against us, and men from the Eastern parts, of obscure origin, were strangely emboldened to invade the country, and easily took possession of it by force without a battle.” And soon after he adds: “This whole nation was styled HYK[OUS]SOS, that is, Herder-kings: for the first syllable HYK, according to the sacred dialect, denotes a king, as is [OUS]SOS a herder; but this according to the ordinary dialect; and of these is compounded HYK[OUS]SOS: but some say that these people were Arabians.” Now in another copy it is said that this word HYK[OUSSOS] does not denote Kings, but, on the contrary, denotes Captive Herders, for in Egyptian HYK[OUSSOS], and HAK {Egyptian hak, booty, prisoners of war}, with the aspiration, expressly denote Captives; and this to me seems the more probable opinion, and more agreeable to ancient history. Now these before-named kings, and those of the so-called “Herders,” and their descendants, held sway over Egypt, he says, during a period amounting to five hundred and eleven years. But thereafter he says there was a revolt of the kings from the Thebaid and the rest of Egypt against the Herders, and a great and long war broke out. But in the time of a king whose name was Misphragmuthosis, he says that the Herders were defeated, and though driven out of the rest of Egypt, they were shut up in a place having a circumference of ten thousand arurae: the name of the place was Avaris. The whole of this, Manetho says, the Herders surrounded with a great and strong wall, that so they might have all their possessions and their booty in a stronghold. But Thmuthosis the son of Misphragmuthosis attempted to subdue them by a siege, having sat down against their walls with forty-eight myriads of men: but after he had given up the siege in despair, agreements were reached, that they should leave Egypt, and all go away uninjured whithersoever they chose. And upon these conditions they with their whole families and possessions, being not less in number than twenty-four myriads, made their way from Egypt across the desert into Syria. But being afraid of the power of the Assyrians (for they were at that time the rulers of Asia), they built a city in what is now called Judaea, to suffice for so many myriads of inhabitants, and called it Jerusalem. Next to this he recounts the succession of the kings of Egypt, together with the duration of their reigns, and adds: (55) So says Manetho. And when the time is calculated according to the number of years mentioned, it is evident that the so-called Herders, our ancestors, departed from Egypt and colonized this country three hundred and ninety-three years before Danaus arrived in Argos: and yet he is considered by the Argives as very ancient. Two things therefore of the greatest importance Manetho has testified in our favour out of the writings of the Egyptians. First their arrival in Egypt from some other country, and afterwards the departure thence at so ancient a date as to be nearly a thousand years before the Trojan war. (See §S-202c, above, >>.)”

The extracts from Egyptian history have been recorded thus somewhat at large by Josephus. But from Phoenician history, by employing the testimony of those who have written on Phoenician affairs, he proves that the Temple in Jerusalem had been built by King Solomon a hundred and forty-three years and eight months earlier than the foundation of Carthage by the Tyrians: then he passes on, and quotes from the history of the Chaldaeans their testimonies concerning the antiquity of the Hebrews.


BUT why need I heap up proofs upon proofs, when every one who is a lover of truth, and not of spitefulness, is satisfied with what has been stated, as containing varied confirmation of the proposed argument? For our proposal was to prove that Moses and the Prophets were more ancient than Greek history. Since therefore Moses has been proved to have lived long before the Trojan war, let us look also at all those who came after him. Now that Moses appeared in the world later in time than those former true Hebrews, Heber and Abraham, from whom the derived name has been applied to the people, and than all the other godly men of old, is manifest from his own history. Next to Moses therefore Jesus ruled the nation of the Jews thirty years, as some say: then, as the Scripture says, foreigners ruled eight years. Then Gothoniel,(56) fifty years: after whom Eglom king of Moab eighteen years: after whom Ehud eighty years. After him strangers again twenty years: then Debbora and Barak forty years. Then the Madianites seven years: then Gredeon forty years. Abimelech three years. Tola twenty-three years: Jair twenty-two years: the Ammonites eighteen years: Jephtha six years: Esbon seven years: Aealon ten years:(57) Labdon eight years: strangers forty years: Samson twenty years: then Eli the Priest, as the Hebrew says, forty years; about whose time the capture of Troy occurred. And after Eli the Priest Samuel was the ruler of the people. After him their first king Saul reigned forty years: then David forty years: then Solomon forty years; who also was the first to build the Temple in Jerusalem. After Solomon Soboam reigns seventeen years: Abia three years: Asa forty-one years: Jehoshaphat twenty-five years: Joram eight years: Ahaziah one year: Athaliah seven years: Joash forty years: Amaziah twenty-seven years: Uzziah fifty-two years; in whose reign prophesied Hosea, Amos, Esaias, Jonah: and after Uzziah Jotham reigned sixteen years: after whom Ahaz sixteen years. In his time was held the first Olympic festival, in which Coroebus of Elis won the foot-race. Hezekiah succeeds Ahaz for twenty-nine years; and in his time Romulus built Rome and became king. And after Hezekiah Manasses reigned fifty-five years: then Amon two years: then Josiah thirty-one years; in whose time prophesied Jeremiah, Baruch, Huldah, and other prophets. Then Jehoahaz three months: after whom Jehoiachim eleven years; and after him last of all Zedekiah twelve years. In his time Jerusalem having been besieged by the Assyrians, and the Temple burned, the whole nation of the Jews is carried away to Babylon, and there Daniel prophesies, and Ezekiel. And after the number of seventy years Cyrus becomes king of Persia, and he remitted the captivity of the Jews, and allowed those of them who would to return to their own land, and to raise up the Temple again: at which time Jesus the son of Josedek returned, and Zerubbabel the son of Salathiel, and they laid the foundations, when Haggai, and Zechariah, and Malachi prophesied last of all, after whom there has been no more a prophet among them. In the time of Cyrus Solon of Athens was flourishing, and the so-called Seven Sages among the Greeks, than whom their records mention no more ancient philosopher. Of these seven then Thales of Miletus, who was the first natural philosopher among the Greeks, discoursed concerning the solar tropics and eclipse, and the phases of the moon, and the equinox. This man became most distinguished among the Greeks. A pupil of Thales was Anaximander, the son of Praxiades, himself also a Milesian by birth. He was the first designer of gnomons for distinguishing the solar tropics, and times and seasons, and equinox. And a pupil of Anaximander was Anaximenes son of Eurystratus of Miletus; and his pupil was Anaxagoras, son of Hegesibulus, of Clazomenae. He was the first who clearly defined the subject of first principles. For he not only published his opinions concerning the essence of all things, like his predecessors, but also concerning the moving cause thereof. ‘For in the beginning,’ he says, ‘all things were confused together. But mind entered and brought them out of disorder into order.’ (58) Anaxagoras had three pupils, Pericles, Archelaus, and Euripides. Pericles became the first man of Athens, and excelled his contemporaries both in wealth and birth: Euripides turned to poetry, and was called by some ‘the philosopher of the stage’:(59) and Archelaus succeeded to the school of Anaxagoras in Lampsacus, but migrated to Athens and lectured there, and had many Athenians as pupils, and among them especially Socrates. At the same time with Anaxagoras there flourished the physical philosophers Xenophanes and Pythagoras. Pythagoras was succeeded by his wife Theano, and his sons Telauges and Mnesarchus. A pupil of Telauges was Empedocles, in whose time Heracleitus ‘the obscure’ became famous. Xenophanes is said to have been succeeded by Parmenides, and Parmenides by Melissus, and Melissus by Zeno the Eleatic, who, they say, concocted a plot against the tyrant of that time, and was caught, and when tortured by the tyrant that so he might give a list of those who were his accomplices, paid no regard to the tyrant’s punishments, but bit through his tongue, and spat it at him, and died in this obstinate endurance of the tortures. He had for his pupil Leucippus, and Leucippus Democritus, and he Protagoras, in whose time Socrates flourished. One may also find scattered here and there other physical philosophers who lived before Socrates: all, however, beginning with Thales appear to have flourished later than Cyrus king of Persia: and it is manifest that Cyrus lived long after the carrying away of the Jewish nation into captivity at Babylon, when the Hebrew prophets had already ceased, and their holy city had been besieged. So you must admit that Greek philosophy was much later than Moses and the Prophets who came after him; and especially the philosophy of Plato, who having been at first a hearer of Socrates, afterwards associated with the Pythagoreans, and shot far beyond all his predecessors both in eloquence and wisdom and in his philosophical doctrines. Now Plato lived about the end of the Persian monarchy, a little earlier than Alexander of Macedon, and not much more than four hundred years before the Emperor Augustus. If therefore it should be shown to you that Plato and his successors have agreed in their philosophy with the Hebrews, it is time to examine the date at which he lived, and to compare the antiquity of the Hebrew theologians and prophets with the age of all the philosophers of Greece. But since this has been already proved, it is now the proper time to turn back and observe that the wise men of the Greeks have been zealous imitators of the Hebrew doctrines, so that our calumniators can no longer reasonably find fault with us, if we ourselves, admiring the like doctrines with their philosophers, have determined to hold the Hebrew oracles in honour.


33. 487 d 6 Africanus, Chronography, bk. iii. Cf. Routh, Rell. Sacr. ii. p. 269

34. 488 d 1 Ezra 1

35. 489 b 1 Cf. Routh, Rell. Sacr. ii. p. 272

36. c 10 Cf. ibid. ii. 374

{36a} The Attic chronography was more recent than the Argive, according to Dionysius of Halicarnassus (§S-206c, above, >>). The omission of 189 years and several kings following Ogyges in alternative traditions, is evidence of its unreliability. Other dislocations occur in the sources. The flood of Deucalion, rather than that of his predecessor Ogyges, is synchronized with Amosis (Misphragmuthosis) in Africanus’ epitome of Manetho (§S-207a, below, >>). This dating of the Flood of Deucalion, who is elsewhere equated with Xisuthros-Noah, to the era of Inachus and Amosis, would explain why both these latter figures are found in the epitome of Manetho preserved in the Excerpta Latina Barbari (Waddell, LCL Manetho, Fr. 4, p. 18f., and p. 19 n. 3) transposed anomalously to the era of the Demigods at the beginning of Manetho’s king-list, a position which corresponds chronologically to that of the Great Flood. Such dislocations suggest that the Attic king-list originally went back only as far as around the time of Amphictyon and Danaus, and that before that, there was no secure chronological framework. The earlier Attic kings in the traditional lists seem, in fact, to belong to more remote historical periods. Atlas is equated in a Samaritan source known as “pseudo-Eupolemus” (apud Eusebius, PE IX. xvii. 9) with the prediluvian Enoch, and the names have identical meanings (Atlas in Greek [tlaô, submit to discipline] and Enoch in Hebrew [hanakh, train, discipline a child] mean “Well Disciplined”) and, in a tradition going back at least as early as Tertullian (Corona 7), the myth of Prometheus, Epimetheus and Pandora is treated as a pagan version of the Fall of Adam and Eve. In Josephus the Oak of Mamre mentioned in the Patriarchal annals in Genesis is called the Oak of Ogyges (Antiquities I. x. 4; cf. Wars IV. ix. 7). Ogyges was a giant, and so was Mamre. That fact alone, however, is not sufficient to explain Josephus’ nomenclature. The substitution of a Greek for the native Hebrew name in relation to such an important relic of the Patriarch Abraham is remarkable, and implies either an identification of Mamre with Ogyges in the tradition used by Josephus, or an intimate connection between the two. Mamre was an Anakite, of the giant race of the Nephilim. The latter word is only used in the Hebrew Scriptures to describe the postdiluvian Anakites of Canaan and the prediluvian giants destroyed in the Great Flood (Gen. 6. 4, Num. 13. 33). The flood associated with the name Ogyges and that associated with the name Deucalion are both identified, in the excerpts employed by these Christian chroniclers, with the flood that occurred in the days of the Pharaoh Amosis, who was synchronized with Inachus in the Argive tradition. But the Argive flood seems to be the tsunami caused by the Thera explosion in the time of Amosis-Misphragmuthosis (Thutmosis III), the fifth/sixth king of Manetho’s XVIIIth Dynasty, not the Great Flood (of Noah-Xisuthros-Deucalion) which predated Manetho’s Dynasty I. It is not so certain that the Flood of Ogyges was similarly misdated. The name Ogyges appears to be a Greek rendering of the Oriental Og/Anak, both the latter being formed from the Semitic root wg. (See The Six Days of Creation, §354.3, for more information on this and the following points relating to Og.) Og was identified with various characters in post-Biblical Rabbinic tradition: (1) with a prediluvian giant who survived the Flood of Noah, (2) with a fugitive giant from Sodom and Gomorrah in the time of Abraham, otherwise embodied as Canaan/Eliezer, who lived as late as the end of the 19th century BC, and (3) with Og the giant king of Bashan at the time of the Exodus. These three incarnations of Og account for the discrepancies in the Greek mythical accounts: Ogyges and the flood of Ogyges are variously dated (1) to the time of Deucalion (= Noah), (2) to around the time of the foundation of Argos in the time of Abraham (beginning of the second millennium BC), and (3) to the time of the Exodus. The connection brought out by Africanus, between Ogyges, on the one hand, and the Israelite Exodus (from Avaris), on the other, seems to reflect an actual, historical, connection between the Anakites of Hebron and Zoan (the “Field [Flood-Plain] of Zoan”), which is referred to in the Bible and in Josephus, and which is also evidenced in the excavations at Avaris. The Bible says that the Hebron of the Anakites was “built” seven years before “Zoan of the Egyptians” (Num. 13. 22: “And they {the Israelite spies in the earliest phase of the Exodus} ascended by the south {from Kadesh-Barnea}, and came unto Hebron; where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak {the Anakites}, were. Now Hebron was built {or, built up} seven years before Zoan in {lit. of} Egypt.”). At that early period the city of Zoan, per se, did not exist. However, the Bible elsewhere uses the name “Field [Flood-plain] of Zoan” retrospectively as a name for the extensive area which witnessed the miraculous events of the Exodus (Ps. 78. 12, 43), i.e. historically the region of Avaris. Also this verse puts Zoan in apposition to Egypt. The literal translation is “Zoan of Egypt” or “Zoan of the Egyptians” and that could mean, “the area the Egyptians now call Zoan.” The earliest “building” or “building up” of that area would presumably be the founding of Avaris. Avaris was, in fact, built by immigrants from Canaan who had a close connection with southern Palestine, i.e. precisely the vicinity of Hebron. In this respect the comments of Josephus in Wars IV. ix. 7 are pertinent: “ … the city Hebron … Now the people of the country say that it is an ancienter city, not only than any in that country, but than Memphis in Egypt. {The earliest Hyksos king, according to Manetho, lived at Memphis, and built Avaris as his military base §S-202a, above, >>. The date of this event was around 1950 BC.} Accordingly its {Hebron’s} age is reckoned at two thousand and three hundred years. They also relate that it had been the habitation of Abram, the progenitor of the Jews, after he had removed out of Mesopotamia; and they say that his posterity descended from thence into Egypt, whose monuments are to this very time showed in that small city; the fabric of which monuments are of the most excellent marble, and wrought after the most elegant manner. There is also there showed, at the distance of six furlongs from the city, a very large turpentine tree {viz. the Oak of Mamre/Ogyges} and the report goes, that this tree has continued ever since the creation of the world.” The non-Semitic name of Sheshai, one of the Anakites of Hebron mentioned in the very verse which links the city with the north-eastern Nile Delta (Num. 13. 22), is found borne by one of the Hyksos kings of Avaris (Sheshi, see Redford, Onomasticon, No. 24, in Oren, Hyksos, p. 21). The name of the Hyksos king has also been found in Canaan. Somewhere in that same area of southern Palestine was located the city of Sharuhen, whither the Hyksos fled when they were expelled by Ahmosis I. Thus there is evidence that the ruling class of the Hyksos included elements from the area of Hebron who are identified as the giant Anakites in the Bible and are traditionally associated with the Greek giant Ogyges. Exchange of trade and personnel is also attested between Avaris and the Aegean (§58c, above, >>), where the Ogyges legend flourished. There may well, therefore, be a genuine connection between the flood of Ogyges in Attic tradition and the flood dated to the reign of Amosis-Thutmosis III and Inachus, which is so intimately wrapped up with the final departure of the Hyksos, i.e. the Exodus, from Avaris.

37. 490 a 11 Cf. Routh, l. c., ii. p. 275

38. c 1 Cf. Herod, ii. c. 162. {This is a reference to Amasis not Amosis. There is no direct mention of Amosis in Herodotus, and Africanus, when translated correctly, says that Herodotus mentioned him and the Exodus indirectly. Africanus is alluding to Hdt. ii. 104. 2-4: “[2] the Egyptians said that they considered the Colchians part of Sesostris’ army. I myself guessed it, partly because they are dark-skinned and woolly-haired; though that indeed counts for nothing, since other peoples are, too; but my better proof was that the Colchians and Egyptians and Ethiopians are the only nations that have from the first practised circumcision. [3] The Phoenicians and the Syrians of Palestine acknowledge that they learned the custom from the Egyptians, and the Syrians of the valleys of the Thermodon and the Parthenius, as well as their neighbors the Macrones, say that they learned it lately from the Colchians. These are the only nations that circumcise, and it is seen that they do just as the Egyptians. [4] But as to the Egyptians and Ethiopians themselves, I cannot say which nation learned it from the other; for it is evidently a very ancient custom. That the others learned it through traffic with Egypt, I consider clearly proved by this: that Phoenicians who traffic with Hellas cease to imitate the Egyptians in this matter and do not circumcise their children.” }

39. c 3 ibid. c. 104

40. 490 c 5 Cf. 497 a 6

41. 491 a 10 Cf. Pausanias, vi. c. 18

42. c 1 Tatian, Address to the Greeks, c. 31

43. 492 d 6 Tatian, l. c., c. 36

44. 496 d 1 Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, i. c. 21

45. 497 d 9 Plato, Timaeus, 22 A

46. 498 a 8 Hom. Il. xx. 215

47. c 7 Little Iliad, Fr. 6

48. d 12 Cf. Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, i. 146

49. 499 a 5 Hesiod, Theogony, 938

50. 499 d 6 Hom. Od. xii. 579

51. d 10 Pind. Fr. 11 (114)

52. d 13 Cf. Hom. Il. xxi. 443

53. 500 c 1 Josephus, Against Apion, i. 14

54. 501 a 1 Josephus, l. c.

55. 501 d 8 Josephus, Against Apion, c. 15

56. 502 d 8 Cf. Judges iii. 8, ibid. 9 ‘Othniel’

57. 503 a 5 Judges xii. 10-13

58. 504 b 4 cf. Diogenes, Laertius, ii. 6.

59. c 1 Cf. Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, v. 71



(Translation mostly follows Waddell, LCL Manetho, p.111ff.)

S-207a. (From Syncellus). ACCORDING TO AFRICANUS.

The Eighteenth Dynasty consisted of 16 kings of Diospolis.

The first of these was Amos,

In whose reign Moses went forth from Egypt. As we here declare, according indeed to the convincing evidence of the present calculation, it must be concluded that in this reign Moses was still young.

The second king of the Eighteenth Dynasty, according to Africanus, was Chebros, who reigned for 13 years. The third king, Amenophthis, reigned for 24 (21) years. The fourth king (queen), Amensis (Amensis), reigned for 22 years. The fifth, Misaphris, for 13 years. The sixth, Misphragmuthosis, for 26 years:

In his reign the flood of Deucalion’s time occurred. Total, according to Africanus, down to the reign of Amosis, also called Misphragmuthosis, 69 years. Of the length of the reign of Amos he said nothing at all.

7. Tuthmosis, for 9 years. 8. Amenophis, for 31 years.

This is the king who was reputed to be Memnon and a speaking statue.

9. Orus, for 37 years. 10. Acherres, for 32 years. 11. Rathos, for 6 years. 12. Chebres, for 12 years. 13. Acherres, for 12 years. 14. Armesis, for 5 years. 15. Ramesses, for 1 year. 16. Amenophath (Amenoph), for 19 years.

Total, 263 years.


S-207b. (a) (From Syncellus). ACCORDING TO EUSEBIUS.

The Eighteenth Dynasty consisted of fourteen kings of Diospolis.

The first of these, Amosis, reigned for 25 years. 2. The second, Chebron, for 13 years. 3. Ammenophis, for 21 years. 4. Miphres, for 12 years. 5. Misphragmuthosis, for 26 years.

Total from Amosis, the first king of this Eighteenth Dynasty, down to the reign of Misphragmuthosis amounts, according to Eusebius, to 71 years; and there are five kings, not six. For he omitted the fourth king, Amenses, mentioned by Africanus and the others, and thus cut off the 22 years of his reign.

6. Tuthmosis, for 9 years. 7. Amenophis, for 31 years.

This is the king who was reputed to be Memnon and a speaking statue.

8. Orus, for 36 years (in another copy, 38 years). 9. Achencherses [for 12 years]. [Athoris, for 39 years (? 9).] [Cencheres] for 16 years.

About this time Moses led the journeying of the Jews out of Egypt. (Syncellus adds: Eusebius alone places in this reign the exodus of Israel under Moses, although no argument supports him, but all his predecessors hold a contrary view, as he testifies.)

10. Acherres, for 8 years. 11. Cherres, for 15 years. 12. Armais, also called Danaus, for 5 years:

Thereafter, he was banished from Egypt and, fleeing from his brother Aegyptus, he arrived in Greece, and, seizing Argos, he ruled over the Argives.

13. Ramesses, also called Aegyptus, for 68 years. 14. Ammenophis, for 40 years.

Total, 348 years.

Eusebius assigns 85 years more than Africanus to the Eighteenth Dynasty. (Syncellus elsewhere says Eusebius leaves out two kings, but adds 85 years, setting down 348 years instead of the 263 years of the reckoning of Africanus.)


The Eighteenth Dynasty consisted of fourteen kings of Diospolis.

The first of these, Amoses, reigned for 25 years. 2. Chebron, for 13 years. 3. Amophis, for 21 years. 4. Memphres, for 12 years. 5. Mispharmuthosis, for 26 years. 6. Tuthmosis, for 9 years. 7. Amenophis, for 31 years.

This is the king who was reputed to be Memnon, a speaking stone.

8. Orus, for 28 years. 9. Achencheres . . . , for 16 years.

In his time Moses showed himself to be leader of the Hebrews on their journey out of Egypt.

10. Acherres, for 8 years. 11. Cherres, for 15 years. 12. Armais, also called Danaus, for 5 years:

At the end of this time he was banished from the land of Egypt. Fleeing from his brother Aegyptus, he escaped to Greece, and after capturing Argos, he held sway over the Argives.

13. Ramesses, also called Aegyptus, for 68 years. 14. Amenophis, for 40 years.

Total for the dynasty, 348 years.



The Literature of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus, pp. 207-208. My comments and other references are added in braces.

In his {Artapanus’} work Peri Ioudaiôn … the long article concerning Moses (Euseb. ix. 27) gives detailed information of his being the real founder of all the culture and even of the worship of the gods in Egypt. For he it was whom the Greeks call Musaeus, the instructor of Orpheus, the author of a multitude of useful inventions and attainments, of navigation, architecture, military science, and philosophy. He also divided the country into thirty-six provinces {a misunderstanding of the Greek, see §2, above, >>, for the correct translation}, and commanded each province to worship God; he also instructed the priests in hieroglyphics. He introduced order into State affairs. Hence he was beloved by the Egyptians, who called him Hermes, dia tên tôn‘ierôn gramattôn‘ermêneian. King Chenephres however sought, out of envy, to get rid of him. But none of the means he used succeeded. When Chenephrenes was dead, Moses received commandment from God to deliver His people from Egyptian bondage. The history of the exodus and of all that preceded it, especially of the miracles by which the permission to depart was extorted, is then related at length and in accordance with the Scripture narrative, but at the same time with many additions and embellishments. Single traits from this history are related, with express appeal to Artapanus, in Clemens Alex. Strom. i. 23. 154, in Chron. pasch. ed. Dindorf, i. 117, and in the Chron. anonym. in Cramer, Anecdota, Paris, ii. 176. Traces of the employment of this work may be pointed out especially in Josephus (see Freudenthal, pp. 169-171). The more plainly its Jewish authorship is manifested by the tendency of the whole work, the more strange does it appear, that Moses and the patriarchs should be exhibited as founders of the Egyptian worships. Jacob and his sons are represented as founding the sanctuaries at Athos and Heliopolis (23. 4). {Actually, Artapanus ascribes the foundation of these sanctuaries to the Syroi, or “Syrians,” also called ‘Ermiouth [from Heb. Aram = Syria], who he claims were present in Egypt at the same time as the patriarchs and may be presumed to be Manetho’s Hyksos from “Phoenicia:” Eusebius Praeparatio Evangelica 9. 23. 2-4: Artapanus apud Alexander Polyhistor on Joseph in Egypt (Gifford): “And when he {Joseph} had come to Egypt and been commended to the king, he was made administrator of the whole country. And whereas the Egyptians previously occupied the land in an irregular way, because the country was not divided, and the weaker were unjustly treated by the stronger, he was the first to divide the land, and mark it out with boundaries, and much that lay waste he rendered fit for tillage, and allotted certain of the arable lands to the priests. He was also the inventor of measures, and for these things he was greatly beloved by the Egyptians. He married Aseneth a daughter of the priest of Heliopolis, by whom he begat sons. And afterwards his father and his brethren came to him, bringing much substance, and were set to dwell in Heliopolis and Sais, and the Syrians multiplied in Egypt. These he says built both the temple in Athos and that in Heliopolis, and were called ‘Ermiouth. Soon afterwards Joseph died, as did also the king of Egypt. So Joseph while governor of Egypt stored up the corn of the seven years, which had been immensely productive, and became master of Egypt.” Jews called ‘Ermiouth elsewhere in Artapanus, Eusebius, ibid. 9. 18. 1.} Moses directs each province to honor God (ton Theon sephthêsesthai); he prescribes the consecration of the Ibis (27. 9) and of Apis (27. 12). In a word, the religion of Egypt is referred to Jewish authority. This fact has been explained by Freudenthal by the surely incorrect notion, that the author was indeed a Jew, but wanted to pass for a heathen, and indeed for an Egyptian priest (pp. 149 sq., 152 sq.) For nowhere does such an attempt come plainly forward. And with such a tendency, an entirely unknown name such as Artapanus would certainly never have been chosen as a shield. Nor does it at all explain the phenomena. For if the work had appeared under a heathen mask, we should surely expect, that it would have energetically denounced in the name of this acknowledged authority the abomination of idol-worship, as is actually done, e.g. in the case of the Sibyllist (iii. 20), and of pseudo-Aristeas (pp. 38, 14 sq., ed. Mor. Schmidt). Thus, under all circumstances, the strange fact remains, that the Jewish author has represented Moses as the founder of Egyptian rites. But however strange this may appear, it is explained by the tendency of the whole. Moses was the introducer of all culture, even of religious culture. This and nothing else is the meaning. Besides, it must be considered, that the heathen worship is in reality represented in a tolerably innocent light. For the sacred animals are not so much worshiped, as on the contrary “consecrated” for their utility—tôi Theôi, as we cannot but conclude. But even thus, we certainly have still to do with a Jewish author, who cared more for the honour of the Jewish name, than for the purity of divine worship. Perhaps too an apologetic purpose co-operated in causing the Jews, who were decried as despisers of the gods, to figure as founders of religious worship. Considering the marked prominence of Egyptian references, there needs no other proof that the author was an real Egyptian. With regard to date, it can only be affirmed with certainty of him and of those who follow, that they were predecessors of Alexander Polyhistor. {James Charlesworth writes: “Although it is impossible to specify Artapanus’ dates, it is evident he lived in the second century B.C., probably in Egypt.”}”

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