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22. All these circumstantial details and parallels between the account of Artapanus and the historical era of Djehuty in the XVIIIth Dynasty confirm us in our belief that Artapanus’ account is based on authentic historical sources and accurately reflects historical reality. Now for the surprise! In the account of Artapanus translated above, the name of the courtier has been uniformly given as Hermes. This, indeed, Artapanus states, was the name given to this courtier BY THE EGYPTIANS, and we have amply demonstrated his historical reality. He was Djehuty, the courtier of Queen Makare Hatshepsut of the XVIIIth Dynasty. But according to Artapanus, he had another, earlier, name given to him when he was first brought into the royal family circle of the Queen, and that name was … MOSES!

23. Many investigators in modern times have suspected that Makare Hatshepsut might be the daughter of Pharaoh who adopted Moses, based, amongst other things, on the chronology of the XVIIIth Dynasty which closely matches that deduced strictly from the Bible. This evidence is confirmation of that suggestion. In the Syriac Christian literature (e.g. the Cave of Treasures, §S-100a-c, below, >>), the daughter of Pharaoh who discovered Moses is specifically named “Makrî” (rather than “Merrhis” as in Artapanus), and this form of her name is a very close approximation to the sound of the original, for Maa(t)-ka-re was pronounced originally something like Mua-ku-ria (§10, above, >>). She is called by Bar-Hebraeus (§S-101, below, >>) the daughter of “Amonpathis” (otherwise transcribed “Amûnpthîs,” Amûnpâthîôs etc.), representing the Greek Amenophthis, i.e. Egyptian Amun-hotep, viz. Amenophis I, and in Bar-Hebraeus and the Cave of Treasures Moses is said to have fled to Midian after her death, as in Artapanus. In the Book of Jubilees (§S-200, below, >>) and Josephus (§S-201, below, >>) etc., the Egyptian Queen who adopted Moses is called Tharmuth or Thermuthis, and this corresponds to one of Makare’s royal titles, her “Nebty” name, Wadj-renput, “Fresh of Years” (Wat-renput > Tarmut). Syncellus records that some ancient authorities held, correctly according to this evidence, that Amosis-Misphragmuthosis (Thutmosis III) and Thermuthis, the adoptive mother of Moses, were “brother and sister” (meaning contemporary, male and female, relatives) and both grew up as children in the period before Amosis, when Moses was born (Syncellus, Chronographica, ed. Mosshammer 140. 5-8 = ed. Dindorf 228). Historically this was the era of Makare herself, who reigned immediately before the sole reign of Amosis-Thutmosis III, conjointly with the latter.

23a. Just as in Artapanus, but adding additional detail that could not have been derived from Artapanus, Josephus records (§S-201e, below, >>) that Moses, whilst still a courtier in Egypt, conducted a military expedition against Ethiopia (Meroe), preserved and employed at that time ibises for their habit of attacking snakes, and brought about an alliance between Ethiopia and Egypt by marrying the daughter of the Ethiopian king. This Ethiopian wife of Moses is referred to also in the Bible (Num. 12. 1). Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses for marrying an Ethiopian (Cushite) and were punished by God in consequence. The description of the Ethiopians’ capital city in Josephus, built in the midst of, and protected by, waters, corresponds remarkably to the depictions of the city of Punt at Deir el-Bahari. (For further detailed evidence on this expedition of Moses and for the identification of king Parahu of Punt, the father of Moses’ wife, go to this link:https://www.christianhospitality.org/wp/six-days-of-creation-33-2/#Section626-50.)

23b. The Egyptian murdered by Moses in the Syriac literature is called “Pethkôm” and is described as the chief baker of Pharaoh. In the letter addressed to Djehuty found at Deir el-Bahari a misdemeanor is alleged to have been committed by him against one “Ptah-Sokar” and the misdemeanor involved the “people of Heliopolis” in some way. By comparison with the account of Artapanus (§21a, above, >>), we can conclude that this misdemeanor resulted in the flight of Hermes-Djehuty, just as the murder of the Egyptian (Pethkôm) resulted in the flight of Moses in the Bible and in the dependent Syriac literature. The mention of “people of Heliopolis” in the letter to Djehuty Hayes suggests may be a reference to workmen from that city, whilst Artapanus alleges that aliens of the same race as Hermes-Djehuty were subjected to hard labor in that very city by Chenephres-Thutmosis II. Thus we find reflected in the letter, as illuminated by the account of Artapanus, the circumstances of the murder of the Egyptian by Moses and his subsequent flight recounted in the Bible. We can conclude that Moses (Djehuty) killed Pethkôm (Ptah-Sokar) during an incident in Heliopolis in which the latter was oppressing Moses’ fellow Hebrew workmen in that city, and that when called to account for this incident after the death of the daughter of Pharaoh (Makare), he was forced to take flight.

23c. Even minor details bear witness to the identification. The Memorial Temple of Makare at Deir el-Bahari built by Djehuty, with its “Punt” complex, i.e. the miniature “Meroe” constructed by Moses-Hermes at the burial-site of Merrhis, according to Artapanus, was called Djeser Djeseru in the native Egyptian language, meaning “The Holy of Holies.” Precisely this usage was employed by Moses later in his construction of the Sanctuary of Jehovah in the wilderness, for the most sacred chamber of that Sanctuary he called Kodesh ha-Kodashim in Hebrew, “The Holy of Holies.” On the other hand, the cult of the Apis bull promoted by Chenephres (Thutmosis II) was, as Artapanus relates it, a reaction to the spiritual worship of the High God (Amun) encouraged by Moses-Hermes (Djehuty) whilst he was in favor in Egypt. The archaeological record here supports Artapanus, at least as regards his chronology: the Temple of Apis in Memphis dates from this very era. The historical background elucidates the motives of those who, according to the Bible, advocated the construction of the Golden Calf in the wilderness, for this animal-cult — no doubt a form of Apis worship — was used similarly as a reaction to the higher religion of Moses, and may be presumed, therefore, to have been a continuation of the reactionary process initiated against Djehuty by Thutmosis II. Other elements of the history of Moses in the Bible are confirmed and elucidated by the historical identification of Moses with Djehuty, as will be shown hereafter. Let us now read the full, unedited, version of Artapanus’ account, with the name Moses retained where it was in the original, and from where it was deliberately removed in the truncated version presented at the beginning of this study:


24. “1. AND Artapanus says, in his book Concerning the Jews, that after the death of Abraham, and of his son, Mempsasthenoth {seemingly the Egyptian name of the son of Abraham}, and likewise of the king of Egypt, his {the king’s} son {= descendant} Palmanothes succeeded to the sovereignty. 2. This king behaved badly to the Jews; and first he built Kessa, and founded the temple therein, and then built the temple in Heliopolis. 3. He begat a daughter Merrhis, whom he betrothed to a certain Chenephres, king of the regions above Memphis — for there were at that time many kings in Egypt; and she, being barren, appropriated to herself a child from one of the Jews, and called him Moüses (Moses): but by the Greeks he was called, when grown to manhood, Musaeus. 4. And this Moses, they said, was the teacher of Orpheus; and when grown up he taught mankind many useful things. For he was the inventor of ships, and machines for laying stones, and Egyptian arms, and engines for drawing water and for war, and invented philosophy. Further he distinguished the (central) city for thirty-six nomes, and appointed the God to be worshipped by each nome, and the sacred scriptures for the priests; whereas they used to be cats, and dogs, and ibises. He also apportioned select land to the priests. 5. All these things he did for the sake of keeping the sovereignty firm and safe for Chenephres. For previously the multitudes, being under no order, now expelled and now set up kings, often the same persons, but sometimes others. 6. For these reasons then Moses was beloved by the multitudes, and being deemed by the priests worthy to be honored like a god, was named Hermes, because of his interpretation of the Hieroglyphics.

25. “7. But when Chenephres perceived the excellence of Moses he envied him, and sought to slay him on some plausible pretext. And so when the Ethiopians invaded Egypt, Chenephres supposed that he had found a convenient opportunity, and sent Moses in command of a force against them, but enrolled the population of field-laborers for him, supposing that through the weakness of his troops he would easily be destroyed by the enemy. 8. But Moses with about ten myriads of the field-laborers came to the so-called nome of Hermopolis, and there encamped; and sent generals to preoccupy the country, who gained remarkable successes in their battles. He adds that the people of Heliopolis say that this war went on for ten years. 9. So Moses and his followers, because of the greatness of the army, built a city in this place, and therein gave the ibis sacred protection, because this bird kills the animals that are poisonous to man. And they called it Hermes’ city. 10. Thus then the Ethiopians, though they were enemies, became so fond of Moses, that they even learned from him the custom of circumcision: and not they only, but also all the priests.

{The Armenian translation of the Syriac Chronicle of Michael Syrus adds further detail, seemingly from lost portions of Artapanus, as it uses the names Merrhis (Mari’a, Mari’), Chenephres (K’amp’ara), Chanethothes (K’sant’is) etc. From The Chronicle of Michael the Great, Patriarch of the Syrians Translated from Classical Armenian by R. Bedrosian, 2013, Section 18f. “…. When Moses was 22 years old he became a ruler [or, prince] and constructed the city of Hermopolis, which was also called by the name of Moses’ patron, Mar’ia {Merrhis}. In this period the Ethiopians, who had been tributary to the Egyptians, came to themselves, rebelled, and went against the Egyptians whom they found unprepared. Among the captives they seized and carried off was the aforementioned mother of Moses. Then Moses became a general of Egypt, warring with the Ethiopians for ten years. He went against them over a desert full of snakes, with the help of gazelles and storks, since [the snakes] could not evade them. After 10 years he took Ethiopia and their queen, Thesbas {Tharbis in Josephus}, as well as [retrieving] his mother, Mar’i, and returned to Egypt with a reputation for valor and bravery ….”

Section 20:

“…. From the entry into Egypt until the Exodus 215 years had elapsed. In Moses’ 22nd year the king began to harass Israel by the building of a city. In the 28th year of Moses they built the city of Hermopolis. The Cushites made war with the Egyptians, conquered them, and took captive Hr’ak’usa {Ragusa}, Moses’ adoptive mother. And they married her. In Moses’ 38th year Yesu, son of Nawea {Jushua son of Nun}was born, and Moses built Hermopolis. He warred [g29] with At’iubas {prob. a transcription of Gk. Aithiopos = “the Ethiopian”}, king of the Philistines for 10 years, defeated him, and retrieved [his adoptive mother] Hr’ak’usa from him ….” The name Ragusa, like Tharmuthis, is an alternative name of Merrhis, Michael Syrus (Syriac text) in ed. Chabot, Chronique, Livre III, chap. II, vol. 1, p. 39, from Artapanus.) The account here is found also in Bar-Hebraeus, in a more confused form, §S-101 [13-14], below, >>.}

26. “11. But when the war was ended, Chenephres pretended to welcome him, while in reality continuing to plot against him. So he took his troops from him, and sent some to the frontiers of Ethiopia for an advanced guard; and ordered others to demolish the temple in Diospolis {Thebes} which had been built of baked brick, and build another of stone from the quarries of the neighboring mountain, and appointed Nacheros superintendent of the building.

27. “12. And when he was come with Moses to Memphis, he asked him whether there was anything else useful for mankind, and he said the breed of oxen, because by means of them the land is plowed: and Chenephres having given the name Apis to a bull, commanded the multitudes to found a temple for him: and (where) the creatures had been given sacred protection by Moses, there he bade them bring and bury them, because he wished to bury the inventions of Moses in oblivion.

{Armenian translation of Michael Syrus ut cit. supra, Section 18: “But Mar’i’s husband was envious of him and wished to kill him, though he was wary of his wife ….”; Section 20: “…. Now K’amp’ara {Chenephres}, T’ermotis’ {Merrhis’} husband, had a grudge against Moses and wanted to kill him. He was angry because of [Moses’] success, but was unable to accuse him [of anything] because of T’ermot’is, who was Moses’ adoptive mother, and whom he had brought back from captivity ….”}

28. “13. Once the Egyptians had come to see him as an alien, he {Chenephres} bound his friends by an oath not to report to Moses the plot which was being contrived against him, and he appointed the men who were to kill him. 14. When however no one would obey him, Chenephres reproached Chanethothes, who had been awarded titles by him more than all; and he, on being thus reproached, promised to make the attempt when he found an opportunity. 15. And Merrhis having died about this time, Chenephres committed the body to Moses and Chanethothes with the professed intent that they might transport it across to the locations beyond Egypt and bury it, supposing that Moses would be slain by Chanethothes. 16. But while they were on the way, one of those who were cognizant of the plot reported it to Moses; and he being on his guard buried Merrhis himself, and he called a river and a complex {lit. “city”} in that location a “Meroe” {i.e. a “Nubia,” or an “ Ethiopia,” presumably as a substitute for the intended location beyond Egypt}. And this Merrhis was honored by the inhabitants not less highly than Isis.

29. “17. Then Aaron the brother of Moses, having learned about the plot, advised his brother to flee into Arabia; and he took the advice, and sailed across the Nile from Memphis, intending to escape into Arabia. 18. But when Chanethothes was informed of the flight of Moses, he lay in ambush intending to kill him; and when he saw him coming, he drew his sword against him, but Moses was too quick for him, and seized his hand, and drew his sword and slew Chanethothes.

{An anonymous 13th century Syriac chronicle (Chron. Anon. Ad Annum Christi 1234, ed. trans. Chabot, ms. p. 63) adds the following, seemingly from Artapanus, as it uses the names Merrhis, Chenephres etc.: “And his (viz. Chenephres’) murder came about as follows: this husband of Merrhis, the daughter of Pharaoh, hated Moses on account of the famous deeds he accomplished, and wished to slay him. However, when Moses perceived his duplicity, he sent lethal poison by the hand of a faithful man who was an acquaintance of this Chenephres, and he offered it to him to drink, and so the king perished. Then he feared lest the thing should become known to Pharaoh, and lest he should destroy him. He slew also another Egyptian who rose up against one of the Hebrews.”}

30. “19. So he made his escape into Arabia, and lived with Raguel the ruler of the district, having married his daughter. And Raguel wished to make an expedition against the Egyptians in order to restore Moses, and procure the government for his daughter and son-in-law; but Moses prevented it, out of regard for his own nation: and forbidding Raguel to march against the Arabs, he arranged for Egypt to plunder them.

31. “20. About the same time Chenephres died, having been the very first person attacked by elephantiasis; and he is said to have incurred this misfortune because he ordered the Jews to wear linen garments and not to wear woolen clothing, in order that they might be conspicuous, and be punished by him.

32. “21. But Moses prayed to God now at last to put an end to the sufferings of the tribes. And God being propitiated, fire, it is said, suddenly blazed up out of the earth, and went on burning though there was no wood nor any other fuel in the place. And Moses was frightened at the occurrence and took to flight; but a divine voice spake to him, to campaign against Egypt, and rescue the Jews and lead them into their old country.

33. “22. Thus made confident of his ability to do battle, he determined to bring it to the Egyptians: but first he came to his brother Aaron. And when the king of Egypt [here called “Nechephreus” in Clement of Alexandria, see further infra] heard of the arrival of Moses, he called him before him, and asked what he had come for: and he said, Because the Lord of the world commanded him to deliver the Jews. 23. And when the king heard this, he shut him up in prison. But when it was night, all the doors of the prison-house opened of their own accord, and of the guards some died, and some were sunk in sleep, and their weapons broken in pieces. 24. So Moses passed out and came to the palace; and finding the doors opened he went in, and the guards here also being sunk in sleep he woke up the king. And he being dismayed at what had happened bade Moses tell him the name of the God who sent him, scoffing at him: 25. but Moses bent down and whispered in his ear, and when the king heard it he fell speechless, but was held fast by Moses and came to life again. 26. And he wrote the name in a tablet and sealed it up; and one of the priests who made light of what was written in the tablet was seized with a convulsion and died.

34. “27. Also the king told him to work some sign for him, and Moses threw down the rod which he held and turned it into a serpent; and when they were all frightened, he seized it by the tail and took it up, and made it a rod again. 28. Then he went forth a little, and smote the Nile with the rod, and the river became flooded and deluged the whole of Egypt, and right then its inundation started: and the water became stagnant, and stank, and killed all living things in the river, and the people were perishing of thirst. 29. But when these wonders had been wrought, the king said that after a month he would let the people go, if Moses would restore the river to its proper state; and he smote the water again with his rod, and checked the stream. 30. When this was done, the king summoned the priests from above Memphis, and said that he would kill them all, and demolish the temples, unless they also would work some wonder. And then they by some witchcraft and incantations made a serpent, and changed the color of the river. 31. And the king, being puffed up with pride at what was done, began to maltreat the Jews with every kind of vengeance and punishment. Then Moses, seeing this, both wrought other signs, and also smote the earth with his rod, and brought up a kind of winged animal to harass the Egyptians, and all their bodies broke out in boils. And as the physicians were unable to heal the sufferers, the Jews thus again gained relief. 32. Again Moses by his rod brought up frogs, and besides them locusts and lice. And for this reason the Egyptians dedicate the rod in every temple, and to Isis likewise, because the earth is Isis, and sent up these wonders when smitten by the rod. 33. But as the king still persisted in his folly, Moses caused hail and earthquakes by night, so that those who fled from the earthquake were killed by the hail, and those who sought shelter from the hail were destroyed by the earthquakes. And at that time all the houses fell in, and most of the temples.

35. “34. At last after having incurred such calamities the king let the Jews go: and they, after borrowing from the Egyptians many drinking-vessels, and no little raiment, and very much other treasure, crossed the rivers on the Arabian side, and, after traversing a wide space, arrived, on their three-days’ journey, at the Red Sea. 35. Now the people of Memphis say, that Moses being acquainted with the country waited for the ebb, and took the people across the sea when dry. But the people of Heliopolis say, that the king hastened after them with a great force, having also with him the consecrated animals, because the Jews were carrying off the property which they had borrowed from the Egyptians. 36. There came, however, to Moses a divine voice bidding him to smite the sea with the rod [and that it should divide]: and when Moses heard it, he touched the water with the rod, and so the stream divided, and the force passed over by a dry path. 37. But when the Egyptians went in with them and were pursuing them, a fire, it is said, shone out upon them from the front, and the sea overflowed the path again, and the Egyptians were all destroyed by the fire and the flood.

36. “But the Jews having escaped this danger spent forty years in the wilderness, God raining down meal for them like millet, similar in color to snow.

37. “And Moses they say was tall and ruddy, with long white hair, and dignified: and he performed these deeds when he was about eighty-nine years old.”

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