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38. According to Artapanus, Moses-Hermes (Djehuty) was at one point in his career in exile in the Arabian desert between Egypt and Canaan. So likewise was Moses, according to the Bible, and in the latter he is said to have come into conflict soon after he arrived there with some “Shepherds,” or rather “Herders” (Heb. rô‘îm). This was not the first time he had fought with such people. According to the fragments of Artapanus found in the Armenian translation of Michael Syrus, the Cushites against whom Moses-Hermes campaigned in Ethiopia captured his adoptive mother, Merrhis (Makare), and married her off. Latterly she was under the authority of a sheikh of the Philistines called “At’iubas” (seemingly for Aithiopos, “the Ethiopian”). Moses-Hermes not only came out of his Ethiopian campaign victorious, he also retrieved his adoptive mother from the Philistine king at the end of it. Is there any archaeological evidence that Djehuty conflicted with “Philistines”, that is, with Hyksos inhabiting the coastlands of Canaan? A XIXth Dynasty papyrus (Harris 500) preserves in a fragmentary, legendary, form an account of just such a conflict, and at the same time credits Djehuty with the ownership of a wonder-working rod, which he obtained originally from Pharaoh — comparable to the wonder-working rod of Moses highlighted both in the Bible and in Artapanus:

39. “{The broken text commences with Djehuty, at this time outside the borders of Egypt and somewhere in a camp or settlement outside, but still within communicating distance of, the town of Joppa on the coast of Canaan, in a parley with the Rebel sheikh of Joppa} . . . Moreover, after an hour they were drunk, and Djehuty said to [the Rebel of Joppa] “Myself together with my wife and my children [I surrender up] to your town into your power. Allow the charioteers {of your force} to have the chariot-horses enter {the settlement where the parley is in progress} and give them sustenance lest one of the Apiru {= Habiru, Hebrews (!), presumably in the retinue of Djehuty} may pass by {i.e. and take them} . . . So the chariot-horses were protected, and they gave them fodder . . . .

40. The Rebel of Joppa said to Djehuty: “It is my heart’s desire to see the great rod of the King Menkheperre — life, prosperity, health {this rod, the rod of the then reigning Pharaoh, Menkheperre Thutmosis III, being evidently in the possession of Djehuty}. By the soul of King Menkheperre, it will be yours today {i.e. I will not take it from you}. You bring it to me.” And he did so. He brought the rod of King Menkheperre [in] his apron. He stood upright and said: “Look at me Rebel of Joppa, here is the King Menkheperre — life, prosperity, health {the rod being believed to embody the essence of Pharaoh}. The Courageous Lion, The Son of Sakhemet {i.e. Pharaoh}, Amun {the High God of Egypt} has given him his strength.” He raised up his hand and hit the Rebel of Joppa upon his temple so he fell prostrate before him. He put him in manacles, and a clamp of copper was attached to his feet.

41. {With the Rebel of Joppa in chains, Djehuty now plots a ruse to capture the Rebel’s town, which has been left under the control of the Rebel’s queen.} He {Djehuty} had the 200 baskets which he had made brought, and he caused 200 soldiers to descend into them. They took arms full of ropes and manacles and were sealed shut into them. (Others) were supplied with sandals and carrying-poles and the best soldiers were carrying them, totaling 500 men. They were told: “When you enter the town release your companions and seize all the people who are in the town, and put them in ropes immediately.”

42. Someone came out to say to the charioteer of the Rebel of Joppa: “Thus says your Lord {pretending to pass on a command from the charioteer’s master, the Rebel of Joppa}, “Go tell your mistress {i.e. the queen, the wife of the Rebel of Joppa} “Let your heart be glad — Seth {the god of the Rebel of Joppa} has given us Djehuty, together with his wife and his children. See, here is the start of their servitude {i.e. as if the baskets contained tribute, a sign that Djehuty had submitted}.” Say this to her with regard to the 200 baskets … “ which were (actually) filled with people, manacles and ropes! Then he went ahead of them to gladden the heart of his mistress saying: “We have captured Djehuty!”

43. The gates of the city were opened before the soldiers {who carried the baskets}. They entered the city, they released their companions. Thus they seized the city, the young and the old. They immediately put them in ropes and manacles.

44. So the powerful arm of the Pharaoh captured the city: that night, Djehuty sent to Egypt, to the King Menkheperre — life, prosperity, health — his Lord saying: “Gladden your heart, {the High God} Amun, your good father, gave to you the Rebel of Joppa together with all of his people and likewise his city. Send people to take them captive so you may fill the domain of your father Amun-Re, King of the Gods, with both male and female slaves who have fallen under your two feet for ever and ever.”

45. It comes to its end happily.”

46. Djehuty has his wife and children with him in the desert in this account, which implies it occurred towards the end of his campaign against Ethiopia, when he was already married to the Ethiopian king’s daughter, as described in the fragments of Artapanus. The “queen” of the Rebel sheikh of Joppa must have been significant in the release of Makare. Makare had been married off by the Ethiopians, perhaps to their Philistine ally, the sheikh of Joppa himself, or at least to someone from whom the sheikh of Joppa’s queen was able to reclaim her when defeated by Djehuty. Djehuty embarked on his stratagem to take the city by informing the queen he had been “captured” (knowing that his adoptive mother would at least know he was alive and that she could see him again), then surprised the latter by freeing her completely from the enemies’ power. It is remarkable that he did not then march with his captives to Egypt, as he would have done if he was in charge of Pharaoh’s army on a normal expedition, but sent a message to Pharaoh from afar, instructing him to send an army and capture the rebels himself. This is as expected in light of the jealousy he knew to exist between Thutmosis III and his own circle. (Hence there is no problem in identifying the Djehuty of the Taking of Joppa, with the Djehuty who was the courtier of Makare. It has been held to be a difficulty by some that the supposed military officer Djehuty of this legend could not be identifiable with the courtier, as the latter is not known otherwise to have held a specifically military office.) By the ruse described in this story, he disabled the Hyksos town of Joppa, and then sent a message to the then-reigning Pharaoh Menkheperre (Thutmosis III), inviting him to dispatch an army and enslave the town, as he had bound the inhabitants ready for Pharaoh’s arrival. Pharaoh did so, and hauled multitudes of captured Canaanites in chains to Egypt.

47. This provides some historical background to the Biblical story of Reuel’s daughters, and the post-biblical expansion of it in Artapanus. The Herders (so named in Exodus, as the Hyksos are termed Herders by Manetho) had invaded the territory of Midian, between Canaan and Egypt, and driven away Reuel’s daughters so that they were unable to water their flocks. But one day the women returned to their father earlier than usual and told him that an Egyptian (i.e. Moses-Djehuty) had saved them from the Herders and had even personally drawn water for them. Reuel was grateful for Moses’ intervention, and invited him to live with him. Moses did so and eventually married a “daughter” (granddaughter) of Reuel, named Zipporah, daughter of Jethro, the son of Reuel. According to Artapanus, this was not the end of the story, as Moses, after turning down Reuel’s (Raguel’s) suggestion to march on Egypt and take over the kingdom for himself and his new Midianite kinsfolk, made motions to ensure Midian’s security against another foe, viz. the “Arabs.” The word “Arabs” is used by the Egyptian historian Manetho as a synonym for the “Herders” or “Hyksos.” “Forbidding Raguel to march against the Arabs,” Artapanus says, “he [Moses] arranged for Egypt to plunder them.” (The last phrase has been translated differently, as though it meant “he arranged (for him) [Reuel] to plunder Egypt,” which is grammatically possible but is a non-sequitur, as we have just been informed that Moses rejected the idea of an attack on Egypt.) This is precisely the policy adopted by Djehuty in the legend of the Taking of Joppa in Papyrus Harris 500.

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