Naucratis!

Naucratis, stretching roughly from 30°54’13″N, 30°35’34″E to 30°53’41″N, 30°35’41″E and from 30°54’0″N, 30°35’25″E to 30°53’58″N, 30°35’54″E, called Tell Nebireh today, was the primary Greek colony in Egypt. The Canopic branch of the Nile flowed directly to the West of it. It was under Psammetichus I which the first Greeks settled. Strabo records that the Milesians founded it by sailing in the reign of Psammetichus up to the Saitic nome. The ware at Naucratis being almost entirely Chian corroborates Strabo’s statement of Naucratis being a Miletan colony. Pharaoh Amosis, favoring the Naucratians over all the Greeks, monopolized Greek trade there. The site continued throughout the Persian, Roman, and Byzantine eras, and was abandoned in the 7th century, however, this period is not well recorded.

Where did Megiddo go?

Megiddo entered biblical history in the Book of Joshua. It, being a strategic fortress at the mouth of the Aruna (‘Ara) pass, the easiest way around the Carmel ridge, was the site of the first well-recorded battle ever, in 1458 BC. Taanach (modern Ti’anik, W. Bank) was said to have been by its waters in Judges 5:19. It was one of the cities built by Solomon in the 930s BC (1 Kings 9:15). Ahaziah of Judah died there in 841 BC. Josiah died there in a confrontation with Pharaoh Necho. It was destroyed and abandoned forever in 587/6 BC.

So, what happened to it?

It was replaced by the Hasmonean or earlier Jewish village of
Khefar Otnai, or Caparcotnei, at the site of the modern high-security prison of Megiddo, which was considered to be at the edge of Galilee. Sometime before 120 AD, Hadrian settled the 6th Roman Legion to guard the entrance to the Aruna pass at what would be named Legio, at 32°34’40″N, 35°11’15″E. Under Constantine the Great, a new city, Maximianopolis, said to be above the Hadad Rimmon of Zechariah 12:11 (interpreted to be where Josiah died), which was in fact, not a place-name, but a Canaanite god. was built on the southern hill of modern Kibbutz Megido. In time, the Arabs destroyed the city and settled a new village, al-Lejjun, keeping the old name Legio, which lasted until 1948, when the the Arab inhabitants left to make way for the modern Kibbutz Megido.

Who be Zerah?

According to 2 Chron 4, in the 11th year of Asa (902 BC), Zerah the Cushite tried to invade Judah by way of Mareshah (just south of Beit Guvrin). Since the reign of Asa (912-871 BC) corresponds well with the reign of Osorkon I (924-889 BC) of Egypt, a Libyan, not a Cushite, Zerah must not be the name of a king, but of a military commander. Unfortunately, even with all Zerah’s chariotry, he was struck down as far as Gerar (Tel Haror, 31°22’54″N, 34°36’26″E), due to the military preparedness and superior position (higher usually beats lower) of Asa’s troops. Asa also managed to get a significant amount of booty from the villages surrounding the then-small town of Gerar and from Zerah’s own troops. However, Chronicles does not state Asa acquired the newly devastated territory.

Heroopolis

1206 BC- Shasu of Edom pass the Fort of Merenptah which is in Succoth to reach the Pools of Pithom of Merenptah which is/are in Succoth, probably at Tell el-Retabeh, 30°32’53″N, 31°57’50″E.

Pre-Saite-The Israelites journey from Rameses and encamp in Succoth and after leaving Succoth they camp in Etham on the edge of the desert.

Saite-Necho builds Tell el-Maskhuta, 30°33’8″N, 32° 5’57″E. Retabeh is abandoned.

309-246 BC-Ptolemy II mentions Pithom and Succoth as cities in a stele found at Maskhuta. The Septuagint mentions Heroopolis as the city of the land of Ramesses Judah went before when he met Joseph.

15 AD-Strabo mentions Heroopolis as a city near the Gulf of Suez.

Early 2nd century-Ptolemy mentions Heroopolis as a city near the Gulf of Suez.

280s AD-The Itinerary of Antonius goes as thus: From Babylon to Heliopolis-58,000 feet/XII miles

From Heliopolis to Scenae Veteranorum-87,000 feet/XVIII miles or 67,700 feet/XIV miles

From Scenae Veteranorum to Vicus Judaeorum-58,000 feet/XII miles

From Vicus Judaeorum to Thou/Tohu-58,000 feet/XII miles

From Thou to Heroopolis-116,000 feet/XXIV miles

From Heroopolis to Serapeum-97,000 feet/XVII miles

From Serapeum to Clysma-242,000 feet/L miles

303-305 AD Milestone found at Maskhuta states: “From Ero to Clysma, 9 miles”, proving Ero is near Retabeh, or that there was a ‘Clysma’ where the Nile-Red Sea canal flowed into Lake Timsah. I suspect the latter possibility is more likely.

Early 5th century- Egeria says: “The city of Pithom, which the children of Israel built, was shown to us on the same journey at the place where, leaving the lands of the Saracens, we entered the territory of Egypt; the same Pithom is now a fort. The city of Hero, which existed at the time when Joseph met his father Jacob as he came, as it is written in the book of Genesis, is now a come,4 though a large one–a village as we say. This village has a church and martyr-memorials, and many cells of holy monks, so that we had to alight to see each of them, in accordance with the custom which we had. The village is now called Hero; it is situated at the sixteenth milestone from the land of Goshen, and it is within the boundaries of Egypt; moreover, it is a very pleasant spot, for an arm of the Nile flows there.”

4th Century-Coptic translation of the Septuagint translates “Heroopolis” as “Pithom”.

The Bible Unearthed-An Extended Review, Part 4

Chapter 2

The anti-biblical portions of this chapter are almost entirely lie, misleading information, and falsehood. The chapter begins with an exposition of the sojourn through Sinai narrative, then talks a little about the Hyksos invasion and expulsion, strangely, giving the wrong dates (the reign of Ahmose I began in 1550, not 1570 BC, and the expulsion of the Hyksos should have taken Ahmose at least a few years, and at most, seventeen, to complete). F&S’s pointing out the fact the name “Ramesses” only appears in the thirteenth century and just after is a little irrelevant (a fundy could simply call “scribal update”). The absence of Israel in Egyptian records until 1209/8 (incorrectly stated by Finkelstein as 1207, the Egyptians did not use ascension dating) is a little curious, but, there is little room for mention of any specific groups of non-settled peoples in Palestine in Egyptian records except in name lists of Shasu tribes (i.e. Amenhotep III’s list). BTW, F&S should know there were no opportunities for Israel being mentioned at any time in Egypt (Hyksos-era record-keeping is nonexistent, when Egyptians mentioned slaves, they would only state ethnicity (Nubian, Asiatic, sometimes whether or not they were POW’s), not tribal affiliation. The voluminous archives F&S imagine we have from Tjaru and Ramesses simply do not exist (that Papyrus Anastasi 6 mentioning Pithom and Succoth was only found as trash in the sands of Saqqara after being used by a student scribe for training), there were only seven wine jar dockets recovered from Ramesses and no papyri whatsoever from Tjaru or any of the eastern fortresses. The Bible also explicitly states Israel had permission from Pharaoh to go, so all those fortresses in the Wadi Tumilat (those on the Via Maris are irrelevant) do not matter much anyway. The fact Israelite remains are absent from all archeological surveys of the Sinai stems from the fact that no tent dweller ever used pottery when in deserts for long periods of time, but goatskins. No campsite of Ramesses II at Kadesh or Thutmose III at Megiddo has been found (neither has any one of the Egyptian miners who went to Serabit el Khadim in the Sinai) The anachronisms F&S point to do not exist (Tell el Kheleifeh (29°32’50″N, 34°58’50″E), which F&S assume to be Ezion-Geber, cannot be Ezion-Geber, but is probably Eloth (built by Uzziah, then destroyed and rebuilt by Edomites [mistaken for Arameans, Hebrew d’s and r’s look almost exactly the same, plus, see previous verse]), it cannot hold ships of Tarshish on its shallow beach, see Sect. 6 of AJaL for Migdol (indeed, this toponym proves Ex. 14 must have been written before the late seventh century BC), this for Kadesh). The only real anachronism in the book of Exodus is the Tanite one. It is true, however, that Heshbon and other sites, such as Arad, were only settled during some distant earlier period and the Israelite era, proving that Numbers, at least, must have been written during the 1st millennium BC. Edom was a state a century before the Assyrian era. There is no evidence Goshen was named for an Arab king of Nehemiah’s time. Mention of spies from an Asiatic country need not be interpreted as evidence of a post-Assyrian date of writing, but could just as well be interpreted as pointing to a Ramesside (Hittites!) or a 13th-14th Dynasty date (Hyksos!). Even a Middle Kingdom date is permissible (nomadic Asiatics could attempt to bypass the Walls of the Ruler to invade the E. Delta to get pastureland, water, and food)! See Hoffmeier, “Israel in Egypt”, for the Egyptian elements. The idea the Exodus epic describes a struggle between Necho II and Josiah is just… stupid (remember the mid-12th century epic of Ex. 15 and the mentions in the Prophets).

The Karnak Relief of Shoshenq I/Shishak!

UPDATE (June 27, 2012): Someone else has published the complete list! Huzzah!

Row I

1. Upper Egypt

2. Lower Egypt

3. The Tribesmen (Nubia)

4. Libya

5. Sekhet-Iam (Westerners)

6. mn.tiw (Asiatics, sometimes Westerners)

7. bowmen of the feather (E. Desert)

8. Upper Nubia

9. he.w-nb-w (Haunebu, or Ha-nebu, meaning “all the northerners”, originally meaning “Delta-men”, later, Aegeans)

10. Roll/Scroll (?)

11. Ge…/Ga…

12. M[ ]e[ ]

13. Rubutu/Rubate (Arubboth/Araba?)

Row II

14. Taanach

15. Shunem

16. Beth-Shean

17. Rehob

18. Hapharaim

19. Adoraim or Adullam

20. xxx (Zaphon?)

21. shwd (Akk. Shadu=Mountain? Eshatol?)

22. Mahanaim

23. Gibeon

24. Beth-horon

25. Qadtam (Qatane?) or Qiriatim (Kiriath-Jeraim?)

26. Aijalon

Row III

27. Megiddo

28. Adar

29. Hand of the King (some monument)

30. habiruta (Abu Hawam?)

31. Henam

32. Aruna (‘Ara)

33. Borim (Khirbet Burin, 32°18’37″N, 34°58’59″E)

34. Zeit (Olive Grove)-Padalla (Zeita)

35. Yehem (modern Yama)

36. Beth-‘Olam

37. kqr (unknown)

38. Socoh

39. Beth-Tappuah (?)

Row IV

40. Brook (?)

41. ‘a bi-ru-‘e (‘Ubal?)

42. xxx

43. xxx

44. xxx

45. bt-dbi[ ] (Beth-Saba?)

46. xxx

47. xxx

48. xxx

49. xxx

50. xxx

51. xxx

52. xxx

Row V

53. Penuel

54. Hdsht (New Town? Hadashah?)

55. peket or pe-wr-ktt

56. Adam

57. Zemaraim

58. [Mig]dol

59. [Tir]rzah

60. xxx

61. xxx

62. xxx

63. xxx

64. xxx

65. The Valley

Row VI

66. Ezem (Umm el ‘Azam, 31° 3’5″N, 35° 0’13″E)

67. ‘I-n-m-i-r-i

68. The enclosure [of]

69. Photis

70. irhrr-“Hararites”

71. The enclosure

72. [of] Abram (or stallions), possibly Beersheba or Hazar-Susah.

73. Stream

74. [of] Geber

75. Stream

76. [of] wrkt (Rakkath?)

77. The enclosure

78. [of] Zyt? Nzit?

79. dd[]i

80. Sapek

81. m[]i[]

82. Tap[puah?]

Row VII

83. gnit

84. the Negev

85. [of] Edeht (Ezen?)

86. Tshdnw

87. The enclosure

88. [of] shnyi

89. hq

90. the Negev

91. [of] whtwrk

92. the Negev

93. [of] ishhtt (Shuhah?)

94. The enclosure

95. [of] hnni (Ben-Hanan?)

96. The enclosure

97. [of] El-Gad

98. idmm(t) (Edom?)

99. hnni (Ben-Hanan?)

Row VIII

100. Addar

101. The enclosure

102. [of] Tilon (?)

103. hydbi (the Precinct)

104. [of] Sharan Ri’m (the plain of antelopes?)

105. The Heights

106. [of]? dywt

107. [the] enclosures [of]

108. Arad

109. the Great

110. Arad

111. [of] the house [of] (nbtt)

112. Yeroham (Jerahmeel?)

113. xxx

114. xxx

115. xxx

116. Addar

Row IX

117. Addar

118. xxx

119. xxx

120. xxx

121. Peletham/Peleth

122. Abel (field)

123. Bir Lawz (Well of Almonds)

124. Beth ‘Anath

125. Sharuhen

126. The hall of the Jackal?

127. g-r-n-i (threshing floor)

128. idmm(t)

129. xxx

130. xxx

131. xxx

132. El-Ra[m]

133. Yurza

134. xxx

135. xxx

136. xxx

137. xxx

138. xxx

Row X

139. Yeroham

140. ‘Iwn-ni-ni (Onam)

141. xxx

142. xxx

143. xxx

144. xxx

145. M-‘-k[t] (Maacah)

146. Addar

147. xxx

148. xxx

149. xxx

150. Y-w-r-d-n

Extension of Row X

1. Sharudad/Shaludad

2. Raphia

3. Laban (whose chief is mentioned by Sargon II in 716 BC as being in charge of refugees “in the border region of the Brook of Egypt”)

4. ngrn (‘Ain Goren?) (Well of the Threshing Floor?)

5. ham

The Battle of Megiddo

The Battle of Megiddo is Thutmose III’s first major victory in Palestine. It began when all Canaan, from Yurza (Tell Jemmeh, 31°23’14″N, 34°26’43″E) to the legendary marshes of the Euphrates revolted against Egypt after Hatshepsut’s death. Thutmose first came to Tjaru, located at Tell Hebua I, at 30°56’9″N, 32°22′E, and Tell Hebua II, located less than a mile to the ESE of the former, on roughly April 19. This identification is confirmed by a votive statue found at the site. Tell Hebua I was located on a coastal strip just north of a lagoon, called the Shihor (“Waters of Horus”) by the Egyptians, and possibly the “tongue of the sea of Egypt” in Isaiah 11:15, which was an estuary of Pelusiac I, and is today shown clearly as a gray area in Google Maps, set in Terrain mode. The body of water north of Tell Hebua I in the 2nd millennium B.C. and earlier was the Mediterranean, as shown in Hoffmeier’s map of the region (http://www.bibleorigins.net/MVC-128S.JPG). The Plain of Pelusium was formed by silt coming from Qantir. Lake Menzaleh, meanwhile, is of no earlier than the Islamic Period, formed by tectonic movements lowering parts of the Northern Delta at the rate of up to four meters every thousand years, as confirmed by Glen Fritz and Strabo.

Thutmose then arrived at Gaza (31°30’17″N, 34°27’50″E) on roughly the 28th of April, traveling over 140 miles in 9 days, about 15.6 miles every day. After leaving a day later, he traveled around 9 miles per day, a perfectly feasible rate of travel, to reach Yehem (modern Yama, Israel) around May 10th, where he head that the king of Kadesh had come into Megiddo. There were three routes to Megiddo: 1. The Jokneam route, bypassing Megiddo 2. The Aruna route, going straight to Megiddo, but easily open to attack and 3. The route splitting off from Yehem to go through the Wadi Masim to Dothan, Ibleam, and Taanach. The routes beside the Aruna were well guarded by the Canaanites. The Taanach route, excellently watered, was considered the preferable route by the commanders, and the Jokneam route Thutmose chose the direct route.

On around May 13, Thutmose came to the city of Aruna, modern Ar’ara, and took it. The arrival just south of Megiddo took place one day later. The Brook Kina is now partially transformed into a canal at 32°34’40″N, 35°11’31″E. Thutmose III, attacking from the northwest and southeast, almost captured the kings of Kadesh and Megiddo, but the army wasted time plundering. The siege beginning the day after Thutmose arrived at Megiddo lasted considerable time. I would recommend Nelson’s “The Battle of Megiddo” for further information.

Is Tiglath-Pileser Pul?

The Biblical Tiglath-Pileser (otherwise known as Tiglath-pilneser) is identified by all with the Assyrian Tukultī-apil-Ešarra III, who, reigning from 745 to 727 BC, mentioned Menahem as paying tribute in 738 (or 743) BC. He is also identified by most with the biblical “Pul“, as 1 Chronicles 5:26 (probably emended by later scribes to its present state of having “Pul” and “Tiglath-pilneser” be referred to separately) and Tiglath-Pileser’s own mention of Menahem strongly imply. This is supported by Tiglath-Pileser being mentioned as “Pulu” in the Babylonian King List A and “Porus” in Ptolemy’s Canon, Ptolemy’s dates being fixed by the eclipse records in his Almagest. It seems certain Tiglath Pileser, and no previous monarch, was the true author of the Iran Stele, as shown by the fact the Stele references several events (such as the siege of Arpad) which are known to have been done by no other than Tiglath-Pileser. Following literal Biblical chronology is not going to lead anyone anywhere.

Why Plain Biblical Chronology Is Not Used

A plain, literal Biblical chronology for the 8th century BC would go something like this:

Amaziah of Judah (29 years): 840-812 BC.

Jeroboam II of Israel (41 Years, from Year 15 Amaziah): 825 BC-784 BC (11 hanging years between him and successor)

Uzziah of Judah (52 years, from Year 27 of Jeroboam II): 811-759/58 BC

Zachariah of Israel (6 months, Yr 38 Uzziah): 773 BC

Shallum of Israel (1 month, Yr 39 Uzziah): 772 BC

Menahem of Israel (10 years, Yr 39 Uzziah): 772-762 BC

Pekahiah (2 years, Yr 50 Uzziah): 762-760 BC

Pekah of Israel (20 years, Year 52 of Uzziah): 760-740 BC (8 hanging years between him and successor)

Jotham of Judah (16 years, from Year 2 Pekah): 759-743 BC

Ahaz of Judah (16 years, from Year 17 of Pekah): 744-728 BC

Hoshea of Israel (9 years, “Year 20” of Jotham, “Year 12” Ahaz):732-723

Hezekiah of Judah (29 years, from Year 3 of Hoshea): 727-798 BC

The problems with this unedited chronology are, of course, that there are hanging years without a king in Israel and that this makes Biblical Chronology contradict the Mesopotamian and Egyptian Chronological Pillars:

1. The Battle of Qarqar in 853 BC, at which Shalmaneser III of Assyria listed Ahab of Israel as one of his foes (see the further discussion below).

2. The tribute of Jehu of Israel to Shalmaneser in 841 BC.

3. The invasion of Sennacherib in Hezekiah’s 14th year, 701 BC.

4. The death of King Josiah in 609 BC.

5. Nebuchadnezzar’s initial capture of Jerusalem in 605 BC, at which time Daniel and other Judeans were taken to Babylon.

6. The second capture of Jerusalem and its king Jehoiachin by Nebuchadnezzar—the exact date of which is given in the Babylonian Chronicle as 2 Adar, i.e. March 16, 597 BC.

Therefore, it seems a chronology with more co-regencies should be preferrable, as the one advocated by Thiele:

Amaziah of Judah:796-776

Jeroboam II of Israel:791-750

Uzziah/Azariah of Judah:787/76-736

Zachariah of Israel:750

Jotham of Judah:750-734

Shallum of Israel:749

Menahem of Israel:749-738

Pekahiah of Israel:738-736

Pekah of Israel:736-732

Ahaz of Judah:744 (2 Kings 16:2, 17:1) or 35 (2 Kings 16:1) -727 (Is 14:28-29)

Hoshea of Israel:732-723

Hezekiah:729-698

The date for Menahem fits with Tiglath-Pileser’s identification with Biblical Pul. A solar eclipse in what Hezekiah’s 14th year (714 BC) probably reflects the shadow going back in 2 Kings 20:11, and was probably artificially associated by the Deuteronomist with the events of 701 BC, leading scholars to invent imaginary co-regencies between Ahaz, Hezekiah, and Manasseh, placing Hezekiah from 715-687 BC, contradicting 2 Kings 20:21 and 2 Kings 18:1-10, unambiguously placing Hezekiah from 727 to 698 BC.