What is the true chronology of Ancient Egypt?

Feb 2011
833
Kitchener. Ont.
The problem is that the conventional chronology works a lot better with the Biblical information. For example, the Bible consistently uses the term ‘Pharaoh’, on its own, before the time of Solomon, but from the end of his reign onwards, it uses the term ‘Pharaoh’ in conjunction with the king’s personal name.
Yes, but the title Pharaoh is used throughout the Bible, beginning with Abram in Genesis.
It may well be that it was only in the time of Sheshonq that the Hebrew records could recall the true name of a king, so have all those names who came before been forgotten?
Even when the story talks about the 'Land of Ramesses', the scribe uses 'Pharaoh' with reference to the king, but never once uses 'Pharaoh Ramesses' together in reference to the king.

I do see that you could reply with, "thats because the term Pharaoh was not attached to the kings name in the time of Ramesses". However, if the title Pharaoh is used in Genesis in the time of Abram then it must mean the story was created in the 1st millennium BC when the use of Pharaoh for a king was the convention.
Which, if true, must call the historical Biblical traditions which predate Sheshonq into serious question.


If the current dates were shifted by a couple of centuries, to make Ramses III the Shishak of the Bible, then this just doesn’t work.
Agreed yes. The solutions offered in CoD (by James & Co.) are not viable in my opinion. In my view CoD has value in what the book hilites as chronological problems, but not the solutions it proposes.

In my view Ramesses III was the Tsirah (Hornet), mentioned in Deut & Joshua.


Another detail is the fact that the prices for a slave throughout the Bible always perfectly match the time period in which the story is set. For example, in the account of Joseph, he is sold as a slave for 20 pieces of silver. That was precisely the average price of a slave in the 18th century, when the story is set. And this correspondence continues through to the 16th/15th century in the time of the Exodus, when the Mosaic Law stipulates the price as being 30 pieces of silver (and throughout the Bible the price continues to gradually increase, exactly as it really did over the centuries).
On the face of it that appears to be an interesting argument, but have you asked yourself how that could come about?
For instance, are we to believe an ongoing diary (or written record?) was kept over centuries which made note of these facts?
And, what about the dialogue used between the principal characters? Are we to believe that also?
 
Jan 2015
966
England
Yes, but the title Pharaoh is used throughout the Bible, beginning with Abram in Genesis.
In a document which was allegedly written down in the 16th century B.C.E., when the term Pharaoh did start being used in reference to the king. So it may be that the term was inserted in the story by the writer. Alternatively, it may be that the term 'Pharaoh' was used before the 16th century, but simply not in written documents (at least none that have yet been discovered).

It may well be that it was only in the time of Sheshonq that the Hebrew records could recall the true name of a king, so have all those names who came before been forgotten?
That would be quite a coincidence, and it would only explain this one aspect of the issue, not all the others (like the point regarding the price of a slave, and all the other details that harmonise between the Bible and the existing chronology in academia).

Even when the story talks about the 'Land of Ramesses', the scribe uses 'Pharaoh' with reference to the king, but never once uses 'Pharaoh Ramesses' together in reference to the king.

I do see that you could reply with, "thats because the term Pharaoh was not attached to the kings name in the time of Ramesses". However, if the title Pharaoh is used in Genesis in the time of Abram then it must mean the story was created in the 1st millennium BC when the use of Pharaoh for a king was the convention.
No, it just means that it was written in the 16th century or later, when 'Pharaoh' is known to have been used on its own for the king of Egypt.

If you're questioning the accurate preservation of these records, then no doubt you also question the existence of various kings mentioned in the Bible prior to the formation of David's kingdom (such as the kings who fought against Abraham, for example). If so, then you must hold that the writers of these documents were perfectly willing to make up names for the characters. So why didn't they just invent names for the Pharaohs? I mean, just about all the enemy kings and rulers in Genesis and Exodus are named other than the king of Egypt, who's simply referred to as 'Pharaoh'. It's definitely not a case of the records only being accurate enough to preserve the names of these people from Sheshonq onwards. It's way more specific than that, and it's definitely a case of the records simply being accurate (and, more relevantly for this discussion, it shows that the current chronology of Egypt is essentially correct).



On the face of it that appears to be an interesting argument, but have you asked yourself how that could come about?
For instance, are we to believe an ongoing diary (or written record?) was kept over centuries which made note of these facts?
Written records, absolutely. The nation of Israel was literate and by law had to reproduce numerous copies of their holy texts. If the story of Joseph has a basis in truth, then Joseph no doubt would have been able to keep records and his story could easily have been preserved with accuracy through his family. It could also have been through oral tradition that such accounts were preserved.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,614
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Regarding the term "Pharaoh" there is a bit of confusion around.

Historically it has seen a development:

from the palace of the Sovereign to the office of the Sovereign to the Sovereign.

In fact, "Pharaoh" ... "pr aA" fara.JPG[Great House, palace] was a term indicating a building.

The intermediate phase [when the term indicated the office] can generate a bit of uncertainty, anyway still in the Amarna period it wasn't that correct to call Akhenaten or Tutankhamon "Pharaoh". In the XVIII the term still indicated the office, not the Royal person. I'm not aware that the title had directly applied to a Monarch if not between the XIX and the XXI dynasty.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,614
Italy, Lago Maggiore
The English transliteration sounds more commonly "Nesut", but it doesn't mind. The point is that they called "sedge" [swt] the Sovereign ... It's a geographically identification [the sedge was a symbol of Upper Egypt] and later, after the unification of the country, they added the bee to represent Lower Egypt. But the first definition remained as a word indicating the "King".

Ancient Egypt was a symbolic culture, so that they identified the Monarch with a symbol. And the symbol of the sedge alone has become an adjective which we can translate as "Royal".
 
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Feb 2011
833
Kitchener. Ont.
The English transliteration sounds more commonly "Nesut", but it doesn't mind. The point is that they called "sedge" [swt] the Sovereign ... It's a geographically identification [the sedge was a symbol of Upper Egypt] and later, after the unification of the country, they added the bee to represent Lower Egypt. But the first definition remained as a word indicating the "King".

Ancient Egypt was a symbolic culture, so that they identified the Monarch with a symbol. And the symbol of the sedge alone has become an adjective which we can translate as "Royal".
I've read of some academics who identify the bee as the African hornet, bee is merely a generic term.
An intriguing footnote to this is the mention in Joshua & Deut. of the arrival of Tsira (hornet) who drove out foreign nations from the land that would become Israel. In this context it is taken by some to mean the arrival of the Egyptian army who swept across the land dispersing 'undesirables' from the border lands.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,614
Italy, Lago Maggiore
I've read of some academics who identify the bee as the African hornet, bee is merely a generic term.
An intriguing footnote to this is the mention in Joshua & Deut. of the arrival of Tsira (hornet) who drove out foreign nations from the land that would become Israel. In this context it is taken by some to mean the arrival of the Egyptian army who swept across the land dispersing 'undesirables' from the border lands.
I've noted that some dictionaries indicated also "wasp" as possible meaning of "bjt". In any case the term "bjt" is specifically used to indicate the honey bee [and in representation of scenes where this insect is present that's the hieroglyphic they used]. May be they didn't differentiate that much. Anyway, I'm not aware of a lot of Egyptologists who accept the interpretation suggested in the 30's by Garstang.