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Home Forums Existence of the Israelites in Egypt Origins of the Hebrews: New Evidence for Israelites in Egypt from Jos to the Exo Reply To: Origins of the Hebrews: New Evidence for Israelites in Egypt from Jos to the Exo

  • Thomas Donlon

    March 7, 2021 at 12:25 am

    “[Rohl] places Joseph’s administrative activities revolving around the 7-year famine during the reign of Amenemhat III”

    Sorry, for skipping over the main points of your response to me. I’ll have to spend some time thinking about the other elements of what you wrote about languages. You have me now postulating common scenarios in the United States where immigrants come who speak Spanish or some other language at home. This perhaps is what you are suggesting happened with the wandering Patriarchs and the Israelites in Egypt. The chance I can knowledgeably comment on specifics of the ancient languages of the near east are rather small but maybe I’ll refresh myself with material from the collectors edition of Patterns of Evidence: Moses where other scholars also spoke about the ancient languages.

    But the lead quote that I put above intrigued me. I am wondering you are overly nice to David Rohl? Are you making a concession that perhaps you could have more accurately phrased as “[Rohl] places Joseph’s administrative activities revolving around [what he sees as] the 7-year famine during the reign of Amenemhat III.”

    Douglas, one of your fascinating papers at Academia (here is the link)

    Your paper states some doubt about whether there was such a famine. “Rohl proclaimed that a famine lasting 7-10 years struck Egypt during Amenemhat III’s reign, and with this he implied that the famine predicted by Joseph in Genesis 41 is this very famine. First of all, and far less relevant, after studying an enormous amount about the reign of Amenemhat III, I never came across an description of a famine lasting that precise length of time. As a result, I challenge David Rohl to produce such conclusive evidence.”

    Has there been a change in your position since you made that remark in your paper? Why did you write “precise length of time.” Were you aware of other famines… just with different time frames? Without me getting too much into the weeds of ancient Egypt, the same article was suggesting that Rohl was getting a few other details wrong. Details that might be important in fine-tuning the date of the famine etc. You talked about granaries being built earlier and the concentration of Power in Pharoah’s hands eliminating the Nomarchy in the days of Sesostris III. This slightly predates Rohl’s thinking as well. I’m inclined to tentatively go with your thinking on this rather than Rohl’s. But your comment seems to throw out a concession to Rohl, that appears you flipped from doubting the 7-year famine that Rohl espouses to now accepting it. I understand if you are just being nice to Rohl, for he has fans here, and I respect him as well, but throwing out a concession about a seven year famine while I’m trying to locate the seven year famine of Genesis moves the evidence back a little closer to Rohl’s position.

    If you could clarify your position on whether you now believe a 7-year famine took place during the days of Amenemhat III, it might help me get a better sense of where the evidence is pointing. And if you’ve got any teasers for your upcoming book that will help pinpoint dates of Joseph’s reign in Egypt, I’d like to be aware, for sure.