MemberJune 6, 2021 at 6:28 am
Thanks for typing that up, Thomas. I donated my book to the seminary library and would have to make a trip to see it.
The Hyksos seem to have been a diverse bunch, or rather it seems they started out as barbaric pastoral-nomads who were joined over time by more technologically capable groups from farther north. This fits well with Velikovsky’s original proposal that the Amalekites of the Northern Negev invaded Egypt after the exodus when the Old Kingdom was ruined by the plagues and leaderless from the Red Sea disaster. The brutal invaders were the “people of obscure race” as mentioned in the Ipuwer Papyrus lament. They worsened conditions in Egypt with their plundering, hence the ‘dark age’ of the First Intermediate Period. They were joined over time (40 yrs later, we would expect) by Canaanite refugees from the conquest (there was an influx of people to Philistia, Lebanon, Syria, and Southern Moab, so we may expect some to flee to Egypt also), who had urban living and agricultural skills and were much more ‘civilised’ than the Amalekites (that’s a low bar!). Then they were joined, it seems, by some Indo-Europeans, these groups together Egyptianising and eventually forming their own dynasty, the Hyksos, “foreign rulers”.
So the question then arises, why would Rohl identify the Hebrews of the exodus with the same city and the same era (MBA II) as the Hyksos? Clearly, the Hebrews left Egypt before the Amalekites moved in. How would one distinguish between their remains and those of the invading Amalekites? Why does Rohl identify the ‘Asiatic’ remains at Avaris with the Hebrews if they had been resident in Egypt for ~200 yrs, had no access to ‘Asiatic’ goods, named their kids with Egyptian names (e.g. Phinehas), made mud-brick dwellings, even worshipped Egyptian gods… it doesn’t seem likely that they were culturally distinguished by then. What Bietak has found there in the MBA IIa at Tel ed-Daba are Amalekite+Canaanite(+Cypriot?) remains, i.e. Hyksos, and these have nothing to do with the Israelites. Or rather, they are there *because* of the Israelites but are not identified with them. Egypt with its abundant reliable water source (the Nile) and incredibly rich soil was a big prize. It was like opening the West in the Americas… a land-rush.
Rohl writes (copied from your copy):
These Bedouin-type nomads, in my view, were the 'people of obscure race' who, being on the very border of Egypt, seized their moment to invade the delta when it was ripe for plunder, following the catastrophe of Exodus.
Why does Rohl (apparently) NOT identify the Hyksos with the Amalekites? Why not say it? Does he say it elsewhere? If not, what is he hoping we won’t see? Of course this is who they were! Who else fits the description of “Bedouin-type nomads… on the very border of Egypt”? Who else was likely to sweep in and pillage Egypt after the Israelites left? We know that Amalek harrassed Israel across the Sinai, attacked them at Rephidim, attacked them at Hormah, and then… went totally quiet for 40 yrs and more and were not heard of again until the Judges period. Israel wandered in the Eastern Sinai and Central-Southern Negev for 40 yrs with no more trouble from Amalek. Where were they? They had heard Egypt’s front door was wide open, walked in, and got busy.