Posts Tagged With: Josephus

An ancient historian by the name of Josephus records that the Israelites were given the task of building pyramids.

The 12th dynasty pyramid of Sensuret II (Sesostris II) at Lahun.

The Works of Josephus

Antiquities of the Jews – Book II

CONTAINING THE INTERVAL OF TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY YEARS.

FROM THE DEATH OF ISAAC TO THE EXODUS OUT OF EGYPT.

 

CHAPTER 9.

CONCERNING THE AFFLICTIONS THAT BEFELL THE HEBREWS IN EGYPT, DURING FOUR HUNDRED YEARS. (16)

1. NOW it happened that the Egyptians grew delicate and lazy, as to pains-taking, and gave themselves up to other pleasures, and in particular to the love of gain. They also became very ill-affected towards the Hebrews, as touched with envy at their prosperity; for when they saw how the nation of the Israelites flourished, and were become eminent already in plenty of wealth, which they had acquired by their virtue and natural love of labor, they thought their increase was to their own detriment. And having, in length of time, forgotten the benefits they had received from Joseph, particularly the crown being now come into another family, they became very abusive to the Israelites, and contrived many ways of afflicting them; for they enjoined them to cut a great number of channels for the river, and to build walls for their cities and ramparts, that they might restrain the river, and hinder its waters from stagnating, upon its running over its own banks: they set them also to build pyramids, (17) and by all this wore them out; and forced them to learn all sorts of mechanical arts, and to accustom themselves to hard labor. And four hundred years did they spend under these afflictions; for they strove one against the other which should get the mastery, the Egyptians desiring to destroy the Israelites by these labors, and the Israelites desiring to hold out to the end under them.

(16) As to the affliction of Abraham’s posterity for 400 years, see Antiq. B. I. ch. 10. sect. 3; and as to what cities they built in Egypt, under Pharaoh Sesostris. and of Pharaoh Sesostris’s drowning in the Red Sea, see Essay on the Old Testament, Append. p. 132-162.
(17) Of this building of the pyramids of Egypt by the Israelites, see Perizonius Orig. Aegyptiac, ch. 21. It is not impossible they might build one or more of the small ones; but the larger ones seem much later. Only, if they be all built of stone, this does not so well agree with the Israelites’ labors, which are said to have been in brick, and not in stone, as Mr. Sandys observes in his Travels. p. 127, 128.
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Categories: 12th dynasty, Egypt, Israel, Israelite Slaves in Egypt, Kahun - Worker Village of the Middle Kingdom, Moses, Mud bricks containing straw, Pharaohs of the Oppression, Pyramids, slavery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Israelites had a significant impact on Egyptian History. Their sojourn in Egypt co-incides with the Pyramid age.

Djoser Pyramid Complex at Saqqara, Egypt. Note the large man made holes in the ground near the Step Pyramid that were used to store grain. They were most likely made by Joseph, the designer of the Step Pyramid, also known as Imhotep.

If it is true that Joseph and Imhotep were the same person, then the first pyramid (the Step Pyramid in Saqqara) was designed by an Israelite at the beginning of Israel’s Sojourn in Egypt. What’s more, if the last of the great pyramids (those of the 12th dynasty) were constructed with a core made from mudbricks which were made by Israelite slave labour, then the Israelites were in Egypt while all of the great pyramids were being constructed. When the Israelites departed from Egypt in the 13th dynasty, lead by Moses, there were not enough slaves in Egypt to make construct pyramids any more.   If this is correct, the Pyramid Age coincides with Israel’s sojourn in Egypt and all of the Great Pyramids would have been constructed over a period of around 430 years.

The Black Pyramid of Amenemhet III. The inner core made of mud bricks is exposed. Josephus records that the Israelite slaves were given the task of building the Pyramids. The Pyramids of the 12th dynasty had an inner core that was made of mud bricks.

Egypt’s wealth and power reached it’s peak in the 12th dynasty under Sesostris III and his son Amenemhet III but as they had no successors, the Middle Kingdom started to fall apart when they died. Moses, an Israelite baby, was adopted by the Princess Sobekneferu and groomed to be the next Pharaoh (Amenemhet IV). Amenemhet IV did in fact co-reign with Amenemhet III for a period of 9 yrs but when he had to flee to Midian at the age of 40 years, there was suddenly no successor for Amenemhet III. Amenemhet III’s daughter Sobekneferu had to take over the reigns when Amenemhet III died. She only lived for another 4 yrs and when she died, the 12th dynasty ended, Egypt fell into turmoil and became politically unstable. There was a quick succession of Pharaohs in the 13th dynasty until Neferhotep who was the Pharaoh who was ruling when Moses (Amenemhet IV) returned from exile in Midian. After a series of ten plagues that were inflicted on Egypt, Neferhotep let Moses take the Israelities into the desert. When they did not return, he pursued them with his army. The Israelites were able to cross the red sea at the Gulf of Aqaba but Neferhotep and his army drowned when they tried to follow.

Moses and the Israelites Crossed the Red Sea at Nuweiba in the Gulf of Aqaba in 1446BC.

Not only did Egypt lose its slave labour force, it lost it’s monarch, it’s entire army and it’s transportation system. It was a massive defeat and not something that Egyptian historians would want to memorialize.

When the Israelites left Egypt, Pharaoh and his son died and all the Egyptian army drowned in the Red Sea taking all of Egypts chariots with them. Egypt was then thrown into turmoil. Thy Hyksos were able to take power and Egypts second intermediate period followed (until the Hyksos were finally defeated in the 18th dynasty).

The Israelites, therefore, had a profound influence on Egypt having designed the first pyramid (in the third dynasty) and having provided slave labour for various public works which included making mudbricks for the construction of the last of the great pyramids (those of the 12th dynasty). The country was destabilised when Moses (Amenemhet IV) went into exile as there was nobody to continue the 12th dynasty. Egypt suffered massive losses as a result of the Exodus and as a result became vulnerable to invasion. The Hyksos took over and ruled Lower Egypt for the next 400 yrs (the second intermediate period).

Categories: 12th dynasty, 13th Dynasty, Egypt, Israel, Israelite Slaves in Egypt, Moses, Pharaoh of the Exodus, Pharaohs of the Oppression, Red sea | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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