Damien F. Mackey
1. Genesis 1 (c. 4050 BC) and the Flood (c. 2400 BC)
Two pillars of ‘Creationism’ or ‘Creation Science’, a very big industry, may actually be un-biblical. I refer to the notions that (i) God created the heavens and the earth in six days and that (ii) the Genesis Flood was global. Genesis I may instead be a revelation to man about a creation already effected. It seems to be strongly liturgical, not scientific (in a western sense). Paradise (the Garden) was for man what the Temple later became. The Sabbath rest has to do with God taking up his abode in the Garden on the seventh day just as He came to rest in the Temple that king Solomon had built for him (2 Chronicles 6:41). Happily, some ‘Creationists’ now seem to be cottoning on to the idea that the pre-Flood world is still scientifically identifiable, as opposed to the long-held fundamentalist view that the Flood completely erased all previous topography. The world of Adam’s and Noah’s day reached from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (east) to the Pishon and Gihon rivers (west). Possibly, a sea then circumscribed that whole area. The archaeology of the line of Cain has been traced in pre-Flood cities such as Uruk or Unuk (called after Cain’s son, Enoch) and Eridu (called after Cain’s grandson, Irad), with legends associating the Babylonian Noah with Shuruppak. I have tentatively identified the luxurious Mesopotamian monarch, Akalamdug, as Lamech, of the antediluvian age of bronze and iron. And I have wondered if the mass burials at Ur at this time might be a case of mass suicide in the face of the all-enveloping Flood.
The Mesopotamian legends give great ages for the pre-Flood rulers, just as the Bible does, though the non-biblical versions are much greater. The difference may possibly be due to the mathematical system in use.
From the Fall of Adam and Eve to the Flood we are wholly in the Stone Ages (and Geological Ages needing to be revised), from Palaeolithic to Chalcolithic.
Then came the great Flood which Sir Leonard Woolley identified at Ur. It was huge and so it is irresponsible of critics to deny that a Flood estimated to have covered hundreds of miles had no effect on Eridu, not far ‘down the road’ from Ur. The trouble is one of alignment. Evidence for a great flood has also been found at Kish and other places, but dated differently from the Ur flood. The biblical Flood will enable for the proper realignment of Mesopotamian dynastic history. And it spread much further than Mesopotamia, of course, to Jericho and Jerusalem, and even to Egypt. The whole Fertile Crescent needs to be co-ordinated Flood-wise, including the Black Sea Flood presently dated to c. 7000 BC. This was a case of the sea overflowing into the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
The “eight” who survived probably refers only to the four ancestral couples from whom all later humanity sprang. It does not mean that only eight were aboard the massive Ark. Their offspring would also have been included, allowing for a rapid re-population of the earth after the Flood.
2. Babel to Abram (Abraham) (c. 2000 BC)
After the Flood, the Stone Age sequence may basically have begun again to some extent.
When men came back to the region (“land of Shinar”) after the Flood, there arose the mighty Uruk I dynasty. Sumerian was the original language. The Hamites dominated Mesopotamia, with Ham’s son Cush most likely being king Meskiagasher (or … kasher … or cush) of Uruk, since Meskiagasher was the father of Enmerkar (“Enmer the hunter”) who was almost certainly the biblical Nimrod. Nimrod rebuilt the old cities destroyed (or damaged) by the Flood, such as Uruk (biblical Erech), Babel and Akkad. The latter is unknown, but I have identified it with Mashkan-shapir not far from Baghdad. The tower of Babel was apparently in Babylon (Babel), but the high water table there makes excavation virtually impossible. Buildings at Ur III/IV level, though, do fit the sort of architecture accredited to Nimrod. It was then that the Proto-Elamite language also came into being, indicating the Babel confusion of tongues.
Humanity scattered. Some think that the Jemdat Nasr culture, which spread westwards, may relate archaeologically to the Dispersion from Babel. I have not studied much the Far East, except that the Chinese language has been shown greatly to resemble Sumerian.
In the Ebla tablets in Syria there is evidence of the descendants of Shem (such as Eber father of the Hebrews) and also of Sodom and Gomorrah, etc.
Some think that Nimrod was the same as the Amraphel during whose time the four kings of Mesopotamia (Amraphel, Chedorlaomer, Erioch and Tidal) invaded Palestine and captured Abram’s nephew Lot. For a long time Amraphel was also considered to have been Hammurabi of Babylon. The names are a good fit, but Hammurabi actually comes much later as I shall show. Hammurabi in fact refers back to Chedorlaomer as a bygone sacker of Babylon.
Dr. John Osgood has archaeologically pinpointed the Palestinian invasion by the Mesopotamian coalition to Late Chacolithic/Ghassul IV: hence this would be the time of Abram. It corresponds very closely also to the time of king Narmer, thought by some to be the Menes who first unified Egypt.
From a study of the structure of Genesis, we learn the name of Abram’s pharaoh, who took his wife Sarai. He was Abimelech. I have suggested that this was a variation of Lehabim, a son of Mizraim (also called ‘Egypt’). At this stage we cannot tell who these people were also in Egyptian history. But the era is archaeologically verifiable because Abram’s Pharaoh, as Abimelech king of the Philistines, must have ruled both Egypt and southern Canaan. And archaeology shows a migration out of Egypt into Palestine at this time.
Turning to the Far East for the moment, Hinduism has picked up Abram (Abraham) and Sarai as Brahman and Saraisvati.
Legend has Abraham bringing great knowledge to Egypt, e.g. mathematics and astronomy. There is a similar story of a Rikayon who came from Mesopotamia bringing wisdom. Ri-kayon could just possibly be based on the widespread Khyan, shepherd king, or Greater Hyksos, early but not properly datable: hence Abraham. Another Greater Hyksos is Yaqub-har, who might be Jacob, grandson of Abraham. The names are the same. From the Book of Genesis it appears that Pharaoh was rather in awe of Jacob whose blessing he received (Genesis 47:7).
The wet climate of the Flood era has given way to a Sahelian climate causing drought and famine. Both Abram and Jacob (and Joseph) knew of severe famine. At one point in time the Lower Nile (northern) Delta region dried up completely. But southern Egypt remained fertile and that is probably from where Abram and later Jacob’s family got their supplies.
The era of Abraham passes from the Stone Ages into the Early Bronze Age I when cities began to be built. Some of the major cities of Palestine. This would approximate with early dynastic Egypt.
Abimelech is still king when Isaac, son of Abraham, marries. He must have had a very long reign. Perhaps this factor will enable for Abimelech to be identified in time in the historical records.
3. The Era of Joseph (c. 1780-1670 BC)
There was another dry phase during Early Bronze II which may equate to the famine of Jacob’s time. I have suggested that his‘stairway reaching to heaven’ was later produced by his son, Joseph, in Egypt, as Imhotep, the first great builder in stone, as the Step Pyramid of Saqqara. Imhotep is considered to have been one of the great geniuses of Egyptian history, and a saint. He belonged to the 3rd dynasty, which may need to be aligned with the 1st. There was famine during each. I think that Imhotep must also be the famous sage, Ptah-hotep, who, like Joseph, lived for 110 years. He wrote very Proverbs-like sayings. I further think that Joseph may have been the great Mentuhotep of the 11th dynasty.
So, though the history books separate Egypt’s Old Kingdom (dynasties 3-6) from Egypt’s Middle Kingdom (beginning dynasties 10/11) by 700 years, I would have them concurrent and would probably scrap altogether the concept of a Middle Kingdom.
4. Moses and the Exodus (c. 1600-1530 BC)
The “new king” of Exodus 1:8 “who knew not Joseph” – either by not wanting to recognize what the great man had done, or because he was born after Joseph had died (for certainly any Egyptian would have known of Joseph) – was presumably a new dynast. I have suggested that this was the beginning of the mighty 12th dynasty, when king Amenemes I inaugurated a completely new era. And Amenemes also expressed concern about the great number of Asiatics (read Hebrews I think) in the Delta region, just as does the new king of the Book of Exodus. This was a period of massive building projects, pyramids, temples, irrigation and agricultural works. I suspect that the Hebrew slaves were heavily involved in all of it. Josephus tells us that they built pyramids. Moreover Hebrew names (some as are given in the Book of Exodus) have been found at this time (e.g. in the Brooklyn Papyrus). There appear to have been mass burials of babies, too. Were these the Hebrews?
But baby Moses escaped.
The next pharaoh was Sesostris I, during whose time a tale tells of a Moses-like figure, Sinuhe, who fled Egypt for a time to live amongst Bedouin, just as Moses did, and who married a chieftain’s daughter (Moses married the Midianite, Zipporah). Tradition has Moses’s Egyptian‘mother’ as “Merris” (Merrhis) and her husband as “Chenephres”. I have identified the latter with pharaoh Sesostris I, whose Horus name was Kheper-ka-re (Chenephres?). He was an obsessive sphinx builder. His Horus name is virtually the same name as that of pharaoh Chephren (Kha-kheper-re), who built the Great Sphinx at Giza during the 4th dynasty. It is at this point in history that the 4th and 12th dynasties can really be found to converge, thus seeming to vindicate my view of the contemporaneity of the two kingdoms. Hence I think that pharaoh Chephren (4th dynasty) and pharaoh Sesostris I (12th dynasty) must be merged as one, enabling for a folding of the Old and Middle kingdoms.
Now Chephren’s wife was Meres-ankh III, who I believe was the traditional “Merris”, foster-mother of Moses.
Whilst Cheops (my Amenemes I) and Chephren, the great pyramid builders, had very bad reputations, the next king, Menkaure, was considered to be kind, good and just. I have suggested therefore that he may be Moses, who, tradition says, was “a king”.
But this still needs a lot of work.
Anyway, we are now in the Early Bronze Age III. This must be aligned with what has been construed as the Middle Bronze Age of the Middle Kingdom period, because our Old and Middle kingdoms are concurrent.
The Plagues and Exodus bring down the 6th dynasty (concurrent with the 12th dynasty), the last ruler in each case being a woman –presumably because the main males were now all dead. This releases the Israelites from Egypt as the Middle Bronze I people. This is an absolute anchor point of biblical archaeology.
Into the vacuum eventually pour the Hyksos people. Many revisionists equate these with the Amalekites whom the Israelites encountered on their way to Mount Sinai. The Hyksos, though, were probably a mix of people. I think that there was a strong Indo-European element there, and I would also include the Philistines amongst them.
This chaotic phase for Egypt is known as the First Intermediate Period of Egyptian history (dynasties 7-9), following the Old Kingdom, but it needs to be fused with the so-called Second Intermediate Period (dynasties 13-17), following the Middle Kingdom.
5. Joshua and the Israelites (c. 1530-1500 BC)
The Middle Bronze I people bring with them artefacts from Egypt. Their location is not the traditional Mount Sinai at Saint Catherine in the Sinai Peninsula, as tour guides will claim. Professor Immanuel Anati has demonstrated that the true mountain was modern-day Har Karkom in the Paran desert south of Israel, a long way from the Sinai Peninsula. Anati has traced the Exodus route painstakingly, with reference to wells for drinking water, and the location of tribes named in the Bible (like the Amalekites).
All the Israelites will perish in the wilderness due to their rebellion, and even Moses does not get to enter the Promised Land. He probably entered there many times, however, during his 40 year sojourn near Mount Sinai prior to the Exodus. Hence he was able to write geographical instructions for his people, such as the Valley of Siddim of Abram’s day, before the Sodom episode, having become the Dead Sea (suggesting that the ill-fated cities are now below the Sea). Only Joshua and Caleb survived from the Exodus. And a potsherd has been found at Gezer, that the Israelites conquered, bearing the name, Caleb (which means “dog” in Hebrew).
The Middle Bronze I Israelites attacked the Early Bronze III cities, beginning with Jericho, which, archaeology shows, collapsed outwards as if by an earthquake and was burned to the ground. Of course archaeologists date all this about 500 years before the Exodus and say that it could have nothing to do with Joshua.
The archaeology of Jericho is messy due to the inadequate methods of the early archaeologists. But I think that the Joshuan scenario is readily identifiable there.
6. The Judges Era (c. 1500-1020 BC)
This long and obscure era is difficult both archaeologically and chronologically. Dr. John Osgood has done some excellent work tying the different phases of the Judges to the archaeological record. I do not have much to add to it at this stage.
7. Kings Saul and David (c. 1020-950 BC)
It is now that our revision really starts to blossom. Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky (Ages in Chaos, I) had proposed that the recovery of Egypt with the rise of the New Kingdom, the 18th dynasty, had coincided with the rise of the Israelite monarchy after the period of the Judges. The common enemy, he suggested were the Hyksos, whom the 18th dynasty rulers expelled from Egypt, otherwise known as (according to Velikovsky) the Amalekites, with whom kings Saul and David had to contend. Another Jewish scholar, Dr Ed (Ewald) Metzler, had taken all this further by proposing, not that the 18th dynasty and Israel were allies, but that the 18th dynasty was in fact Israelite.
This is a radical re-writing of Egyptian history. Here are the pharaohs anew and their biblical identifications:
Ahmose = Ahimaaz
Amenhotep I = Saul
Thutmose I = David
Thutmose II = Solomon
Hatshepsut = “Queen of Sheba”
Thutmose III = “King Shishak of Egypt”.
With Saul and David, we are now in the Late Bronze Age I.
Saul married Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz (I Samuel 14:50), who must have been an Egyptian princess. This made Saul a pharaoh. He was Amenhotep I. He may have co-ruled with his successor Thutmose I. No one is entirely certain. That would certainly fit with the awkward co-regency between Saul and David.
Thutmose I, who was not related to Amenhotep I (David was of a different tribe from Saul), married the princess daughter of Amenhotep I. That David was a pharaoh is apparent from the fact that the Bible has both David and Pharaoh conquering Gezer, which became the dowry for his daughter. The famed daughter of Thutmose I, who greatly revered her father, was Hatshepsut, whom Velikovsky had rightly identified as the biblical “Queen [of] Sheba”.
Thutmose I was appropriately a non-royal Egyptian by birth, an ageing military commander of great repute. That fits with David.
But people ask how an idolatrous Egyptian pharaoh, Thutmose I, could have been the great Yahwist king David. The actual effective rule of Thutmose I over Egypt was only about 9 years. At this time, Amon-Ra (who I presume represented Yahweh) emerged as the leading god of the Egyptians. There was a definite trend towards monotheism. But the ingrained polytheism still largely prevailed. Yahweh had given David power over the nations in order that his dynasty would become a conduit by which Yahwism would penetrate into these nations. David was generally too busy establishing his empire through wars to have been able to achieve this. He would have hoped for his descendants to have done so. But King David certainly established a vast empire through conquest: Egypt; Syria; Mesopotamia. That empire can well be discerned in our revision. It cannot be perceived at all, however, in the conventional model, according to which king David, who barely even seems to exist, was some small-time ruler of a petty Iron Age kingdom. That, despite the fact that an inscription has been found at Tell Dan referring to the “House of David”. This barely impresses the archaeologist Israel Finkelstein, though, and he is even more pessimistic about Solomon, claiming that the great man may never have existed.
Well we have got news for Finkelstein!
8. Solomon, Sheba and Shishak (c. 950-880 BC)
Following on from Velikovsky’s view that Hatshepsut was the Queen of Sheba, I identified Hatshepsut’s famous consort, Senenmut, a supposed commoner but of royal privileges, as king Solomon himself. Senenmut was, like Imhotep, another of those genius characters. Metzler logically argued that Thutmose II, the husband of Hatshepsut, was Solomon. I now accept that, too. Israel had come to Egypt with a vengeance and Davidic wisdom was pouring into the land as attested by those inscriptions of Hatshepsut that are so Psalm-like. But also Genesis-like, Proverbs-like and Song of Songs-like (the latter being Solomon’s influence).
Late Bronze I had now progressed into the cosmopolitan and wealthy Late Bronze II Age.
Yes, Solomon did really exist, you Israeli archaeologists. But you need to be looking in the right places, stratigraphically, to find copious evidences of him!
Even the El Amarna letters (see 9. below) twice refer to “the House of Solomon” (Bît Šulman).
To be sure, king Solomon was not bound just to Palestine and Egypt. He also ruled Babylon as the great Hammurabi, supposedly of the Middle Bronze Age. Hammurabi’s laws are so Torah-like that he is often thought to have influenced Moses. Initially dated to c. 2400 BC, Hammurabi is now more likely to be found floating about at c. 1800 BC. One day archaeology will realize that he should be dropped much further again, to c. 950 BC, so as to become king Solomon. Hammurabi’s laws did not influence Moses. Rather, the Mosaïc Law was adopted by Hammurabi-as-Solomon.
Unfortunately, however, Solomon eventually drifted away from the Torah, swayed by his pagan wives. Hence the Davidic dream of his dynasty’s being a Torah to the nations could not be fully realized through Solomon, though he had been a most effective instrument of Yahweh in his earlier days.
Solomon and his Egyptian connections, which the Bible does not bother to follow up, are picked up in Greek folklore as the wise lawgiver Solon, whose laws have been found to be quite Jewish.
My estimation is that Solomon basically ruled Israel, whilst to Hatshepsut and pharaoh Thutmose III (Solomon’s son by a concubine, Isis) he parcelled out Egypt and Ethiopia (and Sheba?). It was a very peaceful and prosperous time, this Late Bronze Age II.
But, in the end, God raised up adversaries to Solomon, Rezon, whom I have identified with Hammurabi’s Syrian foe, Zimri-Lim, and Jeroboam, who eventually took the northern kingdom.
When Hatshepsut and Solomon died, Thutmose III was able to undertake military conquests, whereby he became “the Napoleon of Egypt”. Unlike Napoleon though, he, so it is thought, never lost a battle. Velikovsky rightly identified Thutmose III as the biblical pharaoh, “Shishak”,who despoiled Jerusalem five years after the death of Solomon. Shishak knew all about Jerusalem from his many years as understudy to his father. With this great victory, he displaced Solomon’s elected son, Rehoboam, as ruler of the Solomonic empire.
I have also proposed that Thutmose III was the dark-skinned Nehesy who led Hatshepsut’s famous expedition to Lebanon (land of Punt) to fetch myrrh trees for her glorious temple at Deir el-Bahri. This temple was based on what she had seen in Jerusalem. If so, if Thutmose III were Nehesy, with some Negroid blood, then he could also be the “Zerah the Ethiopian” who led a massive army of “a million men and three hundred chariots”against Solomon’s grandson, king Asa of Judah (2 Chronicles 14:9). This time he was defeated.
9. The El-Amarna Era (c. 880-815 BC)
This is another most fruitful phase of the revision, the well-documented El-Amarna age of pharaohs Amenhotep III and IV (Akhnaton).
Velikovsky probably did his major work here, showing that the C14th BC era of the history books for El Amarna was actually the C9th BC era known from the Bible and other history. Amenhotep III and IV are known in the El Amarna letters by their throne names, respectively, of Nimmuria and Naphuria. Velikovsky most convincingly identified the two great Syrian (biblical) kings of the time, Ben-hadad I and Hazael, contemporaries of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, with, respectively, El Amarna’s Abdi-ashirta and Aziru. The Syrian captain, Ianhamu, he identified as the Syrian Naaman of the Bible, cured by Elisha of his leprosy.
But, just as Velikovsky had aligned 18th dynasty Egypt with Israel, but had not realized that the 18th dynasty was Israelite, as Metzler later did, so did Velikovsky not realize that – as I think – pharaohs Amenhotep III and IV were actually biblical kings of Israel (and Judah). I got the ball rolling here by identifying Queen Nefertiti with Queen Jezebel. Only later did I realize that Akhnaton was king Ahab of Israel. Then I concluded that the great Amenhotep III, a very Solomon-like king, was the pious king Asa of Judah. The small state of Judah would not have been able to have contained so great and militarily powerful a king as Asa. His falling away in the end was due, I believe, to the same cause as Solomon’s apostasy, pagan female influence, in Asa’s case Jezebel-Nefertiti. And this wicked queen would soon have even more devastating an effect upon Ahab-Akhnaton.
The eventual fall of Akhnaton and Nefertiti was at the hands of Ay and Horemheb, who find their perfect images, biblically, in Hazael and Jehu, designated (anointed) by the prophet Elijah to wipe out Baalism from Israel, which equated to Akhnaton’s and Nefertiti’s Atonism in Egypt.
Later Elisha will fulfil his part of the Sinai Commission, perhaps as the long-lived priest Jehoiada of Jerusalem, by wiping out Baalism from Judah, after the reign there of the wicked Queen Athaliah, perhaps Nefertiti’s (Jezebel’s) daughter.
Thus a new age dawned in Israel.
I believe that I have found a parallel history in the Bible with king Baasha of Israel as Ahab; Baasha’s son Elah, as Ahab’s son, Ahaziah; and king Zimri of Israel as king Jehu of Israel. For one, this explains who was the “Hiel” who built Jericho at the time of king Ahab (I Kings 16:34). It was Ahab’s very son, Elah (Elahi = Hiel). I have further identified this Ahaziah (Elah) as pharaoh Smenkhkare, and Ahaziah’s brother, Jehoram, a slightly better king, as the famous pharaoh, Tutankhamun.
We are now in the early Iron Age (probably overlapping Late Bronze) and the time of luxurious use of ivories.
10. The Ramessides (c. 880-770 BC)
Obviously, now, there is no possibility in my scheme for the long-reigning Ramses II ‘the Great” (66/67 years of reign) (of the post-El Amarna era) to have been the Pharaoh of the Exodus more than a millennium earlier. So how can we now squeeze in this most significant pharaoh?
Having Jehu as Horemheb, the destroyer of the Aton cult of Akhnaton, Nefertiti, their family and their followers, enables for the Ramessides who followed Horemheb to be anchored to c. 800 BC. I have found that the reigns of Horemheb and the four major Ramessides who followed him (Ramses I; Seti I; Ramses II and Merenptah) add up to virtually the same total as the reigns of Jehu and his four successors (Jehoahaz; Jehoash; Jeroboam II and Zechariah). So, even if my bold theory that the Ramessides were, like Jehu, kings of Israel, is incorrect, chronologically, nevertheless, I shall not be very far wrong in slotting them into the period of c. 880-770 BC. The biggest test of my theory is how well does the reign of Jeroboam II stand up to the 66-67 years reign of Ramses II who I consider to be Jeroboam II’s alter ego? At first glance it does not. Although Jeroboam II was also a powerful and long-reigning king, his 41 years of reign are dwarfed by Ramses 66 years. Until, that is the 22 year interregnum of Philip Mauro is added to Jeroboam II’s reign, enabling for more than 60 years (co-regency may be included).
Perhaps the king of Israel was exclusively in Egypt during the troubled interregnum period.
The great disadvantage that we revisionists have is that when you bring down history by a massive 500 years, you can end up with some awful crushes at the lower end of the scale. So, although we have managed to tuck into bed quite neatly the 19th dynasty Ramessides, no mean feat, we still have to consider the many 20th dynasty Ramessides (Ramses III-XI) of close chronological proximity. These must also be brought into line.
My solution was to identify the founder of the 20th dynasty, the legendary Seti-nakht who is reputed to have ‘driven out a usurper’, with the substantial king Joash of Judah, contemporaneous with the Jehu-ides in Israel. The usurper would be Queen Athaliah and her fellow Baalists, whom the young king Joash removed under the guidance of the priest Jehoiada. The son of Seti-nakht was the powerful pharaoh, Ramses III, whom I have identified with the mighty king Amaziah of Judah. And so on down to Ramses XI as, possibly, king Hezekiah of Judah (c. 730 BC).
The despoiling of Jerusalem during Amaziah’s reign I take to be Ramses II’s march on Jerusalem during the reign of his father, Seti I (king Jehoash of Israel), which campaign some think makes Ramses II the biblical “Shishak”. But I think that Thutmose III is by far the better candidate for “Shishak”.
So, the intertwining of the Jehu-ides of Israel and the dynasty of Joash of Judah is reflected, I have suggested, in the reigns of the 19th dynasty Ramessides, on the one hand, and the un-related 20th dynasty Ramessides, on the other. That is my proposed solution to fitting in these two great Egyptian dynasties into a compressed system of revision.
11. King Hezekiah of Judah (c. 730 BC)
I have written a large two-volume university thesis on a reconstruction of the era of this great king of Judah, knitting into it the Book of Judith. It is A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah and its Background.
This thesis can be accessed at: http://hdl.handle.net/2123/5973
The destruction of the Assyrian army of 185,000 of king Sennacherib I have attributed to the intervention of the Jewish heroine, Judith.
More recently, I have proposed that the enigmatic but most famous prophetess Huldah, at the time of king Josiah of Judah, was a now aged Judith in her ‘increasing fame’.