Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Debunking the Hyksos Theory

Debunking the Hyksos Theory

by Masimba Musodza

What good is a mish-mash of myths, distortions and lies to Black youths
of Britain today? So asked one Alex Walker-who appears to be the Caribbean answer to Fred Zindi- in his Reply to Project Nyahbinghi.

Years later, I find myself paraphrasing the same question in response to what I perceive as a misguided revisionist approach to African and Middle-
Eastern history as the foundation of the Rastafari Faith. A clear example of this revisionism is the claim that the Biblical narrative of the Exodus is a myth, which claim further purports that the whole of the Bible is to be dismissed by Africans and people of African descent as myths or lies concocted by Jews/Zionists in order to deny them their real history. The purported real history then boils down as this: It was Africans/Egyptians
who first wrote the Bible, the Jews/Zionists plagiarized from African texts.
Moses got his monotheism from the Pharaoh Akhenaton, David got his Psalms from the same, while Solomon's Proverbs are copied from the Sayings of the Pharaoh Amen-ope. Furthermore, it is asserted that the only Jewish presence in Egypt is recounted as the time of the Hyksos- the marauding Shepherd Kings who swept in from the Middle-East and
destroyed Egyptian civilisation.
It is to be noted that this theory is gaining currency in much of the Black Diaspora. On the African continent, most Blacks are quite happy with the narrative in Exodus as it is. However, many Black writers in the West
have become vociferous proponents of this. I have to remind readers that it is not a new theory. However, with the internet, it becomes possible to revive its currency to a whole new generation.
The Rastafarian movement, from its inception, has always challenged the established (i.e. Western) interpretation of the Bible without necessarily rejecting the Bible itself, a point that has been noted but not understood
by critics and analysts. However, in searching for alternatives to this
established interpretation, or in trying to counter accusations that Rastafari is no more than a poor copy of the very same Judaeo-Christian
traditions it denounces, or because of a dearth of Rastafarian scholarship,
many Rastafarians are now also beginning to articulate this Hyksos theory.

"The semitic-aryan-hyksos felt yet another set back when they were defeated and expelled from Jerusalem by Nebuchanezzer's army. That expulsion signalled the formation of Zionism. Unable to regain the land by military force, the hyksos sought out to sell their fraudulent survival story in an all-out effort
to gain foreign support in their NEW claim of a Palestinian region of the Sinai Peninsula territory that they had NEVER claimed before. Reason being, their
ambition was always to re-enter Kemet. The semitic aryan-hyksos (israelites) then, without merit or justification designated the territory that they had previously occupied in the Sinai Peninsula theirs. Re-naming it "Juda" And it
was that lie that ultimately laid the foundation for Judaism. From "outside" the territory of Juda, the hyksos classified themselves as "the hebraic tribe of
Judah. Now they (Semitic Aryan Hyksos) were set. A "new" identity:
Hebrews/Hebrew Israelites/Jews. Their fraudulent survival story was called "the torah or pentateuch" or 1st five books of the bible: genesis, exodus, leviticus, numbers and deuteronomy. If you define the term "torah" down its
"root" meaning, you will find that it is DEFINITE Kemetic originated.
Torah=hebrew-"harah" which carries the root Ya Ra(h)Kemetic
Ya="instruction"/ Kemetic Ra="sun". Therefore Torah actually means: Kemetic instruction from the Sun God. In fact, the biblical term "genesis" means the
Genealogy of Isis. The Jews, proclaiming to be "children of God" when the truth is, they are the actual SEMITIC ARYAN-HYKSOS whose lineage, origin, and
legacy begins and ends with CRIMINALITY, BARBARISM, and DECEIT."
So writes one Jah Wise Equality on his Rebelution blog. He also proudly displays the Lion of Judah flag on his profile. He doesn't state where he got the meanings of those words he cites, or if he is actually conversant in any language other than English. Nor does he bother to explain how he concluded that the Hyksos were Semitic and Aryan at the same time, when the two peoples are different. In fact, advocates of Aryan identity and supremacy also advocate hatred for Semitic people.
Who are these Hyksos? They were a people who invaded Egypt from the Middle-East in the 17 Century B.C.E, and created what is now called the Fifteenth and-according to some scholars-the Sixteenth Dynasty. The
Egyptians called them Heka Khawaset-Foreign Rulers. They were a
warlike nation, introducing in to Egypt the chariot. Their reign overlaps that of the indigenous Pharaohs, who retained control of upper Egypt and were based at Thebes until Pharaoh Khamose was able to overthrow the Hyksos and claim all Egypt. The Hyksos were driven out. According to historian Manetho, they went on to build the city of Jerusalem. It is from this account that the theory that the Hyksos were in fact the Israelites is founded. What has kept it alive however is not corroborating historical sources, but the subsequent history of the Jewish people's relations with other nations. In other words;antisemitism.
But surely, if Manetho-widely regarded as a source of Egyptian history by scholars said the Hyksos went on to build Jerusalem then we must make that conclusion that the Hyksos were the Israelites? Furthermore, Egyptian history is remarkably reticent about the Exodus. Ten Plagues, the departure of a whole nation of slaves under the leadership of a
disgraced Egyptian Prince and the drowning of the Pharaoh together with his army; none of these appear to have merited so much as a mention by the scribes of that nation. And, the Bible makes no mention of the Hyksos.
There is, however, another explanation, which reconciles the documented Hyksos invasion and with the Book of Exodus. Some scholars have proposed that the Chronology of Egyptian history that is accepted today is wrong, and needs to be reviewed. One, Manetho's own sources for his Kings-list are unknown, but he must have had access to the national
archives as a priest. Two, the compilation of a list of Kings was motivated more by religion than the need to maintain historical accounts. After all, Manetho was a priest. Even if he had access to the archives, Manetho would not have had great difficulty in getting an accurate list as deliberate omissions were made, as in the case of Akhenaton.

"Furthermore, the purpose of these lists was to cover the walls of a sacred room in which the reigning Pharaoh (or other worshiper, as in the case of Tenry and his Saqqara list) made offerings or prayers to his or her predecessors, imagined as ancestors. Each royal house had a particular traditional list of these "ancestors," different from that of the other houses. The purpose of these lists is not historical but religious. It is not that they are trying and failing to give a complete list. They are not trying at all. Seti and Ramesses did not wish 
to make offerings to Akhenaten, Tutankhamen or Hatshepsut, and that is why they are omitted, not because their existence was unknown or deliberately ignored in a broader historical sense. For this reason, the Pharaonic king-lists were generally wrong for Manetho's purposes, and we should commend Manetho for not basing his account on them" Verbrugghe and Wickersham,
quoted on Wikipedia.
Breasted, Rohl and even Isaac Newton are among the scholars who have questioned the accuracy of Manetho's Kings-list.
Thirdly, the Pharaohs would have up to five different names; a birth name, a throne name and names associated with the various gods. Only in recent years, using other Kings-lists that have been found, have 
scholars found alternative sources of comparison. So, if Manetho listed a Pharaoh by different names, it is possible to have the same King named as five different Kings! Immanuel Velikovsky, Russian-born Israeli scholar writes :

"Many wondrous things happen when historical perspective is distorted. In order to understand the scope of the displacements in the history of the ancient world, one must try to conceive of the chaos which would result if a survey of Europe and America were written in which the history of the British Isles were some six hundred years out of line, so that in Europe and America the year would be 1941 while in Britain it would be 1341. As Columbus discovered 
America in 1492. the Churchill of 1341 could not have visited this country, but must have visited some other land-the scholars would be divided in their opinion as to the whereabouts of that land." Ages in Chaos.
If, as I assert, the narrative of the Exodus in the Bible is fact, then we should be able to find corroborative evidence in Egypt's history.
Furthermore, as we all agree with other sources that the Hyksos did in fact invade Egypt, then the Bible must mention them if the argument in its favour is to hold water.

The Admonitions of Ipuwer or The Dialogue of Ipuwer and the Lord of All, a manuscript dated to the Middle Kingdom (the time of the Hyksos) has been held up as such corroborative evidence. It is a lament of a series of cataclysmic events that have, at the time it was written, wracked Egypt leading to a collapse of all law and order. The following are some interesting quotes from current translations of the papyrus.

Indeed, the river is blood, yet men drink of it. Men shrink from human beings and thirst after water. Forsooth, that has perished which was yesterday seen. The land is left over to its weariness like the cutting of flax. Forsooth, the
children of princes are dashed against the walls. What they make are tents, just like the desert folk. Destroyed is the doing of that for which men are sent by
retainers in the service of their masters; they have no readiness.
In the Admonitions, we find a description of a wave of natural disasters, the departure of slaves and an invasion by foreigners - the Hyksos.
Velikovsky describes an inscribed monolith that was found in the 1860s at a town called el-Arish, on the border between Egypt and Palestine. The text has been dated to the Ptolemaic era, but it records events of a much older period. The el-Arish monolith speaks of the great disasters. It mentions a campaign by the Pharoah in this region.

Now when his Majesty of Ra-Harmachis fought with the evil-doers in this pool, the Place of the Whirlpool, the evil-doers prevailed not over his Majesty. His Majesty leapt into the so-called Place of the Whirlpool.

A corroboration of the drowning of the host of Egypt? The text mentions a place called Pi-Kharoti, which the translator says is not known elsewhere except in this text. Maybe he has never read Exodus 14:9, which tells us
that Pharaoh pursued the fugitive Israelites and caught them at... Pi-hahiroth 

The monolith goes on to state that the son of the Pharaoh set out himself, seeking information about what had happened to his father. There, the prince encounters "the children of Apopi" - the Hyksos - and retreats not to his capital at On, but a provincial one. Presumably, he is the last of the native Pharaohs that could claim control of the country before the expulsion of the Hyksos.
If these Egyptian sources support the Exodus story that the Israelites left amidst chaos and upheaval, can we find the Hyksos in the Bible? We can.
As the Israelites entered Palestine, they did in fact encounter a people
they called the Amalekites. Nowadays, we tend to think of the Biblical Amalekites as a band of marauding tribesmen, but the Israelites were certainly afraid of them enough to prefer wandering for 40 years in the Wilderness before they could claim Palestine. In later books, such as I
Samuel 15:5, we find references to a "city of the Amalekites". No, contrary to popular perception, the Amalekites were a huge nation, large enough to invade Egypt, which was a super power of its day.

According to the Bible, the Amalekites had a King named Agog. Later, during the time of Saul, their king is also called Agog. The Egyptian records speak of an Apop I and II, the latter being the last of the Hyksos Pharaohs. The possibility of a spelling error on the part of the Hebrews is likely; the characters for g and p in older texts are similar.
The Israelites were aware of the oppression of the Egyptians under the Hyksos. Attention is drawn to the original Hebrew of Psalm 78:49. In the preceding verses, an account of the Plagues is given, then we have:

He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them.

There is no mention of "evil angels" in the Book of Exodus. However, scholars state the words used, mishlakhat malakhei-roim are grammatically incorrect. If one adhered to the rules of writing Hebrew, it 
would make sense to say mishlakhat malkhei-roim. Translated in to English we get....Shepherd-Kings. Clearly, the invasion of Egypt by the
Shepherd-Kings was remembered by the Israelites as the 11th Plague, as it were. In David's war with the Amalekites (who had fled the rise of Amhosi I and entered Palestine), there is a reference to an Egyptian who
was a "servant to an Amalekite" (I Samuel 30:11-13). It would appear that it was the Israelites at the time of Saul and David who finished off the Hyksos in an alliance. In I Kings 11:19, one of David's men is given
Pharaoh's sister-in-law's hand in marriage. We know that this Pharaoh was the same Ahmosi because in the Egyptian records, one of his wives was called Tanethap, very similar to the name given in the verse I have cited, Tahpenes.  

So, from a comparison of the recorded histories of the two nations, Egypt and Israel, we find tallying accounts of:

   The collapse of Egypt, first through a series of natural disasters (attributed to God in the Israelite version)
   This led to environmental degradation, and consequent economic ruin and a collapse of virtually all political and social institutions.
Slaves escape.
   The Pharoah pursues some slaves, and drowns. His son tries to find out what has happened, but there is a more urgent matter, even more urgent than keeping the country together.
   Semitic invaders sweep in to Egypt, and oppress this great nation for centuries. They call themselves Amu (compare Hebrew A'm,
    people) but the Egyptians call them Heka Khawaset (Foreign Kings).
They are better known by the Greek form, Hyksos.
   The Israelites meet them in Palestine, and call them the Amalekites. 
   The Egyptians, under Khamose/Ahmosi, finally overthrow the Hyksos with the help of, among others, the Israelites  
Wouldn't this then paint a more accurate picture of history? The anti-semitic pseudo-historians masquerading as "Rastafari" on the internet
would rather propose a wild theory, and grope for evidence to support it. Their search sees them scouring the pages of pseudohistorians, cryptozoologists and ...White Supremacists. As Rastafari, is this how we are to approach any subject in our quest for knowledge? Is this what we are to teach our children?

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