Saturday, November 18, 2017

Biblical Egypt might not be Egypt

Egypt is the name of a modern nation on the north eastern coast of Africa, where the Nile river enters enters the Mediterranean Sea.  We also commonly use that name for the Ancient nation that existed in various forms on that same location for over 2000 years ending around 30 BC.  

And it’s also used in English Bibles to translate the Hebrew Mizraim and the Greek Aegyptos.  Resulting in an assumption that those Biblical names refer to that same ancient nation.  However what that ancient nation called itself was Kemet/Kemt/Khem.

A number of theories have been proposed that say that translation is wrong.  That Mizraim was a nation located somewhere in ancient Arabia, and that the word commonly transliterated “pharaoh” was a personal name.  My first instinct was naturally to oppose that idea.  But the more I’ve thought about it and researched many things, the more plausible I think it is.  I had specifically opposed it in my The Nile in The Bible post, but admittedly my logic behind seeing that alternate Hebrew word for river (or some kind of body of water) as an Egyptian name for The Nile was pretty flawed.

Now lots of people tie this into other weird theories, like saying Israel was actually in Arabia, or pre-exile Israel at least.  I definitely reject that.  Jesus was born in the same Bethlehem as David, and probably Crucified on the same mountain Isaac was offered.  And 12th Dynasty Kemet records place the Anakim in Hebron.

Where in Arabia to look seems to vary, its been placed in Yemen, or north-east of Yemen, others I think place it as a closer neighbor to Israel.  I have a factor to bring up later I don’t think others have noticed.  And one website has specifically called Mizraim an “insignificant village”.

The name Kemet/Khem has been argued to possibly be a form of Ham.  Misraim isn’t the only nation to come from Ham.  But The Bible calls Misraim the “Land of Ham” in a few places, so that is used to say the name Kemet is also Biblical.  However that is flawed logic at best.

The Biblical “River” we assume to be the Nile could be one of many ancient bodies of Water in Arabia long since dried up, like the one some seek to identify with the Pison.

People like to read significance into Mizraim ending with a Dual suffix.  But that same Dual Suffix also ends the name Ephraim.  Ephraim was born in Mizraim to a Mizraimite mother, but it’s more relevant perhaps that Mizraim and Ephraim were both second born sons.

In Genesis 12 Abraham travels through the Land promised to him till he reached the Negev (usually translated South), then Famine brings him to Mizraim.  From this point he could have easily went either south-west to Africa, or south-east to Arabia.  How these lands are today has us thinking the Nile is a far better solution for fleeing a famine.  But there is good reason to believe much of Arabia used to be not as barren as it is now, and perhaps more recently than most thing.

While in Mizraim a whole drama unfolds.  This is when Hagar became Sarah’s servant. Then Abraham returned to the promised land via the Negev in chapter 13.   Later when Hagar leaves the house of Abraham after Isaac is born, pretty much everyone agrees she went to what qualified as Arabia, people just sometimes disagree with Muslims on how far south.  And was while here, in Arabia, she arranges for Ishmael to mary Mizraimite wife.  So this is often considered the first clue that Mizraim should be in Arabia if we remove our assumptions.

There is also the fact that there is little evidence Kemet every practiced Slavery like what’s depicted in Exodus.  Even Kerma’s slavery was more like a serfdom.  Slavery was very common in Arabia however, and as such was perfectly legal under Islam.

In the narratives surrounding the reign of Solomon.  The phraseology “Pharaoh King of Egypt” and “Shishak King of Egypt” are the same, so if one is a personal name so is the other.  And if Shishak is a personal name then it’s significant that it's clearly a Semitic name, with clearly related names elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible, so saying it must be Shoshenq is absurd.  Also Shishak is never called Pharaoh.  Even when Pharaoh is compounded with other personal names much later, Necho and Hophra, King is still used separately, so still doesn’t make sense as a synonym for King.  Pharaoh is not a good transliteration of the Hebrew name here either, Par’oh or Par’u would be more accurate.

There are some Pre-Islamic traditions about the tribes of Joktan that are interesting.  Referring to a Firnifs as the first king of Egypt or Mesraye.  But a Pharaoh as a separate King ruling over Saba, Havilah  and Ophir in Yemen.  After him Sheba became a matriarchy for 60 generations.  But in another version Puntos was the first king of Egypt.  And another says Phara’an ruled over Ophir.  So confusion clearly existed here.

Assyrian records refer to a people called Misrim, Misr, Misuri or Misur, sometimes with a ruler called Pir’u.  Attempts to interpret these records as referring to Kemet are difficult.  Even scholars who do think Biblical Misraim is Kemet still find themselves seeing these as separate.  One such example is the battle of Qarqar from the reign of Shalmaneser III, most notable for mentioning Ahab.  The Misr there seem like an awfully minor player to be the powerful Nile empire.  This tribe is often mentioned alongside other Arab kingdoms like Dedan and Kedar.  A couple times listed next to a Samsi queen of Arabia/Kedar.  

And the name Pir’u pops up in Assyrian records totally unrelated to the Misr, showing it’s in general a semitic name.  Par’osh/ParoshPharosh is a Biblical Hebrew name that is similar in its first root/syllable and so appears next to Phar’oh in the Strong's Concordance.  However Paruah is a Hebrew name I think might be closer to being a variant on the same name.

Par’oh could be a name that many kings of Misraim had, like how many kings of Aram were Benhadad.

At a certain point Misraim definitely becomes the Egypt we usually think of.  In Jeremiah and Ezekiel and at the very end of the 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles narratives, starting in the reign of Josiah.  Because we know Necho and Hophra are the Nekos and Apries of Herodotus.  And later the allusions to Mizraim in Daniel 11 are definitely about the Ptolemaic Dynasty.  Maybe Mizraim could be identified with one of the Hyksos tribes?  But more importantly, this is post Assyria.

I do agree that Tirhakah king of Cush/Ethiopia of 2 Kings 19:9 and Isaiah 39:9 is Taharqa, a ruler of the 25th Dynasty, the Nubian Dynasty.  But the Biblical references to him do not link him directly to Mizraim.  Neither calling him a Mizraimite or saying he was a king of Mizraim.

Other references to Mizraim at this time exist.  Elsewhere in Isaiah, and in the historical narratives of Hezekiah’s reign.  What Assyria did do to Kemet matches what Isaiah (in places like chapter 20) foretold to happen to Mizraim.  But that’s kind of what Assyria did to everyone.  In addition to deporting populations, they resettled in a new population from elsewhere, hence the origins of the Samaritans in II Kings 17.  So perhaps after Assyria deported Kemet, they resettled Mizraimites there who then became the Dynasty conventional chronology calls the 26th.  Herodotus does say Necho’s dynasty has in origins in governors appointed by Assyria.  Manetho claimed the 26th Dynasty had kings before Necho I (The Biblical Necho is Necho II), but that could be based on their propaganda trying to seem more indigenous than they really were.

Where I’m later going to propose Mizraim might have been (or at least included) isn’t by mainstream scholars included in what Assyria conquered, but there is a lot we don’t know about ancient Arabia, and plenty that’s obscure in the geographical references of Assyrian inscriptions.  Regardless Assyria certainly did conquer some of what qualifies as Arabia including parts of modern Saudi Arabia, as foretold in Isaiah 21, which I’ve talked about before.

The Greek name Aegyptus was applied to Kemet certainly by Herodotus's time.  And was the name of the Roman province in that region (Copt and Coptic also come from Aegyptus by a long process).  The Greek texts of the New Testament use this name a lot, including in Old Testament references that are about Mizraim.  However I think that Greek name may be in exactly the same situation as Mizraim.  In Greek mythology the namesake of Aegyptus was the son of King Belus who ruled the Nile and married it’s daughter, but Belus first gave to Aegyptus a kingdom in Arabia, according to Apollodorus ( 2.1.4-5).  I’d discussed this before speculating them to be Hyksos/Amalekites, but maybe Belus was a Greek memory of Ham and Aegyptus of Misraim.  Dannus was given Libya, making him perhaps Phut.

I believe Homer was a contemporary of Gyges of Lydia.  So even his references to Aegyptus and “Pharan Thebes” are after Assyria began moving people around.  By Herodotus time Aegyptus came to refer to all the Dynasties that ruled Kemet, but it may not have originally.  And so the Septuagint usage of Aegyptus came to confuse people.  And people like Josephus, Philo and the Early Church Fathers were influenced by that confusion.  

Many think the Greek Aegyptus comes from a name of Memphis hwt-ka-ptah.  But that looks like a stretch to me.  Some wanting to make this cycle of myths refer to Biblical Patriarchs say Aegyptus comes from Jacob, I don’t really buy that either.  The etymology of Aegyptus I may return to later.

The New Testament, references to then contemporary Aegyptus probably usually refer to the Roman Province of Egypt.  And Alexandria to the Alexandria on The Nile.  But I wonder about the Aegyptus the family of Jesus fled to in Matthew 2, since it drew on an Old Testament reference.  And maybe it would have been safest for them to leave what Rome Controlled, since Herod had Rome’s backing.

The presence of Camels in Mizraim is among things cited as evidence that it seems more likely to be Arabia then Africa.  And the basis for finding “Pharaoh” in Egyptian records is pretty flimsy, coming from a word that referred to the Royal Palace, and even then is kind of forced.

The ancient nation of Kemet not only did practice Circumcision, but to secular historians they provide the oldest known documentation of it, from the Saqqara tomb of the 5th Dynasty Ka-Priest Ankh-Mahor.  And Hellenistic Greek writers seem to consider the Jews practice of Circumcision evidence of their Egyptian origins.  However I was mistaken about Exodus implying Mizraim didn’t practice circumcision, we don't know one way or the other.  We don’t know if Moses himself was circumcised, the issue was Moses son.  The narrative in Exodus 4 is more implying Zipporah/Jethro’s family didn’t practice it, which I feel deconstructs assumptions they descended from Abraham.  They are either Kenite/Cushite or both, maybe the Kenites were a Cushite clan.  Part of this speculation is if the Cushite wife Moses married was the same person as Zipporah or not.

Which reminds me, I’ve already discussed how Africa wasn’t the only place where you could find Cushites.  So that should be considered when discussing passages where Mizraim and Cush are mentioned together.  In the Greek Mythology, maybe Belus’ sons Cephus was Cush.

On the subject of Mizraim having something to do with the Hyksos.  We call them of the Hyksos because of what Manetho wrote in Greek, the records of Kemet call them the Amu, maybe Amu could come from the Anamim, one of the sons of Mizraim.  A number of Mizraim’s sons in Genesis 10 are lined to regions of the Nile valley, but again these seem to be Semitic names applied to those regions later, not what they originally called themselves.  The Ludim and Lahubim have been proposed as alternatives to Phut for the origins of some of the people we call Libyans, but names like those did exist in Arabia too, and perhaps some of the Libyans also came via the Hyksos.  Caphtor is the most controversial son of Mizraim (The Philistines came from him not Calushim, that’s a KJV mistake), attempts to make Caphtor Crete have never impressed me.  Kamal Slaibi’s section on Mizraim and his sons seems to make strong cases for locations linked to the Taif region.

“Where does Kemet fit into the Table of Nations (Genesis 10) then?” You may ask.  Also according to archeology Kemet often controlled the Holy Land.  So they must be in The Bible somewhere?

Some Egyptologists think the early people of Kemet were a variety of tribes from different origins, some southern in origin and some northern.  The name Kemet can be considered evidence they were at least partly Hamite.  I did a post arguing that Seir and the Horites of Genesis 36 were the historical figures behind Osiris and Horus.  At the time I did that post still assuming Mizraim was Kemet.

But that Kemet practiced Circumcision as early as the 5th Dynasty, makes me think it possible they partly come from Abraham.  Since it seems to me like Genesis 17 is introducing that whole idea.  (And yes that means I even consider Circumcision practiced by Native Americans evidence of Abrahamic ancestry for them).  As different groups fell to idolatry how the practised it may have been corrupted, but I still see it’s existence as evidence of coming from Abraham.  The Genesis 36 connection could provide a connection to Edom.  According to the African writer Olaudah Equiano, the 18th-century English theologian John Gill believed the African people were descended from Abraham via Keturah. [Equiano, Olaudah (1995). The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings. Penguin Books. p. 44. ISBN 0-14-243716-6.]  That includes suggesting that the name Africa came from Epher.  I doubt Kemet per say is what they had in mind, but Circumcision was part of the argument.

Naturally much of my revised Chronology speculation would be defunkt if this is true.  But even conventional Chronology is dependent on some Biblical synchronisms.  The belief that Shishak was Shoshenq of the 22nd/Libyan dynasty is the only reason Shoshenq is placed as early as he is.  If we only tweak the chronology by a century or so, the Kingdom period begins about where the Third Intermediate Period does.  And since my date for the Exodus is older than most, about 1606 BC.  Even in conventional Chronology I could place it close to when the Middle Kingdom ended.

So in that case, times in which Kemet ruled the land of Israel would be mostly the Judges period or before.  Could they be identified with one of the oppressors?  The usual identification of Kemet with Misraim has made it weird that Misraim isn’t listed as one during this 450 year period.  Maybe theories about identifying the Midianites and/or Amalekites with Hyksos tribes could still be true.  But if the Horites/Horim were an offshoot of the Hivites, perhaps Kemet was a canaanite nation.  But the Judges narrative focuses mainly on the Northern Tribes seemingly.  Another difficult to identify tribe in Judges is the Maonites.

The initial reason I looked into Revised Chronology wasn’t even about Shishak or the Exodus, but about how Kemet conventionally predates both Ussher and my own dates for The Flood.  So it’s still in my interest to make Kemet younger, though there are reasons I have become open to older Flood dates.  And I’m still compelled by evidence that the supposed 26th Dynasty was really the 19th Dynasty.  If it’s also possible some Mizraimites were among the Hyksos, that also keeps in consideration my model making Shishak a Hyksos, and the Amarna period contemporary with Shalmaneser V.  There are reasons to speculate the 19th Dynasty might have been of Hyksos stock.

Going back to the Greek mythology discussed above.  The Genealogy of Belus is also traced back to Greece, to Inachus King of Argos.  Robert Graves believed Inachus descended from Iapetus(Japheth).  This is ignored in many theories about the history behind those myths, including my above making Belus Ham and Aegyptus Mizraim.  But the Greek mythology is garbled, so some conflicting influences could exist.  My basis for making Egypt a head of Daniel 7 is based on the Ptolemaic Dynasty being one of the divisions of Alexander’s Empire.  But I’ve also proposed a second meaning for the four heads of the Leopard being Javan, that they correspond to Javan’s four sons.   So perhaps it’s seal up that argument even more if I can justify identifying a son of Javan with the land Ptolemy ruled.

This is NOT me trying to argue ancient “Egyptians” were “White” as some websites do.  I’ve already discussed why I do not believe we should expect a perfect correlation between Noah’s sons and Ethnic features.  I do thin even early on Kemet might have been more diverse than most give it credit for.  But they were overall a brown or dark skinned people, regardless of which son of Noah they came from.

Cyprus was also strongly linked to the Ptolemaic Dynasty, and Kittim son of Javan was most anciently a name for Cyprus.  In my reexamination of assumptions about Daniel 11, I’ve questioned the common idea that the Ships of Kittim refers to Rome.  Ancient Kemet often controlled Cyprus as well.

A second candidate for a son of Javan being Kemet could be Tarshish.  The location and identity of Tarshish has been complicated by a few factors, one being that it’s seemingly a nation Israel had contact with both via their Mediterranean ports like Joppa, and the Red Sea port of Elath.  We usually don’t consider Kemet an option since we think they’re Mizraim, but perhaps we should rethink that.  They are the easiest nation to think of as one Israel cold trade with via both ports.  Tarshish is also the Hebrew word for Beryl.  Kemet was a source of much Beryl in antiquity.  In fact it’s been suggested that Kemet was the only source of Beryl for much of antiquity.  So could the Hebrew language have named that stone after who they got it from?

Remember, Ezekiel is contemporary with the Mizraim of Necho.  So it’s interesting that when mentioning nations who traded with Tyre in chapter 27, he mentioned Mizraim in 6-7, sandwiched between Kittim and Elishah, two sons of Javan.  Tarshish is mentioned latter, twice, at a point when he’s already began repeating some names, yet Mizraim doesn’t come up a second time.

I’ve read recently that even Kemet as a name they called themselves first shows up around the eleventh dynasty.  My attempts to find other names they called themselves are proving difficult.  Maybe we simply don’t know, since we mostly have their records of interacting with others.

Maybe their words for Earth are clues to what they called themselves, since people often view the world as revolving around themselves.  The father of Osiris, Isis and Set in mythology was Geb, originally pronounced Seb or Keb, who was a god of the Earth, unlike other mythologies where that is a usually goddess.  Could that be Seba, the first born son of Cush?  Also mentioned in Psalm 72:10 and Isaiah 43:3.  Linked to Tarshish in one of those and to Mizraim in the other.  Isaiah 45:14 also refers to Sabeans from Seba with Mizraim and Cush.  Isaiah is late enough for the beginning of Mizraim’s association with the Nile.

The 22nd and I think also 23rd Dynasties of Kemet were of Libyan origin, that is Biblically usually identified as Phut.  Though some might suggest all this placing of Mizraim and Cush in Arabia might force us to put Phut there.  But I feel Ezekiel 38 is definitely associating Phut with the West, which includes North Western Africa, because of how it ties into Revelation 20 and the Four Corners/Winds references of that book.

What about the Eschatological significance of Misraim/Egypt I’ve been looking into on my Prophecy Blog?  How does this change and recontextualize all of that?  Well in a sense the main smoking gun of my Egyptian Beast theory was Ezekiel 29-32, so the Mizraim of Necho.  Same mostly with my England and Egypt post.  And Daniel 11 still has to involve the Ptolemaic Dynasty since they ruled the Negev.  But Deuteronomy 28 and Hosea seem to foretell Israel returning to Mizraim in the clear sense of returning to where they were Slaves.  Chad Schafer has been selling a book predicated on applying that to the Roman Egypt of Africa.  In the long run they do also get scattered to all the nations.

Josephus does definetly tell us the Roman Province of Egypt played a role in the Roman Captivity.  But plenty of Jews of the Roman Captivity also wound up in Arabia, Jewish populations of Arabia and Yemen (and the Lemba whose oral history says they were in Arabia and Yemen for a while) mostly trace their history back to the Roman or Babylonian Captivity.  At the beginning of Wars Josephus refers to there still being many Jews of the Babylonian Captivity in the extremity of Arabia.

However the Northern Kingdom’s Captivity, which is what Hosea is specifically about, seems to go the opposite direction whether Mizraim is in Arabia or Africa, with Assyria traditionally carrying them beyond the Euphrates River.  Well the Transjordan Tribes were arguably in Arabia to begin with.  I believe Biblically everything between the Jordan and the Euphrates is given to Ishmael, Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh were allowed to stay there even though their desire to do so is presented as bad.  And some maps apparently put locations called Gad and Reuben along the Persian Gulf, near where Saudi Arabia and Oman meet.

1 Kings 14:15 is taken as an example of “The River” without qualification presumably meaning the Euphrates, but maybe it doesn’t.  Damien Mackay’s interpretation of the Book of Tobit involves suggesting that the Medes of the Northern Kingdom’s scattering are mistaken for the Midian and Medan of Keturah in Arabia, possibly including Medina which was a Jewish settlement in the time of Muhammad called Yathrib.  Maybe the Habor of 2 Kings 17:6 could be Khaybar, another Israelite settlement in Arabia at the time of Muhammad.  And Maybe Gozen is a variation of Goshen?  That hypothesis has problems, but it’s interesting.  But I generally don’t think too highly of Mackay’s scholarship.  

And I think Simeonites wound in Yemen, specifically the Jaminite clan descended from Jamin, who the name Yemen might come from.  Plus the coincidence of Simeon being associated with his own Sheba.  That would be independent of the Northern Kingdom’s conquest, but a further migration of the Simeonites who conquered Seir and the Amalekites at the end of 1 Chronicles 4.

Hosea 8:13 and 9:3 says Ephraim will return to Mizraim.  Some have seen allusions to Islam prophetically in Hosea 9, with talk of an evil Madman Prophet, and the Hebrew word some Muslims want to see as a form of Muhammad's name elsewhere.  BTW, Moph is the Hebrew word translated Memphis here.  Other Bible passages presumed to refer to Memphis are Noph, mostly used of the Misraim of Necho, but once in Isaiah 19.  Noph is closer to what Kemet actually called Memphis, but still not exactly, with it becoming Men-Nefer only at a late New Kingdom point.

Chad Schafer however makes part of his “The whole world is Egypt now” theory supported by Hosea 11:5 allegedly contradicting 8 and 9 by saying Israel won’t return to the “Land of Mizraim”.  Well maybe that’s because they’re returning to Misraim when Misraim wasn’t in their original land anymore?  But perhaps the context of Hosea 11:5 should be understood as being before the full captivity happened, when they were tributaries of Assyria for awhile.  Chapter 11 is like a summary of Israel’s history.

Associating Mizraim with the Antichrist becomes a strong Islamic Antichrist argument in this context.  Mizraim like Islam started in Arabia and then came to rule Kemet.  Which leads to a theory I have on where in Arabia to look for Mizraim.  One important Caliphate even having its capital at Cairo.

In Velikovsky's argument for the Amalakites being the Hyksos, he claims Arab historians say Amalek at some point left Arabia to rule Egypt.   This is based on Islamic traditions about the Jurhum tribe, who are sometimes said to be Amalakites, but this is one of a few things the Islamic sources are confused on.  The Jurhum are the tribe said to have controlled the Kaaba/Mecca between the death of Nabioth son of Ishmael, and the coming of the presumably Yemenite Banu Khuza’a.  What’s interesting though is it’s said when Ishmael become old enough to marry, he married the daughter of a Jurhumite, who become the mother of his children.  Genesis 21 says Ishmael married a Mizraimite woman when he settled in Paran.  The second half of Jurhum sounds like it could come from Ham, thus the land of the Jurhum being a Land of Ham.  So could the Jurhum of Islamic sources be Mizraim?  The Taif region is near Mecca.

1 Kings 11 in it’s bio of Hadad king of Edom also seems to support placing Mizraim in or south of Paran.  And it’s not just Muslims who said Paran was the Hijaz where Mecca is, Eusebius and Jerome before Muhammad placed it in Arabia Deserta, a very specific Roman term for the deserts of Saudi Arabia, it can’t include parts of Jordan or the traditional Sinai Peninsula.  This would make theories about Mecca being exactly where Kadesh-Barnea or Sinai was wrong, which I’d favored in the past.  Velikovsky based his Barnea=Mecca theory on confusing the Banu Khuza’a with the Israel at the time of Moses.  Maybe a Sinai in Yemen theory could still work, but I’m kind of leaving that theory too.

Joseph while in Mizraim married the daughter of a Priest of On.  “On” here is commonly taken to refer to the city in Kemet the Greeks called Heliopolis, (but the natives called it Iwnw, a name that could come form Javan interestingly, and also House of Ra).  But the Hebrew spelling is the same as Aven, which is possibly used of Heliopolis in Ezekiel.  But most often Aven and Beth-Aven is used as a derogatory term for Beth-El when Israel was in disobedience.  In Islamic tradition the oldest name for the Kaaba was Beytullah, an Arabic equivalent of Beth-El.  So could the On/Aven of Mizraim be Mecca?  Aven is also used in the Hebrew of Isaiah 19 (translated destruction) leading to theories Heliopolis is mentioned there.  Could Mecca be the Altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Mizraim?  Or the Pillar at the Border?  A Pillar better fites what the Kaaba is.

Kamal Salibi’s Israel in Arabia theory seems to be based partly on making the Beth-El of Israel the same as Mecca.  But that doesn’t work, why would the Islamic traditions leave out Jacob’s connection to it?  And Genesis never linked Ishmael to Beth-El.  The Aven of Mizraim is more likely to be Mecca.

Maybe the Baca of Psalm 84:6 that many identify with Mecca/Bakkah makes sense as a location Israel passed as they were leaving Egypt.

The Kaaba is also sometimes referred to in Arabic as Kabat-ullah.  So maybe the name Aegyptos could come from Ha-Kabat?

Some think Shishak must have taken the Ark, I've generally disagreed with that, yet also disagreed with what most consider the main argument against it.   Perhaps this adds new context to theories that the Ark wound up in Mecca?

The Jurhum of Islamic Tradition are said to have become highly immoral and corrupt, but not to have become Polytheists or Idolaters.  It was a ruler of the Banu Khuza’a who first placed the Hubal Idol in the Kaaba.  Well again the Biblical Mizraim, at least of The Torah and even of Solomon’s time, don’t seem to be depicted as Polytheist Idolaters either.

I know that subverts a lot of assumptions.  Countless commentaries asserting that each Plague attacked a specific god of Kemet’s pantheon, (but not alls agreeing on how to line them up).  And assuming the Golden Calf was based on Apis even though there is plenty of precedent for Bull based Idols in the Near East, including a Bull association for Baal in the Ugarit Baal cycle.  And a mountain in/near Mecca has a name implying some ancient Bull worship association, usually cited in theories trying to place Sinai there.  But you’ll only find references to Idols of Egypt in Isaiah 19 and in Ezekiel, and we see other polytheist allusions in Jeremiah and Daniel 11 about the Ptolemies.  

Yahuah does not seem to have objected in intermarriages with Mizraimites the way he did Canaanites or Moab and Ammon because of their Idolatry.  Joseph married the daughter of a Priest without it being a problem.  And that daughter has a clearly Semitic name, Asenath.  Her name has never been linked by scholars to a god native to Kemet, but a possible connection to Anath has been suggested.  Fortunately for the mainstream view Anath worship did come to Kemet, usually presumed to have started with the Hyksos, she’d sometimes been identified with Neith.

Leviticus 24 contrary to your assumptions does not blame that Blasphemous Israelite’s Blasphemy on having a Misraimite father.  But even if there was, Blaspheming the name of Yahuah is a distinct Sin from worshiping other gods.

In 1 Kings 11 the Daughter of Pharaoh is not actually defined as complicit in the other wives leading Solomon into idolatry, there is no reference to any Graven Image being built to a Mizraimite Idol.  Her customs are implied to be incompatible with proper Torah worship, but that is still different from being an Idolater.

Exodus 8:26 does NOT use the Hebrew word for Abomination that is a synonym for Idol, but Tovah.  The context is also clearly using it of the thing being sacrificed, not the what it’s sacrificed to.  Likewise with Genesis 43:32 and 46:34, where there it is things the Mizraimites consider Tovah being mentioned.  Ezra 9:1 is also Tovah, with the context clearly being of customs.  Deuteronomy 29:16-17 uses the word Abomination that means Idols.  And the context is using it of other nations not Mizraim.

The phrase “Gods of Mizraim” is used in Exodus 12:12 however.  It’is not used of all the Plagues but of specifically the killing of the First Born.  According to an interlinear Bible Elohim or Elim is not used here, there is no im suffix.  So the translation could be questionable.  There is a Heh though, making it like a Hebrew spelling often used of trees, commonly translated as Elm Trees.  Since this follows Yahuah saying he’ll not only kill first born Humans but even animals, maybe moving on to plant life makes more sense in context.  

If they were worshiping a false god, it could have been a singular one, perhaps the Allah of Mecca is the god who Yahuah said he would destroy?

In Exodus 5 Phar’oh says he “Knows not Yahuah”, but Melchizedek of Salem didn’t know God under that name either, he was simply the Priest of Elown.  And there are references to Mizraim having Magicians, but plenty of Magicians in history have claimed to not be serving any god but the Biblical God.

The traditional genealogy of the Banu Khuza’a traces the king who placed the Hubal idol on the Kaaba back to a Babulon son of Sheba or Saba.  Because they presumably came from Yemen they are assumed to be Joktanite by the tradition, and so probably the Sheba son of Joktan of Genesis 10.  But 1 Chronicles 5:13 mentions a Sheba as a chief among the Transjordan Tribes (Manasseh specifically, so descendents of Asenath).  As they made war with the Hagarites and other Ishmaelites.  So could the Banu Khuza’a be Israelites in Arabia?  Muhammad had some Khuza’a ancestry, though Patrilineally he went back to Adnan of Kedar.  A Sheba having a son named Babylon makes more sense in the timeframe of the Assyrian captivity, when enemies of Assyria often counted Babylon as an ally, like in Isaiah 21.  And the Nabatean Hubal Idol makes more sense with coming from the Trans-Jordan then it does with coming from Yemen which I’m pretty sure had a distinct pantheon.

There was again also a Sheba as a location in Simeon.  If the Jurhum traditions are based on some sort of confused merging of Mizraim and Amalak, maybe the end of 1 Chronicles 4 sets the stage directly for the Banu Khuza’a coming to Mecca?

The Red Sea (Yam Suf in Hebrew) crossing is the main difficulty I have here.  Others have argued for some variation of making it not the Red Sea.  And translating Suf as a reference to the color Red on it’s own would be wrong.  But Solomon’s Yam Suf port was on the Gulf of Aqaba.  Maybe like some other names in the Bible it referred to more than one thing.  Or maybe the Red Sea used to have some other branches going into Arabia now dried up.  

I’d considered having them go the other way.  Maybe placing the wandering in mostly Ethiopia and Sudan.  Or ironically using the Wyatt and Cornuke Red Sea Crossing site for a wandering in the traditional Sinai peninsula.  But ultimately no, I still think the full testimony of Scripture places the wandering in Arabia.  And I recently argued for Sinai being in Iraq or Kuwait.  Which includes the Kadesh where Miriam and Aaron died being Petra.

Could the aftermath of the Plagues God inflicted upon Mizraim be part of why Arabia become such a barren wasteland?

I’m not 100% going all in on this yet.  But after resisting it for a long time, I’ve come to conclude this is most likely the case.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Second Resurrection

I did a post on The First Resurrection already.  I've updated that post fairly recently, so if you only read it when it was new, you might want to read it again.

Most people assume the Second Resurrection is only of people who'll wind up in the Lake of Fire, and so the people at the White Throne Judgment who do not wind up there must be from earlier Resurrection events.  But what Revelation 20 says does not support this.  Those resurrected in verse 4 reigned with Christ a Thousand years, they received a reward already, there is no need for a future Judgment.  And the Bema Judgment of those Resurrected at The Rapture I firmly believe happens soon after The Rapture at the 7th Trumpet, because of Revelation 11:18.

Those Judged in Revelation 20:11-15 are only those Resurrected then.

Post-Tribbers, and others who oppose interpreting Revelation Chronologically, point to John 5:28-29 to prove that those who are saved and those who aren't will be Resurrected at the same time.  But that's because they are assuming the Second Resurrection is only of people who'll be cast into the Lake of Fire when Revelation never ever says that.  Those verses from John 5 I believe say every person dead at that time will rise, but it does not preclude some being resurrected earlier.

The Sheep and Goats Judgment, which is the last Parable of Matthew 25, also supports this.  The fact is, those who Believed in Jesus in this Life are neither the Sheep or Goats, We are His Brethren, a clearly distinct entity in that parable.  This is also about the Second Resurrection.

Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 15:23-26 that those who are Christ's are Resurrected at this Parusia, and the rest are resurrected when all the enemies have been defeated.  The last of which is Death. The Second Death, is the death of Death, as Revelation 20:14 clearly says.

This clear unambiguous teaching of Scripture harms a lot of traditional assumptions about Soterology.  And that is why I now direct you to my Sola Scriptura Christian Liberty blog.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Who is The Bride of Christ?

I did a post defending The Church as the Bride of Christ once.  My views on a number of things have changed since then, mainly my becoming less Dispensational.  I now believe The Church is grafted into Israel.  Though I do still believe there are probably some unique promises for Church Age believers.

So while on the one hand I want to talk in this post about how I'm more open to rethinking how we think about the Bride of Christ then I was then.  I first want to talk about how the main people you'll find on a google search for "The Church is not the Bride of Christ", are absolute Dispensationists as much as Chuck Missler is, just changing which Covenant people they say is The Bride.  And in so doing say things that bug me even more now then they did back then.

Jerusalem is the Lamb's Wife quite clearly in Revelation 21.  And to them the word Jerusalem can't possibly apply to The Church.  One went all in on this "Revelation is about Israel not The Church" idea saying even the Seven Churches are about Israel not the Church.  I think it's absurd to say something so important to the New Testament would be totally absent from the closing book of The Bible.

I could point out to them how the message to Philadelphia and the description of New Jerusalem clearly tie themselves to how Paul taught his The Church is God's Temple doctrine, via the Twelve Disciples as Pillars.  Or that Jesus told the Twelve Disciples they would rule the Twelve Tribes.  They simply wouldn't care.

But now to how I'm more open.

The thing I've noticed is that Psalm 45, generally agreed to be a Messianic Psalm, has The Messiah and His Wife, and their Children, as distinct entities.  Isaiah 53 also says the Suffering Servant will have Seed.  These do not mean Jesus will reproduce biologically, they are about John 1 teaching how Jesus gave us the ability to become Sons of God.  And probably also about The Man-Child being The Church.

I think it is believers as the Temple of God/Body of Christ that include The Bride and the Children together.  My post about The Vail of The Temple suggests good reason to see The Bride and Groom as the Holy of Holies/Holy Place, The Vail torn means they are no longer separate.  The Children may then equate to the Inner Court.  Originally only Aaronic Priests could enter it, but now all believers are Priests.  There are no separate courts of Gentiles of Women as Galatians 3 shows.  Ephesian 2:14 also says the Wall of partition has been torn down.

I believe Israel is the Woman of Revelation 12, I've argued that the Woman of Revelation 12 and 17 possibly are the same Woman, and returned to that in my recent Eden and Sinai post.  The one thing that I was uncomfortable with about that is the implication of no happy ending for Israel.  Unless we conclude conclude that this is also the same Woman who becomes the Bride in Chapter 19 and the Lamb's Wife in Chapter 21.  It makes sense given Paul's discussion in Romans of the divorce and Re-Marriage of Israel.  It's not explicitly stated they are the same because God promised He "will remember their Sins no more", Hebrews 8:12 and 10:17.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Eden, Sinai and Iraq

I’m abandoning some of my past speculation about the locations of Kadesh-Barnea and Mt Sinai.  I still think Sinai was in Arabia not the traditional Sinai Peninsula.  But it’s a broad definition of Arabia that includes all of the Arabian Peninsula and everything between the Jordan and Euphrates Rivers.  I now think the Kadesh of the wilderness (or one at least if there were two) was Petra, a theory Josephus expressed and is supported by some today, including many who still support Jabal El-Lawz.

Ezekiel 28:13-14 associates the Garden of Eden with the Holy Mountain of God.  Many use this to support making Eden a location in Judea, like Moriah or Zion.  But the first Holy Mountain of God in The Bible was Mt Sinai.  Perhaps this location was consistently God’s main earthly dwelling place until the construction of the portable Tabernacle in the days of Moses.

This is a good place to remind people that the Garden was probably gone in the Post-Flood world.

Eden was in Mesopotamia.  Search every appearance of the name Eden in The Bible, you’ll find many references ignored in the Garden debate because they are clearly about a Mesopotamian location during the Neo-Assyrian period.  I’ve already addressed those who are confused by thinking Cush only refers to Africa.  The Cush of Mesopotamia was probably Kish and/or the core cities of Nimrod’s Empire, the “Land of Nimrod” of Micah.  Though some have also suggested connecting it with the Kassites.

The Gihon Spring in the City of David is not a river.  Plenty of names are used of more than one location in The Bible, that Gihon has nothing to do with Eden.

Locating where the Sumerian mythology counterpart of the Garden was is complicated by it coming to share a name with a civilization Sumer traded with, Dilmun, possibly located in Bahrain.  What I can gather of it independent of that, seemingly implies a place close to Eridu, where the Abzu Temple was.  Dilmun is called a Mountain at least once.

Another name for Mt Sinai was Horeb.  The spelling in the Hebrew is the same as the word for Sword used in Genesis 3:24 in reference to the Flaming Sword.  Part of the word play of that verse is that word being a bit of a homophone for Cherub, a word also used in Ezekiel 28’s discussion of the Molech of Tyre.

The name of Sinai itself is possibly etymologically related to the name of the connected Wilderness of Sin.  Which may come from the Sinite tribe of Canaan, possibly the same as the Sinim of Isaiah 49:12.  The Sinites aren’t one of the Canaanites who show up again in Joshua and Judges.  Genesis 10:18 says the Canaanites did spread beyond what we properly call Canaan.  So some could easily have gone to modern Iraq, Sinim is defined as a land Israel is returning from.

Sin was the Akkadian (a Semitic language) name for the Mesopotamian Moon god, named Nanna by the Sumerians.  In the past I’ve desired to question the traditional identification of the Ur of Genesis 12 with the Ur of Sumer.  But given how Terah, the name of Abraham’s father, could be interpreted as a variation on the Hebrew word for the moon, Yerah.  Him moving from Ur to Harran is interesting, the older and later centers of Mesopotamian moon worship.  Acts 7 clarified that God first spoke to Abraham before they left for Harran.  Did even Abraham also first encounter Yahuah at Mt Sinai?

Yahuah is obviously not a Moon god, he forbids moon worship.  But it’s possible His preference for a Lunar calendar in His worship may have caused some polytheists to presume Him to be one.  Pagans who encountered the Israelites never denied the existence of their God, just His Superiority.  I’ve discussed before an apparent phonetic similarity between the name Yah and the name of a moon god worshiped in Kemet.  So it may be Sin became a name for a moon god from being linked to the Mountain of Yahuah.  Or that mountain and wilderness was named after Sin because people erroneously thought the God dwelling there was a moon god.

The Sinai is Yemen theory draws a lot on Teman being a name for Yemen, and Habakkuk 3:3 seemingly using Teman as a synonym for Sinai.  But Biblically other uses of Teman are usually about Edom.  The location of Kadesh may be more what that verse had in mind.  And Edom could have controlled more than we usually think.  Something worth keeping in mind when I bring up Bozrah later.  As well as considering how Seir fits into Sinai’s location.

Shiite Muslims seem to view Mesopotamia as equally or even more holy than Arabia.  It has a lot to do with Ali’s association with the region, but they have justifications for making it older.  Karbala, Kufa and Samarra are among particular cities they revere.  Basra is mainly a Shiite city as well.  

Sunni Muslims typically say that Mecca doesn’t just go back to Abraham and Ishmael, but all the way back to being the first Holy Mosque built by Adam.  But the fourth Shiite Imam Zayn al-Abidin said.
 “God chose the land of Karbalā’ as a safe and blessed sanctuary twenty-four thousand years before He created the land of the Ka'bah and chose it as a sanctuary. Verily it (Karbala) will shine among the gardens of Paradise like a shining star shines among the stars for the people of Earth.”. 
If there was more than one Kadesh of the wandering, and one needs to be made much closer to Sinai than Petra.  There are a lot of places in Jordan, Iraq and northern Saudi Arabia to choose from.  Maybe Tema, which was an Ishmaelite settlement, and later become another Holy Place of the Akkadian moon god Sin.  However I think most scholars underestimate how far they could travel in 11 days.

One proposed location for the Garden of Eden is Basra.  A city I have argued could be Eschatological Babylon.

I have argued that The Woman’s hiding place in the Wilderness is the same Wilderness as Exodus and Numbers, and possibly a return to Sinai.  

Later however I argued that the Woman of Revelation 12 and the Woman of Revelation 13 could be the same.  In that the main thing holding me back was that this would make my Sinai being where the Woman returns and the Babylon being in Iraq position probably not compatible anymore.  But did suggest they could be reconciled by expanding the scale of the wandering.  And even suggested that the Bozrah of Micah could be a by name prophecy of the Basra of Iraq.  Either way the Hebrew name Bozrah seems to refer to more than just one location.

Paul is speaking mostly symbolically not Literally when he calls works based Judaism mount Sinai in Galatians 4.  But perhaps is does have a literal application Eschatologically?

This view can be compatible with a traditional identification of Misraim with Kemet (modern Egypt), including maybe Ron Wyatt and Bob Cornuke’s Red Sea crossing site.  Israel had over a month to get to Sinai.  But I should mention I have been considering the alternate Misraim in Arabia view, and will post on it in the future.

Likewise with the traditional location for Midian, many think Sinai wasn’t as close to where Jethro lived as is commonly assumed.  At the same time expanding Midian is viable, they had five Kings after all.

The only thing I don’t have is a specific mountain to identify with Sinai/Horeb.  I think it’s modern Iraq, probably to the south.  West of the Euphrates, or at least west of where the Euphrates was at the time.  But maybe a bit too far from the rivers to fit what many consider Mesopotamia proper.  Looking at the modern maps, maybe a location in Kuwait could fit?