by Glenn R. Morton
The purpose of all the papers on the front page of this blog is to show that one needs not be ashamed of belieiving a historical Bible, and believing in modern science. I don't put things together as others do, and thus when I found this discovery, which I am very late to the party for, I figured others also were probably unaware of this discovery.
A friend loaned me Timothy P. Mahony and Steven Law's book, Patterns of Evidence(Thinking Man Media, 2015). which made me aware of discoveries in Egypt (not my area of focus) that are of great significance to whether or not the Scripture is true. Much of what follows here is from the research articles I went to to verify what Mahony said. I tend not to trust Christian authors, given my background. Sadly I have found too many who shave the evidence. In this case they didn't shave it, other than Mahony claims he was in a crisis of faith, and having gone through a 15 year long crisis of faith myself, I found his claim ridiculous because his questions were more of the nature of intellectual curiosity than the gut wrenching basic questions I found during my time of trial. Furthermore, he acted like he was on a discovery mission when in fact everything he concluded came from a late 1990s book by David Rohl, an Egyptologist I much admire for his out of the box thinking. Rohl is an agnostic who believes the Bible is just a history book, but the oldest history book in existence. Because of this Mahoney knew precisely who he was going to interview even though he said otherwise.
Be that as it may, the story seems to have been suppressed by the archaeological community for a long time, and I think it is because everyone recognized that this discovery had modern political implications for Israel's right to exist. If the Joseph story and Exodus are correct, then the Bible's claim that Canaan is Israel's is thereby strengthened. The statue they found in the quite interesting tomb was found in 1986-1988. Only a brief mention of it was made in 1991 where the statue was said to be an 'Asiatic man". Here is what Bietak said:
"From the chapel of Tomb F/I-p/19 no. 1 came fragments of a colossal seated statue (about twice life size) of an Asiatic dignitary with a red mushroom-shaped coiffure, holding a throwstick at his shoulder. The figure was deliberately smashed. Such a statue is unthinkable for the time of the 12th Dynasty. It was in the time of the 13th Dynasty that Asiatics such as 'Amusahornedjheryotef (see above), Ameni'amu,27 Khendjer (Von Beckerath 1964: 49- figs. 51, 238-39), and probably others rose to high posi-tions and even to the kingship. (considered here a sign of dignity)
4. Among the pottery, 12th Dynasty shapes are rare and have given way to types of the 13th Dy- nasty such as beer jars with cylindrical neck and kettle-shaped mouth, and Zirs of type no. 3 or 4," Egypt and Canaan during the Middle Bronze Age Author(s): Manfred Bietak Source: Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, No. 281, Egypt and Canaan in the Bronze Age (Feb., 1991), pp. 27-72, p. 349-51 http://www.academia.edu/download/41037228/Bietak_Basor_281_1991_Egypt_Canaan_in_the_middle_bronze_age.pdf
While I have Asiatic grandkids of Chinese background, the term Asiatic brings to the mind of the casual reader, people like them thus making such a statue sounding less interesting. What is interesting is that there is no discussion of the stripes or colors of the clothing of this ‘Asiatic’ man. The first full description of this statue was not until 2002 when Robert Schiestl published a Ph. D. dissertation and a paper on it. Schiestl then republished the dissertation as an extremely expensive book in 2006. Robert Schiestl, The Statue of an Asiatic Man from Tell El Dabca, Egypt, p. 136. He describes the clothing on this statue:
"Another feature emphasized in Egyptian depictions of Asiatic people is their colorful attire. On our statue traces of the design of the garment are best visible on the back of the right shoulder (Fig. 5): A collar is detectable, with three horizontal stripes in black, red and black, with white spaces in between. The garment’s collar is relatively wide, in order to accommodate the Egyptian [Egyptian word]-collar worn around the neck, which is visible in the front. Beneath the collar, the cloth consists of vertical red stripes (see Fig. 5). Traces of the same design can still be detected on the front upper chest, beneath the crook. It is clear that the right shoulder was covered and therefore, despite our scarce evidence, we can draw some conclusions as to how the garment looked. The whole upper body was covered, as is clear by the way the horizontal stripes of the garment fall in the back (Fig. 5). " Robert Schiestl, The Statue of an Asiatic Man from Tell el-Daba, Egypt, p. 139 https://www.academia.edu/1470847/Robert_Schiestl_The_Statue_of_an_Asiatic_Man_from_Tell_el-Dabca_Egypt_in_Egypt_and_Levant_16_2006_173-185
But his pictures are in black and white, again making it difficult to see the import of this statue.
Let me give you the back ground of this discovery. It was found in a Palace with two rows of 12 pillars. Out back were 12 tombs, 11 of them still had bones in it but the largest, and only pyramid shaped tomb, had the statue but no bones. Grave robbers don't steal bones; they steal gold. This will become important. The Palace was situated in a part of Avaris, the name of the town, which had homes constructed just like the homes found in Haran Syria. These were Semitic homes, and Haran is where the sons of Jacob obtained their wives. Michaeld Bar-Ron writes:
"Significantly, this edifice was constructed right on top of the ruins of a previous structure in Stratum H, which it seems to replace: a stately residence of a characteristic, non-native, Syrian design. Every detail of this building, the very first in Area F, precisely fits what we would expect of the house of Jacob, whose family originated in Ḥarran, modern Syria. Genesis records that they were given the open area of Goshen to settle, after arriving in Egypt from Canaan (Gen. 46,34-47,6). " Rabbi Michael S. Bar-Ron, THE SEAL OF JOSEPH IN HIS PALACE AT TELL ED-DABA, December 29, 2017, 11 Teveth 5778 Beth Midrash Ohel, Moshe Beit Shemesh, Israel, p. 2
The name Avaris is thought to be a corruption of the name, Ivri-ish which means "Hebrew man". so here we have a Semitic village in Goshen, where the Bible says the first Hebrews into Egypt lived, with a highly honored Hebrew, living in a house with 2 rows of 12 pillars, and 12 tombs out back. Bar-Ron or maybe he is quoting David Rohl, it is unclear, relates:
"Standing out among the uncovered ruins of Middle-Bronze Age Avaris, Tell el-Daba Area F, are the remains of a palace of a high-ranking official, excavated by Manfred Bietak with the Austrian Institute for Egyptology.
"Although the palace has an Egyptian style, it is understood by all that its chief occupant was a high-ranking Semitic official, on account of the graves in the cemetery of its palace garden. The honor given this Asiatic (another term for Semite) by the Egyptian crown was so great, he was given a pyramid tomb with a massive statue to commemorate his memory. It has been determined that the statue bore a striped, multi-colored coat, yellow-painted skin and flame-red hair, and held in its hand a throw-stick -- all quintessential marks of Semite ethnicity.
"That a Semitic official would be honored with a pyramid tomb is an anomaly with no equivalent in ancient Egyptian history. Most significant to our premise, it was found in Stratum G/4, dated to the 12th Dynasty, believed by some to be the 'early Israelite period' at Avaris." Rabbi Michael S. Bar-Ron, THE SEAL OF JOSEPH IN HIS PALACE AT TELL ED-DABA, December 29, 2017, 11 Teveth 5778 Beth Midrash Ohel, Moshe Beit Shemesh, Israel, p. 2
One of the funniest exchanges took place between David Rohl and Alan Lloyd of Swansea University, who said that he would be willing to lable this man 'proto-Joseph', a ridiculous appellation, either he is Joseph or he isn't. Rohl replied:
“Could we call the Asiatics residing in Avaris (Goshen) in the latter 12th and 13th Dynasties “Proto-Israelite”? (To this Lloyd replied"yes”.) Followed by a “Proto-Exodus”, and then a “Proto-Conquest” by a “Proto-Joshua” to describe the widespread destruction of Canaanite cities in the Middle Bronze Age?! “Why not do away with all the ‘Protos’ and simply accept that the events described in the biblical narratives were based on real history?”" Rabbi Michael S. Bar-Ron, THE SEAL OF JOSEPH IN HIS PALACE AT TELL ED-DABA, December 29, 2017, 11 Teveth 5778 Beth Midrash Ohel, Moshe Beit Shemesh, Israel, p. 3-4
Schiestl agrees with how rare it is for a non-Egyption to receive this honor of a larger than life statue:
“Larger than life size statuary of non-royal Egyptians in the Middle Kingdom is very unusual, but rare examples do exist throughout the 12th Dynasty, both from tombs and from temples. They seem to be limited, however, to families of highest ranks. In the late Middle Kingdom nonroyal statuary can become quite small in size (VANDIER 1958, 255, 271, 284), as represented by the statuette from tomb l/19-Nr. 1 of stratum d/1 (BIETAK 1991 b, Abb. 12). On the other hand, most examples of non royal larger than life statuary date to this period as well.” p. 136 https://www.academia.edu/1470847/Robert_Schiestl_The_Statue_of_an_Asiatic_Man_from_Tell_el-Dabca_Egypt_in_Egypt_and_Levant_16_2006_173-185
"Another feature emphasized in Egyptian depictions of Asiatic people is their colorful attire. On our statue traces of the design of the garment are best visible on the back of the right shoulder: A color is detectable, with three horizontal stripes in black, red and black, with white spaces in between. the garment's collar is relatively wide, in order to accommodate the Egyptian wsh-collar worn around the neck, which is visible in the front. Beneath the collar, the cloth consists of vertical red stripes."p. 139
Others think the black stripes are to be found below the collar as well. Looking closely at a color picture in Mahoney's book, I think I agree with that, but admittedly it could be as Schiestl describes. Bar-Ron's reconstruction makes it look like this below:
Mahohney's reconstruction is below:
While the details are different, the general theme is the same, Joseph wore a multicolored robe. I can easily see Joseph wearing such a robe as a mark and remembrance of how he came to Egypt. His hairdo, as described, mushroom shaped, is certain strange to our eyes.
I want to point out a fact that whose importance might have been missed. Genesis 49:25, Joseph ordered that his bones be carried back to Canaan when the Hebrews left Egypt. It is interesting that the only grave which is missing bones is the one with the statue in it. Since grave robbers don't rob bones, this is an interesting fact.
One further connection here. Egyptians lay their dead out on their back. Semites of this period buried their dead on their side with knees flexed, in a semi-fetal position. Furthermore, all the pottery is of Canaanite style, not Egyptian. These are Semites, and more than that, these are the children of Jacob.
Speaking of Jacob, there are nine rings found with the sound jqbhr on them. Bar-Ron says this stands for Jakob
Then they found rings that said jqbhr, interpreted as Hebrew Jacob Bahar with the middle ‘b’ serving both words, meaning “Jacob chosen”. What is quite fascinating is that one of the Hyksos pharoahs was Yaqub-Har (see the Wiki list of Pharoah’s). Yaqub-Har was just at this time in Egyptian history, but they can't quite place him. I wonder if archaeologists have mixed up this name with an actual pharaoh. Jacob was the father of Joseph. Of these rings, Simcha Jacobovici says:
"Ankhu is the core of the Egyptian name of Joseph recorded in the Torah, Zafenath Pa` aneaḥ (the Z is a צ -ṣadi, pronounced as a sharp S), as it would most likely have been pronounced: Zatenaf Pa- ankh , according to Dr. Kenneth Kitchen. This meant “He Who Lives”. According to Rohl, it would have meant “The One Who Lives”. The Torah relates that the pharaoh was awed by Jacob, Joseph’s father (Gen. 47,8). Considering how the pharaoh witnessed the dramatic reunion between the vizier and his father (who had given Joseph up for dead for so many years), it is particularly fitting that he would name his vizier, “The One Who Lives”. You would then have only one formula: Yaqub Bahar Rabbi Michael S. Bar-Ron, THE SEAL OF JOSEPH IN HIS PALACE AT TELL ED-DABA, December 29, 2017, 11 Teveth 5778 Beth Midrash Ohel, Moshe Beit Shemesh, Israel, p. 3-5
They have found:
a Semite ruler,
who lived in a Palace, with 2 rows of 12 pillars (12 pillars, 12 tombs, 12 sons of Jacob, 12 tribes),
In a Semitic part of town which name Avaris,
Avaris could easily be a corruption of the phrase ‘Hebrew man’ Ib-ri ish or Iv-ri ish.
Who wore a coat of many colors, (and I can absolutely see Joseph choosing that kind of coat for his trademark given his history and personality).
Who was given the high honor of his own small pyramid for a tomb, a very rare thing, indeed might be the only case of a foreigner buried this way. Rohl says there is nothing like this anywhere else in Egypt.
Whose tomb holds a big statue of him
Whose statue holds a ruler’s stick,
Whose back yard holds 11 other honored tombs
Whose tomb is the only tomb of the 12 lacking bones (as the Bible says, his bones were carried back to the promised land, but not the others)
With rings found saying jqb hr, holding the name of Joseph’s father and the name of a Hyksos King.
If this is Ankhu’s palace, it is quite interesting that his name means: The one who lives, compared to Joseph’s father saying ‘thou are yet alive’. Ankhu sounds like a nickname given Joseph after the Pharoah heard what Jacob had said.
But of course, money academics and many Christians who want to ignore this data. They don't want to rework an issue in the light of new data that they have already dismissed as untrue. In my view, this is intellectual laziness. Mahoney argues a new timeline that he believes fits better where the 430 years ' defines the grand sojourn from Abraham to the Exodus', not the total time of slavery. It is suggested that the period of slavery was only 210-215 years. With that timeline, Mahoney believes there is evidence for the conquest of Canaan by the Hebrews. But as I have said many times, too many people don't want any truth in the Bible.