Wednesday, April 27, 2016

An Egyptian archaeologist on the Exodus

APPARENTLY IN HONOR OF PASSOVER: Senior Egyptian archaeologist: Israeli claim that Pharaoh was Egyptian is a lie. According to Director General of Luxor's Antiquities, Mustafa Waziri, king Pharaoh belonged to the foreign Hyksos dynasty that invaded Egypt in the 15th century BCE and ruled northern Egypt (MAAYAN GROISMAN, Jerusalem Post).
In an unprecedented declaration that challenges the story told in the Passover Haggadah, a senior Egyptian archaeologist said that ancient king Pharaoh was not Egyptian, as claimed in the ancient Jewish text.

In an interview with the Egyptian daily newspaper al-Youm al-Sabih, the director-general of Luxor's Antiquities, Mustafa Waziri, surprisingly argued that king Pharaoh belonged to the foreign Hyksos dynasty that invaded Egypt in the 15th century BCE and ruled northern Egypt.
The idea that the Hyksos dynasty is the historical reality behind the legend of the Israelite sojourn in Egypt is not new — a version of it goes back at least to the first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus and perhaps to the Hellenistic Egyptian writer Manetho. In itself the idea is not implausible, although the evidence for it isn't particularly strong. (More here.) And if it is correct, the legend is only a vague memory of the historical reality, and the point is that the Hyksos themselves were the primogenitors of the Israelites. The Theban Pharaoh who expelled the Hyksos, Ahmose I, was himself a native Egyptian.
"King Pharaoh who ruled Egypt during the epoch of our prophet Moses was not one of the kings who reigned in ancient Egypt as we tend to believe. He belonged to the Beduin Jabarin dynasty, which is called Hyksos," Waziri said.
I don't know what the "Beduin Jabarin" are, but this seems garbled. See above.
"This foreign dynasty ruled only in a part of Egypt.
Sort of. It's complicated.
One of its last kings was a dictator named Pharaoh, to whom Moses was sent by Allah to demand that he allow the sons of Israel to leave Egypt," Waziri explained.
We seem to have moved now to the Exodus story as told in the Qur'an.
The Egyptian archaeologist added: "the prevailing thesis according to which the kings of ancient Egypt were named Pharaohs is a false thesis promoted by the Jews to stick false accusations on ancient Egyptians."

"Due to his oppressive rule, the Jews have succeeded in transforming his name to a formal title of all Egyptians kings, which enables them to damage us by saying that we have raped women and slaughtered children. However, the Pharaoh title was never used to describe Egyptians, but was always attached to boorish people," Waziri said.
This is just goofy. The term "Pharaoh" orignally meant something like "big house," referring to the royal palace, and it developed into a title for the king of Egypt. No individual was named Pharaoh.
To prove his thesis, Waziri presented his conclusions from a study he conducted about the subject. He said that reviewing the Koran, he has not seen that the word "Pharaoh" is used to describe Egypt or Egyptians.

According to Waziri, the Koranic evidence that "Pharaoh" is a private name and not a royal title, as Israel alleges, is the phrase "Oh, Pharaoh", that refers to Pharaoh as a private individual.
The philological evidence from ancient Egyptian outweighs whatever the director-general's reading of the Qur'an is. I hope he is a better archaeologist than philologist. This is embarrassing to all of Egyptian archaeology.