Watchman's Teaching Letter #36 April 2001
This is my thirty-sixth monthly teaching letter and completes my third year of publication. In the last few lessons we have been investigating the history of Egypt in comparison to Biblical history. In lesson #31, we took a look at a good example of what Egyptian history is not; a premise that Egyptian history is 1000 years younger than secular established history. No doubt, secular history may be off somewhat, but a thousand years is somewhat extravagant. Also, in lesson #31, it was established with archaeological evidence that Israel’s sojourn in Egypt must have been contemporary with the 18th Egyptian dynasty. In that lesson, we also considered the bizarre circumstances surrounding the Akhenaten period. Then, too, in lesson #31, we considered the meaning and origin of the name of Moses. In lesson #32, we examined the implications in connection with Akhenaten’s followers returning to Thebes. Again, in lesson #32, we considered more documentation concerning Moses’ name. Then, we also explored the story of Hatshepsut, a lady pharaoh who dressed as a man. We also discussed Joseph’s era as being possibly simultaneous with that of the Hyksos. We also weighed the implications concerning Joseph’s instituting a 20% income tax in Egypt. In lesson #33, we presented Biblical evidence that Joseph couldn’t have been sold to the Hyksos; when Israel’s family came to Egypt, they were given the very best land in which to dwell; how there were two famous seven year famines in Egyptian history; took another look at Joseph’s imposed 20% income tax, and, last, how two different groups were known as shepherd kings. In lesson #34, we continued with more discussion on the true Shepherd Kings and who they were; we scrutinized Josephus’ and Manetho’s credibility on this topic. Then in the last part of lesson #34 and all of lesson #35, an outline of Joseph’s entire life was presented.
WALKING STEP BY STEP THROUGH ISRAEL’S SOJOURN IN EGYPT
FROM JOSEPH UNTIL JOSHUA
I am sure there will be some who are going to take exception to lessons #33 through #35, where the Israelites are placed in Faiyûm rather than in the Nile River Delta area. They will make reference to Psalm 78:12, 43 and point out the text of this Psalm is speaking of the Exodus from Egypt taking place at Zoan, and that Zoan was a city in the Delta area. In doing so, they are both right and wrong. Yes, Zoan was a city in the Delta area, but there is more to the story.
THE CITY OF ZOAN A MISNOMER
Zoan (later to be called Tanis) was a city in the Nile River Delta area built seven years after Hebron in Canaan (Numbers 13:22). Inasmuch as the Hyksos were the ones who built Zoan, this establishes them in Egypt before the time of Abraham at the plain of Mamre in Canaan, Genesis 13:18. So we can understand what is meant in Psalm 78:12, 43, I will now quote from Insight On The Scriptures, volume 2, pages 1238-1239:
“Zoan. An ancient Egyptian city, built seven years after Hebron, hence already in existence around the time of Abraham’s entry into Canaan ... (Numbers 13:22; Genesis 12:5; 13:18). The Bible name Zoan corresponds to the Egyptian name (d‘n·t) of a town located in the northeastern part of the Delta region, about 35 miles southwest of Port Said. Better known by its Greek name, Tanis (near present-day San el-Hagar), it was situated on the branch of the Nile called the Tanitic branch.
“As Psalm 78:12, 43, ‘the field of Zoan’ is used parallel to ‘the land of Egypt’ in recounting Jehovah’s (Yahweh’s) miraculous acts on behalf of Israel leading up to the Exodus. This has caused some scholars to hold that Moses’ meetings with Pharaoh took place at Zoan. Similarly, it has led to the effort to link Zoan (Tanis) with the city of Rameses, as well as with the city of Avaris, referred to by Manetho in his account about the so-called Hyksos kings. Thus, many modern reference works say that Zoan’s name changed to Avaris under the ‘Hyksos’, then changed to Rameses under the Ramesside dynasty, and finally reverted to Zoan (in the Greek form Tanis). It may be noted, however, that the Bible uses the name Zoan consistently as applying before the Exodus (back to Abraham’s time), at the time of the Exodus, and as late as the eighth, seventh, and sixth centuries B.C.E. (in the time of the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel).
“If Zoan were the site of Moses’ interviews with Pharaoh, this would certainly give some indication as to the starting point of the Exodus route. However, several factors place this view in doubt. For Zoan to refer to such a site, the expression ‘the field of Zoan’ would have to be viewed, not as simply paralleling ‘the land of Egypt’, but as a much more specific expression, designating the precise location where the miracles occurred. Such a limiting or restrictive sense would not actually fit the case, for the Ten Plagues did not occur in just one part of Egypt (such as a portion of the Delta) but throughout the entire land. This would seem to support the view that ‘the field of Zoan’ is used as a parallel of ‘the land of Egypt.’
“Those modern scholars who endeavor to present Zoan (or, according to their attempted connection, Avaris, or Rameses) as Pharaoh’s residence at the time of the Exodus also face a lack of Biblical support and agreement in several respects. The Bible shows that Moses’ first encounter took place at the edge of the Nile River (Exodus 7:14, 15). Zoan (Tanis) is not on the actual river but at the terminus of one of the ancient branches forking off from the main stream. In attempting to locate the city of Rameses at the same place as Zoan, or Tanis, they also pass over the fact that Zoan was already a city in Abraham’s time ...
“Those scholars would make Zoan (Avaris-Rameses, as they identify it) the Egyptian capital at the time of the Exodus, whereas the Bible identifies Rameses as merely a ‘storage place.’ And, in holding that Rameses II was the Pharaoh of the Exodus because of the claim that he was the builder of the city of Rameses (or, more accurately, a place called Per-Rameses), they ignore the fact that the building of the Biblical Rameses began 80 years or more before the Exodus (before the birth of Moses [Exodus 1:11 - 2:10]), whereas historians credit Ramses II with a rule of only about 66 years ...
“The question remains, then, why ‘the field of Zoan’ is apparently used to parallel ‘the land of Egypt’ with regard to Jehovah’s (Yahweh’s) performance of miraculous acts. While a possible connection with Pharaoh’s court cannot be completely discounted, it is also entirely possible that the great age of the city caused the psalmist to use Zoan in such a way, it apparently being one of the earliest cities founded in Egypt. Its use, if this was the case, might be similar to the use of ‘Plymouth Rock’ as representing the early colonizing of the United States ...
“There is no doubt as to the importance of the city of Zoan (Tanis), particularly with respect to commercial trade and religious structures. There is evidence of much royal building there from the time of the early ‘dynasties’ of Egyptian kings onward ... the prophet Isaiah, in the divine pronouncement against Egypt, had referred to ‘the princes of Zoan’ and classed them with those of Noph (Memphis), thereby pointing up also the political importance of Zoan (Isaiah 19:1, 11-13) ...”
From this quotation, you can see the phrase “the field of Zoan” is just another way of saying “the land of Egypt.” The word “field” in the Hebrew should tip us off, as it means a plowed field which Egypt is for over a thousand miles to the south of Zoan. With this kind of a meaning, it in no way identifies the land of Goshen where the Israelites resided while they were dwelling there. From this, it is obvious, we must take into account, not the literal language, but the intent of the scribe. Unless we can resolve such matters, there is no way we can come to a full understanding of Scripture. Not only do we have to adjust for intent, but there is the matter of errors, idioms and parables. The Dictionary says an idiom is: A speech that is peculiar to itself within the usage of a given language. Inasmuch as we have taken up the matter of intent and parables, let’s deal with the problem of idioms. Here are a couple of modern-day idioms: We might say that we had a good time over the weekend; we went out and painted the town red. We really didn’t take a bucket of red paint along with a paint brush and try to paint the houses and whatever around town. It’s just a modern-day idiomatic saying, we had a good time. Then sometimes, when we know a person that seems to have prospered all of their life, we say, they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Surely no one ever came from the womb with a silver spoon in their mouth! Like our English language, the Bible languages of Hebrew-Chaldee and Greek have their own Idioms, parables and intent. The subject we just discussed concerning “the field of Zoan” is a good illustration of why we need to know the intent of the scribe. If you are reading your Bible literally in all cases, you are not getting the total qualified message. Is it any wonder we have so many interpretations of Scripture, and so few absolutely clear Scriptural facts?
THE TERM “PHARAOH” NOT USED UNTIL 18th DYNASTY
As this subtitle suggests, the term or title of “pharaoh” didn’t exist before the 18th Egyptian Dynasty. This, in turn, implies, that because Scripture uses this term, it was written during or after the 18th dynasty. This is more evidence the Israelite sojourn in Egypt was during this time-period. For information on this, I will quote from The World Book Encyclopedia, volume 15, page 315:
“PHARAOH. FAIR oh, was a title of the later kings of ancient Egypt. The Egyptians did not call their ruler pharaoh until the Eighteenth Dynasty (1570-1300 B.C.). Even then, pharaoh was not one of the king’s most important titles. Writers of the Old Testament almost always used pharaoh as a title for the king of Egypt.
“The word pharaoh comes from two Egyptian words, peraa. Per-aa means great house, and at first these words described the royal palace, not the king ...
“In theory, the pharaoh owned all the land and people in Egypt. In reality, his power was limited by strong groups, including the priests and nobles. His actions were governed by rules of conduct which the Egyptians believed the gods had set down.”
As this is quite an important matter into our investigation of Egypt, I will now use a second witness concerning this; the World Scope Encyclopedia, volume 9, under “Pharaoh”:
“Pharaoh (fa´ro), a name applied by the Scriptures and many Hebrew writers to the rulers of Egypt. It is used as if it were a proper name, but it is only an official title, as shah is a title of the Persian rulers, khan of the Tartars, and czar of the Russians. The title corresponds to the Ph-Ra found on the monuments of Egypt, which signifies the sun. It is quite difficult to determine the particular monarch to whom reference is made by the use of this title, but generally the application is to the Egyptian king under whom Joseph flourished, and the line under whom the oppression of the Israelites and the exodus took place.”
PHARAOHS DEPICTED AS THE SUN
In ancient times, rulers were depicted as the sun. If you will remember, in Joseph’s dream, the sun, moon and eleven stars bowed before him, Genesis 37:9-10. In the interpretation of the dream it was understood, the sun represented his father, the moon his mother, and the eleven stars his brothers. On the Egyptian monuments and various inscriptions, there is much depiction of the sun. It would appear there are two ways to construe this: (1) It might represent the king and vice-regent of a country along with some of the administrative officers, or (2) It might be a form of worshipping the physical heavenly bodies themselves. Maybe, in some cases, it could be both. We must be careful, therefore, not to point a finger every time we see the sun on monuments and declare it as sun worship. If we do this, we must accuse Joseph and his family of sun worship also. It is one thing to depict the sun, moon and stars as representing ruler-ship, and quite another to enter into the worship of these heavenly bodies. As we get into the study of Egyptian monuments, it would be well to remember this, and apply it accordingly.
ISRAEL BECOMES A NATION
In Exodus 1:7 we are simply told they “increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceedingly mighty.” Then in Exodus 1:12 it continues: “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.” This is a great passage of Scripture, but there is really more to the story. To expand on this, I will quote from three different commentaries. First, I will quote from Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, abridged by Ralph Earle, pages 90-91:
“7 The children of Israel were fruitful, Paru, a general term signifying that they were like healthy trees, bringing forth an abundance of fruit. And increased. ‘They increased like fishes’ as the original word implies. Abundantly. Yirbu, ‘they multiplied’; this is a separate term, and should not have been used as an adverb by our translators. And waxed exceedingly mighty. And they became strong beyond measure — ‘superlatively, superlatively’ — so that the land (Goshen) was filled with them. This astonishing increase was, under the providence of God (Yahweh), chiefly owing to two causes: (1) The Hebrew women were exceedingly fruitful, suffered very little in parturition (childbirth), and probably often brought forth twins. (2) There appear to have been no premature deaths among them. Thus in about two hundred and fifteen years they were multiplied to upwards of 600,000, independently of old men, women, and children.” [See Numbers 1:3; Exodus 12:37.]
Secondly, in order to amplify on this, I will quote from the Jamieson, Fausset & Brown Commentary On The Whole Bible, page 53:
“7 children of Israel were fruitful — They were living in a land where, according to the testimony of an ancient author (possibly Aristotle), mothers produced three and four sometimes at a birth; and a modern writer declares ‘the females in Egypt, as well among the human race as among animals, surpassing all others in fruitfulness.’ To this natural circumstance must be added the fulfilment of the promise made to Abraham.”
Thirdly, for further commentary on this passage, I will now quote from Matthew Poole’s Commentary On The Holy Bible, volume 1, page 117:
“Here are many words, and very emphatical, to express their incredible multiplication. they waxed exceedingly mighty; which may relate either to their numbers, which greatly added to their strength, or to their constitution, to note that their offspring was strong as well as numerous. Atheistical wits cavil at this story, and pretend it impossible that out of seventy persons should come above six hundred thousand men within two hundred and fifteen years; wherein they betray no less ignorance than impiety. For they say nothing of the extraordinary fruitfulness of the [Hebrew] women in Egypt, who oft bring forth four or five children at one birth, as Aristotle notes, Hist. Animal. 7. 4, nor of the long lives of the men of that age, nor of the plurality of wives then much in use, nor of the singular blessing of God [Yahweh] upon the Hebrews in giving them conceptions and births without abortion, all which are but very reasonable suppositions, the probability of it may plainly appear thus: Suppose there were only two hundred years reckoned, and only fifty persons who did beget children, and these begin not to beget before they be twenty years old, and then each of them beget only three children. Divide this time now into ten times twenty years. In the first time, of 50 come 150. In the second of 150 come 450. Of them in the third, come 1,350. Of them in the fourth, 4,050. Of these in the fifth, 12,150. Of these in the sixth, 36,450. Of them in the seventh, 109,350. Of them in the eighth, 328,050. Of these in the ninth, 984,150. And of them in the tenth, 2,952,450. If it be objected, that we read nothing of their great multiplication till after Joseph’s death, which some say was not above fifty years before their going out of Egypt, it may be easily replied: 1. This is a great mistake, for there were above one hundred and forty years between Joseph’s death and their going out of Egypt, as may appear thus: It is granted that the Israelites were in Egypt about two hundred and ten or two hundred and fifteen years in all. They came not thither till Joseph was near forty years old, as is evident by comparing Genesis 41:46, with Genesis 45:6. So there rests only seventy years of Joseph’s life, which are the first part of the time of Israel’s dwelling in Egypt, and there remain one hundred and forty-five years, being the other part of the two hundred and fifteen years. 2 That the Israelites did multiply much before Joseph’s death, though Scripture be silent in it, as it is of many other passages confessedly true, cannot be reasonably doubted. But if there was any defect in the numbers proposed in the first fifty-five years, it might be abundantly compensated in the one hundred and forty-five years succeeding. And so the computation remains good.”
? ? WHERE ON EARTH DID ALL THE ISRAELITES GO ? ?
In Exodus 12:37, we are told the number of the children of Israel that came out of Egypt were: “about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, besides children.” During the time of David, a decision was made to take a census. The results of that census is given in 2 Samuel 24:9:
“And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.”
By the time of Abijah (grandson of Solomon and great-grandson of David) Judah went to war against Israel. We will not go into the details of that engagement, but only notice how large the two armies were as found in 2nd Chronicles 13:3:
“And Abijah set the battle in array with an army of valiant men of war, even four hundred thousand chosen men: Jeroboam also set the battle in array against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, being mighty men of valour.”
Here we have a situation, where between Judah and Israel, there were 1.2 to 1.3 million men in full battle array. If this was the total number of fighting men as specified by Scripture, what was the total population, including women, children and men too old for war, in all of Israel and Judah? A figure of 3.75 million would be conservative! As you can plainly see, the increase of population in Israel, from the Exodus until the time of David, Solomon, Rehoboam and Abijah, is very noticeable. To take it a step farther, what would the potential overall population have been of Judah and Israel four hundred years later during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah? I took a rough calculation of this: By dividing 1,300,000 by 600,000 I figured a gain in fighting men over a seven hundred year period of 217%. This would be a gain of 31% every hundred years. I then took the conservative figure of 3,750,000 and figured an increase of 31% each one hundred years for the next 400 years. On this basis, I came up with an estimated population for all Israel (Israel and Judah) of 11,043,747, which I feel is very conservative.
Theologians of churchianity have two suppositions today as to what happened to Israel. The one theory is that they were absorbed by their captors, never to be found again, thus annulling all of the promises and Covenants of Yahweh, making Him a liar. The other theory is that all the Israelites returned to Judea from Babylon after the Babylonian captivity, Ezra 2:64:
“The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore.” (42,360)
I have a question: Where were are all the other 11,001,387 of both Israel and Judah for this period of time? I have read different postulations trying to prove that all the Israelites returned by pointing out Anna of the tribe of Aser (Asher), Luke 2:36, and saying, “you see there, that proves all the tribes returned after the Babylonian captivity.” With one single Israelite, they try to account for millions.
“KNEW NOT JOSEPH”
In Exodus 1:8, we are told: “Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.” Does this mean that there was a pharaoh to arise who didn’t personally know Joseph?, Or is it speaking of a pharaoh who didn’t remember the good administration of Joseph over Egypt?; one who had forgotten how, through Joseph’s great leadership, he had saved the Egyptians from starvation; one who was unmindful and ungrateful. For consideration on this, let’s refer to the Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, abridged by Ralph Earle, page 90:
“Which knew not Joseph. The verb yada, which we translate ‘to know’, often signifies to ‘acknowledge’ or ‘approve.’ See Judges 2:10; Psalm 1:6; 31:7; Hosea 2:8; Amos 3:2. We may therefore understand by the new king’s not knowing Joseph his disapproving of that system of government which Joseph had established, as well as his haughtily refusing to acknowledge the obligations under which the whole land of Egypt was laid to this eminent prime minister of one of his predecessors.”
For another witness concerning the meaning of this passage, let’s consider the observations as found in Matthew Poole’s Commentary On The Bible, volume 1, page 117:
“A new king, i.e. another king; one of another disposition, or interest, or family; for the kingdom of Egypt did oft pass from one family to another, as appears from the history of the Dynasties recorded in ancient writers. Which knew not Joseph, or, acknowledged not the vast obligations which Joseph had laid upon the kingdom of Egypt, and the king under whom Joseph lived, but upon all his successors in regard of those vast additions of wealth and power which he had made to that crown. This phrase notes his ungrateful disowning and ill requiting of Joseph’s favors ...”
The Interpreter’s Bible, volume 1, page 853 puts it very nicely as follows:
“The new king could not possibly have known Joseph personally. But what is implied is that he launched a new policy with respect to the Israelites. He chose to ignore the past services of Joseph ...”
“YE SHALL KILL HIM”
Because the new pharaoh was apprehensive about the rapid increase of the Israelites, he decided to take very drastic measures to reverse this course of events. Exodus 1:11 indicates the pharaoh decided to work the male Israelites excessively to the point where, when they went home at night, they would be too tired to procreate more children. The pharaoh was more interested in birth control than he was in productivity. It makes one wonder if the enemy today is keeping wages so low, the men have to work an excessive amount of hours just to break even, and thus, control our White population. On the other hand, the enemy, the “Jew”, is directing welfare to the nonwhites so they can stay home all day and all night long and procreate vast numbers of their own race, along with idle White women. The second course the pharaoh instituted was to kill all the newly-born Israelite male children. The pharaoh was more than willing to leave the Israelite girls live as breeding-stock for the Egyptian men though. Everything that is happening today was occurring back then; there simply isn’t anything new under the sun. Of course, too, we have to take into account who the pharaoh was for this period. As I see it, he was either a half-breed Mongol-Hurrian, or married to a Mongol-Hurrian, and under her influence (Tuthmoses I or Tuthmosis II of the 18th Dynasty). As I stated in lesson #29, these are the same satanic people Esau had married with.
For more information on this, I will now quote from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, page 53:
“Daughter. Daughters were spared since they could be taken and married to Egyptians, thus losing their national identity ...”
Speaking of the Hebrew girls to be left alive, Matthew Poole’s Commentary On The Holy Bible, volume 1, page 118 says:
“They reserved them for their lust, or for service, or for the increase of their people, and the raising of a fairer breed by them.”
For more on this subject, let’s go to Matthew Henry’s Commentary On The Whole Bible, volume 1, page 272:
“... They took care to keep them poor, by charging them with heavy taxes, which, some think, is included in the burdens with which they afflicted them ... By this means they took an effectual course to make them slaves. The Israelites, it should seem, were much more industrious laborious people than the Egyptians, and therefore Pharaoh took care to find them work, both in building ... and in husbandry even all manner of service in the field ... To ruin their health and shorten their days, and so diminish their numbers ... To discourage them from marrying, since their children would be born to slavery ... To oblige them to desert the Hebrews, and incorporate themselves with the Egyptians. Thus he hoped to cut off the name of Israel, that it might be no more in remembrance. And it is to be feared that the oppression they were under had this bad effect upon them, that it brought over many of them to join with the Egyptians in their idolatrous worship ... (Joshua 24:14: Ezekiel 20:8) ... God had threatened to destroy them for it, even while in the land of Egypt: however they were kept a distinct body, unmingled with the Egyptians ...”
Matthew Henry continues to comment on page 273 as follows:
“Pharaoh and Herod sufficiently proved themselves agents for that great red dragon, who stood to devour the man-child as soon as it was born. Revelation 12:3, 4.”
If we can understand that this persecuting pharaoh and Herod were of the same family line, the enslavement of the Israelites, during this period, starts to make a lot of sense. We can begin to see this was the same old “enmity” of the two seeds of Genesis 3:15 showing itself as it did when Herod killed all the little Benjamites in order to kill the Messiah. For more documentation connecting this pharaoh, Herod and the Dragon of Revelation 12, I will gather a few quotes. First, from Jamieson, Fausset & Brown Commentary On The Whole Bible, Page 1561:
“So the dragon, represented by his agent Pharaoh (a name common to all the Egyptian kings, and meaning, according to some, crocodile, a reptile like the dragon, and made an Egyptian idol), was ready to devour Israel’s males at the birth of the nation. Anti-typically the true Israel, Jesus [Yahshua], when born, was sought for destruction by Herod, who slew all the males in and around Bethlehem.”
The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, page 1512: “There stands before this woman the great enemy of God [Yahweh], the dragon (Revelation 12:4), who hopes to destroy Christ [Yahshua]. But on this effort he will fail ... I personally believe, with Weidner, Walter Scott, and many others, that this verse is anticipatory, and points to Israel’s time of tribulation at the end of the age. It is placed here to emphasize the fact that Satan, who hates Christ [Yahshua], and hence His people, will especially persecute Israel as the age draws to a close.”
The International Bible Commentary by F. F. Bruce, page 1614: “The woman is no individual human being, but the celestial counterpart of an earthly community; the fact that she wears a crown of twelve stars on her head (cf. Genesis 37:9) marks her out as being true Israel, from which the Messiah was born.”
The Believer’s Bible Commentary by William MacDonald, page 2369: “The dragon is ready to devour the Child as soon as He is born — fulfilled in the attempt of Herod the Great, vassal of Rome, to destroy the newborn King of the Jews. [rather the good-fig Tribe of Judah], destined to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.”
A word of warning: While the above Bible commentary is quite excellent, it is, in every case, misapplied to the “Jews.” In all of my Bible commentaries, I can use less than 5%, and all the rest is 95% pure garbage. It is certainly a shame the people who put these reference books together didn’t know the difference between an Israelite and a “Jew.” We should start differentiating those termed “Jews” today as “bad-fig-jews” in contrast with the “good-fig-Judahites” who are of the true tribe Judah when we address this subject to people who don’t understand the difference. The good-fig-Judahites are genetically pure, whereas the “bad-fig-jews” are bastards [mamzers] of mixed race. In many cases, these commentaries are created by several contributing editors. Occasionally there are a few good Bible students among them who make some outstanding statements. Therefore, one must be able to separate the useful material from the corruption. While most of the comments are but refuse, occasionally they will come up with a real gem which is extraordinarily remarkable and strikingly meaningful. Most commentaries are in particular useful for their historical content. [This last paragraph edited by myself, 11-8-2006, C.A.E. ]
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