Watchman's Teaching Letter #42 October 2001
This is my forty-second monthly teaching letter and continues my fourth year of publication. It has come to my attention there is a very important transcription error in our present Bibles which I should point out again as I did in lesson #23. The reason for repeating this is because there are new people on my mailing list who may not have gotten lesson #23. At the end of each fiscal year ending in April, I put my back lessons into yearbooks, and each of my last three yearbooks can be purchased for $20 plus 10% shipping. This is what I said in that particular lesson:
As I promised you in my last teaching letter #22, I am going to clear up and document the problem with Deuteronomy 23:7. As I told you before, there are approximately 27,000 translational errors in our present Bibles. Some various translations by various translators have attempted to clean up many of these discrepancies, but the errors are very numerous and overwhelming. The translation in Deuteronomy 23:7 is one them. I will start by quoting this passage:
“Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.”
From this verse it would appear that we should welcome all Edomites into our congregations with open arms, and with no questions asked, and that we are somehow guilty of some dire contemptible sin for even thinking an evil thought against them. I ask you: Is this not the impression which seized upon you when you read this passage for the first time? Remember the guilty, dirty, condemning feeling which overcame you for even giving the Edomites the slightest hint of disparaging thought, that possibly Yahweh might suddenly kill you in your very tracks for even blinking an eye? If this has been your reaction when reading this passage in the past, forget it, for that is not what this verse is saying — not even remotely. I happened upon this verse many years ago when I listened to a presentation by an Identity speaker who was making reference to the Edomites by using this verse as one of his points. At the time, I decided to look into the Hebrew meaning of the word “Edomite” for myself. I found the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible assigned the term “Edomite” the Hebrew word #130 which says:
“#130 ... Edômîy, ... Edôwmîy, ed-o-mee’; patronymic [derived from father’s name] from 123; an Edomite, or descendant from (or inhabitant of) Edom:— Edomite. See 726.”
Inasmuch as I didn’t want to overlook anything important, and I felt there was something desperately wrong with this passage, I decided to check on the word #726 which had the following to say:
“#726 ... Arôwmîy, ar-o-mee’; a clerical error for 130; an Edomite (as in the margin):— Syrian.”
At once this truth struck me (and this was about 15 years ago), for if the proper rendering was “Syrian” instead of “Edomite”, it would make all the difference in the world. Over the years, since that time, I have pointed this clerical error out to many people of our persuasion. At the time, I knew this made more sense if Deuteronomy 23:7 were to correctly read “Syrian” rather than “Edomite” for the Syrians were Abraham’s relatives, in which case this verse would read:
“Thou shalt not abhor a Syrian; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.”
Over the years, I have been satisfied that the word should have been Syrian instead of Edomite. I remember one party who challenged me, indicating that it was only a clerical error, and really didn’t mean anything. I finally came to the conclusion that it would be a hard proposition to prove and decided not to push the point openly any further. That is, however, until recently, when I was preparing for this lesson, I accidentally discovered what the clerical error was. I will now reveal to you how I made this discovery. As I had decided to take up the topic of Esau, I was in the process of reading anything and everything I could find on the subject. I was reading along in The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, volume E-J, page 24, under the subtitle Edom, when I read this:
“ ... there are places where, because of the similarity between letters ד (d) and ר (r), the text has wrongly read ארמ, ‘Aram’ (i.e., Syria), and ארומי, ‘Arameans’ (i.e., Syrians), for אדמ, ‘Edom’, and אדומי, ‘Edomites’, such as II Kings 16:6; II Chr. 20:2, where the KJV has followed the MT, but the RSV has followed an emended text.”
Note: I have followed the Hebrew characters as faithfully as I know how to do on my computer — I may have made a mistake. In my original lesson, I enclosed my documentation on page 8 of that issue so the reader could check it against my references. The main thing to notice here is the “similarity between the letters ד (d) and ר (r).” You can see very readily, that a very small slip of the pen can change the word from Edomite to Syrian, or Syrian to Edomite. I will enlarge these two Hebrew letters and place them side by side so you can observe the difference in them:
With just this very small change in the Hebrew writing, and the word can be changed from Syrian to Edomite!!! Think of it this way, syRian or eDomite. By this above slight change, the Hebrew “r” sound is changed to a “d” sound.
Since I originally wrote this, I now realize that the small remnant of Judah from Jerusalem who went into Babylonian captivity spoke Hebrew when they went in and spoke Chaldee when they came out seventy years later. Also, when they went in they were using a rounded style of Hebrew to write in, and when they came out they were using a square style of Hebrew. Is it possible that the changing from a rounded style to a square style produced such an error? Well, if it did, how many other mistakes are there because of this? After all, it is absurd to believe we should not “abhor an Edomite” when the Almighty hates them Himself, Malachi 1:3!
WALKING STEP BY STEP THROUGH ISRAEL’S SOJOURN IN EGYPT
FROM JOSEPH UNTIL JOSHUA
There always seems to be someone writing on a subject for which they really haven’t done their research. In preparing this lesson, I ran into a good example of such a person. Actually another person got the following from the Internet. No doubt, there may be a vast amount of information on the Internet, but it would appear we need to be very careful with some of the things being promoted from such a source. Generally, if we will examine what is being advanced, we can see through the subterfuge. While many times it’s just a matter of ignorance, there are other times when the writer has an agenda. This article has the title The Chronology Of Egypt And Israel and was downloaded from
On page 12, the writer seems to be a David K. Down, P.O. Box 341, Hornsby, NSW.
On page 1, the writer lays his premise. He points to I Kings 6:1 to establish the Exodus at 1445 B.C. He then refers to a Dr. Immanual Velikovsky who supposedly makes the claim that Egyptian history is 600 years too old. This is what is said on page 1:
“... Dr. Immanual Velikovsky’s claims that the fault lies, not with the Biblical information, but with the generally accepted chronology of Egypt, and that the Egyptian dates need to be reduced by some 600 years at the time of the Exodus. This would mean that the ruling dynasty of Egypt at the time Exodus would be the 13th dynasty, rather than the 18th or 19th dynasty as is now generally believed, and the Pharaohs who ruled at the time of Joseph and Moses were the Kings of the 12th dynasty. When this system is adopted there is found to be remarkable agreement between the histories of Egypt and Israel.”
If you will remember, this is similar to the position which F. David Fry took in his book Hebrew Sages of Ancient Egypt (A Revised Discipline In Antiquity), which I spoke about in lesson #31. I must point out again, people like Fry and David K. Down quoted above fail to check out the archaeological finds which have been made at Jericho. The following is what I said concerning this in that lesson:
“Finds at Jericho prove beyond all doubt that Fry cannot be correct. If you know your Bible story of Jericho, it will be remembered that after the Israelites destroyed it, Joshua placed a curse on it that it would never again be occupied. With this in mind, let’s read The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible, ‘Archaeological Supplement’, page 1802, ©1990:
“On the outskirts of the old city mound Garstang discovered a cemetery where he opened scores of graves that yielded quantities of pottery vessels, considerable jewelry, and about 170 scarab beetles. In these tombs he found pottery from the Early, Middle, and Late Bronze periods, but only a few sherds of Mycenian ware ... The Egyptian scarabs can be dated with certainty since they mention various pharaohs by name and represent each of them from Thutmose III ... One scarab bears the name of Queen Hat-shep-sut and Thutmose III, another that of Amenhotep II, who was depicted as an archer, corresponding well with his tomb records in Egypt. The series of dated scarabs end with the two royal seals of Amenhotep III ... Nothing else in the tombs suggests later dates.”
As Joshua had placed a curse on anyone who might try to rebuild and occupy Jericho (Joshua 6:26), this is very good evidence that these 18th Egyptian pharaohs lived before Jericho was destroyed by the Israelites under Joshua’s command. This evidence alone blows Fry and Down clean out of the water. I have documented here, and to a greater extent in lesson #31, all of this. Sometimes I wonder how much more confirmation is needed to convince people.
On page 2, Down tries to associate the Beni Hassan mural with the Israelites. I went to great lengths in lesson #38 to show evidence that the people depicted in that mural were actually the Hyksos who had all the marks of being descendants of Cain.
On pages 7-9 Down postulates that the Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut was the Queen of Sheba; that somehow Queen Hatshepsut was contemporary with Solomon. It makes one wonder how any of Queen Hatshepsut’s scarabs ended up 450 years previous to Solomon’s time in the ruins of Jericho, doesn’t it? I thought maybe the next thing that Down might contend was that Pharaoh Ramesses II, the Great, was contemporary with Alexander the Great, or maybe even the same person. Who knows how such a mind reasons! Then, on page 9, Down tries to identify Shishak of Egypt (1 Kings 11:40; 14:25-26) as “Thutmosis.” Although he didn’t say which Thutmosis, he could only mean Thutmosis III. Here is a good example of starting with a false premise, and then trying to build on it. I hope you are beginning to see how important it is that we be careful in our research in order to get things in their proper sequence. So much for that.
GOD OF THE DAY vs. GOD OF THE NIGHT
It seems that Egypt may have had their version of Genesis 3:15. There have been and are two classes of people in the world in an all-out opposing WAR with each other; namely, the children of light and the children of darkness. There seems to be evidence of this in Egypt. To show you this, I will now quote from Cleopatra’s Needles by E. A. Wallis Budge, pages 80-83:
“One of the most important temples rebuilt, or more probably founded by Amenemhat I, was the great temple that he dedicated to the Sun-god of Heliopolis, in his forms of Her-em-aakhu ... i.e. Horus on the eastern or morning horizon, and Atem ... i.e. the Sun-god on the western or evening horizon. The city of Heliopolis, called in Egyptian Anu Meht ... i.e. the ‘Northern Anu’ to distinguish it from Anu rest ... the ‘Southern Anu’ or Hermonthis, which lies a few miles to the south of Thebes, was one of the oldest cities in Egypt. From time immemorial Helioplois formed the terminus of the caravan roads from the north, west and south, and was in consequence a flourishing trade centre. [No wonder the Hyksos wanted it.] It is probable that it was the capital of the ‘kings of the North’, i.e. Lower Egypt, in predynastic times. It was home of many cults [belief systems], first and foremost among which was the cult of the Sun-god, whose various forms were, in early times, called Khepera, Atem, etc.
“The Hebrews called the city ‘On’ or ‘Aven’ (Gen. 41:45, 50; Ezek. 30:17) and ‘Beth Shemesh’, (Jer. 43:13), or ‘House of the Sun’, and it will be remembered that Joseph married a daughter of Potipherah (in Egyptian ... Pa-ta-pa-Ra, ‘The gift of Ra’), a priest of On (Gen. 41:45, 50; 46:20). There was a famous well or fountain at Heliopolis in which, according to tradition, the Sun-god Ra bathed his face when he rose for the first time on the world. This well is still to be seen at Matariyah, which the Arabs call ‘Ain ash-Shems’, i.e. ‘Fountain of the Sun.’ It is stated in the Apocryphal Books that the Virgin Mary rested by this well, and drew from it the water with which she washed the clothes of her Child, and that wherever the water fell balsam-bearing plants sprang up; drops of oil made from them were always mixed with the water used in baptizing Christians ... The priests of Heliopolis were famed for their learning, and they were a very powerful body at all times. Little is known of them or of their god Ra ... under Dynasties I-III, but the name of their god forms part of the prenomen of Neb-ka-Ra, a king of the IIIrd Dynasty, and it also appears in the names Khaf-Ra and Men-kau-Ra, kings of the IV Dynasty. The first three kings of the Vth Dynasty were sons of a high priest of Ra, and from this time onwards each Pharaoh bore a special name as the ‘son of Ra.’
“Several of the kings of the Vth Dynasty built great ‘sun-temples’ on the west bank of the Nile at Abu Gurab and Abusir, and the object of the cult was a monolith, probably of sandstone, in the form of a short obelisk resting on a plinth of pedestal in the form of a truncated pyramid. That the priests of Ra were able to seize the throne of Egypt and to set, first, members of their corporation and, next, their nominees upon it in succession makes it clear that they were predominant among the priesthood of that country ... Ra was the god of the day and of this world, and his power was believed to be supreme and absolute; all the other great gods were regarded as forms of him. But when his priesthood attempted to force his cult upon all the Egyptians in the South as well as upon those in the North, they found it most difficult to accomplish, because the people generally worshipped the ancient, and perhaps indigenous, God Osiris ... Asar, or Asari, the god of the night, the Underworld and death. A great struggle took place between the priesthood of Ra and the priesthood of Osiris, and in the end the supposed powers of Ra and the extent of his dominion were curtailed ...”
It appears that the early Egyptian dynasty kings, their names being “sons of Ra”, was symbolic for “sons of light.” On page 92 of this same book we are told that Thothmes I looked favorably on the priesthood at Heliopolis. Thothmes I (Tuthmosis I) was still of unmixed royal blood. This is what this passage says:
“... Thothmes I was the first king who set up obelisks in Thebes, and in view of the later religious history of the XVIIIth Dynasty his actions seem to show that he was favourably disposed to the doctrines of the priesthood of Heliopolis, and that he wished to link the cult of Ra with that of the Theban god Amen. As Usertsen I had set up a pair of obelisks before the house of Ra at Heliopolis, so Thothmes I set up a pair before a pylon of the temple of Amen.
“The obelisk that is still standing is about 90 feet high, and is in a good state of preservation ... A single column of inscription originally occupied the middle of each of the four faces, and from these texts we learn that Thothmes I dedicated ‘two great obelisks’ ... to his father Amen-Ra. On the pieces of the fallen obelisk the cartouches of Thothmes III are found, and because of this some have argued that this obelisk was made by Thothmes III and not by Thothmes I, but the inscription of the latter on the standing obelisk speaks distinctly of two obelisks, and the official Anni states in his biography that he superintended the erection of two obelisks. It is probable that Thothmes I died before his inscriptions were cut on the second obelisk and that it was usurped by Thothmes III ...”
Page 169: “Horus of the Double Crown, Beloved of Ra, King of the South and the North, Men-kheper-Ra. The monuments of the gods the lover, supplying with meat and drink the altar of the Souls of Heliopolis making to be satisfied their Majesties at the two seasons (i.e. morning and evening). His [is] with them with life [and] serenity for hundreds of thousands of the Set Festival, many, great, sons of Ra, Thotmes, governor of the god, of Ra-Harakhthes beloved, living for ever.”
We should not be surprised that Thothmes I looked favorably on the priesthood of Heliopolis, for the Bible tells us that a pharaoh gave Joseph his wife, Genesis 41:45. But, if you will remember, Thothmes III (Tuthmosis III) was not of pure royal blood. This is the same Tuthmosis III that Queen Hatshepsut prevented from gaining the throne for a number of years, after which he tried to destroy all memory of her. Here again, we see Genesis 3:15 at work between the true royal blood of the pharaohs of Egypt and the corrupted blood of the enemy gaining the throne. It is obvious, that if we can’t understand the Satanic seedline, we can understand neither Bible nor history. In other words, there are a lot of people walking around in a lopsided dream-world of universal religion.
“BEN OF THE BEN”
In the last lesson (#41), we discussed the subject of the “Ben Stone”, many times referred to as the “benben.” I will now repeat part of a quote I used in that lesson from Cleopatra’s Needles by E. A. Wallis Budge, page 8:
“At a period which is so remote that no date can be assigned to it, the people of Anu (the On of the Hebrews and the Heliopolis of the Greeks) had as the object of their cult a stone, which was thick at the base and tapered to a point at the top, and much resembled in shape the funerary stelae found in the tombs of Tcha, or Tchat, and other early kings at Abydos. This stone was called Ben, and in the texts of the VIth Dynasty its determinative resembles a small obelisk ... i.e. a short, thick shaft surrounded by a little pyramid ... Why this Ben Stone was sacred, or how it acquired its sanctity, is not known ...”
If the priesthood at Heliopolis were Shemites, which we can be fairly assured they were, we really shouldn’t be surprised at such a stone called the “benben.” In the Hebrew the term “ben” means “son.” The Hebrew term “ben” is #1121 in the Strong’s Concordance. It is used in Genesis 3:16, “thou shalt bring forth children”; Genesis 4:25, “and she bare a son”; Genesis 30:1, “Give me children or else I die”; Exodus 34:7, “visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children”; Proverbs 13:22, “leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children”; Ecclesiastes 2:3, “sons of men (Adam)” and 1 Kings 20:35, “sons of the prophets.” What is interesting is that the Egyptian hieroglyphic sign for “ben” is a man’s foot up to just below the knee. Therefore, I believe we can be sure that it has something to do with a man or mankind. It would seem that a man’s footsteps could surely represent a man’s life, (or a woman’s for that matter). When there are two feet in the hieroglyphics, it is then “benben.” It appears that it might be saying “sons of sons”, or possibly “children of children.” This sounds to me like the genealogy of a family. Is it possible the “Ben Stone” is sacred, as it represents the Almighty’s family or posterity?
The Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies explains the term “ben”, in its various forms, as follows on page 404:
“SON. 1 ... a son by whom parents are built up and families increased; also a son by adoption, Exod. 2:10; by creation and preservation, as the angels, Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; by regeneration, as the faithful, Ps. 73:15, Prov. 14:26; who are loved, sanctified, and blessed of God as their Father, Exod 4:22; Deut. 14:1; Isa. 1:2; Jer. 3:19, Hos. 11:1. The young of any creature. Metaph., the branch is a son with respect of the tree, Ps. 80:15; the scholar with respect to his master (sons of the prophets), an arrow with respect to the bow or quiver, Job 41:28; corn with respect to the threshing-floor, Isa. 21:10; a hill is the son of oil with respect to fertility, Isa. 5:1; a wicked person is a son of Belial or wickedness; a person guilty of a capital crime is a son of death, 1 Sam 20:31. Any man is said to be a son in respect to the years of his age, a son of two, &c. 2 ... a son, from the idea of begetting, being born; the common word for son in Chaldee, but in Hebrew only poetic ... 3 ... to make affinity by marriage ... to be son-in-law ... 4 ... to beget; to bear ... a child ... 5 ... progeny, offspring ... condition of a son. 6 ... posterity, son’s son.” [i.e., benben, my observation]
THE “ASHET TREE”
Of particular interest are the inscriptions found on the obelisks of Queen Hatshepsut where affectionate mention is made to an “Ashet tree.” Wallis Budge makes reference to the “Ashet tree” three times in his book Cleopatra’s Needles on the following pages:
Page 95: “Marked out for him the lord of the gods of the Set festival on the Ashet tree; the son of Ra, Thothmes diademed like Ra, beloved of Amen-Ra Ka-mut-f, endowed with life for ever.”
Page 105: “Her father, Amen, hath stablished her great name, Maat-ka-Ra, on the holy Ashet tree, The records of her are for hundreds of thousands of years, being united to life, stability and serenity. The son of Ra, the counterpart of Amen, Hatshepsut, beloved of Amen-Ra, the king of the gods ... this beautiful [and enduring] monument ... which she made (i.e. dedicated) to him on the first day of the Set Festival, she doing this that life might be given to her for ever.”
Pages 170-171: “Horus of the Double Crown, Bull mighty of Ra beloved, King of the South and the North, Men-Kheper-Ra. Stablished Father Tem his name great of cartouches with enduring sovereignty in the Great House of Anu, when he gave to him the throne of God [and] the rank of Khepera, the son of Ra, Thothmes, righteous governor, of the Souls of Heliopolis beloved, given life forever ... Horus of the Double Crown, Bull mighty crowned by Truth, King of the south and the North, Men-Kheper-Ra. Multiplied for him the Lord of the gods ... Set Festivals of the Ashet tree holy within the House of the Soul, knowing that his son was I, flesh producing from Neb-er-tcher, the son of Ra Thothmes, governor of Heliopolis, of Ra-Harakhthes beloved, living for ever.”
Undoubtedly, if the priesthood at Heliopolis was of the House of Shem, it would be safe to conclude that the “Set Festivals” were the celebration of Seth as their patriarch, and the “holy Ashet tree” could possibly represent the Seth family tree. For some confirmation that this might be true, I will now quote from a book entitled The World of the Past, edited by Jacquetta Hawks, chapter 2, “Greece and Crete”, “The Bronze Age of Hesiod”:
“The Greek poet Hesiod wrote his Works and Days in the eighth century B.C. In it he divides human history into five Ages. His pre-archaeological idea of a Bronze Age preceding an Iron Age probably owes something to genuine folk memory.
“Then Zeus the father again made humankind,
A breed of bronze, far differently designed,
A breed from the Ash-tree sprung, huge-limbed and dread,
Lovers of battle and horror, no eaters of bread,
Their hearts were hard, their adamant hearts: none stood,
To meet their power of limbs and their hardihood,
And the swing of the terrible arms their shoulders bore.
Bronze were their arms, bronze the armour they wore,
And their tools; for no dark iron supplied their needs ...”
Often we wonder where some of our family names came from; the name “Ash” being one of them. Checking my phone book there are several, including Ashburn and Ashcraft. Are these names more ancient than we imagine? Could the Tribe of Asher, for instance, be named after the “Ash-tree” family of Seth? Out of many varieties of ash, there is one named Oleaceæ, which is related to the olive tree, producing a single winged seed; a most useful tree as regards to rapid growth and production of lumber, and being distinguished for its height, shape, and graceful foliage. Ash wood is hard, stiff and especially strong, and mainly used for shovel, hoe, and rake handles. It is also used for spears, boat oars and baseball bats. No doubt, a great wood for “battle-ax” handles. How fitting a tree to represent our people. Does all this seem to exemplify the Adam-man?
Another point worth mentioning which the poet Hesiod puts forth is: not all peoples were created at the same time; that there was a separate creation of a special kind of man. Do you notice how this “differently designed” man is described similar to Jeremiah 51:20 as: “my battle axe and weapons of war ...”? [I have found more information concerning the “Ash Tree”, but I will have to present it in the next lesson.]
HERODOTUS ON THE “PHOENIX”
As I promised in lesson #41, I shall address Herodotus’ version of the “phoenix bird” story. Before I do, however, I would like to show some of Herodotus’ other deductions. Once we observe some of his conclusions, caution might be advisable. Let’s go back to Cleopatra’s Needles by E. A. Wallis Budge, page 9, for his reported version:
“The home of this bird was someplace in Arabia, and a phoenix visited Heliopolis at the close of every period of 500 years. Towards the end of his life he built a nest in Arabia to which he imparted the power of generation, so when he died another phoenix arose out of it. When the new phoenix had grown up he went to Heliopolis and burned his father, whose ashes he burned in the temple of the Sun-god there.”
On February 21, Educational channel 30, WGTE, Toledo, Ohio, ran a program entitled Lost City of the Pyramids. It was about a city some archaeologists had found where the workers were housed during the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza. As the story developed, with archaeological evidence, they established with little doubt that Herodotus’ account of the building of the pyramids lacked creditability. The following are excerpts of the narration of that program:
“The most common myth about the pyramid builders is that they were slaves. This view made popular by Hollywood actually dates back to the Greek historian Herodotus. He visited Egypt 2700 years after the pyramids had been finished, and was told by his guide that slaves had provided the labor. With no contradictory evidence this view has persisted, and it is still offered in modern-day guidebooks ... Egyptologist Mark Lehner believed evidence of large scale food production was an important clue ... Hundreds of bread molds and numerous baking pits indicated food preparation on a vast scale. Archaeologists had the first sign that this site was the base for a large undertaking ... Elsewhere on the site, other bones were found that indicted a healthy and diverse diet ... our animal bone specialist tells us there is an awful lot of cattle, and cattle is very expensive meat — came from the provinces. And a lot of the cattle we are finding here is prime cut and under two years of age. So, everything about our site suggests it’s expensive. Far from the image of starving laborers surviving on rations, this site has revealed a work force who drank beer, and ate baked bread, fresh fish, and expensive cuts of prime beef. From the tombs in the town a picture was emerging of a construction project manned by a large number of workers who were well fed and highly organized ... The equal numbers of men and women, and the proportion of children, including babies as young as two months, suggested to the scientists that they were examining whole families ... As hoped, the DNA proved conclusively that there were complete families living in the city of the pyramid builders. This was no work camp, but a thriving social community ... The high standard of medical care the laborers of the plateau enjoyed makes it quite unlikely that they were slaves ... Why, for instance, spend time and effort looking after slaves? If this was simply slave labor, then another slave can be brought in ... The evidence continued to build: their tombs; the food the workers ate; and the medical care they received all suggest a community that was treated as something of an elite... In his account, the Greek historian Herodotus was clear; he had recorded that it had taken 100,000 slaves 30 years to build the great Pyramid of Khufu, but the picture that was emerging from the excavation was a vastly different one. The discoveries had already proved Herodotus wrong once. The pyramid builders had clearly not been slaves. Would the findings now reveal that he was also wrong about the number of workers and the methods they had used?”
As the story turned out, at least according to this program, Herodotus was wrong on that score too. It was estimated by a Dr. Craig Smith, a modern engineering consultant, that it would have been more like 20,000 men working 20 years to build the Great Pyramid. What does this have to do with the phoenix? It shows that if Herodotus was wrong about the building of the Great Pyramid, he could be wrong about the phoenix bird story also. In researching this topic, I can see where Herodotus might have been relying too much on his contemporary Egyptian folk tale. When we realize that Herodotus was investigating the story 2700 years after the fact, it’s hard to imagine how much the story might have been corrupted by his time. Again this is something I will have to take up in the next lesson. I will tell you this, though: there seems to be a connection between the “phoenix bird” of Heliopolis and the Phoenicians, and we’ve only gotten a good start on this thing.