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The Hyksos
Ancient Sources and the Hyksos/Amu/Amalekites

Hebrews 9
Hirten Könige
The following is not criticism of the Bible but rather an attempt to shed light on an otherwise incomprehensible phrase which no one has been able to bring into line with other texts in the same Bible. The writers of the Bible were not God's pen but His penmen who used their own skills of grammar and vocabulary to express what God inspired them to write. Neither were the editors and copyists in later centuries free of the chance of errors even though the had developed consummate skills in avoiding errors as mush as humanly possible. The Bible represents thought inspiration, not verbal.

Read the Intriguing Insights when Revised Chronology is applied

Is there any reference preserved in the old Jewish sources that would hint at the Hyksos invasion of Egypt immediately after the departure of Israel from Egypt?

"He [the Lord] cast [sent forth] among them fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them." Psalm 78:49

What does it mean `sending evil angels among them'? There is no plague known as the `visit of evil angels' while most of the other Ten Plagues are mentioned in this chapter. When the first born were slain in the tenth plague it was the angel of the Lord according to the Bible, Exodus 12:29. Could this be a corrupted text? The presumed Hebrew wording for `sending of evil angels' would be "mishlakhat malakhei-roim". But the Hebrew for `invasion of king-sheperds' is "mishlakhat malkhei-roim." The only difference in spelling is one silent letter aleph in the first case. When the copyist or editor of the sentence could make no sense of `king-shepherds', he changed the word to `evil angels'. The first reading is not only unusual Hebrew, but it is also contrary to the grammatical structure of the language.

Psalm 78:49 showing the letter aleph here under consideration
If roim (evil, plural) was here used as an adjective, the preceding word could not take a shortened form; `roim' must therefore be a noun. But if `roim' were a noun, it would be in the singular and not the plural; and finally, the correct plural of "evil" is not `roim' but `raoth'. "Evil angel" in correct Hebrew would be `malakhim roim'; "evil angels" would be `malakhei raoth'.

Red line: Israel's route out of Egypt to the Arabian Sinai; Yellow line: Hyksos-Amalekites coming from region of Mecca toward the tip of Aqaba to Egypt; Encounter with Israeal at Sinai. Not only the sense but the grammatical form as well speaks for the reading, "invasion of king-shepherds." The verse should read then:

"The Lord sent forth upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, invasion of king-shepherds." Psalm 78:49

An old Hebrew legend throws a sidelight on the same theme. It says, "Amalek fetched from Egypt the table of descent of the Jews [Israelites] ...these lists lay in the Egyptian archives. Amalek appeared before the Jewish camp, and calling the people by name, he invited them to leave the camp and come out to him." [10]

This legend implies knowledge on the part of the Israelites on the fact that the Amalekites came to Egypt and became rulers of the land. In what other way could they have come into possession of the census lists in the Egyptian archives?

In the Papyrus Ipuwer it is said:

"Forsooth, public offices are opened and the census-lists are taken away. Serfs become lords of serfs[?]" [20]

We can say therefore, that the Hebrew legend and the above line from the papyrus Ipuwer corroborate each other.

The most famous of the Hyksos kings was Apop. This is either a name or just means king. They ruled Egypt from their fortress of Auaris and, according to Manetho-Josephus, maintained garrisons throughout the country. They also had a garrison in Ephraim:

"Out of Ephraim their root is in Amalek." Judges 5:14

Obviously their root refers to the Canaanites, and to Jabin, king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor, and to his captain Sisera, who commanded 900 chariots of iron. They oppressed Israel. The Israelites under Deborah and Barak temporarily broke the yoke Amalek put on them. The verse seems to mean that the strength of the Canaanites was based upon the support they received from the Amalekite citadel in the land of Ephraim.

"Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the mount of the Amalekites." Judges 12:15

It was the habit of the Amalekites to destroy the flora of a country by driving their numerous cattle and camels before them. That is the reason they were called the king-shepherds, Judges 6:3-6; 7:12. They waited until the people of the land had sown, then shortly before the harvest they would invade the country side and carry off the produce.

The Egyptian document describing the defeat of the Hyksos/Amu/Amalekites is the Sallier Papyrus. [30]

It parallels the biblical account very closely also placing Auaris in a riverbed. When the Amalekites vanquished Egypt, they may have looked upon themselves as the legatees of the former Egyptian Empire with its colonies. In their wars with the Israelites in the succeeding centuries they might have argued that the Israelites had deserted their bondage in Egypt. Finally, to make the despoilers of Egypt equal with the Israelites is unwarranted and presents major problems in attempting to synchronize subsequent events.



The Tabernacle surrounded by the Israelite Camp
The Lord's Temple or Tabernacle (German: Stiftshütte) was erected with the entrance to the Holy department facing east (Exodus chapter 26). When worshippers came in the morning at sunrise, they would therefore have their backs toward the sunrise by divine instruction because the Lord loathes those who worship the sun and wished they would repent, for He even created the sun. God commanded, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me ... Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image ..." (Ex. 20:3-4). And that is why God showed Ezekiel the great abominations among those in Israel who had apostatized to paganism, "And he (God) brought me into the inner court of the Lord's house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east ... Then he said unto me, Have you seen this? ... Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger ... and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them." Ezekiel 8:16-18.

We learn from the above that committing these sins invites the rule of the wicked prince of this world and lets violence reign. God's peace bringing Spirit is grieved and few are they who pay attention. Those who commit these sins bring awful consequences over the land they live in such as we see today.

Of course, today, one may hear people say,

`Well, that was then, we don't do that today.'

First of all, we should know that God is not wishy-washy when it comes to any form of sin. We have to change, not God adapt to us. Do we have to quote scripture to underscore that?

Most of us probably can agree that Christians cannot go wrong if they keep only those days as memorial or sacred days which are so spoken of in His Word. One of the days at issue may be the traditional Easter Sunday greatly put on the pedestal by most Evangelical and Catholic Churches as of special significance to their faith - but is Easter Sunday instituted in the New Testament?

It certainly is not!

Such a reoccurring day, every year, was not chosen by God to memorialize the resurrection of Jesus. Instead, the Bible teaches that the memorial day for the resurrection is only a one time event in the life of each Christian - our baptism.

We read:

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Matthew 28:19

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Mark 16:16

"Buried with him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who has raised him from the dead."
"If you then be risen in Christ, seek those things which are above ..."

"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in the newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection." Colossians 2:12; 3:1; Romans 6:4-5.

When a person is convicted by the Spirit of God to repent and forsake his or her old life to follow Jesus, this will be the key to baptism. Just like a baptized Christian does not get re-baptized each time he or she should sin again, so we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord only once.

Now, for Christians to add another memorial just because of tradition is highly unsafe in the light of what we quoted above and how God looks at such things. There is no excuse not to be faithful in these things to God's Word.

Josephus recalls the following of this arrangement: "As to the tabernacle itself, Moses placed it in the middle of that court, with its front to the east, that, when the sun arose, it might send its first rays upon it. Its length, when it was set up, was 30 cubits, and its breath was 10 cubits. The one of its walls was on the south (where the candle stick stood), and the other was exposed to the north (where the table of shewbread stood), and on the back part of it remained the west." [40] For additional information click here and here.]


Notes and References

[10] Ginzberg, "Legends", Vol. III, p. 56.
[20] Papyrus Ipuwer 6:7.
[30] See Gunn and Gardiner, `Journal of Egyptian Archaeology', Glyphs reading Asiatic ShepherdsV (1918), p.40ff.
A.H.Gardiner, "The Defeat of the Hyksos by Kamose", Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, III (1916), p. 95-110. Naville wrote, "Whenever Glyphs reading Amu Hyksosthe Hyksos are spoken of it is not by their name, they are described in vague words or even abusive epithets. They are the (1) Asiatic Shepherds or (2) Amu or (3) the Shepherds."Glyphs for the Shepherds See also Edouard Naville, Bubastis, London, 1891.
J.H.Breasted, `Ancient Records of Egypt', (Chicago, 1906), Vol. II, Sec.7-13.
[40] Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book III, chapter vi, Sec. 3, p. 72 College edition.


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