The Mythical Conquest of Canaan
Archaeological evidence fails to support the Ezra bible's account of Joshua's militaristic conquest of Canaan. And the account of the Migration of the Faithists from Egypt in Oahspe, makes it clear that the Israelites who migrated from Egypt, did not conquer or take territory in battle, but were a peaceful nation for more than 400 years after migrating into Canaan (1550 to 1150 b.c.e.).
Oahspe, Book of Saphah, Basis of the Ezra Bible; 35/K.31.
|| In the four hundred and ninth year after the departure out of Egypt, the entire PEACE POLICY and NON-RESISTANCE of the Mosaical Inspiration was overthrown, and the Israelites became warriors, and even warred against one another.||
In which case, whether or not Jericho was destroyed around 1550 b.c.e. (according to archaeologist Katherine Kenyon) or a hundred and fifty years later in 1400 b.c.e.,|1| (according to archaeological findings of Bryant Wood), it was not attacked by the Israelites. Rather it was most likely the Egyptians, for the New Kingdom Pharaohs following Ahmose I, intermittently forayed into the north eastern lands to conquer and capture slaves (various artifacts from Egypt's New Kingdom were found by Bryant Wood at the Jericho site). Thutmose IV, reigning around 1400 b.c.e., was also called "Conqueror of Syria" |2|. Syria was the Egyptian name for the region to the north-east which included Canaan.
Archaelogical surveys of the areas purported to be conquered by Joshua around 1400 b.c.e. yield no tangible evidence of sedentary settlements until centuries later:
|| .....The Bible suggests Joshua successfully siezed the "Hill Country" of Canaan from Galilee to the Negev. Extensive on-foot archaeological surveys of this area by professionally trained archaeologists under the aegis of the Israeli Department of Antiquities carried out field surveys collecting pottery shards from the top soil at hundreds of sites (1970's through the 1980's), and the collated and published results showed a "near-void" of sedentary and non-sedentary peoples in this area in the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1540-1200 BCE) which would include [conservative estimates of the] Conquest of ca. 1406 BCE. However, this area in Ramesside Iron I (1230-1100 BCE) EXPLODED with over 300+ stone farms, hamlets and villages as compared to the preceding Late Bronze Age period.....The pottery in these sites was not Egyptian, it was Canaanite in form. || retrieved 20 Feb, 08.
This date is also supported by archaeological evidence whereby the descriptions of the strength of the cities of Canaan associated with the migration of the Israelites, as found in the Ezra Bible, indicate that they were at the peak of their development:
||On the other hand, at the close of the Middle Bronze Period (1550 BC) the cities were at their peak development. Cities at the end of the MB Period may be described as having the greatest fortifications in all the history of the Land.
Logic suggests that those who hold to the biblical story must go backward (from 1400 BC) to the time when the cities fit the description of Moses' spies. They had described the cities as "fortified and very large" (Numbers 13:28, Deuteronomy 1:28, Joshua 2:15, and many other citations). Go back to 1550 BC.....|| "The Exodus, Conquest dating Fiasco"; Livingston, 2003. retrieved 19 Sept, 07.
The apostate Israelites who began warring did not appear until more than 400 years after the exodus from Egypt. Yet according to the Ezra bible account one is expected to believe that 40 years of wandering in the desert was followed by the Conquest of Canaan, in which a generation of peaceful unarmed Faithists fleeing slavery and tyranny were succeeded by a horde of marauding conquerors, This non-sequitur proves itself to be a convenient compression of historical time. A device the authors of the Ezra bible use numerous times to weave together a national history, part myth part fact.
Other such compressions of time and generations in the Ezra bible are evident in the shortened periods between Abraham and Joseph, and Joseph and Moses (See Who was Thoth). According to Oahspe, there were more than a thousand years between these three individuals.
Between Abraham and Joseph...................1100 years (3950 to 2850 b.c.e.)
Between Jacob and Moses.........................1300 years (2850 to 1550 b.c.e.)
As well as evidence of compression of time, there is also evidence that various historical accounts in the Ezra bible included the lies of their enemies whose records were accepted and recorded as fact by Jewish scribes. For instance it unquestioningly repeats the false claim that Moses had killed an Egyptian as being the reason for his departure / exile of an unknown extended number of years. But we find from Oahspe that Moses departed Pharaoh's court for 3 years. During his absence he travelled among the Faithists of Egypt organizing the migration under the auspices of Pharaoh, his adoptive father(obviously not the same Pharaoh of the Exodus). In fact, Oahspe reveals that the Ezra bible contains the Egyptian account of the Exodus of the Hebrews.
Oahspe, Book of the Arc of Bon; 27/20.21.
|| And behold, it came to pass that the [Egyptian] records were worthless; And to make matters worse the records were so voluminous, being more than six thousand books, that the scribes of Ezra could make neither head nor tail of them. Nevertheless, they were all written, in the first place not by the Israelites, but by their enemies, where, even so, the testimony of the miracles [of the account of the Exodus of the Hebrews] is none the weaker.||
According to Oahspe, the Jewish Ezra bible was recorded and compiled by Ezra ca 494 b.c.e. This is confirmed by Biblical scholars who estimate the language in which the Jewish Ezra bible was written as no earlier than 560 b.c.e:
||...On the basis of archaeological findings, as well as endings to historical compositions, I understand along with other scholars, that the "Hebrew" Bible, more specifically, Genesis-2 Kings was composed in the [Babylonian] Exile ca. 560 B.C.... The findings of archaeology have revealed that some sites which appear in the Pentateuch did not come into being until the 8th-7th centuries B.C. (as for example Edomite Bozrah, Arabic Buseira of Genesis 36:33) ....Mention is made of the Edomites possessing kings before Israel had kings (Genesis 36:31). Israel's first king was Saul (reigned circa 1020-1000 B.C.), then David (reigned 1000-965 B.C.), so obviously, the author of the Pentateuch wrote some time in the Kingdom period, after David...|| retrieved 9 Sept, 07.
The Ezra Bible was compiled from numerous sources, it contains, among other things, some Egyptian derived texts, such as the Book of Genesis as well as the account of the Exodus of the Hebrews gathered by Ezra from the Egyptian records existing in his time. Previously written Hebrew texts such as the Levitican laws originally written by Moses but evidently altered and added to by various priestly writers over a period of time under the auspices of various Israelite and Jewish Kings were attributed to Moses probably long before they were compiled and edited by Ezra and His Scribes.
Oahspe, Book of the Arc of Bon; 27/20.13; 27/20.16, 17.
|| And in not many days, Moses wrote the Levitican laws; for the inner temple of Jehovih was in spoken words only; but the outer temple was written. So that it was said: The Hebrews have two laws; one which no other man knows, and one for those who are not eligible by faith, being those who were called Leviticans; but not Leviticans in fact, but hangers‑on, who had followed the Israelites out of Egupt and who for the most part had no God, little judgment and no learning.
Of Pharaoh and his hosts who were not destroyed in the sea, be it said, they returned home to their places.....The scribes and recorders assembled in Kaona, and appointed Feh-ya (an Egyptian), to write the departure of the Israelites out of Egypt.....Fey-ya's record was afterward accepted by Ezra, and is that which is known to this day as the First Book of Exodus. And so far as the records now stand the spirit of both books was the Egyptian version of the whole subject.||
After the Exodus, the Ezra bible involves Moses in its stories of spying and conquest, punishing by death some of his own people and putting swords into the hands of the Faithists. At the same time the text describes a god that curses the generation who left Egypt for infidelity. Such malicious details identify this source as that of the apostate Israelites who became worshippers of Baal and Ashtaroth, who partook in war and conquest and finally abandoned the tribal groups to live as subjects under kings.
The patchwork weaving of the final Jewish history as given in the Ezra bible reveals disparities in the two different time-keeping frames used to calculate Moses' age. Moses' age was computed differently in Egyptian time compared to Hebrew time:
Book of the Arc of Bon; 27/20.15.
|| At the time Moses reached Shakelmarath he was forty-four years old by the Hebrew sun, but by the Eguptian he was eighty-eight years old.||
The Ezra bible account declares Moses' age when he died, to be 120 years old. Moses' youth and the Exodus part of the account, having been taken from the Egyptian records, takes Moses' age, in Egyptian years, to be around 80 years old. The Egyptian calendar had only one sun (solstice) in a year, that means that one year ended with a summer solstice and the following year ended with a winter solstice, making one year equal to 6 months. Then from supposedly being 80 years old at the Exodus, 40 years were added to Moses' lifespan to comport with the supposed 40 years of wandering in the desert before the Israelites supposedly reached the promised land. The 'wilderness wandering' part of the account evidently did not originate from the Egyptian source but sprang from the descendants of the Levites who maintained the written laws and ceremonies. These became subjects of Kings and worshippers of Baal and Ashtaroth, under the names Lord and God:
Book of Saphah: 35/K.47, 48.
|| [From 2439 to 2139 years before Kosmon] The Faithists proper were a small minority, and scattered in many lands. The rest, who were called Jews, lived under written laws and ceremonies, which were compiled and established by Ezra, in Jerusalem (under the inspiration of Looeamong), which combination of books was called the Bible, and was completed in the year 2344 B.K.
From that time forward, the Jews became worshippers of the Lord and the God, but the scattered tribes of the Faithists still held to the Great Spirit, Jehovih, keeping their service secret. These latter were without sin, doing no war nor resistance of evil against evil, but returning good for evil, and loving one another as one's self.||
And so we find that added to the 80 Egyptian years were added 40 Hebrew years to account for the supposed years of wandering in the wilderness before entering the land of Canaan. Of course Ezra bible believers are expected to accept that at 120, just like the other arbitrarily extended years of earlier Ezra bible patriarchs such as Abraham and Sarah, Moses still had the agility of his youth to climb up and down mountains!
According to the Ezra bible, it was Moses' spies who produced the information about the Canaan cities. But according to Oahspe, on the day of the dawn of the Arc of Bon, the word of Jehovih's angels which came through Moses was also heard by his adoptive family, Pharaoh and his daughter. The Voice instructed Pharaoh to allow the Faithists to migrate from Egypt. Pharaoh heeded the word of Jehovih's angels and allowed Moses to proceed with his mission. And so, three years later, after Moses had travelled around Egypt to all the Faithists, setting the plan of the Migration into place, Pharaoh assigned commissioners to examine the lands where the Faithists were to migrate to and these returned with a record of their surveys.
Oahspe, Book of the Arc of Bon; 27/16.1.
|| The voice of Jehovih came to Moses saying: Have the king give you commissioners who shall go in advance and examine the countries where I will lead you....and the king appointed thirty-three men, and allotted to them seven months to accomplish the inspection.||
These reports would have been official business and therefore kept in the records of the Pharaoh, since such information would also be of general use to Egypt in knowing the capacity of powerful neighboring kingdoms. It was not until Nu-ghan, the second Pharaoh of Moses' time, succeeded the throne that the Migration plans no longer received support from the Pharaoh of Egypt.
It was common practice in ancient Egypt for rulers to destroy the records of any previous rulers whose actions were counter to the ambitions of the succeeding ruler, in an attempt to obliterate his existence and achievements. Following the death of the Pharaoh (whose adopted son Moses was not a candidate for the throne) a new dynasty was established whose first ruler was Ahmose 1. Losses sustained by the plagues and Exodus must have been a great blow to Egyptian pride since it is obvious the records written about those events were an attempt to save face by reconstructing the loss of the entire slave workforce into the appearance of a successful military campaign. And given time, successive cleanings finally eliminated all mention of Moses and the Israelites whose memory was no doubt a constant reminder of a "Golden Age" lost. Such record cleansing would explain the lack of historical references to Moses and the organization of the Migration of the Faithists under the Pharaoh who was Moses' adoptive father.
||.....the new Pharaoh waited decades into his reign before cleansing the historical record. According to Egyptologist, Bob Brier, this historical vandalism was simply because after Tuthmosis III consolidated his rule it was deemed impolitic to record that a woman had ruled Egypt as king. And so in subsequent years all the "king's lists" which later rulers would make to list their predecessors would never mention Hatshepsut having even existed.|| retrieved 19 Sept, 07.
Another such case is evident in the complete disappearance of Arkenaten and Amarna from history until they were rediscovered in the mid-19th century. The Egyptian practice of reworking historical accounts was well known. The Ptolemaic Egyptian, Manetho, upon whom many scholars today depend for historical "facts", was vociferously anti-Semitic. Consequently, not only were his accounts of ancient Egyptian history subject to all the rewriting, cleansing and mythmaking of the past scribes, they were also shaded by his own personal bias.
||...Historians might well heed the advice of Herodotus, who made a leisurely trip far up the Nile. He was privy to information given to him by the priests, to lists of kings, and to surviving documents, Herodotus makes it abundantly clear that much of the information gathered was hearsay and unconfirmed fables. Herodotus presented this material honestly as material promulgated and probably adulterated by Egyptian warlords. He anticipated a slovenly reading of his work and contemptuously addressed those who would not heed his warning:
"Such as think the tales told by the Egyptians credible are free to accept them for history. As for myself, I keep to the general plan of this book, which is to record the traditions of the various nations just as I heard them and as they are related to me.
It is inexcusable that in this presumably enlightened era, the proselyting of Egyptian warlords and priests referred to by Herodotus, and the tales flagrantly promulgated by Manetho are persistently echoed....||Egypt and the Semites; Samuel Kurinsky, 1994. retrieved 29 Sept, 07
In light of the way the Egyptian records were often "cleansed", rewritten and retold so that the details of historical accounts were altered to represent Egyptian Hegemony as virtuous and victorious, it is not surprising to find the Egyptian account of the Exodus, written under the auspices of the Pharaoh who persecuted Moses and the Faithists, was misrepresented in this way. And like the femaleness of Hatshepsut, Moses, being a male of Israelitish blood, also received an "Egyptian Cleansing" before he was completely lost from their history. For his efforts to be true to the Creator, the Egyptian record untruthfully discredited Moses as a traitor and a murderer.
Even so, since the Egyptian version of the history of Moses and the Hebrews still existed in 494 b.c.e., Ezra was able to retrieve it. And the Egyptian Historian Manetho, in 280 b.c.e., recognizing the history of the Israelites in the expulsion of the Hyksos, indicates that Moses and the migration were still known to be actual persons and events in Egyptian History then also.
The widespread practice of rewriting events to flatter Egyptian Hegemony can explain how, in the Egyptian record, the details of the migration survey commissioned by Pharaoh in ca 1547 b.c.e. were stripped of any official decree or authority and instead attributed to Moses' spies. The details of Moses' years of travel away from Pharaoh's court to put the plans for migration into effect under the auspices of Pharaoh, also underwent revisions which falsely portrayed Moses as a murderer of an Egyptian and a fugitive in exile, as retold in the Ezra Bible.
According to Oahspe the attempt to portray Moses as a traitor to Egypt came from the oracles of the false Lord of Egypt (Baal alias Amun-Re), whom the Egyptians considered to be dependable sources of magical, supernatural knowledge representing their deities. Those spirits who inspired the oracles, deviously played on fears of invasion by foreign powers in discrediting Moses with accusations of plotting with foreign powers to overthrow Egyptian rule.
Oahspe, Book of the Arc of Bon; 27/15.32, 33; 27/17.12.
|| And the oracles of the Eguptians prophesied that when the Israelites were once out of the country they would unite with the kingdoms to which Moses had been ambassador, and then return and overpower the Eguptians. And in order to stigmatize Moses they said he fled away from Pharaoh's palace because he had seen two men, an Eguptian and an Israelite, fighting, and that Moses slew the Eguptian and buried him in the sand. And the recorders thus entered the report in the Recorder's House.||
|| The king said [to Moses]: You have no authority; you are a frozen serpent that was taken into the house of the king; and being thawed out, you turn to bite your benefactors. You are outlawed by men and accursed by the oracles. It is said of you, you have been to Hored [The Egyptian Underworld], and there wed for the sake of alliance with my high priest, Jethro for conveyance of my lands unto your people....||
Here Oahspe reveals the origin of the Ezra bible story of Moses' supposed time in the wilderness after he was supposed to have fled justice for supposedly killing an Egyptian. From Oahspe, we see that this wilderness interlude originated from the Egyptian oracles' false accusations of wizardry and necromancy by Moses, to marry with underworld deities to gain supernatural favors.
Notwithstanding these historical misrepresentations, evidence can be
gleaned from even these records. Oahspe highlights the discrepancy in the
Egyptian lie when it poses the question: If Moses had been a fugitive in exile,
how was it that he came and went freely from Pharaoh's palace after he supposedly
killed an Egyptian?
There is now archaeological evidence that supports the fact that Moses and the migrating Faithists did not go into Canaan fighting for territory and sending spies ahead to scout for military advantage, but as a peaceful multitude of people seeking safe and peaceful places to encamp.
The report commissioned by Moses' adoptive father, Pharaoh, having shown the prosperous and settled conditions of the land of Canaan, would have also shown the shortest route from Egypt, "the way of the Philistines" as being hostile territory too dangerous to pass through. This meant Moses knew that a less direct route to the north eastern lands had to be taken, which took them toward the south east, where they made the Red Sea Crossing before heading in a more northerly direction. The favorable report indicated that the lands of Canaan were not ravaged by war, since the cities were strong, prosperous and able to receive supplies and trade. This would give confidence to the Israelites that they were not entering warring regions, which was why their ancestors had left those regions during the previous three hundred years. From a militaristic point of view, to find a city or cities strong and reinforced would be reason not to attack, especially by a multitude of unarmed people seeking peaceful refuge.
|| It seems the Hyksos capital at Avaris was besieged but never taken, and so, by some arrangement, they were apparently allowed to leave for Palestine, as Josephus claims......... If the Asiatics had been expelled from Avaris and sent to Palestine in about 1550 BC, then there ought to be clear cultural signs of resettlement. The trouble is that the new imperialism of the eighteenth dynasty would have led to cultural changes in Palestine anyway.....|| Biblical Archaeology: Evidence of the Exodus; D. Magee. 2003. retrieved 28 Sept, 07
The peaceful migration of the Faithists places the whole Ezra account of the so called invasion of Canaan by the Mosaic Israelites, into the realm of myth, evidently created by interweaving into an earlier context, exaggerated and mythologized accounts of later military exploits of apostates who were under the inspiration of the warrior Gods, Baal and Ashtaroth.
|1| Minnesota State University emuseum page at http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/archaeology/sites/middle_east/jericho.html
|2| Peter Clayton, Chronicle of the Pharaohs, Thames & Hudson Ltd, 1994. pp.113-114
All Oahspe references are from the Standard Edition Oahspe of 2007