Hyksos, Kings of Egypt and the land of Edom

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Where Did They Go

"I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it." Jer.18:7

We have seen from the beginning the startling suddenness with which the Hyksos people burst in upon Egyptian history, coming from the east, out of that general area which embraces the northern portion of the Sinai Peninsula and the south fringe of Palestine, where lay the Land of Edom. Outside of the various theories put forth, and what we have proposed in the preceding chapters, we know absolutely nothing of whence these people came. It has been a baffling problem to scholars for a long time.

It is, however, quite reasonable to suppose that when the Hyksos kings were finally forced to retreat from Egypt they would fall back toward the land from whence they came. Let us consider, then, the path of their retreat.

As we would expect, the Hyksos Kings, after a siege in Avaris, first went from the Delta Region across the Isthmus of Suez. They were going back the way they had come. Ahmose I, the Egyptian king credited with expelling these foreigners, then pursued them eastward into southern Palestine. There the Hyksos power held out against the Egyptian forces for three years at the siege of Sharuhen, a very long siege indeed. (32) Finally Sharuhen fell, and with that event the Hyksos power was not only broken, but vanishes completely from history.

Sharuhen is therefore of key importance in tracing the Hyksos retreat. As mysteriously and as suddenly they come into history, so the Hyksos kings and armies disappear again.

The location of this city, the last known stronghold of the Hyksos kings is believed to be Tell el-Far'ah (33)

It lies well to the southwest in the Land of Canaan, in the territory later assigned to the tribe of Simeon. In the Bible it .is referred to under the following names:

Shilhim (or "armed men") Joshua 15:32.
Sharuhen (or "Pleasant Dwelling"), Joshua 19:6
Shaaraim (or "The Gates") I. Chron. 4:31

As we said before after their defeat at Sharuhen, the Hyksos Kings and armies vanish from sight, the trail is lost. Historians and scholars think they then retreated to their own country - wherever that was! And the scholars have looked northward and have searched and searched in that direction for such a place, but have not found it.

Which Way from Sharuhem?
Obviously, further retreat from Sharuhen could only be either northward, eastward or southward.

Directly eastward may be discounted as it leads towards the wastes of the southern end of the Dead Sea.

If the Hyksos King's retreated northward through Palestine, the inference would be that their homeland lay northward of Palestine. Thus we have had proposals offered us that the Hyksos were Hittites from Asia Minor under another name, or came from some part of Syria. All very vague and unsatisfactory suggestions, but granting that it was so, it then follows that there must have been a southward conquering sweep through Palestine before the Hyksos first reached Egypt. But where has any evidence of such a southward march been found? The Hyksos graves found in 1931 at Old Gaza (Tell el Ajjul) are no indication of a southward conquest thought Canaan; rather they appear as a northerly limit of Hyksos occupation. Our suggestion is that the Hyksos influence spread from south to north. Turn O scholar, standing puzzled and frustrated at Sharuhen because of this dead-end trail. Turn and cast your eyes southward and southeastward, where lies the Land of Seir and the regions of the ancient Kingdom of Edom. The home of the Hyksos Kings we suggest to you, was not northward from Old Gaza or from Sharuhen, but is to be found south easterly in a land where the use of the Arabian horse in warfare was likely first developed.

Why the Edomite Kings avoided overrunning Canaan
You may ask then, if the horse gave the Hyksos/Edom desert kingdom its battle advantage, so that they could take Egypt under control, why did the Edomite Kings to push northward into the rich land of Canaan before conquering Egypt, for the horse would give a much advantage in Canaan as in Egypt?

In reply we suggest two factors which would operate to move Hyksos/Edom to avoid Canaan and leave it relatively untouched at first.

1. If the Edomites were the head of the associated peoples comprising the Hyksos, they would posses the tradition handed down from Esau that the Land of Canaan was Jacob's (Israel's) and was not to be touched by them. The inclusion of Ishmaelites in the Hyksos conglomeration would do nothing to weaken this tradition. Tradition is a powerful force in any peoples, and especially so in the Near East.

So Hyksos/Edom spread its empire northward, not through Canaan but up through the Arabian Desert east from Palestine. Canaan would be to early Edom, taboo, sacredly set apart for a brother-nation, inviolate by a solemn pact between two brothers.

2. Another reason why a Hyksos/Edom power would refrain from pressing into Canaan is that Esau had married Canaanites wives from southern Palestine, and the Canaanites in that region would be in affinity with Edom and on friendly terms. Indeed, it is quite possible that Hittites and Hivites from Canaan would be assisting Edomite Allies.

Breakup of the Empire
When Ahmose I defeated the Hyksos at Sharuhen, he had a wedge deep between the Canaanite allies on the north and the Hyksos/Edomite home-desert on the south. Indeed, his soldiers probably overran the Sinai Peninsula as Ahmose I would not wish to leave his right flank wide open, nor run the risk of having his retreat cut off should he not succeed in defeating the Hyksos at Sharuhen; and indeed in later history we find Edom holding but little territory west of the Arabah Valley. Edom thereafter seems to center on the east side of the valley. In conquering the south fringe of Canaan and the North Sinai Desert, Ahmose I was actually subduing the original home of Edom as that home is depicted in the Bible, and so, according to our theory, crushing the Hyksos in their own, home land. There, in that very area, he brought the foe into final, vital combat; hunted him out, overthrew him, and broke forever the Hyksos Empire. No wonder the Hyksos hung on so long at the siege of Sharuhen; fighting for three desperate years. It was their "last ditch" stand. They either had to defeat Ahmose I right there or go down to extinction. Oh, yes; the Hyksos had some Canaanite allies on the north in the Hittites and the Hivites, but as we said before, Canaan itself does not appear to have been a conquered part of the Hyksos/Edomite Empire, only a friendly ally; otherwise the Hyksos might have retired northward from Sharuhen to one fortified city after another throughout Palestine and worn out Ahmose I and his army. But, no, Sharuhen was final: The Hyksos conglomeration did not win, and so it was extinction: The candle had burned out: Thus we see why the Egyptian had no more wars with the Hyksos thereafter; why the story ends at Sharuhen. It was the end: Hyksos/Edom collapsed.

With this collapse and defeat of the Edomite faction, the very leaders of this Hyksos conglomeration, the whole empire would naturally go to pieces. Using our imagination a little we may infer as follows.

We may suppose that any Hittite and Hivite elements assisting Hyksos/Edom would revert to their Canaanite cities to the north. The Hittite soldiers would go back to Hebron (where the Bible places Hittites, Gen. 49: 29-32) or some such Hittite settlement; the Hivites to a Hivite home such as Gibeon (Josh.9:3-7; 11:19); or they may have fled even further than that with Ahmose's soldiers so close at their heels, to return later when things settled down. With Sharuhen fallen, Canaan seems to have offered little resistance to Ahmose I.

Amalek, originally an Edomite tribe, seems to now break away to become an independent nation. The Amalekites may have been forced away from the rest of Edom by being held under Egyptian rule during the rest of the reign of Ahmose I. and his successors. Anyway, not very long after, at the time of the Exodus, we find the Amalekites to be an independent people. They attacked the Israelites in the wilderness even before the latter reached Mount Sinai (Exod.17:8-l6). Amalek was the first of the nations to wage war with Israel thereby falling under God's order for extermination (Num.24:20).

Moab, which likely collaborated with Edom, appears to be free of Edomite control when next we meet this nation in history, toward the close of the forty years of wandering.

The Midianites, close by the eastern border of Moab, who had been defeated by Hadad I King of Edom and probably remained subservient to Edom from then until the collapse at Sharuhen, probably regained complete independence, only to succumb later to the Amorite King Sihon, for in the latter days of Moses the chiefs of Midian are sheiks of Sihon king of Heshbon (Josh.l3:21). However, upon Sihon the Amorite being destroyed by Moses and the children of Israel, the five Midianite sheiks of Sihon immediately became independent, collaborated with Balak, King of Moab in hiring the Prophet Balaam (Num. 22:4,7), and very soon after, when Moses sent an expedition against them, these same five chiefs have assumed the title of "kings" (Num.31:8). But in all this, after the siege of Sharuhen, the Midianites appear to be no longer under Edom's thumb.

The Ishmaelite segment in the Hyksos/Edom composition, upon the fall of Sharuhen would flee towards their own country, the North Arabian Desert. Most likely this group would fly northward from Sharuhen to escape pursuing Egyptian troops, and would cross the Jordan River and Gilead to reach Arabia.

The knowledge we possess of the siege of Sharuhen is given us in the record of an Egyptian army officer who served in the Hyksos wars. His account indicates there was a chasing of Hyksos remnants up into Canaan and parts of Coelesyria. But there is no account of any further sieges of cities held by Hyksos Kings: that ended at Sharuhen.

In later history the Ishmaelites appear as being free of any Edomite control or leadership (Judg.8:24). The Hyksos/Edomite King, if he survived the siege and any Edomite and Horite soldiers who happened to escape, would turn southward toward the Land of Seir. We may surmise they would cross the Arabah Valley to the east side to get away from the Egyptian armies overrunning Sinai and southern Canaan.

It is thus, we suggest, that the whole Hyksos/Edomite Empire fell to pieces, never to rise again. After the fall of Sharuhen the Hyksos/Edomite Kings had no more strongly fortified cities into which retreat could be made, for such were lacking in the Land of Edom, at that time. Hyksos/Edom having destroyed the Horites had not built large, fortified cities in Edom, being nomads. Archeology has confirmed this nomadic period stretching from about 1700 BC to 1300 BC. So the Hyksos lacked fortified home cities into which to retreat.

Our Theory is further Supported
The scattering of the Hyksos forces from Sharuhen as above depicted, is, we know speculation and surmise. Yet, the picture is not entirely without some justification for we do know that the fall of Sharuhen marked the disappearance of the last organized resistance of the Hyksos that we can find in history. The last vestiges of the Hyksos armies must have been scattered from there somewhat as we have pictured.

The very fact that the Egyptian records follow up the Hyksos Kings only as far as Sharuhen, and at that point the whole Hyksos Empire suddenly fades forever, is very strong evidence the Hyksos far homeland was not far away in some such place as Syria or Asia Minor where the empire could still have carried on in strength for years outside of Egypt. No, that homeland must have been either at Sharuhen or at some very near by place, so that the fall of Sharuhen wrecked their entire empire forever. Thus our argument receives strong support by the sudden disappearance of the Hyksos Kings at Sharuhen. The close by place we suggest was Edom.

We submit that in taking the North Sinai Desert, reaching Sharuhen, and levying tribute upon the Canaanite cites to the north, Ahmose I had done all that was necessary to break up the Hyksos confederation or conglomeration, whichever it was. Thereby he had driven the Hyksos Kings right back into their own homeland, had subdued parts thereof, had left them no fortified cities, and had been able to levy tribute on the Canaanite allies. His objective fully accomplished, he desisted from further effort in that direction, and returned home in triumph there to bring Nubia into his kingdom and to consolidate his position at home.

Some Important Considerations
Although the Hyksos Kings vanished from sight, they have left us an important legacy. Their rule was not in vain.

They introduced the use of horses for war, both cavalry and for chariots. Chariotry afterwards made Egypt the mightiest nation on earth. The Hyksos also introduced the composite bow. One wonders if the Ishmaelite allies of Hyksos/Edom had a hand in that, for their progenitor Ishmael, according to the Scriptures, was noted as being "an archer" (Gen. 21:20). This notation in Scripture indicates that archery was an outstanding ability with him. He or his children may possibly have originated the composite bow, or have taken it up from some earlier people and introduced it into Egypt. But it is likely that the Hyksos have made one still greater contribution to world progress, before which war horses and composite bows seem relatively unimportant. This is the alphabet.

The founder of the Horite colony which occupied part of the Sinai Peninsula, the Arabah and neighboring regions, was "Seir the Horite" (Gen. 36:20). From him the area received the name of "the land of Seir," and this branch of the Hurrians are correctly called, "Seirites." The term "Seirites" is in later history used of the Edomites who had inter-mingled with and intermarried with these Horites, and finally supplanted them.

Now the Egyptians had valuable turquoise mines at Serabit in the Sinai Peninsula. The people round about, evidently the Horites or Seirites, labored in these mines for the Egyptians. The Egyptians had long had their hieroglyphic writing where each sign or picture, as a rule, stood for a whole Egyptian word. This was not suitable for the language of the Seirite workmen and their overseers. Evidently someone hit upon the idea of using some of the Egyptian signs to represent sounds in the Seirite language, and, lo, the first alphabet was born!

In 1906 the great archaeologist Sir Flinders Petrie found alphabetic inscriptions at these mines which must have been written at least as early as 1500 B.C., and the study of these inscriptions has given rise to the belief the alphabet arose as described above. "Compton's Pictured Encyclopedia," 1958 ed., Vol. I, page 186; (published by F. E. Compton & Co., Chicago,) summarizes the story thus: "Origin of our alphabet. Just how this invention was made, we do not know in detail. Some scholars believe it came when a Semitic people called the Seirites were working in some turquoise mines in the Sinai Peninsula, and the Egyptian masters of the mines taught them how to write. The Egyptians did not teach their full, elaborate method of writing with pictures, they taught a simpler method which they used for writing names. In this method, each picture stood for the first sound in the name of the object shown in the picture."

The Seirites, using this method could put signs together to spell out the sequence of sounds in any word in their own language.

This would soon be found to be a simple and easy method of writing. The new method of using a sign for a sound instead of a sign for a word would be in use for some considerable time, we surmise, before it would begin to spread into more general use amongst the upper, learned classes. Thus the origin of the idea must go back a long time before the writing of the Serabit inscriptions of 1500 B.C. The invention thus seems to belong to the Horite period.

Later, the Edomites, mingling with these Seirites (Horites) around 1800 BC, would learn these alphabetical signs. Under the Hyksos/Edomite Empire the new idea would naturally pass on to their Canaanite allies. The Canaanites may have improved the alphabet. Then the Canaanites of Tyre and Sidon (the Phoenicians), sailing over the Mediterranean Sea spread the alphabet far and wide. Through the Greeks and the Romans it has passed down to us.

Thus the Horites and the Edomites (the Hyksos), may have helped tremendously in giving us the alphabet. Without it, that Divine Revelation, the Bible, could scarcely have come to us; certainly the general public would never have been readers. Thanks to those Sinai mine workers, I, today can type these words from which your eye so quickly and easily gathers up my message. Did the Spirit of God move upon Moses to include in his writings these references to the Horites because of the important role they played in making Holy Writ possible?

End of Chapter Eight

Further Considerations

"He (God) enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again." Job 12:23.

Having now surveyed an array of evidences for the identification of the Hyksos Kings with the Biblical Edomites, it is hoped we may confidently speak of them as one people, the Hyksos/Edomites. At every point the references to each so coincide and tally that we feel justified in so doing.

"But, someone may object, "Not one of the points cited in the foregoing chapters in itself constitutes absolute proof."

That may be true, friend, we reply, but we do feel that it is the large accumulation of very striking similarities which is so greatly impressive.

Still, without giving absolute proof, some may yet insist; so that the argument for the theory in unconvincing. We believe that this may be very difficult. Nomadic people leave little behind them in the way of buildings, monuments, and written records. If the entire Edomite Kingdom was based on nomadic tribes raiding the Arabian Peninsula, then there may be little physical evidence of their existence.

However there are some interesting comments made by the Israelites of the time. Consider the words of Moses' triumphant song when Israel came through the Red Sea, and the Egyptians were drowned.

The people shall hear, and be afraid;
Sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina.
Then the sheiks of Edom shall be amazed;
The mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them
All the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away. (34)
Exodus 15: 14-15.

If one remembers that not too long before the Exodus of Israel from Egypt, the sheiks of Edom were chased out of Egypt by Ahmose I, one can see why they would be simply amazed beyond measure to learn that the slave nation Israel had actually been able to march out of Egypt as victors. The sheiks, comparing the report with their own humbling expulsion from Egypt, would be filled with wonder and astonishment.

They, rulers of Countries, dominating Egypt and reigning as Pharaohs in it, were expelled: Israel, crushed into helpless slavery makes a triumphant Exodus. What a contrast! The sheiks of Edom were amazed.

"The horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea" The very thing which once had given the Hyksos/Edomites such advantage in battle, and which the Egyptians had now taken up and copied, assisting in building up the great Eighteenth Dynasty Empire, was utterly defeated. Yes, those sheiks of Edom had cause for amazement indeed!

Now we can see the true, deeper meaning in the words of Moses' song. The words take on real life. How exactly appropriate they were. Thus the identification of Hyksos/Edom assists the student of Scripture to better understand what he reads, and gives reality to the passage.

Did They Reign in Egypt?
Another point of deep interest, which seems to have received very scant attention, is, "Why did the Hyksos Kings, after conquering Egypt, move their capital into Egypt?" The Assyrians later also conquered Egypt, but the Assyrian capital remained at Nineveh. Is it not quite unusual for conquerors, having already a settled home-capital, to move their seat of government into a subjugated country? If the Hyksos kings came from Syria or Asia Minor or Canaan, then why did their capital not remain in be Syria or Asia Minor or Canaan, as the case might be? There must some good reason behind the move.

If our theory is right, one needs but to compare Edom and Egypt to see one very good reason. (35) Egypt was so much more attractive to live in than the deserts of Edom, that such a move is seen to be the obvious, most natural and logical thing to do (Gen.l3:l0).

We have already noted from the Biblical record that King Saul of Edom did not hesitate to set up his first capital at Rehoboth by the Euphrates, a long, long way off from Edom itself. This trait gives away the similarity if not the identity of Edomite and Hyksos.

The only reason we can suggest for making this move, is having a place where he could graze the thousands of horses and camels that he must have had at his disposal. If the horse had given the Edomites the edge in battle, then the various sub-tribes and surround tribes of Edom must have joined in on the raids. Thus it became physically impossible for these raiders to camp in any large numbers except in well watered plains where there was plenty of forage for their horses.

This argument would also apply equally as well to the Hyksos/Edomites setting up their capital at Tell el-Dab'a in the heart of the Nile delta.

What the Hyksos Kings Took with Them
When the Hyksos kings were expelled from Egypt, they could not but take with them the memory of life in Egypt. That memory would bear some fruit in later life. These Hyksos kings had appreciated Egyptian art in stone, the magnificent temples, and palaces in which they had worshipped and lived. They, too, had built beautiful temples in Egypt. The Horite element in the Hyksos/Edomite make up, if there is any truth at all in the thought that they used caves in Seir, must have worked formerly in stone, and would admire Egyptian stone-art. In any case, the Hyksos/Edomites must have learned vastly from the Egyptians. When they retreated into the Arabian Desert whence they came, they took with them a greatly enhanced knowledge in stone art with an enlarged appreciation of what could be done. Here was a situation in which originality could fructify.

As we said before, the Edomites in their retreat seem to have fallen back right to the east side of the Arabah Valley. All the extensions of the empire fell away, only the Edomite core was left. This would bring the Hyksos/Edomite leaders remaining, right to Bozrah which had been the capital under King Jobab. Yet it is unlikely that Bozrah was fortified at this time. The Edomites had originally occupied thee country as nomads, and, as M. E. Kirk puts it, the majority seem simply to have pitched their amid the ruins of the conquered cities. ("Outline of Ancient Cultural History of Trnsjordan" Palestine Exploration Quarterly, July-October 1944, p 180)

The Israelites later did the same when they overran Canaan. It was not until well over three hundred years had passed that the Israelites began to really build cities. (Those who argue for a late invasion of Canaan by Israel, around 1200 B.C., have perhaps overlooked the fact that too little time is left for nomadic Israel, fresh out of the wilderness wanderings to switch over to a city-dwelling state.)

City dwelling seems to have begun even before the time of Samuel. The Hyksos/Edomites had occupied cities outside of their home-land, but appear to have utterly neglected the building cities in Edom. At least, archeologists have not yet found trace of any in Edom at this period. Thus, thrown back to the region of Bozrah, the Hyksos/Edomites would have little or no defense against Egyptian pursuit.

The City Petra and Beidha
Not very far south from Bozrah is Petra and el-Beidha "Little Petra." Both of these centers are located in a quite inaccessible valley in the heart of very rugged the country. Such locations would have offered the defeated Hyksos/Edom a natural defense and a safe retreat. Even if this site had been occupied in a small way previously, it still could at this time have offered a haven for the crushed Hyksos/Edomite remnant, a place where to lick the wounds while recovering from the terrific shock of defeat.

Tossed back out of Egypt into nomadism, perhaps the Hyksos line of kings collapsed altogether and a new line took over. Perhaps the line continued in a weakened state. We do not know. However some of the people had tasted life in Egypt. It would take a while to become adjusted. Not so very long after the Hyksos Expulsion which was about 1580 B.C., a great change began to come over the Land of Edom. The people commenced agricultural activities. They started to settle down. City life appeared. By about 1300 B.C. a line of fortified sites marked much of the boundary or Edom.

Was it not the return of the Hyksos peoples from Egypt which gave the impetus to accomplish this in less than 300 years?

Somewhere about this time Petra, the famous and beautiful rose-red Rock City, was most likely settled. Most scholars speak of the monuments in Petra as being of Nabataean skill (around 300 to 200 B.C.), which is no doubt true for the most part. But excavations are starting to demonstrate that the valley was occupied at earlier times as well.

The Hyksos/Edomite peoples having brought back with them some of the marvelous stone-art techniques learned in Egypt, in process of time, began to carve out rock dwellings and temples in the living rock or the faces of the mountains enclosing the site of Petra. Although the city has passed through a brilliant Nabataean stage since, let us, when looking upon these huge, rock temples, think back upon the Hyksos kings. Expelled out of Egypt, yet handing down stories or the greatness which had once been theirs and longing for greatness still; then setting about in that dry land to carve out great and beautiful temples of their own and they evidently achieved success.

Oddly, one of these immense rock temples, facing the narrow entrance passage, today bears the Arabic name "Khaznet Fir'aun" or "Treasury of Pharaoh." Another is called "Kasr Fir'aun" or "Pharaoh's Palace." It is a puzzle as to why the title "Pharaoh" so emphatically Egyptian, should crop up, seemingly without reason, at Petra. It is as if the names are trying to whisper something to us of a connection with the land of the Nile; as if saying softly, "Our ancestry harks back into a dim past when the early kings of our line were once real Pharaohs."

Edom, "A Famous Nation"
As we stated before, the moment we link Hyksos and Edom many puzzling bits of history begin to fit together. We gain an altogether new appreciation and respect for the little-known Edomites. Now we can understand why Biblical writers viewed Edom as of such importance.

They give it a prominence of position that heretofore has seemed all out of proportion. To those writers the Edomites bore with them the memory of a once great, dominating empire.

One example of the enlightenment and help our theory provides is found in connection with the passage in Ezekiel 32:17-32. Here the Prophet Ezekiel sings a sorrowful, picturesque dirge over the fall of great and powerful Egypt before the arms of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He cries that the multitude of Egypt will go down in death into the abyss; she (that is, Egypt) with the daughters of "the famous nations, unto the nether parts of the earth" (vs. 18). There, the strong among the mighty shall speak to fallen Pharaoh out of the midst of hell (vs 21)

Now, let us ask, who are these "famous nations" and the "strong among the mighty?" The Prophet Ezekiel proceeds to list the famous nations as known in his day. Most naturally the first is "Asshur" or Assyria, in verse 22, "which caused terror in the land of the living." Next is "Elam" in verse 24, which also caused its terror in the land of the living. Then "Meshech" (and) "Tubal", which are the Mashki and Tabal known to us from Assyrian inscriptions, and likewise "caused their terror in the land of the living." Then follows, to the surprise of thoughtful students, in verse 29, "Edom, her kings, and all her princes." The parade ends with "the princes of the north" (the Scythians were pushing in from the north at that time), and the "Zidonians" in verse 30. But we ask, how marches little Edom in this parade of what are described as the famous nations? Why did Ezekiel include Edom in this array of "the strong among the mighty"? Regardless of how much of this chapter is figurative, and how much literal, we are forced to admit that even down to the prophet's day Edom was viewed as a "famous nation" with something in its past to elevate it to the position of one of "the strong among the mighty."

Little toddlers do not march in a parade restricted, let us say, to accomplished scientists such as Isaac Newton, Michael Farady, Lord Kelvin, Jeans and Einstein! If Edom was the little kinglet we have heretofore thought it, it would have been barred out from being mentioned with Assyria, Elam, Mashki, and Tabal in such a listing? But the inclusion of Edom is positive proof it was considered an unusually powerful country.

We submit that, unless our theory is acknowledged, there is absolutely nothing in Edom's past to warrant it being called a famous nation. The theory we have set forth, is, so far as we are aware, the only explanation which satisfies Ezekiel's listing of "famous" "strong" and "mighty" nations recognized in his day. Evidently the memory of the enormous and powerful Hyksos/Edomite Empire had not yet faded away.

Scholars May Judge
We have gone over a wide range of evidences. We have brought forth out of our treasury for you things new and old. We are content to rest our case in the hands of our judges. We leave it to you all, and in particular to the world of scholarship, to decide and determine whether we have added anything to the solution of the problem as to "whence came the Hyksos Kings of Egypt?"

Even should our theory somehow prove to be mistaken and wrong, we trust we may stir up and trigger off further research and study of this interesting question. Archaeologists will certainly yet find more information in Egypt regarding the mysterious Hyksos. We hope they will soon investigate Edom more thoroughly, and excavate the many sites in that land. We need more light on the intriguing Hurrians, and especially on those Hurrians which inhabited Seir before the Edomite nomads displaced and absorbed them. Indeed, all of Nabataea needs further archaeological study.

We trust that the "average reader" for whom we have sought to write "things easy to be understood," will have gained from these pages not only an added interest in archaeology and the history of ancient Egypt, Edom, and the Hurrians, but a much greater interest in and a deeper respect for the Bible, in which it seems to us has been preserved the solution to our question, "Whence Came the Hyksos Kings of Egypt?"

End of Chapter Nine

Appendix One
Notes and References

1. Date of the Hyksos Invasion
Prof J. H. Breasted in "A History of the Ancient Egyptians" 1919, published by Charles Scriber's Sons, New York, Section 170, gives the invasion as in 1657 BC but remarks it could be earlier. Encyclopedia Americana, Canadian Edition 1963, Article Egypt under Chronology, dates the Hyksos Dynasties XV and XVI as 1730 - 1580, after William Stevenson Smith.

2. Hyksos Leaders
Breasted in "A History of the Ancient Egyptians" section 175 argues for the city of Kadesh in Syria as the center of the Hyksos power. George A. Barton, PH D. in Archeology and the Bible, Published by ASSU, Philadelphia PA, USA, IVth Edition, 1952, pp 28-29 notes the drift of opinion toward the Hittites as either the Hyksos or the leading faction in the Hyksos hordes.

Encyclopedia Americana, Canadian Edition, Article Egypt, says "The Hyksos.... in addition to unidentifiable people, included a fair proportion of those speaking Hurrian and Semetic." The mention of "Hurrian" (Horite) is important. See also Prof. J. H. Breasted in "The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus, Oriental Institute Publications, Voll III, Chicago, 1930

3. Stories of Patriarchs as Myths, Legends, Etc.
Encyclopedia Americana, Canadian Edition, under Articles Abraham, Bible etc.

4. Hyksos Monuments Destroyed
Breasted, A History of the Ancient Egyptians, Sections 173, 179

5. Meaning of the name "Hyksos"
Breasted, A History of the Ancient Egyptians, Section 172 gives "Rulers of Countries." Barton, "Archeology and the Bible" p 35 states the equivalent of the term Ruler of Countries was previously long in use in Babylonian and other Mesopotamian cities, and it would be perfectly natural for Semitic Hyksos to use it.

Encyclopedia Americana, Canadian Edition, in article "Egypt" under Hyksos Period equates the name Hyksos with the Egyptian "Hikau Khasut" or "rulers of foreign lands." Nevertheless, the idea of "shepherd" is strangely persistent. They Hyksos are constantly referred to by the most up to date writers as "nomads" and "Bedouin" etc.

Breasted, after arguing for Kadesh in Syria as the Hyksos home, speaks in Section 175 of the possibility of the Hebrew tribes in Egypt as "a part of the Bedouin allies of the Kadesh or Hyksos Empire, whose presence there brought into the tradition the partially correct impression that the Hyksos were shepherds. Were the men of Kadesh Bedouins? Our theory allows that the Hyksos were actually a shepherd people in the main at the time of the invasion of Egypt, a point the Egyptians, who despised shepherds should feel keenly and would never forget.

6. Race and Language of the Hyksos
Barton "Archeology and the Bible" pp 28-29 states most scholars have thought the Hyksos were Semites, but now some think they were Hittites or led by Hittites. On p. 35 it is suggested that they could have been Amorites. See in addition Note 2 above where the Hurrian (Horite) language is also mentioned.

7. Location of City Of Avaris
Philip Schaff's "Bible Dictionary' Eleventh Edition, (first published somewhere about 1885), Article, "Zoan," identifies Zoan with Tanis and Avaris. This city has now been tentatively identified as Tell el-Dab'a in the Nile Delta.

Breasted, "A History of the Ancient Egyptians," in Section 171, states the exact site of Avaris is still "undetermined."

Encyclopedia Americana, Can. Ed. (1953), Article, "Tanis," says, "Tanis (Hebrew, Zoan) ancient Egyptian city, south of the Delta, before the founding of Alexandria the chief commercial city of Egypt, capital of the Hyksos kings about 2100 BC." We fear the worthy encyclopedia got its directions mixed, and its date is outdated! But it agrees that the Hyksos capital is identified with Tanis.

8. Hyksos Used Horses Extensively
Breasted, "A History of the Ancient Egyptians" in Section 20, speaks of the "importation of the horse by the Hyksos."

Encyclopedia Americana, Can. Ed., Article, "History, Ancient," says, The Hyksos "contribution was the introduction of the horse and the war chariot." Again, in Article "Egypt," under Hyksos Period, it states, Barbarians though they were, the Hyksos were aided in their conquest not only by internal weaknesses of the Egyptian state, but also by their technologically superior war material, the horse and chariots, body amour, and the composite bow."

Ishmael was "an archer" par expellant (Gen 21:20). The composite bow may have been introduced by the Ishmaelites.

9. Hyksos Religion
Breasted, "A History of the Ancient Egyptians," Section l78,states, "Their patron god Sutekh is of course the Egyptianized form of some Syrian Baal."

10. Haran
The light to be brought out by the present archaeological research work at the important city of Haran will be watched by all with great interest. This city in Genesis is constantly linked very closely with the Patriarchs, and we may learn much concerning the importance of Abraham's people.

The Book of Genesis pictures the worship of Jehovah as being practiced in Haran. Laban says to Jacob, "The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor" (Abraham's brother) "the God of their father Terah judge betwixt us" (Gen.3l:53). Nevertheless, Terah and his father Nahor also indulged in idolatry (Josh.24:3), which is probably the reason Abraham had to entirely separate from his father's with him family. Terah very likely carried with him the religion of the Moon-god Sin from Ur. For all we know he may have been the one who implanted it in Haran. We do know from early records that at Ur and at Haran wee to great centers of this religion of Sin, the Mood-god. See also the article Haran in Unger's Bible Dictionary, by Merrill F. Unger, published by Moody Press, Chicago, Second edition, 1959

11. Importance of Abraham
Encyclopedia Americana, Canadian Edition, Article "Abraham" has to admit that the higher critical school acknowledge the reality of the man Abraham and that he must have been rather important, even while the historicity of the entire Biblical account of him is impugned and discredited. "The critical view is that thee was a real Abram or Abraham (the traditions existing in both forms) with his home at Hebron, probably a considerable man form the number and the persistence of the legends about him, but that is all we know. The name of his brother and ancestry are not persons, but Arab clans.

12 Horites (Hurri)
Barton "Archeology and the Bible" Vth Edition (not IVth) gives quite some information regarding the Hurri.

We cannot but notice there was a lot of travel between Canaan and upper Mesopotamia in the Age of Abraham. In the Bible Abraham himself so journeys, Eliezer goes for Rebekah, Jacob goes himself, unknown others brought family news to Abraham about his brother's family in Haran (Gen 22:20-24) The Hittite Kingdom was in Asia Minor, but a group of Hittites live at Hebron (Gen 23:2,3,10,16-20) where not many years before the Amorites held the district. (Gen 14:13, 24) The Hittites had evidently moved in, in the interval. The Hurri or Horite Kingdom was not far from the city of Haran, yet Horites had moved into Seir, etc, just south of Canaan (Gen 14:6). It could be that Emmims, Zuzimz, and Rephaim were branches of the same people, as they seem to be significantly linked together again in Deuteronomy 2:1-23. All this indicates travel between Canaan and Upper Mesopotamia.

The Horites being such near neighbors of Abraham's relatives in Haran, might explain how Esau's family became such intimates with the Horites south of Canaan.

13. The Egyptians had no "L"

Barton, "Archaeology and the Bible," (IVth Ed.), p. 335, footnote.

14. The King held as a god
Sir C. Leonard Woolley, "Ur of the Chaldees" 1930, published by Charles Scribner's sons, New York, p. 65, speaks of the early kings of Ur being honored as gods, long before Abraham's time.

Lieut-Comm. Victor L. Trumper, R.N.R., M.R.A.S., in "The Mirror of Egypt in the Old Testament," (about 1928), Published by Marshall Morgan & Scott Limited, London England p. 122, says, "The Pharaoh was considered by his subjects and himself as a god, and endeavored to act and speak as such." Also consult any good encyclopedia on the subject.

15. Land of Uz
Schaff, "Bible Dictionary," Article "Uz," states, "It was the "General portion of the Arabian Desert east of Edom and south of Trachonitis, extending indefinitely toward the Euphrates." Unger's Bible Dictionary, Article Uz (4) adds further details.
16. Traditional Date of Job
Schaff, "Bible Dictionary," Article, "Job." "Hales places him before the birth of Abraham, Usher about 30 years before the Exodus." Unger's Bible Dictionary, Article "Job-Time and Composition" notes tremendous disagreement among Bible scholars about the date of Job.

17. Job at Orfah. Tradition.
Schaff, "Bible Dictionary," Article, Uz. "Near the Haran-gate in that city (Orfah) is 'Job's well,' which is a sacred shrine to the people because the patriarch drank of its waters."

18. Rehoboth at Rahabah by Euphrates

Schaff, "Bible Dictionary" article "Rehoboth"
Since the discovery and excavation of Mari, a very important city only about 30 miles south-east Rahabah, it has become common among scholars to ignore Rahabah altogether. However, I cannot find any reference to a close investigation of Rahabah and its immediate vicinity to determine whether there was a "city" there in the second millennium B. C.

Several factors remain to suggest that the Rehoboth of Genesis 36:37 lay somewhere near this region. 1. It was "by the river," a term otherwise understood to mean by the Euphrates. 2. As to the suggestion by some that this Rehoboth is er-Ruheibah in the Negev, south westerly from Beer-sheba, we wish to point out that we seem to have no evidence whatever that there was a "city" at that place in early times (Early or Middle Bronze Age); and, moreover, that place is not ever said to be "by the river." 3. A very important factor is that I am informed the Mari tablets actually mention a place called "Rehoboth." It is a far cry from Mari to the north western Negev. It therefore seems most doubtful that the Mari tablets refer to er-Ruhe1bah, so tiny a spot and so far away. It is far more likely to refer to a place relatively near to Mari where the tablets were unearthed. 4. It is fairly certain that Mari was only a little south of the Hurrian boundary. This indicates that Rahabah near the Euphrates, lying north westerly from Mari, was probably within Hurrian territory. If the Edomites were destroying or had destroyed the Hurrians, then Rahabah could have fallen into Edomite hands. This may be giving too wide a meaning to the Biblical statement that the Edomites destroyed and supplanted the Horites (Hurrians), but the idea should not be too readily discounted as sometimes the Biblical statements have been found to have a wider scope than at first supposed.

19. Hyksos at war with Assyrians
The story of the Hyksos preserved in "Josephus Against Apion" tells us Salatis their king feared the Assyrians, upon which Breasted comments, ("A History of the Ancient Egyptians" Section 172) "If we eliminate the absurd reference to the Assyrians," the story may be reasonable, etc. But we wish to point out that if the Edomites were the Hyksos, and the Edomite capital city had to be established at Rahabah, prior to the conquest of Egypt, then a reference to war with Assyria might indeed be quite historical.

20 Tema, Teima, or Teyma
Robert William Rogers, "Cuneiform Parallels to the Old Testament" 2nd Edition, about 1926, published by Oxford University Press, London, Page 374, Nabonidus King of Babylon, father of Belshazzar king of Babylon (referred to in the Book of Daniel) resided at Tema, in the Arabian Desert. See also Tema on Nabataea.net

21. Havalah, Ha'il, Hayil, in Central Arabia
"Barton, Archeology and the Bible" p 541 treats "Havalah" as meaning Arabia in general; but George Adam Smith in a much older work, "Historical Atlas of the Holy Land," identifies it with Ha'il or Hayil in Central Arabia.

22. Ruled Other Countries Before Entering Egypt
Barton, "Archaeology and the Bible," P. 35, mentions the Hyksos ruled other countries previously. Breasted, "A History of the Ancient Egyptians, Section 19, also states the Hyksos evidently ruled over a number of countries before invading Egypt.

23. Pau, Pai, Phauara, Edomite city
Schaff, Bible Dictionary, Article "Pau"
Unger's Bible Dictionary, article "Pau" admits its position is unknown

24. City of Pe, in Nile Delta
Breasted, "A History of the Ancient Egyptians" Section 34

25. Names of Hyksos Kings
"Encyclopedia Americana" Can. Ed., Article, "Egypt," under "Chronology" names the following Hyksos Kings:

Khian (Se-weser-en-ra); whom we have listed
Apepi (Aa-weser-ra); whom we call Apophis I
Apepi (Neb-khopesh-ra)
Apepi (Aa-kenen-ra)

Barton, "Archaeology and the Bible," p.35, says one seems to have been named 'Jacob-el' or 'Jacob-her.' Was he named after Jacob, Esau's father? If our theory is correct, Jacob was a family name amongst the ancestors to these kings

26. Manda People
Barton, "Archaeology and the Bible," (Vth edition).

27. Hyksos god Sutekh
Breasted, "A History of the Ancient Egyptians," Section 173, reports a King Apophis made an altar to Sutekh, "lord of Avaris, when he (Sutekh) set all lands under his (the king's) feet."

28. Khabiri People in Amarna Letters
Breasted, "A History of the Ancient Egyptians," Section 278, declares, "the advance of the Khabiri, among whom we must recognize bands of Hebrews and Aramaeans." Barton, "Archaeology and the Bible," gives some helpful translations.

29. A "New" King
Trumper in "The Mirror of Egypt in the Old Testament," page 68, draws attention to the Greek word, for "another" (insert Greek picture here) used of this king in Acts 7:18, which means "another of a different kind, as opposed to the Greek word (Insert second Greek word here) which is "another of a similar kind."

30. Expulsion of Hyksos Kings
Breasted in "A History of the Ancient Egyptians" Section 173 informs us the expulsion required quite some time. A siege of Avaris was necessary; then the Hyksos were besieged three years in Sharuhen.

Older translations give the siege as "six" years, but Breasted corrected his earlier translation, to three years.

31. Length of Hyksos Rule in Egypt
Breasted, "A History of the Ancient Egyptians," Section 177, gives 100 years as ample time.
Encyclopedia Americana, Canadian Edition, Article "History, Ancient," dates Hyksos rule in Egypt as 1680-1580 B.C. (See also Note 1.)

32. Siege of Sharuhen
Some authorities, following Breasted's older translation still give "six"" years for the siege; but see Note 30 above.

33. Location of Sharuhen
"Unger's Bible Dictionary" Article "Sharuhen" states "This site reveals impressive evidence of Hyksos fortifications"
Schaff, Bible Dictionary under articles "Sansannah, Hazar-susah, and Hazar-susim" treats another city seemingly near to Sharuhen. The latter two names mean, "Horse court" or "depot of horses." Being in the same group of places as Shilhim or Sharuhen (Josh.15:31-32; 19:5-6; I.Chron.4:31- "Shaaraim" is Sharuhen) It is possible we here have a Hyksos horse depot. If so, excavation of Hazar-susim might turn up more light on the Hyksos peoples.

34. Song of Moses
One cannot but wonder if the grouping of names in Exod.15:l4-l5 is not a reference to the Hyksos peoples which would still be well known to the Israelites. The name Edom would include the "Hurrians" or Horites amalgamated with them; "Palestina" would take in the Philistines at Gaza (near which Petrie found Hyksos graves) and the Avim; "Moab" comes in as an ally of Hyksos-Edom; and "Canaan" would take in the Hittite and Hivite helpers from that land, which we have referred to. Only the Ishmaelites appear to be missing. This grouping of names must be significant of some connection uniting these people in thought or purpose, and, aside from the explanation offered in this book, the author knows of no reason why these names should be thus grouped in the Song of Moses.

35. Sinai and Edom Deserts
Palestine Exploration Fund Annual III, (1915) London, England, describes this desert region on pages 15 and those following. The desert appears to be most "inhospitable" as there stated. However, this general survey of the area seemed to indicate there had been some activity in that region near the middle of the second millennium BC or a little earlier, judging from the pottery sherds, etc.

Barton in "Archaeology and the Bible" pages 35-36, mentions that Sir Flinders Petrie found two remarkable camp sites in Egypt, one about 20 miles north of Cairo, the other at On (Heliopolis), which he believed were original Hyksos camps before they began to assume Egyptian ways and civilization. The relatively crude, black pottery of these people is just what one would expect of a nomadic people just come from the inhospitable deserts of Sinai and Edom, and of Horites coming from the same regions.

End of Appendix One

Appendix Two
Earliest Horses in Egypt

After the text of this book was completed, in which we postulated the presence of some horses in Egypt before the Hyksos Invasion brought them in abundance; reports of the excavation of Fort Buhen in the Sudan have come to hand. Here there was a large Egyptian fortress from the times of the XIIth and of the XVIIIth Dynasties, that is, before and after the Hyksos period.

Professor Walter B. Emery, Edwards Professor of Egyptology in the University of London, carrying out the excavations for the Egypt Exploration Society, discovered the burial of a horse definitely pre-Hyksos. He states that "on sound archaeological evidence" it antedated the Hyksos by 200 years. (See "Illustrated London News, September 12, 1959, page 250)

This single find muzzles forever the argument based solely on the silence of the monuments that there "were no horses in Egypt prior to the Hyksos Invasion." It confirms our theory that some horses had been brought into the country earlier than the times of the Hyksos.

Appendix Three
Hyksos Influence in Canaanite Cities

It is definite that after the Hyksos Invasion and conquest of Egypt, the power of the Hyksos Pharaohs was strongly felt in Canaan.

Scarabs of King Apophis (Pepa or Shesha) were found at Lachish (Illustrated London News, Nov 27, 1937 page 944) Palestine Clues, by J. L. Starkey, and there are marked Hyksos levels noted in excavation such cities as Megiddo and Jericho. The indication is that much of Canaan came under Hyksos control in one way or another.


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