Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Answer to a Reader on the Times of Abraham

.... A quick question as well. Do you have any comment regarding whether there is an archaeological evidence perhaps by way of reference etc to Abraham being in Egypt?

Abraham has proved to be particularly elusive, perhaps because he was nomadic, which does not lend itself to history/archaeology in the way that, e.g., Joseph would, having been an integral part of an impressive Egyptian civilisation for so many years. Abraham is often thought to have belonged to the nomadic Middle Bronze I (MBI) people. Bad move. These were the Israelites exodusing out of Egypt into Palestine.So Abraham must precede MBI. Dr. John Osgood of Creation Ex Nihilo (now Answers in Genesis) has done perhaps the best digging deep work on Abraham, "Life and Times of Abraham". Osgood would locate him in early Early Bronze. But one of Osgood's key finds is that the 4 Mesopotamian kings who attacked En-geddi at the time of Abraham had to have attacked Chalcolithic En-geddi (Genesis 14), as the only other two major settlements there were Roman and Byzantine - obviously far too late for Abraham. There must then be some overlap between the Stone Ages and the Archaeological Ages. So that is one clincher, Chalcolithic Palestine for Abraham. David Rohl and I, quite independently, arrived at two same conclusions for Abraham. That the four Mesopotamian kings, Amraphel and co., belonged to the Ur III Dynasty. And that Abraham's (rather Abram's) pharaoh was the 10th dynasty's Khety III/IV Nebkaure. Since we both concluded the same on a very difficult matter, I thought it must be right. Well, Khety still may be (10th dynasty for Abram may fit nicely with my placement of Joseph during the 11th dynasty, which I also parallel with the 1st and 3rd dynasties), but I no longer accept Abram alongside Ur III, with Amraphel as Ur III's Amar-Sin (despite Rohl's very good linguistic analysis of this). Ur III I now think was much later than Abram. At the time of David and Solomon. Amraphel has often been identified with the great Hammurabi. There is definitely a name likeness, but the era is way out according to my research. Ironically, I think that the name Hammurabi may equate to Abraham, but was worn by Solomon (as ruler of Babylon), I argue, not Abraham. I am now wondering if Amraphel could prhaps be the great Nimrod himself, whom Rohl has well identified with Enmerkar of the Uruk I dynasty. This is one of the strongest theses, I think, of Rohl's, who is always very good and interesting, but still often misses the precise target. He is particularly adept at pointing out the problems of the conventional history and archaeology, the deconstuction work. But today we need good constructors. As to the person of Abra(ha)m himself, I still have no idea; though we can claim to have found Joseph and Moses, David and Solomon, etc.But we'll get him eventually. Basically, Abraham has to belong to the late Stone Ages/pre- to early dynastic, Early Bronze.

No comments: