If you're wondering how the Jesus of Faith could ever have come
from the Jesus of History read the following. It ends my chapter
on "Exodus" from my book, _Behind The Bible_. The impulse arose
from this article:
Zohar, Mattanyah. `The Real Basis for the Exodus.' _Biblical
Archaeology Review._ 1988, _XIV(2)_, pp. 13 & 58.
Herewith my work:
Perhaps the Southern route is still uncertain?. The only place
where they could wait on Moses up the mountain was at the Temple of
Het Heru (Hat Hor), the Golden Cow. The mines at Serabit el Khadim on
the west coast of the Sinai Peninsula were nearby. Three possible
mountain sites for the handing down of the laws are nearly in sight.
Israelites in a dry and dusty land would find the worship of the
Golden Cow irresistible. Every ten days the Egyptians had a lavish
beer party at the Temple. Lapsing would explain the Golden Calf
episode. The presence of paleo-Aramaic texts in the vicinity adds to
Another temple to Het Heru (Hat Hor) existed on the far side of
Sinai in Temna at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Its location does
not fit the chronologies or peregrinations of the Exodus. Considera-
tion of Temna as a site for the Golden Calf creates more problems than
it solves. However, it might put a date on the end of the wanderings.
Temna flourished under the Ramessid kings. Under how many of the
Ramessid kings, we don't know. If we knew, it might give a firm date.
Yet the Golden Calf episode supposedly happened at the beginning
not the end of the journey. If the Israelites visited Temna's temple
to the Golden Cow, it was at the end not the start of the journey!
The Hebrew record serves no notice that they did. It makes a minor
Perhaps Prince Ra Meses on his first leave took with him texts and
stelae of the Amarna Period. His father may have secured them in his
possible episode reburying Queen Tiye. Researchers have found her
monuments at the Temple of Het Heru (Hat Hor) in Sinai. Perhaps some
Amarna artifacts were present too. Through the fog of history a hint
of Akhu En Aten's Teachings may have made the tribal Shasu god the
We can find why hard history became Exodus in two obscure events in
Northeastern America. They are the Aroostook War and the Expulsion of
Aroostook County in Northern Maine has been celebrating the 150th
anniversary of its founding. This event connects with the War.
Canadian understanding of the action thought it a tavern brawl. They
considered the Sheriff of York County, New Brunswick, settled it.
Canadian schools taught this.
Actually, Congress appropriated for the fight 10 Million of 1840
dollars. Gold was $.90 per ounce, yet they raised tens of thousands
of men for a militia. British North America mobilized to expel once
more the hated Yankees. Even the Duke of Wellington became involved.
Canadians had developed one version of the conflict. Americans had
another. Each version served local and national aims. Perhaps such
trends to myth follow precise and certain laws.
Consider how unhistoric is Longfellow's Evangeline. Yet Acadians
in New Brunswick take the poem as historical fact. A direct descen-
dant of the John Winslow who commanded the British fleet expelling the
Acadians from Nova Scotia lives in New Brunswick. His view saw the
matter as one of military need. Winslow was from Massachusetts. That
18th Century bastion of British power felt upset by suspect loyalty of
its French speaking subjects in Nova Scotia. The Acadians considered
where they lived still belonged to France or soon would.
Two views exist of the Acadian Exodus. Both command real political
Another equally divisive pair of myths exists in the Province of
Qu�bec about The Conquest. The French call `The Conquest' what the
English call the `Winning' of Qu�bec. They might also call it the
Trading of Qu�bec for Haiti. Downtrodden people turn up or attract
effective bards to express their sorrow. Soon myth becomes reality.
We have a similar example in the histories following the Battle of
Kosovo between Moslems and Christians in a Yugoslavia of the Middle
Ages. We can actually follow the development of that event into myth.
We possess the hard details of historical record and the parallel
Some argue a similar process occurred with Homer's Greek epic
Most compelling is the example of the life of Ra Meses, son of Kha
Em Uset and grandson of Ra Meses II. We know he existed. We know
that a near thousand years later the story of his life became a tale
of wonder. In this example, we do not have the intervening develop-
ments. We only have the divergent resulting myths and a sketch of the
original events. Our discussion leads us to a strange conclusion.
Both the Pharaoh of the Exodus and the Leader of the Exodus were of
Canaanite stock. So was `Great North Wind On the Ladder' centuries
Whatever the process was, Exodus resulted.
XVIIIth Dynasty Kings would express surprise their successors in
the XIXth Dynasty descended from a Semite called Seti. They might
sniff somewhat at the upstarts. This attitude could explain the
Osireon at Abydos by Seti I. The King was trying to be more Egyptian
Finally, we have the expulsion by Set Nekht. We can trace the
roots of the Royal Family back to the man with the Canaanite name of
Seti. This man was a contemporary of Tut Ankh Amen. At nearly the
same time, Akhu En Aten had a Canaanite Vizier named Aperia. Later,
the oldest daughter of Ra Meses II had a Canaanite name, Bint Anath.
She was a sister to Ra Meses and Kha Em Uset, two Crown Princes of Ra
Meses II. Later, she was a Consort of Mer En Pteh. The Canaanite
connection inside the Royal Family was clear. It had to be intimate.
The action of Set Nekht was extraordinary. "One of their own"
threw them out. The evidence is clear the Exodus made an enduring
hurt on the people of Israel. The literary evidence supports this
idea. Yet the historical evidence doesn't confirm their version of
the events. Yet again the process of converting a tragedy into a
triumph took place. How it happened we may never know. The detail
may be beyond recovery. Yet, we must say again, the process took
place. Today, believers still drink to "Next year in Jerusalem".
- whose _Behind The Bible_ ISBN 0-9695425-0-X is on Amazon.com -