Tag Archives: ancient history

Excerpt from Under the Sun: A Traditional View of Ancient History


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After the flood, the most rapid, massive cultural change on record is the Exodus. The time of the Exodus was a dramatic change for every culture on earth that we know about. Thousands of years before the label “Second Intermediate Period” existed, Jews, then Christians, then Muslims, understood that the Exodus was the destruction of all of Egypt. Understanding that the Second Intermediate Period was a result of the Exodus validates not only the Exodus, but the entire Old Testament as an accurate historical record. Secular Humanists refuse to acknowledge that the Exodus and the Second Intermediate Period are linked because the link validates the history of the entire Old Testament.

The Exodus ended Egypt’s thirteenth dynasty. The Exodus ushered in the Second Intermediate Period (SIP). An Egyptian document, the Ipuwer papyrus, describes conditions similar to several of the plagues and an invasion unopposed by an Egyptian army. The Exodus records both the destruction of the Egyptian army in the Red (Reed) Sea and the Amalekites moving west toward Egypt. During the Second Intermediate Period Egypt was controlled by foreign Asiatic invaders. The loss of the entire Egyptian army explains why chariots and horses have never been found in any Middle Kingdom tomb.

The Exodus, which destroyed Egypt’s Middle Kingdom, left Egypt open to the Hyksos invasion. Foreign Asiatic invaders ruled Egypt during the SIP, with a capital just south of modern Cairo. Using a term from Josephus, modern archaeologists name these foreign rulers Hyksos. If they were the Amalekites, that certainly explains Balaam saying that Amalek was first of the nations (Numbers 24:20 NASB). Also, Amalek was headed towards Egypt when they met the Israelites as they left Egypt. With the CC date for the Thera eruption by 14C dating in the middle of the 17th century BC and the margin of error for 14C dating in the middle of 2nd millennium BC is roughly 100-150 years before than the actual date, that would place the Thera eruption at roughly the same time as not only the Exodus but also the Hyksos invasion of Egypt.

The Exodus began what archaeologists call the Second Intermediate Period for Egypt. This world wide cultural change fits well with Ussher’s 1491 BC date for the Exodus. The eruption of Thera destroyed not only the Aegean Sea Cycladic and Minoan civilizations, leaving the Mycenaean dominant but damaged every culture of the Mediterranean and Mesopotamian world. The Exodus was near the beginning of what is known in China as the Shang dynasty. The unknown beginnings of the Shang empire are centuries earlier. But China sees the Shang dynasty replacing the Xia empire about 1491 BC. The rest of Asia, the rest of Europe, the Americas, Africa, Australia, Japan, and Oceania still have no written documents. In these areas, our understanding of life after the Exodus is just as obscure as life before the Exodus. The many artifacts are difficult to interpret and date. Perhaps they were Ice Age, while Israel was in Egypt, or even after Israel was a nation.
The Second Intermediate Period in Egypt and the conquest of Canaan and the Judges for Israel was a time of severe upheavals for the subcontinent of India. India still had no written language that we know of. But this is the time of constant, pervasive warfare recorded centuries later in the Rigveda and the Mahabharata. Whether the Harappans were destroyed by Aryan invaders, internal warfare, natural disasters, or simply intermarried peacefully into the Vedic Culture, the Harappan or Indus Valley Civilization was gone by (perhaps because of?) the Exodus 1491 BC. Without any certain links to other cultures outside of India at this time, it is impossible know if the Harappan culture still existed at this time. The CC views the era after the Exodus as the Vedic Age throughout India.

It is not even possible to agree on a name for this age for the Indian Subcontinent. Some scholars insist that this is the Aryan Age. Others, infuriated with this title, insist that there never were any Aryans in India. They believe this is the Vedic Age and only the Vedic Age. Still others, in an attempt to placate both, call this the Aryan/Vedic Civilization, which infuriates both groups. Still others call this time the Hindu Vedas period. Whatever you choose, many knowledgeable scholars will strongly disagree with your choice.

We know that the Indus Valley Civilization ceased to exist somewhere around this time. The major civilization moved from the modern southern Afghanistan/Pakistan/ Northwest India region east across the Himalayan mountains to the modern Bangladesh region and the Ganges River. It is impossible to be certain if this was a sudden or gradual transition. The Dravidian culture began during this time farther south in the area of modern central India.It is likely that the Exodus coincided with the eruption of a volcano on the island of Thera in the Aegean sea. This eruption, which destroyed much of the existing Cycladic and Minoan cultures, made the Mycenaean culture dominate in the Aegean Sea. The Mycenaean culture, which already existed, controlled the Aegean Sea after this eruption. The Second Intermediate Period in Egypt, the period of the Judges in Israel, the rise of the Mycenaean culture in the Aegean, and the rise of Phoenician culture in the eastern Mediterranean were all a result of the Thera eruption and the Exodus.

The historic birth of the nation of Israel, the Exodus, was not two million people walking nearly single file. It was a mass of terrified people with carts and animals (carts were mentioned as given to Lord at Sinai And they brought their offering before the LORD, six covered wagons… Numbers 7:3) crossing all at the same time. Unlike the Hollywood movies and Bible story books (which at times make the Bible seem like a fairy tale), they crossed en masse. Only a massed crossing would allow two million people with animals and carts to travel ten to fifteen miles in a single night.

Organization came later. Anyone who could not travel quickly rode in a cart or on an animal. They had an opening wide enough for all of children of Israel, about two million plus animals, to cross at nearly the same time. According to one manual of the USMC, one day’s forced march carrying gear is about twenty miles. It is a reasonable assumption that the wagons and pack animals made this a light crossing. That is, the children of Israel carried very little gear on their persons. Also, as slaves, they were used to hard work. Since parts of the Red (Reed) Sea are less than 15 miles across, this is a possible, though very difficult, crossing in a single night.

A very wide pathway also explains why Pharaoh’s army was deceived into following them. It was large enough to appear to be a permanent, or at least long term change to the sea. Pharaoh would have caught the Israelites before they reached the far shore. Except the dry ground Israel walked on turned to mud under the wheels of the Egyptian chariots.

Under the Sun is only 99 cents on Amazon

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The Historical Context of Jonah

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Nimrod built Nineveh very soon after the flood. It was part of his kingdom to rebel against God.

[Nimrod’s] kingdom began in the region of Shinar with the cities of Babylon, Eriech, Akkad, and Calneh. From there he went north to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-ir, and Calah, along with Resen, which was located between Nineven and the great city of Calah. Genesis 10:10-12

2,000 years later, every Jew listening to Jesus understood Nineveh.

An evil and adulterous generation craves a sign. Yet no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah, because just as Jonah was in the stomach of the sea creature for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment and condemn the people living today, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah. But look-something greater than Jonah is here! Matthew 12:39-41

Jeroboam II led the northern kingdom of Israel to its greatest glory since Solomon. Jonah prophesied that Jeroboam (II, of the line of Jehu) would take impoverished, defeated Israel and restore its borders to the Euphrates River. This was the same border Israel had under Solomon.

“God used Jeroboam to … restore the former borders [Numbers 13:21] from the entrance into Hamath to the sea of the plain. This fulfilled the prophecy of the Lord which was spoken by Jonah the prophet, the son of Amittai. 2 Kings 14:25,27,28.”
825 BC Ussher The Annals of the World

[Jeroboam] rebuilt Israel’s coastline from the entrance of Hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, in accordance with the message from the Lord God of Israel that he spoke through his servant Jonah the prophet, Amittai’s son, who was from Gath-hepher. 2 Kings 14:29
“Jonah was later sent to Nineveh …”
808 BC Ussher The Annals of the World

Sir Isaac Newton believed that Jonah actually lived and prophesied earlier, before the reign of Jeroboam II. “Homer mentions Bacchus and Memnon Kings of Egypt and Persia, but knew nothing of an Assyrian Empire. Jonah prophesied when Israel was in affliction from Syria, and this was in the latter part of the Reign of Jehoahaz, and the first part of the Reign of Joash, Kings of Israel, and I think in the Reign of Moeris the successor of Ramesses King of Egypt, and about sixty years before the Reign of Pul; and Nineveh was then a city of large extent, but full of pastures for cattle, so that it contained but about 120000 persons. It was not yet grown so great and potent as not to be terrified at the preaching of Jonah, and to fear being invaded by its neighbours and ruined within forty days: it had some time before got free from the dominion of Egypt, and got a King of its own; but its King was not yet called the King of Assyria, but only King of Nineveh, Jonah iii. 6,7 and his proclamation for a fast was not published in several nations, nor in all Assyria, but only in Nineveh, and perhaps in the villages thereof; but soon after, when the dominion of Nineveh was established at home, and exalted over all Assyria properly so called, and this Kingdom began to make was upon the neighbouring nations, its Kings were no longer called Kings of Nineveh but began to be called Kings of Assyria.”
Sir Isaac Newton The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms p. 99

II Kings 14:25 means that either Jonah lived during the reign of Jeroboam II or Jonah lived and prophesied earlier and Jeroboam II fulfilled an earlier prophecy. According to Sir Isaac Newton, Jonah went to Nineveh around 850 BC, more than 40 years before Ussher’s date for the book of Jonah.

With either position, Nineveh was at that time a minor city-state. The original Jeroboam, son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon lead the northern kingdom in rebellion against Rehoboam. Jeroboam, son of Nebat, was allied with Egypt. So the northern kingdom of Israel was either an ally or a vassal state to Egypt. This relationship is rarely mentioned in the Bible. Later, Ahab also had a strong alliance with Egypt. It is impossible to know if Egypt viewed the northern kingdom of Israel as an ally or a vassal state.

It is very likely that Assyria was a small local power before Tiglath-pileser developed a professional military and marched on Israel. (747 BC, Ussher).

The people of Nineveh would have no problem adding Jehovah to their pantheon. Their problem was the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” So what did Nineveh know about Israel when Jonah arrived?

  1. Abraham and his family left Mesopotamia traveled to Egypt, and left Egypt wealthy.
  2. Abraham headed a coalition from Canaan headed by 318 special forces from his own family which defeated a five nation alliance headed by the nation of Elam.
  3. Jacob and his children destroyed every person in Shechem.
  4. Joseph by skill becomes Vizier of all Egypt.
  5. As slaves, the Israelites, already skilled in the ways of Mesopotamia, learn all of the skills of Egypt.
  6. The God of Israel destroyed Egypt. This might be the most important point when they listened to Jonah’s message.
  7. Led by Joshua, Israel captured Canaan, destroying the most powerful city-states of that time.
  8. Led by Gideon, Israel destroyed the Midianites who were as numerous as the sand of the sea.
  9. Led by Saul, Israel destroyed Amalek, first among the nations.
  10. Led by David, Israel destroyed the Syrians. At one time, the Syrians had controlled Nineveh.
  11. Led by Solomon, every nation on earth paid tribute to Israel.
  12. Led by King Asa, Judah had defeated an army of one million Ethiopians.

Jonah did not arrive in Nineveh in a vacuum. God had prepared the people of Nineveh for Jonah’s message.

All Scripture quotes are from the ISV.

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Nineveh. Adad Gate. One of the fifteen gateways of ancient Nineveh. A reconstruction was begun in the 1960s by Iraqis, but was not completed. The result is an uneasy mixture of concrete and eroding mudbrick, which nonetheless does give one some idea of the original structure. The lower portions of the stone retaining wall are original. Fortunately, the excavator left some features unexcavated, allowing a view of the original Assyrian construction. The original brickwork of the outer vaulted passageway is well exposed. The actions of Nineveh’s last defenders can be seen in the hastily built mudbrick construction which narrows the passageway from 4 m. to 2 m. Height of vault is about 5 m. Photo by Fredarch.
Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Nineveh_Adad_gate_exterior_entrance_far2.JPG Author Fredarch

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The Death of Science Part 5 — The Double Standard

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Secular Humanism boldly proclaims that the events recorded in the Bible are not historic. But using those same standards, neither were Plato, Socrates, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Sun Tzu or most historic people or events.

The oldest surviving manuscript of Plato’s documents dates to 895 AD. The Codex Oxoniensis Clarkianus 39 was copied more than a thousand years after the death of Plato. It is incomplete, containing only the first six tetralogies.

We only have references to Socrates in the works of Aristotle and Plato. There is no other evidence that Socrates ever existed.

Sun Tsu wrote around 550 BC, but the old fragments of the text are the Yinqueshan Han Slips, almost 5,000 bamboo fragments which contain pieces of 13 chapters of the Art of War. The Yinqueshan Han Slips date to approximately 140 BC.

The writings of Julius Caesar come from two manuscript sources, Amsterdam 73, 2nd quarter of the 9th century, written at Fleury and Paris lat. 5056, 11-12th century, written at Moissac. http://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/2011/01/08/the-manuscripts-of-caesars-works/. In addition, there are hundreds of references to Julius Caesar in other works, but these manuscripts are all much later. We have statues which purport to be a good likeness of Julius Caesar, but there is no way of verifying this.
None of the writings of Alexander the Great still exist in any form. His memory is preserved in works of art, such as statues, paintings and architecture. Many others wrote about Alexander, with the most well-known of these biographies being the work of Plutarch, where he compared Alexander with Julius Caesar in a book call Parallel Lives. Parallel Lives was written by Plutarch in the 1st century AD 350 years after the death of Alexander. The oldest existing MSS of Plutarch is the 10th century AD.

We could continue, but these five examples show the condition of the evidence for the most well-known and well-documented of the ancients. I do not mean to imply that this lack of evidence means that we should not trust the evidence that exists, or doubt the existence or deeds of these men. Quite to the contrary, this seems to be excellent material on which to base a highly accurate history of the time period.

And once we have established standards for evaluating history, we can then apply those same standards to other documents. First we look at the Epic of Gilgamesh. The Epic of Gilgamesh is found in fragments of cuneiform tablets. It exists in several different ancient languages, Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, Old Babylonian and Babylonian. Some of these fragments are the oldest written documents known to man. Our versions are pieced together because there is no entirely complete copy. The seventh century BC library of the Assyrian King Ashurbanipal contains a nearly complete copy and this is the version most modern translations are based on. One very important detail is the variations in the texts. This variety has led to the conclusion that the Epic of Gilgamesh was a political story and the story changed to fit various political climates.

While the Epic of Gilgamesh is a story of gods and goddesses and superhuman feats, its emphasis seems very modern. It is entertaining. It is interesting. But it also establishes a caste system. It clearly shows that those who not members of the nobility (the gods and goddesses) are nothing more than what we call serfs, slaves with the responsibility of providing for the nobility. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the nobility (the gods and goddesses) had powers you could not resist.

Second, we examine the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Probably better known than the Epic of Gilgamesh, there are complete copies of the Book of the Dead written in various tombs. It also has great variety among the various tombs. The Book of the Dead is earlier. The later versions used by the Egyptians us known today as the Book of Gates. Unlike the Epic of Gilgamesh, these were not written as political propaganda for the lower classes. Few people would ever see these tombs after they were sealed.
Perhaps there was some attempt by the priests to hold political power over the families of those who were being buried. They might have allowed a small number to view the walls before sealing the tomb. But the family members of those who were buried and the priests writing out the words on the walls believed that these spells had some power over death.

Unlike the Epic of Gilgamesh, where a simple understanding of human nature seems to answer the question of why was this book written, the Book of the Dead is written by and for people who were not only obsessed with the afterlife, but convinced that their magic charms could somehow achieve immortality.

These very general conclusions about these historical documents using standard techniques and methods have nearly universal agreement. However, when we apply the same method and techniques to the Biblical documents, a tsunami of prejudice and bigotry attempts to overwhelm the evidence. The Dead Sea Scrolls provide us with vellum, papyrus, and pottery documents which match the Masoretic text we have used for over a thousand years and date to within only a few centuries of the original authors. This is far more reliable than any other ancient document.

elkjerkyforthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/the-not-so-dead-sea-scrolls/

The Old Testament is quoted by the Church Fathers and Josephus, with copies as old as the 2nd century AD. It is translated into Greek (LXX), Latin (Vulgate), Ethiopian (Coptic), Syriac (Peshitta), and we have copies of each of these.

The Roman government executed an Empire-wide campaign to burn and destroy every copy of the New Testament and to kill everyone who possessed a copy of it. In spite of this, we have thousands of copies of the NT, fragments dating back to the first century and complete copies of the NT dating the fourth century AD. There are more eyewitness records to the events of the New Testament than any other ancient person or event, including major battles.

Why do people who claim to believe in science change their standards, their method of evaluating evidence, when they examine the evidence supporting the Bible?

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It’s Officially a Series! COA2: The Origin of Evil in the World that Was Is Here!

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Shake up your personal study, homeschool curriculum, or Sunday School discussions. This ebook series includes teacher and student editions with review questions and answer keys. Each book in the series includes the illustrated Chapter Fourteen from Antidisestablishmentarianism — Scientific evidences from around the world that will make you scratch your head if you’re a uniformitarianism “believer”. Only a hundred or so pages in each book, but they pack a lot in a little space.  And each one is only 99 cents.

Conflict of the Ages Part One: The Scientific History of Origins

Do you have questions about how the world began? Of course not. Science has all the answers in “The Big Bang”, “Deep Time”, and especially evolution. Even the major world religions agree on this topic, don’t they? Even Christian churches are preaching “Day Age” theories that fit in with millions or billions of years.  But do they really have all the answers? Is there a witness to the dawn of the world, to the whole universe, in fact? Are there echoes of that witness in ancient evidence from all around the world?  Is there scientific proof that the world may not have been around all those billions of years — maybe only thousands of years? Come along for a look at the evidence you might never have considered, because you never got a chance. Because nobody told you the truth — That there IS such evidence. This isn’t a massive work of thousands of pages. Just about a hundred. You can spare the time.

Teacher Edition for COA1:

http://www.amazon.com/Conflict-Ages-Part-One-ebook/dp/B00BSJRURS

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/294493

Student Edition for COA1:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Conflict-Ages-Part-ebook/dp/B007ETAAV4/

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/137138

Conflict of the Ages Part Two: The Origin of Evil in the World that Was

We don’t know anything about the world before the Great Flood of Noah, or do we? We’re told that God made everything “very good”, so how did evil come into being? Is God to blame, is He just uncaring, or is He helpless to stop it? Is “original sin” real or just a myth? Could man talk to animals? There might be myths around the world that echo the creation story, but did ancient people believe in the fall of angels? When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, what did it mean that “their eyes were opened”? Who were “the Sons of God”?

Teacher Edition for COA2:

http://www.amazon.com/Conflict-Ages-Part-Two-ebook/dp/B00C7FR41E

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/303093

Student Edition for COA2:

http://www.amazon.com/Conflict-Ages-Part-Two-ebook/dp/B00C7FCRW0/

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/303090

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