A Preliminary Note
Most Ancient Days -- Preface
Chapter 1 -- The Number of the Years: chronology from Adam to Saul
Chapter 2 -- The Age of Evil Imagining: the Confusion and Scatter at Babel
Chapter 3 -- The Generations of the Sons of Noah: the Tabel of Nations
Chapter 4 -- Cities of the Twin Rivers: Shinar from Babel to Sodom
Chapter 5 -- Profane Fables: Egyptian historiagraphy and the standard paradigm
Chapter 6 -- Kings of the Nile: Egypt from Babel to Sodom

Chapter 7 -- Stones of Sumer: Jemdet Nasr and "Early Dynastic"

Chapter 8 -- Sands of Egypt: Dyanasty XIIa & IIa

Chapters 9 & 10 (The Age of Base Metal: The Middle Bronze Age) -- Expanded and presented here.

Chapter 11 -- Joseph Over the House of Pharaoh: Egypt in the 18th century

Chapter 12 -- The Pharaoh Who Knew Not Joseph: The Old Kingdom to the Exodus

Chapter 13 -- Moses Prince of Egypt: Dynasty XIII and the "First Intermediate Period"

Chapter 14 -- Into the Hands of the Living God: the Ten Plagues of Egypt

Chapter 12 -- The Pharaoh Who Knew Not Joseph:the Old Kingdom to the Exodus

Chapter 12

The Pharaoh Who Knew Not Joseph:

the Old Kingdom to the Exodus

Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, 'Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: Come on, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply . . .'

— Ex 1:8-10a

After Joseph had died and Dynasty XII had faded, Dynasty VI came to power. This is the house from which (Ex 1:8)a new king arose over Egypt, which did not know Joseph. Josephus confirms that the crown came to another family, and Isaiah (52:4) called the pharaoh of the Bondage "the Assyrian"; that this is not just a metaphor, we will examine in the discussion of Dynasty XIII. Three of the pharaohs of Dynasty VI are known to us from the Book of Exodus, as we shall see.

Dynasty VI 1700-1519/ º2420-2258 or c. º2345-; Memphis

The various editors of Manetho tell us this dynasty had either 31 or 8 kings, although only six are named; the Abydos king lists give 23 kings; that 23 and 8 add up to 31 indicates that Manetho had access to several different sources. Manetho has the line lasting 203 years, and the Turin Papyrus gives it 181 years; of course, with coregencies and any possible omissions of ephemeral kings, we can have no absolute certainty, but we can see that this government controlled Egypt in the 1600's, and survived at least until the end of the 1500's.

Whereas the other dynasties of the so-called Old Kingdom are remarkable for their absence of artifacts — artistic and literary — Dynasty VI is notable for itsinscribed tombs throughout the country. In harmony with our reconstructed history for this time, the dynastic government of the Old Kingdom ruled through a decentralized govern­ment, with the nomes acting as independent powers. Nomarchs were buried locally, often in tombs of distinctive or provincial styles; tomb texts speak of the nomarchs' personal qualities, of their independent expeditions, and so on. All in all, it is clear that in this era Egypt was not unified in either its culture or its politics.

The first king of Dynasty VI was Teti (Otheos, Atoti; 12 or 30 years; c. 1700-1688/ º2420-2408); this Teti ruled 50 years after that other Teti, of Dynasty III. Why a new dynasty began with Teti in about º2345 bc is not known, but the later king lists suggest that a new epoch began with his reign. We know that the "new epoch" began because a new family took control, supplanting the House of Israel. Be that as it may, Teti sent agents to Byblos and Punt, and caravans into the southern parts of Nubia and Lybia. His modest tomb is found at Saqqarah.

Teti is known best from the tombs of his officials. His two viziers, Kagemni and Mereruka, built huge mastaba tombs by his pyramid, so impressive as to suggest they were more rivals than servants of the king — flaunting power and blatant wealth. Mereruka in particular seems a rival; though no inscriptions are found in his tomb, the pictures show him as a king. Bearing in mind what we read of the viziers of the previous century — dominated by Joseph and his family — it comes as no surprise to find such powerful rivals to the king a few decades later. Teti met an unfortunate end, murdered by his bodyguard. He was followed by a usurper, Userkere (Aserkare, 6 years; 1688-1682), of whom there is nothing of substance to say.

Of more significance was the next king, Phiops I (Piopi, Pepi, Phios, 20 or 53 years; 1682-1662-1629/ º2407-2357). He ruled for over fifty years, and was that Pharaoh who feared the might and geometrically increasing numbers of the Hebrews who had multiplied so greatly during their century in Egypt. The Hebrews arrived in 1776 bc numbering only about 70, but by the middle of the reign of Phiops, c. 1655, they outnumbered not all the Egyptians, but merely that specific faction or race which the king counted as "his people" (Ex 1:9). In order to break the Hebrews, the "Assyrian" enslaved and forced them to build the store cities of Pithom and Raamses (we will look at these cities later). But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. Finally, Phiops slaughtered the Hebrew baby boys in 1641 bc (Ex 1:8‑22).

This timing is confirmed by the tradition of the rabbis, which rememberedthat when 125 years since the arrival of Jacob in Egypt [1776 bc], and fifty-four years after the death of Joseph [1705 bc], had elapsed,” the apparent love of Egypt for Israel waned, and the Bondage began. This would have been 1651 bc. Five years later, Pharaoh had a dream in whichhe saw himself seated on his throne and before him stood an old man, holding a balance in his hand and in the act of hanging it up. Thereupon the old man seized all the princes and nobles and elders of Egypt, and all the inhabitants of the land — men, women, and children — bound them together and put them into one scale. He then took a sucking lamb and put it into the other scale, and lo, the scale containing the sucking lamb outweighed all that the other scale contained. As a result of this dream, Pharaoh issued a degree that all Hebrew baby boys were to be killed.

We find general confirmation for this understaning in Josephus, who answers the Egyptian scholar, Cheremon, by saying that the four generations between Joseph and Mosesmake almost 170 years. From the start of the Dodecarchy (1730) until the Exodus (1561), certanly is almost 170 years.

Now, if Phiops I was the genocidal Pharaoh who slaughtered the male infants of Israel, then was it his daughter who adopted Moses (Ex 2:1‑10)? Later I will suggest that Moses was adopted into another house, which creates the inelegant situation of having the title "Pharaoh" in Ex 1 used to describe the kings of two different houses. It would be sweet irony if the very child Phiops sought to kill were adopted into his family — but more than irony, and more than symmetry, we must demand that all the facts be recognized. And in the next chapter, we will examine facts which override the contextual argument that Ex 1 refer to only a single king.

Phiops I had contact with Byblos and Nubia, mines in Sinai, and was active mili­tarily on land and sea around Palestine. We know of such activities from Weni, a commoner friend of the king, who led expeditions into Sinai and southern Palestine, and up the Nile. It is apparently Phiops I who finally ended Dynasty IX of Heracleopolis in 1666, which was replaced by Dynasty X.

Phiops' son Merenre I (Menthusuphis; 6 or 7 years; 1662-1655/ c. º2360) had no independent rule of his own, reigning instead merely as a coregent. He went to the southern border of Egypt, at Elephantine, to receive the homage of Nubian chiefs. Archeology shows that he ruled joi­ntly with his you­nger bro­ther for his last year.

This younger brother was Phiops II, called "the Great" (Pepi II, Neferkare; 94 years in Manetho; in The Book of Sothis, called Appapus (related to "Apophis" or "Apopi" of the snake worshiping Hyksos?), 100 years; 1656-1562/ c. º2350-2259). Phiops II was elevated to the throne as coregent at age 6, and he holds the world record for the longest reign. Because of his early ascension, it appears there were three kings ruling at the same time in Dynasty VI; perhaps this unlikely action was taken because Merenre I became ill. Phiops I had a reasonable concern for the continuation of his line — after all, he followed a usurper. But he went far beyond reason, in that we know that he did not balk at mass murder in seeking to protect his throne.

A letter survives, in which we read that the Elephantine ruler Harkhuf ingratiated himself with the child Phiops/ Neferkare, by promising to bring him a dancing pygmy from Nubia. At this time, Neferirkare was the king of the Elephantine Dynasty V.

The rule of Phiops II was decentralized, and the provinces increased in power and independence. The nomarchs of Elephantine governed upper Egypt, havingexceptional powers over the southern nomes of Egypt and with a commission to lead expeditions into Nubia.” The danger of such expeditions — presumably not solely from dancing pygmies — required the nomarchs to have their own troops, which went to augment their power and independence even further. This need will become most apparent when we look at the Ethiopian invasion of Egypt in this period, c. 1610, recognized in Dynasty XIII.

The cult of Osiris is said to have spread now, but this conclusion is the deriva­tive of the standard paradigm, and we know that the cult was already powerful in various parts of Egypt — most notably the region controlled by the newly emerged Dynasty X, Heracleopolis (named for an early Heracles, Nimrod-Osiris). The many notable tombs of this dynasty show that the kingdom thrived. The tombs of the nomarchs are inscribed with their concerns about justice for the commoners. Phiops' own tomb was unexpectedly standard; as the last effective ruler of the Old Kingdom, and having ruled for nearly a full century, grander things might have been expected of him.

Although his rule ended without trouble, standard histories note that after his reign, "civil war" and disarray ensued, for which modern scholars have invented the name "The First Intermediate Period"; this is also the period when the despairing Admonitions of Ipuwer were written. In the next chapter we will look at this "Period".

We know Phiops II as the Pharaoh of Ex 2:15. Moses was by this time an official in the court of Memphis, and had slain an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew (1601 bc). WhenPharaoh heard of this matter, he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the presence of Pharaoh . . . Aside from any claim to the justice of punishing murder, we wonder if there was some personal antipathy between Phiops and Moses. Even if Moses were the younger adopted step-brother of Phiops, the king was 20 years older, and was firmly planted upon the throne — so sibling rivalry or insecurity as to who would inherit the throne cannot be relevant. But given the dream of Phiops I, that a Hebrew would bring about the destruction of Egypt, we might suppose that Phiops II suspected Moses of being this very Hebrew; whether or not the mysteri­ous circumstances of his adoption were known, racial features might have been distinctive, and it would have been known to all that Moses was raised by a Hebrew nurse (his own mother, as it happens).

The final king of consequence for our purposes was Merenre II (Thom, Timeus, Tutimaeus, Tua Timaeus, Menthesuphis, Antyem­zaf; Escheskosokares in Sothis; 1 year; 1562-1561/ º2258). His name is broken off in the Turin Canon. He was Manetho's last true sovereign of the Middle Kingdom, during whose reign a "blast of heavenly displea­sure" struck. To standard history, Merenre II is inconsequential, but we know him to be the importunate pharaoh of the Exodus, whose heart was so hardened. He ruled for a single year, suffering the Ten Plagues — after which the Egyptian army was destroyed (Ex 14:27‑28). After this chapter we shall look at the details of this time, but here we are looking at the chronology.

God says to Moses in his Midian exile (Ex 4:19),Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life. Phiops the Great had just died, and his court faction of 40 years prior had faded away — just as the generation of the Exodus would all perish during the forty years in the Wilderness. Merenre was newly ascended to the throne, and to him Moses was, if anything, just an old general and banished murderer from another generation.

Moses met with Merenre in the eastern Delta city of Zoan (Ps 78:12,43) — a city almost as old as Hebron, and famed for the wisdom of its scholars. Archeologists have explored Zoan, and notable ruins from Dynasties XII and VI have been found, with constructions of Phiops I given prominent mention. Obviously, Merenre used this city as his capital — which goes a long way to explain how Moses in Goshen could communicate so quickly with Pharaoh. If the Egyptian capital were in Thebes or Memphis, quick communication would have been impossible. That Zoan was the capital of Merenre is confirmed by the fact that when Moses mentions Hebron in Num 13:22, he uses Zoan as a point of reference: this was the most relevant Egyptian city as far as he was con­cerned. Josephus says that Jacob and his sons settled in nearby Heliopolis,for in that city the king's shepherds had their pastur­age. Heliopolis, or On, we recall was the city into whose priesthood Joseph married.

When Merenre lost his life in the Red Sea, the reins of government came to his queen, Nitokerty (Nitocris, Neit-okre, 12 or 6 years, 1561-1549). Manetho says she wasthe noblest and loveliest of the women of her time, of fair complexion, the builder of the third pyramid (with the aspect of a mountain) . . . This statement would seem to confuse her with Queen Khentkawes, the daughter of Menkaure of Dynas­ty IV. It is interesting, although not meaningful, that Dynasties XII and IV at the beginning of this period, and Dynasty VI at the end, all terminate with queens, in a time of confusion or profound obscurity.

Of the post-Exodus kings of this line we know very little. Neferka was a youn­ger son of Merenre II, the firstborn having died during Passover. He ruled for 21 years (1549-1528), following his mother whom the Arish monument calls ‘Tephnut’, wife of Thom. (We will have much to learn from the black monolith of el-Arish later.) Finally, Nufe ruled for 2 years (1528-1526), and Kakari (Ibi, 1526-22) ruled four years; Manetho gives two more kings, unnamed, ruling for an additional 2 and 1 years. When the final, unnamed king of Memphis disappears in 1519, Manetho tells us that the mysterious Dynasty VII followed, inaugurating the so-called "First Intermediate Period".

Dynasty V (c. 1671- c. 1531/ º2565-2420 or 2494-) "Old Kingdom"

Looping back, we find that Dynasty V governed Elephantine (ancient Iebwe), far to the south in Upper Egypt, by Nubia. Because it had an administrative center near Memphis, it has been mistaken for a Memphite line, and was numbered among the dynasties of Memphis. Indeed, as I noted in Chapter 11, the first kings of this dynasty seem to have been the last kings of the Memphite Dynasty III, apparently ousted by Huni, to relocate in the south.

No contemporary records preserve any account of the events that led to the change of dynasty, which occurred in about º2494 bc [c. 1705]. The change, however, was very distinctive and marked by political and religious developments of far-reaching conse­quence. This change is not due to any innovation of Dynasty V, but rather to the end of the influence of Joseph's Dynasties III & IV, and also to the end of Dynas­ty XII with its "Middle Kingdom" culture — supplanted by the foreign Dynasties VI and V and their "Old Kingdom" culture. Noteworthy of Dynasty V are the lavish tombs of the nobility, which demonstrate the convention of depicting scenes of battle. As we would expect, the govern­ment was decentralized, the nobles were independent, and the nomes were powerful. We have found Sinai inscriptions from expeditions of four of its kings.

1 Table 11-1

Dynasty V: starts 1679; TP: 123 after IV


c. 1671-

1. Userkaf/ Weserkaf/ Usercheres; Aches of III


c. 1664-

2. Sahura, Sephres; Sephuris of III


c. 1652-

3. Neferirkara Kakai, Nephercheres; Kerpheres of III Kikanos pharaoh of Ethio­pia who invaded Egypt


c. 1632-

4. Shepse­skara Isy, Sisires


c. 1625-

5. Kha'neferre, Neferefra, Cheres


c. 1608-

6. Neweserri Ini/ Ne-user-ra, Rathures


c. 1597-

7. Menkauhor, Akeuhor, Mencheres


c. 1589-

8. Dedkere Asosi/ Djedkare Izezi/ Zedkara Isesy, Tancheres


c. 1561-1531

9. Un­as/ Onnos, Jannes


On the number, order and identity of the kings who made up this dynasty there is, happily, a general agreement be­tween the monuments, the Annals [Palermo Stone], the Ramesside kings' lists, and the epitome of Manetho's history. Indeed, the Palermo Stone is said to have been carved during this dynasty. Unfortunate­ly, agreement cannot be found among these sour­ces for the duration of these kings. My best estimate for the start of this line is around 1705 bc or 1700 (and it certainly did not start after 1670). Manetho tells us it had eight kings, with a total duration of 248 years — but the numbers he gives cannot be made to add up to this total, so we must conclude either that [a] there is some scribal error, and perhaps a duration of 148 years is meant, or [b] later kings were just not listed. For the sake of simplicity (such as it is), I present the raw data in Ta­ble 11‑1.

From the literature of ancient Egypt, we have an account of the magi­cal births of the first three kings of Dynasty V. The upshot is that the three were triplets sired by the sun god Ra, to the wife of a priest at Helio­polis. Each was given a pun­ning name: the first, "Mighty" (Userkaf), the second, "Tread-of-Ra" (Sahure), and the third, "Dark" (Neferirkare).

This story was written in the classical Middle Kingdom dialect, dur­ing the Hyksos period. By our recon­struction, there is only an insignifi­cant delay until the writing of the story, since "Mid­dle Egyp­tian" was a dialect cur­rent with the provin­cial "Old King­dom" dialect. Given that these three kings all came from Dynas­ty III of Memphis, each eventually to rule in Elephantine, we would almost expect them to be so intimately linked by myth. The standard royal title for the kings of Dynasty V became "Son of Ra" — which is just a symbolic/ mythological way of saying "from Heliopolis".

So, Dynasty V was founded by Userkaf (Aches of Dynasty III); he was called the "friend of Ra from On". Reflecting his allegiance, he used a Ra-name rather than a Horus-name. The especially religious character of this line is reflected in the many magical texts in the tombs. Of course, Userkaf and his line were not banished to the south, but rather became the close agents of the kings of Dynasty VI. Thus Userkaf had access to build a temple of Ra at Abu Jirab, south of Giza, as did 5 of his successors.

Generally, there is not much to say of these kings. This line built small, well-crafted pyramids at Saqqarah and Abu Sir, but the inscriptions have for the most part been damaged or lost. The tomb of Userkaf's "brother", Sahura (also in Dynasty III by this very name), tells us that this king sent a punitive force to Libya and perhaps into Syria. The Palermo Stone confirms the presence of this dynasty in Syria and Punt, and archeological evidence in Nubia reaffirms it.

Neferirkara Kakai (Kerpheres of Dynasty III) was the third and last of these "brothers" to rule. It is tempting to link him with that king Kikanos of Ethiopia who invaded Egypt (next chapter) — and given that Kakai seems to be a surname, we might suppose that a generation later his heir had indeed ascended to the throne of Ethiopia, and set his designs upon his father's homeland. But this is speculation. The funery temple of Neferirkara is said to give us the first surviving collection of papyri — although any papyrus prior to the Exodus is likely to be older than this. This collection was actually written during the reign of the sixth king, Ne-user-ra, who built a sun temple inscribed with Sed festival scenes (a rite of renewal for kings who had ruled for a long time — perhaps 30 years; Zoser also had one).

Finally, the eighth king was Zedkare Isesy, who from the standard chronology is reckoned to have been the first to give an account of the personnel sent on an expedi­tion to Sinai, and also to Nubia.

This brings us to the last king of Dynasty V, Unas. Now, in the vowel-less writing of this period, Unas would have been written as 'n-s. So what? We know another 'n-s from the Bible, in Ex 7:11, when after Aaron's rod had turned into a serpentPharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: and the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. What were the names of these magicians? We learn the answer in the Targum of Jonathan, and in 2Tim 3:8­ —Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses”. Jannes ('n‑s) is Unas ('n‑s), a magi­ci­an-king, a priest of the sun god Ra, the symbol of which was the serpent.

Aside from my assertion, and the mere sound of a name, and the implications of my revised chronology, is there any other evidence for this identification? Well, we need to examine what we may learn of the character of Unas. The only independent means to do this is to examine his pyramid tomb in Saqqarah, grouped with the tombs of the chief kings of Dynasty VI: Teti, Phiops I, Merenre I and Phiops II. The walls of Unas's tomb have 228 incantations, some of which other kings also used.

It is supposed that these Pyramid Texts appeared first in the tomb of Unas, but we know him to be later than the kings of Dynasty VI. It may be that these Texts were originated by Unas, and later copied by devotees onto the wall of earlier tombs — indeed, this seems to have been the practice of certain priests after the New Kingdom, who spent much of their time re-wrapping ancient mummies; it is no stretch of the imagina­tion to suppose an earlier group of priests was equally obsessed with ‘renovat­ing’ tomb walls. But, at this point, such an idea seems unnecessary.

What do we learn of Unas from these spells? Let's look at his "Cannibal Spell":

Sky rains, stars darken, The vaults quiver, earth's bones tremble, the planets stand still at seeing Unas rise as power, A god who lives on his fathers, Who feeds on his mothers. Unas is master of cunning Whose mother knows not his name; Unas's glory is in heaven, His power is in lightland; Like Atum, his father, his begetter, Though his son, he is stronger than he! The forces of Unas are behind him, His helpers are under his feet, His gods on his head, his serpents on his brow, Unas's lead-serpent is on his brow, Soul-searcher whose flame consumes, Unas's neck is in its place. Unas is the bull of heaven Who rages in his heart, Who lives on the being of every god, Who eats their entrails When they come, their bodies full of magic From the Isle of Flame. . . .Unas will judge with Him-whose-name-is-hidden On the day of slaying the firstborn. Unas is lord of offerings who knots the cord, Who himself prepares his meal. Unas is he who eats men, feeds on gods . . . . It is Horn-grasper in Kehau who lassoes them for Unas, It is Serpent Raised-head who guards, who holds them for him, It is [He-over-the-blood] who binds them for him. It is Khons, slayer of lords, who cuts their throats for Unas, Who tears their entrails out for him, He the envoy who is sent to punish. It is Shesmu who carves them up for Unas, Cooks meals of them for him in his dinner-pots. Unas eats their magic, swallows their spirits: Their big ones are for his morning meal, Their middle ones for his evening meal, Their little ones for his night meal, And the oldest males and females for his fuel. The Great Ones in the northern sky light him fire For the kettles' contents with the old ones' thighs, For the sky-dwellers serve Unas, And the pots are scraped for him with their women's legs. He has encompassed the two skies, He has circled the two shores; Unas is the great power that overpowers the powers, Unas is the divine hawk, the great hawk of hawks, [and] Whom he finds on his way he devours whole. [Unas is the firstborn of the firstborn.] Unas's place is before all the nobles in lightland, Unas is god, oldest of the old, Thousands serve him, hundreds offer to him . . . . He has seized the hearts of gods, He has eaten the Red [crown of the Delta], swallowed the Green [cobra, symbol of Delta]. Unas feeds on the lungs of the wise, Likes to live on hearts and their magic; Unas abhors licking the coils of the Red but delights to have their magic in his belly. The dignities of Unas will not be taken from him, For he has swallowed the knowledge of every god; Unas's lifetime is forever, his limits is eternity . . . . Lo, their power is with Unas, Their shadows (are taken) from their owners, For Unas is of those who risen is risen, lasting lasts. Not can evildoers harm Unas's chosen seat Among the living in this land for all eternity!

If this incantation is read as coming from a one-time magician of Merenre's court, who had ascended to the vassal throne of Elephantine — if we read it in the context of the Plagues of Egypt — then, to put it mildly, we gain a few startling insights. Notice also the important imagery of the Butler and Baker, retained in Dynasty V from the days of Joseph and Dynasty XII.

Does this sound like a ruler of a united Egypt? He seems decidedly hostile toward the powers of the Delta. This is the result not merely of any provincialism, since his own tomb was built in the north, but rather it is the result of the sour, crippling defeat which he and his faction suffered from the forces, the people, the Hebrews of Goshen — and of course their God.

Unas takes credit for the catastrophe which befell the firstborn. He speaks of the rending of the heavens and the earth, and of his delight in blood. In the grandiose ravings of his spell, he identifies himself as the highest god. Unas was insane.

Now, this type of incantation was used only one other time, in the tomb of the founder of Dynasty VI, Teti (c. 1700). Since his tomb was constructed long before the time of Unas and the Plagues, does not this spoil the identification of Unas with Jannes? We need to remember that there is a God in the universe, and we need to remember that Teti lived in the lifetime of Joseph. Joseph was a seer, a dreamer of dreams. Given that such a thing as prophecy exists, is it reasonable — even likely — that Egypt would have been warned of the judgment which its idolatry demanded? Knowing the character of God, it is only to be expected that judgment should have been heralded long before, from the mouths of His prophets — as Nineveh was warned by Jonah. I suggest that we have here, embodied in the vicious blasphemies of Teti and Unas, a core truth prophetically revealed by Joseph. Of course, this solution will by utterly unacceptable to human­ists, but the entire premise of this work will be equally unac­ceptable. I will be the first to point out that this solution seems impossible to falsify, since it rests on the reality of prophecy and miracles, but given the particular nature of this specific issue, it is an internally consistent solution.

The fact that only Unas copied this spell tells us that its images had some special relevance to him. And as the magician Jannes, who witnessed the annihilation of the firstborn of Egypt, who conjured serpents in contest with Moses — and for his pride became defiled with boils — Unas had good cause to rewrite history. The genuine prophecy embedded in the inscription of Teti had a fulfillment which was echoed by Unas. We find exactly this same phenomenon during the reign of Akhnaton of Dynas­ty XVIII: in his religious reform, which elevated the sun god Aton to almost monotheis­tic supremacy, Akhnaton plagiarizes Psalm 104.

Also in Unas's tomb is the following spell:White-crown goes forth, She has swallowed the Great; White-crown's tongue swallowed the Great, Tongue was not seen. The white crown is the symbol of Upper Egypt, in the south where Elephan­tine was located. These words were used as a spell against snakes, perhaps because the Lower, Delta region was represented by the symbol of a cobra; the serpentine Set, enemy of Nimrod/ Osiris, was revered in the Delta as well; as for the Tongue which was not seen, this also is a snake. Incidently, "Seth" or "Set" means "Great" in Egyptian.

Unas may well have gained his throne precisely because of the Exodus catastrophes. His own older brother certainly met his death in the Passover. Rabbinical legend would have it that Jannes and Jambres were the sons of the prophet Baalam. Baalam is said to have ruled for a time in Ethiopia, only to be overthrown by young Moses — after which he took up service in the court of what I identify as Dynasty VI. This sounds like a fiction invented by rabbis with too much time on their hands, but there has been much recorded about Baalam, and he is consistently counted as royalty. If these were indeed his two royal and sorcerous sons, then one, Jambres, perished as the firstborn at the hand of the Angel of Death, leaving Unas as the last king of Dynasty V.

This brings us to the time of the end of Israel's Bondage. We have seen that Phiops I of Dynasty VI was the pharaoh who tried to kill the infant Moses, Phiops II was the pharaoh who tried to kill Moses the adult, and Merenre II was the pharaoh of the hard heart. Unas was the magician-king Jannes, of Dynasty V. In the next chapter we will return to the youth of Moses, and consider his career in Egypt. Then we will turn to historiography, and discuss the convention of the "First Intermediate Period."

Ch. 12 — The Pharaoh Who Knew Not Joseph

[1].Ant., Bk 2, ch. 9., sec. 1, p. 55.

[2].LaSor, "Egypt," ISBE, Vol. 2, p. 39.

[3].T.G.H. James, "Egypt, History of: Egypt to the end of the 17th dynasty," Ency. Brit., Vol. 6, p. 467.

[4].James, p. 467.

[5].Rappoport, Vol. 2, p. 203.

[6].Rappoport, p. 206; dashes replace commas.

[7].Whiston, Bk 1, 33, p. 621.

[8].James, p. 468.

[9].Waddell, p. 54, note 1.

[10].Josephus, Bk 2, ch. 7, sec. 6, p. 54,

[11].Manetho, in Waddell, p. 55.

[12].James, pp. 466-467.

[13].CAH, p. 178.

[14].AEL, "Three Tales of Wonder", Vol. 1, pp. 220-222.

[15].See my The Serpent in Babel, ch. 3.

[16].Acting as a priest who slaughters, pouring out blood: function of an Egyp­tian ‘butler’.

[17].God of oil and wine-press, who here stocks the table: a baker.

[18].Utterance 273-274, Anc Egy Lit, Vol. 1, p. 36‑38; "firstborn" replaces "eldest", for clarity, and the sentence in brackets is an alternative translation, by W. Budge, A History of Egypt, Vol. 2, pp. 83-88.

[19].In the second volume of this work, I'll discuss the chronology of this later period. Here, I'll only state that the New Kingdom started in the time of Saul. See Velikovsky, Ages in Chaos.

[20].Utterance 239, AEL, p. 32.

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