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

A Preliminary Note

It has occurred to me that this work deserves a wider reading than its original limited distribution allowed, in the mid-1990s. I will refrain in this brief forward from indulging in many personal references. My most active blog, Forgotten Prophets, overflows with my idiosyncratic ruminations. But I'll share one thing. My relationship with God is not as untroubled as it was in that previous decade. I was tempted to remove any pious sentiments in this work, since they no longer reflect my current state, in God's grace. But I have chosen to leave the work unmolested. I would not dishonor that younger man's naivety, even in the light of my later anguish. He was not wrong, that younger self. I'm wrong. Perhaps I'll emerge from this long wilderness and rejoin the communion. But everyone must pass through his own night.

Regarding this text, I've had great difficulty in posting it. All of the endnote citations have been lost, due to incompatible formats and awkward conversion programs. I could enter the information manually, but I have no reason to, at this point -- my time is limited, and interest in the topic is likely to be limited. Likewise with the charts, graphs and tables -- so far, 5 chapters in, only one has survived. Again, I have hard copies, and I have the original computer files, somewhere. Perhaps over time I'll post them. We shall see. I will be adding chapters, on no particular schedule.

In any case, I hope that any reader of these chapters will be edified. I wrote them in good faith, and I believe my conclusions are correct, in general outline if not in perfect detail. This is copyrighted material, and I trust that fact is honored. Fair use is permitted, and encouraged, but the usual limitations are asserted.


Most Ancient Days: Preface

Most Ancient Days:

A Biblical Reconstruction of Ancient History

from Noah to Saul


Jack H

Copyright 2010


Books by

Jack H:

Idols of the Cave:

the Arguments of Evolution

* * *

The Pillars of Heaven:

Creation, Fall and Flood

According to Science and the Bible

Dragons in the Earth:

Ark and Ice Age

According to Science and the Bible

* * *

The Serpent in Babel:

Fire-worship, Astrology and the Mystery Religion

from Eden to Babylon

* * *

Most Ancient Days:

a Biblical Reconstruction of Ancient History

from Noah to Saul

The Days of Brass and Iron:

a Biblical Reconstruction of Ancient History

from Saul to Alexander


Table of Contents

Preface: World Views

The Age of Legend

1 — The Number of the Years: Biblical Chronology from Adam to Saul

2 — The Age of Evil Imagining: the confusion and scattering at Babel

3 — The Generations of the Sons of Noah: the Table of Nations

4 — Cities of the Twin Rivers: Shinar from Babel to Sodom

5 — Profane Fables: errors of the standard paradigm

6 — Kings of the Nile: Egypt from Babel to Sodom

The Age of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

7 — Stones of Sumer: the "Sumerian Period"

8 — Sands of Egypt: the "Middle Kingdom" & the "Archaic Period"

9, 10 — The Age of Base Metals: the confusion of the Bronze Age

The Scepter of Israel

11 — Joseph Over the House of Pharaoh: Egypt in the 1700's

12 — The Pharaoh Who Knew Not Joseph: the "Old Kingdom" to the Exodus

13 — Moses, Prince of Egypt: Dynasty XIII & the First Intermediate Period

14 — Into the Hands of the Living God: the Ten Plagues of Egypt

15 — Rise Up and Get You Forth: Exodus & Wilderness

Judges Over the Land

16 — Amalek, First of Nations: Dynasties XV & XVI

17 — The Kings of the East: from Sargon to Hammurabi

18 — When There Was No King in Israel: Middle Bronze IIB

19 — The End of Agag: Saul and Ahmose



World Views

Every reasonable person knows our world is billions of years old, and that the course of the planets have affected Earth only in the subtle, distant work of gravity. Everyone knows about the many ice ages, and that humans Evolved from lower forms. Everyone knows about the slow migration out of Africa of the ‛human’ animal which spread and Evolved over the past 100,000 years, and about the gradual increase in the complexity of human culture over scores of thousands of years, and about the 10,000-years-old settlement of Jericho. Everyone knows that there was no Adam and Eve, no Fall from grace, no Flood of Noah, no Tower of Babel, no Long Day of Joshua.

Yet I main­tain otherwise. You have before you a work which some may call lunatic-fringe, on a par with belief in a flat-earth. It may be accused of being religious, or ignorant, or of misusing evidence, or of not meeting the criterion of disinterested­ness which is expec­ted in any work of research. As to that, I trust that evidence and sound reasoning will speak louder than bigotry and ad hominem at­tacks.

I maintain that an issue should be decided on its merit — not on its popularity, and not on how readily it is ridiculed. I maintain that it is evidence, rather than conviction or bias, which should decide an issue. I propose a different set of ‛truths which everybody knows’.

When I was in my early teens, I read all the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, including the Pellucidar series which told of a fantas­tical, Mesozoic world at the core of our plan­et. Later, at age sixteen, I came across a book by a fellow who insisted that Earth actu­ally was hollow, with openings at the poles. I dimly recall that he used as evidence the fact that icebergs were not salty: where else could such mountains of ice come from, if not from the very poles themselves? What he said about Antarctica I do not recall.

I have encountered flat-earthers, and al­chemists and ritual magicians, and commu­nists and atheists and evolutionists and reincarna­tionists. And I have come to see that, while such world views may be fringe or mainstream, they are all based on uncritical faith and a less-than-rigorous acceptance of ‛evidence’.

Karl Marx spent years in the Library of the British Museum, gathering information which he used to support his argument, with its prediction that the most industrialized nations would be the first to become commu­nist. His analysis of history as the struggle between classes is the absolute soul of his system. The validity of that analysis is not to be questioned by the faithful. But what if the ‛evidence’ which Marx used does not sup­port his thesis? Then his ‛dialectical mate­rialism’ becomes just another system of dual­istic metaphysics — a religion which does­ not know it is a religion.

Hinduism and Buddhism have been swallowed whole by New Agers, who regurgi­tate their faith in a form more palatable to Westerners. The hopelessness of karma is reinter­preted as a system of justice to which is added the es­cape tunnel of mercy. It is okay that women are raped and children tortured and babies murdered or born deformed, because that is karma, and they will get another chance, and they deserve what they get anyway for acts they committed in past lives. The First ‛Noble’ Truth, of Bud­dhism, is that life is pain, and the highest goal of life is to become non-existent. The godhood which reincarnationists claim for themselves does not last, since god ‛itself’ is an illusion — froth which sinks down once more into the sea of nothingness. But while we may put words together in a pretty or poetic way, the image and what is real need not be the same thing.

Atheists point to the fact that God has not in the flesh introduced Himself personally to them or any of their friends, and from this observation they conclude that there is no God. "Everyone who says otherwise is just too uncritical and emotion­al. Those who claim to have had communion with some Creator are de­luded or brain­washed, or simple-minded or insane, or they're engaged in wish-fulfillment, or they can't tell when they're dreaming, or they're wrong in some other way . . . but they are wrong. Only randomness and unobserved laws of nature can explain the existence of ourselves and of the universe," says the atheist. "Only Evolutionism is true."

In my book Idols of the Cave I examine the arguments and the evidence used to support the claim that Evolutionism is scientific. The conclusion is that Evolutionism is a metaphys­ical philosophy dissembling as science, which distorts the fossil record with self-serving interpretations, rewrites the laws of nature, and uses shoddy and distressingly superficial ‛logic’. ‛Disinterestedness’ is not even an issue with regard to Evolutionism, since Evo­lution is absolutely foundational to the mod­ern, naturalistic bias — no more to be ques­tioned than one's own heartbeat.

Again, in The Pillars of Heaven and in Dragons in the Earth, I examine the positive case for Creationism. The age of the universe and of Earth and the six days of Creation, the physics of the Fall of Adam and the world and the great age of the pre-Flood patri­archs, the Flood and the fossil record and the geological evidence of stratified rock and of coal and of continental ‛drift’ and mountain-building, the Ark itself and the subsequent Ice Age — all these questions and more are dealt with from an evi­dentiary perspec­tive. Here, my conclusion is that the more literally one takes the Bible, the closer one comes to reality — always re­membering, of course, that there is such a thing as a figure of speech.

In The Serpent in Babel, I look at the origin and spread of paganism. Myths contain the hints and memories — though thoroughly corrupted — of the days before the Flood and of the time surrounding the confusion at Ba­bel. The characters who were prominent at Babel were made into gods by later genera­tions, and the true religion — known to all who cared to be informed — was perverted into the Mys­tery system which to this very day has obscured the fact that Messiah was prophe­sied long before Osiris died.

Now, in this book, Most Ancient Days, I address what I consider to be the final issue: not philosoph­y or physics or faith, but history. History and truth are dif­ferent things, which may happen to agree. This is not a cynical or fatalistic state­ment, but simply a recognition of the limits of what history is. History is what we are told about the past. If it was not written down, it is not history. It may be arche­ology, or tradition, or myth, or even a correct guess, but it is not history. That some civilization once thrived may be a fact, but unless we can read their writings, or what their neighbors said about them, their civilization is not a histor­ical fact, but rather an archeological fact. And we can learn a great deal from archeology — I do not mean any slight whatsoever. But just as a dentist and a barber do differ­ent jobs, so do the historian and the archeol­ogist. Indeed, archeology is often the predecessor of history, as when libraries or ar­chives are unearthed.

In this and its companion volume, The Days of Brass and Iron, I retell the history of mankind, from a precise beginning, to the Classical Age. We will proceed through his­tory chronologi­cally, as conceived in this reconstruction. I will not deal with one region at a time, but rather I will tell the story straight through. As a result, I cannot deal with, for example, each Egyptian dynasty ac­cording to its numerical order, and this will no doubt be a bit confusing: I am going to be talking about Dynas­ty XII before Dynasty III. Reference to the charts will be very useful. This topic is so large, and so chal­lenging, that it must be, unavoidably, confus­ing. Where my prose fails, I hope the charts and tables will be of help, and visa ver­sa. They are meant to complement each other.

In presenting this information, I affirm that I am certainly not disinterested in the con­clu­sion. But my ‛yes’ means ‛yes’, and with that in mind I assert that I have striven to let the evidence speak for itself. In dealing with ancient history, the first and most troublesome prob­lem is the lack of evidence, and the often contradictory reports of those elder histori­ans who wrote before our ‛modern’ age. From the data, some information must be accept­ed, and some dismissed as corrupt. I have not given every detail, but I have given what I judge to be the relevant information. This is what every theorist does, and must do.

I have depended on the prior, ground brea­king research of other writers, most promi­nently Immanuel Velikovsky. In his initial intuition that post-Exodus Egyptian chronology is grossly misunderstood, and in his proposal of an interplanetary cause for earthly catastrophes, Velikovsky arrived at great insight, and has significantly eased the task which I set for myself. He started with the Exodus, and allowed the logical implications to demand that conven­tional chronology be revised. While I dis­a­gree with some of what he proposes, this work would be significantly less detailed without his trailblazing effort.

In another sense, however, Velikovsky is irrele­vant: the Bible demands a revision, and Veli­kovsky's greatest contribution was in provid­ing an example of courage. For the most part, he revised only the history of post-Exodus Egypt. A more orderly approach must bring us to the same conclusions, except that it is clear that the whole of ancient history must be corrected.

I started with the assumption that the Bible contained a recoverable and valid chronolo­gy. From this assumption, the requirement immediately appeared that ancient history as it is commonly under­stood be revised. Making some simple and reasonable judgments (and with the aid of Assyrian and Persian king lists), we can firm­ly date the Flood, the days of Abraham and Joseph, the Exodus and the reign of Saul. With some rigorous research, we can date the confusion at Babel, and mark this as the start of the Empire of Nimrod. When we tie the end of his grandson Ur-Lugal's reign to the death of Amra­phel, the outline comes into pretty clear fo­cus. But the dates which the Bible gives are in harsh contradiction to standard chronology. Precisely how the confusion of the standard model of ancient history may be made rational, is the subject of this book.

Since virtu­al­ly all of the more ancient dates produced by the conven­tional con­struction of history are in harsh contradic­tion with the data from the Bible, I will provide both systems, for ease of ref­er­ence. To indicate the normal but incor­rect dates, they will always be preceded by a symbol which indicates the specific erroneous timeline of some region and era.

The Old Babylonian (OB) timeline, generally off by about 700 years, is indicated by an as­terisk [*]. Thus, the dates for Hammu­rabi (the great king of the Old Babylo­nian dynas­ty) are 1069-26/ *1792-50 — the first set is my cor­rec­tion, and the second is the standard albeit incorrect version of the OB timeline. Also relevant is the Egyptian timeline, which is utterly unpredictable, with no rule to guide us (due to the erroneous order of the Dynasties). This Egyptian timeline is indicated by an "equivalent" sign [≡] — suggesting both an E, and also the three kingdoms of Egyptian history. Of less importance in this volume is the Amarna/ Ashurite timeline [↕] (off by about 500 years), and the erratic Minoan/ Mycenaean/ Homeric [μ] and Anatolian/ Hittite [☼] timelines. Finally, dates or numbers which are simply wrong are indicated by double exclamation points [‼].

Now, there are passages in this work which may well be nothing but boring. I have given details of pharaohs about which almost nobody is likely to care. This is not an eat-your-vegetables book. If you are not interested in the topic of a paragraph, skim it or skip it. It is far more important that you see the over-all picture, than that you understand the minutia of archeology or historiography. But for the sake of completeness, and since it is in the details that a matter is established, I have been, admittedly, overly-precise.

But aside from the great wash of details, and behind the rigors of logic, the overriding theme of this book is that there is a God, who wrote a book by which we may come to know His character and the way to gain salvation — through Jesus Christ. I will not preach in this work, but that the Bible is true and Jesus is Lord is the backdrop against which every word appears. Some will take this clear statement of my bias as disqualifying my conclusions from serious scholarship. I offer no defense. Everyone has a religion. I state mine up front, and expect evidence to determine truth.