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Author Topic:   David Rohl's Research (Re: 'A Test Of Time', re: Egyptian chronology)
Member (Idle past 3582 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002

Message 5 of 50 (217570)
06-17-2005 7:15 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Tranquility Base
06-16-2005 11:26 PM

Any supporting information?
Hi TB,

The first thing I noticed about yor post is that you havent provided a single syllable of supporting information from Rohl's work. Could you perhaps elaborate a little for the people who are not familiar with his hypothesis?

For example:

STANDARD: Old K (2650-2150BC), Middle K (2050-1700BC), New K (1550-1100BC)

REVISED: Old K (2100-1600BC), Middle K (1750-1450BC), New K (1050-600BC)

You do not say what is it that Rohl bases his new chronology on? What evidence does he cite to support these new dates?

As discussed earlier, Rohl's chronology makes it quite plausable that the Exodus (Biblically 1450BC) destroyed the Middle Kingdom.

Can you summarise the reasons why, as this is quite a meaningless statement?

Sesostris III is recognized as a period of slavery in Egypt and he represents the 12th dynasty and last pharaoh of the Middle Kingdom. He lines up quite nicely with the Exodus pharaoh 'who didn't know Joseph'(Ex 1:8).

Many pharaoh’s would line up nicely with the pharaoh who didn’t know Joseph, so what are the arguments for recognising Sesosteris III as the pharaoh of the Exodus. It is fine and well that you say that Rohl claims this, but why should we accept these claims?

It' the same story with Solomon. Go to the layers of 950BC in the new chronology and you find evidence of a glorious city.

This makes no sense whatsoever.

Maybe you could summarise the points that you think are convincing in Rohl’s chronology, then maybe you could tell us why Rohl’s new chronology is universally rejected by the academic community. Why is it that no mainstream archaeologist/Egyptologist accepts Rohl’s new chronology?



This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Tranquility Base, posted 06-16-2005 11:26 PM Tranquility Base has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Member (Idle past 3582 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002

Message 6 of 50 (218709)
06-22-2005 3:43 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Brian
06-17-2005 7:15 AM

Maybe you are very busy TB, and that's fine, but I would appreciate if you could let me know if you have any intention of providing some of the information from Rohl's book to support your claims here?


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 Message 5 by Brian, posted 06-17-2005 7:15 AM Brian has not yet responded

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Member (Idle past 3582 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002

Message 29 of 50 (221360)
07-02-2005 3:14 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Tranquility Base
06-30-2005 2:39 AM

Re: The Saul/David/Solomon evidence is more than convincing
I'm most of the way through Rohl's book and the Saul/David/Solomon evidence in the middle chapters of the book are truly fascinating and more than convincing.

I suppose that is because to anyone unfamiliar with ancient near eastern history/archaeology would find Rohl's work persuasive. However, there are very good reasons for completely rejecting his work. These reasons will become apparent as the discussion develops.

Anyone who knows their Sunday school school stories about these kings of Israel can recognize these figures and the chrnological events from the Amarna letters.

Yes, the Tell el-Amarna letters are a very important part of the origins debate. Unfortunately, when they were found bible archaeologists were far too keen to make parallels with Habiru = Hebrew.

They're a a whole series of letters from the late stages of the Eigteenth Dynasty of Egypt (conventionally 1600-1300BC) that are really undoubtedly tied by Rohl to Levanite figures including Saul, David and Solomon (1000BC).

When the tablets were found, the original assertion was that the word Habiru simply equalled Hebrew. However, a big problem arose for this hypothesis with the mention of the ‘ha-bi-ru’ in the letters of king IR-Heba of Jerusalem in the Amarna archives. The publication of the clay tablets from the Hittite capital Hattusa produced proof that the Sumeriogram ‘sa.gaz’ that means ‘robbers’ (habbatu) , is to be read in the Akkadian and Hittite texts as ‘hab/piru’ (Weippert, M. (1971) The Settlement of the Israelite Tribes in Palestine: a critical survey of the recent scholarly debate, SCM Press, London.: p. 64).

In 1939 it became obvious that the consonantal element of the word ‘ha-bi-ru’, ‘had to be recognised as '-p-r, which meant that all etymologies dependent on the root HBR were excluded, and corresponding attempts with ‘BR and the ‘ibrim became uncertain (Gottwald, N. K. (1979) The tribes of Yahweh : a sociology of the religion of liberated Israel, 1250-1050 B.C.E, SCM Press, London. P. 401)

The word ‘Apiru itself is not of Hebrew origin, and, of course, the Hebrew word for ‘Hebrew’ is ibrim. The origin of the word itself is not known for certain as “there is no certainty as to the language (NW Semitic, Hurrian, etc.) or the verbal root from which the sociopolitical technical term (‘Apiru) was originally drawn” (ibid: 401)

Although the term ‘outlaw’ seems to be the most apt term to define the ‘Apiru, it does tend to miss out many of the categories of society in which the ‘Apiru are said to have existed. While the ‘Apiru were distinctly recognisable from the population of the existing society that they happened to be involved with, they normally relied on that society for their livelihood. They were often employed by members of a society either as individual “contract labourers” or as hired groups of soldiers, agricultural labourers, or construction gangs (Ibid: 402).

The general characteristic of the ‘Apiru turns out to be sociopolitical rather than ethnic or economic. They cannot be characterised as ethnically homogeneous in any one location, nor are they tied to any single economic activity throughout the Near East.

Since the term ‘Apiru has been shown to refer to a social stratum, the equation of the term with the Hebrews is untenable as the Hebrews are said to be an ethnic group. More problematic for the equation is the fact that the Bible suggests that the whole of ‘Israel’ came out of Egypt, however, the ‘Apiru are now attested to in a large variety of sources from different times and places. For example, (I have posted this elsewhere, but for ease of reading I thought it best to include here)

1. In Mesopotamia, they are in evidence through the periods of Ur III, 1 Babylon, and after; in the Nuzi texts (fifteenth century) they play an especially prominent role.

2. Documents from Mari (eighteenth century) and Alalakh (seventeenth and fifteenth centuries) attest their presence in Upper Mesopotamia throughout the patriarchal age.

3. In Anatolia, the Cappadocian texts (nineteenth century) knew them, as did those of Boghazkoy (fourteenth century).

4. They are also mentioned in the Ras Shamra texts (fourteenth century).

5. Egyptian documents of the Empire period (fifteenth to twelfth century) refer to them, both as foes and rebels in Asia and as bondsmen in Egypt.

6. The Amarna letters (fourteenth century), where they appear in Palestine and adjoining areas as disturbers of the peace, are the best witness to them of all.

(Bright, S. J. (1972) A history of Israel, SCM Press, London. P. 92)

John Bright goes on to conclude that “obviously, a people found all over western Asia from the end of the third millennium to about the eleventh century cannot lightly be identified with the ancestors of Israel!” (Ibid: 92).

The connection between the Israelites has not been completely broken. Since the term ‘Apiru has been shown to be a social stratum rather than an ethnic group, it has been proposed that since the Israelites were employed as slaves in Egypt, and as ‘slave’ is a social rather than an ethnic term, then the term ‘Apiru could indeed be applied to the Israelites. In effect, the claim is that not all ‘Apiru were Israelites, but where there were mentions of ‘Apiru, it is possible that an Israelite component may have been present. Although the connection is plausible, it has never been convincingly argued, and remains extremely questionable.

So, what is this evidence that Rohl has that ‘undoubtedly’ links the Amarna period to Saul, David and Solomon?

I am a lot less enthusiastic about Rohl 'undoubtedly' tying the late 18th dynasty to the 10th century BCE. I would also recommend avoiding using absolutes when conducting historical research, it is not something that historians do as they know that their theories are always open to being proven false by some new find/research.

Rohl independenlty uses non-Levantine egyptological evidence to tie the late 18th dynasty to 1000BC.

I look forward to seeing how he is able to do this.

The Armana letters include name lists and/or actual correspondence between Egyptian Pharoahs (including Tutankhamen) and David (Dadua),

So, you are saying that there is a letter from King David in the Amarna letters? If so, do you have a tablet number?

Ayab (Joab), Saul = Lebaim (Labayu), Jesse (Yishay) and even the minor Israelite king for two years in-between Saul and David Ishbaal (Eshbaal)!

Saul = Labayu? Labayu was a Palesinian king, so how does Rohl turn Saul into Labayu?

Why does the Bible never call Saul by the name Labayu?

Not only that, these names, place names (!), conquests and other events match the Sunday School stories consistently that many of us know in detail! Like David rebelling against Saul and taking a band of men who join the Philistines as mercenries.

Okay, there is a lot going on in there, and none of which is supported at this time. The biggest problem with this claim is that the Amarna Letters do not mention Philistines. Now, since the Philistines did not enter into the history of the ancient near east until around 1200 BCE, and this is about 150 years after the end of the Amarna period we don’t expect to see any references to the Philistines. However, this absence of any reference to the Philistines is puzzling if we move the Amarna period forward about 300 years. Moving the Amarna period forward 300 years or so puts it during the time of a great deal of Philistine activity in the region, so why is it that the Amarna letters do not mention Philistines? (especially if David was in league with them and David is supposed to be mentioned in the Amarna Letters.)

And the Armana letters mention on many occasisons the Habiru (Hebrew) in Israel

I think you need to be a little bit careful with the words that you use because the word ‘Israel’ does not appear in the Amarna tablets. The first mention of an Israel as an ethnic group appears in Pharaoh Merneptah’s victory stele, which is dated to around 1205, and the stele suggests that ‘Israel’ had not yet settled in Palestine.

Are you using the name ‘Israel’ here to refer to the area as it later became known?

when mainstream chronology has them in bondage in Egypt.

This is actually incorrect. The date of the Amarna Letters in the traditional chronology is 1400-1350 BCE. The Bible chronology places the Exodus at c.1446, so by 1400 Joshua and his armies should have been starting the military campaign described in Joshua 1-12. The Conquest of Canaan took 5 years (some commentators say 7 years), so the whole of Palestine should have been under Israelite control by say 1395 BCE, which is not supported in any way by the available evidence.

Mainstream this is explained as a small escaped band. It turns out the Habiru of the Amarna letters are actaully the band of mercnries that David rebelled from Saul with, not a band of pre-Exodus Hebrews!

Really? Could you tell us the evidence that Rohl uses to make this absolute identification?

Read about it more in the link I gave above but I'll also post some of these examples in the days to come including quotes from the Aramana letters side-by-side with Scripture.

I look forward to reading it.

It surely, undoubtedly dates the late 18th Dynasty to 1000BC, correcting the chronology by almost 400 years (given the non-Levantine egyptological and retro-astronomical evidence he gives).

So surely in fact that Rohl is the only Egyptologist who believes it.

It's incredibly fascinating and much more convincing than the nay sayers would have you believe.

I rarely take anything that anyone says as being convincing on its own, I always triple check their claims, I even do this with people I have great respect for, even my ex-lecturers.

I highly recommend you to read it yourself.

I have read it, I have also critiqued it a while ago in a presentation at Stirling University, this is one reason why I know Rohl’s chronology has a few terminal flaws. But these will unfold as we go along. Trust me, Rohl’s chronology isn’t at all convincing when you are familiar with the subject, but I will leave you to make up your own mind as the discussion unfurls.



This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Tranquility Base, posted 06-30-2005 2:39 AM Tranquility Base has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by Tranquility Base, posted 07-03-2005 8:13 PM Brian has not yet responded

Member (Idle past 3582 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002

Message 30 of 50 (221369)
07-02-2005 4:00 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Tranquility Base
06-30-2005 3:33 AM

Re: The Saul/David/Solomon evidence is more than convincing
Even the mainstreamers associate habiru with a small band of Hebrews.

I must point out that although 'mainstreamers' do suggest that David's activities as a mercenary does fall into the category of Habiru, none of them believe that David was around at the time that the Amarna Letters were written. 'Mainstreamers' do say that it is possible that where there is a mention of Habiru that there could be a Hebrew presence. No mainstreamer makes the same unsupported absolute identification that Rohl does, not even those cited by Rohl, i.e. Greenberg, Mendenhall, and McCarter.

'Hebrew' was typically applied to a mixed group such as David's band (which included other ethnic groups) and often derogatarily.

But Hebrew is an ethnic term, you have even said that the Hebrews are the decendants of Eber. Could you clarify this a bit please?

Even in Scripture 9 times out of 10 this is the case.

Any references?

Saul is never called "Labayu" in the Bible.

True, but his keepers were referred to as 'Lions' = Lebaim and Scripture mentions that Saul was named so becasue he was 'asked for' suggesting a renaming.

His keepers? Do you mean bodyguards?

Also, 'Lebaim' mean 'Great Lions', is Rohl suggesting that the bodyguards are 'great' lions and Saul is just a lion?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Tranquility Base, posted 06-30-2005 3:33 AM Tranquility Base has not yet responded

Member (Idle past 3582 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002

Message 31 of 50 (221372)
07-02-2005 4:43 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Tranquility Base
06-30-2005 10:59 PM

Re: Habiru
However, that does not change the fact that the Habiru of the Amarna tablets, written over a few hundred years.....

This is incorrect, the Amarna Letters only cover a period of about 50 years, in the traditional chronology the date is roughly 1400-1350 BCE.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Tranquility Base, posted 06-30-2005 10:59 PM Tranquility Base has not yet responded

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