Thursday, July 21, 2011

Averting Gridlock in Pharaohville

It seems to me that it has taken far too long to get past this question regarding "Who was the Pharaoh during the Exodus?"  I don't want to lose the flow of the Biblical commentary, but I think that it is important to deal with these issues, because inevitably, it seems to demonstrate the incredible accuracy of the Bible/Torah.

This case was no exception.  There are some extremely interesting aspects which arise as we study this issue.  Some of them are so unusual that I am still not quite willing to write about them here until I give the conclusions further study.

However, I can at least give you an idea of the kind of things which I am encountering along the way.

At first, I was a bit discouraged.  The lists of Pharaohs and when they ruled seemed to be contradictory, and I did not know enough to be able to sort it out.  The identities of some mummies of the pharaohs are still disputed to some extent.  Some new pharaohs would try to wipe out all traces of former rulers, especially if the new guy did not agree with his predecessor's policies or choice of 'gods'.  Loyal followers might move mummies in order to spare them from such desecration.  There were hints that certain women had either reigned as pharaoh for a time, or were co-regents with another pharaoh.

Also, I wasn't sure which researchers were reliable and which were less trustworthy.  It is no secret that sometimes researchers falsify data in order to obtain a result which would bolster their own theories (or the possibility of obtaining further grant money).    

I wondered if I was in a type of gridlock.  It seemed that each theory had other ramifications which needed to be verified and dealt with before moving forward. I felt bogged down in the details.

So I began with the Bible.

I realize that some people will say that I am just reverting to what I already believe.  However, it is not that at all.  Instead, I am starting with this firm foundation of the Bible (which I have said many times has never been proved to be wrong about anything which it states) in order to make some sense of the validity of the various theories.  It is not a blind leap of faith as much as it is trusting in rappelling gear as you navigate the face of a mountain.  (Sometimes you may be hanging out over a chasm, but you trust that your gear will hold you up.)  Interestingly, the Oxford American Dictionary (1980 by Oxford University Press, pg.744) defines 'rappel' as "the descent of a steep cliff by using a double rope fixed at a higher point."  The Bible is that 'higher point'.  It provides the stability as we move back and forth and up and down among the various theories that are presented as truth.

Even among Bible scholars there are disagreements about the date of the Exodus and the pharaoh who reigned at that time.  I intended to look at the facts and come up with the most plausible conclusion.

As I did so, I slowly began to see the gridlock disperse.  There is still a lot of traffic, but at least we are moving forward.

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