The Stele of YHWH in Egypt: The Prophecies of Isaiah 18–20 concerning Egypt and Kush

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Abstract Since it is commonly held that Psammetichus II abstained from aggressive activity against Babylonia, I want to reconsider his policy B. In this article I shall review: 1. The Babylonian presence and activity in the Levant; 2. The campaign of Psammetichus to the land of Kharu in his fourth regnal year. Taharqa, King of Kush and the Assyrians.

In this article the relationships between Esarhaddon, king of Assyria B. The years between are regarded as years of peace, while Kushite intervention in the The years between are regarded as years of peace, while Kushite intervention in the Levant from and probably until prompted Assyria to react and gain control over the Levant and finally conquer Egypt. An extraordinary prayer by Taharqa to Amun, previously dated by P. Kushite tomb groups in Late Period Thebes. Queen Karimala, Daughter of Osochor? The text mentions the rebellion of Iamani, king of Ashdod, against Sargon in The text mentions the rebellion of Iamani, king of Ashdod, against Sargon in the year BC and his flight to the king of Kush.

In this article I shall attempt to rule out any assumed co-regency between Shabaka and Shabatka and the proposed division of the Egyptian and Kushite kingdoms between Shabaka and Shabatka, respectively.

The Stele of YHWH in Egypt

A problem of pedubasts? In this paper I shall try to show that there were two kings with the name of wsr mAat Ra stp. The frst Pedubast is to be identifed as a Theban ruler who ascended the throne He bears once the epithet sA Ist. The second Pedubast is also called wsr mAat Ra stp. This king probably ruled in Tanis at the end of the 8th century BC and might be identifed as Pedubast, the founder of the disputed Tanite 23rd Dynasty.

As Padiese before him, he found it difficult to let go of the horses that he promised Piankhy. It is not stated if Failing to mention such a tribute is another clue to the supposition that Tefnakht was not entirely defeated but only suffered a setback. According to the Piankhy Stela, almost every ruler of Egypt at that period had a special fondness for his own horses and found it difficult to give them away as tribute.

The success of collecting this tribute of horses from every tax-evading ruler, considering the huge effort that was invested, was surely something that the authors of the stela had to mention. The purpose of this article is to examine the biblical narrative of the Cushite woman whom Moses married and her marginalisation by the author or narrator of Numbers No name and no word were put in her mouth despite the significant role her presence played in the narrative.

Many modern scholars do not even recognise her to be an African woman despite that she is referred to as a Cushite, which literally means black. This article will also discuss her identity, reasons for the objection of Miriam and Aaron, and the meaning of her silence in African and semiotic context. Various terms used to refer to Africa and Africans in the Old Testament. Cush, Cushite and Cushi. This term is one the most important terms used in the Hebrew Bible to refer to Africa and Africans.

Ancient Egyptians seem to refer to black Africans in their southern border as ' Kushu or Kush' Oswalt They used it to refer to a very limited area of land or tribe beyond Semna and Kerma Adamo , , that was later extended to include all the lands further south Adamo ; Maspero They drove back the Africans who occupied the place Maspero cited Lepsius.

Baldwin's theory of the origin of the Cushites as Arabia, before they later settled throughout Africa nearby the Cape of Good Hope, is reasonable Baldwin n. The ancient records of the Egyptians, although sometimes vague, maintain the fact that Cush is located to the south of Egypt. Although there is yet no certainty as to the exact geographical limit of the Kingdom of Cush, 'the brick castle and the great tumuli' uncovered during the excavation at Kerme on the east bank above the Third Cataract, is an evidence that 'the seat of the Kings of Kush' was there and became the place from where the whole 'Kingdom of Kush' was ruled at least from the seventeenth and early sixteenth centuries BCE Adamo ; Kemp Ancient Egyptian monuments had evidence that the Egyptian people had several expeditions to the land of Cush as early as the Sixth Dynasty, under Pepi II.

Perhaps one would be right to say that the term Cush passed from Egypt in Africa to the Assyrians and to the Hebrews.


The term Cush is used in the Old Testament to cover a wide area corresponding to Ethiopia of the classical period. Only a summary of its use in the Old Testament will be given. The Old Testament record is filled with the term Cush and Cushites and they are unmistakably referring to Africa and Africans Adamo ; Davidson The inhabitants of Cush were described as tall and smooth-skinned people. Their blackness becomes proverbial Is ; Jr Moses' wife was from Cush Nm A Cushite man reported the death of Absalom to David 2 Sm , Ebed-Melech was referred to as having a Cushite ancestor Jr ; The Cushite power was comparable only to the power of the Assyrians.

They became the hope of Judah for deliverance from the Assyrians 2 Chr ; Is ; 1 Ki ; 2 Chr , Cush or Cushite and Egypt or Egyptians were constantly mentioned together in the Old Testament because they both belong to the ancient African nations. This term indisputably refers to Egypt as a country in Africa as well as to the people of ancient Egypt in Africa. Ancient Egypt or the Egyptians were black Africans and not from Europe or Europeans as some have maintained Adamo b The inscriptions of Queen Hatshepsut attested to the fact that Punt is their place of origin.

Usry and Keener confirm the Africanness and blackness of ancient Egypt and the Egyptians. Maspero says that 'Punt' lies between the Nile Valley and the Red Sea and is very rich in 'ivory, ebony, gold, metals, gums and sweet-smelling resins'; Budge agrees with Maspero. He also emphasised that Punt was the original home of the Egyptian ancestors. Punt was the place where the Egyptians got their minerals, woods, incense and even their hieroglyphic writings.

Budge also is emphatic that the Egyptians saw themselves as connected with the land of Punt because they belong to the same race and that the relationship between them was very cordial. Rawlinson n. According to him the location of Punt should be sought on the African side of the gulf where the present Somali land is located. He maintains that many Egyptian products and principal gods came from Punt n. O'Connor says 'Typically, the men have dark reddish skins and fine features; characteristic negroid types … and the Egyptians have always visited Punt from the time immemorial … '.

An examination of the women in Moses' tradition shows that women have been mentioned prominently and they mostly played a role at home and in the celebration of Israel's deliverance Williams The midwives frustrated Pharaoh's plan to kill all the newly born male children of Israel in Egypt Ex 2. Pharaoh's daughter also saved Moses on the river when his mother could not hide him at home from the authorities and she decided to put him on the river Ex 2.

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The courageous sister of Moses, Miriam, kept watching over him. She suggested a nurse to the daughter of Pharaoh, namely his mother to take care of Moses. Perhaps this were the same Miriam and Aaron who spoke against Moses' authority in Numbers, because of the Cushite woman that Moses married. References to Moses' wives appear only in Exodus 2, 4, 18, and Numbers 12 but do not reappear in any allusion to Moses in the Jewish scriptures. Exodus , 21 and mention the priest of Midian, Ru'el who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses as a wife and Zipporah bore him a son called Gershom.

In Exodus , Zipporah circumcised her son to save the life of her family. She personally spoke herself, 'You are a bridegroom of blood'. Reference to Moses' wives has not reappeared in any other passage except in the Greek translations of the above passages. Like other passages where the exact geographical identification of the term Cushite was not given by the Hebrew writers, scholars have spent much energy trying to identify the Cushite woman Moses married.

Many scholars identified her with Zipporah, the Midianite Ex ; Plant ; Winslow Ibnu-Ezra and Augustine Bugner are the early scholars who did this. Owen compares the Cushite in Numbers with 'Cushan' in Habakkuk which he identifies with Midian and concluded through parallelism that the Cushite woman in Numbers must be Zipporah. Binns also identifies the Cushite woman with Zipporah. He Binns said probably Miriam was jealous because when Zipporah was away to Midian there was no challenge, but when she returned, Miriam's prestige diminished.

This appears to have no basis whatsoever. Even though Marsh admits the difficulty involved with the identification of the Cushite woman with Zipporah, he is emphatic that the Cushite woman cannot refer to an African, but Zipporah. Martin Noth denies that the Cushite woman refers to an African or the Midianite because Egypt is far removed from Moses' sphere of activity and that the woman belongs to the confederacy of tribes parallel to Midian Noth However, what the name of the tribe or confederacy is, he does not say.

Gray does not even attempt to identify the Cushite woman because he thinks that the verse is an editorial insertion. What is shown above is the evidence of de-Africanisation of the Cushite woman by most Euro-American biblical scholars. A close examination of this passage Nm and other related passages which mention the Cushit , Miriam and Midian show that the Cushite woman cannot be Zipporah, but an African woman, for the following reasons:.

Midian and Kush or Midianite and Cushite were never used interchangeably in either the biblical, the Egyptian, or the Assyrian records. Jethro was never called a Cushite. Therefore, the Jewish tradition of equating the Cushite woman with Zipporah has no basis. It was probably an apologetic device to keep Moses a monogamist Gray ; Noth There are four reasons to believe that the Cushite wife of Moses is a black African woman.

Firstly, the article author has personally spent years studying references to Cush, Egyptians and Assyrian in the Old Testament, consulting Egyptian and Assyrian documents and can say with all certainty that in every reference in the biblical, Egyptian and Assyrian records where the word 'Kash', 'Kush', or 'Kushu', are used with a clear geographical or personal identification, it always refers to Africa Adamo ; ; a; b; c; ; This monument, the inscription of Ameni, tells us that the king travelled south, overthrew his enemies, 'the abominable Kash , and obtained tributes, past the boundary of Kush , to the end of the earth' Breasted Let me understand what this strength of mine is for!

Each man has his slice of this Egypt, dividing up the land with me. I cannot pass by him as far as Memphis. Pritchard These three lists contain 17, 15 and names respectively. Assyrian documents referred to Africa and Africans as 'Kush' or 'Kusu'. The annalistic texts of Esarhaddon say:. In my tenth campaign I directed my march I ordered … toward the country which is Nubia Kusu and Egypt Musur … In my campaign, I threw up earthwork for as against Ba'lu, king of Tyre who had put his friend Tirhakah Tarqu , king of Nubia against called … course of siege trust upon Kusu ….

Pritcard Among his military men were Cushites, Egyptian and Sukkim. As far as scholars and ancient records are concerned, Tirhakah is unquestionably from Africa. Secondly, the Rabbinical interpretation of the Cushite woman is 'beautiful'. This was based on the proverbial beauty of the Ethiopians Gray And Miriam and Aharon spake against Mosheh words that were not becoming with respect to the Kushaitha whom the Kushace has caused Musheh to take when he fled from Pharaoh but whom he had sent away because they had given him the queen of Kush, and he had sent her away.

And Miriam and Aharon spake against Mosheh about the Kushaitha whom he had taken. But observe, the Cushite wife was not Zipporah, the wife of Mosheh, but a certain Kushaitha, of a flesh different from every creature. Etheridge Fourthly, there is a strong tradition which says that Moses married an Ethiopian woman and this Ethiopian was associated with Ethiopia, south of Egypt whose capital was Meroe Saba. It says that when the Ethiopians oppressed the Egyptians, the Egyptians pleaded with Moses to lead their army against the Ethiopians.

Moses agreed, and he became the Egyptian general. When Moses and the Egyptian army besieged the capital city of the Ethiopians, Meroe Saba , the daughter of the king of Ethiopia, Tharbis, fell in love with Moses. She asked Moses to marry her. Moses agreed on the condition that she delivered the Ethiopians into his hand. Tharbis did so, and after Moses destroyed the Ethiopians, he married Tharbis Jos Other Jewish traditions concerning the story of Moses' campaign in Ethiopia in the Medieval Jewish texts such as Sepher ha-harshar, Pasrashar Shemoth and the Byzantine Chronicle, Palea Historical, where Moses was described as defending the Ethiopians from a usurper named Balaam after which he married the princess of Ethiopia Runnals Although no one can be sure of the reliability of these traditions, they should not be dismissed outrightly without looking at the facts.

One important fact in the tradition which agrees with the biblical account is that Moses married an African woman Jos In the light of this, it is highly probable that after the death of Moses' wife or after she was divorced, or when she travelled to his country Midian , Moses needed another helpmate fit for him in his leadership responsibility. The question that arises, is why was it that of all the available women, including Israelites, Moses chose to marry an African? The reason may not only be because Yahweh instructed him, but also because African women were beautiful and were held in high esteem.

In Isaiah , Africans are described as 'tall and smooth'. Herodotus also described Africans as the 'tallest and handsomest men in the whole world' Herodotus ; Therefore, it is relatively certain that the Cushite woman in Numbers is an African. It is probable that she is a daughter of one of the sympathisers of the children of Israel who left Egypt with the Israelites Adamo Reasons for Miriam's and Aaron's objection. At this point, it is important to ask why Miriam and Aaron objected to Moses' marriage with the Cushite woman.

Many scholars have suggested several reasons why Miriam and Aaron raised an objection to Moses' marriage to the Cushite woman and leadership authority. Bailey , Bellis , Felder and Wagenaar believe very strongly that the main reason for an objection is not to Moses' marriage, but to his superior leadership and privileges. A close reading of the text leaves no doubt that superior leadership experience cannot be excluded from the main reason why Miriam and Aaron raised an objection to the marriage. However, beyond the leadership authorities are the privileges that come with such authority.

These privileges may include respect, gifts donated to authentic leaders by the people, such as harvest and possibly worship. Sadlers differs in his opinion. According to him, the main reason for the objection to the Cushite woman was because she was a foreigner from Cush. Although this text raises the question of the status of foreign women in Israelite society, this author finds it difficult to agree with the opinion that Miriam's and Aaron's objection were because the Cushite woman was a foreigner. The fact that Moses had earlier married a foreigner from Midian, Zipporah, and there was also no known recorded objection against the marriage, shows that that cannot be the reason for the objection.

Despite that the text specifically repeated the phrase 'because of the Cushite woman whom he had married for he had married a Cushite woman' this does not mean that Miriam and Aaron were criticising Moses because of her foreignness. The assumption of Davies that Moses' marriage to the Cushite woman was criticised because it challenged the normative assumptions of who is marriageable, is not tenable. Yet, I hold very strongly that the reason for Miriam's and Aaron's anger cannot be because the Cushite woman was black, according to Knierim and Coats , Williams and Lokel Can one make in book that is the sensitivity; experience; of?

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