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Archive 3468

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Discovery of a large early Edomite Empire

David J. Gibson


Page 2

Edom and the Hyksos by David J. Gibson

Copyright © CanBooks 2010

Printed in Canada

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval

system, or transmitted in any form by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy,

recording or any other – except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the

prior permission of the publisher.


Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible,

King James Version.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Ver-

sion, copyright @ 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used

by permission. All rights reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-9733642-6-2

Further orders:

Page 3

A Word of Explanation

David J. Gibson lived in western Canada for most of his life. As a victim

of polio he was bound to his wheelchair but his mind was bound to nothing,

other than his love for his Bible. As a young boy David learned to love history,

and having inherited his father’s collection of book he set about learning Hebrew

and Greek, as well as making himself familiar with Egyptian herioglyphics as

well as the langauges of Babylon and Assyria. Since he was limited to the books

at hand, he subscribed to a number of archeological journals and purchased

many good books, especially reports on the various digs and excavations that

interested him. When he died in 1964, the library passed on into the hands of

myself, his son Dan (the editor of this book) who continued with the research

begun by his father.

This manuscript lay untouched for many years as I worked on my own

research and writings, but recently I felt compelled to publish this book in

memory of my father. The book was first published on the Internet on the website, and now in 2009 it is being published as a stand-alone

book in electronic format.

I trust you will enjoy the book, the research and implications it makes,

as well as the older writing style which expresses the heart of the author, my

father and friend.

Dan Gibson

Page 4


Other books by the same author:

  • Early Man in Science and the Scriptures
  • Eden
  • The Ships of Tarshish

Visit https://canbooks for more information

Page 5




Chapter 1 The Enormous Hyksos Empire

Chapter 2

The Mixed Origin of the Edomites

Chapter 3

The Birth of the Kingdom of Edom

Chapter 4

The Book of Job

Chapter 5

The Hyksos-Edomite Empire

Chapter 6

The Hyksos Used Horses

Chapter 7

Where Did They Go?

Chapter 8

The Founding of Petra


Chronological Table


Bibliography and References

Short Summary


Page 6


Dedicated to my Loving Wife

A surprising solution to a long standing intriguing problem, of great interest to

all who study history, and particularly to every student of the Bible

Page 7





Discovery of a large early Edomite Empire

David J. Gibson


Page 8



The theory set forth in this book was not an over-night inspiration.

The first flash of thought along this line occurred above twenty- five years

ago. That first flash received a rather skeptical reception in my own mind,

but as time has gone on and various facets of the original idea found

enticing support through further study, and also archaeological research

reports brought confirmatory factors such as a strong Hurrian element in

the Hyksos make-up, it began to run in my mind that that first flash had

more to it than I had supposed. Thus it was finally decided to set down

the theory in writing that others might consider it. Possibly it may prove

an acceptable theoretical basis pending further light. Further information

may prove confirmatory and enable our theory to pass in whole or in part

into the realm of assured fact; or, it may not. But if further interest and

study is stirred up by propounding this theory, then, even though our main

suggestion may prove wrong, still good will have resulted by the further

research and study engendered. Then perhaps someone else will press on

to really unravel the Hyksos mystery.

Our theory draws upon two main sources of information. The science

of archaeology on the one hand, with some extra data from traditions, and

the Bible on the other. Both contribute to our study. Very heavy dependence

upon the Biblical record will be noted.

The author may appear much too sanguine in this, to those who

hold to the Graf-Wellhausen ideas of the composite J. E. P. origin of the

Pentateuch — or Hexateuch, if they wish. If the Pentateuch was compiled in

the 8th to 5th centuries B.C., as they suppose, it appeared long, long after

the times it refers to. In many minds the reliability of the writings is thereby

destroyed. Such readers may wonder why we fail to take cognizance of which

hypothetical author (J, E, or P., etc.) is supposed to have contributed this

or that particular passage which we quote and rely upon in this book, to

see what bearing such authorship might have upon our theory.

To all such we thus reply. First. This book is not the place for the

discussion of hypothetical sources.

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Second. Even if one granted the theory of the late composition of the

Pentateuch (or, beg pardon! the Hexateuch), it does not necessarily follow

that our theory would be thereby affected.

These late authors may have had; good sound well preserved oral

traditions to go by. Nay, in view of the great antiquity of writing, now fully

proven by archaeological evidence and antiquity far out-dating the times

with which we deal, these late writers may have drawn entirely from written

records originating near the events themselves! Can we prove otherwise?’ We

feel we are in no pos1tian to question the accuracy of the B1blical records we

quote, unless we have very clear proof. We believe such proof to be lacking

or quite inadequate.

Again, as to whether the names preserved in early Hebrew stories are

of actual individuals or represent clans and tribes etc., we have this to say.

Supposing such to be the case, what then? If by Abraham marrying Hagar

is meant a clan from Egypt called Hagar intermingling with some Hebrew

“clan” from which came the Ishmaelite “clan” we are still confronted with the

Ishmaelites being of a mixed Hebrew-Egyptian origin anyway, just as much

as by taking’ the, names to represent individuals and as telling actua1 history!

Therefore, it was felt best in this book to accept the Biblical evidence just

as it comes to our hand, without raising questions none of us can answer. We

give it the benefit of the doubt. That seemed fair treatment from any stand

one may take in this matter.

Of course, the author feels free to hold his own opinions as to the writers

of the Pentateuch. He is not ashamed to confess he finds difficulty in fully

believing in the Mosaic authorship of all the Pentateuch saving the closing

chapters of Deuteronomy. The Ugarit discoveries have put back alphabetical

writing to the age of Moses, and such writing could be quite a bit earlier.

Others may think differently. This difference need not upset fair consideration

of the theory set forth in the following pages.

We wish to thank our friend Dr. Arthur C. Custance of Ottawa for some

help given in personal correspondence. The Ameri-Cana Institute also made

some searches for us, which were helpful.


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The Enormous Hyksos Empire

Crowns and thrones may perish, Kingdoms rise and wane. . .”

The Mysterious Hyksos or “Shepherd Kings of ancient Egypt have

long presented scholars with one of the greatest puzzles of history. They were

foreigners, not Egyptians. They invaded the country, then reigned in that Land

of the Nile as Pharaohs.

Seemingly out of nowhere, about seventeen hundred years before Christ,

a Hyksos King called Salatis with his people suddenly swarm in on horseback

across the eastern border of Lower Egypt. For a few generations they vigorously

rule in the Delta, part of the time dominating all of Egypt, taking to themselves

all the titles of native Pharaohs. They even adopt Egyptian ways, yet were never

absorbed by or loved by the Egyptians; indeed the Egyptians seem to have

hated them intensely. The Hyksos seem to hold sway over an enormous ancient

empire, of which luxurious Egypt was but a part, until finally the Egyptians

arose against their masters. Then, as suddenly as they mysteriously came, they

equally mysteriously pass away, dropping completely out of sight altogether.

Driven back out of Egypt, not very long before the birth of Moses, the Hyksos

Kings with their great empire promptly fade and disappear never to rise again.

Not another trace of these people has ever yet been identified.

Where did these people go when they vanished in retreat? When Ahmose

I (the Egyptian king who founded the XVIIIth Dynasty) drove the Hyksos

armies from his country soon after 1580 B.C. ,the enemy retreated not only

to Southern Palestine, but retreated out of history itself!

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Their great empire became a forgotten empire, unrecorded in preserved

history until the new science of archaeology began piecing together the exciting

bits of evidence dug up here and there. No one has yet succeeded in tracing their

retreat any farther, or in discovering their home towards which they seemed to

be retiring. Who were these people? Many speculations and suggestions have

been made. One suggested Kadesh or some other city in Syria as their home;

some have looked toward Palestine itself; others try to link them with the Hittites

of Asia Minor; for a little it was speculated whether they were Hurrians; some

original home beyond the Caucasus was proposed, still another connects them

with early Hebrews, relatives of the Israelites. (2) It is all very uncertain. The

Hyksos remain an enigma and an unsolved riddle to this day.

A Solution From the Bible?

Our proposal is that a clue to the origin of the Hyksos Kings and people

may be found in and through the pages of that profound and ancient Book,

the Bible.

Too often the earlier portion, of the Bible has been viewed as only myth,

legend and folklore. (3) It is looked upon as the literary product of a small and

rather insignificant Hebrew tribe, which, after a lot of wandering around, ended

up in the Palestine Hills; a tiny nation which happened to possess some great

and sublime ideas of the Creator and evolved an excellent monotheism, but

which was, paradoxically, woefully local and terribly cramped in geographical

and historical outlook!

Its book of origins (The Book of Genesis) is often considered as quite

fantastic and unreliable as a source of historical fact. But, surely, writers capable

of such sublime, spiritual concepts, and keen observers of nature about them,

(vastly superior to their po1ytheistic, magic-fearing great neighbors,) were also

capable of just as wide and as discerning a grasp of the political world about

them and of the events of their own times in which they sometimes took part.

Is it not utter folly for us to dismiss their writings as rather unreliable because

they were a small people? One may as well argue that a writer living in little

Switzerland, nestling among the Alps, simply could not be an authority on

early history because he comes from a small nation or again that he would be

unreliable on the history of two world Wars because the Swiss took no part in it”

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Swiss minds are no inferior to German, English or American in grasping

world evens: Hebrew minds were not inferior to Egyptian, Assyrian or

Babylonian in recording history; indeed we are inclined to think the Hebrews

thought in a wider and longer historical view and sense than is visible in much

of the earlier records recovered from the great nations of antiquity. We must also

remember that the Hebrews, living closer to the events we deal with likely had

better sources than we with our often sketch and incomplete monuments dug

out of the ruins of the places of self-centered and boastful monarchs. Again, in

contrast to those records which acclaim victories but omit defeats, the Hebrews

tell of both defeats as well as victories. Which do you think ultimately most

trust worthy? So let us with confidence look to the Bible for light on the times

of the Hyksos Kings.

In setting forth this theory,, may we however, first examine the historical

records uncovered by archaeologists and survey what may there be learned

concerning these puzzling Hyksos Kings. Afterwards this will be compared

with certain lesser noted parts of Scripture and a check made concerning a

people there mentioned, to see if that people may be the origin of the Hyksos.

Each reader may then draw his own conclusion as to whether our theoretical

identification is to be classified as perfect, or possible, or plausible or, (we home

not!) preposterous.

Scantiness of Hyksos Records

It is unfortunate that the monuments of the Hyksos Kings of Egypt have

been almost wholly lost. Such monuments would no doubt, have supplied the

key to the information wee now seek. The Delta region of Egypt, where the

Hyksos appear to have established their capital after entering Egypt, is not so

favorable to the preservation of records as is Upper Egypt. Possibly later Egyptian

kings may have sought to destroy every trace of the hated invaders by throwing

down and demolishing all their monuments. (4) However, a few records have

been preserved, and some later Egyptian writings refer to them occasionally.

The following is a brief summary of the main points of our knowledge of these

mysterious kings.

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No. l. The Extent of the Hyksos Empire

The name “Hyksos” was thought by the Egyptian historian Manetho(who

lived before Christ, yet fifteen long centuries later than the Hyksos) to mean

Shepherd Kings. Many writers still refer to them under that name. As the

Hyksos were Semites, and are also called Arabians, there may be an element

of truth in the idea.

Arabians are commonly shepherds, and Manetho may have known of

traditions current in his day giving him reason to believe they actually were

shepherds. This may have influenced him to endeavor to make this meaning

out of the obscure word, “Hyksos.”

Modern scholars, however, are inclined to believe Manetho was mistaken

in his derivation of the word. They think it means “Rulers of Countries.”

(5) Certainly, what we now learn of them bears out that meaning very well.

According to Sir Charles Marston in “The Bible Comes Alive,” (Eyre and

Spotiswoode, London, 1937; pg. 42ff.), the word means “Royal Bedouin.” He

draws attention to the Ras Shamra or Ugarit tablets which mention the existence

of Arabs in Southern Palestine in Patriarchal times, speaking an archaic Hebrew.

Prof. Breasted stated in “A. History of the Ancient Egyptians” in 1919,

(paragraphs 170-173), that monuments of Khian (or “John”), one of these

surprising rulers, have been found not only in Lower Egypt, (the Delta region

where they resided,) but also 350 miles away to the south at Gebelen in Upper

Egypt. His royal cartouches are found in Southern Palestine; his name turns

up 450 miles off across the sea to the north west in the Island of Crete; also

750 miles away to the north east, in the distance beyond Palestine, Syria and

the Arabian Desert where a granite lion bearing his cartouche upon its breast

was found at Baghdad. Consider the far reach of these points on the map on

the next page.

No wonder, Prof. Breasted, viewing the great, wide sweep or this

astonishing evidence, was moved to say, a person cannot behold it without

having raised up before him, “A vision of a empire which once stretched from

the Euphrates to the first cataract of the Nile.”

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Were the Hyksos Kings: “Rulers of Countries. Yes, indeed! As heads over

an empire embracing anywhere near such an extensive area as indicated by the

locations of these monuments, they truly ruled over many countries and varied

peoples. They must have dominated the world of their day.

This, then, is our first point. There was a great Hyksos Empire, which

centered in or not far from Lower Egypt; its general area is indicated above.

The Hyksos entered Egypt from the east, and, strangely, instead of dominating

Egypt from without, from their own capital, they moved into Egypt and made

that their center. These facts will be quite important to our later studies.

No. 2. Race and language of the Hyksos

As to the race and language of the Hyksos, scholars were at first fully

agreed they were Semites. They spoke a language closely akin to Hebrew. Then

Page 15


modern research detected also a strong Hurrian element in their language, and

suggestions were made that the Hyksos were Hittites. One proposed a possible

Amorite connection (6) But Dr. Merril F Unger in “Archaeology and the Old

Testament,” Zondervan, 1954, P.14” states: “Eventually there arose a new king

over Egypt, who .. knew not Joseph’ (Exod.l:8). Thus began the long years of

‘oppression. This new king seems to have been the founder or an early king of

the powerful 18th dynasty (1546…1319).

Since the Hyksos invasion of Egypt was led by Semites, and not my

Hurrians or Indo-Aryans, as recent studies have shown, it appears that the

expulsion of the Hyksos around the middle of the 16th century” B. C was

the important event that resulted in the oppression of the Israelites. Thus we

conclude that scholars now again consider the puzzling Hyksos to be mainly

a Semitic people, but with a Hurrian element, which we must not overlook.

On the monuments the Egyptians call the Hyksos, “Asiatics” and

“Barbarians.” Manetho calls them “Arabians” and “Phoenicians. The Jewish

writer Josephus, who lived in the time of the early Christians and was a

contemporary to the events in the later chapters of the Book of Acts, found

the then known facts concerning them so similar to his own nation that he

jumped to the conclusion the Hyksos tradition was but a garbled account of

the children of Israel in Egypt before the Exodus. This we know is not correct,

as the Israelites were slaves, not kings of a great empire, but it does reveal that

those traditions concerning the Hyksos made them appear racially very like to

the Israelites who were Hebrews.

Sir Charles Marston in “The Bible Comes Alive, argues that the Hyksos

were a Hebrew people, though not Israelites. That is, they were of the same

racial stock as Abraham, who was a Hebrew. Marston also links the Hyksos

with Arabs in part. We feel that in this, he was very near to the solution, as will

be evident from our later studies.

Of course, we must recognize that there were other Hebrews aside from

Abraham and his descendants, the Israelites. As Arthur Custance very keenly

observed in a communication to the author, Joseph when talking to Pharaoh’s

butler says he was “stolen out of the land of the Hebrews.” (Genesis 40:15) Dr.

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Custance continues: But the mere presence of Jacob and his family in Palestine

would hardly warrant it being called Hebrew-land. Evidently a much wider

Hebrew domination was in fact existing, a domination by others than Israelites,

who were, nevertheless, termed Hebrews.”

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Even at the time of Joseph those Hebrews descended from Abraham were

becoming numerous in some areas. Both the Ishmaelites and the Midianites)

who purchased Joseph of his brethren, were Hebrew entities, descended from

Abraham. No doubt other Hebrew groups had sprung up from the families of

Page 18


Abraham’s father Terah, and the general area where these groups existed from

Edom up into Mesopotamia, might thereby be termed Hebrew-Land.

To sum this matter up, it seems abundantly clear that the Hyksos were

definitely a Semitic people, or led by those who were pre-dominantly Semitic,

and that there was a Hurri element as well. Racially, they were very like the

Israelites, and could be Hebrews of some sort, or were similar to Hebrews.

We feel that this racial data is so important to our study, that it should

be summarized. To discover whence came the Hyksos, we find we must look

for a people who can rightly be called any and all of the following:

  1. Asiatic,” that is, racially not Egyptians but foreigners and strangers

from the east.

  1. Barbarians,” that is, a people considered by the Egyptians as on a

lower cultural plane than themselves.

  1. “Arabians,” that is, a people linked with the deserts of Arabia, as

shepherds, Bedouin, nomads, etc.

  1. “Phoenicians,” that is, Canaanites, either directly from the Land of

Canaan or a related people.

  1. “Semites, that is, a people speaking a Semitic tongue; but with a

Hurrian admixture.

  1. A. people so like the Israelites that the two could rather be easily be

confused, the one mistaken for the other.

Each of these factors will be referred to later on in our search for the

Hyksos homeland. Each will be accounted for.

No.3. The Hyksos City “Avaris”

The first Hyksos King is said by Manetho to have been Salatis. The

account runs that Salatis built himself a capital city named Avaris, somewhere

east from Bubastis. It is described as being located east of the eastern arm of

the Nile as it fans out in the Delta. The city Avaris would thus be close to or in

the desert area either in or not too far from the east side of the Delta towards

the south-western corner of Palestine. It is now generally identified with Tanis,

called Zoan in the Bible. (7)

It is of interest in this connection to observe that the eastern border of

Egypt has been considered by the (majority of scholars to extend over the

Page 19


desert beyond the Isthmus of Suez as far as the Wadi el ‘Arish. They have held

that this wadi, dry most of the year’!”, is called “the river of Egypt” in many

Bible passages, and name it as the real boundary between Egypt and Canaan.

On the other hand, H. Bar- Deroma in an article, “The River of Egypt (Nahal

Mizraim)”, (Palestine Explora1ion Quarterly, Jan.-June 1960, P. 37), studies

the passages and gives sound reason to believe “the river of Egypt” is the Nile

and or the eastern or Pelusaic arm thereof in the Delta in particular.

Somewhere in this vicinity, in the times of Moses and Joshua, lived the

Avim or Avites (Deut.2:23; Josh.13:3). The name is phonetically similar to

“Avaris I’, the Hyksos capital, but no connection has yet been shown.

When the Egyptians finally began to regain power, the Hyksos were

besieged in this city Avaris for an unknown length of time; it-may have been

a long, hard siege. When the city ultimately fell before the growing power of

Ahmose I, the Hyksos lost all control of Egypt and had to retreat to the city

Sharuhen in Southern Palestine.

No. 4. The Hyksos had Horses

It is well known that the Hyksos Kings had and used horses. Indeed, it is

quite generally believed that it was the Hyksos who introduced the horse into

Egypt, since pre-Hyksos monuments do not mention these animals while later

monuments do. (8)

Sir Flinders Petrie, when excavating Hyksos graves in Southern Palestine at

Tell el Ajjul, near Gaza, found that horses had been buried evidently with their

owners. Certainly, the horses must have been loved and held in highest esteem

by these men, to merit burial with their masters. (See, “A Pompeii’ of Southern

Palestine” in “’The Illustrated London News,” June 20,1931, page 1050, also articles in

the same journal under dates of May 14,1932, page 814, and July 9, 1932, page 57.)

Archaeologists have also discerned several cemeteries in Tell el-Dab’a

belonging to the Second Intermediate Period during recent excavations. These

burials date from late Dynasty XIII to the end of the Hyksos Period. One

of the more remarkable finds is a mud brick vaulted tomb to the west of the

main temple enclosure, which apparently belonged to a Hyksos warrior. He

was buried with his weapons, a well-preserved copper sword (the earliest of its

Page 20


type found in Egypt) and dagger, as well as other grave-goods and offerings. In

the entrance to the tomb the skeleton of his horse was found and next to the

north-eastern wall the body of a young girl – thought to have been a servant,

perhaps a sacrifice, who was interred at the time of her master’s burial. A

number of other horse-burials have recently been uncovered. (See the web site:

Egyptian Monuments:

daba.html) Whatever people we seek to identify as the Hyksos, they must be

a people having horses.

No. 5. The Religion of the Hyksos

In the matter of religion it seems most evident that the later Hyksos

Kings worshipped “Sutekh.” (9) “This Egyptian name way be identified as the

god “Baal” of the Phoenicians or Canaanites, or shall we say, one of the many

“Baals” as local districts had their own “Baal-gods.”

Breasted translates a folk-tale c1rculating in Egypt four hundred years

later, which includes this statement concerning Apophis, one of the Hyksos

Kings: “Now King Apophis made Sutekh his Lord serving no other god, who

was in the whole land, save Sutekh. He built the temple in beautiful and

everlasting work.” One might think from this that some of the earlier Hyksos

Kings worshipped some other god either solely or as well as Sutekh, until King

Apophis made Sutekh his Lord.”

Nevertheless, it is certain Sutekh (or Baal)was one of their chief gods, and

at times possibly their only god. What other god or gods they may have had

before, the Egyptian records do not reveal.

Therefore, in our identification, we must look for a people who worshipped

“Baal” in one form or another.

No. 6. The Date of the Hyksos Empire.

The time that the Hyksos Kings ruled in Egypt and the date of their

great empire is well established in relation to Egyptian history of that period.

It fills or nearly fills the time between the Middle Kingdom and the New

Empire commencing with the Eighteenth Dynasty. We may say it occupies

the gap between the XIIth and the XVIIIth Dynasties. The Hyksos Kings for

Dymasties XV and XVI.

Page 21


The chronology of the XVIIIth Dynasty is relatively good, and links up

well with Palestinian and Babylonian events both through written records (as

monuments and the Amarna Letters) and by archaeological evidences.

Ahmose I, the first king of the XVIIIth Dynasty of Egypt, is the king who

drove the Hyksos out of Egypt. The Pharaoh of the Exodus of Bible history, was

either Amenhotep II, or Thutmose IV, (of the XVIIIth Dynasty), or Merneptab

(of the XIXth Dynasty), by the most popular theories. This gives us a rough

method of linking the time of the Hyksos Empire with Biblical history.

The collapse of the Hyksos Empire was about 160 years before Amenhotep

II and Thutmose IV, and about 350 years before Merneptah; so we may say the

fall of the Hyksos Empire was about 160 or 350 years before the Exodus of the

Children of Israel from Egypt. Using the long chronology of the sojourn of the

Israelites in Egypt, that is, that they were in Egypt for 430 years (Exod.12:40-

4l)*, and so the Hyksos Empire existed while Israel sojourned in Egypt.

Note. There is no conflict between Exodus 12:40-41 and St. Paul’s statement in

Gal 3:17, if the emphasis is put on the word “confirmed” in St. Paul’s statement. Then

the Abrahamic Covenant was confirmed 430 years before the giving of the law, which

confirmation would naturally be the last confirmation given to the Patriarchs. The last

time God confirmed the Abrabamic Covenant to the Patriarchs, in a vision, was just

before Jacob entered Egypt (Gen.46:l-4), from which confirmation we should measure

430 years to the giving of the law at Mount Sinai.

The existence and history of this great Hyksos Empire would not be

forgotten by the time of Moses. Therefore, some reference to the Hyksos people

and their kings would be quite natural in Moses’ writings. Of course, such

reference would be under a name known to the Hebrews, rather than under

the odd, Egyptian name “Hyksos.”

In writing his great book of origins, that is, The Book of Genesis, it does

seem, as this study will later set forth, that Moses paused in his main story

long enough to outline quickly and briefly, what his readers at that day would

readily recognize as the origin of that and elusive but great empire under the

Hyksos Kings.

Summary of Evidence to be Matched

Here, then, is the sum of the particular evidences regarding taken the

Hyksos discovered from sources available to us; taken from tradition and gleaned

Page 22


from monument and archaeological findings. It presents us with a fairly definite

picture, which we must see paralleled and reflected in the Biblical people we are

to introduce in the following chapters in our attempt to unravel this exciting

and unique puzzle handed to us from the past.

The Hyksos were:

  1. Rulers of an Empire, started before the invasion of Egypt and which,

at its greatest, seems to have included Egypt, the Southern portions of

Palestine, the North Sinai desert, and to have extended its influence,

if not direct control, across Northern Arabia to the regions about the

Euphrates River.

  1. A Semitic People, closely akin to Hebrews and Arabians; allied or akin

to the Canaanites (Phoenicians); yet possessing a quite noticeable

Hurrian element.

  1. A people who likely had a capital city before entering Egypt, yet

preferred to set up a new capital city, Avaris, upon entering Egypt —

to them a conquered land — thus forsaking, as a seat of government

whatever capital they had previously.

  1. A people who very early had horses, and used them extensively in


  1. A people who worshipped Baal (Sutekh)
  2. A people who attained the height of their power about 200 to 300

years before the Exodus of Israel from Egypt.

Our problem now is to see whether the Biblical people to be suggested

can match every one of these six points, and whether there are any irresolvable

differences or difficulties which might confute, annul or weaken our proposed

identification. The Bible does record one nation, and one alone, which appears

to fit all the six points listed above. To the origin and early history of that nation

we will now turn for close study.

Page 23



The Mixed Origin of the Edomites

Or profane(common) person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his

birthright” — Hebrews 12:16.

MUCH more space is given to the origins of the Edomites in the Book

of Genesis than to any other non-Israelite nation. There must be a reason

for this. Ishmael’s descendants for instance, are dismissed in just seven verses

(Gen.25:l2-l8); all the nations of the Canaanites, so familiar to the Israelites,

are disposed of in only six verses (Gen.1O:15-20); but a whole chapter of no

less than forty-three verses is devoted entirely to the origins of Edom (Gen. 36)

We naturally ask Why? Moses, whom we believe was the author or

compiler constrained to turn from his main subject, and to give quite a lengthy,

though most compact digression, covering the details of Esau’s descendents, to

tell of the people they intermingled with and overwhelmed, to catalog the early

Dukes of this nation, and to list the first eight kings. This is a most striking

fact, in an author who otherwise wrote right to the point, and who does not

go off from his main theme.

The obvious reason for this lengthy digression is that Esau’s descendents,

the Edomites, were looked upon at that time and in that time as of great national

or international importance, a people not to be passed over lightly, the subject

was something not to quickly missed and forgotten, but needed to be recorded

and preserved for future reference. The statement is repeatedly made in Genesis

36, “Esau is Edom.” Edom was therefore an important name in the day when

the Book of Genesis was written. It Is pointedly stressed that this Esau, the

brother of Jacob, was the progenitor of this important nation, Edom. Edom is

thus accorded a very unusual place of distinction and significance.

If we are right in the theory that is going to be put forth, then the origin

of the Edomites would indeed call for more than usual attention at the hands

of the ancient historian.

Page 24


Now our theory is, in short, that the Hyksos Kings were the Edomites.

Preposterous? We think not. We seriously suggest that the Hyksos Empire was

an early expansion of the Edomite Kingdom, assisted by associated and related

peoples. An empire which bloomed and blossomed early, but as quickly faded,

withered and perished from sight.

We feel there is much attractive suggestion and circumstantial evidence to

support the theory, so much so that it becomes mentally difficult to reject the

conclusion. It also seems to explain and shed light upon otherwise inexplicable

passages of Scripture which indicate that Edom was looked upon as a strong


We can but set forth this theory, explaining and listing the large array of

points in its favor, and leave the reader to judge.

We will begin with the man Esau himself, tracing the story just as it has

been handed down to us in the Bible.

Esau’s Parentage

Esau is said to be the founder of the nation Edom. He was twin brother

of Jacob, the son of the Patriarch Isaac, and grandson of Abraham” the Hebrew”

(Gen.14: 13) They were all “shepherds” Racially, Esau was an “Hebrew,” a

Semitic person.

Esau’s mother was Rebecca. She was an industrious woman, who in her

youth, without hesitation undertook the watering of a camel caravan — and

camels can be quite thirsty! She readily forsook her father’s home in the City

of Nahor in Northern Mesopotamia (Gen 24:10) to marry a man she had

never seen, but whom she knew to be a worshipper of one God and one God

only, to the entire exclusion of all other gods. He was the inheritor of certain

peculiar promises and covenants of that God; whose name is translated in the

Authorized Version of the English Bible as “Jehovah.” Her father was Bethuel,

the Syrian” (Geh.24:l5; 28:5), son of Nahor the brother of Abraham. Bethuel

lived in or near the city of Haran (Gen 29:4) where also Abraham himself had

resided for a number of years after leaving the city of Ur (Gen. ll: 27-32) (10)

It appears to us to be a major error to imagine that the Semitic Patriarchs,

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were mere wandering nomads of little or no

Page 25


significance in the world of their day. Such views are sometimes expressed. In

the Biblical account they are definitely pictured as men of high social standing;

as men of influence, importance and of considerable wealth and power. They

are set forth more in the nature of princes who had renounced their former

national connections with the great, powerful cities of Ur and Haran; and

who consequently had no country or people to which they any longer owed

allegiance. Forsaking city life they deliberately chose a nomadic way of living,

“looking for” a future city “which God would give them.

Abraham’s brother Nahor appears to be the progenitor of a people

occupying the general region around Haran. This name, Nahor, actually appears

upon ancient cuneiform tablets referring to this district. Egyptian monuments,

not many generations after the times of the Patriarchs, refer to the “Naharain”

in the region of Northern Mesopotamia.

Again, Laban, Jacob’s uncle, seems to be a man of wealth and of power.

Indications are he was of unusual importance, as his name seems to be

remembered throughout a wide area in Syria. It seems to be preserved in the

name of the mountain range, “Lebanon.”

Unimportant people do not usually have the distinction of having districts

and mountains, etc., named after them.

The peoples of Mesopotamia had their own written records and their

traditions regarding their ancestors. Had these early Hebrew stories regarding

their ancestors in Mesopotamia been pure fiction, had they no genuine

relationship to the men of Nahor and to Laban, surely the Hebrew accounts

would have been “laughed out of court” by the men of those days. The fact that

the Biblical accounts survived as sober history seems to show the accounts were

accepted then and received no serious challenge. The claims of the Hebrews must

have conformed to common knowledge at the time. Thus, we seem confronted

by evidence that the families from which the Hebrews of the Bible originated

were prominent and of no mean standing. It follows that Abraham would be

well educated and not an insignificant nomad.

Those who hold that the names in the Biblical record such as “Terah” and

“Nahor” refer only to tribes or clans of those names, (11) and not to genuine

personalities, still must in fairness to that record, concede that such tribes or

Page 26


clans must have been very important and powerful, because their names stand

out on clay tablets, and became attached to places, mountains, etc. Thus, even

if we were to view these Hebrew stories as personifying tribes and clans, we

still are forced to much the same conclusions. The Hebrews originated from

persons (or tribes) of importance and power.

Now look at Abraham himself. His retinue and followers, when he

first came into the Land of Canaan, constituted an element of such military

significance that the Amorites of Mamre (a place later called Hebron) found it

to their advantage to become his confederates (Gen. l4:13-14). Abraham called

them to the war against

Chedorlaomer, a mighty king of Elam. No little nomad would undertake

such a war!

Melchizedek, King of Salem, highly honored Abraham (Gen. 14:18-19).

We have to notice, too, that Lot, Abraham’s nephew, very quickly rose to a

seat of authority and recognition in the city of Sodom, a prize of such wealth

and prosperity that Chedorlaomer traveled many, many miles with his army to

secure. The very early advance Philistine settlement at Gerar (the great Philistine

immigration came generations later), feared the military strength of both

Abraham and Isaac (Gen. 21:22-32; 26:16, 23-33). To the Hittites Abraham

was prince. (Gen. 23.6). All this points to a man of distinction and power.

Of such an illustrious, Semitic family came Esau, the father of the Edomites.

Esau’s Great Mistake

Early in life Esau manifested a materialistic tendency. He showed a low

esteem of the spiritual values wrapped up in that covenant which God had

made with his grandfather Abraham; a covenant involving blessing to the whole

earth through a promised “Seed” (the Lord Jesus Christ), as well a numerous

“seed” or posterity, and ultimate possession of all the Land of Canaan. Esau

was more concerned with the immediate and the present, not with promises

which were “afar off;’ and on” which Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Rebecca set so

much store (Heb.ll:13). This trait of character came up in the famous “mess of

pottage” incident. Esau despised his birthright by selling it to his twin brother

Jacob for food when he was hungry and famished. The food was material and

the birthright was “spiritual.”

Page 27


God held Esau to his foolish bargain. Later God permitted the wily Jacob,

by a lie, to steal the prophetic blessing also which the aged and blind Isaac

still purposed to give to his favorite son Esau despite his knowledge that the

“elder shall serve the younger,” For this theft Jacob indeed paid dear in later

life, reaping a terrible harvest in his sons who, in turn, lied to and deceived

him for a number of years concerning his favorite son Joseph. How well the

sons learned of their father!

Esau was terrifically angry at the loss of his father’s blessing, as included

certain promises of material gain such as he craved. However, he found no way

of repentance (Heb.12:16-17), and became thereafter an everlasting example

of the tragedy of a fatal, wrong choice which cannot be remedied.

He typifies, in the Book of Hebrews those who despise the gain of Heaven

through Jesus Christ, and choose instead “the mess of pottage” of this present


So extreme was Esau’s anger that he began to plot the murder of his twin

brother. Jacob, thereupon fled, and for twenty years was absent from the Land

of Canaan, becoming a stranger living at Haran in Mesopotamia.

During this twenty year period, Esau and Jacob each amassed additional

great wealth in cattle and lesser livestock. Then Jacob returned to Palestine.

When the brothers met, Esau was pacified; the two were happily reconciled,

and the old hatred was put away. Hereafter we hear of no further trouble

between them.

Esau’s Marriages

At the age of forty, before Jacob stole the blessing, Esau had married two

wives, both Hittites, be it noted of the Canaanite nations. This was a direct

flowing of the family’s sacred traditions. It was another clear demonstration of

a basic despising of the religion of his father and grandfather, which religion

forbade such ties with the Canaanites. Isaac especially loved Esau, but Esau

cared not for his father’s wishes; he did not as fully return that love. Esau was

obviously seeking immediate material and social advantages for himself alone

by thus joining affinity with prominent Hittite families. As we shall see later,

he was quite successful in gaining such material and social advantage, but the

Page 28


price was the utter and final loss of the spiritual birthright, for thereafter it

is written by God over his life, “Esau have I hated (Romans 9:13; Mal 1:2)

Some people are sorely puzzled over the account of Esau’s wives and have

even questioned the accuracy of the text. The follow paragraphs beside helping

our study may clear up the seeming contradictions of many of our readers.

Esau’s First Wife, Judith-Abolibamah

Esau’s first wife was Judith. She was the daughter of Beeri a Hittite. In

Genesis 36: 2 this woman is called also-, “Aholibamah.” It was very common

in those days for persons to bear more than one name: almost endless examples

could be cited, as Abram = Abraham; Sarai = Sarah; Jacob = Israel; Esau =

Edom; Ben-oni = Benjamin; Zaphnath paneah = Joseph; and so on. So also

this woman is known by two names, Judith = Aholibamah: we will use the

first name, Judith.

Judith’s mother was Anah, and Anah was ~daughter of Zibeon a Hivite

(Gen.36:2). This woman Anah is not to be confused with a man named

Anah, of whom we shall speak later.) Thus Judith, while Hittie on her father’s

side (Gen.26:34), was Hivite on her mother’s. By marrying her, Esau smartly

obtained family connections with both the Hittites (the children of Heth) and

the Hivites, two prominent Canaanite nations.

From Esau’s point of view, looking for material and social advantage, he

had made a brilliant move, but not so in God’s sight. It was Esau’s fall: God

turned from him, and from then on God’s hand was directed toward Jacob

in protection, guidance, and discipline, to make him the grand character he

became in later life.

From this marriage three children were born in the Land of Canaan,

named, Jeush, Jaelam and Korah. All three became Dukes in later Edomite

government (Gen.36:5,18), but they do not appear to rank as high or to have

been as prominent as the children of Esau’s other wives. In fact, in listing the

Dukes derived from Esau in Genesis 36:15-19, this wife and her children are

given last place, as being in honour of a lower rank than the others.

Esau’s Second Wife, Bashemath-Adah

Esau’s second wife, (though he appears to have married both women at

Page 29


about the same time, Gen.26:34,) was Bashemath or Adah. (Another instance

of dual names.) She was the daughter of Elon, a Hittite. In Genesis 36: 10

this woman is named first in rank, and so evidently became Esau’s chief wife.

Her only named son is Eliphaz. He is called Esau’s “firstborn” Gen.

36:16), so was evidently older than Esau’s other children. This name “Eliphaz”

should be kept in mind, as we will speak of this son in a later chapter. This

marriage also linked Esau with the Hittites of Canaan.

Esau’s Third Wife, Mahalath-Bathshemath

Esau’s third wife was taken much later than the other two. After Jacob

had fled to Haran, Esau came to better realize how really displeasing to his

father and mother were his Canaanitish wives, and that his marriages, made

for personal advantage, lay largely at the bottom of the loss of that blessing

he now coveted. In a desperate effort to remedy an already hopeless and lost

case, he went true to form, and again resorted to scheming a marriage to get

what he wanted.

Did ever any man so debase the ideal of marriage as Esau! So he planned

his third marriage, this time to a Semetic woman not of the Canaanites.

The Canaanites lay under the curse of utter destruction, in the religion of

his family (Gen.16:l6).” Therefore, Esau now sought a woman linked racially

and religiously with his father’s people. Evidently he hoped that both he and

the children from such a marriage could yet inherit the blessing of Abraham.

Yea, would he not force God to let him inherit it, if he could but succeed in

his wicked plan to murder Jacob? Jacob was unmarried as yet. If Jacob died

childless, the blessing would have to revert to himself, Esau evidently reasoned.

Esau foresaw, however, that even with Jacob dead and out or the way, he

would still have trouble because or his Hittite wives, whose children could

not come into this distinctively Hebrew blessing. To overcome the obstacle

he negotiated this third marriage, taking this time a Hebrew wife. He would

create an Hebraic line of descent which could inherit the blessing of Abraham.

So it was he went eastward into the Arabian Desert to the young, growing

tribe of Ishmael, Abraham’s eldest son, and married Mahalath or Bathshemath,

Ishmael’s daughter (Gen. 28:6-9). She was, in fact, his step-cousin.

However, Bathshemath, this third wire, although an Hebrewess, was not

Page 30


pure Hebrew. It is true,’ she had no Canaanite blood in her, but in actuality

she was three-quarter Egyptian, since both her mother and her grandmother

(Hagar’ were Egyptian women (Gen. 21:21). The important point to Esau was

her Hebrew connections, and that she was not Canaanite.

This woman had but one son, named Ruel (Gen. 36:4,10). We will refer

to Ruel again.

The Racial Mixture of the Edomites

From the foregoing we can see that in their origin the Edomites, the

descendents of Esau, were a mixture of Hebrew, Hittite, Hivite, Ishmaelite

(that is, Arabian) and Egyptian stock. But that is not all! As we shall see later,

the Edomites intermingled with the Horites at an early date, a settled people

of the north east part of the Sinai Peninsula, lying easterly from Lower Egypt.

Now, turning back to the Egyptian references to the Hyksos people we find

an astonishing parallel and similarity between the Hyksos and the Edomites.

  1. Both are Semites (Semitic language and names).
  2. Both have Hebrew characteristics.
  3. Both have Hittite traits.
  4. Both appear to have been Shepherds (after Manetho).
  5. Both are Arabians. (Ishmael = Northern Arabia.)
  6. Both lived easterly from Lower Egypt.

The resemblance is close if not exact, and certainly is most remarkable.

Where else can we find so complete a similarity? None of the strictly Canaanite

entities seem to fit points 2 and 5. The Moabites and the Ammonites do not,

as far as we know, fit with points 3 and 5. Arabian tribes beyond Edom do not

seem to fit point 3.

Only Edom seems to fit at all points with what we know of the Hyksos.

One wonders how two separate peoples could be so racially and

linguistically alike! The thought can scarcely be resisted that instead of two

peoples, we are viewing one entity, whose description has come down to us

through two separate channels and under different names. One channel is the

Egyptian sources, under the name “Hyksos”; the other channel is the Biblical

or Hebrew sources, under the name “Edom.”

Page 31


But as yet we still do not have proof; only the suggestion, the thought,

the possibility. Do we have anything stronger? Yes, we do. Most striking as the

foregoing similarity surely is, we have next to set forth the indications of the

tremendous growth of the Edomite Kingdom and point out how it appears

to dovetail into the Hyksos story.

Page 32



The Birth of the Kingdom of Edom

“I shall speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and

to plant it” Jer. 18: 9.

After Jacob returned from Reran in Padan-aram, et which time he and Esau

were reconciled, events began to move rapidly,(Gen.32-33). Jacob sojourned

for a short while near the city of Shechem (Gen.33 18-20. )Esau had part of

his extensive herds and flocks in “Seir” that is in the country on the south

and South-east of Canaan including the wilderness comprising the north-east

portion of the Sinai Peninsula (Gen.”32:3 33:14,16), while the rest of his herds

and flocks were with his father Isaac at Beer-sheba in southern Canaan.

A quarrel soon arose between Jacob’s family and the Hivites in the city

of Shechem, which ended with Simeon and Levi, two of Jacob’s sons leading

a furious, surprise attack on the city and slaying all the adult men. The wealth

of the city was seized, and the women and children carried captive (Gen

.34: 25-29). Jacob was much disturbed over this, fearing all the surrounding

Canaanites tribes or nations would unite to attack him with overwhelming

odds (Gen. 34:30).

This particular incident gives us an insight into the large number of

“servants” held by Jacob, and the military strength of his followers and of the

Patriarchs generally. Jacob had enough men at his bidding to have no particular

fear of any single Canaanite tribe, but this military act of his angry sons might

be expected to incite such a united attack as he could not withstand.

God restrained such an attack from coming. One element that might have

had a bearing, would be the fear the Canaanites felt of reprisals from Jacob’s

powerful relatives his father Isaac, his brother Esau, and even the more distant

Page 33


relatives in Heran. In any event, “the terror of God” fell upon the Canaanite

cities and they left Jacob and his followers alone (Gen. 35:5).

Jacob hurriedly began moving his whole retinue and his flocks and herds

southward to be nearer Isaac and Esau. He paused at Beth-el, then moved

on southwards. Finding he was not perused, he established his headquarters

for a while near Edar. Then he continued on southward and came finally to

Beersheba where Isaac lived, physically feeble, advanced in age and blind, yet

evidently mentally alert, controlling and directing the business affairs of his

own great cattle herds.

A new problem now arose. Jacob and Esau each had great herds. The

combined consumption of” pasture was more than the area could provide.

There was not enough grass. However, no strife or quarrel took place between

the reconciled brothers. A satisfactory solution was arrived at.

Esau Does Right

Mellowed, Jacob seems to now take over the leadership of the family.

Isaac, greatly handicapped by loss of sight and evidently weak and frail in body,

hands over to Jacob the family authority and the priesthood, and his own

possessions and wealth. Jacob thus is acknowledged to hold that religious title

to the promised, ultimate possession of the Land of Canaan, handed down

from its first recipient Abraham. Esau took his servants and his herds away, out

of the Land of Canaan altogether, from the territory he now rightly recognized

as assigned to his twin brother, and moved everything southward into “Seir”

(Gen. 36:6-7). In this Esau did right, and the prosperity that thereafter came

upon the Edomites, as we shall see, may have been partly God’s reward for

Esau’s right act in this case, though nothing could undo his former act or

restore what he had forever lost.

The Horites

In this country of Seir there lived a people called “Horites” or “Horims.”

Esau’s family, the Edomites, began to intermarry with them: of which we will

tell more presently. First let us consider these Horites. Who were they?

Now, the Horites for many centuries have been entirely unknown to

scholars outside of the few references to them in the Bible. The Horites were

Page 34


thought to be just a little desert tribe, insignificant and rather unimportant, or,

after the rise of the higher critical views, could even be considered to be nothing

more than fable, a product of the imagination of the Biblical writer’s mind.

This was so until in recent years the archaeologist’ s spade began to unearth

simply astounding information about them. We are at last finding out the

truth. Today we are now beginning to view them in an utterly different light.

We realize the Horites were a most important and far reaching factor in early

times, but were later completely forgotten except for what the Bible preserved

to us. This point alone demonstrates for us both the great the importance and

real value of the Biblical records, and that the Biblical record does indeed reach

back an exceedingly long way into forgotten history. What the Bible has done in

preserving a memory of the Horites, it may (we say, it has) done in still earlier

records which the present modern and liberal schools of thought think are only

myths and vague uncertain traditions.

Thanks to the diligent activities of archaeologists and scholars, the Horites

have been brought to light. We find frequent mention of them on ancient

monuments and in clay tablets. The Egyptians called one district southerly of

Canaan by the name, “Khar.” This is evidently “Hor” It reminds us of Mount

Hor in the region of Seir where the Hor-ites lived. The references to these people

in the clay tablets was formerly translated “Harri,” but is now more correctly

given as “Hurri, a phonetically close equivalent of “Hori” (Gen.36:22).

The Horites living south of Canaan, as we learn from the Bible account,

were under the leadership of a family, the descendants of a man named “Seir

the Horite” (Gen.36:20). The district was presumable known as “Seir” after his

name. They were the inhabitants of the country in Abraham’s time, and were

looked upon as such important allies of the King of Sodom that Chedor1aomer

the King of E1am felt the need of defeating them first before he could safely

attack Sodom itself (Gen. 14:1-7). The region called “Mount Seir” at that time

apparently extended westward as far as El-paran (possibly “Nakl” near the centre

of the Sinai Peninsula), beyond which lay the Wilderness of Shur, stretching to

the borders of Egypt.(Gen.14:6)

“Paran” means “Place of Caverns”, and “Horites” means “Cave Dwellers,”

according to older Bible Dictionaries, which produce a happy harmony of

meaningsat least. But there is now a great doubt on this point. Dr. Merri1

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  1. Unger, in his book, “The Dead Sea Scro1ls and Other Archaeological

Discoveries,” (Zondervan Publishing House, l957 states on page 74: “This

unknown people used to be thought of as a very local and restricted group of

cave-dwellers, the name Horite being derived from Hebrew hor, (‘ho1e’ or

‘cave’)… As a result of the discovery of the Hurrians, the popular etymology

which connects them with troglodytes, or cave dwellers, has generally been

abandoned.” However, we here need to step cautiously, as we do not yet know

what was the state of their cu1ture, or the type of dwelling used by those Horites

living in Seir south of Canaan. Only archaeological research in that region can

settle this point satisfactorily.

One important point we should notice is that in the earliest times “Mount

Seir” seems to be the mountainous region west of the Arabah Valley.

Later the term is used of both sides of the Arabah Valley, and more recently

many have confined it to the east side only. This helps explain how it is that the

names “Paran” “Seir” and “Sinai” are synonymous with “Horeb”, the Mount

of the Law (Deut. 33: 2; Hab. 3: 3). The statement that there are eleven days’

journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea “by way of Mount Seir” (Deut.l:2) is

seen to be quite natural, if “Mount Seir” included the ring of mountains about

the southern edge of the desert plateau of Sinai, known to the Arabs as Jebel

el Tih. These mountains have to be passed when going from Sinai to southern

Canaan where Kadesh-barnea was located.

A Horite Kingdom

Archaeology has revealed that there was a Hurrian (Horite) Kingdom in

Mesopotamia. It was east of the Kingdom of Mitanni. Mitanni occupied land on

both sides of the Euphrates River north of Carchemish (12) The Hurri and the

Mitanni, we learn, were closely related peoples, and these in turn were related

to the Hittites of Asia Minor. (See “Archeology and the Bible” by George A.

Barton, Ph.D.) The language of the Hurri is said to be not Indo-European. As

Bible students would say, it is not “Japhetic,” not of the nations descending

from Japheth, the elder son of Noah.

Neither, it seems, is the Hurri language to be classed as Semitic. Hence, it

appears” it would be Hamitic, using the word “Hamitic” in its broadest sense

as including all languages which are neither Indo-European nor Semitic. The

Page 36


Bible does not state where the Horites came from, but the inference from the

language of the Hurri is that they came from Ham, Noah’s younger son.

That the Horites were not confined to the above mentioned kingdom

the archaeologists have found to their surprise. The Bible itself tells of the one

group of these people south of Canaan. But mention of the Hurri or Horites is

cropping up in unexpected places in Assyria and Babylonia. In the city Nuzu,

near modern Kirkuk in Iraq, the Hurrians became a very strong element soon

after 1800 B.C. In fact, they seem to dominate much of the Near East at that

time. Again about 131 Hurrian clay tablets were found under the ruins of a

temple at Shimshara in the Dokan Plain. (See “The Christian, London England,

Aug. 30, 1957, page 2.)

When these tablets are translated, our knowledge of this very intriguing

people will no doubt be much further enlarged. In 1958 a Danish expedition

examined a Hurrian settlement in Northern Iraq, near Sulaimaniya. This

settlement appears to date from about 2000 B.C. down to about 1500 B.C.

This is the very period of history with which our study deals. It ties in nicely

with our theory.

These two peoples, Esau’s family the Edomites and the leading Horite

family of Seir, began to intermarry. Eliphaz, Esau’s eldest son, married Timna

the sister of Lotan and the daughter of Seir (Gen.36: 12,20,22..). From this

marriage to a Horitess was born Amalek. He grew up to become a Duke of

Edom and is considered to be the progenitor of the Amalekites. According to

this view, the Amalekites would have originally been a tribe of Edom. (Some

people have suggested that the Amalekites might have been the Hyksos, but, as

we shall show later, the Amalekites were simply a sub-tribe of the larger Edomites

during the time that is in question.) For more information see the website:

Chronologically Helpful Parallels between the Hyksos and the Amalekites

The Amalekites inhabited some parts of the desert plateau of Sinai,

previously occupied by the Horites as we have seen. Now in Genesis 14:7 we read

that Chedorlaomer smote the country of the Amalekites when it appears that

the Amalekites had not come into existence at the time. The simple explanation

is that the account refers to the country occupied by the Amalekites at the time

Genesis was written. In just the same way we might say the American Indians

Page 37


were roaming over Canada before Columbus set sail, when there was no such

country as Canada then. We mean, of course, what is Canada now. Just so,

the author of Genesis meant that Chedorlaomer smote the county to which

the Amalekites later gave their name: he did not state that the Amalekites were

smitten, which would have been an error. Horites probably occupied it then.

The Egyptians had no “L”

The Egyptians had no initial “L” in their language.(13) In this they were

in a difficulty similar to the Chinese, who, contrariwise, dislike beginning a

word with “R”. A Chinaman feels he must substitute another sound, so uses

“L” instead of “R”, until he masters the unfamiliar sound. Thus he tends to call

a red rock a “led lock.” In exactly the reverse manner the Egyptians substituted

“R” for “L” in foreign names.

The Horite name Lotan came difficult to the Egyptian scribe. Dr. Barton

tells us they substituted “R” for “L” and called it “Rutenu.” This name is found

in records of the time of the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt (2000 B.C. to 1788

B.C.), proving that the name “Lotan” was then in use. Indeed, the name “Upper

Rutenu” seems to indicate highlands in Syria, while “Lower Rutenu” appears

to apply to some district in the general region which is assigned in the Bible

to the Horites, where Lotan was a leader. Thus there can be little doubt that

“Lower Rutenu” in the Egyptian records refers to the district of the “Lotan”

of Genesis 36: 12, 20, 22.

It is to be noted that this name Rutenu or Lotan is used in the Tale of

Sinuhe, during the reign of Sesostris I of the XIIth Dynasty, about 1950 B.C.

This proves they name was in use at that time.

During the XVIIIth Dynasty we meet with a new name for the Bedouin

from Asia, the “Shasu.” The Department of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan

Museum of Art in New York City informed the Americana Institute of Canada

Ltd., in response to a special enquiry, that it did not know of earlier references to

“Shasu” than those of the first half of the XVIIIth Dynasty. Several authorities in

their works on Egypt had used the term “Shasu” in reference to earlier periods.

However this appears to be the mistake of reading back into an earlier

period a name belonging strictly to a later one. The fact is the Shasu appear

first in Egyptian history about 1500 B.C.; they are not known earlier, and it

Page 38


may be presumed were not there in the deserts east of Lower Egypt very much

earlier than that date. Evidently the Shasu were newcomers.

If one will take the time to examine maps covering the region of Edom,

as put out by various Egyptologists, it will be found that the names for Edom

(“Seir” “Aduma” etc.) are very curiously pushed hither and yon about the

country to make room for the name “Shasu,” which is frequently splashed

generously around the whole region from the Isthmus of Suez to the Arabian

Desert east of Moab, including all the northerly part of the Sinai Peninsula

to the southern parts of Palestine. Yet with all this crowding of the one name

upon the other, it does not appear to have occurred to any that the two might

refer to the same peoples! While we do not claim positive identification, yet it

appears feasible that the Shashu are either the Edomites or a name inclusive

of Edomites, Amalekites, Ishmaelites, and possibly Midianites. The word

“Shasu” means “plunderers”, “robbers”, an epithet befitting their characteristic

of extracting heavy tolls of all passengers through those regions. But in any

case, it is striking to note that “Rutenu” (Lotan)has been replaced by “Shasu”

somewhere between XIIth Dynasty times and the XVIIIth Dynasty, just as the

Bible states the Horites were placed by the Edomite shepherds about that time.

Having now joined affinity with the Hurri or Horites of Seir, the

Edomites began to become a quite powerful force. Rapidly they budded into

a new, small kingdom. We must next look into their king-list, as it contains

astonishing hints and implications of growth.

The Early Date of the King List

That the Kingdom of Edom was formed soon after Esau, moved all

his possessions into Seir, is evidenced by the genealogy of Jobab the second

king in the king-list. Of this king we shall have much to say later. We trace

his genealogy thus.

One of Esau’s later sons was Ruel, born before Esau finally left Canaan

(Gen.36:4). Ruel’s mother, as we mentioned before, was Mahalath or

Bathshemath, a daughter of Ishmael. Ishmael was the progenitor of a number

of tribes inhabiting Northern Arabia (Gen.25:13-16). Thus Ruel was part

Arabian, that is, part Ishmaelite.

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Ruel had four sons. All became Dukes of Edom: the name of the second

being Zerah (Gen.36:13,17). A little further on Zerah is named as the father

of Jobab, the second king of Edom (Gen.36:33). Linking these together we

find that the second king was great-grandson to Esau.

On this basis, the Edomite king-list given in Genesis belongs to a very

early period of Edomite history. The first king, Bela, would be a contemporary,

we may well assume, of Zerah the grand- son of Esau. In other words, if Esau

enjoyed a life about as long as his twin brother Jacob, he may possibly have

seen the first king reigning, or it might be the first king was chosen when Esau,

the leader died.

“Before Any King over Israel”

The Edomite King-list opens with the words:

“And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom,

before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.” (Gen.


This statement is not a reference to the setting up of the Israelite Monarchy

under King Saul, many centuries later. The two events are altogether too far

separated in history to have any bearing upon one another. The events are

recorded in different books and by different writers. No, such an understanding

and application of the words we have quoted misses entirely the whole

significance that was in the writer’s mind when he wrote them, overlooking

the very point which made Israel, even before the Conquest of Canaan, such

a “peculiar people,” in the eyes of all other nations. Everyone can see that the

writer of the stories of Jacob and Joseph in the Book of Genesis was passionately

monotheistic, one who believed with all his heart and soul in One Lord God,

and in the worship .of that one God alone. His words absolutely must not be

viewed apart from that primary and deep-seated conviction.

Now early Israel, after the Exodus, considered itself to be a kingdom, yet

without an earthly or human king. In many countries and nations (14) even

down to Japan in recent times, the people viewed their king as their god. It

was not so in ancient Israel: their God was their King (Deut.33:5; Judges 8:22-

2:3; I. Sam.8:7). The God of Israel had not merely created the heaven and the

Page 40


earth, a far-off, dim event of the past, (and an act more or less claimed for a

multiplicity of heathen deities,) but this God had delivered them from Egypt

and had defeated and brought low all the power and pride of a Pharaoh of the

XVIIIth Dynasty of Egypt. They Pharaoh’s of that Dynasty as its zenith were

recognized everywhere as the greatest and most powerful monarchs on earth in

their day, and claimed to be gods. No wonder this deliverance from Egypt was

Israel’s glory, the event more often spoken of than any other in all their history.

This God of gods, this Supreme ‘Being’ dwelling in their midst in a cloudy pillar,

was Israel’s unique King from the day they marched victoriously out of Egypt.

For centuries thereafter, Israel could not tolerate the idea of a human king.

Realizing this truth, one can see that the statement the Edomite kings

reigned before any king reigned over Israel, simply means that they reigned

before the Exodus, that is before Israel came under her glorious King the God

of their fathers and before Israel entered into a Blood-Covenant with God so

that He became the actual, recognized Ruler of the nation.

“The Last shall be First”

How different the case was with Edom which had lost the Abrahamic

Covenant, and slowly drifted away from the Abrahamic traditions and worship.

Edom got her kingdom first long before the Israelites. The Israelites got a

promised blessing, the Abrahamic Covenants, consisting largely of promises, not

present possessions, and lingered 400 weary years in Egypt without a king. This

is often seen down through history. God’s people, holding to God’s promises,

see other prosper and rise to enviable position, while they themselves need to

patiently wait and abide God’s time. Consider:

(l) Esau made advantageous marriages with the Canaanites; Jacob was

restrained from this

(2) Esau mingled with the Horites and gained a country (Seir) for himself:

Jacob had to remain a stranger and a pilgrim, a sojourner to the day of his death;

(3) Edom soon developed into a little kingdom: Israel moved into Egypt

by the sufferance of the reigning Pharaoh;

(4) Edom progressed into an empire (as we shall see): Israel was reduced

to slavery.

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All the advantages seemed to be on the side of those who had lost the

Covenant. Those who missed the blessing were blessed: those who gained the

blessing were miserable slaves! Yet the day finally came when Moses and the

Children of Israel sang victoriously:

The people shall hear, and be afraid:

Sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina,

Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed.” (Exodus 14:14-15)

The final victor is the real victor: final blessing is the only blessing.

Even so today. The true Church of Christ must be patient. The ones who

seek immediate, temporal power, rulership, and a kingdom, lose the blessing

even while they think they are blessed with the prospering of their schemes

and plans: those who, contrariwise, embrace the promises and wait patiently

for Christ, may be persecuted and despised, and may continue sometime’

under sufferance of the world’s kings and rulers, or be crushed in prison or

concentration camp; yet the Day will come when Christ will deliver His own,

and the true Church will reign with Christ for ever.

The First King, Bela

And Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom: and the name of his city was

Dinhabah.” Gen 36:32

We have seen that Edom was formed into a kingdom at a very early date,

possibly even within Esau’s life time. Bela could easily be a contemporary of

Ephraim and Manasseh, Joseph’s sons in Egypt. By the time Joseph’s sons were

grown to manhood, Bela may well have already begun his reign as King of

Edom, with a number of Dukes under him.

This king Bola, we are told, was the son of Beor. Beor is a name we do

not find among Esau’s descendents, nor yet in the family of Seir the Horite

who occupied the country prior to the coming of Esau’s family and followers.

It is therefore quite possible that Bela was not an Edomite nor a local Horite by

descent, but someone raised to the position of kingship by the united consent

of the Dukes of the Edomites and the Horites.

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Balaam the soothsayer, about five hundred years later, is also called “the

son of Beor” (Num.22.5). Of course, if that Reor was the immediate father of

Balaam, then we have no indication of any connection with the father of King

Bela. However, if Beor was an ancestral father of Balaam, (just as the Lord Jesus

is called “son of David” though 1,OOO years intervened,) then it is possible

that both references are to the same person. In that case, this Beor would be a

person of great and unusual importance, whom Balaam would especially claim

as an illustrations ancestor, thereby to add to his own reputation and influence.

He seems to strive to do that very thing in his last two prophetic utterances to

Balak, King of Moab, opening his parabolic speeches with emphasis on this

ancestral connection, using the words, “Balaam the son of Beor hath said… “


Thus it is just possible that Beor, the father of Edom’s first king, was some

great and widely honored figure of those far off days. If that should be so the

location of Dinhabah, the City of King Bela, could be either in Edom or near

the River Euphrates like the home of Balaam. Then it likely would be also the

home of Balaam’s ancestral father Beor (Num. 22: 5; 23:7). However, this is

speculation, and may not be so.

The Destruction of the Horites

A very difficult problem is the question as to just where in the history of

Edom are we to place the destruction of the Horites or Hurrians. The event is

recorded in Deuteronomy 2:12 where the Horites are called Horims.

“The Horims also dwelt in Seir before time; but the children of Esau

succeeded them, when they had destroyed them from before them, and dwelt

in their stead; as Israel did unto the land of his possession, which the Lord

gave unto them.”

The conquest by Israel referred to here, was, of course, the Israelite

conquest described in the context; the conquest of the lands east of the Jordan

River where Sihon King of Heshbon and Og King of Bashan ruled. These

Amorite kings were slain by Moses and the children of Israel who possessed

and divided the land between the tribe of Reuben, the tribe of Gad and half

the tribe of Manasseh. This conquest is spoken of shortly before and is fully

described immediately after the verse we have quoted (Deut1:4; 2:24 to 3:2;

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notice especially the following words; “begin to possess it – Sihon;s land – 2:24;

Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee, begin to possess

that thou mayest inherit his land” 2:31; “This land which we possessed at that

time” 3:13; “The Lord your God hath given you this land to possess it” 3:18) it

therefore follows that the land of Israel’s possession referred to in 2:12 is not the

Land of Canaan taken by Joshua, but the lands east of Jordan taken by Moses.

In a somewhat similar way, the Edomites had previously destroyed the

Hurri or Horites. But just when did they do so? Did the Edomites destroy

them before the first king, Bela the son of Beor, was crowned? Would they

crown a king before possessing a country for his kingdom?

Or did the Horites and Edomites unite to crown the first king? and

the destruction of the Horites follow at a later time? We simply do not know,

because the record does not say.

Striking, confirmatory and helpful as the archaeological evidence

is, neither does it settle the matter. Nevertheless, let us consider what the

archaeologists have to tell us.

Somewhere about the twenty-third century B.C. large, Bronze-Age cities

were established along the great north-south highway which ran through the

Transjordan plateau on the east side of the Jordan Valley and of the Dead

Sea. This flourishing Bronze Age civilization very suddenly ended. Various

authorities appear to differ as to the date, M. E. Kirk (“Outline of Ancient

Cultural History of Transjordan,” in the Palestine Exploration Quarterly, July-

Oct. 1944, p.18l) gives it as “about the end of the twentieth century B.C.”,

others have suggested later dates, down to about 1700 B.C.

Then follows a long period of about 400 to 600 years of nomadic

occupation. Of this Kirk continues: “The land was derelict. No shards of that

dark age appear, because nomadic people do not use much else beside skin

vessels and gourds. Of city life there was none.”

About the beginning of the thirteenth century B.C. city life in these

regions begins to re-appear, and we meet the Iron Age kingdoms familiar to

us from Biblical record, Edom, Moab and Ammon of the time of the kings

of Israel.

We feel that this evidence exactly parallels the Bible story. In what follows

we may fly in the face of the interpretations of the archaeological evidence as

Page 44


given by a number of authorities, but we believe our view is not only in full

harmony with the discovered facts, but will commend itself as reasonable, and

as fitting perfectly the sequence of events handed down to us by the Hebrews

in their records and stories.

The Bronze Age civilization, we suggest, is that of the Zamzummims

Emims and Horites (Deut.2:20,10,12). The Zamzummims and the Emims

were destroyed by the Ammonites and Moabites respectively, and the Horites

by the Edomites (Deut.2:9,12,2l-22). These new possessors, be it noted, being

all nomadic descendants of Abraham. They lived in tents, and kept large herds

of cattle and sheep. This is especially evident from the story of Esau with his

flocks and herds who moved into Seir, as we have recounted.

The suggestion by some that the pre=Edomite Horites were some of

the nomads, sees to us contrary to what we know of the Hurri or Horites

elsewhere. The archaeological evidence is that the Hurri were not nomads but

city- dwellers. They belong to the Bronze Age culture preceding the nomadic

occupation we are dealing with.

It has been suggested that the disappearance of the Bronze Age civilization

in Transjordan and the sudden nomadic occupation is likely connected in some

way with the Hyksos invasion of Egypt.

In that we heartily agree. It is all one story. This nomadic occupation

was a powerful one, that is, these nomads were strong warriors. They were a

military factor of importance just as we have discerned from the stories of

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in Chapter II. This Bedouin occupation in Kirk‘s

opinion, “must have been strong enough to frustrate the attempts of any settled

communities to enter the country.”

We suggest that it was during this strong nomadic occupation that the

Edomite nomads rose to first place, established a wide desert empire, burst in

upon Egypt as the “Hyksos”, and when expelled fell back to Edom, where but

little “city” life existed. They were thus forced back into a nomadic existence


By 1400 B.C. they were beginning to settle, down, and soon thereafter

turned more and more to agriculture and mining, and thus set up the Iron

Age kingdoms the archaeologists have noted.

This picture fits all the facts, it seems to us.

Page 45


However it is to be noted that the Horites had Dukes “among” the

Edomite Dukes at the beginning (Gen.36:29-30). This seems to prove a large

measure of friendliness and union between the two peoples at that time. It

must have been a little later that quarrels arose and children of Esau succeeded

them, when they had destroyed them from before them, and dwelt in their

stead” (Deut.2:l2

Thenceforth, the Edomites dominated the kingdom, and all remaining

Horites in the territory would be absorbed into the general population of the

new kingdom, adding one more blood strain, a very definite Hurri element,

into the already racial mixture comprising the “Edomites.” This blood strain

was related to the Hittites, making the link between Edomites and Hitties

very strong indeed.

Thus was born the new kingdom of Edom.” Bela the first king occupied

the throne as the head of the government, supported by the Dukes, the chiefs

or heads of various tribes and territories. This kingdom lay southerly of the

Land of Canaan, in an area which we aid before was known then as Seir. Esau,

the founder of the nation, had recognized Canaan as promised to his brother

Jacob (Israel) and to his descendants. This important point would pass into

the young nation’s traditions. The wording of Genesis 36:6-8 indicates that

a brotherly covenant had been arrived at, by which Esau withdrew with his

family and all his possessions of flocks and herds from the Land of Canaan,

because the land could not bear up to the pasturing of the herds of both of

them. By this brotherly covenant each would respect the territory assigned to

the other as “homeland,” and pass the obligation on the succeeding generations.

It is certain that Israel under Moses felt obligated not to violate the territory

of Edom (Deut. 2:4-7).

Page 46



The Book of Job

“Ye have heard of the patience of Job” James 5:11.

The second king of Edom was Jobab. He was not the son of the first king

Bela, but, as mentioned previously, was the son of Zerah, the son of Ruel, a

son of Esau. His reign is briefly recorded as follows:

And Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead.”-

-Gen. 36: 33.

The city of Bozrah has been identified as Bushera north of Petra in central

Edom by Professor Nelson Glueck. (see

With this identification we can see that the Edom1tes now controlled

country on the east side of the Arabah Valley. Esau, at first, appears to have

lived, after leaving Canaan, on the west side of the Arabah Valley. This eastward

expansion of the territory of Edom will be referred to again later. We will be

noting a very great extension of Edomite dominion eastward from time to time.

The reference to King Jobab is indeed short, yet scanty as is our

information, there is enough to open up a very lengthy investigation as to his

identity. We cannot cover this in fullest detail here, but will set out a number of

points which seem to indicate that this king was none other than the illustrious

and patient Job. It seems strange that this apparent identification as not been

noted before, so far as we can ascertain. The links between the two, Jobab and

Job, are so numerous that the identification is very probable, to say the least,

and would indicate that Job, the great example of suffering and patience, was

elevated to the kingship at some time after his trying experience.

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A careful reading of the Book of Job shows that even before his great

testing, (with which alone the book is concerned,) Job was a person of very

high rank amongst his contemporaries. The opening chapter tells of his great

wealth and piety, and significantly adds:

“This man was the greatest of all the men of the east”” (Job.l:1-3.). His

high rank, then, cannot be doubted; but this is not all.

Further on in the Book of Job we find that Job occupied and held the

leading position in the National Council with the princes of his people (Job

29:2,7-9,21-24). He sat “chief” and “dwelt as a king in the army” (vs.25).

If he laughed at anyone’s counsel, showing thereby that he esteemed it poor

advice, then others at once rejected it too, and “believed it not” (vs.24). They all

recognized that Job’s intellectual ability, keen insight, and wide knowledge far

exceeded all other members of the council, and they relied heavily upon him.

It is clear, that while Job was hot then king, only “as a king,” yet he must

have been close to the king in honor and rank.

After his distressing trial was over, we are told that Job was greater and more

blessed than even before (Job 42:12). That being so, it would be no surprise

that upon the death of Bela, the first king of Edom, the National Council,

composed of Dukes and other wise men, would elevate Job to the kingship.

Indeed, we might well say it was a natural and logical step.

Points Assisting Job’s Identity

Here is a brief summary of other-factors pointing to the identity

of Job and Jobab.

  1. Personal Name. The similarity of names is not at first obvious as Job

in Hebrew is “Iyowb” and Jobab is “yo-bab.” However, the book of

Job is considered the oldest in the scriptures, and its language predates

even that of Genesis. To change Iyowb (Job) into Father Job the suffix

of ‘ab) can be added, thus rendering the name Iyowbab or Father Job.

Over time the Iyowbab could simply and affectionately have been

shortened into jo-bab the name found in Genesis.

  1. Same Country It seems clear they lived in the same country. Job lived

in the Land of Uz (Job 1:1). (15) Jobab was King of Edom, living at

Page 48


the City of Bozrah but Edom itself, we read elsewhere in Scripture,

dwelt in the land of Uz (Lam.4:21). Evidently “Uz” is the name of a

large area; that included within it the Land of Edom. Thus, if Jobab

was living in Edom, he must also have lived in Uz; and by this we find

both Job and Jobab in the Land of Uz – both lived in the same country.

  1. Local Geographical Features. .Jobab lived at Bozrah, not so very

far south from the Dead Sea, into which the Jordan River empties.

The Jordan River was the largest river in that vicinity. Job, too, was

definitely acquainted with the Jordan River, and it is referred to as

symbolical of a very large flow of water (Job 40:23).

  1. Lived About Same Time. Both lived after the time of Ishmael’s

leaving Abraham, and the establishing of the Ishmaelite tribes in the

Northern Arabian Desert. Esau’s descendant’s, as we know, lived later

in time than did Ishmael. Jobab belongs to the fourth generation from

Ishmael’s age. … Job speaks of “the troops of Tema” (Job 6:l9)

Assuming that Tema one of the tribes descended from Ishmael (Gen.

25:l5), we would then have positive proof that Job also lived after the

time Ishmael. At the same time Job speaks also of “the companies

of Sheba” who would be descendants of Sheba, a half-brother to

Ishmael (Gen. 25:3). (see Founding of the Nations chart page 8 &

9) The orthodox view has been that the Book of Job belongs to the

era before the Exodus. (16) This puts the story of Job right into the

same general period of history as the time of the early kings of Edom,

when Jobab reigned.

  1. Occupation. Jobab belonged to and reigned over a pastoral people,

laying much stress upon possessions of flocks and herds. Job, too, was

a pastoral person possessing flocks and herds.

  1. Contemporary Persons. Granting to Eliphaz, Esau’s eldest son,

a normal life-span as common in the family and descendants of

Abraham, we find that this Eliphaz would be an old man, about 100

years of age or more, before Jobab could begin to reign.

Job’s chief friend was a man named, Eliphaz the Temanite. He was evidently

an old man, much older than Job’s father. Eliphaz speaks of himself and his

two companions as “aged men,” saying, “With us are both the gray headed and

very aged men, much elder than thy father” (Job 15:10).

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From this it would seem that Job’s father was still living. Also, Elihu, a

young man listening to Job and his three comforters, waited until these three

were exhausted in their arguments, “because they were elder than he.” He then

commences his discourse with the words, “I am young, and ye are very old”

(Job 32:4,6)

This aged and very old friend of Job’s named Eliphaz, is called “a Temanite.”

This description of him as a Temanite greatly assists the identifying of Jobab

with Job, for Eliphaz, Esau’s son, was actual1.y, the progenitor of the Temanites

through Teman his son, as we have noted before (Gen. 36: 11,15). Probably

living with the family or tribe of Duke Teman, he would naturally come to be

called “a Temanite.” As a man of great age, and distantly related to Job, he would

be expected to visit Job in his calamity. We consider thee to be one person. And

Eliphaz, through his father

Esau, and his grandfather Isaac; would possess much knowledge of God,

such as is displayed in his discourses with Job.

Again, if the young man Elihu the Buzite of the kindred of Ram in Job

32:2 is to be linked with Abraham’s relatives “Buz” and “Aram” in Gen. 22:

21, then the ties linking king Job with Jobab, a descendant from Abraham,

are strengthened.

There is, therefore, abundant reason for thinking that Jobab King of Edom

and Job the Patient One, may well be one and the same person.

Further Indications of Expansion

Accepting the identification of Jobab with Job, several very important

factors to our contention follow there from. The power and influence of the new

Kingdom of Edom was still spreading and becoming more firmly established.

From the original starting point on the west side of the Arabah, (that deep valley

stretching from the Dead Sea southward to the Gulf of Aqaba,) the Edomites

had expanded eastward into and across this valley. The City of Bozrah is on the

east side of the valley, and was held by them; and they were overrunning and

occupying the Arabian Desert to the east of that. There is evidence that the

Arabian Desert used to be better watered and was much more habitable than

it is now. With a slightly higher moisture content than now it would have been

Page 50


very suitable for grazing sheep. As it is, to this very day Bedouin shepherd take

their flocks of sheep deep into the deserts, as far as Wadi Sirhan.

Job (or Jobab), during the reign of Bela, his predecessor, was the greatest

of the men of the east (Job 1:3, Bene-Kedem). There were clashes with the

ancient Chaldeans, who belonged to the region nearer the Euphrates River on

the opposite or eastern side of the desert (Job 1:17). Indeed, there is a tradition

that Job drank of the waters of “Job’s Well” at the Haran Gate of the city of

Orfah, situated on the south bank of the Euphrates River”. If this be so, Job

(or Jobab) in his later days as King, must have made his power felt far to the

east. Perhaps he raided and punished the Cha1deans, who had slaughtered his

servants and stolen his camels.

There were clashes, too, with the Sabeans who raided the land and stole

Job’s oxen and donkeys (Job 1:14-15). Now archaeological research has shown

that the Sabeans migrated southward through Arabia about 1200 B.C. In

Southern Arabia they established a very powerful kingdom centered at Saba.

Prior to this migration the Sabeans (people of Sheba, Gen. 10:28), evidently

lived somewhere in Central or Northern Arabia. A moment’s reflection will

give us reason to suspect that the Kingdom of Saba lay much too far south

(over 1,000 miles away), to harmonize readily with raids on cattle and donkey

herds near Edom. Thus we have here the strongest type of evidence that the

story of Job ante-dates the Sabean migration southward. It would be perfectly

natural, if the Edomites were expanding eastward into Northern Arabia prior

to 1200 B.C. to come into conflict with the Sabeans. The story of Job here

fits the earlier picture.

(On the other hand, if Saba had already migrated into Southern Arabia,

the Edomite kingdom might have been very large indeed. While living in

Yemen I had opportunity to visit what is known as Job’s grave in Yemen. It is

located several miles outside of the city of Sana’a. ed.)

Job’s enormous wealth is a factor of evidence not to be overlooked. It

indicates an era of prosperity amongst the Edomites. Later, when he became

king of Edom, Job would be a very wealthy ruler.

Putting all this information together we begin to catch a glimpse through

the haze of the years of a young, flourishing, nomadic kingdom, spreading

and pushing outward and extending its sway. By the time of its second king

Page 51


the Edomites already held control over a more or less wide strip of the Arabian

Desert easterly from Edom.

From this extensive area could be drawn the swarming manpower for the

1ater Hyksos Invasion of Egypt.

As we continue, we shall discover still further evidences of Edomite

expansion, and what appears to be the secret of its sudden rise to power.

Page 52



The Edomite-Hyksos “Empire”

“He (God) enlargeth the nations” Job l2:23

In Genesis 36:34 the Edomite king-list continues:-

And Jobab died, and Husham of the land of Temani reigned in his stead.”

We are not informed as to who was Husham’s father, and, in the absence

of contrary information, it seems reasonable to assume that he was the son of

the preceding king, that is, of Jobab. We note that Husham was of the Land

of Temani, which was the home of Eliphaz the Temanite, Job’s chief friend. It

would be no surprise for Job’s son to make his home in the Land of Teman,

which was a part of Edom, when Eliphaz the chief friend of the family lived

there. The link seems very natural, and serves as one more tie with connecting

Job with the Edomites and with Edom’s king Jobab.

We are told nothing further about King Husham, nor do we here glean

any information concerning expansion of Edom during his reign.

King Husham then passes from view.

The Reign of Hadad I

And Husham died, and Hadad the son of Bedad, who smote Midian in the

field of Moab, reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Avith.” Gen. 36: 35.

This king, whom we shall style Hadad I, was not the son of the former

king, Husham, but was the son Bedad. Thus a new dynasty commences with

Hadad I.

As the most significant event and explo1t of this king’s reign, it is recorded

that he defeated Midian, doing so within the borders of Moab. The Midianites

lived on the edge of the Arabian Desert on the eastern border of Moab. Quite

a few important facts can be gathered from this record of war and victory.

Firstly, it becomes apparent that Moab had, at some time prior to this,

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conquered and displaced the Emmims the first inhabitants of the land, as

recorded in Deut. 2:9-11, 17 It seems all together probable that the three

conquests there referred to, the conquest of the Horites by the Edomites,

the conquest of the Emmims by the Moabites, and the conquest of the

Zamzummims by the Ammonites, all occurred at about the same date; indeed,

they could have been closely related events. This was an early Semitic conquest

of the fringe lands around Canaan.

Secondly, we observe an Edomite army occupying and waging a victorious

war on Moabite soi1. Since this took place on Moabite soil, either Moab was

friendly and cooperative with Edom, or had or been conquered by or was

dominated over by Edom. In either case, Edom emerges as the more powerful

nation, emphasizing once more that Edom was coming more and more to the


Thirdly, we see Midian defeated by Hadad I. Midian is therefore added

to the territory controlled by Edom, in addition to the areas mentioned by us

before under the previous kings.

Fourthly, we get a hint of the northerly limit at that date, at least on the

east side of Canaan.

Edom was exercising dominion over Moab and Midian. The ancient north

border of Moab (before the rise of Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon,) was

the River Jabbok, which empties into the Jordan River. (Num 21:24-26) This

wou1d likely be the northern limit of Edom’s Kingdom at that time.

If Edom under Hadad I still maintained sway over the Arabian Desert

as it apparently did under Jobab, then already a large, Arabian Desert Empire

was actually in existence. The evidence all support the idea of the Empire as

continuing under Hadad I and the suceeding kings, as we shall see later.

The capital city of this king Hadad I was Avith. The site of this city is as

yet quite unknown. However, we cannot but wonder if the name Avith is not to

be linked with a people known as “Avim” or “Avites” mentioned in Deut. 2:23.

These people lived somewhere about the south-west border of Palestine. Their

northern limit was at or near Azzah or Gaza. Some of the Avites ( = citizens

of Avith?) were still there in Joshua’s day (Josh. 13:3). In that very region Sir

Flinders Petrie discovered a. number of Hyksos~ graves. If this suggestion should

pove correct, then this king’s capital lay outside of Edom proper.

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The Reign of Samlah

“And Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead.” Gen.36:36.

Hadad I was succeeded by Samlah, who was possibly Hadad’s son. Aside

from this brief reference we know nothing of this king’s reign, nor do we know

the location of his capital city Masrekah. He was followed by a king named

Saul, possibly his son.

The Reign of Saul

“And Samlah died, and Saul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead.”

Gen. 36:37.

It is startling indeed to read that King Saul’s capital city was “Rehoboth

by the river.” This city is very far from Edom proper. It lay~ roughly 400 miles

north easterly, near the banks of the great River Euphrates and for years as been

identified with Rahabah, situated twenty-eight miles below the juncture of

the Khabour River River with the Euphrates. The Euphrates is often called in

Scripture just “the river” as reference through a concordance will amply prove.

As already said, it is truly startling to learn that a king of Edom should

establish his capital 400 miles away from his own country! Clearly the Edomite

kingdom had now spread out enormously north- eastwards to the Euphrates

River, (perhaps doing so under Samlah’s reign, brining Edom close to Assyria.

(19) Possibly the business of further conquests in this direction, or beyond the

river, made it advisable for King Saul (called Shaul in I. Chronicles 1:48,) to

set up the seat of his government so far from Edom proper.

It is important to observe that these kings of Edom did not hesitate to

establish their capitals away from their homeland, just as we know the Hyksos

Kings did when they invaded Egypt, for they established their capital then

right in Egypt.

Extent of the Edomite Empire

Review now, for a moment, the widest extent of this Edomite Empire,

as hinted at in Scripture and by tradition. The empire takes in a wide sweep

of 500 miles across Northern Arabia, from Avim at the south-west corner of

Palestine near Egypt to Orfah on the lower Euphrates River, and from Rahabah

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or Rehboth on the north side, then 600 miles southward to Teyma or Tema (

south-east from Edom) (20)

This very extensive area includes all the range of country inhabited by the

Ishmaelites or Northern Arabians (Gen 25:18) described as “from Havilah” (

– Hal’il in Central Arabia) (21) unto Shur, that is before Egypt” ( = the region

of the Isthmus of Suez), “as thou goest toward Assyria” (which would be in the

general direction of Rahabah or Rehoboth). From this it can be inferred that

the Ishmaelites (North Arabians) were included in this great Edomite Empire,

either by conquest or by voluntary co-operation; more likely by co-operation in

view of Esau’s family ties with Ishmael. It is possible that Hadad’s defeat of the

Midianites involved the Ishmaelites also, since the Midianites and Ishmaelites

often worked jointly (Gen 37:25-28, 36; 39:1; Judges 8:21-24)

That an empire of this size should exist upon the very border of Egypt, and

the two not come into vital conflict seems impossible, human nature being what

it is. Our theory is that the two did clash and that the Edomite semi-nomadic

hordes{including. Ishmaelites, Hittites and Hivite bands, with the remnant

of the Horites), catching Egypt in an unprepared condition, simply walking

through Egypt’s light defences, and pouring into Lower Egypt, the Nile Delta,

so taking the country without any real battle at all.

Now what would the Egyptians call this mixed horde braking into and

sweeping over the Delta Region? Obviously they would refer to them as:

  • “Arabian” they came form Northern Arabia (Ishmaelites)
  • “Asiatics” they had Hittite and Hebrew blood in them (Edomites)

and quite likely Hittite bands form Canaan assisted.

  • “Barbarians” they were semi-nomadic
  • “Phoenecians” they were of mixed Canaanite and Hebrew stock
  • “Rulers of Countries” they already ruled over a number of other

countries as we have seen. (22)

And that is exactly what the Egyptians called the Hyksos. Compare the

above with our list in Chapter One, under No. 2 Race and Language of the

Hyksos. What is there to hinder identifying the one with the other?

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Identifying Kings by Name

The thought now arises as to the possibility of identifying the names of

any Edomite kings with the names of Hyksos kings preserved to us through

Egyptian records. This is a matter which experts may look into at some length,

and no positive assertions will be ventured here; only a few tentative suggestions

will be given. It could be, of course that the names of Hyksos kings in Egypt

belong to a period after the close of the list of Edomite kings in Scripture, so

that the two lists would nowhere overlap. However it does seem just feasible

that the last three Edomite kings are the same as the first three Hyksos Kings

and the parallel is very attractive.

Thus King Shaul of Edom could be Salatis, the first named Hyksos King.

Josephus states that Salatis reigned thirteen years. King Saul, after completing

his conquests around the Euphrates River, might have turned his attention

next to Egypt; and basing his operations from the region of Avim in south-

west Palestine pushed into the Delta. The names, Saul and Salatis are similar.

On the border of the Delta nearest this base, Salatis founded his capital

city of Avaris (Tanis or Zoan) Is this name in any way related to the city of

Avith, and to the Avim or Acies nearby in south-west Palestine?

The Reign of Baal-hanan

The Bible continues the Edomite record–

“And Saul died, and Baal-hanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead.”


The name Baal-hannan could conceivably be shortened to Beon the next

Hyksos King. The Semitic name had to be written in Egyptian Hieroglyphics

and then over a millenium later was translierated into Greek by an Egyptian

Priest Manetho, and in that length of time a name could undergo a shortening

process. It seems plausible, anyway, to put forth this suggestion, pending further


Josephus, quoting from Manetho, gives Beon a reign of 44 years.

The Reighn of Hadad II

We come now to the last in the Biblical king-list for early Edom. This is

Hadar in Genesis but Hadad in I. Chronicles.l:50.

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And Baal-hanan the son of Achbor died, and-Hadar reigned in his stead:

the name of his city was Pau, and his wife’s name was Mehetabel, the daughter of

Matred, the daughter Mezahab. Gen. 36: 39.

As this king is named Hadad in the Chronicles account, we will style him

Hadad II. His city of ” Pau (or Pai in Chronicles), has been thought to possibly

be Phauara in Edom (23) but this is very uncertain. In view of our theory of

identity of the Hyksos Kings with the Edomites, and they were at this time

establishing capitals outside of their homeland, we venture to suggest that this

city should be looked for in the Nile Delta region rather than in Edom. For

instance, Pau might be Pe, a suburb of Buto in Lower Egypt, a royal residence

of early Egyptian kings, or some such place. (24)

The special naming of queen Mehetabe1, wife of Hadad II, and the listing

of her ancestry, indicate that she was a person of quite; unusual importance.

However, we appear to have lost the information links which would make such

a reference a source of real significance and enlightenment to us. We can but

hope that some fortunate discovery will give us the clue some day.

The Importance of The Edomite King-List

It is quite obvious that the writer of the Book of Genesis was listing a Line

of kings which he considered to be of unusual importance to his readers. So

important, indeed, as to draw him aside for a little from his main theme. He

was giving his readers references to persons, cities and events which he knew

they would readily recognize, understand and appreciate. Today, after three and

a half millenniums have passed it is difficult for us to pick up the threads. If

Edom was but a tiny, insignificant kinglet, as some scholars seem to want us to

think, all this studied, compact listing and reference was both unnecessary and

without point. On the other hand, if the writer was recording the origin of the

great Hyksos Empire, which ruled over his own people, too, while they resided

in Egypt, and on account of which his people were reduced to abject slavery,

(as we shall see later on,) then we begin to grasp the vital importance of what

this writer was recording, and the parts of the picture fall into place. We realize

he was not wasting his own and his readers’ time on trivialities to no purpose.

We firmly believe that the more the modern science of archaeology recovers

ancient records from Egypt and other places in the Near East, the more we will

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come to value and appreciate such records as the writer of Genesis took time

to condense “and preserve for future generations.

The Hyksos King Apachnias

If our suggestion that the Edomite King Saul and Baal-hanan were the

Hyksos Kings Salatis and Beon, then Hadar or Hadad II should be Apachnias,

the Hyksos King who succeeded Beon. Josephus, quoting from Manetho, states

Apachnias reigned thirty six years and seven months.

It is difficult to see any similarity between the names Hadar and Apachnias,

though it is known that names undergo great alterations with the passage

of centuries, and may become so altered and corrupted as to be well nigh

unrecognizable. For instance, the great King Ashurbanipal of Assyria, even

amongst Semitic tongued people, in a few generations comes to be called

“Asnapper” (Ezra 4:10). Fifteen hundred years elapsed from the dates of the

Hyksos Kings to the time of Manetho who copied the names in Greek, and so

great distortion of names could occur.

There is also a possibility of the order of the names of the Hyksos Kings

having become confused, so that we cannot cling too tenaciously to the sequence

of names which has come down to us second, or third hand or possibly much

more remotely removed through Manetho and Josephus.

We definitely cannot be certain here, but just offer the suggestion that

Apachnias may be the Biblical Hadad II, and leave it to further research.

Other Hyksos Kings

With the death of Kadad II the Scripture list of Edomite kings breaks off.

Evidently the author of Genesis felt he had carried the list as far as was necessary.

If our theory is correct, he did carry the list just that far, far enough to give the

origin of and to connect with, the well known, first few Hyksos Kings. The

rest of the history of the Hyksos Kings would already be sufficiently known

to his readers, and was beyond the scope of the writer’s subject in the Book

of Genesis; so he naturally closed his list. We can feel very thankful to Moses

(who else was qualified to write Genesis? He was educated in Egypt, lived in

Midian, and knew the early Hebrew records and traditions,) for carrying the

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king-list as far as he did, just far enough as we believe to enable us to discover

the link with the Hyksos Kings.

After Apachnias, Josephus lists three more Hyksos Kings, as follows:

  • Apophia (I) who reigned 61 years
  • Jonias (John or Khian) who reigned 50 years, 1 month.
  • Aseis who reigned 49 years, 2 months. (Josephus Against Apion I:13)

Joniaa or Khian, is the one whose monuments have been found in

such widely scattered points, as we mentioned in Chapter I, from Gebelen

in Southern Egypt, to Crete, and across to Baghdad. Perhaps in his reign the

Hyksos Empire attained its maximum dimensions.

Reviewing our points so far, we feel the evidence for the identity of

Edomites and Hyksos kings very strong indeed. The Edomite Empire from

Scripture indications was stretching outward over an areas which the Hyksos

Empire also must have embraced, particularly in reaching Rehoboth (Rahabah)

on the Euphrates River. The Hyksos Empire must have taken in Rahabah too,

if it extended into Mesopotamia towards Baghdad. And the Biblical account

pictures for us a growing Kingdom or Empire before the invasion of Egypt, a

point absolutely essential to linking up with the Hyksos story, since the Egyptian

sources and Josephus traditions have always seem to indicate this. Thus all the

evidence so far fits together amazingly well.

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The Hyksos Used Horses

“If thou has run with the footmen, and they have wearied the then how canst

thou contend with horses?” Jer. 12:5.

It has been suggested by some that one important reason for the

astonishing success of the Hyksos invasion of Egypt, was the use of horses in

warfare by the invaders. It is also generally conceded that horses were either

unknown, or practically unknown in Egypt before that period in which the

Hyksos invasion took place. Many believe it was the Hyksos who introduced

the horse into Egypt. (8)

Nevertheless, it is true that the assumption that horses were unknown in

Egypt prior to the Hyksos invasion rests upon wholly negative evidence. The

evidence is only the entire absence of any reference to horses in the monuments

and records of Egypt as we know them, from the times before the Hyksos


While we believe that the foregoing is very close to the truth, yet we are

going to suggest that horses were introduced into Egypt a good while before

the Hyksos invasion, but that the Egyptians were very conservative and did

not take to the use of horses much, until, as they learned the hard way through

the Hyksos invasion as to what great military advantages the war-horse gave

in battle. For horses give rapid transportation, maneuverability, and elevation

above soldiers on foot. (See Appendix 1)

One thing we are very sure of: the Hyksos had horses in abundance, and

used them extensively in warfare. Tradition so states. The monuments of Egypt

record the use of horses after the Hyksos age. Hyksos graves in south-west

Palestine are found to contain the skeletons of horses which were buried with

their fond masters. Everything points to the Hyksos as being great horsemen.

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No Horses in Edom?

Let us turn now to the Bible again. If the Edomite King List in Genesis

chapter 36 us the origin of the Hyksos Kings, it will be wholly in order to find

some reference to horses, and to their use in warfare. Indeed, it might almost

seem to be necessary.

“Aha!” we can hear the critics exclaiming. “Your theory hits a rock there

and flounders hopelessly, for the entire chapter gives not even one solitary

mention of a horse.”

But hold on a minute” We believe we can show just the very evidence

that is needed.

In the genealogy of the Horites, who preceded the Edomites and were

subdued and absorbed by them, we read of one man named Anah:

This was that Anah that found the mules in the wilderness, as he fed the asses

of Zibeon his father.” Gen.36:24.

(Note. *Some authorities would translate this passage, “that found the

warm springs.” However Hebrew scholars for generations appear to universally

hold to “mules” as the correct meaning. We see no reason to question the

historically accepted meaning. “Warm springs” is a modern suggestion, seemingly

without manuscript support, and would make Anah and Zibeon to be ignorant

of the natural, geographical features of their own homeland- certainly not very


As mules are a cross between ass and horse, our argument for the presence

of horses is complete. You cannot have mules without horses being around.

Thus a group of stubborn mules blocks entirely the contention of no horses in

chapter 36 of Genesis.

From this first identification in Scripture of horses in the near east, we

may conclude some important points.

First. The Horites of Sier were commonly users of asses or donkeys, as

were both the Egyptians and the Babylonians at that early date; for Anah was

feeding “the asses of Zibeon his father.”

(note. *This Zibeon, a Horite, is not to be confused with Zibeon, a Hivite,

mentioned in an earlier chapter.)

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Second. Horses were evidently beginning to run wild in Arabia at this time.

These wild horses, mingling with asses, (perhaps wild asses,) some crosses had

occurred, resulting in the mules which Anah discovered. The presence of these

mules, strange and utterly new creatures to Anah, astonished him greatly, as well

as others to whom he showed the mules. This was such a unique and exciting

event, that thereafter Anah became known as the one who “found the mules.”

The event was so noteworthy that it was especially referred to in the genealogies.

Third. We can surmise that horses were relatively new in this part of the

world. Probably herds of wild horses were wandering into Northern Arabia

from the north and east, and were beginning to become numerous in Arabia.

If horses had been known for very long in the territory of these Horites, it

seem unlikely that mules would be unknown altogether. Horses the Horites

had evidently seen, but not mules: so the advent of horses in that region can

be pushed back at least a generation or two before the time of Anah.

It does seem significant, that the very first indication of horses in the

Scripture record, should be with those people (the Horites) who, amalgamating

with the descendants of Esau, became, as we believe, the Hyksos people who

loved and used horses so much, and used them in warfare.

The Horse Domesticated

In his book, “Archaeology and the Bible,” George A. Barton states, “The

Hittites were the first of the peoples of western Asia to use the horse! (IVth

Edition, p.79). As the Hittites and the Horites ,or “Hurri”, as we noted before,

were related peoples, it helps us in our theory to find the Bible, through this

reference to “mules”, indicating the presence of horses for the very first time in

connection with the Horites, long before other peoples around had domestic

horses. The Bible and the clay tablets unite in testifying that the Hittites/Horites

were the first, or nearly the first, to domesticate the horse in western Asia.

Again, the clay tablets speak of a people called “Manda” who came from

Mitanni-land by the River Euphrates north of Carchemish.(26) Barton tells

us the Manda were “horse trainers and dealers.” While these tablets come from

a period several generations later than Anah, who found the mules, yet this

statement helps to confirm the fact that the Hittites, the Horites, the Mitanni

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and the Manda, all closely related or intermingled peoples, were noted for early

use of the horse. Some scholars have gone so far as to suggest that the Hyksos

people were the Hittites of Asia Minor, or were led by Hittites, largely on the

basis that both had horses.

However, we believe that it was the Horites of Seir who developed the

use of the horse along with the Edomites, and that while the Hyksos peoples

had many Horites in their composition the Edomites rather than Hittites were

the leading faction.

As we pointed out before, the family of Esau was already related to the

Hittites even before the move into Seir, and, after the move, intermingled with

the Horites. Thus through both the Hittites and the Horites, the Edomites

would soon become familiar with horses and horse raising and training. But

before going on to study the use of horses by the Edomites, let us look at

another reference to horses.

Horses in Egypt

The next reference to horses in the Bible is in Genesis 47:17, where we find

Joseph, the ruler of Egypt, accepting horses from certain people in exchange

for bread during the great famine. This would be some good while before the

Hyksos invasion. The wording of the story seems quite significant.

“Egypt and all the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine

(Gen.47:13). The people finally ran out of money in both lands with

which to purchase bread. Then the peop1e of Egypt, (it does not say of Canaan,)

besought Joseph for food (vrs.14-15). He was their ru1er, and they sought a

solution to their need in the face of lack of funds. Joseph thereupon instituted

a different system of exchange to what they had been using.

“And Joseph said, Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle if money

fail.” Gen.47:l6.

Joseph asked the Egyptian people for cattle and so commenced the

exchange of livestock for food. Be it noted, that all countries were at this time

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seeking Egypt for food (Gen.4l:57), and foreigners coming into Egypt in their

dire need would take advantage of the new exchange system. Thus we read; “And

they brought their cattle unto Joseph” -the Egyptians responded with cattle: but

the exchanging did not stop with cattle on1y,-”and Joseph gave them bread in

exchange for horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of “the herds, and for

the asses, and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year.” (vs .17)

Now, if horses were just coming into use amongst the Horites, in the

times of Esau, of Jacob and of Joseph, then it would be natural enough for these

Horites to bring their horses into Egypt to exchange them for food. This seems

to be the very first appearance of horses in Egypt, introduced by trade, ~before

the Hyksos invasion. Horses seem to be listed quite high in this reference, too,

as if of great value. (See Appendix I)

Horses for Riding and for Chariots

Jacob later mentions the horse used for riding, in the blessing of his sons:

“Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse

heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.” Gen.49:17.

After this, we find “horsemen” under Joseph at Jacob’s very great funeral

procession (Gen.50:9) This reference is in sharpest contrast to the earlier passage,

when Joseph so lavishly in tender respect for his aging father from whom he had

been cruelly parted for years, sent wagons and many laden asses for bringing

his father into Egypt.

(Gen.45:9 – 46:6). Horses and horsemen are searched for in vain at this

earlier event; indeed, we might say they conspicuous by their complete absence

on such an occasion. At the time of Jacob’s entry into Egypt, asses and asses

only, are referred to as for riding on, and evidently for drawing the wagons too.

But when we come down to Jacob’s funeral, horses leap to the forefront and

the lowly donkey is entirely eclipsed. The very obvious inference is that the

horse had been introduced in the interval. Brought in by exchange, Joseph, a

man acquainted with nomadic life in the east saw in the horse its tremendous

possibilities, and quickly developed corps of horsemen and chariots.

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Horses in Warfare

Next, let us look reference immediately rivets our attention with a superb,

picturesque and dramatic description of its use in battle. God speaks to

Job saying:

“What time she (the ostrich) lifteth up herself on high, she scorneth

the horse and his rider.

“Hast thou given the horse strength? Hast thou clothed his neck

with thunder?

“Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? The glory of his

nostrils is terrible.

“He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on

to meet the armed men.

“He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back

from the sword.

“The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield.

“He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and’ rage: neither

believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet.

“He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle

afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.”

Job 39:18-25.

These stirring words vividly describe the horse, evidently but little removed

from its fearless wild state, being used by mounted men in fierce and headlong

battle. We can sense how the first use of horses in warfare gave the riders great

courage and advantage, so that the tide of battle swung in favor of the horsemen

and the best horses.

If we are right in identifying Job with Jobab, king of Edom, (and we are

sure we are,) then the earliest kings of Edom were already making skillful and

successful use of horses in warfare.

The horse in war at that time was the equivalent of atomic warfare of today

– there was no answer to it! The nation which was first in raising, training and

using war horses extensively, and was the most advanced in this “new power,”

would be well nigh undefeatable. No wonder “the Edomite-Hyksos Empire

grew so greatly!

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Egypt’s Defeat

We have mentioned how Joseph appears to have introduced the horse into

Egypt under his exchange policy, and quickly developed corps of horsemen and

chariots. But Egypt was a conservative country; it had never suffered invasion;

Joseph was a foreigner who had to eat at a separate table from Egyptians

(Gen.43:32)”only accepted because of his astute wisdom and favor with the

reigning Pharaoh, but looked upon as a foreigner’ non-the-less. After Joseph

was gone, his policies and his forward-looking and realistic preparation for

war with horses would scarcely be carried on by the native Egyptians. The

development and training in the horse industry, introduced by a stranger,

lagged or was entirely discarded and dropped. Egypt would naturally relapse

into her old ways and methods. But meanwhile, not far to the east, by its use

of trained and beloved horses, the new Edomite-Hyksos power expanded and

grew under Jobab and the kings which followed after him.

Presently, Egypt paid the price for lack of vigilance. Without horses and

horsemen she found herself’ unable to hold back these mounted Arabian

soldiers swarming over her eastern frontier. She yielded to the inevitable, and,

as Josephus says, quoting; from Manetho, the strangers overran the country

of Lower Egypt without a battle. For the first time in her history, Egypt lay

prostrate under a foreign power.

Did the Edomites have horses? Well, after reading that most brilliant

description of horses in warfare in the Book of Job, who lived in the land of

Uz, where Edom was situated, we can say Yes, undoubted. All this information

fits precisely with our point No. 4 The Hyksos had Horses in Chapter One.

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Religion and Date of the Edomite Empire

“Hath a nation changed their gods?” Jer. 2: 11

We come now to the question as to the religious identity of the Edomites

and the Hyksos. The Hyksos Kings worshipped Sutekh or Baal. What, then,

did the Edomites worship?

Esau himself was a nominal worshipper of Jehovah, the God of his fathers

Abraham and Isaac. We have already gone over Esau’s relatively light esteem of

the demands of the worship of Jehovah (or “Yahweh” as some put it); how he

sold his Abrahamic birthright for a mess of pottage, and then completely broke

with the sacred traditions of the family by marrying two Canaanite women. Baal

worship was dominant in Canaan. Esau sought material advantage and success,

and largely gained what he sought. We miss in Esau’s life those deep, inward

climaxes resulting in conversion of character, redemption of soul, and re-birth

of spirit, visible in the life-story of his twin brother Jacob. Nevertheless, the

worship of Jehovah was not abandoned by Esau, nor by his earlier descendants.

Esau’s eldest” son was named Eliphaz, meaning, “God his strength.” The

name of his second son, Ruel, means, “Friend of God.” The third son was

Jeush, “To whom God hastens.” His fourth son Jaalam, “Whom God hides.”

An early Duke of Edom is Magdiel, “The praise of God.” (Gen. 36:5,43, etc. )

In the Book of Job we discover that Eliphaz in his old age, possessed a

most profound knowledge of God and of righteousness. Like his father Esau,

Eliphaz gave too great attention to outward, material prosperity; holding such

to be the ultimate proof of Divine approval. Thus Job’s calamities and material

losses were, in his eyes, absolute and unanswerable demonstration of God’s

anger for some terrible personal sin or sins. Eliphaz had drunk deep of the cup

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of his father’s philosophy. But it is clear that Eliphaz still followed the worship

of Jehovah and of Him alone.

Job (or Jobab) also was a worshipper of Jehovah only. But it is to be noted

as significant that Job speaks of idolatry as being secretly practiced by some (Job

31:21-28), though in general condemned by the populace of Edom at that time.

The Drift to Baal Worship

Thus up to the reign of Jobab, the second King of Edom, the worship

of Jehovah was continued in general amongst the Edomites, either truly and

sincerely or just nominally by the individuals. But by the time we reach the

seventh king, Baal seems to step to the front. That king’s name was Baal-hanan,

meaning, “To whom Baal is merciful,” or, “Whom Baal loves.” The name

“Jehovah” compounded into personal names appears less and less; “Baal” appears

instead. This name “Baal-hanan” if compounded with “Jehovah” instead of

“Baal’ would mean, “Whom Jehovah loves.” We know it as Johanan or John.

One of the Hyksos Kings actually bore this name. He is

“Jonias,” otherwise known as “John” or “Khian.” This shows that the

name of God had not been forgotten, even so late as that, but with him the

last vestige of Jehocah honoring seems to have disappeared. With King John

the zenith of the Hyksos power passes also. Baal(or Sutekh) became their god.

Finally, we learn from Egyptian records that, “King Apophis made Sutekh his

Lord, serving no other god, who was in the whole land, save Sutekh.” (27)

From all we know of the later Edomites it seems that Baal, in one form

or another, was their principal god.

The whole picture seems to indicate a slow change over from the worship

of Jehovah, derived originally from Abraham and Isaac; through a declining

interest in Jehovah exhibited in Esau and Eliphaz; to an exaltation of Baal

exhibited in the name of Baal-hanan; and the final exclusion of all other gods

under King Apophis. Just the same drift would have taken place in Israel more

than once except for the strenuous opposition of the prophets. The prophets

brought about revivals in which the people returned to the worship of Jehovah.

We know of no such revivals in the history of Edom.

Unger’s Bible Dictionary, under “Hyksos,” states: “The Hyksos erected

large earthen enclosures for their horses. This type of construction can be seen

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at Jericho, Shechem, Lachish and Tell el-Ajjul. They also erected many temples

to Baal. There are also evidenced of worship of the mother goddess. Common

in Hyksos levels are cultic objects such as nude figurines, serpents and doves,

showing their complete devotion to this type of degrading worship. Hyksos

burial customs are distinctive as is their chariotry.” (Emphasis supplied.)

When we consider the high and noble origins of the Edomite/Hyksos

peoples, the same origin which Israel had, our hearts are saddened to behold

the depths to which they sank. Yet we thank God that He, through the prophets

whom He raised up, preserved Israel for so many centuries before they too, in

the days of Jeremiah, declined to the point that God ,had to remove them by

captivity. He said to the “weeping prophet”

Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape;

and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them For according to

the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah, (local Baals); “and according to

the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing,

even altars to burn incense unto Baal…. Therefore pray not thou for this people…”

Jeremiah 11:ll,13,14.

To sum up this interesting point, in spite of the paucity of specific detail,

in the matter of religion there is no difficulty in linking the Edomites to the

Hyksos. What we know of each seems to neatly dovetail into one picture, which

should be the case if we are really dealing with one people.

The Comparison o Dates

Let us now take up the most difficult yet most important parallel, the

question of the dates of the respective Edomite and Hyksos Empires. If we find

both existed, as near as we can tell, at the same time, then the identity of the

two could hardly be questioned. Two separate and unrelated empires cannot

be occupying the same spheres and areas at one and the same time.

May we say immediately, that merely attaching a certain date B.C., to the

one and the other from some popular (or other) chronological systems will in

no way assist us in this important phase of our investigation. One man’s set

of dates for Biblical history may put the Edomite kings as about 1400 B.C.

or later, another set may put them as 2200 :B.C. or earlier: one Egyptologist

will date the Hyksos Kings as about 1800 B.C., and another at an altogether

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different date. To use a popular expression, “that gets us nowhere fast!” That

will not help us, nor prove similarity of time.

What we need to do is so relate the time of the Edomite kings recorded

in Scripture to some Biblical event which ties in to Egyptian history, that

computing from that event, we discover the times of the Edomite kings and

of the Hyksos Kings will link together. For instance, if we knew with absolute

certainty which Phharaoh was reigning at the time of Joseph, the computation

woul be simple; but unfortunately we do not know that Pharaoh in spite of

guesses and surmises we may say by the dozen! The next nearest event linking

Egyptian and Biblical history is the Exodus of Israel from Egypt and Joshua’s

Conquest of Canaan.

The date of the Exodus is itself a very vexed question. But it seems to be

now generally agreed that the Exodus was either during the XVIIIth Dynasty

or the XIXth Dynasty. We strongly favour the time of the XVIIIth Dynasty,

feeling that the date of the XIXth Dynasty does not tally with the chronological

note given in I Kings 6:1, placing the Exodus nearly 500 years before Solomon’s

reign, nor with the lengthy period for the Judges in Israel as mentioned by

Jephthah (Judg.ll:28). We will therefore consider the earlier dating, that is, that

the Exodus was during the XVIIIth Dynasty.

The Fall of Jericho

The Bible record gives the destruction of Jericho under Joshua as being very

soon after the death of Moses, at the end of the forty years of wandering in the

wilderness. Prof. J. Garstang’s excavations at Jericho not only demonstrated that

the city’s walls fell as with an earthquake shock, but make it fairly certain by the

presence of Egyptian scarabs, etc., that Jericho was destroyed during the reign of

the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep III, dated by Breasted as 1411 – 1375 B.C.

Using this as a link between Egyptian and Biblical histories, let us proceed

to compare for confirmations of the link, and then compute back to the times

of the Edomite kings and of the Hyksos Kings.

The Amara letters

A number of years ago a remarkable discovery was made at Tell el Amarna

in Egypt of inscribed tablets giving official correspondence between government

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officials in Palestine and the reigning Pharaoh in Egypt., These tablets are a

very valuable source of information, and are known as, “The Amarna, Letters.”

Some of these letters tell of a people called “Khabirit” (that is, “Hebrews”)

who were invading Canaan from the east during the reign of Amenhotep III

just as did the Israelites under Joshua in the Biblical record. (28)

This invasion continued on into the reign of the next Pharaoh, Akhenaton

or Amenhotep IV. If these Khabiri are the Children of Israel (Hebrews),

under Joshua, and we believe they are, then the Amarna Letters confirm the

archaeological data as to the fall of Jericho being during the reign of Amenhotep

III. Thus we have two very good archaeological evidences linking Biblical and

Egyptian histories at this point.*

(note. *The recent excavations at Hazor in Northern Palestine are said

to strongly favor the later date for the Hebrew invasion of Canaan,more in

line with Merneptah as the Pharaoh of the ;Exodus. However, Razor does not

seem to have been wiped out by Joshua as was Jericho, for early in the Book’

of Judges Hazor is again the capital city of Jabin (II), king of the Canaanites

(Judg.4:2). When Joshua burnt the city (Josh. 11:10-l3), and destroyed the

people found in it, the damage must have been repaired, and either later or at

the time re-occupied by Canaanites. For all we know, there may have been a

greater destruction of Hazor after Deborah and Barak than under Joshua, the

record does not say, and that later destruction would certainly fall in the time

of the XIX Dynasty by our chronology. Further search at other points occupied

by Israel at the Invasion is needed. The reference to a Canaanite Nazor in Judges

4:2 makes it impossible to say that the final destruction of Canaanite Hazor

was carried out by Joshua. Joshua must belong to an earlier period, therefore,

which would place him in the Amarna period.)

The Oppression and Exodus of Israel

Forty years before the death of Moses ~and the fall of Jericho, the Bible

places the Exodus of Israel from Egypt. On the other hand ,forty years before

the invasion of Canaan by the Khabiri (Hebrews) and before the fall of Jericho

from the archaeological evidence, brings us approximately to the time ‘of the

death of Amenhotep II, 1420 B.C. by Breasted’s chronology. We therefore

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propose that this Pharaoh Amenhotep II was the Pharaoh of the Exodus. We

will use this as our working hypothesis.

At the Exodus, the Bible says, Moses was 80 years old and his brother Aaron

83 years (Exod.7:7). Using Breasted’s Egyptian chronology, 80 years before the

death of Amenhotep II would be 1500 B.C. for the birth of Moses, and 83 years

before would be 1503 B.C. for the birth of Aaron. Now that date for the birth of

Moses would be the second year of Thutmosis III, whom some have

suggested as possibly the Pharaoh of the Oppression, and by the same reckoning

the birth of Aaron comes two years before this Pharaoh began to reign. (His reign

by Breasted’s chronology began in 1501 B.C.) This arrangement of dates fits the

Biblical account astonishingly well.

We know that the severe stage of oppression was on right at the time when

Moses was born. The Pharaoh had just commanded that the Hebrew boy infants

be thrown into the Nile, but Moses was hidden. On the other hand, there is no

hint of any need for hiding Aaron who was born only thee years before Moses.

Evidently, the cruel command to destroy the Hebrew baby boys was not yet

made at the date of Aaron’s birth (Exod.l:22) but it certainly was in effect at

the date of Moses’ birth. Clearly then, the command was issued in the interval.

We suggest, therefore, that this new command came from the new Pharaoh,

Thutmos1s III, shortly after he ascended to the throne, approximately two years

after Aaron was born, and about one year before Moses’ birth. The persecution

was then at its maximum.

Nevertheless the Biblical account indicates it was a considerable time before

the birth of Moses that persecution of the birth of Moses that persecution of the

Hebrews and the enslavement of the nation first began. It began when the reigning

Pharaoh feared lest these Hebrews ally themselves with Egypt’s foes (Exod.l:8-l1).

We are not told how long a time elapsed from the beginning of this enslavement to

the more severe stage when the boy infants were to be destroyed, but the inference

is that quite a few years passed by during which the Hebrews built store-cities for

the king. The persecution of the Hebrews was evidently intensified from time to

time, finally culminating in the new command to kill the baby boys, which as

we have said, we think was issued by Thutmosis III shortly after he came to the

throne. It takes not many years, only 79, to carry us back from the accession of

Thutmosis III (1501 B.C.) to the founding of the XVIIth Dynasty under Ahmose

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I who is coupled directly with the expulsion of the Hyksos kings from Egypt

(1580 BC). The founding of this Dynasty fits well with the wording of Exodus

1:8 “Now there arose up a new king over Egypt (29) Ahmose I was definitely

a “new king” and the circumstances of that king’s reign might well lead to the

enslavement of the Israelites as we shall see in a moment.

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From the foregoing study we give an accompanying Table of the Bible

record and Egyptian History (the latter based upon Breasted’s arrangement),

in parallel columns. This parallel seems to be particularly happy at all points

of contact throughout.

The Edom-Israel Quarrel

If the Hyksos people really the Edomites and associated nations or tribes

as we have proposed, then Ahmose I, who expelled the Hyksos, would truly

fear that the Hebrew chi1dren of Israel would join with the Hyksos, since the

Edomites and Israelites were brother-nations. They were probably pledged to

respect one another’s territories. Such friendly peop1es would be expected to

assist one another. So, whi1e Ahmose I warred with the Hyksos Kings (30)

chasing them out of Egypt toward

Southern Palestine, and was in the process of building his army and

organizing Egypt into a military state, he apparently took counselw1th his

advisers to subject Israel to slavery to nip in the bud any possible cooperation if

Israel with Hyksos/Edom. It cannot be denied that the Pharaoh was expecting

Israel to side with Egypt’s enemies.

How would the Hyksos/Edom Kings view the situation? The Egyptians

were revolting from under their rule. Israel was as “much foreign to Egypt” as

were the Hyksos themselves; and Israel was their brother.

Hyksos/Edom was in terrific struggle, going down in defeat and

humiliation. Did the Hyksos/Edomites feel that their brethren, the Israel-

Hebrews, failed them in their hour of need? Did they perhaps appeal to Israel in

their desperate situation? Would they not blame Israel for not rising up en masse

against Ahmose I to contend on their behalf? We sense the reasonableness of all

this from the view-point of Hyksos-Edom. This view would explain why Edom

later so bluntly refused Israel passage through his land, why he so promptly

came out against his brother with a sword (Num 20:14-21), and why so bitter

an uunending, age-long quarrel arose between Edom and Israel.

The Amalekites, too, an independent tribe which branched off from

Edom (Gen. 36:l2,16}, probably branching off when the Hyksos/Edomite

Empire collapsed, also exhibited a very bitter spite Israel, surprising them in

the wilderness by a sneak-attack. This was followed by a perpetual quarrel for

all time (Exod.11:8-l6).

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Date of Hyksos Kings and Edomite Kings

Prof. Breasted believed that 100 years would be ample to cover the length

of time the Hyksos ruled in Egypt, and it may have been less. (31) ,Now, our

paralle1 Table gives the expulsion of the Hyksos as 160 years before the Exodus,

and 100 years more would place the Hyksos invasion of Egypt as 260 years

before the Exodus.

The Children of Israel were in Egypt 430 years, from the day Jacob entered

Egypt to the Exodus (Exod. l2:40-4l). On the basis of this data, the Hyksos

invasion of Egypt would be about 170 years after Jacob and his family moved

from Canaan into Egypt.

As we said before, it appears that Bela, Edom’s first king may well have

started his reign not very long after Jacob entered Egypt. This 170 years would

therefore cover the formation of Edom into a kingdom, and also the reigns of

the first five kings, Bela, Jobab, Husham, Hadad I, and Samlah. The average

reign for these five would accordingly be approximately 30 years each. This

seems reasonable enough, and seems to indicate we are on the right track.

Clearly, from the view-point of time or chronology, we find that the

Edomite and Hyksos Empires coalesce into one full picture. The Biblical history

and the Egyptian history supplement each the other. This brings our study of

the time-element to a happy conclusion.

The parallels agree exactly. That is what we set out to discover in this

chapter, and the agreement of dates is not only encouraging to our theory, but

makes it a well-nigh inescapable conclusion; because if there was an Edomite

Empire as we have drawn from the Scripture references, then a separate Hyksos

Empire could not exist at the same time in the same general area. Do empires

overlap like this? No; and we therefore conclude that they are one and the

same. Point No. 6 of Chapter I is thus found to be settled in our favour, we

feel, conclusively.

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Where Did They Go

“I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom to pluck up,

and to pull down, and to destroy it.” Jer.18:7.

We have: seen from the beginning the startling suddenness with which

the Hyksos people burst in upon Egyptian history, coming from the east, out

of that general area which embraces the northern portion of the Sinai Peninsula

and the south fringe of Palestine, where lay the Land of Edom. Outside of the

various theories put forth, and what we have proposed in the preceding chapters,

we know absolutely nothing of whence these people came. It has been a baffling

problem to scholars for a long time.

It is, however, quite reasonable to suppose that when the Hyksos kings

were finally forced to retreat from Egypt they would fall back toward the land

from whence they came. Let us consider, then, the path of their retreat.

As we would expect, the Hyksos Kings, after a siege in Avaris, first went

from the Delta Region across the Isthmus of Suez. They were going back the

way they had come. Ahmose I, the Egyptian king credited with expelling these

foreigners, then pursued them eastward into southern Palestine. There the

Hyksos power held out against the Egyptian forces for three years at the siege

of Sharuhen, a very long siege indeed. (32) Finally Sharuhen fell, and with

that event the Hyksos power was not only broken, but vanishes completely

from history.

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Sharuhen is therefore of key importance in tracing the Hyksos retreat.

As mysteriously and as suddenly they come into history, so the Hyksos kings

and armies disappear again.

The location of this city, the last known stronghold of the Hyksos kings

is believed to be Tell el-Far’ah (33)

It lies well to the South west in the Land of Canaan, in the territory

later assigned to the tribe of Simeon. In the Bible it .is referred to under the

following names:

Shilhim (or armed men”) Joshua 15:32.

Sharuhen (or “Pleasant Dwelling”), Joshua 19:6

Shaaraim (or “The Gates”) I. Chron. 4:31

As we said before after their defeat at Sharuhen, the Hyksos Kings and

armies vanish from sight, the trail is lost. Historians and scholars think they

then retreated to their own country – wherever that was! and the scholars have

looked northward and have searched and searched in that direction for such a

place, but have not found it.

Which Way from Sharuhem?

Obviously, further retreat from Sharuhen could only be either northward,

eastward or southward. Directly eastward may be discounted as it leads towards

the wastes of the southern end of the Dead Sea.

If the Hyksos Kings retreated northward through Palestine, the inference

would be that their homeland lay northward of Palestine. Thus we have had

proposals offered us that the Hyksos were Hittites from Asia Minor under

another name, or came from some part of Syria. All very vague and unsatisfactory

suggestions, but granting that it was so, it then follows that there must have

been a southward conquering sweep through Palestine before the Hyksos first

reached Egypt. But where has any evidence of such a southward march been

found? The Hyksos graves found in 1931 at Old Gaza (Tell el Ajjul) are no

indication of a southward conquest thought Canaan, rather they appear as

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a northerly limit of Hyksos occupation. Our suggestion is that the Hyksos

influence spread from south to north. Turn O scholar, standing puzzled and

frustrated at Sharuhen because of this dead-end trail. Turn and cast your eyes

southward and southeastward, where lies the Land of Seir and the region of

the ancient Kingdom of Edom. The home of the Hyksos Kings we suggest to

you, was not northward from Old Gaza or from Sharuhen, but is to be found

south easterly in a land where the use of the Arabian horse in warfare was likely

first developed.

Why the Edomite Kings avoided overrunning Canaan

You may ask then, if the horse gave the Hyksos/Edom desert kingdom

its battle advantage, so that they could take Egypt under control, why did

the Edomite Kings ot push northward into the rich land of Canaan before

conquering Egypt, for the horse would give a much advantage in Canaan as

in Egypt?

In relpy we suggest two factos which would operate to move Hyksos/

Edom to avoid Canaan and leave it relatively untouched at first.

  1. If the Edomites were the head of the associated peoples comprising the

Hyksos, they would posses the tradition handed down from Esau that

the Land of Canaan was Jacob’s (Israel’s) and was not to be touched

by them. The inclusion of Ishmaelites in the Hyksos conglomeration

would do nothing to weaken this tradition. Tradition is a powerful

force in any peoples, and especially so in the Near East. So Hyksos/

Edom spread its empire northward, not through Canaan but up

through the Arabian Desert east from Palestine. Canaan would be to

early Edom, taboo, sacredly set apart for a brother-nation, inviolate

by a solemn pact between two brothers.

  1. Another reason why a Hyksos/Edom power would refrain from

pressing into Canaan, is that Eszu had married Canaanites wives

from southern Palestine, and the Canaanites in that region would

be in affinity with Edom and on friendly terms. Indeed, it is quite

possible that Hittites and Hivites from Canaan would be assisting

Edomite Allies.

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Breakup of the Empire.

When Ahmose I defeated the Hyksos at Sharuhen, he had a wedge deep

between the Canaanite allies on the north and the Hyksos-Edomite home-

desert on the south. Indeed, his soldiers probably overran the Sinai Peninsula

as Ahmose I would not wish to leave his right flank wide open, nor run the risk

of having his retreat cut off should he not succeed in defeating the Hyksos at

Sharuhen; and indeed in later history we find Edom holding but little territory

west of the Arabah Valley. Edom thereafter seems to center on the east side

of the valley. In conquering the south fringe of Canaan and the North Sinai

Desert, Ahmose I was actually subduing the original home of Edom as that

home is depicted in the Bible, and so, according to our theory, crushing the

Hyksos in their own, home land. There, in that very area, he brought the foe

into final, vital combat; hunted him out, overthrew him, and broke forever

the Hyksos Empire. No wonder the Hyksos hung on so long at the siege of

Sharuhen; fighting for three desperate years. It was their “last ditch” stand.

They either had to defeat Ahmose I right there or go down to extinction. Oh,

yes; the Hyksos had some Canaanite allies on the north in the Hittites and the

Hivites, but as we said before, Canaan itself does not appear to have been a

conquered part of the Hyksos-Edomite Empire, only a friendly ally; otherwise

the Hyksos might have retired northward from Sharuhen to one fortified city

after another throughout Palestine and worn out Ahmose I and his army. But,

no, Sharuhen was final: The Hyksos conglomeration did not win, and so it was

extinction: The candle had burned out: Thus we see why the Egyptian had no

more wars with the Hyksos thereafter; why the story ends at Sharuhen. It was

the end: Hyksos/Edom collapsed:

With this collapse and defeat of the Edomite faction, the very leaders of

this Hyksos conglomeration, the whole empire would naturally go to pieces.

Using our imagination a little we may infer as follows.

We may suppose that any Hittite and Hivite elements assisting Hyksos/

Edom would revert to their Canaanite cities to the north. The Hittite soldiers

would go back to Hebron (where the Bible places Hittites, Gen. 49: 29-32)

or some such Hittite settlement; the Hivites to a Hivite home such as Gibeon

(Josh.9:3-7; 11:19); or they may have fled even further than that with Ahmose’s

Page 80


soldiers so close at their heels, to return later when things settled down. With

Sharuhen fallen, Canaan seems to have offered little resistance to Ahmose I.

Amalek, originally an Edomite tribe, seems to now break away to become

an independent nation. The Amalekites may have been forced away from the

rest of Edom by being held under Egyptian rule during the rest of the reign of

Ahmose I. and his successors. Anyway, not very long after, at the time of the

Exodus, we find the Amalekites to be an independent people. They attacked

the Israelites in the wilderness even before the latter reached Mount Sinai

(Exod.17:8-l6). Amalek was the first of the nations to wage war with Israel~

thereby falling under God’s order for extermination (Num.24:20).

Moab, which likely collaborated with Edom, appears to be free of Edomite

control when next we meet this nation in history, toward the close of the forty

years of wandering.

The Midianites, close by the eastern border of Moab, who had been

defeated by Hadad I King of Edom and probably remained subservient to

Edom from then until the collapse at Sharuhen, probably regained complete

independence, only to succumb later to the Amorite King Sihon, for in the

latter days of Moses the chiefs of Midian are Dukes of Sihon king of Heshbon

(Josh.l3:21). However, upon Sihon the Amorite being destroyed by Moses and

the children of Israel, the five Midianite Dukes of Sihon immediately became

independent, collaborated with Balak, King of Moab in hiring the Prophet

Balaam (Num. 22:4,7), and very soon after, when Moses sent an expedition

against them, these same five chiefs have assumed the title’” of “kings”

(Num.31:8). But in all this, after the siege of Sharuhen, the Midianites appear

to be no longer under Edom’s thumb.

The Ishmaelite segment in the Hyksos/Edom composition, upon the fall

of Sharuhen would flee towards their own country, the North Arabian Desert.

Most likely this group would fly northward from Sharuhen to escape pursuing

Egyptian troops, and would cross the Jordan River and Gilead to reach Arabia.

The knowledge we possess of the siege of Sharuhen is given us in the

record of an Egyptian army officer who served in the Hyksos wars. His account

indicates there was a chasing of Hyksos remnants up into Canaan and parts

of Coelesyria. But there is no account of any further sieges of cities held by

Hyksos Kings: that ended at Sharuhen.

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In later history the Ishmaelites appear as being free of any Edomite control

or leadership (Judg.8:24). The Hyksos/Edomite King, if he survived the siege

and any Edomite and Horite soldiers who happened to escape, would turn

southward toward the Land of Seir. We may surmise they would cross the Arabah

Valley to the east side to get away from the Egyptian armies overrunning Sinai

and southern Canaan.

It is thus, we suggest, that the whole Hyksos/Edomite Empire fell to pieces,

never to rise again. After the fall of Sharuhen the Hyksos/Edomite Kings had

no more strongly fortified cities into which retreat could be made, for such were

lacking in the Land of Edom, at that time. Hyksos/Edom having destroyed the

Horites had not built large, fortified cities in Edom, being nomads. Archeology

has confirmed this nomadic period stretching from about 1700 BC to 1300

  1. So the Hyksos lacked fortified home cities into which to retreat.

Our Theory is further Supported

The scattering of the Hyksos forces from Sharuhen as above depicted, is,

we know speculation and surmise. Yet, the picture is not entirely without some

justification for we do know that the fall of Sharuhen marked the disappearance

of the last organized resistance of the Hyksos that we can find in history. The last

vestiges of the Hyksos armies must have been scattered from there somewhat

as we have pictured.

The very fact that the Egyptian records follow up the Hyksos Kings only

as far as Sharuhen, and at that point the whole Hyksos Empire suddenly fades

forever, is very strong evidence the Hyksos far homeland was not far away in

some such place as Syria or Asia Minor where the empire could still have carried

on in strength for years outside of Egypt. No, that homeland must have been

either at Sharuhen or at some very close by place, so that the fall of Sharuhen

wrecked their entire empire forever. Thus our argument receives strong support

by the sudden disappearance of the Hyksos Kings at Sharuhen. The close by

place we suggest was Edom.

We submit that in taking the North Sinai Desert, reaching Sharuhen, and

levying tribute upon the Canaanite cites to the north, Ahmose I had done all

that was necessary to break up the Hyksos confederation or conglomeration,

whichever it was. Thereby he had driven the Hyksos Kings right back into their

Page 82


own homeland, had subdued parts thereof, had left them no fortified cities,

and had been able to levy tribute on the Canaanite allies. His objective fully

accomplished, he desisted from further effort in that direction, and returned

home in triumph there to bring Nubia into his kingdom and to consolidate

his position at home.

Some Important Considerations

Although the Hyksos Kings vanished from sight, they have left us an

important legacy. Their rule was not in vain.

They introduced the use of horses for war, both cavalry and for chariots.

Chariotry afterwards made Egypt the mightiest nation on earth. The Hyksos

also introduced the composite bow. One wonders if the Ishmaelite allies of

Hyksos/Edom had a hand in that, for their progenitor Ishmael, according to

the Scriptures, was noted as being “an archer” (Gen. 21:20). This notation in

Scripture indicates that archery was an outstanding ability with him. He or

his children may possibly have originated the composite bow, or have taken it

up from some earlier people and introduced it into Egypt. But it is likely that

the Hyksos have made one still greater contribution to world progress, before

which war horses and composite bows seem relatively unimportant. This is

the alphabet.

The founder of the Horite colony which occupied part of the Sinai

Peninsula, the Arabah and neighboring regions, was “Seir the Horite” (Gen.

36:20). From him the area” received the name of “the land of Seir,” and this

branch of the Hurrians are correctly called, “Seirites.” The term “Seirites” is in

later history used of the Edomites who had inter-mingled with and intermarried

with these Horites, and finally supplanted them.

Now the Egyptians had valuable turquoise mines at Serabit in the Sinai

Peninsula. The people round about, evidently the Horites or Seirites, labored in

these mines for the Egyptians. The Egyptians had long had their hieroglyphic

writing where each sign or picture, as a rule, stood for a whole Egyptian word.

This was not suitable for the language of the Seirite workmen and their overseers.

Evidently someone hit upon the idea of using some of the Egyptian signs to

represent sounds in the Seirite language, and, lo, the first alphabet was born!

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In 1906 the great archaeologist Sir Flinders Petrie found alphabetic

inscriptions at these mines which must have been written at least as early as 1500

B.C., and the study of these inscriptions has given rise to the belief the alphabet

arose as described above. “Compton’s Pictured Encyclopedia,” ‘1958 ed., Vol.

I, page 186; (published by F. E. Compton & Co., Chicago,) summarizes the

story thus: “Origin of our alphabet. Just how this invention was made, we do

not know in detail. Some scholars believe it came when a Semitic people called

the Seirites were working in some turquoise mines in the Sinai Peninsula, and

the Egyptian masters of the mines taught them how to write. The Egyptians

did not teach their full, elaborate method of writing with pictures, they taught

a simpler method which they used for writing names. In this method, each

picture stood for the first sound in the name of the object shown in the picture.”

The Seirites, using this method could put signs together to spell out the

sequence of sounds in any word in their own language.

This would soon be found to be a simple and easy method of writing. The

new method of using a sign for a sound instead of a sign for a word would be

in use for some considerable time, we surmise, before it would begin to spread

into more general use amongst the upper, learned classes. Thus the origin of the

idea must go back a long time before the writing of the Serabit inscriptions of

1500 B.C. The invention thus seems to belong to the Horite period.

Later, the Edomites, mingling with these Seirites (Horites) around 4It

1800 B.C., would learn these alphabetical signs. Under the Hyksos/Edomite

Empire the new idea would naturally pass on to their Canaanite allies. The

Canaanites may have improved the alphabet. Then the Canaanites of Tyre and

Sidon (the Phoenicians), sailing over the Mediterranean Sea spread the alphabet

far and wide. Through the Greeks and the Romans it has passed down to us.

Thus the Horites and the Edomites (the Hyksos), may have helped

tremendously in giving us the alphabet. Without it, that Divine Revelation, the

Bible, could scarcely have come to us; certainly the general public would never

have been readers. Thanks to those Sinai mine workers, I, today can type these

words from which your eye so quickly and easily gathers up my message. Did

the Spirit of God move upon Moses to include in his writings these references

to the Horites because of the important role they played in making Holy Writ


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The Founding of Petra

“He (God) enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again.” Job 12:23.

Having now surveyed an array of evidences for the identification of the

Hyksos Kings with the Biblical Edomites, it is hoped we may confidently speak

of them as one people, the Hyksos/Edomites. At every point the references to

each so coincide and tally that we feel justified in so doing.

“But, someone may object, “not one of the points cited in the foregoing

chapters in itself constitutes absolute proof.”

That may be true, friend, we reply, but we do feel that it is the large

accumulation of very striking similarities which is so greatly impressive.

Still, without giving absolute proof, some may yet insist; so that the

argument for the theory in unconvincing.”

“Well, friend, we have to say, you are, of course, entirely welcome to

your own opinion and view. But we feel constrained to ask: How much

more accumulation of evidence is needed to be conclusive? Those who have

a better, more satisfactory and more convincing identification should please

come forward with it. In the present state of our knowledge, there appears to

be no contrary evidence. Everything fits; race, language, direction of origin,

religion, method of warfare (horses), date, lands held, and direction of retreat.

Confronted with so much evidence, why should anyone refuse to recognize at

least the great likelihood of identity?

Great Affect upon Our Views

When we admit the possibility of the identity we have endeavored to set

forth in these pages, we will find it clears up for us some otherwise very puzzling

factors. Our views will be necessarily affected.

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The Egyptologist will view the 36th chapter of the Book of Genesis in

anew light, and all that the Biblical scholar has to say of it will be of particular

interest to him. The Bible student will turn to all that the Egyptologist can tell

him of the Hyksos Kings, their people, language and customs, etc. Each will

have a deeper appreciation of the work of the other: each,” will be assisted by

knowledge supplied by the other. The historian will take a second look at Edom

and at all references to Edom in monument, clay tablet, and papyri. We will all

see in Edom, not just a tiny desert kinglet, but the remnant of a once migl1ty

empire. The Bible scholar will discover fresh meaning in the words of Scripture.

Turn to the words of Moses’ triumphant song when Israel came through

the Red Sea, and the Egyptians were drowned.

“The people shall hear, and be afraid;

Sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina.

Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed;

The mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them

All the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away. (34)

Exodus 15: 14-15.

If one remembers that not too long before the Exodus of Israel from Egypt,

the Dukes of Edom were chased out of Egypt by Ahmose I, one can see why

they would be simply amazed beyond measure to learn that the slave nation

Israel had actually been able to march out of Egypt as victors. The Dukes,

comparing the report with their own

humbling expulsion from Egypt, would be filled with wonder and


They, rulers of Countries, dominating Egypt and reigning as Pharaohs

in it, were expelled: Israel, crushed into helpless slavery makes a triumphant

Exodus. What a contrast! The Dukes of Edom were amazed.

“The horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea” The very thing

which once had given the Hyksos/Edomites such advantage in battle, and which

the Egyptians had now taken up and copied, assisting in building up the great

Eighteenth Dynasty Empire, was utterly defeated. Yes, those Dukes of Edom

had cause for amazement indeed!

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Now we can see the true, deeper meaning in the words of Moses’ song.

The words take on real life. How exactly appropriate they were. Thus the

identification of Hyksos/Edom assists the student of Scripture to better

understand what he reads, and gives reality to the passage.

Did They Reign in Egypt?

Another point of deep interest, which seems to have received very scant

attention, is, Why did the Hyksos Kings, after conquering Egypt, move

their capital into Egypt? The Assyrians later also conquered Egypt, but the

Assyrian capital remained at Nineveh. Is it not quite unusual for conquerors,

having already a settled home-capital, to move their seat of government into

a subjugated country? If the Hyksos Kings came from Syria or Asia Minor or

Canaan, then why did their capital not remain in be Syria or Asia Minor or

Canaan, as the case might be? There must some good reason behind the move.

If our theory is right, one needs but to compare Edom and Egypt to see

one very good reason. (35) Egypt was so much more attractive to live in than

the deserts of Edom, that such a move is seen to be the obvious, most natural

and logical thing to do (Gen.l3:l0).

We have already noted from the Biblical record that King Saul of Edom

did not hesitate to set up his first capital at Rehoboth by the Euphrates, a long,

long way off from Edom itself. This trait gives away the similarity if not the

identity of Edomite and Hyksos.

What the Hyksos Kings Took with Them.

When the Hyksos Kings were expelled from Egypt, they could not but

take with them the memory of life in Egypt. That memory would bear some

fruit in later life. These Hyksos Kings had appreciated Egyptian art in stone,

the magnificent temples and palaces in which they had worshipped and lived.

They, too, had built beautiful temples in Egypt. The Horite element in the

Hyksos/Edomite make up, if there is any truth at all in the thought that they

used caves in Seir, must have worked formerly in stone, and would admire

Egyptian stone-art. In any case, the Hyksos/Edomites must have learned vastly

from the Egyptians. When they retreated into the Arabian Desert whence they

came, they took with them a greatly enhanced knowledge in stone art with an

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enlarged appreciation of what could be done. Here was a situation in which

originality could fructify.

As we said before, the Edomites in their retreat seem to have fallen back

right to the east side of the Arabah Valley. All the extensions of the empire fell

away: only the Edomite core was left. This would bring the Hyksos/Edomite

leaders remaining, right to Bozrah which had been the capital under King

Jobab. Yet it is unlikely that Bozrah was fortified at this time. The Edomites

had originally occupied thee country as nomads, and, as M. E. Kirk puts it, the

majority seem simply to have pitched their amid the ruins of the conquered

cities. (“Outline of Ancient Cultural History of Transjordan” Palestine

Exploration Quarterly, July-October 1944, p 180)

The Israelites later did the same when they overran Canaan. It was not

until well over three hundred years had passed that the Israelites began to

really build cities. (Those who argue for a late invasion of Canaan by Israel,

around 1200 B.C., have perhaps overlooked the fact that too little time is left

for nomadic Israel, fresh out of he wilderness wanderings to switch over to a

city-dwelling state.)

City dwelling seems to have begun even before the time of Samuel. The

Hyksos/Edomites had occupied cities outside of their home-land, but appear

to have utterly neglected the building cities in Edom. At least, archeologists

have not yet found trace of any in Edom at this period. Thus, thrown back

to the region of Bozrah, the Hyksos/Edomites would have little or no defense

against Egyptian pursuit.

The City Petra and Beidha

Not very far south from Bozrah is Petra and el-Beidha “Little Petra.” Both

of these centers are located in a quite inaccessible valley in the heart of very

rugged the country. Such locations would have offered the defeated Hyksos/

Edom a natural defense and a safe retreat. Even if this site had been occupied

in a small way previously, it still could at this time have offered a haven for

the crushed Hyksos/Edomite remnant, a place where to lick the wounds while

recovering from the terrific shock of defeat.

Tossed back out of Egypt into nomadism, perhaps the Hyksos line of kings

collapsed altogether and a new line took over. Perhaps the line continued in a

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weakened state. We do not know. However some of the people had tasted life

in Egypt. It would take a while to become adjusted. Not so very long after the

Hyksos Expulsion which was about 1580 B.C., a great change began to come

over the Land of Edom. The people commenced agricultural activities. They

started to settle down. City life appeared. By about 1300 B.C. a line of fortified

sites marked much of the boundary or Edom.

Was it not the return of the Hyksos peoples from Egypt which gave the

impetus to accomplish this in less than 300 years?

Somewhere about this time Petra, the famous and beautiful rose-red Rock

City, was most likely settled. Most scholars speak of the monuments in Petra

as being of Nabataean skill (around 300 to 200 B.C.), which is no doubt true

for the most part. But excavations are starting to demonstrate that the valley

was occupied at earlier times as well.

The Hyksos/Edomite peoples having brought back with them some of

the marvelous stone-art techniques learned in Egypt, in process of time, began

to carve out rock dwellings and temples in the living rock or the faces of the

mountains enclosing the site of Petra. Although the city has passed through

a brilliant Nabataean stage since, let us, when looking upon these huge, rock

temples, think back upon the Hyksos kings. Expelled out of Egypt, yet handing

down stories or the greatness which had once been theirs and longing for

greatness still; then setting about in that dry land to carve out great and beautiful

temples of their own and they evidently achieved success.

Oddly, one of these immense rock temples, facing the narrow entrance

passage, today bears the Arabic name “Khaznet Fir’aun” or “Treasury of

Pharaoh.” Another is called “Kasr Fir’aun” or “Pharaoh’s Palace.” It is a puzzle

as to why the title “Pharaoh” so emphatically Egyptian, should crop up,

seemingly without reason, at Petra. It is as if the names are trying to whisper

something to us of a connection with the land of the Nile; as if saying softly,

“Our ancestry harks back into a dim past when the early kings of our line were

once real Pharaohs.”

Edom, “A Famous Nation

As we stated before, the moment we link Hyksos and Edom many puzzling

bits of history begin to fit together. We gain an altogether new appreciation and

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respect for the little-known Edomites. Now we can understand why Biblical

writers viewed Edom as of such importance.

They give it a prominence of position that heretofore has seemed all out

of proportion. To those writers the Edomites bore with them the memory of

a once great, dominating empire.

One example of the enlightenment and help our theory provides is

found in connection with the passage in Ezekiel 32:17-32. Here the Prophet

Ezekiel sings a sorrowful, picturesque dirge over the fall of great and powerful

Egypt before the arms of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He cries that the

multitude of Egypt will go down in death into the abyss; she (that is, Egypt)

with the daughters of “the famous nations, unto the nether parts of the earth”

(vs. 18). There, the strong among the mighty shall speak to fallen Pharaoh out

of the midst of hell (vs 21)

Now, let us ask, who are these “famous nations”, the ”strong among the

mighty”? The Prophet Ezekiel proceeds to list the famous nations’ as known

in his day. Most naturally the first is “Asshur” or Assyria, in verse 22, “which

caused terror in the land of the living’. Next is Elam” in verse 24, which also

caused its terror in the land of the living. Then “Meshech (and) Tubal”, which

are the Mashki and Tabal known to us from Assyrian inscriptions, and likewise

“caused their terror in the land of the living.” Then follows, to the surprise of

thoughtful students, in verse 29, “Edom, her kings, and all her princes.” The

parade ends with “the princes of the north” (the Scythians were pushing in

from the north at that time), and the “Zidonians” in verse 30. But we ask, how

marches little Edom in this parade of what are described as the famous nations?

Why did Ezekiel include Edom in this array of “the strong among the mighty”?

Regardless of how much of this chapter is figurative, and how much literal, we

are forced to admit that even down to the Prophet’s day Edom was viewed as a

“famous nation” with something in its past to elevate it to the position of one

of the strong among the mighty.”

Little toddlers do not march in a parade restricted, let us say, to

accomplished scientists such as Isaac Newton, Michael Farady, Lord Kelvin,

Jeans and Einstein! If Edom was the little kinglet we have heretofore thought

it, it would have been barred out from being mentioned with Assyria, Elam,

Mashki and Tabal in such a listing~ But the inclusion of Edom is positive proof

it was considered an unusually powerful country.”

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We submit that, unless our theory is acknowledged, there is absolutely

nothing in Edom’s past to warrant it being called a famous nation. The theory

we have set forth, is, so far as we are aware, the only explanation which satisfies

Ezekiel’s listing of “famous” “strong” and “mighty” nations recognized in his

day. Evidently the memory of the enormous and powerful Hyksos/Edomite

Empire had not yet faded away.

Scholars May Judge

We have gone over a wide range of evidences. We have brought forth out

of our treasury for you things new and old. We are content to rest our case in

the hands of our judges. We leave it to you all, and in particular to the world

of scholarship, to decide and determine whether we have added anything to

the solution of the problem as to whence came the Hyksos Kings of Egypt.

Even should our theory somehow prove to be mistaken and wrong,

we trust we may stir up and trigger off further research and study of this

interesting question. Archaeologists will certainly yet find more information

in Egypt regarding the mysterious Hyksos. We hope they will soon investigate

Edom more thoroughly, and excavate many sites. We need more light on the

intriguing Hurrians, and especially on those Hurrians which inhabited Seir

before the Edomite nomads’ displaced and absorbed them. All of Transjordan

needs further archaeological study.

We trust that the “average reader” for whom we have sought to write

“things easy to be understood,” will have gained from these pages not only an

added interest in archaeology and the history of ancient Egypt, Edom, and the

Hurrians, but a much greater interest in and a deeper respect for the Bible, in

which it seems to us has been preserved the solution to our question, “Whence

Came the Hyksos Kings of Egypt?”


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Appendix One

Notes and References

  1. Date of the Hyksos Invasion

Prof J.H. Breasted in “A History of the Ancient Egyptians: 1919, published

by Charles Scriber’s Sons, New York, Section 170, gives the invasion as in 1657

BC but remarks it could be earlier. Encyclopedia Americana, Canadian Edition

1963, Article Egypt under Chronology, dates the Hyksos Dynasties XV and

XVI as 1730 – 1580, after William Stevenson Smith.

  1. Hyksos Leaders

Breasted in “A History of the Ancient Egyptians” section 175 argues for the

city of Kadesh in Syria as the center of the Hyksos power. George A> Barton,

PH D. in Archeology and the Bile, Published by ASSU, Philadelphia PA, USA,

IVth Edition, 1952, pp 28-29 notes the drift of opinion toward the Hittites as

either the Hyksos or the leading faction in the Hyksos hordes.

Encyclopedia Americana, Canadian Edition, Article Egypt, says “The

Hyksos…. in addition to unidentifiable people, included a fair proportion of

those speaking Hurrian and Semitic.” The mention of “Hurrian” (Horite) is

important. See also Prof. J. H. Breasted in “The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus,

Oriental Institute Publications, Voll III, Chicago, 1930

  1. Stories of Patriarchs as Myths, Legends, Etc.

Encyclopedia Americana, Canadian Edition, under Articles Abraham,

Bible etc.

  1. Hyksos Monuments Destroyed

Breasted, A History of the Ancient Egyptians, Sections 173, 179

  1. Meaning of the name “Hyksos”

Breasted, A History of the Ancient Egyptians, Section 172 gives “Rulers

of Countries.” Barton, Archeology and the Bible, p 35 states the equivalent

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of the term Ruler of Countries was previously long in use in Babylonian and

other Mesopotamian cities, and it would be perfectly natural for Semitic Hyksos

to use it.

Encyclopedia Americana, Canadian Edition, in article “Egypt” under

Hyksos Period equates the name Hyksos with the Egyptian “Hikau Khasut”

or “rulers of foreign lands.”

Nevertheless, the idea of “shepherd” is strangely persistent. They Hyksos

are constantly referred to by the most up to date writers as “nomads” and

“Bedouin” etc.

Breasted, after arguing for Kadesh in Syria as the Hyksos home, speaks

in Section 175 of the possibility of the Hebrew tribes in Egypt as “a part of

the Bedouin allies of the Kadesh or Hyksos Empire, whose presence there

brought into the tradition the partially correct impression that the Hyksos

were shepherds. Were the men of Kadesh Bedouins? Our theory allows that the

Hyksos were actually a shepherd people in the main at the time of the invasion

of Egypt, a point the Egyptians, who despised shepherds should feel keenly

and would never forget.

  1. Race and Language of the Hyksos

Barton “Archeology and the Bible” pp 28-29 states most scholars have

thought the Hyksos were Semites, but now some think they were Hittites or led

by Hittites. On p. 35 it is suggested that they could have been Amorites. See in

addition Note 2 above where the Hurrian (Horite) language is also mentioned.

  1. Location of City Of Avaris

Philip Schaff’s “Bible Dictionary’ Eleventh Edition, (first published

somewhere about 1885), Article, “Zoan,” identifies Zoan with Tanis and Avaris.

Breasted, “A History of the Ancient Egyptians,” in Section 171, states

the exact site of Avaris is still “undetermined.”

Encyclopedia Americana, Can. Ed. (1953), Article, “Tanis,” says, “Tanis

(Hebrew, Zoan) ancient Egyptian city, south of the Delta, before the founding

of Alexandria the chief commercial city of Egypt, capital of the Hyksos kings

about 2100 B.C. “We fear the worthy encyclopedia got its directions mixed, and

its date is outdated! But it agrees that the Hyksos capital is identified with Tanis.

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  1. Hyksos Used Horses Extensive1y.

Breasted, “A History of the Ancient Egyptians”, in Section 20, speaks of

the “importation of the horse by the Hyksos.”

Encyclopedia Americana, Can. Ed., Article, “History, Ancient,” says, The

Hyksos “contribution was the introduction of the horse and the war chariot.”

Again, in Article “Egypt,” under Hyksos Period, it states, Barbarians though they

were, the Hyksos were aided in their conquest not only by internal weaknesses

of the Egyptian state, but also by their technologically superior war material,

the horse and chariots, body amour, and the composite bow.”

Ishmael was “an archer” par expellant (Gen 21:20) The composite bow

may have been introduced by the Ishmaelites.

  1. Hyksos Religion

Breasted, “A History of the Ancient Egyptians,” Section l78,states, “Their

patron god Sutekh is of course the Egyptianized form of some Syrian Baal.”

  1. Haran

The light to be brought out by the present archaeological research work

at the important city of Haran will be watched by all with great interest. This

city in Genesis is constantly linked very closely with the Patriarchs, and we may

learn much concerning the importance of Abraham’s people.

The Book of Genesis pictures the worship of Jehovah as being practiced

in Haran. Laban says to Jacob, “The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor”

(Abraham’s brother)

“the God of their father Tera) judge betwixt us” (Gen.3l:53). Nevertheless,

Terah and his father Nahor also indulged in idolatry (Josh.24:3), which is

probably the reason Abraham had to entirely separate from his father’s with

him family. Terah very likely carried with him the religion of the Moon-god

Sin from Ur. For all we know he may have been the one who implanted it

in Haran. We do know from early records that at Ur and at Haran wee to

great centers of this religion of Sin, the Mood-god. See also the article Haran

in Unger’s Bible Dictionary, by Merril F. Unger, published by Moody Press,

Chicago, Second edition, 1959

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  1. Importance of Abraham

Encyclopedia Americana, Canadian Edition, Article “Abraham” has to

admit that the higher critical school acknowledge the reality of the man Abraham

and that he must have been rather important, even while the historicity of the

entire Biblical account of him is impugned and discredited. “The critical view

is that thee was a real Abram or Abraham (the traditions existing in both forms)

with his home at Hebron, probably a considerable man form the number and

the persistence of the legends about him, but that is all we know. The name of

his brother and ancestry are not persons, but Arab clans.

12 Horites (Hurri)

Barton “Archeology and the Bible, Vth Edition (not IVth) gives quite

some information regarding the Hurri.

We cannot but notice there was a lot of travel between Canaan and

upper Mesopotamia in the Age of Abraham. In the Bible Abraham himself so

journeys, Eliezer goes for Rebekah, Jacob goes himself, unknown others brought

family news to Abraham about his brother’s family in Haran (Gen 22:20-24)

The Hittite Kingdom was in Asia Minor, but a group of Hittites live at Hebron

(Gen 23:2,3,10,16-20) where not many years before the Amorites held the

district. (Gen 14:13,24) The Hittites had evidently moved in, in the interval.

The Hurri or Horite Kingdom was not far from the city of Haran, yet Horites

had moved into Seir, etc, just south of Canaan (Gen 14:6). It could be that

Emmims, Zuzimz, and Rephaim were branches of the same people, as they

seem to be significantly linked together again in Deuteronomy 2:1-23. All this

indicates travel between Canaan and Upper Mesopotamia.

The Horites being such near neighbors of Abraham’s relatives in Haran,

might explain how Esau’s family became such intimates the Horites south of


  1. The Egyptians had no “L”

Barton, “Archaeology and the Bible,” (IVth Ed.), p. 335, footnote.

14 The King held as a god.

Sir C. Leonard Woolley, “Ur of the Chaldees” 1930, published by Charles

Page 95


Scribner’s sons, New York, p. 65, speaks of the early kings of Ur being honored

as gods, long before Abraham’s time.

Lieut.-Comm. Victor L. Trumper, R.N.R., M.R.A.S., in “The Mirror of

Egypt in the Old Testament,” (about 1928), Published by Marshall Morgan

& Scott Limited, London England P. 122, says, “The Pharaoh was considered

by his subjects and himself as a god, and endeavored to act and speak as such.”

  1. Land of Uz

Schaff, “Bible Dictionary,” Article “Uz,” states, It was the “General

portion of the Arabian Desert east of Edom and south of Trachonitis, extending

indefinitely toward the Euphrates. “Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Article Uz (4)

adds further details.

  1. Traditional Date of Job.

Schaff, “Bible Dictionary,” Article, “Job.” “Hales places him before the

birth of Abraham, Usher about 30 years before the Exodus.

Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Article “Job” Time and Composition” notes

tremendous disagreement among Bible Scholars about the date of Job.

  1. Job at Orfah. Tradition.

Schaff, “Bible Dictionary,” Article, Uz. “Near the Haran-gate in that city

(Orfah) is Job’s well,’ which is a sacred shrine to the people because the patriarch

drank of its waters.”

  1. Rehoboth at Rahabah by Euphrates.

Schaff, “Bible Dictionary” article “Rehoboth”

Since the discovery and excavation of Mari, a very important city only

about 30 miles south-east Rahabah, it has become common amongst scholars

to ignor Rahabah altogether. However, I cannot find any t reference to a close

investigation of Rahabah and its immediate vicinity to determine whether there

was a “city” there in the second millennium B. C.

Several factors remain to suggest that the Rehoboth of Genesis 36:37 lay

somewhere near this region. 1. It was “by the river,” a term otherwise understood

to mean by the Euphrates. 2. As to the suggestion by some that this Rehoboth is

Page 96


er-Ruheibah in the Negev, south westerly from Beer-sheba, we wish to point out

that we seem to have no evidence whatever that there was a “city” at that place

in early times (Early or Middle Bronze Age); and, moreover, that place is not

ever said to be “by the river.” 3. A very important factor is that I am informed

the Mari tablets actually mention a place called “Rehoboth.” It is a far cry from

Mari to the north western Negev. It therefore seems most doubtful that the Mari

tablets refer to er-Ruhe1bah, so tiny a spot and so far away. It is far more likely

to refer to a place relatively near to Mari where the tablets were unearthed. 4.

It is fairly certain that Mari was only a little south of the Hurrian boundary.

This indicates that Rahabah near the Euphrates, lying north westerly from

Mari, was probably within Hurr1an territory. If the Edom1tes were destroying

or had destroyed the Hurrians, then Rahabah could have fallen into Edom1te

hands. This may be giving too wide a meaning to the Biblical statement that

the Edom1tes destroyed and supplanted the Horites (Hurrians), but the idea

should not be too readily discounted as sometimes the Biblical statements have

been found to have a wider scope than at first supposed.

  1. Hyksos at war with Assyrians

The story of the Hyksos preserved in Josephus Against Apion, tells us Salatis

their king feared the Assyrians, upon which Breasted comments, (A History

of the Ancient Egyptians” Section 172) “If we eliminate the absurd reference

to the Assyrians,” they story may be reasonable…” But we wish to point out

that if the Edomites were the Hyksos, and the Edomite capital city had to be

established at Rahabah, prior to the conquest of Egypt, then a reference to war

with Assyria might indeed be quite historical.

20 Tema, Teima, or Teyma

Robert William Rogers, Phd., Litt. D., Cuneiform Paralles to the Old

Testament, 2nd Edition, about 1926, Pub by Oxford University Press, London,

Page 374, Nabonidus King of Babylon, father of Belshazzar king of Babylong

(referred to in the Book of Daniel) resided at Tema, in the Arabian Desert.

  1. Havalah, Ha’il, Hayil, in Central Arabia

Barton,l Archeology and the Bible,p 541 treats “Havalah” as meaning

Page 97


Arabia in general; but George Adam Smith in a much older work, “Historical

Atlas of the Holy

Land,” identifies it with Ha’il or Hayil in Central Arabia.

  1. Ruled Other Countries Before Entering Egypt

Barton, “Archaeology and the Bible,” P. 35, mentions the Hyksos ruled

other countries previously. Breasted, “A History of the Ancient Egyptians,

Section 19, also states the Hyksos evidently ruled over a number of countries

before invading Egypt.

  1. Pau, Pai, Phauara, Edomite city

Schaff, Bible Dictionary, Article “Pau”

Unger’s Bible Dictionary, article “Pau” admits its position is unknown

  1. City of Pe, in Nile Delta

Breasted, “A History of the Ancient Egyptians, Section 34.

  1. Names of Hyksos Kings

Encyclopedia Americana, Can. Ed., Article, “Egypt,” under Chronology,

names the following Hyksos Kings:

Khian (Se-weser-en-ra); whom we have listed

Apepi (Aa-weser-ra); whom we call Apophis I

Apepi (Neb-khopesh-ra)


Apepi (Aa-kenen-ra)

Barton, “Archaeology and the Bible,” p.35, says one seems to have been

named “Jacob-el’ or “Jacob-her.” Was he named after Jacob, Esau’s father? If our

thoery is correct, Jacob was a family name amonst the ancestors to these kings

  1. Manda People

Barton, “Archaeology and the Bible,” (Vth edition).

Page 98


  1. Hyksos god Sutekh.

Breasted, “A History of the Ancient Egyptians,” Section 173, reports a

King Apophis made an altar to Sutekh, “lord of Avaris, when he (Sutekh) set

all lands under his (the king’s) feet.”

  1. Khabiri People in Amarna Letters

Breasted, “A History of the Ancient Egyptians,” Section 278, declares, “the

advance of the Khabiri, among whom we must recognize bands of Hebrews

and Aramaeans.” – “

Barton, “Archaeology and the Bible,” gives some helpful translations.

  1. A “New” King

Trumper in “The Mirror of Egypt in the Old Testament,” page 68, draws

attention to the Greek word, for “another” (insert Greek picture here) used of

this king in Acts 7:18, which means “another of a different kind”, as opposed

to the Greek word (Insert second Greek word here) which is “another of a

similar kind.”

  1. Expulsion of Hyksos Kings

Breasted in “A History of the Ancient Egyptians,” Section 173, informs us

the expulsion required quite some time. A seige of Avaris was necessary; then,

the Hyksos were besieged three years in Sharuhen.

Older translations give the siege as “six” years, but Breasted corrected his

earlier translation, to three years.

  1. Length of Hyksos Rule in Egypt

Breasted, “A History of the Ancient Egyptians,” Section 177, gives 100

years as ample time.

Encyclopedia Americana, Canadian Edition, Article “History, Ancient,”

dates Hyksos rule in Egypt as 1680-1580 B.C. (See also Note 1.)

  1. Siege of Sharuhen

Some authorities, following Breasted’s older translation still give “six” years

for the siege; but see Note 30 above.

Page 99


  1. Location of Sharuhen

“Unger’s Bible Dictionary” Article “Sharuhen” states “This site reveals

impressive evidence of Hyksos fortifications:

Schaff, Bible Dictionary under articles “Sansannah, Hazar-susah, and

Hazar-susim” treats another city seemingly near to Sharuhen. The latter two

names mean, “Horse court” or “depot of horses.” Being in the same group of

places as Shilhim or Sharuhen (Josh.15:31-32; 19:5-6; I.Chron.4::31- “Shaaraim

is Sharuhen) It is possible we here have a Hyksos horse depot. If so, excavation

of Hazar-susim might turn up more light on the Hyksos peoples.

  1. Song of Moses

One cannot but wonder if the grouping of names in Exod.15:l4-l5 is not a

reference to the Hyksos peoples which would still be well known to the Israelites.

The name Edom would include the “Hurrians” or Horites amalgamated with

them; “Palestina” would take in the Philistines at Gaza (near which Petrie

found Hyksos graves) and the Avim; “Moab” comes in as an ally of Hyksos-

Edom; and “Canaan” would take in the Hittite and Hivite helpers from that

land, which we have referred to. Only the Ishmaelites appear to be missing.

This grouping of names must be significant of some connection uniting these

people in thought or purpose, and, aside from the explanation offered in this

book, the author knows of no reason why these names should be thus grouped

in the Song of Moses.

  1. Sinai and Edom Deserts

Palestine Exploration Fund Annual III, (1915),

London, England, describes this desert region on pages 15 and those

following. The desert appears to be most “inhospitable” as there stated. However,

this general survey of the area seemed to indicate there had been some activity

in that region near the middle of the second millennium B.C. or a little earlier,

judging from the pottery shards, etc.

Barton in “Archaeology and the Bible” pages 35-36, mentions that Sir

Flinders Petrie found two remarkable camp sites in Egypt, one about 20 miles

north of Cairo, the other at On (Heliopolis), which he believed were original

Hyksos camps before they began to assume Egyptian ways and civilization. The

Page 100


relatively crude, black pottery of these people is just what one would expect of a

nomadic people just come from ~ the inhospitable deserts of Sinai and Edom,

and of Horites coming from the same regions.

Appendix Two

Earliest Horses in Egypt

After the text of this book was completed, in which we postulated the

presence of some horses in Egypt before the Hyksos Invasion brought them in

abundance, reports of the excavation of Fort Buhen in the Sudan have come to

hand. Here there was a large Egyptian fortress from the times of the XIIth and

of the XVIIIth Dynasties, that is, before and after the Hyksos period.

Professor Walter B. Emery, Edwards Professor of Egyptology in the

University of London, carrying out the excavations for the Egypt Exploration

Society, discovered the burial of a horse definitely pre-Hyksos. He states that

“on sound archaeological evidence” it antedated the Hyksos by 200 years. (See

“Illustrated London News, September 12, 1959, page 250)

This single find muzzles forever the argument based solely on the silence

of the monuments that there “were no horses in Egypt prior to the Hyksos

Invasion. It confirms our theory that some horses had been brought into the

country earlier than the times of the Hyksos.

Appendix Three

Hyksos Influence in Canaanite Cities

It is definite that after the Hyksos Invasion and conquest of Egypt, the

power of the Hyksos Pharaohs was strongly felt in Canaan.

Scarabs of King Apophis (Pepa or Shesha) were found at Lachish

(Illustrated London News, Nov 27, 1937 page 944 Palestine Clues, by J. L.

Starkey, and there are marked Hyksos levels noted in excavation such cities

as Megiddo and Jericho. The indication is that much of Canaan came under

Hyksos control in one way or another.

Page 101


Appendix Four

Chart of Similarities



Empire existed about 300 to 200 years

before Exodus.

Formed a great kingdom about 300 –

200 years before the Exodus

Empire took in southern fringe of

Canaan and likely reached Euphrates

Edomite kingdom took in southern

fringes of Canaan and reached

Euphrates at Rehoboth

Were mainly Semites

Were mainly Semites

Included a strong Hurri element

Included a strong Horite element

May have been connected with the


Connected with Hittites

Had horses and used horses in warfare Had horses and describe use of horse

in battle

Were possibly shepherds and nomads Were shepherds and were nomadic

in origin

Linked with Arabians

Inter-related with Arabians

Linked with Canaanites

Inter-related with Canaanites

Called Barbarians, ie of a lower

material standard to Egyptians

Did not posses a settled, cultural life

like the Egyptians

Capital city (Avaris) not in their own


Capital cities often not in their own


Worshiped Sutekh (Seth) or Baal

Drifted to Baal worship

Page 102


Appendix Five

Chronology Table

Page 103


Appendix Six


Page 104


Page 105



Bar- Deroma, H. The River of Egypt (Nahal Mizraim), Palestine Exploration

Quarterly, Jan.-June 1960, p. 37

Barton, George A. Archeology and the Bible, IVth Edition, ASSU, Philadelphia

PA, USA, 1952

Bietak, Manfred, Avaris: The Capital of the Hyksos: Recent Excavations, Books

Britain; 1995

Breasted Prof J. H., A History of the Ancient Egyptians Charles Scriber’s Sons,

New York, 1919

Breasted Prof. J. H., The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus, Oriental Institute

Publications, Voll III, Chicago, 1930

Emery, Professor Walter B. article, name unknown Illustrated London News,

September 12, 1959, page 250

Encyclopedia Americana, Canadian Edition 1963

Compton’s Pictured Encyclopedia, Various articles as quoted, F. E. Compton

& Co., Chicago 1958 ed

Internet Site: Egyptian Monuments, 2003


Internet Site: Chronologically Helpful Parallels between the Hyksos and the

Amalekites, 2003,

Page 106


Kirk M. E., Outline of Ancient Cultural History of Transjordan, Palestine

Exploration Quarterly, July-Oct. 1944

Kuhrt, A, The Ancient Near East Routledge; (September 1995) ISBN:


Lacheman, Ernest R, Martha A. Morrison, David I. Owen , The Eastern Archives

of Nuzi and Excavations at Nuzi 9/2 (Studies on the Civilization and the Culture

of Nuzi and the Hurrians, Vol 4) Eisenbrauns; 1993

Marston, Sir Charles, The Bible Comes Alive, Eyre and Spotiswoode, London,


Rogers, Robert William Cuneiform Parallels to the Old Testament 2nd Edition,

Oxford University Press, London, 1926

Schaff, Philip, A Dictionary of the Bible, Eleventh Edition, ASSU, 1885

Smith, George Adam, Historical Atlas of the Holy Land, University of Aberdeen,


Starkey , J. L., Palestine Clues, Illustrated London News, Nov 27, 1937 page 944

The Christian, London England, Aug. 30, 1957

Trumper, Lieut-Comm. Victor L, The Mirror of Egypt in the Old Testament

Marshall Morgan & Scott Limited, London England 1928

Unger, Merrill F. Archaeology and the Old Testament, Zondervan, Grand Rapids,


Unger, Merrill F. Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Moody Press, Chicago, Second

edition, 1959

Page 107


Unknown, A Pompeii of Southern Palestine, The Illustrated London News,

June 20,1931, page 1050

Unknown, Illustrated London News, May 14,1932, page 814

Unknown, Illustrated London News, July 9, 1932, page 57

Watson, C. M., Editor, History of the Southern Desert, Palestine Exploration

Fund Annual III, (1915) London, England

Wilhelm, Gernot , Jennifer Barnes (Translator) Hurrians (Ancient Near East

Series), Aris & Phillips; Revised edition September 1989

Woolley, Sir C. Leonard, Ur of the Chaldees Charles Scribner’s sons, New York,