why does everyone accept egypts timeline as absolute when all other cultures history, including ancient Hebrew, disprove it as accurate?
Egypt’s Timeline: Its Nature and Origin
But if we take the words of scripture seriously, we must conclude that Egypt’s history can’t be what the textbooks claim it is. The timeline we
know must be horribly wrong.
This should not be an altogether surprising suggestion, even for secular archaeologists. The pagan world in general had no regard for sequential
time. Its thought forms were governed by recurring cycles, not by the linear flow of history. The truth is the ancient Egyptians didn’t keep good
historical records. They didn’t leave behind a standardized chronology or timeline. They didn’t even leave us a complete list of their kings.
The first list of Egyptian dynasties was compiled by Manetho, an Egyptian priest, who lived about 300 BC. But we don’t have his list. We have
fragments of it recorded by later historians. These records are not only incomplete, but incongruous. Yet Manetho’s work is the foundation for
Egyptian chronology and history. Initially, historians simply laid out these supposed dynasties end to end with the assumptions that one king
followed another without overlap or co-regency. (Imagine if you developed papal history and chronology this way.) This gave Egypt a timeline that
stretched back, right across the Flood, to 5000 BC. Eventually, Egyptologists began to question this methodology. They made corrections, partly by
recognizing that some of the dynasties overlapped or were concurrent. But even now, after all these corrections, Egypt’s first Dynasty is still set
at 3000 BC, well before the Flood.
Reconstructing the Timeline
Immanuel Velikovsky was one of the first to suggest a rationale and method for reconstructing Egypt’s timeline. His book was appropriately titled
Ages in Chaos (Doubleday, 1952). Twenty years later, an Adventist scholar, Dr. Donovan Courville, developed a similar approach to what he called The
Exodus Problem (1971). Both men argued for a more extensive overlapping of dynasties than Egyptologists have so far been willing to accept. In fact,
they argue that some of the so-called dynasties were not dynasties at all, but lists of local rulers who governed as vice regents for particular
pharaohs. The total effect of their suggestions is a severe shortening of Egypt’s chronology and history and the elimination of the “dark ages”
in the timeline.
The reconstructions suggested by Velikovsky and Courville offer a number of surprising correlations. Thutmose III, who created Egypt’s largest
empire, becomes the pharaoh who sacked Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 11). Akhenaton, once hailed as history’s first monotheist, becomes a
contemporary of Israel’s later prophets. And Hatshepsut might just be the Queen of Sheba.
The Exodus now falls within the 13th Dynasty, which was succeeded by the invading Hyksos, a nomadic tribe from the wilderness (the biblical
Amalekites?). And now we have an Egyptian record that seems to shed some light on the Exodus. This papyrus manuscript comes from around the 13th
Dynasty. It was first translated by Alan H. Gardiner in 1909. He called it The Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage and more often it is simply called the
“Ipuwer Papyrus.” Here are few lines from Gardiner’s translation:
Plague is throughout the land. Blood is everywhere. (2.5)
Forsooth, the river is blood, yet men drink of it. (2.10)
Forsooth, gates, columns, and walls are consumed by fire… (2.11)
Forsooth, men are few. He who places his brother in the ground is everywhere. (2.13)
Forsooth, the Desert is throughout the Land. The nomes are laid waste. A foreign tribe from abroad has come to Egypt. (3.1)
Forsooth, gold and lapis lazuli, silver and malachite, carnelian and bronze, stone of Yebhet and […] are fastened on the necks of female slaves.
Indeed, grain has perished on every side. (People) are stripped of clothes, spices, and oil. Everybody says: there is none. (6.3)
Rewriting and More Rewriting
Velikovsky’s ideas met with stiff academic rejection followed by a carefully engineered silence. Courville’s book sank with hardly a splash, or
so it seemed. But in 1993 Peter James and a team of secular scholars again challenged the standard chronology of Egypt in their book, Centuries of
Darkness. Their conclusion: Egyptian chronology is inflated. It is too long by 300 years. The third “dark age” or intermediate period never
happened. They make initial suggestions for correcting the problem. These suggestions involve (of course) overlapping dynasties. They realize there
is still a great deal of work to do because the chronology and history of every ancient Mediterranean nation has been tied to that of Egypt!