Tempest stele is NOT an account of the Bible’s 10 plagues story
- N. B.
In the video below is yet more unscientific nonsense from the PT Barnum of religion, filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici, who hasn’t met a myth he couldn’t turn into history or an artifact he couldn’t fudge to fit the Bible. As I demonstrate in my book Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver, despite such attempts at finding historicity in the Bible, the “Tempest stele” is not an account of the 10 plagues story.
It is to Ahmose I that the so-called Tempest or Storm Stele (c. 1550 BCE) is attributed, which some claim has to do with the Hyksos, although the fragment we possess make no mention of them. Others have speculated the text represents the eruption of Thera/Santorini, but the Tempest Stele sounds more like the archetypal battle between the sun/storm god and the sea, resembling also the mythical control of a meteorological phenomenon.
Considering that other rulers likewise engaged in recording this type of disaster and relief, including the female pharaoh Hatshepsut (1508-1458 BCE) at Speos Artemidos, this storm-destruction theme in the Tempest Stele appears to be a genre, like lamentations, rather than a historical record. Ahmose I is Hatshepsut’s grandfather, and it would be a simple matter to copy another’s storm-destruction record during one’s own reign. There appears to be little reason to associate this text with the Hyksos as an allegorical representation of the “storm” of their eviction. Nor can we identify their removal with the biblical Exodus or Ahmose with the pharaoh thereof.
(Did Moses Exist?, 153)
The biblical plagues account, in reality, does not appear in the literary record until 1,000 years or so after the stele/stela was composed and evidently has no relationship thereto.
The stele thus possibly represents a GENRE, not a historical report. There were many plagues stories or myths in antiquity revolving around various different gods around the Mediterranean, as I also discuss in Did Moses Exist? (pp. 206-211).
The Egyptologist whom Jacobovici presents, Dr. Donald Redford, does not believe the biblical account is true. How convenient to omit that fact! Concerning the biblical account of the conquest of Canaan, for example, Redford remarks:
A detailed comparison of this version of the Hebrew takeover of Palestine with the extra-Biblical evidence totally discredits the former. Not only is there a complete absence…in the records of the Egyptian empire of any mention or allusion to such a whirlwind of annihilation, but also Egyptian control over Canaan and the very cities Joshua is supposed to have taken scarcely wavered during the entire period of the Late Bronze Age. Far more damaging, however, than this argument from silence is the archaeological record.
(Redford, “Egypt, Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times.” NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992:263)
2 thoughts on “Tempest stele is NOT an account of the Bible’s 10 plagues story”
What’s crazy about the whole thing in the bible know one seems to see the formula.
And I could go on…
This video looks like the type of faux archeological thing they show in big auditoriums in evangelical churches in the US to add “authenticity” to their preachments.
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