Story of Joseph sinks like the Titanic


“Find out the striking anachronism that would make the historicity of the story of Joseph in Ancient Egypt an impossible theory”

…by  Dr. Ashraf Ezzat, Egypt

Throughout my life, I have heard too many weird stories that my mind just couldn’t perceive them all as true. One of the weirdest and most unbelievable of them is the story of The Exodus. I could have dismissed it like any other story/tale of the remote past that didn’t necessarily warrant any scrutiny or investigation to validate its authenticity or historicity, had it not been a biblical story, and had I not been Egyptian.

The challenge is that The Exodus is a biblical story, and it may be the most dramatic story ever told in the Bible. The Exodus, I dare say, is the bedrock upon which all the Judeo-Christian faith is built, and maybe also the Islamic.

If the story of the Exodus was distorted or tampered with, then all Israelite tales that followed will be deemed fake. Stories like the conquest of the Promised Land and the establishment of the Kingdom of David and Solomon in Palestine will be undermined and shaken to the core. In my research, (in collaboration with high profile scholars and historians) we argue that the geography of the biblical stories – and most importantly that of the Exodus – had long been tampered with and changed in the ancient biblical records.

If properly exposed, that scenario – which we support its validity with evidence-based findings in my book – will render the Bible, that is tucked under many warm pillows, into an ancient text of mass deception.

Most Jews, Christians and Muslims believe that the story of The Exodus is a true historical event. Most importantly, they also have no doubt whatsoever that the story of Moses and Pharaoh took place in Ancient Egypt, and this is where all those devotees went wrong.

According to our investigation, if the story of Moses and Pharaoh was really a true historical event, it must have taken place in Ancient Arabia and not Ancient Egypt.

The Story of The Exodus is an ancient Arabian tale, and everything about it is Arabian: its vocabulary, its cultural, geographical and even its ethical milieu.

In the field of script writing, and before embarking on crafting his story, the scriptwriter must create the right “milieu” for his story/film.

The “milieu” is the general ambiance that distinguishes the story and sets it apart by a unique dialogue, location and cultural background.

For example, in a film/novel like “Titanic” you’d expect the script – that will create the right “milieu” for the story of the sinking of that giant ship – to include and make use of the following relevant items:

  • Most of the location must be filmed in a set similar to the architecture/interior design of the luxurious Titanic steam liner.
  • The North Atlantic Ocean must be omnipresent in the script/filming.
  • The story must set off from Southampton port in England and heading for New York in America.
  • Most of the actors must speak English (in the early 20th century accent and vocabulary).
  • The wardrobe of the characters must reflect the old vogue costume of the 1910s.
  • The names of the main characters of the story must be British and in accordance with the late 19th – early 20th century archive of popular names.
  • The dialogue of the main characters (the elite and common) must reflect the cultural/social backdrop of the era that preceded the First World War.

The script/film is eventually judged by how true the script writer/film director has been in recreating the story/event. In other words, by how authentic the milieu of the script has been in reflecting the true/original story of the sinking of the Titanic.

According to the Hebrew Bible the story of The Exodus starts some 260 – 300 years earlier with the selling of the Patriarch Joseph as a slave. Although our research presents a strong argument against Egypt being the land on which all the Israelite stories took place, (including that of Joseph), but that aside for now and instead let’s dig for the milieu of the story of Joseph.

Genesis – 37, tells the story of Joseph and his funny dream, how he was the favorite son of his father, the attempt to kill him by his envious brothers, dumping Joseph in a hole/cistern in the barren desert, Joseph picked up by a Midianite, his brothers watching an Ishmaelite caravan growing near, Joseph sold to the Ismaelites/Ishmaelites and when their caravan – carrying myrrh and frankincense reached a town named “Mizraim” – and no Mizraim is not the Hebrew word for Egypt as you have been fed— Joseph was again sold to Potiphar, the head of the town’s guards.

Let’s look at Joseph’s story as a film script. Let’s dig through the text and try to find specific key words that will help us build up its geographical and cultural milieu and even the probable time during which this story could have happened.

To give an example of our methodology, let’s examine the following text from Genesis – 38:

“Judah chose a wife for his firstborn son Er. Her name was Tamar. Er angered the Lord. So the Lord took away his life. Then Judah said to Onan, “Go sleep with your brother’s widow. Do your duty for her as a brother-in-law, and produce a descendant for your brother.” But Onan knew that the descendant wouldn’t belong to him, so whenever he slept with his brother’s widow, he wasted his semen on the ground to avoid giving his brother a descendant. What Onan did angered the Lord so much that the Lord took away Onan’s life too.”

By applying textual analysis and comparative ethics to the above text we could come to realize some of the social and ethical norms of the Israelite Patriarchs and even their god. The analysis reveals a very primitive social conduct of some nomadic tribe, struggling to survive in a cruel desert controlled by a god that is no less cruel.

Also a prominent social norm that was clearly portrayed in the text is the right/duty of a brother to sleep with the wife of his late brother. The goal of that unusual conduct (compared to modern ethical norms) was to support the tribe by increasing the number of its members. That goal was achieved by keeping the women of the tribe breeding all the time, and by all means possible.

That socially and ethically accepted norm – a prototype of polygamy – was historically common in Ancient Arabia and Sub-Saharan African lands.

Also interestingly, the name “Tamr/Tamar” was a very popular ancient Arabian name for females. Tamar means “palm dates”, the symbolic/characteristic fruit and tree of all Arabia and Yemen.

In the text of Genesis 37–38 we will find some interesting key words that will help us identify the milieu of that biblical story. Actually, there are heaps of key words, but here are some of the most telling ones:

“Flocks, Shechem, Joseph/Youssef, Dothan, cisterns, wild animal, cistern out in the desert, caravan of Ishmaelites, camels carrying myrrh and frankincense, Midianite merchants, Ishmaelites, killed a goat, Shelah, Onan, Tamar, Hirah, Adullam, Kezib and shepherd’s staff”.

The words “flocks, wild animal, camels, goat and shepherd” clearly indicate that the biblical verses describe a nomadic milieu. In other words, some tribes living in the arid desert herding goats and camels.

The “camel” is one exceptional key word, for Ancient Arabia is where single-humped camels were first ever domesticated in history, and that was not before the 9th–10th century BC. In other words, camels had no business in not just the story of Joseph but in the whole book of Genesis.

By the way, Ancient Egypt did not know camels and surely was not a nomadic culture. Camels were introduced to Ancient Egypt after it was conquered by Alexander The Great in 332 BC. And when I say Ancient Egypt, I mean Egypt and the territories it had control over, from Nubia in the South upwards to Palestine in the Eastern North. Yes, Palestine, where (according to the Bible) most of the Israelite stories have allegedly taken place.

At this point in our research we encountered a striking anachronism that would make the historicity of the story of Joseph an impossible theory, for according to the biblical timeline Joseph was sold as a slave around 1546 BC.

Historically, the caravan of camels on which Joseph was taken to Mizraim (mistaken for Egypt) could not have existed before the 7th century BC, for two reasons:

Firstly, and as we mentioned earlier camels were first domesticated in Ancient Arabia and Yemen in the 9th century BC. Secondly, the Ancient Incense Route that carried spices, frankincense, myrrh, ivory and textiles from Ancient Yemen (where the biblical Midian is located) all the way northward to Mesopotamia and Syria started around: 7th -5th century BC.

Therefore, with those historically verified facts in mind, we are talking about some 800- year- gap between the biblical timeline of the story of Joseph and its (plausible) historical milieu/backdrop.

In his best-selling book “The Bible Unearthed” Prof. Israel Finkelstein, an Israeli archeologist by the way, confirmed that all the Israelite stories (including that of Joseph and Moses) could not have been written down/composed before the 7th century BC.  Finkelstein’s discovery doesn’t only cast doubt on the biblical timeline, and when the Israelite stories were first written down, but also whether those stories reflected real history in the first place.

That scholarly verified conclusion of Finkelstein will surely add more evidence to our thesis/research that Ancient Egypt was not the land of the Israelite Exodus, nor Palestine their Promised Land.

If the story of Joseph couldn’t have happened before the 7th century BC, that would necessarily shift the Exodus in this new historical timeline to the mid-4th century BC, in other words during the Greek rule of Egypt, another impossible theory.

Back to the milieu of Joseph’s saga gleaned by the language and key words in his story as told in the book of Genesis:

  • The names “Youssef (translated in English as Joseph), Shelah, Onan, Tamar, Hirah and Adullam” are all genuine Arabian names that were common in Ancient Arabia and Yemen.
  • The mention of Ismaelites (translated in English as Ishmaelites) has strongly confirmed the Arabian origin of the story.
  • It is widely known (through oral tradition and historical records) that Ismael is the forefather of all Arab tribes (including, believe it or not, the Israelite tribes).
  • Through literary analysis of the biblical verses we could easily detect a deeply embedded (Arabian) culture of slavery and slave trade.
  • The Arabic word for slave is Abd. Do you know what its transliteration in Hebrew is? It is also Abad (in the Hebrew Bible you’ll find it all over the place). This should come as no surprise, for Hebrew, as far as phonetics are concerned, is one of the tongues/dialects of the ancient Arabian language, just like the story of Joseph is one of its ancient folktales.
  • The alternative to killing Joseph (in the story) was by simply abandoning him so that he could be picked up and sold as a slave.
  • This scenario is so revealing of how widespread the culture of slave trade was in Ancient Arabia where this story occurred.
  • As we have elaborated above, the mention of camels and camel caravans have helped identify Ancient Arabia as the theatre/homeland of the story of Joseph.

In ancient Egypt, young lost children were never captured and sold as slaves; for simply slave trade was not common in Ancient Egypt. Most importantly, the land of the Nile never had public markets for the trade of slaves, as we have explained the true story of slavery in Ancient Egypt in length in this essay and video.

If Ancient Egypt had no public markets for the trade of slaves, then we have to wonder, how on earth was Joseph, the Israelite Patriarch, ever introduced in Egypt?

Regrettably, for information about biblical archeology, most people rely on biased – and obscenely funded — scholars and archeological expeditions who did nothing but mess up the ancient history of the Near East just to corroborate their preoccupied biblical beliefs and prejudices. Those orthodox biblical archeologists and scholars have twisted facts and planted fake artifacts to sustain their (false) conviction that all the Israelites’ stories took place in Ancient Egypt and that Palestine is their so called Promised Land.

Biblical scholars and archeologists will always deny any other explanation to the historicity of the biblical stories.

Though many of the Biblical historians are well aware of the Arabian origin (not the Palestinian one) of the Israelite history but they will only talk about it behind closed doors.

That denial of fact reminds me of those who will never accept, till this very day, that The Titanic has long sunk and is now lying in the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

Equally regrettable, is the fact that no (orthodox/academic) scholar of biblical history is willing to investigate the cultural, anthropological and geographical underpinning of those stories. Only few independent researchers have dug deep into that biblical context, so deep that the real (Arabian) milieu of the biblical tales began to reveal before their investigative eyes.

As the milieu of the story of Titanic helped us recreate/revisit one of the worst maritime disasters in modern times, so did the milieu of the story of Joseph, the Arabian geography and culture that produced one of the most pivotal, and yet most misinterpreted, stories in the Bible.

Author Details
Ashraf Ezzat, is Egyptian born in Cairo and based in Alexandria. He is graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University. Dr. Ezzat is also an independent researcher in comparative religion and mythology. He is a regular guest lecturer at the Egyptian Museum, Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the National Museum of Alexandria. Keen not to be entirely consumed by his medical profession, Dr. Ezzat invests a lot of his time in research and writing. The History of the ancient Near East and of ancient Egypt has long been of special interest to him. In his writings, he approaches ancient history not as some tales from the remote times but as a driving force in our existing life, and to him it’s as relevant and vibrant as the current moment. Through his research and writings, you will find Dr. Ezzat is always on a quest trying to find out why most of humanity’s ancient wisdom & spirituality had been diminished whereas the Judeo-Christian teachings and faith took hold and prospered. Dr. Ezzat has written extensively in Arabic tackling many issues and topics in the field of Egyptology and comparative religion. Written in English, his latest research as revealed in the book “Egypt knew no Pharaohs nor Israelites”. He writes regularly for many well-known online websites such as; Veterans Today, Dissident Voice and What Really Happened. In addition to his Medical Doctorate degree, Ezzat is also an independent filmmaker; he is well trained as a documentary film director and has taken extensive courses in film editing. His debut documentary film was back in 2011 titled “The Annals of Egypt Revolution” and in 2012 he made “Tale of Osiris”, a short animation for children. In 2013 his short film “The Pyramids: Story of Creation” was screened at many international film festivals in Europe. “Omm Sety: Priestess of Abydos” is another documentary he made in 2015. Dr. Ezzat is working now on his new documentary “Egypt knew no Pharaohs nor Israelites” based on his book.

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  1. “Er angered the Lord. So the Lord took away his life”…..Lord is a title and a rung below King … see in this light … the title “Lord” in England, handed down, ancestral peerage to men (regardless of how inbred or demented they may be), held power of life or death over the people….to take a life of someone, like Er, who angered them was nothing… Er angered the Lord of Er’s day….and what has changed? them apples haven’t fallen far from those ancestral trees because an Er of yesterday is just a Joe today and dismissed in the eyes of the Lord’s of today…..and those “Lords” say holds sway … referring to Lord, a title of men, as Almighty God is pure and utter nonsense…yes it is these Lords of men that have seized power and held power over life and death with oppression over the people, separated from the King, without access to the Kingdom….a Kingdom surrounded in the arms of God Almighty

  2. Dr Ezzat, one of the problems of ancient history (and even recent history) is that events which are similar, but separated in time, eventually become blurred and confused. For example, The Flood. We have 1 great flood written down in the Bible. In reality, there have been many great floods. As for the Exodus, just like the Flood, I suspect there were several of them. Both historians Josephus and Manetho suggest this, also. From the wikipedia page about the Hyksos: “In his Against Apion, the first-century AD historian Josephus debates the synchronism between the Biblical account of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and two Exodus-like events that the Egyptian historian Manetho apparently mentions. It is difficult to distinguish between what Manetho himself recounted, and how Josephus or Apion interpret him. Josephus identifies the Israelite Exodus with the first exodus mentioned by Manetho, when some 480,000 Hyksos “shepherd kings” (also referred to as just ‘shepherds’, as ‘kings’ and as ‘captive shepherds’ in his discussion of Manetho) left Egypt for Jerusalem.[26] The mention of “Hyksos” identifies this first exodus with the Hyksos period (16th century BC).”

    • And now for Joseph. Again, I think this might be a tale with some truth, but that there might be several Great Famines over the millennia, and several heroes who fought the famine, and maybe one of the heroes was named Joseph, or maybe not. Eventually, historians mix up details of the various accounts. And that mixing of details could be accidental, or it could be on purpose.

  3. The word without spirit is dead. I give nothing about what is written in this so called “bible” if I must take it litterally. It should only give us a red string to follow wisdom for our life. Written by desert bandits it is not worth the paper and inc because it even doesn´t really mention the settlements of humanity while they are wandering Who´s who created slave trades and war. So many things don´t fit because how often was the text changed ?

  4. Thus, knowing the attributes and characteristics of the decan of Lotus, referred to in the I-Ching as “keepers of the well”, the Catholic Church made a financial decision to start the year precisely on Josephs decan. It is not a place of solstice or equinox, it is not the first decan of it’s set, there is no other reason to start a year at that point and no man can argue otherwise. If a people are entrained to begin their solar cycle at a point, then that point becomes manifest over time. Usury and banking are now the Josephs of the world, and the actual seeds are the only thing left to dominate with complete control. George Eastman tried very hard to change the calendar and nearly did it. The movement was stopped by the Catholics in spite of having backing from around the world. Only the inexperienced regards the start point of a calendar as meaningless.

  5. There are specific parts of the Old Testament that pertain to very particular instruction which only appear in one tribe of Native North Americans. The teachings are very old and the teachers and students of time are encouraged to add their knowledge to the body of work when such things are thoroughly vetted. Describing actual history is a big no no, because the entire premise, is to create a story to teach with that can cross cultural boundaries. Jacob travels and travels, that is his decan. Esau stays home, that is his decan. Joseph ends up in charge of all the money even from incredible odds, because that is his decan.
    Go to any bank, and check the birthdays of the people who work there. You will find plenty of people born in Lotus, many times quietly instructing the manager, or as the manager themselves.
    The knowledge is well known. It is also well known, that should inexperienced greedy people get their hands on it, they will change it to claim ownership. Thus, many things are kept quiet.

  6. Any working engineer can tell you that it is all well and good for one to follow the laws of logic and reason, but if your boss insists that 2+2=5 then you better agree if you want to keep your job. It starts with college, where independent thought is discouraged or even punished. Logic and reason are the enemy of blind faith, and since those at the top want those at the bottom to be mindless drones, anything outside of that is punished.

  7. The entire story can be changed to fit any culture without destroying the content. Exodus is 40 chapters, and follows the 20 days twice round. Joseph is the archetype of Lotus, which is Jan 1 – 10. This is the archetype of the money keepers and Christine Lagarde is born Jan 1. The multi-color coat is a huge clue as the rainbow and multiple colors have a specific place in time just like lightening. Lotus is also one of the 3 decans which have “the 64 arts” among which are dream interpretation and intuition. The cup bearer and the baker and the 3 days are also easily discerned using well known descriptors from multiple cultures. Exodus just happens to be full of content that is contained the I-Ching, Mayan 20 days and multiple sets of decans from various cultures. During correlation, if each verses content is a direct and precise correlation extending several chapters, then suddenly misses for 5 or 6 verses which just happen to contain “history” and lots of individual names, then it sticks out like a sore thumb. In the 20 days Joseph is the fourth day Ix, which again, just happens to be located next to Lotus on combined calendars.

  8. A great article – need more of these. In geology class one learns right away – ” The Past is the Key to the Future” – but only if the past is scientifically researched and the rock layers of time are studied with an open unbiased mind. I believe also in the bible where it instructs us to beware of governments and associations for evil doings. Someone must have made a mistake and left that verse stay in the Good Book.

  9. We say we live in a world of “enlightenment”. Its products are everywhere for anyone to observe and behold. All the products and benefits and yes, evil, from the application of reason, logic, laws of mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc. to the world around us. All engineers, the highly educated and trained people basically responsible for the design and safety of all products produced for human consumption in our world, are required to learn and follow all the laws of reason, logic, laws of mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc. They are not required to be educated or brainwashed by the study of the religions of the world. If religion is so great, why not require all engineers to be educated in those subjects instead of the others listed? The answer is because our cars would be crashing, our planes would not fly, our ships would sink, our buildings would be unsafe and self destruct and on and on and on. Yet despite all these facts, obvious to even a person of low intelligence, in the end, it is the brainwashing of young minds by religious mythology, not the laws of reason, logic, mathematics, physics, etc. which dictate thinking and actions of most ignorant people on this planet. This brainwashing of stone age religions, is responsible for most of the suffering of mankind in this deplorable over populated world. Obviously there is no hope for man. Man is a lower animal destined to oblivion.

  10. Thank you Dr. Ashraf Ezzat for your informative writings.. Even as a teenager the question of Moses and the Red sea, the 40 years in the desert, the incredible claim to the land of Palestine all bothered me. It just did not make sense. Please keep this stream of information coming. I am one of the old timers now but the world has changed and many youngsters have the same questions that I had. What your books and articles say have filled in many areas for me that I have long suspected. Again, thank you and keep going.

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