Egyptian Tomb

Monday, June 27, 2011

Current News

Because I don't have my new post on Aeschylus' Oresteia ready yet I thought I should share some current news with my readership. Enjoy!

Archaeologists lower camera into early Mayan tomb:

MEXICO CITY – A small, remote-controlled camera lowered into an early Mayan tomb in southern Mexico has revealed an apparently intact funeral chamber with offerings and red-painted wall murals, researchers said Thursday.
Footage of the approximately 1,500-year-old tomb at the Palenque archaeological site showed a series of nine figures depicted in black on a vivid, blood-red background. Archaeologists say the images from one of the earliest ruler's tombs found at Palenque will shed new light on the early years of the once-great city state.
The National Institute of Anthropology and History said archaeologists have known about the tomb since 1999, but have been unable to enter it because the pyramid standing above it is unstable and breaking into the chamber could damage the murals.
It said the floor appears to be covered with detritus and it is not immediately evident in the footage if the tomb contains recognizable remains. But archaeologist Martha Cuevas said the jade and shell fragments seen on the video are "part of a funerary costume."
The chamber was found in a heavily deteriorated pyramid complex known as the Southern Acropolis, in a jungle-covered area of Palenque not far from the Temple of Inscriptions, where the tomb of a later ruler, Pakal, was found in the 1950s.
While Pakal's tomb featured a famous and heavily carved sarcophagus, no such structure is seen in the footage of the tomb released Thursday. The institute said in a statement that "it is very probable that the fragmented bones are lying directly on the stones of the floor."
But Cuevas said the discovery shed new light on early rulers, and its proximity to other burial sites suggested the tomb may be part of a funerary complex.
"All this leads us to consider that the Southern Acropolis was used as a royal necropolis during that period," Cuevas said.
Susan Gillespie, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Florida who was not involved in the project, said "this is an important find for Palenque and for understanding Early Classic Maya history and politics," in part because the later rulers who made the city-state larger tended to build atop their predecessors' temples and tombs, making it hard to get at them.
"Palenque was a relatively important western Maya capital in the Early Classic, but with the buildup during the time of Pakal and some of his successors, those accomplishments were buried and thus difficult to assess, buried literally by Late Classic structures atop Early Classic ones," Gillespie wrote.
The later rulers wrote almost obsessively about Palenque's history in long stone inscriptions, but Gillespie noted that "finding archaeological confirmation of the earlier kings has been extremely difficult."
The tomb's floor occupies about 5 square meters (yards), with a low, Mayan-arch roof of overlapping stones. Experts say it probably dates to between 431 and 550 A.D., and could contain the remains of K'uk' Bahlam I, the first ruler of the city-state.
The tomb's existence was revealed by a shaft found near the top of the ruined pyramid, leading downward. But it was too narrow to provide any kind of view of the chamber. In late April, researchers lowered the tiny two-inch-long camera into the tomb using the six-inch (15-cm) wide shaft.
While the general public had not seen images of the interior of the tomb, video of it was made after the chamber was detected in 1999, noted David Stuart, a specialist in Mayan epigraphy at the University of Texas at Austin.
The images had circulated among researchers and been posted on the internet, and Stuart said that some evidence suggests the tomb "is the burial of a noted female ruler of Palenque named Ix Yohl Ik'nal, based on the date and on the identities of ancestral figures painted on the walls."
"The female ruler is mentioned in a number of the historical texts of the site," Stuart wrote.
It would not be the first tomb of a female noble found at Palenque; in 1994 archaeologists found the tomb of a woman dubbed The Red Queen because of the red pigment covering her tomb. But it has never been established that she was a ruler of Palenque, and her tomb dates from a later period, between 600 and 700 A.D.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Here is a paper I wrote few years ago for my Philosophy class, but I am currently reading The Orestia by Aeschylus and was thinking about writing a few posts on it. Because in alot of the classic's we see the characteristic of the gods of the Greeks and that is a subject that has always fasinated me, because the gods are portrayed as having the same human mannerisms as mortals; but yet they are immortals. So I hope you enjoy this paper:

                                        The Faults of the Immortals

The Greeks see their gods as stronger and powerful than any mortal man could be. The Greeks worship the deities because of this fact, and also because they fear what would happen to humankind if the gods didn’t give them support. But in many of the epics and other classical writings, or even in just the way they are worshipped, the deities themselves don’t seem very different from mortals. One of the only differences between the gods and mortals is the fact that the gods can’t die, but that doesn’t mean they can not be wounded. Many of the characteristics that the deities portray in the epics and classical Greek writings are very similar to that of a human, that they almost seem to have some sort of mortality, not in the fact that they can’t die but because they get angry or happy and hold other human emotions. The mortality of the deities is represented in their weakness, passions, and emotions. But to learn more about the deities, the way the Greeks believed the deities started, needs to be looked at to prove my point.

The mythology of the Greeks contains a variety of stories about the beginning of the gods. Homer says that the oldest god was named Okeanos, who was a river-god, and supposedly all things came from his river, and he is still in existence. “Ever since the time when everything originated from him he has continued to flow to the outermost edge of the earth, flowing back upon himself in a circle.”[1] This is the first part of the beginning of the gods. Sometimes the Titans are referred to as the first gods of mythology and from the Titans came the Olympian who are the most famous of the gods in mythology. Zeus, who is called Jupiter by the Romans, was the one who stood against the Titans and destroyed them. “Before the Olympian Gods were born, the Titans reigned, first-born of Heaven and Earth. Jupiter conquered them after they had devoured his son Dionysus Zagreus, and from their ashes he made mankind.”[2] Zeus then became the highest of the gods and he is the one that started the Olympian gods, who are famous among the Greeks and Romans alike. Zeus is a good god to look at to see the characteristics that the Greeks believed the deities had. He was not just above the rest of the gods because of what he accomplished with the Titans, but also because of the power he possessed. Because of the deities in Greek mythology it’s easy for a poet like Homer to portray the humanistic characteristics they hold. “The human Zeus of Homer scarcely commands admiration; he is shamelessly licentious, he bullies and even maltreats his wife; when his will is crossed, he is apt to behave like an uncontrolled thunderstorm; but there are beginnings of higher things, specially in the kindly aspect of Zeus as God of strangers, suppliants and even beggars.”[3] Homer and other poets gave the deities the same virtues and vices as the humans in many of the epics, and this makes the gods very similar to humans; the only difference is gods cannot die.

            The virtues that are shown in the epics were the same virtues that the Greeks held to, such as justice, wisdom, and honor. For the Greeks justice was carried out in a way,  that who ever did any wrong would get punished for it, “A product of this kind of justice is the ius talionis which was usual in early times and finds pregnant expression in the saying ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’.”[4]As for wisdom, the Greeks believed that to gain wisdom you had to live a life full of both moral and intellectual virtues. “Let us suppose for a moment that the Greeks have convinced us that we cannot live a fully human life without acquiring both the moral virtues and the intellectual virtues.”[5] Both of these virtues, and honor and pride as well, are shown in the epics through both the mortals, and the deities. For the gods to have the same virtues as the humans in the epics gives them a humanistic mannerism. But not only did the deities have the same virtues in the epics as the mortals, but also the same emotions. “The gods of Homer’s Iliad take out their anger actively, as in the poet’s descriptions of the destructive fire unleashed by the thunderbolt of Zeus.”[6] These characteristics that the poets gave the deities are best shown in the Iliad, where the gods took either the Greeks side or sided with Troy in the Trojan War. Looking at the gods in the Iliad we see that they held human kind very highly, so much so that the gods gave strength or help to the men they sided with. “Athena made him bold, and gave him ease to tower amid Argives, to win glory, and on his shield and helm she kindled fire most like midsummer’s purest flaming star in heaven rising, bathed by the Ocean stream.”[7] This is also shown when Aphrodite puts herself in harms way, many times, to help those from her side. Like when she went on the battlefield to check on her men, while she was there Diomedes pierced her with his spear. Both of these stories in the Iliad show how the gods characterized honor and pride, and even emotions in helping who they favored. But the last story also shows something else, and that is even though the gods and deities in many of the epics and classics seem to have the same traits as humans they are in fact immortal. Because in the story of the Iliad with Diomedes piercing Aphrodite’s hand, it is seen that she can be injured but not killed and what flows from her veins is not blood. “Now from the goddess that immortal fluid, ichor, flowed – the blood of blissful gods who eat no food, who drink no tawny wine, and thereby being bloodless have the name of being immortal.”[8]

            The Greeks saw their gods as, always, immortal and that is why many Greeks did not like how the poets wrote that the gods had the same traits and characteristics as humans. One of those Greeks was Plato. Those who didn’t agree with the poets believed that if a soul was immortal than its nature would be god-like, and by being god-like that soul would not have  humanistic mannerisms. “If the soul is immortal, it must be in its essential nature like God; it must itself be a creature of the realm of Gods. When a Greek says “immortal” he says “God”: they are interchangeable ideas.”[9] But the idea of immortality wasn’t something new among the Greeks; in fact many cultures before the Greeks believed in Immortal deities, the Egyptians were one of them. Most of the worldviews around the time of the Greeks had their own deities they worshipped and gave offerings to. One of the things the Greeks and many other ancient cultures believed was since there were deities there was life after death, and because of this their lives then had a purpose on earth. This is still widely believed today. “But there is a more radical religious response to the claims that a future life gives our present life meaning and purpose, for implicit in such a belief is the notion that this purpose is God’s purpose for us.”[10] This is another view of what the Greeks believed that is shown in the human side of the epics and classics. Diomedes chose to follow Athena’s advice and take her gifts because he believed that what glory and honor he accomplished on earth would then help him in the afterlife. Another thing that is seen through the Iliad other than the differences between a mortal and an immortal is the bond that the deities had with mortals. The gods seem friendly to the humans they favored, and in the Iliad and many of the other epics it seems that each side has equal number of gods helping them. But for the humans of the epics, and even for the Greeks, the gods were not at all friendly and were meant to be worshipped. The Greeks worshipped their gods because they feared what would happen to humankind if the gods didn’t give them support. So this is why the worship of the gods was important to the Greek culture.

            This part of the Greek culture, worship of their deities, the rituals and prayers were shown in the epics and myths. Like offering a sacrifice to the temple, praying before going to war, or even going to an oracle for advice from the gods. “The original motives of sacrifice arise from three natural desires of man-first, to establish communion or kinship with the god-secondly, to ensure his favour, and thirdly, to escape his wrath.”[11] Like most other ancient cultures, the giving of sacrifices and other rituals of Greek worship had very specific instructions for them to perform. Since there were many different reasons for making a sacrifice the detailed instructions varied to whether you were making a sacrifice to praise a god or to try and escape the god’s wrath. One of these forms of sacrificing was a praise sacrifice which is called a donative sacrifice. “Its object was two-fold: firstly, to obtain favours, and secondly, to give thanks for favours received.”[12] Another part of the Greeks worship to the gods that is seen in many of the epics and classics, are the prayers that the mortals use to ask for help from the gods. This is seen a lot in epics like the Iliad where Homer makes the prayers elegant and lengthy. Like when Hektor said a prayer to Zeus for his son “O Zeus and all immortals, may this child, my son, become like me a prince among Trojans.”[13]Another Greek ritual of worship that is mentioned in many epics and classics is the Oracle; an Oracle was a speaker of the gods. Oracles were meant to be there for the god to speak through them and give advice to Greeks who came asking for something. The Oracle is mentioned in plenty of the classical writings and because of them it’s easy to see that the Oracle at Delphi was in power the most; she was the Oracle of the god Apollo. But no one knows when she, because most Oracles were female, started. “Yet despite the official recognition of a highly alien faith Apollo still reigned supreme at Delphi during the sixth century B.C., the defied embodiment of an attitude of mind.”[14]

            By looking at all the things mentioned, it is clear to see that the Greek’s held a very high view of their gods. Even though there were many Greek poets who wrote about the humanistic mannerisms of the gods. But for some, like Homer, even though they gave the gods the same virtues, weaknesses, and emotions of a human; they were still immortal. The gods also were still above the humans and this was portrayed well in many of the epics through the worship and rituals of the mortals. These were the same rituals that the Greeks practiced, and by reading the epics and classics we can see how Greek culture was lived out.

[1] C. Kerenyi, The Gods of the Greeks (New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1960), 15.
[2] Joscelyn Godwin, Mystery Religions: In the Ancient World (New York: Harper & Row, Publisher, Inc., 1981), 40.
[3] Jane Ellen Harrison, Mythology (New York: Cooper Square Publishers, Inc., 1963), 140.
[4] Martin Persson Nilsson, Greek Piety (New York: Oxford University Press, 1948), 35.
[5] Stringfellow Barr, The Three Worlds of Man (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1963), 58.
[6] Gregory Nagy, Homer: The Iliad (New York: Random House, Inc, 1974), xii.
[7] Homer Iliad, 5. 2-6.
[8] Ibid, 5. 41-5.
[9] Erwin Rohde, Psyche: The Cult Of Souls And Belief In Immortality Among The Greeks (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul LTD, 1925), 253.
[10] Paul and Linda Badham, Death and Immortality in the Religions of the World (New York: Paragon House Publisher, 1987), 6.
[11] S. C. Kaines Smith, The Elements of Greek Worship (London: Charles H. Kelly), 92.
[12] Ibid, 94.
[13] Homer Iliad, 6. 80-82.
[14] John Pollard, Seers Shrines and Sirens (London: Hertford and Harlow, 1965), 37.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Groaning of Nature: Volcanoes, Ash, Blood-Moon, And A Prophetic Text On The Last Days

This post is going to be straying from the archeological route, but I felt the need to write this. I’m sure you heard in the news about the lunar eclipse on Wednesday, June 15th. A friend of mine read the news on Yahoo and then asked me “Do you know what this means.” I was clueless, as I’m sure some of you are, about what she was getting at, but when she took out her Bible and read from the book of Joel chapter two, verses twenty-seven through thirty-two; it hit me. This is going to be a short post and all I am going to do is show you the Yahoo News article and then take you to the Biblical text.

     Here is the News article:   

Volcano ash turns Asian eclipse blood red

– Wed Jun 15,

SYDNEY – Asian and African night owls were treated to a lunar eclipse, and ash in the atmosphere from a Chilean volcano turned it blood red for some viewers.

The Sydney Observatory said the eclipse was to begin at Thursday (, Wednesday) and last until after

Scientists said the specific phenomenon happening Thursday — known as a "deep lunar eclipse" — often exudes a coppery color. But the intensity of the color depends on the amount of ash and dust in the atmosphere.

Luckily for moon-gazers, there was plenty of ash in the air so the moon appeared orange or red, especially in Asia. Air travelers haven't been so lucky: The ash has grounded hundreds of flights around the region.

Scientists said the eclipse could be safely observed with the naked eye.

            It is interesting that the Chile eruption caused the moon to turn this color. It is just proof that nature is indeed groaning, as the apostle Paul states in Romans chapter eight, verse twenty-two: “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now (NKJV).” But why is it groaning? Because, like I stated in a past post, nature was affected by the fall of man (Gen. 3). So nature is groaning, waiting for the day it will be reconciled unto God (Col. 1:20), and it will be made into the New Earth (Rev. 21:1). Let us now look at Joel chapter Two, verses twenty-seven through thirty-two: “And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call (KJV).”

     Looking at verse thirty-one and matching it up with the news article does bring chills up your spine “and the moon [will be turned] into blood,” and all of these “wonders” will occur before the “day of the Lord come.” But there is hope for those who call upon the name of Lord “that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered:” this reminds me of another verse, Acts 2:21: “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved (KJV).” Make sure your life is right with the Lord, for if nature was groaning in the time of the apostle Paul and has been on a down-ward spiral since then, then the time is soon coming when all things, even the earth, will be reconciled to the Lord (Col. 1:20).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Putting The Pieces Together Part VII: Did Other People Groups Join The Israelites On Their Exodus?

This is going to be my final post on Simcha Jacobovici’s documentary The Exodus Decoded. I have really enjoyed this video and blogging on it. I hope in the future to study and do more research on this era, because of the controversy surrounding the Exodus. I also desire to do more research on the Hyksos period to be able to show that they are not the Israelites. There are things that I’ve agreed with Jacobovici on, and then there were other things I didn’t. But it is encouraging, speaking as a Christian, to have someone do a documentary like this to try and prove that the Exodus really happened. We will look at two artifacts that Jacobovici believes can prove that the sea was parted, and by showing us these artifacts Jacobovici gets us to think that maybe the Israelites weren’t the only ones who left on the Exodus with Moses; could it be possible that other people groups went with them?

     Jacobovici is certain that the Israelites weren’t the only people to follow Moses on the Exodus, through the sea, and then later to Mount Sinai. But Jacobovici asserts that this was as far as this people group went with the Israelites, and again he finds the necessary evidence. “As it turns out some of the people that followed Moses across the parted sea, and later to Mount Sinai, did not follow him to the Promised Land. They boarded ships and sailed to an unknown exodus to Greece. Why hasn’t any noticed? Because no one has thought to look in Greece for evidence of an event that happened in Egypt. In fact, until recently, there was very little archaeological evidence of contact between the Minoan civilization of ancient Greece and Egypt at the time of Moses. All that changed with two great discoveries: The first was in 1972 when digging under the ash at Santorini Archaeologist made a startling discovery, linking this area of the world with the Exodus. They found unusual Minoan style wall paintings, incredibly among them there is a map depicting an ancient journey from Egypt to Greece.” Jacobovici continues with his description about the map: “The map is breathtaking, the colors as vibrant today as 3500 years ago. It depicts an epic journey from Egypt to Santorini. The voyage is complete with a terrible storm at sea. Working even further back we see that ancient sailors sailed pass Egyptian Fauna and palm trees in the Nile delta. The map then follows the river inland and it ends up in a magical city on a kind of river bound island. This mysterious city is surrounded by high walls with multi-storied houses, elegant ladies peering from the rooftops, and a rich harbor. At the time, there was only one port in Egypt that fits the city in the map; the fabled Avaris. Until late in the 20th century there was no archaeological proof of contact between Avaris and the Minoans of Santorini, then in 1992 perfectly preserved Minoan paintings were discovered at Avaris. Proving that in Biblical times this city was not only populated by Israelites but also by people from ancient Greece.”

     Could it be possible that these ancient Greeks followed Moses and the Israelites out of Egypt? The Bible certainly doesn’t give us any information that other people groups came with them on the Exodus. But let us look at the map. Jacobovici claims that these sailors came from the “Fabled Avaris.” He also states that the finding of Minoan artwork at Avaris proves that not only the Israelites populated Avaris, but also the Minoan’s. But as I have stated before, the Israelites dwelt in the land of Goshen (Ex. , ). Also at the time of the map the Israelites were already enslaved under the Egyptians, so how could the Israelites be among the “elegant ladies peering from the rooftops, and a rich harbor?” They were slaves, and obviously slaves would not have dwelt in such a “magical city,” as Jacobovici claims. Isn’t it interesting that this map depicts these Minoan’s coming from Avaris, the Hyksos capital, to Greece? So these Minoan’s could very well have been the Hyksos of Egyptian history, and if this is true the evidence is somewhere out there. Could it be possible to assume that this map depicts the Hyksos expulsion? It was found “when digging under the ash at Santorini,” so could the map be displaying the Hyksos expulsion before the eruption of Santorini; if it was found under the ash of the Santorini volcano. So that would definitely place the Hyksos expulsion before the Exodus, but Jacobovici gives us evidence that Minoans did in fact travel with the Israelites, and saw the parting of the sea. But we know one thing and that was the Minoans and Egyptians did have contact. Dr. Charles Pellegrino states: “Most people do not realize that there is not only contact between the Minoan world and the Egyptians, it was very intense contact; contact in trade, contact in ideas, we have the Egyptians referring to the Minoans as the only other civilization that they considered civilized. It was not a military presence in Egypt it was actually a trade presence.” So we must wonder if these Minoans were the Hyksos, or just another type of people group living within Avaris at the time of the Exodus. Does this place the suspicion back on the Israelites as being the Hyksos though? I would say no, because even though these Minoans might have went with the Israelites there is more speculative proof, with this map, that they are the Hyksos rather then the Israeites.

     One thing that is very clear is that during the time of Moses there’s a great possibility that Minoans were living in Egypt; possibly even through the plagues. Jacobovici claims that “As a result [of finding the map], it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that some of the followers of Moses came from the area of ancient Greece, and it’s quite possible that some of these people returned to Greece after the Exodus.” Jacobovici’s theory can be plausible, and he gives the evidence to back it up. Let us now look at the second piece of evidence Jacobovici gives to support his theory. He states:  “The Bible says that Moses and his followers left Egypt with great quantities of swords and Egyptian gold [Ex. -36]. 3500 years after the fact, is there any chance of finding Israelite swords, and Egypt’s golden treasures in Greece?” In the book of Exodus the way it portrays the Israelites leaving, and gaining the Egyptian treasure, is interesting. Although many people believe they used forceful means to gain the treasure, it is actually by peaceful tactics, although the Bible says that “they spoiled the Egyptians.” But in the Biblical account the Egyptians gave up all their treasures to the Israelites (Ex. -36), because they just wanted them gone; for the Egyptians were afraid they would die. “And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people [The Israelites], that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men (Ex. 12:33, KJV).” Surprisingly though, Jacobovici does find the proof he needs from Greece and it come from tombstones that are found in Mycenae, which were discovered by archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. “The tombs are incredible,” Jacobovici comments, “with long shafts leading to vaulted ceilings; they were built in the shadow of a mountain and has the shape of a pyramid. Surprisingly they contained a treasure trove of swords and Egyptian gold.  Schliemann believed that the gold belonged to Homer’s Agamemnon, who led the war against Troy for the sake of the beautiful Helen, but scholars soon discovered that the people who were buried in the tombs lived about three hundred years before Agamemnon. They lived around 1500 B.C.E.” Jacobovici believes that these tombs are the tombs of the Minoan follower’s of Moses and the Israelites. The answer he seeks is on the tombstones themselves.

     There are three tombstones that stand out to Jacobovici, and he believes they depict the story of the parting of the sea. He takes us through the three steles in a way only a movie director can: “I almost want to whisper, it’s some kind of secret, because nobody realizes that they have a 3500 year old movie issue of three frames of the parting of the sea, and they don’t know it. But look at it, just look at it, it’s so clear! Frame number one you see waves on top and waves on the bottom, you actually literally see the parting of a sea, and this guy is on a chariot chasing Moses whose holding a staff; that’s frame number one, and right over here you have frame number two in the movie. The water is gathering into whirlpools, and look what’s happened over here, everybody thinks the man with the staff is the loser but he’s actually turned around, he’s turned around he’s facing his enemy. He’s occupying higher ground and this guy is occupying lower ground, and look there’s walls of water coming, and in the third frame, which is in another museum, even more hidden. You see this guy’s been overturned, the water is engulfing them, the horses are up-ended, and the story is complete.” Most scholars disagree with Jacobovici’s interpretation of the steles, and he brings in an expert to comment on the stones. Constantinos Paschalidis of the National Archaeological Museum in Athens states: “In this very example the options can be namely two: either, he’s a warrior in a battle scene, and he’s the enemy, he’s chasing the enemy, and the enemy is trying to escape holding this wand, and the second option may be a chariot race scene.” But Jacobovici insists “Here we have literally carved in stone a visual account of the Biblical tale dating back to the very time of Moses and the Exodus.”

     Who could disagree with Jacobovici’s evidence? It is very compelling, and as someone who believes the Biblical account to be historical, I applaud Jacobovici and his attempts to prove the Exodus. We see that the pieces of his puzzle do indeed fit together quite perfectly, although some smoothing out may need to be done. I do feel like Jacobovici put a lot of information into one film and he could have dived deeper into his evidence, giving a more detailed documentary; which of course would’ve required him to do more than one documentary on the Exodus. But all in all the information and evidence he provides is very alluring. At the end of this film I came to realize two things: There is very sound evidence out there to prove the Biblical account of the Exodus. Which also means there is sound evidence out there to prove the rest of the Biblical account. This is why I desire to become a Biblical Archaeologist, to be able to find that proof and like Jacobovici put the pieces of the puzzle, called the Bible, together. Jacobovici ends his documentary with a profound question and I think it is only fit to end this series of post with this quote: “I think we must end our journey as we started with a question: did all this happen as a result of massive geological events triggered by nothing more than nature? Or were the earthquakes, volcano’s, and the tsunami’s caused by divine intervention, when God, decided to free a nation from slavery and forge a new covenant with humanity?”

Monday, June 20, 2011

Putting The Pieces Together Part VI: The Parting of A Sea

I hope my readership has enjoyed the insight and analysis to one of the most asked question; Did the Exodus really happen? In the end we come to realize that science is indeed our friend, if used correctly. Many of the earliest scientists did in fact hold to Christian faith and they believed science backed up their faith, and used it to prove the existence of God. But like with all things, there needs to be a happy medium. I believe Philosophy is the handmaiden of Theology (The study of the Bible), so science should be the same. As Christians we should not throw out science without first looking at it. Science can be used for good unless taken to the extreme. I think our Theology, and what we believe about God and the Bible, should drive our philosophy; and our scientific research. God needs to be the center of our lives as Christians, and once we gain the wisdom of God we can then obtain the wisdom of this world. In this post we will find out if Jacobovici’s scientifc theory of how the parting of the sea occurred will match up with the Biblical record.

     Simcha Jacobovici begins this section, the final events of the Exodus, by saying “But in the book of Exodus God does not spin nature……he manipulates it. In other words according to the Bible we should be able to understand the science behind the miracles, and the greatest miracle of them all was the parting of a sea.” As I have stated before in one of my last posts God did not cause the Santorini volcano to erupt, but He very well could of used, manipulated as Jacobovici states, the effects of it to free His people. The parting of the Red sea is a story that keeps us on the edge of our seats. How did it happen? Many of us wish we could go back in time to see it with our own eyes because it does seem unbelievable. But Jacobovici shows that it can in fact be believable and he strives to scientifically prove that the parting of the sea undeniably happened, and is not just a good story to tell your kids. But will his theories match up with the Biblical text? The Biblical account records that even though Pharaoh let the Israelites go he then pursued them. The Lord told Moses that Pharaoh would pursue them (Exodus 14:3-4). The Biblical account also tells us that Pharaoh took with him all his chariots and officers (Ex. 14:7). The Israelites became trapped by the sea, and in Pharaohs eyes I’m sure he believed he was the victor, but then God showed the Egyptians the power of the God of Israel; for one final time. “After the death of the Egyptian firstborn males Pharaoh let the Israelites go,” Jacobovici comments, “he then changed his mind and pursued them finding them trapped on the shores of a sea. The Hebrew text calls this sea ‘Yam Suf,’ and it was here where the miracle occurred. The sea parted the Israelites crossed to safety and then the water’s came back swallowing the entire Egyptian army, overturned chariots, drowning all the horses and soldiers.”

     For years the translation of the sea Moses parted, “Yam Suf,” has been named the Red sea. Every time the story is told it is always the Red sea that Moses parted. It was not until recently that scholars started seeing that the name “Yam Suf” was mistranslated. Because of this no one has found evidence of the Egyptian armies at the bottom of the Red sea, although there have been many excavations. Jacobovici talks about this misinterpretation: “For years explorers have searched for evidence of the miracle of the parting of the sea. They’ve mounted under water archaeological quests looking for ancient chariots, swords, and any evidence of drowned Egyptian armies. There is a theory that a huge sub-surface shelf in the Red sea could’ve been exposed for a short time during a powerful storm, providing a land-bridge for the Israelites to cross. But the search has always been unsuccessful. Who would’ve thought that instead of diving we should’ve been driving? That’s because ‘Yam Suf,’ Hebrew for the place where Moses had parted the waters, has for years been mistranslated as ‘red sea,’ when in fact the correct translation is ‘reed sea,’ and reeds grow in sweet water, not salt water; in lakes not oceans.” So his theory is that the sea was a lake, but finding the body of water the Bible describes is hard. The Biblical account calls it a sea, and the Israelites complained to Moses because they thought they were going to die, because of Pharaoh (Ex. -12). The Lord did not only show His power to the Egyptians but also to the children of Israel, Who saw all the plagues of Egypt and the parting of the sea, but they still complained constantly and because of their unbelief they did not get to see the Promised land, and died out in the wilderness.

Again Jacobovici comes through with the evidence to prove his theories. “Using our dates for the Exodus, we’ve tracked down an ancient artifact that records the precise location of ‘Yam Suf.’ It also provides us with the first archaeological evidence for the parting of the sea.” The artifact he refers to is the Elarish Inscription which can be found in the Ismailia Regional Museum. “We found a hieroglyphic inscription on a granite monument that tells the entire story of the Exodus from Pharaoh’s point of view.” Jacobovici explains the Elarish Inscription, and compares it with the Bible. “The Bible calls Moses a king, on this stone Moses is called ‘The Prince of the desert.’ The Bible calls the Israelites ‘God’s people,’ the granite calls them ‘the evil ones,’ and then the granite corroborates the miracle of the parting of the sea. The symbol can be read by anyone, three waves and two knives ‘the parted sea.’” Professor James Hoffmeier from Trinity Evangelical School gives his opinion on the inscription: “The three water signs one on top of the other, is typically used to apply to different types of bodies of water, can apply to the Nile, can apply to a marsh, can apply to the sea. But what is not so common is when you have that word in combination with these two knives. The fact you have these two knives associated with it would suggest that this is water that is cut, water that is divided. This might be an illusion to the waters that the red sea, or the reed sea, were divided in Exodus chapter fourteen.” Jacobovici believes the place that the parting of the sea happened was at the modern lake named El Balah. Professor Hoffmeier continues in saying “It’s an ancient lake that survived until the 1850’s, when the Suez canal was put in this ancient lake finally died. Professor Manifred Bietak, after conducting further study of this area, proposed that this lake was known to the Egyptians as ‘Pa Tufi,’ the marsh land, the marshy sea, and the word ‘Tuf,’ Egyptian word for reeds, is the same word as ‘Suf’ in Hebrew, so the ‘Yam Suf ‘ he suggested was a name derived from this body of water. Now it’s called the El Balah lake.”

     Jacobovici has, what he believes, the sea Moses parted, he has his evidence from the Elarish inscription to prove El Balah is the correct lake. Next, he will give us his theory on how the Israelites crossed over the sea on dry land, and how the watr swallowed up the Egyptians. “As Pharaoh chased the Israelites to the shores of lake El Balah, the extreme seismic activity that caused the ten plagues, and the Santorini eruption, would’ve now caused the delta to start sliding into the eastern Mediterranean, and as millions tons of soil moved forward the edge of the African plate, which had now been released from its burden, must have risen between one, and one and a half meters. In other words the sea parted. Water would have cascaded from higher ground to lower ground and drained from pools and sink holes creating dry land for the Israelites to cross. At this point, further seismic activity, or another collapse of the delta, would’ve sent a major tsunami crashing against the coast.” Dr. Charles Pellegrino comments on the height of the waves that would’ve been the tsunami in Jacobovici’s theory: “They would to have been more than half as high, these waves, as the Empire State Building, and that’s exactly the description that we do have in the Bible.” This tsunami would be the same one depicted in the Bible that came crashing down on the Egyptians. But let us see what the Biblical text says and see if it can match up with Jacobovici’s theory.

The Bible states: “And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left (Exodus -22, KJV).” This doesn’t quite match up with Jacobovici’s theory that water was drained by sink holes, because the Bible clearly states that an east wind literally parted the sea so that there was a wall on each side of the Israelites as they passed on dry land. Jacobovici doesn’t go into this and the question I’d ask would be: how does your theory fit with the Biblical record? We see that his theory about how the sea was parted doesn’t match the Bible, but what about his tsunami theory? Does that fit with the Bible? Let us continue with the Biblical account. Exodus chapter fourteen, verses twenty-three through twenty-five states: “And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, And took off their chariot wheels, that they drive them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians (KJV).” A tsunami might have crashed doen on the Egyptians but what oter evidenc does Jacobovici gives us? This is an interesting part in the Biblical account. The Egyptians are kept away from pursuing the Israelites until the dawn of the next day, which means that the Israelites had to have crossed on the dry land all through the night. In Jacobovici’s theory he gives the impression that the tsunami came on faster than the Biblical account records, so it still doesn't match up. The thing that gets me about this passage is verse twenty-four, for if I was an Egyptian and saw the face of God I’d want to high-tale it out of there as well. It’s also intriguing that the Egyptians know the Lord is fighting with Israel against them. They knew who God was and what side He was on. Let us continue, “And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them (Ex. -28, KJV).” There is no similarity between Jacobovici’s theory and the Biblical account, and he may have to do more study and research on this. But this does not mean that the effects of the Santorini eruption wasn’t used by God to cause the sea to part. In my next post Jacobovici will bring up some evidence that proves the sea was parted and that the Biblical account is true; even though he can't correctly prove how it happened doesn't mean it didn't happen at all. There are two questions we must ask: How can a story, like the Biblical account, be fake if it so detailed? And, are there some things that science just can’t explain?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Putting The Pieces Together Part V: Is Science A Friend or Foe Part III; Can The Death of The Firstborn Free The Israelites of The Conviction That They’re The Hyksos?

This is the final plague of Egypt; the death of the firstborn, man and animal. Many who hold to a Christian faith would say that it is impossible to scientifically prove this last plague, for it was God himself who came down to carry out the tenth plague. But Simcha Jacobovici is certain he can scientifically prove this plague and gives us his theory on it. But he doesn’t just have a theory; he has evidence to back up his theory. Evidence that was found in the Hyksos capital, Avaris. The evidence from Avaris brings us back to the question of whether the Israelites and Hyksos are the same in one. I will go over my own theory on this.  

Despite the first nine plagues and their destruction on the land of Egypt, Pharaoh would not let the Israelites go. In the Biblical account Pharaoh is depicted as somewhat of a deceiver. He answered “No” to Moses and Aaron all ten times and his answer resulted in a plague coming down upon him and his people, and when the plague became too much Pharaoh informed them he would let them go if God would stop the plague. Which God did, but then Pharaoh took it back and never let them go. From this effect came the cause of another plague upon Pharaoh’s land. This act of defiance proceeded through all nine plagues, but when the result of the tenth plague was completed Pharaoh finally gave in, for his son had died, and he let the Israelites go. “The final plague took place at ,” Jacobovici explains, “after Moses ordered the Israelites to sit down to what became known as the first Passover meal. While the Israelites were involved in the Passover ritual the Egyptians slept, and then it happened. Every firstborn male Egyptian died. Every house was affected. No one has ever been able to offer a plausible scientific explanation for the death of the firstborn; until now.”

Will Jacobovici’s scientific theory for the death of the firstborn get rid of the Biblical story? Because it was the Lord himself who came down and smote all firstborn males. Or can his theory work alongside the text, having God manipulate the effects of the Santorini eruption using it for his purpose? Jacobovici’s theory is that “The gas leak that set the chain of plagues in motion would’ve finally erupted. Carbon-dioxide would’ve seeped to the surface and being heavier than air would’ve killed animals and sleeping people before it dissipated harmlessly into the atmosphere.” But, like with all of Jacobovici’s pieces, this is often disputed but he persists in proving his claims and continues by saying “In case you think all this is conjecture. Consider this, it happened in exactly the same way in 1986 at Lake Nyos, Cameroon.” He then goes on to describe the events that occurred on Lake Nyos. “As the people of Lake Nyos slept, the top of the lake was keeping the carbon down like a cap on a pop bottle. But then, the earth rumbled and a landslide took place sending rock into the water, disturbing the surface pressure and releasing the gas. The gas then rose to the surface and like some alien monster emerged from the water, droplets forming on it, turning the invisible gas into a visible fog. The fog then rolled across the water and across the land, suffocating everything in its path, and then suddenly as it appeared……it disappeared, dissolving harmlessly into the atmosphere.” This is the scientific theory behind plague number ten, but can the Biblical account and the scientific theory fit together? Jacobovici believes so.

What was it that in the end made the defiant Pharaoh cave in and surrender to the Lord God of the Israelites? He clearly saw that the God of Israel was the true God but yet still hardened his heart. The Lord knew that Pharaoh would always say ‘no’ in response to Moses and would defy Him, and this is clearly seen through the biblical account throughout the first fourteen chapters in the book of Exodus. Also, again, the Israelites are kept safe from this plague, and Moses tells Pharaoh the words of the Lord: “But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that you may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel (Ex. 11:7, KJV).” Jacobovici goes on to say that “It was this selectivity that demonstrated to him God himself was involved. How can we account for this? Well, Egyptian firstborn males had a privileged position; they were the heirs to throne, to property, to title, to more. They slept on Egyptian beds low to the ground, while their brothers and sisters slept on rooftops, sheds, and in wagons. The Israelites sitting up at their first Passover meal did not feel a thing, while the low traveling gas suffocated the privileged position males sleeping in their beds.”           

     In Jacobovici’s persistence to prove his theories, once again he offers compelling evidence to back them up. This time his evidence comes from an archaeological standpoint. He takes us back to the city of Avaris for the evidence: “This conclusion is backed by the archaeology. In Avaris Professor Manifred Bietak has found mass graves dating to before and during our date for the Exodus. The earlier graves are classic examples of ancient epidemics that killed men, women, and children. But at the time of the Exodus the mass grave he found has only males in it.” Professor Bietak quotes: “Here you see bones of burials from the early eighteenth Dynasty, they’re all male victims, and the size of the graves, and the amount of the individuals in the graves we think people died in rapid succession, and the individuals were just thrown into the pit; some of them lying on their stomachs, some lying on their side, some of the pits were just twenty centimeters deep and just some dust put on top of them.” In the end of my post I will give my theory on these mass graves that are found at Avaris, and we will see if the Hyksos can be connected to Israelites. The graves found at Avaris seem to back up, undoubtingly, the death of the firstborn. Although more than a few scholars, scientists, and archaeologist will disagree with Jacobovici’s findings. But Jacobovici doesn’t stop here, even though this is very convincing evidence, he continues to persist to find every little detail he can to prove the Exodus really happened. “The Bible says that Pharaoh’s son also died during the plague of the firstborn. Since we claim that Ahmose is the Pharaoh of the Exodus, we should be able to prove that Ahmose’s son died young.” Surprisingly Jacobovici comes through with the evidence once again, and shows that Pharaoh Ahmose did indeed have a son, Prince Sapair, and he did indeed die at a young age. Jacobovici comments: “Searching in the Cairo museum we found Ahmose’s son, the Prince had died young; he was only twelve. For the first time ever we can put a face and a name to a victim of the Biblical plagues.”  
     Here I will deal with my theory on the mass graves found in the Hyksos capital city, Avaris. If indeed these are the victims of the tenth plague of Egypt, the death of the firstborn, then this cancels out the suspicion that the Hyksos and Israelites are the same in one. Why? Because, through all the plagues that were unleashed on Egypt the Israelites were not affected. In the book of Exodus chapter twelve, verse twenty-seven Moses tells the Israelites: “That you shall say. It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped (KJV).” The tenth plague was different from the rest because of the fact that the Israelites had to spread the blood of a lamb over their doorposts (Ex. 12:1-28). Through all of the nine plagues the Israelites were kept safe but for the tenth plague they had to carry out a condition, spreading lamb’s blood on the doorposts (Ex. 12:7), to be saved from death. If the Israelites didn’t do this they would have met the same fate as the Egyptians. So if the graves at Avaris prove the tenth plague then that frees the Israelites from being the Hyksos. First, because it proves the land that Avaris sits on is a completely different land from Goshen, which Goshen is where the Israelites dwelt (Ex. , ). This then proves that the Israelites were not the Hyksos, for if they were wouldn’t they have been in Avaris? So the Hyksos and Israelites are not one in the same. Lastly, the Hyksos had to have been expelled from Egypt either before or after the Israelite Exodus, because Avaris was affected by the plagues (according to Jacobovici). Ahmose is the Pharaoh Jacobovici uses as the Pharaoh who wouldn’t let the Israelites go, and one thing that all scholars agree on is that he’s famous for the Hyksos expulsion. So because of this we can presume the Hyksos were expelled some time before the plagues battered the once prosperous Egypt. This then brings up another question: are those graves marked as just males, plague victims or victims of war? For there is only two reasons people would be dishonorably buried in mass graves holding numerous victims, and that is either in an epidemic or in battle. So this is the question we must ask, and hopefully I will study and research more about the Hyksos and their rule and their expulsion. But one thing is for certain. From Jacobovici’s mass graves we thwart all suggestions that claim the Hyksos and Israelites as the same people group
Can one truly argue with Jacobovici’s evidence? His pieces still continue to look as though they fit perfectly within the puzzle. Jacobovici’s theories and evidence is not only controversial with the scholars, scientists, and archaeologist but also on the other side of the spectrum, Christians who claim the Exodus story as truth. James Cameron ends this section of the documentary, dealing with the plagues of Egypt, and comments: “It seems that the Bible, geology, and archaeology are all telling the same story. The skeptics who would like to regard the Exodus as myth might resist the idea that it actually happened, because this would apply that God does indeed exist. Believer’s on the other hand may feel the scientific explanation of the Biblical story takes God out of the equation.” So Jacobovici is cornered by both sides, and both sides are skeptical about his information all together. But with the evidence he presents how can one argue with him? Some of the facts may be misrepresented and his dating, to most scholars, is off scale. But only time will prove if Simcha Jacobovici’s pieces truly fit to make up the puzzle of the Exodus. Jacobovici gave us his theories along with the facts to back it up, so only time and more research will prove if his chronology is indeed right; and the Exodus is indeed history. Which is my belief, but further research and study needs to be done to get the kinks out of Jacobovici’s puzzle.

Putting The Pieces Together Part IV: Is Science A Friend or Foe Part II; Dealing With the Last Plagues of Egypt

Continuing from my last post we will be looking at the last plagues Egypt experienced during the Exodus story in the Bible. Simcha Jacobovici still claims he can scientifically prove these plagues, even the tenth plague which is the death of all the firstborn. Jacobovici is confident that he can explain all the plagues as being the effects of the Santorini eruption, and gives tantalizing evidence for his claim. We will be looking at each plague individually and viewing Jacobovici’s scientific evidence for them, and we will also be analyzing these plagues from a Biblical viewpoint. The Santorini eruption is still Jacobovici’s center piece for the plagues, and the parting of the Red sea. But can science really illuminate for us all the miracles God used to free His people? Does Jacobovici take it too far, or is his evidence sound? These are the questions we must ask ourselves through Jacobovici’s documentary, many scholars, archaeologists, Theologians, and Scientists will stand against Jacobovici’s claims. They would argue that his dates are distorted and twisted, and his evidence is inclusive and fragmented. But what if Jacobovici’s scientific explanations and dates are closer to the truth than we realize?

“Plague six is boils and blisters, man and beast [Ex. 9:8-12]. Can an earthquake induced gas leak explain this kind of outbreak?” The answer to Jacobovici’s question is yes, and to prove it he goes back to Lake Nyos. “People living along the lake developed strange boils and burns. It turns out that carbon-dioxide mixed with air put people into a kind of a coma, reducing circulation to the skin causing the kind of boils described in the Bible as plague number six.” Was carbon-dioxide really the cause of the Biblical boils? What about in the book of Exodus where the Lord tells Moses to pick up ash from the furnace and that becomes dust which is let it go into the air, from this the boils come over the Egyptians both men and animals. Did the boils in the Biblical account come from the ash or from Jacobovici’s carbon-dioxide? His claim is plausible, but one fact that cannot be scientifically explained is that throughout all the plagues, even though the Egyptians were affected, the Israelites were kept safe (Ex. 8:22-23, 9:4-7, 9:25-26, 10:23, 11:7, 12:13). The ten plagues that occurred in Egypt did not happen in the land of the Israelites, a place called Goshen. This is what the Bible records, for the Lord not only showed His power through the plagues, but also through protecting His people from the plagues.

The seventh plague was a unique one, and I’m sure the people living during that time believed the God of Israel to be the only true God because of such a plague. The Biblical account tells us that Moses and Aaron, repeating the words of the Lord, gave Pharaoh a chance to take his people and cattle out of harms way (Ex. -20). For the seventh plague was hail and fire raining down on Egypt. Rabbi Chaim Sacknovitz gives a description of the hail Egypt experienced: “The seventh plague was a plague of hail, but the Bible describes hail in a very unique manner. That hail was together with ‘esh,’ fire. The idea being that the fire and ice commingled together, they co-existed together. The Bible then describes God is making a miracle within a miracle, taking opposites in nature and having them co-exist together.” But Pharaoh didn’t heed the warning and his servants and herds were killed in the fields, (Ex. -26). Can Jacobovici scientifically prove this particular epidemic? His answer would be “yes.” He gets Dr. Catherine Hickson to explain the science behind plague number seven: “When the ash cloud goes up to great distances in the stratosphere, essentially what happens is you have moisture in the atmosphere, you also have a lot of water vapor in the cloud itself so the small fragments of ash and crystals come to form a nucleus; something very similar to a hail storm.” “In other words,” Jacobovici continues, “Egypt experienced fire and ice raining from above just as the Bible describes. It seems that earthquakes and the resulting volcanic and gas eruptions neatly explain the first seven Biblical plagues.” Jacobovici believes that the context of a famous papyrus, The Ipuwar Papyrus, which gives an account of a hail storm that was mixed with fire, is the same hail storm as the Biblical account. But, like with all of Jacobovici’s pieces to the Exodus puzzle, many scholars argue that his chronology for the Ipuwar Papyrus is unconvincing. Jacobovici illustrates for us how the context of the Ipuwar Papyrus matches closely to the Biblical record: “Incredibly there is an Egyptian Papyrus that tells the exact same story, it’s called the Ipuwar Papyrus and it’s dated by many scholars to the Hyksos period. The Ipuwar Papyrus specifically states that Egypt was struck by a strange hail made up of ice and fire mingled together. Another piece of the puzzle has fallen in place, it now seems clear that the Biblical and Egyptian texts are describing what scientists call……volcanic hail, that could only have come from the earthquake induced Santorini volcano.” Dr. Catherine Hickson gave an example of this type of hail and the science seems to back Jacobovici’s claim. But the date for the Ipuwar Papyrus is often controversial.

The eighth plague is Locusts. The Biblical text records something interesting that I wish to bring up before we get into Jacobovici’s scientific explanations. When Moses and Aaron come to Pharaoh after the seventh plague and after he, once again, tells them he’ll let them go then takes it back when the Lord clears away the hail storm. Pharaoh’s servants say something very interesting: “And Pharaoh’s servants said to him, how long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God: do you not know that Egypt is destroyed (Ex. 10:7, KJV)?” Pharaoh’s servants are basically begging him to send away the Israelites because the plagues have destroyed the Egypt they once knew, worked in, and lived in. All the people of Egypt, whether they would admit it or not, knew that the true god was the God of the Israelites, for they had probably prayed constantly to their gods for protection; but the gods of Egypt could not save them from the plagues. This text about the servants gives us a little insight into the thoughts of the Egyptian people during that time. From this small passage we can see that the Egyptians wished for Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, so that they wouldn’t have to suffer anymore for their ruler’s malevolence. Also we see that they realize the God of the Israelites is only true God, because the servants call Him “The Lord their God,” which indicates they know the name of the God of the Israelites. Now we will look at Jacobovici’s scientific explanation of the eighth plague, locusts. Jacobovici asserts that “Locust migrate in swarms that can be between forty and eighty million adult locust in each square kilometer. Cold weather produces a drop in their body temperature and makes them land on mass. The volcanic hail and the weather disruption caused by the Santorini eruption would’ve forced great clouds of locust, which are common in this part of the world, to suddenly land in Egypt. As the hail storm cleared and the temperature rose, so did the locust; exactly as the Biblical account describes.”

Jacobovici begins the introduction of the second to last plague with this statement: “Ripped by earthquake storms and their consequences the Egyptians were now going to experience the last phase of the Santorini eruption, or what the Bible calls plague number nine; darkness.” In the Biblical account the darkness lasted for three days and, like with all the plagues, it only affected the land of the Egyptians; the Israelites were unaffected by it. In Exodus chapter 10 verse 23 it says “…but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings (KJV).” Jacobovici has a theory for explaining this plague, but many scholars will disagree with it and claim it as a controversial subject. “This is the way it probably worked, during the months before the eruption seismic activity in the whole Eastern Mediterranean was causing the African plate to grind under the European plate. Sea water was then turned to steam that bubbled up through the magma. This in turn caused pressure to build and erupt through weak points in the surface, triggering several small eruptions, leading to a major blow-out. When the final eruption came it created an ash cloud, almost 40 kilometers from top to bottom and 200 kilometers across. When the ash cloud reached the Nile Delta it engulfed the Egyptians in what the Bible calls a palpable darkness.” Dr. Catherine Hickson continues this thought by stating: “In a matter of a few minutes their plunged into a black world, ashes falling all around them, they can’t see, they can’t breath very well, the sun has disappeared, you have black overhead, and they have no idea what’s going to happen next.”

The volcanic rock (pumice) that was found in Avaris by Dr. Manifred Bietak seems to be proof enough that the Santorini eruption is the cause of the plagues. But this is under much controversy and Jacobovici claims that “Some might argue that since pumice can float, it could’ve been brought to Egypt by waves, and washed ashore by tides.” But Jacobovici is persistent in finding the evidence he needs to prove that the ten plagues of Egypt, the Red sea parting, and the Exodus in general is a true story, and that it is all centered on the natural disaster known as the Santorini eruption. How can anyone argue with his next piece of evidence? The finding of Santorini ash in Egypt. Although, many would say, this only proves the eruption of Santorini not the Exodus or the plagues. Prof. Jean-Daniel Stanley comments that: “We had to look through ten to twenty thousand grains to find one ash grain, so we found a total of forty ash grains. Not all ash looks the same, ash has a fingerprint aspect. The ash particles that we find in the northern and north eastern Nile Delta are individual grains that came in from Santorini.” I will need to stop here at the ninth plague because I hadn’t realized how long this section would be. But to stop here gives my readership a good place to stop, where they won’t have to read ten pages, as well as leaves them in suspense. Jacobovici’s evidence just seems to fit perfectly with his puzzle, but could it be too perfectly? In the final plague I will deal with Jacobovici’s evidence and theories as well as some theories of my own.