Bit 4 Information Part 4

When Joshua sent two spies to look over Jericho, they found a woman named Rahab who had heard of what the Lord had done to Egypt and who had become a believer (Joshua 2:6-9). Hundreds of years later, the Phihistines still remembered that the God of Israel had brought plagues against Egypt (I Samuel 4:8).

This is the God that we worship today. He is not a God who doesn t like to rock the boat. He is not a little God who can only answer little prayers. He is not aGod who has taken a long walk and who hasn t come back yet. We worship a God who is there and who is not silent and who has intervened in history.

Egypt never fully recovered from the disasters which she had met in the ten plagues. From this point onward, she would begin to decline.

His army devastated in the Red Sea, Amenhotep 2nd never against led a campaign out of the boundaries of Egypt.

7. Thutmoses 4th (1425-1417 B.C.).

Thutmoses 4th remained on the throne for only eight years, dying at the young age of 30.

His best known monument is a stone which he erected between the paws of the Great Sphinx during the first year of his reign. On the stone he records how a prophet had appeared to him many years before in a dream and told him that he would someday rule Egypt in place of his older brother. He was also told that when he had become a pharaoh, he must remove the mountain of sand which almost covered the Sphinx. It is interesting to note that the older brother of Thutmoses 4th would have died in the plague of the firstborn.

Thutmoses 4th found himself facing the rising power of the Kingdom of Mitanni, located on the plains of northern Syria. Instead of attempting a dangerous war, Thutmoses entered into a political alliance with Mitanni, sealing it with his marriage to Mutemwiya, a princess of Mitanni. He also entered into a treaty with Babylon.

8. Amenhotep 3rd (1417—1379 B.C.).

The military power of Egypt continued to decline during the reign of Amenhotep 3rd. In fact, he conducted only one campaign during his reign. The was against the Nubians in the fifth year of his reign.

The Tell el-Amarna Tablets date from his reign. Among these inscriptions are a number of letters from the king of Jerusalem to Amenhotep 3rd asking for help against invaders known as the Habiru.

The Habiru are plundering all the lands of the king. If no troops come in this very year, then all the lands of the king are lost. (King of Jerusalem).

The Habiru were not a specific racial group, but rather were thought of as barbarians. These particular Habiru may have been the Israelites under Joshua who were now moving into Canaan and taking the land. Because of her military decline, Egypt made no attempt at intervention.

Amenhotep 3rd went against tradition by marrying Tiye, the daughter of a commoner. It was highly unusual for a commoner to be chosen as the wife of a pharaoh and Queen Tiye was expressly called the First Wife of the King. They named their son and heir Amenhotep 4th.

9. Akhenaton (1379-1362 B.C.).

Amenhotep 4th has the distinction of being the first pharaoh of Egypt to be a monotheist. He chose to worship only one god Aton, the sun god, as the creator and sustainer of the universe.

a. Physique and character.

Amenhotep 4th was a teenager when he came to the throne. The Tell el-Amarna inscriptions show his physical appearance to be sickly and effeminate. However, his strong personality made up for his week physique.

b. A new name.

He changed his name from Amenhotep ("Amon is satisfied") to Akhenaton ("He who is beneficial to Aton").

c. Religious reform.

Aton was declared to be Egypt s national god and all other temples were closed down. Anyone still holding to the old gods was pronounced a heretic.

Most of the priests of Egypt did not share in the support of the new religion. The following power struggle brought Egypt to the brink of civil war.

d. Incest.

When his wife, Nefertiti, fell into disgrace and was banished, Akhenaton married his 13-year old daughter, Ankhesenpaton.

e. His death.

It seems that Akhenaton was killed in a revolt against the new religion. The details of his death have been lost to history.

Akhenaton had no sons to succeed him, but he had seven daughters who were married to various Egyptian nobles. Disputes over succession arose and the country was plunged into civil war.

10. Tutankhamun (1361-1352 B.C.).

The civil war came to a close when the new husband of Ankhesenpatori was placed upon the throne by the priests of Egypt. The young king Tutankhaton was only nine years old. His bride and queen, Ankhesenipaton was fourteen.

With the new boy-king and his bride upon the throne, Egypt returned to modicum of stability.

a. Religious return.

The first order of business was to turn back to the traditional religion of Egypt.

        Ankhesenpaton s name was changed to Ankhesenamun ("She lives for Amon").
        Tutankhaton now became Tutankhamun ("Beautiful is life in Amon").

The new religion which had prospered under Akhenaton was now outlawed. The name of Akhenaton was erased from the official king list. His name and figure were striken from the monuments.

b. Political strength.

The military prestige of Egypt had been lost and no attempt was made to regain it at this time.

c. An archaeological treasure.

The tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter. He had already dug methodically in the Valley of the Kings for many years and had only one location left to explore when his sponsor, Lord Caernarvon, decided to pull out.

Carter sailed back to Britain and personally pleaded with Lord Caernarvon for one more year, offering to pay all the expenses himself and Caernarvon generously consented to underwrite one more expedition. Within days of starting work the head of a flight of steps was uncovered - and then covered up again while Carter waited impatiently for Caernarvon to come out from Britain by ship.

Together the two men pried a stone out of the blocking and then Carter cautiously held a candle up to the opening and peered into the tomb.

"What do you see?" Carnarvon demanded after a long silence.

"I see wonderful things!" Carter replied in a hushed whisper, for in front of him the whole room seemed to be filled with gold.

The enormous quantity of gold in the tomb - nearly a ton in the coffin alone - staggered historians and archaeologists alike. They had been used to dismissing the Biblical record of the tabernacle as myth because it was thought that there was not that much gold in all the world at that time. Now, however, we see that in Egypt at least, there was plenty of gold and other precious metals.

d. Death.

Tutankhamun died after a short reign of only nine years. The young king was 18 years old and had produced no heir to the throne. Therefore his co-regent, Ay, tried to take the throne.

11. Ay (1352-1348 B.C.).

Although Ay had been the co-regent of Tutankhamun, his position on the throne of Egypt was somewhat unstable. In order to secure that position, he tried to marry Ankhesenamun, the wife of the late pharaoh.

Queen Ankhesenamun had other ideas. She sent a letter to Suppiluliumas, king of the Hittites, requesting that he send one of his sons to Egypt to marry her and thereby become pharaoh. We have recovered a portion of the letter.

My husband, Nibkhururia [the official name of Tutankhamun], has recently died and I have no son. But your sons, they say, are many. If you will send me a son of yours, he shall become my husband.

After the Hittite king had thoroughly investigated the situation, a Hittite prince was sent to Egypt. Before he arrived, his company was ambushed and he was killed. Soon after this, Ankhesenaraun was murdered.

Egypt now stood balanced on the brink of collapse. The last few pharaohs had shown little interest in the administration and this only served to add to the troubled situation. Only a small spark would have been necessary to plunge Egypt into revolution and civil war.

12. Horemheb (1348-1320 B.C.).

Into this picture stepped a deliverer who was to prove strong enough to stabilize the desperate situation.

Horemhab was the Commander-in-chief of the Egyptian army. Following the assassination of Ay, he marched his army to Thebes where he had himself crowned king.

As pharaoh, he began a campaign designed to restore to Egypt the power and prosperity that she had enjoyed in the days of Thutmoses 3rd.

a. Legal reforms.

He passed many new laws which would guarantee the freedoms, the property and the privacy of the citizens of Egypt.

He set strict penalties for all violations of the law.

b. Military career.

He began a series of military campaigns to the south, designed to drive back the Nubian tribes who had invaded the southern frontier.

c. Economic policies.

He restored trade relations with the land to the south. This trade had been disrupted during the reigns of Akhenaton and Tutankhamun.

Horemhab died after a long reign and was succeeded on the throne by the commander of the Egyptian army, Rameses.

 

THE NINETEENTH DYNASTY OF EGYPT (1320-1200 B.C.)

The advent of Rameses marks the beginning of the 19th Dynasty of Egypt. This family would rule over Egypt for the next 100 years.

1. Rameses 1st (1320-1318 B.C.).

Rameses was an old man when he came to the throne. He died after a short reign, and was succeeded by his son Seti.

2. Seti 1st (1318-1304 B.C.).

Seti began his reign with a project designed to build up the sagging military. The Bedouin tribes in the Sinai desert had been threatening the boarders of Egypt.

After driving back the Bedouins, Seti advanced northward along the coast of Canaan, defeating several cities in northern Palestine and Syria, including Tyre and Kadesh. It was only a matter of time before the Egyptians clashed with the Hittites.

When Seti did clash with the Hittites, the result was indecisive. A temporary truce was made and both sides withdrew t prepare for future warfare. When the war finally did come, it was not Seti who was the pharaoh of Egypt, but his son, Rameses 2nd.

3. Rameses 2nd (1304-1237 B.C.).

Rameses 2nd was to be the most colorful leader that Egypt ever produced, not because of his great military prowess (which is questionable) or even his building accomplishments (which are extensive), but because he had an excellent public relations program.

a. The Battle of Kadesh.

Early in his reign, Rameses personally led his army north to meet the Hittites on the Orontes River, to the north of Palestine. Near the city of Kadesh, he was hit by a surprise attack that nearly wiped out the Egyptian army.

Rameses himself escaped and made it back to Egypt with the remnants of his army. He staged a great triumphal entry, declaring that he had defeated the Hittites by his own great strength. Huge monuments were built to commemorate this great Egyptian "victory."

b. The results of the Battle of Kadesh.

The Battle of Kadesh had ended with an expensive stalemate between the Egyptians and the Hittites. As a result, both kingdoms pulled back, halting the expansion which had brought them into coniflict.

Because of this resulting power vacuum, Israel would be left free to grow up into a great nation under Saul, David and Solomon.

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