Senior Egyptian archaeologist: Israeli claim that Pharaoh was Egyptian is a lie

In an unprecedented declaration that challenges the story told in the Passover Haggadah, a senior Egyptian archaeologist said that ancient king Pharaoh was not Egyptian, as claimed in the ancient Jewish text.

In an interview with the Egyptian daily newspaper al-Youm al-Sabih, the director-general of Luxor’s Antiquities, Mustafa Waziri, surprisingly argued that king Pharaoh belonged to the foreign Hyksos dynasty that invaded Egypt in the 15th century BCE and ruled northern Egypt.

“King Pharaoh who ruled Egypt during the epoch of our prophet Moses was not one of the kings who reigned in ancient Egypt as we tend to believe. He belonged to the Beduin Jabarin dynasty, which is called Hyksos,” Waziri said.

I should not have read this. The Moslems can claim the text was corrupted, but shoot, not Jews or Christians.

I’ll admit that I’m not overly familiar with the details of that story, but does the difference between whether the Pharaoh’s dynasty originated within Egypt or elsewhere actually matter at all to anything in particular, as far as this story goes?

But the pharaoh was ruler of Egypt?

It does not appear that this claim is by Jews or Christians, let alone any authoritative Christian or Jewish source. But even if it was, it’s best to take all such claims by anyone with a grain of salt anyway. Or perhaps a boulder of salt might be more appropriate, until it’s been thoroughly verified etc. Claims that the bible got something wrong (if this is even what this claim is?) pop up all the time, and usually amount to nothing (though the demonstrations that they are false get much less fanfare than the claims that they are true).

In particular, claims that include statements like this:

The Egyptian archaeologist added: "the prevailing thesis according to which the kings of ancient Egypt were named Pharaohs is a false thesis promoted by the Jews to stick false accusations on ancient Egyptians."

Which seem to indicate that this scholar may not be unbiased.

Not to mention that the only evidence that the article mentions that he used is from the Koran, which is much more recent than the Old Testament:

To prove his thesis, Waziri presented his conclusions from a study he conducted about the subject. He said that reviewing the Koran, he has not seen that the word “Pharaoh” is used to describe Egypt or Egyptians.

According to Waziri, the Koranic evidence that “Pharaoh” is a private name and not a royal title, as Israel alleges, is the phrase “Oh, Pharaoh”, that refers to Pharaoh as a private individual.

And again, I’m not actually sure the dynasty of the Pharaoh actually really matters that much anyway.

That’s kind of how I feel.

Same. If I recall correctly, the Bible even stated that a Pharaoh who did not respect the covenant with Joseph rose to power. If true, does the ethnicity really change the story?

Not really, except insofar as “Egypt” is treated as the enemy in the remainder of Scripture.

If he belonged to a conquering nation, that doesn’t make him Egyptian.

Well, if I lived in a place that I felt picked me out for oppression, I don’t think I would bother with ethnic identity, but I would bother with national identity.

So it does rock the traditional understanding of Jews and Christians.

I think that kind of depends on how long his dynasty had been there. Of course, after reading the article (for reasons I mentioned in a post above) I don’t think this scholar’s statement really is worth bothering about at this time. But even if true, and even if it was a foreign invader who’d only been there a short time and left a short time after, does it really matter? The King of Egypt at that time did bad things, God helped the Jews leave. Where does the ethnicity of the King come into play?

Why would you think this given that a) there’s not much reason to think that the claim is true, and b) no one has yet mentioned a single theological implication?

Why would saying that one evil guy in the bible didn’t share the same ethnicity as the people he ruled rock anything? Is there some theological principle I’m not aware of that relies on the Pharaoh at the time of Moses having Egyptian ancestry?

Or, in short: it’s probably not true, and even if it were, who cares?

Maybe because to the Middle Eastern mind, and many minds for a long time, lineage was incredibly important. I mean, even in Matthew’s Gospel, he makes a big deal about Jesus’ bloodline to prove he is the King, the successor of David.

Not long ago I read that there isn’t a shred of evidence that the Jews were ever enslaved or lived in Egypt, nor that Moses led them out.


Oh man. There’s something I heard somewhere, but I’m really foggy on the details. I think there was a dig where there were layers of pig bones, and then the layers of pig bones stopped, indicating the presence of the Jews. I don’t remember what it was about though. That would have only occurred after Sinai anyway, not before.

Exactly, he was Egyptian by location and title if not by ancestry.

My opinion is that the Hebrews actually governed Egypt for some time after Joseph and were known as Hyksos.
After 100 to 200 years the Egyptians were able to regain power, and they then enslaved the Hebrews.
Since the Hebrew takeover of Egypt and the escape of that subsequently enslaved nation were both so embarrassing to the Egyptians, they left no records of either.

Could I offer you a humble piece of advice? Whenever you see news reports of scholarly views, do treat them with as much skepticism as critical thinking demands.

Opinions in fields like archaeology are not to be equated with something like mathematics. We’re not talking utterly obvious objectivity here. They are just that: opinions, educated though they may be, that, frankly, very few of us can really verify.

Scholars have their biases, their agendas, their desire for notoriety and fame and money. One of the most foolish things a young person can do is to treat a Ph.D. like they’re some sort of oracle. :slight_smile:

Furthermore, do read Dr. Waziri’s quotes in this article closely. To say he is without Islamic biases, clearly religious and political in nature, would be quite silly.

Really? I think there’s actually an article in the May/June edition of Biblical Archaeology Review that argues quite the opposite.

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