Asked how the Egyptian amulet could have reached so far as Jerusalem, Dr. Barkay told the City of David
, “For more than 300 years, during the Late Bronze Age, Canaan and the city state of Jerusalem were under Egyptian dominion.”
Scarabs bearing the name of Thutmose III have been discovered in Jerusalem before, but this is the first time an amulet bearing his name has been found. Egyptologist, Baruch Brandl of the Israel Antiquities Authority headed the research deciphering the hieroglyphics. Thutmose III is called the “Napoleon of Egypt” by historians, due to his conquest of cities and lands to establish a vast empire. As Egypt’s most successful military leader, he transformed it into an international superpower.
An often-overlooked aspect of this find, and others like it, is the implications it has on the debate over the Israelites Exodus from Egypt and their Conquest of Canaan 40 years later. The early date view for the Exodus places it around 1450 BC, which would have been in the middle of Thutmose III’s reign according to the standard chronology for Egypt. As attested by this amulet, Egypt at this time had a strong grip on Canaan including Jerusalem, which was known as Jebus and populated with the Jebusites at the time.
“The Amalekites dwell in the land of the Negeb. The Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the hill country. And the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and along the Jordan.” – Numbers 13:29 (ESV)
The Bible lists the inhabitants of Canaan at the time of the Conquest, but there is no mention of Egyptians being there or that they were encountered in any of the battles. Does that mean that the Conquest did not happen as described in the Bible or could there be another explanation? That is the topic in part 2 of next week’s Thinker Update.
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