David Rohl, the main "expert" behind Patterns of Evidence: Exodus, has now responded to my critique. His response is in the comments section of that link. My critique has clearly touched a nerve.
I was hoping he would come armed with facts that would definitively refute my evidence, but he came armed with speculation. I address some of his specific responses here.RE: “The first idiotic statement from this so-called expert was that he couldn't find any Yahwistic names in the Brooklyn Slave Papyrus. This guy clearly knows his Bible, because he thinks there should by Hebrew names bearing the Yah or Yahu element in them BEFORE Moses has the sacred name revealed to him on Mount Sinai!”
Note that Rohl does not deny that there are no Yahwistic names in the Brooklyn Papyrus.
Rohl also has missed the fact that I addressed this issue. Please note my statement in my essay: “This late occurrence is odd because the Bible says that Yahweh was the name that began to be used during Adam’s generation (Genesis 4:26) and was used by the Patriarchs (see Genesis 12:7-9, in contradiction to the statement in Exodus 6:3).”
We know that there are different traditions as to when the name Yahweh was first known. Rohl simply picks and chooses which narratives tell the true history of when that name was first used or revealed. Aside from avoiding what I said, it is actually Rohl who does not believe what the Bible says.
Rohl chooses to believe that the name was revealed to Moses (e.g., in Exodus 6:3ff), but chooses not to believe that it was used since Genesis 4:26 and by other pre-Mosaic figures.
RE: “He also mentions that there are other Canaanite theophoric names in the slave list. Again he shows he doesn't know his Bible, because it is quite clear from the biblical text that Moses brought out a 'mixed multitude' of slaves from Egypt. Nobody is claiming that all the slaves in Egypt were Israelite! There is absolutely no contradiction in having non-Israelites in the slave list.”
Rohl missed the point here. The problem is not that there are Canaanite theophoric names. The problem is that there are Cananite theophoric names, BUT NO YAHWISTIC NAMES that would be distinctively Israelite.
So, please Dr. Rohl, don’t give us names any West Semite could have as proof that these are Israelite names. That is why his appeal to a "mixed multitude" will not work. If it were mixed, then why don't we have both Canaanite theophoric names AND Yahwistic names?
RE: “Nobody is claiming that all the slaves in Egypt were Israelite! There is absolutely no contradiction in having non-Israelites in the slave list.”
I did not say that Rohl thought ALL the slaves in Egypt were Israelite. Rohl never produces a quote from me to that effect.
I claimed that he has not proven, on the basis of the names in the Brooklyn Papyrus, that ANY of these slaves were Israelites. Big difference.
RE: “The biblical names in the papyrus, which he fails to mention in his review, are Asher, Issachar and Shiphrah.”
Rohl is again confusing cognate names with “identical” names. Those are names any West Semite could have, and does not prove them to be Israelites, which is what Rohl is trying to do.
RE: "He does concede that 'munahhima(t)' is a cognate of Menahem. But he then gets confused once again, stating that this name occurs in the '14th-century BC' Ugaritic texts, implying that the name is Canaanite as well as Israelite and too early to be the latter. In doing so, he completely forgets that his 14th century is in fact the United Monarchy period (11th-10th century) in the New Chronology, when one might expect to find Israelite names (like Menahem) appearing at Ugarit.”
False. What I claimed is that the name Rohl claims is the same as Menahem in the Bible can be found among non-Israelites at Ugarit. Therefore, Rohl needs a name that is distinctively Israelite to prove that Israelites are in the Brooklyn Papyrus. The fact that Rohl cannot seem to grasp this point shows how weak his argument is.
Rohl also assumes that I should accept his New Chronology. I can offer more details later as to why this New Chronology is built on a plethora of linguistic and historical nonsense.
RE: “The ONLY Mittelsaal Haus to be found in Egypt, at the very beginning of the settlement in the region that all Egyptologists accept to be Goshen, with Bietak saying that the Semitic population which developed from that village were originally invited into the region by Pharaoh, is all part of the argument, not just the house!”
The fact that there is only one Mittelsaal House does not change my objection. Rohl has not shown that Jacob lived there or would live there.
Rohl states in the documentary that is the type of house in which Jacob would live without any specific archaeological evidence of any prior houses in which Jacob lived. He already is assuming, without any other evidence, that Jacob comes from North Syria.
So, yes, if I found only ONE cabin in Illinois it would still be absurd to say that it must be Lincoln’s cabin because that is the type of house which Lincoln would have built, given where his ancestors came from.
RE: "Avalos’ argument that Jacob lived in a tent during his semi-nomadic years in southern Canaan is equally ridiculous, since, when Jacob settled permanently in Egypt's delta, he would have required a mudbrick house, not a tent, and would likely have chosen this ancestral design from north Syria (where he continued to have family contacts)."
Rohl offers no proof that Jacob "settled permanently" in Egypt’s Delta, and Rohl offers no proof that Jacob would have “required” a Mittelsaal house to live in the delta.
There were a variety of house styles in both Egypt and in Syria that could have been chosen.
What Rohl alleges is like saying that if a shepherd settled permanently in Washington DC then that person MUST have lived in the White House.
RE: “As for his critique of the tombs in the palace garden, Avalos conveniently dismisses the fact that I say ‘twelve MAIN graves’. I do not say just twelve tombs!”
Rohl is backpedaling now. He clearly made a link between the twelve tombs (or “graves” as he called them explicitly in the documentary), and the 12 sons of Jacob.
But Rohl still fails to explain that one or more of those 12 tombs had both male and female remains.
On the other hand, he NOW tries to tell us that the OTHER non-"main" tombs/graves were for wives, sisters, and children.
He also does not explain in his response why all the tombs are not all from the same stratum.
RE: “The picture he shows of the model of the palace garden is not mine … it was made by Bietak’s archaeological team! It clearly shows twelve MAIN tombs. The rest would be for wives, sisters, and children who died prematurely. Again he sets up a straw man to burn down.”
|Note how Rohl singled out 12 tombs|
It was Rohl who used that illustration to support his claim for a link between the 12 tombs and Jacob's sons. Bietak is not the one who only singled out 12 tombs in that photo to link them to Jacob's sons.
As one can see, these are poor responses to problems that I have raised.
QUESTIONS FOR ROHL (Yes, Dr. Rohl, please answer as directly and succinctly as possible)
1. Do you believe the Bible is historically correct when it says that people began to call upon the name Yahweh in Genesis 4:26?
2. Were you incorrect to state that “no bones” were found in the tomb you attribute to Joseph?
3. Why did you not disclose in the documentary that Bietak assigned a date of about 1700 BCE to the mass grave you said reflects the 10th Plague, and would be at about 1450 BCE in your chronology.
4. What specific edition of Ipuwer are you quoting on p. 151 of your book, Exodus, in the section relating to the death of the firstborn?
|Why single out 12 columns?|
5. Why did you attribute any symbolism to the 12 columns in the "façade" when the building has many more columns?
6. Why did you say that the name on the cuneiform tablet was “identical” with Jabin when the actual name is Ibni, and may not even be from the same Semitic word root?
7. Why doesn't your "mixed multitude" have BOTH Canaanite theophoric names AND Yahwistic names?