Dear Associates, Students and Friends:
This monthís article is titled, "The Importance of Egyptian History." Dr. Ernest L Martin taped this material while conducting a tour to Egypt in 1981. (The tape is not available for distribution.)
Chronology is the topic of this message and chronology is important to history. By understanding the chronology of a particular people, nation, kingdom or empire it is possible to understand the relationships they have with other peoples, kingdoms and nations. The system of cause and effect worked in ancient times (just as it does in todayís world) and distant events often had far-reaching effects.
As we will see from the article a famine in the world caused all the peoples of the world to look to Egypt for survival. Another example would be a draught in vast plains of Asia just north and west of China in the 1st century A.D. could cause the Hunish and Turkic peoples to move into the fertile lands of their neighbors, the Germanic tribes, and invade and plunder their land. The Germanic tribes would in turn migrate west, to escape the attacks by the Turkic peoples, and attack their neighbors to the west, pressuring those tribes on the border of the Roman Empire in the 1st century before Christ. Those peoples would in turn invade the Roman Empire and to a lesser extent the Parthian Empire. While the specifics of my example are not precise, such things happened often throughout history. The Turkic Huns in the late 4th and early 5th century C.E. expanded and attacked the Roman Empire directly after passing through those other tribes. 1
Just as the famine in Egypt in the days of Joseph had world-wide effects, so too, you will see that the Exodus had tremendous impact on peoples far from Egypt. Dr. Martinís lecture discusses Egyptís influence and impact upon Israel throughout history. Unfortunately the sequence of events in Egyptian history, its chronology, is somewhat garbled with some archaeological findings that contradict other findings. The great families of rulers, called dynasties, are often confusing and do not relate with other kingdoms or empires.
The dynastic lists of Egypt are the baseline for the chronologies and histories of other peoples and nations by historians today. This also causes some interesting difficulties such as a "dark age" in Greek history that has no artifacts, monuments and proposes that the Greeks lost the ability to read. Great arguments between professional archaeologists and historians have waged for generations. For Assyrian chronology no such problem exists. Why? It is because there are several mentions in Assyrian records to kings in Israel and Judah being mentioned that relate directly to the Assyrian kings mentioned in the biblical texts. No such cross-link exists with Egyptian history. The few links that are claimed to exist are tenuous at best, and are increasingly being questioned by scholars. This alone should indicate to archaeologists that something is wrong with their chronologies and their histories.
We all should care. Prophecies of the Bible that apply to us and our near future cannot be understood fully unless we understand the history, the context and the issues that God addressed to the audiences of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and the 12 Minor Prophets. Those issues will become important again in the future as the apostle Paul wrote,
"For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope."
A significant portion of the wisdom of man is in the current understanding of the history and chronology of ancient times. This is due to the denial of Godís existence and His presence in world affairs. That wisdom is faulty. Paulís statement refers to all truth and wisdom, although the object of Paulís message was specifically the wisdom that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians chapter 1,
"For it is written, ĎI will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent" [citing Isaiah 29:14]. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world [aeon in Greek meaning age]? For after that in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
1 Corinthians 1:19Ė25
Note what Paul says about events that occurred to the Israelites at the time of the Exodus,
"Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world [aeon in Greek meaning age] are come. Wherefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."
1 Corinthians 10:11Ė12
Israel rejected the manifestation of Godís power and glory and went into degradation. They knew that God existed and that God could save. The result was degradation, debauchery and idolatry.
Egypt was laid low; it was devastated. Recognition of that devastation is, supposedly, not to be found anywhere in the history of Egypt. The wisdom of the world is such that the existence of the Exodus is questioned and denied. However, the problem is not with the Bible or with its chronology of events, but the problem is with the world chronologies that the wisest minds have put forth. Things are changing.
Note what Isaiah 29:14 says before the words that Paul cited in 1 Corinthians 1 in a passage that Paulís audience knew and understood quite well,
"Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid."
The History Books of Israel
During the period of their kings, Israel and Judah kept excellent records, just as all nations did. During the times of King David it is recorded,
"Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer, With all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries."
1 Chronicles 29:29Ė30
Look closely at what this verse says. First that there were 3 writings or books written about the activities of King David. 2 ALL the acts of David are written in three books and notice the subjects that were covered,
Such court records were common. The court records exist about the exploits of the Assyrian kings and the exploits of the Egyptian kings are written on the walls of thousands of monuments. Davidís successor King Solomon had his actions recorded,
"And the rest of the acts [Hebrew, dabar] of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book [Hebrew, cepher] of the acts [Hebrew, dabar] of Solomon? And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years."
1 Kings 11:41
Notice that these writings deal with Solomonís deeds and his wisdom as a ruler for all 40 years of his reign. 3 The words"the rest of the acts" likely means that the acts recorded in the books of Kings also used that book as a source.
Likewise chronicles or words of the deeds of the"book of the chronicles" of the other Kings of Israel are cited in 1 Kings 14:19, 15:31 16:5, 14, 20, 27, 22:39; 2 Kings 1:18, 10:34, 13:8, 12, 14:15, 28, 15:11, 15, 21, 26, and 31, with many duplicated in 2 Chronicles 20:34, 33:18, and 36:8.
The"book of the chronicles" or words (dabar) of the various Kings of Judah are noted in 1 Kings 14:29, 15:7, 23, 22:45; 2 Kings 8:23, 12:19, 13:12, 14:15, 18, 28, 15:6, 15:36, 16:19, 20:20, 21:17, 21:25, 23:28, 24:5.
"So all Israel were reckoned by genealogies; and, behold, they were written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, who were carried away to Babylon for their transgression."
1 Chronicles 9:1
The genealogies of all of Israel, including Judah, presumably was written in a different book than the others,"the book of the Kings of Israel and Judah." This likely refers to a different book than the books of Samuel and Kings that we have passed down to us today. In addition, reference to this book is made to 2 Chronicles 16:11, 25:26, 27:7, 28:26, 32:32, 35:27 and 36:8. There may have been 3 separate books,
It would appear that the first two contained the court archives of the kings, while the third contained lengthy genealogies in addition to other information about the kings.
It is information like the 7 different books spoken about in Chronicles and Kings that we shall know and understand somehow and some day soon. There were other books written that have been lost. The book of Jasher is one (Joshua 10:13). It tells about the events during the time of Joshua. Solomon relates that in his day many books were in the world and that reading them all was hard work (Ecclesiastes 12:12). Daniel learned much from the several books (cephers) that he had access to, particularly the book of Jeremiah,
"In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books [cephers, plural] the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem."
If any one of those books would be found, it would revolutionize world history and have a greater impact than the Dead Sea Scrolls. Something like this will be part ó in fact a major part ó of the "restitution of all things" spoken about by Peter in Acts 3:21. Bear in mind that additional information on this subject can be found in Dr. Martinís book, Restoring the Original Bible.
The book by Dr. Martin, The Tithing Dilemma, will begin another cycle on the ASK website by the time you read this. If you have not read this book, begin reading it now. It is an eye-opener. It is also available in print under books. For those of you who are new to the ASK Website, you should look at and read the on-line book ABCs of the Gospel. It contains terrific and compact material about the nature of salvation, Godís role and your role in that salvation. An expanded version is the full book The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine, the last full book that Dr. Martin wrote. Many of you may also want to re-look at some of the chapters from The People That History Forgot. As always 101 Bible Secrets continues.
Scavenger Hunt Announcement
ASK needs your help in a scavenger hunt. Some time ago I loaned a friend an old tape from Dr. Martin about "Universal Reconciliation." Of course it was not returned. It was a terrific and dynamic tape presentation dating from either 1974, 1975 or 1976, when Dr. Martin was with the Foundation for Biblical Research. The phrase "Universal Reconciliation" was in the title. I would like you to search for it and let me know if you have that tape. DO NOT SEND ASK THE TAPE! Just notify us that you have that tape. Then, we will discuss with you about sending it, or a copy, to ASK.
It never ceases to amuse me that so many of you feel that you "have everything" that Dr. Martin ever taped or published. I said that myself at one time in the past. Many of the tapes have been placed in a box with dozens of others. However, you (and I) have loaned out materials to friends and they never quite make it back to you for one reason or another. But such are the vagaries of life. Thank you for your help in this.
We are grateful also for the financial assistance you have given us each month. We continue to exist on your good-will offerings that are graciously sent to us each month. We continue to expand our service to you in every way we can by putting out materials in several useful formats. Dr. Martinís prolific works produced so much useful material that it can seem overwhelming. We will continue to do so in appreciation for the grace of our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, and in appreciation for your making it possible to serve others besides just yourselves.
Godís grace is free, few other things are. If you choose to help us to get out the message and teaching of God, remember to give so that others also may have access to Dr. Martinís materials and learn the truth of God clearly and powerfully. The amount of material on the ASK website is staggering in its depth and scope of topics. To say that the website is "content-rich" is an understatement. Please try to appreciate the resource that you have at your disposal for serious study, a resource that you will not find anywhere else.
Thank you again, and may God bless you richly. Study to show yourselves approved that you may learn to grow and love others, as God loves each of us.
David W. Sielaff
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