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Open letter to science editors
KRONOS Vol. I, Issue 2
A NOTE ON THE TERM "HYKSOS"
LEWIS M. GREENBERG
On October 30, 1974, a scholarly symposium was held in Pittsburgh within
the framework of the Duquesne History Forum.(1) It was organized to evaluate
and debate the merit of Immanuel Velikovsky's reconstruction of ancient
history. One of the invited panelists was Dr. Gerald E. Kadish, an associate
professor of history at SUNY-Binghamton and editor of the Journal of the
American Research Center in Egypt. A student of the Egyptologists
Wilson and Seele, Kadish was expected to be Velikovsky's most formidable
opponent at what was the first serious public discussion devoted exclusively
to Ages in Chaos since its initial publication more than twenty-two
As it happened, the reality of the event turned out quite differently
from what was anticipated. Kadish, who had been one of the privileged few to
receive an unpublished manuscript copy of Velikovsky's The Peoples of
the Sea (the final sequel volume to the Ages in Chaos series),
was ill-prepared on several counts. He not only had failed to respond with
requested criticism on the unpublished material, but produced no formal
paper of challenging substance. In addition, he gave the distinct impression
that, for him at least, the entire affair was an inconsequential
In reporting on the Duquesne History Forum, the editor of Pensee
wrote that "if there was any specific commentary on Velikovsky's work buried
in Kadish's address, it could only have been the unspoken but apparent
contention that Velikovsky had not adequately covered the sources in his
chronological efforts." For Kadish, this was a crucial point. "Indeed, when
later provoked by Velikovsky, Kadish offered objections to three or four of
Velikovsky's claims (including his translation of Hyksos* as 'shepherd
kings' and his linguistical linking of 'Hatshepsut' and 'Sheba'(2)),
concluding: 'I tried to suggest a variety of ways one could go about
corroborating what Velikovsky has said. My contention and I had assumed
it would be implicit in what I said was that it had not been done'."(3)
[* The name given to the invaders of Egypt at the time of the collapse of
the Middle Kingdom.]
Kadish's assertions, as the following testimony will clearly demonstrate,
were not only blatant gibberish, but stand as embarrassing proof of his own
obvious unfamiliarity with Velikovsky's published historical work
and failure to practice the very methodology he preaches. Unfortunately,
Pensee's uncritical review failed to strip away the facade of Kadish's
empty criticism, thereby making the journal an unwitting accomplice to a
baseless charge Let us examine the facts. |
In Ages in Chaos ( p. 56), one will clearly see that
Velikovsky's so-called-translation of the term Hyksos is actually a quote
from the antiquarian Josephus (Against Apion, I, 82) who had based his
remarks upon_those of the Egyptian historian Manetho. Moreover, if one
additionally checks reference #7 on the very same page, Velikovsky openly
and freely admits that "at present the preferred etymology sees in the
name Hyk-sos the Egyptian equivalent for 'the rulers of foreign countries'."(4)
At this juncture, any impartial judge would either throw Kadish's case
out of court, declare a mistrial, or order the prosecutor into his closed
chambers for an explanation and/or reprimand.
For our purposes, however, it is necessary to continue an examination of
the linguistic evidence due to the far-reaching implications it has
regarding Velikovsky's historical restructuring.
Evil Angels or King-Shepherds?
The real significance of the meaning of the Egyptian term Hyksos, so far
as it pertains to Velikovsky's thesis, lies in its relationship to
external data, specifically a certain Biblical passage found in the
Psalms (78:49) (5) and also in the Haggadah. According to both sources, in
the enumeration of the plagues in Egypt, we find reference to the Lord
bringing down upon the Egyptians "His wrath, anger, indignation, and trouble
by sending evil angels among them" or "a legation of evil angels (mishlakhat
Velikovsky rightly questioned the validity of the phrase "evil angels"
since "there is no expression like 'evil angels' to be found elsewhere in
the Scriptures" and it "is not only unusual Hebrew, but it is also contrary
to the grammatical structure of the language."(6)
Furthermore, Velikovsky demonstrated that the deletion of one silent
letter, aleph, changes the reading to "invasion of king-shepherds"
(mishlakhat malkhei-roim) which is more sensibly and grammatically
correct;'7' and, in addition, the properly altered Hebrew becomes
potentially far more meaningful in an historical sense. The Jewish account
of the "plagues" which freed them from bondage in Egypt poses the distinct
possibility that it actually contains a credible reference to the
coincident invasion of that country by the Hyksos if indeed
"King-Shepherds" was construed to be an acceptable appellative for the
The present etymological preference for translating Hyksos as
"rulers of foreign countries (lands)" or "foreign kings"(8) should, in no
way, automatically preclude the definite prospect that the term Hyksos,
through homonymic affinity or unequivocal intent, was once legitimately
applied with the idea of "king-shepherds" or "shepherd-kings" in mind. Here
then is the crux of the issue.
An Etymological Problem
The term "Hyksos" is fraught with etymological difficulty. Egyptologists
have vacillated in their translation and interpretation of the word for
almost a century and have yet to even agree on a uniform transliteration as
the following tabulation will clearly reveal.
One of the more recent proponents opting for the translation "ruler of
foreign lands" is John Van Seters who supports his contention by referring
to three salient points: 1 ) The term is used in the Middle Kingdom
Story of Sinuhe and "refers to the rulers of Syria-Palestine;"(9) 2)
The term "clearly refers only to the rulers" during the Hyksos period "and
it is not an ethnic designation for the foreigners;"(10) 3) ". . . during
the Hyksos domination of the whole of Egypt only the principal rulers, Khyan
and Apophis for example, bore the titles hk khswt [Hyksos] ."(11)
First of all, the rendering "rulers of foreign lands" appears strained
and awkward in the Story of Sinuhe, a fact which even Wilson
instinctively seemed to sense when he was involved with the translation of
this literary piece.(12) Moreover, Van Seters exercised some assumptive
liberties in his treatment of the term Hyksos. Since Sinuhe took refuge in
the SyroPalestinian area, it is quite plausible that he actually alluded to
an Egyptian incursion into that region.(12a) Second, Van Seters apparently
contradicts himself when discussing the term Hyksos and ethnic
designations.(13) Third, and perhaps most important, why would potentates
such as Khyan and Apophis, fully in control of Egypt years after the
Hyksos conquest, employ a regal epithet designating themselves as a
"ruler of foreign lands," a title which could only serve to cast them in the
role of political interlopers and usurpers? This last question is especially
incisive in light of Van Seters' own suggestion that the Hyksos takeover of
Egypt reflected nothing more than an internal coup d'etat resulting
from the cooperation of disaffected Egyptian nobility "with a fifth-column
Amurrite group already established in the Delta."(14)
Besides, what autocrat in history, regardless of how power was
seized, has ever encouraged or allowed himself to be openly and officially
proclaimed "foreigner" in the eyes of his subject peoples?!
The above question not withstanding, Wilson also subscribed to the theory
that "the Egyptian words hikau khasut, 'rulers of foreign
countries,' are the etymological source of the term Hyksos "(15)
According to Steindorff and Seele, the invaders "designated by Manetho as
Hyksos,' which he interprets to mean 'king-shepherds' in the Egyptian
language . . . was in fact not entirely correct. The Egyptian language does
indeed possess a word hyk with the meaning 'prince' or 'ruler,'
while another word, shos, means 'shepherd' in the later stages of
thc language. Manetho's explanation is merely a late popular etymology, and
the word 'Hyksos' really goes back to the Egyptian heku shoswet,
later pronounced something like hyku shose, and means 'rulers of
foreign lands.' It is thus an Egyptian title boastfully assumed by
the Hyksos chiefs themselves and later perhaps transferred by the Egyptians
to the entire race of invaders."(16)
Less than a page later, however, in the work from which the preceding
remarks were quoted, Steindorff and Seele unknowingly discredit their own
interpretation of the term "Hyksos." ". . . the excavation of tombs of the
Hyksos period has revealed no significant changes in burial customs and no
cultural break with the past. If the invaders established a cult of Seth at
Avaris, they worshipped the native gods of Egypt as well. The rulers
represented themselves to be the official successors of the pharaohs.
They adopted the traditional royal protocol, assumed royal names compounded
with the name of Re, and designated themselves, like the native rulers whom
they had displaced, as 'Son of Re,' or as 'Horus'."(17)
Since there have been significant phonological changes of late in the
treatment of Egyptian words,* one is here tempted to question the
correctness of the transliterative pronunciation of the various renderings
of the term Hyksos. The present pronunciation of the Egyptian may very well
be misleading thereby engendering an erroneous translation.
[* See the article "A Note on the 'Land of Punt' " elsewhere in this
Gardiner, for example, as did Waddell before him, drew attention to the
interesting fact that Josephus originally gave two different derivations for
the term Hyksos. In addition to "king-shepherds," Hyksos was also translated
as "captive-shepherds" because a word for captive in Egyptian was likewise
hyk. "This etymology he [Josephus] prefers because he believed, as
do many Egyptologists, that the Biblical story of the Israelite sojourn in
Egypt and the subsequent Exodus had as its source the Hyksos occupation and
later expulsion. In point of fact, although there are sound linguistic
grounds for both etymologies, neither is the true one. The word Hyksos
undoubtedly derives from the expression hik-khase 'chieftain of a
foreign hill-country' which from the Middle Kingdom onwards was used to
designate Bedouin sheikhs."(18)
The noted British Egyptologist, Cyril Aldred, when discussing Manetho's
account of the Hyksos appearance in Egypt, wrote the following: "Manetho by
a false etymology translated the word Hyksos as 'Shepherd Kings,'
whereas 'Rulers of Uplands' would have been more accurate.... These Rulers
of Uplands were no more than wandering Semites trading their products with
Egypt, or going down there for sanctuary, or to buy corn, or water their
flocks according to an age-old tradition."(19)
H. E. Winlock, in his book The Rise and Fall of the Middle Kingdom in
Thebes, disparaged Manetho's etymological treatment of the term Hyksos.
But, though he preferred a different "modern" etymological rendering,
Winlock, nonetheless, concluded his remarks on an ambiguous note. "Manetho,
very much intrigued by their [the Hyksos] name, drew up a rather far-fetched
derivation for it which made it mean 'Shepherd Kings.' A modern
etymology would seem to be closer to the real origin of the name in
making it mean 'Rulers of the Uplands,' or 'of Countries.' Whatever it
means, though, it is probable that these hordes from Asia were of a
race largely Semitic in origin and, according to the natives of Egypt,
barbarous and uncivilized in their manners and customs and in their
strange sounding names."(20)
In a discussion of the Fifteenth Dynasty and its rulers, Albright
remarked that "in later times the Egyptians applied the term Hyksos,
literally 'princes of the shepherds,' to them, but this designation is
probably a mistake for a phrase with nearly identical pronunciation,
meaning 'foreign chiefs, chiefs of a foreign country,' applied to
Palestinian and Syrian chiefs and princes in the literature of the Middle
In translating Manetho for the Loeb Classical Library series, W. G.
Waddell made the following comment about the term Hyksos. ". . . and sos
in common speech is 'shepherd' or 'shepherds': . . . This is correct: for
the Egyptian word ssw, 'Bedouins,' . . . in Coptic becomes shôs, 'a
herdsman'."(22) The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and
Ecclesiastical Literature echoes Waddell. The term Hyksos was
"correctly explained by Josephus as being compounded of the Egyptian hyk,
'king,' and sos, 'shepherd' or 'Arab,' i.e. nomad."(23)'
Writing in the Cambridge Ancient History in 1923, H. R. Hall
stated that "the Hyksos were doubtless chiefly Semites of the northern or
Syrian type, led by a royal sheikh. The name Hyksos is the Egyptian
Hikukhasut (pronounced in later times something like hik-shos),
'princes of the deserts,' the usual appellation for bedouin chiefs....
Indeed, Khayan, or Khian, the greatest of the Hyksos kings, actually has the
title hikkhasut. Manetho translates the phrase as 'prince of the shepherds,'
by confusion with another word, shasu ('bedouins'), who might
well be described as shepherds, since the chief occupation of those
Arabs who lived on the borders of Egypt was the breeding and herding of
immense flocks of sheep."(24)
At one time, some early scholars of Egyptology even defended "Shepherd
Kings" as the correct rendering of the term Hyksos. "At the present moment,
we emphatically affirm the complete agreement of the name of the Hyksos in
the Manethonian tradition with the supposed Egyptian compound word
Hak-Shaus, that is, 'king of the Arabs' or 'king of the
shepherds'."(25) Thus the sentiments of Brugsch-Bey who also considered the
term Hak-Shasu (Shaus) as a likely contemptuous nickname for the foreign
invaders "who for centuries had regarded themselves as the legitimate kings
Furthermore, Brugsch-Bey supported Manetho's etymological handling of the
term Hyksos. ". . . the word Sos corresponds exactly to the old Egyptian
Shasu, in which the sound sh, which did not exist in Greek,
is, according to custom replaced by a simple s. Although Manetho,
in his age renders it by the current meaning of 'shepherd,' he was only led
to do so by a strange confusion, since, in order to explain the second part
(sos) of the ancient name Hyksos, he resorts to the
modern popular dialect of his own time, in which, by an accidental
coincidence, sos (or shos, as the word is still pronounced
in the Coptic tongue) had the sense of 'shepherds'." (27)
Finally, Brugsch-Bey felt that since "the Arab Bedouins, who inhabited
the desert to the east of Egypt, . . . were called in Egyptian Shasu (also
Shasa, Shaus, Shauas), . . . those who held the Arab origin of
Hyksos must have drawn their information from a genuine Egyptian source."
The general observations of Brugsch-Bey were supported by Baikie. "As to
the name of the invaders, the first syllable is obviously the Egyptian
Heq, 'ruler,' the second may conceivably be Shasu, which was
the generic Egyptian title for the pastoral races of the Eastern deserts.
Khyan names himself Heq Setu, 'chief of the deserts,' and perhaps
the derivation may lie here. But, on the whole, Manetho's derivation seems
to be not far astray . . . there is no reason to doubt the tradition that
they were of Arabian, or at least of Semitic, origin."(29)
It would appear, from our etymological survey, that there has been a good
deal of perplexity and difference of opinion among scholars, all of which is
not necessarily Manetho's fault (or Josephus' for that matter), when it
comes to a "proper" or "exact" definition of the term Hyksos. Manetho's
etymological conception of Hyksos is seen as containing an element of
correctness (Waddell, Kitto), justified (Brugsch-Bey, Baikie), incorrect but
somewhat justified (Hall), incorrect but substitute uncertain (Winlock),
probably incorrect (Albright), qualified incorrect (Gardiner, Van Seters,
Steindorff, Seele), incorrect (Aldred, Wilson).
At this point in our discussion, it might prove expedient to consider how
or why the idea of shepherd came to be linked with a royal title in the
first place. The several references to Arabs are not without significance
The Good Shepherd
The renowned Egyptologist John Wilson has treated the subject of the king
(pharaoh) as the good shepherd quite extensively in his book The Culture
of Ancient Egypt.(30) The collapse of the Old Kingdom in Egypt followed
by a supposed interregnum period evidently brought with it a new concept of
kingship. Pharaoh was no longer viewed as a divine autocrat. The "Old
Kingdom conception of a sublime being, all-wise and all powerful, far beyond
the reach of ordinary man" gave way to "the idea of the king as watchful
shepherd or as the lonely being whose conscience looked after the
nation."(31) "The First Intermediate Period had insisted upon social justice
for all men and had demanded of the ruler the quality of ma'at. The rulers
responded by taking formal throne names which expressed their desire and
obligation to render ma'at to men and gods. This was another formulation of
the concept of the good shepherd."(32)
"In the reaction against the absolute centralization of the early Old
Kingdom, there had come an emphasis upon the rights of the individual
citizen. For a time rule ceased to be sheer right and became social
responsibility, with pharaoh the good shepherd, who tended his flocks
patiently and conscientiously."(33)
Likewise, portrait art mirrored Egyptian societal attitudes and the royal
portraiture of Middle Kingdom Egypt depicted Pharaoh "as the world-weary
'Good Shepherd' of his people."(34) The preceding observation by Aldred
supports a similar one made earlier by Wilson. "The dogma of sublimated
divinity of the pharaoh was a characteristic of the Fourth Dynasty and
therefore appeared in the representations of the kings of that age; under
the Middle Kingdom, the idea of the king as a watchful shepherd or as the
lonely being whose conscience looked after the nation was a characteristic,
and this responsibility lined the faces of the pharaohs of that age."(35)
The Admonitions of the sage Ipuwer, incorrectly placed by Wilson at the
beginning(36) of the Middle Kingdom instead of at its end,(37) also indicate
that Pharaoh was expected to be "the herdsman of his people, keeping them
alive and well." "Men shall say: 'He is the herdsman of all men. Evil is not
in his heart. Though his herds may be small, still he has spent the day
caring for them'."(38)
In the New Kingdom, even the god Amen is addressed as "valiant herdsman"
which Wilson interprets to mean the good shepherd.(39)
"Shepherd-King" would thus have been a most suitable title for Middle and
post-Middle Kingdom rulers.
The concept of the good shepherd is contained in numerous Scriptural
accounts as well. The very characteristics of sheep "affectionate,
unaggressive, relatively defenseless, and in constant need of care and
supervision" gave rise to a "figurative-theological language" which
movingly told of the relationship and responsibilities of the Divine Good
Shepherd to His flock.(40)
In the Old Testament, for example, we read "The Lord is my shepherd, I
shall not want" (Ps. 23:1); "And I will gather the remnant of my flock out
of all countries to which I have driven them, and will bring them again to
their folds . . . And I will set up shepherds over them who shall feed them;
and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking,
saith the Lord" (Jeremiah 23:3-4); "For thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I,
even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh
out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered, so I
will seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they
have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day . . . and feed them upon the
mountains of Israel by the rivers . . . I will feed them with justice"
In the New Testament, we read ". . . our Lord Jesus, that great
Shepherd of the sheep" (Hebrews 13:20); ". . . I am the door of the sheep .
. . by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved . . . and find pasture"
(John 10:7,9); "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life
for his flock . . . and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd" (John 10:
11 -16) .
The Biblical descriptions of Yahweh and Jesus find their counterpart in
ancient Egyptian titles for Osiris who is called Heq "ruler of rulers"
and Sa "Shepherd."(41) Here then is only one more link, among many,
between Egyptian paganism and Judeo-Christian thought the epithet
shepherd and king of kings applied to Godhead.
Of further significance is the fact that the Egyptian word Heq is
hieroglyphically represented by a shepherd's crook(42) and the
combined Osirian title Heq-Sa ("Shepherd-Ruler of Rulers" or "the
Ruler-Shepherd") sounds remarkably like Hyk-sos. Interestingly, the
name of the Egyptian city of Shad, which had a special cult of Osiris,
appears linguistically close to the words Shaus, Shauas (Shasu) all of
which refer to the nomadic Semites east of Egypt and could be original root
words for the term Hyksos.(43)
Cyrus the Great, founder and first king of kings of the Achaemenid
Persian Empire, was also called shepherd. "[The Lord] saith of Cyrus, He is
my shepherd and shall perform all my pleasure" (Isaiah 44:28).
The idea of King-Shepherd was not confined to the Near East alone. In the
Iliad (II. 243 and II. 254), Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae and
leader of the Greeks during the Trojan War, is explicitly called "shepherd
of the hosts"; and though this is unquestionably the correct
translation of the original Greek,(44) a "modern revisionist" of 1974 has
taken the liberty of translating the original Greek as "Marshal"' and "Lord
Marshal."(45) One is tempted here to question the correctness of
"Egyptological revisionists" when it comes to their translation of the word
In the so-called inter-testamental period of history (ca. 200 B.C.-100
A.D.), we find the development of a belief in the notion that the various
nations of the earth are presided over by guardian angels. Further, the
actions of these heavenly lords will ultimately determine not only their
fate but that of the earthly kingdoms for which they are responsible.
"Indeed the judgments upon earth are involved in the judgments in heaven.
Before a nation can be judged and punished, its angel ruler must
first be dealt with. The key to terrestrial history is to be found in
"Wars and the like which take place among the nations upon earth have
their parallel in wars fought out between the several guardian angels and
their retinues . . . the two orders are related to each other in such a way
that the events in heaven are believed actually to determine the events on
Various apocalyptic passages, treating the subject of guardian angels,
may very well reflect an archetypal remembrance of the time when celestial
disorder wreaked havoc upon the earth and was accompanied by mundane turmoil
of a martial character. In the confusion of the mind, the terrestrial actors
would then be merged with the apparent behavior of the cosmos and deemed to
be its counterpart. Rix has strongly argued this last point with particular
regard for the case of the Hyksos.(48)
With respect to the latter, it is especially noteworthy that one scholar
has proven the interchangeability of the concept of angels and shepherds.
(49) In the Dream Visions of I Enoch 89.55ff., "we are told that God gives
his people, here symbolized by sheep, into the hands of seventy 'shepherds'
who are to exercise discipline over them. God numbers his sheep and tells
the shepherds how many may be destroyed and how many are to be spared."(50)
Angels, then, were not only conceived as guardians but shepherds as well.
Moreover, these angels appear to be part of a ruling hierarchy. "For many
generations God himself had been the Shepherd of Israel. But Israel had
sinned against God and forfeited his care and protection" thereby leaving it
"to the care of 'under-shepherds' in the form of guardian angels of the
The Archangel Michael is even described as "one of the chief princes"(52}
of angelology whose origin Velikovsky traced back to planetary affiliations.
The Archangel Michael was identified with Venus while the Archangel Gabriel
was identified with Mars.(53) Allegro has also introduced material linking
sheep and the color red to astral references,(54) with Rix underscoring the
relationship of the latter two.(55)
The translation of Hyksos as "King-Shepherds" now assumes an even more
credible interpretation in light of the conceptual blending of shepherds,
angels, and rulership that occurred in the last centuries before the present
era. The earlier reference in this article to "evil angels" showed that
expression to be semantically incorrect in the original Hebrew. However, it
may truly have been conceptually valid which would only serve to
support the semantic argument without detracting from it. (56)
"The idea of guardian angels appointed over the nations may well have
sprung from the account in Deut. 32.8f. and . . ., in particular, the
seventy shepherds of I Enoch 89 and 90 and the seventy guardian angels of
the Gentile nations [may] have a common lineage. If this
Deuteronomic passage is the seed-bed of this idea, the conditions of the
Greek period were especially favourable for its growth to full flower. for
during this same period the belief was prevalent among the Greeks and others
that God ruled the world by means of intermediary agencies who are sometimes
described as the 'shepherds' of the nations."(57)
In Ages in Chaos, Velikovsky identified the Hyksos or Amu (Aamu)
with the Amalekites of the Bible(58) and also discussed Arabian traditions
about the Amalekite Pharaohs.(59) Gardiner flatly rejected the view "that
the Hyksos were a particular race of invaders who after conquering Syria and
Palestine ultimately forced their way into Egypt."(60) Furthermore, he
considered it "doubtless impossible to suppress the erroneous usage of the
word Hyksos as though it referred to a special race, but it should be borne
in mind that the Egyptians themselves usually employed for those unwelcome
intruders the term 'Aamu [Amu], which we translate with rough accuracy
as 'Asiatics' and which had much earlier served to designate Palestinian
captives or hirelings residing in Egypt as servants."(61)
Van Seters, on the other hand, found "the exact designation of the term
[Aamu] . . . difficult to establish. It is not the generic adjective derived
from the name of a territory, and therefore the rendering 'Asiatics' is
misleading.... Nor is [Aamu] simply an occupational term; it is restricted
to the population of the Levant and refers to both sedentary and nomadic
peoples.... The conclusion can hardly be avoided that [Aamu] designates the
Amurrite population of Syria-Palestine in the Middle Bronze Age."(62)
Long before Van Seters' conclusion, Velikovsky had already realized that
the term Aamu was an ethnic designation. His identification of the Aamu
differs markedly from that of Van Seters, however. It was at the end of his
summary discussion of Hyksos and Amalekite parallels that Velikovsky wrote:
"the conclusion is inescapable that the Amu of the Egyptian sources and the
Amalekites of the Hebrew and Arab sources were not two different peoples,
but one and the same nation. Even the name is the same: Amu, also Omaya, a
frequent name among the Amalekites, was a synonym for
It is to be noted that the first dynasty of the Islamic Arabs
was named Omayyad; and in the new edition of the Encyclopedia of Islam,
we read that some of ". . . the Pharaohs are alleged to be of their
[Amalek's] race . . . They are listed among the first tribes speaking the
Arabic tongue." (64)
Finally, let us turn to Budge's An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary.
There we find (p. 111a) that the word Aamu is translated as "an Asiatic, a
nomad of the Eastern Desert." But the very next word, also Aamu, spelled
exactly alike in the singular and practically alike in the plural, means "shepherd,
nomad, herdsman" or "Fellahin,"(65) the latter a present day term for "a
peasant or agricultural laborer in Egypt, Syria, and other Arab
Since the word Aamu also meant shepherd, it is tantalizing to speculate
on the linguistic outcome of its combination with the Semitic word for king
Melech. The compound name Aamu-Melech would undoubtedly undergo
contraction for the sake of an easier pronunciation.(67) The etymological
combinative product would then be the name Amalek meaning "Shepherd-King" or
A final item of interest and potential relevance to the present topic is
the siege and capture of Hyksos strongholds. The major seat of Hyksos power
was Avaris* though another citadel was the city of Sharuhen. The capture of
the latter is described in the Ahmose inscription cited by Velikovsky in
Ages in Chaos.(68)
[* See the article "A Note on the Location of Avaris" elsewhere in this
The Hyksos apparently retreated to Sharuhen after the fall of their
capital Avaris. On the basis of certain scarabs and fortification typology,
Sharuhen has been tentatively identified with Tell el-Fara.(69)
According to the revised chronology, King Saul played a decisive role in
the Hyksos demise which Velikovsky evidentially supported through a
juxtaposition of Egyptian and Scriptural source material.(70) The case might
be strengthened still further, however, on nominal and geographical grounds.
In I Samuel 15:7-8, we read: "And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah
until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. And he took Agag the
king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the
edge of his sword." This and other Biblical references (Genesis 16:7; 20:1;
25:18) "give us only the general direction of Shur i.e., its location was
somewhere in the proximate vicinity of Egypt and E[ast] of it . . . [though]
some believe that in biblical times 'Shur' was a reference to a line of
disconnected frontier fortresses which the Egyptians had erected to keep out
the invaders from the E[ast]."(71) One author even entertained the notion
that Shur "is probably a geographical hyperbole" though conceding the
possibility that "the expanse of territory indicated [Havilah to Shur] may
actually have been traversed by the Amalekites in their various
wanderings."(72) If Sharuhen is, in fact, correctly identified as Tell
el-Fara, then its proximity to el-Arish, which Velikovsky recognizes as
Avaris, not only strengthens the identification of the latter for
geo-political reasons but offers the intriguing possibility that Shur, now
only a geographical vaguery in scholarly thought, may actually be, in
shortened form, one and the same as Sharuhen.
1. See Pensee, X (Winter 1974-75h p. 44.
2. A forthcoming article by Dr. Eva Danelius, "The Identification of the
Biblical 'Queen of Sheba' with Hatshepsut 'Queen of Egypt and Ethiopia'" in
KRONOS, I, 3 (Fall-1975\ qualifies and supports this identification.
3. Pensee, loc. cit. (emphasis added).
4. I. Velikovsky, Ages in Chaos (Doubleday: Garden City, 1952), p.
56 and n. 7 (emphasis
5. Possibly composed in the 10th-century B. C. see article "Asaph" in The
Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, I (N. Y., 1962), pp. 244-245; article
"Psalms, Book of" in Ibid., III, pp. 942-943.
6. A in C, pp. 69-70.
8. See J. Van Seters, The Hyksos (New Haven, 1966), pp. 122 and 187, n. 37.
9. Ibid., p. 188 and n. 39; note also the interpretation for Retjenu on the
10. Ibid., p. 187; but see pp. 108 and 189, n. 50 where Van Seters appears
to contradict himself
11. Ibid. p. 159- but see pp. 123-124. Van Seters rationalizes the term
"Shepherds" employed by
classical authors and yet the word is clearly juxtaposed with the expression
"foreign kings" implicitly indicating some differentiation.
12. See J. Wilson, The Culture of Ancient Egypt (Chicago, 1959), p. 135 and
J. Wilson in The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures, ed.
by J. B. Pritchard (Princeton, 1971), p. 8.
12a. Cf. Van Seters, p. 18.
13. See footnote #10.
14. Van Seters, pp. 190-195 (emphasis added).
15. Wilson, Culture . . ., op. cit., p. 135. Budge questioned the
translation of Khasut in his monumental opus on the Egyptian language see
E. A. W. Budge, An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary (London, 1920), p. 533b.
16. G. Steindorff and K. C. Seele, When Egypt Ruled the East (Phoenix Books:
Chicago, 1963), p. 24 (emphasis added).
17. Ibid., p. 25 (emphasis added).
18. A. H. Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs (Oxford, 1972), p. 156; also see
W. G. Waddell, Manetho (Loeb Classical Library Series: Cambridge, Mass.,
1940), p. 85, n. 5 where this is viewed as a purely Jewish explanation.
19. C. Aldred, The Egyptians (N. Y., 1961), p. 123.
20. H. E. Winlock (N. Y., 1947), p. 97 and n. 23 for Griffith, Breasted, and
Meyer (emphasis added) .
21. W. F. Albright, From the Stone Age to Christianity (Doubleday Anchor
Books: Garden City,
1957), pp. 202-203 (emphasis added).
22 Waddell p. 85 and n. 2.
23 The article "Hyksos" by Kitto in the CBTEL, ed. by the Rev. John
M'clintock and James Strong, III-IV (N. Y., 1969), p. 429 (emphasis added).
24. H. R. Hall in the CAH, I (N. Y., 1928 ed.), p. 311 (emphasis added); Cp.
Van Seters, op. cit.,
25. H. Brugsch-Bey, A History of Egypt under the Pharaohs (translation by
Philip Smith, 2nd ed. London, 1881), I, p. 265 (emphasis added); also see E.
A. W. Budge, Boo}s on Chaldea and Egypt, XI, p. 138 as cited by D. Courville.
The Exodus Problem and Its Ramifications, I (Crest Challenge Books: Loma
Linda, Calif., 1971), p. 226.
26. Brugsch-Bey, Ibid., p. 266 (emphasis added).
27. Ibid., pp. 263-264 (emphasis in text).
28. Ibid., p. 263 (emphasis added).
29, J. Baikie, "Hyksos," Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, VI (N. Y.,
1914), p. 890
30. Wilson, pp. 115, 120, and 125ff,
31. Ibid., p. 132.
32. Ibid., p. 133.
33. Ibid., p. 314,
34. Aldred, op. cit., p. 122.
35. Wilson, p. 132.
36. Ibid., p. 115.
37. See W. F. Albright, "From the Patriarchs to Moses," The Biblical
Archaeologist, Vol. 36, no. I (Feb. 1973), p. 30.
38. Wilson, p. 120.
39, Ibid., pp. 211 and 229.
40. See B. D. Napier, "Sheep," The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, IV
(N. Y., 1962), p. 316.
41 Budge, Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, op. cit., pp. 513a and 587a.
42 Ibid., pp. 513a and 512b; also see E. A, W. Budge, Egyptian Language
(Dover Pub: N. Y., 1971), pp. 46, 49, 50, 138; E. A. W. Budge, The Book of
the Kings, I (London, 1908), pp. 145-146.
43. Budge, Hieroglyphic Dictionary, Ibid., pp. 724b, 728a, 1038; Brugsch-Bey,
op. cit., p. 263.
44. See Liddell & Scott, Greek-English Lexicon (N. Y., 1958), bottom of p.
45. See R. Fitzgerald, The Iliad (Doubleday: Garden City, 1974), p. 43.
46. D. S. Russell, The Method & Message of Jewish Apocalyptic (Phila.,
1964), p. 245 (emphasis
47. Ibid. (emphasis added). Also see the article "From Microcosm to
Macrocosm" elsewhere in this issue.
48. See Z. Rix, "The Great Terror," KRONOS, I, I (Spring-1975), pp. 55-57:
also Z. Rix "King-Shepherds or Moloch-Shepherds?", most likely forthcoming
in KRONOS, I, 3 (Fall-1975)
49. R. H. Charles, The Book of Enoch (1912), p. 200 as cited in Russell, op.
cit., p. 247.
50. Russell, pp. 246-247.
51. Ibid., p, 247.
52. Ibid., p. 246.
53. I. Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision (Doubleday: Garden City,
1950), pp. 291-294.
54. J. M. Allegro, The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross (Bantam Books: N. Y.,
1971), pp. 121, n. 17 and p. 276.
55. Rix, "The Great Terror," op. cit., p. 61.
56. Russell, pp. 249-251 and 260.
57. Ibid., p. 249 (emphasis added).
58. A in C, pp. 89-94.
59. Ibid., pp. 63-66.
60. Gardiner, op. cit., p. 156.
61. Ibid., p. 157 (emphasis added).
62. Van Seters, op. cit., pp. 188-189 and 194-195. At the Duquesne History
Forum, Kadish belittled Velikovsky's historical and generic usage of the
name Amu. However, Van Seters' commentary, coupled with the remaining
textual remarks contained in this present article, should only serve to
further discredit Kadish's "paper tiger" critique.
63. A in C, pp. 93-94 (emphasis added).
64. G. Vadja, "Amalik," Encyclopedia of Islam, I, new ed. (E. J. Brill:
Leiden, 1960), p. 429 (emphasis added).
65. Budge, p. 111a (emphasis added); also see p. 647a where the words for
star, shooting star and
the planet Venus as a morning star are given, p. 25b where the word for "roarer"
and the name of Set or Typhon is given: p. 529a for the word su which means
protector and shepherd: pp. 586b, 653a, and 754b.
66. Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield, 1970), p. 307
67. See for example "Shuppim" in The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible,
IV (N. Y., 1962), p. 342.
66. A in C, pp. 77-78.
69. See the article "Israel" in the Encyclopedia of World Art, VIII IN. Y.,
1963), p. 373 also see "Sharuhen" in The Interpreter's Dictionary of the
Bible, IV, P. 309.
70. A in C, pp. 79-80.
71. See "Shur, Wilderness of" in Interpreter's Dictionary, Ibid., p. 342.
72. G. M. Landes, "Amalek," Ibid., I, p. 102.
The author wishes to thank Mr. Israel M. Isaacson for drawing his
attention to the many invaluable hieroglyphic references concerning the
terms "ruler" and "shepherd" as well as for Mr. Isaacson's assistance with
the Iliad data. Thanks are also due Professor Warner B. Sizemore for
supplying the Biblical reference to Cyrus along with the referential
material pertaining to Angel-Shepherds.