Abrahamic Legends and Lore

Book of Abraham Insight #12

As a central figure in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, there are many extra-biblical traditions about the life of the patriarch Abraham. These sources are important to study because they may contain distant memories of real events in Abraham’s life. It is also interesting to compare the Book of Abraham with these sources because the Book of Abraham might help us understand these extra-biblical sources better and vice versa.

Much of the Book of Abraham’s content that does not appear in the Genesis account parallels the extra-biblical material from these religious traditions.1 Just some of the unique elements in the Book of Abraham that are found in ancient and medieval Jewish, Christian, and Islamic sources include:

      • Idolatry in Abraham’s day
      • A famine in the land of the Chaldeans
      • An attempt to sacrifice Abraham
      • Abraham receiving a vision of God and the cosmos
      • Abraham being knowledgeable about astronomy and teaching such to the Egyptians2

For example, an early Christian author named Eusebius preserved an account of Abraham teaching the Egyptians astronomy: “Abraham lived in Heliopolis with the Egyptian priests and taught them much: He explained astrology and the other sciences to them, saying that the Babylonians and he himself had obtained this knowledge.”3  The ancient Jewish historian Josephus likewise recorded that Abraham taught the Egyptians astronomy: “He communicated to them arithmetic, and delivered to them the science of astronomy; for, before Abram came into Egypt, they were unacquainted with those parts of learning.”4

Detail of a sixteenth-century Ottoman Turkish manuscript depicting Abraham being cast into a burning furnace by the wicked king Nimrod in Tvedtnes, Hauglid, and Gee (2001), 532.

Another recurring theme in these ancient extra-biblical accounts about Abraham is his having a vision of the cosmos and being brought into the presence of God.5 Medieval Jewish sources also speak of Abraham having in his possession a “glowing precious stone” with which he read the stars and performed miracles:

Abraham wore a glowing stone around his neck. Some say that it was a pearl, others that it was a jewel. The light emitted by that jewel was like the light of the sun, illuminating the entire world. Abraham used that stone as an astrolabe to study the motion of the stars, and with its help he became a master astrologer. For his power of reading the stars, Abraham was much sought after by the potentates of East and West. So too did that glowing precious stone bring immediate healing to any sick person who looked into it. At the moment when Abraham took leave of this world, the precious stone raised itself and flew up to heaven. God took it and hung it on the wheel of the sun.6

With a few exceptions, the extra-biblical sources discussing Abraham that parallel the account in the Book of Abraham were unavailable to Joseph Smith. Even with those sources that could have been available to the him, such as the writings of Josephus, it is not clear how much exposure or access Joseph Smith had to them or how much they influenced his thinking.7  “Josephus was known to Oliver Cowdery and theoretically known to Joseph Smith, but it is not clear that Joseph Smith actually read much, if anything, out of Josephus before he translated the Book of Abraham. While some elements of the Book of Abraham agree with Josephus, there are important disagreements as well.”8

It is also important to keep in mind that these later sources do not necessarily always reflect an accurate history of Abraham’s life. “Not all [ancient] authors treated their sources [about Abraham] the same way. Some authors retold the tales they read in their own words, adding more vivid and imaginative details. Other authors repeated their sources word for word. Some authors expanded their stories, while others abbreviated them, and still others left them unchanged. This makes it difficult to come up with a general theory [for their reliability] that covers all cases.”9

What is important for the Book of Abraham is not that these sources somehow “prove” the book is true, which they don’t. Rather, they demonstrate that important themes and narrative details in the Book of Abraham fit comfortably in the ancient world and do not always fit comfortably in Joseph Smith’s nineteenth century environment.10  “The nonbiblical traditions about Abraham underscore the pervasive influence this great patriarch had on ancient and modern peoples. Because the Book of Abraham parallels so many nonbiblical stories, it is clearly part of the same tradition.”11

While they perhaps do not rise to the level of “proof,” these parallels are still evidence for the Book of Abraham because “it is difficult to argue that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Abraham using [these] Abrahamic stories because most of them were not available to him, and those that were often contained details that do not match the Book of Abraham. On the other hand, the ancient existence of a Book of Abraham can explain why these stories existed.”12

Further Reading

Hugh Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Abraham (Salt Lake City and Provo, UT: Deseret Book and FARMS, 2009), 375–468.

Hauglid, Brian M. “The Book of Abraham and Muslim Tradition,” in Astronomy, Papyrus, and Covenant, ed. John Gee and Brian M. Hauglid (Provo, UT: FARMS, 2005), 131–146.

John A. Tvedtnes, Brian M. Hauglid, and John Gee, eds., Traditions About the Early Life of Abraham (Provo, UT: FARMS, 2001).

Bradley J. Cook, “The Book of Abraham and the Islamic Qisas al-Anbiya (Tales of the Prophets) Extant Literature,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 33, no. 4 (Winter 2000): 127–146.

John A. Tvedtnes, “Abrahamic Lore in Support of the Book of Abraham,” FARMS Report (1999).

Footnotes

 

1 Hugh Nibley provided pioneering work on this subject. See Hugh Nibley, Abraham in Egypt, 2nd ed. (Salt Lake City and Provo, UT: Deseret Book and FARMS, 2000), 11–42; An Approach to the Book of Abraham (Salt Lake City and Provo, UT: Deseret Book and FARMS, 2009), 375–468. More recently, John A. Tvedtnes, Brian M. Hauglid, and John Gee have collected and synthesized a large (though not exhaustive) amount of these sources. See John A. Tvedtnes, Brian M. Hauglid, and John Gee eds., Traditions About the Early Life of Abraham (Provo, UT: FARMS, 2001). See additionally Bradley J. Cook, “The Book of Abraham and the Islamic Qisas al-Anbiya (Tales of the Prophets) Extant Literature,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 33, no. 4 (Winter 2000): 127–146; Brian M. Hauglid, “On the Early Life of Abraham: Biblical and Qur’anic Intertextuality and the Anticipation of Muhammad,” in Bible and Qur’an: Essays in Scriptural Intertextuality, ed. John C. Reeves (Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003), 87–105; “The Book of Abraham and Muslim Tradition,” in Astronomy, Papyrus, and Covenant, ed. John Gee and Brian M. Hauglid (Provo, UT: FARMS, 2005), 131–146.

2 Tvedtnes, Hauglid, and Gee, Traditions About the Early Life of Abraham, 537–547.

3 Tvedtnes, Hauglid, and Gee, Traditions About the Early Life of Abraham, 8–9.

4 Tvedtnes, Hauglid, and Gee, Traditions About the Early Life of Abraham, 49.

5 Jared W. Ludlow, “Abraham’s Visions of the Heavens,” in Astronomy, Papyrus, and Covenant, ed. John Gee and Brian M. Hauglid (Provo, UT: FARMS, 2005), 57–73; 

6  Howard Schwartz, Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism (New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2004), 332, citing B. Bava Batra 16b; Zohar 1:11a-11b, Idra Rabbah. As Schwartz comments, “This talmudic legend about a glowing stone that Abraham wore around his neck is a part of the chain of legends about that glowing jewel, known as the Tzohar, which was first given to Adam and Eve when they were expelled from the Garden of Eden and also came into the possession of Noah, who hung it in the ark. See The Tzohar, p. 85. This version of the legend adds the detail that the glowing stone was also an astrolabe, with which Abraham could study the stars.”

7 Lincoln H. Blumell, “Palmyra and Jerusalem: Joseph Smith’s Scriptural Texts and the Writings of Flavius Josephus,” in Approaching Antiquity: Joseph Smith and the Ancient World, edited by Lincoln H. Blumell, Matthew J. Grey, and Andrew H. Hedges (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2015), 356–406, esp. 371–373.

8 John Gee, An Introduction to the Book of Abraham (Salt Lake City and Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, and Deseret Book, 2017), 159.

9 Gee, An Introduction to the Book of Abraham, 158.

10 See the discussion in Andrew W. Hedges, “A Wanderer in a Strange Land: Abraham in America, 1800–1850,” in Astronomy, Papyrus, and Covenant, 175–187.

11 Tvedtnes, Hauglid, and Gee, Traditions About the Early Life of Abraham, xxxv.

12 Gee, An Introduction to the Book of Abraham, 160.

Jews in Ancient Egypt

Book of Abraham Insight #11

The Egyptian papyri acquired by Joseph Smith in 1835 can be confidently dated to many centuries after Abraham’s lifetime. Based on a number of different criteria, it can be determined that the papyri were written in a period when Egypt was ruled by a dynasty of Greek rulers who reigned from circa 300–30 BC.1

One question that readers of the Book of Abraham might have is how a copy of Abraham’s writings written sometime around 2,000–1,800 BC could have ended up in the possession of an ancient Egyptian living many centuries later.

One plausible scenario is that Abraham’s descendants (ancient Hebrews) transmitted the text over the centuries by copying it through succeeding generations in the same way that the books of the Bible were written and copied over many centuries. But the Book of Abraham as translated by Joseph Smith is said to have been preserved on Egyptian papyri recovered “from the catacombs of Egypt” (Book of Abraham heading). If Abraham’s descendants transmitted his record, how did it end up in Egypt?

In fact, there is ample evidence that groups of ancient Israelites and other Semitic peoples migrated into Egypt over the course of many centuries, taking with them their culture, religious practices, and sacred texts. “Abraham himself was in Egypt, as was his great-grandson Joseph and all of his Israelite descendants for hundreds of years thereafter. After the Exodus, Israelites continued to travel to and live in Egypt. After the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem, large groups of Jews settled in Egypt and created longstanding and thriving communities.”2

One of these migrations occurred during the time of the prophet Jeremiah. The Bible records “Judeans living in the land of Egypt, at Migdol, at Tahpanhes, at Memphis, and in the land of Pathros” during this time (NRSV Jeremiah 44:1). These Jews had evidently fled into Egypt after the Babylonian conquest of the kingdom of Judah.3

Around this time another group of Israelites travelled as far south as the island of Elephantine on the Nile river and not only established a thriving community, but also built a temple to Yahweh (or Jehovah), the God of Israel.4  They made copies of biblical texts that have survived today, attesting to the existence a thriving literary and religious culture in their community.5

Reconstruction of the temple to Yahweh at Elephantine by Rosenberg (2004): 4.

During the Greco-Roman period of Egyptian history (circa 300 BC–AD 400), ancient Jews built communities in many parts of Egypt. The city of Alexandria on the coast of the Mediterranean was home to a sizable Jewish community. Other Egyptian sites such as Leontopolis, Oxyrynchus, Thebes, and locations in the Fayum likewise had a Jewish presence. In fact, ancient sources indicate that another temple to Yahweh was built at Leontopolis.6  Synagogues were likewise built at Alexandria and at sites in the Fayum.7

Evidence from surviving textual sources confirms that Jewish names (including names such as Solomon, Aaron, Abraham, and Samuel) proliferated throughout Egypt. Summarizing this evidence, one scholar wrote how “besides the Greeks, Jews were the most numerous group of foreigners living in Egypt” during this time.8

There is also clear evidence that these Egyptian Jews copied their sacred texts and even composed new texts while they lived in Egypt. The Old Testament was translated into Greek in Alexandria during this time, and stories about Abraham and other biblical figures circulated amongst Jews living both inside and outside of Egypt.9

So even though Abraham would have written his record many centuries earlier, there is plenty of historical evidence to suggest a plausible way in which those writings could have been transmitted into Egypt at any point over the course of many centuries.

Further Reading

Kerry Muhlestein and Courtney Innes, “Synagogues and Cemeteries: Evidence for a Jewish Presence in the Fayum,” Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 4, no. 2 (2012): 53–59.

Peter C. Nadig, “‘We Beg You, Our King!’ Some Reflections on the Jews in Persian and Ptolemaic Egypt,” in Astronomy, Papyrus, and Covenant, ed. John Gee and Brian M. Hauglid (Provo: The Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, 2005), 83–93.

Footnotes

 

1 Marc Coenen, “The Dating of the Papyri Joseph Smith I, X and XI and Min who Massacres his Enemies,” in Egyptian Religion: The Last Thousand Years, ed. Willy Clarysse, Antoon Schoors, and Harco Willems (Leuven: Peeters, 1998), 2:1103–15; Michael D. Rhodes, The Hor Book of Breathings: A Translation and Commentary (Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 2002), 3.

2 Kerry Muhlestein, “Egyptian Papyri and the Book of Abraham: A Faithful, Egyptological Point of View,” in No Weapon Shall Prosper: New Light on Sensitive Issues, ed. Robert L. Millet (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011), 230–231.

3 Jan K. Winnicki, Late Egypt and Her Neighbors: Foreign Population in Egypt in the First Millennium BC (Warsaw: Warsaw University, 2009), 180–181.

4 John Merlin Powis Smith, “The Jewish Temple at Elephantine,” The Biblical World 31, no. 6 (June 1908): 448–459; Bezalel Porten, “The Structure and Orientation of the Jewish Temple at Elephantine-A Revised Plan of the Jewish District,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 81, no. 1 (January-March 1961): 38–42; Joseph M. Modrezejewski, The Jews of Egypt: From Ramesses II to Emperor Hadrian (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 1995), 21–44; Lisbeth S. Fried, The Priest and the Great King: Temple-Palace Relations in the Persian Empire, Biblical and Judaic Studies 10 (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2004), 92–107; Stephen G. Rosenberg, “The Jewish Temple at Elephantine,” Near Eastern Archaeology 67, no. 1 (March 2004): 4–13.

5 Charles F. Nims and Richard C. Steiner, “A Paganized Version of Psalm 20:2–6 from the Aramaic Text in Demotic Script,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 103, no. 1 (January-March 1983): 261–274; Karel van der Toorn, “Three Israelite Psalms in an Ancient Egyptian Papyrus,” The Ancient Near East Today 6, no. 5 (May 2018).

6 M. Delcor and R. de Vaux, “Le Temple D’Onias en Égypte,” Revue Biblique 75, no. 2 (1968): 188–205; Robert Hayward, “The Jewish Temple at Leontopolis: A Reconsideration,” Journal of Jewish Studies 33, no. 1-2 (Spring-Autumn 1982): 429–443.

7 Judith McKenzie, The Architecture of Alexandria and Egypt, 300 BC–AD 700 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), 66, 180–182; Kerry Muhlestein, “Synagogues and Cemeteries: Evidence for a Jewish Presence in the Fayum,” Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 4 (2012): 53–59.

8 Winnicki, Late Egypt and Her Neighbors, 182.

9 Taylor Halverson, “The Lives of Abraham: Seeing Abraham Through the Eyes of Second-Temple Jews,” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 32 (2019): 253–276; R. Rubinkiewicz, “Apocalypse of Abraham,” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, ed. James H. Charlesworth, 2 vols. (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1983), 1:681–705; E. P. Sanders, “Testament of Abraham,” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, 1:871–902; Dale C. Allison, The Testament of Abraham (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2003).

The Blood of the Canaanites

Book of Abraham Insight #10

The first chapter of the Book of Abraham contains a short detail about the ancestry of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. “Now this king of Egypt was a descendant from the loins of Ham, and was a partaker of the blood of the Canaanites by birth. From this descent sprang all the Egyptians, and thus the blood of the Canaanites was preserved in the land” (Abraham 1:21–22). Although he was a righteous man who “judged his people wisely and justly all his days” (v. 26), Pharaoh could not lay claim to any priesthood authority because of his ancestry (v. 27).

The mentioning of the king of Egypt being “a partaker of the blood of the Canaanites” may appear odd at first glance, but actually makes some historical sense in a specific way for Abraham’s time and circumstances.

The Egyptian Twelfth Dynasty ruled a unified Egypt for about 200 years from circa 1990–1800 BC. However, at the end of the Twelfth Dynasty, control over Egypt was split between the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Dynasties.1 The Thirteenth Dynasty rulers were native Egyptians and “carried on the policies” of the Twelfth Dynasty. However, scholars have determined from their Semitic names that the Fourteenth Dynasty rulers were not likely native Egyptians, but rather were probably natives of Syria-Palestine (Canaan).2  “[This] dynasty came into being when the Canaanite population in the [Nile] Delta proclaimed its own ruler . . . after having gradually seceded from the rest of Egypt during the late Twelfth Dynasty.”3

It might be that Abraham had in mind the Asiatic or Semitic kings of the Fourteenth Dynasty with his comment that the “king of Egypt . . . was a partaker of the blood of the Canaanites.” He “seems to classify all pharaohs as Canaanite” in his text, “though the Twelfth Dynasty pharaohs whose servants tried to kill him [in Abraham 1] were not. Since Abraham never met the Twelfth Dynasty pharaohs, he may have assumed that all pharaohs were like the Fourteenth Dynasty ones he did meet.”4  He likewise may have simply assumed that all the Egyptians he encountered at the time were descendants of Canaanites (Abraham 1:22).

This, in turn, might help us narrow down a general range of dates for Abraham’s life. According to the biblical account, Abraham lived to be 175 years old (Genesis 25:7–8). If this figure is taken at face value, and if as a young man Abraham lived towards the end of the Twelfth Dynasty, perhaps during the reign of pharaoh Amenemhat III (ca. 1860–1814 BC),5  this would afford enough time to accommodate either the early (ca. 1800 BC) or late (ca. 1730 BC) date for the commencement of the Fourteenth Dynasty of Canaanite pharaohs.6

Detail from The Caravan of Abraham by James Tissot. Groups of Asiatic or Semitic nomads not unlike Abraham himself are attested migrating into ancient Egypt.

Admittedly, the biblical age of Abraham seems difficult to believe. Adjusting Abraham’s lifespan to something more reasonable such as his 90s7 would still put him in generally the right chronological window, but would narrow that window by a few decades and would favor the earlier as opposed to later origin for the Fourteenth Dynasty. There are still large gaps in the archaeological record for this period, and so establishing an incontrovertible chronology for Abraham’s life based on information from the Book of Abraham is not much more feasible beyond this.

In any case, “whether one dates the arrival of the Fourteenth Dynasty toward the beginning or the end of the Thirteenth Dynasty, there would have been a dynastic change during Abraham’s life, with rulers of a different dynasty in Egypt at the time of his visit than had been in charge during his attempted sacrifice.”8 Not only were these rulers indeed “partakers of the blood of the Canaanites” as mentioned in the Book of Abraham,9 but they may have even had a friendly disposition towards Abraham on account of their shared Semitic ancestry. This, in turn, might account for why Abraham was granted royal privileges, such as the opportunity to teach Pharaoh and his court astronomy (Facsimile 3).

Even with a number of remaining uncertainties that should temper our conclusions, small textual details such as those at Abraham 1:21–22 might help us better narrow down a plausible historical timeline for Abraham and situate the Book of Abraham in a plausible ancient context.

Further Reading

John Gee, “The Book of Abraham in the Ancient World,” in An Introduction to the Book of Abraham (Salt Lake City and Provo, UT: Deseret Book and the Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2017), 97–105.

Footnotes

 

1 Gae Callender, “The Middle Kingdom Renaissance (c. 2055–1650 BC),” in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, ed. Ian Shaw (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2000), 171.

2 K.S.B. Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt During the Second Intermediate Period, c. 1800–1550 B.C. (Copenhagen: University of Copenhagen, Museum Tusculanum Press, 1997), 94, 99–101.

3 Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt During the Second Intermediate Period, 5.

4 John Gee, An Introduction to the Book of Abraham (Salt Lake City and Provo, UT: Deseret Book and the Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2017), 101–102.

5 As reasonably argued by Gee, An Introduction to the Book of Abraham, 101.

6 The chronology of the Fourteenth Dynasty remains disputed because of “the brutal truth . . . that there is no reliable anchor point for Egyptian history before the New Kingdom [circa 1550–1069 BC].” As such, “the chronological position of the Fourteenth Dynasty . . . has been a key problem in” reconstructing the history of the end of the Middle Kingdom and the beginning of the Second Intermediate Period. Harco Willems, “The First Intermediate Period and the Middle Kingdom,” in A Companion to Ancient Egypt, ed. Alan B. Lloyd (West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell, 2010), 1:81, 99. While most Egyptologists accept a late date for the beginning of the Fourteenth Dynasty, Ryholt has argued vigorously for an early date. See the opposing arguments in Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt During the Second Intermediate Period; Daphna Ben-Tor, Susan J. Allen, and James P. Allen, “Review: Seals and Kings,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 315 (1999): 47–74. While Ryholt’s position remains the minority view among Egyptologists, his theory is nonetheless a viable interpretation of the scarce archaeological evidence that survives for this period.

7 Ancient people surviving to this old age is rare but attested. Pharaoh Ramesses II (circa 1300–1210 BC) lived to his 90s, for instance.

8 John Gee, “Shulem, One of the King’s Principal Waiters,” Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 19 (2016): 385.

9 In fact, some modern Egyptologists today still refer to the Fourteenth Dynasty kings as “Canaanites,” including Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt During the Second Intermediate Period, 5.

Shulem, One of the King’s Principal Waiters

Book of Abraham Insight #9

Figure 5 in Facsimile 3 of the Book of Abraham is identified as “Shulem, one of the king’s principal waiters.” We don’t know anything more about the man Shulem beyond this brief description as he does not appear in the text of the Book of Abraham. Presumably, if we had more of the story, we would know more about how he fit in the overall Abrahamic narrative.

However, there are some things we can say about Shulem and his title “the king’s principal waiter.”

First is Shulem’s name. As John Gee has documented, this name is “widely attested in Semitic languages” from the time of Abraham.1 This includes attestations in Old Akkadian, Old Assyrian, Old Babylonian, Middle Babylonian, Eblaite, and Ugaritic.2

Additionally, Shulem’s title “the king’s principal waiter” is arguably attested in ancient Egypt. In particular, the title “butler of the ruler” (wdpw n ḥqꜣ) is a fairly close match to “the king’s principal waiter” and is attested during the time of Abraham.3

But what would a Semite like Shulem be doing in the royal court of Egypt, as depicted in Facsimile 3? In fact, there is evidence of Asiatic migration into Egypt during the time of Abraham. “A number of Asiatics residing in Egypt are also observed in texts dating to [the time of Abraham],” observes one scholar. “They list Asiatic retainers, dancers, singers and other workers. . . . They further point to the presence of institutions for the coordination of relations between Asiatics and the local population. As some Asiatics bear Semitic names, it is likely that Levantines were still migrating into Egypt at this time.” 4

In fact, the Egyptian Fourteenth Dynasty “was ‘a local dynasty of Asiatic origin in the north eastern Delta’ who are notable as ‘kings with foreign, mostly West Semitic, names.’”5 Once again, not only the names of the rulers but also members of elite households show signs of Semitic origin during this time.6

“So from Shulem’s name and title and we can surmise the following: From the form of his name, [it would appear] that Shulem lived during the late Middle Kingdom or the Second Intermediate Period [circa 1800–1600 BC]. Shulem was [likely] not a native Egyptian. He was probably a first generation immigrant. He [likely] served in the court of a Fourteenth Dynasty ruler, who was probably not a native Egyptian either.”7

This external evidence reinforces the overall historical plausibility of the Book of Abraham.

Further Reading

John Gee, “Shulem, One of the King’s Principal Waiters,” Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 19 (2016): 383–395.

Footnotes

 

1John Gee, “Shulem, One of the King’s Principal Waiters,” Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 19 (2016): 383.

2 Gee, “Shulem, One of the King’s Principal Waiters,” 383–384.

3 Gee, “Shulem, One of the King’s Principal Waiters,” 385–387.

4 For a collection and summary of the relevant evidence, see Anna-Latifa Mourad, Rise of the Hyksos: Egypt and the Levant from the Middle Kingdom to the Early Second Intermediate Period (Oxford: Archaeopress, 2015), 19–130, esp. 124–130, quote at 126.

5 Gee, “Shulem, One of the King’s Principal Waiters,” 384, quoting K. S. B. Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period c. 1880-1550 B.C. (Copenhagen: The Carsten Niebuhr Institute of Near Eastern Studies, 1997), 94, 99; compare Marc Van de Meiroop, A History of Ancient Egypt (West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell, 2011), 132; Kathryn A. Bard, An Introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt, 2nd ed. (West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell, 2015), 216.

6 Gee, “Shulem, One of the King’s Principal Waiters,” 384–385; compare Barry J. Kemp, Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization, 2nd ed. (New York: Routledge, 2006), 28–29; Kerry Muhlestein, “Levantine Thinking in Egypt,” in Egypt, Canaan and Israel: History, Imperialism, Ideology and Literature, ed. S. Bar, D. Kahn and JJ Shirley (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 206–208; James K. Hoffmeier, “Egyptian Religious Influences on the Early Hebrews,” in “Did I Not Bring Israel Out of Egypt?” Biblical, Archaeological, and Egyptological Perspectives on the Exodus Narratives, ed. James K. Hoffmeier, Alan R. Millard, and Gary A. Rendsburg (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2016), 9–10; Garry J. Shaw, War & Trade with the Pharaohs: An Archaeological Study of Egypt’s Foreign Relations (South Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Archaeology, 2017), 49–51.

7 Gee, “Shulem, One of the King’s Principal Waiters,” 387.