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The World’s Oldest Alphabet and Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors

Several Biblical figures turn up in the translated inscriptions, including Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his half-brothers and then became a powerful political figure in Egypt, Joseph’s wife Asenath and Joseph’s son Manasseh, a leading figure in a turquoise-mining business that involved yearly trips to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
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The World's Oldest Alphabet and Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors

12/8/2016 (Topic#: 1604)

We are directed to have faith in God.  What really is God’s definition of faith? Hebrews 11:1:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The more faith we place in God’s Word, the more we please Him. Through faith, we literally participate in the divine nature.  No one can enjoy God’s favor without faith.  Hebrews 11:6:

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Faith is the only standard God accepts; it is the very currency of the Kingdom of God.  God did not choose wealth or wisdom, beauty or power—He chose faith. 

All mankind has been dealt a measure of faithRomans 12:3:

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

The measure of faith—like a seed—must be planted, nourished, and cherished, and it will grow into a large and eternal tree of life. 

Have you planted your seed?  You have one.  Have you been born again—born a second time, this time of the Spirit of God?  Will today be the day you activate glorious faith?  Click onto “Further with Jesus” for childlike instructions and immediate entry into the Kingdom of God.  NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.  

GOD SAID, Genesis 41:41-45:

41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.

42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph''s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;

43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.

44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.

45 And Pharaoh called Joseph''s name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.

GOD SAID, Psalm 119:160:

Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

GOD SAID, Proverbs 30:6:

Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

MAN SAID: Joseph and his coat of many colors; Joseph who was sold into slavery; Joseph who interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams; Joseph the son of Jacob who saved Egypt, Israel, and the surrounding nations from famine and death—he never existed

Now THE RECORD:  Welcome to GodSaidManSaid feature 824 that will once again certify the beautiful inerrancy of your majority-text Holy Bible.  All of these power features are archived here in text and streaming audio for the edification of the blood-bought and as bait for the fishers of men.  Every Thursday eve, God willing, a new feature is posted. 

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Thank you for coming.  May the glory of our God fill your life to overflowing. 

From the very first three words of God’s Word—“In the beginning”—the challenge begins.  The skeptics challenge the manuscripts, the translators, the writers, the chronology, the historicity.  They challenge its accuracy, mock its miracles, and above all, carnal man’s champions challenge its supernatural and inerrant authorship.  Be of good cheer, saints, the hordes of challengers have failed every time. 

The headline of ScienceNews.org on November 19, 2016 reads, “Oldest Alphabet Identified as Hebrew.”  A few paragraphs follow:

The world’s earliest alphabet, inscribed on stone slabs at several Egyptian sites, was an early form of Hebrew, a controversial new analysis concludes. 

Israelites living in Egypt transformed that civilization’s hieroglyphics into Hebrew 1.0 more than 3,800 years ago, at a time when the Old Testament describes Jews living in Egypt, says archaeologist and epigrapher Douglas Petrovich of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada.  Hebrew speakers seeking a way to communicate in writing with other Egyptian Jews simplified the pharaoh’s complex hieroglyphic writing system into 22 alphabetic letters, Petrovich proposed on November 17 at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research. 

That’s a highly controversial contention among scholars of the Bible and ancient civilizations.  Many argue, despite what’s recounted in the Old Testament, that Israelites did not live in Egypt as long ago as proposed by Petrovich.  Biblical dates for the Israelites’ stay in Egypt are unreliable, they say. 

Petrovich says his big break came in January 2012.  While conducting research at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, he came across the word “Hebrews” in a text from 1874 BC that includes the earliest known alphabetic letter.  According to the Old Testament, Israelites spent 434 years in Egypt, from 1876 BC to 1442 BC. 

Petrovich then combined previous identifications of some letters in the ancient alphabet with his own identifications of disputed letters to peg the script as Hebrew.  Armed with the entire fledgling alphabet, he translated 18 Hebrew inscriptions from three Egyptian sites. 

Several Biblical figures turn up in the translated inscriptions, including Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his half-brothers and then became a powerful political figure in Egypt, Joseph’s wife Asenath and Joseph’s son Manasseh, a leading figure in a turquoise-mining business that involved yearly trips to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.  Moses, who led the Israelites out of Egypt, is also mentioned, Petrovich says. 

One inscription, dated to 1834 BC, translates as “Wine is more abundant than the daylight, than the baker, than a nobleman.”  This statement probably meant that, at that time or shortly before, drink was plentiful, but food was scarce.  [End of quotes]

The headline on DailyWire.com reads, “Earliest Alphabet Ever Identified as Hebrew: Substantiates Biblical Narrative.”  Excerpts follow:

A new report states that the oldest alphabet in the world is Hebrew, and substantiates Biblical claims that the Hebrews indeed lived in Egypt at the time of the Exodus.

Archaeologist and epigrapher Douglas Petrovich of Wilfrid Lauier University in Waterloo, Canada, studied stone slabs at several Egyptian sites, and found that the Israelites translated hieroglyphics into Hebrew 1.0 over 3,800 years ago. 

Petrovich was anticipated by a German scholar in the 1920s who identified the ancient Egyptian writing as Hebrew, but could not identify many letters in the alphabet.  But in January 2012, Petrovich found the word “Hebrews” in a text from 1874 BC that includes the earliest-known alphabetic letter at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.  Traditional Jewish texts attribute the Israelites’ sojourn in Egypt from 1876 BC to 1442 BC. 

Petrovich mixed previous identifications of some letters in the ancient alphabet with his own identifications of disputed letters so he could identify the script as Hebrew.  He then translated 18 Hebrew inscriptions from three Egyptian site, finding references to the Biblical figures of Moses, Joseph, his wife Asenath, and Joseph’s son Manasseh.  [End of quotes]

The skeptics again find themselves scrambling for cover.  Joseph’s marvelous and miraculous story again is vindicated.  Previous GodSaidManSaid research about Joseph was published in the feature “Joseph and Pharaoh—History and Archaeology Give a Big Thumbs Up.”  Excerpts follow:

Can you rely on the Bible? 

In Genesis, the very first book of the Bible there is a record of great antiquity.An account is given of a young man whose name was Joseph, the son of Israel (Israel’s birth name was Jacob).  Joseph’s mother’s name was Rachel.  Joseph was Rachel’s first-born son.  This was the Joseph who was given the coat of many colors, and was sold into slavery by his jealous half-brothers (excluding Benjamin) who would later become the heads of the tribes of Israel.  Joseph was sold to an Ishmaelite caravan of merchants.  These Ishmaelite merchants were distant kin to Joseph because their progenitor, Ishmael, was the half-brother to Isaac, the grandfather of Joseph.  The Ishmaelites purchased the 17-year-old Joseph from his jealous brothers and sold him to a rich Egyptian by the name of Potiphar.  After a period of time, Joseph was placed in charge of all of Potiphar’s affairs.  Potiphar had an evil wife who attempted to seduce the young Joseph, but Joseph refused to commit this evil with his master’s wife.  After her repeated attempts at seduction, Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of attempting to rape her and he was thrown into an Egyptian prison.  Because the favor of God shined upon Joseph, he was quickly elevated to the head of affairs of the prison and resided there until the age of 30. 

During his confinement in prison, Joseph interpreted the dreams of two of Pharaoh’s former officers, whom Pharaoh also had imprisoned.  Both interpretations came true.  According to Joseph’s interpretation, one officer was put to death, and the other, Pharaoh’s butler, was restored to his position.  A short period of time passed and the Pharaoh of Egypt also had two troubling dreams.  No one in his kingdom could interpret their meaning.  But Pharaoh’s butler remembered a young man named Joseph who had the supernatural ability to interpret the deep secrets of dreams, for this butler had once had a dream while in prison and it was Joseph who declared its meaning. 

Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s two dreams: Joseph said that Pharaoh''s dreams meant that Egypt would have seven years of great abundance, followed by seven years of great famine—a famine so great that the seven years of abundance would be consumed by its dearth and fully forgotten.  Because of Pharaoh’s dreams and the interpretation of them, Joseph counseled Pharaoh to build grain centers in Egypt and each year to store one-fifth of all crops during the years of plenty to preserve life during the great famine.  The Pharaoh followed Joseph’s counsel. 

This Joseph became the most powerful man in the world.  It was he who, by God’s hand, made Pharaoh the ultimate Egyptian power that he became.  Joseph was truly a king-maker.  Thus he became a father to Pharaoh. 

Could such a magnificent account disappear without a trace from history?  Was it just a fairy tale?  Is there a record in secular history? 

According to author David Rohl, who wrote the research book Pharaohs and Kings, during the time of Joseph:

Three regional departments were set up to oversee the agricultural labor, conscript labor and storage of grain supplies for redistribution to the Egyptian population during periods of famine.  Avaris [in Goshen] is the site of one of the three regional departments. 

Now, Goshen was where the children of Israel resided.  There is also archaeological evidence that a famine was preceded by a bumper harvest during the time of Joseph. 

During the seven years of famine, things were so bad that the people of Egypt were forced to sell their animals, lands, and their own selves to Pharaoh in exchange for food.  Rohl continues:

The local chieftains found their own grain silos exhausted and were forced to sell their land holdings to the Pharaoh.  The power of the governors of Egypt was broken and Pharaoh became the sole authority in Egypt—the evidence for this is that the grand tombs of the governors of Egypt ceased to be built.  This signals the diminution of the authority of a semi-independent nobility and the return of political control to the kingship. 

According to the great Jewish historian Josephus in his account of The Antiquities of the Jews, Joseph was honored by Pharaoh with the title “’Psothom Phanech’ out of regard for his prodigious degree of wisdom, for that name denotes the revealer of secrets.” 

The next excerpt is taken from Werner Keller’s widely-read and recognized book, The Bible as History:

The town of Medinet-el-Faiyum, lying 80 miles south of Cairo in the middle of the fertile Faiyum, is extolled as the “Venice of Egypt.”  In the lush gardens of this huge flourishing oasis grow oranges, mandarins, peaches, olives, pomegranates, and grapes.  Faiyum owes these delicious fruits to the artificial canal, over 200 miles long, which conveys the water of the Nile and turns this district, which would otherwise be desert, into a paradise.  The ancient waterway is not only to this day called “Bahr Yusuf”—“Joseph’s Canal”—by the local people, but is known by this name throughout Egypt.  People say that it was the Joseph of the Bible, Pharaoh’s “Grand Vizier,” as Arab legends would describe him, who planned it.  [End of quote]

Researcher and author Grant Jeffrey, in his 336-page book The Signature of God, writes under the section heading, “Joseph and the Seven Years of Famine,” the following:

An intriguing inscription confirms the Bible’s account of the “seven years of great plenty” followed by the “seven years of famine” when Joseph served Pharaoh in Egypt (see Genesis 41:29-30).  This inscription was discovered during the nineteenth century in southern Saudi Arabia. The inscription was found on a marble tablet in a ruined fortress on the seashore of Hadhramaut in present-day Yemen.  An examination of the writing suggests that it was written approximately eighteen hundred years before the birth of Christ, a time that corresponds with the Biblical narrative about Jacob and his twelve sons.  This inscription was first rendered in Arabic by Professor Hendrik Albert Schultens and was later translated into English by Rev. Charles Forster:

We dwelt at ease in this castle a long tract of time; nor had we a desire but for the region-lord of the vineyard.

Hundreds of camels returned to us each day at evening, their eye pleasant to behold in their resting-places.

And twice the number of our camels were our sheep, in comeliness like white does, and also the slow moving kine. 

We dwelt in this castle seven years of good life—how difficult for memory its description!

Then came years barren and burnt up: when one evil year had passed away, then came another to succeed it.

And we became as though we had never seen a glimpse of good.

They died and neither foot nor hoof remained.

Thus fares it with him who renders not thanks to God:

His footsteps fail not to be blotted out from his dwelling.

Then again, under the heading “Ancient Egyptian Coins Bearing the Image of Joseph,” Jeffrey writes:

Recent research conducted on previously overlooked Egyptian coins confirms the Biblical story of Joseph and his role in government service in ancient Egypt.  In 2009, archaeological authorities from the Egyptian National Museum announced that a cache of ancient coins had been “rediscovered.”  Initially discovered almost a century earlier, the coins had been in storage.  They were uncovered in the vast storage vaults of the national museum and the Antiquities Authority.  Cairo’s Al Ahram newspaper reported that the coins bear the name and image of the Biblical Joseph. 

The cache of more than five hundred coins had been set aside decades earlier in the belief that they were miscellaneous objects of worship and likely of no significance.  However, scientists re-examined the coins using recently-developed technology and discovered that a number of them dated to the time of ancient Egypt.  Most of the coins were engraved with the year they were minted and their monetary value and the effigies or images of the pharaohs ruling Egypt when the coins were minted.  Researchers concluded that the “Joseph coins” originated in the period when Joseph served as Pharaoh’s treasurer—during the seven years of plenty and seven years of famine (see Genesis 41:17-45).  Biblical history suggests a date for Joseph’s high position in the Egyptian government that coincides with the date of the minting of the coins in the cache (approximately 2000 BC).  Amazingly, some of the coins bear both Joseph’s name and image.

On its website, Israel National News reported that the Egyptian archaeologists “discovered many charms from various eras before and after the period of Joseph, including one that bore his effigy as the minister of the treasury in the Egyptian pharaoh’s court.” 

Archaeologists had previously believed that the Egyptians of Joseph’s day did not use coins but rather used barter to trade.  However, Dr. Sa’id Muhammad Thabet, head of the research team, found several Koranic verses that speak of coins being used in ancient Egypt.  He concluded that the coins were genuine and that their stated date of minting was accurate. He confirmed that the dates agreed with both Biblical and historical chronology. 

Thabet’s team described the “Joseph coins” as having:

two faces: one with an inscription, called the inscribed face, and one with an image, called the engraved face—just like the coins we use today… Some of the coins are from the time when Joseph lived in Egypt… [T]here was one coin that had an inscription on it, and an image of a cow symbolizing Pharaoh’s dream about the seven fat cows and seven lean cows, and the seven green stalks of grain and seven dry stalks of grain.

Joseph’s name appears twice on this coin, written in hieroglyphs: once the original name Joseph, and once his Egyptian name, Saba Sabani, which was given to him by Pharaoh when he became treasurer.  There is also an image of Joseph, who was part of the Egyptian administration at the time. [End of quotes]

Can one rely upon the Word of God?  The headline in the Jerusalem Post reads, “Dr. Eilat Mazar: The Bible as Blueprint.”  A paragraph follows:

Mazar, who is both revered and reviled by some of her colleagues for being a “Biblical archaeologist,” says the Bible is unquestionably the most important historical source for her work since it contains a “genuine historical account of the past.”  “I work with the Bible in one hand and the tools of excavation in the other,” she says.  “The Bible is the most important historical source.”  [End of quote]

A man once said: “We reject with scorn all those learned and labored myths that Moses was but a legendary figure upon whom the priesthood and the people hung their essential social, moral, and religious ordinances.  We believe that the most scientific view, the most up-to-date and rational conception, will find its fullest satisfaction in taking the Bible story literally.  We may be sure that all these things happened just as they are set out according to Holy Writ.  We may believe that they happened to people not so very different from ourselves, and that the impressions those people received were faithfully recorded, and have been transmitted across centuries with far more accuracy than many of the telegraphed accounts we read of goings on of today.  In the words of a forgotten work of Mr. Gladstone, we rest with assurance upon “The Impregnable Rock of Holy Scripture.”  Let men of science and learning expand their knowledge, and probe with their researches, every detail of the records which have been preserved for us from those dim ages.  All they will do is fortify the grand simplicity and essential accuracy of these recorded truths which have so far lighted the pilgrimage of man.”

That man was Winston Churchill. [End of quote]

In regard to the history of written text, the famed historian Flavius Josephus takes us all the way back to Seth, the son of Adam, and we could easily argue: Adam himself. 

God’s Word is true and righteous altogether—miracles and all—a place to build a life that will last forever. 

GOD SAID, Genesis 41:41-45:

41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.

42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph''s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;

43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.

44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.

45 And Pharaoh called Joseph''s name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.

GOD SAID, Psalm 119:160:

Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

GOD SAID, Proverbs 30:6:

Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

MAN SAID: Joseph and his coat of many colors; Joseph who was sold into slavery; Joseph who interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams; Joseph the son of Jacob who saved Egypt, Israel, and the surrounding nations from famine and death—he never existed.

Now you have THE RECORD.

 

 

References:

Authorized King James Version

Berrien, H., “Earliest Alphabet Ever Identified as Hebrew: Substantiates Biblical Narrative,” DailyWire.com

Bower, B., “Oldest Alphabet Identified as Hebrew,” ScienceNews.org, November 19, 2016

GodSaidManSaid, “Joseph and Pharaoh—History and Archaeology Give a Big Thumbs Up!

GodSaidManSaid, “Pharaoh, Moses, and the Red Sea

GodSaidManSaid, “They Were Writing in Hebrew Like They Owned the Place

 

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