Archaeology

Joseph’s Famine (Minimalists Minimalized)

Nothing that has happened in the past fifty years has put the Bible on sure a footing as the development of biblical archaeology. Without starting out to “prove that the Bible is true,” research has a posteriori come upon facts confirming and illustrating point after point, especially of Old Testament record. As the shovels dig and the researchers search, God’s Word continues to be vindicated line upon line.
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Joseph’s Famine (Minimalists Minimalized)

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As we approach the end of this earth as we know it, times are going to be tough and a good confession of faith will be critical.  Several years ago, the phone rang in my office.  A sister was calling, and, as a typical salutation, asked how I was. I told her it was the best day of my life.  She exclaimed, “Did you hit the lottery?!” I happily responded, “Oh, it’s much better than that!” I explained that, if Proverbs 4:18 is true (and it is), then my path is getting brighter and sharper every day unto the “perfect day” when I see Jesus face-to-face, when I will be like Him where the sun is ashamed in His presence.  The verse reads:

But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.   

As children of faith, we get brighter and sharper every day. That is especially true as we go through the dark and troublesome times. 

If Romans 8:28 is true (and it is), and if I am seeking God with my might, then ALL things—meaning EVERYTHING—is working together for my good.  It is not optional. EVERYTHING most especially includes the dark and troublesome times.  The verse reads:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Everything is working together for our good…ALL THINGS! Therefore, our path grows brighter and sharper every day and ALL THINGS are working together for our good, so we can boldly say: Today is the best day of my life, and tomorrow will be better! How true is it?  Just as true as you and I say so, and remember: It is especially true through the dark and troublesome times.

Dear visitor, have you yet to be BORN AGAIN as Jesus says in John 3:3?

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.   

BORN AGAIN means born a very real, second time, this time of the Spirit of God.  It surely will be the best day of your life.  Today, all your sin and shame will be washed away.  Today, all of Satan’s bondages in your life will be broken; the bigger, the better.  In just a moment, I will invite you to follow me in a simple prompt, and if you do, everything changes todayEVERYTHING. Here comes the simple prompt I promised: Click onto Further with Jesus for childlike instructions and immediate entry into the invisible Kingdom of God. NOW FOR TODAYS SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, Genesis 41:53-57:

53 And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended.

54 And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.

55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.

56 And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.

57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.

GOD SAID, Psalm 19:9:

The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

GOD SAID, John 10:35-36:

35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

MAN SAID: I must be honest, I’m a little terrified by the idea of my own death.  What do you think my odds are?  You know, of going to heaven. Should I ask my phone? 

Now THE RECORD: Welcome to GodSaidManSaid feature 1120 that will once again certify the marvelous, supernatural inerrancy of God’s Holy Word. All of these features are archived here in text and streaming audio for the building-up of the faith and as a platform from which to fish for the lost souls of the sons and daughters of Adam. Every Thursday eve, God willing, they grow by one.

Thank you for coming.  May the glory of God illuminate your highway unto the perfect day.

The credibility of God’s Word has been challenged incessantly by carnaldom since the day their father, the devil, initiated the challenge in Eden.  The drive to discredit is basic, Satan-spawned, carnal nature.  From their brightest to their dimmest, they ridicule, malign, and vociferously challenge with nary a single victory to their credit. Yet, they blindly soldier on.  How foolish and empty. 

The Word of God, penned thousands of years ago with no additions or deletions, still stands supreme, while man’s “truth” of yesterday is debunked by his “truth” of today.  His “truth” of today will be debunked by his “truth” of tomorrow.  Quite the contrast, wouldn’t you say? Be of good cheer, children of God! They will not succeed in overthrowing the Holy Scriptures tomorrow. 

GodSaidManSaid establishes the inerrancy of God’s beautiful Book using four proofing categories:

1. Archaeology;
2. Prophecy;
3. GodSaidManSaid; and
4. The Historicity of Jesus Christ.

You’ll find these listed on the navigation bar to your left. 

Today’s feature will be added to the archaeology category, which includes disciplines like geology, paleontology, microbiology, along with ancient historic and ancient societal records.

The Bible’s account of how it all began and what transpired along the way is the perfect record, miracles and all. Concerning its credibility, consider the following excerpts:

In the following excerpts from Encyclopedia of Bible Life youll find a quote from one William F. Albright who stood a giant in the field of archaeology. He was an orientalist and Professor of Semitic Languages at Johns Hopkins University. Albright was Director of American Schools in Jerusalem and lead excavations in numerous places. A bibliography of Albrights work was written by Henry M Orlinsky, where 473 items were listed. The following is from Encyclopedia of Bible Life:

Nothing that has happened in the past fifty years has put the Bible on sure a footing as the development of biblical archaeology. Without starting out to prove that the Bible is true, research has a posteriori come upon facts confirming and illustrating point after point, especially of Old Testament record. Higher criticism has received a blow and must henceforth be considered only in connection with the findings of archaeology. We now know that Abraham was not merely a Mesopotamian folk hero but a historic personality, though not contemporary with Hammurabi, whose date is not 2000 B.C. but between c.1728 B.C. and 1686 B.C. We now believe, with Albright, that Jericho fell later than c.1375 B.C., (Others accept 1400 or 1250). Confirmation has been found of the destruction and desertion of Shiloh by the Philistines after the battle of Ebenezer and the capture of the ark, C.1050 B.C. Exodus I has been confirmed with the discovery of Egyptian Tanis and Pithom (Tell Retabeh), store cities of Ramesses II. The antiquity of the Song of Deborah has been demonstrated, and the pushing back of dates of portions of the Old Testament once placed in the post-Exilic period has come about. Ras Shamra in northern Syria has given us not only the lost Canaanite religious literature but has helped us construct the progress of Israels loftier religion by tracing its steps of ascent from the worship ways of its neighbors. We know now, since Megiddo and Ezion-geber excavations, much about the economic foundations of Solomons kingdom and the background of his Temple-building and chariot cities. Cross-references synthesizing Babylon with Palestinian history in the sixth century B.C. have built up satisfactory conclusions.

As Albright has pointed out in Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, the most brilliant and searching scrutiny of science has not lessened the pre-eminence of the Bible as a masterpiece of literature and an absolutely unique religious document. Nothing has been unearthed which need disturb the faith of Hebrew or Christian, but much has been excavated which heightens this faith. No major contention of Scripture has been proved unhistoric.

Those paragraphs were written over 70 years ago and the situation for the higher critics has certainly not improved.

The archaeologists spades continue to dig and Gods word is continually confirmed. You would suppose at least one uncontested victory for the doctors of unbelief, but alasnot one.

A few final excerpts follow from Dr. Grant Jeffreys book, The Signature of God:

Dr. Nelson Glueck, the most outstanding Jewish archaeologist of the last century, wrote in his book Rivers in the Desert:

It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries. They form tesserae in the vast mosaic of the Bibles almost incredibly correct historical memory.

Another respected scholar, Dr. J. O. Kinnaman, declared:

Of the hundreds of thousands of artifacts found by the archeologists, not one has ever been discovered that contradicts or denies one word, phrase, clause, or sentence of the Bible, but always confirms and verifies the facts of the biblical record.

Well-known language scholar Dr. Robert Dick Wilson, formerly professor of Semitic philology at Princeton Theological Seminary, made the following statement:

After forty-five years of scholarly research in biblical textual studies and in language study, I have come now to the conviction that no man knows enough to assail the truthfulness of the Old Testament. When there is sufficient documentary evidence to make an investigation, the statement of the Bible, in the original text, has stood the test.

Its all true, every jot and every tittle in Gods beautiful Book. This is the Solid Rock and the place to build a life that will last forever. The critics must criticize. Thats what critics do. God on the other hand must be GodI AM THAT I AMbecause thats just who He is, and all His Words are true and righteous altogether and, yes, especially the miracles. [End of quotes]

GodSaidManSaid has reported on a host of discoveries that certify the accuracy of the Scriptures, including subjects like:

⛏ Adam and his ribbed wife, Eve

⛏ The fallen sons of God and “demigods

Giants

⛏ A pre-flood average age of 912 years

Noah and the Ark

⛏ The Tower of Babel and one common language

⛏ Abraham and his tomb in Hebron today   

Sodom and Gomorrah

Jacob’s Well, which you can visit today

Joseph, the king maker

Moses and the Red Sea

Moses and the Brazen Serpent

Joshua fit the battle of Jericho

⛏ David and Goliath

⛏ The crucifixion of the Christ  

⛏ The resurrection of Jesus Christ, and so much more

As the shovels dig and the researchers search, God’s Word continues to be vindicated line upon line. Several examples follow; some will add to what we have already published on a particularity.  First, we will quote a passage from the Scriptures, and then reveal the discovery. 

1. Genesis 41:53-57:

53 And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended.

54 And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.

55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.

56 And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.

57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.  

The marvelous story of Joseph and Pharaoh, and Joseph’s transformation from prisoner to kingmaker in mere minutes, has been regarded as nonsense by the “wisest” amongst us, but wait! Was there such a time of famine that affected “all the face of the earth,” even as the Bible reports? The headline from a January 26, 2022 feature on Nature.com reads, “Did a Mega Drought Topple Empires 4,200 Years Ago?” Several paragraphs follow:

The missing earthworms were a sign.  As archaeologist Harvey Weiss and his colleagues excavated a site in northeast Syria, they found a buried layer of windblown silt so barren there was hardly any evidence of earthworms at work during that ancient era.  Something drastic had happened thousands of years agosomething that choked the land with dust for decades, leaving a blanket of soil too inhospitable even for earthworms.

For Weiss, it was the start of a research endeavor spanning decades.  He has become convinced that the drought of 2200 BC was not confined to Mesopotamia, but rather that it had effects around the globe.  Whats more, the Akkadian Empire was not the only complex society that was disrupted or overthrown as a result.  Weve got Mesopotamia, the Nile, the Aegean, and the Mediterranean all the way to Spain," says Weiss.  In all these places, he says, there is evidence from around 4,200 years ago for a drying climate, for the collapse of central authorities, and for people moving to escape the newly arid zones. 

Ocean sediments off the coast of South Asia record arid conditions in the region between 4,200 and 3,900 years ago. 

Nevertheless, a consensus is beginning to emerge that some type of drying event happened around 4,200 years ago across an extended area that had an impact on the people living thereeven if it was not the global upheaval that Weiss argues for.

Its pretty conclusive that the [drying event of 4,200 years ago] exists in the Mediterranean, says Nick Scroxton, a palaeoclimatologist at Maynooth University in Ireland. The drought affected parts of the Middle East, but he says that the evidence elsewhere is inconclusive.

The drought presumably made it harder to raise crops, meaning there would not have been enough food for the citys population.  And the pattern was not unique to Tell Leilan, an archaeological site.  There were similar abandonments extending from the Mediterranean to the Indus, says Weiss.  This suggested that the drought spanned much of southwest Asia, leading to societal upheaval.

There is evidence that the flow of the Nile River decreased from 2200 BC.  Weiss says the best explanation is a decrease in the monsoon rains that feed the Nile. [End of quotes]

The Nature feature proposes a date of 3,900 to 4,200 years ago.  Bishop Ussher, a highly acclaimed ancient chronologist, published his book The Annals of The World in the 1600s, and dated the beginning of the famine recorded in Genesis to 3,730 years ago.  Concerning the dating of this archaeological discovery, AnswersInGenesis.org weighs in with their May 20, 2022 feature, “Evidence for the Seven-Year Famine of Joseph’s Time Found?” Excerpts follow:

This evidence from supposedly 4,200 years ago is based on U-Th dating [Uranium-Thorium Dating] on a stalagmite in Mawmluh Cave in the Meghalaya region of India and is also listed in the most recent International Commission on Statigraphy update to the geological timescale as the start of the current age, the Meghalayan.  But the U-Th dating method is built upon layers of uniformitarian assumptions and has been shown to be inaccurate. 

Even the Nature article admits to some problems with accurately dating the timing of this event. 

According to conventional Egyptian dating and using a long sojourn, Joseph holds high office under the reign of Sesostris III (c. 1878-1843 BC). According to Usshers dates (based on a short sojourn), this would have been in 1715 BC, with the famine then starting in 1708 BC.  Many city-states probably did collapse or move down to Egypt to buy grain and sell livestock.  Towards the end of that seven-year period of famine, we read more about Egypt and the land of Canaan.  As time went on, people ran out of money and bartered their livestock, lands, and ultimately their freedom to buy food, as mentioned in Genesis 47:13-21.  It is evident that this drought was very harsh in Egypt and Canaan. 

While not deliberately meaning to, this study fits nicely with the Biblical account of the famine of Josephs time and closely ties in with paleoclimatic data (when radiocarbon and radiometric dates are adjusted to Biblical timescales), which shows a desertification creeping across India, Saudi Arabia, and northern Africa.  All these countries (and the rest of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern region) almost certainly came to Egypt for grain.  [End of quotes]

When God’s Word reports on a matter, the truly wisest amongst us approach with their ear bowed down.

2. Numbers 6:24-26:

24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:

25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

“Evidence for the antiquity of this passage has now been found,” reports the Spring 2006 issue of Bible and Spade.  More from Bible and Spade follows:

Excavations in Jerusalem in 1979-80 by Gabriel Barkay turned up two amulets dating from the late seventh century BC.  They were found in the fourth of several burial caves he discovered on an escarpment known as Ketef-Hinnom, which overlooks the Hinnom Valley (Gehenna) just opposite Mt. Zion.  Each amulet contained a rolled-up sheet of silver which, when unrolled, revealed the Priestly Benediction inscribed on them.

Time magazine, reporting on the find, stated that this discovery suggests that at least part of the Old Testament was written soon after some of the events it describes.  The discovery made it clear that parts of the Old Testament were being copied long before some skeptics had believed they were even written.

The two amulets are evidence of the antiquity of traditions preserved in the Bible; it also provides indirect evidence, as do the Dead Sea Scrolls and other manuscripts from the Second Temple period of the accuracy of scribes who for centuries copied sacred texts. 

These startling new discoveries have laid to rest any reasonable doubts as to the authenticity of the pre-exilic date of the silver scrolls from Ketef-Hinnom and their direct relation to the Biblical texts.  The initial doubts were based on lack of knowledge, doubts that have now been answered, thanks to modern technology. [End of quotes]

3. II Kings 23:11:

And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs published the following headline on March 31, 2019: “Rare Seal Bearing Biblical Name found in City of David Excavation.”  Excerpts follow:

A rare and exciting discovery: A bulla (seal impression) and a 2,600-year-old stamp bearing Hebrew names were uncovered in the City of David.  The artifacts were discovered inside a public building that was destroyed during the destruction of the First Temple and were uncovered in archaeological excavations of the Givati Parking Lot in the City of David National Park in Jerusalem.  The dig was conducted by archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority and Tel Aviv University. 

The seal impression, dated to the First Temple period, features the words: (belonging) to Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King (LeNathan-Melech Eved HaMelech).  The name Nathan-Melech appears once in the Bible, in the second book of Kings 23:11, where he is described as an official in the court of King Josiah, who took part in the religious reform that the king was implementing.  And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathan-Melech the officer, which was in the precincts; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

The title Servant of the King (Eved HeMelech) appears often in the Bible to describe a high-ranking official close to the king.  This title appears on other stamps and seal impressions that were found in the past.  This seal impression is the first archaeological evidence of the Biblical name Nathan-Melech. 

Dr. Mendel-Geberovich notes that the fact that this official was mentioned by his first name alone indicates that he was known to all, and there was no need to add his family lineage. 

According to Mendel-Geberovich, Although it is not possible to determine with complete certainty that the Nathan-Melech who is mentioned in the Bible was in fact the owner of the stamp, it is impossible to ignore some of the details that link them together.

Bullae were small pieces of clay impressed by personal seals, used in ancient times to sign letters.  While the parchment that they sealed didnt survive the fires that devastated ancient Jerusalem, the bullae, which are made of ceramic-like material, were preserved, leaving evidence of the correspondence and those behind them. [End of quotes]

4. II Kings 16:20:

And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.

Isaiah 22:15:

Thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, Go, get thee unto this treasurer, even unto Shebna, which is over the house, and say,

II Kings 18:37:

Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.

Haaretz.com published an April 10, 2018 article with the headline: “Hezekiah Seal Proves Ancient Jerusalem was a Major Judahite Capital.”  Several paragraphs follow: 

The Hanukkah miracle wasnt finding King Hezekiahs seal impression by Temple Mount.  It was finding it inside the royal building in Jerusalem where the seal had actually been used 2,700 years ago, proving its authenticity.  The discovery provides further testimony to the powerful status of the ancient Judahite administration in Jerusalem at the time. 

Actually, we had already known the kings seal existed.  Impressions from it have been making the rounds of the antiquities market for years.  A simulation of the seal is even on display at the Israel Museum, on loan from the Jesselson collection.

The uniqueness of the seal impression announced in December lies in its being a rare solid piece of evidence that Jerusalem housed a major Judahite royal administration.

Hezekiah is the ancient Judahite king about whom we know the most.  He is extensively described in the Bible and is mentioned in Assyrian documents, too.  The discovery of his bulla in situ is much more than just a cool find.  Added to other rare evidence, it attests that Jerusalem in King Hezekiahs time was not some hilltop village, as some postulate. It was the administrative center of the Judahite kingdom.

Shebnah was there too.

LMLK [the transliteration of four Hebrew letters on the seal, shorthand for belongs to the king] handles also bore personal sealssuch as that of Shebnah be Shahar, whose seal was found both at Ramat Rahel and at Lachish (from the palace floor).  Shebnah was Hezekiahs scribe, according to Isaiah 22:15 and II Kings 18:37, but just having a similar name to that found in the Bible doesnt necessarily mean that this was the same person.  There are other seals with names corresponding to administrative personnel but until now, archaeologists had difficulty ruling that they were the same people.

The current discovery of the royal and personal seal impression in situ in the excavation allows for these individuals to be connected to Hezekiahs administration and for the LMLK seals to be legitimately connected with Hezekiah. [End of quotes]

The more the shovels dig, and the more the researchers search, the more they find that the Word of God is true and righteous altogether.  We need to know it is true.  Everything depends upon it.  Choose God’s Word. Choose life and live. Choose the Word, the inerrant truth that never changes. 

GOD SAID, Genesis 41:53-57:

53 And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended.

54 And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.

55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.

56 And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.

57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.

GOD SAID, Psalm 19:9:

The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

GOD SAID, John 10:35-36:

35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

MAN SAID: I must be honest, I’m a little terrified by the idea of my own death.  What do you think my odds are?  You know, of going to heaven. Should I ask my phone? 

 

Now you have THE RECORD.

 

 

References:

Authorized King James Version

“The Blessing of the Silver Scrolls,” Bible and Spade, Spring 2006

Fridman, J., “Hezekiah Seal Proves Ancient Jerusalem was a Major Judahite Capital,” Haaretz.com, April 10, 2018

GodSaidManSaid, “Gideon & Jerubbaal Found. The Higher Critics Head for the Tall Grass

Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Rare Seal Bearing Biblical Name found in City of David Excavation,” March 31, 2019

Lacey, T., “Evidence for the Seven-Year Famine of Joseph’s Time Found?AnswersInGenesis.org, May 20, 2022

Marshall, M., “Did a Mega Drought Topple Empires 4,200 Years Ago?Nature.com, January 26, 2022

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