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Ahaziah, Wicked King of Judah

The kingdom of Israel was divided in half during the reign of King Rehoboam and since this the kingdoms of Israel and Judah have always endured problems. The Israeli kings were cursed by Jeroboam who started a false religion so he could retain his power. The kings of Judah usually kept the true worship of God, but many of the rulers tolerated the worship of pagan deities and built foreign altars in their territory. King Ahaziah of Judah was one of those kings that had deliberately led the people away from God while he was in power. He ruled Judah for a very short amount of time. He is found on the Bible World History Timeline starting around 898 BC.

King Ahaziah Early Years

King Ahaziah was the son of King Jehoram and his name means “God holds firm”. King Ahab of Israel was Jehoram’s father in law because he married his daughter Athalia. God considered King Ahab to be one of the wickedest kings in the history of Israel. After King Jehoram had claimed the throne he killed all of his brothers so they would not challenge his right to rule. King Jehoram’s father was a godly king named Jehoshaphat who led the people in the ways of God. King Jehoram grew up observing his father as he ruled the kingdom of Judah, but he just didn’t follow Jehoshaphat’s example. After he married Ahab’s daughter Athalia he became increasingly wicked. He led the people to worship false gods such as Baal and the Golden Calf Cult.

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This is important to King Ahaziah’s story because the young king was influenced by the same behaviors of his father and mother. Apparently, he had grown up believing in false gods and he listened to evil advisors who helped him to lead the people to worship pagan deities instead of God.

King Ahaziah’s Short Reign

King Ahaziah was young when he took the throne. He was only 22 years-old when he became king. He had other siblings, but all of his brothers were killed by raiders while they were away from the palace. As soon as he was in power he immediately began to lead the people in the wrong direction. He was greatly influenced by his mother Athalia and advisors from King Ahab’s house. God only allowed King Ahaziah to rule Judah for one year before he took his life.

Ahaziah
Ahaziah 

King Jehu: God’s Servant of Judgment

Jehu was a military commander used by God to carry out his judgment against King Ahab for his previous sins. Jehu was given the task to eliminate King Ahab’s family and he was successful at this task. He killed many people who were a part of Ahab’s lineage. He also killed the advisors, friends, distant relatives and associates of Ahab. During the short year that King Ahaziah was in power, the young ruler had aided the Israeli King Joram against the land of Aram. King Joram lost this fight and was wounded. After the wounded monarch returned home, King Ahaziah went to visit him. Once when he did God led him into a surprise attack by Jehu. King Ahaziah ended up escaping but was later found dead in another land. He was given a proper burial by Jehu because out of respect for his godly grandfather, King Jehoshaphat. This was the only thing good that the people of Israel said about Ahaziah after his death.

References:

  • 2 Kings 8: 16 – 29 The history of King Ahaziah’s life and the life of his parents.
  • 2 Chronicles 22: 1 King Ahaziah is made a ruler of his people since he was the only son of King Jeroham that wasn’t killed by raiders.
  • 2 Chronicles 22: 3 – 5 Outlines how poorly King Ahaziah ruled the land of Judah.
  • 2 Chronicles 22: 7 – 9 Jehu slays King Ahaziah and gives him a proper burial.

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahaziah_of_Judah
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/973-ahaziah-king-of-israel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ahaziah_of_Judah.png

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Thutmose I Egypt and the Bible

Thutmose I was the 18th-dynasty king of ancient Egypt whose reign spanned from 1493-c. 1482 BC which is where he appears on the Bible Timeline. Thutmose was also known as Thutmosis or Tuthmosis. He came to power after the reign of Amenhotep I who reigned from 1525 BC – 1504 BC. Biblical references of Thutmose I can particularly be found in the Psalms of David. The length of his reign is uncertain with nine years being the highest attested number of years.

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Family

Thutmose I is believed to have been the son of his predecessor Amenhotep I who was otherwise known as Amenophis. His mother was Semiseneb and his chief wife and consort was Queen Ahmose. He is known to have fathered five children. They were Thutmose II, Hatshepsut, Amenmose, Wadjmose, and Nefrubity.

Thutmose_I, Egyptian_Pharoah
Thutmose I

Contradictory Information

Some seem to be of the opinion that Thutmose was not the son of Amenhotep, but rather the son of an unknown military man and a mother whose name was Seniseneb. The name Seniseneb is documented on the “Accession Announcement” of Turi, vice king of Nubia. There are also schools of thought that Thutmose I was the alter ego of King David of Israel.

It is said that Thutmose I, being the son of a non-royal mother may have strengthened his claim to the throne by marrying Queen Ahmose who was perhaps of relation to his predecessor Amenhotep. Other views are that he might have come to power after serving with Amenhotep as coregent for an unspecified period. This view is supported by a chapel found at Thebes. In a letter to the viceroy of Nubia, he communicated his new titulary and coronation on his accession day.

Achievements

The achievements of Thutmose I the 18th king of Egypt included expanding the Egyptian empire in Nubia (now known as Sudan) and also penetrating deep into Syria. He accomplished this by defeating the Syrians and quelling a rebellion in Nubia. Following his conquest of Nubia, he sought to provide an easier means of traveling upstream from Egypt to Nubia by building a canal. Some monuments of note that he built under his architect Ineni were temples, obelisks, pylons shrines and statues which were located at the temple complex of Karnak.

During his Reign

During his second reign Thutmose I, led a river bourne expedition beyond the boundaries his predecessor crossed and went deep into Nubia. One reason for targeting this area was to access its rich gold deposits. This gold source was greatly exploited during the 18th dynasty (1539 – 1292 BCE).

Another main reason for the venture was that the hostile Kushite kingdom, centered near the Third Cataract, had been a major problem for Egypt during the 17th dynasty (c. 1630 – 1540 BCE).  Inscriptions which can be found along the way indicates that he went past the Fourth Nile Cataract and set up a new boundary at Kurgus. The biographies of two Upper Egyptians, who were among the forces that made this campaign, bear testimonies of the venture.

After conquering Nubia, Thutmose went on to penetrate the Euphrates River in the vicinity of Carchemish in Syria. He was in pursuit of the Hyksos, Asiatic rulers who had recently dominated Egypt. One of the text in Nubia records that while, before the Syrian foray, Thutmose claimed the Euphrates as his border. There is no other existing evidence that there were earlier victorious campaigns, but the Nubian text indicates that a there had already been a deep penetration of Syria.

Once in Egypt Thutmose I carried out a thorough renovation of the Middle Kingdom (1938-c. 1630 BCE) temple of Amon at Thebes. An enclosure wall was erected and two pylons were erected at the western end with a small pillared hall in between. He added two obelisks in front of the outer pylon and created the axial temple, which became a standard for the New Kingdom (1539-1075 BCE).

Thutmose appointed two crown princes who predeceased him. One was appointed a commander of the armies and was sent to Memphis, located close to Cairo. This became a military operations center in the New Kingdom and later kings followed Thutmose example and assigned their crowned princes to Memphis where they were trained in the military arts.

Tomb/Burial Site

Thutmose I died in the year 1492BC and was buried at Valley of the Kings. He is said to be the first king to cut his tomb in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes possibly as a means of obtaining greater security for it. He expanded the cemetery workers’ village at Dayr al-Madinah in western Thebes. He was also responsible for the completion of the organization of the necropolis staff that was started by Amenhotep his predecessor. His tomb bears the reference number KV38 and was discovered during the years 1859 – 1946 by the Egyptologist Victor Loret.

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Egypt Amenhotep and the Bible

Amenhotep was the son of another Egyptian pharaoh named Amhose I. He came into power during the early part of the 15th century B.C. which is where he is found on the Biblical Timeline. Many speculate that he was a child when he took the throne. Scholars and historians cannot pinpoint the exact time of his reign because they are not able to accurately calculate the dates.

Historical records also point out the fact that his mother acted in his place as a ruler because of his extremely young age. When he was of age he married his sister Amhose-Meritamon. Amenhotep is also credited with subduing the Syrians early in his reign and as a result of his efforts he created an era of peace and prosperity which benefited all of the Egyptians.

During Amenhotep’s reign, he constructed many temples, public buildings and housing. The kingdom of Egypt wasn’t in any immediate threat from outside forces and invaders. Amenhotep had time to focus his efforts on building the Egyptian economy and infrastructure. He created the city which became known as modern day Luxor.

The Nile River was also used to expand trade within the area and to increase the revenues of the kingdom under his reign. He built a temple known as Malkata and the famous temple of Amun. He was also credited with creating artworks that would influence the New Kingdom and for creating two important literary pieces. One of these works was known as the Book of what is in the Underworld and this book influenced later Egyptian funeral rights. During his reign, the Ebers Papyrus was created and this was the foremost source of information for ancient Egyptian medical practices. Amenhotep supposedly had died from an unknown disease.

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Amenhotep I image

Shortly after his death he was deified by some Egyptians and became the patron god of Deir el Medina which was the home to many artisans who worked in the Valley of the Kings. Amenhotep also had cultic following that sprang up once he was dead. He tried to make his tomb obscure in order to keep it hidden from grave robbers. His body was mummified and it was kept in perfect condition for many centuries. Once the New Kingdom had arrived his body was mummified once again in order to continue  to preserve its excellent condition.

Amenhotep also had a son that died early in childhood and since he didn’t have another heir to succeed his throne the position was given to a military commander named Thutmose. The reason why Thutmose had access to the throne was due to his marriage to Amenhotep’s sister.

During the 18th dynasty of rulers in Egypt, there were four pharaohs who were given the name of Amenhotep. Ahmose I started the line of succeeding rulers that had the name of Amenhotep and Amenhotep I was the succeeded his rule in 1524 B.C. Amenhotep II started his rule in 1424 B.C. and Amenhotep III took the throne in 1388 B.C. When the name Amenhotep is used by itself it usually indicates the first Amenhotep ruler during the 18th dynasty.

Amenhotep ruled Egypt around the time of the Jewish Exodus from the region which was in 1514-1493 B.C. The actual date of the Exodus is unknown by many scholars and historians, but many authorities place the event between the years of 1514 to 1212 B.C. The actual date of the Jewish Exodus cannot be agreed upon by historians. No one is sure. Amenhotep is listed as one of a few pharaohs from this time period who resisted God and Moses by not letting the Israelites go free.

The historical records of Amenhotep do not mention anything about the historical events of the Exodus. Keep in mind that many Egyptian priests or record keepers would probably not record the events surrounding the Exodus because it would have brought shame on Amenhotep and his dynasty. Kings, rulers and dynasties might have had bad events during their time in power but many of them would probably have been written out of its history because everyone tries to make their time in power one of greatness.  The fact that Amenhotep had a first born son that died at an early age could be proof of that he was the pharaoh of the Exodus, but once again this is purely speculative. Amenhotep is considered a popular pharaoh who emerged from the Middle Kingdom era.

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China Beginning of Lyric Poetry

While rhyming poetry mostly had its early beginnings in Ancient Greece the sole idea of lyrical poetry had its roots in the ancient empirical nation of China. Lyrical poetry is defined in its most basic form as poetry that is compounded with feelings and flittering verses of emotion. This form of poetry does not necessarily need to rhyme and yet it is termed as lyrical poetry because it used to be set to be accompanied by a lyre or it could be finely tuned to be sung along with a lyre.  The ancient beginnings of lyric poetry are placed on the Bible Timeline Chart at 1500 BC.

The earliest forms of Chinese poetry are  called lyrical poetry and there can be a bit of confusion on the standings of its structure. Some poems that do not rhyme in their ancient Chinese form are considered as lyrical poetry while those that do or at least carry a similarity with modern poem structures are not considered poems by lyrical experts.

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Chinese Poetry

The earliest recorded collection of Chinese poetry dates back to the Classic of Poetry which is known as the Shijing in China. Many attribute the collection to be a collective endeavor of the Chinese philosopher Confucius who lived approximately between 551 BC and 479 BC however this is still debatable.

Many experts and researchers have taken into agreement that the Classic of Poetry dates beyond Confucius and place the beginning of lyric poetry at around 600 BC or even earlier which sets in tone the beginning of Chinese and Japanese history in the timeline. The symbol of Shi is now generally the symbol generalized for poetry and the Shiji carries the most basic and ancient of the form of a four-character meter structure now popularized in Chinese lyric poetry.

While the idea that a lot of the work was done by Confucius might be a bit of a stretch, it is agreed he may have had some work in the compilation, it is agreed that a lot of the content is actually a compilation of work dating at least four centuries since its publication.

Following the Classic of Poetry is the famous Chu Ci (Ci being pronounced as tsuh). Along with the Shi Jing, the Chu Ci is the most famous collection of ancient Chinese verse and is generally termed as the high peak of the earliest form of lyric poetry in the region. The Chu Ci is also referred to as the Songs of the South and most of the content of the collection of verses are concentrated on the events surrounding the warring Chinese factions of the southern region. This was later referred to in a different text as the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. While the Chu Ci holds less influence in modern poetry than the Shi Jing it actually has a lot of direct implication on the development of Chinese lyric poetry that has led to the argument that, in essence, the Chu Ci is far more influential than the aforementioned Shi Jing..

Afterwards, lyric poetry  branched out. During the Han Dynasty, there developed a different form of poetry known as Fu and this was mostly attributed to Han Poetry which is a later development of lyric poetry. The most famous compilation is known as the Nineteen Old Poems (Ku Shih Shih-Chiu Shih in its ancient Chinese structure). This collection of poems was extremely prominent in later on lyrical poems. This is mostly brought about since they featured a five character structure contrary to the four character structure of the aforementioned Shi Jing poems. The differences here lapped over with the development of the Jian’an Poetry and the Six Dynasty Poetry of latter day empirical China.

Overall the development of early lyric poetry is clearly shown to have developed very early on in China dating six centuries BC down to the very years of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. The elements in these lyric poems have later gone on to develop modern Chinese poetry, both those that rhyme and those that do not, and have gone on to develop folk-style lyrical structures that can be seen even in the west and in medieval poetry that developed almost a millennium later. To date the Shi Jing, Chu Ci and Nineteen Old Poems are the greatest collection in the world of ancient lyric poetry and are the strongest remnants of ancient Chinese literature that go side by side with the teachings and compilations of Confucius and the latter scrolls of Chinese Buddhism that date from the early 1st AD to the latter development of the last Chinese dynasty.

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Rameses II and the Bible

Rameses II is the son of Seti I who became an Egyptian Pharaoh in his 30th year of age. He ruled Egypt for about 67 years. He was believed to be the greatest and the most renowned pharaoh of Egypt. As the 3rd Egyptian pharaoh of the new kingdom, he ruled Egypt from 1279 BC to 1213 BC , which is where he is found on the Amazing Bible Timeline with World History.

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Ramses II
Ramses II

Rameses II Conquest with the Hittites

Being the leader of a nation brings with it a responsibility to keep his land free from the danger of invasion.  It is an obligation of a Pharaoh to make use of his power to maintain the peace of his land during his supremacy. Rameses II most famous fight of conquest was the one with the Hittites of Kadesh. During his fifth year of being a Pharaoh, Rameses II battled in Syria against the Hittites and its alliance. The war continued for twenty years after the series of battles with the Hittites.

In his second battle, Rameses II experienced difficulties during his attack on Athe, a city of Kadesha where he almost fell during the battle through deceit. It happened when he grouped his soldiers into four groups namely: Amun, Ra, Ptah and Setekh. Rameses II led the Amun division outside the city with the Ra division about a mile and a half behind. The Hittites however, hid waiting to ambush the Pharaoh’s army. They first attacked the Ra division so that the Pharaoh wouldn't have it as reinforcement. Fortunately, the group managed to escape. The Hittites then attacked the Amun group and surrounded the Pharaoh. However, Ramses II managed to fight back in the combat and was able to pave the way out for him and his men after killing quite a large number of Hittites. 

After that, the Pharaoh and his men camped to regroup the army. They then went into battle again for four hours until all of them were drained of energy.  Rameses II decided to pull his army out from the battle.

It was a draw battle. After several years, Rameses II reached an agreement with the prince of the Hittites. It was settled that Egypt and the Hittites were not to invade or attack each other’s land. They also formed an alliance to defend one another against common enemies and in subduing revolts in Syria. 13 years after the truce, Rameses II married the daughter of Manefrure’s, the prince of Hittite, a daughter named Hattusilis.

Ramases II as a Pharaoh

Ramases II was considered to be a great fighter. However, he was also seen as an incompetent leader. He took credit not due to him and consumed most of the wealth of Egypt in maintaining his name by building big projects during his reign. He scribed his name everywhere on the shrines and buildings in Egypt and even put his name on statues that were not his own.

However, overall, Rameses II was known to be “Ramses the Great” because he was truly a great family man, a religious leader, builder and a great warrior. By the time he died at 90 years of age, Egypt was rich through his conquest of other empires.

Rameses II in the Bible

Of all the Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt in the new kingdom, Rameses was the only name mentioned in the Bible. Rameses also seemed to be a name of a place rather than the name of a Pharaoh.

Genesis 47:11: This was the time when Joseph, through the command of Pharaoh, brought his father and siblings to the land of Egypt that was called the ‘land of Rameses.

Exodus 1: 11: The Israelites, as slaves, worked under tight taskmasters’ commands to build the treasure cities of Pharaoh, the Pithom and the Rameses.

Exodus 12:37: The people of Israel, 600,000 thousand men on foot and unknown number of children, journeyed from the place called Rameses to another place called Succoth

Numbers 33:3: This passage in the Bible pertains to the time when the Israelites from Rameses departed Egypt on the 15th day of the first month in the morning of the Passover feast.

Numbers 33:5: The removal of Israelites from an Egyptian city Rameses to Succoth.

Due to these passages, Rameses II is suggested as the Pharaoh of Exodus, as portrayed in “The Ten Commandments” in the classic film as well as in the animation film entitled “Prince of Egypt”. However, it should be noted that there are nine other Pharaohs who took the name of Rameses. Aside from that, Moses was said to be living around the 1525 BC to 1405 BC, two hundred years before Rameses II. Other than Rameses II, Pharaoh Thutmose III was the Pharaoh in Exodus. Moses has only been proposed as the Thutmose II for the first 22 years of the Pharaoh’s his life until Moses was cast out to Midian and the half brother of Nefure (speculated to be the daughter of Pharaoh who took Moses in) took Moses place as Thutmose II. This Thutmose was the father of Thutmose III; another speculated Pharaoh of Exodus.

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Phoenicia and The Bible

 Phoenicia was an ancient civilization in Southwest Asia consisting of city-states along the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Today that area covers Syria and Lebanon. It covered most of the western and coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. The name Phoenicia may also appear as Phenice and Phenicia. Basically, Phoenicians were Canaanites who conquered and settled on several landmarks surrounding the Mediterranean coastline.  Phoenicia is found on the Biblical Timeline Chart throughout the years 1500 BC to 300 BC. The places where they occupied and created small civilizations were: Cadiz, Kition, Utica, and Lixis. Greeks were also colonizing side by side with Phoenicians who saw this as a competition between territories. As a result, Phoenicians worked double time to create bigger colonies. They established numerous colonies including Carthage in northern Africa. 

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Phoenecia
The commercial network of Phoenicia

Phoenicians and Their Contributions to the Society

The Phoenician civilization became well-known as the foremost navigators and traders of the Mediterranean by 1250 B.C. They were the early business men who practiced the trading and the industry of marketing.They had a keen ability to trade items with other colonies and tribes in their time. Their popular product was the purple dye made from the snail. This is how they got the name Phoenicia or Phoenix in Greek, meaning purple-red. Another item that they traded were dogs bred to develop their hunting and herding skills. The Phoenicians also produced wines. When Egypt had a hard time producing wine, the Phoenicians took advantage of this and create their own to trade with Egypt. Phoenicians also created trading posts. 

They were also famous for the marine vessel that allowed them to go from one location to another and best remembered for the products that they traded with others. As the Phoenicians traveled to the edges of the known world, they introduced their alphabet that was based on symbols for sounds rather than cuneiform or hieroglyphic representations. Their culture was gradually absorbed by Persian and later Hellenistic civilizations

How Phoenicia colonized Western Europe and Africa

Phoenician did not use brute force as conquerors do. The Phoenician people colonized Western Europe and Africa using trading goods from 1200 BC to 900 BC. Phoenicians, as Canaanites, were a Hamitic tribe that occupied the shores of Lebanon. Those Canaanites trading in Greece were called Phoenicians by the Greeks so that by 3 BC Lebanon became known as Phoenicia. As businessmen, Phoenician went so far that by 200 BC, they had colonized almost all of the Mediterranean shore. They established trading ports and depots all over the great shores. As they searched for more trading partners, they rounded the whole of Africa and went to England as well as Ireland. They founded many cities in Western Europe bringing with them their skills and industry of art, glassware, fragrance and precious stones.

Phoenician Colonies and Settlements

The Phoenicians had established commercial outposts throughout the Mediterranean including Carthage in North Africa and across the narrow straits in Sicily. These are considered the most strategically important ones. With these, they were able to monopolize the Mediterranean trade and keep their rivals from passing through. Some of their colonies were in Cyprus, Corsica, Sardinia, and the Iberian Peninsula. They also founded several small outposts a day’s sail away from each other all along the North African coast en route to Spain’s mineral wealth.

Phoenicians also reached the coast of southern Spain and along the coast of present-day Portugal. They also ventured north into the Atlantic Ocean as far as Great Britain, providing them tin mines and other important materials. Meanwhile, a Carthaginian expedition that was led by Hanno the Navigator explored and colonized the Atlantic coast of Africa as far as the Gulf of Guinea. They also explored south along the coast of Africa.

Basically, the Phoenicians were not an agricultural people because most of the lands in their settlements were not arable. Because of this, they focused on commerce and trading instead which established their identity as great mariners. On the other hand, the Phoenicians influenced other groups around the Mediterranean such as the Greeks who later became their main commercial rivals.

Phoenician Trade in the Bible

Phoenicians often trade their skills with the Israelites.

The people of Israel did not have enough time to master any skills in building even while in Egypt or when they were in the desert with Moses. For this reason, King David, as well as his son King Solomon after him made use of the Phoenician people to build their temples as stated in the Biblical passage in I Chronicles 14:1. King Hiram of one  Phoenician ancient city and a seaport, Tyre, sent his craftsmen to David to provide the King of Israel cedar logs with carpenters and stonemasons so that they could build his palace. When King David died, and Solomon reigned after him, he wrote to King Hiram (I Kings 5:6) to build a temple for him as his father David was so busy warring, he was not able to build a temple for the Lord (I Kings 5:3). King Hiram sent his carpenters and stonemasons once more with cedar logs and pine trees to create the temple (I Kings 5:8-10).

The Phoenician people, especially those craftsmen from Tyre, traded with King Solomon as stated in I kings 7:13-16 where King Solomon, after finishing his house after 13 years, planned to build another one in the forest of Lebanon. Throughout the Bible from Genesis to the time of the disciples in the Book of Acts, Canaanites, Lebanon and the places of Tyre and Sidon (another city in Phoenicia which means fishing) have been mentioned.

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China Begins to Export Silk to Europe

Early History of Production

IAt the sites of Yangshao culture in Xia County, Shanxi in China there was a silk cocoon found. With the use of a sharp knife, it was cut in half. It was said that the silk cocoon came from a species called “bombyx mori”- a domesticated silkworm.  Other fragments of these domestic silkworms were also found in the royal tombs of the Shang Dynasty, during 1600-1046 BC.  It is found on the Bible World History Timeline Poster during that time frame.

It came to a point that the Chinese community wasn’t able to keep their secret, and it spilled to the Koreans, the Japanese, and later to the Indians. It was also during the time of their discovery that they learned how to make silk. The Old Testament states that fabric production started in Western Asia. Biblical scholars believed that it was during the 2nd century BCE that the Chinese community established a means of networking and exporting their silk products to the west. During the reign of King Darius III of Persia, he used silk for himself and the Persian court. This was before Alexander the Great conquered the empire of King Darius III. Despite the rapid spread of the use of silk across Eurasia, it’s production remained exclusively Chinese for centuries.

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Silk: Myths and Legends

The writings of Confucius together with Chinese tradition, discussed the legend of the silk. It was said that a silk worm’s cocoon fell into the teacup of the Empress Leizu. Leizu was a legendary Chinese empress and wife of the Yellow Emperor. Based on Chinese tradition, she was the one who discovered silk and invented the silk loom. Empress Leizu wished to extract the silk worm’s cocoon from her teacup, and she began to unroll the thread of the cocoon. It then came to her mind the idea of weaving the thread. She then started to tutor her entourage in the art of raising silkworms- the process of sericulture. Through this event, she then became the Goddess of Silk in Chinese Mythology. Even though silk was brought to a vast number of foreign countries, the methods of sericulture remained hidden and the Chinese community guarded that carefully.

Silk: Its usage in Ancient and Medieval China

During Ancient times, silk worm farming was restricted to women. Some people saw the production of silk as useless, but it meant a lot to those who belonged to high society. Only those who belonged to the high society, with their families, were allowed to use silk products. The right to wear silk was only given to the emperor and the highest dignitaries. This right existed for 1000 years. It was only during the later part that the right of wearing silk extended to the other classes of the Chinese society. Along with silk, the paper is also one of the greatest discoveries in China.

The Spread of Silk Production

Silk, History_of
The emperor Justinian receives silkworms, 552 AD.

During the 4th century, BC silk began to be of such high value that it reached the West by merchants who used it in exchange for gold, ivory, horses and some precious stones. With the Roman Empire frontier, silk became a monetary standard for appraising the value of different products.

During 300 AD, Japan spread the idea of silk cultivation. They were able to acquire silkworm eggs, and they started to cultivate silkworm. Next to Japan, the Arabs also started silk manufacturing. Because of the leak of the methods of silk production or sericulture, it came to a point that Chinese silk export became less important, though they still dominated over the luxury silk market. This widespread idea of sericulture came across to Western Europe, more particular in many Italian states, which saw an economic boom by selling silk to the rest of Europe.

During the Middle Ages, silk manufacturing techniques began to take place, with the discovery of the devices such as spinning wheel. In the 16th century, France in collaboration with Italy developed the prosperous silk trade. It was during the 4th century BC that silk began to be of high value that it reached the West by merchants who would be used in exchange for gold, ivory, horses and some precious stones. With the Roman Empire frontier, silk became a monetary standard for appraising the value of different products.

Silk Industry During the Industrial Revolution

The rise of an epidemic silkworm disease caused the production of silk products to fall, more especially in France, where the industry never recovered. After the crisis in silk production in Europe, Japan’s modernization of sericulture made it the world’s foremost silk producer. Though Italy managed to rise from the crisis, France was never able to do so.

Silk in the 20th Century

It was only during the 20th century that China established and regained their role in silk production.  Nowadays, China is the world’s largest producer of silk. New fabrics such as nylon reduced the prevalence of silk throughout the world and silk regained its dignity of being a rare luxury but in a much less expensive way. 

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Seti I and the Bible

Seti I: Father of Great Rulers in Egypt

 Menmaatre Seti I (commonly referred to as Seti I) was one of the greatest rulers of ancient Egypt . He fathered the renowned Rameses II also known as Ramses the Great. Many of the great successors to the Egyptian throne were from Seti I’s lineage. His birth name was Menmaatre Seti I which means “He of Set” that connotes dedication to the god “Set” and Menmaatre means “Eternal is the Justice of Re”. As a Pharaoh, he had several titles which included: Sethi I, Sety, Sety Merenptah and what the Greeks refer to as Sethos I.

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The unwrapped mummy of Seti I

Seti I: His Great Predicament

 It is said that Seti I had a great predicament during his reign as a pharaoh of Egypt. This began when a prophecy came up which avowed that someone would grow up to take over his throne. This predicament alarmed him so much that he ordered his men to kill every male child born in Egypt.

 Seti I: His Reign

 Seti I was an infamous leader throughout the ancient Egyptian history. According to the Biblical Timeline, his reign began in the 19th Dynasty recorded between 1294 BC – 1279 BC and 1290 BC to 1279 BC. He was the second king since the start of the 19th dynasty. Among the most significant achievements of Seti, I was building the Great Temple of Abydos also known as the Osireion. He began the construction of this significant temple, and it was finished during the reign of his son, Ramses the Great.

 The temple is an L-shaped structure made of limestone and was originally 550 feet wide. The temple is a tomb or tabernacle dedicated to the ancient Egyptian god Osiris. Located in one of this temple’s tunnels is another significant relic called “The Table of Abydos”. Many consider the Table of Abydos equal in importance to the Rosetta Stone in the Egyptian archeology. The Table of Abydos contains a rare sequential list of pictograph with names of most of the ancient dynastic pharaohs enlisting the details and periods of the reign of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs and dynasties. This piece of a relic is popularly known to this modern period as the “King’s List”.

 Another significant event that happened in his time was the capturing of the place called “Kadesh”, a Syrian town. Throughout history, many pharaohs had attempted to recapture this land during their reign but to no avail. Seti I was the only recorded pharaoh to have successfully accomplished this goal. Together with his son, Ramses the Great, they triumphantly entered Kadesh and erected a victory monument at the site. Seti I spearheaded a series of battles to Western Asia, Canaan, Libya and Nubia. Many believe that he was a great king, a successful warrior and a great builder and these accounts have proved them correct.

 Seti I: His Legacy

 When Seti I died, he was buried in the lengthiest and deepest tomb yet found in the Valley of the Kings. Giovanni Battista Belzoni discovered the tomb in 1817. The tomb of Seti I was one of the finest examples of Egyptian funerary art ever found in history. Also during his reign, Egyptian Art flourished to a point that was undoubtedly never equaled, as is showed in the monuments and art left after his death.

Seti I: In the Bible

 Exodus 1:8-22

According to the recent discoveries of some historians and Bible scholars, the passage of Exodus 1:8-22 “Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph” was originally associated with Aahmes I or Amosis but new research suggests that the passage rightfully refers to Seti I.

Exodus 2:1-10

When Moses was born, his mother decided to nurture him for three straight months. Eventually the time came when she could no longer hide him from the mandate of the current Pharaoh Seti I to kill all male babies in Egypt. Moses’ mother was forced to place him in a basket among the reeds along the Nile River. The pharaohs’ daughter discovered the basket and let her slave take care of him. When the child Moses grew older, the slave brought the child back to the pharaohs’ daughter and from then on she considered Moses her son.

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Amenhotep IV and the Bible

Amenhotep the fourth is the 10th Pharaoh in the new kingdom and the 18th dynasty. He was called Amenhotep IV for his first five years reign as a Pharaoh. However, he became so devoted to the sun disc god Aten that he adapted the name Akhenaten, meaning “The one who is of service to Aten”. Amenhotep IV ruled Egypt for 17 years until his death. He is found on the Biblical Timeline Chart during the timeframe of Moses and the Exodus.

Unlike his father before him, Amenhotep IV did not rule as long as his father Amenhotep III who ruled for 40 years. His greatest known accomplishment was his establishment of a monotheistic cult that centred on worshipping the god of sun disc called Aten.

Due to his belief in Aten, Amenhotep IV had other temples of gods destroyed like the temple of Amon. All inscriptions referring to ‘gods’ was wiped out as well. However, when he died, all his efforts in having one religion came to nothing as his son, Tutankhamen reverted back to the multi-god beliefs of the Egyptian people. The mummy of Amenhotep IV was rumoured to have been destroyed by Amon priest so that he would not be able to go to an afterlife.

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Amenhotep IV Statue

The Pharaoh Amenhotep IV was considered to be a good man by many. Some consider his monotheist belief is the origin of the Judeo-Christian monotheism.

Amenhotep IV in the Bible – The Pharaohs of Exodus

There have been a lot of pharaohs in the bible. There was the king of Egypt Shishak (I Kings 11:40, KJV) whom Jeroboam fled to when Solomon sought to kill him and So (II Kings 17:4, KJV) where Hosea, discovered by the Assyrian King, conspired and sent So, the king of Egypt a message. Another was the pharaoh Nechoh (II Kings 23:29; II Chronicles 35:20, KJV) who killed King Josiah in Megiddo when the king went up against the King of Egypt.

But the most famous of all Pharaohs in the Bible is the Pharaohs of Exodus. However, their names are never mentioned.  That is why until now, their identity is still open to speculation. There was two pharaohs that were needed to be identified, the one who oppressed the Israelites and the one who was plagued and set the Israelites free, thus the Exodus.

For example here is one theory.  When Moses was born, Tutmoses I, son of Amenhotep I, was the Pharaoh at that time who ordered the death of all male children of Israel. Tutmoses I had no son so that Nefure, speculated to be the princess who found Moses, adopted Moses. Tutmoses I named Moses as his heir and gave him the name Tutmoses II. Moses was Tutmoses II for 22 years until he killed an Egyptian and fled to Midian. The name Tutmoses II was given to Nefure’s half-brother.  She later became Queen Hatshepsut. Tutmoses III son from a concubine was the father of Amenhotep III.

Amenhotep III, father of Amenhotep IV, was said to be the Pharaoh of Exodus. Tutankhamen was said to be the first born son who died in the plague (Exodus 12:29) making his brother, Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV) the crown prince. Amenhotep was a witness to his father’s pride against the God of the Hebrew and saw how their gods were struck powerless. This is why, when he became a Pharaoh himself, Amenhotep IV worshipped only one god, Aten. 

This is just but one of the speculations on the identity of the Pharaoh of Exodus. Other pharaohs who could be the pharaoh of Exodus are Dudimeos, Ahmose I, Thutmose III, Horemheb, Ramesses I and Ramesses II. Ramesses II is the most well-known candidate due to the films “The Ten Commandments” and the “Prince of Egypt”.