Genealogical Confusion in Book of Abraham

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_Kishkumen
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Genealogical Confusion in Book of Abraham

Post by _Kishkumen »

For a long time I have found the history of Egypt in Book of Abraham chapter 1 very confusing:

21 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.

22 From this descent sprang all the Egyptians, and thus the blood of the Canaanites was preserved in the land.

23 The land of Egypt being first discovered by a woman, who was the daughter of Ham, and a daughter of Egyptus, which in the Chaldean signifies Egypt, which signifies that which is forbidden;

24 When this woman discovered the land it was under water, who afterward settled her sons in it; and thus, from Ham, sprang that race which preserved the curse in the land.

25 Now the first government of Egypt was established by Pharaoh, the eldest son of Egyptus, the daughter of Ham, and it was after the manner of the government of Ham, which was patriarchal.

26 Pharaoh, being a righteous man, established his kingdom and judged his people wisely and justly all his days, seeking earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations, in the days of the first patriarchal reign, even in the reign of Adam, and also of Noah, his father, who blessed him with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of wisdom, but cursed him as pertaining to the Priesthood.

27 Now, Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood, notwithstanding the Pharaohs would fain claim it from Noah, through Ham, therefore my father was led away by their idolatry;


I hope you guys will indulge me as I try to figure out this mess.

So, according to Book of Abraham 1, Egypt's rulers:

1. Descended from Ham, the son of Noah
2. The rulers derive this lineage from a daughter of Ham who is also a daughter of Egyptus (presumably also a descendant of Ham).
3. She discovered Egypt when the Nile was flooded (presumably) and settled her sons on the land.
4. The first ruler of Egypt, Pharaoh, was "the eldest son of Egyptus, the daughter of Ham."

OK, it is at this point that I think to myself, "WTF?" How can the woman who discovered Egypt be a daughter of Egyptus, who is herself named Egyptus, who just a few lines later is no longer a daughter of Egyptus, but instead a daughter of Ham?

5. Pharaoh seeks to imitate the order of the priesthood, but he is cursed in respect to the priesthood by "his father" Noah.

Again, I am thinking, "WTF?" So, Pharaoh is now the son of Noah? How does this mess work?

Noah has a son Ham, who in turn has a daughter named Egyptus. Noah sleeps with his granddaughter Egyptus and then curses the offspring, Pharoah, with regards to the priesthood.

Now, it may very well be the case that the reference to Noah as Pharaoh's father is intended to convey the more general sense of patrilineal ancestor, in which case Noah did not have sexual relations with his granddaughter Egyptus (what a crazy name for a daughter of Ham), thereby begetting Pharaoh.

Any thoughts?

Here is a possible genealogical stemma:

Noah
|
Ham = Egyptus
|
Egyptus
|
Pharaoh
Last edited by Guest on Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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_I have a question
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Re: Genealogical Confusion in Book of Abraham

Post by _I have a question »

It's almost as if the author was making it up as he went along...
“When we are confronted with evidence that challenges our deeply held beliefs we are more likely to reframe the evidence than we are to alter our beliefs. We simply invent new reasons, new justifications, new explanations. Sometimes we ignore the evidence altogether.” (Mathew Syed 'Black Box Thinking')
_Kishkumen
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Re: Genealogical Confusion in Book of Abraham

Post by _Kishkumen »

I have a question wrote:It's almost as if the author was making it up as he went along...


Yeah, of course. But the funny thing is, it seems to be informed by consulting actual ancient sources about Egypt.

So, yes, I can see that it quite likely is just a bunch of nonsense. Even the ancient Greek histories of Egypt were very problematic. But, what I am interested in is the possible sources of the Book of Abraham.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist
_Kishkumen
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Re: Genealogical Confusion in Book of Abraham

Post by _Kishkumen »

Look, for example, at this account of the foundation of Egypt transmitted by Ps.-Plutarch in the De Fluviis:

Nile is a river of Egypt near the city of Alexandria. Formerly it was called Melas from Melas, a child of Poseidon. Later it was instead called Egyptus for a reason of this sort. Egyptus, a child of Hephaestus and Leucippe, was king of the regions, and, through a civil war, since the Nile did not rise and the natives were oppressed by famine, the Pythis delivered the solution: if the king sacrifice his daughter to the gods as an averter. Distressed by the evils, the tyrant conducted Aganippe to the altars. When she was sacrificed, Egyptus, through surfeit of grief, flung himself into the river Melas, which, from him, was renamed Egyptus.


You will note the theme of human sacrifice, which also appears in Book of Abraham 1. Also common to both accounts is the flooding of the Nile. Admittedly, the Nile does not appear explicitly in the Book of Abraham.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist
_Kishkumen
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Re: Genealogical Confusion in Book of Abraham

Post by _Kishkumen »

One interesting twist in all of this is that Ham did have a son named Mizraim. The name Mizraim is also the Hebrew name for Egypt. In Eusebius' Chronicon, Manetho is cited as claiming that the Egyptians said they were descended from Mizraim after the Flood. Then George Syncellus cites Ps.-Manetho, Book of Sothis, as saying that Mizraim was the first pharaoh, Menes, who united the two lands.

In any case, it is perhaps not a coincidence that there was an Order of Misraim in 19th century French Freemasonry, which was traced back by the authors of its legend either to a Pharoah Misraim or God. Within the Rite of Memphis, which sprang from the Rite of Misraim, and with which it was later combined, there was a sacred ark containing "precious documents written in the Chaldee language."

Sound familiar?

See: LINK

So it may be the case that Egyptus is Mizraim, a name that Smith seems to have misidentified as feminine, thus making his Egyptus female.
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_Shulem
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Re: Genealogical Confusion in Book of Abraham

Post by _Shulem »

Hey Kishy, I spent countless hours studying Joseph Smith's work and found it all leads to a dead end. Joseph Smith's work was a complete fraud and totally unEgyptian, as are the Explanations of the Facsimiles which is Mormon garbage.

Noah & wife
?
Ham & Egyptus (Zeptah) [1]
?
Pharaoh (Mizraim) & Egyptus (Kahtoumun) [2]
?
(Ludim, Anamin, Lehabim), (Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, Casluhim, Caphtorim)


Ham ~ Several definitions have been attributed to this Hebrew name including hot, warm, fervent, sun burnt, dark and black. The earliest Egyptians were darker skinned and called the southern land kmt because of the black soil.

Egyptus ~ This name is from the Greek Aigyptos derived from the name Egypt (land of the Copt) and signifies the Two Lands.

Mizraim ~ The Hebrews referred to Egypt as Mizraim a name suggesting duality and signifies the two Egypts. The name Mesraim (Misr meaning red soil of the north) according to Josephus refers to the country of Egypt as the Mestre and the people of Egypt as the Mestreans. Similarly the prophet Joseph Smith in his Alphabet and Grammar studies referred to Egypt as Ahmehstrah and the people as Ahmehstrahans.

Pharaoh ~ A Greek word which is translated as per-aa in Egyptian and signifies the great royal house of the king of Egypt who descended from royal blood.
__________________________

[1] Zeptah was the name of Ham's wife according to the (unofficial) Joseph Smith Alphabet and Grammar and signifies that which is forbidden.

[2] Kahtoumun was the name of Ham's daughter according to the (unofficial) Joseph Smith Alphabet and Grammar and is a distinction of royal female lineage or descent, according to ancient traditions.


I hope this helps.
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Re: Genealogical Confusion in Book of Abraham

Post by _Kishkumen »

Thanks so much, Shulem! One question: why do you identify Pharaoh as Mizraim?
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist
_Shulem
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Re: Genealogical Confusion in Book of Abraham

Post by _Shulem »

Kishkumen wrote:Thanks so much, Shulem! One question: why do you identify Pharaoh as Mizraim?


There are historical traditions and speculations about Mizraim being a first pharaoh or even the unifying great king, Menes of the 1st Dynasty. Hebrew tradition nonetheless equated Mizraim with original Egyptian origins and power.

Something like that, anyway.
_huckelberry
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Re: Genealogical Confusion in Book of Abraham

Post by _huckelberry »

I thought this was the well known scriptural foundation for the priesthood ban and would be reason not to expect Mormon leaders to apologize or say the ban was a mistake.
_Kishkumen
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Re: Genealogical Confusion in Book of Abraham

Post by _Kishkumen »

Shulem wrote:
Kishkumen wrote:Thanks so much, Shulem! One question: why do you identify Pharaoh as Mizraim?


There are historical traditions and speculations about Mizraim being a first pharaoh or even the unifying great king, Menes of the 1st Dynasty. Hebrew tradition nonetheless equated Mizraim with original Egyptian origins and power.

Something like that, anyway.


OK. I thought there might be something in the Smith material to suggest the connection. I agree that Mizraim is a name associated with both Egypt and Egypt's first ruler, but Smith seems to make Egyptus (another name given to Egypt's first king) a woman. I could almost understand that based on an ignorant reading of Mizraim as similar to Miriam, vel sim. The names you provide for the women in the stemma seem more believable. Interesting that "that which is forbidden" pops up in both the Book of Abraham and the grammar.

The forbidden part is especially intriguing, particularly when you consider the polygamy themes in the Abraham story. To whom is the woman forbidden?

Finally, the sacrifice of virgins in Book of Abraham is remiscent of the spurious tradition of the Bride of the Nile, in which a virgin daughter of the king is sacrificed so the Nile will flood as it should.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist
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