Yashuya, Hoshea, & Jacob
© Charles Chandler
The article on Moses, Isaac, & Jacob suggested that the Golden Calf was an offering to Jacob for leading the exiles through the wilderness. If so, Jacob was there. The Torah does mention a person who was with Moses when he went up Mount Sinai to get the Ten Commandments,1 and who, on the way back down, informed Moses of the sacrileges in the camp2,3 — his name was Hoshea, son of Nun, who Moses called Joshua.
Joshua was mentioned in the article on Archaeology & Secular Literature, which noted that his story might have been a conflation of events spanning ~160 years, starting with "Habirus led by Yashuya" taking Jericho in , through Merneptah's suppression of the Sea Peoples in . The walls coming down at Jericho, as described in Joshua 6:20, correspond to the earthquake in . (As such, it resolves another long-standing question. After crossing the Jordan, but before the assault on Jericho, Yashuya ordered all of the men to get circumcised.4 This is odd in that in the conventional chronology, this had already been done, necessitating an explanation, which was that all of the men who had been circumcised earlier were now dead, and it was the next generation's turn. But circumcision was traditionally done shortly after birth,5 begging the question of why the children hadn't already been done. The need to explain goes away if this actually happened in , 53 years before the 1312-Exodus.)
According to Jephthah, there was a continuous presence of Hebrews across the river from Jericho for 300 years prior to ,6 suggesting that Yashuya began organizing the Habirus in Moab around . If he was at least ~25 years old at the time, he would have been born around , and at least ~45 years old when the earthquake hit in . This makes him a contemporary of Abraham, born , who had been banished to Canaan in . This means that when Yashuya was confronted by the commander of the army of the Lord,7 it was in Abraham's territory, and the commander might have even been Abraham himself. And when Yashuya gave the loot from Jericho to the house of the Lord,8 Abraham might have handled the funds on behalf of the Lord Amenhotep III. This would make Yashuya's campaign state-sanctioned piracy. The Amarna letters contain repeated complaints of Habiru raids, and historians have concluded that Amenhotep III simply neglected the Levant, not sending the troops requested by the local chiefs. Here we're seeing that he did send troops, just not to stop the Habirus — rather, the troops were sent to collect the loot. So the letters would keep coming. [woo-hoo]
The article on Between Adam & Abraham established that Abraham was not present during the looting of Sodom & Gomorrah described in Genesis 14, which actually happened in , long before his time. But his part in Genesis 14 might have echoed something he actually did, albeit in . If someone was raiding in the heart of Abraham's territory during his actual tenure in Canaan (), that someone would have been Yashuya the Habiru. We could easily see Abraham giving his share of the loot back to the Canaanite chiefs who had been attacked, lest they attack him next, just as Shem might have given back the loot taken by Chedorlaomer. Just imagine the whole thing from Abraham's perspective. The Lord (Amenhotep III) had granted Canaan to Abraham & Sarah, while insisting that the grant pass to Isaac, the Lord's son by Sarah, not Ishmael, Abraham's son by Hagar. This made Abraham what we would call today a "lame duck" administrator, i.e., somebody who is still is power, but is soon to be replaced, and everybody is waiting to see what the next one will do. Then the earthquake hit, and Abraham learned that his administrator's commission would be taken out of loot stolen from Canaanite chiefs, which would make him decidedly unpopular in the region. So he would have done anything in his power to escape blame for the Habiru raids, meaning that he couldn't have profited from them, and would have given back his share.
Yashuya the Habiru wouldn't have been able to hold onto any territory in Canaan, being an invader whose outright success would have been intolerable to the pharaoh. This is consistent with his fate in the Book of Joshua, in which he wins most of the battles, but fails to establish an enduring peace. But the story of his conquest might include details from later conquests, such as the next invasion of the Levant, by Egyptian expatriates in . If Yashuya was born in , he would have been 98 years old in — if he was still alive, it's doubtful that he was vigorous enough to lead troops into battle on the 1312-Exodus, and impossible for him to have been Moses' protégé and successor, who rather had to have been a different person. So who was that?
In Numbers 13:1-16, Moses selected 12 people to spy on Canaan, including Hoshea son of Nun, who Moses called Joshua. This is taken to mean that Moses changed Hoshea's name to Joshua at that point in the story, which is odd in that Joshua had already been mentioned several times before that, always as Joshua — never as Hoshea. Elsewhere in the Torah, someone went by the old name until the point in the story that the name was changed, such as the consistent usage of Abram versus Abraham. This suggests that the name was actually changed in a later redaction — perhaps a Deuteronomist wanted to credit Joshua with all of the conquests in Canaan, before, during, & after the Exodus, and thus changed Hoshea's name to Joshua. But for the sake of historicity, we need to treat Hoshea as a separate person. To keep it clear as to which "Joshua" is being described, in which period, this article uses "Hoshea" to refer to Moses' protégé on the 1312-Exodus, and uses "Yashuya" to refer to the leader of the Habirus who sacked Jericho in as described above.
So what do we know about Hoshea? In most of the references to him in the Torah, his name includes that he was the son of Nun (i.e., the oldest of the Egyptian gods, and the father of Ra). This is taken as a reminder that he was Egyptian, like Moses. But if it makes sense that Ramose changed his name to Moses, dropping the "Ra" because it was the name of a pagan Sun god, it doesn't make sense that he named the son of Nun as his successor, not to mention that the scribes ever since have preserved this detail, despite the theological problems it causes. It seems that the authors & redactors wanted to stress Hoshea's connection to traditional Egyptian religion. In this period, explicitly leaning in that direction was implicitly leaning away from the Amarna heresy.
If we are to question Hoshea's religious affiliation, we might question his political position as well, especially since the two are tough to isolate for this period. For example, Hoshea is introduced as the leader of the battle against Amalek, in which Hoshea prevailed as long as Moses' hands were held up. Then Caleb & Hoshea encouraged the Hebrews to invade the hill country, where they were soundly defeated by Amalekites & Canaanites. So either Caleb & Hoshea underestimated the Canaanites, or they didn't think that the Amalekites could bounce back that fast, or the first battle was just a taunt. We should note that the first battle went back & forth several times, with Hoshea prevailing only while Moses had his hands up. This sounds like Moses giving hand signals to Hoshea, to win awhile and then to lose awhile. If so, the taunt was measured.
Elsewhere, Jacob's religious affiliation was questioned, in that his name was changed to Israel, which seems to have meant "the Isis & Ra gods" (the way a Canaanite would put it). His presence on the 1312-Exodus is implied, while Moses' assistant & successor was explicitly identified as the son of Nun. The two names are closely related — since Nun was the father of Ra, saying "my name is Ra" is the same as saying "I am the son of Nun." So perhaps Hoshea son of Nun = Is'Ra'El = Jacob.
In the present thesis they were both a generation younger than Moses.
Jacob was certainly powerful enough to be a candidate for Moses' successor, being the grandson of Amenhotep III by Sarah.
As such, Jacob would have been qualified to stay in the tent of the meeting with the Lord (Horemheb) even after Moses had left.9
If Moses had married Zipporah, daughter of Jethro, and if Jethro was Isaac, Moses was married to Jacob's half-sister.
Hoshea's partner (and perhaps superior) was Caleb. In Numbers 14:22-24 (when the people didn't trust the favorable reports of Caleb & Hoshea), the Lord disinherited everybody in the generation coming out of Egypt, including Moses, and excepting Caleb.10 Then, in Numbers 14:30, the Lord said the same thing, but this time excepting both Caleb and Hoshea.11 This makes it sound like Caleb was the more important of the two. Caleb was Otni'el's father-in-law by Aksah. The present thesis identifies Otni'el as Moses, and Aksah as Ankhesenamun, sister and wife of Tutankhamun, and wife of Moses after Tut died. Aksah's father would have been Akhenaten, who died 13 years before Tut, so the man giving Aksah to Otni'el would have been the adoptive father. The senior royal in the Levant in would have been Isaac (then aged 58), son of Amenhotep III by Sarah, and half-brother of Akhenaten. If Caleb giving away Aksah to Otni'el was actually Isaac giving away Ankhesenamun to Moses, this was the second wife Isaac had given to Moses, the first one being Isaac's own daughter Zipporah. So Jacob's half-sister Zipporah married Moses, and so did his half-cousin Aksah, strengthening his qualifications for successor. And when the Lord announced that Caleb would still be allowed to enter the Promised Land, later saying that both Caleb & Hoshea would be allowed, the Lord (Horemheb) was just confirming the Covenant with Isaac, later including Jacob, who was to inherit the Covenant from Isaac. (As such, this might have been the first preview of the Lord's intent to renew the Covenant with Jacob instead of Esau, which didn't formally happen until a little later.)
Figure 1. Left: caduceus carried by Hermes. Right: the Rod of Asclepius.
Another correlation between Isaac & Moses comes from the Greek legend of Asclepius, whose name meant "of Caleb" (i.e., Isaac) and who studied under Hermes (i.e., Moses).12:52 So Isaac's son Asclepius studied under Moses before moving to Greece. The staffs of Hermes & Asclepius were similar enough to be confused with each other. (See Figure 1.) The Rod of Asclepius was simply a staff with one snake wrapped around it, and is actually the original icon of medicine, while the staff of Hermes has wings and two snakes, and originally symbolized everything associated with Hermes, which was a lot of stuff. The top clearly resembles the winged Sun disc used by Akhenaten. (See Akhenaten's Ark.) So the Greeks got wind of Moses' teachings while he was a vizier to Akhenaten, since they remember him as the guy who carried the staff with the winged Sun disc, while his student in the next generation lost the wings & mace, and just kept one snake, suggesting that he was still a student in Egypt after Akhenaten banned the Atenist iconography, but before Atenism was abolished altogether (), when Asclepius (b. ) would have been 15~33 years old, an appropriate span for an internship under a master. Staffs & snakes were associated with Moses in the Torah, first just before the 1st Plague,13 and again on the Exodus.14 Asclepius might have left Egypt shortly thereafter.
Note that when Moses selected 12 people to spy on Canaan, Numbers 13:1-16 says that they represented the 12 tribes of Israel. In the present thesis, Jacob was 38 years old in , and his children were ages 6~13. So the 12 future tribes had already been given their names (i.e., the names of Jacob's children), but during the 1312-Exodus, they weren't tribes — they were just kids. So the "Israelites" were there, along with Atenists & Habirus, and the Deuteronomists would have an easy time making it sound like the Israelites were the only ones there, by saying that Moses was a descendant of Jacob — thus Moses led the Israelites out of their bondage in Egypt, even if Moses was actually leading Atenists, and Jacob was called back from Mitanni to join the Exodus already in progress, with the "Israelites" being just a wagon-load of adolescents. Aside from Caleb & Hoshea, the spies chosen from the other tribes are not mentioned elsewhere — perhaps they were real people, but from a later time, while the spies from Moses' camp would have been the leaders of the Egyptian clans exiled by Horemheb, of no relation to Jacob.
A Midrash says that Caleb split from the other scouts to tour Hebron on his own and visit the graves of the Patriarchs.15:272 This would have been Isaac visiting the grave of his mother Sarah and adoptive father Abraham.
Isaac & Jacob going to spy on Canaan doesn't really seem necessary if it was their territory — it would have been more like political reconnaissance than an assessment of the infrastructure as described in Numbers. With the outcome being that the Amalekites & Canaanites defeated the Israelites, it's possible that Isaac & Jacob were arranging the rout.
The Amalekites went on to settle in Mount Seir, Esau's home.16 They were said to have been descended from Esau, but in the present thesis, in Esau was 38 years old, and his children were teenagers at the time, so the Amalekites would have been simply a tribe in the Negev,17 who respected Esau's authority, and who blended with Esau's descendants thereafter. The Amalekites went on to be remembered as the eternal enemies of the Israelites, drawing some of the most venomous verbiage in the entire Tanakh. For example, Balaam prophesied that though Amalek was the first among the nations, its end would be utter destruction.18 This would make sense if the territory of Esau, whose birthright was to inherit the Covenant from Isaac, was a nation before Israel came into being,19 since Jacob wouldn't get named Israel until just a little later. It also makes sense that the Amalekites became eternal enemies — Esau's descendants might have had a hard time forgetting that they got tricked out of their birthrights.
Hobab, the son of Reuel, Moses' father-in-law,20 was a Kenite,21,22 as was Jethro. So Isaac was known as a Kenite. Caleb was said to have been a Kenizzite. The origins of the Kenite & Kenizzite clans are unclear, but Strong considered them to be kin,23 meaning that the difference there might not break the identification of Caleb as Isaac.
An alternate for the name Israel was Yeshurun.24,25,26,27 Scholars are unsure of the etymology, but Yeshurun sure sounds a lot like Joshua. If so, Joshua = Yeshurun = Israel = Jacob.
An alternate spelling of Yeshurun was Jashar. A "Book of Jashar" was mentioned in the Book of Joshua, after he successfully defended an attack on Gibeon by Canaanite & Amorite kings, including Adoni-Zedek.
Joshua 10:13

13 (DH) And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
    until the nation took vengeance on their enemies.

Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day.

Rashi explained that said book was the Torah, and that the reference to it equated Joshua's triumph over Adoni-Zedek with the fulfillment of Jacob's earlier prophecy about Ephraim's descendants becoming a multitude of nations.28,29 Aside from the metaphor there being a bit of a stretch, we have to wonder why Rashi thought that Joshua's triumph fulfilled a prophesy about Ephraim's descendants and not somebody else, such as Abraham, whose similar destiny was prophesied by the Lord Himself.30 Perhaps Rashi knew of a Book of Jashar, and knew that it contained prophesies of Jacob — he just didn't know that Jashar was Jacob.
Then, to look at it from the opposite direction, it's hard to imagine anyone other than Jacob getting named as Moses' successor — whoever that might be, he would have been around the same age as Jacob, while Jacob was one of the three most powerful people in Canaan at the time, along with Esau & Isaac. So who would have been more powerful than Jacob? And what was Jacob doing at the same time, that his clan would be remembered as "the" clan? These questions are easiest to answer if Jacob was Moses' successor.


1. Exodus 24:13 (E)

2. Exodus 32:3-4 (E)

3. Exodus 32:17 (E)

4. Joshua 5:2-7 (DH)

5. Genesis 21:4 (P)

6. Judges 11:26 (DH)

7. Joshua 5:13-15 (DH)

8. Joshua 6:24 (DH)

9. Exodus 33:11 (E)

10. Deuteronomy 1:34-36 (D1)

11. Deuteronomy 1:38 (D1)

12. Plessner, M. (1954): Hermes Trismegistus and Arab Science. Studia Islamica, 45-59

13. Exodus 7:9 (P)

14. Numbers 21:8 (E)

15. Ginzberg, L. (1911): The Legends of the Jews: Volume 3. Bible Times and Characters from the Exodus to the Death of Moses. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America

16. Genesis 33:16 (E)

17. Numbers 13:29 (E)

18. Numbers 24:20 (E)

19. Genesis 36:31 (J)

20. Numbers 10:29 (J)

21. Judges 1:16 (DH)

22. Judges 4:11 (DH)

23. Strong, J.; McClintock, J. (1880): The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. New York: Harper and Brothers

24. Deuteronomy 32:15 (D2)

25. Deuteronomy 33:5 (D2)

26. Deuteronomy 33:26 (D2)

27. Isaiah 44:2

28. Rashi (1105): On Joshua 10:13.

29. Genesis 48:19 (E)

30. Genesis 12:6-7 (J)

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