Biblical patriarch ID’d in hieroglyphs, depiction of cow linked to pharoah’s dream
Egyptian coins carrying the name of Joseph, the biblical patriarch whose arrival in Egypt as a slave eventually provided salvation for his family during decades of drought across the Middle East, have been discovered in a cache of antique items shelved in boxes in a museum, according to a new report.
The report from the Middle East Media Research Institute said the coins with Joseph’s name and image were found in a pile of unsorted artifacts that had been stored at the Museum of Egypt.
The newspaper said the discovery countered claims by some historians that coins were not used for trade in Egypt at the time the Bible records Joseph and the Jews migrated there.
Those historians have argued that trade was done by barter.
But researchers told the newspaper the minting dates of the coins in the cache have been matched to the period in which Joseph was recorded to be in Egypt.
“A thorough examination revealed that the coins bore the year in which they were minted and their value, or effigies of the pharaohs [who ruled] at the time of their minting. Some of the coins are from the time when Joseph lived in Egypt, and bear his name and portrait,” said the newspaper report.
The report carried an explanation of the discovery by a team involving researcher Sa’id Muhammad Thabet:
“Studies by Dr. Thabet’s team have revealed that what most archeologists took for a kind of charm, and others took for an ornament or adornment, is actually a coin. Several [facts led them to this conclusion]: first, [the fact that] many such coins have been found at various [archeological sites], and also [the fact that] they are round or oval in shape, and have two faces: one with an inscription, called the inscribed face, and one with an image, called the engraved face – just like the coins we use today,” said the report.
The newspaper called the find “unprecedented” and said, “The researchers discovered the coins when they sifted through thousands of small archeological artifacts stored in [the vaults of] the Museum of Egypt.”
The Egyptian newspaper noted that the Quran indicates clearly “that coins were used in Egypt in the time of Joseph.”
The report continued, “Research team head Dr. Sa’id Muhammad Thabet said that during his archeological research on the Prophet Joseph, he had discovered in the vaults of the [Egyptian] Antiquities Authority and of the National Museum many charms from various eras before and after the period of Joseph, including one that bore his effigy as the minister of the treasury in the Egyptian pharaoh’s court…”
The report continued, “According to Dr. Thabet, his studies are based on publications about the Third Dynasty, one of which states that the Egyptian coin of the time was called a deben and was worth one-fourth of a gram of gold. This coin is mentioned in a letter by a man named Thot-Nehet, a royal inspector of the Nile bridges. In letters to his son, he mentioned leasing lands in return for deben-coins and agricultural produce.”
The report explained that other texts from the Third, Sixth and Twelfth Dynasties also talk about coins.
“The archeological finding is also based on the fact that the inscribed face bore the name of Egypt, a date, and a value, while the engraved face bore the name and image of one of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs or gods, or else a symbol connected with these. Another telling fact is that the coins come in different sizes and are made of different materials, including ivory, precious stones, copper, silver, gold, etc.” the newspaper reported.
The museum research uncovered 500 of the coins “carelessly” stored in boxes.
One even had the image of a cow “symbolizing Pharaoh‘s dream about the seven fat cows and seven lean cows, and the seven green stalks of grain and seven dry talks of grain,” the report said.
“Joseph’s name appears twice on this coin, written in hieroglyphs: once the original name, Joseph, and once his Egyptian name, Saba Sabani, which was given to him by Pharaoh when he became treasurer. There is also an image of Joseph, who was part of the Egyptian administration at the time,” the report said.
“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” Jeremiah 6:16
We have entered into a time of crisis and that crisis has spread around the world. I am besieged by many pastors from many countries for help, but there is little to help them with. This crisis has been coming for a long time now, and it is just beginning to break out onto the surface of our lives. I would like to share with you my response to one of those pastors in Africa:
We are in a time that is much like the time when Elijah was hidden by the widow of Zarepath, who was a picture of the Church. There was nothing left in the barrel other than enough for a last meal before they starved to death. And yet the Lord preserved her and her son through the famine because of their faithfulness to His prophet.
We have brought this famine upon ourselves because, just like the Israelites, we have forsaken the true Gospel for a golden calf that was more to our liking. He has taken that golden calf away, and we are left with the empty promises of a false Gospel based on the illusions of prosperity and wealth, on blessings that are based on wishful thinking, and on a love that is defined only by our hope for an excuse to get away with worldliness and sin. We are reaping what we have sown.
While I scrape together something to send you, please remember that I have always warned the ministers in Africa who thought they had obtained a position of honor rather than a ministry of selfless humility. That mode of thinking is endemic in Africa. It’s as if there is such a lust for personal recognition and a desire to become tribal chieftains that they have forgotten what the Lord really called them for – to serve, not to be served. It is evident in how they adorn themselves with their titles. Everyone calls themselves a pastor, they are full of apostles, and everyone is striving to attach the title of bishop or prophet to the front of their name.
So where are all these great and mighty powerhouses of God now? Like cockroaches, they are scurrying for cover. Where are all the great promises they have given us now? They are empty milk cans with holes punctured throughout the bottom of the can. Where are all their prophesies of prosperity and blessings now? They have dissipated like wisps of empty clouds before the wind of their own vanity. The Grace of God is not cheap, and the blessings of God are not bestowed upon a lukewarm, anemic pretention of righteousness.
You remember that I warned everyone of a coming storm, that the dark clouds of war are on the way. I pleaded with congregation after congregation to dive deeply into the Word of God and to sink their roots in deep or they would be blown away in the storm. How many bobbed their heads up and down in an superficial acknowledgement! They believed that I was a prophet, but they didn’t take my words to heart – and I told them right to their face that that’s exactly what they would do. And now we are beginning to see those spoken words take on a harsh substance.
This is not the storm yet. This is just the winds that precede it. The worst is yet to come.
And still, they refuse to hearken, clinging instead to a desperate hope that the empty promises of blessings will come to an unbroken, unrepentant church whose hope is based on wishful thinking rather than righteousness. We would so much rather listen to the songs of false prophets about a loving “Daddy, than face the stark realities of the fear of God.
Today I was reading Ephesians, and stopped at the scripture in chapter 4: “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” The word “sleight” actually refers to a gambling die. We throw the dice each time we lean into the easy “feel good” messages we turn to on the radio and TV, and the Christian Self-Help books we rush to for an easy solution. Oh, how we hope we can find an quick answer to our plight by taking the easy way out and skirting around the hard messages of repentance and righteousness that is found in the Bible!
And by doing so, we throw the dice and gamble with our souls by lending our ears to some new thing- ANYTHING but the Fear of God. Instead of going up the mountain to face God like Moses did, we will pay our $19.95 to anyone that will convince us of an easier way. And we end up creating gods in our own image that will allow us to skirt the call to repentance.
But the great stone wheel of Judgment continues to roll in spite of our objections to a critical Gospel that we try desperately to avoid. We thought that the calm before the storm was our reprieve, but the storm clouds are gathering, and now we feel the winds that are beginning to blow.
The lush fields that Ahab looked to when Elijah first brought his message of judgment have withered to a brown and dusty land of drought. We have done our best to put away the prophets that stood for that old fashioned Gospel in an attempt to replace them with the prophets of Baal that promise rain, and we seek to persecute the prophet that proclaimed these warnings to us, but it is not the words of the prophet that have brought this upon us – it is our own failure to fear God.
We have an appointment on the top of Mount Carmel, and judgment will fall before it begins to rain.
For prayer request or support,
“Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.” I Kings 18:37
Telltale signs are everywhere -from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest.Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F. Although that figure is at best an estimate, it is supported by other convincing data. When Climatologist George J. Kukla of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and his wife Helena analyzed satellite weather data for the Northern Hemisphere, they found that the area of the ice and snow cover had suddenly increased by 12% in 1971 and the increase has persisted ever since. Areas of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, for example, were once totally free of any snow in summer; now they are covered year round.
Scientists have found other indications of global cooling. For one thing there has been a noticeable expansion of the great belt of dry, high-altitude polar winds -the so-called circumpolar vortex-that sweep from west to east around the top and bottom of the world. Indeed it is the widening of this cap of cold air that is the immediate cause of Africa’s drought. By blocking moisture-bearing equatorial winds and preventing them from bringing rainfall to the parched sub-Sahara region, as well as other drought-ridden areas stretching all the way from Central America to the Middle East and India, the polar winds have in effect caused the Sahara and other deserts to reach farther to the south. Paradoxically, the same vortex has created quite different weather quirks in the U.S. and other temperate zones. As the winds swirl around the globe, their southerly portions undulate like the bottom of a skirt. Cold air is pulled down across the Western U.S. and warm air is swept up to the Northeast. The collision of air masses of widely differing temperatures and humidity can create violent storms-the Midwest’s recent rash of disastrous tornadoes, for example.
Climatic Balance. Some scientists like Donald Oilman, chief of the National Weather Service’s long-range-prediction group, think that the cooling trend may be only temporary. But all agree that vastly more information is needed about the major influences on the earth’s climate. Indeed, it is to gain such knowledge that 38 ships and 13 aircraft, carrying scientists from almost 70 nations, are now assembling in the Atlantic and elsewhere for a massive 100-day study of the effects of the tropical seas and atmosphere on worldwide weather. The study itself is only part of an international scientific effort known acronymically as GARP (for Global Atmospheric Research Program).
Whatever the cause of the cooling trend, its effects could be extremely serious, if not catastrophic. Scientists figure that only a 1% decrease in the amount of sunlight hitting the earth’s surface could tip the climatic balance, and cool the planet enough to send it sliding down the road to another ice age within only a few hundred years.
The earth’s current climate is something of an anomaly; in the past 700,000 years, there have been at least seven major episodes of glaciers spreading over much of the planet. Temperatures have been as high as they are now only about 5% of the time. But there is a peril more immediate than the prospect of another ice age. Even if temperature and rainfall patterns change only slightly in the near future in one or more of the three major grain-exporting countries-the U.S., Canada and Australia -global food stores would be sharply reduced. University of Toronto Climatologist Kenneth Hare, a former president of the Royal Meteorological Society, believes that the continuing drought and the recent failure of the Russian harvest gave the world a grim premonition of what might happen. Warns Hare: “I don’t believe that the world’s present population is sustainable if there are more than three years like 1972 in a row.”
ROME, July 10, 2009 -
Pope Benedict gave US President Barack Obama a surprise gift of the Vatican bioethics document “Dignitatis Personae,” and discussed the ethics of abortion and embryo research in their first meeting in Rome this afternoon.
A Vatican statement has said that in their private discussion, the pope addressed issues of “the defense and promotion of life and the right to abide by one’s conscience.”
At the customary exchange of gifts, Obama presented Pope Benedict with a relic – a stole that had been draped over the body of the US’s most popular Catholic saints, St. John Neumann, Bishop of Philadelphia from1852 to 1860. The pope also offered the president religious medals and rosaries, as well as a copy of his latest encyclical, signed this week, “Caritas in Veritate.”
A lengthy live feed video of the meeting showed a relaxed Obama greeting the pope warmly and sitting down immediately at his desk to a conversation that began with the recently concluded G-8 summit meeting in the earthquake-struck city of L’Aquila.
“Dignitatis Personae” (On the Dignity of Persons) is a 2008 instruction by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that gives the Catholic teaching on the ethics of embryonic research and reiterates Church opposition to contraception and abortion, mentioning new methods of birth control such as female condoms and the morning-after pill.
At the end of the meeting, Pope Benedict told the president, “A blessing on all your work and also for you.” The president responded, “Thank you very much. We look forward to a very strong relationship.”
According to Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, “Obama told the pope of his commitment to reduce the number of abortions and of his attention and respect for the positions of the Catholic Church.”
Barack Obama told Pope Benedict XIV it was “a great honor” to meet him in what may be one of the US President’s most successful PR ventures in his presidency to date. The meeting in the pope’s private office lasted forty minutes and consisted of what White House spokesmen described as “frank but constructive” private discussion on world issues.
After eight years of friendly Vatican relations between former President George W. Bush, observers have eagerly awaited this meeting. Despite differences between the Bush administration and the Vatican on the war in Iraq, the former president’s relationship with the Catholic Church was strengthened by his initiatives in defence of human life.
With Obama’s zealous support for legal abortion, even to the point of having opposed legislation to protect children born alive after failed abortions, it is expected that tensions with the current administration will be higher.
The Vatican has made unusual accommodations for the visit, scheduling it in the late afternoon before Obama proceeds to a visit to Africa and allowing extensive live video coverage. The Vatican normally schedules such meetings for midday.
Fire inthe Hole
“And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down.”
1 Kings 18:29,30
Just a few years before this showdown on Mount Carmel, Israel had been lush with prosperity and wealth. King Ahab had led the Israelites on a path that led farther away from the old, established worship of God than any before him, and had brought them to a life of riches, prosperity, and licentiousness.
The gods that he and his wife Jezebel had enticed the people of God with appealed to their earthly and fleshly desires. No longer did they have to be constricted with an old religion that demanded holiness and the fear of the Lord. No longer did they have to lead a life of separation from the things of the world that other, more prosperous nations enjoyed. They could enjoy the prosperity and fullness of riches without the constraints of a religion that had become outmoded and old-fashioned.
Life was good. So when Elijah pronounced the judgments of God upon Israel, they laughed him out of the king’s court. The true prophets of God had been eradicated from the public place and were no longer a thorn in the side of everyone who wanted the rewards of love, peace, and prosperity. You were no longer allowed to mention the name of Jehovah, much less pray to him in a public place. They now had priests and prophets of Baal that had replaced those old critical and judgmental men who had caused such consternation in the land.
Elijah had stood as the one, lone voice who cried for a return to righteousness.
And who was this hairy old man? He didn’t seem to be of any real consequence. He had no credentials, no theological bearing, and no consequential importance. Even his dress revealed his lack of social prominence and his irrelevance in such a modern, sophisticated time as this.
Ahab’s ears may have been deaf to Elijah’s pronouncement, but when Elijah spoke, God listened. The Ahab’s court may have derided him with laughter as he stood before the king, but 3 years later, no one was laughing.
We have followed a course similar to the one that Ahab had led Israel down. The Gospel we listen to is far different than the Gospel our grandfathers believed in. We decry the old brush arbor revivalists as hard, judgmental men who did not understand the love of God, and we have traded their message of repentance and holiness for one that is a kinder, gentler approach which promises love and peace and prosperity.
But the love, peace, and prosperity that our modern prophets have promised us are but a worldly shadow of that which God offers us through a walk of righteousness in the fear of the Lord.
We have been like the Israelites at the foot of Mount Sinai – we feared and trembled at the presence of God when the mount shook with fire and smoke, but as soon as Moses departed up the mountain and we were left to our own devices, we made for ourselves a golden calf to worship in God’s place.
I have said for 7 years now that something is coming to America that will be far worse than 9/11, but I never knew what form that judgment would take. Would it be a dirty nuclear explosion in one of our cities, or an epidemic, or some natural disaster? We would be hurt, but it wouldn’t take long to go back to our old ways. We are the great and mighty America, and we have an innate belief that we will always bounce back and dominate.
What if it wasn’t any of those imagined disasters, but something that struck right to the heart of that which we cherish the most? What if we lost our prosperity and wealth? And what if it consumed every level of our society and every part of our country?
We are living in that time of drought when the ravens fed Elijah by the brook Cherith, right after he fled the king’s court.
We look to our televangelists who promise us blessings, and refuse to consider that our lust for those promises is what has led us to this drought in the first place. But we still flip on the TV and hope for a word of encouragement that will convince us to hang on to a Gospel that has a form of godliness, but denies the power thereof. And of course, they tell us exactly what we want to hear, along with an encouragement to send them your money so that God can release His blessings all over you – but never a word of reproof or repentance.
The job of a prophet is not to tell you how beloved you are, how many blessings God wants to bestow upon you, or how much love is in your church. The job of a prophet is to rebuild the old broken down altars of God and declare unto the people of God their sins and transgressions so that they may come to a place of repentance and, once again, return to the true God of Israel.
“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. “
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