Subtitle: The Identity of Jacob?
As I was studying for a final for a class called Egypt and the Bible, a sudden and ridiculous set of data spontaneously synthesized and I thought I'd share. The pieces of data fit together in a suggestive way, but the idea that the writers had in mind anything like what I'm about to share is patently outrageous. First, the data from Lost:
- Richard Alpert appears to be singularly long-lived
- He seems to answer to Jacob
- A large statue which appears to be of ancient (pre-Ptolomaic) Egypt once stood on the island
- The statue's provenance and identity are unknown to us at this point
- Hieroglyphics abound on the island
And now, the controversial data which slammed together in my head for no apparent reason:
- Throughout the history of ancient Egypt, Semitic peoples from Canaan and Arabia migrated into Egypt for various reasons (including the search for arable land, water, et cetera)
- For about a hundred years (c. 1650-1550 BC) during the Second Intermediate Period, some of these Semitic people, known to the Egyptians as the Hyksos ("rulers of foreign lands"), ruled northern Egypt as pharaohs. Though they were from the Levant, they thoroughly adopted Egyptian practices.
- The Hyksos were finally driven out by Egyptian rulers, who reestablished the united Egypt and ushered in the New Kingdom
- The Biblical Exodus is usually thought (by folks who continue to believe the Biblical account) to have happened during the New Kingdom, often citing Ramesses II as the Pharaoh of the Exodus.
- If this is true, then during the period of Hebrew prosperity in Egypt, the kings of Egypt they knew were fellow Semites (though not Jews).
- At Tell el-Daba, which was once the Hyksos capital (they called it Avaris), archaeologist Manfred Bietak found nine scarabs bearing the name "Jacob-Her." Jacob is a common Semitic name, and would have been common among the Hyksos. The scarab-seals probably indicate that this Jacob was at least wealthy enough to need to sign things.
- No Hyksos ruler had the name Jacob, but the Hyksos Pharaoh considered to be representative of the zenith of the era was named Apepi.
- Finally, and perhaps most importantly, in the ancient "king lists" such as the Turin Canon, the Palermo Stone, and Manetho's Aegyptiaca, prior to the first human Pharaohs, gods are listed as kings of Upper and Lower Egypt, with singularly long reigns. I can't find any specifics except that the Turin Canon lists Thoth as having ruled Egypt for 7726 years and another unnamed deity for 7718.
Perhaps you read these two lists and thought, "So what?!" Here's the crazy thought that ran through my head: "What if Jacob is an otherwise unknown ancient Hyksos king, driven from Egypt by Ahmose I... and what if Richard Alpert is the name that Apepi has taken (because Apepi bears an ever so slight affinity with Alpert)? And what if the ridiculously long reigns of the gods were real? And what if that's why Jacob and Richard Alpert are still alive?"
Now, a host of problems presents itself. How could the two be both ancient Egyptian gods and Hyksos, who show up on the scene 1500 years after the gods stopped ruling Egypt? Nevertheless, there are some interesting possibilities there... Aaronimo 16:44, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
EDIT: I just thought of another datum that makes the theory more interesting. In Hebrew, the name "Jacob" is a word-play on the word for "heel." A heel is not a four-toed foot, but...