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Austin Cline

Ramses II & the 10th Plague

By December 3, 2004

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Ramses II of Egypt If the Old Testament is literally true, then the first-born son of Ramses II may have been struck down in the Tenth Plague that hit Egypt. That's why many are interested in the discovery of American archeologist Kent Weeks. He may have found Ramses' oldest son - and he appears to have been struck down by the hand of man, not God.

  The Boston Globe reports:

This skull Weeks believes, and new scientific evidence suggests may be that of the oldest son of Rameses II, the pharaoh who most historians agree was the ruler of ancient Egypt more than 3,000 years ago at the time of the biblical story of the Exodus. If so, this is the skull of a man who the Hebrew Bible says was killed by the 10th of the horrible plagues God sent to convince pharaoh to free the Hebrew slaves. And if so, it contains an important new piece of forensic evidence: The skull has a depressed fracture on the left hand side which pathologists say clearly occurred at the time of death.

The many depictions of Amun-her-khepeshef as a military general marching into military campaigns suggest that it was possible he was killed by an enemy in battle, or perhaps in a fall from a chariot. Some historians had long thought that perhaps he was killed in battle against a slave revolt by the Hebrews, but there is no historical record to back up the theory.

Others suggest that perhaps the crown prince was killed in a conspiracy a power struggle within the royal court. Historians paint a backdrop of a court that may have been suffering from a series of misfortunes along the Nile, which was then, as now, the lifeblood of Egypt. Is it possible that Moses was in fact a rival prince struggling against a crown prince, who had set out to erase what he saw as a heretical belief in one god instead of many? The Hebrews, whose faith is based on the belief in one God, and some Egyptian priests and families within the court clung to the rebellious beliefs of an earlier and fallen pharaoh known as Akhenaten. That pharaoh, who placed the idea of one god above the other Egyptian gods, spurred a revolution, only to see monotheism pushed underground and wiped out of recorded history by subsequent rulers including Rameses II.

There are a lot of assumptions at work here. People are assuming that anything like the Exodus really occurred, that Ramses II was pharaoh at the time that it occurred, that anything like the Ten Plagues really happened, etc. It's a mildly entertaining distraction, but it doesn't make much sense to constantly try to compare the biblical texts to the archeological record.

For many biblical literalists, a find like this is best ignored. For many people the literal accuracy of the Old Testament text is important to their religious beliefs; if the Ten Plagues didn't occur just as stated, that's a problem. Fortunately for them, it would be impossible to prove conclusively that the skull is that of Ramses' oldest son, so they can probably feel secure.

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Comments
July 31, 2006 at 4:51 pm
(1) Vicki says:

You accuse Christians of “mightism”, when you yourself are assuming a lot of things. You assume that this was the actual first born of Ramses II, when noone is really sure if it’s even a son at all. You also assume that Ramses II is the Exodus pharoah, when this is not the only proposed Exodus pharoah. Please visit this site: http://abr.christiananswers.net/rameses.html

July 31, 2006 at 5:06 pm
(2) atheism says:

You accuse Christians of “mightism”, when you yourself are assuming a lot of things.

If that’s so, then I wonder why you couldn’t identify any instance of that occurring?

You assume that this was the actual first born of Ramses II, when noone is really sure if it’s even a son at all.

Well, that would be why I saidKent Weeks may have found Ramses’ oldest son.

You also assume that Ramses II is the Exodus pharoah, when this is not the only proposed Exodus pharoah.

Not only don’t I assume that, but I specifically state that this is a common assumption which may not be true.

Please visit this site

Why?

December 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm
(3) soapbox truth says:

God is, and He is a rewarder of all who seek Him.
Your knees, too, will bow to Christ.

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