Museum of Egypt cache of coins with Joseph's name and image found

Discussion in 'Defending the Faith' started by lynnie, Sep 27, 2009.

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  1. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior

    Egyptian paper: Coins found bearing name of Joseph

    Egyptian paper: Coins found bearing name of Joseph
    Biblical patriarch ID'd in hieroglyphs, depiction of cow linked to pharoah's dream

    Posted: September 26, 2009
    11:30 pm Eastern

    © 2009 WorldNetDaily

    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.

    MEMRI, which monitors and translates reports from Middle East publications and broadcasters, said the original report was in Egypt's Al Ahram newspaper in Cairo.

    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.
  2. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I wonder if this will shed any light on chronological issues? Dating of the Exodus, etc.
  3. JennyG

    JennyG Puritan Board Graduate

    just purely out of interest, does anyone here know enough about hieroglyphics and the ancient languages involved to explain how the phonemes in Saba sabani turn into Zaphnath paaneia? Or are the languages in fact too far apart for it to be real correspondence?
  4. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    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.

    Bzzzzt. Red flag. Date? Sorry.

    1: No historian I've ever read says coins were used before the 6th century BC, despite what the Koran may or may not say.

    2: How would the date have been written?

    3: It was reported in WorldnetDaily

    Three strikes and you're out.
  5. jambo

    jambo Puritan Board Senior

    The date on the coins doesn't happen to be around 1900-1870bc by any chance? That would definitely confirm it!
  6. ewenlin

    ewenlin Puritan Board Junior

  7. PointingToChrist

    PointingToChrist Puritan Board Freshman

    Other agencies have reported this (mostly taking from Egypt's Al-Ahram newspaper) Coins with Joseph's name found in Egypt | Middle East | Jerusalem Post

    Perhaps the date says something like "In the second year of Rameses reign".

    I'm very curious about this and will withhold judgment.
  8. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior

    There is a school of thought based both on scripture and archeology (in particular the study of ooparts) that mankind had developed a highly specialized and technological civilization before the flood, which was carried over to some extent in the generations after. (ancient electrical batteries found in Iraq and drawings of electrical apparatus on old Egyptian stones sort of thing).

    I happen to think it is evolutionary deception that mankind gradually went from caves to stone age to bronze and on up the evolutionary ladder. I see no reason to doubt that some form of metal money was used from the earliest times when barter began to get complicated. Now WND can be taken with a grain of salt, yeah, but at this point why argue with the museum?

    Abraham used silver as money. Why deny that Joesph did?

    Genesis 23:16 Abraham listened to Ephron; and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver which he had named in the hearing of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, commercial standard.

    Acts 7:16 "From there they were removed to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.
  9. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    My credulity is strained as well. How convenient that the "coins" managed to bear significant data-point relations to the Bible story?!? In about 3 months, expect to see religious teevee hawking:
    "genuine Joseph coins from hoards in the Middle East, obtained by our exclusive buying agents! With it will come a certificate of authenticity, and a photocopy of news-articles from around the world announcing this fabulous {emphasis on FABLE} find. $99.99 each. Only $159.99 for 3! Call now.​
    Silver as a medium of exchange isn't the same thing as government coinage, which is being proposed.

    I'd like another archaeological proof of the Bible story too, but this is too convenient. And why isn't this story in a news release first being published in a scholar's periodical or a university research paper? Wouldn't it add to the credibility of the story to have such backing?
  10. Skyler

    Skyler Puritan Board Graduate

    Joseph's brothers used silver to buy grain, didn't they?
  11. Prufrock

    Prufrock Arbitrary Moderation

    Jonathan, as noted in comments above, coins are different than using precious metals for exchange.
  12. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior

    A pagan ruler that did not make government coins and only used generic silver shekels? Now that strains my credulity. Especially a trading nation like Egypt that was the breadbasket of the region. They supposedly exported 90%of their wheat.

    Come on guys, we are talking about arrogant tyrannical pagans and money is the god of this world. These coins may be fake, but the concept is certainly biblical and historical.

    I'm be willing to believe Pharaoh had self stick postage stamps with his emblem too. Maybe even T shirts and baseball hats with a pyramid on them :).
  13. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor

    In the picture the "coins" are made of various types stone and ivory. There is only one that looks like it might be gold. This may be why they mistook them for jewelry and not coins.
  14. Brian Withnell

    Brian Withnell Puritan Board Junior

    I would think that people of long ago would have gone to standardized size/shape (coins) for precious metal. Spain made gold into coins rather than have people having to pull out a scale every time they wanted to buy something.

    At the same time, I can see that coins would be a rare find in such cases. The gold or silver would have been worth just as much melted down and sold.
  15. BJClark

    BJClark Puritan Board Doctor

    They had coins in Jesus' time, why not before then?

    Mat 22:19 "Show me the coin for the tax." And they brought him a denarius.

    These verses do not tell what kind of money was used..just they had money..nothing in scripture specifies it was silver or gold..

    Gen 17:12 "He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring,

    Gen 42:25 And Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, and to replace every man's money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. This was done for them.

    Gen 43:12 "Take double the money with you. Carry back with you the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight.
  16. JennyG

    JennyG Puritan Board Graduate

    Lynnie's right - though scepticism is often a safeguard, there is no need for quite so much. of course the ruling civilisations of the day were perfectly capable not only of producing coinage, but also dating it. As was the case for centuries after, the dating would naturally be in terms of reigns. And yes, I think it's basically an evolutionary mindset that finds a problem with that.
    A propos - I found it fascinating how relatively quickly once all the evidence was in I was able to internalise the reality of Creation (even though after years of unquestioning belief in evolution), -- but how troublesome and long was the corresponding process of adjusting to it my mental conception of world history
  17. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    The anarcho-conservative libertarian in me is wondering how State issued coinage arbitrarily setting value and posting the image of rulers is the product of ADVANCEMENT.

    That's aside from the fact that there's not even a hint of anything like this sort of currency in the 39 books of the OT, written right next door to Egypt. And no comment from historians, even though it would push back state issued coinage literally a thousand years. And that it was reported by the far left hand side of the dispensationalist bell shaped curve ;-)
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