Damien F. Mackey
What ensues from the revised model of history that I am pursuing is a fairly complete turnaround of the almost universal tendency by historians and biblical commentators to argue for a dependence of the biblical material upon Mesopotamian, Canaanite and Egyptian myths and influences.
1. With Hammurabi now re-dated to the time of King Solomon:
Hammurabi and Zimri-Lim as Contemporaries of Solomon
then no longer can Hammurabi’s Laws be viewed as a Babylonian forerunner of Mosaïc Law.
- With the age of El Amarna now re-dated to the C9th BC,
then no longer can pharaoh Akhnaton’s Sun Hymn, so obviously like King David’s Psalm 104, be regarded as the literary inspiration for the great King of Israel.
- And the same comment applies to the Psalm-like pieces inscribed upon the monuments of Queen Hatshepsut, the biblical Queen of Sheba,
Solomon and Sheba
whose influence was Davidic and Solomonic Israel.
But, just as convention has wrongly assumed an all-out pagan influencing of biblical Israel, so had I wrongly assumed that Sargon of Akkad (conventionally dated to c. 2300 BC), must actually post-date Moses, due to the famous Moses-like legend of Sargon as a baby.
“I am Sargon, the powerful king, the king of Akkad. My mother was an Enitu priestees, I did not know any father . . . . My mother conceived me and bore me in secret. She put me in a little box made of reeds, sealing its lid with pitch. She put me in the river. . . . The river carried me away and brought me to Akki the drawer of water. Akki the drawer of water adopted me and brought me up as his son . . .”.
“Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said. Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son”.
And I had, accordingly, looked for a much later, revised location for the Akkadian dynasty. However, that apparently futile search was finally stopped short after I read this scholarly article by Douglas Petrovich:
Identifying Nimrod of Genesis 10 with Sargon of Akkad by Exegetical and Archaeological Means
This reconstruction would mean that the Akkadian dynasty has been dated by historians to at least within a few centuries of its proper place – a rarity as regards conventional early BC history.
Consequently, my conclusion now would be that this famous ‘Sargon as a baby’ legend, thought to have been recorded as late as about the C7th BC, long after Moses, was based upon the biblical Exodus story, and not vice versa. This famous biblical incident would have been recounted in Mesopotamian captivity by faithful Israelites, such as Tobit and his family, taken into exile by the kings of Assyria. See my:
Book of Tobit and the Neo-Assyrian Kings
So, even though Sargon of Akkad himself, and his dynasty, had well pre-dated Moses, the famous Moses-like legend about the mighty king of Akkad had well post-dated Moses.