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Wednesday, November 9 2011
History is all too often a matter of "his story" - people recording what has happened, not merely through their own eyes, but through their own narrow-minded nationalism (i.e. as though the rest of the world doesn't exist or matter). If you read the "historic" account of any major international event, you are very likely going to find very different "facts" in the history books of the opposing nations. The result, if not the purpose, of such single-view "history" tends to be propaganda.
Many critics of the Holy Bible complain that very little "Bible history" is found in the records of the nations around the land of Israel (although there are actually many Bible-verifying historic accounts found elsewhere, as we shall see). There are two primary reasons for the "tunnel vision." The first is that most people simply don't care about what happens in other nations, so they arrogantly ignore what happens there; they are deliberately ignorant ("ignorant" means to ignore). The other reason is because nations don't like to officially record when they lose - and those who opposed the nation of God always lost.
There are nevertheless written accounts, by other nations, that record "Biblical" events from their side, sometimes in stark detail. For example, the Ipuwer Papyrus (named after an ancient Egyptian named Ipuwer) was found near Memphis (Egypt's capital city in the time of the Exodus) in the early 1800s. It is today in the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, Netherlands, after it was purchased from Giovanni Anastasi, the Swedish consul to Egypt, in 1828. British Egyptologist Sir Alan Henderson Gardiner translated the Ipuwer Papyrus into English in 1909.
While there are those today who deny how the Ipuwer Papyrus plainly describes the events leading up to the Exodus (their hearts and minds are as hardened as the Pharaoh's i.e. "Pharaoh's heart is hardened, he refuseth") notice how the Ipuwer Papyrus plainly describes the plagues upon Egypt, even using the words "plague" and "blood" in the water - things that do not happen by mere nature. Ipuwer was not an Israelite; he had no other reason to record it, other than because he actually witnessed it. Excerpts:
"Plague is throughout the land. Blood is everywhere"
We of course don't require any other history texts than the Holy Bible itself to know full-well all that has happened. The Biblical account of "the waters which are in the river ... they shall be turned to blood":
"7:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go. 7:15 Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river's brink [see The River Of Moses] against he come; and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thine hand. 7:16 And thou shalt say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear. 7:17 Thus saith the LORD, In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. 7:18 And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink of the water of the river.
As also recorded by Ipuwer, the total destruction of the crops:
"9:22 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. 9:23 And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. 9:24 So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. 9:25 And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field. 9:26 Only in the land of Goshen [see Why Did They Go To Goshen?], where the children of Israel were, was there no hail." (Exodus 9:22-26 KJV)
As also recorded by Ipuwer, darkness in the daytime:
"10:21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. 10:22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: 10:23 They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings." (Exodus 10:21-23 KJV)
The name of the Pharaoh at the time of the Exodus is not recorded in the Bible or in other history. We do know however, from the Bible, that the Pharaoh was not himself a firstborn son (otherwise, he would have died from the plague of the firstborn), however his son, who would have been the next Pharaoh, was the firstborn i.e. "the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne."
"12:29 And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. 12:30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead." (Exodus 12:29-30 KJV)
This Day In History, November 9
1526: Jews were expelled from Pressburg, Hungary by Maria of Hapsburg.
1799: Napoleon Bonaparte declared himself Emperor of France.
1862: General Ulysses Grant (who became U.S. President in 1869) issued an order prohibiting Jews from serving under his command in the U.S. Army.
1906: Although the U.S. was then 130 years old, Theodore Roosevelt became the first President to make an official trip outside of the country. He visited the U.S.-controlled Panama Canal zone.
1913: The Great Lakes Storm of 1913 destroyed 19 ships and killed over 250 people.
1918: At the end of the First World War (listen to our Sermons The Ottoman Empire and The European World Wars; also The Balfour Declaration), Germany's Prince Max von Baden announced the abdication of Kaiser (the German form of Caesar) Wilhelm II (who had fled to the Netherlands and was granted asylum there) and handed his office over to Ebert who thereby became Chancellor. Germany was to be demilitarized and made a republic. Many war veterans were deeply embittered by the defeat and the terms imposed on Germany by The Treaty of Versailles - among them a young gefreiter (lance corporal) by the name of Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion and Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!).
1935: Japanese troops invaded Shanghai, China.
1938: Kristallnacht (in German, "Crystal Night") in which Nazi storm troopers attacked Jews and their property throughout Germany. Over 260 synagogues were vandalized, 7,500 Jewish shops were destroyed. Thousands of Jews were seriously injured, 91 were murdered, and another 20,000 were arrested and sent to concentration camps. On the same day, a Swiss theology student, Maurice Bevaud, attempted to assassinate Hitler at a Munich rally. He was caught, and executed by guillotine on May 14 1941.
1952: Chaim Weizmann, the first President of Israel, died at age 57.
1965: A large area of the eastern United States and Canada was blacked out in one of the worst power failures in history; it was caused when a switch at a station near Niagara Falls malfunctioned.
1970: Charles DeGaulle, former French General and President, died at age 80.
1989: East Germany opened the Berlin Wall.
1990: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed a non-aggression treaty with Germany, winning praise from German leaders for his role in the peaceful fall of the Berlin Wall.