It's been a long time since we heard from our old buddy, Chip Ahoy, but, while I'm not the Renaissance man he is, one of us occasionally finds something a little more esoteric than our usual run of topics. This is one of those times.
Some time ago, a guy named Simcha Jacobovici had a syndicated show called The Naked Archeologist. The idea was he went beyond the usual establishment ideas and got his hands dirty showing you how people lived way back when. The Blonde couldn't stand him because, "He acts like he knows everything".
Could be he does.
As all of us who watched TV as kids, we knew Chuck Heston led the children of Israel out of bondage from Yul Brynner and his Magnificent 70,000. The same Yul Brynner who fathered like, a thousand kids, and was the hero of Kadesh. This was the establishment view of the subject. The 2 heavy hitters of the ancient world going nose to nose for the heavyweight championship of Egypt. A terrific story, right?
Unfortunately, the Bible never names who was Pharaoh. It just calls him Pharaoh because that's the way he signed his Christmas cards.
A few years after his TV show, James Cameron, of Titanic fame, produced a special for Jacobovici about his idea of how the Ten Plagues, and a couple of other things, might have happened. The hook was Jacobovici wasn't interested in dates, he was looking for a cause. What could make all these things happen in such a short period? Especially since all these things were known to have happened elsewhere in Africa before and after the events in the Bible.
And he found it.
The Santorini Eruption, which wiped out the Minoan Civilization. A great many of the Plagues were explainable by that alone, although some, like the death of Egypt's firstborn, required a knowledge of Egyptian culture. All well and good, you might think, but the Establishment says, "The Science is settled. We've got a great movie we all watch every Easter and you're wrecking it" .
The debate lay there until a few years ago when a stele (stone tablet), found in the mid 60s, was given another look. Cursory examination presumed it was a retelling of a battle, but a more close look showed it was about the warring of the elements and was a description of a terrible storm that struck Egypt, darkening the land for 3 days with hail and fire (lightning) traveling along the ground. The stele dated from the reign of Ahmose I, which coincided with (ta da) the Santorini Eruption.
So there was proof of the Plagues not taking place during the reign of Ramses II. But wait, as they say, there's more.
A couple other phenomena mentioned in Exodus are also explained by the Santorini Eruption. One, of course, is the Pillar of Fire, which Freud in his book, Moses And Monotheism (good read btw), thought was a reference to an old volcano god. Since seismic disturbances can have effects many miles away, the idea that a long-dormant volcano was kicked into life all makes sense, but that's only the beginning.
Remember some years ago there was a killer tidal wave in Indonesia near a resort? What was the description? "The sea just went away", and people walked out onto the ocean bed to watch all the fish flopping around.
What happened after a while? The sea came back, with devastating results.
That tidal wave was caused by a phenomenon very likely similar to the one in the Bible, if we take into account the Santorini Eruption.
Just like in the movie.
What is so cool about all this is science once again proves the veracity of the Bible, much like the location of the Garden of Eden, and science also shows the Science is never settled no matter how much smarter all the atheist Lefty hipsters think they are. The Bible is always smarter.
It's also cool that Jacobovici has the last laugh because he refused to go along with the crowd. Which, I think, is a great little object lesson for us all.