Ancient Egypt: History and culture
Ancient Egypt: The Tempest Stele (alt. Storm Stele) of Ahmose I
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The Tempest Stela of Ahmose I

7 ////////////// the gods expressed 8 their discontent ///////// The gods (made?) the sky come with a tempest of (rain?); it caused darkness in the Western region; the sky was 9 unleashed, without ///// ///// more than the roar of the crowd; ///// was powerful ////// on the mountains more than the turbulence of the 10 cataract which is at Elephantine. Each house, ///// each shelter (or each covered place) that they reached //////// 11 ////// were floating in the water like the barks of papyrus (on the outside?) of the royal residence for ///////// day(s), 12 with no one able to light the torch anywhere.
- Fragments of the stela were found in the third pylon of the Karnak temple. They are thought to predate the 22nd year of Ahmose I.
-tempest: rain storms are extremely infrequent in Egypt. Some have therefore speculated that this instance was caused by the eruption of the volcano on Thera.
In a rainless country like Egypt the soil is baked hard and becomes imperviable to water. The effects of even small amounts of rain are much greater than in the well aereated soils of the temperate zone, as none of the water is absorbed, and, running off, it can create short-lived but dangerous torrents.
-barks of papyrus: boat-shaped rafts made of papyrus reeds.
Then His Majesty said: 'How these (events) surpass the power of the great god and the wills of the divinities!' And His Majesty descended 13 in his boat, his council following him. The (people were?) at the east and the west, silent, for they had no more clothes (?) on them 14 after the power of the god was manifested. Then His Majesty arrived in Thebes /////// this statue; it received what it had desired. 15 His Majesty set about to strengthen the two lands, to cause the water to evacuate without (the aid of) his (men?), to provide them with silver, 16 with gold, with copper, with oil, with clothing, with all the products they desired; after which His Majesty rested in the palace - life, health, strength. -wills of the divinities: the gods (with the possible exception of Seth in later periods when he had become the Adversary) purpose was to impose order on the world. To this end they installed the pharaoh as their representative.
-statue: apparently the statue of a god, which in Egypt was more than a mere image, it was a manifestation of the deity.
-the two lands: Upper and Lower Egypt
17 It was then that His Majesty was informed that the funerary concessions had been invaded (by the water), that the sepulchral chambers had been damaged, that the structures of funerary enclosures had been undermined, that the pyramids had collapsed(?) 18 all that existed had been annihilated. His Majesty then ordered the repair of the chapels which had fallen in ruins in all the country, restoration of the 19 monuments of the gods, the re-erection of their precincts, the replacement of the sacred objects in the room of appearances, the re-closing of the secret place, the re-introduction 20 into their naoi of the statues which were lying on the ground, the re-erection of the fire altars, the replacement of the offering tables back on their feet, to assure them the provision of offerings, 21 the augmentation of the revenues of the personnel, the restoration of the country to its former state. They carried out everything, as the king had ordered it.

After Claude Vandersleyen

-all that existed had been annihilated: there existed a long-lived tradition in Egypt to draw the blackest possible picture of the recent past, setting it off from the present, much improved by the efforts of the king.
-naoi: (from Greek) sanctuaries

 
This text, like so many others, is grist for the busy mills of Bible apologists, in this case of those attempting to find proof for the Biblical plagues and the Exodus. The incongruities of their arguments do not seem to bother them, but it might be better for them to accept that (to this date at least) no archaeological proof has been found yet for anything written about in the Bible pertaining to the Bronze Age, save possibly the mere existence of the people of Israel.

 


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© November 2007

 

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