Part II Sneak preview wrote:
There are two possible outcomes to what may have happened to Abram’s papyrus after he left Egypt:
1. The original papyrus remained in Egypt
2. The original papyrus was taken by Abram to Canaan and later returned to Egypt presumably by Jacob to remain with Joseph
Either way, there is a separation of over 200 years between the time Abram penned his roll and when Joseph penned his sometime after his release from prison. Assume Abram’s roll remained in Egypt, it’s difficult to fathom how it managed to end up with Joseph hundreds of years later! Abram’s era in Egyptian dynastic history is within the 12th Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom and Joseph’s era approaches the Second Intermediate Period. It’s difficult to conceive how Abram’s papyri detailing the hostility of an Asiatic god (Jehovah) towards Pharaoh’s priesthood could be tolerated in the powerful 12th Dynasty and preserved in the archives. The Mormons chalked it up as a miracle under God’s divine providence and publicized fantastic claims. Modern Egyptology would have to fantasize and break with convention in order to accommodate the joining of the Two Rolls in dynastic Egypt under those circumstances. To conclude that Asiatic records were shipped south and buried in the catacombs of Thebes cannot be substantiated by any evidence.
But what if Abram took his roll with him and it was later returned by his grandson Jacob when retiring to Egypt to live with his sons? Would this provide a way for the joining of the Two Rolls? The answer is, yes! If that were the case then it’s easy to imagine Joseph assuming custody of his great grandfather’s papyrus and placing it in a chest with his own records. The Two Rolls would lay side by side as a testimony of God’s patriarchs in Egypt! But this solution doesn’t come without problems, in fact, it’s dead on arrival. Here’s why:
According to the bible, Israel’s sojourn in Egypt began with Jacob when he stood before Pharaoh and blessed the king. The children of Israel were given the land of Goshen in the eastern Delta of the Nile, Lower Egypt. Joseph lived an additional 70 years and was embalmed: “So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt” (Gen 50:26). The tribes of Israel resided in Goshen until the Exodus. Joseph’s sons (Manasseh and Ephraim) carried on his bloodline. The house of Levi descended with Kohath, Amram, and Moses who assumed authority over all the tribes. Moses led the Exodus and took charge of Joseph’s mummy:
“And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.” ( Ex 13:19)
Here we learn that Joseph’s bones, his very mummy, were carried home in a coffin in which he lay. It’s certainly reasonable to think that the Two Rolls were with Joseph’s mummy including the sacred records had by the patriarchs of old. It’s incredible if not unthinkable that the scrolls penned by the hands of Abraham and Joseph would have been left behind to waste in a musty catacomb of Egypt! The idea that the rolls were shipped to Thebes some 300 miles south of where the Israelites dwelt stretches the imagination to the breaking point.