Jyllands-Posten, Daily, - Culture Section,
p.7, 12 September
2001 - book review:
Mysteries in the Shadow of the Pyramids
By JESPER HOGENHAVEN, Ph.D. in Theology, Professor at Copenhagen University
Uncompromising theories about Moses as in reality an Egyptian prince - not
Ove von Spaeths book is an attempt to show how the biblical Moses was in fact
an Egyptian prince and one of the Egyptian Kingdom's most powerful men until he was
overthrown in a coup. Then the efforts - by the new Egyptian rulers - were to
remove all traces of him. The book is the volume two in a planned series for a total
of five volumes.
The book is well written
and easy to read - and occasionally as thrilling as a detective novel. Its historical claims,
however, should simply not to be accepted at face value. Ove von Spaeth demonstrates a comprehensive
knowledge of the ancient Egyptian archaeology and history.
of he sources also seems to be read in the same way as a crime novel: it is assumed that a place in the
material hiding a solution to get things to be sorted out. But where the crime
tick-and-cross is designed with a solution, there is no guarantee that a similar
solution can actually exist when it comes to a scattered samples of
Newer biblical research
has generally been very reluctant to infer historical information of the Old
Testament reports of Moses. It was thought that first and foremost it concerned
myths about Moses who, as an infant had been placed in a vessel of rush and then
rescued by Pharaoh's daughter, and later Israelites in bondages were lead by him out of Egypt and through the
desert to the promised land.
However, Ove von Spaeth
joins the number of researchers who can not or will not abandon the idea that
behind Moses' "Egyptian context", something historic must hide. He places Moses in
the time of 18. dynasty, a period in which the sources seem to let us come very
close to the people and events.
Previously, others have linked Moses with
pharaohs from the 18. dynasty, not least the famous Amenhotep
IV or Ahknaton (14th century BC) whose campaign for sun-god Aton has been
interpreted as an early attempt to introduce a form of monotheism. Here, Freud
in particular found a background of Moses' personality and work.
Von Spaeth, however,
goes further back in the line of kings to the fascinating queen figure Hatshepsut
(16th-15th century BC) who - although a woman - ruled as divine pharaoh. Queen
Hatshepsut's favourite and master of construction work, Senmut - a figure which the
research has perceived as the queen's lover - who von Spaeth instead believes is the
same as the queen's son, the biblical Moses. At a precisely planned coup, he -
mother had chosen as the heir of the pharaonic title - was overthrown by another prince, the queen's nephew.
Exciting lines of view
Ove von Spaeth's studies of the Egyptian material is in every sense
sometimes uncompromising, but it also happens that the exciting angles are being disclosed such
as e.g. the importance of ''the star map'' in Senmut's tomb. By support from astronomy von
Spaeth can obtain Senmut's/Moses' exact year of birth!
The at the same time both
imaginative attempt to give the biblical Moses a historical identity, however,
are being stranded by the biblical Moses-tradition's legendary character. Von Spaeth
is here practising a selective use of elements of biblical texts being attributed
"historical" credibility when they fit the pattern, and at other points
abandoned as inaccurate. Such takes place when the narrative on how the children of
Israel manufactured the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle according to
Moses' instructions is
used to show that (the historical) Moses acted as an experienced architect. The point in
the biblical narrative is that the instructions, the children of Israel follows, is
not Moses' own, but are given directly by a divine revelation. About Moses'
possible abilities as an architect they say nothing.
biblical research seems to be a feature which von Spaeth has not so great enthusiasm for; what is said about
it is in several cases of pure caricature; and the author ought, of course, to
have been corrected by the many consultants listed in the book's beginning - or just one of
them - that in Danish a certain theory is not called "documentary-hypothesis" when
the books of Moses are divided into many different sources. In
addition, this view has for long been in decline within the Old Testament research.
Also, this kind of
source distinction has no basis for a number of researchers' scepticism in
relation to Moses as a historical person.
reservations should not prevent anyone from reading "The Enigma of the Son of Pharaoh's
Daughter" with profit, especially for the sake of its literary qualities. It has
the ability to captivate and occasionally to disquiet, as well!
Ove von Spaeth: "The Enigma of the Son of Pharaoh's
Daughter: Moses' Identity and Mystery Re-evaluated", Assassinating of Moses,
239 pages, C.A. Reitzel publ.
Hogenhaven's written permission 9.Oct.2001 on text use by Ove von Spaeth)
By ERLING HAAGENSEN, writer and film director, Member of Danish Film
According to the Bible, it was Moses who led the children of Israel out of
Egypt. The Bible shows Moses as a Hebrew boy who was brought up by
Pharaoh's daughter - and that he later got a great position by the Egyptian
When it comes to the
history of ancient Egypt there are extensive and rich sources to illustrate what
happened. Nevertheless, it has so far not been possible to find confirmation -
either for Moses existence or the Israelites' exodus. The Egyptian sources are
apparently completely silent about Moses and the events mention in the Bible
- and this has led many historians to the view that the Bible's account on Moses
But now, a Danish
researcher and author has discovered what - by international standards -
has to be considered as
sensational evidence of a connection between the history of Egypt and the
existence of Moses. The author Ove von Spaeth presents in his new book-series, "Assassinating Moses", a number of convincing arguments, pointing to Moses as a
real, historical person in ancient Egypt.
It is not the first time
that an author attempts identifying Moses within Egyptian history. Most of the previous
attempts, such as Ahmed Osman's book from 1990: "Moses, Pharaoh of Egypt", has
placed Moses in connection with Pharaoh Akhenaten. But despite the many
well-intentioned attempts nobody has so far been able to produce the really
convincing details that give a plausible agreement between the Bible's
account and the
Egyptian historical sources.
Exact dating key
Ove von Spaeth, however, has in his first two books of the series, now
published, achieved that the puzzle come right. The pieces in the biblical
the pieces from the Egyptian historical sources are now linking exactly into each other,
and Ove von Spaeth creates - based in the history of Egypt - a picture of the
Bible's events showing to be persuasive credible.
It is in fact a simple
"trick" that has led Ove von Spaeth on the track of the right Moses - and giving
in the same time the explanation of why no Egyptologist or other historians have so far found the
correlation between the Egyptian sources and the Bible's account.
Ove von Spaeths "trick"
is that he has discovered a new method to date the events mentioned in the Bible -
and, thus, it has become clear that these events must take place 200 years
earlier in Egypt's history than historians and theologians previously have assumed.
This leads it to a very
different era in Egypt, which will be the focus of the investigation; and here
it evidently appears that the historical events and details from the Bible's
text fit together as hand in glove.
The first trace, bringing Ove von Spaeth forward to the time the events will take place, is
Rabbi Isaac Abrabanel - a 14th century figure writing about Jewish heritage of
history - and here he
refers to that three years before the birth of Moses, on the stellar sky a
special conjunction lined up - that is a rare grouping of the planets.
This reference put Ove
von Spaeth on track - for such a conjunction can be dated with 100 percent
accuracy by modern astronomical calculations, and it appears that if Rabbi
Abrabanel's information is correct, the event must have taken place in 1537 BC.
- Thus, Moses must have been born three years later - that is, in 1534 BC.
It turns out that once
this date is taken into account Ove von Spaeth succeeded to make the puzzle come
right, piece by piece. Bible's account - and the historical details from the
Egyptian-preserved records - show through his interpretation to fit together
in minute detail.
Pharaoh's Daughter as an official title
The Bible mentions the Pharaoh's daughter - and according to the established date
it can only be Hatshepsut who at Moses' birth was not only the
daughter of the ruling Pharaoh Tuthmosis I but was also the Crown Princess and
because of this - as following the Egyptian tradition - she had the name Pharaoh's Daughter as
The specificity of
Hatshepsut is that she herself becomes a ruling pharaoh - and by this she is unique in
the history of Egypt.
There are incredibly many
concrete details in Ove von Spaeth's arguments. They provide a convincing overall
picture which strongly supports that he has presented that the historic events in
Egypt and the accounts in the Bible which fit together - and that the Bible's
text in this respect is thus not fictional but based on real events.
But there is no doubt
that Ove von Spaeths revelations also will be subject to criticism. For example,
it will hardly be accepted plainly by several orthodox circles that he
appoint Moses as an Egyptian and not a Hebrew. According to Ove von Spaeth's
interpretation Moses is not a foster child as the Bible has made him, but
rather a true son of Pharaoh Hatshepsut and, in fact, heir to the Egyptian throne.
The reception of "the
ark" on the river Nile as the Bible describes is, according to Ove von Spaeth. a
royal initiation ceremony. A similar ceremony is known not only from Egypt but
from a wide range of other cultures - for example from the Danish legend on King
Skjold. Ove von Spaeth, however, feel that the Bible's explanation on the Jewish
foster child by the Egyptian pharaoh is a later rationalization where the Jewish commentators have refrained from including
certain parts of the Egyptian background in order to "embellish the story."
Ove von Spaeth's huge work on Moses breaks down in a series of five books. In his
first book, "The Suppressed Record", this author points out, among other things,
that the name Moses is not Hebrew. However, it is an Egyptian word for "child".
Not new information but often forgotten by the public. Hatshepsut's father - who,
according to von Spaeth, is the grandfather of Moses - bearing the name
Tuthmosis (I) - signifying 'child of (the god) Thoth'. Moses, the son of
Hatshepsut, would have followed his mother on the throne, and also be named
Tuthmosis (III). But von Spaeth presents in addition a wide range of historical data
that could substantiate the assumption that Moses was exposed to a plot.
Hatshepsut's consort also
named Tuthmosis (II) had a son to whom she was not the mother. It was this other
according to von Spaeth's interpretation, who was behind a plot that put him on the throne
and implied exile of Moses and subsequently meant the destruction of the
inscriptions and records, related both to Hatshepsut and especially her son.
Ove von Spaeth presents a convincing amount of evidence where both the Bible's
account and the
historical facts are linked together. The most compelling argument seems to be a star
von Spaeth has analyzed by astronomical science in this just-released Volume II: "The Enigmatic
Son of Pharaoh's Daughter".
In this second book Ove von Spaeth appoints the historical sensational identity
- by making him the same as the historical person who is known in Egypt under
the name Senmut. Senmut had a large number of significant appointments and
titles at the royal court of Egypt
under Pharaoh Hatshepsut - offices that Ove von Spaeth highlights as concerning a
heir to the throne.
But Senmut disappeared
without a trace.
He was, among other
things, Hatshepsut's architect - and, in this position, he built a tomb
construction to himself
directly under the temple, he built for Hatshepsut. The ceiling of this
tomb has Senmut features a star map - and it is this map that is Ove von
Spaeths strongest argument and document for that Senmut is Moses.
The world's oldest star map
Ove von Spaeth has succeeded to demonstrate that this star map is not a random
list of stars and planets - what researchers previously thought - but is a map
with a registration of a very special and rare astronomical event. This allows the
dated with an accuracy of hours!
The exact dating of the
map provides a point of time: 10 am on 7th May 1534 BC. In connection with the
aforementioned date of Moses birth to 1534 BC - and the Rabbinical Writing's
information about he was born in the month of adar (February) - and that
his sailing on the river Nile, according to the Bible, is three months after his birth - then Senmuts star
map fits also to the smallest detail to be a recording of a particular rare
astronomical event that can be associated with Moses - the child - of the reception
by Pharaoh's Daughter at the Nile.
According to von Spaeth
it is thus a royal
inauguration taking place at a particular astronomical selected opportune
moment. He argues that it is the case of Senmuts own inauguration as heir to the
throne - and therefore this particular star map has been established, placed in the ceiling of his
Ove von Spaeth's dating of
this map, to be called the world's oldest star map, has been published in the renowned
scientific journal "Centaurus International Magazine of The History of
Mathematics, Science, and Technology, vol 42; 3, 2000.
Von Spaeth has received backing from many researchers, such as Dr.scient.
Kristian Peder Moesgaard, a university lecturer at the Department for the
History of the Exact
Sciences, at the University of Aarhus, and he is former Director of Steno
Museum, Denmark's Museum of the History of Science, at Aarhus.
But Ove von Spaeth must
also be ready to come into headwind. It can be followed, partly by the debate the
books have raised and now being presented too on the Internet
For on the one hand he has
a different approach to certain chapters of the orthodox Jewish history, an
action of which he
probably will be exposed to some beating. However, Ove von Spaeth is offering
evidence that the Bible is reasonably accurate in many cases of its historical
presentations. This comes at a time when
a number of Danish theologians have set themselves at the head of a belief that
the Bible accounts must be seen as most often fabricated and therefore must keep a distance
to archaeological and historical research. These theologians have received
some international attention - and Ove von Spaeth's arguments that the Bible
might contain much more historical facts than hitherto presumed will be of very
Ove von Spaeth: "The Enigma of the Son of Pharaoh's
Daughter" - Assassinating Moses (2), Reitzels Publishers, 239 pages,
Erling Haagensen; permission
11.Feb.2001 for use by Ove von Spaeth)
Publishers who want to publish
editions of these books in English, German, Spanish,
French, Japanese and other languages may use this address:
A special treasure of knowledge and wisdom
of Greece, Rome, and the Renaissance had originated in Ancient Egypt -
and was here known to connect also with the historical Moses' dramatic
fate and mystery.
Ove von Spaeth has
written an intriguing, new-orientating work presenting this still
influential background of our civilization. • His interdisciplinary
research on history, archaeology, and anthropology goes deeply into
Egyptian tradition, history of religion, initiation cults, star-knowledge,
and mythology - relating to biblical studies, the Rabbinical Writings,
and the authors of Antiquity. • Each volume offers unique insights not
Special information is
presented by clicking on the individual cover illustrations: