Thanks so much for providing these lectures; I am really learning a lot from you.
In lecture 3 you briefly mention the Hyksos in your discussion of the Second Intermediate Period of Egyptian history. I have always been interested in the Hyksos, especially in their relevance to Old Testament Biblical studies, but there seems to be very little known about them. I have read that the Hyksos invasion and/or departure has been associated with the Hebrew exodus from Egypt, specifically in the rise of “a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph” (Exodus 1:8).
What is the current scholarly thinking about who the Hyksos were, where they came from, and how/if they were significant in the exodus story?
Garret, it’s great to see you on here. I’m glad you’re finding the lectures worthwhile.
I’m not exactly up to the minute on Hyksos scholarship, but the last I looked there didn’t seem to be a firm consensus on their origins or their role in the exodus. A lot depends on the timeline construction; I’ve seen several authors argue that the “pharaoh who knew not Joseph” was either part of the new Hyksos dynasty near the beginning of the Second Intermediate Period or part of a newly restored New Kingdom dynasty that had replaced the Hyksos. You may be aware that Josephus claimed the Hyksos _were_ Hebrews, but I don’t know of any modern scholar who believes that.
Alan Gardiner’s book (cited in the lecture notes) devotes a few pages to the question of Hyksos identity, and it would probably be a good place to start further investigation.