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$Revision: 42.20 $ (can.php) Contents of this Appendix: [The Canopus Decree] [Sothic Dating] [Venus Rising] [Sirius Rising] [Implications] [Further notes] [Endnotes] The Canopus Decree was found engraved on a block of stone, in two languages (and in three scripts), at Tanis in the delta of Egypt, dating to the year 239 BC.The Canopus Decree was introduced by the Greek pharaoh Ptolemy III, even though it reads as if mandated by the priests.The way it is written in the Hebrew implies that it is intended to be a precise figure (see Cassuto (1961, 52)) .The date also correlates with the length of Israel’s period of Judges (Young and Wood 2008), with Jephthah’s argument in Judges , and with the Jewish Sabbatical and Jubilee calendar (Young 2003).The Canopus Decree of 239 BC first introduces a new feast day honoring the pharaoh, then states when the New Year is celebrated, and that the rising of "Sothis" moves one day every four years."At present it occurs in this 9th year [of the reign of the pharaoh Ptolemy III] on the first day of Payni, in which month is celebrated the festival of New Year... But as the case will occur, that the rise of Sothis advances to another day in every 4 years, the day of the celebration of this feast, shall not pass along but it shall be celebrated on first day of Payni and the feast shall be celebrated as in the ninth year." "But that these feast days shall be celebrated in definite seasons for them to keep for ever, and after the plan of the heaven established on this day and that the case shall not occur, that all the Egyptian festivals, now celebrated in winter, shall not be celebrated some time or other in summer, on account of the precession of the rising of the Divine Sothis by one day in the course of 4 years, and other festivals celebrated in the summer, in this country, shall not be celebrated in winter, as has occasionally occurred in past times, therefore it shall be, that the year of 360 days and the 5 days added to their end, so one day as feast of Benevolent Gods [the pharaoh and family] be from this day after every 4 years added to the 5 epagomenae before the New Year, whereby all men shall learn, that what was a little defective in the order as regards the seasons and the year, as also the opinions which are contained in the rules of the learned on the heavenly orbits, are now corrected and improved by the Benevolent Gods." [note 1] "Sothis" in this translation (from the Egyptian text) is used both for the planet Venus as well as the star Sirius.This document does not give the beginning of a Sothic cycle, but a calendar date for the rising of Sirius, which can be retrocalculated as 1872 BC if the sighting of Sirius was made in the Memphis-Lahun region.
A third seasonal calendar was also kept, starting sometime in July or August with the inundation, or expected inundation, of the Nile.
We continue this month with chapter 1 of a book tentatively entitled *The Date of Creation.* The footnotes in this chapter will not translate into internet text, but if you desire a printed copy of the chapter, send .00 to Biblical Horizons, Box 1096, Niceville, FL 32588, and request a copy. The year began in the season of Inundation, and in the ideal year the first day of the first month of the season of Inundation coincided with the first day on which the dog-star Sirius [Sothis] should be seen on the eastern horizon just before the rising of the sun (i.e., roughly about 19 or 20 July in the Julian calendar).
Chapter 1: CONCLUSION SOTHIC DATING But what about the "proof" that comes from Sothic dating? Since the dynastic Egyptians never introduced a leap year into their civil calendar, New Year's Day advanced by one whole day in relation to the nature year in every period of four years.
The present Current Consensus Chronology (CCC) of the ancient world places the exodus at a time when Egypt was very strong, and becoming stronger.
Jordan In 1971 appeared a privately published book dealing with the problems surrounding the chronology of Egypt as it relates to the Bible: The Exodus Problem and Its Ramifications, by Donovan A. Courville pointed out what we saw in our previous essay, which is that if the Bible is even faintly correct about the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt, there should be evidence of a serious catastrophe in Egyptian history at that point.