Sunday, January 25, 2015

Parshat Beshallach: The Exodus: Egyptian Troop Movements, Nile Delta Military Command Area

“Needless to say, none of these events [i.e., Israelite enslavement and the Exodus] are corroborated by ancient Egyptian records, since the Exodus was a minor affair in Egyptian annals.”
--Peter Clayton, Chronicles of the Pharaohs: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt. London: Thames & Hudson, 1994.

Egyptian Weekly Army Review
Troop Deployment Report

Year of Osiris, Akhet, Time-of-Nile-Rising,
Reign of His Gracious, Sun-in-His-Splendor-Rising,
Pharaoh Ramesses II

Item: Supply-Sergeant Khufu requisitioned six bows-and-quivers for use by Platoon 6, Chariot Squadron C, Regiment Horus-Hawk-of-Vengeance; three of six quivers were found to be of shoddy workmanship, and returned to the Nubian Factory for repair or replacement.

Item: Corporal Menkaure found to be drunk on barley-beer during 3rd Night Watch, sentenced to receive ten lashes and lose three-days’ pay, it being Middle-Level-Alert due to presence of Bedouin in Northern Boundary Area; sentence reduced by Provost Marshal Judge to five lashes, one day’s loss of  pay, Plea of Mercy, in light of Corporal’s recently losing his mother to Nile Fever; sentence under review.

Item: Troop Movements Yesterday, Nile Delta Military Command Area
Chariot Squadrons F & H, Regiment Osiris-Escort-of-Underworld, Lieutenants Userkaf & Huni Commanding; Capt. Kawab, Overall Commander, Reporting—

1 o’clock am—Sentries Privates Sahure and Waset, stationed on Signal-Tower #4, Eastern Boundary, Great Pyramid District, spot a Dust-Cloud in area of Goshen-Slave-Quarters. Fearful of spreading Plague, there being Reports of such in that area, Sentries wave Red Flags and light Watch-Fires to alert other Signal-Towers in Area.
Private Sahure: “They were Slave Rabble—those Hapiru folk; I do not speak their gibberish, my family being High Egyptian for generations—but I did make out Dancing and Singing amid their march.”
Private Waset: “I smelled some sort of bread baking; it smelled burnt, and they were carrying large boxes of gold and silver, which gleamed in the morning sun.”
Sentries estimate Size of Mob to be 6,000 Men, Women, & Children (Approx.).

2:30 am—Upon spotting the Signal-Fires of Tower #4, Adjutant Unas of Cavalry Troop 8 saddles a swift horse and reports to Regimental Headquarters (RHQ) Regiment Horus-Hawk-of-Vengeance, for Instructions, Lieutenant Colonel (LTCOL) Shepses Commanding.

2:35am—LTCOL Shepses, having received no instructions from the Joint Egyptian Chiefs at Ramesses Palace in Memphis, sends messengers by swift horse to Chariot Squadrons F & H, advising them to “shadow the Hapiru,” and report back to him regarding “any suspicious movements.”

4am—Swift Horse Messenger Subaltern Neithi reports back, “Hapiru are moving towards Nile Delta, following a Flamelike Entity, which may be carried in a brazier. Visual Observation is unclear, there being a Heavy Morning Fog.”

4:10am—LTCOL Shepses orders the Reconnaissance to continue; orders Three Chariot Squadrons to close the distance between themselves and the Hapiru, intending Reconnaissance-in-Force.

5am—Hapiru halt on bank of Nile; their leader, one ‘Mses, is speaking to them. Squadrons draw closer.
Capt. Kawab orders Standard Cautious Battle Approach Drill to Begin: bowmen fit arrows to bows; spearmen unsheathe. Horses pulled back to jog-trot from gallop (See Cavalry Instructions Scroll XXXIV, 5th Ed., “Battle Approach, Cautious, Suspicious of Ambush,” Published by Egyptian War College, Reign of Pharaoh Horemheb.)

5:30am—Sky darkens; water appears to be sinking into the earth. Lieutenants Userkaf & Huni halt their Squadrons, on Capt. Kawab’s order; single horse-and-rider is ordered out to approach ‘Mses, in attempt to parley. Heavy Winds force Rider to return.

6am—Water continues flowing down, as in swamplike action, only much accelerated; Lt. Huni, who studied hydroponics in Pitome Agricultural Academy prior to Army Conscription, theorizes that it might be due to Underwater Seismic Action; his Adjutant, one Private Weni, testifies that he sees a River-Demon floating in the air over the area.
No Conclusion is reached by this Military Court of Justice.

6:15am—Hapiru cross over, dry-shod, through middle track of Nile, exposed through Unknown Means (See 6am Entry, above).

6:20am—Officers confer; Capt. Kawab orders a Volunteer Platoon to Recon the Hapiru Means of Crossing. Three Charioteer-Teams of Platoon 7 Volunteer, Staff Sgt. Renef Commanding, drive down the slope and into the marsh, but find their chariot-wheels caught in the quickly-rising-mud. Before Lt. Userkaf, their Commander, can organize a Rescue Squad, both horses and troops are overcome by Quicksand, and lost. Recommendation submitted for Army Scarab of Merit (Bronze) [Posthumous] to be awarded.
It is observed that, while this Tragic Accident is occurring, the Hapiru on the Opposite Shore are dancing and singing and playing timbrels and drums. Our men express a desire to wreak vengeance on them, but the waters have returned to previous depth, and they are unable to cross.

6:30am—Capt. Kawab orders an orderly withdrawal, and files his Report.

Item: Corporal Osorkon, for sneaking into Barracks late after a Romantic Liaison, is to be jailed for one month, and reduced in rank to Private.