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Who Built the GREAT PYRAMID?
Plain Truth Magazine
May 1964
Volume: Vol XXIX, No.5
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Who Built the GREAT PYRAMID?
Herman L Hoeh   
Church of God

Born: 1928
Died: November 24, 2004
Ambassador College: 1947
Ordained: December 20, 1952
Office: Evangelist

Did you know the builder of the Great Pyramid is identified in the Bible?

   WHO did build the Great Pyramid at Gizeh, Egypt? When and why was it built? Is there some supernatural revelation hidden in its mighty stones? Was the pyramid built to make the Bible clear and understandable? Are the speculations of the pyramidologists true?
   And what about the "pyramid inch" is it really equal to a year in prophecy as some assume? Can chronology be accurately determined only by the pyramid? Here are the surprising answers!

What We Found at Gizeh

   Opposite Cairo, across the Nile River, lies the most famous architectural wonder of the world the Great Pyramid at Gizeh. It is still the world's most massive building. For 3500 years it was also the world's tallest building. Only in this last generation has man built taller buildings than the Great Pyramid. Yet the Empire State Building in New York the highest building on earth today is only about 3/5 the volume of the Great Pyramid!
   The Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. 1, page 281, declares of the Great Pyramid: "... its perfect building compels our admiration; its alignment [with the points of the compass] is mathematically correct; often one cannot insert a penknife between the joints of the stone."
   "The Great Pyramid is so incredibly precise that compass errors can be checked against it," writes Leonard Cottrell in his recent book The Mountains of Pharaoh.
   In 1957 Dr. Meredith and I visited the pyramids twice while in Egypt. We found the external appearance of the Great Pyramid ruined by the Arabs. For centuries they have carted away and used the polished white casing stones which once made the Pyramid gleam in the sun and moonlight.
   But the interior of the Pyramid remains an architectural marvel. The stones within have not moved a hair's-breadth since the day the workmen fixed them in place. The flatness of the surfaces of the stones and the squareness of their corners are extraordinary. Literally acres of polished stone surfaces equal to opticians' work of the present day line the passages of the Great Pyramid.
   But not all is perfect workmanship. Human imperfection is noticeable in the rough, unfinished masonry on the floor of one of the chambers. We found the floor of the "King's" chamber flagrantly out of level. All this speaks of remarkable HUMAN WORKMANSHIP but does it speak of a divine revelation, as pyramidologists theorize? If this mighty architectural wonder is a divine revelation, where is the divine perfection?
   Yet the Great Pyramid Is one of the wonders of the world. It is the only one of the seven wonders of the ancient world which still remains. Surely there is some significance in its endurance through the ages especially since this Pyramid, missing its capstone, is found engraved on our money. Why should we Americans the children of Joseph's son Manasseh engrave this Egyptian Pyramid on our money? Who was actually responsible for the building of this marvel of the ages?

Secrets of the Pyramid Lost!

   When the Arabs invaded Egypt over 1100 years ago, they found the secrets of the Great Pyramid totally lost. Even its entrance was unknown. The Arab Caliph Mamoon, in the 9th century after Christ, blindly cut into the Pyramid hoping to find buried treasure in it. He accidentally reached one of the interior passageways but no buried treasure!
   But Mamoon only REOPENED the Great Pyramid. In the days of Jesus Christ, the true entrance to the Great
   Pyramid was open and regularly frequented by tourists. The entrance to it was forgotten in the days of the Catholic domination of Egypt before the coming of the Moslem Arabs.
   Strabo, the ancient Roman historian, expressly states that in his day the Great Pyramid was accessible to visitors: "It has on its side," he states, "a stone which can be moved. When it has been lifted up, a tortuous passage is seen which leads to the tomb" (bk. xvii, p. 808).
   Dr. Meredith and I climbed up to this ancient entrance on the north side of the Pyramid. The entrance used today by tourists is, however, the forced entrance cut out by the Arabs. At the true entrance to the Great Pyramid we saw the hieroglyphic carving containing the name of the mighty builder of this architectural wonder of the ancient world. His name in Egyptian is spelled Khufu by modern writers. The Greeks spelled his name Cheops. That is why the Pyramid is often called the Pyramid of Cheops today.
   Who was Cheops or Khufu? When and why did he build the pyramid?

Cheops NOT an Egyptian!

   The Egyptians like to boast about their pyramids. Yet the greatest pyramid of all, they admit was not built by an Egyptian! And they admit that all their later copies of the Great Pyramid are quite inferior to the first one built by Khufu. The Egyptian historian Manetho, who lived in the third century before Christ, wrote that Khufu "was of a DIFFERENT RACE" from the Egyptians (Wathen's Arts and Antiquities of Egypt, p. 54).
   Herodotus, the famous Greek historian of the 5th century before Christ, states that the builders of the Great Pyramid were SHEPHERDS (Euterpe 128). But the Egyptians were not shepherds! Notice Genesis 46:31-34: "And Joseph said unto his brethren... I will go up, and shew Pharaoh, and say unto him, My brethren, and my father's house... are come unto me; and the men are shepherds...And it shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What is your occupation? That ye shall say, Thy servants' trade hath been about cattle... FOR EVERY SHEPHERD IS AN ABOMINATION UNTO THE EGYPTIANS."
   The Egyptians were not shepherds. They employed others to tend their cattle. Yet Khufu, or Cheops, the builder of the Great Pyramid, was a shepherd!
   Josephus, the Jewish historian, wrote that the Egyptians set the Israelites "to build pyramids" (Antiquities of the Jews, bk. II, ch. ix, 1). But the pyramids which the Israelites built during their enslavement were hastily constructed, inferior duplicates of the first mighty Pyramid of Khufu or Cheops. Who was Cheops the shepherd who built the first Pyramid before the enslavement of the Israelites?

Cheops NOT an Idolater

   Cheops was not a polytheist. He was a worshipper of the One God. "Cheops closed the temples and prohibited the Egyptians from offering sacrifices," wrote Herodotus in book II of his History, 124. The God whom Cheops served was named "Amen" in the older Egyptian spelling. And strange though it may be one of the names of Jesus Christ, from the Hebrew, is "Amen" (Rev. 3:14).
   The Pharaoh of Upper Egypt, under whom Joseph served, was named Amenemhet III. "Amen" was a common name among the Pharaohs in Joseph's day. The Pharaoh must have been strongly influenced by the religion of Cheops. But this is not all! Pharaoh Amenemhet gave Joseph "to wife Asenath the daughter of Potiphera priest of ON" (Genesis 41:45).
   Who was the God "On"? Is it significant that "On" is but another name (in Greek) for the God "Amen" Jesus Christ, the LORD of the Old Testament! In Revelation 1:8, Christ speaks of Himself as the "One who is" the "existing One." In the original inspired text of this verse, the Greek word Christ used was "On"! the "existing one"!
   The Egyptian rulers knew of the Creator in the days of Joseph! Not until nearly the days of Moses did gross idolatry spread throughout Egypt!

When Did Cheops Build Pyramid?

   When did Cheops live? According to the eleventh edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, he lived 4700 B.C. which would make him live 700 years before Adam! Such a date is preposterous! More recent conservative scholars place him 2600 B.C. 250 years before the flood in Noah's day! But the flood, according to the Egyptian records, occurred centuries before Cheops lived! Cheops lived after the flood! This date is wrong, too!
   Obviously modern scholars do not know when Cheops lived. But they could know if they only believed the Bible record!
   Some pyramidologists try to date the pyramid by astronomy. They assume that when built, the North Pole star, Alpha Draconis, could be seen from the entrance passage of the Great Pyramid. But the idea is purely an assumption. There is no proof!
   Furthermore, the North Pole star would have been visible for only a few minutes from the descending passage BECAUSE THE PASSAGE NEVER DID POINT DIRECTLY TO THE NORTH POLE STAR! Some adherents of the "British Israel World Federation" would try to deny this, but any history book demonstrates the idea false.
   The facts of history are that Cheops (1726-1663 B.C.) was a young contemporary of King Zoser of Egypt. Zoser (1737-1718 B.C.) built the "step pyramid" shortly before Cheops built the Great Pyramid (Budge, A History of Egypt, vol. II, p. 9).
   Now the surprise of history is that king Zoser ruled part of Lower Egypt at the same time Joseph was Prime Minister under Pharaoh Amenemhet III,king of Upper Egypt. Ancient Egypt, remember, was a confederation of small city states. Amenemhet III (1741-1692 B.C.) was king of Upper Egypt and Pharaoh of all Egypt. But under him were lesser kings, among whom was Zoser. Cheops was a foreign King whose domain extended into the Delta of Egypt.
   King Zoser recorded the seven years' drought in Joseph's time. "My heart is in great anxiety," said Zoser, "for in my time the Nile has not overflowed for a period of SEVEN YEARS" (Cambridge Ancient History, p. 309-310, vol. I).
   The Bible reveals the seven years of famine extended from 1727 to 1720 B.C.
   Here is clear evidence that Cheops, a contemporary of Zoser, must have built the Great Pyramid during the beginning of the sojourn (1726-1487 B.C.) of Israel in Egypt and about the time of the seven years of famine!
   Joseph Enters the Scene
   A noted man who helped Cheops in building the Pyramid was named Souf. He was "chief of the works of Khufu" (Rawlinson's Egypt, ch. 14). This man has been an enigma to the historians (see Maspero's Dawn of Civilization, pp. 363-364). Elsewhere he is called "Saf-hotep" meaning "Saf the servant." He was apparently one of 12 brothers who built the Labyrinth the "Pentagon" of Ancient Egypt for Amenemhet III (Wathen's Antiquities, p. 142). Certainly there is no doubt who "Souf" was! He could be none other than Joseph!
   The name given Joseph by Pharaoh was "Zaph-nath-paaneah" (Gen. 41:45). The Egyptians still call Joseph "Yousuf." Certainly there need be no doubt when Cheops lived!
   A corrupted Egyptian story records an incident in the later life of Cheops or Khufu, in which he calls an aged Egyptian sage to his palace (Budge's Egypt, vol. II, p. 43). The sage lived 110 years. Joseph died at 110 years of age (Gen. 50:26). There can be no mistaking this coincidence!

Cheops Wrote Scripture

   Not only did Cheops worship Amen or On that is, Jesus Christ; he also wrote Scripture! Manetho, the Egyptian historian, wrote of Cheops: "He was arrogant toward the gods, but repented and wrote the Sacred Book... a work of great importance" (see Wathen's Antiquities, p. 268; and Budge's Egypt, vol. II, p. 31).
   But which Sacred Book?
   Certainly none of the Sacred Books of Egypt's pagan religion for Cheops closed their temples and forbade their worship. Was this Sacred Book an Egyptian Book? No! Cheops, remember, was of foreign race and it is quite obvious that Cheops's Sacred Book was not preserved by Egyptians who later opposed his religion.
   A clue to the answer is found in Egyptian records. Cheops has another name Saaru of Shaaru (Petrie's History of Egypt, vol. I, p. 37). Saaru is another name "for the inhabitants of Mt. Seir" (Rawlinson's History of Egypt, ch. 22). Khufu, then, was a foreign King whose domain extended from Mt. Seir to Lower Egypt during and after the time of Joseph. Petra is in Mount Seir. Dr. Meredith and I visited, in 1957, the domain of Cheops, both in Egypt and in Mt. Seir.
   Mt. Seir was famous in history as the "Land of Uz" (Vol. III of Clarke's Commentary, preface to Book of Job). Uz was a descendant of Seir the Horite (Gen. 36:28). The Arabs preserve a corrupt record of Cheops of Mt. Seir or of the Land of Uz. They call him the "wizard of Oz."
   Now what individual who dwelled in Uz was arrogant, repented of his sin and wrote a Sacred Book?
   None other than JOB!
   And the Sacred Book is the Book of Job!
   Job as Mr. Armstrong long ago perceived could be none other than the Cheops who built the Great Pyramid! The ancient Greeks called Job "Cheops" pronouncing the letters "ch" almost as if they were an "h." We call Job "Hiob" in German and we pronounce the final "b" as if it were a "p" much as the Greeks did. Plainly, Cheops is but an altered pronunciation of Job!

Job Was a King!

   When Job was being tested, he cried out that he wished he had died: "Why died I not from the womb? Why did I not expire when I came out of the womb...? Then had I been at rest with kings and counselors of the earth, which build desolate places for themselves" (Job 3:11-14).
   Job buried with kings? of course! He was of a royal family. Notice: "Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel. After my words they spake not again... I... sat as chief, and dwelt as a KING in the army, as one that comforteth the mourners" (Job 29:21-25).
   Job left a great monument in stone the Great Pyramid. It swelled his pride. Bildad, one of Job's friends, taunted Job: "Thou that tearest thyself in thine anger, shall the earth be forsaken of thee? Or shall the rock be removed out of its place" (Job 18:4, Jewish translation).
   What? the earth not to be forsaken of Job even if he were to die? Of course the rock monument he built would remain for ages, would not "be removed out of its place"! What rock monument? the Great Pyramid!
   Now turn to Job 38:4-6. Here is God's response to Job. Notice that the verses presuppose Job a great builder. Now paraphrase God's answer to Job. Compare it with the book of Job and the accompanying article Where is God? (By Robert Gentet).
   "You, Job, laid the foundations of the Great Pyramid, but where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? You, Job, determined the measures on the Pyramid in Egypt, but who determined the measures of the earth and stretched the line upon it? You, Job, fastened down in sockets the foundations of the pyramid, but whereupon are the foundations of the earth fastened? You, Job, were not able to lay the Pyramid's capstone, for your work was not absolutely perfect, but I laid the cornerstone of the earth," said God.
   That whittled Job down to size! He was not as big as he himself presumed.

But Who Was Job

   Cheops lived in Joseph's time. So did Job! Job lived in the generation after Esau, for one of his friends was Eliphaz the Temanite (Job 2:11). Eliphaz was the father of the Temanites (Gen. 36: 11) and the son of Esau, Jacob's brother (verse 10). Eliphaz and Joseph were first cousins.
   Job lived before the Mosaic law which permitted only Levites to sacrifice. Notice that Job sacrificed to God for his family as was customarily done in patriarchal times (Job 1:5; 42:8).
   None of the conversation in the book of Job refers to the exodus under Moses. But the flood is still uppermost in the minds of the people (Job 22:17-18).
   Cheops or Job came to the throne in 1726 B.C. That date is proved in the forthcoming book on World History. Surprisingly that is the year in which Jacob entered Egypt with his family. A coincidence? Consider this! Coming into Egypt with Jacob in 1726 was a grandson named Job! "And these are the names of the children of Israel who came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons... And the sons of Issachar: Tola, and Phuvah and Job, and Shimron" (Genesis 46:13).
   In I Chronicles 7:1 Job's name appears as Jashub or Iashub: "And the sons of Issachar: Tola, and Puah, Jashub, and Shimron, four." From the name Jashubor Iashub the Egyptian historian Manetho derived the name Suph of Suf for Cheops. Similarly he spelled the name Joseph as Suph by dropping the first non-consonantal syllable.
   Cheops or Job was Joseph's nephew. He exhibited vast mathematical and astronomical knowledge in building the pyramid. Was this kind of knowledge a characteristic of the tribe of Issachar, from which Job sprang? Let I Chronicles 12:32 answer: "And of the children of Issachar, men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do..." Jewish commentators understand this to mean mathematical and astronomical knowledge, including the body of information by which the Hebrew calendar was determined and the annual festivals arranged.

Why Pyramid Built

   Job lived long before the time of Daniel. Even in the time of Daniel and the apostles, the dates for the prophetic future were not opened to understanding. If they were not permitted to know the times and seasons, certainly Job would not have known them, much less built the pyramid to fit chronology!
   Yet adherents to pyramidology contend that Cheops did know these things.
   I have beside me now the works of David Davidson, Adam Rutherford, and others. Each tries to build a chronology for the future by measuring the dimensions of the Great Pyramid with the "pyramid inch." Dr. Meredith and I saw the little stone protrusion in the Pyramid which these people contend is the key to the revelation of the pyramid. But they have no way to know whether this little protrusion should measure the pyramid and determine chronology, or whether it was for some other purpose.
   Even if one has accurately measured the pyramid, how are they going to know which point means which year? Davidson starts with a certain point in the Pyramid and calls it the day of the crucifixion Friday, April 7, 30 A.D. Since that date is proved wrong by the Bible, all his chronology is in error.
   Another takes the same point and calls it the date of the crucifixion, Friday, April 3, 33 A.D. Since that date may be proved wrong, too, his chronology errs.
   THE OBVIOUS FACT IS THAT NO STANDARD EXISTS WHICH MIGHT REVEAL WHICH STONE OR WHICH SCRATCH ON A PASSAGEWAY MEANS A PARTICULAR YEAR. The pyramid was built for another purpose than to reveal chronology. We do not yet know all the factors surrounding the building of the Pyramid. But it is a monument, undoubtedly designed by Job, to commemorate what Joseph did for Egypt and to mark the border of the territory given to Joseph's family in the land of Egypt by Pharaoh.
   Pharaoh gave Israel the land of Goshen (Gen. 47:11). The land of Goshen extends from Palestine westward to the Nile River (Gen. 15:18). It included what is now the Suez Canal. Pharaoh long ago gave it to the family of Joseph, but today Egypt has seized control of it. How far south along the Nile River does the land of Goshen run? To the border between Lower and Middle Egypt in the very region where the Great Pyramid is located! Because the Great Pyramid stands at the border between these two divisions of Egypt, many have taken Isaiah 19:19-20 to refer to the pyramid. Certainly the "altar" mentioned in this verse is not the pyramid. God forbids any altar of carved stone (Exodus 20:25-26).
   But the Great Pyramid may be the pillar which Isaiah referred to, and it might be again dedicated in the future as a pillar or monument of witness to what the Eternal the Amen will do in delivering Egypt from the revived Roman Empire. A pillar is sometimes used in the Bible as a borderline (see Genesis 31:52).
   We might also consider whether the pyramid was designed by Job to be the tomb or resting place of Joseph's mummy, before it was carried up out of Egypt by Moses (Exodus 13:19). Cheops or Job, according to the ancient historians, was not buried in it. The sarcophagus in the "King's chamber" was empty in ancient times. No treasures were hidden in the Pyramid's inner recesses. And it was anciently open to visitors from Greece and Rome.
   The Great Pyramid was built, according to Herodotus, over a period of about 20 years in the 3 months of each year during which the Nile overflowed and the people were idle. Its construction therefore did not occupy slave labor, but idle labor. And through it, perhaps, the Egyptians gained their freedom from Pharaoh. Josephus, the Jewish historian, states that Joseph did return the land to the Egyptians (Antiquities, bk. II, ch.7, 7).
   And what better thank offering could the Egyptians have given than donating of their idle time to build a monument designed and directed by Job as a perpetual witness to the all-ruling, Eternal God who sent Joseph to save the Egyptians!
   God's Government is also in the form of a pyramid. Christ is the rejected "capstone" (Psalm 118:22). What more fitting monument could Job have built than this to the God whose Government rules invisibly over the world and who sends His prophets to warn it before every calamity.

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Plain Truth MagazineMay 1964Vol XXIX, No.5
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