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On Ancient Egypt's Influence on the Creation of the Kingdom of Israel and Monotheism.

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posted on Dec, 18 2015 @ 11:02 PM
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With all the global conflicts and a wave of anti-Islamic BS going on in the west, I thought it would be nice to look at the origins of the big three in western religion. I started this project when I heard Ayaan Hirsi Ali make the claim that "no monotheistic religion can be a religion of peace." The History freak in me immediately wanted to find the historical foundations of monotheism to see for myself if the ideology was born of strife or if perhaps it was corrupted by man after the fact. So...

This history starts with the Hyksos people. Scholars are still debating the origins of the Hyksos, but the important fact is that Egyptians saw them as foreign even after they had ruled the northern part of Egypt for a long time. In 1539 BC Ahmose I, the Egyptian leader of the southern part of Egypt, successfully retook control of the north and even extend his authority over the people of Canaan (a land to the north east of Egypt that consists of modern day Israel, Jordan and Syria) and established the 18th Egyptian dynasty.

Archeology shows that Canaan was polytheistic, worshiping a goddess creator they might have borrowed from the Sumerians and Baal and El and many other gods. In the bible, The Canaanites are seen as the first enemy the ancient Hebrews conquered in the name of their god, but in archeology of the late bronze age Canaan there is little evidence to show a 'conquest' and more evidence to show that a natural disaster occurred which led to the gradual decline and abandonment of many of the bronze age cities in the region.

Ahmose I's rule over Canaan might serve as historical grounds for the legend that the Jewish people were enslaved by the Egyptians. During the early part of the 18th dynasty the Hyksos, though no longer the ruling class, were still around. Also, there is mention of Habiru people. They were nomadic warriors who moved between Canaan and Egypt. For a time Egypt used them as military tools, fighting lesser states and acting as a buffer against invasion, but Egypt would eventually regulate the Habiru to craftsmen. Another group found during this time was the Shasu people who seem to worship a god called YWH, which scholars generally agree is the first mention of Yahweh and predates the oldest Torah reference by 500 years.

We will return to these cultures in a min, for now just note that they were all in or around Egypt during the 18th dynasty. For now let's look at the most important pharaoh of Egypt during the 18th dynasty to the thesis. Akhanaten (circa 1353 BC -1339 BC) ruled Egypt and imposed a monolatry attitude towards the Egyptian pantheon. Akhanaten also imposed an aniconic attitude towards Aten, his idea of the supreme god, meaning that he did not want pictures of Aten only the sun disk with a special note could be used to symbolize Aten. After Akhanaten and his son Tutakhanaten deaths the cult of Aten begins to fall out of favor.

Horemheb destroyed many of Akhanaten’s temples and it seems he deleted him and his family from the official list of pharaohs. Horemheb is noted as being conservative and likely expelled many groups who were connected to the Aten cult.

Now my theory is that groups like Hyksos, Habiru, and Shasu all left Egypt at this time and a leader perhaps named Moses led them to the land of Midian where they meet Moses father-in-law, Jethro.

Jethro says something interesting in Exodus 18:11 “Now I know the Lord is greater than all gods.” My theory is that here the foundations of what would become the religion of the Hebrews was established. The exiles from Egypt were shown henotheism by the Midianites and took that with them when they established a settlement in Canaan.

The Merneptah Stele(1213 BC or 1203 BC)mentions that a land or group of people in Canaan is called Israel. Archeology shows that they did worship the gods of the Canaanites, but they also seem to have a deity they place above all others.

By 800 BC, the Israelites were now the dominate group in the region and defined Yahweh as the national god. At this point Yahweh had probably taken on all the positive aspect of the Canaanite gods. The Israelites probably accepted that foreigners and other nations had their own gods, but Yahweh was supreme.

The Babylonian Exile (597 BC – 538 BC) was when monotheism in Judaism was established because now the supremacy of Yahweh was challenged. Only though the denial of other gods and the idea of being tested by God could the Jews keep from losing their identity in the polytheistic multi-cultured Babylon.

To me the history shows how restrictive monotheism must be in order to justify and legitimize itself. At each point in the development there are new restriction placed on a person’s faith and negative reactions to others' beliefs. Still, there is hope. Monotheism can be revised to include tolerance for other religions and thus transform back into henotheism.

note: my non-linked Egyptian chronology comes from, Nicolas Grimal's A History of Ancient Egypt




posted on Dec, 18 2015 @ 11:34 PM
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a reply to: hubrisinxs

Very well researched OP!

My only problem with your theory is your supposing that the events in the bible are historical in nature, in that they actually occurred. Or at least the exodus of the Israelite's from Egypt.

To my knowledge there hasn't been any archaeological evidence that supports that event, The Egyptians didn't record any mass exodus of slaves nor tribesmen either. Also Pithom didn't exist until much later, same with Rameses...



posted on Dec, 18 2015 @ 11:55 PM
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a reply to: NateTheAnimator

Thanks, I like history! Glad you do too!

I am suggesting they were not slaves but an amalgamation of peoples who were expelled from Egypt during Horemheb's reign. My theory is that the exodus is not historically accurate but does represent a metaphor for a very real event.

Also, to note the next pharaoh after Hroemheb was Rameses I. Now, this is not to prove the truth of the bible, but Rameses I did continued many policies of Hroemheb.

In the Babylonian exile, the Jews probably had access to Egyptian and Babylonian history and combined that information with their own oral tradition for the sake of providing historicity to their own stories.

Thanks for reading and the comments.



posted on Dec, 19 2015 @ 01:57 AM
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a reply to: hubrisinxs

Surely you get the answer to your question from something you wrote yourself,

"The Canaanites are seen as the first enemy the ancient Hebrews conquered in the name of their god."

If you go to war on behalf of your God and not yourself, then religion and what it teaches is the obvious cause.

I appreciate that archaeology may give us another clue, but throughout the biblical account people were conquered either to get them out of the way, assimilate the females and children or because, they worshipped other gods and remember the fact the Israelite God said "I am a jealous God".

One has to question the merit of a god who brings the nasty aspect of jealousy into deity and not sanctity.



posted on Dec, 19 2015 @ 04:03 AM
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originally posted by: hubrisinxs
In the Babylonian exile, the Jews probably had access to Egyptian and Babylonian history and combined that information with their own oral tradition for the sake of providing historicity to their own stories.



Quite a few Bible stories have their Genesis in the Libraries of Mesopotamia where Rabbis were enslaved as the Librarians, of that there is little doubt. But the religion itself was seriously under threat by the way of life in Mesopotamia. Polytheism reared its head and imo as a reaction to that, the Exodus was invented to remind the Jews that their God had beaten cultures that enslaved them before.

and would do again. In the end though it wasn't YHWH, but Cyrus who freed the Jews from captivity.

One thing is pretty clear, the story was written after the 8th Century and before the 6th bce. One of the stopping points of the Exodus was a town called Ezion-geber.

Numbers 33:
35 And they journeyed from Abronah, and pitched in Ezion-geber.
36 And they journeyed from Ezion-geber, and pitched in the wilderness of Zin--the same is Kadesh.

Archaeology has shown that this town was only occupied between the 8th - 6th C BCE and then again briefly in the 4th C

So clearly, this indicates that the story is fictional and composed of knowledge available during those two hundred years
During those two hundred years the Jews were the slaves of the Babylonians, the Babylonian Talmud was written there, hence the name.

Genesis, even uses words taken from Babylonian language, such as Adam and Eden.
psd.museum.upenn.edu...
psd.museum.upenn.edu...

You have Abraham who was from Ur of the Chaldees, Chaldea only emerged between the late 10th and early 9th century BC, surviving until the mid 6th century BC,, so again, another impossibility in reality, but from the perspective of someone writing the story around 550BCE spot on from what they would have known then



And a man called Moses, come on, that's not even a proper name, it means "son of", you'd think if the Jews ancestors were slaves under Pharoah, they would remember the buggers name. Meanwhile, over in Mesopotamia, all the names of the kings were correctly entered into their relevant biblical position

I've heard all the Hyksos, Habiru claims before and its really a case of stretch to fit, but In Mesopotamia, you have a ton of supporting facts and irrefutable archaeology.




posted on Dec, 19 2015 @ 05:34 AM
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originally posted by: NateTheAnimator
a reply to: hubrisinxs

Very well researched OP!

My only problem with your theory is your supposing that the events in the bible are historical in nature, in that they actually occurred. Or at least the exodus of the Israelite's from Egypt.

To my knowledge there hasn't been any archaeological evidence that supports that event, The Egyptians didn't record any mass exodus of slaves nor tribesmen either. Also Pithom didn't exist until much later, same with Rameses...



Actually yes they did. Egypt did record kicking the hyskos out. The hyskos were forced to leave from there city of Avaris.

And guess what Avaris was later called? Pi Rameses.

People get hung up on the name Rameses. It could just be later writers substituted Avaris for the new name hundreds of years later.



posted on Dec, 19 2015 @ 08:42 AM
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a reply to: Marduk

Well said! Thanks for the response.

By adding Historicity to their own stories, I mean exactly what you said. The bible is far from being historically accurate, yet I feel it was not entirely made up with no outside influence from Egypt or Mesopotamia.

By being in Babylon, their access to Egyptian information was tainted through the lens of the Babylonians who I am sure miswrote names like Thutmose to Moses and other similar things. The accuracy of the Babylonian information coupled with the highly inaccurate Egyptian information does show the Exodus event to be fictional and mostly complied with information in the 8th to 7th centuries.

Like the Flood story, the Exodus seems to be a story to remember some real event. I was attempting to provide a plausible description of the events that would lead to the made up story of the Exodus. I do say this is my theory because like you said there is little archeological evidence to show that Hyksos and other cultures ever combined or that they were living together or that they are related to the Israelites who appear in the 800's BC in the land of Canaan.

I still contend that they had some form of the Torah before they were in Babylon and used the Babylon records to attempt to prove and flesh out their own stories. The missing of dates and the naming of wrong peoples shows that they were attempting to fit their own stories to what they thought was the history of the world as understood by 6th century Babylonian standards.

Anyway, thanks for all the great information and adding to the thread.



posted on Dec, 19 2015 @ 08:47 AM
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a reply to: crazyewok

That is cool, did not know about Avaris becoming Pi Rameses. Agreed that the captive Jews were stuck with names that had gone through 1000 years of the game 'telephone', so the fact that they only knew about more modern information does not discount their story being based in some facts.

Thanks for adding!



posted on Dec, 19 2015 @ 09:06 AM
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originally posted by: hubrisinxs
a reply to: crazyewok

That is cool, did not know about Avaris becoming Pi Rameses. Agreed that the captive Jews were stuck with names that had gone through 1000 years of the game 'telephone', so the fact that they only knew about more modern information does not discount their story being based in some facts.

Thanks for adding!

Yup. It was Avaris when the Hyksos ruled there but at some point likely a couple of hundred years later under the pharaoh Ramesses the name got changed.

Anyone writing records and other books at the time would likely as switched to the new name.

It happens all the time. For example the city of York in the UK was Eoforwīc back in the time of the Saxons but now even when talking about Eoforwīc back in the dark ages its common to just say York unless your writing for a specific historical paper/book ect



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 05:07 AM
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Good thread and posts guys, the Hyksos seemed an amalgam of people not unlike the later "sea people" and if we were to believe Manetho they elevated the Kemetian god set, there are Semitic names among them they introduced the war chariot which may well point to an indo-European connection, they also had among them Kush-ites, as one of the Delta kings of that time went by the name Nahasi.

I believe there was a number of exodus out of Kmt into the Levant one would have been Hyksos refugees the other disgruntled Aten worshipers.
Another thing I might add is the Kemetic names of some of the early Hebrew priest Hophni and Phinehas sons of Eli as sacrificers and guardians of the Ark.
Again Phinehas is the Hebrew rendering of the Kemetian name of Pi-nḥsy / p3-nhs or the Ta-Nahasi aka kushi-ite.

edit on 21-12-2015 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:13 AM
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a reply to: hubrisinxs

So...

Bottom line is, the "Jewish" or rather Hebrew religion is a mish-mash of stories about people and events which may, or may not, have even happened at all.

This leads myself, as well as many others, to conclude that it is as "made-up" as the other myths and fairy tales which they are very quick to label as only lies and legends.

Well, so much for the legitimacy of religion and its followers.



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:18 AM
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originally posted by: tinymind
a reply to: hubrisinxs

So...

Bottom line is, the "Jewish" or rather Hebrew religion is a mish-mash of stories about people and events which may, or may not, have even happened at all.

This leads myself, as well as many others, to conclude that it is as "made-up" as the other myths and fairy tales which they are very quick to label as only lies and legends.

Well, so much for the legitimacy of religion and its followers.

But that basically most on Ancient History before the Romans.

Almost everything we have on Egypt, Sumerian ect is from pages of religious text, pictures and glyphs on walls and fragments of tablets.

What makes the Egyptian book of the dead any more valid than the Bible? ect



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:31 AM
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Great thread! I'm particularly interested in these Shasu people you were mentioning. Also, it appears that the popular idea that the Abrahamic god is just an amalgamation of other gods still holds true. I certainly believe it. It makes the most sense logically.



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:40 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Im leaning toward a mix between the Shasu and Hyskos.



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 10:14 AM
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a reply to: crazyewok

Yea, they are probably the big two, but you can also see characteristics of other gods from later civilizations within god's "personality" so it's tough to say, but the Shasu calling their god YHW is CERTAINLY an intriguing detail.

I wonder if the OP is going to go into the influences of Zoroastrianism on Abrahamic faiths, or is he just sticking to the Egyptian region of the world?



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 10:16 AM
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originally posted by: crazyewok

Almost everything we have on Egypt, Sumerian ect is from pages of religious text, pictures and glyphs on walls and fragments of tablets.


That's not true for Mesopotamia, most of what we know comes from the archaeology, which was country wide and extremely extensive. There are books and books written by the archaeologists alone and many cities were excavated down to the water table. Most famously Leonard Woolley who originally went to find evidence to support the bible cabled London on discovering a layer of silt in one cities foundations to say "we have found the flood", after excavating further of course he found another flood, then another, then later at a lower level than these floods was discovered a tablet of the Sumerian flood account. It was around then that they realised that Mesopotamia is one giant flood plain..

There are hundreds of thousands of Artefacts spread around the worlds museums from cylinder seals to entire palaces. Its been said that there are hundreds of times more clay tablets in museum storerooms than have ever been translated. They excavated entire libraries. There were more than 30,000 cuneiform tablets and fragments recovered from the library of Ashurbanipal alone covering every aspect of daily life

The difference between Mesopotamia and most cities from other civilisations is that when a Mesopotamian city was abandoned, no one rebuilt, so you get thousands of years of evidence untouched, As they were river dependant, they rose and fell depending on the stability of the watercourse, which in that area wasn't very stable at all.

edit on 21-12-2015 by Marduk because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 10:19 AM
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a reply to: Marduk

Well that basically what I said. All ancient history is pieced together from those ruins, fragments of texts and tablets.

On there own each piece of evidence cant be relied on. You have to take ALL of it into account.



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 10:27 AM
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Below is a hand typed quote from a Dr Charles S Finch so no klikable links, I have so far been unable to cross check his material against others so it's not verified
, and the below might just be a linguistic connection base off the super language phylum of Afrasian,to which Kemetic and Semitic belonged which includes Hebraic in the Semitic off shoot.
But if it holds up it's non the less interesting.

The Hebrew Adam is the first man in the image of God,the father of mankind,and the completion of creation. The Egyptian Atem is the first God in the image of man and the father of mankind through a self-creative act. the root "tem" in Atem means both "completion" and "mankind". the word "At" is an Egyptian name for "father". moreover we know that Adam the first namer of created things;the Egyptian "dem" means "to name"clearly there is an Egyptian parentage for Adam and he is to be equated to Atem. Adam's consort is Eve whose Hebrew name is"(C)Havvah"and who, in the Genesis, story is seduced by the Serpent. the name Havvah corresponds to the Egyptian "Hefa" who is the Great Mother Serpent of the world.There are several meaning to peeled back here: Eve-Havvah as Hefa is the is Serpent of Genesis in it's form as the Great Mother but Adam-Atem is also the the Great Serpent.the Serpent of Genesis,then,is indubitably Eve in one aspect but Adam in another;Thus Adam and Eve are both humanized forms of the Great Cosmic Serpent.



Adam and Eve gave birth to Cain, "Qayin" in Hebrew,who struck down his brother Abel in an act of murder.In Egyptian "qen" means to beat,to strike down,to murder,so Cain's name derives from the salient deeds of his life. The figure Noah is seen in many guises:he is the survivor of the flood,he is the first cultivator of the vine through which he succumbs to drunkenness, and he is also"the gardener,the husbandman,the cultivator." In Hebrew,Noah is "nouach"(the "ch" being pronounced like a near-silent "K").In Egyptian,"Nu" is the personification of the waters, the embodiment of the Great Flood of both heaven and earth.The Egyptian word "Akh" means "fertile field,garden,irrigated lands,"thus the Egyptian Nu-Akh is in reality the flood waters that irrigate and fertilize the cultivated lands,which is in perfect keeping with Noah's double personification as the man of the flood and the gardener or husbandman.The ark of Noah is a replica of the ark of the sun that floats across the heavenly waters of Nu (or Nun).



Ham one of the sons of Noah,is derived from from the Egyptian "Kam" which is the strongest word in the language for "black" or "blackness."Noah second son Shem or Sem is of course the eponymous ancestor of the Semitic people whom the Egyptians first encounter as nomads,fittingly the Egyptian"sem" means wanderer or traveler.Abram,his name can be analyzed in Egyptian as follows:"Ab" means father in Egyptian and "rem" mean the people,giving "Ab-rem" meaning literally,the father of the people.This is perfectly consistent with Abram's position of patriarch of two important branches of Semitic peoples Hebrews and Arabs.After making the covenant with God through circumcision Abram becomes Abraham and the letters of his name can be broken down as follows in Egyptian,"ib" is an Egyptian word for "heart,desire,wisdom,"Ra" is the sun God Ra,and "im" means "fire or light," giving "Ib-Ra-Im"(remembering that Abraham is Ibrahima in Arabic)which means "the desire or wisdom of Ra's light or fire.Through this we can connect Abraham to Ra and it is Ra in Egyptian mythology who first institutes the rite of circumcision.This correspondences cannot possibly be coincidental and given the fact that Abrahams sojourn in Egypt as described in Genesis and the cultural hegemony of Egypt over Western Asia,this makes him a devotee,a priest,or even a personification of Ra himself. the connection continues in the figure of Abraham's second son Isaac,which in Hebrew is Ysak.In Egyptian "Ys" means place and "akh" means offering by fire or burnt offering,giving "Ys-akh"or the "place of burnt offering" In the O.T story the out standing event of Issac life when he was about to sacrificed to God as a burnt offering

Credit to Dr Charles S Finch.
So the above if true points to the people of Israel including their religion as having deep connection with Nile valley folks perhaps partially the other connections maybe Canaanite and Mesopotamian influences which is present in their works of art and architecture.
edit on 21-12-2015 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 10:33 AM
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a reply to: Spider879

Does this mean it could also be possible that the early Hebrews renamed their religious figures to more glorify their actions in life? I mean if Abram means "father of the people", that is an AWFULLY convenient name to give your child who later grows up to be the father of three major religions after he dies (actually many more than that, but only three mater at this time).



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 10:36 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: Spider879

Does this mean it could also be possible that the early Hebrews renamed their religious figures to more glorify their actions in life? I mean if Abram means "father of the people", that is an AWFULLY convenient name to give your child who later grows up to be the father of three major religions after he dies (actually many more than that, but only three mater at this time).


Changing names certainly was not a unheard of even uncommon practice. Hell its done in the bible itself!

Abram name could very well have been Billy bob bob or Dwane, ok ok I joke but you bring up a point.



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