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(Plutarch, De Is. et Os. XXXI)
6. Those, however, who say that Typhon’s flight from the fight on an ass lasted seven days, and that after reaching a place of safety he begat sons—Hierosolymus and Judæus—are instantly convicted of dragging Judaïc matters into the myth.
Originally posted by Riaan
Dear Byrd, I am familiar with many of the theories about the origins of Egyptian mythology, but this statement by Tacitus made me wonder whether the names of the Egyptian 'gods' could not in fact be of Hebrew origin.
I have found some surprising possibilities, compiled with the aid of Strong's Hebrew Lexicon (phonetic Hebrew):
* Osiris: Asar (#6236, ten) iysh (#376, men): (He of) the Ten Men (tribes of Atlantis?)
* Isis: Iysh (#376, men/husband) siys (#7797, joy): The joy of her husband
* Khufu: chaphah (#2644, pronounced khaw-faw, to protect, covered): ‘protection’
* Khafre: kaph (#3709, power) reiy (#1158, looking glass): ‘the power of the looking glass (the Eye of Ra?)’
* Menkuare: min (#4480, from / out of) kaah (#3512, to despond, cause grief) reiy (#1158, looking glass): ‘From where the eye (of Ra) caused grief’
It was an interesting experiment, the results of which may be purely coincidental.
Concerning your statement about the identity of the Pharaoh of the Exodus, it is true that no undisputed identification has been made, but many papers and books have been written on the topic. For instance, Graham Phillips has argued that the Pharaoh in question was Amenhotep III, and that Moses was none other than Crown Prince Tuthmosis (indeed an Egyptian name).
Josephus (AD 37 – c. 100), also known as Yosef Ben Matityahu (Joseph, son of Matthias) and, after he became a Roman citizen, as Titus Flavius Josephus, was a first-century Jewish historian and apologist of priestly and royal ancestry who survived and recorded the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. His works give an important insight into first-century Judaism.
Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 56 – ca. 117) was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those that reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors. These two works span the history of the Roman Empire from the death of Augustus in AD 14 to (presumably) the death of emperor Domitian in AD 96. There are enormous lacunae in the surviving texts, including one four books long in the Annals.
Originally posted by Riaan
Thanks for the detailed reply. Regarding Phillips' identification of Moses as Tuthmosis, he actually based his identification not on the name Thuth-mosis, but rather on the circumstances surrounding his disappearance.
Many scholars (what exactly is a 'scholar'?) have identified the biblical plagues of Egypt as the after-effects of an eruption of Thera.
As far as I am aware the only recorded occurrence of a devastating plague in Egypt happened to be during the Amarna era, during the reign of Amenhotep III, father of Tuthmosis.
Further proof of the identification of the Pharaoh as Amenhotep III may be found in the meaning of the name of the princess who supposedly adopted Moses, Thermuthis. . . Thermuthos then appears to mean 'the wild animal fable' and her nickname must have been something like Princess Wild Animal Story.
She may have earned this nickname as Tiye, the young wife of Amenhotep III, the latter who had become 'famous' for his magnificent wild bull hunt.
Do you have any specific views on the "plagues of Egypt"?
Isis: Egyptian deity, at whose instigation, it was alleged, the Jews were forced to leave Egypt. Cheremon, the enemy of the Jews, asserted that the goddess Isis had appeared to the Egyptian king Amenophis, and had censured him because her sanctuary had been destroyed; whereupon the priest Phritibantes told the king that the terrible vision would not recur if he would purge Egypt of the "foul people." Then the departure of the Jews from Egypt took place (Josephus, "Contra Ap." i. 32). Tacitus has a different version, according to which the Jews were natives of Egypt, and had emigrated during the reign of Isis ("Hist." v. 2-5).
Mmmkay. I've had some time to look at more original sources. I wish you had linked to the web pages you were quoting (I found them).
Josephus was writing a history of the Jews -- a history, that like the midrashes, would support the Torah/Old Testament. He was not terribly interested in material that did not support his history.
Let me just quote from the Jewish Encyclopedia section on Isis because it goes over all the content from that era rather neatly:
Isis: Egyptian deity, at whose instigation, it was alleged, the Jews were forced to leave Egypt. Cheremon, the enemy of the Jews, asserted that the goddess Isis had appeared to the Egyptian king Amenophis, and had censured him because her sanctuary had been destroyed; whereupon the priest Phritibantes told the king that the terrible vision would not recur if he would purge Egypt of the "foul people." Then the departure of the Jews from Egypt took place (Josephus, "Contra Ap." i. 32).
Tacitus has a different version, according to which the Jews were natives of Egypt, and had emigrated during the reign of Isis ("Hist." v. 2-5).
Two sources, two different tales.