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Thought about the Exodus

Posted March 24th, 2012 at 01:26 AM by AlpinLuke
Updated May 4th, 2017 at 05:10 AM by AlpinLuke

As for what I think about the Exodus, the long researches I run and the never-ending discussions on the net, with more or less learned net sailors, have persuaded me that the oral tradition transmitted by the Jews has got a real historical base.

But, which one?

The Habiru [the pr.w of the Egyptians, "Apiru"] were a system of communities and population with a nomad / semi-nomad style of life. They entered Egypt and they left Egypt [like Sumer] several times during centuries.

The Hyksos can have joined the Habiru in Canaan giving the contribution to the selection of some closed communities in that land ["tribes"]. Personally I think that the Hyksos period is too early to be the period of the Exodus, but not of the arrival of the Semitic population to Egypt [why not a mixture of Habiru and Hyksos?]. If we want a reference to the tradition, this would be the period of Joseph.

And Moses ...

Now, this is the most difficult part of the "tale".

Christian Jacques is quite certain in putting Moses during the reign of Ramses II [the great Ramses] and Hollywood has supported this thesis for decades before of him [so the common imaginary sees Ramses looking like Yul Brynner and Moses looking like Charlton Heston ...]. I'm not so sure about, anyway the period was that. Again in my personal and questionable opinion, I see as a more interesting moment the chain Tut-Ay-Horemeb with all odd personages in the Royal clan [some of them are real "ghosts" in Egyptology]. This would mean 50 - 15 years before of Ramses II.

But what happened?

That in the turmoil, social and political, following the kingdom of Tut, and of Ay [who didn't erase totally the Amarnian legacy, but he begun the job], when Horemeb finally put Egypt back to its own tradition, a part of the Semitic population with social and political networks in the Egyptian system resulted "outdated".

I think that communities of descendants of the Semitic "tribes" made by Habiru and Hyksos left the country because of discrimination, persecution. I tend to exclude a little civil war [to face Horemeb was a suicide in that moment].

These communities went back to Canaan where the Canaanite Israel was coming to existence [archaeology today indicates more a local origin for the proto Israeli communities, but this doesn't exclude that "brother communities" joined them coming back from Egypt ...].

This is substantially my perspective.

Of course, it's a "tradition based" reading of history, it's clear that I'm not following a scientific method here, but a traditional approach.
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  1. Old Comment
    dreamregent's Avatar
    I agree with you on that historical basis there. But, as always happens, there's that tiny little problem with sorting out the details. Don't you hate that?
    Posted May 23rd, 2013 at 02:24 PM by dreamregent dreamregent is offline
  2. Old Comment
    AlpinLuke's Avatar

    Jews in Egypt

    Discussing the matter of the Jewish Exodus in the forum, something has come to my mind:

    evidences that Jews settled in KmT are present, but they aren't so ancient: on the isle of Elephantine there was a Jewish Temple [a Temple, note this], from where they wrote letters to other Jewish communities. It was V century BCE.

    And in V century BCE the Jewish identity, with the tradition, was already in a certain measure well-defined [as I’ve mentioned in other occasions, in the letters from Elephantine there are aspects of the tradition, like the commemoration of the Passover].

    [A link to the Passover Letter: Passover Letter]

    Regarding when that temple had built, and when the Jews settled on that isle, there are different opinions. It seems it happened around the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem [596 - 587BCE].

    An interesting reading about that community is
    The Jewish Temple at Elephantine
    Author(s): Stephen G. Rosenberg

    as presented on
    Near Eastern Archaeology,
    Vol. 67, No. 1 (Mar., 2004), pp. 4-13

    [PDF available: http://arthistory.wisc.edu/ah505/art...lephantine.pdf]

    Actually the tradition could start while the “Jews” are leaving KmT [Moses, according to the tradition, coded the tradition itself]. Anyway, reading the Bible, the impression is that this tradition existed [in other words, Moses and Aaron brought Israel back to the tradition and to the God of Abraham].

    So, according to the tradition, we should look for something “Jewish” in KmT in that far past. It's anyway clear that the tradition could not be accurate.
    Posted May 4th, 2017 at 05:23 AM by AlpinLuke AlpinLuke is offline

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