Was Akhenaten's brother Moses?

Jun 2017
2,814
Connecticut
#41
Akhenaten doesn't fit well ... Moses and the Israelites looked more like New Kingdom Egyptian worshippers [with a votive Ark, a hiddle place where it stayed with the presence of God ... Atensits hadn't an Ark and their temples hadn't a hidden place to host the deity: the Aten was visible in the sky and to adore it, their temples hadn't the roof ... they were literally under the sun in their temples.

This said, being in the speculative section we can speculate without troubles. I'm not thinking that the Exodus happened like described in the Bible. In that period of the history of Ancient Egytp there were not a few medium size migrations of Semitic populations to Egypt and back. Groups of Asian tribes entered Egypt and left it without needing plagues to persuade the Horo to leave them go ...

What I'm wondering, actually, is if this was a myth invented by the authors or it was a kind of literary construction built during centuries acquiring a piece here and a piece there. So I have made a mere exercise to see if there was a potential "model" for the literary figure of Moses. Prince Thutmose is a good one [but there are others as well].
Well I'm not a Reza Aslan fan(exaggerates his credentials, goes beyond apologizing for Islam to changing the definition of it and religions to something they clearly aren't and he also brags too much which mixed with the credential stretching does hurt his credibility IMO), but something he always mentioned I found interesting was that in these times truth wasn't really important when crafting mythology compared to the story and the message it conveyed and that just by looking for historical record we are misunderstanding the story. We do take shared commitment to historical accuracy for granted(tbf we really don't have another choice except to believe nothing) and I think here a millenia earlier those things he was discussing would be doubly true. I would be inclined to say none of it was true and it was all mythology, the story is quite mythological at face value. However if you are looking at the theory Moses and the story are based on "model's", my first strong inclination would be to look outside of Egypt. There is no evidence of the Jews being in Egypt and if the story were true elsewhere in a more obscure setting, modeling it around Egypt would certainly give the story added emphasis and importance and the story might have been based on the actual Jewish origins elsewhere. Not saying I believe the myth stuff but slavery was rampant in the Middle East in early times and I can see the story being based on true less riveting events elsewhere. Back to the idea of morals mattering more than truth, based on the timing of the Talmund is it possible this was just being used as a metaphor for the Babylon episode to inspire the people same way it can be argued the Messiah concept was? The timing would make sense and if the truth was irrelevant and the priority was the message wouldn't this be just the sort of story the Jews would need at this time in history?

The nature of the story and the time it was written makes me believe it wasn't a piece by piece thing as unlike the New Testament which is trying to scrape together the life and times of a relatively obscure man who was dead for a few generations, the Old Testament does at least to some extent claim to be a history and we know at some point it was much more accurate, the drop off in quality makes me inclined to believe they just filled in a creation myth and origin story before their contemporary political history because the former was considerably less accurate than the latter and if they were willing to build a literary construction around Egypt you'd think they'd have strayed more from the truth later(and maybe they did but the later Old Testament stuff largely checks out, while the Egypt story would require a ton of reaching to even be possible). If it was based on something else the long migration to Israel would explain the drop off in quality though, so it's certainly a good case but if that sort of thing did happen they certainly did a poor job preserving it regardless of the reason. .
 
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AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
25,918
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#42
Well I'm not a Reza Aslan fan(exaggerates his credentials, goes beyond apologizing for Islam to changing the definition of it and religions to something they clearly aren't and he also brags too much which mixed with the credential stretching does hurt his credibility IMO), but something he always mentioned I found interesting was that in these times truth wasn't really important when crafting mythology compared to the story and the message it conveyed and that just by looking for historical record we are misunderstanding the story. We do take shared commitment to historical accuracy for granted(tbf we really don't have another choice except to believe nothing) and I think here a millenia earlier those things he was discussing would be doubly true. I would be inclined to say none of it was true and it was all mythology, the story is quite mythological at face value. However if you are looking at the theory Moses and the story are based on "model's", my first strong inclination would be to look outside of Egypt. There is no evidence of the Jews being in Egypt and if the story were true elsewhere in a more obscure setting, modeling it around Egypt would certainly give the story added emphasis and importance and the story might have been based on the actual Jewish origins elsewhere. Not saying I believe the myth stuff but slavery was rampant in the Middle East in early times and I can see the story being based on true less riveting events elsewhere. Back to the idea of morals mattering more than truth, based on the timing of the Talmund is it possible this was just being used as a metaphor for the Babylon episode to inspire the people same way it can be argued the Messiah concept was? The timing would make sense and if the truth was irrelevant and the priority was the message wouldn't this be just the sort of story the Jews would need at this time in history?

The nature of the story and the time it was written makes me believe it wasn't a piece by piece thing as unlike the New Testament which is trying to scrape together the life and times of a relatively obscure man who was dead for a few generations, the Old Testament does at least to some extent claim to be a history and we know at some point it was much more accurate, the drop off in quality makes me inclined to believe they just filled in a creation myth and origin story before their contemporary political history because the former was considerably less accurate than the latter and if they were willing to build a literary construction around Egypt you'd think they'd have strayed more from the truth later(and maybe they did but the later Old Testament stuff largely checks out, while the Egypt story would require a ton of reaching to even be possible). If it was based on something else the long migration to Israel would explain the drop off in quality though, so it's certainly a good case but if that sort of thing did happen they certainly did a poor job preserving it regardless of the reason. .
Well, if we want to leave speculation for a while, in Israel there is a well know Jewish archaeologist who substantially sustains that proto-Isrealites were local Canaanites and that they didn't develop Judaism in Egypt ... absolutely not. Judaism was born in Canaan [and if there was an Exodus it wasn't related to Judaism at all]. In good substance the "Exodus" was the Egyptian one: Egyptians were dominating Canaan in that period ... so Egyptians left Canaan, that was the main historical event. [just for an introduction: Did the Exodus really happen?].

Anyway, the Tanakh had composed in Hellenic Egypt in Ptolemaic period [no older versions are available] ... and in Greek. I wonder if the Jewish authors, wanting to interpolate adding something extraordinary didn't take something from the Egyptian priests [like Manetho] who could have told them something about Egyptian history. For accuracy, as I said the Passover existed as tradition in V century BCE [see the letters of the Jewish community on the isle of Elephantine].

Why to think to a figure like Moses? Why to imagine that Israel left Egypt? [KmT].

Now, from a historical perspective, I do know Ancient Egypt and of course the period of the XVIII dynasty. The period of an eventual Exodus is obviously not that relevant if we follow the literary hypothesis. Think to King Arthur ... common people tend to imagine that the King Arthur we know was so since the beginning ... Eh no ... in early sources, like the Y Gododdin, Arthur is just mentioned as a figure [we are in the right period], then nor Gildas neither Bede say [contrary to what common people think] who leaded the local forces at mons badonicus [so why to put Arthur there? I don't know ...] and the first direct mention of Arthur defined him a Dux Bellorum, so not a King, but a kind of Roman officer.

To look for a "Moses" [actually Mose ... "ms"] it's not that difficult in KmT ... "ms" meant "born of". Thutmose meant "born of Thot" [or son of Thot, to make it more clear]. Anyway a real "Mose" lived in KmT, he served under Ramses II [there is a stela where the Monarch rewards the officer Mose]. But there are not clues that this Mose leaded a set of Semitic tribes out of Egypt ...

To make more confusion, the Egyptian text which recalls the Biblical plagues more is from an older period [XII dynasty], it's the papyrus of Ipuwer where just an Exodus is missing ...

To add something dramatic ... thinking to the death of the firstborns ... eh Tutankhamen comes to mind ... he lost two firstborns [probably twins]. Their little mummies have been found, but probably they died because of natural causes.
 
Jul 2017
842
Crete
#43
The primary language and culture of the Old Testament is Phoenician which is vastly different to Ancient Egyptian culture, I have studied the Exodus Story and the only way i can make it work is by eliminating the Egyptians from the story, this is easy to do, since the Old Testament describes Egypt having Winter torrents and Snowy weather, this is because the Phoenician word for Egypt describes many places.

Bible describes seamless travel between Egypt and Canaan, for example in Genesis, Abraham was in Syria, in the next scene he is in Egypt , It is near-impossible to Walk from Syria to Egypt, only the Phoenician sea merchants traveled too Egypt, the problem is purely Semantic.
 
Jun 2017
2,814
Connecticut
#44
Well, if we want to leave speculation for a while, in Israel there is a well know Jewish archaeologist who substantially sustains that proto-Isrealites were local Canaanites and that they didn't develop Judaism in Egypt ... absolutely not. Judaism was born in Canaan [and if there was an Exodus it wasn't related to Judaism at all]. In good substance the "Exodus" was the Egyptian one: Egyptians were dominating Canaan in that period ... so Egyptians left Canaan, that was the main historical event. [just for an introduction: Did the Exodus really happen?].

Anyway, the Tanakh had composed in Hellenic Egypt in Ptolemaic period [no older versions are available] ... and in Greek. I wonder if the Jewish authors, wanting to interpolate adding something extraordinary didn't take something from the Egyptian priests [like Manetho] who could have told them something about Egyptian history. For accuracy, as I said the Passover existed as tradition in V century BCE [see the letters of the Jewish community on the isle of Elephantine].

Why to think to a figure like Moses? Why to imagine that Israel left Egypt? [KmT].

Now, from a historical perspective, I do know Ancient Egypt and of course the period of the XVIII dynasty. The period of an eventual Exodus is obviously not that relevant if we follow the literary hypothesis. Think to King Arthur ... common people tend to imagine that the King Arthur we know was so since the beginning ... Eh no ... in early sources, like the Y Gododdin, Arthur is just mentioned as a figure [we are in the right period], then nor Gildas neither Bede say [contrary to what common people think] who leaded the local forces at mons badonicus [so why to put Arthur there? I don't know ...] and the first direct mention of Arthur defined him a Dux Bellorum, so not a King, but a kind of Roman officer.

To look for a "Moses" [actually Mose ... "ms"] it's not that difficult in KmT ... "ms" meant "born of". Thutmose meant "born of Thot" [or son of Thot, to make it more clear]. Anyway a real "Mose" lived in KmT, he served under Ramses II [there is a stela where the Monarch rewards the officer Mose]. But there are not clues that this Mose leaded a set of Semitic tribes out of Egypt ...

To make more confusion, the Egyptian text which recalls the Biblical plagues more is from an older period [XII dynasty], it's the papyrus of Ipuwer where just an Exodus is missing ...

To add something dramatic ... thinking to the death of the firstborns ... eh Tutankhamen comes to mind ... he lost two firstborns [probably twins]. Their little mummies have been found, but probably they died because of natural causes.
A very important detail we are forgetting here is the Kingdom of Israel and the lost 10 tribes(as opposed to the 2 that make up the rest of the Jewish population that today's Jews are descended from) and how they felt about all this. Israel was around about 150-200 years pre captivity and the Talmund so it also must be noted that we are only getting the story of a small(a more important, independent and much more durable faction but still small) faction of the community the book is about, and this alone means it inherently has a bias and these ten tribes had no say writing the book. If there was a religious disagreement we just have the Judean side of the story from after Israel(who were seperate for a reason) was already dispersed, (which honestly should be called Judah) and have to take their word for the entire mythos of what is largely not actually their story.

I think Arthur honestly has more in common with Jesus in that we know he existed(probably I've seen convincing conspiracy theories Jesus isn't real but I'm going with the consensus and I don't trust those sort of doc's even though this one was not bad focused on the Romans having an interest in the rise of Christianity in Israel and how making it all up a century later would have made political sense, this resonates with me because honestly Paul's vision and subsequent conversion might be the hardest to believe thing for me in Christianity because it's an old testament style supernatural thing in an rare clearly historically relevant New Testament story that the entire existence of Jesus does depend on the accuracy of since Paul was the one who spread Christianity) and the few real known events of his life were expanded upon into a long mythos of events that almost all probably never occurred. We know there is archetype's there those two are based on, with Moses we don't know that, we have no proof the man is real whatsoever, I think Abraham was more likely to have existed(which I do find bizzare) we are just speculating and I think the name thing is a stretch not just because we don't have any evidence of Exodus but because the role of slavery in general in Ancient Egypt seems to have been overstated too. Also we are looking at the Jews getting from Egypt to Palestine but what about the earlier story about how they got from the Middle East to Egypt, another unlikely tale?
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
25,918
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#45
A very important detail we are forgetting here is the Kingdom of Israel and the lost 10 tribes(as opposed to the 2 that make up the rest of the Jewish population that today's Jews are descended from) and how they felt about all this. Israel was around about 150-200 years pre captivity and the Talmund so it also must be noted that we are only getting the story of a small(a more important, independent and much more durable faction but still small) faction of the community the book is about, and this alone means it inherently has a bias and these ten tribes had no say writing the book. If there was a religious disagreement we just have the Judean side of the story from after Israel(who were seperate for a reason) was already dispersed, (which honestly should be called Judah) and have to take their word for the entire mythos of what is largely not actually their story.

I think Arthur honestly has more in common with Jesus in that we know he existed(probably I've seen convincing conspiracy theories Jesus isn't real but I'm going with the consensus and I don't trust those sort of doc's even though this one was not bad focused on the Romans having an interest in the rise of Christianity in Israel and how making it all up a century later would have made political sense, this resonates with me because honestly Paul's vision and subsequent conversion might be the hardest to believe thing for me in Christianity because it's an old testament style supernatural thing in an rare clearly historically relevant New Testament story that the entire existence of Jesus does depend on the accuracy of since Paul was the one who spread Christianity) and the few real known events of his life were expanded upon into a long mythos of events that almost all probably never occurred. We know there is archetype's there those two are based on, with Moses we don't know that, we have no proof the man is real whatsoever, I think Abraham was more likely to have existed(which I do find bizzare) we are just speculating and I think the name thing is a stretch not just because we don't have any evidence of Exodus but because the role of slavery in general in Ancient Egypt seems to have been overstated too. Also we are looking at the Jews getting from Egypt to Palestine but what about the earlier story about how they got from the Middle East to Egypt, another unlikely tale?
Technically, for not a few centuries, Canaanite populations didn't need to go to Egypt to work for the Egyptians ... Egypt dominated the land of Canaan for centuries and centuries. In the period I'm considering here, there was a kind of servant king at Urusalem [the old name of Jerusalem] who exchanged letters with Akhenaten and his Court [they are in the collection called "Amarna Letters"] asking for help to face rebels and other problems. If the Exodus happened in that period, we would have read in those letters not about local rebels, but about a great mass of Canaanite people coming back from Egypt ... not a little problem for that servant king.

Among other things, there aren't persuading archaological evidences that a group of Semite tribes, leaving Egypt, entered Canaan and, after years of war, conquered that land. Canaan was in a zone of attrition among several powers [Egypt, Mitanni, Hatti ...] and conflicts were common. We are in the historical period of Ramses II [who got the throne not so much time after the end of the Amarna Period] and the great battle at Qadesh ...
 
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Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,609
Crows nest
#46
As a general point, it needs to be considered why the Hebrews themselves pin the Exodus on Egypt. Were they really that confused about themselves and the geography of that part of the world. For myself I do not believe there was an exodus from Egypt or that any of the "miracles" occurred, neither that they spent forty years wandering the Sinai, Egyptian controlled territory, so even if true they had hardly left Egypt and "Pharaoh's chariots" would have found them soon enough. So, why is the story set in Egypt. And a further point, they did not need to physically escape Egypt as their homelands were within the Egyptian sphere of influence, if not direct control, depending on time period of course. So Assmann is not saying that they had been in Egypt or that Judaism originated in Egypt, or even that Judaism is a "heresy" of Egyptian religion, but that is was a reaction to polytheistic religious thought and practices, and that the dominant polytheistic power was Egypt, and it was from that which they were making an escape, but it was all in the mind, sans miracles.
 
Jul 2017
842
Crete
#47
Yahweh is depicted riding a wheeled winged chariot, shown on Ancient Canaanite coins and also described in the Bible and this is why the Chariot is the focal point of the story, in the Exodus, the Pharaoh's death in the Red Sea was more of a Sacrifice, This is because Mount Hermon, which sources most of the rivers in the Levant as seasonal snow, in the Summer, the Sun or Solar Chariot melts the Snow into the Rivers, renewing them.

Isa 55:10 - For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth,
Judges 5:5 - The mountains melted from before the LORD, even that Sinai
 
Mar 2019
121
Peterborough, Ontario Canada
#48
Again Nefertiti …

The Queen probably realized that the end of the coregency would have caused great troubles [they were getting close again with the traditional clergies thanks to Thutmose / Smenkhkare and this was making things better … without Thutmose Akhenaten would have gone back to his isolationism and this wasn’t a great perspective]. The coregency had to go on. Since the population knew the Horo with his Throne Name, they knew Ankhkheperure, only a few knew Smenkhkare … she suggested to the husband that she was the right person to be Ankhkheperure [but she took a different Son of Ra Name: Neferneferuaten … and at the end the Son of Ra Name changed … no one, in the general population, would have minded about].

Tel El Borg … the Exodus

Now, I’m wondering … in case Thutmose / Smenkhkare would have leaded his Asian people towards Canaan … which would have been the path? There was a kind of forced passage to enter or to leave Egypt passing through Eastern Delta: the fortress at Tell El Borg, surrounded by lakes and swamps, btw. Let’s go on with the tale [may be a fairy tale]: Akhenaten decided to stop Thutmose and to massacre his “Asian friends”. He sent messengers to the fortress at Tell El Borg ordering to attack the Asians of Thutmose [and let’s keep in mind that in the fortress there was a numerous rank of chariots, let’s remind the details of the Biblical tale …]. The garrison attacked Thutmose and the Asians, but Thutmose / Smenkhkare was a Royal Heir, he studied in the House of Life and sure he knew very well the military context of Kmt and its territory. He found a way to make the Asians escape through the swamps while the chariots of the garrison remained blocked. And the rest is history … [less or more speculative].
I find this all very intriguing AlpinLuke!
What do you think of the possibility, however, that Akhenaten was Moses (heir ‘Mos’/Moses) put forward in the link below:

“When we look at both of the labels applied to Akhenaten, it is clear that they are not merely pejorative, but describe him as he was seen by the following generation, a rebel who fell from power. The meaning is here clear, the implication being that, as in the Talmud story of Moses becoming King of Ethiopia (see Chapter Two), he had to abdicate in favour of the queen’s son, who can only be Tutankhamun, son of Nefertiti.”

The Fallen One of Amarna - Moses and Akhenaten: The Secret History of Egypt at the Time of the Exodus
 
Mar 2017
869
Colorado
#49
Hebrew tradition maintains the Exodus narrative. It's a bit like Plutarch. It's just not a recitation of events, it's a morality tale: being faithful to their ideals, straying away, returning, straying ... punishments for abandoning their faith... some very interesting details to keep it alive ... and pretty severe consequences for poor Moses never entering the promised land (all because of temporary indecision).

I would think that Strabo's Moses narrative was the commonly accepted version in the non-Hebrew world: no 10 plagues, no parting of the Red Sea, Moses founds Jerusalem and is a very canny leader, accomplishing more with negotiation than battle. Strabo repeats a very believable story: Moses was a powerful Egyptian high priest, gets a crazy monotheism idea, gives up his Egyptian power, gets a bunch of followers, they leave Egypt and found a new country. No hocus pocus. Strabo says the equivalent of "Hebrews are Egyptians" and implies there were no Hebrews before Moses (no Abraham). Strabo also talks about the next few leaders after Moses, with not much respect. I'm pretty sure Strabo doesn't give any peripheral information that you could hang a date on. -- Again, probably the common non-Hebrew narrative of the time.

The Arab historians seem to lean on the Jewish texts, but even though they're fond of Solomon commanding djinn to build the Great Temple, there's no 10 plagues. I frankly don't recall if there's a Red Sea event or not.

IMHO: Probably each narrative has grains of truth, and a lot of "color". Just compare any given Cassius Dio story to a previous historian and you'll see he adds quite a bit to make it more interesting. There's another biblical thread where a poster says "which translation are you talking about?" ... and lists at least a dozen alternates, with some pretty significant differences. [I should track that down again and save it offline]

There's been some evidence that early people identified as "possibly Hebrew" were still polytheistic, and the switch to monotheism came gradually, rather than an overnight event. Not so much an 'Exodus', but a migration of a cultural group from Egypt to Judaea seems possible (it's not very far). Solomon seems to be a solid marker to draw lines from. "The Kingdom of David" is less substantial archeologically ... evidence points to a much less grand organization.

I wonder if the "from Egypt" is a detail to add weight to the founding of a new culture. Likely, whenever it was that the Hebrews started forming an identity, Egypt was the greatest civilization in the world. The Hebrews come along and say "you guys got it all wrong", and leave to form a new culture. Doesn't this make them "superior" in their minds to the Egyptians? They understand everything Egypt has to offer, but it's "not good enough" so they start over? Notice I said "in their minds". Maybe they didn't start in Egypt AT ALL, but added that detail because the split from the greatest empire on earth added importance.

Compare: "We split with the Bhagwan Rajneesh and formed a new cult" with "We split from England and formed a new country."
 
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