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Are Jews Egyptians ?


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#76    kmt_sesh

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:11 AM

Necropost!

And all for the sake of adding a generic comment. Folks, it's perfectly all right to respond to a very old thread as long as what you post is germane to the topic and helps to build on it. Otherwise, why bother? Considering the most recent active post was almost a year ago, this could very well be considered "bumping," which is against the rules (see Rule 1d).

I will let it go this time, basically because the topic is worth discussing. But let's be clear: the premise is quite untenable.

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#77    Tor_Hershman

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:52 AM

I just realized that since most of you folks are terrified to click a YouTube link, BEWARE!!! 'TIS A PEACH!!!!!, I have the video's transcript.....

[Transcript of audio (mp3 format) work]
*clap of thunder followed by eerily ethereal music*

"Myriad moons ago, in the land of Pharaoh, there came to power a Being of wondrous propensities. He was called Amenhotep IV. Amenhotep IV envisioned, and then implemented, a monumental and unsurpassed addition to culture. Amenhotep IV was the first to have a society introduced to the theology of a single deity religion. Yes, Amenhotep IV institutionalized monotheism, a religion of one god.
This was a true monotheism, not the polytheism that modern Judaism, Christianity and Islam, each usually having at least two gods (the one all-benevolent, the other all-evil) have been for years and years. Yes, Amenhotep IV proclaimed the Aten, the Sun God, as the only god in all the universe; he even changed his name to reflect this new devotional imagery.
No prosaic Pharaoh was he. The works of Egyptian art were advanced to a vastly, almost impressionist, beautiful form. Of course when a vast change comes many resist it. After all, the feebleminded peasants were content to have had their religion spoonfeed to them by, less than astute, ancestors. The established priests didn't want one-god concepts cutting into their lucrative, wholly unholy, business.
Nevertheless, the Pharaohs were considered gods in their own right. Hence any opposition to the new religion was wee and reserved. However the only people to sincerely embrace Amenhotep's religion were the upperclass, very well educated members of his governmental theocratic oligarchy. This was no small number. The ancient Egyptian government was a vast institution.
Not terribly long after Amenhotep's demise the priests and peasants of the polytheist deities were once again able to gain political power. They began a systematic, and extremely well financed, program of wiping any trace of the reign of Amenhotep IV from the face of the Earth. His name, original as well as his new, were obliterated from temple, obelisk, monument and papyrus. The polytheist re-writers of history were very efficient, but not 100% so. Monotheism's followers were also persecuted. To even utter the former Pharaoh's name was a crime punishable by a sound thrashing or even death!
Thus, these believes in a single god, who used to end all prayers by speaking the new name Amenhotep had chosen, reverted back to ending their supernally aimed beseeching with the words "Freed from doubt by Amenhotep." But this was also seen as a blasphemous act by the ancient polytheistic spin-doctors. Ergo Amenhotep's devotees needed to conclude their prayers, to their singular god, with another sound of solemn ratification.
And that way soon became the word.....AMEN !
Moreover, those who descended from Amenhotep's followers, though many changes have been made to their religion over the long years, became know as.....the Jews.

*background music now becomes the gospel classic "Amen" with a satirical lyrical redo*

Amen
Hotep
Amen hotep amen
Groovin' with his sweety
her name was Nefertiti
amen hotep amen
real style down by the Nile
a pile of pâté crocodile
amen hotep hotep"
{fin}

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#78    Shego

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 07:53 AM

Maybe some were, but they were not the same Jews that are viewed as Jews today in terms of physical appearance.

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#79    kmt_sesh

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 04:09 AM

View PostTor_Hershman, on 17 February 2014 - 12:52 AM, said:

I just realized that since most of you folks are terrified to click a YouTube link, BEWARE!!! 'TIS A PEACH!!!!!, I have the video's transcript.....

[Transcript of audio (mp3 format) work]
*clap of thunder followed by eerily ethereal music*

"Myriad moons ago, in the land of Pharaoh, there came to power a Being of wondrous propensities. He was called Amenhotep IV. Amenhotep IV envisioned, and then implemented, a monumental and unsurpassed addition to culture. Amenhotep IV was the first to have a society introduced to the theology of a single deity religion. Yes, Amenhotep IV institutionalized monotheism, a religion of one god.
This was a true monotheism, not the polytheism that modern Judaism, Christianity and Islam, each usually having at least two gods (the one all-benevolent, the other all-evil) have been for years and years. Yes, Amenhotep IV proclaimed the Aten, the Sun God, as the only god in all the universe; he even changed his name to reflect this new devotional imagery.
No prosaic Pharaoh was he. The works of Egyptian art were advanced to a vastly, almost impressionist, beautiful form. Of course when a vast change comes many resist it. After all, the feebleminded peasants were content to have had their religion spoonfeed to them by, less than astute, ancestors. The established priests didn't want one-god concepts cutting into their lucrative, wholly unholy, business.
Nevertheless, the Pharaohs were considered gods in their own right. Hence any opposition to the new religion was wee and reserved. However the only people to sincerely embrace Amenhotep's religion were the upperclass, very well educated members of his governmental theocratic oligarchy. This was no small number. The ancient Egyptian government was a vast institution.
Not terribly long after Amenhotep's demise the priests and peasants of the polytheist deities were once again able to gain political power. They began a systematic, and extremely well financed, program of wiping any trace of the reign of Amenhotep IV from the face of the Earth. His name, original as well as his new, were obliterated from temple, obelisk, monument and papyrus. The polytheist re-writers of history were very efficient, but not 100% so. Monotheism's followers were also persecuted. To even utter the former Pharaoh's name was a crime punishable by a sound thrashing or even death!
Thus, these believes in a single god, who used to end all prayers by speaking the new name Amenhotep had chosen, reverted back to ending their supernally aimed beseeching with the words "Freed from doubt by Amenhotep." But this was also seen as a blasphemous act by the ancient polytheistic spin-doctors. Ergo Amenhotep's devotees needed to conclude their prayers, to their singular god, with another sound of solemn ratification.
And that way soon became the word.....AMEN !
Moreover, those who descended from Amenhotep's followers, though many changes have been made to their religion over the long years, became know as.....the Jews.

...

Thanks for posting the transcript. I meant to post a reply yesterday but we had a big snowstorm and it took me over two and half hours to get home. Such is winter in Chicago. I was too beat to do much of anything so I'm stopping in tonight.

I notice that the YouTube video seems to be your own creation, so bearing that in mind, I will attempt to be as diplomatic as I can. I should stress I did not view the video not because of apathy to your position but because I use YouTube only for entertainment, not for historical research. But I'm game to read most anything, so you took care of that.

You seem to have an unusual view of the monotheistic characteristics of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Although pre-exilic Judaism could be argued as henotheism, it certainly became monotheistic in post-exilic development. Christianity spun off of Judaism, and aside from some odd non-canonical traditions of minor gnostic sects, was monotheistic from the start. Some argue a polytheism in the Christian concept of the Trinity, but these tend to be people who do not understand Christianity. And Islam developed out of the early Arabic peoples in a similar vein to Judaism, beginning with more than one deity and concluding with one—Islam was of coursed heavily influenced by both Judaism and Christianity.

I've also noticed a perhaps anachronistic bias in you toward monotheism, as though it is somehow subjectively superior to any religion embracing more than one deity. I think many millions of modern people around the world would disagree with you. One is not "better" than many any more than many supersedes one.

Enough on that. Let's turn to Akhenaten, his religion, and the historical realities behind it. A strong case can indeed be made that Akhenaten fostered the world's first monotheism, and I for one can accept that, but it didn't begin as monotheism. As with earliest Judaism, it was henotheistic. For much of his reign Akhenaten allowed the veneration of numerous traditional deities, including Maat and pretty much all of the solar-related deities. Originally he proscribed only certain deities, most especially Amun but also the traditional underworld deities (e.g., Osiris, Anubis, Sokar, Wepwawet). It was only late in his reign that he proceeded to narrow them all down to the Aten alone. Bear in mind the Aten was not Akhenaten's invention but had long existed as a minor aspect of the primary solar god Re. His father, Amunhotep III, was the first to raise the Aten to the level of a royal god, but Amunhotep III appears to have kept it mostly personal; it was Akhenaten who took things to extremes.

I've come across modern folks who think Akhenaten was some sort of visionary. Perhaps he was. I've also come across people who embrace the notion that Akhenaten was a peace-loving hero of his people. First, we can't know why Akhenaten instituted his extreme religious reforms. Maybe he was a visionary, but it's equally as likely that he elevated the Aten in order to strip the power base from the very powerful priesthood of the primary god Amun—there can be only one state deity at a time. Second, to institute his proscriptions and to close temples and proscribe the worship of many deities, there is no getting around the fact that Akhenaten had to have been something of a despot. The only way to have succeeded in his plans was to use the military against his own people. We cannot know how much violence might have taken place, but this would've been anything but a peaceful transition.

I won't derail the thread into a discussion on Amarna Period art (which is hardly "natural" in appearance), other than to say there are sound artistic-religious theories to explain its bizarre forms. Let's tale a moment to consider the city of Akhetaten that Akhenaten built in Middle Egypt. Akhetaten was built rapidly and cheaply; although it must have been quite grand when finished, whitewashed, and decorated. The nearby village where the workmen lived has been found, as well as the cemetery where the workmen were buried. These were the unfortunate folks who were set to erect Akhenaten's purpose-built city. It had to have been one of the least-desired jobs in the Nile Valley. While the average man in Bronze Age Egypt lived into his mid-thirties, analysis of the human remains of the Akhetaten workmen has revealed that a significantly higher percentage of the dead were in their late teens. They were in poor health. They do not seem to have been well treated, for such important work.

Compare that with the royal workmen's village at Deir el Medina. These were the workmen who built the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings before and after Akhenaten's reign. In contrast these workmen, who lived in a government-built village with their wives and children, were well fed and usually well treated (except for the very end of the New Kingdom, when the stability of the state was starting to wane). You seem to be insinuating that there was something wrong with the pagan kings before and after Akhenaten, but these kings seem to have known how to take care of the workers on whom they relied so much. Akhenaten's workmen's village and attendant cemetery tell a different story.

Now, let's take a closer look at the form of religion Akhenaten fostered. It's commonly called Atenism today. It's clear how much Akhenaten was devoted to the Aten, but for all practical purposes it was a personal royal religion into which no one else was admitted. A commoner could not pray directly to the Aten but had to pray first to Akhenaten and his queen Nefertiti, who presumably would then send commoners' prayers on to the Aten. Pharaohs were always considered the direct intermediaries with the gods, but there were always mechanisms through which common people could approach and venerate the deities in person (the numerous shrines of Deir el Medina are a good example). Akhenaten's religion, by contrast, was exclusive and exclusionary. It must have seemed very impersonal to everyone outside the innermost circle of Akhenaten's court. This was not a religion for the people.

And how did Atenism turn out? It was a complete failure. Akhenaten might have been a visionary but he had limited vision for the future: his religion collapsed almost as soon as he died. Let's be clear that it wasn't a cabal of priests who restored the orthodox polytheistic religion. It was an action taken directly by the succeeding nobles and kings. Once Tutankhamun came to the throne at around age eight, he was a convenient tool to use for restoration. The real powers behind the throne—Ay, Horemheb, Nakthmin, et al—are who made this happen. Without them the priesthood of Amun could not have been restored.

As far as that goes, it is evident that Atenism never fully took hold even during Akhenaten's reign. Archaeology of Akhetaten has shown that in the common homes right under the king's nose, traditional household deities such as Bes and Taweret were still being worshipped. More is the case outside the limits of Akhetaten, in the greater Nile Valley, in which Akhenaten himself never seemed to take an interest. Once he moved into his purpose-built city in Middle Egypt, Akhenaten does not seem to have left it again. The Egyptian state suffered as it lost vassal cities in the Levant to the Mitanni and Hittites. Akhenaten might have been a visionary, but by all appearances he was not an effective leader. The Amarna Letters make this pretty clear, in fact.

Allow me to wrap up this lengthy post with some cold reality. Especially beginning in the reign of Horemheb, Akhenaten and his memory were wiped from the state. His name was not to be spoken again, although there are subsequent references to him as the "criminal of Akhetaten." Horemheb set in line the powerful Ramesside line of kings, and they completed the erasure of Akhenaten from history. That said, it's important to understand that the very earliest evidence we have for the emergence of a proto-Hebraic people is more than 120 years after the time of Akhenaten. In other words. by the time of the very earliest appearance of a people we can identify as Hebrew, the king Akhenaten would've been long forgotten.

Akhenaten had no identifiable effect on the emergence of the Hebrews, or on their religion. And I remind you that the cult of Yahweh certainly did not spring up suddenly as a fully developed monotheism. That truly did not begin to take hold until the late sixth century BCE. This had nothing to do with Egypt but had much more to do with internal Hebraic developments and contacts with the Hebrews' immediate neighbors, including Persia. And the Hebrew declarative "Amen" has nothing to do with the ancient Egyptian language or culture. This is a common misconception.

Thanks for bearing with me.

Postscript: Sorry, one more thing. In proofreading my post I see it reads like hate mail against Akhenaten. That's how it turned out but not really how I meant it to be. Anyone who's spent many years researching ancient Egypt will invariably devote significant time to the Amarna Period, and I'm no different. It's a fascinating historical period in pharaonic Egypt, as briefly as it lasted. My intent is only to strike a balance by delivering historical facts.

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#80    cormac mac airt

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 05:52 AM

View Postkmt_sesh, on 19 February 2014 - 04:09 AM, said:


~SNIP~

Enough on that. Let's turn to Akhenaten, his religion, and the historical realities behind it. A strong case can indeed be made that Akhenaten fostered the world's first monotheism, and I for one can accept that, but it didn't begin as monotheism. As with earliest Judaism, it was henotheistic. For much of his reign Akhenaten allowed the veneration of numerous traditional deities, including Maat and pretty much all of the solar-related deities. Originally he proscribed only certain deities, most especially Amun but also the traditional underworld deities (e.g., Osiris, Anubis, Sokar, Wepwawet). It was only late in his reign that he proceeded to narrow them all down to the Aten alone. Bear in mind the Aten was not Akhenaten's invention but had long existed as a minor aspect of the primary solar god Re. His father, Amunhotep III, was the first to raise the Aten to the level of a royal god, but Amunhotep III appears to have kept it mostly personal; it was Akhenaten who took things to extremes.

~SNIP~


I myself have to wonder, considering that other gods were still being venerated right under Akhenaten's nose would the religion his promoted truly be considered monotheistic in the strictest sense? It appears to me that it's more like an extreme variation of henotheism.

cormac

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#81    The_Spartan

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 11:35 AM

is it your heritage recorded down?
upto what year in the past is your family's history known?

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#82    Leonardo

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 02:34 PM

View Postkmt_sesh, on 19 February 2014 - 04:09 AM, said:

Enough on that. Let's turn to Akhenaten, his religion, and the historical realities behind it. A strong case can indeed be made that Akhenaten fostered the world's first monotheism...

I'm going to agree with Cormac and disagree with you on a technicality here, kmt.

I suggest Akhenaten planned the world's first monotheism, but one person does not a monotheistic religion make.

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#83    Atlantisresearch

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 04:39 PM

The thread is a parody, the maker even describes himself as a parodist.

Quote

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#84    Atlantisresearch

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 04:42 PM

It is really unpleasant that this parodist gets people to type out huge serious replies like above. He won't even read them or respond to them properly. He just spams his parody videos around on various sites for desperate attention and hits.


#85    kmt_sesh

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 12:53 AM

View Postcormac mac airt, on 19 February 2014 - 05:52 AM, said:

I myself have to wonder, considering that other gods were still being venerated right under Akhenaten's nose would the religion his promoted truly be considered monotheistic in the strictest sense? It appears to me that it's more like an extreme variation of henotheism.

cormac

View PostLeonardo, on 19 February 2014 - 02:34 PM, said:

I'm going to agree with Cormac and disagree with you on a technicality here, kmt.

I suggest Akhenaten planned the world's first monotheism, but one person does not a monotheistic religion make.

You both make a fair point. I was careful in my last post to point out that Akhenaten's religion was a complete failure, as well as the fact that in many (if not most) places in the Nile Valley many of the old traditional deities were still worshipped.

However, I look at this from the perspective of Akhenaten, his court, and other elites (the members of which were obligated to follow Akhenaten's beliefs). While Atenism began as a henotheism, by the end of his reign Akhenaten was attempting to turn it into monotheism. The results were disastrous but the intent is clear: this was the world's first monotheism.

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#86    Sundew

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 01:00 AM

Biblically speaking the Jews originated in Ur, a Sumerian city, located in modern day Iraq. Abraham (or Abram) is considered the father of the Jewish race, the great-grandfather of the 12 tribes of Israel. Also according to Scripture the Israelites spent some 400 years in Egypt, first as guests of one Pharaoh then later as slaves of another.


#87    kmt_sesh

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 02:11 AM

View PostOliverDSmith, on 19 February 2014 - 04:39 PM, said:

The thread is a parody, the maker even describes himself as a parodist.

[/background][/size][/font][/color]

That would be unfortunate. In fact, technically speaking, it might be grounds for me to close this thread. Still, it's generated some useful debate, and if nothing else, it serves to replace fantasy with fact,

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#88    Leonardo

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 12:14 PM

View PostSundew, on 20 February 2014 - 01:00 AM, said:

Biblically speaking the Jews originated in Ur, a Sumerian city, located in modern day Iraq. Abraham (or Abram) is considered the father of the Jewish race, the great-grandfather of the 12 tribes of Israel. Also according to Scripture the Israelites spent some 400 years in Egypt, first as guests of one Pharaoh then later as slaves of another.

Not strictly true. While some of the ancient Israelite's religion originated with Abram (Abraham), who was an immigrant from Ur, the Israelite people were Canaanites - indigenous to the Levant.

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#89    Riaan

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 05:25 PM

According to Manetho, and as acknowledged by Josephus, the Jews were the Hyksos who had once ruled Upper Egypt.

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Edited by Daughter of the Nine Moons, 20 February 2014 - 05:51 PM.
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