Was Akhenaten Moses ... and even more?

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
OK, I lied. Before starting in with my summary of the Sabbah brothers' account of the Exodus, I'm first going to comment on the final chapters of the book that in many other cases would be characterized as appendixes.

The most impressive is the detailed examination of the 'Hebrew' alphabet script. As they discuss, we are told today that the Hebrew alphabet and scripts (as they evolved over time) descended from the proto-Canaanite. This seems fairly easy to accept as the two languages themselves are fairly close (as is the case with Arabic), the Hebrew seeming in most cases to be a derivative 'dialect'. We also know that such as 'El' was the heavenly god of gods for the wider Canaanite region, and El ends up being one of the key names recorded for 'God' in the OT.

The book then provides a comparison of the earliest proto-Canaanite script and the modern stylized Hebrew script. There is barely any similarity at all, here being generous in fact. And there seems to me to be more affinity from the proto-Canaanite to later Greek and Roman letters. The big difference is usually explained that this was all a process of gradual evolution, but then the book goes on to show more primitive script taken from the Dead Sea Scroll texts and one can clearly see the link between the DSS and today. The book then goes on to advance the notion that the two scripts, Hebrew and Canaanite, had two distinctly different sources. Consistent with the wider thesis of the book, the authors claim that the Hebrew letter scripts were derived from the Egyptian hieroglyphic primitives. The simplest graphics that deliver the equivalent phonetic sounds as in Hebrew. The comparisons are stunning, and it boggles my mind that no one since Champollion (the man who decoded the Rosetta Stone) has discovered this .. or perhaps has been persuaded to keep quiet.

For example, the first Hebrew character, the Aleph, they tie the imagery to the cartouche for Akhenaton. Then there is discussion about the relevant Egyptian meaning of the hieroglyphs and related Hebrew meanings.

If for no other reason, this alphabet script is why Jerry and I need to get this extensive imagery online.

Additionally, there is a very interesting discussion of the Masai 'warrior' tribe who have many latent cultural aspects that derive from Egypt. In wall art, it is clear that Akhenaton's security police are black Africans. Others have speculated that Akhenaton might not have died as some claim, and that he may have gone south, perhaps with his trusted security detail, to as I ubiquitously call it, the elite actors' Hidden Resort. There is also a discussion that the term 'pharaoh', contrary to what I have mentioned as author Ezzat's claim that such a term was never used, was indeed used, but only for three individuals, which just so happen to be three patriarchs singled out in the Exodus narrative and the Sabbahs equate to 3 key 18th Dynasty pharaohs.

There is an amazing graphical comparison of Tutankhkamun's funereal garb as compared to an old school Jewish temple priest.

Next, there is interesting discussion of cultural comparisons, and even a comparison of the description of the Temple of Solomon with the Temple of Horus at Edfu.
 

Jerry Russell

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Staff member
Osman's view is that Akhenaten (aka Moses) went to the 'hidden resort' in Sinai after he was deposed in a military coup, taking the Israelites with him.

Osman suggests that it might have been necessary to hide Akhenaton at his birth, because certain priests might have felt that Amenhotep III should have married his own sister, instead of Tiye. Therefore, the legitimacy of Akhenaten's claim to the throne would have been called into question. Akhenaten called himself “the long living” and represented himself as Osiris, both indications he might have considered himself fortunate to have survived.

A number of other coincidences point to the possibility that Akhenaten was Moses. Zarw and Heliopolis were Delta cities inhabited by Hebrews, and Akhenaten's mother Tiye was given the city of Zarw for her summer palace. Moses’ God was named Adon = Akhenaten's god Aten. Imran = Amarna was the name of Aten’s father; Amram was Moses’ father. Levite names are Egyptian: Merari=Meryre, Phinehas = Panehesy. The Talmud says Moses was royal, left Egypt to assist the Ethiopian king, became king of Ethiopia himself, and was forced to abdicate and go to Sinai. Panehesy, a Levite, was Akhenaten’s chancellor, and was responsible for mining operations at Sinai. At Sarabit near Sinai, Petrie discovered a stela of Ramses I dedicated to Aten, a statuette of Queen Tiye (Akhenaten’s mother), and a fifty-ton deposit of ash which Petrie believed to be remnants of burnt sacrifices.

Osman believes that Akhenaten eventually returned from exile to confront Pharaoh Ramses at Zarw, bringing his royal sceptre. The OT and Talmud portray Moses and Pharaoh in a competitive magic display, using their rods. Such magic displays correspond to archaeological finds showing magical rituals at the Sed festival.

‘Moses’ seems to be a generic Egyptian royal title, perhaps used by followers to describe Akhenaten after his true name became anathema.

The Ten Commandments seem to be based on the Egyptian Book of the Dead, spell 125, converted from negative to imperative form.

The OT says that Moses was punished because he used his rod to strike a rock and get water. So he was asked to climb Mount Sinai, where he died. The Talmud records Moses' confrontation with the Angel of Death.

War record of Seti I shows that he fought a war against Midianites (allies of Moses according to the OT) in the Sinai. Osman speculates that perhaps Moses (Akhenaten) was stealing water from Egyptian fortresses, and was punished by Seti for that transgression.

Hawass believes that the tomb KV55 belonged to Akhenaten, but Osman insists that Akhenaten’s burial has not been found.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
I just watched Cameron and Jacobovici's The Exodus Decoded documentary. It has some very good material, but it is solely focused on the Hyksos episode, and BTW, it mentions a very interesting stele belonging to Ahmose I (aka the Tempest Stele discussed by Ralph Ellis regarding his 'dual Exodus' theory), that further lends credence to the Hyksos Exodus. Apparently Egypt will not let anyone close to such artifacts today, if they fear that they might somehow confirm the Biblical narrative (apparently in any way). But of course, all this completely ignores the Amarna episode, and thus lends credence to Ellis's dual exodus theory to resolve the issues IMHO.

It was very interesting to see Jacobovici make a visit to Greece regarding the Mycenae and the Danaae, who, according to the myth, came from Egypt. As I will discuss later, either Amenhotep III or his highest emissary made a highly unusual state visit to Mycenae. Later we find that one of the Hebrew tribes is called the tribe of Dan. As I hinted about the later Sea Peoples and the collapse of the Late Bronze Age, archaeologists have discovered that the ingress of the Philistines was peaceful. Also that the Sea Peoples did not seem to wreak havoc in what became Phoenicia proper to the immediate north. This was Egypt's backyard.

Osman's view is that Akhenaten (aka Moses) went to the 'hidden resort' in Sinai after he was deposed in a military coup, taking the Israelites with him.

Osman suggests that it might have been necessary to hide Akhenaton at his birth, because certain priests might have felt that Amenhotep III should have married his own sister, instead of Tiye. Therefore, the legitimacy of Akhenaten's claim to the throne would have been called into question. Akhenaten called himself “the long living” and represented himself as Osiris, both indications he might have considered himself fortunate to have survived.
I remember in the 1950's novel The Egyptian (based upon the Legend of Sinuhe) that Akhenaton was portrayed as something of a prideful dolt whose vanity was played upon by his parents, and thus Ay as well. In the Sabbah account, they have Ramesse I, then just a general, having murdered Akhenaton, thus representing Moses having killed a 'Hebrew', of which the Sabbahs' say that the Jewish extrabiblical accounts state was an important person, not some slave brick maker. This sets into motion the complex set of narrative actions detailed in the Exodus account between Moses and Aaron, really Ramses and Horemheb. The periods of time mentioned such as 40 days and 70 days represent times needed for Egyptian pharaohs to be mummified and the replacement rituals to be performed.
 
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Jerry Russell

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Consistent with the wider thesis of the book, the authors claim that the Hebrew letter scripts were derived from the Egyptian hieroglyphic primitives. The simplest graphics that deliver the equivalent phonetic sounds as in Hebrew. The comparisons are stunning, and it boggles my mind that no one since Champollion (the man who decoded the Rosetta Stone) has discovered this .. or perhaps has been persuaded to keep quiet.
For what it's worth, the official story (at least as presented by Wiki) is that the proto-Canaanite script was used in Palestine up until about 500 BCE, when it was suddenly replaced by its Imperial Aramaic equivalent. This was the script used by the Achaemenid Persians, which had evolved from a separate path in Assyria. The theory that the Biblical Hebrew script came from Imperial Aramaic looks very plausible, but of course this leaves open the question of why Aramaic script has such strong resemblance to Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Plenty of references for further research at the Wiki article.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aramaic_alphabet
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
I will now attempt to begin summarizing the Sabbah brother's account and, as well, try to suggest various ways to reconcile their Amarna focused account with the Hyksos account.

Chapter 15, beginning on pg. 120, is the Sabbahs' account of the Exodus, and it starts out with an interesting discussion about Pharaoh telling Moses to not seek to see his face again, else die (Exodus 10:28-30). Here, the Aramaic Targum, 23 chapters later, has God, (named Adon-ay) similarly saying, "He [Adon-Ay] said, 'Thou shalt not see my face. For no one can see my face and live.'"

In addition to one not being able to utter God's supposed true name (as being YHWH) one was not supposed to view God. But as the Sabbah's suggest, one was not supposed to look upon a noble / grandee much less an Egyptian king / pharaoh, at all. That is, unless one was addressed by the grandee. I suspect that the roots of this dominance and submission behavior go way back and likely to human observances of alpha animal behavior in social packs. But in this specific case, I suspect that this also humorously hints at that the insider readers are being informed that when reading between the lines that this God is really 'Pharaoh' and or someone like Ay (when he was vizier). Similarly, when the pagan gods would 'speak' to the (sincerely or willingly) gullible audience via an oracle, the priest or other official was, of course, hidden by default, while speaking through the sound tube.

This also gets to the principle that no outsiders to the scheme are allowed to witness that many of the insiders are playing both sides of the fence. Knowledge of this being the case, would likely be fatal for the project.

The Sabbahs mention that this command was uttered in relation to Pharaoh having had his heart subsequently hardened by the plagues that 'God' imposed upon Egypt. But, here, oddly Pharaoh does summon Moses and Aaron to see him, after the death of the firstborn. And here he tells Moses to take his people (and all the wealth of Egypt BTW) out of Egypt. And for Moses to bless him as well. As I have already acknowledged, Moses and Aaron were insiders playing both sides of the fence which we'll look at in more detail.

But, for right now, with the plagues of the Exodus, we can see a clear point where the dual exodus events have been conveniently and profitably conflated, for sowing confusion sake at the minimum, and perhaps even honoring the prior Hyksos.

Several Exodus researchers have indeed looked into the various plagues, and they actually do seem viable, but not for the Amarna period. As discussed in the Exodus Decoded documentary, these seem quite plausible (and mundane) phenomenon as to being caused by the volcanic eruption of Thera (Santorini) near Crete and Greece. The documentary discusses dating controversies, and as well that volcanic pumice has been discovered in Egypt, including at a specific layer at the Hyksos capitol of Avaris, and even well into the Nile River (meaning that pumice does not float upstream). The documentary also explored a possible, non-supernatural explanation for the death of the Egyptian first-born sons. This from a possible situation involving a transient underground release of carbon dioxide from the earth due to the seismic disruptions from the massive volcanic eruption. If so, then the first born sons would have been affected more so because of their uniquely privileged status, sleeping on ground floor bedding as opposed to their siblings. Similar releases of carbon dioxide, as in seismic disruptions of lakes in Cameroon some years ago, also caused odd skin eruptions as well as deaths, just as described in the Bible.

Enough for now. Some summary, I haven't made it halfway into the second page.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
I should also note that the Exodus Decoded documentary discusses the Ipuwer Papyrus (plagues) as well as the Ahmose I Stele, which both seem confirm the Hyksos period Exodus phenomenon, at least, according to some. This stele is otherwise known as the Tempest Stele, as discussed by Ralph Ellis as to his dual exodus theory.

Interpretations

One interpretation is that the stele is propaganda put out by the pharaoh, to cover up the supposed depredations of officials of the embattled seventeenth dynasty of Egypt drawing upon the financial resources of the temples during the escalating conflict with the Hyksos.[1]

Thera eruption
The argument has been made that there was "a meteorological event of far-reaching proportions, one of the major aftereffects, we strongly suspect, of the Thera eruption" and that the stele reflects an eye-witness account of the eruption.[5] Others argue that given the description in the stele, this is unlikely.[6] Archaeologists have traditionally placed the date of the Theran eruption at approximately 1500 BCE.[7][8] Radiocarbon dates, including analysis of an olive branch buried beneath a lava flow from the volcano that gave a date between 1627 BCE and 1600 BCE (95% confidence interval), suggest an eruption date more than a century earlier than suggested by archaeologists.[9][10][11] Thus, the radiocarbon dates and the archaeological dates are in substantial disagreement.[12]

In 2014, Nadine Moeller and Robert Ritner offered a new translation of the Tempest Stela. They believe the unusual weather patterns described on the slab were the result of a massive volcano explosion at Thera. They also suggest that the Egyptian pharaoh Ahmose I ruled at a time closer to the Thera eruption than previously thought; in the conventional but disputed Egyptian chronology he ruled from c. 1539–1514 BC.[13][14]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempest_Stele
As such, Jacobovici et al. want to reposition the Ahmose I chronology to ~1500 BCE to align with the Thera eruption, as discussed in the documentary.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
On page 121 the authors discuss the making of unleavened bread, described in the Bible, and still seen today in Jewish culture and ritual (matzah bread and matzah ball soup). Here the authors failed to assert that this is consistent with the archaeological evidence that Akhetaten was abandoned quickly and peacefully. The need to quickly convert grains into some form of bread for the long walk from Akhetaten would mandate not using the customary wait for yeast to leaven the dough. This bread is dryer, thus weighing less and would be less susceptible to mold. I'm guessing that the Egyptian's had long been cognizant of this practice for use in their prior military campaigns.

They also likely understood the need to pre-position hidden caches of water along routes in between fortresses along a route.

On page 122 they claim:

The exodus of the monotheists toward the northern provinces was part of Ay's political and military strategy. His political ambition was to repopulate the new holy land of Canaan with a subject people, assuring a security zone between Egypt and the enemy [the Hittites - RS] to the north.

His military objective was a punitive campaign against the Hittites and Philistines who were occupying the the province of Canaan.

...
Pharaoh's army was not pursuing the people as the Bible reports. It accompanied the exiles. During Tutankhamen's reign, Ay, generalissimo and uncontested master of Egypt, ordered his army to accompany the deportees, as is detailed in the Aramaic Bible. The route took the large migrating group past various forts, from where they could acquire fresh provisions and thus avoid certain death in the arid desert of Sinai.

This second exodus would likely have been significantly smaller in numbers than the prior Hyksos expulsion, and as well, the 'typical' Hyksos would have been typical polytheistic Semites (as they are depicted on contemporaneous Egyptian works of art). It is unknown exactly where these expelled Hyksos went to, but I'm guessing back to where they came from, and this might possibly have been back to Canaan for many of them. In this case, they indeed would have formed the basis of the common peoples known as Hebrews, as distinct from the later Yehud and Levites from Akhet-aten. This earlier strata of returned peoples would then have to undergo the bloody conversion process to monotheism, but ironically characterized in the Bible propaganda as backsliding from monotheism to the old ways which deserved imposing God's wrath.

As to Ay and the Hittites, I have mentioned elsewhere that it was Tut's widow who wrote to the Hittite king for him to send one of his sons to marry her. The Hittite king was incredulous, and only after further angry remonstration from Tut's widow did he consent to do so. But the Hittite prince was assassinated along the way to Egypt. This led to a military confrontation from which the Hittites suffered heavy domestic losses to their elite class from infected Egyptian war prisoners spreading their disease into Hatti. It was Ay who was the vizier and new pharaoh at this time and he ended up marrying Tut's widow. Was all this a ruse? It seems to me to be so. Some of this is discussed in Cline's recent compilation of Mediterranean archaeological evidence focusing on the collapse of the Late Bronze Age titled, 1177 BCE.

Going out of sequence the Sabbah's state about the wandering in the desert for 40 years, supposedly because Yahweh was mad at them for things like the Golden Calf and similar (to be discussed in more detail later):

Historically, the exiles from Akhet-Aten were not able to colonize Canaan immediately. A letter from Rib-Hadda imploring aid from Akhenaten shows the seriousness of the situation. The Egyptian army had first to clear the way.

Behold, I am a loyal servant of the king, and the king has no servant equal to me. Previously, at the sight of an Egyptian, the Canaanite kings fled before him. But now, the sons of Abdi-Ashirta [king of Amuru, whose son, Aziru, had ties to the Apiru] give the Egyptians the runaround.
The army had to engage the nomadic Apiru in battle. The campaign was a success, and it was easy for Ay's armies, cited several times in the Bible, to recapture the Canaanite cities occupied by the Apiru. The Amarna Letters sent to Akhenaten tell that a hundred Egyptian soldiers and fifty chariots were sufficient to cause the terrorize Apiru enemy to flee.

"Any one of you men can route a thousand, because it is Adon-ay, your god, who fights for you, as he promised you" (Aramaic [Targum - RS] Bible, Joshua 23:10).

They go on to explain that the Hittites and Philistines were in the arena as well - as the mere Apiru were no match for the powerful Egyptians of the day. This also gets to the huge point, made by the Sabbahs elsewhere, that the Egyptians of the day would not have been happy having hated freed slaves setting up shop as their immediate neighbors.

Then they go on, now on page 123:

The setbacks of Moses at the outset of the exodus correspond to the historical reverses of the Egyptian army commanded by Generals Horemheb [Aaron - RS] and Ramesses [Moses - RS] during the first year of Tutankhamun's reign. Cyril Aldred explains that the foreign military expeditions had failed. As to the prayers and supplications, they remained without any response.

On the Stela of Restoration is written: "If an army is sent into Phoenicia
[aka Canaan - RS] to enlarge Egypt's frontiers, it does not bring any success. If we pray to a god to obtain anything, he does not answer at all."

Since the military campaign had failed, the exiles had to wait in the Land of Moab until an Egyptian army
[Seti I - aka Joshua - RS] would come along strong enough to conquer the Promised Land.

As to living historical typology, let's remember here the history revealed by Saussy with the British elites, Freemasons, and Jesuits, in the American Revolution. The colonies were indeed seen as a Biblical re-enactment of the OT conquest, a new Providential Promised Land. The Jesuits had to wander in the figurative Wilderness for 40 years to gain their approved admittance into the Protestant stronghold as well as back into the graces of the mother Church. All a ruse. As well, the prior colonization was the typological equivalent of the Hyksos exodus, the colonists having been motivated by several centuries of contrived factional religious warring. The majority of the colonists were former serfs, and in some cases, like with Georgia and the Carolinas they were of dubious legal status. Interspersed with those people were the elites given land grants and other concessions from the Crown.

I should also add that, as I discussed in my Isaac and the Fortunate Scions post that under common Biblical chronology the Philistines are a definite anachronism. However, under an Amarna based (phase 2) exodus, they can possibly fit into the narrative. Both Abraham and Isaac have their interactions with the Philistine King Abilemech, and with the Sabbah's thus having the redacted Bible compressing these accounts (or aspects of these accounts) into the Amarna 18th and 19th Dynasty period these matters become plausible.

Next the Parting of the Waters.
 
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Jerry Russell

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Staff member
In opposition to the general project of identifying Exodus to a particular episode in history, Jan Assmann (also author of "Moses the Egyptian") offers the following cautionary remarks, generally fitting with the idea that Exodus could be a conflation of the Hyksos expulsion and the end of the Amarna experiment, but adding two more sources:

Assmann, Jan (2014-08-30). From Akhenaten to Moses: Ancient Egypt and Religious Change (pp. 26-27). The American University in Cairo Press. Kindle Edition.

...there is a plethora of historical events and experiences that may have left their traces in the Biblical record: the expulsion of the Hyksos, Palestinian invaders who ruled Egypt for over a hundred years and were finally expelled around 1500 BCE; the religious revolution of Akhenaten; the experiences of the ‘Apiru or Habiru (very probably = ‘ibrîm ‘Hebrews’), gangs of antisocial people operating between Egypt’s vassal states and resisting Egyptian control, who could well have been taken into Egyptian captivity and have later escaped; finally, the large-scale migrations of the “sea peoples” who caused unrest and turmoil in the eastern Mediterranean until eventually settling in Italy (Etruria, Sicily, Sardinia), Greece, Turkey, and Palestine, regions that bear their names even today. The Exodus myth may have integrated these various memories into a coherent story that is fictional as to its composition but historical as to some of its components.
Assmann goes on to argue that the first re-telling of the story that has come down to us today dates to the end of the 8th century BCE, in the writings of Hosea, Micah and Amos. The Torah as we have it now, might not have been compiled until the time of Ezra, ca. 450 BCE.

Reviewing Freud's 'Moses and Monotheism', Assmann agrees that the monotheisms of Akhenaten and Moses were similar in their intolerance of polytheism, and their iconoclasm. However, he disagrees with Freud's claims of other similarities (p. 64):

... in the Amarna religion there is hardly any magic and very little ritual, whereas in the Mosaic religion there is a plethora of rites. The stress on ethics in the Mosaic religion is obvious, but in Amarna, the ethical aspect of God is absent in the most striking manner. In Amarna, the traditional concept of a hereafter is discarded, replaced by a new one according to which the human person lives on in the form of his ba, leaving the tomb during the day and entering it at night. Above all, however, Akhenaten’s god is the sun and nothing but the sun, whereas the god of Moses is the liberator from Egyptian bondage, an actor in history. In fact, the two religions are worlds apart.​

Is Assmann being disagreeable for the sake of disagreement here? It seems to me that Amarna religion also had magic and ethical aspects. And the concept of the hereafter in early Judaism is not depicted in the Torah with even as much clarity as the Egyptian concept of ba, as far as I've heard. But, Assmann seems to be correct that the idea of God as an actor in history, is new in the Hebrew religion. The Sabbah Bros have an explanation for that: the activities of the Lord Aten-Ay, the pharaoh behind the scene.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
As an aside: Perhaps there are new tombs adjoining Tutankhamen's? https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/17/hidden-rooms-tutankhamun-tomb-new-treasures-queen-nefertiti

Keep up the research guys! Fascinating
Thx and thanks for the link, I remember seeing this possibility a few months ago. I recently mentioned the Exodus Decoded documentary by James Cameron and Jacobovici where they showed that the Egyptian government was extremely concerned about controlling access to sites that might have anything to do with affecting the Bible narrative, albeit the claim was that they did not want to allow Zionists to gain credence. IMHO, it is likely just as much that they don't want the new alternative claims to be true either.

Imagine if Akhenaten is in there along with Nefertiti.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Reviewing Freud's 'Moses and Monotheism', Assmann agrees that the monotheisms of Akhenaten and Moses were similar in their intolerance of polytheism, and their iconoclasm. However, he disagrees with Freud's claims of other similarities (p. 64):

... in the Amarna religion there is hardly any magic and very little ritual, whereas in the Mosaic religion there is a plethora of rites. The stress on ethics in the Mosaic religion is obvious, but in Amarna, the ethical aspect of God is absent in the most striking manner. In Amarna, the traditional concept of a hereafter is discarded, replaced by a new one according to which the human person lives on in the form of his ba, leaving the tomb during the day and entering it at night. Above all, however, Akhenaten’s god is the sun and nothing but the sun, whereas the god of Moses is the liberator from Egyptian bondage, an actor in history. In fact, the two religions are worlds apart.
Is Assmann being disagreeable for the sake of disagreement here?
Yes, I think Assmann is being specious here. There are many centuries of various political influences that would likely affect Judaic theology heavily.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Imagine if Akhenaten is in there along with Nefertiti.
That would pretty much put an end to Osman's theory, anyhow. He takes the inscriptions of Ay, Tutankhamun, Horemheb, Ramesses and Seti at face value, as evidence that all those pharaohs were stridently polytheistic followers of Amun, and that they would have seen the monotheists as deadly enemies.

So, Osman invokes the 'hidden resort' to explain the survival of monotheism. According to his theory, Akhenaten survived the military coup that removed him from power, and eventually fled with his followers to Sinai. It was only by an alliance with the Hyksos who were formerly established in Jerusalem, that Akhenaten was able to survive. However, Osman argues that this alliance of Hyksos and ex-Amarna Hebrews was constantly battled upon by the Egyptians, and ultimately driven out of Sinai and back to Syria.

So if Akhenaten is found behind Tut's tomb, I think Osman's theory dies there too.

I have the impression that conventional Egyptology claims that Seti completely routed the Canaanites, going far enough north to re-capture much of Syria (including Kadesh) from the Hittites. This seems consistent with the Sabbahs' model, much more than Osman's.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
BTW, before I go any further I should note that even on the first page, the Translators' Intro, that they explicitly state that Akhenaten himself is the Sabbah brothers' choice for Abraham, and thus Nefertiti is Sarah. Nefertiti, who was Akhenaten's wife and half-sister. And Hagar is amusingly ... an Egyptian. Chapter 13 goes into this in more detail.

Given the marriage relationship of Akhenaten's immediate ancestry to the Mittani royal family, this might indeed explain the biblical narrative's patriarchal connections to the region: Harran, Aram-naharaim, Urfa. Might this be another candidate for Akhenaten to have fled to, if he was killed and/or buried in Egypt? The Sabbah's equate the setting of boundaries between Jacob and uncle Laban as a remembrance of Akhenaton setting the boundary stele around Akhet-Aten. Since Jacob was returning to Canaan from his uncle's lands, this would have to have meant the both of them had control of immense areas, something I didn't remark on in that post.

It is on this return trip that Jacob has an odd all night wrestling match with God, from which God renames Jacob to Israel. With Jacob's father, Isaac, it seemed to me that he was completely fictive filler, his name meaning 'laughter', as if an inside joke of the original authors. Akhenaton did not have a son with Nefertiti, only daughters. He had a son(s) with a secondary 'Egyptian' wife(s), Tut and Smenkhkare. So then, is 'funny' Isaac an admission that Akhenaton did not really have a son with Nefertiti, as they were also too old to have such a son (as stated in the Bible as Abe and Sarah at least), from which Abraham and Sarah laughed about the possibility.

If one thinks about creating a fake foundational narrative, then from the authors having the synthetic nation's viewpoint, it seems to me to make much sense to have such a highly compressed narrative as the Sabbah brothers propose, rather than try to make up material out of the thin air. Here they could relate stories about people they actually knew much about, only needing to disguise them to protect the guilty.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
The new idea about the Philistines is that perhaps they're a neo-Hittite kingdom. See:
Just watched Jacobovici's Naked Archaeologist series, episode 1, and they say that they were Greeks, arriving from the dislocations of the Late Bronze age Collapse. As Cline's 1177 BCE book has it, the new arrivals and the existing peoples blended peacefully. If the existing peoples were Israelites or not, the Philistines were much more sophisticated in many regards. Jacobovici made a joke that the Philistines might have called the 'Israelites' Philistines.

They discussed that these people vanished under the forced migrations of the Assyrians and Babylonians. Mentioned was a letter written to the pharaoh of the day, asking him to send help against the advance of Nebuchadnezzar. But no help came.

The second episode was about the origin of the modern alphabet. Ultimately, they traced it to Egypt. Jacobovici claims that oldest finds of proto-Canaanite (from Sinai and Egypt proper), must be Israelite because El is named. But the problem here is that El, as we know, was the chief god of the Canaanite pantheon, who was eventually assimilated to Adonay and Yahweh. Jacobovici discussed some of this with an author of Letter Perfect, by David Sacks.

They discussed the revolutionary nature of the alphabet, in that it made reading and writing much more accessible beyond the priests and nobility. Jocobovici went on to talk with the scholar who found the inscriptions and developed the accepted theory that the inscriptions were made by Semites in an Egyptian work party or mercenaries. But he would not go as far as Jacobovici in claiming they had to be Hebrew, and also didn't mention that El was the Canaanite god as well.
 

Marcilla Smith

Active Member
I just returned from hearing Dr. Bill T. Arnold of Asbury Theological Seminary give a surprisingly humanist lecture on "A Singular Israel in a Pluralist [ed: ancient] World" at Greensboro College. It reminded me of Richard's talk of the "cultural inversion." Dr. Arnold focussed on three aspects in particular which he says distinguish Israel's culture, particularly as it relates to religion:
  1. Replacing the icon (statue) of the deity with the throne of the ark of the covenant (on which the Lord of Israel sits)
  2. Sacrifices made for remission of sin and for guilt offerings (other cultures only made regular burnt offerings and for well-being)
  3. Heavenly bodies were considered timekeeping devices of the Creator-Deity, not deities unto themselves
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Replacing the icon (statue) of the deity with the throne of the ark of the covenant (on which the Lord of Israel sits)
Did he explain what was functionally accomplished by replacing the icon of the deity (or deities) with an object that implies that there is such a deity accomplishes? One combo seat (and box) implies one god?

"On which the Lord sits" or "in which the Lord resides"? How could one comfortably sit on the ark if there were two cherubim residing on the kapporet, or Mercy Seat? This and other incoherencies make me think the redactors were having some fun.

Heavenly bodies were considered timekeeping devices of the Creator-Deity, not deities unto themselves
Makes one wonder what they would have thought of the Antikythera Mechanism?
 

Marcilla Smith

Active Member
Did he explain what was functionally accomplished by replacing the icon of the deity (or deities) with an object that implies that there is such a deity accomplishes?
I think one has to read a little into what he says since I would expect him to avoid implying too much material agency in the course of history. Translating this into materialist language and maybe reading some into it, I think it has to do with the g-d of Israel being able to be absent when the people have sinned too greatly (and the Babylonians ransack the place). Whereas when a temple with an icon of the g-d is ransacked, the people are left with a material image of their deity's former glory lying in pieces on the ground.

TL;DR ---> ya can't decapitate what ain't thurr in the first place!
How could one comfortably sit on the ark if there were two cherubim residing on the kapporet, or Mercy Seat?


Makes one wonder what they would have thought of the Antikythera Mechanism?
Who do you think sold it to the Greeks? ;)
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
I think one has to read a little into what he says since I would expect him to avoid implying too much material agency in the course of history. Translating this into materialist language and maybe reading some into it, I think it has to do with the g-d of Israel being able to be absent when the people have sinned too greatly (and the Babylonians ransack the place). Whereas when a temple with an icon of the g-d is ransacked, the people are left with a material image of their deity's former glory lying in pieces on the ground.

TL;DR ---> ya can't decapitate what ain't thurr in the first place!
That makes some sense. Of course, one of the problems with the ark story is its use as a weapon. I can't figure out how that Israelites failed to conquer the world with it in their possession. Must've been to busy sinning to think about it.

What is "TL;DR"?

This Mercy Seat don't fly!!!

Not very modest stewardesses, errr flight attendants, either.
 
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