Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 36

Thread: What is the Jewish enslavement in Egypt about?

  1. Top | #1
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    9,806
    Archived
    5,746
    Total Posts
    15,552
    Rep Power
    62

    What is the Jewish enslavement in Egypt about?

    According to archeology the Jews were never enslaved in Egypt. Plenty of Jews lived in Egypt right back to the first mentions of Jews ca 600 BC. But they were mostly mercenaries, traders or even settlers. Apart from the odd war here and there, they were always welcome in Egypt and never suffered mass enslavement.

    So wtf is this section of the Bible about? Why is it there? Jews were actually enslaved en masse to Babylon. That's historically accurate and is in the Bible. But what's the fictional Egyptian captivity about?

    Does anybody have a good explanation for that?

  2. Top | #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Port Clinton, Ohio
    Posts
    4,643
    Archived
    591
    Total Posts
    5,234
    Rep Power
    73
    A narrative of overcoming through faith in God? Interlaced with horrible violence inflicted by God on their enemies. The same could be said of the Book of Joshua, with the Israelites winning battle after battle and thinking they covered themselves in glory, when the legend really has to do with exterminating whole peoples. A lot of the OT is about walking in righteousness with God, in which case the people prosper, or languishing in agony because the people have turned away from God. Not all that different from Pat Robertson telling us why certain cities get smashed with hurricanes (never mind that they're coastal cities and shit happens.)

  3. Top | #3
    Elder Contributor
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Located 100 miles east of A in America
    Posts
    32,633
    Archived
    42,473
    Total Posts
    75,106
    Rep Power
    100
    Quote Originally Posted by ideologyhunter View Post
    A narrative of overcoming through faith in God? Interlaced with horrible violence inflicted by God on their enemies. The same could be said of the Book of Joshua, with the Israelites winning battle after battle and thinking they covered themselves in glory, when the legend really has to do with exterminating whole peoples. A lot of the OT is about walking in righteousness with God, in which case the people prosper, or languishing in agony because the people have turned away from God. Not all that different from Pat Robertson telling us why certain cities get smashed with hurricanes (never mind that they're coastal cities and shit happens.)
    I think the question isn't asking as much about the finer details of the Exodus, but the tiny detail that nothing remotely like the Exodus happened, nor centuries long enslavement.

    So... where did the plot come from?

    I ponder if Egypt is the final origin story (or maybe even a parallel one). Potentially the first alleged historical part of the Tanakh.

    Genesis lines up the ancient pre-Hebrews and their respective derivative El gods, with Yahweh. Despite the advertisement, the land of milk and honey that God is to lead his people to was actually abandoned... often... by the people to become the Hebrews for greener pastures further south. The fact that there are no names or even places specifically mentioned until Moses high tails it to Midian, implies the writers are completely making it up or don't know a thing about the migration that became the Exodus. They just know that they came from the west.

  4. Top | #4
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    9,806
    Archived
    5,746
    Total Posts
    15,552
    Rep Power
    62
    Quote Originally Posted by ideologyhunter View Post
    A narrative of overcoming through faith in God?
    Isn't that what the Babylonian captivity is about? Why the need to add a fictional Egyptian captivity?

  5. Top | #5
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    9,806
    Archived
    5,746
    Total Posts
    15,552
    Rep Power
    62
    The Wikipedia article is interesting.

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

    Here's a theory from the article. Moses coming from Egypt is based on the Babylonian myth of Sargon of Akkad. It's essentially the same story. Since the commandments are lifted from the code of Hammurabi, it's possible that they also lifted other Babylonian things into the Bible. Exodus is then just a narrative way to transport Moses from Egypt to Canaan.

  6. Top | #6
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    ɹǝpunuʍop puɐן
    Posts
    11,931
    Archived
    17,906
    Total Posts
    29,837
    Rep Power
    81
    Faith in the Lord God...look how we have suffered, look at our wretchedness, yet the Lord our God has prevailed, the Lord has come to our aid, the Lord has uplifted us, praise the Lord.

  7. Top | #7
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Between two cities
    Posts
    2,924
    Archived
    56
    Total Posts
    2,980
    Rep Power
    30
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    According to archeology the Jews were never enslaved in Egypt. Plenty of Jews lived in Egypt right back to the first mentions of Jews ca 600 BC. But they were mostly mercenaries, traders or even settlers. Apart from the odd war here and there, they were always welcome in Egypt and never suffered mass enslavement.

    So wtf is this section of the Bible about? Why is it there? Jews were actually enslaved en masse to Babylon. That's historically accurate and is in the Bible. But what's the fictional Egyptian captivity about?

    Does anybody have a good explanation for that?
    Depending on how one sees it (and being a tad pendantic). There were NO Jews during the time before the exodus, assuming you mean around that time - obviously because Judah didn't exist then.

    Interestingly regarding Israelites, there is a possible explanation as to "what the section of the bible is about" using an excerpt from the British Library, their viewpoint of that section narrative:

    Thousands of years ago, according to the Old Testament, the Jews were slaves in Egypt. The Israelites had been in Egypt for generations, but now that they had become so numerous, the Pharaoh feared their presence. He feared that one day the Isrealites would turn against the Egyptians. Gradually and stealthily, he forced them to become his slaves.


    https://www.bl.uk/learning/cult/insi...slavement.html

  8. Top | #8
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    9,806
    Archived
    5,746
    Total Posts
    15,552
    Rep Power
    62
    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    According to archeology the Jews were never enslaved in Egypt. Plenty of Jews lived in Egypt right back to the first mentions of Jews ca 600 BC. But they were mostly mercenaries, traders or even settlers. Apart from the odd war here and there, they were always welcome in Egypt and never suffered mass enslavement.

    So wtf is this section of the Bible about? Why is it there? Jews were actually enslaved en masse to Babylon. That's historically accurate and is in the Bible. But what's the fictional Egyptian captivity about?

    Does anybody have a good explanation for that?
    Depending on how one sees it (and being a tad pendantic). There were NO Jews during the time before the exodus, assuming you mean around that time - obviously because Judah didn't exist then.

    Interestingly regarding Israelites, there is a possible explanation as to "what the section of the bible is about" using an excerpt from the British Library, their viewpoint of that section narrative:

    Thousands of years ago, according to the Old Testament, the Jews were slaves in Egypt. The Israelites had been in Egypt for generations, but now that they had become so numerous, the Pharaoh feared their presence. He feared that one day the Isrealites would turn against the Egyptians. Gradually and stealthily, he forced them to become his slaves.


    https://www.bl.uk/learning/cult/insi...slavement.html
    I don't understand what that explains? That's an attempt to explain how an event that didn't happen took place. What does that explain? Exodus is a complete fantasy. That's well established. My question is, why is it in the Bible? It seems redundant, since the Jews really were enslaved in Babylon.

    I disagree that Jews didn't exist back then. The group of people that later became Jews must have been a coherent group spanning back many thousands of years prior to anyone mentioning the word Jehova.

    There's no reason to believe any group of slaves fled Egypt en masse at any point in history. So it's a moot point that they were called something else back then.

    Edit: fun fact is that the idea that slaves were used to build the Egyptian pyramids came from the Jewish historian Josephus. That was also a fabrication. Helping to build the pyramids was an honour and only free men would be given that honour

  9. Top | #9
    Contributor
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    5,086
    Rep Power
    33
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    According to archeology the Jews were never enslaved in Egypt. Plenty of Jews lived in Egypt right back to the first mentions of Jews ca 600 BC. But they were mostly mercenaries, traders or even settlers. Apart from the odd war here and there, they were always welcome in Egypt and never suffered mass enslavement.

    So wtf is this section of the Bible about? Why is it there? Jews were actually enslaved en masse to Babylon. That's historically accurate and is in the Bible. But what's the fictional Egyptian captivity about?

    Does anybody have a good explanation for that?
    Depending on how one sees it (and being a tad pendantic). There were NO Jews during the time before the exodus, assuming you mean around that time - obviously because Judah didn't exist then.

    Interestingly regarding Israelites, there is a possible explanation as to "what the section of the bible is about" using an excerpt from the British Library, their viewpoint of that section narrative:

    Thousands of years ago, according to the Old Testament, the Jews were slaves in Egypt. The Israelites had been in Egypt for generations, but now that they had become so numerous, the Pharaoh feared their presence. He feared that one day the Isrealites would turn against the Egyptians. Gradually and stealthily, he forced them to become his slaves.


    https://www.bl.uk/learning/cult/insi...slavement.html
    I don't understand what that explains? That's an attempt to explain how an event that didn't happen took place. What does that explain? Exodus is a complete fantasy. That's well established. My question is, why is it in the Bible? It seems redundant, since the Jews really were enslaved in Babylon.

    I disagree that Jews didn't exist back then. The group of people that later became Jews must have been a coherent group spanning back many thousands of years prior to anyone mentioning the word Jehova.

    There's no reason to believe any group of slaves fled Egypt en masse at any point in history. So it's a moot point that they were called something else back then.

    Edit: fun fact is that the idea that slaves were used to build the Egyptian pyramids came from the Jewish historian Josephus. That was also a fabrication. Helping to build the pyramids was an honour and only free men would be given that honour
    There are lots of bizzarre stories in the bible that can be demonstrated didn't happen (Noah's Ark and etc).

  10. Top | #10
    Squadron Leader
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Land of Smiles
    Posts
    1,741
    Rep Power
    17
    The words 'Apiru and Hebrew are almost certainly cognate; Egyptian records tell us that the 'Apiru were bandits who were driven away. Perhaps Jewish writers later "put a spin on this", saying that the Israelites weren't driven out, but were fleeing enslavement.

    I think it likely that some Canaanite hostages did flee from Egypt, but their number was MUCH tinier than suggested in Exodus.

    The origin of the Jewish people and their religion is an interesting puzzle for which there are useful clues. Here are some possibly relevant comments from an earlier thread.

    Note that the Hymn to Aten, allegedly written by Pharaoh Akhenaton himself, and Psalm 104, allegedly written by King David himself, are extremely close: much of Hymn 104 is almost a word-by-word translation of the Hymn to Aten.

    This is not to say that the early Jewish religion was identical to Atenism, but it is likely that the idea of monotheism was borrowed. And it is recorded that some followers of Atenism fled Egypt after Akhenaton's death: this might have been a mini-Exodus that got conflated into the Moses narrative.
    ...
    Here's a paper that further tightens the strong connections between the early history recorded in the Old Testament and the history revealed in the Armana Letters. The paper points out that the towns first conquered by Joshua are precisely the towns no longer corresponding with Pharaoh.

    Working backwards, this researcher places the Exodus during the reign of Amenhotep III's grandfather, Amenhotep II; but I think the "Exodus" may have been mostly fictional anyway.
    ...
    I've also browsed a very small portion of Donald B. Redford's Egypt, Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times, viewable on-line for free. That's where I learned that, for example, Egyptian inscriptions like "Yahweh in the Land of the Shasu" can be dated to about 1420 BC. (Wikipedia dates it to the reign of Amenhotep III, but Redford has a footnote making it a century earlier.) The Shasu may or may not have been identical to the 'Apiru/Hebrew; their "Land" was in northern Edom, or possibly a bit farther South near the Petra site.
    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Redford
    The only reasonable conclusion is that one major component in the amalgam that constituted Israel, and the one with whom the worship of Yahweh originated, must be looked for among the Shasu of Edom already at the end of the fifteenth century B.C.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •