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Thread: What is the Jewish enslavement in Egypt about?

  1. Top | #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post
    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 should have pointed out a little more clearly from the British Library link, their view that the Israelites were not always slaves, which is not disagreeing with what you previously posted, i.e., Jews 'aka' Israelites lived and settled in Egypt... for a time:

    “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt”(Ex.22:20).

    “You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the soul of the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Ex.23:9).

    “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Lev.19:34).

    “You too must befriend the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deut.10:19)

    “You shall not hate an Egyptian, for you were stranger in his land” (Deut.23:8).


    Exodus as a fantasy I'll take as your prefered take of the narrative, at least for the moment, as I'm not sure of which study established the impossibility (also currently quite busy). I know there are a few ideas.


    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.
    I'm happy to agree to the defined terms you give above. I see now under this clarification where you were coming from in your OP.

    There was always Christianity through the Jews, Hebrews, Israelites by this understanding.

    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
    I would not find this contradictory to some extent (in bold), depending on how you read in context, 'only' free men would be given the honour to build.. etc..

    Slavery mistakenly interpreted in context to chains and whips, so to speak, doesn't say this was the kind of slavery in the verse below:

    “Always remember that you were a "slave" in the land of Egypt; therefore do I enjoin you to observe this commandment” (Deut. 24:22)


    But in this context below..

    "And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing." (Deut. 24:22 KJV )


    Bondman interpreted as in Bond-servant, known and understood in the theology, as a form of employment or servitude for a period of time, paying off debts.

    Even though we were to say these servants were not quite "free." Would that mean bondmen wouldn't have that honour too, being part of the great build? I would think they would.
    Last edited by Learner; 07-24-2021 at 04:26 PM. Reason: rephrasing

  2. Top | #12
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    As there is no evidence of the alleged biblical events it is probably a myth. Like Moses and the Jews roaming the fesert between Egypt and Palestine for 40 years with no one seeing them and leaving no trace.

    The ancient Hebrews were not in one group and were not homogeneous. There were factions in the gospel times.

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    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Bosch View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post

    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).
    The Bible isn't a random collection of stories. The Bible collected reworked earlier stories or tweaked things from Jewish history. There is a reason why the stories in the Bible were included as they were

  4. Top | #14
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post

    I should have pointed out a little more clearly from the British Library link, their view that the Israelites were not always slaves, which is not disagreeing with what you previously posted, i.e., Jews 'aka' Israelites lived and settled in Egypt... for a time:

    “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt”(Ex.22:20).

    “You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the soul of the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Ex.23:9).

    “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Lev.19:34).

    “You too must befriend the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deut.10:19)

    “You shall not hate an Egyptian, for you were stranger in his land” (Deut.23:8).


    Exodus as a fantasy I'll take as your prefered take of the narrative, at least for the moment, as I'm not sure of which study established the impossibility (also currently quite busy). I know there are a few ideas.


    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.
    I'm happy to agree to the defined terms you give above. I see now under this clarification where you were coming from in your OP.

    There was always Christianity through the Jews, Hebrews, Israelites by this understanding.

    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
    I would not find this contradictory to some extent (in bold), depending on how you read in context, 'only' free men would be given the honour to build.. etc..

    Slavery mistakenly interpreted in context to chains and whips, so to speak, doesn't say this was the kind of slavery in the verse below:

    “Always remember that you were a "slave" in the land of Egypt; therefore do I enjoin you to observe this commandment” (Deut. 24:22)


    But in this context below..

    "And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing." (Deut. 24:22 KJV )


    Bondman interpreted as in Bond-servant, known and understood in the theology, as a form of employment or servitude for a period of time, paying off debts.

    Even though we were to say these servants were not quite "free." Would that mean bondmen wouldn't have that honour too, being part of the great build? I would think they would.
    If I remember correctly, Egypt had four levels of slaves, and each had different legal protection. Egypt was also fabulously wealthy compared to anywhere else in the Middle East. Free foreigners willingly going to Egypt to become slaves was a thing that happened. A bit like poor South Americans travelling to USA to work as day labourers. Life in Egypt was relatively less stressful than other places. Even for slaves.

    Egypt had Jewish communities of free Jews right back before Jews was a concept. And did so all through their history.

    So perhaps Moses was an exiled Egyptian, which is why the Sargon of Akkad myth was reworked for Moses.

    Its an idea?

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    Senior Member OLDMAN's Avatar
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    I think most of the Jewish bible is simply accounting for the atrocities they committed. They were allowed to own slaves, so a simple justification is they were slaves themselves once and earned their freedom. Most of the wars and rape are condoned by their god and they are the chosen people after all...pretty simple might makes right thinking.

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    DrZoidberg, I recommend Robin Lane Fox: The Unauthorized Version: Truth and Fiction in the Bible, which contains a rational approach to the Old Testament, much of which was written after the Babylonian captivity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OLDMAN View Post
    I think most of the Jewish bible is simply accounting for the atrocities they committed. They were allowed to own slaves, so a simple justification is they were slaves themselves once and earned their freedom. Most of the wars and rape are condoned by their god and they are the chosen people after all...pretty simple might makes right thinking.
    That doesn't sound right. Why the need to justify slavery? It wasn't until the Enlightenment in the 1700-hundreds the idea that slavery would be immoral popped up. Before that it was assumed as normal and natural. Nobody would have felt it needed justifying. They were also totally fine with raping women of other tribes. The Torah is amazingly ethnocentric. These rights and rules only apply to Jews themselves.

    The Torah is a part pagan book, and in pre-Roman pre-Babylonian pagan religion there was an in group and an outgroup. The ingroup could do what they wanted with whomever they conquered. This belief was shared by Judaism and is in the Torah. It doesn't change until they are conquered by the Achaemenid empire and the Babylonian captivity. The Acheamenid's introduce the Jews to a more modern and civilized way of running an empire. To the great surprise of the Jews the Acheamenid's not only permitted the Jews to continue to pray to their God, but they encouraged it. They gave Jews special status as the official religion in Judea. They allowed the Jews enslaved in Babylon to continue being Jews and to practice their religion. This was unheard of before the Achmeanid's. Toleration for other people's religion and gods was something they invented.

    The Torah was later reinterpreted a Judaism where Jews are supposed to treat non-Jews with respect.

  8. Top | #18
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    The OT embellishes the Hebrew culture, why is that so hard to grasp? All colures create myths that embellish and justify. We have our American myths that are not quite true and are exaggerated.

    We study Rome and Greece knowing there were abuses. Sparta was slave based. They were aggressive, yet we have an heroic image of Spartans fighting to the last at Thermopoli in the cause of freedom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    The OT embellishes the Hebrew culture, why is that so hard to grasp? All colures create myths that embellish and justify. We have our American myths that are not quite true and are exaggerated.

    We study Rome and Greece knowing there were abuses. Sparta was slave based. They were aggressive, yet we have an heroic image of Spartans fighting to the last at Thermopoli in the cause of freedom.
    It's basically a hero's journey. The hero starts out as weak and scrappy, has some trials and then comes out as victorious. I get that. It makes sense that the exodus narrative is written that way.

    But it doesn't explain why it's in the Bible. Why did they invent this narrative in particular and put it in the Bible?

    We know why the Noah story is in the Bible. It's a reworking of the Epic of Gilgamesh. It was a story already in circulation and well known when the Jews were inventing stories about themselves. Travelling bards would have come to Palestine replaced the Babylonian gods and characters with the Jewish God characters and then electrified the audience with a riveting tale that then became part of the Jewish mythic tradition.

    But where does the Exodus story come from? It's unique to Judaism. And seems to lack any historicity. It seems to just pop up out of nowhere and become a thing. Things don't just pop up out of nowhere. Not even in religion.

    It might be that the true story is lost in history. But there has to be some reason it did pop up in Judaism. That's what I'm asking about.

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    I thought the original Christian canon came out of the Council Of Nicaea, along with the creed as a form of a loyalty oath to the new synthesis.

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