Was Moses a Pharaoh of Egypt?; Religious Affairs Correspondent BILLY KENNEDY Reviews a Book Which Fundamentally Challenges the Hebrew Origins of Leading Old Testament Characters

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), September 6, 2002 | Go to article overview

Was Moses a Pharaoh of Egypt?; Religious Affairs Correspondent BILLY KENNEDY Reviews a Book Which Fundamentally Challenges the Hebrew Origins of Leading Old Testament Characters


Byline: BILLY KENNEDY

A NEW study on Exodus, second book of the Bible, claims that the Chosen People were Egyptians, the Hebrews were conquering rulers, not slaves, and Moses was an Egyptian pharaoh.

Moroccan Jewish brothers Messod and Roger Sabbah say that until now the Bible has never been studied as Egyptology.

''Though a major part of the Biblical story is in ancient Egypt, no trace is to be found of Abraham, Joseph or Moses, as described in the Old Testament books of Genesis and Exodus,'' they point out.

''How can it be that no stories or eyewitness accounts have been discovered in Egyptian hieraglyphic texts about the response of a population which lived in Egypt for 400 years, 210 of which were in slavery, under various pharaohs,'' they ask?

Since there is no scientific or archaeological trace of the Hebrew exodus from Egypt, as documented in the Bible, the authors contend this event corresponds in fact to the explosion of the monotheist inhabitants of Akhetaton.

Their 20 years of research reveal not only true origins of monotheism, but also the genesis of the Hebrew alphabet in Egyptian culture, also claiming Moses and Abraham were Egyptian pharaohs Ramesses 1 and Akhenaten.

The Sabbah brothers say there is historical-archeological data linking Egypt with the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve were involved in the concept of Original Sin.

''Among the numerous temples erected by the pharaoh Akhenaten, there is the Great Temple of Aten. The temple was surrounded by an immense estate, consisting of basins of purified water, vineyards, and orchards with an enclosed wall. In the garden stood a sacred tree 'Ished'. Its fruit was destined only for Pharaoh and, marked in the name of the king, it became sacred in the eyes of the people and constituted divine food.

''The story of Original Sin is central to Biblical laws governing relationship between man and woman. The legend that gave rise to the concept of original sin dates back to earliest days of ancient Egypt.''

The story of Noah's Ark, they claim, reflects separation between the monotheistic people living within Akhet-Aten and the rest of polytheistic Egypt and the Noah legend cannot be understood literally.

The Ark symbolises Akhet-Aten, holy land of the exclusive monotheist inhabitants. The Hebrew word 'tetah' is translated as 'ark'.

They submit that the Hebrew word never meant vessel as a ship, but was instead a symbolic name given by Egyptians to the sacred city of Thebes, considered asylum, refuge, home of the gods.

''The monotheistic ark (sacred city), Akhet-Aten, became a problem for the pharaoh Adon-Ay. So, he made plans to get rid of it to save the rest of Egpyt, evacuating dwellers and then destroying the city.''

In the Bible, patriarch Abraham was the first person to have had the revelation of the One God (Adonay). This God led him to the holy land of Canaan. But according to Messod and Roger Sabbah, despite archeological research, Abraham was never found.

"Neither in Egypt or Mesopotamia does there exist any testimony in the writing of the period, nor are there any pictorial or sculptural representations referring to this individual. Historians and archeologists have sought Abraham in vain. In research through Biblical texts, they have not found him. Is it possible that a man believed to have introduced monotheism to the Middle East could have left behind no trace whatsoever?'' they ask.

Abraham would have lived four centuries before the exodus from Egypt, sometime around 1700 BC.

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