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About Exodus.
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Iker
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As background info to my post above I have copied some passages from Diodorus Siculus regarding slavery and unborn children in Egypt, both being regarded as persons with rights:

"If anyone intentionally killed a free man or a slave the laws enjoined that he be put to death; for they, in the first place, wished that it should not be through the accidental differences in men's condition in life but through the principles governing their actions that all men should be restrained from evil deeds, and, on the other hand, they sought to accustom mankind, through such consideration for slaves, to refrain all the more from committing any offence whatever against freemen.

In the case of parents who had slain their children, though the laws did not prescribe death, yet the offenders had to hold the dead body in their arms for three successive days and nights, under the surveillance of a state guard; for it was not considered just to deprive of life those who had given life to their children, but rather by a warning which brought with it pain and repentance to turn them from such deeds...

Pregnant women who had been condemned to death were not executed until they had been delivered. The same law has also been enacted by many Greek states, since they held it entirely unjust that the innocent should suffer the same punishment as the guilty..."


A person who was enslaved as punishment for a crime or attacks against Egypt could be sentenced to the mines where the conditions were very harsh, (in common mines /punishment in the rest of the ancient world) but I think the issue there is the nature and severity of punishment and not what this thread is about.

The following passage is from the Wikipedia article "Infanticide" and I can vouch for the citations given:
"Ancient Egypt: In Egyptian households, at all social levels, children of both sexes were valued and there is no evidence of infanticide.[15] The religion of the Ancient Egyptians forbade infanticide and during the Greco-Roman period they rescued abandoned babies from manure heaps, a common method of infanticide by Greeks or Romans, and were allowed to either adopt them as foundlings or raise them as slaves, often giving them names such as "copro -" to memorialize their rescue.[16] Strabo considered it a peculiarity of the Egyptians that every child must be reared.[17] Diodorus indicates infanticide was a punishable offence.[18] Egypt was heavily dependent on the annual flooding of the Nile to irrigate the land and in years of low inundation severe famine could occur with breakdowns in social order resulting, notably between 930-1070 AD and 1180-1350 AD. Instances of cannibalism are recorded during these periods but it is unknown if this happened during the pharaonic era of Ancient Egypt.[19] Beatrix Midant-Reynes describes human sacrifice as having occurred at Abydos in the early dynastic period (c. 3150-2850 BCE),[20] while Jan Assmann asserts there is no clear evidence of human sacrifice ever happening in Ancient Egypt.[21]"
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SidneyF
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This from yesterday. "Hatshepsut Declares".

http://thetimetravelerreststop.blogspot.com/
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iker wrote:
Unas wrote:
I think we should be very careful before making conclusions that the Bible isn't trustworthy.

Your observation could mean many things, would you care to clarify?


I don't think it is accurate to conclude that Exodus (or any part of the Bible) is a mixture of memories and tales which might not all be true.
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SidneyF
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unas wrote:
Iker wrote:
Unas wrote:
I think we should be very careful before making conclusions that the Bible isn't trustworthy.

Your observation could mean many things, would you care to clarify?


I don't think it is accurate to conclude that Exodus (or any part of the Bible) is a mixture of memories and tales which might not all be true.


How much sense does it make for a people to claim they were once enslaved in Egypt [and commemorate that from the very time forward] if there was no truth to it? How does it add anything to the prestige of the Jews to aver that--and that one of their number, raised as an Egyptian, had to intercede with the pharaoh for their release? They have never made any claims to being of any one race and the Bible makes a point of saying "a mixed multitude" left Egypt. Even Hatshepsut stated, in the text of the URL I supplied that different people were at Avaris but that the Aamw were Semitic is clearly demonstrated from the 12th Dynasty. In the tableau in the tomb of Khnumhotep II, the leader of the Aamu has a distinctly Semitic name. He is called "HqA-XAst", "ruler of a foreign place".

Science has demonstrated that 30% of Jewish men have the haplogroup E, very common in Egypt. Since most have J, it proves that some Jews have Egyptian ancestry--many in fact. Religions can be acquired and changed--but DNA remains the same, passed down through generations of males.

Actually, I don't believe in only one exodus but it seems to me that the destruction of Jericho can't have occurred until the Late Bronze Age, according to findings at Tell-es-Sultan. That the conquest of Canaan occurred in the time of Akhenaten is hardly far-fetched from the evidence.
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Unas
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said, SidneyF.
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Iker
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
"How much sense does it make for a people to claim they were once enslaved in Egypt [and commemorate that from the very time forward] if there was no truth to it? How does it add anything to the prestige of the Jews to aver that"

Pride is unlikely to get in the way if you have been through the catastrophe of Jerusalem being sacked and then been been carted to Babylon. To keep the candle of hope burning in what seemed a hopeless situation - the Davidic promise seemingly shattered - was the immediate problem and the Exodus story would have served that function but in a diplomatic manner which didn't antagonize their captors.

That there were Hebrews in Egypt at diverse times, including slaves, mercenaries, hired laborers I take for granted and I also think there is some history in the strange story attributed to Manetho since there are passages in Exodus in which the writer seems to understand Egyptian theology, indicating that it may have indeed come from a priestly source.

I think that these earlier contacts may have influenced what we now have as the Exodus.
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SidneyF
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Iker"]
Quote:
"How much sense does it make for a people to claim they were once enslaved in Egypt [and commemorate that from the very time forward] if there was no truth to it? How does it add anything to the prestige of the Jews to aver that"


Quote:
Pride is unlikely to get in the way if you have been through the catastrophe of Jerusalem being sacked and then been been carted to Babylon. To keep the candle of hope burning in what seemed a hopeless situation - the Davidic promise seemingly shattered - was the immediate problem and the Exodus story would have served that function but in a diplomatic manner which didn't antagonize their captors.


The commemoration of an exodus predates the diaspora. The Samaritans are a sect that were never removed to Babylon or to Persia--but the biggest holy day of the year for them is the Passover. They don't celebrate all the holidays of the Jews because they are not relevant for them. They don't even believe in Jerusalem as a holy place but have their own--Mount Gerizim. Their Torah is written in Paleo-Hebrew letters, not the square Babylonian ones.
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Unas
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a really fascinating topic; I enjoy reading everyone's thoughts.
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, the Five Books of Mose are fiction. None of the events described there can be - as described there - proved archaeologically. The same goes for all occurring protagonists. Individual stories are clearly older origin and were taken from the myths and legends circle of neighboring peoples, and maybe also from there history.

The inscription of Hatshepsut from the Speos Artemidos takes clear reference to the expulsion of the Hyksos ruler. It can not be used as evidence for an Exodus as it is described in the Bible. It does not describe the triumph over a Pharaoh, but his victory.

And what is most flattering for an ego as the victory over one of the most powerful countries of that time and its ruler? Then this is the end and the statement of the story, not the slavery. And by the way, the ancestors of the later Hebrews (the authors of the written version) spent really the most of the time of there history under Egyptian hegemony. And I would really not escape before my enemy in its direct area of influence...
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SidneyF
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lutz wrote:
Again, the Five Books of Mose are fiction. None of the events described there can be - as described there - proved archaeologically. The same goes for all occurring protagonists. Individual stories are clearly older origin and were taken from the myths and legends circle of neighboring peoples, and maybe also from there history.


The exodus story is about Egypt. Even the plagues have a seasonal sequence until the spring when the main crops of Egypt [specified] are supposed to ripen--and it was known which ripened first.

Quote:
The inscription of Hatshepsut from the Speos Artemidos takes clear reference to the expulsion of the Hyksos ruler.


It doesn't mention one! It just says some people were banished from Avaris by the crown. Unless it is a total fabrication, it happened in the time of the early Thutmosids.



Quote:
It can not be used as evidence for an Exodus as it is described in the Bible. It does not describe the triumph over a Pharaoh, but his victory.


Where did you ever read in an Egyptian text of the triumph over a pharaoh?The Greeks invented the kind of history we are accustomed to now. Prior to that, it was each his own version of the events. The Speos Artemidos simply says "I banished what the gods abhor"--meaning the Aamu, the Semites. It gives no details about how this was accomplished. But even in the Hebrew Bible, the Israelites didn't leave until the pharaoh said "Go". It was still by his permission. I am inclined to believe any exodus had to do with Avaris. It is a place conveniently located in the Eastern Delta, not far from both gateways to the east, the one with water [to the north] and the one without water via the bitter lakes, the route taken by Sinuhe in the Egyptian tale. But I don't see why the Israelites would have gone that route.
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Unas
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Lutz,

The Bible--all of it, including the first five books--is really a beautiful and amazing thing. It really is. I believe it's true, and have found it to be true. A person doesn't (necessarily) need archeological evidence to see this.


It's too bad I can't read German--the discussion group you link on your posts looks like an interesting place! I let the Google Translator give it a go but it didn't work. Laughing
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SidneyF wrote:
Lutz wrote:
Again, the Five Books of Mose are fiction. None of the events described there can be - as described there - proved archaeologically. The same goes for all occurring protagonists. Individual stories are clearly older origin and were taken from the myths and legends circle of neighboring peoples, and maybe also from there history.

The exodus story is about Egypt. ...

What does prove that it is true? Ridiculous. Of course, the Hebrew writers had good knowledge of Egypt. Little wonder, so completely insignificant this country was not in the history of the former area...

SidneyF wrote:
Quote:
The inscription of Hatshepsut from the Speos Artemidos takes clear reference to the expulsion of the Hyksos ruler.

It doesn't mention one! ...

"They RULED without Ra..." does not refer to the Hyksos kings? To whom, then?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unas wrote:
Hi Lutz,

The Bible--all of it, including the first five books--is really a beautiful and amazing thing. It really is. I believe it's true, and have found it to be true. A person doesn't (necessarily) need archeological evidence to see this. ...

I have not the slightest against this, and you're absolutely right. It is a book of faith that the reader should ultimately give strength to be a better person, to cope with life. More annoying is it, when people just distract from that by trying to prove convulsively historical authenticity. Why is that? Is their own faith not so strong that it needs a proof?

Unas wrote:
... It's too bad I can't read German--the discussion group you link on your posts looks like an interesting place! ...

Yes, the owners are friends of mine and it is a kind of "home-base" to me (but also more "orthodox" than this forum here when it comes to scientific accuracy and Egyptology). Many German Egyptologists and students are at least constant readership, also participate from time to time in discussions. Especially if it is very specialized or comes to their own work.
There are also many features you do not have to be perfect in German for. Have a look at "Forum-Extras" ... "Fotos" (from some very interesting and rarely to seen collections and places), "Museen", "Ä-Blatt" (news often with links to English pages, in many cases source of the news I post here in this forum from time to time), "Links" (related to the field of Egyptology around the world).

I hope Kevin forgives the short commercial break. It's not direct competitors, I think, rather a complement... No problem Smile, Kevin

Greetings, Lutz.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unas wrote:
... It's too bad I can't read German--the discussion group you link on your posts looks like an interesting place! I let the Google Translator give it a go but it didn't work. Laughing

Welcome to my English-Forum-Life ... Cool

Greetings, Lutz.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
SidneyF: The commemoration of an exodus predates the diaspora. The Samaritans are a sect that were never removed to Babylon or to Persia--but the biggest holy day of the year for them is the Passover.

Evidence that what we have now in the bible as the passover and exodus was celebrated exactly the same way prior to the captivity? Can you show that the Samaritan texts predate the Babylonian captivity using scholarly sources? What evidence do they have to support their viewpoint? According to Wikipedia:
"Modern scholarship connects the formation of the Samaritan community and their Pentateuch as a distinctive sectarian textual tradition with events which followed the Babylonian Captivity.[8]"

Is it not the case that those who believe the Hyksos episode is related to Exodus seem to be tacitly admitting that the Exodus account is not history but sacred drama because it reverses what historical evidence we may have? i.e that it was Egyptians who were oppressed by Hyksos (who bit the hand that fed them) and far from being the downtrodden slaves they were people who took what didn't belong to them and imposed themselves on the Egyptians. It also means accepting that whilst indeed the Hyksos had strong monolatric tendencies and worshipped a deity that had similar attributes to one the Egyptians knew well it was under a different name from that given in later biblical texts and, in my opinion, that has led to some believing scholars to shy away from making direct connections between the Hyksos and the Israelites.

On checking my own books the nearest I can get to the sacred drama idea mentioned earlier is: "The Exodus story took on pointed significance in Exilic and post-exilic times. The story of the great liberation must have had a strong appeal to the exiles in Babylon. As the biblical scholar David Clines pointed out, "the bondage in Egypt is their own bondage in Babylon, and the Exodus past becomes the exodus that is yet to be." Indeed the striking similarity of themes in the story of the Exodus from Egypt and the memories of the return from exile may have influenced the shaping of both narratives." (Israel Finkelstein/Neil Aher Silberman, "The Bible Unearthed", p. 211)
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