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Video: What is the religious myth of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt based on?
2023 Author: Seth Attwood | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 22:42
Surely even those who have not read religious texts are familiar at least in general terms with the events of the Exodus. Or at least many should have seen the movie "Exodus: Gods and Kings", where the role of Moses was brilliantly played by Christian Bale. The film, by the way, is boring, although in general terms it correctly conveys the Old Testament story.
Today we are interested in something else: why did Moses lead his people for 40 years in the wilderness? After all, going from the Nile Delta to Israel is not so far?
“Oh wey, Moses took Jews through the desert for 40 years and found the only place in the entire Middle East where there is no oil!” - an old Jewish joke.
The study of religion from the point of view of the science of history, and not "militant atheism" - in fact, the thing is extremely interesting. After all, the religious form of thinking has been the main way of man's reflection on the world around him for many millennia.
Few people today understand that modern science directly owes its appearance to the ancient priests and medieval priests. After all, it was they, along with philosophers (very often theology and philosophy were completely inseparable from each other) for a long time who were the main intellectual force of mankind.
What history and archeology tell us
Here it is worth understanding the main thing: apparently, there was no Exodus in the form in which it is described in the Old Testament texts. And the point here is not even that all these stories were described (and rewritten) much later than the events themselves.
Exodus does not fight archeological data at all. However, there was still something similar in ancient history. And most likely it was this event, remaining in the "popular memory", which later became the creation of a religious myth about the exodus of Jews from Egypt.
It is about the conquest of Egypt by the Hyksos. Apparently, the Hyksos were a large group of tribes that formed in Syria.
Somewhere in the XVIII-XVII centuries BC, they invaded Egypt and were able to conquer it, founding their own dynasty of pharaohs. However, later in Egypt there was another civil war between the ruling dynasties and it all ended with the Hyksos being driven back to Asia Minor. It is not excluded that it is this ancient event that is easy in the formation of the legend of the Exodus of the Jews.
It is curious that the identification of the Exodus and the expulsion of the Hyksos began in the late Roman Empire. By the way, there is no need to think that there were no Jews in Egypt. Ancient Palestine actively communicated with all its neighbors, including fighting and trading. So there were enough "our people" in Ancient Egypt, and not all of them were slaves captured during the campaigns.
What the religious texts say
In the Old Testament texts, everything is quite simple: Moses led the chosen people out of Egypt and, by God's providence, brought them to the Promised Land, where the Jews who had just been saved from slavery had to clash in the war for their homeland with the superior Amorites.
However, according to legend, the Israelites doubted that they could win, which means they went against the word of God. For which the Lord punished the chosen people, forcing them to wander those same 40 years in the desert, until all men over 20 die in it. Only then were the Jews able to do what was required of them from the very beginning - to conquer Canaan.
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