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The Adoration of the Golden Calf – Picture from the Hortus deliciarum of Herrad of Landsberg (12th century) (Public Domain)

Early Jewish Monotheism and Egyptian Atenism – One And The Same?

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The religious influences upon both Akhenaten and his brother Tuthmose from the temples of Heliopolis went a long way in fashioning their comparative belief systems. By encouraging the older solar beliefs, the priests of Iunu opened up the world of the ancient religions where fundamentally there was one source, the original first creator god. By distancing himself more and more from the priesthood, their father, Amenhotep III, set the precedent for both princes to completely separate themselves from the sphere of the comparatively modern Amun-Ra.

The concept of a single creator god, unseen and omnipresent was the basis of the religion that Moses attempted to force upon the Israelites in the desert and he could be tyrannical in his insistence that his way was right. One only has to look at the incident of the Golden Calf to see Moses’ overreaction.

The Golden Calf from The Bible and its stories (CC0)

The Golden Calf from The Bible and its stories ( CC0)

Massacre Of The Golden Calf

While Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments, the Israelites grew impatient and implored Aaron to fashion gods for them. Aaron collected gold and jewelry from the people and made an idol in the shape of a calf or bull. He then built an altar before this golden idol for the waiting Israelites to make burnt offerings. Moses was so angry at this return to the old ways that he called for all those still loyal:  “‘ Who is for Jehovah? - unto me!' and all the sons of Levi are gathered unto him; and he saith to them, ‘Thus said Jehovah, God of Israel, Put each his sword by his thigh, pass over and turn back from gate to gate through the camp, and slay each his brother, and each his friend, and each his relation '”(Exodus 32 Young’s Literal Translation).

Moses destroying the tables by James Tissot (1896–1902)(Public Domain)

Moses destroying the tables by James Tissot (1896–1902)( Public Domain )

Three thousand people were slain as a direct result of the people falling back on their old gods in a moment of weakness. Despite the Israelites being his ‘chosen’ people, it is hard not to imagine that the former prince of Egypt still carried that disdain that all Egyptians seemed to hold for foreigners. To Moses the right way was also an Egyptian way, and what was to eventually become Judaism started out with a strong Egyptian flavor.

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Ted Loukes is an independent researcher with a passion for ancient civilizations. After publishing his first book Moses and Akhenaten: Brothers in Alms , his passion for Egypt led to the creation of GnT Tours, running small private tours to the Tombs and Temples of the sprawling necropolis on the West Bank, Luxor, burial place of many of the kings and queens from Egypt's New Kingdom, including Tutankhamun and Rameses the Great. His latest book Forty Days in Egypt in the Time of Corona was a result of getting stranded as the world went into lockdown with Covid19

Top Image : The Adoration of the Golden Calf – Picture from the Hortus deliciarum of Herrad of Landsberg (12th century) ( Public Domain )

By Ted Loukes

Comments

Jonathon Perrin's picture

Hey Ted,

Great piece! Thank-you for continuing to connect Judaism back to the Amarna regime, in the tradition of Osman, Feather, and Freud. There are just so many fascinating links, such as the Levites (and their relation to the serpents Leviathan and Nehushtan), and both physical and ideological motifs.

I personally feel the best way to explain these links is by associating Moses with Akhenaten, and not Aaron, as you have hinted at.

I would caution one thing. You said: "Before then, stories were handed down orally, allowing much to be changed..."

However, we know that writing was prominent in the upper class in Egypt and at Amarna, and it is highly likely that Israel began as a literate society, at least in its upper echelons. Writing and scrolls would have, I believe, formed an important part of early Israelite society, adding to its historical legitimacy. One example comes from Exodus 17:14 after the defeat of the Amalekites: "Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered."

Check out "Moses Restored" for more info, and thank-you for all your great research!
Cheers,
Jonathon

Hello Alan,

The execution of the 3,000 reminds me of another time in The Bible, when God through His prophet Samuel; commands of the first King of Israel Saul, to go forth and Drive the Amalekites too extinction.

It seems that God hadn't forgotten what The Amalekites did to Israel on their Journey to The Promised Land.

God commanded of Moses to make a record of what happened to the People of Israel, because of the unprovoked attack by the Amalekites (shockingly these Amalekites were Cousin's to Israel Esau was there Fore-Father I got the impression the the Other Edomites did not care for Amalek very much either).

True to God's word in Exodus Chapter 20 when The Lord declared I Am the Lord Thy God whom brought thee out from Egypt; who delivered You from Egyptian Bondage punishing the iniquities of the father's upon the 3rd and 4th generations.

Translation God means 300 to 400 years in to the Future. There's even a part in The Bible where God Commands The Israelites not too marry Ammonites or Moabites not even till the 1000 generations don't go anywhere near them.

Israel ignored that Command from God as well.

So when God commanded of King Saul to blot out The Amalekites from The Earth through The Prophet Samuel it was 300 years to the day when Amalek attacked their Fore-Fathers.

King Saul did not obey this Heavenly Command from God He spared the Amalek King. Samuel executed the king himself.

The damage was done, 500 years later Queen Esther has a problem The Prime Minister Haman puts out a Death Decree aimed solely at the Jews living in The Medo-Persian Empire this Decree even reaches 12 different Providences of Ethiopia and India. If Saul would have did what God told him to do there wouldn't have Been an Haman for Haman was a great-grandson of the king whose life Saul spared.

Human wise we'd look at that and say we need evidence of this Crime that has or is going to happen before taking devise action.

Should we really chance waiting and then wind up with The Holocaust in Nazi, Germany before & during
World War II, The Killing Fields of Cambodia, The Lost Children of Sudan, Rwandaa an Somalia?

All Moses did was follow God's Command nothing Moses did was without God's Permission; that's why God punished Moses an his brother Aaron because He stood by and allowed Moses to Strike The Rock where which Water flowed for The People.

All this took place in The 38th year of their Wandering in the Desert for 40 years; that's how long it took for God, to get Egypt, out of Israel.

Moses couldn't enter into The Earthly Promised Land because of The Water Mess with The Rock but, after Moses died looking over to The Promised Land Michael fought against Lucifer for His Body and simply Resurrected Moses taking The Prophet right too God's Country.

Moses actions will always be judged by humans but in the End Moses actions at Mt. Sinai is Judged by God if Moses had been in The Wrong when Executing those 3,000 God Himself would have Executed Moses before All the People.

Always gets me how Moses killed three thousand people just after getting the Ten Commandments which say 'Thou shalt not kill'!

Hello Ted,

This was an Interesting article to read thank you for sharing it.

I'm always fascinated by the things made known in The Bible; such as The Great Flood which God did to purge the Earth from the destructive curse of Sin that ravage Earth nothing with The Breath of Life was un-touch by Sin and we know only Eight People and a few assorted animals an birds survived in The Ark were found Worthy to begin Life A New.

Then there was this mystery a little further in The Bible Sodom & Gomorrah could someone's amoral behavior matter that much to God that Five Cities get blotted out from Earth (it's interesting too note, Jesus said it would be more bearable for The People of Sodom, Tyre, Sidon on The Day of Judgement, than for This World) apparently yes it does.

Then when reading The Bible there's the puzzlement of Job like the part when God has a Meeting with His Sons who represent different Worlds an Universes where Lucifer just show up in the Middle of that Meeting.

Never mind the Fact he wasn't even invited too it but He claimed That Earth was His then decides to torment Job for not being like everybody else on Earth worshipping the very one he has too ask permission too torcher remember God said Lucifer couldn't Kill Job.

Naturally Job passed that Test and got back ten times more than what He lost how infuriated Lucifer must have been.

Then their was a mystery I never thought would be solved for instance, it wasn't till eight years ago, I finally realized who the Samaritans are.

I had listened to the story of Jesus and The Samaritan Woman at The Well first in Bible Study, followed by Sunday school, and then later when I became Seventh Day Adventist Sabbath School.

During the Church Service Epic Sermons preached in the Pulpit by Pastors on this one specific encounter throughout The Entire Bible however, not one of these Pastors ever said who the Samaritans are.

As far back as The Old Testament, in Ezra and Nehemiah; the Samaritans along with the women were often identified as Foreign Women or Strange Wives when God's chosen people continually married them well the men did.

So what was it that puzzled me about The Samaritan Woman at The Well? Jacobs Well.

The Samaritan Woman said Our Father Jacob dug this Well are you Sir greater than our Father Jacob?

So as I said Eight years ago, I re-read Joshua and Judges for the hundredths time and I see that Joseph was finally buried in Shecmeh by Ephraim and Manessah.

Which meant that the Samaritans are Joseph's great-grandchildren although, it is believed Manessah may be living in India and because of The Book of Esther that idea is plausible.

It was a real pleasure to recognize who the Samaritans are but then there's other aspects of The Bible that I find incredible, for example, like The Mystery of The Covenants.

In your article you mention Moses overreacting to The Bull-Calf? That makes sense in The Secular World that would be seen as not a big deal.

Can we take a moment an examine The Biblical World? Up side for me is that I see The World through The Lens of The Bible so my perspective is going to come from The Bible and The relation to God and People.

I'll begin here in the few hours that Israel was delivered from Egyptian Bondage, after, 430 year's with The Death of The First Born of Egypt by the Angel of Death (definitely not an Angel I'd ever want to meet in the Day time or Night time).

As Moses following that Pillar of Cloud by Day and Pillar of Fire by Night leading all 600,000 Children of Israel to The Promised Land, but, First making a Pit stop at Mt. Sinai, God immediately begins to teach Israel what is expected of Them as His Chosen People.

Lesson 1 They were to be a Peculiar Treasure upon The Earth.
Lesson 2 They were to be an Holy People with God emphasizing this lesson from Exodus to Deuteronomy by declaring My Holy People: Translation as with Christians today Israel was to be In the World but they weren't to act or behave after the ways of The World Secular World.

It is through The Book of Leviticus that we learn God's interpretation of what's Holy what a Un-Holy or better yet what is Healthy what is Un-Healthy.

Lesson 3 Israel was not too make any binding agreements with the Canaanites or marry The Canaanites in Christian talk Believers are never marry those who know not God or Un-believers as The Bible says Be Not Unequally Yoked.

So after those 3 lessons are shared with all of Israel the people then converge on Mt. Sinai. Because Israel had lingered in Egypt for 430 years their identity was 100 percent Egyptian rather than Israel God wanted to restore what they'd loss from being enslaved.

The purpose of why God not Moses led Israel there to Mt. Sinai is too re-affirm The Covenant. So there it is the mysterious Covenant. Let's examine this Covenant shall we?

The first Covenant is bestowed upon The First Parents Adam and Eve after their Sin in Eden, that is to promise The Coming of a Redeemer of course this is the first Prophecy of The Coming of Jesus to save The World from Sin way back in Eden.

2nd Covenant God makes with Humanity is The Rainbow in The Sky as reminder He will never destroy The World again with Water after The Great Flood.

3rd Covenant is between God and Abraham in fact God made a series of Covenants with Abraham. We know that Covenants are a binding contract between two or more parties each side pledges to do this and this for the other and in turn the second or 4th party pledges to do that and that for the other party.

The 5th Covenant is with King David and later His Son King Solomon including The Promise that the Messiah would come through David's Bloodline.

6th Covenant God does a complete 180 an makes a Pledge to Ethiopia through His Prophet Zephaniah and believe Me it's awesome.

7th Covenant made by God is to all of Humanity like with The Rainbow in The Sky after The Great Flood; which is found in The Book of Daniel chapter 2, chapter 7 and all the rest of Daniel Prophecy. This is why I call the Covenants Mysterious.

We who are Christians have a Covenant as well with The Savior share the Gospel tell everybody the good news of salvation and to seal our binding agreement with Jesus we get baptized and we become God's Children we physically, mentally, and Spiritually belong Jesus this is the sign of our Covenant.

So At Mt. Sinai this is exactly what happens God comes to His Chosen people encompassed by all the Angels simply too
re-affirm The Covenant that God made with their Fore-Father Abraham 630 years before their time.

Everything God said He would do for his People God Pledged and The People in Turn Pledge to honor their side of the Covenant and The Commandments of God besides which they all agreed that God will be Their God.

When Israel accepted the Terms of the Covenant it was a Spiritual Marriage with God so less than 48 hours into Their Spiritual Marriage to God They Committed Adultery by worshipping that Bull-Calf adding insult to injury declared that the bull-calf was what brought them out from Egypt.

Moses followed the commandments of God obeyed him and yes 3000 people were executed led by Joshua from the Tribe of Ephraim.

It wasn't Moses fault the people had to wander in The Desert for 40 year's, Moses paid a hefty price for without God's permission striking the Rock to bring Water from The Rock for the ungrateful people.

God is No Respecters of Persons Thank God for that Loving Blessing.

There is a rebellion mentioned in The Book of Numbers about The Leadership of Moses led by His First Cousin Korah of Kotath and his partner in crime Dathan from The Tribe of Reuben and thanks to Dr. Henry Louis Gates. Jr. Through Dr. Gates His Finding your Root's program a man is related to this Korah of the Kotathites which means He's a Levite.

So God not Moses had Earth open Her Mouth and swallow Korah and his family while Dathan from the Tribe of Reuben and 3000 others died by plague from God by trying to take Moses position which God gave Moses the mantle too lead.

Only God could take Moses leadership away.

Of course this is my examination and understanding of Moses and The Bull-Calf in The Bible.

By the way whatever Faith one follows All appear to maintain their Covenants of those Faiths.

Again I see through The Lens of The Bible this is my perspective and your perspective Mr. Ted is vast and unique.
If what I wrote offends you that wasn't my intention so I apologize ahead of Time. I was sharing my thoughts.

Looking forward to reading more of your articles Sir thank you for sharing, Goodbye!

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