Parallels Between The Jewish Fall Festival And Akhenaten’s Royal Jubilee
A deep mystery haunts the origins and rituals of the Jewish Fall Festivals: Rosh Hashanah (New Year), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), and Sukkot. Representing more than individual holidays, these festivals comprise a three-week period in autumn marked by holiness, remembrance, celebration, and joy. However, very little is known about how they came about. The Bible indicates Moses first decreed them, long before Israel became a country. Oddly, Moses was vague when explaining why, and in many cases he provided no reason at all. This leaves a peculiar void when trying to explain the meaning of these enigmatic Jewish ceremonies. For example, why shout and blow the shofar ram’s horn on Rosh Hashanah ? Why focus on personal death and rebirth on Yom Kippur ? Why build a wooden structure out of plants and then celebrate in it with family on Sukkot? Without a new understanding of the past, any answers remain frustratingly elusive.
Depiction of the Heb-Sed of Senusret III (1878-1839 BC) showing the king in his baldachin as both king of Upper and Lower Egypt, and receiving the gift of palm ribs from Horus and Set. These signify long rule. ( Soutekh67/ CC BY-SA 4.0 )
Link To Akhenaten’s Heb-Sed
The current author proposes a radical new theory: that these rituals and observances seem ancient because they are ancient, and that the three weeks of fall festivals actually represent one single memorial period of Pharaoh Akhenaten’s Royal Jubilee Festival, or Heb-Sed. This was a multi-week-long coronation-renewal event celebrated across Egypt and was very similar to how the early Israelites viewed their autumnal holy days: as one single festival with several holidays marking its key points. This would have only been possible if Akhenaten, the monotheistic sun pharaoh is connected with Moses, the monotheistic Hebrew lawgiver. There is an astounding array of parallels between Jewish fall celebrations and those of the ancient Egyptian Jubilee festival.
Egyptian Royal Heb-Sed
The Egyptian Heb-Sed, Festival of Sed, or Jubilee, was a kingship-renewal ceremony that was usually held after a pharaoh ruled for 30 years. Edouard Naville first studied it in 1892, and it entailed, as Egyptologist Greg Reeder explains: “ a rejuvenation of the king and, by proxy, all of Egypt.”
For the price of a cup of coffee, you get this and all the other great benefits at Ancient Origins Premium. And - each time you support AO Premium, you support independent thought and writing.
Jonathon Perrin is a petroleum geologist who has helped excavate numerous prehistoric Native sites in Canada. With a degree in geology and archaeology, his passion is writing about ancient mysteries and uncovering the subverted truths of history. He is the author of Moses Restored: The Oldest Religious Secret Never Told ,
Top Image: Deriv: Moses overlooks the three Fall Festivals that he initiated in the Torah: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. Michelangelo’s Moses ( Westerdam/ CC BY-SA 4.0 ); Rosh Hashanah, from the Holiday Series: Six Paintings of Jewish Holidays by Arthur Szyk ( Public Domain ); Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur, by Maurycy Gottlieb, 1878; ( Public Domain ) Im Gebet beim Laubhüttenfest, by Paula Gans, 1920, ( Public Domain )