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The origin of Israel

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mikebis View Drop Down
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    Posted: 24 Oct 2015 at 09:34
I conducted an online research comparing Merneptah Stele, the battle reliefs surrounding the text of the peace treaty between Egypt and Hatti after the Battle of Kadesh, and the results of the archaeological survey of the so-called central hill country of Israel. 

Merneptah Stele glorifies the pharaoh who defended Egypt from all its foes. The last stanza focuses on his campaign in Canaan, where three city-states launched a rebellion against the Egyptians. This uprising was fiercely suppressed. Among other things, the speaker mentions a clash with "Israel", an ethnic group, which the Egyptian army allegedly crashed. The stele dates back to the end of the 13 century BCE and for the first time refers to the title "Israel". We can come to the conclusion that by that time the Israelites are settled presumably in the hill country and are considered as a threat to the Egyptian control of Canaan. 

To be continued... 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Oct 2015 at 16:18
Looking forward to reading more about it....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mikebis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2015 at 09:40
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Looking forward to reading more about it....
Dear Franciscosan,
I promised to elaborate on this topic: The Generation of Exodus or why the proud pharaoh clashed with stiff-necked Asiatic squatters.  
The battle scenes flanking the peace treaty between Ramesses II and Muwatalli II of Hatti were engraved on a stele in the Karnak Temple in Thebes much later; they have no connection with the agreement signed ca. 1275 in the aftermath of the Battle of Kadesh. These reliefs concern the uprising of Canaanite "princes" against the Egyptian overlord who can be only Merneptah. In this case, they should be contemporary with the Victory stele of this pharaoh. They contain four battle scenes against three cities, one of them is explicitly named as Ashkelon and a pitch battle in the countryside. The Victory stele is more generous in details and adds the names of Gezer, Yenoam, and Israel. We should bear in mind that Merneptah reigned about 10 years and only once invaded the Land of Canaan. Also, in the Amada stele, he is dubbed "the reducer of Gezer". All these sources refer to the same rebellion and describe how it was routed. 
Canaan was the Egyptian province. The local power was divided between several dozens of "princes" who argued with each other over the control of land and population and often appealed to the overlord with a request to fix the order. The pharaoh tended not to be involved as long as Egyptian interests were safe. Otherwise, he didn't hesitate to send an army to pacify the fighting parties. 
The pitch battle against the Israelites should have been conducted in the hill country where according to the archaeolofical survey were located their agricultural settlements. Since they had no towns, they are termed as a distinct ethnic group but not as a foreign power as the other enemies. I checked for any traces of "foreign" influence but haven't discovered any. The Israelites are wearing Cannanite angle-length clothes. They cannot be nomads as they were living in permanent settlements and growing grain. They spoke one of the West Semitic languages. They warshipped Caananite gods. They didn't differ from the rest Caanites neither in their mode of life nor in their culture. I came to the conclusion that they were local farmers who had to leave their homes in the coastal area in search of safer life in the highlands. They weren't slaves and could move house. They escaped Egyptian oppression since in the hill country there were no permanent Egyptian troops. They were farmers and adapted their methods to the new environment of the highland agriculture. Two centuries later, they became united to form the first Israelite monarchy. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2015 at 09:48
Interesting stuff.  I suspect that your orthodox citizens are none to pleased with your take on history? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mikebis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2015 at 21:00
Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

Interesting stuff.  I suspect that your orthodox citizens are none to pleased with your take on history? 
Absolutely! Not that I care. A funny thing is, my research shows that the Israelites had been living in the Holy Land from time immemorial. However, in my studies I try to hide any political preferences and get focused on sheer history. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2015 at 21:22
You are an interesting guy, I'm going to give you a little plug I hope you don't mind.

Dawn and Sunset: Insight Into the Mystery of the Early Mesopotamian Civilization

http://www.amazon.com/Dawn-Sunset-Insight-Mesopotamian-Civilization/dp/1612040640

Have you seen this TV segment?

The Bible's Buried Secrets

"These tantalizing connections are leading biblical scholars to re-examine the Exodus story. While there is no evidence to support a mass migration, some now believe that a small group did escape from Egypt; however, they were not Israelites but, rather, Canaanite slaves."

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/bibles-buried-secrets.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mikebis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2015 at 16:40
Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

You are an interesting guy, I'm going to give you a little plug I hope you don't mind.

Dawn and Sunset: Insight Into the Mystery of the Early Mesopotamian Civilization

http://www.amazon.com/Dawn-Sunset-Insight-Mesopotamian-Civilization/dp/1612040640

Have you seen this TV segment?

The Bible's Buried Secrets

"These tantalizing connections are leading biblical scholars to re-examine the Exodus story. While there is no evidence to support a mass migration, some now believe that a small group did escape from Egypt; however, they were not Israelites but, rather, Canaanite slaves."

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/bibles-buried-secrets.html
I am grateful for you for citing my book. This is the first edition. The second one is called "Dawn and Sunset: A Tale of the Oldest Cities in the Near East". I am discussing some topics of this work in another thread of this section called Civilization. It says nothing about the origin of Israel.

I don't remember watching this particular segment, but I did an online research on this subject. The outcoming is overwhelming: there was no such thing as a mass Exodus from Egypt. The Bible supplies a series of myths regarding the origin of Israel. I was trying to take a glimpse at actual processes that occurred in the Land of Canaan in the second half of the 13th century BCE. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote truthsetsfree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 2015 at 23:03

I am only posting a quick comment/contribution, i don't want to get involved in having to spend masses of time replying to "discrediting" attacks.

It is not true that there is no [evidence of] such thing as a mass exodus [of Israelites] from Egypt. I can't comment on the "Canaanite slaves" because not sure what "exodus" they are refering to (what event, what dynasty?)
I am pretty sure i found Moses in picture and glyphs in the pectoral of Sit-Hathor-Yunet (see my blog post picture, link i my forum profil i think. Its been sitting there for months but is ignored by everyone as usual.)

19th dynasty is far too late in Egyptian/Biblical history for Israel first appearing, though i a sense it may be true that it first appeared as a nation state in recorded history in time of United Monarchy.
Shishak was pretty certainly either Ramses 2 or Seti.
Merneptah & Israel stele may possibly connect with Zerah/Asa (&/or Menelik?) in my light research. Also, David Rohl suggested that horses/chariots in the stele suggest time not before Solomon?

"Any truly objective scholar/historian (not just "critic") would/should objectively & fully look to see if there is (or is not) any historical match/verification of sources like the bible, "Nennius", Herodotus, Atlantis Account, etc." - me.

"Controlling history is so important because if you manipulate how people see what we call the past, you will influence massively how they see the present."
"He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future." - ?

"archaeology is not a science its a vendetta".

"Countries that destroy their past deserve no future" - [Sir WS Churchill?]

"What is history but a fable agreed upon?" - Napoleon Bonaparte

"[O]ne of the quickest ways to create a major impact in academe is to prove the truth of something that has hitherto been derided or dismissed." - Ronald Hutton.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote truthsetsfree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 2015 at 23:09
p.s. There may indeed be truth to that biblical sort of comes from Sumerian though. My research suggests that all mythologies including biblical came from Sumerian. This doesn't mean that Genesis 1-11 are not true, it just means it came via Sumerian or that Sumerian is the original one language. Sorry i can't give away any more info on my recent finds on this until i have got enough for it not to be stolen/beaten-to, though i have already previously posted some on some forums and blogs/sites. David Rohl and David Fasold and Z Sitchin in some ways were maybe somewhat right in this too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 2015 at 02:48
I agree there is a certain anti religion bias in modern scholarship.  The people you refer to as critics however are justified in part by the ridiculous claims religious text make.  If you believe that woman were created from the rib of a man or that a single man saved all animal life from a world wide flood you are unlikely to be taken seriously by any critical thinker.

Putting the ridiculous mythology aside I think the most discrediting element of the biblical texts is the idea of a chosen people.  The chosen people concept is an almost universal attribute of tribal societies and is manifested in the nationalism of modern states.  The modern science of DNA has general discredit the idea of race let alone ethnic physical superiority and many people are questioning cultural superiority.  Scholars today are expected to look at biblical history with the same critical eye they would apply to any creation myth or claims of special relationships with gods or goddesses.  Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence is the modern standard for researchers.     
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2015 at 04:08
I think wolfie, that you are misunderstanding "Chosenness," chosenness does not necessarily mean that you are better people, it means that God has a higher standard of behavior and ethics for you than He does for an ordinary schmuck.  Of course, what that means is different depending on what kind of Jew, or Christian, or Muslim you are.  It also blurs into secular Judaism, as one sees a lot of reformers coming from a secular Jewish background.
Think of Jewish "chosenness" as being like Swiss neutrality, if you are Swiss, the neutrality can be a pain in the backside.  Swiss citizens would like to weigh in on international political issues, but their nation's stance of neutrality prevents them from doing so.  Likewise, the Jewish "chosenness" can be a pain, again even for secular Jews.  One cannot easily give up on chosenness, and still identify with being a Jew, even in their rebellions to anarchism or communism, there still is that ethical tinge.
Zionism is something different.  With Israel, I worry about Judaism putting its eggs all in one basket.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2015 at 05:15
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I think wolfie, that you are misunderstanding "Chosenness," chosenness does not necessarily mean that you are better people, it means that God has a higher standard of behavior and ethics for you than He does for an ordinary schmuck.  Of course, what that means is different depending on what kind of Jew, or Christian, or Muslim you are.  It also blurs into secular Judaism, as one sees a lot of reformers coming from a secular Jewish background.
Think of Jewish "chosenness" as being like Swiss neutrality, if you are Swiss, the neutrality can be a pain in the backside.  Swiss citizens would like to weigh in on international political issues, but their nation's stance of neutrality prevents them from doing so.  Likewise, the Jewish "chosenness" can be a pain, again even for secular Jews.  One cannot easily give up on chosenness, and still identify with being a Jew, even in their rebellions to anarchism or communism, there still is that ethical tinge.
Zionism is something different.  With Israel, I worry about Judaism putting its eggs all in one basket.

Sorry I but have heard it all before (Catholic School and some well educated priest) and I'm not buying it.  The idea of a chosen people is most often mentioned in relationship to leaving egypt and being granted a new piece of real estate.  I see little difference between the concepts expressed than say the Black Hills being the sacred land of the Sioux.  In the end it is little more than justification for tribal warfare. 

What you are describing is an explanation for why God keeps "punishing" them as it seems being on the side of God is not very helpful and sure to confuse a lot of the "faithful". 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2015 at 03:44
You don't have to buy it.  But even if you are talking about a "well-educated priest," you're talking about someone that a Jew would consider as being outside of the Jewish Covenant, and "worse" someone who (as a Christian) has appropriated the covenant and "heretically" re-interpreted it (in the Jewish opinion).  Don't get me wrong, I am Christian, but Jews have a mixed opinion of Christians.  In someways, they recognize that Christians appreciate the Law, and that is good, but how Christians appreciate it, with the whole New Testament (which sometimes includes anti-semitism), they don't _necessarily_ care for all that.
Chosenness was a topic that my religion professor addressed.  I took it from a visiting Jewish professor (both a class on Hebrew Bible and NT).  And basically the answer I gave was what he said, these were the first classes he ever taught in a long carrier still going on today, and I think that because he was young and these were his first classes, he was quite forthright in his presentation.  So whether you _accept_ his rationale is one thing, but as far as it being an authentic Jewish depiction of what they "philosophically" view as chosenness, I have no doubt about that.

And no, he wasn't talking about Israel, there are some Jews that are very uneasy about Israel.  The Messiah is supposed to come first, and _then_ lead everyone to the promised land.  Founding Israel first, and then expecting the Messiah to show up, is doing things backwards.  You may not consider that important, but it is important for a whole fairly devout section of Judaism.  If the mid-eastern Gordion knot is ever going to get untied, it is going to be untied by someone who is able to make fine distinctions (and therefore alliances) with different groups.  That means across religions, and also across the secular/sacred divide.

In Hebrew Bible class, there was some girl that was going on about Israelis.  The professor said, no, no, the Israelites, the Israelis are those guys who carry Uzis on the West Bank.  So there you go with a historical distinction, Israelites are those ancients who smited Canaanites (in stories in the Bible), Israelis are those moderns who carry Uzis.

btw, I took both Hebrew Bible (OT) and NT from a visiting _Jewish_ professor, because I didn't want to feel like I was being preached at.  He didn't preach, but he did give sound arguments for the way things are the way they are.  I mean the rationales behind some of the laws, or the stories.  (Although there are prohibitions against coming up with rationales, because that can be the first step to explaining the Law away.)  One does not have to accept such arguments, but to say that religion does not make any sense at all is just being contentious.
I think Jacob is just as real as, say, Agememnon or Achilles.  Some people think that there is a historical kernel in the story of the Trojan War.  Maybe there is, maybe there isn't.  There is a certain amount of versimlitude to any story (and a certain amount of the fantastic or improbable element. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2015 at 04:47
"religion does not make any sense at all is just being contentious."

First I wanted to make it clear that I was familiar with the arguments your religion professor is making.  I then explained why I felt it was likely that those arguments were incorporated in the religious dogma to explain away the inconsistency, and apparent capriciousness of the Jewish god.  If the Jewish god was particularly unique I don't think my argument would have much merit.  I will make several more detailed comparisons to put a finer point on my argument.

In response to Kenneth L. Woodward's article entitled Countless Souls Cry Out to God, published in Newsweek which referred to the tsunami of December 26, 2004.  Hindu theologians responded as follows.  "Adversity may be approached as the ultimate teacher, rather than as a calamity in which foolish people are "controlled by the play of capricious deities." Humanity should be humbled by the people of any faith who lose everything, yet in their loss--even if only for a few moments in a broader scale of time--bring the world together in compassion."

http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=1406

Every religion must find an explanation for  "the play of capricious deities" some try to placate their gods by ripping the hearts out of multiple victims others throw virgins into volcanoes.  More "sophisticated" religions such as Hinduism turn natural disasters into "learning" experiences.  I don't find your professors explanation that much different as the trials and tribulation of the jews are seen as just a step toward a messiah who will "lead everyone to the promised land".   

When dealing with sophisticated theologians it is wise to keep an eye on the uses and misuses of logic.  They are very intelligent people but often their theology only "makes sense" within it's own context.

Religion is of course not the only aspect of human affairs where logic is misused by first creating an imaginary universe for it's logic to work within.  Scientist and politicians do the same thing all the time but they can be challenged because their "theology" does not work withing a framework of faith and divine inspiration that is unassailable if accepted.

Keep in mind I'm not as hostile to religion as you make me appear and certainly not in the same league as "militant" atheists.  I simply suggest that religion is best understood as a cultural aesthetic like music and art.  What is religion other than drama with all the backdrops of ritual and iconology?  The "spiritual" well being of humans demands more than dry deduction.

Contrary to the popular opinion of some scientists and intellectuals the intellect is nurtured by the emotional stimulation of art.  Philosophy and poetry make the soul of a man.         

   





Edited by wolfhnd - 12 Nov 2015 at 04:49
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2015 at 07:40
I know the OP ask that we not get sidetracked but I will address how the current discussion is related later. 

I'm going to quote from a philosophical paper to illustrate the point franciscosan is trying to make when we define religion as "spirituality" shared.

The sapient mind: archaeology meets neuroscience

"The transcendental social element requires the ability to identify and interact with each other not in terms of how people appear to the senses at any articular moment but as if they were something else: astronomers, magicians, priests or transcendental beings. According to Bloch, it is in those  transcendental roles where the fundamental difference between human and, for instance, chimpanzee sociability lies. Moreover, the fundamental operation that underpins and makes possible this transcendental element of human sociality and by extension the phenomenon of religion is the capacity for imagination. Thus, it is only through understanding the neurological evidence for the development of this capacity and of its social implications that we will account for religious-like phenomena."



“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

Albert Einstein

What the philosophical author is trying to add to Einstein's quip is the importance of sociability in cognitive competence.  We could ask two related questions.  Is philosophy other than the philosophy of science any longer useful to understand our universe?  Is religion any longer useful in creating the kind of cultural relationships that inspire the "transcendental element of human sociality"?  The role of imagination in cognitive competence I don't believe is disputed but emotional health being another important component how is it related to art, music, or the drama of religion?

 


Edited by wolfhnd - 12 Nov 2015 at 07:45
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2015 at 19:18
For some reason, I think that Moses did not say, "hmm, if I follow this Yahweh dude, what is in it for me?" (or, how is it "useful.")  In India, it is believed that yoga is about a lot more than housewives in spandex using it as exercise routines.  You don't have to believe in it, but you should recognize that _they_ believed in it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2015 at 22:26
From watching the Nova special, I find it interesting how few Israel and Israelite 'references' appear.  Of course, there are other references that did not fit the story line, the waterworks in Jerusalem inscription.  the wine seals, to mention a few.  Stuff that has an archaeological basis, but isn't as dramatic as what was shown.  My question though is that, why isn't there more stuff?  Is my perception about how much there should be, is faulty?  Is it just the accidents of survival?  Or could it be that Jewish iconoclasm (and later Christian and Islamic iconoclasm) has cleared out a lot of the inscriptions we might otherwise find?

We should recognize that if the Dead Sea Scrolls were found 100 years earlier, they would either have been considered heretical by the Jewish community, or they would be too torn up to preserve and would be put in geniza (and then later buried) to decay away.  We do have historical reports of ms being found and ignored or even destroyed as heretical or supposedly being a duplication of what the Jewish community already had (same would be true of Christian or Islamic communities).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 2015 at 05:20
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

For some reason, I think that Moses did not say, "hmm, if I follow this Yahweh dude, what is in it for me?" (or, how is it "useful.")  In India, it is believed that yoga is about a lot more than housewives in spandex using it as exercise routines.  You don't have to believe in it, but you should recognize that _they_ believed in it.

I have serious doubt that Moses is a historical figure?  I accept the fact that you must believe he is.

I'm not going to spend a lot of time convincing anybody either way.  77 percent of American's believe aliens have visited earth and I'm not very concerned about that either.  It's a question of priorities so I will spend some time convincing people not to send their life savings to evangelists, that they should not follow the political advise of the pope, that it isn't ok to stone/behead adulterers and homosexuals, etc.

What I was talking about was the objective evaluation of archeology related to religion.  More importantly I was trying to sort out the role of religious beliefs on human and cultural evolution.  One of the points I was trying to make is that it appears that what your religious beliefs are is not as important as how the drama of religion stimulates the imagination similarly to art and music and how that translated into emotions important to sociability. 

   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mikebis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 2015 at 05:27
Hi guys. I'm glad that my thoughts have provoked such an outstanding discussion. I think that some of you have inserted their political or religious views into their arguments. This is another topic which, in my view, has little to do with my findings. I used only open sources available for any consistent user. What guided my way was the sincere research even if it would find something "awkward". The Exodus story is a historical myth but it was used by the Hebrew Bible to enhabce the national solidarity. It was repeatedly utilized in different traditions to showcase the passage from slavery to freedom. To use it to support historical evidence is nonsense since myths and facts are fancifully intermingled to create a new reality. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 2015 at 05:53
Originally posted by mikebis mikebis wrote:

Hi guys. I'm glad that my thoughts have provoked such an outstanding discussion. I think that some of you have inserted their political or religious views into their arguments. This is another topic which, in my view, has little to do with my findings. I used only open sources available for any consistent user. What guided my way was the sincere research even if it would find something "awkward". The Exodus story is a historical myth but it was used by the Hebrew Bible to enhabce the national solidarity. It was repeatedly utilized in different traditions to showcase the passage from slavery to freedom. To use it to support historical evidence is nonsense since myths and facts are fancifully intermingled to create a new reality. 

Forgive us we can't help ourselves Wink

I promise if I have time to make the mythology relevant.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mikebis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 2015 at 14:14
Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

Originally posted by mikebis mikebis wrote:

Hi guys. I'm glad that my thoughts have provoked such an outstanding discussion. I think that some of you have inserted their political or religious views into their arguments. This is another topic which, in my view, has little to do with my findings. I used only open sources available for any consistent user. What guided my way was the sincere research even if it would find something "awkward". The Exodus story is a historical myth but it was used by the Hebrew Bible to enhabce the national solidarity. It was repeatedly utilized in different traditions to showcase the passage from slavery to freedom. To use it to support historical evidence is nonsense since myths and facts are fancifully intermingled to create a new reality. 

Forgive us we can't help ourselves Wink

I promise if I have time to make the mythology relevant.
I believe that time is never a real problem. Maybe, it's a lack of desire to change anything because it takes too much effort. I think that there are some points that I can accept but your position is not quite clear. If you insist, I can forgive you, but for me mythology is relevant. Only I have to add: relevant as fiction, not as a historical reality. 
MB
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2018 at 23:59
Menreptah Stele is 13th century, but Mikebis, you say that Israel has been around since time immemorial.  How do you trace back Israel/Israelites to before 13th century BC?  Is there any historicity to the Moses tale?  'mse' means 'son of' in Egyptian, like Ramses or Thutmose, so there is a bit of detail that may be authentic in the story.  But can one gain any traction in looking at the story?  Historically.  There are plenty of mythological elements.  I don't mean anything derogatory by calling them mythological.  Noah has an ark, and Moses had his little personal ark.  In Greek philosophy, Thales went to Egypt, and other early philosophers reportedly went to Egypt.  Some scholars are skeptical about all those claims, so they might not all be true, on the other hand going to Egypt was the thing to do.  So why shouldn't the philosophers go to Egypt, and for that matter why shouldn't Joseph, or Jesus go too?  Of course, in Exodus, the pharaoh is just called 'the pharaoh,' so the intention of story is not historical.

I find the tale of Abraham to have much more substance.  The gods of Sumerians and the Babylonians ruled by committee, and so how could anything get done?  Abraham is breaking away from the Mesopotamian civilization, and he has to do it, by physically leaving, as well as 'spiritually' leaving.
But, for that matter when is Abraham supposed to be around?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2018 at 22:13
Reading [Fohrer?] I get a sense that the Exodus story had a special appeal to those coming back from the Babylonian Exile, while those who stayed, appealed more to the Abrahamic account.  The Joseph story is described as an Egyptian Romance, fitted into Genesis.  I don't know how much that is true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2018 at 01:39
The Samaritans look to Joseph, but being in the North, not to David or Solomon.  The Babylonian community was also influential after the Fall of the second Temple (Babylonian Talmud).

I worry about all the eggs of the Jewish community now being placed in one basket (modern Israel), and then a 'hive' mentality to complicate how the outside world is perceived.  
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