Monday, April 11, 2005

Who was Abraham? (9)

Based on the works of scholars, who will be revealed when the blogging for this topic ends. Works of other authors may be included, but where these are done, full acknowledgement will be made.

Advice: Those who may take offence in seeing biblical (OT) quotations or liberal discussion of OT biblical characters should not read this topic.

The Book of Genesis shows so many discrepancies and inconsistencies that many wondered why or what the authors were up to. Even Sigmund Freud, yes that famous father of psycho-analysis, noticed the puzzling way the biblical personalities and events were written up.

As a Jew, Freud was invariably interested in the story of the Jews’ greatest prophet. He wasn’t satisfied with the biblical tale of Moses. He might not have been the first to notice the weird and bizarre discrepancies, but he was probably the first to put his observations into print. In 1937 he published his thoughts on the matter in a book titled Moses and Monotheism.

Let us leap forward from the Abraham story to Moses because of the involvement of Freud, one of the greatest minds in modern history. His observations will also have a bearing on our discussion.

As the Book of Exodus tells us, the reigning Pharaoh was getting worried with the way “the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.” (Exodus 1:7)

After a number of failed attempts to curb their population explosion, he decided to kill all male Hebrew children.

"And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive." (Exodus 1:22)

Moses was born of a Levi family. His mother hid him for as long as she could from the massacre commanded by Pharaoh. When she felt she could not do so successfully any more, she built a small ark made of bulrushes, water proofed it, placed Moses in the floating basket, and set it among the rushes near the Nile’s bank, whence the Pharaoh’s daughter chanced upon the basket, saw and adopted the child, named him Moses meaning ‘I drew him out of the water’.

Now, a royal person such as the Pharaoh’s daughter wasn’t exactly given to nursing an infant, so Miriam, Moses' sister, who was strategically lurking nearby and waiting for the right moment, approached Her Royal Highness, offering a wet nurse service which the princess happily accepted. Of course Moses' real mother played the role of the nurse. Everything fell comfortably into place, and Moses grew up not only safe from the Pharaoh’s slaughter but as an Egyptian prince.

Sigmund Freud thought it was all a bit fishy, and that was not because of the Nile. In his book Moses And Monotheism, he wrote on his personal feelings regarding his exposé on Moses:

"To deny a people the man whom it praises as the greatest of its sons is not a deed to be undertaken light-heartedly, especially by one belonging to that people"

He agonised that as a Jew, he was about to disabuse the Jewish people with his discerning observations on the true origin of their greatest prophet.

Sigmund Freud believed Moses was not a Hebrew but an Egyptian.

To be continued ……..

1 comment:

  1. Not a Jew but an Egyptian? Hmm where did Freud get that idea?

    Anyway, just to say Hi, and that I;ve resumed blogging.

    Look me up!