Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Who was Abraham? (16)

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.

Thus, as Ahmad Osman put it in his book, Moses and Akhenaten, the Egyptian-Hebrew descendants of the Hebrew Yuya (Joseph) were the 4 Pharaohs of the Amarna dynasty, sometimes also called Egypt’s Solar Kings.

They were respectively:

(1) Akhenaten (originally Amenhotep IV),

(2) Smenkhare, Akhenaten's son or half-brother. There have been medical evidence to indicate that Smenkhare was a brother of Tutankhamun,

(3) Tutankhamen (originally Tutankh-aten), Akhenaten's other son or perhaps like Smenkharre, a half-brother. Tutankhamun is the most famous Pharaoh in the world, after his tomb was discovered by Howard Carter,

(4) Ay, believed to be Akhenaten's father-in-law, and the son of Yuya (Joseph).

History showed that the existence of the Amarna dynasty was obliterated from Egyptian records, with its city, Akhetaten (today's Tel al-Amarna) completely dismantled. No one knew of its existence until the late 1887, more than 3000 years later, when an Egyptian woman gathering soil at Tel al-Amarna for gardening accidentally stumbled upon a set of clay tablets.

Osman attributed the complete erasure from records of the Amarna dynasty as a deliberate effort to hide the existence of its Pharaohs who had Hebrew blood.

On Akhenaten-Moses, Osman discussed in detail the numerous inconsistencies in the Bible and showed how the Koran, which was derived from the Torah, provided a different story for Moses. He attributed some of these inconsistencies to the poor understanding of the Egyptian language by the author of the Book of Exodus and some to the deliberate intention to hide the Egyptian origin of Moses because the Hebrew hadn't quite forgiven the sufferings of slavery under their Egyptian overlords.

We shall see later that there could be a third reason - that the authors did it deliberately to hide its prophets' Egyptian origin, but for a different reason.

Osman then brought up an interesting piece of information about Amenhotep IV (or as he subsequently renamed himself, Akhenaten).

It seems that Amenhotep IV did not straightaway worshipped Aten, an earlier aspect of the Sun God Ra (or Re) or rejected the worship of Amun. He was spurned by the Amun priesthood in the royal city of Thebes because of his part-Hebraic ancestry. Because of the growing hostility towards him from the Amun-ites, his family, probably his mother, Queen Tiye, urged him to run off to Lower Egypt, near the Delta region, to a frontier town called Zarw, where he stayed with relatives.

There he became influenced by the priesthood of Ra, whose centre was at Heliopolis or On (On is the Egyptian name while Heliopolis is Greek). The priests of On as worshippers of the Sun God would have influenced his religious beliefs. This was the same On, whose head priest married his daughter off to Joseph, son of Jacob.

"And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath-paaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On ..." (Genesis 41:45)

It would be only from thence that Amenhotep IV developed his monotheistic worship of the Aten. Thus, according to Osman, his monotheistic practice was as a result of his rejection by the Amun priesthood, and not because he had rejected the worship of Amun.

To be continued ……..

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