From: "David Hall" <dqhall59@...
Sent: Monday, January 04, 2010 10:41 AM
To: "ANE-2" <firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: [ANE-2] Origin of Israel
> Were there Jews living in Egypt about the time of the Babylonian conquest
> of Judea (Jeremiah 44:1)?
Yes. The Judaic community had been in existence at Yeb/Elephantine in the
6th century BCE and probably at least a century earlier (Dt. 17:16). 2 Ki
25:22-26 records a migration, "...all the people, both small and great, and
the captains of the forces....went to Egypt" after the killing of Gedaliah,
probably to Yeb. Gedaliah's seal was recently unearthed in the City of
> Elephantine Yhd requests for information about practices of Passover
> observance is not evidence Passover had not been practiced in Egypt. The
> Passover laws were not canonized until the Talmud was completed as early
> as the third century in Tiberias and were the source of some worry.
Eleven letters date from the reign of Artaxerxes, approx 460-439 BCE. The
"Passover letter" dates to 419 BCE.
> The early Egyptians were polytheistic and claimed Re gave life, Amun Re
> gave the chiefs authority to rule over their territories, Montu gave
> strength in battle like a bull. Yahweh killed all the first born males of
> Egypt? What is justice?
There had been a Semitic presence in Egypt since the inception of the Bronze
Age. In fact, they were responsible for propelling Egypt into the Bronze
Age. This presence continued throughout the history of the Monarchy when
they were "Israelites" and the divided kingdom for both Israelites and
"Jews" and into the Hellenistic period when Alexandria had a significant
The use of the term "Jews" for defining the presence in Egypt or anywhere
else through the history of the Jewish people, can be a bit fuzzy for me
depending on how "technical" we are. Israelites, Judah-ites, Judeans.
> Egypt was across the desert from Israel. Egypt is recorded 671 times in
> the NIV Bible, more than any other nation except Israel. The land of
> Israel was ruled by Egyptians during parts of the LBA. Part of the
> Israeli culture may have come from the Egyptian occupation of Canaan not
> necessarily from Israel living in Egypt.
Hyksos and Shasu tribes intering the Highlands of Canaan from Trans-Jordan
brought Yahweh with them to be assimilated among nomadic Israelites. The
historical kernel could have been a "Moses-like" figure among them serving
as the kernel of the Exodus story which I believe was embellished under
Josiah to unite tribes to observe Passover at the Temple in Jerusalem,
much success since it was attempted from Hezekiah through Ezra, something
we were just discussing with some disagreement as to origins.
Fall Church...nice town.
San Antonio, TX
> David Q. Hall
> Falls Church, Virginia
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