[b-hebrew] Akhenaten and Hebrew religion

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Fri Jul 16 10:26:20 EDT 2004

Dear Brian,

>Akhenaten's henotheism has been suggested as providing insight into 
>the framework-inspiration of some of the earliest Hebrew henotheism. 
>"The Hymn to the Aten"  which dates to his reforms (14th century 
>B.C.E.)  praises the beneficence of the sun in language that is 
>echoed in Psalm 104 regarding the Hebrew God. Can this coincidence 
>of religious synchronicity be interpreted (without much danger of 
>over-extension) as a genesis (pardon the pun) for Hebrew religion? 
>John Day (a Jehovah's Witness scholar, which I disclose so you can 
>judge for yourself how much this plays into his research) posits 
>that the creation Hymn to the Aten served as a source for the 
>biblical writer P. He also sees linguistic connections between the 
>two traditions.
>"The expression l-mw'dym "for seasons" is found in the OT only in 
>Psalm 104:19 and Genesis 1:14, and both are mentioned in reference 
>to luminaries. Similarly, chytw "beast" is found in Psalm 104:11-12 
>and Genesis 1:24, and is elsewhere restricted to poetry in the OT. 
>This suggests at minimum that P is dependent on a poetic passage, 
>and probably Psalm 104.
>The greater mythological character of the psalm clearly establishes 
>the direction of dependence. In Psalm 104:7 we actually have an 
>allusion to the divine conflict with the sea, whereas in Genesis 
>1:6-7, God's control of the waters is merely work, and in  Psalm 
>104:26 we encounter God's creation of Leviathan while Genesis 1:21 
>speaks in demythologized terms of "great sea monsters". The allusion 
>to thwm "deep" in Genesis 1:2 can thus be traced to Psalm 104:6 
>which specifically refers to the waters by this name." (see 
>witness.com/10/73734/1.ashx )
>Any thoughts?

HH: The God who created heaven and earth predates Akhenaten, and it 
is He who revealed Himself to Abraham far earlier than Akhenaten.

					Harold Holmyard

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