[b-hebrew] Akhenaten and Hebrew religion

Uri Hurwitz uhurwitz at yahoo.com
Sun Jul 18 12:18:24 EDT 2004


  Your first point: correct, I too don't remember Aten mentioned in the Canaan EA letters. But the issue, as I understand it, is diffrerent. Both  Aten worship and Yahwism share an important aspect , that is intolerance of other deities. And since by biblical tradition this intolerance started in the Egyptian sojourn  - a tradition that can be fully accepted in outline -- there would be a clear connection between the two.
  To observe that the intolerance of other gods starts in the Egyptian narratives, one need only to take a look at the very different picture of this aspect in the Patriarchs outline history in Genesis (with one brief exception -- Gen. 35: 2-4 -- that would underscore  this, and deserves more discusssion).
  As for the second point: yes, Atenism was brief, but its influence and reverberations continued long after its demise according to De Moor and Kitchen's works I'd mentioned before. That is a 'theological'  push toward a single overriding deity continued. Both authors provide  examples.
  Monotheism can be approached frrom quite a few perspectives. From my point of view the intolerance of other gods is the connecting thread between it and  and its various manifestations such as monolatry, henotheism and so forth. Atenisn would certainly fit within its framewrok.
 
Kol Tuv
 
Uri
   
 


Yigal Levin <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il> wrote:
I'll have to have a look at these. The way I see it is this:
1.Even during Akhenaten's reign, his "special" views don't seem to have been well know in Canaan. As far as I remember (please correct me if I'm wrong here), the Canaanite vassals refer to Akhenaten as "the Sun", "the Bull" and Horus - no references to Aten. 
2. Very soon after the death of Akhenaten and his immediate successors, the "Amarna revolution" was pretty much erased from Egyptian history, including the abandonment of the capital at El-Amarna itself. Manetho, for instance, does not mention the whole episode and its re-discovery in the late 19th century was quite a surprise. So the possibility of "Atenism" having any real influence on much later Judahite/Israelite monotheism is very slight. Besides, it seems that "Atenism" was quite far from real monotheism.

Yigal
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Uri Hurwitz 
To: Yigal Levin ; b-hebrew 
Sent: Saturday, July 17, 2004 8:44 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Akhenaten and Hebrew religion


For an opposing position one may consult J.C. De Moor The Rise of Yahwism, and especially the aptly titled chapter 3.: " The Crisis of Polytheism";
or W. Propp's article in Ugarit Forschung 31;
or,briefly, in Kitchen's recent On The Reliability of the OT, pp. 330-332.
I think their views deserve serious consideration and, in fact a re-examination of the subject which is exactly what Propp has done in his paper (shades of Kaufmann and Albright and even Freud!)

Uri


Yigal Levin wrote:

....the
question is, what influence did the short lived "Amarna Revolution" have on
the eventual development of monotheism in Israel/Judah. My position would
be - none.

Yigal

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