[b-hebrew] Akhenaten and the Hebrew Religion

MarianneLuban at aol.com MarianneLuban at aol.com
Thu Jul 22 13:48:00 EDT 2004

In a message dated 7/22/2004 9:33:41 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
dwashbur at nyx.net writes:

>  Therefore, if the toponym
> > "Raamses" is an anachronism in Genesis, it can just as well be in Exodus.
> [snip]
> Why does it have to be an anachronism?  Not all cities were named after 
> Pharaohs, and I see no reason why it couldn't have been a place name before 
> a 
> Pharaoh adopted it.  This is another example of how certain assumptions slip 
> subtly into our research...

True.  Not all cities were named after pharaohs.  But there is no evidence of 
any place called "Raamses" (or any toponym even close) in Egypt before the 
time of Ramesses II, who built the great city "Per-Ramesses-Meryamun" in the 
eastern Delta.  And Egyptian texts, mentioning hundreds of cities, provinces, 
nomes, etc., go back thousands of years from the Common Era.  So it is not a mere 
assumption.  Certain areas all over the world once went by other 
designations.  In fact, the Bible mentions some places as once having been known by a 
different name.  Some people (but not Bible scholars) still cling to the notion 
that the Torah was written by Moses.  And yet the toponym "Zoan" is mentioned 
there.  Zoan is Tanis, the first building known there being dated to the time of 
Psusennes I (ca. 1039--991 BCE), replacing the abandoned 
Per-Ramesses-Meryamun as a pharaonic capital of Lower Egypt and recycling many of the building 
materials from that site.  Therefore, if Moses knew about Tanis, he would have 
needed to exist about the same time that Solomon built the Jerusalem temple.  
Even if Moses did write the Pentateuch--or at least some of it--redactions are 
obvious.  I give an example of one thing that can hardly have been known so 
certainly at the time Bible scholars believe the Torah was written (in 
exile)--and that is the construction of the Ark of the Covenant and its accoutrements.  
These correspond exactly to shrines and offering tables known from Dynastic 
Egypt-- down to the smallest detail.  Even to the silver tenons that were 
employed to hold the wooden elements together.  How Jews in an era long past the 
pharaonic period could have known about such details--outside of Egypt--is 
something to consider.

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list