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Old 11-10-2001, 08:10 AM   #1
Marduk
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Question Dumb question for Jews

This may sound dumb but how did the Jews living as 'slaves' in Egypt know they were Jews? Moses got the laws, the commandments and the first 5 books of the Bible AFTER the Exodus. So how did they know they weren't just Egyptians, after all they lived in Egypt for hundres of years, My family has been the US less than 200 years and we think of ourselves as Americans, not Canadian Irish Germans living in a foreign place???
This begs the old Noah question, how would a guy living in Sumeria 1000 years before the Bible was writtten know anything about clean or unclean animals??? Not a Sumerian tradition AFAIK.
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Old 11-11-2001, 09:54 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally posted by marduck:
<STRONG>This may sound dumb but how did the Jews living as 'slaves' in Egypt know they were Jews? Moses got the laws, the commandments and the first 5 books of the Bible AFTER the Exodus. So how did they know they weren't just Egyptians, after all they lived in Egypt for hundres of years
</STRONG>

The official Jewish answer, from the Talmud: the Jews kept their distinct nationality in Egypt by sticking to their names (ie not adopting Egyptian names) and to their tongue (ie continuing to use Hebrew and not throwing it in favour of Egyptian). It's a strained, mythical answer, yet the question is about mythology, so it may serve.

Quote:
<STRONG>
This begs the old Noah question, how would a guy living in Sumeria 1000 years before the Bible was writtten know anything about clean or unclean animals??? Not a Sumerian tradition AFAIK.
</STRONG>
The Talmud says God gave him (and later Abraham) the rudiments of the laws of purity - the essentials of the rituals needed before the establishment of the full covenant at Mount Sinai. Rashi's commentary (Rashi is the greatest Orthodox Jewish commentator of the Torah) says about the command of God for Noah on animal purity: "from this we learn that HaShem taught Noah [some] Torah".
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Old 11-11-2001, 10:44 AM   #3
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I also have a question; Egypt controlled the area that is now Israel for hundreds of years even after the supposed exodus; why is it then that the Egyptians did not enslave the Hebrews living in the Levant after they fled Egypt?

This question genuinely puzzles me, for given that the exodus was supposed to have occurred under either Ramesses II UserMa’atRe or his successor Merenptah; Egypt was still for generations to come a superpower (though in decline after Ramesses III). Let us assume that a historical exodus did occur; given that the Egyptians could have enslaved the Hebrews in the Levant again, why did they not?
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Old 11-11-2001, 04:04 PM   #4
Marduk
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Devnet said:
"The official Jewish answer, from the Talmud: the Jews kept their distinct nationality in Egypt by sticking to their names (ie not adopting Egyptian names)"

Odd, Moses, Miriam, Seth, all Egyptian names???

I guess they don't explain why Egypt's enemies didn't take advantage of the fact that Egypts entire army was drowned!
The numbers are also confusing, it is estimated in 1300 or so BCE, Egypt had a population of around 2 million, including women and children, They must have had quite an advanced arsenal to enslave over a million people!!
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Old 11-11-2001, 04:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by marduck:
<STRONG>The numbers are also confusing, it is estimated in 1300 or so BCE, Egypt had a population of around 2 million, including women and children, They must have had quite an advanced arsenal to enslave over a million people!!</STRONG>
Anyone who can make a pyramid shaped power plant and use ultrasonic machining to cut and machine granite could surely find a way to enslave over a million people. Childs play!

I`m just kidding,but you`re right. The numbers are confusing. It`s all a moot point anyway since theres NO evidence at all of any such exodus. It also looks like the whole slavery thing in Egypt has been blown way out of proportion.
Even the pyramids are now believed to have been built by the Egyptian people as a "work off your taxes" program.

And yes. I did change my name. My earlier name reminded me of the short haired exercise maven.
And no. I have no idea how the Anunnaki myth originated. I think the truth about it is lost in prehistory.
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Old 11-11-2001, 05:02 PM   #6
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Hey fellow Annunaki, zup, been back to Nibiru lately?

"And no. I have no idea how the Anunnaki myth originated. I think the truth about it is lost in prehistory."

1) they are an example of people giving human characteristics to comets, planets meteor's etc.
2) people one culture met from a more advanced culture, 'hey check it out, these guys got bronze!" maybe the people who lived in the Black Sea Basin move south after it was flooded 7000 years ago.
3)They really were aliens!

I see you've read Dunn's "Giza Power Plant"
sorta cool. I think you'll like this site: http://www.ianlawton.com/mesindex.htm

Ian Lawton wrote a very good book about 'Pyramidiots' Called "Giza: The Truth"
He is a very polite reasonable skeptic.
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Old 11-12-2001, 10:59 AM   #7
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Several other names from the Israelite onomasticon are Egyptian in origin. Discounting the antediluvian Seth, one has Moshe, Miriam, Merare, Pinchas, and Hophni. Conspicuously, all are Levites. Recall from the Pentateuch that the Levites are a tribe apart - hereditary priests holding no tribal lands. Such data have provoked scholars like Baruch Halpern to posit that there was indeed an authentic Egyptian proto-Israelite group which emigrated sometime during the LB (late Bronze) or Iron I periods. They merged with the larger autochthonous proto-Israelite group from the Judean highlands and periphery, or so the theory goes. The Egyptian group may have brought with them the name of the deity yhwh after interacting with Midianite shasu. All this is rather speculative, but hardly outlandish.

Regarding Ramses II and the 19th dynasty, it is true that Ramses II represented perhaps the second greatest peak in imperial Egyptian power. (Unquestionably the most potent of all pharaohs was Thutmose III of the 18th dynasty.) Ramses' major battle was against the Hittites at Qadesh. The two sides seem to have fought to a draw, although each propagandized their own "victory". As the Bet Shan inscription recounts, Ramses engaged in an extensive Asiatic campaign. Qadesh itself is on the Orontes in northern Syria.

Palestine itself was largely quiet during LB. There were few if any walled cities. The general decay of the area is documented in Canaanite vassal king letters to Akhenaten - the famous Amarna letters.

Things began to fall apart for Egypt during the reign of Ramses II's son Merneptah. (It is this Merneptah who left a stele (c. 1207 BCE, at Thebes) which contains the first extrabiblical mention of Israel (Merneptah claimed to have laid waste to Israel, and to have exterminated "its seed"). The major catastrophe of Merneptah's reign was the "Invasion of the Sea Peoples", which severely tested Egypt's power. The remainder of the 19th dynasty and all of the 20th marked a period of chaos and marked decline for Egypt. Ramses III's accomplishments were almost exclusively defensive (against Libya and the Sea Peoples). Egypt projected virtually no external power throughout Iron I.

As devnet mentioned, Rashi (11th century, France), is universally regarded as the preeminent Jewish commentator on the Torah and the Talmud. Rashi is often regarded as a pashtan - someone interested in the plain sense (peshat) of the text - by religious Jews. Yet for modern secular Jews, Rashi's exegesis is often as embarrassing as Calvin's is to non-fundamentalist Protestants. I.e. often it is tendentiously harmonizing to the point of being laughable. Still, modern scholars do occasionally cite Rashi on philological matters. (Rashi was acutely sensitive on linguistic matters and often asks why a particular word is used.) As an example of laughable harmonization, Rashi takes up the question of how it could be that in what must be less than 350 years the Israelite population in Egypt could have grown from 70 to several million (based on the figure of 600,000 males at Sinai). Rashi's solution: every birth was sextuplets.

Finally, pace devnet, I think it is not "strained" for traditionalists to assert that the Israelites maintained their ethnic identity in Egypt through the transmission of names, language, and traditions. Ethnic continuity is facilitated by these same practices in countless places around the globe today. To me, such an explanation stands out for its reasonableness and lucidity, against the background of traditional exegesis (which is often blatantly apologetic and harmonizing). There are of course many reasons to doubt the veracity of the exodus story, but the claim that Israelites preserved their names, language, and traditions in and of itself is quite benign and hardly merits ridicule.

[ November 12, 2001: Message edited by: Apikorus ]
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Old 11-15-2001, 01:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by marduck:
<STRONG>This may sound dumb but how did the Jews living as 'slaves' in Egypt know they were Jews? Moses got the laws, the commandments and the first 5 books of the Bible AFTER the Exodus. So how did they know they weren't just Egyptians, after all they lived in Egypt for hundres of years, My family has been the US less than 200 years and we think of ourselves as Americans, not Canadian Irish Germans living in a foreign place???
This begs the old Noah question, how would a guy living in Sumeria 1000 years before the Bible was writtten know anything about clean or unclean animals??? Not a Sumerian tradition AFAIK.</STRONG>
While not an expert on BC&A, a simple answer pops into mind.

The Jews, it would appear from the Exodus text, were quite segragated in the Land of Goshen. Back in the days of Joseph and later in MOses' times it appears that "Jewish" religious practices were an "abomination to the Egyptians." Also, if they maintained a greater racial "purity"(not to put a value upon it) and kept old customs, they would remain distinct and different "nations", even within nations. Language of course is another issue.

If I were to go to Quebec, I can guarantee you I'd meet individuals who would view themselves as "Quebecers" over, even against "Canadians". Several years ago a major political party became the opposition party on the very platform of "seperation." (To make Quebec it's own country). They lost the referendum by not many votes. That was in the 90s. Canada is not 400 years old, but it is clear that such distinctions between the English and the French really haven't gone away, and the animosity amongst Quebecers to usward has had peaks and valleys over the years; it's not vanished by any means. IF people get to practice the old cultural ways and enforce the keeping of the practices, they will NOT lose their culture. For people who would rather die than become other than as they are now(Anglizied, paganized, etc.) maintaining the "purity" is hard but will be done on some level- of course since culture and time moves forward it's impossible to maintain an absolute stasis, which would be to remain in the past indefinitely(impossible).

Anyways there are of course other examples of century-long hatreds etc. going on between ethnic and religious groups where the groups have lived together for a LONG time. America is a melting pot, it is not an example or proof of how cultures are beyond the US.
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Old 11-15-2001, 10:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by marduck:
<STRONG>They must have had quite an advanced arsenal to enslave over a million people!!</STRONG>
The word arsenal is not appropriate to the sticks and stones of the Egyptians. It is only applicable to the era of gunpowder. It was originally applied to Woolwich Arsenal, the North London football team known locally as the 'Gunners'. Spanish dignitaries visiting the court of St. James took the sport to their hearts, and as an homage used the name Arsenal on a large powder store they had constructed in Seville. Nowadays Spanish teams regularly contest the top competitions in Europe in what has become one of the finest bits of revisionism I have ever produced.

[ November 15, 2001: Message edited by: Boro Nut ]
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Old 11-17-2001, 07:14 PM   #10
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Ask any native american on an indian reservation what they are. How many do you think will call themselves "Americans" over their own native Tribe? My family has been in america for almost 200 years (this does not include my Native Ancesters from my Great, Great Grandmother, who was Cherokee) and I still think of myself as a Scotsman more than an American.
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