According to Genesis, Abraham had a wife named Sarah who was barren and could not give him any children. Sarah had an Egyptian slave named Hagar, so Sarah told Abraham to use Hagar as a surrogate mother since she (Sarah) could not give Abraham any children.
Hagar soon became pregnant and not long after that Sarah, too, became pregnant. So now both of them were pregnant. Hagar’s son was named Ishmael while Sarah’s son was named Isaac. But Ishmael was elder to Isaac since he was born first.
Sarah soon became jealous and told Abraham to get rid of Hagar and Hagar’s son, Ishmael. So Abraham dumped both of them in the desert and left them there. God, who called Himself, El Shaddai, then appeared and told Sarah that she will become the mother of all nations.
Now, there are two things to note here. First of all, God acknowledged Isaac (the younger brother) and not Ishmael (the elder brother) as the true successor and heir to Abraham.
Oh, by the way, Jews practice circumcision, an Egyptian practice at that time — and Hagar was Egyptian while Sarah was not. Does this mean the Jews follow Hagar and not Sarah?
Let me comment on the last part first, that of circumcision.
|Gulp, I don’t like the look of what appears to be a pair of pliers (on right)
what’s that tool on the left?
RPK is correct that circumcision was then an Egyptian practice. The Egyptians were probably the first people to conduct circumcision, but then only among the royals and nobility.
Please note that when we refer to the biblical Egyptians we’re NOT talking about today’s Egyptian who are and have been mainly Arabs, and of course mainly Muslims since Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) introduced Islam to the Middle-Eastern world.
The biblical Egyptians were a different race, no, not even the people of Ptolemy’s and Cleopatra’s who came later and were mainly Macedonians and Greeks, remnants of Alexander’s army. The original Egyptians were a race of a much earlier era, and have since long gone; no one other than perhaps historians of ancient Egypt or Egyptologists know where they are now – perhaps in Padang and Negeri Sembilan wakakaka.
In a post earlier this year titled B-D,the new G-D of ‘Truth’ I had written about the same thing.
Strangely, for the Hebrews, a people who despised the Egyptians for their pagan beliefs, yet they adopted many Egyptian practices, including that of circumcision – see my post B-D, the new G-D of‘Truth’. Of course the Hebrews would claim that Abraham circumcised himself to show his covenant with YVWH.
OK then, we might as well begin our discussion with Abraham who the Bible told us came from Ur of the Chaldees, as in Genesis 11:27-31, which say:
27 Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.
28 And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.
29 And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.
30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.
Abraham was born around 2000 BC according to those who also believed that Adam and Eve and their Fall happened around 4000 BC). But archaeologists said that Chaldeans (of the Chaldees) didn’t even exist until around the sixth to fifth century BC, nearly 1500 years after Abraham’s time.
Thus the claim that Abram (before he became Abraham) came from Ur of the Chaldees was likely a latter day invention (or writeup) at a time (after 586 BC) coincidentally when the Judeans, as slaves in Babylon, first wrote down the oral tradition of Abraham’s story while compiling the written Hebrew Bible Tanakh).
Now, just note Genesis 17:17 which says Abraham became hilarious when God told him he would have a son:
Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? And shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
This tells us that the age gap between Abraham and Sarah was 10 years.
OK, flashing back to an earlier period, specifically 25 years earlier, to Genesis 12:4, we have (before he changed his name to Abraham):
So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him: and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
Abraham was already 75 years old when he was instructed by God to leave Haran after his father died. Therefore Sarah would be sixty-five years old, being 10 years younger than her husband. It also tells us that there was a gap of at least 25 years between entering Egypt and having their son Isaac.
In Genesis 12:14-15 we have:
And it came to pass, that, when Abrams was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair.
The princes also of Pharaoh also saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house.
When entering Egypt, Abraham wanted Sarah to pretend she was his sister. The biblical reason was that he was afraid of being killed if it was known she was his wife, for he anticipated Sarah would attract lustful attention. And he was right. Pharaoh was told of her beauty, took her into his Palace and rewarded her ‘brother’ generously.
Here, some questions begged to be asked.
(1) What did the Egyptians see in a 65 year old Hebrew woman that made them acclaim she was fair (beautiful), and recommend the beauty to the Pharaoh, and why would a Pharaoh, who could have any woman in the land, want an old crone as his lover?
(2) Did the Pharaoh have his naughty ways with Sarah after taking her into the Palace?
(3) What was a pastoralist (shepherd) like Abraham doing in a cosmopolitan city like Ur (apart from the archaeological-historical fact that Ur existed only 1500 years later)? One would expect him to live in a tent in a rural area, but we are told by the bible he came from Ur of the Chaldees.
(4) Then, what would be the likelihood of a foreign commoner, a mere pastoralist, even allowing for him having a beautiful 65-year old wife, coming into contact with the royal house of Egypt, namely the princes and the Pharaoh? (Genesis 12:15) Can a great empire like Egypt be so small that a mere foreigner would, on entering its border, come into contact with or to the knowledge of its princes?
(5) Why is there a leitmotiv in the bible surrounding Abraham and Sarah, of the man and wife pretending to be brother and sister, of a Pharaoh or King taking (or attempting to take) the wife, of God then intervening to return the wife to the husband, and of the husband profiting greatly from the separation? The leitmotiv may be discerned in:
- Abraham and the Pharaoh (Genesis 12:11-20)
- Abraham and Abimelech of Gerar (Genesis 20:2-18) – Sarah was even older by then, around 90.
- Isaac and Abimelech of Gerar (Genesis 26: 7-16) – we aren’t too sure whether this was the same Abimelech for it was then more than 50 years later, but the King had a chief captain of the army named Phichol (Genesis 26:26) as was in the case of the earlier or Abraham’s Abimelech (Genesis 21:22).If it was the same Abimelech, then it would suggest that Abraham and Isaac could well be the same person.
(6) Why was Sarah told to change her name from the original Sarai to Sarah, the latter in Hebrew meaning Princess? (Genesis 17:15)
What were the authors (or author) of Genesis trying to say, or do?
I leave the above for you to find out, wakakaka, including Genesis 12:16 which states: And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.
If according to Judeo-Christian belief, Abraham was supposed to live around 2000 BC, then camels weren’t domesticated yet for another 800 years, until around 1200 BC, coincidentally around the time when the Chaldeans existed and indeed, coincidentally around the time the Judeans compiled their written bible, the Tanakh.
You can draw your own conclusion as to the reliability of the Judeans’ story as written by them in the Tanakh.
Carrying on with other biblical mysteries, wakakaka:
The Israelis journeyed from Rameses to Succoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children ….. (Exodus 12:37)
The Book of Exodus narrates the preparation of the Hebraic exodus after the Pharaoh, cowered by the 10 plagues including the death of his firstborn, gave Moses leave to lead 600,000 male Jewish slaves plus their families, totalling some two million people, out of Egypt.
2,000,000 Hebrew slaves migrating out of Egypt!
Even allowing for some ancient exaggerations, yet there is not one single mention of this monumental migration in an ancient Egypt famed for its recording of anything and all things! No, not one!
Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years. At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the Lords’ division left Egypt ….. (Exodus 12:40-41)
Nearly half a millennium of residence in Egypt by the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of Hebrews – again there was not one ancient Egyptian record of them! Not one hieroglyphic, hieratic or demotic line anywhere!
As mentioned, this was a nation which recorded everything, about Pharaohs, their gods, floods, harvest, births, deaths, ownership of this and that, weather, social events, wars, etc, but not a skerrick of written line about 2,000,000 Hebrews living in their land for 430 years, let alone making a mass exodus.
This was an unexplained omission of amazing proportion by the Egyptian scribes. Or, was it?
Surely there must be something to explain the mysterious and very monumental omission in ancient Egyptian records on the significant Hebraic presence there, unless of course there was no Hebrew ever in Egypt, and thus no Hebraic exodus took place.
The most puzzling mystery has been that in a land of such fastidious recording of events, not one single line of hieroglyph or hieratic or demotic in Egypt’s famed and vast repository of recording made any mention of this race, their or their mass exodus from Egypt.
The only account of the Hebrews living in Egypt and their exodus out of Egypt is in the Tanakh, which coincidentally was written by their descendants, the Judeans while they were slaves in Babylon from 586 to 539 BC.
OK, as mentioned, the word Pharaoh is mentioned 274 times in the Bible in various descriptions and forms. In the first two books of the Old Testament (OT), namely Genesis and Exodus, it is referred to 155 times.
Yet, in that 155 times, the OT fails to identify which Pharaoh was involved in the respective events involving Hebrews. The time span as chronicled by the Books of Genesis and Exodus would logically suggest that the Pharaoh of Abraham and Sarah should be a different person to the Pharaoh of Joseph son of Jacob, and indeed to the Pharaoh of Moses and the Exodus.
In the story of Joseph, he was sold to an Egyptian Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials (Genesis 39:1). After interpreting his famous ‘seven fat and seven lean years’ for the Pharaoh (Genesis 41: 25-32), the latter made him the Grand Vizier, the No 2 man in the land, and conferred on him an Egyptian name, Zapethnath-Paneah and married him off to an Egyptian wife, Asenath (meaning Gift of the Sun-God). She was the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On (Genesis 41:45).
Notice how detailed were the personalities identified, yet the name of the Pharaoh was not revealed. Instead the Pharaoh was merely referred to as ‘a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph’ (Exodus 1:8).
As for Moses, we read of Pharaoh learning of the killing of an Egyptian by this Prince of Egypt (Exodus 2:12), and naturally wanting to have Moses executed (Exodus 2:15). Of course by then Moses had fled.
Much later, after marrying Zipporah and witnessing the burning bush, he heard that the Pharaoh died. Around then, God ordered him back to Egypt to demand from the new Pharaoh the release of the Israelite slaves (Exodus 3:10).
Again, we observe the lack of details about one of the most significant Pharaoh in the biblical saga. Who was this Pharaoh? Or better, who were the Pharaohs, the one who died as well as his newly crowned successor?
Compare the seemingly evasive or, if one wants to be less conspiratorial, broad brushing of the Pharaohs’ identities, specifically those associated with the stories or events of Abraham to Moses, with the detailed genealogies of others in the Old Testament, as presented in Genesis Chapter 4:17-22 (Cain’s), Genesis Chapter 5 (Noah’s, he of the Flood and Ark fame), Genesis Chapter 10 (The sons of Noah and their families’), Genesis Chapter 11:10-32 (from Shem to Abraham), and the list of details goes on.
So, were there Hebrews in Egypt after all? Was there ever an Exodus?