Sunday, November 21, 2010

Galit Dayan: "Jews" Lived in Dynastic Egypt

Pharoah’s papyrus scrolls may not seem the most reliable sources for investigating the story of the Israelite’s Exodus, but Egyptologist Galit Dayan has found in them much compelling evidence to support the historicity of the biblical tale.

Two weeks before Passover, on March 17, Dayan presented her research to an audience of more than 200 at Sinai Temple. Dayan, who earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and is the wife of Jacob Dayan, Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles, told the group that linguistic evidence reveals an ancient and deeply involved Jewish presence in Egypt that eventually disappears. To illustrate, she drew remarkable parallels between the language of Egyptian papyrus (hieroglyphs), the haggadah and the Bible, all of which contain references to the Exodus story. In piecing together these manuscripts, Dayan framed an Exodus narrative based on facts of Egyptian history and language to prove her theory that a mass Exodus did occur and that it happened during the reign of Ramses II.

In each of the Egyptian manuscripts Dayan discussed, the same familiar characters are mentioned: Moses (“an Egyptian name”), Pharoah, the Red Sea/Sea of Reeds (“Yam Suf” in Hebrew), Hebrews, Israelites and the presence of slaves in Egypt.

In one manuscript, known as the Ipuwer papyrus, there is an eerie description of chaos in Egypt: “Plague is throughout the land,” Dayan’s translation reads, “blood is everywhere — the river is blood ... and the hail smote every herd of the field ... the land is without light and there is a thick darkness throughout the land ... the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt — from the firstborn of Pharoah that sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the prison. ...”

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Dayan said with dramatic effect, “this is an Egyptian papyrus that is describing the same plagues that we have in our haggadah.” She explained her view that the 10 plagues were not random punishments inflicted by the Jewish God upon Egypt, but a “declaration of war” on the entire Egyptian system. Each plague, she said, corresponds to a different Egyptian god and the element of creation over which they held dominion. This means the plagues were not merely grave misfortunes but the most humiliating insults to the Egyptian people.

Read it all here.

Do you see the flaws in this Dayan's presentation?

Moses and his kin cannot be termed "Jews" as that term can be applied only after the Babylonian period. Moses' family was Horite. His brothers Aaron and Korah were Horite priests. Aaron is Harun, a reference to Horus. Korah means "shaved one" as the priests in Egypt shaved their heads and bodies before their term of service in the temples.

The Habiru in Egypt were the Shasu of YHWY. Nubia is the point of origin of the Holy Name.

The examples Dayan cites are all found in published texts from the Ancient Near East.  For example, the Nile water turning to blood relates to the fact that the ruler-priests mixed red ochre powder into the Nile water and mixed it with barley to make it look like blood (See James B. Pritchard's The Ancient Near East, Vol. I, page 4). This "blood water" was ritually consumed in their "communion" with Re, whose solar rays gave life to the Nile. Given the solar symbolism, this pertains to Ra and his son Horus and is a Christological image, not an image of the Passover. See The Urheimet of the Canaanite Y.

Related reading:  The Nubian Context of YWHY; Horite Temples; Moses' Wives and Brothers


  1. "Do you see the flaws in this woman's presentation?

    We can't call Moses and his kin "Jews", as that term can't be applied accurately until after the Babylonian period. Moses and his brothers Aaron and Korah were Horite ruler-priests, not Jews."

    There is a problem with calling anyone a Jew until after the Roman conquest of Judeah. Actually the word itself wasn't really used until after the Christianisation of the Roman Empire.

    I find it very interesting that you are very critical, also using critical phraseology i.e. "this woman's" as if the individuals gender has anything to do with it, yet you do not know when the term Jew was actually coined. Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Moses etc were Hebrews not Jews.

    The earliest known usage of anything like Jew refer to the people of Judah. Judah being one of Jacob's sons, number 4 if my memory is correct, and one the 12 tribes of Israel.

    The English word Jew comes from Latin and earlier Greek, thus the reference to the Roman Empire. It's historical transformation to English from French from Latin is (Eng) Jew, (Fr) giu, (O Fr) juieu, (L) Iudaeus, and even Greek Ἰουδαῖος. In Latin the word means Judaean, from the land of Judaea. Judaea is the southern portion of the combined kingdom of Ancient Israel and was a kingdom in its own right for the majority of its "Hebrew" history.

    So strictly speaking to call anyone a Jew they must have come from, or have ancestral ties to, the land of Judah.

  2. Another flaw is translating "Yam Suph" into "Red Sea". Yam Suph was in Nile Delta and Red Sea ends at Gulf of Aqaba.


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