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Were Jews ever really slaves in Egypt?

Nathaniel.Mossiblov
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Joined: Mar 23 2012

I didn't know where to put this, so I am putting it in here.

Normally, this kind of thing would be easy to dismiss as a sort of conspiracy theory, only the source is an Israeli newspaper.

Were Jews ever really slaves in Egypt?

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/were-jews-ever-really-slaves-in-egyp...

Here's a question for you: what do actor Charlton Heston, DreamWorks animation studios and Former Prime Minister Menachem Begin all have in common? Well, they've all, at one time or another, perpetuated the myth that the Jews built the pyramids. And it is a myth, make no mistake. Even if we take the earliest possible date for Jewish slavery that the Bible suggests, the Jews were enslaved in Egypt a good three hundred years after the 1750 B.C. completion date of the pyramids. That is, of course, if they were ever slaves in Egypt at all.

 

 


Comments

Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

The pyramids were actually one of the first Keynesian make work projects to reduce unemployment and spur economic growth. The first trade unions and socialist parties were also born during, I think it was, Pharoah Karl Khufu's time in the sun. But don't quote me on the latter.


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Quote:
Were Jews ever really slaves in Egypt?

I'm mildly surprised that Ha'aretz would publish an article asking this ignorant question. The proper question was, "Were Hebrews [or even Israelites] ever really slaves in Egypt?". The biblical account doesn't talk about "Jews", a term and construct which appeared only centuries later with the division of Solomon's kingdom into two (one of them being the Kingdom of Judah, whence the name "Jews") and the subsequent disappearance of the "lost tribes". All the children of Israel (aka Jacob) are alleged to have migrated to Egypt, whereas Jews are alleged to have descended from the tribes of Judah, Levi, and Benjamin.

So the main reason Jews weren't slaves in Egypt is that they didn't exist at the time.

Besides that picky point, the main thesis of the article is about as shocking as a revelation that Mary did indeed enjoy sex before getting preggers with the Saviour.

 


Maysie
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Joined: Apr 21 2005

Unionist wrote:
 Besides that picky point, the main thesis of the article is about as shocking as a revelation that Mary did indeed enjoy sex before getting preggers with the Saviour.

Well, there goes my whole belief system thanks a lot, Unionist.

In other news: baby bunnnnnnniiiieeeessssss!!!!


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Although Unionist, I once had a discussion with an extremely anti-religious person who condemned the Bible as nothing but nonsense. Yet when I mentioned that there is no archaeological evidence that there were slaves in Egypt, all of a sudden I was an anti-semite.

So it is not so obvious to everyone. 

Of course it doesn't help that it is actually taught as history in some places. We were given a series of Time Life books from the 60s, and the edition on "The Israelites" presents the biblical account as straight history.

On the other hand, there is speculation that the Hebrews may have had some connection to the Hykksos, who were a semitic culture which ruled part of Egypt for a time before being kicked out.

 

 

 


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Ok, full disclosure: I couldn't care less whether some group called the Hebrews were or were not "slaves" in "Egypt" several thousand years ago.

Getting back to article linked in the OP, however, here is the real aim of the author:

Quote:
So, as we come to Passover 2012 when, thanks to the “Arab Spring,” our relations with Egypt are at a nearly 40 year low, let us enjoy our Seder and read the story by all means, but also remind those at the table who may forget that it is just a metaphor, and that there is no ancient animosity between Israelites and Egyptians. Because, if we want to re-establish that elusive peace with Egypt that so many worked so hard to build, we're all going to have to let go of our prejudices.

You see, just as this ignoramus speaks of "Jews" at a time when they didn't exist, he now speaks of "our relations with Egypt" as if he is talking about the Jewish people. I can assure you he is not. He is talking about the criminals in charge of the Israeli apartheid regime. So you see, the "confusion" he suffers from is quite deliberate, and like any anti-semite, he attempts to transpose it to modern times for his own pro-Zionist purposes.

 


Nathaniel.Mossiblov
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Joined: Mar 23 2012

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Although Unionist, I once had a discussion with an extremely anti-religious person who condemned the Bible as nothing but nonsense. Yet when I mentioned that there is no archaeological evidence that there were slaves in Egypt, all of a sudden I was an anti-semite.

Yes, this happens quite often.  People are quick to be against Christianity or Islam, but not so much against Judaism, even though the former are to some degree based on the latter.


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

... and even more odd to get it from a staunch atheist. I suspect this fellow was no fan of Judaism either. He just happened to think it was his history.

 

 

 


NDPP
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Joined: Dec 28 2008

'Pour Out Your Wrath' - by Uri Avnery

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/04/06/pour-out-your-wrath/

"More than any other Jewish text, the Haggadah forms the Jewish conscious - or, rather, unconcscious - mind today, as in the past, influencing our collective behaviour and Israeli national policy.."


Hoodeet
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Joined: Dec 8 2008

Maysie wrote:

Unionist wrote:
 Besides that picky point, the main thesis of the article is about as shocking as a revelation that Mary did indeed enjoy sex before getting preggers with the Saviour.

Well, there goes my whole belief system thanks a lot, Unionist.

In other news: baby bunnnnnnniiiieeeessssss!!!!

Hoodeet (JW)

They're precious!

Are you planning to cook them in a mole sauce for easter dinner? 

 


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Speaking of biblical myths:

An evangelical church in WInnipeg is re-making Jesus as batman.

Right in keeping with the biblical tradition of editing in magical powers and allusions to other deities. Plus, he's gay-friendly!

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/jesus-to-rise-as-batman-in-church...


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Speaking of biblical myths:

An evangelical church in WInnipeg is re-making Jesus as batman.

Right in keeping with the biblical tradition of editing in magical powers and allusions to other deities. Plus, he's gay-friendly!

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/jesus-to-rise-as-batman-in-church...

That will put the Apostle Robin's mind at ease.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Quote:
"The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender." Proverbs 22:7

Michael Hudson, page 12 wrote:
The importance of Biblical debt and land-tenure laws. The first five books of the Old Testament were given their final form late in the fifth century, contemporary with the high tide of Greek democracy in Athens. Only in the modern era have these stories been decoupled from the laws concerning debt, land tenure and freedom from debt bondage that they originally were designed to wrap, and their social kernel thrown away.


Patrick Mahoney
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Joined: Mar 18 2012

The fact that this can be discussed in Israel openly and printed in the newspaper on Passover weekend speaks volumes for Israel's tolerant society.  This is a major newspaper in the Jewish state, and it can publish a story directly challenging one of the central stories in the Jewish religion with no fear of state reprisal. I wonder how this type of story would play out in most Islamic nations?I remember a few months ago when they imprisoned someone for saying on Facebook that God doesn't exist. If they would do that, it would be surprising that they would let a major newspaper slide if it said, for example, that Muhammad never talked to God.

But the main point is that would just never happen in Indonesia, because there's the fear keeping people in line, not only legally but also socially. If you look at what happened with that cartoon in Denmark... trying something like that in a Muslim majority country would be incredibly stupid and no one is going to do it.

 


MegB
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Joined: Nov 28 2001

Check out the image with the pyramid in the article.  Hard to take seriously a publication that can't distinguish between a donkey and a camel ...

 


Tommy_Paine
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Joined: Apr 22 2001

I don't think there is any archeological evidence to support the idea that Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt to build anything, and no support for the Egyptian role in the story of Exodus.

I think it informative to note that the time this story was set out formally was during the time of the Babylonian captivity.  Maybe in that light, it's more of a warning to Darius than anything else.

The other thing Exodus lays out is the idea of one god that ruled everywhere.  Prior to Moses, Hebrews, like everyone else pretty much, figured that each region's gods ruled that territory.  So, if one travelled to Egypt, one didn't have a problem whorshiping the local gods.  A lot of what goes on in Exodus has to do with having the Hebrews finally leave that idea behind.

There's a specific word for the belief that gods are territorial, but I always forget it, as it doesn't often come up. I think it starts with "H".

Anyway, Exodus is a wonderful, interesting story when taken as a story.  When we Cecil B. Demille it, take it literally, it becomes cartoony, and open to redicule.



Tommy_Paine
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Joined: Apr 22 2001


Henothiesm: 


"One supreme God who rules over a country, and many other gods and goddesses who have similar jurisdiction over other territories. Liberal theologians believe that the ancient Israelites were henotheists; they worshipped Jehovah as the supreme God over Israel, but recognized the existence of Baal and other deities who ruled over other tribes. Over time, particularly under Hosaia "

http://www.religioustolerance.org/gl_h.htm 


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

Patrick Mahoney wrote:
The fact that this can be discussed in Israel openly and printed in the newspaper on Passover weekend speaks volumes for Israel's tolerant society.  This is a major newspaper in the Jewish state, and it can publish a story directly challenging one of the central stories in the Jewish religion with no fear of state reprisal. I wonder how this type of story would play out in most Islamic nations?I remember a few months ago when they imprisoned someone for saying on Facebook that God doesn't exist. If they would do that, it would be surprising that they would let a major newspaper slide if it said, for example, that Muhammad never talked to God.

But the main point is that would just never happen in Indonesia, because there's the fear keeping people in line, not only legally but also socially. If you look at what happened with that cartoon in Denmark... trying something like that in a Muslim majority country would be incredibly stupid and no one is going to do it.

Oh, I see, Patrick. You are here to spread anti-arab racism. I apologize for not seeing this sooner. Please find another place to spread this shit. babble is fertile enough already.


janfromthebruce
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Joined: Apr 24 2007

Maysie wrote:

Unionist wrote:
 Besides that picky point, the main thesis of the article is about as shocking as a revelation that Mary did indeed enjoy sex before getting preggers with the Saviour.

Well, there goes my whole belief system thanks a lot, Unionist.

In other news: baby bunnnnnnniiiieeeessssss!!!!

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

 

Ooh, I love babby bunnies - ty for cute pic and happy Easter Monday Kiss


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

Unionist wrote:

 

Besides that picky point, the main thesis of the article is about as shocking as a revelation that Mary did indeed enjoy sex before getting preggers with the Saviour.

 

I always figured that Yahweh was sensible enough to make sure she did...if she hadn't, and then she never did AFTERWORDS, as some were led to believe, Joseph would really really really HATE that kid!


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Michael Hudson wrote:
The Mosaic tradition provided a dramatic wrapping to present these laws as being prescribed by the Lord as part of a sacred compact, to be preserved by the Israelites in
Page 6 memory of the fact that they had once been enslaved and must never again permit economic oppression to develop. The Israelites are portrayed as having made a covenant
to protect the economically weak by holding the land as the Lord's gift to support a free rural population.

Quote:
"Land must not be sold in perpetuity, for the land belongs to me and you are only strangers and guests. You will allow a right of redemption on all your landed property," and restore it to its customary cultivators every fifty years (Lev. 25:23-28).

Israelite bondservants likewise were to go free periodically in the Jubilee Year, for they belonged ultimately to the Lord, not to any person (Lev. 25:54).

Hudson goes on to say that the Israelites were not so unique in this way because their neighbors also hand long-standing traditions for freeing bondservants and for debt jubilees. Centuries later these social kernels would be extracted from biblical writings and discarded for the purpose of appeasing imperial rule and, later, acquiescing to domination by a thousand year-old European financier oligarchy. Biblical writings have been edited and re-edited over and over in order to avoid clashing with imperialism and financier oligarchies of the day.

And similar natural rights were a given in England before the time of Henry VIII. English lands were once owned by King and God together. That all changed beginning with Henry VIII and the centuries-long enclosure era. No longer did the poor have a right to glean grain from crown land, and unpaid debts were often repaid several times over  in their lifetimes through what amounted to legalized slavery. God and natural sucecession of rights to king and countrymen were replaced by Lockean era property laws. John Locke is considered one of the gods of capitalism today.

So I think the answer to the question is yes. There were probably slaves in Egypt, but they were not slaves for nearly as long as debt peons are enslaved to today's banksters and privateers. Today one can be enslaved to the financier oligarchy for periods equivlant to several Mosaic lifetimes by comparison. Sumeran, Babylonian and Israelites at least declared debt jubilees every seven years or so. It's unheard of today.


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