Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Saint, Oct 30, 2012.
Did Israelites really reside and enslaved in Egypt?
As the story in Exodus told us?
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No. Sorry man.
They could be slaves for a period of time , but 40 years wondering in the desert is to much time
Not totally sure one way or another. But it is my belief that they might have been some form of slaves. And I think imo as slaves they had a limit to what they could do but were treated good, and fairly. But there religion may have been like how christianity was starting out. Because I don't feel the Egyptians would have been as tolerant in that area.. And as for the forty years in the desert. They didn't just walk around everyday, they camped. They more than likely fought. And trained in egypt's army style for combat. And upgraded some different tactics. And organized leadership.
Being an atheist, I do not consider any of the religious books as sources of historical fact. Having said that, there is a fair amount of evidence that some of what is written is valid.
There seems to be no evidence supporting Exodus. It is interesting to note the story tells of them reaching the promised land soon after leaving Egypt. The story tells of scouts being sent into Caanan. All except Joshua were fearful of any attempt to live there. It would make sense for a leader to think as follows.
These people have a heritage of being slaves for many generations. They are not ready to attempt to make a home in a potentially hostile land. It looks like a good idea to wander untill the next generation is born.
While I am agnostic on the issue of slavery in Egypt & the Exodus, the above seems like some support for it. At least it is consistent with the thought process of a wise leader.
Most probably many other tribes/cultures had to escape from the old regime; yet only Israelites had the literary tools to record and to politicize their groups.
Recent research has revealed that there were indeed Jews in Egypt, but they were not slaves. They were simply foreigners hired to work on the massive construction projects that were in progress at the time. As with today's gastarbeiter from Africa and the Middle East in Europe, or the "migrant workers" from Mexico in the USA, some brought their families and some came alone. Since education has always been a priority within the Jewish community, many of these foreign workers were qualified for tasks other than heavy labor, and some had managerial positions. They have also always believed that one of the keys to success in a foreign country is to master the host language (which is why Hebrew became a dead language when Israel was occupied by foreign powers such as the Romans), so this surely helped them too. They also place great importance on literacy, so some of them became scribes.
The entire account of the "bondage" in Egypt appears to be just one more story that was originally true, but has been embellished over time and become a legend.
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