The Account of Moses
Who was Moses as an Historical Figure? We all know Moses as a Biblical figure, often considered “God’s Greatest Prophet”, but are many of our preconceived notions actually true?
All of us know Moses as a Biblical character, but who was Moses in a historical sense, and who were the Pharaohs of the Exodus account? Moses wrote the 1st five books of the bible known as the Pentateuch, but where did he get the ideas for Genesis? My personal interest in Moses as a historic figure rather than a Biblical figure was nurtured, after reading hundreds of translated Sumerian clay texts. The similarity between Moses account of creation,the Earth and Man’s beginning, and the Sumerian ancient text cannot be denied. Was the Pentateuch then inspired from God, as we were all taught, or did Moses simply transcribe these earlier accounts? My interest really grew after reading of an important ancient King of the Akkadians, that history seems so eagerly to forget. This Kings account of his own childhood, is almost word for word transcribed, into the Book of Exodus. Now my interest has been sparked, where I want to find out who Moses really was, and not what Moses and others would have us believe. The following is the condensed result.
The Sumerians, who lived in the lower Mesopotamian valley, were the first humans to have a written language. They wrote about everyday life on their clay tablets, but also wrote a series of tablets called the creation tablets. They wrote that Man was formed of clay and the women was formed from his rib. They wrote about man’s search for everlasting life, and the tree of knowledge, with an evil snake that tried to gain control of the tree. The “Garden of Eden” comes from the Sumerian word “Gu-Edina”, which means Banks of Eden, a fertile valley between two Sumerian cities. This valley is near the city of Eridu, mans first city, where it’s burial mounds can still be seen today in southern Iraq. The original account on a clay tablet of Noah and the great flood, can be viewed in the Royal British Museum in London. All these accounts were written over 2500 years before Moses wrote the book of Genesis, so how was it that Moses account is a carbon copy of these clay tablets?
The original story of Noah in cuneiform.
Translated as: “After the flood had swept over the land, and waves and windstorms had rocked the huge boat for seven days and seven nights,”
The famous cuneiform text discovered by Smith working for the British Museum records the epic story of the Tower of Babel.
Translated as: “Their strong place (tower) all the day they founded;
to their strong place in the night
entirely he made an end.
In his anger also word thus he poured out:
[to] scatter abroad he set his face
he gave this? command, their counsel was confused”
All these well known accounts of early man, were NOT original Bible accounts, but were Sumerian. Accounts that Moses was very familiar with.
Moses came from a royal setting and had access to the worlds greatest libraries in his education process. These libraries from the Sumerians were world famous, and even up to Alexander the Greats time, they were well known, so Alexander after seeing the libraries in Babylon, he decided to build his own, in Egypt, at the city of Alexandria. Moses in his day, would have had full access to the complete written record of the Sumerians, along with the early Egyptian writings, including Books of the Dead and their many early papyrus writings.
Fig12. Above, the city of Eridu, considered one of the five pre-flood cities, exists today in southern Iraq, using an aerial photo. Notice how flat the land is, and how difficult it would be to defend. Cities without water, become abandoned.
The question is, should it bother us today that Moses plagiarized the creation account? The Assyrians and the Babylonians plagiarized the Sumerian accounts almost word for word, so should it bother us that Moses did the same? It doesn’t bother me that Moses copied the creation account, though it may effect others. It does affect my faith when Moses writes himself in, as a central figure in the Bible. This act is quite different. Moses did far more than plagiarize the creation account. He manipulated many accounts including his own life story.
In the Nineveh tablets, it speaks of a Great King, called Sargon. The text is in the first person, as if Sargon is speaking. “ My mother a high priestess conceived me, in secret she brought me forth. She placed me in a basket of reeds, she closed my entrance with bitumen, she cast me upon the river.” He tells of his birth, which is illegitimate from a royal priestess. He never knows his father, but his mother is ashamed and makes a basket out of reeds, which she puts her baby in, then seals the cover with bitumen. She then puts the basket in the Euphrates river, near the palace, where the palace gardener finds him. Sargon himself says he is the son of a gardener. Before long, Sargon is chief cup holder to the King, and then through a series of events becomes King. From that point on Sargon starts a war of domination over the entire Fertile Crescent. Moses also would have studied Sargon, who was well respected and admired in ancient times, particularity by the Babylonians who saw him as a prototype, of kingdom building.
In Moses own account in Exodus 2:1-3 it compares as, “But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.” Notice the account of Sargon and the Bibles account of Moses are exactly the same, even the the use of bitumen on the reed basket is the same, with the only difference being the river Euphrates being exchanged for Nile.
Was Moses to quick to transcribe Sargon’s birth account without fully aware that bitumen does not exist in the Nile delta? The lower Sumer valley, today known as Kuwait, has a large supply of bitumen that seeps through the ground, from Kuwait’s large oil deposits. The ancients used this heat source to smelter copper, gold and their most sought after metal, bismuth, which they mined in the neighbouring regions. Ancient people in the area also used bitumen as mortar in their temple construction.
Contrary to Moses account, bitumen does not exist in the Nile river or the Nile delta. In Moses haste to plagiarize Sargon’s birth account he failed to realize that the Nile and the Euphrates have a different geology. A simple mistake, but with huge ramifications.
Moses really saw himself, and his life, as Sargon. The question is, why would Moses see Sargon as his alter ego, and why would Moses try to deceive those reading the Book of Exodus, relating to his birth, and history? Did Moses assume that by using these Sumerian accounts, the Hebrews would have no knowledge of Sumerian history, or be able to read, Sumerian text, therefore not question it’s authenticity? Hence they would actually believe that Moses was the originator of these accounts. Rather presumptuous on his part, to assume that mankind would not eventually discover the real source of the Pentateuch. To answer this we must find out who Moses really was in a historical sense.
A number of Pharaohs have been identified as the Pharaoh of the Exodus, but only one Pharaoh, can be both identified by time line and historical fact, and that is Amenhotep 3rd.
In the bible, it tells of 2 storage cities that are built by the Hebrews, and the city Raamses is both mentioned in the bible’s account and is listed in Amenhotep 3rds. burial site, as one of his achievements. Raamses was a city built from clay bricks, in the Goshen, the north eastern section of the Nile delta, where the Hebrews resided.
What gives further proof, that Amenhotep 3rd was the Pharaoh of Exodus, is that Amenhotep’s first son and heir to the throne, Crown Prince Thutmose, or Thotmosis, disappears from Egyptian records shortly after rising to manhood. His name Thoth-moses, means born of Thoth, or begot of Thoth. Thoth being the Egyptian god of wisdom. This was also the same name that his grandfather was called.
Moses was an Egyptian name, not a Hebrew name, as most Jews and Christians would suggest. The Egyptian name Ramsses, given to a number of Pharaohs, was also derived from this same root name. Ra being the “Sun God”, and msses meaning “born of”, is the same root as moses, as in Thotmosis.
In Exodus 2:19 it says Moses was an Egyptian, not a Hebrew. In the presence of close family members the Crown Prince, may certainly have been called by a pet name, Moses. The question is, what happened to Moses? There has never been found a burial site of the crown prince, extremely odd for the Egyptians, or any mention of his accomplishments. Amenhotep 3rd was really a family man, including in many reliefs his 4 daughters, but never including the crown prince. The answer to the crown prince history and seeming disappearance, can be found in the bible’s account.
Crown Prince, Moses, said he had committed a murder. It would have had to be a very grievous act for a crown prince to be banished from his family and Egypt. Moses tells his motive in the Bible, but can he be believed? Murder as an act of sedition or murder against the priesthood, would be a case for banishment. No one really will ever know, but Moses had to flee Egypt. Upon fleeing Egypt, Moses marries a non Hebrew, an Ethiopian woman, as Numbers 12:1 tells us, but what gives further proof that Moses was not a Hebrew, was that he did not circumcise his son, as Exodus 4:18 tells us, and circumcision is a very important part of being Jewish. The general view of Moses, the Charlton Heston from the movie “The Ten Commandments”, could not be further from the truth. Moses mother was part Nubian, and he would have had a very dark complexion if not black. His wife from Ethiopia, would also have been very dark complected.
Upon hearing that the ruling Pharaoh had died, Moses returns to Egypt, but why would he return? For one reason and one reason only. To regain his lawful right as heir to the throne of Egypt, only to find his younger brother, Akhenaten was now Pharaoh. Now we know why Moses would have chosen Sargon as his alter-ego. Both men were banished by their fathers, neither Sargon’s father or Moses father would accept them. Both had their mothers cast them into the darkness, forsaken and rejected. Sargon would rise to become King of a world power, and it is this position that Moses desired. To regain his position as Pharaoh of Egypt, the world power of the known world.
In Exodus 7:7 is says that Moses was 80 yrs old when he approached Pharaoh. It would of taken some time to have an entire nation to leave Egypt, cross a desert, come to Mt Sinai, write the Ten Commandments,where they camped for nearly 2 years, then journey with a nation of tens of thousand, with flocks of sheep and goats to the land of Canaan. Abraham before them, did not take the direct desert route, but followed the fertile crescent, so flocks could be pastured and watered and families could rest. Would Moses leading a far larger group, follow the coast, then travel up the fertile crescent? This would have added an additional 5 years to the trip. Then after arriving at the borders of Canaan, the Israelites turned back into the desert to wander for 40 years. Moses then returned to a mountain overlooking the land of “milk and honey” and died, never crossing the river Jordan. Moses would have had to be well over 130 years old at his death, if all this were true. No man in Moses time nor in our time, has ever lived to 150 years. A great King of the Israel once said, only the strong live 3 score and ten. The question is, what part of this story is misleading or false?
Moses must have been very disappointed to see his brother as Pharaoh, a position he should have held. Why did Moses never mention the Pharaoh’s name? He says in the Bible that he personally knows all the royal family, so why not mention their names? A past that he wishes to keep hidden. In the Bible’s account in Exodus Chapter 7, it also tells of Moses with a speech impediment, so that a translator is used in place of Moses, when speaking to the Pharaoh. There was never a mention previously that Moses had a speech problem, so was this an attempt by Moses to hide his voice from Egypt’s inner court and the Pharaoh’s family, so that he would not be identified. Moses could change his appearance so as not to be recognized, but he could not alter his voice. Were all these just attempts to hide his true identity from the new Pharaoh and ultimately the Hebrews?
After finding his younger brother as Pharaoh, Moses would have been devastated, but what would be his recourse? As Crown Prince both Moses and his younger brother would have had the world’s best education. The Crown Prince of Egypt would have been taught at Thebes, the history and many languages, written and spoken, of the surrounding nations. The art of war, and how neighbouring nations were equipped and their primary method of war. The geography and the ancient routes of trade and the many passes, that required passage for invading armies, would have been taught. Religion and customs of not just Egypt but of the many nations in the immediate area were all taught to the Crown Princes of Egypt. Egypt believed and was one of the foremost reasons Egypt existed as a powerful nation for centuries, was that all it’s Pharaohs should be the most educated men on earth. Another reason for Egypt’s fast rise to world power, was that Egypt had horses. Horses did not exist in the early Mesopotamian valley. Chariots, four wheeled, were pulled by a large species of the donkey, in early Sumeria. Horses existed in North Africa and in Spain, where Egypt had a clear military advantage in there use. Horses against donkeys could be likened to a German Tiger against an American Sherman.
Moses was taught as he knew his brother was, of an ancient prophecy, that spoke of Egypt being overturned by it’s servants and the ruling Pharaoh that would succumb to these insurgents. Could Moses somehow use this ancient prophecy to accomplish his own end? To start a revolution using the Hebrew slaves, in hopes of overturning his brother as Pharaoh. A fulfillment of an ancient text. Would his brother, who was known to be very religious, believe that this prophecy was about to be fulfilled? For the plan to work it would require that Moses’s true identity be unknown to the Pharaoh. For once Moses true identity was known, the real reason of his presence would become known, and Moses’s life would then be in danger. Most importantly did the Pharaoh see these Hebrew slaves as a threat to his kingdom?
The Bible answers this by saying that the Hebrews had become many and because of that, they were now a huge burden to the mostly agriculturally based Egypt. As Moses was soon to discover, the new Pharaoh, would have gladly seen the Hebrews leave the land, and remove this heavy financial burden from the Egyptians. The Hebrews were now eating more than they were producing. These descendants of Joseph that were once seen as guests, were now seen more as a burden, than a threat to fulfill ancient prophecy. Moses account in Exodus continues to detract from this important issue, and he continues to press his point that the Hebrews were seen as a threat to Egypt, hence their work loads were increased. Was this the case, or was Moses account simply to justify his own purpose? How could the most powerful, and wealthy nation on Earth, be afraid of a group of uneducated lowly group of slaves? Did Egypt see the Hebrews as a threat to the political stability of their nation?
A nation where the Pharaohs were seen as Gods. The Egyptians would have laughed at such a thought, but they did question whether these Hebrews served any real purpose in Egyptian life. Other than the building of clay grain storage facilities for times of drought, the Hebrews did little to benefit Egypt. They did no work on any of the major projects, the many stone projects or burial sites, being built throughout Egypt, that took vast Egyptian resources, including food. They were slowly eating Egypt out of house and home, like a bad guest that stays too long and wears out his welcome. Hence Egypt’s ruling Pharaoh, would have gladly seen their Exodus. This is not exactly what Moses wanted to hear, in his attempt to bring a fractious rebellion. He refused to accept this as defeat, and continued his written record of events, that we have all come to accept as true history.
After his inability to start a slave rebellion, what was to follow? Moses still needed and desired for others to worship and bow to him. This was probably just a reflection of his Egyptian past, and his education, but throughout his life it would consume him. To leave Egypt with nothing would be to leave in defeat, and that just wasn’t part of Moses psychic. A personality that was very ego driven. Moses quest may have suffered a temporary set-back, but his determination was stronger than ever.
Moses, as history supports would not give-up so easily, and especially his right to rule. His right to have followers, and subservient worshipers. His right to be superior. His only recourse now was to approached the Hebrews and tell them of a land of “milk and honey”, a promised land. If he couldn’t fool the Pharaoh of Egypt, then he would attempt to fool these Hebrews. Have we not heard this story before, “a land of milk and honey”. It sounds all to familiar, like a NY stock promoter. The land of easy street, where everyone lies around all day, and money grows on trees. It wasn’t long before Moses had these mostly illiterate slaves eating out of his hand. Moses was the world’s first promoter, and possibly the world’s greatest. He then told the Hebrews that he was going to bring 10 plagues upon the Gods and Pharaoh of Egypt, to save them from slavery, and take them to this promised land, where no one works, and fruit grows with abundance. They couldn’t get enough of Moses. Where did Moses get the idea of 10 plagues, and why were they focused against Egypt, as if it was now a personal manner? Had he become that vindictive against Egypt?
Moses learned of the 10 plagues from his Egyptian education as a young man. One of these documents that Moses would have studied and known well, was the Ipuwer Papyrus. Though existing in a fragmented form today, it tells of plagues that would come upon Egypt. The Nile would turn to blood and it’s King would be overturned by his servants. Comparing this papyrus text with Exodus text they parallel very closely. Papyrus 2:5 “the river is blood”, Exodus 7:20 “all the waters of the river were turned to blood”, Papyrus 2:10 “men – thirst after water” Exodus 7:24 “Dig around the river for water, for they could not drink”, Papyrus 6:3 “grain has perished on every side”, Exodus 9:31 “flax and barley was smitten”, Papyrus 9:11 “the land is without light”, Exodus 10:22 “and there was a thick darkness in the land”. Moses just did what he was good at, plagiarizing, and these Hebrews who had no knowledge, of the worlds history or culture, or who Moses actual was, believed it.
Moses in fact required three occurrences to be effective, in order to produce his desired effects. 1) that the Hebrews were unaware of his true identity, 2) their education level was low, countries usually don’t spend a lot of time on educating slaves, 3) because of their distance from Pharaoh’s palace, far to the northeast in the Nile delta, Goshen, that they would have no knowledge of the plagues actually ever taking place. A perfect storm for a great promoter.
Moses then tells of crossing the Red Sea, after exiting Egypt. Did the Hebrews actually cross a dry sea bed, as Moses states, or was it something else? The delta rivers of the Nile and the Euphrates, are continually changing. The ancient cities of Ur and Eridu, in modern Iraq, both suffered this fate. In ancient times a frantic effort, by the Sumerians to save Eridu from losing it’s water source from the Euphrates delta river as the delta shifted further to the east, was to build a 12 mile canal from Ur. This ancient canal can still be seen today from aerial photos. This in the end, did not save either city, as both now are in a middle of a desert. Ramesses 2nd, constructed his new capital, Pi-Ramesses, on the Nile delta river, and within a few short generations, ended abandoned, because the Nile delta river shifted, and left the Pharaoh’s great city, high and dry. Moses simply led these mostly uneducated Hebrews across a dry Nile delta river, and told them it was the Red Sea, they were crossing, and he was holding the waters back, to allow their safe passage. He was becoming an almost one man circus act.
The Red Sea is 350 km across and has an average death of 1608 ft. Can anyone take the story of Moses crossing the Red Sea after parting it’s water, as actually taking place? The simple logistics of moving several hundred thousand people, their families, their wares and flocks across 350 km, just in itself would take 4 weeks or more. That’s 4 weeks with no water for humans or grazing and water for their flocks… Fig13.
Soon the Hebrews came to Mount Sinai, where Moses went up to the top of the mountain, and came back, after breaking the 1st set, with the Ten Commandments. Where did Moses get the idea of the Ten Commandments? We don’t have to look further than his childhood education, from the Egyptian, Books of the Dead. The Books of the Dead, which they were later called, were extensive written documents, covering in some cases over 70 feet of temple walls. They were carved and painted in stone, around the burial sites of dead Kings of Egypt. All the Ten commandments are listed in the Books of the Dead, with one exception, the Sabbath.
Book of the Dead illustrated above.
The Ten Commandments are listed in Exodus chapter 20. Two common examples that compare both scripts, are the the commandments, not to commit murder and take God’s name in vain. “Thou shall not kill” v.s. “I have not killed; I have not turned anyone over to a killer”, and “Thou shall not take the name of the lord thy God in vain” v.s. “I have not reviled the God.” As such, the Books of Dead have given us the original ten commandments, but are in the negative sense, because the dead Kings of Egypt are presenting their case for after life. Moses as a Crown Prince, would be one of the few, that would have been given access, to these holy sites where the Books of the Dead were written, and also have the knowledge to read Egyptian text. No Hebrew would have been allowed access, or allowed to work at any of these sites, and no Hebrew would have the knowledge to decipher these Hieroglyph texts.
Fig14. Mount Sinai, today, though many still question the actual site location, where tourists can make their way to the top along known pathways, from St Catherine’s monastery. Mt. Sinai is in the southern area of the Sinai Peninsula, which means the Hebrews would have been making a long journey south from the Goshen, which adds years to the trip. This is not on a direct route to the land of Canaan.
Moses life as sole leader, was not without it’s difficulty. Upon leading the Hebrews in the desert, Moses found that he had political opponents. In Chapter 16 of the Book of Numbers, Moses encounters these political adversaries in the family of Korah. The 16th chapter goes on to say that the Lord God, had the earth open it’s mouth and swallow all the families of Korah and his supporters including all their family possessions. Did the Israelites see this as the truth, as to what actually occurred? If today we heard that Gadhafi, once the leader of Libya, had a news conference and stated that all his political adversaries had been swallowed up by the earth, because the Lord God saw them as evil, would we believe this as the truth? The Hebrews were not any different from us. They saw this, as we would today, that Moses was exercising his authority, “It’s my way or the highway”.
Moses was again using from what was effective, and expedient in Egypt, murder. Moses simply had some of his thugs murder these families and bury their bodies, and family possessions in the desert. They simply disappeared. Much can be overlooked, from the life of Moses, but some acts cannot. Murder being one.
Moses nearing the end of his life, rose upon a mountain, that overlooked the “land of milk and honey”. He died there, never entered this promised land, or see the results of his efforts. What was Moses thinking at that moment? Was his life a success? Did he achieve his goals? No one will ever know, his personal thoughts, but the main point is; his writings have persuaded billions of people to believe and put their faith in a man, that was certainly an inspirational speaker, a brilliant leader, but was also extremely manipulative, controlling, and from many of his writings, he meant to directly mislead with falsehoods, as to prevaricate the truth. To prevaricate the truth, is far greater than to lie, for it implies a conscious effort to mislead.
The question for us today is; Why do we continue to believe the Bibles account regarding early occurrences in Egypt? The simple fact is the Bible’s account up until the 19th century was our only source of knowledge into the ancient world. The Egyptian hieroglyphs were not understood and deciphered until then, and the Sumerian text even later, up until the 1930’s. In fact the Sumerian civilization was not discovered or even known about until the mid eighteen hundreds. Moses record of man’s early existence was our sole source of knowledge. In effect Moses was able to keep the truth from all of us, simply because of our inability to read ancient text. In brief, Moses had been correct. He could transcribe early Egyptian and Sumerian text word for word, and these accounts would be believed as “words from God”, for thousands of years.
What is even more profound, is that these earlier writing, are now seen as mostly ancient myths, that carry little or no weight, on human history, while the plagiarized Bible’s accounts are seen as the truth. The case in point is the history of the Sumerian king, Sargon, whose history has been purposely buried and hidden by Christian and Jewish scholars, because that history would prove the Bible’s account as false and misleading. A cruel irony of fate.
Was Moses God’s Greatest Prophet, or was he in search of his own destiny? The cost of which was irrelevant. The answer to that can only lie within each of us.
1) No written text predates Sumerian
2) A number of historians have stated that Bitumen was used by ancient Egyptians in mummification.
This is completely incorrect. One must remember bitumen is a very dirty and foul smelling product (depending on sulfur content) and not something that would be used in such an important ceremony.
In the early 20’s and 30’s this ancient process of keeping a body in a embalmed state for centuries was very much in the public’s interest, Therefore a number of prominent researches did extensive and detailed accounts of the resins used by the ancients and NO bitumen were discovered. Only resins from living plants were used.
Did bitumen enter Egyptian life later in the Greek and Roman times as a glue or a sealant product? Yes very probably, but not in ancient times.
Why then do these theories persist? Mainly to support their religious beliefs.