Professor Israel Knohl Theory Moses

Moses,,, was actually originally an Egyptian?

Professor Israel Knohl, an Israeli biblical scholar and historian, has presented an intriguing theory about Moses and the early history of the Israelite religion. His theory, which reexamines traditional understandings of the biblical narrative, includes the following key points:

  1. The Enigma of Moses’ Egyptian Background: Knohl emphasizes the Egyptian elements in Moses’ story, particularly his upbringing in Pharaoh’s court. He suggests that Moses might have been influenced by Egyptian religious ideas, which could have played a role in the development of early Israelite monotheism.
  2. Hyksos Influence: Knohl explores the possibility that the Israelites’ monotheism was influenced by the religious beliefs of the Hyksos, a Semitic people who ruled parts of Egypt before being expelled. This connection is based on the proximity of the Hyksos’ expulsion to the traditional timeline of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt.
  3. The Figure of Akhenaten: One of Knohl’s more speculative suggestions is a link between Moses and the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten, known for his attempt to establish a monotheistic worship of the sun god Aten. Knohl proposes that Akhenaten’s religious revolution might have influenced Moses’ conception of monotheism.
  4. The Evolution of Monotheism: Knohl argues that Israelite monotheism developed gradually rather than appearing suddenly with Moses. He suggests that early Israelite religion was henotheistic (worshiping one god without denying the existence of others) and only later evolved into strict monotheism.
  5. Archaeological and Textual Analysis: Knohl’s theories are often grounded in a detailed analysis of archaeological findings, ancient inscriptions, and a critical study of the biblical text.

Knohl’s work is part of a broader scholarly effort to understand the origins and development of ancient Israelite religion and its relationship to surrounding cultures. His theories, while not universally accepted, contribute to the ongoing debate and exploration in biblical scholarship and the study of ancient Near Eastern history. As with many theories concerning ancient history and religious development, Knohl’s ideas are subject to interpretation and debate among scholars.