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Old 05-21-2018, 11:25 AM   #1
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What I learned in my course on the Hebrew Bible this week

There is no evidence of the plagues of Egypt in the times allocated for that therefore the plagues are symbolic.

We shouldn't worry if history or science is different from what the Writings say. Sometimes the prophets indulge in what people believe in order to get their point across. Abdu'l-Baha and Mirza Abu'l-Fadl say so.

Compared to what are other law codes of the times say the Torah law code is very enlightened. The Torah law treated all classes as being equal before the law whereas other law didn't. Also the Torah had high regard for the poor and treated them well. Also other laws emphasized property law a lot more (gave greater penalties for it) whereas the Torah law gave laws such as murder and adultery a greater penalty.
 
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane View Post
There is no evidence of the plagues of Egypt in the times allocated for that therefore the plagues are symbolic.
To be fair, the most logical timeframe for the life of Moses (in my own opinion) would be during the Hyksos occupation, when Canaanite groups like the Hebrews being in Egypt was commonplace (including the ruling Hyksos nobility).

And, compared to all the other dynasties of Egypt, the Hyksos left behind the least historical records. In addition to the fact that the Hyksos weren't necessarily historically inclined, nations typically didn't make historical records of their failures, at least not at the same rate as their successes.

For example, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle doesn't mention a whole lot going on during the period of time where, according to other historical data like coins, the Danelaw was rapidly expanding into the territories covered in that historical record. In other words, during the period of time during a very significant event, a massive Norse invasion, the Anglo-Saxon historians chose to omit this event because they it went against the narrative of a historically powerful Wessex dynasty.

So with the Hyksos period, assuming that is the period when Moses lived, if there was a series of plagues, the Hyksos, already not prone to writing down historical records, were even less likely to write down what would have been a crushing and embarrassing defeat at the hands of an enslaved populace.

And with that said I need to further clarify: I am not taking the position that the plagues definitely happened. My position, for all events that far in the past, is that it's nearly impossible to know what actually happened wholly.

Historians don't record everything as it happens. They miss details and minimize or even erase events that don't agree with their patron's narrative (a narrative which is almost universally: "glorify the ruling dynasty"). Because historians who didn't do such things were unemployed.

And furthermore, regardless of whether or not the plagues occurred, the plagues are certainly symbolic. Even if it literally happened, it can still be symbolic as well. After all, the life of the Bab is obviously historical fact, as well as a life that was very much symbolic of the life of Jesus and thus the second coming.

Overall, we have no idea whether or not the plagues happened. But regardless of whether or not they did, they still hold symbolic value.

Last edited by Walrus; 05-21-2018 at 12:38 PM.
 
Old 05-22-2018, 06:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
To be fair, the most logical timeframe for the life of Moses (in my own opinion) would be during the Hyksos occupation, when Canaanite groups like the Hebrews being in Egypt was commonplace (including the ruling Hyksos nobility).

And, compared to all the other dynasties of Egypt, the Hyksos left behind the least historical records. In addition to the fact that the Hyksos weren't necessarily historically inclined, nations typically didn't make historical records of their failures, at least not at the same rate as their successes.

For example, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle doesn't mention a whole lot going on during the period of time where, according to other historical data like coins, the Danelaw was rapidly expanding into the territories covered in that historical record. In other words, during the period of time during a very significant event, a massive Norse invasion, the Anglo-Saxon historians chose to omit this event because they it went against the narrative of a historically powerful Wessex dynasty.

So with the Hyksos period, assuming that is the period when Moses lived, if there was a series of plagues, the Hyksos, already not prone to writing down historical records, were even less likely to write down what would have been a crushing and embarrassing defeat at the hands of an enslaved populace.

And with that said I need to further clarify: I am not taking the position that the plagues definitely happened. My position, for all events that far in the past, is that it's nearly impossible to know what actually happened wholly.

Historians don't record everything as it happens. They miss details and minimize or even erase events that don't agree with their patron's narrative (a narrative which is almost universally: "glorify the ruling dynasty"). Because historians who didn't do such things were unemployed.

And furthermore, regardless of whether or not the plagues occurred, the plagues are certainly symbolic. Even if it literally happened, it can still be symbolic as well. After all, the life of the Bab is obviously historical fact, as well as a life that was very much symbolic of the life of Jesus and thus the second coming.

Overall, we have no idea whether or not the plagues happened. But regardless of whether or not they did, they still hold symbolic value.
The exodus probably happened during the 13th century B.C. because of the internal evidence of the Bible. This was after the Hyksos. Also, whether it was recorded or not, their is no disaster like the exodus that happened at that time.
 
Old 05-22-2018, 07:10 AM   #4
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Also, whether it was recorded or not, their is no disaster like the exodus that happened at that time.
Without a historical record, how can we know?? Accepting your timeline as the 13th century BCE...

In the 14th century BCE Egyptian historians tried and nearly succeeded in erasing the rule of the Pharaoh Akhenaten from the historical record, because they didn't want to undermine the Egyptian religion by admiting that an Egyptian Pharaoh embraced a different religious tradition (in that case, Atenism). The only reason Akhenaten wasn't completely stricken from the record was because he had his own historians carving monuments and some of them survived the erasure attempt.

So we already know that the Egyptian historians living around the proposed time actively tried to erase any event in history, such as the reign of Akhenaten and the religion he created, that undermined the Egyptian religious establishment. Exodus, if it happened (and again, not that I think it did), would have undermined the religious authority of the priests and the divine right of the title Pharaoh. And thus it would have been erased from history by the Egyptian historians, just as they tried to erase all evidence of Atenism only a century prior.
 
Old 05-22-2018, 03:58 PM   #5
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Thought I'd give my two cents on the topic, because I am fond of anything Egyptian - early on my journey I practiced Kemeticism (Egyptian Paganism) and have since always loved Egypt.

During the fast (is it okay to abbreviate it to 'Ala?) I studied a manifestation a day. The story of Moses intrigued me a lot and it happened to be a day that my study group the Menders got together, and as such I had posed the question: who were the Pharaohs in Exodus?

We had also thought the plagues were very likely symbolic (but who knows) and thus the impact of the plagues would not be physical. We turned up with 2 different theories, one favoured an "older" pharaoh, being Thutmose II who helps raise Moses and Thutmose III being the pharaoh that actually lets Moses go but then pursued him. The other idea was for a "younger" set of Pharaohs, being Ramesses II who helps raise Moses and Merneptah as the Exodus pharaoh. I don't know how accurate either of these may actually be as this was a simple 3 hour crunch session that we have not really ever revisited. Very interesting to hear of this topic again.
 
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