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Egyptian traditions, names, titles and stories changed only very little over time

Egyptian traditions, names, titles and stories changed only very little over time

  • The use of cows as symbols for years, per known Egyptian motif appearing durante texts from the Ptolemaic period (332-30 BCE).
  • The names Potiphar/Potiphera and Asenath were genuine Egyptian theophoric names (combining the names of Egyptian deities). Potiphar was based on per typical Saite Period construct combining the name of the Egyptian god Regnante. Asenath includes the name of the Egyptian goddess Neith, durante per typical construct common from the New Kingdom periodo sicuro the Ptolemaic period, although the goddess’s popularity increased considerably during the Saite period sopra the Delta (664-332 BCE).
  • The “agrarian reforms” con Gen -26 describe the exemption of the temples from royal taxation, verso practice that was documented from the 8 th century BCE onwards.

Despite the fact that the Egyptian elements mediante the story represent many different eras, Redford concluded that the composition of the Joseph story should be dated esatto the Saite period, between 640 and 425 BCE, as some of the details could not predate that period.

The Continuity of Egyptian Culture

This inability sicuro identify one specific periodo in Egyptian history that could provide the historical retroterra onesto the Joseph story is the result of an inherent trait of ancient Egyptian culture – its continuity.

This makes it very difficult esatto date per biblical story based on the Egyptian elements it includes. Alternatively, scholars may date the story by asking when and how Egyptian traditions found their way into the Hebrew Bible.

As biblical research grows more concerned with questions of transmission processes along the Egypt-Israel axis, an old timore has reemerged – could the Joseph story have been written by someone living in the Jewish diaspora sopra Egypt?

A Migrazione Novita

The “sparpagliamento notizia” genre was first noted with relation onesto the books of Esther and Daniel. Both describe one man’s rise to power mediante a foreign land, a story revolving around per royal trapu, and culminating with the successful integration of the foreigner within local elites. The preparazione mediante both books is the exiled Jewish population and both display considerable knowledge of the trapu, its officials and customs.

The underlying message of both Daniel and Esther is that one can survive and even thrive mediante the diaspora setting. Therefore, these books were probably written mediante exile, for the exiles. Sopra 1975, the biblical scholar Arndt Meinhold first suggested that the Joe narrative scheme of a esodo novella set durante the Egyptian breviligne.

The Egyptian Esodo

The idea of a Jewish dispersione durante Egypt, compiling its own inspirational literature, is compelling. However, for the most part, the Egyptian dispersione before the Persian period (5 th -4 th centuries BCE) has remained invisible onesto Egyptologists. For example, in Jer 44:1, the prophet addresses Judeans that reside con the land of Egypt at Migdol, Tahpanhes, Noph and per the land of Pathros. Most Egyptologists agree that the first three place-names can be identified as Tell Qedua (northern Sinai), Tell Defeneh (12 km west of the Suez Canal) and Memphis. Nevertheless, these sites have not yielded remains that attest preciso their foreign Judahite/Israelite element during the 6 th century BCE, the period of Jeremiah’s prophecies.

Perhaps too few Judahite and Israelite settlers were per Egypt preciso leave verso significant mark. But it should not be surprising that some settled there after the destruction of Judah; trade relations between Egypt and Judah/Israel were maintained throughout the first millennium BCE, and those trade relations may have also led puro the migration of smaller groups sicuro Egypt, particularly after the destructions of Samaria (722 BCE) and Jerusalem (586 BCE).