The Moses Mystery: The Egyptian Origins of the Jewish People

By Gary Greenberg

The Moses Mystery: The Egyptian Origins of the Jewish People

(This book has been previously published under other titles, including The Moses Mystery: The African Origins of the Jewish People and The Bible Myth: the African Origins of the Jewish People.)

Inside the Book

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The Problem of Israel’s Origins

Table of Contents

Review excerpts

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What do history and archaeology really say about the origins of ancient Israel?

Although the bible says that Israel’s formative history took place in ancient Egypt, biblical scholars and Egyptologists have steadfastly refused to explore the role of Egyptian history and literature on the origins of Jewish religion. The Moses Mystery attempts to set the record straight. Based on extensive research into biblical and Egyptian history, archaeology, literature and mythology Greenberg argues that the first Israelites were Egyptians, followers of the monotheistic teachings of Pharaoh Akhenaten.

Table of Contents

1   The Problem of Israel’s Origins
2   The Genesis Birth-and-Death Chronology
3   The Throne of Horus
4   Enoch and Sothis: A Solar Clue
5   Eber and Thebes
6   Methuselah and Memphis
7   Joseph and the Eighteenth Dynasty
8   Dating the Exodus
9   Egypt Under Akhenaten
10  Exodus: The Egyptian Version
11  Who Were the Genesis Patriarchs?
12  The Horus Cycle: Jacob and Esau
13  Isaac and the Death of Osiris
14  The Twelve Tribes Myth and the Canaanite Conquest
15  Rewriting the History of Ancient Israel’s Origins

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Review Excerpts

Insightful and valuable—KMT Magazine

Guaranteed to raise hackles and lively debate . . . Sure to provoke challenge.— Denver Post

An ingenious comparison of Biblical and Egyptian history.— St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A must read for those interested in biblical scholarship. —The Tennessee Tribune

This is an intriguing and controversial book, bound to add fuel to the still smoldering debate between Afrocentrists and classicists over Africa’s role in the evolution of Western culture and civilization.—MultiCultural Review

It’s a “hot’ subject and Greenberg’s publisher hopes this work will appeal to students of (and opponents to) Afrocentrism.— Booklist

Greenberg claims that the Genesis stories of the patriarchs are modified Egyptian myths altered by Moses, a member of the Egyptian royal line who was forced to flee the land after losing a power struggle with Ramesses I.—The New York Jewish Week

Bold! Courageous! Potentially a paradigm shift in biblical scholarship.—Professor Edgar A. Gregersen, Professor of Anthropology, Queens College and Graduate Center, City University of New York

Greenberg offers some engaging new insights into the age-old problem of the Moses story. This volume should be of interest to all those curious about the intimate links between ancient Egypt and Israel.—Robert R. Stieglitz, Associate Professor, Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations, Rutgers University

Even if one doesn’t accept Greenberg’s historical reconstruction, he unquestionably succeeds in bringing to one’s attention the largely neglected resonance of ancient Egyptian mythic archetypes in biblical narrative.—Prof. Murray H. Lichtenstein, Dept. of Classical and Oriental Studies, Hunter College, CUNY

Some of the many intriguing revelations in The Moses Mystery include:

  • The Twelve Tribes of Israel never existed.
  • Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were characters from Egyptian mythology.
  • The first Israelites were Egyptians, followers of Pharaoh Akhenaten, whose attempts to introduce monotheism into Egypt engendered rage among the religious establishment.
  • Moses served as chief priest in Akhenaten’s cult and, after Akhenaten’s death, had to flee Egypt to avoid execution.
  • Pharaoh Horemheb waged a bitter campaign to eradicate all vestiges of Akhenaten’s heresy, eliminating the evidence stone by stone and word by word. As a result, Akhenaten remained lost to history until nineteenth-century Egyptologists discovered the ruins of his capital city.
  • When Horemheb died, Moses returned to Egypt, united his followers with other enemies of Egypt, and attempted to seize the throne from Ramesses I.
  • The coup failed, but to avoid a civil war Moses and his allies were allowed safe passage out of Egypt. This was the real Exodus.
  • After entering Canaan, the Egyptian followers of Moses formed military alliances with local Canaanite kings and with some of the recently arrived Greek invaders known as the Sea Peoples. This nontribal alliance of small kingdoms and city-states became biblical Israel.