WERE JEWS/HEBREWS HELD AS SLAVES IN EGYPT?, a commentary
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"Jews" did not became slaves in Egypt, as there were no "Jews" existent at the time. "Jews" is a misnomer for the Hebrew Children of Israel, or the Hebrews. Initially, the first "Jews;" so-called, consisted of only the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin who remained as the remnant of Abraham, after the secession of the ten tribes who moved to Samaria, and created the "Divided Monarchy" [circa 735 B.C.E.]. The Biblical Books of Genesis and Exodus provide the answer to the question of how the Hebrews became slaves in Egypt.. A famine was coming to the land in which the descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had settled. Joseph, son of Jacob, had been sold into slavery in Egypt due, in part, to the jealousy of his brothers. Though his early days there were filled with trouble, Jacob consistently found favor with the Egyptians, leading up to the day where he interpreted a dream that the Pharaoh of that day had; the dream indicated 7 years of bountiful harvests, followed by 7 years of famine. Joseph proposed a plan that would save not only Egypt, but the surrounding areas, from the full hardship of the famine. During the famine, Jacob sent his sons to Egypt. After some tests (what some would call cruel games), Joseph and his family were reunited, and were invited by Pharaoh to stay in the land.
Years passed, and the descendents of Jacob grew greatly in number. After several hundred years, the Pharaoh of Moses' day saw the Hebrews as a threat, rather than guests honored by his ancestor. In an attempt to subdue the threat, Pharaoh enslaved the Hebrews, even going so far as to order the death of all male Hebrew babies. One that was saved by his mother and sister was Moses, who became Pharaoh's adopted son, the succeeding Pharaoh's adopted brother, and the savior of the Hebrew people.
Actually, if you study the actual documented history Egypt there is serious doubt that there were the massive flux of Hebrew slaves as depicted in the bible. Assuming that the enslavement and exodus occurred during the Middle Kingdom, as thought by certain biblical references including the building of two cities for Ramses, there is a plethora of information from that period. None of said information refers to massive amounts of Hebrew slaves or to a mass exodus. Certainly, there is no literature from that time that points to the plagues that supposedly rained down on Egypt that were described in the bible.
The Middle Kingdom of Egypt was a vibrant time in Egyptian culture with many foreign peoples populating the land. Egypt had just recently reclaimed its society from being controlled by foreigners and thus were suspicious. Therefore, they assessed many more taxes on foreigners than on native Egyptians. During this period many cultures relocated, peacefully and staggered. Not in the mass exodus described in the bible. Also, recent evidence suggests that the "slaves" who built the cities and temples were respected artisans and workers. Of course, there were slaves in Egypt, as in most cultures of the time, but not the massive numbers portrayed in the bible. And most certainly not all hebrew.
It is suprising that an empire with such a rich and well documented history would be completely silent on such events as described in the bible. These chapters in the bible were written much later by hebrew priests attempting to make a great and powerful history for their small nomadic tribe. This tale ended with the Hebrews conquering the land of Israel thus giving rise to the myth of a Jewish holy land. This is obviously a story meant to give hope and spirit to people, to show that though they were outnumbered their God would save them. Unfortunately, the tiny Judah nation found out that these stories were just parables when they were conquered by the Romans.
I know some of this will be controversial but please research my facts instead of just blasting me and calling me names. Thank you.