Part 2 of 3
Egypt went in cycles of being strong to weak. The Pharaohs had two sources of income, the head tax and income from rental of land. When the Pharaohs went to heaven then the rental of land income went to the temple that was taking care of the Pharaoh in his after life. That meant the new Pharaoh had less income.
Egypt was isolated by desert and water and had few wars. The new Pharaohs would reduce the sizes of the armies to make up for lost income. This left the Pharaohs open to be conquered. Conquers knew which temples to partner with and which temples to conquer so that they could become the next Pharaoh. This did not happen to often but enough to create a cycle in the history of management of Egypt.
The head tax was called the “First Born Tax”. Every first born male in Egypt belonged to the Pharaoh, every first born male of every animal including man. Every first born male animal at a certain age had to be taken to the temple and paid as a tax to the Pharaoh.
The young men were then trained in certain skills at the temple once trained the fathers could buy their sons back from the Pharaoh otherwise the sons would have to buy themselves back by working a number of years for the Pharaoh.
The buy back program was known as redemption, still celebrated by the Jews in Israel today. The Israeli government even mints a redemption coin to be used in the ritual of buying their first born males back from the Pharaoh.
The promise of the Tenth Plague (Ex 11.4ff):
Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: About midnight I will go out through Egypt.
Every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the firstborn of the female slave who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the livestock.
Then there will be a loud cry throughout the whole land of Egypt, such as has never been or will ever be again.
But not a dog shall growl at any of the Israelites—not at people, not at animals—so that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.
Then all these officials of yours shall come down to me, and bow low to me, saying, ‘Leave us, you and all the people who follow you.’ After that I will leave.” And in hot anger he left Pharaoh.
The questions this brings up;
Was Moses a Pharaoh?
If he wasn’t a Pharaoh then that statement would have united all of Egypt behind General Ramesses and Moses would have turned the population against him.
If he was the Pharaoh then all the first born belonged to Pharaoh and by the rights of a god he had the ability and right to kill them.
General Ramesses leading the revolt had control of a huge number of foreigners that lived in Egypt. The Canaan’s alone occupied four large cities in Egypt at this time.
There must have been a lot of foreigners working in the temples and as household servants and intermarried with the native Egyptians. Plus Ramesses had the lower Egyptians to deal with.
Now Ramesses had him self ordained Pharaoh too. So Egypt had two gods fighting over leadership. Moses was telling Ramesses that he would even kill Ramesses heirs to the throne. That tells us that they had been at war for a while and Moses was sizing Ramesses up.
This tells us that Ramesses had taken over Memphis and was on the throne. And that Moses went to the only safe place available to him, Avaris.
This tells us that Moses is telling Ramesses that he wants all the foreign people to be able to go with him and that he wants to keep Israel for himself. Israel was the northwest wilderness of the Ancient Egyptian lands. And Israel was now highly valued because of the olive orchards.
This tells us that Moses not only wanted Israel but wanted Ramesses to recognize Israel as belonging to the Israelites, as a separate nation.
I was surprise how researching a tax system could bring up so much about religion relating to the bible.
I had read maybe ten books on religion by this time. So I could say I had a negative mind set about the Church, Christianity and the Bible.
I had also done a little research on Marijuana and Beer going back to the ancient times.
And a few popular subjects like the pony express and highway systems in Turkey and the Hittites.
An article about archeological findings in Egypt told of how a Pharaoh went on a raiding party into Africa and brought back 8,000 cows.
Now that got my attention and brought up a lot of questions. You don’t just get 8,000 cows. And say you did get 8,000 cows. How did he move the cows? That alone is a major task.
Thinking about it, I knew that the Hittites had the Pony Express system in Turkey area. Could the Egyptians have had cowboys back then?
Yep, they did. And they had cowboy poems and songs just like in the Old West. The crossing of rivers was a major risk of cattle drives, again like in the Old West.
Point - The Pharaoh did not go out and steal cows, Pharaoh’s don’t steal. He went out and collected taxes for the use of land that was considered Ancient Egyptian Lands. Just like the Ancient Lands of Israel.
Material included the bible, study bible, timeline charts and bible history charts.
Started researching the bible with Genesis and the story of creation.
Now, research is different than chatting on a website or writing a letter and I have different levels of research. If large amounts of money are involved then the research has to be complete down to the last detail. And this is how I viewed my research of the bible.
Five month had gone by and I had gotten about twenty more books to help with the research because most of the books I had were worthless. I was on the third chapter of Genesis and saw no point in continuing. That’s right, five months and two pages into the bible.
I found the bible itself is no good for research. It translates a message or thoughts only.
And those thoughts do not necessarily follow the true translations of the bible.
Spent a lot of time calling and emailing colleges and institutions for translations, mainly in Israel.
One thing that surprised me was there were several gods in the first chapter alone. And the gods all had names in the older translations. Looking up these gods I found they had wives and children too. A couple gods are still worshiped today and others aren’t but you can still find and go to their ancient churches that are still standing.
I found claims on the internet that there are eleven separate gods in the bible that are under the name of god.
In projects you find an item that isn’t working or doesn’t fit. You stop and see what it will take to fix the problem. And if it can’t be fixed you have to abandon the project at that point otherwise the project is bound to fail. And I was at that point.
Next I went to the internet to learn what the thought was about this problem. If I could find it then you know a lot of other people had found it and maybe got it fixed.
First there were denials that it was really that way. And then there were the stories that they were really all the same god. Or that wherever information I got was wrong.
Then I had to find out if this was unique to the bible or is this common in religion?
Research showed that gods started out as animals or star in the sky, then evolved to part animals and part human, then evolved to all human. But they all had names and most had wives and children.
Next I reviewed the many Genesis stories that had been written, some older and some newer and none had a god without a name. And the newer ones were written from the older ones with changes.
The project was the Bible and God. The Bible was not researchable so the next step was to look into God. I wasn’t going to discard the bible completely. I would treat it like an auto junk yard, a lot of junk but there is still some really good part to be had.
Over the next four plus years I did a lot of research on ancient people and customs and read several books.
How to explain what happened in less than one million words.
Should always work from a timetable.
In a thousand years no one has been able to make a timetable of the bible that everyone agrees upon.
DNA is helping a lot in this area.
Don’t trust or use any archeological data out of Israel by Israel.
Avaris and Alexandria are located in the center of the known world, most East to West trade pass through their ports. They are like a large mixing bowl of culture and ideas.
Take customs and religions from every direction and known country and put pieces of them in the mixing bowl. Then you bake it in the oven and you have a cake. Over time you end up baking a lot of cakes. Some were only liked by a few and others were liked by many and people took the cakes they liked back to their homeland countries to taste. Once the cake went back to the homeland the frosting of the homeland was added to the cake to make the cake more attractive to the people there.
The cakes the people liked the best seemed to have the pieces of India in them.
A story I read.
The Great Pharaoh of Egypt hears about this Great Chef at this cooking school in the area of Ancient Rome. He had the Great Chef brought to Egypt to teach his Royal Chefs how to make fruit pies. And that’s how fruit pies got to Egypt.
Point being, people liked certain things, but were always looking for new things too.
You can tell someone that the gasoline burning car is not good for the environment and nothing will happen.
Give someone the choice of using a gasoline burner or an electric car and they will pick the electric car.
Point being, mainstream religion is not going to change unless you offer something better to replace it.