The birth of Judaism
In Response To: Re: Brit-Am ()

Thanks, Erol for your reply. Like you, I also very much doubt any literal existence of "twelve tribes" and I even doubt there ever was a "Kingdom of Israel and/or Judah" at all in any literal sense.

The biblical writings are of course religious stories filled with religious ideas. If based on actual Egyptian, Babylonian, Canaanite, and so on historical realities, they nevertheless present a "religious history" of their own, dressing the ancient Egyptian kings in shepherds clothes, and so forth.

As far as I can see, that is a form of reshaping history to fit ones own ends.

Obviously, the biblical writings themselves are based upon the literary traditions of the Canaanites, from whom I also believe that the Hebrew language developed. Most likely, though, the "Hebrews" themselves were "Indo-Europeans" who gradually assimilated Canaanite and Phoenician culture, language, mythology and religious ideas.

According to the biblical table of nations (Genesis 10), "Canaan" is the descendant of "Ham", indicating an African/Nubian/Ethiopian origin to this civilization. Other "sons of Ham" are "Mizraim" (Egypt) and "Kush" (related to Ethiopia/Nubia/Sudan as well as parts of India). And "Nimrod", the son of Kush, is said to have established "Babel, Erek, and Akkad and Kalneh, in the land of Shinar (Sumer?)"

Thus, Egypt, Sumer, and Canaan all seem to have an African ("Hamite", "Kushite") origin, at least according to the biblical table of nations. My theory is that other peoples of "Indo-European" origin gradually mingled into these ancient civilizations and thereby to a large extent assimilated their language, culture, mythology, and religion, at the same time as they in their turn came to influence and finally change the character of these ancient civilizations.

I think Judaism, and later Christianity and Islam, were born out of that gradual process, whereby the old religious systems of Egypt, Canaan, and Sumer were drastically reshaped into the so called "monotheistic" faiths that we are familiar with today - and that during the centuries have so sadly laid waste so many other cultures and human ways of life around the earth.

Best regards, Helge.

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Re: The birth of Judaism