Moses the Egyptian
The idea of monotheism is linked to Moses. But the one who embodied this idea and affirmed it is the pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV). We are not so sure of Moses that it ever existed, but its presence in the Scriptures has accompanied us to this day. Of Akhenaten we know how and when he lived, at his death, however, his detractors condemned the memory of it by stripping the royal seals on all the monuments of Egypt, only today has it been possible to restore luster to its religious and innovative reform. We know the bond that unites Moses to this land, where he was born and fled with his people.
Moses is a figure of memory but not of history, but Akhenaten is a figure of history and not of memory. Some scholars believe that the monotheism of the biblical character derives from that of the Egyptian sovereign:
«When you go down to the western horizon / the earth is in the dark / in the state of death / All the lions come out of their burrow / all snakes bite (… ) Men wake up and stand up / The whole country is about to work ». Thus recites the hymn to Aton written during the 18 years of the reign of Akhenaten. In the Bible, Psalm 104 reads: “You spread the darkness / then all the beasts of the jungle come out / roar the young lions in search of prey / The sun rises and they withdraw / crouch in their burrows / Then the man comes out to his work / to his work until evening “.
There is no later Egyptian text that has so much affinity with the Hymn as the Hebrew psalm. The biblical “distinction” made by Moses – the rejection of polytheism, idolatry and superstition in the name of monotheism – had been preceded by a similar “distinction” on the part of the pharaoh: and there were those, like Freud in his last work, The man Moses concluded that the biblical prophet gave the monotheism of Akhenaten the Egyptian monotheism to the Jews of the Exodus.
According to this logic one might think that, Yaveh in the “cosmic god” of the mysteries, accessible only by initiatic and antithetical to polytheism for the masses and we could equate the biblical tetragrammaton YHVH (“I am who I am”, Exodus, 3 , 14) to the inscriptions of the pyramid of Sais (“I am all that is”) and a statue of Isis (“I am what it is”). Certainly we can affirm that the first “distinction” from polytheism dates back to Akhenaten, whose monotheism was based on reconciliation with God and on the forgiveness of faults before the tribunal of the dead, so that Bà, the soul, entered the afterlife in a state of purity. The biblical Moses, on the other hand, did not speak to his people in the afterlife and introduced the idea of sin identified in the idolatrous Egypt that he refused; but those wise men who sought God on the Nile wanted to overcome the great cultural fracture born of that rejection, in the name of a universal religion. And they turned to the Egyptian Moses.