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his reign, the Pharaoh Akhenaten was able to abolish the complex
pantheon of the ancient Egyptian religion and replace it with
a single god, the Aten, who had no image or form. Seizing
on the striking similarities between the religious vision
of this "heretic" pharaoh and the teachings of Moses, Sigmund
Freud was the first to argue that Moses was in fact an Egyptian.
Now Ahmed Osman, using recent archaeological discoveries and
historical documents, contends that Akhenaten and Moses were
one and the same man.
In a stunning
retelling of the Exodus story, Osman details the events of
Moses/Akhenaten's life: how he was brought up by Israelite
relatives, ruled Egypt for seventeen years, angered many of
his subjects by replacing the traditional Egyptian pantheon
with worship of the Aten, and was forced to abdicate the throne.
Retreating to the Sinai with his Egyptian and Israelite supporters,
he died out of the sight of his followers, presumably at the
hands of Seti I, after an unsuccessful attempt to regain his
the Egyptian components in the monotheism preached by Moses
as well as his use of Egyptian royal ritual and Egyptian religious
expression. He shows that even the Ten Commandments betray the
direct influence of Spell 125 in the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
Moses and Akhenaten provides a radical challenge to long-standing
beliefs concerning the origin of Semitic religion and the puzzle
of Akhenaten's deviation from ancient Egyptian tradition. In
fact, Osman's discovery is that many major Old Testament figures
are Egyptian origin.