5 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? [2] Editor’s note: For a discussion slavery in Egypt during this period, see Mark Janzen, "What We Know about Slavery in Egypt," TheTorah.com (2015). When the Israelites left Egypt following the tenth plague, they were told to ask the Egyptians for items of value for their journey. The Hebrew word for “fashion,” is tsuwr (OT: 6696) and is in the Qal Imperfect, therefore it means, “to form, to fashion.” Popularly known as the Tomb of Absalom, this is in fact a Hellenistic style monument marking the tomb of a prominent – perhaps royal – Jerusalemite from the 1st century BCE. How many of the writings on Egyptian tombs, et al, were written by slaves aka Jews? The Cairo suburb of al-Matariyyah, the ancient site of Heliopolis as it looks today. Don’t miss the latest essays from TheTorah.com. These numbers were so great, the Pharaoh became nervous that the Israelites were becoming too many in number to control and thought they might side with Egypt’s enemies in case of war. In the Egyptian mindset, one could guarantee that questions would be answered truthfully only after a severe beating had been done. This is a NASA satellite photograph taken from space. [1] For a discussion of what “supply cities” might mean, see my, “What Kind of Construction Did the Israelites Do in Egypt?” TheTorah.com (2018). 6 I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. Given these circumstances, Pharaoh’s command to force the Israelites to build these temple storage depots was concomitantly a command to make YHWH’s chosen people labor in service to gods other than YHWH. This is made clear in Exodus 5, when, after Moses demands a three-day holiday for the Hebrews to go and worship YHWH, Pharaoh reacts by making the work harder: ‍Pharaoh’s new decree here reveals another dimension to the work, namely the gathering of straw with which to make the bricks. Video - Dr. Michael S. Heiser breaks down the dates related to the enslavement of the Israelites by the Egyptians, then compares that with the time period the pyramids were believed to have been built. The Bible as well as Ancient Historians describe the Ancient Israelites as black. Distance from Egypt to Israel is 612 kilometers. Many of us make a very common historical error when reading the Bible. Question: "Are the pyramids mentioned in the Bible? The problem was even more acute with royal mortuary temples. Please support us. This is an example of the “matzevot” that the Bible commands the Israelites to destroy. 7 Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to … This late 13th century dating is corroborated by the Merneptah Stele (ca. Many temples were “special interest” cults, in support of minor deities venerated by a given pharaoh. No one could enter or leave the city. That the Israelites were primarily, if not exclusively, brick makers as opposed to builders is apparent from the next part of the story, which focuses on the Israelite supervisors: The text here repeatedly mentions a brick-maker’s quota. Pithom is thought to be a Hebrew pronunciation of the Egyptian name Per Atum, which means “The House of Atum,” the god of the setting sun; Rameses is presumably named after Rameses II, the famous pharaoh at the time of the Exodus story. Palestine in the ancient world was part of the region known as Canaan where the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah were located. This cannot simply be coterminous with Pithom and Rameses since these two cities were large with multiple buildings in them,[5] including Temples made of stone. 10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase and, in the event of war, join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.” 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor. 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