“Pharaoh’ in the Abraham story, as well as that Moses and Joseph spoke of is not the king of Egypt as millions over hundreds of years have been made to believe”
“Judaism and its Israelite stories of militant raids are as genuinely Arabian as Islam and its tales of holy wars and jihad”
By Dr. Ashraf Ezzat
Maybe East is East and West is West, but the twain shall meet in this essay.
For ages, western intellectuals believed that Western culture is evidently distinct from that of the east. It always seemed like Eastern and Western cultures were separated by a (hard to cross) thick red line. Therefore westerners tend to view their political, social and spiritual ideas as completely different from that of the east. The reason for that is the (misguided) belief that the root of every aspect of western culture had originally been created by western minds and grew and evolved on western soil (according to western values). In that regard Judaism has long been considered as one of the building blocks of western spirituality (a conviction we have totally deconstructed and exposed its fallacy in our recent book).
While the former conviction could hold some truth as far as some sciences, art and humanities are concerned, but when it comes to the spiritual and religious ideas that ‘made in the west’ concept won’t hold up to our scrutiny and will eventually fall flat on its face.
And since Judaism and its stories were (seen) at the core of the Christian theology, the two were somehow blended as one faith under the common designation “Judeo-Christianity”. Two totally antagonistic belief systems that shouldn’t have been merged together, hadn’t it been for the Roman political agenda to paint the whole Empire with a monochromic religious brush. That actually payed off in a way that helped put an end to the (ceaseless) Jewish rebellion/militancy (like of today’s Islamic State) in the Roman Provinces of Arabia and the Levant.
Ask any average European or American about what it is that connects him to the ‘Jewish/Zionist state of Israel’ and you’ll instantly get this (painfully) naïve and spontaneous answer
“there is a strong bond between us and Israel because we share the same values”
By the same values, he/she means the Judeo-Christian faith and the Israelite (apocalyptic) stories, the (insane) accomplishment of which will herald the so called second coming of the Christ. Hence, new ecclesiastical terminology and churches have recently started to capitalize on this (distorted concept), e.g., Christian Zionism. But little did those Americans and Europeans (who subscribed to this new faith/church) know that this bond was just a deception in disguise, and those values were completely alien to the West and its inherent culture. This is principally the aim of our book and this essay; to expose centuries of deception and delusion augmented by biased and misguided western academia.
Judaism and Islam: Two sides of the same coin
Most of the orientalists who examined the Quran and Islamic literature and jurisprudence have often come to the conclusion that Islamic literature/scripture had copycatted many of the Jewish laws and stories. Well, in that regard the orientalists and most of the Western scholars are damn right. But oddly enough no one of them wondered why Islam and Judaism are so (strikingly) similar in their laws and stories. Why the same stories of the Jewish Patriarchs are reiterated over and over again, and may be in a more detailed manner, in the Qur’an?
Even more bizarrely important, how come that millions of Muslims over the last 1400 years have grown so familiar with the Israelite stories if those were exclusively western?
Till this very moment every Muslim child, before he is taught the alphabetical order, is usually well instructed/indoctrinated with the stories of Noah, Joseph, David and Solomon and of course (spoon fed) the notorious story of Moses and Pharaoh (in Egypt)
Some might argue that this is not surprising nor unexpected since Islam is one of the Abrahamic religions that also included Judaism and Christianity. Well, that is a good argument, provided we first agree on the (original) geography and the culture that gave birth to Abraham and his new faith/ideas. First tell me the native culture/homeland of Abraham and then lecture me on the so called Abrahamic religions.
Pinning down not only the timeline but most importantly the exact geography that produced Judaism and the Israelite stories will be of a tremendous help. It will give us access into the kind of ‘culture’ that created that faith, and the kind of ‘people’ that told and nurtured those (violent and tribal) Israelite stories. In other words, getting to find out the cultural roots of Judaism will indeed uncover the (anthropological) reasons behind the (tribal) violence and intolerance that the Israelite stories/laws are so soaked with that made the adherents of the Jewish faith the hardest to assimilate (into other cultures) throughout the history of mankind. And likewise that will help us understand why Islam had so uncompromisingly followed suit.
The academic circles till this very moment insist on loosely defining Judaism as ‘a monotheistic faith that sprouted in the ancient Near East. In modern terminology, that would translate to the (whole) Middle East as the home ground for Judaism and its stories. In other words, orthodox historians are allocating the whole area from Morocco in the west to Iran in the East, and from Yemen in the south to Turkey in the North as the land of the Israelite stories. While this clearly sounds so grotesquely unscientific, but on the other hand these loose geographical boundaries couldn’t be more convenient for fostering/advancing the idea of Greater Israel (though there is no relation whatsoever between nowadays Israel and the ancient Israelites and their so called Promised land)
According to the critical/academic school of history the ‘patriarchal/ancestral period’ that starts with Abraham is now regarded a later literary construct, not a period in the actual history of the ancient world.
But since I render alternative views on ancient history, I tend to rely more on the philosophy of history with its analytical methodology than critical/orthodox school of history, though I agree with the assessment of its scholars that view the tale of Abraham (as interpreted by orientalists) not reflecting real history.
The term philosophy of history refers to the theoretical aspect of history, it speculates if there is a design, purpose, coherence, directive principle in the processes of human history. And most importantly it investigates with its analytical power the truthfulness of our historical records and stories, and whether the path of human history has been deceitfully deviated, or its stories tampered with. Unlike the critical school of history which focus on the literal interpretation of recorded history, the philosophy of history try hard to read between the lines, and connect the dots looking backwards to try and figure out how we ended up where we are.
According to the orientalist interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, Abraham was the “Superman of antiquity”.
The Patriarch was born (sometime around 1900 BC) in the city/village of Ur (south Iraq) in the ancient Chaldean Empire in ancient Mesopotamia, then he moved to Haran (Turkish-Iranian border) and then he headed to Damascus (Syria) then he traveled to Shechem and Bethel in Palestine (mistaken by academics for Canaan). After that, he took a giant leap to Egypt where he had offered his wrinkled 65-year wife/sister as a concubine for its king (mistaken for Pharaoh). Then he turned back to Palestine (mistaken for Canaan) and of course the Journeys of the then 150 plus years Patriarch wouldn’t have been made holy without stopping for a while at Salem (Jerusalem) where he had a friendly meeting with its chief, Melchizedek (honest king in Arabic!)
Now the reason why many ‘academic’ historians view the tale of Abraham as merely fictional is simply because many of the city names mentioned in his story were actually not yet established around the time of Patriarch.
At 1900 BC there was no Damascus yet, no Canaan, No Jerusalem and definitely no Pharaohs in Egypt (as detailed in my book)
Feeling the heat and embarrassment after nearly two centuries of Extensive excavations in Egypt yielded no historical evidence of ‘Pharaoh’ as the title for the ‘King’ of ancient Egypt, archeologists (with Bible geared mindset) admitted that ‘Per-aa/Pharaoh’ had never actually been the royal title for Egypt King. However, in an attempt to save face, they have recently added that the title ‘Pharaoh’ began to be used as a generic reference for the ‘King’ of Egypt at a very late period of the ancient Egyptian Empire (around 1200-1000 BC)
Now, although that assertion & timing is totally erroneous (as detailed in my book) still it remains very difficult for those ‘academic’ historians and archeologists to explain how on earth the ‘King of Egypt’ whom Abraham introduced his wife to as his sister could be referred to as ‘Pharaoh’? For according to their ‘robust’ thesis/investigation there were no ‘Pharaohs’ in ancient Egypt around 1900 BC (the purported time of Abraham’s tale)
Now let’s stop here for a while and ponder upon this inconsistency. There were no ‘Pharaohs’ yet in Egypt but still Abraham met one in his ancient journeys. Well, that could translate to one of two likelihoods.
Either Abraham never set foot in Egypt, or he had really met ‘Pharaoh’ but not in the ‘Egypt’ we all know of, and that is what had really happened.
‘Pharaoh’ in the Abraham story, as well as that Moses and Joseph spoke of is not the king of Egypt as millions over hundreds of years have been made to believe, but it is ‘Faraon/ فرعون the ancient Arabic title for tribal chieftain. It is linguistically/historically known that in ancient Arabia the head of the tribe was designated Faraon/فرعون. That’s why the real Pharaoh of Moses was nothing but a ruthless Arabian Bedouin/nomad. And consequently that would make the Israelites natives of ancient Arabia (funny … eh?). Yet it is painfully true.
But never for a second fall under the false notion that we’re building our thesis merely out of linguistic correlation, there is a lot more to this than just phonetic similarities, a hell of a lot more. There is the hidden truth and we are just scratching its surface. We are simply exposing a gruesome and deliberate (Jewish) act of distorting humanity’s ancient history. This ancient deception has unfortunately driven us to our current situation where we are overwhelmed with more of the same gruesomeness and distortion.
The incredible journeys Abraham (solely and on a camel) seemed almost impossible or otherwise just pure fiction for 100-year-old man to make. It was made even harder for the sophisticated and modern (Jewish) archeologists to swallow after they had dated the 7th century BC as the time camels were first domesticated in the ancient Near East. In his long and arduous journeys, the aging Patriarch must have ridden one of those direhorses we saw in James Cameron’s Avatar (no sarcasm intended)
But if we reexamined the same story of Abraham, but this time around, viewed it in its original and native geography, culture and timeline the whole story could sound not only different but also plausible.
According to the Arabic/Muslim ancient oral narrations, all the Places Abraham travelled to in his ancient tale were inside ancient Arabia and North Yemen. Once we realized that Ur, Horan, Bethel, and Salem/Jerusalem are but ancient names for Arabic small towns in the Asir (the origin of Israelites) province (stretching from Mecca in the north to Sanaa in the south) the whole bits and pieces of Abraham’s puzzling story will instantly fall into place (historical references and evidences are abundant in the book)
Billions of Muslims around the globe and throughout the past 1400 years accept as true that Abraham was the one (with his son Ishmael) who actually built up the sanctuary in Mecca and that he lived somewhere near Moriah (Marwah) mountain. This is a robust tenet of Islamic tradition and history (based on countless ancient narrations and parallel citations in the historical records & poetry of ancient Arabia)
At this particular point in my essay someone (agitated by these new revelations) will try and refute the ancient Arabian narrations, poetry and traditions as historical evidence. I absolutely have no problem with that, only if Mr/Ms ‘agitated’ would apply the same (refuting) doubts and methodology to Judaism and Christianity (and their totally anecdotal historical sources/evidences) . Let’s all bury our dead legends and start anew.
I believe that not many westerners knew that ‘Jerusalem’ is referred to as ‘Salem’ in the Hebrew Bible. And I doubt that even fewer westerners knew that ’Salem’ is a genuine Arabic word that means ‘Peaceful’ just like Melchizedek means ‘Honest king’ .
For crying out loud, what a word like ‘Melchizedek’ has to do with (the whole) Western phonetic culture, let alone its spirituality. The truth of the matter is that ‘Judaism’ is as dreadfully alien to Westerners as ‘Melchizedek’ is to their ears.
In many of the ancient Arabian records and oral narrations ‘Salem’ is referred to as ‘Dar Salem/ peaceful house’ in North Yemen, or what the western orientalists had mistakenly identified with ‘Jerusalem’ in Palestine.
But why the Hebrew book of stories should include Arabic words? This should come as no surprise if we came to understand that the Israelite stories are simply ancient Arabia’s remote folktales. Judaism and its Israelite stories of militant raids are as genuinely Arabian as Islam and its tales of holy wars and jihad.
Few westerners had tapped into this (historical) information; one of them was Paul the Apostle. Why do you think Paul the apostle headed to Arabia and sojourned there for long three years before he dared embark on his missionary journeys (in the Roman/Western world).
“But when the God who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me through his grace was pleased to reveal his son in me, so that I might be his herald among the nations, at once I did not confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus” (Gal.1:15-17)
Paul did not travel to Arabia on a Safari tour nor to dig for oil. The educated and multilingual man knew that Arabia was the cultural and geographical (native) land of Judaism and its stories of a new Messiah/Mashiach (the theme of then his upcoming mission impossible)
The Christian ideology is based on the (Jewish) distorted narrative that Pharaoh was the king of ancient Egypt and that Moses was raised in an Egyptian royal household and that the Epic Exodus took off from the (heathen) kingdom of Egypt to the new and Promised Land (kingdom) of God’s chosen & righteous people in Palestine/Canaan. It is based on the false belief that Moses received his tablets on The Egyptian Mount Sinai. But at the time the story of Christ was evolving it seemed that Paul the Apostle was the only one who really knew the truth (after he had dived into ancient Arabia)
“Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman, one by the free. But the slave woman’s son was born according to the flesh; the free woman’s, through promise. Which is an allegory: for these two women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, born for slavery, which is Hagar. For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia; and [Sinai] corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is the mother of us all.” (Gal 4:25 )
Here is Paul, the man who literally invented (western) Christianity, unambiguously affirming that the mountain which witnessed the encounter of Moses with his God had all along been in Arabia. Well that would automatically suggest that the rest of the ‘Israelite Exodus’ story had actually taken place in ancient Arabia as well (and not in ancient Egypt as the millions of laymen so ignorantly/pathetically believed). And Paul was not the kind of man who neither uttered words lightly nor maintained facts he knew were not true.
Only aliens are in need of translation
Unlike the west, the Arabs and Muslims did not rely on a translation of the Hebrew book to get familiar with its stories. As a matter of fact, the Hebrew Bible was first translated into Arabic as late as the 10th century and it was done by the Egyptian Jewish scholar “Saʻīd bin Yūsuf al-Fayyūmi, also known in the western world as Saadia Gaon”.
And while the ‘Septuagint Bible’ in its Greek translation (in the third century BC) was the breakthrough moment for the Israelite stories after which it had started to disseminate throughout the Western world, the Arabic translation of the same Hebrew Bible actually changed nothing on the ground, for the whole Eastern world had already been familiar/soaked with the Israelite stories for hundreds of years that even preceded the time of the so called Septuagint translation.
The Israelite stories were well known by all Arabs for simply ancient Arabia had all along been the homeland of Judaism and its stories. That’s why the native Arabs were never in need of a translation of one of their native cultural products.
The whole thing is Arabic. The Arabic (Hebrew) Bible and Arabic Israelites will lend credence to the misinterpreted Journey of Abraham (from Ur/Haran in Mesopotamia to Damascus, to Bethel in Palestine then to Egypt and back to Bethel once again!) Those long and arduous Journeys (ridding a camel, not a 4×4 Landrover) seemed not only silly for an elderly man (almost one hundred and fifty years) but utterly impossible. The flawed way in which the western orientalists had interpreted the geography of the Patriarch’s story had irrevocably turned this old tale of Abraham (and the rest of the Israelite stories) into an absolute riddle for archeologists and a flimsy plausibility for the historians.
When Haran is seen as it originally was, the Arabian valley of Horan, and Bethel as the Holy city of Mecca then the Journeys of old Abraham will no longer need a Superman to make it or a gullible mind to believe it.
Mohamed, the prophet of Islam, was an illiterate man who got no access to the western/Greek version of the Hebrew Bible. Islam’s prophet was in no need for a Greek translation of the Hebrew book when he actually had a unique access to the original (Arabic) version of the whole book and its violent/tribal stories.
Mohammed did not have to read the Hebrew book to be informed about those Israelite stories for they were but the tales of his Arabian/Jewish ancestors.
Moreover the Arabian Peninsula during the 7th century A.D, the time of Islam’s rise, was an isolated territory after the demise of the ancient incense caravan route. It is worth mentioning here that the Caravan route had never cut across the land of ancient Palestine, rather it started south in Yemen and ended up in Palmyra (near Syria) or Petra (near Jordan). In the former case the camel caravans continued their journey to (pagan)Persia in the East and in the latter continued on its path to (Pagan) Egypt in the west and then through Alexandria to (Pagan) Greece via naval route.
The whole part of the caravan route had been in ancient Arabia and Yemen, the homeland of the Judaism and the Israelite stories, as we argue in the book. The wide dissemination of the stories of the Jewish patriarchs throughout the ancient Near East was due to the fact that those stories sprouted in ancient Arabia and were carried wide and far by the Arabian Jews who once controlled the Incense trade and its caravan route. Arabia did not only carry incense and spices on their camel caravans to the ancient world but also the new ideas of Judaism and the stories of their patriarchs.
This is what had weirdly escaped the mind of western orientalists. Western scholars had miserably failed to see that ancient Arabia (and not Palestine) had always been the native land of the Israelites and their (violent) stories of tribal wars. And that’s why Islam had picked up where exactly Judaism left off.
In other words Judaism and Islam as two faiths/religions are the cultural products of ancient Arabia and Yemen, and the Stories of the Jewish Patriarchs are Arabia’s ancient folktales.
To make the case for his new religion in Arabia, Mohamed made it clear that he was just the last messenger of a long line of prophets. Those predecessor prophets he often referred to were of course the Israelites Patriarchs. Now let’s also Pause here for a moment and try to contemplate what we have at hand. Mohamed did not come up with anything new, rather his Quran was packed to the brim with the Israelite tales of Noah, Abraham, Joseph, David, Solomon, and of course Moses and Pharaoh.
It is obvious (with a bit of critical thinking) that the Mohammedan message was merely a variation on the same old Israelite/Jewish theme. In other words, the Islamic sharia is the Jewish Talmud but with a twist. That’s why the hardline Islamic Salafis/Jihadists share the same (Arabian) dogmatic ideology of the Jewish Haredis
To make his case strong, Mohamed made it clear from the start that he came to finish up what his predecessors had started, but somehow failed to accomplish. The reason for that failure and consequently the dismay of God had been the Jews’ deviation from the creator’s righteous way. When Mohamed was referring to his creator God (Allah) he was not speaking of some foreign god the Israelites/Jews were not familiar with. For the one supreme deity the northern Arabian tribesmen of Hejaz and Mecca referred to as ‘Allah’ the southern Arabian Jewish tribesmen in Yemen called ‘Elohim’ (a narrative that is frightfully alien to any western values and traditions)
In that sense Islam’s main conflict was with the Jews and the pagans of Arabia. Mohamed made it unambiguously clear that his mission was to accomplish the final mission many of his predecessors failed to do, namely unite all of Arabia’s tribes under Allah/Elohim banner. That he most certainly did, and mainly by beating/subjugating the Jewish tribes of Arabia.
This in a way explains the concept of Jihad/militancy/belligerence that permeate the whole of Islam’s scripture/literature.
That also explains why the Muslim scripture/literature is somewhat anti-Jewish. For Mohamed to rise to power in Arabia (and beyond) he simply had to dominate the Arabian Jewish tribes and usher in a new era in Arabia, the era of Islam. But make no mistake, this new Islamic faith had relied on and incorporated the same ancient tales of Arabia that Judaism did before, namely the stories of Abraham and his (Arabian) Israelite tribe.
When the west was duped
But then how come the western world had so miserably/gullibly come to believe that Judaism is one of the core components of western spirituality and culture. Well, that was the result of a distorted translation of the ‘Hebrew book’ into Greek (mother tongue of all western languages) that came to be known as ‘Septuagint Bible’
In that Greek translation (the mother source of all the Bibles around the western world) seventy Jewish scribes had deceitfully relocated the geography of the Israelite stories from its original Arabian place to new places that were then under the Greek colonial rule, namely Egypt and Palestine.
In the New Greek translation, that took place in the 3rd century BC at the legendary library of Alexandria, ancient Egypt and Palestine were hijacked and the kings of Egypt were overnight turned into ‘Pharaohs’.
In the process of westernizing/Hellenizing the Hebrew (Arabian) tales Egypt had been turned into the land of the Israelite Exodus just as Palestine tuned into their “Promised Land’
This (Greek/Jewish) brazen deception had undeservedly served as the infallible source/premise for all the scholars of ancient history and theology in the western world starting from the 3rd century BC and till this very current moment. Do you start to discern the huge proportions of this brazen act of deception the west (and consequently the whole world) had long fell under its sway.
If you really do, then reach for the nearest Bible (that may be tucked under you own warm pillow) and start rereading the Bible properly, by omitting the bits and pieces about Egypt and Palestine. For Egypt knew no Pharaohs nor Israelites.