Chapter 5, Freud’s Dream – Part 5

Sigmund_Freud_LIFEThis is a continuation of my review of Ahmed Osman’s book Lost City of Exodus. The introductory is here. Chapter 4 was intentionally left without a review.

In the fifth chapter, Osman informs his readers that Sigmund Freud, a world-famous scholar and Austrian neurologist, also of Jewish background, agrees with the historical account of Manetho.

Osman quotes one of Freud’s articles titled, “Moses an Egyptian”, which appeared in the German language magazine Imago in 1937. This was part of one of his books titled Moses and Monotheism. “Perhaps it seemed monstrous to imagine that the Man Moses could have been anything other than a Hebrew.”

“To deny a people the man whom it praises as the greatest of its sons is not a deed to be undertaken light-heartedly – especially by one belonging to that people. No consideration, however, will move me to set aside truth in favor of supposed national interests… The man Moses, the liberator of his people, who gave them their religion and their laws, belonged to an age so remote that the preliminary question arises whether he was an historical person or a legendary figure. If he lived, his time was the thirteenth or fourteenth century BCE; we have no word of him but from the Holy Books and the written traditions of the Jews.” {Moses and Monotheism, Sigmund Freud}

Freud believed, based on his research, that Moses had been murdered by the Israelites due to his strict monotheistic stand. Osman notes that Freud’s book, Moses and Monotheism, first appeared in March of 1939, which was during the oppression of the Jewish people under the evil rule of Hitler.

Further in the chapter, we have numerous additional quotes from Freud’s writings. The following should prove sufficient for gaining a better understanding of his beliefs concerning the origin of Moses:

“Moses was an Egyptian – probably an aristocrat – whom the legend was designed to turn into a Jew…. The deviation of the legend of Moses from all the others of his kind can be traced back to a special feature of his history. Whereas normally a hero, in the course of his life, rises above his humble beginnings, the heroic life of the man Moses began with his stepping down from his exalted position and descending to the level of the Children of Israel.” {Sigmund Freud: His Life in Pictures and Words, W W Norton & Co Inc; 1985}

Osman writes, “Without being aware of Manetho’s account, Freud came to the conclusion that Moses lived during the time of Amenhotep III. He found great similarity between the Aten religion introduced by Akhenaten.” {page 48}

Osman quotes Freud: “The Jewish creed says: Schema Yisrael Adonai Elohenu Adonai Echod (Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one God). As the Egyptian letter t of Aten is equivalent of the Hebrew letter d, and the vowel e becomes o in Hebrew.” Osman goes on to say that Freud believed the text could be translated as “Hear, O Israel, our God Aten is the only God.”

It is pointed out that while Freud believed Moses was Egyptian, he also believed that Moses was a high ranking official to Pharaoh Akhenaten. Freud believed that Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt after the death of Akhenaten. Osman does not prescribe to this theory, but rather has proven that Moses is in fact, the same person as Akhenaten.

Osman now quotes from another author – Yerushalmi, from his book Freud’s Moses. {Freud’s Moses: Judaism Terminable and Interminable, Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Yale University Press, 1993} The purpose of the book is to examine Freud’s theories concerning Moses. The following are selected quotes:

“Monotheism is not of Jewish origin but an Egyptian discovery.”

“Upon Akhenaten‘s death…the Egyptians reverted to their old gods.”

“Moses was not a Hebrew but an Egyptian priest or noble, and a fervent monotheist.”

“[He] brought them forth from bondage, and created a new nation.”

“in order to set them apart, [he] introduced the Egyptian custom of circumcision.”

“The crude mass of former slaves could not bear the severe demands of the new faith. In a mob revolt Moses was killed and the memory of the murder repressed … However, over a period of centuries the submerged tradition of the true faith and its founder gathered sufficient force to reassert itself and emerge victorious. Yahweh was henceforth endowed with the universal and spiritual qualities of Moses’s god, though the memory of Moses’s murder remained repressed among the Jews, reemerging only in a very disguised form with the rise of Christianity.”

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