Did Moses really write the Book of Genesis?

Understanding who actually wrote Genesis should also throw light into why it was written. Indeed, in past weeks we not only saw how certain positive roles were switched around in Genesis as compared to the more ancient Atra-Hasis account.

We also saw how Setswana unearths or confirms the etymology and true meaning of key terms like gods (Illui), Lulu, Adam, Eve, Eden and Paradise. This week we examine more closely Moses himself and whether he indeed wrote Genesis, as it is commonly held.

 Who was Moses? Moses, it is clear, was born and bred in Egypt. There, his name mose meant “issue of”, as Setswana reveals: mose-mani (boy) literally meant “the greater issue” and mose-zana (girl) meant “the lesser issue”.  As such, “Thothmoses” meant “son of Thoth” and “Rameses” (Ra-moses) meant “son of Ra”. These throne-names were adopted because pharaohs were treated as honorific “sons of the gods”. Quite clearly, the monotheistic Old Testament (OT) chose to cut off the name of a “pagan” god, leaving only the truncated name “Moses” – but we can still trace and unmask his real identity.

Why would the OT compilers wish to hide Moses’ identity? It was not only to sanitise Jewish history, but – more importantly – to hide the fact that “gods” were active in the affairs of Jews. So, a picture was painted of Abraham having left Canaan for Egypt because of famine, and his descendants later being enslaved there until Moses led them out in the Exodus. Archaeology, however, reveals a different story. A pale-skinned “Asiatic” race called the Hyksos invaded and ruled Egypt with an iron fist, but was later ejected by indigenous pharaohs Kamoses and Ahmoses at around 1552 BC. Abraham, I showed in many articles, was the first Hyk-ku (Shepherd-King) and his name Mohibiru (“Mehibre” to Egyptologists; “Ibiru-m” in Hebrew syntax) referred to his pale skin which turn red (hibidu in modern Setswana) in Egypt’s harsh sun. His followers were, of course, the “Hebrews” (Ba-hibiru).

 “Monotheism”, I also explained, was launched by the gods themselves as a necessary step to quell intense rivalry amongst themselves. They chose Abraham to export this new outlook to Egypt – which is why Abraham is the first “law keeper” (Genesis 26:5) well before the Law was formally given to Moses. Egypt, I explained, was to act as a buffer zone to protect certain assets of “El” (Illui/Eloi) that were in Canaan. Northern (Lower) Egypt thus became I-sira-El (El’s buffer) while southern (Upper) Egypt remained as “Egypt”. Indeed, after Mehibre (Abraham) and Sehera-tawy (Sarah) ruled interchangeably in the 9/10/11th Dynasty (Abraham had to periodically leave for Canaan and quell insurrections there – see Genesis 14), his son pharaoh Shishaq (Shesheko/Setshego; “Sheshi” for short) followed. His name, “Isaac” in Hebrew, means “laughter” (Genesis 18:15, 21:5-6). Pharaoh Yakubher (Jacob) followed –refer to “unplaced pharaohs” in the Wikipedia’s 14th Dynasty “Pharaoh’s List”.

So, who actually was Moses? He was Thothmoses V (which is why “Thoth”, the name of an Egyptian god, had to be removed), and “Aaron” was Akhenaten. In Egyptian history, Thothmoses V was the crown prince who passed the throne to his younger brother Akhenaten. In the OT, Aaron (the elder) passed leadership to his younger brother Moses. But it was Akhenaten, every Egyptologist knows, who actually tried to enforce “monotheism” (the sole worship of Aten/Adonai) in Egypt but failed. Indeed, in Setswana, a-akha-ene-Aten (“he brandished Aten himself”) = a hara One (Aaron). He too was kicked out, in 1334 BC, and left with Aten loyalists in what, effectively, was the “second Exodus” (the OT merged these two events). His son Tutankhamen then ruled and Akhenaten’s images were defaced. Egypt remained anti-Aten until the times of Rameses IX (Perez), X (Hezron) and XI (Ram), the ancestors of David (Pasebakhaenuit) – see Ruth 4:18. David also ruled Israel when he displaced Saul there, but Shishonq, a Libyan, soon deposed him in Egypt.

This history unravelled, let us now try to see if the Pentateuch – the first five books of the OT (namely Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus Numbers and Deuteronomy) can be honestly attributed to Moses. In fact, there are plenty of reasons why scholars do not believe this. Firstly, nowhere does Deuteronomy claim that Moses wrote it. Passages like 1:15, 4:41, 44 and 5:1 speak about Moses in the third person, just as it should when another person is narrating Moses’ story. Secondly, 34:4 reveals that the Israelites crossed the river Jordan into Canaan only after Moses’ death, yet Deuteronomy 1:1 begins thus: “These are the words Moses spoke on the other side of the Jordan” (see also 1:5). Clearly, these words were written by someone who made it into Canaan whereas Moses did not (see Numbers 20:12 and Deuteronomy 32:48-52). Thirdly, the account of Moses’ death in Deuteronomy 34 confirms that the author not only survived Moses, but lived in a time far removed from him. This is because verse 6 says: “to this day no one knows where his grave is.” Verse 10 adds: “Since then no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses.” How would Moses know all this if he was already long dead? 

Another clue lies in Gen. 12:6. It says that when Abraham sojourned through the Promised Land, “at that time the Canaanites were still in the land.” But Canaanites, in Abraham’s time, still lived in Canaan: they were only displaced in David’s final conquest of the land centuries after Moses’ death. So, how could Moses make that observation? Scholars are evidently right when they conclude that the Pentateuch was begun in exilic times (post-593 BC) when Jews sat by the rivers of Babylon and wept for their endangered legacy (Psalms 137:1) – and completed in post-exile times. Indeed, just as scholars agree that this Psalm was not written by David (he lived centuries before Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar mass-exiled Jews to Babylon), Moses, too, did not write Genesis…nor even the Pentateuch.

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