(Article changed on April 2, 2013 at 14:23)
This essay includes excerpts from the forthcoming book series, "God Doesn't Belong to Anyone: The World Before Religion & How We Got Here" (c) Barry Brown, 2011. More information is presented on the website for the book, http://www.shalomaste.com
"The further you look into the past, the further you can see into the future," Winston Churchill.
THE EXODUS STORY WAS NOT ABOUT SLAVERY
By Barry Brown
A Historic View of the story of Passover
For centuries, the Biblical story of the Exodus has been told and re-told in song, movies, plays and stories as one of a people long suffering in cruel slavery who are led to freedom through the power of God and the prophet Moses.
However, this is a complete misunderstanding of the Biblical text. It is because of this misunderstanding that there are many apparent contradictions in the text, and it is because of this historical misdirection that archaeologists and other researchers have found no historical evidence for the traditional telling of the story.
Moses' famous half-sentence
The first words Moses speaks to the Pharaoh (Ex. 5:1) clearly tell us this story is not about slavery, it is about freedom of religion.
Most people remember the first half of what Moses said, "Let my people go," but not the rest of the sentence. "Let my people go so that we may hold a festival to (our) God in the desert."
Moses' statement raises three questions. The first and obvious one is:
1. Moses' statement implies he is only asking for a religious holiday and that his people will return to work afterwards. When does he ask for an end to slavery?