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Was There An Written Language Available To Moses?

Many Scholars Claim There Was No Alphabet At The Time Of Moses.

There are over 700 symbols in Egyptian Hieroglyphics. If Moses had to use this form of writing can you imagine how large the book of Exodus would have been? More importantly, how many people who followed Moses out of Egypt could have read it? Since only the priests, scribes and royalty would have learned to read Hieroglyphics, there would have been no one who followed Moses who could have read anything Moses wrote using Egyptian Hieroglyphics.

Although raised and educated by the Pharaoh’s daughter, it is absurd to think Moses would have written God’s message to His people in Egyptian Hieroglyphics. So, what other forms of writing were known during the time of Moses? Note that the question is not just about what additional forms of writing were known during the time of Moses, but instead, what forms would have Moses been proficient in using. More importantly, what forms could his followers read?

It is important to keep in mind that Exodus is a complex narrative, and would have required an alphabet  to already exist for it to have been written. Moses could not have been the author of Exodus if the alphabet was developed by Phoenicians in 1050 BC or even slightly earlier. On the other hand, if the alphabet was developed centuries earlier in Egypt, where the Israelites were, then it is possible Moses wrote Exodus.

When we think about our 26 letter alphabet and then consider the 700 plus symbols Egyptian Hieroglyphics used, it is easy to understand why only the Egyptian priests and royalty could read it. Without getting too technical, a character in Egyptian Hieroglyphics usually represented an entire word, which is why so many symbols were required. When no word is represented by any of the 700 plus symbols, they can also represent sounds, known as phonograms. I know, this makes it very difficult to learn how to actually read Hieroglyphics. It was called the “Language of the Gods” by Egyptians. Since Pharaohs were considered “gods” the complication was probably intentional. The idea was that the Pharaoh and leaders were so much smarter than everyone else clearly they are “gods” that only chose a few to understand some of their ways. This would be administrators and scribes.

However, what if someone was clever enough to use symbols to represent sounds only, like our alphabet? Who would that be, and what would that look like?

Scholars Claim Exodus Was Written Later.

It is of course true that anyone can profess that Exodus was written by later scribes.

This objection stems from the JEPD theory. This theory claims that since God is called Elohim at first and later called Yahweh, it was written by two different people. The answer is very basic, “Elohim” is creator God, “Yahweh” is a personal God. We often think that a name is a name, but is it? Saul never changed his name; he was just called Paul in Greek. Does anyone change their name to be grandfather? Or is that just the reference known by grandchildren? Why would it surprise us that creator God is called in text Elohim, and later Yahweh?

Next point, how could God have given the Ten Commandments to Moses if there were no alphabet that Moses could read? This would not only infer that Moses did not write Exodus, but that God never handed down the Ten Commandments to anyone. It was all made up later.

If Exodus and the Ten Commandments cannot be trusted to be delivered as the Bible claims, then Judaism as well as Christianity cannot be trusted.

Consider this example:

Matthew 24:37 “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

What if that verse read “But as the days of the Easter Bunny, so shall the coming of the Son of man be.”

Would you take the second coming seriously? Of course not, yet this simple verse validates that Jesus believed the story of Noah to be fact.

More importantly is John 5:46-47

46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?”

Clearly Jesus is saying the words ascribed to Moses were written by Moses.

What is the Phonogram Alphabet? Who Most Likely Was Its Inventor?

A Pictogram is a picture that represents a word, used in Egyptian Hieroglyphics. A Phonogram is a picture that represents a sound, like a modern Alphabet but using pictures instead (see chart below).  Hieroglyphic Hebrew, using phonograms was probably the script of the 10 commandments. If we followed modern day thought there would have been no written language that could have been concise enough to write on a stone that Moses could carry. Yet Jesus claims that Moses actually wrote about Him. Could Jesus be right about Himself as the Messiah, yet wrong about Moses writing about Him at the same time? Could both be true? The answer is of course not.

Early Hebrew was probably invented by Joseph. He would have been taught to read Hieroglyphics. Using symbols, like hieroglyphics, but assigning sounds instead of words to them, would greatly reduce the number of symbols needed. This is exactly what we see in the Hieroglyphic Hebrew . For example, the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, “Hay” was represented as a stick man holding both arms up like a referee signaling for a touchdown. The difference is the stick man represented a man praising God; the sound would have been “HA” like “hallel” which means praise in Hebrew.

Did Moses write Exodus? I believe as Jesus did, that Moses wrote the Pentateuch.

However, when you consider the change from, say the Hieroglyphic Hebrew to

Aramaic Hebrew, you are going to assume the writing is not old enough to have been

written by Moses.

If this is what you have been told, you have been told to look at the wrong thing.

Although the script is different, the letters they represent are the same. It was an

evolution of the Hebrew alphabet, not the language.

When updating from Hieroglyphic Hebrew to a more modern version so the then

current readers could understand it, it is feasible that something like the city of Avaris

would have been changed to its then current name, Rameses. We will read more

about that later.

The First Alphabet

Want To Know More?

If your interest has been peaked, it is now time to view the documentary, which covers in detail everything I have just outlined.

“The Moses Controversy”


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