The Exodus Journey - Mythology or History?
What we have identified is that; the story of Joseph and Moses and their relationship with Egypt and the pharaoh is not history as such, but mythology, from which a collection of past experiences can be extracted and, possibly, confirmed through the study of historical events. That it also takes the form of the prevailing religious ideology of the 2nd millennium B.C.E. and that the symbols it employs can convey ideas and concepts that are useful to our time, if we learn how to read them. If this hypothesis is correct, then we should be able to demonstrate that Israel’s journey of restoration conforms to the Egyptian ideas of rebirth as found in the second millennium B.C.E.
The function of the myth is to present a consistent image of the order of the cosmos. In Ancient Egyptian terms, when god created the universe, he gave shape to a world, fixed in its appearance and functions. Ra climbed the hill that rose above the primordial waters of chaos. From there he subdued the forces of chaos and planned the world, in particular by introducing Ma’at, the cosmic order. What had been conceived as a perfect whole in the mind of the creator was innately perfect in its physical form. The act of creation had to be repeated, because the voracity of the forces of chaos continued to menace the very existence of the created world. But inside the world everything was perfect and in conformity with the prearranged divine plan. God made it harmonious with all of its constituent parts. Thus the celestial movements and the regularity of seasons, the passage of time and the rising of the sun each morning, down to the basic abstract forms found within human society such as amicable relations and justice in social dealings, religious observance and respect for the way the gods ordained things, all maintained Ma’at.