Religion Essay Example: Moses and Akhenaten

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Harvey Mudd College
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Moses and Akhenaten share a lot of similarities, and in some cases, they are regarded as the same person. The holy books, the Bible and the Koran teach that Moses was born in Egypt, but he was an Israelite. He was raised in the royal palace of Pharaoh, and he is the one who led the children of Israel to Canaan during the journey of Exodus. Historically, Moses lived during pharaoh oppression and scholars have been able to figure out who was this pharaoh that was oppressing people. Ahmed Osman a citizen of Egypt by birth argues that Moses of the Bible is King Akhenaten the ruler of Egypt in the mid-14th century BC for seventeen years. He managed to accomplish most things during his leadership, but the major one was abolishing the worship of many gods in Egypt. The life experiences and teachings of Moses and Akhenaten prove that they were one and same person since they shared similar experiences and taught against the worship of many gods.

The story of Exodus is a stunning one, and it describes the events of Akhenatens and Moses life. Osman believes that they were one he says that the story of Exodus reflects on the life of Moses/Akhenaten for instance being raised by Israelite relatives, made his subject oppressed as their ruler for 17 years. Many of his subjects were not happy with him since he replaced the traditional pantheon with the worship of Aten. It was at this time that he was forced to abdicate the throne and he went to seek for safety in Sinai with his supporters who were Israelites (Sayre, p. 777). When he tried to assume the throne again, he died out of sight with his followers but in the hands of Seti.

Akhenaten was the first Monotheist and most mysterious of all the pharaohs of Egypt. He was successful in creating a revolution in art and philosophy, religion and these changes lead to the worship of one god, and this marked the history of the world. Freud psychoanalysis describes a close connection between Moses and Akhenaten in his last book on Moses and Monotheism. According to him, Moses was working in Akhenatens court as an official and a supporter of the Aten religion. When Akhenaten died, Moses selected his supporters who were the Israelite tribe living in the east, and he got them out of Egypt where they were being oppressed, but he made sure to pass them the tenets of Akhenatens religion during Exodus. The figure of Akhenaten has been found by the modern archaeologists, but it had been strangely drawing because it had was ruined by Tell el-Amarna in the 19th century (Sayre, p. 907). Most of them thought that the image was that of a woman disguised as a king. In the twentieth century, many archaeologists drew much interest in the on Akhenaten for his vision for human Arian and as monotheism.


Figure 1. The disguised image of Akhenaten, as a woman ruined by Tell el-Amarna in the 19th century. (Source:

In Freuds theory, he concluded that Moses was Akhenaten himself after a thorough examination of archaeological findings. He was the son of Amenhotep 11 and Queen Tiye he had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father. Yuya is identified in the Bible as Joseph was an appointee to master the kings horses. The wedding of Tiye and Amenhotep was held in Goshen which is the land that the Bible says the people were Israelite were living. The king would marry many wives according to the Egyptian customs and the children to succeed him are those of her sister the heiress. Akhenaten in 1394 BC of his father Amenhotep 111 in the royal palace in Zarw which was the city in the land of Goshen where the Israelite dwelt, and it is in this place where Moses was born.

Conflicting what the Bible teaches about Moses being born in a royal palace, he had a Brother, Tuthmosis and had died before Akhenaten was born and it is assumed that he had been sacrificed by the priests. The queen was worried about the life of Akhenaten, and she sent him by the water to her father the Israelite family outside Zarw, and this marked the beginning of Moses. The Aman priests were killing young baby boys because Tiye was not a legitimate heiress to the throne and they did not want his son to become the king (Sayre, p. 1278). Akhenaten lived in Memphis and Thebes where he received education and appeared in the city of Thebes for the first time when he was 16 years. He met with a woman named Nefertiti, and he fell in love with him on the first day. She came from the royal palace since she was the daughter of Sitamun and this was to his advantage because she could help him assume the throne of his father. Akhenaten moved from Thebes when the hostility from Amum priests became irresistible, and he built his city at Armana which did not belong to any god or goddess.

Amenhotep made Akhenaten his co-regent after his marriage with Nefertiti, and this did not please the priests of Amun because Akhenaten took the name of Amenhotep IV. Akhenaton started building temples for his new God, the Aten. He never used to invite Amum in his celebrations for his co-regency, and on the fourth year, he burnt all the deities except his own God from the occasion. The streets of the city were built facing to the Nile which an opening to all buildings in the city. He worshipped in the temple together with his family members. Celebrations in this temple were done with the local people, and they enjoyed through chanting, music, fruits and flowers offering and rituals which were all conducted in open air.

Amenhotep III died, and Akhenaten organized a great celebration at the city for Aten, and he received tribute from princes who were from foreign kingdoms. These celebrations marked the end of worship of other gods when Akhenaten organize orders that all temples should be closed and priests sacked, and only the temple of Aten remained open in the whole country. The action was received from resentment by the majority since they had much respect to the gods and even the soldiers had been brought with the beliefs of these gods (Sayre, p. 976). The order made the military to organize a coup against the king troops from the north, and the south moved to Amarna. When Aye came to know the plan of the military he asked Akhenaten to abdicate the throne to Tutankhaten, his son to save his reign. He flew to the south of Sinai just like Moses in the Bible who flew to Sinai with the Israelites.

Akhenaten decided to come back from exile when he received the news of Horemhebs death to reclaim his throne after he abdicated it to his son. General Pa-Ramses was planning to assume the throne as 19th ruler, and Akhenaten challenged his right to the throne. Ramses was shocked by the return of Akhenaten, and he called the wise men of Egypt so that they could decide who between the two the rightful king is. Akhenaten performed special rituals that only a king can perform, and then he produced a scepter of royal authority which made the men bow in his adoration and they declared him the king which angered Ramses. Akhenaten performed rituals just like Moses in the Bible who performed miracles in Egypt. The life of Akhenaten was at risk after he was threatened by Ramses and he flew again to Sinai with his followers. Ramses followed him and died before he could cross over to Canaan just like Pharaoh when he decided to follow Moses. At a confrontation between Seti and Akhenaten at the top of the mountain where Akhenaten damaged his eye and killed him and then buried his body on the mountain where Moses was also buried which proves that they were bot the same person.


Figure 2. The confine ornament of Akhenaten disgorged during the Damnation memorial by Pharaoh Horemheb. (Source:

In conclusion, the life experiences of Moses and Akhenaten proves that they are one. They were both born when babies were being killed and then they were saved by being sent by water and later taken to palace. Both performed miracles to prove their authority and run to Sinai following hostility in Egypt. Moses/Akhenaten was buried on the mountain where there was a confrontation between him and Seti. He also taught the worship of one God and abolished all other gods in the country which shows that they were the same person.


Work Cited

Figure 1. The disguised image of Akhenaten, as a woman ruined by Tell el-Amarna in the 19th century. (Source:

Figure 2. The coffin ornament of Akhenaten disgorged during the Damnation memorial by Pharaoh Horemheb. (Source:

Sayre, Henry M. "The Good Life and the Politics of Athens." 2015. REVEL for the Humanities Combined 3e. 3rd ed. The Humanities: Culture, Continuity & Change Pearson Education, Inc. Date of Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.


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