Parallels Between The Jewish Fall Festival And Akhenaten’s Royal Jubilee

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Deriv: Moses overlooks the three Fall Festivals that he initiated in the Torah: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot.  Michelangelo’s Moses (Westerdam/ CC BY-SA 4.0); Rosh Hashanah, from the Holiday Series: Six Paintings of Jewish Holidays by Arthur Szyk (Public Domain);  Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur, by Maurycy Gottlieb, 1878; (Public Domain) Im Gebet beim Laubhüttenfest, by Paula Gans, 1920, (Public Domain)

Parallels Between The Jewish Fall Festival And Akhenaten’s Royal Jubilee

A deep mystery haunts the origins and rituals of the Jewish Fall Festivals: Rosh Hashanah (New Year), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), and Sukkot. Representing more than individual holidays, these festivals comprise a three-week period in autumn marked by holiness, remembrance, celebration, and joy. However, very little is known about how they came about. The Bible indicates Moses first decreed them, long before Israel became a country. Oddly, Moses was vague when explaining why, and in many cases he provided no reason at all. This leaves a peculiar void when trying to explain the meaning of these enigmatic Jewish ceremonies. For example, why shout and blow the shofar ram’s horn on Rosh Hashanah? Why focus on personal death and rebirth on Yom Kippur? Why build a wooden structure out of plants and then celebrate in it with family on Sukkot? Without a new understanding of the past, any answers remain frustratingly elusive.

Depiction of the Heb-Sed of Senusret III (1878-1839 BC) showing the king in his baldachin as both king of Upper and Lower Egypt, and receiving the gift of palm ribs from Horus and Set. These signify long rule. (Soutekh67/ CC BY-SA 4.0)

Depiction of the Heb-Sed of Senusret III (1878-1839 BC) showing the king in his baldachin as both king of Upper and Lower Egypt, and receiving the gift of palm ribs from Horus and Set. These signify long rule. (Soutekh67/ CC BY-SA 4.0)

Link To Akhenaten’s Heb-Sed

The current author proposes a radical new theory: that these rituals and observances seem ancient because they are ancient, and that the three weeks of fall festivals actually represent one single memorial period of Pharaoh Akhenaten’s Royal Jubilee Festival, or Heb-Sed. This was a multi-week-long coronation-renewal event celebrated across Egypt and was very similar to how the early Israelites viewed their autumnal holy days: as one single festival with several holidays marking its key points. This would have only been possible if Akhenaten, the monotheistic sun pharaoh is connected with Moses, the monotheistic Hebrew lawgiver. There is an astounding array of parallels between Jewish fall celebrations and those of the ancient Egyptian Jubilee festival.


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