Lately a lot of progressive blacks have complained that Ridley Scott’s movie “Exodus” is racist for depicting Egyptians as Egyptian and Hebrews as white. They want them all to be depicted black.
Ancient Egyptians in their art depict themselves as yellowish brown, somewhat arab looking, pretty similar to the way pharaoh is depicted in Ridley Scott’s movie. They depict blacks as black, with exaggerated negro features, and show them in demeaning roles as criminals, slaves, and servants, pretty much as they are depicted in Ridley Scotts movie, and they depict whites as white, and as wearing costumes somewhat similar to those worn by the Hebrews in Ridley Scott’s movie.
Egyptian art depicts Egyptians on the one hand and Nubians and other blacks on the other hand with distinctly different ethnic characteristics and depicted this abundantly and often aggressively. The Egyptians accurately, arrogantly and aggressively made national and ethnic distinctions from a very early date in their art and literature
In Egyptian art and writing from around the time that the Hebrews are said to have left Egypt, blacks are slaves, servants, and criminals, whites are invaders and colonialists.
They viewed people who originate from the middle east, from west asia as the Hebrews did, as white and aryan, like the Hyksos, which fits with various records that back in those days, towards the end of the bronze age, west asia was full of aryan whites. The Iranians and the Kurds were originally Aryan, are today browner than the Jews. The Kurds recall their ancestors as fair skinned and fair haired, so likely the Hebrews were fair skinned and red headed.
Ridley Scott’s casting and costumes are largely lifted from ancient Egyptian art depicting themselves – a yellowish brown people very different from negroes, but nonetheless not exactly white either.
It is a historical fact that Egypt at the time that Moses is believed to have lived was racially much as it is now – a generally upper class white minority, a poor and frequently criminal black minority underclass, and a brownish majority that have and had approximately modern Egyptian skin color, despise blacks, and were suspicious of whites.
From time to time Egypt gets conquered by whites. From time to time those whites import black slaves. And so, most of the time, Egypt is brownish with a white minority and a black minority, as it is today.
For example we see in an ancient Egyptian painting three black criminals or runaway slaves who have just been arrested and subdued by three white, or possibly light brown, cops.
And that is the way Ridley Scott depicts Egypt.
At the time of Joseph, Egypt had been conquered by the Hyksos, who were fair skinned, red headed, very possibly Aryans, and possibly Hebrews, and most likely a people closely related to Hebrews, which suggests that the Hebrews of that time were fair skinned, frequently red headed, and very possibly Aryans.
So, assuming Joseph was a real person, or based on a real person, the pharaoh that favored Joseph was white, quite likely Aryan, and so, quite likely, similarly Joseph.
So, entirely reasonable, on the basis of history and historical descriptions of the Hyksos, and on the basis of Egyptian art, to depict the Hebrews as whites.
The Egyptians perceived people who came from the east (west Asia, the middle east) and lived in tents as the same race as the Hyksos, so presumably perceived Joseph and Moses as white and Aryan, as Moses is depicted in the movie.
At the time of Moses, Hyksos rule had collapsed, bronze age civilization was in severe decline, and Egypt was ruled, as depicted in Ridley Scott’s movie “Exodus”, by brownish people with approximately modern Egyptian skin color – the pharaoh that “Knew not Joseph”.
Egypt was, if we believe the “Admonitions of Ipuwer”, at the time suffering from leftism, high levels of violence, lack of secure property rights, severe social decline, rioting, arson, severe family breakdown, female emancipation, and disastrous levels of political correctness. If we believe the Pentateuch it was also suffering from socialism. In short, not so different from Egypt today and the Arab world today, though with considerably worse family values, the then fall of the Hyksos paralleling today’s recent retreat of colonialism.
We have archaeological evidence of the collapse of Bronze age civilization not long after Ipuwer’s time, so I am inclined to interpret Ipuwer as describing real and contemporary events, as he claims to be doing, though some people argue he is just telling a morally improving story about long long ago and far far far away.
Ipuwer reports that foreign trade had collapsed. We have archaeological evidence that foreign trade did indeed collapse at about that time, so Ipuwer is probably reporting real events.
Due to infanticide and “barrenness” (which I conjecture was the result of contraception, abortion, and non reproductive sex) Egyptians were, according to Ipuwer, failing to reproduce. If we believe the Pentateuch, the Hebrews on the other hand had strong family values, with women and children being property, hence infanticide was for them unimaginable, unintelligible, and absurd. Thus their population would have been growing as the Egyptian population was, according to Ipuwer, collapsing.
Human nature being what it is, the Hebrews would probably be blamed for the social decay that they were not suffering.
There are several parallels between the Pentateuch and the Admonitions of Ipuwer. Assuming Ipuwer’s Admonitions to be true, then the Pentateuch is myth based on real people and real events.
For example the Admonitions and the Pentateuch both say that the river turned to blood.
The Pentateuch says:
17 Thus saith the LORD, In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood.
18 And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall lothe to drink of the water of the river.
Ipuwer also tells us that the river turned to blood and Egyptians were unwilling to drink the water. But in Ipuwer’s telling the Nile only turned metaphorically and spiritually into blood, because of the vast numbers of wrongfully slain Egyptians dumped in the river, and the many Egyptians who committed suicide in the river, not literally into blood.
According to Ipuwer, the Nile was physically and spiritually polluted by the vast numbers of unburied dead in the river, and was thus unclean in the sense that wrongfully spilt blood is spiritually unclean. The Nile was spiritually turned to blood by natural causes, not literally turned to blood by supernatural causes. The Pentateuch depicts a miracle, Ipuwer reports social breakdown and civil disorder.
Assuming that the Hebrews had the strong family values depicted in the Pentateuch, the angel of death would have passed over the Hebrews and failed to take their children, not because of any miracle, but because Hebrews, unlike Egyptians, were disinclined to murder their own children.
Similarly, Ipuwer and the Pentateuch both depict a storm of fire over Egypt, but in the context of Ipuwer’s Admonitions, the fire presumably comes from the rioting mob of lower class looters and revolting slaves, not from heaven.
If you really want to, you could read Ipuwer as reporting the Nile literally and miraculously turned to blood, and fire literally and miraculously from heaven, but there is no way to read his report on the death of the children as anything other than entirely unmiraculous social decay and female emancipation. If the death of the children was leftism rather than wrath of God, then the river of blood and the fire was leftism rather than wrath of God.
Or if you really want to you could argue it was all wrath of God punishing the Egyptians for oppressing the Hebrews and for social decay, and Ipuwer is giving a naturalistic non miraculous rationalization of miraculous events, but I find Ipuwer’s account of these events more believable than the Pentateuch version.
And, according to Ipuwer’s Admonitions, people from West Asia who lived in tents were a big problem, undermining social cohesion. Sounds familiar.
So, I conjecture that they would have been blamed for all these happenings. The brownish rulers would have attempted to appease the brownish mob by punishing the white outsiders who lived in tents. The white outsiders would have made endless concessions, but no concession would suffice, for no concessions would have any effect on the social decay suffered by the brown Egyptians, now incompetently ruling themselves when formerly they had been competently ruled by the white Hyksos, who had now become unwilling and unable to rule. (Bronze age civilization, which is to say white civilization, was suffering general decay. The Egyptians survived it better than the purer whites.)
Ipuwer calls on Pharoah to expel the foreigners.
And the white outsiders would flee. A familiar story, much repeated since then.
Finding themselves pursued by an Egyptian army the white outsiders would need an leader with complete authority. Likely they would choose a white member of the Egyptian ruling class to lead them, and invent for him the correct ancestry. All that is conjecture of course, but it fits the known facts quite well. The Pharaoh of the Pentateuch did what Ipuwer in his “Admonitions”called on the Pharaoh to do. Those whitish outsiders were subverting brownish Egyptian society with the result that Egyptians were doing bad things to each other.
We know that Ridley Scott is correct to depict the pharaoh as brownish Egyptian upper class, and what little we know about the times is consistent with Moses being white Egyptian upper class, as depicted by Ridley Scott in the movie Exodus.