The Passover was much like today’s Thanksgiving. To the ancient Jews, it was a holiday, feast, and a reminder to be thankful for God’s blessings. It was a time for the family to come together whether in the Jerusalem area or not. Egypt was the background for the Passover, and Egypt’s gods were such a big part of Egyptian life. This inevitably affected the ancient Jews, and an overview of this will show history repeating itself.
The above pictures aren’t just representations of a few of their gods, the ancients believed they were “breathed with the life” of their gods. When the Jews made a golden calf to worship before Mount Sinai, they likely believed they could worship Yahweh along with the other gods (Exodus 32:1-6). They were scared of Yahweh representing Himself as he was (Exodus 20:18-21). They brought God down to what they were comfortable with. From 15 Major Ancient Egyptian Gods And Goddesses You Should Know About:
Every mythology tends to start with the primordial origins…Egyptian mythology, that…is covered by…gods Nun and Naunet (the feminine form)…. Egyptians perceived Nun as the watery abyss that basically held the universe by which the sphere of life was borne…. So in many ways, Nun…was associated…with the forces of chaos.
This is like the first known version of evolution. The modern equivalent is a god of fate or chance.
Ra…was…associated with the Pharoah…by Fifth Dynasty, almost every ruler was symbolically hailed as the son of Ra…over time…the thriving Amun cult merged…Amun and Ra into a composite god known as Amun-Ra, who was hailed as the “Lord of truth, father of the gods, maker of men, creator of all animals, Lord of things that are, creator of the staff of life.”
Ra gave life, power, and prestige to his sons. It’s like the modern popular belief that God is a loving God, not a God who will also hold us accountable for our sins. He’s just a God who would give life and perhaps even some extra nice things we want or even “deserve.”
The…Egyptian goddess of joy, feminine love, and motherhood; Hathor…closely associated (or…successor) to Mehet-Weret, the primeval divine cow…perceived…responsible for…floods to the Nile, thus…fertilizing the land…Hathor was also regarded as the mother of the sun god Ra…. Hathor was regarded as a protective and benevolent deity…personified kindness….closely associated with matters of womanly love and health…often depicted as a woman with the head of a cow or having an entire cow form.
I suspect Hathor may have been what the Israelites were worshipping at the foot of Mount Sinai. But keep in mind there were over 2,000 gods in ancient Egypt, and this is just a brief glimpse into Egyptian beliefs.
The…goddess of truth, justice, and…cosmic order…Maat (or ma-yet) was responsible for regulating…stars and…seasons…daughter of Atum (or Ra)…implied the superiority of order, justice, and even harmony…a guideline for human behavior that would conform to the will of the gods…established the virtues of truth, family life, and the belief system centered around the various deities…. The Egyptians believed that after their death, the heart of their soul was to be weighed against the feather in a ‘scale of justice’, which would allow the sections of their spirits (or life force) to be ultimately released to Akh (the composite soul).
Maat is like today’s humanism. Today mankind believes all he needs to be cured of bad behavior is more education. Or to believe in oneself. A precious few are regarded as “sick” or “evil,” but the rest of us are OK, just not perfect. Because we all have good within us that just needs to be brought out. Just like Maat, the problem of sin is brushed off because harmony and virtues can be found with some encouragement.
Facing the problem of sin allows us an explanation that makes sense when otherwise we’d be faced with disillusionment. Praise God for delivering the Israelites and us from such spiritual darkness. Thank God for Thanksgiving and the Passover.
The above pictures were scanned from 15 Major Ancient Egyptian Gods And Goddesses You Should Know About