It is a bit humorous, but an Egyptian academic is demanding Israel repay all the gold and silver taken, when God delivered Israel out of Egypt.
In Exodus 12:35-36, we read after the death of the firstborn, the pharaoh allowed Israel to leave. The Bible says the Egyptian people who had suffered through the plagues gave silver and gold to the departing Israelis.
Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of the Moses, for they requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold and clothing. And the Lord had given the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians (Exodus 12:35-36 NASV)
In an interview with Channel 1, an Egyptian TV station, Professor Ammar Ali Hassan said:
“When they (Israel) left they stole Egypt’s gold and treasures. We demand that they return the treasures they stole from us.”
The interview was translated by the Middle East Research Unit (MEMRI). Though the Exodus took place thousands of years ago, Professor Amar Ali Hassan is adamant Israel return the money given to them at the time. He also suggested there were other times in history when Israel took money from Egypt. He wants Israel to pay it all back with interest.
According to MEMRI, Hassan added:
“When they left they stole Egypt’s gold and treasures. Many of the studies on Jewish financial conduct in the history of Egypt, as well as in the history of humanity as a whole…Take, for example the character of Shylock in the “Merchant of Venice,” by Shakespeare. This character is replica of the Jew who lived in Egypt – a merchant and a loan shark, who deposits his profits abroad, instead of investing them in the country.”
Hassan has a PhD in Political Science. He has worked for many Middle East research organizations and has authored many books.
But I think his real problem lies with Jehovah. It was God who delivered Israel and it was God who caused the Egyptians to favor the Jews with gold and silver.
Ipuwer papyrus confirms Exodus account
I found the story interesting because I recently came across information about an ancient papyri on display at the Dutch National Museum. It was written by a man named Ipuwer who was alive during the plaques and Israel’s exodus.
He cites six of the ten plagues mentioned in the Bible, including the water turning to blood. His letter seems to be a warning to the current Egyptian rulers that similar judgements may fall upon them if they don’t treat their citizens properly.
But what I find most intriguing is Ipuwer also talks about a massive transfer of wealth from Egyptians to slaves. He says:
“Gold and lapis lazuli, silver, malachite, carnelian and bronze … Are fastened to the neck of female slaves.” (Ipuwer 3:2),
Similar to the Biblical record, the wealth transfer was done willingly, though it is highly likely after going through ten brutal plagues the Egyptians didn’t believe they had a choice when the Jews asked for gold and silver.
Though the Ipuwer papyrus confirms the Exodus account, it is not widely talked about in Christian circles, largely because it puts the Exodus earlier than many Christians believe it happened.
However, the Ipuwer document perfectly fits the theory that the Exodus took place shortly after the Egyptians drove the Hyksos out of power. The Hyksos, similar to the Jews, were Semitic and distant cousins of the Israelis. They conquered Egypt around 1800 BC. The Joseph and his family settled in Egypt shortly after the Hyksos arrival. Things turned against Israel when a new King (Exodus 1:8) arrived. This new king was the Egyptians overthrowing the Hyksos and driving them out of Egypt.