LECTURE: Horus, Set and Israel: Egyptian Literary: Reflections in a Biblical Mirror Find us
Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 6:00PM
Speaker: Gary Greenberg, Former President of the Biblical Archaeology Society (BAS)
Location: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW/NYU)15 East 84th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues) FREE TO THE PUBLIC, RECEPTION TO FOLLOW LECTURE
Khasekhemwy, last pharaoh of the 2nd Dynasty and the only Pharaoh that had a serakh with both Horus and Seth. His predecessor, Seth Peribsen, only had a Seth serakh. The original statue is in the Ashmolean.
ABSTRACT: Egyptian myths about the conflicts between Horus and Set have a long continuous tradition that may go back to pre-dynastic times and may have been influenced by historical events. These stories were known as late as the first century, when the elements were gathered together for the first time by the Greek historian Plutarch. Over time the image of Set changed from a defender of Re to an iconic image of Egypt’s foreign invaders.
Biblical history places the formative years of Israel (from the time of Jacob) in Egypt, depicting Moses as an adopted son of the pharaoh and showing Joseph as married to the daughter of the High Priest of Annu (Heliopolis), one of Egypt’s most important and ancient cult centers.
While differences of opinion exist on the historicity of the biblical stories about Israel in Egypt, in this lecture I will look at various Egyptian stories, including the New Kingdom tale known as “The Contendings of Horus and Set,” Manetho’s third century BCE Egyptian story connecting the Exodus to Pharaoh Akhenaten, and Plutarch’s summary of the story of Osiris and Isis and the activities of their children Horus and Set. We will then compare portions of these stories with elements from the biblical accounts of Jacob and Esau, and Moses and the Exodus, showing how the Egyptian imagery of Horus and Set appears to inform both biblical narratives.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Gary Greenberg was president of the Biblical Archaeology Society for over thirteen years and the author of several books on Egyptian and biblical matters, including “The Moses Mystery” and “101 Myths of the Bible,” both of which explore Egyptian myth and history, and “Manetho: A study in Egyptian Chronology.” He has presented several papers at ARCE annual conferences and at other scholarly forums such as the International Congress of Egyptologists and the International Society of Biblical literature. He has been published in KMT, the Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities, and Discussions in Egyptology. www.biblemyth.com: Author of: 101 Myths of the Bible, The Moses Mystery
INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF MUSEUMS
The International Council of Museums, in an effort to fight against illicit traffic in cultural goods, compiles the Emergency Red List of Egyptian Cultural Objects at Risk. This list aims to help art and heritage professionals and law enforcement officials identify Egyptian objects that are protected by national and international legislations. View the Red List for Egypt.