Why did Egypt’s Pharaoh Akenhaten Convert to Monotheism?
Why in 1400 BC did the young Pharaoh Akenhaten in Egypt convert to monotheism (believing in only one god)? We have added the site of El Amarna on our longer Christian-based Egypt tour itineraries in order to understand the significance of his decision. Certain scholars point out that Akenhaten was most likely the young Pharaoh who lost his eldest brother to the plagues of the Old Testament and may have lost his father in the chase of the Israelites in the Red Sea. Egyptologists know for certain that it was Akenhaten who destroyed all of the pagan gods. They also know that he made a radical decision to depart from pagan worship centers and build a new city to worship the one true God. The name for his new found religion was called Atonism – the system evolving around Aton, the only God. It is interesting in that it pre-modeled the Kushitic /Ethiopian monotheism and the later monotheistic Kushitic religions of Ethiopia and Nubia. The temple of Aton is located along the Nile north of Luxor and South of Cairo. Our visit to El Amarna allows us to see where Pharaoh Akenaten brought and stored over 380 unique cuneiform tablets. Of Biblical significance is that some were written by the Caananites asking for help from Pharaoh to stop the Habiru (Hebrew) who are taking over their land. Those rebels were none other than the Israelites. On our normal religious tours of Egypt you will see the tablets in the Egyptian Museum at Cairo.
Pharaoh Akenaten witnessed the death of his father and brother at the hand of Moses’s God and had a significant experience. “And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out My hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it” (Ex. 7:5). God not only wanted the people of Israel but also the Egyptians to know Him. It would be one of the greatest showings of God’s power on earth. You will see the remains of Akenhaten’s city that honored his new found God. After his death, the country recommitted itself to pagan gods and the city was vacated. Also found were hymns to his one true God. Some scholars teach that the hymn closely resembles Psalm 104.
Join Living Passages on one of our Egypt tours and you will see sights and archaeology that prove that the Bible is The Word of God. Find your ideal 2016 Christian tour with Living Passages & begin planning for an unforgettable experience! Also, Living Passages offers personalized Christian travel tours for Group Travel to Egypt!