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date: 22 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Since the first decade of the 20th century, biblical scholars have been searching for evidence in support of the Egyptian background of the Psalms. Following Jean François Champollion’s decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs in 1822, many parts of the Hebrew Bible, including the five books of the Torah and the Book of Kings, were compared to Egyptian texts. In particular, the Psalms have been compared with the so-called “Great Hymn to the Aten,” discovered during the 1884 excavations at a tomb known as Tell El-Amarna. This article examines the relationship between Psalm 104 and the Great Hymn to the Aten, with reference to a statement by the British Egyptologist Alyward M. Blackman, who declared that the hymns are imbued with exactly the same spirit as many of the Hebrew Psalms. It also considers the basic parameters of Egyptian religion in relation to the Egyptian hymns, along with the literary dependencies between Egyptian texts and Hebrew psalms. The article traces the quest for the Egyptian backgrounds to the Psalms to the world of the ancient Near East.

Keywords: Psalms, Hebrew Bible, Egyptian texts, Great Hymn to the Aten, Psalm 104, Alyward M. Blackman, religion, hymns, literary dependencies, ancient Near East

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