Pyramids and slaves

I watched this show of archeologists in Egypt saying that the Egyptians never used Hebrew slaves for pyramids or anything else. Can anyone explain this?

There’s basically no archaeological evidence for a Jewish presence in or Exodus from ancient Egypt, nor any reason to believe the Egyptians used slave labor to build their monuments. It’s very tough to believe that hundreds of thousands of people managed to leave Egypt without anyone bothering to write it down or dropping a single piece of pottery along the way.

Interesting question. The bible did not state that the Jews helped build the pyramids. But maybe the time period would imply it. I’ll have to look into it more. :slight_smile:

Here is an interesting article I came upon, but it’s late for me, and I’ve only skimmed it:

Archeologists have discovered 4,000-year-old tombs of some of the pyramid builders.
They were apparently paid laborers, not slaves.
The slave bit was a myth, encouraged by the likes of Cecil B. DeMille!
And apparently, no Jews were in Egypt at that time.

There are many, many, in-depth articles on this topic that you’ll find with a quick google search.


Simple: the pyramids were built way before the Exodus was even supposed to have happened. The Exodus is usually supposed to have happened (by those who believe in its historicity, anyway) somewhere around the 1500s BC at the earliest or the 1200s BC at the latest. On the other hand, most of the pyramids in Egypt were all built during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods (ca. 2686 BC-ca. 1650 BC), a thousand years before the Exodus.

The thing is, at one time it was thought that the pyramids were built using forced labor by Egyptian slaves. But as it turns out, they were actually paid workers who received some recompense for their tasks.

Exactly as others have stated -

Egypt did not need slave labour to build; it had its own workforce of thousands of people.

During the season Inundation in Egypt, the NIle would flood its banks and basically all farmland was under water until the waters subsided. The annual flooding of the Nile was one of the things that made Egypt so prosperous - the water would drop a good layer of nutrient rich silt on all the farmland so much so that it made the soil look actually black.

BTW, the Egyptian name for Egypt is Kemet - “black land” In modern Coptic it’s “Kimi” (KEE-mee) as in “metremenkimi” - Coptic for “the Egyptian language” (lit. “speach of the people of the black land”)

As a total aside, it’s also where we get the term “black magic” - nothing at all whatsoever to do with black equating to bad/evil, it simply originally meant ritual magic as it was practiced in Egypt.

Back on tangent here - I’m simplifying things but during the Inundation you basically had a lot of farmers with no work - an instant workforce to build, construct, etc. and as others have stated, they were apparenly well paid (typically in leeks or… beer!).

You know, the Bible does not say that the Hebrews build the Pyramids. They were build long before the Hebrew sojourn in Egypt.

I don’t think Exodus claims they were there in the period of ancient Egypt when the Pyramids were built, but I do think there is good archeological evidence for the Exodus.

It’s very tough to believe that hundreds of thousands of people managed to leave Egypt without anyone bothering to write it down or dropping a single piece of pottery along the way.

The Exodus story is written down. Apart from that, there is some significant archeological evidence that seems to have been left behind during the Exodus, unless I’m missing something. Some of that evidence is summarized here:

I agree that the account, even if true would not have had the Hebrews in Egypt building pyramids. My guess is that sidi is just a popular notion that people develop on their own when they hear “ancient Egypt” and “slaves.” The pyramids are super ancient- the Great Pyramids, hardly the first, were built in something like 2500 BC. Put another way, Alexander the Great was about half way between the present day and the Pyramids- they were as ancient to him as he is to us.

But on the Exodus in general, I think it’s fair to say that the case is exceedingly weak, and the vast majority of archeologists recognize that. It was written down, sure, but so was the story of Aeneas, the Iliad, and the Odyssey. We now know, or at least we think we know, where the place that the Greeks called Illium was- but it’s taken foregranted that most of all the stories were wholly invented, or developed centuries after the events their purport to describe. Oral traditions don’t preserve facts very well, especially over hundreds of years.

The main fact is that, despite serious interests from powerful Zionists, has found a shred of evidence of a mass loss of population from Egypt or a great migration across the Sinai. We’re talking hundreds of thousands of people getting up, walking, and then settling. They are supposed to have left Egypt, a literate society with an interest in recording history. Israel gets mentioned, but there’s no word on an Exodus or anything like that.

An oddly built settlement, a chariot under water, the mention of a plague- these are neat, but don’t explain how huge masses of people got from A to B without leaving a trace. As such, most archeologists discount the story. Even the bits linked in the comment tend to admit that.

Scripture doesn’t put the time that the Hebrew children were in Egypt as coinciding with the building the Pyramids.

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