I learn with a non-religious young man who is interested in Judaism. We were discussing the mitzvah to remember what happened in Egypt and he said he would like to hear what Egypt says about what happened. He wants to hear their perspective, from historical writings, etc. I don't know where to find such information. Could you help me?
To the Questioner,
Papyrus Eifor describes massive reversals of nature in Egypt, dying in every house, a pillar of fire, and even tells that all the river has turned into blood (but in his mind it happened because of bodies in the water).
Also found in Egypt is the tomb of Merneptah, which is explicitly mentions the Nation of Israel more than 3,000 years ago.
Although the Egyptians wrote many papyri and documented history, unlike what many believe, they were not very truthful in their documentation, and did not record events that did not compliment them and their kings. The Egyptians obsessively covered up defeats and failures, to the extent that they did not document at all the 500 years of the rule of the Hyksos. Hyksos was a Semitic group that invaded and ruled Egypt for 500 years until the Egyptians took over their kingdom. But despite 500 years of Hyksos history in Egypt – monarchy, construction, politics, government, laws and religions – the Egyptians did not record the history of the Hyksos who controlled them, thereby obliterating Egyptian history of 500 years.
All the remains that were found from the Hyksos rule are indirect finds (such as structures, pottery vessels, etc.), but not direct or hieroglyphic documents on this great chapter in the history of ancient Egypt. The only place in Egypt where the Hyksos are mentioned is almost incidentally – in the tomb of the sons of Hassan. I cannot tell you whether the Egyptians destroyed evidence, but what is clear is that they did not want to document events of defeat and failure, not even if it be major and important events of 500 years. Let alone expecting that they would record the fact that their own slaves managed to humiliate and defeat them by means of divine signs and wonders.
But few know that the Israelites are clearly mentioned in ancient Egypt more than 3200 years ago. And perhaps it is hard to believe: But Pharaoh lied about what actually took place!
This is one of the most amazing finds from ancient Egypt, a famous tombstone called “the tombstone of Israel,” in which Pharaoh Merneptah recounts how he made journeys in the land of Canaan, defeated various peoples, and finally destroyed the Israelites to the last of them! Thus he wrote: “Israel was destroyed – there is no seed for him.” (Is it really surprising that the first external source in which the Children of Israel are mentioned is the description of their destruction?).
Well, the tombstone proves that the Israelites were known in ancient Egypt over 3200 years ago, and that they had already settled in the land of Canaan. But why did Pharaoh, the ruler of the mighty Egyptian empire, see it fit to lie saying he persecuted the Children of Israel in the land of Canaan and destroyed them to the last of them? Moreover, Pharaoh did not claim that he had destroyed any other of the nations.
In regard to other nations, Pharaoh only told that he had defeated them and pillaged them, yet only in regard to the people of Israel, did he declare with great enthusiasm that he did not leave even one of them…! For this reason it seems that Pharaoh had a very strong personal agenda in regard to the Israelites: he had acquired a great hatred for them and wanted to claim to the world that he had destroyed specifically their nation completely. It is interesting to note that in terms of the lineage, Pharaoh Merneptah was the son of Ramses II of the era of enslavement to Egypt. In other words, the son who wanted to protect his father's honor …
The very fact that Pharaoh establishes a tombstone full of lies about his great victories, and lied about the extinction of the Israelites, shows once again that there is no reason to trust the integrity of Egyptian documentation. Moreover, the exaggerated boast of the annihilation of all of Israel implies that the Egyptians erased any evidence of the Israelites who might have degraded them (or rather, they simply did not record it).
In any event, with or without such evidence, one must know that archeology lacks much knowledge, and it is impossible to bring evidence from it against an event. The Egyptian dynasty is extinct, so it has no continuous history. Moreover, there are almost no archaeological finds from the Early Bronze Age. The lineage of Egypt is based largely on the writings of an Egyptian historian named Manatoun who lived about 2000 years ago.
Did you know that in all the inscriptions and hieroglyphics found in ancient Egypt, there is not even one mention of building pyramids in Egypt? Inside the pyramids there are no hieroglyphs and inscriptions at all. Archaeologists have many speculations about building pyramids, but ancient Egypt does not provide information about this connection. From this you can understand that the information about ancient Egypt and other cultures is deficient, and is based on scholarly hypotheses – more often than upon real facts.