Psalm 104 is almost a duplicate of the Egyptian Hymn to Aten

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On the wall of a 14th century BCE tomb in Egypt archaeologists found a beautiful hymn to the god Aten. What is really strange is that the Pharaoh Akhenaten (1352-1336) who lived in an era when everyone believed in many gods, chose to believe in only one, Aten. In fact, many scholars have argued that Pharaoh Akhenaten is the earliest documented example of a monotheist in history, though others argue that he was a henotheist (thought many gods existed, but chose to worship only one.)

What’s really curious about the Great Hymn to the Aten is that it closely mirrors Psalm 104 in the Hebrew Bible as a song of praise to the creator, though written hundreds of years before. Biblical scholars and historians disagree as to whether these two hymns are actually related by way of influencing one another, or whether both were independently written. In any case, the similarities are fascinating.

 

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