people then become the leaders of nomes, which are secular leading positions. Moses still kills an Egyptian, like in the Torah, but unlike the Torah, this Egyptian was planning to kill him, so it was self-defense. There is a lot of modifying of Moses so he appears faultless and closer to perfection. By also making him equal to Hermes, he is both raised to the level of a god, while simultaneously, Hermes is brought down to the level of a mere mortal. The Jewish God follows Moses throughout, and Moses need only whisper Gods true name into the ear of the pharaoh, andthe pharaoh fell down speechless. The story ends without the Sinai experience, which is strange, as the focus is on Moses, but with the lack of law in the story, it makes sense that they did not need it.The biggest similarity that is exhibited between these three sources is that of Moses not being a lawgiver. In the Torah, this is his main role! So what might it say about the Jews during this time? It is important to remember for Artapanus that we only have fragments, we do not have the full picture. Therefore, it is possible that there is more writing that does include laws and lawmaking, and we simply do not have it. However, it is far more likely that there is not a focus on law making because of Artapanus and his focus on cultural religion. Moses as a central character without the lawmaking sets a precedent for the rest of the Jews who look to Moses as an exemplary Jew. The Moses in Ezekiel the Tragedian does not discuss law either, there is not
Zins 8even mention of the specifics of circumcision, because to him, Judaism was mystic and mysterious, and laws take away from mysticism. Jubilees is slightly different. It is true that Moses does not discuss law, but the book itself does, which separates it.Because this literature is from Judea, it is safe to say that laws were more of a focus to the Jews living in Judea than in Egypt. An important question then, is why the Egyptian narratives left out the laws and lawmaking for Moses. The most likely answer is that they were supporting assimilation. It is far easier to blend in if you are not eating different foods and isolating yourselves, as the Jews in Judea were doing based on what information we have. So theidentity of the Jews in Egypt seem to reflect Moses and his Egyptianized names for things, his understanding of Hellenistic culture, and his compatibility with that culture. Laws would have gotten in the way with that. For example, Moses in Artapanus was assigning animals to gods, prior Jewish laws would absolutely have gotten in the way. (FOOTNOTE HERE:Donah believing that Moses replacing God is the same as Law replacing god? funky!)Moses in Artapanus has a unique focus on magic (collins citation needed) that was not as big in Jubilees or Ezekiel the Tragedian. Moses in Ezekiel has a focus on dreams and mysticism, but not necessarily magic and the miraculous. One example in Artapanus is the powerof Moses’ rod. This rod channels the Jewish God’s power to impress and terrify the Pharaoh, especially through the plagues.