Moses and Akhenaten
one and the same person
By Ahmed Osman
Following the death of his father, Amenhotep III, he organized a great celebration at Amarna in his Year 12, for foreign princes bearing tribute because of his assumption of sole rule. Akhenaten and Nefertiti appeared on window of appearance to receive the tribute of foreign missions coming from Syria, Palestine, Nubia and the Mediterranean islands, who offered him their presents. A military unit of Shasu from the Bedouins of Sinai, guarded the royal procession. It was then that the king decided to abolish the worship of all gods in Egypt, except Aten.
Akhenaten gave orders to his troops instructing them to close all the temples, confiscate its estates, and sack the priests, leaving only Atenís temples throughout the country. Units were dispatched to excise the names of the ancient gods wherever they were found written or engraved, a course that can only have created mounting new opposition to his already rejected authority. This persecution, which entailed the closing of the temples, confiscating its property, the dispatch of artisans who entered everywhere to hack out the names of the deities from inscriptions, the banishment of the clergy, the excommunication of Amunís name, was supervised by the army. Each time a squad of workmen entered a temple or tomb to destroy the name of Amun, it was supported by a squad of soldiers who came to see that the royal decree was carried out without opposition.
The military garrison at Amarna had detachments of Sinai Bedouins and foreign auxiliaries, in addition of Egyptian units. The loyalty of the army to Akhenaten was assured by the person of its commander Aye, brother of the kingís mother who held posts among the highest in the infantry and chariotry, posts held by Yuya his father.
The persecution of the old gods, however, proved to be hateful to the majority of Egyptians, including members of the army. Ultimately the harshness of the persecution had a certain reaction upon the soldiers who, themselves, had been raised in the old beliefs, and rather than risk a wholesale defection and perhaps even a civil war. After all, the officers and soldiers themselves believed in the same gods whose images the king ordered them to destroy, they worshipped in the very temples which they were ordered to close. A conflict arose between the king and his army. Akhenatenís belief in one God, however, was too deep for him to allow any compromise with the priests. Horemheb, Pa-Ramses and Seti, planned a military coup against the king, and ordered their troops from the north and south to move towards Amarna. Aye, who received news of the troopsí movements, brought his chariots to guard Amarna. When the army and chariots came face to face at Amarnaís borders, Aye advised the king to abdicate the throne to his son Tutankhaten, in order to save the dynasty. Akhenaten agreed to abdicate and left Amarna with Pa-Nehesy, the high priest of Aten, and few of his followers to live in exile in area of Sarabit El-Khadem in southern Sinai.