In Exodus 8:26 (NIV)

But Moses said, "That would not be right. The sacrifices we offer the LORD our God would be detestable to the Egyptians. And if we offer sacrifices that are detestable in their eyes, will they not stone us?

Was this true or was it just an excuse?

  • Hi Fu Sun. What is really the question? The title says something and after the passage you say something else... Commented Feb 23, 2021 at 13:27

1 Answer 1


Sacrifice of rams, sheep & goats was detestable to the Egyptians, because Egyptians worshiped a false ram-idol named Khnum thought to be the creator of humanity by molding humans from clay.

In context of Genesis 43:32 & Genesis 46:31-34, the Ivri (עִבְרִי) / Hebrew (ἑβραιου) shepherds believed YHVH was The Creator not the ram-god Khnum. As shepherds, Hebrews sacrificed their flocks to YHVH and ate them (basically showing disrespect to the false Egyptian ram-idol Khnum (𓎸𓅱𓀭).

The Passover (Ha-Pesach, הַפָּֽסַח) sacrifice in [Exodus 12] symbolized the slaughter of Khnum in devotion to the true Creator YHVH, revealing which house was Ivri (עִבְרִי).

Exodus 8:21-22 [MT] Explains

[21] "And Pharaoh summoned Moshe and Aharon, and he said, "Go, sacrifice to your God in the land." (וַיִּקְרָ֣א פַרְעֹ֔ה אֶל־משֶׁ֖ה וּלְאַֽהֲרֹ֑ן וַיֹּ֗אמֶר לְכ֛וּ זִבְח֥וּ לֵאלֹֽהֵיכֶ֖ם בָּאָֽרֶץ) [22] "But Moshe said, "It is improper to do that, for we will sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to YHVH our God. Will we sacrifice the deity of the Egyptians before their eyes, and they will not stone us?" (וַיֹּ֣אמֶר משֶׁ֗ה לֹ֤א נָכוֹן֙ לַֽעֲשׂ֣וֹת כֵּ֔ן כִּ֚י תּֽוֹעֲבַ֣ת מִצְרַ֔יִם נִזְבַּ֖ח לַֽיהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵ֑ינוּ הֵ֣ן נִזְבַּ֞ח אֶת־תּֽוֹעֲבַ֥ת מִצְרַ֛יִם לְעֵֽינֵיהֶ֖ם וְלֹ֥א יִסְקְלֻֽנוּ) Note - The original verses of "Exodus" ( Shemot, שְׁמוֹת֙ ) are reordered in English translations to verses 25-26 in [KJV]. [ The hieroglyph of Khnum will not be provided in honor of Exodus 20:4-5 ]

"Khnum, also spelled Khnemu, ancient Egyptian god of fertility, associated with water and with procreation. Khnum was worshipped from the 1st dynasty (c. 2925–2775 BCE) into the early centuries CE. He was represented as a ram with horizontal twisting horns or as a man with a ram’s head. Khnum was believed to have created humankind from clay like a potter; this scene, with him using a potter’s wheel, was depicted in later times. The god’s first main cult centre was Herwer, near Al-Ashmūnayn in Middle Egypt. From the New Kingdom (1539–1075 BCE) on, however, he was the god of the island of Elephantine, near present-day Aswān, and was known as the lord of the surrounding First Cataract of the Nile River. At Elephantine he formed a triad of deities with the goddesses Satis and Anukis. Khnum also had an important cult at Esna, south of Thebes." [https://www.britannica.com/topic/Khnum] By researching the destruction of the Jewish Temple at Elephantine Island in Egypt during 410 BC by the priests of Khnum, the Elephantine temple reform reveals the same culture clash of Exodus 8:21-22 [MT]

[https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephantine_papyri ]

"Khnum" (/kəˈnuːm/; Ancient Egyptian: 𓎸𓅱𓀭 ẖnmw, Koinē Greek: Χνοῦβις, also romanised Khnemu) was one of the earliest-known Egyptian deities, originally the god of the source of the Nile. Since the annual flooding of the Nile brought with it silt and clay, and its water brought life to its surroundings, he was thought to be the creator of the bodies of human children, which he made at a potter's wheel, from clay, and placed in their mothers' wombs. He was later described as having moulded the other deities, and he had the titles "Divine Potter" and "Lord of created things from himself". [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khnum]

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