The older sections of the Hebrew Bible is a heavily edited Israelite historical archive written in the fashion of the Great Tradition of the Art of Writing as generally with much of ancient literature. There are historical reasons however to believe that the timeline put forward in the Hebrew Bible is correct. The timeline is most likely based on earlier now lost writings. There are six exoduses in the Hebrew Bible:
- The Exodus from Ur to Canaan. The city of Ur was the capital of the last Sumerian state, also known as the Neo-Sumerian Empire as led by the Third Dynasty of Ur. The First Exodus is approximately contemporary with the collapse of the Neo-Sumerian Empire in 2004 BCE. The exodus of the fleeing sacerdotal caste of Sumerian ENs (priestly Sumerians) led by Abraham to Canaan is the earliest documentation of Jewish history in the Hebrew Bible. Yet Canaan was important to the Sumerians as the notion of the holy land existed already in Sumerian times. The Sumerians referred to the holy land as “Aratta” which is derived from “Eretz”, the Canaanite/Hebrew name for land.
- The Second Exodus described in the Hebrew Bible takes place from Canaan to Egypt and the Hebrew Bible refers to the historically documented Canaanite presence in Egypt, including the Hyksos reign. The 400 years in Egypt refers to the period from the 18th century BCE when Canaanite statehood first commenced in the Egyptian city of Avaris till the 14th century BCE with the collapse of Atenism.
- The Third Exodus refers to how the Crypto-Sumerian Canaanite-Egyptian Atenist priests fled Egypt and returned to the Canaan of their ancestors in the 14th century BCE. They subsequently in the ensuing centuries converted the polytheist population of Canaan to Atenism. Atenism merged with Canaanite polytheism and united the Canaanite gods (the Canaanite pantheon, known as ‘Elohim’) into one god although the Hebrew Bible still uses names of different Canaanite gods to refer to the God of Israel.
- The Fourth Exodus describes the Assyrian deportations of much of the population of the Northern Kingdom of Israel to what is now Kurdistan in the 8th century BCE and the Israelite Kohanim converted the Medes to Canaanite Atenism in the the 7th century BCE.
- The Fifth Exodus is the deportation of much of the population of the the Southern Kingdom of Judah to captivity in Babylonia in the 6th century BCE.
- The Sixth Exodus is the return from the Babylonian captivity to Judea in the 6th century BCE.
Mandaeism states that theirs is the oldest religion in the world which predates Judaism and Alevis (Alevism is one of nine denominations of core Median Judaism) make the same claim of being the oldest religion in the world. Mandaeans traditionally live in the area of ancient Sumer. Mandaeans are however the only surviving Gnostic denomination. Gnosticism was how core Median Judaism survived during the early Christian period prior to the Islamic era. Yet, Mandaeism bears no apparent resemblance to denominations of core Median Judaism, i.e. Alawism, Alevism, Alianism, Bektashism, Druzism, Khaksarism, Shabakism, Yarsanism and Yezidism. Also, Mandaeism bears no apparent resemblance to Rabbinic Judaism. Zoroastrianism (a form of Median Judaism beyond core Median Judaism) refers to the holy land as “Airyanem Vaejah”, the land of the Urians.
The Mandaeans are the first Jews, descendants of the Sumerian ENs who are also the ancient ancestors of the Levites, the priestly tribe in Judaism. Jewish personal status, sacerdotal class, is derived through Abraham from Ur and his band of refugees from the collapse of the Neo-Sumerian Empure whose capital was Ur. Judaism derives not only its sacerdotal claims but also the claims to holiness of the land of Israel from ancient Sumer. The Mandaeans are the last surviving remnant of pre-Israelite Judaism and constitute an evolved form of the ancient Sumerian religion. In order to learn more about the ancient pre-Israelite origins of Judaism need we study Mandaean and Median Jewish sacred scriptures through the ancient toolkit, indeed lens of the Great Tradition of the Art of Writing.