Wandering Arameans in Egypt: New Light on the Samarian and Judean Diaspora

Wandering Arameans in Egypt: New Light on the Samarian and Judean Diaspora

December 2, 2020
8:00 PM

Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 8 pm EST via Zoom

Wandering Arameans in Egypt: New Light on the Samarian and Judean Diaspora

Tawny Holm, Penn State University

The Hebrew Bible views Egypt as the location of both slavery and refuge. The “wandering Aramean” ancestor mentioned in Deuteronomy 26:5 was a slave in Egypt, whereas the prophet Jeremiah and others chose to flee there after the fall of Samaria/Israel and Judah. This presentation offers a look at the evidence for diaspora life in Egypt found in Papyrus Amherst 63, a long and difficult text written in Aramaic but using the Demotic Egyptian script.

The many compositions in the papyrus reflect the religious traditions and collective cultural memory of a group of Aramaic speakers in Egypt, including Samarians and Judeans. It contains hymns that praise Yaho/Yahweh over other deities, and even an idealized description of their arrival in a new land: “I come from Judah; my brother has been brought from Samaria; and now, a man is bringing up my sister from Jerusalem.”


BAF and its sister organization in Northern Virginia (BASONOVA), are delighted to announce a joint resumption of their lecture series on the ancient Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. This series will be broadcast “live” via Zoom, and “attendees” will be able to direct questions of the presenters.

How to Access the Lecture Series

We will announce additions to the line-up of presenters on a regular basis, as it is our aim to offer more than one event each month. Members will also receive a regular listing of recommended lectures in the public domain.

If you wish to subscribe to the series*, please access the BASONOVA PayPal portal and use a credit card for a one-year subscription ($35 per family). Go to: http://www.basonova.org/membership-form.html

It is also possible to access the series one lecture at a time, for $6 per lecture. To receive your single-lecture Zoom invitation, go to: http://www.basonova.org/next-lecture-reservation.html

*Maryland residents will be enrolled in BAF and Virginians will be enrolled in BASONOVA. There is no advantage in enrolling in one group versus the other, only that when in-person lectures begin again you will be apportioned to the group that matches your state of residence.