The First Monotheistic Religion and the Cause of Its Appearance

Subject: Religion
Pages: 3
Words: 582
Reading time:
2 min

The world’s first monotheistic religion is believed to be originated in Ancient Egypt during the Akhenaten reigns. The king decides to worship the disc sun god Aten. Thus, Egyptians were known to worship many gods, but Akhenaten, in the following five years of the ruling, made a deciding move to forbid all gods, but Aten. In that way, the oldest monotheistic religion appeared. However, it did not succeed in remaining a strong one, as a result disappearing after Pharaoh’s death.


While many believe that the oldest monotheistic religion came from Israel and their worship to Yahweh, many scientists claim that he was not indeed the only God for the Jewish people. However, what is the origin of monotheism? The first monotheistic religion came from ancient Egypt in the 13th century BC. It was Pharaoh Akhenaten who banned all the known to Egyptians gods in favor of sun disc god Aten. The scientists could not uncover evidence of Pharaoh’s existence until the 19th century. The king was initially named Amenhotep IV, and there is no trace of him on any of the family portraits, so many believe that his family despised him. Later he married the famous Queen Nefertiti.

With the stepping on the throne, Akhenaten decided to single out all sun god to only one – Aten. Still, eventually, the Pharaoh decided to develop exclusive monotheism and erase the names of all other Gods from people’s lives. Moreover, the Pharaoh strongly believed to be the direct descendant of the sun disc god. That is why he was so passionate about establishing monotheistic religion in his kingdom. He was so consumed by the idea of a monotheistic religion that he even relocated the capital of the country from Thebes to the El-Amarna, and he called the new capital Akhenaton, meaning the “horizon of Aton.”

The reason for Pharaoh’s decision to move the capital was supported by claims that the old capital had too much presence of ancient religions and gods. His strategy was to destroy the original priesthood and entirely terminate supporting old temples. He claimed that all gods in which Egyptians believed were worthless idols. Akhenaten was desperately eager to establish monotheism in his kingdom. However, Pharaoh’s obsession with building monotheism in his country created a severe economy falling. It is because the Ruler neglected the support of local temples that played an important economic role for the community, which moreover did not come around to the Akhenaten cult of Aten.

Luckily for Egyptians, Akhenaten ruled for only 17 years and could not manage to establish the first strong monotheistic religion. The new movement was not only unpopular within Egyptians, but also beyond the borders of the kingdom. Neighboring countries were not happy with the new king as allies claim that Akhenaten lacked military and financial support. The durable power and influence of Egypt significantly declined during the king’s reign. With the death of a pharaoh, every rule invented by him was banned, so local people were able to return to the old religious, traditional life they knew for centuries.

In conclusion, the monotheistic religion of Akhenaten was the first one to appear in the 13th century BC. It was because the Pharaoh Akhenaten was consumed with the idea of being a true descendant of sun disc god Aten. Even though the civilian people did not support this cult and it only stayed alive for a decade, it is still the oldest monotheistic religion in the world.