After the invasion of the Hyksos into Egypt, the immigration of the Asiatic peoples, and the military expansion campaigns outside of Egypt led by the pharaoh Tutmose III, the Egyptians could no longer ignore the world outside of Egypt. The old Egyptian beliefs stated that the gods were the creators of Egypt, and only Egypt. The world outside of Egypt was often ignored and unrecognized by the Egyptians.
When Amenhotep IV suddenly changed his name to Akhenaten in honor of the Sun-god Aten and began preaching his theories of Atenism, religious thought in Egypt was forever changed. Akhenaten strived to make Aten the sole god worshipped in Egypt by closing temples to all other gods and erasing the names of the old gods from records and monuments. Although the effects of the Amarna Revolution on the common people of Egypt are as yet unknown, it must have had a great effect on the priesthoods that maintained the temples.
Akhenaten claimed that Aten was the only god and was the sole creator of the entire world. Aten was depicted as a loving, caring god who gave life and sustained the living with his light. Contrary to classical Egyptian beliefs, The Great Hymn to the Aten emphasized that Aten had created not only Egypt, but also lands outside of Egypt and the foreigners who lived in them. The hymn even goes so far as to specifically mention two foreign provinces that were created by Aten, Syria and Kush. This religious recognition of the outside world and foreigners was one thing that distinguished Atenism from traditional Egyption beliefs.
Akhenaten's beliefs were totally new to Egypt, and perhaps took the priesthood by surprise. In a land where polytheism and isolationism had reigned for over a millennium, the sudden changes brought upon Egypt by the foreign peoples and Atenism were extremely radical. And because the man teaching the heresy of Atenism was the pharaoh, there was nothing the Egyptians could do to stop it short of a rebellion. Atenism posed a direct threat to Egypt's priests and clergy, who were forced to close their temples. This separation from a…