Borrowing by one culture from another is a natural part of intellectual growth, and the fact that the process works both ways only serves to emphasise its fundamental truth. Egyptian words and metaphors translated into Hebrew can be paralleled by influences operating in reverse -- Hebrew words and names which have passed into the Ancient Egyptian language. However, by far the largest and most persuasive mass of evidence clearly indicates the primacy of the longer and more enduring civilisation of Egypt.
There were contacts between Egypt and the Syria-Palestine region as early as the Middle Kingdom, around 2000 BC, when Egypt exercised economic, if not political, domination over the Levant. It is in this period that the migration of the Hebrew patriarchs to and from Egypt belong (Gen. 12:10ff). Contacts increased during the New Kingdom, especially following the conquests of Thutmose III, the creator of a vast Egyptian empire. Thutmose went to war regularly every summer and returned to Egypt around the end of September. The "Annals of Thutmose III" which are inscribed on the outer wall of the sanctuary at Karnak give details of the cities and tribes subdued in the course of his military campaigns.
Contacts between Egypt and the Hebrew people increased during the so-called Period of Decline that followed the New Kingdom. David, a member of the Edomite royal house, fled to Egypt and was given political asylum by an unnamed Pharaoh (1 Kings 11: 14-22). Solomon married an Egyptian princess (1 Kings 3:1) and the palace he constructed for her was of Egyptian design; he also patterned his scribal schools on those of Egypt. No wonder that such a large number of Egyptian loan words, phrases and intellectual ideas should be preserved in the Old Testament, along with a large number of idiomatic expressions, and two Egyptian units of measure.
We can trace the influence of Babylonian beliefs in Judaism, like the introduction of angles after the Babylonian Captivity. So what about Egypt? For example, might the development of Jewish monotheism been helped along by the early, though short, attempt to introduce monotheism in Egypt? Unfortunately, the farther back we go the sparser the records are and therefore the harder it is to chart the course of any beliefs within a culture, never mind how outside cultures might have exerted an influence.
Yet, can there be any doubt that it was Pharaoh Akhenaten's Hymn to the Aten, written in the 14th century BC, that inspired Psalms 104:24 in the Old Testament?
"How manifold are all thy works! They are hidden from before us, O thou sole god, whose powers no other possesseth. Though didst create the earth according to thy desire [...] all cattle large and small; all that are upon the earth" (Akhenaten's hymn)
"O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom has thou made them all; The earth is full of thy creatures" (Psalm 104)
Breasted pointed out the marked similarity in thought and sequence between these two passages. He observed that the Egyptian Pharaoh "grasped the idea of a world-dominator, as the creator of nature, in which the king saw revealed the creator's purpose for all his creatures, even the meanest... He based the universal sway of God upon his fatherly care of all men alike, irrespective of race or nationality, and to the proud and exclusive Egyptian he pointed to an all-embracing bounty of the common father of humanity, even placing Syria and Nubia before Egypt in his enumeration."
Other similar examples abound. "Yahweh [Jehovah] weigheth the hearts," it is written in Proverbs 21:2. The only previous instance of a god who makes a practice of weighing up human hearts is in Egyptian mortuary literature, where this method of judgement is exercised at the court of Osiris in the underworld.
We could also cite the biblical description of men being fashioned out of clay by Yahweh: "The potter of the same clay he maketh both the vessels that serve for clean uses, and likewise also all such as serve to the contrary" (Book of Wisdom, 15:7). This image is essentially identical with the Ancient Egyptian image of men being fashioned on a potter's wheel out of the clay of the river Nile by the ram-headed god Khnum, one of the great gods of Egypt. In this connection, it is worthy of note that a Jewish temple was built on Elephantine Island in the sixth century BC, immediately behind the great Temple of Khnum: indeed, archaeologists have shown that the two places of worship were at different strata.
Chapter Six of the Book of Proverbs deals with the issue of justice. The commandment, "Do not move the boundary-stone nor shift the surveyor's rope, do not tamper with the widow's land-bounds", clearly reflects precepts to be found in Egyptian "instruction literature", as do passages in Chapter 11 on coveting: "Covet not the poor farmer's property nor hunger after his bread: the peasant's morsel will gag in the throat and revolt in the gullet".
Such striking similarities between the Instruction Literature of an Egyptian sage called Amenemope and the Book of Proverbs cannot easily be dismissed. In Proverbs Chapter 13 on morals and neighbourly love, we read: "It is better to be praised for neighbourly love than have riches in the storeroom; better to enjoy your bread with a good conscience than to have wealth weighed down by reproaches." This does little more than repeat almost word for word a verse in Amenemope's Instruction Literature, as does Chapter 27 on consideration towards the afflicted: "Mock not the blind nor deride the dwarf, nor block a cripple's path".
The question is not "did Egypt influence the Hebrews over the course of centuries and millennia," because of course such influences must have existed. Egypt was one of the most powerful cultures in the region and exercised widespread influence. The real question would seem to be just how extensive the influence was and how much of what is currently regarded as "Jewish" may have roots in ancient Egypt.