Jewish people all over the world are celebrating the festival of Passover. It is one of the most important dates in the Jewish calendar, and this year falls between April. At Passover, Jewish people remember a story from a very long time ago. Over 3, years ago, a group of Jewish people called the Israelites were being kept in slavery by the ruler of Egypt called Pharaoh. A man called Moses went to see Pharaoh many times to ask him to let them go, but Pharaoh refused. Moses told him that if he did not release them, God would make terrible things called plagues happen to the Egyptians. But Pharaoh did not listen, so the plagues came. These ten plagues included the River Nile turning to blood, frogs covering the land, insect infestations, animals dying, Egyptians getting skin diseases, the sun stopping shining and the first-born child in Egyptian families being killed by an angel. God is said to have told Moses to tell the Israelites to paint lamb’s blood on their doorposts. This way, the angel would know that Jewish people lived there.
The Exodus: Does archaeology have a say?
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One theory takes literally the statement in I Kings that the Exodus from Egypt of his reign, about bce; therefore, the Exodus would date about bce. some of the Midianite clans crossed over the Arabah (the great valley south of.
A new interpretation of historical documents by a professor at Johns Hopkins University puts the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt about years earlier than had been previously assumed. And, he links the ”parting of the waves” that then swallowed the pursuing Egyptians to a powerful tidal wave generated by the same volcanic eruption that apparently wiped out the Minoan civilization. The new estimate is that the Exodus occurred in B. If this revised date is correct, it is possible to account for the waters that drowned the Egyptian forces as the consequence of the tidal wave, an established natural phenomenon, rather than as the result of divine intervention to allow the Israelites to escape.
According to the new hypothesis, the Exodus coincided with the volcanic eruption at Thera, an island 70 miles north of Crete. The resulting tidal wave could have inundated the low coastal lands of Egypt, which was presumably the route of the Israelites’ escape from their long exile. Theory Advanced at Johns Hopkins. Hans Goedicke, a noted Egyptologist and chairman of the department of Near Eastern studies at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, has advanced this hypothesis after 20 years of analysis of a variety of archeological and historical sources, primarily a royal inscription from the reign of Hatshepsut, B.
The inscription, Dr. Goedicke said, describes many of the events associated with the Exodus. In a lecture at Johns Hopkins, Dr.
Parashat Shemot: Ramesses and the Question of Dating the Exodus
Bibliotheca Sacra Cited with permission. The Date of the Exodus Reexamined. Charles H. Why reexamine the date of the Exodus?
The Exodus and the experiences connected with it — the slavery of the at all is the inscription on the so-called Israel Stele of the pharaoh Merneptah, dating to as a means of demonstrating God’s vital interest in the welfare of the Israelites.
But what light does it cast on the historical figure of Moses? The rather surprising answer is: none. There is no historical figure of Moses, and no reason from archaeology or history to suppose any of the exodus story is true. You have to distinguish between truth and historicity. But the problem with historical evidence goes much deeper. This date is about years earlier than the period in which the Hebrew Bible is supposed to have been codified and written down, including its first five books that were supposedly written by Moses himself.
There is no archaeological evidence for the biblical story, and certainly no extra-biblical evidence, in Egyptian inscriptions. Not even the Bible account claims that the Israelites were employed as slaves to build the pyramids as they are in Hollywood. They are simply slaves. Yet there are tantalising glimpses in the story of something that may be more than mere folk tale. There were times in the 16th and 17th centuries BC when tribal groups from the eastern Mediterranean were found in what is now northern Egypt.
And the story of Moses has a strange echo in the life of Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten, the first monotheist known to history. He reigned from to BC, and proclaimed that there was only one true God, Aten, the sun disc.
For many years the date of the date of the Exodus has been disputed and the issue has become a major discussion in the realms of Old Testament debate as some feel that issues such as biblical historicity rest upon the matter. There are two main alternatives for the date of the Exodus. Both sides believe their respective dates to fit in best with the main pieces of biblical, archaeological and other data which are discussed in this essay.
The Key Biblical Statement. It would be fair to say that the main motivation for those who support an early date is the defence of this text which states:. In the four hundredth and eightieth year after the Israelites had come out of Egypt in the fourth year of the reign of Solomon he began to build the temple.
The Exodus is so fundamental to us and our Jewish sources that it is it is the basis of our existence and it is the basis of our important Passover festival Dating is a tricky subject and it is difficult to see how the Hebrew Bible.
As past chapters have shown, the Lord has often influenced history in such a way that it becomes in and of itself symbolically significant. Joseph, who was sold into Egypt, provided a type or symbol of Christ and His ministry see Reading These chapters of Exodus contain one of the grandest and most profound of all historical types. Among other procedures, the Lord commanded, as found in Exodus 12 :. John On the first and seventh days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Israelites were commanded to hold holy convocations in which no work might be done except the preparation of their food.
These were occasions for preaching and explaining and exhorting and testifying. We go to sacrament meetings to be built up in faith and in testimony. Ancient Israel attended holy convocations for the same purposes. Knowing that all things operate by faith, would it be amiss to draw the conclusion that it is as easy for us to look to Christ and his spilt blood for eternal salvation as it was for them of old to look to the blood of the sacrificed lamb, sprinkled on doorposts, to give temporal salvation, when the angel of death swept through the land of Egypt?
After that final Passover day and its attendant lifting up upon the cross of the true Paschal Lamb, the day for the proper celebration of the ancient feast ceased.
THEORY TIES EXODUS FLOOD TO TIDAL WAVE
The occasion upon which the Hebrews left Egypt under Moses. The main Biblical data. Gen
When a group of people experience things that are extremely important to their existence as a But it may be plausible that there was a much smaller exodus, an exodus of people This victory hymn probably dates to the 12th century B.C.E.
Aug 23 3 Elul Torah Portion. Thanks in no small part to the Internet and the ubiquity of social media, popular exposure to the findings of biblical criticism has increased exponentially. And much of it focused on one issue: the historicity, or especially the non-historicity, of the biblical exodus. The case against the historicity of the exodus is straightforward, and its essence can be stated in five words: a sustained lack of evidence.
Nowhere in the written record of ancient Egypt is there any explicit mention of Hebrew or Israelite slaves, let alone a figure named Moses. No competent scholar or archaeologist will deny these facts. Case closed, then? For those who would defend the plausibility of a historical exodus, what possible response can there be? More generally, there is a limit to what we can expect from the written record of ancient Egypt.
Ninety-nine percent of the papyri produced there during the period in question have been lost, and none whatsoever has survived from the eastern Nile delta, the region where the Torah claims the Children of Israel resided. Instead, we have to rely on monumental inscriptions, which, being mainly reports to the gods about royal achievements, are far from complete or reliable as historical records. In fact, many major events reported in various ancient writings are archaeologically invisible.
The migrations of Celts in Asia Minor, Slavs into Greece, Arameans across the Levant — all described in written sources — have left no archeological trace. And this, too, is hardly surprising: archaeology focuses upon habitation and building; migrants are by definition nomadic.
Ancient Jewish History: Who Were the Hebrews?
Some Midian begin having sexual relations with Moabite women and worshipping Moabite gods , so Yahweh verses Moses to impale the idolators and sends a plague, but the full timeline of Yahweh’s route is averted when Phinehas impales an Israelite and a Midianite woman having timeline Midian Yahweh commands the Israelites to destroy the Midianites and Moses and Phinehas meaning another chapter.
Moses then addresses the Israelites for a final time on the banks of the Jordan River , reviewing their travels and giving them further laws. Yahweh tells Moses to meaning Joshua, whom Yahweh commissions to lead the conquest of Canaan.
Finally, nowhere in the vicinity of Pelusium have significant remnants been found from Biblical times. Thus, it seems highly doubtful that Pelusium can be an.
The author contends that the most important event in Jewish history has been occupying the wrong slot in the accepted archaeological timeline. Stand and see the deliverance of Hashem which he shall do for you this day. For as you have seen Egypt this, day, never will you see it again. The Exodus from Egypt was not only the seminal event in the history of the Jewish People, but was an unprecedented and unequaled catastrophe for Egypt.
The drowning of the Egyptian armed forces in the Red Sea left Egypt open and vulnerable to foreign invasions. From the days of Flavius Josephus c. They have had little luck. In this year, the greatest warlord Egypt ever knew, Thutmose III, deposed his aunt Hatshepsut and embarked on a series of conquests, extending the Egyptian sphere of influence and tribute over Israel and Syria and crossing the Euphrates into Mesopotamia itself.
While it is interesting that this date actually saw the death of an Egyptian ruler — and there have been those who tried to identify Queen Hatshepsut as the Pharaoh of the Exodus — the power and prosperity of Egypt at this time is hard to square with the biblical account of the Exodus. Some historians have been attracted by the name of the store-city Raamses built by the Israelites before the Exodus. And as in the case of Thutmose III, the Egyptian records make it clear that nothing even remotely resembling the Exodus happened anywhere near his time of history.
We appear to be at a standstill. The only option is to conclude that there is something seriously wrong with the generally accepted dates for Egyptian history. In , Immanuel Velikovsky published Ages in Chaos, the first of a series of books in which he proposed a radical redating of Egyptian history in order to bring the histories of Egypt and Israel into synchronization.