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Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 6:01pm On Dec 08, 2023
As part of my indepth research into the true origins of the Bible and religion in general, I recently added a new book to my library.

The book is titled: The Bible Unearthed - Archeology's New Vision of Ancient Isreal and the Orgin of Its Sacred Texts.

It was written by Finkelstein Israel and Silberman Neil Asher.

About the Authors:

1. Finkelstein Israel born March 29, 1949 is an Israeli archaeologist, professor emeritus at Tel Aviv University and the head of the School of Archaeology and Maritime Cultures at the University of Haifa.

Finkelstein is active in the archaeology of the Levant and is an applicant of archaeological data in reconstructing biblical history.

He is also known for applying the exact and life sciences in archaeological and historical reconstruction.

Finkelstein is the current excavator of Megiddo, a key site for the study of the Bronze and Iron Ages in the Levant.

2. Silberman Neil Asher born June 19, 1950 in Boston, Massachusetts is an American archaeologist and historian with a special interest in biblical archaeology.

He is the author of several books, including The Hidden Scrolls, The Message and the Kingdom: How Jesus and Paul Ignited a Revolution and Transformed the Ancient World (with Richard Horsley), The Bible Unearthed : Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts (with Israel Finkelstein), and Digging for God and Country.

A graduate of Wesleyan University, he studied Near Eastern archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Awarded a 1991 Guggenheim Fellowship, he is a contributing editor to Archaeology and a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Cultural Property.

He served as the president of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Interpretation and Presentation (ICIP) and was a member of the ICOMOS International Advisory Committee and Scientific Council from 2005-2015. In 2015 he was named a Fellow of US/ICOMOS.


In this thread, I going to share some excerpts from Chapter 2 of the book so that we can confidently answer this question - Did the Exodus Really Happen?

Let's dig in!

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 6:02pm On Dec 08, 2023
The heroic figure of Moses confronting the tyrannical pharaoh, the ten plagues, and the massive Israelite Exodus from Egypt have endured over the centuries as the central, unforgettable images of biblical history.

Through a divinely guided leader—not a father—who represented the nation to God and God to the nation, the Israelites navigated the almost impossible course from hopeless slave status back to the very borders of their Promised Land.

So important is this story of the Israelites’ liberation from bondage that the biblical books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy—a full four-fifths of the central scriptures of Israel—are devoted to the momentous events experienced by a single generation in slightly more than forty years.

During these years occurred the miracles of the burning bush, the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, the appearance of manna in the wilderness, and the revelation of God’s Law on Sinai, all of which were the visible manifestations of God’s rule over both nature and humanity.

The God of Israel, previously known only by private revelations to the patriarchs, here reveals himself to the nation as a universal deity.

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 6:03pm On Dec 08, 2023
But is it history?

Can archaeology help us pinpoint the era when a leader named Moses mobilized his people for the great act of liberation?

Can we trace the path of the Exodus and the wandering in the wilderness?

Can we even determine if the Exodus—as described in the Bible—ever occurred?

Two hundred years of intensive excavation and study of the remains of ancient Egyptian civilization have offered a detailed chronology of the events, personalities, and places of pharaonic times.

Even more than descriptions of the patriarchal stories, the Exodus narrative is filled with a wealth of detailed and specific geographical references.

Can they provide a reliable historical background to the great epic of the Israelites’ escape from Egypt and their reception of the Law on Sinai?

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 6:13pm On Dec 08, 2023
The Lure of Egypt

One thing is certain.

The basic situation described in the Exodus saga— the phenomenon of immigrants coming down to Egypt from Canaan and settling in the eastern border regions of the delta—is abundantly verified in the archaeological finds and historical text.

From earliest recorded times throughout antiquity, Egypt beckoned as a place of shelter and security rity for the people of Canaan at times when drought, famine, or warfare made life unbearable or even difficult.

This historical relationship is based on the basic environmental and climatic contrasts between Egypt and Canaan, the two neighboring lands separated by the Sinai desert.

Canaan, possessing a typical Mediterranean climate, is dry in the summer and gets its rain only in the winter, and the amount of rainfall in any given year can vary widely.

Because agriculture in Canaan was so dependent on the climate, years with plentiful rainfall brought prosperity, but years of low precipitation usually resulted in drought and famine.

Thus the lives of the people of Canaan were profoundly affected by fluctuations between years of good, average, and poor rainfall, which directly translated into years of prosperity, hardship, or outright famine.

And in times of severe famine there was only one solution: to go down to Egypt.

There is good reason to believe that in times of famine in Canaan—just as the biblical narrative describes—pastoralists and farmers alike would go to Egypt to settle in the eastern delta and enjoy its dependable fertility.

Yet archaeology has provided a far more nuanced picture of the large communities of Semites who came in the Bronze Age from southern Canaan to settle in the delta for a wide variety of reasons and achieved different levels of success.

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 6:17pm On Dec 08, 2023
The Rise and Fall of the Hyksos

The tale of Joseph’s rise to prominence in Egypt, as narrated in the book of Genesis, is the most famous of the stories of Canaanite immigrants rising to power in Egypt, but there are other sources that offer essentially the same picture—from the Egyptian point of view.

The most important of them was written by the Egyptian historian Manetho in the third century BCE ; he recorded an extraordinary immigrant success story, though from his patriotic Egyptian perspective it amounted to a national tragedy.

Basing his accounts on unnamed “sacred books” and “popular tales and legends,” Manetho described a massive, brutal invasion of Egypt by foreigners from the east, whom he called Hyksos, an enigmatic Greek form of an Egyptian word that he translated as “shepherd kings” but that actually means “rulers of foreign lands.”

Manetho reported that the Hyksos established themselves in the delta at a city named Avaris.

And they founded a dynasty there that ruled Egypt with great cruelty for more than five hundred years.

In the early years of modern research, scholars identified the Hyksos with the kings of the Fifteenth Dynasty of Egypt, who ruled from about 1670 to 1570 BCE .

The early scholars accepted Manetho’s report quite literally and sought evidence for a powerful foreign nation or ethnic group that came from afar to invade and conquer Egypt.

Subsequent studies showed that inscriptions and seals bearing the names of Hyksos rulers were West Semitic—in other words, Canaanite.

Recent archaeological excavations in the eastern Nile delta have confirmed that conclusion and indicate that the Hyksos “invasion” was a gradual process of immigration from Canaan to Egypt, rather than a lightning military campaign.

But there is an even more telling parallel between the saga of the Hyksos and the biblical story of the Israelites in Egypt, despite their drastic difference in tone.

Manetho describes how the Hyksos invasion of Egypt was finally brought to an end by a virtuous Egyptian king who attacked and defeated the Hyksos, “killing many of them and pursuing the remainder to the frontiers of Syria.”

In fact, Manetho suggested that after the Hyksos were driven from Egypt, they founded the city of Jerusalem and constructed a temple there.

Far more trustworthy is an Egyptian source of the sixteenth century BCE that recounts the exploits of Pharaoh Ahmose, of the Eighteenth Dynasty, who sacked Avaris and chased the remnants of the Hyksos to their main citadel in southern Canaan—Sharuhen, near Gaza—which he stormed after a long siege.

And indeed, around the middle of the sixteenth century BCE , Tell ed-Daba was abandoned, marking the sudden end of Canaanite influence there.

So, independent archaeological and historical sources tell of migrations of Semites from Canaan to Egypt, and of Egyptians forcibly expelling them.

This basic outline of immigration and violent return to Canaan is parallel to the biblical account of Exodus.

Two key questions remain: First, who were these Semitic immigrants? And second, how does the date of their sojourn in Egypt square with biblical chronology?

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 6:18pm On Dec 08, 2023
This is where it gets really interesting...

🤓🤓
Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 6:41pm On Dec 08, 2023
A Conflict of Dates and Kings

The expulsion of the Hyksos is generally dated, on the basis of Egyptian records and the archaeological evidence of destroyed cities in Canaan, to around 1570 BCE .

When trying to date of the age of the patriarchs, 1 Kings 6:1 tells us that the start of the construction of the Temple in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign took place 480 years after the Exodus.

1 Kings 6:1 - In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the LORD.


According to a correlation of the regnal dates of Israelite kings with outside Egyptian and Assyrian sources, this would roughly place the Exodus in 1440 BCE .

That is more than a hundred years after the date of the Egyptian expulsion of the Hyksos, around 1570 BCE .

But there is an even more serious complication.

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 6:45pm On Dec 08, 2023
The Bible speaks explicitly about the forced labor projects of the children of Israel and mentions, in particular, the construction of the city of Raamses (Exodus 1:11).

In the fifteenth century BCE such a name is inconceivable.

Exodus 1:11 - So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh.


The first pharaoh named Ramesses came to the throne only in 1320 BCE — more than a century after the traditional biblical date.

As a result, many scholars have tended to dismiss the literal value of the biblical dating, suggesting that the figure 480 was little more than a symbolic length of time, representing the life spans of twelve generations, each lasting the traditional forty years.

This highly schematized chronology puts the building of the Temple about halfway between the end of the first exile (in Egypt) and the end of the second exile (in Babylon).

However, most scholars saw the specific biblical reference to the name Ramesses as a detail that preserved an authentic historical memory.

In other words, they argued that the Exodus must have occurred in the thirteenth century BCE .

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 6:51pm On Dec 08, 2023
And there were other specific details of the biblical Exodus story that pointed to the same era.

First, Egyptian sources report that the city of Pi-Ramesses (“The House of Ramesses”) was built in the delta in the days of the great Egyptian king Ramesses II, who ruled 1279 – 1213 BCE , and that Semites were apparently employed in its construction.

Second, and perhaps most important, the earliest mention of Israel in an extrabiblical text was found in Egypt in the stele describing the campaign of Pharaoh Merneptah—the son of Ramesses II—in Canaan at the very end of the thirteenth century BCE .

The inscription tells of a destructive Egyptian campaign into Canaan, in the course of which a people named Israel were decimated to the extent that the pharaoh boasted that Israel’s “seed is not!”

The boast was clearly an empty one, but it did indicate that some group known as Israel was already in Canaan by that time. In fact, dozens of settlements that were linked with the early Israelites appeared in the hill country of Canaan around that time.

Please note - A stele is a vertical piece of stone with writing cut into it, often used in the past as a gravestone (= a stone that shows where a dead person is buried).

See image below showing the stele of Merneptah.

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 7:04pm On Dec 08, 2023
So if a historical Exodus took place, scholars have argued, it must have occurred in the late thirteenth century BCE .

The Merneptah stele contains the first appearance of the name Israel in any surviving ancient text.

This again raises the basic questions: Who were the Semites in Egypt? Can they be regarded as Israelite in any meaningful sense?

No mention of the name Israel has been found in any of the inscriptions or documents connected with the Hyksos period.

Nor is it mentioned in later Egyptian inscriptions, or in an extensive fourteenth century BCE cuneiform archive found at Tell el-Amarna in Egypt, whose nearly four hundred letters describe in detail the social, political, and demographic conditions in Canaan at that time.

As we will argue in other threads, the Israelites emerged only gradually as a distinct group in Canaan, beginning at the end of the thirteenth century BCE .

There is no recognizable archaeological evidence of Israelite presence in Egypt immediately before that time.

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 8:20pm On Dec 08, 2023
Was a Mass Exodus Even Possible in the Time of Ramesses II?

We now know that the solution to the problem of the Exodus is not as simple as lining up dates and kings.

The expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt in 1570 BCE ushered in a period when the Egyptians became extremely wary of incursions into their lands by outsiders.

And the negative impact of the memories of the Hyksos symbolizes a state of mind that is also to be seen in the archaeological remains.

Only in recent years has it become clear that from the time of the New Kingdom onward, beginning after the expulsion of the Hyksos, the Egyptians tightened their control over the flow of immigrants from Canaan into the delta.

They established a system of forts along the delta’s eastern border and manned them with garrison troops and administrators.

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 8:27pm On Dec 08, 2023
A late thirteenth century papyrus records how closely the commanders of the forts monitored the movements of foreigners: “We have completed the entry of the tribes of the Edomite Shasu [i.e., bedouin] through the fortress of Merneptah-Content-with-Truth, which is in Tjkw, to the pools of Pr-Itm which [are] in Tjkw for the sustenance of their flocks.”

This report is interesting in another connection: it names two of the most important sites mentioned in the Bible in connection with the Exodus.

Succoth is probably the Hebrew form of the Egyptian Tjkw, a name referring to a place or an area in the eastern delta that appears in the Egyptian texts from the days of the Nineteenth Dynasty, the dynasty of Ramesses II.

Exodus 12:37 - The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Sukkoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children.

Numbers 33:5 - The Israelites left Rameses and camped at Sukkoth.


Pithom is the Hebrew form of Pr-Itm —“House [i.e., Temple] of the God Atum.” This name appears for the first time in the days of the New Kingdom in Egypt.

Exodus 1:11 - So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh.


Indeed, two more place-names that appear in the Exodus narrative seem to fit the reality of the eastern delta in the time of the New Kingdom.

The first, which we have already mentioned above, is the city called Raamses—Pi-Ramesses, or “The House of Ramesses,” in Egyptian.

This city was built in the thirteenth century as the capital of Ramesses II in the eastern delta, very close to the ruins of Avaris.

Hard work in brick making, as described in the biblical account, was a common phenomenon in Egypt, and an Egyptian tomb painting from the fifteenth century BCE portrays this specialized building trade in detail.

Finally, the name Migdol, which appears in the Exodus account (Exodus 14 : 2 ), is a common name in the New Kingdom for Egyptian forts on the eastern border of the delta and along the international road from Egypt to Canaan in northern Sinai.

Exodus 14:2 - "Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon.

See the map below showing the locations of Succoth, Pithom and Migdol.

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 8:31pm On Dec 08, 2023
The border between Canaan and Egypt was thus closely controlled.

If a great mass of fleeing Israelites had passed through the border fortifications of the pharaonic regime, a record should exist.

Yet in the abundant Egyptian sources describing the time of the New Kingdom in general and the thirteenth century in particular, there is no reference to the Israelites, not even a single clue.

We know of nomadic groups from Edom who entered Egypt from the desert.

The Merneptah stele refers to Israel as a group of people already living in Canaan.

But we have no clue, not even a single word, about early Israelites in Egypt: neither in monumental inscriptions on walls of temples, nor in tomb inscriptions, nor in papyri.

Israel is absent—as a possible foe of Egypt, as a friend, or as an enslaved nation.

And there are simply no finds in Egypt that can be directly associated with the notion of a distinct foreign ethnic group (as opposed to a concentration of migrant workers from many places) living in a distinct area of the eastern delta, as implied by the biblical account of the children of Israel living together in the Land of Goshen (Genesis 47:27).

Genesis 47:27 - Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 8:34pm On Dec 08, 2023
There is something more: the escape of more than a tiny group from Egyptian control at the time of Ramesses II seems highly unlikely, as is the crossing of the desert and entry into Canaan.

In the thirteenth century, Egypt was at the peak of its authority—the dominant power in the world.

The Egyptian grip over Canaan was firm; Egyptian strongholds were built in various places in the country, and Egyptian officials administered the affairs of the region.

In the el-Amarna letters, which are dated a century before, we are told that a unit of fifty Egyptian soldiers was big enough to pacify unrest in Canaan.

And throughout the period of the New Kingdom, large Egyptian armies marched through Canaan to the north, as far as the Euphrates in Syria.

Therefore, the main overland road that went from the delta along the coast of northern Sinai to Gaza and then into the heart of Canaan was of utmost importance to the pharaonic regime

The most potentially vulnerable stretch of the road—which crossed the arid and dangerous desert of northern Sinai between the delta and Gaza— was the most protected.

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 8:40pm On Dec 08, 2023
A sophisticated system of Egyptian forts, granaries, and wells was established at a day’s march distance along the entire length of the road, which was called the Ways of Horus.

These road stations enabled the imperial army to cross the Sinai peninsula conveniently and efficiently when necessary.

The annals of the great Egyptian conqueror Thutmose III tell us that he marched with his troops from the eastern delta to Gaza, a distance of about 250 kilometers, in ten days.

A relief from the days of Ramesses II’s father, Pharaoh Seti I (from around 1300 BCE ), shows the forts and water reservoirs in the form of an early map that traces the route from the eastern delta to the southwestern border of Canaan.

The remains of these forts were uncovered in the course of archaeological
investigations in northern Sinai by Eliezer Oren of Ben-Gurion University, in the 1970s.


Oren discovered that each of these road stations, closely corresponding to the sites designated on the ancient Egyptian relief, comprised three elements: a strong fort made of bricks in the typical Egyptian military architecture, storage installations for food provisions, and a water reservoir.

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 8:40pm On Dec 08, 2023
See the image below showing a relief from the time of Pharaoh Seti I (ca.1300 BCE). Engraved on a wall in the temple of Amun at Karnak, the relief depicts the international road from Egypt to Canaan along the northern coast of the Sinai Peninsula. Egyptian forts with water reservoirs are designated in the lower register.

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 8:43pm On Dec 08, 2023
Putting aside the possibility of divinely inspired miracles, one can hardly accept the idea of a flight of a large group of slaves from Egypt through the heavily guarded border fortifications into the desert and then into Canaan in the time of such a formidable Egyptian presence.

Any group escaping Egypt against the will of the pharaoh would have easily been tracked down not only by an Egyptian army chasing it from the delta but also by the Egyptian soldiers in the forts in northern Sinai and in Canaan.

Indeed, the biblical narrative hints at the danger of attempting to flee by the coastal route.

Thus the only alternative would be to turn into the desolate wastes of the Sinai peninsula.

But the possibility of a large group of people wandering in the Sinai peninsula is also contradicted by archaeology.

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 9:15pm On Dec 08, 2023
Before I continue, it would be important for us outline the key points raised so far in this argument.

Recall that we are trying to find out if the Exodus as recorded in the Bible really happened.

Here are some of the points raised so far:

1. There is good reason to believe that in times of famine in Canaan—just as the biblical narrative describes—pastoralists and farmers alike would go to Egypt to settle in the eastern delta and enjoy its dependable fertility.

2. In the 3rd century BCE, Egyptian historian Manetho described a massive, brutal invasion of Egypt by foreigners from the east, whom he called Hyksos, an enigmatic Greek form of an Egyptian word that he translated as “shepherd kings” but that actually means “rulers of foreign lands.”

Manetho reported that the Hyksos established themselves in the delta at a city named Avaris.

3. Far more trustworthy is an Egyptian source of the sixteenth century BCE that recounts the exploits of Pharaoh Ahmose, of the Eighteenth Dynasty, who sacked Avaris and chased the remnants of the Hyksos to their main citadel in southern Canaan—Sharuhen, near Gaza—which he stormed after a long siege.

4. When trying to date of the age of the patriarchs, 1 Kings 6:1 tells us that the start of the construction of the Temple in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign took place 480 years after the Exodus.

5. According to a correlation of the regnal dates of Israelite kings with outside Egyptian and Assyrian sources, this would roughly place the Exodus in 1440 BCE.

That is more than a hundred years after the date of the Egyptian expulsion of the Hyksos, around 1570 BCE.

6. The Bible speaks explicitly about the forced labor projects of the children of Israel and mentions, in particular, the construction of the city of Raamses (Exodus 1:11).

7. But the first pharaoh named Ramesses came to the throne only in 1320 BCE — more than a century after the traditional biblical date.

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by MaxInDHouse(m): 4:34am On Dec 09, 2023
WONDERS shall never end!

Since yesterday none of the so called believers on this forum has dropped a single comment on this thread.
WHY?
They're all waiting for Jehovah's Witnesses to come first then they will pour out their anger on the JWs instead of facing the OP to prove they truly have faith in the Bible book of EXODUS.

Ó mà ṣeo! smiley

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by MaxInDHouse(m): 4:40am On Dec 09, 2023
oteneaaron:

Before I continue, it would be important for us outline the key points raised so far in this argument. Recall that we are trying to find out if the Exodus as recorded in the Bible really happened. Here are some of the points raised so far:
1. There is good reason to believe that in times of famine in Canaan—just as the biblical narrative describes—pastoralists and farmers alike would go to Egypt to settle in the eastern delta and enjoy its dependable fertility.
2. In the 3rd century BCE, Egyptian historian Manetho described a massive, brutal invasion of Egypt by foreigners from the east, whom he called Hyksos, an enigmatic Greek form of an Egyptian word that he translated as “shepherd kings” but that actually means “rulers of foreign lands.”
Manetho reported that the Hyksos established themselves in the delta at a city named Avaris.
3. Far more trustworthy is an Egyptian source of the sixteenth century BCE that recounts the exploits of Pharaoh Ahmose, of the Eighteenth Dynasty, who sacked Avaris and chased the remnants of the Hyksos to their main citadel in southern Canaan—Sharuhen, near Gaza—which he stormed after a long siege.
4. When trying to date of the age of the patriarchs, 1 Kings 6:1 tells us that the start of the construction of the Temple in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign took place 480 years after the Exodus. 5. According to a correlation of the regnal dates of Israelite kings with outside Egyptian and Assyrian sources, this would roughly place the Exodus in 1440 BCE.
That is more than a hundred years after the date of the Egyptian expulsion of the Hyksos, around 1570 BCE. 6. The Bible speaks explicitly about the forced labor projects of the children of Israel and mentions, in particular, the construction of the city of Raamses (Exodus 1:11). 7. But the first pharaoh named Ramesses came to the throne only in 1320 BCE — more than a century after the traditional biblical date.

Why not go to Egypt and ask them the reason they BELIEVE in the Quran?
Because that book talked about Pharaoh who was dealing treacherously with God's people and eventually professed that there is God in the midst of His people!

So instead of coming to Nairaland with your arguments first go to Egypt and convince them that the Muhammad lied to them about what Allah revealed to him after convincing them to trash both the Qur'an, Allah, Muhammad and Islam you can come back and win souls with your ACCURATE KNOWLEDGE OF TRUTH.

May you have PEACE! smiley

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by FxMasterz: 5:05am On Dec 09, 2023
One thing is clear about the historical records of most nations in antiquity. They write only good things about themselves. You'll never see them write about their defeats in battle or their enslavement to another nation, the despicable manners of their kings or the failures of their gods. They're always conquering and never being defeated, living as lords over other nations and recording only good and favourable events in the making of their nationhood. We all know that this can only be far from the truth. Egypt's Pharaoh pursued the Israelites into the red sea and perished there but they'll narrate the events to rather show might and conquests. They actually distort their own histories to brush their national ego. All the nations are like that. No one ever gets defeated in battle except their enemies. Should anyone believe such reports? They're always one sided and narcissistic in tone.

Can the same be said of Israel? Israel has its recorded history as the Old Testaments in the Bible. They didn't write it for religious purposes initially, they were just honestly penning down their records for the coming generations of their children. They record their own failings, their own defeats, the misbehaviours of their kings, the fall of their own nation, even their enslavement and exiles by foreign powers. You'll read balanced records that do not prioritize self praise or national egoism.

So, when contrasting records made by a nation with whom Israel has some ancient involvements, whose records would you believe? I leave it to the reader to judge.

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by Dtruthspeaker: 5:59am On Dec 09, 2023
FxMasterz:
One thing is clear about the historical records of most nations in antiquity. They write only good things about themselves. You'll never see them write about their defeats in battle or their enslavement to another nation, the despicable manners of their kings or the failures of their gods. They're always conquering and never being defeated, living as lords over other nations and recording only good and favourable events in the making of their nationhood. We all know that this can only be far from the truth. Egypt's Pharaoh pursued the Israelites into the red sea and perished there but they'll narrate the events to rather show might and conquests. They actually distort their own histories to brush their national ego. All the nations are like that. No one ever gets defeated in battle except their enemies. Should anyone believe such reports? They're always one sided and narcissistic in tone.

Can the same be said of Israel? Israel has its recorded history as the Old Testaments in the Bible. They didn't write it for religious purposes initially, they were just honestly penning down their records for the coming generations of their children. They record their own failings, their own defeats, the misbehaviours of their kings, the fall of their own nation, even their enslavement and exiles by foreign powers. You'll read balanced records that do not prioritize self praise or national egoism.

So, when contrasting records made by a nation with whom Israel has some ancient involvements, whose records would you believe? I leave it to the reader to judge.

Exactly!

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 6:16am On Dec 09, 2023
FxMasterz:
One thing is clear about the historical records of most nations in antiquity. They write only good things about themselves. You'll never see them write about their defeats in battle or their enslavement to another nation, the despicable manners of their kings or the failures of their gods. They're always conquering and never being defeated, living as lords over other nations and recording only good and favourable events in the making of their nationhood. We all know that this can only be far from the truth. Egypt's Pharaoh pursued the Israelites into the red sea and perished there but they'll narrate the events to rather show might and conquests. They actually distort their own histories to brush their national ego. All the nations are like that. No one ever gets defeated in battle except their enemies. Should anyone believe such reports? They're always one sided and narcissistic in tone.

Can the same be said of Israel? Israel has its recorded history as the Old Testaments in the Bible. They didn't write it for religious purposes initially, they were just honestly penning down their records for the coming generations of their children. They record their own failings, their own defeats, the misbehaviours of their kings, the fall of their own nation, even their enslavement and exiles by foreign powers. You'll read balanced records that do not prioritize self praise or national egoism.

So, when contrasting records made by a nation with whom Israel has some ancient involvements, whose records would you believe? I leave it to the reader to judge.

Interesting.

You have raised some solid points here, but I am not done yet.

There are still some other points to this argument that I would still like to here your thoughts on.

Thanks.
Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 6:39am On Dec 09, 2023
Still on the points raised so far:

1. Most scholars have argued that the Exodus must have occurred in the thirteenth century BCE.

2. The earliest mention of Israel in an extrabiblical text was found in Egypt in the stele describing the campaign of Pharaoh Merneptah—the son of Ramesses II—in Canaan at the very end of the thirteenth century BCE.

3. There is no recognizable archaeological evidence of Israelite presence in Egypt immediately before the the 13th century BCE.

4. The expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt in 1570 BCE ushered in a period when the Egyptians became extremely wary of incursions into their lands by outsiders.

5. Because of this, the Egyptians tightened their control over the flow of immigrants from Canaan into the delta.

They established a system of forts along the delta’s eastern border and manned them with garrison troops and administrators.

6. A late thirteenth century papyrus records how closely the commanders of the forts monitored the movements of foreigners: “We have completed the entry of the tribes of the Edomite Shasu [i.e., bedouin] through the fortress of Merneptah-Content-with-Truth, which is in Tjkw, to the pools of Pr-Itm which [are] in Tjkw for the sustenance of their flocks.”

7. In Hebrew, Tjkw corresponds to Succoth and Pr-Itm corresponds to Pithom.

8. So that means the border between Canaan and Egypt was thus closely controlled.

9. So if a great mass of fleeing Israelites had passed through the border fortifications of the pharaonic regime, a record should exist.

10. Yet in the abundant Egyptian sources describing the time of the New Kingdom in general and the thirteenth century in particular, there is no reference to the Israelites, not even a single clue.

11. We know of nomadic groups from Edom who entered Egypt from the desert.

12. The Merneptah stele refers to Israel as a group of people already living in Canaan.

13. But yet we have no clue, not even a single word, about early Israelites in Egypt: neither in monumental inscriptions on walls of temples, nor in tomb inscriptions, nor in papyri.

14. Israel is absent—as a possible foe of Egypt, as a friend, or as an enslaved nation.

15. There are simply no finds in Egypt that can be directly associated with the notion of a distinct foreign ethnic group (as opposed to a concentration of migrant workers from many places) living in a distinct area of the eastern delta, as implied by the biblical account of the children of Israel living together in the Land of Goshen (Genesis 47:27).

16. the escape of more than a tiny group from Egyptian control at the time of Ramesses II seems highly unlikely, as is the crossing of the desert and entry into Canaan.

17. In the thirteenth century, Egypt was at the peak of its authority—the dominant power in the world.

18. The annals of the great Egyptian conqueror Thutmose III tell us that he marched with his troops from the eastern delta to Gaza, a distance of about 250 kilometers, in ten days.

19. A relief from the days of Ramesses II’s father, Pharaoh Seti I (from around 1300 BCE ), shows the forts and water reservoirs in the form of an early map that traces the route from the eastern delta to the southwestern border of Canaan.

20. The remains of these forts were uncovered in the course of archaeological
investigations in northern Sinai by Eliezer Oren of Ben-Gurion University, in the 1970s.

Oren discovered that each of these road stations, closely corresponding to the sites designated on the ancient Egyptian relief, comprised three elements: a strong fort made of bricks in the typical Egyptian military architecture, storage installations for food provisions, and a water reservoir.

21. Putting aside the possibility of divinely inspired miracles, one can hardly accept the idea of a flight of a large group of slaves from Egypt through the heavily guarded border fortifications into the desert and then into Canaan in the time of such a formidable Egyptian presence.

22. Any group escaping Egypt against the will of the pharaoh would have easily been tracked down not only by an Egyptian army chasing it from the delta but also by the Egyptian soldiers in the forts in northern Sinai and in Canaan.

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 6:45am On Dec 09, 2023
At this point, the authors have argued that it is impossible for a large group of Israelites to flee Egypt through the border forts at Pithom, Succoth and Midgol because the Egyptians had these forts fortified with soldiers.

Plus they also mentioned that there were no single records mentioning the Israelites living in Goshen which is in direct contradiction to what we see mentioned in the books of Exodus.

The only remaining option is exploring how the Israelites were able to travel through the desert for 40 solid years.

Let's us continue!

1 Like

Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 7:12am On Dec 09, 2023
Phantom Wanderers?

According to the biblical account, the children of Israel wandered in the desert and mountains of the Sinai peninsula, moving around and camping in different places, for a full forty years.

Even if the number of fleeing Israelites (given in the text as six hundred thousand) is wildly exaggerated or can be interpreted as representing smaller units of people, the text describes the survival of a great number of people under the most challenging conditions.

Some archaeological traces of their generation-long wandering in the Sinai should be apparent.

However, except for the Egyptian forts along the northern coast, not a single campsite or sign of occupation from the time of Ramesses II and his immediate predecessors and successors has ever been identified in Sinai.

And it has not been for lack of trying.

Repeated archaeological surveys in all regions of the peninsula, including the mountainous area around the traditional site of Mount Sinai, near Saint Catherine’s Monastery, have yielded only negative evidence: not even a single sherd, no structure, not a single house, no trace of an ancient encampment.

One may argue that a relatively small band of wandering Israelites cannot be expected to leave material remains behind.

But modern archaeological techniques are quite capable of tracing even the very meager remains of hunter-gatherers and pastoral nomads all over the world.

Indeed, the archaeological record from the Sinai peninsula discloses evidence for pastoral activity in such eras as the third millennium BCE and the Hellenistic and Byzantine periods.

There is simply no such evidence at the supposed time of the Exodus in the thirteenth century BCE.

See the map below showing the Sinai Peninsula, showing main places mentioned in the Exodus story.

1 Like

Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by MaxInDHouse(m): 7:19am On Dec 09, 2023
FxMasterz:

One thing is clear about the historical records of most nations in antiquity. They write only good things about themselves. You'll never see them write about their defeats in battle or their enslavement to another nation, the despicable manners of their kings or the failures of their gods. They're always conquering and never being defeated, living as lords over other nations and recording only good and favourable events in the making of their nationhood. We all know that this can only be far from the truth. Egypt's Pharaoh pursued the Israelites into the red sea and perished there but they'll narrate the events to rather show might and conquests. They actually distort their own histories to brush their national ego. All the nations are like that. No one ever gets defeated in battle except their enemies. Should anyone believe such reports? They're always one sided and narcissistic in tone.

Can the same be said of Israel? Israel has its recorded history as the Old Testaments in the Bible. They didn't write it for religious purposes initially, they were just honestly penning down their records for the coming generations of their children. They record their own failings, their own defeats, the misbehaviours of their kings, the fall of their own nation, even their enslavement and exiles by foreign powers. You'll read balanced records that do not prioritize self praise or national egoism.

So, when contrasting records made by a nation with whom Israel has some ancient involvements, whose records would you believe? I leave it to the reader to judge.

With the highlighted you have killed this thread! cheesy

When some people want to pick up arguments against God's word they don't know that lack of CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS is stupidity on its own. Whatever is written on their walls wasn't done by sincere historians but under the direction of their kings who wants their citizens to feel highly secured in their domain and pose a threat to any supposed enemy who may be planning a siege against their Cities.

So in a nutshell the invented stories has a purpose not just what really happened in the past.

Take for instance the Ọ̀yọ́ empire, this people became great right from the time of Ṣàngó the third King of Ọ̀yọ́ and they ruled for years but when the Fúlànís invaded Ọ̀yọ́ they conquered Ọ̀yọ́ and took away the crown as a sign of their victory only to face their doom when they got to Ògbómọ̀ṣọ́. The Ògbómọ̀ṣọ́ people fought, conquered the Fúlànís and returned the crown back to Ọ̀yọ́.
This STORY i heard from my late great-grandmother who is also an historian in Abẹ́òkúta but the day i told an Ọ̀yọ́ chieftain he almost turn it into a bloody fight saying it never happened not until recently when the late Aláàfin Làmídì Adéyẹmí insulted the Ṣọ̀ún of Ògbómọ̀ṣọ́ claiming the later was never a crowned prince in Yorùbá land that Ṣọ̀ún angrily responded that the crown on the Aláàfin's head belongs to him. So when journalists asked him why he uttered such a statement then he revealed exactly the story my late great-grandmother told me.
Ever since then i knew why my late great grandmother was highly respected as a great historian in Abẹ́òkúta! smiley

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Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 7:26am On Dec 09, 2023
The conclusion—that the Exodus did not happen at the time and in the manner described in the Bible—seems irrefutable when we examine the evidence at specific sites where the children of Israel were said to have camped for extended periods during their wandering in the desert ( Numbers 33 ) and where some archaeological indication—if present—would almost certainly be found. According to the biblical narrative, the children of Israel camped at Kadesh-barnea for thirty eight of the forty years of the wanderings.

The general location of this place is clear from the description of the southern border of the land of Israel in Numbers 34 .

It has been identified by archaeologists with the large and well-watered oasis of Ein el-Qudeirat in eastern Sinai, on the border between modern Israel and Egypt.

The name Kadesh was probably preserved over the centuries in the name of a nearby smaller spring called Ein Qadis.

A small mound with the remains of a Late Iron Age fort stands at the center of this oasis.

Yet repeated excavations and surveys throughout the entire area have not provided even the slightest evidence for activity in the Late Bronze Age, not even a single sherd left by a tiny fleeing band of frightened refugees.

Ezion-geber is another place reported to be a camping place of the children of Israel.

Its mention in other places in the Bible as a later port town on the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba has led to its identification by archaeologists at a mound located on the modern border between Israel and Jordan, halfway between the towns of Eilat and Aqaba.

Excavations here in the years 1938 – 1940 revealed impressive Late Iron Age remains, but no trace whatsoever of Late Bronze occupation.

From the long list of encampments in the wilderness, Kadesh-barnea and Ezion-geber are the only ones that can safely be identified, yet they revealed no trace of the wandering Israelites.

1 Like

Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 7:35am On Dec 09, 2023
And what of other settlements and peoples mentioned in the account of the Israelites’ wanderings?

The biblical narrative recounts how the Canaanite king of Arad, “who dwelt in the Negeb,” attacked the Israelites and took some of them captive—enraging them to the point that they appealed for divine assistance to destroy all the Canaanite cities (Numbers 21 : 1 – 3 ).

Numbers 21:1 - 3

When the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he attacked the Israelites and captured some of them.

Then Israel made this vow to the LORD: "If you will deliver these people into our hands, we will totally destroy their cities."

The LORD listened to Israel’s plea and gave the Canaanites over to them. They completely destroyed them and their towns; so the place was named Hormah.


Almost twenty years of intensive excavations at the site of Tel Arad east of Beersheba have revealed remains of a great Early Bronze Age city, about twenty-five acres in size, and an Iron Age fort, but no remains whatsoever from the Late Bronze Age, when the place was apparently deserted.

The same holds true for the entire Beersheba valley. Arad simply did not exist in the Late Bronze Age.

1 Like

Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 7:41am On Dec 09, 2023
The same situation is evident eastward across the Jordan, where the wandering Israelites were forced to do battle at the city of Heshbon, capital of Sihon, king of the Amorites, who tried to block the Israelites from passing in his territory on their way to Canaan (Numbers 21 : 21 – 25 ; Deuteronomy 2 : 24 – 35 ; Judges 11 : 19 – 21 ).

Numbers 21:21 - 25

Israel sent messengers to say to Sihon king of the Amorites:

"Let us pass through your country. We will not turn aside into any field or vineyard, or drink water from any well. We will travel along the King’s Highway until we have passed through your territory."

But Sihon would not let Israel pass through his territory. He mustered his entire army and marched out into the wilderness against Israel. When he reached Jahaz, he fought with Israel.

Israel, however, put him to the sword and took over his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, but only as far as the Ammonites, because their border was fortified.

Israel captured all the cities of the Amorites and occupied them, including Heshbon and all its surrounding settlements.


Excavations at Tel Hesban south of Amman, the location of ancient Heshbon, showed that there was no Late Bronze city, not even a small village there.

And there is more here.

According to the Bible, when the children of Israel moved along the Transjordanian plateau they met and confronted resistance not only in Moab but also from the full-fledged states of Edom and Ammon.

Yet we now know that the plateau of Transjordan was very sparsely inhabited in the Late Bronze Age.

In fact, most parts of this region, including Edom, which is mentioned as a state ruled by a king in the biblical narrative, were not even inhabited by a sedentary population at that time.

To put it simply, archaeology has shown us that there were no kings of Edom there for the Israelites to meet.

The pattern should have become clear by now.

Sites mentioned in the Exodus narrative are real.

A few were well known and apparently occupied in much earlier periods and much later periods—after the kingdom of Judah was established, when the text of the biblical narrative was set down in writing for the first time.

Unfortunately for those seeking a historical Exodus, they were unoccupied precisely at the time they reportedly played a role in the events of the wandering of the children of Israel in the wilderness.

1 Like

Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by oteneaaron(m): 7:53am On Dec 09, 2023
Before I outline the new points covered so far, I would like to explain a few terms that have been repeated by the authors.

The Bronze Age and the Iron Age.

According to Wikipedia,

1. The Bronze Age is a historic period, lasting approximately from 3300 BC to 1200 BC, characterized by the use of bronze, the presence of writing in some areas, and other early features of urban civilization.

The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the three-age system proposed in 1836 by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen for classifying and studying ancient societies and history. It is also considered the second phase, of three, in the Metal Ages.

The Bronze Age is said to have ended with the Late Bronze Age collapse, a time of widespread societal collapse during the 12th century BC, between circa 1200 and 1150.

The collapse affected a large area of the Eastern Mediterranean (North Africa and Southeast Europe) and the Near East, in particular Egypt, eastern Libya, the Balkans, the Aegean, Anatolia, and the Caucasus.

It was sudden, violent, and culturally disruptive for many Bronze Age civilizations, and it brought a sharp economic decline to regional powers, notably ushering in the Greek Dark Ages.

2. The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three historical Metal Ages, after the Copper and Bronze Ages.

It has also been considered as the final Age of the three-age division starting with prehistory (before recorded history) and progressing to protohistory (before written history).

In this usage, it is preceded by the Stone Age (subdivided into the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic) and Bronze Age.

These concepts originated in describing Iron Age Europe and the Ancient Near East, but they now include other parts of the Old World.

Although meteoritic iron has been used for millennia in many regions, the beginning of the Iron Age is locally defined around the world by archaeological convention when the production of smelted iron (especially steel tools and weapons) replaces their bronze equivalents in common use.

So what does this mean for the arguments laid out by the Authors?

Well, since most scholars have argued that the Exodus happened in the late part of the 13th century BCE, this means that it falls into the Bronze Age.

So if we are looking for archeological evidence to prove that Exodus really happened, we must look for this evidence around the same Bronze Age period.

I hope this is clear.

Now, we can move on to outlining the new points raised so far concerning the 40 year journey of the children of Isreal through the desert.

1 Like

Re: Did The Exodus Really Happen? by FxMasterz: 8:20am On Dec 09, 2023
MaxInDHouse:


With the highlighted you have killed this thread! cheesy

When some people want to pick up arguments against God's word they don't know that lack of CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS is stupidity on its own. Whatever is written on their walls wasn't done by sincere historians but under the direction of their kings who wants their citizens to feel highly secured in their domain and pose a threat to any supposed enemy who may be planning a siege against their Cities.

So in a nutshell the invented stories has a purpose not just what really happened in the past.

Take for instance the Ọ̀yọ́ empire, this people became great right from the time of Ṣàngó the third King of Ọ̀yọ́ and they ruled for years but when the Fúlànís invaded Ọ̀yọ́ they conquered Ọ̀yọ́ and took away the crown as a sign of their victory only to face their doom when they got to Ògbómọ̀ṣọ́. The Ògbómọ̀ṣọ́ people fought, conquered the Fúlànís and returned the crown back to Ọ̀yọ́.
This STORY i heard from my late great-grandmother who is also an historian in Abẹ́òkúta but the day i told an Ọ̀yọ́ chieftain he almost turn it into a bloody fight saying it never happened not until recently when the late Aláàfin Làmídì Adéyẹmí insulted the Ṣọ̀ún of Ògbómọ̀ṣọ́ claiming the later was never a crowned prince in Yorùbá land that Ṣọ̀ún angrily responded that the crown on the Aláàfin's head belongs to him. So when journalists asked him why he uttered such a statement then he revealed exactly the story my late great-grandmother told me.
Ever since then i knew why my late great grandmother was highly respected as a great historian in Abẹ́òkúta! smiley

From the Oyo history you shared, you nailed it.

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