Monday, March 26, 2018

The Exodus: A Meaningful Story But Let's Not Take It Literally?

“Yet all agree that the Pentateuch is not a single, seamless composition but a patchwork of different sources, each written under different historical circumstances to express different religious or political viewpoints.”
Israel Finkelstein, The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Sacred Texts

“biblical history did not take place in either the particular era or the manner described. Some of the most famous events in the Bible clearly never happened at all.”
Israel Finkelstein, The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Sacred Texts

 –Dr. Steven DiMattei
PhD New Testament studies

"Despite its provocative and even misleading title, “Contradictions in the Bible” is a website devoted to bringing biblical scholarship to the public, what experts in the field now know about the Bible’s various textual traditions, the historical and literary contexts that produced these texts, how they came to be assembled together, and even the competing aims and agendas of their diverse authors. Thus, this website’s primary aim is to reclaim the topic of Bible Contradictions for its proper field of study—biblical scholarship. In other words, biblical scholars have known and written about the Bible’s Contradictions for centuries now—what has traditionally been labeled as source-critical scholarship, that is the study of the Bible’s numerous, and often competing, textual traditions! "

"In its present form, the book of Exodus is a composite of the Yahwist, Elohist, and Priestly sources. These biblical traditions, which record the story of the Israelites’ enslavement in and exodus from Egypt, maintain that the Israelites were oppressed by an unnamed Pharaoh, used as forced laborers in the Pharaoh’s building projects, and were subsequently liberated by Moses, under Yahweh’s guidance, with signs and wonders.
Yet despite these traditions, historical specifics are never described, and neither are there any extent extra-biblical sources nor archaeological data to corroborate these narratives:
No Egyptian records of a large number of, nor any, Israelites in Egypt during the alleged time periods proposed by our biblical sources

No  literary nor archaeological records of a mass flight of 600,000 males (Ex 12:37) accompanied by women, children, servants, and livestock in what would have been a heavily fortified Egyptian presence from Egypt to Canaan
No archeological record of settlements in the Sinai peninsula in and around the time of Rameses II, or the whole New Kingdom period (15th-11th c. BC) for that matter—especially true of Kadesh-barnea where this one million plus troop allegedly encamped for 38 of the 40 years spent in the peninsula!

No trace of Egyptian influence on Hebrew material culture and language as the result of four centuries of direct Egyptian contact."

...At the other end of the spectrum, there is significant archaeological data confirming the re-importance of the city of Rameses as well as the foundation of Pithom (Ex 1:11) in the 7th century BC. In fact, all the major places in the wilderness narratives have settlement layers in the archaeological record for the 7thcentury BC, especially Kadesh-barnea where the Israelites allegedly remained 38 of their 40 years in the peninsula—at least according to one tradition. In other words, the authors who sculpted the Exodus narrative were familiar with the geopolitical world of the Egyptian delta and the Sinai peninsula as it stood in the
7th century BC!"

Additionally, such stories need to be assessed from within their own historical and literary culture, and not from modern reader’s agendas, presuppositions, or whims. For example, the biblical plague narrative itself was influenced by older ancient Near Eastern literary—and not historical—traditions. There are a number of Sumerian tales that narrate how the goddess Inanna brought forth three plagues upon the land, the last of which was turning all the water of the land to blood. Various plagues and skin diseases, such as boils, are prominent curses among numerous different covenantal treaty documents in the literature of the ancient Near East. Hail is visibly one of the plagues sent by Inanna as well, and swarms of plant eating locusts are a popular divine punishment in Assyrian vassal treaties and other texts from Mesopotamia. Moreover, in the ancient Near Eastern world one of the most significant ways a scribe could argue for the supremacy of his national deity over and against another nation’s god was to present his god, in the present case Yahweh, as ultimate sovereign over the forces of fertility, life, and death—and this is exactly what the whole plague narrative accomplishes. These stories must be understand and read as products of their own literary and historical contexts.

Thus, far from being a work of historical fact or the recollection of an historical event, the Exodus traditions were most likely the product of centuries of accumulated and shared cultural memories of past events in the long history between Egypt and the land of Canaan: the expulsion of the Semitic Hyksos; the fact that the Pharaohs of the New Kingdom regularly used Semites in their building projects; and the underlying political reality that the Canaanites did in fact liberate themselves from Egyptian control in the 12th century BC, but it was the Egyptians who were expelled from the land of Canaan, not the Israelites from Egypt! As some scholars have suggested, the shared cultural memory of the liberation of Semites in Egypt might have been a powerful enough narrative to have been the catalyst for creating a shared ethnic identity and past which took the form of the Exodus narrative."
Is the Exodus History?

We at the Continuing Church of God offer a  rebuttal



Anonymous said...

"No archeological record of settlements in the Sinai peninsula in and around the time of Rameses II, or the whole New Kingdom period (15th-11th c. BC) for that matter" That's because they were only in the Sinai peninsula for a couple days. They crossed over the Red Sea to the land of Midian and that's where the real Mt Sinai is. They won't find their settlements in the Sinai peninsula because they didn't have any!

Near_Earth_Object said...

Let me show you why guys like me get heartburn with the likes of Steven DiMattei and Biblical Criticism in general. Let me start by saying that I am not a Biblical literalist - I regard much of the early part of the Book of Genesis to be allegory, for instance. I also have formal education in Anthropology and Archaeology. I believe that evolution is supported by scientific finding.

Here we go - from DiMattei

... the biblical traditions themselves do not agree ...
... does not square with the mention ... in the tradition ..
... is not attested in Egyptian sources ...
... Egyptian records make no mention of ...
... we can surmise ...
... this is the first occurrence ...
... a legendary time period ...
... but if we keep it ...

This is all from one paragraph. This "data" is all very soft. The fact is, archaeology may have to be revised after the next shovel full.

And we are expected to greet this near speculation with a great sense of sudden awakening? Pardon me if I am not alarmed.

Anonymous said...

They used to think Troy was a myth until archeologist dug it up. All mythology, legends & folklore has some basis in truth.

Anonymous said...

Israel Finkelstein is regularly trashed by his scholarly peers as a "magician," being more concerned about "theater" than facts. Note what Archaeologist (and Harvard PhD) William G. Dever (Director of the Harvard Semitic Museum-Hebrew Union College Excavations at Gezer in 1966–71, 1984 and 1990; senior posts as professor of archaeology in Arizona and Pennsylvania) wrote about Finkelstein's "Forgotten Kingdom" work on ancient Israel:

"It is impossible to summarize Israel Finkelstein’s latest book, The Forgotten Kingdom, in a brief review because its numerous errors, misrepresentations, over-simplifications and contradictions make it too unwieldy...this book is not really about sound historical scholarship: It is all about theater. Finkelstein is a magician, conjuring a “lost kingdom” by sleight-of-hand, intending to convince readers that the illusion is real and expecting that they will go away marveling at how clever the magician is. Finkelstein was once an innovative scholar, pioneering new methods; now he has become a showman. A tragic waste of talent, energy and charm—and a detriment to our discipline."

Anonymous said...

The Bible recorded 600,000 men plus women and children. Also they have flocks of sheep plus cattle, goats and camels. Hen there is mentioned non Israelites. If you consider there were about as many women as men and if you figure they had at least two children per family, them the total would be over 2.5 million plus animals, plus non Israelites. This would be a population larger than Phoenix or Houston. These people were not residing in neat little tract homes, they would have been scattered over many square miles. So now the decree goes out that they are to flee. Spoil the Egyptians and flee, it was night no flashlights, no cars, no freeways and no smart phones. How long do you think it took to get the word out to over 2 million people. So let’s say the word got out, and they all leave on foot. How long would it take the entire population of Phoenix to walk south to Tucson. While walking they are also herding cattle, sheep, camels and other animals, plus they are carrying their belongings on their backs. Plus many children had to be carried. If they were on a road, maybe 20 feet wide, the caravan would have been miles long. They had to have space to walk plus space for their animals. In a hurricane with modern transportation cars are bumper tp bumper for miles trying to get out of town and it’s only some of the people leaving. Once they get to a camp site how long for the last people to get there, how big would the camp site be? The camp alone would probably cover 10 to 20 square miles and that is probably not large enough. Another thing animals have to have food and water. Can you imagine people stomping through the animal droppings. How about needing to go to the “bathroom” along the way, sorry no gas stations open 24/7. It would have been a huge undertaking to move 1,000 people plus animals 10 miles. Now consider 2.5 million. Never mind food, water, stopping for bathroom needs, feeding children etc., 2.5 plus million people would have taken many days if not months to accomplish.
Jim, Az

Anonymous said...

Close-minded, intolerant bigot. That sums up the author of that very boring book.

nck said...

Hi Jim,

No one disputes Julius Ceasars "Bello Gallico" yet non of the numbers of the tribes he subjects is accurate. He either meant "a lot" , or exagerated the numbers for political and of course budgetary reasons for the senate to aprove financing of his exploits. All ancient texts use numbers different from us except the clay tablets for taxation purposes. They are so exact that distances to "lost cities" can be established by sheer trading volume calculations.

If you have ever seen passionate debating in the knesset. I once witnessed Finkelstein academically attacking Mazar in peer review and it is a sight to behold. Its good to have peer review but can be disappointing too.

Unfortunately Schliemann was more an adventurer than an archeologist. This meant both destruction of important data but on the other hand it also meant the finding of Troy in the first place by this maverick.

Deep down I accept "mathematicians" like Finkelstein, but for personal use I choose people with more imagination and eye for possibilities, even extending to writers like Rohl. I like a rebel viewpoint now and then,alternative viewpoints and especially when experts show some willingness to at least consider that their view only exhibits the current state of knowledge.

I like archeology by satellite aswell.


Anonymous said...

Jim, Hundreds of thousands of people just met in DC this past weekend.... Do you think they are all still there trying to get out?

Anonymous said...

10:38. Compare your view with goodreads on the book. Seems you're in the minority

nck said...

Think Mao's "Long March". Epic in the mind of a billion people. The real army could hardly fill a modern mexican soccer stadium.


Anonymous said...

11:27. The 2+ million Israelites probably didn't have the Metro to take them to outlying parking lots buses, cars and trains. Plus animals, tents plus the elderly. Can we imagine the folk up front wondering how the folk in the back would figure out we're stopping now.

Byker Bob said...

This is one of perhaps a dozen “Hooray for our side” leverage issues that gets brought up and argued from time to time. Each side makes their points, but basically it is not resolvable either way beyond reasonable doubt.

The Exodus generally brings out the atheists and the inerrantists in droves. Obviously there are opinions which fall in between, but the final answer is not as crucial to non-polarized or nonbinary types.


Gerald Bronkar said...

Dennis, are you implying that the Bible may not be the inspired and infallible source of complete wisdom sent from the Creator God to mankind?? How will I go on? It is easy to see how Christians have become so invested in their ingrained beliefs since childhood. It has happened to most of us.

We are way too old and indoctrinated to change paths now. Probably the best thing we can do is move on and let future generations evolve a more optimistic and hopeful world.

I am reading a book entitled, "Enlightenment Now" describing the progress of mankind over the last five hundred years. It is astounding how far we have come in so many ways in spite of religion and negative news. It is time to stop waiting for "The World Tomorrow", it is here.

I highly recommend this book to any and all. It is a totally encouraging read. No hype.

Anonymous said...

Here's a thoughtful read:

Anonymous said...

11:27AM, just look at the photos of the trash the protestors left behind on the Mall. That's from a crowd of no more than 800,000 in one day. Now imagine the trash from 2 million people and 40 years. Where's the Israelite trash?

I fed Bob Thiel pork In LCG said...

The Armstrongist mentality pictures the entire group of Israelites moving at exactly the same time when they fled Egypt. It was one cohesive unit that moved all at ones. There was no lag time between when those in the front of the pack started and those in the back began to move. Armstrongists cannot picture how long it takes for a mass of people, if there ever was 2.5 million, to move along a route. Add to that the animals, elderly not in wagons and kids. This would have taken days to clear the area. And what about walking through the red sea? Was that just a couple of hours? In their minds it was.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:32PM, did you even read your link? ACOG people wouldn't accept that line of reasoning, as it makes the Bible untrue because of inflating numbers. If you're an Armstrongist, you need to make a place for the literal meaning of the various censuses, the 3.0 value of pi, the mystery of where Cain found his wife, and so many other matters that are no problem with a less literal view of the Bible.

Anonymous said...

False narratives are rampant on this planet. Fake news, fake histories, fake analysis. Sounds like the BBC, CNN and Fox. Nothing new under the sun (except for silicon chips).

Anonymous said...

Christians do not give a toss if Jews were in an "exodus" thousands of years ago. Get with the programme and live in the here and now!

Percy Q. Ted said...

"When a claim is falsified in science, everybody agrees it's bogus. It's discarded. Put into the trash bin of bad ideas. When a claim is falsified in religion, it becomes a 'metaphor.'"

—Jerry Coyne

Bacon: God's gift to his children said...

I remember when this story first started making its rounds and how it sent so many Armstrongites into a frenzy, They thought it was direct proof that the Bible was 100% literally true. Of course, soon after this, WorldNetDaily, the official news source for the Church of God also carried the story. Proof it was all true! Then, not long after it was proven to be another bullshit story. As usual, certain COG leaders looked like blithering idiots.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anonymous said...
Israel Finkelstein is regularly trashed by his scholarly peers as a "magician," being more concerned about "theater" than facts. Note what Archaeologist (and Harvard PhD) William G. Dever (Director of the Harvard Semitic Museum-Hebrew Union College Excavations at Gezer in 1966–71, 1984 and 1990; senior posts as professor of archaeology in Arizona and Pennsylvania) wrote about Finkelstein's "Forgotten Kingdom" work on ancient Israel:

Archaeologists, like theologians have various views of course, but if William Dever did not enjoy The Bible Unearthed, it was not because he disagreed much with the conclusions.

"Today, the prevailing theory is that Israel probably emerged peacefully out of Canaan--modern-day Lebanon, southern Syria, Jordan and the West Bank of Israel--whose people are portrayed in the Bible as wicked idolators. Under this theory, the Canaanites who took on a new identity as Israelites were perhaps joined or led by a small group of Semites from Egypt--explaining a possible source of the Exodus story, scholars say. As they expanded their settlement, they may have begun to clash with neighbors, perhaps providing the historical nuggets for the conflicts recorded in Joshua and Judges.

"Scholars have known these things for a long time, but we've broken the news very gently," said WILLIAM DEVER, a professor of Near Eastern archeology and anthropology at the University of Arizona and one of America's preeminent archeologists."

Dever's view is emblematic of a fundamental shift in archeology. Three decades ago as a Christian seminary student, he wrote a paper defending the Exodus and got an A, but "no one would do that today," he says. The old emphasis on trying to prove the Bible--often in excavations by amateur archeologists funded by religious groups--has given way to more objective professionals aiming to piece together the reality of ancient lifestyles?.

But the modern archeological consensus over the Exodus is just beginning to reach the public. In 1999, an Israeli archeologist, Ze'ev Herzog of Tel Aviv University, set off a furor in Israel by writing in a popular magazine that stories of the patriarchs were myths and that neither the Exodus nor Joshua's conquests ever occurred. In the hottest controversy today, Herzog also argued that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, described as grand and glorious in the Bible, was at best a small tribal kingdom."

Doubting the Story of the Exodus/La Times

DennisCDiehl said...

...continued "In a new book this year,(2001) "The Bible Unearthed," Israeli archeologist Israel Finklestein of Tel Aviv University and archeological journalist Neil Asher Silberman raised similar doubts and offered a new theory about the roots of the Exodus story. The authors argue that the story was written during the time of King Josia of Judah in the 7th century BC--600 years after the Exodus supposedly occurred in 1250 BC--as a political manifesto to unite Israelites against the rival Egyptian empire as both states sought to expand their territory.

Dever argued that the Exodus story was produced for theological reasons: to give an origin and history to a people and distinguish them from others by claiming a divine destiny.

Some scholars, of course, still maintain that the Exodus story is basically factual.

Anonymous said...

The ancient Egyptians were pathological liars. Previous Pharaohs were commonly eliminated (chiselled away) from their history by the ruling Pharaoh, and military battles were 'photo shopped 'in their hieroglyphic records.
Their historic records are highly suspect.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:00 AM said...

The Israelites "...crossed over the Red Sea to the land of Midian and that's where the real Mt Sinai is. They won't find their settlements in the Sinai peninsula because they didn't have any!"

I agree with your comments there.

Regarding the Exodus itself, there is available a DVD Videotape, which I purchased years ago, titled:
The Exodus Revealed_Search for the Red Sea Crossing
Produced by: Discovery Media Productions
Distributed by: QUESTAR, INC
P.O. Box 11345 Chicago, IL 60611-0345
Approx. Total Time: 3 hours with extras (Actual movie goes about 1 hour)
ISBN: 1-56855-736-1

That address information may not be current, so if interested in the videotape, one should first check on the Internet to see if it is still available.

Also, regarding the pictures, an excellent, very worthwhile, Book exists with title of: The Exodus Case by Dr. Lennart Moller (ISBN: 1568557361). I purchased it from a different source. If desire to order, I suggest you look for best deal using a search on the Internet.

These 2 sources give evidence/discoveries of the Red Sea crossing between Nuweiba beach and Saudi-Arabia.

Another DVD I found interesting is titled, The Search for the Real Mt. Sinai, which one may research on the Internet if interested. Years ago, I found information on this video from

This video also brings up evidence/discoveries that the Real Mt. Sinai is not where traditional sources tell us it is, but is actually in Midian of Saudi Arabia, across the Red Sea from that Nuweiba beach mentioned above.

Anybody still looking for Israelite settlements in the Sinai peninsula have been looking in the wrong location. No wonder evidence can't be found there.

Anon 8:00 AM, I have no idea what sources you used to come up with the conclusion you cited above, but as I said: I agree with it and I base my agreement from the evidence/discoveries covered in the above 2 DVDs.


Near_Earth_Object said...

Here's the deal. Its real simple. In the Post-Exilic Period, a group of scribes with a literary flair took a bunch of circulating written accounts about the Exodus and pieced them together to form a single credentialed account. The scribes knew it was inaccurate in detail. They knew it was embellished. But it captured the principle of leaving evil in obedience to God. Its about the principle. It's not about how many people were in the crowd.

And here we are like a bunch of anal-retentive Millerite ninnies sorting through census figures and missing the point completely. Always majoring in the minors.

So here's what happened: A small group, maybe a few thousand, of Jewish servants were extricated miraculously from Egypt, a great evil power of the day, and headed as fast as they could afoot and on donkeys for Red Sea. Something bad and supernatural happened to the pursuing Egyptians soldiers. A lots of Egyptians drowned. Something good and supernatural happened to the fleeing Jews and they escaped into Palestine.

Think of it as a movie intended to dramatize as certain moral. It is in the moral where the truth resides. It can be minimalist or embellished but the underlying principle remains the same.

Anonymous said...

4:00pm - What trash would they leave? Their clothes and shoes didn't wear out. Excrement decomposes correct? I'm not saying they evacuated quickly but they ate the Passover with their shoes on and staff in hand so they were obviously ready to roll. And like I said in the 1st comment, they wandered in Midian, not the Sinai peninsula. I'm sure they might actually find something there if the Saudis allowed excavation in that area. But they don't.

nck said...

"Think of it as a movie intended to dramatize as certain moral. It is in the moral where the truth resides."

Now I am still inconclusive as to watch "Charlton Heston" or "Qua Vadis" on Ishtar.
Calling those people "Jewish" doesn't boost your case.
They are either called Hebrews, Israelites or Hyksos in most theorizing.

I'm in on the Midian thing. Those pesky Saudis should speed up with opening up to the world in general, science and archeology especially. There is amazing stuff on the Jordan - Saudi border. (semi Petra's).

Extending the Midian thing, a case can be made that Petra was "Seir" or "the Mountain of the Lord", Jebel Musa, where Moses resided for a while. The current one being one of those touristy byzantine age assigned site of pilgrimage in the Sinai dessert.
It is from Edom where the Cananites workers in Egypt hailed and I guess they returned there aswell before entering "the promised land". (Joshua susequently payed hommage to the local chief priest-military commander residing in what we would now call Petra, when this priest-commander declared the ground holy and to whom Joshua was subject as sub leader of subtribes of the larger Edomite contingent)

The following demonization and censoring of the (original) and ancient edomite religion as precursor to the israelite religion in the following books of the OT is not unlike the demonization of OT adherents by NT adherents over the centuries only rediscovering their roots for the past 15 years with renewed interest (like the last 2 popes). But traces of "disappeared scrolls, or customs (like the high places) could just not be eradicated an are still in the texts. (Perhaps also the leading roles of women in pre israelite society, like moses's sister, deborah etc etc all allude to an older culture where women seem to have more priority than a centralized male dominated society led from an only male temple)

The idea of there being One God seems to have been recorded for the first time with Akhenaten. Who was subsequently erased from history by his successors, being the revolutionary that he was!


nck said...

Regarding corroborating finds and perhaps clues as to the dating and setting of it all,

a case can be made that the canaanites or israelites left from Avaris, where many canaanite tools were found.
The later OT scribes called the city pi-ramesses, which was the name they knew. That name does NOT indicate that it all happened during or after ramses's rule but indicates the city's later namechange, like St Petersburg to Leningrad (Lenin being the important ruler of a later time).


Anonymous said...

So according to you, only w few thousand fleeing Jews (not the twelve tribes of Israel) escaped from Egypt. Well, each to his own.

DennisCDiehl said...

"And like I said in the 1st comment, they wandered in Midian, not the Sinai peninsula. I'm sure they might actually find something there if the Saudis allowed excavation in that area. But they don't."

The wandering in Midian along with Mt Sinai being in Arabia (Galatians 5) is a not very well received explanation of the Exodus. It's a very convoluted tale to make it "fit" Paul mentions "Sinai in Arabia" not Saudi Arabia and scholars and historians evidently understand it to still be the Sinai which is what the Romans of Paul's day included in the Roman definition of "Arabia" putting the story back in the general OT context.

Humans leave plenty of trash, clothes and shoes don't really not wear out. Water for animals and humans must be always available as well as firewood for cooking and feed for animals which they are said to have hauled with them. Having plundered the Egyptians, which is doubted and all the first generation dying in the waste howling wilderness for their bad attitudes in the DESERT, neither graves of hundreds of thousands or gold and glitter have been found. They may have had their staffs in hand to go but hauling booty takes some effort too.

Let's face it, for those that need the story to be literally true because of religious belief and practice there has to be wiggle room for the possibility even in the face of mounting evidence it never happened as advertised. For those that simply wish to know what really happened or didn't, it is not as difficult to accept that it didn't in the face of such evidence or lack of it.

Saudi archaeologists will attest to there being no such journey on their soil though digging there has been traditionally a problem for outsiders. And don't even bring up the name Ron Wyatt when discussing the Exodus. Wyatt would probably have said he found Moses sandals and the original burning bush in his search for the Exodus. Ron Wyatt is to archaeology as Dave Pack is to accurate Biblical exegesis.

nck said...

Waiting for my taxi from Aqaba to Amman I travelled up to beach close to the Saudi Durra Border Crossing, for a dive.

I figured a crossing to Egypt was possible from that point, but the Ukrainian ladies attempting a dive provided too much of a distraction for actual scientific testing of my thesis.

To complicate matters for the literalists or the naysayers.

I did, as the Israelites present, literally walk/drove the bottom of an ocean a little up north. As a matter of fact it was ancient seabed as the waters had resided.
That seabed would be the Wadi Rum.

Aren't the camels called, "the ships of the desert" over there.


Near_Earth_Object said...

I don't think we can look to the archaeological materials to resolve this issue. The Anglo-Saxons invaded Britain and almost nothing can be found of this invasion. And they had durable metal implements.

I live in an area that was densely populated by Native Americans. Ruins are scattered around the mesas by the thousands. And only a few burials have ever been found.

And who really knows ancient geography and what mountain was called what? That is all guesswork.

Like I said, its the principle not the now uncertain material culture.

Anonymous said...

Dennis, water was available through natural or supernatural (coming out of rocks) resources. They were in the desert but the pillar of cloud likely shielded them from the intense heat. The bible doesn't always include every single detail so who knows what happened to the bodies. We know 20,000 or so were swallowed up in the earth. Did they cremate the rest of them? Did God get rid of them? IDk, and I know this won't satisfy you but seriously, we can't conclusively say whether 9/11 was an inside job or not, who killed JFK, or what happened to that Malaysian plane just a few years ago! It's been what, 3000 some years? Why would we find much evidence? Do you think gold would still by lying around? Anyone can find "evidence" to support their beliefs.

Near_Earth_Object said...

"NEO - So according to you, only a few thousand fleeing Jews (not the twelve tribes of Israel) escaped from Egypt. Well, each to his own."

The numbers may be mythic - we have no idea who contributed them. We cannot prove that Moses wrote ever detail of this account.

My point is that the numbers don't make any difference. Make the numbers whatever you want them to be. What you know is that the numbers were big by the standards of the people there as observers.

Hank Hannegraff observed that when in Greek the phrase "1,000 years" is used it does not mean necessarily 1,000 years. It just means a big number. But that phrase, though lacking precision, got mapped to the precise term Millennium.

Also, these people were all the same haplogroup as Jews. That is haplogroup J1 and some J2. Modern Jews think of them as all being Jews and the genetics certain accommodates this. These tribes looked all the same and genetically were all the same. If there were any haplogroup R people there (Europeans, really unlikely) they were not descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Some of this is "each to his own" but the genetics is not. British-Israelism is a fabulous fabrication.

RSK said...

Sledges. Carts. Tent materials. Dead livestock. Tools. Campsites (the campfires alone must have been numerous). The dead (cremation was a Persian and Greek practice as far as I know). Discarded wood, stone, etc...

Allen Dexter said...

I take a bit of an issue with the so-called exodus being a "meaningful story." It's a damn lie from where I sit. I feel stupid for ever being dumb enough to fall for it because I never thought through the impossibilities of it. Same with the flood that never happened, except maybe locally when the Bosporus broke up and flooded the previously fertile area to the north. It's hard for me to fathom how I could have been so childishly dumb that I didn't see through all that nonsense, but then I have to realize that everybody is programmed to accept what they are fed as innocent little children. Hitler and Goebbels were right when they said people would believe a lie if it was repeated often enough and forcefully enough.

RSK said...

Of course, as other writers have pointed out, its the Levites who carry Egyptian names in the OT. Perhaps they were the slave population while their kinsmen lived in Canaan during those years.

Anonymous said...

Hitler and Goebbels were right when they said people would believe a lie if it was repeated often enough and forcefully enough.

Yeah, but nobody would be dumb enough to admit that was their policy, even if it was. They were talking about the lies told by their enemies.