Archeology and the Exodus story

Now it’s time to deal with the elephant in the room. Is the history of Israel and Christianity based on a gigantic lie? Did Jesus and the New Testament writers get it wrong because they accepted the testimony of Moses and Israel’s Exodus?  Deliverance from bondage in Egypt is the very heart of Israel’s story as a people. 

We’ve already looked at the biased nature of historiography in part two. Now we need to look at the nature of archeology and see how that affects our understanding of the Old Testament.

The nature of archeology

Archeology, like historiography, is always biased. The rocks, bones, and pottery do not speak. Someone has to interpret and then extrapolate a theory from the interpretation. This is why we first must understand that archeology, by itself, cannot prove or disprove history. Sir Allen Gardiner, one of the most influential 20th Century Egyptologists, said this about archeology’s limitations:

“It must never be forgotten that we are dealing with civilization thousands of years old and one of which only tiny remnants have survived. What we proudly advertised as Egyptian history is merely a collection of rags and tatters.” (Egypt of the Pharaohs)

The rocks aren’t crying out

Archeologist Kathleen Kenyon worked on the ruins of Jericho in the early 1950s and discovered that the city had indeed been destroyed, but it was too early to be Joshua’s Canaanite invasion. Kenyon expected the evidence to be found in the 13th century, when the conventional chronology puts Joshua’s invasion, but she found there would not have been a city at all during this time. From this discovery, a wave of new skepticism started to sweep across the field of archeology.

Today, leading Israeli archeologists like Israel Finkelstein and even Rabbis like Rabbi David Wolpe say there’s no evidence for Israel’s exodus from Egypt. You might’ve seen documentaries like Nova’s “The Bible’s Buried Secrets” that reflects this modern archeological skepticism.

Understand that the whole argument for there being no archeological evidence is based on the traditional chronology of the Exodus. What’s ironic is that Egyptology was started by Christians in order to properly date Bible history; now it’s being used to erase Bible history.

But Egyptologist David Rohl (an agnostic) believes that archeologists have not found evidence for the Exodus because they’ve been looking for it in the wrong time period.

The rocks regain their voice!

The Exodus is traditionally placed during the reign of Rameses II (1279-1213 BC). But is this true? And if it actually happened long before Rameses, then it means that the chronology Egyptologists and skeptics have been working with for the last 50 years is all wrong. And we can make this case for three very good reasons.

First, a statue was found in 1896 from the reign of Rameses’ son, Merneptah, that mentions Israel called the “Merneptah Stele.” This Stele describes Israel being defeated by Merneptah which dates to 1208 BC. But that means Israel would’ve already had to have been an established nation-state in Canaan by then (post-Canaan conquest).

Second, there’s The Berlin Statue Pedestal, acquired in 1913 by Ludwig Borchardt from an Egyptian merchant. This tablet has the inscriptions of  three tribes (Ashkelon, Canaan, Israel) which scholars say refers to either the time of Amenhotep II (ca. 1453–1419 BC) or Amenhotep III (ca. 1386–1349 BC).  Either way, this would make the conventional dating for Israel impossible.

The third reason is based on a possible misunderstanding of the Bible text itself.  We assume the Bible says it was Rameses who let Israel go. We’ve all seen The Ten Commandments with Yul Brynner as Rameses, right? It must be so!

Well actually, no…it just seems so. Let’s look at the text:

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.  (Exod. 1:11 *)

But Rohl believes this was an anachronistic update by a later scribe. And he has a point. We also see a Rameses reference with regard to Jacob coming to live in Egypt with Joseph.

11 So Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt and gave them property in the best part of the land, the district of Rameses, as Pharaoh directed.  (Gen.47:11 *)

Obviously, Joseph predates Rameses by several hundred years so it could not literally mean the Rameses District but referencing a well-known location at the time it was written. This is typical of ancient Semitic writing. It would be like us saying “Iran” when talking about ancient Persia.

The fact is, there’s been a city discovered that’s buried under Rameses called Avaris (Tell el-Dab’a). Egyptologist Manfred Bietak has been digging in this site for the last 30 years. Avaris was populated by people who originated from Canaan, Syria-Palestine. This is the only such Semite settlement in Egypt during either period, so why could it not be the Israelites?

And when we use Avaris as the starting point, the Exodus story lines up almost perfectly.

A 2014 documentary film directed by Tim Mahoney called, “Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus” makes a strong case for this theory. What Mahoney believes he has documented is perhaps archeology’s best kept secret, that Egyptologists might’ve gotten their chronology wrong (by several hundred years). Even if this is new chronology is correct, mainstream archeologists will naturally be averse to even considering it since it could unravel a lot of their assumptions over the last 50 years.

This is just the beginning and the ramifications are huge! Rohl is not alone in this assertion as the debate over Egypt’s chronology is heating up in scholarly circles. I believe we’ll see some amazing confirmations for the Exodus story in the next 50 years.

Unfortunately, I cannot show the whole documentary so I will just show the trailer. If you want to investigate this further, I suggest you rent or buy the video on YouTube or get the DVD here. It’s an excellent documentary and well worth the expenditure.

UPDATE 08/30/17: If you have Netflix you can watch the documentary here.

* New King James Bible translation unless otherwise noted. All emphasis added.

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 41 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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87 Responses to Archeology and the Exodus story

  1. john zande says:

    Moving the date doesn’t help you.

    If you take a 17th century BCE date, not 1400, you are adding 400 to 600 years to Judges, which means extensive interaction with kingdoms which only came into existence much later. Also bear in mind, according to the biblical chronology, Solomon built the (first) Temple 480 years after the exodus from Egypt (1 Kings 6:1). The temple was built (apparently) in 832 BCE, although no evidence of it has ever been found.

    Now, even if you do move the date to better fit Jericho, there were 30 other cities David apparently sacked, which in many cases simply did not exist at this earlier time, or show no evidence of mayhem.

    As it stands, only one city, Hazor, actually fits the Conquest narrative, although it’s impossible to say who (or what) destroyed the city.

    And let’s not forget, Canaan was under Egyptian military rule at both the earlier or biblical dates. Egyptian administrative centers were located in Gaza, Yaffo and Beit She’an, as well as on both sides of the Jordan River. This striking presence is not mentioned in the biblical account, meaning the authros were simply not aware of this history.

    Also, the 26 Stations. Etham, Pi-hahiriroth and Baal-zephon to name just three, simply didn’t exist in the 14th (or 17th) Century BCE, but did exist in the 7th Century, precisely when the tale was dreamed up… Precisely when the priest, Hilkiah, miraculously found the “ancient” books of the Torah (the scroll of the law, the Sefer Torah) hidden in a wall, telling this fantastic tale how his Kingdom, Judah, was in fact the center of the Jewish world. The same goes for Edom. We know through numerous extra-biblical sources that Edom would not become a named nation until 800 BCE, yet if we are to believe the narrative contained in the Pentateuch, it was in existence 1,000 to 1,200 years earlier.

    The total absence of any evidence at Kadesh Barnea cannot also be ignored.

    And, of course, there is no evidence whatsoever of an “arrival.” The hills where the kingdoms of Judah and Israel w0uld be founded were not inundated with 2.5 million “arriving” foreigners (with unique language, customs, technology, architecture, pottery etc) in the 14th or 17th Century BCE, rather they were settled 50 years after the landing of the Philistines on the Levant, in 1110 BCE.

    This is the actual early history of the early kingdoms. They were refugees from the Canaanite coastal states.

    The well-documented landing of the Philistines even explains why the Jews (as a cultural/identity matter) do not eat pork. In none of the settlements (there were 11 original villages for the first 100 years of the “settlement period”) were found pork bones. Not a single one, yet down on the Levant great middens have been unearthed in successive digs, all dating to after the arrival of the Philistines. It seems, archaeologists believe, that not eating pork was a way of distinguishing “us up here,” from those terribles “down there.”

    Mel, we don’t even have Hebrew (which contains 22 letters) before the 10th century (Gezer Stone). It didn’t exist. If “Moses” wrote the first five books in the 15th/14th Century then he would have used Proto-Sinaitic, which contains 27 consonants.

    • Mel Wild says:

      If you take a 17th century BCE date, not 1400, you are adding 400 to 600 years to Judges, which means extensive interaction with kingdoms which only came into existence much later.

      What we’re taking is a 15th, possibly early 16th, century dating for Jericho, not 17th century. The conventional dating was 13th century, which is wrong. This new dating corresponds to the only collapse of Egyptian society in a thousand years. And in this period we know that Jericho was a fortified city, along with many other city-states like Hazor, Hebron, and Arad. These city-states and others were thriving and fortified during the Middle Bronze Age, then archeologists see a sudden destruction and burning on the land which brings an end to the Middle Bronze Age, followed by the Late Bronze Age (where conventional chronology had originally put the conquest). This is why archeologist don’t find evidence, because they assume the conquest was during the Late Bronze Age rather than near the end the Middle Bronze Age where it belongs. This is what people like Finkelstein believe.

      There’s a lot of other historical problems that this new chronology fixes besides the Bible’s history. Historians have had to insert gaps in the histories of surrounding nations like Cyprus, Troy, Nubia, Greece, Syria, Phoenicia, and the Hittites because it was all based on Egypt’s chronology. Many of those gaps go away when Egypt’s dating is adjusted. I’m not an archeologist but this is explained very well in the documentary.

      But, to be clear, I’m not arguing that everything in Joshua’s campaign was historically accurate. I believe there’s propagandist agenda by the writers (which the Old Testament itself debates internally). I will talk more about that in my next post. My point is that the Exodus is not just a made up story in the imagination of zealous scribes. It has factual data behind it, if we look in the right place.

      • john zande says:

        Well, even that’s wrong, because the final destruction of MBA Jericho occurred late 16th, 17th century BCE.

        It has factual data behind it, if we look in the right place.

        And ignore everything else.

        Mel, I can go on and on and on presenting evidence. But what’s the point? Your hand is already waving.

        So, rather than me wasting my time, please present your supporting evidence for a later date, and explain the even greater historical inconstancies created by doing so.

        Mel, you’d be wise to drop this effort of yours. It’s a fool’s errand. Follow the lead set by your colleagues, Jewish rabbis, who’ve accepted the fact that Jewish origin tale recounted in the Pentateuch is a 7th Century BCE work of historical fiction.

        I did a post on this which was published in a shorter version. I won’t link it, because that sends the comment to Moderation. It is titled: “Of course what you say is true, but we should not say it publically.”

        That is an actual quote, made by an Israeli scholar to Rabbi Wolpe after his now much quoted 2001 Passover Sermon.

        To prove this point I would simply challenge you to present a single reputable archaeologist (preferably an Israeli, who holds tenure and has led digs in Israel and has published papers in recognised journals) and/or non-Orthodox Jewish Rabbi to categorically state, in writing: “The Patriarchs were real historical characters, the Israelites were in Egypt, Moses was an actual character, there was an exodus of some two-million people, followed by a triumphant conquest of Canaan.”

        If there was any strength to your claims then surely this will be a simple exercise, correct?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Well, even that’s wrong, because the final destruction of MBA Jericho occurred late 16th, 17th century BCE.

          You’re not really saying anything against my argument. Your dating for Jericho based on conventional dating, which people like Rohl say is off by centuries. In particular, the problem being in the period of the Egyptian kings of the Nineteenth through Twenty-fifth Dynasties, which should bring forward conventional dating by up to 200-350 years. So, the corrected dating of Jericho would be around 1450 BC.

          There is no debate in dating later than 664 BC (the sacking of Thebes by Ashurbanipal). But before that is what’s contested with various chronological theories (The Revised Chronology of Immanuel Velikovsky, the chronology of Donovan Courville, the Glasgow Chronology formulated by members of Velikovsky’s Society for Interdisciplinary Studies in 1978.

          “Rohl bases his revised chronology (the New Chronology) on his interpretation of numerous archeological finds and genealogical records from Egypt. For example:
          – Rohl notes that no Apis bull burials are recorded in the Lesser Vaults at Saqqara for the Twenty-first and early Twenty-second Dynasties. He also argues that the reburial sequence of the mummies of the New Kingdom pharaohs in the Royal Cache (TT 320) indicates that these two dynasties were contemporary (thus explaining why there are insufficient Apis burials for the period). Rohl finds confirmation of this scenario of parallel dynasties in the royal burial ground at Tanis where it appears that the tomb of Osorkon II of the 22nd Dynasty was built before that of Psusennes I of the Twenty-first Dynasty. In Rohl’s view this can only be explained if the two dynasties were contemporary.
          – Rohl offers inscriptions that list three non-royal genealogies which, when one attributes 20 to 23 years to a generation, show, according to Rohl, that Ramesses II flourished in the 10th century BC as Rohl advocates. In the conventional chronology, all three genealogies would be missing seven generations. He also argues that there are no genealogies that confirm the conventional dates for Ramesses II in the 13th century BC.
          – One of Rohl’s methods is the use of archaeoastronomy, which he employs to fix the date of a near-sunset solar eclipse during the reign of Akhenaten and observed from the city of Ugarit. Based on calculations, using computer astronomy programs, Rohl asserts that the only time when this eclipse could have occurred during the whole second millennium BC was on 9 May 1012 BC. This is approximately 350 years later than the conventional dates for Akhenaten (1353-1334 BC).
          – Rohl’s dates for Amenemhat III of the Twelfth Dynasty in the seventeenth century BC has found support in the work of astronomer David Lappin, whose research finds matches for a sequence of 37 out of 39 lunar month lengths recorded in 12th Dynasty contracts. The conventional chronology, on the other hand, matches at best 21. According to Lappin, this pattern provides “startling” support for Rohl’s chronology. (Wikipedia)

          And Rohl makes a very sound argument in his books on the subject. You can read a summary here. Researchers like Rohl and Bimson say that the chronology problem lies in the dark periods in Egypt’s past. The biggest suspect is the very long “Third Dark Period,” which new information suggests it was overinflated by centuries. If it were reduced, the history of Egypt would have to move forward in time.

        • john zande says:

          Regarding Jericho, you might to read Tell Es-Sultan (Jericho): Radiocarbon Results of Short-Lived Cereal and Multiyear Charcoal Samples From the End of the Middle Bronze Age (Hendrik J. Bruins, Johannes van der Plicht)

          Carbon dating, Mel. The final destruction of MBA Jericho occurred during the late 17th or the 16th century BC.

          Again, I won’t link due to your odd comments set-up.

          Why are you even presenting someone’s four decades old ideas on Egyptian kings when no name is given for the king at the time?

          I haven’t even heard of this Rohl before, and quick search of JSTOR tells me why. His only journal article is from 1992, Some Chronological Conundrums of the 21st Dynasty, which I can’t find referenced by a single scholar since its publication.
          And what is Study of Interdisciplinary Sciences? From all I can find on it, it sounds more like a Sunday book club than an actual professional body.
          Listen, I don’t want to attack the man, his work could be honest for all I know, but it says an awful lot if someone can’t get papers reviewed and published, and what is published isn’t cited by anyone, nor has it inspired others to follow his/her ideas.

          If you want to stick to the actual story, and actual kings in direct relation to the story, then explain Pithom which the Israelites were apparently forced to build (Exodus 1:11). This site has been discovered to of in fact been a project of Egyptian King Necho II, placing its date of construction no earlier than 605 BCE; in plain sight to the authors of the narrative yet nothing but a barren field when the slaves were said to have been hauling stone.

          You see, Mel, this is some of the ways we know the work is historical fiction. It was made to look and sound real, to give it authenticity, but time after time after time the author/s bumbled by citing 7th/6th Century places/peoples/animals that simply did not exist at the time the narrative is set.

          You’re not really saying anything against my argument

          You haven’t presented an argument. You’ve presented an unreferenced opinion based on one proposed dating of one city’s destruction.

          There were 30 cities sacked by David, Mel.

          Show me the published papers that clearly state this destruction lines up in one clean lightning-fast period.

          Explain to me how this all happened under the nose of the Egyptians who had military garrisons across Canaan.

          Mel, what you’re suggesting here is the equivalent of tiny Luxemburg invading, and conquering, France in 1942… without mentioning the 360 German Wehrmacht divisions in the country.

          Explain the absence of the Stations at that later time period.

          Explain the historical blunders, like naming the Philistines 400 (or in your case 600 to 700) years before they would even land.

          Explain the absence of any “arrival” in the Judean hills until 1110 BCE.

          Explain the total and complete absence of evidence at Kadesh Barnea where the Jews stayed for four decades. Where are the 2 million+ graves that should be there, Mel?

          Explain how Egypt did not collapse economically at whatever date you want to pick.

          Explain to me, Mel, why Moses’ birth narrative is lifted directly from the far older tale of King Sargon:

          “My humble mother bore me secretly. She put me in a basket of rushes and sealed me in with asphalt. Then she put me into the river…. The river held me up, and carried me to Akki, the irrigator who drew water from the river for the people. As he dipped his jug into the river, Akki carried me out. He raised me as his own son.”

          So, again, the challenge I put to you is to present a single reputable archaeologist (preferably an Israeli, who holds tenure and has led digs in Israel and has published papers in recognised journals) and/or non-Orthodox Jewish Rabbi to categorically state, in writing: “The Patriarchs were real historical characters, the Israelites were in Egypt, Moses was an actual character, there was an exodus of some two-million people, followed by a triumphant conquest of Canaan.”

          If there was any strength to your claims then surely this will be a simple exercise, correct?

        • Mel Wild says:

          John, you’ve apparently copied and pasted your whole argument against the Exodus all the way to the time of David (hundreds of years after what my post has covered). You are just piling on here.

          I addressed the “Rameses” reference in the post. The “Pithom” reference would the same answer, the scribe referring anachronistically to a contemporary geographic location when it was written that people would know at the time.

          Actually, there was a collapse in Egyptian society as I mentioned before. It was the only one in a thousand year period that corresponds to the disappearance of the Semite slaves from Avaris. This is documented in the movie. I don’t have the time to answer all your points. I won’t be addressing you irrelevant points that go beyond the subject of the post.

        • john zande says:

          David is Conquest Mel. It’s part of the Exodus narrative… which you’re talking about.

          Or are we going down this same path again… You refusing to talk about the actual subject of the post?

          Semite slaves? Are you sure you’re not meaning to say the hyksos? (they weren’t slaves, but foreign rulers, and they were kicked out).

          I won’t be addressing you irrelevant points that go beyond the subject of the post.

          And there it is!

          Mel, again, refusing to discuss the subject of the post.

        • Mel Wild says:

          If you’re talking about King David, you’re off by several hundred years from the conquest. David was many generations after Joshua. So, no, it’s not relevant.

          The remains they found at the Avaris settlement were mostly slaves not foreign rulers. They were sheepherders and from Canaan-Syria region.

        • john zande says:

          Oh, my apologies, yes, Joshua. Sorry, brainfart.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Okay. That’s what I thought you probably meant but wasn’t sure.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Btw, I just found out the documentary is available on Netflix if you have that. You can go here online.

        • john zande says:

          I don’t have it, but will look for it.

        • john zande says:

          So, let me guess, you’re not going to address my comment?

          Okay… I’ll file this aborted post with the others…

        • john zande says:

          The remains they found at the Avaris settlement were mostly slaves not foreign rulers.

          You’re getting your stories completely confused here, Mel. The Hyksos were kicked out of Egypt, and they were not from Canaan, but much further northeast in Syria and beyond.

          The Hyksos are, though, an interesting thing. If there’s a kernel, they’re it. Perhaps a family or two of the Hyksos settled in Canaan, leaving the others to keep heading northeast. Generation after generation the story was told and retold (i believe the Americans call this the Phone Game), and the story morphed. We are, after all, talking about 700 odd years, and the narrative of a people coming from afar, after a period away, fitted well with what the Judean Yahwehist priests were trying to tell the Israelites.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Carbon dating, Mel. The final destruction of MBA Jericho occurred during the late 17th or the 16th century BC.

          Carbon dating does not settle the matter like you think it does. I looked up your reference and did some research of my own on the Carbon dating of Jericho. I found several places that quoted the following data:

          “Initially, a C14 date of 1410 +/- 40 B.C. (done by the British Museum) was published for charcoal from the destruction level of Jericho (Jericho V [1983], p. 763).  This was later found to be in error and corrected from 3080 +/- 40 BP to 3300 +/- 110 BP (Radiocarbon 32 [1990]: 74; BP = before present), which calibrates to 1590 or 1527 +/- 110 B.C., depending on how one reads the calibration curve (Radiocarbon 35 [1993]: 30).  Additional tests were done on six grain samples from the destruction level resulting in dates between 1640 and 1520 B.C. and 12 charcoal samples from the destruction level resulting in dates between 1690 and 1610 B.C. (Radiocarbon 37 [1995]: 217).  More recently, the Italians obtained two samples from a structure at the base of the tell that yielded dates of 1347 +/-85 and 1597 +/-91 B.C. (Quaderni di Gerico 2 [2000]: 206–207, 330, 332).  The locus the samples were taken from appears to contain debris from the final Bronze Age destruction of the city.”

          Overall, the C-14 dates from the destruction of Jericho range from as high as 1883 BC to as low as 1262 BC — a range of over 600 years.

          This is from APXAIOC INSTITUTE OF BIBLICAL ARCHEOLOGY
          “Carbon-14 Dates at Jericho and the Destruction Date”

          “This is why dating by means of ceramic typology (pottery) is still the primary and most trusted method in the archaeology of this region in the ancient periods. Even if there were no issues with C-14 dating, the samples coming from charcoal in a burn layer may be from burned wooden beams cut from trees that were harvested over 100 years prior to their destruction.

          Quality wood in ancient Israel was rare and expensive, usually imported from the forests of Lebanon, and thus often reused again and again until it was rotten, broken, or destroyed. With perfect C-14 dating, this would still result in a date 100 years before the destruction occurred.”

          So, putting Joshua’s destruction of Jericho in early-15th to 16th century BCE is plausible.

        • john zande says:

          And the thirty other cities?

          And the Egyptain military garrisons across Canaan?

          This missing stations?

          The cities that existed in the 7th/6th Century, but didn’t exist in either the 13th or 15th Centuries?

          The complete absence of evidence at Kadesh Barnea?

          The Philistines, 500 years before they’d even land?

          The total absence of any arrival evidence, with settlement commencing only 50 years after the landing of the Philistines on the Levant?

          Want me to go on…

        • Mel Wild says:

          Again, I’m not arguing for all 31 cities because the Bible refutes some of this internally. I will talk a little bit about that in my next post.

        • john zande says:

          So you’re changing the entire story.

          I see.

          Got it.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, I’m not changing anything, John. I’m going deeper than a superficial reading of the text. In one place it lists 31 cities that were conquered, then later mentions that many of them were not in another place. Some of this is probably scribal propaganda or hyperbole (which was the common way of describing victories in ancient Semitic writings.)

          And I would appreciate you lightening up on your accusatory tone.

        • john zande says:

          By “superficial reading of the text” you mean, by actually reading the story, as written.

          Okay…

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, John. The Bible CANNOT be read like a textbook. It must be interpreted, both textually and culturally. And whatever conclusion you make must provide explanatory scope and power. Otherwise, you are misreading the text.

        • john zande says:

          Ah, so the place names, the specific dates, the numbers of people, the time spent in certain stations, the routes taken, the warnings given… All to be interpreted

          Got it.

          But the supernatural things are all correct, aren’t they Mel… That actually happened.

  2. Arkenaten says:

    Rohl’s chronology is not accepted, not even by Kitchen! And it is riddled with problems as John explains.

    Rohl also believes in the Garden of Eden. How wonderful! And that tells you pretty much all you really need to know about the bloke ….

    • Mel Wild says:

      Of course Kitchen wouldn’t accept it. It directly contradicts the books he’s written on it! It would be too embarrassing to admit he’s off by 200-300 years. Admittedly, his is a minority view…now. But there is growing debate over the dates. We’ll see in the coming decades if that changes.

      The New Chronology actually does address the alleged problems John explained. All of his arguments assume conventional dating, which is relative dating.

      And since there’s no way for you to disprove the Garden of Eden, it’s pretty foolish to dismiss Rohl based on that. Keep in mind, he is NOT a Christian or religious at all. He has no reason to be biased toward these things.

      • Arkenaten says:

        The re dating still does not address Kadesh.
        And it would be prudent if you also took that into consideration – something that Rohl has not, as far as I am aware.
        And neither do most Christians.
        And you might want to start by thinking abut the logistics of sustaining (pick a number) say 250,000 people ( if we re-evalute the biblical claims of 2.5 million -which Kitchen Wood and Hoffmeier accept as true! ) over a period of 38 years and at the same time wonder why there is No mention at all of this mass of people in the history of any neighbouring states.

        • Mel Wild says:

          But, even if we have no evidence for Kadesh (which I have not investigated) realize what you’re saying. Even though we have evidence for Israelites as slaves in Egypt, suddenly leaving, creating a collapse of Egyptian power, followed by the sudden destruction of Jericho and other cities like Hazor by fire, we also have the discovery of Joshua’s memorial at Har Eval (Mt. Ebal), but we have no evidence (yet) for Kadesh so none of it happened? That’s pretty desperate. Obviously they didn’t fly there. And also keep in mind that almost all archeology is based on discoveries of structures, cities, artifacts, which we would certainly not find since they built no buildings nor made pottery, constantly moving from place to place in a desert. This is why archeology cannot tell us everything.

          Also, where are you getting the figure of 2.5 million people? That’s not in the Bible anywhere. That was made up by preachers. It was more like in the hundreds of thousands, maybe less. We know Avaris had about 25,000 to 30,000 residents (which would’ve been considered one of the biggest cities during this time), mostly slaves. Scholars believe there’s 20 other such settlements in the area yet to be dug up.

          And we DO have an inscription at Hazor of Jabin and Joshua who killed this king. Another factor, the period represents the collapse of the Canaanite city-states so they wouldn’t be keeping records of people who conquered them. Most Stele’s and other ancient documents boasted of victories, not defeats. Even Finkelstein finds Semitic settlement beginning to show up after the collapse.

        • Arkenaten says:

          But, even if we have no evidence for Kadesh (which I have not investigated)

          Then before you continue with your championing of Rohl don’t you think you ought to investigate?
          After all, it is one of the more pertinent aspects of the supposed Exodus and one that should be up for serious investigation by all Christians.
          Do you not think it odd that it is not regularly brought up for discussion?
          I am assuming it isn’t as you have been a preacher and believer for a long time and have not investigated and don’t seem to have shown any inclination to have done so. And it is mentioned in the bible.,

          The 2.5 million is an extrapolation of the biblical figure It said 600, 000 fighting men did it not? And there were women and kids and hangers on …. 2.5 million.) Easy peasy. But I also said was silly.

          The inscription is a presumption. I saw a couple of interviews with Mahonney and he makes one or two leaps ( presumably based on Rohl’s interpretation) that are not so cut and dried.

          So let’s sort out the commonsense issues surrounding Kadesh shall we, before we make all these ginormous leaps and declare ”The Exodus was real!!? I’ll take your figure of 30,000 if you like. Now,what would that figure likely be after 38 years in one place?
          I am not a population expert so I’ll let you offer a number. I’m cool with anything you come up with.

          Now explain how they sustained such a number over 38 years taking into account all the things you would expect a large population would need and what evidence you would expect to find.
          Don’t forget they would also have to equip an army capable of invading Canaan and conquering it – even if not literally annihilating it.
          And, remember, all this time no one in Canaan or any other surrounding state is aware of the Israelites.

          Let me know what you think.

          Let’s for once try to have a reasonable discussion and put aside all religious/atheist leanings for a while and see if we can come up with a scenario that explains it.
          What do you say,Mel?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Ark, as per the usual, you bring up topics I didn’t address in the post and totally waved off my point. AGAIN…even IF there were no evidence for Kadesh, WE STILL HAVE ALL THE OTHER EVIDENCE ON BOTH SIDES. We can place the Israelites in Egypt, their sudden disappearance, then appearance in Canaan. You don’t even address that. You just change the subject to the wilderness wanderings. All you have is an argument from silence.

          The inscription is a presumption.

          Get real. ALL archeology is based on presumptions! What you have are bits of rocks, bones, or pottery that must be interpreted, then you extrapolate a THEORY based on the interpretation. It doesn’t conclusively prove or disprove anything. It can only lend credibility to a theory. That’s about it.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Wrong. You are drawing conclusions that and making assumptions by cherry picking.

          We can place the Israelites in Egypt, their sudden disappearance, then appearance in Canaan

          Z

          First of all you are assuming they were Israelites.
          There is no hard core evidence to say they were.

          And the evidence for their appearance in Canaan has been demonstrated to you by John and this is what the Internal Settlement Pattern reveals.
          This is archaeological evidence Mel.

          To dismiss Kadesh is to hand wave and wipe out the major part of the biblical tale. 38 years.
          If you refuse to even discuss this then why should I bother to consider any thing you wish to offer?
          I asked if we could address this issue without any bias on either part and you simply dismiss the suggestion.

          Why are you afraid to even look at the Kadesh issue?

        • Mel Wild says:

          First, to say I’m wrong is your OPINION. It means absolutely nothing, Ark. You waste your time with such pointless assertions. You cannot prove it or disprove it. Second, John’s points are based on the conventional dating which my position is refuting. And as far as Avaris, we know these people were sheepherders and Asiatic people from Syria-Canaan region. The documentary lines up about a couple of dozen facts with the Bible’s testimony. The city was mostly slaves. There’s a special pyramid tomb found honoring a red-haired Semite, which is unprecedented in Egyptian history. Add to that, the bones are missing from the tomb (because Joseph’s bones were brought into Canaan). There was a sudden mass death of the male children (70%). There was the sudden disappearance of tens of thousands of these slaves from the settlement, never to return, followed by the only collapse in Egyptian society in over 1,000 years. The circumstantial evidence is overwhelming. The only problem is that mainstream archeology is stuck in the old paradigm.

          I am not hand-waving Kadesh Barnea because it was not the subject of my post, but you are hand-waving everything I said in the post, arguing from silence about Kadesh, while ignoring all the evidence we actually do have when we use the new chronology.

          I will look at the Kadesh issue when I have the time but that’s not what I’m talking about here.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I realise Kadesh was not the subject of your post but you cannot simply erase it from the equation.

          I reiterate, it occupies all but two years of the supposed desert sojourn.

          And all I asked was let’s have a discussion about it and what you think happened and what your thoughts are.

          Again, neither of us are archaeologists.

          Rohl’s chronology might be right, but it still leaves holes and still requires the acceptance of certain dynasties overlapping.

          As you seem so exicited by this I can understand your fervour and also understand why being brought down to earth with Kadesh (especially as it is in the bible) can be somewhat deflating and dampens your excitement.

          But if you wish to uncover the truth and not just a version that makes you feel happy then you have to include all aspects.

          And even if Rohl’s dating was spot on 100% accurate there are a probably 101 questions i could ask that would cause you a lot more distress than Kadesh and would eventually have you hauling out the Faith Card.

          You want to put aside your faith and try to deliver a knockout archaeological /scientific blow? Great. I am all for it, as you should know by now. Science is science and evidence will eventually reveal the truth. Therefore, to this end, Kadesh has to be addressed – and ALL the ensuing logistics.

          Meantime, all we have is a nice theory.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Right, I agree. All we have is a nice theory. And that is true for all sides. I don’t think “knock-out” blows are realistic when we’re talking about ancient history. There’s too much extrapolation and speculation involved since we only have a very small fraction of archeological evidence for anything in ancient history. And I have no problem with that.

          As I said, I will look more into Kadesh Barnea when I have more time. I can only cover one subject at a time effectively with the relatively little amount of time I have. I don’t know if I will cover it in a different post or just here. We’ll see…

        • Arkenaten says:

          Than I will await your post on Kadesh and reserve further judgment. As perhaps you should as well?
          But at least you have something to consider alongside Rohl’s re-dating:
          Just why is there no evidence at any time to suggest that Kadesh Barnea was occupied by tens of thousand or even hundreds of thousands of people?
          And why no evidence of this mass of humanity in any text anywhere outside of the bible, especially in surrounding city states etc?

        • john zande says:

          Even though we have evidence for Israelites as slaves in Egypt, suddenly leaving, creating a collapse of Egyptian power, followed by the sudden destruction of Jericho and other cities like Hazor by fire,

          What evidence for Israelite slaves? What evidence for them suddenly leaving?

          Jericho fell 300 years BEFORE Hazor. And Hazor is the only city which matches the date of Conquest… which happened over a very, very, very short period of time. Where are the thirty other cities that Joshua leveled?

          And do explain how the Egyptains, who had military garrisons across Canaan, didn’t respond to this?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Jericho fell 300 years BEFORE Hazor. And Hazor is the only city which matches the date of Conquest… which happened over a very, very, very short period of time. Where are the thirty other cities that Joshua leveled?

          Actually, we have evidence that Hazor was burned at least twice (possibly three times). Yigael Yadin excavated the Hazor site and His findings present some interesting evidence. He notes the discovery of a Late Bronze II period gate erected on the foundation of the earlier Middle Bronze Age II gate. He then writes:

          This [earlier] gate must have been destroyed in a violent conflagration, though the exterior walls still stand to a height of nine feet. Traces of the burnt bricks of its inner walls and the ashes of the burnt beams still cover the floors in thick heaps. The evidence suggests that this destruction occurred before the final destruction of Hazor by the Israelites, but this problem remains to be studied.” (Yigael Yadin, “The Fourth Season of Excavation at Hazor,” The Biblical Archaeologist (February 1959), p. 9. )

          On this discovery, Bruce Waltke notes:

          “There are then from the Late Bronze Age Canaanite city layers of destruction at ca. 1400 B.C., ca. + 1300 B.C. and ca. + 1230 B.C. Moreover, there is no occupation after 1230 B.C. on the Lower Canaanite City and a probable gap on the tell between 1230 B.C. and the era of Solomon. The interpretive problem then is: “With which of these strata shall one associate Joshua?” Most probably Yadin is correct in his suggestion that the destruction level at ca. + 1300 B.C. should be associated with the burning of the city by Seti I (ca. 1318 B.C.). So then one is left with the destruction levels at 1400 B.C. and 1230 B.C. Yadin opted for the 1230 B.C. level. (Waltke, “Palestinian Artifactual Evidence,” p. 44.)

          But two destructions fit the Bible narrative. It’s feasible that the first destruction of Hazor is dated to early fifteenth century BCE. The second has been dated to the mid-late thirteenth century BC. The fifteenth-century destruction should be attributed to the Israelites under Joshua (Joshua 11). The mid-late thirteenth century BC destruction of could be attributed to the campaign of Deborah and Barak against Hazor (Judges 4.12).

          The Joshua destruction of Hazor fits a 15th century BCE Jericho destruction.

        • john zande says:

          Keep going, you have twenty nine other cities you’re trying to ram into this unfounded, unsupported thesis.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Keep going, you have twenty nine other cities you’re trying to ram into this unfounded, unsupported thesis.

          No, I’m not going to waste my time digging out every detail for you, John. And, btw, you lose credibility when you dismiss it as an “unsupported thesis.” It is supported by several scholars in the field. It just doesn’t agree with you or (the current) mainstream archeologists. We’ll see what they say in 20-30 years as this gets fleshed out. But being dismissive doesn’t add anything to your argument.

          The only point I’m making here is that the Exodus story is not totally made up as some suppose. While there’s certainly hyperbole and exaggerations in the story, later scribal additions, it’s based in real events (Again, this was the normal way of stating things in the ancient world). And the Bible argues internally against the hyperbole, brilliantly providing testimony and counter-testimony as scholars like Brueggerman have shown.

        • john zande says:

          Sorry Mel, but you’re citing fringe crackpots who aren’t taken seriously.

          It’s not a conspiracy.

          It’s just the facts gathered over a century of exhaustive investigative work.

          The only point I’m making here is that the Exodus story is not totally made up as some suppose.

          Yes, the Hyksos, most probably.

          hyperbole and exaggerations

          Like the supernatural?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Sorry Mel, but you’re citing fringe crackpots who aren’t taken seriously.

          Haha, not too dismissive are you. So, you’re an expert now? You can judge these experts as crackpots? And, keep in mind, Rohl is no Evangelical Christian. He’s an agnostic. We’ll see where this goes in the coming years when the “mainstream” finally stopped ignoring the evidence.

          Yes, the Hyksos, most probably.

          Hyksos are NOT the same people, John. They probably came after the sheepherder-slaves that were found suddenly left the settlements. They Hyksos could defeat Egypt because of its weakened state. No one knows for certain.

        • john zande says:

          Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine:

          The Jews did not begin with Abraham. The Jews did not emerge as a nation under the leadership of Moses. They were never rescued from slavery. They never stopped at Sinai … Facts are facts. They are enormously discourteous. They do not revere old books, they do not stand in awe before old beliefs. They do not bow before famous ancestors. They are simply the stuff out of which reality made, and the final judge of truth.”

          Rabbi Adam Chalom PhD (he is talking about the Pentateuch):

          “Would you willingly lie to your children? Would you say this is what happened when you know this is not what happened? There’s an ethical question there. The truth is out there. They’ll find this archaeological, evidence-based version of Jewish history, and then they’ll say, why did you lie to me?”

          Professor Ze’ev Herzog, Tel Aviv University (the world’s preeminent biblical archaeologist)

          “The patriarchs’ acts are legendary stories, we did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, we did not conquer the land. Those who take an interest have known these facts for years”

          To repeat that last line: Those who take an interest have known these facts for years

          Give it up Mel… You’re just going to look like a Young Earth Creationist going down this path.

          Do what the learned rabbis have done: adapt to reality.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Reality? Right, whatever…
          John, would YOU please give it up. Quoting these people says nothing that I don’t already know. What these Rabbis have done is jumped on the current bandwagon of mainstream thought on this. But a majority view has often historically proven to be the wrong view in the end. The only rabbi I will listen to is Jesus.

          We can go on with quote wars all day if you want. There is no question that most Rabbis and archeologists believe the mainstream thought from the last 50 years. And that will probably change in the coming decades. Keep in mind, if the dating is off (which there is strong evidence that it is), then they’ve been looking in the wrong place and all of it comes crashing down like a house of cards.

          I have already shown you (and the documentary has shown) that these archeologists don’t accept the data because they’re stuck in a 13th century Exodus, not because of the actual evidence.

          So, again…we’ll see.

        • john zande says:

          Christianity Today’s Kevin D. Miller, 1998:

          “The fact is that not one shred of direct archaeological evidence has been found for Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob or the 400-plus years the children of Israel sojourned in Egypt. The same is true for their miraculous exodus from slavery.”

          Robert Coote, Senior Research Professor of Hebrew Exegesis at San Francisco’s Theological Seminary

          “The period of the patriarchs, exodus, conquest, or judges as devised by the writers of Scriptures never existed,”

          Niels Peter Lemche of the University of Copenhagen

          “The Genesis and Exodus accounts are a fiction,”

          .

          Baruch Halpern, Professor of Jewish Studies of Pennsylvania State University

          “The actual evidence concerning the Exodus resembles the evidence for the unicorn,”

          Rabbi Wolpe

          “The rejection of the Bible as literally true is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis.”

        • Mel Wild says:

          Again, ALL of these are based on the mainstream dating, which the New Chronology argues is wrong.

          John, please give it up. You are not adding to your argument. You can give 1000 of these quotes, Nothing changes. They are all basing their information on what I believe is erroneous data.

        • john zande says:

          No, no… I’m sure you’re right Mel.

          Every Israeli archaeologist and rabbi has gotten it all wrong, whereas a handful of American evangelical Christian amateurs working out of theological bible schools (who’ve never even led a dig in Israel, and can’t publish any papers in reputable journals) have unearthed the Truth™

          Great work!

        • Mel Wild says:

          John, you’re not listening. ALL of their conclusions are based on chronology that is currently being contested. IF the dating changes in the future, their current conclusions evaporate.

          And if they are honest scientists, they will change their views, if it can be conclusively shown to them that the dating needs to adjusted.

          You make it sound like archeology is static and dogmatic and cannot be changed. That is simply not true, as the last 100 years has proven.

          And your dismissive quip about “Christian amateurs” is a totally ignorant dismissal. you don’t know what you’re talking about.

        • john zande says:

          Contested where? Show me a published (peer-reviewed) JSTOR paper…

        • john zande says:

          Let me review what you’re proposing here Mel.

          1. The specific date given by the bible for the Exodus is wrong (ie. the bible is wrong)
          2. The specific numbers in the Exodus given in the bible are wrong (ie. the bible is wrong)
          3. The specific Stations where the Exodus stopped as given in the bible are wrong (ie. the bible is wrong)
          4. The specific times spent at these Stations (which didn’t exist) as given in the bible are wrong (ie. the bible is wrong)
          5. The Conquest of Canaan, as detailed in the bible, is wrong (ie. the bible is wrong)
          6. The kingdoms mentioned in the Exodus are wrong (ie. the bible is wrong)
          7. The people’s met in the Exodus are wrong (ie. the bible is wrong)

          8. Every supernatural thing and god mentioned in the Exodus is, however, correct.

          And I see you’re still ignoring the awkward fact that Canaan was under Egyptian military rule at the time of Conquest (later or earlier dates, it doesn’t matter)

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, I am not saying that at all. You are just being ridiculous now.

        • john zande says:

          That is, sadly, exactly what you’re saying… and more.

          Look Mel, you can play pseudo-academia and change the dates all you like. It doesn’t change the fact that the story is not even remotely supported by any archaeological find.

          I cannot stress this next point more forcibly: there is no conspiracy.

          Don’t dress yourself in a Young Earth Creationist-type cloak.

          I strongly suggest you purchase and read the Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary; the first authorised commentary on the Torah since 1936. Published in 2001 by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (in collaboration with the Rabbinical Assembly and the Jewish Publication Society), the 1,559 page long Etz Hayim concludes with 41 essays written by prominent rabbis and scholars who admit the Pentateuch is little more than a self-serving myth rife with anachronisms and un-ignorable archeological inconsistencies, and rather than triumphant conquest, Israel instead emerged slowly and relatively peacefully out of the general Canaanite population.

          And again, I stress this: these people have dedicated their lives to studying the Tanakh across multiple disciplines, and they have more invested in their origin narrative being true than you could ever hope to have in 10,000 lifetimes.

          They are not going to accept the position they have accepted without overwhelming evidence.

          There is no conspiracy.

          These are the facts. They are not secret. They have been in the public domain for decades, but as Professor Magen Broshi, Chief Archaeologist at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, explained:

          “Archaeologists simply do not take the trouble of bringing their discoveries to public attention.”

        • john zande says:

          Mel, I just did another quick search through JSTOR and found one mention of Rohl in a review of a book. Read the introduction to the review of this supposed “new chronology.”

          I’ve never seen an academic reviewer be so outwardly damning of a work.

          That is who, and what, you’re attaching your tent to. It’s a laughing stock.

        • Mel Wild says:

          John, this is just part of the ongoing debate over the various chronology theories. Your article was actually directed at Bernard Newgrosh (who I don’t even think is an archeologist, not sure) lumping him in with Rohl. Here’s a post by Rohl talking about the Velikovskian and Glasgow Chronologies, and how he responds to that.
          http://davidrohl.blogspot.com/2012/11/an-alternative-to-velikovskian.html

          While the mainstream may disagree with Rohl (at this point), he’s not a laughing stock by any means.

        • john zande says:

          I know it critques Newgrosh, who is the latest in the line of cranks, included the named Rohl, as stated.

        • john zande says:

          Rabbi Steven Leder

          “Defending a rabbi in the 21st century for saying the Exodus story isn’t factual is like defending him for saying the Earth isn’t flat. It’s neither new nor shocking to most of us that the Earth is round or that the Torah isn’t a history book dictated to Moses by God on Mount Sinai,”

          Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, Dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism

          [The Pentateuch is an] “extended metaphor”

          Rabbi Nardy Grün

          “The Pentateuch is the Jewish Mythology. My duty as a Rabbi is to interpret the Bible and consider it as my Mythology, as the founding story of the people of Israel, of course not to take it literally… it is not a book of facts, but a myth.”

          Rabbi Robert Schreibman

          “The Pentateuch is filled with wonderful mythology of our beginnings.”

          Rabbi, Jeffrey Falick

          “The Torah is a piece of human literature. Its stories are fictional and that is how I teach them”

          Rabbi, David Wolpe

          “The Torah is not a book we turn to for historical accuracy,”

  3. Arkenaten says:

    A thought occurred to me yesterday: do you have a figure in mind regarding the numbers of returning Israelites?

    • Mel Wild says:

      No particular number that I’m dogmatic about.

      • Arkenaten says:

        Well, you must have some idea based on your current research. What do the people you have been reading believe?

        • Mel Wild says:

          It goes anywhere from thousands to 2.5 million. I think the latter number is way too high.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Yesterday you criticized my mention of 2.5 mil.
          So what is your best guess based on your research?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Like I said, I have no guess to make. I would have to study it further.

        • Arkenaten says:

          But I thought you have been studying it? What do Rohl and Mahonney believe?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I haven’t read anything about what they believe on actual numbers. Mahoney is coming out with a new documentary: “Patterns of Evidence: Moses” pretty soon. I’m sure he’ll get more specific on those numbers.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Do neither Rohl or Mahoney allude to any numbers at all? They must have had some idea regarding the number of slaves surely?

        • Mel Wild says:

          They probably give numbers somewhere. We know for certain that the slave settlement at Avaris was 25,000-30,000. There are about 20 other settlements in the area that have yet to be dug up.

        • Arkenaten says:

          How do we know that figure is correct?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Well, take it up with Beitak (who’s a renowned archeologist from Vienna, not a Christian). He’s been digging there for over 30 years.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I got that information from the documentary. It is on Netflix here if you have that.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Nope, don’t have it.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I would have to research it then. Don’t have it in print.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Wasn’t Avaris the Hyksos capital?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, around that time. In the documentary, some were saying that the Hyksos probably came in after the Exodus because of Egypt’s weakened condition. But I haven’t investigated it thoroughly. The point is, the slaves/sheepherders weren’t the Hyksos.

        • Arkenaten says:

          What was Bietak’s dating of Avaris, do you know?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I remember if it gave an exact dating. I would have to watch it again. I know it’s in the Middle Bronze Age.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I have seen pictures depicting workers apparently making bricks, but they are all dark skinned. This does not fir the image of Israelites who are generally light skinned.
          Although slaves were taken as spoils of war there does not seem to be any clear cut evidence that such slaves were Hebrews (Israelites)

        • Mel Wild says:

          The pictures are just depictions, having little to do with reality.

          Besides the sheepherders that lived there in peace in the earlier period (found buried Semitic-style, with sheep and donkeys, etc.) Later. the slaves were Asiatic, not Egyptian. There was a list found of 100 slaves. Many listed had Hebrew-type names. There’s a lot more detail in the documentary.

        • Arkenaten says:

          The pictures are just depictions, having little to do with reality.

          I do not quite understand this comment. Are you suggesting that such images are not real?

          Besides the sheepherders that lived there in peace in the earlier period (found buried Semitic-style, with sheep and donkeys, etc.)

          I have read of graves comntainig horses but these were attributed to military personnel.
          Are you saying human graves have been found containing humans and sheep ?

          Semitic slaves ( Canaanites) are known of as spoils of war. There are documented records.

          How does this show an accurate portrayal of the biblical tale?

        • Mel Wild says:

          You really need to watch the documentary. You can rent it on YouTube.

        • john zande says:

          Again, how do you know they were slaves?

          Community service was big in Egypt, and we know semitics were living peacefully in Egypt. It was, after all, just down the road, and the superpower of the day. The Egyptians were brilliant record keepers, and there exists a kind of ancient fashion book where the dress styles of the foreign people who lived peacefully within the kingdom were noted. In it there is an example of a Semitic style tunic with stripped patterns.

        • john zande says:

          How do We know for certain, Mel?

          Can you present this evidence, please?

          Are you aware that construction projects in Egypt likely employed ordinary Egyptains who moved to the site (and lived in temporary camps) when not needed for harvest/planting. It was a type of accepted community service.

        • john zande says:

          And yet the bible specifically says, 600,000 men of fighting age, which means 2.5+ million people (plus animals). It even repeats the number when in Kadesh Barnea they had to wait till every one of those 600,000 were dead. That’s 600,000 graves… and given the other deaths in this 40 year period, we are missing 3,000,000+ graves, not to mention the tens of millions of animal bones.

          The Pentateuch according to Mel: The Bible is categorically wrong on everything. Every fact it mentions is a lie… except it did all happen, just not the way it was said to have happened… except for the supernatural stuff. That’s all happened exactly as it says it happened in the bible, which you should ignore because it’s wrong on everything else. But isn’t.

          As I stated earlier: you can play pseudo-academia games and change the dates all you like. It doesn’t change the fact that the story is not even remotely supported by any archaeological find. In fact, moving the date to a later time simply creates even more problems and inconsistencies.

          There is no conspiracy.

          And dancing about, flailing your arms about, hollering “but the Egyptian chronology might be different” does nothing to support your ultimate motive: proving the biblical narrative of 500 years enslavement, an exodus of some 2.5 million people (and animals), 40 years at Kadesh Barnea, and the annihilation of 31 Canaanite cities in a lightning fast war lasting no more than a few weeks.

          This didn’t happen in the 13th Century BCE, and it didn’t happen in the 15th or 17th Century BCE.

          There is no arrival of foreigners (with unique language, technology, customs, diet, architecture, tools etc) in the Judean hills at either date. The hills would not begin to be settled until 50 years after the well-documented landing of the Philistines on the Levant in 1110 BCE.

          If you want to move dates, Mel, you’d be wiser to try and shove it to the earlier period.

          Don’t dress yourself in a Young Earth Creationist-type cloak.

  4. Wally Fry says:

    Hi Mel
    I don’t really have anything directly relevant to the post, just some general thoughts on archaeology in Israel in general. I was just there this past spring and learned a few things. The entire place is a giant potential archaeological dig, and the amount of things not yet discovered is astounding. Many won’t ever be discovered given the politics and ownership of much of the land. I think of the city of Magdala. For years and years there was no proof that such a thing, or the Synagogue Jesus preached in there even existed. Just another “myth.” Well lo and behold it took no more than an attempt to build a new Hotel, and voila…there was Magdala. We can’t rest any case on the simple fact that evidence has yet to be discovered. I also saw the dig at Meggido, where there are so many different civilizations piled on top of each other, that the ones on the bottom may not be uncovered in our lifetime. I also think of the Synagogue Jesus preached in in Capernaum. Many said such a thing never existed; in fact, some denied the existence of any Synagogues from the time of Jesus, because they went so long without being found. Capernaum turned out to be easy to find; the Roman era one was literally built on top of it. Just sayin.

    • Mel Wild says:

      That’s very true, Wally. I was in Israel twice and it was amazing. We went to several archeological sites. But, as you said, most of the potential sites will probably never be uncovered (or they’ve already been ruined).

    • john zande says:

      Meggido, where there are so many different civilizations piled on top of each other, that the ones on the bottom may not be uncovered in our lifetime

      It’s a stretch, Wally, to say “civilisations.” Meggido was so small and feeble that 100 garrison troops were enough to secure and defend it against a takeover by another tribe… and this is at the biblical time of Exodus/Conquest. We know this from the Amarna letters where Biridiya, the chieftain of Meggido, is practically groveling for the help of king Amenhotep IV. It reads:

      “To the king, my Lord and my God and Sun, thus speaks Biridiya, the loyal servant of the king: At the feet of the king, my Lord and my God and Sun, seven times and seven times I prostrate myself.
      May the king know that since the archers have gone back, Labayu [chieftain of Shechem/ biblical town of Jacob and where Joseph is allegedly buried] carries out acts of hostility against me, and that we cannot shear the wool and that we cannot pass through the gate in the presence of Labayu, since he knows that you have not given (me) archers; and now he intends to take Meggido, but the king will protect his city so that Labayu does not seize her. In truth, the city is destroyed by death as a result of pestilence and disease. Grant me one hundred garrison troops to guard the city, lest Labayu take it. Certainly, Labayu has no another intentions. He tries to destroy Meggido.”

      Of course, here we have evidence of Canaan being under Egyptain military rule, with garrisons stationed right across the land, including on both sides of the Jordan River.

      Strange, then, how Joshua rampaged across the country, sacking 30 cities, and the Egyptains didn’t seem to notice.

      • Wally Fry says:

        John
        Obviously you know nothing of Meggido. I have accurately portrayed what is happening there, and what happened there in the past. I won’t, however, waste my time arguing with you over it because you won’t accept any evidence presented to you other than what supports your cut and paste war. FYI. I wasn’t talking about 30 cities. Nice deflection.

  5. Pingback: How I understand the Old Testament | In My Father's House

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