barre at barre at
Mon Sep 18 22:09:25 EDT 2000

Dear Lloyd,

Here's my Chronological understandings on the Text of the Hebrew Bible :

1540 BCE Hyksos Expulsion (the Historical kernel behind the Hebrew Bible's
Fictional Exodus).
13th century BCE presumed Exodus date of many Humanists, including YOURSELF.
Exodus in this century is untenable for following
-Arad is an abandoned tell in this era, no king to oppose
Israel or Joshua.

To which text are you referring here?

-Heshbon not founded yet, so Sihon didn't oppose Moses.

I think you misunderstand me if you think I think all these traditions are historical.  For me it is definitely not an all or nothing situation.  The Hebrew could have left Egypt under Rameses II and also not have destroyed Heshbon.

-Dibon is unoccupied so it can't be conquered in the
Sihon victory song.

See above.  Editing could have easily transposed historical events into locations.  It is well known that the Dtr has deep biases in his presentation of the conquest.

-Egyptologists are unaware of any "mass exodus" of
Asiatics from Egypt
to Canaan at any time during this century or the
following century.

This does not surprise me.  I don't know how many left, but it wasn't 2 million as tradition has it!

12th century BCE arrival of Philistines (Pelest of Rameses III) in Canaan
proof stories about Abraham and Philistines (ca. 2300 BCE)
is untenable. 

Yes, this anachronism is well known.

Also proof
Exodus story is untenable (cf. Israel's fear to leave
Egypt via the
way of the Philistines for fear of that nation in 1450

I think you are taking me as committed to the traditional story too much.  My study has led me to conclude that traditionists had knowledge only of key figures and events and invented the rest of the account.  There were not concerned with historical accuracy since they had no consciousness for such.  It's like the legends of the Old West in American lore.

12th century BCE founding of Tell Heshban as a poor, tiny village
-in this century Zoan becomes a capital and residence of
proof traditions about Moses confronting Pharaoh at Zoan
is untenable
ca. 1450 BCE or even in the 13th century BCE (1250 BCE

I already addressed Ps 78.

8th century BCE Tell Hesban is now a mighty walled city, worthy of being
the capital of Sihon the Amorite's Trans-Jordan Kingdom,
the Exodus account is untenable and never happened as
in the Hebrew Bible.

Right and of course.

704 BCE Nineveh becomes capital of Assyria, its appearance in Genesis is
proof Moses didn't write the book back in 1450 BCE.

No, Moses that not write the Pentateuch.  Of course.

660 BCE Gyges of Lydia makes contact for the first time with Assyria in the
days of Asshurbanipal, who states his fathers had never
heard of
Lydia (Luddu), proof that "Lud" in Genesis is not older than
the 7th
century BCE.

This would date the "composition" in which it occurs.  Is this from the table of nations?

550 BCE Medes make contact with Lydia & make an alliance; the Greeks
become aware of Medes via Lydia, and create the myth that
of Athens is founder of the Medes and thus a descendant of

the Greek Logographers (earlier histories were in Poetry)

-The Hebrew Bible's Primary History, Genesis to 2 Kings ends
account in 560-550 BCE (2 Kings 25:27), ALL THIS HISTORY

490 BCE Persian royal court's propaganda that Greece is to be invaded to
reclaim Athens as the Medes' patrimony, citing the Medus myth.
This accounts for Genesis' Japhethic descent of Madai. Proof
is a 5th century BCE creation.

You speak of Genesis as a primary literary unit.  It is not.  The Pentateuch seems to have been divided for considerations of size among other things.  So to speak of Genesis as though it was a original literary entity does not help.  It is in fact a highly composite work of several smaller documents, both of oral and written origin.

458 BCE by this date all are dead who would have known Jericho never had an
Iron Age
wall built in the days of Ahab (9th century BCE) by Hiel the
Bethelite, in use through 587 BCE' s Exile.

- The nation assembeled by Ezra to Jerusalem to hear "The Torah"
realize that they
are in violation of Torah by their foreign marriages. I argue
Ezra created "The Torah"
and the Primary History, Genesis to 2 Kings.

Do you mean that Ezra gathered up hundreds of literary sources and arranged them all?  Or do you mean he redacted JEDP, or something else?

Now the "Historical Kernels":

Jericho's fallen walls are attested in the Early Bronze Age. This has been
preserved in Joshua's account, but torn out out of its true historical
anchoring and placed in the Iron Age.

Beersheba is an Israelite foundation, as suggested in the Abrahamic
narratives, but of the 12th century BCE, not 2300-2000 BCE as suggested by
the Hebrew Bible. Its earliest pottery possesses Philistine wares, providing
proof of their presence when the site was first settled. The Hebrew narrator
"goofed" and placed the Philistine presence here back into the 2300-200 BCE
era. This is proof that some traditions about Abraham couldn't be older than
ca. 1000BCE allowing a couple of centuries for the nation to forget just
when the Philistines had arrived (ca. 1178 BCE).

I have discovered that the internal chronology of the Hebrew Bible, in
conjunction with the New Testament, gives a date of 1540 BCE for the Exodus
which matches the 1540 BCE Late Hyksos Expulsion date espoused by Kitchen.

Khamudy is the last known Hyksos pharaoh, so if anyone has a right to the
name "Moses" it would be him, not Ptah-Mose (son of Seti I). He is a prince
of Egypt (being a Pharaoh), and he is an Asiatic, and he may have led his
people back to Canaan (actually driven back by Pharaoh Ahmose and his
Egyptian forces). The Hyksos expulsion is the only known mass exodus in the
annals of all Egyptian history. Where bible scholars (Conservative or
Liberal) are getting the notion that Egyptian history "supports" an Exodus
in the course of the 15th through 12th centuries BCE is beyond me and the
Egyptologists !

It was a modest affair, exaggerated by tradition.


"The reactions of some religious conservatives to the recent archaeological
discoveries have not been unexpected. A few simply ignore the archaeological
data and continue to hunt for ever more signs of Semitic peoples in Egypt
during the New Kingdom. Such an approach, however, can never demonstrate the
historicity of the Exodus. One cannot use the discovery of a new literary
parallel between the Old Testament and an Egyptian text, or yet another
'scientific' or 'natural' explanation for one of the biblical plagues or the
miracle of the sea, or the identification of more Semitic names and
Levantine culture items in 18th an 19th Dynasty Egyptian contexts, to
postulate an exodus. Nor does it really matter whether the Egyptian place
names in the biblical account are truly Ramesside in origin or, as Redford
has posited, more appropriate to the Saite and Persian periods. And it makes
little difference how many Asiatic prisoners Sety I, Ramesses II, or even
Ramesses III brought back from Canaan compared to their predecessors.THE

As I said, tradition has obviously exaggerated the whole affair, complete with the most supernaturalistic traditions in the OT.  I am far from trying to prove the historicity of anything.  I admit I know very little but some basic facts about the exodus.  Don't confuse me with a conservative!

The effort by some scholars to transfer the date of the Exodus from the 13th
century BC back to the 15th century BC is even more insupportable on
archaeological grounds. This earlier date maintains a biblical linkage to
the Exodus by relating the alleged event to the reference in 1 Kings 6 to
the Exodus having taken place 480 years prior to the start of construction
of the Solomonic temple in Jerusalem. Recent champions of this theory
include John Bimson and Bryant Wood. Bimson's efforts to date the
destructions of the Middle Bronze Age towns to the 15th century BC are
flawed by a host of Egyptological,stratigraphic, and chronological problems,
and to date, no Syro-Palestinian archaeologists or Egyptologists have
accepted his chronological and historical analysis of the date. As for Wood,
his argument is based on a redating of the destruction at Jericho from the
16th century BC to the end of the 15th century BC and suffers from a number
of serious deficiencies in the interpretation of the archaeological and
radiocarbon evidence."
(pp.93-94, James Weinstein, "Exodus and Archaeological Reality," in Ernest
S. Frerichs & Leonard H. Lesko, eds., Exodus: The Egyptian Evidence. Winona
Lake, Indiana. Eisenbrauns. 1997. ISBN 1-57506-025-6 hdbk)

Lloyd, Weinstein's observations would appear "to blow out of the water,"
your notion of Moses (Ptah-Mose) leading an Exodus out of Egypt in the 13th
century BCE, he being the son of Seti I . Your posited scenario just doesn't
hold up to the lack of evidence of "a major outflow of Asiatics" as noted by
Dr. Weinstein.

I think that's because you misunderstand my position.  I do not posit some mass exodus.  I don't know how large the group was.  No one does.  Also, I do not posit a long history of slave life.  The 400 years of Gen 15 is obviously both symbolic (10x40) and exaggerating a time of four generations from Abraham.  So the slavery was perhaps only one or two generations long.  From you comments I think it is fair to say that you do not understand my methodology and so misinterpret my results.  I place the Exodus under Rameses mostly because the mention of the store cities of Pithom and Rameses, said to be built with slave labor.  Also, it fits my overall chronology from Abram to Abimelech.  You know it until Joshua.

I am not sure how you come to explain the Merneptah Stele and the existence of the people of Israel.  How do you see that happening historically.  Work back from c 1220 for me if you will.  Who are these "Israelites" and where did they come from?  Who is their god and where is his domain?

Thank you for your comments, Walter.


All the best,


Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld
Walldorf by Heidelberg


L.M. Barre, Ph.D.

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