LMB's Exodus Proposal

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Thu Sep 21 01:10:20 EDT 2000

Walter wrote in part:
> You suggest furthermore that Hebrews reached Massah/Meribah somewhere in
> Sinai. Have you determined where this place is ? If you have, is there
> "pottery debris" to substantiate that this place is "properly identified"
> per your scenario ? According to archaeological surveys conducted by Israeli
> archaeologists of the Sinai, after "the Six Days War," no trace was found of
> an Exodus, no campfires, no pottery debris, and no graves (600,000 armed
> Hebrew warriors according to the Hebrew Bible would have made campfires,
> while thousands were killed for worshipping the golden calf at Mt. Horeb,
> and their customs would have forbidden them not to make graves, but graves
> have been found in Sinai of the Early Bronze Age called Nawamis). So, I am
> keenly interested in the "hard archaeological evidence" for your scenario in
> Sinai.

This is a common straw man in dealing with the exodus.  We know 
there have been nomadic tribes in the Sinai for ages; what kind of 
"hard archaeological evidence" is there for their passing?  Do you 
honestly expect to find the ashes of camp fires from 3500 years 
ago?  I'm not sure what your point is about the graves (what does 
"forbidden not to make graves" mean, and how can you be so sure 
about their customs?) but considering what these people were 
reportedly killed for, there's no good reason to believe that custom 
would have honored them with a dug grave.  I find this kind of 
constant appeal to archaeology, or more properly the absence 
thereof in an instance like this, somewhat overstated.  For one 
thing, archaeology is subject to the whims of chance preservation.  
For another, in the case of a people on the move as described in 
Exodus, there would be no localized spot to look for "pottery 
debris," so this is a straw man.  Of course there isn't "hard 
archaeological evidence" in the Sinai; if we look at what is said to 
have been going on, it's unreasonable to expect it.  This is one of 
those places where the maxim really applies that "absence of 
evidence does not constitute evidence of absence."

Please note that this does not in any way constitute any kind of 
agreement with LMB's rather imaginative reconstruction of the 
events and people surrounding the figure of Moses.

Dave Washburn
"Éist le glór Dé."

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