Exodus Fusion/Conflation of EBII-IAII ?
mattfeld at mail.pjsnet.com
Fri Dec 14 00:58:45 EST 2001
In an earlier posting to this List I noted that "my research" on the Exodus
narratives suggested to me that elements or strands within the biblical
scenarios appeared to be drawn from various archaeological eras, the Early
Bronze II to Iron II. A recent "re-read" of Finkelstein and Silberman,
suggests that they too "appear" to share my observation-
"So where does this leave us ? Can we say that the Exodus, the wandering,
and -most important of all- the giving of the Law on Sinai do not possess
even a kernel of truth ? So many historical and geographical elements from
SO MANY PERIODS MAY HAVE BEEN EMBEDDED IN THE EXODUS STORY that it is hard
to decide on a single unique period in which something like it might have
occurred. There is the timeless rhythm of migrations to Egypt in antquity.
There is the specific incident of the Hyksos domination of the delta in the
Middle Bronze Age. There are the suggestive parallels to elements of the
Ramesside era relating to Egypt -together with the first mention of Israel
(in Canaan, not Egypt)...The Bible may reflect New Kingdom reality, but it
just might as well reflect later conditions in the Iron Age, closer to when
the Exodus narrative was put in writing.
And that is precisely what the Egyptologist Donald Redford has suggested.
The most evocative and consistent geographical details of the Exodus story
come from the seventh century BCE..." (p.65, "Did the Exodus Happen ?"
Israel Finkelstein & Neil Asher Silberman.
The Bible Unearthed, Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the
Origin of its Sacred Texts. New York. The Free Press. 2001. ISBN
****Copy of an earlier Posting ****
I have argued that Ahmose I, founder of the New Kingdom and the 18th dynasty
is the Pharaoh of the Exodus, based upon the biblical chronology preserved
in Judges and Samuel of nearly 600 years elapsing from the Exodus to
Solomon's building of the Temple in his 4th year (ca. 966 BCE + 600 = 1566
BCE, in the reign of Ahmose I). Ahmose's expulsion of the Hyksos is what is
But, I also acknowledge that the Exodus narratives possess various strands
from differing periods of time, Early Bronze II to Iron II, and thus it is
my understanding that Aardsma has correctly identified the fallen walls of
Early Bronze Jericho as one of the strands. Kitchen and Hoffmeier have
correctly identified the mention of Ramesses in the narratives as another
strand of the days of Ramesses II or later. MacDonald has correctly
identified the sitz im leben of the narratives as the Late Iron II period
based on his excavations in Transjordan. Bimson and Wood have correctly
identified the fall of Jericho in MBIIC as best fitting the burning of
Jericho by Joshua. ALL OF THESE SCHOLARS HAVE EACH CORRECTLY IDENTIFIED
THE VARIOUS STRANDS. Their collective failure however, was that they failed
to realize that these strands, found in various archaeological eras, Early
Bronze to Late Iron II, are indicative of a fusion and conflation of events
over a period 1500 years, being compressed into the 16th/15th century BCE.
Cf. my article at the following url
Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld
Walldorf by Heidelberg
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